I Believe in Khalil Gibran

I believe in Khalil Gibran

I believe in asking for favours

I believe that your little black book is your real value

I believe in Queen Rania

I believe in asking for introductions

I believe in cold calling

I believe in faking it until you make it

I believe in convertibles

I believe in Truffle Oil

I believe that “burn out” is more common than we realise

I believe in random acts of kindness

I believe in giving anonymously

I believe in cranberry juice

I believe in Persian carpets, essential oils and a good Hammam session

I believe in NDA’s, MOU’s and SLA’s

I believe in agreements based on handshakes

I believe in frequent hand washing

I believe in allowing kids to challenge the opinion of adults

I believe in discipline

I believe in allowing the eldest in the family the best seat at the table

I believe in the hashtag #sorrynotsorry

2013-04-25 10.42.51

Those are NOT my undies

The clown called for volunteers.  Of course I stuck my hand up!  


I was 10 years old and the stage wasn’t scary to me anymore.  I had some practice being up there.   I had read something about Paul and the Colossians at the assembly the previous week.  I waved at my best friend and she waved back.Things were looking good.


The clown started by making animals from balloons.  The kids laughed.  I did too.


Then, came the main event.


He started by doing some “magic” and then he held something pink in his hand.  He called for kids to guess what it was.


After allowing all sorts of “wrong” answers to be screamed out, he revealed the truth.


It was a panty.  A huge pink panty.


And, it was supposed to be MINE!


The kids really laughed!!


I did not find it funny at all but I laughed too.   


I knew that it did not belong to me.  I was at a Catholic school and we all wore the standard thick, navy blue issue. (Well, at least the rule followers did).  But, that didn’t mean that the kids knew this.


They assumed that I was starkers!  And, it hurt.  I walked off the stage humiliated.  I went straight to the loo, to check if my undies were still there and also to cry.


My granny heard about this.  She put her silver hair in a bun, powdered her face, put on her pearls and walked straight into the principal’s office.  She never told me what they talked about.  It did not matter.


I told myself that I would NEVER volunteer for anything again.  The next morning, the principal asked for someone to carry the box of keys from school to the church every day.  Traditionally, this was the job reserved for the head prefect.  I was 3 years too young.  But, guess who stuck their little hand in the air again?  Yip!


I carried that box proudly every day.


That was my training.  My training to stretch myself to do uncomfortable and scary things. 


What are the things YOU wish you could stick your hand up to do?  I can tell you honestly, that even if kids think you have no undies on, you can still be president.


Go on!

I do NOT have a “Thick Skin”

I developed a bad habit.

The first time I said it, I knew it was a lie.  So, I let it go.

The next time I said “Don’t worry, I have a very THICK SKIN”, it felt easier to say.  Familiarity is a warm place.

Then, it just became habit.

What the heck does it even mean? Thick skin?  Well, it is supposed to mean that you are :

  • Resilient
  • Mature
  • Not overly sensitive
  • Don’t take things personally

Most importantly, it is supposed to mean that you are someone who can handle their feelings maturely in the face of criticism or conflict. 

I guess the last sentence is the reason I allowed this phrase to creep into my vocabulary.  Afterall, I believe that being able to efficiently process feedback is a great trait.

But what happens when someone questions your credibility or trivialises your abilities?  How about when someone gossips about you and you hear about it?  Or excludes you socially?  Or a loved one says something hurtful? Or wait, how about when someone dismisses your opinion in a meeting?  Strong, centered people react, right?  They set the record straight.  They understand that in effect, we teach people how to treat us. 

Thick Skin

Well, some strong, centered people also develop bad habits.  Some strong, centered people start telling other people “Don’t worry! I have a very THICK SKIN”.  It is supposed to serve two purposes:

  1. Make the rude person feel better about themselves
  2. Diffuse further conflict

But what it really does is :

  1. Turn the strong, centered person into a victim
  2. Give the rude person licence to say/do it again

So, I stopped.  I stopped lying.

I am NOT thick skinned.  I may be resilient and mature BUT I AM sensitive, I DO take things personally and I reckon learning to cancel this ghastly phrase from my dictionary is a pretty mature way to manage my feelings.

Are there any words YOU use to describe yourself that are not true but have become a habit?

Today’s a good day to STOP.

Aluta Continua, my friends.  The road is long (for me)

I believe in the women that have gone before me

I believe in the women that have gone before me.

I believe in proper spelling and full sentences.

I believe in using punctuation.

I believe in kaftans, turbans, doeks and head wraps.

I believe in bookclub. I believe that bookclub should be 10% about books.

I believe in space cleansing.

I believe that each time my ego has driven my decision, I have not made the right call.

I believe in emojis.

I believe in making lists.

I believe in scheduling.

I believe in chance meetings.

I believe that I don’t need to explain myself to morons.

I believe that not everyone gets my drift and that that’s okay.

I believe in my essence.

I believe in eating the topping off pizza, the caramel off Twix and the leaving the merinque on the side of the plate after devouring the lemon tart.

I believe that chivalry is not dead.

I believe that where attention goes, energy flows.

Let it go!

I believe in punctual, prepared and well-groomed.

So, I arrived 10 minutes early, took out my research notes and hung up my favourite navy blue Zara blazer.

The waitress with her strong perfume seated me.  I felt nauseas. 

