Do you control it OR does it control you?

Does it control you OR do you control it?

Does it control you or do you control it. Interesting statement. I cannot take credit for the blogpost – it came from a friend of mine who has known me for over 20 years.

Instantly in my mind came a graphic picture of two elements warring against each other, both determined to win but the victory undecided. In fact, it’s the one above this post here. So we chatted about it and I was saying I was going to create it and here it is!

You see, it doesn’t refer to a particular situation or circumstance, it can apply to anything. However, if you took this and used this to make people do just as you wanted, then that would be an inappropriate usage of the power that is within that statement. Control of one human being over another is wrong, no matter WHAT the circumstances.

Pondering is quite illuminating sometimes and I started to ponder on this. How would I be if I chose this in every situation in my life? How would this then impact my family? You see, we are all linked together and could never live on an island alone, without help, without food or without clothing and without drink?

But I am talking of my immediate family. I am going to be shaking the way we live and yes, it involves a number of changes. I know it won’t be easy, but we can get through it together as a family and yes, that’s important because Johnathan is moving up in life and some things need to change now that he is coming up to school age.

But then I thought what do I need to do for myself? I have been talking about self-care but relating that to just being a mindless person watching endless tv…so far removed from what it ACTUALLY is.

Has it got to the stage of controlling me? Not quite yet and it won’t! Sometimes you just need a little push to realise who you are and what you are intended to do on this earth. Your purpose for living hasn’t expired yet – if it had, you wouldn’t be here yourself!

I’ve had some knocks in the last couple of months, but that’s ok. It doesn’t matter if you need to take time to recover from things or the shock of them. Get yourselves out there again like me and go get those goals!

I heard or read a story (I can’t remember where) that a stonemason was sitting by the side of the road hitting a rock. A child was observing each thwack of the tools as the stonemason continued his work. Finally, he said to the stonemason “which thwack of the hammer breaks the stone you are working on?” The stonemason replied that it wasn’t the first one or the last one, or all the ones in between. It was all of them TOGETHER that created the crack which split the stone.” So don’t forget the little steps that got you to where you are.

So my question to you is…..Does it control you or do you control it?

Control

Control, control who has control?
Is it me or is it you?
Life continues as it is
Or changes as it goes.

All the different things in life
Control can be unusual
You didn’t think it mattered
But you did not have control.

There are so many things in life
Where you think you have control
But do you know what happens
When it controls your mind.

Today I want what’s best for you
And give your life some freedom
What you believe will change your life
If only you will live it.

Thoughts on mindset

I have had some thoughts on mindset this week. It has been an up and down week for me and I wanted to share with you the different things I have been considering.

From what I have seen I have noticed there are two distinct schools of thoughts on mindset. One is that you “fake it til you make it” and the other is that you work on challenging your thoughts and changing them.

To be honest with you, I didn’t know which of the two I needed to use. Should I fake it and do something I found hard to do or should I challenge my thoughts and change them?

Thing is, there are times I get bogged down with digital technology (ok, well, any technology but digital in particular). And with building a website, you run into a lot of technical things that are new and you need to learn them.

At the start of the week, I was doing well in finding and working out what I needed to do. Then panic set in and it seemed like an insurmountable job. I was working with DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY! My brain and body froze whenever I started to do anything and I couldn’t think straight.

Now I write blogposts, create digital art, use Facebook comparatively well, have conversations with my friends over Zoom or Facebook Messenger, am learning Instagram and Pinterest and Kevin has taught me how to play some digital games. Yet here I was, totally frozen in fear of building a website.

All this experience with digital technology and I thought I couldn’t conquer my fear and learn something new. Now I look back after a couple of days of rest and think, hey, I can do this!

So is it mindset change or action? Well, in a sense it was neither. Now that I am rested, I know I can do this. Sometimes we get so bogged down in something we forget to practice self-care. My mindset has changed yes, but that is the fact I have left what I was doing and taken a good break and a rest.

Is there a time it pays to take action first? Yes, when I left England and came to Scotland, I took action and drove up in one day. This was an action my mind took but my mindset didn’t change at first. It took me some time to get my head around the fact I had come up here.

