04 May 2013 Leave a Comment
“Gentlemen, we are going to relentlessly chase perfection, knowing full well we will not catch it, because nothing is perfect. But we are going to relentlessly chase it, because in the process we will catch excellence. I am not remotely interested in just being good.”
02 May 2013 Leave a Comment
30 Apr 2013 Leave a Comment
The wounds of love gouging my heart.
The suns rays burned into my skin.
The tired eyes of one that has read a thousand books.
The greying hair of years well lived.
The cracking voice of a story teller.
The withered hands of a writer.
The hardened body of an explorer.
The wrinkles on ones face that tell of many adventures:
The crows feet at the corners of the eyes from laughter and tears.
The creases on ones forehead from questioning and pursuing.
The dimples on ones cheeks from smiling and shouting.
A liver that has worked too hard and muscles that have strained.
Bones that may have been broken and feet calloused by many a journey.
Why would we want to die pretty?
Die with a story
Etched onto you, for all to Read.
13 Apr 2013 Leave a Comment
“What is it that has drawn me to the mountains?” I ask myself time and again.
I have spoken of the beauty of the rolling landscapes of the Drakensberg. The sound of the winds that caress my face as I look upon the eternity of velvet green slopes and basalt faces below me as I stand rapt at the very edge of the Amphitheatre.
I am in love with the challenge, yes, but that isn’t all of it. The cold and the wet, the heat and the sweat. My body aching for the physical exertion. No it isn’t only that.
It isn’t even the solitude. Nor the fact that I am far away from society and traffic and noise and people and stress and people. That up there I am able to think clearly, that I can reflect without the interruption of television or phones or talking. It isn’t that either.
“What is it that has drawn me to the mountains?”
The mountains look upon me with no judgement, they embrace me for who I am. I have no secrets to keep from the peaks and the valleys. The mountains know me intimately, they know my strengths and weaknesses and like a lover the mountains draw out of me a wholeness that cannot be substituted. The mountains listen with compassion, they have heard my cries for absolution, they have felt my rolling tears of anguish. They have comforted me as I have stared into the oblivion.
When I am in the loving arms of the mountain I am no one else but me, no pretence, no putting on a face for the crowds. What I am in society is merely a mask but up there in the folds of earth my soul flourishes.
The mountain is more than a friend or lover, more than a mother and more than a father.
The mountain is my solitude. The mountain is my nothing. The mountain is home. The mountain is my eternity.
My heart no longer resides within this body of mine. The mountain has claimed it and will forever keep it.
My home is not of bricks and mortar but of grass and stone, wind and water.
My home is the mountain, where my heart is, where I belong.
04 Apr 2013 Leave a Comment
“Dance, when you’re broken open.
Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off.
Dance in the middle of the fighting.
Dance in your blood.
Dance, when you’re perfectly free.”
22 Mar 2013 Leave a Comment
When we think of mountains we think of words such as giant, immense, imposing and incredible.
For those who have never climbed mountains that’s where the thinking ends. I cannot even call myself a mountain climber. I have been to the Drakensberg(translated it means Dragons Mountains), but for all intensive purposes I have only gone on a few hikes up into the mountains.
Was it tough? Yes.
Was it a challenge? Yes.
Was it life changing? Yes.
Only my second trip to the mountains was enough to convince me to leave my job and all that was “safe”.
What made it worth it?
I guess it starts before you even put your backpack on, or even when you are there. It’s the planning and the preparation. How much to take with.
If you are carrying your own pack it is best to keep it light. So you forgo the luxury items….is that hairbrush all that necessary? Well more so than your perfume or cologne.
How many changes of clothes do you take and how many snacks do you pack?
For those in the know you take as little as possible. It makes sense. And a mere fact you have to face is that there is no beauty contest or stud parade up there. You will get dirty, you will sweat profusely and you will stink. And I’m not talking about that stink you have when you have been to gym, or when you’ve gotten back from the club or pub after a few too many.
The stink you have is sweat and then more sweat and then more sweat. It’s a primal smell, taking us back our neanderthal roots, back in time where we wore animal pelts and slept under the stars and in caves. Where every day was a fight for survival. A struggle to eat and not be eaten. To survive the elements be it scorching heat or freezing cold.
Where muscles strained and pulled and burned with exertion as our ancestors walked and climbed mountains and plains looking for something or nothing at all.
Today the hardest thing we have to do is maybe deal with traffic. Maybe spend some time in a queue in the store, or deciding what to make for supper.
So some of us race and cycle and compete, some of us sit in the gym. Yes it is all in the name of self improvement….but does it bring us back to our basic need for survival?
In some ways yes but we live our lives barely stretching the limit…..barely scratching the surface of our need to feel we have truly survived.
