Barbara Arrowsmith-Young’s vision on Neuroplasticity + Education
How we perceive our circumstances and respond to them determines the color of the days we live. Choose a life of meaning and fulfilment, love, joy & laughter, hope, optimism and resilience. Think possibilities. Live fully. Namaste ...
In the old days, we would say ‘my cup runneth over’ when life is good. What do you say when life is full and everyday is good? The proverbial cup seems too small and a bucket tends to be associated with morbidity. Perhaps in line with modern no-frills direct communication, I can just say my ‘life runs over’. Hmm… ‘runneth’ is old-fashioned but ‘runs over’ does not sound quite right. I will simply speak of my life overruns – like factory overruns which benefit those who otherwise would have-not.
Case in point: I am suddenly overwhelmed with things I want to do, long overdue administrative work, people I want to meet, and stuff I cannot not do. However all this is eustress ie good stress because I really enjoy being busy. So I wake up earlier, go out earlier, come home later, meet more people, think faster, work smarter, do less facebooking and twittering, and thoroughly enjoy myself feeding mind, body and soul.
All because I get to do what I love doing and am good at, Everyday is a Good Day!
MJ and Gandhi (re-post from Posterous blog)
March 16 2012, 11:12 AM by Sulynn Choong
This morning, I heard MJ’s Man in the Mirror ‘if you wanna make the world a better place, you gotta change …’. It echoed the immortal words of another who died tragically, Mahatma Gandhi – “be the change you want to see …”
How true! We don’t have the power to change others and the only person we can change is ‘myself’. Even so, it is a huge challenge. There are so many things we know we should stop/start doing and yet we don’t.
We lack the burning desire to make the change probably because we don’t have a compelling reason to shake us out of self- sabotaging habit.
So the next time you complain about how things should be, go look at the ‘man in the mirror. Exercise the courage to change that which can be changed, the serenity to accept and the determination to reframe/ re-strategise/move forward. Pray for wisdom too to know / recognize the non- negotiables.
Yep it all starts with the man in the mirror! Every day can be a good day!
So often I hear sighs and lamentations – Life is so hard, they say. I listen and I hear emotions – anger, frustration, depression, anguish, helplessness, hopelessness, and the unspoken sense of loss, entitlement, or injustice. Then I think to myself, that could have been me talking like that too.
My life is not a bed of roses either and yet it’s not my style to sigh, moan and complain. I find that getting on with life is a quicker way out of my troubles than standing still or looking back. Besides frowns cause furrows on my brow and a down-turned mouth makes me look frumpy.
When I get really cheesed off, I talk to God and say “Lord, you know that I will not complain and have stopped asking ‘why me’ so all I am saying is You got me into this mess so I presume You know I will get out fine. Now You do what You have to do to make that happen and I will do the best I can and know how. Partners. Okay?”
It has worked every time so far. Every day IS a good day!
Oops! I just remembered that I had a blog and my last blog was on the eve of 2011. That was a long time ago that seemed to have passed in a flash. So much has happened. Changes. Transitions. Births. Deaths. New beginnings. New experiences. Etc etc. and Life just goes on…
When my now 16 yo kid left a year ago for boarding school in a faraway land, it felt like my heart left me even though we were both ready. When my beloved professor, Chris Peterson, died unexpectedly, I had to concentrate on unknotting the tightness inside me. Recently when I felt really lousy not knowing what virus or nasties weakened my body – unleashing dark fears of dreaded ‘deserved’ repurcussions of a life of poor nutrition, sleep depravation and chronic stress, I reassessed my priorities and bargained with my BOSS up in Heaven. And Life goes on …
What will I do with the rest of my life? I have begun to value my time more and say No when saying Yes doesn’t feel right. I will take spend less time on my electronic gadgets and online social networks to focus on what matters to me – sharing my learning, thoughts and experiences – which some people call Wisdom – to increase the tonnage of wellbeing and happiness in the world. Bad habits of procrastination and unbridled curiosity will have to be disciplined to facilitate more fruitful use of limited time. Life goes on.
