Tuesday, December 28, 2010


I do my think + you do yours
I am not in this world to live up to your expectations
And you are not in this world to live up to mine
You are you and I am I
If by chance we find each other its beautiful
If not it can't be helped.

unfortunately I cannot remember where I saw this (above), sorry

Have just spent most of an insomniac night with this idea in my head. Then got up and scribbled on a large sheet of paper. These three words stood out (and I do know they are rather famous, but honestly they stood out of my scribbles): Faith, Hope and Love

I have been trying to have a good intention every day. Some days I even do quite well with sticking to them! The days when I 'forget' to have an intention are the days when I end up feeling either dissatisfied or just neutral.

So, with the idea of Faith, Hope and Love, I will try to visualise not 'how' happy endings and good intentions might happen but 'what' it will feel like when they do.

And today's intention - to be useful, and to have hope.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

walking in the snow

Just went for a walk to the local village and back. Just under an hour in all. It certainly blew some cobwebs away. Funny how I think a lot when out walking - I should do it more often! I woke up this morning with the song Xanadu going round in my head. Well the tune, I don't know the words! Strangely (or not?) I can remember a few lines of the original poem:

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan a stately pleasure dome decree
Where Alph the sacred river ran through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea

Wonder if I've remembered correctly? Maybe the measureless caverns are like the mind and the sacred river is the stream of consciousness. It might explain why I wake up with apparently random songs in my head and why my solitary walks are accompanied by the many ghosts of Christmases past, and other folk who had nothing at all to do with Christmas and were more to do with spring and summer. The ghosts don't bother me at all. It's rather nice to have peace and time to contemplate the times we spent together ----- oh dear now I seem to be lurching off into: we had fun, we had seasons in the sun LOL!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Binary thinking

Just been chatting with my friend on the phone. As usual, we covered a lot of ground ;-)

She said this thing about how so many jobs we do require us to simply answer yes/no questions or even make our decisions based on that concept:
  • does this require action on my part?
  • should I pass it to someone else?
  • can it be filed?
  • can it be thrown away?
and so on, you can think of specific examples in your own working life.

Then I started trying to apply this type of binary thinking idea to other aspects of life and our right relationships with others. I might ask someone how they feel. They say, not so good. I ask what the problem is. Oh, they say, I think my TV needs replacing - so I offer advice, buy a new one if you can afford it. It doesn't make them feel better. I have tried to reduce their problems to binary code and you can't really do that because, of course the new TV is really just a symptom. "My TV doesn't work so I have to think of something else to do, or worse, I have to think. The thinking made me realise I'm not very happy". My suggesting a new TV has not helped with the unhappiness at all.

And each of these binary decisions is made according to choices based on information that we have, or even upon the information that we choose to use. We are not simply flicking yes/no switches in our mind, we are sifting and filtering. Sometimes, things do just happen to us - and we make decisions about how to deal with them. And sometimes, we choose to allow them to happen.

And sometimes, we filter the information again after the event. That can be good: reflection. It can be not so good: over-thinking. Perhaps, after a confusing event, we need to concentrate on the gaps between the thoughts.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


A couple of things from Twitter today that started me thinking, and also relate back to some recent posts on this blog:

@BarryFenner "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." Winston Churchill
@BarryFenner "A good name is more desirable than great riches." --Proverbs
I would rather forgive someone in my heart who never knew they had done anything wrong than listen to false apologies, I think. How can you keep harbouring ill will to someone who never knew they had hurt you? What is the point in telling them they did? As for the folks who feel that apologising will make it better but don't really believe they have done anything wrong - well no point in harbouring ill will towards them either!
I listened to this in the car today (singer Rumer) Am I Forgiven?  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQa1L9UT1CM 
We all make mistakes. We all get it wrong sometimes. We have to keep trying, I think. I may not achieve Nirvana in this lifetime - in fact I'm sure I won't - but that's no reason to give up.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

We could have this all the time

In adverse weather conditions, in fact generally in times of adversity, we often find that strangers truly become friends that we haven't yet met. Why can't we have this all the time?

I have often noted this in work places in challenging circumstances, people pull together. I used to think that the place where I currently work was unusual because  we had that attitude even though we were not suffering particularly adverse circumstances. Recently, that seems to have changed, and I cannot put my fnger on why that is - yet. This may even be true of larger communities and societies. When we fragment within ourselves, or within our community, we move apart from each other and away from common ground - like magnets with the same polarities?

Why does this happen? If we spot it, can we stop it?

I felt this about myself today whilst attending a study retreat. The teacher spoke of 'intention' and suggested we start each day with a goal, a good intention for the day. I realised that most days and with most people my intention is to get them to do what I want them to do! My attention then focuses on their failing to do so! So all contact tends to be a struggle, a problem - just the opposite of what I wanted in fact. So I start to avoid 'difficult' people or sometimes to meet them head on. The result? We all feel bad about the interaction. I go home and I seek anaesthesia - a glass of wine, a mind numbing TV programme or film (it is not the content of the film or programme that is mind numbing I hasten to add, it it that I seek for it to numb my mind), or an obsessive session with a hobby or on social networking like Twitter! Then what happens? People still don't do what I want them to do. They don't want to watch the same thing as me, or they don't respond to my tweets in the way I want them to. I am criticised for my behaviour (silently or vocally), or sometimes I invent that criticism and then blame them for it.

So, my intention should be to find a common way forward (something wanted by all that we move towards together). I need to pay attention to positive qualities in myself and in others.

And here, perhaps, lies the beginnings of an answer to my own Big Question: why do I find it so hard to forgive myself? Why do I need the forgiveness and approbation of others? Why does it hurt when my apologies are rejected or I don't get the opportunity to seek forgiveness? Isn't it all about salving my conscience rather than to let them know?

So, to move on, to forgive myslef for hurts that I have done to others, I need to start paying attention to the positive in myself now rather than remaining attached to some ideal of how I used to be. I am not the centre of the universe after all, I am here to interact with others.

Two intentions then:
  • seek to find common ground with others
  • seek to pay attention to myself when I do something good
and to accept that I will frequently fail! To focus on the gaps beteen the waves. The waves are there for a purpose - learning comes from perturbations. The gaps also have a purpose, to enable us to prepare to surf the perfect wave when it comes.

And the truth is, as a colleague said to me today, if we all do this, we can have it all the time.

Please remember that this is just my 'take' on things. I'd welcome comments.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

mmm better to be well thought of ...?

following on from the last post, I have had a few nice comments from people lately ( some know me in real life, some do not) (some know me well, some do not)

of course this is lovely


do I have to live up to their expectations?
suppose I cannot?


food for thought