Me,Me, Me, Me, Me, Me, Me,

Just saying the name of this post, could, for some, sound like a pleasant vocal warmup. This however has nothing to do with singing. It’s about the people, that always put themselves first. The days of chivalry might be extinct, or close to it. In an age of equality, most people are quite alright with not holding the door for a lady, or failing to give up their seats on a busy bus. It appears to be the norm now, that youngsters remain seated, while visibly frail people are left standing.

I have witnessed first hand, people holding a door open, and then at the last minute walk away and let the door close before the person gets there. Is this some sort of twisted comic relief? If you are a healthy mobile adult, then you are truly blessed. There are a multitude of people that can not say that. The reason so many mobility shops are in business is because there is a significant portion of the population, that rely on walkers, canes, mobility scooters or wheelchairs to get around.

It isn’t some new age fashion statement, it is a necessity,. If you need to use these aids, it isn’t because you want to. There are people of all ages, that put themselves first without exception. As long as they are alright, then life is good. Yes, for them, but certainly not anyone else.

Naturally, we all try and look after ourselves and provide for our families and love ones. That is how it should be. That doesn’t mean we don’t have to consider other people though. Everyone, from the person on the street, to royalty, have feelings. We all, collectively make up mankind. Where is the compassion if we all only focus on ourselves?

No one, goes through life, without needing help from someone else at some point. Right from birth, we rely on people to care for us, until we know how to take care of ourselves. When we can stand on our own two feet, who taught us the skills to get there? It was other people Wether it is moral support from a friend during a rough day, spiritual guidance to find your own path. A mentor, sharing their knowledge, or an emotional port in the storm. We all will need each other along the way. Circumstances can change in a heartbeat. Roles can be reversed, and you could be the one in need of help.

Life is a complex blend of ups and downs… let’s look out for one another, a kind word, or gesture, could go a long way to making someone’s day better. If you already make a point of lending a helping hand, or putting yourself out there for others, may I say thank you, and keep up the good work. If you really believe that you are all you will ever need, perhaps this post might get you thinking. Next time someone needs your seat, let’s hope you will rise, and share with others less fortunate. Let’s do what we can when we can. That way we might just get a helping hand when our turn comes.

The Whirlwind Of Daily Living

In the whirlwind of daily living, is getting where you are going, more important, than being where you are? My sweetheart nearly got run over the other day by a driver, so intent on getting where he wanted to go, that he made a turn right in front of him. His only option was to lock the brakes of his bicycle and try and stop his natural momentum from dragging him under the vehicle. When it comes to a showdown between a bike and a vehicle the bike always looses. Thankfully, his bicycle handling abilities were such, that he avoided an almost certain collision which would have caused severe injury or potential death. If like cats, we have 9 lives, he used one up on that maneuver. The vehicle kept going, no apologies, or checking to see if he was alright. It was just as though nothing had happened.

If my husband had not been fully aware of his surroundings, he would not have been able to react, and the outcome would certainly have been quite different. Yes the driver was 100% at fault, but who would have been the one paying the price?

Just the other day, I was doing a routine crossing of a crosswalk, I had the walk signal and felt safe to cross the busy road. That didn’t stop a vehicle going at breakneck speeds running a red light, and passing inches from where I stood.

I am not talking solely about distracted driving, it’s more distracted living that has me alarmed. In the John Lennon song Beautiful Boy ( Darling Boy ) from his Double Fantasy album there is a lyric that goes

life is what happens to you, while you’re busy making other plans.

A gifted songwriter indeed. The words are so truthful. Many of us can lay claim to fantasizing about a big lotto win, or a nice tropical vacation, harmless fun really, as long as it doesn’t begin to own our thoughts.

For a moment, bring your mind into this very moment, as you are reading the words before you. Don’t concern yourself with your ever growing must do list. Feel the joy of being alive, in this moment. Settle into the richness of simply being.

If you find yourself believing that you will be happy when ….. you find true love…. get rich… or own your own home perhaps, it just might mean that you are selling yourself short. What if you didn’t have a tomorrow? would you still spend your time the same way? is it that important, that something else occupies your thoughts?

