Do you believe yourself?

Believe yourself

Believe yourself

This isn’t a typing error. There should be no ‘in’ after believe in that sentence. We surely all believe in ourselves to some extent but do we believe ourselves and why does it matter? 

When I was a kid my siblings liked to stir me up by pretending they didn’t believe me when I told them something. I would get all upset about it and promise and swear on my Tiny Tears, in all earnestness that it was true.

It’s all too easy unfortunately to be mean to a child as they take things so seriously and believe in justice, right or wrong, black and white. It takes a while for them to realise that others sometimes like to be mean for the fun of it. It still eludes me today and I don’t enjoy practical jokes that can cause even a nanosecond’s discomfort to someone else.  Perhaps it’s because they have the tools to deal with that kind of thing, they assume everyone else does and that it won’t do any harm. Go pick on someone your own size!

Anyway it’s taken me a lifetime to realise that it doesn’t matter if others believe you as long as you believe yourself. If they say that red is green and you are an honest person yourself, not understanding why someone would lie, you might start to question yourself and look for proof that red is in fact green. What a waste of energy, better spent questioning why someone else would lie or try to stir you up. Better yet, accept that people are different, their journey is theirs and let it go. It doesn’t have to be part of yours. What they believe or what they tell you they believe is their business. Nothing to do with you. Have faith to believe what you believe until such time as you no longer do.  No one can take your beliefs away unless you let them.

This blog is for all the sensitive people out there on a journey to lose that sensitivity, see the rest of the world for what it is and accept that people do things which are incomprehensible to you. All we can do is get out of their way, not try to control or even change anyone else and work on our own filters, our own minds and our own stories. Most of all we need to believe ourselves. A lifetime of genes, experiences and decisions has brought us to where each of us is now, doing our best with what we have.  Further observation of life will take us onward, hopefully to a place of peace and understanding. All we ultimately have is our thoughts. Guard and protect them well.

guard your thoughts

The Quandary and the Shoe

quandary

Don’t type

Bad things happen to good people all the time, right? There is no rhyme nor reason and the best thing the ‘good’ person can do is not react, not take it on board with self blame and with any luck learn to let it go and become stronger in the process. Bad things don’t happen to you all the time, and the person doing the bad thing has to live with those kinds of outcomes day after day until they stop doing it and the lesson is learned. Karma.

However this ignores one tiny problem. Continue reading

Eternal Newbies

The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there – L.P. Harley

rollerskate toddler

So what? I ask myself, things move on and what’s gone is gone, irrelevant isn’t it?

However it is relevant because we learn from past experiences, hoping that this ‘knowledge‘ will serve us well in the future i.e. the here and now. Our brains get wired in this way. Unfortunately many things we’ve learned in the past just would not apply today. I am not even talking about caveman times. The changes in our own lifetimes are astounding. What worked for us 10 years ago or even last year may not get the same results today. And many careers are having to change because of it. I’ve heard that what Uni students learn in first year computer studies, is probably outdated by the time the course ends. It really helps nowadays to learn fast and think on your feet! Continue reading

Watch how you do it

Weighing it up

It’s a fairly regular occurrence it seems. You see it on TV and in the movies and you even do it yourself. You have an item you need to place somewhere else, say a piece of paper or an item for the laundry basket. Unfortunately you are not close to the bin or basket, but you are within throwing distance you reckon. So what happens next and what does this say about you? There is even an app or a game for your phone to chuck paper balls in the bin. It’s so satisfying, a little win in your day if it gets there. A little excitement, a little risk. A little finality. Think how nearly all sports involve getting a ball of some sort into a final resting place. Final, done, no questions asked (usually). Some certainty in this otherwise very uncertain life.

Anyway, there I was this morning, throwing dirty sexy lingerie (I’m joking, boring cotton underpants) into the laundry basket….. I assessed the distance, the wind speed, how hard I would need to scrunch the undies so they wouldn’t unravel in flight and slow themselves down. I looked at the direction, considered underarm and overarm throws and other items they might bounce off on the way. I aimed carefully at the basket and….

