…a tiny piece of my soul’s mind …

world

And so i thought i’d finally relent to those asking for a peek into the collection.  This piece was written around 15 years ago, but it’s still one of my faves!

So, here we go…a tiiiiiiny piece of my soul’s mind…

 

265.  World…

 

World – illusion of Great Grandeur

Hostess to minds of utmost opulence

World, a platform, herself ailing

Distress of deepest quandary

Scuffles, shifts, complacence … even the stoic

Hostess…her guests in warmth smothered

…slowly…shedding…themselves of goodness left to salvage

Scarce to lay claim to deeds done by self

Ignorance, a playground of the guilty

Innocent, meanwhile strive to endure

Life itself – an endurance

One single…solitary…strand of hope…

…just one…

…one…

 

World is safe unto herself and

Her sons of prodigious perfection…

Her children of prodigal proportion…

Her lifetime spent to protect the very reality

Threatening the sustenance of her offspring

Challenging every whim of pure confusion

World – illusion of Great Grandeur

Hostess to minds of utmost opulence

 

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The Man to whom I owe most of my mind…

Rawoot siblings

I grew up in a way that seemed pretty average, and for a long, long, long time, I thought it was average, too.

But as I get older, I realise with increasing certainty, that my childhood was actually rather spectacular. And not in the way one might assume, with materialistic spoils, but rather with those aspects of youth and maturity that make more sense as time marches by….

My Dad passed away on the 02nd March 2005, almost 11 YEARS ago, and I still remember every single moment of that day and the days immediately following it – the days that would define the rest of my life and force me to find a strength even I didn’t know I possessed. As the days, months and years pass by, I miss him more and more each day, with more and more I wish I could say…but as time dances on, I am more and more grateful each day as I realise the impact his life has had on mine – and always will…

My Dad was VERY strict, but also one of those really funny people, someone who could find something hilarious in almost any situation, but at the same time, he was also the go-to person for so many people who would constantly hog our landline (before mobile phones became the norm, that is), and seek advice and perspective from him – and then there was the philosophical side, that would make itself heard at the oddest of times! I miss those fragments of eternal wisdom so, so much! And I know I’m not the only one…

I’ve learnt so many little truths and mammoth life concepts from conversations with My Dad, the kind of conversation we don’t often hear between fathers and children today – and in hindsight, I have come to understand him as quite progressive in terms of thought processes, while still holding true to the fundamental goodness of what it means to contribute to humanity.

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He would say things like “Don’t get caught up in gossip. Not even if it’s about you, because the people who know you, will know you well enough to know what’s true, and those who don’t know you, why do you care what they think? As long as you can answer for your own words and actions when you face your Creator, you don’t need to justify yourself to anyone, only yourself!”. That seemed like really dumb advice to give a 12-year old, but I value those words now, having come across so many absurd rumours – many involving me!

We once spent two hours discussing the concept of what our purpose is here, and he said that people were created to worship who they believe in, and to be of service to each other with clean hearts and no expectation of personal gain. And even though he was pretty happy being religious, we were taught to understand the differences between being religious – and being spiritual, remembering always that irrespective of what one calls their Creator, that He always needed to be prioritised as a God-conscious life left less space for arrogance, pride and attitudes of oppression. If I look at the all the global and political issues our planet and its inhabitants are currently fraught with, this very difference makes all the difference! Imagine if politicians and the world’s religious leaders took a spiritual, rather than religious approach? There would be practically NO discord, as each person would be more concerned about the value of soul-worth, rather than selfish advancement.

I learnt how to deal with difficult people, how to extend myself to those who have less than I do without any condescension, how to value the people in my life, but to be mindful of the fact that even my children have been given to me in trust and custody and don’t BELONG to me. I’ve learnt that people react to everything from their own frames of reference and that I should make my decisions by trying to look at a projection of what that decision could influence, instead of short-term gratification – a lesson I often think our youth today are oblivious to.

A man who was very proud to be Muslim, he felt it was exactly this that necessitated respecting everyone else’s religion and encouraged us to gain knowledge across many forums and subjects, saying we need to equip ourselves with knowledge, rather than blindly following those who seemed to be in the know.

Obviously we all have our own faults and my dad was not without his own quirks! He would often poke fun at us for doing silly things and then remind us about it days later, while still laughing as though it just happened! He had a tendency of sometimes wanting to help someone to an extent that it would often play on his mind for hours until he found a solution, sometimes making it impossible to get his attention on simple issues. I remember calling home from a Seychelles holiday on Christmas day, which was My Dad’s birthday, only to have him say: Why are you wasting your money on calling me? Everyone’s here, say hello to your mom and I’ll tell everyone else you’re on the phone, too!

