8 Life Strategies That Playing Chess Has Taught Me


Being a Rookie

Chess is a game that I love to play with my husband.  He is such an enviable strategist. When I first started playing with him, I felt like a complete fool every time he snookered my king and got me into check-mate.

What playing chess taught me about life

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When I let my pride take the back seat, I discovered a remarkable game that I could undeniably learn from whilst enjoying some quiet, reflective, quality time with my partner.

I found it a relaxing pursuit with red-hot moments of intensive brain-stretching — a great way to quantize your thinking.  It not only takes the grey matter for a stroll around the yard but also teaches you valuable lessons in forethought, planning, awareness and defense tactics.

Has Anyone Seen the Bishop?

I started to see more spiritual truths in chess the more we played; in fact it was beginning to be a remarkable representation of life!

It aroused me to apply these teaching to my own life situations and, if not why not, to other people’s life circumstances too.  A lot of people are already either inadvertently or deliberately playing chess with their situations and relationships.

It opened my eyes and taught me that there is usually either a way to slip out of trouble or to catch yourself and your opponent by surprise with your brilliant and calm maneuvering capabilities.

Be Your Own Knight in Shining Armor

Just when things start to look hopeless, you view your game from a different angle or perspective and you move to the side and allow danger to pass.  What a great allegory for life!

Here are some of the life strategies chess has permitted me to comprehend:

  • Multi-layers — there is always more than meets the eye in any given situation.
  • Patience — slow and steady wins the race.
  • Side-Stepping — there is usually either an evasive move or a counter-action you can take when in the face of danger.  Don’t lose hope.
  • Shifting Views — when things are looking dire for you, all you may need is a shift in perspective that can open up new doorways.
  • Positive Outlook — always try to stay optimistic and you will habitually figure out a good move to make.
  • Acknowledgments — congratulate your opponent on good moves — you can learn from them too.  Don’t let your pride get in the way of wisdom.
  • Grace — be a good loser because you never really lose in life, you just start a new game and learn from the previous one. So hone in on your skills by learning from your mistakes — nothing is ever in vain.  Be a gracious winner too, there is no room for friends in your life if your big head is taking up all the space!
  • Always Have Fun — enjoy the process, the game of chess (life) is exciting, invigorating and challenging — all of which keep you feeling alive, vibrant, polished and motivated.

Metaphors and Metamorphosis — from Pawns to Kings

I love painting life experience with intriguing metaphors and feel even more elated when such an analogy becomes a bald-faced truth.

Chess quoteWhen we can become the observers of life’s smaller things, like an innocent fixture of chess, and transform it into a fresh perspective of life, it changes us.  We start looking all over for these spiritual growth sign-posts and we usually find them in the strangest of places.

Chess is the ultimate sport of existence and even though I know the strategies have been used in more negative life experiences, such as war and devious corporate obliteration, it can also be used to your advantage in co-creating your reality.

Give yourself a game plan and be flexible enough to discern inherent dangers whilst on track, this way you will be able to metaphorically duck and dive bullets (just like Neo in The Matrix movie).  Be cunning and graceful and you will never be caught off guard.  When you are, don’t give up, learn from it and reload your experience as ammunition for the next round.

There is never failure, only feedback.

Original article written by Cherie Roe Dirksen for Positively Positive

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Community Power Groups are Reshaping the Way We Think

image001Here is my latest article from Odyssey Magazine (click on icon to the right to read the magazine for free!)

Ever wondered how you can change the world without having to march on parliament or chain yourself to a tree? I’ve discovered a powerful new way to effect positive change by starting small…

I recently bit the bullet and started a Power of 8 group within my local community. You’d think that a small village in the Klein Karoo wouldn’t have many ‘new-agers’, would you? Wrong! I have met some awesome like-minded souls since I moved here — almost 4 years ago now — and when I began my group I was exposed to more deliciously spiritual individuals.

What is a Power of 8 group?

It’s a concept that best-selling author, Lynne McTaggart, has come up with — you can read more about it in her book The Power of Eight: Harnessing the Miraculous Energies of a Small Group to Heal Others, Your Life, and the World. Lynne is renowned for conducting intention experiments with a huge amount of success. She even goes on to say that, ‘the greatest untold truth of all is that group intention has a mirror effect, not only affecting the recipient but also reflecting back on the senders.’

Why 8?

