Are you a Sparkler or a Log?

Sparkler

I am sure you know what I’m talking about. We’re alive so we have a fire in us that is burning until such time as it goes out. We have energy, in fact we are energy of course. How you use that energy as you live is up to you.

I like to think I’m a sparkler. Enthusiastic, impulsive; I just LOVE life! … Until I don’t and I’m all flat again for a short while. Some people are logs. It might take them a while to ignite but once they do, they just keep on humming along, warm and cosy, glowing and reliable until the end.

So how do you cope if you are a sparkler? Life can be full on amazing; explosive even. When you’ve burned out, as you surely must at some point until the next time, what do you have left?

Bombe Alaska

Now if you were one of these desserts, your loved ones wouldn’t be left looking at a burned out sparkler each time your latest interest extinguishes itself. They would be left with what they know and love, someone inviting, comforting, sweet, wonderful; however else you would like to describe this confection.

So it’s OK to be you. I’ts OK to be up and down, be labelled bipolar perhaps, get enthusiastic but not follow through to something more meaningful or money making. The joy was in the sparkle and the sparkle is always to be appreciated, no matter how short. You know what is left inside you to hold the sparkle. Hold it firmly in your hands and never let it go. The intensity is just one tiny aspect of your personality that people will either be drawn to or avoid. Let them go. We can’t hang on to everyone we come across in life and each interaction is meaningful, no matter how short.

Glowing log

And if you are a log? I applaud you and I envy you in some ways. Your interests will develop as you stick with them and be applauded and recognised. You are glowing, reliable, quietly burning and making the world a warmer place for everyone with your consistency.

There’s room for us all people. And thank goodness for that.

 

Le Tweak, C’est Chic!

Pretty young woman with arms raised standing on beach

We must rediscover the distinction between hope and expectation – Ivan Illich

Yes, I know it’s a big ask to marry up the attention grabbing title (you’re curious and reading aren’t you?) and this quote from the masters. What could they possibly have in common?

I have been away from blogging for a few days because I discovered on Pinterest a board called Tips (one of many no doubt) and magically if you click on any website named at the bottom of the image, it takes you directly to the actual information. I am sure everyone knew that but I assumed it would take you to the website mentioned and then you would have Buckley’s chance of finding the solution promised. Wrong. And there went even more hours of my life.

So for the last few days I have been tweaking my life, my home and my body. I have had fun tweaking my saucepan lids into submission, making homemade make up remover wipes, repairing reading glasses and generally improving my life in a myriad of ways. (Plus I fixed two leaking loos for 75c and 60c respectively, YAY!)

But here’s where the quote comes in. I hope these tips and instructions will actually work. I hope my life will be all the better for having discovered them and having spent so much time on them. I hope I will have the answers to all my small problems in life if I just keep looking. But do I expect everything will turn out perfectly? Do I expect they will all work, my time is being wisely spent and I will become this superwoman/goddess of beauty and domesticity eventually? Not really.

Maid

I will continue though because the fun is in the tweaking. Small victories, new ideas, opening yourself up to a chance of improvement. That’s where the excitement is. I never know what I am going to improve next. We all tweak I am sure. Being totally sexist here, do guys tweak their cars to run better, or tweak their weight training for that extra bit of muscle? Don’t we tweak our recipes to make them exactly how we like? Tweaking is fun! It says I have ideas or knowledge, I am original, I can improve things and change my life for the better. I can get a small part of my life organised even while the rest may be going to sh… I am in charge, I am in control and things are only getting better while I focus on making them so.

So do we expect life will bed a bed of roses until we leave this mortal coil? You can’t tweak a loss, or a car accident or a major life event. We can only tweak how we react to them. Take a deep breath, perhaps. Repeat “it’s only money, only a number on my bank statement” or whatever else may calm you in certain situations. How about ‘this too shall pass’ or ‘when one door closes…’?

Anyway I will tweak away, enjoy my journey of discovery, my small victories and improvements, the good feeling of hoping I am in control of something, anything, while I expect that I am probably not the master of anything at all. But who cares? Today I am merry, the best there is.

