The value in sincerity

I was inspired by something I heard this week.

I was listening to another Gil Fronsdal dharma talk, and he related a story from the Zen tradition.

A student asked his teacher “If I practice Zen will I become enlightened?”.  And the Zen teacher replied “If your practice is sincere, it is almost as good”.

I was incredibly inspired by this simple concept.

I know myself that I practice Buddhism because I identify with the precepts very strongly.  However I do not hold the belief that I will become enlightened – I would imagine very few Buddhist practitioners ever will become enlightened.

However I can practice with sincerity.  We all can.

And it doesn’t have to relate to Buddhist practice – we can live our lives with sincerity full stop.

I love that thought so much.

Sincerity encompasses so many things – living ethically, honestly and with pure intention.  And all of those things make such a difference not only to our lives, but to the lives of those that we touch.

You can’t really put a value on sincerity and honesty.

So this week I’ve tried to really keep that as my intention.

Also in this past week I heard a discussion on the Buddha – how before he became enlightened he had to live through many lives, and learn from each one.  He was reborn many times.  And of all the lives he lead, and the mistakes he made (as a lay person) one thing he never did was lie.  And specifically he did not lie to himself.

It’s a deep concept – to never lie to ourselves.

It’s also been on my mind this week, and I have given a lot of reflection on the ways I have lied to myself in the past.

There are so many great things that can be gained from self analysis and knowledge.  I feel blessed to have access to the dharma teachings.

And a new day each day to learn from them.

Namaste,

Meg

 

Let it go

Regular readers of my blog will know that last week was a less than ideal week for me.  Stress caught up with me, and I cracked somewhat.  I acted out of character, and I had to live with the consequences.

I’m feeling so much better in myself now.

One of the defining moments for me was a bus ride I took into the city on Monday morning.  I decided to make the most of that time, and listen to a dharma talk by Gil Fronsdal.  I may not have mentioned it before on my blog, but he is my absolute favour dharma speaker.  His talks (found at Audio Dharma) have taught me so much.  I am the person I am today thanks to Gil’s teachings.  So many of them have resonated with me on a very deep level.

So on this bus ride I decided to really take stock of what was going on in my life.  I put on my headphones, and picked a talk by Gil on “thinking”.  I spent the next 45 minutes looking out the bus window, and mindfully listening to his wisdom on thinking.  And I consciously let all the stress go.

I tried to just focus on what was happening to me in that present moment.  And when I did I found I could much better reconnect with myself.

Because what was happening in that moment?  I was having a day off work, I was on the bus (which I love).  I was lucky to be listening to a dharma talk by Gil.  And I was on my way to a rally against violence.  Something I felt very strongly about supporting.

Aside from the bus trip, I have also spent time recently doing things which replenished my soul.

It’s a bit of a daggy hobby (maybe), but I really adore doing jigsaw puzzles.  Ever since I was a child I have found them incredibly relaxing.  To me they are a form of meditation.  I sit there, and sift through the pieces, and let the thoughts come and go in my mind.  I find that afterwards anything I’ve been stewing over is released from my focus, and I feel much calmer and more focused.

I’ve also started to take a lot more note of the people in my life that I am grateful for.

And I have received so much support in recent weeks from my closest friends.  It makes me incredibly humbled.

It’s all these little things that make life so rich.

And on that note I’m going return to my cup of tea, my puzzle, and my classical music.

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Namaste my friends,

Meg

 

Just keep swimming

It’s been a great (and challenging) time for my practice lately.

It’s easy to ‘stay the course’ when things are going well.  But it’s when things are hard that you get to really put into use what you have learned.  And to also grow from the experience.

I must admit at the moment I feel that the ground is very shaky.

And I use that term as it’s one that I’ve seen often used by Pema Chodron in her great books and teachings.

She teaches that at the times when the ground is shaky, are the times that we need to lean into the experience, and to not feel scared and try to resist it.

And I am the worst for trying to resist change (if my friend Loren is reading this she will be laughing in agreement).

So right at this moment when I feel things are so unsettled I’m trying to just accept that, and not fight it.

The biggest issue I face is the knowledge that gossip is being spread about me behind my back that isn’t true (unrelated to my post from yesterday).

