Enjoy a Technology-Free Weekend

Last weekend I went on a father and son adventure. We went up to the end of Kanimbla Valley to a farm owned by Rob, and amazing man with a wonderful heart. There were nearly 20 of us – (half kids and half grown-up kids!) and we had a great time.

Rob had us herding cattle, tagging calves, trying (mostly unsuccessful on my part) to capture cows in the crush and all manner of cattleyard tasks. We took turns with chainsaws and built a big bonfire. It was wonderful. We sat around the fire, cooked marshmallows on sticks (longer and longer sticks as the heat built up) and cheered at every shower of sparks that flew into the air. It was just a glorious evening and the stars put on a boastful show of their splendour.

Then we went back to the farmhouse for a big pot of Spag Bol. We enjoyed some very nice reds over an evening of relaxed and hilarious conversation. Do you know I haven’t laughed as much for ages.

Then we spent Sunday morning digging out weeds on the side of a mountain that Edmund Hillary would have baulked at.
The boys had a ball too. The rule for the weekend was no electronics. We did not hear one complaint. But we did hear the roar of laughter, and of mini-bikes and quad bikes tearing around the farm. And the boys really got into the cow herding and calf-chasing. There was a less enthusiastic response to the weeding, but as we adults had to ‘provide a good example’, we kept digging.

I spent a couple of peaceful hours on the Sunday just sitting in the middle of a paddock reflecting on what really mattered and I cannot remember the last time I did that. It was probably the simplest and most enjoyable weekend I have had this year. We can get so wrapped up in our fast-paced worlds with our phones and devices rarely more than an arms-length away.

My moment of clarity this week is to book a regular technology-free weekend and go do some of the simple fun things we used to do before email, mobiles and the world-wide web. Or am I showing my age…?

Have a great week. Brian.

I welcome your feedback:

+61 408 277 773

brian@brianmaguire.com.au

Let What Matters Most, Matter Most!

I spoke at a business breakfast a few weeks ago and the process of preparing for it was quite challenging. I have come to realize that many of the perspectives that I have traditionally relied on have basically been blown out of the water.
I spoke on “Let What Matters Most, Always Matter Most”. Right now my wife Helen’s Dad is dealing with cancer after 83 years of hearty good health. At the same time my lifelong friend in Ireland, Aidan, (Mono to his friends) is fighting cancer. He is just a very little further past 60 than me.
Add to this the disturbing events that are happening in the world at the moment, and I am left reflecting a lot on the question “what really, REALLY matters to me…”
A particular photo of a Mum and child standing on ruins in Eastern Europe also brought me up short. I have been clear and settled on my political position re the Middle East, but seeing that picture profoundly challenged me.
In truth, it is far less about political positioning than it is about people. It is people that matter to God, and at the core of my being, it is people that matter to me.

I am starting to see that over the years I have become immersed in world affairs and things political and economic that I can have absolutely no control over, but they end up stealing my peace and making me lose sight of what really matters and where I can have some influence for good.

So my moment of Absolute Clarity this week is to keep coming back to what really matters most, and to make sure that they always matter most.

Have a good and perhaps reflective week. Brian.

I welcome your feedback:
0408 277773
brian@brianmaguire.com.au

Kindness – My Godmother’s Legacy

My Godmother Maura died last week. It took me by surprise. I heard the news not long after I had returned to Sydney from a trip to Dublin to see my mother. My mother is 85 and physically well for her age, but her mind is settling slowly. She lives in a beautiful retirement home . They just love her there. “if we had a home full of Vera’s we would be happy as…” one of the nurses told me.

My mother never complains, she is just happy and content being really well looked after. She gets a visit every day from one of my sisters. You know, there is always something new to learn. I have discovered that the currency of power and status in a retirement home is the number of visitors you get. My mother is the Queen Bee! She gets more visits than anyone else there. I am so grateful to my sisters for that. It is a big commitment and they honour it faithfully.

Though my mother never complains, she does suffer quite a lot of pain. The nurses now have to look onto her eyes for the tell-tale signs. Then they can help her. She won’t ask. “Ah sure, its only a bit of pain”, she’ll say, “nothing to bother about”.

My Mother and Maura were first cousins and best friends and hung out together growing up and in the dancing years before they were married. When I look back and remember them together they were a hoot. They both had that sparkle in their eyes and were never far from laughter, and I know they would have broken many young mens’ hearts in their dancing days at the Metropole and the Olympia.

Maura had this wonderful, wonderful warm laugh. It washed over you like the melodic strains of a Strauss waltz and left you feeling bathed in warmth and love. She was probably the most peaceful and kind person I knew in my childhood – kind and gentle and warm and loving. I never knew my Grandmothers – both had died before I was born. But I think if I had, it would have been like being with Maura. She was probably the person who most showed me kindness and unconditional love in my childhood.

Hearing of her passing reminded me of the impact of kindness. I think kindness is one of the most powerful demonstrations of humanity there is.

For me, it is a statement from one person to another that “I care, you matter and that is important to me to show you that I care”.

An act of kindness crosses all boundaries, all dimensions, all levels of humankind. It is as important as a smile, a wave, stepping back to let someone else go first, a hug, a cup of tea, a coin in a tin, or a gentle touch. It is listening and not talking, it is bending down to listen to a child, it is patiently waiting for the person in front who is moving more slowly than you. There are so many more ways to show kindness. It is one of the great spiritual gifts.

It is, I believe, one of the most powerful forms of validation I know of, an acknowledgement from one human to another at its most basic level, that you exist, that you are of value and that I acknowledge you.

I used to think of Maura often, and I could not believe that I was in Dublin for a whole week and it never occurred to me to go visit her. I am saddened at the missed opportunity, but on reflection, it has reminded me of her legacy. Maura’s legacy is that wherever she went, she showed kindness.

And my moment of Absolute Clarity is not to spend too much time focused on myself and my own petty stuff, but to look up and look around and take the opportunity to be kind.

Have a great week.  Brian.

I welcome your feedback:

0408 277773

brian@brianmaguire.com.au

Welcome to Moments of Absolute Clarity

This is something some have encouraged me to do for a while now.

My goal is to use this blog to share with you insights and inspirations, observations and experiences gathered along the journey towards Absolute Clarity.

Jim Rohn, my great Mentor talked often about taking the time to record these insights in a journal. This, for me, is a sort of an online journal, and you are welcome to read my journal and to join in the conversation if you wish.

So if you would like a weekly dose of insight and inspiration, served with an irish accent, just click the link below. If you would rather not receive emails or blog posts from me, just hit ‘reply’ and enter “No Thanks” in the subject line.

Looking forward to sharing with you and you sharing with me .

 

All the Best, Brian.