It might have been the day I walked through the burned shell of my business, escorted by a fireman to collect my appointment book so I could make calls to my clients and tell them that their beauty treatments needed to be put on hold, that I had my first real taste of not being prepared to fail. It’s the one memory that launches itself at me when people call me brave or tell me that they admire my life story.
I remember that day so clearly. My business was in the bottom section of my family home and on the 1st of August 2004, while having lunch with a friend about 10 minutes away, my mother called to say the house was on fire. Dashing to the car, I must admit that I imagined a small fire in one of the rooms, but when I was just leaving the shopping mall and could already see the smoke, reality hit …
My dad was sick for so many years and had to live on oxygen, so there were tanks throughout the house. Of course, the firemen would never have known that. It truly was a miracle that no one was harmed when the first oxygen tank blew, but it’s impact was so massive that it shattered windows in the block of flats behind the house.
The next day, I waded through black water and debris of my wellness centre and not for one moment did I think that I was going to call those clients and cancel them. I just needed time to find a different place to continue my business. Only one went somewhere else. The rest waited a few days and had pedicures in odd places while I found somewhere to relocate and start again.
I must admit that I did think that was the natural reaction for everyone, but as I’ve started to turn more of my lessons into teachings, I’ve truly started to empathise with the fear that haunts people and puts the breaks on.
I’m currently back to being a student and doing some amazing work with Vangile Makwakwa called Wealthy Money, through her book, Heart Mind Money. It’s not the first course I’ve done about money and improving my relationship with it and myself, but the patterns are the same. We begin as 10 eager people and only two or three of us get to the end of the course. Some of my closest and dearest friends have started the work with me and not completed it.
I can only image that it’s because the fear of getting started and failing at the changes they hope to make for themselves doesn’t materialise or the emotional ties to the work will be too much. Any which way I look at it, the fear of failing is like an anchor entrenched into the deep ocean of our uncertainty about life’s support for us and our own personal strength while on the path to self realisation.
Here’s my confession.
I’m not brave at everything! I fake braveness really well, but I’m in a space of petrified procrastination, alongside everyone else. It may be easy for me breeze through a course, where I face my past and look at my personality but I have finally been sighed by a publisher to turn my dream into a reality and write my Project Me book. I’m so afraid, that I haven’t signed and returned in to him yet … nearly a month later.
I’m stuck! I’m afraid! I’ve made my life too busy to find time to write! I’ve ignored the free time I have and I’ve curled up into a ball under a safe, shady tree of blissful nothingness.
BUT, that’s not what I’m here for. That’s not what you’re here for!
Try anything … that’s how to fail with pride. You know the stories of all those people who tried umpteen times and failed. Everyone has a copy of a Richard Branson book somewhere in their lives. Everyone has a positive quote stuck somewhere in their reality or in their mind, but not everyone is brave enough to just try something.
It doesn’t have to be something big even. If you climb one branch, get stuck and need to be rescued, you will still be further ahead than you expected yourself to be. Read one line a day .. write one line a day. Just do something.
This is what I am currently doing to help me through the writing process: I keep a book with me and I write down Project Me lessons that pop up or examples I would like to use in the book. It’s all scribbles and to be honest, it’s already plotted out, because the publisher approved the overview of content, but my ego still needs time. That’s okay, because with each note I scribble down, I’m affirming to myself that I know what I’m saying and I’m ready to do the work. Each bit of effort I put in, even if it’s one random sentence I jot down, is another brave branch that I climb up on the way to the top … and if I fall, I will always know that I did it from a brave height I climbed all by myself!!
Now you …
With courage, consciousness & a sense of humour
I’m in the process of manifesting the biggest dream of my life. Sometimes I think that’s a complete exaggeration and I need to rephrase that, because there are many more dreams that I have, but then I realize that in the moment, I truly is the biggest one.
It started 10 months ago, when I bought my tickets to the biggest country music festival, halfway around the world. I’ve dreamed of this since I used to listen to Willie Nelson playing on the tape player in my mom’s bedroom, when I was getting ready for school. I have had lists of country singers that I have wished to see, with all my heart and soul. I was always trying to decide who I would go watch, if I could only pick one, but now I find myself heading to a concert that will have 50 YES fifty country music artists, spanning half a century of music.
I can’t believe it!!
That’s the fatal mistake right there. It’s been chaos in the build up to the final plans for the trip. Passport, airline, planning drama and financial glitches all started to feel as though they were standing in my way. I’ve also had personal and business issues creep up, that could potentially put a damper on this incredible manifestation.
Then one day, I caught myself saying it. I listened to the number of times I said, “I can’t believe it,” when referring to the trip.
