How frequently do you interact with animals in your daily life? – Chances are that those interactions are scarce, or limited to pets. Our societies might have separated humans from animals, seeing humans as superior to animals. Yet, we admire certain qualities in specific animals. What can we learn from animals?
How about patience, living in the Now, connectedness with the intricate web of life we are part of, responsibility, attentive listening, living in tune with the natural world, and sticking together.
Can you guess which animals possess then traits listed above? – This can be a rewarding activity to do with your child! Also, you might want to observe animals around you to see which traits they display!
Do you associate wealth with money? I do struggle with the concept at times. Then I remind myself that I have enough. For me, it comes down to making the conscious decision to be happy in the Now. Because NOW is all we have. The past is a memory and the future is an imagination. Most of the time, I have all I NEED in the very moment I am in. It is often the WANTS that I want (!) to pursue.
To remain still and just be, let the moment be all I want – that is happiness for me. My wealth is my happiness, the feeling of being enough, and of having enough (or more than enough), right now.
How about you? Where lies your wealth? And what are your thoughts about this week’s posts?
Once there was a wealthy father who was concerned that a privileged upbringing might give his son a limited view of life. He decided his son needed to see how the other half lived. To do this, he asked his personal assistant to find a very poor family who would be willing to allow him and his son to visit and stay with them.
After weeks of searching she found a very poor farming family who lived in an impoverished country area and organized for her boss and his son to live with them for a couple of days and nights. At the end of the visit, as they were driving back to their expensive suburban mansion, the father asked his son, “What did you think of our stay on the farm?”
“It was great, thanks, Dad,” came the reply.
Keen to see if he had achieved the mission of his visit, the father asked, “Has it helped you to see how poor people live?”
“Sure has,” answered his son.
“Well, tell me about it. What did you learn?” enquired the father.
“I learnt,” his son responded, “that while we have a swimming pool fenced into our backyard, they have a creek with swimming holes, a Tarzan rope hanging from a tree, and rapids they ride on old car tubes.”
“We have one dog that lives in a kennel. They have four that live with them.”
“Our large house stretches almost to the borders of our small piece of land. They have a small house on open fields that stretch beyond sight.”
“Our patio looks out on a neatly mown lawn whereas they view their garden, fields, trees, and hills to the very horizon.”
“Spotlights turn our yard into day at night. They have nothing but thousands of twinkling stars to light their night.”
“We have to drive to the supermarket to buy our vegetables but they grow theirs right outside the back door.”
“We have servants to serve our meals and clean our house. They serve each other and clean up together.”
“Our property has walls that fence others out and us in. Their fences contain milking cows and woolly lambs.”
“We have security alarms, barred windows, and locks to protect us while they have family and friends to protect them.”
The father looked at his son in absolute amazement.
“Thanks Dad,” the boy added. “I never realized how poor we are.”
(101 Stories for Enhancing Happiness and Well-Being Using Metaphors, p.208)
Question: How does this metaphor compare to your perception of wealth?
I think it’s not just how good you are now, I think it’s how good you’re going to be that really matters. … (Great coaches) are your external eyes and ears, providing a more accurate picture of your reality
Coaching can be beneficial at any stage of life. Coaching can greatly increase our awareness of the status quo. It can boost us into and support us in making the necessary changes, so we achieve goals (both short and long-term) with more ease and integrity.
In my personal and professional life, I am striving to increase my awareness and intercept my self-critical thinking patterns. A person who is trained to assist me in becoming aware of my blind spots and move past them has made all the difference for me.
What can become more tangible for you by means of coaching?
I repainted my mailbox. It looks like new, but the flag is not installed properly yet (long story). When I inspected it today, contemplating how to solve the issue, I noticed beautiful ice crystals on the north-facing side of the mailbox. The south-facing side was steaming in the sunlight.
I was thinking how everything has two sides: literally and metaphorically speaking.
If we accept that our perspective can only be subjective, and that every situation has different aspects to it, then we have to accept that we might not always sit on the sunny side of a reality. And if that is the case, we could infer that there IS indeed a sunn(ier) side to things.
How does that strike you?
