Friday, August 29, 2014


Untitled implies undefined; literally unnamed.
It could give the impression that whatever it is, may not be important enough to bother with. Not interesting enough to take a look at…

Yet, mostly by mistake and my yearning to at least ‘save’ the file before it gets lost, every once in a while I find documents on my computer with the name: ‘untitled’. Had they been saved on my desktop ~ as I would normally save new documents to ~ I would probably have noticed and named the file appropriately.
However, sometimes the file finds its way into some folder that I, in all likelihood, had visited before. Not remembering which folder that might have been exactly; and being impatient about it ~ I probably would have duplicated and saved the document again; now on the desktop and properly named.

Leaving that untitled file hanging. Somewhere…

Yes, I know, this is a practice that can create numerous ‘double’ files in different locations. Yes, I know, it may not be the best way to use my trusty computer’s memory… But hey…

What it does do is that every once in a while I look for something and I go to that one folder where it should be at (and chances are it is). And apart from that piece of information I was looking for, I find this document that says ‘untitled’.

Often it turns out to be a little present to myself. something that I normally would not have revisited, but that is totally fitting for what is happening in my life right at that moment.
And as such, it can give me pause to think.
It can be a reason to stop, step back, and ponder the thought as to what I am doing, and why…

Now, I am not advising anyone to adopt this sloppy way of saving their documents in such a way that they are hard to find. There is a lot to say for a neat desktop and a comprehensive system when it comes to filing your work, your pictures, even your random writings away.

On the other hand, when we encounter something unexpected, unknown, or ‘untitled’; especially when we are really busy with all kinds of things and are at risk of losing grip on the situation we find ourselves in ~ it is probably a good thing to stop for a moment. To step back, and to see what this unexpected, unknown, ‘untitled’ thing, file or experience has to tell us.
It may turn out to be something truly worthwhile!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

At a snail’s pace

Sometimes life seems to move so fast we can hardly keep up. All kinds of things are happening in rapid succession, and before we know it we find ourselves having more balls in the air than we know how to handle. And from that moment on it is just a matter of time before we find them all coming crashing down ~ and ourselves scrambling in order to catch up with whatever is still going on…

Other days, it is almost as if time doesn't move at all, and it seems nothing is happening. No projects, no chores. Just the one, seemingly endless day with nothing to do, nowhere to go. A day that is taken at a snail’s pace.

It is a day like that which easily could be labeled as boring.
We may even feel antsy when it happens to us, for surely there must be something we should do, some place we should be, someone we should meet. There are bound to be plans we should make for future events…
And yet, nothing happens.
Time could just as well be standing still…

But then again, perhaps it is on those days that we can benefit from taking life at a snail’s pace. Slowly and steadily. Munching away on thins layers of algae we may not even see. Enjoying the perfect conditions to just put out all its feelers to become aware of everything the environment has to offer.

To just sit and let our senses expand.

To become aware of what is inside of us, our heartbeat, our breathing rhythm ~ as well as what is outside of us. Our energy. The color of our mood.

And pretty soon we may become aware of a different world where all kinds of things are happening. We may suddenly distinguish the whispers of the trees, the tweets of the birds; perhaps even the messages that are brought to us on the wings of the soft breeze. We may feel that the colors of the flowers become more intense, or smell the scent of a thunderstorm approaching…

When life happens at a snail’s pace, it often is an invitation to experience the world differently for a little bit. To take a deep breath, and relax.
And then when we focus again on our regular life, we may well find that the snail has long since be gone. It may have eaten its fill and found a safe place to rest, hidden from our eyes.


Friday, August 22, 2014

Life’s questions

There will always be a number of questions that, when we truly set out to answer them, can impact our entire life as we know it. One of such questions is the following:
“Do we live our lives for others, or do we live our life for ourselves?”

The question in itself is burdened ~ at least for me it is ~ with all kinds of immediate thoughts on that it is a good thing to help other people, that focusing on yourself is egocentric, and a handful more of similar statements that may or may not be cultural dependent.
Each and every one of those statements carries a judgement with it. And whichever way we live our lives, the one thing that cannot be a good thing is to judge ourselves or others.

