I remember four years ago today trying to call Peter on his 31st birthday. I was at home in Virginia. He was in a psychiatric hospital in Sydney half a world away. I remember when I finally got through to his ward and a fellow inpatient got him to come to the phone saying Happy Birthday Pete. As the words came out of my mouth I knew there was very little happy about it. This wasn’t the first birthday Peter had spent in a psychiatric ward. He woke up on his 21st birthday in a psych hospital ten years earlier.
Real love is a verb. Poetic words of love are nice, but real love is about doing things that make others feel loved - it takes courage, it takes compassion, it requires generosity. So as you go about your day today, I invite you to think about what you could do differently to make those you interact with feel more valued, more appreciated, more acknowledged… more loved in some way, large or small.
If you don't know where you want to go, then it's highly likely you will end up in a place you don't want to be. Of course you can't change your current circumstances overnight, but you can change your direction. It starts by deciding what you want, and just as importantly, what you don't want.
We all have our default style and approach of getting things done, solving problems and adapting to new circumstances. Responding with flexibility and agility in our rapidly changing world requires an ongoing trade-off between your naturally preferred way of responding to a challenge and a way that isn’t as easy or comfortable. For every strength you possess, there’s an opposite strength or trait that balances it out. But if you always approach your problems and challenges in the same default way, you won’t always approach them in the best way." Sometimes you will respond to them outright ineffectively. Agility and flexibility is the name of the game.
Of course I also want you to have a happy year ahead also. But we human beings live along a spectrum of emotions as diverse as all the shades in a rainbow. To wish only to feel ‘happy’ would be to deprive us of the full human experience, living only on a very superficial level, and unable to infuse the tapestry of our lives with the contrasts of human experience that make it truly meaningful. - See more at: http://margiewarrell.com/?p=7812&preview=true#sthash.4yG4VKvn.dpuf
We live in an age of uber distraction. In fact I believe that after fear, it's a lack of focus that gets in the way of people accomplishing what they are capable of over the course of a day, a week, a year or a whole lifetime. I mean, just imagine what you could do if you weren't constantly distracted from the task at hand? A lot!!
Relatives push our buttons because they created our buttons. So while you may love them, but you might not always like them, and expecting that you should always get along like the Waltons can set you up for extra anguish. What matters more than anything else is not how they behave, but how you respond. And while hurts and animosities can run very deep, if you're willing to do the work, you can always learn to respond in constructive ways.
While I realise you may have very different plans over the festive season, I hope you will also make time to stop all your busy-ness, turn off your gadgets and have some genuine 'play time.' It's so easy to get so caught up in the seriousness of life that we forget to simply have fun. Yet unleashing our 'inner child,' letting our hair down and just having fun is such an important part of living well.
I was recently interviewed for an article in a magazine via email. I know my answers will be edited down to fit their word count but thought you might enjoy reading through this short Q&A about courage in an increasingly time-poor world. How do you define courage? Courage is choosing to make ourselves vulnerable to what we fear […]
As the world mourns the passing of Nelson Mandela and honors the extraordinary legacy of his extraordinary life, the message that it shared - of courage, resilience, forgiveness and commitment to a cause bigger than oneself - has no less relevance for each of us today than it had during the height of the apartheid era.