When my dad passed away, I spend years explaining to my mom that I believed he didn’t see us from the other side, but he and all other Universal Unseen energies, don’t see us. They purely feel the vibration of the energy with which we act, speak and feel. I tried to get my mom to see that when she felt happy and grateful, when positive energy bounced from her, into the universe, that’s what my dad would feel. It’s a simple analogy, but it helped her.
I forgot how much I needed to remind myself of it and that statements of disbelief, even though they are referring to the manifestation of something great, is still not the right vibration into the universe.
Things started to go very wrong and I even had a friend ask me if it was not maybe the wrong time to be going on the trip. It’s the only time! This is beyond a once in a lifetime opportunity. This is the time.
How to stop the chaos?
I literally started to listen to my words when I spoke about the trip and had to catch myself each time I could feel my energy shift and my lips about to utter the words of disbelief. It was a conscious, effort filled process, but with each time I shifted the disbelieving vibrations of the words into deserving affirmation of my passion and worth, things started to fall into place.
That’s just one example of the places in my life that I catch myself using negative words for positive experiences. We all do. None of us focus on the power of our words, how the body holds onto them and how we confuse the universe with one intention, when we describe it with another.
This is one of those things you just have to try for yourself. Listen to how you describe and exciting moment or happy life event. Are you also in disbelief or overly grateful, because you didn’t think you deserved it? It maybe seem positive, but is it really?
Sssshh … listen … rephrase … and watch so much fall into place!
With courage, consciousness & a sense of humour
We walk blindly along the path of self help guidance most of the time. Well, that’s my belief anyway. It’s only when I started questioning the guidance of the “gurus” that I started to see that there’s no blanket formula for everyone. The challenge of sharing my #ProjectMe personal lessons is passing on what I’ve learned about discovering our own path and NOT giving anyone the path to follow.
I’m the one who wants to shove the compass into everyone’s hand, point out a few important tips, like follow anyone else along the path just because you are afraid you will get lost, or who says you can’t step off the edge of the cliff??
I’m currently in a Project Me space of absolute wonderment at what I have manifested for myself and with my dream trip to the USA creeping closer, I have watched how, the more I acknowledge what I have manifested, the more I know I can reach higher and dream more. My self love is soaring and it’s pushing my to know I can do, be, achieve so much more.
But … I didn’t love myself enough to make the decision to go on the trip.
If you’re only catching up now, I’m completely obsessed with country music and coming from South Africa, I’m also starved of being able to have easy access to it. Sure, there’s streaming audio & my iTunes, but we’ve never had a true country artist come to SA. Most of my friends don’t know 80% of the singers I dream of seeing. It’s been on my bucket list for decades, to one day see a concert of any of my favourites … just one. Mainly Rascal Flatts, Luke Bryan or my Queens of country, Miranda Lambert of Carrie Underwood.
Nearly 11 months ago, I found an announcement that had just been made, about the biggest country music festival to ever take place in the USA. Not a handful, but 50 artists over two days. I stared at the screen, with my heart pounding and my (at the time) assistant, telling me that I couldn’t miss the opportunity. The ticket for one day of the ACM Awards, Party for a Cause festival was about 3 times what we would pay for a concert ticket in SA. What if I went on the one day and my dream artists were on the second? I couldn’t live through that … so I couldn’t go.
I missed the self love & throwing faith to the wind, but she didn’t and she made me call my business partner, who totally doubles as my bestie. We’ve been through crazy times with money, but he’s got a good relationship with it and I sheepishly called to tell him that I want to make one of my greatest dreams come true, but the tickets alone were astronomical.
Honestly, I had one part of me ready to give up and the other part clinging to the hope that he would give me the permission I didn’t even need. I didn’t call to find out if the business had the fund or if I would be in a position to go, financially, because I knew I would. I called because I didn’t know if I was ready to manifest this one.
I wasn’t quite sure if I was worth it just yet!!
I called him about 4 times in the process of taking out the credit card, looking at the money that was waiting to be spent on making a dream come true, staring at the cost of the ticket and knowing that it would also entail me heading to the USA, which has been on my bucket list for as long as Willie Nelson has had long hair.
I knew I wanted it, but I wasn’t the one who loved me the most to make sure I went through with it and booked the ticket. Between my bestie and my assistant, there was so much hand holding and reminding me that I was worth it, did deserve it, would be fine financially, would have someone to share it with (because I hate traveling alone) and that it was time to give myself what I deserved most.
If I had waited for the magic formula that is spoken about so often in self help, I never would have booked it. If I waited for my own self love, I wouldn’t be less than a month away from seeing, not one or two, but 50 country music artists. I would never have booked tickets not knowing who I would be taking with and now I’m going with one of my closest friends and experiencing New York with her too. We’re going to Nashville … OMG, I’ve dreamed of this!!
