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.

 

 

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Top 10 Benefits of Loving Yourself

Like me or dont

OK maybe it took me a few more years than that but I finally got there. Definitely life’s most important lesson; that whole loving and accepting yourself thing. It really is such a relief. And it’s true you don’t have time to convince someone else. The point is that you don’t need to when you love yourself. Maybe it’s you that you were trying to convince in the first place by trying to be popular.

Anyway here are 10 benefits of loving yourself off the top of my head.

  1. If you accept yourself, you can accept others, warts and all. ‘All criticism is self criticism’ – Harry Hooton. I’ve blogged on that before. See below.
  2. You save loads of time and head space not stressing about what you did or said wrong, because you accept it, let go and move on to thinking about more fun and constructive stuff
  3. When you screw up you can laugh at yourself instead of cry and that saves on tissues, and Botox further down the track
  4. It’s amazing how your confidence about doing things the way you do them rubs off on others and they start to do them too, which is fun! Start a movement.
  5. When people leave your life, as they were supposed to do, you are OK without them. You’ve always got yourself after all
  6. Your kids learn by example and learn that it’s OK to stuff up and be accepted. This fosters more honesty and communication between you.
  7. When you make a mistake you can admit it and move on instead of lying and covering up, which takes far more energy. I don’t often try it but I know that lying is super hard because lies beget lies and new stories and all the lies have to interweave perfectly to be believable. You have to create a whole new world to fit the lie into.
  8. Other people don’t have the power to offend you any more. Woo hoo!
  9. Other like-minded people are drawn to you and the non like-minded people keep away. They may bitch about you but it’s nothing to do with you and you don’t give it a second thought.
  10. Your world expands instead of contracts. You try more things, meet more people and develop constantly instead of trying to hide what you don’t like about yourself. Too much thought energy is wasted on the big ‘cover up’ instead of creating new stuff.

Well that was fun. Try it yourself! It started with 5 and then I kept going and going. It was fun to put myself in the headspace of being totally self loving in order to think of things. I do forget that I love myself and therefore berate myself unnecessarily and/or harshly sometimes but that’s OK too because the overall feeling is there and I forgive myself my mistakes, right? 🙂

Mind over matter

Well I’ll be Damned – pissing people off

Self Criticism

The Greatest Love of All

Building that Loving Relationship

 

I guess I must like this subject because I was looking for one of my posts on the subject and found at least four 🙂

The Insatiable Question

Can you see friday yetWe yearned for the future. How did we learn it, that talent for insatiability?”
Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

What is it about the future that’s so appealing and interesting? Eckhart Tolle says we think we need the future to ‘complete us’ but that we actually don’t. Albert Einstein says that physics proves that time is not linear and that we can affect the past by what we do now. I certainly believe we can affect our understanding of the past with a healthier mind and therefore can affect the amount of ‘suffering‘ which we let the past inflict on us. Buddha says all suffering is self-suffering. That often comes to my mind and is now held true in my personal belief system.

Anyway I digress. What importance do we give the future? When I was sad as a child, I cheered myself up with the thought that one day I would be married with kids and all the love in the world. It helped because I was seeing the essence of it; the anticipation of what that love meant to me. Loads and loads of just love. Do we always see the future in such black and white terms? I think so, purely because life bombards us with detail and we can’t even comprehend the detail of what’s to come, so we generalise. We look forward to a warm feeling we think we are going to have, from whatever objects or experiences we think we are going to have.

Of course it can go the other way and we could see the future as nothing but misery if we are depressed now, in the very same way; a hunch, a feeling, an overall concept. Very little detail.

But you can’t forget the detail of the ‘future’. The detail confuses things but also gives rise to potential to create what we want out of it. Life is like a soup. If you are swimming around in the soup, thinking it’s chicken soup, then every time you come across a shred of chicken your beliefs are confirmed. If you think it’s sweetcorn soup, you will notice all the chunks of corn instead. But you may assume your future is just going to be an all good or bad soup, and you forget all the flavours, variety and experiences coming to you which you will be ‘manipulating’ with your current belief system to create more of what you actually already have.

So the future is just more of what you have now. It’s not so different. It can’t complete us. It can only try to complete the ego which is the insatiable part. Insatiable needs to satisfy an insatiable ego. Futile really.

The future starts today, not tomorrow.” 

Pope John Paul II

So I am back to the realising the Power of Now. It’s all there is and it’s very comforting knowing that I already have everything I need. I can see Friday quite clearly and it looks good to me.

