Making birthday memories in bubbles of joy - project me post 1038

Sitting on my kitchen window ledge is an emergency bottle of blowing bubbles. My assistant carries one around with her. On the darkest of days I'm inclined to buy a bottle of bubbly and celebrate the mere fact that I can. Somehow, bubbles just make me feel better.It was less apparent when it was randomly blogging bubble in the garden on a bad day, but when I bonded with me very hedonist friend, Joanne and she taught me the ways of fine wine, champagne and the less priced, sparkling wine, it got serious.

My dear friend Joanne spoiling me to a hedonist birthday eve dinner ... with bubbles!

My dear friend Joanne spoiling me to a hedonist birthday eve dinner ... with bubbles!

Now that I have an extended bond with bubbles, there was no hard choice on how to celebrate my birthday.

Bubbles, bubbles everywhere and that's exactly what I did.

I really felt as though I was starting this next birthday year with a very strong and more confident attitude towards my life, but there's still that part of me that is the eternal child, who wanted to go extreme when it came to bubbles.

Thanks to @Xtreme_Foam I turned what would have been a pretty grown up bubbles and breakfast party into a fun foam filled reason to play like 12 year old kids.

I've come such a long way. Well, I'm not sure if that's true because I'm starting to realise things that I have always been but never really noticed in myself and as I get older, I feel younger and freer.

Drinking bubbles, foam bubbles, blowing bubbles ... even the bagels were bubbles ... and that's how I saw my birthday in!

jodene birthday bubblesWith the most special friends around me, my family absorbed into the fun and surrounded by my favourite things. I had one of the best birthdays I have had in a very long time.

It does help that the transition from 40 to 41 has been a year where I have really grown in confidence. It took me a very long time to understand just how consciously I have been living and the big change happened when I defined my love for Project Me and social media. As Greggie and I decided to split the businesses in two, I felt the determination to grow #ChatFactory into the business that would be financially strong, with an incredible team (which I have been blessed with) so that I could take the time to develop the Project Me program.

It's been slow, but it's happening and as I have started to develop the work, I have realised how very strongly I have been living my philosophies for so many years.

It's empowered me! So has being 40 ... It's true what they say and it's in-explainable, but there is less care about what people think and more care about who you have decided to be.

My night only got better, which is surprising seeing as though I haven't had a bond with my Jewish birthright for many years. After the family divide and having to see less of the ones who don't want to be around us, the dynamic has definitely shifted and I didnt' want to be anywhere else except with the ones who ooze love.

Dinner was very special and we saw in the Jewish New Year, then it was birthday cake time and my little sister brought me to tears, with a cake that she made with one of my most treasured beliefs ... fairies! Okay, my family have come a long way to and receiving a Tinkerbell cake from her (and her hubby who definitely put the sparkle into it) meant so much to me.

Look it's a Tinkerbell cake!

Look it's a Tinkerbell cake!

I got the most special messages from strangers and friends, felt the love and all of my dreams for myself draw one step closer and I couldn't be more grateful.

What a beautiful way to grow up!

Contently Confident is an age thing - Project Me post 1037

A few more hours and I'm 41! I remember the space that I was in when I turned 40 ... I really faked it to the starting point and ended up not doing much to celebrate. I went straight into some crazy space of trying to have this weird Shirley Valentine experience and even began planning a random holiday to Italy and telling a friend of mine there to line up the single guys.

In the end, I had an even more random holiday romance that ended up making 40 feel like it was heading for drama. It took a while to settling into a new decade and I must admit that it's been a rough start to what promised to be the naughty forties and the start of the most fulfilling years of ones life.

Like the turning of the Titanic, something slowly started to change. I confidence definitely kicked in, that I hadn't felt before. It was more linked to career and my new found relationship with money than on the personal front, but it felt fabulous, non the less. That side of being more grown up slowly gained momentum, but only blossomed into something I could rely on to push my forward and make me braver in the last couple of months.

