~ OF TWO MINDS ~

Of two minds. I seem to be of two minds about most things. Sitting on the fence is not comfortable—being able to see both sides makes decision-making difficult. Yet, I would not want to be any other way. So very sure of my opinions that I cannot see around my blinders.

But being of two minds makes everything take that little bit longer. Weighing the consequences of my choices; the pros and cons; but ultimately, doing the right thing wins out—even if it is not the easiest path; the most economical; the best way to further myself.

Confuscious Down Under

Confuscious Down Under (Photo credit: cogdogblog)

Confucius is purported to have said: “The man of wisdom is never of two minds; the man of benevolence never worries; the man of courage is never afraid.”

I understand what he is saying, but I believe that reaching wisdom for most of us does not come naturally—it is a process of growing up, experiencing life, and maturing into our wisdom. Perhaps someday I will be wise enough to know the right answer without hesitation; without conferring; without pondering—but I have not reached that height yet.

Doing the right thing seems like such an easy choice—but deciding on what the right thing is, sometimes takes a journey—a journey of discovery; a journey of mistakes and errors; a journey where sometimes the road has no turning.

Being of two minds does mean one is two-faced. It does not mean that your opinion is out waving in the wind waiting for the strongest storm to take it over. The goal of “being of two minds” is to reach the state of wisdom; to reach the best decision, not the most convenient; to reach for the moon while not dismissing the stars.

This post was inspired by lillianccc from the blog: High, High, Higher, who is leaving her job and going to grad school. And while she is sure of her path, she is starting to miss what she is leaving behind. That is normal. When we say good-bye to something, it is very human to have doubts; to wonder if we made the right decision; to perhaps mourn the loss of something known for the unknown.

She is leaving her job for many reasons, one being that she felt she was not making enough of a contribution—that her hard work was being wasted. I know exactly how that feels. How many times have we put our heart and soul into something for it to come to naught? I am starting on such a project in the next few days—there will be some hard work and time spent doing unpleasant things, and the outcome is questionable. The outcome could make all the difference, or once again, dash hopes. But that is life—and not to take on the project, not to do it, would mean that failure is a sure thing.

So, as I gear up to do the hard thing—I am of two minds—but the one who will be victorious is the one that chooses the hard path, that it may smooth the way for the future.

Are you of two minds? Or do you agree with Confucius—that we should know the right path and take it without assessing, evaluating, debating, and yes, brooding a bit?

 

Published in: on August 31, 2013 at 1:25 pm  Comments (42)  
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All About Me

Yes!

Life Is Like That

Pitfalls and perils of focusing all about me.

There is a breaking point.

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Published in: on August 30, 2013 at 12:14 pm  Comments (14)  

Mind Expanding Without Drugs

English: magazine vogue Español: logo de la re...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I want to lose some weight. Not a lot–but fifteen pounds would make me happy.I want to lose some stress (not all of it because there is good stress that motivates you—I do not want to lose this kind of stress).  I read some encouraging words from Gretchen Rubin today and I think her suggestion that we find comfort food for the mind is the answer to my problems.

First it does not involve eating fatty, sugary, salty food—and that is a good thing.

Second, by comforting our mind, we are finding ways to cope. My comfort food for my mind comes first and foremost from reading. Yesterday I bought the huge tome called Vogue magazine. The September issue is 902 pages. I could not resist. I have not purchased a fashion magazine for ages. And ages. In fact if truth be told, I have kind of given up on fashion.

The magazine is the perfect eye candy. Some people take fashion very seriously. I do not. At one time I may have taken it a bit more seriously than I do now, but that was many lives ago. My fashion sense went the way of the Edsel when I had kids. It just was not important anymore. And I didn’t have the time to don a scarf, find the right jewellery, or even match (or unmatch depending on the fashion season) my outfit to my shoes and to my purse.  I am not sure where we stand on the “match” issue anymore, but I am sure once I finish 902 pages of fashion I will be in the know.

Here is Gretchen’s advice about what works for her (and what doesn’t work for her but may for you):

“…. look for ways to pull your mind away from your worries onto positive topics. One great way is to watch a movie – preferably something funny! — or watch a favourite TV show.

My favourite activity is reading, and when I really need “comfort food” for my mind, I read children’s literature (the more stressed out I am, the younger I go; Oz books are a danger sign). I always re-read, too; when I’m upset, I want the comfort of knowing that I’ll love the book and that I won’t be upset by some unexpected plot twist.

