(20 hours later, this is posted, but it goes with the theme of going with the flow of life’s chaos):
I had plans to work today. Yes, it’s Sunday.
Never the less, I had an exciting, but busy week and didn’t manage to get everything done and I’m determined to start each week not carrying over any unnecessary work or stress. It doesn’t mean I was going to work for hours, but I had a plan.
In the business, I also didn’t get to do the blog post that I wanted to do, so that was planned for right about now. (Although the plot thickens and although I’m typing the post at 7:30pm, I have no idea when I will be able to let it go live).
As I was settling in to work, my bestie called and he’s in a dilemma. By some freak of nature, his house is the only one on his block that doesn’t have electricity and it’s not something that can be fixed overnight. His fridge is full, he’s not feeling well and it’s no fun being stuck in a home with no electricity. So plans changed and we spent the day together.
He packed my deep freeze full and we headed out to find some kind of battery powered things to make this process more bearable. We spoke about life and how it’s all changing, mainly focusing on the electricity crisis that we are facing in South Africa and that we need to be thinking about being self-sufficient anyway.
When home, I unplugged all my so that Greggie could charge his, because I would be fine with power through the night.
We planned dinner and I while cooking a warm chicken topping to go with the salad ingredients from his fridge, I turned on the oven to cook the meat that I had brought to last me for about 3 weeks. You see, I’ve figured out that one of the keys to maintaining this healthy relationship I have with my body is to have food that is ready for me to just warm on the days when it’s too crazy to cook and I usually would grab something unhealthy from the shops or the nearest Chinese take-away.
A massive storm brewed over Joburg and it was an electric display of Mother Nature at her finest. Petrified that something would be struck, I unplugged the last of my electrical equipment, including my laptop and we cooked in this electric light display.
Onions sizzling and ready for the chicken to be added to the pan … and then … DARKNESS!!!!
The power was off!
You know when it’s the whole neighbourhood. We have gotten used to checking for the signs because of all the load shedding that we have, so we knew.
There went the dinner plans. There went my idea of charging everything I needed, later. There went both of us without power.
Through my Project Me decade of consciously watching myself and the world around me, I have taken note of what happens when we make plans and then life gets in the way. Social media makes it very easy to distinguish the adaptors from those who struggle with change, but now we have run out of options an there’s nothing left to do but ADAPT and ACCEPT.
It’s part of a bigger picture and if we watch what is happening to the world around us, it’s inevitable that we are going to have to learn to survive what is, in the moment. Today we be without power or being evacuated from our homes because of a storm, the train system could fail us or the internet could crash and we’ll have to carry on. We have to make a plan, without becoming bitter and twisted and blaming the system.
We are the system, because of every choice we have made as a collective, along the way.
Unless you an eternal optimist or your head is buried in the sand, there’s no denying that something major has shifted in the world and something has to give, eventually. Who is going to make it through without losing their minds or ability to function in the world.
Only those who adapt and accept.
So dinner plans changed. We packed away the chicken and scrummaged through the fridge to find what we didn’t have to cook. It may be a simple example of having smoked chicken, but the Universe supported the process and we made another plan.
Huddled around an emergency light (because we know we need them) we at a divine meal and watched the spectacular light display that has been going on for nearly two hours now.
My phone’s dead, laptop dying and my additional power supplies are with my bestie, who needs them much more than I do … so I accept and adapt.
I believe it’s going to become one of the most fundamental disciplines of self that we have and that in a few years, we are going to be grateful that a lack of electricity helped us think differently and made us more self-sufficient, calm and adaptable human being.
Power to the people!!
With courage, consciousness & a sense of humour
It’s that time again. The start of a new one, where the majority of us are refreshed and ready to take on new challenges. I took the whole of December to prepare myself for this year and a lot of that was refocusing on what I have wanted for a very long time. I spend quiet time with myself and simply re-frame my vision by imagining my perfect day. I have it written out, in the most intricate detail, but it’s etched in my mind and plays through my heart enough that I rolled up my vision board a while ago and put it at the back of my cupboard, and don’t do much more than be grateful for all I have achieved and remind myself of what I know I can continue to manifest and create.
One of my focuses and very important goals for this year is to write my Project Me book, which has been hovering in my visions for far too many years. It’s a book that people have been asking for and one that is the next and logical step for what I am trying to achieve. Basically, it’s about redesigning ourselves consciously and making ourselves our own project.