We all need to be sensible. Yes plan for your future, just don’t live in it, until it becomes the here and now. Enjoy this day and this moment. Feel the world around you. Experience being you… tomorrow will unfold soon enough. Not only will it make each moment matter, you just might avoid killing someone, simply because you weren’t paying attention.

Just think how that would change your life forever, and the lives of the people that love you. This agonizing future is preventable just by being in the moment… face it, you wouldn’t kill someone intentionally, does that change the fact that someone could be dead because of your actions? No my friend it doesn’t. Life is all about choices, don’t choose to be mindlessly attempting to do many things and achieving nothing.

Fears

Fears, we all have them, wether we admit it to ourselves or not. It might appear silly to you, when someone is frightened of something that to you seems easy. You need only take a moment though, to envision your own fears, and you can’t help but begin to relate.

Fears of hight, storms, falling, animals, flying, swimming, or even being alone …. the fears are as individual as we are. We aren’t even restricted to only one. One fear could even intensify another one. My goodness, what a tangled web we find ourselves in.

Avoidance at all cost, is a common remedy. That might work for a time, however sooner or later, despite our best efforts, we find ourselves face to face with one of our fears. Now what!!!!

Do we run, seek professional help, ignore it and hope it goes away, or face the fear. What was that last one???? Face it, I would rather die. Well no, not really, but it will probably kill me, right? There we go again our minds race, the heart is clearly pounding, to the point that we swear it can be heard miles away. The sweat begins and the knees shake, making us barely able to keep ourselves from falling into a heap. Yes, there is much work ahead, if we are to be victorious.

There is a big difference between being nervous and being scared. On my , there would never be a reason to do this list. I am fine with never jumping out of a plane voluntarily as an example. I can have a rewarding life without that. Fear of death is common, and yet it will happen. We just don’t know when or how. So we can consciously avoid some fears, but for others, we just have to allow ourselves to feel the fear.

Not knowing how to do something is often fearful. Everything we do has had to be taught to us. As a child, life is full of firsts, we are in a constant state of learning. As we age, we somehow get to a point that we think we know all we need to know. Then when something new comes along it’s frightening, because we didn’t know we would need to know something, and hadn’t planned for it.

I find, if you challenge yourself to move out of your comfort zone on a regular bases things become slightly less scary. The challenges, are still there to be faced, however I seem to be more able to stay calm and carry on.

You can’t just paste on a big smile, grit your teeth and get through it, not authentically anyway. You might have met the challenge for now, but the fear will take centre stage, when faced with the same demons later on.

We don’t know what we don’t know. One thing is true though, there is far more that we will never know about, than what we draw on as our own personal knowledge base. Be open minded. Like a window that is shut tightly. Nothing can get in, if there is no way to enter.

Ask someone for help, watch how others cope. If this is a life long fear, then acknowledge that. If the fear pattern has been part of the very fibre of your being for decades, don’t expect a quick fix. You can do a band aid repair, or you can deal with building a new ability. It’s always a choice of a quick temporary fix, or a slow and steady change.

Don’t let age be an excuse not to do the work. It’s just an excuse to avoid the situation, in hopes that it will go away. You can’t teach an old dog a new trick, may or may not be true as it pertains to a dog. For people though, the only time we stop learning is when we choose to.

There is always a price to be paid

 

Because I was beyond hopeless, with anything athletic growing up, it is not much of a mental stretch to imagine how elated I was, when I got to grade 12 and physical education was no longer a mandatory part of the curriculum, Hallelujah !!! I graduated at 16, so my structured physical activity stopped at 15 and I was just fine with that.

if you think about it though, we all get 11 years of physical fitness up to our graduation from high school. Then nothing, if we live into our 80’s or beyond, that means 60 years of being sedentary, unless we move because we want to. No wonder so many of us are in a mess.

When we are small, all we want to do is run around and play. Through play, we discover and develop movement. It’s all a natural part of growing up. In school there is structured physical activity. Wether we are naturally gifted or not, each sport season is cycled through each year, in the hopes that we learn a little about almost every sport under the sun.