Well, Lynne McTaggart believes that 8 is the magic number for manifesting. It’s no surprise that — in numerology — the 8 signifies infinity, balancing of karma and mind over matter.

The American radio presenter, Art Bell (in collaboration with Neil Slade), did a mass consciousness experiment with listeners on Coast to Coast AM on July 7, 1998. Their intention was to bring rain to a parched Florida. The result was they got massive rainstorms.

We are powerful creators and when we get together, we can co-create with speedy efficiency.

First Try, First Miracle!

My first meeting took place a couple of months ago. We didn’t have all 8 of our group present (there were 7 of us) but we still went ahead. Just remember:  any group, albeit it 2 of you, will have an amplified effect. Don’t let the numbers put you off — if you don’t have 8 members then start with who you do have.

Our group intention was to visualize the healing of a local man who was one of our member’s partners. This soul had been through over two years of suffering and general health decline. He had no idea what was wrong with him but kept on manifesting more and more health issues. He wasn’t an old man (I believe he’s in his fifties) but he had been practically bed ridden over the past couple of years.

We sat in a circle, did a short ‘breathing through the heart chakra’ technique (which merely involves imagining that each deep breath you take and let out is done so through the heart area — you do this 3 times) and then we began our visualization. We had a photo of the gentleman, who we would be sending the healing energy to, placed in the center. I set my timer and off we went. The actual visualization meditation took only 10 minutes (which is the time that Lynne McTaggart suggests).

The group reported back some wonderful energies and visuals that they had experienced and then we went on to have tea and cake (you’ve got to make these things fun!).

When we met for our second meeting (we meet once a month), our friend gave us some sad news. Her partner had been diagnosed with cancer and they were to begin treatment soon.

Within 2 days of our meeting, we all got a whatsapp from her saying that her partners new test results had come back and, miraculously, there was no cancer anymore! They, thankfully, hadn’t even begun treatment. All that was apparently wrong with him was that he needed an iron injection?!

We were all amazed and thrilled. We will never know if our group intention was the cause or catalyst for this healing but we all sure felt good about it.

My friend reported later that he was up and about creating things in his workshop which she said he hadn’t been able to do for years.

What Have You Got to Lose?

SUBSCRIBE icon 1The media and our social networking feeds are usually full of bad news. We get bombarded with the negative every day. However, the truth is that you don’t need to buy into it. The more peace, abundant, healing and loving thoughts you send out into the world, the more that will mirror back in your life. It’s not that you are denying the truth; it’s that it doesn’t have to be your truth if you don’t choose it to be. Everyone is entitled to choose and create the reality they wish to experience.

Why not start consciously choosing to see positive change by starting a Power of 8 group? It’s really easy and you’ll benefit in more ways than you can imagine.

I love my group meetings — we get to share positive experiences, advice and wisdom is offered at large, we get to socialize and have a laugh together and everyone reports feeling elated after our sessions. Every time we meet, we take turns in offering an intention.

In our second session, a lady from the group wanted us to hold a space for trust and abundance in our village as we had had a series of petty break-ins and fear was running rampant. We know that this was caused through lack, so, we wanted all the locals (victims and perpetrators alike) to experience abundance in all forms and to have a sense of trust reignited in the community. We then reported back, via our whatsapp group, anything along the lines of the intention that was happening to us or around us. Suffice to say, the whatsapp group was alight with stories of trust and abundance that month. It was truly remarkable to see the change when we shifted our perspective from what we didn’t want to see to what we did want to see.

In our last meeting, one of our group members admitted that she thought the whole idea of a group like this was a bit ‘woo-woo’ when she was first invited. She said that she is now a firm believer after all the positive things that have transpired in our group and we’ve only met 3 times!

All you need to do is gather a group of open-minded individuals and let the magic take place.

P.S. It’s okay to be woo-woo 😉

(article can be found on page 76 of Odyssey Magazing Issue 1 2018)

cropped-cherie-2Cherie Roe Dirksen
 is a self-empowerment author/columnistmulti-media artist and musician from Barrydale, South Africa. 

To date, she has published 3 self-help and motivational books and brings out weekly inspirational blogs at her site www.cherieroedirksen.com.

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Are You Expecting Good Things to Happen? Why You Should…

Your Focus is Your Life

If you’re not expecting great things to happen to you each and every day, you’re probably not going to be disappointed — you’ll be creating the mundane. You’re a powerful creator either way.

