Friday, November 27, 2015

The Satchel

For many of us there is still some sadness of things we had to say goodbye to, either a relationship, moving, moving to a new geographical area, some of us have had a parent cross, or even both parents, or a close friend. Some of us have had to place parents into facilities. For some of us there have been such huge changes in our lives that there is a deep sadness, or melancholy that goes along with us. It's like we are moving through the streets of a big city with this gaiety and happiness, but then we carry a satchel or a suitcase or a brief case filled with these sad memories, these sad places, these sad occasions that we have had over the past years that have left us feeling somewhat baffled, some of us confused and some of us feeling on a low plane in terms of self-worth. Even though we have this satchel of sadness, this suitcase of sadness, this briefcase of sadness, sure, there is some restriction there, some self doubt and some case where we question.  We question life, we question our belief system, we question why we are here, we question why we went through what we did. We question why people treated us the way they did. We question why we couldn't hold something together or why we couldn't break it apart. There are a lot of restrictions in terms of our own self doubt. This is just emotional responses to experiences that have happened in the past. These have caused worry. We have to try and not focus on these areas of our life. We have to try and focus on happiness, try to focus on wonderful, brand new openings, brand new doors that are opening for us. It could be that some of us have the keys to a brand new home, or a brand new office. Some may even have the keys to someone's heart. Some may even get married. The sadness is not there to hold us back. The sadness is a reminder. A reminder to lift us, to have the wisdom to help other's in our path to overcome experiences that we have already dealt with. There will come a time for us when it will be necessary to put the satchel down, to leave the briefcase at the subway, to leave the suitcase right there at the bus depot. There are times we have to cut our losses and run. We just have to say "You know what? I don't know why it is, but it is and I have to move forward". We have to see and believe that there is going to be great positive movement in at least one  aspect of our life. Many of us will feel it in multiple aspects of our lives. We have Christmas celebration coming up for most.  If not Christmas it will be a celebration of another kind. It is a time for friends, family and family get together's. There are some people who are experiencing family frictions or frictions within a relationship. Perhaps its time for resolution. Time to resolve those frictions. There are many of us who are dealing with long term issues that have been bearing down on us, whether they are broken friendships, broken relationships with family members or with partners. Christmas is a perfect time for healing any one of these issues.  Christmas is meant to be a joyous time. This is a time when we can look forward to many things. It is a time where we can move forward with positive energy into January and beyond. Many of us have paid our dues. We can only go so high as we have been low. Christmas is a time to reach out and make amends.

If its time to put that satchel down, do it. If you need to hang on to it a little bit longer, that's fine, but get the support you need. Resolve these emotional issues as soon as possible so that you can begin to enjoy all the positive situations that arise in your life on the heels of the situations and the circumstances that have been plaguing you for many months in a negative or a challenging way.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Trying Too Hard

When we try too hard to understand others, we can end up becoming confused. "Why did she do that?" "Why did he say this?" "What was the real meaning of this development?" "Have I failed to understand something about that event?" Such questions can drive us round in circles. We try and read between the lines. We over analyse. The questions may never bring forth answers that make true sense. We are far better off living in the moment and relating spontaneously to those who matter most. Take it all as it is said in that moment, because that is where the truth is. This makes life so much easier and less stressful.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Nou Gaan Ons Braai

"Nou gaan ons braai" is Afrikaans for Now we are going to BBQ/braai. This video clip cracks me up with laughter whenever I see it as it is really so true about the Afrikaans people here in South Africa. Barry Hilton is a South African stand up comedian. Referred to by his middle name, Barry (aka ‘The Cousin’). I love this video clip as I can so relate to this! This has happened to me two or three times when I have been invited by some Afrikaans friends for a braai/bbq.  In this clip he imitates the way an Afrikaans person speaks. He obviously exaggerates slightly, but it really is how they speak and it is so true about them loving their Brandy and Coke. An Afrikaans person born in South Africa is commonly known as a "Boertjie" (pronounced Boorky) and when an Afrikaans person asks you if you want a "doppetjie" - that is a drink. You just have to watch this video. It really is hilarious and it paints a very, very good picture of what to expect (in most cases, not all) when you are invited to a braai/bbq by an Afrikaans speaking South African. Man, this is why I love South Africa!! :D

Cry For My Beloved Country

How the world sees us: Tim Knight – SA’s slide from Madiba to Zuma. Oh Boy.

