The Value of Mail is no more!

August 19th, 1996 – A date that marked a new beginning for our family.

That was the day we landed for the first time in which would be our new home – Canada.

I was 19 years old.

In 1996, there was no social media. The Internet was just a couple years old. Most people’s email accounts were less than a year old.

It was difficult to be separated from my friends. But being in a new country was exciting, and there was so much I wanted to share with my friends back in Spain.

I couldn’t post pictures online, send status updates or Whatsapp messages. There was no Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
So I wrote… by hand… a lot. I wrote so many letters, hundreds of them… until my hand hurt.
My snail letters were epic between 10 and 20 pages long, written both sides.

Letters took between 7 to 14 days to cross the Atlantic and arrive in Spain.
Here is the first page of a very long letter I wrote back in 1997 to a friend.

I recently read an interesting story on the internet, written by a Spanish man called Miguel. It certainly left me thinking about his observations as I found it was quite shockingly revealing about the times in which we now live.

In today’s hyper connectivity and communication, anything written an hour before becomes old news!
Yet if one thinks back to the ‘old, old, normal, ’ many people would file and keep a hand written letter, the effort of writing it, and it’s content, sending it, gave it a value that is in today’s ‘NORMAL’ most unusual. In today’s world this letter would most likely be discarded.
He deduces that the easier it has become to communicate with each other, the less valuable those communications have become, and so handwritten mail is quickly becoming undervalued and almost becoming extinct!

Miguel adds “We’ve gained speed and convenience in communication, but we’ve lost depth and meaning.” He goes on to say “The value we assign to any given item is proportional to the amount of effort it takes us to create it or obtain it.” I found myself agreeing with this statement!
He goes on to say. “The magic of technology has killed the magic of old fashion slow and deliberate communication. We say more, but it means less.” This is quite a statement to make and an indictment of our today’s world!

He ended by deducing that “overall, social media hasn’t killed his relationships, but it has been detrimental to those intangibles that make life so much more interesting.”

That got me thinking that in certain circumstance, CHANGE may not altogether be better for our way of being, especially since there is a paradox here. The forced experience of Lock down has been a bit of a shock to most, but in hindsight not all bad. Paradoxically we have all had to slow down our pace of life prior to Covid 19 which had been one big rush, and a very fast pace of life. However, digital intercommunication has been the only means of keeping in touch with family and friends.

So my vote during these interesting and challenging times is actually that no matter how one does it, the majority of humans would appear to have the psyche of wanting and needing most forms of COMMUNICATION, because COMMUNICATION DOES MATTER!

In today’s hyper-connected instant communication world, information 1 hour is old, is now OLD news. 7 days feels like AN age..

Yet, those letters I sent, and the ones I received were extremely meaningful to my friends and me.
The easier it has become to communicate with each other, the less valuable those communications have become.

The value we assign to any given item is proportional to the amount of effort it takes us to create it or obtain it.

It’s unlikely I will ever send or receive a long hand-written letter like that ever again. Those days are gone.

But it seems the magic of technology has killed the magic of old fashion slow and deliberate communication.

We say more, but it means less.

So overall, social media hasn’t killed my relationships, but it has been detrimental to those intangibles that make life so much more interesting.

At least, I do have a past where I got to experience moments full of emotion and true excitement when opening a hand-written letter from a friend 3000 miles away.

But, what about the new generations? Will they ever get to experience that level of connection with any of their friends?

Peace, Love, and hand-written (on a computer) cookies.
Miguel @
P.S: Algorithmic thoughts – Another week has passed without feeding the ever-hungry Youtube soul-eating algorithm. My algorithmic clout has decreased by 2.1% but I’ve replenished my soul 1.7%. Is this worth it?

The power of Meaningful Communication

Change one word and you change your emotional psychological and even physical response to a situation. The very essence of what it means to become a conscious person begins with examining the content of yours and others vocabulary and its power to shape, define and order your inner and outer universe.

What words need changing with Covid19 settling itself into our psyches???

