Wednesday, 26 December 2012

My Word for 2013 - Surrender

Every year, I choose (or am led to, really) a single word-concept that will be the overall focus for the coming year.  For 2013 my word for the year will be SURRENDER.

I've been doing this for five years now, and it's a very interesting process. Generally, the things experienced and learned for a given word-concept are ongoing, that is, it's not like the moment the calender swings over, everything to do with that word-concept just stops. It's more like planting seeds, which grow into plants, which keep growing and blossoming and bearing fruit, although the focus changes to some new plant.

In our Western culture, SURRENDER has often been synonymous with LOSING. As in, poor you, you gave in, you gave up, you great big LOSER. Wars are created because the parties involved just couldn't let go, forgive, give in, release.

Surrendering is never seen as winning, in this way of looking at things. Non-resistance is seen as weakness, along with gentleness and passivity. The concepts of honour and saving face rule over all. People are more afraid of losing than of dying horribly and violently.

In 2013 instead of being caught up in what could be, what should be, or holding on to shouldas, couldas and wouldas, I'm simply going to attempt to surrender more to what is.  An alternative word could have been acceptance, but acceptance is done superficially each and every day.  To surrender seems more profound and purposeful, which is precisely why I need to do it more often.

How about you my fellow bloggers? Do you have a word for 2013?

"If you surrender completely to the moments as they pass, you live more richly those moments"
~~  Anne Morrow Lindbergh

This photo was taken at Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney in 2008 and made into a Scrapblog.
The artist Steinunn Thorarinsdottir from Iceland called the sculpture "Presence"

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

The Real Things in Life - Part 2

More advice that is constantly offered:

Be Healthy!

Of course it's good to be healthy, but this advice is normally so thoroughly bundled up with shame it often does more harm than good.

Yes, people enjoy happier and longer lives if they are not carrying extra weight.

They also enjoy longer and happier lives if they are not laid low by anxiety, depression and self-contempt.

Is our central problem that we ask too little of ourselves or that we demand too much?

We hate ourselves for our every imperfection and then we over-consume in various ways to suppress the shame of that previous over-consumption.

There are two epidemics under way in the West - obesity and depression.

How interesting that both started just as people began obsessing over their body mass index.

"The trouble with always trying to preserve the health of the body is that it is so difficult to do without destroying the health of the mind."
~~ G.K. Chesterton

I haven't shown photos of my two favourite boys for some time.  Here are a couple taken this year.

Bella and Charlie (aged 8) hanging out together - June 2012

Joseph aged 6. Photo taken at his school art exhibition  - September 2012.

PS  Still haven't found another music site, but discovered how to add a youtube and start it playing when you click on my blog.  So much for the peace and quiet!

Monday, 10 December 2012

The Real Things in Life - Part 1

People give us advice all day long - parents, lifestyle coaches, magazines, self-help gurus.  What a pity most of it is wrong!

Here is some food for thought Part 1:
Live in the present - This piece of advice is so often cited it has become a reason for NOT living in the present, since so much of the "present" now consists of people lecturing us about how we should live in it.

Actually the recollected past and the anticipated future are both quite nourishing places.  The present nearly always involves a soup of distractions; it contains the thing that's important, plus lots of things that get in the way.

Recollecting the moment you stood in front of a favourite painting/sculpture, for example, is often better than the moment itself, in recollection you can strip out all the things that were unimportant: your sore feet, the couple talking loudly behind you, the queue for admission.  Memory pares down the moment to its essence.

The same is true of the birth of a child, a kiss, a bushwalk.  In memory, the experience is at its most intense and pure.  After remembering these things in blissful reverie, we can then anticipate similar, or better, experiences in the future, the hoped-for experience fizzing in our mind in a way that is pure and unencumbered.

I'm not attacking the present.  It's highly useful in prompting both recollection and anticipation - the real things in life.

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes"
~~ Marcel Proust

Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney November 2012.
Artist Greer Taylor, NSW called this delightful piece of artwork "transition"

PS My music site MixPod has closed and I haven't found the time to find another site, but I will get around to it shortly....meanwhile enjoy the peace and quiet.