{O} An ode to an ordinary life

“Buy this dress!” “Go on this holiday!” “Look at this shiny new gadget that will change your life!

Buy these things, the advertisements tell us, and you’ll be breaking out of the ordinary.

But, what’s so bad with ordinary anyway?

Look behind those screaming advertisements. There’s a case to be made for an ordinary life. A life filled with love, laughter, companionship. A life where you have the time and energy to be present with your loved ones. Where people matter more than material objects. It’s a life filled with contentment, love, play, friends, family.Continue reading

{M} The non-manifesto manifesto

I was introduced to the concept of a personal mission statement at a corporate training years ago. At the time, I tried really hard to come up with a mission statement for my life. I failed.

Over the years, I’ve given it a try a couple of times. I’ve always failed.

Then I came across some awesome manifestos (like my personal favorite, the Holstein manifesto). While I found some of them inspiring, I never could come up with one that was ME.

This inability to come up with a manifesto for my life has made me feel like a failure of sorts.

It took a very wise man – the husband, in fact – to show (or rather tell) me why I have always failed at it.

The reason is simple. So simple that I feel like a fool for not seeing it for myself. Continue reading

{L} Conquer your to-do list

Have you ever created a to-do list and then wondered how you’re going to ever get all of it done? I have. More times than I can count. At the height of my insanity, I had a to-do list that was a page long. Crazy? You betcha! {And in case you’re wondering, I never did manage to cross much off that list.}

crazy to do listI can’t remember the number of times I’ve made a huge-ass list and then felt exhausted just looking at it! To top it all, half of the things on that list would have to be repeated in a week or two. {Yes, I included things like buy groceries before the pantry is bare, and put in the laundry before we run out of clothes to wear.} Needless to say, I just about managed to do things when ignoring them was no longer an option.

Now, though, I’m the queen of conquering to-do lists {err…when it is my queenly desire to do so}. It’s quite simple, and seeing as I am in a benevolent mood, I’ll share my inspired process with you. You’re welcome.

Step 1: Create a master list. This one is going to be huge. On it, you’ll list out everything your little heart desires to achieve. Keep adding to it; make it as long as you want. Do not look at it and panic. Move to step two.

Step 2: Create a “today list”. This one will stem from your master list. Make sure you don’t have more than 4-5 things on it. And ensure that at least 2 of them are fun things so you don’t feel like the biggest drudge on the face of the earth. You’re welcome.

Ta-da! In no time at all, you’ll be the queen of to-do lists!

Got your own to-do list inspiration to share?

{F} Finding Nemo: 4 tips to help you find yourself

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” ― Aristotle

Growing up, I was a rather reflective, introspective kinda gal.  I used to spend long hours curled up under the window with some music in the background, letting my mind wander…or writing in my journal…or just day dreaming idly.

Then, life happened. Thrust into the work place with all its associated pressures, adjusting to a life away from home, marriage, changing states, adjusting to new cultures…all of it took a toll, and that introspective girl got lost along the way.

As things settled down I took a moment to look at my life and realized I love it and am grateful for it. But at the same time, I realized that I’ve been running for so long that I’ve lost touch with … me. And so I set off on a quest to find myself. As I worked through it I gathered a lot of tools to self-discovery along the way.Continue reading

{C} You have the power to choose

“If you choose to not deal with an issue, then you give up your right of control over the issue and it will select the path of least resistance.”
Susan Del Gatto

Choices – we are confronted with them on a daily basis. We can choose how we spend our day, how we react to situations around us, how we spend our free time. The easiest path may be the path of least resistance. Just do what’s easiest and ignore the hard tasks. Sometimes we choose to stay numb, to shut out the thoughts and emotions that we fear, to not examine our life or relationships.

But that’s a powerless attitude – and you are not powerless! You have the power to choose to move forward, to come unstuck.Continue reading

The Kindness Revolution

Have you ever stopped and noticed the amount of negativity we are surrounded by? It’s in the media, movies, television…sometimes it comes from our family and friends…and of course, there’s all the negative self-talk in our heads. It’s crazy and chaotic, it tells you that what you have is not enough, that you need to try just a little harder, work a little bit longer, look better than your best…run, run, run….harder, faster, more!

Continue reading

A new way to set resolutions: Focus on your feelings

It’s a new year! And a new year means that it’s time to set new resolutions.

 Photo Credit: Brett Jordan via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Brett Jordan via Compfight cc

But we’ve all set resolutions with the best of intentions only to have them fall away by the wayside within a month. And for this reason, a lot of us have simply given up on them. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Resolutions aren’t about setting goals and then beating ourselves up when we can’t achieve them.

We’ve all of us set goals
“Lose 10 kgs in time for the annual beach vacation. Which is in, like, 2 months!”

Or thought about plans that we want to achieve
“Buy an island in Greece”

But how often have we thought about how we want to feel?
Eh?

Yeah. Think about it. Now, quick: How do you want to feel?Continue reading

Simplify your life with Soul Comfort + a giveaway!

Those of you who know me and who have followed my blog long enough would know that spirituality is a big part of my life. I believe in taking regular me time, in meditating, and in being creative – be it through art or photography, writing or cooking.

In the busyness of daily life, though, it is easy to let me time slide. But life, it can be simple again. Honest!

Just give yourself permission to take a break and play.

And what better way to do it than by using art and journaling as a means to relax and comfort yourself and to get grounded while dealing with the craziness of every-day living?Continue reading

Forget bucket lists, try a before I die list instead

Death. It’s inevitable. But still, it’s the one topic no one wants to talk about. When we hear of tragedy, we are thankful that it didn’t happen to us. We spend a major portion of our lives convinced about our own immortality. And still, death strikes. And when it strikes close to home, it forces us to look at death head-on.

So why is death such a scary monster? Is it because we are scared of leaving those we love behind, or because we don’t know exactly how long we have left on earth? Or is it because it’s the great unknown – after all, no one’s returned from the dead (and here I’m discounting near-death experiences) to tell us exactly what happens next. Or could it be because we still have so much more that we want to do…things that we’ve been putting off for a “later” that never comes?

Maybe that explains the popularity of bucket lists. But if you’re like me and want to do so many damn things that you know one lifetime would never be enough to do them, and that leaves you paralyzed wondering where to start, this TED Talk by Candy Chang may show you the path.Continue reading

Nigella Lawson and the can of worms known as domestic abuse

Nigella Lawson at a Borders book-signing

Nigella Lawson at a Borders book-signing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As images of celebrity chef Nigella Lawson being attacked by her art collector husband Charles Saatchi went viral online, it led to a maelstrom of debate that surrounds all narratives of celebrity domestic abuse.

The overt, more often implicit, blame was on Nigella for not “standing up for herself” and for going back to tweeting cutesy food pictures a couple of hours after the attack. Australian radio jockey Dee Dee Dunleavy went so far as to call for a boycott of Nigella’s books.

We think you are strong, beautiful and successful. We imagine your home is warm and smells of cinnamon, and if we dropped in we’d get a hug and a feed. We don’t like to think of you cowering from a thug. A man so boldly abusive he had no qualms about attacking you in public. Nigella, like it or not, you’re a beacon for women from all walks of life. If you want us to buy your books and watch your shows on how to run our kitchens, then we need you to make a stand on domestic violence.

This isn’t very different from the public outcry that greeted Rihanna’s decision to get back together with her ex-boyfriend Chris Brown, with whom she had split up after he physically assaulted her. (She has since broken up with him.)Continue reading