It’s made up of a decade of all that I have gone through to get to a point of comfortably saying I have seen some thing work and not in my life and in the world around me. The chapter are filled with my conscious beliefs and then a story or two, to hopefully hit the message home.
One of the chapters focuses on visualizations, affirmations and vision boards. Wow, I’ve done them all and slowly but surely, I started to empathize with people who read a self help book that begins with … let’s create a vision board.
The other day I had a big realization, that I have become so frustrated with, what I call “The Positivity Movement”, where it’s gone from boys don’t cry to humans don’t cry, that I don’t do much around affirming or affirming anymore.
Then, I read a Wealthy Money blog and in Vangile Makwakwa‘s latest post she spoke about the power of goal setting and writing them down instead of just visualizing them. She’s such an incredible inspiration on many levels, but when it comes to finance, this is the blog I am following. Her case was solid, so I took the next day or two to do what I do … focus on my achievements first, to help my esteem and remind me of what I can manifest. Then I woke up really early in the morning and walked around in the dew soaked grass while I thought about my goals.
Then the empathy kicked in again. I’ve done so much of this and I have achieved a lot, but there’s this overwhelming feeling of having to get these goals right, because the word on the street is that they are cast in stone. The other reality is that some people have no idea who they are or what they want to achieve. Now we must think 5 years forward and set goals?
I’m not saying don’t, because it took me revisiting the exercise to remember how valuable and crucial it is. I am saying that even if you don’t know where your age going … even if you only have one or two goals. Even if your goal is to just be happier or out of debt, that’s good enough.
I took down the 3rd vision board that I have done in my adult life. I got rid of the other two because, when I looked back at them, they didn’t reflect who I was when I did them. Gosh, my first one was filled with baby pics and images of me sailing around the world on a yacht. Funny that, seeing that I was young and easily influenced by the blanket rule that a woman’s life is incomplete if she doesn’t have a baby. The yacht was way off too, considering I get sea sick on a totally still, docked boat in the calmest water.
Now I want to tell you why this happens and why setting goals can be so way off or ridiculously hard. Everyone looks for the shortcut in life. There’s a quicker of doing everything, with the perfect example of the joy it used to be to cook food from the freshest ingredients and now there’s an entire isle as long as a rugby field filled with “just add water” ingredients.
Along the journey of manifesting, just adding water is plotting goals without first knowing your intentions behind them. I love asking people why they set the goals they did and watching them have that light bulb moment that it’s less about the “what” and more about the “why”.
Who cares if you don’t know what job you want to have or if you want the responsibility of that holiday home thousands of miles away, because we are told to dream big. You can’t dream at all if you haven’t figured out how you want your dreams to make you feel.
So, if goal setting is an aimless task that frustrates and scares you, scrap the material goals or trying to make sure you are aiming in the right direction … if you aim wrong, you’ll figure it out and head off knowing at least you have eliminated a few things you know you don’t want.
Once I realised I wasn’t sure of what I wanted and before I dared attempt my second vision board, all I did was set goals of happiness. I reflected back on when I was happy and when I wasn’t and reconnected with what it felt like to be happy. My happy … not the dictionary definition or how the world told me it should feel. Finding that feeling ignites something very special and I truly believe that’s when the compass is set for the first time and your goals become clearer.
Here’s my last bit of advice about goal setting. For every goal, have an achievement! It doesn’t have to relate, but if you have 20 goals, have twenty things that you are proud of yourself for. I don’t have a vision board anymore, but I do have a pin board. It’s filled with pictures and words.
The words are what I want … because words are powerful!
The pictures are what I’ve achieved … because the visual reminder is a great driving force.
Today, when I pulled out my vision board, I noticed something so powerful … I had achieved or am in the process of living out the goals that I had in words. The images made my board look pretty, but the words were the directions the Universe was waiting to hear from me.
USE YOUR WORDS!!
With courage, consciousness & a sense of humour
The only appropriate picture for this post, would also be totally gross, so I’m skipping sharing images of my pink eye with you.
Yep … I managed to dodge it, floating through my family, through the whole of Christmas, but on Tuesday I had a bad feeling and an ache in the corner of my eye. For whatever reason, it’s not the mild kind and everyone has had it for well over 3 weeks. My poor mom has had it since before Christmas and she hardly been able to see.
Dramatic … yes!
There’s a very good reason for my frustration, which goes against what I set out to do as I embarked on getting healthier this year and buckling down to write the book.
