Would you travel with a pilot who doesn’t know how to fly? 

That’s the question. Would you? 
My husband and I are traveling at the moment. On our way to the airport, I popped this question to both of us. Not that we don’t have anything else to talk about with each other. I was just having one of those reflection’s moments when looking outside of a window and contemplating life.  

Needless to say that we both answered: No! 

Now, comes the second question: How much do we know about ourselves and invest in self knowledge ? 

Think about this: the most basic readings of psychology will inform us that our actions impact or influence others on an ongoing basis and vice versa. Guess what? We impact our lives too. So, the more unaware we are of our real motives, the more we hurt ourselves and others, by operating like unguided missiles. 

One of the worse things in relationships of any level of proximity, is the common situation where we blame others for what happens to us. 

Victimization’s syndrome apart, which deserves a full chapter, we tend to project our (unconscious) frustrations and to not take responsibility for the behaviors  which trigger certain reactions on others. And not because we are bad people, but simply because we don’t know ourselves well enough to recognize the difference between ours and others’ behaviors. 

The caveat is that not always we are responsible for the cycle of action-reaction, because there are moments when it’s us who are getting the blame! 

But now let’s go back to the first question. 

Would you travel with a pilot who doesn’t know how to fly? 

Why wouldn’t we fly with a person that doesn’t know how to fly? To not risk our lives, right? 

But we live every single day our lives, blindly risking our life destiny, by not always knowing who the ‘pilot’ (us) is, and neither if the ‘pilot’ is prepared for the ride. 

That’s how most people live. Sadly. Investing in self knowledge is not a priority for most of us. 

I try to do my best. I have invested in it already for many years; not only through self reflection, feedback from family, friends and colleagues, but also from psychologists, psychoanalysts and complete strangers with whom I interact and learn from about how I come across to them. 

Even though I do that, I cannot say that I already know all about myself, as I will still go through the occasional and sometimes stressing oops moments, saying things like ….I didn’t mean it, I didn’t see it coming, you provoked me, etc. 

Where am I trying to take you from here, then? 

‘The more you know, the less you understand’, said Socrates. 

It may seem contradictory to use the above quote, but I don’t think so. My interpretation of it is that we spent far more time trying to know about others, and consequently judging them, than exercising self reflection and awareness. And the more we try to understand others the less we know about the real them. 

Still during this trip, on the way from the airport to our destination, I read a street graffiti saying exactly what I wish I had written to explain my thoughts above: ‘Your observation may be right but you may not know the meaning of it.’ 

Our perceptions of the world and of others is constantly clouded by our references, beliefs, values and experiences, but still we lend our meaning to them. Simple as that. 

I try to stop myself from doing it. Only self awareness can help me to recognize and separate me from you, and to respect your and my individuality. 

We all deserve a trusted pilot and a safe ride. 

The (In)-famous Like Button

You may or not have noticed that the LIKE button is back in my posts.

Have I changed my mind? Or has something else happened against my will?

Want to hear about it? You may have had the same problem though not for the same reason. You perhaps may want to know what happens to you whilst WordPress developers are busy developing new features instead of solutions….

It feels pretty much like this photo; mist and fog are all over my blog now…

Continue reading

Photo101 Rehab Hosts: Image Reboot 5


Welcome to the fifth instalment of our Image Reboot – in partnership with Lucile’s Photo101 Rehab Clinic. You can find the previous ones by searching for #imagereboot in the Reader.

As enthusiastic photography enthusiasts, we wanted to include some editing techniques here – I installed Lightroom about a year ago and have taught myself the basics of photo editing, really just using trial and error in the beginning to see what worked and what didn’t. Then I did a lot of reading and have managed to make some good edits as a result.

Before we get started, take a look at some of the cool image rebooting that others have done over the last month:

Thanks so much for participating, some great drama created here 🙂

Now onto this month’s reboot. I took this photo on my lunch break while at work in Cambridge (a week-long conference). It was a really busy day and there was a lot of noise and I really needed to escape for a few minutes. So, I took my camera and dashed outside to photograph these flowers – I thought they were really pretty as I stood under the tree looking straight up at them. It was an overcast day, not especially good light, but it was great to get away for a few minutes.

The photos were nice, but didn’t seem to be quite what I wanted and I went back inside. I processed them as I usually would and was reasonably happy with the result. However, when I was looking for a new photo for Image Reboot, I went back and tried some more of the extreme editing that I had mentioned in the last Reboot.

Here is the original, unedited photo:Pink Flower - before-1

To do some “extreme editing”, here is my process:

  • Since I shoot in RAW, I applied noise reduction and camera correction first
  • Next I cropped the image to remove the building on the right and the extra piece of plant on the left
  • I wanted a clean background so I increased the exposure substantially, to +2.15
  • I then decreased contrast to -25 which brought out a little more detail in the flowers
  • For a little more detail, I brought the highlights down to -25
  • I then increased the shadows level to +24
  • To really whiten the background, I increased the white level to +92
  • And to bring out the image details, I moved the black level to -59
  • To sharpen up the image a little, I increased clarity to +37
  • Finally, to add some colour, I increased vibrance to +81 and saturation to +51

Here’s my edited image. I’m really happy with the result and it’s become my desktop image on my Mac. I really love it.Pink Flower - after-1

I hope you like this image as much as I do. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts. I’ve done a black and white version and a more natural version as well, which I also like, but I’m a bit of a fan of this cleaner and more extreme image.

If you’d like to get involved, please feel free to do your own Image Reboot and link back to this post (#imagereboot). Alternatively, I can give you a copy of the image so that you can try the editing yourself.

Now, I promised to give you some hints and tricks on getting started with Lightroom as well. I started to write this for you but found that someone else has already done a fantastic job of showing you how to get started in Lightroom – you can find all the information at this link here. If you have any questions at all about what you read there, feel free to ask me for help.

Happy Editing!!
x desleyjane – http://www.musingsofafrequentflyingscientist.com