1 august Give me a program

At times in life we can find ourselves looking for the perfect program or diet or training regime. We end up searching for the magic bullet the answer to everything. We immaturely seek to be entertained or stimulated. Our inner cry may be "fix me" or " do it for me"

The truth is that what WE are here to do is to DO life. The situations and places that we find ourselves in is an indicator of how well we have been doing life thus far. If we find ourselves in a physical emotional or spiritual place where we did not plan to end up in chances are we landed here to learn to do life and do it well.

Today I will stop looking for others to design a perfect program or diet or philosophy for me. At best others can help me learn to do life and may even choose for a time to do life with me. However as an adult my life is my responsibility. So right here, today I choose to do this life in front of me and do it well.

Bloem LJ,(1987) Need the Way ,  Bloemdervan, New York New York©

 

2 august       Listen and learn

Wisdom does not live in one head. African Proverb
It is easy to notice the "know it all” traits in ourselves. We will say things like "the only way to cook a roast is like this.....I have done this many times before and the only way you can do it is like this". When we travel to new places and experience different cultures we are often astounded by how things can be done in different ways.
There are about 2.9 billion bits of information in the human genome. So it would be fair to say that even from the start we have loads of information. As we grow we gather even more from the environment and those around us. During childhood this can be an adventure and often a hugely pleasurable stimulating activity…even more so when our fellow humans play along.
We may then end up with a lot of information and organised knowledge, in several areas such as eschatology, electricity, education, science or farming. However when we start believing ourselves to be experts in every field and on every topic we not only annoy others, but meaningful conversation and the exchange of knowledge becomes very difficult.
This day I will remember that even though I know a lot in certain areas there is much more FOR ME to learn. There are new developments in every field and I may just be missing out by shutting down when a topic is raised. When I rehearse answers and form responses instead of attentively listening I disrespect others and deny myself valuable learning opportunities.

Today I will make an effort to listen, truly listen as there is much to learn from each and every one.

Daniel Pitts. Discussing Conversation Zuluzep 1989©

 

3rd August    Lies Baby

A netball coach once asked me, “How would you treat someone that lies to you as often as your fears do?”

She would go on to say things like…“Edmond Hillary’s fear told him, “no sheep farmer climbs Mount Everest…It lied.” Roger Bannisters fear said you can’t run a mile in under 4 minutes…it lied. Neil Armstrong’s fear said, “ no man walks on the moon, come on?” Another lie. Cathy Freemans fear said that “no aboriginal lady wins that gold medal sister..it lied big time!” Julia Gillard’s fear said “no woman becomes prime minister of Australia?” Lies lies! The list goes on and on of people who refused to listen to the voice of fear lying to them.

The inner voice of Negative Fear can be deceptive and can present elements of truth within its suggestions of limitations. We need to know and ask, “What lie is my fear telling me today?”

“I can’t live without that stuff!”

“I will always be like that!”

 “They will never forgive you!”

“Why try THAT?I will only STUFF IT UP!

We will do well to defuse from the debilitating and restrictive messages that unrealistic fear presents and treat them exactly as they are just thoughts that pass. We observe them and hold to those that motivate us towards the values and goals that we hold dear.

Today I will identify the lies that my fears tell me and do what they said I can never DO.

Mary-Ann Knoetze Dream and never stop 1999©

 

 

4august. Conflict avoidance

How many of us enjoy conflict? Not too many of us will wake up wishing that we will have a day filled with conflict so we could be happy? 

Here is a scenario; you just bought a lot of frozen stuff from the supermarket, you pack it in the boot. You are already late it is 40 degrees outside and you want to get this stuff in the freezer so instead of taking the trolley back you leave it propped up against a Geraldton wax bush out of anyone's way. Just as you are about to get in and take off the guy in the car next to you starts ranting. “You bloody loser you know you are supposed to take the trolley back to the bay! Come on you idiot take it back there now...’’ 

How do you respond?

  1. Agree with the other guy and say nothing – Conflict Avoidant
  2. Ignore him completely – Conflict Avoidant
  3. Yell back some equivalent insults at the guy – Aggressive
  4. Calmly and evenly convey your point of view , all while doing what you feel is the right thing to do– Assertive

Which of these four ways would you choose? 

The way we respond will be largely influenced by the way our families dealt with conflict. If your family were loud arguers you might tend toward an aggressive response. On the other hand if you were raised in a family that avoided conflict and arguments we may tend to do the same. When we constantly avoid any conflict we leave little room for learning opportunities. Not only for ourselves but also for others. The other problem that avoidance creates is that the other person has full control and their unacceptable behaviour is not exposed. Also you walk away feeling abused loaded with the toxins from the other persons anger.

