I asked my florist to recommend some greenery to add to a bouquet of peonies.
She said to me: here’s some alchemy! I was a bit surprised: Is there a plant called alchemy?
No, alchemilla, she explained patiently. It’s a medicinal plant, known as “lady’s mantle” and it has been used since the dawn of time for menstrual pain relief!
Great! I’ve been invited to dinner at some doctor friends; I’m going to pass that interesting piece of information on!
I thank the florist for the free lesson that she has so kindly dispensed and I go on my way happily and more knowledgeable than before.
Isn’t it wonderful when someone takes the time to explain to you the whys and wherefores in simple terms, just because they love to share their particular passion?
We’ve all got information, lessons, tips and advice to share. I do it through my bubbles of happiness.
What about you? What passion could you share with your friends, just for the pleasure of seeing them go off more knowledgeable than before?
In amongst the crowd that has come to listen to Buddha is a man who clearly doesn’t agree with his teachings. He is yelling out at the top of his voice. As he walks away from the crowd, he loudly insults the unflappable sage one last time before going off.
As he leaves the town, walking at an energetic pace, his anger fades and he feels ashamed of his behaviour. He goes back into town to find Buddha to apologise to him. Buddha assures him that he has nothing to apologise for and gives the following explanation:
“If someone tries to give you an object that you don’t want, what do you do?”
“I don’t take it!”
“So where is the object?”
“The giver has it!
“That’s why you came to see me. You are suffering more from the insults that you hurled at me than I am, because I simply didn’t accept them. Another person only has the power over you that you let them have!”
What about you? Have you given someone too much power over you and would you like to take it back?
I recently discovered a Greek god called Caerus, or Kairos. He is the small winged god of opportunity that must be grasped as he passes.
Kairos therefore refers to the exact moment of opportunity: before is too soon, after is too late.
A series of random events in life recently brought a friend of mine an opportunity to take a redundancy package. She caught hold of the small god as he flew by and created her own editing company.
When she was still working for her original employer, it was too soon. She didn’t have the money to set up her own company. Any later and she would probably have found a secure job and the moment of opportunity would have passed her by.
Kairos is an exact moment that can only be grasped once. Before, it doesn’t exist. After, there are just regrets.
Has the little winged god come your way and have you grasped the opportunity as it flies by?
Water is a gentle force. Without appearing to, it hollows out a canyon, riverbed or new channel through the hardest of rocks. Diverting water from its original course requires patience and the water needs to be left to hollow out a new channel gently and progressively.
The same goes for habits. Smokers, eaters and those who do sports know what I’m talking about. Routine hollows out a channel that makes it hard to change direction. The cigarette after a meal, the coffee first thing in the morning or the bar of chocolate at the end of the day are all pleasures that are difficult to do without.
By developing a new habit in the morning or after a meal, you can create a new channel; For example, try drinking tea instead of coffee. Initially, there is no channel. But as the days and weeks go by, tea drinking becomes a habit and the channel starts to appear. It takes time.
Mark Twain said: a habit cannot be thrown out of the window. It must be coaxed down the stairs, a step at a time.
What kind of channel would you like to gradually hollow out to create a new habit that you would love to acquire?
“Wogging?” I ask my friend Frédérique with a raised eyebrow. As an editor, she’s already taught me a lot about language, but I’m pretty sure that this word is just plain made-up. She smiles knowingly and explains: “it’s just my way of referring to the sponsored run I’m doing where I’m going to partly run and partly walk; I wogging!”
We often think that life requires us to do either one thing or another but not both, whereas in actual fact life lets us mix and match. When I did my marathon, I definitely “walran” (although obviously I didn’t know it at the time).
Dessert AND cheese. Beach AND shade. Work AND raise children. Have a dog AND go on holiday. The list is endless.
What are you depriving yourself of by using an OR instead of an AND?
What if you did both?