Thursday, 31 March 2011

Holding Back The Years

The whole "trust" thing has really got me thinking over the last few days. I even dug out a book I bought about five years ago entitled "Trust Yourself" by M.J. Ryan. Reading through it now for a second time after all this time it's actually pretty good reading and I would recommend it.

One thing that did come to mind is my habit for hoarding. I blame my mother. She always has been and always will be a hoarder. It's interesting dissecting the whole thing now and beyond the obvious issue of it creating clutter and a more distracted mind. Sometimes it's pure sentimentality. A lot of the hoarding, though, is done out of a "what if" principle. What if I need the three-year old statement sometime in the future, what if I ever decide to take up Spanish, what if flares ever come back into fashion....

My mother's hoarding seems to labour the final point. There are so many things kept in boxes and drawers that are simply no longer relevant. Had they been used and appreciated and then discarded in real time, then that's fair enough. I appreciate the need for keeping certain things for a rainy day, like money obviously. But some of us just hold onto stuff because we're too scared to let go, to take risks, to move on, to trust ourselves and the world that everything will be alright without it.

Simply by addressing this habit bit by bit I think I'm going to see some interesting changes on how I relate to my environment.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

On And On

As readers of this blog will know, I like to dabble with things. Tinker here, tinker there. Add something here, remove something there. It doesn't always show strong tangible benefits but generally I think I’m heading in the right direction by doing / being something.

One thing that I’m looking to develop more, though, is trust. I was listening to an old guided mediation podcast the other day and although I'd listened to it a few times before, this time I heard a new insight. The commentary mentioned that finding peace is all about trust – trusting yourself, trusting your environment, trusting the universe. Essentially, by trusting more, you get more peace.

One of my favourite phrases is “it's better to sweat in peacetime than bleed in war”. So during all those quieter periods in life when I don't actually think I'm making progress, or am losing the will to repeat the much-repeated, I need to trust in the bigger picture and what is working behind the scenes. My efforts are not being wasted. This is fundamental. Preparing the self for whatever life throws.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011


We all procrastinate. It could be down to our decision-making style, maybe it’s fear, maybe it’s perfectionism (which to me is just a version of fear), maybe you just place the topic further down your list of to-dos. Plenty of reasons. But we all do it.

What I’m realising more and more in one of those “statement of the very obvious” moments is that once I’ve addressed the issue being procrastinated over it opens up more clarity and opportunities. For me, things that linger can just gnaw away. Sometimes you tolerate it but it’s still eating away somewhere.

I realise energy is important for me - once I have it then comes the momentum. My procrastination has no energy. Actually, it does have some but it's all negative - too often a lot of effort is simply spent on procrastinating, which doesn't help. So all I've got to do is improve my pain / risk threshold, focus on what's important to me and a little less procrastination should lead to a lot better results.

Saturday, 19 March 2011


I was thinking the other day about a comment I heard many years ago from the great English footballer, Sir Bobby Charlton. A journalist was asking him about his excellent record when taking penalty kicks. The conversation went something like:

Journalist: So, Sir Bobby, when you used to take penalties were you ever worried that you'd miss?

Sir Bobby: No, I used to hit the ball as hard as I could and let the goalkeeper do the worrying!

It did get me thinking about the idea of controlling the controllable. We all do a fair bit of worrying about what other people are thinking about us and the like. Sometimes we just need to focus on what's ours to control and be the best we can in that context.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

State of Independence

I've been on quite a roll of late in terms of getting things done and working towards goals. I've managed to build up a bit of momentum thanks to a bit more discipline on my part and applying an array of skills and techniques that I've amassed over time in notebooks.

But I had a bit of an enlightening moment at today's kung fun lesson when practicing a sequence of moves. I had learned the moves in question over the last few years and know some like second nature. And yet all too often in recent months I've found myself caught up in the soundtrack inside my head - failure/success/right/wrong/good/bad etc - that doesn't make for a balanced focused experience. Today my instructor could see that I was getting a bit lost in the fog in my head and simply said to put myself in a relaxed and present state, own the space and forget about trying too hard. It worked.

To me it's akin to simply "being" rather than trying hard to do this or do that. You are commencing from the right centred and balanced position. Start from the "being" state first and gradually work towards the "doing". We are, after all, "human beings" and not "human doings".

Friday, 4 March 2011

Too Good To Be Forgotten

Don't you just love YouTube. All those so easily forgotten memories have been brought back to life thanks to the beauty of the worldwide web.

And for some reason a really random song came to mind, from the deepest depths of my younger years: Too Good To Be Forgotten.

Yes, it's dated and oh so cheesy but it did bring a smile to my face on a Friday afternoon.