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Archive for the ‘Self Development’ Category

#Life'sWoundings

Life can tear you apart

“The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.”
C. JoyBell C.

Life is not always peaches and cream, or so I’ve found. Things happen, for which you are totally unprepared, and in the process you can feel exposed, vulnerable and disenfranchised.

In my opinion, there is nothing more undermining than to be “called to account” for something which was alleged to happen, and for which you are not given the right to respond. It is especially onerous, in my opinion, if this tramples an area where you may be vulnerable, and even more so if the person who is mentoring that group drops the ball.

We go through life learning as we stumble along. We make friends, meet partners, have families, make and lose workmates, the death of family and friends, the list goes on. Along the way there is the possibility we may ‘suffer’ what has been termed “Wounding’s”.

To clarify, in this instance, a wounding is a life event which has traumatised you in some way. It’s not very difficult to find, a divorce, death of family or friend, abusive relationship etc.

#Life'sWounding

Growth is often painful

Some of us bounce back with ease. Some however, do not and hold this wounding inside, so tightly, it cannot find a way out. We cannot let it go, cannot grieve over the situation, because we have never felt safe enough to talk about the ‘incident’. If we finally feel we are in a place, safe enough for us to ‘share’ our story, we can be taken unawares by thoughtless judgement. This can be especially so, if both persons shared their ‘story’…

Long ago I recall being told that, it was of paramount importance to hear both sides of a story, before making a decision, as to what needed to be done in response. I have never forgotten the advice. I also believe that anyone who decides to ‘complain’ about another person, they should be willing to confront that person with their complaint. This seems to cause many complaints to be retracted.

I too, have had a “Great Wounding” which left me so traumatised I could not talk about it for many years. To this day I shy away from discussing it. However, I was recently in a place where a select group was gathered. Each person I interacted with in the first couple of days seemed to have their own story behind them, as we all do. After listening to someone discuss their situation I, unfortunately, shared some of my own “Wounding.”

#Life'sWoundings

The art of listening.

I was more than dumbfounded, when, as we made our way back into the meeting room I was taken to one side and informed I had “Inappropriately Shared” something. “People had complained”. I was temporarily unable to think, or speak as shock set in. To say I felt that I should leave and return home – more than crossed my mind. “Who, I wondered”. “What could I have said which was ‘Inappropriate’?” Then, No, why should I be forced away?

I remained, though it did mar my time there. To feel that every word, act or nuance, needed to be weighed and measured, made for an uncomfortable situation. I had only worked with a couple of people at that point, and the opportunity to speak with people only in a group situation apart from that, so the list of people who could have complained was small.

Is it worth remembering? Only the lessons. The lessons of forgiveness and compassion.

 

#Life'sWoundings

It is much sweeter to forgive than condemn

“Forgive but do not forget, or you will be hurt again. Forgiving changes the perspectives. Forgetting loses the lesson.”
Paulo Coelho

The incident, onerous enough by itself has embedded itself into the original “Wounding”. Being singled out later, in group, as an example of one who had come there with a “Great Wounding” in their past, did not help. I will continue, alone, to try to reconcile this “Wounding” from my past, finding compassion for those who behaved in this way. There will never be another discussion about it.

As for what happened in a group of my peers:

I forgive the pettiness of the person who felt the need to complain, even though they lacked the moral fibre to speak directly to me…. despite sharing their own story, and, If I was talking with them, and they preferred not to.

I forgive being spoken to in the manner and place I was. Leadership dictates such a discussion be private, or so I have been taught.

I forgive being used as an object lesson for the group…. Without giving permission to discuss my personal affairs before anyone else, and when there were other people there, who were also said to have shared their “Great Wounding’s”. I am still confused by exactly what constituted “Inappropriately sharing”, but the time to talk about that has passed.

#Life'sWoundings

The Secret of Life?

Lessons in Life arrive when we least expect them and often in ways we wish were different. I may not have liked this lesson, or lessons, but I can and will learn from them I already have learned from them.

I trust that if I am the person someone approaches with a “Great Wounding” and a need to share, that I have the grace and compassion to listen with as much understanding as possible.

I hope that I can recognise the privilege shown to me, that they feel safe enough to discuss something which may have devastated their life.

Finally, I pray, that if I ever have a situation in which I am uncomfortable or do not wish to be a part of, that I have the moral fibre to speak to that person myself. Showing them the dignity and respect they deserve and not behaving like a school child tattling on another.

 

#Life'sWoundings

Forgiveness, the lesson of life.

“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up.”
― Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum

It has been a time of much learning from many lessons.

 

Blessings, Susan ♥

© Susan Jamieson, 2014

 

 

 

Images courtesy of:-

http://www.avani-mehta.com : wordsofbalance.com:  http://www.pinterest.com http://www.searchquotes.com: encwor.blogspot.com

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“The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image. If in loving them we do not love what they are, but only their potential likeness to ourselves, then we do not love them: we only love the reflection of ourselves we find in them”
Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island

“What Price Trust, Respect and Communication?”

It may sound like a ridiculous question, and in some ways it could be said to be a question that is automatically answered and therefore a waste of time. After all, if you have a “significant other” in your life, then you presume that trust is one of the most important things in your relationship. It is an integral part of everything you do. Or have I misread the fine print somewhere?

I know this is something I have asked myself before, probably more than once, and therefore the answer should be in front of me. Yet, I am continually reminded by others, that life is not always so straightforward. People are seldom one-dimensional, and as far as language is concerned, what something means to one person, means something entirely different to another.

So how can we ensure that what we say and do is clearly understood by someone else? It’s really Communication 101, with a dash of Trust 201, and also Respect 301. Sounds funny doesn’t it, yet also self-evident, don’t you think?

