Showing posts from November, 2012

Gulu Day 2

I believe that in some way we breathe together; that is, that at any given moment, the people we are surrounded by are all sharing some mutual experience in some way. Nothing in our lives stands still. Nothing remains the same. Our lives change in the blink of an eye. Miracles also happen in the blink of an eye – just like that. Carolynn Myss What did I learn today? Kitikodogo (A new word!!) So I made it to the border, three police stops, kitikodogo, baboons and all!! I watched on as women with babies strapped on to their backs with anything on their heads even a wooden bench walk miles and miles to get to their destination or pumping water at a well (so much for daycare!) Tomorrow I start the training, I am supposed to at the end of this formulate a gender policy which is a challenge I am up for! Funniest joke though, at the police stop the officer asked about the white madam in the car. I said where? Meaning  me!!! Too funny! Who knew!!? Here’s to the journey!! Peace!!

Off to Gulu

Walk humbly on the Earth. Do not burden yourself with the attitude that you must be superior to the other people you see, that you must somehow let them know you are better than them. For all you know, you are walking past a great healer or a patient and loving mother caring for a handicapped child, or a father who just found out he got the job he so desperately needed. Carolyn Myss (author) Today I set off to Gulu from Kampala, this is approximately an eight hour journey by car. This is a town close to the Sudanese border and was the location of  much of the fighting between the Ugandan army and the Lord Resistance Army. Over 90% of the population has returned to their villages after more than two decades of living in concentration camps. Some of these camps are now “little towns”. This is my second visit there however this time I will be conducting a workshop for around 20 to 25 people. The last time I went there was stray baboons coming around the vehicle, nuff police stoppin

Electric Party

"You Are In the Right Place, At the Right Time, Doing the Right Thing, With the Right People, For the Right Reason, Everything is Perfect. You Can Have the Right Results! All you need is a Right Heart & Mind... an Open Heart & Mind. & remember to keep your Eyes Open too!" - Anon Got back to the flat yesterday and there was no electricity, there is no generator on our compound, my immediate response was oh drats! not again! Its quite a regular occurrence around these parts, but then I thought practice what you have learnt. These lessons come so that you can use them in the most appropriate time, acceptance first then chose the response after. Makes no sense to moan about it as it will not help in getting the power back faster or make me feel any better. I pulled out the lamps and decided OK I will have a cup of tea on the porch, chill and wait for the power to be restored in a calm and measured manner.  And I did, when the power was restored I was feeling

Try something new

Relax, and let the fears dissolve. Be at peace, and allow the abundance to flow through you . Ralph Marston   I did a ten K race yesterday to raise funds for the Budunda region, the aim is to raise enough funds to assist the people of that region to have a clean and decent water supply. When they asked me to do it all the reasons why I shouldn’t do it came up,   Never ran a 10k race before, the sun will be too hot, why me, I have to wake up at 4am how will I? blah blah blah! Then I sat and thought hmm why are you here? You made a commitment to yourself to keep an open mind and a willing spirit and if this is part of what it takes to do your part then suck it up and give it a go! So I did the race, I’m right proud of me! I finished it and had a load of fun and raised some cash for the cause! So what did I learn today?   I’ve learnt that there is always something that I can do right where I am with what I have. I have learnt that taking action is always a great way to learn

The little thing that makes a big difference

Your attitude about who you are and what you have is a very little thing that makes a very big difference – Theodore Roosevelt Did you eat today? Yesterday? Sometime last week? Can you turn on a light? Stick a key in a door and have a place to sleep? Do you have electricity? Is there someone who will help you when you need help? Give thanks for every yes you can give and know this – you are truly blessed! Everything you take for granted is truly a blessing. Every breath is blessed responsibility! Peace!!!

