Feelings are a life-saving device

By Delphine du Toit | February 21, 2014

It’s a short trip from contemplating physical pain to reflecting on psychic pain. What is the evolutionary purpose behind emotional pain? If evolution has brought us to where we are now, with our anxieties, fears, anger, depression and drug dependency, what were the original benefits of such emotions?
Consider how readily you reach for a painkiller when you have a bit of a headache, a spell of arthritis or a sprained ankle. You’ve experienced the pain and had enough of it. Your primary desire is to suppress it – if you can’t make it go away then at least you can suppress it. Perhaps there’s a deeper message in the pain though –

I can walk away…I always walk away.

By Delphine du Toit | February 7, 2014

I keep learning the benefits of choosing how to respond to a conflict situation. I learnt the truth that there is no single objective truth; just a range of perspectives. I also learnt the healing power of truth and reconciliation. The peace of mind that comes from taking time to understand and to be understood is one of the greatest destressors I have ever come across. It is a cornerstone for good mental health.
This isn’t a newly invented “app”: aboriginal societies and the major world religions know the value of dialog and creating common understanding.

In my flow? In my flow!

By Delphine du Toit | January 20, 2014

This blog started in
my head as I was watching an interview with Peter Sellers on YouTube, having lunch.
“The only time that you’re really happy is at the time that you’re doing it. Not when the film comes out; not when you’re preparing for the film; but at the moment you’re doing the take on the
floor. When you do it and that moment comes out of you and when you’ve done it and you remember that….that’s the time when the achievement – the full sense of achievement comes out.”

Peter Sellers in a 1974 interview with Parkinson.

 vividly remember the first time I realised that I was ‘in my flow’ as positive psychologist Csikszentmihalyi
labelled this experience a couple of decades after Sellers identified it. I had received an ambitious commission from my former employer, SABMiller, to design
and write a course on supervisory/managerial skills that they wanted to roll out to all their breweries across Africa.

Atlantic Meditation: from mindless to mindful

By Delphine du Toit | December 20, 2013

 My soul is full of longing

 For the secret of the Sea,

the heart of the great ocean

 Sends a thrilling pulse through me.

         The Secret of the Sea – Henry Wadsworth

I’ve spent quite a few
hours in the past week mindlessly staring at the movement of the Atlantic Ocean.  I normally live on the edge of the same ocean some 21 degrees of latitude to the north, but I don’t do this at
home.  I stopped just gazing out at the ocean for hours about six weeks after I moved in.

Sure, I still look up out
of curiosity when a container ship passes too close by the house for my liking. Every time I see a submarine slink in or out of the harbour I think of the U-boats and the net spanned …

Nelson Mandela and Omar Mukhtar: Reflections on Leadership, vision and passion.

By Delphine du Toit | December 6, 2013

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He was as human as the rest of us – discarded his first wife, made many decisions and actions
that he no doubt regretted, was deeply disappointed in many things and people, but was a man of incredible strength and charisma. I loved how charmed he was by young women when he came out of prison,
an old man – with dignity and affection. I met him shortly after he came out of prison – the company I worked for at the time, in Johannesburg, had worked very actively to support the campaign to
legalise the ANC and for the release of Mandela and the other political prisoners, and he came to our head office to show his respects. I shook his hand – a very soft hand, to the touch. We had a
crisis behind the scenes – a white young woman – seriously right-winger, had brought a hand gun to work – she was isolated and immobilised very quickly. She could have become a Wilkes-Booth, Oswald
or a
Nathuram Godse.   
And I remember how the black women on staff all danced, ululated and clapped their hands – I don’t know how to ululate, but I danced and sang with them – what a magical time it was!

One must be careful not to place frail
humans on impossible pedestals, but he certainly has become an icon of what is noble and honourable in human kind.  

Who said ‘embrace change’?

By Delphine du Toit | November 26, 2013

Word count:  1245

The worlds of motivational workshops, life coaching and management consulting are peppered with the now seriously clichéd ‘embrace change’.  If you’re not for change you are
against it. You’re either progressive and creative – a constant ball of energy, seeking your next change fix; or you’re stagnant or dead. The literature also tells us that it’s ok to fear change,
while then admonishing us to overcome our fears in a 5, 6, 7 or even 8 step process. That’s all it takes. Follow the steps and you too, …

When a quiet lunch goes wrong in a public place

By Delphine du Toit | November 12, 2013

Irritability can sometimes come out of nowhere and ruin a perfectly good day.   I recently had the
experience with someone who was triggered by the totally innocent and absent-minded behaviour of someone else – a complete stranger:  the signs of agitation were there. She vocalised it “if that
guy doesn’t stop playing with his ice I’m going to have to do something.”  I looked up, and yes indeed at the next table there was a man …


By Delphine du Toit | November 5, 2013

Google is no longer impressed by SEO and key words.  Its bots focus on websites that are active:  regular updating of information through
content refreshing, blogging, articles posted, and the like.

When did you last post a blog or an article on your website?  Do you have it built into your schedule or is it one of those things that started as a
good intention but keeps sliding?


When I visit a …

Don’t feed the Black Dog of Depression

By Delphine du Toit | July 10, 2012

Sir Winston Churchill was prone to depression. He called his depressions his ‘black dog’. Now, I know that not all black dogs are miserable or skulk around in corners, but imagine what you
feel like when you are depressed. More than that, maybe you’re depressed right now, so you don’t even have to imagine it – you can just experience it. I’ll connect the black dog dots for

It starts without you knowing that it has started: Something distant and abstract – remote, even, in your subconscious. A sense of unease swirls around you like …

Now’s the time.

By Delphine du Toit | January 12, 2011

Welcome to my new blog. A really smart woman told me yesterday about how it doesn’t make sense to spend your time blogging on sites that aren’t part of your own website – how that sends traffic FROM your website (where you say ‘click here to see my blog’) TO the hosting website where there…