I’ve spent my entire life working on the principle that, what I say I can be held to, at any time. I’m reminded of the film and series “Fifty Shades of Grey”. For many life is like that. (No, I haven’t seen it, but I’ve heard so much about it.) If someone can find a grey area, that wiggle room, they will exploit what they say to get round the finer points of the truth. Yet to me, the truth is all important. It is a foundation block for all life.

#trustrespectcommunication

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“Friendship- my definition- is built on two things. Respect and trust. Both elements have to be there. And it has to be mutual. You can have respect for someone, but if you don’t have trust, the friendship will crumble.”
Stieg Larsson, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Think for one moment about the misunderstanding, the hurt, the pain and the betrayal, felt by individuals and you begin to realise the importance of truth and trust. You can also add ‘countries’ in this equation, as the furore over the perceived intention on someone’s words has seen entire continents go to war.

Perhaps I am the one “at fault” here. Perhaps I am too black and white, the one who cannot see the middle ground in a situation?

Yet, I’m always reminded of the old Western films, John Wayne, Henry Ford and Paul Newman; even Robert Duvall and Kevin Costner in “Open Range”. They always depicted people of strong character who were willing to die for the truth, the right, and to protect those weaker than themselves. Idealistic isn’t it?

Yet there are times when idealism is what we need to return to, in order to get our country, our world, and our relationships, out of the mire and into the clear skies once more. Are we not meant to be “smelling the roses” each day, “paying it forward”, remembering “kindness, gratitude and appreciation?” I’m surely not the only one who has become lost along the way? I should ask if I have become lost along the way.

#trustrespectcommunication

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“If we can just let go and trust that things will work out they way they’re supposed to, without trying to control the outcome, then we can begin to enjoy the moment more fully. The joy of the freedom it brings becomes more pleasurable than the experience itself.”
Goldie Hawn

There was a time when I believed that family was everything, the glue which held all of us together. These were the people who, no matter what happened, you could rely on to “have your back” and help you, come what may. Yes, another idealistic outlook, but there has to be a start somewhere and if not with family, then where?

We cannot talk to each other any longer because everyone seems to feel the need to ensure they are “one better’ than you are. It makes them feel so much more satisfied if they can “blame you” for saying or doing something, even if they have no idea what actually happened. It makes me feel saddened at the loss of that family bond. I know my parents would be more than disappointed.

These simple “codes of life” apply across the spectrum, from the individual relationships, friendships to the dynamics of country interaction.

#trustrespectcommunication

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“We’re paying the highest tribute you can pay a man. We trust him to do right. It’s that simple.”
Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

In the end, I feel, we have to build trust and respect through communication. It is essential we do this if we wish to survive and bring the world forward into a better place than it is presently. Is this not the meaning of our journey here on earth?

If I say, I will tell you the story of my life, so that you can learn from it, avoid the pitfalls which brought me low, then I must follow through with that promise. I cannot decide to change my offer after I have begun, because I think I can “make more money from it” by selling it to someone else. I cannot say, I will make this promise with you, yet if another country offers me more, then I will forget our arrangement and go with the new offer.

We have to respect our own words first and foremost so that others know they can trust us. They can believe in our words because we have shown them our word is important. It was one of the founding blocks of society when we began forming societies. Respect and Trust in our Communication with ourselves and with others. I don’t believe things have changed much at all. If only everyone else understood those three little words…. We could avoid so much hurt and pain, so much bloodshed. Understanding could be second nature.

So many clichés and yet they are all true. My you find your Truth and Respect for yourself and your fellow spirit along life’s journey and learn the dance of communication to bring us closer together.

#trustrespectcommunication

Image courtesy of sherwoodfleming.com

 

“Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.”
Stephen R. Covey

 

May all our days be filled with understanding so that we can trust one another from a place of respect. Let us then communicate from our hearts.

 

Blessings,  Susan ♥

© Susan Jamieson, August 2014

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#Communication. It's Only Words

Image courtesy of nashontechnology.blogspot.com

 

“From this point forth, we shall be leaving the firm foundation of fact and journeying together through the murky marshes of memory into thickets of wildest guesswork.”
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Have you ever stopped to wonder why words cause so many difficulties? After all they’re only words, the means by which we convey our thoughts and feelings. Yet so many times, what is a simple and forgettable word to one person, can be a veritable insult to another. Is it any wonder that there are so many hurt feelings and arguments over what we mean by the words we say to each other?

Many are the words uttered in anger, or whilst feeling under pressure or stress. Do these words mean the same thing if they were said whilst calm and unpressured? I rather doubt it. At least, that has been my observation.

Computers and computer programs, have the singular honour of creating the most intense feelings of frustration for many people, even over minor matters. They are such contrary machines, aren’t they? Some days, no matter how hard you try, or follow the same steps you followed the day before, the wretched program refuses to behave as it should. You’re blood pressure rises and you can feel the irritation begin to mount.

In retrospect, it is at this point that the rest of the household, or office, should embark for points north, south, east of west. Anywhere, in fact, to avoid the likely wrath to come. But no, everyone remains and the ensuing eruption of heightened emotion spills over and someone ends up feeling hurt or misunderstood.

#Communication - It's Only Words

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“Using words to talk of words is like using a pencil to draw a picture of itself, on itself. Impossible. Confusing. Frustrating … but there are other ways to understanding.”
Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind

The irony is, the person struggling with the computer, or any appliance which is being contrary, should simple mutter under their breath, except….. Someone is sure to ‘demand’ that they repeat what they have just said. I can almost guarantee that the word “Stupid” will form part of the epithet. Guaranteed!   What’s even more certain, is that the person listening is going to hear that they are being called stupid. It may even sound as though that was the intention. Yet I am positive that the intention is that the computer, program, appliance, even the operator of the machine is really saying they are stupid for not getting it to work correctly. Perhaps if the person offering assistance has already pushed their help on the struggling and irate digitally challenged person, then they may mean they feel, momentarily that they are stupid for not being able to offer the solution.

