Tuesday, September 1, 2015

In the flow

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We absolutely know when we are ‘in the flow’. Whether it is being totally in sync with the traffic on our way somewhere, or doing something we very much enjoy doing ~ when we are in the flow things are moving smoothly, effortlessly; and it is easy to forget the time. Time either moves slowly, allowing us to do more, enjoy more than we thought we could; or time moves fast as we are so involved with whatever it is we are doing that we loose our sense of time completely.
We are just flowing with what we are doing, one hundred percent in this very moment.

Other times we find life gets busy and between work, family and social events there may be little time left to move with the flow. Pretty soon we start forcing our chores into the time we have available to do them. Sometimes taking shortcuts to get things done ~ even though they are not ‘done right’, at least it is out of our hair for now.
What started as just a busy period can evolve into an extended period of time in which we feel there is no time for the things we enjoy so much. After all, what is the importance of our enjoyment compared to things we have to do; like work, chores, and so on…
And before we know it, we may find that we are no longer ‘in the flow’; and perhaps haven’t been for a very long time.

The thing is that this attitude is hurting us more than we can imagine.
There is a reason why the saying tells us to take time to smell the roses…

If we don’t take time to smell the roses, to do something that gives us pure enjoyment ~ because well, we enjoy it ~ it is not just the ‘being in the flow’ that we are missing. We will start missing the minutes or hours that we gain energy from doing things we enjoy doing; from being ‘in the flow’ and for one hundred percent in this moment.

Therefore we should probably be a bit more aware ~ or even alarmed ~ when we find we are no longer in the flow of things, as it signals the very moment everything we are doing starts to cost us just that little bit more energy than it should. And it begins to take away from our joy in life, almost without us noticing it.
It would be a good thing to keep track and make sure that we find ourselves ‘in the flow’ at least once a week. Whether it is in traffic, in a creative endeavor, or just enjoying ourselves. If we would do that we will in all likelihood find that we have more energy to do the things that really need to get done!
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Friday, August 28, 2015

Complaints

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We all have our complaints about things. Whether it is about a (lack off) efficiency ~ usually associated with other people’s work ~ or about how things work in general; if it were up to us things would be different!
And while there is nothing wrong with optimizing how things are done, or finding new and innovative ways to get our chores done more efficiently; we have to be careful that we are not complaining just ‘as a matter of course’ ~ complaining for the sake of complaining ~ because that is when we are putting the message out there that there isn’t anything that comes our way that is ever ‘good enough’.

But perhaps the one thing that sparks most complaints ~ at any rate where I live ~ it is the weather.

Let me start by saying that the ‘perfect weather’ is a very personal thing. Some people like the weather hot, dry and with loads of sun day after day, while to others the perfect weather might be a cooler, more moist environment. Or anything in between…

And then there is the fact that, ultimately, the weather provides nature ~ in its broadest sense ~ with what it needs rather then bending to our every human whim.
Even the crops we plant are our choice, and if we could we would control the environment in which they grow up to a tenth of a degree and every drop of moisture that would fall on it. Which in turn may or may not benefit our neighbor’s crops, or nature in general.

Yet, whenever we do get ‘the perfect weather’, chances are we will experience a ‘perfect season’. A snowy Christmas, a cold Winter, a warming Spring, a hot and sunny Summer, a warm and comfortable ‘Indian Spring’, a stormy Fall ~ and so on.

But then again, according to our personal wishes, the weather is hardly ever truly perfect.
We get what nature needs rather than what we want.

Which bring me to one of the most interesting complaints I have heard in a long time!
It was made by the owner of a beach-side restaurant who didn’t think that this Summer had been a good one at all. His business had not done as well as he had envisioned because the weather forecast had been wrong too many times.
So not only did the weather itself not live up to his expectations; the forecast of it had fallen short, according to his complaint on national TV.

It makes me think that perhaps, just maybe, we should be a little be more grateful for the good things in life…
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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

History

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History is the past; its study; its line of events. Pretty much in any way you look at it, it is a ‘has been’.
The question then becomes whether we just drop the subject. After all, it seems much more profitable to live in the present, to be aware of the present. To be ‘mindful’ in the ‘now’.

If we would go along with that line of thought, then anything that already has happened becomes unimportant. Live, learn and move on.
Letting go of the past.
From that same perspective, one might even say that when we would put any importance at all on things from the past ~ even history ~ it would get (at least part of ourselves) stuck in that past. And this then would be especially true for objects from the past that we may find ourselves holding on to, although it would certainly also be true for perspectives and attitudes from the past.

