Samosas by the Sea

 

horizen at umhlanga

 

Good mental health, is having samosas by the sea !
I write that with tongue in cheek, but with deep respect for the subject,  and for those who suffer from mental illness.    Its a subject that I am not unfamiliar with and have witnessed its devastation in family.
But I did have a taste of good mental health personally when I went to see the sea.

There is a small space,  created in the suburbs that touch the beach-line, where cars can park and people can watch the sea without having to walk on the beach.     There is also access to the beach for walkers and their dogs, paddle skiers and wind surfers should they want to embrace the ocean more intimately.   So there is something for everyone.    I discovered this little tuck-away-place, and go there for a little ‘sea therapy’ now and again

That morning I received some startling news, that left me in a quandary of doubt and disappointment.   Fortunately I had to occupy my mind with errands and could put it all on hold, which is often a good thing when indecision cloud the day.

Two samosas

Now one of my favourite snacks is samosas.   It is an Indian fried cuisine, in the shape of a triangle with a filling of beef, chicken, lamb or something tasty.  I often treat myself to one or two, and so ease my conscience for not having chosen something sweet to eat, like pecan pie, or Portuguese custard tart  !
Today was the day for some comfort food, so I bought some samosas and headed for one of my favourite places,  –  and for a little ‘sea therapy’

kite-surfing-jeremy-hayden

I sat for a long time before I felt the therapy kick in.   The concrete bricks that were perched on my shoulders began to grow wings and lift !  They were necessary though for they seemed to stop the hole in my heart from exploding from the seams.    The hole has been there for a very long time.   It seems to expand and contract, but never really goes away.  One learns to live with it, but its like living in the shadow of unhappiness all the time.
Coming face to face with mental disorders is disconcerting to say the least !   There are many disorders.  I have looked at schizophrenia and squinted at narcissism – both of which are crushing to the soul.     Mental disorders will reveal the dysfunctions in   families.   If not confronted, it will bury the flaws, that in later years,  even generations, may cause further deterioration and havoc.     Facing the deep, takes courage !
The hole is not in my pumping heart, its in my happy heart – if you know what I mean ?   I am sure there are many of us who live with a hole in the heart.   We put on our smiley faces, but live in the shadow of sadness.

I enjoyed my samosas and aloe-vera cool drink, and sat a little longer when I heard the question : ” You are having samosas by the sea, now what do you see ?”

How often is it that we don’t see what we are looking at ?
So I looked with fresh eyes at what I was looking at,  in that moment.

Firstly I became aware of the still silence, except for the small thunderous crashes of the waves on the beach.    It was then that I began to have a sense of Peace.
I have noticed that Peace likes to come when there is stillness and silence.
Peace is  always a welcome friend.

I saw a little bird perched on a dying branch, looking for crumbs left by visitors.
I saw a lazy sea-gull, slowly flap-flapping his wings along the water’s edge.
I saw the sheer whiteness of the gurgling breaking waves, as the afternoon sun caught their brilliance.
I saw the distance of mists beginning to rise from the ocean, that meant heat and humidity was on its way.
I saw the horizon, I love horizons !    And that is when the concrete bricks began to lift off my shoulders.    Distance and promise, the call of something new !

There were many many cargo ships on the waters, waiting their time to enter the Durban harbour to offload their goods from far away places.  World Trade is alive and well after all,  despite the trade wars between America and China !

From the car next to me came a couple with an ice box, who made they way to the seaside.  She had on a flimsy beach robe over her shorts, and as she reached the dune, she lifted both her arms as if to take off with the wind – and the freedom she was obviously feeling.
Then further down two young fellows parked their car and off loaded the canoe and paddle skies that would take them into the blue, and into the deep.   Brave lads !

It had been a good visit to my favourite spot, and as I enjoyed my samosas by the sea, I came away refreshed by what I had seen.   I realised that life goes on, no matter what the news, and what the problems are that would beset us.
That there are those, who despite it all enjoy life and what it has to offer.  And that we need to take hold of the good things too that come our way.

It was not only a taste of my samosas by the sea, but a taste of life that refreshed me that day.   Life is good, look for the good – and be in the moment,  that to my mind, is good mental health.

Seagull

Philippians 4 : 7

and the peace of God,
which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and minds,
through Christ Jesus.

 

Threads of the Fabric

 

needle and threads

Somehow the newness of this year is still with us.   After Christmas and New Year there is this feeling of the lull lingering on before the year really starts revving up.  Perhaps it’s that the up-country visitors are still with us, or perhaps its more parking spaces at the mall, but there seems to me to be a reluctance to the start of the new year.

I have been keeping my ear open for a word of encouragement that may cement my year into a theme or a thought to follow through, or that may become a thread of what is to come.  Or perhaps just to note it, so that as the year progresses I am reminded where the year began.

What I have heard is this : joy, newness, adventures, expectations, and just recently intentions.      These are some of the threads that make up the fabric of life.
Threads I just love, as I am sure you do too ?
Sure there may be some glum days ahead, but as my previous post said … ‘Hold that thought’  and I will,  endeavour to hold these fun words, these thoughts, in suspension till I encounter them throughout the coming year.

