RSS

Tag Archives: Technology

Reasons Why Your Business Should Go Wireless

imagesWith the economic climate the way that it is today it may seem that the only way to be sure of your job security is to run your own business. After all, if you are your own boss then you cannot get fired. However, the big problem with this is that this is becoming a common ethos for thousands of Brits to live by which means that there is an ever increasing competition in all legs of the world of business.

Nevertheless, if you have the prior knowledge of the business world required to set yourself apart from your competitors then there is still a good chance that you can go from strength to strength and thrive in this economic situation that Britain currently finds itself in.

Keep up with the times

One of the most integral things to the success of any business is to make sure that you keep up with the times. Technologies and services are forever changing and for your business to have any chance of maintaining any sort of positive development then it is vital that you utilise these adaptations for the benefit of your business.

The latest decision that many businesses are facing at the moment is whether or not to make the most of wireless technology to bring your business into the 21st century. This is a very big step to make and a decision that could eventually make or break your company. The first thing that you need to consider is whether you can afford to invest what it will take to install the required technology in the first place. It is no secret that wireless technology does not come cheap but the potential savings and profits that it will set you up for, for the future cannot be denied.

It is obvious that wireless technology will increase your mobility but it is easy to underestimate how much difference this can make. It means that any workforce that you have will have more time to work and will no longer have the excuse of not having access to the company’s communications.

Greater access to information

Wireless technology means that access to vital information for your business is no longer restricted to wired ports. This means that productivity will improve dramatically no matter what your business is. It means that whether you work in a large office or have a warehouse stocking your products you will be able to keep communication at its peak or you will be able to keep on top of orders and inventories wherever you may be at that particular moment.

The key to good business is great customer service, no matter who your customers are. Whether you are directly customer facing in sales or services or whether you supply to those who directly face the public the key is to keep them happy and to never keep them waiting. Wireless technology means that you can provide your customers and your clients with the exact information that they need with no waiting. It is easy to believe that your business is going strong as it is but if you invest in wireless technology the likelihood is you will never look back.

Featured images:

Guest post contributed by Simon Hardman, Simon is an avid techy by night, and business consultant by day. Simon understands how business life is changing, both politically and technologically and blogs regularly to help people understand it further. Simon regularly works closely with BT Shop to help business understand the more technological side of business.

 

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Working Women Liberate The Corporate Bottom Line

hiercheuseAustralia’s mining industry promises job opportunities and the highest wages of any sector in the country, with average wages of $2,388.20 and an average hourly rate of $52.30, according to the ABS Employee Earnings and Hours Report.

Yet, despite the job opportunity, despite the high wages, and despite the skills shortages that make the industry unlikely to turn away anyone who can provide the necessary expertise, women still make up less than 15% of Australia’s mining workforce.

A factory at half capacity

In a speech at his annual shareholder meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, none other than Warren Buffet (the expert on good investments) claimed that the world was overlooking the most valuable investment of all by not doing more to incorporate women into male-dominated industries.

Buffest described the current state of society as being akin to a factory operating at only 50% capacity, and said that he can only imagine what humanity could achieve without having one hand tied behind its back.

Historic stigmas within certain industries need to be overcome, and greater support needs to be provided in childcare, as studies show that the salary gap between men and women widens to about 40% ten to fifteen years into their careers, which is the point at which many women start taking time off to care for children.

Tim Toohey, the chief economist at Goldman Sachs, claimed that incorporating more women into the workforce could contribute a further AU$180 billion to the Australian economy. Although there has been progress over the past 30 years, when only one in three Australian workers were female, the rate of female participation in the workforce still stands at only 59%. The mining industry is one of many sectors that will benefit from efforts to increase that number.

Breaking down social barriers

The solution begins at a grassroots level, in the educational institutions, where greater effort needs to be made to encourage female participation in engineering and other technology-related courses.

Currently only 18.2% of Bachelor of Mining Engineering graduates are women, according to Graduate Careers Australia. They make up a small proportion of the 250 mining engineering graduates per year – a figure that needs to be more than doubled to meet the demand for skills.

So, what is it that prevents women from joining the mining workforce?

The industry may be eager to welcome women now, but the social effects of their historical exclusion from the industry still need to be undone. Then there is the fact that having children makes women reluctant to pursue careers which require them to work at remote locations.

