quotes

So busy

It's Friday and when I looked around for an inspirational thought for today I discovered this!

And I can't think of anything better to share with you at the end of this week.

And while we're at being busy, maybe we could use our time being loving, caring, thoughtful, thankful and generous!

Have a great day everyone!

Let's make it count!

Friday thought


Making a Difference?

There's this story which lots of us know... and it goes like this....

One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean.
Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?” The youth replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.”
“Son,” the man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make a difference!”

After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said…” I made a difference for that one.”

This is a version of a story called 'The Star Thrower' by Loren Eiseley, the American anthropologist, educator, philosopher, and natural science writer. It's been re-used and re-worked many times since it was first published in 1969 including by motivational speakers and even as a story for children.  

One thing I learned about Loren and which I love is that he was many things and for him, writing itself becomes a form of contemplation, a way of directing mind, spirit and body towards other than himself. And his writing is engaging and thought provoking.

Take this story for instance. It's been picked over and interpreted and analysed for its meaning. It's been used to encourage people to compassion, to action and to make a difference in the world.

The story has depth, of course, but actually it's also quite simple.

And it is summed up in this quote....

Helping one person

So - just a question ... if you've got this far...

Are you making a difference, if not to the world, but at least to those around you?

Are you a Starfish Thrower?

 


Climbing our Mountains

Have you ever climbed a mountain?

I'm actually talking about a real 'mountain' now, although I'll get on to the metaphorical in just a moment.

I know quite a few people who have climbed summits. I even know some very brave souls who have scaled the highest mountain in the world - Mount Everest in the Himalayas!

In my youth it was something I fancied doing ... well maybe not Everest but certainly smaller mountains ...

However, a medical condition I had in my childhood meant that I don't do well at very high altitude so that was not an option for me. I have been skiing in the mountains but I have always lost a few days of my holiday to severe altitude sickness, so I haven't swished down the slopes for quite a few years now. Truth be told, my knees probably couldn't take the strain now anyway.

I still love the idea of going to the Himalayas and the Andes but I guess I'll just need to do that in my imagination.

Back to why I'm talking about this today.

Well, it was on this day in the year 1919 that a child was born in New Zealand who would go on to become the first of two people to reach the top of Mount Everest.

Edmund Hillary (later to become Sir Edmund) was an explorer, mountaineer, diplomat and philanthropist and it was on May 29th 1953 that he and Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay became the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest - or at least to confirm they reached the top of the mountain.

It was just one of many achievements but, by all accounts, it didn't make Hillary big headed or arrogant. Although his climb made him an international sensation, and of course led to the opening of the mountain for the generations to come, following his ascent of Everest,  among other things Hillary devoted himself to assisting the Sherpa people of Nepal through the Himalayan Trust, which he established, and which built many schools and hospitals. 

To climb a mountain, let alone the highest mountain in the world, takes great bravery, and in 1953 it took exceptional courage. There wasn't the sophisticated equipment including  breathing apparatus which exists today, so the peril was severe. Hillary and Tenzing Norgay weren't the first to try to conquer Everest, many many people had attempted it before and failed and even died in the trying. People have died since ... I remember one former teacher who I learned some years after I left school in the 1970s had perished while attempting Everest.

And, of course, many have successfully now followed in Hillary and Norgay's footsteps.

Everest wasn't the only peak in the Himalayas (and other ranges) that Sir Edmund would climb in his lifetime and he knew that it wasn't just about physical bravery but also mental strength.

After climbing Everest Sir Edmund is said to have said this ... 

'It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves!'

Stand by for the metaphors ... because of course we all have 'mountains' to climb in our lives. They might not be actual mountains but they feel like that sometimes. Insurmountable conditions under which we are living, difficult people, constrained finances, ill health... you get the idea. Fill in the gaps for yourself.

Before we face these problems in life, maybe we need to consider and perhaps attempt to overcome some of our own issues? Those things which maybe are holding us back from going for our dreams and for the things we know will improve our lives. We need, perhaps, to find ways to ensure we are strong, so we can face what might come and ensure we have the mental, physical and spiritual 'equipment' to cope with it all! I'm not only talking about 'mind over matter', it's more complicated than that. But maybe we need to draw on our inner values and strength to face difficulties and move forward.

It may be hard, but worth trying., if we are to reach our goals in life!

So, whatever your 'mountain' is - hope this encourages you today!

 

Sir Edmund Hillary


Opening Doors

Welcome to another week!

Yes, it's Monday ... again ... and today I'm thinking about all the possibilities that might lie ahead.

Lots of options that might be just around the corner ... many 'doors' for us to open if you like.

But are we opening the right doors? That is the question!

