Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Focus on the positives and lets make this World AIDS Day "AYOBA"

Published in the 2010 World AIDS Day edition of The Ripple Effect.

Written by: Alan Brand (Guest Editor)

At a recent conference I was asked by a delegate why after so many years and after so much manpower, money and investment, medically, emotionally and scientifically we are still not stemming the tide of HIV and AIDS. It must be mentioned that the person who asked the question is very active in the fight against HIV and has dedicated her time and efforts to educate and assist those infected by the disease. It was with a sense of exhaustion and from being emotionally overwhelmed that she asked the question. I do not believe that I was ready to answer the question at the time, but already a seed was busy germinating in my mind and heart, one which I have not been able to express fully until now. It seems that this concept has finally come to fully blossom and IT IS AYOBA!

Consider the sense of goodwill, joy and wellbeing experienced and expressed during the 2010 World Cup by both South Africans and the international guests. Even the prophets of doom and gloom had to bite their tongues and concede that their predictions had failed and we had achieved something to be truly proud of. Not only did serious crime incidence drop in South Africa during the world cup but this was the experience around the world.

Here are some quotes proving the effects that the positive energy had in South Africa and internationally:

Nepalese capital Kathmandu recorded a drop in crime and accidents since the start of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ - police recorded 156 incidents of crime in the month of June, compared with 497 reports during two weeks preceding the tournament, Kantipur newspaper reported.

The Business Consumer Index (BCI) rose by 2.8 index points to 84.8 points in June, says the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The 2010 FIFA World Cup™ tournament raised positive sentiment domestically and internationally. The success of the tournament could boost domestic business confidence despite indications that the global economy may suffer a depressed economic outlook for the medium term," said the Chamber. (Sacci)

The total number of foreign tourists to South Africa during the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ might be close to 400 000, says consultancy Grant Thornton, with higher than expected African air arrivals and huge numbers from countries whose teams did well contributing to the figure.

Now consider the reality of HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa and how easy it is to fall into the trap of becoming a profit of doom when we focus on the statistics and history of the epidemic. How much energy have we spent on promoting the negative, highlighting our failure to stem the tide and putting the spotlight on the lack of political will, slow implementation and access to treatment and prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV and AIDS? I can go on and on and on and IT IS NOT AYOBA. No wonder that all this negative messaging contributes towards a sense of hopelessness and inadequacy in the collective and individual conscience of all South Africans and for that matter the entire sub-Saharan African region.

From the point of view that recognises the basic “laws of attraction” that operates within each person’s life and the universe as a whole is it at all not surprising then that these negative messages have acted as a “magnetic field” influencing the effectiveness of HIV and AIDS awareness and interventions to date?

The time has come to stop the negative energy and messages around HIV and AIDS as surely by now we must be aware that it has not been a successful tool in preventing the spread of the epidemic. I believe that all it has done is make people, institutions and governments feel so overwhelmed that the only possible response is one of denial, apathy and inactivity.

The South African CAPRISA presentation received a standing ovation (a rare medical conference occurrence) at the 2010 World AIDS Conference in Vienna for its study on the tenofovir gel spermicide. Another hot conference topic was test-and-treat as a public health method for curtailing the pandemic resulting in many attendees of the 2010 World AIDS Conference headed home feeling optimistic about the future of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

South Africa has the largest number of people accessing ARV’s in the world. It is further estimated that 2.3 million life-years have been added due to introduction of antiretroviral therapy in sub-Saharan Africa during 1996–2008

Indications are that, between 2006 and 2010, South Africa is experiencing the plateau of the HIV curve with positive indications, that this trend will continue and a reduction in new infections will be a reality of the future.

By emphasising the successes and the reality that we have not yet been defeated, we can and will be victorious in the war against the HI virus. We no longer need to be pessimistic and in tribute and honour to the many that have died we owe it to our children and the future to rise above the “can’t do attitude” and boldly raise our hearts and minds as we spend energy and our collective intellectual capacity to a united, focused political will as we continuing the positive achievements. 2010 has the potential to herald a new era of innovation in fighting the virus.

