...with love all things are possible

Believe ...

Believe ...

Sunday, 23 November 2008

What are three of your guilty pleasures?

Guilty pleasures mmmm ... Instantly I thought to myself, that won't take long to answer. But I'm stuck. I feel guilty just thinking of them! Oh come on Cath, that's just silly now.

Reading ... sitting down in the middle of the day (like on a Saturday or a Sunday) with a good book. I feel terrible! I can't quite understand why. I LOVE reading, growing up in South America I was the easiest person to get a gift for: a book in English, preferably by Enid Blyton or Carolyn Keene. That's all I ever wanted growing up and I would read voraciously. Nowadays I have books all over the place and I snatch-read: Eckhart Tolle in my bathroom; Nicholas Sparks on my bedside table; Bill Wilson in the car; Tony Robbins at my desk. But I always get this terribly guilty feeling when I spend more that five or ten minutes reading. Gulp.

Sushi!! I adore sushi. I hate that it's so expensive and I try to ration myself. When I get there, I always swear I'll have less than I do and that I'll spend only "x" amount. Never happens. I always eat more and pay more and want more.

Lying in on a Sunday morning. But I love it so much. It's a rare occurence when I'll get up make my breakfast and take it back into bed. With it comes a pot of tea, a book, my laptop and possibly a DVD or a video to watch. Two hours in bed like this is absolute heaven - if I can bear the idea of not being outside in the garden or riding my bike or doing some kind of useful busy work around the house.

What are yours?

Monday, 17 November 2008

Did I hurt you?

“Constant drama! That’s what your life is, fucking drama and I’m absolutely fed up to the gills!”

“Fed up eh? Well what do you think I am?”

"Frankly, I don’t give a shit!”

“Fascinating, isn’t it just great how you can’t have a conversation without swearing? You’re just so, so …”

“So, what?” he interrupted gripping her wrists and pulling her close to his face. “Tell me, c’mon tell me what you think I am,” he goaded.

“Base. You’re so base. A Pig” A speckle of spit hit his cheek as Eva shouted
“Base huh? That’s not bad coming from the queen bitch herself” He twisted her wrists as he yelled.

“Oh! How dare you! Stop it Gordon, you’re hurting me” she winced trying to wriggle out of his grasp.

“Easy, my dear. You’re hurting yourself by wiggling so much”

The door burst open and the little child, pale and agitated, burst through, eyes wide and wet with tears.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

What's that noise?

“It’s impossible to see where you’re going from up here,” he said peering out of the window, “but I’m assuming the Captain knows where we’re going – it’s one of those things, you just have to trust, don’t you?

Katie mumbled something for tenth time – trying hard to stay focused on the plot of the story she was reading. It was hard with Kevin sitting next to her. There was something desperate about the way he just couldn’t keep still in a plane.

“What’s that?” he asked in a high pitched voice, “Did you hear that, Katie?” he nudged her now to get her attention, “Katie, did you hear that?”

“What?” Katie sighed finally putting her book down, “hear what?”

“That whine – at first it sounded like brrrrrrrr and then suddenly it changed to brrrrr-eeeeeee.”

“Honey. It’s nothing. It’s probably just the flaps as they correct the flight path, or whatever. Don’t worry.” She patted his knee, “just relax, why don’t you shut your eyes and sleep a little?” Kevin hadn’t slept a wink all night.

“Sleep? Are you crazy? What if something happens? What if the …”

“Kevin, honey, nothing’s going to happen. “

“Nothing, eh? How do you know? There’s all kinds of things that could happen.”

“But nothing’s going to happen. And even if something did happen, there’s not really very much you or I could do up here at 36,000 feet.” Katie signed again, resigned to another long conversation about latent possibilities of accidents, terror attacks or other impossible ways a plane could fall out of the sky.

“I read in a magazine the other day …”

Monday, 10 November 2008

Am I living in the now?

Ekhart Tolle says "When you are present in this moment, you break the continuity of your story, of past and future..." and this concept takes some getting round.

I was so used to measuring the sum of my time by what happened and what was about to happen. My shuddering halt came one year when I realized I'd gone clear past Christmas and I hadn't even enjoyed it, because I was in the think of selling for the April issue. It was horrific.

It was always so easy to look back and sigh "those were the good old days," but I'm sure I wasn't really present in the good old days - I've just tinted them with the rosy glasses of time.

Today I'm working very hard on a daily basis to live in the NOW. Right where my feet are. When I'm doing it right, it's an absolutely mesmerizing feeling of contentment, a peace and tranquility that is second to nothing. Even in the painful moments.

Living now involves every single one of my senses to the maximum and inhaling everything that's around me. The sounds, the sights, the scents, the flavours and feel of things. Suddenly I realize that the air can feel like cool silk and it can billow accross my arms and legs. The cool green grass I'm walking on barefoot is a little damp as I squish the blades with my weight - yet I look back and there are not tracks and the grass seems unharmed. I have green soles!

I like now, I just don't practice it often enough because it seems there's always something pressing in the imminent future, like I must get off this task to finish another. Or I need to call someone, or how am I going to pay the mortage next month.

But now, right now this minute, this second I'm loving the feel of the keyboard under my fingers, watching the little black letters arranging themselves accross the screen, transfering my thoughts onto paper. Because, after all, thoughts become things now.

