Tag Archives: advice from The Spark

Advice from The Spark

I try so hard to be nice, but no matter what I do, I always seem to get it wrong.  At work I am constantly being criticised and whenever I try to help by telling people what needs to be done I get snapped at and treated like a nuisance.  Even if I try to show an interest by asking questions about how my colleagues projects are going, I am ridiculed for my ignorance and made to feel like a halfwit.  Nobody appreciates me.  I feel like I would be doing everyone a favour if I just disappeared.  What should I do?

The way you describe your colleagues sounds very much like the behaviour of people under pressure.  They no doubt have lots of things on their minds and little patience for distractions.  You probably feel as though you are helping by reminding when important things need to be done, but to people with lots to remember and never enough time to do everything, any extra reminder of something they seem to have neglected may feel like an accusation or just an extra burden for them to carry.  They will most likely reject or resent your concern.  That’s normal.  It’s most likely that your colleagues are not even aware of your feelings because they are so caught up in their important business, but I very much doubt that anyone intends to criticise or put you down.  A workplace can be a brutal environment for sensitive emotions, so please be aware of your surroundings and don’t take other people’s harsh responses personally.
You suggest disappearing… Well maybe you could try this in a subtle way by avoiding the battle ground of communication with your colleagues and not entering into discussions until they invite you to.  Wherever possible leave your messages, inquiries and reminders in writing, in a business-like, respectful manner, and then put them out of your mind.  Once you have dealt with them in this way, you will have done all you need to.
Forget about trying to be nice.  You can never please everybody, so stop wasting your time and energy trying so hard to be nice.  Your attention will be far more wisely invested in completing your tasks at hand to the best of your ability, and respecting that your colleagues will attend to theirs.  Don’t resent their attitude.  It is not your fault, nor can you fix it.  Just accept the pressure they are under and do what you can to be serene, attentive to your actions and enjoy yourself.

The Spark

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Advice from the Spark

I am in love with a woman who is in a relationship with another man. Sometimes I think she has feelings for me but I can’t tell for sure. Should I tell her my feelings?

I find it strangely ironic that you are asking my advice about matters of the heart.  I’m a spark!  I don’t have a physical form, therefore I am completely unaffected by emotion.   Still, it’s probably very sensible of you to ask a spark.  You are no doubt under the influence of this mindless state of infatuation that you humans so clumsily label as love, which is actually no more than an emotional loop that has grown in your neurons.  You have developed a tight little neural net which when triggered by some memory or thought or interaction with the victim of your obsession (Dear me.  If I had eyes I would be rolling them right now) it sends a signal to a gland in your brain to inject endorphins into your blood stream which gives you a high.  You have now grown attached to this pattern and cannot envisage how you would cope without a constant supply of this stimulation which you associate with this woman.

I apologise for my lack of sensitivity.  I consider this adoration that human beings have for one another as a condition that borders on insanity, and I have very little patience for it.  Probably because it closes down the rational, peripherally conscious parts of the brain which make in unreceptive to spark influence.  So whenever my host brain goes into this mode I am forced to depart.

Getting back to your problem; very sensible for you to seek a rational, sparkly objective viewpoint, although I very much doubt that what I tell you is what you want to hear.

What do you expect to gain by sharing your feelings with a woman who cannot respond to them?  Do you truly believe that her feelings for you may be strong enough for her to leave her partner and devote herself to you?  I am guessing that this is what you desire… But do you honestly believe you have the power to cause her to do that?  The cold hearted answer is no.  You cannot make this woman act or feel any way that you want her to.  You cannot control her feelings or actions, and if you believe that you may be able to influence her in any way, then I’m sorry, but you are insane.

If you don’t expect her to leave her partner, but think she may be interested in a secret little affair, just to flirt with the possibility of one day running off together and living happily ever after, then I would suggest you ask yourself seriously if you are willing to bare the pain and dissatisfaction, the guilt of deceit and possibly even the loss of your friendship with her (not to mention your dignity), because some, if not all of these things are certain to come to you if you proceed down this path.

If you are simply fantasizing about having sex with this woman and feel you cannot control your animal desires, then be honest with yourself and don’t call it love.  Love deserves far more respect than that.  Unless she initiates a purely sexual no-emotion-attached type exploration with you, then I would suggest you keep your fantasies to yourself and enjoy them as fantasies.  I am witness to this scenario and can assure you that most fantasies of this kind are far more enjoyable as fantasies than the realities of them actually occurring.

So my advice to you is the easiest to give and sometimes the most difficult to follow.  Simply do nothing.  You cannot cause love to blossom all by yourself, nor can you avoid it.  If this woman loves you and your love was meant to be then one day you will be thrown together and there will be no doubts.  If you are in doubt right now, do nothing.  If you do nothing, what you have right now will not be lost.  Treasure your feelings for her now as they are without expecting anymore from her in return.  Don’t be greedy.  Give her space and respect and have patience and faith that all will fall into place without your clumsy intervention.

The Spark

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Advice from the Spark

I have so many things I need to do but I find that getting things done is such a struggle! What can I do?

Sounds to me like you are caught in a hamster wheel.  The harder you try, the faster it spins and you still get no where.  Do you feel as though each day is a trial to get through?  That every obstacle along the way presents new problems and set backs?  That from the moment you wake in the morning until you fall asleep at night you are racing against time?  Do you wish life could be easier?

