“Sawubona – I See You” – African Zulu Greeting

Written for and Published in The Seeds 4 Life.

“Hello.” A greeting is an acknowledgement of the person we are meeting.

It is a word which unites us with another in our introductory moment.

However, if we pay attention to our thoughts, we may notice the background noise of judgment, insecurities, motives, and impression. It may be human nature to decide upon the “hello,” if that person is worthy of our attention and time; and this exchange is based on how we see ourselves before seeing anybody else.

“Sawubona,” is an African Zulu greeting which translates to, “I see you, and by seeing you, I bring you into being.” (Susan David). Sawubona provides an opportunity for us to turn off the background noise and to be present in the moment of introduction.

To see the person for who THEY are, unbiased of our opinions and judgement. It can provide a space for genuine connection in recognizing another’s presence in our life and vice versa.

When we acknowledge another person and bring them into being as themselves, it opens up the space for also be recognized as who we are.  The background noise of judgement and insecurities will fade and the gift of openness will allow for all parties to stay comfortable in their skin.

What a different world it would be if we all greeted one another with the Sawubona intention? To see another as themselves and to welcome genuine connection.

Sawubona.

“I’ll Tell You What Freedom Is to Me. No Fear” – Nina Simone

Written for and Published on The Seeds 4 Life.

Oh, wildflowers. Ever notice how they bloom stubbornly? How they do not ask for permission to grow. How they do not compete for space. They reach through soil, through rock, through concrete. Adding life with colors with their fearless audacity.

The monarch butterfly. From the moment it spreads its wings, it ages rapidly. It dances with the wind while time plans to end the music in a possible 6 weeks. But the monarch dances. It kisses flowers and welcomes the instinct to migrate south so it may continue to dance with warmer winds. A courage blind to the certain outcome, but fully living feeling that breeze.

Then, there is us. Seeking the freedom to be who we are while being told who we should be. Staring at the horizon and preparing ourselves to take that first step. And although we may stand stall like trees, our roots we may take wherever we may go.

We are free to choose a direction and to tell our feet, “Onward.” And much like wildflowers, we do not need permission to grow. We are born free to do so. And much like the monarch butterfly, the winds of life welcome us to dance.

We are free to accept the invitation. Courageously. One step at a time. Liberated.

“Dearly Beloved, We Are Gathered Here Today To Get through This Thing Called Life” – Prince

Written for and Published in The Seeds 4 Life.

Hello, Life. However we want to define it. We are here. Sharing this experience. Gifted with the sun, the moon, and everything in between. With the opportunity to swim in oceans and recognize the way it tastes in our own tears.

With the chance of feeling what our eyes see in our hearts and seeing it painted on clouds at sunset.

With the complexities of how the brain works and the wonder in a child’s eyes when they take their first steps.

An experience we have been granted, mirrored when we look up at the night sky into a dark blue blanket with glistening specks of energy. Energy that creates, moves, gives, provides, returns.

This is Life. However we want to define it. A present for us to unwrap, admire, enjoy, and be grateful for.

“I Promise If You Keep Searching for Everything Beautiful in This World, You Will Eventually Become It” – Tyler Kent White

Written for and Published in The Seeds 4 Life.

When was the last time your eyes witnessed the sunrise? When was the last time your eyes witnessed the sunset? Or the grateful green the grass exudes after a summer rain? Or the full moon illuminating passing clouds? When was the last time your eyes witnessed beautiful?

It’s here, beautiful is here. Even in darkness, we can close our eyes and search our memories for beautiful. The smile of the person we love, the bloom of a rose, the joy of gratitude in being alive.

And the most incredible gift we receive by seeing the beautiful in this world, is sharing that vision with others and giving them the hope the world can be beautiful for them as well.

“But People Are Oceans. You Cannot Know Them by Their Surface” – Beau Taplin

Written for and Published in The Seeds 4 Life.

Walking along the shore, notice the seashells each wave gifted the sand. Most of our admiration goes to the ones that are unbroken, the ones with unique coloring, the ones, so big, they cover the entire palm of our hand. We gather some of these admired ones and decorate our lives with them.

But what if we took the time to pick the broken ones? What if we studied their jagged edges and asked them where their journey has taken them? What if we picked the dull colors and polished them clean to expose their radiance? What if we chose the tiniest shell and looked for the universe in their minuteness?

Just like shells, the people we meet every day, we often do not see. We notice their exterior and choose the ones who appeal to us. Meanwhile, the ones who seem broken, or ordinary, are assumed to be unable to add to our lives.

If we looked past what appears to us, we may see, we are the ocean. There is much more to each one of us than our jagged edges, our vibrant colors, and the way we fit into each other’s hands.

“The Trees Know That You Can Be Still and Grow at the Same Time” – Chris McGeown

Written for and Published in The Seeds 4 Life.

