The Start of a Spiritual Journey

For the last 6 months, for some reason or another, life just seemed to be dealing me bad hands continuously. I was under constant pressure and no matter how hard I tried. I felt nothing helped or improved. It was a constant bashing of waves, forcing me onto jagged rocks and battling to catch air. I’ve never been the type of person who suffered from depression or crippling anxiety but I was starting to understand it and it was lurking at the door.

I am a 24-year old female South African living and working in the UAE. I take my career very seriously and have worked my a*s off to get where I am. I was going through something, something I couldn’t explain at that time. You see, I had this vague idea of where I wanted to be and who I wanted to be. The truth is, I didn’t. I wanted to be this successful, strong, Career- driven woman who had it all, but I was wrong. I have been in the hospitality industry my entire career except the one- year where I was a teacher. I love people! Only recently have I realized that I am extremely maternal. I care about people, and I enjoy seeing people happy.

It all started around two months ago, I was preparing to go on my annual vacation home. My great trek to see my loved ones. But it was different this time. I wasn’t excited, and there was just so much drama happening around me. I was unfocused, tired, anxious, irritated, miserable (we’ve all been there before). I went on this holiday and I did what I always do first. I landed in Johannesburg, went to my sisters house and became one with her couch. Talking and catching up with a woman who has been not only my elder sister but my best friend. Eating way too much food, letting my pajamas become my natural state and sleeping! Oh the glorious naps whenever I wanted!

Soon, I started forgetting about work. Forgetting the stresses of my average days and I just became a lazy, sleepy, happy human being. I stopped fighting the universe. I stopped fighting the energies. I stopped fighting my gut and my mind. I stopped fighting me… It was somewhere shortly after that week and getting to my parents’ house in East London where I would wake up in the mornings, grab a nice cup of coffee, sit in the cool morning air and watch the ocean that I let go of something. I let go of anger, resentment, stress, fear, anxiety and  I remembered what it was like to be me…

Yes, you can argue that this profound experience is what everyone goes through on holiday and it’s not that impressive. However, all my worries ceased at this moment. I suddenly realized that I didn’t have to live to others expectations of who I was meant to be. I didn’t have to be unhappy. That it was, in fact, my own mind holding me back. The moment I let it all go, the moment I stopped looking for reasons to be happy, I was happy! I wasn’t searching for something to make me happy, I just let myself be happy…

So, here I am today, back at my desk, in the UAE, listening to “Clearing Subconscious Negativity” Meditation Music for Positive Energy, Chakra Balancing on YouTube and reading “The Seven Chakras – the guide to opening and balancing your energy chakras” and starting this blog. Even if no one reads it, this is my journey, and the start of a whole new world and my path in it.

Today, I am bliss and ecstasy as my journey begins.

The Journey to self-love and acceptance.

100_2979Growing up I was a jock, I loved exercise, keeping fit and being outdoors. If the sun was out and you were looking for me… I would be outside, either riding a bike, playing sports, or swimming. I’m not talking about being a child and playing outdoors but being a teenager, my outdoor lifestyle came before anything else. I was an energetic, friendly, and an outgoing teenager who had a variety of different friends’ groups.

Suddenly, I had matriculated and it reality hit me like a brick wall. I had no idea what I was doing with my life. It was also around this time that I had found out my father was diagnosed with cancer. At an immature age of 18, I was faced with a decision. I chose the easiest way out, a gap year of working and spending time with friends. I started waitressing at a bar in the same town. My parents moved again to a new town, and I was on my own.

Don’t misunderstand me, it was lovely to have a new-found freedom! Half-way through my gap year of work, friends, and a bit too much partying I received the news. My dad had gone in for an operation and was on life support. It was a rush to the airport, a flight to Durban, and a week at his bedside, before finally, his body betrayed him and let him go… This was the moment my heart broke into millions of pieces. My father was a strong man, a kind man, a loving man, and although we didn’t have the best of relationships at times- he was still my father and I loved him more than words could express.

I was broken. Right after his funeral, I went home. I spent weeks crying in the office’s bathroom. Battling to catch my breath, gripping my chest in physical pain as it felt like someone had ripped my heart out. Eventually turning to alcohol as an only comfort. I let go of who I was as I started holding onto anger. The last betrayal of our final words shared, the discomfort of a non-meaningful final hug while he was still alive. I resented myself for not being a better daughter to a wonderful father. I had held onto years of petty feelings towards the man. In one fowl swoop, I wished I could take it all back.

I let myself go. I stopped caring. What did it all matter? We will all die anyway, right?

Suddenly, this energetic, friendly and outgoing person wasn’t there, she was replaced by someone I had never met before. She was bitter, unfriendly, angry, and irritable with everything around her.

I wasn’t depressed; however, I just wasn’t me. It took me years and amazing friends with great resilience to pull me out from the cave I had built myself. Over time I started drinking less, eating more, and laughing once again. I became a stronger, more vibrant, somewhat louder, more straightforward and crude version of myself. Now, when I love, I love whole- heartedly and I’m not afraid to say it! When I’m angry, I let it be known, When I cry, I cry like I’ve never cried before. I’m not afraid to show my emotions. It’s better to wear your heart on your sleeve. Those who cannot accept me or get annoyed simply don’t belong in my life.

And I accept that because I know that I am not betraying myself.

For those of you that are in need of forgiving yourself I recommend Ho’oponopono, the Hawaiian meditation guide to forgiving yourself!

Accepting differences in others

It was around 9 pm, I was sitting on the deck watching a storm roll in over the ocean. There was a cool breeze in the air. It is where, in the deathly silence of this small fishing village that something had touched my soul. Most often than not. It’s in silence and the forces of nature that something happens to your soul – clarity, peace… serenity. We are constantly on the go, focused on things we need to do, making supper, visiting friends, updating our “to do” lists for the next day, chatting to people on WhatsApp, meaninglessly browsing Facebook, or updating our “ready for bed” Instagram posts that we so often forget to simply live. To simply be.

Sitting on this deck, I couldn’t tell you where my phone was, probably under a couch cushion after a day of vegging. Here I sat in the freezing cold with my jacket zipped up and hoodie over my head that I took a moment to breathe, a moment to appreciate the sounds of the waves and the violence they roared with as the storm forced its way over. Inhaling the cool ocean- breezed air I could feel my lungs expanding and with each exhale I appreciated where I was. I was home, with my family, in a place where I hadn’t been for the past year.

I started thinking about how the clouds were coming over in this sweeping motion, watching the wind tear them apart. It wasn’t violent but overwhelming. Seeing how one cloud spread over as far as the eye could see, to that we have a similar effect on ourselves. Some people look at a storm and think of dreaded puddles, strong winds, and cancelled plans. I’ve never been that person. Instead, I see childhoods spent sitting at the kitchen door alongside my dad watching the rain. I smelt the rain and sweet scent the earth releases as the rain falls so gently on the earth. I feel a sense of security, a sense of hope that something will grow.

Each situation we are in life, we will always experience the same situation differently, some may be annoyed by the storm and some may find comfort in it. That night as many nights before I found comfort. I found acceptance and I found serenity. We need to accept that although we have gone through similar challenges or even vastly different challenges, we will all feel the storm differently. It is not up to us to hold others to our standards but to accept that everyone is own their own journey.

It was here that I learnt to accept of others and how to appreciate our own journeys.