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 in 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.

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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

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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.

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Music

by Tanya Monteiro on 04/20/2015

Discovering new music is a favorite pastime of mine. And, discovering new South Africa music, at least new to me, immediately goes to the top of that list.

Today I’m sharing two songs by The Soil. Originally born out of Soweto in 2003 as an cappella group of 25 people, it’s transformed itself into a 3 person group that’s receiving well deserved International attention.

Not much more I can add to this quote………

Music speaks

…..Except to say When words fail music speaks

Enjoy these two songs and if you’re far from home, I hope they both make your heart warm and your face smile.

NOTE: Credit and Thanks to Anna Richerby for leading me to The Soil.

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A whole new mind by Daniel Pink

by Tanya Monteiro on 04/13/2015

Today I’m reposting something I wrote on the 22 of October 2009. I recently did a psychometric test that reminded me of this blog post and the increadible work of Daniel Pink.

It’s been so very long since I did a test of any kind, especially one that’s timed, it got me thinking of how important practise is and it got me curious, once again, to dig deeper into all the research that Dan Pink (and others) have spent endless amounts of time on.

After this post I was contacted by the marketing teams behind the launch of A Whole New Mind to write a review for his new book ‘Drive’. “It took me a long time to realise that I could question my reaction to something! That my reaction could stem from what I was taught vs. what I believe within me to be true?” This is a statement I must keep reminding myself of and I know I am not alone here.

Both book’s are very worthwhile reads and the big lesson to me is that now, when I decide to do something, I want to know who and what’s driving it! Not to mention where its taking me?


A Whole New Mind – by Daniel Pink from Board Studios on Vimeo.

I’m having one of those, I miss big book stores, moments right now. So badly just want to pop in and buy “a whole new mind”! Thank you Maureen Moore for pointing me to this video! You see, I’m naturally a right brain person, I know its hard to believe sometimes, especially when you get to know me and hear I spent 14 years in the financial/software world! But if the truth be told I knew deep down inside me most of my time in this world was playing catch up and often feeling like a fool.

Secretly this probably felt ok to me then, I’d grown up trying to make things good with all, all the time, so this environment of struggle was just right. It’s not all bad though, I am super grateful for those years, that experience and the people I shared the rides with were an inspiration and almost always a challenge to understand, for someone like me that’s a great thing, I’m always curious, and this world was endlessly curious to me.

Often I seemed to take so much longer than others to “get it”. Also, I would never have had the opportunity to structure so many spreadsheets, spend days trying to understand pricing software and endless, that’s endless amounts of brain power understanding what all the financial terms meant.

I have a special memory around ‘what are CDS’s’? In some ways its a joy to know I wasn’t the only one not understanding what I was doing, only, what I’m way more grateful for is finding my way to living my life on my terms, letting my heart have a say every day.  Without that dominant left brain experience I’d not have found my way here, Thanks to Daniel Pink for articulating this way of being so well, I cant wait to read the book!

LeftBrainRightBrain Blog

Left brain: I am the left brain. I am a scientist. A mathematician. I love the familiar. I categorize. I am accurate. Linear. Analytical. Strategic. I am practical. Always in control. A master of words and language. Realistic. I calculate equations and play with numbers. I am order. I am logic. I know exactly who I am.

Right brain: I am the right brain. I am creativity. A free spirit. I am passion. Yearning. Sensuality. I am the sound of roaring laughter. I am taste. The feeling of sand beneath bare feat. I am movement. Vivid colors. I am the urge to paint on an empty canvas. I am boundless imagination. Art. Poetry. I sense. I feel. I am everything I wanted to be.

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Stephanie (Steve) Shirley – TED Talk

by Tanya Monteiro on 04/07/2015

This TED talk has been running on Facebook for a while and I finally got to hear this remarkable women share her 13 min story today.

Dame Stephanie Shirley started a software company in the 60’s when software was still given away for free with Hardware, can you believe that?

Not to mention this was at a time that women were very seldom encouraged or even allowed to work let alone start their own businesses.

To get in the door and confirm meetings she signed her business development letters as ‘Steve’. After all who would have agreed to meet a women running a company, of freelance technology focused women.

Till 1975 (13 years after starting up) the ‘equal opportunities act’ was passed in Britain and they had to let the men in.

The company was eventually worth $3 billion, making 70% of the staff millionaires.

Stephanie’s secrets of success: 1) surround yourself with 1st class people & people that you like. 2) choose your partner very very carefully.

It’s one thing to have an idea for an enterprise its another to make it happen.

This story is inspiring to me because it proves that no matter what if we believe we can, we will. And, we will regardless of our sex or our colour or even our education.

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Finding Meaning in Adversity – Andrew Solomon

by Tanya Monteiro on 02/17/2015

Finding meaning in adversity is something I think about allot. It’s clear to me that without adversity, big AND small, we humans do not grow. And, what’s crystal clear to me now, is that no matter what, we will all experience some adversity in our lifetime.

Finding meaning in Adversity

Andrew Solomon asks the big questions like – “How did an illness become an identity?”. He’s referring to how being gay, was once perceived as an illness and is now accepted as an identity, (thank heavens!!) how did we make this transition?

