Happy Place

I had such a lovely weekend behind me. On both Saturday and Sunday we made time to go for long walks in nature. Saturday was a little forest explore and Sunday was a nature reserve walk.

I am always getting messages about how important it is to spend time in nature and again this weekend it just became so obvious as to why I need to be there.

During Saturday morning’s exploration of the little forest near our house and other areas that we have not yet walked, I found myself with the biggest
smile on my face, my boys were happy, the puppies were happy and I was happy. The fresh air, the blue sky and the trees surrounding us really did the trick.

And then on Sunday we hiked in the nature reserve and took one of the extremely steep climbs up to the mountain. It was an interesting challenge with an 8 year old who likes to start a walk with a bit of a moan all the time. But my husband has explained to him that about 30 minutes into exercising the en-dolphins (endorphins) start to rush in and then you will start to feel all happy and energised, whilst dragging him up the climb the comments where flying about no en-dolphins being around and then as soon as we reached the top, sat down and admired the view he immediately commented on how they seemed to have arrived. He was all happy and almost running the next section of the hike.

Again the beautiful proteas, blue skies, amazing ocean and mountain views made my heart sing and so much gratitude poured into my heart.

Sometimes all it takes is just a few hours out there to put life back into perspective and to make us realise how much we need nature. She is not expecting anything from us, she is just there growing, being, and just existing. Everything is so effortless and unforced, it just happens. It is a constant reminder that we need to be more like Mother Earth – focusing on being, on being in the moment….

So make some time to connect with Her and find your happy place.

Yolandi xxx

 

Photo Credit:  Rob Walker

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It’s ok not to know…

So for the last 4 months I have been living in a lot of uncertainty of my future. I know it probably sounds a bit weird, but as a self-diagnosed control freak one of the biggest things I am sure I am meant to learn in this lifetime is trust and patience.

My standard pattern is to be super organised and know exactly what is happening going forward, so my diary is my life as everything is generally planned. But then around June it became very obvious and all my messages was pointing to the fact that I needed to back off all the planning and start trusting that all will be fine. So needless to say this was my mini version of hell unfolding, but deep inside I knew that I had to surrender, I knew that if I kept on going against that guidance that things would start unraveling in a big way. So I gave in and I decided to go with it.

I am about 4 months into this surrendering thing and all I can say is that I am rather calm, and things are working out in a big way.

I am still unsure as to where this is all going, but I am doing things, creating things but not pushing, not forcing. I am not putting any pressure on myself to know the plan for the next year and it actually feels pretty amazing.

So for now I am going with this, I am going with the feeling that sometimes it is okay not to know where all of this is heading.

Deep inside I know it will be worth it….

Much love

Yolandi

 

Photo Credit:  Rob Walker

 

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Joy and Peace

So it was quite an interesting week and after a long while of thinking that I need to get onto doing weekly video’s I have finally listened to my rat message this week (Wednesday Wisdom) and got my butt into gear and got going. And it was fun to do.

So if you haven’t watched it – check the video on my Facebook page.

So in the video I talk about a decision that I was grappling with and having to make a decision.  So that morning I put it out there that I needed an answer and my answer for then was to put positivity towards the situation and move on. Which I then did, and I just left it – no more thinking and adding to the fuel of the fire. A few hours later I was chatting to a good friend and we where talking about something totally unrelated to that situation but a sentence that she uttered struck such a cord and I realised that my answer had arrived.

She said – if something does not bring you joy or peace, why are you doing it?

And that was it, I took those words and I measured it against the issue that I was grappling with and my answer on both was a big NO. So that sealed the deal, I knew exactly how to proceed…

But that also made me realise later when I sat alone unpacking everything and rechecking my thought process of joy and peace – how often are we making decisions based on what brings others joy and peace but not ourselves. We have been taught from a very young age that we need to take others into consideration, that we need to look at what the societal norm is, what is the ‘right’ thing to do, and right at the bottom of the list is you and your needs.

Now my philosophy that I am busy forming in my life as we speak (obviously this is a HUGE lesson for me to learn this time round) is that I need to start focusing on things in my life serving me.

My standard pattern is to take everyone into consideration, which is obviously lovely BUT this leads more often than not, to me NOT being in joy and peace. So what I am staring to realise is that my entire being is shouting out very loudly here for me to start listening. I am constantly being faced with choices now that asks: is this right for me……

So I will have to start evaluating my choices based on the beautiful words from my friend and from the premise that I need to start serving myself.

So how are you making your choices? Ask yourself the simple question ‘Does it bring me joy or peace?’ – and think if it is actually serving you….

Much love
Yolandi

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Magical Thailand

So I got back this weekend from our short trip to the North of Thailand. Oh what a beautiful experience, this was truly one of the most beautiful places that I have visited and the thing that I loved most was the beautiful gentle people that live in this area.

The heat was a tad overwhelming but other than that everything was just awesome.

We spent a few days in Chiang Rai and then went south to Chiang Mai the capital of the North. We saw amazing temples and places whilst exploring.
I also made sure that I had a list of things to go and visit, and lucky for me I found a great site with pre-planned itineraries and on Thursday we headed out on some scooters to visit the mountain outside of Chiang Mai, the main attraction on the list was Doi Suthep but before getting there he mentioned a temple in the jungle that is not on the touristy route. This immediately caught my attention and as we stopped outside, I luckily took out the itinerary and read that we needed to follow the little path down the mountain.

We were all a bit skeptical but then decided to go for it anyway. As we rode down the little steep road we went deeper into the jungle. We eventually got to a parking lot and saw a couple of traditional buildings and a few monks strolling around.

Then there it was two beautiful Thai Sphinxes standing side by side next to a little entrance of a hedge.
I got quite excited as I have had a year of finding different sphinxes in the countries I have visited, so this felt like a good sign.

 

Then as we walked past these the most beautiful temples appeared, but nothing like any of the gold and ornate temples that we have seen during the week. This was simple, wood, honoring nature, all open and Buddhas made from white and grey stone, strewn around the entire area.
It was breathtaking and I was completely covered in goosebumps and as I turned around I saw my fellow travel companions all in their own world of wonder.  Everyone looked at each other with wide eyes and smiles and we all knew we found THE place.

It was such an exploration – a beautiful pagoda covered in moss and little flowers towered up into the sky – loads and loads of little and big Buddha’s everywhere.

A cave with various Buddha’s covered in gold cloth, people praying, burning candles and incense and a lovely river and waterfall in the middle of it all. This place was just so magical and made me feel at home immediately. The connection with mother nature was epic and how these monks had managed to respectfully integrate their religion with the jungle around it was amazing. This just made my heart grow with so much love and I could not wipe the smile from my face.

It also made me realise that we are quite able as humans to integrate our beliefs and our need for deities and worship into the bigger picture of nature, it was lovely to see such a respectful religion alongside my happy place of nature. So in my heart I thanked those wonderful monks for making it such a special place. I found my happy place in Thailand right there on the mountain….

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