Birdsong. The clouds catching the first rays of the sun.
Watching the Egyptian geese fly up the valley below, the white on their wings in beautiful contrast against the dark forest. Connection. The deliciously fresh sharpness of the morning air as I open the curtains. The raucous cries of the haededas. Taking the time to pause and notice NOW rather than rushing towards the future. Refreshing water on my tongue. A few extra calm minutes in my morning. Lovely surprises. Having a growing network of support.
Discovering an upbeat song I hadn’t heard before, which turned out to be by a South African band, with a fun music video featuring one of my favourite places in the world: Cape Town (and they have a gig in London on the 15th March)
I’ve always loved the feel of raindrops on my skin, and when my hair is a crazy tangle of wind-danced anarchy, I feel my spirits soar.
Driving back to the office this afternoon following a series of meetings in Durban, a storm (which never quite fulfilled its dramatic promise) was brewing: delightful cross-winds gusted through the open windows of my Ranger, and my right hand danced in the light rain beyond the shelter of the vehicle. I had the volume turned up high with my ‘2014’ playlist of music, which includes songs such as Samuel Miller’s ‘Stepping Out’ (filmed in Cape Town),
and I found within me a powerful sense of clarity, purpose, and joy.
My lovely eldest sister has been sending me a lot of wonderful music lately, and as two of my current favourite songs are ones she sent me by a South African singer called Jeremy Loops, I thought I’d share one of them with you.
I hope you enjoy the song, as well as the shots of South Africa, including (of course) the iconic Table Mountain
Following a week of interesting and stimulating discussion around gender discourses and feminism, a work colleague sent me the link to this excellent TED talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Whatever your views on feminism and gender, please do take the time to watch this! Gender construction is such a crucial part of our every-day lives, relationships, self-esteem and decision-making, and simply being more aware of that – whether you are a man or a woman, and whatever country or culture you live within – can change things for the better.
Years after first hearing about the MBTI Personality Test, I finally got around to actually doing it today. My scores were entirely unambiguous: I am an ENFJ, i.e. Extraverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging (Extraverted Feeling with Introverted Intuition), otherwise known as ‘The Giver.’ Here are a few highlights from my profile that should make those that know me smile in recognition:
“ENFJs are people-focused individuals. They live in the world of people possibilities. More so than any other type, they have excellent people skills. They understand and care about people, and have a special talent for bringing out the best in others. ENFJ’s main interest in life is giving love, support, and a good time to other people. They are focused on understanding, supporting, and encouraging others. They make things happen for people, and get their best personal satisfaction from this. Continue reading →
I have two things to share today: the first, a photograph from this morning’s sunrise, enjoyed once again from my new favourite yoga tree-stump. I hope you enjoy the beauty of it, and pause to take a deep breath and marvel at the wonderful world we are lucky enough to live in; and then another, remembering to be grateful for life, just as it is.
The second, an evocative poem entitled ‘Dawn’, by Mark R Slaughter
Dawn blushed – betrayed her waking sky
To gently break another morrow fine.
Night waned – the black receding – highland
Reaching for the early morning wine.
The chorus rendered frantic caws and
Chirps and other avian song,
Mapping out the ‘mine and yours’, and
Goading more to sing along!
Quiescent water – deep of lake –
Reflected out the hazy red, but
Through the glass, a flick, a break:
An urgent tail from hidden bed!
And in the meadow, waking faces
Calmly spread a coloured veil;
The dew disclosing spider laces –
Oft with once a fly’s travail!
Dawn blushed; revealed her inner peace;
She handed on another blissful day.
Night ebbed, relenting to release of
Warming blood that gives to her display.
This morning I discovered the calmest, happiest space I have been in for some time. Exhausted, I collapsed into bed early last night, and slept for a solid, restorative nine hours, waking before the alarm went off at 5am feeling refreshed and ready for the day. After getting into my training clothes, making some ginger and cinnamon tea, doing some warm-up exercises and laying out my yoga mat, I stepped outside to take a photograph of the sunrise, and a delighted grin crept onto my face as I breathed in the fresh, fragrant morning.
Not wanting to move away from the beauty of the dawn or the joyful crispness of the air, I swiftly concluded that my morning’s programme could shift to include some standing yoga poses on the large tree stump at the top of the bank just in front of the cottage, beginning with the Sun Salutation. Continue reading →