Perfect for the heart that is meant to love you - project me post 941

I feel like I haven't really gotten into the "what's happening in my life" stuff for a while but there's always a reason for that. I have these waves of guilt that I'm not committed enough to my blog and then I have moments of relief that I'm not blogging daily anymore. So much of that has to do with all the stuff that's going on and the pace at which I'm trying to process everything.

One thing I truly believe is that timing is always perfect and not blogging for a while has allowed the perfection of sharing my story and a gift I received from a friend ...

Of course, the gifts always come at the end, so the here's the story first.
For once, this isn't too laced with work because things are really going well. I have a combination of social media publicity and strategy work coming in and I'm really growing into my unique space in the world. I've gone so far as to hire my own publicist and help me get the world to better understand what I do and how unique my services are. Well, I didn't realise that all on my own. It's been the message from amazing people that have helped me truly get to grips of the direction my career is heading.

That's the big news actually. It's all about the messages that I've been getting lately and what I do with them.

On a personal note, there's so much going on and I'm trying to move forward from realising that I truly was in the wrong relationship and blinded by seeing the potential of someone. I didn't realise how much it had knocked my esteem until it was time to put myself back out there but in hindsight I think that recontacting nearly all of the men from my past has some blazing realities to it. Yep, that's how I decided to handle it ... to go back. So I dredged up the Jock and whatever I called the 24 year old ... who has half?blossomed? into a 27 year old.

With all this going on I was fighting to be reminded of my beauty and my sexuality. I was hoping a rekindled flame would help mend some of my esteem and so I went on a wild goose chase for other people's approval.

With all of this going on, I cut my hair and hated it after less than a week.

Ironically, while being let down and dealing with the same old patterns from the same old men, I was getting compliments about what I looked like from every second person. More than anything, people were seeing beyond the hair cut (and I was the last person to realise how much it suits me) and seeing a real energy shift in me.

Doing a little Madonna (Who's that girl) for a dress up party!!

Doing a little Madonna (Who's that girl) for a dress up party!!

 

Okay so cutting to the chase of the story. Here I had two guys knocking down my esteem and dozens of friends and Tweeps telling me how fab I was looking. Yet I went on a miserable feeling sorry for me fest because in the end, both men let me down. I allowed both to make me doubt my beauty and my ability to attract the right kind of person ... so a few kilos added to my hard work, a lot of doubt and a wave of panic that I'd never hold down ?a relationships again ... and a friend sent me this ...

If you can't watch it, please let me know because it's a must see. Or go to YouTube and find Trent Shelton, you're perfect!!!

I've watched this video about 5 times in just one day and I've stopped to literally breathe in to compliments that so many special people are sharing with me. I've let go of both men (okay the let go of me, but I've felt the relief that they are gone) and I've started to feel that I truly have blossomed into a stronger, confident, dynamic ... prettier woman!!!

I've been asked to do a Project Me talk in a few weeks time and I've been mulling over what to cover in the topic of making yourself your own project me story. Of all things, I most want to share that sometimes we don't have the esteem to decide if our hair looks good or our choice in men suits us. There's a difference between doubting our own choices and relying on other's opinions to carry us through and just allowing ourselves to listen to the messages being sent to us by genuinely honest people.
It's in every compliment I never expected or asked for that both my career and my self are blossoming!!! I'm starting to feel perfect again. No, I'm starting to feel perfect for the first time!!

Served heaven on a plate by Chef Andrew at the Drakensberg Sun - project me post 940

A week ago today I was nearly back home from a glorious trip to the Drakensberg Sun. All the way home, I planned the blog post filled with stories of food and more food. Liesldb and myself almost literally ate for 4 days solid and it's the closest to heaven I've been in a long time. The invitation by Chef Andrew to spend a few nights at the Tsogo Sun Resort was a shining example of what I've been taught about life.

That's why it's taken so long to do this post, because it's always tough to write about love and loss in the same breath. You see, the very special bond I had with my dad was very much food focused. I was the brave kid and he was the food fanatic. Growing up, my dad was MD of Bull Brand foods and his heart lay with catering and cooking. I was the only one of 5 kids who seemed to be convinced to eat almost anything ... and so be bond with food began.

The emotions seemed to well up at every meal and imagine myself chatting to my dad after yet another?exquisite buffet meal, telling him all that Chef Andrew had?commissioned and what he was missing out on.

