Sunél's Blog | What is your life really like?

Sunél Veldtman, | 16 September 2022


Imagine that you woke up to your life today after a long, deep sleep. Imagine that you could see your life with the fresh perspective this would afford you. Imagine no context of the news, the politics, or the socio-economic backdrop. How would you experience your life? 

A friend refers to this as “what is”.

What is your life really like?

What do you think you would notice? The extraordinary natural beauty surrounding you? The warmth and humour of the people you meet in everyday life? The sensorial familiarity you have of own country? The opportunity to hug your family and friends?

If you take it even further and experience it with all your senses, what then? The sizzling of meat on a braai, the laughter of the kids plunging into a pool or a puddle, the sun on your face?

Why am I asking you to imagine your “what is”?

It struck me that many South Africans I know, both professionally and personally, never fully enjoy the good things in their lives. Instead, they habitually remind themselves of everything that is wrong with this country. When, in fact, their own daily experience of life is far removed from such misery. They focus on what is missing instead of what they already have.

It is difficult to remain focused on our own reality when we are reminded by the media and our social media feeds of all that is wrong. I am not in denial about the deep trouble in our country. It also requires focused attention. At times.

Truthfully though, many aspects of South Africa’s deep trouble don’t have a bearing on the daily reality of this blog’s readers. Myself included.  And I don’t say this critically or in judgement. I also don’t say it without an understanding of the dire misery of the majority of South Africans. It is an observation about those who have enough and should be able to enjoy a good life.  What I am saying is that to live a good life, we must be able to switch off the digitally projected reality.  We must live in the present. This is true, whether you live in South Africa or Sweden. We must choose to live in our own present, our own “what is”.

A good appreciation of “what is”, changes how we see the future.  We can then hear the buzz of opportunity around new green energy technologies. We can see and applaud the explosion of art, design and creativity fused by our diversity. We can marvel at the resilience of our entrepreneurs, restauranteurs, and even the flower sellers on the sidewalk. We can appreciate opportunity, not just see doom.

If you turn your attention to your own life, to your “what is”, what will you find? What are the blessings, the goodness, or opportunities? Treasure these. Nurture them. Don’t let the outside voices drown the goodness of your own life. Live in your own “what is”.

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Kind regards,