Gratitude is a MUST!!!

I woke up this morning feeling deep gratitude in my heart. Believe it or not, these past few days have been difficult and tear-filled. The chest pains I experienced recently had me wondering if I’d ever be happy again.

Gratitude is an opener of locked-up blessings

Last October, about a week after Dad’s funeral, I was seated in an airplane headed to Cologne, Germany. I was still in shock and mourning the physical loss of my favourite human – my Papa Bear – A KING! Dad was my cheerleader, my strategist; my crossword puzzle partner & my friend…

The purpose of my visit was to attend a conference in Bonn, Germany. I had entered a youth blog competition which was launched as part of the Global Development Network‘s (GDN) 2019 Global Development Conference. The theme was ‘Knowledge for Sustainable Development: The Research-Policy Nexus’.

Group photo with the other GDN Blog Competition Winners from across the globe!

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The conference was a life-changing opportunity for me. What I gained from those few days will yield returns for years to come.

Joy has no cost.

You know what’s interesting about it? In spite of what I was going through personally, I had an amazing time. Granted, my heart ached deeply, so I’d cry it out every morning; yet at the same time I prayed and resolved to make the most of my time at the conference – to learn, grow, network.

Me asking a question on the topic of school-to-work transitions for youth.
The conference was held in Bonn, Germany at the World Conference Centre (WCC)
So blessed to meet and connect with phenomenal women
Address by François Bourguignon, former Chief Economist of the World Bank


I even made it a point to go sight-seeing in Cologne and catch up with an old friend!

Cologne Cathedral

Joy is what happens when we allow ourselves to recognise how good things really are.

I’ve published this post to remind you that blessings can co-exist with pain! It’s just the way of life. and it is up to us to decide to remain positive – to choose happiness.

I just finished reading Marianne Williamson’s ‘A Return to Love‘ which reflects on ‘A Course in Miracles’. The key teaching of ‘A Course in Miracles’ is to relinquish thoughts based on fear and to accept thoughts based on love instead. The quotes in this blog post are from Marianne’s book.

Ever wondered how you can find the poorest people who are so happy? Yet the rich  miserable and depressed? Truthfully speaking, it’s less about money and more about the choice to sing, dance and laugh in the midst of the storm. Gratefulness is a decision based on love and it is absolutely liberating!

Everything we do is infused with the energy in which we do it. If we’re frantic, life will be frantic. If we are peaceful, life will be peaceful.

Do I miss Tata? All the time. Do I still feel sad? Yes, but I am making an effort each day to choose happiness. This is a gentle liberation from pain.

I’ll share one thing I’m grateful for today: A present father who invested in me; supported me; disciplined me; and instilled within me a love for God, Africa; and of course research and writing! He might no longer be here physically, but I feel his love around me every moment.

UCT Graduation day back in 2013. Instead of posing for the photo, Dad was busy giving me one of his ‘matter of factly’ remarks 🙂

Gratefulness is healing; it is a posture of peace. Consequently, everything else falls into place from there.

What are you grateful for today?


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