Monday, 9 January 2017

Heights, Hearts and Hollows

Day 41 (Tuesday 10th January 2017)

41% spike in hate crimes motivated by race or religion, occurred in the UK
following the EU referendum. Home Office dat shows a marked increase of more
than 2/5ths in July 2016 compared to July 2015. This appears to be linked to a
rise in anti-immigration sentiment, although it is also possible that the increase is
due in part to victims being more inclined to contact the police to report
crimes than perhaps they would have in 2015.

On this day in 1920 the League of Nations was founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended World War One. In many ways, this seems apt given that today's writer is, in my and many people's minds, a true global citizen who wants a better world for all. Trevor Black, the author of today's post, is an inspirational man. He is academically gifted, having qualified as an actuary before becoming valued as a talented portfolio manager and financial analyst, working both in South Africa and Europe. He then made a conscious decision to leave the financially rewarding environment of corporate life to pursue his passions. He is artistic and creative - I have enjoyed attending art exhibitions and admiring his highly textured oils; his writing speaks for itself. Trevor writes a daily blog on happiness and learning Swartdonkey which has occasional guest posts. He is gathering stories from people he knows and meets about how to overcome obstacles to creativity and composing his own.

Trevor was born and raised in South Africa, but now he lives in the beautiful Cotswolds in the UK. As well as being active and mindful (diet, yoga, and attitude are important to him), he is curious and a thinker. The main themes he is interested in and writes about are: 

You can follow him on Twitter (his handle is @trevorblack


“Heights, Hearts and Hollows”

We are forgetful. I often need, and find, reminding just how fragile life is. Reminding how much care we need to put into the things that matter to us. Being forgetful helps focus our attention. We can’t worry about everything, and still do anything worthwhile. Understanding how we function can give the perspective needed to make sure we don’t wander off, and forget the things that matter. Daniel Kahneman talks about our Experiencing and Remembering selves. We experience each moment, if we are paying attention, but we tend to remember according to the Peak-End rule. The heights the experience reached and the way it concluded. We don’t add, or average, each and every moment. The story we live, and the story we lived hold each other with a light touch.

Like a delicate path of breadcrumbs as we wander into the unknown, our hearts provide the connections back to what matters. 

Edward Colarik Hearts Sculpture Blue

We remember things that have meaning to us. We create that meaning by caring. We are trigger happy. If we have an emotional response to something – anger, humour, disgust, and love – it forges a link to other memories. 

The more connections of the heart we make, the less likely we are to get lost as strange beasts of the night nibble away at the tasty morsels we have left behind.

The real flavour of life can lie in the hollows. Hidden from the easy path. The cavities, craters, caves and crannies caused by the drama and pain we encounter. If we share our struggles with others, they add depth to those connections.  Then each struggle adds a layer of strength that increases our capacity to engage the unknown. Each struggle overcome builds our confidence.

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, Bt, 'Sisyphus', Tate

Our Experiencing and Remembering selves weave through the heights, hearts and hollows of our story. The more that story is shared, the more flavour lingers on the air connecting each bite we take.

Hand loomed, Persian Tree of Life tapestry

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