Book ┃tuesdays with Morrie

Morrie and Mitch

Wow! Yes, truly.

This book, or rather this story is simply beautiful. The sentiment isn’t new, but the exchange is powerful and engaging ─ the continuous theme of Life being fondly knitted together at every step of this unexpectedly loving journey.

I had had tuesdays with Morrie on my reading list for a long time, but it wasn’t until recently that it physically came into my sphere by way of my mum. Finally, I could tick another book off my ginormous reading list!

It was 11.39pm, and while waiting for the kettle to boil for my last cup of tea, I decided to do some dynamic-waiting, and read a few lines in the interim. Three hours later, I had read the last line! What a story! What a human being! (and no I didn’t get to have that cup of tea; I was far too engrossed to make it!)

The Universe works in unique ways! A lot of the time it doesn’t make sense, doesn’t seem fair. But oh, boy does it compute ─ on a soul-level. It’s all in the accepting ─ graciously accepting and then continuing to live, move, learn, teach, laugh and love.

I was so sad ─ that I had finished reading it! But simultaneously inspired. I was so completely energised and happy despite now not being able to fall asleep, even at 3:20am!

This is one of the few books (and I have read many!) I’ve wanted to shout about from my milk crate. It’s just one of those books that must.be.read…now. But, while I’m short on milk crates, allow me to use my CyberCorner to urge you all to read tuesdays with Morrie.

For me, the entire book is a highlight, so I’ll just give you a few teasers to whet your reading-for-life (and death!) appetite.

Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.

“Like I said, no-one really believes they’re going to die.”

“But everyone knows someone who has died,” I said.

“Because,” Morrie continued, “most of us all walk around as if we’re sleepwalking. We really don’t experience the world fully, because we’re half-asleep, doing things we automatically think we have to.”

“And facing death changes all that?”

“Oh, yes. You strip away all that stuff and you focus on the essentials. When you realise you are going to die, you see everything much differently.”

He sighed, “Learn how to die, and you learn how to live.”

Putting a limit on it.

I asked Morrie if he felt sorry for himself.

“Sometimes, in the mornings” he said. “That’s when I mourn…But then I stop mourning.”

“Just like that?”

“I give myself a good cry if I need it. But then I concentrate on all the good things still in my life. On the people…on the stories…Mitch, I don’t allow myself any more self-pity than that. A little each morning, a few tears, and that’s all.”

▿▿▿▿▿

I love that it’s not about denying the self-pity, but more about accepting it, and allowing it to happen. And then…giving it a time-slot. That way, we still have choices ─ the privilege of decision. I love that.

Invest in the human family.

“People are only mean when they’re threatened…and that’s what our culture does. That’s what our economy does. Even people who have jobs in our economy are threatened, because they worry about losing them. And when you get threatened, you start looking out only for yourself. You start making money a god. It is all part of this culture…Which is why I don’t buy into it.

Every society has its own problems. You have to work at creating your own culture.

The problem, Mitch, is that we don’t believe we are as much alike as we are. Whites and blacks, Catholics and Protestants, men and women. If we saw each other as more alike, we might be very eager to join in one big human family in this world, and to care about that family the way we care about our own.

But believe me, when you are dying, you see it is true. We all have the same beginning – birth – and we all have the same end – death. So how different can we be? Invest in the human family. Invest in people. Build a little community of those you love and who love you.”

▿▿▿▿▿

I could go on…letting you in on the many gems that shine so brightly from these pages. But I’ll stop now, and let you seek out the book, and find your own way through tuesdays with Morrie.

tuesdays with Morrie

This Leseratte signing off with BIG love xx

Happy Birthday ┃TWO today!

Bonne Anniversaire

Two years! It’s hard to believe, but here I am, two years after the first post!

It’s been a little start-&-stop on repeat in this CyberCorner. Not quite how I had envisioned or planned it. And certainly not because I have little to say; Au contraire! I have a caboodle sitting on the surface, waiting to pop…and even more to show and share.

But sometimes ─ or perhaps, most times, life begs to be lived away from this haven.  It so happens, that as soon as I kick-started this baby, my husband and I Olympic-style dived into the launch of our business ─ an innovative online platform for businesses! It’s been a long path of incredible ebb-&-flow on roller-coaster-wheels! To say that my full attention was called upon, may perhaps be a little bit of an understatement :)

And while I sulked at times, like a two-year-old (!) because I wanted to hang out here more, I knew better than to resist……things have this wonderful way of juuuust working out.