What if I told you it could be?  Would you be willing to give it a go?  Because it can be.  Life can be full of excitement, love and comedy if you let it.  You can still keep up with your obligations and projects without sliding and falling behind.  In fact you may find that your methods are smoother, more efficient and more creative when you allow life to be and work with it, rather than against it.

There’s no use in fearing or dreading the day ahead.  That’s not going to change anything apart from putting you in a bad mood and making it harder for yourself to cope with the day’s challenges.  Instead, when you wake in the morning put yourself trustingly in the hands of the present moment and make a deal with the day to accept what comes your way and cooperate by playing your part as it unfolds for you.  Each day is a gift.  Don’t reject it ungratefully by wishing it were different, but appreciate the opportunities you are given.  To the inexperienced many opportunities may be confused as problems.  Don’t be fooled.

Where are your problems now anyway?  Are they pounding on the door, trying to all come in at once to “get” you?  If they are, welcome them in. Give them your full attention and cooperate with them by doing what is required of you.  There’s no need to judge or resist them.  They exist, so calmly and mindfully deal with them one by one.  Notice and enjoy the feeling of harmony when working with life, rather than against it.

Or you may notice that your problems are not really out there after all.  It may be that the only place they exist right now is in your mind.  Perhaps the only thing that requires your immediate attention right now is to breathe and to be in this moment as you put this step of your plan into action.  That is all you ever really need to do. As you do so, respect your actions and give them the attention they deserve.  This will help you to go about your tasks more effectively with less stumbling and tripping.

If you are out of step with life’s rhythm you will feel like you are fighting a current, forcing your way through, exhausting yourself without gaining pleasure or satisfaction from your activities.  If you let life run it’s course and take the moments necessary to find your place in the rhythm and your comfortable cruising speed, life will be easier and more enjoyable.  Your actions will feel natural and effortless.  You will find that your problems often sort themselves out without your clumsy intervention, and solutions will present themselves when you are more receptive to your surroundings.  You will feel energised and alive when you find your slipstream.  You will find excitement in a challenge and pride in a job well done.  You will laugh more, attract appreciation from others and create opportunities to do all the things you never used to have time for.

Stop trying so hard.  Tension and resistance drain your energy and blind you.  Remember to breathe, accept what is, and whatever you do, make it fun!

The Spark

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Advice from the Spark

I am a single, overweight 40-something. I feel like I’m wasting my life. What can I do?

What do you feel is lacking in your life right now?  Is there anything missing? Maybe you do already have everything you need to be happy, but just need to discover where your happiness and joy has been hiding.

Is there anything in your life right now that you have the power to change, which may help unblock your connection with life and fulfillment? Maybe everything is fine the way it is and you are already as happy and content as you possibly can be…  But the fact that you are asking me this question indicates that you have some doubt within yourself.  Maybe it’s not obvious and pressing, but more of a persistent itch that feels like it can never really be scratched satisfactorily.

You mention your weight… This would be the most obvious problem a human would focus on.  As a spark, I can assure you that your physical shell is not really you, but merely a reflection of how you view and treat yourself.  Maybe it could be suggested that your excess weight is the manifestation of your unsatisfiable hunger, rather than the cause of your discontent.  It is completely normal for humans to feel perpetually hungry for fulfillment.  This is usually the explanation behind so much of their irrational behaviour.  Your discontent may even be aggravated by the form in which you attend to your hunger (this is often the case).  Hunger, naturally, you would associate with food, so it’s perfectly logical that whenever you feel the aches and pains of your discontent, you reach for the most automatic, tried and trusted remedy, which in your case may be food.  This action no doubt calms your discontent temporarily, but the long term, chronic itching persists.

Rather than feeling uncomfortable in your body because you judge it as being overweight, why not recognise your weight as the result of mistreatment.  Is food really the only way for you to satisfy your hunger?  Why not vary your emotional diet with more nutritious, longer lasting activities which fertilize the growth of true happiness or aid in the re-ignition and maintenance of your inner flame.

This is probably sounding like a whole lot of cosmic rubbish.  What you really want is reassurance and simple answers.  So let me suggest to you some clues which will lead the way to rediscovering your true self and ultimately your true happiness:

* Think of the times in your life when you have felt most alive.  What was that feeling like?  Remember it intensely.  What allowed you to feel that way then?  What is stopping you from feeling that way again now?

* Think of all the fun you have had in your life.  Do you still do any of those things now?  If not, why not?  What’s stopping you?

* When was the last time you experienced a soulful connection with another Human Being? I don’t just mean during sexual intercourse. Think about times when you have opened your heart to a friend or sibling or parent, maybe even to a stranger, and shared with them your true feelings?  What gave you the courage to do it then?  What’s stopping you from doing it again now?

You don’t need to stop doing any of the things you are physically doing, or give up deriving pleasure from food.  Food is not the problem, it’s just not the only answer.

Be aware of all the other opportunities for soul fulfilment that life gives you each day.  When you see an opportunity to try something new or do something differently, take a risk.  See what happens.  Be brave.  Live each day as if it were your last.

The Spark

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