There was a time when I had a really strong faith in God. I went to a Catholic school as a child but, as an adult, I changed over to the Anglican Church. It was a powerful, spiritual experience and a very important part of my life.
Many years have gone by and my faith has gradually disappeared. I try to keep an open mind, especially in times of difficulty when I want help from on High. I always used to feel that at least I can pray for others, when I am powerless to do anything else.
I used to believe that God gave each of us special gifts and that we would only find fulfillment in our lives by using those gifts to make the world a better place. I still quite like the sound of that one.
The best I can come up with now is that maybe God is the source of energy experienced by all of nature. I accept that as a mere human I don’t know all the answers – I can’t see the BIG picture.
Today I learn from some of the teachings of Buddhism, philosophy and keeping life simple – accepting what I cannot change and changing what I can. I still see great wisdom in many of the teachings in the Bible and the beauty of the psalms and so forth. However, it is nature that feeds my soul and sustains me.
so many people around the world – the same and yet different in interesting ways
Fellow blogger, Nancy from Spirit Lights the Way did a post recently titled “If I had one wish…” and it got me thinking. If I had one wish, then what would it be?
I know that wishing for world peace is often scoffed at however I am amazed that we are in the 21st Century and there is still so much conflict and suffering in the world. Just think about how much money is spent on people fighting and killing each other. Then there are the mega dollars spent on space exploration. We spend a fortune on science (and rightly so most of the time).
It doesn’t matter what age the archaeologists study – there are always weapons found and mass graves. We could say that, yes, that was thousands of years ago and they didn’t know any better, BUT we are still doing it today with more sophisticated and expensive weapons. We can even wage war via remote control.
Obviously money is not the answer to solving our world’s self-destructive behavior. We have come so far and yet we have changed so very little. My wish is that we could use our financial bounty plus scientific, and spiritual wisdom and experience to find a way we could all live together in harmony.
I sometimes get angry with myself when I allow my inner wimp to have its way. I feel ashamed of myself when I take the easy way out and avoid a situation. I shared this with a friend and she suggested that we all experience this from time to time. I am reminded that when I try to resist something it only becomes a stronger force within me. I think it is time I had some compassion for that wimpy part of me. I can’t see it having any useful purpose but, who knows, it may well be doing some good.
Would you give up expressing your views (on a blog) if you knew some topics or opinions may alienate some of your readers? Should we stay away from politics, religion and health matters? What is more important – authenticity or popularity (statistics)?
When I write I tend to go with the flow and let my words express my thoughts – obviously there are some boundaries that I adhere to. I was surprised this week as I sent my blog address to a distant relative, Peter (are you reading this Peter ) and he provided me with some feedback.
He said: “Visited your Blog this morning. First impression: warm, peaceful and serene. Just loved it. I don’t know how you have done that but it has such a comfortable feel about it. Truly marvelous selection of words and pictures. Must be the trees whispering into the ether! That was until I came across Julia. Ambiance shattered!!”
The “Julia” he referred to is our current Prime Minister. I don’t deny she is very unpopular with a lot of people but I wanted to express my views in support of her. I wonder if I lost any other readers with that post.
It is more important for me to express my true opinions/feelings than seek popular support. I rarely write about my political views but don’t try to hide them when they are relevant to the discussion.
What do you think? Are some topics taboo if we want to increase our number of readers? Please take my poll below and let me know if there are other topics that I overlooked please. You can choose more than one topic on the poll.
Today I went to a Taoist Tai Chi Workshop – from 9.00am to 3.00pm. About 15 or so years ago I signed up for some Tai Chi classes – I think it was a ten week course. By week seven I was totally overwhelmed and opted out! I couldn’t keep up learning the new movements. When I say “overwhelmed” what I really mean is that I was freaking out! I added it to my TOO HARD list and didn’t look back.