Choose the Repsonse

I must create a system or be enslaved by another man’s; I will not reason and compare: my business is to create."   - William Blake Yesterday I was in the Nakawa area, this is a town in Kampala not very far from the City Center.   Being there opened my eyes further on the circumstances that exist for quite a lot of citizens here. I was particularly concerned by the conditions in which they live. I couldn’t help but think what can I do to contribute to the improvement of something, anything. I also felt a strong sense of gratitude for my path including the people who paved the way to make my path easier. I was very curious about the conditions and started asking questions trying to understand the background and history of how a country with rich natural resources, rich history and strong people are in such a situation. Truth be told I was struggling with the scenes. Time to ask the question what is the lesson here? A Course in Miracles says “your problem is that you try

It starts with YES

“ Cause we have no doubts where we belong. I’d still say YES to you again! My darling for you I’ll do it over and over again. Say Yes!”   Klymaxx (All Female R&B Band from Los Angelos) Begin with YES! Have you ever heard that whisper? The type that you cannot escape? It whispers to you at every moment even at night! You try to drown it out by rationalising it, by looking at the facts, looking at what’s “realistic”.   Another stumbling block is you want to know what will happen if you do listen and follow those whispers, it’s like someone comes up to you and says I want you to promise me something and you respond, well tell me what it is first. Those whispers, are your highest self talking to you, your gut, your intuition, call it God/Spirit even, it never leads you astray. In my humanness I wanted a sign that if I say YES and obey the whispers that I can see what’s coming (wanting to be in control and lack of faith) I have learnt that by ignoring it you create the circumsta

What are you tolerating?

"Any time you sincerely want to make a change, the first thing you must do is to raise your standards. When people ask me what really changed my life eight years ago, I tell them that absolutely the most important thing was changing what I demanded of myself. I wrote down all the things I would no longer accept in my life, all the things I would no longer tolerate, and all the things that I aspired to becoming." - Tony Robbins , success coach and best-selling author. I may have said this before in this forum but it’s such a powerful lesson for me and it comes up time and time again where I have to remind myself that on this journey to unconditional self love that there are some things in my life that are non-negotiables! There are things that when you love and honor yourself, you no longer tolerate. And this is not focusing on anyone else, it’s focusing on YOU!! Everything starts with you. A Course in Miracles talks about before you go about trying to save the world

Its not about the "stuff"

You're not what you have and you're not what you do; you're an infinite, divine being disguised as a successful person who has accumulated a certain amount of stuff. The stuff is not you. For that reason, you must avoid being attached to it in any way.” Neale Donald Walsh “Stuff” is nice! It makes life comfortable, the challenge starts when we get attached to “stuff” and identify ourselves with our “stuff” I have been guilty of that for more than a hot minute! I loved my stuff and I identified myself with it in many ways. Forget service, forget giving back, its about what I had, owned, the stuff! Well a funny thing happened when I started questioning myself and my purpose. Stuff started to fall away. Trust me when I say resist the urge to hang on to the “stuff”!! It is most times ego based and unconscious behaviour. Looking for outside validation that you have made it because of what you have! I thought about the “stuff” story because as you know here in Kampala th

Anything that angers you is for teaching you forgiveness and compassion.

Love doesn’t have to be fixed by you, or changed by you. You don’t have to do anything for love. If you feel that you need to fix them or change them, then you are in lust and not in your right mind. It’s not love. Iyanla Vanzant (the boss!) You don’t have to do anything for love! Take a moment to get that! Be yourself, show up as yourself at all times and believe that you are worthy of having it.I am learning that lesson on this journey. Trying to “fix” things and people! No, let it be and make a choice. Your choice is to accept or move on! Acceptance does not mean approving or liking it, it means acknowledging that it exists and at times still doing what you do anyway. Keep living your truth and your way and maybe something will rub off on the other person or other party. The stress begins when you start to moan or complain about “they are doing it wrong” or “ this is not the right way to do things”! Now the question was asked why you spend so much time alone. I thought ab

Shine your light

  Let me remind myself of this today. I am not here to make a name for myself, to make money, or to achieve the temporal and temporary things I think of as my goals. I am here to help. I am here to heal. I am here to bless. I am here to save the world.   ACIM (A course in Miracles) A Course in Miracles is one of the most radical pieces of work I have ever read, it challenges many of the perceptions and core beliefs that I have and accepted. The Course talks about forgiveness, love of self, the illusion of separateness and the shining of your light. Today I picked up the Course to read, as with everything, ask, believe and receive. I was asking myself over the past week what is my real purpose here. The Course talks about that there are never ever any coincidences in life, we are where we are supposed to be and the people we meet, places we go are all part of the lessons that we have to learn at that point in time, If you miss the lesson it will continue to repeat itself over and

What's your AND?