So. Here we are on this most magnificently sunny Sydney Saturday, and I am giving thanks for being here, in all senses of the word.

I look forward to being here, more……and more and more and then some more!

And to you who are here, thank you! Take a sweet moment today to simply be…..& appreciate.

Happy Birthday lieslg

“Your gratitude is watering your abundance” ━ ms brownskin

Fear…

Fear

For some of you, this may be completely new ─  a revelation of sorts (it was for me when it first hit my eardrums while listening to Danielle LaPorte’s delicious Desire Map Spreecast, in June this year (love this woman!)

For others, it may not be so new ─ perhaps you’ve seen it here before or perhaps it’s purely ‘old hat’?!

Either way, it is sweet reminders such as this one, that I welcome into my world, repeatedly! Because I know I always need to be reminded that fear isn’t to be feared so much as it is to be accepted ─ yes, accept this little fairy as your friend, because she really is simply your excitement in disguise.

Ahhh……let that sink in……and remember to breathe.

Namaste

*Robert Heller is the original author of this quote ─ not Gestalt co-founder, Fritz Perls, as is widely believed.

First Class and Cashmere™

Dream BIG

If there is one thing ─ okay 2! ─ that I will encourage, it would be to dream BIG and have fun.

For too long, I have parked myself in a studio, and while there is nothing wrong with a studio-dream per se, it was time to move into the mansion and see how well I could furnish it! Hey even the literal version of this scares the leaves outta me ─ I mean, the choices…could I do it?!  What style would I choose, for God’s sake! After all, you are talking about the girl with a panoptic perspective!

These thoughts rush around my cranial cavity with almighty force ─ or rather, fierce fear! And so I admire from afar and return to my studio.

Here’s the thing though, once you are injected with knowledge, it’s hard to plead ignorance and just walk away. Oh, you can walk away, but the weight of that knowledge pinches at your soul in the same way a too-heavy backpackers-pack digs into your shoulders.

And so on Monday, en route to early-morning yoga, I decided to talk myself right into the deep end of a possibility-pool, with sentences like “Today I choose abundance.  Today I choose to accept myself exactly as I am right now.  Today I choose to make decisions with ease.  Today I invite abundance into my life.  Today I invite the authentic Liesl to come to the fore, and stay put!”……And so it progressed into a stream of gratitude and…well just overall ‘nice’ talk to myself! It felt like the beginnings of building the foundation of my mansion-dream. It felt possible. It felt flippin’ good. Now, note, it’s not necessarily about the outcome. It is simply about adjusting the degree of the angle of your view on life. Because I also chose to let go…of all expectations and results ─ and this one was the hardest, because once you’re in that can-do mode, you can also get ‘locked’ into a pre-conceived idea of how it’s going to be, if you know what I mean. And by now, we all know that that’s not always the way it turns out.

The point is, that once we walk to our door ─ of dreams if you like, and realise that the key hanging around our necks playing pretty-pendant, is in actual fact the key we need and have had all along, to unlock that door to the BIG that is in all of us.

So, First Class and Cashmere? I hear you ask.  Hahahaha.  Well, during my beautiful car soliloquy, this little diamond popped up….from nowhere!  Well, possibly from somewhere-one, who knows better ─ hello authentic self?! And I absolutely, if anything, loved the sound of it!  So much, that I’ve actually coined it as my own!  Perhaps my impending travel blog?! Hey, this is all part of the BIG, remember ─ wink.

5 Things

And speaking of BIG, this home-made reminder is currently peeking out at me from the side of my ‘fridge ─ kinda like the bricks-&-cement for my foundation.  You’ll notice that it’s blank, because this kind of thing scares my cells into competitive contractions to see which ones can retreat faster and the furthest!

I’ve had this since the beginning of the year (!) courtesy of Robin Sharma, and a recent email from him was a timely reminder to get cracking!  And even though it scares me to make these 5 commitments to myself (I am losing my breath just writing this!) I am knowledged-up enough to know that “fear is excitement without breath”! So, adjusting the angle a tad and breathing, I find myself getting a little excited that I’ll be thinking ─ deeply and properly ─ about my 5 things (or desires) and then writing them down. It’s a call-to-action, and putting it up here makes me accountable ─ big time! And perhaps it’s time! Hahaha

FirstClass&Cashmere

So here’s to First Class and Cashmere™ and the bricks-&-cement that holds it up!

