Saturday, 31 January 2015

Day 49 - Speed Kills

I do not know if this is advertised in all countries or only here, but we have the “Arrive Alive” advertisements on the radio, tv and on Billboards which is basically to tell people things like “speed kills” and “don’t drink and drive”. The adverts are built around these points. I am looking at the point of speed kills and how it can be used on more points than just driving.

If you look at how you interact with people, I am sure you have memories of arguments about inconsequential points that could have been avoided by simply slowing down and taking a moment to listen to each other and discuss a point without being aggressive and trying to make the other see it your way. The principle that I am looking at is taking everything one point at a time. In terms of a conversation, you hear and consider what the other person is saying and if you are unclear you ask them to repeat. In terms of your process you stop yourself from being overwhelmed by points and using the feeling of “it is too much” to give yourself an excuse to fall, by looking at one point at a time and working with that point until it is clear. I understand that while you are working on that one point that there will be others that come up. When this occurs I suggest you write it down on the side and once you have completed the point you are working on you can get to the ones that came up while you were writing.

Looking at the speed kills point and how all of this ties together you can see how when you are trying to accomplish something whether it is you trying to bring your point across in an argument or you are trying to work on yourself and your process. The point that is starting to become apparent is that we tend to rush to get what we want and have no patience when it comes to considering what it will actually take to get it. This is what I see if I place the point of speed kills into my daily life. I see how that point can impact more than driving, it can also be a tool to assist in working with rushing through life, because when we rush we tend to think that our actions affect only ourselves which is the same as when we drive in a dangerous way and think that is only us as the driver who is accepting the risk of an accident without realizing that when we have or cause an accident that there are others involved and that they get hurt and that it would be our responsibility.

The next time you see yourself wanting to rush to get what you want, consider that there are consequences for our actions and that those consequences affect the ones around you too.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Day 48 - The Difference Between Life and Death

A few days ago Maite found a chick that had been abandoned while it was hatching and when she found it, it was stuck almost three quarters in the egg. She thought it was dead until he saw it move and heard the squeak. She brought it up to me in the house and we carefully took the little goo covered chick out of the shell.

Now, when the chicks are hatching – which is in the last 3 days of the 21 day brooding cycle – they need to be kept warm and the mother helps to clean the shell goo off, if the baby doesn’t eat it. We took the little baby and wrapped it up in a blanket and kept it in constant contact with our bodies, like a hen, to generate body heat. We also had to stay awake with it for the first two nights to help keep it warm and to keep it company.

When this happens – it has happened before that we find day old chicks that have been abandoned and that we have to take it in – we have a few points that we have to keep an eye out for as “milestones” so to speak, which give us some insight into how the chick is doing and they are: that the chick is eating on their second day of life, that the chick is drinking on its first day of life, that the chick poops on their second day of life and – most importantly that they Choose to live.

With chickens we can easily see what happens when they give up and when they are not willing to give up. If they give up, they get sick and they die or they just stop eating and die or even just go lie down somewhere for days until they die if there is no intervention. If they do not give up then they can get sick and just keep on going until we notice it and give them medicine to help with the sickness or they get hurt, which can be pretty brutal and they just don’t stop fighting to live, meaning that they continue eating drinking and everything while we try to help them. The simple point is that if they give up they will die no matter what we do, but if they do not give up and their wounds are not too severe they will live with our help.

This is interesting as the same principle applies to everyone. I’m sure everyone can relate to situations of feeling ‘hopeless’ – like nothing can be done or ‘we’re too far gone’ – where, it’s not that we’re physically incapacitated or physically incapable of moving, of supporting ourselves, of standing, but it seems like such an arduous task. In those moments – the defining factor is whether we choose to stand. When you look at the baby chick and what it went through – when we found her, she was in the direst of conditions – totally helpless, no support whatsoever, hanging on by a thread – but she hadn’t given up. She chose to live and today she is as strong and as healthy as any chick. If she had given up by default – then there would really be no hope, then her fate would have been sealed, regardless of any attempts of intervention.

Support given to us can only take us so far – what cannot be given to us is the decision to live, the decision to stand, the decision to change. Choice is truly the difference between life and death, between festering and recovering, between stagnation and change. Consider then, what do I choose to do with my life? Who do I choose to be?

Friday, 16 January 2015

Day 47 - I Choose to Live

It is fascinating what a difference it makes when you decide to do something. If you decide that you do not want to do something then you have to first clear that decision before you are able to actually start doing it. It also has an effect when it is something that you do not want to do, if you have to do something that you really do not want to do you cause that project to be one that you can only do when you force yourself to do it and if you force yourself to do something you will be angry while doing it and you will take out your anger on the people around you.

I have also seen how you can tire yourself out and make things worse than they actually are just by deciding that you are unwilling to do it, then you will be dreading the task and thinking about how difficult it is going to be and by doing these things you will actually make it more difficult and make yourself angry and irritated.

This is a quote from Osho:

'To be ordinary is the only extraordinary thing. Very rarely somebody relaxes and becomes ordinary. If you ask Zen masters, 'What do you do?' they will say, 'We fetch wood from the forest, we carry water from the well. We eat when we feel hungry, we drink when we feel thirsty, we go to sleep when we feel tired. This is all.'

It does not look very appealing -- fetching wood, carrying water, sitting, eating. You will say, 'These are ordinary things. Everybody is doing them.'

These are not ordinary things, and nobody is doing them. When you are fetching wood, you are condemning it -- you would like to be the president of some country. You don't want to be a woodcutter. You keep condemning the present for some imaginary future.

Carrying water from the well, you feel you are wasting your life. You are angry. You were not made for such ordinary things. You had come with a great destiny -- to lead the whole world towards a paradise, some utopia.

These are all ego-trips. These are all in states of consciousness.

Just to be ordinary... and then suddenly what you call trivia is no more trivia, what you call profane is no more profane. Everything becomes sacred. Carrying wood becomes sacred. Fetching water from the well becomes sacred.'

It is fascinating that this is what we do within ourselves whenever there we are doing something, it is never the simplicity and acceptance of “doing the ordinary and menial task”, it has become the total ego trip of ourselves to condemn and think we are better than these things. I need to go fix a fence and all the while I am thinking that I could be doing some grand and important thing trying to make myself feel better about doing this simple, practical common sense task and within trying to make myself fell important I actually make myself angry at the fact that I am not important or special.
None of us are special or important, this is the point we all have to realise.

We are all the same, we all have to eat, sleep, drink and defecate. This one simple point of accepting the fact that we are the same and all have the same problems would make the world a better place for all of us to live in. For if you saw your neighbour as the same as you and treated them as you would want to be treated wouldn’t the world be calmer, safer and give us all a chance to really work to change ourselves and our world into a world and life that we would all enjoy?

I am willing and able to do this and I have chosen to do this, I want my future children to grow up without worrying about being killed when they are sleeping and to be able to enjoy themselves without having to block out the suffering of the people around us as we all had to.