Stressed Out? Try this…

Nature

There aren’t too many things I enjoy more than being in nature.

For the first 16 years of my life I was blessed with a wonderful garden and a large park across the road from us in Sandringham. I spent most of my free time running around these open spaces barefoot having competitions with myself to see how green I could make my feet and trying to dodge massive rain drops as a thunderstorm started its onslaught..

Nowadays my challenge is how brown I can make them:

 

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What my feet look like after camping

 

With that as my life’s foundation, I’ve always found time to be outside (okay there have been some big gaps in-between) – and I definitely feel it when too much time has passed since my last date with nature. It’s usually at this time I organise a trip to a wine farm: to walk barefoot on their manicured lawns – what were you thinking?!

I believe many of our problems in the world today stem from the fact that we’ve become so disassociated from nature. Disconnected. Case in point we’d rather pop some pills than sit quietly in a garden.

 

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My folks garden

 

I’m in week two of my new found freedom and one of the benefits is more time for dates with nature. Just this morning I sat in my parents beautiful garden. I felt so much peace listening to the birds, watching bees fly around me from flower to flower. Just being an observer as life happened around me.

This after I met a friend for lunch at The Country Club Johannesburg in Woodmead yesterday; another oasis of peace in a bustling vibrant city. With glorious winter sunshine and a view of the Magaliesburg mountains in the distance, it was another opportunity to connect in nature. After a delicious meal she had the brilliant idea to go for a walk on the golf course. Great conversation coupled with the soothing sounds of nature meant I left feeling incredibly happy.

It’s one of the reasons I’m grateful to live in Cape Town – we have an endless supply of venues to eat and catch up with friends outside; not to mention all the hikes at our disposal.

Watching the bees I was struck by the amount that came to the flowers next to me. Us humans would have a report on how ‘inefficient’ this sales force is with more than one bee calling on the same batch of flowers. Each bee would probably be tracked and monitored with the amount of pollen brought back.

James, your performance is dipping, you’ve brought back 2% less than this time last year. You’re gonna need to work overtime this weekend to catch up.

Said no queen bee ever.

We’re all different and all have varying needs. Some people thrive on pressure that working creates for them; but we talking about the exception there not the rule. I find myself fascinated by the way life ‘just happens’. When you take a moment to watch life in motion you realise just how much of it happens every moment. Moments we’re usually absorbed by phones or glued to keyboards running reports.

I mentioned how I love to bare my feet on grass. Heaven to me quite frankly. According to Dr. Tracy Latz, M.D., M.S. on http://www.shiftyourlife.com; being barefoot is a natural stress release and health booster. Makes me wonder why people don’t go for more barefoot walks first instead of paying loads of money to see a doctor only to pay even more for pharmaceuticals which, I believe, cause more harm than good.

How much time do you spend outside in green spaces?

Not everyone is blessed with gardens – true. I myself don’t have one. It just means we should make more of an effort and why not?

Just look at the amounts of categories with research that’s been done below. You can click on this link to learn more about each one of them:

https://www.asla.org/healthbenefitsofnature.aspx

Adults

Alzheimer’s and Dementia
Asthma & Respiratory Disorders
Cognition
Depression
General Health
Heart Health
Hospital Recovery
Obesity
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Stress
Stroke
Type II Diabetes
Well-Being
Children

ADD/ADHD
Autism Spectrum Disorders
Cognition
Depression
General Health
Nature Deficit Disorder
Obesity
Stress
Type II Diabetes
Well-Being

I’m not saying its the best for every case; just asking what you have to lose trying it first?

How fortunate that I’ll get to be outside in nature every day next year. I might even have to try walking up barefoot on one of the days.

Nature is home

Climbing Table Mountain every day in 2018

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I have a dream to help South Africa.

I have a dream to inspire people to discover what it feels like to live with passion.

I have a dream for love to fill people’s lives in spite of what life throws at them.

What is your greatest dream for your life?

 

Next year I’ve decided to climb Table mountain every day . That’s 365 ascents come rain, shine, heat, snow, hail or wind.

 

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The route I will take up each day – Platteklip Gorge

 

The idea was inspired by three main things:

1. Recently retrenched I, with no desire to head back into corporate, have no time restrictions any more.

2. I’ve been raising money and awareness for worthy causes actively for the past four years now and I want to do it every day.

