the caveman in my passion fruit

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I have always thought of troglodytes as rather primitive cavemen.

So therefore might presume ‘troglodytes troglodytes’ to be a gang of primitive cavemen. A tribe maybe? Often in urgent combat with neighbouring gangs. Fighting to survive. Living a tough existence. Crude, hardy, simple.

Yesterday’s blog post referred to a nesting wren we have.  A sweet little bird just outside my window.

I discovered today that the scientific name for the wren is ‘troglodytes troglodytes’.

Now my understanding, my presumptions, my knowing… is blown apart. Boom.

New connections, new meaning, new awareness. Wow that’s good.

the in tray blanket

comfort_blanket

In our business, when claiming expenses, we have to post receipts to the relevant finance department. Their office is in a building over the road from mine, so today I wandered over to drop off some receipts in person.

Meanwhile a form with its monochrome content of figures and descriptions, constituting my expense claim, was coursing its way through the invisible veins of our finance system, pausing in a workflow for the arrival of its life affirming sister receipts. Proof of its very right to exist. Its stamp of validity.

I arrived in the office to discover there was an in-tray, on top of  filing cabinet.  A plastic in-tray with a laminated sign, propped up to indicate its purpose in life. ‘Expenses receipts’

I dropped in my receipts, stapled to a copy of my claim form.

I paused.  There is something strangely reassuring about an in-tray.

I’m old enough to remember in-trays and out-trays.  The satisfaction of processing work to empty the in-tray and move it to the out-tray.  Work arriving, often in envelopes, departed in much the same way,dropping into the internal mail system to wend its way to the next person in the work chain, safely enshrined in a manilla envelope, carefully addressed to the next recipient.  As for the pending tray – what the … was that all about?!

In our modern world, much has improved. Much is to be embraced.

This morning though, my brief dalliance with an old friend, the in-tray, led me to reminisce.

For all the joy of the new, we still enjoy hanging on to the familiar sometimes.

We do this in most aspects of our lives.  Fond throw backs to times gone by. Favourites from the past. Comfort blankets that all is well with the world.

This morning, a humble in-tray was my comfort blanket somehow.

Photo: Elky-Lou on Deviant Art

 

weirdly new, weirdly human

weirdly new

I’ve just taken delivery of a new car.

It’s the same as my old one.  Same manufacturer. Same model. Same specification. Same colour.  Sure a couple of minor details have changed as they have updated the styling, but essentially it’s the same car.

I’m really excited though.  Strange how the smell of a new car is so good.  I feel like a child at Christmas.

I’ve walked around it several times and lovingly stroked it or removed an imaginary blemish or tiny sign of dirt.

I’m driving carefully too – around a car park, at least.  Strange because it’s the same shape and size, yet I’m being ultra cautious.

Given so little is different.
Given so little has changed.
Why is my behaviour so markedly altered?

How we respond to change.  How our behaviour is connected to our thoughts – real or imagined.  How our senses influence our reactions and our imagination.  Weird, but very human.

meta to the meta

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Meta tags appear on web pages. They aren’t visible to the reader, they contain data describing the page. Data on the data, if you will. ‘Meta’ can also be described as a concept which is itself an abstraction from another concept.

Going ‘meta’ to a situation can also be a self referential place; stepping outside of oneself to observe oneself.

An example might be to ask “What do I think about my thinking?” Or perhaps to explore, “How do you reflect on those reflections about that?”

Sometimes, creating a different physical perspective can help still further. Try this out…

Sit and think about a problem or issue you are currently grappling with. Notice what you’re thinking and feeling as you explore this difficulty.

Now, get up and stand across the room, looking at the original chair or place you were just in. Here you are no longer thinking about the original problem, instead you are considering the thinking about the problem.

Ask yourself “What do I notice about that thinking?”  Ask yourself “What do I think and feel about that thinking and what do I hear in that thinking?”

Notice what comes to mind. Perhaps you think the thinking was a little negative or judgemental? Maybe you notice uncertainty or confusion? Maybe you notice more than one perspective in the thinking – like an internal dialogue? Notice whatever comes to mind?

Now, stand in a third place; another part of the room, still further from the original chair. This time look at the place where you were standing a few moments ago; the second, reflective place. From this new third place, ask yourself “what do I notice, what do I think, how do I feel about that thinking in that place?” The thinking about the thinking, if you will.

Here you may find new insights. New meaning. New significance. New awareness on the original issue… as you go meta to the meta.

 

the balance of both?

change routine balance
A change is as good as a rest, so the saying goes. But we are creatures of habit, so says another familiar saying.

So which?

Most of us like to experience something new from time to time. Something different. The first time experience is life affirming. It is growth. It is learning. It brings excitement. Anticipation. We holiday in new locations, learn a new skill, see a new band live, buy a new outfit, change our job. Change injects adrenaline. Gives us a buzz. We seek it to bring interest, to force movement, to drive personal growth.

Yet we also like routine. We like the familiar. Something predictable. Solid. Grounded. There is great joy in revisiting a memorable place again, enjoying a favourite meal, wearing that familiar shirt, replaying that special album track. In fact routine structures our lives. We rise at the same hour, dress, shower and breakfast in the familiar sequence. We travel to work the same route at the same time. Regular meetings. Story time, bath time, bed time.

Change and consistency. New and familiar. Spontaneity and routine.

Maybe we are creatures of contrast? Maybe that’s the habit?