Oct 10

Set In Stone

I don’t usually include pre-written content in my blog posts but I have just been sent something by a friend that I would like to share with you, my loyal blog readers.  It is called ‘Stone’.

‘Two friends were walking through the desert.  During some point of the journey they had an argument, and one friend slapped the other in the face.

The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything wrote in the sand:

“Today my best friend slapped me in the face”.

They kept on walking until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath.  The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him.

After he recovered from the near drowning he wrote on a stone:

“Today my best friend saved my life”.

The friend who had slapped and saved his best friend asked him “after I hurt you, you wrote in the sand, and now you write on a stone.  Why?”

The friend replied “when someone hurts us we should write it down in sand where the winds of forgiveness can erase it away.  But when someone does something good for us we must engrave it in stone where no wind can erase it”.

Learn to write your hurts in the sand and to carve your benefits in stone.

They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them, but then an entire life to forget them.

Do not value the things you have in your life, but value who you have in your life.

Enjoy the journey.

Sep 12

Have You Set Your Intention?

Today I drew the plans for our new extension on the house.  Don’t get too excited; that sounds rather more grand than the sketch I have in front of me!  The point of the exercise is not to submit these very detailed but very inaccurate drawings to the local planning office, this is an exercise in setting my intentions.

I love where we live.  We’ve been here for 22 years now and although I vaguely consider living somewhere else from time to time (Scotland being the favourite choice!) I don’t think there will ever come a time when this house will not be mine.

There really is only one drawback here, and that is we have no dining room.  We love entertaining, I adore cooking, but currently we can only host a buffet type evening or a sit down meal for a maximum of 6 people (and that’s a squeeze!).

The plan I have always had is to build an extension that will become a lounge and small library downstairs, with a bedroom and ensuite bathroom above, turning the existing lounge into a dining room, as it is only 14′ square.  In addition to this we will put a conservatory leading off from the kitchen, not too big, just about 10′ x 16′.

So I have now drawn the plans to set my intention and let the Universe know exactly what I want.

I hope you know what you are aiming for too.  Write it down, draw a picture, make a plan.  Let the Universe know what you want from it!

Enjoy the journey.

Feb 23

Lost And Found

I am amazed at how we can lose things that seem to be intrinsic to our very being but then find something far more precious, far more satisfying, and giving us a feeling of being far more complete.  There is a saying that when one door closes another opens, and this is very true.  The door that opens can bring great rewards.  Loss is often a hard thing to cope with but if we did not lose things from time to time our lives would become so very full there would be no room for the new adventures we need to explore.

If we want to grow as people we need to embrace these losses, accepting the changes that come our way so we can make room for the new beginnings and new experiences that face us, and these may well bring us much greater happiness than we have ever known.

Enjoy the journey.

Jan 18

Inspiring People

People who take on great personal challenges are an inspiration to us all.  A good lot of the time we go through life almost not noticing the things that are going on around us.  But every now and again something floats along in front of us and we grab it with both hands and think ‘wow! I want to know more about that!’

One great weekend in 2009 we went off to Scotland.  Our friends were both 50 and they were holding a joint party on the Saturday night.  One of the pair had been in training for a couple of years for a challenging 10 mile swim from Ailsa Craig to Girvan.  Her swim was to take place on the Saturday afternoon and part of the plan for the weekend was to join the party that greeted her on her arrival in Girvan.

Although I had been aware of the swim, the fund raising, the challenge, for the previous two years I didn’t really know anything about it.  I mentioned it to someone who said ‘what is Ailsa Craig?’  I didn’t know so thought I’d look it up on the internet.  During my search up popped a blog my friend had been keeping of her progress during training.  I was fascinated to read her journal, and it is so well written and so amusing in places I thought I would share the link with you all.  Take a look, and especially read the post that confirms that ‘chocolate makes you float’!

http://rossurtees.blogspot.com/ and if you would like to make a donation visit http://www.ailsacraigswimchallenge.moonfruit.com/.

