35 and immensely grateful to be alive

No more special treatment online and offline

Stop trying to get close to me because you are attention and love deprived in your own lives. I know I have always said and proclaimed many things and tried my best to be there for others but I am retracting all of it as it has been to my detriment. Helping others should not be harming me in the process. So I digress and I confess that I am not and can not be there for all the so-called lost souls. Find God and find yourselves without me.

Go find an online community that offers support to other people with mommy, daddy or case of the ex issues

I have learnt through personal experiences and that of my loved ones that we all have issues.  Deep-seated, complex issues that we all are navigating through while still living life as best as we can. The blessing of this is that we have our support systems within our circles. We have healthy outlets for stress relief and tension release and we do our best to not hold and bare grudges.

Our hurts do not need to be a lifelong crutch that we need to carry around with us, because we start to identify with them. Put down that crutch and walk tall. We are safe now. The healing is in process. Let our wounds heal.



I am not Dr Phil, I am not Oprah
And I am not CPS

Since a teenager, I have witnessed abuse, been abused and misused myself and now as an adult heading into her forties ( God willing) I can not tolerate it anymore. I can not just say or think: Let go and let God.  As a messenger and instrument of Creation, I am compelled to do something, that is how I take action to help myself and others through my work. The Guidance comes from within.

I want to follow the ” see something say something ” call to action and bring more awareness to our communities’ attention. The adults are acting like kids and the kids are forced to be the adults and parents of households where they should be focusing on their studies and hanging out with their friends, not how they will get through the week and have enough food and drink to feed 10 people in a two breadwinner low-income household.

It is not okay that people are beating on their kids, spouses, partners, pets, and elderly and thinking a prayer or asking for forgiveness excuses it.

Get Help. It is FREE. Get out of your environment, if you can. If you are stuck between a rock and a hard place, go to church / the mosque / a temple and seek counselling there. You deserve to receive help and be freed from your burdens. Sorry that nobody told you this before but I am here as a messenger telling you there is help. Search for NGOs or NPOs in your surroundings and go to them, they usually have free brochures and dedicated caseworkers who protect your privacy and help you with your issues. Ask around about community development projects that use art and music to help people who have to deal with domestic disputes. They can teach you and enable you with new skills and help you with anything from beadwork to pottery and learning a musical instrument. You have nothing to lose and so much independence and self-worth to gain. This counts for our men as well. You don’t only have to play sports, go learn carpentry, landscaping and gardening and start your own small businesses. People from the LBGTQIA community there are many programs that are available and looking for new members, stakeholders and alleys. Find out for yourselves and if it is not for you, try another avenue until you find your home away from home.

I am begging you, please do not self- destruct. Rather rebuild on a new foundation of faith and self- preservation.

If you are a man, we don’t need another death by suicide, if you are a woman, we don’t need another death by domestic violence. If you are from the youth we don’t want you to overdose or drink your pain away. We want you to talk about it and heal. Learn to dance, find your passions, and please do it for yourself and inspire others around you.

Plea to parents and guardians of minors

Stop enslaving your kids with your addictions, your suffering, your hangups, your dysfunctions and your traumas. Let your kids live and thrive even if you come from a low-income household, even if there is not much to offer them. Give them your attention and support. They are much brighter and more talented than you can imagine but they need their parents’ and families’ support. It is your duty to parent them, not be their besties then you wonder why they turn out as rotten apples later in life. It might be because you did not allow them to let their lives their natural course. Empower them. Don’t enslave them with your responsibilities. They already have their own.

Plea to educators and community leaders, artists and personalities, influencers etc.

Don’t prey on these kids. Pray for these kids. Be a guidepost for them. Teach and model to them what is morally correct and incorrect. I know it is not what you signed up for, but school, church and community spaces are their homes away from homes. Help them become independent and free thinkers and also guide them on moralism. They need not parrot and copy what they see on TV or on social media if it is the latest trend. What if underage drinking is the latest trend ? ( Which it already is). Teenagers have died from alcohol poisoning and gone missing from drug misuse all because of wanting to fit in. Fit into what exactly? An early grave? a kidnapper’s boot? Help to set or reset their moral compass to that of love, dignity and respect.

So they know how to discern even when they are alone and in a bad crowd or thinking they are doing things for fun or to fit in, but that can also destroy them if they are turning to gangsterism, scamming people, or whatever challenges the youth face. Because their choices will have consequences when they graduate and look for jobs and have wrap sheets or a dark past that might prevent them from moving onward and upward. Their choices of romantic relationships can also break them. Stop encouraging your children ( even adult children) to date rich or marry rich. That financial security might come with spousal abuse, which will put your son or daughter through hell and they will fall victim to battered woman/ man syndrome, have health issues, struggle to find work or be independent then you will be at fault for miseducating your own flesh and blood. Then if they have their own children your grandchildren will be at risk as well. It is good and bad in the rich and poor communities. Don’t sell out your own legacies for a few rands. Your kids deserve more. They truly are priceless. Rather build your own legacies, even if it might take longer, it will be yours and there will be peace and health. Not broken pieces of hell.


Thots and trolls are everywhere

I am using the American slang term thot and troll Afrikaans term willie -werkers as that is who I am referring to here. If this is the choice you have made, to not work but wish to have a high-maintenance lifestyle and doing it at the financial exspense of others, don’t target people who are giving and kind and not expect them to get fed up with your nonsense. Take responsibility and accountability for your own life and work, do labour, put in hours, build your own bridges and work for your piece of the pie. Stop leeching and playing people off against each other so you can benefit from them feeling sorry for you. What you are doing is not only wrong but immoral and disrespectful. So pay them back or pay it forward in your next chapter.

You either work hard or smart or both. Do nothing then you will get nothing, not so?



If you don’t do the work and expect to earn something for nothing you are leeching.You are illegal squatters and you are a waste of space and resources in this world. We are still in a global pandemic. Nobody has it easy right now. Many households have never had it easy, so you have no right to add insult to generational injuries. We are all just trying to adapt and make the best of the worst situation that we are all in. Read that again. We are all in this, trying to hold our own so we can not hold others’ burdens as well. Carry your own baggage. Attempt to fill your own cup. Don’t borrow others’ cups. Clean your cup. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.



The I am poor I don’t have money narrative



Apply for a sassa grant then, it is in our constitution that if you are living in poverty that you qualify for a goverment grant. Stop borrowing money from people who are not banks and do you favours out of the kindness of their hearts and then not want to pay them back because you are friends or family or you thought it was a gift. Pay up what you owe people. Everyone has financial responsibilities. That is adulting. That is life. Live it or check into a cheap motel. And take a step back and thank that person as you have no idea what that money was intended for. They made room for you to help you out then you repay them, but not repaying them. If you are financially illiterate, educate yourself. And yes, high- income households also do the borrowing when there is no savingsplan or discipline becuase everyone wants to spend spend spend while only one person is earning. Learn to earn. It takes time, but we all can do it. Use that free wifi you watch memes with to find  business opportunities and work for your income.



Being from the same race or same community grants you freebies discounts and laybyes.


No. NO and N.O. That is NOT an OPTION in my book. Understand it and respect it. And stop trying to blackball me because you did not get your cheapskate and entitled needs met. It is close to a decade now that I have felt ashamed of not being able to pay my fellow creatives what they charge, because I have not gotten paid for what I charged and now in this decade I have taken my power back and put the respect back on my name and my work. My company is registered. I have the tertiary qualifications, I have international experience, a multi- disciplinary skillset, have done and paid for my own courses, have attened mentorships, I continually sharpen my tools, I take guidance from others who are more experienced than I am and are succeeding and doing well for themselves and I have built and continue to put systems in place that works for me and my projects and business ventures.


Pay us what we charge, not what you believe we deserve or are worth.

I could write a book on this, but I will save that for another occasion. Long story short, pay us what we charge. We understand that not everyone can afford everything all at once. Especially in the communities of colour. Everyone wants and has access, everyone wants and wishes to own art, or get a professional photoshoot, or shoot a music video or festival reel, or want professional make- up done for their matric ball or 21st. Then do your home work, find out the prices and save up for it! It is really that simple. Many of us struggle, not becuase we lack income, it is because some people wish to bully or manipulate us into lowering our prices because they think we are not worth it. And I have witnessed this first hand. Prime example: Matric ball car hire R2000, paid in full to the driver without blinking an eye, as cars are popular and it makes you look cool on photos for the 5 minutes that you spent in it.

Photoshoot price: Also R 2000, Oh no, it is too expensive. Meanwhile that photographer has to spend up to two hours on your and your partner’s before, after and during pics, they have to go home and edit it. Then you want them immidiately and you bother them after hours, they have to act professional because they want to keep and build their reputation while losing sleep, passion, time with their kids and family, for your photos and then you sometimes only pay them half. It seems to expensive to you, just ask your friends to take pics on their smartphones and use an editing app and do it yourself.

Same example this time with poetry, motivational speaking or speech/master of ceremonies, which also happens to be part of my skill set and services. Prices start at R750, which is competitive according to industry researched pricing. People want to contact me two days before the time and expect miracles. I have a two week in advance policy and 50% deposit so that you are ensured of my services and I put you on my agenda and follow the brief.

Again, potencial clients, repsect our time, respect our terms and conditions and if you can not afford us, do it yourselves. WE mean you no harm. So stop harming our businesses and professional progress.



Another thing, stop going to KFC if you wanted pizza and stop expecting free delivery if you ordered a value meal.



Alles kos geld. Alles is duur. Ons almal het huishoudings om te onderhou, ouers en kinders om na te kyk en te versorg, rates en tax om te betaal so hoe kan enige iemand iets verniet verwag?

Ons is steeds in n financial crisis. Dink verder as jou next meal.
Some people’s next meals are literally their last right now. See Durban floods. See Shanghai Lockdown, See Langa fires.

You are not going to like what I have to say and that is okay.
You don’t pay my bills anyway.



I work with and for paying clients. I run a business and NOT a hospice. I work day and night, sometimes at the cost of my health but I do it for me, myself and I. As I am my main provider, me having to look after and take care of myself and my wants and needs. Had I had my own family to take care of and provide for, the sentence would read I do it for we, ourselves and us.

Luxury is something I can afford. Comfort is not. It comes at a price.



In my experience comfort is predictable, monotonous, the norm, the majority of society’s choice but it not my choice. I choose to delve into the unknown. To risk it all. To trailblaze new paths for future generations of my family tree, both spiritual and bloodline families. I am building doors where there are none. I am bringing a buffet of a skillset to the table and if you want to sit at my table there is ALWAYS a cover charge, just like at any restaurant. There is no such thing as a free lunch.
Unless you visit a halfway house or foodbank. And even then, someone else paid it forward so you can have a plate of food to eat. Thanks non- profits.

Here where I reign it is food for thought and spiritual nourishment. Not eye candy. Not junkfood. And not gluttony or stockpiling. We make due with what we have. If we are blessed with abundance, we all get to feast. If it is a season of scarsity, we all dine sparingly and give thanks and remain humble.


Elders, with the greatest respect, I regret to inform you that I don’t belong to you because you know or knew my parents, or come from the same neighbourhood, or same ethnic background.



I belong to me, my family and The Universe. All rights reserved. I am done tolerating being infantilized and muted because I am a woman who hails from a small town where it is enforced that I must be modest, submissive, compliant and complacent with whatever misinformed traditions or cultural misinformation and miseducation is being learned in many households. Let’s agree to disagree but do not come for me with your disrespect, your discrimination and your disregard of people who hold a different opinion or belief than yours.

I stand on my story and in my faith and that is also, my prerogative, it is my constitutional and human right to do so.I wish no one harm and I wish no one ill. We all can live in peace and harmony if we shift towards an inclusive and tolerant school of thought. Not a forceful disharmony.

Nobody is perfect. And that is ok. We live and learn and we grow through what we go through. It is not necessary to manipulate, and dictate and act self – important or insist on pushing self – worship and idolatry to our kids and our youth. We are their role models and they can see what they should do as human beings and what they should not do as kind or unkind deeds.

Introspective question: Is your moral compass in tact?

YOUR ANSWER HERE.

WHY ME? WHY THIS? WHY NOW?



BECAUSE IF I don’t say it, we won’t address the laundry list of dysfunction and disparity we have all become accustomed to. We are addicted to suffering and we believe it to be tradition to put our kids through that same suffering before they can or are allowed to succeed.Let your kids live. Stop letting them bleed because you did. Break the generational traumas now! RIght now!

To the youngsters : I am not your mother, I am not your friend, I am not your emotional dumpster and I am not your canvas where can projectile vomit all your issues onto me, then ignore me, not acknowledging me and my space that I opened for you in a time of emotional turmoil. So I rebuke any further outreach from girls and boys contacting me via socials asking me to be there for them then getting used as a tool for them to further feed their demons. This is not my misery. This is not my circus and this is not my problem.

Get to know yourselves. Take personality tests, stop looking to social media as your church /religion /master and learn to self regulate your emotional states. As an ex – educator I have had enough. I did what I could for you. You need to help yourself now. Sepak to your parents or go to church, but put your phones down and look up for a change. Look up and look within and fix what is wrong.

To my peers, stop lurking on my profiles and facebook and instagram stalking me. First of all, I am dead serious. Stop doing this. Digital stalking is not ok, get help or get a proper hobby. I am not your daily entertainment or clown. I use social media for business and networking purposes, not for your vicarious needs and obsessions. I have been stalked and harrassed before and I have had to involve the police before, so please stop this. Men and women. You know who you are. You are making me uncomfortable and you need to focus on yourselves. There is nothing to see on my profile. Don’t add me if all you want to do is see my photos. I have a right to my digital privacy as well. I am not the daily sun. Bad energies, stay faaaaaaaar away.

Peers who have kids and are single parents and think their kids might be gay or lesbian, I AM NOT YOUR PARTNER, I DON’T WANT TO BE A STAND – IN OR SURROGATE PARENT TO YOUR CHILD. STOP DRINKING AND ABUSING SUBSTANCES AND FOCUS ON BEING AN ACTIVE PARENT IN YOUR OWN CHILD’S LIFE AND JOIN A SUPPORT GROUP OR GO FOR FAMILY COUNSELING OR TO CHURCH IF YOU ARE NOT COPING. STOP DRUNK DRIVING. STOP HOOKING UP WITH RANDOM PEOPLE. STOP ACTING A FOOL IN FRONT OF YOUR CHILD. DO BETTER. I FEEL YOUR CHILD’S PAIN. THEY DON’T NEED THIS. EVEN IF YOU HAVE TO CO- PARENT WITH A DIFFICULT EX, DON’T LET YOUR CHILD BE DAMAGED BY ADULT ISSUES.

YES, I am shouting so that you can hear me, and listen clearly and carefully . And you can pass this knowledge on to others  young adult parents. There are tools and systems. Stop using your ” friendships ” as halfway houses, rehab centers, loan sharks, dumping sites and rebounds and replacements for your broken- up relationships and shituationships. 

YOUR BROKENESS IS NOT MY OR ANYONE ELSE’S RESPONSIBILITY BUT YOURS.

Don’t taint your child with your dysfunction. Deal so you can heal. You have 10 000 second chances. Do it for him /her/ them. I don’t want to be involved and I don’t want to be updated. You made your beds. Lie in it. Stop inviting other people to join in. Nobody wants to deal with dirty laundry especially if iti is not theirs.



No more free wifi. I have changed my password and call my energy back to me.



If I connect or connected with you and thought you were real in my life to offer me something and all I have been getting is a hole lot of nothing. You have been removed. Move on. Please. People remove me too. It’s all good. To each its own. Just own up to your truth as well. Take off your masks.
Be YOU. AND DO YOU.( And don’t take this as an invitation from me for you to show how big and strong you are. Just live your life for yourself). That is what I am doing and have been doing and there are no ill vibes. Just let things be.


Closed door policy. Moenie die klokkie lui nie.

I have a closed door policy now and I will share the analogy my counselor told me.

Imagine you are a house with four ( or how many ever rooms) and you leave the door permanently open, never closing it. What do you think will happen over a long or even short period of time?Anyone can come in, make themselves at home, they will invite unwanted guests, then they will bring their baggage in, mess up your house, take over your space and when the place and space broken down, dirty and no longer liveable they will move on to the next open door, right? Leaving you with what?

A mess. Others mess in your space. And you invited it with a kind and open mind and spirit yes, but advantage was taken and will be taken no matter how good or sincere of a person you are. Some people are just poor in taste and spirit and might never change for the better.

So, I am closing my door. And I am evicting all who don’t and didn’t pay rent, who don’t and didn’t pull their weight, who don’t and didn’t honour and respect the house rules.
Who break curfew, who lied, borrow, beg and steal, swindle and con.Be gone, I say. God got me, so I will be ok while I am home alone.



Copyright laws. Copywritten so don’t copy me.



Those who have multiple accounts or clone accounts who follow or followed me then later have the same products or services than I or fellow artists ( especially us writers) have; you are thieves and stealing intellectual property making profit off my and other artists hard and heartwork. You are breaking the law and infringing on copyright laws. All the images I use, original quotes,spokenwords, poetry that I post on socials are my work, my intellectual propertry and that of others so respect it, credit it, ask for permission first before you want to post it to yours and stop stealing.

I am defending and protecting myself and others and I urge all writers and visual artists and content creators to read up on and get clued up on this so that you know that your work is your work alone and nobody is allowed to use it or profit from it without also then paying you royalties or a percentage of their earnings as they purposefully took what was not theirs and sold it as theirs.

Check your circles, check your friends.
It happens to the best of us.



Do your own clean work!


Get your admin in order yourself or pay someone what they charge for their services if you want to be taken seriously in business and life. I am not your keeper. You are. You can not piggyback off me, you can not use my name for your benefit and you can not associate yourself with me if don’t have a mutual agreement or contract between us and vica versa. Verbal contracts do not count for me.
So again, check yourself. And get your stuff sorted. That is why you are broke, not taken seriously, spend more than you make, borrow to pay of debts and want others to keep you company. You know what they say about misery.



Stop using excuses an excuse for abuse and misuse of people.



Stop using people. Period. Stop being nice when working on a project then kicking that person to the side and discarding them like trash. Show some respect for their time, effort, energy, skill-set and humanity. Do unto others. Please don’t offer me something for ” free ” then ask for a cut of my earnings afterward. If it was not previously agreed upon, then proceed to bad mouth me to others when you essentially wanted to use me for your benefit only. That is a transaction. Not a mutually beneficial commitment. I am fine with doing transactions. I.e you pay me xyz and I give you abc and we are done. I will not be giving you 80% and you give 20% on a collaboration or creative project and I earn a sum of money then you want to demand and claim 80%. You get what you give. Understand this. What is fair is fair. IF you give more, you get more. If you give less, you get less. If you are equal contributors, you get equal remuneration and rewards.

This is the cancer in our community. Only some must benefit while some must suffer. I say NO. WE ALL BENEFIT OR WE ALL SUFFER. I advocate for the latter. It’s 50/50 or 0/0.
Sharing is not caring if you are greedy and self- serving while you believe others should suffer while only you benefit and they must be okay with scraps.


No favours! Period. Cash is queen.

I have financial obligations and responsibilities as an adult living in a very unstable economy because of the global shift and great reset. Nobody has money or funds to spare or share.
I already volunteer in my community locally and abroad, so my agenda is full. Don’t ask me to volunteer. I will politely decline. Every time.

I managed to do in two years what many can’t do in ten. And this is not me bragging or boasting, this me working for myself and collaborating with others who have the same vision and long term goal. This is me networking, getting rejected from fellowship applications, looking for funding for projects, asking many a company and institution to give the coloured community more space, more funds, more resources, equal pay for artists, transport allowances, while dealing with health issues and personal issues. I just keep at it. I don’t moan and complain about it continually.

I take action, that is why I am where I am where I am in 2022. I live and breathe and do my work and it’s important to me, to uplift my community through art and creativity. It is also important to earn a decent income so that I can provide for myself and my dad who is a pensioner. So don’t hate on me. Hate on yourself and your lack of discipline, focus, intellect and drive.



I am 35, not 15. Do address me and approach me as such. Please and thank you.

I have not had it easy. Nobody does but I get up when I fall. Even if it takes me years, which it has.I get back up. Again.And again. And again. And once more. So don’t compare yourself with me or anyone else. Your time will come. Work towards it and take the leaps of faith when you are called to. And you will see and experience for yourself how many blessings are actually falling upon your life. Just because I carry it well, by no means signifies that it is not cripping and heavy. Elke huis dra sy kruis. Ander s’n is veel groter en swaarder as myne, so wees dankbaar vir jou kruis,dis om jou wys te maak nie dwaas te hou nie.



Talking about faith, the saying says your gift will make room for you.

Not you, your neighbour, your cousin from your mother’s side who you have not seen in 10 years, now coming back to claim your ” fame ” or accolades. 

Functions over features



I have met many multi- talented people over the years and the last two years in particular I relearned the lesson of function over features. Your talents are not enough. You might be able to sing, dance, draw and rap but if you have poor work ethic, act entitled or don’t do your work, you are an expensive phone on loan that never has airtime. In that same sentiment, love is not enough either in friendships and relationships. There are many other elements that are essential or it just won’t last. You can’t just add water. You have to water it with trust, loyalty, support, compromise, time and willingness for a period of time so it can bloom and continue to bloom for years to come. So just update yourself on that too. I am currently going through this and it is hard, but necessary.


Always be grateful.



To ALLmy exes, thank you. NEXT PLEASE! Ex- colleagues, ex- friends, ex- acquaintances, ex- lovers, ex- partners, just past people. I am sure we have outgrown each other right now. I used to hold on for dear life to every significant bond I thought I built with certain people but I am not interested anymore. I don’t want or need to know how things are now anymore. I am ok with not knowing. I am ok with no longer caring so much about EVERYONE I have ever met or known.

This is a win for me. And it all ok. Change and evolution is good for the spirit. We are all either meant to be in each others lives for a reason, season or lifetime. Life reveals to me who is who and why. So just chill. There are no hard feelings. Just freedom and liberation and growth. Shoutout to the ones who have returned to stand by my side through the good the bad, the uncertainty and the ugly. We continue to hold space for each other and we continue to invest in our friendship or sisterhoods, for the greater good. I got you and you got me.



You do you and I do me and we love and live far away from each other, respectfully.



Moven on to the next. Please. I no longer wish to keep in touch. It is too emotionally and mentally labour intensive and I am tired of the laziness from your sides.

So fare well and don’t call, text, re-add me or try to catch me in public and make it about you pretenting that you have been thinking about me alot and want us to catch up and hang out again together. Miss me with that.

YOUR gift will make room for YOU.

If you did the work. You enjoy the fruits of your labour. Your support systems get to benefit, your spouse, your kids and your pets get to bask in that glory.
Stop coming for people when it is their time to shine. Let their lights shine and learn to create your own sparks. God don’t like ugly. So stop with being mean- spirited and ugly to people. It is not necessary. Yes, I am talking to you, adult- bullies. Keep the peace. Don’t disturb the peace.

I think I have said my piece and I hope this helps someone out there who has been going through the most, not being able verbalize or even understand what happened to them when they were in a good space and now they just feel low. What I want you to remember right now is that the beauty of rock-bottom is up. Learn to put on your oxygen-mask and keep it on. Learn to swim in the deep end and also learn to discern who you can count on and who you must count out. Read books. Learn to cook. Take solo walks and trips. Try to turn the tide from within. And soon, you will see, you can and will win.

As always, I give thanks to those who actively support me and love me unconditionally both near and far.
Health, wealth and healing upon us all.
May permanent betterment fill our minds and souls.
Heaven is a place called home.
Find your home and if you don’t have one. Build it on God’s grace.

Biggest lessons learned from last year to this year :

Your gift will make room for you.
Don’t drink from anyone and everyone’s cups, that is how you get poisoned.

You can’t fake it till you make it. You make it when you keep it real with yourself and others.

Boundaries is a two way highway with toll-gates. Set boundaries and respect others boundaries or you will keep getting hurt, used, disappointed, excluded, misunderstood and misled.

Be careful of your own thoughts. Introspect often and get professional help sooner rather than later.

Let the divine guide you back to yourself, not man or woman.

Pray often. Meditate often. First is to talk to God. Second is to listen to God.

I have who and what I need in my life right now and I am still blessed and highly favoured.

With love and light

Skylar

143

Meet “Have No Fear” Pierre the fierce filmmaker from our Klein Dorpie WENtaliteit movement

Film sets in the US set his mind free

Meet “ have no fear ” Pierre, a down to earth, loving and kind spirit whose childhood memories piqued his interest in film. Thanks to his dad’s decision to take them on a family trip to USA back in the late 90’s he got a front seat to the silver screen’s behind the scenes. They were fortunate enough to visit film sets and watch shows. About 20 years later he´s now a qualified film – maker and videographer.

Where it all began

At age six, film opened up his imagination and his passion was subconsciously ignited thanks to his father’s decision to spend family time exploring other worlds outside of their immediate surroundings. They joined one of the group trips organized by their local community’s travel agencies and then off they went to America! It ended up being one of his most memorable trips as a child. Even as an adult he recalls vividly how the sets that they walked through looked so realistic as they had buildings, the famous yellow taxi cabs and the finer details such the lamp posts and street signs.

Had he not told me that their family album of America were mostly photos of film sets I would have believed that they were the real deal!

Pierre is the youngest of two men. He has always had a good relationship with his brother and his influence also played a part in what he shoots as a filmmaker. His nephew, Liam, has become one of his favourite subjects and he is not that camera shy. I think it also gives them time to bond and it allows Pierre to create memories for him when he is older one day. Pierre showed me one of the first clips that he made for one of the renowned restaurants in Franschhoek, while his brother was the general manager there. I could tell by the way this clip was captured that Pierre had a good eye and an even better ear.

Incremental steps of success

Pierre loves to take his time and does not take on too much which is an excellent characteristic for an aspiring filmmaker. Knowing your limits has its advantages. Many creatives are overzealous or lose focus when they commit to too many projects and their end products oftentimes end up sloppy, unfinished and not tied in together. Pierre’s ” Have no fear ” attitude shows that he does not fear challenges, nor taking his time, neither does he overextend his boundaries. He pushes his limits until he knows what he is capable of delivering.

Just like films set weren’t built overnight, shooting and editing a project does not happen overnight either. Both of us agree that creativity and imagination go hand in hand. My lack of visual experience was filled with Pierre’s keen eye so I was able to build proper storyboards for my spoken words. And as we worked together every week, more visuals started coming to me that was not possible before. I think our collaborative energy made that possible. Pierre also mentioned that our talks made him think about his professional goals and that he took my questions to heart so that he could apply them to himself the way he wished to do so.

Let’s get into the mind of this filmmaker who is now also part of the Klein – dorpie WENtaliteit movement. Here follows our interview with J.P ” Have no fear Pierre ” De Wet.

skylarglowsup: Where did your passion for film start?

“As a child I was always fond of visiting Mr Video or any video store because I was somewhat introverted. I would try to find a way to entertain myself and film was one of them. I had a large library of movies. From Lion King to my grandfather’s MNET movies recorded tapes. My collection varied from Rambo to Jaws to Nothing Hill. The catalyst that sparked my interest was when my parents took us to America and we visited the Universal Studio lot and got a chance to walk through actual movie sets. That subconsciously prepared me for the path that I would later take in life when I decided to study film after I graduated from high school.”

skylarglowsup: What is your definition of a winner and what makes you a wintalist?

 ” A winner is someone who strives to be the best at something. Someone who never gives up even if things never go as planned, they continue to push through. I consider myself a wintalist because I NEVER gave up on my dreams. I was always confident that the path that I chose was the right one for me and I became patient with this journey. I didn’t give up hope on the fact that I would one day be where I always dreamt of being. Especially after some people told me to let go and move on. I kept believing and used the time where nothing was going my way, as an opportunity to work on myself.

skylarglowsup : How has film shaped the reality of the world as we know it today?

It is a place where I could dream. It was an escape. Every film I watched created a new story in my mind. I was constantly creating new images in my mind and it took me to a  place far from the real world around me. It somehow distorted my reality. It distracted me from what was happening in my life. As I grew up I began to experience certain events from older movies I watched. I could begin to relate to other people surrounding me. I think film, whether fantasy or non-fiction is an individual’s perspective of the human experience. These experiences have helped me to see the different realities and show me how truly connected we all are.”


 

skylarglowsup: Are there any stories that you would like to tell using film as a medium?

I love the supernatural. We can be more than we believe. I always wonder what our limits are as humans and how far we can push ourselves. And what is beyond the realm of the unseen? These are the types of stories I would like to tell.  Different experiences of different people.

Working with Pierre has been very enriching, educational and informative. I have always wondered how films get storyboarded or how shots are planned and put together and now I get to have a backstage pass to that and I am also able to co-direct the visuals of my spoken words. This is not something that I had ever envisioned nor did I ever think that my words wanted to be heard and now seen, but it just goes to show that if you stay true to yourself, other like-minded people will somehow gravitate toward you and help you to bring your visions to life in different mediums as well.

Aunty Milly – an Afrikaans Spoken Word

Aunty Milly was filmed in Pniel because we wanted to celebrate her memory, incorporate our small-town heritage and honour her the way I know best. By showing her in her element which was education and her deep interest and commitment to her family, her career and her church. This was Pierre’s first project after years of not being in filmmaker- mode and he was a natural. He respected the process. He was stern in his directing and he was focused on the brief. He had the freedom to deviate and capture outside of the discussed concept as long as it was not taking away from the message that Aunty Milly needed to convey. His keen eye made it possible for a piece of my reality to become a permanent visual monument to a woman who taught me how to be my own person and Pierre’s style of directing and shooting shines through in the visuals. Take a look at some of the behind the scenes below.



skylarglowsup :How was your experience with actors and actresses?

It was a strange transition. I was not used to the idea of telling others what to do. I was now directing and not just filming. This helped me to build up my confidence in communicating my ideas with other people. At the same time, I was getting their input. I believe film is based on teamwork. A director or writer may come up with the idea but he or she must be willing to get different opinions from his or her crew. Especially actors and actresses because they must embody the character that you created. Actors should be willing to add to the character and to flesh it out. It also made me aware of how vulnerable you are in front of the camera. I began to appreciate and respect the vocal and mental exercises they would do before shooting a scene.

skylarglowsup :What are your professional goals?

My goals are to own my own production company that help others who struggle to get the opportunity in the industry and build on their creative abilities. I plan on creating through the medium of film for the rest of my life to tackle every genre and hone my craft in movie making.”

skylarglowsup :What has your experience been like shooting the spoken words? Capturing the footage, planning and execution and on location?

 ” The experience of shooting the spoken word got me back into the same old routines as well as trying to learn new ways to plan on shooting a new project. Also, I had to change the way I approached communicating with that person, being you, because I was working with someone new. I was used to talking to a whole crew of people. With Aunty Milly it was more isolated. It ‘s a face to face set up with just one other person. I had to build a relationship with Skylar to understand what she wanted and to understand how we were going to work together. As a director, I had to discern how could I push my ideas and mesh her ideas together. The end results speak for themselves I think.


skylarglowsup : How has the collaboration enriched your own skills, or changed and developed your abilities as a filmmaker and director?

I think this project, I had less to work with. I didn’t have any equipment. In a sense, it was more difficult. It also allowed me to use my head and do a lot of research on how to shoot something. When I was studying at film school, we were given everything. When I did this project ( Aunty Milly ) I didn’t have anything. I made a dolly out of my nephew’s toy truck. I had to think outside of the box. That is where I grew. I think I like to shoot with less because it forces me to be more creative. When I look back at the footage that we shot. It’s professional, it’s clean and I tried my best and I was not relying on equipment, I was just relying on myself. How steady my hands were and how patient I was. I think a lot of things grew.”

“Hay Una Mujer 2021”- There is a woman

Pierre’s first foreign language project in collaboration with Skylar 143 Darrigan and SAL make-up artistry is also worth mentioning as he stepped out of his comfort zone, linguistically. I wrote Hay Una Mujer ( Spanish meaning there is a woman ) in 2019. That was my first Spanish unpublished spoken word that I wrote out of pure inspiration and wanting to practice my pronunciation. The words came out of nowhere and the feeling that I was left with was this is what a woman is. So this year I added to the original poem and Pierre was in charge of doing the translations. The theme for Hay Una Mujer 2021 was celebrating womanhood and all its phases and stages.

I become emotional as it resonated with me so much. The message is relatable to anyone who really listens. I loved working on this project because I only needed to add some effects and closed captions. I had fun because I learned some Spanish as well. This was a team effort that came about unexpectedly with limited time and no prior footage shot by me. So thanks to SAL make – up artistry’s footage, the whole theme came together in one.

Thank you to Jean- Pierre for allowing us to explore the behind the scenes and mind of a filmmaker. The world is ready for what you wish to tell through your lens.

Take a look at the following video clips of what Pierre has accomplished so far.

Until next time, keep glowing up!

With love and light from Skylar

143

Samantha the globetrotting SAFFA

A decade of teaching abroad brings many rewards

Samantha with a group of her students in Korea.

Samantha Sampson who hails from Parow in Cape Town, South Africa has been abroad for the last ten years teaching English as a foreign language. Like many South Africans who have an adventurous spirit and a passion for travel and exploration, Samatha has had the most amazing experiences and was kind and wise enough to share some of her journey with us.

I believe that she, like many other women, is an inspiration to others who wish to explore the world, educate the world and in doing so educate and enrich themselves. There are so many amazing experiences and encounters that you will have when you leave the comfort of your home to embrace the unknown.

Samantha has many qualities of a woman inspired and a woman empowered. Those two attributes alone are enough to get anyone from any age group, social background, gender or profession the guts to go ahead and live and work abroad. The world around us is meant to be explored and experienced first hand!

Let’s get to know a little bit more about Miss Sampson’s decade long journey of teaching, living,loving and growing abroad.

skylarglowsup: Why did you decide to go abroad?


“I have always enjoyed travelling and was told by my grandma that I got my first tooth on the road. My mom was a nurse and had to go back to work after I was born, so I travelled with my gran quite often. My grandmother was from Albertinia in the Southern Cape. Growing up, we spent many holidays there. I particularly loved the outdoors and the natural beauty of the Southern Cape.I always tell people I’m born and raised in the city but I am a country girl at heart.

skylarglowsup: How long have you been abroad?

“I’ve been an expat for 10 years. Before going abroad, I worked for the department of health for 15 years and decided to change my career and went on to teach English abroad in South Korea. Thereafter I’ve been teaching in Saudi Arabia. Teaching abroad has been very rewarding as I find it also enables one to have cultural exchanges which would not be possible otherwise.”

 

skylarglowsup:

What have been the pros?

” When one is immersed in a different culture it makes the experience so much richer. Living abroad has taught me that people are essentially all the same. We all have the same needs although we have different world views. Also as an ex-pat you meet people from all over the world of which some become lifelong friends. There is also a sense of community amongst ex-pats. “

skylarglowsup: What have been the cons?

“There are times when loneliness can set in when you haven’t seen your family for a long time. You miss out on special occasions and milestones of your family, like births and weddings and  special events. I also lost my grandma whilst being abroad and it was sad that I couldn’t make it home in time for her funeral, simply because in Saudi Arabia visa laws did not make it easy to just exit the country due to paperwork having to be processed by your sponsor ( the company who you work for is in charge of your visa process and responsible for you while you are working there).

