“When life gets to be too heavy, tread lightly and bend like the willow tree, so that you too, do not break.”

– Ja-Nae Duane

This year has certainly been challenging.

Who would have thought that we would be living through a pandemic?

Who would have thought that social distancing, mask-wearing, and sanitizing would become a (new) way of life?

Not me, that’s for sure!

When I sat down to master plan my year (as I do at the beginning of every year), writing down my goals along with the action steps I would take to achieve these goals, I did not foresee all the changes Covid-19 would bring.

Here was this huge curveball, and I, like so many others, was completely thrown off path.

But I knew that I could make a wise choice: to be like the willow tree during times of strong, unyielding winds.

I could be flexible, going with the flow, bending so that I would not break.

And yes, these unexpected changes were nerve-wracking.

Yes, they made me step out of my comfort zone in a huge way.

But, when I reflect on the previous months, on the year 2020, I see that Covid-19 brought me many, many blessings:

1. It gave me the opportunity to be more inventive

When we were faced with an unprecedented lockdown in March, I could no longer visit the gym. As someone who absolutely loves exercising, I become very inventive, finding new ways of training my body from the comfort of my home.

2. It allowed me to connect with my family in a new and different way

The virus has shown me that we can still connect with our families in meaningful ways.

We can embrace all that technology has to offer, using it to build maintain, and strengthen relationships with our loved ones no matter how far apart we may be.

Like many other families, mine used social networking and video conferencing apps to stay connected during the lockdown.

We held birthday parties on Zoom, and even a MasterChef cook-off, which was something different but lots of fun!

3. It allowed me to finally take my business online and make an international impact

I’ve always had the desire to take my business online, reaching people in different countries, different time zones.

I wished to make an international impact.

And the virus gave me the opportunity to do just that.

When the lockdown was implemented, I had to look into different ways of providing my service to my clients.

I invested in an online business coach to show me how I could take my service, my workshops, and my courses online.

Now, I use Zoom and Skype to consult with my clients from all around the world.

And my clients can now access my workshops and courses online as well as having online consultations with me.

4. It made the impossible, possible

I always thought to myself: “Oh, I would love to live in the Winelands.”

Although we do have a house in the Cape Winelands, it was just not possible to live there permanently.

My husband is an international businessman, and with his South African offices based in Johannesburg, we could only visit our Western Cape home on the weekends and holidays.

However, with all the lockdown restrictions, my husband was forced to work from home, and in doing so, learned that he could adapt and run his business from anywhere in the world.

Now we’re living in the Winelands more often and are making plans to live here permanently.

We still have our home in JHB, and we still commute back and forth as needed, but now I get to live closer to our two sons and do life with my husband in the beautiful Winelands.

And this would not have been possible without Covid-19. Not at all!

Indeed, Covid-19 gave me my heart’s deepest desires.

But I had to embrace new ways of doing things, first.

There were certainly times when I felt depressed, overwhelmed, and filled with worry, but I kept on focusing on the reality I wished to create.

Because I believe that our focus becomes our reality.

If I focus more on the process, I become doubtful, fearful, and uncertain.

But if I focus on the end result, I get wonderful surprises.

I believe that the higher power, the higher intelligence (which I call God) is working the trickier parts out for me.

And I have the utmost trust.

I have come to accept that there are many things that are just out of my control.

Things I did not see coming.

Unexpected changes.

All I CAN control is how I respond to these changes.

I allow change to become a place of growth and empowerment to me.

So, no matter how heavily the winds of change may blow, I allow myself to bend like the willow tree.

To sway with the winds of change rather than against it.

And before long, the swaying becomes a dance.

When you reflect on the year 2020, what comes to mind?

Do you think about all the things that didn’t work out, all the things you have “lost”?

Do you feel as if 2020 was just a “wasted” year?

Would you prefer to look at the toughest challenges in your life and think, “Wow! Look at all these wonderful opportunities I’ve had to grow, adapt, and become resilient”?

If you would love to learn how to embrace difficult changes and use them as opportunities for growth, then drop me an email at ilze@ilzealberts.com. Include your cell number in your email to me.

You can also message me on WhatsApp if you prefer.

We can set up a free exploratory call to discuss how you can begin to sway with the winds of change and finally dance to the tune of your heart’s desires.

You have this one magnificent life, and you deserve to live it magnificently.

From my heart to yours,


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