On a personal note, working with Positively Alive©, a support group for HIV positive men in South Africa, I can testify that members, including myself, in the past did not consider a future and the potential of growing old, they are having to reconsider their futures as with access to treatment and care they are not only living healthy full and complete lives with HIV but are able to engage in relationships without putting others at risk of infection and have to consider the real possibility that they have the potential to reach all and any future dreams and aspirations. AND THAT IS TRULY AYOBA!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I had a dream

It is the year 2030 and I am old and grey and I am sitting in my lounge as a retired old man. My grand children are sitting playing on the carpet while I am watching the History channel on cable television. A programme is about to start and the channel runs an advert about a deadly disease that began in the late 70’s and early 80’s and caused the death of millions of people around the world. The advert mentions the virus responsible as the Human Immune Deficiency virus which caused a syndrome called AIDS.

My granddaughter looks up at the TV listening to advert and turns to me and asked. Grandpa, she says, what is AIDS? I smile and begin to try to explain how when I was a young man the world faced a deadly disease and how in the beginning mankind’s response to this virus was so poor that it had to reach epidemic proportions before individuals, scientists and medical experts began to rally together to stop the spread of the virus. My youngest grandson listening to the discussion looks up and asks, but Grandpa where is AIDS now? And with a smile and pride in my heart I answer we beat it my boy.

Now consider this, when you are old and grey will you be able to answer your grandchildren as I could in my dream or will you have to hang your head in shame and tell them that through intolerance, with judgment and stupidity when you where young you did not take the action required, make the changes you needed and so we are still facing the biggest medical challenge of mankind’s history due to a lack of political and person will to create an HIV and AIDS free future for your grandchildren.

As Published in the Ripple Effect World AIDS Day Edition 2010.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

My visit to Marsh Memorial Homes

While visiting Cape Town in June 2010, I decided it was time for me to visit the orphanage my brothers and I were placed in back in 1963 when I was four years old. My father was unable to look after three boys and work and in those days’ day- care-centres where few and far between. The decision to place us in an orphanage being made due to the fact that my mother had passed away from a very sudden and unexpected heart attack.

The gate house and entry to Marsh Memorial Homes

I write about my experience of the home in the blog entitled “The boy that loved Rabbits – Facing my shadows” … to read the story follow this link: THE BOY THAT LOVED RABBITS

The Brand boys from top to bottom, Peter, Alan

and Gary Brand on the steps of Eveleigh House

I had mixed feelings about visiting the home and was pleased to see the gates open and a welcoming board indicating the directions to the reception area.

View of the gate house from inside the property.

I was welcomed by one of the staff and given the opportunity to explain my reason for the visit. I had called some months earlier and was aware that the home now has changed from an orphanage into a safe haven for abused children or children needing special care. I asked if I would be allowed to walk around explaining that the visit was mostly for me to face some of the shadows of my past and to allow me to take some photos for my blog page. I explained what work I now do and how in some small way the experiences both bad and good at the home as a small boy of 4 years old had helped to shape and form the man that now stood boldly in the reception of Marsh Memorial Homes. Now I must mention that the building now used for the reception area and offices used to be the principles home when I was resident at the home and it was a total no enter area. The stately building with the most amazing stain glass windows, grand wooden staircase leading up to the second floor still appeared both majestic and filled me with a sense of dread. Yet the friendly staff and openness and welcoming attitude made all these feelings fade into the normality of the sunny warm day in June. In had promised to make sure that no children where in the photos I took and with the feeling of a warm welcome in my heart I stepped out into the grounds to see where this journey would take me.

The reception and office - (previously the principles home)

I walked around the grounds unable to go to close to the huge red roof building with its 8 chimneys, that was the home I lived in sharing a huge hall type room with the many other boys so many years ago. The building next to this one had burnt down many years ago and the rabbit hutch and fruit orchards behind this building had been rezoned and sold and now filled with residential housing. The home also no longer has a school as was the case when it was an orphanage as the children currently in its care attend local schools. I started sub A (now grade 1) although during this year (1962) of my life my father remarried and we were removed from the orphanage and I continued with my first year at school in Parow Primary.

