When Life Give You a Hundred Reasons To Cry.


I am about to do a course called the International Schools of Temple Arts Spiritual Sexual Shamanic Experience/Training and in the registration form, it asked what spiritual path or tradition do you follow or have followed, my answer was Shakya Tibetan Buddhism which I was deeply involved in for a period of 7 years. I thought that would be a great subject to write a blog on and did some online research as I gave away all of my Buddhist tomes several years ago.  I came across The Buddha in Your Mirror Practical Buddhism and the Search for Self by Woody Hochswender, Greg Martin, Ted Morino: Get It Here.

In it they write the following:

“If we were to apply these notions to the realm of human relations, certain insights would emerge. We would begin to realize that the lives of those in our immediate environment tend to mirror our own inner lives. Generally, if an individual finds other people unfriendly, it is often because he or she is provoking that reaction, one way or another. Similarly, if that person becomes friendlier, the people around that person will begin to react differently. An unusually kind and good-hearted person will tend to believe that others are the same. To a person possessed by lust for power, even the most selfless, benevolent actions of others will appear as cunning moves to gain power. When we cherish people with the same profound reverence as we would the Buddha, their Buddha nature functions to protect us. On the other hand, if we belittle or regard people with contempt, we will be disparaged in return, as though gazing into our own image reflected in a mirror. As much as we sometimes resist the idea, a smile and a few kind words can achieve near miracles by reducing hostility in many situations. There are people who can walk into a room and immediately lighten things up and lift everyone’s spirits. These are all illustrations of what Buddhism terms the principle of the oneness of life and its environment.”

So what has society said about the Oneness of Life, here are some of my favourites:

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1. What do you do to make yourself proud?

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2. How many times has your life unexpectedly changed in the last year, your clinging to supposed to causes anxiety around this: Club Controller.

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3. This is more my spiritual practice these days.

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4. Here is a way to bring your oneness in life to life: The Lie.

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5. At 64 this statement rings true for me.

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6. Two of my friends reached the end this weekend, they were both quite a bit younger than me, what was their what-ifs they hoped to fulfil before they were 64: Take Your Chance.

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7. Your Oneness is unique, never forget that:

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8. Oneness is not stopping and hoping things will change, It’s dancing with it: Singing In The Rain.

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9. I can feel it getting closer and closer.

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10. We cannot live forever, but the greats create something that liver long past their physical form. Nelson, Martin, Theresa, etc. etc. etc.: Someone Like You.

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11. Confucius’s principles have commonality with Chinese tradition and belief. He championed strong family loyalty, ancestor veneration, and respect of elders by their children and of husbands by their wives, recommending family as a basis for ideal government. He espoused the well-known principle “Do not do to others what you do not want to be done to yourself”, the Golden Rule. He is also a traditional deity in Daoism.

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12. You’ve got to fight for the right to Party.

 

 

 

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13. Your Oneness with Life will pay you back in kind.

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14. Speaking the truth Carol is: I’d Love to Change the World.

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15. But finally, remember that your Oneness in Life is yours, for you and that part of it is respecting others way of thinking.

Another tenet of Buddhism mention in the book is another link to an enriched life: “No one exists in isolation. We are connected to parents who conceived and raised us, to teachers who have educated us, and to friends who have encouraged us. We are also linked to people we have never met who harvest and distribute our food, manufacture our clothing, write the books that shape our thinking—in fact, we are connected to everyone whose efforts help hold together the fabric of society. There is no one in the world who has no connection to us.” So we have Oneness in Life and no one existing in isolation to tie together.

The playlist today begins in South Africa with Prince Kaybee and friends, then some spoken word from the Lie. Three different type of songs follow. They are Fun Factory, Gene Kelly and Adele. One of the classic anthems by the Beastie Boys is the penultimate track ending with a beautiful ballad by Jetta: When Life Gives You a Hundred reasons to Cry.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

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Never tell people how to do Things, Tell them what to Do.


