A grandma’s advice worth remembering

by Tanya Monteiro on 08/27/2015

This story is just worth reading, possibly over and over and over again. Thank you UpMoments

She Tells Her Grandma That She’s Just Been Cheated On So Grandma Tells Her To Do This

This is a good lesson for all of us, no matter what stage of life you’re in. You’ll see what I mean.

A young woman went to her grandmother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her – her husband had cheated on her and she was devastated. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as soon as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.


In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her granddaughter, she asked, ‘Tell me what you see.’

‘Carrots, eggs, and coffee,’ she replied.

Her grandmother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The grandmother then asked the granddaughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.

Finally, the grandmother asked the granddaughter to sip the coffee. The granddaughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The granddaughter then asked, ‘What does it mean, grandmother?’

Her grandmother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.


“Which are you?” she asked her granddaughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity? Do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain.. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level?

How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.

The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can’t go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling. Live your life so at the end, you’re the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.

May we all be like the COFFEE.

Share this with your friends and family today.


Be Brave

by Tanya Monteiro on 08/23/2015

I’ve recently discovered an application called Canva. I used to use PicMonkey allot but for some reason I’m just fascinated by Canva and the millions of amazingly creative and practical images it helps us create. I’m certain there is a place for illustrator and the many millions that can use it, guess those people find Canva a breeze, unlike me.

Regardless of the challenge I am loving the learning and the ability to use my own images and ideas and colours and basically do anything I want.

These two are amongst my first doodles and I figured there is no harm in sharing the messages.


BE BRAVEBe Brave Maureen M quote


Compassion and Empathy – Joan Halifax

by Tanya Monteiro on 08/12/2015

To encourage others in similar positions to me to value their own lives and their voices and reach out for help is a choice. We all know how these issues are so difficult to address.

Once I connect though, there is a collective sense in knowing that who we are and what we have experienced is not something to be ashamed of.

Authentic love and compassion does not silence, shame or abuse.

It’s important to remember that Compassion has enemy’s. Enemies like pity, moral outrage and fear. Often in a state of fear our capacity for compassion is paralyzed. For many people compassion drains them but really it can energize us. It can even enhance our immune system.

Love, Compassion and Empathy are a necessity not a luxury and they are a Strength not a weakness.

“I wish you a strong back and a soft front”.

Join me in coming out of our caves and partnering with ourselves and others to feel and share Compassion.


Nature ‘N’urated by Julia Roberts

by Tanya Monteiro on 08/10/2015

“…and then, I have nature and art and poetry, and if that is not enough, what is enough?”
― Vincent van Gogh


Surviving and Thriving – Amy Purdy

by Tanya Monteiro on 08/09/2015

The human foot has 150 muscles to balance us as we walk. I found that bit of information fascinating. 150 muscles in one foot, just think about that for a moment.

This TED talk by Amy Purdy is inspirational.

– at 19 years old Amy contracted a form of meningitis, 1 month later she had both her knees amputated.
– 7 months later she was told no feet were available for snowboarding so she made her own and eventually entered into the paralympics.
– Today, Amy she dances with the stars. That’s the TV show BTW.

In her mind “she knew she would do it” – Amy was living with the knowingness, to see it, believe it so she could achieve it.

Her motto is to

Live an inspired life, not just be an inspiration

and the whole way through this journey a little voice was saying to her “You’re meant to do more Amy you’re meant to do more.”

I think tons of us live with this little voice in the background, the trick is moving from surviving to Thriving and Trusting that that little voice will lead you there.


A Tribute to Discomfort

by Tanya Monteiro on 08/03/2015

A couple of weeks ago I was walking with someone who told me that “if it’s hard it’s not worth doing”…….”if it’s hard you should give up”. Absolutely anything that is hard is out of the question, this person is 100% certain in herself that anything that is difficult is not working, and you must change or do something else right away.

Not sure what her take on giving birth was like giving birth was like? I wonder….Is it even, EVER easy to give birth?

I don’t know and I won’t ever know. What I do know is that every single person I have spoken to that has experienced childbirth has attested to the discomfort those moments created in their lives and their bodies sometimes for months and years.

In my experience life’s been a mixture of discomfort and comfort. If we don’t have both, how do we know the difference? or what it is to grow? to move beyond, above or through certain experiences?

Comfort Zone

Discomfort has taught me how to feel. It has pushed me to stay awake and aware that life can be lived in this dead end comfort zone, a place that can and does work for millions of people only, I’m just not one of them, and for that I am grateful.

It’s true that I can fall into this “it must be easy” comfort zone and even worse I can get caught up in long detailed day dreaming of how simple my life would be without discomfort, or I can get totally distracted when I have conversations about how easy life should be, but, when I’m lucky enough to can catch myself in those moments of realising that this is just not the reality life lives by, I remember allot more than discomfort. I remember how good it feels on the other side.

Today I discovered one of the most inspiring video’s on discomfort that I’ve seen in a very long time.

