Green Renaissance produces gorgeous short films that uplift the personal stories of ordinary people, with the goal of sharing ideas and inspiring change. We feel hugely blessed to feature video-stories that filmmakers Michael and Justine capture with exquisite expertise, and which so beautifully illustrate Grateful Living principles and practices. In this short film we hear from Nicky Morris.

Learn more about Green Renaissance through our Grateful Changemaker feature.*

Questions for Reflection

  • Which part or parts of Nicky’s story resonated with you the most?
  • Where might you “create a little space where your heart can breathe, where your soul can smile”?

We invite you to share your reflections below the video transcript that follows.

Video Transcript

I woke up with these works on Friday morning…

[Reading from journal]…Do not fear silence, make peace with silence, for it is in the quiet moments that you will hear a message just for you.

People are so afraid of silence. Televisions in every room, radios always on, cellphones. There’s a life locked up in words. Become aware of what you say. We can’t see the words we speak, but words have energy. And energy goes on and on and on.

Don’t fear the spaces and the times of silence between words. Those are the times that you can consult with wisdom what to do or to say next. You don’t always have to answer with words. You can answer with an understanding nod. You can answer with a hug. You can answer with a quiet smile. You can answer with a softness in your eyes. You can answer with forgiveness. You can answer with acceptance. Sometimes silence can be the best answer possible.

[Reading from journal]…To befriend silence, you must first befriend yourself. Become your own best friend. And you will notice that you start to value and treasure yourself. Because isn’t that how you see your best friend?

People fear silence because they’ve never learned to befriend themselves. They’ve never learned to like themselves. I’ve not always liked myself. I still don’t like myself sometimes. If you can learn to accept yourself for who you are, you will find that moments of silence will not scare you.

[Reading from journal]…Open the door to your heart. If it is stiff and creaks and groans, push and shove until it opens. You might even need to wipe away cobwebs. Do it, even if it makes you shudder. You might find that your heart is cluttered and covered in dust, like an attic that no one ever enters. 

We’re digging deep here. This accepting myself and loving myself did not come overnight. Being quiet was really the start of my journey. It has taught me to let go of things. It has taught me to really make friends with myself, not to be so hard on myself. It has taught me to forgive myself. Bitterness, anger resentment…let it go. We weren’t meant to carry those emotions. In letting go you will also give yourself permission to start living.

[Reading from journal]…Be sure to always find a quiet place in the busyness of life.

Sometimes the day just runs away. It happens so easily, we are so busy. When I don’t make time for myself and when I don’t draw aside, it feels as if I spin out of control. It feels as if I get out of balance. You know how your house looks after a chaotic visit? That’s how my heart feels. Everything is skewed and everything is not where it’s supposed to be. So I need to seek some silence just to dust the furniture in my heart a bit, polish a bit here and polish a bit there. I definitely come back a better person.

[Reading from journal]…Draw aside where it is peaceful and no one can bother you. It is in these places where earthly time disappears, where you will learn to recognize the rhythm of rest.

You don’t have to be in nature to enjoy silence. You can do that wherever you live. It’s more a state of being. If you take care to draw aside once a day, just somewhere where you can be with yourself, where you can notice things other than just your usual routine. Create a little space where your heart can breathe, where your soul can smile. The rush and the busyness of life will fall away for awhile, and you will be able to soak up peace. Then you will hear the words that silence whispers to your heart.

[Reading from journal]…And then you will realize that you are no longer afraid of silence. You will realize that silence whispers words that decorate your heart with beauty. 

I think beauty is like a master key. It reaches and unlocks all the hidden away places…those places that are trampled and that are shattered, those places that are in need of healing. Beauty refreshes. Beauty nurtures. Beauty comforts and beauty heals. It definitely shapes the landscape of your heart. Throughout your day, look around…you will find it. Go and greet the sun. Talk to the moon. Tell the little flower how beautiful it is. And then give it back to the world. Isn’t that what life is all about?

I’m grateful for this life, this one life we have here on earth. It’s beyond precious. I’m grateful for that.

[Reading from journal]…You will discover that you are in need of nothing else. Gratitude will be the doorstop that keeps the door to your heart open. Peace and humility will be its gatekeeper. Cherish your heart for it is from that place that you live.


To support Michael and Justine in their film-making journey visit Green Renaissance.


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About the author

Justine and Michael are a creative couple living in South Africa.  Their project, Green Renaissance, works to spread positive stories that reflect the wonder of the world. With the goal of sharing ideas and inspiring change, they produce gorgeous short films that are posted online and available for anyone, anywhere, to watch and share freely.


Through their films, they explore what it means to be human. They touch on topics that can often be difficult for people to discuss – from loss of a loved one to aging and retirement to friendship to love and courage – universal themes that we all deal with at some stage in our lives.


By sharing these stories, Justine and Michael hope to remind us of one simple truth – that we are all human – that inside our hearts and minds, we are all facing similar challenges.  We have so much to learn from each other, and our connections run so much deeper and stronger than we think. Learn more and support their work at greenrenaissance.co.za.