Day 289 of Project 2015

One year ago… tomorrow… we arrived into Santiago de Compostela!

We are in the last entry of our Camino Diaries from last year and every day we have read the relevant entry throughout the journey (one year on). The lessons are appearing at the relevant times for us. It has been such a great reminder of how far we’ve come and that we shouldn’t slip.

The adventure of our lives… we mark the anniversary tomorrow! Quite hard to believe even to this day that we did it!

Here’s cheers to Friday…. and to an amazing year gone by!

Summary for October 16

Newbies

David played cricket during his lunch break. 

Brighter/Different Perspective?

Never give up on your dreams… They need to become your reality. 

Day 16 of Project 2015

Tomorrow is David’s dad’s birthday. We went over to his parents’ home to lend a helping hand with the set up for lunch tomorrow. We arrived early and hadn’t expected that we would achieve what we did so quickly.

We were able to help knock over a few other round-the-house and down-the-shops kind of jobs. We helped out as best we could. Sometimes we don’t even know if we are helping or are a hindrance.

Helping out in someone else’s house is always tricky. Everyone has their own way of doing things, spots where they keep things, and unless you know where things go or are… it feels like you spend half the time asking, “Where is this? Where does this go? What would you like me to do with this?”

Is that us worrying too much about getting it right? Who knows! Everyone reacts differently and we just do what feels right and comfortable with us. We have to keep in mind that it is about the intention not about the act in itself sometimes. (e.g. you think about buying a gift for someone’s birthday, you buy a gift but it’s not exactly what that person ended up wanting, don’t kick yourself over getting it wrong. Pat yourself on the back for getting it right with the intention).

We’ve learnt to let things go and so that is how we live every day. Today is just today. Tomorrow is another day.

Summary of January 16

Newbies

Le managed to finish a book in 2 days so that was quite a feat. David is in the midst of attacking his book too, so we will be well on target for our (“at-least”-2-a-month) target. 

Brighter/Different Perspective?

On previous family luncheons, we would have the dining table laid out in the kitchen eating area. Today, we suggested moving it into the formal dining area and extending it a little into the lounge area. It certainly was a different way to configure the room and the lunch seating and hopefully one that makes sense. Let’s see tomorrow how it all goes! 

Day 15 of Project 2015

Since changing our outlook on life, we have noticed a considerable change on how people interact with us, particularly strangers. We have had people smile, have a chat to us, be kind and generous to us. It is like we have opened the door to a different world.

Or maybe it is just that we are not letting those negative people get to us anymore. We just let those experiences go – who needs to remember them? And why waste our brain space on such encounters?

We find that living in the now is making us forget quite a lot of the “not-important” details of each day. This for us is such a plus because we sometimes get bogged down in the details that don’t count!

Summary of January 15

Newbie

We’ve set ourselves a challenge as to how many books we’ll read in 2015. We want to have another “goal” to try and achieve – 

We are aiming for 25 books each. Let’s see how we go!

Brighter/Different Perspective? 

Last night, being outdoors for a quarter of an hour or so after dark – and Le has been MAULED by the mosquitoes! We have just counted the number of bites and welts on her legs, 11 on one and 9 on the other. How crazy is that?! 

But is it bothering her? Nah, it’s always good to have a nice good itch every now and then 🙂 

Day 12 of Project 2015

First day this year where we sat down and spent an intense amount of time doing work on the computers. We mean actual WORK not just browsing the internet or playing games etc.

It was a little unusual us both set up at the dining table across from each other plugging away; mouse clicking, tapping at the keyboard – having the occasional conversation.

Hey – we could get use to this. Working from home with each… now to find jobs that will allow us to do that?

But we digress and should now mention that we practised a bit of what we learnt yesterday. We didn’t let “annoyance” creep into our day. We discussed a few things openly but then we just brought it back…. to letting it go! And we did.