As 41 crept closer and I began to ponder on what I had aspired to and where I was, I began to feel a whole new sense of wonder and pride. Damn, I've done a lot in this past year. My business has boomed and Greggie and I have opened a second one. I have an incredible team of staff, brilliant clients who totally get what I'm trying to do in the social media space and I we are now looking for property.

Project Me is becoming something so tangible and I'm feeling it come to life and develop into something I can present to the world really soon.

Then there's me ... the girl I am and the women I am slowly beginning to be. I have visualised where I wanted to see myself, as a woman of the world, and I'm beginning to truly see that visualisation come to life. Yes, there's stuff lacking ... mainly someone special to love, but I've even felt myself have big realisations about that.

Jodene Project Me post 41st birthdayOf all the changes, as I head into my second year of the 40's, I've noticed that it takes only one snap of the camera for me to be happy with a selfie. That may seem odd, but when I took a pic and was happy with the first one I looked at, an overwhelming sense of peace within myself and honest confidence washed over me.

I'm walking on a could of aging happiness and can't wait to wake up tomorrow morning and celebrate my birthday with the special friends who create my closest circle. I've tried not to give too much away, but I'm letting that inner child come out to play and welcoming my friends along with the ride.

I'm not only celebrating the day I was born, but I'm also reveling in the joy of growing older, wiser and far more confident ... just like they said it would be!

Look daddy, I'm on TV - Project Me post 1036

I know this pattern. It always strikes when I clean up my healthy act, eat well and get exercise. My body gets overly excited at the possibilities and I'm wide awake at 5am. If I think I have any plans to get of bed and conquer the world before 7am, I have another think coming.

Instead, my heart and head seem to have so much to say, so here I am, blogging again before sunrise.

I was supposed to post something very exciting yesterday, but amid the bubbling under of family drama, it was even a touch of a struggle to share the good news.
Yesterday was 6 years since my dad ended his long suffering from emphysema. Sometimes it feels like just the other day and other times it feels like forever.

I didn't have the greatest relationship with my dad, but the more I started my journey of self discovery and started to learn the lessons of empathy, integrity, consciousness and love, the more I started to attempt to understand him. The thing that truly bonded us is that he attempted to understand me.

My faraway friend, Cameron, and I Skype once a week and we chat through our lives on so many levels. It's really starting to mold Project Me into something tangible. While it does, the life lessons continue and Cam has me looking at all the qualities of the men in my life to start to put together the pieces and manifest my man. He says "husband" but we'll take very baby steps on that one.
Anyway, with all the thoughts of my dad over the past few days, the one thing I am most grateful for and definitely adding as a puzzle piece to manifesting my human, is that my dad and I truly attempted to understand and support each other.

There are so many moments that define this building of a relationship that ended in me just being told (by a dear family friend, 6 years after my dad's passing) that the second last day of my dad's life he wasn't comfortable in the hospital bed and wouldn't let the nurses help him. He called this family friend over and said that he only wanted me. I remember being called to my dad's bedside that day.

He never got what I was trying to achieve in my spiritual or my career life, yet he supported me fiercely. He would buy me crystals, Google things like Shamanic healing cycles and even attempted to build one for me once. On the career front, I know a part of him really thought I was wasting my time, but he would read what I posted out into the world and first find a spelling or grammar mistake, but then he would attempt to get me once again.

He passed away when my heart had already given up on my old business and I was moving into this space of social media, but he never got to watch the journey that led me to yesterday. My passion for Twitter was born as he died, but I know he would have watched me Tweeting away with the same look that he did when I would place rose quartz all around his hospital bed ... like I was a little loopy, but he pretended to believe in it anyway.

Yesterday, when I woke and thought of him first, I didn't have time to shed a tear and knew that I would be on the morning news in a few hours time, and he would smiling down on me a whole lot less proud if I had puff, sad eyes.

Instead, I headed to the SABC Newsroom and had my first live on the news TV experience. They totally stuffed up titles and names and shit, but hey ... it's SABC!!! The moment was still very profound, as I was referred to as a social media expert (which wasn't what I sent through, but I appreciated the compliment).

