Your contribution is a gift to the Community


compassion

The news that has been being reported in  my country is tragic at the moment, multiple deaths that are unexpalinable to anyone with a humane heart. it has made me think how does the community recover from such events when they become permeated in  our history, Soon after the event an unknown person placed a bunch of flowers in Martin Place as a sign of the deep  loss they felt for the people involved, they probably did not know them but they wanted to say i feel for you in some way.bikemartin

In an amazing outpouring of compassion, thousands upon thousands of people have followed suit and it has simply become to be known as the martin Place Flowers Shrine.

flowers

This has brought me to think what options are available to you to mend a broken heart when something unimaginable happens that renders it asunder.

1. Seek professional help.

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. Ralph Waldo Emerson’s quote sums up succintly the power of what we are thinking about something has over us. When your thoughts start getting dark and are making it difficult to face the day its time to talk to someone who has been trained in releasing the grip those thoughts have on you.

2. Write about It.

They say it is better in than out and if you find it difficult to talk to someone about it then the option of writing how you feel gets it out of your head and on the page. As they say you can’t start the next chapter if you keep on reading the last in your head.

3. Physical Touch.

I find this one difficult when in the depths of thinking life is not great but in following this koan: Physical touch makes you healthier. Hugs, Massages and holding hands reduces stress  while boosting your immune system I have allowed my friends and family to help get me back on the path to wellness.

4. Do what makes you Happy.

Be it spending times with friends and family, physical exercise, watching a film that cheers you up, making something, just do a little bit a day if that is all you can do now, and build it up gradually as this will improve your general demeanour.

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5. Meditation.

Your vision will become clear only when you can look in your own heart, who looks outside dreams, who looks inside awakes. Carl Jung expresses very well what the benefits of a daily meditation practice are, meditation is just not for relaxation, its primary purpose is to respond skilfully and gracefully to life’s difficulties as well as  its joy. There are many forms of meditation available, from calm abiding to chakra focus. Try one on until you find the type that suits you.

6. Spirituality.

Nothing goes away until it has taught us what we need to know – Pema Chodron, A Buddhist nun and profound thought leader of our generation covers it pretty well, if we think we know the answer there is no opportunity to advance by learning the lesson our circumstances are trying to teach us. Spending a few hours a week reading your favourite spiritual teacher can only enhance your understanding of the world.

7. Shake, Rattle and Roll.

Walking is the worlds oldest exercise and today modern  medicine. In the days of driving to work and back home again simple exercise like an half an hour walk can transform your life. I started with this and have built up to cycling every where and three sessions in the gym a week.

8. Dancing.

Dancing with the feet is one thing, Dancing with the heart is Another. We all have our favourite music that touches our heart. Put some on and dance to it. As children this was one of our main pastimes, we have just forgotten the enjoyment we get out of it.

Sorry about the break in blogs, busy over the festive season, Namaste till next times my friends.

Namaste

Why had I never heard of her?


Maya

My friend Laura said to me at the end of May the world is a sadder place, Maya has passed. As the only Maya I knew was our mutual friend who was in her thirties I was much  saddened. little did I know that Laura was talking about one of the giants in the field of words that made a difference worldwide Maya Angelou. I am ashamed I did not know of her, reading some of her quotes I actually did but not that she had penned them.

Maya Angelou born Marguerite Annie Johnson; April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014) was an American author, poet, dancer, actress and singer. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, and several books of poetry, and was credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years. She received dozens of awards and more than 50 honorary degrees. Angelou is best known for her series of seven autobiographies, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences. The first, I know why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), tells of her life up to the age of 17 and brought her international recognition and acclaim.

She became a poet and writer after a series of occupations as a young adult, including fry cook, prostitute, nightclub dancer and performer, cast member of the opera Porgy and Bess, coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and journalist in Egypt and Ghana during the decolonisation of Africa. She was an actor, writer, director, and producer of plays, movies, and public television programs. In 1982, she earned the first lifetime Reynolds Professorship of American Studies at Wake Forest University. She was active in the Civil Rights Movement, and worked with Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. Beginning in the 1990s, she made around 80 appearances a year on the lecture circuit, something she continued into her eighties. In 1993, Angelou recited her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” (1993) at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration, making her the first poet to make an inaugural recitation since Robert Frost at President John F. Kennedy’s inauguration in 1961.

words2

It was probably with a pen like this Maya wrote some of her inspiring quotes, here are my favourite fifteen and what they mean to me

1. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

As we are not listening most of the time to remember the words someone spoke its how people touch our hearts that gets in, isn’t it the people who make our hearts flutter that we look forward to seeing again and again.

2. Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.

When you see somebody who is suffering an attack of the blues, don’t give them more reasons to feel that way, always present with a smile wherever possible,  it will be returned to you in spades.

