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Creating a space for the creative use of life as a tool for learning.

Attitude & Altitude

Can a conversation with a taxi driver alter your life’s journey?

 

Recently I was very privileged to have a conversation with what I can only describe as an amazing human “being” – a taxi driver.  He told me he was 80 and when asked why he wasn’t retired and taking life easy, he said his wife had died recently and he had nobody to talk to at home.  I though how sad and lonely that must be but he proceed to tell me that he took up taxi driving because he enjoyed chatting to customers.

He told me he had come through throat cancer, a heart attack, a stroke and recently had his knee replaced.  His friend introduced him to music and as a result he has been going to college, learning music for the last 3 years.  I told him he was amazing and asked what was his secret?  He replied “two things, attitude and altitude”.  I asked what he meant and was blown away when he said “It’s all down to how I look at things, my “attitude” and my love of sky diving or “altitude”.  His last sky dive was in February of this year!  He also uses Facebook!  Hands up anybody who would like to be this adventurous, tech savvy and active at 80 plus!

So can we broaden our horizons of understanding of life by studying our taxi driver?    How many widows or widowers are home alone and lonely?  How difficult must life be when a life-partner dies and leaves you all alone?  How many days might you go without talking to another adult?  What determination and resilience must it take to face up to this new stage of life?  If our mental and physical health allow, we can seek out social interaction and new challenges.  However, if our physical health restricts our movement, life’s horizons becomes limited.  Likewise if anxiety or depression are present, it might accelerate loneliness by resisting social interaction and increasing isolation.  Can we be proactive like this taxi driver?  How can we continue “being” when life as we knew it is no more?  Our taxi driver resisted isolation, he sought out social interaction – human company through his taxi business.  He engaged in new learning.  He maintained a positive attitude and took on new challenges in life and online.  And what can we do?  We can begin by questioning our attitude to life.  Are we on a roundabout, just going round and round?  In other words are we living without questioning our thoughts and behaviours?  Are we caught in ground-hog day, denying ourselves the opportunity to grow, to learn from our experiences.  We can take time out to consider ourselves, our family and our neighbours.  Let’s keep an eye out in our family and neighbourhood for somebody who might be a lonely and give a gentle check-in to ascertain how they’re coping.  Or how about visiting a local Nursing or Retirement Home. Maybe our visit could brighten somebody’s day and we might even be takenaback by how positive that makes us feel!

I wish you a day filled with happiness in your own company or in the company of others!

 

 

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NO GUARANTEES BUT GRATEFULNESS!

There is so much that is not right with the world and it can often be a difficult journey but one way that we can begin to improve the quality of our life and the lives of those around us is by acknowledging what is good about life (even if to begin with, it is something very small, like a nice cup of tea and a warm welcome (I’m Irish…life revolves around tea!).

We seem to live life as if it came with a guarantee, at least I often catch myself with this mindset!

 

I’ve been trying to acknowledge at the end of everyday three things that were special to me that day.  I usually do this when I lie into bed but more often than not I fall asleep while I’m thinking about the first gratitude of my day not to mention the second!

 

So I’ve decided to capture yesterday’s before they vanish from memory.  These events stand out and make me feel alive, grateful, happy, privileged and blessed and that can be in a religious or non-religious/more spiritual way as I’m a big believer in leaving everybody to their own thing!

 

So my 3 Gratitudes…

 

1.  My daughter’s bubbly chatter as she filled me in on simple and exciting events in her life.

 

2. My son’s voiced acknowledgement and (possibly) new awareness (he is 18, so there is light coming at the end of the tunnel!), that as parents go, he thinks we do our best to be supportive and facilitative…luckily I was in the car, sitting or I would probably have fainted!

 

3. Hugs & kisses from my mam and dad when leaving after calling to say goodnight and really paying attention, being present in the moment and my dad saying “goodnight pet”. He has dementia and we don’t know how deterioration will impact him or when it will take him a little further from us.

I am grateful for these moments!

I hope this helps and encourages you to take time to capture and acknowledge the special moments in your day. I’d love you to share them with me! Together we can edit and write our new story!

Much love and encouragement!

Marie

 

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Technology…3 steps backwards?

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I pride myself on being a positive person. I choose to focus on the positive instead of the negative in every day.  But today tested my positivity to the limit!

 

1 Step backwards… I work for the Government as an Adult Educator but every holiday my short term contract ends and I find myself dependent on social welfare. On Wednesday the 2nd of August, 6 weeks after applying for welfare, I finally got a letter saying my payment would be available on Friday 4th of August. I mixed up the date and as the following 3 days were holidays due to the August Bank Holiday, I was told my payment was withdrawn via technology and that it will take three weeks for my payment to be reissued via technology.

 

2 steps backwards… I visited my local tax office to get some forms only to find it is no longer open to the public.  You have to phone to make an appointment as it is now run as a dedicated appointment service.  I was instructed to go home, go online and download the forms.

 

3 steps backwards…At home I tried to access my internet, only to find yet again, my less than 1mb of internet connection wasn’t working.  I couldn’t connect to the internet.  I am paying the same price as customers who have access to 20mb’s of internet but because I live in rural Ireland we have to put up with a service that is little more than dial-up.

My positivity began to crumble…

I decided to cancel my internet service.  After phoning the Internet Service Provider and spending ages listening to the different options and being left on hold I finally got to interact with a human being! At long last a real person, not another piece of technology; the only problem…she wanted me to access my internet and use the code she would text to my phone to cancel my account!

I give up!  Has technology even taken over common sense?

