The Power of Hope!!


I haven’t written a  political blog for a long time but I am reading the inspirational story of Kon Karapanagiotidis, CEO of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre here in Melbourne, Australia. The ASRC, as it is known is a  refugee centre which receives no government funding who assists refugees who have nowhere else to go as there are people placed on our streets with minimal or no funding at all due to the harsh immigration policies of our federal government towards asylum seekers. Today, they are the largest independent human rights organisation for refugees and people seeking asylum, delivering more services on the ground than any other independent asylum seeker organisation in the country. Our work on the frontline with people seeking asylum informs our practice and enables us to effectively advocate for, and alongside people with lived experience.

The Official title of the book is The Power of Hope or: How Community, Love and Compassion can change our World: Link to buy it. It is the amazing tale of how Kon, himself from a refugee family in Australia came to set up this amazing organisation that has helped thousands of refugees survive in a country that has made the words asylum seeker dirty words.

So what is the official definition of the term Asylum Seeker, here it is:  a person who, from fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, social group, or political opinion, has crossed an international frontier into a country in which he or she hopes to be granted refugee status. 

How does the world speak about these two words, let’s have a look:

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1. There are those rare people who have existed on earth who can hold values as high as these, Martin Luther King was one of them.

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2. Labels are used to make people forget this, especially by mainstream media and governments: Human.

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3. There is not a choice between staying behind and taking a bullet and getting on a rickety boat to seek asylum.

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4. Often a family has to decide which member of a family to send to seek asylum as they cannot afford the exorbitant rates that money grabbing people such as boat smugglers demand people to seek safety, how would you feel if you had to leave your daughter behind.: The Best Day.

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5. There are people running our country who have this fear and shame in their policy decisions.

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6. There is a particular minister, Peter Dutton, who is digging a very deep grave for the reputation of our country worldwide: Set Fire to The Rain.

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7. The two largest words say it all really, Human Rights.

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8. This statement from ancient Greece sums up how mainstream media reports asylum seeking in our country these days: Believe Me.

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9. Especially if your destination was Australia by boat, it means 5 years in a detention centre, including your children.

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10. Especially if they are a fascist right-wing government as holds sway in Australia regarding asylum seekers: Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay.

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11. Considered the founder of modern nursing, Florence has captured truly where our government has taken the boat arrival discussion in our country.

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12. Kon has transformed a lot of ordinary Australian into non-spectators regarding the human rights of the people who are besmirched as boat people by our mainstream media courtesy of the evil media magnate Rupert Murdoch: Get Up, Stand Up.

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13. Had to sneak in the worst long-term refugee cruelty, seeing Israeli snipers deliberately shoot children brought tears to my eyes, and I do not cry.

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14. And what can we do about it, this group of school children spent a night in this cage to show their solidarity and disgust for the situations on the islands where children are held on a long-term basis: Who I Am.

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15. Warsan Shire is a 30-year-old British writer, poet, editor and teacher, who was born to Somali parents in Kenya, East Africa. In 2013 she was awarded the inaugural Brunel University African Poetry Prize, chosen from a shortlist of six candidates out of a total 655 entries. Her words “No one leaves home unless/home is the mouth of a shark”, from the poem “Conversations about Home (at a deportation centre)”, have been called “a rallying call for refugees and their advocates”.

So I will finish with Kon’s words on the back cover of his book: “I hope you take from this book the message that we all matter. That there is a place for all of us. That once we know our own voice, live the values close to our hearts and follow our dreams, we can be unstoppable. Hope is only exhausted if we forsake ourselves, otherwise, no one can take our hope from us. It is both our sanctuary and our destiny to live a life with love, belonging, connection and community.” Thank you Kon Karapanagiotidis, you rock!!

Two classics amongst the songs today, we begin with the fine voice of Rag N’ Bone Man, two pop divas follow, Taylor Swift and Adele. Then a rapper new to me, Fort Minor. The superb Otis Redding and Bob Marley finishing with the Disney interpretation of Natasha Bedingfield. Here’s the playlist: The Power of Hope.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

namasteflower

 

Be Bold or Italic, Never Regular!!


I really like the quote in today’s Forward Steps – the fantastic book compiled by Thea Westra: The link to her site. that allows you to take an action, a challenge, read a motivational quote, take a clearing, answer a question and have an affirmation for the day.