One of the main things I have realised in my Project Me journey is that I have relied a lot on FAITH. Not the religious kind … and that’s what the book is based on. I told someone the other day about how I rediscovered my faith without returning to religion and maintaining my beliefs and conscious practices. She questioned me about how it’s possible to not link faith to religion and then I knew I had to buckle down and write the book.
I woke up the next day with one very gross, pink eye, that looks one eye of China Doll with a tiny slit in it. For the first day I had to turn to my awesome team for help, the second I had a patch on it and did what I could for my clients only, but I haven’t been able to write or to wake up in the morning and do my gym … which I also finally started to enjoy.
Acceptance … that’s a huge part of FAITH.
It’s taken me a decade to watch how I work and what I do to make things happen and turn my dreams to reality. During December, when I worked through all the parts of my process, I saw how I have both struggled with and grown to understand the importance of acceptance.
So here I am … I eye Jo!!
I’ve decided to wake up tomorrow morning and give both my writing and my gym the best shot, because I love the momentum that I had … despite it being no more than a few days.
I’ve accepted that I’m off to a slower started than expected, but life happens … shit happens, but at least for every step back, I know I’ve gone two steps forward and thousands more to go.
In other exciting news, we are starting to plan our trip to the Country Music festival in April. I still can’t get my head around the reality that I’m making one of my greatest dreams come true. New York to Dallas … but that’s a whole separate and very exciting story to share, after my eye is rested!!!
With courage, consciousness & a sense of humour
Over the past few weeks I have quietly been preparing myself for the start of a long overdue, spoken about part of my life. I’ve had meetings about it, done research, constantly blogged about it and have had it as part of my life purpose for almost as long as I have been sharing my #ProjectMe story, if not longer.
That old cliche is true and it wouldn’t have been the right time before. I had to go through a major epiphany about a key part of living one’s #ProjectMe journey and that only happened after something else that was long overdue … a mini meltdown.
It took a few days between thinking I wasn’t worthy of helping anyone gain insight into how to live life more consciously and finding the golden nuggets of lessons that I have learned for myself and am now very ready to share with the world. I’m grateful for the perfect timing of the December holidays to get myself ready both emotionally and physically. With work a whole lot quieter, I started by spring cleaning everything around me. I did the equivalent of moving house and made space for so much new and fresh. I then got myself into the routine of going to sleep a little earlier and exercising at least 3 times a week.
I doubled my “me” time in the morning (more about that in the book) and spent half of it being quiet and the other half reflecting back on my life and mainly my decade of living #ProjectMe. I kept a book next to me and with each vital point or important story that will reiterate my journey, I made notes.
Before long, I was pretty sure that all the content I needed was ready to be turned into something workable.
But then, the chaos began …
“It’s a book, Jodene, not a textbook!”
The more I thought about how I was going to write or what I was going to say, the more stressed out I got. I’m a natural born teacher and my writing comes second to that, so if you go back to the start of my blogging days, you’ll see that I started off with a rocky road of having to teach a little less and share my story, filled with teaching, a whole lot more.
I’m getting it so right in the blogging space, but every time I thought about any kind of context of the book, the tone was totally different. It got to structured and formal in my head. I kept on wanting to put headings everywhere and have lessons and exercise as the main focus.
I had to go back to being silent and stop the thousands of butterflies for making too much noise in my head and my heart. I couldn’t hear of feel myself and I wanted to go right back to making myself too busy to embark on writing this book.
I don’t believe that 2015 is going to be a year of getting away with hiding in the shadows and avoiding the next steps to reaching our fullest potential, so I pushed through. I spent the last few days with myself, as much as possible, and let myself think about why everyone reads my blog and what’s made it a success. I reconnected with the nurturing storyteller that is somewhere within me and and then I tapped back into my teacher.
I started thinking in my life stories and by Saturday afternoon, I had re-framed my thoughts. I said “no” to seeing my most precious friends today and I woke up with one final task … to plot the final content of the book. It doesn’t have to be in perfect order (because life doesn’t work in the order of our expectations, which is also a teaser for the book). So, I spent a few hours lying in bed and running through all the content I had jotted down before heading out into the sun and plonking myself under an umbrella for half the afternoon. The sun was scorching, but I was perfectly shaded and then I let myself run through my book.
I must admit, I did end up daydreaming about manifesting a hot, tattooed geek (which is another whole blog post … not book entry. Well, at least not this book) but I pulled my head back to #ProjectMe until I finally had my last calming realisation.
