The Magic Rug.

After a long hard day, in the fading summer light, I sat down with my fat-free yoghurt and a cup of tea.

My gaze fell to the large burnt orange rug in the center of the room and I was amazed at how bright and vivid the colors appeared. It was almost like new.

Edit rug

I realized that my knee, in my line of vision, was obscuring the grubby stained area that refused to shift despite numerous carpet shampoos, but I chose to ignore it.

I felt happy and relaxed as I enjoyed the toning shades and shapes of the rug. Normally my attention is drawn straight to the grubby section and I feel a bit of tension in my mind when I think “I really must look out for a new one in the sales”. Even when a visitor compliments the rug I usually reply ” Thanks, it used to be really nice but I ought to replace it as it is a bit grubby now”, my mind always focusing on the faults, rather than the lovely colors and shapes.

I realized that if I could view everyone I met in the same way as I was viewing the rug right now, I would feel more open and relaxed, enjoying their good qualities rather than being drawn to focus on their ‘faults’.

As I relaxed and enjoyed the rug, I realised all this was dependent on my mind, I could choose whether to have a tight uncomfortable mind (looking at the grubby patch) or a light relaxed mind (enjoying the beautiful colors), depending on whether I focus on its positive or negative qualities, which in themselves depended on what I labelled with the words ‘positive’ or ‘negative’, again a matter of choice. So I could make a choice depending on the outcome I desired; a grouchy negative mind, or a positive relaxed happy mind.

happy and grouch faces

‘Aha’, you may say, ‘the rug only looked that way due to the fading summer light, it wouldn’t look that way with ‘proper’ lighting’. So then I considered what is ‘proper’ lighting? Bright sunshine is ‘proper’ light, but similarly, morning light, evening light and cloudy daylight are also ‘proper’ light, so the rugs appearance is dependent on the type of light it is viewed in as well as the positive or negative state of my mind, so therefore the rug is neither inherently beautiful or inherently tatty from its own side, but dependent on various factors. Continue reading

Becoming the Eye of the Storm

The power of a storm consumes all in its path to fuel its increasing intensity and damage. Everything it touches is dragged into this disturbed atmospheric state, often destroyed then cast aside. The calmest place to be is at the eye of the storm.

As parents we often experience ‘disturbed atmospheric states’ when our troubled teenagers (T.T.) erupt into fury for one reason or another, or indeed when we have other difficult relationships with partners or work colleagues. It is so easy after constant bombardment to be swept up into this angry fury, fuelling it further and resulting in further damage. In these situations we need to become ‘the eye of the storm’, the still, peaceful place in the center of this mayhem. This way we remain calm and controlled and can avoid being dragged into the frenzy, allowing us to peacefully buffer the negative energy affecting those around us.

eye of the storm

How can we do this?  Continue reading

Hey, that’s no way to say goodbye.

                            “Your eyes are soft with sorrow,                            

Hey that’s no way to say goodbye”

   (Leonard Cohen)

That time of year is almost upon us. Exam results will soon be arriving and millions of boyfriends, girlfriends, parents and siblings will soon be saying goodbye as young adults leave the nest and set off to distant realms for further education.

sun sad goodbye

For some whose loved ones are leaving this may be a sad and painful time, so how can you prepare in the next couple of months in order to make this a happier event?

Here are some things to consider…………… Continue reading

Tough Love

Sometimes you have to say “No”.

You know it’s the right thing to do, but you know it won’t be well received.

It can be a stressful experience when we have to say “No” to our loved ones, to the extent that we may even back down or ‘give in’ rather than suffer the back-lash.

But it’s a job that often needs to be done so how can we make it easier? Continue reading

Love hurts (or does it?)

Love is meant to be a happy thing isn’t it?
Hearts and flowers, hugs and kisses, cuddles and snuggles.
From the flush of first romance to the joy of a snuggling newborn: “love is all you need” .
The Beatles were 100% accurate with that line.
image

So what about the painful love songs?
‘Love hurts’
‘Tears on my pillow’
‘Nothing compares to you’
‘Heard it on the grapevine’
Why is so much pain involved in something which is meant to be so beautiful? Continue reading

Help! What more can i do?

“I’ve done everything possible”

“I’ve done my best”

“It’s still happening”

“I can’t bear anymore”

Do these thoughts sound familiar?

Are you in a situation where you feel paralysed with frustration, a turbulent situation with your troubled teenager (T.T) which seems to be beyond your control? (This can apply equally to any other 24/7 close relationship e.g. partner or dependent relative)

Here’s my advice: go and sit down!

