What I love about living in Africa, is that it is not deemed inappropriate to have wild animals in your garden.  Upon moving into my new home the amazeballs view of a veld (which for non-natives means “open piece of ground/field”) demanded some extra special hard landscaping elements.  So I set out on a ‘hunt’ for the perfect elements.  One day when perusing carvings from a Balinese furniture shop (ironic isn’t it!) I found him.. or should I say them. The most interesting carving of a two-headed crocodile.  I will reveal that the fact he was on sale was the factor in initially stopping me in my tracks.  It was a forgone conclusion, crocodile tears of love at first site, I just had to have him… He found his home on the edge of my deck looking at the veld (for non-natives – still an open piece of ground/field).

When I’m fortunate enough not to be rushing into the madness of traffic, I rest a while with a coffee in hand admiring my mockadile, engrossed in the pleasure of having my very own happy wild beast.

Yesterday, after an extremely emotionally draining day, I gazed across at my mockadile and was overcome with horror!! Why didn’t I see it before?  Monkey talk overload started.. He is absolutely atrocious!!! What was I thinking when I laid out good moola for him?  No wonder he was on sale! He’s not laughing, he’s snarling.  About to eat the poor unsuspecting sparrow sitting on his nose!!

In that instant, looking at something I had been loving for months, I felt disgusted and disillusioned.  There and then as I slinked back into the house, I made a mental note to turn him into firewood later.

It got me thinking.  Isn’t it remarkable that one can see something from such varying perspectives! That one day something is the bees knees and the next it is not!   How many times do we change something because we feel that something is wrong?  How quick are we to leave a job because it is boring or change partners because they don’t fulfil our needs?  Do we have a fixed point of view? What if we could find a different thinking for that thing.

As humans, when something is not working, we immediately jump to decide to change that thing (the content) and 90% of the time we experience the same thing somewhere else or with someone else.   But you may ask, what is the alternative?

What if we changed our thinking / context?  For example – ‘Mondays are terrible -> Mondays are fundays’.   Corny example I know, but I’m trying to put across a point here.  Would it not be a powerful psychological tool to be able to look for the positives, the bright spots, a different point of view?

So, my task was to change my context.  The one I currently had about my mockadile wasn’t serving me.  I’d spent good cash on him and he was the primary feature in my garden AND I have a gas fireplace so the wood would go to waste!! What was my new context that I should choose?

It made more sense to me that I should choose to see him as laughing in the sun.  And that I should choose to surrender to this new context (forget the snarling visual)…

Snarling transformed to Laughing..

I walked outside, mentally decided on the new context and decided So It Shall Be

Now… all I see when I gaze out is my Laughing Mockadile, and truthfully it brings a smile.. Where in your life, could you choose a new context?

Tanya Long – 2016/09/16