Mindfulness or situational awareness?

PACIFIC OCEAN (June 17, 2010) Operations Speci...

PACIFIC OCEAN (June 17, 2010) Operations Specialist 2nd Class Nahconian Douglas, left, Air Traffic Controller 2nd Class Nancy Real and Air Traffic Controller 2nd Class Megan Sanderson provide situational awareness for pilots from the tactical air control squadron aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5). Taylor is participating in theater security cooperation activities in the Adriatic Sea. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Edward Kessler/Released) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was watching at TV show about an investigation into an air crash. The findings revealed that the crew were so busy reading their charts they were not aware that their plane was flying toward a mountain range. The findings said they lacked situational awareness. They were so focused on one task that they lost the big picture of what was happening to the plane – and it ended in disaster with many lives lost.

A few hours later I was watching a medical documentary about emergency surgical procedures. A woman had surgery for a straight forward procedure and the surgical team had difficulty inserting the tubing for her to breathe. A re-enactment of the procedure showed how four or five medical professionals became increasingly stressed to the point they lost their situational awareness and the patient was starved of oxygen and went into a coma  – she died days later. There were alternative options open to the surgeons but they were so focused on fixing the problem they couldn’t see what was obvious to a non-medical observer.

The medical presenter coincidentally visited a flight training centre to see how they deal with similar situations of extreme pressure. He also visited a training centre for fire-fighters where decisions have to be made quickly while taking note of the overall scene and the details within each situation.

As I reflected on these situations I wondered how it is similar and how it differs from  mindfulness. I see mindfulness as being fully aware of what is going on around me and within me at the same time. It is different to a narrow-minded focus – it is not driven or under pressure.

I like the words, situational awareness and think it is worth reflecting on this occasionally as we go about our daily activities. It is so easy to get caught up in one thing and neglect others at the same time. Something to think about …




Weekly photo challenge: Saturated


Western Australia has two teams in the Australian Football League (AFL) – West Coast Eagles (my team) and the Fremantle Dockers. The Dockers made it to today’s  Grand Final (you may have already worked that out!) but the Eagles didn’t have a very good year.

Unfortunately the Dockers were beaten by Hawthorn (Hawks) but they put up a good fight. Maybe next year?

All the articles are taken from today’s paper – The Weekend West



Gnomesville Massacre

This week we had a short break at a Farm Stay in Ferguson Valley – about one hour’s drive from home. It is situated just down the road from Gnomesville. Last year Gnomesville received international attention with the following article on NBC News –  NBC News Gnomesville Massacre.

Vandals smashed their way through this special little community – heads were broken off and several gnomes were smashed. The State Emergency Service Volunteer President spoke to the media about this tragic event.

A few years before the massacre, a local Ferguson Valley woman saw the first gnome appear out of nowhere. At this time the locals were very concerned about changes to the road layout and many protested against the changes. That’s when the gnome population greatly increased and  joined their silent protest about the road changes. Today a roundabout manages the traffic at the intersection and it is said that the gnomes love to go round and round! Read the history of Gnomesville on their website.

I can share some photos I took this week. Word has spread that it is bad luck to injure a gnome and they are receiving more respect from visitors now 🙂

Ferguson Valley 023 (Copy)



What is in a name?

English: Head-piece to Joel. Joel 2:1. Vignett...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My (and their Dad’s) choice of names for my three sons were:

Robert Peter – my brothers’ names are Robert and Peter and my Uncle’s name was Peter Roy. My son’s Dad, Grandfather and Great Grandfather and so forth were all called Robert. I also have a nephew called Robert. We called Robert by his second name, Peter, for some time before reverting back to Robert.

Andrew Joseph – My Grandfather’s name was Joseph. We found Andrew’s name in the Bible as being Peter’s brother. And it is a good Scottish name following his father’s ancestry.

Joel Stephen – the Bible again! Joel comes from the prophet Joel in the Old Testament. Stephen is in the New Testament and gives life to Joel’s prophesy.



Weekly Photo Challenge: From lines to patterns

Have you ever wondered what to do with yourself while the car wash cleans your car? Easy – take some photos with your smart phone!

I did offer to wash the car by hand but my husband suggested we drive to the car wash instead. I didn’t need much convincing 🙂

I took the following photos recently while staying in Mandurah. I posted them once before but I thought they were just made for this topic 🙂



Daily Prompt: Regrets – I’ve had a few

Channel St (2)

What’s your biggest regret? How would your life have been different if you’d made another decision?

Well let me make it absolutely clear that I wouldn’t change anything in my life as I believe things happen for a reason and our experiences make us the people that we are today!

However, I am going to suspend that thought so that I can play around with this blog post. For a start, I would address the following:

  • I would be a stable, self-confident teenager with lots of interests, including sport
  • I would complete high school with excellent results
  • From there I would go on to University to develop my skills, knowledge and life experience
  • I would not have married at eighteen as I wasn’t even sure who I was at that age
  • I can never regret having my three sons – the best thing I ever did!
  • I would enjoy a career that somehow related to writing and I would become very knowledgeable and confident in my field of interest
  • I would continue to take part in sport throughout my life – enhancing my health and fitness today
  • If I had the opportunity to re-do my role as a parent I would be a better mum in all possible ways
  • I would also be a better daughter and appreciate, love and respect my parents a lot more and not take them for granted.

So, back to reality … I did the best I could with what I knew then. That is all we can do 🙂



Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

It is really cold and wet here today. One of the photos was taken through the fly wire from my bedroom window and the other through the car window. It was really good to be INSIDE 🙂

Hopefully curiosity will urge you to wonder what these containers have INSIDE.



Daily Post: on the edge

Cape Naturaliste 030

Daily Post Challenge – We all have things we need to do to keep an even keel — blogging, exercising, reading, cooking. Well, what do you do when things don’t go as you hoped or if you hit the proverbially wall?

For me, I do the following:

  • take one hour at a time and plan what I want to do in that hour. If things are really bad I might break it down to the next fifteen minutes
  • if I have to face someone when feeling at rock bottom I remember my former boss’s advice – smile and keep breathing – no-one will notice what you are feeling inside
  • do a mind map – or more appropriately, a mind dump. I get a sheet of paper and write down everything that is going on in my head. I might then lump them together in categories, allocate a level of importance, or ask myself what I CAN change and what I CAN’T. If I can’t change something I decide to try acceptance and move on.
  • seek out nature – the beach, forest, parkland or similar – very calming and good for the soul
  • reflect on my past achievements – write them down if that might help me feel better
  • think about what has gone well in my life – today and in the past – make a list
  • think about someone else and decide to do something for them with a compassionate heart – it alters the way I feel about myself
  • consider how this current situation will impact on  me in the future – one year; two years; five years and so forth – that can help get things into perspective
  • if none of the above work there is always the option of snuggling up in my bed and feeling the warmth and comfort of some time out

There are probably hundreds of different ways to deal with being ‘on the edge’. I would love to hear what works for you.