Hello lovely readers and welcome to my monthly newsletter!
Included is a round up of what I’ve been writing and reading, plus a collection of thoughts from my journal.
I hope you enjoy!
WHAT I’VE BEEN WRITING:
A letter I wrote to my son, 2 years ago now, before he was born. It shares a difficult life story demonstrating why I believe honesty to be such an important value. I posted it as a reminder after finding out my gorgeous wife is pregnant with our second. Although it’s addressed to the first this letter is for both of them. I also hope the rest of you lovely readers might gain something from what was one of the hardest lessons I’ve ever had to learn…
Inspired by the following quote: “Enthusiasm is worth 25 IQ points” from Kevin Kelly‘s viral post ‘68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice.’ As I wrote, “We don’t alway get to do what we want to or, indeed, choose what life has in store for us. But if we make out that these things are what we wanted. That the struggle we find ourself in is what was meant for us, so we can learn and grow into the resilient mother fucker we were meant to be. Well, I suspect that such an attitude might just be the ultimate form of taking responsibility for your life.”
Been experimenting a little on the blog this month. This is one example of a short post I had a bit of fun with.
Another short/experimental post inspired by my struggle with depression in the past.
A post inspired by my reading of Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life by Thich Nhat Hanh. In it I explore the idea of viewing people as mirrors and how that can help us reflect the best in each other.
Another short ramble from yours truly.
A new weekly newsletter I’ve started putting together in an attempt to rewrite the narrative that Mondays are the most depressing day of the week. It contains 3 thoughts from me, 3 quotes from others and 3 things I’ve been reading, watching and/or listening to during the week. It finishes with something silly to hopefully make you lovely readers smile.
WHAT I’VE BEEN READING:
Peace is Every Step is a beautifully written book on the power of living mindfully, being fully engaged with the present moment. Whether sitting at traffic lights, eating, sitting, or washing the dishes, Nhat Hanh demonstrates that peace and happiness is available to us at any time. He provides exercises to increase our awareness of our own body and mind through conscious breathing, which can bring immediate joy and peace. It’s the second time I’ve read this book. I’m currently in the process of turning my notes into the subject of a future favourite toilet book post. Stay tuned!
This BBC article: A letter to our newborn American daughter.
Written by a foreign correspondent living in New York for his newborn daughter in the wake of George Floyd’s killing. It resonated with me for a number of reasons, in particular when thinking about the future our children will inherit from us. As he summarised, “It’s not your job to fix the world’s problems for us, it’s our urgent responsibility to fix them for you.” I hope we can all heed this message.
RANDOM THOUGHTS FROM MY JOURNAL:
Why parenting is good for you: You become comfortable covered in piss and shit.
Every human mind should come with a warning label: Easily Infected With Bullshit
When thinking in terms of being right you’ve lost. When thinking in terms of trying to be better you’re a winner. This is true regardless of the outcome.
Forcing your views on others doesn’t make them right.
Let’s not say we don’t believe in god because of science and then only choose to acknowledge the science that suits us. The truth is what matters, not your beliefs.
People reflect the world that surrounds them. They often act like mirrors. If the world stops paying attention to them they lose interest in it. If it treats them harshly they act out in anger. Pay attention to all those you encounter. They deserve it. Treat all with love and compassion. They need it. We all do.
Forget to-do lists. Make a get to-do list instead.
The change the world needs from you is for you to change. Not for you to change the world.
What if instead of asking our children, ‘What do you want to do when you’re older?’, we asked, ‘How do you want to help the world when you’re older?’.
The arguments you have in your head are pointless if you only have them with yourself. Speak up or let go.
There is a lesson for us in acceptance every time it rains.
Sometimes you can stand in the rain, and be bathed in sunlight all the same.
Laughing at someone else shows your own insecurity. Conversely laughing at yourself demonstrates confidence.
Isn’t it funny how the most judgemental people are also the ones least capable of laughing at themselves?
One of the best ways to honour life is to love your own.
A good time is worth far more than any material possession.
What happened in the past no longer matters because it’s already done. What matters is that we make amends for our past in the present moment for the future world.
Don’t allow the world to make you “normal.” You’re better than that. Trying to be “normal” like everyone else requires far too much effort anyway. Your natural self is far more interesting. Let him/her free instead.
If you want to be an expert at something it’s best never to consider yourself one. That way you’ll always be open to learning and growing.
Why we need to give ourselves real problems – if you don’t have any real problems your mind will create them. Those problems – the ones created by the mind. They’re the hardest to solve. Give yourself real problems – to help others and the world at large – and your mind won’t be concerned with creating problems for itself.
A good person implies something black or white. You either are or you aren’t. This fixes your mindset. You belief you’re a good person and go at lengths to avoid being proven otherwise. You also become defensive about that belief. You feel threatened whenever this comes into question and so avoid any sort of discussion or activity that might call that into question. You avoid the very conversations you need to hear so you may become a better person.
There’s always light at the end of a tunnel. Remember that when it’s at its darkest.