Dreams have no deadlines. You can make them come true, whether you are young or old.

skylarglowsup:Tell us about your “dream come true” bucket list:

“I will have to say, skiing in Pyeongchang South Korea, where the Winter Olympics were held.
I’ve always wanted to experience snow and was fortunate to have been living in South Korea where we had the snow knee-deep whilst I was there.
I visited Mary, Mother of Jesus’s home in Ephesus, Turkey and what an unforgettable experience that was!

I also went hot air ballooning in Cappadocia during my second trip to Turkey. It’s quite a magical experience.
Where have I travelled to: My very first trip off the African continent was to Myanmar (Burma) I was part of an outreach program for orphans. It was a life-changing experience indeed. I’ve been to China, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Ireland, Turkey, Zambia, Namibia, Algeria, Qatar.”

skylarglowsup: How did you manage culture shock, different customs and new languages?


“I have always been interested in learning about different cultures and I do believe that one has to respect other cultures and customs. When living in Korea I found the honorifics to be quite endearing because people wouldn’t ask you your age and would then address you accordingly and they would bow in greeting and the older you are the lower the bow, which showed respect.

Honorifics are incredibly important in Korean culture for proper conversation and forgetting to use them is seen as disrespectful. Whilst living in Saudi Arabia as an ex-pat when you first arrive it seems daunting. It’s a culture that segregates the genders. You wouldn’t have to go to a female section. For banking and restaurants, you would have family sections and single sections. Single sections were for unmarried males. Women were also required to wear an abaya to dress modestly, this has changed recently and women are now able to choose if they want to wear it or not. Women were also prohibited to drive until 2018, so one would have a driver to do special trips for you. I have learnt that in order to adapt to another’s culture one has to be open-minded and able to adapt easily and respect the culture and customs. “


skylarglowsup: Were you fortunate enough to meet people along the way who become lifelong friends?

“As an expat I’ve met people who have become lifelong friends. I’ve also met the love of my life while abroad. I also find expat life to be very transient, as you meet people either somewhere between the beginning, middle or end of their contracts. Recently, I had to say goodbye to a few dear friends whom I’ve known for 7 years.”

skylarglowsup: How do you manage to cultivate and keep those bonds alive?

” I try at most to stay in touch with people via email, Facebook, Video Call and all the other social media Apps. We are spread out all over the world so there is always the issue of different time zones, different seasons and sometimes we manage to reunite if we come home at the same time or if we travel to the same holiday destinations, it is also a great opportunity to keep our friendships intact. Many of the women that I worked with in Saudi always said we should have a 10-year reunion. I think it would be amazing since we had colleagues from every continent with varied nationalities and religious backgrounds and we worked well together. It was like being in a beautiful sisterhood. We trusted, valued, loved, admired and encouraged each other both professionally and personally. “



skylarglowsup: How has being a South African female abroad, broadened your horizons and how can you implement those experiences back home now?

“As a South African female abroad I have been able to cultivate a deeper sense of gratitude for having had the opportunities which I was afforded, thanks to the upbringing my parents gave me. There is a saying; ”You don’t raise your child for yourself but for the world.”

Working alongside other teachers from other countries has also been an enriching part of my journey as an educator. I can say I will definitely encourage other young people to explore ex-pat life and make a lasting impact in the industry that you work in. Sharpen those skill sets and doors you couldn’t imagine may open.”

It sounds like Samantha has many tales to tell, memories to immortalise and ample personal and professional milestones to be proud of ! And she did it with her own funding, her own hard work and her own vision to live life as she wished to and still be here today to inspire the rest of us. So if she could do it, so can you! Even though the whole world is still in pandemic mode, take a page out of Samantha’s journey and make things happen for yourself.

You can still reach your goals, you can still accomplish great things and make a positive impact in someone else’s life. Keep glowing everyone.

With love and empowering light

From Skylar

143

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

143

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

Meet 143 the heartist from the Klein Dorpie WENtaliteit movement

Disclaimer and warm welcomes;

skylarglowsup welcomes Jo – Ann Prinsloo as our first guest interviewer and enthusiastic collaborator on this post. Jo- Ann, we feel honoured and we thank you for your time, input, efforts and insights.

*The following post touches on topics about depression, anxiety and the symptoms of mental illness as experienced and understood by an individual who has a history of mental illness and is undergoing treatment and in a recovery program. These testimonials or telling of physical, verbal and psychological manifestations of mental illness from a personal perspective does not in any way advocate or excuse other people’s poor or violent behaviour if they are undiagnosed or self-diagnosed without any medical consults or input. The broader message of this post and interview is to change the narrative of this life-altering illness. It also aims to move away from stigma and move closer to empathy, upliftment, empowerment, support, open communication channels and understanding of many others who bare the same cross. The struggle is very real, but we are stronger together.

  • This post was collaboratively created by two individuals who act as separate entities and practice freedom of expression so that others may be educated and touched by the truths of this reality. This also serves as a tool and vehicle that highlights how art and creativity aids and boosts one’s quality of life and experience of life, no matter how hard it is.
  • Kind reminder: Please consult a medical professional or reach out to the various programs that are available online and face to face ( COVID protocol permitting ), if you think that you might have mental health issues. I AM NOT a medical-professional and my account of my personal experience does not suffice as treatment or healing for your underlying issues. If you feel that you might have some things that you struggle to cope with get the help, treatment and resolve that you need. Be brave and get the help you desire and deserve.
  • Photos proudly captured and provided by Kiki’s by Lin. All rights reserved.

A creator (creather) of healing, expressive art through words,emotions and thoughts all done for love of love.

” I find myself in the best company when I enter the many worlds of creative minds, intellectuals, brilliant scholars and empowering poets.”

From pen to paper to a live performance in Cape Town!

Jo-Ann : Aunty Milly, an original Afrikaans poem written and performed by 143 the heartist, was first heard by the general public and industry leaders of the performing arts in June 2020 during the Cape Town Expozed performing arts competition. This performance gave her the confidence and inspiration to continue doing what she has been doing for the last two decades. Her words carry power and so does she!

” It was a nerve wracking experience for me as I have not been well. I was battling daily with uncontrollable anxiety and anger outbursts that scared me and alienated my parents and maybe some of my friends as well. I felt like such a burden. I lost control of my emotions and behaviour. I was losing touch with reality because I was overwhelmed with so many things that I have had to deal with on my own. I felt like giving up on life again. I was journaling and started writing to Aunty Milly and would show it to my other aunt, who also kept me close to her and comforted me by spending time with me and taking care of my needs.

I did my best to quiet my mind by visiting my late aunt’s grave whenever my thoughts became too loud. I would sit in her presence and miraculous things would happen. I am unable to explain it but I can express it through my art. This is how the spoken word Aunty Milly came about. I sat in silence in the face of God and somehow I received these words and felt compelled to perform this spoken word to spread awareness of mental illness and to honour Aunty Milly and other female figures who contributed to my journey in a nurturing and uplifting way.”

143 the heartist is a lover of words,winners and the world at large!

Jo-Ann : Our first encounter was a very refreshing and uplifting one. Skylar aka 143 the heartist, briefly introduced us to her Klein Dorpie WENtaliteit movement and spoke about her many passions and travels over the past seven years. This year, she has been working hard on her blog, her songwriting, her poetry, her healing and recovery and now she is ready to step out into a new realm. The world of artistry. Today we delve a little deeper into Skylar’s unfolding journey as an emerging spoken word artist.

Jo- Ann : In a previous discussion you mentioned that you are very good at telling other people’s stories, but not really your own, why is that?

” I think that I used to believe that my stories did not matter. I have been writing for 20 years now and all of my poetry used to be very dark and depressing. I used to share my stuff on Facebook when it still had that notes option and many people used to comment on how I should stop being so sad and that life is not so bad. Those kinds of comments made me feel even worse. In my mind, I was simply expressing myself and not bottling my feelings up. I was still young and did not want to fall into the peer pressure trap of turning to drugs and alcohol to cope with life or numb what I was experiencing at the time. I always felt pulled into different directions and was raised with a lot of ambiguity and contradictive belief systems, so I at times I did not feel like I could be myself fully. I was just a product of my environment that either needed to act accordingly or get rejected without question or consideration.

There is nothing wrong with enjoying a few drinks or just enjoying life without any real responsibilities and being young and free when you hang out with your friends, but I constantly thought of death and was overexposed to suffering and illness from a young age. It was modelled to me that adults were always right and always knew better. That children had no place in sharing their views or having their own identities. And the suffering and illness that I was constantly exposed to, shaped my mind to believe that there is only one way to live life. To be born, suffer for others and then die.

I did not want to live to be around to experience that and I believe that is why I constantly wanted to die and just seize to exist. Had I been exposed to more health, wellness, optimism and shown the various avenues one could take to live a happy and full life and that it was meant for me as well, I don’t think I would suffer from suicidal triggers and ideation like I do now. There were things I didn’t need to go through as a child and teenager, so I felt trapped. Many unsolicited and enforces happenings that took place in my presence that were out of my control and I didn’t have an adult influence who could help to distract myself or at least teach me the necessary things I needed to know in those specific moments when I felt things so intensely and would disconnect, to protect myself.

When I reached high school, I thought that writing would keep me company, help me navigate through my formative years and keep me focused on my future goals.”

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Talk Therapy helped her find her voice within the chaos of her mind

” When I started psychotherapy, at age 14, this was one of the issues I had to overcome. I had difficulty with expressing my emotions and I was very misunderstood. Despite doing really well academically, I had problems with socializing and never fit in nor could I adapt to how things should be done in social or group settings. When the first big personal tragedy struck I became enraged and “mute”. This is where I started my writing journey. It started with journaling, then goal setting, then as I matured I started writing poetry about my late grandmother, close friends, my love interests, my travels, other cultures and I would write in many of the languages that I was studying at the time.

I recall writing quite a few random poems in French and when I was at university, I wrote some poems in isiXhosa, but these were simple thoughts of me interacting with my beloved languages and I never bothered to safe keep them for future use. I think languages saved me from following the crowd into the same, monotonous, prescribed lanes. I wanted to blaze my own trails and leave clues behind for others who wished to follow suit. Language can do that for many of us.

Today, I am grateful for that tragedy and every other tragedy that occurred because it taught me to write myself out of it or through it, no matter how painful it is. There are pleasure and bliss on the horizon. Maybe not instantaneously, but it is there. And once it is there, it stays.”

Childhood traumas, abandonment issues, rejection, emotional neglect, othering and personal losses broke something in her that caused her to stay in her shell to feel safe

I went from being a bubbly, energetic, smiling, loving and sociable child to a mean, moody teenager right into adulthood. I would bottle up my feelings and end up getting angry at my friends and my love interests or cry about small things that to me felt like the end of the world. I didn’t understand myself, much less the rest of the world around me. It was once I started educated myself on mental health, behavioural issues, family dynamics and socio-economic status and cultural nuances that I was able to grasp the complexities of myself and others around me. I was told by my teachers and lecturers that I had a bright mind, so I fed my mind with literature and music when I still able to play the piano.

Then, I discovered other cultures. I was very drawn to other cultures traditions, rituals, rites of passages,celebrations and fashion. I wish to experience all 9 South African tribes culture for myself. I imagine myself going to an Indian wedding or celebrating Dewali with them. I would love visit the Ndebele tribe and live in one of their colourful huts and go to see the Zulu and isiXhosa praise poets perform their poems with their traditional attire.

In South African culture, isiXhosa the language fascinated me the most. This is also where I learned about Ubuntu. The saying: Umntu ngumtu ngabantu, is a very powerful African proverb. It means that we are who we are because of others.

What we can take away from this is that nobody can do it all on their own. All of us need and deserve our own space, love, understanding, upliftment and support. We should also remember that if we keep good company, good things will manifest. If we keep bad company, bad things will manifest. There is an invisible balance between light and dark in all of us. We don’t need to let darkness reign, we can choose the light now. “

Writing for others caused writer’s block while writing for the love of heart opened up a multiverse of healing and expression for herself and others

” When I started writing for other people, they loved it so much that everyone wanted their own poem or a special letter. Unfortunately some people also misinterpreted my poetry as me being in love or infatuated with them, when all I was doing was celebrating them for how I saw them through the lens of love and light. I didn’t know then, that I could have developed my craft. I felt rejected again and internalized it, believing again that I was useless, weird and too sensitive. I stopped writing for a very long time. Reflecting on that choice now, I realise I sabotaged myself by others rejection feeding my own disbelief. It kept me in a trauma response loop and inadvertently created new cycles op people-pleasing as a way for me to finally get external validation and a thumbs up from people who only had a limited or outdated versions of me in their minds.

When my healing began, the validation and motivation came from within and I wanted to pour that into my work so that others could also witness it and create it within themselves. It gives me the safest and best release. Now, I am learning how to share my creative work with others in an uplifting and empowering way. I also write to myself. It keeps me on track and helps me to deal with difficult situations on my own. Creativity and writing are very powerful tools when used correctly. “

Jo- Ann :What type of stories mostly inspire you and are there specific themes in your work?

” People from all walks of life and different cultures inspire me. I explore love in all its forms. I also delve deep into the emotional aspects of universal struggles. This is very evident in my work. The belief systems of our cultures and the thinking of our societies as well as assigning new meaning to the traumas that I had suffered. My traumas may be an internal battle to me, but transmuting them and sharing them with the world might give others some relief or healing where they might need it and did not know how to access it, until they do. Happy encounters will bring you inspiration if you pay attention to the lessons and signs.

I learn so much from others and have found healing from the most unlikely sources just by being open and receptive of the unfamiliar and unknown. All of us have healing characteristics. So many of us have suffered traumas and not all of us talk about it. We deal with it in different ways. Sitting with someone on a rainy day, or making them a cup of coffee. Sending your best friend a heartfelt voicenote, writing a sincere letter of thanks to someone, remembering their birthday, helping them run errands etc. All of these things can be healing experiences. It lifts one’s spirits and keep everyone going. Healing is reciprocal and multiplies. It does not stop or divide. So healing is one of my main drivers for creating and sharing my work with and for others.”

Liefde praat Afrikaans = Love speaks Afrikaans

Jo-Ann : Despite being familiar with the international world, most of your work is in Afrikaans. What is your relationship or affinity to the language?

” Afrikaans is MY taal. I come from the Motherland, I received training and tertiary education in the Mother City and Afrikaans is My Mother tongue. I made a decision as a teenager already that I wanted to go to an Afrikaans medium school. When I obtained my BA degree, I elected to receive all my lectures and notes in Afrikaans and when I was abroad, hearing Afrikaans is what quenched my soul when I missed home. It is ingrained in my DNA. It’s how I best express myself and it is what flows from my heart.

I think the influences that I had at school and university were what made me love and embrace Afrikaans. Even when I went to college studying advertising, I did some of my ad campaigns for our assignments in Afrikaans. My teachers and lecturers saw that I had an affinity for languages and that I was able to discern with which I felt most at home. Afrikaans is home. And every home has different rooms and function beautifully as a whole. I love speaking so – called suiwer Afrikaans,

I speak AfriKaaps and I code mix when I speak to people who understand Afrikaans but speak English. Each dialect has its own persona and distinctive sound, tone, idiosyncrasies and vocabulary so I write a lot of silly stuff as well as serious stuff depending on who I wish to reach.”

” Unmask and be bold enough to reveal your beauty and brilliance to the world. “

Jo – Ann : In one of the pictures , you are standing in front of a wall covered in writing, is it your writing?

” It is indeed. In December last year, I had another nervous breakdown and I asked my best friend to give me some of her kids’ coloured chalk so I could write to myself. Journalling and keeping my thoughts in a diary was not helping. I would suffer terrible insomnia and get triggered by outside noise and lose complete control of my behaviour. The one new self- discovered skill that I had to quiet my mind was to write on my walls as a way to curb my suicidal and self-harm thoughts. I did this because the moment I woke – up, it was as if a bullet train of thoughts would run through me instructing and probing me to do harmful and erratic things to myself. So, I wrote more positive and productive instructions for myself to break the horrible, repetitive, debilitating cycle that I was in.”

“Bly lewe, die wêreld het jou liefde nodig.”

“Stay alive, the world needs your love.”

Jo – Ann: How do you define your responsibility as an artist?

” I think it is my responsibility to heal myself through art. In doing so, I create a new, untapped well of healing for others who wish to find healing and peace within themselves, be it the collective or as individuals. This well can then flow from one corner of the world to the next and have a lasting impression on humanity and will hopefully encourage others to see and embrace their own brilliance as well. All of us are gifted in some way, shape or form.

I am just a messenger and a connector of metaphysical dots for others who are still on their journey of self-discovery and higher purpose. It is also my responsibility to speak and live my truth as best as I can. I know it is a huge risk for me to wear my heart on my sleeve and show my scars and wounds to others, but I do it not to collect sympathy or validation. I do it to show everyone that there is so much awe within our flaws. We can turn our struggles into strengths, our pain into purpose and our traumas into triumphs. One of my elders told me that vulnerability is not a weakness, it’s a strength.”

2020 has brought us all closer to our true selves. Let’s fail forward and keep the faith together and apart.

” I also believe that now, during this pandemic and the global shift that is currently happening from face to face to face to screen, which is causing me immense anxiety and a burning desire to preserve the human connection on a soul level. Anyone can quote or upload profound words onto social media because it’s a trend and trends fade. Humans will continue to evolve. Souls are everlasting.

What I create is timeless, sacred, real, valid, needed and necessary. Women need to find solace in their sisterhoods and themselves. It’s time to plant new trees and bloom so that the next generation can prosper even more than we are prospering right now. The fruits of our labour should serve as soul food. We owe it to ourselves to be the best and leave the best legacies behind. I want my nieces and nephews to flourish in their own rights. I want my younger cousins to embrace and love themselves and walk through life with fierceness and honour our bloodlines. I want us all to love and be loved. I also want our boy children to be raised as men who cry, men who are soft spoken and still being self confident. While I would love to see our girl children to be raised as independent, fierce, fearless and educated women who can hold their own.”

” Heal our men, protect our women, educate our children, save our souls. Heal Mzansi heal. “

Jo- Ann : Do you express your culture / heritage through your work, if so, how?

” I celebrate my heritage through my spoken word Hys Kinnes. It highlights all of my upbringing, how solid and reliable my friendships were and still are, how supportive and protective the father figures were as I grew up and how much we love food. Everyone relates to Hys Kinnes because it rings true to their heritage as well. It hits home and it makes others appreciate where they come from and where they are going to or what they are working towards. For those of us who are in our late 20’s and early to mid 30’s, we wish to have some sort of stability while we grind daily for our families. Some of us are studying and working while building our dream houses, others are overseas, some are focusing on their love relationships, others are building their careers from scratch or have been in transition and recovery like I am. Hys Kinnes just reminds all of us how far we have come and keep us going as a community, a circle of friends, a family unit or an international network of expats who speak Afrikaans.

There’s a line that says: ” lag saam, waak saam, staan saam“, meaning as friends and family we laugh together, we protect each other and we stick together because that is who we are and it’s worth celebrating daily. “

Jo – Ann : Ultimately, what is it that you wish to reach in your career as an artist and writer?

“I make works of heart. I create and bring to life what my heart and other’s hearts guide me towards. My spoken words are somewhat heavy hearted as opposed to my songwriting and other writings that are more light hearted. That is where the balance lies. I live in a realm of love. And love has its ugly face as well but that is what makes it real and beautiful to me and others.

I have an inter- disciplinary background and I wish to achieve great heights with many of them. I am a writer. I write emotively, expressively and I have been exploring fiction by character – building my visions into short stories and creating accompanying audios for them. That brings me to the next discipline, which is storytelling. My stories are visual and more layered and textured than my poetry. I am currently experimenting with film to bring some of my poetry to life so that I can reach an international audience. These visuals will also make my work more accessible to everyone who has the desire to experience it for themselves at their own pace. “

She’s a poet and she owns it!

” Then, my poetry. I wish to be published and plan to enter more competitions to gain more confidence and experience so that I can learn the ropes and prerequisites of being a compelling poet. As a songwriter, I wish to work with many rap artists and singers both locally and internationally. I love and admire Hemel Besem, YOMA, Die Hooflig, Oxijin and Linkris’s work, to name a few. Finally, as a spoken word artist, I hope to do commissioned work. I don’t necessarily want to perform or do big shows all the time, but I think radio and TV would be a good start for me. Broadcasting is an excellent avenue to spread the word and uplift others who silently suffer or struggle with issues that could be resolved or soothed by songs with lyrics that are in Afrikaans.

I view my voice as my instrument and if it can be music to someone’s ears, let it be joyous. Let it be refreshing, let it evoke change even when it is dark.”

“I am an old skooler, late bloomer, love is my religion, Ubuntu is my vision.”

Jo- Ann : What do you want to achieve with your artistry?

” I not only want to make a living out of it. I want to make love out of it. Change the way we give, receive and understand love across boundaries. I believe I have it in me to bridge the gap not only across cultures but across all the continents. With time, dedication, practice and perfection and shaping my talents and gifts, I hope that what I do and how I do it will inspire the youth and other women like me, to invest in themselves as well. It’s never too early or too late to glow up!”

“I hope to give people a world view on universal topics and challenges that might make them feel lost or unheard ( as I felt and sometimes still feel). I hope that they create accessible platforms and spaces for themselves to express and explore all of their stages and phases in life.

I don’t want anyone to succumb to peer pressure if they discover that they are asocial or introverted by thinking that they can not gel or interact with people from the other spectrums. They can develop their confidence in various ways. One of the ways that I got rid of my social anxiety and difficulty with following or catching on social cues was to do what made me uncomfortable but with a pure intent. I started going out on my own and found like-minded people who embraced me as I was. Awkward, stern, shy but confident in my own right and that helped me warm up to group settings and crowds within my boundaries that I must set to keep myself stable and self- sufficient. “

* I am referring to 2018 and 2019 before COVID-19

Jo- Ann: What advice would you give to anyone young or old?

“Embrace your brokenness and embrace your heritage. If your upbringing was difficult and confusing, don’t allow it to dictate your life choices as you age or evolve. Embrace your accent, embrace the way you walk, the way your hair has a life of its own and the way your voice sounds when it is recorded on audio. Embrace your lack of direction, absent-mindedness and your temperament. Embrace your weirdness or being silly or interested in plants and not purses. Embrace your age,your body shape AND embrace the fact that you are different. Different is not wrong. It means that you are unique.

You are (yo)unique and beautiful.

Be- you- to- the- fullest!

Love and adore every single inch of yourself despite your insecurities or flaws. I can not stress this enough. MEN, I am talking to you as well. You are beautiful too! I only started fully embracing myself at around age 30 ( Now 33 going on 34 ). My weight fluctuates, I suffered for a long time in silence, binge eating when I was stressed out and had to cope with being on medication that altered my mood and behaviour and weight, while having to accept myself in an often brutal and cruel world.This is not something that I have ever talked about before but I mention it now because women are too self critical and build unnecessary toxic traits that prevent them from embracing their youth or age, if they are older.

So learn from my experience. Just be! All is well. “

“Take a stanza out of my book and stand up within yourself. Even if you still need the walls to support you, STAND UP!”

Jo- Ann : Why now?

“I think the world standing still and shutting down, losing a soul brother during this COVID 19 pandemic that we are still facing, being apart from the person who loves me and inspires me to live fully and being forced into isolation with all the issues and shortcomings that I already had, scared the life back into me. I felt inadequate and hopeless so I needed to draw strength from within.

My depression had depression and my anxiety was anxious. I was suffering from compassion fatigue and keeping up the stoic façade that I was ok when in all honesty I was not. People know me as the strong one who has all her ducks in a row.News flash, I don’t. I have no idea what I am doing! All I know is that my creativity and unwavering faith in the universe has brought me comfort, awakened my inner voice and put in me in a position of self – empowerment, healing and expression. Free from judgment or prescribed external validation.

Art is what I create and what I create comes from my soul’s battle scars and victories. Not anyone else’s. I am proud of that and I embrace and celebrate that . It makes me happy and I find it fulfilling. My soul brother Diego (R.I.P) told me to do what makes me happy, to love who I choose to love and just go all out. He also said my blog posts was helping him with his way of life as well and that I must keep on writing. And to continue with my yoga routine and many other empowering and uplifting things before he passed on.So I am doing that.

I hope others follow my lead. Do not follow me, I am still a little lost. But follow my lead, by just doing things that make you happy. Be with people who make you feel good on the inside. Especially when you are not with them all the time. Invest in your love relationships and set realistic, attainable and manageable goals to pursue together. “

The meaning of a miracle is YOU

” I want to live a full and glorious life and I wish to be celebrated for simply being me. Not a role or a pawn in society but a super sensitive female whose default setting is to love unapologetically. I love hard and I love deep and love to me is like breathing. It comes from a place of sincerity and respect. I want to love and experience a healthful partnership with the person who challenges me to be patient and resilient. Someone who helps me to slow down and take things easy because there is still time. That time is NOW. “

Jo- Ann : 143, thank you for allowing us to peek into your new world. We patiently and excitedly await the visuals of Aunty Milly, Hys Kinnes and Bos Kind. That drops soon!

Post updated on 4 January 2021

As you always sign off, with Love and Light,

Jo-Ann and Skylar

Watch the visuals for Aunty Milly below!

Meet Lin(zi) The Lightworker, a passionate photographer from our Klein Dorpie WENtaliteit © movement AND our WOW for August 2020

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” In times of darkness. Focus on the light.”

  Lights ! Camera ! Passion !

Meet Lin, affectionately known as Linzi, The Lightworker. She is a proud mommy of two beautiful souls and wife to one kind-hearted man. Linzi is an integral element to our Klein Dorpie WENtaliteit © movement. She has already carved out her own path as a professional photographer and business owner of Palm Photography and HOP ( House of Pixels). With more than a decade of experience under her belt, she is no newcomer to this movement of acclaimed and accomplished wintalists ( a person with a winner’s mindset).

Lin is now stepping into a new era with kikisbylin, her latest venture which promises to offer an innovative approach to the age-old art of capturing life and love’s most precious moments with her most beloved tool. Her camera and all the fun that comes with it!

Let’s take a peek at what she has done for the last 15 years as well as what’s to come!

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The Oude Libertas Amphitheatre in Stellenbosch has seen thousands of faces, from different walks of life and all over places. Thanks to Lin’s expert eye, we get a front-row seat to this today.

In this photo, Lin’s eye perfectly captured how important the arts are to one’s cultural development. As we continue living and loving in lock- down, she felt really honoured and proud of all her years of work. This year has taught her how fortunate she has been to have captured so many scenes from so many locations that we currently can not visit because of social distancing.

Lin also spent some time shooting at Arts Cape Theatre in Cape Town where she had a front row seat of all the action as well as a backstage pass as events photographer. I would imagine that this must have been a once in a lifetime experience for her and she must have enjoyed it to the fullest! Her love for the arts and her love for photography was perfectly brought together through this stage of her career.

” Nothing beats going to a live show to watch local and international talent perform musical or theatrical pieces that convey our stories. And all our stories are so unique and beautiful that it deserves to be preserved in a photo as timeless as these ones. Being in lockdown makes one realise how privileged and fortunate we are to have all these spaces in South Africa. No matter how big or small these spaces might be, where there is art, there is life.”

Lin is passionate about her heritage and enjoys celebrating others’ heritage with them through her photography

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Mother Nature, powerful voices, traditional African attire and joyous smiles!

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There is beauty in every moment, even the sacred ones shine with dignity and respect.

 

Lin has been such an inspiration to myself and many others who know her personally and professionally. My intuition told me to shift it up a gear and crown her as the inspiration for the nation during the lockdown as well.

Not only is she a true wintalist, but she also inspires everyone around her on a daily basis. She is the sister you wish you had, the best friend you are blessed to have in your corner, no matter which corner of the world you are in AND she is generous and selfless with her talents and skills, when it comes to her community, family, business and photography.

Stunning photography that’s known for her energy signature of being filled with creativity, joy and longevity. Many of her shots also take you around the world where you get to sit and enjoy the sweetness of life!

Once she picked her passion her passion placed her in every stage of life.

 

Linzi’s passion for photography started in primary school. It was in high school that she started playing around with the camera. She always had the most creative setups to practise her shots with. Her subjects were almost always close friends, family members, pets or her immediate surroundings.

skylarglowsup: Where does your passion for photography come from and how have you evolved as a photographer in the last decade and a half?

” I don’t really know. I remember that my godmother used to take photos of us. She was the photographer in the family. There were always photos where our heads were missing from the shots but I was always chuffed with our family photos.  My mother also used to take photos of us, so I think that is where I picked it up. I loved the whole developing process and getting my negatives printed out was the most exciting part of it all !

When I think about it now, it was probably a huge waste of money spent on all my photos but my parents were always happy to foot the bill. I am forever grateful to them for always encouraging me and supporting my passion for photography. “

She soon realised that portraiture was her glow zone. She loved how she could capture people’s memories with nothing but her creativity, a camera and some film.

YES ! When Lin started her photography career, cameras still used film and negatives needed to be printed onto photo paper in order for her subjects to come to life in the timeless pieces of Lin’s visual art. Back then, her clients had to wait for weeks in anticipation for their photos and enlargements to be printed out and delivered to them. Tens of thousands of prints passed through her hands to reach so many happy hearts. Now that is true artistry and passion!

Wow ! Just Wow!

If I had to describe Linzi in one word it would be W.O.W ! In my experience, she is a Woman of Wonder, a Woman of  Worth and a Woman of Worship. She faces life’s challenges head-on, she values herself and stays true to herself and her family and she is a woman of faith.She does not falter even when life’s ups and downs happen.

As we all know, God works in mysterious and inspirational ways and when she acknowledges her WOW, other women discover their WOW too!

And yes, I am choosing to celebrate her as a woman, a beloved friend, a brilliant photographer and so much more, because us women forget that we are all in this life together, even when we are apart. We forget to appreciate and celebrate others wins and very often we forget to support each other emotionally.

It’s important that we try to be there for each other as best as we can when we can. Another woman’s presence is so important at this time. If the lock-down has taught me anything, it has taught me to show my gratitude to the many WOW’s in my life. Thanks to Lin, this is a kind remindHer to love and uplift ourselves, our sisters, mothers, cousins, partners and girl children.

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Celebrate our femininity, our unique looks, our smiles, our milestones and our sacred bonds!

skylarglowsup: What makes a winner and how can other women empower themselves and each other by following a winner’s mentality in 2020,during lock-down and beyond?

” Help each other when and where you can. In doing so, you also feel uplifted. We tend to think that we should only help each other financially, or that that is the only problem that many of us face,but there are other ways to help and show support. Knowledge and information is the new trend. Find your niche and don’t follow the crowd. Remember, if you are out and about, to wear your mask, go and seize the day armed with sanitizer and a smile.”

skylarglowsup :You are such an inspiration to many near and far, what or who personally inspires you and why?

When I see that people from small towns succeed then I feel inspired to continue with my successes as well.”

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Charles Snr. Palm. One of Pniël’s treasures, the Klein Dorpie where Lin is from. He is also her late and greatest grand dad!

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Mr Williams owner of SONSKYN winkel in Pniël. I remember going to his shop for sweets and biltong as a child. What fond memories those were.

The senior citizens of Pniël are all carriers and custodians of this small town’s history, development, successes and growth. Lin is always very proud to showcase and capture her town in all it’s phases as well. From the river to the shops, there is character and a story to tell and you can witness this through her photos.

WE ARE FAMILY!

Families: Blended, mixed, extended, young, old, far and wide. No matter the size, the shape, the shade or the age of a person, all of us are a family. Each of us are a member of a family unit or a community and all of our memories are beautiful memories to capture, treasure and celebrate. Linzi has photographed so many beautiful families and one can see that she values family as well.

skylarglowsup: How has being a wife and mother of two changed the way you capture memories and shooting other people’s life stages and milestones?

“It has changed to such an extent that I could no longer take photos. Slowly but surely I am busy making a come back, thanks to COVID-19. I notice the small things now and I am taking things slow. My kids actually allow me to enjoy and capture life as it happens. I am able to take photos of them doing ordinary things, but in actuality, they are huge milestones for them and they will one day be able to look back and see how much fun we had even during a worldwide pandemic and lock-down.

Looking at all these photos makes one truly appreciate what we so often take for granted. From being newlyweds to having the whole family in the same place or having your funky aunty with tattoos sitting outside at one of the family gatherings while the nieces and nephews are running around. Even going on an excursion with all the generations to explore nature. It makes you marvel at how amazing life really is and how little we need to experience joy in our hearts.

Each of us are a branch on the tree of life and each of us bare fruits that offer sustenance to those around us. Our smiles, our quirks, our postures, our hair and our eyes all make us beautiful, extraordinary beings. We are lucky to have each other to walk along side each other in life. We get to celebrate our birthdays together in all kinds of creative ways and our family potraits, if we are fortunate enough get captured by photographers as talented and dedicated as Lin.

“Taking pictures is savouring life intensely every hundrenth of a second.”– Mark Riboud-

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There is something sacred about a new family. How mommy, daddy and baby fit perfectly together by the gentle touch of hands and feet.

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We speak our first words with our bodies. that’s our soul language. The universal language of love.

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Our fondest memories are planted in our hearts when they are tiny enough to fit our laps.

As Lin’s talent developed so did her portfolio. She had hit many professional milestones and worked on many projects that exposed her lens to the likes of theatre, fashion, weddings, maternity, lifestyle, family, landscape and her favourite, portraiture.

She always had the most fun while she knew the energy of each event was meant to celebrate each of life’s phases and stages and that every phase and stage was significant to the observer and the subject.

”  A camera is a save button for the mind’s eye”.- Roger Kingston

Lin has mastered the art of saving the best for the rest of our lives. If you can connect to her images the way others do, you’ll discover how much each photo has to say. I have sat for hours looking through her photos and I always come across many that take my breath away or stop me dead in my tracks when I am able to realise how powerful one image can be. Especially when it is able to capture places that stood the test of time.

 

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Oom Samie se winkel is one of the oldest shops in Dorp street, Stellenbosch. A true monument of student life.

It’s amazing how much Linzi has captured in the last decade and a half. The select few photos showcased today truly deserves to be celebrated. Her craft also deserves to be celebrated now and beyond. I can’t wait to see what the next decade will reveal and how her lens will adapt to the times that we are in.

skylarglowsup :How did Kiki’s by Lin come about?

My business name used to be Palm Photography because I love my maiden name and what it represents but there are already other companies with the same name. When I opened my Instagram account it was a fun and playful name. And my page is a space where I could share my day to day life with my kids, husband and our family dog(s).”

This has been a true pleasure to curate,write, celebrate and showcase Lin’s photographs. This women’s month is the first of a new decade and a new dawn for South African women. Especially women from klein dorpies ( small towns) the reason being that all of us are embracing our talents and not letting it go to waste. We are also coming to realise that we inspire each other without even knowing it,so I hope Linzi’s story of inspiration inspires you to follow your dreams and invest in your passions like she did.

