Our birthdays tend to serve as a reminder of all that we have been through, grown through, healed through and overcome and also the moments of joy and bliss that fill our lives. 

My birthday is no different. In the last two years, I have had no choice but to sit and actively reflect on my birthday – we were in lockdown. There were no friends, no extended family and rationed liquor reserved in our home – so reflect I did. I let out a nervous laugh when I think of it.

I reflected on the mother I am and intend to be, my life goals and aspirations and I challenged myself on the ideas of “by thirty I want to” as well as “in my thirties I’d like to”. I intend to be even more present in my thirties and not live so far into my future. I’ve struggled to take in the daily miracles and mercies. I’ve found myself doing that quite a lot in my early years. 

I have grown to value my wellness above all things. Particularly mental and physical wellness. Family means a great deal to me and so does community, and in seeking that grounding, that feeling of being seen and valued within the community is really what I count as one of the contributors to my overall wellness journey. 

In the next few weeks, I’ll share more about my wellness journey. 

In the last year, I’ve pushed myself on so many fronts and raised the bar on myself for myself. One such example was swimming the Midmar mile. I can remember about halfway through the race, across the dam in the stillness and loneliness of that solo swim, thinking to myself “Olwethu, really?!? Why are you really doing this? This is gruelling and exhausting.”

I knew I’d trained and worked towards this goal. I wanted to prove myself right. I could do something for myself, follow through and finish. And that’s my life’s theme from here on. 

I’ve realised the value of stillness and not over-sharing. I’ve realised the value of sitting in uncomfortable silence and challenging my thoughts. I’ve elevated my thoughts in the art of stillness and honouring my mind, my body and spirit and the grace and flow they hold for me when I allow them to. But I wouldn’t know this without the stillness. The stillness is scary. The stillness is daunting. But it is healing. 

The past 2 years have included a lot of career shifts, pivots and growth and a renovation journey in our home. 

After years of watching renovation shows, shows of people buying old dilapidated houses and flipping them, coupled with my education and experience in the construction and development space, I walked in on this journey and thought “We got this!” And boy has it been intense! Though the lesson I learned on this journey is to streamline communication with service providers. Even two people saying the same thing but not streamlining the processes can confuse the hell out of things. So this was a huge learning curve for us. 

This is the very same notion I am carrying forward in work and parenting. Streamlining and communication. And when things don’t work out, be still – keep still and figure it out. 

In early June, hubby and I retreated out to our favourite farm on a 5-day juice and water fast. The chef at Oaklands joked that “you’re paying to starve!” We left fuller than we have ever been in years.

The mind, body and soul revival that we undertook required silence and as they say, “hunger is a good teacher”… boy did I meet my most inner beast in the hunger. It forced me to get out of my mind and out of my thoughts and step into my body. I had to allow my body to guide my journey that week. 

Thirty-two is such a magical shifting of gears year for me. I am growing through all of the wringers that life has to offer and I’m excited to have you, my community, on the journey with me. 

That said, in July, my AoS team thought it a great idea for me to take our community through some of the life lessons and evaluations I have been making as I grow in, The Art of Stillness. 

This month, I’d like to invite you to join us at AoS in reevaluating the following;

Reevaluate our parenting: 

  • Parenting is falling, failing, breaking apart, and being triggered. How are you choosing stillness instead of fight or flight?
  • How are you choosing love over and over again?

Reevaluate our career: 

  • What needs to change?
  • What if things don’t change? What needs to emerge out of you?

Reevaluate our health:

  • Where are you at in your health? 
  • Are you happy? 
  • What do you want to change?

Reevaluate our finances: 

  • Do you feel you have a grip on your finances? 

Reevaluate our relationships:

  • Am I where I want to be?
  • Am I loved?
  • Do I know what I need to feel loved?

Reevaluate our reading shelf:

  • What’s on my bookshelf?

Listen…it was scary at first doing this evaluation – I’ve learnt that being honest with ourselves isn’t always easy but when you pour out love on yourself, pure love, shame has no room to thrive! 

It’s there of course because we’re all human but talk to yourself… say “[Your name] you can’t shame me. I love me and I own my failure, my shame and I also own myself. I love my failures and all that they’ve taught me. You can’t use shame on me anymore. I love you. Let’s grow.”

Many of us are scared to go within because shame is scary… but let’s go. Let’s dive into the stillness and love. Life is no race against time. It’s finding your peace and doing what it takes to keep it. That’s where I’m at and that makes me happy…it’s such a joyful place – it’s worth fighting for.