This list is from John C. Maxwell’s excellent book: The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Get It Here.

What would happen if a top expert with more than thirty years of leadership experience was willing to distil everything he had learned about leadership into a handful of life-changing principles just for you? It would change your life! John C. Maxwell has done exactly that in “21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership”. He has combined insights learned from his thirty-plus years of leadership successes and occasional mistakes with observations from the worlds of business, politics, sports, religion, and military conflict. The result is a revealing study of leadership delivered as only a communicator like Maxwell can. Here is the list:

THE 21 LAWS OF LEADERSHIP

1. The Law of the Lid. There’s a lid to your potential; it’s determined by your leadership ability. Therefore, expand your leadership capacity and expand your ability to impact the world.

2. The Law of Influence. As Maxwell says a number of times throughout the book, “The true measure of leadership is influence—nothing more, nothing less.”

3. The Law of Process. We can’t snap our fingers and become great leaders overnight. Maxwell tells us: “Leadership develops daily, not in a day.” 

4. The Law of Navigation. Steering the ship is relatively easy. Leaders chart the course—seeing where they want to go and charting the most effective course to get there.

5. The Law of Addition. Leaders serve. They focus on creating value for others. It’s not so much “What’s in it for me?” but “How can I serve?” That’s the law of addition.

6. The Law of Solid Ground. Maxwell tells us that trust is the foundation of leadership. We must stand on the solid ground of solid character—living with integrity, being trustworthy.

7. The Law of Respect. People “naturally follow leaders stronger than themselves.” We must cultivate our strength if we want people to respect us and be willing to follow our lead.

8. The Law of Intuition. As Emerson says, we must trust ourselves—“every heart vibrates to that iron string.” As a mentor of mine once said, “Trust yourself. Always.”

9. The Law of Magnetism. Who you ARE is who you will attract. Want to attract great people? BE GREAT. That’s the law of magnetism.

10. The Law of Connection. We must connect with others. Maxwell tells us, “Leaders touch a heart before they ask for a hand.”

11. The Law of Inner Circle. Our potential as leaders is determined by those closest to us. Whose in your inner circle?

12. The Law of Empowerment. You need to be confident enough to give power to others. Trust yourself and trust your team to crush it.

13. The Law of the Picture. People will do what they see. We need to create a “picture” of what awesome looks like which inspires people to follow our lead. Embody your ideals.

14. The Law of Buy-In. You have a great vision. Fantastic. (And essential.) But know this: People buy into YOU, the leader before they buy into the vision.

15. The Law of Victory. Victory. Leaders are FIERCELY committed to winning. Period. That relentless pursuit of victory is essential. (We’ll chat about this more as well.)

16. The Law of Big Mo. Mr Momentum. Is a very close friend of effective leaders. We need to create (and celebrate!) little wins—always remembering that progress is uber-powerful.

17. The Law of Priorities. It’s not enough to be busy. We need to be effective. Leaders take the time to properly line up their dominoes and focus on what’s most important.

18. The Law of Sacrifice. The higher you go, the more you need to be willing to give up. Leaders trade-off freedom with responsibility.

19. The Law of Timing. As Jim Collins says in Great By Choice, not all moments are created equal. Leaders know when to lean in and seize the moment.

20. The Law of Explosive Growth. Maxwell tells us about “leader’s math”—if you want to multiply your growth, create more LEADERS not followers.

21. The Law of Legacy. What do you want people to say at your funeral? Leaders keep this vision firmly in mind and dedicate their lives to its fulfilment. A quick inventory: Favourites? Strengths? Weaknesses?

“In a study of ninety leaders from a variety of fields, leadership experts Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus made a discovery about the relationship between growth and leadership: ‘It is the capacity to develop and improve their skills that distinguish leaders from their followers.’ Successful leaders are learners. And the learning process is ongoing, a result of self-discipline and perseverance. The goal each day must be to get a little better, to build on the previous day’s progress.

