Friday, July 29, 2016

Bumba


This October Bumba will have been with us for 15 years. That is a long time no matter how we look at it, but for a cat it means that Bumba now is of ‘advanced age’. Living his ‘Golden Years’.

For the longest time he has been the King of the neighborhood, but lately he hardly ever picks a fight anymore; almost like he is waiting for one of the new arrivals to come of age and take over his leadership role. In the meantime he observes the world from his ‘special place’.

A couple of years ago, a lot of changes were going on in our neighborhood. Suddenly one neighbor after another decided to move away. Even Bumba’s best friend moved. It created a lot of stress in Bumba’s life.
Where we may be happy for our friends and neighbors that they have found another great place to live, for a cat there is just the stress of the upset. An unbalance ~ at least for a while ~ until the new neighbors have settled in and found their way.

It is clear that stress is a major cause of ailments; there has been sufficient research been done to prove that stress may well cost us years of our lives. And while that makes sense; living our lives we may not feel particularly stressful ~ or perhaps we are just used to s certain level of stress ~ and therefore we don’t really see the effects stress may have on our health.

With Bumba the increased stress level has created very apparent changes in his (well)being.

At first he just seemed a little lost. But the strong cat he has always been was certain to find his own way and handle whatever life was throwing his way. Like he had always done in the past.
But pretty soon he started to loose weight. Being hyper vigilant and extremely aware of what was going on in the neighborhood, he was still looking good and healthy, but he was starting to feel thin.
According to the vet, it all has to do with a thyroid issue… An unbalance that started just as soon as the stress in his environment was raised to a level that he had a hard time comprehending.

In a sense the very same thing may happen to us.

As soon as we get ourselves in a situation ~ especially when it is a prolonged situation ~ with a higher stress level than we are used to or can handle, chances are it will affect our health adversely. How exactly it will affect our health is a very individual thing. But it will take away a part of our well-being. A part of our joy of living.

Like Bumba, we would do well to take time to reduce the levels of stress in our lives, and take time to become truly whole again.
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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Seer


According to the dictionary, a Seer is soothsayer, oracle, prophet(ess), augur, prognosticator, diviner, visionary, fortune teller, crystal gazer, clairvoyant, psychic, medium; literary a sibyl; a woman able to foretell the future.

In the most literal and modern sense of the word a Seer is one who sees.
One who can observe and see what is going on with great honesty and without having a stake in it. So there is no reason to defend either perspective; no reason to take sides.

A Seer sees not only what is happening right now, yet can also see how this situation has been building ~ perhaps over a longer period of time ~ and what the effects will be. Not just in our own environment, but also on a national, even global scale. So it is not just about honestly seeing what is in front of the Seer with great clarity and expressing that; it is also about having the foresight as to the ramifications of what is happening and communicating those ‘results’.

As soon as we call the one who sees a Seer, suddenly we are thinking about fortune tellers and soothsayers. As soon as we call such a person a ‘Futurist’, the dictionary defines: a person who studies the future and makes predictions about it based on current trends. In other words, one who sees current trends and makes predictions as to how they will affect our future.

But whether we call them a Seer or a Futurist, the ability to grasp or even foresee the consequences of our actions is something that has a lot to do with common sense. If we pick a fight, chances are we get hit as well.

Looking at it from this more common-sensical perspective, one might hope that those who are ~ or are aspiring to be ~ our leaders have a lot of the qualities of the ancient Seer, or the modern Futurist. One would hope that they can observe with honesty what is before them, and, given foresight and forethought, can more or less accurately predict the consequences of their actions. the results of their decisions.
Not just locally, but also from a national or global perspective.

Those are among the qualities of a true leader. His or her ability to make wise decisions can then make them a great leader.

Observing the news ~ globally ~ it seems like while we value the qualities of the Seer ~ the honesty, clarity, wisdom and the ability to see the consequences of their words ~ more and more, those who are our leaders seem to have an entirely different agenda in their thoughts and actions.

Perhaps it is time to give the ancient Seer a prominent place in our societies again…
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Friday, July 22, 2016

A peaceful state of mind


There is no question that maintaining a calm, cool collected state of mind whatever happens around us is a good thing. It is also a great accomplishment as it is by no means as easy as it sounds. Especially when we see a lot of violence happening as soon as we turn on the TV, we are often pushed out of our balanced, we loose our calm, cool collected state of mind and are more apt to quickly react in judgement. Pointing fingers at ‘those people’.
Or, when we do see the full ramifications of what is happening, find ourselves sliding into a depressed state.

And as soon as we have lost our balance, whichever way we find ourselves pushed, we become ineffective in our thoughts and actions. We just cannot see what we can do to make a difference. How we can make a difference.

Staying balanced in the world of today takes continuous work and a considerable amount of skill.

