Thanks to everyone for the wonderful feedback on my last blog about South Africa and as promised, here are the next reflections on our amazing trip.  This week we’ll talk about being ‘present to life’.

Our last 6 days were spent in the province of Natal at Zulu Nyala Heritage Safari Lodge where we embarked on daily game drives in the open 4×4’s over the thousands of acres.

The first day we were just so excited to experience whatever was to come, that all of us were just present to each moment as it unfolded. Our cameras were in the ready position; our senses were in peak mode awaiting the magic to show up. And it did! As we descended down the dirt road from the peak where the lodge was situated – the expanse of the open landscape was breathtaking. Then we rounded a corner and a group of Nyalas (a South African antelope that became part of the lodge name) were grazing by the shrubs very close to us. Our ranger displayed patience as he shared information on these native animals to yet another new group of tourists. As our cameras were clicking, there were oh’s and ah’s exclaimed by all.

One by one the animals presented themselves to us in their natural surroundings. The warthogs, impala’s, kudus, duikers, zebras, elephants, ostrich, giraffes, monkeys, hippos, cheetahs, carachals; some more common to find than others.We had a joke with our group that we would be the tourists who come home with pictures of the “butts of Africa” due to the number of times we would have the animals come into view only to turn and begin to walk away from us.  Many butts had very pretty markings I must say! Baboons not included!

Vervet Monkey

Our group was large enough to fill 2 4×4’s so when we returned, of course we would share our stories and highlights of the drive. It wasn’t long before we would go along and see movement only to say, “oh it’s only another zebra”!!  How quickly we become less enthused with the more common sitings and craved the excitement that comes with witnessing a more “rare find”.  It’s only natural – after all: we had a limited amount of time and we wanted to see everything possible so that we could say we did it all!!  Right?  One thing I knew for sure was that I felt such a sense of total peace every time I jumped into the 4×4 ready to head out on our next drive.  I loved the whole experience of just taking in all the sites, sounds, smells, touches and experiences of every moment. I didn’t need to do anything – I was able to just live the moment acknowledging how incredible it was to be doing this. I was filled with gratitude.

As we took off for our last drive of the trip I called out to our ranger “so what are we setting out to find tonight Mark?” to which he casually replied, “I never plan a game drive, I just head out and watch for life to share the moments that we are meant to see!”.  Well – that hit me like a ton of bricks!  Of course that’s the way to head out – nature knows better how to show up for us than we could possibly know how to go chasing it.  In fact,  if we were to be on a mission to look for the baby cheetahs for example, we may drive for 3 hours so focused on that,  that we would miss all the magical moments that show up along the way.  Not only that – we may never get to see the baby cheetahs on that drive anyway and then we would be really disappointed!  With that comment I found myself even more excited to see what nature was going to bring us just like the anticipation I felt on the first day!

That drive ended up being so memorable as we even experienced a moment with the zebras that was different than any other time that week.

We turned off the engine and just sat quietly watching them together, eating, looking at us, communicating with each other and being at peace just as we were at peace with them.

We were able to photograph the whole zebra – not just the butt! There was a magnificent sunset that evening that was as meaningful as seeing the huge black rhinoceros and her baby earlier in the week.

An eagle owl was perched in perfect view for us to admire and I was able to photograph a vervet monkey (pictured above) in the tree which was impossible for me any other day that week.  Being more present to the moment, created a richness of experience that could not be matched by being any other way! I think we get disappointed when we have expectations of how something is supposed to be.

Can we instead move into creating intentions of what we want to experience and then let go of the attachment to how it is to show up?  Can we be more present to life?

What are your secrets to creating presence? I love getting feedback. And here on my blog, you’ll get commentluv. This is a plug-in that gives you the opportunity to leave a link back to your own site when you leave feedback!

Until next time,



2 replies
  1. Lois says:

    WOW … I am so loving hearing all about your amazing trip … you two look adorable heading off on safari! Really life changing experience in the most wonderful way.
    Hugs to you,

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lois – I can feel your warmth through your message. Thanks for letting me know you are out there and connected…let’s book tea time over the summer.


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