Why don’t you?


A house is a machine for living – Buckminster Fuller

Bucky, if I can call him that has a point here. A house is a machine with parts that are connected and hopefully relate to one another, with fuel that is added to it so that it may fulfil its function of being of service to people. Or are we the fuel? I guess we are ‘inputted’ into our homes and hopefully leave it calmer, fed, organised and ready for the big world again.

But what kind of machine do you imagine this house to be? What do the jolly colours imply; about the people who live here, what could be inside, where it is and how happy they are?

For to me this is nothing but a happy house, with jolly people, crazy goings on, holiday type living and much laughter. I would like to paint my house like this. Seriously!! But why don’t I? Why don’t you?

At age 18 I went to Bali, Indonesia for 2 months and was so taken with the colourful clothing that everyone wore. I brought many items home with me to wear in London and give to friends but the clothing really looked so out of place.  I think I may have worn something twice and that’s all, but only because I lost my nerve, not because it wouldn’t have been great to wear, I now realise.

Obviously if I lived here:

Colourful Mexico

I would have whipped up a suitable palette for my home in a heartbeat. But I don’t live in Guanajuato, Mexico 😦 and I haven’t yet had the nerve to even fill my living room with all things pink, orange and tropical lime, this Summer, like I planned, let alone repaint my outside walls and stairs.

I even have an outside wooden staircase I am soon to paint and as it’s my home I can do what I darn like, yet I will probably stick with the pale grey/green ubiquitous in Australia as reminiscent of the gums. BORING!! Or will I? Watch this space. I just went and had another look at it and am beginning to imagine the staircase above…

So why don’t I really do what I think I want? Why don’t you? Am I afraid of being too happy every time I come home and see the jolly colours? I made a similarly colourful large butterfly collage recently and I smile every time I see it on the wall facing my bed. It’s proof that colour changes your mood. I even studied colour for a whole year just to prove it!

Am I worried that others will think I’m a lunatic if I do the whole house? It hasn’t bothered me so far. I look forward to being the eccentric old lady, but perhaps I don’t ‘look old enough’ yet to think I can get away with it.

So for now my home remains neutral, pretty monochromatic and peaceful inside, all pastels and cream, interrupted only by the brights on the walls in the form of paintings, and flowering plants along a windowsill. They are hints at the colourful past I’ve had and even more exotic thoughts I entertain.

But if you ever hear of a dastardly delicious multicoloured house such as the one above, nestled near a national park, about 45 minutes from Sydney, you will know I have gathered my courage and come alive; as vibrant as the colours themselves.

And I will be inside with a ridiculous grin on my face, being wickedly creative day and night and eating these for breakfast every day with hazelnut coffee, living the life I was born to lead, irreverent and happy, childishly so!

Brownies kebabs

So that’s my Happy Life but what about you? Are there any colours you long for, things you wish you would dare to do, or could your ‘machine’ possibly be running on empty these days?



Loving Words

Loving the written word


I used the word love as a verb, not an adjective but both will do.

I found this great advertisement by Australia Post on Pinterest yesterday and I rushed to save the image because I love the written word, as I assume all bloggers do.

I have also saved every love letter that I have ever received, back in the days before marriage, when I specialised in long distance relationships.  There are quite a few! When I got each letter, the first thing I would do is rush to the end, like cheating when reading a book. All I really wanted to hear was how much they loved me, how secure our relationship was. Only then could I start reading, feeling safe. They could have saved the bulk of the letter, really.

I did once get a ‘Dear John’ letter from the first chap in Sweden who was supposed to emigrate to Australia to join me, having been together for 2 years at University in England. He wrote ‘I love you but I don’t think I could live with you’, which gutted me. Remember that feeling where the blood drains from your face?

