Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Massage Guilt

I went for a massage today, a free one (pay for ten, get one free) and I actually felt guilty while having my feet washed before the massage. Don't get me wrong, I was over the moon that I was about to have a massage with my favourite Thai masseuse, Apple. Her massages are just so good, her hands (and elbows, feet and forearms) literally dance all over your body, always flowing, never stopping, being tough and hard the one moment and gentle the next. But as I sat with my feet in the water, a sudden wave of guilt washed over me, whispering: " Your friends are at work and you are having a massage. Your nanny is saving all her money to send her daughter to a private school in the Philipines and you are going for another massage. You can't afford to keep your nanny but you can afford a massage? Your mother would never have taken the time and money to spoil herself like this. What makes you so special that you should be having a massage this morning? If everybody else don't have the time or can't afford it, do you really think you should be doing this?"

I justified it to myself by saying: " I am nurturing myself and when I nurture myself, it benefits the people around me". That lasted for five minutes and then I started thinking: "Maybe your life be terrible in a years time and people will say it's OK that she had a massage once a week because now her life is pretty shitty, poor thing." How crazy is that? Do I have few issues around guilt or what?

So I turned to free virtual advice, courtesy of my absolute favourite, inspirational, self help guru,  Danielle LaPorte and found this article on her blog, You're going to feel guilty.

Sonja: Really? Really, really? It sucks. Interesting. Continue. 
Danielle: So how to vanquish the guilt? How to avoid guilt altogether so you can go get what you want? You can’t. You don’t. Guilt is part of the deal. You will experience guilt as you craft the life of your dreams. It’s part of your conscience, it’s the tension in “creative tension.”
Sonja: So now that I am taking action to create the feelings and life I desire, I am always going to feel guilty that my life is good? 
Danielle: The guilt of following your heart is a weight you can bear if your dream is strong enough. It’s the price of admission to fulfillment.You’re going to feel guilty. Breathe. Keep going. Ultimately, we’re all better off if you let your heart take the lead.
Sonja: I can live with that. I will trust you on this. It will take some practice. It's all worth it. Thank you. Your wisdom resonates with me. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

What a Glorious Feelin'

      Singin' in the Rain by Gene Kelly

I'm singing in the rain
Just singing in the rain
What a glorious feelin'
I'm happy again
I'm laughing at clouds
So dark up above
The sun's in my heart
And I'm ready for love
Let the stormy clouds chase
Everyone from the place
Come on with the rain
I've a smile on my face
I walk down the lane
With a happy refrain
Just singin',
Singin' in the rain

The clouds opened at 11 in the morning, the thunderstorm stopped us in our tracks just as we were about to leave the house. Oh it was so amazing, to hear lightning and rain pouring down, to see lightning and rain pouring down...... I miss that the most about Pretoria than anything else combined.

The thunderstorm didn't last very long, not more than twenty minutes, but enough to flood the streets and our home. It took much longer than twenty minutes to clean up the water that seeped through every window on the west side of the house. G immediately rushed upstairs, got her water boots and umbrella and played in the rain.

Oh, how very grateful I am for a very timely and sorely missed thunderstorm. I was absolutely elated the whole day!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Beautiful Soup

"Beautiful soup, so rich and green
Waiting in a hot tureen!
Who for such dainties would not stoop?
Soup of the evening, beautiful soup! 
Beautiful soup! Who cares for fish
Game, or any other dish? 
Who would not give all else for two
Pennyworth of beautiful soup?"

Lewis Carroll, ‘Alice in Wonderland’

I have been cooking a bit more since being at home and have made two lovely soups, a ham and pea soup and a carrot and coriander soup. I sort of impressed myself, it was very tasty indeed. I enjoyed everything about it, from chopping the vegetables to eating it. I got a real kick out of using the coriander out of my garden (bought a tray of full grown coriander at the farmer's market, but nevertheless, the tray of coriander has survived at home for a week). Now I am looking for more recipes with coriander. I am really looking forward to cooking the next soup.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Clay Play

Playing with clay is one of the best late-afernoon-pre-bathtime activities to do with G, I don't know if it is the tactile aspect of it, but it really slows her down. Here are pictures of one of our creations.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Recycled Pajamas

I found this great idea on Pinterest about converting an old tank top into pajamas for little ones. Although it turned out to be a very frustrating sewing experience (trying to applique with stretch material without the proper sewing machine know how) G loved it and wants to wear it all the time. She gets a huge kick out of anything handmade. I would say that is definitely something to be grateful for.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Bloom True Intuitive Painting

I gave myself a resignation gift of an online intuitive painting course, Bloom True by Flora Bowley. I bought her book Brave Intuitive Painting a few years ago and just loved her style and process. The course is much about life as it is about intuitive painting and was a great fit for where I am in my life and what I have been paying attention too.

The timing would have been perfect if I left the hospital at the end of September as planned but because I stayed on until the end of October together with G's birthday party preparations, I couldn't keep up with the schedule. We do however have access to the course for another six months so I am just going to keep working at it. I have four layers on two canvases at the moment but they are both in the "ugly teenager phase", as Flora calls it. I let G do the first layers with me which was a lot of fun, but when it got to the third layer it wasn't that much fun anymore having her paint her own way. I will do the rest on my own :-)

Here are a few pictures of her doing part of the first layer, really getting into the painting, moving to music, lost in her own world.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Post Card Swop

I took part in the big post card swop through Do what you love for life. The theme was celebrate and it had to have some stitching on the card. I used the teddy inks but mine did not turn out the way I envisioned at all, but in order to keep to the deadline and to let go of expectations and perfection, I sent it. Oh well, next year I will start earlier. I received a lovely embroidered post card in return.

It was great fun to be part of this global handmade and stitched post card swop.

Monday, November 18, 2013

An Up-cycled Jasmine Heart

I've been meaning to make some wire structures for creeper plants. Today we were clearing out the house and got rid off G's play tent that was in tatters. I used the wiring from the tent to shape the jasmine into a heart. I can't wait for it to start flowering. I love up-cycling and I love being at home!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

One Very Special Birthday

I had a lovely birthday this year. Many small gestures and surprises made it a very special day indeed, starting with a hug and kiss from my sleepy precious girl, followed with lovely handmade cards and gifts from G, flowers from our garden, a balloon, an almond-dried apricot-candle-face in my usual breakfast yogurt and massage vouchers, ensured that I started my day feeling very loved and appreciated. I needed nothing more but the surprises and pampering continued throughout the day. What a lovely birthday and what great feeling it is to feel the love surrounding me!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Love Note

G got stationary for her birthday and the first thing she wrote on it was a little love note," For you Mommy, because I love you sooooo much!" So very grateful to have my this little girl in my life.