Lessons in love. #TeamDuke


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View From The Ground – ❤2 ………………… have found my thing

As we scamper towards the start of a new season, it feels like new life, new experiences and new hope are just in front. Can that be? Let’s explore 😀.

Welcome to the latest ground based observations and worldly words in the continued experiences of #TeamDuke.

Now, I accept, those who know me will struggle with the idea of me scampering, particularly with my excess baggage physique and my enjoyment of, well, not scampering. However, a wordsmith I’m not (no sh!t Sherlock) and I couldn’t think of a better word – so, deal with it ………….. please.

Anyway, let me continue. Those who have looked into previous blogs will know I have a leaning for starting each blog with a quote. As observed in the last blog – 55 reasons to be grateful. #TeamDuke – I don’t know why I do this, but I feels good, and we all like something that feels good. Don’t we? Or maybe it just my thing? Mmmmm, now there’s another hashtag idea – #MyThing.

So, back to quotes. The idea for them comes from the theme of the blog. Well, this time, I’m a bit all over the place theme wise, so here’s 2 quotes to celebrate where my head is right now (not literally as the quote would need to be pillow and bed themed. Sorry, not the best image to plant in your head).

“Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it’s at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savoured.” – Earl Nightingale

“You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.” – Desmond Tutu

So, happiness and family are where I am, thinking-wise. No change there for 2017 I can hear being murmured, and you’re right. Those have been 2 of my key topics. As I’ve said before, I would like to use the #TeamDuke related blogs to spread some happiness and to focus on how we can all, hopefully, pull together to make this a better place to live. Particularly at times of uncertainty and at times when all we read is about negativity and hatred.

I admit that I have a tendency to think about things deeply and over the last 2 or 3 weeks of blog silence I have been thinking about my own personal development. As I have previously observed, the 2nd half of 2016 was truly horrendous for me, Ben and Liv – along with others. However, out of adversity, and the unbelievable love and support, we formed an even closer bond / unity and strength (which we didn’t think possible) and #TeamDuke became the calling cry. The call to arms.

The power of love can be overwhelming. As Holly Johnson so wonderfully said “The power of love. A force from above. Cleaning my soul. Flame on burn desire. Love with tongues of fire. Purge the soul. Make love your goal.” Now, a question, do those lyrics make you think of Christmas? Bizarre. A song which has nothing to do with that time of year but, because it was in the charts over a Christmas many years ago, it features every Christmas.

Sorry, I’m going off on a tangent. Too much tea!

So, I have been thinking, as I feel like #TeamDuke have turned a big corner, what lessons in love have we learned and can share in the hope that these lessons can help, maybe inspire, others. If we can help one person, who helps another, then our mission is truly working.

Talking of corners, that made me think about the song by George Michael, Different Corner. In turn, that made me think about what we can all learn from the sadly departed man. To give is a wonderful thing. To help others is a wonderful thing. To have the financial ability to do both, but to do it without seeking publicity, just through having such a good heart is magnificent. May the man rest in the peace that he deserves.

With regards to the following lessons, these are just things that have impacted on me, on us. I’m not preaching but just wanted to share some of the things that have helped so far this year. As I’ve said before, let’s make 2017 a year to remember for good reasons. That’s #MyThing. #TeamDuke.

* Don’t judge; do be open minded (within the realms of decency) – how easy is it to look at something / someone and immediately place our own thinking or ‘standards’ on that situation or person? Who are we to judge? Surely, we are better placed to learn? Our learning might be that we still don’t feel comfortable and at least we have learned. Now, this is a big one for me. I accept I’m a traditionalist so I can place, perhaps, limiting thinking to situations. So, this year an open minded approach to life has been eye opening and liberating. But, with the caveat of decency (ooo, eeer, missus) and ensuring that the situation does not have a negative impact on others.

* Look to love without limits – some may badge this as ‘unconditional love’. Even with my newly opened mind, I wouldn’t. Why? Because, my experience of ‘unconditional love’ has been that there are conditions place on believing it. I do love a bit of irony. Thus why my learning has been to love without limits. Doing my thing for people without thinking about me. Doing it because I can and because it will help someone else. Simple.

#TeamDuke have seen great examples of this. 2 that spring to mind are both food related. Now, I’ve already referred to my excessive baggage physique and that tells a story of being blessed to enjoy food. But, of late, I’ve seen Ben willing volunteer to cook at least once a week. Now, some may say ‘big deal’. But arriving home to a freshly prepared meal is a real treat for me. And that meal is superb.

But, on one occasion, when I was returning late from London and I’d said to Ben I’d do a bacon sandwich when I got home, walking through the door to a wonderfully cook meal almost reduced me to tears. Love without limits.

The 2nd example involves Liv. Now Liv is not know for spending a lot of time in the kitchen – unless she’s making cookies. However, after one particular long and hard day at the desk (a good day, so I’m not complaining!), I phoned home to be asked what I wanted for the evening meal. Lo and behold, I walked through the door to a great meal. Wonderful! Love without limit.

I am truly blessed #TeamDuke.

* A friend in need has been neglected – a big lesson in love is that, in our time of unhappiness, we have needed for nothing. The love without limit has been stunning. To feel the support from all corners has given us not only strength but a reminder never to neglect anyone. Be a friend, be there. It’s the silence that speaks volumes so, if you have a friend who you haven’t heard from for a while, check in. They just might need you.

* Treat each day as a gift – this is an oldie but goldie. How ver, how many of us groan as we get out of bed (at least when we’re getting up for work). However, I have learned to be grateful that I can wake up, that I can get up, and that I can see, hear, smell, and feel the new day. I’m just saying.

* Smile, laugh, and give others a reason to join in – I’ve just been listening to an interview with Haemin Sunim who talked about the power of smiling, both for yourself and others. Simple again but just imagine. Now, many know I like a laugh but smiling, particularly on a Monday, is not so natural. But, as I have said above, the love that #TeamDuke have received gives us every reason to smile and I hope reading our story gives you reason to join in. #Smile with #TeamDuke.

* Try and do something every day for someone which in turn will encourage them to do a good act for someone else. The domino effect in reverse – I.e. Touch the first domino watch it touch the next domino, which is flat on the ground, and watch it rise, and so on. I think what I have said above gives a feel for how this works. It’s almost like a game of tig. Do something good for someone, tig them and pass it on and, hopefully, as they do something good for another person the magic begins. (I’m not sure how to spell tig, so if this is incorrect, tig me and let me know and I can pass it on)

And, so I was getting ready to close this latest look into our world until I saw a post for Facebook about Monday, 20 March being a global Day Of Happiness.

Now, a day of happiness on a Monday! However, I love the idea of a global day of happiness. If you want more details, have a look at http://www.dayofhappiness.net.

There is also http://www.actionforhappiness.org which looks at the broader concept of bring happiness to our dysfunctional world. What a lesson in love.

And, so, let’s finish with another quote . I hope this inspires you, as it has me.

“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence” ~ Aristotle

I wish you much happiness.


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