Slow Down

Head rush of
Spinning plates-
Slow down

(#10,000HappyHaiku 242 by Lou Hamilton)

The sparkling lights of Christmas merge to a blur as we push through crowds, finish tasks, close deals, stack up on food, booze and box sets. We pick out outfits to parade at parties, wrap presents, write cards, decorate the tree, string up tinsel and fairy lights. And collapse in a heap when the Big Day is done. It’s a blast of course, but in an out of focus kind way, like it’s not really happening to us, like we’ve been airlifted to some surreal 5th dimension where everything happens at the speed of light. So how about we slam on the brakes, cry Time Out, and Slow Down. Christmas won’t fall apart but we’ll replace exhaustion with exaltation. We’ll have time to stop and listen to the carol singers, time to stare dreamily into the Christmas tree lights, time to share reminiscences on the year gone by.

5 tips on taking time out for Christmas

1. Breathe. In the rush we often to forget those slow, life enhancing breaths. Take 3, long, deep breaths, doing nothing, thinking nothing just focusing on your breathing.

2. Decide on three things that must be finished by the time you fall out for the holidays. Leave the rest. Most things can wait.

3. Write a list of Christmas preparations, then halve it. You’ll be amazed what little we need for happy times with our loved ones. In fact Time is as precious gift as any.

4. Imagine you are in a Slow Down podule- made of glass & suspended above the chaos of Christmas. In your pod you listen to gentle music, watch others scurrying below you, smile, breathe and enjoy. When you step out again from your reverie you’ll feel a lot calmer.

5. I have left out so you can use the bonus time to Relax.

Happy Christmas!


New Minds

Unknown territories with an
Amateur mind

10,000 Happy Haikus 241 by Lou Hamilton

Genius doesn’t come along very often. The rest of us do the best we can, learning and being inspired by each other to keep trying new things in our work, to keep being creative, to keep our experiences fresh and exciting. When we have the beginner’s mind of an amateur or an enthusiast, we find we have an open mind. We are not afraid of failure, we are only interested in trying stuff, experimenting, playing, stretching ourselves outside of our comfort zone. That is where the real discoveries are made and the really exciting work is created. It is what makes us the explorers of new frontiers. We will fail many, many times along the way but always in the pursuit of uncharted territories where old ideas transform into innovative new ones.

“I saw the Sex Pistols” said New Order fronts man Bernard Summer- “they were terrible… I wanted to get up and be terrible with them” (Quote from the book Show your Work)


Photomontage by Lou Hamilton in her book Creating Success in Daily Life

Darkest before the Dawn

Dark night of the soul
An arrowhead straight to our deepest learning-
Emerge transformed

We practice our positive thinking, we do our mindfulness meditation, we read metres of self-help books, we keep fit, we eat healthily, we do regular random acts of kindness, we care for our friends and families, we forgive, we remind ourselves to be thankful, we work hard, we’re patient. Wow, we almost qualify in Buddhist Monkdom. And then the proverbial s***t hits the fan. Maybe something earth shattering, hideous, tragic, mind-numbingly awful happens and our world cracks wide open. We fall into the abyss with nothing to save us. Or maybe it’s not as bad as that, but it was unexpected and it causes us pain and hurt. And all we can hear is the ringing in our ears- “but I was good, I did good, I played by the rules, why me?” The truth is we can’t stop bad stuff happening but as we crawl back towards the light, there is one thing we can do. We can ask what we can learn from this experience. Did we feel our friends rally round, did we see there was a love deeper than we ever knew, did we realise we can survive something we never imagined we could, did we find an epiphany? Maybe the lesson is subtle but it will always be there. Find it, because it is your way forward. The more you learn to look for those little lessons in daily life, when we have a bad day, when we lose a contract, when we get yet another rejection letter, when we mislay our keys or leave our week’s cash dangling in the cash point machine (yes I did that), the more we will be able to see and learn from the big terrifying lessons when they hit. As they say, it is darkest before the dawn. But there is always hope.

Dark night

Dare to be Different

Crazy choir
all singing the same note
Be the harmony
When everyone around us is doing the same thing, it is easier for us to follow the tribe; do the daily commute, eat sugar, don’t stand up to the bully boss. But what if it’s not making you happy? What if you hate your job and dream of being self-employed, long for the ability to write your own schedule, map your own life, dreams your own dreams? What if you were to choose another path? People don’t always champion those who don’t toe the party line, who step away from the norm. Sometimes they criticise you or drop away. But when you stand up and stand out, make yourself master of your own universe, something amazing happens. Suddenly you fall into alignment with the real you, everything starts to feel ‘right’, you start to attract new people who respect you for singing your own tune and you inspire others to have the courage to make their own changes and transformations. Make 2015 the year you Dare to be Different.