Whatever the predominant issues, they need to be addressed. The Australian Women in Resources Alliance (AWRA) is an initiative established by the Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA), which aims to do exactly that. Their aim is to increase female participation in the mining industry from 13.4% to at least 25% by 2020. Doing so will require measures to help them overcome both the social and economic obstacles.

Newmont Mining Corporation has taken steps towards this by encouraging female participation at their gold mine in Boddington. They invited local women to drive haul trucks while their children were at school and the truck drivers were taking their breaks. Of course, AWRA has higher aspirations for women in the industry then part-time truck driving, but it’s a means of at least encouraging female participation, and allowing women in the area to familiarize themselves with the mining working environment.

With 90,000 resource industry jobs estimated to be created by 2016, it’s necessary to address the issues brought about by the exclusion of women from the workforce if these industries are to achieve their full potential. These issues should have been addressed long before now, but perhaps having economic incentive to do so will make people more motivated to do something about it.

Featured images:

Matthew Flax writes for Now Learning, a tertiary education portal that promotes TAFE courses in Western Australia (WA), as well as a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, including mining engineering, throughout the country.

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Low Down on Startup Office Space

Employees need to have certain personal space in order to achieve optimum productivity, but the varies from business to business and the amount of employees the company has. The position one holds in the company will also determine the space the individual needs. The space that the boss or president moves in should be different from the employees under him, this creates authority and a personal space to discuss important matters. Even though these are just estimates, it is very important to consider the space you will be needing before signing a lease or buying a building.

Even though this might seem rather technical, it does not need to be rocket science. There are certain estimates in relation to the type of business. When you are calculating the amount of space needed, take into account that it would be different for a start up company.

Company Expansion

If it’s a known fact that your company will be expanding within the time of the lease, you should consider adding about 10%-20% of the total space calculated. This is very important because terminating a lease can be very costly and then you will have to move your entire office space.

The space per area will also vary from room to room and whether certain areas for communal use. Let us take a look at the square feet per person in areas of the office:

- Generally you can estimate for 150 to 250 ft per person

  • President’s office – 250 to 400 square ft
  • Vice President- 150 to 250 square ft
  • Executive’s office- 100 to 150 square ft
  • Supervisor or Manager- 80 to 110 square ft
  • Conference Rooms- 25-30 square ft
  • Reception area- 125-200 square ft for 2-4 people
  • Lunch room- 15 square ft per person

Tech Startups

When it comes to the space in a technology startup and you have an open space, you can fit in even more people. It all depends on the layout of the space and the amount of personal space needed. In the case of a start up company there will probably not be a entire team of higher- ups. There will be between one and two bosses, which can have their personal space away from the rest of the team. The other employees of the start up will then be able to work in an open space which will lead to good communication which is needed in the beginning phases of the prospective business.

When you are signing a lease for your office space, be sure to note how much usable space is available. If you plan the space per person according to the total square feet, you might be disappointed to find out that only a certain amount of that space can be used. When you are planning the amount of employees you want to hire, you should also take into account how many parking space is available.

A technology startup will not necessarily need working stations or big conference rooms. The ideal would be to invest in a solid open plan, which can later be changed into compartments if the business evolves and needs different departments. Since the start up will be technology based, you will most likely not need storage space or a logistics department. If you have a few individuals responsible for sales, this might be the only team that really need their personal space and no distractions.  Even though an open space would be ideal, it would help to have a personal relaxation space where employees can escape from the business atmosphere to unwind.

Employees

Another thing that should definitely be focused on is the type of employees. Your office space needs to be accommodate disabled persons. If one of your employees are disabled, or in a wheelchair, their space would differ from the other individuals. If you don’t have an open plan area, it is then important that the corridor space takes up between 20-30% of the space.

Not sure exactly how much space you would need? Use this Office Space Calculator to find out. It would also be a good idea to join a Business club or online forums to find out about the latest development, articles and discussions about these and other business related topics.

Citations:

Read this contributed article submitted by John Badger. John is a guest author at DryLand. DryLand business club is a great firm in London, offering serviced office space.

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

What Are The Biggest Factors For Business Success in 2012

 

Keep your business profitable and sustainable throughout 2012 with a free POS software download.

Today’s Challenges

There are a great deal of challenges facing the business world today and in particular those businesses whose primary revenue comes from sales, such as retailers. The costs of running these businesses are forever increasing, and as such, a business’ profitability will be reduced dramatically. Whether it is in the form of increased materials, distribution costs, or minimum wage increases, business owners everywhere have a constant headache in terms of minimising costs.