I noticed that feeling again. The same feeling I had when I was driving to the meeting.

My guest arrived 20 minutes late.  We ordered tea.

She had not prepared for the meeting.  She had not signed the Non-Disclosure Agreement I had sent her either.   In fact, she had not even looked at it.

I should have stopped right there.

Instead, I ordered some more tea and she pitched her ideas to me. I loved them.  There was definite synergy there.  A partnership was on the cards. I was excited.

She texted a lot during the meeting.  She also took 3 or 4 calls.  I used one of those moments to go to the ladies room.  I looked at myself in the mirror and shook my head a few times. 

The rest of the meeting was fun.  We laughed lots, ordered lunch and lots more tea. I noticed that her shirt had stains on it. 

By 6pm I had forgotten all about the weird feelings and the stains.  Creative juices were flowing and we were making plans to take over the world together. She was so smart!

Well, things began to fall apart a week later.  She landed a contract.  Alone.  Solo.  With my ideas, though my contacts, without me.

I was mad.

I was sad.

I was jealous.

I was disappointed.

So, guess what I did?  I chose to let it go. 

No, I am not a saint!  Nor do I believe in karma.   I don’t even subscribe to the philosophy that “the wheel turns”.

I chose to let it go because as I said, I believe in being punctual, prepared and well-groomed and let’s face it, if I let that tart take any of my time and energy, I will be none of those for my beautiful future.

Aluta continua I say!  Let it go


Fighting is sooooo last season

A man walked up to me in a crowd. He pretended to sneeze and grabbed my handbag.  Then, he pointed to his lips and said “Shhhh”.

Two seconds passed. Then, I made a decision.

I had to push past a few people before I could get to him.

I looked him square in the eye, and said “THAT is mine!”

Then I grabbed the Chanel clutch and walked away.

Please hold the applause!

Fear Continue reading →

The Girl Had a Dream

The girl had a dream.    But, her dream didn’t fit her current state of mind.  It was also kind of crazy and she had to be focussed and mature about planning for her future.    She also had to plan for her children’s futures. Her children were her biggest pride!  She was actively raising three beautiful beings in a fast paced city with a husband who had found his passion as a Minister.  She loved the way his eyes lit up when he talked about his “calling”. Her boss called her into his office one morning “Listen dear, this is not good news”.  He told her a long story.  The bottom line was that she was being sacked.  He was losing his job too, but she doubted that their payouts were comparable. She panicked. That’s when the dream called her name again.

2013-05-23 19.18.28

She was a successful corporate lawyer but her recent delve into the world of photography sparked something in her soul.  Watching the world through the lens allowed her to see things from a different perspective.  She liked that.  She also liked the reaction when people saw her work. She wondered if this new “feeling” could translate into other areas of her life.  She also wondered if fulfilling her childhood DREAM would give her a similar high? The girl decided to do the mature thing.  She took out her little black book and prospected for another corporate job.  She figured that she could always revisit her dream again “when the time is right”. The girl with the dream called me yesterday. She said that she was waiting for feedback from 3 great interviews, one in New York.  She was beginning to doubt herself, her abilities, her very core.   Her confidence was shaky.  She asked me how I deal with the FEAR of not being good enough. I told her it was simple.  I figure that if I fail, I can always go back to my bathroom mirror and remember where I wrote the name of my dream! She said “Great idea! I think I’ll try it sometime”.    I reckon that dream is going to make more and more noise in the coming days. 

Dear Heart



I did something strange this morning.  Yes, again.

But, this time I took it a bit further than usual.

I was on my way to a beautiful ancient church in a courtyard in the city.  My plan was to light a candle, to mark the start of Lent.  I didn’t want to go to a mass, I just wanted to light a candle.

On my way there, I met a woman.  Yes, another woman.  (It seems to be a theme, right?)

She told me that she liked my “youthful excitement” and guessed that I still had “a lot to learn about life”.  She was a cynic.  And God knows, I avoid them like the plague!  But, this one was stitting next to me and the 4 minute train journey seemed like 11 hours.

It turns out that life hasn’t been kind to her.  She has a mountain of debt, her husband cheated on her, her children are siding with their father, her job is crap, cat died, geyser burst and her appearance shows it all!

So, guess what I did?  I asked for her email address.  I told her that I wanted her to write a letter.  A letter to her heart.

We parted ways.

She looked at me in a strange way.

I liked that.


So, here is the note I suggested that she writes to her heart:  #truestory

Dear Heart

We need to have a talk.

The issue is sensitive. As sensitive as it gets. Because, let’s face it, no one likes criticism.

You’ve changed.

Yes, you are still great at pumping blood.  You’re still pretty good at your compass function too.  But, something is different. You seem to be, ummm….how do I put it?  Harder.

You seem harder. Yes, harder.

Things that used to make you melt, seem to go un-noticed.

Yes, it’s true!  Look at yesterday.  We walked to the beach.  The waves dancing. The sun was setting a beautiful orange, just the way you like it. A pair of lovers strolled by.  A mother was nursing her baby.  A granddad was playing frisbee with his son. 

Why didn’t you melt?  Why didn’t you crumble?  I mean, you didn’t even skip a beat! 

So yes, we need to have a talk…”


Do YOU do strange things sometimes?  Or do you just dream of doing strange things?