time to reflect

time to reflect on ourselves and the great wake up journey so far

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This week Chris asked us to take time out to reflect on our lives, what is going on in them and the lives of others around us, what hopes do we have for the rest of the year, what is important to us right now and also to reflect on the first four experiments. What a week for me to reflect on this.

Things happen throughout a year, any year, it could be any week of any year, unfortunately it was this week; my Nan passed away. It was all inevitable but still upsetting, I loved her dearly. Although I was aware of her situation and the certainty that this day would come, in private I cried my eyes out and howled like a wolf. But, and thanks to week ones experiment, in the back of my mind I knew I needed to share the love and I quickly started to make plans to comfort others. Living so far away from my family made this difficult but apart from quickly saying that it would be an honour to carry her coffin I also decided to find the strength to compose a eulogy to say at the funeral. I’ve never thought of doing this before and my mum was proud that I’d offered to do this. Once again I knew that the experiment of sharing the love had a direct effect on my decision and in truth it’s given me strength with the situation at hand.

Week one’s experiment of ‘Sharing the Love’ has been the most powerful of the experiments so far in so much it’s brought me greater change in my awareness and humanity. From week ones experiment I have found an inner strength in sharing my love and compassion which has been unlocked instinctively on several occasions. For example when I heard an old friend had a particular bad 2015 I instinctively thought of a way of cheering them up and sent them a Tim Vine comedy book straight off my shelf through the post. In the past I probably would have just felt sorry for them but this time I was trying to make positive steps to making them happier.

On another occasion I watched an old age person struggling to reverse park. They nearly smashed the back of their car into a post (twice) while other drivers sat around staring at them in frustration. I could see that the person seemed very distressed by the situation so I got out of my car and asked if they were okay and comforted them with words of support. At first they were a little bit unsure of this stranger doing this but then really appreciated it and with sincerity told me it was a “sweet thing” to do. I know without week one’s experiment I wouldn’t have approached them, I wouldn’t have even bothered and forgot about it quickly but the positive feeling I had from this small step was wonderful.

One last thing; thanks to week ones experiment in which I sent my mum an e-mail expressing my thanks to her I have reconnected to an incredible bond between the two of us. I once again see and feel her love which I haven’t felt since I was very young. Once again I believe the experiment was the factor in this. The rewards have been fantastic.

Week two’s experiment connected me back to nature and the power you can get from it. It also made me enjoy solitude and not fear it or worry about it so much. Since the experiment there have been plenty of times I’ve enjoyed sitting alone letting the world go by while nature plays its tune, a tune that I’m more in tune with myself than the rushing about of everyday life. Sometimes it’s like nature telling me to “take it easy and slow down.”

I didn’t have to do anything for week three’s experiment because it’s something I already do but it made me reflect on one of the good things I do on a daily basis; trying to eat healthy and cooking from fresh. The experiment gave me a chance to doff my cap to myself and the greatest positive step I made in 2015. So although I didn’t feel the need to take part I still felt good about the experiment and got something positive out of it.

Week four was very interesting because my negative view of digital notifications (especially mobile phones) has definitely changed. Not from just the experiment but also from reading the other blogs. I used to be scathing about the ‘mobile-phone-toting-generation’ but now I can see their point of view. However I still haven’t got a mobile phone yet.

I’ve enjoyed reading the other bloggers and the way they have dealt with Chris’ experiments because they are people with different perspectives and lifestyles than mine and yet more often than not I can take something from their experiences. When I met the other bloggers in January at Chris’s ‘Great Wake Up’ meet up in London there was a real positive energy about them and us collectively. In fact the whole room was a buzz. It would be great to meet up with them again later in the year to talk and reconnect with them in maybe a less formal place.

As for the other reflections Chris has asked us to think about; this year I hope to get healthier not just in body but in mind too. Because of the physical and dietary changes I made in 2015 health-wise I had a fantastic year. It was the first rung on a ladder that I hope will make me live a happier life. My mind on the other hand needs more attention paid to it. I genuinely don’t know what’s stopping me from taking up meditation or yoga. I am still searching for direction. Like the Small Faces it’s ‘all or nothing’ for me. I don’t want to start something that is a waste of my time. I probably need to give myself a kick up the bum for inspiration. Why don’t I start drawing again or take up painting? Why don’t I learn to play the guitar or start a film club? These are all things I know I could do and would love to do but something holds me back and I think its fear of failure. But there is the rub.

I also hope to put down some roots this year. I hope I decide to stamp my feet firmly in some ground and feel I belong there. I have been to so many great places throughout the United Kingdom and fell in love with many of them but there was always something missing or not adding up. Maybe the problem is I’m searching for Shangri-La. Searching too hard, looking for something that doesn’t exist. Maybe all I need to do is find peace in myself. But where would that lead to, a different road with great change and one that there was no coming back from? Am I just scared of losing what I do have; a safe job with benefits that doesn’t always make me happy and a partner who has shared my life for the last two decades who I truly love but struggle to work out if I’m an healthy thing in her life or not. And you better believe it I do love her. Maybe I need to relax more and take things a little lighter. After all I am comedy genius (honest, ahem). Was that the secret, to relax more and take it easy?

My reflections were conjuring up lots of deep thoughts. I would love to find some confidence and defiance to my own insecurities which have always held me back. Could this be the year I put two fingers up to them? Only time will tell. But these were my honest reflections this week. From the outside it was probably clear the route to my happiness lay in me finding some TRUTH and having the confidence to take it with both hands and do something positive with it. “Mark it’s time to wake up!” I scream at myself. And yet once again I look around for somewhere to wait for just a little longer while letting another day slip by while sipping my Chinese tea.

Inside the comedy genius sniggers at me and asks me; “Did I tell you the one about…”

Sometimes we are our own worst enemies.

Mark Cuddy

Someone who learned to wake up


Go to the profile of Fiona Dolben
almost 6 years ago
First of all I am sorry for the loss of your Nan. It is a wonder how strong we become when faced with loss. I wish you luck with her goodbye and the eulogy I think it is a mark of your love for her. I can relate so much to what you have said, about being held back from things we wish to do for fear of what...? failure? Here's to cracking that fear this year.
Go to the profile of Jacqui
over 5 years ago
Thanks for this Mark. It sounds as if this experience has been positive and profound. So sorry about your nan.