Important things to do before you say ‘’I do’’

Important things to do before you say ‘’I do’’

Marriage can be a wonderful institution. Love, companionship, the rearing of children, spiritual togetherness and financial partnership – the list goes on and the benefits are great, but with one very specific condition…you need to go into it with your eyes wide open!

Whether it is the first marriage or a second or third, every time the circumstances will have changed and especially if you have not managed to make the first one work, perhaps you need to consider if, before you went into marriage, you really examined all the pros and cons and carried out the important things to do before you say ‘’I do?’’

Eliminate fears

Please don’t think this article is in any way designed to discourage you from getting married – on the contrary, it is specifically designed, together with the collaboration of a couple of my trusted colleagues to assist you and just make sure that not all your efforts are placed simply on putting the big day together, but also on carrying out what may be the less enviable tasks that will ensure your marriage is a long-lasting and happy one.

One of the biggest fears, and the one that often leaves the Bride or Groom standing alone at the altar as their spouse makes a break for it out the side door of the Church, is that you are going to lose out on all the great things a single life can offer you.  

Well, truth be told, there are advantages to being single and forming a partnership for life is not easy. MARRIAGE IS DIFFICULT – this cannot be put any other way or emphasised enough, so without a doubt, well before you enter into it, you both need to face the reality that most marriages end in divorce and you need to ask the 64 million dollar question – ‘’why is this so?’’

If you break it down, there are probably dozens of reasons for this, but it is my belief that going into marriage is just simply too easy, so too many people do not face these considerations or answer that important question. Possibly this article will prompt you to do so – I hope so. So, what are what I and my colleagues believe to be the three most critical reasons that so many marriages end in demise?

  1. Financial disparity

One of the biggest reasons for failed marriages is constant arguments as a result of not being financially aligned with one another. It is quite incredulous to me that some couples actually don’t even discuss their finances and how they will be handled once they are married. Do they simply assume that they will carry on as they are? 

In marriage, this is just not possible, or advisable, even if you are both breadwinners and quite comfortable with handling your own finances. There are in fact many benefits to be derived from shared finances, but the couple must be clear on exactly how this is to be structured and who will be in charge of it.

An excellent Financial Advisor I know sent me a very basic list of the top 5 things every married couple to be should do or know prior to marrying and these are…

Things to do…

  • Sit down and talk about and be honest with each other about debt, spending, and short and long term financial goals
  • Meet with a Financial Planner together before and after getting married to ensure your finances are well-advised on and in the right hands 

Things to know

  • Your individual credit record matters
  • There’s no such thing as a joint bank account in SA 
  • Tax returns are completed separately 

You can get more great advice on this from my trusted colleague Melissa at – 


  1. The wrong marriage contract

Leading on from this and closely aligned to avoiding financial disparity is avoiding marrying with the wrong marriage contract in place. By law in South Africa if you do not specifically have an Ante-Nuptial Contract – or ANC, you are automatically registered in community of property.

This is less than desirable and has been the cause of many a divorce as both partners surrender all their worldly goods and wealth (assets and liabilities) into one pot, as it were, and it leaves both partners exposed in the event of financial bankruptcy by either partner.

It is essential therefore to have an ANC drawn up by a registered notary prior to marrying and you have 2 options of ANC contract to choose from. An ANC without accrual means there is absolute separation of estates and spouses are therefore liable for their own debts. Financial protection is afforded against each other’s creditors and assets are owned by each spouse separately. At the dissolution of the marriage, the spouses have no claim whatsoever against the other party regarding the assets in their respective estates.  

The most popular form of ANC is that of the ANC with accrual, which means that when the marriage is dissolved, either by death, divorce or annulment, the spouse who has had the lesser growth in his/her estate, measured during the commencement of the marriage, will have a claim for half of the difference in the growth of the two estates against the spouse who has had the larger growth or accrual in his/her estate.

For details on all the final points, great advice and to have your marriage contract of choice drawn up, I recommend my other trusted colleague Lindi Smith of Lindi Smith Attorneys at –


  1. Non-aligned personalities and unresolved issues

As one rather good article I read on this subject put it – ‘Alignment in a relationship means that you are living and loving in the same direction as someone else. If you do not take the time and effort to align your vision, core values, and passions with your partner, it will slowly start to take a toll on your relationship. Relationships should never feel difficult.’

There are two things that I strongly recommend, therefore, prior to marrying, a) take some time out for yourself to get any of the ‘’I wish I had done this when I was single” list out of the way – For some great advice on this refer to this article – – and b) most importantly, attend a Relationship Workshop together with a Life Alignment Practioner or Life Coach to examine and talk about the important emotional and personal aspects of making life with your partner workable.

What will your relationship workshop entail?

