I am fed up with being negative, so if you don’t like positivity, please look away now!

As the title says, I am getting fed up with all the negativity around. The whole world is whining about something –  the economy, politics,  weather… and while I am not saying that these things are unimportant (because they are important in many ways), I am just saying that it’s time to look on the positive side for a change.

I think, that as a race, we humans are overly critical of everything. Take Britain and the weather.

At the moment we are having a cold snap – there are several inches of snow in the northern areas of Britain and on any high ground  and the rest of the country has bitingly cold wind and rain. Last week we had a heatwave that was as hot as a british summer gets in an average year.

As I crossed the playground to pick up my children from school this afternoon, all I could hear was “I hate the cold. I hate the rain. I want the sun back.” from so many people (including myself) that it kind of blurred together. These were the same people who (when it gets really hot in the summer) say “It’s too hot. I wish it would rain. I wish the wind would pick up and cool me down”

The whine hurt my ears and it started me wondering. Why are we humans so critical of everything?

Why do we complain so much when things aren’t just right and when they do go right, we just say gloomily (like Eeyore from Winnie-the-Pooh or Marvin the robot in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy) “It won’t last for long. Make the most of it while we’ve got it.”

I came across this meme on Facebook:

I realised in a sudden flash of inspiration that not only have I been criticizing myself for years, but we humans have been crticising ourselves for years.

Why?

Well, on a personal level, I critcise myself in order to make sure I don’t get too big headed; after all, I am a qualified teacher, I have been to university and I am intelligent and creative (only the facts, ma’am) so I knock myself down to stop myself floating away!

In fact I have trouble remembering to stop criticizing myself every-so-often and praise myself for what I have actually achieved.

I am a healthy, wonderful mother of two healthy and beautiful children. 
I am the much loved partner and soul mate to a gorgeous, creative man.
I am a good writer and a persistent Jewellery Designer-Maker who *will* be successful in my pursuits.
I am Many things to Many people and I love all of those whom choose to call me Friend or Family – I have lots of love to share!

 

So why are we humans criticizing ourselves?

Whose approval do we have to gain to see that we are wonderful creatures (like every other inhabitant of this planet), a miracle of Mother Nature and an improbability that is unique and different to every other creature on this planet.

Those of you who are religious will say:

“God [Allah/Jehovah/Shiva/Buddha/Jesus…delete as appropriate] is the one we should be pleasing.”

Why?

We are told as adults that we do not need the approval of others to be who we are. So why should we need to seek approval from God as a race?

I’m sure that statement and question will have annoyed a few people – should you wish to discuss the post, do it quietly in the comment boxes provided…

I don’t think we need approval of anyone except ourselves. If we feel happy as a Race or a Species that we’re doing well, then that should be enough, surely?

Well, no actually. That point would hold true if we (every human) did feel happy, but as a matter of fact, we are not a happy race.

Why?

Because things are not well on this planet.

There are greedy people who want more than they could ever need. There are starving people who need more than they are getting. There are sad people who have lost more than they should and there are silent people who watch and don’t say a word / can’t say a word.

We are a species divided by the worship of material things and those material things do not make us happy.  They bring heartache and war and deceit and fear.

So what will make us happy?

If I knew that, then I would probably be the happiest woman alive…

“He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home.”  – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Events will take their course, it is no good of being angry at them; he is happiest who wisely turns them to the best account.” – Euripides

Feature Friday: Inspiration Station

For a couple of weeks now, I have been using a piece of software intended to help motivation, inspiration and other aspects of everyday life.

It’s called MindBloom and I’ve actually enjoyed playing with it. For it is self improvement in the form of a Game. The official explanation is this:

Mindbloom Incorporated is a Seattle-based interactive media company that’s out to make life improvement accessible to everyone.

By harnessing next-generation engagement techniques and focusing them on personal development, Mindbloom has created a new, powerful way for people to improve the quality of their lives.

Utilizing behavioral science, personalized rich media, and fun social gaming techniques in their offerings Mindbloom makes the process of personal growth fun, simple and effective.

Mindbloom Life Game – Tour from Mindbloom on Vimeo.

They send you a daily email which reminds you of all the tasks you have scheduled and with each task you complete and mark off, you are awarded with water in the form of a cloud to keep your little tree healthy.

But trees, and lives, need more than tasks to complete. They also need sunshine in the form of inspiration and as you go through the inspirations on mindbloom, you build up a slideshow of images, quotes and music to inspire you in your daily life.

