Friday 27 March 2009

Never Lose.

Never lose. Never lose that passion of excitement that beats within you. Never lose that thirst for knowledge that keeps you alive. Never lose the childlike joy you have for the wonders of nature. Deep within us glows that battling spirit that will never be extinguished. Embrace, experience the euphoria that still speaks to you in the depths of your heart. Never lose.
You may have thought their is no hope in a hopeless world. Yet is this world that we create so hopeless? Are we so helpless that we let waves of negativity immerse us in relentless despair? We have choices. It is time to rejuvenate that flickering flame, allow it to burn brightly with renewed vigour. Let us focus on renewal of our humanity, our validity, our self-respect. Let us hold our heads high and rejoice in the beautiful music that still plays a positive tune in our souls.
Together, we can formulate inspiring songs in our human orchestra. We can do what we may have considered beyond our wildest dreams, indeed introduce to those who would be cynical of our altruism, an orchestra more profound, more poignant than any melody heard by mankind. For now is the time for those of us who have been undermined and dismissed, to bring to the world an orchestra of understanding. We are all great musicians, and together as one, we will spread the power of empathy.
Our lives can be an adventure rather than a misadventure. It is a new day, a new dawn, a fresh hope. That insatiable appetite, that quest for happiness, must not be diminished. The inner child is still there, curios and innocent. Smile in the knowledge that you are a good person. Understand that you have the right to be happy and live in peace. Turn what appears to be a negative into something that radiates positivity. Believe in yourself and you will never lose.

Wednesday 18 March 2009

Gnome Sweet Gnome.

With the radiance of excitement, I prepared myself for the annual 'oh good grief, what has happened to my beautiful garden?' tidy up ritual. It is amazing just how tired and messy a garden can be after another dreary winter.
Yet now it is spring here in Britain. Ah spring and all sorts of words spring to mind. Spring rolls, spring chicken, spring onions, Jerry Springer. I once had a tin of spring chicken soup. Trouble was that when I went to put on the can opener; the can of soup sprung into the air and bashed me in the eye.
The weather here has been very nice. Soaking in the rays of the warm sunshine, I wander around my garden. I observe the beauty, listen to the birds sing, hear the gentle breezes whistling through the trees and feel contentment as the wind chimes play a merry tune. Ah the joys of spring and a renewal of nature as it emblazes the land with wondrous colour.
Yes, the weather has been remarkably pleasant lately. One particularly pleasing sunny day a chap made a comment to me: "Hey up! It's hot in the sun." Well not one to be pedantic, however, just this once, I thought to myself: 'Ofcourse it's hot in the sun. Matter of fact the temperature at the centre of our local glowing orb is 27,000 degrees fahrenheit or 15,000 degrees centigrade.' Ofcourse, no matter which temperature measurement you prefer; that is pretty darn hot.
Now then, let's end this blog with some random garden thoughts. Why do they call them bedding plants? I expect them to have matching sheets, pillow cases and a nice duvet to be included in the purchase price. Why is alright for cats to run wild through my garden and use it as a public convenience? (which to me and many others is an inconvenience). Why don't responsible lovers of cats take the flippin' things for walks? Why is 'Gnome' spelt with a 'G'?
In closing, look at the smile on my friend, the garden Gnome. What a sweet smile. Gnome sweet Gnome.

Saturday 14 March 2009

Assertive Diplomacy.