One day at a time. One breath at a time. As long as I have breath, I know that I will survive and thrive if I will … and Every day IS a Good Day!
Happy New Year! 2011 is the first year in a new decade. 01.01.11.
I love numbers and today’s date looks great. So much promise. It starts with Zero and then One, Zero and One again, and for emphasis, One One. Yep! we all start with a clean slate and move forward towards something. Even if it comes to nothing and we have to start again, we will end up with something. It is an apt reminder that every day we start afresh working towards becoming more than who we were. And it all adds up! Eventually the little things we do everyday stack up and add up to a life well-lived.
The trick is not to get discouraged when our efforts seem futile. The big picture is important. We need to set our sights on what we want and who we want to be, and start somewhere. And Today is the first day of the rest of my life! The first day in a new decade. The first day when the world is awaiting and other people are also like me starting anew.
You guessed it. Every day in 2011 will be a good day!!
H A P P Y N E W Y E A R !!
Yesterday, my 13 yo waved goodbye as she strode confidently through airport immigration towards the departure gate. She would make a solo journey towards her dream of making music in the land of The Sound of Music. Her young friends all have doting mothers or both parents with them.
Oh the questions I have had to answer. “How can you allow your young child to travel alone?” Simple. I can and I did. She’s fast growing up and she’s with people she knows and I trust. “How can you let her play in her first competition by herself without you there?” Well, I can and I did. She can only play alone anyway and she’ll be fine with her years of experience playing in orchestras and solo. There are many ‘first time’ occasions in all our lives and I have been there most times. ”What if something happens and you are not there?” Sigh. If something happens, it will happen whether I am there or not. Why worry about ‘what if’? I have long taught her the suite of ’what-to-do-in-case-of’ drills. And so on …
The unspoken question was really ‘what kind of mother are you that you would allow a young child to travel so far away without you?’ The kind of mother who needs to work really hard to afford her kid’s dream. More importantly, the kind of mother who has worked really really hard to teach the child to fend for herself, to be good and kind, to eat and sleep well, to work and play hard, to love and laugh much, to pick herself up and try again when she falls, and to know that Mama will always be there when she needs her. And you know what? The kid really does not need me with her on this trip. I know because she told me so.
Like a bird who just discovered her wings, she is ready to fly. She is safe in the company of others around her. She wants to savor her independence. She is excited by the wonder of a dream come true. She is growing up. It is time to let go – for her to test her wings, to taste her freedom, and to feel secure in herself and the love that envelops her.
And so, I waved goodbye to the kid, blew her a kiss and went to the airport bookstore to browse for a while. Then I drove homeward, planning what I would do differently in the next 3 weeks while she is away. Everyday will be a good day – for my precious young lady and for me too!
Recently, an online biz discussion group mulled over this (my answers are in italics after each question)
Q1: What are you doing now that’s going to make a difference in what you’re doing tomorrow? Get enough sleep. Eat well. Exercise. Have FUN. Spend time with loved ones.
Q2: Do you consider the big picture and the hard questions now? Yes I still spend time considering the big picture and hard questions now but not immerse myself totally like I did in the earlier years of my career (old habits die hard).
Q3: Do you tend to push aside the things that require more thought, commitment and real work in favour of what is known, what is easier to tackle and the daily grind?” Not push aside but I realise that in all the years I’d spent thinking, reading, researching, experimenting, and integrating, - throwingin my all and working my guts out, climbing higher and going further, I had done so at the expense of the simple joys of everyday mastery and achievement. I am now in favor of dwelling on the known because disdain of familiarity had robbed me of the comfort and security that is so good for my soul. I appreciate the little things that are easy to tackle as well as the rhythms of daily life because it makes me feel capable and competent.
Life does not have to be either-or. I can think deep, long and big on the hard questions while paying attention to the simple things that make my days worth living. I read voraciously, bombard my brain with the burgeoning online information available, share richly with correspondents and contacts, and still make time for everyday tasks and responsibilities.
