Tick tock, Tick tock

Tick tock, tick tock, packs of metal animals go hunting night and day.

Tick tock, tick tock, humans march forwards blinded by an invisible light.

Tick tock, tick tock, time enslaves by synchronising heartbeats as one.

Tick tock, tick tock, everything has a price and anything can be bought.

Tick tock, tick tock, another tree and animal dies leaving Earth forever.

Tick tock, tick tock, sirens are ringing but deafened by television sets.

Tick tock, tick tock, concrete jungles become cages with invisible bars.

Tick tock, tick tock, it is no longer survival of the fittest but the richest.

Tick tock, tick tock, the final alarm bells are ringing to try wake them up.

Tick tock, tick tock…

© Fi S. J. Brown

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Try, try, and try again

One of the lessons I remember from primary school history was on Robert the Bruce, who upon seeing a spider in a cave came up with the idiom “if at first you don’t succeed try, try and try again.” I thought about this with modern eyes, not Robert’s 700 year old ones and how it reflected on my own life experiences.

I realised that if I achieved something straight away the chances of me ever repeating it were slim because I had no other similar experiences to show me how I got there, be able to advise others how they could achieve it or do the same using their own skills, knowledge and experiences. First time really is lucky.

I thought of the times I had tried to do something and failed, did it make me a failure or mean that would never do it? I realised an initial failure is almost expected when trying something new, as with succeeding, we do not know what variables in this case led to failure rather than a success. Was it really luck?

It dawned on me that with repeating till we get something right it shows us far more than immediate success as each attempt we see why the previous attempt did not, like seeing our footsteps on a snowy mountain. Repetition helped us learn our multiplication tables and French verbs, so to life’s lessons.

Therefore, whether we are looking for a job, trying to pass our driving test or find a new partner, each time we try we are learning just as Robert observed with that spider in that cave 700 years ago. All anyone can ask of us, and indeed we can ask of ourselves, is we try our best. Setback today, celebrate tomorrow.

© Fi S. J. Brown

You are not a failure

Negative self thoughts, we all have them. I want you reading this to know that you are a loved for who you are, a beautiful person who tries their best, and you deserve better. Do not let anyone else make you feel you are worth less than a grain of sand; but a wise person knows that a grain of sand is loved and this why beaches are covered in so many grains.

Do not apologise for not being good enough, as long as you give something all you can, that is enough. You have a value beyond money. Do not let others take advantage of or abuse you, and equally do not abuse yourself! Let your spirit soar like an eagle flying over mountains, know you are doing just fine. You are not a failure and never will be.

We all need a little reminder at times that we are someone that matters. Treat yourself to something that makes you smile, be it phoning up a friend you have no spoken to in ages to share news and giggles, going for a walk in a local park or having a long hot soak in the bath, it does not need to cost money. Remember, it’s the little things that matter most in life.

Keep this message somewhere in your heart and soul to remember when those negative thoughts try become a song, as they will get you singing along to their minor chords if you listen to them. Think of all the good things that you have done and what you have achieved against the odds, let those positive thoughts fill your heart like a gas station pump fills a car.

© Fi S. J. Brown

Book, movie, or song on humanity

Upon reading blogging prompts I came across the following: “The friendly, English-speaking extraterrestrial you run into outside your house is asking you to recommend the one book, movie, or song that explains what humans are all about.” So I decided to pick one from each medium, as for me life is full of so many multisensory experiences that one medium alone cannot bring out or showcase truly the individuality, creativity, empathy, hope and love that makes us human.

If I was to recommend a book it would be the Epic of Gilgamesh as it for me, despite its age, still shows the nature of humanity in a nutshell. The power of friendship, as someone we let close in life leaves a mark so great upon us that we feel their presence even when they are not physically there; the inevitability of death, no matter what happens during our journey it will end one day but what we do during our lifetime is what is important; wisdom has to come through experience in life, it is not just through hearing about it but feeling and seeing it too; and finally, we may think we can control nature or to change it, but nature will come back again, as it will continue even if we are not.

