Squiggly lines, life skills and a question with a warning.

Inspired by the theme of Mother’s day there is a question I would like to pose. Whether you are close to your mum or not, whether you see her all the time or hardly ever, whether you have lost her – even at a young age – or she is still present in your life, whether you love and admire her dearly or not quite so much – irrespective of all of that, what three positive traits, skills, beliefs or values have you formed as a result of having your mum – as your mum.

People we come into contact with throughout our lives leave marks. Sometimes sadly as scars, but most certainly also in the most positive of ways. Ways that serve us well. Try this. Think of a specific quality of yours that you are proud of – a life skill you developed as a result of being in touch with a certain person at some point in your life. Just imagine it as a kids trail game –  follow the squiggly line to connect the skill and the person who inspired or inscribed it in you.mothers day

Even people who leave scars, can in a roundabout way, help us develop very useful qualities like for example determination, compassion, sincerity, courage or self-reliance. If our perception of the relationship is predominately negative, we don’t usually credit  the person in question, but it could be really useful to take a step back, and look only on what you took away from that particular relationship that has served you well at other times in your life.

So back to the question: what 3 positive life skills, beliefs or values have you developed as a result of your mum, being your mum? And while we are at it, we might as well throw in a bonus question. One that makes my own heart go mushy and my breath caught in my chest, so be warned. Here we go: If you had a choice what 3 life skills, beliefs or values would you love, love, love to engrave in the lives of your own children?

Wishing you all a happy day with lots of musing.

Weakness flipped

Today I felt really inspired reading the following:

“Our weaknesses are our best teachers, pointing us to the most productive ways to learn and change. We can use them to tune the orchestra and refresh the palette, creating richer, fuller symphonies and pictures.”

Source: Way of NLP by Joseph O’Connor & Ian McDermott

spring flowers

I think a lot of us consider our weaknesses as belonging to our “darker side” and the word itself make us curl our shoulders and bend our heads like bashful puppies while we squirm a little in our seat if we happen to stumble on one or get asked to define what ours are.

I like how the above paragraph flips it all on its head. Turns our perceived weakness into a great big learning opportunity. Perhaps try it out for yourself. Consider something you perceive to be a weakness of yours. What changes for you when you define that weakness instead as a teacher, pointing you to a productive way to learn and change? To tune the orchestra.

…and by the way. Have you noticed? Spring is in the air.

A soft place to land

They must have been fluttering in the air and somehow ended up netted in my mind, because, one morning, when I woke up the words were just there, repeating themselves, demanding attention in a gentle sort of way. “A soft place to land”, the words said and I have been pondering what that means. The sentence has such a nice ring to it, stemming from the warm, hazy and muted images the words evoke in my mind. Of a place where you know in your core, that you can be yourself with all your flaws, imperfections and perceived weaknesses and still find calmness, support, peace, love and understanding, no matter what. february morning sun

We all need at least one such “place”, don’t we? Perhaps that place is found in our childhood friend, our family, a parent, our home, or in mountains, the sea, the woods, a pet, a coach or therapist or a unique mix of them all. It seems to me it is good to know what that place is, so that we can quickly takes ourselves there when needed.

A soft place to land. 5 words fluttering your way on a stunning Monday morning. Catch them if you like.

#22 Be captivated

If you think about it, it is pretty incomprehensible. Images are evoked of solitary souls with piles of notebooks, old fashioned typewriters and pencils chewed scratching their heads while gulping down mugs of cold coffee and living only of stale crackers for months or even years on end. It is the process of writing books I find incomprehensible and the sheer amount of books and stories that are written and available for us to disappear into.

inspiredReading snippets, stroking covers, flicking pages, hour after hour evaporate into thin air in libraries and bookshops. Selecting a pile for little ones as well as big ones especially for the x-mas holidays while imagining head scratching storytellers with typewriters and stale crackers – a most enjoyable way to lose a few hours.

And then, of course, you have got the option of reading the books as well.

#21 Rediscover something you used to love

Not in a million years would I have predicted that I would turn out to love knitting and crocheting in my late thirties/early forties. I am even starting to notice an urge to get my hands into some needlework. Needlework!!! Sometimes I really do surprise myself.

But I am also thinking that perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise. When I was a child I loved all that stuff. Loved it and spend many happy hours with a little weaving loom, cardboard pompom makers, crochet hooks and cross stitch needles. It is passion, rediscovered.

knitting 2

How about you? What is something you were passionate about as a child and have stopped doing? Might now be a good time to fall in love with it all over again?

# 13 Capture your December

I feel slightly hypocritical writing this post. You’ll soon understand why. You see, I have been thinking what an excellent idea it would be to create a keepsake for my kids about the sort of things we as a family get up to in December. A scrapbook if you like, with photographs of people we were with, ticket stubs from a show we went to, a few recipes of their favourite dishes, their craft items, the songs sung in their choir etc.

diary

It is a good idea if you have kids, right? It is something I would have liked to have from my childhood. A December snapshot of Christmas our way anno 1979. The hypocritical bit of my suggestion is, ahem…. that I am the kind of mum who has not made baby books, or toddler books or any other book for that matter. I am the kind of mum who instead has compiled three huge plastic boxes! Plastic boxes waiting to be turned into books. 10+8 years of goodies waiting to be turned into books. One day. Soon. Shortly after I finish “Christmas our way anno 2013” times 2. Because it is a good idea, isn’t it?

#10 Create clarity

Tonight, at some point between dinner and dreamily snoozing under your duvet, consider taking a moment or two to remind yourself what is really important for you about Christmas and the celebrations you and yours are part of. Which of your values are especially important to honour at this time of year?blueprint

It could be harmony or closeness. Freedom, authenticity, balance, family, fun, order, love, peace, spirituality, respect, connection, pleasure, wealth, teamwork, community or something else.

blueprint 2

It may be a good idea to write down the values you hold in your core and then explore how each one translate into your behaviour, into the choices you make and the actions you take.

Creating clarity and a personal blueprint {or sketch if you like} to guide you and yours through the rest of December. In a meaningful way.