The residential building I was housed in as a child

I remained satisfied to take pictures of the buildings from the outside allowing the memories to flood over me.
• The white bread served with cold milk and white sugar as a special treat on Sunday morning for breakfast.
• Rabbits in a rabbit hutch also locked into cage reminding me that I felt no different than a caged rabbit.
• A loving kind senior boy that had taken me under his wing and became my protector while living at the home.
• A tree house in the fruit orchids,
• A pray mantis on the railing of the sanctuary one morning at service praying with me for my mother.
• Cookies my little brother (1 year old) baked at creche and stored for us as a special treat.
• Cold winter nights in a hall lined by rows of beds filled with sleeping boys and yet loneliness and tears.
• And many, many more

Residence - Marsh Memorial Homes

It was only later that day when on the plane flying back home to Johannesburg that I suddenly realised why the experience of my visit to March Memorial Homes was a pleasant one and why it has now become part of my journey of healing. I was totally free to enter and leave of my own free will. The gates of the beautiful gate house that has stood the test of time remained open. I cannot even remember if they were closed and locked when I was a child (I guess they must have been). The reality that I was placed there without knowing why or understanding why my mother was not coming back to care for me or ever visit me obviously has had a profound impact on my feelings about the home. The short visits on Sundays by my father after church and the pain of his departure and his abandonment of me lie somewhere deeply buried in the fabric of my heart. The memories of attending church services in the chapel on the premises are always filled with both joy and pain. Joy that perhaps my dad might visit us and the pain that he would leave us behind again.

The chapel at Marsh Memorial Homes

Now I could feel the warmth in the sun and the building no longer seemed dark and like a place to lock children up from society. I had a feeling of freedom of an institution now reaching out to children that have been abandoned or abused by their parents finding a place of love and safety.

Able to participate in society by attending school and with gates wide open welcoming rather than gates locked separating and removing.

I shall have to visit the home again and the next time I wish to become a contributor to the many needs they have in supporting and caring for children in need.

View across to the other residence - Marsh Memorial Homes




Marsh Memorial Homes strives to be recognized as a leading multicultural child and youth care centre in the Western Cape. Whilst affirming and including children of different cultures, all activities at the centre will be driven by strong Christian principles. The range of activities offered will be holistic, and will focus on the needs of the children at risk and their families, offering them hope and empowering them to contribute towards healthy and functioning communities.


Bedroom furniture and bedding
General furniture (lounge suites, dining room table and chairs, study desks)
Working second hand computers
Kitchen appliances, crockery and cutlery
Camping equipment
Gazebos (to be used at our fete day)
Clothing and shoes (ages ranging from 4-18 years)
Food Parcels
Sport equipment
Bibles (English/Afrikaans/Xhosa)
Church youth groups willing to arrange an activity or out for the children.
Volunteers to assist a child/children with a certain subject or homework.
Educational toys
Educational software/programmes

Marsh Memorial Home for Abused Children - Western Cape, Cape Town, Rondebosch

Non-Profit Organisation Registration Number: 011 270

The home now accommodates 60 boys and girls between the ages of 2 and 11.

Established: 1901

Kindly contact Marsh Memorial Home for Abused Children directly for banking details.

Heather B Goble 021 689 9301/2

084 624 2365 021 686 4501

Norton Way, Off Milner Road, Rondebosch P O Box 9, Rondebosch, 7701

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Buddhism means a commitment to the practice of mindfulness.

It's the practice of opening oneself up and being receptive to the flow of sense perceptions, emotions, and thought processes in each given moment while attempting to hold judgment in abeyance. This is done with no other goal than to be as present as one can possibly be within each and every moment. One does this with an intimate attention that is very different from a scrutinizing, objective stance.

Rather than being a distant observer of a set of experiences, one is a participant-observer, and what one observes is not only the sense impressions of the "outside" world, but also one's own subjective reactions to that world... In these moments of unimpeded awareness there is a wonderful sense of lightness of being, and a sense of the rightness to things just as they are.

In these moments when the sense of a separate self that needs defending, approval, status, or justification is nowhere evident, one is open to being present and responsive to the world in a deeply caring way. This is what I mean by mindfulness: seeing events as they are with minimal interference from a separate ego that needs to control both self and world; being intimately in touch with the moment as it is, and open-heartedly responsive to it.

Experience in Being Mindful – Ixopo Buddhist Retreat 23 to 25 April 2010

While at the Ixopo Buddhist retreat we went on a walk through indigenous forests and eventually arrived at a grassy knoll. We climbed over a fence and soon reached an outcrop of rocks that provided a vista of the valley below. While everyone looked into the distant valley, I peered between the rocks and notice a very insignificant spray of white flowers growing between the crevices of the rocks. I lay down on my stomach to observe the flower.

