Trump and The Inevitability Of Change

Life by its very nature is in a constant state of flow. People grow, move on, evolve and change, just as nations do. It’s inevitable. Yet occasionally, we still seem to have issues with this very fact.

We can get frustrated when things don’t go to plan and instead present us with a range of unexpected and not always desirable, alternate situations.

Or when someone doesn’t react in a way we assumed they would, forcing us to consider how they’ve changed.

Or worse yet, we can feel downright threatened and anxious, with an impending change that we refuse to accept.

For some, a change may well be as good as a holiday. It has the potential to usher in a new sense of hope and a divergent direction.

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But if we’re honest, change in general is more often than not, the spark that lights the fuse of fear in most of us (on some level at least).

The recent sway of the political pendulum in the States has provoked a plethora of responses around the world. Public protests aside, you only need to view social media to confirm that plenty of people have strong opinions on the topic.

Like it or not, ushering in any new leader is a preamble to change. Change of a scale that provokes thought, opinions and naturally emotional reactions.

So it would appear that a spanner has been thrown into the works and we’re all waiting to see what happens next. It’s a little disconcerting I dare say, for either ‘side of the Wall fence’.

“Nations start to go wrong not when they have this or that misguided policy or leader but when the emotional maturity that can be brought to bear on political questions falls below a critical level.” http://www.thebookoflife.org/

Change is afoot

But politics aside, it’s healthy to wonder whether part of our frustration or even angst at such shifts in our lives, are more because of our issues with accepting change, than anything else.

At what point do we stop, to really take it all in?

At what point do we begin to better understand that change is inevitable and pretty darn constant?

And rather than letting this get to us, should we work out just who or what we can change, in order to best get on with life?Joyful woman

When change is afoot, our immediate reaction can be to blame other factors, while we casually sit in the passenger seat, silently comfortable in the knowledge that we may just be able to work our way out of this predicament, avoid it and stick with what we know.

Our other response, if you’re like me at least, is to figure out what or who I can change so that I don’t personally have to deal with it.

In most cases this involves me trying to change everybody else, but me. Turns out that’s not such a winning formula after all.

“It’s maddening – but true – that we can underestimate the consequences of change and also overestimate them”.  http://www.thebookoflife.org/the-acceptance-of-change/

The man who wanted to change the world

The simple story of a supposed monk from around the year 1100 AD, offers us some perspective.

When he was a young man, he wanted to change the world.

He found it was difficult to change the world, so he tried to change his nation.

When he found he couldn’t change the nation, he began to focus on his town. He couldn’t change the town and as an older man, he tried to change his family.

Now, as an old man, he realised the only thing he could change was himself, and suddenly he realised that if long ago he had have changed himself, he could have made an impact on his family. He and his family could then have made an impact on their town. Their impact could have changed the nation and he could indeed have changed the world.

Working with Change

With the current state of world affairs there is a definite sense of disorientation and confusion. The wheel of change is in motion and in some ways, we are powerless to stop it.

For those of us who hope to steer it at least, then there is power perhaps in starting small.small-steps

Looking at what we can do to change our views and preconceived ideas is a bold beginning. It means fending off fear, avoiding the emotional and separating fact from fiction. No easy feat!

It’s about strapping ourselves in for the long haul and taking our time to drive through the obstacles that face us along the way.

It certainly doesn’t mean we have to give up our principles and be a mat for others to trample on. In fact the power to make change comes from the smallest, day-to-day actions.

Knowledge of ourselves and how we can spark change starting at home, arms us with the knowhow and will power to slug it out, confidently, against all sorts of forces we face.

Credited Sources: For this post I have sourced some wonderful thoughts and quotes from ‘The School of Life’ text titled ‘The Book of Life’; a philosophical book well worth reading.

Give Me A Break!

Sometimes we all need a break. A holiday (if you will) from the everyday.

The chance (if only we could) to just put LIFE on hold, while we relax for a minute, regroup and attempt to regain a sense of who we are without all the noise.

My mind has happily played with this idea of late; images of me stranded in a remote mountainous Buddhist temple spring forth.

So too does the vision of a deserted beach with a sun lounge seductively placed beneath a sighing palm tree, maybe a luscious cocktail complete with tiny umbrella, within arms reach.

Yup, take me there!

It’s a novel idea (not to mention a totally unrealistic one); taking time out from life. Plenty of self-help books out there I’m sure, telling us it’s possible if we simply follow certain steps or establish some routines to allow for a little ‘down time’.alone-time

But Life by it’s very nature is unpredictable, precarious and fickle, so making time for some downtime, doesn’t always come easy for most of us.

The daily ‘struggle’

Some of us face challenges of a personal, family, financial, or work nature everyday and overtime its only natural to feel down right buggered and overwhelmed.

I was in the car this morning during school drop off, on my way to work, screaming toddlers in the back.

My day had started like most other parents I’m sure, at 5 am with demands from little ones to meet their basic human needs; food, drink, toileting, teeth cleaning, dressing, food, finding lost toy, food, food, food!!! All regularly punctuated with bouts of fighting, biting, kicking and crying etc.

You get the picture.

I’m trying to be patient as a parent at this point, placated by the thought of a coffee at some time before 10am.

