Funny though it may be, the picture gives a pretty acurate illustration of spring in England – this year being a pretty extreme case!
While chuckling, I thought life can be like that too. After a long “winter” the sun finally appears only to be eclisped a few days later by a torrential downpour of problems and sorrows. Slowly it picks up again, the clouds of doubt disperse as it grows steadily warmer. Then again the cold hits etc.
My son, with the manifest wisdom of a thirteen year old, once told me when I felt overloaded with problems. “It’s like the tide, the waves come in and then withdraw but each time they reach a little further and after a while though you don’t see it so much the tide is in.”
Spring here is like that too, each time it gets cold again it’s a little warmer than last time, each time the sun shines it lasts longer. Life is like that too. Seldom do we advance steadily toward our dreams. It’s more often two steps forward and one back. It’s important to bare this in mind and keep our minds on the progress or we can get discouraged by frequent set backs and throw in the towel just before it’s time to launch into the depths and swim.
What a great idea I thought. Wood carving would be a just the thing to indulge my creative leanings. Having fours years of study and a BA in sculpture under my belt I figured I could easily adapt.
Boy was I wrong! I’d mostly used clay, plaster etc. any past wood creations being the result of industrial power tools. The only thing I’d carved by hand was plaster of paris.
I soon discovered my mistake, not only was it hard work, but it just didn’t “flow”. The first simple relief came out well, only to be followed by three half finished free standing carvings. I finally got the point. I wasn’t learning about wood, how it grew, how “IT” flowed. I was merely trying to stamp an image on it. Wood is a living thing, to carve it you must know it intimately.
I pondered, isn’t life like that? We try to put our stamp upon it, shape it to our desire but we find forces working against us. We discover irreparable splits can occur when we hit in the wrong place. We have to understand the forces at work in our lives in order to flow with them, to step back and really look at latent possibilities we don’t notice if we are too intent to “get to work”.
So, I’ve decided, I’ll take some lessons from the master carpenter. This will be fun and far less work!
I don’t know how it came about
It slowly crept on me.
This comfi cozy feeling
Of sofa, bed and tea.
It came upon me slowly
Just take a break it said,
“Rest a while, you’ve done enough”
Resounded in my head.
And so I took it easy
As my life began to dim
I’m getting older gracefully
I said to doubts within.
I lost my sense of purpose
The thing that egged me on
‘f I’d continued with my dozing
My life would soon be gone.
As so this year I’ve promised
Something to myself,
If I think a thing I do it
Not put it on the shelf
To come back to it later
While the time is passing by
There’s so many other options
to do before I die.
(A thought for the new year)
I’d so often tried to be
The sort “they” thought I ought to be.
To wear the clothes, the face, the fit
To wow the crowds, to be a hit.
Yet hidden deep beneath it all
My hidden self began to call
“Now let me out, don’t be a fake!
Just let me fully life partake!
Open the window of your soul
For good or ill ‘twill make you whole”.
Hand shook and thumbled with the catch,
My inner being to unlatch.
Flung wide the door to let them see
That thing that was the inner me.
To my surprise and not alarm
They looked within serene and calm,
Embraced the inner me with love
Became connected far above
Those former shallow futile links
I’d made with “friends” all full of kinks.
The sun comes down upon me now
The art of living? I’ve learnt how.
The precious you that dwells within
Just set it free real joy to win.
Life is like swimming, there has to be some movement on a constant basis to keep your head above water. If you go to sleep you sink. If you’re able to relax and float the effort can be very little, but if you want to get somewhere or achieve something it takes more. If you’re constantly driving both arms and legs you pretty soon get tired, so the best is periods of focused effort and periods of rest when you mostly float. That’s how channel swimmers make the 28 miles. If you are in for the long haul you need both,
It seems a somewhat lost art in these days, when everything races top speed, to stop and feel at peace within, to float on life’s waters. I’m as guilty as the next, (bringing up seven kids you become an expert at multi-tasking)it becomes a habit. I still find it very hard to just eat, for example, I always have a book propped, hold a conversation, or watch a movie, so I miss out on enjoying much of the flavor.
I have to force myself to stop and take time alone just to “be”, “to chill”, to “meditate”, to “pray and talk to God”. Whichever way you view this, this floating is the remedy to burn out, the elixir balm to promote mental wellness. It’s when we stop, and remember who we are and where we are going.
Great thought for years end.
We are left with only 4 days to welcome new year 2016. So, let’s finish off 2015 with sweet memories and welcome 2016 with the learning’s from past year.
I would like to share an Inspirational story to sum up the things.
A famous writer was in his study room. He picked up his pen and started writing :
** Last year, I had a surgery and my gall bladder was removed. I had to stay stuck to the bed due to this surgery for a long time.
** The same year I reached the age of 60 years and had to give up my favourite job. I had spent 30 years of my life in this publishing company.
** The same year I experienced the sorrow of the death of my father.
** And in the same year my son failed in his medical exam because he had…
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from September 2014
Thoughts, like ripples passing through the water, catching at the strands of the “web”, echoing through its canyons, bouncing from one source to another as the circles grow bigger encompassing more minds, more blogs, more pages, more twitters.
Careening through iron and bamboo curtains, navigating the globe in seconds, they expand or sink into oblivion, drops, though sinking beneath the surface, adding their tiny substance to the rising water levels.
Like notes of far off songs they collide with each other, battles fought on clinking keys and I pads. Thoughts are powerful and dangerous things.
I came across these two quote illustrations and thought how well they go together. First the concept, then the application.
(If you don’t believe in God or the Devil just think positive and negative forces.)
It’s a great mental strategy to check troublesome thoughts and see which column they belong to (just caught a random one while looking this over which, though well meant, has been bothering me and realized why – keep up the surveillance!)