It’s only people stretched beyond what they have ever believed they are capable.
Whether they are the survivor of rape or of cancer or some other nasty experience. But why does it take a negative experience to make us grow? Because we are too scared of stepping off the mat. We are too scared of saying Yes! Challenge Me!
So I decided to hike/climb a mountain.
And every single step up I hated.
And every single step down I hated.
Every drop of sweat, every ache in my body, every ounce of weight in my backpack. The unbearable heat, where you believe your body can’t get hotter, that you might spontaneously combust.
And in the wet it is so much worse. The cold and chafing and having to watch your step and trying to keep dry or warm or a little bit of both. Having to cook and eat in the rain and trying to get into your tent dry so that you can stay warm. As for comfort when you want to sleep? No, even with a sleeping mat it takes getting used to trying to doze off on a riverbed where every rock makes it it’s mission to find a place to dig into you.
But….you find your way atop a mountain and all of your senses are assaulted by it.
The view that stretches on forever, and far below you, the path you had to suffer so long to get to, the colour of the sky and the lush green of the mountain interspersed with hues of brown and here and there dashes of pink, purple and grey in the mountain flora.
The sound of silence, the wind that whispers of the mountains secrets, the cry of a lone vulture. The grasses dancing and far away in the distance a river flowing along the plateau.
The warmth of the sun on your body, the cool wind against your sweat drenched skin. The ache in your muscles not quite gone but dissipating as you sit quietly on a ledge of rock overlooking the kingdom before you.
The smell of crisp clean air, of the veld(bush), the smell of leather from your boots and the smell of you, blended to create a unique aroma. Unpleasant to those far away but the smell of accomplishment to you.
The taste of icy fresh water from the river, water that rejuvenates body, mind and soul.
Most important of all is the connection with your higher self. Your sixth sense in tune to all we cannot see. Right at the top all you have ever known is washed away by all that you will never know.
You are a part of the infinity that is the universe. And at that time you realize how small you are but how incredibly powerful you are too.
And in that moment nothing matters.
So is it worth it?
No it isn’t.
Climbing mountains is a necessity and a way of life.
So next time you see or hear about mountains think of it as a triumph of the human spirit. The physical embodiment of strength and a testament to human survival.
19 Mar 2013 1 Comment
Let’s cut to the chase.
In the last few weeks I’ve climbed a few mountains…visited a game park, resigned from my corporate job and havent had much time at all to blog!
Yip, after a the previous Berg Experience, I went back to corporate an entirely different but not entirely different person. I’ve always wanted the same things but I have been too damn scared to do them. Too many of us are taught from a young age that we need to hold on to a 8 to 5 job for security and and and…we do so and we abandon our dreams so that we can make money and be secure and die when when we reach pension.
And in so doing we teach our own children to do the same thing.
After the berg I realized I am not getting younger, that my body will not be as strong as it now and my mind will all too soon go settle back into it’s comfort zone.
I needed to be reminded of most of this by our entripid leader on top of that mountain, Darren the Mountain Man, owner of Soul Adventures.
After all that has happened it came like a giant slap in the face:
GOOSE! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOUDOING WASTING YOUR TIME IN CORPORATE?
What are you doing sitting behind a desk typing out figures that in the end don’t mean anything to you?
Why are you beating the same drum dat in and day out…with nothing to show for it but a meager salary?
No one is going to write on your tomb that you were an awesome employee.
It took less than 5 days for me to choose a life truly worth living. it meant giving up “security”.
But to follow a dream…I now realize that that security was a non existant straight jacket. One created to keep me from being the person I really am. It isn’t the world that conspires against you. It is you that conspires against you. And once you drop all the bullshit and look at what YOU REALLY WANT…there is no way you can go back to the person you were. And there is the magic. That’s is when you KNOW you can never look back. And in front of you doors open where they were once closed(only in your mind of course).
My life went from “someday” to NOW!
I’ve never been happier.
FOLLOW YOUR BLISS.
And mine…well if you havent been keeping up…is climbing mountains.
25 Feb 2013 Leave a Comment
Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself. ~ Leo Tolstoy
How many of us want to make a difference in the world? How many of us actually take the time out to think about how we would make a difference? How many of us actually do something?
How many of you give a shit about anything?
Not enough of us recycle, even less support organic products, and far few donate to charities or do charitable work.
It’s too easy for us to say we have too much on our plates, too much to deal with, not enough time to make a difference, to make a change.
Yes, most of us work 9 to 5, 5 days a week. We have kids and significant others that we have to appease and we have social commitments and don’t forget the most important: T.V.
We are so busy falling in line with the mundane, the status quo that most of us live our lives not leaving a damn thing behind except for debt and sometimes a bit of cash for our kids to live on.
