Four Faces of Cape Town – Travelstart Blogger Experience Competition

Having given up the formal 9 to 5 office routine, I now work from home, building an online global business in the field of Personal Development

This means I sit in my home office all day every day, (often longer than 9 to 5). And, while I love what I do, and love being at home, it can sometimes become tedious being home 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. After a month or so, I decided to do something about it and made a commitment that on weekends I would completely switch off from work and would immerse myself in non-work related pursuits and creative activities.

I started dragging my husband to the shops for weekend shopping trips, we started going out for Sunday lunch once a month, and I’ve taken up some hobbies.

I started reading again, and I’ve also committed some time each weekend to art or craft projects.

I’ve always enjoyed travelling and visiting new places, and I love Cape Town.

V&A Waterfront, In Love In Cape Town

It is probably my favourite city in the whole world. It has an atmosphere, energy and vibe all of its own. So when I saw the Cape Town Blogger Competition by Travelstart, I knew I had to enter.

The gist of the competition was to 1) Create Table Mountain 2) Write a Blog Post about your artistic process, and what you love about Cape Town & Table Mountain, and 3) Share your post

There were a couple of additional rules, but I was already hooked and got straight to work.

My brain was working overtime, and I had some great ideas and so much I wanted to try that I found it hard to settle on just one concept.

Although I worked in an arts and crafts shop for several years, I am NOT an artist, so I decided to keep things fairly simple.

The challenge with this is that Table Mountain (one of the 7 Wonders of Nature) is something you just have to experience it for yourself! How do you do it justice as unskilled, amateur “artist”?

Eventually, I decided to create a series of pictures in different forms and combine it as one big artwork showing some of the many beautiful faces of Table Mountain.

Planning & Preparation:

My first steps were to decide how I wanted to create Table Mountain and to gather together all the necessary supplies.

This necessitated a trip to my craft cupboard and a visit to my nearest art supply store.  So, on Saturday morning, I dragged my husband, Neil, to the nearest Shopping Centre to gather some art supplies.R200 and one disgruntled husband later, I returned home fully equipped.

R200 and one disgruntled husband later, I returned home fully equipped!

The Process:

Picture One: Cape Town Collage

As this is a 4 part picture series, I needed to create some continuity.

I did this  by creating a cut-out silhouette of Table Mountain to use as a template.

For the Collage, I cut out pictures of Cape Town and Table Mountain from a variety of magazines,

and created a triple silhouette in collage, silver, and black.

Picture Two: Inspired by an art class from Trindad

Sip and paint birthday gathering offered by Simone Browne at “C”spot, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad

 

 

This is the effect I was going for, but I had no idea how to go about it, other than to roughly follow their inspiration.

This necessitated another trip to the shops. This time to purchase paintbrushes. Fortunately,  I was able to pick up a bunch of cheap brushes at my local Chinese shop for a bargain price.

Using Acrylic Paint, I first created the background. Then I painted the Table Mountain Silhouette, followed by the lights of Cape Town and the Moon and Sea.

And, finally, I finished it off by adding some tree silhouettes in the foreground.

It may not be perfect, but overall I was very pleased with the result.

Picture Three: Watercolour: Table Mountain by Day

For this, I used white card, the same silhouette and watercolour paints.

I’ve worked with watercolours before, but only at school and playing with my kids. In school we always used a big thick round brush and painted black outlines around everything!  I have no idea of paint techniques, colour mixing or even which paintbrush to use, so I just bit the bullet and went for it.

I started with the background, painting the sky and sea first, followed by the mountain, before adding in some contours and finer details. Although my detailing is very amateurish, I’m satisfied with the overall outcome.

I will definitely use watercolours again, learning the tools, techniques and finer details, especially the use of paintbrushes and strokes!

Picture Four: Table Cloth Silhouette

Initially this was intended to be a simple silhouette in black and white or navy and yellow, but in the end, I decided it was too simplistic and wouldn’t complement the other 3 pictures in the series, so I decided to create a picture of Table Mountain with its famous Tablecloth.