And if you now have the song in your head from which I so blatantly borrowed the title, I apologise but go dance!

Dance away

 

Kamikaze Butterfly

kamikaze butterfly

I saw a large, orange seemingly Kamikaze butterfly at the weekend. He was going for it! I looked around for his mate as butterflies often seem to appear in twos but there was none. So he was zooming and swooping extremely low, and having a high old time between a tree overhanging the water and the water itself. I was almost concerned at first but then I noticed the energy, the thrills and the joy! Finally he rested on the tree and basked in the sun, relaxing and taking it all in.

Sun butterfly

And why not? What a life this divine creature has led. He lived half his life as a caterpillar at risk of being eaten by almost anything. He then lived in a cocoon, probably wondering if this was it; the darkness, all there was. Next he had to work really hard push his way out of a tiny hole in the cocoon so that the blood would be forced into his wings, not knowing why he had lived such suffering and it seemed to be getting worse.

But finally he comes out, back into the light and he’s changed – a whole new person. Where once he was heavy, sliding along, dragging himself along the ground and balancing on twigs, now he is weightless and free. He has wings for goodness sake!  And he’s not afraid to use them. The worst is behind him but time is limited; a couple of weeks maybe, so he takes off, in every sense of the word.

If I was a butterfly with or without a mate, I would be living it up too, taking risks, doing exactly what I felt like, going crazy one minute and slowing down the next. He was testing his wings in every sense of the word, oblivious to fear. Will he live long enough for such a beautiful creature? Yes he certainly will. He’s not wasting a moment.

Perhaps we are all butterflies. We start out vulnerable, dark times confuse us, we do what we have to in order to get back to the light and find ourselves stronger and free again. Now you’re here, are you making the most of it? Can you see the butterfly in you? Just look a little closer…

The butterfly in you

Can you see the walls?

Umbrella Street

I don’t have a quote today. Nothing spoke to me. My creative well is dry again. However I found this photo on Pinterest this week and filed it under a board I created called Blog Fodder, so I will run with it 🙂

This is apparently called Umbrella Street in Portugal but maybe it’s photo-shopped. I love it anyway.

It reminds me of the subconscious walls we all have to protect ourselves in life, closely related to boundaries.

I’d like to think that this is what my protective wall looks like. It uses colour and fun and is childish. It has gaps and is trusting that I can handle a little disappointment. It is lighthearted, and uses pretty, but not infallible things to protect me. Perhaps I live in a fantasy that all is basically OK with the world and that we can seek out fun and enjoyment without guilt. I once read that the meaning of life is simply to enjoy it and I ran with that, so I seek out good stuff all the time as my means of distraction and focus. ‘Don’t Put off your Happy Life‘ is printed out and kept right here on my computer.

By good stuff I mean good times – taking time to work out what I enjoy and want and going for it. Things like time to myself, hazelnut coffee, chocolate, music, movies. No doubt I am at risk of coming across as childish, Pollyanna, naive and selfish. That’s OK. I have the same trials and tribulations as everyone else but I skip over them to look for the beauty and the good stuff, of which there is so much. I really love the sound of boiling water pouring out of my kettle into my cup! And yesterday I appreciated having a trolley load of shopping as I walked to my car. We are so lucky!

Anyway I digress. If your walls look a little more like this right now….

Berlin wall 1961

(Berlin Wall 1961)

then I imagine you’ve had a hard life which you’ve not been able to get your head around. I recently read that we build walls, not to keep others out because we don’t trust people, but because we don’t trust ourselves to handle others. I assume that means that we don’t trust ourselves to handle the feelings that we think the outside world incites.

Perhaps our filter on what we experience needs some adjusting. That has been one of my greatest lessons – that we have a filter and we can change it; interpret everything completely differently to suit ourselves. 

Anyway back to the lighthearted, here is another Pinterest image of painted beachballs in a tree which brought a smile to my face.

Watch out

Or, pulling out the big guns to get you to smile and lighten up today, try this!

Smiling

Just get wet

Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet – Roger Miller

What will you be immersed in today?

Will it be sunshine and light that you can really see and appreciate particularly well if it comes down like this?