Luckily I had a housemate with actual self esteem who said ‘What kind of weak rubbish is that? Move on immediately’ and that’s what I did, throwing myself into dating again. When he eventually called to follow up three weeks later, I was like Who?? So easy. All that worrying and letter cheating was so daft. I guess I was so afraid of not being lovable. Age sorts that one out hopefully. I’m good now 🙂

Anyway this blog is supposed to be about learning from the Masters, not from advertisements so I leave you with this. As writers (and readers), this little reminder goes without saying.

learn to read


Did you earn anything today?

Loving Grandparents

Old age takes away from us what we have inherited and gives us what we have earned – Gerald Brenan

I do not remember ever seeing this quote yet it came from last year’s desk calendar. It speaks to me today because I was pondering yesterday on whether I would jump at the chance of living a human life again.

No life is untouched by want, need, joy, tragedy, love, work and sacrifice, among other things. If I look back on the days when I had 3 kids under the age of 4 at once and the sleepless nights and helplessness I felt as a parent in the face of their tears at times, I might wonder if I wouldn’t mind missing those years out, no matter how adorable it all looks now in the photos. If I look back on these days, where I am a single parent, working full time, trying to pay the bills, manage the house, garden and pool with elbow grease, 3 teenagers and a low budget, I might wonder if I could miss these years out instead. If I look back on when I was waiting to see if I could emigrate to Australia and couldn’t get my life started, I might want to skip that year instead.

But the list goes on and on, and each phase of life has its moments – merry, marvellous and tough. Of course I wouldn’t miss out a moment. There are trying and horrible events, and deaths and testing people and depression but these particular tribulations are behind me now, and I came out the other side, brave enough to see what transpires next.

Anyway I digress. Gerald is saying, I believe, that we are born with physical attributes and personality traits and hopefully at least one parent to love and take care of us as we grow into adults. As we leave the nest and find our own way in the world we ‘earn’ a second family, jobs, friends, money, status, lifestyle, health and happiness.

Old age, while stealing our looks and youthful health, replaces it with a sense of accomplishment and wisdom if we have chosen to grab it, an understanding of how things will likely play out, a sense of our own strengths in the face of adversity and hopefully less reactivity to everything around us. We may have lost our ancestors and parents by then but we will have replaced it with the next generations, or great friends and community bound to us by all we have done for each other.

Baby hands

With any luck we have replaced uncertainty with happiness, angst with confidence borne of the years.

Can I take my current knowledge to my next life? Would you replace youth for all you know now? I value what I’ve been through to get here. I hope you do too.



What are you doing today?


Sometime today it’s the end of the world. I was slightly concerned when I first became aware of this. But it got me thinking, which I always enjoy. Then I read that the Mayans didn’t have leap years so, if it was supposed to happen it should have been around 6 months ago. Thanks for whoever wrote/made? that up! It provided a little relief but not as much as if I were truly concerned by my ‘end’. It will come when it will come.

 Maybe the Mayans really had a crystal ball and this was their way of trying to change the course of history, even if the end of the world isn’t nigh. Maybe they had a great sense of humour and left this as their little joke, as a serious way of getting people to change their thinking. Maybe we are reading it wrong and they are looking down from the Universe saying “No, not today you morons!!”

But if they are watching us somehow and are all knowing, they wouldn’t be bothered one way or another by anything. And nor should we.

 It may or may not be the end today. I am in Australia, towards the front of the clock so in effect ‘today’ is nearly 2 days long. Every ‘day’ is two days long actually. I never thought of it before! Cool!

If I really, truly believed it was the last day of my life today, I would think some more. A whole lot more. How would I want to spend these last moments? And I would have done a whole lot more. I would have changed my actions in the last few days, weeks, years. I would have worked out in enormous detail and moved with great energy and purpose towards everything I ever wanted to achieve. Or would I?

 Do you believe in fate or in having power over your own life and outcomes? How much responsibility do you take for things? Do you believe that you ultimately have some control? Are you then trying to control other people, your life and circumstances or your wayward mind? If others are controlling you, or you feel they are, how much does it bother you? How easy going are you? Can you accept anything in life?

