Category Archives: Life is a journey

I was a bully!

No, I did not mistype that heading.
The topic of bullies is an ongoing concern in today’s society.

One of my friend’s social media threads recently read as such:

“This is the reason why teenagers commit suicide.”

While there would always be other factors, such as mental health concerns, being bullied is certainly a contributing factor to teenage suicide.

It is freighting horrible how children treat other children. I’d like to add ‘these days’, to that sentence, but I can’t. Minors have bullied and been horrible to other minors for centuries. Knowing someone who recently tried to end it, partly because of being bullied has me paying attention to this behavior.

Quite frankly, it’s not just children. Adults can be mean and horrible too. We usually go about it differently. We don’t call it being bullied. We call it being targeted. Nepotism. Favoritism. Slander. Internet trolling. You get the picture.

It’s a cruel, hard, world. At some point, we need to learn to navigate the shark infested waters we share with both sharks and starfish. Navigation lessons, start very early in life. You can choose to be a shark.

shark infested waters blue

Early on, other children mistreated me. They’d tell me I can’t play with them. They’d say I’m too weird. Seven-year-old I was left to play alone, while the other kids laughed at me. While here it was uncommon for children to form gangs and beat other children up, words can do much damage.

This behavior went on all through until my seventh school year, when we had to go to the next level. My brother convinced me that if I would ever like to fall into the ‘in’ crowd, I should stop being friends with one of the two friends I did have. For the sake of narrative, let’s call her Angela. It all seems like childish nonsense now.

You may ask, why in the eyes of my older sibling was I to unfriend her?

She was a nerd. A bookworm. Even weirder than myself. I’d like to tell you that I told my brother he was an idiot. However, I heeded his counsel. After all in my eyes, he had friends, was cool, and was a rock star. And, he was already attending this new school and knew how to be cool there.

I’d like to tell you, it was the last time I was unkind all in the name of, fitting in.

At first, my plan worked. There were some kids from other schools there too. I’d made friends with one of them.  Let’s call her Betty. Betty was pretty. Betty was cool. Betty soon found herself in a situation with a younger girl, let’s call her Camila who transferred there from out of the country. Betty could not stand Camila, who followed her around everywhere.  A plan was hatched and I was to break the poor girl’s, heart.

Why I had to get involved in this situation at all .?!  Well, I guess some things you learn only from making mistakes.

Camila ended up crying.

“Why are you always so mean to each other,” one of my teachers asked. I felt terrible, but by the time I realized the effect of my actions, it was too late.

Camila ended up flunking the year and was put in a class with children her own age. This once sweet and bubbly girl started dressing and acting like a slut. All in the name of fitting in. I later heard she had become mean and cruel. While you can’t blame yourself for other people’s actions, much of me thought that this was my fault.

If this was the price of having friends, I’d rather have none. A sequence of other events eventually leads to that outcome. By that time I no longer cared. 17-year old I, was pretty happy to sit out the school break on my own.

Now you may ask, why at this point I did not decide to befriend Angela again. Several years had passed and Angela had always remained nice, to me. However, I would have felt like a hypocrite.

I’d like to say my actions had no effect on Angela’s life. 17-year-old Angela, however, fell pregnant. The child’s father was a 34-year-old man. Angela had to drop out of school because pregnant girls got expelled. Since all her marks were exemplary, she was allowed to keep all her subjects, dropped to a lower standard and still write her exam. She would not make it into University, however, she would be able to complete her high-school education.

It may seem like a stretch, to say that the horrible manner in which I treated Angela at age 12, would still have an effect on her life today. However, Angela may have made better choices had I been nicer to her. She is such an intelligent person. She could have been a doctor, saving people’s lives – for all I know – had things not turned out the way they did.

It is strange. All these years later, of all the people who were mean to me, I remember very little. I, however, remember very clearly the two people whom I was cruel.

Many of our choices are formed by past experiences. Especially in the formative years, we seek validation from our peers. Even as adults, we seek validation in all the wrong places.
If I could give my thirteen-year-old self some advice I’d tell her to stop trying to impress all these other people. In the end, it matters not how many friends you had, but to how many you were a friend.

What would you tell your thirteen year old self? Did you have an experience being bullied?

p.s. This post has been the eighth day of ‘it does not need to be perfect’, a series I’m currently running on this here blog.

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

Find her here:

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Learn to be more #mindful with a free online tool – #Instagram

Have you checked me out on Instagram? Not? I’ve been finding this Social Media platform most useful. Although I must confess, when I first joined I did so solely that I can ‘online stalk’ someone there too.

I mean that (online stalking) in the most positive light of those two words. Cause let’s face it; some online personalities literally ask you to follow them everywhere. Most of these people, who are obsessed with the collection of followers, usually label themselves: blogger, writer, social-media-butterfly or all of the ‘above’. You get the type?

