This is Why I Hate Surprises….

Any of you who read my post from yesterday will have realised that  I have teeny problem with thought separation inasmuch as I can’t stop the little buggers taking sides and beating the crap out of each other. One the one hand we have Captain Positive and his little band of perky cheerleaders and on the other Captain Doubt who is constantly throw a spanner in the works or, failing that, beating cheerleaders over the head with them.

Any of you who read my post from yesterday will have realised that  I have teeny problem with thought separation inasmuch as I can’t stop the little buggers taking sides and beating the crap out of each other. One the one hand we have Captain Positive and his little band of perky cheerleaders and on the other Captain Doubt who is constantly throw a spanner in the works or, failing that, beating cheerleaders over the head with it.

Anyway,  I was promised a big surprise last week which led to an inevitable 3 day battle between the two Captains who have set up opposing camps somewhere in my cerebral spaghetti. The surprise giver was my best friend who is the kindest and most well intentioned person in the world. Unfortunately, he seems to think that I am far more well-adjusted than I actually am and dismissed all my pitiful whimperings about hating surprises as well as my increasingly hysterical demands to know what we would be doing, where we would be going, who with etc etc. All he would reveal was that we were going on his motorbike, it would be a new experience and I would have a great time……

Yesterday duly arrived and my friend arrived with his bike and a very large rucksack.

“So I’m carrying the rucksack then?” I was eyeing it suspiciously and it was glaring back.

I tried to pick it up with one hand and then put it back down.

“What the bloody hell have you got in here?????” I was convinced that it was full of rocks.

We argued for a while about the weight of the thing (I thought at least 30kg while he insisted no more than 10!)

“So how far is this place” I asked to try and smother the temptation to find a set of scales

“Just under 200km……..here I’ll help you with the bag”

Panic 2My first thought was ‘just hand the bag back, say thank you very politely and go back indoors’ but then I thought ‘no! stop being such a wussy, your best friend has arranged a lovely surprise for you so suck it up’.

I handed over my sunglasses to be put in the rucksack (fortunately they don’t weight very much) and spotted two things which looked very much like cycling helmets or the helmets you wear to climb mountains…….or jump off bridges attached to giant elastic bands…….

Captains Positive and Doubt were barged out of the way by Sergeant Panic who was  screaming at the top of his lungs and banging frantically on the back of my eyeballs trying to get my attention. The Team Positive cheerleaders pushed him over, sat on him and jammed a pom pom in his mouth…..

I put my foot on the foot peg which is roughly the size of bourbon biscuit and hoisted myself up. The rucksack ensured that my first attempt failed and my second, although successful was anything but elegant.

“By the way [person he knows I don’t like] is coming with us…….” my friend said casually

Sergeant Panic had poked cheerleader 1 in the eye, spat out the pom pom and now had Captain Doubt by the lapels, was shaking him violently and demanding to know why he wasn’t doing anything…….

An hour into the journey and the good Captain and his Sergeant had stuffed all members of Team Positive into the broom cupboard and were sitting down with a number of distant cousins including Paranoia and Anxiety. There is not much to do on the back of a motorbike other than look at the view and listen to the voices in your head; as it was motorway for almost the whole damn journey it was standing room only for negative thoughts after….well, not very long at all really.

I swear I did my best. Captain Positive made a bid for freedom when I saw a sign for an Outdoor Activity Park but he was rugby tackled by Disappointment when I realised where we were actually going.

A race track. To watch a race. With thousands of other bikers.

This was not a new experience at all, there would be no adrenaline rush (which I was desperately praying for by this point as, in my experience, an adrenaline rush can kick the arse of pretty much any negative emotion) and I had worried myself sick for 3 days, for what? Captain Positive chose this moment to point out that that’s exactly why worrying is a waste of time but Corporal Anger kicked him in the crotch and he shut up.