So how many of the Laws do you work on daily, here’s what the world says about Leadership:

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1. You can’t do it on your own, Go that way and it will work out is what the leader is there for.

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2. Master, Miss, Ms, Dr, Mrs, Mister, they are titles, being a leader is not: If You’re Out There.

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3. Actions not words, Leadership 101.

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4. Obviously, they are speaking about Donald Trumps leadership style, aren’t they: When I’m Gone.

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5. I don’t take up the Challenge every day, do you?

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6. Presence, Presence, Presence, Leadership: My Immortal.

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7. Mark Yarnell died in 2015, lauded as the Worlds greatest network Marketer, he was truly inspiring — “I’ve lived a “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” life he said. “I’ve squeezed every ounce of joy out of every single day. It’s been an absolute blast!” And, he encouraged each of us to become the best possible version of ourselves while living a life of freedom.

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8. Even for your mistakes, that’s what real leadership is: Responsibility.

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9. Are you the former or the latter, Your Choice.

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10. Trying leadership on: Try.

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11. Word origin of ‘courage’: Middle Eastern & Old French – corage, heart, spirit  Latin cor, heart. Where we find our passion, In the heart.

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12. I recently came back in contact with Fiona, the woman who showed the leadership to get 13 disparate individuals to travel from Australia to Moscow to run a marathon in the name of ending world hunger, her leadership was inspirational at the time. It was the year before the Berlin Wall came down and communism ended in Russia: Fight Song. 

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13. Remember, it’s your actions that create the opportunities for others to become leaders too.

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14. I would change the middle quotes to Goes there own Way: Go Your Own Way.

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15. It’s OK to take walks, but it’s leadership that makes the difference after all.

As author Hans Finzel observed, ‘Leaders are paid to be dreamers. The higher you go in leadership, the more your work is about the future. At the same time, leaders are practical enough to know that vision without action achieves nothing. They make themselves responsible for helping their followers take action.” Great leaders are BOTH visionary *and* practical.

Today’s songs begin with John Legend, then we travel to the rap of Eminem. Rock takes over for the next three tracks with Evanescence, MxPx and Janis Joplin. It closes out with a very cute video of Rachell Platten and a whole lot of kids and finishes with a classic Fleetwood Mac number: Never tell people how to do Things, tell them what to Do

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

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We Can’t Direct the Wind, but We can Adjust Sails!!


I was browsing through the offering of Brian Johnson’s Philosophers Notes, when he commented that he had never come across a book that he would recommend to read to help live an ideal life until he read Sonja Lyubmirsky’s The How of Happiness: A Practical Guide to Getting The Life You Want: Get It Here.

The key tenet of THE HOW OF HAPPINESS is that every human being has a happiness ‘set point’ which, depending on how high or low it is, can determine how positive or negative they feel. This book offers a practical approach to help readers increase their set point, and find a level of happiness above that which they would normally feel, and feel more satisfaction in life.

“In a nutshell, the fountain of happiness can be found in how you behave, what you think, and what goals you set every day of your life. ‘There is no happiness without action.’ If feelings of passivity and futility overcome you whenever you face up to your happiness set point or to your circumstances, you must know that a genuine and abiding happiness is indeed within your reach, lying within the 40 per cent of the happiness pie chart that’s yours to guide.”

Through remarkable studies with identical twins separated at birth, scientists have discovered that about 50% of our happiness is determined by our genetics and that we have what they call a “happiness set point”—a level of happiness we tend to gravitate toward. So 50% is FIXED. We can’t do anything about it. Now, there’s another 10% of our happiness that’s determined by our life circumstances. Most people spend all their energy on this variable but research shows that increasing our wealth, attractiveness and stuff like that has both a negligible and a temporary impact on our well-being. Which leads us to the 40% we want to focus on: “What makes up this 40 per cent? Besides our genes and the situations that we confront, there is one critical thing left: our behaviour. Thus the key to happiness lies not in changing our genetic makeup (which is impossible) and not in changing our circumstances (i.e., seeking wealth or attractiveness or better colleagues, which is usually impractical), but in our daily intentional activities. With this in mind, our pie chart illustrates the potential of the 40 per cent that is within our ability to control, the 40 per cent for room to maneuver, for opportunities to increase or decrease our happiness levels through what we do in our daily lives and how we think.”