You cannot fail to be moved by this powerful article written for The Canadian by top global journalist and Emmy winner Tim Knight. As a young man, Knight covered the hottest spots in South Africa, including the Sharpeville massacre and left because he had to, believing a race war was inevitable.
Last year Knight returned to live in Cape Town and fears almost as much for the South Africa he now witnesses first hand. A country he believes is under the jackboot of a corrupt dictator who uses democracy to forward his own sociopathic ends.
The nation can once again avoid a seemingly inevitable fate, says Knight, but first Jacob Zuma has to go. The sooner the better. – Alec Hogg
By Tim Knight

It’s been two-and-a-half years since Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela died. And every month that goes by moves South Africa further away from the democratic dream for which he lived.

The dream isn’t quite over yet. But you can sense, feel, smell, ominous signals that Madiba’s beloved country is turning into yet another African plutocratic kleptocracy, ruled by yet another noxious Big Man.

President Jacob Zuma, the wily, self-educated Struggle veteran, seems to believe South Africa is his personal fiefdom — its rapidly dwindling wealth at his personal disposal, to spend as he wishes.

L’état, c’est moi.

Zuma’s grasp of democracy extends no further than winning relatively clean general elections, firmly guaranteed under the nation’s admirably iron-clad Constitution.

Once the election formality is out of the way, however, he spends his time and energy trying to subvert that same Constitution to the huge advantage of himself and the ANC party he leads.

In his spare time he jets around the world attending lavish conferences, inspecting guards of honour, and cozying with such democratic luminaries as Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir, wanted by the International Criminal Court for genocide and war crimes in Darfur.

His new BFF is Russia’s Vladimir Putin, who’s trying to sell him obscenely expensive nuclear power plants.

Critics say Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma is a devious, manipulative politician who steals from the poor to give to himself, his family, and his cronies. A despot who takes every possible advantage of the naive, trusting, democratic side of savage capitalism.

He surrounds himself with corrupt, sycophantic incompetents who exist for no other reason than to serve and protect him. These coarse and fawning courtiers live for his smiles, dread his frowns, and — in exchange for their honour, their dignity and their very souls — live spectacularly comfortably off the leftovers from his ample table.

Zuma ranks high up there in the lengthy, ignoble pantheon of Africa’s notoriously corrupt and autocratic Big Men.

You want evidence? Check the Internet and find some 4,000 references under the heading “Charges Against Jacob Zuma.” Among them, corruption, bribery, racketeering, fraud, money-laundering and rape.

So far, protected by his high office and using every possible political and legal loophole, he’s managed to stay safely and comfortably in his lavish state residences — and out of jail.
A sick symbol of the corruption rotting away at the presidency, the ANC government and the South African public service is Nkandla, Zuma’s private home in KwaZulu-Natal.

It started out relatively modestly as Zuma’s own personal house. Then, after his election as president, someone in government decided it needed “security upgrades” appropriate to his position.

The estimate then was that South Africans would have to pay around R27m for the upgrades. Since then the house has morphed into a compound and costs have soared to R248m.

That’s an astounding 914% increase in only six years.

But wait, there’s more. The government says additional millions of public money are still needed to fix Nkandla’s shoddy workmanship and increase security

And Zuma’s comfort.

Read also: It’s official – Zuma the highest paid, worst value-for-money President in the world

South Africa’s Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, is hugely respected as a rare example of public service integrity. She’s ruled that Zuma “unduly benefitted” from improvements to his house. He should therefore pay back at least some of the money.

The leader of the opposition Democratic Alliance party, Mmusi Maimane, sums it up:

“The only plausible assumption is that President Zuma misused the power of his office to expand the scope of the project for his personal benefit.”