By the way, as a life coach I can assist you in finding those other perspectives. And I accept new clients!
Sometimes I wonder about the scope of our awareness. My ego does not agree, but my intuition tells me that there is more than I can perceive. Nature taught me a valuable lesson about that:
I have been baffled many times by the perseverance of ants, walking back and forth on their established routes, carrying up to twenty (!) times their body weight. I kept thinking about their world view: What do they see? What do they perceive the world to be? And where does the world as they know it end? While I am aware that the average ant might not be thinking those thoughts, I inferred that their world view is probably more limited than ours. Yet, they might confidently state: “This is how the world is!”
We do the same. We postulate that there is an objective reality and that we know what it is (or strive to find it). I postulate that – even if an objective reality exists – we might not be able to perceive it. So what are we left to do?
Life has been a bit challenging recently, due to ____ (please feel in the blank).
Today is a sunny late summer day. As I took a break from work and went outside to sit in the grass for a few minutes, my gaze fell upon a little snapping turtle, no bigger than two inches. He (?) was sitting 1 foot away from me, staring me “down”. I had to smile, and I thanked that little creature for making me smile.
Then I realized that the world had not changed, but my attitude had shifted: from my problems to the possibilities life holds.
My name is Manuela. I am a Professional Life Coach.
Contact me when you are ready to shift your focus from the backwards look at your problem to the forward look towards your possibilities! It’s magical!
(This is a simple and slightly provocative poem by a German forest ranger that seems to address what I coach by: The power of nature!)
Wenn ich an Kopfweh leide und Neurosen, mich unverstanden fühle oder alt, und mich die holden Musen nicht liebkosen, dann konsultiere ich den Doktor Wald. Er ist mein Augenarzt und Psychiater, mein Orthopäde und mein Internist. Er hilft mir sicher über jeden Kater, ob er von Kummer oder Cognac ist. Er hält nicht viel von Pülverchen und Pille, doch umso mehr von Luft und Sonnenschein. Und kaum umfängt mich angenehme Stille, raunt er mir zu: “Nun atme mal tief ein!” Ist seine Praxis oft auch überlaufen, in seiner Obhut läuft man sich gesund. Und Kreislaufkranke, die noch heute schnaufen, sind morgen ohne klinischen Befund. Er bringt uns immer wieder auf die Beine, das Seelische ins Gleichgewicht, verhindert Fettansatz und Gallensteine. nur – Hausbesuche macht er leider nicht.
Förster Helmut Dagenbach, 1986
(Freely translated by Manuela Zeitlhofer)
When I have a headache and neurosis feel misunderstood or old and the lovely muses don’t caress me, I consult Doctor Woods. He’s my ophthalmologist and psychiatrist my orthopedist and my internist. He sure helps me over every hangover whether it’s from grief or cognac. He doesn’t think much of medications and pills, but all the more of air and sunshine. And no sooner does a pleasant silence envelop me, he whispers to me: “Now take a deep breath!” If his practice is often overcrowded, one runs oneself back to health in his care. And the patients who are still panting today are without symptoms tomorrow. He keeps getting us back on our feet and restores our mental balance, prevents fat deposits and gallstones. however – unfortunately he does not make house calls.
I found those beautiful flowers by the side of our house. They are tough in many ways: tough to pull out, tough to give up during a drought, tough to give up in a dry location, tough to walk on, tough to mow over with the lawnmower. Yesterday, I walked around the house to find some of them in full bloom. That made me think of the (often) hidden beauty of things we label as undesirable.
What was the last thing, plant or animal in nature that astonished YOU?
I love my house. And I love my garden. My property is surrounded by wilderness, I have started o draw a line of where my endeavors end and the freedom of the wild space around me begins. In some way, that is also where my freedom (the freedom to enjoy instead of trying to control and modify for example) begins. I cannot help it. I pull out the grass from the well-fertilized garden beds, and I start grass on the less fertilized and sandy soil around. “Of course”, I thought yesterday, “the grass wants to grow in my garden beds – that’s what I nurture. I have to nurture the grass where I want it to grow.”
What do you want to nurture in your life? And do you do that with the intended outcome in mind?