3. There’s a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure the truth.

If we were to believe the mainstream media of today, we would think the truth is no acts of kindness take place on the planet only war, famine and disasters. The truth is that human beings in general have good hearts it just doesn’t seems that media barons believe  that good news doesn’t sell newspapers unfortunately.

4. What you’re supposed to do when you don’t like a thing is change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. Don’t complain.

I have noticed I am spending less and less time with my friends who complain about things instead of getting out there and making the difference. Simply complaining never resolved a single thing in my life, actions did. I’m sure it’s the same for you.

5. Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.

Keep your ethics in line with what you choose to do for your lifetime, do not sell yourself short to be someones friend or lover. Self Love and Love of what you do and the actions you take to do it mean you will succeed in reaching your goals.

liking

6. Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.

Never let the circumstances of a failed relationship kill off the possibility of love appearing in your life again and again. Underneath it all lies Love.

7. Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it!

Are we truly prepared to receive and live our dreams. We must be ready to transform our circumstances when our dreams start coming true. We cannot remain how we were our where we were.

8. Everything in the universe has a rhythm, Everything dances.

When you get down to the atom level, of which we are made you see everything is energy, dancing its dance in life, probably why I love 5 rhythm’s dancing so much.

9. I’ve learned that making a ‘living’ is not the same thing as ‘making a life’.

I have done many a job that did not turn me on in my 60 years of life, I was doing them to bring the cash in to survive. I hit many bumps and pot holes making my life but it is smoothing out these days. What you do for a living is just as important as who are your friends in “making a life”.

10. I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.

Heart space, I seem to know that when I decide from here it will all work out. When I listen to my mind lots of What If’s and it won’t seem to come up on a regular basis. Keep training in the methodology of listening to your heart, meditation helps.

Heartspace

11. Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for.

Remember to give yourself holidays on a regular basis. Kick back and just relax, don’t save the planet on these days, recoup your energy, every champion deserves a break.

12. If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded.

The search for meaning for yourself is on the inner path, the satisfaction in life is gained in service to others. Making lots of Money at the expense of not giving back to the world is soulless and will stunt your growth and success.

13. Success is loving life and daring to live it.

Another Success quote simple in the question it asks, I dare You!!

14. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.

That famous quote that says whether you are 20 or 80 if you stop learning you die, never, ever give up the path of learning. As our life changes moment to moment so does what we need to know to flourish.

15. “Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.”

This is one of Mayas poems, it is beautiful in its simplicity, saying that whatever happens in our lives we will still rise.

These 15 quotes came from a list of 480, perhaps everything you say becomes a quote when you are as gifted and insightful as Maya Angelou. I hope that this list of my favourites gives you some insight into the power of her words.

Namaste until next time, my friends.

Namaste

Finding the Now!!


TheNow

There are so many schools of thought how to be in the Now emanating across the airwaves these days one does not really know who to believe or where to begin to find the most useful amongst them. I have tried many of them over my sixty years so I thought I would pass on a few I have found useful.

1. Calm Abiding Meditation

“There are many stages in mental development, but as soon as we are able to maintain the mind in a calm state, at that very moment there is joy and peace. This is reflected in the body becoming relaxed, and then the mind becomes more relaxed. As the mind calms down, the hidden enlightened qualities emerge more and more.”

—Venerable Khenpo Rinpoche

This statement sums up pretty much what you can achieve in the daily practice of Calm Abiding meditation, a practice I did for 7 years, and which I have recently taken up again after a break of 5 years. I trained to become a meditation Teacher during those 7 years and look forward to using those skills again after my practice is established again.

2. Hatha Yoga

Hatha yoga describes the physical practice of yoga. In fact, sometimes the name Hatha is used interchangeably with “yoga.” The slow pace and simple breathing exercises make it a great place to learn basic poses and become comfortable on the mat. My breath cycle improved from 9 seconds to 44 while I was doing Yoga and only gave it up when I discovered the beauty of Tai Chi.

yoga

3. Tai Chi

Developed originally in China as a self-defense strategy, or martial art, tai chi—the “supreme ultimate fist”—is practiced in modern times primarily as a gentle exercise technique. Described as “meditation in motion,” tai chi consists of a standing person performing a series of postures or bodily movements in a slow and graceful manner, with each movement flowing without pause to the next. According to Chinese legend, the technique was created by a Taoist monk who was inspired as he watched a crane and a snake do battle. Impressed by the ‘snake’s ability to subtly and swiftly avoid the bird’s thrusts, he devised a series of self-defense techniques that do not involve meeting the opponent’s force with force, but rather stress evading the blow; causing the opponent’s own momentum to work against him. I do the Beijing  24 practice daily and am learning he Bamboo practice. I Also do a warm up called Qigong

4. Qigong

Qigong, literally: “Life Energy Cultivation” is a practice of aligning body, breath, and mind for health, meditation, and martial arts training. With roots in Chinese medicine and Philosophy and martial arts, qigong is traditionally viewed as a practice to cultivate and balance qi (chi) or what has been translated as “life energy”.[1]

According to Daoist, Buddhist, and Confucian philosophy, respectively, qigong allows access to higher realms of awareness, awakens one’s “true nature”, and helps develop human potential. This noble practice has helped me regain my well being and is my current practice.