I recently came across another of Andrew’s TED Talks “Love no matter what”. I’d posted on his other TED a while back, How the Worst moments make us who we are. At the time I was doing research on why it’s so hard to share our stories and Andrew’s TED provided me with exactly what I needed. “Stories are the foundation of our identity yet how is it that so many of us are ashamed to share our stories?”

It’s lead me think of how we Cure vs Accept. This is especially true in times of illness or in how we raise our children. An example is found in another TED talk by Nicky Abdinor. Nicky was born with no arms and remembers, often, how her parents would make their decisions on how to raise her based on “what can Nicky do?” as opposed to “how can Nicky do this?” as a result Nicky was brought up believing in herself.

In his studies Andrew has found that there needs to be three levels of acceptance in understanding horizontal identities, (the ones that people try to cure, things that are generally alien to your parents and accepted by your peers).

1) Self Acceptance
2) Family acceptance
3) Social Acceptance

We get angry cause we think our parents don’t love us but what is actually happening is that our family does not accept us, acceptance takes time.

Andrew talk focuses on ‘How we see people that are different to us’? What do we validate in our children and what do we CURE in them? Reminding us that people engage with the life they have, being who ever it is they have come to be.

When speaking to the mother of kid from the Columbine massacre Dillon, about what she would say to him had he survived. Dillon’s mom says, “I would ask him to forgive me for being his mother and not knowing what was going on in his head.” What it boils down to is finding meaning in the experience. With meaning, we love our children with our flaws and with their flaws. Learning to negotiating the difference within our families because its our differences and our negotiation of our differences that unite us.

Finding meaning in Adversity

As a species we need diversity to survive (and Thrive) and of course that translates into needing diversity in human families for us to go on.

We want to protect our children from illness but really and mostly we want to protect ourselves from illness.

Watch his video and try stay connected till the end. You will hear a beautiful story resulting from one of his children having an almost fatal cramp.

“We seek our identities in the wake of painful experiences. We cannot bear a pointless torment, but we can endure great pain if we believe it’s purposeful”

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Hiding who I am

by Tanya Monteiro on 01/28/2015

The idea of hiding who we are is something most of us would rather ignore, hell, I think a large majority of our population don’t even realise they are hiding who they are.

But, I know in my gut and in the deepest part of myself that the moment I started to become aware that I was living my life based on other people’s goals and I started to figure out what my own deep down goals were, at that very time, I also started to hide. The voice in my head did not want to be defined by the word “sexual abuse” yet I longed to do something in the world that could shed light on this fact of life. Then, the voice got louder when I started to become clear that I wanted to do something about sexual abuse “within families” so loud in fact that it would take me 2 years to share a recording that I made of the face to face meeting that lasted 40mins with my step father, the man who abused me for 4 years in my teens.

So when I came across this TED today by Morgana Bailey I had to hear what she was hiding and why. Morgana is a lesbian and took 16 years to say out loud who she was inside. Again, the paralyzing fear of being defined by “that word” helped Morgana keep her secret on the outside but on the inside caused untold stress.

There-are-more-scary Quote

There are so many ways to hide ourselves from ourselves, so many ways that don’t even include addtional substance’s, people or habits. We can appear to be operating very well in life and have all the external props but if what’s on the outside and what’s on the inside does not feel in alignment we’ll get to a point of numbing or figuring out that path less travelled.

That’s the place I’m at right now, both in my professional and my personal life. It’s scary as hell and I often wonder what on earth I did to let go of that career that felt so comfortable on the outside cause I know I can hide what’s on the inside, but, then I remember how out of alignment it felt, even if I could not explain it, and especially cause I hardly told anyone for fear of appearing confused.

So, Now I’m changing my life’s story, and including what’s meaningful to me and I’m doing something about it and making a difference, to myself and to others. And, although I don’t know the path and I have to stay really awake each day, I do know that I have no choice if I am to STOP HIDING.

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Durban Documentary National Geographic

by Tanya Monteiro on 01/16/2015

Being back in Tropical Durban often brings a burst of JOY to my heart. Next month I would have been back home for 3 years. As mentioned in this documentary, Durban is a red blooded city, full of mixed cultures, mixed smells and mixed people. I love that!

Take a look at this 50 min video on the city I love to live in.

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Stephen Collins speaks

by Tanya Monteiro on 12/18/2014

Watching this 1 min answer to Katie Couric’s question, “Did you feel at times that you were leading a double life in any way?” brought chills to my insides.

The words of Stephen Collins echoed almost exactly the words of my stepfather when I met with him face to face to ask him my own set of questions in 2012.

There is no question that the theme that lies here is in how one is able to justify almost any behaviour to ones own self. I’m not sure if god or jesus or religion for that matter has to play a lead role in this self forgiveness, I’ll have to think much more on that.

What I do know is that I hear this over and over and over again. This ability to justify ones own forgiveness and find ways to minimize a behaviour that increases one person’s power and takes away another’s.

Please take 1 min to watch Katie Couric listen to the answer to her question in this video and just let it sink in.

If we are ever to understand how manipulation works, this video is a good start.


More ABC News Videos | ABC World News

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