Last but not least: Advice from our WOW 2020

skylarglowsup :What words of wisdom would you like to share with other women out there to inspire them to live their dreams, reinvent themselves, embrace themselves as women while accepting each other just as they are ? 

“Be yourself,  be humble. Always try to improve your knowledge of things. Help others. Stay focussed. Try new things. You are never too old or too young to reinvent yourself. “

 

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Linzi with her beloved succulents. Gardening is one of her favourite pass times.

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Marlin,(the hubby), holding baby Malachi and tiny Gabriella strolling around on one of their family outings in Paarl.

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Malachi now, playing in their garden as he goes down his slide into the colour tube! Go homeschooling!

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Gabriella now, drawing her rockstar on the little blackboard. Barefeet and carefree!

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Masks ? Check ! Dogs ? Check ! = Sibling adventure !

 

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” Photography is more than a medium for factual communication of ideas. It is a creative art “.- Ansel Adams

Make sure to follow and visit @kikisbylin for more eye catching kiekies!

kikisbylin

And go ahead and like her on Facebook as well!

Palm Photography

With Love and Light,

A happy women’s month 2020

From Skylar

Introspection is the best intersection to cultivate lasting friendships and relationships.

 

Take the loss-page-001

For the love of you and her/him. Please. Take the L.

On days where I feel depleted and not wanting to do anything, I now take it as the collective consciousness needing something that I have already learnt. Some test that I have already passed or some mess that I have already cleared and cleaned up. I can now pass on my knowledge to others who might be going through something similar.

My intuition speaks to me through physical sensations. When something is gnawing at me or causing me physical pain and it does not go away after I have meditated, gone for a jog or a brisk walk, taken a hot shower ( it’s still winter in South Africa) or grounded myself in nature, then I know whatever is mulling around in my head is an energy that needs to be channelled and released through me. That is the only way that I can help someone else release some stagnant energy that has been keeping them trapped and running in dysfunctional circles. That is how I disrupt my own cycles and this is how you can disrupt yours now.

Affirm: Disrupt!

 

You might be that someone. That person who feels, lost and out of place. Like  a loner and not wanting to stay where you are but you don’ know where you are going to either. You just know that it’s time to move!

Riddle me this. Ponder me that.

Are you watching all your friends moving on with their lives, falling in love and getting into relationships ?  Do they now leave you behind or make you the awkward third wheel? Are they going abroad to pursue better jobs or academic opportunities? Are they on a path to holistic health and spirituality ? Are they vegan  or celibate and or sober? Are they starting their own small businesses and you are still you ? Has nothing has changed in your life in the last year ? Is there no variety, no growth and no prospects for you, other than joining the rat race and hoping you’ll win or get ahead  somehow?

So many unanswered but relevant questions and more than enough time to get the right answers now. Use lockdown to your advantage even if you are at a so-called disadvantage.– 143

Are you dating multiple people hoping one of them will work out some of the time, thinking that it is better than having nobody none of the time? Are you someone who wants love but doesn’t give love because you got burnt and now follow the belief that someone new must fix what someone old broke. Are you an emotional tourist?

Or worse you cling to your parents and best friends for dear life to love you and spoil you because you have princess/ prince syndrome causing you to become an energy vampire to the ones who have been loving you as much and as best as they could. Please accept, respect and honour that you now need to give all of them the space they need ( but won’t ask) to breathe now. Everyone is tired. We are spiritually drained and emotionally spent. Life has been giving us all beatings,lessons,messes and storms to deal with. Shit is hard. And real. So real I am even using profanity for the first time in one of my posts.

Can you start walking your own path so that your twin soul will come into your life and love you in the way you need and you love them in the way that they need, so that you (plural ) can live a life that you (plural) want?

You can have it ALL. but you CAN NOT have it both.- 143

Love can’t be bought but it can be taught. Firstly, realise that love can’t be bought but it can be taught. So many people believe that materialism will bring them happiness in love relationships. This happens in hetero and same-sex relationships. And most of us get this template or programming or belief system from our parents or our friends.

We see everyone around us getting gifts all the time. Getting lavish vacations paid for and getting rewarded for doing something that we get subconsciously forced into by gender roles and outdated traditions instead of learning valuable and applicable life skills that both men and women can master. That way they get to choose what they feel comfy doing and what they don’t feel comfy doing and bring that to the table instead of gender-based roles. Life skills and love skills are both acquired with knowledge and personal experience. Try and fail. Then try and truimph. It’s all about learning while you are living it. We don’t appreciate the beginning and so many of us rush to get to the middle and this causes many beautiful connections to end before it even started.

What is she on about now? Gender and tradition is what makes us, us.

If you think of yourself as an individual with your own set of skills, your own set of strengths and weaknesses,possessing your own gifts and talents, you will come to know that you need to be around like-minded people. That is if you wish to grow and glow on a personal level.

Socially, it’s a free for all. Meeting and connecting with people from all walks of life is what brings us together. That’s the fun part of going out and letting lose and just enjoying yourself. Our differences unite us and we all have something to offer to society and the world. However on an inner-circle level, you must practice discernment.

I will speak on this in coming posts as it’s a new realm that I have entered myself and I am learning so much from this one small but significant setting that I look forward to shedding light on this topic as well.

Be yourself, everyone else is already taken. You are who you are for reason. Let that reason be magical.

We don’t think for ourselves anymore or do enough introspection to realise early on in our lives to decide and establish what we want from love or how love could develop and grow rapidly if you have your own, original, customized template that is open to editing.

We first make people fall in love with us, then try to change them after the fact. We aren’t upfront and honest about our wants and  needs, then we drop dysfunctional and inadequacy bombs on our lovers or partners. After that our friends and potential lovers and partners and go into shock or separation anxiety when things go left. They won’t go left if we try to start things right and maintain that with structure, communication and comprehension.

Put systems and steps in place to learn love. So that you can love and be loved.

Secondly, a person is a person. Not a product, not a job opportunity and nor a slave to your wants and  needs. You can not puppet someone into loving you or use them for your entertainment or needs or to heal your hurt. And if this is some of your ways of loving others, I would suggest you take a break from romantic love and friendships. You also don’t need to rebound after every encounter to prove to yourself that you are wanted. Many people like used goods. Don’t let that used goods,be you. You are too good to be used. You deserve to cherished and appreciated like the limited edition that you are. Investigate inner child healing and forgive yourself for not being good at love. Then learn how to love well from a place of personal growth and not stagnation.

What is your love language and what is his or hers? Don’t get lost in translation. Get found on reaching a middle ground. 

 

Many of us love in different ways and all of us understand love in different ways. That means we give and receive love differently. If we don’t understand this, we won’t understand or accept anything as love and we’ll continue to drive the right people away for the wrong reasons. I would also strongly suggest this quiz so that you can learn your love language first. After your discovery,  you can teach others how to love you and they can, in turn, learn their love language as well and everyone can speak with and understand each other better.

Love is not complicated. People are. It’s unnecessary and such a waste of precious time and energy. Just remember than next time you still have a chip on your shoulder. Everyone has had their hearts broken. Everyone has felt hurt and pain. There is better waiting on the other side of your fear. It’s a place called home. Face north and find that place. Or build it if it doesn’t seem to exist. Then invite the right person in. To stay.

5 love languages quiz

Here come the critical questions. You will hate me now but you’ll thank me later. I just opened your heart to love again. Believe it to accept, give and receive it. Love is very real.

 

Ask yourself the following;

  • Have I been taking people for granted because they said they would always love me no matter what, thinking that it meant that I would still get the same amount of time, energy and attention from them?
  • Do you have boundaries or do you shit where you eat ? Yes it’s a very vulgar and graphic description but it has a purpose and you can actually apply this analogy to all areas of your life. Shitting where you eat is another way of saying that you disrespect yourself and others because you don’t consider the circumstances or environment and you believe that you can do as you please without taking responsibility or accountability for it. If you think of a dining table as being your space of love, your home and your behaviour or manners at the table as shit ( negative, dirty, cheating, greedy,playing mindgames, being passive etc.) or fertilizer ( positive, nurturing, clean, faithful,vulnerable, expressing your thoughts etc.) you will come to your own conclusions on that. A clean environment makes sharing a meal so much more meaningful and memorable than that of a dirty table.

Addressing yourself honestly, is the highest form of respect. Show it you and to others.

  • What do I start doing when I no longer get what I was used to? Do I retaliate by whoring myself out by sleeping with anyone, going out with multiple people just so that I can get the same amount of attention, or do I act maturely and rationally and realise that they have loved me well?
  • Now they ( my friends or family with who I used to do everything with ) have moved into a different stage of their life, meaning I can also explore a different stage of my life without being jealous, without thinking that they abandoned me and without being angry at them for having found love with an amazing partner or pursued their dream of becoming self full. Or do I start badmouthing them and secretly wish them ill will?
  • Do I voice my feelings or do I through adult tantrums until I get what I want, meaning I cause unnecessary stress to my parent(s) or siblings because I have assigned them as to lover role. So they must fulfil my needs or I will do something irresponsible that cause them embarrassment and shame.
  • When I am starting to feel something strong for someone and wish to be in a loving partnership with them, do I take the initiative or again wait to be handed everything on a platter and not bring anything to the table. Do I make them wait? Do I simply not show up anymore?
  • Why do I do this? I know that it is not fair and I know I must adapt to having someone else in my life and I need help with that. My friends have too many negative opinions and they won’t approve. So how can I do better on my own with my partner or work toward that with a potential partner that I have on my heart?
  • Do you down- date or up-date people so that you look better in public and social settings. That is are you only with someone because you don’t feel worthy and valued by yourself and you believe you need another person to be in competition with so that you look better or feel better and by doing so you stay in dysfunction and oblivion.
  • Do you self -sabotage things when everything is going well, because you are scared or because you have never gotten this far and now you don’t know what to do?  The good news is that there are books and resources freely available.  If you are too prideful or ignorant or ashamed to take that route, you might lose the best thing that has ever happened to you and now you are on a path of destruction.
  • Are you addicted to substances, are you a workaholic,  do you build walls by putting people around you all the time and expect someone to come and rescue you like you are rapunzel locked up in a tower?
  • Do you work with timelines and deadlines with relationships or do you work with energy? If you build that tower yourself only you can deconstruct it now and come down and give love a fair chance.

Take yourself seriously but don’t be serious

Please choose yourself over your friends. Please choose yourself over your parents. Please choose your moment of love over all your moments of hurt, and pain and lies and discomfort and confusion. Running away from love won’t bring you closer to it. And love won’t chase you. Love will take it as an indication that you are not interested and that it is better for love to explore other avenues. If it’s for a season a reason or a lifetime. Take the love. Love also knows it’s not perfect and that everything has changed in a matter of months and that everything is uncertain right now, but love is constant.Unconditional. Real. Worthy and willing to try and retry if the connection was lost. Find that connection again and make it work with the intel that you have at your fingertips now!

I personally work off energy and when my intuition tells me that something is off. I fully trust that. Don’t confuse this with nerves. Nerves are good,they tell you something exciting is happening. There comes this bad feeling that is your six sense warning you of danger. Believe that sense. When the signs are as clear as day, and it plays out as I knew it would, I don’t blame myself. I know it had to happen that way, no matter how unfair it seems. I gave it the honour, time, energy and respect up until a point and then I had to let go.Sometimes letting go creates room for people to grow. And that’s a good thing.

The world has changed. Dating is not easy. It’s a competition and there is no time for building lasting relationships. 

So what happens to these on and off things and flings?  If you are in an on again off again situationship just know that you are being used. If you are at the other party. You are using someone. Unless there are previously determined circumstances such as an illness or working away and there is a commitment between two people, then just know that you are on when they are off with someone else who they prefer more and then on with you when that someone else is not available and they feel lonely or bored. Don’t be the doormat and don’ t  even bother confronting the other person. Just be grateful it’s off and keep it off and your dignity remains intact. It happens to the best of us.

So how long should I give love?

It takes 3 to 6 months for me to see someone for who they are. I don’t need years anymore to realise that someone is not for me or that I am not for them. No matter how crazy I am about them or how beautiful or kind or giving they are. Or how much they feel the same way. If there is no meeting in the middle, if it is not mutual and if the vision is not the same.  Reset. Rest and Rewire yourself for someone who is in alignment with you emotionally, psychologically, financially and spiritually. If it’s a situation where you need to press pause so that you can work on yourselves. Do that. And get back to each other when enough work has been done to lay down a new foundation for your love.

 

All these questions have just given me a headache.

 

That’s excellent news, it means you are awakening to grow. You are actually honouring yourself. If you think about it, do you want to live the same year again for the next decade or for the rest of your life and settle because everyone else is doing it or do you want to do your own thing? So why aren’t you doing it right now?

Cheapskates want the most expensive dates.

Are you bargaining with love because you are a cheapskate when it comes to shopping and you think that you can apply this to relationships as well? Do you expect the world of someone when you barely give them a minute of your undivided attention? Do you expect people to read your mood via text and not even try to make time and send them a voice note, give them a call and genuinely speak to each other or listen to each other so that there is a level of connection and not just a one-way vent or release? These questions will all open new doors of growth and understanding to yourself and others. Remember love can’t be bought but it can be taught. Also understand that real love comes at a price. Not monetary, but emotionally and mentally you need to invest. Or take the loss.

I thought I met the one and then I lost interest and had to move on with immediate effect.

Did you walk into something with a lot of false positivity and confidence because you romanticised love and then you ran out when you realised you were inadequate and became jealous and envious of the person you fell for? If you answered yes to this question, this post was written for you. If you know someone who is currently challenged with loving themselves and fear loving others, share this post with them and help them get to their desired level of self – love now. Do it from a place of compassion and kindness, not judgment or critique.

How do I move forward now? Do I circle back ? Do I retrace my steps? My destination is in sight but maybe I need a better map now. My feelings have not changed for this person but  I have so I want to show them I am ready now.

Read these books; Frequency by Penney Peirce (spiritually inclined) Melody Beattie  52 Weeks of Conscious Contact Meditations for Connecting with God, Self & Others ( religiously inclined) and You can heal your life ( all schools of thought and believes) by Louise Hay. This is just  one step towards loving yourself and others and the next step will take you even higher if you are actually willing to take the risk this time. Take the L! Give the L! Receive the L! Love the L!

 

With Love and Light

Keep glowing

from Skylar

Meet Sascha – Lee the Soulful Starseed, our First Lady of the Klein Dorpie WENtaliteit © movement

” Your destiny is written in the stars “

 

 

When life gives us a worldwide pandemic, Sascha – Lee gives us glamour and rhinestones. Meet Sascha- Lee Lawrence, Our First Lady of our Klein Dorpie WENtaliteit © movement.

Who is Sascha – Lee Lawrence?

She is a sketch artist, painter, mural artist, make-up artist and graphic designer. Sascha is a highly creative and expressive individual, who uses the world as her canvas. Nothing is off-limits for her when it comes to expressing herself through art. And that’s the true spirit of a wintalist ( a person with a winner’s mentality ).

This is why I have given her the First Lady honour even though the honour is all mine. I have had the opportunity to get to know Sascha over the years both personally and creatively. We are currently collaborating on one of my latest and greatest projects yet.

I will reveal more in future posts, so make sure to stay up to date for our exciting creative collaborations! Magic happens when two creative minds’ powers combine! Below follows our interview as we delve a little deeper into the art of being a female artist and entrepreneur.

 skylarglowsup : ” Where did you stay and grow up all those years before coming back to Pniël ? “

 ” Initially, we all stayed in Simondium up until I was in standard 4,now known as grade 6 .  Then we moved to Ruyterwacht to live with my paternal relatives. My parents and us kids were living in a caravan during that time. Then we moved to Elsies River but when my baby sister Zaidey was born, my parents decided to move us all back to our grandma’s house in Pniël. This is where we stayed with my maternal relatives.”

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” The human spirit shines through in every stroke of her brush. If my eyes could speak they would be breathless at the sight of such a work of art.”- 143

This is Sascha- Lee’s younger sister Zaidey. I took the initiative of curating all of her works of art for the simple fact that we as artists don’t always know how amazing our work is.An audience connects to art it in different ways. I decided to be part of the audience so that Sascha’s art may be showcased from an appreciative and interpretive perspective. In doing so, everyone else has the opportunity to engage with her art as well.

 skylarglowsup: At what age did you start drawing / painting and how old are you now?

 ” It started with sketching. I doodled and scribbled on the walls in our house and I played in the garden with our dogs. My parents always commented that I would one day be an artist. I always had a vivid imagination but I was a very introverted child. I was also very emotional and didn’t really play with other kids in the neighbourhood. I drew pictures and told stories to my pets. I started painting in my twenties. Once  I started focusing on me and not whether or not it was about money and fame. That is how I started building my business from age 21 to now ( 27 ). “

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Like mother, like daughter. Sascha’s love for her mother shines through in this beautiful work of art.

 skylarglowsup: As a female, what makes a winner ? How do you maintain your WINtality ( winner’s mentality ) Or WENtaliteit ( wenner’s mentaliteit ) ? Why do you think you are a wintalist ?

 ” Life experience makes you a winner. I used to be very depressed. As a teenager, I tried at least once a week to do something to myself. I went through a  period of a lot of self – harm and had many suicide attempts. I was preparing to die and didn’t understand why I didn’t want to live anymore but I never succeeded in doing it.

That made me realize that there was still a lot of fight left in me.  I think the reason for my depression was that I felt that my father didn’t love us because he always ran away when there was no money to take care of us.  It felt like he didn’t take responsibility for us or try to find ways to take care of us. And that made me feel like I didn’t want to live anymore.

Now that I am older and wiser, I know that he loved us and did his best as a father and husband.We had to go through some tough times to appreciate a better present, today.”

Winners win by persevering through the dark times. That’s wintality at it’s best.

 ” You maintain your wintality by persevering through the dark times. Depression and anxiety can’t keep you under. Family dysfunction can not deter you from your goals. Not having money or going broke or growing up living in poverty or an environment that is at the centre of gang violence should not make you stay in that environment, thinking that it’s your punishment. That is actually your motivation to rise to the occasion. Your talent is your gift and that’s what makes you a winner, no matter what is happening to you. Whatever flows from your soul is what you are supposed to do. Be an entrepreneur. Just keep going.”

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Sascha’s make – up turns Halloween into a fashion show

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Channelling the day of the dead and bringing Mexican culture to life

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A sassy self – portrait selfie

 skylarglowsup: What advice would you give to aspiring artists, especially female artists who might also want to do commissioned work and in doing so, work for themselves and be entrepreneurs ?

 ” Practice. Practice. Practice. I have 5 books filled with sketches. Art allows you to express yourself regardless of gender and most female artists create through emotion, so I think that gives you a leg up if you wish to get out there. It is extremely difficult to maintain but it’s worth it. Market yourself by telling your story, networking with people and advertising yourself by connecting with people through your art.”

Art is passion and comes in many forms

“Art is passion and although an art form like painting and sketching is undeniable, don’t put your all into thinking that your talent is enough to maintain you financially. Those who make it big have the right recipe, the right connections and they might have struck it lucky by getting exposed very early on. So, to just keep it real and not disillusion other aspiring artists in thinking that after one painting they’ll suddenly have it all. Keep in mind that it takes time,effort,dedication,patience and faith and belief in yourself. “

 

Sascha – Lee’s self – portrait is one of my personal all-time favourites! Being a woman comes with many blessings and a lot of burdens that many of us don’t get to address in a public or social setting. So often we are told to be reserved, complacent and let other people decide for us, speak for us or think for us or do for us. This to me just says: I embrace who I am and I am resilient and capable of being my own person and carving my own path by embracing my feminine energy. No matter what.

skylarglowsup :How do you feel before, during and after your draw, paint or design a work of art?

 ” In the beginning, I feel inspired and focused on every single project. I am motivated to create perfection. When it’s done and perfect in my mind. I feel like all the built-up weight leaves my shoulders because although the creative process is amazing it’s still very time-consuming. It’s a great energy release. It’s an amazing feeling that resonates within you that you have achieved something by doing something for someone else and you get rewarded for it by getting paid. “

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One of Sascha’s many exquisite commissioned pieces. It took my soul sailing and floating on those tranquil waves as I gazed up at the majestic clouds.

 

When art meets denim. It’s all in the details!

skylarglowsup : How can other talented artists suss out for themselves who are truly supportive and as passionate about their gifts as they are and who just want “ pretty things to impress others with ” ?

 ” I actually can’t fully answer that yet. I have been scrutinised for my art. I have bought many books on art because it’s a passion. Unlike many formally trained artists, I didn’t go to art school. That means that I didn’t have that set foundation that many trained or schooled artists have.

I have visited many art galleries where I have seen paintings and I could really connect to it and it drew me in and then others that were just “ meh “. Abstract art, for example, does not really speak to me as much as portraiture. Portraiture tells a story. When you look at someone’s face,just their face, their face has so many stories to tell and that’s why I love this form of art so much.  If you think of the Mona Lisa. People are still baffled by her face and that is what I think portraiture does. It tells an untold or previously unimagined story. When I do landscape as well, the brush strokes and movement tells a story just in a different way. “

Not all that glitters is gold. Art should evoke a feel-good feeling.

 ” Pretty things might look good and make you feel calm or good looking at it ,as a piece of art. Some people have commented that my art is too flat or not as detailed or as  in-depth because of my brush strokes or that the paint is not as thick. There are thousands of artists out there that do the exact same thing as I do and they are very successful. Therefore, I just stick to my guns and tell a story through my paintings because I enjoy it.

Everyone is allowed their opinion and may voice their critique, but you yourself should not judge yourself too harshly on what or how you choose to express yourself when you paint, sketch or draw. If you look at something and it resonates with you as a human being, then to me, that is art. “

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I connected with this painting so much that I had to ask Sascha – Lee the story behind it because I was curious to know if we were on the same wavelength. Although we agreed on some technical aspects, the message was completely different. Me being on my journey of transition, personal development and emerging as an artist myself,

I interpreted this piece as the subject being naked in three dimensions. The past, the present and the future. I saw her being naked meant that she was giving birth to herself by being in her own worlds. As if she was a pearl in an oyster shell. The hues of brown gave me an earthy feel and I resonated with it because of Sascha’s colours that are warm and whimsical.

 skylarglowsup: Do you think artists should invest in their gifts and set aside finances for classes, training, materials etc. ?

 ” Yes, and I would suggest going to classes with someone who knows what they are doing. Do research before just going to any random class or training. If you like portraiture, don’t go to a landscaping art class for example. If you aren’t exposed to it in school to know what you could potentially be good at, then first do some self- discovery. Materials are expensive so be aware of that. You will see growth by looking at yourself and being yourself.”

skylarglowups: Why should artists not be hesitant to put a price tag on their works?

 ” I sit very long and I am meticulous in my workmanship. I spent time on someone else’s request. I put emotion into that. You make your price and see what happens. “

 skylarglowsup: How has your significant other or husband- to- be invested in and supported you as an artist ?

” Paul and I are from two different worlds and I never thought he would be interested in my passion for being an artist. He was the first person who sat down with me and actually listened to me. He went to buy my first A1 canvas, paint and brushes and his mother bought my first painting. Their whole family knew so much about art and taught me things I was not aware of. He made me see things about myself and the world of art that educated me in a way that I didn’t know was possible. His family also love artsy people and have an immense appreciation for art more than other people I know. That helped me to step up to the plate and up my game to actually paint and get paid.

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When Sascha paints she feels as free as a bird and when she is loved she is as delicate as a flower.

 

 skylarglowsup: What advice would you give to people who date or want to be in lasting relationships with creative people like yourself. Those creative geniuses who write poetry, want to self publish books or visual artists like photographers or musicians or novelists, who think they aren’t good enough because of lack of moral support and resources?

 ” Be with someone who respects your art and your creativity. I have been in relationships before and they ( my exes ) didn’t even know what art was.  If you are in a relationship with someone, you want to be cherished and supported by your significant other for who you are and what you do as an artist. Your partner should be confident and emotionally neutral because many times you’ll have your ups and downs. And so will they. It’s never easy but clear communication is key. 

Paul and I have been together for 10 years now and he has been all the help that I needed in my life. He is the only friend that I need.  You need a person who is stable as a rock. Someone who is positive. We fill each other with positive energy and support each other emotionally on a day to day basis. It’s not just an emotional transaction.

If Paul needs some motivation, then I sit down and talk to him so that he knows he is capable of anything. As partners, if you feel frazzled you can use humour to diffuse the situation. When things are of a serious nature, we sit down with each other and have a serious conversation and then laugh afterwards because we have learned that there is a time and a place for everything, so we embrace all of the motions.”

In order for you to shine as an artist, your partner should not dim your light

 ” There has to be love between the two of  you.We act quirky and silly with each other because there is love between the TWO of us. It’s OUR love. It’s not necessary to show to others how much you love each other. Just support each other. As a couple, we have had to learn through the years to communicate our likes and dislikes with each other.

There are many no-no’s in relationships, so just make sure you know what you feel good about and what does not, when choosing a partner. What can you tolerate and what can’t you tolerate. You have to compromise, and all of this is learned through the years.”

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When it’s mutual, love will make your hearts bloom for each other, because of each other.-143

 “It’s like a painting. Every relationship comes with their different storylines and so does each partner. Everyone comes with their unique personality. Just suss out all things that make you happy. Enjoy every moment. It is so much easier between us now, than it was a few years back. People give up so quickly and easily in relationships. If you don’t open yourself to someone you won’t get to reap the beauty of that person.

Both of us are very stubborn people and when we have our fights and vent and get all the feelings out, we calm down. We never go to bed mad. Even if we can’t resolve the issue at hand there and then, we still kiss each other and say  “I love you” before we go to sleep because we don’t know what ‘s going to happen tomorrow. Life is short and we appreciate each other even in the worst moments.”

Fight for each other not with each other

 ” He ( Paul ) was always the person who fought for me even when my friends and family stopped fighting for me and just gave up on me. Even when we had disagreements. He climbed through the window once, after I locked myself in a room. I had packed all my clothes so I could leave. He came in so that I wouldn’t leave. He didn’t come in to break me down or force me to stay with him by shouting at me, intimidating me or breaking things. He just came to talk things through so we could still be together and with each other.”

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Their love is as resilient and transformative as a king protea

I know many people struggle with this, where they are not supported through the creative process. You know when in the beginning you have an idea and then you need to work out many things, mess up, have sleepless nights, then go back to the drawing board even when you feel depressed or discouraged, and then people disappear and reappear when they see how great your work turned out.

They skip the mess but want a front seat to your success

Some of us have already lost many friends, a few girlfriends and boyfriends and got treated with bitterness and resentment by those we thought would support us. This usually happens when you finally open up to certain people that you are actually into music and the arts or that you have visions of unimagined things that come to manifest when one puts your all into it.

 skylarglowsup: How can artists and creatives from small towns continue to push through these and other barriers?

Find and make more room for people who appreciate your gifts and surround yourself with positivity. When people give you backhanded compliments or don’t encourage you to pursue art or music or writing or photography or design, stop talking to those people. Even if this comes from your closest friends or family members or significant other. Not all of them will understand and some of them simply won’t support you. You have to believe in yourself and others will too!  You don’t need to hang out with them, new like-minded people will come into your life and offer you what you need.  “

Here is Sascha’s latest creation that she sent skylarglowsup. She wants to convey a message to young people to not let social media trick them into believing that everyone has these perfect lives online. Offline we all have problems, we all deal with major issues and suffered childhood or adult traumas. Turning to social media won’t solve your issues but loving yourself and tuning into your gifts will create an outlet and a sense of healing when you realise that you can create something that comes from your soul.

your destiny is written in the stars

I realised that just like Leonardo Da Vinci and Einstein, people will never truly see you. And let’s face it, legends are made through suffering. I made peace with myself and wherever this world may take me next because nothing ever works out exactly as you may plan it. I say get up! Dust yourself off! and I promise myself every day is a step in the right direction. A direction to work on my OWN LEGACY.

This art piece that conveys the injustices of society. In today’s world, no one’s dreams are written in the stars anymore. It’s written in the effect you have on social media. We are all faceless people in a world listening to the same music repeatedly. Take your life back and unplug! “

With Love and Light

and a whole new world of inspiration from our Klein dorpie WENtaliteit movement

Skylar

keep glowing through art

You can find Sascha – Lee here for more info

Art By S.A.Lawrence

Skylar’s uprising: Say sayonara to suicide

*This post was originally written for Youth Day in South Africa June 16 as a means of creating a new uprising for the youth of South Africa and the world. For young people around the world to rise to the occasion. To rise above the distractions and destruction and to rise from within.  I didn’t post it as planned but today 7 July 2020 my intuition tells me someone needs to see this, for the right reasons and that’s to remain standing in this storm we find ourselves in. This invisible illness that only becomes visible once the light leaves our eyes and the pain enters our hearts and we sit with unanswered questions. Kindness must rise.

Before Estelle was WELL, Estelle was was ILL.

I would not be honouring all of me and Estelle can not be 100% WELL if she didn’t shed light on her darkest hour now that she is love and light. Please tred lightly and with the deepest setting of compassion on the following topic as this is not for the faint hearted but rather for the bravest of souls.

If you are reading this, and realise mid sentence or mid post that this is not for you, then so be it. But know that this goes out to the millions of souls out there today who can’t express their pain. Who don’t know what  is wrong with them or why life is the way life is and even for those who do know what’s wrong with them but  have not found the light within yet.

“Peace be with you now.” -143

I ask that you plant this seed that I gift to you right now. Take a piece of me and may it bring you peace to live another minute, another hour, another day and know that you matter.

estelle at 21
Me at 21 on graduation day. Emaciated, medicated, ill and checked out mentally.

 

I’m compelled as Estelle to share something very painful with you. It’s an event that changed the course of my life path and almost ended it. I am mindful and aware of the current global climate and I know that what I am about to address is not something to take lightly. Mental illness in not to be taken lightly. It’s not for the faint – hearted but very much reserved for the brave -hearted souls of this world.

If not NOW, WHEN ?

I tried my best to wait for things calm down or for the worst to blow over but it seems that it’ll get worse before it gets better, for each and every one of us. So I ask that you be kind, patient, tolerant, respectful ,soft, nurturing, open and teachable during this time of COVID 19 and everything else that has been brought to light. With yourself and others, as best as you can and I say this to myself as well. I have been on edge and need to ground myself in silence and faith as we don’t know what tomorrow brings. I am grateful for today. And I am grateful to write this so you, if you are struggling may face tomorrow with a brave heart.

Don’t shoot the messenger. Please save the messenger.

Again, I am not a health professional and I can not help anyone. I can only help myself and in doing so, those who battle what I battle can see a better example of what it looks like to be well.

With today being Youth Day in South Africa, I am taking a stand by standing on my story and no longer being in it. I learnt that from listening to, following and watching Lisa Nichols via social media platforms, youtube and downloading one of her books. She teaches that in order for us to move from the victim seat into the victor’s seat, we should stand on our story. All the bad things that happened to us is the foundation to a newer better life.

Our past does not belong in our present and we must and can take away its power, by standing on IT. NOT in it. Your IT might be abuse, bullying, being adopted, growing up with divorced parents, being an only child, being an illegitimate child, being an unwanted child, being the outcast or black sheep in the family, being the youngest in the family. Being a woman, being a man, being a different,weird, highly intelligent. The list is endless and so are your second chances.

Lisa Nichols also says to give yourself a 1000 second chances and press pause or reset as often and as many times as needed.

Pain is purpose. So turn your hurt into healing.

I hope my pain can ignite your purpose today as youth, on June 16, 2020. I hope my pain can heal others pain by holding up a mirror to their point of view from the outside looking in. And what I hope the most is that those of us who don’t battle with mental health issues will be kinder toward us, stop mocking us, stop telling us that we are seeking attention or over-exaggerating and even if you don’t understand it in the least bit, that you’ll do the least and be quiet. IF you can’t be kind. Please. Be quiet. We need help. We need emotional comfort and support from our friends, families and partners. We need extended periods of recharge. Some of us can not work or function as a participatory member of society but we are still here. Please live and let live.

Some have it worse than others. We ALL want better and to be better, for good.

Not all of us have access or resources to the right help at the right time and many of us go through life undiagnosed or misdiagnosed because we are raised to ignore it by means of toxic positivity and ignorance and then one day, we are no longer there and nobody picked up a phone, wrote a letter or called a free help line to give us a little bit more time to get help and heal.

Trigger warning :  The following post speaks about suicide, IF you suffer from suicidal ideation please don’t proceed in reading this post as it may trigger you and cause have an anxiety attack or relapse if you are currently stable. You matter, you are loved. This is to bring awarness and understanding and in no means written to bring harm or hostility to anyone.

Disclaimer: The tertiary institute mentioned in this post is in no way affiliated with me on a personal basis other than me being a graduandi. This is NOT a form of marketing or paid partnership. My graduation will be touched on from said tertiary institute and is therefore mentioned for relevance and serves as a time stamp.

My battle started when high school did

My battle with depression and anxiety started at age 14, so by age 20-21 where my life was supposed to begin, I tried to end it. I remember we still had an old trusty computer with the huge dome and that clunky keyboard. In those days, floppy discs and CD’s were still a thing. My mother had a dictaphone player becuase she transcribed many doctoral theses and she had boxes full of floppy discs in the desk drawer.

I used to play Mortal Kombat and Tetris on that PC, wrote my CV and other people’s CV’s on that PC. I wrote all my poems cerca 2000. I also wrote several suicide letters on that PC. Letters that I didn’t or couldn’t show to the right people at the right time because I came from a small town. I was programmed to believe that I must be grateful for my burdens and that God and going to church and reading a bible would fix me.

I was not broken. Nothing needed fixing. I was ill, therefore I needed treatment and  healing. Professional help, coping skills, psychotherapy, medication, a manageable routine and normalcy ( a healthy environment ) as best as possible. None of which is possible for many people who are not educated or exposed to the taboo topic of mental illness.

Berating and bullying started at home not at school

I was told that I was the devil’s child. That I was an embarrassment. I was bullied and mocked and I became a bully. To me all of this was normal. That’s what happens when you grow up in dysfunction. Your dysfunction is your normal and the only way for you to become self- aware is by seeing or living in functional environments, or creating your own within your relationships or at work or during tertiary education.

I was made fun of and pitied by alot of people over a long period of time. Then one day, I became really kind and giving and caring, because I still believed I would get punished and burn in hell for all my wrong doings and bad behaviour. Hence, I became a people’s pleaser. A push over, so much so that it pushed me over the edge. I didn’t know better and I thought that self – sacrifice meant being kind to others all the time.

Young, naive and in need of love, guidance, acceptance and self- expression

I thought if I flipped and did a 360 by going from bully to nice girl that I would earn forgiveness but that just brought me a whole new title that I didn’t sign up for. I became a doormat and an emotional dumpster and a trophy to my romantic partners. Something they could show off to their exes and other friends to boost their egoes and social statuses . Some friends, who I now know were never friends, treated me the same

Many many many new people, women and men who wanted to be friends with me kept entering my life. And I thought these were the people I have been asking for on my journeys. People who had good intentions and came with compassion and good will.

I thought they all loved me. That they valued and accepted me for who I was. I was so sure they did but they didn’t value me at all. I was just the flavour of the week. They were in it for their own benefit and were there for the turn up but never showed up when I needed to talk to someone or needed a shoulder to cry on.

