blogging, Mental Health, Motivational, Philosophy

Open the Doors

“The best time to open the door to the cages we’ve built around ourselves is now.  Live your dreams while you are able.”  Lisa Dorenfest

from Eric/ka at https://behindthesceneryphoto.com/
french doors

Before you panic, I’m not advocating opening up borders and businesses in the midst of a pandemic. Far from it, I err on the side of caution and conservatism when it comes to nasty bacteria and viruses.

Rather, I am referring to opening the door to our minds and our lives, which often stays closed, to the present moment.

The Present Moment

When old friends get together, they reminisce about the past. Older people love to chat about those heady, carefree days of youth. Their stories are tinged with regret. Regret that they didn’t do more, see more, love more.

Why is it we close our mind to really seeing the world around us, as each moment passes by, a moment that we will never be able to fully experience again? Many of us appear to prefer our own thoughts and stick with thinking that revolves around plans, or worries, for the future, and regrets or reminisces about the past.

When our minds are fixed in the mental construct that is the past or the future, we are more likely to create anxiety within ourselves.

Our Public Persona

Most of us have secrets and thoughts we stash away in the far recesses of our mind. We rarely show our complete self to another person. Presumably for fear of rejection. Because rejection hurts. So we present a public face and persona to the world and our private self is only for the movie that is running in our own minds.

It seems we now prefer to see what everyone else is doing, via the medium of a glass screen than to be involved in life, with all our senses.

Cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world that occurs when we’re afraid it will hurt us or let us down. Cynics always say “no.”

If we always say no, we miss out on learning and growing. Saying yes leads to firsthand experience and knowledge. “Yes” is for strong, open-minded people. So for as long as you have the strength to, say “yes.”

Marc and Angel
proverb

Why are we ignoring the immediate world around us?

Could we be preferencing cynicism over wisdom?

As Marc and Angel state,

“Accepting some level of risk in life is important. Everything you want to do takes daily practice.

Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams.

Live the life you want to live. Be the person you want to remember years from now.

Make decisions and act on them. Make mistakes, fail and try again.”

front door

The door is open.

blogging

Chronic Stress

One thing to remember about chronic stress is that it’s only because our thoughts deem something to be stressful that we can actually feel the sensation of stress. 

“Viewed mindfully, no situation is truly chronic. There are always calm moments to notice and be present for,” [amidst the chaos.] “Moments that can be lived in with ease.” (Stacy Young)

Do you Agree?

Can you ever totally eliminate stress from your life?

bridge through a garden in japan
Mental Health, Motivational, Philosophy

Whose Fault is it, Anyway?

“When you blame others,

you give up your power to change.”

Robert Anthony

http://www.awakenthegreatnesswithin.com/

Blame and finding fault teaches us to avoid facing up to some truth about ourselves.

It encourages us to search for what is wrong and who we think was responsible because of an underlying often unconscious belief, we carry, that infers if we are always right, we will be happy. If we could control other people and their actions, then that might be possible.

We all know that controlling others is, pretty much, impossible.

When controlling others fails, as it inevitably does, our innate Plan B might be to use guilt, fear, domination or manipulation; even conditional love and criticism to get what we think we want, or feel that we need.

If there is no value in holding on to guilt, why do we do so? Why is it so hard to let things go?

Forgiveness is the key.

Forgive yourself as well as others, for your own sake.

Tolstoy suggested a bad mood might be the reason we blame others. How often do we hear:

“If only they/it would/didn’t/can ………”

Yet blaming others is not likely to lead to feelings of serenity. Instead it may create more negative feelings and paint your own self as a victim, as the following quote alludes.

“Some people love being victims because they love being able to blame someone else. Accountability is too much for them. They don’t like being responsible for who they have become or where they are in life.” Anonymous

http://www.awakenthegreatnesswithin.com

Therein, blaming may be linked to feelings of remorse, or regret, about where one is in life’s journey.

The only thing we might ever really change is our own attitude.