YAY … LEVEL THREE ?… Makes you think, doesn’t it!

Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?


A whole new language has evolved since the dreaded news that the globe was waging a war against a virus called Covid 19. Before that fateful day, we had no need for the words that have become part of our daily norm as from just 8 weeks ago!

Lockdown – for some a welcome respite from an over active way of life and a hectic regime, possibly trying to be everything to everyone, OR NOT! Some of the wonderful kindness and caring deeds of feeding those without income, have surfaced to make one proud of humanity. However, amid this, we hear that crime is taking a new approach to making a fast ‘buck’ through “boot legging & illegal cigarette/drugs.”

Distance Learning – means much to those writing their Matric in a few months’ time, or those ending their final University year hoping to gain their degrees. Some who will have to rewrite a lot of their exams because of the ‘On Line Distance Learning.’ Some pupils are wondering if they may have to repeat this lost year in 2021?

Social Distancing – adds another dimension to communication that was rarely ever a problem, especially after cellular phones became a normal way of getting hold of staff, or nearest and dearest. This has become whenever it suits the caller. Often crossing the lines of phoning at decent times, and so lacking “respect” and “mindfulness.”

Take a look at just these words which have become the NEW NORMAL & let’s see who of you may find each word on the positive side of EMOTIOAL INTELLIGENCE – OR NOT!



3) SOCIAL DISTANCING – will be a very hard place for romance and for people hoping to meet a special partner, however, MANY ASPECTS OF BUSINESS practice is affected by this – and the debate will become more obvious as we start appreciating what the NEW NORMAL will be in business and personal communication. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THIS – do you think this is HELPFUL – DO YOU THINK THE AVERAGE PERSON WILL BE ABLE TO communicate their wants needs and intentions wearing, for example a mask?

4) MASKS – A noun, and used to be worn at balls and celebrations when FUN was very much a part of wearing a mask. OR as used for criminals to hide their faces. This will be with us for at least another 6 – 12 months or more. What do you think about wearing a mask everywhere, being the NEW NORMAL?


A new form of Communication…Lockdown Communication!

I would like to say how impressive our President has been for showing his leadership, speedy action, and his commitment to keeping South Africa informed of what is taking place during such unprecedented times.

Last night we heard that there will be possible level 4 Lockdown at the end of this month, depending on the situation on the 30th April. This news brings slightly less stringent rules around thwarting this dreaded virus. And so we wait to listen to President Cyril Ramaphosa’ s latest decisions after his findings, shared from global news and local situations. Our challenges are fairly different to those in other continents, so from what I gather; we have to keep in mind that decisions made now, could lead into a carry over for the next eighteen months or longer.
A) “CHANGE” in so many ways, IS THE COMMON DENOMINATOR… both here in South Africa, and globally.
B) Prioritising what is critical, ie: feeding people, keeping jobs and businesses going for the economy to have a chance to survive. c) In order to try and make some sense of what and where to start, we will all have to play our part.



Adrienne Verney Productions is looking forward to presenting to you, my findings on how to increase the efficacy of communication for both business purpose and socially, that will possibly become the ‘new normal.’

During these times, ‘distancing’ communication can and will be CONTINUALLY refined. “ON Line” communication, scrabbles to attempt to embrace the changes and challenges of distancing communication. For example, Zoom, is right now rectifying ‘security issues’ that have popped up which is critical to business meetings, both now and in the future!

Until then, mistakes will be made:- On radio yesterday, we were informed through Twitter, how one member of a group sitting in a virtual meeting, was totally unaware that the group also viewed one person getting up and going to the toilet, and keeping the door open so that they would not miss what was happening in the meeting!

Whilst on another occasion, a person spoke out loud making vociferous comments and expletives of their own viewpoints not agreeing with what had just been said. Their microphone was “un muted”! HORRORS!

We had all best become aware of the ‘do’s and don’ts of this new way of communicating!

Until next time:-

Stay Safe and Stay Well and mindful of your fellow man.

COVID – 19

The world is in shock and lock down!