But is that it? Is that what life is about? You need to really ask yourself whether you what you are doing is going to leave a footprint on the earth.
Are you making a contribution?
Here’s the thing:
Are you making a contribution to yourself?
Our you feeding your soul or your ego?
Are you spending money on that 3D Flat Screen TV or are you seeing the world, climbing those mountains, diving into the oceans, spending all the time you can with your family?
Because in the end, you aren’t going to be telling your great grand children how much pleasure and joy you had in watching hours and hours and hours of mind numbing reality shows.
You won’t be saying you were so glad you chose to buy a dishwasher as opposed to doing the Garden Route in the Cape. Or Bungee jumping off Soweto towers.
No good story or legend was a sensible one. You have to create your own drama, your own suspense, your own love story, your own action.
If your life were a TV show would anyone care to watch it? Would it even be aired?
Would it be up there with the best or would it be “C” grade movie?
Get Out There.
Become a Legend!
11 Dec 2012 2 Comments
It’s weird where we experience our defining moments…as a few like to reference: “Aha” moments.
Not so much an our ago I was washing my dishes and had one of these profound insights.
I’ve been going around trying to “fill” myself up with memories and experiences and knowledge in the hopes of becoming “whole” again. And while most of these experiences have been “bucket list” items and have added to the richness of my life I cannot say they have filled me as such.
I’ve been feeling half full/half empty for quite some time….since the beginning of my dissatisfaction with my marriage. That there was “more” than what I was living.
Even now I still have intense moments of pain and unhappiness. Sometimes a dull ache and sometimes a sharp excruciating yearning to have what I do not.
Everyone feels this way at some time or the other. I’m of the belief that that angst is somehow a part of our basic human instinct.
Women yearn for the love of a man and men seek the comfort of a womans’ loins. We provide a fitting enough illusion to the other sex in order to accomplish our basic instinct:
Once this has been accomplished it isn’t long before that yearning starts again. And if you are unable to maintain the illusion of fertility your partner or would be partner will move along.
Going back to the beginning…
I was washing my dishes when I realized that I’ve been running around like a headless chicken in the hopes of making myself whole again…on about the fact that I don’t know who I am and that I am on a “journey” to finding me.
I think I used these as an excuse to do things that I may not be 100% proud of. Not saying they weren’t necessary, because if I had not I would not have come to the insight I have now.
There is no “finding yourself”, there are no broken people and no one is damaged or used goods.
I don’t care if you are a pot smoking hippie, a nun, or a joe shmoe. You are who you are. Your cup is full. The shape of the cup may change, the colour and what fills the cup may vary but the cup is full of what you are made up of: your quirks, your morals and values, your belief systems, your memories and experiences and your knowledge.
Your cup is always full. It is up to you to decide what the contents are at any given time.
So many people think they are broken and scarred. Yes we have all had shitty little lives…but we are not broken. We are masterpieces. I’ve defined myself as broken but looking back I am not. It is just a mere perception, an excuse for filling that cup with negative experiences and emotions to perhaps gain sympathy or to justify the feelings of not being wanted.
After all it is easier to believe that you are unwanted because you are broken as opposed to being unwanted because you do not fit into someone elses idea of a perfect breeding partner.
And there is the damaged goods theory. Divorced single parent, throw in traumatic life experiences and some debt and a few wrinkles and maybe some cellulite: Damaged Goods.
Well Fuck you.
Far from damaged goods that shows a life well lived so far. Marriage is a celebration of love…whether it be once or many times. Being a parent means you’ve fulfilled your natural instinct to breed. Debt…well money isn’t everything is it. Wrinkles and cellulite. Well hey…what would the challenge of life be if we never had a countdown. A sense of urgency. Most of us waste our most useful years planning for a retirement when our bodies are old and weak. Forget about it. The time is now.
This is it…we are whole and very capable beings…we are not going to get another chance at this.
Fill your cup with what you want. Never make the excuse again.
Today I am the Happy go Lucky Ditzy Blonde that seems confident to others but in fact cares what others think about her. I’m the girl that likes to talk and write about her own experiences. I’m the person that likes to sing along to the music on the radio and go to H2O raves to enjoy the beat of a united group. I am the girl that doesn’t sway too easily when it comes to men but when I do open up I become a blithering clutz that can’t string two comprehensible sentences together in the presence of said boy.
I am the one who actually has goals and a brain to achieve it…but sometimes thinks it is better to hide it.
I sometimes cry to quickly and too easily and sometimes I am too loud and too brash. I have a critic, myself, and I judge very harshly.
I have found that I no longer fear death knowing that dying tomorrow I have no regrets.
I’m not asking you to agree with me or to follow me. In the end it is your choice as to whether you can palate the person that I am.
“We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.”