The Buddhist teacher who was our guide on the walk saw me lying face down on the rock and peering into the abyss below and asked if I was ok… (I guess it might have looked like I was throwing up over the cliff). I responded, “I am being mindful of a flower”. She smiled a gentle smile similar to Buddha’s smile. “What have you learnt from the flower?” she asked.

As I had my camera with me I replied that I could show them that I had discovered that even an insignificant white flower has a spectacular landing strip to attract insects. “It just shows that when one is silent and observant even the most insignificant being can reveal incredible beauty”, I said. Nothing more nothing less it just is so, in the silence of being mindful I learnt again to appreciate that which was right there in front of me. It had always been there it had not changed or become more than it was before what had changed was my ability to take the time to be mindful of the beauty it waited to reveal.

Friday, April 9, 2010


The Science of Miracles The Science of Miracles

I watched the dvd by Gregg Braden " The Science of Miracles" and in response am inspired to write the following words. Words are only words but as I say them and write them down and release them they become my reality and my emotions and my truly felt experience.

"If it is true and I embrace the reality that what I feel, my emotions, the thoughts of my mind, create my universe, then within me is the power to chose positive thoughts of love, healing, joy and happiness. I am filled with happiness, joy, peace and healing. I now feel that joy, my heart leaps with the thrill of life and from me flows positive energy, love and happiness. Peace is upon me, surrounds me and enlightens me and all I come into contact with. I share and release this positive energy with and to all beings in the universe right now."

Thanks for the inspiration: Gregg Braden

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


This short story is the journey of discovery of a little boy’s love for rabbits and his darkest shadows, and a path of healing through forgiveness and acceptance, to his biggest gift.
It was in 1963, on a beautiful crisp clear morning in Bellville, South Africa that a mother returned home with her three sons after walking to the local Post Office to post a letter to her family in England. After putting the youngest son in his play pen, strangely tired, she lay down and asked her eldest son to read to her. She had been suffering from pains in her legs and the walk to the Post Office now made the pain worse. As she nodded off to sleep he used the book to cool her, fanning her as she seemed uncomfortable and hot. Silently she fell asleep never to awaken again. She had suffered a heart attack from the blood clot in her leg. Unaware the boy continued to fan his mother.
Figure 1; the little boy that loved rabbits mom
The second eldest son was sitting in the lounge on the floor using the sun light streaming in through the window to make finger shadows of a rabbit on the wall. His mother had taught him to make finger shadows on his bedroom wall. He was afraid of the dark and as he loved rabbits this was always his favourite finger shadow and helped him not to feel alone in the dark.
In no way did the little 4 year old boy that loved rabbits know that on this day events would be set in motion causing his entire life to take a direction that would cause the shadow of rabbits to become his darkness.
Ambulance men in uniform, priests, sirens, a funeral, family and friends visiting and a father in mourning: - The significance of these things couldn’t be understood by the little boy that loved rabbits. Questions about where his mother was and when she would come and read him stories and tuck him into bed again, answered with stories of Jesus having taken her away as he needed her more than the little boy did. But I need her too! Please Jesus send her back you have had her long enough. Sadness, sorrow and change! Dear Jesus please, just once more, allow her to come read me a bedside story and tuck me in? I’ll never ask again if you only let her enter my room one more time.
Figure 2 from right to left, the little boy that loved rabbits with his baby brother Gary, and his eldest brother Peter.
Then one Sunday dad seemed happier and told the boy that today he would take him and his brothers to visit some real rabbits. We were the only people at this big place that had rabbits. Dad took us into the back garden and there they where is a wooden rabbit hutch. We had brought carrots to feed the rabbits, trilled, exited and giggling as there little noses wiggled when they sniffed and ate the carrots.
Figure 3; from left to right, the little boy who loved rabbits with his father and youngest brother meeting the rabbits at Marsh Memorial Homes.
The father asked if the little boy that loved rabbits would like to live here where the rabbits lived and in utter disbelief he answered: “Really dad can, can we, can we please?” Then I can always feed the rabbits.
The boys where shown to a large dormitory with rows of beds and father showed them that he had already packed a suitcase with all their belongings. They happily placed their possessions in the cabinets and cupboards next to the beds allocated to them. Father said he had to leave the boys and promised that he would come to visit on weekends when he could. As the day continued more and more boys arrived and the beds and cupboards became fuller and fuller.