We cannot get away from it; we are self -isolating, and washing hands like never before.

This global war is of great concern to us all, and especially the elderly and the vulnerable which is finally making governments and businesses have to consider the GOOD OF THE COLLECTIVE.

I have always had a simple philosophy that “out of something bad always comes something good.” So I thought it time to ‘unpack’ this statement and try and look for the GOOD!

I think we are always on a treadmill, rushing here and there, and complaining about the price of petrol and diesel.

1) So thinking twice before getting into our cars, buses and taxis, could reduce much of the stress and car fumes, which has to be both good for individuals and our planet. They are saying that people are able to see the sky in China whereas before the air was clogged up with fumes from factories and production; in Venice the water ways are cleaner and clear for the first time, without so many people polluting them.
2) Creating an awareness that good hygiene is of utmost importance, hopefully will create far better future behaviour which has been sadly lacking in the past!
3) Consideration for people in various small and large businesses is becoming a factor, and governments and citizens are creating ways and means to better the opportunities to earn a living in a lockdown situation.
4) This brings me to my most favourite passions CREATIVITY AND COMMUNICATION!

We live in the digital age and the age of technology and so finally, businesses are trying out ways to keep the office, business, and staff in tact through this situation. So working at home is possibly the best way of ensuring staff keeps their jobs and that many businesses stays open.

Personally, I think this is a very good time to consider exploring and putting into practice, communication through Skype, Zoom, and cut out the travel and meetings that often go on far too long and waste a lot of precious time, and so dare I say that this could definitely become a great saver of “Time?”

Two of my most used courses is “Effective Communication & Presentation” and “Making an Impact” Training right now Can be ‘tweaked’, reduced and offered in a ‘mini’ format during this quiet time of ‘Lock down via On Line and Skype. Many important aspects could be shared to ensure that you are able to come across the digital ‘airwaves’ confident, and with good strong voice and positive body language, which incidentally is an incredibly important workshop that supports the possibilities of covering important points when a close up facial representation of you is what your clients and staff sees.

Take this time to brush up your digital presence by going on line and spending some time with me. Once things become a little more normal, you will be streets ahead of most by using this ‘lock down’ time to your own advantage!

I would love to work with you. Take care and do all the sensible things to remain clear of this ‘wicked’ virus and learn to communicate well during this “pause in time.”

Best wishes
Adrienne Verney Productions

The Planet could do with some Creativity and Innovation ?

Fires burning in Canberra South & over 40 degrees during the day! Another shocking reality of climate change! So what is to be done?

The Planet could do with some Creativity and Innovation ?

CREATIVITY is the capability or act of conceiving something original or unusual.
INNOVATION is the implementation of something new.

INVENTION is the creation of something that has never been made before and is recognized as the product of some unique insight.

COMMUNICATION noun: Imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, writing, or using some other medium.

LEADERSHIP – The action of leading a group of people or an organization. Guidance, direction; authority; control; management; superintendence; supervision; organization; government; orchestration; initiative; influence; headship; directorship; direction; governorship; governance. Oxford
Well… Looking at the above wording is where we need to be. WE NEED CHANGE. We are certainly feeling like we are existing between ‘a rock and a hard place!’

Changes are needed that we may have not have considered before – changes that we have played lip service to, and not put into action. Changes that will include subject matter such as ‘Climate Change,’ and being responsible and accountable for our resources, such as ‘our coast lines,’ and replenishing our ‘fishing resources.’ Humanity has plundered our seas which are being poisoned by plastic and industrial waste, and our water resources are under severe strain.

Sadly changes start to take place when we are uncomfortable enough to remove ourselves from “a rock and a hard place!” We know that this is not only a South African necessity. Globally we need to start truly considering taking better care of our wild animals which are being poached, slaughtered for ivory and Rhino Horn; our ‘fishing industry’ plundered. However, we now must add to this list, our women and children living with abuse; not having a proper education; added to which the constant fear of their care givers not taking full responsibility for having children.