Australia, blogging, Mental Health, Motivational, Philosophy

Overcoming Adversity

I am a bit late with posting my Sunday Sayings quote as it is now Monday afternoon, in Australia. I don’t want writing a regular blog post to become a chore, for then I feel sure my writing would lose spontaneity and appeal, so if I can’t think of anything useful to write, I won’t post at all. Just so you know.

Today’s inspiration resulted after a long walk along the beach with a friend.

Sunrise

Being on the beach at sunrise is fantastic and I feel extremely fortunate to experience it. With little accompanying wind and a mild air temperature, (given it was a winter’s morning in a sub-tropical part of Australia), the sun bid good morning through the low level cloud, hugging the islands across the bay.

That fire breathing star of atoms we all depend on for life, shone over the lapping seawater like a spotlight on a runway carpet. A beam of golden light that stretched across the ocean from the horizon to the shore line like a path to eternity. Magical.

As we walked, my friend and I chatted about life’s dramas, past experiences and the week ahead. She told me about a gentlemen on a UK TV show, who faced enormous challenges in his daily life, and who had seemingly had more than his share of devastating family tragedies, with one cataclysmic life event following another.

In chatting about the TV show and these experiences, I remembered a quote I had read some time back.

Inspirational Quote

Life Challenges and Adversity

After our walk was done and I was at home sipping a cup of tea, I pondered some more about life and facing adversity.

We have all experienced some level of adversity in life.

Everyone has challenges, sooner or later. There wouldn’t be one person on the planet that hasn’t faced some kind of adversity.

Given that such challenges and adversity are omnipresent, or a natural part of life, aiming to live a life without them seems a tad unrealistic and even far-fetched.

Yet how often do we yearn, and sometimes expect, life to be challenge free: wishing for an easy life.

I guess it is in our nature to want life to be trouble free and have free time to pursue hobbies, sport or leisure pursuits. Devices, gadgets and the latest electronic inventions promises itself as a panacea to our time-poor existence.

So I ask:

Why are we looking to save so much time?

In doing so, are we living in the here and now, or looking forward to a mythical ‘down’ time, failing to notice our lives, passing by?

Why do we Want More Leisure Time Anyway?

  • To make life more meaningful
  • To experience more relaxation and peace
  • To conduct leisure pursuits
  • To stop working in a job that bring us joy

What is it that gives us a sense of satisfaction in life?

If the Covid pandemic has any lesson, it is that some folks become completely bored without work, with nothing constructive to do, and a few even create mischief for others.

Is it in the facing of challenges that we come alive?

In overcoming adversity and challenges, even if painful or sad, we can learn and grow. This, in turn, might lead to a greater sense of satisfaction and contentment. Right?

You tell me.

What is it that you are seeking in wanting more leisure time?

Would you prefer a life completely free from challenges?

Join the Discussion

Everyone is welcome to comment, well except for spammers, of course.

Mental Health, Motivational, Philosophy

Challenging Thoughts and Reality

“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.”

Marcus Aurelius
Banksia

If you think of yourself as the best thing since sliced bread, that will become your reality.

Likewise, if you think you are broken, or a failure, then in all likelihood, you will feel broken and miserable.

If you feel you have some faults but are working hard to improve them, you might also feel differently.

Individual thoughts become your reality.

If you feel the future is hopeless, it is extremely hard to find a solution.

Even if your reality is realistic and accurate, intrusive thoughts have a way of sneaking into our mental vocabulary. Ann Koplow had some great pointers to remedy those. Perhaps it is useful strategies for all of us?

Challenge Labels.  If you label yourself negatively, such as “a fool” or “a loser,” remind yourself that such absolute terms are subjective and meaningless, and that human beings are too complex to be reduced that simplistically. Also, consider the possibility that somebody else may have given you that idea about yourself, and that they were wrong.

Reality testing.  Ask people questions to find out if your thoughts and concerns are realistic or true. This is a particularly effective response to the distortion of mind-reading.

