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KNOWING vs. BELIEVING

A conversation is recounted in the book # Shantaram  in which the character, Khaderbhai, says: “There is no such thing as believing in #G...

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Wednesday, 26 March 2014

I CAN'T GET NO ... SATISFACTION

What will it take to be wholly satisfied with your life?

Enough money?  And how then will you know how much is enough?

To be loved by others?  How many must then love you, and how much must they love?

To love others?  And what when they don't live up to your lofty expectations?

A nice car? And when will you know that it is nice enough and there isn't a better one around the corner?

To be honoured for your achievements?  How much honour will suffice, and how good must your achievements be?

To be the fastest runner?  But what will happen when there's someone who is faster?

A good job?  But can you rest until you are the boss and in charge of everything?  And what when that overwhelms you?

To live your passion every moment of every day?  But do you know what that passion is?  If not, how will you find it?  And how do you live it?

Or could you perhaps live happily ever after, in integrity, simply knowing that you are enough, just as you are?

Saturday, 22 March 2014

HOW WILL I MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

Perhaps one of the most telling questions each of us can ask ourselves as as we make our way down our respective life paths is: 'How will I make a difference?'  This is not about proving ourselves as do-gooders, but rather about acknowledging the gifts we have and putting them to whatever use will leave a legacy for others, especially our children.

We each have gifts, talents, skills, abilities, whatever, and Life's invitation is to use them to make a difference in the Universe.  Sure, it might feel more comfortable to sit around with no conscious purpose, live our lives in the same bland circles of purposelessness and then die.  I want to suggest, however, that we are called to make a meaningful difference, and if you can get to the end of your life having made a single meaningful difference (by which I mean improvement) to the people and planet around you, your life will have taken on greater meaning for you.  In fact, it will have been well lived.

So the invitation is to live your life with purpose which might include:

  • Bring up your kids as well as you know how
  • Create jobs
  • Heal the sick
  • Share what you know, widely and thoughtfully
  • Do your bit for the environment
  • Live consciously
  • Honour and respect others
  • Tell the truth
  • Live in integrity in every aspect of your life 
  • Let go every bit of resentment that enters your life
  • Serve others, whether as a leader or on some other capacity
  • Create structures that will make a difference
  • Share your talents - singing, acting, dancing, speaking,...
  • Create the space and environment for others to share their talents
  • Enhance the collective consciousness through prayer or meditation
  • Give generously and thoughtfully of your time and other resources
  • Explore with incessant curiosity and share your discoveries
  • And....?
For the meantime, I'm going to carry on writing a blog which invites you to explore all the possibilities in your life.

What will you do to make a difference?  Please leave comments on the site.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

"EVERY TIME YOU GET UNDRESSED..."

"Every time you get undressed...the trumpets they go pom-pom pa-pa-pa..."  I am not sure if #JasonDerulo 's latest musical offering to the planet is supposed to be a love song,  but I suspect that the trumpets sound only for JD and not necessarily the object of his ardour.

Ma'am, if taking your clothes off is the only thing that's going to make Mr Derulo's trumpets sound, I would high tail it out of there if I were you.  The trumpets may well stay silent for your beauty, intelligence, wit and loveability and only hit the high notes when you're in the nick.  If that's the case, you know what's required of you to get big J's trumpets going.  No pressure, but I fear the trumpets may also remain silent when your boobs and butt start to sag and your face gets a bit wrinkly, even if you're still prancing around in your birthday suit then.

If your trumpets also sound every time you get undressed, then keep going as long as you can hear the music, but if only one if you is hearing the band, I would change the conductor if I were you.

Just saying.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

FACEBOOK AND THE 'LIKE' SEDUCTION

It occurs to me that different users have different purposes for posting on FB.  I figure there are three main purposes.  The first is to share information with your friends and the world which is useful/entertaining/interesting/funny.  The second is to tell all your friends what you and your family have been up to and how you're doing.  The third is the sneaky one which is to see how many 'likes' and comments you can collect doing the 1st or 2nd type of posting.  It is a type of self-affirmation - a way of checking how well liked you are in the world, or seeking affirmation for the way you choose to live your life.

Now before someone jumps down my throat for guessing people's motives on FB, I'm not knocking any particular motive.  Whatever your motive for FB, if it serves you well that's great.

Having said that, this isn't entirely speculative.  Factually some people feel disappointed when their postings aren't 'liked' by lots of people, or worse still when no one 'likes' them.  Check your own reaction to no one acknowledging a posting of yours.  Disappointed or indifferent?

