Sunday, February 26, 2017

Good news is good for you!

In a world of great uncertainty, there's one thing I know with absolute conviction . . . and I'm confident you'll agree with me.
What is it?
It's the simple fact that bad news is bad for you.

Whether it be 'fake bad news' or 'genuine bad news' doesn't matter . . . the effect is the same.
We absorb it and are instantly captured by apprehension.
 Our creativity dries up, our hopes disappear . . . we are rendered fearful and incapable.

As for good news, this is wholly beneficial . . . being inspirational, invigorating and sustaining.

To demonstrate what I mean, let's carry out a short experiment.
Look closely at the picture below .  . .

First of all, focus on the scene of mayhem and destruction on the left . . . did you feel a constriction in your chest, a sense of horror and helplessness?

Now, switch your attention to the alternative view on the right . . . did your shoulders relax?  Did you find yourself smiling, your breath easing in appreciation of the peace and harmony?

If you need further proof of the benefits of a positive approach, this was clearly illustrated this month in an inspirational address given to the United Nations by Canada's Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau.

"When faced with citizens' anxiety," he declared, "we have a choice to make, do we exploit that anxiety or do we allay it?  Fear has never created a single job, or fed a single family."

If it does you good to read those words, I can assure you that you'll feel even better if you hear them spoken.  Click here for a short extract from the speech . . . you'll be strengthened and empowered by its positivity.

Good news is good for us, and good news also gives rise to gratitude . . . which, as we all know, is 'the key to joy'.
So, thank you, Justin Trudeau!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A very caring cat!

Hello, it's Chloe here . . . have you a moment for a chat about my Mum?

Please don't think I'm complaining . . . as Mums go I've done well.  It's just that, as Mums go, she doesn't go as much as she should.

Let me explain.

Wouldn't you agree that, especially in cold weather, humans need to keep moving? 
After all, they haven't thick fur like cats, they need to keep active to keep warm.  So, as she always tries to do her best for me, I make sure I give her plenty of exercise.
I take good care of my Mum.

To show you what I mean. 
After I've taken her out for an energetic walk I sometimes feel quite sleepy.
But do I lay down and rest?
Not on my whiskers!  I know what's needed.  And what's needed is to keep my Mum active and warm.
So, even when I'm tired, I bring out my toys and insist that we play a game.

I know you'll find this hard to believe, but she doesn't always appreciate my unselfish intentions.

Between you and me, she even thinks that I bring her the toys because I'm the one who wants to play.

It's sad, isn't it, how a cat''s finest motives can be so misconstrued.

But do I give up?  Never! 

On the contrary, I insist on taking her out for three walks every day . . . proper walks, not just a quick sniff of fresh air.

Then, when we come indoors, if my Mum sits down at the computer I get on the back of her chair and rub my head against her hair . . . this takes her mind off what she's doing and encourages her to get up.

Alternatively, if she sits down on the sofa, I go and fetch my favourite mouse and drop it in her lap.
So, with my persuasion, she's soon on her feet again  . . . and playing with the mouse and me.

Now, if you saw my toys, wouldn't you want to play?
In addition, there are all sorts of wonderful and warming games to keep us busy.

Wouldn't you leap out of your chair to play 'carry-me-in-the-cardboard-box' . . . or 'hide-and-seek-in-the-cat-villa' . . . ?

Thanks to me, my Mum never has a dull moment . . .  I'm a very caring cat.

And if you want proof that your cat cares for you . . .  then just click here!

Friday, February 3, 2017

The bigger picture

With so many splits and divisions in our world at the moment, might it be a good time to remind ourselves just how integrated and inter-woven we really are?

This was brought home to me when reading the thought-provoking views of the scientist, Brian Swimme.

More than anything, they demonstrate the truth of evolution . . . how we are evolving creatures on an evolving planet in an evolving universe.
A planet which was once a state of molten rock and now sings opera!

And yet, and this is where it becomes so fascinating, evolution is taking place with no additional components . . . every atom that is here now was here at the very beginning.
But each atom is constantly changing . . .  inhabiting, as it does so, a sequence of different forms.

"The universe," according to Brian Swimme, "is an inexhaustible celebration of ultimate mystery!"

Let's celebrate this mystery by looking at the bigger picture . . . and by asking some questions.

Have you ever stopped to think that the water which once gave buoyancy to Noah's Ark could, in its present embodiment, be trapped in plastic bottles in the local supermarket?
That the air we are breathing could well have flowed through the nostrils of the dinosaurs?
That the skeletons of our ancestors could have evolved, through time, to become part of our own bodily structures?

You've a new pair of shoes?  Don't you believe it!  The only thing that's new is the idea that conceived them . . . the creativity flowing through us which has flowed since the start of creation.

And where is consciousness in all this?
At one time it was thought by scientists that consciousness was unique to human beings.
Now it's recognised that consciousness is universal, a life-force that illuminates all living things . . . what's more, together we shine more brightly.

In the words of Brian Swimme:
"We are the universe reflecting upon itself". . . reflecting whilst evolving, constantly evolving.

But this is a time of major transition, and all birth is painful.  So let's end with the reassuring wisdom of the Hopi elders, who have just released the following statement:

To my fellow swimmers:
Here is a river flowing now very fast.
It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid, who will try to hold on to the shore.
They are being torn apart and will suffer greatly.
Know that the river has its destination.
The elders say we must let go of the shore.
Push off into the middle of the river, and keep our heads above water.
And I say see who is there with you and celebrate.
At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally, least of all ourselves, for the moment we do, our spiritual growth and journey come to a halt.
The time of the lone wolf is over.
Gather yourselves.
Banish the word struggle from your  attitude and vocabulary.
All that we do now must be done in a  sacred manner and in celebration.
For we are the ones we have been waiting for.