The Marsh Memorial Homes in Rondebosch, was to become the home to the three boys for the next few years. The little boy that loved rabbits would spend his days sitting crying at the rabbit hutch not understanding why his father had also abandoned him. At night when all the boys where asleep he would silently lie and raise his hands and use the moon light to make rabbit shadows on the wall. But over time he began to realise that not even his love for rabbits could make him happy, his loneliness deepened and grew.
One day his sadness caused such pain that he became ill and ended up in the infirmary. The nurses where kind and caring and he met an elder boy that was in the infirmary that gave him attention and took an interest in him. He became like an older brother to the boy. This older boy was a senior and had the little boy that loved rabbits not become ill he would never have met the older boy. The older boy went to high school and he was the leader of a gang that owned their own tree house in a huge old oak tree past the apple orchards behind the orphanage. When they were both well the elder boy took the young boy with him to the tree house and he was the only one from the junior dormitory allowed into the tree house. Nobody was ever allowed to hurt, say nasty things or tease the little boy who loved rabbits any more as he had the protection of the elder boy. The little boy that loved rabbits stopped visiting the rabbit hutch and fell in love with his new protector and spent every spare moment in his company. One Sunday morning in the chapel during morning mass, while sitting with the youngest boys in the first row of church pews the boy noticed a pray-mantis sitting on the handrail that separated the inner sanctum from the rest of the church. He looked in amazement at the insect, it seemed to be praying. He wondered if Jesus listened to the pray-mantis as it seemed Jesus never heard his prayers. He asked the pray mantis to please ask Jesus how his mother was and when his father was coming to take them home.
That day his dad came to visit after church, he had beautiful women with him. The three brothers where introduced to the lady and they were taken on a picnic and told that they would soon be coming home to live with their dad and this new lady.
Soon the day arrived and the boys were removed from the orphanage, their father remarried and they were now introduced to a step brother and two step sisters. The young boy that loved rabbits missed his protector and the visits to the tree house. He deeply missed the care and love the elder boy showed towards him. His eldest brother and step brother where so much bigger than him but they teased him for being weaker, smaller and silly and hurt him, ganging up on him. He longed for the comfort and protection of the older boy at the orphanage why could he never see him again?
Many years past and the boy grew older and went to school. The family lived in Somerset West in the Western Cape and the boy now had a huge rabbit hutch with hundreds of rabbits. He spent every spare moment caring and looking after his rabbits. At night he was filled with thoughts of sadness and the only way to help him feel better was to dream of being taken away by someone that would own and protect him. Just like he cared for his rabbits so he wished he could be caged and loved and cared for by someone like himself that loved him unconditionally. The dreams became darker and darker as he lost his ability to find joy other than in seeking it in darkness and the nightmares of his mind.
Perhaps if he became ill he would be sent back to the infirmary and he would again meet his protector or a new protector that would love and care for him and that he could look up to and admire. Maybe if he was ill his brothers would stop hurting him. At least if he was sick his father and step mother would have to take extra care of him and he would get the most love and attention.
The Hottentots Holland Mountain range was covered in snow, icy winds gushed around the home and the rain outside was icy cold. The boy decided that he could make this all happen by taking action himself and he took a hot, hot bath and ran into the rain hoping that he would become ill. He ran back inside and jumped back into the hot bath and then dashed back outside and stood in the cold until his body ached with the pain of the cold winter’s night. The next morning he awoke and did not feel anything was wrong and sadly felt that he could not even get it right to make himself sick. During school that day he developed a terrible fever and was sent to the school infirmary. His stepmother was called to fetch him and he was taken home. He became awfully ill; the doctors said he had double bronchitis and severe bronchial pneumonia. His wish to become ill was a reality he had been able to take control and cause enough harm to himself that his stepmother had to take special care of him. The seriousness of his illness resulted in him missing an entire term of schooling and everyone was sorry for him and showed him love and compassion.
He lay in bed fighting the illness, and no matter how bad he felt or how sick he was he was content as he lay making rabbit shadows on the wall. He felt loved and care for and that was all that mattered.