Zuma himself has simply refused to pay for any of the “security upgrades” to his private home. Not the underground bunker. Not the air conditioning. Not the cattle kraal. Not the chicken run.

And certainly not the swimming pool which flunkies claim is actually a “fire pool” — sitting there ready to provide water if the presidential mansion should catch fire.

All these problems may not be entirely Zuma’s fault, however.

He has an excellent excuse.

It’s just possible that Jacob Zuma could be a sociopath.

Definitions of sociopathy fit remarkably well with his behaviour.

Sociopaths are variously described as intelligent and charming. But also as manipulative, cunning, narcissistic, grandiose, antisocial, habitual liars, amoral and lacking any sense of moral responsibility, social conscience or remorse.

I’m a mere journalist and no psychiatrist. But in the course of my long journalistic career I’ve met lots of Big Men, including seven presidents and three prime ministers.

So I know something about people and power, and how people are seduced and how power corrupts.

Consider, if you will, Zuma’s recent speech to the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal:

“… And I argued one time with somebody who said that the country comes first, and I said as much as I understand that, I think my organisation, the ANC, comes first.”

Then there was his speech last year glorifying his wholly-owned ANC party as a religion:

“God expects us to rule this country because we are the only organisation which was blessed by pastors when it was formed. It is even blessed in Heaven. That is why we will rule until Jesus comes back.

“Those that stand in opposition to me or my party are evil and must be opposed; for they stand not only in opposition to us but in opposition to

God, who has appointed and blessed us as his representatives here on earth.

“Thus, my party will remain in power forever and it will not subscribe to the will of mortal men, because it rules by divine right and, therefore, until the end of time and at God’s grace.

“Nevertheless, those who would oppose me or my party cannot be allowed to govern, irrespective of the broader democratic will, and we must stand together to prevent this from happening.”

If it quacks like a duck …

Some famous people labelled as sociopaths (some were certainly psychopaths) include Steve Jobs, Robert Mugabe, Mark Zuckerberg, Sepp Blatter, Idi Amin, François Duvalier, Bernie Madoff, Teddy Roosevelt and Vladimir Putin.

Then there’s Henry Vlll, Sherlock Holmes, Othello and at least one of my bosses over the years.

The saddest thing about South Africa today is that there’s a growing resemblance between today’s ruling once-noble ANC and its predecessor, the National Party which invented apartheid to perpetuate white supremacy and make people of colour third-class citizens.

Today, the same words are frequently used to describe both — undemocratic, totalitarian, tribal, corrupt, crony-ridden, immoral, incompetent, coercive etc. etc. etc.

This nation, once ruled by the fascist, racist, secret society called the Broederbond, is being taken over by a remarkably similar secret society, the ANC.

The party dictates policy and action to both the bloated civil service — itself riddled with nepotism and falsified résumés — and members of the ANC majority in parliament, widely derided as “trained seals”.

Jobs for pals, many of whom are demonstrably incompetent, is so blatant that serving or working in the government has become a national sick joke. Much like the old jest about the scariest words you’ll ever hear: “We’re from the government … and we’re here to help.”

It’s got so bad that it’s now news when an ANC minister or department head isn’t scorned as corrupt, incompetent, and unworthy of high office.

There are however (thank whatever gods may be) exceptions to the rot. Up there with Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, stands Auditor-General, Kimi Makwetu.

His audits of national and provincial governments (as well as other public bodies) are widely respected. So when his latest report reveals more than half of the departments he examined submit annual performance results with “material misstatements” he’s believed.

The worst government offenders, Makwetu charges, are the departments in charge of the most essential public services — health, education, human settlements and public works. All have “largely failed the audit test”.

Which likely means that ever more billions of rand — supposed to support hospitals, clinics and schools, clean up the country’s appalling slums, and keep water running, lights burning and roads unpotholed — simply disappears into the pockets of the powerful and corrupt.
And yet, even with all these problems, South Africa still isn’t Zimbabwe, Pakistan or Afghanistan.

