A meeting of hearts

The wedding of two delightful individuals is the icing on the cake of a serendipitous meeting two years ago. You never know who you are going to meet and what effect they may have on you.

In the last month we have had a death, a birth and, most recently, a wedding! What a joyous occasion to see two completely besotted, slightly giddy, a touch quirky, and fully delightful individuals, commit to a life together in front of their family and friends.

The venue, the same place that Cailyn and Sean had got married at two years ago, was full of happy memories. The day was as sunny and warm as the guests who sipped on cool drinks as they bobbed to the smooth tunes of the band.

The inevitable question, when you arrive at these events is: “So how do you know the couple?” The answer: “We met them at a Christmas market.”


The end of a challenging year

It was December 2022. We were coming to the end of an extremely challenging year. We had started out the year full of hope and positivity. That year, post Covid, past lockdowns and those awful ubiquitous masks was going to be a new start.

We followed our marketing plan, full of bubbles of possibility, we networked, presented our pitch, reached out across continents and over seas. We wrote mountains of emails, haystacks of articles, we propositioned and pivoted and created castles of content.

We might as well have been shouting into a cave. Or throwing pamphlets out of a balloon floating over a desert. Managing the algorithms of social media needed a PhD and being at the bottom of Africa helped very little. Nothing we tried made any difference.

When we got not one vague inkling of interest, never mind a booking, for the retreat we had worked so hard on, it felt as if the universe, laughing hard behind her cloud, was making it very clear that we were on the wrong path. The last straw slipped through our calloused hands leaving us bent and broken.

“We cannot go on like this,” said Chantal, one morning in September or was it October?

“No, we can’t,” agreed Matthew, feeling flat and angry. “What do we do?”

“We are going to have to look for jobs, employment, elsewhere.”

The thought made Chantal feel both nauseous and relieved. Imagine getting a regular salary and not having to stress over every cent? Imagine not panicking as the savings account got smaller and smaller?

But as she trawled through countless job ads her heart fell. Matthew despondently dusted off his CV, last looked at in 201. Chantal scrolled listlessly through hers, wondering how she could make a middle aged, privileged, white woman look in any way appealing in this market. Nevertheless, the CVs were buffed and together with cover letters were sent off into nowhere. As big a dark hole as the one they had been shouting into.


It’s honey jarring time or should that be jarring honey time…! Fresh, natural, tasty and oh so good for you. Raw honey is rich in antioxidants, which can protect the body from inflammation and it can be used as a topical treatment for wounds and burns.

A despairing December

December 2022 arrived clouded in despair, with a pervading sense of failure that opened to a deep well of worthlessness. But we put on a brave face, slapped on a smile and went to support Michaela, Judson’s then girlfriend, at the Christmas market at Cedar Square.

It was very hot but Michaela had landed a spot in a shady cool walkway. Directly across from her was a stall selling handmade Christmas decorations. Matthew, doing his usual making-friends thing, and attracted by the bright shweshwe material, sauntered over and struck up a conversation.

The two young women with bright smiles and sparkling eyes engaged eagerly. They made and sold these delightful decorations to fund their Lapland dream trip. The two of them loved to travel and Lapland was top of their bucket list. In their day jobs, one mentioned how stressed she had been of late.

“Ah,” said Matthew, “You could do with some of what we offer.” And he proceeded to tell them what we do at 5th Place.

“Oh, you sound like just the people we need where I work,” said the blonde one. “I’ll give you a call when we get back from our holiday.”

“Sure, yeah do,” said Matthew, certain that he would never hear from her again.

We had heard this so often over the past few years that we all but forgot about the two smiling stars as we left the market and committed to making the best of the festive season before facing the bleak reality of the coming year.


A soulmate and her angel, side hustling to get to Lapland! Our lives and countless others are immeasurably improved thanks to meeting them.

Surprise, surprise!

A surprise is a surprise because it is unexpected. Guess how we felt when we were contacted in the new year? We met at a local coffee shop. Passionate, driven and eternally upbeat, this angel needed no convincing from us. She trusted our work and, undoubting, she hired us. In doing so, she took us back to our roots to work with young people from under-resourced environments.

The minute we started working on the project it felt as if we had slipped back into the water facing down stream. It felt just right. It connected with who we are and what we wanted to do way back in the beginning. It secured our belief that the way to make an impact, the way to make the world a better place, was to start with the young.

Rather than try to pry open the sealed tight shells of so many adults, the cast long set by beliefs and upbringing that only a deep need or crisis would crack it open, working with young people gave us an early entry point that would allow us to instil skills and capabilities that would set them up for life.

Today we are in the second year of providing psychosocial support to the foundation that the angel heads up: Ikusasa Lethu.

And that’s how we met them, Robyn, our angel, and Leanne, her celestial soulmate. Being at their wedding was very much the icing on the top of a two tier cake.


You clean up well. Who? Us? Well both of you! A magical wonderland post the I-do’s.

A meeting of hearts

It really is true that you never know who you are going to meet and what effect they will have on your life. Matthew is our friend-maker. He has this wonderful ability to connect with others. He engages with a grace and patience that escapes Chantal who is always focused on what it was we were supposed to be doing here. And not on making friends and meeting people.

Thank goodness for Matthew. For someone who often wonders about his worth and contribution, meeting people and connecting with them has been a treasure trove of brilliance for this personal and professional partnership.

Matthew meets many people and shows up the same each time. He does it because that is who he is. Most people pass on by. Some stop and connect. A few recognise mutual opportunity. As Robyn and Leanne did.

It was not so much a meeting of the minds as it was a meeting of the hearts. Their hearts met and magic was made, they met Matthew and mixed magic with mirth. Their lightness and laughter echoes in the background as we work to lighten the emotional loads of the young people seeking a better life for themselves.

Every person that comes into our lives has a purpose. We don’t always know what that purpose is but it is useful to show up with care, respect and integrity. It could be the beginning of a shared destiny, a period of plaited connection before unwinding to a different path, or a momentary exchange as fleeting as the touch of a butterfly’s wing. Whatever it may be to touch another's existence is profound. Just notice, listen closely and feel the heart connection.

Until next time.

Yours in feeling,
Matthew & Chantal

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5th Place

5th Place is a dynamic organization that's passionate about emotional fitness. We're the creators of Shape of Emotion, a revolutionary tool that's changing the way we understand and manage our emotions. But we're not just about theory - we're about practical, tangible change.

We offer Emotional Fitness Classes and courses that help individuals, from children to adults, build emotional resilience and well-being. For our younger audience, we've created the Vibarealm, a vibrant universe that encourages a healthier interaction with emotions.

Join us on this journey to emotional fitness and let's make the world a better place together.

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