Is it Wrong to Right a Wrong?

It was a small, almost insignificant detail that opened a can of worms. One simple sentence and a huge learning experience for me.

I was in Grade 8 and our English teacher was discussing a short story we were required to read. It was ‘Tight Corners’ by E.V Lucas.

Anyway, our teacher – let’s call her Mrs. G, was discussing a particular section of the story.

“Picture after picture was put up and sold, but I saw none of them.

Mrs. G seemed to understand that as: “Picture after picture was put up to be sold, but I saw none of them.

She continued explaining it this way to the class, who didn’t seem to notice the subtle difference between the two sentences.

So, in my naïveté, I put up my hand and said, ‘Miss, it’s not the same. What the author said is …’ and I earnestly pointed out the difference.

In retrospect, I suspect I was also naïve enough to think that Mrs. G was going to be thrilled that I was a diligent student who had picked up on the subtle nuances of the English language.

I was wrong – totally wrong! She reacted in a way I could not have foreseen. She called me ‘challenging’ and wondered how I could be so different from my brothers who obviously had never rocked the boat.

I stood there dumbfounded and shaken, while she ranted on and on. By the end of her tirade I was left feeling vulnerable and cheated.

I was certain I had been correct in my analysis of the sentence and the only intention that drove a somewhat reserved child like me to voice my opinions in class was because I didn’t want others to learn something I deemed technically incorrect.

Of course I didn’t argue with this teacher – I simply couldn’t, because she was too emotionally charged!

Later as we waited in the parking lot for our rides home, my friend told me she thought I shouldn’t have brought up the topic and made Mrs. G upset, because I was wrong anyway!

I could not believe my ears. Here I was, sticking my neck out to ‘help’ my classmates not to learn the ‘wrong’ thing and she didn’t even recognize that, let alone appreciate it! I spent the afternoon trying to sort out my feeling of betrayal, which now seemed more bothersome than my teacher’s tirade.

That experience taught me a couple of valuable lessons. I realised that teachers can be as vulnerable as anyone else and perhaps I could’ve been more considerate and voiced my opinions privately to her. But then, how many thirteen-year-olds are all that diplomatic?

I’ve come a long way in my understanding since then. I began to see that although ‘ ‘change’ is inevitable, it is somewhat optional too. (Here I was, attempting to change an idea that was being established.)

My classmates however, were quite content not caring about minor details. Even though they didn’t seem to know what I knew (and wanted to share) understanding the subtleties of English probably would not have made a major difference in their lives. So why did I feel the need to share my insight with them? I suspect it was a somewhat misguided sense of wanting to help by picking out a flaw.

Society teaches us that duty and service are admirable traits and many of us fall into the trap of becoming the policemen of the world at the cost of our own happiness.

I admit I too fell prey to this philosophy even after that incident at school and believed that not speaking up over an injustice was tantamount to being complicit to a wrong doing. But that was before I understood some basics about life and how the laws of the Universe actually work.

Now that I know better, I’m happy to let Law of Attraction take care of everything for me while I do what I ought to have done all along – mind my own business and let others do the same. I don’t believe that focusing on the ‘wrongs’ in the world is necessary to right them.

But I do say that visualising a preferred outcome is the way to go.

Why? Because pushing against something to prove that one is ‘right’ builds undue resistance…. which leads to conflict and angst. And I believe that nothing is really worth sacrificing one’s happiness.

People will discover their own truths (or rather their own path of least resistance) that will serve them better than anything that is offered when they are unwilling to hear another opinion. (‘A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still’)

However, visualising a better outcome in my opinion, is like hitting the reset button. As Dr. Wayne Dyer said, ‘Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change’. Well that’s what happens. Whatever you focus on, tends to expand.

So why not turn the tide on something unwanted and get a preferred outcome instead?

These days I am not as dutiful as I once was but I am a lot more content letting people do what they do. That’s because I am convinced that things are always working out for everyone and people will sooner or later, find solutions that work for them.

