priority boarding

Illuminateddandelion.com

Waiting to board an aircraft. Sitting at the gate and priority boarding has been called. First class, business class and ‘members’.

Much of our human world prioritises wealth. Money buys you privilege.

The chosen ones look at us as we sit waiting to be called. We, the less fortunate, gaze on as the priority few pass through.

We judge them. They judge us. The world over.

Whereas goodness, kindness, compassion. These things curry no favour, yet are worth more perhaps?

the misnomer of diversity

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We speak of diversity in reference to gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, ethnic or religious background…

The problem with this is the labelling it creates and the notion that we need to take special steps for this labelled cohort. Diversity, and sister terms like ‘inclusion’, suggest acknowledging groups, often minority groups. But the very grouping, the very labelling of the group, is itself creating a boundary. An us and them.

In reality, we’re talking about difference, and we’re all different. All individually diverse. All totally unique.

The more we pay attention to who we are and how we come to the world, the more curious and open hearted we are; recognising that everyone around us does that differently… the better we will be. Everyone comes as their unique self. Everyone has a place.

Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best

losing things

losing things

Do you lose things?

I do.  Keys are a favourite. Today I lost my phone – only for half an hour.

Sometimes I lose things that aren’t actually things.  Like losing my way, or losing interest. I seem to lose time too.  I look up and realise I seem to have lost several hours.

How do you lose something that doesn’t physically exist?

Ultimately though, these are all recoverable, or when push comes to shove, they don’t really matter. They can be replaced, recovered or simply forgotten about.  We move on.

Don’t ever lose your curiosity though. Or your sense of fun. Or your compassion for yourself. Or your sense of who you are. Or your sense of belonging. Or your sense of value, or place in this world. Or your humanity. Don’t lose yourself.

These are harder to recover from. Hold them close. Guard them devotedly.

reflections on reflections

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One of the most necessary liberations comes when you discover that what other people think of you is not the same as who you are.

When you can stop identifying yourself with the stories, mistruths and assessments of others, you can also free yourself from a constant inner pressure to appear as you think people want, or expect you to.

But once you know this, another wisdom must be taken on.

You have to understand that other people are not the same as your stories, perspectives or assessments either. That means that whatever you think you know about them can only ever be partial; one aspect, a single angle on a situation way more complex than you’ve allowed for. Whatever you see, know you are blind.

Once these truths are mastered, know also that the story you tell yourself about you, about your own limitations, your acceptance in the world, your abilities or inabilities, is also not who you are. They too are a judgement, blind to the whole you; distorted tales from long distant memories or unintended fabrications from your past. Knowing this allows you to silence your inner critic. It relieves you from the self imposed weight of expectation, the burden of disappointment, the constant sniping at your capability, your value, your contribution, how you come to this world.

This awareness makes space for compassion. Compassion for others and compassion for self.

That’s liberating.

myth busting

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How often do you think showing vulnerability is weakness?

We hide our own vulnerability so that it cannot be judged by others; and also by ourselves.

Yet, how often do you see someone else show vulnerability and see it as pure courage?

How in the face of so much difficulty, pain and suffering can this brave individual reveal to the world the extent to which they are hurting or not coping? Generally we don’t beat them up, we don’t pick on a weakness, rather we are inspired by their strength, warmed by their compassion, moved to support.

Vulnerability is not weakness.

Let’s bust that myth once and for all.

Free your vulnerability.

when we are played with by our own emotions

Earlier this week I hopped on a bus in London.

As I found my seat, the bus pulled away and I noticed a taxi slowing next to the bus, as the gap ahead was too narrow.  He slotted in behind, but merely for a few moments, before accelerating alongside the bus.

There was an exchange of views through open windows. Thankfully mostly inaudible, but clearly both had a perspective on what had just occurred.  They drove together sharing their perspectives for a few moments before the taxi veered off.

The bus driver audibly muttered ‘stupid’, thumped his wheel twice and clearly, as he repeated the word at least five times over the next three or four minutes, his attention was directed inwardly to whatever emotions he was feeling after the exchange.  Certainly some anger, maybe some frustration, possibly some hurt?  Who knows?  Maybe not even the driver.

I reflected for a moment on the safety of his passengers, as evidently his mind was not fully on the busy London traffic.

There is a drought of compassion in our world, and a deluge of blame.

I wished for my bus driver to be able to step outside his emotion and notice what was happening for him.

His emotions and doubtless those of his fellow combatant, the taxi driver, trapped them in their blaming world.

Stepping into what he was feeling, and why, might allow him space to contemplate what the taxi driver might also be feeling; from that awareness comes the capacity for compassion, for self and for others.

Sometimes we are merely toys, played with by our own humanity.

emotional replenishment

emotions shopping

I need to shop for food today. Saturday isn’t a normal shopping day for us – too many people in the aisles. The aimless people.

Anyhow, it occurred to me, what if I could shop for emotions? What would be on my list? What do I want more of and what do I have enough of in the cupboard?

Do I want more joy? More caring? More trust? More serenity? Do I need a little more sadness? A big pot of empathy? Do I need to refill my anger? Maybe I would like to take some lonely back to the shop?

Am I baking a relationship cake and need some extra courage? Some more selfishness, a little daring, some strong, rather than medium, fun? A big box of compassion perhaps, a soupcon of adventurousness and a large tin of hurt? Plus a garnish of warmth?

Maybe I’m about to change role and I need to stock up on thrilled, thoughtful and excited, buy a refill pack of embarrassed, but also purchase some ashamed and not good enough seasoning?

Or maybe I’m being forced to change role and need some hope, a little vindictiveness and a splash of inadequate, to go with the large supply I have at home of feeling used?

What would be on your emotions shopping list?