Posted in blogging, Daily muse, Inspiration, mindfullness, Writing

PERSPECTIVE

Having a broken arm has given me a new perspective.

It’s like anything that is forced upon us-we have no choice but to adapt. When catapulted head first into a rotten situation for which we had no warning, we learn. We learn how to cope when we find ourselves in unexplored territory. We learn about the words insecure and vulnerable and fearful and lost.

However in my reflection over the past weeks, I believe the lesson we learn that is of most value to the human spirit, is the incredible ability of ‘us’ to find strength. It comes. It may take a while, but it comes. Sure, we may never be the same person again, but we’re not supposed to be. We are destined to experience life in its fullest form and that involves forced change.

Now, a broken arm is by no stretch of the imagination a life changing experience. For me however,  it has forced me to consider the other side of the coin. Forced me to understand I am more than a bunch of arms and legs. Forced me to realise falling into complacency is a natural tendency, but it is completely temporary. Life will never remain the same for us, it simply can’t, but it is absolutely inevitable strength will find us, and we will grow through change, and flourish as we revel in the realisation that there is so much more to ‘us’ than we ever imagined.

I had my cast taken off yesterday. This was a revelation. I never contemplated  it could be worse than loafing around with an extra accessory for 5 weeks unable to use my dominant arm, drive, work, or exercise as I used to-It was. I now have no cast, but staring me in the face is an arm that looks roughly like it used to, with limited function. Why won’t it move? Why can’t I touch my face? Why does it feel so stiff it reminds me of rigor mortis and lying in a coffin?  It is not the same arm as before-just like that, in one awkward, unfortunate, accidental moment.

It is temporary, and this conversation is purely a euphemism for moments more life impacting, but it’s a lesson all the same. I am finding a new me. I am understanding that life is hard sometimes, and we are dished out stuff we didn’t ask for that perhaps we’d quite happily hand back, and it is full of resentment, and guilt and anger and questions and we are physically fragile, but oh, the human spirit is strong.

-And it becomes all the more powerful when we let go of the fight and accept that the only way around, is through.

Disrupt

Posted in Elephant Journal, Inspiration, Published work, Stories, Writing

My Four Walls

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Where do I feel the most comfortable?

What do I love?

My four Walls

and

Writing about them…

‘The worn shutters hang faded and broken, but all I see are a decade of sweet seasons, bursting into life as they penetrate my windows, and shed their light.’

 

Published in

THE ELEPHANT JOURNAL

Author

Nicole Martin

My four walls. My palace. My private sanctuary.

This is where I am who I am. Where the mask is peeled off, where the walls that surround me, see me uncensored, in my most natural state.

It’s behind these walls that my soul is anchored.

A shiny silver spider web glistens in the sunlight and dances with the breeze outside.

I can see it, right there within an arms reach, gripping for dear life to my lounge room window.

I really should clean it away—perhaps I’ll leave it there a little longer—for what is a window, without a web?- A lifeless piece of glass.

The worn shutters hang faded and broken, but all I see are a decade of sweet seasons, bursting into life as they penetrate my windows, and shed their light.

The walls, splashed with scuff marks could do with a paint, but all I see are two little boys, full of the joys of life, crashing into them with sheer delight. Smudging their dirty shoes, school bags and food filled fingers obliviously across their cream coloured surface, with a beautiful sense of childlike freedom.

All I see is my much loved furry companion collapsing against these walls, his tongue falling out of his mouth, gasping for air after he’s run with the wind, and sniffed and played and chased tennis balls, all afternoon with his family. The wall, serving as a support for his well exercised bones.

The tiles are dated—but they’ve had my children’s footprints growing on them for days and weeks and years. They’ve carried the weight of their childhood, as they’ve metamorphosed from babies to young lads, one fast growing step after another. An invisible canvas, warmly holding in its possession, the history of a zillion footsteps.

The washing machine is tired and rusty, but I am thankful for its hard work. Tirelessly, it throws around our laundry, that bares the evidence. The evidence of our existence. Our clothes are clad with experiences. Spillage of a blissful coffee had with friends, sweat from a wicked workout, dirt, spare coinage, pens forgotten in pockets, buttons that have escaped, grass on white shirts, mouldy towels, wet shoes from camp. It labours, to wash the memories clean, so that we may make more.

Six million pairs of well worn shoes lay strewn at my front door. Each one telling its own unique story. A long stroll on the beach? A grueling training session? A trip to the park? A holiday miles from home? They belong there, exactly as they fell, in perfect disorder.

The front door key, it sticks.

We should probably fix that—but one click to the left, one small lean to the right, push the glass just a tiny little bit, and it opens. Like clockwork. The answer lies within the secret code and that’s all we need.