Breakfast was brimming with eggs of every kind, but the omelette always has the best memories. From perfectly cooked lamb sausages to freshly made pancakes, nothing went amiss at the start of every day.

There is always space for pancakes, according to Liesl

There is always space for pancakes, according to Liesl

 

Buffet lunches, with dessert would always lead into a few hours of being convinced we were full and then heading straight into dinner. Once again, there were floods of memories of the favouite dishes I would have shared with my dad ... ones that rest of my family never settled into enjoying with him. I sampled them all, as if he were still around and I would get to call him later and tell him what he missed. From the perfectly tender lamb stew to the corned beef and back for some traditionally cooked lamb and roast potato.

dinner drakensberg sun

Dinner is served

 

Besides the reminiscing, there is a great Project Me lesson.
Not for one moment were Liesl and I not treated like Queens and that included wine and a different platter for sundowners every day. At every turn there was a reason to eat ... and we did!
We are both body conscious girls and both have our own journey with food, yet we also know when it's time to just let go and let food be the adventure. It was an absolute treat to just enjoy the experience and not be afraid of carbs or what the sugar was going to do to us in the next few days or weeks. We didn't talk about burning to off, although we did kinda hike some of it off ... once!

Sundowners ... every day!

Sundowners ... every day!

We miss the generosity of others when our issues get in the way and it would have been a sin if we had not let go and totally accepted the hospitality that Chef Andrew and the Tsogo Sun, Drakensberg Sun showered on us.
Dessert twice a day ... yes, we did that!
Wine every day ... yes, I did that!
3 courses for breakfast every day ... yep, we got that down!
4 courses for dinner every night ... a delicious breeze.

Now that's heaven on a plate

Now that's heaven on a plate

My dad traveled the world extensively and when he spoke about his destinations, the focus would always be on food. The best steak in Texas, the best goulash in Russia ... the stories went on and on. We always thought he was crazy, but they truly created the best memories for him. This weekend with Chef Andrew made me realise a little more why my dad created his memories around food.

And off the dozens and a half memories created, my favourite will be Liesl telling Chef Andrew that her favourite dessert is chocolate cheesecake ...

Never a sweeter farewell!

Never a sweeter farewell!

... now that's hospitality at its finest!!
Our final spoiling, literally with suitcases in the car and a storm heading it's ways over the Drakensberg mountains, Chef Andrew wasn't having us leave without it! A story my dad would have loved ... and one I will be telling for many years to come.

 

 

 

Tsogo Sun Drakensberg Sun made me a queen - project me post 939

I say it often, "the power of a tweet"! Either people get it or they don't. It's so much less about marketing than we think and as I find my space in the social media world a little more every day, I realise that social media is truly about people who get it ... that power of a Tweet.

There is so much that one can learn "how" to do ... but passion is not one of them.

Now, with that perfect ingredient of knowing the power of that Tweet and combining it with passion, I was served up the most amazing recipe for one of the most incredible experiences I have ever had a Tweeter/Blogger.

@ChefAndrewR has that magical combination I'm taking about. He gets that power of the Tweet and with that, invited myself and my Tweeeting sidekick @Liesldb to experience the Drakensberg Sun, on of the @TsogoSun resort hotels. We all know that Project Me is not about reviews, but about my life journey of how a moment in time taught me something and helped me take another step forward as I live my life as my own project. Amazingly, this post is going to be filled with comments on superb?hospitality, but it's not a review at all ... because the experience truly changed so much of who I am, how I see the world and what I want to head towards.

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Liesl and myself with the amazing Chef Andrew!

I've started coaching sessions (which is a post on its own) and I'm working on an exercise that it helping me find the end of what I want. That image of what I'm working towards isn't exactly defined in my head and the big questions was, "what if Twitter is just a phase and you need to do something else besides social media?"
Surrounded by the tranquil Drakensberg mountains didn't answer that questions for me completely, but it did give me a glimmer of what I am working towards. Every password I have or message that I give to myself has the word "passion" in it. Even when I was in beauty therapy recruitment, if someone didn't have the greatest skill, but was passionate, that was the one I would choose and mold into some great.

