Where we Wrong?


Today I wrote on reconciliation. In our country there is a call for reconciliation to recognise the indigenous people who are not recognised in our constitution. There is one slight problem, most of the indigenous people don’t want reconciliation they want a treaty that recognises the fact the land was stolen off them.

This has caused much division, in the area where I live there is a call to change the name of the local electorate from Batman, named after explorer John Batman to recognising our indigenous people, the Wurrundjeri.

Batman is a controversial figure due to his dealings with Aboriginal peoples in Van Diemen’s Land/ AKA Tasmania and Victoria. The artist John Glover, Batman’s neighbour in Van Diemens Land, said Batman was “a rogue, thief, cheat and liar, a murderer of blacks and the vilest man I have ever known”.

The treaty Batman negotiated with local Aboriginal peoples in 1835, to acquire land in the Port Phillip area, was a matter of controversy in his day, and has remained an event of great historical interest and debate.

So what does the world say about reconciliation and is it essential that it occurs for the soul of the earth to be restored. Lets begin out journey:

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1. Actually Thich Nhat Hanh, this beautiful man has been a peace and reconciliation activist since the days of the Vietnam War. He was interviewed by Oprah, a bit long but worthwhile: The Interview.

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2. Recognised as one of the greatest peace activists on his release, he was originally jailed for being a guerrilla, he set up the famous truth and reconciliation commission after the end of apartheid so that chaos did not break out and that a new future could be created in South Africa.

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3. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, was a Spanish writer who is widely regarded as the greatest writer in that language and one of the world’s pre-eminent novelists. What do you think he means by this statement?

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4. It is said that we outgrow people but what about those times we made somebody wrong for what they said or did. I recently made up with a person who had been one of my dearest friends. My heart sung after I did it.

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5. What if we could restore all the broken hearts we suffered in our life, would the world occur differently, fuck yeah!!

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6. Nelson again, putting it in our faces. South African Songs

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7. Practical action, Fraser was the last Liberal Party Prime Minister to practise Keynesian economics. In retirement, Fraser became involved in international relief and humanitarian aid issues and, domestically, as a forthright liberal voice for human rights. Shortly after Tony Abbott won the 2009 Liberal Party leadership spill, Fraser ended his Liberal Party membership, stating the party was “no longer a liberal party but a conservative party”.

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8. In Victory someone usually loses, Reconciliation tends to be the opposite where both parties obtain what they desire.

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9. García Márquez started as a journalist, and wrote many acclaimed non-fiction works and short stories, but is best known for his novels, such as One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967), The Autumn of the Patriarch (1975), and Love in the Time of Cholera (1985). His works have achieved significant critical acclaim and widespread commercial success, most notably for popularising a literary style labelled as magic realism, which uses magical elements and events in otherwise ordinary and realistic situations. Some of his works are set in a fictional village called Macondo (the town mainly inspired by his birthplace Aracataca), and most of them explore the theme of solitude. This powerful statement speaks to the gift of reconciliation.

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10. The Fonz from the sitcom Happy Days could not say these words. How much pain has our inability to say them caused us? In my case quite a bit.

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11. Have you ever met someone you keep running into in the most unusual situations. I saw one of these people on a TV program the other day.

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12. Brother Roger was awarded the UNESCO Prize for Peace Education in 1988 and wrote many books on prayer and reflection, asking young people to be confident in God and committed to their local church community and to humanity. He also wrote books about Christian spirituality and prayer, some together with Mother Teresa with whom he shared a cordial friendship. A springtime to the Soul sounds like a wonderful place to hang out in. Leonard Cohen has a wistful song about reconciliation : Amen.

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13. South Africa’s other great peace activist, Desmond Tutu calls us out that forgiveness and reconciliation are real things we need to take action on. Tutu’s admirers see him as a great man who, since the demise of apartheid, has been active in the defence of human rights and uses his high profile to campaign for the oppressed. He has campaigned to fight HIV/AIDS,tuberculosis, poverty, racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984; the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism in 1986; the Pacem in Terris Award in 1987; the Sydney Peace Prize in 1999; the Gandhi Peace Prize in 2007; and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009. He has also compiled several books of his speeches and sayings.

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14. The great Chinese philosopher Unknown asks us to walk powerfully on the earth, so do I.

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15. And we must never forget the magical powers of the Unicorn of Reconciliation, they can help heal the world.