It’s stirred so many feelings in me – anger, betrayal, hurt, and indignation.  I want to set the record straight, I want to put out every “fire” where people are being given the wrong information, and set them straight about what really happened.

However in reality I know it’s not possible.  Unfortunately it’s a case where if someone throws enough mud, at least some of it will stick.  And the hard truth is that there is very little I can do about it.

The people that know me well know the truth.  And the people that believe the lies have absolute freedom to do that.  And there’s nothing I can really do to stop it.

I can only hold my head high, and keep my dignity, and have faith in myself.

It’s a good time to really think about things though – as my blogging friend Ben Naga commented – who was the “I” that felt outraged and hurt.

It’s a great time to delve further into it (gently) to figure out why it has hurt me so much.  And to perhaps let that go.

And also for me a great time to just accept the uncertainty of the moment, and maybe even embrace that.

(and in the meantime I’m feeling the love from my cat Milly :p)

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Lessons learnt

It’s been a very stressful, sobering and insightful day for me today.  And one where I learnt a valuable lesson.

I’ve always been very passive and very meek.  If someone was nasty to me I would get upset and “hide” rather than address the issue.

And even at 38 years old it’s still something I struggle with – to be direct and to speak up for myself.

Today I heard – on the grapevine – that someone had said something hurtful about me.

And I reacted a way I never have before.  I was hurt, and indignant and for the first time I wanted to say my piece.  And I did – very directly.  I contacted the person who was supposed to have said this about me, and I told them what I thought.  And immediately ended the friendship.

And in some ways I was very proud of myself for taking a stance, and for the first time ever (and I do mean ever) tackling something head on and saying a few words.

The only problem?

I was wrong.

It was apparently a case of interpretation of what was said, and not a verbatim quote by the person who overheard as I had thought.

And I’m deeply deeply ashamed.

I went against my very valued Buddhist belief of not gossiping, and of speaking with kindness and understanding.

And in the process I hurt the person I accused, as well as the person who confided in me as to what was said.

I apologised to both parties, but of course the damage has been done.

Trying to learn from it though, I realised that there’s a reason I have always acted cautiously and not lashed out like I did.  I acted without having the full story, and without giving the benefit of the doubt.  And I also broke someone’s trust (unintentionally).

I was not nasty, and at least said my piece in a civil manner.  But it was wrong regardless.

I feel sick about it still, but I feel determined to learn a valuable lesson from it, and watch my words – and mouth – more carefully.

 

 

Live life with more GRATITUDE and less ATTITUDE

Further to my post from yesterday – my intention at the start of this new year is to turn around my mindset, and experience more joy in life.

It’s quite widely recommended now to practice more gratitude – and most people would agree it’s a great idea, but it’s actually putting it into practice that becomes a stumbling block.

I know myself I’ve started doing it with good intentions, but after a while it just peters out and I stop doing it.

I’d like to try to focus on it more.

But not just to “list” what makes me grateful, but to truly give thought and thanks to those things.

The more you are in a state of gratitude, the more you will attract things to be grateful for.

I was driving to my favourite coffee shop today, and along the way I was thinking about those things that truly make me happy.

My daily coffee is definitely up there.  And it’s not just the “coffee” but the entire experience.  I’m grateful for the conversations I have each day with the lovely people at my local Zaraffas (coffee shop).  I know them each by name (and vice versa) and every single time I go in I enjoy the friendly chat with them, and getting to know more about them.  I always walk away smiling.

And really how could I not be grateful for the white chocolate mocha that I receive at the same time 🙂

I’m grateful for the 2 dogs I am currently dog sitting.  It’s certainly been an experience having 4 animals (the 2 dogs, and my 2 inside cats) in my very small house.  But it’s also bought so much joy into my life.  As I type this I have 2 dogs asleep at my feet, and one cat purring away happily in my lap.  You can’t really put a price on that.

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Lily the spoodle

I’m especially grateful for my health and fitness.  At almost 40 I am the fittest and strongest I have ever been.  I am lucky to be able to run, and swim, and do weights, and be active.  And I’m lucky that I can (at the moment) still get away with wearing beach clothes.

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New shorts

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Keeping fit

And lastly – for today – I’m grateful for the small things.  Like fresh summer fruit, rainy cool days, my friends, and my faith.

Good days give you happiness and bad days give you wisdom.  Both are essential.

