Contemplation – Week 2

Desley at Musings of a Frequent Flying Scientist runs the challenge Contemplation.

This week’s prompt is:

What would you attempt if you knew you couldn’t fail?

I can take this question in many directions.

The first option is this:

I can think of what I never attempted for lack of talent. And why not?

I have once had music lessons when I was at secondary school. I tried to play guitar and flute. And wanted next to learn to play saxophone. I found it difficult, mainly because of my lack of skills.  I stopped it not because I thought I had failed, but because I realized that I lacked the minimal skills and abilities required.

Only interest wasn’t enough. I wasn’t frustrated with this outcome, as at least I had tried it. I still love music and appreciate it, and above all respect those who can master it.

Later on in my professional life I learned that I’d better invest in excelling in what I’m good at than spending time and effort to become mediocre in what I am not at all. Of course, provided I know what I am good at.

So, if I could, I would play saxophone.

The second option is of a different nature:

When you think of the physiological reaction that occurs in response to a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat to survival, you will meet the so-called fight-or-flight response, triggered by the autonomic (and unconscious) nervous system. I am the type whose instinct is to go for the fight and not for freeze or flight.

However, not all stress is the same as when defending ourselves from a lion in the jungle. So it is more ‘civilized’ to use our cortex and not our autonomic nervous system, as a decision maker. Better said than done though, as we don’t regulate our unconscious actions, unless we start to understand them. But even when we do, sometimes we still go for the fight, and oops…it’s too late when we realize that we have already gone through fear and defensive responses.

Learning to control ourselves is not an easy task. So we learn to live with it, right?

Yesterday I said something to a friend and realized that I was saying it to myself as well.I was feeling miserable for having said something in a way that hurt someone I deeply love and respect, despite the fact that I was hurt too for what I had heard first.

I said this to my friend: “You know, A, we all have our weaknesses. We all fear something.
How to control ourselves? I think we need to hold hands with our fear and relax. Let it stay until we see that it will always be there. But we are the ones to look at it, and say that it’s ok to be there, but regardless of it we keep moving, living and being able to walk alongside the dead. And even be happy again.”

So, if I could, I wouldn’t ever change who I am, but I would walk along the dead, the fear…, and wouldn’t ever hurt those I love.

I would never say anything that could hurt them. I would have a button to turn on and off and control what I say when arguing my point.

Meanwhile….I keep making mistakes, and learning some lessons.


 If you want to join, here is what she has to say:

“I’ve created a new writing feature / challenge and I hope that you can join me. Please feel free to use the image above as our badge.

Since July 17th, 2015, I have been using the Kikki.K A Sentence a Day Journal. This is a beautiful mindfulness journal which provides one prompt per day, but has space on that page for three years worth of responses. I love the idea of having this with me for three years and each year discovering my response from the previous year and seeing whether I’ve grown, moved forward, stayed strong in my convictions, taken a step back or changed my ideas.

Each week, I’ll choose one of the prompts from that week and share both it and my response with you. I invite you to join me and share your response to the prompt as well, linking back to this post so that I can read your response. Use the tag Contemplation and name your post “Contemplation – Week xx”, corresponding to which week it is. “

The featured photo goes to Lens and Pens by Sally: Nature.


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Sharing sights & insights captured with diverse angles. Ex-corporate, now my own boss. Cycling, hiking, cooking, reading, yoga, writing and photography, are no longer only hobbies listed on my resume. It's what I do when I want.

33 thoughts on “Contemplation – Week 2

  1. Lucile, what a gorgeous creature, which seems to be hovering over the water as though levitating. It’s face reminds me of a summer flower with markings that show off nature’s palette. Marvelous to have you back as part of the photo community. Happy Photo Challenge.


  2. I always wanted to play the flute. But talk about lacking minimal skills. I can move my fingers, but am totally unable to hear music. Tone deaf. This piece is a very moving and honest piece of writing. I love it.


          1. RIGHT! We’ll call the new style “Bridging Badfish.” I played a 2-foot long bamboo flute in Sumatra and the locals laughed at me because it didn’t sound like their music. But I created my own music for me at that time, and I felt good about it. I should right THAT story. I lived there for 4 months, less than $1 a night for rent.


  3. You always provoke a response, Lucile. Keeping a check on mine is a lifelong battle and I don’t seem to get any nearer the finish line. I hate hurting people I love but I’m still an expert.
    I love that you’re wise enough to focus on your strengths. And that surely includes photography. 🙂 Wishing you a happy but controlled week!


    1. Hi Jo, good morning. Always good to ‘see’ you around.
      You said it well, as it’s indeed a lifelong battle. Do you believe that perhaps we undermine our awareness of it as a key factor to increase control? Perhaps we are doing better than we think…
      Thank you so much for your lovely words. You always make my day.
      Have a beautiful day and week.


  4. This is very deep. The Ancient Greeks created and perfected the art of contemplation, and used it as leisure. Funny how you went that direction, wanting to play an instrument or by building social capital with the art of conversation 🙂


  5. “Learning to control ourselves is not an easy task.” Hmmmm Just had a flashback….. I learned a lot in the area of “controlling myself” from a very senior person I worked with and who I respect a lot. But….. I also learned something else from this person during a meeting with some of our “favorite and highly respected colleagues”, it is absolutely OK to blow a gasket now and then when you work with complete idiots. Control has a lot to do with emotion, without emotion life becomes very dull, so “blow a gasket” now and then 🙂

    I wonder if the person I mentioned above will have a flashback as well after reading this reply LOL

    Great post Lou


    1. Hello man, what a wonderful surprise!! Loved to find you here. Long time no hear.
      I am still laughing about your comment. Yep, fully agree. Sometimes we need to ‘blow a gasket’ to avoid short circuit.
      Funny memories and good lessons. Can you believe that we became good friends to date? She was even visiting me last week. Life events take interesting turns.
      Thank you so much for reading. You made my day with your visit. Huge smile on my face.
      Hope all is well with you, Nikki and kids. Hugs.


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