Arthur Attwell on TRANSIT
Welcome to November!
Yes, we can hear you asking the same question… “Where did October go?”
It must have flicked past our window as we slumbered in the TRANSIT carriage on the 2020 train.
But don’t worry, while you were playing cards and perhaps dosing off to the stream-rolling motion of the wheels gliding over the tracks, we managed to capture a glimpse of the beautiful scenery for you. A glimpse that tells a story…
”A story between the doings” as Arthur Attwell, our speaker for October, explained in his moving talk.
We had the pleasure of delving, with Arthur, into the unknown and strange space in time, where you realise that you are leaving behind where you were but not quite where you want to be. As Arthur reminded us, Dr Seuss’ had a name for it. The Waiting Place of life.
Most of us run our lives controlling the controllables - constantly moving, from one station, one destination to another. Most of us buy a bus, train or flight ticket to somewhere specific or we stick to our routes - auto-pilot mode drive ourselves to our local spots on muscle memory without conscious thought.
Imagine being stuck on this mode of transport with no knowledge of where you are going. For how long will you be in the same seat? How many fields, trees and stop signs will flick past you as you look out the same window?
Arthur took us to that place to explore what happens to us when we sit down on this universal seat of “cosmic public transit”. That seat where you could land up anywhere because “in swirl of universe there is no such thing as being stationary”.
He shared some interesting experiences about his journey and the Waiting Place he encountered along the way. He realised that either you are moving yourself or the TRANSIT will move you. A wise old saying comes to mind…“The right train of thought can take you to a better station in life.”
Often in life when you feel like your hands have been taken off the wheel, you realise that there is merit in being the passenger for a while. You are able to enjoy the ride and notice things you haven’t seen before when you were concentrating on keeping your vessel between the lines of your old life.
You are afforded the opportunity to get into the right mindset to be able to decide the what, how and when of your new journey and where it will take you.
So next time, you find yourself in this peculiar place, remember to embrace being the passenger and use the time graciously borrowed to you to re-charge, re-balance and create - for yourself.
Sit in your waiting place and grab the glimpses through the window. Let them transform your thoughts into a wonderful story for your life.
When that train stops at your destin-st-ation, you’ll be ready to step onto the platform of your new reality - to set yourself free and give back abundantly with gratitude for how far you have come.
September on the Spectrum
“Our hearts were ringing - In the key that our souls were singing
Holding hands with your heart to see you - Remember true love we share today”
Do you remember the month of September?
The month that marks the start of the sprint to Christmas, the smell of flowers revealing their inner blooming beauty, bouts of hay fever for some, a sense of love in the air and definitely a local lift of night-life-style with the announcement of lockdown Level 1 for us in South Africa.
So, after the most interesting few months of 2020, we decided that for CreativeMornings CT, it was time for a bit of a breather, to freshen up for our last exciting events of 2020.
Of course we never leave you hanging without some food for thought and we still took a good look into Isaac Newton’s prism to see what colours it could reveal for us in SEPTEMBER on the SPECTRUM.
If we let our thoughts wander back to the days of 1672, one could imagine that the act of peeking through a triangular shape to see if just one source of light could produce an array of colours, must have truly been perceived as absurd. Wonderfully weird ideas always come with a sense of skepticism from society.
So what exactly did Newton discover on his light missions?
Well, a bit of a science recap will remind us that a spectrum is the range of colours observed due to light being bent (or refracted) by the angles and plane faces of a prism. Each wavelength of light energy is refracted by a slightly different amount, resulting in the light separating into individual bands with unique characteristics of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet and ultimately forming the image of a rainbow.
In short, spectrum is the conceptual tool we use to organise the physical phenomena of waves traveling through space at different frequencies.
So essentially, Newton found quite a unique way to physically demonstrate the vibrations of “appearance” and “perception”.
The way in which things appear to be is highly correlated to the way in which we position ourselves to perceive them. And it seems the prism swings two ways.
Light energy around us is constantly being refracted by the 3D bends and planes to show us objects of various shapes and colours. Meanwhile, light energy entering our cornea is also being refracted to reach the back of our eyes to let our brain make sense of what we are seeing. Each human being with a similar set of eyes and brains seeing the same world but yet unique in its angles and interpretations.
We are all on the same spectrum of earth, however, how we perceive is dependent on our position in the light. Interestingly, how we are perceived seems to be dependent on the same.
There have been psychological studies done which determined that there is a universal belief that a person’s physical appearance influences the way in which they are perceived and treated by others. It is termed The Attractiveness Bias or “what is beautiful is good” effect.
We can feel your knee-jerk reaction through the screen. Yes, what is termed beautiful in today’s society is not always good. But we can’t help wondering whether there isn’t some truth in the statement and whether Earth Wind & Fire were in fact secretly contemplating this phenomenon in writing the lyrics for their most famous song, September.