The biggest way for businesses so remain successful in 2012 is to produce an effective cost reduction plan. Not only will this see them remain financially healthy in the short term but it will also put effective business practices in place, enabling the business to remain strong through another global financial crisis, should one occur in the future.

Software Costs

Significant sums of money are spent by businesses each year on the upgrading and on-going maintenance of point of sale programs. By obtaining a free POS software download program, a business can take huge steps to dramatically reducing the costs associated with this. The beauty of such software is that it is entirely cloud based, so all that is needed is a computer terminal in a business in order to use the software. The only costs associated with a free POS software download come in the support functions. However, given the increased reliability and performance levels that you get with such programs, these costs are unlikely to be colossal. In a world where business leaders are forever fighting cost increases, this is much more favourable than paying for 24/7 support cover for an unreliable software and hardware package. This is before we even get into the additional costs of an engineer visiting your business to resolve the issue if it is something that cannot be resolved remotely.

How It Helps Your Business

In addition to the superb cost savings, a free POS software download can help your business in many ways. It can be a great time saver for the multi-site business manager, as they can simply log on to the cloud at home and view each site’s performance, rather than having to visit each site individually, or rely on communication from all of their managers.

A free POS software download can also drive significantly better employee productivity, as visibility of performance measures is dramatically improved. Other key business levers such as inventory control and stock loss can also be measured accurately.

Posterita provides free point of sale software to retail businesses. Moreover, they offer marketing and business advice to their partners and clients to help their business grow. If you want to find more about their free POS software download it from their website.

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Story of Paper: From the Tree to Your Desk

Do you ever find yourself staring at objects, or turning an item in your hand, squinting at it and feeling some kind of bafflement as to how an object came to be what it is? If so, then this story might be one for you.

For years, the human race has relied on physical paper copies to transmit their stories, memories, facts, histories, messages and more across time and space. But what about the story of paper itself? Who’s telling that? Everybody knows paper is trees, but how does this happen?

Here is my account of the life of a piece of paper:

A tree’s body:

The story of paper must begin with the tree trunk. Each trunk has its own outer layer of bark to protect it from nasty little threats in the world: It is the tree’s armour, naturally formed to shield it from harmful forces like wind, rain, climbing children and grazing insects.

Hiding just inside the bark is thin Cambium, which holds the key to the cells which become the bark and inner wood:

Attribution due to Peter Linehan under Creative Commons License 2.0

Sapwood is a tree’s lifeblood; it flows through the parts of the tree’s body just as our own blood does. It ensures the tree’s nourishment and healthy existence.

And finally, the aptly named Heartwood is the innermost part of a tree’s trunk. It isn’t living but it’s the tree’s strength, stability and core.

Attribution due to Aleksi Steinberg under Creative Commons License 2.0

All this material is formed of fibres, tiny little friendly cellulose strands stuck together by way of a natural adhesive called lignin.

And this is where our part in the story of paper begins, as it is through our separating and rearranging these very same fibres that brings paper into existence

Early steps:

First of all, chop chop, the tree’s body gets cut down.

Attribution due to Beatrice Murch under Creative Commons License 2.0

The logs are then taken to a paper manufacturing company, where they’re bathed, soaked and cleaned before being transformed into good little chips of wood.

The little chips are arranged according to size and moved on for pulping.

And what is pulping I hear you ask?

During this stage, individual wood fibres within the chips are broken apart and separated: It is essentially a making soft of the previously tough and hard substance to produce a malleable, mushy and watery product.

Some other ingredients are also usually thrown in around this point, things like starch, China clay, talc and calcium carbonate which contribute to the strength and brightness of the young paper.

 

Moving on the mush

The created mush that we now have is pretty much 99% water at this point, somehow, this all needs to be squeezed out. First, the papermakers spray the stock onto a wire, which is actually a wide, long screen, not a wire.

The water drips out the bottom and meanwhile, the little fibres are caught on the top side of this wire where they start becoming friends and bond to form a very thin mat.  This bed of fibres at the top of the wire is then squeezed for all it’s got between press rollers that take out yet more of its water.

The Final Steps:

Even after of all this squeezing and wrenching, the mushy stuff is still 60% water.

Let commence the dry end of the paper story: Huge metal cylinders are filled with steam and the stubbornly wet mat passes through these gigantic hot rollers.