And do we have the courage to close the doors on experiences, people, even dreams and wants and wishes and desires which might not actually be great for us in the long term?

Who knows what might lie behind the doors in our lives!

So I'm sharing this thought with you, hoping that there are lots of great open doors for us all, and that we all make wise decisions this week.

 

Doors


Happiness

I've had a great week.

I've scaled back a little on the workload, caught up with friends who I haven't seen for yonks, and because the sun came out here in Jersey, I've managed to get in a few visits to the beach and to SWIM!! 

I'm blessed to live in this lovely island where there's lots of opportunities to get out into nature. For me, swimming in the sea is so great, not just because of the exercise, but because for a while when I'm in the water I can forget the worries of the world and the demands on my time and just BE.

In fact, at one point this week when I was just enjoying BEING in the ocean, I tried to practise a bit of 'mindfulness' ... just concentrating on the sounds around me - the waves, the water, the seagulls, the distant sound of laughing children, the sound of a motorboat - and feeling the sun on my cheeks, and the occasion wave smacking me in the face!

I do find detaching myself from day to day worries sometimes difficult but I'm working on it.

And this thought helps me today.

Because I know when I dwell on my problems, they appear larger and more difficult to overcome.

Whereas, in reality, they are not insurmountable!

 

Happiness and Gratitude


Calling it out

If you're as old as me, you'll remember the days before the internet ... and social media.

Those days when if we wanted to contact people, we would have to write a letter, take the trouble to meet them in person, or phone them.

Today, though, we can post something online, send a 'direct message' on one of the social media platforms and get almost instantaneous replies.

It's like magic! 

Well I think it is anyway.

When social media first came around I was a bit dubious. Did I really want to tell the world what I was up to? Did I really want my opinion out there? Did I want to get involved in conversations not just with people I know, but perhaps with those I don't?

Well ... the answer was 'YES'... although I determined from the start that I would try to be wise.

Social media has, of course, been accused of creating the downfall of humanity, or something similar.

But actually I've realised that social media is only the vehicle for misbehaviour and vile, and even evil. It allows us to be more vocal, to be nasty ... especially for those who want to do so while 'hiding' in plain sight. 

Social mediaBut as this quote reminds us ... it's not as simple as that!

And it's down to us all to call it out.

Take, for instance, the recent racist vile and vitriol posted online ... on Twitter primarily ... by those who blamed certain individual footballers for losing the England football team the Euro 2021 Cup.

So, a few of those most excellent young sportsmen missed a penalty which meant that the Italians won the game, and picked up the trophy.

In the past those racists who pointed out that these brilliant sportsmen are not white might have spouted their evil to like minded friends in the pub. But instead they posted on Twitter. Which thankfully resulted in lots of 'calling out' .. and hopefully a ban from that social media platform. Hopefully for life!

Posting on social media in public IS just like having your face on a big poster for all to see. And if you think you can behave immorally and unethically, and with hatred and offence, then think again!

You will be called out and there are masses of us online now who are determined that the social media platforms will NOT be hijacked by the 'Nasty'.

When I first started using social media, there were lots of people who doubted my sanity and thought I was going to the 'dark side' of life.  Social media was an evil place and we should all stay clear. If we didn't want to be corrupted, we should just not go there.

But I quickly learned that it didn't have to be like that. We don't have to exclude ourselves from the magic of social media. In fact, we can be part of the solution, rather than the problem or allowing the problems to be perpetuated.

I've seen so much amazing stuff, so much positivity, on social media. Prayer circles for sick friends, positive quotes and comments for people to be inspired by, encouragement for folk who are having a hard time. Certainly during the COVID19 pandemic, and lockdown, social media was a bit of a saviour for a lot of us, keeping us in touch with our family and friends when we could not meet. 

So ... as for me ... when I'm on social media I try to block the negative. I report when I see bad stuff, and I try to stay away from the controversial discussions. I certainly don't welcome them into my life and I don't go looking for the bad, but I do try to share the 'good'. It's part of what I'm trying to do with this daily blog, which I daily also post to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

I'm mentioning all  this today because apparently it was on July 15 2006 that Twitter was publicly launched!

Yes, it wasn't that long ago and yet these days Twitter and the other social media platforms - Facebook, Instagram, and now Tik Tok and other newer inventions - are just part of our every day life. And some of us can't imagine life without it!

When Twitter came along, with its 140 character limit, I thought I'd never get it. 

As you know if you read this blog regularly, I'm a bit verbose!

But now I love it. These days I get up to 280 characters to say what I want to say, but for me each tweet is a bit of challenge.