“Cory Richards was homeless and dropped out of highschool when he was 14. He started to photograph, climbed mountains in Pakistan and eventually, he became National Geographic Adventurer of the year. There is only one way to live: Live with passion. Every day”

Thanks to Sab from www.justonewayticket.com for posting a link to this special reminder!

May anyone reading this be blessed to know when the discomfort is worth staying with and when the discomfort is worth moving away from.

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Bill Cosby

by Tanya Monteiro on 07/23/2015

For ages now I’ve been churning the story of Bill Cosby around in my head. The Cosby show was a hit in my life as a kid. It was one of the few shows we were allowed to watch at boarding school unlike “Dallas”, although our dorm was above the TV lounge so we’d lay on the floor with our ears to the ground and listen to the famous soundtrack and the drama’s unfolding, the nuns never missed an episode.

Over 40 women have come forward with stories involving Bill Cosby, drugs and sex. Hell, even Whoopi Goldberg has changed her mind on the accused.

It kind of surprised me that she was so outspoken about how he was innocent until proven guilty. However, after changing her mind Whoopie does go on to say that no matter the evidence there is no way that Bill Cosby can be prosecuted.

And therein lies the heart of sexual abuse. It depends on when it happened, cause the law says there is a time frame for how long you can let it affect you.

Statutes of Limitations are written laws passed by a legislative body in common law systems to set the maximum time after an event when legal proceedings may be initiated. When the period of time specified in a statute of limitations passes, a claim can no longer be filed. The intention of these laws is to facilitate resolution in a reasonable length of time. I have a ton to say on this matter but that’s continuing to go off topic.

Eve Ensler, says it best………….

It is up to everyone to call out the behavior of perpetrators whether they be famous or not. We must, regardless of their status or fame or wealth or talent hold them to the same standards. We must, as a community, break through our own fear and need to sustain and protect our daddy heroes while we sacrifice our women. We must be willing to dispel illusions and look squarely at these perpetrators and denounce their crimes. It cannot be done alone.”

The need to silence our voices and our option to remain silent causes a huge amount of damage but thankfully, the truth, always and eventually rises to the top, Statutes of limitations or not.

Read Eve Ensler’s full article here and if you haven’t read enough this NYTimes article details how Bill Cosby confessed to so much over 10 years ago. 

NOTE: In Africa the statutes of limitations are 1) penetration = life 2) no penetration = 10 years.


Fight Indifference

by Tanya Monteiro on 06/20/2015

A couple of months ago someone I had recently met and have allot of respect for asked me why I had shared my story publicly, why on social media?

I had not expected that question so I thought for a moment and knew immediately that for me sharing my experiences with whomever heard it, was because I believe the reason abuse (of any kind) continues, generation after generation, is because we remain silent. We tend not to tell anyone precisely because it is family or a close friend or someone we know. Yet research tells us that 87% of all reported abuse cases are perpetrated by non-strangers.

We always have a choice to stand up for what is right (moral) – or to do nothing (immoral.)

Since that conversation I’ve been thinking about why and trying to make sure that within me, this is really true. Then today I watched an interview with Elie Wiesel, a man who’s spent his life (57 books published) sharing experiences he learnt through his time in Auschwitz and his life before and after an experience of a prison camp.

He spoke directly to my heart and I knew I had found words that articulate why I continue to break the silence with my own experiences and why I told my truth “publicly”.

“Whatever you do in life, think higher and feel deeper.”

Today’s post is as much for my own education and reference as it is for those who want to listen, and maybe, want to apply this learning to their own experiences, in their own lives.

I still believe in man in spite of man. I believe in language even though it has been wounded, deformed, and perverted by the enemies of mankind. And I continue to cling to words because it is up to us to transform them into instruments of comprehension rather than contempt. It is up to us to choose whether we wish to use them to curse or to heal, to wound or to console.”

― Elie Wiesel, Open Heart

As he so eloquently put it “memory has power” I’m choosing to use it wisely.


Organic vs Chemically treated Mangoes

by Tanya Monteiro on 05/03/2015

In my book it’s always worth noting how to really tell if it’s Organic.

I love fresh food markets, and in every country I travel to I try to hang out in them. It’s sad to think the idea of “spray” ready seems to have filtered into all corners of the globe.

Credit to #IslaVanDam for the video


Dig A Little Deeper

by Tanya Monteiro on 04/28/2015

In the last few weeks we’ve experience another outbreak of Xenophobia. It started in Durban city centre and spread throughout the country fast once again.

This article written by a Nigerian born, South African raised women is a great example of how fruitless and how tragic these attacks are.

What is happening in SA is a genocide, a genocide fuelled by a deep-seated hatred for which no single foreigner is responsible – Genocide is the systematic/targeted killing of a specific tribe or race. The issue of xenophobia is not a new one in SA. However, the differentiator in 2015 is that this wave is backed by a strong ideology; that somehow these attacks can be and are justified.

In response to these attacks a group of local musicians came together in collaboration to sing “Dig a Little Deeper”. The aim of the song, written by Don Clarke, is for Durbanites to raise a united voice against Xenophobia.

Enjoy this special song…….For me I know for sure that #MyheartisAfrica & I’m definitely digging a little deeper.