I wouldn’t call myself an optimist. You know one of those people that seem to have rays of sunshine follow them wherever they go. I however wouldn’t call myself a pessimist either, but I certainly can feel negative at times.
Sometimes I get stuck in a perpetual cycle of negativity and guilt that is difficult to get out of and maybe you have experienced this too. “I should be positive about my privilege, food on the table, a job, health, family and have no right to feel negative about these trivial things etc. etc.”
To feel positive, you might try different techniques such as thinking positively or surrounding yourself with things that make you happy. However, often this forced focus on trying to develop a positive disposition leads you even further down the negativity path and by trying to push negativity out and force positivity in, you feed the guilt, strengthen the negativity and are left feeling emotionally drained!
Our feelings influence our behaviour and attitudes
How we feel affects our perception of a situation which gives rise to our attitude and behaviour. Therefore, it is important to acknowledge how people, things and situations make you feel in order to express the attitude and behaviour that you feel comfortable with. If this is sounding familiar, then read on for a different approach to filtering out the negative. This is a dynamic process and a constant journey, so this is food for thought from a person who is not a self-proclaimed expert on this but rather a person still navigating the methods of filtering out the negative.
Get rid of emotional pollution
Try this little exercise next time something or someone causes negative feelings, which I like to call emotional pollution. Instead of trying to force positive thinking, keep the negativity at the forefront of your thoughts and ask yourself what is making me feel negative today and what can I do about it? Is it a tarnished relationship, lack of sleep, an insurance claim, government policies? By analysing what it is about the situation that is making you uncomfortable you direct your focus on how and if you can change your situation. So, for example if a tarnished relationship is causing emotional pollution, think about how that can be changed, or weigh up the value of the relationship against the effort of maintaining or rectifying it. Should you find that the effort of maintaining the tarnished relationship far outweighs the benefit of keeping the relationship then it’s time for a change. Either the relationship needs to end or your role within the relationship needs adjusting. By shifting your focus – from being consumed by negativity and avoiding a forced, unnatural positive disposition to driving actionable change towards your negativity you will inadvertently make room for the positive.
Some things you cannot change
I know at this point you are saying ‘easier said than done’ and some things are just impossible to change and I agree, you can’t change or eliminate everything that doesn’t make you feel good.
At this point I remind myself of a very well-known mantra which I feel can be used by anyone, ‘Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.’ Some things are simply not in your control so identify those things that create negativity in your life and ask yourself is this something I can control? If yes, then take actionable steps to eliminate or change the negative aspect or causes of emotional pollution. If the answer is no, then ask yourself what can I control about this situation? The answer is to again focus on you and how you feel.
Aim to find a way to take the negative that you can’t control, change the way you feel about and accept that this is within the boundary of your control. Remember what is meant to be, will be and every day that you wake up and do your best to filter out the negative is a great start to letting the positivity in.
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Until recently many entrepreneurs and businesses in general have viewed using the services of a Virtual Assistant as a luxury more than a necessity. However, the outbreak of Covid-19 has changed the way people view working from home and thrust the Virtual Assistant role into the limelight.
I am not a ghost
I find that when you start working with a new client there are always a few teething problems, given that you are asking two or more people to work together who in all probability are sitting in different areas of the country or even the world and there are different personalities that need to gel. It is a tad difficult as you cannot have a chat in the kitchen while you make your first cup of coffee for the day. A VA is to all intent and purposes a “ghost” employee, and it is important to remember that although I do not physically sit in the office, I am a person. So many times, I have heard other remote assistants say “My client has no idea who I am.”
It sometimes takes a while for clients to get their head around the fact that you as a VA are an individual who works remotely on tasks and projects that you have been assigned by the client. Very rarely is there that personal connection.
My working hours
Utilising the services of a VA is the best way to move forward. I find that one of the first issues to address is working times. Clients sometimes need to be reminded that you are a “free-lance worker” and as such you will normally have more than one client, your priorities will be slightly different to an office-based employee.
I need it in writing
Communication is key to a long term, successful working relationship. I always remind my clients I am not physically in their office and therefore unable to raise concerns face to face. It is always good to give written instructions. This way I can revert to this document should I need clarity on what you expect from me. It helps to provide me with a timeline. It is a way of holding everyone accountable for their actions. With working from home becoming the new norm, there are plenty of online management tools and apps that one can use to assist with managing both client and VA expectations. It is a matter of time and trial and error to see which one works best for you.