Growth does not always need to be loud. It does not always need to enter the room and scream at the top of its lungs “I am changed!” – It does not always need to shake things up like an earthquake exposing new lands above water. It does not always need to roll in like a hurricane, creating a path of destruction to be rebuilt. Growth can be still.

Admire the Oak tree and remember, it began in darkness as a tiny seed. It embraced the silence and nourished itself with the soil it was immersed in. Silently, it broke through to find the light and continued to reach up to it through wind, through cold, through rain, through heat. It grew through the years, but every day it was still.

Growth is for ourselves, and how we welcome the world. It does not need an announcement. It is for us to experience and to witness. It is for us to recognize and to accept. It is for us to continue, even in stillness.

“One Day or Day One. You decide.” -Unknown

Written for and Published in The Seeds for Life.

We speak of our future with goals and dreams, but when that future becomes our today, how many goals and dreams are unrealized? 

“One day…” we tell ourselves, while one-day turns into many days, a week, a month, and years, without the dream or goal realized.

But the today we are present in is different. Today we will decide WHY we have unrealized dreams? What excuses have we made? Why have we allowed dreams to stay dreams? Time?  Finances? Fear? Circumstances are plenty; but if it is important, we will find a way, if not, we will find an excuse. We decide. 

Today, stand firm and take a step forward. Mark the calendar with DAY ONE, because the truth of the matter is, ONE DAY may never come.

“….The ocean never handed me the gift of swimming. I gave it to myself.”— Y.Z., what I forgot to remember

Written for and Published in The Seeds 4 Life.

We have many teachers in our lives. Many who have taught us lessons on love, trust, and survival. We may think of these people fondly, or we may think of them with regret. Either way, these people have taught us.

As students of life, we may assume we do not have a choice in some of the experiences life navigates us through. We may assume we meet our teachers by chance. We may assume the lessons we learn are just the side effect of chance meetings and relationships. Although these assumptions may need validation, what is measurable, is our willingness anddesire to learn and add the lesson to our life book.

As students, we make a choice in the learning. We make a choice in our approach to each experience. We make a choice in cultivating relationships and practicing introspection. We give ourselves the opportunity to grow in life, to lead in it, or to be a victim to it and be led by it.

The gift of learning is there. Waiting to be unwrapped and applied. It’s ours. Pick it up and don’t forget to send a thank you note into the universe.

“True Love Is Not Found. It Is Built” – Unknown

Written for and Published in The Seeds 4 Life.

In many fairy tales, the happily ever after love stories are ingrained in our perspective of how love should come into our lives. We will find true love when the dragon is slain, or when the glass slipper fits; maybe even when we are kissed by the right person. Or when we are no longer mermaids and grow legs? Most of us know some of those stories, but we also know (all too well), love does not find us and we do not find love in any of those ways.

Love is not playing hide and go seek with us. Love first exists inside of ourselves and is projected out into the world based on how we perceive it, how we speak it, how we act in the name of it. It is available to be ours and for us to give away when we choose to. It is a home we can build with the foundation and the bricks of our choosing.

The foundation can be made up of many things we find of importance when loving someone and being loved in return. Trust, loyalty, understanding, genuineness – can all be amongst the foundation on which love is built. The bricks we use can be made up of the memories shared, milestones, the acts of love we have given and received. These bricks can also be the arguments, the misunderstandings, and the growth love has given us the privilege of experiencing.

From time to time, step outside of the front door of this home and admire it. Admire the way it was built and ensure the foundation is still solid. There may be some wear and tear, but with continued maintenance and attention, this home will forever be a place where love continues to grow.

“Don’t Let People Pull You Into Their Storm. Pull Them Into Your Peace” – Kimberly Jones

Written for and Published in The Seeds 4 Life.

Most of us are aware of the connection we have to one another. From the people we live with, to the people we work with, even to the people we engage with on social media.

This connection gives us the gift of empathy; to be able to relate and share one another’s feelings.  Feelings ranging from joy to pain; it allows us to participate in each other’s lives and gives us a sense of community.

Community is a beautiful thing, and although we are responsible for the energy we are contributing to this beautiful concept, we are also responsible in how we engage in the practice of empathy. How we react to the community’s climate and situations.

The splendor of empathy is sharing in the vulnerability someone is exposing. It is observing someone’s storm, but providing them with shelter. Not a compromising shelter, but a shelter in which they are introduced to an alternate view.

Maybe one from above their clouds – peace.

Maybe one from the front porch, where they are able to admire how the rains are providing their seeds with necessary life – peace.

Maybe one only made up of an umbrella, where dancing in these storms cleanses away all worries and is a melodic reminder that storms blow on by and soon will expose clear skies – peace.

Continue to engage. Continue the practice of empathy. Continue to pull a stormy climate into your peace. Community is a beautiful thing, and your contribution can make all of the difference. Contribute well.