Part II of the book delivers 12 Happiness Activities that’s been scientifically proven to increase our happiness levels. You’ll wanna get the book to explore the various studies that have established why these activities work and we’ll highlight a few of my favourites below. For now, here they are:

1. Expressing Gratitude

2. Cultivating Optimism

3. Avoiding Overthinking and Social Comparison

4. Practising Acts of Kindness

5. Nurturing Social Relationships

6. Developing Strategies for Coping

7. Learning to Forgive

8. Increasing Flow Experiences

9. Savouring Life’s Joys

10. Committing to Your Goals

11. Practising Religion and Spirituality

12. Taking Care of Your Body: Meditation + Physical Activity + Acting Like a Happy Person

(Another cool point Sonja makes again and again (!) throughout the book is that it’s *essential* for us to choose activities that inspire us as we’re much more likely to follow through on those activities than doing something we think we “should” do.)

So which of the above activities do you use to get your happy on? Statements on achieving happiness differ from their approach, here are just a few:

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1. Considered one of the happiest people on the planet, His Holiness The Dalai Lama knows it is through your actions that this state is achieved.

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2. The first of the 12 activities mentioned above, expressing gratitude for the fact that recognising what we have is a powerful first step to happiness: Grateful.

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3. A moot point to remember in the dark times.

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4. As Mandy points out, It’s our daily intentional activities that ensure happiness, not those of others: Follow The Sun,

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5. I got caught at the railway gates today, it went for five minutes. The person in the car behind me was losing it, this is a little thing.

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6. Such a simple example, but beautiful in its concept: That’s Entertainment.

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7. An empowering fridge magnet to read daily.

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8. Dancing is one way I choose to do it: Feel Good.

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9. Waitley was also a founding member of the National Council for Self-Esteem and a former chairman of psychology for the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Sports Medicine Council. A worthy life of Happiness what a great title for the council.

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10. Happiness spreads when you release it into the world due to its infectious nature: Spread a Little Happiness.

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11. Back to the 1400’s for this quote that leaves out 50 per cent of the population. Erasmus was considered the greatest scholar of the Northern Renaissance.

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12. Out beyond the horizon of accepting your imperfections lies the land of happiness: Perfect.

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13. From the man with the most famous bedraggled hair in the world, Albert points out that giving away your happiness to people and things don’t really work.

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14. I spent many years trying to be liked by everyone, it cost me a great deal of happiness, I’m getting better at not doing it: You Can’t Please Everybody.

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15. And for our final look we return to the beginning of modern time, Seneca was around from 4 BC-AD 65. Still very relevant today though.

Pema Chodron says pretty much the same thing in her great book The Places That Scare You: “Acknowledging that we are all churned up is the first and most difficult step in any practice. Without compassionate recognition that we are stuck, it’s impossible to liberate ourselves from confusion. ‘Doing something different’ is anything that interrupts our ancient habit of indulging in our emotions. We do anything to cut the strong tendency to spin out… Anything that’s non-habitual will do—even sing and dance or run around the block. We do anything that doesn’t reinforce our crippling habits. The third most difficult practice is to then remember that this is not something we do just once or twice. Interrupting our destructive habits and awakening our heart is the work of a lifetime.”

The Playlist from today’s blog is quite joyous as you would expect songs dedicated to happiness to be. Empty Hands Music begins the journey, followed by an anthem from Xavier Rudd. I sneak some rock in with the Jam next, then some EDM with Felix Jaehn and Mike Williams. It gets a little darker with Sting followed by a beautiful duet from Ed Sheeran and Beyonce ending with some old time Funk from Rose Royce: We Can’t Direct the Wind, but We can Adjust Sails!!

