Find Joy In The Ordinary!!!


It takes courage to open ourselves up to joy. Joy is possibly the most vulnerable emotion we experience in our life. Young children are great at it, society soon deals with this by sending them off to the structure of formalised education where joy is not cool anymore.

Brene Brown calls this being trained in foreboding joy,  beating vulnerability to the punch by imagining the worst or feeling nothing in hopes that the other shoe won’t drop. One way both Brene and I suggest around this is to feel gratitude, moment to moment for your ordinary life. Not wishing that it was different to what it is at this exact moment. This doesn’t mean having no dreams or goals, it means being deeply grateful for the progress you have made so far in your life.

So how does the world talk about Joy, let’s skip down that path together:

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1. Time to break out the Gumboots/Wellies. Remember those rainsoaked paths of your childhood and how long it took to walk down them as each puddle became a new adventure.

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2. Commenting on his imprisonment Nelson Mandela stated I went on a long holiday for 27 years. How many of us could retain our joy for that incredible amount of time: Nelson Mandela.

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3. We need both kinds – The dark and the light in the recipe that makes up joyfulness.

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4. This quote makes me think of the joy of being loved: Perfect.

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5. Freely Interdependent exuberance – Orgasmic!!

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6. And what brings Joy to your life? Being in Action: Confident.

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7. No regrets, please.

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8. Dumbledore is a very wise wizard, after all, he ran Hogwarts: Turn On The Lights.

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9. How does the Universe speak to you? If not joyfully time to reboot it.

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10. What will be on your tombstone? For me, my definition of Interculturalism: Love and Respect for All, Everyone Included: Nessun Dorma.

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11. We are born free, what happens?

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12. Love this beautiful list of life: The Joy of Life.

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13. I, I, I,I, I, I,I, I, I,I, I, I,I, I, I,I, I, I,I, I, I,I, I, I,I, I, I,I, I, I,I, I, I,I, I, I,I, I, I,I, I, I.

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14. Smell the Roses: English Country Garden.

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15. His real name is Rolihlaha Mandela……his teacher gave him the name Nelson! His name means troublemaker.

To seek out moments of collective joy and to show up for moments of collective pain, e have to be brave. This means we have to be vulnerable. Brene Brown, in her 200,000 plus pieces of research couldn’t find a single example of courage that did not require vulnerability. Can you, In Your Life?

Today’s playlist contains the first Operatic song I have chosen, we begin with The Special, followed by the uber pairing of Ed Sheeran and Beyonce. Then a pop diva in Demi Lovato by the rapper Future. Then comes our operatic number with Pavarotti, then off to the Emerald Isle with The Corrs, finishing off with a quirky ditty from Jimmy Rodgers. Here is the Youtube Playlist for your viewing pleasure: Find Joy In The Ordinary.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

namasteflower

 

Nature is Fine, but Human Nature is Finer!!


Humans and Connection, what we search for on an ongoing and daily basis. All elements of society have shifted profoundly in my lifetime. Almost all of them have shifted in one direction – away from the normal and directly towards the weird.

These words come from Seth Godin’s little masterpiece of a book, We are All Weird, The Rise of Tribes and the end of Normal. He states that Creation is amplified: Publish a book or sell a painting or customise your car or design a house – whatever your passion, it’s easier to do it, it’s faster to do it, and it’s more likely that (part of) the world will notice what you do. The ability to reach and change those around you has been changed forever by the connections of the Internet and the fact that anyone, anywhere can publish to the world.

Seth also says that because you can find others who share your interests, weird is perversely becoming more normal, at least in the small tribes that we’re now congregating in. The community you choose can be a mirror and an amplifier, furthering your interests and encouraging you to push even further. The internet connects and protects the weird bt connecting and amplifying their tribes.

So how have we looked at human connection over the decades, here’s a few quotes that give us some idea:

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1. I am in a program called the Warriors of Love. We recently looked at Resonance, when you are at your lowest, what you need is the above, not statements like Just Do It. 

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2. Brene is such a genius in these areas, A state that will always be part of my journey until they put me in the ground: Courage, Compassion and Connection.