It is an interesting thing, the past.
On one hand we don’t want to get in a position where we live and re-live our history over and over again. So it stands to reason that observing our history with a critical eye is a good thing.
On the other hand it is also true that our history ~ whether that is our family history, our cultural history or even the history of world events ~ can get us in touch with our roots. It can show us where we have come from. Where we have been and what steps we have taken that have brought us here, today.
It can show us how far we have come.

Looking at it that way, holding on to some things from the past may be related to the respect we have for the steps we have taken…

The only thing to watch out for is that, while it is a good thing to know our roots, to be aware where we have come from and how much we have achieved since that time in some (sometimes very distant) past ~ we are living our lives right now!

And from that perspective our history is linked to our future (would that be ‘herstory’).
Making plans for our future is a good thing. Working towards a goal which may even be a couple of years out in the future can be quite productive, and we may even have some kind of object or token that helps us, or reminds us, where we want to go.
As long as we realize that the only way to get there is to live life right now.
In this very moment…
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Friday, August 21, 2015

Eat, drink and be merry

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The full saying is “Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die”, in other words enjoy life while you can!

It is advice that has several different aspects to it. On the surface it seems to say that all there is for us to do is to enjoy the moment. Carpe Diem.
Yet if we take this advice to heart, it not only tells us to live in the moment, perhaps even be aware of this moment; it also tells us to not worry about things or situations that may or may not come up in our future. Or about things that may have happened in the past. To not worry about things that are not here, now, right in front of us…
No, better to eat, drink and be merry; the past is history, and the future will take care of itself (and if we do need to handle something, solve something we can do so if and when it comes up).

It also tells us that we can best be happy in this moment; because while we may not literally die tomorrow, chances are that we learn from what we experience today such that tomorrow we are a new and different, a transformed person.

On the surface it even seems to tell us that it really doesn’t matter what we do, as long as we ‘eat, drink and be merry’ today.
Now, I am all for big doses of merriment and happiness!

But it does bring up the question on how we view our food today.
It seems that more and more people are intolerant to parts of that same diet that didn’t give our parents and grandparents any trouble at all. On top of that, more and  more people feel they need to enhance their ‘three square meals a day’ with nutritional supplements; perceiving that our food is missing what we perhaps need most. And to a certain extend the same thing is true for our drinks. There are very few places left where we can safely drink water just the way it appears in nature. Even tap-water is not necessarily tasty, or a drink that would make us happy; give us merriment.

Coming to think of it, it seems like food and drink; eating and drinking is less and less something that makes us ‘merry’. Happiness is in the company rather than in the menu.

It makes me think that perhaps it is time to redefine what we are eating and drinking. To get our fridges filled with those products that make us happy and healthy ~ physically as well as mentally and spiritually.
It would be a good starting point to ‘eat, drink and be merry’, while it may also instigate our transformation into wholeness.

So for now, eat drink and be merry!
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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Conscious decisions

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On average we make two kinds of decisions during a regular day. The ones that we think through ~ in other words the decisions that we are totally conscious of ~ and the ones that we hardly give any thought at all. The first ones are the ‘big decisions’, often having to do with jobs, houses, cars, school and education choices, and so on. The second ones more often than not are the small decisions, like what we will cook for dinner tonight, when to do our household chores, and what to keep and what to toss…

And that last one is an interesting one.

All too often, as long as something is not broken and still may have a perceived use in our future, we have a tendency to hold on to it. Whether we store it in the garage or in the attic; we are just not ready to toss it.
Chances are that when we would think it through, we quickly would come to a (conscious) decision that either we actually will use this item again in the foreseeable future, or no, it may have some use for somebody, but we will never use it again.

It is just one of those things…

And then, when that nice extra space is totally filled up with ‘stuff’ we ~ at least at that time ~ were not ready to toss, we suddenly become aware of the ‘problem’ and start making conscious decisions about whatever we have gathered.

It is probably why Spring-cleaning and garage-sales go hand in hand. And why eBay is still well visited site in many Countries.

On the other hand, we may also make those small decisions on the other side of the spectrum. Where, without giving it much thought, we toss things we have used quickly and easily. Keeping our attics and garages clean of clutter, while perhaps finding ourselves buying the same items over and over again ~ because, as it turns out, we would use them on a regular basis.

Some may argue that the first way of making the ‘small’ decisions is most likely what our parents would have done, while us ‘youngsters’ are unwilling to put up with the clutter…

There have to be hundreds of ‘small decisions’ we make every day without giving them much thought. It indicates that part of us is functioning on ‘automatic pilot’, not because we don’t know what to do with whatever comes up, but more likely because we tend to let our thoughts run ahead of ourselves. Thinking of tomorrows and futures that may or may not arrive as we envision them.

Therefore the more aware we are of this very moment, the more conscious our decisions will be ~ both the biggies as well as the small decisions…
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