Staying balanced, like many other things, does start from a point of peace. And this innate point of peace resides within each of us. It is the energy of peace we were born with as a whole, perfect human being, not bothered by thoughts and attitudes that divide humanity or the world in any way, shape or form. Surrounded by love. At peace with the world.

It is from this unfettered peaceful state of being we experienced at that time, that we can regain our peaceful state of mind. Realizing that we are a perfectly whole human being and that whatever is happening in the world is not proving that we are not. There is no reason to start defending our humanity. And while what we see happening around us can be horrifying, as long as we are not finding ourselves right in the middle of it all, there is no reason for fear. No reason to get angry, judgmental or to point fingers.

It is however inviting us to ~ from our own peaceful state of mind ~ ease the stress and hurt and yes, anger that has become apparent.

There are many ways to help bring balance to a topsy-turvy world.
Through compassion, and kindness. Through sending Light and healing and our prayers to those places that have ~ for now ~ lost their balance.
And to resolve those situations in our lives that leave us feeling less than the whole, peaceful human being we are. To not allow frustration to take over, but rather to keep maintaining that calm, cool, collected, peaceful state of mind.
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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Some days


Some days are better than others. There are those days when the sun keeps shining on your face, and the wind keeps blowing in your back. There are those days when everything seems to come about effortlessly; just think the thought and it happens…

And then there are the days when we have a ‘bad hair day’. When the wind keeps pushing us all directions, and the sun is nowhere to be found. The days when, no matter how hard we work at it, nothing seems to happen quite the way we had envisioned it.

Perhaps the hardest thing to take away from this observation is that ‘bad weather’ isn’t punishing us, and that we are not the cause of everything someone else is choosing to do. However, balancing out the good days and the ‘bad hair days’ is something that falls entirely unto ourselves.

The thought behind it is that we create everything in our lives ~ or more precisely, we create our lives from second to second; minute to minute.
Through our attitudes, the way we act and react, the way we handle things we bring ‘stuff’ into our lives that can either bring about a ‘sunny day’ or a ‘stormy day’. Even the people we have to deal with on those days and their attitudes are ~ to a certain extend ~ our creation as our discomfort may feed their discomfort; our frustrations feed theirs, etc.

Therefore, in order to change our ‘stormy days’ into more pleasant days, it is a good idea to take an honest look inside of ourselves and see what our part in it truly is. Once we have seen that, we can choose to change it in ourselves.

On a global scale the same is true. Especially as the world ‘is getting smaller and smaller’, and newscasts are making us aware of pretty much everything that is happening in any corner of our world. Our personal little frustrations can feed the violent outbursts in other parts of the world. An attitude of ‘us against them’, even when it is all in good fun, for instance in sports, can feed the divisiveness in the world. And when we consider ourselves better than anyone else ~ whether it is based on education, experience, or any spiritual practice we adhere to ~ our thoughts can feed conflict elsewhere…

Personally I like calm, sunny days in my life, those days when everything I do seems to happen easily and with grace…

So, May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
And may the sun shine warm upon your face.
(Part of a traditional Gaelic Blessing)
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Friday, July 15, 2016

Books


I like books. I like their smell. I like the feel of the pages as I turn them one by one. I like the identifying covers, the titles on the spines, and the fact that I can picture that book in my mind’s eye, knowing where it sits on the shelf (and after I have read it, what it is about).

Those things are hard to replace by e-books…

On the other hand, the fact that they don’t take up space in the book case is definitely a point in favor of a more modern perspective on reading. As well as the possibility of a multi-media experience where the pictures clarifying the text can come to life as the video stream is accessed.

Ultimately, its about the content of the book. Whether it is an old fashioned page-turner, or a more modern e-book; whether it is a roman, a detective, a thriller that we may enjoy as relaxation, or a book on a topic we want to learn more about, that really doesn’t matter.

And when thinking content, books can give us a context.
Of course we can find any and all information online, but more often than not, when we search for it online we tend to find little tidbits of information without the broader view. In other words, we find the answer to our question, while a book may also answers those questions we hadn’t even thought of…

Yet, both paperbacks and e-books seem to give way, slowly but surely, to video’s.
We want to read less and less. At 38 pages in an hour reading takes a lot more time than finding a video that tells us what we want to know in 10 minutes. (And plain information video’s need to be even shorter.) And when we do want to full content, there are ‘spoken books’ and podcasts that we can listen to for easy access.

From a sensory perspective, it means that we are starting to rely more on what we are hearing than on what we are seeing. It may not be a lack of awareness, as it is a different awareness. An awareness that brings sound more to the foreground. An awareness that, when raised, can let us hear ~ and even feel ~ things that for the casual listener aren’t there.

And just like we can block the light ~ and to a certain extend what we see ~ with sunglasses, we can block the sound with ‘earbuds’, controlling precisely what we are hearing…

Almost like discerning which book to read at any given time…
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