Saturday, 27 August 2011

Home is where you are

Size doesn't matter

Home is not a place. Home is a feeling. Its a quality that a few special people have to make a home out of any place.

Some homes I know are hell. They’re not safe places for man or beast. This kind of home is not where the heart is. In fact, these homes shelter a heap of broken hearts. Hearts that have been ripped to shreds which even the most skilful surgeon cannot fix.

An unloving home is the worst kind of deprivation. Emotional neglect cannot be reversed easily. Harsh words, once uttered, cannot be retracted.  They hang in the atmosphere and reverberate around the walls. Some people have their bodies in one place and their minds in another. When they come home they switch the TV on (in time for the news)and pollute their living space with all the misery of the world. It’s easy to forget your blessings when your mind is clouded with trauma and dissent. Home is a blessing so never forget that! 
There's no place like it!

Home is not mere bricks and mortar. Bricks and mortar may shelter our bodies but our minds live on a higher plane. Our houses may contain our minds but we should not and allow our spirits to be controlled by our houses. Sadly for those who are house proud or extreme neat freaks their houses are treated as if they’re too good to be walked in. If a cushion is creased or there’s a stain on the rug it’s a tragedy. Homes like this play havoc with your spirit. 

Clean home; clean mind?
On the surface they are clean and calm but underneath it’s a hotbed of tensions and unrest. Homes maintained as if they’re going to be used in the next “Home and Country” photo shoot are shells. A house where you have to be constantly on your guard is not home.  

Laughter - best home building material
A home is nothing without love.  A loving home is created with gentle looks, tender touches and sweet words. All who live there or walk into it feel love seeping through the walls and spilling from the shelves. You should feel so free in it that you could dance around naked or stay in your jim jams all day. 

A home should be a sanctuary, a haven. It is your little hideaway as much as your platform. You are the star in your home but don’t forget that you didn’t get to where you are without a strong supporting cast. 

Some people feel a sense of discomfort in their homes and that’s usually because they have not understood that its sacred space. Be careful of whom you invite into your home – keeping your enemies that close is not a good idea. Some of us are strangers in our homes and that’s because we’ve allowed others to make us feel that way. Sometimes we’re under so much psychic attack from negative forces that it manifests in severe depression.

Interior decor
Love yourself (all those nooks and crannies) and your home will reflect that.  It should be a vision board for your personality. Let it be as unique as you are for wherever you choose to be  present...that’s home. We are truly designers making our interior world rich with kindness and furnishing it with love.

The best place to make your home is in the hearts of those who are special to you.....those homes do not wither away....that’s your place in eternity and the welcome’s always warm. 


Saturday, 13 August 2011

Heroes and Super-Heroes

Every mother is a hero. Some are super-heroes.  When a woman becomes a mother she is transformed into a defender and champion. She saves the world many times when she puts her best efforts into raising the next generation. But what separates the girls from the women and turns them from mere heroes into super heroes?

I say that it’s a combination of several factors. Motherhood is a Herculean task and many women find themselves embarking on a spiritual, emotional and financial marathon once the pangs of labour have subsided. However, the super hero is born once a woman finds herself doing the task of both mothering and fathering. 

A super-hero is not so much a mother for biological reasons as a spiritual leader, a mentor who protects and guides tender souls. Women find themselves on the path of single parenthood for a variety reasons and I have the greatest respect for anyone - male or female - who takes it on.

I am descended from a super hero. My paternal grandmother was widowed at a young age and became a lone parent to 13 children – the eldest being 14 and the youngest just a few months old with two sets of twins in between. This was in the 1930’s in a developing country with no welfare state. She fed and clothed her family on a paltry widow’s pension and.... didn’t she do well?  
Granny Morgan - super-hero and party animal

Granny was a bon viveur who worked hard and played hard. Every Christmas she threw lavish parties (with whatever she could afford) and she loved a good argument/debate....with debt collectors on the challenges of   single parenthood.   One of the most shocking things she did for a woman of her time is that she smoked and the odd profanity was never far from her lips....Granny did not suffer fools gladly! She was a tough cookie when she had to be. Bereft of a husband she had to fight her own corner and she was both feared and admired. Her vivacity attracted many a roving eye and she gave birth to her fourteenth child a few years after my grandfather’s death(!). 

