Thursday, 5 December 2013
By James Kyle
Geoff reluctantly turned off the black and white TV. But then, before they went out, he had told his parents that he would definitely finish his homework if he could watch TV first. And as usual his father had promised him a sixpence if he got top marks in class. But even that motivation couldn’t compete with his wish that the Doctor Who episode that just finished could have went on for hours more. At least they repeated the first week’s episode or he would have missed it all together. Unless he could have built his own time machine of course! That would be so amazing. His homework was delayed that little bit more as he imagined opening the door of his own personal TARDIS to a stone age world full of cavemen and dinosaurs. He could even find himself a pet dinosaur. That would be so awesome - what would he call him?
He jumped with a start as his daydream was suddenly interrupted by the sound of a loud thud coming from the back yard, and he was instantly brought back to the present. It sounded like somebody had fallen. Maybe it was the one of the gang from the council estate. They were always jumping from the neighbourhood yard walls to the top of the midden sheds for a dare. They had taunted him on more than one occasion to do the same. He knew they thought he was chicken. But still, he reassured himself, at least he was a chicken who was alive with no broken bones. Maybe somebody else was not so lucky this time. Deciding he better check, just in case, Geoff stepped outside into the yard - quietly, in case the whole gang was out there. But there was no gang of kids in the yard this evening. Instead there was only a single figure illuminated by the light form the house windows, standing halfway across the wasteland that was their communal back yard, and he was dressed in a spacesuit!
Geoff stood there astonished. Was this a neighbour in a fancy dress costume? No wait, if so, what was he doing pulling in a parachute? Someone actually, really from space? He tried to think if he knew any Russian. But even if he could drag a hello in this foreign tongue from some abyss, his mind was frozen in time with the unbelievable sight in front of him. And then the figure turned and unhurriedly removed his helmet.
“Hello Geoff,” the visitor from space said.
The face kind of looked familiar, a bit like … a bit like his dad??? “Hello … how do you know my name … who are you?”
“Well, my name is Geoff and I have come to visit you …”
“from the future.”
The spaceman laughed. “Yes, that was quick, we are blessed with intelligence aren’t we.”
“But why ...”
“Why have I come back in time?”
“Yes, that too, but why a spacesuit?”
“And not a TARDIS? Like Doctor Who? Well the name gives you a clue.”
“TARDIS – Time and relative dimension in space. To get back to here, I have had to travel through time and space. As I said, we are smart, and I know you can follow this. If I was in a particular place on earth and I simply travelled through time then when I arrived at the earlier date …”
“the earth would not be there, because it travels around the sun.”
“Exactly. And not only that. Our sun revolves around the centre of the galaxy at 828,000 km per hour and our galaxy itself is moving at hundreds of thousands of miles per hour relative to other galaxies. So to jump back in time involves immensely complex calculations to also target the correct spatial coordinates. Even then it can only be an approximation. So the safest way of doing this is to aim to materialize somewhere inside the moon’s orbit – that is where the spacesuit comes in handy - and do a series of mini jumps from there … ”
“into the sky, and parachute from there to the ground.”
“yes, much safer to aim for a good distance above the ground as opposed to ending up under it. And now you know how, shall we talk about why?”
Geoff junior nodded.
“Good, because I have not much time here. After our little chat you are going to get very interested in quantum mechanics. So this might make more sense to you later, but essentially I am here and, at the same time, am also still bodily present in the future. Both of these states of me are in a quantum entanglement. This separation will only hold for a little while longer before I dematerialise from this space-time frame.”
“Just like Doctor Who.”
“Yes, but not quite so noisily, and luckily you will remember everything I say, unlike in the 50 year anniversary episode of Doctor Who I was just watching where they use an appallingly poor plot device to ensure the doctors don’t remember anything …”
“50 years of Doctor Who – wow. Great!”
“Yes, you have all that to look forward to,” Geoff smiled, then looked at a timepiece strapped to the left wrist of his spacesuit, “but time is running out, and we need to get back to why I am here. Having explained to you the effort it required for me to be able to talk to you today …”
“Are you going to tell me how to make lots of money by investing in stuff?”
“Well I could do, but no need. We do fine financially. I am here to talk about something much more important.”
“Important enough to jump back through time.”
“Exactly. That important. When I was a lot older than you are now, I heard of something called the rocking chair test. To take this test, you imagine yourself as retired, sitting on your porch, thinking about your life – what you did you wish you hadn’t and what you didn’t do you wish you had. You then have the opportunity to decide to make the right choices at that point in your life and not regret poor choices for the rest of your life. Are you following me so far?”
“Now, I recall how we felt when I was your age. How you are now. We are smart, but we are also very isolated. Our parents are not good socially and all that religious sexual guilt is overwhelming. I remember the pain, I remember how enticing the fantasy of books and TV was – a way of escaping from a lonely life, but an escape that helped maintain that isolation. So I am here to make sure you make the right choice now, for us, before it is too late. That is the gift I bring you. Something much more valuable than ways to improve your bank balance”
“But if I make a different choice does that not change what happens to you?”
