Selling now on Amazon :)


After 2 months of hard slog (mainly by Warren, the awesome illustrator I worked with), finally, The Ungrateful Swine is up on Amazon as an e-book. I can’t wait to get cracking on the next one. In the meantime, if you have kids, grand-kids, friends with kids or grand-kids, ungrateful swine husbands, brothers or fathers, or a fondness for pigs, check it out.

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Knowledge, Self Belief, Hard Work


It dawned on me suddenly right now that the people who are truly successful – who really do big things, make tons of money and enjoy huge successes (relative to their definition of success), have three things in common:

#1

They know what they want to achieve and are clear on the steps they have to take in order to achieve it. There’s no wishy washy maybe kinda attitude to what they want. It’s clear. It makes sense. And it’s in flow with the flowiness of things that flow. They know what they want. ]

Do you have a clear plan for achieving your very clear goal?

#2

They pump themselves up. They believe in themselves. They motivate themselves. They tell themselves they can do this. (And, as per point #1, they know what “this” is.) Think Jerry McGuire. Think the Wolf of Wall Street. There’s a high level of self-respect and self-knowing going on. Of course, this can veer towards arrogance in some people, but hey, nobody’s perfect. Again - their self-talk is positive and motivational.

Do you talk yourself up?

#3

They work their asses off. They don’t work 8 hours a day. They do what needs to be done, for as long as it needs to be done, until it’s done. There’s no time for 2-day Netflix binges when there’s so much work to do.

Do you work at your goal, constantly?

Can you and do you look yourself in the mirror every morning, knowing what you want to achieve, and reaffirm to yourself that you can and will achieve it? “You can do this, Boooooiiii” or “you got this guurrrrrl”? Or like someone in my Toastmasters Club said recently - He looks at himself in the mirror every morning and says: “Jou Lekker Ding!” (For those not familiar with Afrikaans, this loosely translates to “You rock star”, or “You are the shit”.)

Know what you want and what has to happen to get it. Work very very hard to make those things happen. And communicate with yourself in a motivational, encouraging way. How hard can it be?

I’m thinking from now on, I want to try this thing, where I make sure I *always know what my goal is for the day/week/month/year/decade and I want to – every morning - slap myself on the ass while singing “you got this, you got this, you, you, you got this” and making meaningful eye contact with myself in the mirror”. I’m going to give it a bash.

Unless I have flu and PMS and I’ve run out of baking ingredients. In which case, my goal will probably be to lie down. (Is a 2-day Netflix binge ok then, do you think?)

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Publishing soon :)

About a year ago, I was sitting in my garden, admiring the clivias (as you do when you have an imminent deadline) and I suddenly had an idea for a children’s story. It took me a few months to get to writing it, but when I did, it flowed and it was fun. Then I told the story as a speech at my Toastmasters club and it was well-received, so I started sending it off to publishers. I received a few “no thank you” replies and a few “offers” from vanity publishers. I decided to self-publish.

I searched for an illustrator to work with and met up with the awesome Warren Maroon. He has worked his butt off over the last few weeks to produce amazing illustrations for my little story and we are a week or two away from putting it out there. Watch this space for Ziggy, the Ungrateful Little Swine.


Moody much?


So you sometimes find yourself in a crappy mood and you can’t really figure it out because nothing’s really wrong, but you just can’t shake it and find yourself sneering at your pet fish? Here are some easy, cheap and fun ways to improve your mood, very quickly. It’s not rocket science, but we sometimes forget in those dull, gloomy moments that there are things are that can improve our moods.

