the past can only be remembered now

Reflecting on your day, hundreds, or thousands, of things happen. In fact each day of your life this is so. This moment, Now, is therefore only one of many, many moments.

Yet this moment, Now, is as it is. Indeed, it cannot be otherwise.

Moments of the past are merely as we recall them. Moments of the future are dreams, creations of thought. The division of moments, the division of our lives, into past, present and future is mind-made and ultimately illusory. The past can only be remembered, now. The future only imagined, now. So in essence all there is that is real, is Now.

When your attention moves into the Now, there is space, clarity, simplicity, peace. There is also an alertness.
Many people confuse Now, with what happens in the Now. But the Now is deeper than what happens in it. It is the very space in which it happens.

This moment, Now, is the one constant truth. No matter what happens, no matter what changes, one thing is certain … it is always Now.

Makes you wonder why we dwell on the past and worry for the future, doesn’t it? Wasting Now.

Don’t waste it, embrace it. Now.

a hanging emotion?

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I’ve just been overtaken.

Overtaken on a blind bend.

The car in question then overtook the car in front, also with insufficient visibility for the manoeuvre.

The area and time of day tell me that half a mile ahead there will be a substantial queue at a roundabout. I know this because I am familiar with the area.

The driver in question had earlier been waiting in a side turning and they had slotted in behind me as I had passed them. The side turning I also know would suggest they live or work in the area, so would be familiar too with the upcoming queue.

What motivates us to get ahead? To take risks to get in front?

Is it time? Lateness or a need to get somewhere quickly?

Competitiveness? A desire to win?

Peacock syndrome? A need to show personal power; to showcase capability or self? Look at me, look at my car, look at our potential?

Or maybe it’s a hanging emotion? Maybe work or life had recently delivered an emotional experience leaving the driver with frustration or anger or some other feeling? Maybe the thrill of speed, the rush of risk is a venting of a hanging emotion?

Whatever the reason, I hope they live long enough to enjoy what was a nice car.

 

 

losing things

losing things

Do you lose things?

I do.  Keys are a favourite. Today I lost my phone – only for half an hour.

Sometimes I lose things that aren’t actually things.  Like losing my way, or losing interest. I seem to lose time too.  I look up and realise I seem to have lost several hours.

How do you lose something that doesn’t physically exist?

Ultimately though, these are all recoverable, or when push comes to shove, they don’t really matter. They can be replaced, recovered or simply forgotten about.  We move on.

Don’t ever lose your curiosity though. Or your sense of fun. Or your compassion for yourself. Or your sense of who you are. Or your sense of belonging. Or your sense of value, or place in this world. Or your humanity. Don’t lose yourself.

These are harder to recover from. Hold them close. Guard them devotedly.

the false memory in reflection


Listened to a really interesting talk by Dr Julia Shaw today on the illusion of memory.

The process in our brain by which we store memory and the one by which we imagine futures is largely the same. So we confuse the two. We all have what are termed false memories.

Proven in studies globally, eye witness recall is unreliable in that witnesses unwittingly lose detail or embellish the truth through imagination. This is not just the stress of witnessing crime – we all do it.

In essence every memory you hold might be untrue or inaccurate. Dr Shaw’s work demonstrates also how you can, simply, ‘con’ the brain into imagining a past memory. Watch here

I’m now sitting on a train looking at a reflection of the platform in a light cover. The reflection is upside down. Distorted. A bit like a false memory. But then, reflections are always distorted. Back to front or upside down. 

How apt. When we reflect on our experience, when we recall the memory, it has the potential to be distorted. Inaccurate. Missing key parts. Events that we imagined, added as truths. Events that actually happened, inflated or diminished in their significance, or removed totally.

Worth reflecting on?

neat living?

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I need to cut the grass. It’s a routine during three seasons. Mostly a chore. Weekend job.

We cut a lot of things that grow.

Outside we not only cut grass, we prune roses, clip shrubs, pull up weeds, lop branches.

On our own bodies we clip nails, cut hair, exfoliate skin, pluck eyebrows, shave underarm hair, trim beards or shave them off all together; each day, often at prescribed times.

Most of this cutting seems to serve a tidiness purpose.

But our children grow their knowledge and we cut that too. Don’t do this, don’t say that, run away and play, not now, because I say so… Not tidy. Just timely. For us.

Our own knowledge grows wild, unkempt, organically. We prune that too. Discarding things which might be useful because they’re someone else’s opinion, experience, idea, viewpoint. Tossing our own experiences aside because we cannot find meaning or make sense of it. Often because we don’t have time to. Not tidy. Just timely.

Meanwhile, out of control, inexorably, experience washes over us. And we randomly accept knowledge and learning every day, through every interaction, every experience. Our brains filing it away with dutiful order and precision. Some to be recalled, some to be lost forever in the grey matter. There is no real plan, no real order, no tidy symmetry. Structured randomness.

Unkempt sense making, messy knowing, time restricted learning, disorderly growth.

Neat gardens, neat hair, neat nails, neat lawns, neat children.

Neat lives?

 

listening to being listened to

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Being listened to, has amazing properties.

When we need to be heard, and someone makes time, it feels like a gift. The gift of attention. It makes us feel special. Helps us make sense of our own thinking. Connects us to our own feelings. It’s cathartic. Warming. Connecting. It sets us on an even keel again. Able to move forward once more.

Being listened to, however, requires a listener.

Often a good one. One who listens. One who hears. Little, if any, interruption.

All too often though as the potential listener, we don’t pay attention to this gift giving capability. We are too busy. In our own world. We move on, neglecting. Not because we don’t care, but often because we just don’t value sufficiently the benefit of listening to another person. We are captured by our own selfish need. Our priorities. Our world, in that moment, is worth more than the world of the listened to. So we interject, we opinion give, or we don’t even see that the listened to seeks to be listened to.

We should stand regularly in the listened to space and remember its gifts.

From there, step across. Stand more frequently in the listener space. Give gifts back. Gifts to others. To those who need to be listened to.

 

is it really all in the numbers?

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There seems a relatively new phenomena in our media to describe things through the medium of numbers. Newspaper articles are written around small colour panels, gleefully pronouncing ‘In numbers…’; these are summaries to draw in those who seemingly cannot be bothered to read and understand the depth of the article. It’s as if by providing a statistic, plucked from the vast expanse of a complicated subject, we can understand. Examples in the newspaper today include…

422 million people have diabetes;
1 in 5 people say social media makes them depressed;
124 refugees were taken to Turkey from Lesbos yesterday;

It mirrors the growth in need to know small snippets of many people’s lives in social media – glimpses on Facebook, 144 characters on Twitter. We are time poor, so we’re told, and so we need to pack a lot in. Scan rather then delve. Skim rather than comprehend.

The world seems to have developed into a place of ‘know a little, about a lot’.

This crosses over into what we know about ourselves.  Small amounts of knowledge used as labels to describe extraordinarily complex unique human beings. “I’m a completer finisher”, “my type is INTP”,  “I’m a big picture person”…

Let’s start reading the entire article.  Let’s start taking a deep dive into who we are.  Let’s be curious about other people and their glorious uniqueness…

You are not just a number.