Any-hoe, I decided why ever not? After all,  Instagram was the perfect platform for my new endeavor, which was to post one motivational picture per day. Alas, it was yet another New Years resolution I could not keep. Here we are a year and some months later and I’ve been getting back on Instagram. You could say I’ve newly discovered my cellphone camera. The truth is a bit deeper than that.

A post shared by Sarina (@shiningseeds) on

Inspiration is all around us. Instagram is a free, fast and easy tool to share that inspiration with the world. In a mission to have something to share on that platform, I’ve become more mindful of my surroundings. It is often the small things in life that we overlook.

As I sip my morning cuppa, I'm reminded to enjoy the small things in life. #mindfulness #coffee

A post shared by Sarina (@shiningseeds) on

Sometimes the inspiration does not come in a neatly wrapped photogenic scene. Sometimes a little editing or creation of a picture is required.

One crisp morning the very first words I heard as I switched on my car radio were these: “What are you waiting for?”

It is quite amazing what happens when we merely pay attention to our present tense moment. Yes, mindfulness.

The little angel figurine which hangs on my bedroom mirror ‘prompted’ me to share something, after I’d not done so for a few days. A newly discovered photo-editing app and a recently watched You Tube video lead to this snippet:

Perhaps this post is a change of perspective, you were not expecting.

Life is a journey.

A post shared by Sarina (@shiningseeds) on

No, it’s not all selfies up in there. As I said on a recent post, it is all about how you use a platform. In an attempt to look for the beauty in the mundane, some of my friends post stunning landscape, city-scape and nature pictures.

So, what are you waiting for? Come check out @shiningseeds on Instagram and let your own surroundings inspire you.

*This post has been the seventh day of ‘it does not need to be perfect‘, a series currently running on this blog.

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

Find her here:


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10 Inspirational movie quotes to make your day

“I see dead people”, whispered the little boy, in the movie ‘Sixth Sense’ to the shrink played by Bruce Willace. If you were watching this for the first time, you are practically on the edge of your seat. Popcorn is flying in your mouth. Perhaps you have the unhealthy habit of chewing your nails, as the scene changes.

Stories have a real impact on how and what we think. They become part of us. They teach us. They inspire us. I’ve said this before, inspiration is like food for the brain.

Hence, in no particular order, here are 10 inspirational quotes from the big screen.

1. Titanic (1997)

“I’m the King of the World”

Screamed Jack Dawson, played by Leonardo Di Caprio as he leaned on the tip of the Boat. Somehow, this dirt-poor artist had made it onto the most luxurious ocean liner of the time. It is a declaration of triumph. The line has been quoted so many times, it has become a cliché. It’s the line to use when we overcome our struggles.

2. The Terminator (1984)

“I’ll be back”

Oh yes, baby! This is way motivational. It is the ultimate line to use when something has gone wrong and you need to pick yourself up and try again. This was originally spoken by Arnold Schwarzenegger in his role as the Terminator.

3.  Gladiator (2000)

“My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.”

All the times I’ve seen this movie, this particular line gives me goosebumps. In the scene, Maximus is forced to pull off his mask and reveal his identity. He claims his truth and declares his purpose.

To conquer this thing called life we must journey to find out who we really are. It is only then when we find our truth and calling. This is the line, which speaks to us to become masters of our Destiny. It is beyond inspirational.

4.  Finding Nemo (2003)

“When life gets you down, you know what you gotta do? Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming”

Sometimes, we need to remember to just move on, to just keep it together for the next few seconds and the next few seconds after that and so on. Take it step by step. Moment by moment.

5.  Dead Poets Society (1989)

“Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.”

Robin Williams starred in this 1989 movie about an English teacher in an all boys school. The above quote is not only a good summary of the movie but one of the most inspirational lines in moving picture history.

6.  Lord of the Rings, Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

“Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.”

Lord of the Rings is one of those movies, which are played repeatedly on TV. The above line comes from a scene with the Elf Queen Galadriel and Frodo. Moments before she said:

“This task was appointed to you, and if you do not find a way, no one will.”

Talk about epic, inspirational movie moments. Not only does this tell us that even everyday people, ordinary people can change the world, but also that there are certain things that only you as a person can achieve. Only you can become the master of your destiny.

7.  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

This is one of Dumbledore’s savvy insights. Who am I to argue with the great Wizard?

8.  Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983)

“Many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.”

Sometimes a shift in perspective can shed much light on a situation. Things may not seem as dark and gloomy from a different angle. A solution may just be around the corner. And like a butterfly which can not see it’s own wings, so some people can’t see how amazing they truly are.

9.  Lion King (1994)

“Oh yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it you can either run from it or learn from it.”

I vote you learn from it.

