A Deep Breath

Miles living his best life

Friends, associates, fellow-travellers, relations, citizens. How is everyone doing today? In addition to the advice from authorities about ways to avoid infection and to deal with infections I am throwing in my 10 cents here.

Can we all take a deep breath?

There is research that shows a human brain or mind (which is what I prefer because it is all of you – not just your brain) is incapable of good thinking and good choices when it is under attack or under the wrong kind of stress. I forgot where that research is located in the www but trust me it’s there. If you want to run a test just ask someone to experiment with you – shout at them asking them to fix something or come up with something and see what happens – then reverse and let them do the same to you. How did that feel? I’m sure this has happened to you at work or someplace else and it was only afterwards you thought; “If only I would have said this or that at the time”. The reason why you couldn’t come up with the right retort, reply or come-back line is that your hormones – fight or flight – were in control and the prefrontal cortex was basically disabled. Forgive yourself for all the times you couldn’t come up with the right words. Also, to go off on a tangent, never argue with someone who has a damaged prefrontal cortex – it isn’t worth it.

Then do something different. Sit together, breathe together, take turns to ask each other the good questions. Listen deeply, don’t interrupt, listen generatively without thinking of what you want to say, pay attention. How does this make you feel? Good right? If you are a Thinking Environment practitioner, I know you are high-fiving me right now. Another tangent – don’t do this with people who have attention deficit and similar disorders or those who only like to hear their own voices and only interested in their own thinking – it isn’t worth it. 

Checking the internet every hour – or the radio in my case – for Covid-19 updates may not be the best thing to do but it’s hard right – FOMO is a real thing. So, once you’ve done that, some more breathing and then go do something that will support your well-being. 

Support your well-being

I can’t tell you what this would be for you. I can only share what works for me. 

  • Hanging out with my dogs and my tribe
  • Morning walks
  • Watching my favourite you-tubers like Minnie Small, Haegreendal, Kelly Hogan – My zero carb life, The Daily Show, Evelyn from the Internets, Mimi-G, I Sew A Lot, Jimmy Kimmel, Katie Green, KenDBerry, Lasizwe Dambuza – I miss those Dirkie episodes, Northern Heart, NPR Music and a few more
  • Putting on some Stevie Wonder, Drake, Rihanna, Cardi B, Khalid, Bruno Mars, ColdPlay, Bee Gees, Ariana etc. and getting my groove on
  • Sewing -Machine or Hand Stitching – it’s a growing obsession which is becoming serious
  • Learning to code (front-end) – it’s a growing obsession which is becoming serious
  • Reading – I have a serious committed relationship with books
  • Documenting life – in a variety of ways – writing, doodling, photography etc
  • Netflix, Showmax etc. – when we are not loadshedding
  • Spending time outdoors – in my garden, someone else’s garden, local parks, national parks, getting some sunshine on a porch/stoep/balcony

Covid-19 is not our first crisis and will not be our last. It is not the apocalypse but I can’t be one hundred percent sure. The death rate is low compared to other illnesses. However, if it is the apocalypse, the end of times, our last days and months on earth I want you to remember what people did in their last minutes before those planes went down on 9/11. They called home, they reached out to loved ones, they hugged. I’m sure there was screaming and terror but Covid-19 will give us time to decide how to act when the end comes, if it comes.

So, do what my dog Miles does, live your best life now.

Peace

Hello world!

Welcome to my world.

The universe I inhabit values community, learning, service and laughter.

Community? Well because  we need each other. Some things, like changing the world into a just, happy and comfortable place cannot be done solo. Even the solo things like writing a song, painting a picture or writing a book eventually leads us to other people. People to listen to our song, see our picture, read our book. And we want to relate to these people not just as consumers but as a community of appreciation. We may want to engage them if we want to keep them as fans, friends or followers.

Learning? I live I learn, it is inevitable but conscious learning is a lot less painful than the learning by default. I am curious about how people learn life lessons, skills and attitudes. I am curious about myself. So much interests me there is not enough hours in the day to explore everything I am interested in. My library checkout usually looks like: one or two books on a topic I’m currently obsessing about, a craft, DIY or art book, personal growth or philosophy title, a novel or two or three. Not that reading is necessarily learning, it is part of acquiring information, exploring something, part of the learning journey. Then there’s the workshops – in person or online these days. Usually followed by some frantic doing, obstacles to overcome and sometimes success. Like the time I became a Thinking Environment Coach. But often also failure and a waning of interest or putting the interest on the back burner until such time that I acquire the necessary courage to operate the power tool I bought. Any of this familiar?

Service? Service is what makes us human. It shapes us, builds our communities and it can heal. We are all in service of something. The service which I’ve chosen is one that brings people together to share skills, information, gifts and passions. I am also in the service of joy and connection. I let these impulses move me.

Laughter? Because cultivating happiness is ultimately what I aim for. Laughter is free. Laughing at myself is liberating. Being silly together is marvelous. Go ahead and smile.

Welcome to my world.