I can almost feel the softness and warmth of those cashmere socks on my tootsies…while I kick back in my über-comfy first-class recliner!!! ➞Please insert a pleasurable-gratitude sigh right here.

Post Script: I love that the unexpected bricks-&-cement reference also serves as a sweet salute to my dad, who was an exemplary builder of the First-Class-and-Cashmere ilk!

LIFE ┃Tending the friendship garden

hello

“Friends are everywhere, but you have to want them. You have to attend to them, invite them, and set up structures so they are present in your life.  Your friends will follow you anywhere, if only you invite them”

I absolutely love this!

It’s true.  It’s an intention you set, a decision you make, and then it’s action and effort. Simple. doable. done.  I like this approach, because it makes sense and more to the point, it works!

This thought-inducing excerpt is from a blog I discovered one day last week, while sipping on my latte in post-yoga bliss.  I am still working my way through the articles ─ so articulate and engaging ─ and I think I’m about to extend my support to the Shedders-circle by purchasing the book!

I love creative people……deliberate, creative people!  It’s uplifting, inspiring and encouraging;  It’s like a fabulous flag, flapping boisterously in the breeze ─ a fantastic reminder of what one can do if one really wanted to…whatever that may be!  And not to be afraid of the mud that one will surely go through in striving for anything worthwhile, beautiful and satisfying!

I hope that this has been the subtle enticing fragrance you need right now to awaken, all of your senses, from any jaded moment or self ─ we’ve all been there.

Sending you wings with which to fly even if it is just 1cm off the ground!

friendship

xoxo

Life ┃Yoga yanks at my heartsphere again!

FaceFlats

Every time I attend a yoga class, something amazing happens.  Not outward ‘fireworks’ but most definitely something ignites on the inside.  And Friday was a case in point!  Due to work, I had not been to yoga in 4 days, and I was getting a little concerned that I was slipping.  So, last day of the week, I made it happen and at 12:08pm I was on my mat and ready to go!

It felt good being back, and good timing as I got to take a class with Duncan,  whom I had not yet met.  He promised us old-school moves; I got a tad nervous given my 4 missed days, but then I quickly remembered that my new modus operandi is to decide to try!

Three things came up ─ well 4 if you include my emotions! ─ doubt, faith and acceptance. Most of the time we are up against doubt.  We resist it.  We fight it.  In short, we want to eliminate it, get rid of it…annihilate with a capital A!  And in the end, the more we resist, the more the doubt digs in.  Not nice.

So here’s the thing, my yoga-message-thing……the only way to win the war against doubt is simply to leave it alone.  Leave it alone in its camp and move over to yours ─ your Faith-camp to build your faith.  Yup, that simple.  Keep adding layer upon layer of delicious faith, taking your first step with…acceptance ─ yes, when you can simply accept yourself, accept your circumstance, accept things as they are ─ right now, that is the first and foundation-step of your faith-building.  You’ll also find that once you can accept (wink) acceptance, this first step becomes your pivotal step, as everything starts to flow and connect in ways that even the best strategist could not better map out!

These days, I’m finding that my Vinyasa yoga practice is my panacea for the doubt  ─ the fear.  The idea of these constant companions no longer send me down the path of hopelessness-slash-failure. Instead, I accept that they travel with me, only now I am aware that by allowing the acceptance to happen, I can focus on growing my faith ─ faith in myself and faith in the wider workings of this great Universe.

To be clear, acceptance doesn’t mean that everything will now be ‘solved’.  It doesn’t mean that things are now ‘perfect’, or exactly how we want them to be.  It does, however, mean that it’s okay.  It’s all good.  It is ‘perfect’.  It is exactly how it’s meant to be ─ right now.

I did a little more accepting during this practice and I am so grateful for the prompt.  I smiled in acknowledgment then promptly dipped into some Hippo-heaving tears during Fish pose (Matsyasana). Whoa!  Cleansing. Relieving…reminding me that this is my lesson.  Reminding me to be brave.  Reminding me that I can be brave.  Reminding me, more importantly, that I am already brave…& inviting me to catch up to this thought.