Dr Mark Chironna, one of my favourite preachers, spoke on 1 Corinthians 13:13, which says
And now abide Faith Hope, Love,  these three;  but the greatest of these is Love.

He paralleled ‘these three’ like this :
Faith  is  anticipation
Hope is expectation
Love is intentional
Of course he expanded greatly on this.   He went wide and deep, and brought much insight to this favourite Scripture.

I gave it some reflection, and thought that it would dovetail beautifully into my new year.
These three threads – all forward-looking components, are good strands for happiness and for good mental health.

Choose Faith,   and apply a mind-set of anticipation.
Choose  Hope,  and apply  purposeful expectation.
Choose Love,  and be intentional in giving it away.

Why not weave these threads into the fabric of 2019,  and make it into something  colourful and memorable.

gettyimages-816508872-5bef47dd46e0fb0026d71c98

Looking for … Joy

Looking for Joy.
I know I have it … but where ?  I must have put it somewhere to keep in case I needed it.  I’m like that.  I don’t like to throw things out.  I’ll store them for a long season if I have to, but to discard what I think is precious, is not likely to happen !  Now where did I put it ? If I let this thought simmer on the back burner it may come to me.

And so it did.  In the oversized tubs I store all my collectibles ? Yes, but which one? So the hunt began.  I scurried down to the garage and began to unpack the lavender tub.
No, it wasn’t there, but what I found was colour.  Colour in the form of off-cuts of material I had kept.  There were stunning reds, bright yellows, deep blues and purple, checker greens, even a little silver and mottled gold.  What a delight ! Then I looked up and looked around, and began to see colour everywhere. What a Joy colour brings to our lives.  Just imagine life without colour – and its a free.
Light from the sun is white light, if looked through a prism the light fractures and becomes a spectrum of colours, the rainbow of red, blue, green,yellow, orange, purple and indigo.  Colours have different lengths (frequencies – like music notes) shorter is higher and longer is deeper.  These notes / frequencies of colour bring colours to plants – everything is grey drab, until lit by sunlight.  Next time you’re feeling glum, look up and look around for the free gift of colour –  and be glad !

But that was not what I was looking for.  The next tub I opened was my Word tub.  It was full of words.  Letters, writings of other people, poems, special cards, scraps of paper with Bible verses and notes on courses and seminars I had attended.  It surely must be in this tub.  So I spent the next few days scrutinizing all the treasures in my Word tub.  What a joy, re-reading the hearts and minds of others and feeling their love all over again.  The Joy of friends, and relationships.  We can’t do without them. Well, maybe some of them, but no not all.

Then I found it !  At last, I knew I had it.  Tucked in the pages of a manuscript were the words of Dr James G Friesen of The Life Model Course I had attended some 20 years ago.  I remembered the “Joy bucket” and “Joy Camp”, and getting back on top of “Joy Mountain” which he so clearly wrote about and the fundamental importance of  regulating our feelings back to Joy.  Dr James Ph.D  is a Clinical Psychologist, and an expert in trauma recovery and Dissociative Identity Disorders.  Here are some concepts from the powerful words of The Life Model : “Joy is a powerful force in life which shapes our lives from the baby stage of our development.” (brain development) He explains this very clearly in the manuscript and states  ” Joy becomes the foundation for all other emotions.”  Dr James Wilder, a co-writer and researcher  writes on  www.lifemodel.org   “Joy was the engine that drove thriving and recovery and even produced the strength needed for prevention of trauma and addiction.”  Wow, those are strong words. Please check out The Life Model’s website and find out more on this life-giving course.  And visit Dr Friesen on http://www.jamesgfriesen.com.  Also visit  www.joystartshere.com for more information.

Life from a psychological view can bring an understanding to our inner world. Life from a spiritual view can bring healing and recovery from mental and emotional breakdown.
Undeniably suffering and sorrow are strewn along Life’s path. It is then that we find that Joy has companions  :
Joy and Sorrow  –  Weeping may endure for a night, but Joy comes in the morning.    Psalm 30:5
Joy and Mourning –  To give them beauty for ashes and the oil of Joy for mourning. Isaiah 61: 3
Joy and Strength – Do not sorrow for the Joy of the Lord is your strength.
Nehemiah 8:10
Joy and PeaceNow may the God of hope fill you with Joy and Peace.
Romans 15:13
Joy and Gladness –  He will make her wilderness like Eden, And her desert like the garden of the Lord, Joy and gladness will be found in it.  Isaiah 51:3
        Joy and Fruit –  But the fruit of the Spirit is  Love  Joy  Peace  Long-suffering          Kindness Goodness  Faithfulness  Gentleness  and  Self Control.  Against these there is   no law.   Galatians 5:22

fruitbsk0011 (3)

Finding Joy is well worth the pursuit, and for me, it came one evening when I heard the Preacher from the big church on the corner say  : Joy is a decision you make,  to get your power back.
Joy is the essence of good mental health, so …  CHOOSE  JOY !