Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Some Thoughts on Gratitude




The media is filled with memes and self-help books urging gratitude. Develop an attitude of gratitude and your entire life will change, you will grow and reach enlightenment! I recall being very frustrated after reading ‘The Secret’ because my opinion of the book was that all we had to do was write down our dreams and somehow, they would miraculously materialise. I am annoyed with the media hype because in both instances I believe that critical information has been omitted.

Gratitude cannot be forced. It cannot be used to manipulate abundance. Gratitude has to be genuinely felt in order to change chemistry and lives. Keeping a gratitude journal because it the trendy thing to do will not change my mindset if I continue to complain or if I am unhappy. Saying "I love you" more frequently will not enhance my life experience unless I really mean it when I say it.

I have discovered that first moving to a state of ease (out of stress, anxiety or anger), will enable a state of gratitude which results in a state of happiness. Working from a space of being okay, is effective. Working from a space of irritation or disgruntlement is ineffective. In order to increase positive input to my brain I must work with the moments I am present and okay, recognise those, and in those moments be grateful.

It comes back to being present. Scribbling in a gratitude  journal at the end of the day, as a chore or because a guru advised it, does not create the energy to transform a life. Thoughts become things. Your body feels emotions. Connect to these. Experience the moment – truly experience it – then be grateful. Change will come and abundance and happiness will follow.

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Life's Purpose - Who am I?


I was 5 years old when I told my dad that I wanted to be a vet. I never wavered from this desire. (In retrospect a great example of manifestation – but that’s a story for another day.) I was always encouraged by my parents and at the age of 26 I qualified as a veterinary surgeon.

It is my belief, because this applies to me, that being a vet is a calling. For much of my adult life I have thought that to be a vet is my life’s purpose. My thinking has been challenged over the last few months. When I attend meetings and gatherings, business networking events I am often asked to briefly explain what I do. It’s a bit like I imagine an AA meeting. “Hi. My name is Tanya and I am a veterinarian.” Really!? Is that it!?

I am soooo much more than a vet. I am a wife, lover, sister, daughter, friend, business owner, entrepreneur, leader, animal lover….the list goes on. Each one of these nouns is a part of me but not the whole of me. To limit myself to this list is an injustice to all that I am.

I am a Spark of the Divine.

I was formed from Source. God. The Greater Power. That means that I am everything. I am Love.

As I move out of my intellectual conversation and into my heart – as I seek union with my Self – I begin to grasp the truth. I gain acceptance of the concept that I am a Divine Being.

What does this have to do with my life’s purpose? It feels as though I have moved off onto a totally disconnected path. I have not.

My life’s purpose is to reconnect with my Divine Spark. In so doing, I must express myself to the best of my ability. I must find my bliss, joy, passion and choose to spend time there. In that way I ‘gift’ myself to the world.

Practising my profession brings me joy. It enables me to share the joy and love with my clients and patients. They benefit. In turn they share their happiness with those around them, including me. I am fulfilled in my work. I share this with my family and friends. More joy and happiness follows. When sharing my happiness and joy it is not diminished in any way. Instead, it is increased as it is shared. My profession is the vessel I have chosen to express myself.

Every day I choose to be the best version of me that I can be. It is my gift to myself and my gift to the world. I share my joy, happiness and passion. I am extremely grateful for what the Universe returns to me.

Thursday, 31 January 2019

Conversations

It is early morning and I am awake in my BnB in Plettenberg Bay. I am not on vacation. I am here in my capacity as an external examiner to evaluate the veterinary physiotherapy students. Why should this be an introductory paragraph of a blog?

Yesterday did not happen as I anticipated. I had conversations with people that I did not expect to have. The topics of conversation were seemingly random but in no way irritating or cumbersome. In fact, the chats were very stimulating and thought-provoking. I found it difficult to end them. This morning I reflect on, and set intentions for my day. I wonder if there was a purpose to these discussions beyond being in the same place at the same time? 

I believe there is but, because I am unable to see the bigger picture, I struggle to give them context. I feel I have received a number of beautiful and significant gifts but as yet, I don't know what to do with them.

When I woke up yesterday I was focused on doing the best I could for the students. I was to examine, to teach, to nurture, to coach, to advise - it's a learning experience for all. When I first qualified as a vet my intention was simple and pure. "I want to make every animal I see today feel better." I was hugely successful. I had no idea I would change direction within my veterinary career but my intention every morning is unchanged.

What is my point? By setting a pure intention and being open to the flow of life is the way to live every moment. I traveled to evaluate students yet I had amazing conversations that I somehow feel had to happen. I imparted knowledge, an opinion, or a gift during these conversations. I received wisdom, an idea and a new path to explore. I am not the same. I am richer for being present during these interactions. How will this influence me in the future?

I don't see the bigger picture but as I step into flow it will unfold in all its beauty and glory. It will be way more magnificent than any human brain can comprehend. But, my heart knows. Follow your heart and embrace each moment from that space and miracles happen....

Monday, 14 January 2019

Adversaries

The end of 2018 and the start of 2019 has passed. I specifically declined from writing anything on the topic. So shall it remain...

This weekend I was thinking about adversaries, challenges and how we meet them and what is the end result. Seldom do we thank our adversaries. In this blog I want to thank all those that have 'pressed my buttons'; provoked me, challenged me, angered and irritated me. Thank you for the lessons learned and for asking me to rise up to the challenge of change. Because of you I am who I am today. 

And I kinda like her!!!

Saturday, 10 November 2018

A Tribute to Miller



More than 10 years ago, as I embarked on my adventure in animal physical rehabilitation, a man and his dog walked into my new practice. The man was Bennie. The dog was Miller. Both had hearts of gold. 