10.  The Matrix (1999)

“There is no spoon”

 

I’ve saved the best for last. You may think what is so inspirational about this specific quote? In the movie, Neo (played by Keanu Reeves) is told the above quote by ‘the spoon boy’. It is fundamental in Neo’s realization that the ‘computer created reality’ is not the real reality. Anything is possible, and he starts creating his own reality.

In the same manner, ‘the real’ for you may be quite different from ‘the real’ for the Dali Lama for example. Much of what we perceive to be real has been shaped by society. The way we think about everyday things is governed by societies rules and expectations.

It’s a hard concept to explain. It’s something you need to get. While I’m on my way, I’m not there yet.

There you have it, I hope you enjoyed this list of movie quotes. What are your favorite movie lines?

*This post has been the sixth day of ‘it does not need to be perfect‘, a series currently running on this blog.

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

Find her here:


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What a bird thought me about opportunities

“Knock, Knock.”
“Who’s there?”
“Bishop.”
“Bishop who?”
“What do you mean, Bishop who? You seem to have a birdy loose up in here. To be more precise a Southern Red Bishop”

Lately, I’ve been getting a visitor. He’s been knocking on my window. How odd, I thought. A stunning bird that I’d not seen in these parts has been knocking on my window. The fellow seems to have built a few nests in my husband’s fruit tree. So I took out my husbands Roberts Bird Guide (that’s a book to identify birds of the area) and found that we have a Southern Red Bishop who has decided to make his home here.

It is somewhat odd because this specific bird’s natural habitat is marshy grassland and wetland. Since I live in an urban area, not close to any dams or marshy grasslands it’s quite odd that this fellow seems to have found a home here.

Then again, we are experiencing a terrible drought in the area. Watering plants have been made a felony, so to speak. Thus, we have been giving our trees water from the washing machine and shower (which is not a wrongdoing). We also have four pet birds, whose chirping attracts quite a lot of wild birds here, including my new ‘knock, knock’ friend. The leftover bird seed also serves to feed the wild ones.

It gives an entirely new meaning to the phrase, ‘when opportunity comes knocking’, doesn’t it? The little Bishop has had to adapt to new circumstances due to the drought.

It gives me pause to think. Can I identify new opportunities in my life?

His appearance certainly seems the right opportunity to write a blog post. I’ve also taken the opportunity and snapped a few pictures. You’ll need to excuse my poor photographing skills, the little fellow takes flight when I get too close. Armed with only my cell phone camera it has been hard to get a better shot. But, at least I got a relatively nice picture. Considering that the first rule of good photography is that you need to photograph with the light not against it, I’ve not been able to take any good pictures from within the house.

southern-red-bishop-on-wind
There you go. Sometimes the universe gives us the most subtitles of hints. The small reminders! The little things, we so often overlook. The wind whispers. Do you hear it speaking? This time it has asked me to not overlook the opportunities that come knocking, even if it are only the small ones – such as natures prompt to write a blog post.

What opportunities have been knocking on your window lately? Have you opened that window to let the opportunity in?

p.s. This post has been the fifth day of ‘it does not need to be perfect’, a series I’m currently running on this here blog.

 

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

Find her here:


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Why blog? The answer may surprise you

They say that life is a lesson, you’ll learn when you are through. Similarly, they say, life is a journey. Blogging can take you on a journey too. I’ve often been asked why I spend time doing something that earns me no money. Sometimes I ask myself that question. After all, by now, it seems like wishful thinking that I will ever earn an income from blogging.

How I started blogging:

It was the year 2013. The economy had started seriously slumping as too my emotions. Mother to a toddler, finances weren’t looking so fabulous. When do finances ever look fabulous?

When you raise a child, you really start noticing the cost of things. More than anything, I wished I could somehow supplement my income. At the time, getting another job was out of the question. Parenting will do that to you. Where will a new employer understand that your toddler is sick and you need to take her to the doctor, again? For a woman, I receive some good benefits and should not complain. I earn better than many other women I know. Then again, some more women I know also earn much more than me, but those are the ones who actually had the opportunity to go and study at a University outside the country.

Making money online, is all too easy – or is it?

Life is hard when you feel anxiety at the mere thought of going out and doing new things. Earning an extra income on the internet seemed like such an easy thing. After all, all those online adverts were telling me it is so, so easy making bucket loads of cash if I just sign up here or there.

Online surveys – yay or nay?

Even then, I was not that naive. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. Most likely online swindles! I was looking for something legitimate. At some point, I signed up with several websites for doing online surveys.
While this may be an ideal supplementary income if you live in the U.S. of A. or Europe, none of the offers was for my region. I was never what they were looking for. I soon found out that each and every survey I clicked on was not one I could get paid for doing. How frustrating!

Eventually, I signed up with another website. This website was a bit different from the others. Among other things, they advertised that if you put their button on your blog, they would pay you for that. The idea was born. Blog!

What is a Blog, anyway?