This process of heating and drying the wet sheet gradually forces the fibres closer and closer together to transform the mush into the glossy magazines and A4 sheets of paper we see all around us. Voila!

Ok, wait this isn’t quite the end of the story.

The fledgling paper is made ready for the world:

The paper makers use a machine called the Calendar which is not a calendar. It refers to big, massive and heavy iron rollers that press the drying paper smooth, all uniform in thickness.

Sometimes, depending on our piece of paper’s function in the world, it is coated with a substance such as clay which makes it glossy and easy to print on.

And this is how a matted bed of tree fibres comes to serve us as paper in a countless number of ways in the human world.

Paper Problems

I love paper and would never want to ban it from existence, I love writing on it, drawing, folding, making paper aeroplanes, you name it… But we should also be aware of some downsides that are a result of this story.

Pulp and paper mills are actually among the worst polluters to air, water and land and I don’t want to state the obvious, but it also uses up a vast quantity of trees.

Still, trees are renewable so that’s not the end of the world as some might have you believe: Most of the time tree farms operate by a cut one down, plant one new policy which is…good. What this policy doesn’t resolve is the natural diversity and population of an unharmed forest habitat where animals can live how they are used to and want to.

So, the point is, to be aware of other solutions and rally around ways to keep the stories of paper going but in the most ethical way possible. Recycling efforts help massively and so far count for recovering about 43% of all paper used. We should definitely support the paper mills that use only recycled waste as their primary source of raw material.

There are also alternative natural products that can actually stand in for wood, especially when combined with recycled paper: Wheat, oat, barley and left over crop stalks.

Maybe it’s time got more of the paper glory?

Sometimes it’s good just to know these things and get the word out. This is why companies like Whitepages are to be commended: With the growing number of people that would prefer to just find the correct online directory site and hit ‘search’ for the contact information they need rather than trail through a book too heavy for them to lift with one hand, Whitepages has recognized the declining need for default print copies of every phone directory.

Their solution is to operate an Opt-in delivery program, so if you REALLY want one, don’t worry, you can get one.

But Whitepage’s philosophy seems to be pretty much just right: It’s not about halting the paper story; it’s about managing it, and not creating thousands more unnecessary individual paper stories.

Amalia Dempsey is a dedicated fan of paper, interested in writing and the world. She supports White Pages, an online telephone directory and address finder, and their quest to ban unnecessary print copies of long directories.

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Identifying and Conquering ‘Groupthink’

How many times have you sat in a meeting, wondering if you should mention a potential problem with a plan or a more efficient method—but didn’t? How many times have you requested input or ideas from your team or department, only to be met with averted eyes and resounding silence? How many times have you gone along with the crowd because you didn’t want to seem different? You just engaged in or encountered ‘groupthink.’

The term ‘groupthink’ was coined in 1972 by Irving Janis, and everyone has engaged in, been affected by or has seen ‘groupthink’ in action. It identifies the mass or pack mentality through which individuals, often with dissenting opinion or contradictory knowledge, hold their dissension to themselves out of fear—fear of bucking trend, being labeled a non-team-player or being tagged as an anarchist or simply “different.” In a nutshell, engaging in groupthink is equivalent to ‘going along to get along.’ Sometimes, however, shunning ‘groupthink’ is the wiser and more responsible action to take.

Groupthink does not mean the collaborative effort involved in a group of individuals thinking about the same thing. There is real benefit from individuals gathering to pick each other’s brains for ideas. Groupthink is based on our need to belong, to bond and be a member of a pack. People who groupthink aren’t necessarily lemmings either, following without thought and whose instincts are only to follow the pack. A ‘groupthinker’ is someone who doesn’t offer independent view, who goes along with the crowd despite contrary feelings or impulses. Their need to belong is greater than the need to dissent, and that isn’t always a good thing.

One of the best but least-known examples of groupthink revolves around the space shuttle, Challenger, on January 28, 1986. The short-lived flight was historic in several ways: It was the first space flight to include members who were not trained astronauts; it included the first women in space; it was the shortest manned flight in aerospace history, and it killed every member on board.

Engineers knew of design flaws but said nothing until well after the explosion. That groupthink attitude cost people their lives, and those engineers ‘went along with the crowd’ when they should have made their concerns over the design flaw known.

