She slept next to the Fires!!


It took just on a week to get back from the magical land that is known as Confest. The title comes from the glorious minimalist I meet on the last day who had decided to come the day before Confest began, she hopped in her car with a backpack and slept on the earth the entire time, could also do the most amazing earth sounds, I fell in love with her from the moment she shared her vision for the planet.

How do I feel after experiencing my first Confest in 30 years, a mixture of joy and sadness actually. The joy that I have come home again and sadness that I waited 30 years to return. There were hundreds of things to do, workshops, mudtribes, Temple rooms, Silent discos, I chose to hang around our firepit in Tranquility during the day: the drug, alcohol and smoke-free camping area and receive the connections that would come my way and must admit to a silent disco addiction garnered from attending similar events in the Edinburgh Gardens in Fitzroy. They were not the same, the evil energy of drugs and alcohol permeated the tent, still, I danced.

How did the connecting go, fucking magnificently: Saturday night this is the countries represented around our little fire: Finland, Chile, Argentina, Japan, China, The United States, and me as the token Aussie.

The United States started it all with Woodstock, Confest is Australia’s answer. Woodstock’s  motto was Peace and Love, how did Confest fulfil that in my heart and how do we as human beings do that on an ongoing basis, let’s have a look:

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1, Jimi performed at Woodstock, he would have loved Confest. Died too young at 27.

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2. MLK Jnr. knew what was a need, they shot him: Love Your Enemies.

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3. Just keeping it real.

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4. Heartspace, way to go: Listen to Your Heart.

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5. From the greatest of philosophers, Ms Unknown comes this pearl of wisdom.

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7. Self-love first, the rest will follow, there were 10,000 souls to share yours with.

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8. His Holiness recognizes Love and Peace as the new religion that will make the difference, will you: Love is My Religion.

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9. If you don’t know who Ram Dass is, check him out, pure gold.

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10. Only one song: Stairway to Heaven.

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11. Of course, we cannot forget the powerful morning potion after the few hours of sleep got each night.

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12. I met dozens of these beautiful angels over the time I was there: Give Peace a Chance.

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13. If you truly want to integrate the Confest spirit in your life, do this.

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14. And, especially thisWe are family.

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15. And the final lesson comes from the divine one, Maya Angelou.

What was the most profound moment of Confest for me? When the indigenous elder ran up to me and said, it is good to see you again this lifetime, then performed a ceremony on my face for 15 minutes in the indigenous language, then told me to listen to the forest. Want to know what it said? It said why do these people come here and play the musical instruments of Africa and sing the songs of India, don’t they know we are the oldest surviving culture on the planet and we have our own sounds. We will heal when they leave. it feels like I can hear the Earthsong. By the way, I had never met him in my life.

The playlist of Love and Peace contains some spoken word and all-time classic anthems. We begin with Martin Luther King Jr, then the unusual combination of Roxette and Eminem. Back in time to Bryan Ferry, then Bob’s son Ziggy Marley. Two more old Love and Peace classics follow from Led Zeppelin and John Lennon. We finish all in the family with Chic and Sister Sledge, Lots of live versions because music is just better live: She Slept next to the Fire!!

Confest was a great example of how I want the world to relate: Love and Respect for All, Everyone Included. Until next time, my dear friends.

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Freedom is a State of Mind!!


Going off the grid for 5 days from 6AM tomorrow morning, off to Confest for the first time in 30 years with two of my friends who are Confest virgins. A little about the festival: ConFest (Conference/Festival) is a gathering of people wishing to share talents, skills, ideas, concerns and philosophies in a caring fun loving and tolerant atmosphere. The presentation of workshops, demonstrations, entertainments and the maintenance of site facilities are all performed by volunteers, monetary payment is neither accepted nor made.

At ConFest, people often set up villages with differing themes. ConFest is a clothing optional space, this means ConFesters can wear, or not wear anything they chose. Everywhere at ConFest is clothes optional. Don’t be surprised to have a naked ticket collector when you arrive at the ConFest gate. Clothing can range from nothing to body paint, a coat of mud, a sheet, a fairy costume, even a ball gown or dinner suit. At ConFest, clothing is not gendered specific. There is just one simple rule, respect other ConFester’s choices. A long-running and very popular ConFest tradition is the communal artist’s studio. Activities include body and sign painting, life drawing, clay work, organic art, photography etc. Artists, models and workshop facilitators are always welcome.

I am looking forward to returning, last time I went it was around 1,000 people, it is now over 6,000. How do 6,000 people express their own individual shades of freedom? Then, how does society comment on personal freedom, let’s have a look:

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1. I love that saying, there is only climbing.

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2. Its all in the air: The Air that I Breathe.

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3. Thucydides has been called the father of the school of political realism, which views the political behaviour of individuals and the subsequent outcomes of relations between states as ultimately mediated by and constructed upon the emotions of fear and self-interest.

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4. You got to fight for the right to…: You’ve got to Fight…

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5. Mail, Key, Bike, etc. etc. etc.

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6. There are rules that you are not meant to follow in your life, they are your bullshit rules: Nkosi Sikilel iAfrika.

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7. The next step after freedom.

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8. I . have met many of these fine people in the past six years of my healing journey, far too many to mention, you know who you are, Thank you: Love Street.

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9. It travels hand in hand with integrity.

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10. Nothing, Nada, No way, Fuck Off: No Way, Get Fucked, Fuck Off.

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11. One word – Rumi!!

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12. It may be known as Nirvana: Come as You Are.

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13. Ask, expect. depend: Cry Freedom.