This is just my perspective, but it’s not all about me. I’d like to know your thoughts as well, so please feel free to leave a comment below. Thanks for reading!

© 2018 G.A.I.L

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The Fine Art of Procrastination

I’m a recovering procrastinator – and not at all afraid to admit it, especially now that I see this big bugbear for what it really is.

Who amongst us is not guilty of a little procrastination once in a while? We put off doing things we think aren’t terribly important or which can wait just that little big longer… or until a deadline looms uncomfortably close.

A few months ago, I finally figured out that it was my need for perfection that was the root cause of my procrastination.

In my quest for understanding more about this bugbear, I discovered my own twelve steps that put me pretty much on the road to recovery.

1. Understanding the dynamics of how things work

Everything in the Universe operates with Law of Attraction in the background. Each thought carries a vibration and therefore is capable of attracting thoughts that are on a similar vibrational frequency. This creates momentum which can move in any direction – beneficial or not.

Procrastination like everything else, is all about the balance of energy in one’s psyche. The thoughts we think, carry a vibration that is more real than any of us might care to admit.

2. Making peace with the ‘enemy’

People who procrastinate are actually wiser than those who rush into action. Procrastinators are sensible enough to know that their energy (their net balance of thoughts) is not lined up and they realize on a subconscious level that this does make a big difference.

Before I realized that the need for perfection was stalling my efforts, I too procrastinated without knowing why I found myself hesitating.

Simply put, no amount of action can compensate for energy that is not aligned.

3. What is this ‘energy’?

This energy is the chatter of thoughts that percolate our minds everyday. We want many things, but we often sabotage our own desires, with doubt. 

4. Your power is in the ‘Now’

No matter how bad things may have gone in the past or how critically your actions have ever been evaluated, everyone’s true power really begins in each new moment. As conscious creators, we do have the power to direct our thoughts in a way that is more productive.

5. ‘And’ or ‘But’

Consider something you really want and then pay attention to the thoughts that follow. For example, take this simple statement of intent:

‘I’d like to write an article…’

‘I’d like to write an article but I’m not sure who’s going to resonate with it.’

Or‘I’d like to write an article and I’d like a lot of people to resonate with it.’

The first statement has plenty of doubt, while the second one is open to possibility.

(There’s nothing as frustrating as having split energy, when you want one thing but doubt that you can ever achieve it.)

I know this may sound like a trivial point, but it does make a huge difference. Try it for yourself and see.

6. Rev up your energy

Each of us gets to choose what we want in life and it’s up to us to get our energy moving in a direction that serves us.

Start with anything that you think is fun or interesting to do. It may not necessarily be on the subject that you are procrastinating about. But it creates a feeling of satisfaction which can be the starting point for some positive momentum. A happy vibe puts you in the right mood to approach your bugbear with less trepidation.

7. We’re all in it together

The Universe (or God) is certainly able to provide anything you desire, but you have to be a vibrational match to it. Religions call this faith, which is that certain ‘trust’ which allows you to surrender to a higher power, enabling you to move steadily towards your goal without diluting it with doubt.

I guess we all assume that hard work and action is the only way to yield results.

I buy into the philosophy that getting your energy aligned (i.e. creating a positive and fertile environment) before taking action, is the magic button that opens the door to anything you set your heart on. Circumstances and events line themselves up perfectly and things seem to fall into place pretty effortlessly.

8. Every step counts

Creating a cheerful atmosphere for yourself is the first step. Taking the teeniest step towards the very thing you had been procrastinating about is the next step. If it was an article you hadn’t yet got down to writing, maybe putting a few words down on paper might be a good start. It doesn’t even have to be something spectacular – just starting it is a great step forward. As the saying goes, ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’. And so it is. One cheerful step leads to another and another.