I do find that some activities that are usually happiness-inducing don’t work very well when I’m preoccupied with bad thoughts. Listening to music, for example, is an extremely effective way to boost mood, but I find it too easy to start thinking about my worries when I’m listening – others might not have this problem. Similarly, although going for a walk usually cheers me up, it also gives me an excellent opportunity to brood if I’m inclined that way.”

Comfort Food

Comfort Food (Photo credit: tim ellis)

Reading is my number one go-to for comforting my mind. Unfortunately so is eating, but I am trying to deal with that.

What is your favourite comfort food for your mind?

Published in: on August 29, 2013 at 3:09 pm  Comments (30)  
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Three Years Ago……

Walden Pond

Walden Pond (Photo credit: bluebirdsandteapots)

While cleaning up my office work area I found my 2010 daybook and in the front I had written some words that Ralph Waldo Emerson penned one day, when I like to think he was being pensive….looking at life, what makes it up, what makes it worthwhile, and what the real definition of Success is…..

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or redeemed social conditions; to know that even one life has breathed easer because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”

If ever there were words to live by, it is these.

I must have been on an Emerson bend in 2010, because just above his words on success, I have written another quote from him: “The ancestor of every action is a thought.”  So simply put, now to put those thoughts into action……………

Apparently I was trying to encourage myself lo those three years ago, because I have taped to the front inside cover of my daybook my horoscope for the year—which still hopefully applies:

Taurus: There is nothing you cannot achieve if you stick to your principles and plans. An offer or suggestion made will help you determine what you really want to achieve. You’ll be surprised by the response you get from a proposal you make.

Whoever wrote those words for all those born between April 20 and May 20 was wise. They may not have gleaned this wisdom from the stars, but put a general theory to work: give them hope and some rope.

And lastly, at the top of the inside cover, I have quoted Theodore Roethke and I am sure at the time what he said hit a high note with me: “Those who are willing to be vulnerable move among mysteries.” As I read that quote today, it is not clear to me what I may have been thinking in 2010, but in 2013 it means that the cryptic critic does not win the day—the person who opens themselves up to life finds the treasures and secrets it has to offer.

What was I thinking three years ago? I am not sure—but the words I wrote into my daybook then are just as valuable today—daresay in a different way.

What words do you live by (or, as in my case, try to live by?)

Something New

My column for this week’s paper incorporates a couple of blog posts I wrote in the last week or so but in a new way–so thank you for persevering through some repeated “wisdom” slanted a new way:

September

September (Photo credit: Helgi Halldórsson/Freddi)

   The nostalgia that September and the new school year brings is so palatable, you can almost taste it. It is something that probably 98% of us share. Yet we tend to remember school in idealized terms—the new clothes for the first day, the new books and pencils, the sharpened pencil crayons and shiny new math set all meant that we had a new chance to begin again. And beginnings are exciting. Every September during our school age years was another chance to be the brightest and best. I had a spotty academic career—I lost a few years in teenage angst, but I came back, brought my grades up and spent what I look back on now as wonderful years at university.

            I was perhaps an odd duck when it came to school. In grade school I was always in the top 10, usually the top five in my class. But high school changed that and it took me a few years to adapt, to realize that I had to study. I still got by because I could write a mean essay—but that did not bode well for French class, math, science, or an ill-fated attempt to learn shorthand (I thought that would be easier than Latin—but it wasn’t for me). I still regret not putting a little more effort into those classes—but it was history and English, political science and sociology that caught my interest and by grades 12 and 13, I was back to getting good grades, once I got to leave behind those pesky subjects that did not come “naturally”.

                I am again excited come this September—but this time for my youngest son, who will be taking a “graduate” course at college in communications and public relations. He has a business marketing college diploma under his belt, but he was not all that enamoured with the course. His new program looks exciting in the syllabus and I think it is right up his alley—and I am playing the encouraging parent to the hilt—or at least as much as I think he can put up with. He too, though, is pretty happy about the new courses.

            We all need a challenge. When we went to school, each year was a new challenge, but as adults we have to set our own course, find new things to conquer, new things to learn. The latest challenge I have set for myself is to learn to “Let It Be”—those wonderful words of wisdom from the Beatles. And in doing so I am going to put this little exercise to work. It comes from the book, “One Minute Mindfulness” by Donald Altman. His subtitle: “50 simple ways to find peace, clarity, and new possibilities in a stressed-out world,” caught my attention, because let’s face it, who doesn’t want peace and clarity?