First I needed to figure out what a blog actually was. Yes, I was that green. I googled “what is a blog”. At that point my idea of a blog was some famous person such as an author or actor, telling their fans all about their life. After all, I was already following the ramblings of one or two of my favorite authors.

Who would ever be interested in reading my ramblings? Ordinary, not famous girl, living in Africa! What in the heck, would I even blog about? My life is not all that. So I researched ‘blogging’.

I read that a blog was similar to a website and that many websites I visited were actually blogs. The blogging professionals told me to find a niche. A topic I knew a lot about. At the time there were two main free blogging platforms. One was Blogger and the other was WordPress.

So, in February of 2014, I started a blog on Blogger. It was about Office Administration. At that point, I’d been working in the field of Office Administration for ten years. I thought I would have several things to say on the subject. Indeed, coming up with content was easy. However, I was not the only one blogging on that subject. Many established blogs already existed in the field of Office Admin. I soon started thinking; how can I be more interesting than all the rest?

A month later I also started a blog on WordPress. I mainly wanted to see the difference between these two platforms and promote my Blogger blog on WordPress and build better Social Media connections.

As they say, the rest is history. Both of the blogs I started have since been shut down.

woman-typing-blog

Blogging is a good teacher

While I’m yet to earn anything from blogging, I’ve found it to be a useful tool for personal growth. Apart from the obvious expansion of knowledge that looking up information brings, reading and writing blogs opens your eye’s to many a thing you’d before not taken notice of.  Experiences by other people can teach you many things while documenting your own is very illuminating. In a world where personal growth is a multi-million-dollar industry, this one free tool really does wonders. Of cause it all depends on how you use the platform, and like anything in life what you make of it is up to you.

You learn the strangest things about yourself and the world you live in. In my opinion, this is priceless.

I’ve learned that I don’t really like Google’s ‘AdSense’ nor the WordPress counterpart, ‘WordAds’. While there are other alternatives, none of the ones I’ve discovered work for my country (typical).

The problem I have with these programs is that you have little control over what kind of ads are placed on your blog. I’ve come across ads for fake news websites, fake celebrity gossip, diet scams and other websites with dubious intentions. Rest assured that if you see an add on this blog, it is because I’ve not upgraded it to a premier account. In case you have not read my disclaimer, in no way do I endorse any of these ads.

In trying to figure out how others monetize their blog,  these days I approach new websites differently. I evaluate a site by what it seems to be trying to sell me. I also find that I’m doing the same with new people I meet online and offline. Trying to figure out if someone has a hidden agenda was never something I used to consider. In this way, blogging has made me a little less naive, which in my opinion is a good thing. Don’t get me wrong, people still tell me that I’m very gullible – since I try to see the best in everyone, but still … a little less green.

I’ve learned that there are some posts, that, even if you paid me, I’d never publish them. For example, I can’t endorse a money lending business on my own blog. I hate debt. While I do find that it is necessary sometimes, we often loan money for unnecessary things.

I’ve found websites and social media platforms, which I’d never have used and visited on my regular surfing trails. I’ve learned that especially on social  media platforms we ought to not forget our manners (even though many do). You can’t really erase anything you have published online.

I’ve learned that while I may be good at Office Administration, writing about it on a regular basis is not mentally stimulating enough. On the other hand, I’ve found that writing as a creative outlet is something I enjoy doing. It was a discovery that really surprised me, about myself.

Among the millions of bloggers out there, I still wonder how I can be fascinating enough for anyone to follow.
It is still beyond me that anyone would be interested in reading anything this girl, who lives an ordinary life in Africa, would have to say. Regardless, I love the voice blogging has given me.

What about you, what has blogging thought you?

P.S. This is the third day of ‘it does not need to be perfect,‘ a series I’m currently running on this blog.

 

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

Find her here:

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15 Motivational Songs to kick A**

Are you still keeping to your New Year’s resolutions? You just could not resist that slice of chocolate cake, could you? It is officially the second month of the year. The month of little chocolate shaped heart candy and other red-coated sweet things. No one blames you.

I happen to be of the opinion that each day brings with it the opportunity to make a new resolution. To start fresh. Just because you slipped up on your diet does not mean you can’t lose that weight.

blue-headphones-on-grass-wi

Perhaps you are struggling with a project you started. Perhaps you are meaning to start a new project, but feel that something is holding you back? Perhaps life has thrown you a curve and you really need that little extra bit of motivation to get you positive.

It may just be the time to take the bull by the horns and tackle that task. Whatever challenge you are facing, even if it is just getting up out of bed in the mornings – because even that can be hard at times – I’ve got you covered.

Here to get you going is my list of motivational songs.

We start this list with songs from the 70’s.

1.    Stayin’ Alive – Bee Gees

1977, was the year the Bee Gees graced us with the classic, ‘Stain’ Alive’.