I cut out a silhouette in black, pasted it onto white poster board, added some blue sky, drew in and painted an aeroplane and banner and topped it all off with cotton wool clouds and a Tablecloth.

THE END RESULT: FOUR FACES OF CAPE TOWN

I had such fun taking part in this competition! I would love to win it, and if I do, I will taking my trip to Cape Town just in time for this year’s Cape Town Carnival, but whatever happens, I enjoyed taking part and I wish my fellow bloggers and competitors Good Luck!

I look forward to seeing your entries too!

If this post has inspired you to take a trip to one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Travelstart should be the first stop in your search for affordable trips to Cape Town!

Happy Travels!

Clearing out Clutter is Cathartic

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Yesterday I spent an immensely satisfying day sifting through my office files and sorting out the treasures from the trash.

 

 

I must confess, when it comes to papers and books  I am a professional hoarder.  I don’t subscribe to the popular and practical advice of the “Touch It Once” rule.

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Some of my notebooks and journals go back to pre -1997, a historical record of my life’s journey thus far.

In contrast, I only kept records from the past 6 years employment history.  Not too bad since we’ve moved 6 times in the past six years.

 

 

But yesterday I finally let go.  All the papers, contracts, notes, gone!

There is nothing quite so satisfying as shredding those papers into tiny pieces.  And I wasn’t alone!

As always, my trusty companions Buddy and Rosie were available to assist.  The process went something like this:

I would sort, crumple, tear and toss, filling up a big black bag.

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Rosie and Buddy would Retrieve And …

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Rip the Rubbish to Shreds….

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And then scatter it through the house to ensure that the contents can never again be pieced together and deciphered.

 

 

 

 

Once I’d finished filling the bag with 20 years of memories, I decided it was time to declutter my PC too.

I deleted all my old CV’s, removed myself as Admin from a couple of Facebook pages and dedicated myself to renewing my goals.

A 12 hour day well spent!  I feel re-energised.   mounting-1837595__340

I’ve let go of some old attachments, my office looks good,

And 2017 beckons!

I’m looking forward to it.  How about you?

 

 

 

 

 

FACING INTERNAL RESISTANCE

When Molehills Become Mountains

When I started writing this blog post, it was meant to be a post about how to turn problems and challenges into FUN opportunities, but in the writing of it, it developed into a two-part post and in this, the first post I ask

“What do you do when you meet stubborn internal resistance”?

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I have just started working for myself as a Promoter and Distributor of a Personal Development Product Range and Business Opportunity and I recently faced a minor challenge which was causing me huge internal resistance.

The business system is made up of 3 simple steps. I managed to muddle my way through the first step, but stopped dead in my tracks at the second step – a simple phone call, following a script.

I wanted to make the calls. I needed to make them, and I knew they were key to my ability to succeed in this industry. I wanted to, ….but I couldn’t. Every time I thought about reaching for the phone I met with HUGE internal resistance. I fought with myself, I argued with myself, I reasoned with myself, but still I could not pick up the phone and dial that first number. Every time I thought about it I came up with every reason and excuse in the book NOT to do it.

I tried procrastination (writing this blog post), motivation (writing this blog post), rehearsing, visualising, preparing, and practicing. I practiced my scripts and listened to the recordings several times. I tried reaching out for moral support and listened to some sound advice.

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Bite the bullet”, “Just do it”, and “the only way to get beyond the fear is with MASSIVE ACTION” .  

I tried understanding my internal motivations. I listened to recordings of people making the same calls I needed to make. And still I found myself struggling.  

I even did a google search for “How to Overcome Fear of Phone Sales”.

I found a lot of useful information and some really good resources that helped me identify what my real problem is.

Maria Brophy – How To Get Over Your Fear of Making Sales Calls

and

Hubspot: 4 steps to get over Your Fear

For me it boiled down to 3 things:

  1. A “negative intruder” – (I am not comfortable with my script)

  2. Learning to have a conversation and speak from the heart

  3. An inner conflict – trying to reconcile using a script( which works) with having a genuine conversation with people, and trying to “sell” them something (even though I believe in the product I have to offer, the benefits it can provide and the interest my contacts have shown in receiving the information)

Wow! What an eye-opener. No wonder I am struggling to make this call!