The little boy that loves rabbits is a big man now; he still loves rabbits but never makes shadows of rabbits on the wall anymore.
The shadow of this man remains hidden from himself and others as throughout his life he has used illness to find love and compassion. Controlled and suppressed he has learnt to successfully hide his darkest feelings, his deepest thoughts and darkest shadows. Yet he has used a natural empathy for others that suffer and are ill or in pain. He has reached out to many people feeling the reality of their pain. While he hides his own pain, he has tirelessly fought to protect his shadows from revealing themselves to others. He has suffered many illnesses, been diagnosed with a malignant melanoma, now living with HIV he has become a champion helping many to come to terms with this dark, dreaded disease. Not aware that through his unconscious mind he has attracted these diseases to himself.
Yet only today, has he learnt that the very shadow of his entire life has been his greatest gift. The shadow he has spent so much energy hiding has been the universes purpose for his life.
Today I embrace my shadow; my name is Alan Brand, the author of the book Positively Alive, the Group Wellness Manager of a large South African corporate company. I have counselled and helped many to move from the darkness of HIV into acceptance. I continue to dedicate my life to teaching others to come to terms with being HIV positive, living with chronic diseases, battling with cancer and emotional pain. I acknowledge my shadow; it is my greatest gift and no longer controls and hurts me. I step forward and took the lead in creating a support network for HIV + gay men in South African. I forgive myself for bringing harm to my body and for attracting hurt and pain in my life as I now learn to embrace my shadow. Without the experiences of my darkest shadows I could never have had the ability, the empathy and strength to stand up and help others to find the shadow in their own lives.
I have continue to walk the path of illness, annually suffering more and more health issues not aware that subconsciously I am attracting these illnesses to myself as it has become my life’s experience. Today I set my shadow free; I hold it high and reveal it to all to see. I forgive and embrace by shadow and accept that, that which I have been so scared to reveal has become my greatest gift.
I am today facing the little boy who loved rabbits; I am facing the terror of loneliness, despair, and abandonment. I forgive Jesus for “needing” my mother at a time when I needed her so much more. I forgive my father for taking me to see rabbits and leaving me in an orphanage, I forgive myself for seeking illness as my only means to find comfort and love. I embrace my higher purpose, my heroic self; I reveal my darkness and have overcome my shadows. I forgive not because I condone or seek to give these events or the people responsible the power or joy of my forgiveness, my forgiveness is selfish. I need to forgive as the only means to release myself from the pain caused and experienced. Through forgiveness I set my soul free and can heal.
The journey continues as I walk a path of healing, living and thriving with HIV and using my shadow self; to understand the pain of others I will continue to learn how this shadow has given me the power to reach the greater purpose of my life.
I seek to stop the need to call pain and illness into my life as my means to find comfort and protection. The adult man now meets the little boy, who loves rabbits, and lifts him into his arms, embraces him lovingly allowing him to life in harmony with his shadows.
Written by: Alan Brand; Date 19 March 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I love myself, am lovable and deserve to be loved!

Even though the desire to find love is deep and real sometimes it is the belief in one’s self that is the biggest hurdle placed in the path of finding that someone to love. If you do not feel worthy of love or say words about yourself and others that in fact hinder attracting that someone special to yourself you could be encouraging the very thoughts that turn people from you or place doubt in your mind that someone is out there for you. As yourself if you say the following:

- Does Mr right exist, where is he?

- Nobody finds me attractive!- I always get hurt and am left disappointed and alone.

- I wonder if I deserve to be love it must be that something is wrong with me!

- When is someone going to appear in my life for me?

- If I say I am HIV + they run!

- He is too clever, sexy, he will not be interested in me!

- I want to find the man of my dreams!

All of these words might be very real and your current experience but if you remain fixed in then and repeat them they will become the path you are choosing for yourselves. You see you can want something with all your heart and head and continue to say the words “I WANT, I WANT”. Every time you say you want you are acknowledging that you do not have.

Now consider this lets want in one hand and spit in another! Come on “want in one and spit in the other” …… now tell me which hand will become full first the hand filled with ‘want’ or the hand overflowing with spit.

In the same way saying, I want, might actually be reinforcing the very elements and realities in the universe that are limiting or stopping you from getting what you want to begin with.

I know this is how we are programmed to think or taught to respond. But what if by simply changing what we say we could trigger and re programme our belief about ourselves and start a process that can bring about profound change in our lives?

What if by, instead of using negative words about relationships and love we begin by saying positive things about ourselves, love and relationships could our words begin to change what we believe about ourselves and allow the universe to release the powers to actually make these words become our reality and lives experiences? This sounds too simple, too easy, it could never work! Yet are not your words a manifestation of what you believe and in fact your reality.

