Biographical Non-Fiction posted July 23, 2020

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Mind Over Matter

Know Thyself

by Raffaelina Lowcock

Defining what I am about, has lasted a lifetime and I found that I would sometimes change from one moment to the next so drastically, that I wondered what put credence to the original definition, of who I was, if there was one.
It started somewhere in my early formative years, as a mixture of what I heard adults saying about me and grabbing the idea of what I wanted to be. In my early years I was a tap dancer and that was my ambition.  But when I was twelve years of age, I became too shy to dance in front of an audience.
Of course as I continued on with my life and development, I was open to a myriad of opinionated friends, relatives, associates, employers, school chums and fellow employees, to whom I was a million different things that I never was or would be.  Then how, out of all this information formed about me, either known, accidentally heard, third hand gossiped and given to me by some well intentioned friend, partner, husband, wife, son, sister or brother, did I finally make sense out of what I really was, wanted, needed or wished to be.

 Fortunately, there was a time in my life when it was essential to study my feelings and answer the question for my own immediate peace of mind.  At this point meditation was a must.  Deep conscious thinking and many truthful conclusions about my feelings were necessary.  I truly believed in and practiced "Mind Over Matter."
I didn’t all of a sudden know everything I should know about myself.  No, beginning the journey entailed a somewhat “tacit agreement” to “Know Thyself”.   Once this was done, life took on a new meaning and anticipation.  From then on, everything was interesting because in the context of my commitment I needed to know a lot more about the subject than I would previously have cared to know.
So my hobbies and special interests became anything that created a peaceful satisfaction of life.  I took one thing at a time, within one day at a time, and whatever it was, I committed myself to accomplishment.  What, can I say; that everything I did I knew better than most people!  No, indeed, I did not!
I have never taken the attitude that my way is the better way, but when I was performing certain tasks, I certainly tried to make them easier and more fulfilling, by adapting the best method; that was the one that got it done with the least hassle.  Which reminds me of an anecdote I once read by Fenwick W. Holmes, regarding the unconscious manner with which we all seem to approach our daily tasks.
He pointed out a family that through generations always cut “the ham” in half before cooking.  When the youngest member of the family questioned this, he was referred to his grandmother who recalled her mother did not have a pot big enough!
Ergo, I approached new problems with fresh ideas and kept the phrase in mind “nothing is impossible.”  With this attitude I felt an enthusiasm for all things.
So, my main hobbies are studying Philosophy, Behaviour and Writing (mostly poetry) and I also draw portraits.
One’s philosophy becomes a catalyst to one’s behaviour.  In the book “Calm Yourself” F.W.H. points out how time and time again, we create our own demise by negativism that could so easily have been reversed, had the philosophy from the beginning been hopeful and positive.
Take a normal day.  I wake up.   I can be angry because my dream was interrupted or I’m too tired to get up and I start by cursing the job I have to go to, because I can’t afford not to go, etc.,  
I wake up.   I am thankful to be alive!  It’s Thursday…. better get started, lots to do and plan.  I have a full day ahead of me.
Starting the day off, the second way should surely get more accomplished through the day and end it with a sense of fulfillment.  Looking forward to the next day. Anticipation!
Anticipation is a Philosophy in itself.  The number of interests you have when you have this philosophy, are unlimited.  Everything is interesting, everything is important, everyone is interesting, everyone is important!  Most of all, we recognize ourselves as an instrument and we control that for good, not bad.
Be receptive; smile, think of funny things like “Confucius say belly laugh, belly good.”  As you face people, in your home or on the street, you will be surprised at their friendly response.
If you tend to be critical you are comparing everyone to yourself and assuming you are right in everything you do.  If you know there is a better way you can pass it on, share it, in a diplomatic manner.  Why create, animosity?
Approach everything and everyone, with anticipation of good and it will be good.  Not everyone is approachable.  Don’t worry about it, do what you have-to do.  If it’s a boss who is just too impossible to influence or a relative, working associate – don’t knock yourself out.  Remember, you are committed to improvement of yourself. Of each act, each day, each relationship.  You cannot be critical of others and accomplish anything.
From time to time, you must make decisions to remove yourself from unsavoury company or environments, if it impedes your philosophy.  This philosophy, by the way, does not eliminate communication; it enhances communication.  It is not a philosophy where you ignore unpleasantness, no, it is a philosophy that mediates unpleasantness and breaks it down to unimportance, once it’s analysed, either vocally or intellectually.
Obviously, there is much more to this than can be written briefly, since it is a rolling stone that sees a different scene often. Challenging? Yes, but pleasant and satisfactory.

I am a happy, healthy, and content Senior, and I believe it's because of my "Mind Over Matter" philosophy and my knowledge of myself.


This Is My Life! writing prompt entry
Writing Prompt
Write a poem, short piece of fiction, or an essay about your philosophy of life. No more than 1000 words.


Thanks to Linda Bickson for her beautiful portrait of Isabelle.

988 Words .. computer count.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Artwork by Linda Bickston at

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