Of all the things one expects to see in Greece after the sparkling sea and white washed buildings with royal blue shutters, I think that ranked next highest is the plethora of kitty cats you just know in your heart that you will stumbled upon, fall over, give fright too, gaze upon and most definitely capture on your camera as they go about their lazy days. Maybe some sheep, goats, fish and seagulls too, but ALWAYS cats, always lurking close by food, wine, laughter and sunshine. You cannot get away from it. If you don’t like cats, don’t come to Greece – simple. Or bring your allergy pills with your dose of compassion.
From a tender age, all of double-figured ten in fact; I was the proud “slave” to a very special lilac point Siamese. Although a few years prior, Dixie had crept into our family by eating leaves outside the back kitchen door to capture my Nan’s attention – but now, this oriental beauty was truly mine. Or I was his to be honest. A birthday present I had begged for, longed for and dreamt about. The name Azure Dee had been tossed into the summer breeze of possible names by my Nan – a painter and artist at heart. She never said something was blue – it was cornflower blue, periwinkle blue, or Azure – just like the Aegean Sea where I am right now. Azure Dee sounded exotic and stage like and I loved it. You had to say it just right too: Aaaayzouer Dee, with a whimsical lilt to your voice.
So cats have been capturing my big kitty heart for a few decades now. Most cats in Greek are street cats – a mixture of wise, a tad shaggy and shabby, and full of love, life and the odd little lice (maybe fleas). On this idyllic island of Lesvos, and more particularly in Skala Eresos (where we host our writing retreats and catch a bronze tan) there are some very special cat and dog carers in the community and vets who donate of their time to spay, neuter and care for them. What I discovered on this, my second visit is that most cats are not as “streetish” as I thought, and they seem to adopt specific restaurants as their home, their hangout, and their spot to be. They might not all have names, but they have fresh fish in their tummy.
I even met three German-Greek cats – I kid you not they are bilingual ones at Gabi’s and Iannis restaurant. I will venture into spelling them as Langhaaken, Bloemenfloeken and ….mmm the third name escapes me so I better pay them a visit. Then I discovered second year around, that one of my favourites, a black cat, sparkling green eyes, ONE white whisker and a penchant for sleeping on my backpack, I found was actually loved at the delightful Gorgona. When asking “Omar Sharif” their names, he just smiled his naughty smile and said, “names, ag, ask me if I love them. YES. Ask me if I feed them. YES. Even in winter I come down from the village to feed them”. So green eyes doesn’t need a name perhaps. Then my favourite cat I was really missing, as after full a week here I had still not seen it yet, thinking perhaps the winter has claimed his life– only to get a big squeaky hello when daring to venture into Blue Sardine to get my fix of …well you know, sardines. I feel happy to NOT be a vegetarian anymore. Perhaps one day my body will demand it of me again, as it has twice in my life before, but for now, I happily devour freshly caught fish, sustaining the local fishermen and restaurants and adding some fat to those thin bellies of kitties in Lesvos.
Do you stop often and long enough to watch?
Watch the world, absorb your surroundings, reflect and see life through the eyes of others, or chat to mewing kitty cats? Or are you too busy running around, scrambling after your life and chasing your goals, or more aptly chasing your tail? What if you were to stop doing what you have always done, and find a new way? For that you need to be brave, willing and supported as you dare to exponentially shift your life. In 2016 I came to the Greek island for one month, and declared 2 months for 2017. And here I am, living that commitment and bringing a group of writers here with me. We have 14 confirmed to join us. Next year I will be running other retreats for healing and weaving your purposeful life too!
HOW CAN I BE OF SERVICE TO YOU RIGHT NOW?
As a professional coach, mastermind facilitator, speaker and author I am hell-bent on following my passion and always upping the ante. Daring to be bigger and bolder by letting go of that which no longer serves and being willing to stretch my self-imposed boundaries.
One of the ways I have personally exponentially shifted my life is through the concept of MASTERMINDS. I see they are becoming the “in” thing this year, and I am happy to say I am ahead of the pack. I started facilitating and participating in Mastermind groups way back in 2010, so have many successful groups under my belt, which means people have shifted their lives!
I am offering two immediate options to tap into my support and energy to exponentially SHIFT YOUR LIFE
We are starting a new group (for entrepreneurs /decision makers in your business) for you folk who are already doing really well and feel in charge of your life in most ways and who are ready to RAMP IT UP exponentially and create and reach some big targets and life style changes by the end of the year. This first group has a once off special price of 5 months charged at just 3 months. This will not be on offer again and is my way of enticing you into VIRTUAL mastermind- as we meet from anywhere in the world using video conferencing facilities. 80% of my work is now online!
Drop me an email for the application – firstname.lastname@example.org
#2: LEAP ‘n LEVERAGE YOUR LIFE: ONCE-OFF MASTERMIND DAY
I will also be hosting ONCE off mastermind days – show up full tilt, with no further obligation other than fulfilling your commitments from the day. You will get input, support, be challenged and have access to 15 other brains, hearts and souls for 6 hours, FACE TO FACE in JHB on the 5th August. (Cape Town will be by demand). I know you will get HUGE take-home value from the day and hey, you might even be begging to join my next mastermind group. It’s as addictive as apparently, tattoos are (which is a complete assumption seeing as I don’t have any – in case you were ever wondering)
Book NOW for JHB -5th August
10 am – 4 pm
Venue: The “parks” area near Hyde Park
Max 16 people – with smaller breakaway groups!