Go with the flow…

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Let’s face it, we all appreciate the comfort and security of a comfort zone. Whether it’s in a relationship, job, friendship – nothing beats that familiar feeling. An unspoken safety net ready to catch us at any given time.

With my sabbatical about to come to an end, I’ve learnt many lessons. I must concede that while I embraced most with open arms, there were those I tried to ignore or wished away. Here are a few:

• Solitude is important – you don’t always have to be busy, filling your day with what are often pointless activities, just to appear busy. Not all interactions add value.
• Find joy in the journey – it’s so easy to spot a patch of dark clouds instead of the faint outline of a rainbow. Search for the good – in situations and people.
• Purpose trumps pleasure – living a purpose driven life means sacrifices need to be made for the greater good and that’s okay. (This one I tried to fight but in the end His will prevailed).
• Your circle will shrink faster than the concorde – and you may find yourself feeling alone and isolated but that’s okay. Where and how else can the Master Potter panel beat your character into shape.
• Keep the flame of passion alive – even when you are confused, you know the depths of your passion and purpose, so don’t let anyone talk you out of fulfilling your dream.

The past few months have been exhilarating and frustrating all wrapped in one. I think the frustrating part was mainly due to the fact that I’m so used to being in control and having a plan. And for the first time in a long time, I’ve simply thrown my hands up in complete surrender to His Divine purpose.

Before I end, let me leave you with an apt quote from Nancy Levin: “Honour the space between no longer and not yet.”

So, if you find yourself in an inbetween phase of your life, don’t fight it… just go with the flow and embrace each moment. And more importantly, be your authentic self.

Thank you for taking the time to read.

Stay fabulous and favoured xxx

go with the flow

The luxury of simplicity…

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I like open, uncluttered spaces.

I don’t hoard (thankfully) and spring clean every now and then to make sure I only have what I need at that point in time.

With my last house move, I promised myself that that would be the last time. Well, that wasn’t to be and a few weeks ago, I found myself packing up and moving. Again.

After much thought, I decided to take a sabbatical. In terms of the time factor, well that’s a post for another day.

Back  to the move…

With my previous house moves, I had my bff also known as my brother, Jarryd Kast, on hand to help (read: do most of the work). This time it was just me and my helper, Hazel. Now, if ever there was an angel on earth, Hazel would be that person.

Where Jarryd would take the lead and ensure all the ducks were in a row, this time round Hazel fulfilled that role. Super organised and super efficient is an understatement. The actual day of the move, we got moving bright and early which allowed me time to have lunch with a very dear friend, before I hit the road.

This move made me realise…

Half the stuff we have is hardly ever utilised regularly (if at all) and we realise this only when it’s time to move. I found a blender, pasta maker, a blouse and a jacket, all with price tags still on.  What a complete waste… that was until, I decided these items would be better off elsewhere. And that’s how “operation give-away” unfolded.

I gave away most things and kept just a few necessities. Of course my mother thought I had lost the plot and asked if I was smoking something. The truth is, I don’t know how long this sabbatical is going to be and my thinking is why hold on to things that another family a) needs and b) would make better use of.

So, with the few belongings I chose to keep tucked away in storage, I feel light. I don’t have that nagging feeling about what if the lounge suite, fridge, microwave, kettle, toaster, iron breaks or is no longer working when this sabbatical is over. I know that the family that was blessed with these things are happier and these items are making everyday life that much more comfortable for them.

The other bonus is that when it’s time to take that next step, I’ll be travelling light. Who needs excess baggage anyway?!

Thank you for taking the time to read.

Stay fabulous and favoured xxx

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One random act…

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…of kindness is all it takes. Whether it’s a simple hug, smile or opening the door.

It could also be paying the parking ticket for the car behind you, tipping the waitress (even if there was no smile), a petrol attendant or packer in the store. If you’d like to do something on a slightly bigger scale, drop off breakfast, lunch or dinner for a friend or family.

A friend shared how she buys gift cards from a local grocery store, attaches an encouraging note and then drops it off on door steps of homes that are in need of some assistance. Someone else shared with me how they visit orphanages and read/play with the kids for an hour or two. Then, someone else visits an old age home and pampers the grannies with a mani/pedi  and hairdo.

All in the name of love.

It’s these little acts of compassion that have a huge impact in the life of the recipient. I truly believe that this world would be a less horrid place if we all reach deep within and pay it forward.

The truth is, you are blessed to be a blessing. Don’t waste another moment to spread a little TLC.

Aaaaand… go.

Thank you for taking the time to read.

Stay fabulous and favoured xxx

Musings and meandering…

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Earlier today I stumbled upon a business card I picked up while in Perth earlier this year. This was no ordinary card. It belongs to a cab driver turned tour guide for the duration of my stay.

For purposes of this post, let’s call him *Pedro. A soft spoken, unassuming gentleman in his mid-50s.