Remember that movie ‘Groundhog Day’? The main character repeated the same day over and over and over again…until he started injecting his day with some much-needed action and rewired the way he interacted with the events and people in his life.

This touches on what I want to offer in today’s article: How to turn things around by getting excited about every single day you wake up breathing!

“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,’ said Piglet at last, ‘what’s the first thing you say to yourself?’

‘What’s for breakfast?’ said Pooh, ‘What do you say, Piglet?’

‘I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting to-day?’ said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully. ‘It’s the same thing’, he said.” ~ (Winnie-the-Pooh) A. A. Milne

Let’s take a look at sharing the optimism of Pooh and Piglet.

Manifestation Flows Where Attention Goes

I’ve been pulling a Piglet for quite some time now — the moment I open my eyes I say ‘today is going to be a wonderful day, full of pleasant surprises if not miracles!’ Read related article: 6 Impossible Things To Do Every Day

I’m very rarely disappointed.

It’s really quite that simple. Set your intention for the day. You can even get specific if you are doing something and you want to see that something go splendidly well. Visualize how you want your day to go, or, if you don’t feel like getting into the semantics — just set that intention to have a fabuscrumptious day.

Your only job is to feel into that vibration of excitement or joy or whatever you want to experience. You’ve got to pay close attention to all the little good things as well as the big good things that transpire.

What I do every night (when I’m back in bed) is a quick review of all the nice things that happened during the course of the day. I’ll tell you something — you’ll be surprised how much great stuff happens in a day!

From Large to Not So Very Large

The key things to remember when you take charge of your optimism are:

  1. Follow your excitement. Like Pooh, get excited about your breakfast or taking a nice hot shower. Appreciate ALL the things in your life. If you feel like taking a nap and have the opportunity to follow that little bit of excitement — then nap with gusto! Passion is all about doing what feels good in the moment. It’s not only about your career or your hobbies. It’s about what you wear when you get dressed in the morning, it’s about the wonderful interactions you have with other people during your day (see how many smiles you can get out of people!), it’s about getting excited about your next cup of coffee or what you’re planning to create for a nutritious and delicious supper. Read related article: How Good Are You Out of Bed?
  2. Acknowledge Everything. Give gratitude constantly for the small and large things in your life. It could be that awesome breakfast you just ate, the birds singing sweetly outside your office window or your dream car that you bought 2 years ago. When you think about it, you’ll realize that you always have something to be grateful for — even the body you occupy is a huge blessing so sorely overlooked as such.
  3. Understand Your Frequency. When you (1) expect good things to happen, (2) you’re wide awake to see them manifest and (3) you’re grateful when they pop up — you are automatically raising your vibration which will, in turn, cause more juicy things to happen to get you more excited to raise your vibration even further. Snowball effect type thing. If you slump (and you may — it’s a human-being-on-planet-earth-type-thing!), just remember to acknowledge the space you’re in and to know that it will pass and that, effectively, ‘all is well’. I say that a LOT when I’m not feeling all high and googly. It’s very grounding — take a deep breath and say ‘all is well in my world’. Don’t underestimate the power of a long, deep breath. It can really center and balance you if you’re feeling overwhelmed or when you start to feel doubt, fear or panic set in.

There is a saying that is a wee bit topsy-turvy — ‘seeing is believing‘. I’m afraid that, in my experience, this is upside down and all wonky-doo-dah. It should be ‘believing is seeing’.

SUBSCRIBE icon 1Sing ‘Hallelujah’ Come on Get Happy!

When you wake up (literally and figuratively) and decide to opt in for excitement, life will show you things to get excited about. It’s just not going to work in reverse. You’ll sit and wait a lifetime if you think that life will give you what you want so you can be happy. You’ve got to be happy (and it’s your job to determine how you get into that state) and then life will reciprocate.

Please share your stories or affirmations about how you raise your spirits and how it influences your life in the comment box below — I’d love to hear from you!

If you liked this article, you may consider starting a gratitude journal. Every day write something you are grateful for, no matter how big or small. You’ll see your life start to change when you focus on the positive!

Get your gratitude journal today (click on this link or the picture below) for yourself or for someone you know who’s starting out on a self-empowerment path and could use a bit of motivation!


These gratitude journals can be purchased lined or blank (depending on whether you prefer drawing what you’re grateful for or writing it). They are 13.2cm x 18.6cm – a handy pocket-sized journal!

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