Archive for Phenomenal Woman

On Being True

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 27, 2016 by tivaniam

Can we be true to ourselves even if that means failing another? That is a question that I have been plagued with. The more I choose to love myself and vote for myself first, the more complex it becomes for everyone else. This act of juggling and choosing to serve me or serve others leaves me exhausted, with a dire need for peace. I don’t have the answers so I am trying to sit with what is, without trying to hide it or fix it.

What has come up for me in the last few weeks is that it’s not even the pain that consumes me, it’s the fucking shame. Shame about the pain. Shame about the choices. Shame about the reality and the perceptions. It takes self-loathing to another level and is completely counter-productive for my growth and development. I have to become unapologetic about my behaviour and choices whilst knowing that this will be too much for some people. That I will be too much for some people.

A part of me knows that those people, aren’t my people. I know for a fact that my too much is exactly enough for the right people. For those who want more. Therefore, I cannot become less.

Yes, I’ve got these life experiences and perceived failures that many cannot and WILL NOT profess to have. It is dealing with a past depression that could have killed me. It is dealing with multiple failed relationships – often in close proximity to each other. It is making very fucked up decisions, the repercussions of which, are felt to this day.

But guess what, these are also my superpowers. I’m the canary in the coal mine. My experiences, my sensitivity, my telling of the truth is what allows me to sense danger that others cannot. So, instead of being silent and trying to extinguish my fire, allow the same fire that almost killed me, to be the same fire that I will use to light up the world.

Closure is an act of sanity for me.  It is something I choose to bring to the table of my own healing. I don’t see this as failure. It becomes an earnest quest for answers that often uncovers life changing truths. These truths will only set me free.

I know for sure that whatever this is, I will get through it, because I already have and continue to do.




Existing As I Am

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on November 18, 2015 by tivaniam

Love and life is woven into the tapestry of my existence. I’ve died a hundred times trying to ignore and stifle the humming of my heart. I tell the truth and come to you with every wound, every secret I’ve kept hidden, every lie I’ve ever told. I come to you with sins and regrets, loss and memories and days where I’ve woken up with nothing and no one.

But those who are short sighted  aren’t ready to read the best parts of me. I’ve had to champion my own story because I have no interest in being loved in bits and pieces, too much for some, not enough for others. My heart is not a home for the weak. I wear my scars while you hide yours.

So I’ve found a calm in the dead centre of my own storms, naked, wearing only my scars and a smile. There are days when I can barely breathe, where my muscles seem to atrophy and then I realise that there is not one single thing behind me, nor one single thing ahead of me, that is stronger than who I’ve grown into.

I’m more whiskey than water.


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.


Being Present

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on October 31, 2014 by tivaniam

Most of us, if we’re really lucky, get to experience a profound revelation after a traumatic or otherwise difficult life experience. We do the hard work to help us recover and own our mistakes and move forward. Equipped with useful information and with the best intentions of participating fully, passionately and harmoniously with the world, we enter into a new realm of spiritual existence.

We all know that there is no meritocracy in this world and bad things do happen to good people. So when shit happens, as it inevitably does, all of the good intentions and useful knowledge do little to circumvent the spiral into chaos within our mind.

It may be difficult to remain positive when life kicks you in the ass and your plans get derailed, but, remaining positive is a choice – something I personally have to condition my mind and heart into believing, every moment of every day.

These are the tools that work for me, which I share with you.

Always believe that the view from the factory is exactly the same as the view from the ivory tower.

In other words, believe that you already possess every single thing you need. And you will want for nothing.

Support comes in many forms. Wake up and pay attention.

I had my heart broken by a person that I thought was my best friend. So believe me, trusting people is not easy. But if you pay attention, you do see that people actually do reveal themselves to you from the beginning, but as fallible humans, we see what we want to see. I have learnt though, that there are genuinely kind and supportive people in this world who are selfless. But, you get what you give. Treat people with contempt and anger, and that is what you will get in return. Demonstrate love in every way – irrespective of how it is received – and you always get back love in return. I have learnt this lesson several times over, and I am a believer of it completely. I have received support in different ways, giving me exactly what I needed to help me cope with whatever situation I found myself in.


Sounds simplistic, but it’s actually harder than it sounds. Too often our minds are consumed with worry, pressure, stress and ‘doing’ that we forget how to be still. I have discovered the therapeutic benefits of removing myself from life for a few moments each day and finding a secluded spot to shut my eyes and breathe. One minute is all you need. The oxygen that reaches your brain has the most profound effect on your frame of mind.