Don’t get me wrong, I love motorbikes, I especially love watching my friends race as it’s exciting watching someone you know hurtle round a track at breakneck speeds but it’s something I’d done many times before. Why give me all this nervous anticipation for an Endurance Race I’d never heard of full of riders I didn’t know??

tantrumI’d like to say that I took all this in my stride, thanked my very kind friend and had a lovely day. I’d like to be able to say that but I can’t because it didn’t happen. Team negative seemed to have taken control of my facial muscles (forcing them into a frown) and my vocal cords (which they’d somehow manipulated so that all I was capable of was hhhmphhh).

Captain Positive, no doubt holed up somewhere with an ice pack on his balls, refused to take part in anything all day so it was party time for Team Negative. All I could focus on was the pain in my back (from the rucksack which would still be heavy on the return 200km journey), the guilt I felt for not appreciating the surprise day out, the unbearable, unrelenting noise, the heat and the masses and masses of people. I tried, I honestly did, not least because I was feeling bad about the way I was treating my best friend but the day just went from bad to worse….

Somehow Team Negative grabbed Granny Agoraphobia from the Sunnydale Retirement Home for Old Neuroses and I started to really panic. I tried to explain to my friend but he was justifiably pissed off with me, because I ‘d been a miserable git all day, and wasn’t really in an understanding mood. In the end, I was in floods of tears and insisted that we go home; I just couldn’t cope any longer. The day had been ruined, Team Negative had won and, as a result, I think I may have lost my best friend……

Lisa

x

 

Fighting Amongst Yourself

Have you ever had a fight with yourself? I don’t mean taking yourself by the scruff of the neck and throwing yourself over the back of the sofa, more a fight within the confines of your own mind. I believe the technical term is ‘internal dialogue’, when the exchange is calm and productive, this is more of an ‘internal slanging match’. It’s as though your thoughts suddenly take against each other……

Have you ever had a fight with yourself? I don’t mean taking yourself by the scruff of the neck and throwing yourself over the back of the sofa, more a fight within the confines of your own mind. I believe the technical term is ‘internal dialogue’, when the exchange is calm and productive, this is more of an ‘internal slanging match’. It’s as though your thoughts suddenly take against each other……

Usually it begins with a single, simple phrase that runs through your mind, dragging a negative, but all too willing, emotion along with it

“I can’t do this!”  says the Captain of team doubt, accompanied by Sergeant Anxiety.

“Of course you can, it’s a wonderful opportunity”

The Captain of team positive thinking takes centre stage flanked by a couple of pom pom waving cheer leaders from Camp self-esteem

“I can’t, it’s too much pressure, I know it’s going to be a disaster”

Team doubt have been joined by Fear (always a big player) and a couple of rejects from Camp self-esteem who were kicked out for ‘not playing well with others’.

“We’ve talked about this. You cannot know what will happen; let go of control and just go where life takes you”

cheerleadersTeam positive thinking have recruited self-confidence (who did not come willingly) The cheerleaders are busy chanting motivational quotes and trying to work out how to build a human pyramid with just the two of them.

 

“Oh bugger off you bloody hippy, what do you know about it”

The rejects from Camp self-esteem take this opportunity to wrestle the pom poms from the cheerleaders and start hitting self-confidence over the head with them; not an eager participant in the first place, he makes a run for it.

“I’m you, you blithering idiot!”

At this point both sides will realise what a nonsense their battle really is or they’ll both take serious offence and launch an all out attack on each other, which results in the owner of the warring thoughts having to lie down in a darkened room for a couple of days.

Viewing my inner dialogue scraps like this is the only way that I can keep them from drawing battle lines and really wrecking my life. Today, I enlisted the help of Common Sense who is currently standing in the middle of the two protagonists with his arms folded and a stern ‘don’t mess with me you bastards’ look on his face.

Why is all this necessary? Well, a couple of my closest friends have organised a surprise for me today.

“I don’t like surprises”

“How do you know, you don’t know what it is, that’s the point of surprises”

“Oh, sod off with your bloody logic, I know what I don’t like”

Sorry, guys, I need to go and give Common Sense a hand, they seem to be giving him a wedgie……..