“It already has.”
“So why come back?”
“Because your choices would not have changed us unless I made the choice to come back. Fiction makes time travel dilemmas far too complicated. Think of time and space, all the past and all the future as a vast interconnected web that is already laid out right now - unchangeable. But our choices are part of the creation of that intertangled web, and one part of that, is me coming back to talk to you today.”
“To save me from a life of loneliness …”
“Yes, and have a life full of loving relationships instead. That is why it was so important for me to come back to visit you – to share with you one simple rule that will transform your life.”
“Whatever you want in life, give away,” the older Geoff paused, “Do you understand?”
“I think so.”
“You need more love and friendship in your life.”
“And so, if I want love in my life, give my love to others …”
“See, we are smart.”
Geoff gathered up the parachute canopy into his arms.
“And that will change my life?”
“It already has.”
There was no sound. One minute there were two figures in the backyard, one in a spacesuit. The next minute there was only one. The young boy stood motionless for a while longer. The bells on the clock tower in the old town began to sound. The youth club will just be opening he realised. The homework could wait until tomorrow.
Image courtesy of twobee / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Tuesday, 3 December 2013
By Bella Enahoro
Why should you be yourself? The simple answer is 'because everyone else is taken' - it's both the simple answer and an accurate answer. The important question is 'why are we not ourselves?' What is the pay off for not being ourselves? Ahhh, now we're talking.
To begin with, what would cause us to not want to be ourselves? For some of us, we may have been raised in environments where it was dangerous to be who we are. Even as adults we may be working in environments that demand that we be other than who we are in order to ensure job security. So we conclude, I have to be other than I am to get what I want i.e. love, safety, income etc.
We may have learned to believe 'who I am is not good enough to be loved, guaranteed safety, approved of'. We may have been told 'who you are is not worth treating well'. We may have learned 'who you are is not good enough to meet my standards for 'being good enough'. We may become convinced that we are less than we should be.
When we feel not good enough what happens to our lives? We end up putting things on hold until we feel we 'deserve' by becoming good enough. We spend so much time striving to feel that we're good enough. Have I accomplished enough, am I good looking enough, is my car big/fast/exclusive enough, is my job title high enough, do I have enough awards to be good enough? Exhausting isn't it?
Self worth and authenticity are intrinsically linked. The worth we have in our own eyes, a sense of worth not built on acquisition, job title, appearance, credentials - is the only worth, worth living out of. How many of us realise that we have an intrinsic worth greater than anything on the outside? If we go through life with a sense of being deficient then we are motivated to acquire value - the things that others value in the world then become our aim in life. I may not be good enough in and of myself but look what I've got, becomes our calling card.
Sooner or later, things fall apart, if we're lucky. It can take many forms e.g we can lose everything we spent our whole lives accruing or we meet someone or a situation who places no value on our 'social bling'. We run helter skelter trying to get them to 'see' us as our bling or we go somewhere else. But there's a crack in the tea cup. When it finally breaks open, our break down becomes our breakthrough.
We begin to look for another way. What we've been looking for is a way to feel good about who we are, under all circumstance. We don't always realise it at first since there's much howling in pain and hanging onto fast disappearing 'bling'.
The breakthrough cracks us wide open and everything we've been taught is 'wrong' with us, all the things we've been taught make us 'not good enough' stare us in the face. Excruciating at first but if we stay, refuse to take flight, we can transform. Now begins the re-acquainting ourselves with the 'real' us, all of it.
There are many transformation technologies from journaling, meditation, prayer, walking, body work, sound, vibrational healing. We tend to gravitate towards one that works for us. Soon the pain subsides, loses its edge. We don't feel so raw. Our lives may be in shambles around us but we can stand to be alive and increasingly we can stand to be ourselves. We live in a time of infinite help with wonderful teachers who can assist us in moving out of our debris; emotional, psychological and spiritual.
Not being who we are, may be something we picked up at our beginning but was never a part of our being and we need not continue with it.
About The Author
Bella Enahoro is the founder of http://www.livewellaudio.com a Motivational company that helps individuals,non-profits and companies improve their lives, build communities, profts and positive impact.
Visit her website for the latest on audiobooks, downloads and articles on self-help, personal growth, professional development and spirituality.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Saturday, 30 November 2013
Rachel Botsman writes and speaks on the power of collaboration and sharing through network technologies, and on how it will transform business, consumerism and the way we live. There's been an explosion of collaborative consumption -- web-powered sharing of cars, apartments, skills. In this 20 minute video, Rachel Botsman explores the currency that makes systems like Airbnb and Taskrabbit work: trust, influence, and what she calls "reputation capital."
Thursday, 28 November 2013
Stress. It makes your heart pound, your breathing quicken and your forehead sweat. But while stress has been made into a public health enemy, new research suggests that stress may only be bad for you if you believe that to be the case. In this 14 minute video, Psychologist Kelly McGonigal urges us to see stress as a positive, and introduces us to an unsung mechanism for stress reduction: reaching out to others.