An assertive way of responding to this guy may be to say;

“I’m not going to move the trolley because I don’t like the way you spoke to me. If you’d asked in a respectful way, who knows maybe I would have.” Or “you know I will move the trolley but not because of the disrespectful way you spoke to me but because it is the right thing to do”

 

Today I will take time before I speak. If confronted by anger I will listen then after consideration I will voice my opinion in an assertive natural way.

 Team Effort A huge team contribution by permission. LJ Zondervan 2011©

 

 

5 August A lady friend spoke at a meeting and made this quirky statement. "Life is riding a bicycle" she did not say much else on that occasion but it set me thinking about the aspects about riding that resembles life

Firstly riding a bike IS A SKILL. Just like life, we have to learn to do it well. Slowly but surely, after falling, riding into things, going too fast, going too slow, riding into the wrong places, into the rose bushes or the double gees. We watch others and we acquire the skill of riding the two wheeled machine. Life is like that.

Secondly we have to KEEP PEDALLING. We have to keep pedalling at all cost. If we do not pedal we fall over, stop moving forward and loose our forward motion. The effort dedicated to pushing those pedals down results in pure motion. When we do it well it is a beautiful ride. Life is like that…

Thirdly we have to Look ahead Quick glances backward and sideways are necessary but only for very small periods. Think about it, If we keep looking back whilst riding the result is not desirable “look ma no hands! Look ma no teeth!”...life's like that…

Fourthly Do not loose balance. Balance is an amazing attribute. When you witness it, draws admiration and motivation. We can only do so many things whilst riding in life. We may be able to ride for a while whilst doing other things, on the phone and so on, but maintaining constant balance is vital. Life’s like that.

Fifthly not filthy, we must Ring our bell. There are times when we need to let others know how we are traveling...that we are traveling sometimes we have to ring our bell. Life is like that...

Sixthly know the Rules of the road. Cycling requires a set of considerations that we have to adhere too. If you ever rode close to a large road train or truck you learn quickly that you have to keep your distance. You have to indicate when changing direction, there are places where you can speed up and then there are times when you need to slow down. There are rules to travel by. Life is like that then You can carry only so many. We are always keen to help. Give someone a ride or pull someone along with a trailer but we can only carry another or pull someone along for a period of time until we say  "Hey I have to go my way" life is like that...

And again we need to know where we heading. We need to know where it is safe to go. What is the terrain and conditions we need a map and a plan. Life is  like that  Today I will ride with pride knowing that if I keep peddling ,leave the past where it belongs, keep looking forward and do not loose balance, ring my bell when I need too I will enjoy the ride. At times it will be uphill at times wind will press on hard but then the downhill glide and the sunshine makes for a better day. Today I will know that life is like that. Keep peddling.

 

Lawrence Strongarm, It is not about the Spike.  Koning Johannesburg 2015©

 

 

Sixth August

My little pet...

It is an unfortunate truth that harmful habits and relationships often start most innocently and even appears to be loaded with altruism or good will at first. Someone said it can be compared to caring for a little pet cub, croc or monkey. It is a harmless cheeky fun thing at first, maybe a little messy at times or noisy but loads of cuddly fun. There may be a little rough play. It may demand little by little more food and attention from you. You may pick up a little scratch or nibble here and there. Nothing you can't handle. Friends and family may give you a little warning and ask a question here and there. "Ah its nothing I can't handle come on guys...I have been here and there I know what I'm doing...really? The little pet character may knock you over as it grows and plays. Make a little more mess break an odd piece of furniture or crockery…nothing to worry about hey?

With the music in the background your mind on other things without noticing… the "little creature" grows and grows. One day you open the door...to find a large raving, raging, dangerous, demanding and unforgiving animal in the house. Suddenly you are no longer in charge...suddenly you don't have a monkey on your back you have a fanged, fisted gorilla pinning you to the floor. You look at the faces of those who care. They are asking you why? why ? why?

Now we can laugh at the way we stretched the analogy here but if you have been trapped in the claws of addiction or the web of an abusive relationship. You can see the truth of the dangerous progression here. It speaks of how innocent past times or involvement can lead to endless entrapment.

 

Today I will consider my 'innocent habits' I will look at the things others warn me about. I will give away that which can entrap me and take the time to choose my path carefully.

 

Lazwill Jones PHD Crocodile Slums©