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I love talking so it didn’t take me long to start “interviewing” Pedro about his life. I was intrigued by his journey and how he landed up in this part of the world.

I was even more impressed by his knowledge of the city and general global topics. I kid you not, you could bring up any subject and Pedro would be able to offer an opinion, facts, figures and some sort of history. I called him a walking-talking encyclopedia.

I think the thing that struck me the most was the way he spoke about his family – wife and daughter. His face lit up when he told me about the day they met for the first time. The hopeless romantic that I am, Pedro’s story sounded like something out of a fairytale.

The pictures just screamed happiness; and when he shared anecdotes about his daughter or how he still gets to have date night with his wife, it made me realise that some people still appreciate and respect the sanctity of marriage. Hallelujah 🙂

Perth is so pretty. The hot, dry sweltering temperatures aside, it was an unforgettable experience. I would have to say the highlight was the stop at The Margaret River Chocolate Co. Every chocoholic needs to add this to their bucket list. As I stepped in, I felt like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. You are spoilt for choice. I wanted something from every shelf but the thought of traipsing half way around the world with a chocolate stash kept me in check.

I also now realise how “Packing for Perth” or “The Australian capital of South Africans in exile” came about. I bumped into quite a few South Africans who couldn’t wait to share about life Down Under.

Not only do I have some fond memories from my time in Perth, I also have a few nuggets from *Pedro. It’s stuff I’ve heard before but somehow… he was on point and because of his PHD in Life, I found myself meditating on these comments during the 17-hour flight back home. And still today.

 For instance, he stated matter-of-factly:

  • “Don’t force anything –  anyone or anything that’s meant for you will appear when the time is right.”
  • “Your authentic self will attract real people and you will never have to second guess their motives.”
  • “Keep your heart open to give and receive love, and never stop being kind.”

As I sit and type this I find myself gazing at my screen for the longest time. The realization that it’s quite liberating when you choose to let things evolve organically.

Thank you for taking the time to read.

 Stay fabulous and favoured xxx

This heart of mine…

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Do you ever wake up with your heart smiling? There’s no specific reason other than just oodles and oodles of pure gratitude.

That’s how I started my day…

Soaking up the soothing sight of the vast ocean and feasting on the brilliance of the day unfolding through what seemed like a perfect sunrise.

With each ray I spotted, I got thinking and gave thanks for the countless blessings in my life. Try it sometime… after all, perspective is everything.

Thank you for taking the time to read.

Stay fabulous and favoured xxx

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No ordinary month…

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New month.

New season.

New song to sing.

May you choose to step out in faith and walk on water.

May your heart and mind be filled with perfect peace, wisdom and understanding.

Stay fabulous and favoured xxx

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When to let go…

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This year started off in a way I could never have imagined. A trip to Brisbane (I left a piece of my heart there) for two weeks, gave me such great clarity and insight on a both a personal and professional level.

Brisbane was everything and more – see the pictures below. The people were warm, kind, supportive and oh so friendly. And the sight-seeing made me feel like Alice in Wonderland.

 I must confess that I reluctantly boarded my flight back… there’s an undeniable vibe about Brisbane that’s so hard to ignore or describe. You have to experience it.

Maybe one day, my suitcase will find itself on that side of the world, but, for now…

 Back to the point of this post.

I’m the kind of person who always overthinks every single thing and has a plan. Even a plan B or C (just in case). Well, 2017 has shown me that all the best paid plans in the world mean absolutely nothing, when something or someone has run its course in your life, let it go…

Holding on longer than we ought to will cause you unnecessary pain and frustration.

  • Know when to reflect.
  • Know when to take the lessons.
  • Know when to close the chapter.
  • Know when to close the book.
  • Know when to let go.

And just step away.

  • Step away from that place.
  • Step away from that situation.
  • Step away from that person(s).

If these last few weeks have taught me anything, taking a step of faith can be daunting but oh so liberating… Proverbs 3:5. You owe it to yourself to put YOU first; and never ever settle.

Thank you for taking the time read.

Stay fabulous and favoured xxx

 

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2017 – manifest your greatness!

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As we begin to take stock and prepare to apply a full stop to this year, I asked my brother Jarryd Kast to share some of his thoughts. I hope you will enjoy his post below as much as I did.

And from me, I hope you will always choose to rise and thrive in 2017. Be fearlessly authentic and embrace every moment life presents to you.

Thank you for taking to the time to read.

Stay fabulous and favoured xxx

 

From the desk of Jarryd Kast:

As I get ready to do a curtain call on what has been one of my most challenging years, I couldn’t help but take a ride down memory lane and reflect on some of the most unforgettable occurrences.

I, like so many others couldn’t be happier to see 2016 come to an end. This year has been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride, sadly with more lows than highs.