I’ve found some beautiful pictures and some awesome quotes as well as managed to inspire myself and actually start taking care of my life as well as everyone else’s.

This is my tree when I started:

I’ve added inspirations to my slideshow everyday – pictures, quotes and music of all sorts. I’ve put a few of my favourite pictures from the site into a slideshow on here for you –

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Accompanied by the music I have chosen and interspersed with the quotes that are in the slideshow, some of which are ones that I have created, the whole effect really is soothing and thoughtful.

This is my tree today:

It doesn’t look much different, but there are differences that I can feel. I am more in control of my emotions and I can relax a lot easier. Now all I have to do is get my career (not sure what it is yet) sorted out and I’ll be very much more content…

Rambling through Guiding…

I’ve not posted for a while. Been a little busy with my Art & Design Course (which is a lot of fun and I will talk about it another time), I’m putting together a few different e-books and of course, there’s always the webzine, Welcome to Wherever – that pops up every month and causes a little stress and not a little fun…

One of the things I’ve done recently is to do with my Guiding Adult Leader’s Qualification. Now I haven’t talked about this a great deal on here, mostly because I need to keep it separate, very much like my Teaching Career.  However, it does affect me personally, so I figured it would be a good idea to at least bring you (all four of my fans) up to date on my ALQ a little bit.

I’ve been training (on the job you might say) to become a Guiding Leader for the last year. What that actually means is that I’ve been a “Leader in Training” at a local Brownie group for that time. I go to the weekly meetings, do various weekend training courses and try my absolute best to help out with the planning and the running of the group and district.

Why do I do it? 

Well it’s a volunteer position, so it’s certainly not for money (we get out of pocket expenses only) and it takes a certain level of time and commitment out of my life, so it takes me away from my interests and my family.  You might say that those things are reasons for me not to get involved with the Guiding Movement.

But…

There is so much more to Guiding than just what we do for the girls. And that’s what I’ve been thinking about today.

If you don’t know anything about Guiding, then there is a website that can tell you more official stuff than I can called Guiding UK and if you’re not in the UK, then there is always WAGGGS  – The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts – which also has it’s own website.

But back to what I was thinking about. There’s a saying in Guiding “Once you’re in, you’ll never get out.” and it’s true. Everyone I know in Guiding was once a Brownie or Guide. There are some Leaders & Trefoil Guild members who have been involved with Guiding since they were seven years old!

Me, I got into Guides in Suffolk. I was a member of  Melton Guides and I enjoyed my time there. When the time came for me to move on, the local Rangers group was over subscribed so I left, but I never quite forgot the experiences.

Joining  Rhoose Brownies has been an experience and a half more than actually being a Guide. My main skills (from teaching) are with children aged 11 – 18 and working with the Brownies  which are 7-11 years old is a real challenge to my abilities. Add to that, the girls are fun to be with and I always enjoy the weekly meetings, activities and days out that we get up to because of them.

There are other benefits to Guiding, other than the girls though. The Leaders put a lot more work into the meetings than the girls see – we are always plotting and planning new and different things for them. Sometimes they are activities for badges and sometimes they are for a seasonal holiday, but they are always intended to be fun! The main thing though is that the activities are decided on by the Girls themselves as a part of a Pow-Wow, so we never do something that they don’t want to do.

Bronieron House, Wales

Another benefit for the Leaders and Unit Helpers is that we get to meet people from all over the place on training ventures. I went on one in September and if someone was listening in, they would have thought we were on holiday rather than training!

Amidst the fun though, there was a serious message about the poverty and state of the rest of the world and what we could do as Guiders to help. I feel that if everyone (men & women) could understand what we understood by the end of the weekend, then the world would be a better place. *sighs*

Guiding is more than a club for girls, more than a movement for the empowerment of girls and much more than a charity. Guiding is a family, a sisterhood brought together with a common purpose. If you are a Guider, you are not alone in the world – as WAGGGS shows, Guiding is everywhere in the world – you cannot escape us!

*grins and rubs hands together*

I’d be interested to know how many people amongst my readers are actually connected to Guiding – it’s such a massive organisation and well over half of all women in the UK have either been a Guiding Leader / Volunteer or been a Rainbow / Brownie / Guide  – that I’m sure a few of you have been touched…

Personally, I’ve become more confident in myself and my abilities, made new colleagues and hopefully a few new friends! I have a purpose that is there, even when I am not working and I love the interaction with the girls I have. I learn new skills deliberately to be able to pass them onto the girls through their activities and I even enjoy the planning!