When we position ourselves in the light with a vibrational energy of self-love and we create a prism of connectedness in mind - body - soul, we will appear and be perceived as a rainbow of existence.
We will emit outwards what is refracted inwards.
May you find your rainbow and share your light.
.… Ba duda, ba duda, ba du
Nic Haralambous on Stress
We might not have the refreshing Spring rains that await our Johannesburg fellow-CM community but in Cape Town, we sure have the most determined winter any chapter city has ever seen…it has been icy!
So the relevance of this topic couldn’t have been hotter and with Nic Haralambous as our speaker, we had just the person to raise the dopamine levels and heat it up a little on the pressure cooker topic of STRESS.
2020 has certainly been a stress-tester to most of us and not all of us have come out as PH-neutral in the turmoil of playing the waiting game in lockdown. Our bodies have taken a knock with the demands of work, relationships, financial and non-social pressures over the past few months.
Stress can be a key motivator, and a very important tool for us to survive but as Nic pointed out, it is easy to become addicted to the flip-side of that coin. And we’ve all felt it. That rush you get from being stressed for a test or a presentation, watching your savings in Bitcoin ride up and down or to meet a new person (or in person - especially in these times!).
It is easy to constantly want that feeling and to thrive off the drama that your body experiences in those moments. It is an easy science and our brains know it. Our minds can learn (and actually physically alter themselves in the process) to create those situations within ourselves that keep feeding our internal dopamine dependency.
It begs the question - why do it? Because as human beings we are also wired to care and especially to care about what we understand success to be. Kelly McGonigal, the author of “The upside of stress” wrote “You don’t stress out about things you don’t care about, and you can’t create a meaningful life without experiencing some stress.”
This is true. We need to learn to embrace and balance it. Not avoid it.
Nic reminded us to move away from what he termed the ‘Sacrifice fallacy’. Oh yes, we have all fallen into that trap of thinking we have to give up our basic Maslow principles to manage stress and achieve wholesome, successful living.
There is a reason that Maslow highlighted the basic physiological needs as the foundational pillars of being human and as the necessities in moving towards self-actualisation.
Let’s challenge each other to the B2B (back to basics) of:
- Sleep as much as we need.
- Eat to feed our soul, not just fill our bodies.
- Exercise in whatever way feels comfortable, but exercise!
So that we may reminisce on the things we tried and failed, but learnt from… rather than the things we failed to learn because we were too stressed or scared to try.
Let’s flick the switch (even when there is load shedding)
Happy Spring-in-your-step September, everybody!
Imraan Samuels on Underdog
Is July 2020 really a thing of the past? We’re just as shocked as you are that the winter solstice has come and gone and just like that it is time to say goodbye to another great month of this year.
We welcomed Imraan Samuels, a wonderful leader in our natural living community whose business has flourished in these unprecedented times where lockdown has asked of us to think differently about what we have and what we can do with it in small spaces.
From Underdog to Leader on the sustainability front, Imraan made us stop and think about what is truly at our disposal in and around Zone Zero aka ‘home’.
It was inspiring to hear about what he has accomplished as a permaculture designer, practitioner and facilitator and what he has brought to life through his ventures and passions. Most specifically, creating the urban permaculture training platform, Guerilla House and incredible work he has done with the SEED organisation.
Where most people see humanity as the burden of existence to Mother Nature, Imraan reminded us that looking after Her isn’t about alienating ourselves, but rather seeing our value in Her transformation.
As the beauty of Spring approaches, let’s nourish our green fingers and home-grown souls and take his advice to learn through our bodies by embracing that we have everything inside ourselves and around us to live an abundant life.
Happy cultivating those dreams!
Sarah Rice on Insecure
What an interesting time to be talking about feeling uncertain and anxious within oneself with everything that is going on in the world. Especially since we find ourselves in a space where we are forced by law to sit still and face the silence within ourselves.
This is not always the most comfortable place to be because it means dropping the masks we put on so quickly when we turn around and face society. And let’s face it, those masks are pretty handy most of the time in avoiding getting hurt, showing our sensitivities and just making it out there.
We’ve all heard the coined phrase ‘Fake it til you make’ however this month we have pondered on the thought of whether following this kind of mantra is really powerful or helpful. Does it actually assist us in dealing with the root of what is going on internally?
We had the immense pleasure of welcoming to our virtual platform, Sarah Rice, who has had an incredibly interesting journey of throwing herself into the deep end and juggling between the polarities of hope and fear.
She reminded us that it is so important to acknowledge that to be human is to see and appreciate the depths of our shadow, insecure selves, instead of constantly striving to fit into the shallow ‘instagram world of uber confidence’ around us.
