Stop! Listen to the silence!

Hey folks!

It’s been a couple of days since my last post. (OMG! Does that sound like a confession?) I had a wee Easter break!

Today I was sitting on my back door step , having some lunch and listening to the sounds of nature. It was such a joy! Then I wondered, how often do we take the time to actually stop and enjoy the sound of silence?

We have the radio blaring away, the television on. We have become accustomed to having “background noise” to keep us company. But I challenge you to turn off the radio! Switch off the television! Go outside and just sit for a while.

What do you hear? What can you smell? What do you see? I do that as often as I can. Today it was like some switch had been flicked to on! I realised that I am experiencing life, that I am appreciating all the nuances of creation! The sounds of the birds, the buzzing of the insects, the dance of the butterfly that fluttered past me!

Too many times we are caught up in the “noise” of our lives. Our mind is constantly thinking about what we have done or it’s too busy worrying about the future. The result is that we are robbed of the enjoyment of “now”.

So I thought, this week I would present you all with a challenge. Try and do this daily. Just take time out to stop and listen to the world around you. Listen to the birds, the sound of the wind in the trees, the insects buzzing. Just watch the way the trees nod and dance in the soft breeze.What else can you see? What else can you hear? Can you smell the subtle smells of the flowers around you?  In other words, take time out and allow the peace of nature flood your soul. You’ll find the stress and the cares of the world melt away!

So from now on…stop! Listen to the silence of nature. Allow it to envelope you!

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Relax! Don’t do it…

Hey guys and gals!

Thought I would like to begin by sharing a lyric from the good ol’ 1980s (anyone remember Frankie Goes to Hollywood?)

Relax! Don’t do it…

I’m probably taking this lyric completely out of context, but it has an awesome wee message behind it. Have you ever had those times when you feel you are getting wound up tighter and tighter and tighter. Then it feels like you are going to snap?

Maybe someone said something hurtful, or in anger. Perhaps someone did something (or forgot to do something) and now you are irritated.  Or it may be that you new puppy has left a “present” on your expensive, new carpet! I have those times, and I can feel the stress and tension building in me.

What can you do in those times?  After all, you don’t want to do anything stupid (I hope!). You don’t want to fly of the handle and make a bad situation worse. But you can feel all the tension and stress building in you. You feel it growing in your belly and it is slowly boiling up and rising, you are pretty sure that you are going to erupt like Mt Vesuvius!

The first thing you can do is become aware of yourself. That means, just sense when you can feel the initial stages of stress or tension building. This takes a bit of practice and self-analysis. No one knows you better than you know yourself. Plus we are all different. What may affect one person may not affect another.

When you sense tension building up. Do something about it. “What do I do?” you ask. Walk away from the situation for a while and take in several long deep breaths. This also give you the opportunity to re-evaluate the situation and consider appropriate responses (if required! Nobody ever wins in a “name-calling” contest.)

If the situation needs you to deal with it, then deal with it in a calm manner. (After you have done the “deep-breathing” exercise!). Otherwise relegate the situation to where it lives…in the past! Move on. Don’t allow a negative situation to steal your enjoyment of “now”!!

So, in a nutshell: “Relax! Don’t do it!” That is, don’t react negatively to a negative situation! Take time out, relax, then revisit the siutation if necessary. Otherwise, forget about it and move on!!

 

Welcome to the new me! (Still under construction…)

Today I thought I would just encourage you all. It actually takes guts to realise that there is something in you that needs to change, and then going forth and changing it. Well done!!

You can boldly say “Welcome to the new me!” Why? Because you are a completely different person than you were yesterday. You’ll be a completely different person tomorrow than the person than you are now! You will of changed in a more positive way and become a “new” person! You should rejoice in that. How often do we look at the sunrise in the morning and think “It’s a new day that has just begun!”, but we don’t look at ourselves and think “I am a new person, different than I was yesterday!.” Rejoice in that truth!!

Sure, you are going to get those people who knock you down, who may ridicule you, make you question what you are doing and why. But ignore those people. You may not be where you want to be (as far as reaching your goal is concerned). But you are closer today, than you were yesterday. Tomorrow you will be even closer than you are today!! Also, those people that knock you are actually going nowhere, so just ignore them!

Here is an analogy for you all:

Just think of yourself as a house that you have decided needs renovating. You have a picture in mind of what this new house should look like (the “new” you!).

How do you start the renovations? Usually by drawing up a plan, or picture, of what you want the new house to look like. So, you have to create goals for the person that you want to become, write them down. Do you want to be happier?; lose weight?; smile more?; build your self-esteem?

Next you start in one area of the house and start the renovations. When you want to improve yourself, start with one area and work on it. Then once you have achieved the result (finished “renovating the room”), move on to the next area.

It is going to take time and effort. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day (not that I’m advocating that you need to rebuild Rome!). Just realise that all good things take time.