If I was to choose a song, which as a self-confessed music nut is extremely difficult to pick but one, it would be a song called “Hard Sun” by Gordon Peterson. It is best known for the version by Eddie Vedder from the soundtrack to the movie of the book “Into the wild”, a book worthy of my choice of book or movie on it’s own. For me this song says much about our relationship with nature, which is written like a relationship between a man and a woman (who in this case is Mother Nature), and how we are letting this relationship get estranged as we feel we no longer need her in our lives. What would this world be like if we had not rivers, forests or mountains? The reality is we need her in our lives, as the song says it makes him a better person with her there, and acts to remind us there are some relationships in life worth holding on to.

If I was to recommend a movie I would find it difficult to choose one as rarely go to the cinema, however I have chosen “12 Monkeys” with Bruce Willis. The main character finds himself in a world he does not know, he is confronted by the confusion that is the world we live in, yet the majority of us accept it as normal. The movie makes us question who are the truly mad ones: him, for seeing the world differently to us; or us, as we accept what goes on in the world, for the most part without question. It also features the inevitability of life, that even if we know something is going to go wrong, there is often little or indeed nothing we can really do to stop what is going to happen in the end, as we are merely players acting on life’s stage.

© Fi S. J. Brown

Self-soothing

Why are we always so hard on ourselves? We need to be more self-soothing, i.e. comforting, nurturing and being kind to ourselves. One way to think of this is to think of ways of soothing each of our five senses: Vision, Hearing, Smell, Taste, and Touch. Take a minute to think of each sense before reading on, letting the words become visual and the visual reassure you.

VISION: Step outside or look out your window and look around you in every direction. Go to an art gallery or a museum and let at creativity past and present inspire you. Pick a flower from a park, take it home with you and put it where you can see it. Light a candle and watch the flame, let it give you hope. Follow a cloud in the sky and let the rain fall for your tears.

HEARING: Shut your eyes as, let all around you sing. Listen to your favourite music; let the rhythms relax your heartbeat and the melody become like a lullaby. Sit by a lake, listening to all that calls it home and the songs they sing. Listen to a baby gurgle and think of the positives you have achieved in your life so far, be proud of them without letting your ego grow.

TASTE: Drink a soothing drink like herbal tea, letting the taste run over your tongue and slowly down your throat. Take a slice of lemon, it will remind you that life can be bitter, and then take a slice of orange to remind you it can be sweet too. Have a special treat, and eat it slowly, savouring each bite and let every bite remind you that with small steps anything is possible.

SMELL: Notice all the different smells around you as you sit or stand. Walk in your garden or in the woods, particularly just after a rain, and breathe in the smells of nature. Light a scented candle or incense let them inspire and relax you. Even if you think you cannot smell anything, you can and this reminds you there is someone there at all times with you in spirit.

TOUCH: Pet your dog or cat or cuddle a baby or loved one, let their love reassure that you are loved and matter. Float or swim in a pool, and feel the water caress your body and massage it all over your skin. Take a bubble bath, take a bubble and blow it away as though what or who has hurt you is no longer part of you and will leave no scar upon your hands or feet.

© Fi S. J. Brown

A Mother’s Day letter

The chances of me having a child that is biologically my own are very slim for many reasons, however inspired by Maya Angelo I have written a letter to the daughter I have never had to mark Mother’s Day.

To my dearest daughter,
You are the most special person I have ever held in my arms and will ever hold in my heart. There is no course for being a mother, no book, website or babysitting can really prepare you. For the nine months you grew inside me, feeling you grow, I thought of what of me was growing with you. The day you were born, I thought I would drown you with all my tears touching your little fingers and toes. I was so scared I would mess it up on day one that by two you may have been taken from me as though it had been some mistake that now had to be corrected by the universe, as I did not believe I was allowed to create, hold and care for someone so special forever and ever. I considered observing and asking how friends for advice along the way, from breast feeding to what school you should go to. In the end I did what I always do, weigh up my options but ultimately go with what feels right, trusting my instincts.

Every day you grow, asking more questions than even I asked at your age but like me you know an answer leads to yet more questions, which need time to consider,  thinking about what you have learnt and what you would like to learn about next. You paint with your words, brushes, and music, never forget that creativity is your self expression and does not matter that it is not understood by the masses or bring you in money, as long as it brings you happiness. Equally, your love and affection to me and others is beautiful beyond equal, but remember if someone truly loves you back it is a priceless gift so do not abuse or throw it away as though it were a tired old toy. There are many that will hurt you and put you into boxes, so embrace your individuality as much as what brings you connections with others. Blood and genes we may share, but the best thing I can give you is the freedom to be you.