Meet the fair weathers, the expensive counterfeits and the favour me this and favour me that’s.

They’d always come in all happy and well put together and living their best lives then start asking me favours. I’d do it for them and the favours would get bigger but never returned. Whenever I needed a favour they were nowhere to be found.

Excuses such as ;  ” I’m busy. I didn’t hear my phone. I’m sorry for only getting back to you now. I’ll do it next time. I promise. ” Sound familiar?

Yes, our real friends who we know trust and love respond in this way as well and they say what they mean and mean what they say. I am talking about those fair weather friends and those expensive counterfeits that we encounter in life. They only have excuses and won’t make the least bit of effort for you but expect you to move heaven and earth for them just so hell can break lose.

This was what I learned. All these new people knew but nobody really cared. I was the quota friend that people kept around to make them look cool, better and socially popular. Because “ Ag shame. Sy’tie ʼn social lewe nie. Sy word amper elke naweek gehok en mag nêrens gaan nine. ”

From high school to private college I grew and so did my depression

That was during high school. Then when I started studying in Cape Town. I thought things would get better. New newer newest right? Things got worse. By then I was on three different kinds of medications for my depression. I was misdiagnosed with bipolar affective mood disorder, experiencing more lows than highs. I was treated as a patient with bipolar and the medication that I was on made feel very numb and low all the time.

I time travelled and air travelled to find the right answers

Leap forward from 2007 to 2015 when I was still in Shanghai, China were I was correctly diagnosed with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder.

It was in 2007 however that I did the unfathomble, it was my graduation. I successfully completed my international certificate in Copywriting and Marketing Communications from my college in Cape Town and a few weeks later, I took an attempt on my life. It happened in December, just before Christmas and the summer holidays that I used to look forward to.

I drank about 50 pills. I can’ t recall what I was prescribed and taking at the time but I was rushed to hospital at the emergency section where I remember one of the nurses telling me I am too beautiful and smart to want to do this to myself and that she will pray for me and I should come find her and she hugged me. I was taken to a mental hospital in Somerset West where I was advised to stay for 4/5 days.

Nobody knew but a select few because it was too painful for me to ever talk about my journey until now

I have not shared this painful and confusing chapter with any of my closest friends, nor any of my partners for wanting to keep that time of my battle private. And because I thought that I had moved on from that and healed by now. This wound was still sensitive and after an auto therapy session of deep meditation and honest self- talk I was able to heal a self- inflicted wound that came from years of not knowing enough.

auto- therapy

It reads :

16/04/2020

AAA graduation ceremony, Certificate in Copywriting and Marketing Communications 2007 20-21. You need to heal this time of your life and what happened to you after graduation. Then talk about it so you can help others heal. Only when you are ready.

Wrote letter to myself clearing up 13 year old wound now with TM ( meditation ) and God as my anchor and music as my healer.

Thank you Estelle, for not giving up.

25/05/2020

13 reasons why I have to thank myself for choosing life and love in the name of writing and music

It’s 13 years later and the wound has finally closed. The Universe has provided me with what I needed not what I wanted. And it only happened now. In 2020 during lockdown,during a worldwide shut down, I am finally rising. I can breathe again. I have forgiven myself.

I have fully accepted myself as I was then and as I am now. I am flawed. I am not perfect but I am still alive and well and getting better and better every day.

There is a method to my madness

Long story short. I have been through and lived through it all. Yet still I rise. I have been through bad break ups, I have been cheated on , I have been left for someone else, I have been left alone at the club with no lift back home while my friends went home with other people to go and after-party at some random place.

I have been through the toxic cycle of abuse. I have had one-sided friendships, one- sided relationships, I have been stalked, I have been harassed, I have been followed, I have been robbed, our house has been broken into, I have been threatened by knife point, I have been in a riot, I have been without money and food for months on end, I have been stabbed in the back by relatives, friends and life long friends. Business plans fell through, my visa  expired and I had to pay a fine for that when I was abroad.

I have had to move back home so that I could recover, get trauma counselling here in Cape Town, South Africa because there are certain issues that only we South Africans go through and can help us pull through.Issues such as discrimination, racism, family dynamics and cultural traditions.

Some episodes last for days others for months and go from bad to worse fast

Last year  in June/ July 2019 I had another episode. I had non- stop involuntary panic attacks that would last for hours and I had to call my friends from home to calm me down and keep me steady. One of my friends would call me daily during her breaks to make sure that I was not alone.

Despite working 6 days a week and taking care of her son, she made sure to take care of me as well. She knew I was in danger. She knew the little she was able to do was enough for me to get through another hour, another day, another week, until I made the responsible choice to come home and get help or die alone in my apartment with only my dog by my side.

By August 2019, I was suicidal again and I had to send an S.O.S to my family  so I could get brought home. I had prepared myself to come home to die.

 ” Yes but you haven’t been what I have been through “- naysayer, sceptic, ignoramus

I also had to make sacrifices at a young age and I don’t regret any of them. I also woke up at 5 a.m every morning to take a taxi from my home town to Stellenbosch to take the train to Cape Town. I commuted like that for two years. I would have to take a taxi at night with more than 20 people shoved into one van. I had my end goal in sight but I had to deal with my own battles, my mother’s cancer and being “poor” because I was from a small town.

I was looked down on a lot and many people didn’t treat me with dignity and respect even though I had grown and levelled up by making many personal sacrifices for a better future.

Overqualified and underpaid but I stayed true to my vision and my goals

I remember when I couldn’t find work after being at college and university and I could not sit at home any longer and started waitressing that people called me greedy because I used to asked for more shifts and wanted to work on all the public holidays. I wasn’t greedy. I was starving and hungered for more. And by more I mean more prosperity, more functionality, more triumphs and less poverty, dysfunction and trauma.

I had had enough of being less than. I didn’t want myself to be an example to my nieces and nephews and younger girl and boy cousins that small town ( klein dorpie mentaliteit ) was all that we were worth.

Music was my first love, before words.

When I was 14, I had a dream. I wanted to become a pianist. I was classically trained by two brilliant female instructors and teachers. I had already played at the Eistedfords and received cum laudes for almost all my performances.When I got to high school I completely lost my passion and drive.

I just changed and I was angry all the time. I was sad all the time. I had to give music up, because I had to be the grown up to other grown ups and a part a very big part of me died inside. I let that dream die.

When I was abroad, I didn’t want to come back home to South Africa, because of all the trauma that I had suffered here. All the pain. All the loss.

Colombia healed me and taught me what love is

What and who hurt me could not heal me. But Colombia did. I found healing in Colombia. But then I suffered trauma abroad as well. Not as severe and prolonged but it still made me feel unsafe and in need of my support system.

I had gifted my beloved piano to my niece in 2013/2014 already, because I thought it was useless anyway. 15 years plus had passed and I can’t read sheet music any-more. I threw out all the sheet music I had. Had I kept it, I would have been able to self- teach and regain my piano skills again.Luckily I kept my choir CD that was recorded in 1999 because singing was and is another passion of mine as well.

I safe guarded one thing and that was enough to remind me that I can sing,play an instrument and do so much more 

What is she on about? So she went abroad and it didn’t work out so she failed and now she came crawling back with her tail between her legs?

There’s a message in my mess. In the same way that there is a message in your mess or that of those closest to you. There’s a test in my testimony. What I am testifying right now is that my suicide attempt was unsuccesful. I was not. I am succesful. You might be unemployed. But your not unskilled and you can be self- employed.

Thanks to my international certification, I can work for myself and I can work online and help other businesses keep their doors open once the lockdown is lifted. I can help build brands, or sustain existing brands that will need an online presence. I can help them with that because of my tertiary education, international network and home advantage of knowing what are the market’s current strengths and weaknesses.

Thanks to me not having a piano anymore. I can now work towards manifesting a new piano, piano lessons and even a mentorship with a classically trained pianist. And get voice training so that I can learn to sing solo and record my own songs fully without the help of another vocalist.

Home is where the heart is even if you find your heart to be broken

Coming back home has brought me full circle. I got put back in touch with a few of my academic mentors from African languages. One of my other dreams is to further my studies in African languages (isiXhosa ) and that’s what I am living for right now. Arts, music, language and culture. It was my dream to become a songwriter. I carried this dream with me since 2012 and in June 2020 I became a certified songwriter. That dream came true because I made it happen. I didn’t beg, steal or borrow but I did ask, believe and receive.

So if you are reading this, read it again, search  online for Eric Thomas or Lisa Nichols if you need your spirit lifted and motivated during these trying times. If you know that you struggle with mental illness,substance abuse or addiction, seek professional help. Help is out there.

For the ladies:

Kind remindHer : You are a fierce female. You can and will do it by yourself. Others have invested in your education, personal growth and development and you are your elders’s dream come true. Stop lying to yourself. Stop dumbing yourself down. Stop being small. You stand firm and tall. You are brilliant. You are resilient. You are who you are for a reason. You are powerful.

For the gents:

Kind remindHim: You are a man whose fibre is made of dignity and respect. You are kind- hearted and soft natured. You can be stern and firm without being possessive and controlling. You know wrong from right. You are a champion. A gentleman and you are loved. You are understood. Stop being angry. Let go of the aggression and frustration. Release the pain. Come back to yourself. You are a gentleman.

For 21 year old me:

I am so proud of you. You stepped out of your comfort zone to pursue your dreams. Your dream of being an independent female. A free- thinker and a change agent in a world where you were told that you will fail and that you will be nothing.

You succeeded and you are everything and more. You are a first of your kind. The first grandchild to go to college and university. The first grandchild to make it to 21 and won! The first grandchild to make up her own mind and follow her own path by carving it out as she went along because she was never alone. I love you and you deserve to be celebrated, recognised and uplifted for the things you put your mind to and moved into greatness even within your adversity.

With love and light

from Skylar

Kevin from Kev-Indaba takes on my 90-day self-love challenge: Kevin’s self-love bites. Part 2

 Kind remindHer / remindHim:

Start small, but think and do BIG for yourself within yourself.

-142 –

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” Aweh “

Disclaimer* At the time of this interview Kevin R. October was not in the best of spaces with regards to his self- esteem and has since been following his own exploratory path with guided meditations, reading books and doing tai chi and playing his beloved guitar. He has quit smoking cigarettes and continues to work and study while dreaming about going surfing again after lockdown is over.

I have personally noticed that he is much more himself and we still have the same level of understanding and respect while growing and glowing together, apart. Having him as one of the few positively influential male figures in my life has made my life better, so cheers to him and others like him! The opinions and views expressed in this article are that of myself and Kevin R October as ourselves and not any other personas or entities. Enjoy the great discoveries!

 Yin ( female energy ) and yang (

male energy ) live and function in harmony when it is understood and balanced.

 

Male energy is needed, valued and unique to each individual but very often extremely misunderstood, miseducated, misinformed and negatively reinforced. If and when a man cries, he gets flack from his male and female cousins or friends for being weak.

The truth is that having the intellectual and emotional capacity to show vulnerability is not a weakness. It’s a developed strength. It’s an essential soft skill and a quality to admire in both women and men. Most men that I have come to know are very good listeners and kind-hearted souls. They also need someone to listen as well. The majority of us as women tend to forget that. They carry heavy loads and are under just as much pressure to man up and stay on the grind for their families.

They need to take a load off too. Not all of them are good at sports or can work through or release tension through hobbies like carpentry or gardening. Some of them might have other hidden talents that they keep dormant in fear of being called names or get emasculated in their inner circles or even by their partners or elders.

2020: New decade. New waves. New flames. New is the norm. Find clarity in your storms.

I think it’s 2020 now and there are plenty -plenty of men who are self- aware, self – accepting and self- full. Men who don’t need man caves, or boys nights. They are creative and expressive in other ways. Ways that could bring a lot of new things to the table.

Things such as mutual respect, emotional intelligence, expression of self through words, thoughts, ideas and inventions.  All of this can add new levels of bromances for those of you who have had decade long friendships. There are guys out there who are passionate about music and have albums locked up in them, gathering dust because they feel that if they share their passion for music or theatre. Or science, or fashion. The list is endless.

They might get mocked or lose a life long friend that they value and cherish. What about those guys who can build stuff or know how to convert the house into a more sustainable environment. They know how to cultivate and grow plants that are good for our health and can build our immune system better than any OTC ( over the counter medicine )would, but we don’t know these things because men might not have that safe space to speak on their passions.

 

WhatsApp Image 2020-04-21 at 12.43.22
Kevin out geocaching in Franschhoek for the love of exploring!

The male’s perspective on self – love with Kevin R October affectionately known as Neef Gawie

It’s a new decade and almost everything has changed in the dating game, mating game, friendship game, bromance, sisterhoods, family bonds and how we view ourselves. Something that I have always known but never really addressed is how men view themselves and how they view self- love.

Most men are taught to not show emotion or express themselves too much verbally or people will think they are not “ real ” men. This is what toxic masculinity portrays to all of us but we have discovered many new avenues for both men and women and one that Kevin decided to stroll down was the route back to himself, through self- love.

Challenge accepted !

I challenged him to my 90-day self-love challenge so that we could share both sides of the coin with everyone and show all men, that all is well in everyone’s world when you become more self- aware. Below is our feedback from Kevin. I say us as this was a joint challenge for the specific purpose of showing a female´s perspective and a male’s perspective of the same topic.

Kevin, thanks for being brave and open enough  by accepting this 90 day self- love challenge. Tell me, why did you sign up ?

“It came at the right time as I was not feeling that great and decided to go for it. When I started doing it it was very empowering. I started that same night that we discussed it and you emailed me the procedure and prompts and I found a lot of things to love about myself. ”

You mentioned the procedure and prompts, how did you experience it all, was it easy to get into?

” Well, I loved how straightforward and easy the procedure and prompts were, so I decided to just follow them daily. I decided to take the first option ( there were two )which was to write down three things I love about myself on the daily. As I started to write down the three things to love about myself it moved into self-love and then I vented into my diary. I think the venting was guided by the prompts. The three prompts being, I am proud of you for, I forgive you for, I commit to you that. What I wrote down triggered some emotions and I just let it flow without questioning it. That lead me to make space and put systems in place.”

And how did you feel? Did this exercise help you in some way and was there an inner shift that happened? Was there any progressive progress?

 

” The prompts triggered or started the process then it just flowed. I  felt a release and relieved. Some days I was more verbose than others, some days I wrote three short sentences. Sometimes I wrote three paragraphs. And some days I wrote three things and then just started writing about whatever else was on my mind, having nothing to do with self-love.

Sometimes what I wrote was very creative. Other times it was just short and to the point. Mostly though, it served two purposes. Getting my frustration out, and boosting my self-confidence. And I think I stopped naturally and didn’t complete the challenge because the purposes were served. At some point, I’ll need to do it again and then I’ll do it better – or maybe do it differently. 

Whatever happens, it was definitely a good experience. And a beneficial exercise. “

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Where there are waves, there is Kevin!

Did you manage to complete the whole 90 days?

” Week 1 went really well. Then I skipped a few days, then I just stopped. I regret not finishing it but it brought me to the meditation route instead and I loved that and did that instead. I might not have had so much to deal with and felts the meditation and positive affirmations to be a better route for me.”

Could you give me a quick run-through of how much you were able to complete?

  “I completed 15 days out of 90 and I don’t see an incomplete or a failure. It was enough for me. The writing works to a point but the guided meditation works better for me. I simply searched for self-esteem on youtube and then started doing that instead. I felt a lot better from the journaling that I  managed to do. Take note that it depends on your mood.”

Here are some highlights of his discoveries:

Day 7:

  • ” You are worthy of love.
  • You are an eligible bachelor.
  • You are capable and independent. “

 

Day 10:

  • ” You are on the right path, stay on the path.
  • You will not be liked by everyone, those people have no taste.
  • Someone will love you for who you are, keep being yourself, or they might miss you.”

 

Day 22:

  • “I am beautiful.
  • I am wonderful.
  • I am perfect.”

 

What advice would you give to other guys ( and gals ) if they would like to try self- love for themselves ?

 ” Guys might think it’s silly, especially macho guys. They might not even be able to give it a try if they aren’t into contemplation and writing. I say see what happens and just give it a try. Stick to the basics of journaling by just writing your thoughts or some keywords down. If something else comes up then you let that come out and let it flow. what you write down might end up being a memory, good or bad or it could be a motivating comment to yourself and that means shift happened.

 

Pro tip from one man to another

If you can’t do it daily at least do it once a week maybe on a Sunday or one quiet night.

Did any of the following introspective aspects pop up and how ?

  • Inner work
  • Inner child healing
  • Inner knowing
  • Inner cleansing and clearing for your authentic and higher self to come forth and reign with strength and dignity

 “Questions that came up were: Am I being a good man? Am I the man that my father raised me to be? “

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Kevin, the master of ceremony looking  dapper and debonaire at his sister Lauren’s wedding

2020 and beyond for our men: The future is bright for all of our men

We’ve already made it through the first six months of 2020 and South Africa and the whole world is in a time of great opportunity for one and all. We have the opportunity to drive the car now. We have a licence to carry the torch and show men how to be gentle, kind and ask for consent when it comes to entering into and staying in romantic relationships. There are also opportunities for men to get to know themselves now.

 

Stop looking for people who like you.

Start looking for people who recognize you for who you truly are.

Who you truly are?

 You are an irrevocable miracle

And 

everlasting blessing to yourself and the world.

142

They have all the tools. They have space at home now. They can create a space for themselves if they can’t because of work or other engagements. There are professional options as well for those who think they might have anger issues or anxiety issues by seeking help for anger management or how to cope with their anxiety during this lockdown period and beyond. Those who reach for the bottle too often or who might have gotten caught up in drugs are other unfortunate situations, I hope you find peace and settle with your mistakes. Press reset. This lockdown is your opportunity to give the bad habits the boot and welcome your new habits in.

Kind remindHIM: If you didn’t know, now you know. You matter. You count. You are important and you are doing exceptionally well for yourself and others right now. WEll done! Keep going.

There is no shame in going through the motions, feeling stuck, feeling helpless or lost if you are male or female. I hope that the many good men out there see this and get celebrated in their respective roles and lives today and beyond. Songs will be written and sung for you. Raps will be spat and performed live for you. And spoken words will be dedicated to you all. I personally and sincerely send out a big thank you to men across the planet right now, who are honouring their wives, kids, siblings, elders and most importantly themselves.

With love and light

from Skylar

PS. To the men who are down and out, can’t see their kids, don’t have positively influential male or female figures in their lives, go google and listen to Les Brown. Just listen to him daily and absorb his words.  I will leave you with his famous words“No matter how bad it is or how bad it gets. I’m going to make it.”

For those of you who would like to subscribe to Kevin’s newsletter Kev-indaba, click below.

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90 days of self – love challenge: Estelle is WELL = done and digitized. Part 1

* Updated and posted on 8 June 2020. The process of this challenge was eye-opening and heart-opening. I wanted to share some of my discoveries with all of you in the hopes of helping others to find some clarity amidst the current state of the world.

ESTELLE IS WELL update after successful completion of 90 days.  This is a lengthy deep dive of how self – love can help you to shift into gear especially if you feel like you are just sitting in the same gear right now. I did my best to unpack and deconstruct some applicative aspects so that everyone can see what self- love really is and what it means to each and every one of us.

Disclaimer : AS ALWAYS, I am not an expert nor perfect. I simply share my experiences, thoughts, and views on my journey so that it can help others on their journeys. I am not qualified to give medical advice. I am not a life coach and I am not here to judge or prescribe to others how to live life. I am still in transition myself, but while I might be a few steps ahead, there could be someone out there who does not know where or how to start. Hopefully their glow up starts NOW.HERE.

 

 What lies beneath is the truth.

Your truth will set you free 

and 

heal parts of you,

parts of your family and millions of souls around the world.

Your truth is POWERFUL.

– 142-

Mirror work and deep introspection brought me so much value that I appreciate myself more now.

It is now May 11 2020. Day 45 of Mzansi’s lockdown. I completed my self designed and self – assigned self- love challenge on 20 April 2020.  I have not been able to write  for quite a few weeks now.  I wasn’t experiencing any writer’s block or lack of creativity. I simply could not write. I think all the journalling dried up my pen and long pause was necessary so that my being could digest and process everything.

I have been learning how to harness, save, distribute and transmute my energy and it has been immensely beneficial to my train of thought, level of focus while doing my work and improved my networking and interviewing skills for the business profiles and personal / artist profiles that I have been crafting with great success.

On a personal note, I have so much inner work left to do and my decision to take 90 days and not 21 days was a commitment to myself before everything and everyone else.

It is said that it takes just 21 days to learn a new habit or start a new routine. So what did you do during the first 21 days of lockdown ?

The world being on lockdown and my being on a journey toward myself have so much more significance now than it would have had a decade ago when I naively thought I had made it. That I had somehow had it all because I was abroad and earning good money. I mention money because my view of money has been distorted and it brought me to the conclusion that I am in fact, financially illiterate and that this is now of great importance to my well-being. I plan on putting systems in place to ensure my resources remain abundant in availability and accessibility.

And No, I didn’t blow my money on trivial things or go into crippling debt but I didn’t save and invest as much, best or wisely as I could, because I was a know -it- all. I couldn’t put my pride in my pocket and wanted to prove I could do everything for myself and I didn’t do my homework well enough. 

Yes ! I was and I still am as stubborn as a mule. That stubbornness counts in my favour when it comes to persevering through the storms. Now, I know and DO better and that is a huge leap. I have shifted from the teacher’s seat to that of the student’s. I know that I am never too old to learn and it’s not too late for me to be and stay financially independent and free even if the world is in the midst of a pandemic. I am the midst of becoming the first of my kind. A free- thinker. A thought – leader. A fierce female. A wanted and valued partner. A force of nature. A powerhouse of talent. An African Queen. If Miss World can do it, so can I!

Repeat daily:

“ Failure is fruitful fertilizer.

Failure is fuel.

Rejection is redirection.

Mistakes are motivation.”

-142-

 

Allow me to take you through a quick summary of my 90 day self – love challenge while introducing my second cousin by blood, male counterpart and equal in this journey we call life, one of my biggest supporters and fans, my alley, my advisor, my safe place and fun times friend, Kevin R. October.

He joined in on the challenge so that we could have some yang to my yin and offer the guys of this world some insightful tit bits too. His journey will follow in Part 2. Remember we are growing and glowing together, apart.

Is practising self – love selfish?

The first self – love challenge I did ran on for 21 days. I found it online through some Dutch life coach that most likely popped up as a search result while I was looking for advice or tips on self- love. She was offering some free programs and the task was simple and straight forward. This self – love challenge had a one-page contract where you had to first download it, then print it out so that you could sign your name to bind the contract.

The physical act of signing the contract with your name, location and date meant  that you were taking it seriously like you would any other contract. By honouring those agreements stipulated in said contract meant that you honoured yourself.

 ” In my experience practising self- love is not selfish but self- full. “

At the end of each day or during the day all you had to do was write 3 things about yourself that you loved. My results were refreshing and seeing my thoughts and feelings toward myself in a softer more forgiving light, showed me that I didn’t have to be hard on myself all the time. I could easily  find 3 positive things to say about myself daily ( without repeating the same thing twice ) and that enabled me to do that with others.

Pay attention to  the lessons.

Life is trying to 

teach you something.

It might come wrapped

 in despair and confusion 

but when all is said and done, 

you will find that you have either progressed or regressed.

 If you are a good student, 

you will learn the first time.

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When people crossed my path, I would shower them with compliments, say thank you and show them, love. I felt full. I didn’t lose anything by showing others some love. I reserved my energy, because I had the love I could now see for myself and I just activated theirs, like a mirror. A mirror that showed strengths. And that’s my truth. That has always been my truth. I look past my flaws and hang-ups and quirkiness and moods. I discovered that universal love is my truth and I express love in my own way. Just like you express love in your own unique way. Affirm : It’s all good vibes and we are from the same tribe of souls.

Set professional and personal boundaries 

for yourself and others. 

Do not allow anyone to take advantage of  you. 

Do not sabotage yourself either.

-142-

So with my own 90 day self- love challenge, I had to go deeper. I needed to look myself in the eye and address my self- care, my boundaries and all the ways that I was essentially disregarding myself when it came to my loved ones, friendships, close relationships and my personal identity. I would often give and not receive and vice versa.

Others were giving and I was taking and I couldn’t give back and keep the cycle of love going because I had already spent my love in the wrong places with the wrong faces who hid behind very convincing masks of love but it was all lies. I prefer the truth.

I also had to re-evaluate some business deals and ventures that I had tried to enter in with people who seemed promising but ended up being dead ends and dead weight to my very lively and truthful vision of creating and successfully selling mindfulness through uniquely design products, my way.

Pray.

Breathe.

Deflect negative thoughts by focusing on your blessings.

Welcome new energy.

Smile.

Give and receive love.

-142-

I  had to get off autopilot. I kept reverting to old behaviours because I am in an old environment at this time. I am a new person who has learned to create her own environments and sense of peace within mass chaos and I worked hard to get there.

Familiar places breeds mass chaos for me and that doesn’t leave me or keep me at my best. And that’s where auto-pilot takes over but actually keeps me under instead of rising to the occasion of my life as it is now.

The positives and wins that I discovered in the chaos and uncertainty of lockdown

 

I am strong-willed and I am persistent and I am overbearing and that’s 100% okay. I am also a daddy’s girl. Being in my thirties won’t change that. I have every right to want my father to be present in my life, teaching me things, talking to me in the garden, I teach him things as well. Just having time with him and him alone is a form of love that can’t be bought or manufactured.

Some things can’t be discussed with our mothers in the same way that we can’t discuss some things with our fathers and that is why I love being my father’s daughter. I am really happy to be at home with my parents right now.

 ” EVERYTHING truly does happen for a reason even if it does not bring us the desired outcomes. Out of this too we shall come.”

There must be a reason that the Universe brought me back home right now after all this time, under such questioning circumstances. The Universe wanted me to be back in South Africa right now and I am choosing to embrace it as best as I can.

How does this fit in with my 90 days? 

I divided my challenge into 3 stages ; mind, body and soul. For my mind, I already started trauma counselling and psychotherapy, for my body I had to get into a routine and schedule that suited my body as it is now. I still do yoga and I got back on track with my diet, which went off on a summer holiday and had the time of her life, gaining a few kilos then losing it again during lockdown.

Affirm: Miracles happen all the time.

A few highlights, or things that came to light that have not surfaced before was my soul. My soul needed sustenance that only parents, life long friends and family members can give. People who have known me my whole life. People who have walked this long and hard road with me. People who have helped me pave a new path for myself who believed in me, rooted for me, looked up to me, confided in me and have always been there for me through all my phases and stages. Loving me unconditionally.

Mother nature, mountains, proteas, dogs and cousins Dalton, Tarryn and Lauren

I realised this when I recently went hiking with my cousins on my father’s side. Being in my grandparents’ house again, where we all grew up and played with each other showed me that we are everlasting beings. The physical property and trees and birds are healing. And you can only learn to appreciate your sense of home once you have not been on home soil for so long.

And I thought that not much has changed in 5 years but the whole world has gone through a fast forward in a what feels like split second. Many of us are still catching up. Some of us are on the same frequency and sadly a large percentage will remain stagnant.

I have a place 

in the world 

and wherever I am,

 is where I belong.

142

My best friends, who I have known since my mid teens, who then wove me into their families and now there is a whole network of us. They have also played an integral part of my personal identity and we share one thing that is unchanging. Language. Afrikaans is my soul language and my true self.

” Afrikaans is my taal.”

This was another breakthrough when I realised that yes, I took on the world and experienced other cultures but I was denied to share parts of me because certain parts didn’t seem international or popular enough for other’s liking and that’s essentially their loss, not mine.

It’s something I started to deny every time a foreigner would question me on my upbringing, education, race, heritage, credentials and work ethic, reasons for still being single and without child etc. In these moments, I wish I could have addressed them in a proper Cape Coloured style and tell them “ Loep k@k djy! Wie de hel dink djy is djy om vi my oor my eie goed in en uit te vra?!? Ken djy vir my? Bly liewer still, jy met jou een taal wat djy skaars kan reg praat.” Doing my best to be mature, professional, mindful, respectful and flying the flag as best as I could for Mzansi, I never did. It was best left unsaid. I have an opportunity to counter that narrative now.

Hindsight 2020 in 2020

I have had so many encounters where I was told who I was by people who had very little knowledge of South Africa, people who constantly wrongly introduced me as being from South America ( which is an entire continent and not even a country ).

( as seen on tv)

I would also have to put up with people from (other) third world countries, more underdeveloped than mine that would proudly and snobbishly say they would never go to my country.  ” There are too many poor people who are dying from hunger there ” ” They are not educated or well traveled.” ” They live in small run down dwellings ” ” They have lions for pets”. ” Why is your skin so light, I thought Africa was hot all the time “. ” Why do they speak so many languages? ” Ignorance is rife. That’s just life. I refuse to accept this outdated view. Our view is better now. Clearer now.

I became offended and didn’t want to offend others who had even less to be proud of as a nation. I got tired of educating so many people’s ignorance. I go tired of feeling less than because I was the fairer sex being treated unfairly for just being me. For representing us, a multi-cultural nation and culture. To me, South Africa is one of the most culturally rich nations on the planet. Our melting pot of cultures make us wealthy and priceless.

One family tree, many branches of fruits

I personally think that it’s amazing that both sides of my family consist of different shapes,shades and sizes. That we speak a collection of different dialects and languages That we have lawyers, teachers, chefs, musicians, business owners, dancers, singers, writers, managers, carpenters, seamstresses, nurses, DJs, sound engineers, athletes, scholars and beauty therapists and more from both sides of my family, from both genders and from multiple generations of the same bloodline.

To make a long inward journey short

I guess the most important thing I had learned and something that you may or may not take away as a lesson. Whoever is reading this right now.  If you are in your 20’s, 30’s, 40’s or above, please don’t be a statistic or a stereotype. I am saying this with the highest level of respect. Don’t be generic. Basic. One -size -fits- all. Bland. One dimentional. Just like everyone else. Everyone else is already taken. You aren’t. There is no one like you. Own that.

Don’t be just another nobody. Just another number. Make your name matter. Live up to your name. If you don’t know what you name means, search for it. If you don’t like your government name, create a new name. Create a persona that is you and represents your true essence. And don’t look for external validation once you have established your new name or new persona. Just experience it and live it. Eplore your glory, like you have just discovered a lump of gold.

Plant better seeds,

not 

bitter seeds.

Flourish.

Do not perish.

 142

If you ask me, I’d strongly suggest that you talk to yourself interrogation style if this resonates with you.

Find out who you really are at your core. It might not be a huge revelation or coming of age or suddenly hit you when you turn a certain age or reach a certain stage in your life but you will slowly start to dissipate if you are doing what you are doing right now, just because everyone does it.

Since you can’t go outside, why not go within?

Ask yourself these questions and if it’s of use to you, continue to ask more questions as time passes. Now is actually the perfect time. With it being a worldwide crisis and all, you have the opportunity now to ask yourself:

  • What would I like to leave behind for others who are like me, as my legacy ?

*Think : intangible but meaningful. Think big. Forget small. Forget the box.Forget the templates and molds.

  • What makes me me? What makes you, you ?

 * Not what do people like about me so I can do more of that, so I will continue to be liked. What makes you you ? That awkward non-sensical annoying part of you according to others, that’s who you really are

What doesn’t make me me?

* Whatever you discover here is what you need to evaluate, remove, transmute, forgive, release, surrender to and embrace with that you have.

Do not become 

what you have overcome. 

If you have overcome dark times, 

live in the light.

If you have overcome addiction,

live mindfully. 

If you have overcome abuse. Live lovingly.

142

 

I also realized that I had become bitter and serious again by default and not by choice. Why? Most 30 year old people reach this point and hanging around age-appropriate people does NOt work well for me. I also know some 40 year people who share the same sentiment. My journey is not as demanding, routine, and permanent as theirs.

I have more to be grateful for and less to complain about. Some people might resent me more and that is how I know it’s best to remove myself from age-appropriate circles, or even seemingly like-minded people.

 

Self-check: another essential tool of self- love because sometimes I am the problem

I tend to mimic others energy and sometimes without realising it, I then become the complainer and moaner again when I am around people with who I usually have fun with and talk about things other than daily trials and tribulations. When you can practise awareness and evaluate things from the outside looking in, you win. And if you are able to work towards this with yourself you can and will be able to win with others as well.

Keep glowing up

with Love and Light

from Skylar

P.S  be you , be brave,  stay safe, stand strong and focus on the good now. It’s time for permanent betterment to manifest in our lives.

 

 

 

 

Sapphire Spa : make beauty and health a lifestyle

  • Disclaimer, the following post is a paid partnership with skylarglowsup and Sapphire Spa, written for promotional purposes to advertise the spa’s services, treatments, and experience.
  • ALL images were beautifully captured by Palm Photography for Sapphire Spa. All rights reserved.
  • This post will be updated as soon as the beauty industry is allowed to reopen to the public. The spa is in compliance with COVID- 19 rules and regulations and practices due diligence with regards to their employees’ safety and well – being and their clients’ safety and well – being. Thank you all for your ongoing support.
  • For those of you who are interested in paid partnerships, kindly email me at 143colombia365@gmail.com if you would like me to do a featured article on you, your business, services, skills, etc. Thanks in advance.
  • Social distancing does not allow me to responsibly accept energy exchanges at this time. Let’s stay safe, responsible, and healthy.

 

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Fungai and I sharing a Sapphire moment!

The moment I walked into Sapphire Spa, I immediately felt relaxed and calm. Fungai’s warm smile and Chervon’s attentiveness and professionalism were of the highest calibre for a first-time visit. Sapphire Spa has been up and running since 2015 and their success is evident in their excellent service, a wide range of beauty products, and rejuvenating treatments that leave you feeling like a polished gem, once you are done.

Make beauty and health a lifestyle

To me, beauty is not something tangible. It’s more of a feeling. It’s a state of being. In the same sentiment, so is health. At Sapphire Spa, their mission is to make beauty and health a lifestyle.  Health is my main priority right now. My mental health takes precedence in my life and in doing so my physical health also improves and benefits from the new choices that I make.

When I am stressed out, my body feels it first and my mind notices it last, so making health and beauty a lifestyle is exactly what my first visit to Sapphire spa offered me and will offer you as well.

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Refreshing lemon and mint water on arrival and some marshmallows for your sweet tooth

Welcome to Sapphire Spa

When I arrived at the spa, I was greeted by two warm and friendly faces who checked in on me and welcomed myself and my best friend in by giving us the option of having some fruit- infused water before our respective sessions started.

Sapphire Spa in Bantry Bay is managed by  Chervon who is from Mpumalanga.  She works with Fungai who is from Zimbabwe. Both of them are beauty therapists with years of experience. They have both worked with local and international clients.  These lovely ladies were very professional, personable, and attentive to our needs.

Fungai made sure that I was comfortable during my back of body massage and even did a brief body check to ask where I had tension so that she could focus on those areas more. Chervon made sure that my best friend had plenty of fun with her pedicure.