  1. Go to you tube and search “Funny kid”, “adorable”, “cutest thing ever” or similar. You are bound to find something that tickles your funny bone and makes you feel better… (Don’t do this if the reason you’re in a bad mood is related in any way to your wasting so much time online)
  2. Meditate. If you don’t know how, then just lie or sit comfortably with your eyes close and breathe easy for a while, trying at the same time to consciously concentrate on relaxing every part of your body. If your mind wanders, simply turn your focus back to your breathing and relaxing. Don’t allow negative thoughts to take hold. Breathe and let them go and think only about nice stuff, if you must think. Do this for 10 minutes and you will feel better.
  3. Watch a sunrise.
  4. Watch a sunset.
  5. Eat a hot fudge and choc-chip ice cream in a sugar cone.
  6. Have an orgasm.
  7. Have an orgasm while eating a hot fudge and choc-chip ice cream in a sugar cone.
  8. Play a song or CD you love dancing to and then… just dance! Crank it up, close your eyes, kick off your shoes, let down your hair and shake shake shake what your mama gave you.
  9. Watch a fantastic comedy or musical - something you know you love. My go-to’s are Romance and Cigarettes, Bridesmaids and anything with Kristen Wiig in.
  10. Get some sun. Even if you’re stuck behind a computer all day, just step outside for 5 minutes and feel that delicious sunshine on your face. (Unless of course you live somewhere super chilly and rainy. Like Scotland. In which case you’re kinda missing an item on this list. Ok your No. 10 is Have some Whiskey. Not a lot though.)
  11. Lie down on a fresh, soft patch of grass with your eyes closed and smile. It’s impossible to not feel better.
  12. Spend a few minutes or an hour with animals – if you have pets go and snuggle up or play or just connect with them. If you don’t have pets, visit friends who do, visit an aquarium or go the dog park and make furry friends. WARNING: Approach strange dogs with caution.
  13. Daydream. Visualise a perfect day you might be able to have sometime in the near future – if you have plans, or expecting visitors over December or whatever – imagine yourself on that beach or taking the road trip or even just being off for a few days and being able to sleep in. Let yourself fantasise about a totally plausible event… It’s powerful.
  14. Create something. Buy a R40 pack of clay and make a mini bust of Trump; or paint or draw something, make up a silly song, write a haiku… Being creative releases feel-good-juices.
  15. Exercise also releases serious endorphins, so you can’t help but feel better. If you are a regular exerciser, do your favourite form – yoga, gym, mountain biking etc. If you haven’t exercised for many years, don’t panic. There have been some advancements since the jumping jack and aerobics. I would suggest hot yoga; walking on a mountain; frisbee on the beach; surfing; pilates; hot yoga, indoor rock climbing, rollerblading, swimming and did I mention hot yoga?
  16. Find pretty things in nature – go searching for shells or pebbles or crystals or wild flowers. Seriously. You might think you’re not in the mood, but when your feet hit that sand and you start looking around, magic can happen!
  17. I was in a bad mood recently and then I drank my first ever Frankie’s Root Beer and my mood improved instantly. True story. If you’ve never tasted root beer, I can tell you that it tastes almost exactly like FUN.
  18. Do something nice for someone else. Bake cupcakes and take them to a children’s home, or make sandwiches for your local homeless peeps or just perform a random act of kindness towards a stranger. Creating a joyous moment for someone else will put you in a good mood. Unless you’re a real meanie.
  19. Slap asses. I don’t know about you, but slapping someone’s ass always makes me feel better. Sneak up on co-workers, chase the postman and get a good slap in there, surprise your housemate with a good one… use your imagination.
  20. Phone someone you adore – a friend, sibling, granny etc. and have a chat. Make sure it’s someone who is positive and happy and makes you feel good.
  21. Make a list of things to look forward to. You might feel like you don’t have that much to look forward to…but once you get going, there’s probably quite a lot! Examples: Christmas, payday, movie night, date night, a new season of Masterchef Australia, a friend’s birthday party, your New Year’s Eve plans, a sporting event you’re attending or partaking in, your Christmas Turducken, an upcoming festival, stuff like that.
  22. Think about all the things you’re grateful for. Once you start listing them, you’ll be surprised how many there are and it will be impossible not to snap out of your shitty little mood.
  23. Take a nice long drive somewhere pretty, play some singalong songs and wind down your window and sing like there’s no tomorrow!
  24. Breathe. Just sit somewhere nice and breathe – take 9 in and 9 out, three times, through the nose, with your exhalations and inhalations the same length of time. Feel that lovely stuff filling your lungs. You’re alive!
  25. Buy yourself a gift. It doesn’t have to be expensive or anything… Just work out your budget, think about stuff YOU love a lot or anything that’s interesting you at the moment or anything you might need to make your life easier or more enjoyable and then go out and buy yourself a present. “Because you’re worth it”. It could be mascara or a CD or a new pair of shoes or a Kinder Joy chocolate.

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Asshole Quiz


You know how sometimes you come across someone who is rude to waiters, belittles parking attendants, treats their partner badly and just generally leaves you feeling not-so-nice? It occurred to me that those very people probably don’t know that they are assholes…

So I thought a little tool might be useful in very quickly identifying our asshole-potential!

Now I know it’s not nice to think that YOU might be an asshole but alas, sometimes one must consider it as a possibility. And if you’re not, let this help you identify any people in your life who might be in danger of becoming an asshole or who are already giant assholes.