As you will read, sadly Ros did not make the swim that weekend but a couple of weeks later when the weather improved.  That meant we could not be there on the day.  But the really great news is she raised over £12,000!

What a way to celebrate your 50th birthday!

Enjoy the journey.

Dec 12

The Weakness In Me

Yes, I know this is a song title by Joan Armatrading, but I’m not going to write about the song or Joan Armatrading as it happens!

I am, not for the first time, going to talk about my own weakness.  When I was thinking about this it just happened to come out in the form of the song title.

I am a risk taker in life.  I find I am constantly faced with opportunities and I relish them.  Most of the time I go right ahead and have a go at whatever comes my way.  Of course sometimes I don’t for practical reasons; like the time I was offered an antiques business 90 miles from home.  Completely impractical – I seriously considered it though!  I came up with a hundred and one ways I could make it work.  But it wasn’t practical, I knew that deep down.

But my weakness is not so much taking every opportunity no matter what it is; my weakness is that if I find I cannot jump over a hurdle, I just don’t!  I feel so weak for not challenging myself enough.  I feel weak for the feeble attempts I give to some things that I believe I cannot do.  There is a better part of me that believes I can do anything and everything; but the reality is that actually I can’t.

I have found that with some of the technical side of the Internet. I believe I can’t do it, so I stop trying.

Good job I can outsource!

Enjoy the journey.

Nov 17

Just A Theory…

One of the things I may not have mentioned yet on my blog is that I am a big Star Trek fan.  I can totally absorb myself in the ‘alien’ theory.  There is so much we do not know about what else is out there.

I spent an enjoyable afternoon recently theorising with a friend about aliens and he recounted the story of a programme he had seen on a digital channel (sadly I don’t get digital anything as I live in such a remote place!).  In the programme some Candian air force pilots had been interviewed about something they had seen and they felt it absolutely proved the existence of aliens.  They were sworn to secrecy while they were in the air force and it is only recently that they have been able to talk about their experience.

My friend and I came to the conclusion, (after much discussion and debate and lots of coffee and biscuits), that we, the human race, may well be an alien experiment, and that these random sightings of alien craft are the aliens returning to check on our progress and see how their experiment is faring.

As the title says, it’s just a theory.

Enjoy the journey.

Oct 10

Blogging For Fun Or Blogging For Fortune?

Okay, so maybe I won’t make my fortune directly from my blog but you never know!

When I started down this road with John Thornhill’s Masterclass in 2009 I was clear that it was to learn how to market a self help product via the internet.  Along the way I have learnt a lot more about internet marketing than I bargained for!

For a start, there’s this blog.  I never imagined I would be learning how to set up such a thing.  Even when I realised what it was John wanted us to do I was absolutely adamant that I had nothing to write about!  But here I am, a large number of posts down the line and thoroughly enjoying this ‘blogging’ thing!

Many of my fellow students comment about their blogs and where they are going.  They tell stories of how difficult they find it to blog at the start.  Some of them have had to restart their blogs from scratch – what a nightmare that must be!  I can’t imagine how I would feel having to start this all over again.

So, blogging for fun or fortune?  Well, there is always a chance that some income might result from running a blog without making too much effort, but it is clearly those who make an effort and put the time into their blog that see a pay off at the end of the day.  You see, it’s all about getting traffic to your blog and if you let the whole thing slip and people revisit and it all looks the same they may not come back again.

Cathy Perkins states that there are 5 common mistakes people make with their blogs.

1. Posting infrequently,

2. Regurgitating content,

3. Insulting your readers (talking down to them),

4. No call to action (not telling them exactly what you want them to do),

5. Posts that go on and on.

So, if you blog, avoid these 5 common mistakes and it will mean more repeat visits from your loyal followers and hopefully you will see an increase in traffic over time.

Enjoy the journey.