The passageway is adorned with old wedding photos. Moments of the past boxed in a frame, to remind us that we have lived. I haven’t looked at them for so long, I’d almost forgotten they were there. Oh look, there’s Granny, and Mum and Dad in their younger years, all spruced up, smiling at me, as they hang up there. They are leaning, the wire that carries them is a little off centre. A tiny adjustment, and they are perfect, once again.

My favourite couch is sinking into its boots, but it is still warm from where the dog took up position a few minutes ago. He sleeps blissfully unconscious on many an occasion, in that very spot. It’s a place to rest our weary heads after a long day, a sick bed for the unwell, a front row seat at the movies, a meeting place for family discussions, a stand-in trampoline, a secret hiding spot, and centre stage for the wrestling match of a lifetime, that echoes the laughter and giggles of ages.

The aged dining room table has mismatched chairs, but all I see is the heart. The heart that beats to the drum of time. It has hosted many a nail biting card game, precious stories told only once, celebrations, dinners and banter, it’s where secrets and grievances have been revealed and dealt with, timetables learned, it’s seen Christmas dinners, Easter egg feasts, and fairy bread and chocolate crackles for umpteen sequential years.

I look around me, and quietly observe the imperfections inside my four walls. However it occurs to me that it’s the imperfections that contain the most character. It’s the imperfections that make my four walls uniquely mine, that represent a life lived, that represent the growth and uniqueness of my nearest and dearest.

Imperfect? I say perfect.

For the real value, at the end of the day, is not in the four walls themselves

but in the life lived behind them.

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In response to the Daily Post’s

Money for Nothing

Posted in blogging, Inspiration, My mantra's, Quotations

Opportunity or Obligation?

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‘If your effort is low, you’re probably not thinking about the opportunity-

You’re thinking about the obligation’

-Jaret Grossman, Eric Thomas

About Nicole Martin

Social now means Internet

To My Boy

Red

Posted in blogging, Inspiration, mindfullness, My wordpress, Wordpress prompts, Writing

Do not spend your life’s entirety engaged in thoughts of What if’s, If only’s, and I should have’s.

‘People will become, who they are told they are-and moments will become, what you believe them to be.’

Author

Nicole Martin

Today really IS just another day. You know those days? I have them often- A common, ordinary,  deja vu , bland,  kind of day?

The weather is standard for this time of year.

I have the same clothes on as I did last week.

My dog lies curled up on the couch, where he normally lies, with the same sulky expression on his face.

The housework is there as it was yesterday still waiting to be attended to- I see it, process the thought -“Darn it, I really should put that washing away”-and embark on something more pleasurable knowing it will still be there tomorrow.

Is this acceptable, I wonder?

Is it acceptable that my day is ‘Just another day?’

Am I wasting my time?

Sometimes it bothers me.

Sometimes, I wonder whether I should be trying to make it spectacular in some way.

Whether I’m selling my life short because I’m not jumping out of a plane, or sipping some exotic beverage in Cuba, adorned with a little pink umbrella.

Should I be filling my days with ‘bucket list’ plans and setting challenging goals to prove to myself  I’m not just a standard person, who is stuck in a standard day?

I mean, do I need to embark on saving  an endangered species from extinction to make my day count?

Would I have less worth as a human being if I wasn’t teaching English to orphaned children in Siberia,  or feeding the homeless, or participating in Yoga lead by a Budhist Monk in the mountain peaks of Tibet?

I often ponder these questions as I sit in my ordinary study, ‘stuck’-it would seem- inside the bubble of an ordinary day.

As quickly as they came, the questions in my mind concerning the validity of my perceived mediocrity vanished as my attention was redirected-for a moment-to a little Ant who bravely believed he could walk right over my left hand and get away with it.

“Do you mind Ant?” I asked him

He carried on, completely unperturbed by the possibility of his impending death.

I watched and wondered what he was doing as he stealthily skimmed the surface of my skin, weaving in between my veins and negotiating a path through my fine hair. Perhaps he had been told to collect some food for dinner? Or to grab some supplies to reinforce the delicate structure of his home?

Why do I write of the Ant? What is it’s relevance?

Good question.

Initially, my mind was delighted to inform me that I was a mediocre person experiencing a standard day, with little or nothing to enjoy.

Along came an Ant, and instantly, these self produced thoughts were replaced by the simple delight in observing the funny little antics of nature.

So is one’s sense of mediocrity simply a state of mind self-perpetuated by societal or self-driven judgements?

I think so.

One will be ‘bored’ or ‘standard’ or ‘mediocre’ if one believes it to be the case.

I believe there IS merit in ‘Striving for excellence.’ However in order achieve this, we must fill ourselves with the knowledge that we are ALWAYS so much more than we believe.

That every single moment in our lives is interesting, spectacularly unique and overflowing with possibility and second chances- until the day we die.

It is never, ever too late to realise there is no such thing as a standard day.

Each day is new.

Each day is a gift.