2016 – The Year of Meg

Wildflower

A good friend of mine today reminded me it has been some time since I wrote on my blog.  And it’s true – as often happens life has gotten in the way.

She issued me with a challenge to write one blog post per week for the year – a challenge which I am accepting with excitement.

To be honest I don’t know yet what I will write about for future posts.

A lot has happened since in recent years for me.  And I hate to say that a lot of it has worn me down.  I always valued that no matter what happened I still had my excitement at life, my optimism, my “sparkle”.

But it has dimmed somewhat in recent years.  Numerous relationship failures (each worse than the last) has dulled my shine.

However I am determined to turn that around.

I honestly believe that 2016 is going to be a great year.  And mostly because I am determined to make it so.

This year my focus is to make it MY best year.  To focus on the friends and people that I hold dearest.  To conserve my energy to building those relationships, and to let those that are toxic end peacefully.  I am going to focus on what makes me happy, and what I am grateful for.  And rebuild my inner peace.

This will be The Year of Meg ♥

The truth about running

Hi friends – it’s been so long since my last blog post, but after chatting with a friend today I was inspired to jump back on my blog and post again.

I’ve been so blessed in the last 12 months to have discovered something that has changed my life completely, has brought me so many friends, happiness, and fulfilment – and from something I never thought I would ever find or enjoy – running.

Initially I started running to lose weight.  Whilst not overweight, I was about 10kg’s over where I had always been, and I wanted to do something about it.

That first run back in May 2014 changed everything.

I’ve made lifelong friendships, shared the most wonderful experiences, and met people that I now consider family.

I can’t put into words how grateful I am for every single person I have met during my journey.  And for every single ache and pain, every laboured breath, and cramped muscle along the way.

Running is so much more than fitness – it’s about overcoming yourself, and your limitations.  It’s about finding a strength you didn’t know that you possessed.  It’s about pushing yourself and refusing to give in.  And it’s about making friendships with the most wonderful people.

I am truly blessed.

Meg

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Meg

Life, love and everything in-between

A friend of mine and I were discussing relationships today. He shared the most breathtaking insight with me:

We build our lives together in a relationship. Our essences are entangled from the moment we commit to being a relationship; even after it disintegrates we carry a part of that person with us always. I suspect this is where our minds come in and do the comparison thing with what we have presently and with what we had in the past. They key here though is that the past is purely the past. Those moments will never be rekindled good or bad. All we can do is try and make the forward part better. Relationships are hard work. Stupid things get said, buttons are pushed. The beauty of it though is that despite all that we can choose to keep trying to be there for the other person and to commit fully to be a part of the relationship. The “enthusiasm” of a relationship ebbs and flows. The true “enthusiasm” of a relationship is to continue to be in the relationship despite the ebbs and flows.

It’s so true.

So often we can approach relationships with “small mind”. We keep track of every “wrong”, every slight hurt and slight. And we lose sight of our “big mind” which is nurturing our relationship as a whole, and giving our partner space to breathe and grow within the relationship. Without holding them accountable constantly for every small thing that they said, or did (or didn’t do!).

I try to always hold my relationships (romantic and platonic) with great metta. I’m not always successful, but I try to approach each person, and situation, with as much loving kindness and spaciousness as possible.

Because in the end you can’t “make” someone act or say or think the way you personally want them to. All you can do is giving them as much love and forgiveness and kindness as you can, and trust that they are doing the best they can at any given time.

Much love my friends ♥

Meg

Abandoned kitty

Wow, I’ve just realised how long it’s been since I posted!

I will do a catch up post soon, but first I had to share this incredible miracle that has come into my life ♥

2 days ago I found an abandoned kitten in my backyard.  

It wasn’t a complete surprise – I’d been feeding a number of stray cats for the past couple of months, and I knew that at least 2 of them were pregnant.  For whatever reason (maybe fate) they left one of the kitties in my backyard.

Words can’t describe how much I love this little cat.

She’s approximately 2 weeks old, and has required around the clock care.  2 hourly feeds, toileting, even burping!

And it’s truly been the most incredible experience.  I’m beyond grateful that I got to experience this – each moment with her is a miracle ♥

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I’m amazed by how much my heart has opened even wider in the 2 days I have had her.  