Stream of light

Or will it be rain and water, that you can either hate as it makes your hair frizzy and your make up smudge or love because it gives you life?

Water

Look how both people are holding out their hands to accept what’s given!

I have nothing to give today except these lovely images. I hope they bring appreciation and a little inspiration for the great things we get for free. Funny how a little focus (streams of light and water), rather than the big picture (sunshine and rain) can remind you of the value of what we take for granted sometimes.

Don’t interrupt me, I’m on a roll!

Headphones

It’s pretty hard to be efficient without being obnoxious – KIN HUBBARD

Obnoxious. Even the word sounds obnoxious, like onomatopoeia or something. This is so true isn’t it?

At the moment I’m efficient. I have almost reached my diet goal, my house is looking less cluttered and fresh, my ironing is up to date. Yada, yada, yada. I start my day with a run and I am even today blogging before work again (yay) now that the clocks have changed and it’s lighter in the morning, my favourite time.

So why am I obnoxious? I called my sister in London and cut the call short (45 minutes, in my defence) to get my morning started. I should mention though that she has just completed ‘the works’ in terms of breast cancer treatment over the last few months 😦 and we don’t speak often enough.

At work I guess this quote pans out also. As a customer service consultant I start every call with ‘how are you going?’ and my callers also ask me how I am too most of the time. This is hardly efficient and I used not to do it but I realise it’s a good way to build rapport, just by showing that you are spending those extra few seconds exchanging pleasantries and I like to vary my response when they ask me from ‘Great!’ to ‘Excellent!’. I even tell the full truth sometimes! My colleague usually says ‘I’m so well, it’s scary’ which always raises a laugh with the rest of us. There is always a way to inject your personality. Have you ever said ‘Fine thanks’ when they didn’t even ask you, or worse, had them do that to you, so you feel you should make them feel less stupid? We have so many laughs at work on the phone! I do love my job.

Anyway I digress. At work, the less ‘popular’ people are the more efficient ones it seems. They don’t always reply to your emails or your calls, or make conversation at the coffee machine. Basically they don’t take time to connect, which is what life is all about to me. 

How else can we be obnoxious? Cut in front of someone else’s car while driving, not give way when someone has clearly been waiting a long time, steal someone’s parking spot, why don’t you? Leave the toilet (or anywhere used by others) in a mess. Tell your kids not to even talk to you while you are blogging?  (oops!) All my examples seem to involve time and being efficient which proves this quote.

So are you going to be efficient or obnoxious today? Will you take an extra few seconds of your day to ‘give’ to someone else? Will you be a little more considerate on the roads, or take the extra time to clean up after yourself?  Will you dress or behave in an inoffensive way, thinking of the good of all or will you be on your own little mission?

Better still, will you realise that most people aren’t actually obnoxious, they are just caught up in their heads, thinking that they have to be perfect, do everything to the absolute best of their ability and that the race to the end is what counts? A kind word to someone so ‘efficient’ may make a big difference and release them perhaps.

time to do it right

And because I’d rather end with a picture, how could you ever look obnoxious doing this?

smell the roses

Crystal Healing and the Energy Field: A Beginner’s Guide by Marion McGeough

I confess I know very little about crystals but I do have every faith in Yaz Rooney as someone who is a true healer so I would like to offer this for your attention, hoping this is just the right time for you to see this.

FreeYourMind

ImageBeyond the world of people, crystals have always held great importance in my life. Their beauty is not only physical in nature; their purpose for being in the world is truly altruistic and exquisite. They have assisted me in many facets of my healing career; they are living healers from a different dimension of experience, they are bridges between the overlapping and multifold parallel worlds of our physical universe. Crystals are powerful life-forms that command respect from those who understand their innate energetic might. They heal the body, and in so doing, transform the soul. I have a deep love for crystals, and if you want to enhance your physical and spiritual health, I would urge you to get to know these incredible beings, and invite them into your life.

I recently came across a lovely book, promoted by one of my blogging buddies Danny Breslin. ImageIt is an…

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Minute to Minute, Lock it in!

