Embracing Change : 01/01/2020

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Happy 2020 the year of plenty!

Today is the first day of 2020. It is also the first day of a new decade. To me that means we have been blessed with 366 days of opportunities to bring about positive changes in our lives and the lives of others. No matter how small or insignificant the change may be, if it’s positive, it’s a win for me.

I spent my New Year’s Eve with my cousin and her fiancé, my aunt  (her mother ) and my other cousin, her husband and my nieces and nephew here in Struisbaai,South Africa.

We took a lovely night stroll to the beach and found a spot on one of the dunes near the camp site. We were waiting for the fireworks that they set off at midnight. Here in Struisbaai it’s an annual tradition for all of us to go to beach and watch the fireworks together. And when the clock strikes midnight, some locals ran naked toward the waves to welcome in the new year.

5.4.3.2.1… Happy NEW YEAR!!!

It was a spectacular event and a true feast for the eyes. Seeing all the different colours shoot into the sky and turning into different effects and fading into the night sky made me feel like I was watching an orchestra of emotions with the ocean and the sand as the stage.

MY emotions to be exact.

I reviewed and celebrated an entire decade of emotions and life whilst watching each firework be set off. It demonstrated how beautiful change is. At times it’s noisy, unpredictable, dangerous and risky while it can also be sensual, slow, enchanting, silent and long lasting. IF you pay attention to your environment with a watchful eye of student instead of teacher, you will receive lessons daily. Even moment to moment. Blessings and lessons are always present.

What did you on the last day of the decade? We decided to keep it casual and intimate with our nearest and dearest.

So just after 11 p.m last night. We walked from the house to the beach and arrived before midnight so I had time to meditate on one of the sand dunes. I also said my positive affirmations as we were walking and gave thanks to the Universe.

I gave thanks to the fact that all the cousins are adults now. I was so grateful to spend time them. I gave thanks that they have their lives in motion. That they have their independence, that they are running their own households now, holding down jobs and coming into themselves as grown – up individuals.

 I gave thanks for the mere fact that they are making positive and progressive changes towards their futures by planning things, talking things through, looking at the different options that they have  and seeking council within the family circle as well as friendship circles that we all are an integral part of. Everyone is supportive and tolerant and willing and able to all the changes and challenges that come with adulthood.

I also gave thanks because I have not spent time with them over the big days for more than 8 years and what remained the same, was our love and sense of humor. We still sing together, dance around awkwardly inside and outside the house. We still remember all the Struisbaai memories and we still appreciate how we can come here and be in each other’s company, because it is our sacred place.

This is the place where we come to ground ourselves, break away from the city and the daily grind. This is where we bring our worries and turn them into strong willed goals. This is also where we know we have nature to nurture us. We have good food and drinks to comfort us and we have our music and dance to revive us.

Change is a process that needs to be processed in micro steps. First intend,then adjust and act accordingly.

I have been speaking more openly about my personal struggles with many of my cousins and I have had to  ask for more help and support. Especially in social settings, I sometimes get overwhelmed in crowded spaces and I believe that being self- aware and also making others aware could greatly improve my day to day life and their day to day lives as well.

” What’s the big deal? You can’t avoid people. People are everywhere. You are a person too.”- I simply move differently in a way that makes me feel at ease and at peace.

I will use this as an example of my changes that I have had to make since I started my personal development journey and visibly glowing up since 2018.

One of the major changes that I had to make was to change the way that I socialize. I had to stop forcing myself to sit in crowds or situations that made me feel uncomfortable. I had to speak up now without getting angry or agitated all the time because many people want to include me in their lives and I want to be included and invited to socialize with them as well. I however have to manage my emotions, thoughts and reactions when I am in public. I also have to predict and plan my days ahead of time or I will be in constantly triggered.

Some triggers include loud noises, many people talking at the same time at the top of their voices, being in the company of very large groups of people with their attention focused on me, loud music and bright lighting.

