I’ve just reblogged this post from my Picture The Maze site. Enjoy.

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Desafinado

When this picture was taken, I could see there was a sense of loneliness and misfortune about the scene. The fact that this little piece of nature found itself on man-made ground and not soil, brought up a few thoughts that warranted a blog post.

Firstly, it made me think of how we sometimes find ourselves in environments not meant for us. The branch is organic, standing on inorganic material. There’s no connection except that which proximity has allowed, and there’s (at least at first glance) no purpose that could ever justify this unlikely encounter. The branch will never become a part of the solid ground when it dies, and neither will the concrete ever supply the branch with nutrients to live and grow.

The branch here has found itself in a place that will never change after its gone; a place that will only allow temporary memories to last until they are literally swept away. It’s completely incompatible with its current environment in a way that’s irreconcilable.

This reality makes it a true standalone, able to operate outside of a network or system. The tragedy however, is that it can only be this way for so long, and then it dies. A branch can’t live disconnected from its natural source for long.

The second part, the misfortune, is that this little branch didn’t decide to fall here. Factors around it were at play in ways that were not predictable, and resulted in this situation. Wind, site of the tree, and even the human decision to build in that place, all played a part in making this happen. Nobody can say “why”, we just know ” that’s how it happened.

We find ourselves in these situations sometimes: being in a place that somehow, whether immediately or eventually, we know we don’t belong. It’s strange and new, but worst of all, at some point it seems futile. We can’t understand why we’re there…but we’re there.

Most times though, it starts off feeling like something’s happening, like there’s rhyme and reason. Then suddenly you look around you and realise you’re surrounded by concrete, and you’re a branch.

You make the best of it for a while. Maybe even a long while. That’s the part where you decide “while I’m here, I will at least make the most of it”. It’s how you discover your resilience, your inner strength, whether you have enough “fight” left in you to survive.

It won’t kill you per se, but a part of you will always stay on that concrete floor. Something will die. Hopefully it’s just the part of you that needed to change that dies. It could be painful and damaging or painful and building…but something will die on this concrete floor.

All nature dies eventually, but this branch will die alone.

But before it dies, it will Stand…

…alone.

[Camera: Fujifilm Finepix SL310
Edits: Increased vibrancy of the branch, leaving rest of photo unchanged]


idols

Last week, I had the opportunity to be a judge at the auditions of a university’s version of “Idols”. Now, if you don’t know what “Idols” is, then I invite you to please extract yourself from the shell you’re living in. Needless to say, it was a night full of cheers and screaming, singing and not-quite-singing, compliments and criticisms. Exactly as it is on television. Read the rest of this entry »


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Just a quick piece of advice: Ask Others About You!

In your quest to know who you are and what you’re about, introspection is usually given the most weight. Your ability to reflect and ponder on the life you’ve had, your experiences throughout the day, and your emotions, is crucial to gaining any kind of self-knowledge that is helpful to you.

Unfortunately, we all suffer from a crippling dose of self-bias, that automatically adds 10 points to anything you do, to make it seem better, or less worse than it actually is. Read the rest of this entry »


Recently, a few truths have hit me quite hard. A one of those truths is that there are a few things in life we cannot avoid. Try as you may, they will always happen to you, affect you, or even define you. One such inescapable (new favourite word) situation we will all face is CHANGE. Each of us ‘shifts’ in one way or another in every season of our lives. Whether the change is great or unnoticeable, it is going to happen. And there’s nothing you can do to stop it.

But I’m sure you’ve heard statements like “you haven’t changed at all”, or “I’m never gonna change”. Of course such idealistic and unfortunately simplistic noughts and observations really betray what is a fundamental part of any living entity. If you are alive, there’s no way you can’t change. You must change! Heck, if you thought you were undisciplined with your body when you were alive…just wait until you’re dead! Your body can’t wait to deteriorate and decompose. Now, if only we could do that with our weight huh? Read the rest of this entry »


I am a singer. I am a teacher. I am a pastor. I am a writer.

Funny how when you are asked “who are you?”, we tend to default to “what I do”, instead of “who I am”. This has plagued my thinking for all my short life of thirty years, and I’ve added and subtracted so many “I am’s” that you could easily accuse me of having split personalities…with split personalities. Read the rest of this entry »


Enter: New Year’s Resolutions!

This resolution was S.M.A.R.T.!

This resolution was S.M.A.R.T.!

Nothing fascinates me more around this time of year than to hear all the promises being made, and wondering which words were changed from the last time they were made a year ago. “I’m gonna work out” changed to “I’m really gonna work out”! The inclusion of the word “really” was the missing link the year before, and must be the reason it didn’t work out… Pun intended.

Let’s be honest. Your resolutions are probably not going to survive. Life happens. You won’t want to admit it now, but if I posted this in 6 months to check (maybe I’ll do something like that), you’d realise you’re not doing what you had set out to do, and even if things have changed, it wouldn’t be the way you planned.

