this is free

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Apparently someone is selling jars of fresh air to the Chinese.

The world has become so commercial we are now selling jars of air.  Mind you, that’s a small step from selling bottles of water I guess.

What next?

How much for a smile? What price a hug? Ten pounds for 30 minutes of daylight? Should it cost more to breathe in than to breathe out? Twenty pence a wink? Shade costs a pound a minute, unless you trade it for a cool breeze.

Let’s just hope love and human kindness remain no cost options.

 

now is the only everlasting memory

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Many years ago, the photograph was a physical thing.

Nowadays we live in a digital age. The image has become a series of ones and zeros, which can be shared instantly across the globe. It can be enlarged, edited, colours saturated, edges blurred. It can be enhanced with special effects, have its background changed, detail enhanced. All of this can be achieved in seconds. Methods and means for sharing are many, and once a photograph is out in the social network we lose track of its global journey; who might see it, where, how and when.

When we capture a smile in a photograph, it has an eternal quality. A moment in time is captured in digital form to be shared and enjoyed for ever. It becomes an everlasting smile. Or does it?

The photograph cannot replicate the human experience. The feeling that went with the smile. The sensation of the facial muscles drawing the lips back. The image or experience behind the camera that generated the smile. The joy of the moment. The supporting emotions of fun, love, togetherness, excitement, happiness. It cannot hold within it the sharing. The memories.

Today we have become obsessed by taking the picture. We snap them constantly. Delete the duplicates. Discard the imperfect. Edit them to impress.

Maybe we have forgotten to enjoy the moment? To take in the experience? To absorb the emotion and allow the feeling to wash over us like a wave of liquid happiness? To live the experience and therefore to enrich the memory? Maybe the smile in the moment is the only truly everlasting smile? The one in the now?

Let’s focus on the moment, not on the creation of the ones and zeros.

 

the courage of truth…

truth self be
I have just read an article in the paper.

The story is told by a grandmother and is of her five year old grandson, who wants to be a girl.

The author writes of the challenges the parents face, buoyed by a steely desire to support their son’s ‘wholeness’, but conscious of the white rapids of gender politics, judgement and bigotry society will toss them through.

The author also writes how her five year old grandson is teaching her. Teaching her about truth, mostly her own. Wrestling with her own inner dialogue daily – are we indulging him, what will people think of me? – she describes how she has had to turn to her own discomfort, own her own prejudice and confront the worst her imagination can conjure. She recognises the most unpalatable truth; that her own thoughts, words and actions questioning what she and the family are doing, have been about protecting herself.

What courage. What honesty. What love.

Would that we could all face our truth as this grandmother and her grandson are.

how much is a hug worth?

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I read this morning about a Chinese mother selling hugs in an attempt to raise money and awareness to save her four year old daughter, who has leukaemia.

She is selling them for around £1.  It made me wonder what a hug is worth?

A hug at certain times in our lives can mean much. It says hello, it says I’m pleased to see you. It is an expression of intimacy. It says I love you. It also says I’m there for you. It says I acknowledge your existence, I see you and you’re ok. It transmits understanding and empathy. It says don’t worry. It says you’re safe. It says I understand. And much much more. Physical connection, touch, makes us feel good, emotionally, physiologically and psychologically.

Research has shown hugging has an impact on our health, reducing levels of stress and anxiety, reducing heart rates, cortisol levels, blood pressure. It has also been shown to increase levels of Oxytocin, referred to in some circles as the bonding hormone, raising levels of trust and feelings of security.

Of course, reassurance and affection of this kind, through touch, can also come through holding hands, fingers gently entwining. It can come through a stroke of the arm or face. Even meeting eyes, or exchanging a smile can have similar impact. The hug though, seems to be the ultimate. Its level of connection more total, more of us physically in contact with more of someone else, our bodily cores aligned, as one. It pulls our hearts closer together, so that each feels the other beat. It holds our very being, in that moment. It contains our energy, our life source, which, in that moment before, seems in danger of leaking away.

Maybe you can think of a time when you gave someone that gift?

Maybe you can think of a time when that was what you needed. All you needed.

At that moment, what was that hug worth?

I would suggest, priceless.