Thought stopping.  If you notice an unhelpful thought, cut it off immediately. Typical techniques include visualizing a big stop sign, saying “STOP!” to yourself, and giving yourself a sensory cue (e.g. snapping a rubber band you wear around your wrist). A “gentler” version of this is to notice an unhelpful thought and tell yourself, “That’s just a thought.”

https://annkoplow.wordpress.com

Something to Ponder About this Sunday

Mental Health, Motivational, Philosophy

Procrastination

Dr Robert Boice spent two decades delving into the minds of writers to work out why they are so easily distracted. He found that master procrastinators are suckers for falling for the short term hit at the expense of their long-term goal.

blog.reedsy.com/learning/courses/writing/stop-procrastinating-and-build-a-rock-solid-writing-routine/kill-procrastination-gremlins/

People prone to procrastination place a disproportionate focus on the outcome, rather than the input required to make their dream come true. This can cause increased levels of anxiety.

https://blog.reedsy.com/learning/courses/writing/stop-procrastinating-and-build-a-rock-solid-writing-routine/kill-procrastination-gremlins/

“When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that in itself is a choice.”
– William James

Then the panic sets in….

And most pertinent in this Corona phase of life:

“One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon – instead of enjoying the roses blooming outside our windows today.” – Dale Carnegie

“If you want to make an easy job seem mighty hard, just keep putting off doing it.”
– Olin Miller

Do you identify with facets of procrastination?

Is it a fear of the future that holds you back from dealing with issues or would you consider motivation, or a lack thereof, more imperative to procrastination?

Why do we procrastinate so much? Is it worse since the advent of our electronic devices?

If so, is that mean we are more distractible these days. And then, my question would be, what does that lead to in the long term?

Something to ponder about this Sunday.

Join in the discussion. I would love to hear your perspective.

blogging, Community, Motivational

Sunday Sayings – Focus in Isolation

From The Treasury of Proverbs and Epigrams, kindly given to me by LeggyPeggy comes these wisdoms:

It may be hard to work, but it must be harder to want.

Employment is natures’ physician.

The confidence of ability is ability.

and finally,

Learn the luxury of doing good.


Counteracting the Negative

Feeling pessimistic about the future of the planet and yourselves? Feeling like you are climbing the walls in self-isolation?

Useful work doesn’t always have to be renumerated in dollars.

If you are struggling with loss of work, are self-isolating, or feeling stuck in an endless loop of negative thoughts, fundamentals are important to acknowledge. You are doing loads of great things to keep going.

Make daily lists to remind yourself of:

  • Good things that are happening – For example: cooking healthy meals, helping family keep occupied with indoor activitites, staying at home, spending more time and conversation with pets and family, maintaining your room/garden/flat.
  • Good things about yourself – Eg: I am clever and capable. I have got this. I have survived up til now so I will get through this. I am good at …… ( insert whatever you are good at).
  • Things that you are accomplishing (even little things). Like clearing out that old cupboard, decluttering Marie Kondo style, creating a DIY project you’ve been meaning to do for years; Sorting and labelling the myriad of photos in the cloud/on PC, or even checking on a elderly neighbour/friend, over the back fence/through the doorway or telephone.

Focus on what you ARE doing, rather than on what you’re NOT doing.’

Blogging can be positive too.

Community, Motivational, Philosophy

Sunday Sayings – Finding Peace

birds

Weekly Proverb

Alle fuglar kan ikkje vere falkar

All birds cannot be hawks.

Swedish Proverb

Weekly Quotes

“Peace comes from within. 

Do not seek it without.”

–Buddha

Somewhere between the love in your heart and the thoughts in your mind is a happy, peaceful place. To find it, look towards:

Acceptance

Life is a series of natural events and continuous changes.  Don’t resist them; doing so only creates unnecessary stress.  Let the reality and changes take place.  Let them flow. 

Acceptance is allowing things to be the way they are, right at this moment.  It doesn’t mean you don’t care about improving life; it’s more about realizing that the only thing you really have control over, is yourself. 

This simple understanding is the basic foundation of acceptance, and only when we feel some level of acceptance can there be peace and ultimately, growth.

 Henry Wadsworth once said, “For after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain.”