Every moment of every day you have the ability to set something new in motion, wake up and do a NEW thing! Deborah L Johnson author What did I learn today? Transcendence. Moving from the now here! I am still quite in awe of some of the things I have seen. For example, how is it that one moves from, in my opinion, a situation that seems seemingly bleak to one of hope and success? Well that was my lesson learnt yesterday! Things happen that victimize people but that’s different from running around with the identity of a victim. Declare that you are not being a victim by your actions; this is the path of transcendence. Catch that! You get your power back by your actions! “By the actions here we are being transcending into what we want, taking our power back” So what did I learn today? Have an “and” after the event, after the story, after the situation. Listen, the story does not end after the” oppression” If you leave the story at the “oppression” you will never transcend. Thin

Just Be You!

If I add myself unto myself multiplied times You and yours and you again There's just me .So many times I define my pride Through somebody else's eyes Then I looked inside and found my own stride, I found the lasting love for me. If I'm searching for my spirituality Passionately I must begin with me.   There's just me...One is the magic number Jill Scott Singer and Song writer I feel truly privileged to be in this moment, when I reflect on it I can say without reservation that it has been the time that I have not only learnt a lot about myself but also about living a life filled with gratitude, compassion and love for humanity as a whole. I truly believe that I am not only my sister’s keeper, I am my sister. So with that I so keep my mind open because you just never ever know where a lesson can come from. Everyone to me are now teachers in this huge class of life. So yesterday another penny dropping moment, this was the question “How many You’s do you think you h

Are you Ready?

“When you come to me be ready, be ready, be ready, be ready I cannot explain it I cannot contain it My soul flies free. There's really no contest We are so   God Blessed” Jill Scott singer and song writer The question was posed to me “are you ready” Now that seems like a pretty basic question doesn’t it? One may ask ready for what? This was exactly my response because it was such a random question. Well let me tell you it was one of the best lessons I have had thus far. Life is always in session and we have a tendency to wait, wait until something changes or   for something external to show up or happen   before we “get ready” but I’ve learnt that it is me who has to show up to participate because guess what? Life is ALWAYS in session. Listen, creativity doesn’t stop or start, music doesn’t stop or start, it is ALWAYS going on it is we who decides well not now, not here, it’s not the right time and you are not prepared, you are not ready! but there’s never a day when “it’s no

The Shift

A whole new world, a new fantastic point of view, with new horizons to pursue, I’ll chase them anywhere, I’m like a shooting star I ‘ve come so far I can’t go back to where I used to be” Lyrics from the Movie Alladin Have you ever felt that feeling when you just know things in your life are different, when you know that the way things once were are no longer the same? Have you ever felt that feeling when you have made a shift in consciousness? It is part of change and growth, what happens is that we resist the change and cling and grab and clutch on to the familiar. Resist the urge to because I’ve learned a few lessons from clinging and holding on when you know things have been shifted. Firstly, what you resist persists, fight it and it fights you back and you usually get so exhausted that whatever “it” is whips your butt! I’ve learnt that let go or be dragged! With grace and ease just let go and give it to the Universe/God/Spirit, your higher self. I’ve learnt that pretending t

You are exactly where you need to be!

“ The greatest service I can offer is accepting the value and importance of who I am and where I am in life” Iyanla Vanzant (boss motivational author and speaker) Do not claim inherited limitations!! Every day I get to base and take a few minutes just to take in the scenes and I am really in awe. I am in awe of the courage, dedication and discipline. It matters not that “I” came from a conflict area, it matters not that “I” had no money, it matters not that “I” am in a country where women are playing catch up in land ownership, income and education levels. Sometimes I think, well what can I really bring to this party? So what did I learn today? you are exactly where you are because all that you have to give & receive is right where you are now. Where you are NOW is valuable and or important. Everything you know is needed right where you are. If you were over there or over here there would be a big void where you are now. How much you believe in who you are, know can make

Perception and an open mind

The law of perception states, "You see what you believe is there, and you believe it there because you want it there”   ACIM Grasshoppers are a delicacy around these parts. It’s called Sennene (I may have misspelt it) but they fry it and eat it. I am working up the courage to eat one but then maybe I can say I’m vegetarian and that’s an animal?? It’s always good to see what other cultures eat! I’m sticking to the Rolex and fresh food off the farm for now! So the other best thing that I learnt today is “Madam whenever you trip out of tune with your spirit you lose the ability to differentiate between what you think is a crisis and the need to adapt/change” hmmmmmm, Thinking about that for the minute! So what did I learn today? Keep an open mind, an open heart and a willing spirit! An open mind means that you do not dictate how things should be and stick to that position. You know that there is more than one way that things are done and your way is not the only and right