I plan to write at least 35 000 words. There will be chapters and headings and exercises to do, but that will all fall into place. All I have to do is write my book as if it were the longest blog post of my life.
This is why you’re reading it now … this tones and style is why everyone reads it. The energy with which I write here is what makes me love writing, so why change a formula that works … right?
I’ve also had to remind myself that a blog post takes me about half an hour to write and that I don’t let myself get distracted and I just need to do the same for the book.
I’ve decided to give myself between 1 and a half and 2 hours in the mornings before the rest of the world wakes up and my day begins, because I know what my days are like. Another lesson I’ve learned along the way is to work with what you’ve got … and I have a crazy, busy life, which I happen to love.
So, tomorrow it begins … maybe not at Chapter 1!
With courage, consciousness & a sense of humour
Wow, 5 years!
Blogging is not for sissies and keeping a blog alive has truly been an interesting challenge for me. I have to confess, that this has been the hardest year, with the combination of needing to focus on a growing business and not feeling like I had much left to blog about. Although Project Me is a forever journey, I had a year of feeling like I was stuck on a treadmill of the same stops and starts and that I would only lose you guys if I started or stopped one more time.
It took feeling as thought I was ready to throw in the towel to realise that people don’t set out to achieve something and it all falls into place overnight. It also took the responses from my readers, friends & support system to come to the conclusion that people aren’t falling for the stories of quick fix and easy as pie solutions. We all know that’s not how the Universe intended it to be.
On the other hand, I have also done one of the big things that form the Foundation of Project Me … I have told myself some truth. It’s easy to say that life is tough and some things are meant to be or that we don’t all have to achieve everything we set out to do. It’s easy, but it’s not right.
In the 5 years of blogging my #ProjectMe journey, I have set out to achieve many things and some I can proudly say I have to show for all the hard work and conscious living. Yet, there are the things that I keep tripping over and I haven’t managed to get sorted out and it would be so easy for me to say, “well, if I haven’t gotten fitter, healthier or more organised in my life, then it’s obviously not in my nature.”
That’s true, I’m not a natural lover of exercise and I don’t have an inner voice that speaks kindly to me when it comes to food, but if I’m still blogging about it after 5 years, then it’s not about what comes easy, but about what takes effort and discipline.
On the other hand, half a decade of trying to get something right has also given me great insight into what happens at the beginning of every year. I wake up and feel frustrated and upset with myself for not having achieved what I set out to, for yet another year. I force strict resolutions onto myself and I dive in with an extreme shift in behaviour.
This time I did it different.
Again, it’s easy to decide to wait for the new year or week or month to start something. I don’t know about you, but I take in as much as I can and over indulge in food, sleep and not being focused or healthy, because that’s all going to change in a few weeks or days.
This time, I didn’t wait. I decided on what I was planning to do at the beginning of the year, and I eased in slowly. I’ve been healthier, upped my water intake and bought a real pair of walking shoes … that I’ve used.
I took a few day to chill between Christmas and New Year, but I’m walking tomorrow … not as I usually would have, with exaggerated determination and force, but as a continuation of something I’m already working on.
Then there’s the book. I’ve been talking for far too long and I really did have to focus my attention on the businesses, but I realised that I haven’t given myself enough credit for how versatile my ability to juggle time and task is. Again, I haven’t waited until the dreaded 1st day of the year or for Monday, I spent the past few weeks solidifying what I wanted to write about and plotting a way of fitting writing into my day.
Time wasting … wow, I’m brilliant at that!
Going to sleep far too late … chatting to random strangers in the hope that they will make me feel better about myself … waking up tired and needing to lie in more for my emotional self than my whole self … I could go on, but we all have these patterns and all we want to do is figure out how to change them.
I’ve exhausted myself and let myself down far too often because of these massive leaps that I take to try and achieve what I’ve set out to. Then I reflected back on my 5 years of blogging and how I managed to get it right and I realised that I took baby steps. I had a vision and I took it one day at a time. If I was tired, I did something simple and if I was filled with energy and excitement, I blogged over a thousand words. When the time came to change my formula from daily blogging to when I had the time, I did it again. Admittedly, it took a little more effort, but that’s a great reminder to me that I had the self worth and drive to keep going.
As I write the book, I’m going to be sharing some extracts and insight into living your own Project Me and I’m going to be tapping into the 5 years of lessons I’ve learned along the way.
But for now … an earlier night, a walk in the morning and chilled out tomorrow because 2015 is going to be one hell of a joy ride!!
With courage, consciousness & a sense of humour