The “Powers that Be” met recently in Davos… what came out of that? Not much… if anything! If we all should be as unconscious as ours and other Governments it will bring down great shame for our generation, for being unconsciousness and / or in denial. This is happening “ON OUR WATCH!”
I appeal to industry leaders and individuals to become more CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE
Ian Mann, was interviewed on Bruce Whitfield’s Money Show last week, and covered the subject of how to ready oneself for becoming innovative and creative. It is ‘stuff’ we all know, and yet do not do! 1) take time out 2) sleep well 3) eat healthily, 4) exercise. All critical factors to survive this economy ( that’s if you have a place safe enough to rest and take some time out?)

Feeling the brevity of our global situation, I put together a workshop on “Innovate and Think Out Of the Box.” I suggest that leaders who are guiding companies take charge, and include their Team Leaders, management and staff, in order for them to contribute to finding answers and sustainable solutions, to our dire situations, and become the leaders we want and need for future generations, in order for these generations to have a future.

We are capable of finding answers. Please step forward on behalf of your industry and business, and look for solutions that are sustainable to help our ailing economy, and world. Imagine what we could do if we all put our minds and knowledge to “INNOVATE AND THINK OUT OF THE BOX!”

Workshop 6 – Adrienne Verney Productions –

Making the world more beautiful…


Enjoy this video of a remarkable man who has the ability to connect & communicate through his music with his Feline Friends. They are rescued cats, needing healing and a home, of which he has done both…

Taking some observations into the world of humans, this gifted pianist has a permanent audience who give him feedback. They let him know how much they love and appreciate him and the music that he is playing. They are calmed by the music and his ‘approval rating’ which most people would love to have, is an on-going 100%. Without doubt he is their ‘hero’ and these amazing cats are ‘his muses.’

This unusual video is a visual representation of how communication is not just a spoken word. It works on so many levels; body language, intention, attitude, and being attracted by sound other than ‘words.’ His calm and quiet sense of self, has built ‘trust’ among these injured and neglected furry beings, by his selfless ‘actions.’ The IMPACT that this musician is making on his ‘feral audience’ captures how much these animals are indicating their heightened emotional response and total love and approval, showing him with touch, LOVING THE CALMING SOUNDS that he is making playing his piano ‘to and for’ them.

Oh ….that we too could get such an approval rating in our day to day communication, be it in the home, office or socially. Yet if we would like to make this powerful impact in our communication and presentations, we can do so! It starts with making changes in our ways of being. Opening our minds and being totally aware of our inner motivation. Recognising the results we wish to achieve will be received from being conscious and setting our intentions, to create the difference.

The inner dialogue hidden in our sub conscious minds and actions can be improved and changed, resulting in an authentic way of communicating. When we change this inner dialogue with mindfulness, it leads to assist us IMPACTING with grace and truth, when communicating in our world in a meaningful, beautiful and positively pro-active way. This is why I am passionate about communication and how to improve it in our personal relationships and in the office/work.

Perhaps this is a good New Year’s Resolution to follow and work on in 2020?

Please contact me should you or your colleagues, wish to attend any of my seven workshops. They are:- ‘Making And Impact’ ‘Presentations’ ‘Body Language’ And ‘Effective Communication,’ ‘Self Actualisation And How To Use Our Brain,’ And ‘Innovation – Thinking Out Of The Box’ Plus ‘Media Training.’


Oh my Gosh – That is exactly how I felt!

Animals and children have such wonderfully obvious and vivid ways of indicating how they are feeling at any given time.

I AM SURE we have all gone through the same emotions as this ‘Kitty’ and know what it is like to face challenges, especially those we have all faced in the past few years!
With the Festive Season upon us, we can have the intention of joining in on the fun when family and friends get together, but as New Year draws closer, it is time to start making the ‘changes’ we know we need to make, in order to go into 2020 the Year Of Great Change, feeling positive, worthy, powerful, purposeful, and driven.