9. Use your emotional radar

It’s easy enough to slip into shades of dissatisfaction, especially if you are a born perfectionist and have some high standards to meet. But you can use your emotional radar to ‘feel’ if you are on the right path or not. A cheerful feeling means you are harnessing some positive momentum and have more likelihood to moving towards your goal, rather than away from it.

10. Harnessing your own cheerleaders

It’s great to have people who encourage your efforts but it can get exhausting for them too, especially if they feel duty bound to do so. I think the best cheerleader one will ever need, is a feeling of satisfaction. Each thought of satisfaction vibrates like a veritable cheerleader. And by harnessing more of these satisfying thoughts you can put together your own little team of cheerleaders tucked away quietly in the privacy of your mind.

11. Let everyone else off the hook

When you are focused steadily enough on your goals you are the only person who has any obligation to keep them in sight without worrying over any current situation that has the potential to derail or sabotage you. People might give you their perspective on what you should do, which can be dampening or maybe even infuriating. But it’s your job to calmly refocus and get your act together, so to speak.

12. Follow your path of least resistance.

Only you can truly know what floats your boat and what does not. There are many paths to achieving any goal and you decide what the best fit is for you.

Here’s a lovely insight I came across recently from Abraham Hicks, which makes perfect sense:

Make a decision and then make it right. There just are no wrong decisions. You could go this way, or that way, and either way will eventually get you to where you want to be. But in the moment you start complimenting yourself on the decision you’ve made, in that moment, you come back into vibrational alignment with who you really are.” – Abraham Hicks.

Oh by the way, I did say I was a ‘recovering’ procrastinator, didn’t I? If I were fully recovered, this post would’ve been out much earlier;)

But I’ve made a big step in my own journey and if you’d like to take a leaf out of my book, you’re more than welcome to do so!

© 2018 G.A.I.L

Change The Way You Look At Things

Dr. Wayne Dyer has been a huge influence in my life. Over the years, my thinking has been molded ever so gently by many interesting philosophies he shared through his writing and through his talks.

Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change is a simple enough statement, yet so very profound. For me, it has been the metaphoric key that managed to open many doors.

It’s not too difficult to see the value of how changing the way you look at things can provide that shift in perspective that may seem minor, but is capable of making a huge difference.

Dr. Wayne Dyer I believe, was advocating people to look within themselves to find solutions, rather outside themselves. This makes perfect sense, especially now that I understand the mechanics of how Law of Attraction operates.

We tend to ‘react’ to circumstances because that seems to be the most natural thing to do. If people are callous or unkind, our gut reaction is to feel hurt or angry. We often buy into the misconception that people/circumstances need to change before we can be happy.

But what I’ve come to learn is that we do have a choice in every moment, to move in the direction of how we’d prefer to feel. I’ll admit it’s not always easy though. Yet ‘changing the way you look at things’ does make a big difference.

To me, that single decision to look at things in a different way is like a pivot, capable of creating a totally different reality. And that is because we can utilize the leverage that Law of Attraction provides.

Rather than feel slighted by someone’s actions, simply understanding that they may be having a bad day (which has nothing to do with you) can soften your gut reaction to the behaviour they are exhibiting at the moment.

Now that you no longer feel like a target, you can be who you really are at the core of your being – more centred and nonreactive. It is somehow easier to be more compassionate and less judgemental. There is a certain unnecessary resistance that crops up when you question ‘why’ someone may have treated you the way they did.

Law of Attraction which is always operating in the background continues to gather thoughts that are on a similar vibrational frequency.

Very soon a new momentum begins from the more neutral starting point of compassion. More general, kindly thoughts begin to find their way in – and not long after, the very thing that had seemed so awful before, tends to look a whole lot better. Bingo! The thing you looked at initially did change because of the way you looked at it!

The very same condition that had initially seemed like a roadblock, now becomes just a temporary setback that can be overcome, because the door to possibility has just been opened and many solutions can now find their way in.

I believe that life is fluid and dynamic and any condition can be molded into something more satisfying at any point.

