I pondered the impact of our thoughts when they transform into words…
As we age, we change how we think, how we feel and how we behave. We drop old habits and seek out new. Enjoy scattering your thoughts…some go unseen and blow away on the breeze but some nourish the ground they fall on.
What thoughts and words have you scattered today? Are they ones you’ll be proud of?
I know how precious my time is and I’m pretty sure you feel the same! Although I love learning a little bit more about you everytime I read one of your posts, it is a challenge to read today’s posts let alone get around to checking out older posts.
I thought a link back to a little piece of me before we came to know each other might help us get to know each other a little better!
So how about a little bit of time travel again this Friday and maybe if you find it enjoyable you’ll travel back in time with me again next friday!
For today’s post I’ve chosen a short poem about choices, simply titled Or
What choices have you had to make recently?
Are you a ‘can’ or a ‘can’t?’
Please feel free to make another choice…add a link to your favourite post in the comment section, it will help me get to know you a little better!
‘an intention or policy of including people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized, such as those who are handicapped or learning-disabled, or racial and sexual minorities.’
Have you ever booked a holiday or a mini-break and been very aware of what’s included in the package? Well, I know anytime I’m lucky enough to plan a holiday, I pay a lot of attention to what’s included as part of the deal!
If I’m booking two nights away for example, I like to have breakfast included on both mornings and it’s a bonus if dinner on the first night is included at a nominal cost.
It’s also encouraging if access to a gym or leisure centre is included at no extra cost as part of the package deal, although any of you who know a little about me will have guessed I’ll probably admire the gym from afar and spend more time relaxing in the sauna than strutting my stuff in the pool! But even so, it’s probably fair to say that inclusivity is important to me!
And maybe that’s why inclusitivity is important in other areas of my life. I’m always aware at any meeting or event of the importance of reaching out and helping others feel included. Just like I did at my recent ICASSI in Bonn. You might like to read about my ICASSI experience here Perfectly Imperfect
I seem to have a radar that helps me spot people who are just a little outside their comfort zone and I enjoy helping them feel at ease.
Years ago, for example, I was involved in setting up a local women’s club and a young mother, a non-national joined us. Most people there made polite conversation with this newly settled person to our rural community but none made a point of actively including her. As a result I tried a little harder to include her and I enjoyed getting to know this lady and watching her settle in and make friends as time went on.
Maybe it’s because I find people fascinating, or maybe it’s because I grew up in a three generational home where my Nana also loved being around people and included me in her frequent visits to neighbours and friends in our locality.
Or maybe it’s because I best describe myself as an introverted extrovert…yes, if you didn’t already know it, you can be both!
So, I like my own company and quiet time but I love people, I love being around people, I love getting to know people and I love people feeling included and being inclusive. This is probably because I hate walking into a social situation on my own. I’ve had to push through that feeling at ICASSI recently (as you can read above) and it’s encouraging to have overcome that challenge. But knowing how it feels for an introvert to face a gathering… of more than one person!… is important, as it gives me insight into what it’s like for anyone who finds themselves on the fringes of any social situations. I know, like me, they probably find it a bit intimidating at first until they find their feet!
So next time you consider a hotel break or wonder what’s included in that all inclusive package deal, spare a thought for inclusitivity in other areas of your life and spread a little of your warmth and social inclusion further afield!
Thanks for your company and for including me in your day! In what ways do you like to be included? Have you ever felt excluded? How did it make you feel? Have you ever gone out of your way to include or exclude others?
Could a “Selfie” help us develop the power of awareness and of choice…?
Recently I was sitting waiting outside a Health Centre where people can access GP and Welfare support.
A young mother came out of the building with a baby girl of about 18 months on her hip and she also had a young boy of about 6. I heard them talking and was amazed to hear the little boy say “life is tough”…so mature I thought and philosophical for someone so young!
Whether his words brought home the reality of the situation to her or maybe for some other reason she started shouting and giving out to her little boy to get into their car.