So back to the question…
Living our lives for others would mean that our wishes, our desires, even the choices we make in life are dependent upon other people. It would, when taken to an extreme, come to a point where what we need in our lives has become less important to what the other person needs, or wants; or just fancies right there and then.
Living our life entirely for ourselves carries the danger that we are no longer operating from a perspective of what we need in our lives, or which desires we are willing to make come true; we might adopt an attitude that says: “I want that and I want it now, no matter what others think or feel about it, no matter what I have to do to get it.”

Looking at both parts of the question as true, even extreme polarities ~ neither one is very appealing.

Yet if we want to become the best we can be, the best person, the best in our field of expertise; then it is important to make our choices accordingly. Not from the perspective of what anyone else would do, need, want or desire from us, but rather directed by our inner compass. That inner guidance, or drive, that gets us moving in the right direction. That allows us to unfold those aspects of our lives we are passionate about.
That being said, if there is no-one around to share you accomplishments with, it can be a lonely road to travel…

So perhaps the answer to the question is that we are living our lives for ourselves, and with others.
Where, as we make our own choices, as we guide ourselves in that direction that is best for us, we find ourselves in a position where we can encourage others to do the same.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


We all have our own motivation to do the things we do, to act the way we act, and to say the things we say. The fact that we are allowed to express our opinions in whichever way we see fit and to act upon them is one of those very precious things in life we call freedom…
That freedom has a lot to do with society and culture; with the people around us and the social mores we live by. In other words, at least at the surface this freedom is something that is granted to us by the society we live in; and therefore stems from outside of ourselves.

Our motivation to do, or not do something, to say something or be silent, to act or sit back is usually much more complicated.

Often our motivation is provided from outside of ourselves. For instance the motivation for being on time for the start of your shift at work may well be the paycheck at the end of the month, which you need in order to pay the bills. This may also be true when looking at the decision to speak up or not; very few people find the strength and courage inside themselves to become a whistle blower. And for good reason. Therefore the wiser choice may well be to stay silent…

Yet in this day and age it seems to be more and more important that the things we do ~ like our job ~ are something we are passionate about. Even though we may have to work harder to make a living, when we are doing something we feel passionate about it seems that ultimately the earnings come in more easily than when we are just ‘going through the motions’.
Doing the things we are passionate about usually are things that we feel motivated about from within. There is an inner drive, an inner guidance to set out and do those things. And when we do, we almost always feel more fulfilled as a result.

In other words, while there will always be an ‘outer motivation’ for any number of the things we do, our ‘inner motivation’ seems to become a more and more important part in making choices as to where to spend our time and energy. As to what we want to be part of, and what we choose to walk away from. As to what we want to say, and when to be quiet; and if we still want to speak up, how we choose our words.

As time goes on, our inner compass will become a more and more important part of our motivation for living our lives the way we choose to…

Friday, August 15, 2014


Pretty much everything we do is about the effect it is going to have. Therefore it is important to figure out what we are trying to achieve; what the most desired effect of our actions is.
And while we are sometimes just interested in pulling a prank on someone, more often we engage in more serious activities. We work a job to get a pay check. We clean the house and create the nicest of environments in order to make our house a home.

Yet it always starts with the effect we have in mind…
The dream we want to make come true. That one thing we want to see or do in our life time ~ which leads to the ‘bucket list’; the things we want to do before we ‘kick the bucket’. We want to be successful in whichever way we define ‘success’ for ourselves.
And once we have determined what the effect is we are going for, we device a plan of action that will get us there. In other words, we put the ‘cause’ in motion.

At least that is the plan…

The fact that it doesn’t always work out exactly that way becomes clear as we are living our lives. Almost on a daily basis we may come across ‘effects’ that we did not set out to achieve. At least on on a conscious level of thought or planning. Suddenly something happens, or we find ourselves in a situation where we never wanted to be, and yet, here we are.

As it is clearly an effect of something, in cases like this it is important to find what caused that specific effect to crop up in our lives so unexpectedly.
And like is true with the planned and desired effects we bring into our lives, these unplanned, unwanted effects we find ourselves facing often have a cause that is very close to us. It may be an attitude, an emotion. It can be one of our life lessons that has caused this in order for us to pay attention to something we may have overlooked before.

