Stay in the Game

Crestfallen – Word of the Day

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(Photo: radiotimes.com) Andy Murray not winning Wimbeldon.

One of Murray’s comments: “It’s not the end of the world to lose.”

Losing a game can leave us crestfallen, disappointed, whether it be tennis, soccer, Zelda or Monopoly. A natural response if you’ve invested everything on winning your game. If you aim at winning, if you want to win, and you lose, then disappoinment is a likely outcome, otherwise you really didn’t invest very much in winning in the first place. Unrealistic expectations, perfectionism, overconfidence, fear of failure, can all lead to disappointment too.

There are different types of disappointment. I’ve already mentioned losing, then there’s getting what you want and not enjoying it, and there’s the not knowing what you really want.

You have to get back in the game.

If you stay in that place of feeling crestfallen you will be miserable. If the feelings aren’t acknowledged and owned there will be little movement forward, and depending on the disappointment there may be periods of anger, grief, sulking, despondency, depression, self-criticism, blaming (all the usual supects) … If you respond passively you’ll give up.

Andy Murray won the Men’s Singles title at Wimbeldon in 2013, and did it again in 2016, which shows that if you persist and reorient, you can achieve your goal. If you fall off the horse you need to get back on and have another go. However, if there’s no horse handy then:-

  • Acknowledge your feelings (talk to someone, journal, reflect).
  • Adjust your expectations (make changes, consult, revision).
  • Revise your plans (rechart your approach).
  • Have a contingency or backup plan.
  • Be mindful in your responses (meditate).
  • Acknowledge that disappointment is normal and can be a time of learning.
  • Above all be kind to yourself.

Some quotes I really like around the subject of disappointment:

“What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” Friedrich Nietzsche

“Life is like phtotography. We develop from the negatives.” (motivational-well-being.com)

And, from Elena No Brainer:-

Paul,

pvcann.com

 

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Filed under life, mindfulness, quote, Sport

Maybe Tomorrow

Limerence – Word of the Day

RAG TAG DAILY PROMPT

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Paul Gustave Fischer (1860 – 1934) ‘In The Train Compartment’

Maybe Tomorrow

Everyone smiles as you pass,
your laugh a gentle therapy.
No one ignores you.
Three seats down, side on
if only I could catch your eye, just for me, just once.
Your energy, your hair, that, yes, that curve ...
My pulse is crowding my temples.
My lungs are drawing in fire.
Surely I will cease to exist if I can't speak your name.
Someone speaks ...
My mind is lost, floating.
"What?"
"Is that seat taken?"
"Oh, no, no ...
Leave me alone with my thoughts,
don't even breathe.
My heart races, surely I am exposed
I'm giddy, drunk.
But she looks elsewhere
out the window
like yesterday.
I exhale sharply as you leave, again.
The train doors roll shut.
Love retreats down platform nine.
Maybe tomorrow ...
Maybe.

©Paul Cannon

Paul,

pvcann.com

26 Comments

Filed under life, love, poetry, Trains

Awesome Blogger Award

 

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I was nominated for this award by Peter at LIFEBLOG  Thank you Peter for the Nomination This award was created by Maggie

This is an award for the absolutely wonderful writers all across the blogging world. They have beautiful blogs, are kind and lovely, and always find a way to add happiness and laughter to the lives of their readers. That is what truly defines an awesome blogger.

The Questions:

  1. Do you think blogging is easy? Yes, for me it is, I have used free-writing, journaling, I write for a number of groups and communities at a general level, so it comes easily at one level.
  2. Do you support monetizing one’s blog? Yes, if that’s what you want to do. I don’t, but I know many who rely on their writing as an income so that’s important for them.
  3. How do you get inspiration for your posts? I use word prompts, but I also use my notes from reading, conversations, the news, topical trends, sometimes it’s what comes into my head. I use a mental form of free-writing to sketch out a post. There’s always something to say.
  4. Which day of the week does your blog receive the highest traffic? Accoring to WP it’s Friday.
  5. Which category garners likes and comments most on your blog? Looking back it seems to be a variety, nothing I can nail down, but I note that posts attract different bloggers.
  6. What is one thing you are thinking of to grow your blog? Just to increase the output and to vary the material.
  7. What is your opinion of leaving one’s blog for like one month before posting again? I wouldn’t willingly do that – I enjoy the writing, but if I had to, well then I would.
  8. If you’re ‘unfollowed’ how would you react? I often feel a sadness that community isn’t always possible, but in reality it is quite normal and necessary for some to leave, I respect other people’s boundaries in that way.
  9. What is your idea on full time blogging? I think that is a wonderful way to go.
  10. Three advantages of blogging please.  It encourages a creative community, I meet people online, and blogging tends to be a reciprocal process of sharing thoughts and ideas which I really like.