Let’s start today to reprogram the mind by starting with the words we use and say and so instead of saying “I want” let’s replace it with “I am” using affirmations to change the program of the mind.

Affirmations might just be positive statement s but when you replace your negative thoughts with positive affirmations and allow them to grow from words into what you believe about yourself they become an unstoppable force … an energy that will bring about the changes in your life that you so deeply desire.

Here are some affirmations for love and relationships:

I live in harmony and balance with everyone I know.

I love myself therefore I attract loving people into my life

I release the past and I am free to love fully in the present.

I love myself and am free.

I am loveable and able to give and receive love.

The more love I give the more I receive in return the supply is endless.

Repeat these to yourself daily again and again as if with every word said you are watering the seeds that you have planted, in faith, knowing that if you care and tend for these seeds they will grew and flower and become the reality of your life.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

December Holidays and Welcome to 2010

Well 2010 has arrived Johan and I spent old years eve at Risque Club and enjoyed the festive mood dancing and celebrating the advent of 2010 in each other arms on the dance floor.


We have returned from a wonderful holiday travelling through the Eastern and Western Cape. Highlights of the trip where the two nights in the Karoo National Park and hiking through the park early in the morning before having breakfast. This was a really good choice of first stop as the total tranquility and starkness helped us to slow down and become relaxed very quickly. I have heard that in the Karoo (which is a semi dessert region) it is so quite that you can hear the silence. I now again can confirm that this is not just a saying but a reality. The night sky is so filled with star light, the air fresh and clean and even the springbok and red hartebees stand silently listening to the silence. Without even realising it one begins to whisper and the soul has time to reflect and be still.


From the central Karoo we travelled via Graaff-Reinet and visited the "Valley of Desolation". Now when we told the girls we where going to the "Valley of Desolation" Brenda said that means you are going to see "f@3**" all well one might have thought so but wow it was truly a splendid place of such incredible beauty. Also being able to learn about how the Karoo basin was formed and why the area was an inland sea was truly informative.

In Graff-Reinet we happened upon a Pierneef art exhibition and as I am a huge fan of his works this simply was a magical and special experience.


We needed to get to Port Elizabeth (PE) however so on with our journey as we had planned two nights stay with a dear Friend in PE (also called Mandela Bay) as Nelson Mandela comes from the area in the Eastern Cape. We had two wonderful days with Denise and visited the Addo Elephant National Park while in PE.


The next two nights Johan had booked us a accommodation just outside the little town of Barrydale in the heart of Route62 and the wine, brandy and fruit region of the Little Karoo. The working farm has only one cottage on the banks of the Tradouw River and just as the road begins to meander up through the historic Tradouw Pass. Again the tranquility and peace of solitude and the beauty of our surroundings made the place magical and romantic. We swam in the river and watched Oryx grazing on the hill opposite the cottage while still lying in bed with the curtains open to the rising sun and beginning of the new day.

We also met two wonderful guys in Barrydale and spent a lovely evening with them. They are the owners of a renowned artistic chandelier manufacturing shop in Barrydale...

One other thing began to happen while we where in Barrydale and that was the tasting and purchase of far too much wine and brandy. Hmmmm well what can I say the boot began to overflow onto the back seat of the car as our luggage had to make place for purchased bottles and boxes of wine. Sadly our stay in Barrydale was two short and after two nights we had to move on to Cape Town.

Cape Town as always is simply a dream holiday destination not only because that is where I come from and my dad and step mom still live there but the mountains sea and beautiful city at the foot hills of Table Mountain and on the banks of Table Bay must be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. We where staying at the Waterfront Southern Sun Hotel with a great view over the city and the new soccer stadium.

We had Christmas day lunch with my dad and my niece (Chanel) at the Cape Sun hotel and wow what a spread. We shopped at the new Cape Quarter, travelled to Parternoster on the west coast and bought more wine at the Swartland wine cellar, bathed nude at the nudist beach at Sandy Bay, partied in the gay district, visited family and relaxed.

All to soon our departure for home was upon us and yet memories of special places, new friends and a car load of goodies plus plenty happy snaps to remember the time together.

So with these thoughts I enter 2010... warmed, rejuvenated and refreshed .... Looking forward to greater adventures and new challenges.