Miller, a handsome 17 month old Labrador Retriever, had been diagnosed with elbow dysplasia and given a very grave prognosis - cripple by the age of three. Bennie was determined to slow down the ravaging effects of the disease. So began Miller's hydrotherapy and our friendship.
Every week for the last decade Bennie has brought Miller to our facility for therapy - until this week. Miller's pain had become unbearable and unmanageable. He was tired. Death is the final healing.

Thursday afternoons at Animal Health and Hydro will never be the same. The hours spent swimming Miller, challenging him in
the pool, playing games and inventing new ones. Miller was my therapy, not the other way round. 


During the process of saying goodbye Bennie remarked on how Miller was an angel in disguise for he was responsible for bringing the two of us together. Bennie and I have laughed together until tears streamed down our cheeks. We have competed, each one trying to outdo the other with the number of holidays and our holiday
destinations. We have supported each other
through the birth of new business ventures and the birth of Bennie's son; through familial tragedies and accidents, to personal loss. I have treated wounds on Bennie's fingers following an unfortunate accident involving an electric plane. Bennie has lifted my spirits, with spirits, during times of depression. Bennie is a friend in a million. We met because of his dog Miller, a friend in a million.

Rest in peace magnificent dog that beat the veterinary odds. You always had your wings, now you can fly.                                                                           

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Receiving Love and Abundance


Over the preceding weeks I have been challenged with finding balance (haven't we all?) in all aspects of my life. Listening to Naisha Ahsian www.naisha.com and her reading for the month of October I discovered a truth. The truth is one I have never considered until now. Very simply, we cannot exhale unless we first inhale. Does that sound a bit cryptic when referring to balance?

The teaching revolved around joy and gratitude, and how the two were a balance of each 
other. Gratitude is similar to exhalation, and joy to inhalation. In order to be grateful and experience gratitude, we must first bathe in the joy of receiving... And then the Universe thought it would test my learning.

 Last week my husband and I were blessed with the presence of some members of our spiritual family. They are in South Africa to attend a retreat and these dear people spent some time in our home. Hugh and I recently moved into our new house and our friends arrived with boxes of gifts for our space. I was surprised and my initial response  (in my mind) was that I couldn’t possibly accept all these beautiful items. I paused and chose to embrace their generosity. Wow! I have an entire crockery set, with extras for serving, wine glasses, trinkets, place settings, the list goes on. All of these are perfect for my new home.

Later that day one of my friends commented on how special the energy is in my practice, and how he can appreciate and see the dedication that my team have to their patients. The first response (again in my mind) was to mentally shrug it off with a comment like, “Doesn’t this happen everywhere?” Instead, I paused. I inhaled. In that moment I made another choice. I chose to accept this genuine observation and compliment, as well as the role I have played in its creation. After a split second I looked up and said, “Thank you.”

 In both moments I chose to receive. Thereafter, I experienced the joy of generosity and love shared. For the rest of the week I have been showered with abundance. I wrote to my family on our WhatsApp group.
I chose a different path yesterday. I decided to receive. The part that each of you has played as I learn to do this is not to be underestimated. It is enormous. It has always been easy for me to give, often in my life to the point of depletion. Now, I must receive blessings, love, gifts and joy to enable me to give in balance. Thank you from the depths of my heart.”

Remember to breathe, inhale and exhale, and then to receive. The rest will follow.


Friday, 14 September 2018

The Gift of the Human Body



This morning while writing in my journal, my thoughts just did not want to flow. I felt tired. When I climbed into bed last night, my body ached. It had been a busy and physical day.

As I pondered about, and focused on my body I became filled with gratitude at the miracle that houses my Soul. This body has served me well for a number of decades. I have always been active. I love to move. Participating in many different sports as a child, and at varsity, has created awareness and balance. I can add great physical feats like climbing Kilimanjaro and completing the Comrades Ultra Marathon. I work in an active profession. In this respect, my body has done remarkably well!

But this is not all.

There is so much more to the human body than the obvious. My body is a pathway to reconnection with Spirit – with All That Is. This may sound confusing. In certain spiritual circles there is the idea that incarnation on Planet Earth has separated us from Source. How can my physical form then be a means of reconnecting?

I have a few thoughts on the topic.
1.    Breath  When I take a deep breath, or two, I become centred. As I focus on my breath entering and leaving my body I become present. When I am “in my body” I must be in the NOW. This is the only space from which I can connect with God. In that moment I am one with Mother Earth and The Cosmos. I can use my breath as a technique to stay present.
2.    Expansion and Contraction When I am feeling uncertain and edgy, perhaps I am faced with an important decision or I must broach a difficult subject with a colleague or family member then I can feel the tension in my body. Become accustomed to how emotions can be expressed by/in your body. Create a scenario with a few different options of dealing with the issue. Then take some time to feel each option in your body. Does the option feel contracted or expanded? Contraction represents ego. Expansion is heart-centred. My body can show me the way to reconnecting with the Greater Good.
3.    Emotion The body stores emotion. It has emerged that trauma is stored in the body. Trauma can manifest as disease. This can be explained on a scientific and physiologic level but you do not have to be an academic to understand this, or work with it. Very simply, in order to release the trauma, there needs to be a physical action, often accompanied by a sound. If trauma is stored in our bodies, I feel joy and triumph can also be stored in our bodies. I have begun to replace my traumas with my wins. As such, I believe I am reprogramming my body to wellness. Every time I experience a “WIN” I physically punch the sky, do a high five or jump up and down with joy while simultaneously shouting “Yes!” or “I win!” or anything that seems appropriate. 
Physical action + Sound = Pleasurable emotion stored in my body. 
     I celebrate at least one win every day.

In closing, our human bodies are a gift. They are perfectly designed for life on our beloved planet while inherently containing all that we require to reconnect, and stay connected, to Spirit on our Earthly Journey. What a pleasure!