Life is a journey…

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We’re in Wales by chance /luck /good fortune / lack of constraint / great openmindness / not taking our responsibilities seriously/ taking our responsibilities very seriously…. depends from what mind you view our actions.

I would say that life is about keeping an open mind, and following the heart.  There are so many paths to explore, why fix the route?

I liken it to following a map and road signs rather than SATNAV.  SATNAV takes you from A to B on the quickest or easiest route.  You remain completely oblivious to the places and sights you might only be moments away from.  You just focus on the end goal.  The final destination.  You don’t even read the road signs as you pass them (especially those lovely brown touristy ones and those white ones with weird sounding names of teeny villages and hamlets)

Crossroad signpost saying this way, that way, another way concep

Following the route on a map you might notice points C,E, D…X, Y, Z; just off in the distance that you could easily detour too.  You can see that there is another, slightly more wiggly path that might be an interesting alternative to part of your journey and you can just nip off in that direction for a bit and take in the sights.

I always read the map.

detour-sign

I can be heading along the road of life and I get to a junction.  SATNAV would have me go straight on, but over there to the left of me there’s this really cool looking thing going on, so I whip off along that new route.  Once I’m there I could still head back the way I came, and I might, but from this new position there’s another junction and there are loads of circular routes to explore and even a couple of longer roads and corners to venture down where who knows what might be at the end.  Exciting isn’t it?  Ok so it might be a dead end.  I may have to double back a bit.  But what have I really lost?  I haven’t really lost any time, I’ve used that time to try something or see something and concluded its not for me.  I’ve had an experience.  Hopefully I’ve learned something from that experience…. time will tell.

I still have a destination to reach.  My destination is happiness and fulfillment.  See my children grow with open hearts and minds of their own.  Embrace my grandchildren.  Give back to the planet.  Love and be loved.  Fit in as much happiness for me and those around me as I can before I die.

All our lives are a journey from A to Z . None of us get out of it alive.   So why not explore a little?  We don’t need to take the most direct route.

lofe journey

Mission Mindfulness

Free (non)Thinking…

A very good friend of mine advocates ‘No Box Thinking’ . In fact , in a past chapter of her eclectic life, she wrote and delivered seminars about it.  I’ve not seen her seminar…perhaps I should watch it, I’m sure there’s a video or podcast out there somewhere.

Anyway, the premise is based around forgetting the sales/marketing propaganda of ‘thinking outside the box’ and instead just get rid of the damned box.  Sounds like perfect sense to me.  In fact I thought I lived by this very premise: not pigeon holing life; not following set paths.  I really believed that not only did I agree with the overarching idea, but that I was successfully both teaching that ideology to my son and leading by example.  I really thought I was living without a box.

Then I went away for a couple of nights and realised that whilst I live outside of the ‘norm’ and largely don’t conform by walking the marked paths of progress and expectation; my life, like most people’s, has become so full and busy that I only see outside the near peripheries of what I already do.

My boxes may be large and colourful, and not particularly cuboid, but they still exists.  I’m still constrained by them.

A few hours into a car journey towards a rare 2 days off for a little R&R and my busy little mind wandered off ; it meandered outside of its normal constraints and met up with some random ideas and options.

I thought I had life sussed, but I realise now that my life lacks one vital ingredient for ‘no box thinking’ … that ingredient is best described as ‘Nothing time’;  moments of time where the mind is not processing data; not reviewing existing projects and ‘to do’ lists; not worrying about outstanding commitments; pressing engagements; the shopping; the cleaning; the kids; work ; phone calls that should have been made; emails that need to be sent; letters that need to be composed.  I’m talking about those rare moments when your mind is silent.

freedom butterfly

Perhaps silent is the wrong word.  I mean moments when the butterfly cage of the mind is opened and the butterfly can flutter off and explore the wider landscape and take an aerial view of life.

Precious moments of free (non)thinking have broadened my horizons.  I’ve viewed my landscape from way above the ceiling I’m normally constrained by and as such I’ve spotted a few more paths worth exploring.

Like me, you may already have a life full of joy and activities; love and fun; as well as work and routine. Like me you may not crave anything else: BUT I challenge you to afford yourself some nothing time, a few moments of free (non)thinking, and see where your imagination might take you…….

Dinah Liversidge is now a small holder, country dweller, crafter, active community member, wedding celebrant, motivator and general super cool superstar of a woman living in rural wales and I am lucky enough to call her my friend.  In a past life chapter she was a life coach and mentor and ocasionally she slips back into it both officially and unofficially.  She once mentioned to me her program of no box thinking and it stuck in my head.  When i am lucky enough to have her to myself for a few hours, i find her inspirational.  i never leave from time with her without a spark alight in my mind and the ideas and energy just flows from there. we may not even have been talking about the project i become motivated to do.; but I am always more alive and more motivated after some time with her…  you can find her here... or here…

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Today can go poke it…

im_having_a_bad_dayMost days you will find me in ‘fine fettle’; rubbing along nicely with the world; positive outlook; pretty confident in my abilities; very happy with my lot.

Today is not one of those days.

Today I am over-tired, stressed and tearful.  Every single action is a slog, every single tiny request is overwhelming. civility in communication is a struggle.

I’m sure I’m not unique.  I skip along with my multi-faceted life, doing a million and one different jobs, perfectly happily.  I juggle an overloaded diary and still enjoy a night out.  And then, sometimes, I don’t.

Today I woke up after a fitful night – too hot, lots of irritating midge bites and a fly buzzing around the room all night.  I woke up with a start an hour before I needed to, with a heavy heart and a disturbed gut.  And then the day assaulted me. It went from nought to sixty in record time and I could barely breathe from the force of it.  Hubby trying to leave to take my car  (a classic, 1968 Hillman Husky named Ffloyd) the 13 miles for its MOT only to discover that it had a completely flat battery and needed push starting; B&B guests an hour earlier than expected for breakfast AND at the exact same moment as the car pushing incident; teen son trying to pack and get away for a long road trip in his classic 1965 singer Chamois and all the last-minute questions and requests that involved.

This followed an exceptionally busy week.  An exceptionally busy diary for the next three weeks.  And a phone call from the guys who manages a flat I own near where we used to live saying that the boiler needs replacing…. The “we need £3000  out of thin air by tomorrow” type nightmare that brings you out in a blind panic.

So this afternoon I went for a nap.  Woke up, felt worse.  Not heard from son as no phone signal in my own house and he’s probably not there yet so there’s nothing to be told.   Ffloyd did pass his MOT. normally that would have me euphoric.

Room changes, last-minute bookings, ironing.  This whole summer, rather than seeing us through winter will pay for that bloody boiler , in that bloody flat, that I wish I never bought but can’t sell.  I must be the only person with Essex based property that suffers with negative equity.  NEVER, listen to those TV programs that tell you its a great deal to buy off plan.  Been stuck with this millstone for 12 years now.  Its one of those “luxury complexes” that turned out to be a bag of shit; built cheap by cowboys and has suffered from fire, flood and plague of locusts (well cockroaches…and no I am not making it up), in the years I’ve had it; never mind destructive tenants; illegal immigrants and enforcement officers battering down the doors (at my expense).  I could go on; but I can feel myself building to a crescendo of self destruct.

Today I’ve shouted, and shed tears.

Tomorrow is another day.  May my more positive and happy-go-lucky normality resume.  In the meantime, today can go poke it.