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The natural light, plants, seating, and water encapsulates health  at Sapphire Spa

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Attention to detail leaves you feeling like royalty

 

“ The highest form of self-care is honouring your body’s needs.”

Over the last decade, I have really made a huge shift into wellness and well-being and one of the first things that I started doing about 6 years ago was prioritizing self – care. I set mind, body, and soul goals for myself and although it’s been a long journey, I haven’t felt this young since my twenties and I am now in my early 30’s.

Since 2017, I have lost 16 kilos by going to the gym and having a personal trainer evaluate my body. He worked out a precise workout routine for me that I could follow without straining my back, becoming muscled and bulky, or losing too much weight to the point of looking emaciated. After losing the excess weight, I had more energy, more confidence, and more appreciation for beauty.

The beauty of my skin, the beauty of my body, and the strength and health of my hair and nails. Visiting a spa greatly improves the condition and appearance of your skin, body, hair, and nails. Going for regular spa treatments at reputable places such as Sapphire Spa can and will do wonders for your beauty and health routine if you have not considered spa treatments yet.

Sapphire Spa’s treatment menu is to live for! They offer personalized packages, couples packages, brow, nail and skin treatments, massages, and more.

R and R spell recharge and rejuvenation at Sapphire Spa.

I really enjoyed my session at Sapphire Spa because I knew I would have a few hours to unplug, de-stress, recharge, and rejuvenate. Since 2020 commenced, I was commuting from Stellenbosch to Cape Town on a weekly basis to do a short course while I was setting up other interviews, networking, visiting friends and family, working on my blogs, books, songs, poetry, and personal challenges.

My body and mind felt overwhelmed. I felt drained and my shoulders and back were tense from life’s daily hustle and bustle. Yoga was not enough, meditating didn’t quite do the trick, going for walks also did not help my body to feel more relaxed. Not even a trusty salt bath could untie my knotted and tense muscles.

So I decided to pay Sapphire Spa a visit. We drove all the way from Stellenbosch to Bantry Bay and I could not wait to take a dip in the indoor pool, kick up my feet after my pedicure and just pause for a moment.

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Getting my pedicure at the nail station of the spa

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Relaxing on the pool bench as I wait for my toes to dry

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Fungai using her skills to get rid of the tension in my back

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Sapphire treatment: Handled with care

 

What package did I choose

I chose a 45 minutes sports massage which was a  back of body Swedish massage as well as one hour pedicure. I also took a 15-minute swim in the indoor pool after my appointment. The pool was available for me to use at my own leisure. Once my scheduled appointment was completed, I took the liberty of relaxing on the pool bench and journaled for a while. I  planned the rest of my month and  I was able to wind down completely before I had to head back home.

First time at Sapphire surpassed other spa visits locally and internationally

Over the years I have gone to quite a few spas and I have tried different types of massages from sports massages, to hot stone massages, to cupping therapy in China, and deep tissue massages in Saudi Arabia.

I once tried a Thai massage where someone uses their own body to manoeuvre and manipulate your body in order to get rid of the tension. I have been to some spa treatments where the fee was not worth the money that I had spent and it seemed that I paid more for the idea of a spa experience instead of the actual experience of getting a decent treatment for my skin or the advertised time of a massage.

In Colombia, I once visited a spa that offered a full body massage with a coffee and apple skin exfoliation ( aromatherapy ). I had access to the hot tub and was offered a complimentary glass of sparkling wine, which was amazing for my skin and mood but lacked in releasing the physical tension. That beauty therapist gave me a very mediocre massage.

Many of the local ( Stellenbosch, Cape Town, Fish Hoek and surrounds ) spas and massage parlours that I have visited, didn’t leave me feeling satisfied because many of the beauty and massage therapists couldn’t discern that I didn’t want to talk during my treatments. They would be quite talkative and made me feel obligated to be chatty while I was trying to centre myself and not talk for a while. I know there are many clients who love talking to unwind, so I think I might be the odd one out who doesn’t feel the need to carry a conversation during treatments.

Visiting Sapphire Spa left me extremely satisfied and so happy that I chose what I chose because my body was in desperate need of a bit of pampering and a lot of tender- loving care.

” Do what you love and love what you do.”

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Fungai, experienced beauty therapist who works at Sapphire Spa

When I asked Fungai why she loves working in the beauty and health industry she replied:  ” I really care about my clients and the service that I provide. This will be seen as I perform and will shine through, building trust and establishing a loyal client base.”

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Chervon, experienced beauty therapist and Sapphire Spa’s manager

Chervon said:  ” I love to inspire and motivate my clients to invest in their health. I am so passionate about educating my clients about skin and body, knowing how it can impact their self-esteem and how small changes can make a huge difference to their well-being and confidence. As for the spa, we offer a tranquil, calm, and peaceful environment for our clients by experienced and good-natured beauty therapists.

Would I recommend Sapphire Spa to others and why?

I would highly recommend Sapphire Spa’s services to anyone who needs a break from their busy lives, in need of a rapid recharge. If they suffer from physical fatigue or sports injuries, Sapphire Spa’s sports massage package would be the perfect session to book.

The spa is a prime location for women and men who are looking for a few hours of silence by the pool.  There they are able to read a book, take a quick swim, get a massage, and then get back to business. Even if you live outside of Cape Town, it’s worth the drive. You could make a day of it by spending time at the beach, having lunch somewhere then going for a well-deserved treatment, massage, manicure, or pedicure.

How can I get my Sapphire moment as a prospective first – time client?

Sapphire Spa is situated in Bantry Bay, Green Point, Western Cape, South Africa. You can get there by car or take the MyCiti Bus if you do a quick google search on the bus routes around Cape Town. Below is a link to the Spa’s Facebook page that has all the needed information so that you can book a spa treatment once the beauty industry is open for business again. You also have the option to order Matis products online for all your beauty needs. If I were you, I would start planning a post lockdown pamper session for you and your hubby or wifey!

Sapphire Spa Bantry Bay, Western Cape, South Africa

Sapphire Spa Instagram

 

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From the owner  ( Ilse ) and her Sapphire team: ” We look forward to seeing you soon. To all our loyal clients, stockists and suppliers, thanks for making YOUR beauty and health a lifestyle with us, Sapphire Spa. Stay safe, stay healthy. “

Kind remindHer: Every time you want to give up, please don’t.

Is it just me or do you also feel a bit disheartened today because of lock down?

Good afternoon all! It’s around 4 p.m in South Africa. I am happy and grateful to enjoy today, investing time and effort into my blogs and appreciating all the good that has surfaced in my life because of this micro step that I took a little over a year ago I can now share more and do more for others and collaborate in my different communities to empower and inspire all as a collective.Remember to stay safe and enjoy your time at home. This is the perfect storm for homebodies and introverts right now. So take it in your stride

It was coming down hard last night and I meditated to the sound of the rain. Asking that the rain wash away everyone’s worries, fears and doubts, including my own. I also asked the rain to cleanse and detox my mind that feels so stuffy because of all the uncertainty.

This is all very normal right now and has nothing to do with anything or anyone but everything to do with everything and everyone. We are all going through this together.  Some of us are thriving right now, others have heavy burdens to bare, illnesses to manage, families to provide for, relocating to plan and implement, exams to study and prepare for, careers to pursue and many of us are trying to keep love relationships and friendships alive too.

That’s a lot. It’s not just a mouth full, it’s a lot when you see it written down like this. So, if you are still able to read this and reflect today, just know that you are doing well. This is a kind remindHer.And remindHim.

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I don’t own the copyright of this image. Thanks internet. Thanks Les Brown.

Today is Easter Sunday and I am now in a zone of conflict, brought on by outside noise.   I am at peace within. I actually feel really satisfied with the progress that I have made in the last six months. I didn’t enter or invite the zone, I have successfully exited this zone many times before, however in the age of technology this zone can pop- up like an unsolicited ad.Lucky for me,I have an ad blocker installed on my laptop and a mental block for outside noise thanks to my mantras and affirmations.

 I choose to focus on my good now. I know that within darkness there is light.-143

Just because it, your success, progress, results, growth, weight loss or weight gain, recovery, remission  is not that evident, does not mean you are not winning. You are a raging success. You don’ have to whisper and hide that fact to spare others feelings. You do you. I do me. We all live together in harmony. NOT harm – moaning. Yes, to those people who bemoan your wins as if it’s their loss. You won and you are winning. Period. If they feel the need to harm your progress, don’t allow it. I am learning and implementing that now. Don’t let it seep in. Drain it out. Drain that bitter vain. If it’s coming from you, drain it now.

Affirm:Forward is forward. Progress is progress.

There’s a time and place for everyone and everything and it’s my time to win again.IF you are reading this and have been through a lot lately, trust and believe that it’s your time too. Look for the signs. Pray on it.  Become silent and focused and work on yourself. Do it honestly and know that every bit is a step closer to your end goal.

Every ounce of effort, time and dedication is moving you closer to your dream. You can and will live it. You are actually living it right now. And it’s an amazing process.  You are not wrong for looking at your vision again. It’s yours. It was given to you. It won’t make sense to anyone but if it makes sense to you, pull out all the stops to turn your thoughts into things.

Affirm: My vision is clear. Believing is seeing. -143

I knew that this was coming. The judgment, the commentary, the old beliefs, the jealousy, the “ how dare she’s ”, the “ you will have to get a job again” comments, the “ I hope it works out for you’s but I highly doubt it will” and whatever else has been mentioned by these demons. But I have not prepared myself for this battle as I was busy fighting my own demons and in all honestly didn’t and don’t have time for other demons as well.

I am talking about the demons, jealousy, envy and judgment.

Hey jealousy, envy and judgment, I see you. Wouldn’t wanna be you. Peace!

 

You know, jealousy is the biggest and most threatening (S)he Devil. You sometimes don’t see him or her coming because she comes under the veil of complements, so called support and then out of nowhere she wants free stuff, not wanting to buy her way but benefit from your progress because she used some niceties and complemented or commented on facts I already knew to be true. Facts such as I have quality and original products. I create and produce things from scratch and personally design, package and distribute them. They are available in more than one language and all of the above is in constant growth and development as I continue to build and learn the necessary thing of doing better and offer better to my customers, readers and followers. Just like Rome was not built in a day, my little factory of love based products are not either. Love takes time.

  ” I offer something authentic, unique, different, lasting and powerful to the world. What’s that you might ask? My God given gifts. I am not a copy and paste. I am me.”

Envy to me is quite masculine because he tries to copy and paste and then show off what you already acknowledge and appreciate having . He on the other hand wants to make a statement. He needs to boast and brag about it and show it off non- stop. He is trying be liked more. He is obsessed with being liked and being popular and will take anything to get that little fix of being liked for something that he is not instead of accepting himself and getting the real bonus: Respect. I don’t quite understand why envy would want to have what others have and not simply enjoy what he already has.

 ” You are Too – too. You are too this and that you have to fit into my box or I won’t like you anymore. Well, keep you box to yourself and kindly refrain from trying to turn me into your designer doll. You can always buy a doll and dress her as you wish. I however, have no box nor mold. I take up space. My gift makes room for me.

 

Judgement unfortunately comes in groups. Herds. It’s never just one person. It will start with one person mentioning something that comes from presumptive sources based on no facts. Then another person seeks to support that by fabricating even more false evidence appearing real to everyone and now they feel that they have the right to push and project their opinions onto others.

And if the rest don’t follow. Well we all know how that usually ends, peer pressure either causes you to confirm or evolve into an uncut diamond. I am uncut diamond in the rough. I have to be tough now. I am not my own worst enemy so I will continue learning how to be a peaceful warrior and not a prescribed worrier.

Don’t listen to others, they don’t know you. Sadly it’s your inner circle who wants to break the chain of your progress. Not so- called others or strangers.

And no it’s not always your best friend, sister, girlfriend or significant other, it’s the people in your professional circle too. The one’s you wish to work with,not work for. So just be extra careful and set boundaries if you feel that people you are paying want free things from you, later on after you have set your prices and not being supported. Energy exchanges are perfectly fine if it works it works. However it’s not one size fits all.

 

So you faked your depression and now you are better all of a sudden? Jy soek aandag man.

I am very open and honest about my battle with anxiety and depression and I don’t do it to seek pity. I do it to create visibility. To open a more positive narrative as a victor and not a victim.  Simply treat me with dignity and respect. Even if you don’t understand or think that what I experience is not real. Please, treat everyone with dignity and respect. Be kind. And if you can’t be kind. Be quiet. Stil bly is ook ʼn antwoord.

I speak on  what I know millions of people are battling with daily. I am choosing to tell my story in the hopes of healing others. If it helps them to continue their stories or at least understand themselves and seek help if they realize that  a task as simple as getting out of bed, to get showered, then dressed and out the door to make it to work without feeling like you can’t handle it, then maybe just maybe this conversation will bring us more awareness, less stigma and more healing.

 I am not a doctor or a psychologist. I am simply writing about what I go through. My opinions are not for you to take to heart and believe you don’t need to seek professional help. Help is out there. Please practice self- care and seek professional help if you don’t know how to cope on your own. Your friends, family and spouses can only do so much. They are not equipped to help you. Don’t blame or resent them for not knowing what you yourself don’t know. SEEK THE RIGHT HELP.

I don’t look at myself as being ill anymore. Right now, I am moving into wellness. Yes, I am still faced with my many challenges and certain things are unbearable to deal with on my own, but I no longer tell myself : It’s because your mentally ill. That’s why you failed again. I am kinder with myself now and I say : It’s OK Estelle. There are many solutions to your problems. It’s OK if you have an anxiety attack right now, take a break and then look for answers so you can solve this and continue to win.

Feel to feel not to fail or fall off the wagon. Feelings are valid and can be worked through. Just be gentle and kind with yourself now.

I have been feeling myself a lot lately. I feel more like myself now and I have been feeling myself because I am brave enough to just be me. I even have a tattoo that is permanently engraved into my being as a reminder, guidepost,drive,motivator, and reason for living.

 ” Be YOU. Be Brave. Be kind.Be happy. Stay blessed.Stay humble. Stay grateful. Stand strong. ” – My second tattoo

 

One of my mentors told me to pose the question to others. When there is conflict,miscommunication or misunderstanding, I should pose the question to the other party or parties involved. Since I have already addressed this with myself I know pose the following to you. This is another simple exercise you can use to self- reflect or to reflect on others behaviour toward you when you start intiutively feeling that something is off with your friends co- workers, spouse, family members etc.

  • Why and where is this jealousy,envy and judgment coming from? I pose this question to myself and the masses.

 

What are you jealous of ?

Why are you jealous?

Why do you envy me/her/him/them?

What do you envy?

Why are you being judgmental?

First read the script. Then, flip the script. Now edit it. Work it out for yourself and others. Don’t forget to investigate.Not everyone who is acting some type of way toward you is part of team demon aka jealous, envious or judgmental. You know your people well enough to know that they might just be going through a tough time and that you should practice mindfulness and not share your good news with them just yet. Even if you think it might be a way of inspiring them, they might be in their feels and need another type of motivation in the form of comfort. Tell them that their time is coming too.

 

Dearly offended ; Have you tried a different approach? Do you realize I never think about you, I don’t concern myself with others lives. I live and let live. Yes, I have an opinion and freely and respectfully express it when it’s suitable, but I don’t make it a law or a prerequisite for everyone to abide by. I am just me. I love who I am and who I am evolving into because I have done the work. My end result is my reward. And my reward is others inspiration. If I can do it, so can others. They just need to give it several thousand shots until they hit a personal bull’s eye.

AFFIRM : I can and I will. I fail forward. As long as I keep moving, I grow. I continue to grow.

You could do and experience the same for yourself. Why not give it a try? Please don’t ask me how. Introspection requires that you DIY. Do it yourself. Do it for yourself. Do it despite your shortcomings, flaws,situation, circumstances, illness, studies, career,relationship,friendship,religion, culture,sexualtiy, gender, single or taken, even if it’s complicated just do it.  Do it yourself!

 

Having a heart to heart over the phone can do more good than crying over a hole that you didn’t dig. Just get out of that hole by lifting yourself and others up now.

I had a very lengthy discussion with another sacred soul sister of mine after I thought I was all good. We were discussing all our challenges with each other and she said don’t be shy and don’t feel ashamed to write about the bad things. She also advised that I do get it out of my system by blogging about it, because someone somewhere might be struggling with some personal issues as well and might not know what to do or who to talk to and they will most likely search the internet looking for advice because they don’t have the platform or freedom to express their worries right now.

 It’s COVid – 19, a worldwide lock down, a new era , uncertainty, chaos, restrictions, physical distancing, social disruption,paranoia and to add to the list it’s 2020 and not feeling so plenty – ful but rather plenty- fooled right now.

So maybe what I am addressing right now could help someone else. It might not solve or dissolve everything but it could guide them a little bit. And I am here to help as best as I can.

Affirm : Break down. Break through. Break free. -143

It seems that the whole world has been cancelled. Not even put on hold or rescheduled but just cancelled. Some people have just given up. They are sleeping their lives away, overindulging to kill time and complaining, gossiping and fear mongering  those of us who are or do not fall under the immuno- compromised bracket but under the mentally ill. I choose to be mentally well and I do it in a way that helps me. I have the most amazing support system of friends and family and communities and I also have professional help at my disposal ( without this I would not be thriving right now, I would be in an in- patient care programme for 3 to 6 weeks).

 Love has not been cancelled. Dreams have not been cancelled. Life has not been cancelled. Music has not been cancelled. Art has not been cancelled. Poetry has not been cancelled. Cooking has not been cancelled. Nature has not been cancelled.

I am realizing now that I have not been cancelled. I have been doing well. Not because by some miracle I don’t have any symptoms or flare ups anymore. I simply became calm after I started to slow down. As soon as the lock-down was declared, I felt a sense of clarity. I was still worried about certain things,-I am human, not an emotionless robot. The good-news is that COVID -19 forcibly stopped the urgency in me.

It’s urgent ! I need to do it right now! Or I am going to lose my mind! What if losing your mind causes you to find your soul?

There was no emergency. The urgency of having to get a job and earn a decent salary again, the urgency to get back to Colombia, because that is my new home now and I miss everyone there, the urgency that I had to get all my deadlines in so that I can have something to show to all the naysayers who think I must have a 9-5  Monday to Friday job, in order to thrive, The urgency that I am almost 33 and I don’t have the material things that others have and I have to have something or I am seen as a nobody in the eyes of everybody that I love and would like to have in my life.

“Now watch me self- equip, now watch me say Yay. Now watch me sel- equip ,quip, now watch me say Yay! ” Shoutout to Silento

The pressure of telling myself and pushing myself to feel and be better already. Feel stable already, not cry so much, not feel so frustrated, not take everything so seriously, then going from that to being too relaxed, too spaced out, too happy, too ambitious and too talented and talking about myself too much is exactly what I must do right now.

Talking myself into things to get myself out of depression was not only advised but encouraged in trauma counselling. It’s a valuable tool. That I must use now or sink again. It’s not my business if you see it as self -centered right now.  I am simply self-full. This is life or death for me.

I am not the backseat passenger anymore. I am not the breadwinner for the household anymore. I don’t want to be that. I choose to create and produce my own bread. I am still brainstorming and work-shopping the recipes but I am well on my way to discovering a recipe for self sustainable success.

I am in the driver’s seat now. The car does not matter but the fact that I can drive does. And the fact that I don’t own a car ,does not take away the fact that I do have a license, I am trusted and roadworthy and I can even apply online to get an international license issued,so that if I wish to drive abroad when wanting to take a road trip, hire a car , or would have to drive a care in another country in case of emergency, I can.

 If I don’t choose myself how can I expect anyone to respect and honour my choices. If I don’t honour and respect my boundaries how can I expect others boundaries. It’s a two way. Not a one way. It takes compromise and common ground to reach this place within yourself and you must do your best to respect yourself now.

I have the right to do so. As long as I follow the rules and regulations I can drive anywhere. As long as I respect the speed limits and adhere to the traffic rules I can drive.

So to recap, just because I don’t own my own car, doesn’t mean that I can’t drive.

Let’s look at it in another way, just because I don’t have my own property ( home, apartment, living space) right now does not mean I can’t own a home in due time.

 

I don’t need to have the same home as everyone else. I might not want a four bedroom house. I might want a tree house or a want to live in a tent.Home is what you make it, not what others say it should be. They can not impose their views on your blueprints. Even if some of their views seem valid, if it does not sit well with you, pay more attention to your ideals and less to theirs.

Design your own home. Research, plan ,save ,budget, raise funds and invest in your home.

 

And then when you feel like it’s too difficult right not to go against the grain, to swim upstream, to be you, to be brave or to stand strong.

Remind yourself why you started. Even if you stopped, got distracted, got stabbed in the back, got ripped off, got used, got taken advantage of, got silenced, got bullied out of it, got distracted by a romantically or emotionally toxic relationships or friendships, got setback by a chronic illness, got tied down with money issues, got into debt, became desperate and had to start from the bottom again, lost connections from people you thought were in your corner, had to reset and regroup several times and still could not find a sustainable solutions, lost weight, gained perspective and now needing to rest a bit again. Please be kind, gentle and patient with yourself today.

Forgive yourself and others. Forget the mistake and remember the lesson.

Please forgive yourself if this pandemic is making you feel shameful, guilt-ridden, helpless,hopeless, like a failure, like you have let yourself and others down, if you feel like you are drowning right now, you are not.Please be grateful to everyone who is still by your side. Whether they have physical presence, virtual presence or spiritual presence. Please just remain grateful. I know everything has been delayed dragged out much longer and many things are becoming increasingly complicated, don’t take this a sign or a bad omen to give up. Take it a check point to show you you have made it to the next round.

Be great and be grateful. Don’t fool yourself into falling for false evidence appearing real. Just be grateful.

Things get worse before they get better. It must rain so the flowers can grow. And my favourite quote from Michael Beckwith says: A delay is not a denial. Les Brown said it too.This, all of this that is currently in motion right now is just a small puddle caused by some much needed rain.

Affirm: I am / You are bigger, better and beyond this.

I watch some motivational videos and talks that I have saved under the folder on my Facebook.Here are some of my favourite videos from this folder:

Don’t Wait for Permission From Others to Be Yourself | Lisa Nichols

Dr Martin Luther King- Keep moving

Les Brown No Matter Hard It Is, I’m Going to Make it!

 

And do share your tips and tricks of what you do every time you want to give up.

 

Love, light, patience, gentleness, kindness and gratitude to all

 

Keep glowing up, and if you have to glow down today, that’s OK too.

Skylar

It’s Good Friday and I am UPSET!

This morning when I woke up the first two thoughts that came to mind was : acceptance and well wishes. I accepted myself. And I wished myself well. Then I sent that message out into the Universe, therefore accepting everything and everyone and wishing everyone and everything well. Then, I  affirmed: I am grateful for life.And suddenly felt UPSET! Because it’s GOOD Friday.

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Spike the dog chilling. Life gave him lemonades so he decided to just chill in the shade.

It’s 10 April 2020, day 16 of our national 21 day lock – down in South Africa. If  I am not mistaken, our lock -down his been extended by another 14 days. In total we’ll have 35 days of lock- down. Isn’t that amazing! I am so UPSET!

Today is also day 80 of my 90 days of Estelle is WELL self- love journey and this has been a very interesting trip so far. For myself and others. In this post I would like to address the current state of our nation, South Africa and the current state  from the perspective of a South African. A proud member of the Rainbow Nation. A human being. A woman. A significant other. A furbaby momma. An expat and warrior of love and light.

Think of me as your neighbour, jou buurvrou,jou dogter, jou secret crush, jou sister, jou niggie, jou maatjie, jou gibbes.

It’s Good Friday and I am very UPSET!

I am UPgrading my SETtings. I have been having sleepless nights, so that I can enjoy restful and peaceful days. I have been working around the clock with different time zones to meet deadlines, attend and actively participate in fundraisers, problem solve,delegate, network, complete daily tasks and get my life back on track while knowing that the whole world is topsy turfy right now.

Spike has also been having sleepless nights. He safe guards my parents and our home. This is our kingdom. My father built this house from the ground up and my community helped and contributed as well. My brother contributes to this household, I have contributed and continue to contribute to house and my parents enjoy having a roof over their head and a bed to rest their bodies in. They have invested their whole lives into it and now they humbly enjoy the fruits of their labour, sacrifice and dedication to their dream of a having a home with a garden and courtyard where they can hang their washing to dry, sit on the stoep while they have a meal and look at the colourful walls with pride.

We have always done our best to protect and respect our space, maintain and safe guard our home and enjoy what we have just as it is. We have enough. We worked for our home and we know that others work hard and smart for their homes and living spaces as well.

Sometimes other things or other people  might want to disrupt or disregard our homestead and then makes us feel, unsafe. Worried. Unappreciated. Disheartened. Threatened. Angry. Confused. Betrayed. On Edge. Paranoid.

This house is as old as I am. 33 years strong. Now, imagine our house to be your house, but instead of it being a house, it’s you. Yes, You. Would you like it if people just came into your backyard unannounced, uninvited, with the intention of robbing you blind, stealing fruit from your trees, dumping glass and plastic over the vibacrete, keeping you up all night with loud music on a week day, ringing your doorbell non- stop and then running away and acting none the wiser.

This, after many warnings, talks, communication, giving notice, explaining, suggestions,guidelines etc. and then you still have the stance of saying “but I can do whatever I want, and nobody can tell me what to do”.   I value life. and I respect death. If I am presented with a choice, I choose life, every time. The only time I choose death is when I kill people with kindness. ( this is not a literal meaning nor am I threatening to take someone’s life, it is meant as a way of saying be nice even when people are unkind)

You do have rights, but it shouldn’t negatively affect, harm, hurt or put others in danger. And if it is pointed out to you that what you are doing or want to do right now during lock-down, could put others in danger, wouldn’t you rather just focus on getting UPSET instead? Think about the people that you love. Think about the people who love you.

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Spike and I decided to be mindful and have an impromptu photo shoot. Nee dankie, rissies is nie goed vir honde nie, maar rus is.

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Ek is mal oor die rooi kleur. Dis lieflik ja, dankie, maar nee dankie. Ek doen wat is goed vir my gesondheid.

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I am actually enjoying this. Just chilling.

I am a dog lover and dog is love. They take care of us, keep us company, keep us young and make us laugh by just being themselves. My dog, Bobo ( I will comment more in coming posts) taught me to enjoy my own company, eat healthier, hug myself and others with compassion and care and to sit in silent company of all walks of life. I love you Bobo,we’ll be reunited soon.

FOMO is a NO- GO for 14 more days and that is a blessing in disguise!

So we are all familiar with the term or concept of FOMO. The fear of missing out. What if I miss out on this one’s birthday party, what if I don’t get invited to a wedding, what if I miss the game on TV? What if I am not in the whatsapp group, where will get memes?

This is a blessing in disguise. Our government is helping us to stay safe and alive. We have time to sit with our family members and friends. We can appreciate that we are being given instructions and proper guidance so that we can flatten the curve with this learning curve of staying put. Sitting on your own stoep. Ry Jan Tuis Bly se kar. Hang aan jou eie boom se takke. Maak kwaren- tuin in jou eie agterplaas. Vat n blaaskans van jou baas.

Why don’t we try and change our perspective a little and assign new meaning to FOMO.Focus On Moving On. Let’s do a little self-check exercise together. Ask yourself this and be patient, kind, gentle and honest with yourself.

Dear self : What have I always wanted to for myself  if I had 21 days ( now 35 days bonus time baby!)

I know that the first thing that comes to mind right now is to go on holiday. Our automatic responses work in our favour for habitual things such as stopping when you see a red light or jumping when you hear a sudden loud noise,but wanting to go on holiday right now because everyone is at home and it means you will have more peace and quiet at some holiday resort might resort in you losing out on life in the long run.

I would love to break away. I had a silent retreat scheduled for my birthday to help me with my mental health issues,so that I could come back stronger, grounded and centered and get back to my life but life is saying, not right now. Unfortunately that is not possible.

I respect and honour the organizers for acting in compliance and letting me know that I won’t be able to attend. I feel no FOMO ( Fear of missing out ) but rather more FOMO ( Focus on moving on ) and that is something to applaud.

We can’t break curfew. Not here in South Africa, not in Colombia, nor in Ecuador, nor any of the other nations currently under lock-down.STAY SAFE. We need to honour  the rules that have been set in place so that we can live to tell the tale.So that we can thrive as a nation who is starting to embrace social co-hesion and solidarity.

So let’s look at some other options of what we can do. Things that you can do indoors or within your own living space, by yourself or with your loved ones and pets.

Here are some of mine :

  • I practice mindfulness ( see images of Spike ), do daily meditations, do mirror work, inner work, yoga and self care. If these terms are unfamiliar to you, well done! This is an opportunity for you to DIY( do it yourself ) by being a little adventurous and doing some research so that you can have look for yourself, to see if it tickles your fancy. It’s open to your discretion and simply a suggestion.

 

  • I sing, recite poetry, write, blog, brainstorm ideas and new concepts for my blogs, books,products, poetry bundles, live performances and this is how I express myself. I need nobody to serve as a soundboard or to motivate me, it comes naturally and it’s very satisfying to keep myself company with creativity,music and the arts

 

  • I keep in touch without losing touch with others. This is still very much a work in progress for me. We don’t always know what is going in everyone’s lives from moment to moment or even month to month, but I do my best to keep in touch with my loved ones. It’s a soft skill that is essential to me. It might not be for you, so just do you then. Just keep in mind that if people don’t keep in touch with you either that you have to respect that, even if you don’t understand why. Don’t assume the worst. Just wish them well.

 

  •  Do handicrafts, I have been up-cycling off cuts of wood from my father’s stash and making word art with it with my niece and nephew’s pencils,crayons and markers. It’s a good way to relax and you can give it as a gift to someone or start a new collection if you like collecting thing.

 

  •  I studied different languages throughout my academic career and now I have reached that point where I am just enjoying languages, especially Yoruba and Swahili and Pidgin. I love listening to African music and even though I have no idea what are saying I just love it! I am also obsessed with Reggaeton and that keeps my Spanish acquisition going. So with languages the options are endless!

 

 

Meet Spike, he is an essential worker to and he stays home.

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Life is colour -full. Die sonnetjie is uit en ek geniet my gate uit!

How my songwriting course taught me to HUG & KISS

  • IMG-20200228-WA0015Disclaimer : The following post refers to my personal experience during enrollment at the Cape Town School of Songwriting. This is not a paid partnership and has been written from my perspective as an enrolled student of the school’s 8 week songwriting course ( Jan 2020 – March 2020).
  • I wish to celebrate, acknowledge and thank everyone who was involved for  what I have learned, who I was fortunate enough to work and interact with and honour the connections I made within this new community of singers, songwriters, producers, performing artists and colleagues. I have been welcomed into this new community with open hearts thanks to Cape Town School of Songwriting, my fellow songwriters of 2020 and the lovely Clive and Elaine.

 

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It reads:  To Estelle – much inspiration- warmest wishes on your voyage of discovery. – Clive – April 2012

 

It’s 10:45 a.m in Cape Town, South Africa today and the sun is out. Despite it being day 15 of our national 21 day lock-down, I had something to look forward to this morning when I woke up. I could write and practice my demo song that I had successfully written and co- composed with my school director, Clive.

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Clive and I during our first one on one workshop. His tattoo that says: Let it Rock and Roll and one of his guitars. We co- composed my beautiful song: Liefling 1443 with three chords and the truth. 

 

8 years ago, I was gifted this book as  birthday gift ( my birthday is on 24th of April ) and for 7 years this book has travelled with me from South Africa, to Saudi, then to China. After that,  I took it with me to Colombia, where I finally read it from cover to cover and when I unexpectedly returned to South Africa, I was compelled to take a shot at my dream of becoming and being a certified songwriter.

This book has now brought me full circle and right back to South Africa again. One of my biggest dreams and goals has always been to do THIS songwriting course and I did not want to do it online nor take up a free course. It was my desire to receive the knowledge directly from the source.

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7 years, 3 continents, 1 dream kept alive.

 

 

Clive signing Daniel's book
Clive helping me to pay it forward with my second copy of his book that is included in the course. I decided to gift it to one of my friends, Daniel from Ecuador who is also a musician.

Daniel's book edited
The human connection at its best. Universal bonds being built through songwriting. Thanks Clive.

Clive’s book Cracking the songwriting code awakened a side of me that has been dormant for  more than 15 years. I had to quit private piano lessons as a teenager, because of circumstances that were out of my control. However that didn’t deter me from music.

It made me love it more. I became the observer. The humble listener and the interpreter of different genres of music that made me feel alive inside. Music from Africa, South America, Europe and my own heart was starting to form new notes in my mind. I would start to whistle random melodies while walking outside or think back to my childhood when I used to sing in the choir.

I remembered how much exposure I had already had and all I needed to do was to tap into that once again.This time just with more knowledge and better structure and guidance.Clive’s approach to songwriting has reset my being. It has helped me return to music and also get myself back on track.

music plant
Planting seeds of music in every home’s heart.

I already have the musical background and training. I just need to relearn what I once knew in due time. I am of no shortage of words, but what I needed most was guidance with regards to the structure of  songs. Unlike poetry or academic writing, one does not need to write thousands of words in order to craft a powerful song. You simply need to KISS. Keep IT Simple in Structure.

What are the 3 key elements of a song ? It’s simple. They are words, music and structure. – Clive

 

The beatles
The Beatles were known for their simplistic yet powerful songwriting. If they could do it, so can I!

I have been writing prolifically since the age of 13. I have written thousands upon thousands of poems and personal letters and cards in various languages and it’s something that I used to use as means of  expressing myself with and to others.

I was a shy and withdrawn child but I always had so many things to say. When I wanted to speak freely, many things would not come out as beautifully and powerfully as I wanted it to. When I wrote, the words would free flow from me onto the pages of my journals, scrap pieces of paper, post – it notes, textbooks, dictionaries and now my walls.

Yes! No kidding! I started writing on the walls of my living spaces. It helps me to problem solve and center myself whenever I feel anxious or depressed.

Songwriting HUGS me in a way that no other medium does. It HEALS, UPLIFTS and GROUNDS my heart and soul.

Not everyone appreciated or compensated me for my gift of writing in the past. Many times when people requested that I  write for people who I might not have personally known or might have known through mutual acquaintances they wanted me to do it for free. I tried setting up something formal so that I could write customized greeting cards for others, but that didn’t come to fruition back then.

I became very  disheartened and discouraged. Although I found great pleasure in writing soulful, honest  and emotive pieces for others, they didn’t seem to appreciate my time and efforts and I stopped writing for many years because of that. I know now that rejection is redirection and that my gift can and will make room for me. I don’t need to conform or chop and change it to fit the masses.  I can simply be massively me with my writing.

All of us
My lovely classmates who were so inspiring, warm, loving, welcoming and kind.

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Break time in the kitchen with some snacks and drinks. Songwriters 2020

 

I also know that becoming a certified songwriter this year, will make it possible for me to earn a lucrative stream of income by doing something that I love. And in doing so, it’s a win for one and a win for all. I can continue spreading my positive messages of motivation and grow as an emerging artist and I know that I will have the opportunity to write for other established artists as well, all thanks to songwriting.