Everything we experience—no matter how unpleasant—comes into our lives to teach us something. —Iyanla Vanzant   Responsibility! Some lessons are tougher than others. Being here is an experience like no other I have ever had. Truth be told I was under the impression that a successful life is going to school, getting good grades and qualification, having a nice car, money to spend, a good job, a house on the hill with the husband and kids. That was my perception of success. And then life happened! I’ve learnt that having all that without a purpose and service is empty and most times represented my ego running amok! Life happens and all the material things can disappear in a minute and when life happens you cannot turn to the piece of paper the degree is on to provide answers or comfort. This morning I was up moving tree logs by hand with these women who were building a shed to sell food. I, the rookie, there saying why we got to move these heavy tree, where are the men, why the G

Trees and Shades!

Someone's sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago. Les Brown, motivational speaker Just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels the soul! I wanted to see a football game last week; it was showing at 10.30pm local time, my hosts told me it will not be a good idea to go to the Bamboo shed that late alone! Miss a football game?? Solutions must be sought! Got to invest in cable TV at the flat! I asked around and was told to go to the DsTV office in town. I got there and walked up a short stairway and was greeted by someone at the gate, she asked how can I help you madam? I told her I was here to get cable TV to view football. She says follow me to the office, we walked on across the grass and there it was the office – under a tree, with a tent and three chairs! The officer offered me a seat! I had this big grin on my face; this is new, getting cable TV under a tree! To cut a long story short, they came installed the cable at the flat, and its foo

Change your intention from winning to learning

Our only problem is thinking we have a problem. The thought that "I don't have it yet" is the problem . We need to be enlightened from thinking we need to be enlightened. All that has to change is that thought, and the thought changes nothing, does nothing, because we are always already enlightened, always already happy, always already perfect. God created us that way and we can't change it; all we can do is forget it and pretend we are something else. ACIM   I went to Kawanda today, there is a farm facility where crops are grown and tested. It’s a few hours drive outside Kampala, no roads, more like dirt tracks, the facilities out there are pretty rural, I can safely say that I was literally in the bush! So after a long day adnd a long drive I am about 400m away from base, the police, as usual, steps out of nowhere and stops the vehicle, the driver gets out and they are discussing in their language and voices started raising. I put the window down and with m

Step into your power

We are not responsible for other people's emotions. To try to be is to sign up for massive amounts of pain, distraction and to step away from our own personal power. Remember, the only thing we have 100% control over in life is our response to what happens. We get to 100% choose what meaning we give the events of our lives. Tony Robbins, author and motivational speaker I travelled to Namave today it’s just outside the capital, this will be the new HQ for the project. The place is impressive. To come from a camp on the border of South Sudan with a dream and a vision to a self sustaining international business just proves to me that you can do anything, anything that your heart truly desires! There are some hiccups however, the Government is dragging their heels on providing electricity, water and roads, someone wants an envelope under the table and that’s the sticking point! We are focusing on the solution! I kept hearing this “there are no victims here” and thinking about i

Am I brave enough?

It doesn’t interest me where or with whom you have studied I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all falls away/   I want to know   if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments. The Invitation by Oriah Over 75% of the small scale farmers in Uganda are women. They are the ones growing the food in the country and this has come about over time particularly in the North where there was a number of conflicts over the past 20 years. They grow any and everything with Maize and corn being the most popular. As part of my role I will be involved in preparing a gender policy to assist in levelling the playing field. Agriculture is the main driving force and revenue earner for the economy. The programme has two retail stores where they sell seeds and fertilizers to the farmers. It’s in the busiest part of the town centre, its noisy, lots of people, cars, buses motor bikes that they call boda-boda’s, Bata shoe stores (who kn

Feast on your life

Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart to itself, to the stranger who has loved you   all your life, whom you ignored for another, who knows you by heart . Sit. Feast on your life. Derek Walcott Nobel Laureate Cooking in Kampala. I will be honest I prefer to eat than to cook. My philosophy is to stick to your strengths! With that in mind I said ok I will cook whenever I feel too. Seems that is really frowned upon in this town. Who knew?? Sometimes I even get dirty looks and the high pitched “Madam”! So with that in mind I was kindly and politely introduced to Vivian. Viv, bless her, was assigned to “teach me to cook” her duty was to cook and show me how to make all those lovely Ugandan dishes. For the record I can cook I just prefer to eat! Viv shows up this morning, I opened the door and there she was with food to cook that would feed the nation! Viv, where are you going with all that food? Green bananas, spinach, fresh peas, sweet potatoes, English potatoes, avocadoes, och