Simply answer YES or NO to the following questions

  1. Have you fallen out with one or more friends in the last year?
  2. Have you had any kind of falling out with any of your family members in the last year?
  3. Do any of your husband / wife / partner’s friends dislike you?
  4. Could you describe any of your close friendships or relationships as volatile, or “up and down”.
  5. Do you ever get the feeling that those close to you are walking on eggshells, afraid of upsetting you?
  6. Are there times when you truly dislike yourself?
  7. Do you ever wish harm or unhappiness on others?
  8. Have your colleagues ever complained to your superiors about your attitude?
  9. Have you made someone close to you cry in the last three months?
  10. Do you ever get the feeling that people are purposefully avoiding you?
  11. Has anyone told you in the last six months that you are mean, nasty, selfish, spiteful or manipulative?
  12. Has anyone purposefully damaged your property or acted maliciously towards you in the last year “to get you back”?
  13. Do you often find yourself enthusiastically gossiping about other people?
  14. Has someone actually called you an asshole or similar in the past six months?

Now count up all your YES answers…

0 YES answers

You’re a saint. You’re a good person. You’re lovely. You’re nice. But you must beware of being a doormat. Read those questions again and see if anyone in your life sprung to mind as you read… If so, you might be in danger of giving too much of your precious time and energy to an asshole. Think about it. If you do feel like you’re the flipside to someone else’s asshole coin, start making changes today. Don’t forget that as nice as it is to be nice, it’s not nice when your niceness allows someone else to be not nice to you.


1 – 4 YES answers

That’s ok. It’s normal to have the odd little drama here and there – we’re all human after all. Sometimes we’re misunderstood. Sometimes we’re grumpy as all hell. Sometimes we’re going through stuff and sometimes we’re just premenstrual and have a brat attack for no good reason and That’s ok. Just be aware of how often you have emo drama in your life and keep it to a minimum.


5 – 8 YES answers

Look at your answers again carefully and make sure you are not just persecuting yourself. Are all your YES answers true, or are you making unfair assumptions and judgements about yourself? If they really are true, then see where you can slowly start to change your behaviour to the benefit of yourself and those around you. Look at what your triggers are and dig deep to try to understand why things trigger you into behaving in the way of the asshole. What are your personality traits, characteristics, attitudes or behaviours that account for most of your YES answers above? For instance – jealousy or low self-esteem or aggression or sarcasm or manipulation. What should you be doing LESS of and which behaviours or attitudes (like empathy, compassion, patience etc.) should you be practising more? Come on. Make an effort to be nicer.


More than 8 YES answers

Woah, Nelly! If you really had more than 8 YES answers, you should probably find some time to examine WHY. Are you holding onto old anger and resentment? Are you acting and speaking from your truth or are you always defending yourself? Are you always making excuses for your behaviour and blaming others for the drama in your life? Or, if you’re truthful, do you realise that most of the time, it is in fact YOUR shitty attitude that causes problems in your relationships? If so, it’s time to admit that you are not being the best you that you can be. DON’T PANIC. You can learn to understand and love yourself better. You can change your attitude towards life. You can change your behaviour towards other people and build more meaningful and truthful relationships. But it is most definitely time to make a change. Get your shit together, asshole.


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Daydreaming, visualising, manifesting


I was one of those kids who was always told I was daydreaming too much and I should “stop daydreaming”. I still do it. And I still think it’s a positive thing. (Maybe not when you should be paying attention to something else, like how to work out a square root of blah, but in appropriate moments.)

It’s just one step away from visualising, and visualising leads to manifestation.

If you’re a daydreamer like me, remember to also take steps to making those lovely little dreams come true. As a starting point, you could do a vision board. Give it some love and energy and then stick it up somewhere or put it away (it doesn’t really matter, because the doing was the manifestation energy at work).

There’s nothing wrong with daydreaming, but if you’re going to dream about winning the lotto, make sure you’ve bought a ticket. ;-)



Karma


I wanted to say a quick word about Karma because I was reminded again recently of just how powerful it is.

I was freelancing at an agency in Somerset Road for two days. Running late on day one and struggling to find parking, I decided to bite the bullet and park in the Cape Quarter 2 parking. By the time I got back to my car later that day, I owed 60 South African Rond.

I handed R100 over and the sweetest lady behind the counter gave me my change. But as I drove out I realised she had given me 60 back instead of 40.

It didn’t feel right to keep driving, so I missioned like crazy in rush hour to turn around and I went back and gave her R20 back. She was very grateful and surprised and it felt nice.

