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Inspired! ISSUE NUMBER 4

LESSONS IN LIBERTY FROM A SYRINGA TREE

TIPS FROM THE TRAVELING WRITER

Lead Your Life - Live Your Purpose

FINDING FREEDOM IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITY

LIVING ON CLOUD 9 OR LIVING A FOCUSED REALITY?

CHEW ON THAT! FREE TO BE ME!


Inspired! EDITOR In the month of July, as we hammered and tweaked the 4th Inspired! edition into shape, thousands of people across the globe turned their attention to the matter of sufficiently celebrating their political freedom. While America celebrated their 4th of July Independence Day with firework displays, parades, barbecues, picnics, baseball games and the likes, the French busied themselves with similar festivities - including marches down the streets of Paris - to honour their Federation Holiday, or the well-known Bastille Day. With all this partying going on it becomes quickly evident that freedom is a notion and experience worth celebrating! While you might have not had to storm a castle or fight an ongoing, physical battle for your personal or political freedom (or have you?), the concept of freedom must still mean something to you regardless. Which forms of freedom do you value the most? I s

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it your economic freedom perhaps? Or your religious freedom? What about freedom from conformity to popular opinion or freedom from self judgement or fear? Over these last few months I have greatly valued the freedom I have to live out my Purpose to a deeper level. I am currently involved in some exciting new ventures, which include ways to raise funds for orphans and vulnerable children – what a priviledge! The Inspired! Team and I have therefore decided to press the pause button on rolling out the Inspired! Magazine. In this way I will be freed up to prioritise this exciting, new adventure I am on. Special thanks to Jean Morrissey and Marne Coetzee for their most valuable contribution to this journey. Without them there would have been no Magazine! I trust that you have enjoyed the articles included in our previous editions and that you will continue to live an Inspired!Life,inservicetoothers,untilwenextmeetagain! This last edition comes out a little later than planned due to all these changes, but we trust you will enjoy it and share it with your friends all the same. Please stay connected on our Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/InspiredPurpose Sean Willard

Sean


Inspired! TEAM Editor Sean Willard Sean Willard is a John Maxwell Speaker, Coach and Trainer and author of ‘Have a Life Attack’. “Living my purpose inspires me - helping others discover theirs is beyond amazing! Whether I am watching my wife and daughter express their amazing talents through painting or singing respectively, or am engaged in an entrepreneurial invention conversation with my son, I am inspired!

Copy Editor Jean Morrissey Jean Morrissey works as a freelance writer in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. She loves writing pieces that are authentic, engaging and informative. “I find other people’s stories, experiences and brave adventures very inspirational. My inquisitive mind loves to absorb details and facts. As long as I keep learning, I keep moving. My dream is to write a book one day.”

Art Director Marné Coetzee Marné is a Somerset West based freelance graphic designer, illustrator and fine artist. “What inspires me is to keep my dreams in sight – literally! I’m a very visual person and carry a dreambook with me filled with photo’s, sketches and words of the things I really want to have, see and experience in my life.”

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Inspired! CONTENT

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The Ties that Bind

From the Pen of the Travelling Writer

“My Husband has Cancer”

The Myth of Cloud 9

by Shelley Walters

by Ronnie Vehorn

by Wendy van Eyck

by Scott Tucker

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Chew on That!

by Lee Cairncross

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Shelley Walters shelleyw@raizcorp.com -

THE TIES THAT

BIND When I think of freedom, I think

of my grandfather (‘Oupa’), not because he was free , but because he imparted freedom to me . Perhaps that is why we look back on our

childhoods with so much longing. Because we were born free . 6


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That is what I believe: I believe we are born free; then, we give it away. And, for many of us, we spend the rest of our lives trying to regain the freedom that we have lost. When I was a little girl, my Oupa and I planted a Syringa tree in the back garden. After we had planted the tree, we put a big ring around it to catch the water. I think the ring was the top of an old rusted galvanized rubbish bin. I remember how lost the tiny tree looked, jutting out in the middle of what seemed then like a massive circle. Later, I remember that same metal circle choking the trunk of the tree, as the once tiny tree grew. It was a strange sight, this metal ring now embedded in the trunk of the Syringa tree and growing – slowly, but surely - further and further from the ground until the leaves brushed the tin roof of our old house. Many years later we would cut that tree down because we had underestimated how big it would grow to be. I