 

 

The Love Triangle

Deserving of Love

I’ve often wondered in a relationship whether I would rather be the person who is most in love or who is loved the most. If the other person seems to be more in love with you, you are surprised with the displays of love even without doing anything in particular to deserve them. You may be given gifts or be spoiled or treated in whichever of the five love languages your partner likes to show – words, touch, spending time with you, gifts or doing things for you. Hopefully they match your own love language for you to truly appreciate it. If they keep saying they love you but you don’t feel loved unless they hug you a lot you may not get it.

Anyway I digress. So which would I rather? My ego says Love me More. Then I can feel ‘safe’ and can revel in the love, assuming it may continue and I won’t ever be heartbroken. My ego says ‘bring me all good things to remind me I am alive and worthy, because I need constant reminding and finally I may really get it one day’.

I believe this quote above, unfortunately. Of course our moods change each nanosecond and one minute we feel we are worthy and the next we do not. I was reminded of this concept of allowing in praise by a parenting course I once took. It said that all this praising of children would not necessarily make them feel good about themselves. For example if they did a rushed drawing in class and they didn’t put in much effort, they would feel like you were lying even if you thought it was amazing. I think we all have this filter, sadly. And the drawing may have been amazing but the child judges whether to accept the praise on how they felt about it themselves; how much effort they put in. And if you said that every drawing they did was amazing, they would soon get tired of hearing that same word and assume you were just saying it because you are their mum. Yet you may actually find everything amazing. Hard to win sometimes.

My daughter won’t play me the songs she wrote yet because she says I am biased and will love everything. So there comes a point when you mature enough as a child to sadly question the praise against the filter of what you think you deserve. As a baby we are supposed to think the world revolves around us and it does. Somewhere along the way we realise that it doesn’t or we won’t always get what we hope for and we try to predict what we will and won’t get and behave accordingly in order to get more of what we want.

The answer in the parenting book by the way was to be specific about what you like in the painting so they can see you have taken time to really look and appreciate. Then they can see what is good about it themselves. I would say it’s more important to be genuine. I think people have a sixth sense about your level of enthusiasm for something. How do we become authentic and enthusiastic about life? I am not sure exactly. Practise gratitude. Learn how to look for the positive in anything. That bliss that comes to me from time to time cannot be pinned down or called forth on demand but it often returns to me. Maybe I have to feel the non bliss to feel the bliss.

Again I digress. So would I rather be the one who is madly in love because by being with this special person I feel the bliss, I am grateful to be in their presence and because any attention from them elicits a huge response? I came round to thinking that this was the way to go and don’t worry about the potential heartbreak or that they seem to care less. You are the one in a state of bliss. But of course you are probably then too affected by the negatives also; too sensitive to them. The ego at work.

Someone once pointed out that I have a hard time accepting compliments and that I should not negate what others say, like saying how old or cheap an item of clothing is for example. I didn’t feel deserving and brushed them off. It works the other way too. I always smile when a teenager is complimented on their tan and they say that it has already faded and was much darker last week. I used to do that. Bolstering yourself, using your own judgement as a yardstick for what you deserved. The ego again!

So now I have another way to go in the old Love department. If your ego does not need that validation, you can love the other person intensely yet not need to see them, or be wooed constantly. You can accept the love without needing it and take everything they say in the spirit in which it is said without filtering out anything.

It was really hard for me to get here and maybe I am just lucky that my significant other is the same; in fact he taught me this but could not teach me to love myself. That comes from my search for meaning. And maybe all couples get to this point eventually once the dust has settled and you know you can trust them. There comes a point of balance and acceptance.  Enjoy.

Letting it Out

Being there for everyone else

This seems cute and obvious and perhaps a reminder to appreciate the people in your life who are there for you but I want to take it one step further.

Yesterday I had a mini meltdown!! I was so looking forward to an event where I knew a really deserving friend was about to get some much needed and long overdue recognition. How did I know this? Because I had been gathering the praise from all the people who loved and appreciated her and had them ‘vote’ for her, complete with writing down why she deserved to win. We all have those kind words and appreciation inside us for various things and people in our lives but until we are called to task and reminded to put it out there, we can seem to take things for granted. I didn’t even know if everyone I contacted would vote, but they did and it was lovely to hear in other people’s words why they also think she is special. And I wasn’t even sure who to ask as she usually floats under the radar so there should have been many more.  