The very next day I was again looking for parking in Somerset Road and surrounds and decided to go and park at CQ2 again because paying R60 was less taxing on the nerves than driving up and down the one way streets for 45 minutes. Different lady this time.

When I came back to my car hours later, expecting to pay R60 again, what do you know? There’s a manager-type guy standing at the open boom, and he smiles and tells me it’s my lucky day because they have to do something to the card machine quickly and I can just go.

Hello.
Rewarded karmically, the very next day, at the exact same place!

Would the Universe have conspired to let that happen had I driven off in glee clutching my scored R20 the day before??

I THINK NOT.

We all know the expressions “you reap what you sow” and “what goes around comes around”….

I like this one though:

Karma is the eternal assertion of human freedom. Our THOUGHTS, WORDS and DEEDS are the threads of the net which we throw around ourselves.” Swami Vivekananda

Isn’t that beautiful?

All these expressions boil down to the same thing: Spread love and joy and happiness around and it will come back to you.

Every time you make a choice about something, simply let your heart guide you and make the BEST choice in the moment: the choice which will be of the greatest benefit to you and those around you. And I truly believe there is always ONE choice which is the BEST for all.

Keep an eye out for the way you make your choices and the karma that you attract to yourself. That net that you have made - what does it look like? Those seeds that you are sowing on a daily basis - are they going to grow into love and light and happiness?

We also sometimes say “Karma is a bitch” and yes, she certainly is, if you are.

But if you are honest and kind and your words, thoughts and deeds are based in love, then Karma can be the sweetest lover, the best friend, the most comforting mother…

Be nice. And nice things will happen to you.

:)

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On attitude


If you had to plot your range of emotions and attitudes on a daily chart – literally, chart every single emotion as you feel it, all day for a few days, which emotions and states of mind would populate your chart most of the time? Not necessarily what you are portraying, but more in your own head… the thoughts you have?

For instance… you wake up and immediately need to wee. Do you experience IRRITATION at the fact that you can’t lie in for a few minutes; do you feel downright ANGER because this is not how you wanted to wake up, bla bla bla… or do you simply accept the fact, feel GRATITUDE for a good night’s sleep and go and pee with a smile on your face?

While peeing, do you think about what that stupid cow at the office said yesterday (HATRED) or do you think about ways to mend your relationship with the aforementioned cow, because she’s just another person trying to make their way through the world? (EMPATHY)

When driving to work, do you feel FRUSTRATION at slow drivers or people who try to cut in front of you and even worse, the bastards who block you from cutting in? Or do you practice ACCEPTANCE and simply listen to music and take ENJOYMENT from the drive?

When you see a larger-than-life woman with a gorgeous husband while grabbing a bagel for brekkie, do you express UNKINDNESS about her? Do you make JUDGEMENTS AND ASSUMPTIONS about their relationship or do you think “You go girl!”? (KINDNESS)

So you can see that just by going through your normal day you can have in your heart irritation, anger, hatred, frustration, unkindness, judgements and assumptions… OR, with exactly the same outer experiences, you can feel acceptance, gratitude, empathy, enjoyment and kindness…

That, I believe, is attitude! And it’s generally either mostly POSITIVE or mostly NEGATIVE.

Start paying real attention to your ATTITUDE towards life, love, yourself, your job, partner, friends and family. Make a mental (or written) note of the range of emotions, feelings and attitudes that live in your head and heart and see if you can’t start turning those negative ones around?

Cultivate a positive, happy attitude towards life and life will improve. I can almost guarantee it.

If you truly feel that you do already have a happy positive attitude towards life in general, BE GRATEFUL every day and start to consciously spread that happy attitude by being an example to the people around you!

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The Four Agreements

The Four Agreements is one of those books that absolutely everybody should read. More than once. With just these four changes, you will be amazed by how much easier your interactions and relationships are.

Here’s a very short summation, but don’t think this is it and not buy the book. Buy the book.





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I am a freelance copywriter and Reiki practitioner by day, dreamer and scribbler by night. I love dogs, sunshine, swimming pools, beaches, braais, good beer, dancing, delicious fresh food, gardening, books, movies, cooking, outdoor festivals, live music, cats, hiking, Cape Town, public speaking, psychology, animals, photography and lekker, conscious people. I try to always maintain a sense of humour, have a good attitude, and be nice to myself and others.

I am an ILS-qualified Life Coach and can’t wait to bring my life changing workshops to Cape Town and the interwebs early in 2019.