I have said before, that the only reason I passed any physical education class, was for one of two reasons, rewarding my genuine effort, or the teacher didn’t want to deal with me again for another year, because clearly no one could get through to me when it involved moving my body.

When you aren’t athletic, spare time is taken up, not by team mates, practices and games, but by studying or hanging out with the family. At home, I was just me. It didn’t matter, that I couldn’t do gymnastics or balls slipped through my hands rather than me catching them.

I embraced work life, I enjoyed it all, even the shift work. This, to me, was what being an adult was all about. I had a sedentary job, sitting at a desk, moving only to get to the lunchroom for my break. It was a very, rule oriented job at the beginning. You had to put up a flag, to be relieved for breaks or for a call of nature, and wait for someone to give you the OK to leave. It seems barbaric now. As a teenager though, I didn’t question authority. I thought even calling adults by their first name was a big deal. Challenging them was not something I would do.

As the years progressed, I got different jobs within the company. As my husband would put it though, I drove a desk, and did so proudly, for almost 30 years. This might seem crazy to be saying this only now, but…… was I destined to have my nightmare neurological pain all along, because of my lack of movement? I am not saying, that it was the only cause. I have MRI’s that would back that fact up, but it certainly didn’t help.

Somehow I had slipped through the cracks. I was never shown how to move properly. So when the pains began to invade my existence, I did the only thing I knew. I stopped moving, because it hurt. Heck it wasn’t hard, because it wasn’t as though I did tons of stuff. I began to watch a program today called Forever Painless, with Miranda Edmonds-White. In it, she said, that not moving was just as bad for you as smoking is.

I have never seen a sign, or television ad telling me of the need to move. For smoking, the government regulates the age we can legally purchase cigarettes,. Cigarette brands are obstructed from view so that minors aren’t tempted. There are multiple taxes on each package as a deterrent. Governement supported programs to help you quit. You won’t see ads recommending any cigarette brand, that is illegal. Only when I watch very old programs on the television, do I ever see anyone smoking. Now E cigarettes are all the rage. Yes things are being done ,both good and bad, to tackle the problems associated with smoking.

When it comes to moving though,or lack of it, there isn’t anything like those things available, that I am aware of. You don’t find tax breaks to cover gym memberships or fees for sports teams waived. If I owned even a fair size business, I  would provide access to a good gym for the employees. It could really cut done costs of sick time, and lower stress levels.  Things got continually worse, when I did nothing, and that choice stole my health. Monthly passes to a local rec centre so that people could remain active, has to be a better use of money, than the huge cost associated with dealing with a medical condition that has been made worse by not moving.

The cost to the medical health system for me, was in the thousands, no, likely more like hundreds of thousands of dollars. When you factor in the surgeries. I am just one person. I didn’t compound things by smoking or drinking, but just like the smoker or alcoholic I ended up in the same place, filtering through our medical system.

Even a small amount of movement is beneficial, that benefit compounds over time. The more that you do, the more that you can do. No, I am not suddenly running marathons, or triathlons, but I most certainly am moving.

I hear you, “how can I move if it hurts” ? I asked the same question, then I sat down. How well did that work out for me? I would be on the verge of some even more horrific medical nightmare by now if I hadn’t moved.

There is that voice again…. ” my pain is my pain, you just don’t get it”. Well I think I might have a good idea. Let’s say, you are right, I haven’t had your pain, you are quite right there, and you haven’t had mine. It isn’t a contest.

What I will say though is this, if we are even remotely similar, you want the pain to stop. It doesn’t even matter what the cause of the pain is. Unless you physically are immobile, move what you can. If you are able bodied enough, simply don’t ask someone else to do something you are capable of doing. Take your own dishes to the sink. Carry the bags of groceries, weight training has great benefits. Under proper supervision, weight training can increase bone density. That means less risk of breaking our bones. Who doesn’t want that.

Park your car a block or two from your destination and walk. Make the effort to take the stairs rather than an elevator or escalator.  Even housework, is exercise. Just like brushing your teeth is a daily ritual, make your own movement magic a daily thing.

