Holding Hands

Adam approached God and asked, “Why did you create Eve?” God replied, “So that you may love her.”

“Why did you make her so beautiful? I can hardly take my eyes off her.” “So that you may love her.”

“Why did you make her so kind and considerate?” “So that you may love her.”

“But Lord, why did you make her so stupid?” “So that she may love you.”

This opening joke is just that. But like all good humour there’s more than a hint of truth in it, don’t you think?

If men are from Mars and women are from Venus why are we attracted to one another? Is it because Earth is the meeting place, lying midway between our planetary neighbours? Just kidding. But it is not a wonder that men and women sometimes have difficulty understanding one another. Fundamentally, we are different.

Einstein once said: “Men marry women with the hope they will never change. Women marry men with the hope they will change. Invariably they are both disappointed.”

Men and women are created equal but entirely different. As Woody Allen put it: “Men learn to love the woman they are attracted to. Women learn to become attracted to the man they fall in love with.” We all may speak the same language but we interpret the words differently.

Will men ever fully understand women? Will women ever fully understand men? Perhaps not, but there are many examples of where we have learned to live together. And as Neal Stephenson wrote in Snow Crash: “She’s a woman, you’re a dude. You’re not supposed to understand her. That’s not what she’s after . . . . She doesn’t want you to understand her. She knows that’s impossible. She just wants you to understand yourself. Everything else is negotiable.”

That may be a big ask. We can each strive to be ourselves. But will we ever truly understand ourselves. The deeper we look the more mysterious we become. But that shouldn’t stop us from looking. Life is relationship. Whether it be the relationship with our partner, our colleagues, our family, our friends, with nature, with ourselves . . . . It is all relationship and it is all a glorious mystery.

As Osho once said: ‘Life is a mystery to be lived, not a problem to be solved.’ Just live life. Don’t try to fix it. The problems keep coming. No point in looking for them. Just smile through them.

I’ll leave the last words to C. JoyBell C.: ‘The truth is that male or female, gay or straight— we are all people— we have all been broken and put back together in so many different ways . . . it’s really just about learning how to recognize the sound of the other one’s cracks.’

Radio host, librarian, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.wordpress.com And In Search of Simplicty is now available as an eBook here.

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

“The author’s experiments and experiences working with nature simply amaze. . . . Beyond the Search is a treasure trove for those who enjoy planting and reaping as it seems nature intended, with respect for each animal and insect as belonging on the planet and therefore deserving of honour.”

Theresa Sjoquist on Suite 101

Advertisements

What makes men of genius, or rather, what they make, is not new ideas, it is that idea – possessing them – that what has been said has still not been said enough.

~Eugene Delacroix

Society expresses its sympathy for the geniuses of the past to distract attention from the fact that it has no intention of being sympathetic to the geniuses of the present.

~Celia Green

Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.

~Wolfgang A. Mozart

At our Ceili on Saturday night we were addressed by Dave Pellett, a man dealing with his own mortality and a significant brain tumour. Dave has been the sound man since the inception of our local Ceili over four years ago. He is also a skilled musician, playing and teaching flute and recorder. He can do none of this anymore. He has lost a lot of weight, appears fragile and walks slowly and deliberately with aid of a cane. When he spoke emotion and the shattered pathways in his brain led to sizeable gaps between each sentence. The words were uttered in a croaking, rasping manner, like a man on his last breath. But the phrases Dave managed to share were touching and meaningful. I trust I do them justice below:

“When Jax and I decided to leave Auckland [they’d led full lives, raised families and found each other relatively recently] we travelled all over the country in search of a community that would suit our needs. We wandered as far as the west coast of the South Island and Coromandel on the North Island. Our two principal criteria—no traffic lights and the reactions of the strangers we approached. For too long we’d experienced the sometimes unfriendly anonymity of the city. We sought the informal charm of old rural New Zealand. When we arrived in Mangonui in the Far North one experience told us we had found that which we sought. Two cars were passing and stopped; the drivers knew each other. As they caught up on news, traffic backed up in both directions. No one showed the least bit of impatience. No horns were honked. Clearly, these people realised time was to be used, not burned away in busy-ness.