“You know it’s all right. It’s OK.
I’ll live to see another day.”

What’s not motivational about that? This timeless tune, makes me want to get up and do something? How about you?

2.    Don’t stop me now – Queen

1978, brought us one of Rock music’s masterpieces by legendary band Queen. ‘Don’t stop me now’, is a feel good song, guaranteed to get you out and going. I guess there would be a difference between a ‘feel good song’  and a ‘motivational song’, but I think this one covers both those definitions.
From Queen’s large selection of classic rock, it’s hard choosing only one song. 1977’s ‘We are the champions’, 1990’s ‘another one bites the dust’ and 1991 ‘the show must go on’, defiantly also deserve to be in the collection of motivational songs.

3.    Always Look on the bright side of life – Eric Idle

1979 saw the release of an annoying little jingle ‘Always Look on the bright side of life’, by Eric Idle (who is part of the British comedy group – Monty Python). This ear-worm is so irritating it will get stuck in your head at an inevitable time. Which is what makes it so good. Did someone cut you off in traffic? I’m sure that part which he whistles could easily be replaced by the words ‘F**k You!’ repeated four times. It is the ideal tune to whistle while your kid is sitting on the back seat. And in case you were wondering what the bright side of being cut off in traffic is; Well firstly, if this did not cause an accident you can be thankful for that. Also, you have a car to drive to enable you to be in a situation to be cut off in traffic.
I don’t know so much about the music video, though. I guess some people would be offended by it. Oh well! Always look on the bright side of life. . .

4.    I will survive – Gloria Gaynor

There is something strangely motivating about the 1979 classic by Gloria Gaynor, ‘I will survive’. Not only is it the ideal post break up song, but it really fits many other situations too. Your boss thinks you just can’t live without him? Have you to go without chocolate for a week?
Yea, go on and sing it “I will survive”, you are feeling better already, aren’t you?

On to the age of neon colors and wild curly hair, the 80’s, which was not without its own digital flavor of music. Motivational songs of this decade included:

5.    Don’t stop believing – Journey

Yes, as unbelievable as this may be, ‘don’t stop believing’ was originally released in 1981. It was released in 2009 as digital download content, after having been covered by the movie ‘Glee’, which is why it appears to be such a current hit.

6.    Eye of the Tiger –  Survivor

‘Eye of the Tiger’ by Survivor has got to be one of the best motivational classics out there. Released in 1982, it held the number one spot on the Billboard Top 100, for six weeks. Among others, it was the theme song for the Rocky 3 movie.

The 90’s brought us:

7.  Conquest of Paradise – Vangelis

Released in 1992, the lyrics to Vangelis’ ‘Conquest of Paradise’, don’t actually mean anything. The words are from a made-up language for the movie ‘1492: Conquest of Paradise’. What makes this piece of music so inspirational is the melody. Just listen to that and not feel encouraged – I dare you. Go on! Can’t do it, can you?

8.  River of Dreams – Billy Joel

1993, Billy Joel brought us the ‘River of Dreams’.
If ever “in the middle of the night, you go walking in your sleep”, the “River of Dreams” would be the place to go. What gets me about this song, is that I think many of us are “looking for something so hard to find, it can only be seen by the eyes of the blind”. Serious! These are some lyrics.

9.  Jimmy Cliff – I can see clearly now

1993, also brought us the Jimmy Cliff classic, ‘I can see clearly now’.
Again with some seriously good lyrics:

10. Smash Mouth – All Star

Released in the year we could all officially party like it’s 1999, Smash Mouth’s, ‘All Star’ tells you that despite your shortcomings you can still achieve great things.

11.  Creed – Higher

Also from 1999, Creed’s ‘Higher’ takes us to a place “where blind men see.” While the song actually refers to lucid dreaming, the lyrics are very inspirational. They motivate you to “go there” and make this world a better place.

Other mentions of the 90’s

There are some songs of the 90’s that have just been overplayed. While R. Kelly’s 1997 hit, ‘I believe I can fly’, is defiantly the 90’s inspirational anthem of the decade – could you really listen to that again?

Bon Jovi’s 1997 song, ‘It’s my life’, seems to be on every other list of inspirational songs. While I can’t dispute the motivational aspect of this particular piece of music, I just really don’t like it. Maybe 1997 was  not my year for music.

two-people-playing-guitar-a

Beyond 2000, a new millennium inspired songwriters to write even more inspirational songs. Well, way beyond 2000 – because I’m skipping an entire decade here. It’s not that 2000 to 2009 did not have any inspirational songs, to me none of them really stick out.

12. Pink – Perfect

In a world where so many of us (especially us women) have so much self-doubt, suffer from depression and body image issues – this song, this song, ‘Perfect’ by Pink released in 2010. Honestly this song! It is very inspirational. When I’m feeling a bit over emotional this song can even bring tears to my eyes – that’s how good it is.
I fell in love with the song after reading THIS poem. Awesome poem – everyone should read. Great song.