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3. I am so glad that I have recently found several events that are based on people meeting in a circle and sharing their stories with each other. This is a profound way to break through the fear people have of others knowing who we really are when the masks have been removed.

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4. Married to one of the worlds wealthiest men, Melinda and Bill have discovered that making more money a second than some countries do does not fulfil you, your connectedness with others on the planet is where the inspiration comes from: Better Place.

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5. And a little more from Melinda on the power of human connection.

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6. Taking time to commune with the power of nature adds to our ability to connect to the 7 billion inhabitants that hang around on her: Earth Song.

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7. Animals seem to like hanging out with each other. They do not analyse why they love each other as nearly as much as the human race.

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8. Viktor Emil Frankl was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist as well as a Holocaust survivor. His best-selling book Man’s Search for Meaning (published under a different title in 1959: From Death-Camp to Existentialism, and initially released in 1946 as Trotzdem Ja Zum Leben Sagen: Ein Psychologe erlebt das Konzentrationslager, meaning Nevertheless, Say “Yes” to Life: A Psychologist Experiences the Concentration Camp) chronicles his experiences as a concentration camp inmate, which led him to discover the importance of finding meaning in all forms of existence, even the most brutal ones, and thus, a reason to continue living: Survival.

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9. To me beautiful art does not necessarily mean paint on canvas, it can be words, hugs, baking, servitude, many different things.

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10. AKA, you and I are unique: Human.

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11. It’s the moment when you find the answer to contentment isn’t just internal or external but a balance of both.

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12. Who makes up the people in your life, category one or two: Delicate.

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13. The Pet Owners eulogy.

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14. From the loinclothed one, comes an excellent point as to what it takes to make the world an unwelcome place: What a Wonderful World.

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15. Amit Ray teaches the importance of integrating yoga, mindfulness and positive approach towards life. His words and teachings are popular and inspire people across the world. Regarding yoga, he says that yoga is not a religion. It is a science, science of well-being, the science of youthfulness, the science of integrating body, mind and soul. He advocates for creating peace and positive vibration on earth. He emphasises that it does not matter how long we are spending on earth, or how much money we have gathered or how much attention we have received. According to him, it is the amount of positive vibration we have radiated in life that matters. He emphasises the value of family. According to Amit, there is no better example for a child than a caring mother and a dignified father.

Only wealthy organisms are able to culturally diversify, and as human beings get richer and more productive, our instinct is to get even weirder. As productivity has skyrocketed, so has our ability to do what we’d like instead of merely focusing on survival. Standing out takes, time, money and confidence. More of us have all three now.

The playlist today begins with some excellent insight from Brene Brown, then a pop diva in Rachel Platten. Michael Jackson delivers one of his more obscure numbers, then an explicit number from Eminem. The beautiful voices of Rag and Bone Man and Taylor Swift follow ending off with Louis Armstrong. Here’s the Youtube playlist: Nature is Fine, But Human Nature is Finer.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

namasteflower

How to Communicate Like A Buddhist!!


I was in North Fitzroy Public Library the other day, and there was a book sale. Amongst them was a book called the Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness, the much anticipated follow up to Mindfulness In Plain English by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana.

My secret, I am a trained Tibetan Buddhist Calm Abiding meditation teacher and was one signature away from applying to become a monk during the eight years I spent under the tutelage of Lama Choedak Rinpoche,  who is based in Canberra, Australia and in my opinion the second best interpreter of Dharma after his Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Back to the book, it cost me one dollar. So using my write about the subject on the page you open it to, today’s topic is Correct Speech, one of the eight branches of The Eight Fold Path. A little from Bhante on meditation:

Meditation is not easy. It takes time, and it takes energy. It also takes grit, determination, and discipline. It requires a host of personal qualities which we usually regard as unpleasant and which we like to avoid whenever possible. We can sum it all up in the American word ‘gumption’. Meditation takes ‘gumption.’  It is undoubtedly a great deal easier just to kick back and watch television. So why bother? Why waste all that time and energy when you could be out enjoying yourself?
Why bother? Simple, Because you are human. And just because of the simple fact that you are human, you find yourself heir to an inherent unsatisfactoriness in life which just will not go away. You can suppress it from your awareness for a time. You can distract yourself for hours on end, but it always comes back–usually when you least expect it.