Children drinking, smoking, ‘doing drugs’ and having sex because all their friends are can be examples of groupthink in action. Kids often do know better, but they don’t want to be “different” from their peers, so they engage in activity they know is wrong, simply to bond with others—to be included in a group. These groupthink actions differ from the same actions deliberately taken out of spite, defiance or rebellion.

What differentiates groupthink from other compliance psychologies are the underlying motives and the silent knowledge of wrongness. Silence in groupthink can be capitulation—the lack of a strong sense of independence and giving in to pack instinct dominance.

The other thing groupthink is not is good. It always has a negative aspect, whether it affects goal outcome, reduces self-respect or compromises morals or ethics. You might voice your differing opinion or present contradictory information and still be directed to comply: That’s not groupthink. There is no silence involved. Whether you comply with that directive or engage in the activity depends on the exact situation and morality or ethical guidelines.

Conquer groupthink: Maintain a healthy self-respect; adhere to your higher thought processes, moral and ethical compasses, and never be afraid to speak when it counts.

Article written by Sara Woods, a writer for Coupon Croc, the best resource for discount codes to save on all of your online purchases.

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Is Your Anger Killing Your Art?

by Seth Godin

It’s rare to find a consistently creative or insightful person who is also an angry person.*

They can’t occupy the same space, and if your anger moves in, generosity and creativity often move out. It’s difficult to use revenge or animus to fuel great work.

Ironically, when you decide to teach someone a lesson they richly deserve, you often end up strangling the very source you were counting on.

(*Angry is not the same as being a jerk. For some reason, there are plenty of creative jerks–I think because they mistakenly believe that being a jerk is a useful way for some people to wrestle with their lizard brains).

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Toyota Substitute’s Rare Earth Metals for Their New Product Line

Resources from the earth have been used since the dawn of man for technological advancement. Goldman Sachs, an investment firm, predicted that in 2013 there will be a rare earth surplus. Even though there are experts who refute this analysis, exploration and mining companies have set out to exploit these resources. Products can be developed utilizing these resources, thus satisfying both customers, and investors.

The Toyota Prius uses the resource neodymium. This mineral is increasing in demand because it is a metal used for building strength magnets. Analysts project that neodymium will have a significant value in the following years. Since many industries are switching to renewable energy sources, the demand for permanent magnets is increasing. These magnets are used in applications such as wind turbines, electric vehicles and electric motors. To supplement the research of these minerals, the U.S. Department of Energy is willing to offer $30 million for research in alternatives to earth elements. These alternatives are vital to securing the supply of materials and cost savings.

Dr. Chen Zhanheng who serves as a central figure in The Chinese Society of Rare Earths as Director of the Academic Department states that demand for NeFeB, or neodymium-iron-boron, will increase by 259,026 tons in the next decade, and 176,289 metric tons within the next few years. These neodymium-iron-boron magnets will primarily be utilized for the operation of wind turbines. A single wind turbine uses a ton of neodymium for each megawatt of generating capacity. With the demand for renewable sources increasing, the expected demand for neodymium will also increase.

As mentioned before, Toyota needs these minerals when constructing green cars such as the Prius. Toyota analyzed the high price of neodymium and decided to seek an alternative metal to be used in their motor vehicles. This company is currently constructing the RAV4 EV which is a pure electric vehicle; this car gets its energy from being plugged into a power source. This is Toyota’s first step in escaping the use of rare earth materials. This company is also designing a new car with a new partner, Tesla Motors who is an electric sports car manufacturer.

The Tesla motor is special because it does not require the need for magnets to power up. Instead, the motor utilizes stacked steel laminations when an electric current is produced. The laminations create a magnetic field that rotates, thus pushing the motor. The motors are able to recycle energy when the driver brakes. The regenerative braking system is used on hybrids, making the partnership between Toyota and Tesla, that much more convenient.

Toyota is making a great strategic business move. Not only have they diversified their resources, but their ambition to ensure the future developments of different vehicles is admirable. By slowly easing away from a necessary resource before the value increases, they will save on manufacturing costs in the future. Toyota’s project to develop an all-electric vehicle that is purely plug-in will attract consumers. Many drivers are slowly going green by taking the necessary steps to save our planet; soon, we may all be driving all-electric vehicles.

Finding the best rates for assurance auto Quebec is easy if you go online to compare quotes from various insurance providers across Canada. Check out Kanetix.ca today to do a free comparison of quotes and start saving money!