The quote is as follows:

I love the phrase: ‘In a world that’s round, it doesn’t make sense to take sides’. So with skills I do not have to position myself against anyone, I become curious about them and I want to teach them about me. When I approach communication and conflict management from that place< I am not butting heads with anyone, I am learning or teaching: Dr Rhoberta Shaler.

To relate to the world in this way seems to me to be an act of boldness, not to but into the run of mill way we are expected to live our day to day existence. How do you relate to boldness, there are some famous quotes on the subject, let’s have a look at them:

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1. My friend and Anam Cara Emeli always reminds me to use the koan: remember to ask, the worst thing they can say is no.

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2. They say one is the loneliest number you will ever know, I say only if it’s about you and you do not provide service to others: One.

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3. Here’s the most famous quote on boldness, the one most people can finish when someone starts it.

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4. Have it in your muesli every morning: Bold.

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5. Dumas won the Pulitzer Prize for history for his six-volume history of Franklin, Critics accuse him of sheathing his boldness when it comes to the well-known relationship Franklin had with his slave Sally Hemings.

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6. If you are going to make mistakes make them bold ones, they allow you to recover in a more audacious way: Space Oddity.

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7. George definitely did this in his own life. Shaw’s expressed views were often contentious; he promoted eugenics and alphabet reform and opposed vaccination and organised religion. He courted unpopularity by denouncing both sides in the First World War as equally culpable.

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8. The latter statement could be called the day your Boldness is born:  You are Alive.

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9. I just had to include this one.

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10. Reminds me of the statement about baby birds, they jump off and learn to fly on the way down: I’ll Fly Away.

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11. Neither does boldness!!

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12. Not knowing what Chamba meant I looked it up. It’s a district in India according to Google, don’t know what it’s got to do with bad business. But I love how he states success can be achieved: Changes.

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13. These are becoming more and more a part of my life as I enter the world of boldness through self-love and self-belief.

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14. For each traveller they are a different love story, we get to be who we want to be in new and wonderful places that are just a name on the map until we get there: Gypsy.

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15. And a friendly reminder what not being bold can cost you.

The clearing for today is Decide on actions, and with as much clarity and boldness as possible. Time to act on these decisions.

Music for today begins with one of Australia’s icons: John Farnham, then rapper Lil Lonnie, the masterful David Bowie, new to me Fragma, the superb Gillian Welch, from the land of movies Shrek and finishes with pop diva Shakira.

Namaste until next time , my dear friends.

namasteflower

Let not your Love become Attachment!!


A mission statement for a Blog by Lissa Rankin:

“We are committed to inviting you to explore your truth, knowing you are loved, safe and nurtured. We believe that true healing comes from loving and nurturing both ourselves and others as whole beings. When we own all the disparate parts of ourselves, we tap into the divine spark within us, allowing us to release limiting beliefs, overcoming fears, and enjoy our lives more fully. Once we are in touch with our own divinity – shedding our masks, revealing our authentic selves, and being accepted just as we are- we can see with “magical eyes,” gazing beyond the masks we tend to wear to see the unique and special humanity that lies within us all.

By engaging with our community, we hope you will feel inspired, get motivated to bring your authentic self out of the closet, and take steps that bring you closer to health, healing and inner peace. If you have lost your mojo and feel you have little to give, we welcome you with no expectations. If you have lots to give in service to those in need, we invite you to share your gifts. Chances are good you are all of the above – sometimes seeking, sometimes giving, always enough..

Regardless of where you are on your personal path of awakening, we welcome you. Let us bear witness to your journey, knowing that while each of us walk a unique path, we walk it in good company.”

Lissa’s book The Anatomy of A Calling The Website., is worth visiting at least yearly as it contains so many profound gems about being on purpose.

But first of all she suggests you need to give up attachment, what do we say about attachment across the airwaves and through time: Here is a selection I have chosen to illustrate it:

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1. This is one I have struggled with over time, that the answer lies within not externally. Working on it daily.

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2. Why do we become flustered when the world started operating in a different way to that we know it should be, this is what happens when we hold on too tight: Holding on to Broken Things.

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3. What did Buddha mean by this, much to ponder in 7 simple words.

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4. You can’t should’ve done something. Gold: It was a Good Day.

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5. The Inner Universe, that’s where the healing lives and lies.