His birthday was always funny, because we’re Muslim, but always had a celebration on Christmas day, and he loved the attention! I remember wishing him, only to have him say “It’s my cousin’s birthday also. Did you wish him?”. We would then answer that we didn’t. Then he would reminisce fondly about some story or other with this cousin who shared his birthday with him, and then only acknowledge the wish!

Through all the philosophies, and life teachings, My Dad was also really funny! There was no way anyone could be left wondering whether he was there or not. His presence was strong – and loud, with a deep, BOOMING voice! A really robust, boisterous and fun-loving person to be around! My cousins often still comment how they miss him at family weddings and other gatherings, missing his jokes, and having him sing his favourite songs with other members of my family, making memories that will last many of us the entire duration of our lives. It was this seemingly opposing character traits of being relaxed and fun-loving and simultaneously philosophical and wise, that pretty much meant we shared my dad with the entire family, knowing he saw my cousins with the same emotion he bestowed on us.

Many of my family still comment on how they miss his smile and those hugs that could brighten up anyone’s day – or that stern voice that would suddenly change as they realised he was teasing them about something arb! He would find such immense child-like joy in the littlest of things, like model remote-controlled cars that he said he bought, while on vacation in Johannesburg, for my brother back home in Cape Town, only to be on the floor himself, watching in wonder as this little toy car was put through its paces, while my cousin looked on!

Waseem and Dad

My dad lived for his family and would’ve done pretty much anything for any of us, being rather possessive of all his nieces and nephews and letting them know at every opportunity that they were important to him. He would pinch their cheeks and inquire about school, their hobbies or whatever was important to them at the time, being able to relate to anyone of any age. He would often spontaneously suggest a picnic or a drive or anything really, just as an excuse to get the family together, and he would love every moment! Everyone in his life was valuable and cherished and he would often “just pop in quickly” when we were about to pass a relative’s home, only to leave an hour later, but he loved spending time with everyone and they were all left feeling just important as he felt they were!

I vividly remember many times, he would come back from somewhere, obviously having been listening to the radio in the car, only to come in and crank the stereo singing those golden oldies at the top of his lungs and the sad ones, with an added fake cry, and then screaming between the verses, “RAFI is the MASTER!!!!”, in reference to world-famous singer, Mohamed Rafi! I agree, Rafi is still one of my ABSOLUTE faves! My mother, a lot more conservative by nature, would often just shake her head in defeat!

I know if he was here now, he would be doting on my naughty sons, teaching them how to be even more mischievous and stealing them from us at every chance! And i know he would be immensely proud of my brother for just having graduated with his second qualification and i can just imagine how he would’ve passed out our business cards to all and sundry, likely offering them free treatments, probably to our dismay! It would’ve been so funny to see!

I miss all these things and so much more, but the best advice My dad left me with, is the need to seek balance with everything, and the idea that i need to be serious about my purpose in being alive, but still careful not to take myself too seriously!

I often hear My Dad’s words coming out of my mouth when i’m dealing with my own kids, and even more often, i hear his words coming from my younger son, who is SO much like his grandfather, even though they’ve never met!

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After all of that, one thing’s for sure –  Time and Emotion – are Rivals to the end! I MISS YOU MORE AND MORE EVERY DAY and look forward to the day we meet again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everything has its own Time

if-not-now-when-inspirational-mixed-media-folk-art-stanka-vukelic

I’ve been asked by many why there’s been such a delay since my last post, and it’s not because I have nothing to say (that’s pretty much never the case!), but because I was involved in a vehicular accident shortly after my last post. That Friday afternoon left me rather sore (although not badly injured, Thankfully!) – and not mobile since I did a spectacular job of injuring the car! 

It has been many months of waiting, which means many months of creating many drafts to be posted soon, so brace yourselves!  I am finally back on track, which hopefully means I can resume my Yo Yoga Hot Yoga classes and resume posting those updates too…

This is just a catch-post, in an attempt to shed some light on my recent prolonged absence, which seems to have come to an end with the first of many posts to follow…

Until then…

🙂 Always

My Yo Yoga Resolution Revolution – 28th April 2015

blog food picsBook clubs and Hot Yoga classes…

It’s a Tuesday, almost at the end of a very busy (albeit public-holiday-riddled) April and my last class was almost 10 days ago, and while I said being fanatical about anything isn’t really my style, I was actually intending to attend more than like 4 classes this month!

