Bite Your Tongue

Bite Your TongueSome situations just get stuck, they just refuse to offer a resolution, be that through indecision, lack of control or reluctance to move on.

Having the patience, with a person or situation, to see things through to their conclusion takes Wisdom, Courage and Compassion for the following reasons:

  • The Wisdom to see that the desired path is both achievable and the correct outcome.
  • The Courage to stick to your path, despite setbacks or obstacles.
  • The Compassion to see things from another’s viewpoint, whether it agrees with yours or not.

One big problem with being patient, is that you never know what the outcome will be until it’s happened. We shall see.

One Out, All Out?

Public Sector StrikeSo we are all bracing ourselves for tomorrow’s strike. Even the lifting bridge in Poole is going to be closed, whatever next? And it’s understandable that people are angry about a drop in their living standards. But we can all take a step back and look at our situation compared to others, and be honest enough to see that there are other people in much worse circumstances.

In Buddhist terms, the effects in our lives are caused by the causes we make along our way, it’s called Karma. Whilst it is difficult sometimes, to reconcile ourselves with the fact that we have, in some way caused our own problems, it is important to remember that we are not being punished. So when you have had enough of your troubles, and are ready to throw in the towel, just take time to look around and realise that there is always someone worse off somewhere.

Be grateful for what you have, and concentrate on making causes for the effects you need to improve the situation. To do anything else is to lack Courage and Wisdom and that doesn’t help anyone, least of all yourself.

The Personal Touch

emailThere is no doubt that modern communications such as email, texts and Skype are very useful, but they all come with an underlying problem. We all tend to read the message in the mood we are in when it is received, rather than that of the sender when it was sent.

Having returned to work today, to be confronted by over 150 emails regarding different issues with our new software, I was dismayed to read some of the vitriol of the messages.

Being the sort who prefers to speak to our clients in person when issues arise, I made a number of phone calls, particularly targeting the most venomous email senders.

To my pleasant surprise, every one, without exception, greeted the call with gratitude and all the conversations were cordial and ended with satisfactory resolution of the issue in question. So the personal touch works much better than the sterile environment of the electronic age. Thank heavens for small mercies.

Gary Speed

Gary Speed RIPThe saddest of news emerged today when it was reported that Gary Speed, the Welsh football team manager, had been found hanged at his home early this morning. It appears that his death was a huge shock to his friends, one of whom, Robbie Savage, had been speaking to him yesterday and said that there was no sign of his intent.

Football mourned the former player’s passing at games held today and tributes from many who played and worked with him have been pouring in. He was a great player, taking the field for teams such as Leeds, Newcastle, Everton and Bolton Wanderers as well as making a record 85 appearances for his country, Wales, whom he recently went on to manage.

Of course there must be reasons for his action, but it beggars belief that such a successful professional sportsman should feel that the situation had become so intolerable that he could not go on. I am sure that I echo the thoughts of many, many fans, when I say that my thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends on such a sad day.


American BeautyMaybe I’m strange, but one of my favourite films is American Beauty, directed by Sam Mendes and starring Kevin Spacey and Annette Bening. It is the story of a dysfunctional family and the interaction between them and their new neighbours. It involves Lester Burnham, played by Spacey, his wife Carolyn, played by Bening and their daughter Jane, played by Thora Birch, who befriends the boy next door, Ricky Fitts, played by Wes Bentley.

Ricky videos life, all aspects of life, and sees the beauty in everything from a dead bird to a plastic bag dancing in the wind. It’s not an easy watch. It touches on all manner of issues, from death, drugs and interpersonal problems to Nazi memorabilia, gay rights and marital infidelity, but it is beautifully acted and even more beautifully filmed.

Having watched it again, but for the first time in high definition today, it got me thinking about the sheer amount of beauty in life. Of course, much of life is ugly, but there is often an underlying beauty there too. It prompted me to revisit a set of photos I took at Westonbirt arboretum last year, and I have reworked the video of those images, set to music. I challenge you to watch the video and not to see just how beautiful life can be, even when the subject is autumn leaves, the dying season of the year. Watch it here.