Depending on how you earn your living, you will need to read the language of your superiors, sub-ordinates, staff, clients, children, family and friends, especially when negotiating deals. So start becoming aware of the Body Language ‘indicators’ those that are fairly obvious and also be very mindful of what it is that you are messaging out there, ‘indicating’ what is sitting in your own sub-conscious mind.

A PICTURE PAINTS A THOUSAND WORDS (Especially the picture that YOU paint of what is really going on in your mind!)

“THE LANGUAGE OF THE BODY” WORKSHOP FOUR – Adrienne Verney Productions
Especially good for anyone in management, dealing in the business and private sector, and who deal with the complexities of negotiations (family or business). It is also a wonderful Team Build for a Sales or Marketing Team.

The wonderful language that our body speaks!

Quite a few people adjust their reading glasses with their middle finger; however, the fascinating reality is that the sub-conscious indicator may be an insight into the realm of their unconscious thought, which culminates in this sub-conscious action!

Often our sub-conscious mind will be far more in touch with what is actually taking place. We call this intuition, and with this we often make “judgements” or decisions, without consciously knowing why we have done so.

What is really going on inside one’s thinking, is a clever indicator and will one way or another show the inner beliefs and thoughts of a person. A mother will tune into the body language of her new baby and intuit the needs and wants of her new born child.

Illustrators are non-verbal movements that accompany and illustrate verbal communication. They are linked to speech and can be used to emphasise a word or a phrase, indicate relationships, or draw a picture in the air, pace an event, and impose a rhythm on the spoken word. Although usually made with hands and arms, any sort of body movement which plays a role in verbal communication, can be described as an illustrator.

So, let me see… One has to be careful not to judge or read this explicit language inaccurately. Therefore, how do we read the clue given by Sir James Eadie, distinguished Council for HM Government as he stands before his attentive audience, showing his middle finger? Perhaps he is just “adjusting his glasses” or NOT?

A quest for communication clarity and presentation excellence

I marvel at Deepak Chopra’s clarity and simplicity in explaining the ways in which we can uncomplicated our thinking, and be guided to our sense of true purpose. Possibly, it is because it has taken me so many years to learn this wisdom, including it in my “Self Actualisation and how we use our brain” workshop. Emotional Quotient shows us that “Thought – Intention – Purpose – Understanding – and Expectation” are powerful pointers for Image Intention and Body Language. But how many times do we focus on only one or two or a few words at a time, and fall short of our goal to ‘communicate with excellence’ and/or ‘Present an IMAGE that will make an IMPACT!’ Chopra points out that what we wish to ‘do,’ or ‘be’ needs to be supported in ‘spoken’ clear language CONNECTING our INTENTION and combine all these powerful actions to ensure the wanted results. By OMMITTING some of these impactful words in our consciousness we sell our self ‘short’ and the process we wish to manifest is ‘incomplete.’ As a result, we may find ourselves sometimes dealing with disappointment?

Holism is an important way to bring all positive actions and ways of being with understanding, and I feel strongly that it was part of the strong foundation of the recent success that we are all still revelling in!

The jubilation when our Springbok Champions brought home the World Cup was palpable, and made us all feel like Victors. The Leadership of Coach RASSIE ERASMUS working with THE TEAM and passing on his special brand of COMMUNICATION, worked by his nurturing the innate “leadership ability” of his brilliantly chosen Captain Kolisi. This result surely must have harnessed much THOUGHT, INTENTION, PURPOSE, UNDERSTANDING, and EXPECTATIONS – uniting ‘the team as one!’ The Media spoke Highly of Captain Siya Kolisi’s ability to communicate and they certainly weaved the MAGIC that Nelson Mandela forecasted, by confidently leading his Team to Victory.

It made us all feel like victors and so it should! This attitude that we are all VICTORS is a positive mind-set and approach to cherish and CREATE a ‘self-fulfilling prophecy.’ SO LET’S DO IT!!!! I have a great world cup offer and eight courses for you to choose from, each one relevant for what we are facing and dealing with right now! Thank you Bokke – thank you Rassie and thank you Siya Kolisi