Sep 03

The Importance of Friends

Three things happened this week that prompted me to write this post about the importance of friends.  The first was an email comment made to me by an inspired writer, Susan Owen-Thursfield (you can see what I mean about her being ‘inspired’ by reading her blog here).  In the email she said ‘every day you don’t make a new friend is a day wasted’, the point being that we need to cultivate friendships, work at them and make them happen, as it is these friendships that add variety and interest to our lives.

The second thing that happened had a real impact on my perception of the relationships we build in our lives.  I went to a dear friend’s funeral last week and two things in particular struck me.  The first was the amount of people I knew there, and the second was the amount of people I didn’t know!  We spend our lives cultivating relationships around us but often all are separate from each other.  We have our family and they are separate often from our friends, then we have our work colleagues who are also friends, we have friends in different places (often different parts of the world even), we have our friends here on the internet.  All of these people are important in our lives, and yet all sit in separate compartments within our lives.  Not deliberately, but by virtue of the role they play within our lives.  We all came together for this person’s funeral and all felt we knew him so very well, but all knew him in a different way.

The third thing that happened is that I read back through my previous posts on here, and in particluar ‘Hobbies and Interests’.  It wasn’t so much the post that struck a chord but the comment left by another fellow blogger, Steve Deerfield.  Steve said ‘I liked all your posts and especially your attitude about keeping in touch with people that we actually CAN touch.  If there’s any huge sucking sound going on anymore I think it’s the sound of our attentions being drawn to the internet and the promises and experiences that it may hold.’

Although I agree with Steve about that comment I also feel that the relationships we are building with each other through the internet are as valuable in real terms as our ‘tangible’ friendships.  I place great value on my relationships with others, whether they are family, friends I’ve known all my life, relatively new friends, and people I can now call friends who I have met through the internet.  Each of you are equally important in my life and I thank you all for the opportunity to know some part of you.  Who am I without the other people in my life?

Enjoy the journey.

Aug 10

Remember To Be Grateful

My life seems to have become so complicated in recent years, I know that sometimes I can forget to be grateful for what I have.  It is easy to focus on the things that don’t go right instead of the things that do.  It is easy to focus on what I haven’t got, rather than what I have.

When I consider where I am in my life right now I realise how very rich and full it is, and how very lucky I am to have had my life and all its complexities.  There are so many things I might not have experienced.  So despite me feeling that my life has become ‘complicated’ it has also become full and rich and I would miss out on so much if any part of it was lost to me.

So I have plenty to be grateful for, and the ability to feel gratitude makes me a happier, more rounded person who can and does consider the feelings of others.

Jul 28

No Time For Nothing

Those of you with good English grammar may think I have committed the cardinal sin of a double negative above, but no, I simply mean I have no time for nothing any more.  There were days, in what now seems to be a previous life, when I could simply do nothing from time to time.  While taking the dog for a walk I could sit for half an hour on a bridge playing pooh sticks with the pup in the water catching the twigs as they appeared the other side.  Now she gets her allocated 45 minutes twice a day, briskly walking to get the maximum exercise in the least possible time – and at other times there simply is no time for doing nothing.  My ‘to do’ list gets longer as I try to sneak just one more task into the day, my ‘tasks done’ list falls miserably short of being completed at any time in the near future.

Do we all strive for an easier life?  If that is the case why do we all find ourselves getting increasingly more busy as time goes on?  Is it that we take on more things to do or do the things we do take longer for some reason?  I have set myself a task – having spent yesterday in the garden, a lot of that time doing nothing, I have pledged to put time aside for me from now on.  The AC adapter on the laptop decided to stop working yesterday so I could not check my e.mails, e.bay sales, catch up on blogs, write my posts, service my shop websites.  I had a whole Sunday for me (and the dog, of course!)  It was bliss.  I had long hours of sitting with coffee in the sun, did a bit of gardening, took the dog for a walk, cooked lunch, had long hours of sitting in the garden with coffee… Really blissful.

Do yourself a great favour – write ‘ME TIME’ into your working week.  Don’t skimp on it.  It will make you feel seriously good!

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