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Can Odd-Looking ‘Diwheel’ Be Electric Vehicle of the Future?

As the electric automobile industry tries to get manufacturers and consumers alike to think out of the box while global warming necessitates a drastic move toward cleaner transportation technology, could it be that all the revolutionary electric vehicles appearing on today’s automobile market are not really out of the box at all but just inside a slightly larger box?

When it really comes down to it, every transportation device on today’s streets, even the strangest prototype from the most cutting-edge electric start-up, is fashioned in the likeness of either a typical car frame or a typical motorbike frame. That is as true for the Smart ForTwo as it is for a van, a semi, or even an electric scooter. Each of these models is just a glorified version of either a motorbike or a car.

Whether this is a good thing or not, those two basic frames have so dominated the transportation market that they have become the automatic ground zero for practically all attempts to create cleaner, greener vehicles. Even the most revolutionary personal transportation prototypes and the most fuel-efficient, battery-powered EVs all seem to begin from one of these two given starting points, the car or the motorbike.

With this mind, undergraduates from the University of Adelaide have attempted to develop something so completely out of the box that it relies almost not at all on either of these two typical basic automobile building blocks. They have come up with a transportation machine they call the Electric Diwheel With Active Rotation Damping – EDWARD, for short. EDWARD is unlike anything you may have ever seen and is definitely no car or motorbike.

Two huge, parallel wheels make up the majority of EDWARD’s girth. Inside the hollow cylinder framed by these wheels sits the tiny passenger cabin, dwarfed by the mammoth circles that circumference it. This device is controlled by a joystick and has a top speed of about 40 miles per hour. It also boasts regenerative braking technology and a lead acid battery, identical to those found in regular cars, with a lifespan of about an hour of intensive driving. EDWARD makes use of lightweight materials for its construction and, as a result, weighs practically nothing.

Although EDWARD is certainly not the first diwheel, it is definitely the first to be powered by something other than human effort or an IC engine. EDWARD also features an active damping system that solves one of the diwheel’s major problems ever since its inception: stopping. Because of the disparity in the size of the wheels compared to the size of the passenger cabin, diwheels have been known for their jarring stops. The cabin would tend to swing forward heavily every time the brakes were applied. EDWARD solves this dilemma with a slosh control system that stabilizes the cabin and its occupants during harsh acceleration and braking.

While you probably shouldn’t hold your breath for mass production of these vehicles, what this invention really illustrates is that there is more than one way to skin a cat – in this case the cat of fossil fuels. Electric engines and lithium-ion batteries no longer have a monopoly on reducing our carbon footprint and reliance on filthy energy. There are other options.

Filling out a quote at Kanetix.ca will let you see which insurance companies in Ontario provide the most affordable rates of insurance for your particular vehicle. Doing a comparison of quotes at Kanetix can help you find cheap insurance and save you hundreds of dollars on insurance.

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Sky is Laughing at Me – a Young Woman Comes of Age

- Anonymous

I’m sitting on my bed looking out of my windows at the canyon, and out at my campus. Even though it’s almost summer, the sky is filled with grey clouds, and its dark outside. The light seeps through crevices in the storm, only to illuminate the fluttering of the leaves on the trees that are swaying in every direction. I don’t sleep because the howling wind encloses my corner room, and is slapping against my windows.

So, I’m sitting here, watching. It’s amazing how the earth can be so full of energy. But that energy is neither good nor bad, and it is not happy or sad. This energy is movement, and existence. It’s not complicated, it just is. This energy just happens, it can’t be controlled, and it can’t be predicted. It affects everyone at different times. Sometimes bad things happen as a result of storms, but sometimes people are lucky enough to safely observe them from inside their comfy rooms, and comfortable lives. I am sitting on my bed, but I know my heart is outside, struggling, swaying, in the dark, and howling. But at least, it is existing.

A little bird just perched itself up on my window sill, and then quickly flew away. For a moment, as I glanced over I felt a flutter of happiness for something so small to exist among the storms in life. But this was fleeting, as the black bird flew away against the backdrop of the storm.

When the trees stop moving for a second, there is a tangible tension. You know they are waiting for more wind. They are still for a second, stiff with anticipation of what to come. But when the wind blows, the move fluidly and without ceasing. The wind decides when they move, and in what direction they will go. The clouds play too, and let a little bit of sunlight through, so that everybody can witness this. This is a game. There is an energy between them, and I feel that I can sense it.