I believe that we can heal the planet through reconciliation, not with just fellow human beings, but the other animals and the plants as well.

Namaste until next time , my dear friends.

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Do they really love us and can they talk?


I am back on the air. After washing my phone and not having access to my verification codes to do an article for several weeks I have my beloved I phone 6 back. I saw an elderly woman walking her beloved pooch this morning on my walk to work, she was dressed in black so I assume that her beloved had passed and that her little white poodle filled her heart in the physical sense at least.

This made me think as a pet-less one, putting me in the minority in my country, 63% of households have one, 40% dogs and 23% cats and probably like my sister Ruth having both ,what it is that pets fulfil in people lives.

I tried not to choose 15 images of cats and dogs, but they are definitely the favourite, so lets go on our journey about the love between the furry ones and their two-legged friends who bizarrely think they are the masters.

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1. I never got into pet ownership as a child due to our family having several disasters occur. Dog poisonings,  pigeon fox attacks etc. etc. I  would enjoy the company of a cat but my lease says nada to that.

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2. I am in-laws to a cat and a dog, Suki and Lhasa. How much attention Suki gets my brother in law said once that he wants to come back as her next time around to receive the attention that my sister pours on her. Lhasa is an old cat who rules the roost.

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3. Unknown must secretly be a dog or a cat. This speaks so strongly about the bond between the pets and their owners that I know. This song by Patti Page does also : How much is that Doggie in the Window.

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4. Those nights watching our favourite life’s a little bit hard at the moment” with our beloved moggie or puppy are so, so special.

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5. One knows that as soon as you begin cuddling or patting yours or someones pet you next half an hour has just been taken up.

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6. This is the contract you take on with an animal, are you ready for it?

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7. I just had to put this one in, it’s funny and explains some of their cuter expressions.

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8. Research shows that hugging (and also laughter) is extremely effective at healing sickness, disease, loneliness, depression, anxiety and stress. Research shows a proper deep hug, where the hearts are pressing together, can benefit you in these ways:

1. The nurturing touch of a hug builds trust and a sense of safety

2. Hugs can instantly boost oxytocin levels, which heal feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anger.
3. Holding a hug for an extended time lifts one’s serotonin levels, elevating mood and creating happiness.
4. Hugs strengthen the immune system. The gentle pressure on the sternum and the emotional charge this creates activates the Solar Plexus Chakra. This stimulates the thymus gland, which regulates and balances the body’s production of white blood cells, which keep you healthy and disease free.
5. Hugging boosts self-esteem. From the time we’re born our family’s touch shows us that we’re loved and special. The associations of self-worth and tactile sensations from our early years are still embedded in our nervous system as adults. The cuddles we received from our Mom and Dad while growing up remain imprinted at a cellular level, and hugs remind us at a somatic level of that. Hugs, therefore, connect us to our ability to self love.
6. Hugging relaxes muscles. Hugs release tension in the body. Hugs can take away pain; they soothe aches by increasing circulation into the soft tissues.
7. Hugs balance out the nervous system. The galvanic skin response of someone receiving and giving a hug shows a change in skin conductance. The effect in moisture and electricity in the skin suggests a more balanced state in the nervous system – parasympathetic.
8. Hugs teach us how to give and receive. There is equal value in receiving and being receptive to warmth, as to giving and sharing. Hugs educate us how love flows both ways.
9. Hugs are so much like meditation and laughter. They teach us to let go and be present in the moment. They encourage us to flow with the energy of life. Hugs get you out of your circular thinking patterns and connect you with your heart and your feelings and your breath.
10. The energy exchange between the people hugging is an investment in the relationship. It encourages empathy and understanding. And, it’s synergistic, which means the whole is more than the sum of its parts: 1 1 = 3 or more! This synergy is more likely to result in win-win outcomes.

