The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

WENDELL BERRY

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A blackout experiment

“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

 
“The real measure of success is the number of experiments that can be crowded into 24 hours.” — Thomas Alva Edison

I decided to try little experiment with my morning pages – pages of ramblings suggested by Julia Cameron to get the guff out of your head to make way for creativity.  A little light went on my head and asked “Why not get creative with the guff?”

Below is my first blackout poem.  Play with this yourself.  Tear a page from, the newspaper, junk mail catalogue, old book, whatever is at hand. Scan the section and circle words that have meaning for you. Then, take a black pen in hand and ‘blackout’ the uncircled words and paragraphs leaving behind your poem.  It’s fun.

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Walking the landscape of life

Be a hill seeker
Most of us try to avoid hills but what’s good about flat? Think about flat tires, flat hair, flat returns (what about flat cakes) and the ultimate flat – flatlining.  Life happens on the hills.  They’re opportunities to prove to yourself that you are stronger than you ever imagined.  If you never attempt the ascent you’ll never know the thrill of swooshing down the other side.

Have you read this quote before? What’s its relevance for you? As a hiker I love it but it’s also a nice analogy for life.

I’m not a thrill seeker,  I’m fairly conservative and non spontaneous and I baulk at hills, more so the physical hills but also the figurative hills in life.  I pretty much seek the easy path while wanting the ultimate outcome, prize or goal. It simply isn’t going to happen. Is it? Einstein said we can’t expect a different result if we do things the same way. It’s crazy behaviour as well as making for a mundane existence.

I’ve examined this behaviour of mine and realise the root of the issue is that I constantly underestimate my ability to tackle hills or mountains; and I’ve trekked a few in my time. You know what usually happens though? Once I begin, the apprehension lessens, the fear rolls away, a little excitement creeps in and a decent sense of achievement blooms. Oh, yes, there’s sweat along the way and some discomfort too (there might even be some cursing when the path gets extremely steep and narrow and rocky), though the more I face up to the hills and mountains the less uncomfortable it gets. Of course all hills are different and they all have their own topography to navigate, so no two are the same. Once at the top I wonder why I ever doubted myself. The satisfaction, the triumph and the joy are just rewards for a little time and perspiration.

A little fun fact that has helped me no end when setting out to climb a hill, and I realise this can help too with those figurative hills in life, is that most humans overestimate the steepness ahead of by at least 15 and in some cases 30 percent. So next time you have the option of the flat or the high road, seek out the hill because the rise ahead isn’t as savage as it appears at first glance. There’s a great satisfaction that comes from challenging yourself and doing something different. Gaining a different perspective can change the map you were previously following. Sometimes you just want to go a different way once you get that bird’s eye view. It really does just begin with putting one foot in front of the other and committing.

I agree with the above quote in that we never really know what we can achieve until we set out to conquer something, be it a physical challenge or some other goal in life. My opinion differs from the wisdom above too.  It’s all life. Life occurs on the hills, on the swoosh down and in the flat places in between.  The thrills might occur when we take a risk and veer off the flat path but the key, I believe, is to make sure we experience the range of landscapes available to us, because variety adds spice to life.

Easy Way To Feel Good Fast

This is a brilliant practical strategy. Try it out.

Inspiread

If you’re on my page I’m sure you’ve heard about the two most important words we could ever speak.

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You can change your circumstances using the I Am techniques that are out there if you’re in the proper mood.

But if you’re feeling down and you start repeating to yourself ” I am happy. I am beautiful. I am living the life of my dreams” you’re probably gonna be very resistant to those statements ’cause you don’t believe them to be true.

However if you just say good feeling words without the “I Am” in front of them then your brain has no resistance towards them and you get all the benefits.


Get out a piece of paper and pen, sit comfortably and breathe deep a couple of times to relax your mind and body.

Think of a feeling circumstance you want to be in and start writing down…

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Would You Tattoo A Stranger’s Name On Your Body Just To Show You Care?

Spending a little bit of time and believing in our young people can make the world of difference to them, and us.

Kindness Blog

Tattoo artist Scott Campbell had an idea so crazy, it actually worked:

Pair at-risk kids with random mentors, who in turn received tattoos of their young charges’ names.

Ten kids from New York-based Good Shepherds Servicesand 10 volunteers met up one afternoon, and after everyone told their stories, the kids wrote their names on their mentors, which Campbell then tattooed on.

“I want them to know that somebody’s always got their back,” Campbell told one of the mentors.

They only came together for a few short hours, but the effects have been lasting. “You can never say that nobody is thinking about you,” says one of the kids who participated. And the adults? According to one woman: “Every day when I get dressed, I can look at whatever name is on me and say ‘I believe in somebody. I believe in an entire generation.’ ”

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A life without labels

In the last little while I have been unsure how to answer that question asked at social gatherings -“What do you do?” I realise in the past I used to name my job by means of explanation. This served two purposes – it quickly gave people an idea of my work but it also labeled me, with what I believed some status.

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Slowly, over time and as I left that exact role I have been less interested in using a label. I’m no longer comfortable with pigeon holing myself and I no longer feel a label adequately sums me up.

I’ve never been one to choose clothes, accessories, products of any kind merely for the label. Having some consumer label emblazoned across my chest, on my handbag, on my sunglasses has never interested me. So I wonder why I was so quick to label myself in terms of my work.

On refection, I realise I have done this self labelling quite a bit. First I was a mother. Boy, when my son left home and that label was no longer valid on a daily basis I was lost, then I sunk into the comforts of being a wife, and a job description.

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Now that I’m more aware and conscious, I flounder for a label and I’m not unhappy with that. I’m more willing to sit in the the vastness of that empty space. Labels of all sorts come with judgments and assumptions. Labels are convenient because without our labels and without our story; who are we?

Eckhart Tolle encourages us to “find our true nature beyond name and form”. This isn’t an easy task, it challenges us to delve deeply into who we are and what we stand for. It is, at times, confronting especially when we dive into our shadow side. Above all, living life without a label is exhilarating, it is liberating and it is full of possibilities.

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I continue to unveil and discover my true nature without name and form.

Shannyn