No secret formula. Just trying to recapture the promise I made to myself when I was innocent and doe-eyed about que sera sera. I want and deserve to live in such a way that every day is a good day. Some pointers to my self include:
In short, aim to live fully, love totally, and die peacefully =) then Every day is a Good Day!
I don’t rant very often but tonight I want to. Not about anyone in particular but about the inconvenience that modern conveniences have caused. For instance, I spent TWO hours trying to finalise my ticket purchase for a musical production, using my PayPall account. The whole idea of PayPal is secure transactions without disclosure of confidential financial account information. The production house has decided to make it more convenient for ticket-buyers by introducing online ticket purchase using PayPal. Brilliant match! It’s a dream to be able to spend hard-earned money at the press of the Return key without leaving home and spending money on petrol and parking.
However, my transaction would not go through. I had an unsuccessful transaction. Neither account had anyone to answer my questions. In the old days, we stood at a counter and the ticket-seller took care of every little step of the process needed to get my money over the counter and pass the tickets over to me. Tonight, I looked for a Contact Us link and found none. Then I looked for Help and the info was not helpful to my cause. The thing about ticket reservations is seating preferences. Online ticketing quickens the pace by setting time limits for concluding the transaction. Two hours and many tries later, I had no choice but to give up and try again later. But what about my seat selection?
Every day is a good day. This is just one of the challenges of the age of information and communication technology. C’est la vie!
It is amazing how I manage to do anything on time. I am like Dennis the Menace – getting sidetracked at every turn. I could start out reading a book to do a book review and then a thought would pop into my head to check out a reference and I’d end up reading that other book. When I realise what I’d done, I would get up for a change of pace aka go get a cup of coffee and maybe check on email. Ah! email with links are a time-buster. Once I get on the Web, I truly get entangled and soon before I know it (this is NOT flow that Cziksentmihalyi is talking about) the hours have frittered away. Then I sit myself down to read the original book. For good measure, I open the Word file bookreview.docx and start typing out my scattered thoughts.
How do I get anything done on time? Now you are wondering too. When push comes to shove, deadlines help. I often tell people that if they need something from me, set a date when they expect it. Sometimes they are too polite and say ‘at your convenience’ but I would have none of it because I know myself. My curiosity leads me astray. Deadlines are essential to keep me in check and I honor them when it affects someone else. For instance, client deadlines are non-negotiable. That’s my work ethic. I negotiate when the date and time is being discussed. Only when it comes to editors who want copy in their email box a month before publication. I write near-perfect copy and get away with extended deadlines in these cases. (Notice how I digress even when I write).
With client work or stuff promised to another, I tell myself not to get up or do anything else until it’s finished. So no coffee. No phonecalls. No email. No distraction. No nothing till it’s done. However usually it’s at the eleventh hour. One researcher said that it’s not procrastination but incubation. I start thinking and planning from the time I get the work but only sit down to concretize it when I have expended all effort within the allotted time to get all info and data in. Barry Schwartz did warn me against being a maximizer and that I should satisfice ie good enough is enough. I excel at what I do so the last minute adrenalin rush must be essential to quality in my case.
With the rest of my life, sometimes I set aside a fixed time for doing something and promise myself a treat when I finish. Usually, I end up giving up the treat because I have decided to do more than I intended. For instance, cleaning out my workspace can take a whole day instead of two hours. Move the furniture around. Polish them for a shine. Redecorate. Change the lighting and the color scheme. You get the idea.
Life is short. I have learnt to take time to smell the roses and to allow my consciousness to dwell on a myriad of randomly linked thoughts, ideas, activities, and interactions. It adds flavor and color to my life. I used to work 16 -20 hours a day when all that mattered was work – perfectly turned out work. When I look back, I cannot remember those years – the things I enjoyed, the places I went, the people I met or even how I lived. That’s really sad.
So I have resolved to live in the PRESENT and savor. When it really matters, I keep deadlines. Otherwise I live. Every day then is a good day.