Tai Chi

5. 5 Rhythms Dance

5Rhythms is a movement meditation practice devised by Gabrielle Roth in the late 1970s. It draws from indigenous and world traditions using tenets of shamanistic ecstatic, mystical and eastern philosophy. Fundamental to the practice is the idea that everything is energy, and moves in waves, patterns and rhythms.

Gabrielle describes the practice as a soul journey, and says that by moving the body, releasing the heart, and freeing the mind, one can connect to the essence of the soul, the source of inspiration in which an individual has unlimited possibility and potential.

Getting back to this has allowed me to free my body and be much more present in the Now of my body.

6. Philosophers Notes

Brian Johnson made mega dollars in the I.T. industry then went to Bali and read all the great books. His gift to the world is he can summarise them beautifully.

PhilosophersNotes are like healthy, energizing snacks for the mind, heart and soul! This is such a superb idea, and Brian has such a natural, infectiously appealing way of making it relevant to just about everybody. For avid personal-development aficionados, Philosophers Notes serve as a sampler plate of the very best reads out there, making it easier to decide which new books to crack open next, and which classics deserve a fresh look.

I did one of these for about 60 days in a row then read the books that really touched my heart. They say the day you die is the day you stop learning, in our busy world this is an excellent way to get to access the best quickly. Here’s a link if you are interested https://www.entheos.com/philosophersnotes 5r

7. Communing with Nature

We forget that Gaia has been gifted  to remind us that we are all part of the greater plan. A weekend away from the chaos of the city in a forest , or near a beach or river restores our sense of Now. Leaving your phone, computer and work behind for this period has us focus on things like trees, animals and the fresh air that these places are filled with.

8. Growing and Cooking my own Food

Supermarkets are not even 100 years old, how did humans get their food prior to the existence of what is now the major supplier of Food for the human race. We grew our own and prepared and cooked it ourselves or brought it from our local producers. The joy of  planting you own vegetables and having your own chickens is immeasurable and making your own meals from fresh, non toxic produce bought from a local farmers market is so good for your health.

Well, I hope this has helped you a little, Namaste until next time my Friends.

Namaste

Take Some Things off The Table


table

Love and Respect for All, Everyone Included. This is my core goal, to have this be the paradigm for the world. My core desired feelings are Love, Peace, Bliss H.O.P.E. – Helping Other People Evolve and Abundance. I need to bring all these into play to achieve such an awesome goal. I had two others, To let my soulmate find me and to be a Kundalini Dance Teacher for Elders that have sort of fallen by the way in 2014 so will reassess them next year.

Often we take on far to many goals for the year and set ourselves up for failure in at least a few of them. People have made an industry out of helping people achieve their New Year Promises made on a dash and a prayer at one or another  NYE celebration, a lot of them based on wouldn’t life be better if ……, sort of like your personal wish list.

wish

Usually they are the biggies that have been following us around for a lot of our life, weight issues, money issues, relationship issues, you name it they could be  on that list. A much more useful practice would be to say Not yet or even, gasp ditch these things that having been hanging around our necks for time immemorial. How do we do such a revolutionary thing when we have been trying our whole lives with little apparent success.

I have put together a list of suggestions and practices that have worked for me over the journey.

1. Your Life is your message to the World, Make sure it is Inspiring.

You have 86,400 seconds in each day, in fact each human has the same exact amount  of them a day. You have the opportunity to have the same effect as Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, The Dalai Lama, Oprah Winfrey on the planet. Use them as powerfully as you can, its in what you give not how much you make.

2.  None of us can change our Yesterdays, but all of Us can Change our Tomorrows.

The one thing you are guaranteed in life is change, the more we resist it the more painful the trip is. If you want something in your life, unstick the glue that you have formed your identity with, begin with being real about where you are at this moment.

3. It takes only one Person  to change your world – You.

I spent years working in Government service because I had an attachment to feeling safe financially. My heart was speaking to me the last five years to get out and fly but I did not listen ending up with severe mental health issues. Since having my career curtailed I have discovered my passion https://www.facebook.com/groups/Interulturalism/ but I had to travel quite a journey to get there. I am so glad I did.