In my own experience, a few years ago I found myself face to face with a serious medical diagnosis and later a paralyzed arm. Thanks to what I’d learnt from Dr. Wayne Dyer and others like him, I found it easy enough to pivot away from a situation that had the potential to be bleak and overwhelming, to one that is more life-giving.

Rather than allowing my physical condition to become a roadblock that might prevent me from enjoying life, I chose to see this experience as an opportunity to find ways to work around my disability. I get a special thrill of attempting to do things I feel inspired to do, even though they might seem totally unnecessary to any onlooker. Maybe no one will understand why I ever bothered sewing a dress for myself with one working arm, when it would’ve been more ‘normal’ to ask someone else to do it for me. The dress turned out perfectly wearable and I was thrilled that my effort paid off so well.

I reckon that pushing the boundaries of my creativity gets my juices flowing … and the satisfaction of accomplishing something new, is what smooths my path and makes my journey more joyous.

And each time, my door opens just that much wider.

© 2018 G.A.I.L

More Than Just a Smile

When we were young, my sister and I were often late as we made our way to church on Sunday mornings. As we hurried along, we would invariably cross a man we knew as Mr. Q coming back from the previous mass.

We knew he lived somewhere down the street from us, but we had never really spoken to him. Crossing each other as we did almost every Sunday, it seemed the most natural thing for us to acknowledge each other with a smile.

But the peculiar thing about Mr. Q, is that he always seemed to have a vague, but pleasant smile on his face even before we actually came face to face with him. It was as if his face had a default setting programmed to have a smile ready, along with the slightest of nods, just in case anyone happened to look his way.

He’d never look directly at anyone and his smile seemed (to us a least), to be up there for grabs, for anyone who happened to be looking in that direction.

Of course this would amuse us no end and we never seemed to tire of chuckling over his shyness, week after week.

A few days ago I found myself recalling this incident as I pondered about how we relate, as we interact with each other.

Each of us is part of a larger consciousness and therefore part of a bigger picture, like drops in a pool. I firmly believe that this pool is like a cyberspace of ‘thought’. Every thought that has been thought exists within that pool in an intangible form. And like Mr. Q’s smile, this thought is up for grabs for anyone who happens to be in the vibrational vicinity of receiving it.

Hasn’t it happened often enough, that the person you’re thinking about just happens to call up, seemingly out of the blue? We put it down as ‘coincidence’ but as I understand it now, it is simply one thought, rendezvousing with another thought which happens to be on the same wavelength. Often this resonance is strong enough that it causes an actual real-life experience to unfold.

For most of us, it’s easier to accept an experience like this as coincidence, rather than a manifestation of something that’s going on at a vibrational or thought level within us, which causes the experience.

I’ve always had an insatiable desire to understand exactly how life works. And now that I have a steady enough concept of how Law of Attraction operates, everything has become a lot clearer for me. I’m absolutely fascinated with how consistent this universal law is, and eager enough to share my insights with anyone who’s listening.

Writing my blog is pretty much putting my personal thinking out into that cyberspace of thought and I can’t help feeling a teeny thrill knowing that I have shared my ‘two bits’ with the world at large – very much like Mr. Q’s smile.

Some will resonate with what I have to say while others may not. Yet others may take my ideas, reuse them in their own way, content that they have found resonance within their own little circles.

But like Mr. Q, I’m just satisfied with having ‘smiled’ my thoughts unto the Universe.

© 2018 G.A.I.L

The Best Gift of all

I’m probably a renegade of sorts, but I do not seriously buy into the practice of gift giving on a designated day. I believe in spontaneity so I find it hard to imagine that everyone suddenly becomes ‘cheerful’ on the appointed day as they exchange greetings, gifts and goodies.

Take Christmas, for example. I think most adults go with the flow, putting on a facade of cheerfulness in keeping with the ‘spirit of Christmas’.

