What if you left all your assumptions about other people at the door each day?

I woke up with a peculiar thought yesterday morning, after dreaming about being at an event with my parents, where they were supporting my sister for something which, well, took place sixteen years ago.

In the dream, I kept mistakenly repeating “it’s been ten years!” (clearly I wasn’t doing the math correctly or I was younger in the dream) and not feeling like I was being heard; perhaps indicative of being in Brazil and so far away from friends and family at the moment.

That aside, if you’ll believe it, I woke up feeling jealous, agitated and slightly annoyed. With who? My sister, of course! How dare she get all that recognition, and in an entire dream? I mean, how dare she infiltrate my dream in the first place, and leave me in a foul mood right at the start of the day?

Ridiculous, right? I can laugh now, but it’s incredible how our subconscious has the ability to bring up some of our personal demons at the most arbitrary of times. I take my rest very seriously and would prefer to ponder these things while awake, thank you very much.

It got me thinking about whether this is perhaps why I’ve always been tougher on my sister than I should be, and frankly, I know that that’s a conversation for the therapist’s office. I realised, however, that after waking up from this dream, I got up with a couple of strong assumptions about all parties involved, based on my experience, and well, my own opinions of these people. My formed opinions over time, of course.

So here’s the question. What would happen if you left your assumptions about someone at the door each day? What if I got up, and let go of all assumptions of who I believe anybody in my life to be, be it from their behaviour in real life, or even in a dream. What if we just took the people for who they are today, and what they are up to at this point in their lives. What if we didn’t hold others to the ideas that we’ve crafted about them over time? What if I let go of old resentments, which are most likely not even applicable to the people these days anyway?

Now listen, I’m not saying it’s a good idea to “leave your assumptions at the door” regarding someone who is abusive or a toxic influence in your life. We all know who those people are and it is best to maintain firm boundaries with them at all times. I’m more interested in the people we judge a little more harshly, the ones we assume “have it all together” and quite frankly, those we can be a little jealous of. Is it time to let go, in order to move forward? Perhaps.

I’d like to take more time to appreciate that everyone is a combination of the good, and the bad. We’re all imperfect, we all deserve forgiveness, and we all have some healing to do. I’m not sure about you, but I think it may just be a little bit easier if we undertake this together.

I’ll ponder this for a couple of days at least, and welcome your thoughts in the comment section or via e-mail.

– Conrad was here.

I don’t have all the answers right now, but also, it’s OK that I don’t need to have all the answers.

I’m a self professed control freak. That much anybody who knows me, will know all to well. I used to write five year plans rather rigorously, something I’ve mentioned on the blog before, though I’m happy to report that those days have come and gone.

It does however take a lot of effort to stop myself from rigorous organisation, persistent faffing about “the little things”, and generally, trying to control the direction my life is heading in. It was a lot worse when I was younger, but thankfully these days I’m more self aware, so it does become somewhat easier to spot and navigate accordingly. Naturally, there are still obvious challenges, especially ahead of big changes, like the career change I’m entering into, the closing of chapters in general, and starting to look toward the next phase of my life.

About a year ago, I was set up with a coach, as part of the National Mentorship Movement program in South Africa. I have enjoyed working with her so much, that we’ve continued our relationship and monthly sessions outside of the prescribed sessions from the NMM. In the most recent session, she made an interesting remark, that made my ears perk up a bit (and that I scribbled down right away):

The more stable you can get in this belief of flow and ease, and inspired action, the more it’s going to become stable for you.

What we had been talking about, was how introducing more ease and flow into my life had already made me a lot happier and less anxious, how new opportunities had slowly started to present themselves, and how detrimental rigorous checklists and planning have been to my mental health over the years. It was an important realisation for me. She was encouraging that I should rather look at the items I want to get to in a given day — the ones I am pulled towards — rather than looking at what I need to get to in robotic fashion, while also remaining open to the emergence of spontaneous opportunities to have some fun during the day.

This means, that it’s OK to take a 15 minute break once you’ve completed a big task, to go have a chat with a colleague about how their daughter did in yesterday’s swim meet, as it provides an unforeseen opportunity not only to connect with others, but to possibly learn something in the process too. The universe works in our favour when we swim with the tide (unintentional swimming pun, I promise), adjusting and adapting where necessary, rather than attempting to make everything happen the way we think it should be happening.

I often have to remind myself that, as hard at it may be to believe, the world is not out to get me and I don’t have to do everything based on my idea of what’s correct and right for me. If that was the case, we would all be making a myriad of absolutely stupid decisions all the time. Just today, I’ve made a few of those already, which I can thankfully laugh about and move on from.

What brings it home for me, is that everything is actually always “working out for me” (or working in our favour) in a weird and wonderful way, although it may sometimes be very slowly, painfully and in a way that can be hard to comprehend or come to terms with. When my self talk realises this, and “claps back” by throwing anxiety at me for living outside my false sense of control, I now make a point to respond that I don’t have the answers right now, but also, that it’s OK that I don’t need to have all the answers. This usually helps soothe the soul just a little bit and perhaps it will help you too. It has taken a while to get to this point, but I am happy we are here.

– Conrad was here.

 

 

Do you believe that we are receiving day-to-day guidance from the universe?

Do you believe that we are receiving day-to-day guidance from the universe? I have a story to share from last week which I would love to hear your thoughts on.

On Monday, I was distracted on my way to an appointment, and I drove into another car — a Mercedes Benz, in fact, and the couple I dealt with at least showed me some kindness as they could tell I was a little frazzled. The grill of my car was damaged by their tow bar, and after a day of moping, I decided to stop to have it checked out. I was feeling very deflated, and upset with myself for not paying enough attention on the road, but I was told by my friends to try be gentle, and that these things happen.

When they opened my car bonnet to check if there was any damage to my engine, they discovered a rats nest of all things: we’re talking about hay, plastic & fur all over my engine, with the plastic already melting onto the engine. I had been ignoring the distinct burning smell while driving for the previous day, hoping I was imagining things and being fairly in denial I guess. I live on a ranch, so this isn’t uncommon for this to happen (although this had never happened to me before), but had I not had the accident, I would not have spotted this nest for at least a few weeks. I was told three things could have happened: (1) a fire could have started, destroying the engine (2) the rat could have chewed through my brake cable or (3) apparently they chew through your airbag cables too, so you may be driving over a speed bump, and your airbag will deploy spontaneously, causing serious injury in most cases. It gave me a lot to think about.

Essentially, I was gently guided from a bad situation (on the surface), into one that was in fact a ‘positive’ experience of sorts. I felt looked out for in a way. I was thankful that I had had the accident with minimal damage, as it led to me checking the bonnet sooner rather than later. I just cannot believe that this was a coincidence. So I ask again, do you believe that at times we are being guided by the universe?

Needless to say I will be keeping an eye under my car bonnet for a little while in case the pesky rat (who is in actual fact rather cheeky and entrepreneurial, if you think about it differently!) makes a reappearance.

– Conrad was here.