Gratitude: Louie Schwartzberg at TEDxSF

by Tanya Monteiro on 04/10/2014

How did I miss this?

It’s not possible for me to describe it better than the audio in the video does.

One thing I know for sure, ‘we protect what we fall in love with’.

Please carve out 10 mins of your day to watch this, you will not regret it, and perhaps, you, and I will never take for granted the beauty of nature, ever again.

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The Impossible

by Tanya Monteiro on 04/02/2014

What is impossible?

It’s always inspiring to me when I discover a project, especially online, that tackles big problems, problems that seem impossible.

impossible

Impossible is a social network that wants to encourage a culture of giving and receiving.

They intend to operate as a business and reinvest 100% of any profits into their social mission.

THE GOAL is to try and build a more collaborative economy, drive social cohesion and empower individuals.

Disrupting conventional economics is so important to all of our futures, 100% of us humans face change and in my opinion, right now more than ever.

These people are not just talking about it they have created a reality that I hope will spread and they are speaking for the idea of TRANSPARENCY, how can that not be worth supporting?

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Face to Face with the Man Who Sexually Abused Me

by Tanya Monteiro on 03/26/2014

My name is Tanya Monteiro, and I’m 43 years old. I’m a marketer, social media buff, yoga teacher, African, daughter, girlfriend and human being. I was also sexually abused by my stepfather from the age of twelve to the age of sixteen.

For a long time I guarded this secret, telling myself I was okay because I was working, I was living, I had friends and I had a life – which, by the way we measure these things, was a successful one. I travelled, met people, had relationships, made money and it took me a long, long time to realise that surviving is just not the same thing as thriving. Not by a long shot.

I was surviving because I was keeping quiet about what had happened to me and what ultimately changed who I was when I was too young to know how to stop it. For fear of hurting my family and the people I loved, I held this secret close to my heart telling myself it was okay now, that it was in the past and that I didn’t have to visit that place of sadness and pain any longer. And I half-believed my lie as I numbed myself with work and projects and the things we find to do when we’re crying inside and don’t know how to make the hurting stop.

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This project is about making the cycle stop. Not just for me, but for everybody out there who’s been injured in this way and has been suffering in silence. It will never go away unless we confront it head on; look our heartbreak in the eye and go, ‘hey. I see you. I’m doing something about this’.

For me, it’s speaking my truth by sharing my story. It’s my way of taking it out of the dark and flinging it into the light so that it can stop festering and growing like mould does when it’s left undisturbed.

Part of this process turned out to be documenting, in audio form, a face-to-face conversation I had with my stepfather and his wife. I confronted him and tried to get answers to questions I’d held on to for far too long. I needed some acknowledgement of what he had done; some semblance of an apology that would help me to heal. I didn’t get exactly that, as many of us in this situation don’t.

But, as I discovered, that doesn’t even matter. What it did do is set me free, and I hadn’t even realised that I wasn’t free from him.

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Sharing our conversation feels like a small part in my responsibility on breaking the silence and helping to make these cycles stop. I’m proud of myself for standing up to him, looking him in the eyes and forcing him to confront what he did to me.

I never realized how powerful that meeting of the eyes would be, and this is the deeper reason I want to share this audio – to encourage and inspire and help others whose desire is to Thrive.

What I learnt when I was numbing myself with work in London and on Wall Street, with interviewing loads of people for my documentary across the USA, and with teaching yoga and learning to surf in Portugal, is that I will never achieve inner peace until I do something good with the bad I lived through.

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It happened to me for a reason, and denying that means denying myself, and what I believe to be my way of living with purpose. It’s time to jump into the arena!

I don’t know exactly what this project looks like yet or how it’s all going to fit together. For now I’m taking the leap and hoping that by sharing what was a meaningful and very real experience for me, I will encourage others to speak out about their experiences too, – maybe even visit their perpetrators and take back their own power.