I don’t care if my medical plan paid for my surgeries, or if my pain medication was partially reimbursed by insurance. No matter what the cost…. The personal price is  just too high . Don’t let your quality of life became diminished, beyond recognition. Life is too short, no matter how long we live, to agree to let that happen. Each day matters.

If what I am suggesting, is beyond you today, make time at every opportunity to visualize your success. Visualize the movement. Make yourself battle ready when the day comes that you can commit to moving.

This might be considered a rant, when actually that’s not it at all really. This is nothing short of a battle cry. My personal battle cry is the song

FIGHT SONG by Rachel Platten .

The chorus sums things up perfectly.

This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I’m alright song
My powers turned on
Starting right now I’ll be strong
I’ll play my fight song
And I don’t really care if nobody else believes
Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me.

Be that warrior that is inside you, and get a move on.
If you are blessed to be pain free, but know someone that isn’t, take a moment and send this to them, or direct them to this blog post. That one small action could change everything for that person. What do they have nothing to loose and everything to gain.

 

Doing Without

 

We all want, what we want. That’s all about being human, after all. The narcissists among us take that to the extreme. Instantly we can all think of people that do not settle for not having it all.

How much is enough? Will we find contentment in that sparkly item in the jewelry shop window, the newest vehicle of choice perhaps. Or, can we be happy with a nice warm bed and food in the cupboard.

I can look at my cupboards and say with all authenticity, that there is nothing to eat. That simply isn’t true. I should actually say, there is nothing in my cupboards that I fancy eating. That is the reality. In all honesty, there is probably enough food for several weeks if I want to be creative.

Is it just our perceptions then, that have us believing that we have nothing? I was speaking to my mother in law the other day. Within the chat, she mentioned that she has the flu. I don’t know why I did this, but when I finished the call, I was telling my husband that his mum was feeling poorly. Then I asked him, what he thought homeless people did when they got the flu. It isn’t as though they could go to the medicine cabinet, make up a Neo Citran grab a box of Kleenex and crawl back into bed until they feel better.

There are a multitude of reasons why people become homeless. It could be shear economics, addictions, escapism, self survival, or even just a case of plain giving up.
Ask any small child , what they want to be when they grow up . Usually it’s a doctor lawyer, perhaps a ballet dancer or actress. What you won’t hear is. I want to grow up to be a homeless person,

In every nation across the planet, there are people that are without. Without adequate food, shelter, or health provisions. It is a long day, when you have nothing. You experience the full 24 hours of each day. You can’t just pass time over a fancy Starbucks coffee, or let a few hours drift by caught up in the latest episode of Dateline, or binging of a season of your favourite program on Netflix. There isn’t wifi to entertain you, unless you have a computer.

Yes there are all kinds of programs out there to help people that are less fortunate. That might be a topic for a future post. For today, I challenge you to donate something. Something that you can do without, that could help someone else. Donate a toy that your child has outgrown, the sweater that you rarely wear or some of that food you don’t fancy or perhaps household items that you can’t remember using.

The next time that you are in a store and see a buy one get one free, if you don’t need the second item, and it is non perishable thing, make someone’s day and donate it.

BEING WITHOUT

The day lingers,
Countless seconds trapped within my existence.
Weary
Finding my way among the frightening unknown
Shivers cling to me like a well worn coat.
Invisible solitude.
Endless

Caution Children Playing

 

When we look at things with childlike wonder, it can be a beautiful moment . Experiencing that amazement and utter joy in the simplicity of life. Children can play with all their heart. Running, jumping, skipping, it doesn’t seem to matter. The children are just being free, exploring their abilities, and learning how to play with one another.

Because children are learning about how to act appropriately with other people, they do get it wrong quite often. They might fight or grab a toy that isn’t theirs. That is forgivable, because they are only little. So as adults, we use that moment as a teaching opportunity. The little one is shown what the right thing to do is, they are told to apologize and we move on with the rest of our day. There might be consequences, a cherished toy taken away for a period of time, or perhaps an early night. At the end of the day though, the situation has passed.