Up and Down

What a day-to-day affair life is – Jules Laforgue

I like this quote but I would like to change it to ‘what a minute to minute affair life is’. I’ve heard that each day is like a mini lifetime, between waking up and going to sleep. I’ve appreciated and pondered on that too. However, recently I’ve been getting caught up in my own head again, trying to attain goals and reach destinations instead of appreciating the day to day or the minute to minute or even second to second. The first step to ‘recovery’ is awareness so I’m going OK.

Over Easter and the last week while housebound with my daughter who has just had a tonsillectomy I got this idea to have a huge purge of my belongings so that if I ever rented out my house as a holiday home, I could hide or remove what’s left of my stuff in an instant at short notice.

It makes you take stock of where you are at in this minute – surrounded by old projects, unworn ‘fat/thin’ clothes, sentimental keepsakes, inherited items, things which might just be worth something if only you knew who to ask, old tapes and DVDs of home videos etc . The list goes on. I once read a fascinating article on why we keep stuff that isn’t ‘beautiful or useful’ and it made so much sense. I have plenty in each category.

So I did well. A lot went to the tip and a similar amount went to the local Op Shop, Salvation Army. I was as ruthless as I could be given my thrifty nature, huge imagination for what something could be used for and a history of having lived in 6 countries, each with their own collectibles and memories.

Where the quote comes in is that I had to keep remembering that short of getting a skip and having someone else just come take it all away, I would never reach my destination as such. The best I could come up with was blocking off a larger bedroom and creating a store room out of it, which I think is the way to go.

I have moved house enough times to know that what looks like a few books on a shelf translates to loads of very heavy, large boxes. I just had this story playing in my head that I would be able to purge it all, live out of a suitcase, take off and travel the world again. I don’t need anything! But then I would pick up one item at a time and find reasons to keep it. I am still going and learning now to enjoy each minute, each item discarded. Joy is now after all 🙂 Each item I discard only makes a fraction of a difference with all that I have accumulated but it’s a little win each time; a little victory to let it go.

This translates to ways of thinking also. We have accumulated our stories, beliefs, ways of looking at things and things which stress us, and our lives will never be ‘problem free’. Silly things pop into my head when I first wake up. So I can only let each little stressor go. My daughter will eventually want to get a job in her spare time around her studies when she has something she really wants to save for. My son will stop playing computer games and join the world when the course of nature demands he become interested in getting to know the (opposite) sex. And these stressors will be replaced by other ones I’m told. My elderly friend John, with his age 50 and 60 something kids said the kids’ problems just get bigger as they get older. They could marry someone who treats them badly, go broke, get divorced etc etc.

Thus I will never arrive. My house will never be completely fixed (think leaky taps, rotting wood and every noxious weed present in my garden). My kids will never live life the way I do. My finances will never be such that I spend with abandon and without guilt. I happen to have just whipped my body into shape, thanks to my other blog but that can change in an instant 🙂

So Jules, if life is a day to day or minute to minute affair, in this minute I am proud of myself for letting small things go. I am proud of not letting the messy rooms stress me, or the holes in my sofa covers, or curtain linings. I am enjoying purging one item at a time, getting organised and decluttering. As long as I have the energy and will to even do this, life is great! That’s what happy is to me; being engaged.

This day’s affair then is to be filled with as much laughter as possible, as much letting go as I can manage and as much simplicity and peace as I can create.

do more

I just love this! Very clever and so true!

philosophybank

software Trin Trin. Trin Trin. Hello. Is that customer care ? I need your help .

Sure, welcome to Customer care of Permanent Joy software Company. My name is Tanisha from Tech Support department. How may I help you ?

Customer: I’ve decided to install Love software. Can you guide me through the process?

Tech Support: Yes, I can. Are you ready? The first step is to open your Heart. Have you located your Heart?

Customer: Yes, but there are several other programmes running. Is it okay to install?

Tech Support: Hmm… what programmes are running?

Customer: Let’s see, I have Past Hurt, Low Self-esteem, Grudge and Resentment running right now.

Tech Support: No problem. Love will gradually erase Past Hurt from your current operating system. It may remain in your permanent memory. Love will eventually override Low Self-esteem with a module of its own called High Self-esteem. However, you have…

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