All posts by: Cal McDonnell


When I was in my late 20’s I migrated from Zimbabwe to South Africa to marry my wife. I landed myself this plum job as an English teacher at a very posh school in Johannesburg. The school was one of a number  Jewish Day Schools servicing the Jewish families of Johannesburg  and I spent nearly two years of my life there teaching and taking part in many Jewish traditions and rituals. Every Friday I would wear my Yarmulke and attend shul (synagogue), I went to Bat Mitzvahs and Bar Mitzvahs and the Brit Milah (Bris) prayers for

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Living into Your Name

I remember when my wife was pregnant with our daughter and we were in that exciting phase of guessing the gender of our baby and then choosing a name. We were super keen to know what we were having, but the baby was not sharing anything during any of the scans we had. We presumed we were having a boy and decided the baby would be called Matthew following an ancient (and somewhat purposeless) tradition in my family of alternating first born males with the name Callan Mathew and then Matthew Callan.  With Rosh Hashanah fast

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36 questions that will bring you closer to someone

These questions only take about 45 minutes to discuss—and they almost always make two people feel better about each other and want to see each other again, according to social psychology researcher Arthur Aron of the Interpersonal Relationships Lab at Stony Brook University in New York, who published his results in "The Experimental Generation of Interpersonal Closeness" in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin (1997). You can try these questions with a date, but they're not necessarily only applicable to fostering

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The end of 2014…

It’s probably been for a fair chunk of 2014 that I have produced these weekly summaries and they have proven to be a good habit in mindful reflection on the week that was. I highly recommend the practice. In this update I also want to reflect on 2014 as a whole. If I think back to my mindset at the start of 2014 – returning to work after a brilliant summer holiday on the Sunshine Coast – I would not have guessed I would have had such an expansive year waiting for me. I mean it when I say that 2014 will be a year I will look back

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peter gabriel

Come Back Home

I love the music of Peter Gabriel and one of my all time favourite pieces of his work is ‘Solsbury Hill’. Have a read of these lyrics and see what his word pictures cause to happen in you. For me, these words remind me of internal transformations that I have had in my life: times when you know that you will never be the same because of a specific event, or a person you have met or a piece of information that has changed you irrevocably. You know that you are somehow transformed but you don’t always know how to show up as the new

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