“Community is never more important than when an experience such as I’ve had forces you to receive help. Jax and I are extremely grateful for the love and practical support we’ve received. I don’t wish this experience on any of you. Value this community while you have your health.

“Finally, if there’s anything you’ve been putting off that you’ve always wanted to do, don’t wait. Do it. You never know when your card will be drawn.”

Dave spoke with me during supper afterwards. He mentioned one of the unexpected gifts his experience had created. Their two families, children, their spouses and grandchildren, had been brought close together, closer than they’d ever have ventured under ordinary circumstances. Adversity has its rewards if one is prepared to acknowledge them.

Wendy, the drummer in the band and the MC on the night, mentioned one quote she had read that reminded her of Dave. It was attributed to Blake and I paraphrase it below:

The straight road leads to success. The crooked road to genius.

Mark Twain once said that thousands of geniuses live and die undiscovered – either by themselves or by others. I would agree with Wendy. Dave is one such genius. He thinks and lives outside the box. I am grateful he’s been part of my life.

CLICK BELOW TO:

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.

In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

I just bumped into this post this morning and would love to share it here. This is the second time in the last while this concept has come up. As you grow some friendships endure and others fall by the wayside. You find yourself in different company reflecting the new person you have become. Are you happy with that person? Consider how the people around you affect you. Consider with whom you truly wish to invest your time.

Have a great day filled with meaningful, uplifting interactions.

John  

Who Do You Associate With?

It Is Better To Be Alone than In the Wrong Company
Tell me who your best friends are and I will tell you who you are.
If you run with wolves, you will learn how to howl.
But if you associate with eagles, you will learn how to soar to great heights.
A mirror reflects a man’s face, but what he is really like is shown by the kind of friends he chooses.
The simple but true fact of life is that you become like those with whom you closely associate for the good and the bad.
The less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve.
Any time you tolerate mediocrity in others, it increases your mediocrity.
An important attribute in successful people is their impatience with negative thinking and negative acting people.
As you grow, your associates will change.
Some of your friends will not want you to go on. They will want you to stay where they are.
Friends that don’t help you climb will want you to crawl.
Your friends will stretch your vision, not choke your dream.
Those that don’t increase you will eventually decrease you. 

Consider This:

Never receive counsel from unproductive people.
Never discuss your problems with someone incapable of contributing to the solution, because those who never succeed themselves are always first to tell you how.
Not everyone has a right to speak into your life.
You are certain to get the worst of the bargain when you exchange ideas with the wrong person.
Don’t follow anyone who’s not going anywhere.
With some people you spend an evening: with others you invest it.
Be careful where you stop to inquire for directions along the road of life.
Wise is the person who fortifies his life with the right friendships.
Choose to rise…

Don’t settle … and go for your dreams!!!

Lee Milteer

http://www.milteer.com

Lee Milteer is a Performance and Productivity Coach, Author and Professional Speaker.

Click Below to:

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.

My thanks to Kathy Smith, my Gaia.com friend who posted the following words on friendship on her Dreams of Artists Group on Gaia. She’s received the words in her inbox and doesn’t know who wrote them.

Enjoy,
John

FRIENDSFriendship Two Hands by HR Tonya

It Is Better To Be Alone than In the Wrong Company

Tell me who your best friends are and I will tell you who you are.

If you run with wolves, you will learn how to howl.

But if you associate with eagles, you will learn how to soar to great
heights.

A mirror reflects a man’s face, but what he is really like is shown by the
kind of friends he chooses.

The simple but true fact of life is that you become like those with whom you
closely associate for the good and the bad.

The less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve.

Any time you tolerate mediocrity in others, it increases your mediocrity.

An important attribute in successful people is their impatience with
negative thinking and negative acting people.