3. I was introduced to a woman a month ago who’s climbing Table Mountain 67 days in a row for Nelson Mandela day.

On the 22nd June 2017 my idea was born as I drove past Table Mountain.

It’s a spectacular sight. It’s even more of a privilege to live in it’s protective shadow. What an honour it will be to face it daily and be tested.

I’m already learning lessons and I haven’t even taken my first step.

I’m raising money and awareness for three organisations that build homes; educate children and build on the existing database for Leukemia. Empowering people to take ownership of their lives.

I resonate with people that have taken tragedies and turned them into positives; improve peoples lives by not just giving handouts – but teaching them to become self sufficient. There are initiatives I’ve recently heard about in our townships I’m excited to learn more about and work with. I’ll keep you posted on who the twelve organisations will be.

Where do ideas come from?

I’ve been thinking a lot about this and how some people have amazing ideas that launch companies or products that change the world. Internet, flight, Virgin, medicine, take your pick there’s tons. These were all just thoughts in someone’s head that they then materialised.

I remember a colleague at The Pro Shop (a golfing sports store) constantly walking around proclaiming “all you need is ONE idea… ONE IDEA!!”

He’s right.

They don’t even have to be complex – like this one.

Just do one thing consistently for a full year.

I’m 37 now and I have no doubt that my life experiences (good and bad) and beliefs have shaped what, is for me, this perfect opportunity to do all the things I love.

This statement rings truer than ever now:

When the voice and the vision on the inside is more profound, and more clear than all the opinions on the outside, you’ve begun to master your life. ~Dr John Demartini

Powerful.

 

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The view from my 3 Peaks Challenge January 2016 (Lions head / Devils Peak / Table Mountain all in one day)

 

Self Belief

Last week I talked about ‘what defines your self worth’ and that plays a big part in this too. How many times have you had an idea, shared it, and been shot down by someone? Most likely you suddenly lost your shine and the idea started to fade. Ag it probably isn’t a good idea anyway We’ve all told ourselves that.

We allow others fears; their anxieties and their way of living to become our own – and it will cripple you if you keep allowing it. That’s why its important to surround yourself with people that continue to inspire you and share your passion and enthusiasm for life and support your dreams. Not their version of them – but your dreams; whatever they may be.

There’s no right or wrong way really; there’s just your way.

It’s like someone telling you who you should date based on what their own criteria is. You wouldn’t do that, would you?

The converse is just as important; it’s not just about how you are supported – but how you support others.

This idea opened a door to a new way of thinking. I stood on the balcony of my friends holiday home this past weekend enjoying the sunset. Surrounded by his best people for his 30th celebration, I took a moment to watch it alone. As if one of the mighty waves in front crashed over me; I realised all the work we put into ourselves – physically, emotionally, spiritually, intellectually – eventually pays off. It’s like making a cake, it only tastes great when it’s finished – not when you’ve mixed half the ingredients.

Impatience is our false shepherd. We want results now and the “success” of having our dream job or home. We lose sight of the fact that all our perceived failures and disappointments are helping shape who we are; that we’re learning from them.

I’m one of the lucky ones – I absolutely love my life and have pursued it with gusto and relentless passion. I’ve dreamt big; still dreaming big! I’ve learnt to forget about worrying ‘how’ something will happen and just keep moving forward and try new things and explore. Even through the difficult times. In fact it’s in these times I’ve come to realise how we don’t need much to be happy either. My measurement of success has been how much I’m fulfilled and the positive impact I can make in others lives. In fact, I prescribe to the new definition of a millionaire:

The number of lives you’ve positively impacted.

Let’s change the World.

Our actions always have consequences. Just look at some of the pain being experienced right now. People are dying of starvation and yet half the worlds food is thrown away? We’ve ignored the negative consequences and now profit is more important than people.

What is your dream at the moment?

Do you feel you’re doing whatever you can to achieve it? Even discover it?

Does your soul feel like it’s on fire when you think about your dreams?

What’s stopping you?

I think we believe we have to do massive things once to achieve our dreams; I, in fact, think the opposite is true.

We need to do little things consistently every day – and the cumulative actions generate massive success.

Start today

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