See you later

Lisa x

 

 

Got to be Perfect?

In our desperate attempts to be perfect, we ignore all the wonderful things about ourselves and focus our attention on our flaws, the things to be improved. If we put all this energy into recognising what is good in us, what is beautiful, wouldn’t we naturally find perfect happiness?

In our desperate attempts to be perfect, we ignore all the wonderful things about ourselves and focus our attention on our flaws, the things to be improved. If we put all this energy into recognising what is good in us, what is beautiful, wouldn’t we naturally find perfect happiness?

Just a thought……….

Lisa x

What Do You Do For You?

How much of what you do is based on ‘ought’ or ‘should’? How much of your time is spent wondering how what you do will affect others? How often do you not do something that you would love to do in favour of doing something to please someone else? Is your first thought before wearing something, saying something, writing something ‘will they like it?’ If so, I have a question for you…..

How much of what you do is based on ‘ought’ or ‘should’? How much of your time is spent wondering how what you do will affect others? How often do you not do something that you would love to do in favour of doing something to please someone else? Is your first thought before wearing something, saying something, writing something ‘will they like it?’ If so, I have a question for you…..

Why?

Yes we all have to live as part of a society and without maintaining certain niceties we would find ourselves ostracized but why do we sacrifice ourselves on the alter of public acceptance? We all feel obligated to do certain things without having any desire to do them and sometimes that stems from kindness and generosity but what if it comes from a fear of rejection or criticism? What will ultimately be achieved if we seek to please others at the expense of pleasing ourselves?

To turn that around, what do we get from conforming with our perceptions of what others want? A compliment? Gratitude? Friendship? Love? The first two, almost certainly but do we really want our friends or lovers to fall for  the mask that we wear or our true selves? If our relationships are based purely on taking pleasure from seeing the joy on another’s face, aren’t we just living vicariously? Wouldn’t the relationship be better served from both parties feeling joy?

It may be that, if you live your life for you and reveal only your true self to others that you will lose friends or lovers along the way but if they loved you purely because you held up a mirror to their desires, have you really lost? We all make compromises along the way but if the thought of  ‘ought’ or ‘should’ gives you no pleasure, find something positive that you can take from the experience or don’t do it.

People tell us how to live and even how to die but, the funny thing is, they can’t do either of those things for us………..

A life without rules can be chaos but living by someone else’s rules is to live life as though it were a preview to something else, the trailer before the main event. When the final curtain descends, the crowd won’t be there to applaud your performance, you’ll be alone on stage; don’t then look around and wonder why all the scenery is for someone else’s play…..

What do you think? Is a selfless life the most rewarding of all or should we live for ourselves, without bringing any harm to others of course, because we will only ever have one crack at this? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you.

Lisa x

Friends

No, not the awesomely brilliant TV series, you. Are you one of those that has an abundance of friends? Do you walk into bars and everybody knows your name, are you hailed by 20 people as you walk half a mile down the street? Perhaps you’re a loner or you don’t like opening up to others and therefore only have a select few but very close friends?

No, not the awesomely brilliant TV series, you. Are you one of those that has an abundance of friends? Do you walk into bars and everybody knows your name, are you hailed by 20 people as you walk half a mile down the street? Perhaps you’re a loner or you don’t like opening up to others and therefore only have a select few but very close friends?

I fall into the second category simply because I really, really don’t like meeting new people (brain empties itself and all saliva disappears simultaneously) and because it takes me a very long time to share anything ‘real’ about myself. However, yesterday I understood the benefits of being a friend to everyone.

IMG_6123I was with my best friend and we’d gone over to Saint Jean Cap-Ferrat for lunch and then had a lovely walk along the shore, took some photos, I fell over my flip flops once or twice; a not untypical day. Anyway, after half and hour or so of strolling around we decided to go back to the car (actually it was more a case that I was sweating so much I feared I would dissolve and demanded that we go back to the tiny air-conditioned sanctuary that is my car).