As she strapped her younger child into the car-seat, she continued to verbally abuse her little boy and I was horrified to see her raise her arm at him as she leaned across the car towards him, invading his personal space, physically threatening him. I felt sick to my core. I thought she was going to physically strike him.
I wanted to jump out of my car but… I paused. I took a “Selfie.” Not a physical “Selfie” but a psychological “Selfie.” I recalled from my counselling studies the golden rule of “Do no harm” and I made a conscious choice reminding myself that this lady was too emotional to view my interference as anything other than that.
My “Selfie” reminded me of the knock-on effect my interference could have for her children if I fired her up even more. I felt sad for that little boy, sad for his day being ruined and sad for a future ruined, always wondering what he did wrong, always trying to please. I felt sad for that baby girl emotionally upset but not even able to voice that upset.
But my “Selfie” also helped me choose not to judge that young mother. I was not privy to her own upbringing or her present environment and the impact of both on her. I didn’t know the events that led her to this emotional state or way of behaving. I could only hope that the GP or the Welfare Officer were looking after her to the best of their professional capacity and helping her overcome any issues that were driving her behaviour.
I wanted to reach out, to help her break the cycle. If she could pause, mid-upset to just take a “Selfie” I believed, it could be the key to awareness and choice. It could help prevent her two children travelling this same weary, frightening, soul-destroying road.
I wanted her to become aware of the innate power of choice which she has. She may not have the power to solve her problems, at least not in this present moment, but she has the power to choose her attitude, her reaction, her behaviour. I wanted to give her the power of a “Selfie” a snapshot of awareness and of choice.
Do you struggle sometimes looking for inspiration for your blog? I know I certainly do, particularly when I’m tired.
You may have heard fibromyalgia being called the ‘holiday illness,’ a very cruel characteristic of fibro/chronic fatigue that, when you ease down from any continuous activity, you then realise you have over-done it. In my case it’s when I’m let go/laid off from my paid contracted Adult Education/Adult Literacy employment. My body crumbles into an exhausted and sometimes lonely mess; if I let it…
When I’m totally drained, having used every tool available to me to manage my fibro/fatigue, such as positivity, pacing and prioritising, I find writing or indeed achieving anything, including socialising is next to impossible but I choose to believe that there is always light in the darkness if you look for it!
So I take encouragement from the words of Pat Schneider in her excellent book ‘Writing Alone and with others.’
She reminds me that…
P.13 “…we will create powerful writing out of the stuff of memory…”
And she tells me…
P.15 ‘…every time you came home from a hard day at school or work and said to someone in your family, “You know what happened to me today?” and told the story – the writer in you was practising using suspense, character, dialogue, metaphor, simile, plot, denouement. All your life, you have been writing on the air, and that has built craft and confidence and voice. It is all there, ready and waiting for you.’
So, I say don’t struggle with tiredness, loneliness or with writing…just reach out in person or via social media, keep sharing your day, keep on “writing on the air.”
So, what do you think? Please join in the discussion below and share what encourages you! Thanks for visiting, your company is another source of encouragement for me!
When I was young and in a moaning mood (which was very rare!), my Nana would look gently at me and say “whist, don’t be complaining, shur you have Spain at home!”
Of course I wouldn’t be impressed as I knew that my self-pity was not going to be entertained! But as I grew up, I knew Nana meant count your blessings, be grateful for what you have and appreciate every bit of it! And she was so right! I’m so thankful to have had the benefit of her shared wisdom by growing up in a three generational home.
I’m feeling very privileged to be enjoying a week in Spain, soaking up the splendid sunshine, (which can be sporadic in Ireland), getting time for the simple pleasures and realising that during the other 51 weeks of the year “shur I have Spain at home.”
And in the middle of all this beauty and relaxation I’m taking one minute to be really grateful and mindful of this beautiful weather. It has been a long winter and a sunny day lifts everybody’s spirit! It’s heart-warming to hear conversations and laughter blowing on the breeze and to see families spending time together, outdoors, soaking up the sun, building sand castles and swimming or surfing in the sea. It also brings back many fond memories of holidays spent on the beach with our two children when they were young.