Do you live in the present and value each moment as being equal or do you use the present purely as a means of getting to the (better) future? If you live in the present then you are in a state of bliss in each moment and it matters not a bit what you do in your last moments before the end of the world, or indeed the end of your own world, should you be hit by a bus today or something.

I have to say that this state of bliss sounds very appealing, should one ever achieve it. And if the world crumbles around you and you realise the Mayans were right, your adrenalin levels will not rocket, you will go in peace, wherever that is you are meant to go.

Today, (all two days), I wish you peace. If we wake up tomorrow, I wish you even more.

Calm in the chaos

I am off to Paradise


This is my idea of heaven! I’d rather be there right now. Why? What does it mean to me? Who would I want with me? What would I bring? What would I do? What would I feel?  Who would I be? What about this image is so special? Will I stop asking questions?

It’s just an image I came across while searching for an inspiring quote and decided to use as a reminder of the things I love. I am still thinking of yesterday’s ‘Don’t put off your Happy Life’ and what a Happy Life is to me. This place could be in it. I like to remind myself of the things I love and why.  I guess that’s the same as reminding myself of who I am. It’s important to me to remember my joys, dream a little, immerse myself. How often do you go for the things you love? Do you gather them in one place to save for later?  It takes just a minute to find something – go do it! And if you can’t indulge physically, take a moment to think about something special.  The brain doesn’t know the difference!

Spoonfuls of Hope

Expect nothing and you will never be disappointed – Laurence Overmire

I woke up feeling flat to day; quieter, less smiley. But today my introspective mood was changed by a spoon. My teacher today was a spoon of all things. You just never know where there is a lesson for you do you?

I was unpacking the dishwasher into the cutlery drawer and dropped a dessert spoon. I was expecting it to clatter noisily to the floor but it fell completely silently. When I closed the drawer to look, I found it resting on my running shoe, carefully balanced there, face down. My expectation had been broken and it kind of woke me up. I started thinking about expectations. Despite feeling flat I have learned not to judge my day as ‘It’s going to be one of those days’! I don’t believe in that. A day is a day and I know that feelings and moods change in an instant if you accept and go with the flow.

Now that my kids are teenagers I look back on their childhood and wonder what I have could have done better with the magic of hindsight. And my conclusion is all about expectations. If I had expected to get no sleep, to be hormonal and weepy, to not be able to take a shower until lunchtime; if I had expected that they wouldn’t necessarily like the toys I had loved or that they would voluntarily put things away before the age of 16, or that teenage boys would stay in their room and reject all touch, it would have been a whole different ballgame and I would have enjoyed it all more. We perhaps would have been even closer if I had more realistic expectations and could have given them ultimate acceptance. On the other hand if I expected them to be far less capable and independent than I did then they might not have risen to the challenge and become the intelligent, independent kids that they are. All I know is that if I had had more information and had known exactly what to expect from each age, I could have saved myself some unnecessary suffering.

I realise how important it is for me to stop and look at my expectations from time to time in order to better understand where my moods are coming from. I have expectations and then I compare against them. Comparison is dangerous, as I have learned. There have been times in the past where I have gotten quite upset thinking I should have paid this much for a service and then been charged more. But if I had expected to pay more I might have been pleasantly surprised. What a dangerous thing to hook my wellbeing on. It is what it is.  Accept and move on.

Perhaps expectation is what Discount Retail Sales are based on. The shops tell us that we should be expect something to be this price but they are giving it to us for this much less so our expectations are exceeded and therefore we buy it and are happy. 

Anyway I digress. Have you ever exceeded your own expectations? Has some event or person or product exceeded your expectations? It’s a good feeling isn’t it?  Expectation has the ability to affect our moods. So there is another facet of our beliefs and mindstream to look more closely at. Examine your expectations of today, this minute, the people you know, upcoming events. What do you see?

Expect nothing and you will never be disappointed is too depressing for me actually. I don’t really live by that as I think it changes the energy of what’s around you. I like hope, love and good energy much better.

