Sunday, April 25, 2010


I had a sudden thought last night.

One of those simple thoughts that feels “uncomfortable”:

what kills creativity in the human being?

Creativity is pulled down every day of our life, and this is a non recognized crime.

It is the society’s crime based on the principles or pillars of “what is to be done, what is good to do”.
So, our society provides us with pre-built paths of life, which are, according to the common sense, the good ones to follow.

We want for our kids an “established” life, because this is the safest way to go to pay bills, to afford “good education”, to buy a house, to get married, to have a stable job. In all this, we never take care of mind and feelings.

We do not teach our kids how to focus on happiness and how to be a fulfilled being. When we recognize a talent in our child, we immediately put it on a competition level. The child must be no.1!
Then, we just teach them what we were taught. We lack trust in them and we can destroy easily their freedom to express themselves and self-esteem.

So there is no evolution. And worse, we kill the Artist Child in each of us from early age.

Creativity for me, as a broad meaning; I believe we are all creative beings as creativity resides in our Inner Self. We create life, we create our reality, paintings, photos, poems, problems and their solutions. We create every single instant of our life, creativity is a synonym of Life. The thing is that most of us do not acknowledge this power, so it exists like a dormant force, or a negative pole into our daily routine.

And enthusiasm dies. Biologically enthusiasm cannot die before 70 years of age but researches have shown that nowadays it dies at 15 years of age. We have depressed teen agers who will turn into stressed and unsatisfied adults, who will most probably develop some kind of disease sometimes in their lives.

Good to know. But who really knows?

Some people wake up at a certain stage of their life, I am one of those. What we usually do is to deny what makes us happy if it does not “match” with the general rules of society. So we give up writing because it is impossible to publish, we give up painting because it does not pay the school, we give up dancing because it is time to get married and on and on the list can be long.

How many of us are living the lives they really wanted to live? Just because we do not believe in the power of creativity anymore.

We are creative Beings. No one is deprived of creativity, but most of us build up the conviction that we are not.

I like to quote the BASIC PRINCIPLES OF CREATIVITY according to Julia Cameron:

  1. · Creativity is the natural order of life. Life is energy, pure creative energy.
  2. · There is an underlying, in-dwelling creative force infusing all of life, including ourselves.
  3. · When we open ourselves to our creativity, we open ourselves to the creator’s creativity in within us and our lives.
  4. · We are, ourselves, creations. And we, in turn, are meant to continue creativity by being creative ourselves.
  5. · Creativity is God’s gift to us. Using our creativity is our gift back to God.
  6. · When we open ourselves to exploring our creativity, we open ourselves to God: good orderly direction.
  7. · As we open our creative channel to the creator, many gentle but powerful changes are to be expected.
  8. · It is safe to open ourselves up to greater and greater creativity.
  9. · Our creative dreams and yearnings come from a divine source. As we move toward our dreams, we move toward our divinity.

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Let’s fly high.



Monday, April 19, 2010



H.H.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

I wanted to write a post to celebrate the miracle of Life.
I wanted to express my deep gratitude for every single thing in my life, including my problems, because it is thank to them that I can challenge myself and learn to go through everything with a smile on my face.
It is thank to the OPPOSITES in life that I have learnt to appreciate.
I do not have many words today, so I express it with these photos taken by my daughter.

Love & Rainbow

Photos Copyright2010LaviniaMustapha

Thursday, April 8, 2010


This is the simple and yummy menu I cooked for Easter.

· 1 can of cannellini beans
· 5 fresh tomatoes
· 3 tbsp olive oil
· 1 garlic cloves
· sun dried tomatoes in oil, drained and finely chopped
· 2 tbsp finely chopped rosemary
· salt and ground pepper
· fresh basil leaves to garnish
· Italian-style bread

Put the tomatoes in boiling water for 1 minute, peel them and chop the flesh. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the fresh and sun-dried tomatoes; crush the garlic clove into the pan and add the rosemary. Cook until the tomatoes are soft; add the cannellini beans to the mixture, season to taste and mix well. Grill the slices of bread and spoon the cannellini and tomato mixture on top of the toast. Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with basil.
HHHmmmm….enjoy it!