My nominations are:

 

My Questions for my Nominees:

  1. What inspired you to start blogging?
  2. What do you enjoy most about blogging?
  3. What is one thing you haven’t dared to try in writing so far?
  4. Do you have a favourite writer who inspires you? Who is it?
  5. What is your go-to for writing (a word prompt, photo challenge, other)?
  6. Do you write elsewhere other than your blog? Where?
  7. What least inspires you in blogging?
  8. What would you like to achieve with your blog in the next six/twelve months?
  9. What is your favourite post of all time that you have written?
  10. How has blogging changed you?

Happy blogging,

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Elegant Humanitarian

Elegant – Word of the Day

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Audrey Hepburn (1929 – 1993), a personification of elegance. Certainly petite, refined, beautiful, and yes, elegant. But no matter who or what, we place that descriptor upon people or objects, it is our perception of them, not as they see themselves or how they experience themselves. We know that to be true because at times we are sometimes aware that we don’t see ourselves as others see us. Having said that, I’m happy to say that I think she’s elegant. I really enjoyed Breakfast at Tiffany’s, but have seen most of her movies over the years. One of the contributing factors to her elegance was her stance, dress and movement – as a child she had learned ballet, and this was clearly formative.

She was ten when WW2 broke out. Her English/Austrian father was involved in the 1930s with the Dutch and British Fascist movements. Ironically hepburn and her mother were involved in fund raising for the Dutch Resistance, though by the time the Germans had invaded Holland, her father had left the family for England then on to Ireland. The war left an indelible imprint on her, she recounted the horror as a child of the invasion, the fighting, the death of family (an uncle was executed as a reprisal), seeing Jewish people being transported, especially children her age, firing squads and more. The food shortages were severe at the end of the war and Hepburn suffered acute anemia, repiratory problems, and edema which resulted from malnutrition.

Hepburn had a long association with UNICEF, having been one of the recipients of international aid in areas devastated by the war. Her formal association began in the 1950s when she narrated two radio programs for them. In 1989 she was appointed as a Goodwill Ambassador of UNICEF. She served in that role until 1992, travelling to Ethiopia, Turkey, Venezuela, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Sudan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Somalia, to promote aid programs and listen to needs on the ground. She advocated for clean water and vaccination programs in particular, lobbying the UN and national governments.

During the Bangladesh visit she was observed hugging children who were covered in flies, she had no aversion, only compassion.

Two of my favourite Hepburn quotes are:

“Taking care of children has nothing to do with politics. I think perhaps with time, instead of there being a politicisation of humanitarian aid, there will be a humanisation of politics.”

“The ‘Third World’ is a term I don’t like very much, because we’re all one world. I want people to know that the largest part of humanity is suffering.”

I think her true elegance was in her humanitarian work, that she loved the unloveable, wasn’t afraid to get dirty, was passionate in her advocacy and lobbying. She brought a gravitas, dignity and integrity to the role. Which brings me back to the comment I made earlier, elegance in looks is about perception and description, but elegance in behaviour is something more, it is that inner beauty we speak of, embodied, tangible, and lived, it is real. Hepburn lived her humanitarian work. Hepburn once quipped that ordinary working women could achieve her fashion look easily (and told them how). I think everyday people can achieve her lived elegance in compassion.