However, I’m sure if you were able to ask that person what they meant, they would not have been accusing or abusing the other person of being stupid. Now we have a recipe for an even more bitter and disastrous interchange to occur. The mountain of misunderstanding rises moment by moment.

#Communication - It's Only Words
Image courtesy of twiki.org          No wonder my head hurts at times.

Now we have a struggling computer person, who is definitely not nerdy, feeling even more stupid themselves, plus the person offering to help, when they should have left well enough alone, feeling hurt and offended, because they feel they’ve been abused and called stupid. What a disastrous state of affairs. Why? Because of words. Words should be used to enlighten, to assist, to love and cherish, foster loving feelings and calm hurt ones, not to abuse and enrage. A classic case of miscommunication.

So where now? Somehow, through this veritable minefield of the English language, two people have to tread warily, and hope they can untangle this knotted ball of wool. I had a ball of wool recently, so knotted up that it took two hours to untangle it… I wasn’t sure I had the patience but I did succeed in the end. I know for a fact that I cursed that wool roundly and often – without it taking offense. Luckily for me!

#Communication - It's Only Words

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“I personally believe we developed language because of our deep inner need to complain.”
Jane Wagner, The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe

Human emotions are not as easy as a ball of wool. You can’t hurt the feelings of a ball of wool. You may chop it into pieces if it is really annoying and tangled, but it isn’t going to be hurt or upset. Yet here we have two people who have to walk a tightrope and hope they reach an understanding. Why is the English language so fraught with traps? What is meant by one is not meant by another and this misunderstanding of the use of the same word can cause irreparable damage. Someone, at some time, definitely did not like people conversing.

So, I’m about to try to walk the minefield of knotted logic and understanding and hope I can get my point of view across and understand theirs, so that harmony can flower in the home once more. What puzzles me the most, is that we are speaking the same language. It isn’t as though we are talking different languages and it is an interpretation problem. Or perhaps it is. Perhaps that is the missing key.

English has been added to over the centuries, as the various conquerors have added their offerings to the base language and idioms. In retrospect, it’s not surprising there are so many misunderstandings. Perhaps I should go back to school and study English again, although I fear everyone may need to so we can all be on the same wavelength.

#Communication - It's Only Words
Image courtesy of http://www.iusb.edu    Build the base for communication.

“Oh what a wicked web we weave”. My aching head is going to bed. Good intentions will succeed in the end – survival depends on it.

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”
Nelson Mandela

Very wise words.

 

Blessings, Susan.♥

© Susan Jamieson. August 2014

 

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“Life is not meant to be easy, my child; but take courage — it can be delightful.”

George Bernard Shaw from his book “Back to Methuselah.”

 

Life is complex. It is rarely straight forward. Each time we look around we find that things have been either subtly changed or intricately woven into a complex tapestry. Is it strange therefore to begin to wonder the reason for this apparent random upheaval of life? Life is a character building exercise and a spiritual means of growth and learning.

Former Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser, (1975 – 1983) coined the phrase “Life wasn’t meant to be easy” in 1983. Using only the first line made it sound somewhat unsympathetic, perhaps in keeping with the persona of Mr Fraser. As far as it goes, this simple statement is infuriating. Think about it for a moment. Such a simple statement of apparent fact says so much more. Each day we are faced with a multitude if decisions and situations which we have to solve in order to progress through our days.

If we accept the premise this simple statement provides we are accepting that, irrespective of what we do, life is going to be difficult. It has cemented into our sub conscious the probability that we have to fail at what we are doing, or if not fail, then we will have a really difficult time in achieving our goal. We “have” to struggle.

 

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” -Thornton Wilder

All of life, from its inception to its last hurrah, can be filled with challenges of one kind or another. This isn’t simply aimed at an individual or a select group of people either. It can also include each and every country on the planet. Can you envision what could happen if each country developed a mindset that “Life wasn’t meant to be easy?”

We see on a daily basis the armed conflicts on a global scale, the individual and group murders, brutal assaults and acts of cruelty and terror on a major and minor scale, and if we accept the premise of this simple statement, it could be the single, most heinous excuse for every unimaginable horror which could be perpetrated.

Yet, it need not be this way. “Life wasn’t meant to be easy” because “Life is easy”. As Shaw said, but take courage — it can be delightful.” I can hear the sounds of derision even now. There is no-one breathing down our necks to make life difficult. There is no-one telling us we have to make decisions which will ensure life be will be a struggle day by day. It is true that there are horrendous events occurring each day. There are people dying as you read this, some in the most sickening manner which could be imagined. Does it have to be this way?

Do people have to be forced to live on the streets, to spend days and nights with little or no food or warmth? Do entire countries or factions need to spend their days and nights contemplating the destruction of anyone who has different ideas to theirs?

#This is Life

you are always in my heart

“You connect yourself to the viewer by sharing something that is inside of you that connects with something inside of him. All you have as your guide is that you know what moves you.” -Steven Brust

These questions can reduced to an even simpler, single question, “Does this person, or these people, these countries or factions, have the right or necessity to destroy anyone’s life? We all have an unassailable right to life, to make our own decisions and choose whether we will have a life of struggle, strife and woe or a life filled with blessings, light and ease.

It can most definitely be challenging and so it should be. Anything which we find too easy to obtain or secure, to earn or to simply be, is rarely valued. It seems that we need to feel that we have earned our right to have a sense of ease in our lives. In this, there may be some truth.

As a spirit in human form we choose what lessons we have come to this place, our home, planet earth, to learn and also how we are going to do this. There are many reasons why these lessons may be so ‘hard’. There is one school of thought which says that the harder the lesson the more we learn from it and the less time we have to spend earning our “credits” in the school of life. I’m not entirely convinced it can be as simple as this, but it does make a certain skewed logic.

Perhaps I need to have a logical reason for why things happen the way they do. The shooting down of a plane of innocent travellers. The continued conflicts around the globe which create arguments on a daily basis – the beginnings of the next conflagration.

