Daily Habit

Every morning I read the daily reflection from these books.

I wake, put the kettle on, empty the dishwasher (boring but necessary), make a fresh pot of tea, meditate with ‘Calm’ and then read the above. Finally, I journal, and by the time I empty my thoughts onto a page, the house begins to stir.

I also enjoy some form of fairly robust daily exercise and pay attention to what I eat, drink, and look at on social media.

That’s it. Years in the making.

‘It’s not rocket surgery’ as comedians say. Merely a simple, daily habit that helps keep me sane. Mostly!

What’s your daily practice?

Boozebrain


Labyrinth

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“We have much to learn from within, but it is easy to get lost in the labyrinth of the inner life. 

We have much to learn from others, but it is easy to get lost in the confusion of the crowd. 

So we need solitude and community simultaneously; what we learn in one mode can check and balance what we learn in the other.”

– Parker J. Palmer –

Mr. Palmer is one of the mighty fine living souls on our wee small planet…in my opinion. An aging Quaker, who has lived through tough times, struggled with depression, a beautiful writer, a humble soul, and one wise man.

Personally, I have struggled to find that delightful integration of solitude and community. Over the years I have dived too deep into solitude at the expense of true connection. I’m now working to navigate a better path between the two.

One conversation at a time.

Hurrah,

Boozebrain.

(I’ve used this photo before but I love it. It’s only a 75 min drive from home, followed by a short walk through the bush. A rarely sighted place)


The Pause

This morning my son has woken with a cold and headache. My partner is working and so I’m staying home with the boy. My initial thoughts were ‘oh crap, that’s all my plans gone for the day- I’m gonna have to reschedule a meeting, skip the gym, park all these other things I was looking forward to – shit shit shit.’

My sons health was not my concern. Rather, it was all about ME! My this, my that, my ego, my blah blah.

As I write this I am sitting out the front of my house, watching the sun gently ascend, the flowers are slowly waking, the birds are getting busy and I have just completed my ‘Daily Calm’ meditation- hence today’s picture and quote.

This little meditation has proven to be a most necessary pause for my messed up brain. I’m so glad I committed to it as I nearly skipped it, out of anger and resentment.

I will now walk back into the house and be a present, caring, kind, generous and funny dad, instead of being a self-indulgent prick.

And yet again, life teaches me its lessons. As the quote says, now I can start the day afresh.

Hurrah,

Boozebrain

(What is it about beautiful looking white people staring off into the ocean. Give us some real looking people)


An Hafiz Monday Greeting

Burdens are an unavoidable part of living. It took me sooooo long to figure that out. It took me even longer to truly accept that fact.

Remove away then…in your own time…uh…I’m waiting…I’ll just pop the kettle on in the meantime

Boozebrain


Conditions to create

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Leaders create the conditions where people choose new actions.

The choices are voluntary. They’re made by people who see a new landscape, new opportunities and new options.

You can’t make people change. But you can create an environment where they choose to.

Seth Godin

This is my task – all of our tasks I would think.

Every moment, every conversation, every interaction with another person, another dog, cat, tree – they are all opportunities to create the environment where it’s easier for people to change, to choose the better option. To live the good life.

Onward ho

Boozebrain

(My morning walk in Melbourne today – pretty special. Flying home soon)


Psychic dynamite

Winston Churchill, who himself spent about 10 years in political exile after WWI, once wrote that:

“Every prophet has to come from civilisation, but every prophet has to go into the wilderness. S/he must have a strong impression of a complex society and all that it has to give, and then they must serve periods of isolation and meditation. This is the process by which psychic dynamite is made.”

Psychic dynamite is not just handed to us. We aren’t born resilient or with confidence. We have to earn it. We have to make it. And that is only possible in difficult circumstances, it can only be found in the wilderness, where we are alone, where we are forced to adapt and adjust to circumstances outside our control.

It won’t be fun, but it is essential.

Daily Stoic

Essential indeed.

And yet, as best as I can observe, we tend to avoid time in ‘the wilderness.’ We’re not encouraged to linger there – to sit uncomfortably with the confusion and crap of existence. Rather, we are encouraged to escape any distress in our lives, to ignore, avoid, numb out and/or circumnavigate the inevitable pain and distress of being human, with limited short term success. (At least that was my personal experience)

I don’t know why life has to initiate us with all its shittiness and horrible happenings, but it does and it appears it has been doing so for thousands of years. I don’t see it changing anytime soon.

It seems that each generation is required to blunder through its own, brief time on earth, leaving trails of chaos and destruction behind it. Thankfully, we also leave trails of love, beauty and laughter at the same time.

Hopefully, each generation grows a little wiser, and the chaos and damage become a little less painful and destructive as time passes. Hopefully, the joyous part of our nature multiplies tenfold. One day we may, as a species…well who knows what possibilities lie ahead. As always, time will tell.

As far as Churchill goes, he captures the mystery of us all. Brilliant, funny, inspiring and yet deeply flawed – like all of us. He didn’t seem particularly tolerant or accepting of other cultures and people, (some say he was blatantly racist) he drank far too much, he didn’t seem to look after his body and of course, he made significant military blunders that resulted in thousands of pointless deaths. It also appears that he oversaw the awful Indian famine that resulted in over two million deaths in 1943, while stockpiles of food sat there ready and waiting. It’s safe to say he made plenty of awful, costly mistakes, yet again, haven’t we all.

Boozebrain

(A local walk – nature helps keep me stable)


The Daily Stoic

Have you ever had one of those rough periods where maybe you’re a little depressed, or frustrated, or you don’t feel great about yourself? One of those stretches when things have been tough and nothing has come easily? There’s a name for those periods: it’s called life.

We tend to forget that sometimes, especially when all of a sudden, a surprise piece of good news hits. Your offer was accepted. The promotion is yours. Sales are better than expected. A great review of your work comes in.

What a feeling! Winning is so great. The mind, so recently frustrated or sad, seizes on this. Now THIS is the life! if only I had more of this in my life. I just need more wins. That would be awesome. It’s a seductive notion…one that has wrecked many people.

The key to a good life is not the absence of these low periods. Nor is it about winning all the time. In fact, it’s the opposite: Happiness is the ability to endure, to learn from, even enjoy everything that happens, especially the hard times. Marcus Aurelius talks about how we should be able to let go of the dips and valleys of life “with indifference” and accept the wins “without arrogance.” Basically, keep an even keel. Not get deflated or puffed up. Not need things to be always good, nor resent the fact that they are sometimes bad.

Winning all the time is a fantasy. Needing success to feel good about yourself is a very fragile position. You have to learn how to put up with, and to find peace in, the setbacks and fallow periods. Because they are an inevitable

The Daily Stoic

Brilliant. Nothing more to add people. Carry on.

Boozebrain.

(Our newly fostered dog. He’s had a few hard times in his life. May his doggy life be on the up)