I find it a little contrived to have a specific day assigned to exchange gifts. While a gift is certainly a token of love or connection, I think true love or true connections can exist quite happily without the need for a gift – unless it follows an inspired thought which can happen on any random day during the year.

Yet society has trained us to believe that we have a certain obligation to fulfil when a certain date rolls by.

Wouldn’t it be so much better to be give in to random acts of kindness any time during the year, whenever one felt inspired to and not simply because it was somehow ‘expected’ of you?

I think society has also taught us to value ourselves through the eyes of others which is why it seems important to tick off the right boxes at the appropriate time.

A forwarded greeting seems to be the norm these days, ensuring that one is at least thought about on special occasions. Sadly this may only be because you exist in someone’s list of contacts and they don’t want to offend you by not sending you their greetings! That, in my opinion, is as meaningless as a smile which does not reach the eyes.

I think the best gift anyone can ever give, is to simply be authentic and totally unfettered from any obligation.

As Dr. Seuss put it ever so succinctly, ‘Be who you are and say how you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.’

While you may never win a popularity contest, you will get full marks for authenticity and the world will be a better place because of that.

© 2018 G.A.I.L

Bringing Things into Focus

I was thinking about focus the other day, and somehow just the word ‘focus’ managed to trigger a memory that made me smile.

Around eight years ago my husband and I had taken the boys for a movie. It was ‘Karate Kid’ and as we left the theatre, the words of Mr. Han (Jackie Chan) were still echoing in my mind. ‘Focus. You need more focus’.

As we walked across the concreted area to the car park I couldn’t resist doing my own playful impersonation of Jackie Chan. With mock seriousness, I pointed my index and middle fingers towards my eyes the way Jackie Chan had done and said to the boys, ‘You need to focus’. At that precise moment my foot caught on the wooden projection of a planter and a second later I found myself in a heap on the ground!

Even though I was caught off guard, my sense of humour kicked in and I began to laugh. My husband and boys were startled, to say the least. One minute I was right beside them and the next minute I was not! They hurried to help me up and I simply couldn’t help chuckling, even as I saw the concern in their eyes. It was the sheer incongruousness of the situation that had me heartily amused. Here I was talking about focus and managed to accomplish the exact opposite!

Eight years later I can view this incident with fresh understanding, based on what I’ve discovered through my life experience since then.

You see, I’m pretty much sold on to the idea that we create our own reality by our outlook, perspectives and everything in between.

All of us have a mix of thoughts because we have many things going on in different areas of our life. It is the net balance of thoughts/feelings that determine our point of attraction and how experiences manage to unfold in our lives in real time. We recognise some of them when they present as ‘coincidences’ and often these delightful events have us quite intrigued.

I have never been quite the focused person I’d like to be. I used to attribute it to the fact that motherhood demanded that I multitask, but I’m not so sure about that. I tend to begin many projects at the same time and they mature into completion slowly and steadily, based on the time I’m able to fuel them with.

This trait does not particularly bother me and I’m still able to function pretty satisfyingly despite it. But as I see it in hindsight, the incident that unfolded was a superb blend of everything I had bubbling vibrationally within me. The juxtaposition of my somewhat unfocused ways against this playful ‘intent to focus’ caused a ripple in my vibration, highlighting the fact that my lack of focus was my stumbling block—quite literally!!

There are some things we’ll never know for sure and my speculations may seem as sketchy as perhaps the interpretation of a dream. But my cheerful curiosity and theories about life in all its facets, is certainly food for thought—even though I’ll admit we all have way different tastes and palates!

© 2018 G.A.I.L

Path of Least Resistance

There are a myriad of different ways to go about doing anything, but we tend to choose the path that feels the most comfortable. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that! In the same way that water finds its own level, I guess we all have our own unique styles of figuring out ways to achieve our goals.

