Being of benefit to others

You attract others by offering a benefit to them.

Offer something of benefit, and others will come to you.

Offer something of benefit, and others will come to you.

The winter and nesting season moves into the abundant season of plenty, thus I can stop feeding the wild birds.  I distribute the last of the food to the wild birds, the remainder of the nuts for the local squirrel.  Dozens of squabbling birds descend upon the food, and it is quickly gone.  I frighten the squirrel, which already has its paws on the nuts.  My cat love bombs me, so I feed her too.

All these animals are around me for a reason, I benefit them.  It is a simple lesson, that if you offer something of benefit to others, they will come to you.

Giving animals a hand

Everyone can make an individual difference to animals.

Simple actions can make a difference for a wild animal.

Individuals have a positive impact on a few wild animals with simple actions.

Life often surprises with weird coincidence.  Even though I try to keep intervention in the lives of wildlife to a minimum, the beautiful little green beetle was trying to cross a busy path, its potential doom a crushing death under a human foot.

I watched as one pedestrian walked by oblivious of the beetle they nearly stood on; I decided to intervene.  I by chance had a Colchester Zoo leaflet which had the strap line “giving animals a hand!”  which I used to move the beetle to safety in the vegetation it was heading for.  I smiled at the interesting synchronicity of helping the beetle with a leaflet talking about helping animals.

The challenges of the world might be vast and impossible to overcome, but every individual can have a positive impact in their actions for a few wild animals.

An appeal to common sense

If it looks like a bad idea, it probably is a bad idea.

In my opinion a baby prefers security rather than being subject to unnecessary risk due to lack of common sense.

In my opinion a baby prefers security rather than being subject to unnecessary risk due to lack of common sense.

The UK media are getting hysterical at the moment over a new fashion called baby yoga, specifically about a video on Facebook.  Videos are appearing on social media such as YouTube that show babies, including newborns, being twisted and thrown in the air, which many observers consider dangerous.

Rather than be carried away by emotional hysteria and mass opinion, I watched one of the videos of baby yoga objectively, and using my common sense, I could see that baby yoga is a dangerous activity to subject a baby to.

Firstly, as a naturally clumsy person, I could never trust myself holding a baby, let alone throw it around in the air.  Common sense tells me that accidents can easily happen in baby yoga such as losing grip or dropping the baby.

Secondly, the people in the videos doing baby yoga are probably experts, and most people who might copy the experts are amateurs who would do harm to their baby if they tried this activity.

Thirdly, a baby swung around like in the baby yoga videos is subject to major forces on its vulnerable body, predictably risking serious injury or death.

Fourthly, the babies in the few videos I have seen did not appear to enjoy the experience.  There are alternative yoga exercises with a baby where they appear to enjoy the interaction, and there is low risk of injury.

Common sense is a form of wisdom, if something looks like a bad idea, it probably is.

On being mindful and responsible to living things

As a sustainable individual, acting in harmony with nature.

This impulsive cat seems oblivious to the possibility that I might trip over, step on or shuts doors on her; challenging me to practice mindfulness of her presence at all times.

This impulsive cat seems oblivious to the possibility that I might trip over, step on or shut doors on her; challenging me to practice mindfulness of her presence at all times.

The challenge of my cat, she is impulsive and acts on the viewpoint that I know where she is at all times.  Sadly, the reality is that I don’t, and the unfortunate possibility arises that I might accidentally harm her, such as step on her.

It is dark and raining, my cat is in the kitchen, I am at the front door, closing the door.  The cat suddenly has darted for the closing door; had I closed the door with any force, I would have killed my cat. Outside, the rain has brought out the snails and frogs.  I am fortunately mindful of where I am placing my feet, the frog survives, but the less easily seen snail dies, another accidental death by crushing of my feet.  In the dark, the cat lets out a little anxious meow as I kick her.  This is all a reminder of practicing mindfulness, the difference between life and death of the living things around me.

Yesterday I was camping.  A spider was crawling across my sleeping bag.  I attempted to evict the spider from my tent, but in the process discovered and caused the spider to lose a ball of eggs it was holding.  It is so easy to dismiss the spider and its loss of its eggs as insignificant, but to the spider, the loss of its young means everything.  I see the spider outside the tent silent and motionless, predictably the main item on its mind in that moment, the loss of its young.  I see the white ball.  I pick up and place the ball next to the spider, which immediately moves over the ball, gathering it up and running off to safety.

For the few that recognise and work towards action in harmony with nature in their daily lives, mindfulness born of awareness of the living things present  around them, and the responsibility to act in harmony with living things, is a good attitude to follow.