All through the event, I kept looking at her hoping I was right about what was coming. So too did some of the other people I contacted, I noticed; huge smiles on their faces. Finally as the comments were read out, before the winner was actually named, and some of the descriptions of what she did were starting to point quite conclusively at the lady in question I saw it dawn on her. Her head dropped and the tears started to form. But this is where I melted. I cried way more than she did. I have a lump in my throat now, just at the memory.

But back to her. The comments kept coming; things which people had been thinking but not showing before now. She told me later that she was so overcome that she was shaking all morning as well as smiling all day. After the event people kept coming up and hugging her and I realised that there were so many people in other departments I could have contacted.

I didn’t let on that this wasn’t a spontaneous outpouring; that I had orchestrated it. That might have detracted from her joy. It made no difference that I was the vehicle for this because people would not have taken the time to think, write and vote unless they wanted to. All I knew is that I thought she was special and I could see she needed a pick me up. I didn’t realise how much it would affect me. Could the quote be true?

Now to me, sorry. I was a mess. I had to really calm myself and hide it from her though of course she noticed later and came over, being the beautiful person that she is. I blamed it on another event in my day which I hadn’t enjoyed. I shall just say I think it was a full moon!

So I got to questioning the strength of my reaction. Tears for her joy and tears for me. I was worried that my ego wanted that validation for myself; that I wasn’t as altruistic as I thought. I know it’s important to love yourself and not wait for this outside validation, and that I felt good, really good being the instigator of others being reminded to act on stored appreciation for this lady. However I did nothing. I can’t take credit because if I do, I will have to take credit for all the bad stuff I inadvertently do too. I can only examine and rationalise my feelings, and use the information about my reactions to go forth a wiser person. It was just a weak moment, I’m only human. We all get caught up occasionally.

Hey look I realise that I have cheered up already. This writing out your feelings in a blog post really works! 

[I would just like to say that I could have done this exercise for so many people I know.  There is love, compassion and beauty in so many.  Have you really looked at the people around you recently?]

 

Who stole my present?

Just a quick, simple but important reminder as I awoke from a nightmare this morning and am not quite connected. Haha I realise I have just ‘let the past steal my present’ by letting the nightmare affect me. It is slowly wearing off. In my nightmare after a morning of being horribly disorganised and leaving for work very late and only half dressed, I attracted two rapists in a public car park and the rest of the people in the car park left (walked past me on foot) so I knew I was in trouble. When I woke I decided that if I was ever in that situation I would leave with the other people if I could even though it would appear odd and rude as the two men had started speaking to me. (I’ve heard that politeness and worrying about what other people think can make you more susceptible to rape as you don’t avoid the person your instincts tell you is dodgy). It was a horrible variation on my recurring disorganised dream where I have uni exams and haven’t attended the classes. Much worse consequences though.

Anyway I digress. So how does the past steal your present? And why shouldn’t it? As Eckhart Tolle says, the past is now just a memory, like a film in your mind. You may have photos and videos which last longer than the memories but even they will be destroyed eventually, like all physical things. We also ‘rework’ the memories into part of our ‘story’ that we commonly (but unfortunately) carry around with us, attached to our ego. This story can steal our present if it keeps replaying louder than the events around us. To steal our present means leave us not fully aware of what’s going on around us. It leaves us unable to be present and fully appreciate and enjoy things for what they are. The past could be terrible, full of childhood horrors which may steal our present by leaving us fearful and distrustful, or it could have been ‘magic’ so that nothing we do or have now compares.

Our bodies regenerate every seven years or so I have heard. Each body part takes different amounts of time. Our memories remain in our brains within connections and electrical pulses I believe, though clearly I know very little on this subject. My point is that thought is the main thing that we keep with us on our journey. (OK I’ve heard that cells have memory too but I don’t want to go too deep). Lessons, experiences, skills etc come with us. And so do the stories. If we can’t rework those stories into something manageable (accept life, become philosophical, forgive and forget) then they will bite us and affect our present. They will steal it by clouding our current experiences negatively. The first thing I did on awaking today was remove the photo of me in a bikini on my other blog!! Fear crept in and I listened.

So how can we rework those stories? Realising that they are stories formed by us is the first step. Realising we have the power to shape them and that we therefore have the power to reshape them is important. And having the will to let the story of your past go and ‘be present’, using all your senses to realise that where you are right here, right now is probably safe and calm is helpful if not essential.

Ultimately, we have to take responsibility for our own happiness and not assign the power to something external. We may not think we have the strength to overcome or forget the past but for me it is a worthwhile endeavour. Joy is Now. Look around you. You are bombarded with current information. Your surroundings, feelings, senses should take up every ounce of your thoughts and with whatever you have left, shape your ‘now’ the best way you can. Create beautiful experiences. Now where’s the chocolate?