Waste paper

Do we often take this much care in life when doing things? Do we prepare ourselves for ‘flight’, decide how we will make our next move, aim ourselves in the right direction and give ourselves just the right propulsion, not too much, not too little? Or do we take no risk at all and simply walk over to the basket, using perhaps more energy than we need to do the same work and without the excitement? What if we throw the item and fail? What if we miss? Are we resigned, laugh, decide it was worth the fun and then walk over? Do we leave it for next time we are passing by or hope someone else will clean up after us?

There seem to be signs everywhere about who we are, how we do things, what mood we are in. We manifest in every little thing we do and I mean every thing, even as simple as this. Take a look at how you do things and wonder perhaps if there’s another way…

As for me I missed the basket. I forgot to factor in my unco-ordination. It was off to the right and fell short of the basket. All the more reason to try again next time 🙂

paper slam dunk

 

Yin and Yang


Power tools

I haven’t blogged for a while as my energy seems to have gone into doing up my home. I have heard of the concept of masculine and feminine energy and I wonder which is the more masculine – writing blogs or using power tools! I tend to reject the outside world, including my boyfriend, when I have this huge energy for getting things done so my renovating is a masculine pursuit for me. But what is writing? If feminine energy is being sensual, loving, yearning and preparing for someone else then I would assume that writing is a masculine pursuit.

What constitutes feminine energy? Some people are quiet and softly spoken, good listeners, gentle souls. That’s easy to spot. I look the part, wearing mostly dresses, my long carefully curled hair, make up and love of pink and anything girly but I have a lot of energy (and calloused hands) which surprises people. Sometimes I just want to get things done, so everyone else can bugger off and did I mention that I swear (a lot on a bad day)? I get impatient with pfaffing around, wonder why people don’t just get on with things sometimes and probably come across as aggressive at times.

I actually had a quote about gluttony to write about today but I am so off track I give up on that one for now 🙂 The ultimate digress!

Anyway back to today’s digress. My probably very sexist comments here are just ramblings – exploring out loud, which is why I took to blogging in the first place – a journey not to teach but to discover.

And of what use is today’s outburst to you, the reader if you have gotten this far? I think this has been a reminder to me to become more balanced. I must remember to use all sides of my persona and not head down a masculine path like a woman possessed. Living alone with my kids and not seeing my partner very often (he is another independent creative) has allowed me to indulge my selfish side, which often involves getting things done. But once I am on this ‘kick’ I find it hard to stop. It was Mother’s Day yesterday and I spent the whole day physically working on the home and garden. But I had the best day! And what does it take to commute this energy back to blogging? I committed to myself to at least try today and it’s been hard. This post has been rewritten so many times. I am all over the shop. No beginning, middle or end; no satisfactory conclusion (yet?)

OK here’s the moral of my story. May you remember today to stop and become aware of where you are at – achieving at the expense of human relations, or indulging in love and friendship while the things you should be doing remain neglected and are slowly building up into crisis mode. May your energies be balanced and harmony be restored.

Playful

 

I Had It All Backwards (as usual)

The finger

Just when you think you are on your way, you are almost smug, you think you have a handle on this thing called life and wayward emotions, something happens, the penny drops and you realise you are barely there after all.

“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.”
-William Shakespeare

I go for a run each morning and the first 800 metres is along a narrow street where you basically have to park to let another car through. It means I have to park myself and break my ‘stride’ in order to let each car pass. I have this silly thing where I watch intently to see if they will thank me for anticipating their passing, and taking myself off the road (there are no footpaths as it’s on a steep hill). Anything would do, a wave, a nod, a smile. Just any recognition that I had given them a little gift and not made them slow down on their way to work.

When I would detect no trace, I would walk back onto the road and give them the finger behind my back at waist level. Hah! That showed them!! As if they would even see it in such an odd place or know what it was!

Then I realised I had it all backwards, yet again. My joy is in doing a good deed, even if no one notices; in my own opinion of myself. And their joy would be in thanking me, if they did so. The ones that don’t acknowledge it are either in their own little world, perhaps late for work (more reason to get off the road), don’t realise that I got out of their way on purpose or are just not appreciative people. So their little joy is lost to them.

Now I can look into the faces of those in the cars I have stopped for and give them the warmest smiles, come what may. My run just got easier!

 

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

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

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