Month: December 2014

Behind the faces

behindBehind the faces

As I peruse the postings on Facebook especially the photos of people’s Christmas dinners.

They all look happy; it appears all is good in the world.

There are no signs of animosity, hurt, sadness, irritability, weariness, it all looks good.

Yet these one-dimensional images shed little light on what is happening behind the faces.

When you scan the ‘Facebook world’ all you see is one side, which often leaves you feeling left out… your world is not as perfect as they project… your smiles are not always as sincere… disguising the veneer of reality.

For you, for me for everyone, Facebook photos reflect the smokescreen of real life.

You are not alone… you are not the only one who forced a smile when they were hurting or tired…

Next time you examine a photograph remember, everyone who is posting is you

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What is enough?


What is enough?

I asked my mother after she returned home having spent an obscene amount of money on food and gifts.

The question caught her off guard; she stood frozen in her tracks.

Not an easy question, especially during the holidays.

It seems that at Christmas in particular we lose control of what is enough.

Much like a warning light on the petrol gauge, do we know when we are reaching empty?

For whatever reason we are inclined to give and keep on giving even though our ‘giving gauge’ is on empty.

How then do we know what is enough?

Your body knows.

It has its own warning system, sending signals that you are being tired, stressed, weak, irritable, and tense.

You may have the impulse to cry, yell, scream, retreat, or run.

Your body will tell you, while your mind says keep going, keep giving!

Without realising you cannot give anymore, you are empty.

There is no need to get to empty, replenish yourself along the way.

Why not heed the warning signs,

Fill up your energy along the way, by limiting your buying

And avoid running on empty.

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What is it about Christmas?

xmasWhat is it about Christmas?

There’s an urgency to get things done, a ticking clock creating all sorts of emotions from excitement, panic to guilt – a whole spectrum of feelings.

What is it about Christmas that evokes such intense emotions?

For most of the year your emotions are a little softer and reasonable.

What is it about Christmas?

When exorbitant amounts is spent on gifts.

What is it about Christmas?

We dress our homes in gaudy decorations, probably obnoxious at any other time of the year.

What is it about Christmas?

We spend time with family and friends, who we may not have much contact during the rest of the year, and may not even like.

What is it about Christmas?

The essence of Christmas is not about the garish decorations, or gifts, or the gathering of people, it is about magic.

Christmas takes you out of a humdrum existence and for one day your world becomes an enchanted fairly land, full of wonder and infectious excitement.

Christmas is the magic we felt when we were little and believed in Santa Claus who flew over our homes in a sled lead by reindeers baring gifts made by elves.

To create your own Christmas magic it not necessarily to stick with old traditions which can become stale and lose their mystic.

It is about creating newness, sparkle, and spontaneity, stepping out of the known into the enchanted world of the mysterious to create a magic Christmas.

Give yourself permission to step into the delight of Christmas with eyes wide open.

Do you feel you need to do the same thing as you have been doing every year to appease everyone or avoid change?

Maybe this year step out of your normal and see your Christmas magic unfold

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Stay true to yourself

perfectionHow to stay true to yourself in a judgemental world?

Writing this piece raised a plethora of concerns:

Will it be perfect?

What will people think?

Is it good? Is it bad?

Will people understand?

Will it be read or skimmed over?

This blog was inspired by a famous Zen story about creativity and judgements:

“The Zen Master was making a painting with his chief disciple beside him who asked ‘when would the painting be perfect?’ The disciple was worried because he had never seen the Zen Master do anything imperfect. The more the Master tried, the more the painting went wrong. It was a mess.

While the disciple was outside preparing the ink, the master completed his masterpiece. When the disciple came back in he said, “Master, but this is perfect, what happened?”

The master laughed. He said, “I became aware of your presence, the very idea that somebody is there to appreciate or to condemn, to say no or yes, disturbed my inner tranquility.”

The reason for the significance of this story is that when judged, our true self or “inner tranquillity”, retreats and leaves us a gap in our self-esteem.

When we anticipate judgements, especially the negative kind, our performance becomes messy. It no longer reveals our natural capabilities. A feeling of incompetence predominates.

It is only when we can drop the trepidation of what other’s are thinking of us, then we are free to be ourselves and create whatever we wish.

We are more creative while alone because then we do have to care about others.

How to best resolve this problem is not to become a hermit, it is to create undisturbed, until you feel stronger and more at ease in yourself. Then venture out to open yourself up to others opinions.

When you do receive criticism ask yourself two questions:

  1. Firstly, does this feedback enhance what I have already created?
  2. Secondly, If not then can I stay true to myself and keep it as is?

It is only by being true to yourself that perfection will surface.

Are you being true to yourself?

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