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

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If at First, you don’t Succeed, You’re Normal!!!


 

In her excellent, book: Mindset, The New Psychology of Success – How We Can Learn to Fulfill Our Potential: Get it here. Carol Dweck, Stanford University psychologist in decades of research on achievement and success, has discovered a truly groundbreaking idea-the power of our mindset.  Dweck explains why it’s not just our abilities and talent that bring us success-but whether we approach them with a fixed or growth mindset. The major difference between the two is as follows, Carol writes:

“The growth-minded athletes, CEOs, musicians, or scientists all loved what they did, whereas many of the fixed-minded ones did not. Many growth-minded people didn’t even plan to go to the top. They got there as a result of doing what they love. It’s ironic: The top is where the fixed-mindset people hunger to be, but it’s where many growth-minded people arrive as a by-product of their enthusiasm for what they do. This point is also crucial. In the fixed-mindset, everything is about the outcome. If you fail—or if you’re not the best—it’s all been wasted. The growth mindset allows people to value what they’re doing regardless of the outcome.”

“Is it ability or mindset? Was it Mozart’s musical ability or the fact that he worked till his hands were deformed? Was it Darwin’s scientific ability or the fact that he collected specimens non-stop from early childhood?” 

“People with the growth mindset know that it takes time for potential to flower.” ~ Carol S. Dweck, PhD.

So how has the growth-minded mindset been viewed over the centuries, here are a few of my favourite sayings:

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1. Out there on the edge, that is where we discover what we love to do. What it is that we really want to spend our time on.

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2. What happens to the hundreds, even thousands of children’s mindset who were going to be astronauts when they grow up and that of the rare few that actually make it: How Far I’ll Go.

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3. The yellow ones say it all.

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4. As long as you really believe 100 per cent, another way of saying doing something you love: I Believe In Miracles.

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5. First attempt in Learning, Forever Acquiring Important Lessons, First Action in Learning equals your flaws.

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6. My group is called the Warriors of Love, brought together by my mentor Arion Light to spread Essence work around the globe: Essence.

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7. Did you see that chance fly by? No sorry, it isn’t part of my growth mindset.

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8. Definitely, from the land of the growth mindset, a challenge may not exist as a concept in Fixed Mindset land: Hey World, Don’t Give Up.

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9. “Every child needs someone to be crazy about them.” These are the words of Salome Thomas-EL, award-winning teacher and principal, and nationally recognized educator. They shape his life-long commitment to answering the question, “How do we ensure that every child achieves their greatest potential?” This question lies at the heart of the national dialogue on education policy, the day in and day out work of school personnel, and the hopes of every parent. Central to this challenge is how we succeed with children who are facing the most serious barriers to success: poverty, violence, neglect, and low expectations.

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10. It’s easier to master when it is truly doing what you love: #that Power.

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11. Everything, your body is not deaf, like we think it is at times.

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12. They have growth mindsets, they came out as someone’s bundle of joy just like the rest of us: Not Afraid.

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13. From Carol, three amazing important W questions to ask yourself each day.

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14. Beep, Stop-Go: I am not my Hair!!

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15. Obstacles, challenges, mistakes, frustrations, etc. etc. , all part of life.

What is the danger of the fixed mindset? If you are stuck in this mindset it can get us in (a lot of!) trouble. Let’s take a quick look at the “growth mindset”: “In this mindset, the hand you’re dealt is just the starting point for development. The growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts. Although people may differ in every which way—in their initial talents and aptitudes, interests, or temperaments—everyone can change and grow through application and experience.”