And I’m thrilled to report that she is thriving :D.  She’s feeding really well, and the vet said she’s in exceptionally good health (thanks to the food I’ve been giving the strays).

All is perfect in my little world 🙂 ♥

Much love,

Meg

How much fun can we have in this lifetime?

How much fun can we have in this lifetime?

This is something I believe passionately with my whole heart – that life is all about having fun and enjoying every moment to the absolute fullest.

Life is also about learning – and it’s a constant learning.  From each experience, each encounter, good and bad.  Each relationship that doesn’t work, each friendship that dissolves.

I used to struggle being happy on my own, and had expectations when it came to meeting someone else and finding my happiness with them.

As I’ve continued on my journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance, I found the perfect idea of myself and a partner to be a myth.  And it was disconcerting to turn the attention inward, rather than continue focusing outward in the hope of someone filling up emptiness that clearly wasn’t meant for him.

I’ve come to understand that I need to appreciate things as they are and find my own happiness in each moment. I am developing a connection with how short life is and am no longer feeling sorry for the relationships I endured and the ones I couldn’t make work.

For me the lessons I am coming to learn are:

Self Acceptance

Two people who are comfortable in their own skin individually can together play on the same team.

Confidence and stability in ourselves can keep insecurities in check. When insecurities do arise, having the confidence to admit it and not fear rejection is huge. Also not expecting our partner to fix it and practicing mindfulness is the key.

Friendship

Who wouldn’t want a relationship where we have our best friend by our side as we go through this life?

The one we can play and laugh with, explore, be silly, love, share, support and optimally, treat each other with that deep regard, the respect and kindness we each deserve?

It’s what gets us through the dark times, and makes the happy times truly blissful.

Lose the expectations

True happiness means we’re not relying on someone else to make our day.

It doesn’t mean they can’t or won’t do something to make us feel a sense of appreciation, excitement or passion….it means, that we’re okay whether they’re lighting our fire or something else has their focus.

Each of our worlds doesn’t revolve around what each does or doesn’t do for the other. It’s realistic; it’s not based on a fantasy of how one’s partner is supposed to act and be. It gives freedom so both of us can give and receive fully without expectations.

There’s no pushing or forcing one’s agenda on the other, because we don’t need them to be our bandaid.

Complete connection

Not only do two people who aren’t beating their partner up with their baggage have more passion for each other, but they also share a passion for life.

This type of passion is what keeps us young, looking to learn, seeing the precious, and finding the dark hidden spaces to not be so scary.

And we get to share it with our best friend!

So – how much fun can we have in this lifetime??

Awareness can shift our perception to open us to creating more possibilities (and fun!) within our relationships ♥

*  dedicated to my soulmate and best friend Dave *

Buddhism, love and marriage

“But let there be spaces in your togetherness
and let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another but make not a bond of love:
let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.”

~ Kahlil Gibran

I read an interesting article today on the Buddhist notion of love, and it’s really made me pause and re-evaluate my concept of what love is… and what it should be.

I must admit that in love, I can turn inwards, become insular, and all consumed.  However I am coming to realise that love is really about helping one another to face outward, not merely inward.

“In the Buddhist tradition, there’s no “tying the knot.” There’s no two candles, two souls “becoming one.” Instead of facing one another, completing one another (Jerry Maguire) and living happily ever after (which only happens in fiction and even then they never show, they just tell), the Buddhist visualization of a successful marriage is this:

Two friends (who want to make out constantly) facing the same direction together, symbolically east—the direction of the rising sun—as in our awakening, fundamentally a-ok human nature. Walking the path together. Helping one another to be of benefit.

Waylon Lewis

I realise now that love is about more than the 2 people involved.  It’s about loving each other enough to give each other freedom.  And I know that’s an old cliché “If You Love Someone, Set Them Free. If They Come Back They’re Yours”.  However the older I get, and the more experience I have, the more I see the truth in this statement.

But it’s not just letting them go, it’s about giving them freedom always.

It’s about sharing life together, but apart.  Maintaining individuality whilst  nurturing a relationship.

And that’s a balance.  Too much “together” is stifling.  Too much “apart” and really what’s the point?

I guess love is about having the internal strength to say to your other half: “be free.  Do your own thing, and I will do my own thing.   I give you the space to be yourself, to do what makes you happy, and I will do the same.  And yet I will be loyal to you, to our relationship, and to our future.  At the end of the day I will come home to you, and to us “.

