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.

taking for granted what we take for granted

image

When I was a teenager, telephone boxes were how you communicated when outside the home. They were on every street corner. Red, glass and steel boxes that served as communication portals to friends, family, emergency services and, most importantly, they served to secure you a lift back home after a night out. Now of course they are almost non existent. Back then, I took them for granted. I couldn’t conceive of the telephone box being in my pocket.

All of us take things for granted.

Things that just are. Things we have known to be so, for so long, we simply don’t question them.

And the challenge ¬†with noticing the things we take for granted is… well, we take them for granted.

In a sense they become invisible to us.

Looking back in time can provide clues as to things we once all took for granted. One hundred years ago, 25% of us would have been servants. Many would have taken that for granted. Telling the time required a pocket watch, subsequently a wrist watch. We carried the time with us. That was just how it was. Now, the time is everywhere in our digital world, and fewer kids wear watches. Fires were how we kept warm, now we have central heating, under floor heating.

Just 15 years ago, access to the Internet would only have been possible in certain locations with specific equipment. Now we take for granted we can access it anywhere anytime, on many devices. And when we can’t, we become frustrated. We almost take it for granted now. Soon we will.

Just living day to day, many of us take things for granted. Having a roof over our heads. Food to eat. Sleeping. Clothes. Cars. Roads. Water. Toilets. Power. The sun coming up. Language. Medicines. Microwaves. Refrigerators. Government. Peace.

Of course, taking some of these things for granted is fine, for the most part.

The question is, what do you currently take for granted that closes your mind to possibility?

What can you not see, because something you take for granted, just is? It’s there obstructing your ability to see things differently.

Don’t take for granted what you take for granted.

 

trick or treat?

trick or treat memory
Tonight is All Hallows’ Evening, or Halloween.

To most it signifies dressing up, makeup, trick or treat. Probably pumpkins, with cut outs illuminated by candle, casting an eerie visage? Maybe a party, maybe a bonfire and fireworks?

I wonder how many revellers realise that many believe it is a night to remember the dead? Those martyrs, saints and believers who have passed on. Lighting candles is thought to attract their souls.

Of course, as with much that is ritualistic and ancient, there are other theories too. We simply cannot be sure.

We don’t need religious or historic events though to carry with us to the present day a misnomer or false interpretation of reality. Many of us do it with our own memories … and we were actually there when they happened!

Often a childhood memory lives with us. But often it is distorted, mis-remembered. It carries the understanding of the child. Parts of the actual occurrence are deleted, parts twisted to fit our childhood emotional need, parts simply forgotten in the story. Yet we run this edited inaccurate story throughout our adult lives. It holds us, trapped in a mythical past, caught in a story of fiction and we behave today as if it were true. We carry the remnants of the experience in the form of a broken relationship or a belief about ourselves that no longer serves. It was probably never true, but we made it so, and now we have run it as a video, or heard it as a story in our heads, so many times that we hold it to be a reality. It now controls us. Limits us. Makes us smaller.

Maybe we would be well served to honour it as dead? Just like the souls Halloween remembers? Maybe we would be well served to think of it as a myth, a fable, a misinterpreted story of long ago? Maybe we should move on and pay more attention to now?

Treat yourself, don’t trick yourself.

Look after your soul, not that of a long dead memory.

the emergence of the selfie

looking at self
What gets a lexicographer up in the morning? Where does the energy come from?

Maybe the advent of new words? Maybe the evolution of old ones?

Selfie is a new word. This sudden penchant for capturing ourselves against our current environment. Looking at ourselves in our context. Getting an arms length perspective. Using a selfie stick to get even greater perspective. To see from further out. To fit more of our situation in.

Our desire to share these 2D representations of self in these static snapshots of life, is curious. We seem strangely reluctant to show ourselves in living 3D, in reality, as we exist in the world with other human beings. Alive. Both beautiful and beautifully flawed.

Of course we have always had the ability to look at ourselves from the outside. Inside our head. Long before technology gave us the ability to record an image, many of us did that in our mind’s eye. Imagined it. We see ourselves in that awkward conversation. See ourselves in that meeting where we were criticised. See ourselves in that beautiful moment of joy, of fun, of love.

Our mind’s eye has an important advantage over the selfie. We are not limited to the current moment. Not limited to a selfie snap and a hard drive of past experiences captured in still reflection. Inside, we can do this imaging, this ‘selfie’, for our future too. Imagine our own future. Our upcoming holiday. Our new home to be. We can manipulate the image – past or present. Make it brighter, more colourful, turn it around, zoom in or out. Take parts out, add parts in.

Take a mental selfie now of where you will be next week, next month, next year.

Perspective and context are crucial to our humanity. They allow us to see possibility, to reflect, to dream, to make sense, to know we’re ok.

Click.

Remember too though that living, sharing, enjoying reality in the moment are more deeply human. Share the gift of you, now, in glorious living technicolour. Not just in smiling, staged, two dimension tomorrow.

Don’t just take a selfie. Be one.

Lexicographers – let’s add ‘be a selfie’

where is your future?

timeline past present future
Where is your future?

I don’t mean, is your future in finance, or owning your own business, or getting your boss’s job. I don’t mean a little villa in Spain, or retiring at 45, I mean where is it? In relationship to you, now.

Point to it.

So where did you point?

Now try pointing to your past.

Did they both have a direction? A direction that was pretty obvious to you?

Isn’t that weird? We appear to have a sense of time – past and future – in relation to our physicality.

You may well have pointed in front of you to indicate your future. Maybe straight in front, maybe a little to one side, the right perhaps, as if pointing to one o’clock with midday straight ahead?

If you did point ahead of you, it’s possible you then pointed behind you to indicate your past.

Alternatively, your directional map may have been very different … you may have pointed to your right to indicate your future, sort of 2, 2:30 or 3 pm if straight ahead were 12 noon. Your past may then be to the left, maybe between 9 and 10:30? The past and future may be connected in a curve or a straight line.

Maybe you have another configuration?

Check out where ‘now’ is.

Right in front of your eyes, inside your head, where you’re standing?

Welcome to your timeline. An ‘unconscious’ orientation to your past, present and future. A guide to how you process time.

If your future is in front and past behind, you could be called ‘in time’; that is you are standing in your timeline as it were, journeying towards your future. Sometimes ‘in time’ people can be very focused on their next goal – they can after all ‘see’ it in front of them. They may not be inclined to make longer term plans or lists though, as those are ‘obscured’ by shorter term futures. They may use language such as ‘looking back’ or even wave their hand over their shoulder when talking about the past, thereby signalling the way they hold time.

If your future is to the right and past to the left, you could be described as ‘through time’. You can see through time, a little like a diary planner, with recent past events just a little to the left and older memories further left, whilst your near future is a little to the right of centre, with longer term goals further to your right. Sometimes ‘through time’ people are good planners and good timekeepers – they can see their timeline laid out like an open calendar.

Be curious about your orientation to time. Be curious about the hand or body movements and any language that suggests your orientation to time. Be curious about the patterns of other people too.

Time and the way you unconsciously hold your relationship to it has more impact on your life than you may ever have realised.