Friday, July 18, 2014

Rollin’ with the punches

Sometimes it seems like so many things ar happening around us that influence us, that all we can do is to roll with the punches. Like we become a ball that is pushed and kicked in all different directions. A feather, blown in whichever direction the next gust of wind is choosing…

From a certain perspective, rollin’ with the punches is not a bad thing at all, it means that we accept what is dealt to us; accept the situation as it occurs and handle appropriately. For most people this works great as long as we don’t get overwhelmed with ‘punches’. As long as we are facing one situation at a time, and have enough time to regroup between things that are happening in our lives to enjoy a sense of accomplishment brought on by the process of ‘rollin’ with the punches’.
From the moment we are faced with the situation, to the acceptation of the situation, to handling the situation and resolving it to the best of our ability.

The problem occurs when so many things are happening around us and to us, that we loose grip. That we are at a loss as to where to begin, where to look first… And pretty soon we may feel like we have no control, not even a sense of participation in what is happening; all we are doing is rolling in a certain direction until the next blow changes our direction.

This can give us a sense of impotence; a sense that everything is happening to us, without us having the ability to step in and handle it. A feeling that we are a victim of circumstances.
And depending on conviction, the world, or even the universe are to blame for our predicament.

Another way to look at what is happening is to take a moment, to allow yourself space and time to be quiet and as peaceful as you can muster. From this state of being we pick that situation that seems most important in our lives right now, and we ask ourselves: ‘What can I do today to handle it, to organize it? What can be a step out of it that I can take today?
And with every step we take, we will feel less victimized and while we may not be in control exactly, at least we are participating in the outcome of that particular situation.

There is nothing wrong with ‘rollin’ with the punches’, as long as we use it to see the situation, to accept it as it is, and to take action to resolve it.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Yesterday my neighbors returned from their vacation earlier than expected.
In an attempt to escape any chances of a camping trip in rainy weather, they had driven south to a village in France where the usual weather this time of year spells ‘sunny days’. Guaranteed.
But not this year. In just over a week they had enjoyed one more or less dry day. For the rest just rain. Day and night. Had it not been a camping trip, it might not have been the end of the world. But not being able to dry their clothes, towels, and yes sleeping bags ~ they decided to drive home where at least they are guaranteed comfortable beds, and dry clothes.

When the rain just doesn’t let up, it certainly can make the decision to change plans a lot easier…

Meanwhile back home, relatively high temperatures combined with evening thunder showers have brought the humidity up a couple of notches as if there is a stickiness to the air itself. And while people may not be overly charmed by this condition, nature loves it! You can almost see it grow and hear it sing!

In a sense it is funny how us humans so often are unhappy ~ not just about the weather (which, by the way, is said to be a cultural affliction) ~ but about rain and humidity in particular. We don’t seem to like water; unless we can control it. (Don’t like rain, do like showers, etc.)

As an element, water is cleansing, nurturing, emotional, and creative.
Something a lot of us may have experienced while taking a shower. The water streaming down relaxes, and before we know it we are humming, singing ~ or coming up with a brand new idea, a good solution to a problem, or just plain inspiration to finally ‘go do it’; whatever ‘it’ is…
Each of those benefits, those ‘extra’s’ we get when we take a shower, work best when we just let it happen. When we don’t try and control it…

After all, had we already known what ‘stuff’ we are still carrying along that can be cleansed, in all likelihood we would have done so already. And had we dreamed up that creative idea before, we would probably be executing it rather than taking a shower…

From a different perspective, looking at the world map, a lot of the changes in weather that are going on seem to be revolving around water. Some areas are way dryer than they are expected to be, in other areas flooding continues to be a problem.
Perhaps this is a good time to start working with the water ~ or lack thereof ~ rather than to fight it. To release those things that in all reality belong in the past, and to come up with creative solutions that are going to serve us as well as the earth in the future.

As an element, that is what water is all about…

Friday, July 11, 2014

Money and happiness

In my home Country a new show started airing this month on TV. That in itself this is nothing special, it happens on a regular basis; unless one would say it hardly ever happens During Summer. Summer seems to be the season in which popular TV shows are endlessly repeated. Missing it on one channel doesn’t really matter as you can probably see it next day or the day after on another channel…

Anyway, in the midst of all the shows in repeat, a new show appeared with the interesting, if not provocative title: Money Buys Happiness.