All of a sudden, seemingly out of the blue, you sit up, take stock, and realize your actual situation in life.

So let’s take a trip down the eightfold path, memories of the countless nights and retreats I attended studying the dharma are flooding back, I was very good at it according to Rinpoche:

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1. What, no judgement, gossiping, criticism. That would silence a few people I know.

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2. Straight back to the midnight shows at the Valhalla and The Blues Brothers: Think.

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3. Another concept of Buddhism is Loving Kindness, this stream of flowers reminds me of it.

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4. Love me a Mind Map; This should be tattoed on all politicians hands to read before they speak in the chamber: Think Before I Speak.

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5. From the symbol in the left-hand corner, I would say this is a Zen saying,  beautiful, isn’t it?

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6. People’s greedy desire for power, politically we never seem to remember this is a premise of the eightfold path if not addressed: Don’t Tell Lies.

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7. What will mainstream media employees do when this comes into force when I am elected to power in this country, I don’t think they know how to do this.

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8. How long do you spend being ethical with your speech each day?: Where Is the Love.

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9. Not just the Buddhists follow right speech, here’s something from Hinduism.

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10. One of the classic tales about incorrect speech, Pinocchio needs no words under this image to get the message: Bad Liar.

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11. I own up to when the words feel trapped like this when I feel they may not land properly.

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12. How hurt are we when what we think is the truth was revealed as Lies: I’m not a Lesbian Anymore.

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13. Why, How and What. Our job in life is to discover our Why, and then you will never work another day in your life.

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14. I still have a Tee Shirt with the Dharmacakra on it; The Noble Eightfold Path is a sexy beast: The Eightfold Path In The Style Of Adele.

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15. And finally for the definition nerds out there, here it is.

Correct Speech has four qualities, the Buddha told us. It is always truthful, it is uplifting, not malicious or unkind. It is gentle, not crude or harsh. It is moderate, not useless or meaningless. I have a ways to go to achieve this moment to moment, a new daily practice.

The playlist today is quite quirky. We begin with Aretha Franklin from the iconic Blues Brothers movie, Then pop Diva Astrid S. The Black Eyed Peas appear on the next two clips, one with Ariana Grande at the Manchester benefit. Back to pop divas with Selena Gomez. But we finish with a lesbian anthem by Bria and Chrissy and then Rachel Moss interpreting The Eightfold Path in the style of Adele. Here’s the link to the playlist: How To Communicate Like A Buddhist.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

namasteflower

Never, Never, Never Give Up.


Back to Marc and Angel Chernoff’s iconic first book: 1000+ Little Things Happy Successful People Do Differently. Using the write about what is on the page you open on theory today we discuss the 11 things Everyone needs you to know. They are:

  1. You never really know how much the people around you are hurting.
  2. The most important trip you will likely take in life is meeting others halfway.
  3. Relationships don’t create happiness, they reflect it.
  4. Compassion comes back around.
  5. Timing is Everything.
  6. Actions are the loudest form of Communication.
  7. A loving relationship creates freedom and abundance.
  8. People are more of what they keep silent than what they say.
  9. What others say and do is often based entirely on their own self-reflection.
  10. Sincerity is giving without expectation.
  11. Not every relationship is meant to last forever.

So what do you need to know to support those people who pop up in your life, here are 15 ways that we can do that:

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1. The way through to growth is through education, finding out what you don’t know and getting out there and learning it, begin today.

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2. Do you know your place in your communities, your family, your friendships, a worthwhile practice to take on daily: Somebody I Used To Know.

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3. On a need to know basis this is quite useful.

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4. Is a riskless life worth living? Not for this little black duck: 

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5. What are your wants, mine is to see the world live from the paradigm – Love and Respect for All, Everyone Included.

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6. A worthwhile thing to stick on your fridge: Learn to Fly.

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7. What you need to know it is your actions not what you say that makes the difference.

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8. I was just curious what this pack of extraordinary looking people needed to know by being at Stonehenge: Mr Curiosity.

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9. Very salient for point eleven – Not every relationship is meant to last forever.

