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Friday, January 13, 2012

Eat, Love, Pray - Ruin is a Gift!

This movie, regardless of it's poor reviews, is one of my favorite movies! The story is great, the cinematography is stunning and the are lines after lines of amazing prose! I love it. I'm inspired by it in a different way EVERY TIME I see it!

There are are several impactful scence to me. The one that I want to focus on today, is the letter she writes to David in Italy. The letter goes somthing like this...

Dear David,
We haven't had any communication in a while, and it's given me time I needed to think. Remember when you said we should live with each other and be unhappy so we could be happy? Consider it a testimony to how much I love you, that I spent so long pouring myself into that offer, trying to make it work! But a friend took me to the most amazing place the other day its called, The Augustium. Octavian Augustus built it to house his remains. When the Barbarians came, they trashed it along with everything else. The Great Augustus, Rome's first true great emperor... how could he have imagined that Rome, the whole world as far as he was concerned, would one day would be in ruins? It's one of the quietest and loneliest places in Rome. The city has grown up around it over centuries. Feels like a precious wound, like a heartbreak you won't let go of, cause it hurts too good. We all want things to stay the same David, settle for living in misery because were afraid of change, of things crumbling to ruins. Then I looked around in this place at the chaos its endured. The way its been adapted, burned, pillaged, and found a way to build itself back up again... and I was reassured. Maybe my life hasn't been so chaotic, it's just the world that is, and the only real trap is getting attached to any of it. Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation. Even in this eternal city. The Augustium showed me that we must always be prepared for endless waves of transformation. Both of us deserve better than staying together because we're afraid we'll be destroyed if we don't.
I love this because in my opinion it focuses on a universal truth... because sometimes things need to be runied before they can be fixed.  Sometime we don't know we are broken.

Patricia Holland once spoke on this back in 1982:
"It takes broken soil to produce a crop, broken clouds to give rain, broken grain to give bread, broken bread to give strength. It is the broken alabaster box that gives forth perfume. . . . it is Peter, weeping bitterly, who returns to greater power than ever. ["Broken Things," an excerpt from Vance Havner, The Still Water (Old Tappan, NJ: Flemming H. Revell, 1934). Quoted in October 1981, p. 5]
I found out last night after several blood test, that I've been so ill because I have mono! I cried at the thought. My brother had mono REALLY bad 2 years ago. He was in the hospital several times. I was really worried about him. Luckily it looks like I don't have it as badly as he did. Now I need to focus on the positive and take care of myself, not over do it and REST - a word I don't know very well. I also need to ask for assistance. I'm bad at asking for it (note: I'm not using the word "help").

This should be an interesting experience, but I'm sure I'm going to learn something interesting from it too.

Monday, December 26, 2011

That made me smile :)

"ps you deserve more then just those compliments."


Consider this statement by Samuel Johnson: "The chains of habit are generally too small to be felt until they are too strong to be broken!" 

Examine your habits. Where are they taking you? 

I AM . . . 
• I am your constant companion. 
• I am your greatest helper or your heaviest burden. 
• I will push you onward or drag you down to failure.
• I am completely at your command.
• Half the things you do, you might as well turn them over to me and I will be able to do them quickly and correctly.
• I am easily managed, you must merely be firm with me.
• Show me exactly how you want something done and after a few lessons, I will do it automatically.
• I am the servant of all great men and, alas, of all failures as well.
• Those who are great, I have made great.
• Those who are failures, I have made failures.
• I am not a machine, though I work with all the precision of a machine, plus the intelligence of a human being.
• You may run me for profit or run me for ruin -- it makes no difference to me.
• Take me. Train me. Be firm with me and I will put the world at your feet. Be easy with me and I will destroy you.

I AM . . . HABIT.

(I got this from Facebook and there was no author referenced to this). 

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Life Changing Conversations

I love having deep, meaningful and enlightening conversations with my friends and sometimes even strangers. Over the last week and a half I have had some amazing conversations that have given me a lot to think about.

Many of them seemed to have some commonalities - being that it really doesn't matter what others think about me (positive or negative), what really matters is what I think about myself. I saw this quote on Pinterest today (follow me here) and I loved it! :)

PS: Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My first painting

My family (immediate and extended) has been blessed with creative genes. Almost all my grandparents are/were artists. My grandmother (84) still paints and my aunt (by marriage) just had a gallery exhibit (see us together below). I will post some pictures of their art in the future, but today I want to share a picture I took of the first painting I did - TODAY. I have been visiting my uncle, aunt and cousins in Milwaukee, WI for Thanksgiving (we even had an early Christmas) where I was given some drawing paper, and a small paint set.. why? Because I'd told my aunt that in order for me to come visit, I wanted (and needed) a painting lesson!

So this morning as she painted some projects she is working with, I primed a old canvas with white paint, and then began. It was definitely an interesting experience At first I thought I was doing really well. Things were coming together nicely. It was somewhere in the middle thought that I started wondering - all I could see was a childlike mess. My aunt assured me that I just needed to keep going (even though I wanted to give up). I kept going with her encouragement and a hope that in the end it may look remotely decent and resembling what I envisioned.

A couple hours later, here is the result...

I'm quite proud of it :)

Q: Do you paint?

Monday, November 14, 2011

I'm a Graduate! Now and Then.

Then - 2003
Finally. 7 years ago I began my studies at Brigham Young University (BYU). After many LONG days and hundred of hours of class, homework, exams, tests and hard work I am officially a gradate! I now have a piece of paper with my name on it that says I stuck it out. I made it. I held on for dear life on the Roller Coster of a lifetime (some days it felt like a Roller Coaster from hell).

I celebrated this wonderful time with extended family (my family wasn't able to make it out to Utah from South Africa) and friends. The Cox family threw me a party on Thursday evening after Commencement and pictures.

On on Friday I was lucky to have a great friend, Ashley take pictures of my in my Cap and Gown before my college Convocation. It was all a very surreal experience and now that it's over, I wonder if there could have been something a little more memorable and life altering take place... being knighted by the Queen may have helped.

I guess I thought I'd feel different, but I feel about as different as I do on a birthday - not much. What this does do is put a new perspective to the phrase "It's the journey not the destination that matters." And yet, we place SO much importance on the destination that it is almost impossible to not wait in anticipation for the coveted day of graduation (or any other big day). And now 3 months since the day that I officially became Jacqueline du Plessis, holder of a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, I wonder how different I am to the girl who came to the United States in 2004 with bright eyes and dreams and expectations.

Now - 2011
PS: I was interviewed by a reporter from Deseret News and guess what, my name turned up on the font lead page of the Newspaper. I have a couple friends message and text me about it. Here is the full article:

Sunday, November 13, 2011