 

Close the door on guilt

This seems a little controversial to me. I was introduced to the works of Paulo Coelho by a man I got talking to at the beach 5 years ago. I read a few of Paulo’s books and couldn’t really understand at first why he was so extraordinarily popular as he seemed to be a little egotistical and also simplistic. I think I am drawn to the honesty in his writing. Perhaps that is the drawcard. Honesty takes great courage in the face of society. We hear so many ‘shoulds’ in life that say you mustn’t close the door on this or that, that it’s lazy to give up or rude not to stay in contact with someone or you should persevere with this or that because it builds character. I have heard that family is everything and you should stick with them no matter what. But that ‘what’ is sometimes too high a price to pay and we are all free to walk away if we can be courageous enough to be ourselves and give ourselves what we think we need at any given moment. What is the price of doing something we want instead of something that someone else wants? Guilt usually. Guilt creates a no win situation if you let guilt creep into your life. Banish it immediately!

 

So I love this quote of Paulo’s. You won’t find too many like it. I love Barbara Sher because she also give you permission. We would find inner peace if we could give ourselves permission. Permission to be ourselves and to ‘do’ ourselves.

 

When we are bombarded with messages daily, we can choose whose opinions resonate and sit well with us. Barbara Sher gave me permission to stop blogging at any time and it is obvious of course but nice to be reminded. I will blog as long as it suits me which may be another week or forever! She actually gives you permission to stop doing anything you want; that’s it’s OK to do something only for as long as you want. I am a jack of all trades and get wildly excited by certain new things. It could be a song, a handbag, a YouTube video, a person, a recipe, quantum physics, the colour of something, whatever. But if I had to stick with something for too long I would miss out on discovering new things. I would ‘fall off my energy beam’. I think the general consensus is that you should settle down, become an expert in something in order to be successful, or stick with a spouse forever in order to have a successful marriage or have friends you’ve known since kindergarten. How about working at a job for a decent amount of time in order to look good on your resume? There are many examples of where we are encouraged to do, be, know something long past it’s due date.

Paulo implies that we get accused of pride, incapacity or arrogance if we don’t stick with something. Harsh judgements. Who are the people who want you to stick with them? Scared people usually. Why should you stick with a job? To become an ‘expert’ and therefore be a ‘success’, but it’s not a success if you are miserable. Why would you stick with a course of study? To get a certificate you may never need to prove to the world.  Why would you stick with a partner?  If it’s for what the proverbial neighbours think, you are giving your power, freedom and happiness away unnecessarily.

 

Is there something you keep in your life, some door you are afraid to close because of guilt even though it leads you nowhere? I close doors with love. Love to go and do your own thing while I go do mine. I long ago learned the lesson that guilt serves absolutely no purpose ever. Who wants more bad feeling in the world that resolves nothing? Does it really make you do something different next time; be a better person?

 

If you have the courage of your convictions and walk away from a person, an exercise class, habit, group of people, or even way of thinking, it frees you up. I have so often heard that when one door closes a window opens. I think it’s supposed to mean that a door has closed against your will and the thought of something new coming along cheers you up. I believe that. But if you have closed that door yourself, you may be ostracised. What’s the difference?

 

This is where freedom and courage to make your own choices comes in; to truly be yourself. Those that love you understand why you are making these choices. They agree that you are free to make them. Those that don’t love you will never understand anyway. Those that call you these names are not free themselves; they are caught in the shoulds of life. Perhaps they wish to be free also.

 

Anyway thanks to Paulo for being a voice you don’t hear too often which says walk away when something no longer serves you. If we are truly strong inside we don’t need his permission either but it’s great to see it in writing. If we want to walk back later that is OK too, why should we have our ‘tail between our legs’? It is always our decision.

 

Building that Loving Relationship

Everything we explore and experience is an expression of our relationship with our primordial nature – Damon Gautama

http://becomingfullyhuman.wordpress.com/2012/11/21/it-can-be-helpful/

I take my inspiration from two of my favourite bloggers today Yaz Rooney and Damon Gautama who were both the vehicle for bringing me something I need at the moment. Thank you both. When I am down I can just go and read all the amazing posts from the bloggers I have discovered. I could just gobble you all up, I am so grateful.

Both messages are about love and relationship which, now I think about it is the number one, numero uno, the only thing worth having on this planet! Yep, back to sweeping statements. I think my Mojo must be returning! Confident to allow my ignorance to shine forth once again and not care how it’s received.