Passion ... Chef Andrew has it!
Passion ... @VernonBotha, who started off giving us a tour of the hotel and ended up hiking up a mountain with us, has it!
Passion ... Patrick, who served us fresh hot coffee as half a cup got cold & delivered wine to us for sundowners every night, has it!
Passion ... the staff singing "hello" in the passage, has it!
Passion ... the cook who made us special order french toast, has it!
Passion ... the boat driver who took us around the lake because he wanted us to experience it and not because we asked, has it!

Liesl and I could feel it wherever we went, from a stroll down the passage to a stroll past the reception and sitting among regular guests in the dining area.

Believe it or not, I'm going to do an entire post just about the food ... but I'm thinking I'll do that after an hour of gym!!!

So here us two Tweeting girls had been invited as guests, to do just that. It happens often. I get invited to many places to do what I do ... Tweet and then blog about it after. I never thought I would be so passionate about Twitter, but then silly me, I don't embark on anything I'm not going to be passionate about!!!

Believe it or not ... I didn't Tweet once because because I knew anyone was watching. I Tweeted because, from the moment we arrived to the emotional farewell 3 days later, we were treated like Queens.

Now this is where my project me story begins...
After Tweeting our way through dinner, Chef Andrew joined us for coffee and we shared the excitement of our hike (yet another upcoming blog) and the adventures of our day. We spoke about the number of Tweets we had done and the #DrakensbergSun hashtag. That was all good and well, but we were there for another reason too, according to Chef.

This friendship ... all started with a Tweet!

This friendship ... all started with a Tweet!

You see, both Liesl and I have been through a break-up. Both of our careers are tossed around like half finished green salad. Both of our living conditions could change at a whim and both of us are counting pennies in our purses. That's is why Chef Andrew truly got us down there ... and that's the big lesson I was reminded of.

The power of the Tweet brought Liesl and I together as amazing friends and then it introduced Chef into our lives. That very power told our stories online and the same power had the right people listening. Then, Twitter power gave us a reason to all come together under the roof of the most hospitable place I've known and my lesson became clear ...

Be treated like a queen!!!!

Through my entire relationship, I wasn't treated like a queen and there are many times I've been asked to Tweet something for a person where I'm not treated like a queen either. I've had men not, nor friends and people in the world around haven't either. I've felt less than queen like a lot in my life of late and needed that reminder of how I should be treated ... no ... how I want to be treated!!!

This is the catch ... No one faked the hospitality. If you asked the majority of the Drakensberg Sun staff what a Tweet is, I'm sure they would point to one of the cheeky birds who swoops down and tries to grab a guests croissant. Yet, but the time had packed the car and were heading home, we were waving "good bye" to strangers who had become caretakers and friends.

Is that so much to ask in life? I think not!!
I've woken up back in my own bed with a new attitude about what I want and how I want to be treated. I always give my 100% passion to what I embark on from loving a man, to doing a Tweet for a client and helping out a friend ... and from this moment on, that's what I expect in return.

Like attracts like and so I want to find myself surrounded by passionate people. I am throwing out into the world the experience that I had this weekend with Drakensberg Sun and saying "Life ... this is what I expect always! This warmth and care from Chef Andrew! This immediate bond and friendship from Vernon! This treatment and service from Patrick! This freedom of being from the cleaning staff in our room! This smiling "hello" from reception! This made-to-order breakfast from cook! ... This special chocolate cheesecake from the Drakensberg Sun family because Chef listened and heard it was Liesl's favourite! PS ... no more monkey who sneak into our lives and steal our fruit while we're not looking! "

A special thank you to my Liesl!!! We needed this time together and we needed it for ourselves too and we found the perfect time to do both. We have returned to reality after being treated like Queens by the Tsogo Sun family and I hope that you and me both never settle for anything less!!!

What started as a site tour ended as a bonding hike with Vernon Botha

What started as a site tour ended as a bonding hike with Vernon Botha

 

We even got to meet Deon Viljoen, Director of Operations for Tsogo Sun resorts ... who has spotted a Tweet or twenty!

We even got to meet Deon Viljoen, Director of Operations for Tsogo Sun resorts ... who has spotted a Tweet or twenty!

 

A small handful of the amazing Tsogo Sun Drakensberg Sun hotel team

A small handful of the amazing Tsogo Sun Drakensberg Sun hotel team

 

Words sometimes just aren't enough ...

Chef Andrew Drakensbergsun

 

 

 

 

From the Branson dinner to the Forbes Boardroom - project me post 938

To check out some pics of my exciting ventures: Jodene Fan Page