Anyways, back in the car, racing round and you betcha I’m willing on that vision of the deserted beach. Heck…. lock me in that Buddhist monastery for Pete’s sake!mountain-retreat

Each of us face a myriad of misadventures during the course of any given day, just in our efforts to exist.

Some face far greater challenges than any of us can fathom and this can certainly put our own ‘struggles’ into perspective. You only have to tune into the news or speak with a loved one who’s facing a terminal illness to get the bigger picture.

And this perspective is needed! Yet it doesn’t diminish our desire to break free and take a breather from the everyday and nor should it. In fact quite the reverse.

It’s often then, that we realise wholeheartedly the vital need to properly LIVE life and appreciate its entire spectrum of experiences.

There possibly will never be a perfect time to just take a break from life, but shouldn’t there be moments where we do? And, not feel guilty for it!

What better way to show our value for the life we do have, than by giving ourselves a break from the everyday and permission to do so. This can be the sticking point though.

Give-me-a-break Guilt

That feeling of guilt, sneakily sidles up to us, masked as anger or discontent.

It would be selfish to walk away from the everyday, even just for a brief moment. There is that pile of dishes in the sink to do, groceries to be bought, dinner to be prepared, paperwork to complete before tomorrow, deadlines chasing our tails. ‘This person’s always got their gig together, so why can’t I? What’s wrong with me?’

Nothing of course is wrong, just out of whack!

Whether it’s a solitary walk along the beach on a Monday afternoon, a cheeky ‘sickie’ from work, an early morning bike ride or surf, a quite coffee in your local café or even just a night in on the couch, takeaway in hand, these are moments to saviour.surfing

There’s a bunch of reasons why they don’t happen often (even though they should).I don’t need to tell you that they should be right up there with diet and exercise, in helping to keep us happy, healthy and hopeful.

The simple fact is (I reckon at least) that Buddhist retreats in some remote mountain region are probably never going to happen and even though I live in hope that one day my unromantic husband will shoo me away for a solitary weekend (child-free naturally) to some secluded beach with that sun lounge and condensation dripping cocktail, it’s still just a distant dream.

So instead, I’ve got to stop giving myself the guilts, admit I’m only human and give myself a break, sometimes.

I’m not about to go rogue….. just yet 😉

Random Events and The Kindness of Strangers: What Makes The World Go Round

No mean feat, pondering what makes the world go round. It’s what I do when I’m not at work.

Yes, I do lots of other things too, but I like to think there is a little wonder in us all and for me, it’s just busting to get out.

So like a good pop song whose chorus hits you in the first two bars of the song, I too feel the need to instantly divulged the answer to this very deep question.

Random, chance happenings and the kindness of strangers seem to be the axis on which our earth keeps on turning and relatively smoothly, all things considered.

Facing Facts

When we stop to think about the fact that there are over 7 billion people on this planet, 196 countries, 4200 different religions and thousands of different ethnic groups, it’s amazing we function as a collective at all.

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Yes we’re far from perfect, no not all of us get along and yes life is not all roses, but on the whole I’m damn well amazed at how random and yet wonderful life is.

I read this brilliant book recently that in part, explains the series of random events that allowed life to even exist on earth. Surprisingly the two conditions needed to allow initial forms of life to flourish, were in fact the absence of oxygen in the atmosphere and the presence of cosmic radiation.

Ironic hey?

The transmutation of mono and multicellular organisms encouraged photosynthesis to occur, which in turn led to an oxygen rich atmosphere; thus permitting the evolution of animals that could breathe, as well as protecting life from harmful cosmic radiation.leaf

Yup, pretty cool!

In a process that has taken 3-4 Billion years of evolution, chance and a series of random events has allowed for the continual evolution of species, including our own and I can’t help but feel awed by the series of random events and ripe conditions that brought us to where we are now.

Our part in it all

If we take a slightly more personal approach to this topic of random events, its pretty cool that we even exist, at all.

From two people meeting, in the right circumstances, at the right time, to an act of conception that alone apparently only has around about an 11% chance of success in any given month, to being born, having safely navigated our way through childhood, faced the trials and tribulations of puberty and arrived here at adulthood.

I reckon you could say a hell of a lot of random events led to you being here right now, in the solid state that you are….. and that my friend is epic!

So if we are all here and living The Life, in all its randomness, its quietly comforting to know that as a collective species we all pretty much get along.kind-people

Yes of course there’s war and history has shown that we are capable of truly dreadful things, but I still like to think that as individuals there is this deep seated, quiet acknowledgment that we need to get along and that we want to (for the most part).

It is one thing to naturally treat our family, friends, colleagues and loved ones with kindness, but it is perhaps more admirable that we are capable of treating strangers with kindheartedness.

And before you label me a naive optimist, this is something each of us experience everyday, in varying ways; some obvious and perhaps overt, others in more subtle and unobtrusive ways.

The driver who lets you into the flow of traffic, the coffee shop guy who brings a warm smile with your cup, the lady at the park who helps pick up your child when they fell, the person who offers to take your trolley back for you, the dog-walker who greets you with a ‘G’day’ as you jog by.

We make up the everyday people who are capable of giving and receiving such kindness and in turn, I wonder, of possibly setting off that spark forspark a series of random events to follow.

Just a thought.