As you grow, your associates will change.

Some of your friends will not want you to go on. They will want you to stay
where they are.

Friends that don’t help you climb will want you to crawl.

Your friends will stretch your vision not choke your dream.

Those that don’t increase you will eventually decrease you.

Consider This:
Never receive counsel from unproductive people.

Never discuss your problems with someone incapable of contributing to the
solution, because those who never succeed themselves are always first to
tell you how.

Not everyone has a right to speak into your life.

You are certain to get the worst of the bargain when you exchange ideas with
the wrong person.

Don’t follow anyone who’s not going anywhere.

With some people you spend an evening: with others you invest it.

Be careful where you stop to inquire for directions along the road of life.

Wise is the person who fortifies his life with the right friendships.

Choose to rise…

Don’t settle … and go for your dreams!!!

Link for the photo:
http://s487.photobucket.com/albums/rr233/HRTonya/  

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.

Campfire on Beach for Extending FriendshipWhenever uncertainty arises, stop. Be present, fully present. Watch your breath. If this isn’t enough, take a walk in nature, work in the garden or turn to a practice that cultivates stillness and inner connectedness such as yoga, qi gong or meditation.

Life is an ever-shifting balance between stillness and activity. Whenever activity dominates, and this easily happens in our busy lives, consciously cultivate stillness and the sense of peace this engenders. We can spend our lives chasing castles in the sky, when that which we seek has been with us all along. As Peace Pilgrim said, “You cannot give me anything I don’t need.”

All desire comes from a sense of lack. If there is one message I would like to make, it is that we already have enough stuff. Let’s put our focus on the real stuff of life. As Thoreau said, “Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.” I might add, “Give me friendship.” For me, this goes further than traditionally understood. Whenever I rest in the stillness, I feel immersed in a warm womb of love. I feel forgiven for all of my errors of judgement, for all of my frailties. I am loved and I Am Love. I know that we are surrounded by unseen, loving friends. They guide us and urge us to aim always for the highest.

Last night I joined our teenage daughters, Amira and Asha, and Amira’s boyfriend, Toby, on the beach for a campfire. The wind was roaring from the west. From time to time, it brought a driving rain. We huddled against a cliff somewhat protected from the elements. The night came on and the stars jousted with the clouds. We watched the fire, enchanted by the constantly changing colours of the flames. The salt in some of the driftwood burned an eerie yellow. Ultraviolet, royal blue, green and an occasional flash of turquoise created a rainbow of fire.

Potatoes, broccoli and carrots were placed in a bed of coals. The tide came in. I felt a deep sense of gratitude. I reflected on what I already had in my life and knew, in that moment, that I was fulfilled.

We dragged the aluminium-wrapped vegetables form the fire with sticks. The aluminium tore and some of the contents spilled on the sand. We laughed. As I ate my salad, the three teenagers munched on charred, sometimes crunchy vegetables. As always happens by the beach, a little sand found its way into the food. We laughed some more. Desert, prepared by Asha, was bananas with chocolate and marshmallow, also wrapped in aluminium. When removed from the fire they were a sticky, delicious mess.

The tide came in further and threatened to smother the fire. Asha, the active one, perched in the swaying branches of a nearby Pohutukawa tree, cackling with glee as successive waves flowed under her.

I relished the exquisite ecstasy of the moment. Immersed in darkness, flames dancing, wind crying, occasional drops of rain finding our sheltered alcove; an unknown bird calling from the water. Times like this remind one of our connectedness with everything. Are not the stars our sisters, the sun an elder brother, the moon a maiden meant for love? The sand crushed beneath us, yet supported our steps. The salty water of the sea and the sweet water falling from the sky cleansed and purified our thoughts. The entire orchestra of nature kept us fully present.

Cultivate a relationship with everything. One cannot feel alone with such a sense of connectedness. This is what I call extending friendship.

Click Below to:

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

Your information will not be rented or sold, ever.