How much time is there?

There are 168 hours in one week. Do you know what you do with them all? Does it match what you would like to be doing? Even when we can see a mismatch it is hard to change our habits.

On another level, how much time do we have (in total)? Unless we have an appointment for voluntary euthanasia we would have to admit that we don’t know. We also don’t know how much time we have with our families, friends and acquaintances.

I started thinking about this after someone I know passed away last week. It is sad, but we were not close – however it made me consider whether I give enough thought and care to those I am close to.

It is so easy to put off telling people how much I care or asking questions about how others are really dealing with life. There is a sense that we have all the time in the world to do that. We don’t! At least I don’t.

Once again I am reminded to be awake to the  present moment and not to get caught up in thoughts about the past or fears about the future.

The present moment needs my full attention.

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It will pass …

In my life there are times when I experience intense emotions – sometimes good and sometimes not. I am sure we all do.  I have found that the secret to riding out these emotions is to try to remember the following:

  • My emotions are not me – they are but a tool or instrument in my experience of life
  • They will pass. Sometimes it feels like an eternity but just like the tides, my feelings ebb and flow and are forever changing – and that is OK!

This too shall pass

Tools to boost self esteem

Recently I wrote about dealing with negative feelings. It helps to have some tools or ideas to counteract them when they hit with full force. I developed this acronym a while ago and try to memorise it when I need some positive input. It is an acronym for the word CONFIDENCE and reminds me of what I am capable of or what I need to do to feel more confident.

C is for capable – I have the basic knowledge to do the task

O is for often – when I do something often I become more confident in my abilities.

N is for now – I need to focus on NOW and the task at hand.

F is for follow – I can follow instructions and directions rather than just guessing what is required.

I is for interest – if I have a genuine interest in what I am doing I am more likely to do it well.

D is for determination – if I am really determined to succeed, chances are that I will.

E is for elements –  I can break a task down to its smaller components and give full attention to each part.

N is for new – I need to be open-minded and curious about learning new tasks and that will get me there in the end.

C is for cheerfulness – if I approach the task with a cheerful attitude and be friendly to those around me the job will seem a lot easier.

E is for effort – putting in an effort and a bit of hard work can produce good results.

If I experience self-doubt I try to recall the above suggestions however it doesn’t really matter if I can’t remember them because I just look for another positive word beginning with the same letter.

It works for me 🙂

I was thinking of a new one today based on the word WIMP. I sometimes accuse myself of being a wimp. How about Warm, Intelligent, Magnificent, Person? Any other suggestions?

life

Life

I like to find image quotes online that capture how I am feeling. I came across this one this evening. I often feel like this – some days more than others!

I have this vague feeling that I missed out on getting the rule book handed out at birth :-). At least today I can accept that is just how I am and not fret about it too much.

life

Being ‘in the flow’

I recently discovered an interesting book titled Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. It was first published in 1990 by Harper and Row.

Here is a description of the book I copied from Amazon.com (where I purchased the book).

Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s famous investigations of “optimal experience” have revealed that what makes an experience genuinely satisfying is a state of consciousness called flow. During flow, people typically experience deep enjoyment, creativity, and a total involvement with life. In this new edition of his groundbreaking classic work, Csikszentmihalyi demonstrates the ways this positive state can be controlled, not just left to chance. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience teaches how, by ordering the information that enters our consciousness, we can discover true happiness and greatly improve the quality of our lives.

I am finding it easy to read and a refreshing change from much of the (wonderful) literature about mindfulness. Sometimes words like mindfulness become so over used that they lose their sense of meaning. The writer talks about giving our attention to whatever is before us.

Although I haven’t finished reading it yet, I feel comfortable in recommending it to readers interested in experiencing more flow in their day-to-day lives.003 (Copy)

It sounds like I was paid to review this book, but I promise I haven’t! It was just a link in an article I was reading online and before I knew what I was doing, I ordered a kindle edition as well as a hard copy 🙂

Health …

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I am thinking about ‘health’ for the past week. Not that I am sick or have any big revelations about it, but I am considering how we deal with whatever our health status is.