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Filed under history, life, mindfulness, politics, quote, war

Frazzled Cafe

Frazzle – Word of the Day

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She only sleeps all day but she’s still frazzled after eating and wandering around the house for a short time. Misty (not my cat) is a rag doll, and just lolls about in typical rag doll ways. But her answer to stress, and she does stress because she hates even small changes to the house or routine, is to rest up, chill out and take time. Not a bad example, though avoidance isn’t helpful for the long term, but resting when frazzled is always a good thing.

I’m finding more and more that the juggernaut of work, even working at play, is dominating people’s lives. My conversations are often around how others feel overloaded and stressed as they try meet their own expectations or the perceived expectations of others. Solutions and judgment are not helpful in such circumstances.

Comedian Ruby Wax, whose book “A Mindfulness Guide For the Frazzled” was published in 2016, has written about slowing down and taking time. But she has gone a step further. Wax has been instrumental in creating Frazzled Cafe  in the UK, a charity set up to provide a listening, non-judgmental space for conversation for those who are overloaded and stressed. What a simple and yet brilliant idea.

Journey friends are so critical to sharing the load through meaningful silence and open, safe conversation. For some that’s possible through friendship, or a professional mentor (coach, life-coach, mentor, or counsellor, professional supervisor), for others, opportunities like Frazzled Cafe are a gift in a stressful world. So, next time you’re chatting with friends, value the time, and know that you’re giving and receiving something quite vital, that release of what must be said.

Paul,

pvcann.com

 

12 Comments

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That Voice

Mellifluous – Word of the Day

Sade, Mazzy Star, Stevie Nicks, Sarah Brightman, Carla Bruni, Hannah Reid, the list goes on, all with unmistakable mellifluous voice. Enya is supreme, that honeyed, mellow, smooth, hypnotic voice captivates, inspires and lifts the soul. She is unmistakable, her Celtic influences in looks, sound and word, are all striking.

Enya, Eithne Padraigin Ni Bhraonain (Enya Patricia Brennan) born of a large and musical family was known for her role in the group Clannad, and then in her solo work from the early 1980s where she burst upon the charts with a string of hits. She is intensely private, and has never done a concert tour as a solo artist and rarely performs on TV. She has a number of music industry awards behind her, and many chart successes. She can play several instruments and her vocal range is mezzo-soprano and instantly recognizable. Enya refers to her voice as an instrument.

The first time I heard Enya was in 1989 with her second album Watermark and the single Orinoco Flow, and I was hooked immediately. If I’m needing something peaceful yet not passive (those two should never be confused) I like to listen to her music, which I find nurtures my soul. So in that sense she is my soul food. I find that her voice transports me beyond the carcophany of the daily and into a melodic and contemplative space.

Some of my favourite Enya quotes:

“There is no formula to it. Writing every song is a little journey. The first note has to lift you.”

“The success of Watermark surprised me. I never thought of music as something commercial; it was something very personal to me.”

Enya never sought commercial success and refuses to live as a star or to court fame. Her commitment is to her passion to write and to create music. I think it’s obvious really that her success has come from focussing on the heart of her passion. And her music has attracted people even before they knew who she was, so that it wasn’t originally personality based, her success was firmly based in the music itself. That itself is a gift. If we take her as an example, then to live out of the heart brings our creativity and passion to life in powerful ways.

Paul,

pvcann.com

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One of the Great Negotiators

Negotiate – Word of the Day

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Dag Hammarskjold (1905 – 1961) a Swedish Diplomat, economist and from 1953 – 1961 he was the UN Secretary General. He was also a deeply spiritual person, a contemplative who loved the medieval mystics. His book ‘Markings’ a journal of his spiritual struggles was posthumously published with a foreword by his friend, the poet W.H. Auden. He called his diary – negotiations with himself and with God.

Hammarskjold was propopsed by the British Foreign Secertary Anthony Eden who was impressed with Hammarskjold’s work in diplomacy and economics. The vote was almost unanimous in the Security Council and Hammarskjold was announced as the next Secretary General. The American and Soviet delegates thought Hammarskjold was harmless. He was reelected in 1957.

Hammarskjold was unaware of the nomination, and in fact thought the media report was a joke, and because it was announced on April 1st, he quipped that it was a bad April Fools joke. But it was indeed true.

