Aim high. Ride easy. Trust the Universe.

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About a week ago I had finished at a client and I called him to say I was heading back to the office; he answered the call in a fairly customary 'Hiya' and I was immediately shot back in time.

There was my life, and it seemed like just yesterday for the vividness of my memories, and that life consisted of the voice at the end of the phone being of Jekyyl the well known alter ego to our Hyde. The moment he was left alone - or rather I wasn't around - his mind would immediately be pulled to his dealer and we'd lose him either to a craving or the giving in to that craving - either way the results were exactly the same - he was gone and in his place would reside a panicky, devious, gibbering, paranoid shadow of himself.

And last week I was reminded of those days - the panic I would feel when I knew I had to leave the house - I remember so clearly planning my day and days, weighing up the benefit of running all meetings in one day even if that day meant it would run from dawn 'till dusk because at least, then, the fall out would be just one day. But it was never just one day because a bender would start days before and end weeks later. It was cyclical. It was debilitating. It was all consuming. And it was my life for so long. I never thought we'd see the light of day.

Not so long ago he asked me if I ever thought he'd be rid of the drugs, the cravings, the alter egos and, in taking my time to respond, I said No. I had to admit I'd not allowed myself that optimism. It had permeated our lives - and the lives of many other people - for so long that I don't think I hoped that it could ever be different.

Life is different now - he white-knuckled his way through it working endlessly and tirelessly to rid his life of almost all of his triggers and I know the effort it took / takes; always looking to be more, say more, love more but you see the truth is an addict is always an addict; whilst the cocaine was replaced by coffee, cigarettes, sky-diving, running, mountain-biking and now booze it’s all different sides of the same coin.

It took me a long time to understand that addiction isn’t weighing up your options to make better choices it’s just an action and a reaction - the thing is that there are always choices then consequences and people being caught in the middle.

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in Thoughts 1387

..when I can take time to just be. I like being up early (when I wake naturally that is) because I can unfold my day with a semblance of quiet, I can slowly perform the rituals of breakfast feeding of my 4-legged companions whilst my 2-legged one still sleeps.

It's in the quiet and the calm that I'm reminded time and again that it's the little things that make a rich life and here's to a rich life.

 

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in Thoughts 845

It can be easy to judge can't it? It takes no effort, no consciousness, awareness or thoughtful process. Imagine if every time we found ourselves in judgement of another we stopped and thought 'Where am I  like that? Where do I display that thinking / action / behaviour / attitude?'. When it's not in ourselves we can often see a challenged situation for what it is and without judgement - it's someone growing.

"Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It's a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognise our shared humanity" Pema Chodron.

 

 

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in Thoughts 863

Isn't Mark Twain famous for (amongst other things) saying 'The more I know about humans the better I like my dog'? well I can echo that thought, a lot.

As an animal person, in that I love all animals, I find them fascinating to observe. Over my many years and the many animals I've been blessed to know and love I've learnt tremendously from them all - there's much we can learn if we just pay attention. 

This TED talk, by Laurel Braitman, is both kind and compelling - worth the time.

 

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in Thoughts 1256

We are the proud owners of three dogs and two cats (with loving memories of many more). About 18 months ago Sam, our golden retriever puppy, chose us and we've never looked back!

One day I was watching him play in the garden and I said to my Mum "If I lived my life like Sam I'd be perpetually happy." In that moment Sam gave me the gift of choosing happiness and since then I've tried to live my life more like him. I can't say I'm happy all the time but I'm certainly conscious that I can choose to be and, for the most part, I'm tremendously happy.

Those of us who choose to share our lives with our four-legged friends know what Matt McDermott is saying in his beautiful article in absolutely true. Enjoy the article and choose to be happy.

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