Being childish in nature

Embracing the child in nature.

Words associated with childhood: play; exploration; discovery.  My guilty secret, I still indulge in this activity. In a modern society that paradoxically creates an infantile population through overzealous management of every aspect of an individual’s life, the ability and opportunity to become childlike has become discouraged and denied by control and regulation in society.  There is no economic or practical advantage to society if free-spirited individuals enjoy simple, selfish and free pleasures in nature alike to a child simply enjoying splashing in a puddle of water.

The mantra is work and spend, yet last Sunday I choose to do neither.  On impulse, I get on my bike on a beautiful warm day, and I cycle ten miles to Mersea Island.  No map, no plan; I become a child, exploring, discovering and playing, armed with a bottle of water, a packet of digestive biscuits and a camera.

I head down a road I have always wanted to explore.  I become lost, but discover the beautiful world of Friday Woods.  I accidentally find my way back to civilisation, and then the road to Mersea Island.  I look for a notorious haunted rectory called Borley,  but end up at the wrong rectory.  I cross the causeway into Mersea Island, neither knowing when the tide will come in to cover the causeway, or what to do if it did, trapping me on the island.  Of the two turnings, I choose the wild side of East Mersea.  I discover red squirrels live on Mersea, my goal to photograph one.

Mersea Island burial mound is a living monument to life and death.

Mersea Island burial mound is a living monument to life and death.

I find the impressive Mersea Tumulus. Such burial mounds are a neolithic or bronze age practice, but my ancestors were still burying important people in these burial mounds two-thousand years ago.  Mersea Tumulus is Roman dated around the time of Emperor Trajan.  A Roman villa was found nearby and people say ghostly music emanates from the burial mound.

A red-tailed bumble bee attempts to make a nest for its young in the Mersea Island burial mound.

A red-tailed bumble bee attempts to make a nest for its young in the Mersea Island burial mound.

I go exploring round the rear of the burial mound.  I discover dozens of red-tailed bumble bees hovering all over the ground, seeking to hollow out holes into the mound to raise their young.  Here is a place of life and death.  I leave the bees and travel on to places I have never been, down roads I have never travelled, a child on an adventure.

Sources of inspiration for Liberated Way

I created links to sources of inspiration for Liberated Way.

Everyone have a source of inspiration.

Everyone has a source of inspiration.

Everyone has a source of inspiration, the many sources of inspiration for Liberated Way have now been listed here. The links include pdf or html sources to texts, and some videos that inspired me.

I hope you will find these links and the blog posts on Liberated Way useful.

The beauty of simplicity

Why it is best to keep everything simple in life.

A happy blue tit is attracted to and obtains food from a simple bird feeder.  Simplicity improves personal success and happiness in life.

A simple bird feeder attracts a happy blue tit to easily obtain food from it. Simplicity improves personal success and happiness in life.

I have various types of bird feeder in my garden, though I found that because the birds were not using some of the feeders I experienced food waste.  The problem was the visually appealing feeders that were too complicated for birds to know there was food in them, and the way to obtain that food.  The answer was simplicity, such as the feeder in the photo, which allows me to insert food into it, easily identifiable and obtainable to the birds.  The “log” feeder attracts many starlings, blue tits, and some robins, whilst keeping the fat greedy pigeons from grabbing all the food.

Nature is a good teacher, and one lesson is simplicity.  Plants and animals are effective and efficient in design and action, conserving, utilising and obtaining energy by the simplest and most practical way possible.  I have retired all my complex bird feeders, replaced with simple ones; now the birds visit and I waste no food.

Simplicity is important in business, as well as in life.  One of the great sources of stress of the modern age is the human obsession with complexity.  Why would I want to cut a hedge with a machine when I can do it manually with garden sheers in half the time? Why would I want a software program or cell phone with lots of features which I will never use and don’t understand? Complicated systems and tools means that more can go wrong, and demands greater energy, time and money to understand, use, maintain and solve problems.  I have low tolerance for anything complicated; I like and use simple solutions to my problems.

A simple way to build a simpler way of doing anything is breaking things into the goal, the process to reach that goal, and the desired result.  Having a map to a desired destination is good, so how about a written map involving everything you do in life? A process called Jugaad focuses on creating a process to reach a goal at low-cost, but high benefit.  A process called Kaizen concentrates on improving a process to make it more efficient or effective at reaching a goal through a series of constant and small improvements.  Jugaad and Kaizen is what nature is doing in creating simple and highly effective solutions to problems experienced by animals and plants.

The individual has only a finite amount of time, money and energy to achieve their dreams and goals, thus an approach in life focused on simplicity increases and enhances the chances of success in life.