2020, a year that will never be forgotten due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, has been a challenging year for everyone. It was certainly not the year that any of us expected and it is for this very reason – that it was so unexpected - that many of us have struggled.
When there are discrepancies between our expectations and reality, all sorts of distress signals go off in our brains. It doesn’t matter if it’s an annual holiday ritual or a more mundane daily habit like how you clean your teeth; if you can’t do it the way you normally do it, you’re biologically engineered to get upset. We really are creatures of habit.
"Make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it happens.
Some things are up to us and some things are not up to us.
Our opinions are up to us, and our impulses, desires, aversions—in short, whatever is our own doing. Our bodies are not up to us, nor are our possessions, our reputations, or our public offices, or, that is, whatever is not our own doing.”
~ Epictetus ~
(Greek Stoic philosopher - 55 – 135 AD)
The Wellbeing Wheel is based on Systems Theory and is a useful tool to help us think about life in a circular way rather than a linear way.
The Wellbeing Wheel breaks our lives into eight different aspects, elements or categories and helps us to see that all the parts of our lives are linked to each other. When we plot our wellbeing on the wheel we can see at a glance which aspects we are paying attention to and which aspects we are not paying attention to, or neglecting in our lives.
Article as it appeared in Essays of Africa magazine. By Kim Garner
You can read the article "How's Your Relationship with Yourself?" here.
Article as it appeared in Khuluma - Kulula's in-flight magazine, which can also be found online. By Katherine Graham
You can read the article here on page 127: http://www.khulumaonline.co.za/mags/2016_09_september/index.html#/128
Brussels in Belgium has one of the world’s most famous statues – the Manneken Pis a small naked boy peeing in the water fountain.
As far as statues go, the Manneken Pis barely features. At only 61cm/2ft in height it is really tiny, and yet the Manneken Pis is a major tourist attraction. It is as much a landmark in Brussels as Big Ben is in London and the Statue of Liberty in America.
The life lesson here is that it is not always size that counts – small everyday things can be just as significant.
Do you believe that people are successful because they work hard and earn their success? Or is it just about being in the right place at the right time? In other words, do you control your life or does something else (like a god, luck or destiny) control it? Your answer depends on your “Locus of Control”.
If you ask someone to list their values, the chances are they will mention ‘integrity’, but ask them to define integrity, or how it affects their lives, and they can’t.
We are taught from an early age that integrity is a good value to uphold, but we don’t really know what it is!
So what is integrity all about and what does it mean?
My mother and I recently stayed at Thendele, one of the KZN Wildlife Resorts in the Drakensberg. Although there are signs everywhere asking guests not to feed the wildlife, it was quickly evident that this was happening.
The baboons were well aware that there was food to be had from the guests. I was caught unawares when an enormous baboon nonchalantly strolled up to me sitting in front of the open sliding-door to the cottage. I warily watched him walk around the corner and was relieved when he disappeared. Moments later he cunningly doubled back, rushed past me into the cottage, grabbed a bag of books and ran off. I chased him and found him sitting at the back of the cottage trying to eat a bird book! After some yelling and waving on my part, the baboon abandoned the book, jumped up on the roof and casually watched me while I retrieved the scattered books. It was a moment of high drama! The ripped book makes us laugh now, but the tragedy of the situation is not lost on us – when tourists feed the baboons, the baboons become a nuisance, eventually become dangerous and have to be shot.
The lesson here is to obey the rules.
Doing the right thing is incredibly important. It affects the future. Little choices that we make can have big consequences.
Earlier this year I visited the Cape and spent time with a dear friend. Every day we did something different, but because we loved Stellenbosch so much we went back there many times. We ate in fabulous cafés and restaurants, we met interesting people, we popped in and out of wonderful shops and bought a variety of things that caught our fancy – artisan bread, a bone china tea set, a pretty scarf. We were delighted with the variety and diversity of our explorations.
The lesson here is to appreciate what is in your own backyard. In Stellenbosch I was made very aware that we were enjoying what millions of international tourists are drawn to annually – the sheer beauty of this land, its rich culture and heritage, and the warmth and hospitality of our fellow citizens. The rest of the world comes to enjoy the offerings that are already available to us.