As just such a coach this is where I come in and I would be honoured to ensure that you will examine the most important issues and potential pitfalls of marriage before you utter those vows of commitment to each other for a lifetime. Some of the things we would discuss and attempt to reveal are issues like:

  • Healing old wounds –Ensuring you are aware of and have totally healed old wounds from previous relationships or marriages. Marrying on the rebound is only too common and often leads to disaster.
  • Aligning your expectations – Being aware of the silent expectations that you may have of each other – have you really voiced these or do you just take them for granted? Have you discussed both short and long term goals for your lives, like children, finances, where you want to end up living and what you want to be doing in the future?
  • Children and family –Talking of children, how many marriages have failed because of one spouse or the other not being comfortable with having children, or in the case of second marriages, living with their spouse’s existing children? Never forget that blood is thicker than water, so don’t simply ignore the potential danger of unhappiness caused through the interference of anyone related to your spouse to be.
  • Even the name!– As insignificant as it may seem, even the change of a name can have implications. As a practitioner of all aspects of body, mind and soul, I know through my Soul plan program that even a name change can be significant and cause friction down the line.

…and so much more…

My business is Self and More and I am here to help. As stated right at the beginning, this has not been designed to scare you off, but to make you more determined than ever to take the actions you need to take, prior to marriage, to ensure it is a peaceful and happy one.

Whole books have been written on this subject so this just exposes the tip of the iceberg – for anything else you need to know simply talk to me – helping others is my goal and my passion, so I’m all ears! Keep safe-keep your eyes and mind wide open-and look forward to a wonderful marriage!


Has freeze replaced fight or flight as a response to fear?

Has freeze replaced fight or flight as a response to fear?

Right now with the recent events in the world, many people are feeling like they are simply in a state of limbo. What do you do when you don’t feel you can fight an unseen or unknown enemy or threat, as we have seen over the past 18 months, and flight is not an option? The result ultimately is that many of us, locked in our protective bubbles, have simply become frozen in time and space. 

Fear is the enemy

Added to these feelings of helplessness and being in limbo is the fear of the consequences of the recent unrest in our country. Now many of us suddenly don’t even feel safe in our bubbles and again begin to question these fight or flight options. 

Should we remain and fight our fears, or (like no doubt many will choose, as soon as they can travel freely again) should we head for what we believe to be safer pastures? Whatever your choices may be (albeit unconscious) and especially if you feel like remaining frozen is the only option available when facing any kind of fear, you need to learn a new response consciously based on the awareness of what triggers your fears. 

Simply ignoring how you are feeling emotionally and putting it on the back burner, will see you emotionally crippled before you know it – and then totally unable to make any important decisions that serve you or the greater humanity. 

Where are you right now?

The first and most important thing to do is to ask yourself (and honestly answer) a couple of important questions. “How are you feeling right now?” – and “how are you experiencing life at this moment?”

If you are feeling fear and, frozen in your response to it, living your life in limbo, then ask yourself this…”If there were skills you could acquire to release yourself from these fears and successfully fight the emotional upheaval and sense of limbo you have been feeling – would you do so?” – Or “as the leader of a workforce – if you could snap your employees out of this state of apathy that has resulted in poor productivity and little creative input – would you try to?”

An effective solution is at hand

To assist people struggling with emotional dis-regulation causing disharmony that ultimately will lead to impacting their physical bodies and cognitive functions, I am facilitating a 6-week workshop that will enable the utilisation of effective techniques and processes to release the fears and pain and move forward again.

It will equip you with the skills to move through your emotional responses to triggers with more insight, thereby negating their power over your responses. This is the art of self-regulation.

For many of us, flight is not an option, so it’s time for us to be more resourceful and open to alternate possibilities in the midst of what may seem like chaos. As a Master Coach, through my Coaching platform Self and More, I facilitate the combination of body, mind and soul practices to enable people in all walks of life to enjoy positive, productive lives with meaning and purpose, regardless of whatever trauma or circumstances they may have or be facing.

Sign up for the course – or just talk to me, and let me assist you to deal with whatever might be causing you to freeze when facing your fears.

Stay safe – and stay invested in your wellbeing!



Are your values adding value to your life?

Are your values adding value to your life?

Once again we are being driven back into our COVID cocoons, sheltering ourselves from wave after wave of this cursed and relentless pandemic.

Like facing a tsunami that just won’t quit, many of us are drowning in financial issues, relationship issues and our issues of feeling helpless and scared of an onslaught that is bigger than all of us.

Even our work is no longer about the workplace but for many some remote work space that leaves us feeling detached and re-examining our life paths. Suddenly. change has swiftly left us all feeling unable to control our lives or our destiny – and that doesn’t sit easily with anyone. 

