My Big Fat Dream

I am a dreamer ever since I can remember. My mom used to call me her day-dreamer walking on Cloud 9! Sometimes my dreams are beautiful, colorful, flowing into all sorts of adventures. Sometimes they make no sense, and have strange or hectic imagery as I ride the waves of my subconscious.

How often do I have the same dream? A few times a year I have a vivid, intense dream of running away from a huge wave. I noticed that every time I have this dream, my day-to-day reality is either shifting or I am emotionally charged with change, stress, etc. I have learned to swim into this wave to become one with it. It it takes a lot of inner strength and awareness and most times I fail!

I have one good dream though, that’s strong in my subconscious. My life wouldn’t be the same without it. It is the source of my inspiration and being alive: It’s called my Big Fat Dream!

What is this Big Fat Dream? It is simple: A dream of Pure Happiness!  This dream forms part of the foundation of my perception of reality here on earth:

Living everyday like it would be my last day and seeing everyone as beautiful and allowing others to live their full potential, whatever it is and without judging. Seeing the challenges as opportunities to grow and surrounding myself with the beauty I deserve. Hugging my daughter, at the same time hugging my mom and saying how much I love them and how grateful I am they are in my life. Living a full life with my extended family whilst experiencing true love,  a gift to any human being to enjoy and share! Realizing in the middle of a breakdown how fortunate I am compared to others and that my life is perfect just the way it is.

That I am perfect just the way I am and so is everyone else. 🙂

Conventional is a Good Fallback Position Isn’t It?

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Conventional lifestyle, living conservatively, same-same but different. Better than others. Right?

Conventional lifestyle on the one side offers security and stability and on the other limits you, your growth and living your full potential.

How do you live your life now? Conventional or Adventurous?

Something I experienced a while ago: “Ever wondered why we get challenged?

We get challenged with illnesses, breakups, career change, etc. These challenges are given to us to learn and grow. When we experience breakdowns, we’re forced to move and make necessary changes. We make the move into the unknown sooner or later. And after these breakdowns,no matter how long it takes, eventually we will experience breakthroughs!

Challenges are opportunities in disguise and it want us to move from our conventional lifestyles to more variety ones. Please do take a look back, way back and see how we evolved over time. It is human nature, an innate essence. We’re all part of the universe, part of evolution, and part of this change. By not making the choices ourselves, sooner or later the universe will send us challenges, whether we like them or not.

I choose a life of adventure, creativity, love, education and fun! 🙂

Cross-Culture Communication Experiences

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Traveling makes you wiser and you appreciate where you’re coming from. Most people love traveling. What fascinates me are the many places to see, to experience the different cultures and people. When I travelled to the East and the South I realized people were friendlier and family orientated. They were more relaxed and didn’t say much. When I visited North America and Western Europe, people were more focussed, more direct and goal orientated.

As a South African, I feel I’m a bit of both, though one cannot be in the middle stated by Edward T. Hall, American anthropologist in the 70’s and cross-cultural researcher. He was remembered for developing the concept of Proxemics, a report of how people act and react in different types of culturally defined personal space.  He designed a unique continuum to describe our culture differences:

High Context Culture and Low Context Culture

In high context cultures, such as Asia, South America and Africa, people are collectivists, rational and have high levels of information within their context (meaning the information that surround their lives). They need low amounts of context for meaning in what they do. They prefer group harmony and favor group consensus rather than individual achievement. Conversations are more formal and indirect.The listener in the high context culture is aware of situations when addressed, it’s expected of him to know what the speaker is saying, through gestures, emotions. Relationships, trust and families are all considered as important. They run on polychromic time (many things happening at the same time and focus on involvement).

In low context cultures, low levels of programmed information within their context is provided. People are individualists, linear thinkers and action-orientated. Discussions are based on facts rather than intuition. Conversations are clear and direct. They depend highly on trust through written contracts and verbal agreements. They run on monochromic time (schedules, promptness, etc).

Difficulty with other cultures is often the case and the issue lies in the interaction process and the different dialogues. If we gain a better understanding of different communication styles, we can avoid uncomfortable situations when met face to face. We can learn to accept our different cultures and build beautiful relationships without stereotyping or judging. Making this effort can create wonders in the world, not just for ourselves or for friendships or even business but for the most important thing that makes us all human: for unity and love!

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If You Chase Two Rabbits, You Will Lose Them Both

An old Native American quote: “If you chase two rabbits, you will lose them both.”