Some rock rhythms in today’s playlist. It begins with a soundtrack hit from Alessia Cara, then Hot Chocolate have us believe in miracles. We then rock it out with Lucinda Williams and Michaele Frente. Then pop from this century with Will.I.Am, an Eminem anthem finishing with India.Arie: If at First, you don’t Succeed, You’re Normal

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

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We want Presence, Not Presents!!!


Amy Cuddy’s TED talk on Your Body shapes who you are is the second most watched after Sir Ken Robinson’s one on Creativity. Her book on Presence, funnily enough, called Presence: Get it Here. is a powerful look into what separates the great from the ordinary. In it, Amy states:

“The opposite of powerlessness must be power, right? In a sense, that’s true, but it’s not quite that simple. The research I’ve been doing for years now joins a large body of inquiry into a quality I call presence. Presence stems from believing in and trusting yourself—your real, honest feelings, values, and abilities. That’s important, because if you don’t trust yourself, how can others trust you? Whether we are talking in front of two people or five thousand, interviewing for a job, negotiating for a raise, or pitching a business idea to potential investors, speaking up for ourselves or speaking up for someone else, we all face daunting moments that must be met with poise if we want to feel good about ourselves and make progress in our lives. Presence gives us the power to rise to these moments.”

Presence = “the state of being attuned to and able to comfortably express our true thoughts, feelings, values, and potential.” Note: That’s not a *permanent* state of nirvanic bliss. It’s a moment-to-moment experience in which “We are no longer fighting ourselves; we are being ourselves.”

How do you relate to being present, for me, it has been an ongoing dichotomy with that little voice in my head that says Who do you think you are to………………….., fill in the dots. How has the world related to Presence over time, here are a few of my favourite takes at it:

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1. In September 2011, Mos Def joined the cast of the environmental children’s hip-hop musical – Pacha’s Pajamas: A Story Written By Nature – as narrator. He stated “the earth was given as a trust to mankind, so we have a responsibility to look after it, take care of it, treat it with respect ’cause it’s a gift from the creator to us… We’re so dependent on the natural world. The natural world’s also dependent on us… If we don’t treat it good, it’s not gonna treat us very good either.”

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2. Perfectionism, often related to as the booby prize, when do perfectionists begin their projects: Living in the Moment. 

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3. During my Mental Health period, it was the presence of my siblings that got me through, not their words.

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4. I have reduced my Facebook online presence from seven days a week to three to express the above scenario: Glorious. 

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5. We all know people who enter the room, and the room stops.

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6. Where’s Wally: In my Presence.

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7. Remember to add value wherever you are at any time.

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8. I am still seeking that special someone: Boo’d Up.

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9. In 1969, Harbhajan Singh established the 3HO (Healthy, Happy, Holy Organization) Foundation to further his missionary work. The Yogi’s brand of Sikhism appealed to the hippies who formed the bulk of his early converts. The Sikh practice of not cutting one’s hair or beard was already accepted by the hippie culture, as was Sikh vegetarianism. They liked to experience elevated states of awareness and they also deeply wanted to feel they were contributing to a world of peace and social justice. Yogi Bhajan offered them all these things with vigorous yoga, an embracing holistic vision, and an optimistic spirit of sublime destiny.

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10. Another way Eckhart Tolle expresses the Power of Now equalling being present: Redemption Song.

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11. Soul presence, very special.

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12. Drescher’s first acting break was a small role as the dancer Connie in the blockbuster movie Saturday Night Fever (1977), in which she delivered the line “So, are you as good in bed as you are on the dance floor?” to John Travolta’s character. She is a uterine cancer survivor: Fran Rocking It.

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13. Marshall gifted the world Non-Violent Communication. According to his biographer, Marjorie C. Witty, “He has a fierce face– even when he smiles and laughs. The overall impression I received was of intellectual and emotional intensity. He possesses a charismatic presence. 

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14. Right Here, Right Now: Right Here, Right Now.

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15. Some of these conversations are silent.

