Tag Archives: family

If it’s not your story, don’t tell it – IV

‘Gossip is when you have a malice of intent or mindless, third party conversation to someone about someone, something you haven’t said to that someone’ -Iyalna Vanzant

Growing up, my brothers and I were always told by our mother that our tummies fit a lot of food so it would also fit a lot of talk, so never gossip about anyone and if anybody tells you a secret, you keep it. We were told what the outcome of gossiping would be and we definitely didn’t want to be the cause of any trouble or hurt anyone’s feelings. Mum and dad taught us to love and respect all those around us. If family or friends ever came into our home and started to gossip dad would stop them in their tracks and say ‘not under my roof’. Looking back I am proud that my parents taught us this powerful lesson. I think that may be why I have never been betrayed by true friends and vice versa. I can honestly say when it comes to gossip, my life has been drama free.

However, growing up in the community I am from, I see lots of people, particularly women hurting each other. Whether you gossip to a friend or whether you shamefully bash someone on social media it is unnecessary bitchiness and what I believe is a reflection of ones self. Regardless of whether you are male or female (although women seem to betray each other more so).

When I catch up with friends I always feel great afterwards. I feel like we were able to discuss life issues, we were able to vent our stresses to one another and generally I just feel good. I will admit, there have been times were a topic will come up and I find myself gossiping. I know when something has turned into gossip because I get an ill feeling. A guilty feeling and a shameful one at that. I feel like I have betrayed the person I just gossiped about. So I stop. It is very important to me that I am mindful of it. I want to lead a life by example for my mother, father, my brothers, my children, my nieces and nephews and for my community.

We as humans gossip to try and divert attention away from our own lives because we are unhappy with an aspect of our lives. We try and seek validation from others because we are insecure about something within ourselves. We become mean when we hear something we don’t want to hear because some of us are envious or feel threatened by the person we just gossiped about. We gossip because we don’t value relationships and most importantly we gossip because we don’t value ourselves.

So I would like you to ask yourself if you gossip. If yes, why? How do you feel when you gossip? Do you feel empowered or ashamed? Furthermore, ask yourself when you find yourself gossiping or you are in a situation where gossip is occurring:

– Are you honouring yourself by gossiping?

– Are you honouring your relationship with the person being gossiped about?

– Are you envious or do you feel threatened by this person you are gossiping about?

– Are you making gossiping acceptable by being apart of it?

– Are you diverting attention away from your own issues by gossiping?

– Are you lying or shifting information around?

– Are you aware of the damage that spoken words can have?

If you have been or are guilty of gossiping, it is never too late to change. Try and focus on yourself, on your own life. Surround yourself with like-minded people and don’t compare yourself to anyone. You are your own person and only you can decide what you allow or don’t allow in your life.

If you have ever been betrayed by family or a friend, remember that whatever happened is a reflection of the person who betrayed you, not a reflection of yourself. Learn from the experience, accept the situation, forgive and let go. From here on learn to trust yourself, learn who you can really trust even if it is just one person. Share your story with people who have earned your time or who deserve your time. Think of who has really earned the right to listen. Make your life a gossip free zone.

Advertisements

Gratitude

Gratitude is something that has been on my mind of late. In the past few weeks it has come up in conversation with a good friend and most recently with my family. So it’s only fitting that my blog post be about gratitude.

For the last few months I have been taking time out each morning to write down in my journal what I am grateful for in my life. The following are the most prevalent;

~ my children
~ my health
~ a roof over my head
~ food on the table
~ having my parents here with me
~ being loved
~ gift of life
~having genuine people/relationships in my life

I feel like in this day and age we forget how lucky we are to have what we have. Life is busy in general. I understand that. Add into that mix media, social media and consumerism and we begin to stop to appreciate and be thankful for all that we have been blessed with.

One thing I have been trying to work on is teaching my son gratitude. I know I want to nurture him in a way to appreciate what he has and to learn that life is not all about receiving but also about giving. This week I happened to have found a plastic bag in the mail from a charity foundation asking for books, toys and clothes. Together with my son, we chose some toys and books he no longer plays with and some clothes he had outgrown. We placed them in the bag and I explained to him that there are children who are not as lucky as he is and that passing his toys, books and clothes onto them will make them very happy. I think if we want generations to come to be grateful we need to start now. What will you do or what do you do already that reminds you and/or your family about being grateful?

Prior to making a decision to write down what I am grateful for in life, I would often look at experiences in my life and either feel sorry for myself or I would think that I was being punished by God for something wrong I had done in my life. I now realise that life is a blessing and our experiences whether good or bad make us stronger in some way. We all have some struggle we are going through in life but we need to focus on the positives and look at what good has or will come out of it.