Kutai Squared

Oh YesWatching Yes Speak on Sky Arts 1 tonight was brilliant. I’ve loved Yes since I was back in sixth form, just after the Romans left Britain, so watching the program caused the expected outpouring of memories. But it also brought back memories of watching Jon and Rick in Poole last October, so kutai of kutai, a rather strange, but magical feeling.

The human brain is an amazing thing. On the one hand we can remember people and events from forty years and more ago. On the other, I can walk from the lounge into the kitchen and forget why I went in the first place, and I know we’ve all been there.

Amazing stuff that grey matter, a hugely complex system of neurons and synapses awash in a cocktail of serotonin, dopamine and countless other magical neurotransmitters, all busy doing their own thing, but all in sync. And all it needs, to switch on some memory buried deep in time, is a handful of notes in a particular sequence.

Lots Of Nothing

Busy Doing NothingToday has been a day of doing nothing. Well not exactly nothing, but no exercise or work, more rest and relaxation, making the most of a drab autumn day in Dorset.

Most of us are in the unenviable position of having to make the most of our holidays, generally working five days out of seven to pay the bills, so having a day where you set yourself no goals can be very healthy.

Of course, I shall be back on the bike tomorrow and pushing myself hard to make up for today’s relaxation. The up-side of having a restful day today, is that I shall be starting with full-tanks tomorrow, and that means I can do even more.

We all need to rest, both physically and mentally, in order to push ourselves on to the next goal. Even top Olympic athletes have rest days. They give the body and mind the time to recover and repair the damage caused by pushing ourselves that little bit too far.

So I am looking forward to a nice early start in the morning. I may pay an unscheduled visit to the office, albeit in full cycling gear. The journey is quite testing, and it will give me the chance to catch up on what has been going on in my absence. Time will tell whether it proves to be as productive as I hope.

A Day Of Reflection

Mirror MirrorBack on my own again, and time to think, to get everything in place and to take stock. Being alone isn’t all bad. It does give me the space for introspection and that is a very healthy thing. Having the peace and quiet to chant is also the perfect environment to put my thoughts in order.

A nice bike ride in the autumn sunshine and the brisk air also gets the grey matter working again. Working hard forces the blood to flow and the heart to pound, both a great way to make me feel alive. Burning the excess calories of the last few days gives a feeling of satisfaction and makes all the effort worthwhile.

So my mind is clear, my decision is made and all that remains is to deliver the verdict. That isn’t going to be the most fun, but I know it will bring a sense of closure. At least, only being half way through my week of relaxation, I still have time to get life back on the right track and settle back onto my path to self enlightenment.

No Man’s Land

No Man's LandI have a strange feeling of being in limbo, again. Whilst I enjoy having a visit from my friend, I always feel a sense of loss when it’s over. The worst bit being that it leaves me in a position of being unable to go back as well as being unable to move forward, so I’m stuck. I am also on holiday for the week, and although I can keep in touch with happenings in the office, my input is not required, so yet again, I feel like a fish out of water.

So as I have said before, on several occasions, I have to be honest and make a decision that might not be well accepted by all concerned. It has to be the right decision, both for me now, and for the future. That might sound simple, but believe me, it isn’t. So I have to sit and chant, to get my head and heart in the right place, and then evaluate the situation in order to make a logical choice. I’m still not in that position, so I don’t know which way to go.

This Time

HonestyWhen you find yourself in a situation where you have to decide what happens next, you must be completely honest, with everyone concerned, including yourself. When that decision is possibly not what others expect or want, you must be compassionate when you announce it.

Of course you can hurt others if when your decision is contrary to theirs, but you will hurt them more by delaying or by going along with them, just to go with the flow. Eventually, your feelings will show and the result will only be more angst for all.

So when you feel that you have to make a decision that will be difficult for others to accept, make it quickly, announce it gently but firmly, and reduce the pain, to you and those affected, to the minimum.

Having made the decision you must stick to it. There can be no going back, and doing so only makes it worse for everyone concerned.

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