Sometimes the same lesson needs to be repeated almost daily, eventually though we all learn that we must PLAY NICE. Unfortunately, even though everyone has been told the same thing either by their parents, family, school officials, or classmates, not everyone decides to confirm to socially accepted practices.

We still meet the mean ones, or the bullies from time to time even as adults. It is never a pleasant encounter, and you just want to get out of there in one piece. It took a very long time to finally realize that more often than not, the bullies are far more insecure than we give them credit for.

By and large, once we get out of school and become a young adult, we have better coping mechanisms and can stand our ground when we are backed into a corner. We also have a better sense of who we enjoy spending our time with.

The better someone knows us, the more ammunition they have to harm us. They have perfect positioning at the control panel and can push our button whenever the whim strikes. The thing is, because they love us, they don’t do that. They know what it takes, and find other ways to reach us in a kinder fashion.

Buttons can inadvertently be pushed, we still react the same way, simply because that is how we are wired. We have a better sense of forgiveness though, if the trigger was detonated by accident, rather than with malice aforethought.

As adults we clearly know what is right and wrong. It is our own moral compass that dictates which side we find ourselves on.

It might be a pack mentality thing, now that I think about it. When alone, a person might be nice and sweet and caring, yet in a pack they find it quite acceptable to be mean, say hurtful things or bully you into doing something you don’t want to do. This is wrong, in so many ways, that I could lose count.

If someone is truly a friend, then they are a friend in both your thoughts and your actions. Not just someone nice if they are in front of you. As an adult, if you want to play games, join a sports team and play to your hearts content.

Peoples emotions are not something to play with. Serious long term damage can be done to other people when you don’t value people’s emotions.

As Bob Marley once said, ”Everyone is going to hurt you, you just have to find the ones worth suffering for.” I really like that statement. I am blessed to know and love some amazing people that I would be willing to suffer for.

It is one thing to be joyful and childlike playing with toys or rolling in the grass. Then you want the Caution Children Playing signs to protect them, in order for them to savour the moment.

On the other hand, when you have to put up a caution sign because an adult thinks it is cool to act like a jerk and treat people like they don’t matter. Then that my friend is an entirely different matter. You know better.

In conclusion, we all know people that won’t play nice unless everything is their way, and done on their terms. If you are a victim of such behaviour, hold your head high, walk away from the situation, take whatever time you need to restore your sense of a positive self and embrace life.

These bullies are larger than life, because we let them be. Don’t let their poor choices define who you are. Tell a trusted friend, that will not judge you, and allow yourself to heal. The mean ones are not worthy of your kind nature.

 

Emotional GPS

 

We have all kinds of ways to find where we are physically, Maps, street signs, house numbers, and the Cadillac of these aids the mighty GPS. Rockets can be guided to distant planets, that we can’t even see in the sky. We are technically an advanced species.

When it comes to our emotional centre though, we are pretty much on our own. Don’t get me wrong, there are psychologist, social workers, sociologists, psychiatrists therapists etc. All doing good work, in their chosen fields.

What I am getting at, is that physically, there are people that choose not to see a doctor, for too many reasons to list, but we know, if things are bad, we get ourselves to the doctor. If it is urgent we can even be transported by medical personnel with sirens flashing and be taken care of at a local hospital.

Unless I have missed something entirely, I do not ever recall going to my DR. for an emotional wellbeing check up. In my most difficult times, I could have easily received anti depressants. Personally for me, I want to know that I am having a good day, because I am having a good day. I don’t want to question if I am only thinking I am having a good day because of medication. That is just me. Obviously, there are a large amount of people, that prefer,medication, or should I say need it.

Ask most people what they have done lately for their emotional health, and you will likely be met with silence, and that deer in the headlights look. You could literally stop people in their tracks with that question.

Face it, most healthy adults, likely take our body functions for granted. The body just is. I never for example, dwell on if my colon functions well, or if my spleen, is happily doing its thing. The main attention grabbers are, the stomach. It aches when it is not pleased. The head might pound, and old injuries can return at the most inopportune moments. Then again any pain or discomfort is never a welcome intrusion.

