Tag Archives: reflection

Counting Your Blessings

It’s important every now and then to stop, think, reflect and take stock. In these moments of reflection it’s equally important to count your blessings.

A quote I came across recently inspired such a reaction in myself. You may or may not be familiar with the Netflix series Marco Polo. But one of my favourite characters 100 Eyes, a blind monk, stated (and I’m paraphrasing)

“An unhappy man will always find reason to continue his cause”

This wildly profound sentence, in one fell stroke, encapsulated a very specific period in my life as well as its aftershocks, the rippling effects that, at times, I still find myself grappling with.

What is often missed is that your blessings are often more abundant that perhaps you care to see or admit, as most reside in the realms of expectations and comfort. They’ve always been there, they will likely always reside there and thus we are often blind to them.

The problem is that they may not seem to be enough, seem to be important enough. Not at least until they are challenged or removed from our lives entirely, often unto the gates of eternity, never to return to us again. In this solemn abyss lies regret and sadness, spectres of self-reflected guilt and loss.

Taking stock can help remind you and shed light on how truly fortunate you are, how small your problems really are, remind you that the light will always follow the dark and that your blessings can be as universal to the world as they are personal to you.

So, what are my blessings?

  • Family – Past and Present, there will likely never be anyone or anything more important than your family.
  • Friends – Coming a close second to your family, so much so that at times the lines become blurred, these are people you cannot live without.
  • Health –  Rich or poor, your health is paramount to your quality of life and is fundamental to your very existence.
  • My Mind – I’d be lost without it. The double-edged sword that is both one of my greatest assest whilst simultanesously being my greatest challenge and adversary.
  • A Roof – I’ve been fortunate enough, and continue to be so, to have a roof over my head. Protection from the elements and somewhere safe to rest my head.
  • Food & Water – Access in abundance if I so required, a privallege not afforded to everyone.
  • My Senses – My gateway to the world, all as of yet intact, allowing me to experience everything this beautiful planet has to offer.
  • My Imagination – A source of great comfort and adventure, as much as it is, at times, a scary place to wonder alone,
  • The Ability to Think & Question Freely – One of my greatest joys is thinking, something so remarkably simple, yet almost unrivalled in its intrigue.
  • Emotion & Expression – Imagine your life without emotion and the ability to express or read them, how empty the experience would be.
  • My Memories & Experiences – A library of lessons, an ever growing training manual and a show reel of every utterly great moment.
  • The Promise, that Good or Bad, There is Yet More to Come – It’s not over yet. There is still so much to see, learn, experience and do, and it’s all out there, waiting for you.

Take heart …….

I challenge you to stop  and pause, to think and reflect, to see what you’ll discover.

(Image(s) Via WallQuotes)

A New Year, A New Me? Well the Same Me, or at least Not the Old Me.

Here we are, standing at the precipice, timidly looking over the edge into the great abyss, the bleak never ending unknown. Filled with hope, desire, excitement or perhaps trepidation, taking the plunge is not a choice left to us. As we nervously look towards our futures, the restless pendulum of time, forever swinging, edges us ever closer. Whether we like it or not the new year is arriving, and it’s here to stay.

It seems almost obligatory these days, to end the year on a note of reflection. However I seem to have committed a slight faux pas, in that a wrote about my reflections a little prematurely. Although you can still check them out here. This year will be slightly different, in that I won’t be setting any resolutions for myself. In the background I can hear a great sigh of relief coming from some of you. I always seem to find around the new year the developed world (I say this because I believe some parts of the world have slightly larger problems) splits into two camps, those ferociously posting comments and memes around the notion of a new year, a new me is all a load of rubbish. The other camp taking time to set a list of goals they optimistically hope to achieve in the coming year. Then, for a period of time, these two tribes do indeed go to war.