            Anyway, the exercise is this: “For one minute during the day, let go of one belief or behaviour that you typically cling to. If you always eat all the food on your plate, leave some and learn how to let it be. If you normally expect your partner to do something in a certain way, try to take on the task yourself or surrender to the way it is even if you don’t feel it’s as it should be. Let it be. Every day, let one more thing be, just for the fun of it.”I do not always eat everything on my plate so it is the second half of his exercise I have to concentrate on: Let it be. Not as simple as it sounds. At all.

            I have come to the realization that just because something purports to be simple, it does not mean it is easy. Simple and easy are not synonyms even if my thesaurus disagrees with me.  Simple and wise concepts are sometimes the hardest things to apply. They seem straightforward. How much more straightforward could something be than to “Let it be”? But how many of us can actually incorporate this into our lives?

            While I will not be returning to a school of mortar and bricks this September, I will be continuing my education in an ongoing effort to improve myself, my situation in life, and my endeavour to do what Oscar Wilde calls the rarest thing in life: to live. Here he says it in his own inimitable way: “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”

            I don’t think Wilde was having a good day when he said this, although I do not think he was known for his sunny disposition as he had challenges of his own. So I will take his words and combine it with the Beatles’ sage advice, and learn to: “Live and let it be”, rather than take the James Bond attitude, “Live and let die.”

Published in: on August 26, 2013 at 12:35 pm  Comments (14)  
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Life’s Moments

Pay attention and…..remember those moments now…………..

Misifusa's Blog

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In the end it won’t be the days we remember, but the moments with those we love!

Have you got 2 minutes to be inspired?  Please take a moment today and watch this quick video ~ and then reach out to a loved one!  You’ll be glad you did!  Happy Saturday to YOU!

Click Here for Life’s Moments!

Thanks to Simple Truths!

Shine On!

xo

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Published in: on August 24, 2013 at 1:37 pm  Comments (8)  

Simple is not Easy

margaritas

margaritas (Photo credit: M. Martin Vicente)

Simple is not easy

Told someone yesterday to be happy ~

To fake it for a while until the feeling was authentic;

They looked at me as if I had fallen off the turnip truck

They could not fathom happiness

It was not within their current vocabulary

They could not grasp the concept.

As I said

Simple is not easy

Happiness sounds simple

It is not easy.

What do you think about happiness? Sounds simplistic—but it is hard work I think.

This post was inspired by Margarita who said this to me in response to my post Let It Be:

Dearest LouAnn, “simple” and “easy” are not synonyms, in my experience. Just because a concept is simple, does not mean it’s easy to execute. Once I released myself from that perception (simple=easy), it was easier to let things be. xoxoM

Published in: on August 24, 2013 at 10:30 am  Comments (38)  
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Elegant

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Published in: on August 23, 2013 at 9:56 am  Comments (6)  

A message to me: Let It Be

let it be

let it be (Photo credit: paval hadzinski)

  Picked up the book “one minute mindfulness” by Donald Altman the other day while getting some necessities at the local drug store. I have read these kinds of books before, but I need a constant reminder of the things that the books claims to provide. It says that it has “50 simple ways to find peace, clarity, and new possibilities in a stressed-out world.”

   Well, who doesn’t want peace and clarity?

   Finding peace and clarity for me is an ongoing process. I get caught up in the everyday drama of trying sometimes just to get through the day.  Doesn’t sound like much fun does it? Sounds like existing instead of living as Oscar Wilde warned us (in the quote I posted yesterday):

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” ~ Oscar Wilde

Books

Books (Photo credit: henry…)

So in my enduring attempts to seek peace and clarity I turn to books—my main source of comfort, and my teachers. I have learned over the years that anything that labels itself simple is anything but simple. I think books should be more honest and tell the truth—the ways they provide sound simple, but they are hard. It is hard to change but in recognizing this, it is less overwhelming to contemplate.

Today I am going to put Altman’s Exercise called “Let It Be” to work—at least in my psyche and hope it works its way out into the physical world. Here is his suggestion, number 29 in his field of 50:

“For one minute during the day, let go of one belief or behaviour that you typically cling to. If you always eat all the food on your plate, leave some and learn how to let it be. If you normally expect your partner to do something in a certain way, try to take on the task yourself or surrender to the way it is even if you don’t feel it’s as it should be. Let it be. Every day, let one more thing be, just for the fun of it.”

I do not always eat everything on my plate so it is the second half of his exercise I have to concentrate on: Let it be. Not as simple as it sounds. At all.

The Beatles sang that “Let it be” were words of wisdom—do you agree?

I Want to Live

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”                                                      ~  Oscar Wilde

Published in: on August 21, 2013 at 2:20 pm  Comments (21)  
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