IN this day and age it seems that very often the somewhat hidden cause to the unwanted effect can be found in a certain indignation; or even in a perspective that says that ‘the world owes me …’. Like ‘I am a nice, spiritual person, and therefore nasty things shouldn’t happen to me’. Or: ‘I have given so much in the past, now I deserve to be given this thing I really want.’

Given the fact that those type of perspectives rarely result in the effects we desire, one could say we are better off adapting a more genuine, more kind attitude in dealing with the word around us…

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


It seems that nowhere in life do we encounter more ‘symptoms’ than when we are looking at our health. It is in health related things that the word is also used most ~ so that makes sense. Sort of.

Perhaps the most widespread symptom is that we experience pain when something is going on with our bodies, physical, emotional, or mental. That pain then is a symptom that something is not right, and will often kick off the search for what is causing it such that this cause can be treated.

Symptoms are used to diagnose what is going on with our system; our bodies and minds. This way, difficulty breathing may be a symptom of an allergy, or asthma. Or it can be a symptom that has nothing whatsoever to do with either allergies or asthma; in which case it brings up the dilemma on how to treat this particular symptom…

When there are multiple symptoms that may even seem unrelated, and yet are all important the whole situation becomes complex in a hurry. When this happens, the most difficult question to answer may well be whether all these multiple symptoms relate to one underlying cause, or if the multiple symptoms signal multiple problems with multiple causes…

As we are one being, chances are that at least at some level all symptoms are related. But that is not an obvious perspective… All too often it seems that each and every symptom is treated separately. Something that can work out great, yet in these changing times with an ever increasing energy frequency, it tends to often create more and unanticipated problems.

Somehow it seems that as everything within us and around us is changing, the way we look at, and deal with symptoms may also be changing.
So rather than looking at the symptoms that are apparent and treating every symptom separately; it seems to make more and more sense to observe each symptom and to search for what has caused it in the first place. And when the causes are found, to see whether these causes are somehow related to one another. If they are, great!! Then there is something that can be treated. Yet if there is no relationship between these causes, perhaps there is a cause behind the cause; and may be even a cause behind that one…
Ultimately there has to be either just one cause that, through a series of events caused all the symptoms ~ or just a few causes that are connected to one another and as such connect all of the symptoms.

After all, the symptom is just a sign; a signal caused by a situation or event  that needs our attention.

Friday, August 8, 2014

The most fun thing

What is the most productive, beneficial, pleasant, positive thing you have done last week?
And what is the most fun thing you have done last week??

We seem to have a tendency to remember the thing that didn’t happen; the things that didn’t work out the way we wanted them to work out, even the things that may have cost a lot of our time and even money with crystal clarity. We focus on what went wrong, when it happened, what we could have done different if only…
As we allow ourselves to let our thoughts drift into that direction, it often doesn't take long before we have convinced ourselves of one of two things:
We should have known better and therefore it is our fault, and we feel guilty about it.
We did everything right, if only that other person had kept up, had done things better, it would have worked out peachy!

In other words, we either end up feeling guilty about it, or we point our finger to those we blame for the way things didn’t work out.
Neither reaction is a productive one…

Of course there are many ways to look at things differently.
We can see whatever has happened as a lesson learned, knowing that we won’t make that same mistake twice. We may sit ourselves down in a quiet space and seek to discover what our part in that situation was, rather than just pointing fingers.
And we would be likely to learn a lot from it; learn about ourselves as well as about the situation that occurred and the other people involved.

But sometimes it is best to not allow ourselves to dwell on what didn’t go exactly as planned, and to focus on something that turned out to be heaps of fun! Something that was positive, pleasant, beneficial ~ and perhaps unexpectedly productive. Something that was one of those rare occasions of being at the right place at the right time so that everything fell into place better than we could have ever planned it.
And when we have identified one of those situations, we have plenty reasons to pat ourselves on the back and to congratulate ourselves with our amazing accomplishment.