This is a time when AA’s serenity prayer “’God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference” seems very relevant to all of us.

So what can I, as a life and business coach, say to support you at this time? Well, firstly have the courage to examine the main thing in your life that can assist you to be at least more in control of your own feelings, emotions and reactions to this uncontrollable situation: your core values.

The lockdown situation has been a challenging one from all angles, not the least of which is our relationships, so this article sets out to try to give you a list of the values that will help to support you, drive you and make you someone not only happy within themselves but, at least, for the most part, a pleasure to be with!


You need to think about the values you hold and whether these are your values or if they derived from the influences of others in your family or community, the media (particularly social media – sometimes very misleading!), the Government, or simply archetypal influences – i.e. women are expected to be nurturers and men are expected to be providers!

Don’t get me wrong – it is important and helpful to have some good core values. They can make life decisions and goals easier to create and define, and relationships easier to decide on. One with clear core values is less likely to have negative thought patterns, especially in difficult life situations, be more easily able to tolerate physical pain, have greater self-discipline and stronger social connections.

This is all good and well and if we were all the same and happy to adhere to a set of archetypal core values, we would not need to examine our values, but the reality is that we are not and if we are to live fulfilled and meaningful lives we must establish that the core values we hold are driving us forward and not just anchoring us to keep our heads underwater when we face the storms of life. As the pandemic has too clearly shown us: there is a finite time for which you can hold your breath! 


To ultimately live the best life we can, one with meaning and purpose, we need to analyse and examine our values and ensure that we are living by what makes us tick and not just led by the influences of the masses. 

We also need to be cognisant of whether the values that we hold to be right are not making value judgements and being projected onto others. These would be values like culture, age, colour, religion etc…


A very good article I read from Soul Salt speaks specifically about how we can define our values so that they become valuable to us and assist us to be comfortable, driven and inspired by those we admire to be better people ourselves.

Three very important questions you can ask yourself (and do take the time to ponder and write down your responses) to ensure your values are positive and adding value to your life are:

Who inspires you? As you think about these people, write down what it is about them that inspires you? The admirable qualities they possess and the behaviours and actions you would like to emulate.

What drives you? What are the things that make you want to take action and achieve something positive? Then think about the feelings that motivated you to take such action, what you were willing to risk in that situation and the results of taking action – what you gained or lost.

When are you comfortable with your values – and yourself? Think about when you are feeling very uncomfortable in a situation, as if your values are being undermined or insignificant to the other. Think about who you’re with at these times, what feelings are triggered and what these experiences cost you emotionally or physically.

Also, think on the opposite – the times that you felt very comfortable in a situation and your values were being re-enforced. When, as some would say, you become the ‘authentic’ you. At these times think about who you were: did they in any way inspire you? Also, think about the things you are usually doing when you feel authentic and how these feelings impact your life and your general well-being.

Now write down all the values that relate to the positive experiences and aspects of each of these three things. Be precise and ruthless, so you are left with just a small set of the most important values for you.

It is so important to keep these positive experiences firmly within your valued collection of positive values! You can also ask yourself: having done this soul searching – are your values perhaps defining you? At the end of the day, the trick is to ascertain how you can re-define your values to be a better you! 


We need to recognise that we are all very different from others. Many of us in the lockdown situation have been forced to recognise this as we suddenly realise that we don’t share quite the same values as our significant others – our spouses or partners and children.

Remember, you can only be your authentic self, so the best way you can become someone who accommodates and lives comfortably with others is to be comfortable with the values that drive you and make you happy. Being comfortable with yourself, and accepting that we possess different values, automatically makes you someone easier for others to be with because you are less likely to be judging them.

Remember these values will change throughout your life, and in certain circumstances (like those we are currently experiencing), so this is not a once-off exercise, but one that needs to be revisited from time to time when necessary. 


My business, Self and More is dedicated to assisting others through holistically combining body, mind and soul techniques that lead to a more meaningful and purposeful life. I can assist you personally, or your business team, virtually or in-person when permitted, to ensure your life choices and clearly defined values are adding value to your life!

Talk to me about having a value-driven conversation about ensuring that your values can lead you through this storm and face wave after wave of adversity – accepting the things you cannot change and changing the things you can!

Be safe – be mindful and be positive.  

Love and light, as always,


What is a Business coach – and do I need one?

What is a Business coach – and do I need one?

What is a Business coach – and do I need one?                              

Many people confuse Business Coaches with Life Coaches, understandably so because there are some common goals and many Business Coaches are also Life Coaches. As confusing as that may sound, all be revealed as we explore these two questions “What is a Business Coach – and do I need one?’’ 