How am I doing?
I have found in the past, that the more detail I am provided with the better my performance will be. Certain clients that I have worked with have provided specific feedback along the way and this has always been a good way of getting to know one another and addressing areas that might need to be changed.
My theory is simple, I will work hard for my clients, if we keep the lines of communication open and we regularly check in with each other, we will become an awesome team. I will be able to assist you in the day to day management leaving you free to grow your company and move from strength to strength.
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We are living in a very stressful time in the world while trying to protect our health as well as continue our day to day living and continue with business as usual. As business owners and employees, we are often too busy to take time out for our own wellbeing and more often than not we tend to put our mental and emotional needs aside.
It is so important for us to ensure that we too feel safe and comforted as we are unable to perform optimally while feeling stressed and suffering from burnout and exhaustion.
I recently came across the Danish phenomenon of Hygge. Although at first one might feel skeptical and dismiss such a “whimsical and artsy” idea. Just try it and you will discover the change it can create in your life.
One needs to only take a few minutes per day to recharge and remove ourselves from our lives in order to gain perspective. All you need I a space to reconnect and be present. In this way you will be able to recognize and enjoy the moment you are in and gain clarity on what is important.
Hygge is not something that you can buy, its existence is in the complete absence of stress and feeds off feelings of happiness and relaxation. There are many ways to practice Hygge from creating a space in your home where you can unwind without disturbance, where you feel comfortable and have things surrounding you that bring you comfort and joy.
Set aside a brief moment of time in your day where you know that you will not be disturbed and clear your mind thinking back on all the good that you have in your life and all you have achieved. Remove the negative and do not think of what could or has gone wrong. Just live in that moment of contentment. You can light a candle and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee in your favourite china cup.
Take the time to create a tasty, nutritious and aesthetically pleasing meal. Use your good plates and candles, create a calming atmosphere and play your favourite music. Don’t sit in front of the television or in front of your computer, don’t eat your hastily prepared meal in the kitchen before running off. Go sit outside and eat your meal and enjoy nature. Eat mindfully.
Clean out your home and office from clutter and only keep what is necessary. By clearing out your living and working space you are clearing your mind to only what is important.
Take time to be present with those that are important in your life. Remove all distractions such as phones and televisions. You will be surprised at how your relationships evolve and what you can learn about each other. Take time to listen to what they have to say instead of thinking of the next thing is you need to say. Just listen and be. Sometimes just being with another human and interacting mindfully can be more therapeutic and relaxing than any form of therapy.
Hygge should ultimately become a natural extension of your daily life and you will find that your 15 to 30 minutes per day in one corner of your living space can ultimately extend to your whole life so that you are living each day mindfully and being present in the now.
We all have dreams and aspirations. Things that inspire us to do better and be better. What is that for you? What do you use as your way to stay on track and keep your head in the game when it feels like you are drowning?
For me, it is knowing that I can create and manifest anything I want, whenever I want (okay maybe not at the snap of my fingers), but I know that if I use the power of mind and the techniques I have come to learn over the years that I can bring to me all that I deserve. And you can too!
So what’s so special about the brain?
I am inspired by the idea that our brains are not just sitting there helping us to talk or walk. Our brains and our thoughts have a vibrational frequency. That old saying, “On the same wavelength”, pretty much refers to the brainwaves we emit – the same ones we send out into the Universe with every thought.
It has been proven that positive thoughts creating positive vibrations move faster into the universe and the more we think them and the more we feel them the more likely what you are wanting to be present in your life will become a reality.
I have many stories of my own where I believe fully this is how things have manifested in my life. From going to work on a cruise ship at 21 to meeting the love of my life (just as I had pictured him in my thoughts) when I thought love was something I was not destined for. Even something as simple as working from home with like-minded people and raising two beautiful, high vibrational little boys.
All things I believe that my thoughts helped me make possible.
Great, I’m gonna sit back and wait for happiness!
Now let’s get something straight, there’s no way you can sit back, think beautiful thoughts of finding your soulmate and having riches and BAM, they fall in your lap! No. no, that is not the way it works.
How I see the Law of Attraction working in my life is this: I think about what I would want to come into my life. What I desire. I keep that thought, I feel gratitude for that thought and for everything else around me. I believe that what I desire is coming to me and I feel grateful for that.