 

Let’s inspire others… read this interesting post by Dan Rockwell at Leadership Freak. Let’s makes inspiring others easy…

Any bully can kick someone in the pants. It takes real leadership to inspire. If you encouraged a team member once a week, you’d do it about 50 times a year. (Allowing for 2 weeks vacation.) Courage takes teams further than timidity. To encourage is to inspire courage. Negative energy is like running with rocks […]

via 12 Sentence Starters that Inspire Courage — Leadership Freak

Greater than five to one!

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I’m setting myself a goal today…..

 

Having recently heard of the distress someone was feeling in their relationship I did a little research and I thought this finding was interesting…

 

“According to research conducted by relationship expert and author, Dr. John Gottman, the ratio of positive interactions to negative interactions with your partner has to be greater than five to one for your relationship to be happy and healthy.”

 

Feeling thankful for the wonderful relationship I have, I thought it’s equally important not to become complacent and it’s all too easy to take our relationship for granted…..so I set myself a goal…

 

Today I’m going to see if I can have 5:1 positive interactions with my husband and…with all the family members and everyone I encounter today.

 

Wish me luck!

 

I’ll pop back and give you an update.

 

Do you already have a 5:1 relationship with your important others?  If not, why not?

 

Would you be open to giving it a try?  I’d love to hear about your experiences!

 

 

 

 

Refined or redefined?

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The word “refined”…

is defined as

“with impurities or unwanted elements having been removed by processing”.

 

Next time you find life is a struggle bear in mind that life is the biggest process there is.

 

Humans when they engage with this process may find they become refined…”with impurities or unwanted elements having been removed by processing”.

 

Don’t underestimate yourself.

Instead be proud of how “refined” or maybe that should be how “redefined” you’ve become!

What have you been through lately that has refined you? How do you see the new redefined you? 

 

 

Battery…full or empty?

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‘Funny that’, he thought… that he should select a battery from the writing prompt lucky dip. It was almost as if it was brought to him, but then again he believed that everything was brought to him.

 

Batteries are a form of energy and that was why he joined the writing workshop.  He went to the workshop to fuel his own energy, to take time out, to recharge!

 

A luminous green battery sat in front of him on the little table and its luminosity appealed to him.  He realised that we all possess an inner luminosity, a bright shining energy that life and living can try to dim.

 

But he had learned to care for himself by taking time out and trying out something new.  Taking on a new challenge provided wonderful opportunity to re-charge, renew, refill that battery or maybe he thought, all we need is to dust our battery off and let its hidden energy shine.

 

What have you done to recharge or dust off your battery today?

 

 

Negative Inspiration

Kevin Richard White’s story ‘Negative Inspiration’ proves that real determination and internal motivation really work. He reminds us to never give up and keep writing to use the voice we’re given at birth.

Sundog

By Kevin Richard White

This is about my dad. He used to have a voice, but now he’s only someone who takes up space in a yellow photograph. He’s the reason I write. There will never be another reason.

I still respect him for telling me flat-out that Mom wasn’t coming back from the hospital. He could have sugarcoated it, but he didn’t. He could have lied and said she’s with God, but he didn’t. I had just turned nine years old—two days after the party, even.

He changed after that. Anyone would, I guess, when something like that happens. But it got nasty. It got spiteful and bitter to take. He spent a lot of time sitting in the dark, ranting about how everyone was out to get him. He didn’t help me with school projects anymore. I began writing in a diary, listing the changes I saw in…

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Life – More grass than flowers? Shift your focus!

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I’m sure I’m not the only one who sometimes stops what they are doing and wonders when or how life got so busy, so complicated and worst of all so dull?

 

I like to compare it to finding myself lost in a huge field of grass; probably because I’m a country girl!  This field of grass has very few flowers in it with which to brighten my day!

 

Sometimes I wonder is my mind playing tricks on me, fooling me into thinking I’m busier than I actually am.  But then I list all the different roles I have in my day and the list becomes very real!

 

But I realise I could let go control of some of these roles and trust others to do an equally good job. This would provide them with an opportunity for growth by letting them take on new roles and realise how capable they are!

 

Or I might invest my time in something new and be pleasantly surprised to discovered some new unused skill or talent!

 

Maybe my new found enjoyment might spill over into my hum-drum daily roles and brighten someone else’s day and wouldn’t that be nothing short of amazing!

 

I might find myself changing my focus, finding life doesn’t feel quite so busy, complicated and dull? I might no longer feel lost in that huge field of grass…I might actually have noticed some flowers and have mastered how to focus on their beauty!

 

What have you done today to notice the flowers in your field of grass? How can you shift your focus?

 

My childhood memory..lollipop!

via Daily Prompt: Lollipop

I find it just amazing how a single word can suddenly transport you back in time…the word ‘lollipop’ did that to me right now. I was suddenly back in my maternal grandparents’ home, sitting on the floor along with some of my cousins, watching the wonderful Shirley Temple singing On the Good ship Lollipop and the memory was crystal clear as if I was right there! I had a job to hold back the wave of emotions and the tears! I can remember my mother visiting her parents and I would pass some time glued to Shirley Temple films.  Shirley was so young, so talented and so amazing! Thanks for stirring this memory for me with your daily prompt!

Check out the link…I hope I’ve attached it successfully…I hope you love it as much as I did back then and still do, as I’ve just found out!

https://www.google.ie/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://m.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DjU3SDuWNTnU&ved=0ahUKEwi1ydS_vZvVAhWHLsAKHSxSCK0QtwIIPjAG&usg=AFQjCNER4-SibkW4uKO4EN9rXmHchX0zyQ

 

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