If you have been conditioned to believe that your opinion, your concerns, have little or no validity, you may find using assertion skills to be a most daunting proposition. For if your self esteem has taken relentless battering, the very idea of expressing yourself in an assertive manner, may challenge the uncomfortable comfort zone you have placed yourself in.
After many years of feeling worthless, more years than I care to remember, I managed, somehow, to find within me the ability to realise that my right to expression, was an ability to be nurtured. So I had a choice. Would I let the perpertrators continue to undermine me? Would I go back under the duvet and believe those who dismissed me as irrelevant, were right in ignoring my humanity? I could not allow this to happen any longer. I discovered my self-respect.
In times of rather unfortunate disagreement, I maintain my composure. I have learnt assertive diplomacy. With this newly found confidence, I may have been tempted to sway from assertion to potential aggression Allow me to give you a 'real time' example. Right now, my son is in his room with his somewhat loud friends. Because I want to do this blog without distraction, I have put on headphones. So to the gentle tones of 'Little River Band', I continue to type away. However, someone is on a mobile phone. I'm getting awful buzzing feedback. I will be right back....
Okay then, I had three ways of sorting out the annoyance that is coming through my headphones. 1: I could have tried to ignore the noise and get on with it. 2: I could have become aggressive. 'Knock! knock!' "Hey you 'effin pond life...get off that bloody mobile phone..I'm trying to do my blog and even with the headphones on, you guys, who make a dirt-eating worm seem like Albert 'effin Einstein, are still invading my space!...turn off that mobile before I shove it somewhere that will make the sound rather muffled! Do you understand!?" 3: Practice assertive diplomacy. "Excuse me gentleman, I am trying to do a blog but I am getting distortion through my headphones. Would you be so kind as to finish your call fairly soon? Thank you."
Now I most definitely do not recommend option 2. Aggression, using statements starting with 'you', can cause the other person to feel the need to retaliate with equal verbal aggression. This is most unconstructive. If, however, we use assertion with statements that use the pronoun 'I', then we take responsibility, indeed ownership of our actions. This way, ideally, we can have positive interaction displayed in a cool, calm and assured way.
Assertive diplomacy can have any number of the following elements. Verbal communication, with a dash of charm and humour, should be stated in such a way that minimises confusion. We have to practice active listening. If we are to get our point across, we must appreciate that communication is a two-way process. Our 'body language' also plays a vital part in any interaction. This non-verbal form of communication, the gestures we use, conveys a great deal of what we are trying to express.
If we can incorporate good eye contact, maintain a relaxed body posture, use a clear voice and tone, we can, in most circumstances realise that assertion pays dividends. It is just a matter of challenging anxiety and knowing, no matter the outcome, we have reinforced our dignity, our self-respect.
My positive journey continues. May your own positive journey continue to grow in strength.

Sunday 8 March 2009

The World Turns.

The world turns, the sun sets and another day ends. In the gathering darkness, shadows from that place beyond my window, dance upon the walls. As the light grows ever dimmer, thoughts glow in my mind.
Has this been another day of negative energy? Or has the time on my own, contemplating a better future, been a time. truly well spent? As I get ready for sleep, I supress the negative 'chatter' that sabotages my positive thoughts.
To those that traumatised me, bullied me, played on my vulnerable state. I say, shame on them, for they will never, ever again, impose on my right to a better life.
The world turns, the sun sets and another day ends. Tomorrow brings new hope, new possibilities. At the dawning of the new day, we make a choice. Do we breathe in the fresh air of positive thoughts? Or do we give a negative environment permission to drown us in a sea of torment? The world turns, and with the new light, we see that if we are here for each other, we are here for ourselves.

One man lives and one man dies,
One child laughs and one child cries,
One man hates and one man loves,
One child sees war and one child sees doves.

Tuesday 3 March 2009

Negative Speculation.

I was travelling back to my home loaded down with shopping items. I checked my watch and realised that the school I had to walk by, was just about to close. This meant the mayhem that is the after school rush. If I picked up the pace, I reckoned there just might be a chance of avoiding the mayhem that is the after school rush.
As I neared the school, it became apparent that I was most likely going to be used as a convenient target to bump into. It had happened before, so I prepared myself. Prepared myself for the onslaught of screaming youngsters and the excitable, animated adults that had come to fetch them.
Now in Britain, American or Canadian 'football' is not exactly a sporting pastime. I chuckled to myself as I thought about the good old days when I used to play football and was very good at avoiding being tackled. (Heck, when a dude the size of a truck is heading towards you, it is a very good idea to avoid being tackled). Judging by what lay before me, a 'gridiron' uniform, complete with a helmut, may have been adequate protection. Well almost. Hmmm...Gary the 'gridiron gladiator'.
So, resided in the fact that getting past the school and onto the freedom of my home, was going to be a bit of an obstacle course, I bravely moved closer to the teeming mass of humanity. A little girl, about six years old, ploughed into me. "Watch where you're going!" yelled the man who was with her. I smiled and said to him, as I pointed further down the road: "Wish me luck." "What did you say? You got a problem?" he screamed at me. I repeated myself. All I was trying to do was see the funny side of what lay before me. He mumbled something and continued on his way.
I am a very sensitive person. This really shook me up. It had been a good day, sadly that one moment had caused me much anxiety. At times we can be guilty of assuming the worst. I had experienced an example of someone assuming the worst, when all I wanted was for him to realise the best. Perhaps he heard what he wanted to hear. If we choose to hear what we want to hear, we may not hear what is really spoken.
Negative speculation breeds a negative environment. Realistic, positive anticipation will make us, will make the world, a better place.