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10. Left the is out, they did, love the grace in it though: Grace Live.

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11. Now let’s get to the juicy details. The lunula can reveal important secrets about your health. For instance, a smaller lunula can indicate anemia or malnutrition. Also, a small one might indicate indigestion from a slow metabolism. If it is blue-coloured, this lunula could indicate diabetes. And if it is tinted red, it might indicate signs of heart disease.

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12. There are over 7 billion versions of this reality on the planet. You may not agree with quite a few of them: Happier.

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13. I have many “tree” friends, I love them for what they provide in my life: 

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14. At Dancing Eros for Men last night we changed the life of our priestesses by honouring them with a ceremony from the heart – we also gave them flowers: Believe.

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15. Find your passion and you will never work another day in your life and you will not need to take holidays to recover.

Love doesn’t close the door against all that is good, that’s a little practice the human race came up with. How can you reverse the situation on your life in practical terms?

The playlist today begins with Gotye’s breakout hit, then the sultry Miley Cyrus, followed by some rock from Foo Fighters, Then a group of boys – Jason Mraz, Jeff Buckley, Ed Sheeran finishing off with Mumford and Sons. here’s the link to the Youtube playlist, music is better with pictures: Never, Never, Never Give Up.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends:

namasteflower

Three Things that Can No Longer Be Hidden!!


I was saddened when Debbie Ford died in 2013, I loved her work, it was so insightful. I recently found her book: The Dark Side of the Light Chasers – Reclaiming your Power, Creativity, Brilliance and Dreams in one of my cupboards. I opened it to page 68 and the following paragraph caught my attention: “Unconcealing is the first step of the shadow process. Unconcealing requires rigorous honesty and willingness to see what you haven’t been able to see. Acknowledgment of our shadow self-begins the process of integration and healing. Remember that each of these “negative’ traits has a positive gift for you, more value than you can even imagine. It’s only a matter of doing the work, and in a short while you’ll receive the blessings of wholeness, happiness and freedom.”

She still has a fine website dedicated to her work: The Gifts of Debbie Ford., you get a free audio if you sign up, her work is worth it. on the next page there are about 200 shadow words, here are just a few: Greedy, liar, phony, cheap, hateful, jealous, vindictive, controlling, nasty, possessive, bitchy, wimp, evil, geek, prudish, womanizer, slut, angry, secretive, codependent, predator, alcoholic, drug addict disgusting stupid,idiot, fearful, unconscious: that’s enough, you will have to buy the book if you want the whole list.

So why don’t we unconceal our shadows and dive deep into them to allow them to be healed by bringing them to the fore, the best way I have found to achieve this is through presencing them in your body, mind work does not do it for me anymore.

Let’s have a look at some quotes on the subject of unconcealing our lives:

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1. As Byron Katie says, do the work, it’s the only way.

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2. Don’t know if I agree with the first line, perhaps in Donald Trump: You’re so Vain.

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3. And this is one area in our lives that what we don’t unconceal can have terrible costs, please reveal your sacred love stories to each other.

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4. These rules will help you unconceal the areas you don’t do it, because with the light comes the shadow: Fight the Power.

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5. Myrtle Reed was an American author, poet, journalist, and philanthropist. She wrote a number of bestsellers and even published a series of cookbooks under the pseudonym Olive Green.

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6. Art, when unconcealed centuries later, reveals a lot about the cultures that have gone before us: Art for Art’s Sake.

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7. Having appreciated Rodin’s The Thinker sculptor for time immemorial love this quote re unconcealing our naked form.

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8. I have cried three times in my life since my baby days, one of them was when I was watching a tearjerking episode of Apple’s Way, a cheesy 1970’s TV show, go figure: Hello.

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9. As is a man.

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10. Have you unconcealed your commitment to service, it comes when you get to realise that life on earth isn’t satisfying when its all about you: People Help The People.

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11. Beautiful image, time to unconceal the Universe, my friends.

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12. Putting in Isha brings up Esha Gupta, an insanely beautiful Indian Bollywood Actress, arguments get the matter dealt with: Zombie.

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13. Think Donald in the U.S.A, Malcolm and Peter in Australia, Recep in Turkey, Bashar in Syria.

