Tag Archives: multi-tasking

Got a pile of manure? Look for the donkey!

I very frequently apply the insight from my donkey story to whatever life experiences I am currently facing. This is a story about research conducted with two boys. One was placed in a room full of toys and the other was placed in a room full of manure and they were left alone for the day. When the researchers returned, they went first to the boy with all the toys and as they neared his door they heard him crying, when they asked him why he replied that the toys were broken and he was bored. As they neared the boy with the manure they expected it to be even worse, but at the door they heard whistling and singing and scraping sounds, intrigued they opened the door to see him busily digging away. ‘What are you doing?’ they asked – ‘With all this manure’ the boy replied, ‘There must be a donkey close by, and I want to find him!’ The moral of this story is that life may give you a big pile of manure at times, so dig for the donkey; there always is one if you look carefully!

Recently I experienced my very first hospital visit and major surgery and this was scheduled to happen while my husband was away in Australia for four weeks!

Manure? Donkey gifts!

Manure? Donkey gifts!

I started to look for the donkey (donkeys) in this situation! And I found several! May I introduce them to you, with the hope they may also serve you at some time in your life:

  1.   The power of future planning 

I thought it could be quite easy to slip into worry, dread and fear of the impending operation, especially being on my own. Each day, as I did my Mind Chi Basic 8 minute routine:  https://www.mindchi.com/mind-chi-basic-8-steps/  I really concentrated on Step 7 – Future 24 hour planning and how to BE for the things I had to do. What are the most helpful emotions in such a situation? For me it was trust in the medical professionals, knowing everyone wanted me to be well, curiosity at this new adventure, maintaining my sense of humour, keeping open and receptive and seeing myself well and thriving.

Not only did I do my Mind Chi Basic 8 several times a day, really focusing on Step 7, but if EVER a doubt or fear crept in, I quickly replaced it with what I wanted. I did this for a week. Even on the night before as I was alone, I was very pleased to discover that I was feeling fine. A friend dropped me at the hospital and I sat waiting on my own for the five hours as people came in and out to get me prepared, I was delighted (and a bit surprised, I have to confess) that I felt no fear or apprehension. I was open, curious and involved right up to the moment when I was excited about going through the theatre doors (as you see on TV) but slipped unconscious just before! That attitude was maintained all through the hospital stay and the 11 days at home alone and to this day.

Donkey # 1.  – Have you found that you may ‘know’ something and then an experience allows you to get to ‘know’ it at an altogether higher level? The potency of future planning your emotional state for the next 24 hours is incredibly empowering. Donkey # 1 is going to be a well treasured and worked donkey as I employ this emotional muscle!

  1.   A new time perspective – be a mono-tasker!

I am usually a person of fairly high energy levels from waking to sleep, I have several things on the go and practice time and motion, carry two items, rather than making two trip and now I can’t!

I must listen to my body and rest it quite frequently. And I do. What was fascinating (to me!) is that I consider more what needs to be done and how it would best be done BEFORE I leap in to do it. Then with concentration I do just that one thing.

To my surprise, as I toted up what I had achieved at the end of a day, it was impressive – AND it felt gentle! That was an eye opener!

Donkey # 2. – I KNOW that multi-tasking is a poor use of your brain’s control and leads to several jobs being done in an inferior way, now I also know it saps your time and energy and you will be far MORE effective, relaxed and energised mono-tasking, not multi-tasking! Donkey # 2 will help me to remember to be more gracious in my time use – I shall have ‘Donkey time’!

  1.   There is always a way!

Success – I had made myself my first cup of tea at home, great!
Problem – I can’t stand for long and I can’t carry a cup with two crutches!
Solution – put a rucksack on my front and slip a lidded coffee mug into the front pouch!

This was my first time to manage on crutches and I suddenly realised how difficult many simple jobs become. The whole day was riddled with simple tasks that I would normally do without a second thought, suddenly nearly stumping me.
And IF it could fall on the floor (I may not bend) it seems it WOULD do so!

However, one by one, I was able to work out a solution and do everything I wanted or needed to do.

Donkey # 3. – It is good to be challenged. Sometimes life becomes a little repetitive and it is all worked out from previous experiences, so to be faced with many different situations was interesting. I looked at each like a game at the fair – how can I win the prize with THIS one??!! And my prize was even better than a teddy bear in that it was the feeling of satisfaction you achieve when you have solved the problem. Donkey # 3 showed me that there is ALWAYS a way!

  1.    Heightened appreciation 

Probably because I am going a little slower, I find my appreciation of nearly everything is greatly enhanced. A shower feels amazing; when the lovely ladies from the ‘Re-ablement’ Service came to assist me (what a super program, shout out for them) and were drying between my toes, I discovered how ticklish I am, we were both roaring with laughter- great way to start the day! The wonderful friends who visited, helped, chatted, sent flowers and cards and supported me was deeply touching and appreciated. That cup of tea, sitting in my garden, even sitting up in bed looking out at the trees waving in the breeze – heavenly! Most of all, life itself, all the opportunities that stretch before me, how thoughtful and considerate people are, very refreshing when the media makes you sometimes feel otherwise about human-kind.

Donkey # 4. – Mind Chi Step 8 is one minute of Gratitude, so every day I do have at least one minute, plus just knowing that you will have that minute helps you to focus and remember all those little (and big) things you may wish to recall. Well, now I have to extend that minute (and as it is the last one, I just drift into a happy, grateful reverie) so I may pack in all my gratitudes. Thank you Donkey # 4 you are on my Gratitude map every day!



8 life lessons from gooseberry picking!

8 lessons from gooseberry picking!

8 lessons from gooseberry picking! 

Before you begin, ask yourself if you LOVE gooseberries (or what you will do with them)  because if not, you may quit and feel a ‘failure’.
Lesson 1 –  There is NO substitute for loving what you do; the reward of purpose fulfilled is boundless and the possibility of ‘success’ far greater.

Background information: It is a small gooseberry bush, less than a meter (3 feet) round, yet it contained 71/2 pounds (3.5Kg) of gooseberries! Note – Size is not an indicator of productivity!

Next, it is very easy to be pricked! The thorns are very fine and sharp and hide under leaves.
Lesson 2 – There is often some form of pain involved in any endeavour and the greater the personal investment the sweeter the success tastes.

The gooseberries are masters of disguise, they hide under leaves.
Lesson 3 – Things are not always what they seem, keep your goal firmly in mind and do not be put off.

Gooseberry picking cannot be performed quickly. You will increase the likelihood of being pricked
Lesson 4 – Sometimes slower is faster! Definitely total concentration is a benefit. NO multi-tasking!!

When you think you are done, just take a different perspective and you will see lots more!
Lesson 5 – It is important to look at whatever you create from different angles both literally and figuratively.

It is amazing how quickly your bowl of picked gooseberries fills up!
Lesson 6 – Take a moment to see how far you have come, a balance of focus on the goal and appreciation of where you started.

Then the gooseberries need ‘topping and tailing’! (Removal of the stalk and flower)
Lesson 7 – ‘The devil lies in the details’ – this ‘small’ job makes all the difference to the finished product.

To cook or eat raw? This is your next big decision, or maybe do some of both.
Lesson 8 – You are close to your just rewards, Now it is most important to make the time to ENJOY all your hard work and what you have achieved.

These 8 Gooseberry Lessons are all enhanced by the daily routine of the 8 steps of the Mind Chi Basic routine, for Mind Chi sessions and mentoring to overcome the strain of stress and build your resilience, please contact Vanda@MindChi.com