Amy also asks us to recall a moment when you felt personally powerful. A time when you felt fully in control of your own psychological state—when you had the confidence to act based on your boldest, most sincere self, with the sense that your actions would be effective. Maybe it was at work, at school, at home, or in some other part of your life. Take a few minutes right now to remember and reflect on that experience of your personal power, on how it felt.

It’s that feeling we seek in our life, it’s available moment to moment if we let it blossom.

We begin with some modern tunes this playlist. Starting off is Jason Mraz, then Macklemore, Drake and Ella Mai. Then back in time to Bob Marley, Fran Drescher, yes, the Nanny, finishing off with a Fatboy Slim classic: We want Presence, not Presents.

Namaste until next time my dear friends, there’s now a search button to look up your favourite blog subjects:

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Failure is a Bruise, Not a Tattoo!!


Eric Greitens has an unusual combination to his four careers: Navy Seal, Rhodes Scholar, boxing champion and recognition as one of the top 100 American humanitarians. His admirable book “Resilience”: Get it Here.is a series of edited letters written between himself and one of his former SEAL comrades.

In it, he writes: “You will fail. Especially in the beginning. You will fail. And that’s not just OK, it’s essential. Without resilience, the first failure is also the last—because it’s final.

Those who are excellent at their work have learned to comfortably coexist with failure. The excellent fail more often than the mediocre.

They begin more. They attempt more. They attack more. Mastery lives quietly atop a mountain of mistakes.

The exceptional artist throws away hundreds of photographs. The exceptional writer wears out the eraser. The exceptional investor puts money into losing ventures. If every risk you take pays off, then you probably aren’t actually taking risks. We don’t want to excuse recklessness and foolishness as “just taking risks,” but we should understand that those who have built true excellence in their lives are always fighting at the edges of their ability.

What distinguishes the exceptional from the unexceptional? A willingness to fail, and an exceptional ability to learn from every failure.”

I cannot admit that I  have learnt from every failure and moved forward immediately, but I am getting better at it, how about you? What words of wisdom have society written about our friend resilience, let’s have a look:

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1. Fits in with the saying as soon as you stop learning you begin to die.

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2. Asking for help powerfully from a place of strong relationship calls out to me, totally different to a barely heard impotent, Help Me…: Changes.

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3. Nelson Mandela’s solution: Fall Down, Get Up every time.

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4. It’s those who face the storm who build the greatest resilience and do it the fastest: Riders ON The Storm.

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5. Steve Maraboli’s parents migrated to the U.S. to escape poverty in Chile. Steve Maraboli has created, contributed to, and impacted Humanitarian, Education, and Empowerment programs in 40 countries. Steve is a recipient of the prestigious United Nations Award for Philanthropy and continues to serve in support of Global Literacy and Education.  

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6. The unexpected moments in your life: therein lives your resilience: 10 Unexpected Songs.

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7. The Japanese way of life, structured to succeed at all levels.

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8. I know of Alain through his School of Life, of which there is a branch in my hometown of Melbourne, Australia. The School of Life titles its courses according to things we all tend to care about: careers, relationships, politics, travels, families. An evening or weekend on one of its courses is likely to be spent reflecting on such matters as your moral responsibilities to an ex-partner or how to resolve a career crisis: Art for Art’s Sake.

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9. Resilience teaches you to trust in your innate wisdom.

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10. As we age, we all get cracks: Express Yourself.

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11. Mine come from Motorbike accidents, how about you?

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12. I love nature when it is at it wildest, it reminds me that the calm is not when nature/life is at its most impressive: She’s like the Wind.

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13. And some Jungian theory to up the ante.

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14. They say it takes a special person to be a millionaire, and even a more special one to become one again after they lose everything the first time: Bounce Back.

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15. Unbreakable, they are the resilient ones, it’s in all of us.

Life’s reality is that we cannot bounce back. We cannot bounce back because we cannot go back in time to the people we used to be. The parent who loses a child never bounces back. The nineteen-year-old marine who sails for war is gone forever, even if he returns. “What’s done cannot be undone,” and some of what life does to us is harsh…

 

You know that there is no bouncing back. There is only moving through. Fortunately, to be resilient we don’t need to go back in time.