There are going to be “vandals” that want to destroy your work. Stay vigilant and alert against these people. Those who want to make you doubt your efforts, those who ridicule you, those who question you motives. Tell these people that you are not going to tolerate their negativity. Maybe they do not understand what you are trying to “build”. perhaps they liked the old “house”, it was comfortable and familiar. But when they see the “new” house they will love it even more than the old one!

Build yourself “one room at a time”. Each change you make to yourself creates a a new you. More beautiful than before. Just as a “new” house is completed, there are always minor changes that the inhabitants make, such as changing the carpet, buying a new lamp, rearranging a room. (That is what I consider to be “still under construction”).

Go forth and build your “house”. “Renovate” you life! Each paint stroke is a stroke closer to the goal. It has just made the room “new”, because it contained something that was not there earlier: a new paint stroke! So you can say to your friends. family, co-workers, cat, or dog:

Welcome to the new me! (Still under construction…)!

Be Gone!…Attitude!

Have you ever experienced the following (you most probably have!):

You are going through the day, having fun, doing your thing. Maybe you are at work, or just out and about, or maybe you are at home. Anyway, like I said, you are doing your thing. Maybe you are minding your own business or perhaps you are helping someone out. You might be doing what you think is right…and then…BAM!!! You are hit with an attitude from someone! You didn’t expect it, and it knocks you for a home run right out of the Ball Park!

I had that today. I thought I was doing the right thing. There was a phone call and the person asked for “so-and- so” (by the way that is not their real name, I just used “so-and-so” for anonymity!). We have two people by that name working at work. I wasn’t thinking when I passed the phone to “so-and-so”. I was just doing what I thought was the right thing.

Aopparently it wasn’t. “So-and-so” had a real mean attitude about the whole thing, because it was for the other “so-an-so” that had the day off. Then I was made to feel like I was somehow incompetent.

I reflected on the situation and realised my error. But the attitude that I saw, where “so-and-so” somehow thought he was superior to me in every way just really irked me. I thought “What gives him the right to try and make me feel small?” If he wants to get an attitude because I made a mistake, let him. After all, I am sure that he is not completely infallible.

Then I noticed how deep down inside me I felt I had been infected by this guy’s attitude. I was reflecting on the way he treated me. I reflected on how deceived he must be to think that he never makes mistakes. The worse thing was I felt growing inside me, in the depths of my soul, an attitude!! Not a good one either! I quickly refocused my mind onto something else and made a conscious effort to let what I had experienced lie where it was…in the past!

That is the thing about negative attitudes. Someone will come along with one, and for some reason, want to share it with you! How generous, huh? But that is where you can decide, like I did. Will you allow that attitude to ruin the perfect day you have had until then? Will you allow it to ruin the rest of your day? These were choices I had to make. Guess what I decided? I decided to not allow the attitude to affect me! If “so-and-so” wants to have an attitude, let him! Let him own it, nurture it, like some vile pet.

Here is the secret (well, it’s not a secret, it’s a technique!) that I found myself using to kill the attitude that was trying to grow inside me:

  1. Stop reflecting on the situation. Place your focus elsewhere. That takes discipline and conscious effort!
  2. Realise that you do not have to allow the negativity of the attitude to come on you. Deflect it by remaining calm, positive, and knowing that the attitude belongs to the other person. It doesn’t belong to you! Do not own it!
  3. Know that you do not have to be made to feel inferior by anyone! Nobody has the right to make you feel small!

Tell the negative attitude to “Go!” You are not welcome in my life!”. Here is a wee quote for you all (I cannot remember who said it, or even where it came from, but it is a great wee quote to hang on to):

Do not allow anothers attitude to affect your altitude

Fly high! If someone wants to try an hit you with a bolt of lightning out of the blue (like I had today. Honestly, it did kinda hit me out of the blue!), then fly above the storm clouds. Spread your wings, think about the sun that is still shining above the clouds, and then ascend!

 

You think. therefore you are…

Rene Descartes uttered these words…

I think, therefore I am

He was explaining that, because he could think. he must exist. That is, one can not think if one does not exist! But I would like to rephrase his words (hopefully Descartes wont mind!). My phrase is:

You think, therefore you are.

What do I mean by that? I mean that you are a product of your thoughts. (I know that this is way off the mark of what Descartes intended with his observation). Your current existence, and being, has been influenced by the way you think.

If you get up in the morning and think “I am no good. Nobody loves me.” then you are going to face a world that is cold and loveless toward you. Everything you do and experience will be filtered through your negative perception and thoughts.

Sometimes the negativity you experience is not entirely your fault. Perhaps you have been picked on. ridiculed, discouraged and hurt by those around you. Those things may have been out of your control. It is those things that may influence the way you see yourself, others, and life in general. I know, as I have been there!!

 You may have thoughts that tell you to “Give up”, “Stop trying because you are only going to fail like you have always done”, “You will never amount to anything.” It is these negative thoughts that have created the existence you are experiencing now. Remember: You think, therefore you are.