13. Kelly Clarkson – Stronger

What is it about breakups that make songwriters write such inspirational lyrics? Like the Gloria Gaynor song (above), Kelly Clarkson’s 2011 hit, ‘Stronger’ hits a home run in the inspirational department.

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, Doesn’t mean that I’m lonely when I’m alone”

14.  Rachel Platten – Fight Song

The lyrics may be filled with clichés, but, clichés are clichés for a reason. I love this song. Rachel Platten’s 2014 hit, ‘Fight Song‘, defiantly tops the charts of ultimate inspirational songs.

“I might only have one match, but I can make an explosion”

This song also happens to be the reason I was inspired to create this list in the first place.

15. Katy Perry – Rise

With all the inspirational Katy Perry songs released to date, I simply had to choose the latest number ‘Rise’. It was released last year (2016) in the spirit of the summer Olympics – or so Katy Perry claimed. Now, if you listen to the Christian Conspiracy Theorists, it’s another story. If you see this as being sung from the point of view of Lucifer, then the song takes on a completely different and scary meaning.
However, if the Devil has his Fate to fulfill, we, each one of us also has our Destiny. (There is an argument between the difference of Fate and Destiny, which I’m not going to go into now, but …)
Other inspirational Katy Perry songs include the 2013 hit ‘Roar’ and the 2010 Song ‘Firework’.

The longer I contemplate the list the longer it is likely to get. Inspirational songs have been topping the charts for decades.

What inspirational song do you think needs to be added to the list? What music from the period 2000 to 2009 should I have included? Talk to me I’m listening.

p.s. This post is the second day of, it does not need to be perfect, a blog series I’m currently running on this here blog.

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

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Thankfully coffee: The baby, the diaper and the healthy fizzy drink

If we were having coffee, I’d offer you a homemade rusk. Sorry, no Christmas cookies. I’ve not come around to baking any and most likely I won’t. It’s been a month, how doeth time fly?
How does time fly indeed? The year is almost on its back and we have one extra little human in our house.
“I can’t believe it! It seems like only yesterday you told us you were expecting”, one of my relatives said as she called to congratulate me.
“It’s been 9 months”, I said.

As you dunk your rusk, into your coffee (or possibly rooibos tea), I’d probably be showing off the little man. My heart is overflowing with gratitude. Mini-Me is just as pleased to be a big sister. Although, I think, she was expecting someone a little more playful and a little less sleepy.
“Give it some time,” I tell her.
I’d sincerely hope you don’t want to know the in-depth detail of the birth? If you asked I’d probably reply, “do you really want to listen to this particular horror story?” Natural births generally aren’t all that pretty.
I’ve written it out none the less and am wondering: if I should post it, if I should give it away as a guest post or if I should just let it be. It seems a waste to the all but five readers of this here little space on the interweb. Perhaps, this is one of the reasons you have not seen me write much of late here.
Granted I’ve been too busy breastfeeding, cleaning up the poopy baby bottom and catching up on sleep to give my lack of enthusiasm much thought. All three things for which I’m thankful. Yes, even cleaning of baby poop gets a thankful vote, since I have the diapers to throw away after they have been contaminated. Yes, I know I’m polluting the earth with all those nappies, but washing diapers . . . Maybe that is something I can try when the little man does not soil more than 10 diapers a day.

If we were having coffee, we might discuss my maternity benefits. We could possibly discuss what our Social Welfare pays out to new mothers (who are on maternity leave). My claim seems to have been handled without a hitch. Something to be sincerely thankful for. Considering that this is Africa, the benefit is really good too.

As I offer you another rusk, I’d thank you for the gift you brought for the baby. Everybody who’s been over for coffee has been very generous. I recently found out that in some of our local cultures it is a taboo to meet a new baby without offering a present first.

As per the usual discussion topics, we’d wonder over to the weather which has been hot and relentlessly dry. It’s this kind of heat which makes you thirst for something cold. I’d offer you a refreshing sip of my husband’s homemade kefir juice.
Kefir is something more I can be thankful for. We drink a glass each day of the milk variety. For those not in the know, kefir is natural milk culture. It forms grains which are used to make drinking type yogurt. It’s high in probiotics which have all kinds of health benefits. These grains can also be converted into what is called a water kefir. From this one can make the kefir juice, which is slightly fizzy.
I’m  sure as we continued chatting, we’d find many things to laugh about. Laughter is always something to be thankful for. I’ve recently started re-reading a book and have had many laugh-out-loud moments. Sometimes I’ve got to be careful not to startle my son awake.
10-Things-of-Thankful-badge
If we were having coffee I’d thank you for stopping by. It has been good catching up. I’d tell you to catch up with other bloggers over coffee on the #WeekendCoffeeShare. You can also catch up on what bloggers are thankful for on the #10Thankful.