Elf sitting crop

“WHAT?” I hear you say “How will that help?” Continue reading

What ? Me?

Yes You!

Are you sure?

Let’s check if this is for you…………

Are you interested in being:

a)Happier?

b)Less anxious or stressed?

c)More relaxed?

d) Healthier?

If you answered “Yes” to any of the above questions then this article is definitely what you need. Continue reading

(Un)Comfortably Numb.

“This is not who I am

I have become comfortably numb”

 

Do you ever look at your loved ones and wonder where your warm, loving feelings have gone?

Feel isolated from those once close to you, or suddenly become overwhelmed by a resurgence of the love you once felt for someone but which seemed to have faded recently?

Fading heart

“Love” as we usually define it, can be a fickle thing, bewildering us by its apparently random appearance and disappearance. It is often said that “Love makes the world go round”, and it is certainly the basis on which we build our families and close relationships, so how can it prove so fickle and elusive?

Is there anybody in there”?

Why do we sometimes look at our loved ones and feel (un) comfortably numb? We often appease ourselves with thoughts such as:

“this is just the way it is in ‘real’ life”,

“after all these years……”,

“could be worse..”,

“well after all we’ve been through” ,

““The way they’ve been behaving….…””

This indicates we are becoming numb to our potential to feel warm and loving more (if not all ) of the time. “This is not who I am”, is the truth of the matter, we are capable of much more. Continue reading

This toolkit doesn’t work properly!

What is a toolkit?

Toolkit

In the ‘old days’ a toolkit was considered to be :

” A set of tools to be used for a particular purpose”, or

“A personal set of resources, abilities or skills”

In our modern world we now have the addition of:

“Software designed to perform a specific function, especially to solve a problem”

With either definition I think we can agree that a toolkit is to help us perform a task or solve a problem. The skills we have been learning throughout our life to help us survive our modern world could be considered to be a ‘toolkit’, a set of mental strategies for making our way through life dealing with any hardships or problems that may occur and hopefully having a happy time on the journey.

So just for a bit of fun, here is a teeny questionnaire:

( you wont need a pen and paper!)

1. Your partner/relative/ friend is bad-tempered Angry man

and giving you a hard time, do you:

a) get angry and shout louder than them.

b) phone a friend and complain angrily about the situation

c) slam out of the door and stomp up the stairs.

d) decide they are having a bad day and be calm and patient with them.

2. You have had a piggy day / week and decide you need a coffee and cake treat. The cake, though it looks nice is dry, tasteless and unenjoyable. Do you:

Cakea) buy another, then feel sick after overeating.

b) dwell on your misfortune and feel even more fed up

c) complain loudly to the waitress in no uncertain terms

d) decide you are experiencing some unfortunate Karma and accept patiently.

3. You don’t get the job position you were hoping for. Do you:Hungover

a) feel gutted, miserable, get depressed, have a few too many drinks

b) think of all the reasons why the other person shouldn’t have what you deserved

c) feel very jealous and vow to avoid the other person forever

d) try to develop some good feeling for their good fortune.

Now here’s the scoring:

Answers a) b) c)………………………. Score 0

Answer d)……………………….Score 10 points

Results:

If you scored 0:  you are using the wrong toolkit to enable you to live a happy life.

If you scored 10 or above: you have started to collect the necessary mental tools in your toolkit which will lead you to a happy life.

Explanation:

During our brief lives we become familiar with certain mental traits or behaviours which we think will enable us to succeed in our society and establish the  life we wish to experience, we could call this our ‘mental toolkit’. Continue reading

Happiness and the Little Rag Doll.

Once upon a time there was a little rag doll sitting on a market stall in Ormskirk.

Unknown to the little rag doll there was a family on the train from Liverpool for a day trip to Ormskirk, a mother,father,baby boy and a 6-year-old girl. On these day trips the children were usually allowed to pick a present to take home, so long as it wasn’t too costly.

The little girl fell in love with the rag doll, it had a smiley face and long shiny black plaits, the best plaits the girl had ever seen.

All day the parents asked her to pick another present as the doll was a little more than they wanted to pay, yet the girl could not imagine life without the rag doll. How could she ever be happy without the rag doll? How could she leave it there and go home alone? She felt pain at the very thought of it. She loved this doll, it was all she ever wanted or needed to be happy, forever. Nothing else could ever measure up to this doll, no other present in the whole world would be the same, make her feel so full of love and happiness. She would cuddle it, love it, and her whole life would be filled with joy.

Rag doll

Her parents relented, she took the doll home on the train, amazed at its beauty, its beautiful face and shining black plaits. She didn’t let it out of her sight for some time. Continue reading