What Went Well Today?
“Well, that went well,” we mused as three rescued little pigs trotted, brighter than bright, down the ramp of the float and into their new yard.
Unbeknown to them, they had just been thrown the biggest lifeline an animal on death row ever could. As they snouted about their new digs and each other, their euphoria connected with ours. With such a herculean effort to save the pigs, we thought it only fitting to name them after 3 of The Olympians; Hermes (the tan chap, smallest in size, but biggest in spirit), Apollo (the black and white fellow whose patches are distinct and piggy grunts music to our ears) and sweet Aphrodite (who clearly claims the desires of her buddies).
The travel down to collect them went well, a pleasant drive and natter amongst the vehicle’s occupants. The pigs loaded with porcine precision, displaying their species’ hallmark intelligence and calm. Oh, and love of food, perhaps the greatest motivator.
The travel back was eventless, with a stop off to collect some supplies, sharing pleasantries and smiles with shop assistants. We took great heart too, that we had created hope for the pigs in a world that would have otherwise become dark.
At a time when across the globe anxiety is rising and people less resilient, and with media stories filled with doom and gloom, we are often asked: how do you find hope?
The answer, we believe, does not lie in self-help books (although they most certainly have a place and hold vast real estate on our bookshelf), nor in online gurus or masterclasses (and yes, too, they have their place), but hope lies a little closer to home.
However, we don’t find hope; we become it.
A good place to start is asking oneself a simple question: “What went well today?”
Science and neuroplasticity tells us we can reshape our brains away from focusing on the tiger in the bushes to expressing gratitude for kindnesses that come our way, the perfect parking space we just found, the answer emerging from the tip of our tongue to our mouth, the stranger who retrieved our wallet after we absentmindedly dropped it.
The list is as endless as the possibilities to find it.
What we focus on has enormous power, as we become our thoughts. A stellar reminder to make them good ones.
All of which has been heralded in by the knowledge that our brains are not static and unable to change once they reach a certain point. Rather, they are designed to be malleable. Shaped not only by our experiences but our interpretations of them.
And slowly, we can change the architecture of our brains from “complaining because the rose has thorns, to rejoicing because the thorns have roses.”
Ever wondered why some people are eternally happy and optimistic?
Herein lies the answer.
Every time we focus on the positive, find joy in the moment, and even smile, we cause neurons in our brains to fire and synapses to grow, making these pathways stronger, and more likely for our thoughts to traverse them.
Conversely, neurons that do not well serve us will shrink, and eventually wither away.
Yep, we’ve all heard it before, neurons that fire together wire together…
So the lesson here is simple: what you focus on, you become.
And whilst negative feelings will always serve us, “Stay away from that,” “Don’t do this again,” “What were you thinking…”, we must not become their servant. Instead, a better, brighter way of looking at our experiences is not to see them through a good or bad lens, but a “what serves me best” one.
If someone treats us poorly or speaks unkindly, we too can put an alternative spin on this, reminding us to never do likewise to others and cause feelings of unease. Remembering too, we never know what caused them to behave that way.
Take-aways: heed the warning, setting down the experience, letting go of limiting beliefs that are often hangovers from our formative early years, and moving on to kinder and less self-limiting pastures, taking with you the wisdom gleaned from the moment.
So, what better time than now to start fuelling the good feels and ask yourself: what went well for you today?
Oh, and if you have a place in your home and heart for three awesome pigs, hit us up!
We acknowledge that past trauma, anxiety, fear, sadness and disappointment can affect many people’s capacity to “be positive” or “look on the bright side”. Perhaps some or all of these experiences and feelings are very real for you. If so, we say to you that we are very glad you are here, we are grateful that you are sharing this journey with us, and we thank you for your friendship.
Blending tragedy with hope comes Nepal, a sweet little Merino lamb, born one of triplets, who sadly became separated from his family.
While logic tells us he did not fall from the sky, he might as well have, for from where he has come, we cannot ascertain. It is as if he is nobody’s cat. And here now, he most certainly is.
Few things in life tug more at the heartstrings than when you see the life draining out of the eyes of an animal. And when that animal is but a youngster, the tug becomes an all-consuming wrench.
Found wandering on a highway that homed no sheep, it is believed that dear Jump did just that.
They have been declared the comedians of the barnyard (goats, that is) and proving this statement is not a work of fiction come Frick, Frack and Applejack.
It was the message we prayed we would never have to send – well, not for many a year anyway – to our team.
As a young first-time mum, having barely hit puberty, Margaret found herself in the direst of situations. Recently having given birth, and suffering a life-threatening prolapse, she did not know what to do.
Meet Annie Yokely and Mary Poopins! A community Facebook post was to prove the lifeline for two plucky and adventurous hens. It, too, was to prove just how maligned, disregarded and poorly protected their kind is.