Monthly Archives: February 2015

Dont get Lost

I love to see politicians squirm when having to answer difficult questions, to see robust debate and even physical confrontation in parliaments or political assemblies. I love to read the heated comments on news forums, watch the inner warrior come to the fore and propose or defend a particular point of view or opinion, I love to watch and see how opinion is swayed against logic by skilfully crafted emotional argument.

Am I mad you may ask – possibly!

These forums and parliaments are supposed to work like that!

We are supposed to engage each other to explore, explain, express and air our frustrations and grievances in ways that are not physically harmful to ourselves or others.

The problem with this is when we lose ourselves in the debate, when we suspend reason and logic and engage in maliciousness and hate.

Every single one of us is unique and as such we are always perfect all the time. Don’t lose yourself in the cacophony of external opinion, engage that opinion yes, but maintain your humanness, your personal values and identity.

If you have never thought about this why not write down what is important to you. The usual suspects will appear, family friends and work, but I urge you to delve a bit deeper. Look at your inner core and see what is important to who you think you are and how you define yourself. These observations will change over time, but for now understand the core of who you are and what you stand for and why.

Then revisit those forums or parliamentary debate channels and see how your interaction has matured.

Don’t lose yourself in the drama, rise above it with wisdom and enjoy it!

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Loneliness

I was recently asked to give an impromptu seminar on loneliness. I flippantly agreed in the moment and for the hour before the presentation, I was overcome with a heavy sense of fear. All that suppressed “stuff” was coming back!
The fear, the anger, the insecurity, the self worth issues, the supposed shame of my adolescent suicide attempt…

With trepidation I walked into the seminar room and warmly greeted the people waiting for me. Then, as I started to speak, ask questions and engage with people, everything started to come together, the seminar had a life of its own and we all held on and enjoyed the ride!
We found that there was a difference between aloneness and loneliness. Aloneness was agreed as being a time when you are contented with being yourself in the moment. At this point, loneliness was agreed to be a feeling of loss or lack when one is alone.

The discussion deepened and we explored why there was a difference between the two. We concluded that the problem arose in us when we compared ourselves to other people or circumstances. How we feel about ourselves when we are with another person dictated the amount of loneliness that we felt. It had very little to to with us at all! This explained why we feel alone in the company of others!

The simple solution to this would be to change the way we see and feel about ourselves. This will automatically change how we feel about ourselves in relation to other people. Try doing a simple meditation every day. Sit quietly some where for ten to fifteen minutes and be alone with your mind and your thoughts. Suspend all judgement and expectation for those few minutes, be humble and gentle with yourself, just allow yourself to be who you are right there in the moment. As you repeat this meditation, you will notice that your loneliness slowly changes to aloneness and that life becomes more satisfying.

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Calibrating Our Goals

We are back!!!

The holiday and craziness of the “silly season” seem like a distant memory, the work load is piling up, taking projects home at night to finish up and sneaking an email or two over the weekend – work, work ,work!
That is how I always feel in February, there is this driving force pushing me to work harder and achieve more.
I sat back yesterday and had a look at my life, what I had achieved so far this year and what tasks were demanding my time in the present moment. I found that I was sacrificing my long term strategic goals for short term quick achievement goals that were not even closely related to the long term strategy goals that I had set for myself in early January. I was so eager to feel a sense of accomplishment that I was running around doing stuff and not going anywhere fast.
I stopped everything in that moment, made a cup of tea and decided to take my power back. I wrote down every single project that I was busy with from my long term Ph.D. studies to my need to cook supper. I them separated these tasks into mundane every day things like domestic chores – things that need to be done but are related to survival rather than goal achievement, and things that were goal or business orientated. I then went through the list and found the most important thing that I needed to do on each list and numbered it number one.
Within half an hour I had two columns of tasks to complete listed in order of importance, and I had a few things that I dropped completely. Miraculously, in half an hour I had become the “goal alchemist”, I had brought order out of the chaos and was once again on track to achieving my goals quickly, easily and efficiently.
Running around, pleasing others, helping others and finding satisfaction in completion of things are natural human attributes, but sometimes we need to take a step out of the craziness, take stock, assess ourselves, re-calibrate ourselves and then get back into the mix!

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Letting Go

God, give me grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed,Courage to change the things which should be changed, and the Wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.

Reinhold Niebuhr

Why do we rush around so much?

Why do we feel happy and or disappointed?

The simple answer to this is that we are striving to achieve something, and the result of that striving when compared to others around us and our goal, directly dictates our feelings of success or failure. A microcosmic version of the concept that a sane person in amongst a nation of mad people is considered mad!

We naturally tend to accept things that we can not change. Things like day and night, the weather and the time it takes to boil an egg, however we as humans are masters of adaptation and change. We are the only species on earth that dramatically tries to change our environment to suit our selves – we hang drapes or curtains in an overly sunny room to regulate the brightness, we install air conditioning, electric lighting and even develop microwave cooking to speed things up a little. We even take medication to make out bodies more efficient to try and speed up the healing process and manage our emotions!

Through this strive to change and achieve, we seem to have lost the ability to accept things as they are in the moment. By not being able to accept things in the moment, we also lose the ability to think critically about the circumstance that we have just observed, the net result of which is inefficiency and panic.

To take control of this cycle is very simple and easy!

Take some time to savour and appreciate little things in your life. That first sip of tea or coffee, the fragrance of a flower that you pass or even a perfume or aftershave you smell in the mall or on the street, a piece of music you hear playing in the car next to you in the traffic… Let those sensory moments slow you down and enrich you and allow you to let go of the clutter for a moment and just be.

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