I don’t have the answers to even the simple question of “Why is life not meant to be easy?” All I have is the sometimes tremulous belief that life is….life. In all its good and bad, the beauty and horror, it is as it is. Whether it is meant to be or not starts to become meaningless.

As George Bernard Shaw said, “Life is not meant to be easy, my child; but take courage — it can be delightful.”

Yes, amidst the horror, “life can be delightful”. I’m happy with that.

May all your days be delightful.

#This is Life

image courtesy of dontgiveupworld.com

 

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” -Elizabeth Kubler Ross

 

Blessings, Susan ♥

© Susan Jamieson, August 2014

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“The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image. If in loving them we do not love what they are, but only their potential likeness to ourselves, then we do not love them: we only love the reflection of ourselves we find in them”   Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island
“The most adventurous journey to embark on; is the journey to yourself, the most exciting thing to discover; is who you really are, the most treasured pieces that you can find; are all the pieces of you, the most special portrait you can recognize; is the portrait of your soul.”   C. JoyBell C.

It was much sadder than I had anticipated, saying goodbye to the people who had shared my journey of self-discovery as we toured the Middle East. I began my journey alone and fleeing from a situation I needed to put into perspective. I had learned so much as we travelled these ancient lands and found a friend when I least expected to do so.  Yet my journey was not yet done.

The trip back to Tel Aviv was not without dramas, but then, after so many airports I had no expectations that it would be any different. I was no longer part of a tour group. Yes, I had my trip planned to go back to Tel Aviv but I was a single traveller once more, with no guide to wend an easy path through the departure rigmarole, and no-one speaking English within sight or sound. So it was with relief that I finally emerged through Israeli customs and was met by my driver to take me back to my hotel.

For two weeks I spent my time wandering through Tel Aviv and Jaffa and reacquainting myself with those people I had met when I first arrived. I went back to Caesarea and sat gazing out to sea wondering what the many people who had lived there had thought when their time came to leave. (That is not discounting the many people who have remained in the area all this time and still call it home, but of the “invaders”, that is a different story.) Of them, not many had chosen to leave voluntarily.

At one point I found myself perched on one of the large column blocks, not thinking, mind just drifting along in a sudden period of silence. I suddenly felt held in place by some unseen force as I heard a “clanking” all around me – a sound I recognised as the sound chain mailed and armoured bodies make as they walk around.  There was the smell of the ocean strong in my nose, then overtaken by the coppery smell of blood. Ships were in the harbour, a forest of trees as the masts swayed in the ocean swell, waiting to take the remaining crusaders to safety. The fighting had been intense and the casualties too high.

As I sat there mesmerised, I saw a mailed hand descend on my shoulder.

The voice belonging to that mailed glove said, “Come now, Bertrand, there is nothing more to be done here. It is time to leave. We have been given our orders”.

From within the space where I sat another crusader rose to stand beside his lifelong friend. As I watched they hurriedly descended through the tunnels to the docks. I felt a pull from somewhere deep inside as if I was meant to go along too. Finally I saw them in the boats being shepherded out to the waiting ships. The relief that they both made it as far as the ships was overwhelming. As they left my sight the sounds and smells of the day seemed to suddenly crowd in again.

Was I day dreaming or did something just happen? Was I shown a glimpse of the past or was it a glimpse of another life? All I know for certain is there was an intense connection with Bertrand as he sat on the column, one which pulled me along with him as they left the garrison. One which allowed me to feel how heavy his heart was at leaving this place and the loss he felt with the death of a dear friend. 

I left later, still somewhat dazed by the revelations of the day. In some strange way I felt part of myself had been there on that day and my drive home I felt as if I was on the high seas. Incredible!

The often otherworldly experiences as I had walked these ancient lands had been making a profound change within me. After my return, instead of following the glam and glitter of the nightclub scene I was offered by my friends, I chose to remain alone much of the time.

#InSearchof

Tel Aviv Boulevard

We still met for coffee at the beautiful venues along the Tel Aviv esplanade when we could, always entranced by this incredible area. I wandered the Ha Carmel markets and visited the large shopping centres, seeing a life so similar to the everyday that one almost forgot the armed security guards at each entrance. I wandered Ben- Gurion Avenue and saw the home of David and Paula Ben Gurion. David Ben Gurion was the first Prime Minister of Israel. The somewhat unimpressive exterior hides their home which they lived in until 1970. The upstairs rooms, all four, were floor to ceiling books, 20,000 of them!

Oh for a library of that calibre. I often forgot to take photos on these meanderings and this is a picture of their kibbutz home I saw there which shows the vast difference between their old home and the place they spent the remainder of their days.

#InSearchof

Image from triptoisrael2006.blogspot.com Ben Gurion Boulevard

In the evenings I again resumed my walks to Jaffa and then sat on the esplanade enjoying the ocean breeze. The beautiful weather had been a tremendous gift whilst I had been there and the sunsets were something I would always remember. At those times it seemed as though a special light, a Spiritual light, was healing all the broken parts inside me and leaving me feeling at peace. There is no other way to describe the feeling of serenity with which I would leave after the sunset and head back to my hotel for a latte in the lounge. The girls there spoilt me with their generosity.

The feelings of a deep peace and a blossoming of my Spirit gave me a belief that there was so much more than this everyday existence we often become bogged down in. The majestic expansiveness of life, the mystery of past, present and future, all being available if we but allow it, was a blessing I had not imagined nor expected to find here. I realised that there was far more for me to do in this lifetime, and thoughts of leaving it behind became like dim memories.

#InSearchof

Glorious sunset over the Mediterranean.

The time came to leave Tel Aviv all too soon and it was with a very heavy heart that I packed my bags once more.

Leaving brought one unpleasant reality to the fore.  I had over packed before I left and with all the pieces I had acquired on my travels, for myself (of course), and my family, I had far too much luggage to take with me to Athens and then Switzerland. Pragmatism came to the fore and when I repacked, I did so with the intention of leaving one case in storage at the Athens airport.  It was far less expensive than paying excess baggage!

A HINT for anyone travelling overseas, Check ALL the countries/airlines baggage allowances before you leave and pack for the least amount allowed. It is not only easier on the back it is far less expensive on the pocket!

Whilst sad to be leaving, and feeling certain there was more I could learn, of a personal and spiritual nature, I was looking forward to my quick visit to Athens whilst I made my way to my friend in Geneva. There was a certainty that my time there would be as fruitful to my yearning to learn my spiritual reason for being here, and so with mixed feelings I left.

A snapshot of the wonders of these ancient lands.

Israel will always remain a special and wonderful time in my life, a time when uncertainty and pain were replaced with a belief and surety that life has more meaning than our everyday existence.

 

Next Week…….Geneva and Switzerland.

Blessings, Susan ♥

© Susan Jamieson 2014

 

 

 

 

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#A Succesful Life

12 Ways to Be Successful in Life

“Success is determined not by whether or not you face obstacles, but by your reaction to them. And if you look at these obstacles as a containing fence, they become your excuse for failure. If you look at them as a hurdle, each one strengthens you for the next.”
Ben Carson, Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story

A while ago there was an article in Forbes magazine about the habits of successful people and it seemed that everyone thought they mustn’t be successful if they weren’t following those guidelines. I believe that’s all they were, guidelines. There was nothing anywhere on the article which showed any statistical data to prove successful people lived by these ‘rules’. It was one person’s observations.

It concerns me that we measure our own success, our own value as a human being, by what people who are incredibly successful are purported to be doing.  I’m not saying their examples are wrong, far from it, but they are living in a world which supports such success.  What about the rest of society? What about people whose very life is a challenge? I feel they have ways to measure their success by what they do, which is just as relevant. As Ben Carson said, “If you look at them (each obstacle) as a hurdle, each one strengthens you for the next.”

So here is my version of “12 Things All Successful People Do” (Forbes) which I have called      “12 Ways to Be Successful in Life”.  If we aren’t successful at living we cannot be successful anywhere else.  I hope they may make you think a little and realise how successful you really are, as each obstacle we overcome helps us to become a more successful person, in our own right.

#A Successful Life

image from nedhardy.com

  1. BE PREPARED FOR THINGS GOING BADLY. HAVE CONTINGENCY PLANS

It doesn’t matter how well we think we have planned our day, outing or event, there is always the possibility that something will occur which upends all that planning. Rather than allow this to overwhelm you, which can cause problems with your health, have contingency plans on hand for unexpected mishaps. It may mean a little more work in the planning phase but it removes any tension if things go awry. Eliminate the ‘falling apart’, unnecessary flare, or dash for home or the ER. It’s also a habit worth cultivating so that you always have a Plan B ready.

2.      GOAL SETTING IS A MUST

Setting goals as a daily habit ensures we motivate ourselves to achieve things. It also is a wonderful way to stay on track. As a check list we can cross off throughout the day it can be very rewarding to see those things checked off. One thing to remember with all goal setting, follow the S.M.A.R.T. routine. Goals should be smart, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. Choosing small achievable goals can help build confidence and give you a sense of achievement. Long term goals play a part but not on a daily schedule.

 3.      YOU CAN’T EXPECT LUCK TO GET YOU THROUGH!

It takes hard work to get to the finish line in most instances. Planning on getting lucky to achieve a goal, finish a project is a recipe for disaster – unless you have a magic genie in your pocket.  Often there isn’t the perfect time or idea to get things rolling; it’s simply hard work and persistence.  Making sure you have everything ready and you’re set to go can make all the difference to reaching that ‘finish line’, and having help handy is not giving in, it’s being realistic.

 4.  Journal, Diarise, Plot Your Progress

When you have an additional challenge to make your day or work harder it’s often easy to lose sight of the goal. As with all health or fitness challenges it is necessary and sensible to keep checking your plans, your goal setting stages.  If your entire schedule has been put into a journal / diary /electronic organiser then it’s much easier to monitor how you’re going with your plans. If you keep an eye on things you can fine tune as you go along so you avoid the ‘overwhelm’ and keep that end point in mind. Ask someone you trust how you’re going, feedback can be invaluable.

 5.      DON’T DELAY TAKING ACTION

Sometimes we let all the possible problems get stuck in our head and prevent ourselves from getting the ‘job’ started.  The first step is often, if not always, the hardest one to take. Make a move and that issue which stalled you might simply vanish. You can do more than you thought possible.

 6.      CHECK TO SEE WHAT YOU DID WELL BEFORE

Sometimes it’s easy to just keep your head down to get to the next goal. It’s ‘safe’ and ‘easy’ and we can reach our target.  Don’t forget to pop your head up and see what’s happening around you. Remembering what you did in the past may help you to reach your goals faster than expected. A great confidence boost!

#A Successful Life

image from funylool.com –

 7.      BE CONFIDENT

You know who you are and what you can do. You know there is a hidden tiger inside who will give you the strength to reach the finish line. Believe in yourself and others will too.

 8.      DECIDE ON A COURSE OF ACTION

The decision to do something is the beginning of the road ahead, a road leading to success, knowledge that you have achieved something truly worthwhile. You may have an additional challenge to overcome every day. You know how much effort goes into getting yourself ready and at work. Even volunteering takes an enormous amount of effort.

 9.      WATCH WHAT YOU ARE DOING

Often the effort to ‘do what everyone else is doing’ is so overwhelming we forget how incredible our own achievement is. Watch what is going on around you. You may find that what you think is ‘just getting there’ is much better than you thought and recognition may be closer than you imagined. At the very least everyone knows that you are aware of what is happening where you are and you know what you are doing!

 10.  KEEP TRYING

That attitude of “If the going gets tough, the tough get going” can help you to win through to the final line. It’s hard to keep going at times, especially if you have a health challenge that makes even the simple things more difficult. As long as your desire to ‘win’ doesn’t compromise your health, keep going.

 11.  MAKE SURE YOU ARE UNDERSTOOD

When you need to explain to others what they need to do show them how confident you are. After all, you wouldn’t be telling them what to do if you weren’t ready for the job. Speak clearly and you can persuade everyone that you know exactly what would benefit everyone. Let them see the dream and vision you have.

 12.  SHOW GRATITUDE

When you reach your goals, succeed in your path to success, remember to be yourself. Everyone else is still on that path you’ve just climbed. Don’t let arrogance overwhelm your inner you. You have made plans and followed them, adapted where needed; you were accountable for all your actions. Don’t fall into the ego trap; remember to be grateful to those who may have helped you along the way. As we are thankful each day when we achieve a small goal, be thankful when a bigger one is reached.

People remember those who were thankful, showed appreciation and gratitude for help and consideration. These are the people who others want to emulate. Despite extra challenges everyone can be successful and be someone that another wished to be like. It’s all a case of attitude.

#A Successful Life

image from explore-essay-types.blogspot.com

Success doesn’t have to come with an ego. In fact, many successful people don’t have one. This is because they understand that while extraneous factors come into play, some failure can be chalked up to their own shortcomings. Never forget to hold yourself accountable for every aspect of your life. This is how you’ll remain focused and humble.

“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.” ― Paulo Coelho

I hasten to add that the above are my opinions and ideas. If you agree that’s great, if you don’t then think about it. You never know; there will be a few pearls in there for everyone.

Blessings, Susan ♥

© Susan Jamieson 2014

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~

“…the best possible way to prepare for tomorrow is to concentrate with all your intelligence, all your enthusiasm, on doing today’s work superbly today. That is the only possible way you can prepare for the future.”
Dale Carnegie, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living

~

It’s almost as though I missed out on today. I have been ‘doing’ things all day, necessary things, but at the end of the day I have this nagging feeling that the day has floated by and I haven’t done what I ‘should’ have done. It’s a feeling many of us get and in many cases, or for a lot of the time it’s also an inaccurate mental picture.

I’ve always been one of those super organised people. Lists and reminders, plans, planners and schedules have been the way I’ve managed to get so much done each and every day. Since starting my Lyme treatment many of these things have been changed. Some have been totally upended and some have been kicked to the kerb.  Why, because my time has not been ‘my time’ any longer. Lyme has been a life change program in every way.

#Last Minute

image from http://www.dirttime.org –      Kill those nasty bugs!

I’m sharing my time with a wretched and unlovable bug, many of them in fact, and they love time. They devour time in huge chunks until I’m not sure where the time has gone. I began to wonder what was happening to me. Was I going insane? Was I drifting off into the land of ‘the waking nod’ and not realising it? Was I simply being lazy and allowing time to drift lazily by? It began to get under my skin so I decided to use some tried and true practices to work again. Yes, I said again.

It is impossible to be ‘super’ organised without a photographic memory or an organised method to track the time during the day. The clock is simply not good enough because all it can do is let me know that time is passing. Of course that’s wonderful when the time rolled around to go home, but in between it doesn’t help. If you are at home then even that fails. You still need something to keep you on track and somewhat motivated. That’s where a complete life change program is needed and that’s what I have – Life Change 90.

#Last Minute

image from nesbyte.blogspot.com    Tick Tock time never stops

It is depressing to find your day is scheduled around when to take your medication, drink, eat, take medication, exercise, call the doctor, dentist, candlestick maker, take pills, eat and drink. It becomes a mind numbing exploration of ‘almost futility’. It is only “almost” because it is essential but it fails to give you much purpose, particularly something which will make you look forward to it.

In order to do this you have to schedule your day, as insane as it may sound. You bring organisation out of chaos.

The early morning ritual has to be followed because it sets up the day.

#Last Minute

image from footage.shutterstock.com –   I need a life change program!

  • Out of bed, somehow. I say that because with chronic pain, from whatever source, it can be a mighty effort simply getting out of that bed, even if you have been miserably uncomfortable all night.
  • Immediately after a visit to the bathroom and before any liquid enters the mouth a 20 minute oil pulling session. Oil Pulling – a delightful tedium of swishing oil around your mouth to ‘pull’ any bacteria or bugs out of your system. Followed by a relieved brushing of the teeth to remove said oil residue.
  • Tablets and a cup of tea. A welcome ten minute break.
  • Meditate for half an hour, longer if the day is fairly light. Very important.
  • Breakfast and more tablets.
  • Fill in the daily journal and check the “to do list”.  (I approximate how long each item should take so that I can ‘budget’ my time.) Each item has a scheduled break between them if they involve any exertion so that I have time to recover and not over exert myself.
  • Start working through the list until it’s time for the next break. I have lots of breaks so that I make sure I can get enough fluids into me. It’s not all fun, there are days I feel like an over soaked sponge. Who said a Life Change was not without effort.
  • Repeat for the next item and arrange lunch, medication and drinks.  Check up and see how I’m going with the schedule.
  • Phone calls are usually done after lunch and before the droop sets in.
  • Time for a nap to recharge the body and mind.
  • #Last Minute

    image from http://www.eatpress.com  Snack time 

  • Time for another drink and snack.
  • Time for some fresh air. Depending on how ‘tired’ I feel it’s around the garden with the camera or down to the beach with the camera. The beach is good because I can sit down and have a fifteen minute meditation, or longer if I have the time. Even though it doesn’t seem as though I’ve done very much it’s unpleasantly true that I am starting to fade now.
  • Back home I re check my schedule and see how I’ve gone. If I’ve finished everything then I get my crochet out or my book and have a ‘spell’. If there’s something I missed I’ll try to do that.
  • My last organised effort of the day is to make out a “to do list” for tomorrow.

My journal is fairly comprehensive. It has an affirmation, short and long term goals, a review of the day and anything I may have learned from the activities of the day. I need to record what my medication protocol is and any reactions to it. It is, if I say so myself, a work of art. It really reflects how my life change helps me in every way.

#Last Minute

Life Change 90 Journal page extract
image from  www.lifechange90.com

As time passes and I get fitter, beat this bug, and blow the brain fog, I’ll add more and more to the ‘to do list’. You’ll note that there are no household chores listed as a given for the day. When I can I do them.  If I can’t they wait or Ray picks up the slack. We made more jam, new recipe and I have to get the blog done for that – it’s better than the first one. Tried and tested. Yum!

So, by now you are wondering why this is called “Last Minute”? Today we had a schedule blow out. At the beach we met up with an adorable Mini Foxie pup. She came running over to us and cuddled up, wet and sandy. She was eight weeks old and I melted. Until I had to, I found it almost impossible to put her down. Fortunately her owner was there and not worried. (I did think of running away with her but wouldn’t have made more than a few steps – sigh!)

As a result, I finished off all the somewhat mundane chores but my blog, which I like to do relaxed in the evening was pushed to the almost “tomorrow” list. So, this is “Last Minute”, a description of the average day of a #Lymie, trying to exert some order to her world. I still think I did a pretty darned good job, but this explains why some days are diamonds and some, just a lump of coal.

#Last Minute

image from lettingthewordsescape.blogspot.com      Diamond or…coal?

I just know you get my drift.

#Last Minute

image from mommyadventures.net     Nap time – yawn!

Blessings,  Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2014

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#Acceptance

image from mindfulnessworkshops.dk –

“I am my own biggest critic. Before anyone else has criticized me, I have already criticized myself. But for the rest of my life, I am going to be with me and I don’t want to spend my life with someone who is always critical. So I am going to stop being my own critic. It’s high time that I accept all the great things about me.”
C. JoyBell C.

One of the biggest lessons we have to learn is that of acceptance.

  • Acceptance of who we are.
  • Acceptance of who someone else is.
  • Acceptance that what has occurred is in the past, and if we let it go it has no power over us. Acceptance, it can be easy or it can be hard. Yet once we have learned it, we can be literally set free. Free from the pains of the past and released into a brighter today and tomorrow.

Part of my training through life has been to analyse everything which had or was occurring and determine what course of action should be taken as a result of that. Whilst that is good, as far as it goes, it can lead to an immense amount of heartache. In analysing everything for motive and purpose we can easily forget the personal, the individual in the events. Motivation for why things occur can muddy the waters even further, leading you in ever increasing circles until you reach a state of information overload and decisions, if needed, become even harder to reach. It  can also tend to make you hold o to the painful memories as a way of reminding yourself not to make the same mistakes again. We inflict pain on ourselves. Insanity!

#Acceptance

image from yogagoddess.us –

“Often, it’s not about becoming a new person, but becoming the person you were meant to be, and already are, but don’t know how to be.”
Heath L. Buckmaster, Box of Hair: A Fairy Tale

~

Acceptance of Who We Are.

That shouldn’t be so difficult, should it? Yet some of us twist and turn on the whim of others trying to find out if we are acceptable. In the never ending pursuit of finding ourselves acceptable, to ourselves or to someone else we forget the greatest gift of all, our innate selves. In this entire Universe there is only one person with our DNA, our ways, mannerisms, thoughts and feelings. We are unique, a fact we often overlook or are coerced into not seeing. We forget that we do not have to be measured by the rules or guidelines of someone else. We may not be perfect to them, but we are who we are.  Perfectionism may be an ideal to some, but it can be sterile and devoid of real feeling and emotion.  Accept who you are, as a work in progress and doing the best you can at any given time. That is all that is truly asked of us, and it is beautiful.

#Acceptance

image from rediscoveredfamilies.com

“Maturity, one discovers, has everything to do with the acceptance of ‘not knowing.”
Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves

 

Acceptance of who someone else is.

It is perhaps a conundrum of life itself that if we are able to accept who we are, then we are often unable to accept others, since we project the best of ourselves onto others and may find them lacking. Of course, the reverse is also true, in that projecting the least acceptable of ourselves onto someone else, may mean that we accept far less from someone than we deserve.  Life is a journey, at times straight forward and at others immensely complex. Just like people.  If we accept the premise that we, as an individual, are always acceptable, doing the best we can at any given time, then we must also extend that to others. How can we expect more of others than we are willing to accept and give of ourselves?  We are all human beings, but we are beautiful Spirits having a human experience. Learning can be messy and we can only work through the labyrinth one step at a time. Accepting the successes and failures is what makes is who we are. Unique.

#Acceptance

image from playingwiththeuniverse.blogspot.com –

“Learn this from me. Holding anger is a poison. It eats you from inside. We think that hating is a weapon that attacks the person who harmed us. But hatred is a curved blade. And the harm we do, we do to ourselves.”
Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet in Heaven

~

Acceptance that what has occurred is in the past, and if we let it go it has no power over us.

So many people have scars they carry for a lifetime over what has happened in the past. Like a festering sore we allow it to continually stab at us, reminding us of failures, times we didn’t reach our best, times we let someone down and they suffered as a result. Yet the truth is, it doesn’t matter. We can only expect of ourselves, of others, the best that is possible in that particular moment. In That Moment!  In  fact we can only expect if ourselves, projecting our expectations on others is unfair as it takes away their free will and ability to earn.

What we learn in a day, a week, a month, a year, or a lifetime after that, cannot change what has gone before. Not by one iota. Why then carry this enormous weight with which to punish yourself? If you can say to yourself, everything that has happened, what I have done, what others have done, forms the fabric of my past. The cloth that I weave now may look different to the one I wove before.  Yet it is still perfect in its difference. It is unique, as I am.

The measure of life is change. Look back and read the lessons you have learned from your past. Not with regret or self-flagellation, or blame of others, but as a lesson learned and phfft….. let it go. The past has already gone and can no longer affect you unless you allow it to.

Face forward and greet the day. The present, the only portion of time we can have any effect on, for the future is yet to appear. Make peace with the past. Accept you, the people who populate your past and the fabric of your past. Accept all that has been as a lesson, and look to the bright future, armed with the knowledge accepting the past has granted you.  It has also released you from the chains which helped keep you shackled to painful memories. Acceptance helps remove the pain. I know because I have been there and can vouch that it works.

Acceptance – is the key word to having a wonderful life.

#Acceptance

image from lifecorked.com

“All that is left to bring you pain, are the memories. If you face those, you’ll be free. You can’t spend the rest of your life hiding from yourself; always afraid that your memories will incapacitate you, and they will if you continue to bury them.”
J.D. Stroube, Caged in Darkness

May you find your Acceptance in life and look forward to a bright future.

Blessings,  Susan ♥

© Susan Jamieson 2014

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“I believe in intuition and inspiration. Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. It is, strictly speaking, a real factor in scientific research.”
Albert Einstein, On Cosmic Religion and Other Opinions and Aphorisms

~

Something went slightly awry today and my routine changed. As a result of that I went into my reader before I did my post. It spawned a changed of topic.

There has been much debate about the proliferation of self-development courses, which I am differentiating from professional development and Spiritual development. All have elements in common but I don’t wish to get embroiled in the necessity for or against professional or spiritual development. Suffice it to say that there seems to be a consensus that there is no need for self-development courses other than those which are followed ad hoc via free online tutorials. They have their place, but are they fulfilling the needs of society?

When I read through the posts in my reader I found some of the posts I expected, the poetry which I enjoy, including the various themes from spiritual to mythical and love. There were the inspirational image quotes and just straight forward quotes, always something a little different.

There were my usual posters who talk about various struggles with illness and how to cope with different aspects of them. Obviously I’m following these people because they know their subject, are very helpful and supportive and have become good friends. In a mutual supportive environment it is gratifying to find people who are altruistic enough to share their triumphs and failures and help each other out.

In other topical pieces I found references to posts which were basically a running commentary on the applause for self-gratification in one’s own sexploits.  Again, I have no problem with this as I can read it or not since it is reader beware.

Then there were a number of reblogged articles. Reblogs are helpful because you learn about a far wider audience than you might hope to cover alone.

There was:

  • an article about a young African American still in prison after 3 years because she defended herself from domestic violence;
  • the harrowing open letter by Dylan Farrow about her sexual abuse by Woody Allen
  • the pollution of the Dan River in Eden, N.C after an aged pipeline burst, sending poisonous grey ash into the river
  • the FBI sting which rescued 16 child sex slaves and 45 “pimps” at the time of the Superbowl, which the FBI have asserted is common practice for these groups when any major event is on
  • Suicide Prevention week in Canada coincides with Love Yourself month, an indictment on some of the most famous originators of self-development such as Nathaniel Brandon, Virginia Satir and Wayne Dyer, who made improving oneself big business and forgot about really helping people to improve their self-esteem
  • The US allegedly using Weather Warfare against the Philippines
  • Top Black History Month Scholarships – a great idea unless it is balanced against the abysmal treatment of African American students elsewhere in the school system
  • The ABC reveals the scam claims by Big Pharma that the anti-Cholesterol lowering drug Statin reduces cholesterol. Big Pharma pushing medicine which does not work, again
  • Judging Philip Seymour Hoffman, a lovely article which does not seek to criticise or condemn but simply regrets the passing, too soon, of a good man with a problem
  • Black History Month in Canada where artists were acknowledged
  • Facebook celebrates its 10th birthday with a ‘movie of your life’ day. I didn’t know it was 10 years old which speaks volumes
  • A young woman in Scotland who cannot get decent treatment for Fibro or other ailments after leaving the UK
  • More from Sochi, first they are killing all the dogs near the stadium, now the facilities are falling apart and repairs are impossible, and finally
  • How there are 7 things from High School repeated later in life

From the posts I have briefly mentioned, and I hasten to add I am in no way passing any criticism on these blogs, they are all excellent posts and have valid stories, but this is my point. Of those listed above, of the fourteen stories (14) there are ten (10) which are bad/depressing/just plain wrong news plus one which rates 50:50.  They are wrong in the sense that they are a poor indictment on society.

#Enough or Nor Enough

image from ceslava.com

What are we doing accepting wrongful imprisonment of a woman defending herself from domestic violence? When did it become alright to arrange child sex slaves for big events? How did we let Big Pharma con us with all their nasty pills and potions which are making us more ill and not less? Why did we applaud a paedophile for making big money making films and ignoring his deplorable behaviour? Child sex abuse is an offence and it doesn’t matter who the hell you are, you do the crime, you do the time. What you don’t do is haul the child, now grown, over the coals for being unable to see the case through to the court stage where she would have been blamed for the events anyway.

This brings me back to my first point. We may have lost faith in the big names of the personal development arena that have become rich telling us how to act, but if the above is a representation of the norm for behaviour then self-improvement is still needed, and it doesn’t matter what you call it.   We are supposed to evolve to become better people as time goes by, not revert to base animal behaviour and not against children and the ill.

Society, in general needs to take a hard look at itself and take the steps to improve. Unless, of course, they are trying to tell us that the behaviour of the day is stupendously wonderful. I pray not.

“Folks, it’s time to evolve. That’s why we’re troubled. You know why our institutions are failing us, the church, the state, everything’s failing? It’s because, um – they’re no longer relevant. We’re supposed to keep evolving. Evolution did not end with us growing opposable thumbs. You do know that, right?”
Bill Hicks

Blessings and prayers, Susan ♥

© Susan Jamieson 2014

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