TT1941 – Will or Flo?

There is a tension between 
Willing something to happen
And going with the flow.
Will tries to control the situation.
As Flo becomes less attached,
Will becomes more so!

Flo has a wisdom about her
Acting with Grace and effortless ease
Such that magic often happens.
Will can’t understand how she does it
So he tries even harder
To control the situation.

So who wins? Will or Flo?
Flo and Will are not natural partners:
They are like Fire and Water.
Too much heat and Flo evaporates
In a puff of steam: she’s gone!
Off to find consolation in condensation.

Too many of Flo’s watery ideas
Extinguish Will’s fiery inspirations
Which dance from one flame to the next.
They are no match for the bucket
Of intangible wishy-washy water that Flo
Throws on Will’s energetic flickers of intent.

So is there any resolution?  Indeed!
Erf can help by grounding the situation.
He provides a hearth and channel 
So Will and Flo can co-exist in separation.
Ayr can also help Will to focus his fiery resolutions
As well as Flo, crystallising her thoughts with a chilling wind.

In any polarising situation, two forces
Will flow better when a third comes into play.
Dilemmas are broken with new vibrations
Played out with the different elements,
Each one needing some of the other to find
The sweet spot of our creative genius.

(To my friend Bee, who reminded me all that
I have forgotten about the magic of the Four Elements!)

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What you must open today….

New Year: A Dialogue

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1909)

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MORTAL:
“The night is cold, the hour is late, the world is bleak and drear;
Who is it knocking at my door?”

THE NEW YEAR:
“I am Good Cheer.”

MORTAL:
“Your voice is strange; I know you not; in shadows dark, I grope.
What seek you here?”

THE NEW YEAR:
“Friend, let me in; my name is Hope.”

MORTAL:
“And mine is Failure; you but mock the life you seek to bless. Pass on.”

THE NEW YEAR:
“Nay, open wide the door; I am Success.”

MORTAL:
“But I am ill and spent with pain; too late has come your wealth. I cannot use it.”

THE NEW YEAR:
“Listen, friend; I am Good Health.”

good health - wellness concept - isolated text in vintage letterpress wood type printing blocks

MORTAL:
“Now, wide I fling my door. Come in, and your fair statements prove.”

THE NEW YEAR:
“But you must open, too, your heart, for I am Love.”

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Wishing all readers of Thursday Thoughts

Good Cheer, Hope, Success, Good Health and Love in 2016

….on this, the last Thursday of 2015!

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Zen and the Art of Business Conversation

It is August and the holidays are here!  For many, July and August are the months for rest and recuperation and spending time with family on holiday.  For those that live in the northern parts of the Northern hemisphere, it is a time for getting some sun on our skins before the longer winter months kick in again.
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For many, it is also a time of reflection.  For although the calendar year starts in January, September is the start of the academic year and August is the gap before the start of the new year.  I have found that many businesses are tuned to the academic calendar – either directly (like a University or School) or indirectly (because many of their employees have children who set a cycle in the family geared around their academic needs).
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So it got me thinking.  Most of my great ideas have come from a time when I am not thinking about day-to-day stuff.  Those magic, “Eureka!” moments when a problem you have been working on suddenly becomes solvable.
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By not being hampered by the grind of meetings, actions and to-do lists, we can solve old problems and creating new ideas.  Finding a gap in the year’s day-to-day grind to think big, think outside the box or just not think at all and let nature take its course often relaxes you in ways you can’t achieve at other times of the year.
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There is an old saying that God gave us two ears and one mouth so we can listen twice as long as we speak.  And so it is with the summer break.  There is a gap in proceedings where we can listen.  Not just listen to those who we work with.  But listen to ourselves.  Our inner mind.  Our inner bodies.  Our inner spirit.  We can refresh each other with the rest and easy living that we often over-ride in the rest of the year.
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So, back the Art of Business Conversation.  For my own part, I have been working on a new way to look at businesses through the conversations we have.  The Art of Business Conversation, if you like.  As simple as ABC.  Except it isn’t, is it?  It is quite complicated.
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There are several different types of business conversation (which I aim to explore more in future posts).  The most intense are often wrapped up in emotional outbursts or things unsaid.
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The key is to find space within the conversation to reflect.  On an annual cycle, this time of the year gives us time to reflect on the longer-term relationships we all have with the businesses and people we work with.  Either as employees; business owners; customers; suppliers; that funny, over-used word “partners”; or simply the friends and relations that weave in and out of those conversations.
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And that is where the idea of Zen comes in.  Zen is the space between.  Zen is the effortless flow.  Zen is the silent, observant onlooker onto our busy world of nothingness.  Zen is the state to get into before returning to the ABC of business, academia and all those things where we sequence stuff and continue our practice of the art of business conversation.
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So, enjoy the break.  Listen to the silence.  Observe the subtle messages coming from the conversation with yourself.  Say nothing and say everything.  Come back refreshed and energised to take on the new challenges that you discover in the hidden moments of this August recess.
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Into the Vortex

