Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Personal power

We live in a world alongside billions of people facing seemingly insurmountable challenges at every turn. It may feel like extreme action is required to tackle issues such as poverty, health and education, however each of us carry the capacity to change the world in some small way as everything we do affects the people around us. Therefore if we gather together and invest our attention inward to honor ourselves first, then together we will have built a foundation from which to fly.

Monday, July 5, 2010

2010 World Cup in South Africa

Much has been written about the current world cup and most seems to be pretty positive stuff. South Africa has stood up and allowed itself to shine. The people of this nation have banded in unison under one common goal of enjoyment and enthusiasm for this beautiful game and the fans from around the world. I have spent time in the rural hills of Kwa Zu Natal, where no tourist has ventured similarly I have spent (all to much time ) in the fan parks of Durban beach front and everywhere the feeling is the same, it one of lightness and enthusiasm for the events that are taking place on our shores. This bodes well for our young volunteers who apprehensively write me questions about life in SA, the answers are the same, "Whats it like?"well, come and see for yourself, the world cup is a show case and we are the prize. Of course nothing can be taken away form the troubles of this land and the dire needs on the ground all fueled by much incompetence and a ridiculous government grant system that fuels the wistfulness of the people. However if you like football or not this world cup has done wonders for us all as a nation, and the vuvuzelas are still blowing from the distant hills right through to the heart of the cites. Feel it is is still here!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Locally found building materials

The incredible nature of things, is evident in times of extreme hardship.
This school in Port St Johns has morphed into a superb example of how resourceful humans can be. The initial intention was to build a school using raw earth bricks, then the rains came. Its not easy to dry bricks in the rain. The deadline was looming as the eager children prepare for the start of the new school year.

So the builders took a deep breath, lifted their heads and looked around. Bamboo, tin cans and muddy clay lay abundant all around.
Harvest time!
The picture on the left shows the bamboo walls of one of the classrooms (the inside will be plastered).

Tin can collections became the order of the day and soon the new (rather funky walls) were up, this is the best example of recycled building.
Its very exciting and a huge learning for the community members who have access to tin cans chicken wire and clay. Its not complete yet and the children and teachers have had to band together in order to find alternative premises, but it is happening, its innovative and its evolving the way it should. Congratulations to all involved.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

South African volunteers

Its a great start to 2010 for us at VSA, there are 3 wonderful souls embarking on their journeys through South Africa. 2 from the UK and 1 from Canada, its a multi cultural adventure.

The communities they will be spending time with are eager to share their knowledge and culture. Its hot in South Africa so remember to bring hats, long sleeved shirts and sun screen. All 3 volunteers will be involved in the building of the Sisonke school, gardening projects and day to day community life.

Right attitude is the key to a positive experience, while working on any project, keep a check on yourself, how you are feeling and where your thoughts are, you cannot assist others if you are living in the past or future, wishing you were else where or worrying about outcomes beyond your control. Be a sponge to your surroundings taking it all in as a whole experience the good along with the bad. You can make a difference, just with a warm smile and an outstretched hand, the more you participate and engage, the greater your impact within the community.

Happy discovering

Monday, January 4, 2010

2010 experiment

Well the last meditation really worked, despite procrastinating and only getting to it in the evening. The basic message is that stilling the mind really does make a difference.
Its like a magical bond that forms within you, there are no bells and whistles nor is it that easy to notice. Its a little more subtle, more like a feeling of calm (albiet brief, in most cases) a kind of little inner buzz.
Even a short 1 minute stillness with intention can set you straight.
If you have the desire to extend this feeling and start setting a few more measurable to the magic, then why not start the 2010 experiment.

How it works:

  • Find a space you can be alone for 20 minutes
  • Light a candle
  • Breathe deeply, in for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts out for 4 counts, do this for 5 minutes
  • When you catch your mind wondering, just come back to the breathing and counting.
  • When you feel ready, allow your imagination to take you to a beautiful place, somewhere that makes you smile, a forest, a beach, a mountain, imagine it is December 2010.
  • Look around that place and notice its beauty
  • Notice what you are wearing, holding, drinking or eating
  • Imagine someone walking towards to you (you may know them or you may not)
  • Greet them and begin to tell them about your amazing year, 2010
  • Tell them all the things you have done, places you have visited and people you have met
  • Now show them pictures of the things you have done, describe them in detail
  • When you have finished, say good bye and return to your breathing
  • Breathe in for the count of 4, hold it for the count of 4, and out for the count of 4
  • Come back to the room and open your eyes slowly
What did you do in 2010, where were you, who did you meet?
Take those images that were shown to you and remember them every morning when you wake up. Do this for a month, then let it go!

That's it your done, the magic will unfold.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A general understanding

All we need is a general understanding of what we want and a willingness to allow access to the transformation tools available and there it is! life! happiness! finances! love.

The universe is magical and unexplainable, there are experiences that can touch the deepest primal part of ourselves while others others just pass us by. Is it a case of awareness, recognition, intention or is it just faith. I like to think its a combination of both as without faith we would struggle to tray and explain the unexplainable yet without awareness and intention for the highest good we would not know faith.

We have unlimited power in creating our lives for example this morning as I sit here I am actively choosing to do an experiment for the day, I am going to try and meditate and clear the mind then ask for inspiration within the workplace, to guide me on the right track.
How will I know if it has worked or if there was any divine guidance?
Not sure
I will let you know.

Right now I am just going to sit and meditate!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Building a school

It is a wonderful feeling to be a part of the building process, new beginning, each step is embedded in hope. I suppose we all want to feel like we are making a difference in some form or another and a school is a real soft target. One has a sense of pride that in the building of this simple structure the way is set for generations of knowledge transfer. Inspirational at best.
The steel honeycomb structures go up pretty quickly, the brick making is the laborious part. One hand compressor is used to compact a mixture of mud, clay and straw, they are then left to bake in in the African sun oven. Time is urgent yet allusive as it will take as long as it takes.

The community are behind the school and have seen the improvements in their children, so the energy is high and there are many helpers at the ready.

There is always room for more help!