There. That felt good.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Who did I acknowledge today?

One of the joys of being back in Ocala is having my dear friend Jude close by. Seven years ago she started to ride her bike with me and it turned into something close to a ritual. We're quite competitive but in a friendly way, our biking is more about the fellowship between us and the people we cross along the way.

So on this sparkling Saturday morning, with the sun inching up into the solid blue sky we set off on our cycle along the Greenway. I felt electric and I was beaming as we pushed our pedals up the hill, puffing, grunting and trying all the time to carry on a normal conversation.

We greeted everyone going the other way. Parents and their children, lone in-line skaters, runners, other cyclists, the old and the young and the young at heart.

The best part was when we stopped to help two Asian ladies as they attempted to figure out the trails for the first time.

They weren't sure they could make it round. We were able to show them where the maps were at regular intervals, explain the inner loops and the outer loos and assure them that they would be just fine. Every road leads back to the main road.

"Tell you what," Jude said to them "We're going round the 5 mile loop again so we'll look out for you. Make sure you're not lost or collapsed!" They both broke out into radiant smiles.

"Thank you!" they chorused, "That sounds good!"

Then we all went our separate ways.

Half an hour later we saw them as we turned the corner, walking along without a care, carrying three of the largest pine cones I'd ever seen in my life.

"Hi! Looks like you're doing great!" I called out pointing to their treasures.

"Hi!" They grinned back delighted "You found us! And we didn't even have to take the short cut."

"Enjoy the beautiful day then!" Called Jude as we both whizzed past them.

There's a snapshot in my mind of their round brown faces shining in the sunlight, grinning as the raised the pine cones in a triumphant salute, cheering us on as we puffed up the next hill, chatting always chatting.

Friday, 7 November 2008

Did I ask a good question today?

It was such a beautiful day when I got up this morning, I was thrilled to jump out of bed and take off on my long walk. I met the same wrinkled man with his bouncy black Labrador dog going in the opposite direction. I've only been back in Ocala a few days and already I'm noticing other people's routines.

"Would it be a good idea if I came up and said hello?" I asked him.

"Sure." He smiled as the excited Lab tugged on the leash.

"Is she OK with strangers?"

"Oh yeah. Abby loves people. She'll lick you to death."

We said hello and goodbye and as I walked on, I thought to myself that neither were particularly good questions. I promised myself to think more about the questions throughout the day.

I hopped into the shower about two hours later and the question thoughts just sluiced down the drain with the soapy water from my hair. I completely forgot for the rest of the day.

But guess what? As I sit here late in the evening I'm happy that I did ask those questions. Because with them I made contact with another human being and his beloved black dog. His tone was sweet and his attitude towards Abby was enchanting. He made me feel warm and Abby's toungue which licked me all over, just as he had predicted, was also warm in the chilly morning air.

Communication. It's such a wonderful thing and so easily can be such a deadly thing too. Thoughts become words and words become things. And with that little bit of communication this morning, I started my day in such a positive, loving way - warmed by a casual connection with a stranger on a lonely stretch of deserted road somewhere in a little town called Ocala.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

If money weren't an object, what car would you get?

That was one of the very first questions that jarred me. I'm usually good at answering questions and having opinions about many things. This, however, involved something personal about me and it touched on something I'd never thought about before.

What sort of a car would I get? I had no earthly idea. To me a car is a means to an end. Yes, I like it to be relatively comfortable and since I live in Florida I'd prefer it to have a good AC unit.

The person who asked the question was actually prompting further thought about my likes and dislikes and I was stumped.

A Volvo? A Mercedes Benz? A Jaguar? Some people know instantly, almost instinctively what they want. I know, because since then I've asked many people this very question. They respond without a moment's hesitation and often go into lengthy descriptions of the car they'd have.

I'm still stuck on the essence of relliability and the AC of course. Maybe it should have room to stick soil and plants in it, becauseI love gardening; it should have room to carry my bike too so I can throw it in when I want to go out a ride on the trails. Room for my friends because my kids are all grown and the dogs are gone.

Speed? Torque? Stick shift? Those are important things for the people who know what they want. Retrofitting, custom tires and wheels and so the list goes on. Tony Robbins says "close your eyes and feel the steering wheel of the car of your dreams ... then drive it." I think I saw a Janguar, but I couldn't be sure.

Is this why I'm happy with what I've got? I love my Highlander. I did put leather in after I bought it because I don't like getting sirty sweaty stains on fabric. Hmmm. I'm still thinking, perhaps I'm happy with what I have - or perhaps I don't really have a dream about a car?

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Ask and you shall receive ...

Would you like sugar in your coffee?
Milk in your tea?
What time does the show start?
Can I pay for this later?
Are were there yet?
How long will it be?

All those questions have limited answers that help us get what we like or want.

But what about those questions that prompt more questions? What about those questions that invite the other person to reveal something about themselves (or not)? To give me a response that might not be something I want to hear?

So I'm on a quest in search of good questions, better questions, thought-provoking questions beyond classroom questions. I'm tired of canned responses. I want to challenge my brain to think deeper, probe harder, tap into the inner resources that lie there dormant day after day after day.

I'm going to ask a great question every day and try to formulate my response for the day, maybe you can tell me how you would have responded or what your response (if any) was to the question.