Some people make a big deal out of minor ailments and yet some others are silent and brave about serious concerns.

I believe that as we get older, the health system responds to us differently. This is when the doctor responds to your concerns with, “it is normal for that to happen at your age.” They don’t seem quite as enthusiastic about fixing us up as we get older.

Another aspect about health – do we talk about it? When is it appropriate and when is it not?

Should we be proactive and do our own research (via Dr Google) or trust in the knowledge and experience of our health care professionals – or a bit of both?

Then there is the scientific approach to health or the alternative therapies. I lean very much toward the medical model – maybe because Medicare will subsidize me if I see a doctor but I pay the full cost if I see someone who practices natural therapies.

What part does our mind play in our health? I am sure it plays a significant role but can we think ourselves better? I know we can think ourselves sick!

So there you have it – a week’s reflection on health, summed up in less than 300 words 🙂

Is perfection over-rated?

No matter how much personal growth I experience, there are times I am disappointed when I don’t meet my own expectations. I don’t know where this comes from – but every so often this little voice tells me I am not good enough. Is this something we all struggle with? How do we silence that voice of doubt?

Perfection

What do you like to talk about?

The idea for this post came from some questions raised by Eric Tonningsen‘s blog Awakening to Awareness.

So, what do you like to talk about? I don’t mean the casual exchanges and polite conversations with people who pass through our lives.

I have a real desire for deep and meaningful conversations – usually in a one on one situation. I like to think about possibilities for our shared future. I search for answers to the questions about why we still go to war knowing the enormous costs – especially to loss of life, property and our shared interests and history.

I also love talking to children aged from about three years old and above. I love the simplicity of how they see the world and I marvel and how much a child can see from such an early age.

It is also good to hear the wisdom of people who have lived a long life without becoming embittered by it. There is so much we can learn from our elders.

People who have hit rock bottom in their lives can also have a great clarity about what is important and how to do it – or at least where to start that journey.

Issues such as euthanasia, the death penalty, the customs and beliefs of other cultures and religions are also stimulating topics. I do not like to argue and very much believe in the philosophy of ‘live and let live’. I can sustain a conversation with someone whose views are totally different than mine and accept that they have the right to believe as they choose. I also hope others will offer me the same respect.

Scientific topics are interesting but my depth of knowledge is limited. I try to keep an open mind. I also  hope the scientists will keep an open mind as well and not defend their ideas for the sake of protecting a point of view. Science itself is evolving and we learn new things each day and sometimes dispose of past beliefs in the process.

I also like to listen to good jokes. I am not very good at telling them though 🙂DSC00512

 

Confidence

Life seems so much easier when we feel confident about what we are doing. Confidence doesn’t guarantee competence but it is a good start. Here are some thoughts about confidence …

C is for capable. I have the basic knowledge to do the task at hand.

O is for often. When I do something often I generally become more confident in my ability.

N is now. I will focus on the task at hand, now, and not try to do tomorrow’s work today.

F is for follow. It may mean following a recipe, some guidance, a style manual, or the instructions in a manual.

I is for interest. If I have a genuine interest in what I am doing, my interest will help me feel more confident.

D is for determination. If I aspire to do well – chances are, I will succeed if I am determined enough.

E is for elements. If I understand the basic elements of the task, I can then tackle them one by one until the task is completed.

N is for new. I am always be open to learning something new. It is ok to acknowledge I haven’t done something before, however, I am willing to learn new things  – in fact, I love to learn how to do new things!

C is for cheerful. If I can approach whatever I am doing with a cheerful attitude, my chances of success are greater.

E is for effort. I need to put in some effort and do the work that is required to the best of my ability.

Put all these together and you cannot help but have the CONFIDENCE to do whatever you need to do.

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