Embarking on this project makes me feel less like a victim and more like a part of the solution to a situation, which is far too commonplace. I can’t say that I can fix anyone but I can say I’ve been there, I get it, and you are not alone.

I hope to be a small stepping-stone in helping others find their own voices, and to offer the courage to bring their own secrets into the light. I also hope this will help others to discover that inside each of us there is the strength, resilience and passion for living and thriving, something I never knew I had.

Here’s to Surviving AND Thriving!

Thank you for hearing my story.

NOTE: My stepfather was given an opportunity to listen and comment to this audio. I received no answer.

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Procrastination

by Tanya Monteiro on 03/24/2014

Anyone whose read this blog knows that I have been working on a very personal project for years now, since December 2009 to be exact. This makes it 4 years and 4 months exactly.

If you had told me it would take this long and that the path would be as winding as it has been, I’d have argued with you then.

Yet, here I am, about to let go of a tiny step forward and still I PROCRASTINATE. My mind comes up with ways to check my privacy settings on facebook, ways to ask another friend to read over something, ways to make sure that it’s the right astrologic time to release something and so I could go on. THEN, as is always the case, the signs pop up in front of me in their droves.

I’m sure it’s not the “right blogging practise” to share someone else’s words by cutting and pasting here on my blog but today I must break that rule if indeed it is one.

Seth Godin’s blog, along with his books provide me with consistant inspiration and upside down ways of thinking. Some how I just know, when I read his posts, that he articulates for me in ways I am desperately trying to do by myself.

Although what I want to share today came from Steve Pressfields facebook timeline, it referred to text that Seth had written about a book that also inspired me to face my RESISTANCE in the eyes and blink, knowing i would still be there afterwards and realising slowly, what procrastinating looks like to me, and then moving on.

“No book has had a bigger impact on my work than this one.

It’s entirely possible that you don’t have a little voice in your head, that you live an authentic, grounded life without second guessing yourself, avoiding the real work and giving in to doubt.

If so, congratulations. You’re from Jupiter.”

to read the article click HERE

and Susie, you were right, one last mention landed up being the right thing to do. Thank you!

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Incontenance

by Tanya Monteiro on 03/20/2014

When I learn something new that I think is very useful or discover an answer to a question that I think is important I want to share it – I have to share it.

As I become braver and talk about that things that really matter I want to share that too. So here we are talking about Incontenance, it’s something I experienced with a very close family member and, knowing as I do that I share her genes I want to see if I can help myself a little sooner.

The other interesting observation for me is that this is how allot of the world goes to the loo, they squat. Suddenly it makes sense to me, to the way our bodies were designed before we started to invent the convenient life. I will never again look at a loo in a foreign land the way I have done in the past.

And, I find it surprising and inspiring that websites like www.squattypotty.com and www.thebathroomkey.com exist. They bring to light a common problem that is not common to talk about.

Lastly I have to mention Dr Christiane Northrup who lead me to this useful discovery and has lead me see and learn and discover so many many other important aspects to my life as a human with a human body.

Oh and who knew we can retrain our bladders, if I think about it for a second it does make sense, we can retrain almost everything with discipline and knowledge,

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The Secret Keeper

by Tanya Monteiro on 03/18/2014

This short (11 min) TED video below really resonated today. Starting in 2004 this man decided to send out 3000 blank postcards with simple instructions and his address. He built a website and posted the secrets and over the years the stories have made his life meaningful and his own secrets free. I love when people can be so honest about why they are doing something and I admire his courage in trusting that it would lead him to where he needed to go. If you want to read some of the secrets click here

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Sex Wise Parenting Part 2

by Tanya Monteiro on 03/11/2014

Today I came across THIS article which tells the story of a mother who was having a conversation with her three year old after hearing that it is a good idea to speak to your kids about anything below your waist being private.

This is what happened. The mother said: “Where your pants cover; that area is for you. No-one else can touch this area.” I expected her to just say OK but she said “Ron puts his fingers up there.”‘

Turns out Ron has been putting his hands and fingers in all sorts of places for some time.