 About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

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#Weeklysmile where there is never a lack of things to write about…

There is never a lack of things to write about. Seriously.

I’ve been too exhausted (for lack of a stronger word), to even read five sentences never mind string two words together. Pair that with my need to suddenly whip out my sewing machine and try some DIY projects (which were epic fails) – there was simply nothing left in me to even look at the computer screen.

Oh, we are not going to mention the blood pressure, the chronic sinus infection or the fact that I’m in my third trimester. I don’t complain too much about the havoc pregnancy is been having on my body. It simply seems wrong to moan about that, when I’m really happy about having a baby soon. Pair that with the fact that quite a few people in my inner circle have been struggling with conceiving one of their own, or their life circumstances just never added up – I think complaining would be a slap in the face.

Obviously, they’d notice the difficult way I get up and the slow manner in which I’ve been walking. It is all good, though. So long as I have a healthy baby I’ll bear it with a big grin on my face. It’s something to smile about.

new-baby-gift-bag

Talking about my friends and family – they recently threw me a surprise baby shower. Whoop! Big smiles all around, because my hospital bag was still lacking in some small items. When my doctor sent me to the hospital for some tests yesterday, I was very relieved to have finished packing the hospital bag. I almost thought I would have to have the baby one whole month early. Sheesh!

Turns out to be nothing that drastic so I was sent home. I should try to rest up before the due date.
I felt somewhat bad and stressed out about that, because I was only scheduled to go on Maternity leave in a weeks’ time. In an abrupt manner, I dumped all my workload on my colleague, for whom I feel super sorry. Such is life and sometimes we need to just roll with the punches.

Alas, Darlings – I felt to drop by here for a quick hello. The Weekly Smile link up hosted by Trent seemed like the perfect opportunity to drop by.
Moreover, since there is never a lack of things to write about, I may drop by a little more (but no promises, though). I have got ,like, so, many things floating about in my head; the abstract roller-coaster in my head is making me dizzy.
And in case you missed it, y’all should listen to Annette’s interview on “Tell me a Story” with Jo Robinson. As a writer, she understands the fact that there is never a lack of things to write about. Jo is an excellent writer, so the interview gave me something to smile about.

 

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

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Arrive Alive: 13 Tips to keep you safe on the road

Every weekday, I drive a stretch of road that adds up to about 30 kilometers (roughly 19 miles). If you total in the factor that in 2014 (the last time they did one of those survey study things) the country I live in, was the worst rated for road accident fatalities in the world – those 30 kilometers stretch of the road become somewhat of a scary prospect. So when I get into my car, I make sure I do my best to keep my family safe during our travels. No matter if, we take a five-minute or a five-hour drive. Here are some of my road safety tips:

1. Buckle up

Sometimes you think you are only going to be driving around the corner. Just going to buy a loaf of bread? According to a survey done in the U.K one in three accidents happen, when we are close to home. Most likely it is at these times that we are driving on “autopilot” or that we are not hyper-vigilant.
There is a rule in my car. I make sure my daughter is well aware of this rule. All people in the car need to be seated and buckled up at all times. I cannot even count how many times I see children in other cars standing. Not only is this hazardous if you suddenly need to hit the brakes but such children tend to be a distraction for the driver. The safest place for a kid under the age of 12 is buckled up on the backseat, even if you are just buying a loaf of bread.

2. Cell phones and driving

A driver, texting while driving is said to cause more accidents than a drunk one. Seriously, peeps, you can send that “What’s App”, when you have safely stopped somewhere. Hands-free kits enable us to answer the phone if we really can’t live without taking that call.

3. Speed kills

We were once driving home when a car raced passed us on a stretch of city road with a speed limit of 60 km/h (roughly 40 mph). He must have been driving 200 km/h (roughly 125 mph). We were shocked at the speed this dude was doing. Our home was only a few kilometers down the road. At our gate, we noticed that the car which had just zipped passed us was sitting in a head-on collision with a tree next to the road. The car was written off. The driver was severely injured. To this very day, I still do not understand why he was driving so fast. It is better to arrive at your destination five minutes later than never arrive at all. There are reasons for speed limits.
That being said, I’ve also driven a stretch of road slower than I was allowed. I don’t drive the long road much. I don’t feel safe doing 120 km/h so I’ll do 100 or 110 instead. It is important to feel safe with the speed you are driving.

4. Overtaking safely

Frontal collisions are the highest cause of road fatalities here. Many of these accidents occur when drivers overtake other cars in the most terrible manner. Overtaking while driving uphill, into the rising or setting sun, is a bad idea. Not only does the driver put himself in danger but the people in the other vehicle, who probably cannot see him coming … It’s a worst case scenario.
It is best to overtake when you can clearly see what is happening in front of you.

