It is the 7th of April 2017 and thanks to decisions made by our President, South Africa is in turmoil and protest. I have spent the last 10 days vacillating between despair and anger. Writing always helps me to make sense of my emotion. How can I manage my fear of the future? And can I, one person, make a difference?
First, the fear. Fear is the opposite of love and separates us from others, planet Earth and Source. I am learning to be in my body by using mindful breathing techniques. I drop the ball alot! BUT the importance of being in our bodies is that it reconnects us to Earth and All That Is. There is a steadiness and steadfastness in this action - and comfort. Feel the love and lose the fear.
If I focus on the fear and uncertainty of our beloved country, I will manifest what I fear the most.
Second, making a difference. Simple actions speak very loudly. Louder than words. It is time to credit ourselves for the difference we make - everyday - in many lives. I made a decision to close my business today.
I am not an activist and have no desire to march but by saying 'No,' to business today I am saying 'No,' to what is happening in South Africa. I hope to encourage others to make a stand. The size of it is irrelevant. Just Do It!
I am in danger of being called naive. I do not buy into politics and I do my utmost to avoid drama. Simple practice of returning to my Source, being grateful and savouring the moment...that's the way for me.
Monday, 12 December 2016
Following on from my ‘Aspirations’ blog; a number of thoughts enter my mind and a few lessons have been learned.
What is abundance, and what does it have to do with aspiring to greatness?
When I embarked on this journey of discovery one of the first teachings I came across was “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne. “The Secret” taught me about the universal law of manifestation (another topic altogether) and that the Universe is abundant: abundant enough to see to all my needs and beyond, and that I have a right to participate in and enjoy this abundance.
Recently, I learned that in order to ‘claim’ my share of abundance, I must embrace myself and live fully in all my beauty and glory. This resonates with me. If I do not step up and be everything I can be in this world, then I am not fulfilling my role in the Universe. If I am living ‘small’ and not owning and using my talents then what contribution am I making to this abundant Universe. Nothing! And so I have no right to its abundance.
So, I ask again, “Do you aspire to greatness?”
I most certainly do! I am participating 100% in my abundant life!
“You know what breaks me? When someone is visibly excited about a feeling or idea or a hope or a risk taken, and they tell you about it but preface it with: ‘Sorry, this is dumb but – ‘.
Don’t do that.
I don’t know who came here before me, who conditioned you to think you had to apologise or feel obtuse. But not here. DREAM so big it’s silly. LAUGH so hard it’s obnoxious. LOVE so much it’s impossible.
And don’t you ever feel unintelligent. And don’t you ever apologise. And don’t you ever shrink so you can squeeze yourself into small places and small minds.
GROW. It’s a big world. There’s room. You fit. I promise.”
- Owen Lindley
Tuesday, 29 November 2016
Do you aspire to greatness?
My dad was a farmer, to support his family he worked the land, and raised cattle. One evening, when I was five, he came home from the fields and I declared to him, in my young enthusiasm, that I was going to be a vet. Twenty years later, after what felt like a marathon of study and learning, I achieved that goal. I fulfilled that aspiration, and then came to realise that the hard work had only just begun! I was fortunate to become a partner in a veterinary business fairly soon after qualifying and I thought I would stay there until retirement.
Contrary to my expectations (and dare I say ‘aspirations’), the Universe had other ideas for my life. After a series of challenging detours and roadblocks, my career took a very different path. Today I find myself in the field of small animal physical rehabilitation which is a new and exciting profession and filled with its own, unique set of aspirations.
This journey has caused me to ask a number of questions about the nature of success and achievement. What determines greatness? Does the deemed status of a chosen profession determine greatness? Or is greatness measured in the currency of wealth? Does the ability to affect another person’s life determine greatness? Is a medical doctor any greater than a personal assistant? Does the status and extent of one’s followers and fans determine greatness? Does the life of Bill Gates have more value than the one led by Mother Theresa?
We all have a deeply embedded set of personal values, and these differ from individual to individual. For me, greatness is defined by how much kindness, honesty, determination and generosity of spirit a person displays in his or her life.
For me greatness revolves around being the best version of me that I can be. Will I make mistakes during the process? Of course! Will I veer off in the wrong direction every so often? Most definitely! Will I hurt the people I share my life with? Most certainly but, hopefully, never intentionally. Will I steadfastly follow my calling? Absolutely! Will I be considerate and respectful to all living beings? With all of my heart.
Mindful, soulful, whole living.
Do you aspire to greatness? I do.
Sunday, 4 September 2016
Last week I examined a patient that I have not seen for more than two years. His original problem, discospondylitis, was successfully treated and Max is fully rehabilitated. He now has a soft tissue injury, hence the consultation.
After watching Max move, the three of us (patient, guardian and I) moved inside and sat down. Max settled on the mat and I began my history-taking. About 90 seconds into the conversation Max rises, steps onto the couch next to me and lays himself across my lap! Did I mention that Max is an enormous Rottweiler?
Why am I writing this in a blog? Max gave me an affirmation – absolute and honest. He has never done this before. For the rest of the day I walked around with a goofy grin on my face and my head in the clouds. My interpretation, “You’re okay Doc. I trust you so let’s get on with it.” Behaviourists may say something else, but this is my story.
What is the significance of Max’s action?