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6.  When we stop waiting to reply and genuinely listen to others, Its amazing how many of our judgements slip away: Crippled Inside.

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7. How often do we battle with these thing in our lives – The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.

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8. Judgement often feels chaotic, It’s not your task, bring on the calm: A Thousand Years.

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9. Love me a few of Pema’s wise words, get her books , they are magic.

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10. Here’s a memory test: Out damn spot, think High School: Time to Let Go.

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11. Lots of practice here, heart and  mind, methinks.

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12. Do we have the courage to give up that which has become toxic for us, I did it with alcohol over 3 years ago, feel so much better: Don’t Stop Believing.

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13. Surfs UP, which are your favourite emotions to surf, which put you in danger. Perhaps it’s time to give up your attachment to those waves.

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14. This is the  one thing in life I wish for more than anything else, to fly unaided. I have not been willing to give up everything that weighs the possibility down: I’ll Fly Away.

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15. The field of all possibilities: Has anyone ever reached this blissful state, or would it be so scary that we would implode?

Why is it difficult to detach from the beliefs and judgments that belittle  us? Perhaps as Craig Hamilton says in his Integral Enlightenment series ” The ego  as the part of you that has a need to see ourselves as a particular way” has a lot to do with it. Daily exercise in detaching what we know to be true sounds a great way to discover how to empower the purpose we were put on this planet for.

Namaste until next time , my dear friends.

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Strength lies in Differences!!


Here in Australia our Prime Minister has announced changes to the Citizenship test, that applicants must meet Australian Values. When asked what he meant he could not explain. I live in a council area that has 153 cultures residing in it, which of these meets Australian values?

There were six new requirements introduced.

  1. All applicants are required to pass a stand-alone English test, involving reading, writing, listening and speaking;
  2. Applicants are required to have lived in Australia as a permanent resident for at least four years (instead of one year at present);
  3. Citizenship test will be strengthened with new and more meaningful questions that assess an applicant’s understanding of – and commitment to – shared values and responsibilities;
  4. Applicants will be required to show the steps they have taken to integrate into and contribute to the Australian community. Examples would include evidence of employment, membership of community organisations and school enrolment for all eligible children.
  5. An applicant can fail the citizenship test only three (at present there is no limit to the number of times an applicant can fail the test);
  6. An automatic fail for applicants will be introduced who cheat during the citizenship test.

So how do we devalue others, One way I suggest is saying our values are more important than theirs. Lets go on a values journey:

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1. These new rules seem to be saying that speaking one language places you higher on the pecking order than another.

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2. Each person is of value, don’t debase them by saying they don’t fit in: How Could Anyone.

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3. Surround yourself with kindred souls, those that decrease it need to go.

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4. When you see that you being of value is what people remember about you when you pass, not your houses and cars. They also don’t remember your nationality: I lived.

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5. What have you sacrificed in your life for others? Would you give your all?

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6. How amazing would life be if we lived it like this: I’m Going to You.

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7. Our PM is trying to revert our country back to the 1950’s when our country existed under the archaic White Australia policy when the indigenous people were not even recognised.

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8. Arguably the most distinguished man of letters in English history. Samuel Johnson points to the value of showing gratitude by praising others for their actions: Love Divine

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9. I find it hard to believe that your values are based on the language you speak, and the job you do. Life is not that simple.

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10. In that five minutes it takes to destroy your good name, were you following your values: Family Portrait.

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11. Our government has definitely forgotten this with their new changes.

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12. Have we forgotten the value of the other 152 cultures I share the land I live on with: Run and Hide.

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13. All the beautiful , wonderful diverse ways we inhabit the planet can not be bombed away, destroyed by war because they are the planets heart and soul.

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14. Why are education systems going down the road of producing clones when our world need more and more creatives with the every changing technologies? Maya Angelou puts it well: Express Yourself.

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15. Our new citizenship test does obviously not follow this formulae.

I teach English to three Chinese mothers and work at the Darebin Intercultural Centre, our motto is Where Cultures Meet, Explore, Grow and Celebrate. So I ask our prime minister to take this on as Australian Values, not English tests and proof of employment.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

namastebutterfly

 

 

Do You Fit In?


Desire, often tied to sexual physicality yet it covers all fields in our psyche. It is said if you walk away from them you are not really living a life, just existing. How often as children do we have desires that we fulfill purely with our imaginations. Later on we are taught that this is not a practical way to lead our lives, I think that is a shame because it robs us of our ability to soldier on to fulfill our dreams later in life.