It’s about spending as much time nurturing yourself  as you do the relationship.  Creating a strong foundation within yourself – so that you bring strength and stability into the relationship instead of looking for that in your partner.

“PROTECT YOUR OWN HEART. Just as you committed to being the protector of her heart, you must guard your own with the same vigilance. Love yourself fully, love the world openly, but there is a special place in your heart where no one must enter except for your wife. Keep that space always ready to receive her and invite her in, and refuse to let anyone or anything else enter there.” Gerald Rogers

Maybe this is truly the way to build a strong relationship.

 

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A Grateful Heart

Hi friends 🙂

I was recently very inspired by this great article A Grateful Heart.

In this article, 52 year old John Kralik explains how he turned his life around by sending out a personal thank you note each day for 365 days.

“It took a little more than a year, but by the time I had written the 365 thank you notes I had set out to write, my life had been transformed in ways I could not have expected.”

It has really inspired me to start sending out my own thank you notes.

Too often we get wrapped up in our lives, and our problems, and fail to really stop and appreciate the blessings in our lives.

By taking the time to sit down, and thank someone, we bring not only kindness and positivity into their lives, but generate more in our own lives (and the world) as well.

So yesterday I had the pleasure of buying some beautiful stationery, and stamps, and writing out my first 3 cards.

I can’t wait to share with you all this journey.

Much love,

Meg

Thought for today ♥

I think the most profound effect of meditation is that it teaches you to listen and be patient. I think the kindest thing you can do for anyone is be completely present and listen. Listening without any intention to force yourself on a situation is so simple, but so powerful. That has a huge ripple effect beyond the person you have been patient with.

~ Rich Pierson the other half of Headspace

Slowing down time

*** An article I wrote for work 🙂 ***

Have you ever wondered why as you get older – and busier – that time seems to speed up?

Frequently our days go by in a blur – we wake up, work, go to sleep, and do it all over again the next day.  And so go our days, weeks, months ….

Of course the days are not actually going past any more quickly, however our perception of them makes them seem that way … but why?

Because we are not paying attention

As we fill our days with more and more, time seems to fly by more and more quickly.

Inc. Magazine recently highlighted neuroscientific research which indicates that how the brain perceives time passes determines how long or short or busy our days feel.

“Our sense of time, it turns out, isn’t even. It’s dictated by how much information we need to process — more information spells more time, which is why our younger years, when we’re processing lots and lots of new stuff, seem to pass so slowly.”

The Inc. Magazine article pointed us to a 2011 New Yorker profile of David Eagleman, a neuroscientist who studies time perception. Inc. highlighted this passage, written by Burkhard Bilger:

 

The more detailed the memory, the longer the moment seems to last. ‘This explains why we think that time speeds up when we grow older,’ Eagleman said — why childhood summers seem to go on forever, while old age slips by while we’re dozing. The more familiar the world becomes, the less information your brain writes down, and the more quickly time seems to pass.

So in essence, the answer to slowing down time is to notice more.

Or – in a practice that has become very trendy and popular lately – practice mindfulness.

Mindfulness involves cultivating an attention on the present moment – the “here and now”.  By practicing mindfulness we can alter our brain and it’s perception of how quickly – or slowly – time is passing.

“Mindfulness allows people to appreciate their surroundings and can lead to the feeling that time is passing more slowly,” Dr. Steven Meyers, a clinical psychologist and professor of psychology at Roosevelt University in Chicago, told The Huffington Post in a recent article. “Paying attention to events that are pleasant or interesting certainly can enhance our mood and allows us to savor positive experiences.”

It’s easy to lose entire days in mindless distraction – and this is how we can feel that time is flying by.  However if we practice mindfulness – noticing everything around us – our perception of time is slowed down.

So how do we practice mindfulness in daily life?

Our morning commute is a great opportunity.  How many details of the commute do you see as mundane because it happens every day?  What if you took the opportunity to see – really see – the journey with fresh eyes.  What new things can you notice and really pay attention to?  There is always something.

On my journey yesterday I was captivated by the formation of the clouds, and sat in wordless silence for nearly the entire journey just staring at them (it’s okay I was a passenger!).