My face close enough to the vents to get my eyelashes sucked in, I turned the key in the ignition and……nothing other than a slightly embarrassed coughing noise. My car was poorly! Fortunately, my best friend knows everyone and within 10 minutes a lovely young guy arrived with a set of jump leads. Not only that, after another brief conversation in high speed French (there isn’t really any other kind to be honest) with another friend, an appointment had been made and we were on our way to the nearest Fiat dealership.

An hour later I was back at home with my car restored to full health. Had I been alone it would have been a very different story. While I have learned enough French to have a reasonable conversation, my knowledge does not extend to explaining that my car is telling me to check something and refusing to start. I don’t know what I was supposed to be checking but there was an exclamation mark so I assume it was important. Added to that I have virtually zero sense of direction so there would have been a very slim chance that I could have guided someone to me who did have said knowledge.

So, what would I have done? Panicked, lost every atom of moisture in my body while waiting for someone to rescue me (it was really warm yesterday), berated myself for learning the French words for shoes and boots but not engine and gearbox? No, I’d have called my best friend of course :O)

Whether you have 100’s or just one or two, value your friends because you never know when you’ll need them. Thanks Will :O)

What do you love most about your best friend? I’d love to hear from you.

Lisa x

If Only…..

How many times have you said those two words to yourself or to someone else? Hundreds of times? Thousands? When you watch a film or read a book, do you think, for example, ‘If only he had gone to the bus park that day, he would never have lost her’. Have you ever said ‘if only’ before an event or during? No, of course not, it’s something we say with hindsight and hindsight is always 20/20 isn’t it?

How many times have you said those two words to yourself or to someone else? Hundreds of times? Thousands? When you watch a film or read a book, do you think, for example, ‘If only he had gone to the bus park that day, he would never have lost her’. Have you ever said ‘if only’ before an event or during? No, of course not, it’s something we say with hindsight and hindsight is always 20/20 isn’t it?

Pretty much all of us have grown up with books, films and TV series which deliver ‘if only’ as an absolute; if only she hadn’t gone up to the attic she’d still be alive, if he hadn’t picked up that slipper he’d never have found the love of his life. We are served a never ending diet of black and white, two narrow paths, one which leads to a perfect life and the other which leads to ‘if only’. Is it any wonder that give ourselves such a hard time over the decisions that we make? We have seen the unfortunate consequences of making the ‘wrong’ decision too many times and often can’t see past black or white when, in real life, there are many shades of grey (at least 50 apparently).

The thing is, we never really give much thought to what the outcome could have been if the ending of the story wasn’t ‘perfect’……..

What if Jesus had sent Judas packing with a flea in his ear so he couldn’t betray him for 30 pieces of silver? Would Jesus have saved himself untold suffering? Yes. Would Christianity as we know if today exist? Probably not. Jesus could have ended up living a perfectly happy life with a wife and children, carried on with his teachings for a while and then drifted into obscurity. He followed the difficult path, the one that we would never follow if we knew the outcome: torture and a slow lingering death.

CinderellaOn a more frivolous note, what if Cinderella took off her rose coloured glasses 10 minutes after the wedding and realised that the castle was cold and draughty, her prince, though handsome, was mind numbingly dull and the glass slippers gave her blisters? Not quite the happy ending that we’ve all been brought up with is it?

The fact is that we can ponder decisions for days, weeks or even months. We can run every possible scenario through our minds, looking for the black or white answer that we see on the big and small screens and in our favourite books but we will never find it. We cannot fast-forward our lives to see the outcome, to see if we win or lose. We could decide to buy lottery tickets with the last of our money and win millions, lose all our friends, party too hard, marry someone stunning only to have them cheat on us and end up crashing our Ferrari out of our head on drugs. Alternatively, we use the money to buy food to keep ourselves going for another day, find out the store keeper needs an assistant, work for him and serve green beans to the woman who ends up being the love of our live. On the other hand, we see a starving child, turn to give them the money and get run over by a bus.

