Lauren Kim took this photo of me at the Mad Hatster's Coffee Cabaret on Friday...

Lauren Kim took this photo of me at the Mad Hatster’s Coffee Cabaret on Friday…

So… this month, I did 3 scary things:

  1. Cut off my hair.
  2. Sang & told my story at The Shed coffee shop (about 2 or 3 weeks ago)
  3. Performed a “Mad Hatster’s Coffee Cabaret” on my birthday (Friday).

I think I have a bit of a bee in my bonnet at the moment – it’s like I have this deep need to experiment and try out a whole bunch of different things… and play with a whole bunch of different ideas – and do the stuff that (for years) I’ve just been too scared (or embarrassed… or too full of ridiculous self-esteem issues) to try…

I’m glad I cut my hair.  I should have chopped it all off years ago. And now I finally have.  Yay.

I’m also glad I did the Mad Hatter’s Coffee Cabaret at Citizen Cafe.  It was the first time I have done a little “show” on my own.  I’ve been involved in lots of shows over the years…  but always in support of someone else – or something else.  Always a singer or a a musician for someone else… or organising a show for someone else… or backing someone else up – or watching someone else’s show.  This was the first time I plucked up the courage (and believe me, it was quite a terrifying process) to do a little show – of my own – on my own.

I think it was something I just needed to do.

And I enjoyed it – and I especially enjoyed connecting with people afterwards.  I had such wonderful (and very deep) conversations with people who resonated with some of the touch-point messages in my little show.  I had people really open up to me about their struggles – or about how they’re battling to climb out of the ruts they find themselves in… and FEAR is a biggie.  I hear the “fear” story all the time.

Fear holds SO many people back from really embracing life… and chasing dreams… and living to the full.

  • Fear of “The New”…
  • Fear of failure…
  • Fear of what other people will say – or what other people will think…
  • Fear of the unknown…
  • Fear of being without a “sense of security” (which – if you think of it – is just a “sense” and not an actual, valid “thing”)

(and so much more)…

I get it – I understand these fears because I’ve journeyed through many of them (and struggle with some of them still).  As I’ve mentioned before in this blog… I’m the person who hates conflict…  I really really hate it – and I’ll go to great lengths to avoid it.  My “fear” of conflict… my “fear” of troll-remarks on my blog… is why I water down so many of my opinions and ideas.

I’m actually VERY opinionated.  Did you know that?

I have many  strong opinions… and thoughts… and ideas… about all sorts of different things.  Everything from religion to politics to world systems to relationships to marriage to child-raising… (well – everything, actually)…

The thing is – I have no desire to “convert” people.  I have no desire to ‘lead’ OR to ‘follow’.

If I share my opinions – it’s because I want to connect with others – NOT – because I want to “convert” them.

So… in the interest of doing scary things (in spite of my troll fear… and conflict fear…) – I thought I’d share a regular “opinion post”… of stuff that I’ve found online that resonates with me (some of it may be a bit controversial – I warn you).   Those kinds of posts will probably give you more insight into where my brain is at… where my values lie… what I’m passionate about… (and what hacks me off).

I’ve conquered a number of fears over the years…. but haven’t yet conquered my fear-of-conflict.  I’ve hesitated (for too long) to be TOO real on this blog… or TOO honest… or TOO open… about my opinions and beliefs and questions… because I have feared the potential negative response or backlash from readers.

So…  as a first step in the fear-of-conflict-conquering direction, here’s what’s inspired me over the last few weeks:

1.  Russell Brand’s interview  with Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight.

I’m with Russell Brand on this one.  Everything he says makes sense to me.  Call me idealistic (and it’s true – I identify most with the Briggs-Meyer’s INFP “Idealist” personality type) – but I think that it’s time for the old, stagnant world systems to change.  We need a revolution (but I’m hoping this can be done peacefully – and without bloodshed and violence).  Possibly more very idealistic thinking – but anyway… it remains my hope.

“When I was poor and I complained about inequality, they said I was bitter.  Now I’m rich and complain about inequality and they say I’m a hypocrite.  I’m starting to think they just don’t want to talk about inequality” (Russell Brand)

2.  These 2 posts on schooling / education

I don’t like most of what Matt Walsh writes.  Anyone who proclaims to know-The-Truth, own-The-Truth, Mainline-Truth makes me instantly suspicious – and irritated.  I find the whole idea of “Truth-Telling” rather arrogant.  I automatically distrust anyone who claims to mainline “Truth”.

Whose truth?

Your truth?  My truth?  “The” Truth.

If you believe that you have special access to “The Truth” – and everyone else is stupid or wrong.  Then I think you’re a bit of a plonker.

Whatevs.

That said, however – I did resonate with these 2 posts about education / homeschooling:

3.  This photo (lifted off the internet):

shit

Which reminds me of some Simon & Garfunkel lyrics:

“The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls and tenement halls”...

4.  And, in line with the Mad Hatster’s Coffee Cabaret, this quote:

(Mad Hatter speaking to Alice): “You used to be much more… muchier.  You’ve lost your muchness”.

5.  And, this quote by Noam Chomsky:

“The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum – even encourage the more critical and dissident views.  That gives people the sense that there’s free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate”.

6.  The Lauren Kim Blog

I just LOVE connecting with interesting, like-minded people.  Lauren Kim is a talented photographer who ended up at Friday night’s Coffee Cabaret… where she took some photos and wrote a lovely post about her experience of the evening.  I browsed her blog a bit and thoroughly enjoyed her perspective… her photos… her thoughts.  Want to know what it’s like to be a creative creature living in Jozi?  Lauren’s blog is a great place to start!

7.  And other random stuff…

I’m loving Instagram!  The same friend who introduced me to Pinterest… introduced me to Instagram – and I’m finding it such a fun way to document the meaningful little things in life.  I use my Instagram almost like a gratitude journal.  A yummy cup of coffee… a nice morning at a coffee shop… little pictures that my kids have drawn for me… stuff that makes me smile… that kind of thing.

If you’re looking for me on Instagram, my username is HatCostaras.  🙂

OK… this has been a bit of a weird, rambling post…  life-wise, we’re currently 3 sleeps away from hopping on a plane and heading off to the States for a 2-month road trip.  The kids and I are currently staying with our Kelsey-friends (in a generously-sized spare bedroom with en-suite bathroom)… while Nick has remained in our cottage – finishing off a mini-mountain of TV work.  We’ve decided to give him the space – so he can get it finished without endless distractions.

OK.  Ending off now…  I’ll chat soon-soon!  🙂