It may be helpful if you read my previous article on ‘What is a Life Coach (and do I need one)? As you will already have a clearer idea of exactly what Life Coaches do. There is however a significant difference between these two types of Coaches so let’s begin with…

What is a Business Coach?

In essence, the Business Coach works on Coaching the Business Owner to achieve their goals for the business. That is the focus of the Business Coach, but this often involves working on the skills and aspirations of the individuals in the business, which is where some Life Coaching skills come in. So, obviously there is some integration of the two disciplines.

To simplify it a little – as one observer put it ”A Business Coach will assist and guide the Business Owner in running a business by helping them clarify the vision of their business and how it fits in with their personal goals. Business coaching is a process used to take a business from where it is now to where the business owner wants it to be.”

The Business Coach assists the owner – or his team, depending on the circumstances to set crystal clear goals and definitions of their values and work priorities. Together with the Business Owner, the Coach then maps out ways and timelines to achieving these goals. 

A clear action plan is created on how to move ahead and progress, but along the way, the Business Coach guides and assists you to stay on track. There are of course many elements to a Business Coaching program – from the business plan to the people, to the financial aspects of maintaining the bottom line – and every Business Coach will have a different strategy.

What’s the difference between a Life Coach and a Business Coach?

The essential difference between Life and Business Coaching is that Life Coaching is usually conducted with the individual and Business Coaching is usually conducted with, or on behalf of, the Business Owner. Having said that, when conducting Business Coaching it is still the individual Business Owner or the individuals in the business who are being Coached.

One of the easier ways to make the distinction between the Life Coach and the Business Coach, because it is important to hire the right one, is to look at the things that they aspire to achieve….

The Life Coach

The Life Coach will work on things like making positive personal changes to find more purpose in life. Improve personal relationships through assisting with stress release, spiritual growth, making better decisions etc. Deal with life changes like divorce, death, moving, job losses etc. Generally try to create a more meaningful and holistic life by combining personal, spiritual, family, work and physical growth. At Self and More this is very much a Focus – but then I am also a Business Coach.

The Business Coach

The Business Coach is more likely to examine and work on leadership styles and listening skills, leadership influence, the business’s vision and purpose and these include strategies, business planning, goal setting etc. The Business Coach will also try to improve communication, decision making, work ethic and team building amongst employees etc.

How do I know if I need a Business Coach?

Coming to the second part of the title ‘’Do I need a Business Coach,” there are a couple of pretty obvious signs that you and your business could benefit from hiring one…

You need independent, objective input – Some business owners simply cannot see the wood for the trees and are missing the opportunities that lie right in front of them. It takes a Coach with an objective point of view sometimes to come in to examine and evaluate your business – where it is succeeding and where it’s going wrong. Wherever there are problems the issue may be with the people, the management style, the strategy or more importantly the culture of the business – and it takes that independent viewpoint to recognise and rectify it.

You feel frustrated and stuck in a rut – Like many Business Owners you started your business with grand ideals but somehow they have not come to fruition and you don’t know why. You can’t seem to get things off the ground or make any significant change. Well, a Business Coach’s assessment can be exactly what you need to reignite the fire in your business and get you back on track. 

You don’t feel that your staff are working as a team – Many businesses fail to progress simply because there is poor leadership, poor communication, poor work ethic amongst the staff – or all of these. A particular strength of any good Business Coach is the ability to ascertain where the problem lies in this situation and get your team and management working happily together – as a cohesive unit, inspired and with the same vision and goals that you have! 

Can some people be life and business coaches?

The answer to this is a resounding yes as I am exactly this. I am a Master Coach trained as a Master NLP Practitioner, a QEC, Enneagram, Life Alignment Practitioner and Advanced TRE Provider and a Mind & Body Practitioner. The combination of these achievements qualifies me to be both a Life Coach and Business Coach – and quite a lot more. 

Further to this, I have 33 years of corporate working experience, including the personal experience of retrenchment, personal trauma and loss, and these have all assisted me to integrate this knowledge into a wide range of highly effective business and personalised life coaching skills over the past 10 years.

Working on myself I realised that I had a special gift to help others. My work, therefore, is at a deeper level and very authentic, but still with a determination to attain impressive results with every individual or Business Owner who is willing to grow through self-awareness and improvement.

I am Marléne Nunes and my business is Self and MoreTalk to me and let me try to assist you to be the best you, or the best business you can be. Often the two are inextricably linked. Stay safe and stay positive.


What is a Life Coach?

What is a Life Coach?

What is a Life Coach – and do I need one?

There are 2 questions within the title of this article and obviously the former needs to be explained to ascertain the latter. These are only two of many questions that are asked though about life coaching and so I’m going to answer some important ones to see if I can be of assistance to you – assuming you need me at all? Well, let’s find out… 

What is a Life Coach?