4. You must make a Choice to take a chance or your life will never Change.

Each and every moment of the day we make instant choices, to brush our teeth, to go to work, to eat a meal. We also have the choice to take a real chance that will make a difference in the direction we are heading. These choices are also instant, just that there is a whole lot of dross in our head that tells us why we can’t, don’t listen to it.

blessing

5. The Ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones that do.

Who do you spend you time with, I spend my time more and more with people who have these ideas that take other people getting on board to help better the planet. From Little things  Big things grow and I’ve got a biggie.

6. There are no Mistakes.

Making the social media airwaves at the moment is this inspiring 2 minute something video by Oprah Winfrey https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZ3ucnkDOiY pointing to the fact there are no such things as mistakes in our lives only opportunities. Where we live , what we do, who we hang around with, we chose that.

7. I’ve been embraced by a new community, thats what happens when you’re finally honest about who you are, you find others like you.

Spend time finding out who you are at your heart space, when this emanates from you, then they will come. I met two of the people that inspire me in a Raw food shop.

8. Lifes most persistent and urgent question is – What are you doing for others.

Who do you include in your dreams, if your dream  is to own a Ferrari or ten houses then when you get them there will still be that missing factor, How have you improved the lot of others, Focussing on yourself in your actions is the booby prize. You can go internal to resolve your issues but it is in what you provide for others the juice lies.

So these are a few of my practices and suggestions. Get Up, Stand Up for your Rights, its up to Us, Because we Can, its our Time.

Namaste until next time, my friends

Namaste

Small Changes, Big Results


results

These are the beginning of 300 foot trees if they survive their journey. This is the same for human beings, we are destined to be the leaders of the world if we fulfil our dreams or failed seedling if we do not. As seedlings/children we imagine amazing futures for ourselves and our friends, real or imagined. Then comes something called the education system that is more and more becoming about normalising children, packing them into little boxes so they all come out the same prepared for their careers in our economic world.

Would we have lost the space program if all the astronauts of the world have stuck to their childhood declaration and sought to walk on the Moon or Mars for that matter. Would we have the politicians we have today if all the 4 year old presidents and prime ministers who wanted to make a difference to their friends and family had followed their dreams and transformed their communities.

Ritu Ghatourey,a writer from India  said – Your life is made up of little moments, little efforts, little changes, big smiles, and all your hopes and dreams. Don’t think any problem in your life is any different. Don’t accept defeat. You were built to triumph through. I admit there are times where I have not lived up to these ideals.

overcoming_obstacles

Here are 7 things that can keep  you on the straight and narrow when you feel that the results you desire are slipping away from you.

1. You are exactly where you need to be.

All those thoughts that keep saying I’m not going to make it , I have failed are not correct, you are where you need to be right now on your life journey, you cannot be anywhere else as a matter of fact.

2. Trust yourself Vs. the Doubting monster.

Love and Respect for all, Everyone included. If you go through life with this koan there will be no room to doubt what you are doing will succeed because you will have the majority of people onside. People who exude love have to push away people who are willing to support them because there are so many of them lined up.

3. Give up resisting what life does every moment  of the day , Change!

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

4. Never stop learning.

There is a quote that goes “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning today is young. The greatest thing on the world today is to keep your mind young. I would add your heart and soul to this as well, the access to the knowledge of the elders is growing and refreshening our heart soul and mind is essential to keep our dreams and projects alive.

dreams2

5.Develop a Gratitude practice.

We can be grateful for what we have in our lives, or complain and judge them, here are some reasons that being grateful works and makes us an all round better person.

  1. Feeling more connected (less lonely)
  2. Strengthened immune system
  3. Improved emotional equilibrium
  4. Better sleep
  5. Increased energy
  6. More confidence in ourselves
  7. Deeper relaxation
  8. Appear more attractive to others
  9. Increased creativity
  10. Easier bounce back from difficulty

I sure would  like some of these!! Gratitude journal and the writing of Thank you notes are great practices to help manifest this.

6. Sun Gazing.

The practice of sungazing closely resembles its name. At sunrise and/or sunset, when the sun is closest to the earth, sungazers stand barefoot on the earth and look directly at the sun for 10 seconds. Every day, 10 seconds are added and some sungazers eventually reach a duration of 44 minutes. This is meant to increase your melatonin and serotonin levels, our feel good hormones which also increase our overall energy.

7. Care with no Reason, Love with no Expectation.

Life rarely turns out exactly the way you want it to, but you still have an opportunity to make it great. You have to do what you can, with what you have, exactly where you are. It wont always be easy, but it will be worth it in the end. Remember that there is no perfect life, just perfect moments. And its these moments you must cherish; its these moments that make the whole journey worthwhile.

Another Ritu Ghatourey quote to end on, no attachments make it easier to walk your path and have more and more great moments in your life, projects , relationship, pretty well all areas in your life.

Namaste until next time, my friends.

Namaste