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9. Did the philosophiser Immanuel Kant creator of I think, therefore I am also come up with this classic statement about the human part of the partnership of animal and owner?
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10. I’m sure most pet owners have nightmares about this. Cat Stevens would like you to sing you a song : I love my Dog!!.
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11. James Alfred “Alf” Wight, OBE, FRCVS (3 October 1916 – 23 February 1995), known by the pen name James Herriot, was a British veterinary surgeon and writer, who used his many years of experiences as a veterinary surgeon to write a series of books each consisting of stories about animals and their owners. He is best known for these semi-autobiographical works, beginning with All Creatures Great and Small in 1972. The British television series adapted from the books is also titled All Creatures Great and Small.
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12. My nephew was afraid of dogs for many a year after hearing a German shepherd bark for an extended period of time. Many things can cause phobias towards our furred ones. What would you name your snail?
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13. Not always the most logical creatures, are they. Just tricksters at heart really.
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14. Cutest animal picture of the blog, and best quote as well.
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15. How could I look at this photo and not think of Michael Jackson’s first hit: Ben.
Being one of the 37% minority in my country who do not do this I feel I am close to having the illegal cat. We spend close to 1 billion dollars a year on our furry creatures and they love us for it.
Namaste until next time , my dear friends.
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Taking it All In.


My friend Jo Jo Smith posted a comment on the Orlando massacre today: No More Guns . I have been listening to my body as to how it feels about what it would take for a person to take the lives of 50 fellow human beings. In my mind I can’t imagine how you could devalue life that much, but on a daily basis people do it.

Who or what teaches us our human values? When my father passed I learnt a harsh lesson in expecting someone to be there and then they were no longer. You can have memories but its not the same. So what do people say about human values, 15 quotes that delve deep into it today. Lets begin the journey:

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1. Elvis sings in his song Always on My Mind about making people feel second best, do you want to leave those type of fingerprints Second best or not.

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2. The fourth estate is another way of referring to the media. I think they have forgotten the above human value, at least in the  country I reside in, Australia.

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3. Your values cannot be challenged by it suddenly becoming the hard road to travel, they are what makes you who you are.

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4. Brene Brown  has a beautiful definition of Integrity : Courage over Comfort, What’s right over fun, fast and easy, practicing your values not just professing them. I think it adequately covers what the above quote is pointing at.

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5. I think they should have a subject that is called values all through our schooling years. Our later years would be so much easier and we would make a lot less mistakes.

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6. It’s like always telling the truth, if you live from your values you do not have to remember what you did, as you have nothing to fear having done wrong.

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7. Perhaps the greatest exponent of Human Values, Tenzin Gyatso, the Dalai Lama realises just how important it is to spread the message of having a set of harmonious values.

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8. University degrees, hit singles, Trumps Billions are no replacement for living by your word. Reliable, Accountable, Integrity, treat people with these.

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9. I’m sure if we lived our life this way we would live an extraordinary one. They say people who are knocked down, who then pause and ask the hard questions rise the strongest.

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10. The labels we place on ourselves by country, religion, race or colour enable us to not be a good person to others, try being a human being.

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11. Seems there are a few nations doing this over remembering that we are all part of the human race. We need a little more Respect – Aretha.

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12. I must admit I had to look up who Helen Walton was,  Helen Robson Kemper Walton was the wife of Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club founder Sam Walton. At one point in her life, she was the richest American and the eleventh-richest woman in the world.  Love her quote.

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13. If you do what you Love for job, you will never work another day in your life.

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14. Sherry Turkle is an M.I.T. professor who questions how Technology is treating our values and connection. her TED talk Connected but Alone has been watch over 3 million times. Perhaps she has got onto something.

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15. This is what was forgotten in Orlando. I beg of you to restore these values to where they must be  held by all human beings , in our hearts and minds.

My friend Jo Jo has an anthem for these values, its called Standing In the Lovelight.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love and Respect for All, Everyone Included


I just attended another of our intercultural events at the Darebin Intercultural Centre where many different cultures gather to learn about what makes each of theirs special. I have developed a Facebook page Interculturalism with the ethos that is the title of this blog. Join us in posting about things that express this.

How many different cultures do you have amongst your friends, I find the social groups that I hang around in are made up of the dominant Caucasian race that our country was settled with. A person from a different culture is a novelty , you may say.

How do you get to learn about the world if you cannot afford to travel, you have the opportunity at places like our centre and can reach out to other cultures and find out what events they hold to show off what makes them special.

I have chosen 15 quotes that cover the wide spectrum that is Interculturalism, lets begin our journey around the planet:

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1. If you meet someone who does not know your native language, give them the universal sign of welcome, a smile, that will break the ice.

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2. Our recently deposed Prime Minister ruled using jingoistic saying, one of the most demeaning was Team Australia, pointing out that if you did not belong to it you were on the outer in our country.

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3. These are some of the ways you can say welcome, there are 6,909 distinct languages on the planet.

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4. With all of our different customs and economies we cannot forget we are all inhabitants of Gaia, mother earth and must make sure that we treat her well. Some western economies seem to have forgotten this.

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5. 1984, the book and movie , In a dystopian 1984, Winston Smith (John Hurt) endures a squalid existence in the totalitarian superstate of Oceania under the constant surveillance of the Thought Police. The story takes place in London, the capital city of the territory of Airstrip One (formerly “either England or Britain”).

Winston works in a small office cubicle at the Ministry of Truth, rewriting history in accordance with the dictates of the Party and its supreme figurehead, Big Brother. A man haunted by painful memories and restless desires, Winston is an everyman who keeps a secret diary of his private thoughts, thus creating evidence of his thoughtcrime

Pray that this never occurs and takes away the diversity that makes up our planet.

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6. Bob Marley declared a war on those who lived a racist life, treating people differently because of their colour. How did he do it with songs like this : One Love.

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7. James Andrew Beard was an American cookbook author, teacher, syndicated columnist and television personality. Beard was a champion of American cuisine who taught and mentored generations of professional chefs and food enthusiasts. One of the quickest ways to break down barriers is to share our love of food with other cultures.

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8. I grew up a country boy from regional Victoria. They say you can move the boy out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the boy.

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9. How much of the six basic subjects we all had to learn at school do we use on a day to day basis in relating to the people in or lives. Not much in my case. It is all the workshops that I have attended after being asked to leave traditional education that have empowered my life.

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10. My aim in Life, still a ways to go.

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11. Be curious about others, this made me think of this song : Curiosity Killed the Cat.

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12. Ayaan Hirsi Ali  is a Dutch-American activist, author, and former politician of Somali origin. She is a leading opponent of female genital mutilation, and calls for a reformation of Islam. She is supportive of women’s rights and is an atheist. Her latest book was released in 2015 and is called: Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now.

Racism is a form of cowardice.

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13. Have you been told you’re special today. Now you have.

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14. No words needed here.

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15  Catherine Pulsifer is an inspirational writer. She has faced many challenges in her life and found  ways to cope by reading motivational and inspiring books. 

 In 1998 Catherine wrote her first book, Wings for Wisdom. Since then she has then  written many more books and developed a website www.wow4u.com.

One of her primary goals in life is “to help others build a more rewarding and successful life by sharing her experiences and challenging peoples thinking!”

I teach two Sri Lankans, a Pakistani and a Chinese student English, I learn as much if not more from them. That is why I love Interculturalism.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

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Are you telling a great Story?


My friend Emeli has chosen Stories as the theme of her next workshop, based on stories can carry us, or break us: Collective Potential. At different times in our lives we listen to different stories, some empowering , others that take us to the depths of despair. What is it that has us choose to stop listening to the empowering ones? I have a friend who never seems to do this , he says he does it by concentrating on living in the moment.

There are many varieties of quotes that relate to our stories, I think I have chosen wisely in the 15 I have selected today, let us begin our journey.

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1. Delicious ambiguity, what a beautiful term. Add some zest to your life by not knowing what the next moment is going to be.

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2. What were your favourite kids stories, I liked Charlie Brown.  Sir Terence David John “Terry” Pratchett, OBE was an English author of fantasy novels, especially comical works. He is best known for his Discworld series of 41 novels. Pratchett’s first novel, The Carpet People, was published in 1971; after the first Discworld novel, The Colour of Magic, was published in 1983, he wrote two books a year on average. His 2011 Discworld novel Snuff was at the time of its release the third-fastest-selling hardback adult-readership novel since records began in the UK, selling 55,000 copies in the first three days. His final Discworld novel, The Shepherd’s Crown, was published in August 2015, five months after his death.

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3. That voice in your head speak in words like I am and I always. The stories of our life link us, such as I have two sisters Ruth and Jann and an older brother Hugo. Christina Baldwin is founder of , Peerspirit.com living on our planet with Nature powerfully.

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4. As young children we have imaginary friends, believe in Unicorns and the fae. Society seems to delight in suppressing these as we grow older. Terry Prachett speaks to those of us that survive this.

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5. My writing teacher Catherine Deveny, The Dev says you should always be truthful in your words. then you don’t have to remember what you said or wrote, because it is the truth.

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6. 7 billion of them, each unique. Make it as good a one as it can be.

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7. This to me is a Sacred Story from a life of Sacred love.