Summary of January 12

Newbies

We read over at The Chelle Seeker about using the “other” hand to do everyday tasks to help strengthen neural connections in the brain and also increase the activity of the less dominant side. 

Today we brushed our teeth using the other hand. What a weird sensation. But we shall persevere with this one as it is healthy for the brain 🙂 

Brighter/Different Perspective?

David is still on holidays and Le is yet to find full-time work. Yet we didn’t mind working on our day off. It was something different that we haven’t done before and we weren’t complaining or whinging about it.

Are we slowly seeing our shift in attitude kicking in? Hopefully, we need to just hit 21 days, right? And then it becomes habit 🙂

Day 11 of Project 2015

Probably the MOST significant date this year for us. We went to a public talk at the Art Gallery about meditation and the ancient wisdoms of Buddhism.

We absolutely were so delighted to have sat through that hour and a half talk that reinforced what we are trying to do this year for ourselves. It was almost like a confirmation that we are on the right track to happiness.

Thanks to the Camino, it taught us so much. Although, it didn’t directly teach us, it pushed us along to learn for ourselves. The things we heard to today were things we had written about in our daily reflections on our walk.

We learnt some practical ways about how we can find real happiness. and free ourselves from pain or problems.

Such simple actions that can set us well on our path to be happy!

We learnt that our MIND is just SPACE that takes no shape, form or colour. That we can in fact control it. That to achieve happiness we need inner peace. To free ourselves of pain or problems, we need to understand what is the cause of it.

We can shift our attitudes by being virtuous in our thoughts and actions and shun non-virtuous behaviours. We can also find inner peace by thinking LESS about how important we are and realise that everyone is important. This will help shake the non-virtuous behaviours such as annoyance, impatience, rudeness.

Remove our pain or problems by letting go of anger and uncontrollable desires. These two disturb the possibility of inner peace and subsequently happiness.

So why do we get angry (unhappy, frustrated, impatient, annoyed)?

Either because something happened that we DIDN’T plan or want

OR

because something DIDN’T happen that we wanted or planned.

It’s as simple as that – and it is just so obvious.

It really helps when someone is there to put it so candidly for us.

Then from an uncontrollable desires perspective – it’s this desire/need/want that gets us (as humans) into trouble. Thinking that if we GET what we want, we will be happy when in fact… happiness has got nothing to do with external factors.

Happiness (as is suffering) is our STATE of MIND that can not be created by something else or someone else…. only by the owner of the mind which is OURSELVES. Detach from desires, passions, needs and wants and free ourselves.

The speaker talked about how our bodies are just material matter, it is the mind that is what needs to be improved and nurtured because it is what lives forever. The analogy she gave was that our body is like a bird’s nest and the mind is like a bird. When we die from THIS life, the bird will leave the nest and find another nest. The bird lives on and so do the best you can for that bird in this LIFE. This is the start of a different topic: Karma which we didn’t explore in the talk today.

And before anyone jumps in disagreement or rejects the words of the speaker, she also mentioned that the basis for people not liking what someone else says is simply because it doesn’t align with what they currently believe. Why does it always have to be “your” way? This is where we stop being open-minded, flexible and therefore not on the path to inner peace and freedom.

This talk opened up so much more for us to learn and explore. As the speaker rightfully said, we are ALL on the path for happiness. No one wants to suffer.

So what has anyone got to lose by sharing more love, patience, compassion, kindness and other virtues!

Summary of January 11

Newbies

We attended a public talk that was advertised on a pamphlet we found on a local noticeboard. We said YES to trying something different and new.

Brighter/Different Perspective?

It felt so fitting that today it rained a lot. The past week or so, it has been so hot and humid with blue skies. And today, we had a day in town with constant rain. What was quite pleasing for us, was that we didn’t grumble or mind? Our time on the Camino really has shaped our thinking. And then what we learnt today has just kept us right on track to achieve what we are seeking. 

“If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.” 
― Maya Angelou