Is there a tension between them and me as well, that I foolishly think is blocked by the window and wall that separates me from outside? Am I a part of this game of existence? Is it possible for my energy to be neither good, bad, happy nor sad, and can I just simply exist? Can I just be, or am I more?

Who do I want to be? Do I want to exist, or do I want to be more? I want to be one with these trees, and the wind, and the clouds, and the darkness. I don’t want to fear. I want to move when I am pushed, and sway when there is force against me. Let the stresses of a storm press against me, that I may discover who I am in the silence of its passing.

At one time I found happiness in an idea of who I wanted to be. I wanted to be the woman my boyfriend loved. I wanted to be popular among my friends, loved by my family, the funny girl at parties, the nerdy student who always attended, and eventually the beloved teacher who also had her own kids that she and her husband adored. Like the light shining through the clouds illuminating the movement of the trees, it is so clear to me now that I can still have all those things. I am still moving even in this storm, and in this darkness. The only thing that has changed is that now they won’t all be with “him.”

So I am a tree, and I wait for the next set of wind to move me. I feel stiff with anticipation and anxiety because I do know more is to come. I’m still, and in a storm, this feel unnatural. I am nervous, and I don’t like it. But I can’t escape the truth because of the glare the sun is giving me dares me to realize the game is not over yet.

As the black bird perched atop my windowsill allowed me to admire it for a second before flying away, so “he” brought me the same glimpse of happiness. He stopped at my window and for a second I knew him, and he let me see him and love him. Away he flew, and the moment of rare happiness was left with a void and empty foreground atop an abysmal set of storm clouds. But since that moment, I have seen other birds fly by, and even though they are mere shadows cast by the rays of the sun piercing the black clouds, I know they are in this storm too. I wait for one of these birds to rest for a second, and let me see it. At least I know there are other birds.

Like these trees, I want to let life move me. I want to be flexible, and experience everything that happens around me. I want to see, I want to play, and I want to be.

Eventually I may get used to waiting for wind, and my energy will just exist. I don’t want to be this sad person that I have become. I know I can still have a nice life, and just one variable has changed. I want to close my heart to him, but open it up to love this deeply in other areas of my life.

I want to sincerely serve others. When I tutor I want to love the students in the after care center so much that I can’t wait to get to go there. I want to love my family, and enjoy hearing about everything they say, feel, hear, think, see, eat, do…everything. I want to be thoughtful and considerate. I want to be kind, and in tune with people’s needs. I want to listen to my friends, and hug them more often. I want to compliment people more, and appreciate them for what they do. I want to be friendly and welcoming. I want to be easier going, and less bossy. I want to be a lover, and a sweet girl. I want to feel free.

I want to feel. I want to know love in all the parts of my body like I do now. The way I know in my bones, stomach, heart, soul, mind, and everywhere that I loved him.  I want to know that sort of love, but for others. I don’t’ want to know love in my bones, heart, soul, mind and gut because it makes me weak and sick. I want to experience a love that I feel in my toes, and fingertips because it makes me better, and emboldens me. I want to love so powerfully that I feel it in my core, and I want to be somebody that helps people.

I don’t want there to be room for badness, sadness or anger in my body anymore. When there is no wind moving me, I want to stand tall and firm. I don’t want to wait nervously, but instead excitedly. I want to anticipate storms and embrace them as they come, as a confirmation of my existence. I am strong. I am. I am part of this, and I am more than this. I am more than an energy because I have life. Even though life is where the good, bad, happy and sad come from… life is what makes you free. I can do more than exist as an energy does, because I can live. I can be a tree, and await a storm,  but I get to choose how I wait. I can wait nervously, or I can be joyous for what is to come. Storms are solely energy, neither good nor bad, happy nor sad…so I can choose. I have choice. I can choose if this is a good storm, a bad one, a happy storm, or a sad one. It exists, but I live it.

I’m the one moving with the wind. Life is a choice, and I can choose who to be and what dreams I have. I can love people to my roots, and touch the world with my branches. I can wave to birds passing by with the flickering of my leaves.

I can’t control this storm, but I can control me. I can be an energy that is good, and I can live a life that is happy. The sky is laughing at me because the light I see shinning through already knew what its message was all along, but sometimes it’s hard not to get lost in the darkness.

I am a tree, and there are other trees with me, but I know now that he was just a bird.

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,761 other followers

%d bloggers like this: