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Events and Life Mindsets

Some days have themes

Some days have themes, at least for me. These are days when a collection of related things go pear-shaped.

Most of my thematic days tend to be Technology Days. On those days all my technology freezes, crashes or otherwise fails to be usable for at least an hour or three in the morning.

On these days, the only thing I can really do is take a few deep breaths, acknowledge the day and go make a cup of tea while my laptop reboots. I’m beginning to see these days as reminders that control is just an illusion and sometimes the Universe does conspire against you.

Yesterday was a Misplaced Things Day (By Proxy). Our daughter misplaced her jersey and, about 15 minutes later, herself (I found her, there were stern words about that). Our son misplaced his key and his watch.

It definitely felt like one of those days. Thankfully the only thing I misplaced was my sense of humour and not my temper (although it was touch and go there for a bit).

Like I said, some days have themes. Hopefully not today, though.

Image credit: Pixabay

Categories
Mindsets

“When the illusion of control collides with the reality of influence”

You can see where the disappointment lies. We’re never in control, not of anything but the monologue in our head and the actions we choose to take. Everything else, if we’re lucky, is a matter of influence. If we do our work and invest our energy, perhaps we can influence events, perhaps we can contribute to things turning out in a way we’re pleased with.

Source: Seth Godin writing in “The illusion of control” – as erudite as usual.

Categories
Mindsets

“… you just have to let go of what you thought should happen and live in what is happening.”

Ever notice how we fixate on how we think things should be and our attachment to that expectation just causes frustration and anxiety when things don’t actually turn out the way we expected?

What would happen if we let go of that attachment and adapted to the circumstances we find ourselves in instead? I came across this quote recently which expresses this idea really nicely. It is apparently by Heather Hepler from her book, The Cupcake Queen, and it mirrors a philosophy of letting go of our attachments to things because those attachments cause suffering.

At some point you just have to let go of what you thought should happen and live in what is happening.

The crab in my photo is another reminder of why it can be so important to let go. We came across this crab at the Tel Aviv Port. It was hanging from a fishing line and that probably wasn’t where it intended to be when it began its day. I have no idea what passed through its mind (to the extent it has one) but I’d like to think it shifted its focus to its survival and didn’t lament how it just didn’t expect to be caught by the fisherman and hauled out of the water.

It cut the line moments after I took this photo and dropped under the boardwalk to the water below.

Categories
Events and Life Mindsets

“I was giving up on the life my false self tells me I must live”

Dr Kelly Flanagan’s post titled “Why We Should All Just Give Up” resonates with me. I often feel as if I am fighting against some impossible force to get simple things done. My first thought is to fight and keep fighting until I have overcome the challenge, and that is sometimes just getting out of bed at the end of a demanding week. Then, sometimes, I remember an important practice: “let go, surrender”. When I do that, I feel like this:

Because I wasn’t giving up on life; I was giving up on the life my false self tells me I must live. I felt laughter begin to swell up from somewhere inside of me.

The sense of relief that I feel when I stop fighting to make something happen that probably has no intention happening and just let it all go (yes, I also hear that Frozen song when I write that!) can be profound. How often do we approach a task with an idea about how it has to be completed (or even that the task is the best thing we should do at that time) and then become so frustrated when it doesn’t work out the way we expected.

My usual response is to work harder to complete the task or find other ways to complete it. Letting go or surrendering is a potent practice but you can’t just walk away from every challenge. Most of the time the only direction is forward and in the face of things that terrify you but, like the famous Serenity Prayer, the wisdom lies in figuring out when to keep fighting and when to step back and surrender to the moment.

Take a breather
Take a breather

The better word for it is probably “surrendering” because it involves taking a breath, standing still and opening yourself to something other than the thing that you are fixated on and increasingly frustrated with. Often, when we let go of our insistence that something happen, we open ourselves to other things we didn’t realize were possible, let alone better.

Somehow, doing that, helps us be better humans and more capable of dealing with the next challenge that faces us.