If we would take time to focus on one thing that happened in our lives that brought us joy, one thing that put a smile on our faces; that one thing that was funny ~ chances are that we will find more of those popping up in our lives.
Making our lives more positive, more pleasant, and perhaps even more productive…

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Shock Value

It seems that pretty much everything we see or experience in the media needs to have a certain ‘shock value’ in order to get our attention. If it is not something that is described in multiple superlatives ~ whether they are positive or negative ~ it seems that we don’t pay attention anymore.

As a result the news items depict the worst life has to offer, often in the most graphic ways possible. As long as it is ethical, an interesting way to say that it is a good thing to show the whole world the truth as it is seen through that particular camera at that particular place and time.

This being the age of polarities, it isn’t hard to find the polarity aspect of this. Like for instance in talent shows on TV. Where a couple of years ago those that sought to become known for their singing, their music, dance or any other entertainment skills tended to have somewhat of an amateurish flavor; nowadays that isn’t true anymore. And consequently we are blown away by stellar performances of people by all ages.

If we would just go by the ‘shock value’ of what is presented to us, it would seem that the world would exist solely out of those who commit some kind of violent acts, and those that display their God-given talent in the best way they know how.

Now, if I look around me on a regular day when I am going about my business, chances are I would see neither extreme occur.

Of course we may see someone cutting in front of us on the freeway or jumping the line at the register, and by the same token we may experience being helped by someone who is making the most of their job, happily and joyfully.
Luckily, for most of us that is the extend of these particular polarities in ‘real life’.

So why do we need that ‘shock value’ in the media?

In a sense it seems that as long as we can watch things that are ‘bigger than life’ in the media, we may be able to handle the everyday stuff in our real lives better. Easier.
After all, no matter how bad our own situation is at the moment, it could be a lot worse. And even though we are just singing in the shower, watching the talent shows give us something to strive for.

And while there is truth in that, it is also important to remember that as long as we need that ‘shock value’ to actually see what the media allow us to experience, the news, while factually true, may not reflect much of what is happening in our every day lives…

One could even say that taking everything into consideration, our lives, while lacking a certain ‘shock value’, are pretty good…

Friday, August 1, 2014

Social Media

More and more people seem to be spending more and more of their time interacting through Social Media. Even when there is nothing going on in life, it is worth telling the world about it… What we cook, and eat. Whether we are sleeping or are suffering from insomnia. What we are doing, mot doing, planning to do, dreaming of doing. If we are going somewhere, or have cancelled. It all is posted on Social Media, occasionally accompanied by selfies of the person posting it…

And when we are done posting about ourselves and our own lives, we often feel like we need to post about other people’s lives. About how the world is ‘going to hell in a hand basket’. And how ‘they’ should be doing things differently, should be coming up with different solutions, should make different choices, and on and on and on.

It makes for an interesting mix of a kind of exhibitionism, and looking outside of ourselves to point out to others what is wrong with the world.
On one hand we publish so much about ourselves, our likes and dislikes, and our selfies that at times one may think reading along that it is way too much information. On the other hand we seem totally unwilling to look at ourselves when it comes to problem solving, or handling situations we are faced with ‘in the real world’. That world that is out there; that doesn’t require a computer or smart phone to join.
That world where the sun may be shining, and children on a hot day are begging their parents for an ice cream cone.

Even in the world of Social Media it is easy to see polarities at work…
The digital world versus the physical world. Ourselves versus ‘them out there’.

Of course this is not the only function of Social Media. Social Media are a wonderful platform to stay in touch with friends, to share your thoughts, the music you like. They make it possible for your friends to ‘travel along’ on that adventurous trip you are making. From that perspective, Social Media allow us to expand our horizons and to make our own world bigger and more interesting.

The danger ~ if one could call it that ~ is that we focus on things that are super superficial, and combine that with an (un)healthy dose of negativity. It may be our opinion, and therefore worth posting from our perspective. But is that really the energy we want to bring forth into the physical world? That world where the rain may be breaking the heat spell, cleansing the air, and making it smell so good…

Perhaps, if we have nothing positive, productive, fun, loving, or kind to post ~ we just shouldn’t post it.