Tuesday, November 12, 2013

#TravelSmart: Thailand

I've been looking forward to my trip since we planned it earlier this year!  It's me and 3 of my favourite girl friends, heading off the razzle around Thailand:  Phuket, Phi Phi and Bangkok.  I love travelling, and even tho I travel often, I still don't seem to get packing my suitcase in the right way - do you have some smart packing tips for us please? 

Thailand: A little piece of heaven

Monday, November 11, 2013

Are you making excuses?

I have my frustrating and bad days too... trust me, sometimes the pressure is on, and because I put extra pressure on myself (sometimes admittedly unnecesarily) ... all I want to do when I get home is have a bubble bath, a cup of tea, and crawl into be with my bad mood and good book...

I know that there is an evolution in life... of taking what life gives you, and making the best of it to reach your destination, with a detour here and a scenic route there... but ultimately we get there... sometimes it's just about focusing on what is important at the time.

It's true that you get what you think about, wether you want it or not.  Are you thinking bad things, and using them as excuses?  What you think about is what you become, so shift out of your excuse pattern into thoughts that move you in the direction you want to go, and the evidence of what you want will start showing up. You can shift your perception of yourself, by changing the way you think.

I've had a very interesting life... sometimes it feels as if I've lived a few lives in this lifetime already... but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger right? I've learnt that contrast has a purpose and the gift in contrast, is that when you know clearly what I don't want, it becomes evident what I do want.

Life is all about choice, and it's an all day/every day decision for me to look at the experiences I've had in life and not regeret them but learn from them and expand myself because of choosing to have a positive outlook on life, and a shifting my perception on what I can achieve.

Observe your thoughts... and make sure that you're choosing the good ones.  You will get to where you want to be, by being mindful and changing thoughts that no longer serve you.  Think about what you want in life - perfect health, total wellbeing, financial abundance, relationships that are based upon love and kindness... honest friendships.  If you want to overcome anything in your life, start by changing your thoughts.  Are your thoughts in line with your dreams?

Sunday, November 10, 2013


Life is not meaningful...unless it is serving an end beoyond itself; 
unless it is of value to someone else. 
- Heschel

It's that time of the year, where we near Christmas and the holidays, and as we try zip through to the new year, we can easily forget those in need.  

I'm in the process of clearing out my art studio, which is filled with all sorts of things - old toys, stationary I never use, old clothes, blankets, bits of paper and note books... you know what I mean... we all have a draw, a cupboard or a basket that has things in it you haven't seen in a while.  

Often we clear out, and we find these things, and we just rearrange them back into a new ordered space, and back into the box we go.

Today, I want to inspire you to make a difference in someone's life. #ProjectBigSmile

Take time to clear out before the new year, and give the things you don't use to someone who needs it.  It may be a stranger, or you may want to bless a children's home or old age home.

I sent out a tweet this week giving away my desk.  Asking if anyone knew who needed one, and someone who could collect.  Within minutes @MegPascoe (on twitter) sent me a tweet with a children's home that needed items and their contact details.  The next day they came and collected.

A few weeks ago I read an update from a friend of mine @ElanTanur (also on twitter).
He had paid for someone's groceries at the shops, unexpectedly helping someone he could see was struggling.

The last time I went to Arts on main, there was a girl giving guitar lessons to street children, on the side of the road.  She had guitars, they were strumming along, off key no-doubt, but having so much fun, singing on the top of their lungs, enjoying every moment.

My boyfriends father, Mano Paxinos, started a Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Pink4Cancer) last month - he collected money for Breast cancer awareness.  A disease that touches both women and men, and the people in their lives.  He put a pink streak in his hair, and people that asked him, what on earth that was about, he told them.  He made a significant donation to two charities, all the details on the page, and continues to make a real difference in people's lives, wherever he can.

This morning I saw that my friend Kyle King is off to the children's hospital, dressed as a mouse, to spend time with the children.

I hear stories like this often.  And the small difference it makes to us, makes a huge difference to someone else. 

So I invite you to find little ways that you can make a difference in someone's life, and don't let money be the thing that holds you back.  It could be simply spending time with someone who doesn't get visitors.  If you have a talent - art, music, an activity you love - go share it with someone who would enjoy doing those things, but don't have the opportunity to get out and do that. 

There are friends collecting Santa's shoeboxes for children, there are some friends making a soup kitchen or food packs for Christmas day.  There are others going to play the piano and do Christmas carols at old age homes.  When my Nana was still alive, I used to visit her in the retirement home, and drop off biscuits for the other old ladies, brush their hair, rub cream into their hands, and listen to their never ending stories.  Precious time, for both them and for me.

During the holiday period, it is known that people feel most alone.  While some of us are making plans with family and friends, making holiday plans and thinking of gifts to buy for those we love, take some time to remember that there are many that don't have the luxury of friends or family in their lives, that don't have the option to go away.  

So I'd like to remind you that you can make someone smile.  Big.  By doing something small.  What can you do to serve someone else, even in a small way, to make a big difference?

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Thor: The Dark World

If you're into action, eye candy and you love superhero's then get to the cinema to watch the latest Thor: The Dark World. This is my favorite of the Marvel movies to date, with an amazing story line, non stop action, and a few moments of passion - keeping you in suspense and on the edge of your seat throughout the film. With unexpected humour, all in the right places, you won't be disappointed. 

This is the best movie I've seen in a while and if you're looking for a story with a great ending, go see Thor! Oh, and remember to get your 3D glasses, and you'll enjoy it even more. Let me know what you think once you've been. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Life, is it how we see it?

Hermann Rorschach's 129th birthday celebrated with interactive Google Doodle and has inspired me to write today's post.
As a psychology student I have always been interested in the many ways we have considered, created and innovated various methods to understand humans. 

 It was in my 4th year Varsity that I did my thesis on Princess Margaret.  A psychobiography using Erik Erickson's theory to understand the various stages of her life, and what impacted her at each stage. Understanding her psychosocial development through each of the 8 stages from infancy to late adulthood and how she possibly dealt with each crisis was very interesting.  She lived in the shadow of her sister, she was always in a Royal scandal, from having an affair with the gardner almost 20 year her junior, to singing at the piano in nightclubs, she always found her self at a party and often in the gossip columns.  She still fulfilled her royal duties while everyone was focused on her sister, the Queen.

Court jester: Lord Glenconner kept Princess Margaret entertained
Princess Margaret
Unlike Freud, who was a id psychologist, Erikson was an ego psychologist and his theory shows how the ego develops as each crisis is resolved, distinctly social in nature.
As social creatures, Rorschach has used a range of inkblot test which covers a range of diagnostic issues.  His view was to understand disordered thinking which could be revealed through these inkblot tests.  I'm sure it's reliability and validity has been questioned over time.  I can however see, how having the conversation around what is seen would add some insight into the psyche of the person dealing with their issue.
Erik Erikson 
All of this is very interesting, and no matter what it is that you are dealing with: pain, heart-ache, sadness, anxiety, stress, depression, bipolar disorder, or just having a bad day, the best way to start solving the problem is without judgement.  

Keep an ear out for that inner voice, the beating stick, the voice that judges you so harshly.  The things you say to yourself, that you would never say to your best friend, or even a stranger in the same situation.  The truth is that life is for the living, and living means experiencing good times and tough times.  I invite you to observe your thoughts about yourself, to listen to the voice inside that speaks and thinks... and catch yourself in the moment... ask yourself if what you are thinking is true, or an old belief?  If that belief no longer serves you, then find another belief which is more positive and true about where you are in your life.  Are you really critical about yourself?  Be gentle with yourself.  Be good to yourself.  Don't let your thoughts take you away from your dreams and aspirations.  Most of all, keep it light and be curious rather than critical about managing your internal conversation when you're in a crisis or having an off-day.

Life will have it's challenges, but how we respond to those will determine how satisfying life is.  And of course, who knows you better than yourself?

If you want to see an overview of the Google Doodle,
check out the link on Slideshare

Thursday, November 7, 2013


A spectacular evening was spent at the MOAD gallery in Maboneng this evening glitzing and glaming around outstanding creations of 3D art work, made of chocolate. 

My two favourite things, technology meets art to create #chocnology. 

Innovation at its best, the evening was a blast... From chocolate to bubbly to mingling with all my favourite people at the worlds first 3D chocolate exhibition.

Each design was sculpted using the Android™ operating system and 3D tools to create artwork never seen before. 

If you're in Joburg pop by the Museum Of African Design (MOAD) in Johannesburg’s Maboneng Precinct which is now open for public viewing until Sunday, 10 November 2013.

And of course it's just up the road from Arts on Main, so make a day of it on Sunday. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Reflection on 2013

It's been a while since my last blog, and I guess it's indicative of this time of year, when time flies and you realise weekend after weekend that we are closer to 2014 than perhaps some of us would like to be.

It's so interesting to get to this time of the year, some will say, there are ONLY 8 weeks left of the year, and others will say, thank goodness there are still two months left of the year.  Either way, time waits for no-one, and as the old adage goes, time flies.

I have been looking back at the year, and 2013 has been a great one.  A tough one.  A hard one at times.  A year of change.  Good change.  A year of opportunity.  A year that I learnt alot. About myself.  Life.  Friendship.  Growing up.  Toughening up at times too.  A year of amazing memories.  2013, and I know it's not over yet, but glancing on the 10 months so far, has been good to me.

I'm grateful for everything I have, and I'm grateful for the growth and lessons and learning more about myself.  I have the most amazing boyfriend, I'm blessed with an awesome family, and my friends are the best.

I hope that whatever has found it's way to you this year, has all in all been better than 2012, and that you've found your joy... and even through the not-so-great moments, you can look past them and see the lessons, gifts and friendships that have made it all worth while... and most of all, that you are happy.

Enjoy the last 8 weeks of the year.  Make the most of every day, because that's all we have.

What has been the highlight of your year, and what are you still looking forward to?