Sunday in Kampala

“What seems right can turn out wrong; what appears good can end up bad. Just when everything is going smoothly, chaos breaks things up. The task before us is to master our inner responses to the external world, our thoughts and emotions” Caroline Myss , author and one of my favourite teachers Sunday in Kampala- football or church! I decided to go walking against my host’s wishes. I think I can fall in as a Ugandan once I keep my mouth shut! I go walking in the district. I am in the village and viewing its preparation for the week ahead which to them means filling water by the pump or pipe which is always a walk away and washing (by hand). I stop by a house to take in the scenes, the children are playing and having fun, laughing and joking around, not a care in the world. I am thinking to myself, gratitude is an extremely important virtue and so is giving back. Earlier this year at my house I had no water, there was a problem with the main pipes and WASA, the water authority, co

Put things in place

Learn to become still and to take your attention away from what you don’t want, and all the emotional charge around it, and place the attention on what you wish to experience . Michael Beckwith, reverend, author and motivational speaker Saturday is a working day in Kampala! All day not any half day stuff!! Banks are open also. I got to work early and started working on my task about an hour in, no electricity! I said to myself ok well I guess its home time! No siree, I just saw one of the workers walk towards me and ask how long does your laptop have charge? I now caught off guard said I’m not sure, his response was ok I will turn the generator on! And just like that it was back to work! Just get on with it, deal with the situation and move right along! Back home work is over, time to go home! The conditions here have forced people to be creative! Unfortunately its either be creative or die! They just get on with it without too much complaining. I like that! The time taken to

Give it time

“ Relate to every circumstance in your life as something that has happened for the best, for it may be that your saddest experience will bring you your greatest asses, if you give time a chance to mellow your distress” Napoleon Hill   best selling author of Think and Grow Rick Uganda is a land locked country bordered by countries that have or has been in conflict, there’s the DR Congo, South Sudan and Rwanda. As a result of this there are a number of “camps” set up with people from these countries fleeing or seeking a better life. A “camp” is literally a place where there are hundreds of displaced people protected either by an International agency or the army, there’s very very little amenities, there’s conflict within the camps, people who have lost their families and their body parts. Although many of the conflicts have subsided the camps remain they are now villages with children, animals and life in general. It is quite a sight! So with this in mind imagine coming from a “camp


The freedom, the fire, the sense of giving.   The mountains, the sunrise, the sunset, the sun and rain, the children, the laughter, cutting through the pain, the smile, the love, the joy the rapture, in this millennium river of life. This must be that sense of heaven that the elders kept pointing out to me. It doesn’t get too much better than this David Michael Rudder Masindi, four hours drive, without dust and jam, from the capital of Kampala. I travel there to meet the team, see the crops, and hear their challenges in order to put forward proposals to improve operations. I set off very early, the sun was shining, the place is green I must have seen a thousand mango trees laden with mangoes, with avocados right next to them just as laden. Ok, roads- wow there are hardly any paved roads it’s just a pathway of red dust until you get onto something resembling a highway! This is as rural as you can get, women with babies strapped onto their backs with a piece of cloth pumping water

New Worlds and Different Points of View

Life is essentially a learning experience. Every situation, challenge and relationship contains some message worth learning or teaching to others – Carolyn Myss There are some things that I will never understand but just have to accept. Acceptance does not mean I agree or like it but I recognise and acknowledge its existence. So I don’t get the disparities that I see every day here, many of the basic things that I take for granted, sometimes those I feel that   I even have a sense of entitlement, are nonexistent! Running water, electricity, roads, education.   And what I’ve learnt is that complaining about it doesn’t change it , it just brings more of the same.   I visited a “boarding” school, so when I heard I was going to visit a “boarding school” immediate thoughts of pristine and clean uniforms, manicured gardens, well equipped classrooms came to mind. Well at least I got manicured gardens! I grew up with the thought that education was free and a right! It ain’t here at most