It is true that most often we don’t feel worthy to tackle life in its fullness and we end up getting stuck in that familiar impostor syndrome. And yes, it is one thing to acknowledge it, but quite another to overcome the feelings and shake off the fears.
Enter the ‘Insecurity Toolbox’.
Thank you to Sarah for lifting the lid and giving us a peek into her experiential treasure collection. These are some of the tools we can make our own:
- Find your heart-friends: Foster strong and forceful relationships and allow these fellow humans to support you in climbing out of your head and avoiding the ‘land of always-never’.
- Outsource your confidence: Let the confidence of others in you remind you of your beauty and courage in tackling the unknown.
- Separate feelings from facts: Pop that illusionary balloon floating in your mind so you can wake up to the reality of your true self.
- Dance with your insecurities: Flow with your heart’s rhythm to know what you need to move on your life’s beat.
- Find your practice: Go back to basics and focus on the small and significant daily wins in your life that make you uniquely who you are. It’s the gratitude for what seems small that shifts big time.
So, when you find the hinges are a little loose or the screws need a bit of a tightening, remember the tools in and around you. You may be surprised at what other treasures you find along the way. And please do share them with us!
Well, it seems lockdown wants to be starting to say its goodbyes and we will slowly crawl back to what will be a new normal.
Just perhaps, wearing an actual mask helped hold up the mirror for us and we can now be free and at ease to be our mask-less and vulnerable selves in the world.
We can raise a mug to that! Till next time…
Natasha Napoli on Nature
We ended off May in light-hearted spirits thanks to the delight of a being, Natasha Napoli.
Tash’s sincere presence was truly humbling as she enlightened us on her
experiences of sustainable living, interconnectedness and letting go
into the flows of life to truly know thyself and live authenticity -
Just like beauty was born from chaos with her inspiring organic and waste-free business venture, Nourish’d, Tash was able to remind us that we can too drop from the chaos of life into stillness in ourselves where the elements of life are actually already flowing in a perfect circle of life.
We learnt about what the fire, earth, air and water elements represent and it was interesting to touch base with ourselves in what element was currently heavily present in our lives. More importantly, Tash’s talk reminded us that in order to grow and be balanced - in mind, body, spirit and soul, you have to be in touch with this energy and in time with NATURE.
It is true that nature is always on time and tapping into that grounded space of time allows you to know when to shift and re-plant yourself in a new space. As she so beautifully explained, you can’t plant your idea in a smaller pot when the fire in your soul wants a flower bed, a garden or even a forest! Where are we placing our energy and attention?
And how much do we believe in our message to the world? During this time where we can’t escape into other realities, we are being called to deeply ponder these questions.
Perhaps it is time for a bit of re-planting? Order a deliciously organic Nourish’d moonshine bowl and some naturally produced Clay Pigeon Trading coffee, and enjoy while you take a listen to the whisperings of your soi(u)l. You never know what mysteriously beautiful messages you may find.
Till we meet again, keep warm and happy!
David Donde on Purpose
With a 2-day count-down to the end of this whirlwind month and what is to be new norms in this lockdown living, we hosted our first virtual event! We had the privilege of spending time with our own coffee guru and (TRUTH) way finder, David Donde.
He reminded us that life is beyond the boundaries of our perceptions and that in order to find YOUR truth and live extraordinary joy, it requires an acceptance of (your quirky) self and the flow of life…and of course, a healthy dose of courage!
Find your authentic heart, understand your product (PURPOSE) offering, give of it generously and passionately push on those buttons to manifest the intentions in service to the collective.
You’re holding the remote already, so just un-mute and remember to turn on the webcam ;)
And that’s a wrap on April…
A big coffee cup cheers to all that made this event possible and are staying in the light with us in these times… who knows what strangely beautiful surprises await us in the month of May!
Danielle Clough on Courage
For March we had photographer-designer-vj-embroiderer, Danielle Clough
take us through theme COURAGE. Special thanks to Friends of Design -
Academy of Digital Arts for hosting us, Amazee Labs for providing the
delicious breakfast, and to our long term partner Sir Fruit for the
delicious juicy refreshments!
Conn Bertish on Broken
This month we had Conn share his thoughts on the theme “Broken”. He is a creative director who thrives on new challenges and then created Cancer Dojo, an innovative social enterprise that harnesses creativity and Psychoneuroimmunology to empower people facing disease. He shared his cancer-living journey with us and taught us that “happy people are harder to kill” and that we have the power to connect with our own healing.
Kayli Levitan on Ethics - 26th Feb 2016
Kayli spoke on the importance of ethics in every day live and shared some valuable experience and insights from The Street Store, the world’s first rent-free, premises-free, free “pop-up clothing store”
for the poor, found entirely on the street and curated by you. Find out more on http://thestreetstore.org