Putting that all aside, I’m not stating that I do not wish to optimistic, in fact it couldn’t be further from the case. At the same time, I don’t wish to promise myself I’ll eat better or healthier food, or that I’ll spend everyday in the gym sculpting iron clad abs. Instead I wish to leave the year a little more open, to take the hand of fate or destiny, so to speak, and see where it chooses to take me. I cannot predict the future, nor am I willing just to idly sit by and watch the world unfold before me. But I have yet to conjure a resolution in my mind that honestly feels worthwhile. Sure the goals that people do produce will effect their life in some way, more than likely it’ll be in  a positive way. But these goals or resolutions certainly don’t feel special or in any way monumental. They can be decided upon at any time of the year, and that’s what takes the real magic out of them. So until I can think of something worthy of the occasion, I feel it’s best that I graciously bow out of proceedings.

Having said that, this air of self-improvement is almost inescapable. Of course we are expecting gyms to be packed, diets to be launched and all manner of things to be undertaken against a backdrop of eye rolling from those who believe it won’t last. In my opinion, no matter how brief, any measure or attempt to indulge yourself in self-improvement is time well spent. I salute you all. I understand, sometimes life does get in the way, and resolutions become less important or just crumble away. It’s not a reason to abandon them all together. I haven’t abandoned them, I just haven’t found the right one(s). If you do wish to start the year as you mean to go on, then surely a sprinkling of optimism and energy are the right way to go about it. So I implore you to make you resolutions and nail them to you front door for the world to see, embrace the tradition and become that all-elusive new you, after all, you can’t go back to being the old you.

 

Have a Happy New Year and I wish you all the luck in the world.

Feeling Blessed

You’ll have to excuse the some what cheesy title, but at the current moment I find myself in an odd mood, following strange lines on inquiry in this crazy mind of mine. But it’s not as bad as it may sound, or indeed as it may appear. At the tail end of these trains of thought, I have repeatedly found a smile, well more of a smirk in fact, awaiting me, positively uncontrollable I’m afraid.

So what has inspired this rather nonsensical post? Well a number of things. Firstly, I set a goal to post at least twice a week, so even if it does turn out to be nonsense, at least that goal is met and more importantly I am still writing. Secondly, recently I’ve been watching a series of uplifting films, like Disney films and oddly Southpaw, which you may not consider uplifting. But at its core, the story is about a man’s struggle to turn his life around and regain what he had lost. A pretty noble cause if you ask me. Finally, I suppose the whole cliché of reflection that is very common place towards the ending of a year is also partly to blame for this unedited stream of consciousness onto this very blank page. I’m not sure if it’s culture, or something more innate that causes us to look back, but try as we might, we can’t avoid it. Of course there are the famous notions, and well founded notions, of the lessons we can learn for the past, but this form of reflection seems to hold another purpose.

Perhaps we are looking for a way to justify our actions, or to justify the position we find ourselves in when the clock strikes twelve and the bells call out to us. Was it all worth it, could I have done better, been more? Perhaps it’s simply a matter of observation, a method of comprehension and understanding. We look back to discover the how and the why, the reasons for why we are where we are and how we acted. Maybe it’s just an exercise to better understand ourselves. After all, not matter how much you plan, living is very much more a reactionary game then anything else.

The conclusion of my reflections? I do feel blessed. Now I feel it’s important to understand that I’m not truly a religious man, so when I say blessed, I doesn’t quite carry any such religious connotations. What I mean is that I have my health, my family and my friends, both new and old. I’ve embraced a fantastic opportunity to move to the other side of the world. I’ve met many challenges, some of which I have overcome, and others that have taught me lessons. I may not be entirely satisfied with everything, like my living arrangements, for example. But, on the other hand, I’m grateful that I do have somewhere to live, somewhere to rest my weary head in relative comfort. Quite simply, I have enough, and it’s a real joy, pleasure and privilege to mutter those words. As the new year approaches it is always a good time to reflect on what you’ve achieved and to search through your past for the lessons waiting there to be learned. So I encourage you to take some time and do just that, reflect. Although I’m more than certain, your mind will wonder those corridors whether you want it to or not.