· 3 tbsp olive oil
· 2 onions, chopped
· 4 carrots, sliced
· 4 garlic cloves, crushed
· 2 celery sticks, thinly sliced
· 4 large courgettes , sliced
· 400 gr. can chopped tomatoes
· 2 tbsp pesto
· 900 ml vegetable stock
· 400 gr. can cannellini or borlotti beans
· salt and ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onions, carrots, garlic and celery and fry approx for 10 minutes. Add the courgettes and fry for a few more minutes.
Add the tomatoes, the pesto, stock and beans and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for at least 30 minutes, till the veggies are tender. Season with salt and pepper.
Grill a couple of slices of Italian-style bread per person, put it on the plate and spoon the vegetable soup on top of the bread. Drizzle with olive oil.

This second dish is typical from Tuscany where they use a specific kind of cauliflower that I have not found here in South Africa. Still this variation is light, healthy and delicious.

In the next post I will write about the trick to make the perfect lasagna and the recipe of my pearl barley salad…

Bon Appetit

Copyright 2010LorenzaVerdini

Monday, April 5, 2010


We had a lovely Easter day at my best friend house.

She lives in a beautiful place in the nature, 10 minutes driving from my home. The way to reach her place is really countryside; it is incredible, in Johannesburg! The road skirts riding schools and horses browse on the meadows like kings of Life, untouched by earthly things and weather. It is a breathless landscape and while I drive to reach the destination I cannot help feeling that time stops and I am in such a state of bliss. I am listening to wonderful acoustic guitar music; the kids are quiet, also captured by the beauty outside. I relax, and although I know I have got to get there, I wish I could stay and whisper in the horses’ ears…

There is a nice smell of homemade cooked food in the car; I have been cooking since early morning for our lunch, not at all the typical Italian dishes that we eat for Easter, but still very Italian. My friend is Portuguese from Mozambique, a very Mediterranean special soul. She’ll be cooking baccalao the national fish dish in Portugal. We reach her property, 10.000 square meters in the nature, with the most incredible view, her golden retriever Rocco running happily to us and her twins, who are 7 and are my youngest daughter’s best friends since we moved to South Africa welcome us saying “ hey guys you know that Limbs has caught and killed the snake?” yes, this is real. We are in Africa, after all. They are talking about the snake that was hiding in the garden; a real spitting African cobra…brrrr I shiver ….. At least we know that today the kids will be able to run for the Easter eggs hunt without risk of meeting the non-invited snake…

So I set out for the kitchen, hmmmm I have the feeling I am going to spend quite a long time in here today but I am so glad I can have a privileged time with my special friend catching up about our busy lives in the kitchen.

How many feelings do we share alone or with the beloved ones in the kitchen? It is such a central place in our nests… So we start having coffee and, after a while, probably a long while, we realize that the other friends will arrive in no longer that half an hour and we still have to cook the vegetarian lasagna and the baccalao! I get my focus back to the béchamel sauce and all the rest, forgetting about the coffee, the dogs, the kids and I feel grateful that I decided to cook half of the things early in the morning. So the sauce for the bruschetta is ready, the ribollita (typical Tuscan vegetable soup) as well, and the barley salad too!!! Phew, they could be hungry! Somehow we manage to get everything ready, the baccalao smells so good but I am vegetarian since January so I’ll give up the pleasure of good champagne and this delicious fish.

Everybody arrives and, as a usual, we’ll be eating much later that we would think, so there is plenty of time to finish cooking and lay down the table with a nice table cloth, candles, small chocolate eggs oh no! I forgot my camera again!

The kids look like real warriors. There are three couples of 7 years old twins (six!) plus my kids and this is so special! But everything goes well, some boys fall into the pool, some others climb the trees, the girls are interested in stealing make up and wearing heels but when the never ending lunch is finished for them they polished their plates in one minute they start waiting for the highlight of the day: the Easter eggs hunt. I can say that the dads have lots of fun in hiding few kg. of chocolate in the huge garden, probably some of this chocolate finds the way of their stomach before finding a quiet corner to hide…

The hunt is like Katrina, the hurricane. And it last 3 minutes. I mean, I was in the kitchen, probably looking for the sugar, and it was OVER! The boys found all the chocolate in such a short time that we have to beg them to share it with the girls. Now the concept of gallantry is really “stinky” for 7 years old dirty and barefoot boys! So what? We appeal to the more popular “sharing is caring” till the moment when the twin sisters of the twin boys decide that it is time to fight.

So they all start running after the boys and, in the general stampede, some of the eggs fall from the boys plastic bags.

Happy warriors girls with the new spoils in their hands. It is time to put on a DVD, something cool and not too exciting.

I look at the landscape and I see the most beautiful sunset. I know this is the sunset that our kids will be enjoying in few years time and I know, again, that we are all ONE.

In the next post I will write about the menu and the recipes !

Bon Appétit



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