Tag Archives: Conditions of enoughness

Thoughts on a Thursday

image1. When you have travelled in planes for 24 hours and then driven in a car for 9 hours, sometimes even the company of your magnificent daughters and delightful grand-daughter is not enough to stave off sleep after Christmas lunch;

2. Today marks the beginning of Universal Letter Writing Week and I have undertaken to write one letter (albeit short!) each day for the week. A hand written letter in an envelope with a stamp. Read more about this here!

3. Truly understanding (thanks to being involved in this) that I am a human with limited time and energy and I must make hard choices every single day about where I can put that time and energy can make a profound difference. Jen Louden goes on to say It’s OK to mourn that I can’t do everything, but it’s not OK to pretend that I don’t have to choose.  Choosing is my art. Learning to live this made the latest time in Nepal very different and very special. For me and the ladies!

 

4. On a really long hot ( over 1000 km) drive when one hearing aid isn’t working so you1305549469484 can’t really talk and you only get inklings of music, you can make a wasabi coated pea – just the one – last for 20 minutes from mouth entry to swallowing final crumbs. I had to work up to it and think I could get to 30 minutes now. I can perfect the technique on the next long drive!

5. It’s always good to be reminded that the one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your story, your mind, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can. Thank you for your voice Neil Gaiman.

6. Sometimes, reorganising the studio is more important than unpacking.  But because I am learning about these, it was delightful rather than driven!  And not totally finished but good enough to be playing in!

DSCN06797. Visiting the remote  Solu Khumbu home and family of my dear bhai (and Colourful Journey co-leader) Bishnu Rai was one of the most amazing things I have ever done. A joy and a privilege.  We could have done without the earthquake in Okhaldhunga (5.9 on the Richter Scale) but it meant I was all over the earthquake drill when we had another one (tidily at 2.9) in Broken Hill the night we got home!

And who said you can’t maintain a unique sense of style in tiny Himalayan villages? I can tell you where to get the sparkly pink rubber chappals I was wearing with my thick purple socks.

Happy New Year. May we cultivate open, inquiring minds.

Lower Your Expectations

Many years ago at the start of a live performance by the gifted comedians Lano and Woodley, the audience was instructed to do something that we were told would magnify our enjoyment of the evening enormously. We were told to join hands, close our eyes and…lower our expectations.

IMG_0921My husband adopted this very quickly as a bit of a mantra for life but I resisted for years, not really understanding the real meaning, the profound truth that was contained in this seemingly comic act. It was only after years of suffering because I didn’t conform to my own exacting standards, or not attempting stuff because it would never be good enough, that I understood how lowering my expectations makes a difference.

In a recent post,  Jen Louden (and more of her later this week) explained what she means by lowering expectations and as I couldn’t do it any better myself, I am quoting her here:

Lowering your standards might sound like I’m saying “go ahead, do sloppy work” or “sure, watch another five episodes of House of Cards.” …That’s not lowering your standards. That’s resignation. Or collapsing.

Lowering your standards means removing the deadly weight of perfectionism, of standards so impossibly high you never meet them or, if you do, you raise the bar and keep going. No rest, no recognition, and forget celebration or satisfaction.

Lowering your standards is remembering that to be human means to be flawed. It is to learn to grow down into the truer shape of your real life, not the glossy fantasy life you keep thinking will arrive… someday. Nor is it to live a stunted life of less than true, less than what you desire.

Lowering your standards fosters progress in a human-scaled, mindful way. “This is what I can do right now and I’m doing it.”

She writes here about Conditions of Enoughness which is closely related.  I also relate it to Brene Brown’s wise counsel to embrace self compassion rather than setting ridiculous standards of perfection.  And my experience has been that practising more compassion towards myself has really helped me to be more genuinely compassionate to others.

It’s hard to know how to pictorially illustrate lowering your expectations so I am just including this photo of something that totally exceeded my expectations – our wonderful Lake Mungo National Park!