Flex your mental muscles too!
 She was unashamedly unapologetic and  a woman after my own heart. When I'm having a bad day I try to remember that she faced greater hardships and I pay tribute to her stoicism. I never met my grandmother because she died 18 months  before I was born though I carry her middle name her. Nevertheless her legacy lives on through her daughters, grand-daughters and great-granddaughters who are all strong women today. 

Granny was no shrinking violet and she had over 40 grandchildren.  August is the month of her death anniversary and the birth month of my second son who, I hope, will be inspired by her example of grace and courage under fire. 

Since I took the step towards singledom and sole parenting I feel an inherent power surge (no doubt passed down from Granny). I did not experience this when I was part of a couple though inwardly I had a sense that I was not living up to my full potential. Despite less than perfect circumstances and a difficult family model to organise and nurture; single parenthood has introduced me to the brave new world of power and confidence.

Kissing a prince is no guarantee  of a fairy-tale ending
During my sojourn through domesticdom, I endured a barrage of mental abuse that nearly destroyed me until I decided, one fine day, to save myself.  I released the super-hero within and my mission is now to save as many people possible -  from themselves. To all you would be super-heroes out there I say your day will come and you will seize it. I wish you courage on this journey which is no picnic but may turn out to be feast. Never doubt the hero inside yourself!

Womanhood is truly formidable but only if we tap into it and celebrate the exclusivity of this state. Very often we allow ourselves to get beaten down and trampled upon with our self-esteem in shreds at the hands of men. Men and money have truly been our downfall as we have invited control from both when we should have been taking charge and care of ourselves.
Single-handed victory

Single parenting is not for wimps and makes super-heroes of those who are committed to it. It's a challenging and awe-inspiring journey to nurture young hearts and minds. What we teach as mothers will stay with them all their life. The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world but only..... when a super-hero is at the helm. 

Single parenthood is a privilege since it gives you the advantage of the bigger picture. When you’re both mother and father it makes you aware of the subtle pressures and pleasures parenting places on the individual. It is about letting the softness shine through the strength. Your shoulders become broader and your heart deepens. I am thankful for the journey I’m on. 
Heroic parenting

My children feel my daily strength since I found the hero inside myself. When there’s strength there’s love and where’s there’s a super-hero....... all’s well with the world.


Friday, 12 August 2011

A thief by any other name would smell just as rotten!

Bad smell in the air
The recent riots in London it seems were provoked by nothing more than boredom and unrest amongst the youth. Also I believe it’s a symptom of a malaise that builds up when the youth are confined to concrete surroundings and the sun shines down on the pollution  - that’s summer in the city!

Heat, pollution, boredom or  youthful discontent is no excuse for looting and thieving. It’s noteworthy that the most sought after items were electrical goods consisting of laptops and mobile phones. My guess is that 90% of the rioters were male and I have written in previous posts regarding the problem of unbridled testosterone. I will not dwell on that issue here.

Theft is theft. It is a feeling of deprivation that the perpetrator feels before the start of his crime spree and later exchanges with his victim. To take something that doesn’t belong to you is a publicity stunt. You are publicising the fact that you’re not worthy to receive by any means but foul.

Stealing is an age old practice. Since Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden – over the robbing of an apple from a forbidden tree – humans have allowed themselves to get into all manner of thieving.

High tech thieving
We are the one race that would steal anything.....and I don’t mean gold bullion. We steal and break hearts that are closest to us when we lie and deceive. When we boast we speak of attributes that don’t necessarily belong to us...that’s a steal!

When we ignore or dismiss our children we take something away from them. Self-esteem and good role models are necessary for the next generation;  so why do we hide these important tools from them? When our spouses seek love and reassurance why do we turn away and bury ourselves in our  oh-so- important work? 

Human beings will steal just about anything including your most precious resources –  love,  childhood,  money,  dreams,  ideas ,  dignity,  time and – perhaps worst of all – your peace of mind! There’s no shortage of people who want  a piece of you!