Damon points out that we have only one relationship and that’s with our primordial nature. To me that means with ourselves though I am sure he is also referring to the fact that we are all one in a sea of Quantum Energy. You could call it a relationship with the Universe or God if you like to use that word (which I am not comfortable using myself personally).

This relationship with yourself is based on faith and trust in yourself. Do you have trust that you will keep to your own (high?) standards? That you are being the ‘best’ you can be and won’t let yourself down, or judge that you are letting yourself down (same thing perhaps)? Do you have inner peace because you have faith and trust that as your life unfolds it will bring you what you want? How about what you need? If I open my eyes and look clearly once more I realise it certainly is bringing me what I need, if I have courage to see it. It takes courage to be happy. Courage to go ‘Oops I was wrong but it’s OK, I can learn from this’. I forgive myself. This week I wasn’t forgiving myself for being grumpy and unsettled. Damon responded to my comment about how I was feeling, that there is a big energy going through the world this week and I believe it because I want to believe that it’s not just me feeling this way. I have looked around for examples of other people feeling grumpy to solidify my opinion and gratify my ego. Easily done and pointless really. Seek and ye shall find. But of course it’s fine if I am the only one in the whole world feeling this way. I am allowed to. Anywhere in the world just now is someone overjoyed at having a baby or getting married or falling in love. And others are perhaps in mourning for something – a job, money, lover, identity which they thought they needed to go on being happy. Of course their journey is to process the loss or the gain, and hopefully come to the conclusion that it’s all OK. Everything is fine as it is. They are fine as they are. Outcomes are neither good nor bad.

Anyway I digress. Back to success and the success of loving who you are, what you do and how you do it. My ego loves that I can bounce back. My ego loves my job in customer service, problem solving and helping people. I get a kick out of feeling I have gone above and beyond to help them, even if they don’t see it. And I love how I do it – with enthusiasm, understanding attitude and tone of voice on the phone, putting my brain into gear to not only help them solve the actual problem but make them feel better. I defend the company I love if possible and apologise for our failings when all too necessary. It’s about connection, as is any job really. I am at an entry level job, probably unappreciated by society yet I am finally feeling like a success now that I see it the right way! I always thought I needed more but I just needed to see it right and I knew it. This quote clarifies it for me more and I am grateful.

So if our one relationship and possibly our happiness rests on how we judge our relationship with ourselves what can we do to improve it? For me it’s applauding my own successes in whatever form it takes (not buying the fattening honey roasted Macadamias in the supermarket yesterday) and forgiving my failures (buying the half price Toblerone and a bottle of Frangelico this week in hopes of making some amazing new cocktail I have the recipe for somewhere, using Christmas as an excuse).

Applaud and Forgive. It’s quite the opposite of the Beat Myself Up and Downplay Anything Good that I did, said, wore, felt.

I am back on track! Praise be to ….?????  

Chasing Butterflies

Defeat strips away false values and makes you realise what you really want. It stops you from chasing butterflies and puts you to work digging gold – William Moulton Marston

I have another confession. I think I let something silly get to me, unless it was the eclipse of the sun playing havoc on our collective consciousness 🙂 . From the high of enjoying rising blog views in the 50s or 60s, now for the last week I barely register over 25 per day and it’s slowly falling. Because I let the numbers bother me I will say I tasted defeat. I temporarily lost my exuberant self. Taking a day off blogging yesterday was perfect. I sat in the morning sun and watched the rainbow lorikeets. I let the slight breeze cool my coffee and the sun kiss my cheeks and I listened to all the bird noises. When I got back from work I didn’t rush to check my computer but picked up 3 books and read each of them for a while. I ‘felt’ my way through Fifty Shades Freed, started (waded through) A Course in Miracles and then moved on to Barbara Sher‘s ‘It’s only too late if you don’t start now‘ which seemed like light reading in comparison. And this is where I found this quote.

Just what I needed to hear! I was writing and digging for gold deep in the ground within me and then got distracted by butterflies – beautiful growing stats, a myriad of countries listed every day on WordPress, amazing new friends. I tried to rein myself in a couple of times and get back to basics, but along came another butterfly and off I’d go, thinking about them and not why I need to write. And so the shiny gold I was finding stopped appearing and the butterflies stopped being attracted because there was nothing left to catch their attention.