I knew that my dad would have watched, not understood what Slacktivism truly was, then we would have Googled and been convinced that he knew more than me on the topic. I would have had to listen to him try outsmart me, gritted my teeth because he forgot (or deliberately) didn't say well done for your TV moment. In the end he didn't have to because I learned to understand that his hours of Googling to outsmart me, was actually his way of learning all he could to understand me ...

Look daddy, I'm an expert on TV ...

My segment begins 25 minutes in!!



Loving yet letting go - project me post 1035

I'm not surprised I woke up with a literal pain in heart at 5am. Yesterday I felt as though my throat was swelling with all the anger and frustration I was holding back at spewing onto the people I know I love, but didn't want to at all. Close to bedtime I could hardly breathe and I went to having dug deep for some gratitude. I didn't try scrounge around for gifts and lessons, because sometimes it's not the right time to understand the messages from the universe.

Incredibly, my day started with one of the most special Tweets, from a beautiful friend, who is constantly and unconditionally tucked inside my heart.

Pixel Slave Tweet Jodenecoza

I was feeling the love, working was passion & excitement, until wounds were slashed open all around me. Dramatic? Yes ... it was one of the toughest days I have had to endure in years.

I have kept to my promise that I made to my mom and I've never aired my dirty family laundry in the blogging space, but the laundry is truly soiled and bitterly sad to accept.

While I watched nastiness and the misuse of social media tarnish my father's surname, that some of us truly carry with pride, I also had a friend pick on my one brand account, so I was literally fighting for sanity and to clutch onto some ounce of love for humans.

I could go on, but the hours got worse, until we had mopped up as many tears as we could and bandaged hearts just to get through the night.

Then it was time to Tweet about any #ProjectMe lesson I could have taken from the day and when I tried to, a message came up from Twitter saying that my account had been temporarily suspended to prevent others from malicious or spam content I posted. An email followed, saying they were investigating my account for the same reason ... and all of a sudden I didn't feel like loving anymore.

By the time I climbed into bed it felt like I had lived 3 days in one. It felt like the days that follow the death of a loved one.

Today would have been the birthday of my real life superhero. He started out as the most misunderstood guy in high school, but for whatever reason, my heart was determined to love him and I did. Maybe not as much as he should have let me, but we ended up really loving each other (in the best way we understood). He was murdered by a colleague nearly 15 years ago and you would think it got easier.

In two days time, my dad will have left us 6 years ago. After yesterday, it's the first time I'm grateful that he's not around to see what has become of us without him.

So the sun is rising and I have to face the day with a little more effort when it comes to love. Letting go because they have left my human space is one thing, but letting go because I have to protect my heart, is something I had better get my head around quickly.


I won't let go - project me post 1034

The days are ticking by and single is becoming slightly more depressing. I know this happens around birthday time, which is 8 sleeps away. As it's crept closer I keep thinking about all the messages from people in their 40's, saying it was the most fab time and get ready for the naughty forties. Honestly, I've had one burst of single life, naughty fun and all the rest of the highs and excitement has come from my career and travel.

By now, I'm sure you know that country music saves my soul. The expectation that it's going to be a dreary song, with a banjo, about cancer or Jesus, is not entirely true. I'm slowly starting to show my friends around me, that it's beautiful stories and special messages.

This week I tried to do some online dating and it turned out to be such a gross disaster that I could hardly get out of bed yesterday. I dared to question if I'm not pretty enough, funny enough, sexually open enough ... STOP!!!

Headphones in, I turned to some music to settle my weary heart and ended up listening to a song that most people would sing to someone else. Every word I took in, I started to sing to me!! It's not the first time it's happened and just last week I did a Tweet saying that we should sing ourselves more love songs.