But, guess what? You do not have to live in the past. You can deal with those negative thoughts. You can change your experience. You can change your life! Realise that the negative thoughts you may have are juts ghosts from the past that need to be exorcised. Replace them with positive thoughts. Gather up self-affirmations that edify you and build-you up. It is time to change your thought patterns.

As you replace your negative thoughts with positive thoughts you will find something amazing happen. You will bounce out of bed in the morning, looking forward to the new day. Your outlook in life will be much more optimistic and positive. Your self-esteem becomes more positive, and you find that you have new self-confidence and selfbelief. You may look back and ask yourself “What has happened?” The answer is simple:

You have change your thoughts and your way of thinking. Instead of being a “negative nelly” you are now a “positive philly”! Your life and existence has seemed to of magically transformed! How did it happen? You decided to stop thinking negative thoughts and retrained your brain to think positive thoughts about yourself, others, and life. You realised that: You think, therefore you are!”

Break free and sail the sea…

Hi folks!

Today I want to talk about letting go of the past and looking forward to the future. You would be surprised at how often past events, past comments, past failures cause us to stay put. After all, we have tried to move on, but we still reflect on the past hurts, the ridicule we received, maybe even the lack of faith shown toward us by those we care about.

But where was all that gotten you? It has gotten you exactly where you are now! Instead of sailing toward your destination, toward your dream, you have just allowed the storms of life to buffet you. You may have anchored your boat in a shore that you thought provided comfort and shelter. Perhaps the shore you have found does provide that, if so good for you. I am happy that you have found a safe harbour that you can call home.

If you find that your harbour has not provided the shelter, then it is time to weigh anchor and keep sailing. Break free from the past, look toward the future. If you have just been meandering through life, then it’s time to go down into the “cabin”, pull out the map, and plot your destination! Where do you want to head? What shore do you want to berth in?

You cannot deny the past storms you have been through, but it does not mean that you have to put your boat into “dry dock”. Just repair the hull, mend the holes, fix what has been damaged in the storms and then sail free toward your destination!

There will be “pirates”. Those who want to jump on board your ship and steal what you have. Fight them off! Protect your peace, protect your vision! Do not allow those around you to rob you of what you have and what you are collecting on the way. For in your journey, you will collect precious treasures of peace and jewels of wisdom.

The storms of life will not cease, but you can navigate through them and become a stronger person than you were before. Here is a quote that I read the other day:

A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor

Break free from the past and sail the sea of life. Plot your destination, keep it focused in your mind, navigate through the storms and deal with the pirates (make them walk the plank!). Then one day you will rejoice because you have reached the shore that you had been looking for. Go forth!!

OMG! What a weird day!

Hey guys and gals!

Today has to have been one of the weirdest days I have experienced in a long time! Maybe I was one of the few that actually got up on the right side of the bed. All day I was surrounded by negativity!

Is there some celestial misalignment going on that I was not aware of? This morning I observed one guy slamming cupboard doors and drawers trying to find a roll of stickers that he had seen earlier. The more, he looked the more frustrated he got. He got in a right tizzy!

This afternoon there were several people looking for another object. It started with one person, then another got involved, then another and another! All these people ended up getting each other stressed and irritable.

I honestly could not believe what I was watching. It was like some virus that was jumping from one person to the other to the other. Next thing the whole atmosphere was full of negativity and anger. Most of the people I witnessed in the situation had caught the “negativity bug”.

What we all need to learn is how to be immune to catching something that contagious. Just because someone around you is being negative, stressed and wanting to “dump” it on you, does not mean you have to “catch” that bug!! Become immune!! I found that I was immune in the midst of the whole situation. I was like a calm blue ocean while the storm blew all around me.

How do you become immune from negativity? It takes a combination of things. (Just like it does when you need to build up your immunity against a natural illness). Here is my wee recommendation (it is a daily dosage!!):

  • When you get up in the morning tell yourself that you are going to have a great day!
  • Avoid contact with those carrying the “negativity bug.” (That does not mean you have to be a snob and ignore them. Just do not allow yourself to be affected by the negativity they want to spread!)
  • Do Deep Relaxation exercises. Do these for at least 20-30 minutes a day. (I find that visualisation meditation is a great soother of the soul. I do these at least once a day!)
  • If you feel yourself getting stressed or tense. Stop what you are doing, or walk away from the situation (you can always go back once you are ready!). Take several deep breathes. Concentrate your attention on your breathing.

I do these all the time. It takes discipline and work. But on days like today, when there was negativity and tension no matter where I went or looked, it helped me get through the day.

This evening I just took time out on the couch and relaxed in silence. No radio on. No TV blaring away. Just the stillness of the evening touching my soul and liberating me from the negativity that tried to steal my peace!

I hope this helps you all develop some sense of peace and serenity as you go through your day. It would be foolish for anyone to think that they will never encounter negativity during the day, but we can choose not to let it steal the thing that we should protect most: our peace!