Friday Four No.10

 

Each Friday, I share “Four Things For Friday” that are a collection of things I’ve seen, heard, or experienced during the week. Thoughtfully chosen, and intended to spark your curiosity, imagination, or inspiration. HAPPY EXPLORING!

 
 
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What did the start of the week teach me?

Celebration. That celebrating makes the world of difference.

I was reminded this week how important it is to celebrate life, our moments, our achievements, the way we come together as human-beings and how rich our lives become when we find ways of connecting with each other. Being curious about each other, and taking time to spend time in company with the people we care about.

Further still, everyday, I am finding businesses and meeting people who are either wanting to, or already are celebrating each other. The projects they’ve accomplished, the work they’ve achieved together, and the people that they are.

Our brain chemistry makes it easy for us to be negative - with an 8:1 ratio favoring negativity. Or in other words for every positive thought you have, you’ll have 8 negative ones. It means that in many cases we naturally see and focus in on negativity, and many of the messages we receive on a daily basis reinforce those negative thoughts - news insights, advertising, social media; reminding us of things going wrong in the world, or things we don’t have, or should have, or should be. It’s exhausting! No wonder our brains find it easier to focus in on negative things.

So, it’s important for us to remind, not only ourselves, but each other of the good things, to help our brains reconnect along the paths that re-ignite messages of positivity. When we do, we are more creative, more engaged with our own life, have more fun, experience more of life, achieve more well-being, and are able to ride the storms when they come in a different way.

How do you celebrate in your life?

 
 
 
The French Quarter. Charleston, SC.

Why did I pinch myself?

Skylines: Living in New York City is a dream for many people, even Just to visit is something many wonder about and would give anything to come and see it for themselves. Equally, many people also have no desire to visit or live here at all. Either way, it’s a place that has stories to tell and creates conversation around the world.

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When I was little, I didn’t know what New York was, or where it was. America was just this big country that sold trainers and jeans and had a giant mouse called Mickey. That was about the size of my understanding of the U.S.

“Friends” introduced me to New York City in the mid 90s, and perhaps subconsciously I imagined living there but didn’t think for a second I actually would. “Sex and the City” then added weight to the wonder of this place, and so when the opportunity presented itself to move here I had to think about it for all of 3 seconds before saying “YES!” I was curious, and I wanted to experience what this big city had to offer.

After 14 years, I am still deeply grateful to be here and still have moments where I pinch myself. Blue sky and no clouds is one of those such moments!

The breathtaking cityscapes never get old. To me, they offer a glimpse into the lives of millions before, now, and in the future. From the people that dreamt these structures, designed them, built them, and have lived and worked in them, to those that currently do, and to those that will. This eco-system of bustling energy, of millions of people doing all sorts of different things, all with different beliefs and values, all looking different to each other, and all figuring life out in their own way, yet we all come together under this tapestry of concrete, glass, steel, and wood as our backdrop, and stage, for life.

The continual, evolving place that it is offers hassle-free moving. You can stay put and everything around you moves. You wake up one morning and your favorite restaurant has gone and it’s now a store, or the building you loved to visit is sold, flattened, and a new structure is now being constructed in its place. A city of perpetual change and yet a place that welcomes you into its fold and offers you views to absorb and enjoy on a daily basis - if you’re willing to notice them and make them your own.

 
 
 
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Who did I think of this week?

Memories. On Thursday I found myself at the memorial of 9/11.

I am always touched in different ways when I visit the memorial. Sometimes it’s just overwhelming to me, other times I choose not to feel because it’s too much, other times I allow a tear to roll. Each time it’s different. The sheer emotion of remembering and recalling that most horrific day and the aftermath that has impacted us around the world in so many ways is hard to truly put into words. It’s also so personal for each of us for different reasons and the response is a very personal one.

This week’s visit, for me, was different. I have not taken a photograph here before of the names, or the reflecting pools specifically, somehow I just didn’t feel able to do so, yet this week Linda made a difference to me.

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Of the many details and care that went into respectfully and sensitively creating, designing and building what is here today, one detail that always stands out to me is how when one individual that lost their life has a birthday, a white rose is placed on their name.

It’s a beautiful tribute in my mind, a way to draw in close to one of the 2,606 who lost their life in one of the towers that day. A way to remember them and pay special attention to who they were, and their mark in the world.

I found myself drawn to Linda Ivelisse Rivera’s memory. I wondered about Linda, about who she was, and on deciding that I wanted to learn more a google search revealed Linda was just 26 when she passed away. I wondered still more about who she was, where she worked, what she might have been doing today, and who her family were. I wondered if through such a deep tragedy whether a sense of healing had occurred for her family and friends, or whether the pain was still so intense. I hoped for the healing. I didn’t know Linda, but I found myself feeling grateful for being drawn to her name, to think about her, to remember her, and how in that moment she was making a difference to my life today.

As the 18th anniversary draws near, I find myself remembering all those who lost their lives on 9/11.

 

Which TED Talk did I appreciate?

Raymond Tang - Be humble: and other lessons from the philosophy of water.

Raymond shared a super set of reminders about life, particularly when it’s moving fast and is constantly changing.

My most favorite reminder was how when water comes up against rock it doesn’t fight or force, it just glides around or by the rock. That awkward person in your life or at work, that difficult situation, that frustrating friend, that hard thing you don’t know how to solve for. Maybe the lesson is to be more like water. Water is constantly evolving, moving, changing and adjusting with flexibility to what it faces.

It’s a nice encouragement to keep flowing and moving, to move gracefully, working with whatever is in front of you, and to keep moving forward.

Here’s to you, your weekend, and whatever you are doing. May you move effortlessly and presently with it.