Although the first 'tweet' or message was sent in March 2006 by the company's CEO Jack Dorsey, (who created the platform with Noah GlassBiz Stone, and Evan Williams) it was publicly launched in July and it soon caught on. By 2012, more than 100 million users posted 340 million tweets a day,  and Twitter was handling an average of 1.6 billion search queries every day.

Today (actually as of January this year)  Twitter  has in excess of 350million active users!

It's a powerful platform.

Yes, of course those who run these huge companies have a duty of care to ensure the platform is not abused, and to ensure those who do abuse others online are dealt with, but it is also down to us, the users, to ensure we behave online, and to call out those who don't.

If I want social media to be a healthy place, I need to be part of the community which encourages goodness online.

And I suggest that if we all did a bit of that, the world (and that includes social media) will be a better place!

 


Worry Free Wednesday

Are you a 'worrier'?

I have to admit I am. I can tend to worry about things when I need not.

I get anxious sometimes about stuff that are to come ... will I be up to the job? What will happen if I fail? 

But also I hold my hand up to actually worrying about things that have happened in the past ... events and actions I cannot change! Which, of course, is completely illogical and useless. The past is the past! The lessons are learned, hopefully, so why keep rattling on about them in my head?

Strangely, at the moment I don't worry about long term issues ... even things like old age, which will surely come.

No, my worries tend to be about failing and not feeling able to be in control. Right now.

The older I get, I'm losing the overriding concern about 'looking stupid', but still I do worry about things that are beyond my control.

My aptitude for anxiety blighted my life early on, but it's something I'm working on. Still working on it!

I know my worry has led to mental health issues in the past, and I can also recognise that propensity in others. I also know that when I have worried then it's led to something of a 'self proclaimed prophecy'. I've worried so much that actually the thing I feared has come close to happening. That's weird but true. 

So I love this idea of Worry Free Wednesday. When I'm having a worrisome time, I console myself with one day being worry-free.

Worry free wednesdayAs this quote says, anxiety damages YOU more than anyone else. Inner turmoil caused by that feeling of being out of control rarely affects others, but it makes you unhappy and can even make you ill. 

And I know I'm not alone. 'A problem shared is a problem halved', or so the old adage goes. I am not very good at sharing my inner secrets and my insecurities - this blog is helping this year though. But I know there are people I can turn to if I need help. Or at least I can find people who will listen.

SO - today - if you feel worried, about anything, maybe try to breathe through the day. Look at those anxieties and ask yourself 'is this REALLY real or just in my head?' And perhaps find someone you can chat to.

Also, learning to enjoy each moment of each day, for what it is, and learning to be mindful in the moment helps me.

I close my eyes and just think about NOW. Not what is past, or what is to come.... but what is right now.

The sun on my cheeks, the breeze on my hair, the smell of the flowers or the ocean, the sounds I can hear around me.

That always helps.

Learning to live without overwhelming anxiety and stress caused by our own thoughts is a journey.

And if you've not stepped out onto the path of learning how to cope, then maybe let's start today!

Have a great day everyone!

 

 

 


One Positive Thought

How are you today?

Feeling positive, or a bit down?

I don't know about you but it feels easy sometimes to get into a negative frame of mind.

The sun isn't shining or it's even chucking down with rain,  you've put on (more) weight and feeling a bit unlovely. You don't feel like your life is going anywhere? 

If I wake up with those negative thoughts in my head, already worrying about what life will throw at me, then I know I am likely to be fairly pessimistic all day.

So - for me the lesson is - try and have a positive thought in the morning, and everything else will look more optimistic.

That rain? Well the sun could come out! Fingers crossed anyway!

That weight? Well today is the first day of the rest of my life so I could start today with a healthy breakfast?

Feeling unlovely? I ask myself ... 'what is beautiful?' I determine not to judge myself by other people's standards and think more about inner beauty (kindness, love, peace, gratitude, friendship and so on and so on....) rather that outward appearance. I try to remember that I am unique and ask myself 'do I really want to be like anyone/everyone else?'

And smile ... that I believe will always create an intangible 'beauty'.

Life not going the way I thought it would? Well maybe I need to change my direction? Maybe the course I'm on is not the one for me?

Perhaps TODAY is the day I'll start a new life! Or at least start to think about it?

Or, if I don't want to do all that thinking maybe I'll just start with ....

'Today I will enjoy each moment ... it's the only July 13 2021 I will ever get!'

 

Positive thought


A blessing

So, we've reached another Sunday.

And today I just want to share an ancient blessing with you which I found online.

It comes from the Apache Native American spirituality, culture and tradition.

I love it for it's seeming simplicity, but also for the depth of its meaning.

Read it a few times over and over, and you'll see what I mean.

It inspired me and I hope it does the same for you!

Enjoy your day everyone!

 

Apache blessing