In my case, my kids helped me to see that there isn’t just one prescribed way of accomplishing anything. As a new mother I’d happily assumed that I knew better what was good for them, simply because I had more life experience than they did. I also believed I could see further down the track than they were capable of doing. (I dare say most mothers are guilty of exactly the same thing.)

But that was before I even realized what the path of least resistance was all about.

As a lot of parents do by default, I simply assumed that my kids needed to follow my path of least resistance and not their own path! When they were little, I insisted on a bed time of 8 o’clock. This was pretty much non-negotiable because I truly believed that rest was important and I was keen on them developing good habits. My own childhood had been a little chaotic, with no fun bedtime routines and no enforced bedtime either. I would often end up sleeping later than I probably ought to have and seldom woke up fully refreshed. My path of least resistance therefore, was to chalk out a better routine for my children and guide them to follow it.

They however resisted my carefully structured routine to different degrees. My older son insisted he couldn’t get sleep and I was powerless to dispute that. I slowly began to relax into allowing them some degree of autonomy over the years, rather than insist on them doing something I was convinced was ‘good’ for them. I began to sense that any resistance on their part would most certainly negate any good habits I might’ve been forcibly trying to heap on them.

Needless to say, I now see things a lot differently. I believe there is a River of Life that exists for all of us, that we can choose to go with—or not. I now understand that we go with the flow when we’re satisfied— and we move against the current when we’re not.  There will always be people around us on similar journeys (but of course not at exactly the same point) who will give us a friendly tip or two. It is up to each one of us to consider carefully any advice that comes our way and see if it will serve us, either at that moment or sometime in the future.

While children may often seem uninterested in the things that seem important to us, they really are carving out a path for themselves which to them, is easier and far more satisfying. While it may not yield the results their parents were hoping for in the short term, they are indeed having a more scenic and fulfilled ride.  And as they course down their own path of least resistance they often make a definite contribution to the whole, as in with new inventions or a new way of doing things.

Many of the older generation believe that kids spend too much of time on their devices. I don’t disagree at all with that observation. But I would argue that even whilst they do so, they are in fact picking up valuable skills that can enable them to navigate easily and confidently through a rapidly evolving technological world. Isn’t that simply their path of least resistance—as they move from one satisfied moment to the next?

There is a certain degree of incongruence in expecting children to blindly follow their parents’ ways without question. If that were the case, then nothing would’ve moved past the Stone Age where people rubbed rocks together to light a fire!

Many of our beliefs hinder our journey in the same way that rocks or fallen tree stumps force a river to alter its course. Thoughts of unworthiness, guilt or even a perceived misconception that we may not be good enough, can block the flow for a while.

But in my understanding of how the Universe works (with Law of Attraction as the engine that drives it along) there will always be a path of lesser resistance that opens up to create a manifestation. What I mean is that we, (as consciousness personified) actually attract to ourselves, experiences and rendezvous that move us along the River of Life. While illness, accidents and ‘disasters’ of any kind are definitely the most undesirable of all manifestations they also hold the potential for immense spiritual growth.

With the benefit of hindsight I can now see how my journey through illness was the path of least resistance for me. I attracted a medical condition that was not absolutely life threatening, but was serious enough that I had to stop and take stock of my life and everything that was important to me.  I had always had an insatiable thirst to know more about the purpose of life and how everything fits together. But my curiosity always seemed to take a backseat to my role as a mother, which I took very seriously.  And through a somewhat convoluted path, I managed to find answers to many of the questions I had asked. My new found ‘clarity’ may be old news to many people, but it’s huge for me. And now that I get it, it all seems so simple…

I know my viewpoint will seem incredulous if not outrageous to a lot of people and I certainly don’t expect everyone to buy into my philosophy. But l do feel inspired to share my insights because there may be someone on a journey close enough to mine who can hear what I have to say, use it if it resonates, or store it for later.

I’m okay with that … because after all, there isn’t only one prescribed way of doing anything. At the end of the day all of us get to choose which path we take.

 

© 2018 G.A.I.L