As humans, we need to be affirmed. We want others to acknowledge our kindness, generosity, effort or good deed. As Gary Chapman discussed in his book The 5 Love Languages, affirmation is one of my love languages. For how many other people is this true?
When was the last time you complimented a team member? Or smiled at the supermarket cashier? Or bought flowers for the person you thought was so kind? (Sam, this is you).
Simple actions can make such a difference – every day.
Wednesday, 17 August 2016
Pip had a front limb amputation just over one year ago. The reason for the amputation was osteosarcoma – bone cancer. What makes Pip so exceptional? Read on to find out.
Pip had been a hydro patient for a number of years prior to her cancer diagnosis. She has osteoarthritis of elbows and wrists (carpal joints) in both front legs. When she developed a nagging, pain in her right forelimb our original thought was that it was soft tissue injury and we increased her pain medication. When Pip failed to respond to this treatment, her guardian took her for radiographs at a trusted veterinarian: the same vet who had administered stem cell therapy to aid Pip’s arthritic joints. X-ray photos revealed a very small lesion at the top of the humerus which the vet biopsied. The results were devastating! Bone cancer...
Osteosarcoma is an extremely aggressive and painful cancer which attacks and spreads to other organs in the blink of an eye. Further radiographs revealed no metastasis (spread) to the lungs. The tumour had been identified soon enough to make amputation of the affected limb a feasible option.
The tough question now was, ‘Would a 9 year old Bouvier des Flandres weighing close to 40 kilograms, cope on one arthritic front leg?’
Pip’s lust for life and spirit were so strong that her guardian chose the amputation route. This was followed by a course of chemotherapy to ensure that any nodules too small to be noticed, were treated.
Pip’s diet was changed to one best able to combat cancer as well as to encourage weight loss. Two weeks after surgery our team members were massaging Pip to help her to deal with a change in movement patterns brought on by the amputation. We also suggested an orthotic brace to support the left carpal joint. The adaptive process took a number of months.
During this phase Pip often lost her balance, or moved too quickly, and fell, hard, onto her chin. Each time a determined Pip lifted herself up and soldiered on. She often refused assistance. Many times her guardian asked me if she had made the correct choice. Should she not have opted for palliative care or only chemotherapy, rather than have Pip struggle through this adjustment and ordeal following the amputation?
I ask again, ‘What makes Pip exceptional?’
Firstly, she has never given up. Secondly, she has never felt sorry for herself. Each time she falls, Pip rises to meet the challenge and live life. Thirdly, Pip has beaten the odds! Most osteosarcoma victims live 3 – 6 months from date of diagnosis if only palliative care is administered. If the limb is amputated and other preventive measures are taken, the survival time is 9 – 12 months. Finally, Pip is a teacher. I have learnt from Pip that there is no such thing as a wrong decision, despite the challenges we face as a result of that decision. There are only decisions made that are ‘right at the time.’ Given Pip’s incredible will to live and enjoyment of life, the decision to give her a chance was the best one.
No one was ready to say goodbye, not her guardian, and definitely not Pip. We have enjoyed Pip’s company for an extra year. Long may it continue!
P.S. Pip’s latest radiographs at 12 months post diagnosis show her lungs are still clear of metastasis. She weighs 34 kilograms. She is enjoying, and roughing it with, a new Bouvier puppy in the house.
Stem Cell Therapy www.medivetsa.co.za
Orthotics and Braces for Animals
Sunday, 31 July 2016
The one constant in life is change (and taxes, but that’s a different story). Most of us are afraid of change. We become comfortable with the way things are, the habits we have, and the people we see. Soon, we no longer see positives and negatives. Instead we lope along in a state of limbo. We fail to evaluate our lives, and consider what may or may not be working for us, until something happens which shakes us out of this status quo.
If we are then brave enough to take stock and have the courage of our convictions, we can make a decision to change. Hopefully it will be for the better. This process is often arduous and fraught with self-doubt. Even after we have made the decision, we second-guess ourselves. This continues until we realise that we once again have a spring in our step, we are singing in the shower, and it’s a joy to wake in the morning. How could we have been so blind?
Set this harsh criticism aside and embrace what is.
If you are facing a difficult decision or your life is dreadfully unhappy, I urge you to take the first step. Inertia will destroy you. Just do it!
Tuesday, 28 June 2016
I am the Creator of my own destiny. The choices I have made have resulted in my present life. It is currently a time of great stress in that I have, once again, said, “Yes,” when I should have established a boundary. Time flies past in a blur of appointments, reports and deadlines.
When I feel overwhelmed my emotions run high. I struggle with other people’s actions and decisions which affect me. I begin to view myself as the common denominator. The result is that I turn inwards and ask, “What is wrong with me?” I have spent a lifetime asking this question.
Tonight, after a tiring and exhausting week (it’s only Tuesday) and a lunch-time melt down, I rephrased the question. “What is right with me?”
This is what I discovered. I am hard-working and honest, bold and brave, intuitive and sincere. I care. I care to the point where it is detrimental to my well-being. I love. I love deeply and am often hurt. I trust. I trust completely and find disappointment. But, despite all of this, I rise every morning and put myself out there to experience THIS life. This glorious, beautiful and frustrating life.
I am alive and the Master of my own destiny. I can choose to view this existence in any way I please. Right now, I choose to ask, “What is right with me?” I am thrilled with my answers.
I dare you to delve into those areas that society frequently asks us to deny. Be honest with yourself if I ask, “What is right with you?”