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8. Perfectionism is the booby prize, how do you enjoy the journey?

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9. Memories are often written in a song – some Elvis : Memories.

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10. Neil Gaiman gave one of the most inspirational commencement speeches ever about making some art, its long but worth the time : Make some Art.

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11. Putting Yellow stickies on our fridges to express our feelings to our beloved, a noble past time.

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12. Sacred Love – to be told or tell someone I Love You and realising that It never has to be said again but that it will for the rest of their lives.

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13. Terry Prachett again. Who is going to write your story, moi or someone else?

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14. ANNA QUINDLEN is a novelist and journalist whose work has appeared on fiction, nonfiction, and self-help bestseller lists. She is the author of eight novels: Object Lessons, One True Thing, Black and Blue, Blessings, Rise and Shine, Every Last One, Still Life with Bread Crumbs, and Miller’s Valley. Her memoir Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, published in 2012, was a number one New York Times bestseller. Her book A Short Guide to a Happy Life has sold more than a million copies. While a columnist at The New York Times she won the Pulitzer Prize and published two collections, Living Out Loud and Thinking Out Loud. Her Newsweek columns were collected in Loud and Clear. She loves London : Streets of London.

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15. A reminder for number 15. Only you can remember how you see the world, so tell those stories proudly. You are a divine being.

Remember behind every favourite song, there is an untold story. Please tell your Sacred stories.

Namaste until next time my dear friends.

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Space is the Place!!


My friends Emeli and Jodi run a social enterprise called Collective Potential, their mission is to: Create spaces for people to connect in real life and provide experiences and resources to create fulfilling lives: Collective Potential website.

It got me to thinking about what does this term creating space mean? Perhaps its talking about astronaut space, physiological space, acreage space, there are many to choose from. I have chosen from a wide range of modalities for the 15 quotes today, lets begin:

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1. One of the two most famous philosophers in the world Unknown and Anonymous, Unknown says that we need to let go to allow better things to happen to us.

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2. Never devalue your worth for another, never.

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3. Well known blogger Melanie Koulouris is famous for her Life has taught me poem. This is a beautiful quote about the need for space on your spiritual path.

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4. If you are leading a totally full life, there are time you may need to delete some of it to allow for growth. Randy Gage, author of Mad Genius, a manifesto points out that this means people as well.

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5. Busyness means that life can become a bit hum drum with all of that doing, remember to have space for a creative outlet amongst it all, mine are dance, Tai Chi and singing.

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6. Something borrowed, something new, something blue: that space that is happening is occurring for the new shiny you to emerge from the ashes. Time for the title song : Sun Ra’s opus.

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7. Our job is to turn our minds down and listen to the body, our home. In the silence we can welcome the rest of the world.

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8. Saying Hello to the new and goodbye to the old. There was a famous song written about this in the sixties by the lads from Liverpool : Hello Goodbye, check out those outfits.

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9. Little boxes all in a row, modern architecture of convenience has seen the beauty of previous time periods be  eroded into fitting in as many people as we can on one block.

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10. Come home my darling, you know where I am. How many of us enter our sacred space on a daily routine. The bliss king Joseph Campbell says this is where to go to when you feel lost.

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11.  I promise to laugh with you, cry with you, and grow with you. I will love you when we are together and when we are apart. I promise to support your dreams and to respect our DIFFERENCES, and to love you and be by your side through all the days and nights of our lives.

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12. Turn around, you are going the wrong way. Yes you, are you listening?

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13. You can be anybody in this space, most definitely not the authentic you.

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14. Enter your space ship of light. Back in 1972 David had something to say about this : Space Oddity.

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15. Democritus was an influential Ancient Greek pre-Socratic philosopher primarily remembered today for his formulation of an atomic theory of the universe. He was born in Abdera, Thrace, around 460 BC, although, some thought it was 490 BC. Atoms and empty space, puts it in perspective doesn’t it.

In other words, all of those points that I made about how to hold space for others can and should be applied to yourself first. Give yourself permission to trust your own intuition. Give yourself only as much information as you can handle. Don’t let anyone take your power away. Keep your ego out of it. Make yourself feel safe enough to fail. Give guidance and help to yourself with humility and thoughtfulness. Create your own container for complex emotions, fears, trauma, etc. And allow yourself to make decisions that are different from what other people would make.

Namaste until next time my dear friends.

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