a list of presents to enjoy daily?

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I’m not a list person typically. I do like a food shopping list, but seldom make lists for other reasons.

Many of us make lists. I’m sure some of you had a Christmas present list. A list of gifts to buy friends. You may even now be preparing your New Years resolution list? Many of you may make ‘to do’ lists for work, or get given lists of jobs to do, at work or at home. Maybe you make a list of things to pack when you’re a few days away from a holiday? Maybe you list goals or achievements?

So… when did you last write a list of what makes you happy?

Perhaps a list we would all benefit from writing? A list we should perhaps refer to regularly?

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just who is the dinosaur?

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In my childhood I vaguely recall a film called ‘The land that time forgot’. Something about dinosaurs still thriving on a long lost island that a submarine, full of people, stumbles upon. The tale largely about their struggle to survive. I doubt it was a classic.

In our own lifetime though, we too forget such strange lands from our distant past. The land where play is everything. Where time has no meaning. Where larger inhabitants set the rules and look after us. Care free. A land where train rides are a wild adventure, long before we come to terms with commuting. A land where owning wellies with heels that light up, having chocolate cake, or getting stickers, is both thrilling and fulfilling. A land where magic prospers and wonder thrives.

For many, a happy time. Exploration and discovery, learning, fun, play, all at the heart of our daily existence. Our aspirations are simple.

Then we become adults. We struggle in this strange new land, working hard to earn money to buy possessions, or to save for a holiday to get us through. We sleep little. We struggle with worry and anxiety. Relationships are hard. Friendships move on line, with electronic photos and status updates a proxy for being together, as we were when we were six. Real living a film story, with plot and dramatic twist and turn. We drink too much to cope. Work too hard to play.

Childhood fun and freedom. A world of play, experimentation, learning.

The land that adults forgot?

 

 

a fog clearing clarity of attention

the beauty of silence

Sometimes we can use words to say nothing at all, and silence to explain everything.

adapted from Raine Cooper

The fog of words, a cloak of noise, distracting, attention seeking, truth masking. Sometimes said for our benefit, not the listener’s. Sometimes said to distort, excuse, replay well-worn stories.

The purity of silence, a state of being, wordless knowing, inviting connection and togetherness, honest communication, total attention, a deeper knowing.

 

unselfishly selfish gifting

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Last minute Christmas. It’s that time.

The rush, on the last few days, to find a gift for someone. Maybe you forgot. Maybe you have been busy. Maybe you couldn’t find your first choice gift. Maybe you didn’t think they would buy, but somewhat frustratingly they have, and it’s beautifully wrapped. Maybe you have been given something unexpectedly and feel the need to respond now. Maybe what you bought isn’t suitable. Not enough. Not right.

Christmas is a time for giving, so the saying goes. But is it? Really?

Are we perhaps really being our most selfish at this time? Is it more about our need? Our need to buy a gift that shows we know the person? Or that we care? Or that we didn’t forget? Do we, in point of fact, really give gifts for us? To make us feel good? To satisfy a value or need we have? Maybe we see ourselves as kind, thoughtful, loving, friendly. Perhaps. Or maybe it’s our need to be a friend, to be loved, thought of, our need to belong, to be treated kindly? Perhaps the act of giving makes us feel good in some other way?

Many years ago, when I began coaching, I considered working pro bono or for free. I had received coaching, seen the benefits, and wanted to coach selflessly, for free, so that other human beings might reap the rewards of coaching, enjoying life more, being more themselves, happier, more fulfilled, at peace.

I spoke with my own coach. He pointed out that actually I was doing this because it made me feel good. An act of giving that could literally change people’s lives, was in fact all about me. Selfish. My desire to free people to be at their best, really all about my needs.

He was right of course. It was a key realisation for me.

I wonder now, how much of our behaviour, our decisions, our choices are in fact for us. Even if they are ones of support or giving towards others?

Christmas seems to be a convenient opportunity for us to fulfil this selfish selflessness.

Have a joyous Christmas. Wherever you are, whomever you are with. By all means exchange gifts. The exchange is a bilateral selfish selflessness. Human. Healthy.

The best gift you can receive though, is increased awareness of your self. So reflect. Look inward. Understand and accept your true motivations. Give yourself something special this Christmas.

image by Gretchen Rubin

 

 

the space to be

fix-what-you-think-fix-what-you-do

The next time you have a thought… let it go

Ron White

We can become slave to our heads.

We ping pong between the past and the future. What has happened and what might happen. What we need to do. What we did or didn’t do. Experiences we have had. Opportunities to come. Lists of things to do. Things we did, or should have done.

Our thoughts begin to run us.

I must do this…
If only I hadn’t…
What if…?
Don’t forget…
What did I say…?
Should I…?
Why…?
When can I…?

Find instead a place where the mind is quiet. The body is present.

The space to be.