Hope for everything and make the most of whatever comes! – Emma Victoria Capell

World of Fools

Pity the critical man, for he lives in a world of fools – Unknown Author

Do you ever listen to yourself? Hear the words coming out of your mouth? Just occasionally when I am trapped in my mindstream I start swearing; effing this and B… that !! People who don’t know me can be a bit surprised because I dress fairly conservatively and have a slightly posh British accent. But swear I do and it is an excellent reminder to stop right there and listen to myself. I usually swear when I am being critical and judgmental; when I am deciding that things are not so favourable!! Being a somewhat emotional type, in case you hadn’t gathered from The Ugly Duckling has Landed, my thoughts can sometimes swing the other way and leave me foul mouthed for short periods. But I have learned to stop and take stock in such times. I realise how negative I am being and how I am clouding and creating my world by being critical of what is always a neutral event.

I had a boss five years ago who lived in a world of fools. Literally. Life had led him to believe that he was superior and that everyone his company employed was stupid. Being his PA, I would hear him rant and rave about these unsuspecting souls; the same people that I found most perceptive and delightful. Not surprisingly, in the year and a half that I worked there, 30 out of 37 staff left. The ones that remained were in the ‘inner circle’ for whatever reason and were being paid well above average for what they did. Of course he was surrounded by the same people we are always surrounded by. Human beings. Just people. But he felt hard done by, as though HR were carefully choosing the biggest morons in Australia. And it became self-fulfilling.

The strange thing was that I became a little ‘stupid’. I would let him fluster me with his permanently steely, unwavering, expressionless stare and I would make mistakes, thereby justifying his opinion. I can’t speak for the others. I think he had no idea of having created his own world. He saw only the examples which led him to believe the world was that way. While I was there I hated him for making me feel stupid, then I pitied him for alienating everyone around him. With hindsight he is just another human being doing his best and he obviously enjoys his world and his views, on some level, as we all do. So I don’t agree with this quote that you have to pity the critical. They are ‘rewarded’ in some way, as we all are, or we wouldn’t behave the way we do. As long as we can see that we create our own inner and outer world.

I have often been described often as excitable, enthusiastic, full of boundless energy, way too talkative. I get told to settle down, ‘calm your farm’. People get out their wooden spoons. I get asked where my off switch is. (Once I was told by a laughing shopkeeper I was talking to when I was 21 and had just moved to Australia to ‘never change’. You don’t often say that to your customers I imagine).

Because I criticised myself for being excitable at times, I would always be mortally offended. Now I smile, genuinely. I am no longer so self critical. I accept that I am who I am and they are who they are. They can say what they like. It’s just words, their opinion. ‘The truth hurts’ is actually more about what you believe to be the truth. It isn’t necessarily the truth.

On a continuum I can be fairly extreme in some ways, but someone has to inhabit those realms and it might as well be me. I can handle it. I love it. I embrace it now. (I have also read a book which gives ten great, polite comebacks for these kinds of statements should we feel a response is expected).

So I like to check on what kind of world I am inhabiting from time to time. When I swear out loud to myself I am reminded to listen, reset, start again and change the judgmental, critical being that has temporarily taken over. I wasn’t enjoying it anyway. That is all it takes. Wake up, listen to yourself.

Since becoming more aware and present, and dropping the critical stance, my world is looking brighter, the people look more lovely. I inhabit a wonderful world. And I am not afraid to let it be known what I can see through my eyes. I see white where others see black. I see beautiful hair, or an elegant walk or exciting weather or magnificent colours. I see people doing their loving best, kids behaving exactly as they are supposed to, things which break because we no longer need them. What do you see?

PS the Unknown Author above is me. Sorry. I don’t usually lie.

Mirror to your truth

The Mirrors come in different ways – Yaz Rooney


Barring my daughters, this is my favourite lady in the whole world. She radiates love and light all the way from Doha. I can feel it here in Australia. We have not met yet I feel I know her. We have not spoken yet I feel we have spoken more deeply than during any conversation I have had. I am but one of many dedicated followers, yet she makes me feel I am the only one. She truly deserves all the blogging awards she has received.