We have some clues that the body isn’t happy. They might begin small, and build until we actually can no longer ignore them. So the priority shifts, the situation is dealt with, and the crisis passes.

Our emotional self gives clues as well, but we are so programmed to ignore them. So,much so, that our emotional selves might as well be wrapped up in some sort of magical invisibility cloak. Perhaps that’s why we hear people say, “I felt invisible.”

The down side of mental wellbeing, is that for many, we are self diagnosing. You go through anything traumatic, which we all do at some point. Suddenly there is probably PTSD. Or you do something more than once, and it is an obsessive compulsive disorder. The next thing you know, you find yourself googling your new condition, and you take that on going forward.

Yes I took my physical being for granted probably my whole life. Now I am thinking about such things as spinal waves and fluid movement. Creating physical balance, rather than accepting the life long fact that my balance until now, was never functioning as it should.

In this day and age, so many people are checking out. Mind altering drugs are a global multi billion dollar business. Available almost anywhere. Wether it’s to reach a new high, or to experience the numbness that people search for. Drugs are never going away.

It isn’t just drugs that people turn to, when dealing , or is it running away from, our thoughts and realities, There are all kind of replacements out there. Gambling, drinking, eating, you know, what your own defence strategy is. It might even be a blend of a few things, depending on your mood.

If you aren’t doing any of those things, does that mean you aren’t’ checked out ? Look again, is your escape route, some sort of social media connection, so it is acceptable?
Is your social life, checking Facebook and everything everyone else is doing? is it just a harmless connection, or are you actually losing more than you are gaining?

Are the people around you really less important than the latest status update on a friends Facebook page? We would all probably say of coarse not and mean it. The thing is, what are our actions saying?

My internal lie detector mechanism is set, so that whenever, someone’s words, do not match their actions, it is never the actions that are the lie, it is the words. Are you believing that you are present in the moment, connected to those you love, and yet truly closing yourself off. Only you know that.

So before researching local mental health professionals, or buying the latest books on psychology, first take an inventory of your coping mechanisms. Friends….. check. Long walks …. check….. hot cup of tea or favourite beverage of your choice….. check. Don’t forget to do a mental check in. Look to see if your words and actions are harmonious.

Our best selves thrive in a harmonious balance of mental and physical wellbeing. When we continually separate the mental and physical , it is like saying , my heart is my heart, but my body is my body. Neither functions independently. It is that balance that makes us whole. Together we thrive, apart, we can never find the contentment we all search for.

 

The Holiday Effect

 

As another holiday is upon us, I can’t help but be reminded, of how difficult a time it is for many people. Ask anyone, and you will hear entirely different accounts of why they struggle around holidays from each person.

A common theme, is missing family or friends. Being alone, when everyone else has somewhere to go or someone to be with. I get that, for me, my family lives all over the map. When we get together, rarely, is it over a traditional holiday. It’s logistics more than anything. If you were to ask, we would all, like nothing more ,than spending quality time together. Is it going to happen any time soon? The answer is no. We just make up for it when we do get to be together.

For those of us, looking from the outside in, at all the other people having “fun” I will let you in, on a rarely shared fact. Not everyone will be having a great time. You can feel more alone in a room full of people than when you are actually alone. There is a reason why, when all those happy photos that are posted on line, are being taken, someone is invariably saying SMILE. That is a prompt, because not everyone is feeling like smiling.

If you base how your day should play out, on what everything looks like, you just might be short changing yourself. It’s sometimes an obstacle course to pull off the perfect holiday. I can say the usual, meet with friends, serve at a neighbourhood outreach centre. Find a good movie on Netflix, make a good size bowl of buttery popcorn, and settle in and escape in the telling of the story. More than that though, give yourself permission to feel good.

There are people, that actually prefer to be alone, rather than adding to the difficulty of the day, by surrounding themselves with people. There is no wrong decision, as each is individual.
Holidays might be tough, but are you making it tougher than you need to?

If you will feel better after a good cry, then grab the Kleenex and let the tears flow. It might be good to remember, as you put things in perspective, while wiping the freshly created tear on your cheek,  that someone somewhere, is having their worst day ever, while others are having their very best day, for most of us though, we sit somewhere comfortably in the middle.