Your Own Truth

I never really got what was meant by these words, until I understood that each person has their own individual way of living and experiencing life, and that perspective is the absolute right way for them, at that particular time in their life. You can never really walk in another person’s shoes.

“One of the sources of feeling at peace is simply being comfortable with who you really are.”

What ever is your “thang” – own it.

Being comfortable with who you are, might still be a struggle with those who find self-acceptance challenging. They might struggle to achieve peace in their life, until they can relax and be themselves.

We have to honour that the choices we make in our life are the absolute right way for us, and in so doing, we have to give others the same acceptance that their choices are absolutely right for them in their journey through life.

Leave judgements of yourself and others behind.

If you find self-acceptance really difficult, recognize the many ways you are already accepting yourself: –

  • Not trading your reality for a role, or your truth, for an act you perform when you are elsewhere.
  • Not giving up your freedom of thought. 
  • Not putting on a mask. This is exhausting.
  • Owning your inner spirit.
  • All birds cannot be hawks, and that is okay.

Something to ponder in a minute of reflection today.

Note:

I became fascinated with traditional proverbs and sayings, their metaphorical layers and the many different interpretations found within just a few, succinct words. I marveled at their ability to transcend race, religion, opinions and age.

They offer us knowledge; knowledge that is passed to us in much the same way relay runners might pass a baton. Once it’s handed over, it is up to us what we do with it and how we pass it on.

Several years ago, I created ‘Proverbial Friday’ (now Sunday Sayings), on my blog. One of the quotes here was published on my blog some years back and I felt in these times it was well worth reviewing and adding some updated information.

Community, Mental Health, Motivational, Philosophy

Sunday Sayings – Hurtful words

This week in Australia, there has been many hurtful words slung in the fight for supplies in supermarkets – primarily panic buying on toilet paper. The premise is flawed as we have enough supplies and manufacture it here. But still, folks panic buy a trolley load! Brawls have erupted in the toilet paper isles of the major supermarkets! Hurtful words have been said.

beach

Feeling Irritated

A few weeks ago I was discussing what happens when we feel irritated by someone else’s words.

I asked:

What do we gain by feeling irritated? Is there any kind of benefit in this?

  • We get to feel like a martyr – meaning I AM still okay so you are NOT
  • We get to blame others for our feelings
  • We get to feel unhappy and it’s someone else’s fault

Ultimately, all of us need to take responsibility for our own feelings and aim to be more accepting of other people, their temperaments and priorities.

But what about the other side of irritation? The fall out from those spiteful words said in a moment of anger that are often regretted? It is not always easy to repair the damaged relationship, nor unsay what has already been said.

Hurtful words are often said when we do not have, or cannot find, the words to clearly express our needs, clearly or succinctly. It seems like frustration and pain often lie behind the words that are spoken.

Te Mata Peak New Zealand

Weekly Quotes

“Let your hopes, not your hurts shape your future” – Robert Schuller

The Hidden Meaning Behind Hurtful Words

from pamfullerton.com

“In making hurtful comments, we are usually trying to communicate strong, unresolved feelings. However, this seems to work against us as it causes pain in ourselves and others.”

And if we don’t transform pain, we might transmit it.

Thinking about what it is that we really want to communicate when we say hurtful words to, someone we know, is useful.

Some examples:

Angry statement: “You never spend time with me anymore – you don’t care about anyone but yourself!”

The real meaning: “I miss you and sometimes I feel unloved & lonely when we don’t spend time together”

Said with frustration: “Calm down”

The real meaning: “I’m at a loss, I feel inadequate because I have no idea how to help you”

Said with hurt: “I’m done – I want out”

The real meaning: “I don’t want to be hurt anymore and I’m at a loss as to how to make things better between us”

Said in exasperation: “Get over it and just deal with it”

The real meaning: I can’t help anymore, as I am out of useful suggestions.

Expressing our true feelings can makes us feel vulnerable, and if the other person fails to respond to our admissions, with empathy, or begins to accuse or blame, the hurt will be felt even more acutely.