Today is mother’s day, for me every day is mother’s day as I get to call you my daughter and I will never tire of hearing you call my name or seeing your smile from eyes to lips. I know how blessed and fortunate I am to have you in my life, for as long as we journey together and you continue after I am unplugged from the life matrix.

All my love and best wishes always,
Mum xxx

“Look Up”

There is a viral video going round social media suggesting we “Look Up”, give up our mobile phones and computers in favour of real life contact. Where as I agree with this in principle, that is for many now their lives revolve around the internet and social media being plugged in 24/7. It is almost like an electronic umbilical cord that we feel we connected to something. Are the androids not just the phones or characters from Blade Runner but ourselves, now dreaming of electric sheep?

I saw one girl comment that Twitter and YouTube helped with her introversion, sadly I call this rubbish; we can all hide behind a keyboard and phone to pretend be something we are not. This may have helped her “speak” with people from all over the world, but for me it does not help her in the real world, which matters far more than a words from a human made device to another human made device. Call me old fashioned but I prefer a phonecall or letter from a loved one matters far more, or even a text or email to say hello.

It saddens me that we created and manufactured great things in the past, but now as great a leap of technology the internet with social media may be, are we not a standstill? What is posted is not always done with love and creativity, instead it is often done for attention. Our online presence shows an edited form of how life really is for us, for me it is like a Holywood movie – a polished, stylish, unoriginal and sometimes untruthful account of how life is really going for us.

Equally, our attention spans have decreased and people do not read properly, so a tweet or video on vine are now just the right length. I would rather be lost in a music concert of the past with musicians that felt their notes and beats or book that has not been hyped up so far by the press, that it is no in reality no better than toilet roll. Give me “Fade to Grey” not “50 shade of grey”. Things no longer last, I like things that will inspire me to create something new.

I have considered deleting my own social media many times in the last few years, having felt and seen its darker side. However, for now it is helping me give a voice, to my own thoughts and ideas, as well as to those that deserved to be heard, rather than the endless celebrities that frequent social media. One day I’ll pull the plug, but for now I’ll stay as have met some very special people because of social media, but also enjoy my mugs of tea and deep ponders away from it.

© Fi S. J. Brown

Twenty words for life

I was asked recently, if you could only speak twenty words for the rest of your life, what words would head your list and why? I thought it was a great thing to ponder, probably nearly impossible to come up with only twenty with reasons. So with thanks to a pot of trusty Earl Grey, I came up with my list, and here it is:

1. and 2. Please and Thanks – They may be thought of as basic manners but they express gratitude without measure or cost;

3. Appreciate – To acknowledge how special someone or something is in our lives, that we would miss if we did not have them/it;

4. Accept – To allow ourselves and those in our lives to be who they are without judgement is a truly wonderful thing;

5. Friend – That special presence in our lives that over time creates a jigsaw piece of them in our hearts and minds;

6. Instinct – We should trust our inner voice, not let everyone we meet close as do not always have the best intentions;

7. Time – We should not put off something till tomorrow, wish we could relive a specific memory or that an event will come;

8. Smile – Something we can all do easily, can change someone else’s day, yet we often forget it also can make our own;

9. Beautiful – Too many are quick to find fault in others, and it is far harder to give a genuine compliment such as this says

10. Love – It does not have to mean what we read in fairy tales, but a special bond with others or the union of body and mind;

11. Nature – There is something about being out with the world we create to being around what is there living it’s life with us;

12.Thinking – So much of life these days is rushed, but it is good to take time to think things over before an action is taken;

13. Tears – Not all that falls from our eyes is a bad thing, as can be a sign of relief after much pain or happiness at good news;

14. Music – The sounds that are so special that they almost decorate our memories in an aural way with or without words;

15.  Hugs – That feeling when something with a heartbeat (it does not have to be human) physically touches us is incredible;

16. Colour – Planet Earth is a paint pallet of different animals, vegetables and minerals that become artworks in our minds;

17. Look – Our sight is a wonderful gift and eyes take in so much, but sometimes we do not notice or appreciate what is around us;

18. and 19. Read and Write – Two things we can learn, opening up new worlds, but we often fail to see their greatness or power;

20. Journey – Life is full of twists and turns, adventures to be had, and think of it like a river not a straight line from A-B.

© Fi S. J. Brown