In technical terminology, according to Wikipedia “Life coaching is the process of helping people identify and achieve personal goals through developing skills and attitudes that lead to self-empowerment. Life coaching generally deals with issues such as work-life balance and career changes, and often occurs outside the workplace setting.”’

To elaborate on the definition, what does renowned Life Coach Anthony Robbins have to say about it? “The life coach definition is someone professionally trained to help you maximize your full potential and reach your desired results. They are like a supportive friend and a trusted adviser rolled into one. They’re someone who will push you to identify your goals, hold you accountable and provide encouragement throughout your journey to become a better version of yourself.”

My definition is that life coaching is a solution focussed approach to personal development that can make meaningful change in all areas of your life and ultimately lead you to be a happier person through balance and a life of purpose. A life coach makes you aware of your own abilities, strengths and weaknesses and teaches you to leverage these to arouse the incredibly strong being that lives inside each of us.

Whatever definition you chose, they all do align, and all lead to another frequently asked question which is “Well, isn’t this what therapists do?” Actually, they are not the same.

What is the difference between a Life Coach and a Therapist?

The essential difference is that Life Coaches are not medical professionals and have not been trained to treat many areas of mental health like mood disorders, anxiety disorders, addiction, or any other of the typically less serious mental health conditions.

Counselling, sometimes referred to as psychotherapy, is generally a long-term process involving a healthcare professional who attempts to diagnose and resolve problematic issues like unusual behaviour, relationship concerns, traumatic feelings and sometimes even physical responses. Phycologists focus on traumas that can lead to self-destructive habits and try to treat these by working through painful feelings.

So as one can see from the definition of the Life Coach, the issues and methods are quite different, in that one is about healing trauma and the other about simply creating a more meaningful life. Wellness as opposed to completeness.

As a matter of interest though, there are a few body, mind and soul practitioners who combine life coaching with trauma counselling through TRE, and through combining physical and general wellbeing disciplines they can assist with releasing trauma and developing a better life as a consequence of it. I happen to be one of these, but more about me later. 

Who needs a life coach?

So we come to the third crucial question – “Do I need a life Coach?” Well, I doubt that many people don’t want to become the best that they can be, but this is not the only reason people consult with Life Coaches. 

Although most Life Coaches don’t deal with the mental health issues that therapists do there are many other emotional problems from which we can be suffering and which can indicate that the lives we are living are not what they should be. 

The list is a long one, but let’s look at just a few of the most important issues you may be facing that would indicate that you may benefit greatly from consulting a life Coach… 

You are just not sure what you want – Do you know how few people can answer the simple question “what do you want?” This is the first question that needs to be answered to set you on a course to a more meaningful, purposeful life – and your Life Coach can help you to answer it.  

Stress and anxiety – This is the single biggest issue facing most people who live in the fast-paced society that we do today. Work or family stress can be largely attributed to simply not understanding that the solution lies in the creation of balance in one’s life. Life Coaches are specialists at advising people on how to minimise stress.

Time management issues – How many times have you said, “There just aren’t enough hours in the day?” Actually, there are if you understand effective time management – one of the most important and helpful things you will learn from a Life Coach.

Lack of fulfilment and creativity – You don’t need to be mentally ill to have these feelings. These are generally prevalent when you are in the wrong job or living a lie in your personal life. A Life Coach can pull you out of this funk.

Feeling bad about yourself – Being unable to break bad habits, making bad decisions, constantly messing up in the same areas of your life and general dissatisfaction with yourself are all signs that you haven’t found the better you that lives inside you. A good, empathetic life Coach can help!

Physical exhaustion – Are you constantly stressed, tired, listless and feeling out of shape, but not a ‘gym’ kind of person? The good news is that Life Coaches do deal with the dietary and physical aspects of a lifestyle that is less than ideal as well.

How can I help?

I am Marléne Nunes, the Founder/Owner of ‘Self and more,’ serving businesses and individuals in the Western Cape and beyond in the virtual realm. Having suffered and overcome significant setbacks and challenges of my own I believe that knowing who we are, our capabilities and our true life’s purpose are the keys to a life of success, optimum health, happiness and real meaning.

I can assist you through combining Life coaching with passive, mentally aligned body, mind and soul disciplines to not only overcome all the many challenges we face in life but assist with trauma and increased physical wellbeing too.

Talk to me – that’s my life’s purpose – so let me help you to fulfil yours!

Control and release – both are the key to sweet relief

Control and release – both are the key to sweet relief

This title may seem confusing to you. Certainly control and release are contradictory terms and yet it requires both of these after a period of trauma to ultimately experience peace of mind and a purposeful life.