 

Elvis and classroom
Our classroom where all the magic and creativity happens. Laughter, love, insight, knowledge and the human connection is taught, shared and embraced  here.

Hard work, patience, dedication, flexibility, focus and diligence plays a major role for me in all that I do. And songwriting has been teaching me that as well. I am so grateful to Clive as my director for guiding me and leading me with his many years of experience in the music industry and as a songwriter himself.

During our first workshop, he helped me to see that keeping things simple is what makes it powerful and lasting. And during our second workshop, where I recorded my demo ( still to be finalized as it was cut short because of lock down) he mentioned that I in fact had a singing voice and simply needed some voice training and to work on my confidence.

He also noted that my musicality was still in tact.  I rap in my song so timing is crucial. Besides the nerves, I really enjoyed that session and  I felt really proud of myself. I was able to reach that stage of accomplishment and growth in a matter of 5 weeks.

7 years. 3 continents. 1 dream kept alive. Thanks Clive

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This little book has time traveled for seven years, across three continents and is now home.

What I know now is that I was writing for the wrong audience for far too long. I would go through years of not writing.  I would always stop because I listened to or looked for the opinions and approval of others and I realized that maybe they had no idea how brilliant and creative I was then and how they were receiving a gift that can not be bought for nothing, until now.

At first I was enraged and confused but as I aged and matured I realized my gift of writing is mine. It’s my intellectual property and there are laws and rules that protect my ideas, concepts and writing and by following the right steps, I can write and earn money through my gift, just like everyone else who has their own unique gift.

 

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The blossoms inviting us to flourish as musicians and songwriters. Mother nature it her best.

Songwriting has ALWAYS been one of my sacred passions. I say sacred and not secret because it’s not about writing a few catchy hooks or obscure lyrics. I believe music runs in my veins. My musicality is innate, it simply needs to be awakened and crafted and practiced and this is how songwriting has reignited my love for music again. My late grandfather who I never met was a piano player and teacher. I would like to believe that there’s some part of him in me that gives me my passion for music.

 

The environment that you are in also aids in the songwriting process. Nothing beats the beauty and purity of nature, in my opinion. Every week I would meditate in the garden and give thanks for our amazing school and process of gaining new skills, sharing jam sessions and just enjoying the process.

Since 2012. Clive’s book has travelled with me from South Africa, to Saudi Arabia, back to South Africa, then to China then straight to Colombia. I would read it, then forget about it, because life happened. I would be visiting in South Africa but not have enough time to enroll in the course or not have the money or the means and so I missed each year until 2020.

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Songwriting teaches us to use our heads, hearts and hands.

I started re-reading this book in 2019 while I was still in Colombia and I decided to check out the website and see if I would be able to do it when I return home.

Now, keep in mind. My homecoming was not planned or expected. Things out of my control brought me back to South Africa late last year.This is where most of my friends, family and support system is and I even though I didn’t know my up from my down, my heart yearned to do this songwriting course.

When I was accepted, I knew that this was the best unplanned but productively intended homecoming to myself. It is something my heart and soul desperately needed. It was a new avenue for my writing, it would aid in my transition from teaching to writing and it would spark my creativity in  a way that only works when you are with other creatives and Clive is just that according to my observations.

He has  a way of wowing you with his wisdom and passion that one can’t help to sit at his feet. Well, that is how I express it when I am the student, listening diligently and attentively to my new teacher and respected director.

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” there’s a song in every heart”. Therefore, I put my heart into my songwriting.

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Clive, our school director, mentor, songwriter -guide and my personal inspiration coach. Elaine, the hostess with the most hugs and smiles. Dankie vir alles Elaine en Clive

I am happy to write this post and I dedicate it to the Cape Town School of Songwriting as an entity and vehicle of keeping the music in my heart alive.  A sincere thanks to Clive and Elaine who always do their best and have a level of professionalism and delivery of service that is unprecedented.

I also wish to dedicate this post to each and every one of my classmates. I have enjoyed meeting you and learning something from everyone. I know that our songs might not all be recorded or finalized yet, but I hope this inspires you today to keep writing, keep singing, keep practicing and keep being true to the amazing singer -songwriters that you all are.

I look forward to our graduation and certificate ceremony and I hope to be as confident and as well sung as all of you already are. Thank you for the lifts to and fro, the hugs and smiles and genuine interest in me, Estelle from Stellenbosch who has not been herself for a very long time, but can fully express herself now through our vehicle of music.

I hope that we will be able to collaborate one day if the opportunities arise for us to do so and to every other Cape Town School of Songwriting singer- songwriter who came before and will come after me, it’s worth it! Challenge yourself, overstep your own boundaries, do it scared, do it off beat, sing off tune but don’t tune out your musical talents.

Songwriting is doing so much for my personal development right now that I can’t contain myself because of all the creativity that I am currently blessed with and I hope all of you appreciate yourselves, love yourselves, accept yourselves and continue to motivate others like me who still have a long way to go. There’s a time for everything and today it’s time to sing everyone’s praises.

With Love, Light and a joyful song in my heart,

Keep glowing !

There’s a time for everything and now is the time to triumph bond.

*Disclaimer, this is another one of my 32 acts of kindness. Act of Kindness number 5: Let’s keep everyone safe and alive both locally and worldwide, to support Enable Medellín in Colombia to help them in raising funds, so that they can continue 3D printing much needed masks and other medical supplies for healthcare workers as well  as their friends and families in Colombia.

I am currently in South Africa under 21 day of lock down but that does not mean kindness has shut down. I write this out of the pure love and appreciation for Colombia, where I lived and worked for 2 and a half years  ( 2017-2019 ) as an English teacher, volunteer to one of the communities in Medellín and proud neighbour of barrios, Conquistadores, Belén Fatima and Pilarica.

I wish to return as soon as possible to continue serving the community with my skills, knowledge, hard work and I hope to reunite with everyone who loves and personally knows me,very soon. To my dog, Bobo, I am proud of you and I hope you are being a good boy, I am doing my best to reunite with you. To those taking care of him, I thank you. Mil gracias. Colombia is my second home, I love you with all my heart. Thank you for teaching me what real love and family is.-143Colombia365-

© Linzi Petersen 2020
 One of my best friends and her kids playing dress up while they tidy up during 21 days of lock-down in South Africa. We stay connected no matter what. © Linzi Petersen 2020

Good afternoon everyone! Happy April! It’s my birthday month. One of my favourite people in the world celebrated her 29th birthday yesterday and I hope she had an amazing time with her daughter, husband and son. Shout out to Jade! Lief jou baie chom, soos jy sal sê. My other close friends also have wedding anniversaries coming up so I have a feeling it’s going to be a month full of celebrations and I am delighted to be near my nearest and dearest right now.

 

 

 

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Gabriella and Malachi are in sync with me. © Linzi Petersen 2020

 

It’s sunny and hot outside and I was just swiftly visited by  a humming bird. It past by just to say: Today is a good day. Today is a day to reflect and celebrate triumphs over troubles. It’s the fourth of the fourth, year 2020 and twenty days away from my 33rd birthday and I am fortunate enough to be home home. Double the fun, double the miracles, double the blessings, double the faith, love, trust, patience and fun! Two are better than one!

This time of the year Autumn usually greets us here in the Western Cape of South Africa, with heavy winds and lots of rain. Which I love. I love the rain, as it washes everything clean and rejuvenates Mother Nature, our souls and our hearts.

So the fact that we, South Africa are still under our 21 days of lock-down has given all of us an opportunity to go within, without going without.  I must say, I have been having daily breakthroughs, sleepless nights brought on by endless creativity and waves of immense gratitude and awe of how amazing life is. The strong and unbreakable bonds that I already have with so many wonderful souls around the world, has been strengthened in this time of uncertainty.

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Image courtesy of the internet, I do not own the copyright to this photo. Thanks internet.

 Reflect and affirm :If you have faith in yourself and others, mountains move. They move toward you, like magnets attracting miracles of health, well-being, togetherness,expression,clear communication,understanding  and triumph over troubled waters. Kindness and compassion must rise for us to move forward, so look up, look within and go forth with faith. All is well.

Shout out to everyone wherever you are right now. Stay safe. Stay healthy and be well. You are missed and loved. Thank you for the meaningful connections that we have both, locally and internationally.

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Afrikaans is my taal. Baie dankie Colombië, ek is lief vir jou. – 143Colombia365-

 

Last night I participated in a worthy cause within a community of artists from all over the world and all  we did was spread love, kindness, laughter, cheers and personal triumphs and we reminded each other that COVID- 19, quarantine, lock-down and physical distancing can not keep us apart.

 A  live open mic session was held online via social media platforms to raise funds for an initiative called Enable Medellín. They are 3D printing some much needed masks and other medical supplies for the healthcare workers who are currently moving mountains in   Colombia and all over the world for us, so that we can stay safe and stay healthy during this time.

 Our storms draw us closer to the calm. It draws us closer together and it shows us that love is alive and well. That kindness must rise. That where we are healthy, we are happy. Where we are happy we are home, because home is where the heart is. Thank you to Primed Community and their ParchArte initiative in  Medellín, Colombia for inviting me to share a part of me, my language and culture which is Afrikaans and for giving me the opportunity to read a snippet of my poem Anne- Marie, which I wrote for my choir teacher from primary school.  She planted the seed of singing and the love of piano in me when I was still at an impressionable age. She guided me without ever knowing it and most recently I have reconnected with her in the most amazing way. I will share more on that in coming posts.

Also thank you for letting me share more about my bilingual book ( written in both Spanish and English to promote bilingualism and  celebrate Colombia and its people  ) 143Colombia365 which has a daily reminder of why we should remain grateful, no matter what we face in our lives or within our relationships. Today is day 95 of 366 and here’s your reminder:

95. El amor te asigna talleres lumbares en fisioterapia para que te se mejore y se fortalezca.

Abrazos, Amor y Luz para todos los que han colaborado. A cada artista, bien hecho, bravo y gracias por inspirarnos con sus buenas energías, voces y hermosas almas. Les amo y gracias. – Stelita

 I hope that today will remind  you of how health workers are helping those who fall ill to be well. I had many  lower back issues for a long time, more than a decade in fact. I could never get out of that cycle of taking medication, resting, over doing it and then having to pay exorbitant amounts of money to get specialized treatments or take off time from work, because I could not move around because I had lower back pain. I had missed out on many social events and lost connections with people who I valued and wanted to spend more time with, but I could not at the time, because I had to take care of my health first, so I could be well enough to join others when they wanted to go out and have fun and be active. I wanted to be me. I wanted to be (pain and worry ) free.

I was not even 30 years old,yet I had health issues of that of a 45 year old. And when I arrived in Colombia in 2017, I found the right help with physio therapy.

Within months, I was better. I had more energy and even lost weight and strengthened my muscles with the simple, yet useful exercises that they taught me during my sessions. So thank you again. Thanks to EPS and all its components and workers who help us to be healthy again. This one is for you, the physio therapists, chiropractors, receptionists, nurses and doctors of Medellín, Colombia, you gave me my health back.

 Ask yourself the following and do it with honesty, transparency and compassion as a means of self- care:  Where and with who do you feel most at home and how can you continue to build that home from the foundation up?

 

For those of you who would like to reflect on this world wide lock down, I hope you remember what home is. I hope you remember where home is. Sometimes home, is a person. It’s someone’s smile. It’s a bee, landing on a flower, to wish it well. Sometimes home is the ocean. Sometimes home is the sound of your favourite person’s voice and sometimes home is drawing for hours on end while you are listening to music through your headphones. Sometimes home is sitting in silence with yourself telling yourself how proud you are of who you are. Sometimes home is reading a book from front to back to back to front. Sometimes home is taking a bath. Sometimes home is unplugging from everyone so that you can refresh yourself and just rest. Sometimes home needs you to stay home for a little while longer so that you can come back to them better and stronger.Sometimes home is rediscovering your voice with someone from another culture that shares your vision, your dreams and your passion for the arts, music, food, travelling, meditation, yoga and personal development.Sometimes home is simply being able to breathe easily and do nothing. If you can however do something for someone today, try to be soft, kind and patient and think of the patients currently in the care of our superheroes today.

And sometimes home is one word that brings two people together or a whole nation together. That would could be love, or joy,forgiveness,support,honour,trust,faith or understanding or acceptance, or thanks.

IF you had just one word to share with someone else what would that word be and  in which language and why?  Mine would be Liefling. -144.3

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 The word liefling is the Afrikaans equivalent of darling in English or cielo in Spanish. It is one of my favourite words because if it’s divided into two, it has a beautiful hidden meaning to me. Liefde = Love = El amor and ling= twin= gemela, so in essence it means love twins. It takes two to become one. And I think one kind and powerful word can change the world for the better. Let that word in your heart and soul be love. Liefde. Amor.

 

Sending you Love and Light As always,

Keep Glowing Up

Skylar

 

Meet Justin the Musical Giant. Our Pioneer for a first of its kind : Klein- dorpie WENtaliteit ©

  • Disclaimer, the following post is part of an energy exchange between Justin and I. This means that we have exchanged our  talents and skills to collaborate and share  in  each other’s journeys and we were happy to settle on my writing this blog post. Justin will teach me some basics on a djembe drum to spark up and revive my musical side again.
  • For those of you interested in energy exchanges and or paid partnerships kindly email me at 143colombia365@gmail.com if you would like me to do a featured article on you ,your business ,services, skills etc. Thanks in advance.

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Happy March everyone! It’s been a fiery February to say the least. Feb was filled with many many high notes and some current undertones for me personally, so I am taking the month of MARCH to soldier forth one micro, movement at a time.

“Forward is forward. Progress is progress. And winning is winning! “Whether it’s a teeny tiny win for one or a collective win for us all. A win is a win is win.

Affirm: ” I am winning 24/7/366 “

Speaking of winning, this is a first for skylarglowsup and an initiative that I decided to start out of curiosity and in honour of celebrating the human spirit within the sphere of klein dorpies. If we think about it, klein dorpies ( small towns ) often have diamond mines of talent, creativity, skills, services and more.  The only problem is that  we often don’t recognize what is right under our noses or even within ourselves because we get conditioned into believing that to be rich is to be rich.  That your bank balance defines your worth when in actual fact, we all have something innate that can and must be cultivated into a worthwhile skill or product. Something that we can be compensated for even though it might be an intangible piece of work.

We forget that things such as musical instruments cost money and maintenance. Lessons and formal instruction cost money. Cameras are expensive and one must pay for all the  extras and software to edit and prepare images according to clients preferences. Some of us studied for years, by paying for our qualifications and graduating top of our classes while others tried to start and run their own businesses. We become discouraged when so many of us want a discount here or an extra there.

Those of us who do our best to support each other can’t always do it within the same town. We must branch out or step out into the world like I did to be financially independent when we feel like our klein dorpie mentaliteit won’t allow us to progress as much as we strive to.

We also don’t celebrate, appreciate or invest in our talent. We give up as soon as we grow up and for many of us when we grow older our desires don’t die, they grow stronger. We wish to express our talents and earn decent livings with what God blessed us with even when it’s not always recognized within most klein dorpies. I therefore choose to now celebrate, recognize and honour the greatness within klein dorpies. Klein dorpies besit groot talent!

 Small towns possess huge talent!

I think we have forgotten that we are rich in many ways. We have applicable knowledge. We are rich with having our health. We are rich with family and friends. We are rich with being and living in fruitful areas where we can easily grow our own food and sustain ourselves and our families and we are rich when we have musicality, creativity and artistry running in our veins. It’s therefore essential that we are seen so that we can see what is possible for us. Affirm: Start small.Think BIG!

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skylarglowsup: What is wentaliteit or a wintality to you?

Justin: Wentaliteit is having self confidence by finding out what your passion is. That is how you can build a winning mentality aka wentaliteit. If you have not found your passion yet, search for it by spending time alone. Then, ask yourself the following questions:  ” What brings me joy? What does my heart yearn for? What feels natural to me?

Justin’s love for musical instruments was very evident when I was trying to take photos with him and he was so careful to place them perfectly on display for me. We made sure the colours, textures and elements of each instrument spoke for themselves. We had so much fun and were so energized and excited to see how the photos would come out.

 skylarglowsup: How do I know if I am an artist?

Everyone is an artist. There is something new waiting for you on the outskirts of your comfort zone. People who know how to bake cakes well are artists, you are an artist in the way you use your words to tell stories and write about all of your personal experiences. We must just find our inner voice by being passionate about it, whatever it is to you as an individual.

skylarglowsup: For how long have you been playing musical instruments and how many can and do you play so far?

Justin: I am self-taught even though I don’t like to take full credit for my abilities because I have had many others who came before me that could teach or guide me here and there. I have been doing what I do for the past 10 years and I currently play 12 instruments. I play the bass guitar, electric guitar, mandolin, violin, accordion, harmonica,  djembe drum, congo drum, kajon ( a Peruvian instrument ), bongo drums, the organ and the piano.

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Roxy the dog, was just as excited to see and hear the instruments. We tried to ask her to stay out of the frame, but in the end, we just let her be. Music brings everyone together. Music brings us peace and joy.

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 sklyarglowsup: Who planted the seed of music into your being?

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 Justin : My grand dad played banjo,accordion and guitar. This is actually his accordion that I inherited from him and that is where it started for me. Hearing him play music made me want to play music as well.

I noticed when I saw these photos on my laptop that when I rotated the original photo to show upright in stead of top to bottom, it totally changed my perspective on what Justin not only said and lives but the accordion resonated this with HOHNER ( the German brand of musical instruments ) and I simply read it as honour. Justin honours his roots by channeling his grand dad’s legacy and now creating a new legacy for the next generation of giants not only for klein dorpies but on a universal scale. I have not met anyone yet who plays 12 instruments from scratch.  Have you?

skylarglowsup: What do you say or how do you deal with the naysayers in life?

Justin: When you go against the grain, people shoot arrows at you. They fear the unknown. Sometimes when what you do is too complex, people will label it as weird, when it’s actually groundbreaking. Those are people who conform.

 I think people should yearn for something bigger. Typical comments are : ” Have you ever heard anyone making it big by playing music whose from a small town?”  or  “You have to play what other people will like or you’ll never make it big.”  These negative comments actually made me put in more hours of practicing and playing musical instruments, writing poetry and singing songs.

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skylarglowsup: What advice would you give to other wintalists such as yourself no matter their age, race ,gender, occupation, skill level, desire, talent, upbringing or environment ?

Justin : At times negative comments can make you feel anger and aggression. When people say things like  ” You are wasting your time” or  ” Get a real job “. You feel this way towards others because you know that they haven’t crossed any boundaries yet.

 My advice to others would be to not underestimate yourself. I am short in stature and that does by no means mean that I am capable of less. So don’t let these things affect your drive. Be true to yourself. Keep the fire burning in your heart. Don’t become a copy.  Don’t bow down to social rules. Have a strong sense of self and don’t let go of  the dream. People are jealous of passion. They are in prison. That ” I’m worried about what others are going to say.” kind of prison. The gate is wide open. Use your uniqueness and embrace what’s different about you. Escape the cycle. 

I look forward to capturing some of my djembe drum session with  Justin when we see each other for another round of klein dorpie Wentaliteit. Let’s celebrate all the talent within our small communities and also uplift and inspire each other to dream big, do big, think big and be big.

  • Update 3 months later now June 2020, lock -down stage 3 : Justin and I completed our energy exchange with him giving me a  one on one session with the djembe drum. I had used his smaller djembe drum while he lead with his bigger drum ( see photos above for reference )
  • He taught me how to listen to the drum’s sound and that the placement of my hands and power or my beating the drum would have an effect on the combos that he showed me. I had to use my palms and fingers to create that beautiful rhythm that only drums can produce and I felt closer to the motherland. I also saw the potential of acquiring new skills with percussion instruments that would open up new worlds for me as a singer-songwriter.
  • It was an amazing experience to explore this instrument ( the djembe drum ) and I feel that I if  have the time, commitment and means that I could be and excellent djembe drum player myself. Thanks Justin.Excellent work!

Keep glowing up

Love and light,

Skylar

143

I am emotionally bankrupt. Accepting donations of kindness, softness, patience,emotional support, mindfulness,warmth and understanding now and beyond.

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I have been back home for about 4 months now and it’s been a very challenging and demanding return. I have done my best to prepare others for the worst, so that they may take the initiative to help me get back to my best, so I can get on with life but it has become very clear and evident that today’s society, my culture , my community and certain individuals and the world as a whole does not care. In fact they could care less. 

 

I didn’t think it was possible but they could literally care less if I was not around anymore.Since I do not have a mold nor a box to fit into, they are unable to compartmentalize me.They just ignore me, because I am unfit.

 

I am speaking from a place of being emotionally bankrupt. I am publically declaring emotional bankruptcy. 

I have nothing to give, I have nothing to spare, nothing to contribute, not tomorrow, not for a long while and I am keeping what little I have to self- sustain and heal my trauma brain. Please understand. And if you don’t understand. Please be kind.

I am self -regulating and healing my emotional wounds that need to be gently opened, prodded until the root cause of my pain is identified, then sanitized and sterilized until it naturally heals and forms a beautiful scar. 

If my scars scare you.I suggest you learn to look at your own unhealed wounds first. My scars are powerful reminders of my resilience and strength. 

If my process doesn’t sit well with you, you can sit somewhere else, far far away from me.

And if my battle seems unnecessary or imagined or attention- seeking  to you, it’s necessary for me to fight it alone.

I used to  invest my time, efforts, loyalty and love in unworthy, unkind, unappreciative, insensitive, inconsiderate, bully types and self -serving , entitled,  self- important characters who took advantage of my efforts to be kind, to be gentle, to be honest, to be sincere, to be considerate, to be consistent, to be present and to go above and beyond for them in the spirit of love and closeness, friendship and community.

I lost 18 years to this and I am not about to spend the next 18 years  like this just because it’s familiar. Just because love comes naturally. Just because love and  kindness are my main currencies. Just because others aren’t as in touch with themselves as I am.Just because they were raised that way. 

This is the problem with backward thinking.They only know one way and that way rarely works. Backward thinkers can’t move forward but they want to enjoy the benefits of forward thinkers.

They think they deserve a seat at my table of love when they show up empty handed after being the first to eat and the first to leave, not even cleaning up or offering to host the next time.

If you’re stuck in reverse, change the gear . Don’t look at me to guide you.You must learn to drive.Don’t get drunk or high then get behind the wheel expecting to arrive safely.

Don’t expect me to be the designated driver in your life’s lane.You made choices that have consequences that you didn’t consider and now you think reversing through life will somehow bring you forward. 

Yes, good energy starts with me and stays with me now.

But nothing is free. If you want to be an integral part of this part of my life, pay attention to me. Spend time with me. Make time for me. Create the new with me. 

Help me see beyond my trauma and focus on my gigantic triumphs that I have made thus far. 

Reprogramming and unlearning toxic traits takes time.And it’s very hard when you are in a hostile environment trying to get back to a peaceful more accepting one.

 This is a lifetime commitment. And it’s a slow and gradual process.It is a scary and painful process that brings beautiful and lasting rewards. I can’t skip anything. I can’t ignore or overlook or even avoid anything. I must take my steps, make my strides, face the tides and ride the waves. And when I crash, I crash. Then get back up again.

If my positive changes affect you negatively that’s a poor reflection on you. If my fight for holistic wellness makes you sick to your stomach, that’s a reflection on you, not me.

And if my self -celebration and upliftment makes you depressed and annoyed and frustrated,  again, that’s a reflection on you. 

Introspect. Change your chip. Update your thinking, doing and feeling and learn and apply what works in favour of everyone. Not just yourself.

I can’t afford to be kind to unkind behaviour anymore. I can’t afford to love unlovable treatment and I can’t afford to support selfish- natured individuals who will claim that their wants and needs are of greater importance than mine. We are equally important and the priority should be to stand by each other nor be stood up.Not to be mean and inconsiderate. 

I also can’t be available to unavailability anymore and I most certainly can’t value who doesn’t value me.

The truth is some people can’t self regulate their emotions. They can’t manage their time well.So they believe their stress management is valid when exhibited as lashing out and flaring frustrations and switching off and being cold to your loved ones.

Loved ones deserve love and if you can’t love them in the right way. Learn how or love them from a far and allow them to heal completely. 

Constantly disrupting their momentum when they have good days takes away their dignity and hinders their progress. 

Those who can’t cope without taking their stress out on others need to realize that  negative energy drains out the positive strides I have made.

Those who  can’t feel worthy and confident without breaking others down, need to slow down, sit themselves down and really ask themselves : Is what I am doing and saying helpful, kind, considerate, empowering and necessary right now? Or am I  maybe being mean, because I am stressed out? 

Because I have made such a mess and I don’t know how to fix it ?I am too worried about how bad I look and I know I can do better if someone shows me how?

 Because I am so selfish and not even thinking about how difficult it must be for the next person who has very little hope or stability right now?

What should I do moving forward?  

And what shouldn’t I do anymore? 

How can I be kind just for today? 

Just for 3 minutes even?

 How can I show I care about their well being?

How can I help them, to help themselves? And not expect anything in return.I can simply pay it forward and honour their battle by making their today a little less challenging and a little more powerful? Can I challenge myself now and  choose to do something now or as soon as I can?

As I observe my surroundings and my state of being,I am asking myself if us humans have always been this broken, this lost, this insecure and this rude that the next man’s pain is none of your concern until that pain turns into art. 

Until that pain has been transmuted into gold.

Into a smile. Into pure love.

Then all of a sudden that next man is the best man or in my case woman.

Answer me this please : Why am I only accepted and good enough for others when it suits them? When it pleases them? When it is convenient for them? When it makes them feel good about themselves?  

Why can’t they do the emotional labour that is so crucial to their health and well being? Why can’t they improve and educate their  emotional intelligence? 

And since some of us or too caught up with our own lives, I’d rather lose everything and everyone if it meant I found myself.

 If my existence is such an inconvenience for you, let me bless you with my absence. If my authenticity is such a bother to you, then you hold onto your mask. Keep playing your role.

You keep wearing it and dancing to others tunes as you suffocate on your regrets. 

If my fight for personal expression and freedom is such a disgrace for you, gracefully look the other way.

I am emotionally bankrupt and I am accepting donations now!

 

Do donate kindness

Do donate respect

Do donate understanding

Do donate consistency

Do donate emotional support

Do donate time 

Do donate warmth

Do donate knowledge

Do donate sound advice

Do donate constant reminders

Do donate tolerance 

Do donate nurturing care

 

I am currently and in future not accepting any of the following demeaning and disappointing offers:

 

Judgment

Shame

Guilt

Rehashing the past

Old repetitive cycles

Inconsiderate behaviour

Berating behaviour

Being ignored

Being blatantly manipulated to fit others wants or needs

being disregarded and excluded

being sent on guilt trips

Being left out or pushed aside

Expected to do others emotional labour 

Expected to accept others old programming

Expected to make miracles out of small people

who want to live large

 

These items are rejected effective immediately. 

 

Accepting all donations now.

 

I dedicate this post to anyone and everyone who often times feel unwanted, unheard, unappreciated, invisible, pushed aside, unworthy, unlovable, flawed, mistreated, misused, berated, disappointed, devalued, abandoned, misunderstood, alone and deeply hurt.

If nobody ever says this or does not show it often enough here’s my 3 minutes of kindness and understanding to you.

You matter. Good things are supposed to happen to you and you deserve daily doses of love and care. I send you love, comfort and light.You belong and you are important. -143-

I challenge each and everyone reading this post today to be genuine and kind with someone today.Just for three minutes.

And to those battling depression and anxiety. Look for the win and live in love. Find it in yourself. And build on it. Every second of every day. Don’t give up on yourself. Even when others give up on you. Be kind with yourself today. You are a blessing and you are doing great.

A big thank you to all who continue to be supportive. Every bit helps me more than you realize. I am grateful for having you in my life. You make this journey of transition and healing meaningful,worthwhile, memorable and blessed.

with Fierce Kindness

Continue glowing

Continue being kind

 

Skylar

 

I love Ilse WARRIOR Hendricks. A beautiful inspirational story of sacred sisterhood. Part 1 -144-

20191201_164705Good morning everyone. It’s a beautiful sunny morning in Cape Town. For some reason my alarm went off again this morning at 5:05 a.m and although I still felt a little tired in my body, I got up and went outside to meditate and give thanks for another day.

I watched the birds fly up and over and under and around the sky. They passed through two by two then one at a time then in flocks. I was fortunate to enjoy a cup of coffee and some white grapes for breakfast while admiring my uncle’s garden and invited good energy for today.

I invited good energy for today because my Tuesday’s are very emotionally charged and mentally draining. In the mornings, I go for trauma counseling and this is helping me to process things that have happened in my life over the last 2 almost 3 decades and then at night I go to a night class for a short course that I have joined to reignite my creativity.  I am doing this so that I can turn my passion into profit. I am also doing it in the hopes of inspiring others to run to their dreams. It’s not easy but it is possible.

I will reveal more on that when the time is right.

 So I think today is a good day to inspire the nation. This is my first inspiration for the nation story.  I have decided to focus on the light. I am choosing to remain positive. I am actively and relentlessly searching and delving into happiness and kindness and compassion and tolerance and acceptance and encouragement and empowerment of self and others  As a South African, we have many challenges we are currently facing and some days we fail to see the bright side of things. At times you need to create your own light when there is none and the following person has done just that. Not only for myself on a personal basis but she has also inspired me on a professional basis.

Her name is Ilse WARRIOR Hendricks (30). She is a beautiful, successful, loving and kind being. She is a wife and new mother to a beautiful blue – eyed boy. That boy also brings me so much joy. He infects everyone with his beautiful spirit and it’s such a blessing to be in their lives.

 

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© Palm Photography

I know illness well.  What I am working towards now is to  know wellness well. I have been battling mental illness for a very long time and I sometimes refer to it as a cancer of the mind. It’s invisible, it’s dormant, sometimes undetectable to the naked eye but it can kill. It can kill your spirit,  it can  kill your will to keep going and it’ll drive those who are near you, far far away.

I have learnt over the years that when I becomes we, illness becomes wellness again.

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Ilse has always unknowingly motivated and inspired me throughout my life. The fact that she is a few years younger than I am, doesn’t intimidate or affect me. It makes me feel that if someone as young as her can do big things in life, so can I. Despite my personal challenges or circumstances. If she can, I can.

” Ilse kan nie loop nie, sy is in die hospitaal. Ons weet nie wat is fout nie.”

When her cousin Linzi, one of my best and closest friends  told me:  Ilse can’t walk. She is in hospital. We don’t know what is wrong with her. I felt crestfallen. Because this news was conveyed to me shortly after Linzi shared the good news of Ilse’s baby son being born and that he was a healthy happy baby and that Ilse was recovering well.

” Ilse is nou in die rehab, sy is in n rol stoel. Hulle weet nog nie wat is fout nie.”

“Ilse is now in a rehabilitation center. She is in a wheelchair. They still don’t know what is wrong with her.”

This was another update that Linzi had sent me, because I was still in Colombia and I didn’t know that I would come back home, so I was adamant on keeping in touch and being updated until the doctor found out what was wrong with her.

I was mindful with Ilse’s situation and I simply inboxed her whenever I had good days, as I was facing some challenges myself. I knew that if we simply were present and with each other in spirit, both of us, including all of us who are connected would feel better and face the days with a warrior spirit.

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Ilse receiving radiation.

Ilse later let me know that they had found something that was cancerous and that she needed to go for treatment.  First radiation and chemo – therapy. Of course she lost her hair. But we were still there. Of course she could not be by with her son and husband.But we were still there. Of course she could not walk properly yet,but we could push her in her wheelchair. We are still here.

When I arrived back home, the first thing I did was ask Linzi to take me to Ilse. At that time she was still in the rehab center in Cape Town. I walked into the rehab center with Linzi, and Ilse asked : Linzi, droom ek of is daai Estelle wat langs jou loop?

” Linzi, am I dreaming or is that Estelle walking next to you? “

And the three of us laughed, because she couldn’t believe I was here and I was so happy to see her. We were frolicking so loud that the nurses came to shh us, but we left there all smiles. To me, that was a beautiful homecoming.

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HOPE- Happiness Overcomes Pain Every time ©

When I realized that she would start treatment in November of last year, I decided to custom make her a HOPE jar. The 144 I LOVE ILSE Jar © Remember, I assign new meaning to things that might seem insignificant or have a negative connotation to it.

I knew that she would need to keep her mind positive and push through the aches and pains. I also wanted to inspire her in the same way that she has been inspiring me for all these years. And I believe the my words carried the WARRIOR POWER that she needed.

Ilse always meets me and greets me with a smile and a hug. She has also had the opportunity to work abroad so she knows how to work hard and how hard it is to work abroad. She loves to laugh. She has this bubbly laugh that makes you want to laugh to, without knowing why and she such a natural mother to her son.

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She has really shown me what it means to be resilient. She went from being with child to giving birth to not being able to walk. Then, she went from being bed ridden, to having to use  a  wheelchair, to know being able to walk again.

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I believe her son was her biggest blessing, had he not been born and brought into the world in the way that he was, she might not have discovered her illness as soon as she did and it might not have ended as well as one would expect a 30 something’s life to pan out. There’s a blessing and a lesson in every person in our life. Even when that blessing is sometimes disguises a huge mess!

She is still in her own process and that journey is something that she will share with us in Part 2.

If you are reading this and you have been dealing  with cancer or mental illness, know that you are not alone. May this inspire you. May this lift your spirit. May this help to reflect on your own life and see how blessed you actually are. Just as you are right now.

If you have lost someone to mental illness or cancer. They don’t wish for you to hold onto them anymore. Release them with love as they are at peace now. They know you will never forget about them. They  wish for you to hold onto each other.

Embrace the ones who are still alive and well. Their battles past are you future’s bravery.  They want  you to live full. Not empty. They want you to be well. Not ill.

They are always with you, as guardian angels now.

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Affirmed !

To the family and friends who remain supportive and available for those who are currently in warrior mode. A thank you will never be enough but without you things would be unbearable. I send you love and light. You are warriors too! Not worriers,but warriors!

with love and light

from Skylar

keep glowing up

To Ilse WARRIOR Hendricks:  Lief, ek is baie lief en trots op jou. Jy het geen idee hoe jy my daagliks inspireer nie. Mag jy van krag tot krag  nie net aansterk nie, maar genees. Ek weet jy kan en ek weet jy gaan! Dankie vir alles. Die vriendskap is nou n lekker ene!

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I LOVE ILSE- 144

Out of sight. Out of mind. How being left out and excluded hurts on the inside and often shows on the outside- a world view.

  • Disclaimer: The following post has nothing to do with any one person or any specific event. I use my writing as a vehicle of expression, self- therapy, self – discovery and self- healing. If this does not find you well. Simply let it be. I thank you kindly.

 

Good morning everyone! It’s 11 a.m and it’s quite rainy today in Cape Town and surrounds. I woke up quite late today but I am so grateful for this new week that awaits us and I look forward to just enjoying my Monday.

Morning mantra: “Thank you for blessing me with another day.”

I am taking advantage of the cold weather by spending time indoors and also going within. This is a sensitive topic that has impacted me for decades now. It’s something that I have tried to address in different ways with different people and very few people get it or get me. Allow me to elaborate.