After the feeling of being stuck. Of being bogged-down. Of going round and round in circles, the thought changes.  What if round-and-round gets you somewhere?

Water twirl 20110903-7(210).jpg

Life flows. Events line up. Coincidences happen without any effort. Dreams start to crystalise in elegant ways that you had not expected.  You deepen your ideas on where you are.  Present.  Alert.  Observant.

Life speeds up. The pace of change shifts from first gear to fourth – apparently without going second or third. Patterns emerge that you have been working on for months – or even years.  Life becomes effortless.

Tempest in a teapot.

You give up control, because otherwise those tiny rituals that were once so important will stop you from riding the wave.  You surrender to the Universal stream of Life.

Then things go quiet.  The entry into the centre of the vortex creates an intense sense of peace. You are in the eye in the storm.

blue energy tornado

All is clear. All is aligned. You can make choices that you’ve never seen before.

Play with the energy.  Feel the power and use it for the good of yourself and your community.  Point the axis to where you want to go.  New openings will appear.  New guides will arrive to help you on your new path.

You are not just in the vortex.  You are the vortex!

4809979-small copy

 All images from Crestock.

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The End of the Break

As we come to the end of the summer break, for most of us, school, university or work starts afresh.  I say, for most because, like with all generalisations, there are always those who break the rule.  An increasing number of friends seem to be moving into “retirement” or “semi-retirement” – breaking the pattern of a life-time by taking more time off.  Two of my children are starting University – a break from the long years of study at school to the less structured, more fun time at Uni.

And the little word “break” got me thinking.  It seems to have so many meanings. It runs to many definitions in the dictionary – both as a verb and as a noun.  It can be:

  • destructive (as in – “break a glass”)
  • illegal (as in “breaking the speed limit”)
  • liberating (as in “break out of old patterns”)
  • exciting (as in “breaking news”)
  • disappointing (as in “break my heart”)
  • the point of profit (as in “break-even”)
  • time to eat (as in “breakfast”)
  • very confusing for someone not fluent in English (as in “break a leg”)

For such a little word, it has so many different subtle meanings and so many different ways to combine itself with other words to mean so many different things!

break-glass-in-fire-sign

Yet, with all of this, I always see the start of September as the opportunity to break from the past and focus on the future.  For some reason, even more so than with Christmas or Easter.  Perhaps we are all subconsciously programmed by the school year – whether as students, former students or parents.  Yet there are those who will always break the mould and find other beginnings and endings in their year and not agree with me.

Great word “break”.

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Powerful Forces Are At Work!

