Encuentra Tu Gente

Puede ser difícil ser quien eres.

A veces eres tú que es tu peor enemigo o mayormente, la gente a tu alrededor de ti, como tu familia o tus amigos, aunque te digan que te quieren.

Tal vez tengas sueños en los que quieres renunciar a tu trabajo para viajar por el mundo o empezar otro trabajo. No importa qué sea. La verdad es que tienes que seguir tu camino, no importa dónde te dirija el camino. Pero hay gente que no puede entender lo que dices o lo que quieres hacer. Hay gente que no quiere hacerlo. Y hay gente que tiene miedo de lo que tú quieres hacer en tu vida. No en su vida. Tu vida.

Por ejemplo, si quieres dejar un buen trabajo que has tenido durante algunos años, pero ahora ya no te motiva, tal vez piensen o te digan “¿por qué dejarías algo bueno por algo desconocido con todos los riesgos?” Si has decidido hacer algo así, es como si estuvieras cuestionando la vida que ellos han elegido. Es suficiente para ellos. Entonces, ¿por qué no es suficiente para ti? ¿Quién te crees que eres? ¿Piensas que eres mejor que nosotros?

Preguntas y pensamientos así están llenos de miedo. Como un perro, la gente así responde con ataques para protegerse. No son personas malas. Normalmente, son amigos o familiares que quieren protegerte, pero, cuídate, si estás siempre rodeado de gente así, podría tener un efecto negativo en tu vida y en tus decisiones.

Sabemos todos que no podemos cambiar lo que hacen otras personas. Podemos cambiar solo como respondemos y lo que hacemos nosotros. Tal vez, un amigo o un familiar no pueda entender lo que quieres hacer, pero esto no es necesario. Lo que es importante y necesario es que nos apoye en lo que queramos hacer.

Entonces, ¿qué puedes hacer?

Encuentra tu gente.

Siempre hay gente a la que no le gustas o no te apoya. Pues, si puedes, sácalos de tu vida. Esta gente no es tu gente. Necesitas personas que te apoyan, aunque no te entiendan. Eso es el amor de un amigo o un familiar. ¡Gente así es tu gente!

Si nos focalizamos en cosas o personas negativas, recibimos algo negativo. Y claro, igualmente, si nos focalizamos en algo o alguien positivo, recibimos algo positivo. Por ejemplo, ¿cómo te sientes después de pasar una noche con un amigo o familiar que se queja todo el tiempo? Cansado, harto y negativo. Y probablemente, no querrás ver a este amigo nunca más.

Y con un amigo que te pregunta sobre tu vida o quiere ponerse al día contigo o te hace reír, ¿cómo te sentirías? Probablemente, feliz, relajado y positivo. Claro no podemos ser felices y positivos todo el tiempo, eso no sería realista, pero entiendes lo que digo. Pero como todo en la vida, encontrar tu gente necesita un poco de esfuerzo. Tienes que buscar en todos los lugares y además estar abierto a toda la gente porque a veces, puede sorprenderte.

Es importantísimo poder hablar y pasar tiempo con gente como tú. Gente que tenga los mismos pensamientos para hacerte sentir que eres ‘normal’, lo que sea que eso signifique. No tendrías que luchar y justificar nunca más todo lo que crees, dices y haces. Podrías ser tú mismo. Tal vez, por primera vez en tu vida.

Y eso merecería la pena, ¿no?

 

Fotos por Kimson Doan y Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

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What If It Goes Right?

A friend was recently telling me about their plans for setting up their own business. They’d been thinking about it on and off for years and things were such in their life that now seemed like the perfect opportunity to make it happen. But strangely, although she was clearly passionate about this idea, all I could hear her say was ‘But what if it goes wrong?’

What if I start the business and things don’t work out. Businesses go under all the time.

But what if it goes right?

What if I go with this supplier/client and it goes wrong and they end up leaving me in the lurch?

But what if it goes right?

You get the drift.

Of course, we have to be practical and realistic with our dreams and ambitions if we want to make them happen, but how does constantly focusing on the potential negative outcomes help achieve this?

There are no guarantees of course and I do not belong to the cheesy and simplistic ‘positivity is everything’ school of thought, but from a purely practical point of view, how differently could things turn out if we focus on the positive factors of our situation? It takes just as much energy to focus on something positive as it does something negative.

And even if the result is not what we would have wanted, we would have at least spent our time more constructively wanting something good to happen as opposed to expecting something bad to happen.

I know which I would prefer. What about you?

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Can What’s Missing Be Your Strength?

I have been a fan of Q (English music magazine) for many years and in the latest issue, I was reading an interview with a band called Royal Blood. Now I’m not really a rock fan but every now and again a band comes through that I really like and Royal Blood are currently and pleasantly deafening me with both their albums. But why am I talking about this band and what has the header image of a vegetarian dish got to do with this band?

Well, when I used to visit Brighton in the past, I occasionally visited a restaurant called Terre A Terre, a rather good vegetarian restaurant in the city. In the Q magazine interview with Mike Kerr, the singer/bassist with Royal Blood, mentioned that he used to work as a chef in Terre A Terre and while there he was struck by how inventive they had been with the ingredients available to them, especially when they had a supposedly necessary ingredient to many i.e. meat taken out of the equation as it had forced them to be more creative with what they had.

Royal Blood

At that time, Matt was also putting together a new band and after being inspired by his experience at Terre A Terre in creating more interesting things with ‘less’, he realised that instead of having a traditional line-up, he decided that the band would just be his mate Ben playing drums and himself playing bass and singing. He may have made the right decision as last year Royal Blood sold out shows in Europe and the US, are now friends with rock stars including Muse and Jimmy Page (from Led Zeppelin) and have been one of the most successful bands in Europe in the last 3 years since they first came on the scene.