I used to be the eternal wallflower. Too stiff to move freely, always consumed with what people would think or say about me to be free enough to dance. I have recently been reminded that life is not an episode of “SA’s Got Talent”. I don’t need to be good at it to be able to know intrinsically, how to move. If you want to test this theory, listen to “Can you feel it” by the Jackson Five and see what happens to your body instinctively. Be free to move as you did when you were a child. The benefits of this can’t even be verbalised. It’s a feeling where words do no justice.

Whatever you focus on, you create more of. Live a life of gratitude and abundance would surely follow.




The Dreaded ‘F’ Word

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on July 2, 2014 by tivaniam


Not the kind that is inspired by the likes of Freddie Kruger. It is the type that is debilitating, paralysing and stunting growth and development. We are raised in a society that propagates an almost nefarious message throughout our formative years of why we should not do certain things, why it is dangerous to take a risk. Fear in the context of self-preservation, has its place. Fear that prevents you from acting in order to live your best life is one where your freedom is forfeited.

Two weeks ago I made a decision to resign from a stable job that provided me with a decent salary. I have no back-up plan. Whether this is stupid or brave is a debatable thing based on an individual perception, however my decision was based exclusively on the fact that I have a higher calling and a purpose that needs to be fulfilled. My purpose is to be happy and nothing is going to derail me from that ultimate goal.

A wise person told me today that people tend to die at the age of 21 and get buried at 70. Do I want to live an existential life with regrets later on? No. Do you?

Fear has become a safety net for people to stay in bad relationships, jobs, cities or even from BEING. To live a life without risk means that you become nothing. You avoid pain perhaps but neither can you grow or evolve. For years I climbed the imaginary walls in my mind, trying to escape. I can say with conviction that, now, I am finally free. I am versed in a new lingo. I pride myself on my F words but FEAR has no place in there.


What’s In A Name?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on May 9, 2014 by tivaniam

These are the names I have been called:

Black bitch


Worthless piece of shit



Pink Panther























Attention seeker












Question is, what do I answer to?

When you are stripped bare, metaphorically speaking, every hideous angle exposed, you can do one of two things: die or change.

I am a kaleidoscopic mess, as incongruent as night and day.

But, I am now defining myself.

For every Woman Who Had her Spirit Broken by a Man

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on January 23, 2014 by tivaniam

I used to cry myself to sleep, wanting to find my soul a home, feeling like a caged bird singing for things unknown. This feeling of disconsolation was essentially me for years – breathing just a little and calling it a life. I was a victim of circumstance and bad decisions which I felt was my penance for the choices I consciously made. Similarly, countless women I know have become victims – silent victims of love gone wrong who suffer endlessly at the hands of the men they choose to be with. Never contemplating a life other than what they live, because of fear that debilitates them or obligation because of children or simply because of what they perceive as love. Worse than staying is the choice of remaining silent for fear of the aspersions that would face them should they choose to leave.

I have chosen to live on the other side of Victim. There has been solace in breaking my silence. I have developed a strength of spirit when I shared my truth. A truth which resonated so deeply within so many women whose affirmations became empowering to me, making me continue to tell my story authentically – as ugly and real as life tends to be – irrespective of whatever criticism or judgment I may encounter. It is a tragedy that even in spite of affirming me, the very same women could not speak their own truth, while commending me for verbalising mine. It is a paradox that I don’t understand.

As women of this generation, we have the freedom and choice to empower ourselves. We are solely responsible for the protection of our hearts and emotional wellbeing. In all our multifaceted layers of beauty and strength, both internal and external, we need to know that we are worthy of love in its purest form. Having experienced the hurt and the pain associated with “love”, I now know for sure what love is not. Love is not pain. Love does not break you down. Love does not criticise. Love is not fear. Love is not silence. Love does not lie, cheat or resort to emotional or physical violence. Love is not self-serving. Love is not unsure.

To the women who doubt your worth, know this. Most of us are born with an inherent strength that far surpasses even our own expectation or assumptions. We are instinctively nurturing and sacrifice ourselves for the good of everyone we love, all the while forgetting that we need to have in order to give. We need to be fulfilled and content and happy and at peace in order to give off the love we often give so generously and get nothing in return. Become selfish. Make yourselves a priority and know that you are phenomenal.

To every woman living with a broken heart, and to my friend in particular, KNOW YOUR WORTH. You are deserving of the kind of love that involves no pain. Make the changes necessary to live authentically and allow yourself the life you dreamt of having. Do not settle for second best, you are all worth more than that.

To quote from my favourite poet, Maya Angelou:

“…Did you want to see me broken?

Bowed head and lowered eyes?

Shoulders falling down like teardrops,

Weakened by my soulful cries?

…You may shoot me with your words,

You may cut me with your eyes,

You may kill me with your hatefulness,

But still, like air, I’ll rise“.

%d bloggers like this: