Are you getting warmer?

December 21, 2010

When I was a little child, I used to play a game with my friends. I don’t recall if we had a name for it, but it went something like this….

Someone would hide an object and as the searcher got further away from finding it, the other person would say’ you’re getting colder ,  you’re freezing’ etc. etc. and as they  got closer to finding the object, the other person would say ‘you’re getting warmer, you’re boiling’, it was good fun. We spent many a happy hour or two playing this game.

Now, I’ve had a very challenging year, there’s very little of the ‘me’ I used to be, left, I’m just not the same person that I was last year.  I have changed so much, mind, body, spirit, some of my old friends hardly know me.

Over this past year, like this game I mentioned, I’ve had to constantly ask myself the same questions, ‘Am I getting warmer? Am I getting nearer to what I really, really want. ? Are my thoughts, words, actions, bringing me closer to, or further away from where I want to be? Are my motives and reasons correct? Are they for the highest good of all, or are they little oul me being selfish? And no, I can’t tell you that it gets easier to answer these questions the more aware we become. But I can tell you that we can make happier choices depending on our answers.

So many questions come with change, I can look back and remember a time when it was too painful to think, because if I started to think, then I would have to change, and the thoughts of that were nearly worse for me at the time than to stay in the painful state of numbness, sadness, illness etc that I was in.

But the time did come when it was more painful to not change, and life came and asked me to dance, and I decided to say ‘yes’ this time because I’d spent most of my life saying ‘thanks, but not this time, I’ll sit this one out’. And yes I can see why people will stay unhappy; I can see why they won’t make changes, I can see why they will remain with closed hearts, closed minds, angry and resentful at a world that denied them their dreams, and I want to say, ‘I UNDERSTAND YOU,  I was there, not so long ago. And I want to tell you that life is very short, to be blaming the world for what you’re missing, when you can actually do something about it yourself, today.

We can take our excuses to the grave if we like, or we can awaken and ask ourselves  ‘ what do I really, really want ? Visualize it over there in front of you, not too far away…. Now ask yourself  ‘ Are the thoughts I’m thinking, are the words I’m saying, is the story I’m telling, are the actions I’m doing, right now, bringing me closer or further away from what I really, really want ? Am I getting warmer? And if you’re not, if you’re answer is no, maybe, just maybe this would be the best moment to ask yourself ‘WHY?’


Kindness

December 19, 2010

The Oxford Concise Dictionary defines the word ‘Kind’ as meaning ‘of a friendly, generous, benevolent or gentle nature and showing friendliness, affection or consideration etc’.

Have you ever given this much thought? I mean the dictionary’s definition would suggest that kindness is a sort of a disposition or a natural tendency. We may refer to people as being kind because it’s in their nature, but is that just a good excuse for the remainder of us not to consider being kind? Can anybody be kind even if it’s not something that comes easy to us? Can we learn to be kind? Do we want to?

If we want to become ‘kind’, how do we begin, where do we start? If we begin with the ‘intention’ to be ‘kind’, or if we ask ourselves ‘what is my intention? ’on a regular basis in all matters, this may give us a good starting point. This question can really throw back some amazing answers. Say for instance you choose the above intention; you may then ask yourself ‘in what spirit am I doing this?’ Am I doing it in the spirit of love? So you now have an intention to be kind with the spirit of love. WOW! What will happen next in the course of time is that you may start to think differently, and then you may start to act differently, because everything you do and say is in the spirit of love, you will constantly question your thoughts and actions to check if they are in keeping with the spirit of love (and kindness)

You may find now that you will make a big effort every opportunity you get to bestow random acts of kindness on yourself and others. You may surprise yourself by giving sincere compliments easily; you may offer your help or a listening ear to someone who needs to talk. You may surprise someone you really like or love, with a small gift or flowers (it’s better to give while the person is alive than at their graveside) you may smile more often at friends, relatives and strangers. You may find yourself doing things you wouldn’t have done before, little things like cleaning up litter outside your or your neighbour’s door, instead of grumbling about how dirty your street is. This can have a chain effect, as some people won’t want to be the one left with the litter outside their door! This way of thinking changes not only ourselves, but those people around us and hey, it’s good for the environment too!

So share your thoughts with me on this. Has your kindness or someone else’s impacted positively on your life. Has it made a difference? I hope it has.


Luck comes in threes… don’t ya know ?

December 19, 2010

I was thinking about the things that we say and how we make the things we say come true. Well I’ve got a lot of time on my hands lately, just humour me okay!

I moved house recently and on the second night in the house as I was surrounded by a lot of unopened bags and boxes, plus two washing machine loads of wet clothes, awaiting a visit to the tumble dryer, I discovered that it had broken down. Calamity! Well not really, just when you’re tired and have used up every scrap of energy, it’s just one more thing that one could do without! It stretches the patience levels a bit too tight!

Anyway, as I was telling a neighbour about this the next day, she proceeded to inform me that ‘Oh God, that’s unlucky for you’, and as I was about to argue this statement as I don’t see things as lucky or unlucky anymore, she continued on with a familiar saying , ‘Bad luck comes in threes you know’, and as she asked me had two other incidences of bad luck happened already or was I in for a treat of two more unlucky happenings to assault my life, I found myself hypnotically drifting into this mindset for a moment,  although I hate to admit it, and I’m laughing as I tell you this, I actually found myself mentally playing this old game, just for moment I was actually looking into the future to see what else could go wrong ! Until I snapped back to being the ‘me’ I am now, and screamed ‘No, no, no’ in my head, I don’t believe this anymore’.

So why do we do this to ourselves? We are not content that one thing has gone wrong; we want to add two more things too! And I don’t know if you are familiar with the law of attraction, but I am, and basically we get what we focus on, we do attract what we focus on continually, in my experience, this has been true anyway. So we actually seek and eventually we will find those three unlucky things. Wow, are we stark raving mad?

Alright some of you may guess what’s coming next! I’d like to start up a new belief, a new saying that in perhaps a few years (hope it doesn’t take that long to become popular) will be as familiar as the one I mentioned earlier. Okay, here goes, start telling it to your kids, your family, your friends, your co-workers, start today, and hopefully this will make a real difference in all our lives. Oh and if it does, please share your story with me, I’d love to hear it. Here goes, the next time something nice happens to surprise you or a friend etc. Say wow, that’s great, now did you know that good things happen in three’s? And if they say no, they hadn’t heard that one; say yes it’s true and that they should expect at least two more nice things to happen also, but that it could be more than three, as there is no limit on the abundance of good things that we can attract, if we just put our focus on it! Start today and bring it your way!


Dream Catcher

December 19, 2010

I have just received a gift of a wonderful Dream catcher from two very special friends, which now takes pride of place over my bed.

This thoughtful gift has sparked a few thoughts, which I just have to share with you.

Now the Dream catcher originates from Native American Traditions, where it was believed that by hanging a symbolic web over a sleeping person, that this would protect the sleeper from bad dreams. Traditional Dream catchers have eight points where the web attaches to a circular hoop, which represents the eight legs of a spider. The spider being symbolic of female spiritual energy, wisdom and learning. The Navajo legends held that this web would catch the bad dreams and prevent them from passing into dreamtime, while allowing the good dreams to slip through the centre. In these legends, morning sunlight would purify the web of the bad dreams.

I was thinking how wonderful this is, and I was also thinking that I haven’t actually had any bad dreams in quite a while because somewhere in the past year, I installed a Thought catcher in my mind and this has actually done a wonderful job of filtering through all the negative thoughts throughout the sunlight hours, that were actually leading to bad dreams in the night time!

So if you’d like to have a Thought catcher too, it’s very easy to install. Just challenge each thought as they try to come in. Ask if that thought is going to bring you nearer or further away from your joy, if it brings you nearer your joy and happiness allow it to slip through the centre, if it brings you further away let it get caught in the web. If you visualize yourself on the other side of the web or Thought catcher, then you will not be holding these negative thoughts and only holding the good ones that benefit you. The negative thoughts are trapped outside. Purify your web or Thought catcher daily with a little meditation or by using affirmations that state ‘I am willing to release all thoughts that do not serve me or are not for the highest good of all concerned’.

And then if you feel inclined, go out and get a Dream catcher for an extra measure of protection ! Hope you have pleasant dreams tonight, I know I’m going to!


The Attitude of gratitude

December 19, 2010

    People are always asking me why I smile a lot and why I always seem happy despite all the things I have lost recently. Maybe they even wonder secretly what I’ve been up to! When I tell them it’s because I’ve developed ‘The attitude of gratitude’, they’re gob smacked. They stand there mouth slightly gaping, eyes darting left and right, searching for an excuse to exit rapidly! Thinking what the heck is ‘the attitude of gratitude’? But before you run off too.

     Let me explain. If I tell you  that it’s a way of life, that it’s a good habit,  that it’s a belief, that when you develop this attitude, your life will change in the most amazing and positive way, and that if you haven’t got this attitude, that I would urge you to give it a go, are you still with me? Good, now let’s begin.

      Despite colour or creed, poverty or wealth, most of us would be familiar with our parents and teachers etc. reminding us to say please and thank you when we were children. Some of us would have been encouraged to say thanks for our meals; a few of us may have been encouraged to be thankful for everything. Despite this early conditioning, I feel some of us have forgotten this as we moved into adulthood.

     We barely mutter please and thank you, if at all nowadays, and sometimes it’s done out of forced politeness, as if we were begrudgingly giving our last euro. We forget to be thankful to the people who are closest to us, we moan, complain , blame, and if asked now to just say thank you to your wife/ husband, partner, parents, children , boss etc. how many of us would feel the words stick in the back of our throats? How many of us feel that they should be thanking us? Maybe those people also feel that way too. I just ask you to think, what does that kind of attitude bring us?

        So if you’re tired of all the begrudgery, like I was, try a few of my suggestions today, and see the changes. Note the people closest to you will notice and probably become suspicious of your motives at first, especially if you  were never grateful before, and like me when you start smiling and looking happy most of the time, there will be talk in the village! (Laugh)

         Ok right now this moment, think, what are you grateful for? Stay with me I don’t mean to sound like a preacher, but it starts with this. Take stock. The following may sound petty, but if you can’t even be grateful for the small things that we take for granted, then will you ever be satisfied? Are you alive? There’s not a person who’s six feet under who would not be grateful for one more day above ground. Do you have somewhere to live, do you have clothes, did you eat today, and do you have a source of income, no matter how meagre? Then say thank you now.

         Yes say thank you for everything, leave nothing out. When you get up in the morning, as you get dressed say to your self ‘I am grateful for–.fill in the blanks. Mean it.  Find someone to thank today, everyday. Mean it. That shop assistant, that bus driver, the taxi person, the doctor, you get the picture. We all have the same battles to fight, be grateful for the service they give you.  Now find something nice to say to someone, smile at someone, and be kind. Watch that persons face light up, it’s a wonderful feeling to know that you have the power to lighten someone else’s burden, if only just for a fleeting moment, it gives you a lovely warm feeling inside. As you receive the positive responses from people you’ll want to do it more, and the more you do it the better you’ll feel, and believe me this will change your life in time. When you’re acting grateful, you will constantly find more things to be grateful for, and that’s no bad thing, now is it?


What are you waiting for ?

December 18, 2010

Recently I’ve been remembering the way I used to think, and I just had to share these thoughts with you.

Now maybe some of you will resonate with this, I used to say things like, oh yes I’d love to do that course, I’d love to learn photography as a hobby, I’d love to learn how to paint properly, maybe learn how to do fantasy art, I’d love to travel more… I’d love to, I’d love to, I’d love to…. Wait for it… sorry, I cringe when I say this…WHEN…. I’m older, when I’m richer, when I retire… cringe, that’s at least 20 years away from now! And at least 25 years have passed, since I first started using the ‘WHEN’ word! Scary!

I have gone through some amazing shifts in mental attitude, but this realization has brought me great freedom and joy. Perhaps it was the practice of meditation and mindfulness that really brought it home to me. It was the practicing of living in the ‘now’ and making sense of what that could mean for me in everyday life that clicked with me. If I was to really live in the ‘now’, then all the excuses to not do something NOW would have to go wouldn’t they? Well that’s how I reasoned with it anyway!

Okay, I can hear some of you already, sayings things like ‘yeah that’s all right if you win a few million, and then you can make your dreams come true’. But I’d like to say to you, that it doesn’t have to be that way. We can step towards our dreams today, if even only in a small way.

When I drew up my new blueprint for my life  ‘NOW’, I realised that I don’t have a lot of money right now, but that I do have a big interest, an enthusiasm, a passion and a desire to do these things, so a little thing like money won’t stop me getting to where I want to go. I learnt a valuable lesson recently, when I complained to someone that I couldn’t afford something, their wise reply was, ‘you can if you put by —- – every week, it just means that it will take you longer’. Oh yes the child in us rebels at this, we cry, and stamp our feet in a tantrum and scream ‘but I want it now!’ But if we are patient, we can actually get what we want, either by putting a small sum of money away every week until it accumulates, or by reading a small amount of information every day about a subject we are interested in, or by doing a small affordable course that will lead us to our big goal in the end. Or by trawling the internet, there are many sources of free information to be obtained. Libraries are great places too!

I’ve started doing small courses; they’ll lead me in the right direction. I’ve started taking photographs, no I don’t have a big fancy camera, but I have a camera, and I’m using it, now. I’ve even paid off some bills, bit by bit. So are you going to put YOUR excuses away? I need to ask you, ‘What are YOU waiting for?


The Power to hurt or to heal

December 18, 2010

 

A facebook friend sent me a lovely photo with a caption, a while ago, it read ‘Words can hurt or heal. What did yours do today?’(Thanks Garry!)

Now isn’t that very thought provoking? Many of us are not aware of the power of our words are we? I know I wasn’t, and although rarely in my life did I go out there to maim, I will admit, I have been careless with my words in the distant past, and they may not always have been adding to someone’s healing.

I believe that we do indeed have the power to hurt or heal with our words, and it is because that we are not fully aware, and that we do not think things through enough before we speak, that we end up hurting others.

I’ve gotten into the habit recently of thinking things through. I ask myself ‘If I say that to that person, what effect will it have? Not only on them, but on all the other people who this person interacts with today, tomorrow, etc. Because everything we say to others and to ourselves has an effect, so we really need to think about what kind of effect that we want to have.

Sometimes we are so full of hurt and emotional pain that we just lash out at others, as if that will make us feel better, it doesn’t, it just brings us deeper into the darkness.

When we hurt others deliberately, we actually hurt ourselves too, the things we say, the anger and resentment we hold onto, will only, only ever hurt us too, this will never help us to heal, nor will this help in another’s healing either.

So now that you know you have this power to hurt or to heal, what are you going to do with it?


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