The human spirit has a natural attraction to celebrate life, as it ebbs and flows through the dark and light of our lives. Any excuse for a party hey?

Celebrating life is also about stopping, taking time watching as the sun sets, as a dog plays, a horse eats in a field. Mindfulness – not easy to do as our mind races quickly from one thing to another - problem solving and conflict resolution. I have to be honest, I struggle with this a lot. As soon as I reach a place, or end a task, my mind is already on another. A perpetual move forward – to the next thing… then the next adventure.



How do we take stock of that, paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally. Bringing one's complete attention to the present experience on a moment-to-moment basis. Observing death, being grateful, inner honesty, brute force, meditation? Meditation - good luck with that, I have had a love/hate relationship for 35 years as I practiced on and off mantra meditation. Rising at 4 in the morning, using a mala bead (like the rosary) to count around (108 of a 2 stanza mantra) – said 108 times. Daily, that’s roughly 2 hours in anyone’s life, my struggle was always the “work” I should be doing! 



The basic meaning of this meditation is “Please Lord (Universe if you prefer) engage me in your service”. A very similar prayer to which Oprah has used for decades “Please Lord use me as your instrument”, it seems to have worked pretty well for her. 

Back in the day, I was considered a bit of a weirdo for my philosophical choices, it wasn’t the done deal in the small New Zealand town community that I was raised. I am happy to say that today in February 2018 – mindfulness and meditation is all the rage. God, who knew I’d now be following the trend!



I have just been home to that small New Zealand town for another celebration of sorts. The life of my mother.
I had the great privilege of helping her transverse this planet for places unknown. She was a force of my nature my old mum – she gave to birth to 11 children, yet was artistic, fashionable, driven, hardworking, straight talking and had a wonderful eye for all things aesthetic. She was in her 90th year and ready, she was looking forward
for what lay ahead. No regrets – well, maybe a few – she told my niece that there was clothes she should have bought!


Before the great celebration that is Christmas and New Year, my son Sharm and I also attended a celebration of love and union. If you ever get the invitation to an Indian wedding – go. It is done there like nowhere else, everyone is celebrated and considered. It goes for days as the various ceremonies are planned with beauty and attention. 

It is also a celebration of two families joining and the new shared journey they take together. We were very honored to be there as guests and extended family of the Narains – the marriage of Karan their youngest son to the beautiful Sheena. I met this amazing family (Mithoo and Sweety) when I was 26, collaborating to work with craftsmen on this product of Bandhini – which for me celebrates all that is handmade beauty. Our kids were little then – now they are grown men who have taken up the reigns to now run what we started all those years ago. A celebration of tradition and Unity.


Image (Left) was taken in 1999, featuring Sharm (Tai's son) Mithoo & Sweety and their sons Karan and Sharan (who have now grown to run the business)
There is a wonderful ancient quote “one stick can travel a down a stream to be joined by one, then another and maybe more, they continue to travel even stronger and with more purpose until they reach the eternal ocean – where infinite possibilities await…"

Wishing you all the mindful, celebrations of joy and possibilities for 2018!

February 07, 2018 — Tai Schaffler



Charl said:

Beautiful Tai…


Julie said:

Beautiful words and so very true
Namaste xx
Can’t wait to see you at LIS xx
Jules x


Rosemary said:

Hi Tai
Loved loved your blog
Sorry to hear about your Mum she
Sounds like an amazing Woman
So now I know where you get it from
Love always


Bev said:

Why is it that your thoughts resonate resoundingly with me and I do bugger all about it!!!!!
Is it too late for a New Years Résolution??


Jen said:

What a beautiful email, Tai! Wishing you a fantastic year ahead and sorry for the loss of your lovely mum xx


Lisa said:

Dear Tai,
in my oh so busy days, i always take the time to read your words, and am sure that my response is in keeping with all others.
You write from the heart, is always interesting & meaningful, and this time, so very beautiful.
Thank you for sharing.
Love, Lisa.


Danielle said:

Beautiful Tai, have a great 2018.x


Kerrie said:

Many thanks for sharing your beautiful story……

What a way to start my day…….heartfelt!

It is so nice to hear of someone else life journey…..take care!

Have a great day


Sandra said:

This is beautiful Tai! Thank you for the reminder and your lovely message


Lauren said:

Hi Tai,

I wanted to let you know that I really liked your email letter. And I think I’ll go out and buy that dress today, so that not buying clothes isn’t one of my biggest regrets too. Your Mum sounds like an incredible woman. I can’t even get my head around having 11 children!

Thanks for sharing!

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