Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Be kind to yourself

This is a hard one, as children we are taught to be kind to others, to do unto other as you would have them do unto you. But the message 'be kind to yourself', well that kinda gets lost along the way. In fact, the messages we do get are 'try harder', 'do more', 'be better'. Don't get me wrong, I am not knocking striving to be your best, I believe in that, but I do think that sometimes, we should cut ourselves a little slack. 

When we are constantly focusing on what we haven't achieved yet, we so quickly forget to celebrate what we HAVE achieved. And I don't know about you, but I tend to find it much easier to reach my goals when I remind myself that I AM a strong, capable woman, rather than constantly berating myself for not being there yet.

However, it's not enough to just tell yourself that you are strong and capable, you have to give yourself concrete examples. So, here is my challenge to you. Make yourself a cup of tea, sit down and actually write out a list of the things you have achieved. My secret tip here is not just to write down those things that you have viewed as major goals in your life, but also the things that you have achieved without making them specific goals. These are the things, little and big, that millions of people fail at every day. Things that may have come easily to you, so easily that you don't even view them as achievements. But the fact that certain things come easily to you is a product of who you are, a product of your talents, and so these things too must be celebrated. 

So here is my little list, I wrote this in my head a couple weeks ago when I needed a bit of a 'pick-me-up', and and it really helped.

I have given birth naturally, with no pain medication
I have breastfed a child for over 3 years
I continue to proudly breastfeed my toddler in public
I only used cloth nappies
I have completed a BSc, BSc (Hons) and an MSc
I have quit smoking
I have stayed married for almost 6 years
I have stayed in the same relationship for over 10 years
I have lost 23kg
I have belly danced, on a stage, in public

If you want to share your own list in the comments section, that would be great. Be inspired by the achievements of others, and as proud of your own achievements as you are of those of others. 

Friday, 18 November 2011


It is still sinking in that last night I sat, mere meters away from Tori Amos, and watched as she played the most beautiful and transforming music. I don't think I'm exaggerating to say that it was akin to a religious experience.

I was first introduced to Tori 14 years ago, when I was 16, by my best friend. Since then Tori has pretty much been the sound track to our lives. We both have so much emotion, pain, joy, growth and metamorphosis wrapped up in her music. So, sitting there with her last night, watching Tori, was definitely nothing short of spiritual.

In the bus from the car to the venue - we are two VERY excited girls

I cried, laughed and squealed with excitement. I was moved and transformed, yet again, by Tori. She is older now, and to me she has become like the wise mother, and I listen to her wisdom because her music is real, powerful and honest. The pain on her face when she sang Hey Jupiter, and the emotion in her voice when she sang Me & a Gun - I felt that at my core, I was shaken. And, although she looks different now, her voice is still as powerful and beautiful as it ever was. Rich and deep, it bows to her every command.

Playing silly buggers in the bathroom before the show :)

She had total and complete respect from the audience, with absolute silence during every song she played. The few times I could bear to tear my eyes from her, everywhere I looked I saw people holding on to each other watching her, the atmosphere was so intimate, it felt like it was just you and her.

This was actually taken during the show by someone - found it online this morning

She played a staggering 17(!) songs, with no back-up or accompaniment, just Tori and her piano's - perfect. I don't know how she found the strength, but I think she knew we were like the starving and she was manna from heaven, feeding us as much as possible of her very best. She opened with Little Earthquakes, then Icicle, Silent all these years, Consitina, Hey Jupiter, Dragon, Sorta fairytale (very special to me), Bells for her, Mother, Pancake (I felt like I was hearing this for the very first time, incredible) , Me & a gun, I can't see New York and finally closed with Carry, the only song she played that was actually from Night of Hunters. For the encore she played Personal Jesus, Leather, Precious things and Tear in your hand.

I continue to remain, ever more powerfully, under her spell