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14. Drisi is a young woman from India who describes herself as a bibliophile and a learning enthusiast, It’s great she is featured in Google images: Love Yourself.

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15. And finally, Unconceal the wild woman and man within you and unhide the love for yourself.

At the end of the demonstrative list of negatives is the following exercise and insight: “Imagine that an article was written about you in your local newspaper. What are the five things you would not want to be said about you? Write them down. Now try to imagine five things they could say about you that wouldn’t matter to you at all. the question is. are the first five things true and the second five untrue? Or, have you decided with the help of your family and friends that the first five things are the wrong thing to be, therefore you do not want them said about you? We  must uncover what is behind these words, so we can take back these disowned parts of ourselves.

Write down the judgements you have about each of these words. See if you can identify when you first made that judgement or whom you took that judgement from. Was it your father, mother or another family member? I’m sure this excercise will unconceal enough to start the transformation, its a worthwhile book to get to have the entire list.

The Playlist today begins with the 1970’s icon Carly Simon, then some grit from Public Enemy, a classic from Ten CC, A massive hit from Adele, Birdy follows with a plaintive plea, some Indie Rock by the Cranberries finishing with Hailee Steinfeld who appeared in the last playlist. Here’s the link: Playlist for Today.

Namaste until next we meet, dear friends.

namasteflower

 

As Soon As I Saw You!!


Finally, I remember to Bring Brene Brown’s great book Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead: Her home page. I write my blogs at Darebin Intercultural Centre, where I teach English as a second language three days a week. Using my trusted method of writing about the subject that is on the page I open today we look at appreciation. Brene says:

“Just as our experiences of foreboding joy can be located on a continuum, I found that most of us fall somewhere on a perfectionism continuum. In other words, when it comes to hiding our flaws, managing perception, and wanting to win over folks, we’re all hustling a little. For some folks, perfectionism may only emerge when they’re feeling particularly vulnerable. For others, perfectionism is compulsive, chronic and debilitating – it looks and feels like an addiction.

Regardless of where we are on this continuum, if we want freedom from perfectionism, we have to make the long journey from “What will people think?” to “I am enough” That journey begins with shame resilience, self-compassion, and owning our own stories. To claim the truths about who we are, where we come from, what we believe, and the very imperfect nature of our lives, we have to be willing to give ourselves a break and appreciate the beauty of our cracks or imperfections. To be kinder and gentler with ourselves and each other. To talk to ourselves the same way we’d talk to someone we care about.”

So what has society said about appreciating ourselves, here are a few of my favourite quotes about the subject:

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1. I fill out my Danielle LaPorte’s daily planner religiously every day, on the page is a space to put what you are grateful that day, works for me.

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2. Not yet, I’ll do it when… Whats wrong with this statement?: Unwritten.

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3. From one of the two most prolific quoters on the net, Ms Unknown comes this beautiful quote pointing out that the act doesn’t have to be a huge one to make a profound difference for someone.

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4. Back to the second century A.D. for this quote from the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, who was a practitioner of stoicism. Amazing that they thought so much about happiness such a long time ago: Being Alive.

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5. What is your essence in life? , mine is Beauty in Life. At the moment I move between contentment and pure joy.

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6, Simply, Appreciation 101: Thinking out Loud.

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7. I have been to some amazing places in my 63 years. One of them was the U.S.S.R. to run the Moscow Peace Marathon the year before the Berlin Wall came down. My memories are of Lana, Sergei and Michael Jackson, three people we met in a cafe in Leningrad who become our besties and showed us around for five days.

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8. Do you accept compliments easily, that’s all part of your worth and value on the planet, don’t rip people off: Love Myself.

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9. Life truly is a journey, on a journey, you will have your ups and downs, guaranteed.

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10. I think I have found that someone else, Yay!!: We found Love.

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11. Repeat after me, LOVE YOUR LIFE!!

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12. Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, His Holiness the Dalai Lama uses a gardening analogy in this quote about the importance of appreciation: Guide to Happiness

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13. From Little things, big things grow – great saying and great Aussie song, look it up on Youtube.