What happens to us becomes part of us. Resilient people do not bounce back from hard experiences; they find healthy ways to integrate them into their lives.

In time, people find that great calamity met with great spirit can create great strength.”

After walking us through a mini-Physics lesson, Eric tells us that there’s no bouncing back. There’s only moving through.

We can never return to who we were before a challenging experience. What we—as resilient people—must do is integrate the experience into our lives and use the challenges as fuel for our own growth.

As Eric advises, “great calamity met with great spirit can create great strength.”

Another return to the last century for most of today’s playlist: We begin with Bowie, a new version of a Doors Classic by Snoop Dogg, then a Various Artists compilation of unexpected hits followed by Ten CC, Madonna and Dirting Dancing. We return back to finish in our time with Big Sean: Failure is a Bruise, Not a Tattoo.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

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Strength isn’t the ability to feel Strong!!


How do you relate to the story of David and Goliath? “David has nothing to lose, and because he has nothing to lose, he has the freedom to thumb his nose at the rules set by others.” In his excellent book David and Goliath: Get it Here. Malcolm Gladwell writes

“It was not the privileged and the fortunate who took in the Jews in France. It was the marginal and the damaged, which should remind us that there are real limits to what evil and misfortune can accomplish. If you take away the gift of reading, you create the gift of listening. If you bomb a city, you leave behind death and destruction. But you create a community of remote misses. If you take away a mother or a father, you cause suffering and despair. But one time in ten, out of that despair rises an indomitable force. You see the giant and the shepherd in the Valley of Elah and your eye is drawn to the man with the sword and shield and the glittering armour. But so much of what is beautiful and valuable in the world comes from the shepherd, who has more strength and purpose than we ever imagine.”

So how has the world handled turning a weakness into strength, here’s what they have said:

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1. Feel those feeling, if you don’t they will keep coming back stronger and stronger until you have the strength to deal with them.

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2. Light and Shadow all rely on Love: California Love.

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3. Due to his father’s untimely death, J.C. Penney could not fulfil his dream to become a lawyer. Instead, he had to become a lowly store clerk, the rest is history.

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4. You can choose how to relate to your perceived weaknesses: 

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5. Well done, You!!

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6. Fear = Forever Enduring, Always Ready; Forgetting Everything is All Right; Fear Expressed Allows Relief: When You Believe.

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7. Maya Angelou, one of my top ten.

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8. One foot in front of another, no looking back. That’s how I became a marathoner from a 60 a day cigarette smoker in six months: No Looking Back.

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9. Vulnerability = Brene Brown’s fabulous TED talk on the subject, Google It.

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10. And from the other side of the world, here’s their say on it: When I am Overcome by Weakness.

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11. Remember these questions from your job interviews?

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12. The answer isn’t running away, it’s in turning to face them and overcoming the storm: Riders On the Storm.

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13. Take a dose of courage daily and you will give strength to those areas of your life that may need some loving.

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14. Another way of looking at doing what it takes: The Lion Sleeps Tonight.

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15. We all have growth spurts in our life that allow us to do things after them we couldn’t do before.

David and Goliath.

It’s time to revisit our ideas of strength and weakness.

It’s time to see that underdogs and misfits have advantages in their disadvantages and that we can powerfully turn difficulties into opportunities.

Here’s to embracing ALL of who we are as we optimize, actualize and give our gifts to the world!

There are songs by three greats no longer with us in the playlist today. We begin with Tupac, then Hilary Duff doing some country, a Whitney Houston anthem follows,  a great new singer Damita, from Syria Ghada Alatrash, then Jim and the Doors, finishing with a powerful performance by Ladysmith Black Mambazo and the Mint Juleps: Strength Isn’t the Ability to Feel Strong.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends:

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