What has society said about desire, there were many takes at it, let’s have a look at a few:

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1. Life does not make it easy for you to reach your desires. it has installed that little voice in your heads that challenges you as to whether you deserve it or not.

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2. Arguably the most distinguished man of letters in English history, Samuel Johnson points out another character we need to make our desires come true: Curiosity: Curiosity Killed The Cat.

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3. There is one voice to listen too when considering your desires: Your courageous one.

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4. Creativity is a journey of achieving your desires, not a battle to defeat those who may get in your way: Good Life.

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5. Here’s a word you will want to drop in casual conversation to impress you friends and family.

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6. Are your desires material things? That’s fine but you can’t take them with you. Remember: The Best Things In Life Are Free.

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7. Not quite as famous as his son Alan, Lauded for his epic poem Howl, Louis was famous for the comment quoted from his death. Louis Ginsberg published puns in the Newark Star Ledger under the heading “Keep an O’Pun Mind”. He often asked and answered, “Is life worth living? It depends on the liver.” His collection of puns was never published but they can be found in Box 2, Folder 9 in the Louis Ginsberg Papers at Stanford University. Louis Ginsberg, who died of liver and spleen cancer, told his son Allen Ginsberg, “I never thought my pun would come back to bite me.

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8. Which do you choose, I align with the wise: Closer To The Heart.

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9. I’m sure Gandhi said lots of prayers to have his desire to free India from England’s grips come true. They seemed to have become tied to religious folk these days, don’t do this, use the power they offer.

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10. What if we could read minds, would you be slapped often or thanked for your generosity: Meet Me Halfway.

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11. It is wise to remember that postponing your desires just strengthens their grip on you. Don’t put them off!!

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12. Such a beautiful name, Spanish poet, playwright and theatre director was also famous for his quote To see you naked is to recall the Earth.: Burned With Desire.

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13. Mignon McLaughlin was an American journalist and author. In the 1950s, she began publishing aphorisms that were later collected in three books, entitled, The Neurotic’s Notebook, The Second Neurotic’s Notebook and The Complete Neurotic’s Notebook. I think this testy quote is from one of them.

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14. One of my favourite songs about what we desire in life: Wild Horses.

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15. Einstein, the master of imagination quotes : Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.”

Do your desires fit in to the life you lead today, or do you hide them away in the caverns of what you life would be like if you only ………., fill in the dots.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

namaste

 

 

Something out of Nothing!!


There is a poster in front of me that is advertising the Goodstart Preston program, on it is written the statement Creativity is more than artistic expression, it’s a safe and engaging way for children to explore their feelings and imagination while developing motor skills and language.

Remember as a child when you had imaginary friends who could be dragons, princes, and princesses or the brothers and sisters you didn’t have. Where has that incredible creativity gone in our more mature life? Let’s have a look at what society has said about creativity over the years:

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1. From a conflicted and unhappy childhood, Dorothy Parker rose to acclaim, both for her literary output in publications such as The New Yorker and as a founding member of the Algonquin Round Table. Following the breakup of the circle, Parker traveled to Hollywood to pursue screenwriting. Her successes there, including two Academy Award nominations, were curtailed when her involvement in left-wing politics led to a place on the Hollywood blacklist.

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2. I love this statement by Brene Brown, sharing your soul with the world, what a way to describe creativity: You Have to Get Back UP.

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3. I thought John Kennedy said this, but it was definitely George.  Over his 94 years, he wrote an incredible 60 plays, the best known being Pygmalion, a stalwart of the school curriculums. A little-known fact is that he opposed vaccination back in the late 1800’s and the early 1900’s.

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4. Probably my favorite quote maker. Albert Einstein’s work is contagious and I love passing it on: Pass it On.

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5. It’s Santa time. How old were you when you stopped believing or are you a survivor?

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6. We remain loyal to people but how often do we give up on our gifts because we are told by society they are not the way to make our living: Get Lucky.

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7. Fahrenheit 451, one of the most iconic sci-fi books ever written. The novel presents a future American society where books are outlawed and “firemen” burn any that are found. The book is named after the assumed temperature at which paper combusts. Thank goodness for Kindle.

