Easy Assembly (Part Two)

Well I completed one of the two bedside tables today! I wouldn’t say it was easy though. Lots of little challenges that caused me to sit and stare at the instructions for minutes at a time!

It was good to do something with my  hands and to do something that needed attention to detail. I am usually  a “big picture” person and like others to look after the detail so this project was good for me for that reason. Only one more to go! It is not perfect but I would give myself about 7 out of 10 :)!

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.

present moment

 

The inner critic – an interesting twist

criticism

No doubt you will know what I mean when I talk about my inner critic. It is that ever present voice in my head that tells me I should …

  • do better
  • say or not say something
  • lose weight and exercise more
  • work harder
  • achieve more
  • be happier
  • help others more
  • and so forth

I am aware of my inner critic some of the time and at other times it has full rein.

This is where Donal Trump plays a role! I dreamt last night that I was working for him and no matter what I did it wasn’t good enough. I was nearly fired every time I encoutered him in my daily work. When I reflected on my dream this morning I interpreted it to mean that my inner critic has a lot of Mr Trump’s characteristics. I am basing this on his reality TV show The Apprentice.

So now I will have no hesitation in naming this inner critic, Donald, and showing him the door and saying ” You are fired!”

 

 

 

The Flying Monkey

I love this post from Nancy at Spirit Lights the Way and the freedom it suggests 🙂

Spirit Lights The Way

2014-11-17 12-05-45_0022Once upon a place and time, a monkey flew through the jungle, clinging and swinging from vine to vine.

Ignorant of his true nature, he clung to the belief that he could fly only when swinging and clinging from one vine to the next.

He swung as he clung and clung as he swung.

Afraid to “let go.”

Until the day he woke up and remembered who he was.

No longer attached to the vines and entwined beliefs that had held him back, he found his wings and soared.

FlyLike a flying monkey, the Mind swings from thought to thought until we wake up and “let go.”

No longer attached to stories about the past or future fears, we fly through the Eternal Now.

And live happily ever after on a moment by moment basis.

Aah . . . that’s better!

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Assertive or aggressive?

I have never been very good at dealing with conflict. I just don’t like it!

Never-the-less, we are sometimes caught in situations where we either give in too easily on the one hand or, alternatively, get too angry.  I came across this little story recently and thought it was worth sharing (again) as I believe it provides an alternative to the extremes of not acting and reacting in a negative way.

Once there was a snake with a rather bad attitude. The small village near where the snake lived was very fearful of this snake because he would strike without warning and devour its prey. It was known to eat hens, dogs, and even big animals like cows. The villagers gathered at the edge of the field, and with drumming and shouting, and sticks and stones, made up their minds to find the snake and kill it.

A holy man came upon this loud and angry crowd and asked, “What is this about?” The villagers told him of the snake’s villainy. The holy man asked, “If I make this snake stop doing these evil deeds, will you spare his life?” The villagers reluctantly agreed to give the snake – and the holy man – one chance.

The holy man entered the field and commanded the snake to come to him. “What issss it?” the snake hissed. The holy man’s words were simple: “Enough! There is no need for this. There is plenty of food without eating the villager’s animals.” The holy man spoke with kindness and authority and the snake knew his words to be true. He nodded in agreement and slithered away.

It was not long before the villagers discovered that the snake would not harm them. They were grateful, but some of the villagers in their anger over what had been done, began to beat the snake with sticks and stones. The abuse continued until he could take no more and hid underneath a large rock, determined not to break its word to the holy man. “Why is this happening to me?” he said, “ I followed the holy man’s words.” Soon the fearful snake was near death from the beatings and the lack of food.

One day, he heard the footsteps of the holy man and with his last bit of strength crawled out to meet him on the path. The holy man, seeing how terribly beaten and sickly the snake looked, asked, “What has happened to you?” The snake told the story of the beatings and torment and how for days it had hidden underneath a rock to protect itself.

The holy man stood silently shaking his head. “Oh, foolish snake,” he said, “I told you not to bite but I did not tell you not to hiss.”  With this the snake understood and slithered away.

optimism

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

Legacy and Learning

microscopic view

I love learning new things. My most recent ‘new thing’ is learning how to write feature articles. It is online learning through the Australian Writers Centre. It is a great course and I am getting a lot out of it.

One exercise was to interview a fellow student and write a profile about them. I paired up with Miranda from Queensland and we agreed to a Skype interview. We stuck to the ten minutes recommended and it was really interesting.

Miranda emailed me after the Skype session and asked if she could interview me again about what ‘legacy’ meant to me. I had a few days to think about it. I became aware of how little thought I had given to what my legacy is, or would be, after I am gone.

If you would like to read what Miranda wrote, here is the link to her site and the article Red Hat Chronicles. 

I hope you enjoy it and maybe think a little about what your legacy might be :-).

 

If you had three wishes, what would they be?

wishesI chose this question out of 48 Questions to Ask Your Kids by Erin Waters & Momastery (Momastery). It is a resource to “Unlock the hearts of your little ones using these keys to great family conversation”.

I thought the questions could also double as interesting prompts for blog topics.

Now, let me think about this important question for a minute or two …

1. My first wish is to ask for peace of mind. A mind that is calm and confident yet humble, grateful and open.

2. My second wish is for health, happiness and peace of mind for my family, friends and neighbours.

3. My third wish is for the rise of a new way of doing and seeing life where we can live in harmony with each other regardless of our race, wealth or poverty, religion or cultural differences. Our current system of capitalism and democracy does not make the greatest outcome for ALL. It may serve us well in many ways but perhaps there are other paths not yet traveled.

If we were all able to experience good health, happiness and peace of mind then perhaps a new perspective may be possible where we can all live together in peace and mutual support.

So, what would your three wishes be?

The flow state

I am reading (still) Flow – The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihaly and published by Harper Perennial – first published in 1990. It is one of those books where I keep going “Aha!” as I discover the writer has put my jumbled thoughts into eloquent words that seem quite profound. It is not often I find a book that answers so many questions for me.

I could not do it credit by trying to explain his findings but I would really encourage you to read it. One of the things that appeals to me is that it not pop psychology but seems to have some real research behind it.

To quote a New York Times Book Review, “Flow is important … The way to happiness lies not in mindless hedonism, but in mindful challenge.”

Visual for being in the flowI spoke to a friend on the phone yesterday (we haven’t caught up in many months) and I recommended this book to her. She was amazed at the coincidence as she was just about to put in an online order for the very same book – how is that for synchronicity?

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 🙂