You know the saying, ‘You will be brought down to your knees’… Well, that happened to me. Literally!

Long story short, I decided to quit my job late last year (2015) and head back to the city where I was born and bred. The decision came about after months of internal deliberation. I had just had enough of the town’s laidback, country-styled living conditions. And not forgetting the residents’ backward mentality. I wasn’t prepared to live in South Africa’s pre 1994 era all over again.

I knew I had more to offer the world, so I manned up and jumped straight into the unknown.

Well, it probably wasn’t one of the wisest decisions I’ve made, because I struggled to find a job, and ended up suffering a spell of unemployment for over a year. I applied for numerous vacancies, got calls to say I was shortlisted, and pitched up for countless interviews. But for some strange reason, I just couldn’t successfully bag these jobs.

And to top it all off, my long-term relationship with my now ex-girlfriend came to an abrupt end.

Although I felt like my world was torn apart and turned upside down, deep down I knew it’s all happening for a reason. Don’t get me wrong. At the time, it felt like I was walking through hell’s corridors, but as they say – time heals.

Thankfully, that is all over, and today I’m working abroad – living, learning, surviving and thriving.

Getting back to my thoughts about the past twelve months…

I’m grateful for all the closed doors (some even slammed), for the failed relationships, and for those people who left me hanging when I needed them the most. I’m grateful for the people who we are supposed to regard as family, but who play no role whatsoever in our lives, for the folks who betrayed my trust, and for all the people who I’ve chosen to walk away from – because dang! Their toxic energy can really kill a person’s vibe.

Why am I grateful?

Because these are the people who were put into my life to teach me some of the biggest life lessons. Without their input, I wouldn’t have gained the strength, courage, boldness and wisdom I now have today.

Believe me, it isn’t easy to accept what’s happening at the time, but I’ve learnt that it is in these very moments when we let go of what’s not meant for us, that we then start to position ourselves in alignment with the blessings that God has waiting to pour down.

This year, I’ve had to say goodbye to many people in my life.

No, they didn’t physically die, but mentally they are dead to me.

One of the biggest lessons I’ve also learnt this year is cultivating your space and letting go of the toxicity which other people bring to the table. You have to surround yourself with people who share your values and ambitions. Not doing this will distract you from your goals and dreams, and lead you into thinking less of yourself. Don’t allow that to happen.

2016 also opened my eyes into seeing that the road to life can have many twisted curves. But I’ll always remain calm, because I’m continuously reassured of who’s controlling the wheel – God.

My own piece of advice I’m taking with me into the New Year:

Be wary of who you allow in your circle.

  • Protect your space. When you let the wrong people in, you may be setting yourself up for failure, and hence, you won’t be able reach the peak of your purpose.
  • Don’t attend people’s pity parties. Once you attend one, they’ll make sure your name is always on the guest list.
  • Don’t sit under people’s shade. Even if it seems like their trees have low-hanging fruit, trust me, there will be thorns on those branches.
  • Don’t become a slave to people’s mental abuse.
  • Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything or anyone that doesn’t influence you into becoming the best version of yourself.
  • Don’t sell yourself short, and don’t dim your light in order to make others shine.

I could go on and on, but duty calls.

2017 – Manifest your greatness!

 

 

There’s always time to pamper yourself…

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Nothing beats ice-cream on a lovely, laidback summer day. Well, unless of course you are like me and love treating yourself to regular pamper sessions at a spa. Then, the ice-cream comes a close second.

Now, I’ve visited quite a few spas across the country/abroad but none come close to one that I discovered here in Richards Bay – Alexis Beauty and Wellness Spa.

Sharleen and her team are the best. They really are…

No matter what time of the day you pop in, there’s always (and I mean always) big, bright smiles and a welcoming warmth that you simply can’t miss. At the end of any treatment you always want to ask for an extra 5 minutes.

If you had to ask me whether I have any favourite treatment, I would have to say that I enjoy all. Whether it’s a deluxe facial, full body massage, mani/pedi or stress releasing Indian head massage that you are after, you won’t be disappointed.

So, the next time you are in the KZN area in search of some serious downtime, make a point of adding a spa day to your itinerary.

You can thank me later!

(Contact details: 035-789 0079, info@alexisspa.co.za or here’s a map: Link to map)

 

 

The promise of…

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If I had to use a quote to sum up 2016 it would definitely be from Charles Dickens:

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us..

 

I’m sure you will concede this was no ordinary year; it was challenging and yet fulfilling on so many levels.

And here we are… still standing… hopefully stronger and wiser.

But…

It’s bound to end on a high note.

 

Have a delightful Christmas punctuated with loads of love, laughter and memories to treasure for a lifetime.

Here’s to a promising and gratifying 2017. (Picture credit: Jarryd Kast in Busan)

 

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Thank you for taking the time to read.

Stay fabulous and favoured xxx