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Life Lessons from Body and Soul.....Part 2

john graham

Sorry Im a little later than promised in my previous blog.  A combination of lack of electricity,   wi-fi and procrastination got to me. At least I'll be able write about procrastination with lots of experience in future blogs ;-)

I'm currently sitting in a cafe on the front of Strandhill after consuming 3 scoops of ice cream and a bottle of Coke so if this mail gets a little hyper theres the reason!  Ocht I thought I deserved it after a long run this morning, yin and yang and all that.

So this blog is the second part of my Life Lessons from Body and Soul.  I got some really great mails from some of you who read the first one regarding the addition of video and tunes.  So I was planning to do a bit of a mix for you to listen to while reading this but lack of electricity in the house means I didn't manage it.  On the plus side though that means this blogs tunes come from my former house mates who were playing at Body and Soul, the life affirming Ships!  So stick this on while your reading though the rest of this (and I challenge you to see if you can stop your toes from tapping while doing so).

Caring for others

The amount of people I saw help friends and complete strangers was really heartwarming.  Whether that was checking in on those who had overindulged, offering water, or just offering to include people, who were on their own, into their crowd.  One example of this which has stuck with me since I first moved to Ireland happened at its big brother/sister Electric Picnic.  I had turned up on my own and realised the new tent I had bought was WAY bigger than expected.  As soon as I lay the thing out I realised this was way too big a job for one man (well me anyway).  To add to the difficultly factor a sudden wind blew up & it started to lash rain.  Everyone who had been sitting outside their tents was now within the blinking of an eye safely indoors.  I was left having my first experience of kite surfing with poles and material taking a life of its own in the gale, everything getting soaked! 

Then out of the monsoon two guys jumped out of their tents clad head to foot in wet gear.  They said they had seen me struggling and wanted to help.  First thing they gave me was a can a beer then the three of us got the thing up quick smart.  I'd never met them before & they refused any reward I could offer (cans again).  Now they may have not taken anything from me but they would have got a bit of Helpers High for sure.

Alan Luks first coined the phrase 'Helpers High' in his book "The Healing Power of Doing Good".  It relates to when ever we do a good dead theres a rush of endorphins produced to give a euphoric feeling which then gives way to feeling of wellbeing.

In an ariticle in Psychology Today they reported "People who volunteer tend to experience fewer aches and pains. Giving help to others protects overall health twice as much as aspirin protects against heart disease. People 55 and older who volunteer for two or more organizations have an impressive 44 percent lower likelihood of dying—and that’s after sifting out every other contributing factor, including physical health, exercise, gender, habits like smoking, marital status, and many more. This is a stronger effect than exercising four times a week or going to church; it means that volunteering is nearly as beneficial to our health as quitting smoking!"

Lets hope them lads experienced recognised and experienced that buzz and the benefits.

Don't make a drama out of a situation

We were blessed with the weather at the festival, the sun was beating down for the whole weekend.  Yet today (outside festival land)  I heard people moaning because it was too warm, yesterday it was too changeable.

I've always noticed at festivals because people have generally made the decision to enjoy themselves, it doesn't matter what the weather, people will cope (saying that gimmie sunshine any day).  If it's raining they put on wellies & waterproofs, if its sunny they strip off and slap on the lotion (well most do, I saw some total lobster dudes walking around).  They adapt and get on with it,  because they have their attention on the intention of having fun.

I also saw a good few people walking around with broken bits (I even managed a wee fracture myself).  Whether these breaks happened before or during the festival I don't know.  What I do know is the ones I had seen had made the decision to make the best of things and stay out & enjoy.

Too often we can blame our situation for how we feel but the situation is never to blame.  Its always the thoughts and emotions we have, and the judgements we make about them, that determines the experience we have 100% of the time.  Yes crappy things happen but we will experience them and deal with them in completely different ways depending on the thoughts and feelings we associate and filter the situation through.  If this wasn't the case then we would all feel the same about everything.

What I would add is that these people genuinely want to have a good time, it's not forced.  They genuinely want to make the best of the situation.  My real hope (and I count myself in this) is that they remembered this and not just forgot it when they ventured out of the exit when it was time to leave.  

All these observations happen all around us all of the time.  Its just about being aware and prioritising them as much as we remember.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on these Life Lessons and which are important to you.  Either leave a comment below or drop me a mail.

Take it easy and make it easy

John :-) x