Happy Madiba Day!

This is the first year Nelson Mandela is no longer with us to celebrate his birthday, the 18th July.  However his sense of purpose lives on, especially today, as people around the world are encouraged to donate 67 minutes of their time doing something positive for their communities.

Yesterday I was feeling a little low, perhaps a touch of the winter blues.  In an attempt to pick myself up from the hole I had fallen into I stepped into the kitchen and started baking.  I always find immersing myself in the heart of the home does wonders to lift my spirits.  The process of cooking requires attention and focus, this immediately re-routes my mind away from my troubles and on to the task in hand.  This in turn results in the positive feelings of being productive, the satisfaction of making something and then the warm delight at being able to indulge in the baked recipe!

It was indeed a successful kitchen session and my inner glow came back as I melted into the sofa with a cup of tea to accompany my freshly made and still warm, apple, almond and blueberry muffin!

This morning my husband left the house for work happy Friday had at last arrived and grinning as he was loaded up with his share of muffins.   Then off I went armed with the remaining muffins to give out to those in need.  My favourite responses were from the man camping underneath a dustbin tarp who I wave to on my morning dog walk, he was so grateful for his he did a dance.  And secondly the lady selling “The Big Issue” who whooped with joy amidst the speeding cars at the intersection as we quickly exchanged money, a copy of the Big Issue and her muffin in 0.2 seconds through my car window before the lights changed!

My winter blues were beginning to lift and today was turning out to be a much better day than yesterday but what really reminded me to keep the faith and smile at the wonderfully random curiousness of life was my trip this afternoon to help out with the Chaeli Campaign.  A charity that helps children with disabilities.

I arrived to sign up and donate my 67 minutes of time to make HOPE bracelets and upon doing so it was announced I was the 67th person to sign up and therefore earned myself a Jack Stone’s “Walk On” CD from the local radio station. To be honest I have never heard of Jack Stone (apologies Jack!) but I shall thoroughly appreciate listening to my new CD and discovering a South African artist.  I was then photographed and given a live shout out on the radio for my contribution to the charity.  It all came as rather a surprise as I had gone to help the charity not with any expectations for myself but in doing so they truly helped lift my spirits tenfold.

Chaeli Campaign.

HOPE!

“If you send out goodness from yourself, or if you share that which is happy or good within you, it will all come back to you multiplied ten thousand times. In the kingdom of love there is no competition; there is no possessiveness or control. The more love you give away, the more love you will have.

― John O’Donohue.   Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom.

Checking in for another year…

We are really just visitors on this incredible planet and even though we get to hang around for longer than birds and spiders our lives aren’t necessarily richer for that longevity.   It sometimes lulls us into a false sense of security giving us an air of rights and entitlement.

We are not immortal and must remember to recognise the forces we can’t control.  For there are so many things we cannot change in this world and we should be inspired by these rather than intimidated or afraid.  That is what makes life real.

After all we are not here on this earth for very long either… So make the most of your time however you intend to spin your life’s web and be prepared for it to be pulled, broken and re-woven many times over and certainly don’t hang on with remorse to the things you can’t change.

I certainly intend to make the most of my next year on this earth whatever it may bring as I celebrate my Birthday today on Easter Day and feel incredibly grateful for getting to extend my stay.

On such an occasion it has given me the chance to reflect on how precious life is for the time I have it and hope for the longer I live the more spiritual I grow.  I hope my evolving soul is less driven by greed and material cravings and awakened to greater fulfillment of actions rooted in kindness and generosity.  For there is always room to weave acts of kindness throughout our life’s.

Golden Orb Spider in its web.

Golden Silk Orb-Weaver.

The name of the golden silk orb-weavers refers to the colour of the spider silk, not the colour of the spider itself.   Yellow threads of their silk shine like gold in the sunlight.  Although they are weaving to catch their prey they are just surviving in the time they are privileged to be here.

Mandela Day…

In honour of the 67 years Nelson Mandela spent fighting for social justice and a free, democratic South Africa people around the world are being encouraged to spend 67 minutes helping their communities to do something positive today.

What are you doing this Nelson Mandela Day?  There are so many ways we can all help those around us, just stop yourself and think for a moment about what you can do.  No matter how big or small every gesture helps and the knock on rippling effect of goodness will flourish.

Mandela Day was inspired by the speech Madiba made in Hyde Park, London, on 27th June 2008 when he urged the leaders of future generations to help change the world for the better saying, “It is in your hands now.”

Today I have gifted two indigenous trees to be planted in an under-greened community.   Trees promote life in the form of oxygen, shelter for wildlife, recharge groundwater, replace soil nitrates and have countless more environmental benefits.  They also provide great pride of place in communities, helping them to become healthier and happier places to dwell.  Those living in barren landscapes are far more likely to suffer from crime, drug abuse and depression.   So a tree provides a host of means to help a community blossom.

One organisation doing an incredible job here in Cape Town is called Greenpop and if you too would like to get involved with making things greener please check them out here.  You can help no matter where you are in the World.  We are after all one big community sharing this earth.

If you are looking to your own local community sometimes even the smallest acts of kindness can make a persons day, for example:

  • Buy someone a coffee.
  • Hold the door open for the next person.
  • Help an elderly person with their shopping.
  • Spend time with a family member or friend in need.
  • Buy the big issue.
  • Go to your local charity in need and donate food, clothing or household necessities.
  • Hand out sandwiches if there are homeless people in your area.
  • Quite simply say thank you.
  • Smile and send out positive vibes!

Right must dash, I have got to go and buy my copy of the Big Issue….

Tall trees.

Oh to be so tall & slender!