This is my #ProjectMe advice … stop staring in the mirror and chanting positive affirmations to yourself. First, go out into the world and listen to what the people who love you have to say about what you deserve and how you should feel about yourself. I believe it’s then that the self love is ignited.
I can feel the momentum of self love now … I don’t have to ask my friends for permission or coaxing, but I can’t say that I would have been able to do it without them seeing my worth first. Although, to want and to dream, the self love must have been hidden there somewhere, the whole time!!!
With courage, consciousness & a sense of humour
Growing up, my mother had a (let’s call it addiction) for strawberry and musk flavored gum. My dad would buy her boxes of it, stored in a walk in cupboard just outside their bedroom. We were allowed to sneak in and take as much gum as we liked, so we obviously hung out in the cupboard quite a lot. While taking in the smell of strawberry musk, music would bellow through the house and at my age of about 6 or 7, my eyes were perfectly in line with the tapes my mother would work here way through. Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson were mixed into the Bee Gees, Shirley Bassey and Diana Ross.
At the same time, my dad had worked his way up from a flunked out student to the MD of Bull Brand food and had a passion for finding the best steak in the world. Texas … he spoke about it so often and every time he came back from overseas, he looked more like a cowboy.
Growing up, I hold onto a small portion of the memories and became a typical teenager, listening to music my mother couldn’t relate to and my father told me would make me deaf. His life choices made changes to our lives and before I could build a solid relationship with money, we had lost most of it. Before I hit my teens, I was learning what it was like to let go of dreams in order to have just enough for what we needed. Cars got sold, houses got auctioned, holidays got less, dreams became a luxury.
I believe that we are programmed with beliefs, but they don’t have to be our truth and a very important part of Project Me has been to watch what I believe and then find my truth, which ultimately manifests into my reality.
Growing up, I stopped craving the need to fit and started wanting what made me happy and what I listened to was on of them. I missed country music. I missed listening to Kenny Rogers sing about a gambler and Dolly Parton sing Jolene (which irritates the shit out of to this day when people confuse my name), so I went back to what I love. I found escapism in songs that have stories and voices that truly believe their gift come from God. Without any rebellion (born Jewish, practicing Pagan) some of my favourite songs became about Jesus, mainly because I could hear faith in the words and with everything I had been through, along with my family, faith was something I had to build a new relationship with.
I love South Africa, but it’s devastating that Country Music just hasn’t filtered its way down here. Of all the things I’m grateful for with technology, the fact that I can stream a radio station from Texas or Illinois is a blessing for my soul.
Now to see some of my favourite artists live. Oh, how I have dreamed of that. I have many dreams, some which advance my career and others add to my happiness or my abundance, but to dream of seeing Luke Bryan, Rascal Flatts or Miranda Lambert singing live is one that tops them all. That’s why 10 months ago, when cash was flowing into the business account and I was riding the wave of manifesting my reality, I booked tickets to the biggest Country Music festival the US has ever had. That’s it … I was heading to DALLAS!!!
Reality … I hate traveling alone.
It’s amazing. I think everyone thinks I’m a tough, fearless chick, when I’m actually a nervous wreck about getting through life on my own, so I bought an extra two tickets (one is for a dear friend in the US) and spoke to a very special friend of mine here to come along with me.
We had a plan, it was a magical one. Both loving the music and other dreams in the US, like walking the streets of New York, we began to plan. Time passed on. My business went through a growing phase and her job took a turn that upped responsibility. Reality got in the way …
The months rushed by and although we kept the dream alive by conversation, nothing materialised into reality. Still, all we had were concert tickets.
It’s a month away and I’m clutching to my dream with everything I have. There have been times when I have tried to convince myself there will be other times. I’ve looked at our business bank account and thought that the money in there needs to be stored away for another cash flow crisis … but on the other hand, if I let go of this, I’m only repeating what I believed to be true as a child. I watched my dad let go of his dreams first and it was heart shattering.
Yesterday I spoke to a friend of mine who just lost her dad. We grew up together, so she really is my oldest friend. She asked me how I cope without my dad and there are days that I wonder that myself, but I told her that it’s in the moments when I wish he was here to see what I have manifested, that I miss him most. Chances are, he would tell me it’s the wrong time to throw thousands at a crazy trip to the other side fo the world, for a country song … but that’s the very reason why I have one month to turn this dream to a reality.
Yes, there doesn’t need to be so much chaos around it, but there is. I believe we create our own realities, so I’m going to take responsibility and say I was part of that manifestation of chaos. Knowing that, I also know I have the power to make different choices, remind myself that I am more than worthy of manifesting a dream that I thought was impossible, but that I also know will break my childhood programming of losing in order to survive!
One month to go … no flights, no visa, no plans … just a ticket to the biggest Country Music festival the USA has ever seen!!!