Yaz makes a great suggestion that we take a moment to be still before we read her blogs. It’s a great suggestion for life, not just in order to accept the gift of her words. How easy is it to skim over information and how quickly we would forget it afterwards. Easy come, easy go. I shall take a minute before I continue to write.

These words are not actually a quote of hers. She wrote them (effortlessly as always) in a comment she posted on my blog this week when I asked for help. I knew that if I went looking through her works (for each post is a well thought out piece) for something truly worthy of her, that I would not have time to write today. I would be lost under her spell. So these simple words which probably do not do her justice are all I offer today. She needs no justice though and would certainly not ask for it. She is whole. She has achieved unity. My words, not hers.

Anyway I digress. ‘The mirrors come in different ways’. What does she mean by mirror? By definition it is something which reflects back; something which shows us more of what and who we are. It is an eye-opener, a teacher, a healer if we let it be.

We look in glass mirrors for more information about ourselves. We do it willingly and for a purpose, to check our reflection; what we are projecting outwardly. But if we look carefully at this Quantum cocktail, the mirrors are everywhere and they reflect everything about us inwardly; not the story of who we think we are but who we really are.

Look around and most everything you see is a mirror of you. The physical things reflect your tastes, your generosity and your budget. Your friends reflect your personality. List their good points and try denying that it is not your very own identical traits that drew you to them. Your family reflect the lessons you will be faced with repeatedly through life, which you may need to learn, however difficult. Your conflicts are the true mirror of your self awareness. If we were truly aware, there would be no conflict. We would understand. And your overall state of being reflects where you are in your journey.

These reflections are just snapshots, instantly out of date for we change by the second. It’s impossible not to, especially if we are awake. Reflect upon your reflection but only for a moment. There is too much living to do.

So yes, Yaz, the mirrors do indeed come in different ways. We live in a hall of mirrors don’t we, an inverted disco ball? Thanks for prompting my exploration of this subject. As usual I have learned today by simply writing.

Why am I shrinking?

All are apt to shrink from those than lean upon them – Lord Halifax

I admit I went to find a suitable quote today for a troubling experiencethat  I had this morning. I shrank today from someone who appeared to be leaning on me. I would like to think that I rise to the challenge of a troubled soul. I write each day to soothe my own soul and hopefully remind others of what is important. However this is the second time this year that someone seemed to want to hear what I had to share but fought back so hard against my ‘advice’ that I shrank and ran away. They were looking to me for something I couldn’ t give –  validation for the ‘terrible circumstances’ which caused them such misery.

There is no such thing as a coincidence so I have been thinking today about what happened.

I was interrupted on my morning walk by an intelligent, attractive young man whom I had not seen in a year. He called out from where he was sitting on the most stunning little white sand beach behind the row of trees I was running past, and I went and sat down on an adjoining rock by the water’s edge. He asked how I was and I looked at the water, the view, the sunshine and said “Great! Isn’t this so beautiful? How are you?”

His expression in response told me all I needed to know. Then I noticed the brown paper bag wrapped around a bottle beside him, cigarette in hand which he had to relight a couple of times. I waited as he clearly wanted to talk. He was in despair because he had come back from where he had been living overseas for 6 months (dual passport but grew up here) only three days earlier in order to go for job interviews in Australia. He said his ‘heart was bleeding’ because everything overseas was so much better and Australia was awful – the people, the radio station, the traffic etc. He started to expand on all that but I stopped him.

‘Can you get back to this other country? I asked gently.

‘Yes I am he said, soon’. So what’s wrong? I asked again. ‘It is Winter over there. Can’t you just enjoy this mini Summer Holiday and this glorious place until you get your ticket? I hate to see you so sad.’

