Tuesday, 30 December 2014


December 30th, 2014. It is a strange day. The last day of this year that I have time and space to write. Today marks 22 years since my father’s passage out of this world and away from tangibility; from touch. I can still remember, 22 years ago today, placing my small, warm hand on his. Cold and heavy. The room, violet dark and filled with tears, has remained a precious haven to me – Now only in memory.

There are times when all I want, all I need is an embrace. His embrace. A father’s embrace. I feel it would help make sense of days like this, in their mingled joy and sadness. Perhaps it would make today feel a little less strange.

It is this memory that is precisely why I have a strong dislike for the concept of resolutions. Even the word itself, irks me. I suddenly feel that I am wrestling inside an itchy sweater, while swatting away at a fly pestering my face. A fly keen on eyelashes, to be specific.

Resolution: A decision or determination; the act of determining upon an action. A solution or settling of a problem.

While the definition doesn’t sound half bad, it’s the implication of permanence that doesn’t sit right with me. As I learned on this day 22 long years ago – nothing is permanent. In addition, the impending consequence (usually utter disappointment and self-doubt) upon failure to conclude said resolutions is what I really don’t like. As far as I’m concerned, resolutions are just ultimatums in a pretty dress.

Believe it or not, this is actually meant to be a message of hope. A message encouraging the creation of lifestyle goals, in place of New Year’s resolutions.

Goal: an achievement toward which effort is directed.

Goals, especially when realistic and attainable, become joyful pursuits. We often set the bar slightly too high, with rigid deadlines and strict parameters, turning our joys into stressors. (Sidenote: Deadlines? Really? Who came up with that word?)

Goals are flexible, pliable, and moldable to circumstance. Rather than a start-finish design like resolutions, goals can be added to, and adapted to accommodate for change. True, some old habits should be cast aside, but many habits simply need to be nurtured and encouraged to thrive. Rather than your focus being “ax that, toss this,” why don’t you focus instead on providing time and space for the things that bring you joy to flourish? As you focus on the beautiful aspects of your life, the unhealthy bits will begin to fade away, leaving behind bright and vibrant YOU.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

A Legacy of Love

Katrina Dawson, 38 years old, sacrificed her own life to save two, by putting herself in front of her pregnant friend during the Lindt Cafe siege in Sydney, Australia this Monday. She was a loving wife and mother of three children, all under the age of 10.

I hear stories such as this, and my heart soars. Full of sorrow and full of light. It is in these precious yet devastating moments of observing true selflessness, that my adoration for humanity overflows. In a circumstance of suffering and fear, courage illuminated the darkness; a beam of light in a blackened room. This woman, in an outpouring of love, created a legacy in her final few breaths.

I believe tragedies, as they should, force us to reevaluate the value we place on life. We are fickle, forgetful creatures. We often, and easily, become consumed with things trivial and finite. Our personal feelings of contentment become threatened and bruised as we are manipulated into believing that all we are lacking is the next best thing; that your success defines you; that success itself is defined by money, status and power.

We suffer. Our obsession with obtaining – with hoarding – becomes akin to our pursuit of happiness. More is never enough.

We leave gratitude behind. The richness found in small moments of a stranger’s kindness is lost on us, and we turn the other way. A warm meal is not enjoyed in appreciation of it’s nourishment, for we are already on to the next item on our agendas. As we raise our expectations for ourselves to an almost unattainable level, we raise them for others as well. A kiss that once melted our heart is no longer enough. Households once built on Love and Trust are now sinking into a ditch of daily pressures, schedules, timelines and other trivialities that we’ve brought upon ourselves.

Anxiety and suspicion take over, alien vines choking out our Trust, breaking their way into the cornerstone of Love that once defined all.

Or did it? We, being fickle and short-sighted, have forgotten. Our self-worth is grounded in the temporal. Our vain quest to find a fountain of youth has led to a disdain for the aged, which once symbolized wisdom, thereby reflecting shamefully on our disregard for the honorable. Life begins to lose it’s value as we place it on scales easily broken.

Then, tragedy strikes. Those of us who take just one extra moment to consider the gravity of it are brought to our knees. Our memory, being jolted, forces us to consider once again the brevity of life, and how precious it truly is.

May we live and love in such a way that does not require tragedy to remind us of the daily gift we are given.

Rest in peace, Katrina Dawson, and thank you for leaving behind a legacy worthy of honor.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Elephant Love

“Love is many splendid thing; love lifts us up where we belong; all you need is love!” -Ewan McGregor, Mouin Rouge

Of the many great and profound mysteries in existence, there is none more evasive than the mystery of love. No matter how much you observe or experience it, love cannot be understood in it’s entirety. Unlike the many other great mysteries, such as: whether or not there is life on other planets, our changing perception of time as we age, how the universe began (truly) – love cannot be numbered, measured, dated or described.

Love is in and of itself, a paradox. It is an entirely individual experience, yet it is something to be shared. It’s forms are vast; innumerable. It is often referred to as the strongest force there is, yet it cannot function alone. Someone tells you they love you. What does that really mean, and how do you know it to be true? They can produce no substance, nor sign any paper that proves it. You must simply trust them, and hope that they know how love is best communicated to you. What feels or looks like love to one person, may be interpreted as an entirely different emotion to another.

Which brings up another facet of the mystery. An emotion – is that what love is? No, I don’t believe we can classify it so simply. Yet we do it anyways, because an emotion is far easier to understand than an invisible force. A whirlwind, if there ever was one. One moment it lifts you high above the ground, and the next moment you are dashed to the ground.

You cannot love without risking heartache. We choose to love even though it hurts. We do it again, and again, and again, ad nauseam. Yes, we choose to enter into a realm where we have a one in two chance of ending up face down on the ground, alone. We claim, “Never again!” Until another opportunity presents itself… 

I believe we choose it because there is no other choice. To close your heart to love and resist the mystery is to choose a life of darkness. A road where there is no light, and life itself becomes meaningless.