Annnyway, such is life, and so I find myself preparing to navigate through peak afternoon traffic into Claremont for the 4:30pm class! I get there in time and find that I will be experiencing instructor Karen Venter’s Yo Bikram class for the first time.

Truth be told : I struggled (again) ! Karen had an accent of some kind, which made sure that I would listen even more intently and I got the sense that she knew exactly what she was doing, which meant that my class was in good hands! I appreciated that she described the postures in detail, explaining exactly what sort of discomfort each posture was likely to cause, as well as what the internal effects of each posture was, but I found that it gave me a false indication in terms of the timing of each posture as she would be describing the posture in detail and I would be counting down the seconds of each posture, it always seemed to be about 5-10 seconds longer – and my brain wasn’t quite prepared for that!

She seemed like an amazing person, with a sense of radiance as she guided us expertly through each moment of the session.  She somehow seemed like one of those people who could share the tale of a life experience and totally enrapture her audience, without needing to articulate her story with larger than life gestures!

I realised today, that the nausea and disorientation I usually felt towards the end of the class, was due to the fact that there were like mini Savasanas after practically every posture after the VERY long initial warm up and the swift reclining and needing to abruptly find my way to an upright position, frankly made me feel rather uptight, so I’m going to try to avoid those beautiful Savasanas and bite through the exertion until the end of the class – hopefully this will feel better!

So my first month of resuming my classes comes to an end, and I haven’t lost a millimeter, not surprising since I barely averaged one class per week this month, but I definitely feel a difference in the consciousness of my breathing, and in the quality of my sleep, and being a semi-insomniac, my usual bed-time is somewhere between 2 and 3:30am, so I seriously appreciate the better quality of rest, even though it seems to be stealing a few hours of my day, since I’m falling asleep much earlier, even on the days I don’t attend a class!  The pic at the top, btw, is just an idea of what I consume as I’ve had many questions about that, and please don’t judge.. I’m not a health fanatic, clearly evident by my choices in the pics, and in any case, this blog was meant to be a reflection of my experiences, although I think I am also pretty reflective of the everyday, average Jane! I mean, seriously … who resists the sweet stuff ALL the time?! Moderation is key, I heard! 🙂

But I’m hoping to do more than 4 classes for May! Fingers crossed!

My Yo Yoga Resolution Evolutions – 19 April 2015

when-things-get-too-hot-to-handle

Too Hot To Handle!

In what lifetime is it a Sunday morning and I’m awake and getting ready for a Yoga class?!  This lifetime, of course!

Thanks to being without a car this week, a Sunday is all I have and in the interest of maintaining at least a class a week, a Sunday will have to do!  I arrive and ready myself to enter the studio, only to find it filled to capacity!  I think at that point, disappointment and anger were both fighting for my attention and I tried my best not to scream out of sheer frustration, having gotten myself there for a class that wasn’t going to happen for me! But then there was some shuffling and repositioning, courtesy of the instructor and just like that, 3 spots became available, one of which I claimed!

10 minutes into the class, though, I wondered what possessed me to go back to see if there was indeed space after the reshuffling, because suddenly it felt like I should’ve headed home after i thought the class was full!

I don’t know if it was the confusion, the rush or the heat, but for some reason, I couldn’t breathe! I spent the better part of the next half hour alternating between lying and sitting still, feeling suffocated, claustrophobic and slightly ill!

Zoey was the instructor and she did a marvelous job of making me feel like I wasn’t wasting my class…and she was right in a way, because towards the second half of the class, I was back in sync…although I am now certain that i lack some serious strength in my arms!

I’ve also realised that I have half a million tiny little pimples after every class, even though i drink LOTS of water! I feel like I might be allergic to my own perspiration, (crazy, I know!), but i keep telling myself that it’s the classes that are detoxing me! Time will tell, I guess…

For now, though, with the distinct feeling that I could have done much better in my class today, I look forward to the next one and hope to be fully present – from start to end!  I HATE not having control over my mind and irritation … it totally messes me up!