Focus on only one thing at a time. You cannot hunt and shoot two rabbits at the same time. Rabbits will run around purposely just to distract you from each other. A survival skill. If you go for one rabbit, the probability are greater. Focussing on one task, the chances are you will finish it quicker and get better results. 

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While researching on the topic, it dawned on me: I was one of those ‘hunters’ who multitasked! I thought I was a good multi-tasker, being a mom and all… I was wrong! No wonder I experienced stress and was still fighting a low immune…

It is impossible to do two things at the same time. The issue lies in the absorption of the actual task experience. When you do two things at once, your senses interfere with each other, creating a feeling of confusion and stress (adrenalin). Your body creates that same thing those rabbits did, as it is under the impression of flight or fight. Using this mode too often can lead to stress and other unpleasant conditions. At the end, you might have done your activity, but the experience itself will be less absorbed in your mind. And your life might feel like an exhaustion blur of unappreciation.

Why not try doing two things at once but separately by taking a 2 minute break in between. You will focus on that specific task until break time. Afterwards continue with the next task. You can repeat this until you’ve finished.  One thing to note is today’s technology creates convenience and there are many App’s we can use. Try the Reminder App , its easier to divide your priorities and allocate your time.

Multi-tasking is something from the past. It contributes to stress, a short life and unnecessary, unaffordable mistakes.

Nothing is More Dangerous Than An Idea, When You Only 
Have One Idea (Alain)

Émile-Auguste Chartier, commonly known as Alain was a French philosopher, journalist, and pacifist who was renamed Alain after its most famous student. He contributed to several journals and publications such as The Dreamer, 81 Chapters About The Spirit and Passions, About Happiness, Mars, and The Citizen Against Powers.

I agree with Alain that having only one idea, can lead to harmful consequences. Have a look around you, check out the newspapers, think politics and those sitting on top of our money. Making the decisions for us. We follow.

An idea is also a positive experience, resulting in positive change. With the same awareness, think about all those ideas that contributed to our developed, evolved nations. Our world is still exceptionally beautiful. A place of unity, love and curiosity but most of all a place where we get to share our precious moments. Precious moments with our children.

The power of one-on-one–time-a-day with each of your children. Children crave attention and connecting with them provides a sense of security, creates safety in their relationships and positions them in the family, resulting in improved behavior.  This idea inspired me that I read from an online article.

Here are the steps you can take to create one-on-one–time-a-day with each of your children:

  1. Allocate 15 minutes of one-on-one time everyday.
  2. Spent uninterrupted time and focus on each child individually.
  3. Let your child choose the activities. This creates an in-control feeling and it allows space for creativity plus gives a sense of importance to your child.
  4. Be consistent as this is not a once off occurrence. Commit yourself to spending time with your children and your relationships will grow stronger, day-by-day.
  5. Your children’s time is high priority. Leave household chores or other commitments aside, nothing is more important than your children’s one-on-one time. Express this to your child as well 🙂

And lastly, have fun. They grow so quickly!

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Cultivate Peace of Mind

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During my travels in Thailand, I came across this wonderful article on cultivating a peaceful mind.

Its called: HAPPY ON THE GO! 

1. Set aside time for exercise to lower your stress. Make it short, everyday with one day rest per week.

2. Allow yourself time for your favorite activities and hobbies. Listening to music, watching movies, reading, shopping, playing, etc.

3. Have a balanced, nutritious diet. Add more fruit and vegetables and cut down on the bread.

4. Ensure you have enough sleep! Try this: Sleep without an alarm clock for a few nights, and see how many hours your body craves. Once you are clear on the amount of hours, use that amount of hours to sleep every night!

5. Avoid coffee and tea that contain caffeine. Or cut down to at least to 1 cup a day in the morning only. You will enjoy it so much!

6. Take an afternoon nap! 15 to 20 minutes is all you need. Or just relax and feel your body become one with the chair or sofa, focussing on each part of your relaxed body (start with your feet and move upwards)

7. Give your office or home a makeover. Clean out unnecessary things. Your bedroom is your sanctuary. Keep things organized and neat. Your mind will follow!

8. Switch off! Turn off your phones, your emails, etc. Just knowing you are unreachable, gives you peace of mind.

9. Avoid stressful activities, people, environment, etc until you are strong enough.

If you have any more ideas, please feel free to comment 🙂

Happy Women’s Day!

