Strike 3… 4…. 5…..?

Crap-on-Head-EMOTN180

Strike 3… 4…. 5…..?

Moodscope Mary recently spoke about Mr Grumpy, Mr Irritable and Mr Touchy coming to (out)stay when hubby was poorly. Normally good-natured, charming and hospitable, hubby was transformed by being unwell. I’m smiling at the initials of Mr Grumpy, Mr Irritable and Mr Touchy: GIT!

I can be such a GIT. And it really doesn’t take much. This morning I’ve had 5 minor irritations within the first hour. Laughing at myself, I observed that I gave the Universe “3 Strikes” before my patience was exhausted for the day. Why 3? Surely that’s a choice?

We joke about going back to bed and starting again. Perhaps that’s a form of resetting the “3 Strikes” buffer? Whatever it is, it’s a strategy. And it is a strategy that won’t get me through today – I’m not going back to bed again so soon!

We’ve all got our limits. The first hour of the morning is “sacred space” for me. It is important that it goes well and that I don’t have too many unscheduled or unwelcome inputs. If truth be told, I’d rather not have to deal with another being in that first hour (no people, no cats). But we are not islands.

So, what to do? Today, I have chosen to return to the most fundamental vocation we all share. I choose “choice” – the ability to choose is the vocation of the human gift of consciousness. Today I choose to bend these irritations to my purpose. I choose to bend them to my will!! I will make them serve me. I choose to blog!

In the past I have waved my puny fist against the sky and told the Universe not to mess with me. It always ignores me and continues to mess with me. Let’s try another strategy. Take everything that comes and, as Neil Gaiman says, “make good art”. (Or choose to keep making art until you get good at it!)

Yours Pugnaciously

The Other GIT

Something Better Change

640px-The_Stranglers_T_in_the_Park_2008

“Something Better Change”

So says the title from the hit song by The Stranglers. A catchy tune, an unhappy song, but there’s truth in that line. Change is one of the certainties of life! Much is written about how to cope with change but today I would like to concentrate on purposefully provoking change.

Sometimes we need help from outside. My tropical fish can’t change their water for themselves – that’s my job. But there is so much we can change ourselves.

I woke up this morning wanting change. January is the period when more people than normal actively seek to change their job. To go on thinking “Something Better Change” without taking action ourselves will strangle all manner of opportunities that we otherwise could be creating. To go on doing what we’ve always been doing and expect a profound change is a form of forgivable madness. Why do I say “forgivable”? Simply because we all do this. We want someone or something else to provoke the change.

It’s time for a change.

You can choose big changes or you can choose little changes – they will all affect your life. Of course, if you want massive results, take massive action – it’s fair!

Here are some ideas to get you off to a gentle start.

Change something domestically, perhaps something in your daily routine. I’ve begun with simply buying a new mug I liked the look of – this is now “my mug”! I used to change my hair when I wanted a fresh start but those days are long gone!

I’m not sure of the reasons why Feng Shui often works for people but I know moving furniture around and decluttering can have a dramatic effect.

Change someone in your social life. I don’t mean seek to change a friend – they’ll resist you and are unlikely to appreciate your efforts! I mean connect with new friends. Through a special interest group on Facebook, I’ve been engaging at a distance with new “friends” from Finland and Sweden. It’s fascinating and enriching. I’m learning… and therefore changing.

Change something emotionally or spiritually. Most of us are too busy to keep track of our good intentions. Sometimes it pays to just focus on one. “Kindness” has been my top value for years – though I’m often not as kind as I would prefer to be. So now I wear a Starfish brooch to remind me that I can be kind to one person a day as a gentle goal (like rescuing a stranded starfish). Of course that’s enough to get me going and then I find I can be kind to lots more! Its role is simply to focus my intention – keeping it in sight, in mind rather that out-of-sight, out-of-mind.

Three simple changes are good. Five are better. Seven small changes have magic in them.

Something Better Change.

 

Decision is Ultimate Power

Nowhere Map

Lex v5.312 – all will be explained!

“Imagine if your beliefs guarantee you can never get to where you want to go?” Tony Robbins during his most popular TED Talk, “Why we do what we do.”

