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The power in simplicity

Have you ever had a time when those old adages  You can lead a horse to water …,
A watched pot never boils, A friend in need is a friend indeed – really make sense in the moment?

 

Recently, on several occasions, the wisdom in one such adage rang true for me and I realised ” the simple things in life are often the best”.
I was delighted one afternoon to find a personal letter for me in the letterbox of our new home. Enclosed was a card, a photograph and a flavoured tea bag sachet. The letter was from a very good friend, who I do not see often enough, and it was her way of wishing me well and great happiness in my new home. The power in that simple piece of correspondence, a few words written in a beautiful card, filled me with warmth and a sense of being well-loved and thought of. The photograph was of my friend on holiday in Spain and she looks happy and relaxed. That photograph is now on my refrigerator door and I look at it each day and am reminded of how blessed I am to have someone so wonderful in my life. Interestingly the warmth and love kept coming.  When I sat down several days later with a steaming cup of tea, brewed from the green tea and mint sachet I was sent, my thoughts again wandered to my friend and again I was filled with gratitude for her thoughtfulness.
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I remember many years ago when working in a large, busy high school this same friend ‘saved’ me with a kind word and a handful of delicious, flavoured teas. Each time I sipped on a tea from that small stash I was able, momentarily, to return to peace and remember everything would be okay. Such a simple but powerful gift that kept on giving.

 

My husband went on a business trip recently to Cairns. On is return he had several small gifts. I was absolutely delighted when he revealed in the palm of his hand a piece of coral and a sea shell he found on the beach for me. It was the perfect gift. I knew he had thought of me while away and I knew he understood how thrilled I would be with his gift. Each day I am reminded of his love in many ways but also when I see those small treasures as I potter in my kitchen.

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I have to admit for me the small, thoughtful gifts have always been the most valued. Sometimes a small posy of flowers from a friend’s garden means more than a dozen red roses, someone dropping around and telling you to get dressed for lunch and whisking you away for an hour when they know you are feeling down, or a bag of home-grown bush lemons are the most powerful lasting gifts.

 

What are the simple things that have caught your attention lately?

Cloaked communication is like trying to see through a dirty window.

Cloaked communication is like trying to see through a dirty window, the whole world become distorted. It’s time to get clear and say what we mean and mean what we say.

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I’ve come to realise we humans are a funny lot at times. Recently this has become evident for me in the lack of clear, honest communication. When people aren’t honest with themselves or with those around them how are we to make clear meaning of what is said?

Many of us take literally what people say and then are confused when the other person’s actions, tone and manner are not congruent with their words. When people say one thing but mean another that’s just plain confusing, hurtful and dishonest.

We do not have to be mean to say what we mean but for goodness sake if you are upset, angry, mad, sad, disappointed just say it and then be clear about what has upset you, made you mad, angry, sad or disappointed. That way both parties are on the same page. It’s terribly disconcerting to have someone tell you everything is fine to then witness them behaving in ways that betray their very words.

Being on the receiving end of this type of “communication” leaves you wondering what upset the status quo and you feel as though you are negotiating your way through a minefield (or should I say mindfield). I am guilty of this. I have done this to my husband at times and expected him to be a mind reader and just know what is going on in my head. The poor thing, he hasn’t got a chance.

Having been on the receiving end of this behaviour lately I now have a crystal clear understanding of just how dreadful this cloaked, cloudy communication is to experience. I’ve been left constantly wondering, agonising, questioning myself – what went wrong? What is it that is really bothering this person? They say nothing is wrong but they indicate through their every interaction that that simply is not the case. What do I do: do I call, do I stay away, do I try to make things right when I don’t know what is wrong?

Well, I think I’ll take the line my husband does. I’ve agonised long enough. It’s a pointless waste of time so now I’ll simply move on and leave the other person to decide what it is they really want and if they ever get real and honest they can simply communicate that to me.

I can almost see the humorous side to this vexing human behaviour if it wasn’t so terribly sad, frustrating and pitiful. To gain some insight into this troublesome behaviour I paused to reflect on why I behaved this way in the past (I’m darn sure I’ll not do it again now I’ve been on the receiving end. I can almost hear my husband cheering now)? I think it came about as a sense of self righteousness (I’m very good at that), I think it was about expecting things to be the way I wanted them and not accepting reality, I think too it came from not fully understanding the situation from the other person’s perspective. I’m not sure what drives others but there is the learning for me and the opportunity for me to grow as a person from this recent, heartbreaking interaction.

Let’s enrich our communication with each other: say what you mean, mean what you say, don’t be mean but honest with yourself and others because anything else is a pointless waste of time and can, at times, be terribly destructive.

Blessings to all as I now venture into truth and clear communication. Join me if you will.

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Revisiting the 3G’s

A while ago now I posted a blog called Gratitude Grace and God. These three words have filled my thoughts since that last blog.

I have so very much to be grateful for. I mentioned previously we had a contract on a house and had to sell ours. All went well with the purchase and sale. We have since moved into our new home and it feels wonderful. The energy is both peaceful yet energising. I know God has played a hand in this move.

The busy-ness of purchasing and selling homes, working, having a life, being a mother, wife, granddaughter and friend took its toll on my health for a week but through it all I knew I had to let go of those things I could not control and simply trust God would manage it all for me. While it sounds so cliched, that is indeed what happened (once I let go that is!).

Grace, again is the word and concept I have struggled most with over the past month. Today, however, a situation arose that was a light bulb moment and I realised there are so many times I could act with more grace. It is in those times when I am being self serving, selfish and self righteous that I would like to bring grace into my life; to demonstrate and act with grace in thoughts, words and actions.

Today my heart is swollen with gratitude and love. I know I am blessed and I have set an intention to act with grace. The three “G’s” are never far from my mind.

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