So my learning is advancing. Barbara is not saying in this book that you give up your dreams. She is saying that when you stop chasing butterflies – wealth, standing, admiration etc you rediscover who you were, what you really loved as a kid, who you still are, what nourishes your soul and you start digging again. And the results of your labour mean more to you than keeping up with the Joneses. The results may well be the things you strived for in the first place but they won’t come at a cost anymore, because your natural talents come easily. Because they are enjoyable you put in the fun hours and what you thought was a natural lack of discipline doesn’t come into the equation. Rewards come in all forms, internally and externally because you are more engaged, you give out a better energy (I am guessing) and you are authentic.

The authentic me laughs a lot and chokes up at many things including youtube videos, kids hugging, donating to charity, people saying hello and goodbye at the airport. The list is growing. My experience seems vivid compared to many people and the high energy levels grate with some who want me to be more level, calm. But I am calming on the inside and if anything the real me is getting more exuberant on the outside. An eccentric English lady. What a cliché.

1960s Costume 2009

Anyway I digress. My false values are hugging the numbers to myself, using them to tell others who have no interest in my blog, that up to 63 people in exactly 25 different countries have been interested in what I have to say! And what I really want? To finish writing each morning feeling like I have grown just a little and surprised myself with what I found inside. ‘To be more than I thought I could be’ to quote Whitney Houston.

How accurate is your measure?

Everyone is trying to accomplish something big, not realising that life is made up of little things – Frank A. Clark

I have a basket full of little things to choose from. Actually I have house full of activities I like to undertake. No, I have a lake full of water and in each drop are the ideas I have for making my life memorable. No, forget that. I have a universe of potential but it all comes down to my little basket from which things peek out at me and I choose to do them from time to time. Little things only.

What do I want to accomplish that’s big? Ideally I’d like to take every human being for whom depression can be cured by mind over matter and not those that really need drugs at this stage in their lives and inject them with clear thinking, faith that it’s all OK really. They are OK, the world is OK. Perhaps that means I want to be all powerful if I’d like to help everyone. Yikes. Actually I can’t cope with power as I don’t have the confidence to think I could keep up whatever got me there, day after day and I would therefore let people down and cause suffering. Fail.

So I can only do little things. I write every day on this subject when I could be writing about just about anything. Just point me at a subject, and I have something to write :). And that’s where my ‘problem’ lay in life until recently. I judged my myriad of little ‘accomplishments’ as worthless. There is no big thing you could say that I achieved. No career, no profession, no consistency. I felt bad. Because I have so many interests, I try to break each thing I love down into tiny parts to get at least a sample of it as much as possible. On top of working full time, I talk to the kids, run for 20 minutes each day, write my diet blog, read all the blog posts I subscribe to (there seems to be a lull at the moment and I am not getting so many posts – where is everyone?). I am also reading three books and about to start A Course in Miracles because I keep seeing quotes from it.

And then I remember what’s in the bottom of the basket. I remember how much music lifts me up and I think my life will be improved if I could just squeeze in 20 minutes a day of practising the piano, or listening to my favourite songs. Then I think my brain would be better off in the long run if I practised my other languages or my lousy juggling or did Sudoku more often.

So it appears that I cannot accomplish something big in any one direction. I will never be an expert at piano, languages, juggling, running, gardening and certainly not at my job. And what about the rest of the things I’d like to do?

But I realise that I have accomplished something big. If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one says Mother Teresa. Well I am feeding myself. I am happy. I fixed my depression with clear thinking. And that is big. Finding bloggers out there who gladden my soul with their posts – Yaz, Diane, Julien, Damon, Cristian, Richard, Evan, Seth the photographer, to name but a few is BIG. I don’t follow the news I confess. I would rather fill my time with ‘listening to’ people I admire, not hearing about the actions of people that I don’t admire. And this is real, current, now. I am finding bloggers who brighten my love for the world and fill my head with more love.

So now I can add up my little things and realise I am accomplishing something big. A life I can enjoy. I shouldn’t take it for granted. I take my happiness and silly attitude and inject it wherever I can. People smile and laugh. With me, at me I don’t care (have you seen the ugly pictures on my Joy Is Now Gravatar?). I kind of live life with the attitude ‘if you can’t set a good example, you’ll just have to be a horrible warning’. Only I enjoy not always getting it right. It’s funny.

I completely digressed and probably missed the whole point of Frank’s quote probably. I think he is saying that by doing little things you will eventually accomplish something big. I say you have to realise how far you’ve come and redefine what BIG is. Infinite little decisions in our day make us who we are and we are already big. Go ask the people who love you! Theirs are the only voices worth listening to.