I’m gonna give you a 3 REASONS WHY YOUR RESOLUTIONS WILL MOST LIKELY FAIL! Yes, I said FAIL! And I’m sure there are far more than just 3 reasons… Read the rest of this entry »

Missed…

Posted: November 6, 2012 in Deeper Things
Tags: , , , ,

But… It says “Pull”..! How the… Huh??

As the year starts to wind down, you begin to reflect on what has happened, what you wish had happened, and for some of us, how we respond to what has happened. It’s all very straightforward really, and is usually a precursor to the famed “New Year’s Resolutions” that we’re so addicted to.

This kind of reflection is important to your progress, as it may reveal things that you can learn from, or clearer ways of defining yourself going into the next stage of your life, whatever that stage may be (new year, new job, new year at the job…). The learning possibilities cannot be overstated. It’s a necessary exercise for the concerned and “living” human being.

One thing I stumbled across in this mental exercise of reviewing my life was this: I missed a lot of opportunities.

Now let me say that it’s impossible to know how good or bad a choice would’ve been, if you never made that choice…but you’ll always wonder. Won’t you?

Well, I know I did.

I realised that there were so many unopened doors in the hallways of my existence. Some had good reason to be closed. Some had warning signs “DO NOT OPEN!!!”. More were closed only because it wasn’t the right time to deal with them (but I still peek once in a while). I’ve even written about “Closed Doors” before!

Yet, with all this definition going on, there were some that were closed for really no reason except that I just didn’t open them. The time came when my journey led me past them, but I never ventured beyond acknowledging the existence of the door. The mere existence of an opportunity.

That’s what each door represents really. Opportunities. And many, if they’re left unopened, can never be opened later. Somehow the handles are broken off and the wood is sandpapered such that there’s no visible way to open them, or get any leverage to pry them open. They are no longer doors, but you know they once were.

We have so many reasons for letting things slip away, and these reasons become the justification for letting such moments pass without a real response from you. But I’m sure you’ll find so many situations where you simply didn’t do anything about it…or just didn’t do enough.

It could be an opportunity at work that you had to apply for, but somehow the submission date just came and went.
Or it might be a conversation you were meant to have with someone, but when the moment came, you just….didn’t.
What about the idea you wanted to write down. Remember?? Of course you don’t. You didn’t write it down.

It’s easy to want a certain kind of life, my question would be: are you making the decisions, and taking the opportunities that would most likely lead you to that life?

I could see how some of these doors might have changed my financial situations. My relational situations. My personal emotional situations. Basically, I might have been slightly or vastly different. I might not have changed at all. You’d probably see that too if you can remember what that door represented. And you’ll probably find many of them littered throughout your life.

And curiosity is unfortunately quite insatiable, so “what if” questions are always meant to be avoided as I’ve been told. But what if (!!!) you should ask? What if you need to look back and ask yourself why you missed an opportunity? What if you can learn more about yourself from understanding why you let some things pass you by than from what you pay attention to?

I wonder about that now, and it’s quite revealing. I’m also seeing that some doors, should they come again in another way later down the hallway of life, should NOT be missed ever again! Some opportunities must not be missed anymore, but if you’re not aware that you’re missing them, I guess this post is either a wake-up call or a waste of time.

If there’s one thing worse than a Nightmare remembered, it’s a Dream forgotten!

So, why not wonder (not for an overly extended time, enough just to get you thinking) what opportunities you’ve missed. Why did you miss them? Would you miss them again? Do you care? Are you an Alien?

Now let me say again, that it’s impossible to know how good or bad a choice would’ve been, if you never made that choice…

But you’ll always wonder: “What was really behind that door..?”

Won’t you…?

Door… No Handle.
Opportunity… Missed.

Over.

Re:VISION

Posted: September 25, 2012 in Inspired!
Tags: , , , , ,

As time passes in our lives we get to points of transition. Either something’s coming to an end, or something new is starting; maybe it could be a success or a failure; or it could just simply be a point at which a really serious decision needs to be made. Whatever that point looks like for you, it’s an important one because it plays a role in literally shaping your life or character, and its moments like these where sometimes we have to look back over where we’ve been and who we’ve become. Read the rest of this entry »


There are many ways I could structure this post. I could opt for an analytical approach, or a rant, or a commentary. Or I could just write. So I choose to write, about not only what weak leadership looks like, but also its impact on those who are submitted (“subjected” sounds better in this case) to it. In many ways I’ve witnessed some of this first-hand – dare I say in my own leadership ability – and it is shocking to see what it produces. I warn you, this post is dense. Read the rest of this entry »


Out here, surrounded by the sea of my own thoughts, I became!

Our need for approval and recognition as people is quite normal. We’re surrounded by humans most days of our lives, we have way more friends on Facebook than is logically necessary and we also have our own minds speaking in multiple directions. We are literally primed to desire relationship by the simple fact of our existence and to not have that flourishing looks like failure. Read the rest of this entry »