He denied being sad but get kept going on about how in this other country he had dated a model and was positively ecstatic for 6 months but here his heart was bleeding. I admit I tried to jump in with things like – ‘Happiness is internal. If you are unhappy here, you can’t depend on another country to make you happy. You will take your way of judging with you and eventually be unhappy there too.’ He swore that wasn’t true.

I tried another tack. I said that that when I had had counselling 10 years ago, the whole job of the counsellor wasn’t to hear me rant and agree with me, but to gently point out that my thinking was not serving me.

Nothing. He was convinced it was torture being here on this glorious day in paradise. And so it went on. I kept trying to escape because we were at such cross purposes and I felt powerless to help. I was being fairly rude in a way and very blunt, cutting him off even and agreeing to disagree on his way of thinking, not whether one country or another was better. I told him his ‘story’ was making him miserable and I could not understand. Could he not just drop his thoughts and enjoy the day?  Be present, here, now?

Despite my not sympathising with his plight he kept asking if I could stay, which I didn’t want to, to be honest. I said I really cared for him and understood his state because I had once had depression but that I decided I didn’t want to ‘receive the benefits’ of that horrible thinking any more and my way out was to take responsibility for polluting my own thinking and change it.

After 10 minutes I could not make a dent. He absolutely defended his right to be utterly miserable. And now I am left wondering if I totally failed myself, my values and my will to help the world, let alone him. Any answers for me my lovely followers?

My lovely flatmate has just asked if he was high and now I think about it, he did used to partake. Can I use that as an excuse for shrinking?


Accepting and Conferring

To accept a favour from a friend is to confer one – John Churton Collins

I picked a short one today I hope as I am feeling unusually ‘flat’ this week and am scared of what may pour forth. I am certainly not my usual upbeat, irreverent self. Back to the quote! To accept a favour from a friend. I like this simple message. To confer. Is that related to infer? Is there a word conferior like there is inferior? What would it mean? Well as con means with then if I am conferior to you I am 100% behind you, with you all the way, and want only the best for you, no matter our personal beliefs. See? Digressing in the first paragraph.

OK so imagine a friend offers you a favour – would you like me to babysit your newborn so you can get some sleep? That was a favour I had a really hard time accepting at the time even though I was struggling desperately with a husband who worked 6 days a week and travelled a lot, in a town where I knew almost no one. I did eventually accept (and was surprised how quickly and deeply I can fall asleep during the day) and was grateful. But why the resistance from me and why was it something they were happy to have me accept? Those are my questions here. Why would we ever resist a favour and why is it so enjoyable to do one?

Looking at acceptance; perhaps it means we might be putting the friend out in some way – No, it’s too much, I can’t accept. But that is our judgement, not theirs and we are putting thoughts in their head, thinking we know better. Ouch! Or it may mean we feel we owe them something. When I lived in Egypt I was told that this excessive generosity on the part of Egyptians is considered a way of life; that if you give unbidden, the other person will always be in your debt and you can ask something of them without feeling bad. But this sounds mercenary and not how I experienced their generosity. Often there was no way I could repay that generosity to us so I don’t think there was any ulterior motive. Anyway, if that friend is someone you don’t really trust, again you would not want to accept. You might feel there is a hidden agenda like parents often have with their kids. ‘I raised you and therefore you ‘owe’ me’. This is a contract unknown to the child, yet the parent seems disappointed when the child fails to jump at every whistle and be eternally grateful.

I do have difficulty accepting favours and I should think about why, for me personally. I think I am worried, not that they will think I owe them something but that I will think that I owe them something and am incapable or unwilling. Christmas can be agonising! She gave me this but I gave her nothing, or she forgot me, therefore she does not really care. Etc etc This is a false environment which sometimes misses the point of favours – that they are voluntary. If someone has given you a gift, be happy in order to give back, even if you have no physical gift to give them. If they count the lack of a gift from you, that is their belief, their choice and they can infer what they will. Communication may serve both of you well now if there was a hidden contract and you are not accepting graciously.