The ‘Labeling’ of an individual-or a moment-as mediocre is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

People will become, who they are told they are-and moments will become, what you believe them to be.

Do not spend your life’s entirety engaged in thoughts of

What if’s, If only’s, and I should have’s.

Instead, focus on what you are doing RIGHT NOW- and relish in the gift of living an extra ordinary life.

Oh, and just one little thing-never underestimate the value of an Ant!

“We are all ordinary. We are all boring. We are all spectacular. We are all shy. We are all bold. We are all heroes. We are all helpless. It just depends on the day.”

-Brad Meltzer

Just Another Day-WordPress Prompt

Posted in blogging, Deep, Inspiration, Leadership, Writing

TELL YOUR STORY

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‘The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.’

– Michelangelo

 

ON WRITING

Author
Nicole Martin
Aim high.
Believe in yourself.
Persevere.
Be willing for people to be indifferent.
Be willing for people to dislike you.
Be willing for people to adore you.
Be numb to their choice.
Put in 100%.
Maintain your authenticity.
Be real.
Speak your truth.
Nurture simplicity.
Have confidence.
Ask yourself how badly you want it, and then take the necessary steps to move forward.
Don’t forget why you do this.
Be passionate.
Don’t write it-Live it.
Feel-Feel-Feel-Feel, and then put down your pen. Don’t write, but feel.
Be compassionate.
Be encouraging.
Be supportive.
Pay it forward.
Be personal.
Commit to making a difference.
Be a leader.
Be genuine.
Be trustworthy.
Be warm.
Be kind.
Take command of your Domain.
Be definitive.
Have resolve.
Write what you live.
Respect the intelligence of your reader.
Write-then omit half your words.
Maintain clarity or you’ll lose them in your words and not your story.
Read, learn, challenge your brain cells.
-and most importantly
Always, always, always…no matter what happens-
Have the ability to laugh at yourself.
Life is not really that serious-in all honesty.
It’s simply a means to a similar end.
You ARE your attitude.
So write.
-No, don’t write
Feel.
 Photo credit: lyman erskine via Foter.com / CC BY
Posted in blogging, exercise, fitness, Inspiration, My wordpress, Physical fitness, Sport, Stories, Writing

Resentful or Driven?-The battle of two minds

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‘This morning, it was all about finding the strength to endure the bitter- in order to taste the sweet.’

 Resentful or Driven?

The battle of two minds

Author

Nicole Martin

💎

The resentful me tastes the bitter but not the sweet when the alarm clock prematurely kicks me out of bed.

It’s 0500 HRS.

‘Come on- swallow it babe, are you a man or a mouse?’

‘A mouse!’

‘Well put your shoes on mouse, grab your towel, and walk out the door’

Today, my driven self is determined to slam it’s weaker opponent into checkmate.
How does it happen this way?
I don’t know- My desire to be ‘better’ has always exceeded my resentment of the task.
 Sometimes I wish this ‘drive’ would relent and allow me to relax, but it’s because of IT, that I get up and walk out the door, swimming kit in hand.
The short journey to training proves challenging-my reaction time clearly sluggish;
“Geez, wake up girl- Somebody slap me”-my mind pleads

Resentful me re-appears after a short recess, when it observes we are not alone but have company of a distinct astrological nature.
Still pinned brilliantly in the night sky, the radiant moon is a terrible reminder that it is in fact-

‘STILL NIGHTTIME’

🌛✨

The chill in the air stings my bare feet, and solidifies the frown on my face. Yikes, an army of goosebumps stand to attention on the surface of my skin, proudly announcing their presence.

My reaction?

My foot deepens it’s relationship with the accelerator.

Resentment once again obscures clarity but my ‘driven self’ quickly engages, utilising yet another tool in it’s repertoire-the art of  distraction-I twist the black nob of the car radio and am instantly greeted by an old man drowning in intellect and steadfast opinions, babbling on about the economic situation in China in monotone waves-I mean, where do you find these people?

I hobble bare foot over the cold, rocky gravel-my tactile feet once cozy and relaxed from slumber are now uncomfortably awake as they negotiate the edgy footpath.

I pick up the pace in aim of expediting the whole process.

The quicker I’m in, the quicker I’m out.

The water is cool at first- but a good old fashioned whinge, a few laboured laps, and I quickly adjust.

Familiarity strikes as I re-acquaint myself with the black and the blue.

My body is heavy.

My form of a few months ago, all but gone, but I know, discipline will regain it.

Making a home outside the perimeter of comfort, cursing the darkness, resenting the alarm clock, facing the constant urge to give up, and enduring the battle between two very different states of mind- resentment and drive, is all part of the Journey toward achievement.

This morning, it was all about finding the strength to endure the bitter- in order to taste the sweet.

 

Life After Blogs

Word press Daily Prompt

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Matyas Dinai Bandi Graepel