Another opportunity I took last week was to practice this whilst sitting in the car waiting for my partner to finish an appointment.  I noticed the colour of the cars parked on the street.  The colours of the paint on the building, and the patterns of the shutters.  I noticed the small butterfly that was alighted on the hedge in front of me.  All small things that I could have easily missed by surfing the net on my phone instead.

 In our society, multi-tasking is king.  The more we achieve, the more we pack into a day – or weekend – the more successful we are deemed to be.

Mindfulness brings us the realisation that this is not true success.

Success is stopping to appreciate the small moments in each day – moments that we would otherwise miss in a rush of activity.

And the more aware we are of every small moment – every intricate detail of our day – the more satisfaction we will achieve, and the more time we will seem to have.

And that time is so much richer as a result.

 

Mindfulness is engaging fully with your life on a moment to moment basis.
Being mindful of the now and improving your present moment sense of comfort, tranquillity and serenity.

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Life as a learning experience

Every moment of every day is a learning experience. The good moments, the “bad” moments, the dull moments – all are an opportunity for growth.

And we can make the choice to live our lives with that belief. 

Because quite simply the way that we experience life is mostly due to our outlook, and the way that we perceive events. 

What though if we changed our perspective? 

What if we believed – truly believed – that everything that happens in our life is meant to be?  That everything is happening for a reason?

Because in the end we can choose to be a victim.  Or we can choose to have gratitude for each moment, and to learn from it.

Looking at life as an opportunity for growth, we give ourselves the opportunity to embrace each moment for what it is.

With this perspective there are no mistakes – there is only experience, and learning.

With this perspective we can move past fear, and anger and manipulation. 

We can learn and truly understand that each moment is bursting with potential – the potential for happiness and acceptance, love and understanding.

Because in the end everything happens as it is meant to.

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Quick Launch User’s Guide to Mindfulness

Microwave Meditations

the present moment 1

Instructions: Apply in a moment-by-moment way, as possible and appropriate

As you attempt, cultivate, and adopt these…

  • Slow down
  • Pause
  • Breathe
  • Open
  • Observe
  • Listen
  • Give space
  • Set aside the habit to move immediately into “doing” mode

…you’ll find that there’s more often time to…

  • Relax
  • Reflect
  • Consider
  • Know how you’re feeling
  • Recognize internal dissonance, if you’re experiencing any
  • Know about your initial reaction and be able to suspend acting on it
  • Set aside the instinct to rush to immediately diagnose, fix, solve or improve

Then it becomes possible to…

  • Observe another’s face and body language, take them in clearly
  • Recognize humanness in yourself and others
  • Know dissonance without it being a problem that it’s happening
  • Recognize internal dissonance and differentiate it from interpersonal dissonance
  • Try on new perspectives
  • State facts and distinguish these from emotions, opinions and biases
  • Find what’s productive in dissonance

This can result in the opportunity…

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4 ways to connect with absolutely anyone

Through life we have to connect with all sorts of people from all walks of life.  Family, friends, co-workers, superiors, supermarket workers, service staff, and so the list goes on.

Sometimes we connect really well with people, and other times it feels like something is lacking.

On those occasions where you have trouble connecting – who do you hold responsible?

Chances are, you hold the other person responsible.  Maybe they just aren’t as intelligent as you are.  Or witty.  Or funny.

However, if you are able to meet with every person where they are at.  Whether they are the smartest person or the dimmest.  If you are able to connect with them.  And make them feel seen and heard, then that is the test of real intelligence, more than anything else.

When you meet someone new, instead of thinking “is this person worth my time”, turn it around, and think “How can I connect?  What do they care about?”

Here are some tips to make it easy to connect with absolutely anyone:

1.       Ask open-ended questions

Most people love to talk about themselves, and topics they are passionate about. If you can get them to talk about what they care about, they will usually come alive.

Ask questions that can’t be answered with a yes or no answer.

2.       Ask a follow up question

Show that you are really listening and interested by asking a great follow up question.  Ask questions that ask for more than just information – but for analysis, reflection and engagement.

3.        Watch your body language

Display that you are interested and engaged by your body language.

Lean in, make eye contact, smile and nod (without overdoing it of course).

Non-verbal cues are a huge part of our language.  And show that we are genuinely interested.

