Sources of inspiration from my time off…
Sources of inspiration from my time off…
I spent the last three weeks travelling with my family in South Africa. I used the time wisely to rejuvenate and refresh my mind. I went offline, let my spirit and soul run free and focused on the South African landscape and the wild animals in their natural habitat and was completely overwhelmed.
Usually the sea has the strongest positive effect on my wellbeing. I get so much energy and drive from the sea, it simply takes my breath away! I felt very much the same way whilst I was in South Africa, so much so that I discovered that the wildlife of South Africa was well able compete with my affection for the sea. We spent three full days on a wild life reserve and drove out twice a day to observe and admire the animals. Wow, such a privilege afforded to us human beings, if we only knew how to appreciate it! So far my knowledge of giraffes, elephants, tigers, lions, and antelope and more was limited to my observations from the other side of the cages and enclosures of a zoo. I had never really appreciated their true beauty. Being out there and watching them living their life freely was totally overwhelming. It was the very first time that I became completely aware of all the beauty surrounding me. Since this experience I cannot stop thinking of all the animals that we human beings keep in our zoos and cages for our own pleasure, preventing them from enjoying the kind of life that nature had intended. What I also admired was the beauty of the nature. The peace and the quiet, especially when we were out early in the morning, was a gift. Being aware of the fact that my surroundings were rich with wildlife and yet such a sense of tranquility! It was something like I had never experienced before. Pure meditation!
My test of courage
I am the only member of my family who is rather sceptical when it comes to adventurous undertakings on holiday. Nevertheless I agreed to climb Table Mountain in Cape Town with my husband and daughter. Thankfully we had a guide with us. For one who favours hiking in the mountains over climbing, this route turned out to be rather challenging. I have to admit that finding myself at the bottom of a giant rock with absolutely no idea how to get to the top, was really scary for me. This was definitely a test of my courage and willingness to attempt something very much out of my comfort zone. I looked fear in the eye, drew upon my self-confidence and focussed on moving forward one foot in front of the other, one step at a time. At this point in time for me courage meant not being afraid of falling. As I arrived at the top, I felt an amazing sense of achievement and pride.
The second test of my courage took place when I agreed to discover the Cango Caves in Oudtshoorn in the western Cape of South Africa. At first it didn’t appear all that challenging. It was a guided tour. The only thing the ticket sale office asked was whether any of us suffered from claustrophobia. Well, again for one who prefers to have solid ground beneath their feet and who would rather walk than creep through tiny little openings and splits and who isn’t so fond of sliding on one’s chest or back, this tour turned to be a further test of my courage. Once again I was challenged to do something out of my comfort zone. Thanks to my self-confidence I learned that I was capable of doing so much more than I thought I could.
Although having read and heard about Apartheid in South Africa I could not believe my ears when I heard some of the dreadful stories relating to that time. Nevertheless, it was inspiring for me to hear from people who had lived through those hard times and to learn that they are looking forward and not backwards. To understand that they are willing to forgive and that they are looking at the brighter side of life and a more positive future is truly inspirational.
Thanks to my conversations with some people, it was also inspiring for me to hear that they enjoy the simplicity of life. To my question as to what they would do if they had more courage their responses were mostly, to continue what they were doing to their best ability, to make the most out of their time and to live a happy life.
This is what I wanted to share with you from my time spent offline. We can all grow and open our horizons according to our experiences and according to through whose eyes we view the world, the future and the opportunities around us. Take the courage to realise your experiences and live life to the full…