Blessed 2021, may we all stay alive and well!

Good afternoon everyone, far and wide. I greet you from Cape Town, South Africa, under our second wave lock-down. We moved from level 1 to level 3 that was put in place on 29 December 2020 until 15 January 2021. It’s day 286 for South Africans since the COVID 19 pandemic hit our beautiful people and we are still in the midst of it all. The whole world is. I know that many of us have been watching the numbers, stats, researching the data and constantly checking for the current death toll. I would like us to turn our focus on the life toll. We are lucky to be alive. It’s a blessing and a big fortune for us to be alive. Regardless of the current climate or state of our world. We always have something to look forward to. Even if that something is just the next hour. That’s enough. We are truly blessed and highly favoured.

Affirm: I am alive and well. We are alive and well. Thank you.

I recently gave my niece and nephew individual assignments in order for them to receive their personal rewards from me, their aunt. I instructed them to think of different reasons why they are grateful for what they have as well as what they didn’t have. They had to list the number of things according to their ages. I then documented and saved what they came up with so we had that as a powerful and genuine reminder of our time spent together and I think it made me aware of how their precious minds and hearts work.

Let’s say you are also an aunt and you have a niece and she is seven years old, why don’t you ask her to tell you seven things that she grateful for? You can model with some of your own thoughts. Like this: ” I am so grateful for this beautiful sunny day, it means we get to play outside in the sun together. I am also grateful that you have school holidays. That means we get to spend more time together and we get to play your favourite games and learn new things about each other.”

Kids and tweens say the right things and bring light into our worlds

My cousin Kevin bought me a WOW diary on takealot last year in February when I told him that I needed some structure in my life and that writing things down helps me to stay grounded and focused. Little did I know, that THIS diary would carry me safely through 2020. I lost control quite a few times but I had this one thing every day that brought me back to myself. The prompt that said: Today I am grateful for… On 31 December 2020, I wrote: “Today I am grateful for 2020. I made it through the year and I was happy to still be here.” I also wrote down all the names of the people who have been so willing and helpful and supportive with my process and then I let go of what didn’t work out.

“I hope your heart grows wings, so we can do things that we talked about”

My second demo song, Y.D.F’s lyrics ring: I hope your heart grows wings, so we can do things, that we talked about. Cause there is no doubt that you and I were meant to be young, divine and free.

When I was able to visit my niece and nephew during 2020, I would take my diary out and them being curious as they are would ask me what I was doing and I would tell them that I am writing down what I am grateful for. So they joined in. If I spent more than a few days with them, my nephew would sometimes say; we didn’t say what we are grateful for today aunty, and then we’d do it together, late at night before we go to sleep. I would open up my WOW diary and the three of us would talk about what we were grateful for that day. My favourite reason is when my nephew says: I am thankful that you are here, spending time with us. My niece always list at least 7 things and she always starts with her house, then her school, then her community and then she thanks, God.

How to be grateful for what you DON’T have

She also states the things that she didn’t have. What? She is grateful for the things she does not have? Yes, she is grateful for the fact that she doesn’t have COVID. She is grateful that she doesn’t have poor marks and she grateful that she doesn’t have to repeat any subjects at school. She is grateful she doesn’t have any learning difficulties and so the list continues. So we can also be thankful for what we don’t have. We can be grateful that we don’t have all the problems in the world at the same time. We can be grateful that on our off days, we CAN switch off and unplug and unwind, as adults. We can celebrate the fact that we have the company of others that surround us, even if it just between four walls. We have four walls. We can be grateful that we don’t have to live on the street with no shelter. Just look around your property and see how much you actually have. You might have enough space in your backyard and a shady tree that makes sitting outside a wonderful experience. Aren’t you grateful that you don’t have to leave your home to get some fresh air and sun on your skin or the wind through your hair? I know I am.

“Count your blessings, start with you, one two, one two”

I wrote this down as a lyric for a song. It could easily be a poem as well, but I think it’s fitting to say that right off the bat, I count 3 blessings in my immediate surroundings when I think of my niece and nephew and myself. Were it not for them, I would not be fortunate enough to be an aunt. I would just be a surrogate aunt to other children, but not my own blood. If I were still abroad and far away from them, we might have missed out on this opportunity of spending time together now. So today, I am counting one, two. Maybe tomorrow, I can count three, four as I look around me a bit further and wider to see what else and who I else I am grateful for. And so I can approach each day of this new year and I can have many things to be grateful for.

Today, I challenge you, what are you grateful for and why?

Today, I challenge each and every one of you to try my little assignment on yourselves with your friends, families, lovers, colleagues, neighbours, communities etc. And see how many reasons you can come up with. Write it down, type it out. Record it and be present in that moment by actually seeing or processing how much you have. Then, see how you feel or if there is an inner shift that makes you realise what a blessing and honour it is to be alive and well. Even if you are unwell, the upside is that you still have power left in you and you can increase that power, slowly and steadily.

Today, 8 January 2021, I am grateful to my brother and his wife, my sister- in – law and my niece and nephew. For loving me, spending time with me, spoiling me with so much affections and smiles and accommodating me in their home and helping me to unplug and recharge this week so that I can take on this year with a little bit more strength and vigour than last year. I am grateful that I can contribute to their lives and be an active and present family member. I am grateful to discover all the similarities and differences amongst us. That we can appreciate and learn to respect and understand each other and also work on ourselves as we grow. I am incredibly proud of them and I celebrate all their accolades and milestones today.

Happy 2021 everyone! Stay blessed, stay safe, stay sane. And thank you in advance for all the blessings to come.

I dedicate this post to everyone. Dankie, Thank you, Gracias. Today just so happens to be skylarglowsup.com ‘s second birthday, so I am most grateful to that. This blog has been a good outlet and has become a powerful and progressive vehicle in my recovery and the way I am able to adapt to the unforeseen. I feel fortunate to use my voice to empower others and give people a space to come home to when they also need to reflect, recharge or unplug. Affirm: Great minds, learn alike.

With love and might

from Skylar Darrigan

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Feel free to listen to my spoken word Dankie, Thank you, Gracias on soundcloud now!

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