This certainly was the case for me, and it was a message of a cry for help that led me to a solution after a childhood of rejection and despair and a young adulthood that was leading me along a path of self-destruction.

In my last article ‘Is your past dictating your now?’ I left my readers with a promise to reveal how I managed to piece together a life that was teetering on the brink. I am reminded of the Elton John song ‘Candle in the wind’ when I think of where I was then, and I have no doubt that many of us feel as if we are constantly facing elements that may extinguish the flame of hope that burns inside us.

The desire to take control of your situation is step 1

The concern of a good friend and my promise to her to seek help before I tried to take my own life again could have been what really saved me. It is often the realisation that your life is worth saving as pointed out by someone else that is a turning point for trauma sufferers and those with addictions.

As is pointed out by AA, we need to understand the things that we can control and release that over which we have no control. The same basic principles apply to trauma patients too, and as my story reveals, it was through taking control of my situation and releasing my trauma that I became the controlled, balanced person that I am today, able to assist others to do the same.

The ability to release your trauma is step 2

After the promise to my friend, and many years of struggling to keep the promise,  I sent out my social media message literally crying out for help. My answer came in the form of a Life Coaching institution which help me to realise that the pieces of my life could be put together differently.

Further along that path I realised that deep routed trauma cannot be healed only cognitively but we also need to be physically healed and that is when I discovered the works and teachings of Dr David Berceli and began practicing and becoming an exponent of TRE – or Trauma Release Exercises.

Now with the help of this series of gentle release exercises I realised that we hold onto trauma and we need to find ways to release them to begin to fully heal.

Incorporating body, mind and soul is the final step

It was through my own experiences and ultimate triumph that I realised that body mind and soul are all inextricably intertwined and so I began my practice Self and More incorporating TRE®, Pilates, QEC, Coaching and Soul Plan.

Ultimately, I believe those who have read this article have not done so without reason. We all suffer a collective form of trauma as we go through this life and it may not have been a cry for help that led you to me, but it was at least to gain some form of attaining a more meaningful life and purposeful existence. Talk to me – I believe I can help.  

Stay safe – and stay in the self!


It’s time to float – not swim against the current

It’s time to float – not swim against the current

As someone whose life is about facilitating ways for others to overcome challenges, realise their best attributes and live a meaningful, positive life, I hear about a lot of concern in times such as these.

We are being bombarded by continually bad news and living through events that often make us feel like we have little or no control. We have been thrust into the second year of a pandemic that has been strengthened by developing a second strain, often thrown into the dark by Eskom, and as a result of the turmoil of last year, many of us are facing financially difficult times too.

Breathe – and float.

OK, so that’s where we all stand. Let’s take a deep breath – and look at sensible ways to deal with this. So, many of us are thinking – “what are we going to do about it?” Well, more often than not it is trying to control and fight against forces greater than us that just get us further into our state of panic or despair.

Many of life’s greatest lessons are learned by simply observing certain laws of nature. Those who step into quicksand will only sink deeper the more they struggle. Those who try to swim against a strong current will tire and possibly drown but had they simply floated they would have been eventually carried by the tides back to shore. Right now – it’s time to float – not swim against the current!

We need to try to avoid making our current predicament something much greater than it needs to be. We will all react differently and we are all feeling the impact of what is happening in different ways but a few general rules could help us all…

Don’t control – accept and bend

When torrential winds blow only the mighty oak with a massive root system will withstand it – or the supple palm which bends so far that it appears to be bowing to the greater force. What will you do?

 Are you so deeply rooted that you can withstand anything? Well few of us are – so take your lead from the Palm. Don’t try to control or change the situation. Accept that it is happening, make sensible contingency plans and calmly accept that ‘it is what it is.’ Console yourself with the knowledge that history has shown us that all things eventually pass.

Fight fear

Fear is the toughest thing we all have to fight, but fear can also be good. It warns us to not do anything stupid. Rather fear the virus than go to parties not wearing a mask, but whatever you do – don’t live with fear to the extent that you ignore having a life at all! 

Rather simply ask yourself ‘So what’s the worst that can happen?’ Invariably when you ponder that question you will realise there is less to fear than you think. If you are a spiritual person who believes in a higher power you might find that fear is easier to overcome – it’s up to you how you do it – but don’t succumb to it.

Spread positive energy

It only takes a few people to spread positive energy to thousands and even millions of others. Be one of these people. Don’t allow negative people into your life and when you have no option then stand firmly against negative utterings, countering with positive ones. Remember that perceptions are inevitably projected onto others, so don’t let others project negative perceptions onto you. 

Let’s start 2021 on a positive footing

So many people are already throwing up their arms in surrender to 2021, believing it is just an extension of 2020 – well it isn’t. It is just a series of days and months on a calendar. What matters is that in every day in any year you have your own positive energy, finding solutions to your problems and not fearing the future.