We don’t need to do what others have done. What many see as ‘something missing’ can in fact be a strength if we choose to see it that way. A restaurant doesn’t need meat to be successful and Royal Blood don’t need a traditional rock band line-up with a guitarist. So, my question to you is:

‘do you have something ‘missing’ in your life that is or could be your strength’?

Watch Royal Blood video for ‘Figure It Out’…

Sky Full Of Morning Stars

It’s 6am on the first day of November and quite dark outside. I couldn’t sleep and so I tiptoed through the house so as not to wake Mrs Cortado and our dog Grace to go outside and get my phone which I’d left in the car. On my way back, I promptly dropped it (clearly no coffee yet having an impact) and happened to look up to see an incredible sky full of stars.

I’d never really thought about there being stars in the morning and don’t ever remember seeing them at this time of the morning, but of course one of the lovely things about living in this part of the countryside in southern Spain is that there is no light pollution and so the darkness of the sky is beautifully and very brightly illuminated by thousands of stars. And all you have to do is drop something to see it…

Just think, if I didn’t drop things, I wonder what else I’d miss noticing?

Photo by sergio souza on Unsplash
(I tried to take a picture this morning, but there’s only so much you can do with an Iphone. I much preferred this shot.)

How Bruce Lee Helped Me Get A Spanish Driving Licence

Perhaps this is something we don’t like admitting, but although we may want to get things done as soon as possible, sometimes it will just take longer. And that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

 

I’ve just managed to get a Spanish driving licence for a friend. It’s been a process which started a few months ago and as is the case in most places, dealing with bureaucracy can be a challenge and in Spain, perhaps more so. Either way, after several months and visits to various official administrative departments, I collected the document this morning and I’m relieved and happy, even though it perhaps took longer than it needed to.

 

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However, when faced with a potentially unfriendly beast such as government departments with some staff who lean more towards the ‘computer-says-no’ school of customer service, I have found there are are four key elements to get what you are looking for:

 

1) be prepared, do your homework and make umpteen copies

2) focus on developing a relationship with whoever can help you as opposed to having a go at who is being obstructive. Perhaps I should have known that the grumpy man in the pink trousers was not going to be the most helpful. Having said that, can you ever trust anybody in pink trousers?!

3) take a breath and be patient (this one is important)

4) take another breath and be a little bit more patient (more important than the last)

 

Bruce Lee talked about ‘being like water’ where the water in a bottle takes the shape of the bottle or whatever container it is in.

 

In this case, I had to assume the shape of the staff in the Traffic Department and ‘speak their language’. In time, it worked, but in the meantime, being like water and working together with the ‘system’ was ultimately much more productive than if I had fought against it.

This approach may not work in all situations, but I know the next time I will have to deal with Spanish bureaucracy, like Bruce Lee, I will most certainly aim to ‘be like water’…

Baby image courtesy of The Odyssey Online.
Bruce Lee image courtesy of Bloody Elbow.

 

Nothing Like A Coffee And Some Time

I’m sitting on a lovely, ever-so-slightly battered brown sofa in my favourite bar (Cafe Cyrano) in Almería, my recently adopted ‘big city’, listening to my new favourite album (‘Hey Mr Ferryman’ by Mark Eitzel) with a cortado coffee and an orange juice.

Lovely & slightly battered old sofa

I’ve just put my car in for a service. Not a big deal for most people, but not having owned a car until recently, it feels like a strangely grown up thing to be doing. I dropped the car off at 9.30am and am told it will be 3 hours, so I’ve popped into the city to mooch around and am really enjoying it as it’s not something I can really do in the village where I now live.

I’ve been walking around for a while enjoying the buzzy morning atmosphere of a working day here. As with many cities, there are lots of ‘things to do’ here, some of which I’ve done and others that I will do, but as is often the case, I find myself doing a similar thing ie ‘not very much’ to some people.

But the joy I get from simply sitting in a bar with a coffee, listening to music on headphones, writing, reading and reflecting on nothing in particular is immeasurable.

Some people these days might call this being mindful. I don’t know why doing this works for me and maybe it’s best I don’t know, so in the meantime, I’ll just enjoy the positive and calming energy it gives me.

Hope you’re having a good day too…

I’m So Bored Of Goals

I’ve always been a great believer in the power of setting goals as they really help focus your mind on where you want to be and what you want to achieve in your life. 

However recently I’ve been thinking a great deal about now. This very moment. And as each second passes, yes, we could be one step closer to our goals, but achieving that is in the future and not now, so in truth we are also losing opportunities to live now, where we are physically, emotionally, spiritually and psychologically.

We cannot control the past as it’s been and gone and although our society seems transfixed on living and achieving things in our futures, it hasn’t happened yet and we have limited control over it. What is happening now, at this very moment, is surely more important than preparing for a tomorrow that in truth may never arrive.

Mrs Away From The Noise and I recently got a dog (Grace) and it has been a tremendous learning curve, as well as being fun, however one of the things I’ve noticed most about Grace is how in the moment she is. Nothing exists beyond now. It’s a wisdom which pets and children instinctively share and is something I’m quite envious of at times.

Clearly, there is a time and place for goals in our lives, but I just wanted to highlight the importance of being aware of and enjoying who we are, who we are with and what we are doing right now. While we still have the chance…

Feature image by Cengizahn Konuş/Unsplash
Image of Grace below by Mrs Away From The Noise

Grace Standing (1)

Grace being wise… and just a bit cute…