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14. How many people have you outlived, we always assume that we will be here tomorrow, not necessarily true: Need You Now.

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15. Toni Payne is a creative writer, film director, poet, visual artist, media personality and entrepreneur. She enjoys working with still and moving images to create visual masterpieces. She also enjoys writing inspirational quotes, short stories, and poetry about various topics from romance to self-love. At her leisure, she does voiceover readings of short stories and flash fiction on her podcast and writes travel, exotic cars and beauty lifestyle articles. She also writes musings about pop culture, entertainment, relationships and more.

Brene talks of three areas in your life that help you raise your appreciation levels: they are Self Kindness, Common Humanity and Mindfulness. Add these to your menu and I’m sure you will appreciate life at a greater level.

The music for today begins with Natasha Bedingfield,  followed by actor Neil Patrick Harris doing what he loves, cabaret. Some modern popsters in Ed Sheeran, Hailee Steinfeld then Rihanna. His Holiness the Dalai Lama follows and we complete with Lady Antebellum. Here is the As soon as I saw You video playlist: Video Playlist.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

namasteflower

 

 

Expect Problems and Eat Them For Breakfast!!


I got banned from Facebook for four days recently. I posted a picture of a pregnant woman just above one of the alt-right demonstrators belching out hate speech, guess which one I got banned for and did not meet community standards. I am motivated by the premise you can use Facebook for possibility and love the expression my friend Jo Jo uses, Booker Lookers, it delights me, and that’s what today’s blog is about, what motivates you in life.

Back to Marc and Angel Chernoff for their empowering description of What is Motivation: At its most basic level. motivation is what spurs you to act on a desire; it’s the determination and drive to make that desire a reality. Motivation moves you to show up to the project and get the right things done. It’s the force that moves an idea from point A – where it lives only in your head – to point B – where you make the idea a reality. Here’s the link to their webpage, I cannot recommend their work highly enough, and they have a new book, it’s marvellous: The Portal.

How does the world say things so we stay motivated, let’s have a look:

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1. Who remembers what clock cards where. My employment history goes back to these archaic days where you had to clock on and off at your work. The practice of clocking your workmates in and out was rampant.

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2. I used to live outside the city, the power of looking at the Milky Way in the night sky, there are probably not words that fulfil the magical desires it conquers up: Starman.

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3. We go all the way back to the Third Century to discover who St. Jerome was. Venerated in the Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican and Lutheran Churches. He is best known for his translation of most of the Bible into Latin (the translation that became known as the Vulgate).

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4. Remember when you were wooing your beloved? We did all that had to be done because we knew there was no other alternative: Don’t Stop.

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5. I did a training program on the weekend, I am a Warrior of Love. We created the resonance of your seed essence that embodies why you exist. At eight out of ten was challenge.

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6. And Arthur Ashe did a lot. The first African American to break through on the professional Tennis Circuit, he used his skill to change a conversation about who could play the game.: Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen.

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7. Could I do a blog on motivation without including the big Tone.No, not really?

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8. What are the sounds of silence? only one song: Sounds of Silence.

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9. Who remembers The Hour of Power being on the telly on a Sunday morning. Robert Schuller was the host of the show. Strangely, World Wrestling was on soon after.

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10. Is your comfort zone Netflix: The Comfort Zone.

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11. Your Why, Simon Senik’s TED talk, what else do you think of?

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12. May your dreams all come true: A Million Dreams.

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13. I think the first film I saw Bill Murray in was Ghostbusters. A second viewing years later dated the film.

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14. Just had to use this for the image: Never Give Up.

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15. It’s all in the languaging, use negative words and the world will be a dark place, change them to be more positive and you will get what you reap.

More Marc and Angel, There are two big pieces to motivation: the motivation to just get started and the motivation ot keep going. In the best of both worlds, one leads to the other: once you find the motivation to get started, your progress keeps you going as you build and sustain momentum.

The playlist this week begins with two classics from David Bowie and Michael Jackson. Then a quirky offering from Baz Luhrmann followed by another classic from Simon and Garfunkel. It becomes more modern with Vanessa Williams followed by the Greatest Showman soundtrack and ends with Sia.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

namasteflower