Talk to me if you are fearing the coming year or doubting where your future lies – or if you are the leader of a team of people that needs to overcome negative perceptions and fear and start 2021 on a positive footing!

My business is Self and More, spawned by my successful triumph over my own past challenges and based on the belief that every individual is unique, special, uniquely gifted and deserves a satisfying meaningful life.

Float – don’t swim against the current – and this storm too shall pass. Have a spectacular year and be safe!

Enter 2021 with a mind-set that will serve you well

Enter 2021 with a mind-set that will serve you well

2020 was a year probably most of us will choose to forget. Filled with unexpected twists and turns, some of them gut-wrenching from a psychological point of view, some so stressful they led to broken marriages and disrupted families and sadly innumerable physical destruction, both as a direct result of the COVID-19 virus or through stress and the inability to cope.

There are millions of people on the planet whose lives have been totally disrupted, they have lost loved ones, jobs businesses and worst of all even family members, so how on earth do we go into another year that currently promises more of the same, with a positive, constructive mind-set?

Well, I’m that irritating ‘glass half full’ person that believes we can if we choose to – so if you’re willing to try, these are four important questions you need to answer to ensure you will enter 2021 with a mind-set that will serve you well…

What did 2020 make you feel?

Yes, the old Psychoanalyst’s question ‘how did that make you feel?’ is an important one. It is essential that we are honest about this and don’t do what so many do and say “Well it is what it is” and sweep it under the carpet.

For heaven’s sake, many of us were for the first time were made to realise that we are not really in control of our own lives. We were merrily going about our business when ‘wham!’ the rug was pulled out from under us and we were all forced into a state of compromise and acceptance of something bigger than all of us. 

That is pretty shattering in itself – so I ask again “How did it make you feel?” Angry, hopeless, scared, terrified, and bitter? Or maybe you were a little relieved that you were given something of a change from the humdrum of normality?

Maybe you were happy with spending more time at home and did some fun stuff together with the family. Maybe you learned to cook, or garden, or read more. Yes, if you think about it, it probably it wasn’t all bad. So that’s the good stuff you must own now, pack it in your 2021 rucksack and take it with you.

How can you release the bad stuff?

Having decided to take some of the positive aspects of 2020 with you, now you need to release the things that were holding you back and stifling you in that time. 

Usually, this is primarily an acceptance of change. Prolific American author Joseph Campbell said, “We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” 

Accept that things do change and we have to change with them. Those most affected by what happened in 2020 were those with the most resistance to change. Those who embrace change immediately searched for alternate lifestyles, businesses and better ways of communication.     

 What do you choose to feel in 2021?

I love this quotation from Isabel Gillies, Author of ‘Happens Every Day: An All Too True Story’ – “I believe in love. I believe in hard times and love winning. I believe marriage is hard. I believe people make mistakes. I believe people can want two things at once. I believe people are selfish and generous at the same time. I believe very few people want to hurt others. I believe that you can be surprised by life. I believe in happy endings.”

It is not that anything she says is profound, but it is refreshingly honest. The reality is that we only find freedom when we can be true to our own feelings – and we own these thoughts, so choose what you want to feel in 2021. Receive the hand you are dealt with gratitude – at least you’re still in the game!

How will you receive whatever it brings?

So, how will you receive whatever 2021 is going to dish up? Will you be more prepared this time if 2021 isn’t what we hope it will be? Are you ready now to accept that the world inside us is not necessarily the world around us?

Life is a balance. Maybe 2021 will be more of the same but it will just mean more light at the end of a longer tunnel. Whatever the outcome, it will change eventually – as does everything else. 

An attitude of gratitude

Prepare your entry into 2021 with an attitude of gratitude for all the blessings you have – and try to have a balanced life – there should always be time for you – and equal time for the other.

To be balanced, lead a life that encompasses a holistic approach – including body, mind and soul, to finally experience the Self and More!

I am always there for you – and truly grateful for your support and what I have learned from you this year. I sincerely wish you all a blessed festive season and happiness and prosperity in 2021 – Whatever it may bring!

How to manage the stress of renovations

How to manage the stress of renovations

Stress comes in many forms, with the death of a loved one, divorce, moving and financial stresses being rated amongst the highest. Another highly stressful event (probably in the top ten) is that of doing home renovations.

With the pandemic drawing us all into our homes to conduct our work, and thousands of people subsequently realising that working from home has many advantages, home renovations are popular right now, but many are not prepared for the kind of stress that this can trigger.

Having recently undergone home renovations myself I realised that there are a few simple ways to reduce the stress of renovating. I hope you find them useful – they certainly assisted me to prevent pulling my hair out and facing a charge of manslaughter!