Things that I am trying to master nowadays to live are life filled with gratitude are as follows:

~ Try to focus on what I do have not what I wish I had
~ Instead of asking for things, I thank God for what he has already given me
~ Surround myself with people who appreciate me as I not only believe in giving but also in receiving
~ Focus on the good in my life, not my struggles
~ Continue writing in my journal and to also get my husband and son on board

What I would like to ask of you all is that each day remind yourself of the basics you have been blessed with. We have all been blessed with the air that we breathe. We have all been given the gift of life and that in itself is the biggest blessing. Look at yourself in the mirror each morning and be grateful for having your eyes to see the world you live in, the ears you have to hear with, the mouth you have to eat and taste with, the arms you can touch with and the legs you have been given to walk with. Be grateful.

Positive Energy

From the age of about sixteen my weight has been a major struggle. At sixteen I had what was called ‘puppy fat’ so when my sister in law asked me to come along to an aerobics class I agreed. Within a month or so I began losing weight and within three months friends and family began noticing too. It felt good to hear ‘you’ve lost weight’, ‘you look much better’, ‘you look younger’. In a space of a year, I went from doing aerobics two nights a week to joining the gym and going twice a day, in two hour blocks. I didn’t watch what I ate and looking back now I didn’t have an understanding of health and fitness. I just wanted to be thin. Real thin.

Fast forward to when I hit the age of 24. I was about to get married and like most brides, I wanted to lose more weight for my big day. At this point I was going to the gym once a day for about two hours. I was doing weights and lots of cardio. I began seeing a personal trainer who for the first time put me on a weight-loss diet. So here I was training hard (not smart), doing crazy amounts of cardio and on a high protein diet which pretty much consisted of boiled chicken breast, steamed broccoli and boiled eggs.

About 4 weeks into this diet I was at a session with my trainer. She had me holding dumb bells in each hand and doing lunges. As I went to lunge, I lost balance. I shook it off, picked myself up and went to start over again. This time I had no balance and lost bodily control. I collapsed and was out for about a minute. Before I knew it I had the owner of the gym making me gulp down two sugar drinks. After I felt well enough to stand up, I made my way down the stairs to head home. The owner stopped me at the counter and asked me what my trainer had me doing. After I told him about my program and diet he was pretty shocked. He advised me that the diet I was on was for people looking at participating in bodybuilding competitions and the diet was too high in protein with no carbohydrates which was not sustainable for somebody like myself. I ended up training on my own and my eating went downhill. I binged to the point I ate two entire packets of teddy bear biscuits in one sitting and of course the guilt kicked in straight after.

That week I spent $70 on fat blaster at a chemist and didn’t eat for 3 days. Again after the 3 days I went on binge which consisted of chocolate, pasta and ice cream. Then I tried weight-loss patches. Worked a treat but not realistic at all. My big day came and I had lost weight but definitely not the right way. I gained 13 kilos in my first year of marriage simply by not eating right and heavily consuming comfort foods such as ice cream, chips and chocolate. Skip 10 years and here I am today finally with balance in my life and most importantly happy about myself and how far I have come.

Instagram has driven me crazy with all this ‘clean eating’ business and to exercise ‘this way’ or hang on it’s ‘that way’! It made me think long and hard about what connection there was between my self worth, weight and food all these years. It finally dawned on me. My desire to ‘eat clean’ was actually me yearning for pure ‘clean’ love in my life and genuine ‘clean’ relationships.

Once the connection hit me, I began to distance myself from people who presented a negative attitude and only bought negative energy into my life. I started doing things for loved ones because I wanted to not because I felt obligated to. I surrounded myself with people who raised me, not bought me down. I met up with people for coffee who I could learn from not tell me I wasn’t good enough. I distanced myself from friends and family who enjoyed being mean to others and who loved gossiping.

I wanted change in my life. I wanted to feel good about myself and that started with surrounding myself with positive people and positive energy. I didn’t want to be a toxic person or be friends with toxic people. I no longer wanted to pretend I was happy with myself and I no longer wanted to pretend I had the perfect life. I wanted to be happy, I wanted joy in my life and I wanted to be a genuine person who was authentic, honest and most importantly I wanted to be me.

I would really love for each and every one of you to think about the people you surround yourself with. Ask yourself these questions:

Do you have a real connection with them?

Do you have ‘fake’ conversations with them?

Are you yourself around them?

Do they raise you and appreciate your authentic self?

Do you become a different person when you are with them?

Do you take your own direction or theirs?

I let go of the ‘clean eating’ analogy as I knew in actual fact it had nothing do with food but everything to do with the energy around me and what I actually wanted for myself. Yes people have disappeared from my life but they would not have done so when I stopped being a reflection of them. I stopped becoming a people pleaser and I became someone who knew their self worth and authentic self.