11 Aug 2017

Three holiday observations


This blog is a little different as I have been on a break in Denmark and am writing from there.  Here are a couple of holiday observations:


The Baby Seal

On one evening walk we noticed a baby seal. It was lying quite still, occasionally shifting the head a little. We assumed it was wounded or sick, and felt sorry for it as it was lying there all-alone in the world. We contacted a wildlife rescue office and explained the situation. The vet assured us that there was nothing wrong with the seal, its lying on the shore alone was normal. Seals are mammals and the mother swims much faster than the little one so occasionally she throws it up on the shore so that it can rest. She then goes for a good spin while feeding. Once she is done she will swing by and collect the little one or join it for a rest. It occurred to me what healthy boundaries the mother seal possesses, and what amazing trust she must have – or ignorance… For all mothers taking the time to look after yourself can be hard. Let the mother seal be your role model, engage in self care.


What Is Your Mirror Showing?

During this holiday there have been many visits to galleries and one theme has been clear. It is not about the artist or the piece of art itself but what it brings forth in the observer. One artist Kvium is all about exposing many of the aspects of ourselves that we are not so proud of and often try to hide. Our task is to see the vanity, the greed, the delusion that he exposes in his paintings and then observe our reaction to it. Do we accept it as part of who we are and then explore where and when it might show up in our lives? Do we consider how we might mute it a little? Do we make it that it is just other people who possess these pesky qualities? Do we reject the art, judge it as ugly and disgusting? In effect the artist holds the painting as a mirror and then asks us what we see. It isn’t just art which can be a mirror of life. In effect life is our teacher as long as we pay attention. I am 55 now and when I look in the mirror I am confronted with wrinkles and sagging. I can then be curious about my ‘reaction’ to that. Do I feel sad for the loss of the nice face I once had? Do I think of a way to ‘fix’ it? Do I accept and greet myself with a ‘you are ok, this is the look of this age.’ Do I try not to look in the mirror? Do I put on a bit of makeup and think it is not that bad? Am I just curious that I am so invested in how I look? Does what I see depend on my mood, the time of the day etc? Life is a mirror to what is within us. Our relationships and how we see others is a mirror to what is within us. What is your mirror showing?


A History Lesson

I have been reading history and am always amazed to realize that what I think is new thinking, for instance around the way we see human beings and how we ideally raise children, is not new at all. One book listed the principles for raising the future King Christian the 7th. The thinking behind the principles was exactly what we would see today as best practice. Another story is of course that unfortunately it didn’t occur. We often have a feeling that we are the generation who finally get it, we are the ones who get life, who get how to have good relationships, a good life, but that is delusion, nothing we think in these areas hasn’t been thought of before.

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