What do you need to accept a little more today?  Take a moment to just do it.  Accept it for what it is ─ how it is.  Accept. The shift is subtle but oh my, you can really feel the reverberation!

I accept

Acceptance is the key, because acceptance, thankfully, is the antidote to analysis and ensuing angst.

Amen to that!

Namaste.

Dear Life…

Dear Life

In the words of Danielle LaPorte

Dear Life,

For……dreams; a warm bed; new bed linen; sales; girlfriends ─ old and new; coffee catch-ups; yoga; Saturday morning post-yoga-coffee; creative collaborations; like-minded folk; visual inspiration; online browsing…& sometimes shopping; my left-brain in overdrive; attention to detail ─ my penchant and skill for it; having a flat screen in my kitchen; reverse-cycle air-conditioning; refund credits; Friday night dinner-date at my favourite local pizzeria; good Italian wine; sweet car spots; a clean and gleaming car; daily driving; watching the sun come up; fresh bread; raw milk; fresh flowers; warm sheets; new cafés, good coffee; the best piccolo I’ve (seriously) ever had; Share Your Victory®; good news, my brother’s coffee art; wearing something different every day, from the wardrobe of endless nothing-to-wear, & with fantastic results! Emoticons; watching documentaries while cooking; multi-tasking; textured black and white surfaces; vintage pieces; my design pieces finally coming out of storage; feeling more and more at peace with my intense desire to purge; lovely & meaningful messages from my yoga teachers; Manly; tahini+raw cacao+raw honey; green tea with roasted rice; my ring finger and the ring on it! Simple outfits that look good and feel superb; a bit of Paris around my neck; white Moleskines, raw salads; the irritating stuff; the annoying people; the frustrating situations; the smell of lavender….and coffee; easy telephone conversations; freshly baked goods and excellent timing; babies; metallics; music organisation; movies; rainy days; girl-day-ventures; café-hopping; SundayShenanigans; good ideas; the sound of boiling water pouring into a cup; a-kind-of Spring-breeze, in the middle of the week, in the middle of Winter! Chai tea; Loacker biscuits; multiple compliments on my Sportsgirl statement necklace, on its début outing;  old Winter scarves coming out to play, & the ensuing compliments; yoga goodies; sweet sales staff, and excellent customer service; hi-top sneakers; new Ugg boots; hot showers on super-cold days; working like a demon; my husband’s word-wizardry (lol) his vision and his ongoing love; ahimsa; phone chats with mama bear, and being completely content……I bow.

Thank you.  Merci.  Baie dankie.

Life ┃where you are…

where you are

Too often, we are tinkering in the past or future-tripping.  Too often we are wishing for something else, someone else, some place else…too often.

Today, let’s sip on this thought.  Today, let’s say out loud “I’m exactly where I am meant to be!”

Look at how far you have come, how much you have learned (since this time last year….gosh since even this time last month!).  And appreciate your efforts, especially the small ones.  Hug yourself ─ it’s really quite funny-awesome to do ─ yell out a ‘yay!’ Smile…do a flipping victory jump or pirouette!

You’re on track.  You.are.on.track.  Know that.

Sending you a BigBall of squish-able love xx

Life ┃I worship at the altar of…my pink rubber mat!

Amen.

Sunday Altar

It’s Sunday.  It’s early.  Raining.  I’m in the middle of Downward Dog on my pink mat, and I hear this…

“Every achievement starts with the decision to try”

Simple!  And with that, I try everything on offer in this very intense, early Sunday morning practice.  No matter if I think I can do it or not.  I simply decide to try it…do it…done!

It kicks fear to the kerb, and all analysis to the ground.  It’s good.  I highly recommend it.

Namaste

Life┃ And the messages keep coming…

LIFE

When you are depressed, you are in the PAST.

When you are anxious, you are in the FUTURE.

When you are at peace, then my dear friend, you are in the PRESENT.

Yes, think about it.  It makes total sense.

These wise words came to me today during my yoga class, mid-balancing (read difficult!) pose, and I had to smile ─ it truly felt more apt than to grimace!

And this is why I love yoga so much.  Not only do I get meaningful messages such as this one, it also delivers a rigorous physical, emotional and spiritual ‘massage’ ─ from my first to my last breath of my practice…& it carries through like a divine ripple well after I’ve left class.

Love

Namaste