Here are the words that got me, from one of my fave country groups, Rascal Flatts:

You think you're lost
But you're not lost on your own
you're not alone

I will stand by you
I will help you through
When you've done all you can do
If you can't cope
I will dry your eyes
I will fight your fight
I will hold you tight
And I won't let go

And I won't let you fall
Don't be afraid to fall
I'm right here to catch you
I won't let you down
It won't get you down
you're gonna make it
Yeah I know you can make it

We are human and we all want this. I'm not even going to attempt faking that I'm all up in the self help vibe of saying that I have to love myself first and blah blah, if you've been reading this blog for a while you know that I get self love pretty damn right and I can also completely take care of myself, so sometimes the solutions that everyone swears by don't make the manifestation. So I'm going to go with the cliche of, "all in good time" ...

So I'm just gonna keep being my fighter and my strength and singing myself love songs until another human finds me and understands what is means to sing a love song to themselves.

If you can't watch this video, then please find any way you can to hear the special words to I won't let go by Rascall Flatts ... then find your own love song and I would love to know that it is.


Grab the compliment and run - project me post 1033

Today this happened!!Jodene compliment on Twitter

I was also told by a friend of mine that I'm number 35 on the list of the top followed South Africans on Twitter.

Milestones!!! We really all need them.
The big thing is to realise that a compliment is so much more than just a cool thing for someone to have said to us. Chances are it's a kick in the butt!

The most positive kick you could ever ask for. I've worked my butt of to be noticed in the South African space, mostly for Project Me but I'm more than happy for it be in the social media space too. I can feel the tug of my soul to do more of what I have been dreaming of achieving and today was just laced with compliments ... some from stranger, others from admirers and good friends added to the mix too.

All it did was push me to want more and to drive myself to achieve greater things that I have thought may be just a picture on my vision board. That's slowly changing and a Tweet that may have felt like just a compliment from a stranger has turned into an affirmation of all that potentially lies before me if I just keep doing what I'm doing ... living Project Me!!

Success seriously is as scary as failure - Project Me post 1032

I was in bed by 4pm, after raiding the fridge and combining an array of unhealthy food combination, because that's how I cope.

On a scale of 1 to 10, my day was pretty fabulous. I spent it with my business partner and then added the mix of our Chat Factory (yep, that's business number two) CreaTwit, Tris into the day's discussions and negotiations. While that was going on, I had one eye on my phone for my Legit Twit Assist, Ash, who may have needed me because it's reporting time for the clients.

All very grown up, was all that kept on ringing through my head. I distracted myself with food and the cuteness of my nephew's cats to avoid my head from freaking me out. At one point, I looked over at my business partner, who literally is the rock that keeps me from jumping ship (or dramatically attempting to). We have sat on the couch, with laptops, before.

Back then, however, we were doing calculations to see how we were going to keep afloat and trying to decide what else to do with our lives if the situation got any worse. I remember getting myself into a total panic (eating and staring at my cats) and knowing that I just had to make my career work, because I didn't want to do anything else with my life.

Something immediately turned around at the beginning of 2013, after having started the business in 2009, and learning the most distressing lessons about money and business. Like a slow train ride to success, Greg and I have been chuck chucking along, until all of a sudden there was a boom in clients and opportunities.

For the longest time I have been talking about our first business (I'm overly nurturing, so I'm going to call it our first born), Lifeology, born from the passion we both have for people development and human change. As my success grew in the social media space, we tried with all our might to shove social media (the new product of child one) into the mix of change and human behavior.

It took months to admit that it just wasn't working and that the product offerings were just too different. Once again, Greggie and I were sitting at a table, with more food, when we decided that it was time to have a second child.

chat factoryVery clear on what our service offering would be, it didn't take long to birth Chat Factory: The Social of Media. A social agency, with the focus on online engagement, was born.

I kid you not, this feeling of excitement is exactly the same as the feeling of being absolutely petrified.
Today, after chatting on the phone with Greg for way over an hour, the one thing that calmed me down is that we were both feeling as though success is as petrifying as failure.

Sitting on the couch, with the completely opposite financial and business agenda is a moment where gratitude and abundance just oozes, but there is nothing that could have ever prepared me for this next, exciting, yet absolutely petrifying phase of my #ProjectMe journey.

Advice ... keep thanking the universe and let yourself freak out a little, if not, a lot!