The thing is, I know I’m not afraid of failing (in this instance), and I’m not afraid to pick up the phone, even though its not my favourite thing, but I was suffering from some massive internal resistance (and I think I know what it is).

Anthony Robbins, author of Awaken the Giant Within suggests that the self-sabotage is due to a conflict of values and mixed neuro-associations. No wonder I have this tug-of-war going on inside myself!

After fighting with myself for hours, trying to convince, cajole or wheedle myself into making that first call, I decided that the only way to overcome this hurdle is by doing the thing I am most resisting, and the only way I could successfully complete this blog post is by successfully achieving my goal.

(Fortunately I was saved by the bell bird birds – 2 baby birds fell out of their nest and needed rescuing and I happily devoted the last hour of my day to becoming a bird rescuer.

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After sleeping on things overnight and awakening with the same nauseating knot in my stomach I decided there was nothing left for it, no more excuses. I had to “JUST DO IT”!

And what do you know – it was easy! Once I picked up that phone and made that first call everything fell into place. Five phone calls later and all my leads have been contacted, messages have been left,emails have been exchanged, follow ups have been scheduled, and who knows, maybe I am on the way to making my first sale.

I feel good about what I have achieved today. I know I will still face many more the same or similar challenges along the way, but next time it will be just that little bit easier.

I originally started this post to share how to turn problems and challenges into FUN opportunities, but what do you do when you meet stubborn internal resistance?

Well, first, you explore all your options. (Check). Then you face the realities. Then you make adjustments as necessary!

How many ways can you avoid doing something before you actually have to commit to doing it?

You’re going to have to deal with it eventually – why not sooner rather than later?

When all else fails – What is the “Gun to Your Head”?  What is the one thing that will light a fire under your butt and get you moving? funny-pictures-676672_960_720

What is the one thing that will cause you so much fear, anguish, stress and pain that you will do ANYTHING to avoid it? What is the one thing that will trigger you into action NOW and keep propelling you forward UNTIL you hit your target?

Or Is there something else you could do?

Maybe listening to some motivating music might help? 

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Or engaging in some invigorating exercise?

Perhaps consider getting a coach (or an encouraging friend) to support you and hold you accountable.

And, If all else fails, solve the problem, write a blog post about it, share your solutions with the world, and who knows, maybe you will even make a fortune doing it!

http://www.harveker.com/2015/04/14/how-you-get-rich-by-solving-a-problem/

Look out for my next post, “Molehills and Mountains – how to turn problems and challenges into FUN opportunities ” . Coming soon.

Don’t think. Just Do!

Keep Dreaming! Karen
Keep Dreaming!
Karen

A Letter to My Future Self

I recently joined a fantastic Bloggers Interest Group on Facebook, called The Blog Tag.  It’s a group designed to help bloggers like myself overcome that nasty ailment known as “Writers Block”.  Every week, the group posts a new theme or topic with several writing prompts and tips throughout the week.

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 The Blog Tag encourages bloggers to use the prompts as a fertiliser for their creative juices, and it is amazing the creativity and versatility that is displayed.  One topic may be covered by fashion or health bloggers, travel writers, Mommy bloggers, Business bloggers, and a host of others.  The exciting thing is we have no idea where a topic will take us!

A recent  prompt was very timeous for me., taking into consideration that I am in the process of starting a New Business Enterprise  encompassing Personal Development.  I am making a daily practice of visualising the achievement of my future goals and envisioning my success. So the recent prompt “Write a Letter to Your Future Self” inspired me to participate.  So, here it is… A Letter to My Future Self:

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It will be interesting to look back on this post a year from now and see how far I have come and how accurate my letter to my future self is.  And maybe some of this writing resonates for you.  I hope so because I wrote it for you too.

I encourage you to write your own letter to your future self.  Who will you be and where will you be a year, ten years or even 50 years from now?  What is in your future?