That’s mostly because of the country’s 1997 Constitution — the supreme law of the land — which is widely regarded as one of the strongest and most democratic in all the world. Written into it are robust barriers against abuse of power by politicians.

It can only be amended with the support of 75% of the members of the National Assembly. Fortunately though, Zuma’s ANC boasts just 60% percent of MPs. And most pollsters report support for the party is slipping.

At the same time, parliamentary opposition is loud and lively.

Noisiest is the new, semi-Marxist-Leninist, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), led by the charismatic, clownish but dangerously clever Julius Malema. The EFF won more than 6% of the votes in last year’s election. It appeals mostly to the more than 50% unemployed and angry youth in the country.

Much more mainstream is the official opposition Democratic Alliance, which won a little over 23% of the votes in that same election. It’s new leader, Mmusi Maimane, is only 35. He holds Masters degrees in theology and public administration, so presumably knows something about both God and and his fellow man.

Maimane’s got guts. Consider his brutal attack on Zuma in the National Assembly earlier this year:

“You, Honourable President, are not an honourable man. You are a broken man, presiding over a broken society … You laughed while trampling Madiba’s legacy – in the very week that we celebrated 25 years since his release … We will never forgive you for what you have done.”

The South Africa I left fifty-four years ago was a country without hope, surely destined to destroy itself in savage race war.

Today, it’s battered, bruised, angry, and rapidly losing confidence in itself.

But it’s the same South Africa that, because of its people’s resilience, patience, determination and willpower — with almost no bloodshed —  eventually defeated the evil that was apartheid.

I’m convinced that the people of South Africa will eventually win this battle too.

But first, Jacob Zuma has to go.

So Madiba can rest in peace.

*Tim Knight is author of Storytelling and the Anima Factor now in its second edition at Amazon and In the late 1950s, hw was a very young reporter on the Johannesburg Sunday Express. He was the only white journalist to get through police and army lines to report on the funeral of sixty-nine unarmed demonstrators massacred by police at Sharpeville. His story — and others about the evil that was apartheid, including virtual slavery on potato farms – eventually made it necessary for him to leave South Africa. He moved to the Congo (two wars in three years) and the United States where he worked for ABC, NBC and PBS and won broadcasting’s highest honour, the Emmy. From there to Canada. For ten years he was lead trainer for all the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s TV journalists. Last year, he returned to South Africa and now lives and writes in Cape Town. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Blinded By Loyalty

Someone holds you in high regard. Are they right to feel such admiration? Someone else, it seems, looks upon you disapprovingly. Is their opinion ill-informed? While we are assessing the relative merits of other people's ideas, we might also pause to assess the validity of some of your own preferences and prejudices. Are you sure that you are supporting the right team and that those with whom you are finding fault, deserve all that criticism? Be led by loyalty by all means but don't be blinded by it.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Do You Believe In Angels?