Our beliefs form what psychologists often term as our mental map of the world. Folks, I don’t need a new map, I need a new atlas!

Robbins, in his TED Talk, also said, “The defining factor is never resources, it is resourcefulness.”

Changing our beliefs and thus transforming our mental maps is the only guarantee that we can change our destination. And, if this is not too corny, changing your destination kind of changes your destiny, doesn’t it?

I like the idea of mental maps. I also like the idea of mental software programmes. Approaching 54 this month, I would classify my current mental software as Lex v5.312! It’s still got loads of bugs and still crashes most days. Furthermore, I really don’t like where I’m getting to in life. So, I really need to improve my maps and update – or even upgrade my software, don’t I?

If you are even remotely like me, where shall we start?

Surely our transformation must begin with our beliefs? St Paul talked about a pathway to transformation. He said it was through the renewing of our mind. That sounds like new beliefs and paradigms to me – new patterns of thinking, backed up by new habits of action.

If we see limiting beliefs as software bugs or errors on our map – whichever works best for you – we can also see a way forward. Let’s hunt out and challenge those limiting beliefs. Capture them, challenge them, change them.

I know enough of my own limiting beliefs to make a start – and I’m willing to bet that you know some of your own too. I’m not even going to share my dirty washing here! What I am going to do, in privacy, is challenge their validity and then, if they don’t stand up well to scrutiny, I’m going to go for a belief upgrade!

Robbins lists the following as examples of resourcefulness:

  • Creativity
  • Determination
  • Love and Compassion
  • Curiosity
  • Passion
  • Resolve

Even looking at this list, I find helpful. All of these I have experienced in my life and yet some are at a low ebb at the moment. I believe that strengthening my resourcefulness will help. I know I can take action to change the health of those factors in the list that are currently weak. And that is what I have decided to do.

Thus I close with my final Robbins’ quote today:

“Decision is the ultimate power.”

 

 

 

Let Me Interrupt You

Tubular-Bells-Record

“Let me inter//rupt you there!”

Growing up, the major way to buy our music was to go to a Record Shop and purchase vinyl. It was tangible. It was expensive. It was something I highly valued.

There is something magnificent about the scale of an LP. Not only was it big, it also offered a broad canvas for cover art. I loved the music. I loved the art. I loved the experience.

There is, however, a couple of problems with vinyl. Firstly, it is sensitive – it can warp in the heat (so you never left it in the car on a hot day). Secondly, if scratched, it never plays the same way again.

I am vinyl.

Well, my mind is like vinyl.

Often it is warped through being (over/hyper) sensitive. My perception of ‘reality’ can become twisted, distorted, bent out of shape in the heat of the moment.

Also, just like my first Album purchases, I can play the same old tracks over and over, over and over, over and over again. Some of these tracks are rubbish – bad compositions, badly recorded.

What do to? I seem to have little power over what to play. In the dead of night, the Jukebox of my consciousness chooses the same old tracks, coming back to haunt me with their accusing or fear-filled lyrics. I know they are warped. I know they are not reality. But they still torment and disturb.

One way to deal with them is to deliberately scratch the recording – to violate the vinyl! I can face my fears and challenge them with powerful questions such as, “According to whom?” or “What would happen if I did?” Or I can dig into the groove with a blunt needle and turn the recording into a parody of itself. For example, changing the quality of the accusing tone into the voice of Mickey Mouse. Somehow an accusational, “Why did you do that?” doesn’t sound as intimidating on the lips of Mickey Mouse.

Some people call this a pattern-interrupt. Once you’ve messed with your ‘pattern’ the record will never ever play the same way again. It’s a bit like standing up to a bully – once you’ve done it, the relationship will never play out the same way again either. Something has changed forever.

If you find yourself troubled by your thoughts, interrupt them! Interfere with them! Scratch them where they irritate! Interrogate them! Demand that they present evidence to support their statements! The very process will change the way you experience them.

Behind the distorted reality is often a better recording to be discovered or created – something beautiful can be learned. So record a new album…

And then, from your learning, on the cover, make great art!