Learn to read between the lines. Pay attention to what is not being said. Not everyone uses literal language or expresses themselves literally. Secondary emotions reveal the crux of the matter. Sadness might actually be an indication of feeling ignored and unheard by others. Needs might be unmet. Find out what those needs are and learn to meet those needs as best as you can, for yourself. Speak to those who are not meeting your needs and teach them how to feed your deserved needs.

– Skylar Darrigan.-

I am like a book. In fact, I am an open book, but not that many people know how to read me well. Yes, they can read the words on the pages, but they might not be able to make educated observations or use their critical thinking skills to really look at some of my chapters in life as ones that were difficult to decipher, ones that caused a lot of trauma, ones that reflects on teen hood and early adulthood emotional neglect and being physically put in harms way and ones where I was abandoned for lengthy periods of time without any knowledge of knowing if someone would come back for me, if they assumed I would just survive with age, if they thought I was ok, because I looked ok on the outside or if they simply refused to take accountability or responsibility for their ill- informed decision making skills that they made  on my behalf and then chose to act like it never happened.

My chapters are complex, perplexed and lengthy. So slow readers or novice  readers won’t even take up the challenge of reading this book from cover to cover.

So I have to cover for them? Should I just summarize the main points? Write up some crip notes? Spoon feed them?

I choose not to do that now. I choose to write better chapters and for those who wish to read, they better be well – prepared, highly educated and be fully equipped for researching, evaluating and comparing and contrasting my story with a world view.

 I was not handed a coping manual while delving through all those chapters of my life.I had to fend for myself in ways that were not just a case of needing a meal and a place to stay to feel safe, but also a hug and some sincere words of encouragement to feel safe. I needed it to be maintained. We all need that. We need stability within change and transition.We all go through stages and phases of life and what keeps us going and makes us feel safe and anchored is stability. The smallest sense of consistency and ability makes us reach for more.

I didn’t need once offs, spur of the moments, only when it was my birthday or only when I achieved something or only when someone remembered or only when it is convenience. Yes, I know we are all busy but nobody is that busy. There is a time and place for everything and everyone. We must learn to manage and adapt to that as each stage arrives. I needed a constant within my chaos,so that my chaos could learn to create and not dissipate.

“Even though my stomach was full. My heart was empty. And it hurt.”

To clarify: I have never gone to bed hungry or thirsty when it came to my physical needs but I have felt emotionally emaciated and malnourished  and my heart strings broke with each chord that others could only interpret only as sadness or being ungrateful and not genuine hunger and thirst for more of what I needed, wanted and deserved and that was love, understanding and nurturing.

I have been through the process of looking for love in all the wrong places, looking for it in all the wrong faces and wanting those who were already obligated to care and love others, to love me and love me more and love me best. And the more I would look for it in others who could not give love to me with ease, in walked dis- ease. If it was only given to me for a short while, in walked abandonment and separation anxiety and if it was only given to me under severe or  special circumstances in walked a false sense of self.

 

“Being abroad made me lose sight of my mind. I thought I knew enough. I knew nothing. And that was my biggest break into world travel and inner knowing.”

 

Many of us, expats or people who leave their hometowns in search of better opportunities get treated this way. We feel discarded,replaced, left out, forgotten, unwelcomed, unappreciated,unworthy and unlovable.

It’s a painful, hurtful, confusing and disheartening truth to walk through and it’ ll drive  a person to isolation and loneliness which is unnecessary and undeserved.  When inclusivity and acknowledgement is an option.

“The honeymoon phase fades and it’s a hard slap of reality when you become a novelty and not a collector’s item. People praise you at first, then they start to ignore you. Until you come back home again. Then they praise you. And when you leave. They ignore you again. It hurts to say the least. At best, it’s better for me to choose Me.”

Initially everyone celebrates your win. They have farewells for you. They say come visit. They say we will come and visit you and they tell you to keep in touch. But the moment you stay away or quiet for too long, they decide, without evaluating the situation, without researching, without investigation, without knowing the emotional climate or without knowing your battles, that you have now thrown your friends and family away.

Meanwhile they might not know that you are ALONE in a foreign country. That there is a different set of rules and cultural norms that you must follow or adapt to if you want to thrive and live well. That you are busy learning a new language,that you need to contact at least 20 people before you can get a simple and straightforward answer to something that would take 15 minutes to do in your place.

That anger is frowned upon in the work place. That you can get fired for not being friendly and that you can also get dismissed for being 5 minutes late to work. That after signing a very attractive contract that came with many benefits and job security you were treated like a slave.

Yes, I use the world slave as a way of showing that whichever company I was then working for, acted like they owned me and took my dignity away from me.

There were instances where I literally had to perform like a clown to entertain them and that it took away from my passion of being a teacher. That I was threatened with losing my visa and that it became a constant nightmare to go to work or even enjoy my days off ,because I had to use those to go for medical appointments, run errands, go grocery shopping, try and take a break.

All  of this while I was missing my nearest and dearest who could not take the small initiative of picking up the phone every once in a while to blast my inbox with happy photos or sending me a care package as a collective so I would know that I was not out of sight and out of their minds and my mind. I am not talking about tagging me in status updates or chain messaging me things. I am referring to sending something to me,for me to remind me that I am still there even though I am not physically there.

Do a life audit of your friends, family and contacts. It’ll make your life and their lives easier once you remove who no longer serves you and remove yourself if you don’t have anything to offer them.

 

I sat in my apartment one day, in Colombia, and I wrote down, as an exercise how many family members I roughly had. It wasn’t about bashing my family. I simply did it as the family unit is easier to evaluate and they are tied together whereas a group of friends might  not have the same person in common, which in this case, was me.

I noticed that I had about 40 family members give or take only from the one side of the family. What I wished then was that if people were not able to visit me, or might not have time to call or text because of life happening, have they ever thought of pulling together and doing something for me as a collective? Has it crossed their minds to think, ” How would I feel if I were alone in a foreign country, far away from home, what would fill my heart with joy right now? What would feed my soul right now? A family photo? A video? Some South African snacks? A book? A birthday card? ” And had they not know, they could simply ask me.

And so, I reflected on my life abroad. I reflected on feeling and being left out and how being excluded hurts on the inside and sometimes shows on the outside and I made peace with myself and my circumstances.After 7 years of change, I have changed for the better. I made peace with my choice to honour my uniqueness and celebrate my bravery of being the first of my generation of women to do what I boldly did.

Which was to step out of my comfort zone and gain a world view. I stepped out of my comfort zone and I pushed through my emotional pain. I pushed through my trauma and I pushed through the loneliness. I pushed through the abandonment and I am damn proud of myself for being able to now walk with grace and poise into this new chapter of my life.

Count your blessings one by one. Remember to always start with you, that’s blessing number one.- 143-

Today, I would love to dedicate this post to all my friends who are still living, working and loving abroad.

You have taught me so much about myself as a South African, as a solo traveler, as a person, a friend, a lover a teacher, an aunt, a cousin, a sister, a niece, and a writer.

Those who have returned to Mzansi, I thank you as well. Thank you for being kind, inclusive, supportive, humble, understanding, collaborative, uplifting, fun, crazy, adventurous, daring and resilient. WE made the best of the best times and have gone through the worst of the worst times together. Love live our bonds!

Our bonds lie forever together wherever we may find ourselves. This is the beauty of Universal love. It’s always there. It’s omnipresent and everlasting.

Also, to my support system here at home in South Africa. I thank each and everyone of you, the calls in the midnight hours, the voice notes, the photos, the good news, the constant updates, the last minute favours, the driving in and out, the good company, the dancing and doing yoga together, playing music together, listening to me recite my poetry so I can find my voice,the watching the stars and enjoying the full moons,  the constant check- ins, the songs, the videos, the cards, the welcome homes, the take care of yourself’s, the hugs, the outings, the dinners, the braais, the play dates with your kids and hanging out with your husbands and wives, the love you lots, the you’re welcome to stay as long as you wish’s ALL is WELL with Estelle thanks to you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. May blessings shower your day today.

And if you are reading this and feel like the above mentioned views within your own environment, I don’t know where you are or who you are. You might be from a small town like me or you might be a world famous author or singer or a struggling artist or an outcast or a misfit. Let me tell you how brilliant you are.

I will convey to you what one of my mentors at university at the department of African Languages said to me a few weeks ago:  ” Be strong. You are not alone and as soon as one door closes, another and another and another will open. Just be strong and love yourself. Don’t put your eggs in one basket. “

 

with Love and Light,

from Skylar

Keep glowing beautiful souls.

Assigning new meaning to love: Happy Valentine’s day to each and every one !

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“Pro tip: Classify your problems. They can be solved. Classify your issues. They can be resolved.” -142-

Good evening everyone! I hope this finds you all very well. It’s now 8:25 p.m in South Africa. I am currently in Lansdowne, to be exact and I am in the comfort of  one of my aunt’s homes.

I have recently been fortunate enough to reconnect with her as well as one of my cousins, who I have not seen in 12 years! Yes! 12 years! He is still a genius and I am still as creative as I used to be and we spent  a good few hours talking with each other.  Catching up with him made me realize that time passes and time flies.

He also told me to not worry about the future and to take it one day at a time. This is something many people advise me to do but it is quite challenging to implement when you are like me. Someone who is used to multi-tasking, always being on call and wanting to be available to everyone or wanting to do a thousand things within a few days KNOWING it’s not always humanly possible. At times I do this,because I don’t always have the physical,mental or emotional capacity do as much as I used to and I starting to make peace with it now.

So he unknowingly affirmed to me again how important a day is.

A day is 24 hours long.

1140 minutes long.

and

86400 seconds long.

And I have decided to  classify my problems, so that they can be solved as well  as classify my issues so that they may be resolved.  For Valentine´s day 2020, I assigned new meaning to it to suit my current state of transformation and transition as well as link it in with my 90 days of self love. ( Today, 16 Febuary 2020,marks day 27 of my journey with self love : Estelle is WELL )

I went and looked at the words. Valentine and  Day. So, in Spanish the word valentía means courage, bravery or gallantry and this term could be used to describe a brave deed or an act of bravery. So I choose to see my Valentine’s Day as a day filled with bravery with the basis of love.

I now also see Valetine’s  Day as Valuing the Time in a Day. That is to say, that every hour is of great value depending on WHO you spend it with and not so much WHAT you are spending money on.

If I had 24 hours ONLY to love myself as best as I could, I would want to love myself bravely. I would use 1140 minutes thanking myself for more than 3 decades worth of daring and scary inner and outer battles, monumental personal strides and a lifetime worth of international experience. Thanks to me. Been there, done that, wore the t-shirt.

I would celebrate my gallantry in full effect. I would  make good use of each of those 86400 seconds to forgive myself for all the silly and careless mistakes I have made. I would go easy on myself and admit and acknowledge that I have made poor choices, I have made wrong turns and I have neglected my needs for a very long time in order to fullfill the needs of others and I would also be proud of myself for learning most my lessons then, so that I don’t have sit with them all hanging over my head now. So that I won’t repeat them when I am confronted with the same environment or situation.  I would honour myself in knowing that I am now changing for the better as best as I can and a pace that I am able to manage and maintain.

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Start small but THINK and DO BIG! -142-

So far, I have only taken Step 1 and that is already a step closer toward myself. Step 1 was to get back to myself with professional help and rewiring my mind and my behaviour even though I am in a familiar environment,it feels as if everything is new. And that feels amazing! Knowing that I can leap forward with just this step alone.

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“Do not become what you have overcome. If you have overcome dark times, live in the light. If you have overcome addiction, live mindfully. If you have overcome abuse. Live lovingly.” -142-

When you are able to sit with yourself and introspect the parts of you that you might not yet be able to love, take a moment to reflect on what good is currently present within you. What have you done well today? What goal have you reached today? Did you get up early today? Where you able to make the bed and have a neat and tidy room? Did you manage to get to the gym? Did you sleep well? If you answered yes to just one of these self- check questions you will realize that you’re step one’ing it. You have started your journey. Some of us need to repeat a step 10 000 times before moving into step 2,so if that’s you. Then do you and do it well !

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Plant better seeds not bitter seeds. Flourish. Do not perish. -142- 

When you are starting a new journey into an unknown heaven, it’s so easy to revert back to familiar hells. It’s so easy to just work with what you are used to,but what you are used to might not be healthy or helpful to you. It might not be adding to your growth and it might just be taking from your fruits of labour. If you are also taking from yourself to give to others when you are not fully ripe yet,slow down. Examine your crop and be extra patient with yourself. Perfection takes time.

So be kind, be very, very, very kind and grateful and mindful and aware of yourself  and your heart and soul when you feel like things aren’t as easy as you thought it would be or expected it to be. Remember, when we plant seeds, they need darkness and rain and time and isolation to grow. So do you. So water yourself with love every second that you possibly can.

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ZOOM IN AND SAY ALOUD SEVERAL TIMES TO YOURSELF NOW!

I, myself would have loved to receive a bouquet of flowers or have someone special cook a meal for me or take me out for a drink and a long walk in nature to just enjoy the silence and the beauty of our world on this Valentine’s day. It would have been so refreshing to receive some gifts of love and appreciation or a beautiful card to remind me of how loved I already know I am. Guess what? I didn’t feel left out,because I could go within. I looked within myself and spoke lovingly to Me by celebrating and honouring my being. Right where I am and not where I would have liked to be or what I would have like to had happened. I simply welcomed the day with bravery and loved it.

How will you spend 24 hours in a brave new way in honour of love?

So, if you are reading this, wherever you are and whoever you are ALWAYS remember that you are loved. NEVER forget that you are loved and remember to Value the Time in a DAY.

 

HAPPY VDAY 2020!

Love and Light,

Skylar

For the month of love, why not love yourself and others unapologetically.

Good morning beautiful people! It’s already the 8th of February 2020 and it’s 9:28 a.m right now in South Africa. I hope that wherever you find yourself right now that you are well. 2020 is blessing us with so much good fortune and moment to moment miracles that I am compelled to write what on my heart’s mind this morning.

Yes, my heart has a mind of its own it loves and speaks fiercely, freely and unapologetically.

Love and be loved.

-Skylar Darrigan-

39 life- enhancing days have  already passed  and we are blessed with 327 remaining days of this powerful decade :  “TWENTY TWENTY the birth and activation of PLENTY PLENTY”.

Today is day 22 of my 90 days of Self – Love: ESTELLE is WELL. I would like to share how the first 21 days has gone thus far with all of you. Who knows, there might be something that rings true to you and your truth might be calling you to love you as well and as best as you can right now.

NOW= Never Oppress Winning.

I divided my 90 days into 3 sections and phases so that I could fall in love with myself holistically. I broke it down like this to give myself enough space and time to start slow and steady, gain momentum and then complete the cycle in full bloom. Like a super moon!

30+30+30= 90= beginning+middle+end= past+present+future=mind+body+soul=head+ heart + hands= me, myself and I=unapologetic, unwavering and unconditional love

I set simple intentions, goals and objectives so that I am able to pace myself, progress daily and look forward to tomorrow not knowing what is coming but loving that tomorrow is yesterday’s reason for being grateful and in awe of myself, today.

be soft; speak softly. breathe softly. move softly. sing softly. walk softly.write softly.listen softly. as graceful as a queen, as soft as a butterflies wings.

– Skylar Darrigan-

Here are my goals and objectives, ask yourself during introspection what your goals and objectives are.

  •  Inner work
  • Inner child healing
  • Inner knowing
  • Inner cleansing
  • Inner clearing
  • Welcome my authentic and higher self to reign with poise and grace
  • open up to receive the love that the Universe has ready and waiting for me

Quick fast tip : Questions are key in personal development as they propel you into thinking and observing – mode and not critiquing and finger pointing – mode. This is how you can be kinder and softer with yourself.

Questions to ask in order help myself  to progress, transition into the new and transform into the best version of me:

  • How can I love myself today?
  • How can I be gentle and kind to myself and others today?
  • How can I nourish myself today?
  • How can I think, do, eat and act healthful today?

Lisa Nichols prompts, I use these prompts as this is where I started in my personal development journey about 2 years ago and this is where I choose to flow and glow in 2020 as well. Thanks Lisa Nichols for these invaluable jewels.  You give me life!#yesyes

  1.  I am proud of you for:
  2. I forgive you for:
  3.  I commit to you that:

 I am love and light.

– Skylar Darrigan-

I have always loved well and I have always been loved well. I just forget. In all the mess and stress and being upset and confused and out of place and out of tune with my inner song, I simply forgot. And I am so grateful and blessed for the reminders that grace me now. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. 10 000 times thank you !

For as long as I can remember, I was a happy child, everyone wanted to hold me when I was a baby and I tons of photos of myself and my family members holding me in their arms with smiles as far and wide as the sea with me simply posing. No smile. Just me being me and they loved me, unconditionally.

 As a young girl, people would flock to me, wanting to be my friend and simply play together. I have the fondest memories of play dates with my classmates from school.

We would run outside, walk bare feet and build pretend houses in their gardens.

We would swim and camp near rivers and have cooked breakfasts on the riverbanks with their parents telling us about nature and the weather. I didn’t mind sleeping bags and having to use the bush as my bathroom and sharing a tent with boys and girls was the greatest adventure to me.

I remember visiting one of my childhood friends on his farm and his father would come and pick me up with their bakkie and their dogs and he was always happy to see me and we would play with lego blocks in his room. I would run around and just be me.

I knew I was loved. I knew I was safe. I knew I belonged and I knew I was living well.

I remember how I would feed hamsters, go treasure hunting for snails and sticks, so we could have tea parties with mud cakes and climb trees.We would swing around like monkeys. I remember swimming in backyards and swinging freely, always surrounded by my friends and classmates who loved to play and run and roll up and down the large lawns. I remember walking down the streets at night when we grew older again with the boys and girls together. All of us happy. Smiling. Free.

As a teenager, I experienced the same. Love came to me all the time because love was within me at all times. People sending me books and taking me on unexpected trips with them to Hawston, Fisher Haven, Club Mykonos, Goudini Spa,Pringle bay. I would go where I never thought it was possible or that I would have the opportunity to go or experience life’s adventures and pleasures but somehow I always did and do. I would care packages with biltong and droewors and chocolates and my favourite body spray.

In my early twenties I would go dancing with all my friends and play pool in pubs, clubs and dim light bars, kiss friendly strangers, fall in love with my surroundings, make out with my secret crushes and fall asleep in each others arms lying a twin bed on the  outside stoep of our friend’s home and waking up to laughter over the previous night’s fun on the dance floor.

I have memories of watching the clear night sky and wishing upon stars not knowing that I am the biggest one. My given name really means star. And there’s nothing little about me either. I am shooting,shining, star.

In my mid twenties,2012 to be exact. I made the most life – altering decision to venture abroad so I could broaden my horizons, become a trail blazer for the generations to come and to leave my comfort zone and enter growth and glow zone. Still, I was loved. The most amazing people would just gravitate toward me and we took trips to the desert, small islands, we went to cultural festivals, catch weekend flights to Dubai for an Alicia Keys concert.

Side note: That was THE BEST DAY of my entire life ! Alicia Keys, if you are reading this, I love you. You are my saving grace. Within every stage of my life. I don’t know how you do it, but every album that I have listened to has brought me out of darkness and into light.

My duality is eternally grateful to your existence in this life and the next. The first time I saw you perform was on Oprah’s show, while I was watching TV, most likely doing homework or having soming to eat after school. I was instantly  in love with your artistry, authenticity and angelically healing voice. Your story has helped me to continue mine. I think it was about 11 years later that I was fortunate enough to see you live at your Girl on Fire tour in Dubai. I honour music. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I said that to say this ; It’s time for bliss. I will no longer apologize for loving the ones I love and being loved so well by them. I also won’t apologize for the way I love. A way that leaves an irrevocable mark and permanent imprint on the heart’s of those who I love.

I won’t apologize for wanting to hug a stranger, listen to them attentively and give them a shoulder to cry on when I can. I won’t apologize for loving kids,animals,insects and nature. I won’t apologize for having the pleasure of knowing people from all over the world. Having loved women from all over the world and choosing to fall in love again with someone who is so unique and different and majestic that it takes my breathe away.

I won’t apologize for wanting the best for her, I won’t hide the fact that I would like to protect her and give her the world while I am creating heaven on earth for her and for us. What and who is meant for me is FOR ME and ONLY ME and I already have it all.

I own it and I choose it and I claim it and honour and protect it with my love.

My love is ruthless.

In the same sentiment that what’s for you is yours. A kind reminder:  You don’t need to sabotage mine in order to get yours. You don’t need to envy me or copy me to get yours. Just be YOU.

This is what this 90 day journey of Self – Love: Estelle is WELL is making me see so clearly. I won’t dim my light. I won’t stop loving you. And I won’t stop loving me. I will be exactly who I am who and that might be exactly who you need me to be right now.

8 Feb 20208 Feb 2020 2

Personal disclaimer* I never share my personal conversations in the public sphere because I respect, honour and trust those who trust,honour and respect me. I always ask permission from those involved and protect my loved ones identities and privacy if they are not comfortable with sharing some of their powerful journeys as well.

Last night, was a really beautiful night for me, a really beautiful day actually. I was productive, I sold three of my motivational jars, I went to give thanks to someone who was a true pillar of support to me while I was obtaining my BA degree at university and I paid it forward by paying her back with happiness and kindness in a beautiful orange jar. Even her husband said; “there´s a shift in your energy. You know, I think that so many people are broken, we must just help everyone else to see the light.” Then I replied that the light is within.

Then , I went to visit another close friend at her house and before we knew it, it was load shedding. There was no electricity from 20:00 p.m to 22:00 p.m

Guess what we decided to do?  We sat outside her house at the back with her now 11 year old son and we just talked and laughed together. They have 4 dogs. Two Alsatians  and two Dachshunds and all four dogs came to me, not leaving my side and jumping up and down with excitement and giving me so much love. So within our load shedding slot of darkness, again, I had light. WE didn’t even bother to light any candles. Our smiles was light. The dogs gave me light. Hearing her son talk about how much he loves to draw, was light.

Greeting her younger sister, who is expecting a beautiful boy, with her now husband coming to greet and hug me and wishing me happy 2020, was light. Seeing her father eat his dinner with a headlamp on his head was light. And hugging her mother and giving her some of our garden’s passion fruit, was light.

BE THE LIGHT.

When I came home around 21:00 p.m, I had to use my phone’s torch to come inside, park the car in the garage, lock the gate and close and secure the garage door and then I immediately lit some candles when I entered my house. Again, I had light. and I felt immense love and joy.

I still had some battery left so I decided to text one my Colombian sweethearts as it was his birthday. It was also my dad’s birthday, so there might be a hidden meaning there.  Gelukkige verjaarsdag. Dankie vir alles dad. Ek is lief vir jou pappa.

I took this last hour of darkness to reflect and give thanks for a week gone well and to celebrate and love a good man. I sent him a message, first a voice note and then there was no network, so all the messages were delayed and he said something I did not expect.

I just sent him my sincere regards and that he should have a happy birthday with all his loved ones and he said : ” You know what you brought to my life ? ” I said : “No”.

So, no messages came through and then the phone showed 16 unread messages and it was him, thanking me, inspiring me, motivating me, celebrating me and wishing me well???

 “How beautiful is that ? To love and be loved.”

If you are reading this, please know that you are love and you loved. There are people in your life rooting for you, working behind the scenes to pave a way to your dreams with you and for you. Some people are having sleepless nights to help you help yourself. People are having wakeful dreams to create, produce and build anew. They are building international bridges, bridging the gaps where there are currently things missing, they are moving heaven and earth for you, praying for you, missing you, longing to hug and kiss you and see you win. And win you can. And win you will.

Your tribe is universal. Your tribe is limitless. Your tribe is currently making the impossible i’m possible. Your tribe here, near and dear, my darling.  Your tribe is here and we are not going anywhere.

There are influencing strangers walking into your life right now wanting to give you nothing but love and there are familiar faces who have been with you since day one, who won’t leave your side. Even if you paths had to separate, trust me they are carving their way back to you. They are slaying dragons and demolishing boundaries and barriers to open a new frontier.

There is someone very powerful in your life who loves you to life and wants to shower you with that love. They want you to open up and receive it with poise and grace.

 Do bathe in it often. Indulge in it. Savour it. Have fun with it. Play with it. Explore and celebrate it daily. Talk to it and ask it questions. Give it answers.You deserve that love. And that love whole- heartedly deserves you.

Please fight for that love. Please recognize that love, as it might come wrapped in chaos even though all it really is, is creation. Please allow that love to come and go and stay. Please allow that love to express itself in all its wonder and creativity. Please allow that love to nurture and nourish you.Please allow that love to draw strength from your strength and allow strength and glory to free flow to you and through constantly until infinity. Please allow that love to see how majestic you are.Don’t hide your brilliance any longer. Don’t downplay yourself. Simply shine together. Please and thank. you. Please allow that love to voice its fears, then conquer them. Please allow that love to cry to you,then wash them clean and please allow that love to scream and then sing.

Even though it might feel or appear that it’s unexpected or undeserved you should realized that it is so well – deserved.

Even though  there might be madness in this method. It’s love in it’s most powerful form and it’s all yours and that love is picking up every stone, thorn, knife, and broken piece to build a new heaven within you. Heaven is You.

That love is now taking every drop of poison and transforming it into pure bliss. HUG and KISS. New You.

 

I hope this finds your hearts well and full of delight

Sincerely yours,

Skylar

Keep glowing up

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

Dear high-mai’s, you do look good on my arm but your unresolved daddy issues does you and me more harm in the long run.

This is an open letter to the high – maintenance women I have had the pleasure of dating and shared friendships with.

I am about to hurt your feelings but heal your heart. So pay attention. I know you are used to attention being paid to you but today I am flipping the script and holding a mirror up in front of you. I am paying you a visit by blessing you with the gift of responsibility and accountability for your choices and actions as well my choices and actions.self-confidenc-quote-hp-i-3-1

Let me start by saying you are mean. According to dictionary.com to be mean means:

adjective, mean·er, mean·est.

mean

Merriam- webster gives us even more options to see what it means to be mean.

1lacking distinction or eminence HUMBLE

4lacking dignity or honor BASEmean motive

5aPENURIOUSSTINGYHe’s very mean with his money.
bcharacterized by petty selfishness or malicemean surly man

mean V.20

You are mean- spirited and inconsiderate of others feelings and you reek of bitterness, emptiness  and unfilfullment and it shows. Everyone sees it and nobody cares enough to mention it to you. Yes, you, the self- proclaimed drama queen. Yes, you, the best friend who has ugly duckling, wall flower besties because you know that they make you look better to the outside world.

People usually stay clear from you. At times they entertain your damsel in distress M.O because they already know what is really going on with you deep down inside.Short answer: Not much. A whole lot of nothing. I told you this was going to hurt. Try to keep in mind that the “truth hurts only once and a lie every time”. So you can hide behind the lie or you can face the truth. Your move.

You might look good on the outside, with your hair did and your nails done and your eyebrows on fleek and your make – up on point and your body snatched but I am afraid that’s just a pretty little wrapping for a person who is only wrapped in themselves. Women who are only wrapped up in themselves make very very meaningless gifts.

Did you know that you could exchange that mean gene for something so much better if you realize that you can give yourself the gift of self- love ?

Did you know that you could drain the bitter vain by converting your energy into being better?

Did you know that you didn’t have to drag your dad’s absence into my presence of being with you, spending quality time with you, taking a genuine liking in your interests and seeing you for the beautiful person that you are?

Did you know that you are not the only one suffering, hurting, healing, searching for answers and needing comfort,attention, love and guidance?

Did you know that you don’t have to use relationships as rehabs or job opportunities and that you can actually go and talk to someone about your unresolved issues and learn how to see things in a positive light?

Did you know that your friends, romantic partners, co – workers and kids genuinely care for your well-being but that they are not your emotional dumpsters and crutches because your daddy does not love you? Realize that they do. Read that again. Let it sink in. It might take a while, but let it sink in. Then anchor it in your mental space so that you no longer have the need to moan about your dad not giving you attention because there are plenty of people who can, want to and actually love you.  I am legit speaking facts.

Your emotional and mental carry – on that you take with you everywhere that is filled with how you got hurt, how you got abandoned by your father, how you don’t have money because your father does not pay for things anymore, how your exes cheated on you, how you got used, how you got two- timed, how you can’t trust people because you know that everyone is out to get to you is not allowed on my flights. No baggage allowed. No exceptions. No grace. No just this one time. No is a complete sentence, says Lisa Nichols. Not even if you paid per kilo to bring it with you. No in other words means No.Period.

It’s time that you unpack that and come with an empty suitcase and learn how to pack blessings, and lessons and growth and acceptance of self and renewal with you. New you requires a new view. IF you want to catch this flight, leave the baggage where you found it. Drop it off at the lost and found counter if you must,but it aint coming with you. Travel light.

Kind reminder: If it has nothing to do with me. It has NOTHING to do with me. Read that again please. Allow me to also read it to myself. If it has nothing to do with me. It has NOTHING to do with me and everything to do with you. The onus is on you. Whatever happened in your life is what happened, that is just life. It is nobody’s fault. It is just is what it is. We all go through things. Big things,small things, debilitating things, things that break us,shake us,kill us and also revive and inspire us.

The  people in your life are not here for you  to blame and shift your emotions onto like they are some kind of emotional dumpster for you to just throw your shit at as if you are in a  back alley in the middle of the night. People are not at your disposal or for your disposal. Treat people with dignity and respect.

That means that if I walked into your life today, I am here from today. I was not in your life two years ago, when that thing with your ex happened and now I have to listen to your broken record of how you got hurt. Over and over again. I am not your dad, I did not leave your mother for another woman to start a new family with and forget about you. I am not your half -sibling who gets to spend more time with your dad because, he always wanted a boy and not a girl. I am not the reason for your shortcomings. I came to you full. Not empty. So why are you so empty if your world is full of untapped blessings?

Change the station. Tune in to me. I am a much higher frequency. I am way better for your health. I offer healthy thoughts. I come to you with dignity and respect. I brought you some growth. I even managed to pack in some tolerance and forgiveness. Wouldn’t a change or thought and deeds be nice right now? I know I need constant change as my journey shifts.

You drag me into your brokenness looking for a fix, when I am not about that life. I can motivate you and support you on your journey to self- healing, yes. You however need to participate in your healing. This was a lesson I had to learn myself and it came at a very high price. I have been searching, asking, and receiving the right help for a very long time now.

I had to investigate, experiment, endure, tolerate,discover and maintain many kinds of treatments, medical procedures, prescription drugs, alternative approaches, traditional approaches and the list continues.

I have had to do my due diligence and do my homework about everything that I needed to improve upon. I had to read and learn and apply and fail and lose to come to grips with the fact that I can be a good human being by not only doing good, but being good to myself first. So your meanness no longer gets to come in and disrupt my good.

I know how much you love free things and being catered to and getting everyone to pay for everything for you but this is not one of those outings. You have to go within. So access to my  joy-ride is also denied. You can go ahead and continue riding your emotional roller-coaster all by yourself. Yes, I know how you need people to like you and how you always need company, but so does misery and frankly, you can miss me with that.

They( add list here) broke you. It’s not my responsibility to fix you. They used you. It’s not my responsibility to validate you. They left you. It’s not my obligation to stay when respect and kindness is no longer served. And you are the common denominator in all of this. Not me. Think about it.

Your spoilt brat – attacks are not sexy or cute and very unpleasant to deal with.It’s uncalled for. Express yourself in a mature,calm way. Stop feeding your need to be seen because you feel invisible and ignored by your dad. Your childlike and childish manners in public are unappetizing to say the least. Going to the mall, flirting with random people and actively fishing for compliments because I don’t tell you how beautiful and amazing you are is worrisome. There is a place and time for everything. And personal praise starts with you.

You need to be self- assured by knowing yourself and talking yourself up first and foremost. I don’t mind affirming what you already know to be true.

So what’s true? Just the fact that you are alive and well makes you beautiful. Just the fact that you took a shower,got dressed,practiced personal hygiene and put on a smile and wearing a happy face makes you beautiful.  Public display of affection is not necessary to prove that I am with you, that I find you attractive or that I think that you are the most beautiful woman I know. You simply need to believe it and enjoy it. It’s for you. Not the masses. You however insisting on a constant shower of compliments and feel good say things is unhealthy,unbalanced and draining.

Your behaviour at social gatherings is also off putting and quite ridiculous. The fact that you are an over- achiever at academics and sports gives you no right whatsoever to treat people the way you do. As if they are beneath you.  As if you need to be wined and dined because your daddy didn’t take you out when you were younger. Take yourself out for a drink then.

What  I also would like to address is you thirsty nature and attention- seeking behaviour that destroys the best of me when you are at your worst. You sometimes put yourself in danger and then want to cry wolf after going into the lion’s den believing that you won’t fall prey because of you are a gazelle. A model, a beauty queen. Let me kindly remind you that preys get stalked, chased and eaten alive.

I notice how you go fishing for compliments online with your half naked public displays. I notice how you add any randoms to your profile in the hopes of getting more than 30 likes for your selfies and I notice how your 4000 friends and followers make you appear to be well- known even though they are all unknown potentially predatory characters.

When I was younger I used to portray a similar narrative as yours. I used to be the sorriest Suzy you could ever find and I wanted everyone else around me to fulfill my unmet emotional needs.  Back then, I was still in victim mode. I romanticized being rescued by a lover who would give me everything I ever wanted and needed and spend the rest of their life making me happy and staying by my side. All I needed to do was be pretty.

So I become a pretty, feminine, submissive and popular although shy but sexy girl  and experienced what being a trophy girlfriend was like. It pretty much sucked all the time. I realized I didn’t like being pretty. I loved being beautiful. I regret to inform you that nothing about me is to be shown off to the world like a shiny new toy or to be put in a glass cabinet for public display. I am a wild and free spirit who is larger than life. Nothing about me is small, or shiny or gold -plated. I rejected that role as fast as you can say pretty little princess in a pink dress.

Do you know what your narrative is? It usually is the big D.

Yip. You’ve got so much daddy issues that  I had stop subscribing to this free dramazine. Your always so innocent in all of this. I have to applaud your execution of your misrepresentation of yourself. It must have taken time and dedication to construct this mask.

Cue story: You come into my life and we become friends. Best friends. True friends and we enjoy each other’s company, we like the same things and seem to be a good fit.  You mirror my likes and wants and needs and you soften me up good. You groom me. You cater to all of my wants and needs and even give me free reign on your body.It’s always consensual, mutual and then everything becomes less and less reciprocal.

 In the beginning.You spoil me with gifts and surprises and tell me how important I am to you and that I get you better than anyone else. Then you tell me how none of your exes really satisfied you and that they did not treat well and that you always felt ignored. You know the words verbatim. You wrote the script after all. And then your personality just splits. You go from lovable and charming  to cruel and mean. Me and me and me and me and me and me and me and mean.

Well if you would just like it to be you. Then be with just you. All of a sudden, I am the bad guy, I am the one who hurt you. I am the one who ignored you. I am the one who does not give you enough attention. It is all my fault. Did I miss any lines? Sorry, my drama skills are a bit rusty. Oh yes, my all time favourite closing scene: You just want to control me ! You don’t care about me ! You only care about yourself ! You are so selfish! After everything I did for you, this is how you treat me, it hurts, you are so mean. 

