It's always a wise thing to know the backstory of something you're involved in and to remain curious about where it came from and what it really means. We've just celebrated Valentine's Day and there are two ways I get reminded of this, even though I'm self-employed and single. Valentine's Day was my Dad's birthday -- he would have been 97 this year. And a neighbour across the street -- who is very fond of all the holidays! -- has a full display of hearts festooning her front porch.
Where did Valentine's Day come from? How does our story of love need to change? What's your story of love going forward?
Where did it come from?
Valentine's Day is more properly the feast day of St Valentine, who apparently died in 269 or 270AD after disregarding a ban on marriage for soldiers put in place by Emperor Claudius. He married them in secret and even performed a healing on a young girl, sending her a note signed "Your Valentine" just before he was executed.
Sometimes listening is an act of patience. It can be like going to your partner’s family reunion and realising you don’t have much in common with your in-laws. Maybe you want to give up. Maybe you want to walk (or even run!) away, but instead you breathe deeply, sharpen your focus and continue listening.
If you can bring compassion to your listening and reach down into the ground of common humanity, then you can move at the pace of grace. Sometimes that listening allows all the chatter to blow away and the genuine person underneath to surface.
Let’s face it, humans are messy creatures. Therefore human relationships are messy too. It takes a lot of personal reflection to realise you have a choice in every moment. Viktor Frankl pointed to that choice so elegantly in his work “Man’s Search for Meaning“. In it he said that when every other choice is taken away, all other freedoms are gone, you still have a choice. You have the choice about how you...
Taking time out during mid-year is a wonderful practice. When you step back from the rush of your life it gives you time to see it from a new perspective. As one of my colleagues likes to say, if you stay on the dance floor and never make it to the balcony, you’ll never know who’s playing the tune.
We talk a lot about the world being a noisy place. It is interesting how we have co-created this phenomenon. We like to think the rush is exhilarating, but I’ve noticed that actually it is over-stimulating and most of us feel exhausted way down in our ground. It was a profound shock to me to move back to the United States after 35 years away and find TV screens in almost all restaurants and so many public places.
Under the guise of “ambience”, music is played loudly. Once I was in a dentist’s waiting room and asked for the music to be turned down. When they refused, I told them they could find me in the hallway when it came time for my appointment. They...