A poem for my granny

Ouma Jo

My grandmother passed away this morning at the age of 96. In memory of her I want to share a poem that I wrote to her many years ago when I was 17 years old.

Ek ken ‘n Engel

Ek ken ‘n engel

‘n Engel is altyd besig om goed te doen

besig om te gee

en beisg met die verheerliking van die Here.

 

Die engel wat ek ken

deel altyda haar liefde uit aan almal groot of klein.

Niks is vir haar onmoontlik nie,

want sy weet waar haar krag vandaan kom.

 

My engel geniet nog die klein dingetjies in die lewe

‘n bossie blomme, ‘n kaartjie of ‘n oproep

Sy is mal oor ‘n goeie fliek en

waardeer altyd ‘n brief van ‘nkind of kleinkind.

 

Net soos ander engele leer sy jou lewenslesse

en deel met jou haar ondervindings.

Sy stel altyd ‘n goeie voorbeeld

en bid elke dag vir jou.

 

Ek is so dankbaar vir die voorreg om ‘n engel te ken,

want sy vul my lewe met sonskyn en

kleur die dag vir my in.

 

En vandag wile k dankie sê vir haar

vir die engel wat sy vir my is.

Dat sy altyd ‘n oor het wat hoor,

‘n hart wat omgee en ‘n hand wat lei.

 

Ek ken my ouma.

Ek ken ‘n engel.

She was an angel on earth and now she will be one in heaven. I will miss you deeply, Ouma Jo!

How are you standing in your way?

standing

Six weeks ago during a coach training session, the facilitator asked me: ‘How are you standing in your own way?’ I could not answer the question. I remember thinking ‘I’m not standing in my way. How can you even think that? I started my own business that is huge for me. It’s a big leap. What do you mean? Me, standing in my own way, never….’ Maybe you are also thinking the same whilst reading this blog.

The question stayed with me and kept on surfacing in my conscious. I knew that it was an important question but I could not find the answer. No matter how hard I tried to look for it. Until a few days ago something unexpected happened that challenged my way of being. It also challenged the way I was doing business.

It felt as if I was walking down the street with a tunnel vision, caught up in my own thinking, and suddenly walk straight into a lamppost that was standing right in front of me. The unpleasant event forced me to look up and see the big world outside of me. It opened my eyes to see the space for something genuinely new to begin.

Reflecting back I realise that the surprising event allowed me to see that I was walking straight into my personal blind spot. It was a deeper fear that was limiting my view. Instead of looking where I’m going I was wrapped up in holding onto an event in the past. In doing that I was limiting my vision of the future for my business and myself. No wonder I could not answer the question. I was standing in my blind spot…

Learning: Surprising events (pleasant or unpleasant) awaken us and allow room for something new to happen.

 Healing question: How am I standing in my own way?

Part of a team

DSCN0695

We all have a need to belong. Whether it is in our personal life or at work. We want to feel that we are part of a group of like-minded people. We don’t just want to be connected to them on a virtual basis. We want to experience meaningful real-life connections. We want to build personal relationships and feel each other’s presence.

Research indicates that more than a quarter of people feel they don’t belong, despite the fact that they have many social platforms to connect with others. A possible reason for this is that the feel-good hormones of the body (like oxytocin) need face-to-face interaction to stimulate production. Our moods improve and we feel more socially connected when we can see and hear one another.

There are different ways one can experience a sense of belonging. Being part of a community or tribe, a group of close friends, a division at work or a sports team are some of the ways. The Iceland soccer team that is currently playing in the UEFA Euro 2016 tournament reminded me how a team sport can bring people together and create a sense of connection. It made me think back to the times when I used to play team sports.

I started to participate in team sports when I was about 11 years old. At first I played netball and later (in High School) switched to hockey. The wonderful thing about a team sport is that every member of the team has a specific role to play. Knowing that my contribution counts towards the team gave me a sense of belonging. I experienced a deep sense of connection during a match. When we all played towards a common goal it really felt hat we were in it together.

It has been many years since I last played in a team sport. Being self-employed I’m also not working with others on a daily basis. Only now that I’m not part of a ‘team’ anymore I realise the sense of belonging that it gave me. I recognise the importance of engaging with others in meaningful ways such as physically spending time  and conversing with them. When last did you really connect with someone? Where do you feel you belong?

Learning: Being part of a team gives one a sense of belonging.

Healing question: How can the way I interact with others translate into meaningful, real-life connections?