4.       Be present, and give presence

The greatest way to make a connection with someone else is to be fully present.  Not thinking about grocery shopping, or your next meeting, or your weekend plans.  But listening fully and openly with interest and respect.

 

“Connection starts long before the first interaction. Be the guy glowing with passion. Let the people around you feel your fire for the impact you want to have on the world. Prompt others to share what makes them come alive. Share in their excitement. There is no more empowering, genuine way to connect. If you don’t know the impact you dream of making, how will you know who you want in your corner to make it happen?”

Leo Babauta

Tender hearted

Hello my lovely friends 🙂

It’s been quiet lately on my blog as I struggled with a number of personal issues.

As always though I am grateful for the experience.

I feel very tender hearted and “open”.  I am grateful for the chance to continue on my spiritual path.

I’m also reading a truly beautiful book on blessings, which has come at the perfect time in my life.

How are you all?

Heartfelt blessings,
Meg

A Design So Vast

I really love this blog – A Design So Vast.

Today the author – Lindsey – answered some questions about herself.  They were such meaningful questions that I wanted to share my answers.  I would love to hear your answers too! 🙂

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Loneliness.  There is something indescribably heart-breaking about facing a tough battle and discovering that you are completely alone.  If I had one wish for the world, it would be that no one would ever feel alone.

Where would you like to live?

I don’t have any specific place – I would make the most of wherever I am.  I think there is always something to experience and appreciate no matter where you are.  And something you can learn, and people you can help.

What is your idea of earthly happiness?

Making someone else smile.  Kissing my sleeping little man as I go to bed. A hot cup of tea.  Meditation.  Really connecting with another living being – whether it’s a person or animal.  For me particularly if it’s an animal – it seems like time stops.

To what faults do you feel most indulgent?

People who have made mistakes that they regret.  I feel an incredible empathy, as everyone makes mistakes, and is entitled to another chance.  

Who are your favourite characters in history?

I’m actually not very knowledge about history – one of my biggest failings I guess.  It’s just something I have never been interested in.

Who are your favourite heroines in real life?

Audrey Hepburn – without a doubt.  She has been my idol for as long as I can remember – she is feminine, and kind, and gentle and classy.  She speaks beautifully and just radiates an innocence.

Your favourite painter?

Van Gough.  My favourite painting of his is Starry Night, closely followed by Starry Night Over the Rhone.

Your favourite musician?

I’m not sure I could narrow it down to one.  My favourites would be:  Chris Martin (from Coldplay), Bono, Jeff Buckley, Paul Simon and Billy Joel.

The qualities you most admire in a man?

Kindness, humour, the ability to make me feel safe and cared for, and a sense of fun.

The qualities you most admire in a woman?

Independence, Elegance, Softness.

Your favourite virtue?

Honesty, Integrity, Compassion.

Your favourite occupation?

A carer or therapist.

Who would you have liked to be?

A Buddhist Nun.  Failing that, I would have liked to have had a very simple, and honest life as a housewife/mother.  Raising children, looking after my partner, and volunteering in the community.

I would LOVE to hear you answers to these questions.

Blessings,

Meg

A Writer, a Plumber and a Plan to Save the Planet

I just had the good fortune to read a wonderful story about a man saving the planet – one leaky tap at a time.

It amazes and humbles me the wonderful people that are out there in this world.  It certainly gives me great faith in humanity when I read stories like this:

A Writer, a Plumber and a Plan to Save the Planet

Aabid Surti is an odd character. A few years ago, the angular, bearded author was invited to meet the President of India to receive a national award for literature at a ceremony in the capital, New Delhi. He politely declined. Absorbed in writing the first draft of his new novel, he cited the reason that he did not have time. But what he has made time for every Sunday for seven years now, is going door-to-door in Mira Road, a non-descript suburb of Mumbai, with a plumber in tow, asking residents if they need their tap fixed for free!

In 2007, he was sitting in a friend’s house and noticed a leaky tap. It bothered him. When he pointed it out, his friend, like others, dismissed it casually: it was too expensive and inconvenient to call a plumber for such a minor job – even plumbers resisted coming to only replace old gaskets.

A few days later, he came across a statistic in the newspaper: a tap that drips once every second wastes a thousand litres of water in a month. That triggered an idea. He would take a plumber from door to door and fix taps for free – one apartment complex every weekend.

To read the full story, click here.