NYEPI, The Bali day of silence

 

I have a keen interest in learning about other cultures, and different religions around the world. This weekend, I had the pleasure to get to know a delightful woman that was from Indonesia. She was telling me about the Bali day of silence.

It is a yearly Hindu celebration that is commemorated every Isakawarsa (Saka new year) The date changes yearly. The next NYEPI festival is March 17 2018. On that day, while the Irish will be making merry, celebrating St Patrick’s day, the Balinese people will be spending the day in silence, fasting and meditating. Everyone literally stays home, no one ventures out of their houses, there is no working. Even the only airport is closed. The only exception is for security personnel and emergency services responding to life threatening situations, or for women that are in labour. There is no travel, even beaches are off limits. For the strict followers, there is no TV, radio, computer use, electricity, or food consumed. No speaking, just spending the day in self reflection. It begins at 6:00 AM to 6:00AM the following day.

The fact that the whole island of over 4,000,000 does this, fascinates me. It seems almost impossible these days just to get people to put down their phones. You need only look at the countless cases of texting and driving to see that things have gotten out of hand.

Face it, the only time most of us ,would go an entire day without speaking to our spouses, is if they were out, away, or we were so darn mad at them ,that speaking just stops. Yet here we have a culture that celebrates the silence.

How would you do? I can go without food for a day, TV no big deal. Electricity deprivation would be interesting, but I would miss being able to go outside I think most to have a nice walk or tandem ride. Right now I am listening to music, that would go too. Experiencing the day authentically, would be much harder than one would think.

I would happily try it once. The chance to meditate for an entire day would be rewarding. Experiencing the silence. How about you? Would you make certain to leave town, so that you can avoid the whole thing, or would you adhere to that old saying, when in Rome do as the Romans do? It certainly is a topic for conversation. That is, as long as it is any other day than NYEPI.

 

Cause And Effect

It has been a long time since I turned my thoughts to writing a blog, yet here I am.

I was asking myself this question, Can we alter our reality, no matter how bad that reality is?

It is simple to be overwhelmed by commitments, and issues in our daily lives. We can easily loose track of how many times we hear friends, co workers or even just passing acquaintances say how no one understands, or how what they are going through, is the worse thing ever.

Are we really wanting to compete to find out who has the worse baggage to deal with? Who wants to win that argument? Not me! If someone is literally having the worse time in the world, then you have my sincere sympathy. The last thing I am looking for, is to see how I can top that.

No matter how hard things appear to be in this moment, are we going to hoard all the negativity, so that we can justify how badly we are feeling? That is just too much work for me. What would happen, if we allowed ourselves to put equal effort into being positive? Can we begin feeling better just by deciding that we want a good day?

Most of what we hold onto, that holds us back, are things in our past. Why spend our precious now, reliving what was then. Each moment is as individual as a snowflake, we can fill each moment with as much negativity as we can muster, or choose to let in joy.

Joy might be a stretch for some, if so, accept that maybe a smile is the best you can do for today. Then build from there.

Have you ever had a day that you thought was going well, until it is derailed by someone or something? it was a great day, until ….. we got the phone call that all the computers were down… until that jerk cut me off …. or it was a great day until someone else in a bad mood contaminated my space with their poor attitude..

Take for example, the being cut off scenario. You can either let it take over your thoughts and actions from that moment on, or put it into perspective, be thankful that a collision was avoided, and let it go. Is that incident, likely not more than a few seconds in real time, really going to dominate the other 23 hours and 59 minutes in your day?

In simple terms, we each effect our day by our own choices. When life feels like a tsunami of crap, don’t allow the magnitude of the tsunami to drown you. All storms pass.

Begin each day with an attitude of gratitude. Not just because it is Thanksgiving, but because even in the darkest days, we have things to be grateful for. Friends, family, a pet, or perhaps just being grateful that you made it through another day.

If you find yourself believing that today is going to be a bad day, it likely will be. So try believing that it is a good day, you just might be pleasantly surprised by the results. Wouldn’t that make a lovely change!