Archive for August, 2015

Joy: Can You Feel It?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 17, 2015 by tivaniam

This morning, on route to school, my son and I were stuck in horrendous traffic – a norm for Johannesburg. With the music blaring, he was singing happily, unfazed by the frustrated faces around him, mine included. His favourite song started playing and, much to my amusement, he started dancing with such exuberance that he wouldn’t even be restrained with the seatbelt. It was so entertaining to watch.

It got me thinking of how often I have found myself at my front door, not even realising how I got there. We have become so detached and desensitised that trying to find joy in little things is so difficult to do. My son this morning, in his innocence and purity, really did dance like no one was watching. It was the expression of utter joy. How many of us are able to dance if the music takes us? Are we able to appreciate little things that bring us joy? Can we even recognise it?

I’ve made a promise to myself to be more cognisant of things that make my soul sing, to become fully present in every moment. Like savouring the first sip of a delicious cup of coffee first thing in the morning or smelling the first drops of rain as it hits the ground. It is stopping to appreciate the beauty that this world offers in the form of magical Winter sunsets and fresh air. It is taking a bite of the delicious chocolate cake I love or the feel of a hot shower hitting my back after a long day at work. It is the feeling I get after I pray or having my son play with my hair as he falls asleep. It is fresh roses delivered to my door with cryptic messages that only I would understand. It is laughing at shared jokes with my friend who is as crazy as I am or talking about days gone by with my mother. And, taking my cue from my son, it is dancing when the music hits me – as it often does, without wondering if I look like a fool.

Having a level of appreciation and gratitude for simple things keeps me connected to my spirit and seemingly increases my reason to be joyful! I have noticed that where I give my focus, is where the expansion lies – and at this point in my life, nothing is more important than being truly happy.

A Tribute to a Phenomenal Woman

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on August 9, 2015 by tivaniam

For the better part of my life, I have been a witness to the exceptional way my mother has operated her life with compassion and selfless service. Nursing for over 30 years and specialising in psychiatry, my mother has dedicated her life to the community in service of families in need. Her efficiency and empathy for people experiencing any kind of hardship has ensured that she sacrifice many hours out of the normal working day to counsel families and extend herself to anyone who needs her, regardless of their social stature.

She has strived to impart awareness of mental health disease to the community and to ensure her patients receive the utmost care and compassion. She has inspired many people in our family to become medical practitioners and pay forward the social awareness created by her.

Most people are accustomed to compartmentalising their work and private lives, not so with my mother. Apart from her passion for her work, she singlehandedly devoted herself to my father when he was diagnosed with cancer, and despite being given a life span of three months, he managed to survive for 18 months solely based on her care.
I have watched, with awe, her dedication to my father at a time where others would have become self-involved in their own processing of the pain of dealing with a spouse dying.

Her consult is sought all the time when members of our family get sick and she is readily accessible to anyone who needs her. Most recently, her brother, whom she is very close to, was diagnosed with terminal cancer and despite having endured the trauma of losing my father, she has stepped up, put aside her feelings and own grief yet again to do what needs to be done for her brother.

This is a woman who has taught me the importance of unconditional love for family –something that is a rarity at a time where people are very much about their own self-preservation and egotistical needs. I have learnt the importance of service to others – a value I wish to pass on to my own children and most importantly living life being passionate about what you do.

This is a 58 year old woman who does not understand the concept of slowing down, who works herself to a standstill and sacrifices herself endlessly in the pursuit of helping others. She is a woman who has an open door policy for anyone, welcoming them into her home for a warm plate of food regardless of time or day. She is the embodiment of strength and I can find no one more deserving of being recognised for the phenomenal woman she is.


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