Hammarskjold believed that relationships were important and that example was one of the best forms of leadership. He tried to meet as many employees at the UN as possible, he ate regularly in the staff cafe, he refused to use his private lift and opened it for general use, he established the meditation room (which he helped to design) which was to be for withdrawal and reflection, a place for silence, and a multi-faith space. He prevented FBI intervention at the UN that his predecessor had allowed at the height of McCarthyism. And he brought order and regulatory process to an organisation in crisis.

He was an able negotiator. He made some impact on relations between Israel and the Arab states. In 1955 he successfully negotiated the release of eleven US airmen who were prisoners from the Korean War. In 1956 he played a major role in ending the Suez Crisis, There are many other negotiations that he was involved in, and which demonstrate his capacity to work hard and achieve a positive outcome. Not everything was plain sailing though, the Congo was unresolved, interrupted by his death, and the Soviet interference and then occupation of Hungary was frustrating for Hammaskjold as there was little he could do to bring a resolution forward.

His role in the Congo Crisis was cut short by his death as the result of a plane crash travelling to Congo. There are those who still believe that Congolese rebels associated with mining interests were responsible for the plane crash, but no substantive proofs have come to light, including a UN 2015 investigation into the matter. Hammarskjold made four visits to the Congo. It was, as history has shown, a tangled web of politics and power plays. The USSR and the Americans had their own people on the ground and were manipulating much of the power play. The Congo had become factionalised on independence, and the popularly elected Prime-minister Patrice Lumumba was murdered. It was utter chaos.

J.F. Kennedy said of Hammarskjold: “I realise now that in comparison to him, I am a small man. He was the greatest statesman of our century.” Kennedy was reflecting on Hammarskjold’s death and on his own resistance to Hammarskjold’s policy in the Congo.

Extreme left and right views are critical of Hammarskjold, and in the main these revolve around the immpossible situation in Hungary, and the seemingly intractable problem in the Congo. But for me they are the proof, by comparison, of the majority of successes he was part of and integral to. His record stands as testimony to his great ability to network, form key relationships, to maintain a consistent approach, and to believe the best in people. His commitment was to keeping peace and finding better ways for nations to negotiate their differences. He formed the UN Emergency Response Group, and initiated the first Peace Keeping force. He was posthumously awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 1961.

His strength came from his contemplative stance, especially meditation, and his sheer passion for peace in the world. His personal belief was that selfless service to humanity was crucial. Whatever you may think of him, he was one of the great negotiators of the 20th century.

Paul,

pvcann.com

 

 

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Filed under history, life, mindfulness, politics, quote, religion, Spirituality

A Quiet Integrity

Integrity – Word of the Day

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Sir Ronald Darling Wilson (1922 – 2005)

Wilson had a battler’s start. He was born in Geraldton (a then small West Australian coastal country town). Although his father was a lawyer, his mother died when he was four, and his father was incapacitated with a stroke when he was seven, and his older brother (14) cared for him. Wilson left school at fourteen and became a court messenger at the Geraldton Local Court. He signed up for military service in 1941 with the army, transferred to the airforce and sent to England in 1942. After the war he studied law at the University of Western Australia, and then went on to be a Fullbright Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania in 1957 completing an MA. In 1969 he became Solicitor General of Western Australia. In 1979 he was appointed to the High Court of Australia. He was a moderate in politics, he was conservative in law, and yet a passionate champion of human rights, something that was at the core of him.

In the now famous High Court ruling on Mabo. Eddie Mabo, an indigenous man from Queensland had pushed for Native Title rights and presented his case to the High Court. Wilson dissented, but on grounds that the findings were not strongly based in equality. The High Court ruled in favour of Mabo (Mabo 1) on June 3, 1992. In 1993 the High Court inserted the legal doctrine of Native Title into law, thus changing the foundation of Australian law. The new law was The Native Title Act 1993. Wilson agreed on this, and became a vocal advocate for Aboriginal people.

He retired from the High Court in 1989, but in 1990 was appointed by the Hawke Government to the post of President of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission until 1997. He served as Deputy Chairperson of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation. He was made Chancellor of Murdoch University 1980 – 1995. From 1988 – 1991 he was elected and served as Moderator of the Uniting Church of Australia, which he did consecutively with his other appointments. He brought a stong social justice stance to the Church.

