Live A Better Life

This is an excellent talk on not only how to increase your longevity, but also how to enjoy the years you do have so much more!
 


 
It’s by Jane McGonigal, creator of SUPERBETTER.

She starts off talking about games, but quickly goes into tips for better living. All the ideas she offers are real and familiar, and are backed up by real world science. But the absolute bonus are the practical tips and exercises she gives you at the end to help you improve the quality of your life.

It’s very fun and life affirming, and I’m glad I watched it (which is why I’m sharing it here!). πŸ™‚

And because I don’t say it enough, thank you all my friends and followers for checking out my blog, leaving comments, and taking an interest in what I do and what I’m doing to improve my life. It really means a lot to me.

Be happy everyone, and remember to follow your dreams! It’s the only thing that makes any sense in the long run. πŸ˜‰

Getting The Ball Rolling

So, yesterday was a busy day. πŸ™‚

I sent off an application for the yoga TTC (teacher training course) in Austria in September, and I e-mailed the Sivananda Ashram in Canada about going there as staff for 2-3 months after the TTC. No word back from either of them yet, but at least I got the ball rolling.

a world of stress

Couldn’t have done it a couple of weeks ago. My head was full of ‘not quite what I want to do’ thoughts. I’d let too many people stick their well meaning oars in, and ended up with this ‘plan’ that wasn’t what I really wanted to do.

But then I realised it’s like when I bought my car. I knew which one I wanted, but I allowed myself to get confused with thoughts of cost and insurance and fuel efficiency. It was only when I decided to ignore all that crap and just get the car I wanted that I was able to move forward.

kiki's new car

And I’m so glad I did in the end. Ok, so the car I bought has cost me loads in repairs, doesn’t get the best milage per gallon, and costs me quite a few quid in insurance coz it’s a 2 litre, but I love it! And driving it makes me smile; so no matter the cost it’s an absolute winner!

Same with my plans. I can do what other people suggest, but if it’s not what I want to do I’ll just be faintly dissatisfied all the time, and that’s no use is it? As it says in the Bhagavad Gita (apparently; and I’m paraphrasing massively here also) ‘Better to live you own life and make mistakes than live someone else’s life well.’

So now I’m just waiting to hear back. But it’s nice to have tossed a few balls out there, and be waiting for them to return. And it’s like with the art project I started recently, throw your intention out into the world and if it’s got legs it’ll run. And if not, maybe you should be doing something else. But ultimately, there’s only one way to find out isn’t there!

so, fingers crossed eh? πŸ˜‰

Tomorrow, And Tomorrow, And Tomorrow…

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools

It’s so easy to think about tomorrow, and forget about today. To look to the future for satisfaction, and ignore the here and now. So many things we strive for are based on delayed gratification, and the promise of what is to come, but if what we desire is always in the future, how will we ever truly be happy?

They say ‘Tomorrow never comes’. True, from a linguistic/philosophical point of view, though always a saying that annoys me somehow with it’s clever smugness. I used to have a saying, ‘Never put of ’til tomorrow what you can get away with never doing’, but that was just me trying to be funny. Besides, if it doesn’t need doing, why is it on your To Do List in the first place?

ohmmm...

Tomorrow I head out to the Dhamma Dipa Centre near Hereford for my 10 day introduction to Vipassana meditation course. I’ll be honest, I’m a little apprehensive, as 10 days is a long time, especially with all the rules they impose on your staying there.

But also I’m looking forward to a chance to practice properly for the first time. No distractions, just you and the cushion. What I’m less enthusiastic about is dealing with my leg while I’m there. Thanks to a litany of injuries my right leg hurts in oh so many different positions, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to sit for hours at a time without a great deal of pain. I just did a Tai Chi weekend and by the end of it I was really in a lot of pain.

But hopefully it’ll calm down over the next 10 days. I have exercises to do and I won’t be doing any work so nothing should aggravate it. And there are a number of positions you can meditate in, so I’m sure I’ll find something I can do that’ll work for me.

the big buddha

For my last bit of visual entertainment for a while I just finished watching a great documentary about the Apollo missions called In The Shadow Of The Moon. Not only is it fascinating to watch, but it is inspiring to hear the revelations each astronaut went through in seeing the Earth from so far away. Some found their spirituality (very specifically saying not religion, but spirituality), some came to realise how unimportant the many things we find to complain about day to day really are, some came to understand the interconnectedness of each and every thing in the Universe, but not one of them came away thinking that this fractious, warring, polluting system we’ve set in motion is the way to be.

And it made me think too. Neil Armstrong was 38 when he went on his mission into space. I’m 38, and tomorrow I embark on my mission to become a space cadet. How alike we truly are, lol. πŸ™‚ Ok, I’m just messing. but it is interesting to see what others before you have done by the same age you are.

However, that being said, you can’t get caught up in measuring yourself by the standards of others of course. Each of us has their own path to follow, and we must find our own ways of measuring our success (otherwise we’ll always be unsuccessful, and ultimately always unhappy). But more importantly we have to enjoy the victories of today, for if we always look to the future for validation we will never truly feel we have achieved anything.

day 21 - peace

Ok, that’s enough philosiphising for now. See you in 2 weeks when I’ll report on my 10 days of meditative seclusion, and hopefully I’ll finally be able to make some decisions about my upcoming sabbatical, and progress forward in my quest for a Brand New Life.

Reasons To Be Cheerful… 1, 2, 6!

Recently I’ve been concentrating on the negative side of things, and whilst this has been helpful in instigating change, it doesn’t help to wallow. After all, the negative is just one side of the coin. Sometimes you’ve got to accentuate the positive too.

I had a moment today as I strolled through the rain to the shops where I passed under a tree, and the pitter patter of drops on my umbrella ceased briefly.

In an instant I remembered how much I like being outside in the rain (provided I’m under cover that is). I remembered the day when it rained back home, and I took a chair and an umbrella out into the garden and just sat there enjoying the rain and not getting wet.

I was young, it was a simple pleasure, and remembering that made me think of all the other things I enjoy in life. Here, so far, is my list for today.

1. Being outside in the rain

cottage in the woods

I love the atmosphere in the air when there’s a good rain on. If I’m indoors I’ll open a window or a door just to enjoy it. When I build a house I’ll have a massive covered rear doorway so I can open it wide during a rainstorm and enjoy it as much as possible (without getting wet).

2. Cherry flavours

fruit n' cake

Dunno what it is at the moment, but I’m loving all things cherry. Cherry yoghurt, cherry apple juice, no cherries as yet (out of season I think), but it’s just a matter of time.

3. When God wakes me

hyde park at dawn

I hate my alarm. It’s just wrong on so many levels. The best days are when God wakes you. When you rise of your own accord feeling refreshed and alert and ready to enjoy the day.

4. Richard Stark

richard stark

I love his books, not only for what he’s written, but for the inspiration he’s given me to start on a novel of my own for the first time in ages. Seeing that an author can get published for writing such simple, concise, yet gripping stories has been a real eye opener for me, and in many ways has given me permission to value the way in which I write and to do it for the love as much as anything else.

5. Tea

tea at the tate (with soya milk)

There’s nothing like a good cuppa, either with a good book (see above) or, even better, to share with a good friend. Lazy afternoons down the Kitchen Pantry chatting nonsense and dreaming of better things in lovely company; there’s no better way to spend the day.

6. A full English

square meal

If a picture paints a thousand words, then nuff said methinks. πŸ™‚

So what do you enjoy? What makes it worth getting out of bed in the morning?