With courage, consciousness & a sense of humour
Yesterday I colored my hair to hide the grey. I have a very dear friend who has never hidden herself from her natural color, and as she ages, this beautiful grey grows into her personality. Over our usual Sunday morning breakfast, she asked me why I don’t just let the grey grow out. From her perspective of the world, I know she’s only beauty and a special kind of maturing growing with every strand, but I see a woman who feels totally unready to grow into the natural steps of my grey.
There’s such a contradiction in that, because in other areas of my life, I believe that nature should do exactly what we need it to and so should our bodies. I’m not a fan of botox, nips or tucks but I am a fan of washing away the grey. I never got to explain why, but as I washed it away and turned my hair into a glowing shade of reddish brown, I realized that the grey made me feel unkept, as if I didn’t put enough love and respect into my appearance.
How ironic then, that for the first time, at the age of 41, I also realized that my sabotage has been doing the same thing for most of my life.
In my late teens I had my first taste of spiritual awareness and met my saboteur, through meditation, before I had even finished high school. She was a weak, petrified of everything, ate food as a way of numbing out the pain she didn’t even know she had and didn’t know how to relate to the world around her. It was kind of like being forced to love someone you don’t have a choice to. I’ve never had an abusive step parent or bullying half sibling, but I can imagine it would be very much like.
I may have totally misunderstood how to learn to love the saboteur, but forced love seems to be the in thing with the self help tools of meeting this part of you, that lurks in the shadows.
Force yourself in front of a mirror and say things to your saboteur that you would never say to someone who hate, are afraid of or totally misunderstand. “I love you saboteur.” No I don’t … well, I didn’t for most of my adult life, because I was always trying to love this part of myself, who kept coming up to hurt me just when I felt ready to move to the next level of happiness.
In November last year, I had an all fall down and felt like an absolute fake in the world, while trying to motivate and encourage others to live their own Project Me story. I hit that point where I could have deleted this blog, hidden away from the world, bathed myself in shame, eaten myself into a coma and give the saboteur free reign. I did for a few days, but then something interesting happened. I started to find empathy and it wasn’t aimed at the saboteur. It was aimed at the rest of me, having to endure the pain & disappointment the saboteur created in my life.
I loved my dad. He was an incredible man, who I miss every day. I have been missing him more, of late, and it took me a while to understand that I had to drag up some unpleasant memories, in order to befriend and truly love this side of myself, who would always be the bully.
That was my dad. It was just in his nature to hurt first. He would insult the new outfit any of my sibling put on, and think he was being funny. If I cooked a meal, he would show me up the next day and cook something better. He called us fat and would go buy doughnuts on the day we said we had started to diet, but all the time, I saw love in his eyes when he looked at me.
It was only after I delved deeper into my relationship with my dad, because he had been diagnosed with emphysema and ways dying before my eyes, that I started to do two things. I felt genuinely sorry for myself and knew and that he would never change, but I also knew that behind the bully was someone who loved me unconditionally. We are all just trying to protect what we think is most important in the world, and sometimes we don’t understand why. I never got to understand why my dad used the tactics he did, but I did totally turn our relationship around before he passed away. There were days when I wanted to turn back to hating that man (yes, there were times when I hated him … well, I hated the bully in him) but I had come too far in my own self awareness to allow that saboteur to set me back in the relationship I was building with my dad before he left.
The day before he died, he must have been petrified and he asked a family friend to call me to his bedside. Just a few months ago, that friend told me he had said, it’s because she’s the only one who understands me.
With tears streaming down my face as I live through the reminders of the real life saboteur I got to love, without really understanding, I also revel in the pride that I didn’t sabotage myself for the first, just a few days ago.
I know my triggers … financial stress, family drama, disinterested men, work chaos, to name a few. On top of all of that, I have my dream trip in a month’s time, no flights or visa and my passport is stuck at home affairs. That’s truly a reason to sabotage!
On Friday I felt the usual saboteur tactics kick in. The anxiety build up in my body, that I wished I could stretch into myself and tug it out of my body, but I had to sit in it. By the afternoon, I would have gotten to the point of, what I thought was personal self love, and told myself that life was too stressful, so why add the extra pain of trying to eat healthy through it. There would be less stressful days, but for today, I could eat myself better.
No I couldn’t!! NO, I didn’t.
I thought I had never stat with that frustration in my life before, but I had. I did it with a very beautiful relationship. I thought that it was impossible to love the saboteur, but I had done that before too. I thought the saboteur always won the battle, but my self love and love for the saboteur had won a totally misunderstood love for my dad … so I didn’t eat myself better. Instead, I sat in the fear, the mess, the anxiety and go through the day.
Just one day!!
Some things eased up, while others linger on, but then I got through that day too and the next. Not with ease, but with consciousness and determination to love that totally misunderstood side of myself, who hurts for reason I may never know!!!
With courage, consciousness & a sense of humour