I don’t do well with crowds or a large group of people, so I have to know ahead of time where I am going and with who. If it so happens that something or someone unknowingly triggers me, I already have an exit plan or a strategy of how to excuse myself so that I can go somewhere alone and gather myself, if I feel a panic attack coming on.

If I do get triggered, I know that I can ask one my cousins to hold my hand, sit closer to me, talk to or get rid of someone who is bothering me or makes me feel uncomfortable or to walk me out of the situation, without me having to say or do anything that could further upset me and make me go into fit of rage or an anger outburst. Yes, unfortunately this can also happen when the situation persists. As an adult I know that aggression is not the answer but in certain situations one needs to do what needs to be done to protect oneself.

It is nobody’s business but mine. I share my experience to help others like me realize that what they are going through can be managed and overcome without feeling ashamed and in the way all the time. AFFIRM: I am worthy of being who I am. I am different and unique and that is my superpower.

Nobody needs to know what is going on. Nobody’s party or event will be spoiled and I will remain calm and collected and be able to enjoy the event. If I do now what I did in the past, I would get angry, argumentative, defensive, be rude to the people who actually invited me, shout at them, have a panic attack and spoil things for everyone, including myself.

 Some kind reminders to whomever is reading this or interpreting this scenario.

No. My behaviour is not attention- seeking. I am actually in need of physical space. So, please respect my personal space.

No. I don’t need to be babysat, constantly watched or checked – up on, coddled or held by the hand like a toddler. I am adult who takes good care of herself. This is just a momentary aid that is appropriate and helps me. It’s a better alternative to self-medicating with an alcoholic drink or a drag of a cigarette, which is how I used to cope with things before.

No. I am not overreacting or exaggerating. This is not the first time I am going out. I have been going out for more than a decade. Social settings might change but the general behaviours of people who frequent public spaces don’t. Many unpleasant things have happened to me and I have tried being nice and not hurt people’s feelings. I have feelings and boundaries too. They have been put in place. I deserve to feel safe.

Yes. My behaviour is rude and disruptive. It is also necessary when I am challenged with someone who insists on having their way especially when it is unsolicited, get excused by being drunk or that everyone knows they are ” harmless”.

In the case of being caught in a crowd. A crowd is a crowd.I have no way of controlling how 100´s of people will act at the same time. So it is best to exit immediately while breathing deeply and smiling as I get out until there is enough space for me so that I feel like I can breathe again.

Yes. I will resort to aggression as an act of self- defense if I need to protect myself and my body. Pretty words will come across as an invitation to others to try again or to continue being in my space. I know that now through personal experience.

No. I am not an aggressive or violent person. Everyone knows my nature is full of love and peace.

What’s the moral of the story here? Change changes things. Embrace it and learn from it.

So with this example of change I am showing you that change can be an inconvenience at times. But I would much rather inconvenience my loved ones for a short period of time or at certain times or scenarios than allow something detrimental to happen because I was not mindful, considerate or open about my current situation.

In the same way that someone might be walking around with crutches because of a broken leg, people would make space for them to walk by or kindly ask people to just give a little bit of room so they can pass through and they will be on their way again. That is how my situation works as well.  Mine and many others and all we ask is that you treat us with consideration, dignity and respect.

Be grateful to change. It means transformation is pending. It means growth has arrived.

I would like to dedicate this post to Brent Van Rooyen, who did something so seemingly small but it had a huge impact on my experience during the festive season. He simply checked in with me and he checked up on me throughout the days and nights. And all he asked was : “Are you ok ? Just tell me if you need something or need some space.”

Thanks, Brent.

To my family in Struisbaai, thank you to each and everyone of you for the most amazing three weeks back where I belong. Dankie vir die potjiekos, die seep en kers werkwinkels, die klavier spelery en prykdra. Dankie vir die vuurmaak en die yoga aande, dankie vir vinnige duike en roomyse, dankie vir die praatjies en uitstappies om skulpies te gaan soek. Die drives om die kus en dorp toe en terug. Dankie vir die drukkies en spasie.

Happiest 2020 to everyone far and wide. Keep glowing up.

With Love and Light

from Skylar

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