My Yo Yoga Resolution Evolutions – 8th April 2015

Maroon 5

1 Step Forward…2 Poses back…

Following the completion of my first class, without forcing me to take any break from the class due to fatigue, i was ready to attend the 2nd – and went in gung ho, readied myself for a hot class, and waited a few precious moments for the instructor, the lovely Maike, to commence the class…

So the breathing exercises were good, and i could instantly feel my mind being coerced to shut out every distracting thought – and preparing myself, instead, for a fruitful class…

And then it happened.

I was immobile.  An old injury, a pelvic fracture to be exact, from literally 27 years ago, decided to make a stubborn appearance shortly after the initial breathing exercises – and made its presence known and felt for a long time thereafter. i ended up in a Shavasana (Corpse pose) for the better part of the hour, completely unable to join the rest of the class… 

What made this even worse, is that this was my first class with Maike, and i was so looking forward to her approach to leading a class.  She has this warmth about her – and a slight giggle is audible in her voice, evidence of her tendency to speak with a smile on her dial – such a pleasant disposition as a guiding backdrop to a session, can only be a positive thing! 

She noticed my discomfort and came over to check on me…but once i explained it’s an old injury, she immediately suggested listening to my body’s limits for THAT day, taking the time i needed to recover and to just “let it go”.  That was the moment i did.  I just let it go. Sadly, but deliberately.  Hate the feeling of letting myself down, but i also know better than to push past my own limitations.  What i appreciated, was that she made a point to acknowledge that it was temporary, and that the next class could be the polar opposite!  Hope, my favourite emotion, jumped straight into action! i eventually rejoined the class for the last 15 minutes or so… but i’m looking forward to my next class! 

As i listened to the rest of the class diligently following their instructions, all i could do, was shut my eyes and listen to Maroon 5’s “She will be loved”, as the one line from there played on repeat in my head…

so for now…

“…It’s not always rainbows and butterflies, it’s compromise that moves us along… ” 

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******   For Information about Yo Yoga, please contact them at http://www.yoyoga.com and on :  +27 21 671 0888  *******

My Yo Yoga Resolution Evolutions – 04th April 2015


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THE FIRST STEP TAKEN…

I attended my first Yo Yoga class in months, on Saturday morning with Zo as the instructor.

I was starting to think that I shouldn’t pursue this, since i wasted two mornings last week after intending to attend, with a phone-call delaying me with one class, and on the 2nd morning, arriving at the studio just after the class started – but Saturday morning, it seems, was destined to be the start of the resumption of classes, so weight and measurements recorded, off i went!

I expected it to be really hard, having to adjust to the heat and humidity, the difficulty of the poses with my current lack of fitness – and the reality of sharing a confined space with others – many of whom welcome the concept of loud exhalations of air – disastrous for my germaphobic psyche!

But luck was on my side, the class wasn’t as populated as i remember, most likely since the holidays inspire laziness in every form (something i am VERY guilty of!) , so i found a comfy spot (my 2nd favourite spot in the studio), and got ready.  I rolled out my yoga mat, covered it with a towel, tied up my hair, took off my jewellery, and decided to lie still for a moment or two before the class commenced to get my mind into a quiet space.  Instead, i ended up with “Eye of the Tiger” playing as background music to my never-ending stream of thoughts! 

This was my first class with Zo, and i found her to be ultra calm and she managed to convey a quiet sense of authority – without being over-bearing and pushy! 

We started with the breathing exercises, slow and rhythmic breaths with those loud exhalations i mentioned earlier, and i suddenly realised how weak my arm muscles are! These initial breathing exercises help me remember to BREATHE – as in properly.  So many of us tend to take shallow breaths, but the start of this class is going to remind me to consciously take those deep breaths throughout the day., not only during the chaotic parts of my days, but especially during those moments!   We then went on through all the other poses without a rush – in fact, at one point, i was worried we wouldn’t finish within the hour, but Zo seemed to know what she was doing as we finished on time! 

I managed to survive my first class, with not too much difficulty – hoping the post-class-unfitness-cramps aren’t going to be too bad, and hoping to catch my next class within the next few days! 

For now, i’m just proud of myself for not having to leave the room due to the heat or for needing to lie down through most of the session from exhaustion and an extreme lack of fitness!  

I have had some requests for posts of what i eat between classes, and while i do see the point of it being a more accurate description of what my classes accomplish, i must admit that i am a bit hesitant – i eat A LOT! Like A LOT!  But who knows, maybe with the next post i’ll feel braver and you’ll see some pics of typical meals and snacks i relish! 

Note to self: consider strengthening upper arm muscles and try to concentrate less on the music and more on the breathing!