IMG_8851

“Spiteful words can hurt your feelings, but silence breaks your heart.” Source – unknown

Do you ever get the silent treatment in times of conflict? Phone calls that are blocked or remain unanswered?

Could this communication breakdown be a method of coping with the situation or possibly freezing you out so that reconciliation is impossible and the other party will be seen to be right? Are they finding it impossible to find any words to convey their true emotions?

Hurtful words damage the trust we feel in any relationship.

Quotes and proverbs provide us with some wisdoms:

“There is only one thing more painful than learning from experience and that is not learning from experience.”

-Archibald MacLeish

Weekly Proverb

A gentle word opens the strongest lock

– Old English Proverb

Sunday Sayings – Something to Ponder About

Community, Motivational, Philosophy

Sunday Sayings – Resilience and Success

Weekly Quote

“A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.”

-David Brinkley

Weekly Proverb

If your only tool is a hammer, you will see every problem as a nail. — Gambian proverb

Resilience

A recent article suggests that those who can weather the storms of life have the ability to perceive events in a different way to those who feel stressed and negatively impacted by trauma and life’s challenges.

Whether you can be said to have resilience, or not, might depend on the way your life unfolds. If you are lucky and never experience any adversity, you don’t really know for sure how resilient you might be. When you come across obstacles stress and environmental threats, you discover how well you can cope with life’s challenges.

Reacting to Stress

Do you see a stressful event as traumatic, or a problem? Or is it a chance to learn and grow?

Why do some kids thrive in awful circumstances and yet others crumble despite hailing from more comfortable backgrounds?

Predictors of Resilience in Children

Who will be resilient?

According to the article, support networks are essential to resilience. A strong bond with a supportive caregiver, parent, teacher, or other mentor, who believed in them tended to be more resilient, when life threw them a curve ball.

Children displaying the following strengths were also noted to be more resilient: [Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2956753/%5D

  • mature, autonomous and independent
  • were naturally curious
  • used whatever skills they had effectively
  • belief it was themselves, not their circumstances, that affected their achievements
  • strategies to deal with stress
  • a talent or hobby valued by others
  • a sense of humour
  • responded well to others
  • tolerated negativity
  • well developed decision making, reading and planning
  • a balanced perspective of experience
  • hopefulness
  • flexible but tenacious

In short, “The resilient children saw themselves as orchestrators of their own fates.

newyorker.com/science/maria-konnikova/the-secret-formula-for-resilience

The final saying today comes from Janet over at This, that and the other thing:

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.

Discussion

Do you see yourself as the master of your own destiny?

Join in the conversation. All comments are welcome.

Schnauzer
Community, Mental Health, Motivational, Philosophy

Sunday Sayings – Heartbreak

De liefde kent vlek nog gebrek. When you are in love you do not see any faults or shortcomings. (ie. Love makes you blind)

Dutch proverb from from Gerard Oosterman
dream-feelings-love-pain-reason

Although it never gets better, the grief that comes with heartache adn loss, does get more manageable with time.

Time can be a wonderful great healer.

Finding the right words of comfort helped me at the most difficult times. At other times, silence can be just as comforting.

heart

It is hard, but coping with traumatic loss comes with time, and the only consolation is that you are not the first and only one to suffer in this way. You are not alone in your grief.

One day, the negative voice inside you will have nothing left to say.

Weekly Proverb

“A bitter heart devours its owner”

love

Weekly Quotes

Sometimes love can tear us apart and devotion a cruel master.

“Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.”

Unknown

And finally, the last word goes to Louisa Alcott:

“Love is the only thing that we can carry with us when we go, and it makes the end so easy.”

– Louisa May Alcott

beach
Mental Health

Sunday Sayings – Annoying People

“No I don’t need anger management. You need to stop pissing me off.

https://www.coolnsmart.com/annoying_people_quotes/

You are having a difficult day, right? The sales assistant in a local store refuses to do what you need them to do and you’re running late, that new work colleague continues to micro manages every aspect of your work, (despite the fact you have been doing the tasks perfectly well for five years or more), and to cap the day off, you get home, the baby is screaming, house is a mess and said partner has left the toilet seat up!