So what are your thoughts on mindset? Personally I think we need to recognise that there are situations in which a mindset shift is necessary, or we are just tired and need a break, or we need to take action and let our mind catch up.

Acts of Kindness

Acts of kindness are never wasted. They can have an impact that goes beyond the single act of one person helping another. It’s like when you drop a stone in a pond: the initial splash can be clearly seen, but there are then also ripples which spread outwards to encompass the whole pond. This “ripple effect” can take so many forms and range from tiny things to massive things.

For me, this week has been rather a big one as I am tackling redoing my website. It is a big job and not one that I particularly relish. But I have been helped by my mentor Linda Clay who has crafted a fantastic site for herself.

Linda has taken time out of her busy schedule to help me with the different problems I have encountered and has shown me the steps I was missing. I am very appreciative of her help and support.

It doesn’t matter what you do in life, helping someone almost always impacts them for the good. Now I’m not saying you should sacrifice your work, your self-care or your family life to help others, but the ripple effect continues. What you have to decide is whether it will be a positive or a negative ripple effect.

Tonight I was chatting to a new friend and she helped me see things that I hadn’t realised were weighing me down. When I was thanking her at the end of our conversation and saying what a blessing she had been, she was delighted to know that she had been able to help me.

I was reminded of a comment in a book that struck me years ago when the author got me thinking about the fact that we don’t tend to compliment people while they are alive but we talk about their good points once they are dead. But we really shouldn’t do this. Why do we wait until they are gone to compliment them or let them know what a blessing they have been to us?

I don’t think it’s wrong to thank people for their acts of kindness. You can carry that ripple effect into your next task or even the next day following and pass it on to others. It is only a small thing but imagine what you could inspire in other people’s lives!

For me there have been many acts of kindness from others, some of which I was able to repay to the person and some I was not. But the ripple effect still continues as the act of kindness is spread to others. We may not get it right for everyone but we can spread the negative or the positive.

And acts of kindness don’t have to be big or cost a lot of money. We can be kind to each other in small things. And you never know what a kind word or a smile might do for someone else.

Have you had any acts of kindness done to you? What was the “ripple effect?” Very rarely is it taken the wrong way and I bet you were able to give back to them or pass it onto someone else.

Boundaries for your life

Physical, mental and emotional boundaries are an important part of our lives. Without them, immense damage can erupt in our lives, hearts and minds.

When a child is little, you put up boundaries in their life to keep them safe. Things like gates appear in your home so that they cannot fall down the stairs for instance. Or a car seat to keep them safe while you are driving. These are boundaries that a child can perceive to be negative but you know that they are preventing something bad from happening.

In December 2008, I left a situation that was terrible to come to Scotland. To keep myself safe, I had to set up a number of boundaries. For example, I put in place a mail forwarding process for 6 months so that I could still be reached, but on my own terms. This was very much done as a preventative measure, even though at times I didn’t feel safe.

You can also set up mental boundaries. If you find dealing with a particular person draining, or discover that although you appear to get on well with them, you defer to them and their opinion even though you know what to do, it is wise to set up a mental boundary. Sometimes, as much as you love a person, they are not good for someone of your personality, it is wise to set up mental boundaries so that you can function to the best of your ability.

Emotional boundaries are more difficult. Not in the sense that you should cut off all feeling or emotion. If you do that, your emotions are shut down inside and it leaves you separated from the world around you. That is not a good thing to do at all. Internalising your feelings impacts you physically and you end up sick because of the strain this leaves in your body.

Sometimes a boundary is simply saying “no.” You can be so busy doing things for other people that you neglect your own self-care. I tend to find that I say yes to the wrong thing and my physical health suffers because of it. When we had the van, I kept saying to myself and others that I would drive it to get around, but it was draining all my energy and I was ending up sick. I am trying to view it as saying yes to myself and not as a no to others.

Do I get my boundaries right all the time? Not at all. I don’t think anyone does. However, it is something that can be worked on and developed in your life circumstances and situation. You can improve your quality of life when you do have boundaries in place.