My father used to have a phrase that he used from time to time when something inexplicable happened.  “Powerful Forces are at Work” he would say.  In the past week or so, I have had a very strong feeling that somehow the universe is reconfiguring itself and that powerful forces truly are at work.  This is a difficult feeling to articulate – but the it got me thinking about our personal turning-points, crossroads and moments of truth that make us change and grow as we go through lief .  Naturally, we can all share in global turning points like the economic crisis.  But the ones that are closer to home, the ones that are personal and sometimes painful; the ones that are more subjective .  These are a lot more powerful change agents than the blah-blah we get from the constant barrage from the media, news and modern-day consumerist group-think.  Indeed, the Transition Movement is a collection of such ideas – interestingly portrayed in the Wordle below:

transitions-wordle

 And so it was that we passed 12:12 on 12/12/12 today.  It marked another milestone for Susie and me – because we got engaged at 7:07 on 7/7/07 and our subsequent wedding was on 8/8/08.  Apparently there were more people married on 12/12/12 than at any other time in history!  These dates seem to hold a romantic charm.   We won’t have any more quite like that unless you plan to live until 01/01/2101.  Most of us will be long gone by then!

Transitions in time are made more meaningful when there are coincidences – in this case with a string of numbers lining-up.  We still have one more this month on 21/12/12 – which is, apparently, the end of a cycle in the Mayan long-count calendar.  Some predict disasters, others a transition of the human race to a new level of consciousness.  Yet others think it will pass without incident.

But what if this month truly was a major transition and a marked positive shift in human consciousness?  What would that shift feel like?  What would each of us be doing differently as a result of it?  How would our behaviours change towards our selves, each other and towards the environment?  What small changes could we individually make that would create a big difference in 2013?

In the run-up to New Year’s Resolution time, it is something to think about, anyway!  I would love to hear your ideas in the comments below.

Oh, and here is a Wordle of this article:

Wordle of Article

Make your own Wordle at: http://www.wordle.net

 

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The Shapes of Stories and How to Write Them

A good friend and regular reader, Anthony, sent me the link to a great anonymous blog a few weeks ago – Farnam Street.

Yesterday, they pointed to a brilliant set of rules on how to write a short story by Kurt Vonnegut:

1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.

2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.

3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.

4. Every sentence must do one of two things-reveal character or advance the action.

5. Start as close to the end as possible.

6. Be a Sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them-in order that the reader may see what they are made of.

7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.

8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To hell with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

There is another video which is even more worth watching on the Shape of Stories:

It got me thinking about how we all love stories, the ups and downs of life, the drama unfolding, the game(s), the chase, the great ending!

Please share any insights or thoughts you have on this great subject below!

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Paraprosdokians, the Second Mouse and the Last Laugh

A friend, Peter, kindly sent me this earlier today.

Please laugh – then pass the link on to friends:

There is a figure of speech called a

Paraprosdokian

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in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected.

It is frequently used in a humorous context and here are a few examples:

 

“Where there’s a will, I want to be in it!”

“Do not argue with an idiot.

He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience!”

“The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it’s still on my list!”

“Light travels faster than sound.

This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak!”

“If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong!”

“We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public!”

“War does not determine who is right – only who is left!”

“Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit.

Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad!”

“Evening news is where they begin with ‘Good Evening,’ and then proceed to tell you why it isn’t!”

“To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism.

To steal from many is research!”

“A bus station is where a bus stops.

A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station!”

“Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says, ‘In case of emergency, notify:’ I put ‘DOCTOR!”

“I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you!”

“A clear conscience is the sign of a fuzzy memory!”

“I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn’t work that way.

So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness!”

“You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice!”

“You’re never too old to learn something stupid!”

“To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target!”

” Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car!”

“A diplomat is someone who tells you to go to hell in such a way that you look forward to the trip!”

“Hospitality is making your guests feel at home even when you wish they were!”

And the final words of wisdom:

“The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese”.

“While the eagle may soar, the weasel doesn’t get sucked up by a jet engine”.

Hope you enjoyed – please pass on as you smile!


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Inward Investment, Magic and Love

As the world becomes more and more global and the European national political and economic frameworks remain stressed, each city is left to its own devices to attract inward investment and keep and grow talent.

In researching this area for a number of UK cities, a friend in the US sent me the link to this video.  It is so clever on so many levels you have to watch it more than once:

Enjoy!

Oh, and anyone thinking of moving into a new career of iPad magic shows, please let me know!  I would love to learn how to do this kind of magic!  Brilliant!

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