Well you must be referring to yourself while looking me dead in the eye, when these infamous last lines come through with feeling and conviction. 

Don’t get me wrong. I am not innocent. I know I am flawed. I know I had my hang ups and made my fair share of mistakes.I take full accountability and responsibility for that. My biggest mistake was trying to de-mean your meanness and cruelty with kindness as you preferred mindless, repetitive feeds.

Reality check and facts my dear. You did very little and took a lot. You took up space in my life. You disrespected my living space with your drug and alcohol induced emotional outbursts. You felt that I had to foot the bill for your precious insta meals and dates. All the check- ins, traveling to and tags won’t replace the fact that you in fact need to check- in with yourself. You might need a check- up. Those expensive price tags on your clothes won’t raise your worth either. You were already worthy. You were already enough. Everything was a bonus!

Those weekly cocktails and take away  or you would take away things from me for your self- serving equation was a blessing in disguise. My pockets got empty but my mind, full.  It filled me with the realization that high mai’s consume and do not produce. They subtract but don’t add and they take but they don’t give. They are an expense and a loss and not a worth while investment. They want to move in and cheer on but not get sweaty and dirty to build with me. They want to brag about their benefits. Newsflash. I am the main beneficiary of my blood, sweat, sacrifices, hard work and tears. Not you boo. If you did not actively participate from the first brick you can not claim benefits just  because you look good and got laid.

The  sudden rants that came with you not taking care of yourself was a direct reflection of yourself and what little you seem to think of yourself. Explain to me how you not cooking your own meals and reverting to eating unhealthy and in doing so had you gaining weight. How was that my doing? You firmly believed that I was some how responsible for what you ate and your weight. And when I didn’t cook. It was my fault that you were hungry. Explain to me how you an able bodied, smart girl,could not make use of public transport, had to be chauffeured and driven everywhere and picked up, when there are people with physical challenges who can get around with no issues what so ever on a daily basis.

You made my beautiful, ugly.  You made my peace disruptive. You made my safety a danger zone and you made my bliss miserable. But I thank you, none the less.

I should actually thank you for bringing out the worst in me because it gave me the gift of showing me what I don’t want to be or be with because that is NOT who I am. Your little was enough for me. It was enough to teach me how to love and leave you alone. It was enough to propel me to a realm of where I could see the manipulation and misery that came with your manicures. That I could smell the stinginess of your time, affection, efforts and attention on your breath and perfume. It was enough for me to see that your two hour make- up sessions and getting your hair done was just hiding  the mean mask that came off after midnight. If was enough for me to feel so low that I had to say goodbye you high mai and welcome back my higher self. I could take the high road and get back in my lane. The  love highway to hell might be familiar but I chose to carve out my own path after your wrath. I chose to break out and build boundaries around my energy wall.

Cause my strength does not lie in numbers. It lies with me. That’s my truth.

Lovingly unsubscribing and unfollowing you, dearest high mai.

Love, yourself.

Yoga with Josie – Raine the ballerina

It’s December 18th 2019.  It’s 8 p.m and I am sitting  in the living room of my huisie by die see with all my holiday family and the house is fuller than I am used to but I love it! There are new huis kinnes and I am one of the original ones so I look forward to keeping the torch alight.

For those of you who are not familiar with this Afrikaans term, it’s literal translation would be “house child” or ” house kid “. It’s colloquial and means any child who is not necessarily a member of the family but now part of the household and is always welcome. Welcome to stay over. Welcome to share a meal. Welcome to seek refuge. Welcome to recover from a stressful situation.Welcome to help out in the house and welcome to be who they are as long as they respect the house and not burn it down!

My aunt Dawn’s exact words: As long as you keep the place clean and don’t burn the house down you are always welcome!

A house child is like an additional sibling or family member for life. House -children are usually your cousin’s friends, or a neigbhour’s child who comes over to play with your children if you are a parent. They could be school friends or a friend of a friend who knows your cousin who met them a few years ago at a random gathering. We are all connected somehow. We all have someone in common and if all the dots were  connected it will make an amazing house kid family orchard.Not a tree, since there are many generations of us and we are spread out far and wide.

So I am also known as a huis kind in many people’s homes around the world and I have also had a huis kind or two back in Colombia. Both boys. One of them followed in my footsteps and became an  English teacher as well and the other one also takes after me as he has an affinity for languages. He speaks Spanish and English fluently and he started studying French as well.

I think it’s a beautiful thing. I think it’s beautiful that we as human beings can have extended families, blended families, open homes and open hearts. And all the huis kinnes usually have powerful stories to tell. Each of us have lived through some form of childhood trauma or loss, some of us are sometimes seen as the misfits or the black sheep in the family but as house kids were are all one.

We are all loved,understood,validated, accepted and we are all welcomed and embraced in a space of freedom of being and doing.

So I arrived in Struisbaai on the 14th of December 2019 and I started my yoga routine again after more than a month of not being able to get myself back on the mat again. I think it’s the transition and adaption period of arriving back home.It took  time for me to firstly settle in, become present and now accepting that I am in fact home after 5 years of not being here. I am safe and I have this moment to be immensely grateful for as I have been praying for it for so long. I think this was the best and most unexpected gift that I could ever give myself. It was not planned but it was needed for me to be here right now.

I needed to be around this energy with all the dancers, musicians, singers, pianists and guitarists and writers right now.

Josie – Raine is my 14 year old niece who is a ballerina. Her mother, Tracey and I are second cousins. To me, she is my big sister, my pillar, my voice of reason and my compass. Her house in Struisbaai and hometown is  safe space. It’s my happy place and the only place where I always feel most  content and at peace.

The last time I saw Josie, she was about 7 or 8 years old.Tracey would always send me videos of Josie dancing and I would feel so proud of the creativity and talent that resides on both sides of our families. The arts run in our veins. So being here now feels right. And doing yoga with Josie feels perfect as well.

She told me yesterday that she wishes she could do yoga more often, so tonight was day 2 of being mindful, being present and honouring myself by focusing on my health and reconnecting with my family and friends.

I feel so honoured to spend time with her because we have so much in common. She loves butterflies and I used to go butterfly hunting at the Volador Hill and the Botanical Gardens in Medellín every Sunday. I would write down all of the butterflies that I saw and then go home feeling so inspired and blessed knowing that I could connect with Mother nature in such a way that I realized that butterflies teach us how to evolve. They start out as caterpillars, cocoon themselves and transform into the most majestically winged creatures that I have ever seen.

Josie and I have made  flavoured candles and soap together and I also wrote some motivational quotes in her room for her, because her dream is to be an international dancer. I can’t wait for the day when she hits the international stages dancing to her heart’s content!

Doing yoga together gives both of us the opportunity to love and take care of our bodies and center ourselves. Some of the poses had us falling over, but we simply laughed and got back on our mats until our routine was done.

 

I would like to dedicate this post to you, Josie -Raine. Josie- Raine the ballerina who dances to her own tune in life. Josie – Raine with the long, golden brown wavy hair and flexible figure. Josie – Raine the winner of medals and professional accolades. Keep dancing!

 

with

Love and light

Skylar

 

Why and how I won in 2019. Guess what? So did you. Winners win and winners gain. Even our losses are gains.

 

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With exactly two weeks left of 2019 and the end of a decade I am doing my yearly audit  to see how far I have progressed in all areas of my life. This is an excellent exercise for anyone who suffers from anxiety and depression, their sexuality,sexual identity, their gender identity,someone who has gone through some traumatic experience, lives an expat life, feels alienated or different from their culture, race, age group, gender role and  societal role.

Or simply put, if you are starting to realize that you are diamond in the ruff and a limited edition.  If you start feeling this way as well or if you are being treated this way as well, let me assure you that absolutely NOTHING is wrong with you.

You are perfect. You are complete. You are whole. You have a purpose and you matter most. You are NOT special. Yes, you are NOT special. You are exceptional. An irrevocable miracle and a blessing to this world. You are NOT too soft. You are NOT too sensitive.

You are NOT a weirdo. Normalcy  and box fitting does NOT serve you and if you learn to get to know yourself you will discover why. I am on that journey right now. And I hope these introspective crumbs of mine can give you some perspective.

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The caption says not every place you fit in is where you belong. Another thing that we must realize is that fitting in and belonging are not the same concept. We often confuse these two. In fact that are total opposites.

If you feel as out of place as I do or if you feel that you do not fit in but know to your core that you belong somewhere. This post might be for you. Maybe you no longer fit into your circle of childhood friends. Maybe you do not gel or click with your immediate family members. Maybe you no longer connect with your age group or peers or maybe you do not identify with your own culture. Maybe your career path is not what you thought it would be and you wish to change direction. That’s because you are not meant to fit in or stay in one place for the rest of your life. Make like a tree and grow. Be the light and glow. You are meant to just be you. And who ever you are in this moment is exactly what you need to be and focus on right now.

You have plenty to lose and even more to gain. Lose the emotional baggage, lose the self -loathing,  lose the need to please others while displeasing yourself. Lose the victim mentality and start gaining perspective on your life, goals and dreams and start gaining appreciation for how far you have come this year. If you’re still breathing you’re winning. You won when you got up today. You won when you took a shower today. You won when you didn’t wake up crying. You won the moment you opened your eyes this morning. You are a winner. Affirm it. Learn it.Understand it. Live it. Put it in motion.

This is where social constructs come in that teach us how to compartmentalize people as if they were products. The truth is: There is no box nor mold. We have free will. Lose the social constructs. We MUST unlearn this by ourselves. How? By finding out who we are not, we discover who we really are.

I learnt this after seeking council from a Reiki healer last year. I was having a very difficult time at my place of work. She told me something that I already knew but I didn’t actually understand how to actively and properly practice it and incorporate it into my daily life. All human beings have rights and all of us also have free will. In a nutshell, that means we have freedom of choice and that depending on our choices the outcomes will be favourable or unfavourable.

I was being sexually harassed by an older male colleague. It happened over a period of about a year give or take. In the beginning, he seemed harmless. All my male co – workers were very forthcoming, friendly,charming and real gentlemen. All of them were well mannered, supportive  and team players within their professional capacity. We worked well together being a mixed group of females and males and I enjoyed being in a new space doing what I loved. Educating new and hungry minds.

Being in Latin America for the first time, I had no prior experience of corporate culture according to Colombian society, so I was learning and adjusting to it all as I started my first job there.  Coming from Saudi where I worked with females only, then China where people were conservative, highly professional and never went father than a handshake with me. I was now surrounded by an affectionate culture where hugs ( friendly embraces, not lingering intimate ones) and pecks on the cheek was the norm.

I saw absolutely nothing wrong with this and I adapted to it by slowly opening myself up to this warm and friendly cultural practice where a greeting includes physical closeness. I liked being hugged in the mornings and I also appreciated it when it came from everyone around me. So I didn’t have any reason to be on the lookout for men to come onto me and into my personal space or be bothersome while I was at work.

This male colleague however was just a rotten apple and I started noticing it after a few months of him wanting to  constantly hug me, whenever it was  break time, and that  he would be more and more flirtatious and not so friendly anymore. After about 6 months of working with him, I had a stern talk with him, telling him that I am from a different culture,that he should respect my personal space and that he must stop talking to me and hugging me because he is a married man. And that I am in fact not into men nor do I feel comfortable with any man touching me. I then also decided to stop greeting all of my male co – workers with hugs and pecks and switched it to a fist bumps and a high fives. None of them complained, bothered me, hassled me or made it their duty to make me feel uncomfy in any way, so I was grateful for that. It was a place of work after all. Not a social setting where it was an environment for hanging out as if it were a bar or night club setting.

I thought that I had gotten through to him, because he actually came to me and apologized for his inappropriateness at our end of year party. He said that he would keep his distance and that he did not realize that when you are from a different place that there are some  things that might not work for others. We shook hands and said that we would WORK well together and be civil and professional.

He however took this as another opportunity to try and conquer me. He saw it as me playing hard to get and in me agreeing to work well together, he had the permission to increase his disgusting behaviour. And this where I had to talk to my bosses because I started having panic attacks at work whenever I saw him or he would be in close proximity to me. Some female co- workers knew. And they told me to come to them immediately the moment I felt uneasy. That I should rather not make a scene but find calm with them and it helped me to cope but did not resolve the issue at hand.

I had followed protocol by letting my bosses and HR and  know that this man was acting  extremely inappropriate and was making me feel uncomfortable on a daily basis. I told them that it had been coming on for  a period of time and that I did not want to feel that I had to act a certain way to keep my job, as it made feel uncomfortable,uneasy and now anxious. I should not feel uncomfortable in my professional capacity. I was there to work. Not be flirted with. He was also starting to involve other members of the company by professing his love for me during lunch times and break times while others were present.

I was told to ignore him and take it as a joke. I was also told to be a team player and just avoid interacting with him and at the same time victim blamed and shamed for bringing problems to HR and my boss. I was asked why I did not resolve this by myself.  I told them that I did. They suggested that I move to another branch which meant that I would have to commute ( on my account ) even though I was a star employee and he merely had a few classes a week.

What I neglected to do was go straight to one of the investors and owners of this company. She would have solved this matter and accommodated me in a way that would allow me to continue working there and feel safe. Unfortunately my boss, who promised to carry this over to her, never did and I decided to practice my free will by resigning with immediate effect. I thought I lost out on this opportunity,but again. I won. I won by taking my power back and respectfully resigning before my contract was supposed to be renewed.

I use this example for a  very specific purpose. It won’t matter if we are good or bad natured people. It won’t matter if we had our hearts in the right place. It will also not matter if we thought we knew something and then it turns out that we in fact knew nothing certain people or certain situations.  If we make the right choices. We can enjoy favourable results. And if we make poor choices we must accept it, take full accountability and responsibility for our choices.

Had I not made the best choice for me a year ago, on November 14th 2018, to be exact, I would still be working under the notion of  I am a female and should submit to misogyny and knowing my place. That it happens to all of us. That we must just deal with it. I would still feel powerless. I would still be boxed in. I would still  be modelling to other females like me that we should tolerate inappropriate, unsolicited and uncalled for bullshit from disrespectful and distasteful characters. I would still be under the false belief that I should shut up and be grateful for even having a job and that boys will be boys or in my view men will be pigs.

I had to address this issue that came from childhood socialization and trauma within my own culture where boys were unknowingly raised to get touchy- feely with girls and girls where unknowingly taught to keep quiet and not taught about good touch bad touch and change the narrative from victim to victor.

And this  life lesson came to me in the form of harassment. I cut the cord and that allowed me to move forward. I used my No. I used my No by saying Yes to myself. And No to others. Specifically men’s need to act inappropriate because they misguidedly believe that it’s OK when they know full well that it is not.

To the good men, this has nothing to do with you. You keep being good. You keep being considerate and protective and appropriate and appreciative of the females in your lives. They deserve your good. We all deserve your good. We deserve each others good.

We are free-flowing, fluid and placid beings. We should live in a sphere of constant growth. Not attempt to force fit ourselves into preset molds so that we can be the model daughter. The model son. The exemplary husband or wife. Or the sibling of the year.

It causes so much frustration and resentment when we self – sacrifice our nature to nurture others needs. It can breed toxic and damaging situations for us and we are not strong enough and aware  to confront what is bothering us. And this is a sobering observation when you can honesty look at yourself in the mirror and frankly talk to yourself and ask is this me? Or is this a version of me that I was forced into in order to feel like I belong.

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What do you need for this exercise? Yourself, an accountability buddy or close friend who knows you through and through. I would not advise asking your romantic partner because feelings are involved and feelings are not always factual.

If you do however have a balanced, transparent and honest relationship with the your romantic partner where you are able to talk openly to them, then you can ask them to be your accountability partner.

I asked one of my close friends in Colombia to help me navigate this when I did this in June of this year. I wrote down specific goals for myself within 6 areas of my life and I ticked off what I did do and put a dash on what still needs to be achieved. Progress is progress. And progress gives you power. Look for the win. Even if the win was you giving up complaining or being emotionally dependent on your friends when you become stressed out. Just know that  if you can now manage to work through it on your own.  You won. I walked a way from a toxic environment. So I won. All your wins add up to a huge win. I learnt this from Lisa Nichols’s approach. She calls it micro winning. If you take all the so called small wins you end up with a massive win at the end of the day. Or in this case at the end of your 2019.

So I take her approach by looking for evidence every day, of how I am winning right now. How this glow up is coming towards the biggest win of my lifetime and it’s going to be bliss personified. Trust me, I am not here to play, or dabble, I am here to win. Winners win!

If you have your accountability partner and your goals ready then you can ask them to give you feedback. Take it in a positive light and become the student, not the teacher or the master and mindfully listen to what is being said or conveyed to you because it is to help you grow and glow and stagnate and feel stuck. Then take what is said and simply improve upon what still lacks and tick off what you succeeded doing.

  • Kind reminder, if you have gone through something similar whether you are male or female. It was not your fault. You did nothing wrong. You find your way back to yourself and heal. You don’t owe anyone an explanation or even full disclosure of how it happened. You don’t need to reveal it to anyone if you don’t feel comfortable with it. You can find professional help with therapy or counseling or any other form of treatment that you feel safe with.
  • Just know that you are not a victim of circumstance. You are victor of resilience and strength. You overcame it. If you family victim blamed you. Let it be. If people told you that you asked for it. Let it be. If your nearest and dearest did not pay attention to you when you were crying for help. Let it be. Their lack of understanding does not dismiss you.
  •  Again; You did nothing wrong. Take your power back within yourself by saying Yes to yourself now. Yes to healing, Yes to understanding, Yes to boundaries.  Yes to growth and Yes to self- loving the heaven in you.

 

With love and light

from Skylar

Keep glowing up.

21 days of verbal silence for mental clarity

It’s the 18 of December 2019 and today was a very eventful day. I went to bed last night in silence and wanting to wait until midnight to break silence but I fell asleep in my aunt Dawn’s house before midnight and suddenly woke up at 1 a.m to the sound of the strong winds blowing in Struisbaai and the sudden rain also coming in. I was not able to fall back asleep until about 5 a.m and then finally woke up at 8 a.m rested and ready to speak again.

I spent  roughly between 1 and 2 hours venting to myself. This was a release of not speaking for the three weeks. Frustrations came up, many many questions came up and even more gratitude exuded from being on silent/mute or flight mode as my cousin’s said.

The people who get me, respected my boundaries and accommodated my verbal silence as it was for me to gain mental clarity in a very noise polluted world.

I noticed the following things while not being able to verbally respond. Yes, I texted, wrote notes and started blogging again after not being able to voice what I felt.I could still address what I was trying to process with all the noise, all the cultures that I have absorbed, all the accents, behavioural traits everything was too much and I needed me back.

21 things I learnt from being in verbal silence about myself, my environment and the people around me.

  1. My thoughts are overwhelming when I am in a mixed state of anxiety and depression. Intrusive thoughts, self- critical  inner rants and obsessive trains of thinking consume most of my mornings and evenings if I don’t meditate or do my positive affirmations.
  2.  I am not present. I thought I was but I am not and have not been present for a long time, even though I actively started practicing mindfulness, meditation and yoga. My attention has been split for a long period of time and I have to relearn how to live in the moment and enjoy the moment fully right where I am right now. 5 minutes of being present gives me enough bliss to carry that through with me in my day.
  3. I am impatient and want to do five things at the same time, because of being on this automatic setting of multi- tasker, but it is actually slowing me down and exhausting my mental and emotional capacity. I also want immediate results or responses because I have so many things to sort through that I would just like to do it as timely as possible so that I can get back to a place of clarity and structure and not chaotic clutter. Others might experience this as me being demanding or needy.
  4.  I am emotionally spent. I am mentally bankrupt. I have suffered recent traumas in my place of work and in social environments so isolation is necessary for me. I know there are other people who like being around others when the need to get their heads straight. I tend to need solitude. I know that I can not change the people around me. I can simply remove myself from people who trigger me or make me feel uncomfortable. A place of work is complicated when it’s your bread and butter, but that too can be exited if it becomes a threat to my well-being. And in social environments I am able to do the same and that is a major win for me. I acted like a tree and left.
  5. I have safe spaces. I find safety in nature, in kids, in pets, in my writing, in studying and reading, in music, in dancing, in my volunteer group, with certain family and friends and within myself now.
  6. I thrive in silence, darkness and isolation. I start to suffer when I am unable to be in a safe space on a regular and stable basis. I need a soundboard and I also need someone to talk to about me and my interests. I can’t continue being the listener and wise one in all of my friendships and relationships. It’s one -sided, draining, it bores me and I have so much to offer just to get nothing in return. I get up from the table when mutually beneficial is no longer being served.
  7. I am able to give people my undivided attention, but I must reprogram myself to be attentive to my energy now.
  8. I have unlimited resources and I just need to figure out how,where and with who I am going to surround myself now within a professional capacity. No more being underappreciated and undervalued because  I am female,queer, or whatever else social labels need to be pushed onto me. I work hard and and I do my work well. If it’s a job that you want to get done hire me on merit, not on looks or personal background.
  9.   A lot of people do not know how to effectively communicate, and I noticed this with many people in the way they addressed me. Some people talk at me and not to me or with me. Others completely disregard my boundaries and make it about them. They in no way tried  to accommodate where I am coming from yet expect me to bend backwards in accommodating their narrow mindedness and their way of doing things. In my book it’s half way or no way.
  10. Being in silence reminded me of how good a listener I am and I managed to observe how many people just sometimes need someone to listen to them without responding, handing out advice, adding their two cents or even criticizing their choices. We are all fighting our own battles and we need understanding,support and togetherness. Not more shit storms.
  11.  My juniors, meaning the people who are present in my life and are younger than I am have really stepped up to the plate in being my anchors with where I am right now in my life. I can not say thank you enough. I can’t repay them but I can celebrate and honour them in their respective capacities by supporting their ideas.
  12.  I really love my life. I am truly,madly and deeply in love with what I have been through, who I am at  my core and who I am transitioning into right now. I stand firm and tall. Nothing and no one can or will break me. I bend. I mold. I manifest. I create all that is me.
  13. When I broke silence, I didn’t break down in tears, I just broke free from a mental chain that was chocking me and now I am breathing new air.Thanks to my decision to stick to my commitment of silence so that solutions could come for me to help myself.
  14. Happiness is not a choice but a prerequisite base for my relationships. It goes both ways. If I am having an off day or a mental day, I do my best not to bring that to someone else’s space. I look for the win.Then I ride that win and take it to someone else and share our joy together. I had the most beautiful moment with one of my best friend’s daughters sitting at their pool. I dipped my feet in the water and her daughter then followed my lead and she was having the time of her life and so was I,without having to say a word. It was priceless and I can go back to that feeling every time I need a mental boost now.
  15.  I am a creative genius and many people don’t like that. I can do with words and languages what others wish they could do. They don’t realize that they need to tap into their own talents through their pain. Pain is my paintbrush. The glow up would not have commenced if pain wasn’t omnipresent. Behind every painful event or realization lies bliss. You will come and thank me for saying this one day.
  16. Nothing is wrong with me. Something is right with me. I am right for questioning things. I am right for wanting to find my voice. I am right for believing in myself and my dreams and my vision. I am right for wanting to find peace within, It is my right and I wholeheartedly deserve the best of me. I am the prize. I not a trophy. I am the gift.
  17. My life is an amazing journey and I am surrounded by the most beautiful people who are my blood relatives, my soul tribe, my Rainbow family and Mother nature. She cures me in ways that I never realized as a child because I was kept in the house,parked in front of the TV and not set free to just sit in the garden when the world becomes too much for me. I am committed to connecting to Mother nature right now. She loves me. She loves all of us and that is why we get to enjoy her and be in her presence every day. All day.
  18. I believe I have something to offer the world if the world is open, willing and receptive to what message I bring. I am a messenger. I am blessing. I am not a mess. I am not a burden.
  19. Age is not a barometer of failure or so called success. I am a raging success. You, the one reading this is a raging success. We are all winners. And failure is our best friend. She shows us where we can improve upon. What does work and what does not work.
  20. Don’t make the mistake of choosing a known hell over an unfamiliar heaven. This is a self- observation and observation of people and society in general. Out with the old and in with the new is a really powerful mantra and a process to put in place.  don’t overwhelm or rush yourself with it if it does not immediately happen. I quit smoking last year after failing to do so the year before. Smoking was my crutch for when I got anxious and stressed out. I would turn to a cigarette and until I got into breathe work,mantras and meditation. Your issue might not be smoking it might be something else. My point is I didn’t choose my familiar hell. I looked for a new heaven and it was something as small as breathe work. I just had to breathe and it worked. It has now been a year and I can continue staying clear of that.
  21. Tell your friends and family that you love them. Thank them. Be specific with your words,tone and delivery. Choose a setting of means of communication that would serve them,not you. If for example have a cousin who you know loves reading,buy them a book, it could be second hand and write them a note to just say : Thanks for being you. If your dad loves music buy him a CD that he would appreciate. We need to appreciate each other more and stop being mean spirited to each other. So what if you did something to them 10 years ago. It happened, forgive and restart. Please don’ t rehash the past. I have to constantly remind myself of this one. And when you can’t. You can’t. If you can’t be of assistance to someone. You can’t and it’s not necessary to be mean about it. If you can’t be kind. Be quiet.

Kind reminder: It’s festive season and I have not been with my family and friends here in South Africa for almost five years, so with this post I would like to take a moment of appreciation to thank each and every soul who has contributed to my safe return, my healing, my maintenance, my transition, my personal development, my spirituality, my creativity and the love that I am birthing into this world as of now. I sincerely send love and light to everyone.

We should all be mindful. Some of us are ill,some of us have lost loved ones, some of us are struggling and alone and abroad, some of us don’t have the help that they deserve and some of us don’t yet know how to go about life. But we have each other now.

I affirm and claim that help is on the way to anyone who might need it right now. Keep the faith.

My Colombian family and friends. I love you and I miss you every day. You are the best thing that has ever happened in my life and you have brought a form of healing over my spirit that I have not found anywhere in the world. I love you Colombia. Les amo, les aprecio, les extraño tanto. Yo hablo cada día de mis colombianos hermosos. Dios les bendigan y les cuidan. Siempre. Gracias por todo.

 

Growing pains in same – sex romantic relationships local and abroad.

Today is the 14th of December 2019 and it is around 10:30 p.m and I just arrived at my Happy Place in Struisbaai, South Africa. This is the one place where I can come for peace of mind and wash my spirit clean of all the gunk that I have accumulated from the year’s work. AS a teenager and young adult I used to come here over the festive season to spend time with my cousins and their extended families as a way of centering myself and also as a way to recharge my tired and exhausted being.

This time is different. It has been long overdue. Not being in South Africa for nearly 5 years has taken it’s toll on me. And this time is the first time in about 6 years that I have been here in Struisbaai. Many memories are popping up to help me find solutions to the personal challenges that I currently face.

One of the main ones are transitioning from teaching EFL to writing full time and number two is  rejecting my role as provider, protector, problem solver, caretaker, giver, rescuer, fixer, go -to person and safe place  in many but not all of my platonic and romantic relationships.

I love doing it, but I am hurting myself now because I so wholeheartedly love being there for others. I truly have love for everyone but this love that I seem to have for the world is to my detriment. And I must have bumped my head a thousand times over, over this, that it has now cracked open and brought me back to my senses.

I notice that I can not give, what I don’t have. And I what  I don’t have is the mental capacity for anything other than my wellness, my creativity, my wholeness and my soul purpose of  being the best version of me.

This is a process of self and personal development. It is also a  constant discovery and rediscovery through expressing myself in healthy,creative and productive ways.

My cup of love is full, yes and it overflows into every person and thing that I come into contact with. But I think my tank of life is currently empty. So the energy that usually accumulates in this tank and gets converted into love for myself ,so that  I pass it on to the world through my profession, my passions, my creativity and my writing.

Do not get me wrong. Of love there is no lack, but needing R and R would be better stated as a recharge and a reset of who I am. Not how I can be of use to others. Because I am of no use to myself right now and it is quite disheartening knowing that I possess such a wealth of knowledge. I have gained international work and life experience.I have had the pleasure and pain of  falling in love with people and places many times.I have been with different women from all over the world. Our paths crossed for  different reasons and each experience was as beautiful as the next.They all showed me pieces of themselves that they were too ashamed to show the world, but they showed it to me and that made each encounter memorable and significant.

I have been on an amazing journey in the last 7 years and I regret nothing. I have enriched people’s lives and they have enriched mine and taught me so much about the simple things in life that I truly believe that that is what matters. The simplicity of being me is complicated by circumstances and situations. When I simply am. I truly thrive from moment to moment.

At this point in time. I have nothing to offer to anyone in any way, shape or form that is tangible.

However what I do have to offer myself  is an immense admiration and determination of creating  self- sustainability and stability right now. I don’t have the answers yet, but I have the why. And once you have the why, the how, the who, the where, the when and the who will come.

What’s my why? My why is me. Why me? Because I have been given one life. I have been blessed and highly favoured to live many lifetimes and I now wish to not only find north but be north. Firstly for myself and in doing so I can be a guidepost to others like me.

I am an example of what klein dorpies thought would not be possible, but I did it anyway. I travelled across continents. I have lived in different societies. I adapted to different environments where I knew nothing and nobody upon arrival but each time when I left, I left being told that I was brave. That I was respected. That I made a difference in people’s lives and that I left people better than I found them.

I also learned other languages some by ear,some from simply immersing myself with locals only and some motivated me to study it for myself so that I could write to others in their mother tongue as a token of respect and eternal gratitude.

I discovered the world out there and it is beautiful. And I did not do it on my own. I had unwavering  support from the first step that I took back in 2012 until the last step that I have taken now in 2019 from my people. My huis mense, random strangers, foreign nationals , figures of authority, mentors, students, co workers, lovers, girlfriends and the list continues. You all know who you are and you are appreciated and valued beyond words or deeds could ever express. I thank you and salute you for always being for me and never being against me,being me. Even when I at times do not know who I am.

I am taking a break. Because I have already broken down.I know that this personal pitstop is not in vain but in gain. I can gain perspective in a space of peace. I can rest my head and pat myself on the back knowing that.I did outstandingly well. And if I can do it there will be another single queer female from a klein dorpie reading this and she will realize that if her dream is too big for the klein dorpie to understand it simply means that the world is waiting for her. That she can leave her comfort zone and step into her growth and glow zone now.

As I have mentioned. I am spent and I have nothing to offer as I have used every inch of me up. On others.

Les Brown says : “Live full. Die empty. ” So, I will take this death of societal and relationship roles as a gift and create a new life from this new cycle of my life as I am calling back my energy to myself right now.

I have come full circle after a cycle of 7 years of living, loving and working  as an expat.

I have taken stock of my life and where I started is not where I initially thought I would start but it has brought me back to the beginning of feeling extremely out of place in my own childhood house and being surrounded by everyone who I knew and them longer knowing me. They know an older, wounded, medicated version of me yes. It seems I need to reintroduce myself as a wiser, healthier,conscious and aware me who is in constant growth mode. This glow up is real.And real does not mean perfect or flawless. It is quite messy and confusing but it’s my truth and I love living my truth.

Another saying that I love: The truth hurts only once, but a lie, a lie hurts every time. So me rediscovering my truth might hurt a little now and later it will all be well. I trust the process.

The me right now is glowing up. And glowing up faster than the speed of light right now.

As I look back on this cycle that has passed.I stopped recognizing myself and I expected someone else to remind me of who I am, thinking that she saw me for me. ( Here the she I refer to is the she as a collective of all the women I encountered on a romantic level)

I thought that she could see me with through her eyes the way I wanted to be seen. There’s a very profound  saying that I love which says: ” Do not put the key of your happiness in someone else’s pocket. ” I think that is what I have misguidedly done, hoping that so many people would guide me back to myself whenever I felt lost, unwanted, invalidated or dismissed and ignored and silenced by society, men, my parents, my peers, my culture, my race, my klein dorpie with it’s narrow and broken – minded view of the world and to my own disappointment, myself.

The masks I took so long to get rid of I started wearing them again out of mental, emotional and psychological fatigue. Pretending to be okay when I have not been okay after years of traumatic events, living abroad and not being able to seek safety in myself because I needed to worry about my visa,my flights, my job security, the neighbourhood I lived in, my bills, my health, keeping in touch with family in South Africa, keeping in touch with friends in China,keeping in touch with friends I made in Saudi, keeping myself company,maintaining my physical health, my mental health, my personal development, my relationships  and the major question that bugged me : whether or not people are around me because I am foreign and simply just the flavour of the month or if people actually saw my brilliance.

Do other expats experience the same or have I been surrounded and ingrained in dysfunction, inappropriateness, unprofessional conduct, incompetence, corporate exploitation, mismanagement, corruption and whatever else not for so long that confusion and misunderstanding has become my normal?

Did being misunderstood make me believe that misunderstanding and misinterpreting things were because of a language barriers and not lack of proper communication. Is this how it spread from my work environment into my personal space without me realizing it? Was I communicating poorly as well?

Have I dumbed down myself to be small in a big world because I came from a small town?

How did I get to a such a low place within myself if I put my best out to the world?

How did my kindness attract so many emotional vultures that I ended up feeling so empty and having to borrow from others that I so dearly love and admire?

I have so many questions that I am unable to answer right now and I and know that I am the only one who can answer them by being frank and real clear and honest with myself. And I need help to navigate this without a map.

I have my compass yes. My inner compass is telling me to face north and head north, but I don’t know how to calibrate what is going on inside because the outside has become so noisy. The outside has become so murky and fractured. It is all a blur.

Who do I go to if I am the go to person?

I realized something about myself and that is that I was searching for myself on three separate continents and this whole time I am was and will always be the center of my own world.  A world that I tried to create from scratch with  so  many different females, from different socioeconomic backgrounds, different career paths, different outlooks on life, different ages, different cultures and none of them knew that our being different or weird is what was supposed to unite us as two perfect female energies to walk with each other and not away from each other because of our upbringings, cultures, social circles and families.

Yes having a strong and close knit bond with your family is great, but what if I don’t have that ? Why could I not be included into your family if I was so welcomed and loved? Did you think I would take your place or did your family think I would take you away from them?  What if I can not or do not feel comfortable introducing some of my family to someone who I value because I wanted them to choose me. In the same way that I chose them. Every time. Not just sometimes.

I wanted them to see the world in me in the same way that I saw the world in them, wanting to explore parts of it, if not all of it. Together. Not apart.

Does my brilliance deter females from me? Or is it my raw, vulnerable and meek side that seems to turn them off ? And they seem to run towards me when their worlds fall apart and run away when mine starts to crumble? So the conclusion that I have come to thus far is that I am the common denominator in the 20 some women that I have love audited.

And I will ask all 20 of them this : Is it that I loved you too much or that you did not love yourselves enough for me to be a part of your worlds. I did not need forever. All I wanted was your undivided attention, some devotion of your time, some personal care, a supportive ear or an uplifting conversation and true understanding in the same way I loved and once cared for you. If that was too much to ask for, why would you ever even have bothered  to invite yourselves over, wanting to wined and dined but then show up just to come and sit at the table of my world arriving empty handed and expecting love to be served?