Feeling a little annoyed?

Suddenly, it is all too much!

People who think they know it all are especially annoying to those of us who do

Anonymous

When we feel irritated by people’s behaviour, feelings can build up inside us and we might blurt out harsh words or criticism, that is later regretted.

Feeling annoyed at other people’s behavious not only damages our work and personal relationships but detracts from our level of contentment in life and even might affect our self -esteem.

In any other context, or situation, these actions would be almost meaningless, (such as leaving the toilet seat up), so we must ask ourselves:

Why are we so irritated by their behaviour?

IF YOU LET SOMETHING ABOUT A PERSON ANNOY US, (eg. eating noisily), PEOPLE WILL KEEP DOING IT TO US.

What is it that prevents us from seeing the person’s good points and focusing on something bad?

Why do we seem to ascribe a negative meaning to another’s behaviour in our own minds, yet feel annoyance and irritation in ourselves?

 

riverfire

What ARE we gaining by being irritated?

We do it because it gives us a payoff.

  • We get to feel like a martyr – meaning I AM still okay so you are NOT
  • We get to blame others for our feelings
  • We get to feel unhappy and it’s someone else’s fault

The alternative is to take responsibility for our feelings and aim to be more flexible and more accepting of other people’s temperaments and priorities.

Because:

Everyone IS different.

Some shout and scream, others never open up, some hoard their money and others spend it. Some love Donald Trump and other abhore him. Some like to be alone, others need to be around people. Some are loud, funny or raucous, others quiet, mellow or aloof.

If we want to be accepted as we are, we must therefore accept others just as they are, too.

Give other people space to be who they are.

Moffat Beach
Tooway Creek, Moffat Beach

No matter how big your house is,

how recent your car is,

how big your bank account balance is,

our graves will always be the same size,

STAY HUMBLE

Unknown – Let me know if you know who wrote this

Respect others enough to allow them the opportunity to experience life in their own way. Being irritated or upset is fine, unless it gets in the way of our own enjoyment of life.

It is much preferable to not become upset. [This might take practice if you have been irritated with other people, for a long time.]

Putting conditions on how others should behave around us, cuts us off from life itself. If your friends are much sillier, more serious, more talkative, drink more, ruder, more overly polite or more boring, liking or hating your favourite politician, delight in these differences of the folk who make up your world around you.

Everyone is unique

Enjoy their uniqueness for what it is, and do yourself a favour.

Practise Tolerance.

Everyone has a right to enjoy their life as they see fit.

Practise tolerance to feel happier!

Something to Ponder About this Sunday.

1295_happy_pencil_with_folder_049_tnb
Community, Philosophy

Sunday Sayings – Confidence

happy smile-beach

Confident people have it easy in life. At least they appear to. Nothing seems to be much of a problem or obstacle to them. But is that self-assurance always confidence or is it a little more complicated than that?

Having confidence is not

“They will like me”

Confidence is

I will be Fine if They Don’t”

Princess Marthe Louise of Norway

Eleanor Roosevelt seemed to think so too.

You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.     

Eleanor Roosevelt

Confidence comes from the certainty of being able to confide and trust in someone. Having the self-assurity that you are right, morally and personally or functionally.

Remember this advert?

We might feel confident in our skills. We don’t think about them, if we are confident. We just get on and do them.

Confidence is defined as:

‘the feeling or belief that one can have faith in or rely on someone or something or,

the telling of private matters or secrets with mutual trust.’

A big smile and a calm unflappable nature exudes confidence by others.

They trust that you can handle yourself. People glean much more body language than they realize, by reading other people’s state of mind through the way they carry themselves or their own unique body language.

The meaning of confidence seems to have morphed into something more like what could be described as over confidence, an ability to handle multiple social situations. Depending on the tone of the conversation, it might even mean:

  • Cockiness
  • Hidden insecurities behind bravado
  • Natural interpersonal skills

How would you describe someone who has confidence?

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Something to Ponder About