At first it seems to be a play on words on the the old adage ‘Money doesn’t buy happiness’. Happiness being an inner thing; a state of mind even ~ where money is definitely something that is at play outside of ourselves. Although it has also been said that ‘Money Makes The World Go Around’. So, whether money can buy happiness or not; it is most definitely something important in our world today…

So back to the TV show ‘Money Buys Happiness’.
In this show three candidates make a pitch for their reason why they should be given money. At the end of the show the audience, who has a maximum € 10.000 to give away, decides who will get which amount of money, if any.
And whether the money is needed for extensive dentistry, or to embark upon a pilgrimage to Santiago the Compostela; to keep your flying license, or to get the specific education that will most likely land you a job ~ all of that doesn’t matter. Each candidate makes the pitch, argues the point, answers questions, all before waiting for a couple of minutes in which the audience decides if, and if so how much money they will receive.
The program implies that if a candidate is given all or part  of the required sum of money necessary for their endeavor, it will make the candidate happy.

One cannot argue with the fact that if you really need something in your life, and you don’t have the money to make it happen ~ that amount being given to you will spell RELIEF in capital letters. On the other hand it is as if this is a kind of crowd-sourcing on reality TV. 15 minutes of fame…

Having seen the program a coupe of times now, I am pondering both relief and happiness. And while the relief is obvious when an amount of money is allocated to a person’s cause on this show ~ it seems that not the money received, but what is gained from the experience is what may eventually bring happiness…

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Summer rain

As opposed to a rainy Summer, which is no fun at all, a couple of days with Summer rain are a nice interlude to the warm, dry days so typical for the season. Those Summer rains nourish nature while the temperatures remain relatively high. And in between showers the atmosphere is pleasant.

The rain also calms the energy.
The dry hot days can perpetuate a fiery energy that seems to create a movement, even when you are just sitting back, relaxing. Even at night it doesn’t cool down much; nor does the high frequency energy slow down…
Yet a day of Summer rain changes all of that. The energy settles, and as that happens nature all around us ~ and ourselves included ~ heave a big sigh of relief. Even if that is only on a subconscious level.

Pretty soon it seems like birds are singing louder, the colors of the flowers seem brighter; their scents stronger. And as soon as the sun comes out again there is a lightness in the air, a freshness of new things. Be it new buds that open into flowers, new chicks in the nests of the blackbirds; or new thoughts, new ideas, new concepts.

Summer rain makes us stand still for just moment to observe if we are still going in the right direction; whatever the right direction is. It gives us a moment to apply creative newness to anything we are doing, giving us a chance to improve on it. To make it better yet. To rebalance us with our environments.

It reminds us that we should probably do this every once in a while anyway; stepping back from our busy lives for just a couple of minutes and taking the time to observe and evaluate whether we are still spending our time and energy on the things we want to be doing ~ rather than allowing ourselves to be distracted by 1001 things we come across that we feel also need to be done.
Taking a moment to, purposefully, look at what is happening in our lives from a perspective of creative newness. So we can continue doing the things we want to do with a new focus. Even in a new frame of mind…

From that viewpoint the weather can help us, independent from the kind of weather any particular day brings. As the Summer rain brings a calm creative energy, a windy day may alert us that things are ready for change, a cold day may invite us to take a rest, and so on…

Personally, I like pretty much any kind of weather; yet I truly love this Summer rain!

Friday, July 4, 2014

What you see is what you get

We so often think we know how things fit together. Everything is right there, so that has got to be the way it is. We see it, we know it, so it has to be true…

Yet is that really true?
Can we really trust the things we see?

Just think for a moment of a nice, lazy Summer evening; being outside. Perhaps even going for an evening walk, just as dusk sets in. Suddenly the dusky shadows blend together and start creating shapes that weren’t there before. Sometimes these shapes seem to become cuddly animals. Other times they seem to become monstrous beings.
Whatever we think we are seeing may depend as much upon our mood as anything else.
And the occasional firefly, just as easily can become a fairy dancing in the soft evening air…

It appears that as we look around us, scan our environments, the shapes we see combine in our minds with the thoughts we have to create images we could swear are truly there. Until we return to them in order to pay closer attention. To observe the details. As we do that we disentangle what we see from what we are thinking about, and suddenly the things we thought we had seen turn out to be entirely different object altogether.
It is as if our mind has been playing tricks on us; however, in all reality it is as much our eyes that have deceived us.

It begs the question what it is we think we see?
Do we see things as we would like them to be? Or rather the way we fear them to be? And as we see things the very way we think they are rather than observing what is factually there, is it really true that we will get what we are seeing?

One could say that if we see a projection of our thoughts, a creation of our minds, and look at that from the perspective of ‘what we see is what we get’; then one could argue that what we get is not necessarily what we see, but rather what we think. That our minds create an image which at some point ‘we get’ in our lives.

To me this is an interesting line of thought.
It would imply that what we think will create what we see ~ or at least how we interpret the things we see; how we relate the things we see. And as we see these things that are put forth from our minds, we are one step closer to manifesting it in our lives.
So while it may be true that ‘what we see is what we get’, perhaps that is preceded with ‘what we think is what we see’…