Wishing all women a blessed, inspiring women’s day tomorrow! Always remember that you are powerful. A women’s essence lies in her Wisdom. There is an amazing power in that wisdom. We don’t need muscle power to protect us, to achieve something or to change something. We should use our wisdom and reach for our dreams. Create our own lives that we want and deserve. Believe in ourselves and we do not wait for someone else to change our worlds.  You are the only one that can make that change.

Never forget who you are, the power behind you and the power you have in front of you. You are never alone, we are all together in this, as one! Feel loved and have a Happy Women’s Day!

Read more on Women’s Day 

How To Beat The Monday Blues…

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As I was driving to class one Monday morning, I couldn’t help noticing an old, subconscious pattern in my mind, one that affects most of us: Monday Blues.… Even the funky-dance music on the radio didn’t do that trick Friday can. In fact, Monday blues feel like the exact opposite of TGIF excitement.

I investigated this phenomenon. Mondays feel like climbing a mountain, with map instructions and prepared rucksacks of supplies and tools for our journey: We wake up early for work, dive into family responsibilities and are swamped with all sorts of duties. Fridays feel like being on top of the mountain, we can rest, enjoy the view and we can feel our achievements.

Is there anything we can do to make Mondays feel like Fridays? How can we bring that excitement and freedom into Mondays? 

We could change our mindsets, our thoughts. We could transfer the exact emotions and thoughts of Friday’s into Mondays. Even if we are not capable of a similar freedom, we could create one for Mondays. Like they say: ‘ Same same, but different!’

For example: We could imagine our work place like a kids playground and our colleagues are our ‘friends’ whom we adore and eager to play with. We could imagine that our bulk-load  of responsibilities and tasks are our tools to play  and build sandcastles with. We can ‘trick’ our mind and create our own reality of fun and excitement!

If only life was that easy! But hey, anything is possible. Find ways to change your Monday blues into Monday bliss. We are not here forever anyway, we might as well be playful and enjoy the ride!

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Interesting thought: Imagine living your life like you live in a hotel. Nothing belongs to you, you only have yourself and your luggage. You are the one responsible for paying your own bills (life responsibilities) and creating your day (all choices are up to you). Then when you finally check out, you leave with only yourself (your soul) and your luggage (karma)! 

Did You Figure Out the Second Head Fake?

 

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“Did you figure out the head fake? …..It’s not about how to achieve your dreams. It’s about how to lead your life. If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself. The dreams will come to you.”

“Did you figure out the second head fake? This talk’s not for you. It’s for my kids.” 

Randy Pausch was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, US and an author who achieved worldwide fame for his speech, the Last Lecture after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and having only a few months to live.

What is your understanding under the second head fake? He mentioned that the quote was for his kids. Why is that? Is it because kids have their whole lives ahead of them and are only beginning with the process of dreaming. Kids have a natural ability to take on things fearlessly, enthusiastically, playfully and with vivid imaginations. They do not know the concept of karma and are not aware of its consequences on their lives. They just live, what feels right to them.

What does it say about us as adults? Are we afraid of change? Do we lack imagination, courage and creativity? Are we too busy multitasking, taking on responsibility and full of stress that we forget our purpose and essence on this planet?

Randy leaves a clue in his first quote: It is about how you lead your life. Ask yourself today, how do I lead my life? What life do I want to lead? What changes do I want to see in my life? Make a note of how you can lead that life that will work for you. Your dreams will naturally follow and with a karma that will be in your favor…and follow the kids! 😉

 

A Brief Look Into My Spiritual Growth

This post is dedicated to a gorgeous lady whom I met on the islands of Panarea, Italy. She currently lives in Munich where we became very good friends. This is her personal contribution to my blog ‘Perception of Reality’….

A Brief Look Into My Spiritual Growth 

By Immeria Lübbers

The thing that I am most passionate about is finding true happiness. I am deeply grateful to have discovered the journey which led me and ultimately helped me achieve just that. I’ve always imagined my life on earth as temporary and therefore, refrained from being possessed by material gains, social norms, peer pressure and the like, which I agree are reasons that deprives one from living their true, authentic Self.

Coming from a background where religion played a significant role in our upbringing, I deviated from some of the teachings which didn’t reconcile with how I saw the world. I battled with failure, never seeing it as an option: only, it proved to be my biggest teacher with a valuable lesson at hand. It took me years to nurture and understand my path towards enlightenment.  Then one day, out of the blue it happened….I was literally HAPPY (Having All Peace Power to Yield). Since then, I am living a harmonious, balanced and peaceful life. My manifestations through self-love and self-forgiveness quantified amazing results.

The outcome: that long-awaited growth into my own spirituality!

Immeria