Thursday, November 16, 2017

A Like/Dislike World?

The Referendum to leave Europe was memorable for many reasons. One of which was our realisation of the simplicity of voting either 'In' or 'Out', 'Yes' or 'No'.
So simple, so decisive . . . so irreversible.

And have you noticed that this same simplicity of action features ever more frequently in our daily lives.

As an example, look at social media . . . each time we go online we are invited to register either 'Like' or 'Dislike'.

But let's give this a little thought.
Is life really like that . . . and should it be like that?

I can't help wondering whether, in an effort to simplify, we have unwittingly helped to create a divided, polarised world.

After all,  what if the thing we claim to like today is the very same thing we claimed to dislike yesterday?  People can change their minds.

Life is complex, we are complex.  Likes and dislikes are  based on impulse, often irrational and rarely the outcome of careful consideration.  What we like for breakfast we are unlikely to like for lunch.

More than that, we don't necessarily 'dislike' those things we say we don't like . . we can be ambivalent on the issue, open to discussion.  Yet, by being pushed into a 'like/dislike' situation, we are depriving ourselves of the possibility of thoughtful consideration.

In addition, we are relegating all those things we 'don't like' to a different strata . . .  creating a 'them and us' situation, one which is often painful and hard to understand.

Just look at the cacophony in the world today.  Wouldn't you agree that our 'like/dislike', 'for/against' culture has greatly added to the tendency to be judgemental, and is compounding the many divisions in society?  Mightn't it be wiser to be a willing part of the flow of life itself rather than constantly critical of the process?

Let's pause for a moment and look at these skilled surfers.
If a surfer passed judgement on each wave, he'd be making life difficult not only for himself, but also for those surfing with him.
But see what happens when a group of them just go with the flow.

To be a part of the flow involves trust, a trust in life to bring what is needed.
What's more, being in the flow is effortless . . . taking a stand, as we know to our cost, consumes a great deal of effort and energy!

So, if we can lay aside the constant need to judge, and replace it with a more flowing, holistic view of life, wouldn't everyone benefit?

You think that sounds a good idea?  Then you know what to do.
Ponder on it, mull it over . . . but don't be tempted to click on 'Like'!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Blessings of Blue

I wonder, have you noticed that a large proportion of the people we see nowadays are dressed in black?
Are we all in mourning . . . in mourning for a happier, less stressful world?
Look in the windows of clothes shops or department stores, it's black that dominates.

However, although we might be spurning colour, the natural world compensates for our drabness, particularly in the autumn.

So far this October we have been offered not only the brilliance of the turning leaves, but also a magnificent and totally unexpected tangerine sun  . . . did you see it?

All these thoughts came to mind the other day when I heard of a report published by The Barcelona Institute for Global Health.

Scientists at the Institute have been carrying out an intensive study into the power of colour.  Not autumnal colour in this instance, but the power of the colour blue.
Their conclusions make interesting reading.

According to their research, 'outdoor blue spaces have potential benefits for health, particularly in terms of mental health, general well-being and physical activity.'

Why are we drawn to the sea for our holidays?
Yes, I know we enjoy swimming, and we also love to relax on a sunny beach, but has it occurred to you that we're also drawn by the colour of the sea itself, by the largely unrecognised benefits of blue?

It would seem that whilst we create the world's stress, colour holds the antidote.

So, how better to alleviate the current sense of anxiety than by applying blue therapy?

We can't all look out of our windows at a natural source of water, but we can all look up at the sky.

True, there are times when it's cloudy and overcast . . .  on such occasions photos like these will go part way to offering what we need.

May I recommend that you sit quietly for a moment looking at these two seascapes.

Relax into the depths of the blue sea, let your mind expand into the infinite brilliance of the blue sky.
Feeling better . . . ?  I'm sure you are.

And if you are still troubled by a nagging unease, a sense that harmony and order are disappearing, then click here.

However chaotic our world may appear at the moment, this video from Harvard University puts things into perspective.
We humans have created plenty of turbulence on the surface of life.  In this video the scientists demonstrate how the underlying energy frequencies can reclaim order from chaos and maintain a beautifully harmonious, rhythmic pattern.  A rhythm similar to the one we feel when gazing out to sea.

So, with the reassurance of the scientists from Harvard, and the recommendation of the scientists of Barcelona, let's relax, rethink our wardrobes . . . and bask in the blessings of the sky above us.

What if, instead of 'seeing red' when provoked, we consciously chose to 'see blue'?
Could blue-sky thinking help stabilise society . . . ?
Who knows . . . but let me leave you to be inspired by Stephen Caudel's beautiful music, 'Reflections in Blue'.