My spiritual path began in the late 2000’s. It was however around 2006, when I realised that we are constantly graced with meaningful signs, not mere coincidences, through our relationships, nature, numbers, events, basically all things this world is made up of.  
Heavenly angels, often referred to as guardian angels, are mentioned numerous times in the Scriptures. Therein we learn that angels are spiritual beings created by God to serve him, and sent by God to watch over the human race, to deliver his message, to guard and protect us from danger, to do battle with other spiritual beings on our behalf.
Since the beginning of time, angels have delivered God's messages to mankind. Sometimes the messages are warnings of impending danger, sometimes instructions as to what to do in a particular situation, sometimes they are simply "there" as protection from enemy forces. Sometimes they bring joyful announcements as in the day they announced the birth of Jesus. Please do not get me wrong here. I am not here to preach Religion to anyone. I believe each and every one of us has a choice as to what we believe in. I am merely writing here about my own Spiritual journey for those who might be interested in it.
My awareness of these mysterious forces that guide, validate, and help us live our lives has increased phenomenally over time. The more I became aware that there are Angels, Archangels, Guardian Angels, Spirit Guides and Ascended Masters who guide us every day, the more I asked for signs and help from the Universe, the more I started noticing synchronicities. I will never forget the day I asked for a sign and that day I happened to open up my diary to make notes and there, in the centre of the page was a feather!! I had never taken my diary outside. It was a permanent fixture on my office desk! That was the first really awesome experience I had. Over time I had many unexplainable situations happen. Another occasion I opened up my purse to tip the car guard who had been watching my car, and there, once again a feather flew out of my purse! On another occasion I had just woken up in the morning and went to the kitchen to put the kettle on, and there on top of the kettle there was a feather! How it got there I do not know as my kitchen window is always closed at night. Synchronicity is a strange but beautiful thing. Oh and by the way, I do NOT believe in coincidence!!!
I eventually took up meditation and yoga practice as I had heard that if your energies are all blocked up, you will not notice your angels as much. Also, if you want to hear guidance from your Angels you have to be able to silence your mind. If your mind is racing with all kinds of thoughts, worries and if your body, mind and soul is filled with stress and anxiety, well, you will not hear your angels either. You will also not notice the signs around you. You have to be in complete vibration with the Universe to really connect. As long as you feel good about yourself and you are happy, and things make you feel good, it's important to stay in a good vibration. Over the last three years I have made meditation a priority in my life and I alternate my yoga with my fitness workouts. I have now gotten to the point where I am able to receive guidance from my Angels, when I ask them. It takes a while for me to hear them but how I know I am going to get an answer is if I am sitting really quiet and empty my mind of all thoughts, I will get this high pitched ringing in my ears and then I will hear them. The Angels will also get a message through to you with songs. If you hear a song over and over again. They are trying to get your attention. Or perhaps you are thinking and pondering over something in your life and you are not sure what to do and then while you are watching some or other Television program or story, someone will say something and it will be like the answer you were looking for. It’s when these things happen that you have to really start taking notice.
Another way they try and get your attention is by numbers. I think, at first, the numbers are simply a way of getting your attention. I never used to pay attention to them until I started seeing patterns repeatedly. That made me start to wonder if it was intentional and it was after that, that the meanings behind the numbers began to resonate with me.
Now when I see a number combination or pattern, I do an internal check to see if it feels as though it was a communication and if it was, I make note in my journal and look it up at the end of the day. It almost always is relevant to however I was feeling that day or relevant to the question I needed an answer to. I think the best is to go with your instinct. If you think they mean something, then they mean something. If you think they are related to one of your desires, then they are related.
I see angel numbers on license plates around's been a week that I've been seeing numbers every day as well as having numbers brought to me in my dreams!
The numbers I see are: 111, 222, 333, 444, 555 and combinations of 1s, 2s, 3s, 4s and 5s. 8s and 9s; and 0s.
I've checked some sites and they say that 8s and 9s point to endings...also read 8s symbolise karma and how the "fruits are ripe" and it's time to reap the rewards for your hard work.
I check the number meanings on and or I just google angel number ??? (and then whatever the number is). As an example, here is what I got for a number I saw repeatedly. The number was 2011. Angel Number 2011 suggests that the new opportunities or directions you take that will lead you towards new and exciting situations and circumstances will enhance your life and that of others. Trust that your angels are by your side and are guiding your every step, encouraging you to remain calm, balanced and happy. Trust that all will work out for your highest good.

I believe there are angels among us! Sometimes we see them and do not even realise it! At other times, we sense their presence. We just know they are there helping us, guiding us, watching over us. Then there are times when we think we desperately need them and they seem to be somewhere else! I felt like that one day. I had just hung the washing up on the wash line outside and sat down on a garden chair. The wind was quite strong that day. I remember I was thinking that it feels like the Angels are not with me anymore. Next thing the wind just died. Like someone had flicked a switch to turn it off. Everything went so quiet. I then looked at the ground and could not believe my eyes. There was a shadow that looked exactly like an Angel! I took a photo. See below. If you cannot see it, look to the most upper shadow to the right. It looks like an Angel with his wings behind him. To me it was like an Angel standing right next to me and his shadow was reflected on the ground. How much more validation could I have asked for?