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8. Paint attracts the child in one because it so bright. But when Danny was around on TV it was black and white. Here is a classic dance routine from his show with Gene Kelly: Danny and Gene.

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9. Do you remember  those puzzles that were popular where you had to go outside the box. If you solved them you were a creative.

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10. A lot of Creatives never make it to their Uni graduation. Here is one of the most famous and his speech about it: Be Inspired.

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11. Do you know that most things that are created are after an incredible journey  of failure, Edison being the classic example with the electric light bulb.

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12. You can Dance if you want to: A koan for creativity: Safety Dance.

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13. It’s essential ot remember the last element, have fun  on your creative path.

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14. I know I have made some awful flub ups because of my unwillingness to let go of my certainty about life I think I’m making one  at the moment : Get Back Up.

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15. As I mentioned before I thought JFK had made a quote, he didn’t but he definitely said this one. Idea’s are timeless as is your creativity.

So fight for your right to party/stay creative. It’s that part of you which can make the world a better place.

Namaste until next time , my dear friends.

Namaste2

Seeing Is Believing?


I think it’s sad that what we get to see what is happening around the world is war and mayhem reported as news by mainstream media. Why is is it that the great deeds of giving of time and acts of bravery not concerned with killing another human being are not deemed to be newsworthy. What is is that we allow our soul to see on a day to day basis and how do we interpret it, let’s go on that journey:

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1. What did Gandhi see on that day he declared in English controlled India we shall be free when there was no evidence for this? What is your vision for your life? Mine is Love and Respect for all, Everyone Included.

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2. All of us learn throughout our lives. It starts from the day we are born. It is now recognised that the early years of life are the most important for learning. That’s when the foundations for the future are laid, and when we begin moving down the path that will take us through childhood, the teenage years and ultimately into adulthood. So it takes something to see with new eyes, do you have the strength to do it?: New Eyes.

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3. When you sight sees hatred and racism and sexism and agrees that that is what is happening you have lost contact with any religious leaders vision for the planet. because they were disciples of love before we labelled them and stuffed it up.

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4. What do you see? Is it the same thing as when you were an innocent child. How often do you get in contact with your inner child. have you forgotten their name?: Hello. Is is me you’re looking for?

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5. Lucky for society in regard to the man who said this some people were seeing.

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6. John Kabat-Zinn is one of the great doyens of mindfulness. here he is speaking on its benefits: 3 Minutes.

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7. How often are we amazed as we get older, perhaps we have stopped doing this.

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8. Punks, Bikers, Tattoo wearers, we all know what that means don’t we? Have we  stopped seeing life in new and wondrous ways? I say we return to the great wisdom: Beyond Appearances.

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9. I am the world’s most crap photographer. I agree with this statement wholeheartedly. Then there is  my friend Jac Price, she is extraordinary, here her FB page : Your World In Pictures.

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10. Sight is granted to the majority of human beings, unfortunately, it does not come with the added requirement of wisdom for many: The Song of Wisdom.

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11. Wouldn’t this be a remarkable way to relate to the people in your life, frigging amazing!!

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12. Self-explanatory really.

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13.Rumi , also known as  Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī (Persian: جلال‌الدین محمد رومی‎‎),  Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhī (جلال‌الدین محمد بلخى), Mawlānā/Mevlânâ (مولانا, “our master”), Mevlevî/Mawlawī insightful words are as poignant now as they were 700 years ago when they were first written.

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14. We often blame the rain for our shitty moods, on what we see and say on those days that the weather is not so sunny. A bit pathetic really: I can see clearly Now.

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15.  Long’s teaching focuses on freeing the individual from unhappiness which he defined as ‘happy today, unhappy tomorrow’. He stated that this fluctuating condition is set in motion and maintained by an addiction to thoughts and the emotions they create. These emotions encourage other thoughts and so a vicious cycle is initiated. We are trapped in this cycle, he suggested, until we follow “the way of truth”. It includes:

  • constant vigilance in observation of one’s thoughts, emotions, and actions;
  • meditation to still the mind and connect with life within i.e. what “I” call “me”; “feeling the well-being in the body”;
  • being, without thought; the next step on from meditation;
  • getting your life right, taking action in those areas of your life which disturb you because something is wrong.

 

Do you believe that everything you see is the truth, why is your truth more relevant that the other 7,000,000,000 million truths on the planet? Have a think about that?

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

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