But I think his crowning achievement was conducting, along with Mick Dodson (The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner), the 1995 – 1997 National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families. The report was pivotal in approaching the national tragedy of the Stolen Generations – forced removal of indigenous children from their families. The 600 page report was tabled in parliament in 1997. The then Prime minister John Howard refused to issue an apology, but his successor Kevin Rudd did on February 13 2008. State governements also issued apologies, some immediately others later on. It is a significant report in our history and though shameful, it is also a matter of integrity. The subject of the report was not unknow but invariably denied, ignored or resisted through our history. In spite of the community awareness, the report shocked the nation.

Sir Ronald Wilson never promoted himself, never sought public attention, believed he was hard working, but not exceptional. Yet his integrity in working tirelessly, in amongst all his other responsibilities, for the rights of the indigenous people of Australia is outstanding. His commitment to the values of human rights, equality, fairness, playing his part in the Native Title cases, bringing the plight of the Stolen Generation to national attention, and many other commitments is inspiring.

Mick Dodson said of him: “Once you convince Ron Wilson you can have no one more passionate as an advocate … As an advocate he gives it 120 per cent.”

Justice Michael Kirby of the High Court said of him: I think his great contribution is that he showed how a highly orthodox, conservative lawyer can grow up. How he can grow out of the cocoon. Can expand his mind in harmony with his heart and with the sense of spirituality in which he was raised.”

A man of integrity! And one who inspires me.

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Filed under community, history, life, Native Title, quote, religion, Stolen Generation

Ramble On

Gallivant – Word of the Day

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I’ve travelled and rambled a little, but I would say as Bilbo said to Frodo (and later Frodo recalls it) “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”  J.R.R. Tolkien (Fellowship of the Ring)

But unless you go out that door there will be no adventure. One doesn’t need to ramble far for adventure, there’s enough going on in every local community to constitute an adventure of sorts. Adventure isn’t always about excitement or danger, it can be enterprise, chance, venture, to take a risk.

For some the risk is maybe even just going out the door, or, having to talk to people, taking the time, travelling even a short distance, being out of your comfort zone, going into new experiences … but to think, there may be conversations, sights, colours, wildlife, history, events, or the beauty of solitude in nature, whatever the outcome, there’s always an experience to be had. It may not be earth shattering or exciting, but yet it may well be profound. And, does it matter where you’re swept off to? Predictability and over thinking are kindred spirits to ruts. A true adventure has to have surprise and spontaneity somewhere in it, and you can’t plan that.

But isn’t that life? Life is an adventure (that’s my experience), life is an invitation to ramble on, you can’t nail the whole of your life down, you can’t control every day of every year. We need to open the doors of our hearts and minds, even to just leave the window of opportunity open to entice us. Strangely enough, all the ifs and buts become a faint memory once you’re out the door.

The tales of the “Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” are all about rambling, adventuring gallivanting, but also a tale about life itself, as most fiction is. The band Led Zeppelin were steeped in Tolkien. If you peruse their lyrics there are phrases from Tolkien all over their original works. But the emphasis is always metaphysical, always rambling, always love and adventure, hence the song “Ramble On” on their 1969 album Led Zeppelin 2. Below is a sound track of that song where the accoustic guitars have been separated out – so no heavy guitar on this one, and the lyrics come to the fore (simple as they are).

Ramble on!

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Paperbark Writer

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The paperbarks (Melaleuca – one of the 300 Myrtaceae family) are shedding a little later this year. Another theme of winter is shedding. Some animals shed a summer coat in order to prepare for winter, many plants shed their blooms and slow down in some part, some of our birds fly elsewhere for the winter though we get visitors from other shores. We, perhaps, can live unaware of our own needs. What do we need to shed in order to prepare? Mind you, the converse is also something that we need to attend to, what do we need to gather in, soak up, put on in order to prepare? Self care and nurture are fundamental to well being, body mind and soul. For me the continuity of writing and meditation are part of that nurture. How about you?

“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” Albert Camus

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Filed under bush walking, environment, life, meditation, music, nature, quote, seasons