Woman Comforting Her Daughter

It is always a good idea to speak to your children, I’m not an expert on this subject but a huge concern of mine is how do we know early? and if we do suspect something, how do we handle it?

Read the full article here.

This article talks about a teacher who sits down with kids in a class to discuss the body parts of a female and male dolls. I was struck by how little we talk about our private parts and related allot to the giggling and oddness the kids experienced. Growing up my mother was paranoid about me seeing anything on TV, anything to do with kissing or sex was seriously out of the question. In her view she was protecting me but sadly being open and talking would have been much more effective.

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I guess this statement sums it all up, “Anything that is out of the ordinary for a child, don’t ignore it,” she said. “Ask questions.”

Children are more likely to think their questions will get them in trouble. This shuts down communication, reinforcing the culture of secrets and silence perpetrators rely on for cover and so the cycle keeps on happening, generation after generation. How you say, ask or speak to your kids is Key but more importantly it’s crucial to be open and speak.

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Who taught you to drive?

by Tanya Monteiro on 03/05/2014

Up until 2 weeks ago, anytime I thought of this question, ‘who taught me to drive’? or anytime I was asked ‘who taught you how to drive?’ I thought it was a mixture of my farther on the occasional holiday and more often a very close family friend named Trevor.

Going through some old documents I discovered it was in fact my oldest and a still a dear friend today, Juliette. The story in my head did not match at all with my reality. I’ve always known my mind can play tricks on me but this one was a really strong reminder.

It makes me think of a project I’m working on that’s difficult and really close to my heart. I had a meeting with 2 people one day that I knew I might completely loose all train of thought in, so I took along a recording machine and switched on my iphone to make sure I could remember exactly what was said during that meeting. Turns out there are many more uses for this determination to remember but the key, for me here, is to remember that we forget, and to keep writing and keep recording so I can keep keeping it real.

Here’s the letter, I wrote to my farther on the 12th of February, sadly there is no year. My guess is that it was around 1983/84.

The crazy ending to this story is that Juliette remembers exactly how it unfolded and without me saying a word she recounted to me in detail, the events of this particular day. Thank you Juls for teaching me how to drive!

Do you remember who taught you how to drive?

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“My piece of Sky” by Mariella Furrer

by Tanya Monteiro on 02/28/2014

Carte Blanche is a local TV show that exposes the truth. It was huge when I left SA in 1996 and I was delighted to discover it’s strong hold on my return, 16 years later.

These stories are often hard for me to watch but they are our reality and I don’t believe in being an ostrich in totally ignoring what is happening around me. I did that growing up without awareness, I won’t do it again.

I first discovered the Book “My piece of Sky” watching the show and immediately got hold of Marielle to buy a copy of the book. Today I watched a short interview between Marielle and Christiane Amanpour which gives a little insight into the making of this incredible book.

This is paralysing work, work that MOST ALL Of us including victims would rather find a way to ignore BUT it needs to be exposed, brought to the light, cause the silence is precisely why Abuse on Children in particular can continue.

50% of children in South Africa will be Abused by the age of 18. (this is a devastating statistic for a country that is trying to rebuild itself)

The impact on carrying all these stories for Marielle is certainly huge but being able to get them into the world and into the hands of us all is going to lighten that burden one day at a time.

here’s that short interview with Amanpour, PLEASE SHARE IT WITH THE WORLD.

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Surfers not Street Children

by Tanya Monteiro on 02/25/2014

My heart literally feels like it’s going to explode with JOY in moments when I discover projects like this one Surfers not Street Children created by Brett Shaw and plenty others I’m sure.

By fuzzing a passion for surfing and helping kids out of a life on the streets they are treating the trauma with surf. Please take a look at this 2.46min video below shot right here in Durban.

Umthombo Surfers not Street Children from Brett Shaw on Vimeo.

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