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remember thinking how, regardless of whether or not we had decided to cut that tree down, it was relentless in its pursuit of growth. There have been times in my life when I could identify with that tree: people and places - that were once a comfort - would begin to choke, and it felt like I had to carry them with me as I grew. Ultimately, the burden was too much for me to bear and I removed myself from those people and those places. While it broke my heart to do so, the pain of remaining was greater than the pain of leaving. At first, I thought it was callous; with time, I realized it was honest. It took me a long time to discover this about myself, which cost me and those around me. I wish I could say that walking healthily away was without pain, but that would not be the truth. For many years now I have been single, too afraid of committing myself to someone who


would later restrict me. I want to grow, I want to fly; I want to experience the world and this wonderful life to its fullest. Unhampered by the guilt and obligation of disappointing those who expect me to be a certain person, or to behave in a certain way… And that has been my difficult choice. I have fought for that same freedom in other areas. I avoid debt like the plague, keep myself as healthy as I can, and am reluctant to make commitments unless I know that it is something I can, and want to do. The freedom to choose might be the most powerful attribute and precious resource you have in your life. It shapes who we are, and how we express ourselves, the successes we achieve and the influence we have in the world. We choose how much we give of ourselves to our relationships, our jobs and our dreams. The freedom to choose is ours to leverage. Or to disregard.

I urge you to reflect on your life, and your choices. When you discover who you are, and who you are not, the once-difficult choices become a little bit easier to make. Even in the pain of saying, ‘no’, of walking away, if you give yourself a moment, you will feel the clarity and the focus that comes from being free… I leave you with the opening lines of a poem; I think the writer says it better than I ever could: After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul and you learn that love doesn’t mean possession and company doesn’t mean security. And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts and presents aren’t promises… Veronica A Shoffstall

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Ronnie Vehorn rvehorn@gmail.com www.justaddfaith.com -

From the pen of the Traveling Writer

FREEDOM! Now there’s a popular topic! In fact you would be hard pressed to google quotes from the founders of all major world religions, political figures from the far right to the far left of the ideological spectrum, and notable personalities from the realms of art, culture, and economics and not find a comment on freedom. Love may be the only topic drawing more comment from the human race than freedom.

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Yet the Traveling Writer has observed from the road of history and experience that there may be nothing more frightening to the human race than genuine freedom. Go over a few reformations and revolutions that come to mind and see how quickly those who gain freedom force it back into some form of regulation or tyranny! Freedom requires such a huge measure of faith and discipline that most folks buckle quickly and find a way to shift responsibility onto someone else. If you want to test your own longing to be free then check how tenaciously you cling to the responsibilities of life! Another quirky measure of your freedom is the honesty index. Are you able to express your inner life to others? If not then freedom is probably an ideological topic of conversation. The Traveling Writer suggests the measure of freedom in our different contexts can be increased simply by telling the truth! Have a go and taste the raw flavor of FREEDOM!

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Wendy van Eyck ilovedevotionals.com

“My husband has

I find myself wanting to insert this sentence into every conversation that I have. It doesn’t really matter what the conversation is about. It could be that the cashier says, “That’ll be 3.25 please”. In reply, I blurt out, “My husband has lymphoma”. Or I could be on the phone with a supplier telling me that they are upset about something and I hear a conversation in my head saying, “Do you think I really care? My husband has cancer!” I’ve uttered the sentence to my family. I’ve told my friends. I’ve told my colleagues and boss and my bosses boss. I’ve told doctors and nurses. I’ve told the pharmacist. I’ve told people whom I just met and I’ve told people whom I haven’t seen for years. Yet somehow it still doesn’t seem enough. I want everyone to know. I need to share this

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tragedy, this heartbreak, this disruption. I’ve thought about how if I was pregnant I’d want to just let the whole world know about all the good things that were coming our way. I think this is similar - except obviously it’s not good news - but the need to share, to offer around my pain like a plate of cookies to everyone I meet is still there, tangible and concrete and empty.


cancer.”

Perhaps this is the most frustrating thing of all that no matter how often I tell people that my husbands’ mutant cells are trying to overtake his healthy ones it doesn’t change anything. Not the smallest thing. No matter how many times I say it my husband still has cancer. It wasn’t supposed to happen this way. We were newly-weds with dreams and hopes and the taste of unreality on our lips. We were fresh off the plane from a 7-week trip around South East Asia when we sat in a doctor’s office and were told that the radiologist had found a suspect lesion in his spleen and it could be any number of things. One of those things it could be was cancer. All of sudden fears start falling from the ceiling taking shape in the form of questions: Will he live? Will I be a widow in my first year of marriage? What will chemotherapy be like? Will our marriage make it through this? Will we be

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able to have children? Will our marriage make it through that? Will he live? No amount of grounding can make you brave in the face of fear like that. Which is why I went home and cried. I cried in my office. I cried in the car. I cried alone. I cried with my husband. I cried enough tears that the earth’s water supply is now made up of 98% salt water. The truth is that you can’t cry forever. The other reality is that tears don’t wash away cancer any more than telling people about it does. So I woke up next to my husband the next day, held his hand and we walked into surgery together with a hope and prayer that we’d get through this. Finding liberty in simply being Often in the days following chemo, my husband and I will just lie next to each other in silence for ages. Sometimes I’ll hug him or hold his hand, other times just knowing that I’m there in the same