So, to go along to the workshop today was a big deal for me. My emotions were all over the place. I judged every move I made as compared to the others around me. I kept losing concentration and I kept fighting the “this is TOO hard” voice in my head. I tried hard to let go and not care if I got it right or not but I worried that others might be looking at me and see how poorly I was doing.
Over lunch I shared my mental battle with the instructor and she was very kind. She encouraged us all and didn’t single anyone our for special attention. I was afraid that I might be the one to slow everyone else down. I started to think that it wasn’t all that important how well I went. I was there because I chose to be and didn’t have any obligation to continue.
I was aware enough to know that by biggest barrier to succeeding was my fear of failure. I think I faced my fears to some degree and gained some proper perspective. I would like to keep going to classes because I know it will be really good for my health. FEAR of failure is an awful place to be but at least I had the courage to go to the class and to stay for the duration. I think that is a good start
Michel de Montaigne wrote of his condition that, “I am at grips with the worst of all maladies, the most sudden, the most painful, the most mortal and the most irremediable. I have already experienced five or six very long and painful bouts of it.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I am rereading my favourite book at present, “The Consolations of Philosophy” by Alain De Botton. I first read it about ten years ago and found it to be really enlightening and still do, every time I pick it up. The chapters are:
II. Not Having Enough Money
V. A Broken Heart
Each chapter has gems of wisdom but the one that struck me this week was in Chapter IV. The philosopher is Michel de Montaigne and the year is around 1500. Montaigne spends a good part of his life in his library studying philosophy, history, poetry and religion. Montaigne believed that friendship was an essential component of happiness however he only ever has one close friend who died only four years after they met. I am leading up to the point that spoke to me….
Montaigne becomes a writer, and as De Botton says “He became himself on the page as he had been himself in the company of his friend…He was aware of the paradox of expressing his deepest self to strangers in bookshops”. Montaigne wrote,
“Many things that I would not care to tell any individual man I tell to the public, and for knowledge of my most secret thoughts, I refer my most loyal friends to book sellers’ stall”. (page 148).
Prescription placebos used in research and practice (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I watched a TV show last night about an experiment where several people took part in what they thought was a scientific trial of a new drug. There was a lot of hype to build up their belief in the drug, which in reality was a sugar pill. These people were able to do incredible feats such as overcoming their greatest fears, giving up smoking and finding relief from allergies. This all was made possible because their believed in the “miracle drug” they were taking.
Eventually they learned that the scientific experiment was really about the effectiveness of the placebo and their belief in it. The progress they achieved continued after they learned it was just a sugar pill. And why not? They ACTUALLY DID achieve the results themselves and they could rightly be proud of their achievements.
So what can we do to increase our belief in ourselves? I wish there was a pill that would do it for me, but, failing that, here are some ideas that have helped me:
Driving – sometimes I get nervous when driving: I remind myself of my experience and good record on the roads
Social situations – if nothing else works I just keep quiet and keep breathing and smile
Work situations – I try to choose words that inspire confidence – even if I am not feeling confident at the time
I recognise that I am not alone in doubting myself at times and have compassion on myself.
PLEASE share with me what works for you. I could really do with some inspiration today
Thanks to Plinky prompts for today’s topic: What is my worst quality as a human and why I think it is bad?
Sometimes I feel helpless and it seems insurmountable to overcome it. I really don’t like myself when I am like that. It involves a lack of self-confidence, a lack of ability to take any positive action, and I must be really awful to be around when I am like that. It sneaks up on me sometimes too. It can be triggered by a poor night’s sleep, a bad dream or just for no reason at all.
I get annoyed with myself because I know better. I know logically that if I take some action, like going for a walk, that I will probably feel better. The worst part of it is that I see myself in this state and I really don’t like what I see (I actually detest what I see!)
When these moments arise I have to remind myself that they will pass. They always do – unless I do something silly like resign from a job because I temporarily think I can’t do it anymore – or other such silly decisions. I have learned to chill these days and not make hasty decisions when I am not at my best. I guess it is just part of being human.