when losing is actually winning

noeyecontact

The other day I crossed the road, joining the opposite footpath at an elbow. A ninety degree corner in the road.

Coming towards me was a man.
He made a beeline for the apex of the corner.
That was my trajectory too.
We were on a collision course.
I looked at him, trying to read what his decision might be.
We can work this out, together, I urged.
No obvious signals.
No eye contact.
He stared steadfastly at the corner.
I looked straight at him.
Engage me, I said with my eyes.
Let’s work this through.
Nothing
A second had passed.
He stared at the corner.
No eye contact.
Collision seemed imminent.
Inevitable.
I broke my stride.
Created a gap in our flight paths.
He pushed on through.
I passed safely a pace behind him at the apex.
Disaster averted.
Still no eye contact.
No recognition of my existence.

Strange how eye contact allows the other person in. Denying it seems somehow to keep us safe. Protected. No need to feel any responsibility. Any connection. Any trust. Any shame. Any emotion at all.

The man got the corner.

I got more.

reality blind?

We have seen this road sign many times – it is familiar as an image.

We don’t need to read the sign. We are conditioned to know red means stop. The words are somehow irrelevant.

We have seen this context too. Roadworks, queues, lights, single file traffic…

So, if this sign said, “WHEN GREEN LIGHT SHOWS WAIT HERE”, would we stop? Probably not.

I wonder how often in life do we ignore what we are being told, verbally or visually, because we have been programmed to create our understanding, our awareness, by what we have experienced before?

How often might we delete, distort or generalise the information, because our programming  tells us what we need to know?

In reality, how blind are we to reality?

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.

signalling endings, signalling beginnings

dusk

Dusk is here.

It’s a strange time. The transition between day and night.

Day and night are clearly marked in our routine of existence.  Each of us associates certain activities with day and night – everything has a place in one or both. Day is when we get up, for example, as many of us work in the day.  Some of us though work at night, so day is when we sleep and everything is reversed.

Dusk is different though.  I can’t think of something I associate with dusk.

It seems solely to exist to mark the transition from day to night.  The fading light a reminder that day is ending and night is beginning.

Signalling endings. Signalling beginnings.

Maybe there is a place for this signalling elsewhere in our lives?
Maybe then change wouldn’t be so scary?
Maybe the signalling could be seen as a celebration of a new beginning?
The celebration of a time passing and a chance to enjoy what that time gave?

Maybe every transition and change programme needs dusk?

 

meta to the meta

image

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.

 

when enough isn’t enough

image

Information is important. Not having enough, troublesome. Too much?

I once saw an advertisement hoarding at a football match. It named the company and its business then proclaimed ‘find us in the local newspaper’. Now why it wasn’t possible to provide a telephone number or a web address I don’t know, but insufficient information, I suspect earned them little business.

The wall in this supermarket entrance explains to me the meaning of the word ‘reusable’. As a result, I find myself reluctant to shop there. ‘Reusable’ is enough. I judge them for their need to patronise me.

I photographed this image below recently. It made me laugh.

image

It was interesting to me that the addition of the tick and cross, the marking of my effort in effect, was the thing that rankled. Equally it gave me no room for alternative, equally erroneous, parking positions or angles. One right, one wrong.

Sometimes enough is a very personal thing. And enough isn’t always enough, especially when it’s too much.

Notice what is missing and what tips you into too much. This is about you, about me, not about the information.

 

beauty on the roof

IMG_2116

This morning, the ice on the roof of my car looked like this.

Incredible that a little water, the right temperature and ambient conditions can produce such complex intricacy, yet delicate beauty.

I am exploring personal learning and growth currently, and working with an agricultural metaphor – plant a seed, provide the right conditions and nurture growth. Is this the way for people to learn and grow?

If such beauty on the roof can be created in nature with such simplicity, there has to be something here, surely?