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room is enough. I don’t tell him about my day or ask about his, we don’t talk about how we wish he wasn’t sick, or that it looks like we need a new washing machine. We just lie there. It’s weird because I used to think that the only way I could help him was to do stuff - but I’m learning that one of the things that helps the most, that makes him happiest and gets my husband through the hard times is simply being there. There is a freedom in just practising presence, liberty in realizing that what we have now is enough, abundant and more than sufficient. Before my husbands diagnosis life was always about more. More dreams, more travelling, more money, more opportunities – now I realize those things often just trap us. They enslave us a lot – much like all those fearful questions I felt in the doctors room. They’re not real but they take our freedom to really live while we have breath. So excuse me while I go and take my place on the bed next to my husband and just “be”.


La Petite Dauphine La Petite Dauphine, Franschhoek, South Africa Tel: 021 876 3936, Fax: 086 664 3524

www.lapetite.co.za


Scott Tucker -

The Myth of Cloud 9 For many years I’ve heard people talking about ‘being on Cloud 9’. I know it’s just an expression, but I was still curious: where is this mysterious place and how did they get there? 16

After some research, I discovered a recurring and somewhat disturbing pattern - it seems that Cloud 9 is a fickle place with many strings attached. If you are struggling in any area of your life, this magical Cloud 9 is apparently quite unavailable. With that bubble busted, I set out on a new mission to find out how I could have Cloud 9 happiness all the time. I


discovered that, after all was said and done, achieving a Cloud 9 existence was possible if I could overcome two basic problem areas of life: those involving my time and money. The solution I found to achieving this status was simple - just apply some focus! What’s your main focus? One of the greatest sentiments I have ever heard is that if you want to know someone’s priorities, then look at where they spend their time. Sadly, many people spend too much of their time, especially during office hours, focused in the arena of ‘what went wrong’. The most difficult battle you will ever face is the battle within your own mind; the old adage that ‘you are your own worst enemy’ is true on more levels than many of us choose to believe. One of the keys to winning this internal battle is taking an inventory of what you are choosing to focus on. As entrepreneurs, one of the easiest things ways

to become discouraged is to lose focus on the good things that are happening in our lives. How many times have you let a situation (such as a lost client, a deal gone wrong, or a disgruntled employee) set the tone for how your entire day is going to pan out? Allowing the negative actions of others to become the thermostat for your day is so common to many people that they don’t even realize they’re doing it. Time and time again, I’ll sit with a coaching client that just can’t seem to wrap their brain around what I’m trying to teach them. They can’t seem to focus on the project on which we are working. It usually only takes about two or three questions to figure out why and the answer is almost always the same. Something happened earlier in the day that has consumed their thought processes and has virtually shut down any chance of them being productive. Once we have dealt with the situation, and they stop focusing on it, the tone of the entire session changes and, almost like magic, they

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are back to being able to engage with me and the session. They start thinking with a success mindset again. One of the tools I suggest to my coaching clients (to help them redirect how they focus their attention) is to encourage them to make a list of all the positive things that have happened that day, week, month, etc. (over the period that they have been stuck in their ‘rut’). Each morning and evening, they are to read the entire list of positive things that have happened, and then add to it until the page is full, front and back. I have found that, when you start and end your day by focusing on positive affirmations, your mind will begin to not only notice but will also seek out the events/actions in your life that are positive. I challenge you to use this tool for yourself. If you’re having a ‘bad day’ and can’t seem to break out of a negative mindset, make a list of the good things that have happened recently, and then see how many things you

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can add to the list by the end of the day! Getting specific So what about overcoming financial stresses? That seems to be a non-stop concern for many entrepreneurs and, lately, for those in the corporate workforce as well. Once again, it’s all about focus. If a bill is due Friday, concern yourself with it on Friday. Don’t spend the entire week worrying about Friday! All that will do is take up precious time and stress you out. When my wife and I were struggling to pay our bills, we didn’t let it bother us on a daily basis. We knew what needed to be paid and when, but our focus was on making each individual day a success. The reality is that if you focus on the ‘big picture’ too much it will begin to seem unattainable. Set small, believable goals each day, and then accept and rejoice in the victory of accomplishing those smaller goals. Once you’ve done that for a few days, then take a look at the ‘big picture’... It’s’ not so big any more, is it?


“If you were born without wings, do nothing to prevent them from growing� - Coco Chanel

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Lee Cairncross lee.cairncross@gmail. com www. internationalbushgirl. wordpress.com

Chew On That!

