a different perspective

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If you don’t like something, change it.
If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.

Mary Engelbreit

Life sometimes throws up simple things which frustrate us, or annoy us, or frighten us.

Like having to wait in a queue when we want to get somewhere, or getting caught in the rain without a coat or umbrella.

We can allow these things to grasp us, to own us if you will. The displeasure, discomfort or disquiet with the situation becomes more than it warrants. Whereas we have choice. We could see that rain shower as a wonderful chance to connect with nature, that queue as a chance to be with our own thoughts or to meet someone new.

Changing the way we think about it, changes how we feel. Thoughts lead to feelings.

So think differently. Feel differently.

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travelling how?

travelling through life

How do you travel through life?

Do you roll, like a smooth pebble; always moving, rolling ever onwards to the sea?

Do you dance like a starling at dusk, part of the whirling, ever changing murmuration?

Do you drift like a cloud, morphing as life’s winds blow?

Do you dive like a kingfisher, arrowed and true, breaking the surface for what lies beneath?

Do you set your SatNav to avoid the tolls, so that life is trouble free and scenic?

Do you let life come to you, like the leaf of a tree, mellowing through the seasons?

Do you run like the prey, staying safe and ever alert to dangers?

Do you hunt like the predator, opportunistic and meeting your needs?

Do you melt slowly like a sugar cube, sweetening your surroundings?

Do you float on a cloud of your perpetual dreams and imagination?

Do you travel light, ready to soar on an upward current of unexpected breeze rising from life’s hot desert?

Do you speed like a train, sure of your path, keen to remain on track and to get there quickly?

Do you skate like a water boatman; surfacing all, never diving deep?

Do you build stepping stones across the fast flowing river, sure of your place as the current rushes between your feet?

Do you stay in the pack, travelling where the pack goes, hidden within?

Do you fall like a snowdrop, gently drifting in life’s beauty until you melt away?

Do you sway like tall grass, whispering to the grasses around you?

Do you shine like a sun ray; enlightening, growing and warming those you touch?

How do you travel through life?

 

we often say…

we often say

Looking across valleys. Looking out to sea. Looking at a sunset or a sunrise. Looking at mountain ranges. Looking from on high, across a landscape, we often use the phrase…

“What a beautiful view”.

What is it about large spaces, wide angled perspectives, panoramas that draws us to admire the view?

And why, so often in our lives, do we get close up? Rather than stepping back and seeing the context, the flow, the connections, the breadth, the beauty of the whole. Instead, we focus on a detail. We get transfixed by one aspect. We lose sight of the bigger picture, literally.

 

does every question..?

questions

Does every question have a presupposition?

Well it seems that one does. It’s worded to suggest they do. It presupposes all questions, without exception. It presupposes you know what a question is, or a presupposition indeed.

Some coach colleagues and I were discussing this. Playing a game if you like. Who can come up with a question that is presupposition free? We couldn’t.

Even the simplest questions do.  For example, ‘When?’  The question presupposes you have a language for date and time. It presupposes you know what I’m talking about in relation to ‘when?’. It presupposes that I want to know, that you know, and that you want to tell me.

So if every question has a presupposition (and I welcome suggestions of ones which don’t), does that mean that we, the questioner, have a view, a plan, a judgement, a perspective even before we phrase the question? Maybe conscious, maybe outside our awareness?

Does it mean that the question is really in service of us?

The questioner’s need. Could it be that it’s about confirming our prejudice, our view as the questioner? Or could it be about filling in our gaps in knowledge, or about extending our knowing? Or about confirming our map of the world; fitting your world in, for congruence? Or about our belonging or our sense making?

We think of questions as ways in which we expand the perspective of those we throw them at, but maybe they are instead a means to reaffirm our already held perspectives?

 

the other side of the argument

the other side

I’m finding the debate on the EU referendum a little tiresome.

The claims from each side, seem to get wilder and more outrageous. They become more fearsome too. Threat, despair, doom and gloom seems the order of the day.

In part it is the nature of ‘sides’. ‘Sides’ are the root of debate. The foundations of politics. An all or nothing mentality. I win, you lose. I’m right, you’re wrong.

It seems once you join a side, you have to defend the collective position of that ‘side’ against all the other ‘side’ might say.  Our party politics is riddled with this.  Somehow the concept of ‘side’ seems to rob these people of individual thought, ironically at the root of democracy, the very thing they seek to uphold.  Everything the ‘other side’ says is wrong. And everything I say has to support my side’s view, whether I truly believe it or not – even World War 3!  Everything.

“Really? Everything?”, is my response.

The power of ‘side’ is evident in this referendum debate.  Politicians on the same party ‘side’, are now on different ‘sides’. Colleagues once, now vitriolic opponents.

It seems to me to drive an extreme position which, for me, becomes less and less believable. Less real. I stop trusting them all. I stop wanting to listen to them all.

Surely in anything so significant and complex, there is grey? Some risks and some potential gains? Some good, some bad?  Why can these people not just provide a balanced perspective?

But ‘side’ is everywhere.

It permeates our gender, our ethnicity, our social status, our religious persuasions, our organisations, our families, our sport…

‘Side’ fuels blame, it creates blind spots, it reduces options, choices, potential. ‘Side’ underpins judgement. ‘Side’ erodes compassion, care, humanity. ‘Side’ creates gaps, divides. ‘Side’ is the bedfellow of anger and frustration. ‘Side’ is dangerous.