Get the right crew 

I have made this the first point because I cannot overestimate its importance. Get recommendations and references from people who have done successful renovations with crews that they know and trust. Remember there are often a few different aspects to the whole operation, so choosing the right network of accomplished people is essential. 

Communication is key

Like with any relationship, peace is dependent on good communication. Ensure you will have one point of contact throughout the project if you have one builder who is appointing sub-contractors. This is the best way to go because he becomes accountable to you and all the other contractors are accountable to him. 

Minimising the communication stream with one individual with whom you communicate well will help negotiations. At the same time, make sure your contact point educates the team that they are entering your space and introduces you to the whole team so you can communicate with them individually when necessary.

Control your anger 

Be aware from the outset that if you lose your cool when people don’t seem to be responding to you, you will come off looking like the bad guy and communication will deteriorate as the project goes on.

Once again that’s why it’s so important to have that one point of contact. I have several anger management techniques if you feel yourself being angered easily, but a general rule of thumb is to exercise that old method of ‘counting to 10’ and asking yourself if it’s really necessary to react before engaging with anyone.

Have confidence and understanding

Remember that if you have chosen the right people the renovators will know what they are doing. When you get frustrated ask yourself if the frustration is really necessary, or possibly just because you don’t understand what the crew are doing. Ask questions before exploding!

Also, remember that tradespeople are just people too – some of the nicest people – so have some patience with them. If they appear to be a bit ‘off’ to you, they may be suffering frustrations of their own.

Avoid the misleading mindset

Remember that you have probably heard a thousand times that renovations are a ‘nightmare,’ so avoid going into this with a misleading pre-emptive mindset. Make up your mind that your renovations will be different and have a positive outcome.

If you choose the right crew who will go the extra mile, have one good point of communication and conduct yourself as someone who is understanding and open to suggestions, the chances are that this will not be the stressful event you expected it to be.

Through my business Self and More, I assist people to deal with stress and improve themselves through a holistic body, mind and soul approach. I hope you have found this helpful and don’t hesitate to contact me if I can help you to deal with whatever stressful situations you may be facing.

Be kind to yourself – and stay safe!



Starting anew is all about you – not seasonal, but personal – part 2

Starting anew is all about you – not seasonal, but personal – part 2

I seldom write on any subject in 2 parts, but the issue of ‘starting anew’ and transformation is such a big one and so important at this critical time following the pandemic, that it seemed appropriate to do so.

Many of us have had to reassess our lives and our futures, some of us in massive ways. The change of a job, or having to sell a home, or emotional issues that have arisen from being in close confines with each other, are all possible casualties of what we have just experienced.

It is vitally important for our mental and emotional well-being that we approach this ‘starting anew’ in the right way. As the title says – it may be spring, but starting anew is all about you – not seasonal, but personal.

As I mentioned in the first part of the article I learned some interesting things from the observations of Dr Barton Goldsmith PhD on this subject. I mentioned a couple of them to you and here are a couple more you may find useful …

Starting over is not always by choice

These trying times have meant that many of us have had to start over as opposed to choosing to start over. Avoid becoming angry about this, accepting life does sometimes take turns you don’t expect – and don’t feel bad if you need to get help. Just remember you can always help those who are helping you now somewhere down the line.

Starting over presents new opportunities

Sometimes when you are forced to try something new it can be a good thing. It requires acquiring new skills – and this can never be bad. Change is inevitable. Whether it is happening now or at some other time it will happen – so embrace it – at your own pace and in your own way, but don’t try to just ignore it.

Transforming at one’s own pace

As far as my own observations are concerned, as I said in part 1:  “We had to radically change our way of thinking and our behaviour to align with COVID-19 and the ensuing lockdown. Just as that transformation had to be at one’s own pace, we should, at our own pace and within our emotional capabilities, begin to start again.”

This is really the essence of the message. Transformation should never be measured by anyone else’s pace and there is no ‘norm’ when it comes to stating anew. For us to go from just surviving to thriving after such an event we need to understand what we have learned from this time. If you are not sure, that is exactly what I may be able to assist you with, as it often takes an objective viewpoint to reveal such things.

Get on the bus

Having ascertained that, we do need to keep moving forward, but we must remember it is like getting on a bus, the final destination of which we don’t know. It doesn’t really matter, as long as we go only as far as we want to – and get off where we want to go!

Within my business Self and More, through combining body, mind and soul techniques and practices I can assist you to become aware of your innermost feelings, strength and weaknesses to become transformed as a highly effective individual with a meaningful life and a true purpose.

Talk to me and let’s see if we can take this journey together. In the meantime keep being the unique and special person that you are – and keep safe!

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