Allow me to present two facts about myself.

Fact 1: I like meat. No. Scratch that. I love meat. A lot. In fact, I enjoy meat so much, that I often dream of one day sewing together slithers of beef and converting it into a fashion statement. Pity some controversial, wigwearing popstar already stole my thunder and donned a whole cow to some-or-other awards ceremony! No matter. ‘Tis a free world. It would probably have been a bit uncomfortable anyhow, not to mention rather malodourous. For now, though, I’m perfectly content with chewing on the ol’ T-Bone steak.

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Fact 2: At the tender age of four, I was asked a most fateful question: “What do you want to be when you grown up?” “A cashier,” was my reply, because I really liked pressing the buttons on my toy cash register. I was quickly advised that my answer was wrong. Unacceptable. I had to choose something else. The interrogation was repeated again at age eight. This time I was more than prepared. “A cardiothoracic surgeon!” I responded with gusto. It was completely irrelevant that I couldn’t pronounce it properly; what mattered was that I gave the correct answer. This time,


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my choice was acceptable. Even encouraged... until the day I fainted at the mere sight of blood. Needless to say, my ‘dream profession’ changed once more... And the connection between these two happenstances, you may ask? Choice. Forced to hang up my stethoscope, I developed the fairly idyllic dream of speaking innumerable languages, travelling the world, experiencing a plethora of cultures, and eating as many interesting things along the way! I’ve been blessed with incredibly supportive family and friends, and have consequently chosen a profession that allows me exactly that. I currently find myself in Buenos Aires, Argentina – the home of tango, polo… and great steak! My loves are completely satiated. I attend glamorous events daily, watch polo and eat like a queen! But as marvelous and exotic as living abroad is, it does posses

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its fair share of challenges. Initially, the Spanish-English language barrier was a massive impediment; I had no support structure, as I knew no one in Argentina; so I quickly got caught up in the buzz of the city’s nightlife. I slowly compromised on my values and beliefs; it took a rude awakening from my younger brother to put things into perspective. “Lee,” he said, “If you’re putting yourself down, I’ve got no one to look up to.” That settled it. I wanted my brother to be proud of his daring sister, not disappointed. I decided at that very moment to rediscover those values that I once held so dear and consciously live them out. That’s one of the great things about being human – there’s always a choice. All too often we allow ourselves into compromising situations: I’m only telling the lie to spare his feelings;


So what if she’s married? She’s hot!; No one will know if I fabricate this information; I’m sleeping with him because I love him; One more chocolate bar won’t hurt; It’s just a beer;

I slowly compromised on my values and beliefs; it took a rude awakening from my younger brother to put things into perspective. ‘Lee,’ he said, ‘If you’re putting yourself down, I’ve got no one to look up to.’ I only did it because my boss told me to... What we don’t realise, though, is that one small encumbrance – more often than not – leads to another. And another. And another. Until

we find ourselves in a situation where our vices have completely consumed us. I’ve had the extraordinary privilege of traversing the globe some, and one thing I’ve learnt is that people are the same the world over! We may speak in different tongues or practice different customs, but we all share the same ‘humanness’. We all have dreams, aspirations, passions and motivations. And we all suffer from doubts, fears, insecurities and difficulties. We are all tempted, albeit in different ways, yet we all have the freedom of choice. One chooses to be a better person, employer, employee, friend, father, mother, spouse, parent or child. Psychologist, J. Martin Kohe once said, “The greatest power that a person possesses is the power to choose.” We all have a story. We all have a purpose. We all have a choice. What’s yours?

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Inspired! AUTHORS Ronnie Vehorn

Wendy van Eyck

lives and works on the Harrison Wine Farm in the Eastern Cape. He is the author of “Just Add Faith� and a Travelling Writer.

writes at ilovedevotionals.com, runs a 24 hour TV channel called ONE Gospel and loves travelling with her husband.

Jean Morrissey

Lee Cairncross

works as a freelance writer in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. She loves writing pieces that are authentic, engaging and informative

is an adventure-seeking, gattoothed girl with a penchant for travel, who currently resides in Buenos Aires as a publicist.

Shelley Walters

Scott Tucker

a Professional Speaker from Johannesburg, South Africa, is passionate about self-development and encouraging increased productivity.

Rob Lloyd is an unemployed pastor (He lost his flock, he jokes). He is inspired by good music and by seeing others fulfil their potential.

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is the founder of No Boundaries Business Radio. He works primarily with the dreamers of the world who want to turn their dreams into reality.


Inspired! ADVERTISERS

(your company’s name here) for advertising queries contact Sean on 082 335 4174 or at sean@smswillard.com

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Inspired! Issue 4  

A truly inspirational edition of the Inspired! Magazine.

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