Connecting with othersPosted by Tom algie Mon, February 08, 2016 00:10:37
Communicating with others is always difficult when it involves language. I often wonder that if the human race had not developed language, where we would be as a species? Language is very useful but can also lead to so much misunderstanding. Although we live in France, my French is still very poor and I sometimes find it frustrating that I cannot understand others or make myself understood. However, there are some upsides to this. Not speaking the language very well has made me pay more attention to what people say, how they say it and made me observe their body language more. I can then pay more attention to what I say, how I say it and what I say with my body too.
Gestures, particularly hand movements are fascinating to watch and openness is often shown by how people sit or stand, and their facial expressions. Other situational things (sights, sounds, smells) and objects can also influence someone's perception such as the positioning and colour of furniture in an unusually lit or shaped room. It's useful to think about all those things when you meet someone. The most likely influence on communication is people's previous experience of a similar situation.
We meet a new situation or person and believe we have met this before and we know how to deal with it. Without really listening, observing or treating this new situation with compassion, we interupt people and tell them what they "should do". Alternatively, we ignore what they actually say and tell them about a very similar experience we had and what we did. Responding in this way we are trying to be genuinely helpful but usually failing to provide the support they usually seek. They often want us to simply listen compassionately to them and acknowledge their feelings at this moment. When they feel they have been understood they are often then prepared to face the choices which will move them on to their next stage of development. In a similar way, if we want to grow and help ourselves we can acknowledge our own feelings and make our own choices. What do you think?
The One CoursePosted by Tom algie Sun, January 31, 2016 12:43:11
The one course is delivered in a very open, person centred way by myself and my wife Ann. We create a framework for the open expression of ideas by all attendees. We help create an environment in which all participants feel supported on their personal journey by all others on the course.
There are no right or wrong answers and we start by jointly determining the values which will make the course successful for us individually and collectively. We use the principles of kindness, non-judgement and helpfulness towards each other to guide us all on a path of personal improvement.
We are all capable of helping others and being helped. Non of us are experts and all of us are fallible humans. We have one life and if we plant some flowers for the bees and butterflies during that life, that in itself would be wonderful. Come and plant some flowers with us, it will be fun.
Ann and me spent a lot of time working on Growing with Grace organic farm before we came out to France. We used to put edible flowers amongst the salad which was lovely.
Even if you don't come on the course, plant some flowers, or some vegetables.
Positive ActionPosted by Tom algie Thu, January 28, 2016 09:10:30
The Man Who Planted Trees by Jean Giono is one of my favourite books. It's short and simple and yet full of gentle but powerful encouragement to everyone to be themselves and realise what they can achieve in life. Slowly and steadily one man planting a hundred acorns a day of which only 10% survive but this is still over 3500 trees a year. That's a fairly substantial wood and in a few years it's an entire forest. It's a beautiful story of one man's contribution to the world.
We all have 100 hours each week to spend and if we use 10 of them being inspiring or doing something that makes a positive difference it will have an impact. As a result of reading this book I now try and make at least 10 of my 100 hours each week count. There is a PDF here. I have a nice illustrated copy of the book which I love to have close by.http://www.nrri.umn.edu/boulder/education/K12/
The book was also made into a lovely short film which is equally accessible. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=v_7yEPNUXsU
The unusual thing about this story is that many people including myself thought it was true. But in fact someone made it up, this life, created it from their own imagination and we can all do that, if we want to....
Feeling GoodPosted by Tom algie Wed, January 27, 2016 14:03:13
At school I was always led to believe we had one brain. Later on in life I read some things claiming we had 3 brains inside our skull which was quite fascinating. There is more information about this here https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triune_brain
More recent studies have revealed another 2 brains centred on our hearts and in our gut! Sounds a bit far fetched, possibly but neurons are found in these areas of the body and humans do seem to have body memory. There is information about the brain in the heart here.https://www.heartmath.org/our-heart-brain/
So perhaps there is something about those feelings in our heart that we should listen to.
Finally the brain in the gut is also giving us gut feeling about things.http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/gut-feelings-the-second-brain-in-our-gastrointestinal-systems-excerpt/
Five brains in one human, that's really something!
The One CoursePosted by Tom algie Mon, January 25, 2016 10:58:43
I am writing a short book about life which I think can be summed up by one four letter word. Life is all about LUCK and that's about it. I will try to explain why I find this word so important. Each letter of LUCK stands for a very important word. If we live life with these 4 words at the forefront of our mind I think we will have lots of LUCK.
LOVE. Learn to love yourself. You can forgive yourself and stop living in the shadow of fear, anger or guilt. Love being, a fallible human being, love doing your best. You can also can love and forgive "others" too. You can even learn to love everything you do.
UNDERSTANDING. Learn to understand by observing, reading and listening. Understanding how systems and people interconnect and influence events gives us a healthy perspective on life. Understanding yourself is the biggest challenge of life.
CREATIVITY. Creativity can open up a world of joy and passion for life. Positive things come from creative thought or creative action. Creativity is most powerful when it suits this moment. How can we creatively contribute, positively to every moment?
KINDNESS. Kindness is a marvellous healer. We can learn to be kinder to ourselves and others. Kindness is like a beautiful sunrise which shifts everyone's emotions to a better place. We can practice kindness towards everyone we meet and see their face light up.
Feeling unlucky? Try Love, Understanding, Creativity, Kindness and see what happens.
InspirationalPosted by Tom algie Fri, January 22, 2016 20:22:54
The Groundhog Day film starring Bill Murray is my most inspiring film of all time. Not only is it funny but for me it carries a brilliant message about life. My interpretation goes something like this.
A TV anchor man who has a serious ego problem is sent on a job he hates. He has to cover the annual weather predicting groundhog celebrations in some freezing town in the middle of nowhere. He does the job resentfully and badly and finds himself having to live that same dreadful day over and over. He tries all sorts of things to escape having to repeat the day but nothing works. He then resorts to greedily exploiting the situation in various comical ways but he is still unhappy. He becomes depressed and tries suicide but still wakes up having to repeat this same day.
Eventually he decides to make the best of where he finds himself and actually starts learning. Learning new skills, but also learning about himself and learning to be helpful to others. He also starts to do a much better job at reporting on the event and he really starts to enjoy the day. Each time he relives the day he tries to do a better job than the day before and amazing things start to happen. He goes from hating the town to loving the town. All the people start to love him and his life becomes blissful.
So for me the film is about life. Our response to situations and people gives us the opportunity for happiness and fulfilment. When we resist the situation the pain continues but when we accept it, embrace, enjoy or even love the situation we can find inner happiness. And as I said the film is very funny. It's best viewed about 12 times. It was recently screened in Liverpool on a 24 hour loop, sadly, I missed it but I may go next year.