When I first read this, I imagined a lovely person offering a casserole to a person currently snowed under – such as when I moved house with 3 kids under 5 and my husband had to go overseas to a funeral that very day. The ladies group at my children’s school brought me a lasagna so that I would remember to eat amongst all the work. I gratefully accepted. Did I confer a favour? That group did not get together for nothing. They had a belief that they could be of service and they wanted to be of service, so yes I guess it is conferring favours by accepting their help. I didn’t see it that way at the time and now when I run into the lady that made it, 13 years later, as she lives locally, I always remember.

Some people feel they are born entitled and accept favours left, right and centre without a second thought. My daughter for one! I believe it is making her happier and less uptight so I am glad in a way. I cannot assume she is a ‘user’ if all the favour givers are being conferred upon and are genuinely happy to help. I certainly enjoy showing travellers around my area so I can hopefully absorb some of their joy at the beauty here.

The daft thing is that I am impulsive and offer favours very frequently. Sometimes I really regret them as I realise my favour might inconvenience my family, or does not take into account how I might be feeling at the time the favour is called upon. But mostly I get it, the favour is conferred on me instead. Not only do I feel like a nice person but things happen by the doing.

I have a very well meaning relative who would always confer favours, and though many were excellent ideas and offers, I became uncomfortable with the speed and efficiency with which those favours would change my day or life at that point. I became very resistant. I guess we just need to recognise that a favour means change and we don’t always want change.

I would like to help others find their dreams and having tested the water in little ways these past 3 months since I decided this, I realise how hard it is to do that. Doing favours can be hard. And if they had accepted, I would have been so happy. I think. They may have had their own reasons for not wanting what I thought would increase the quality of their lives and thinking, but really I was throwing mud around, hoping it would stick. If I really want to pursue this, I need the people looking for mud to come forward. And then let’s see where it takes me. In the meanwhile I can only learn what it takes to give; how to give graciously, respectfully and effectively. I am reading The Coaching Manual by Julie Starr which has been a real eye opener, not because I will definitely become a coach but in life skills and interaction. It often states the obvious that we take for granted.

We all go around with our head traffic, rethinking endlessly and confirming subconsciously our beliefs about the world based on our experience. When a favour comes along, it is like a hazard when driving. Despite the harsh word, in Australia anyway a driving hazard is defined as anything at all that can disrupt your path. It may even be something wonderful like a beautiful building or person that grabs your attention. So a favour is a kind of ‘hazard’ that disrupts your day. It is usually unexpected. We have to think and get our heads around what it will do for us, what it will do for the person offering it and how it will change the relationship. If you can keep in mind that the relationship is improved by accepting, there may be a little more closeness. You are perhaps rejecting yourself as well as the giver if you reject. If any of those people had accepted my offer of opening their eyes to the fun in life, they would have conferred a favour to me, definitely. I would get my act together to impart what I believe in a fashion more coherent than these posts and I might have felt useful, helpful and more creative in the doing of that ‘work’. They would teach me more than I teach them. Yes, we would spend more time together but that does not mean we are committed for life; it’s just a suggestion while it suits us both.

When I was younger and met strangers constantly from all my travels, I thought I had to keep in touch with all of them, or they would be sad and feel rejected. And I too would place meaning on whether they kept in touch. I am glad now to have gotten over that. It is not how it works at all. I talk to strangers in supermarket queues and anywhere I have to wait for anything and it is a favour if they talk back to me as much as it is a favour to them, if I can make them smile . Favours received and conferred abound in this way at supermarkets. Check it out. They are small favours – the favour of attention, of listening, of connecting and smiling. Easy to give and usually easy to receive. And the favours don’t stop there. Out walking in this area, 99% of passers by will smile, nod or say Good morning. Small connections, small favours are gratefully given and received. The ones that don’t connect stand out. They are in their own head space and I respect that.

What I have learned by writing today that by accepting more favours we are opening up our lives; opening it to connections as well as the favours. And I think we all need more of that!