The reaction to lots of likes is often to post more and more on FB, because all the  'likes' are quite seductive, and even addictive.  The reaction to very few 'likes' is either to increase the volume of postings or else not post at all.

Anyway, the invitation is to check your own motive for posting on FB and see if it feeds your needs and wants.  A clue to what that is might be in the way you react to the feedback you get.

P.S. Don't forget to 'like' this!

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

STANDING TALL, FALLING FLAT

Richard Nixon, Ben Johnson, Bill Clinton, Tiger Woods, Lance Armstrong, Jacob Zuma and #OscarPistorius...Spot the common thread.

What is it that has us build others into superheroes and demi-gods on account of their athletic prowess, political or social standing, but when, like Olympus, they fall, we damn and condemn them for duping us?

The truth is that it is only between our ears that others can be elevated to superstar status, so when they behave in a manner other than the way our minds demand that they "should" behave, we get disappointed, angry, resentful and judgmental. 

What do we know, really?  Do we really know how these people should behave?  Are others who are not quite as important (like ourselves!) allowed to behave a little differently?

What if we could let go of the reverence for the prowess and standing of others and rather just respect and honour them for the human beings that they are?  This requires us to place no one on a pedestal and to look down on no one, but simply to hold others as equal in their loveability, frailty and temptation.  Try it: there is every chance you might experience more acceptance of the way things (and others) are.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

THE VAGARIES OF EXPECTATION (Part 3)

The practical outcomes of expectations turn on the meanings our minds put on the events we were or were not expecting or demanding.  If we demand that something should or should not happen, and it doesn't or it does, as the case may be, we may feel sad/disappointed/angry/scared.  If we expect the worst, and it doesn't happen, we feel relieved/happy and so on.  If we don't expect something to happen, but it does fortuitously, our feelings may be mixed depending in the event.

I was involved in a difficult and long-running arbitration last week, with the expectation of a stressful period during the hearing and with no prospect of settlement.  On the day the hearing started, a settlement offer was made to my client, which was accepted.  My experience: relief and satisfaction.

I was cycling a week ago, enjoying the bush and countryside, when a giant heron softly alighted next to the path I was following. Completely unexpected.  My reaction: joy and upliftment.

I mentioned in a previous blog a deal which I expected to happen within a certain time, but which didn't.  My reaction: annoyance and anger.

I expected my father to live well into his eighties. He was fit, healthy and lived a model lifestyle.  He had a heart attack when he was 78, out riding his bicycle.  My reaction: shock, dismay, disbelief, and all the grief that goes with losing a parent unexpectedly.  

The point is simply that we set our minds and ourselves up in such a way that we think we know what Life has in store for us and how it should be.  When Life's actuality varies from the way we have it set up in our heads, that is when we suffer.

What if we could just be open to whatever Life had to offer, with no expectation that it should be different from the way it actually is?  How much quieter might our states of mind then be?

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

THE BURDEN OF EXPECTATIONS: (Part 2)

Expectations offer in equal measures
satisfaction or disappointment.
Drop the expectation and what is then on offer
Is relief, joy or else nothing changes.
The possibilities just improved.




Saturday, 1 March 2014

THE BURDEN OF EXPECTATIONS: Part 1

Dashed expectations, profound disappointment.
Mourning the loss of what you never had.
Let go of the demand and revert to hope.
Now you're off the path which so often leads to sad.

A couple of weeks ago someone gave me an undertaking in connection with a significant business transaction.  A decision would be made on a given day which would present me with a particular opportunity.  (Yes, I'm being deliberately cagey about this as the transaction must remain under wraps for a while longer.)  The big day came and went and I was told the decision would be postponed for a month or two.

The reasons for the delay don't really matter.  What did matter was that I felt overwhelmed with rage at being let down, telling myself that I was unimportant in the other person's life, that I just had to paddle my own canoe and so on. 

When I explored my mental state a bit more, I realized how much I had expected this deal to happen just the way I saw it and how much I was already counting on it happening within a certain time.  My rage was about not having something which, ironically, I never had in the first place.

In my reactive state  I was ready to walk away from the deal, I was so hacked off.  Once I had figured out and worked through some of Life's truths (as opposed to my own realities), I was able to make some choices.  The big one was simply to let it be.  To let go every expectation I had about the event happening and continue living my life to the full, rather than putting it on hold for this opportunity.  Although I am still hopeful that the deal will happen, I am completely at peace with and grateful for my life, just as it is.  I truly don't mind whether the deal happens or not.  

Either way I am presented with wonderful possibilities and all that I am called to do is explore them.