Never-regret-anything1.jpgThere are a million different scenarios and, if we try to plan for or even think about all of them we’ll go crazy so make the decision and forget it, follow the path and don’t look back. Life is not about fairy tale endings, goodies and baddies; when we say ‘if only’ we are looking backwards with regret, wouldn’t we be better served to enjoy the now? Black and white is not reality, enjoy the shades of grey……….

Lisa

x

 

There Must be More…..

to life than this. Have you ever thought that, when you were having a bad day, when nothing seemed to be going your way? Maybe you felt at the end of your tether, that life just seems to be an endless slog, every day the same with nothing ever getting any better?

to life than this. Have you ever thought that, when you were having a bad day, when nothing seemed to be going your way? Maybe you felt at the end of your tether, that life just seems to be an endless slog, every day the same with nothing ever getting any better?

I have felt like that more times than I care to count over the last few years but recently I’ve woken up to something – there isn’t more than life, there is only how you view it. It sounds horribly cliched to say it but many of the problems that we have in life are caused by focusing on what we don’t have, rather than what we do have. In looking for complex solutions, we often miss the simple things that could give us pleasure if we would but notice them:

IMG_5235 (1)
Mother Nature is always waving her arms at us and saying ‘look!’. She creates beautiful things for us every day, despite the fact that we often do our best to ruin them
New York
We can’t always have a stunning view but we can always find something to make us smile if we look hard enough…
circle-friends-having-fun-together
We can enjoy the time that we spend with our friends and family: the people that we love and who love us
solitude
But there is pleasure to be found in quiet solitude….
IMG_0999
There will be time for adventure, for adrenaline rushes and wild excitement…
Contemplation
Equally, we can take pleasure from the moments when our hearts and minds are still and quiet…
Baby
There is beauty in the young…. 
old ladies
There is beauty in the old……

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

animals
There is beauty in the animal world….
lotus-flowers
And a simple flower can be the most beautiful of all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, the next time you think ‘there must be more to life than this’, just remember that there isn’t and then just think ‘isn’t it wonderful!’

Lisa

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where is Your G Spot???

Where do you get your best ideas for your blog? You know, those posts where you feel like you’ve created something really special and you want everyone to read it right away. Do you have a special place that just seems to feed you inspiring thoughts? I like to call it the Genius Spot, hence the title…..ooohhh you thought I meant……noooo sorry, I was talking about something else entirely!

Where do you get your best ideas for your blog? You know, those posts where you feel like you’ve created something really special and you want everyone to read it right away. Do you have a special place that just seems to feed you inspiring thoughts? I like to call it the Genius Spot, hence the title…..ooohhh you thought I meant……noooo sorry, I was talking about something else entirely!

Chuck-Norris-doesnt-turn-on-the-shower-memeFor me it’s the shower. Before you ask, I have absolutely no idea why; it’s not as if I’m at my best first thing in the morning. Normally it takes at least 2 cups  coffee before my brain is firing on all cylinders but, when it comes to writing, around 80% of my ideas come when I’m standing under the water and trying not to get shampoo in my eyes. It’s usually a single word that just pops into my head and then the idea for the post just seems to form around it. Irritatingly the initial thought then just wanders off to do its own thing but I’m left with my inspiration for the day.

So, come on where is your Genius Spot? Where’s your magical place where ideas run free and unfettered? Perhaps you’ve found a beautiful sunlit glade that stimulates your grey matter, maybe you’ve got a favourite chair and when you sit in it the thoughts just flow. Do you get your best ideas sitting on the toilet; you can tell me, I promise I won’t laugh, I’m a shower cogitator for God’s sake ;O)

Why the Chuck Norris meme? Well, to be honest it has only the very slightest relevance but I really love Chuck Norris jokes…….you can share some of those as well if you like….

Anyway, please let me know, I’d love to hear from you

 

Lisa x