Selfishness is at the heart of a thief......and of us all.....but what is a mere thought in our minds, the thief puts into practice. He makes a daring decision to sever his conscience. In a young person this consciousness is still in an amoeba-like state and a life of crime will seriously stunt healthful growth.

Out of the mouths of babes
Of course, stealing and selfishness will not win friends or influence people. Young people are just products of their environment but it’s no excuse for lawlessness. It’s also equally harmful for the older generation to not confront their wretched part in passing on negative attitudes to their young.

Den of thieves
When we damage someone’s mind, body or property  we diminish ourselves. We are defined by our actions.  At  some point in our lives we have all relieved someone of it a book, umbrella or paperclip. This doesn’t  hurt  anyone (or so we tell ourselves) until it develops into full blown kleptomania. 

Every cause has an effect and stealing is a nasty one. Not as extreme as murder perhaps but a crime nonetheless. We choose to remain in blissful ignorance or denial – “it’s not my kid out on the streets” -what the mind doesn’t process the heart can’t grieve over.

Prisons are overflowing with thieves and all manner of criminality.  There’s a bad smell in our society that governments alone cannot wipe out. We have to look at ourselves squarely in the mirror every morning and freshen up our psyche. Forget the something for nothing culture of theft and give yourself  (or someone else) a straight talking to - a large dose of uncommon sense!


Saturday, 6 August 2011

Hell is....a man in the kitchen!

Hell in the kitchen
Any viewer of “Hell’s Kitchen” will know how compelling food and fury can be. It’s made Gordon Ramsay, a world class chef, famous....for his foul mouth. The food is the least important aspect as Chef Ramsay berates his trainees in the most abusive ways. It is degrading to watch a group of aspiring cooks being reduced to a line of snivelling wretches. Personally I don’t know how they stand’s hard enough to watch and hear.

Anyone sensitive or easily offended will be repelled. I belong to the former category and I can tell you its cringe worthy stuff. Not my idea of entertainment and I can’t understand any television company that would provide Chef Ramsay with carte blanche to utter as many profanities. I would never wish to spend a minute in the same room with such an objectional creature.

Happy veg
I’m not sure whether Chef Ramsay is putting on an act for the cameras but if he is then he’s in the wrong profession and should get an equity card.  Coarse language and cooking are an unhealthy mix. With the exception of dead flesh, vegetables are living organisms. They respond and react to the environment they are placed in – heat, air, light and the humans who handle them. Our thoughts when cooking also enhance or damage their unique flavours and taste.

Experiments carried out have proven that when you shout angry words at food it becomes rancid and unpalatable. 

This was proved by a Japanese scientist who placed a quantity of lentils in two glass jars. He asked a group of children to repeat nasty words into one jar every day. For the other jar he asked that they speak soft and loving words into it. After a week, the lentils that had been told words of hate started to discolour and become rotten. By the same token the lentils that had received words of love remained in their original state.

Eating out can be a spiritually healthy option
Extensive studies into the healing power of water reveal that our bodies, made up of 70% of water, respond favourably  to a positive environment. Water is our life force and if we keep the company of the good then we maintain our health. If, however, we surround ourselves with negative forces then our well-being is destroyed.

 How many ways can you boil an egg?
To be in a kitchen with Chef Ramsay is hell – for both food and people. I think I would rather starve that eat from his kitchen. He’s definitely lost my custom.  But it’s not just GR who is the cause of my vitriol- any man in a kitchen is a turn off for me.

There’s something about food preparation that sends men  to egocentric heaven.  They feel superior and mistakenly believe that the way they boil eggs, chop onions, slice bread and sauté potatoes is the best. When a man frequented my kitchen his mouth worked overtime with a series of put-downs and dismissive comments......thankfully silence now reigns. People with male chefs and cooks as partners know only too well what I’m talking about.

Men who suffer with uncontrollable rage should be nowhere near food (or people). They need to be held in isolation and fed large helpings of stone cold humble pie. A dish flavoured with anger is best served cold.

Happy talk
I do not want a man in my kitchen unless he keeps his words sweet and his temper even. Similarly an ingredient to aid peaceful co-habitation in culinary endeavour would be his understanding that anything he can do.... I can do just as well – or better!