I then believe what happens is, the universe hands you an opportunity, or two, or three, and what you choose to do with those opportunities determines whether your desire is manifested.
I can imagine it is difficult trying to figure out whether you have been given the signs as it were. You probably wondering, “But how will I even know?” Believe me you will know, and sometimes we do not even think about it, the opportunity comes along, we go with it without a second thought and maybe 6 months or 1 year down the line you will be sitting on your couch and suddenly you will look at where you are and what you have achieved.
You start to retrace your steps and land right back at that point where you had that initial thought about what you wanted and sent it out there to the universe. You then awaken to the fact that a few days later “X” happened or, “Y” came into your life and it just kind of happened and lead you to where you are at this exact moment.
It may sound strange and like some New Age, hippy mumbo jumbo, and you know what we are all entitled to our opinions because no one person is right. We are all human and all have our own beliefs.
But for me personally, I can think of so many instances in my life where because I constantly thought about something, it did happen and came into being. Some good, some bad. Because yes, just as positive thoughts become things, so to do the negative ones.
Truth is, I could talk for days and write thousands of words about why the power of my mind inspires me to be a better person, to think better thoughts, but I won’t! Instead I challenge you to go and take a moment and start thinking about things you want in your life. Feel that warmth of gratitude filling you up for these amazing things that you ‘have’. Feel gratitude for the things that you had and have left you (because these too were not by chance).
Then I would like impart on you a list of some of the books I read while on my journey. There are hundreds of titles available for you to read and learn from.
- The Law of Attraction by Esther Hicks
- Money and the Law of Attraction by Esther Hicks
- The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
- The Power by Rhonda Byrne
- The Magic by Rhonda Byrne
- Ask and it is Given by Jerry Hicks
- The Gratitude Effect by Dr John Demartini
- The Breakthrough Experience by Dr John Demartini
- Count Your Blessings by Dr. Demartini
- You can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay
I am also including some links to things that help to bring about the sense of self, sense of being centered which really helps you on this journey of manifestation.
- Binaural Beats
- Hacks for Enhancing Brain Power
- Attitude of Gratitude
- Vision Boards
Happy reading, and happy manifesting!
Why Heritage Day Is Important To The South African Nation
Heritage Day or Braai Day as it has colloquially become known, is celebrated on the 24th of September. South Africans are encouraged to celebrate their cultural traditions and beliefs and the rich diversity that makes us proudly South African.
The day was declared a holiday during the late former president Nelson Mandela’s tenure.
Heritage day should not be seen as a mere holiday and a day off, it should be an opportunity to embrace your cultural values and traditions.
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu became the national spokesperson for National Braai Day in 2007 and the name was changed to Braai4Heritage.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu said, “We’re going to have this wonderful thing on the 24th of this month when we all gather round one fire. It’s a fantastic thing, a very simple idea. Irrespective of your politics, of your culture, of your race, of your whatever, hierdie ding doen ons saam [‘we do this thing together’]… just South Africans doing one thing together, and recognizing that we are a fantastic nation.”
Archbishop Emeritus Tutu thought that the idea of using the braai to unite people was a very good one as it is common for people from various cultures in South Africa to gather together around a fire to celebrate.
Why is Heritage Day Important?
It is important for all South Africans to celebrate our culture and heritage against the background of our unique diversity. In so doing, we build pride in ourselves and our nation as we remember the difficulties of the past and share in the victories of the present and raise hope for the future.
South African Culture
South Africa has been legendarily referred to as the rainbow nation because it is made up of so many diverse cultures and religions. To name but a few in South Africa, we have:
All of these people are united by calling South Africa their home and has their own unique culture and identity.
Interesting Heritage Facts
South Africa has eight places declared as World Heritage Sites, these are:
- The iSimangaliso Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park
- The uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park
- Robben Island
- The Fossil Hominid Sites of Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, Kromdraai and environs
- The Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape
- Vredefort Dome
- The Cape Floral Region
- The Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape
The purpose of Heritage Day is to expose people to the differences, to enable us to understand, respect and appreciate other cultures. There are positive things in every culture. If we can adopt or even just accept what is good in other cultures, we will grow as individuals and contribute to a more unified South Africa.
South Africa has its ups and its downs but one thing is always certain. When needed our rainbow nation comes together as a force to be reckoned with. Happy Heritage Day, South Africa.