5. Sunglasses

Talking about, what you see – I find wearing sunglasses during daytime driving, useful. Obviously, we have lots of sunshine in these parts. What you may not know is that your sunglasses or regular specs can also act as safety goggles if they have been fitted with the right type of lens. Here good quality plastic lenses out-way the risk associated with glass lenses. If you wear spectacles, talk to your optometrist about this.

6. Tissues

Eyestrain can really be a pothole in your driving skills. If you have spent an entire day sitting behind a computer screen, driving can become a tearful event. For this reason, I always keep tissues handy. It has helped me get to a safe area to pull up next to the road until I was able to see better.

7. Blind spot check

Are you changing lanes? Do a quick blind spot check! Don’t know exactly what that is? Here is a video.

8. Hazards

Sometimes you have to abruptly slow down or come to a standstill while driving. At these times, putting on your hazard light can alert the driver behind you that there is an obstruction in the road. It’s like saying, “whoha wake up dude!”

9. Mindful driving

Try not to drive on autopilot. Be present while you are driving. Keep your eyes and mind on the road. Put simply: Drive mindfully.

10. “Leave space in your schedule for life’s little-unplanned events” – Joyce Meyer

A post shared by Sarina (@shiningseeds) on

Life’s little-unplanned events include traffic jams and accidents on the road. Giving yourself those extra ten minutes to arrive at your destination will make you a less stressed driver. You will be more courteous to other road users. You will be less likely to speed.

11. Slow down when …

I hate it when children play next to the road. This is just an unpleasant fact. The same applies to dogs, cats or other pets. It is better to slow down when you see these things. It is also courteous when passing a cyclist to slow down.

12. Other drivers and traffic rules

man-peeping-in-his-side-mir

While all of the above are very important to remember, the best piece of driving advice I’ve ever heard was this: “Don’t expect other road users to follow traffic rules”.
Drivers may; run a red light. Forget to put on their indicators. Put on their indicators but not turn. Drive on autopilot. Speed. Swerve unexpectedly into your lane. … the list goes on and on.
Being vigilant about such things has saved me on many a close shave.

13. Pray

If you are the kind of person that prays, then doing so before driving is a good practice. If you are the kind of person who talks to your God, Jesus, angels, your divinity – all the time, then doing so while driving is a good practice. Having spiritual protectors along your journey has never hurt anyone.

What other tips would you give on road safety?

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

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Thankfully coffee: echoes of self-doubt

If we were having coffee, I’d wait until the strong aroma of the brew filled the room. I’d tell you that I don’t think my story, matters. I’ve been working on something, something for one of the bigger websites – because when I started writing the article, I thought that this space here does not have a big enough audience. It like me does not really matter.WeekendCoffeeShare-2016-pic

As I have been reading others stories on the subject – I was thinking who am I to put my voice out there on this issue? Would it really be beneficial to the whole? The cobwebs of self-doubt are rampant in my mind. Perhaps I’m trying to make too many points with one post.

Would you read an article that starts with, “When I was five my father put a gun in my hands”?

Perhaps I’m just too fatigued to think about all the horrific gun-related violence of late. Too tired to form coherent thoughts on the topic. Any emotional rollercoaster is draining. Prenatal depression is no different. I guess the Sinus infection isn’t really helping things along either.

So, I’ve chosen sleep whenever I saw the chance. I spent yesterday organizing my cupboard. I made lists for the things I still need to buy before my due date. Things I’ll need for a few days stay at the hospital. Things my little guy will need for his first few days with me there. The due date is still a few months off, but I’m an organizer. I like to plan. The only thing that is allowed to be an organized chaos is my desk.

And since I seem to like lists so much, here is a list of things I’m grateful for.

I’m thankful for gratitude. Counting little things that bring me joy, comfort and stability have been a huge help in getting through the difficult moments. They’ve helped me sleep better and cry less.

I’m grateful for all the things I don’t have to buy for the arrival of the new member to my family. It is hugely helpful that most of the things we will need are things we already have.

I’m thankful for Rooibos tea. I’ve been drinking a lot of the stuff. Here’s an entire post on why the stuff is so good.

I’m grateful for homemade stuff. Like: Homemade Ham. Homemade Marmalade. Home knitted socks. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t actually make all these things myself. Some people like to cook. Some people like to knit. I like to write.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to give.

I’m thankful for warm things. Blankets. Jackets. Socks.

I’m grateful for electricity.10-Things-of-Thankful-badge

I’m thankful for running water.

(When you live in an area, where these basic things are short in supply – you learn to be thankful for them.)

I’m grateful for things to eat. Bread. Soup. More Bread. Cheese.

And as always I’m thankful for coffee. These little chats give me something to ramble on about, even if there is not much else to ramble on about.

This has been a blog link up with #WeekendCoffeeShare & #10Thankful .

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

Find her here:

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