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14. The curly haired eccentric one knows how to say it: Believe.

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15. And our final lesson, two words: Fuck Yes.

What workshops will I do, they go all day supposedly. I will do ones that touch my heart.

Today’s playlist is great. A classic from The Hollies, The Beastie Boys next imploring you to …, A stirring National Anthem is thrown in next. Three of my faves from different eras, The Doors, The Angels from OZ, finishing with Nirvana. Mumford and Sons close it out with a plea to our senses: Freedom is a State of Mind.

Freedom to me would be the world living from Love and Respect for All, Everyone Included. Until we meet again on the other side, my dear friends.

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We Are All Visitors to This Time, This Place!!


Narrin-ik Mandy. Wurundjeri-wilami-ik, Wurundjeri-baluk-ut. Marramb-ik Dja Dja wurrung ba Nguirai illum wurrung, German ba Irish, Dhunba-njan Woiwurrung. Mundainai-njan Liwik-bulok nugel-ik, ba Lalal ba Gugung nugel-ik, ba Murrup Galada Birrarung, Mundanai-njan Biik-ut. Biik-dui, Baanj Biik, Murnmut Biik, Wurru wurru Biik ba Tharangalk Biik. Bungul-al Wiliam-u. MUndani-njan kirrip-bulok nugel-ik.

This is Wurundjeri language, The native language of the indigenous people who inhabited the land where my home city, Melbourne was established. Translated it reads:

My name is Mandy. My clan is the Wurundjeri-wilam, within the Wurundjeri-baluk patriline. I am also Dja Dja wurrung, Ngurai Illum wurrung, German and Irish. I speak Woiwurrung. I embrace my many ancestors and my many Grandfathers and Grandmothers, and the Spirit River, Birrarung. I embrace the Below Country, On Country, Water Country, Wind Country, Sky Country and the Forest Country above the clouds, which is Bunjil’s home. I embrace my many friends.

Indigenous wisdom was nearly wiped out in my country under harsh policies that did not see the indigenous people included in the census. The following story exemplifies this:

In 1935, an Australian of part Indigenous descent left his home on a reserve to visit a nearby hotel where he was ejected for being Aboriginal. He returned home but was refused entry to the reserve because he was not Aboriginal. He attempted to remove his children from the reserve but was told he could not because they were Aboriginal. He then walked to the next town where he was arrested for being an Aboriginal vagrant and sent to the reserve there. During World War II he tried to enlist but was rejected because he was an Aborigine so he moved to another state where he enlisted as a non-Aborigine. After the end of the war he applied for a passport but was rejected as he was an Aborigine, he obtained an exemption under the Aborigines Protection Act but was now told he could no longer visit his relatives as he was not an Aborigine. He was later told he could not join the Returned Servicemen’s Club because he was an Aborigine.

Their culture is the oldest culture in the world and has much wisdom to offer, here is some indigenous wisdom from around the world:

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1. The love of the land is a paramount thing that Western society could learn from them, not the rape and pillage in the name of commercial profit.

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2. So many ancestors have handed their wisdom on the next generations: On Sacred Ground.

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3. They had so many wise ways, I suppose it was their form of therapy without the expense.

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4. A great place to start: Rise.

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5. Indigenous wisdom across the planet, Mother Earth, Father Sky.

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6. Settlement of new lands 101 by the great? European empires throughout history: Highway To Hell.

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7. In my country is has been the women who have cared for the planet.

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8. Many governments seem to have forgotten this with their reaction to the Climate Change issue the planet is facing at the moment: With or Without You.

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9. My indigenous friend Stevie uses this as part of the name of his organisation Dardi Munwurro – Strong Spirit.

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10. Simple wisdom, but we and the planet are always changing, so why not fulfil your dreams: Give It A Go.

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11. Add your favourite things you would like to give up.

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12. 60,000 years versus 250, makes sense to me: Wiyathul.

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13. Oops, missed by that much.

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14. Catherine Astrid Salome “Cathy” FreemanOAM (born 16 February 1973) is an Indigenous Australian former sprinter, who specialised in the 400 metres event. She would occasionally compete in other track events, but 400m was her main event. Her personal best of 48.63 currently ranks her as the sixth-fastest woman of all time, set while finishing second to Marie-José Pérec’s number-three time at the 1996 Olympics. She became the Olympic champion for the women’s 400 metres at the 2000 Summer Olympics, at which she lit the Olympic Flame: Cathy wins gold.

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15. And this statement speaks to why we, Western society have so much to learn from our indigenous brothers and sisters.

Ngaga-Dji! Ngaga-Dji! – Hear us, hear us. They are waiting to offer it to us, when will we listen?

The playlist today begins with an artist I thought I would never choose, Yanni. Then Jonas Blue, new to me then we rock out with AC/DC and U2. Timbaland comes next then we honour Australian indigenous folk with Gurrumul and we finish with Cathy Freeman winning gold: We are all Visitors to This Time, This Place.

I also honour indigenous cultures for showing Love and Respect for All, Everyone Included. Until we meet again, my dear friends.

It’s Not About Perfect, It’s about Effort!!


Today I’m writing about making decisions. I attended an evening run by some German Trainers I did some of the most advanced training I have done in my life. We played the Possibility labyrinth game where there were only two instructions, beep if you took an incorrect path and go if you did not meaning you got to have another chance to move forward. There was no marking and sometime the next step was outside the marked areas making it a very challenging game.

We also got to look at a difficult decision we wished to make in our lives and listen to our bodies contemplating a yes or no answer and take a step towards the answer it provided. I chose the opposite answer to the one my mind had been telling me. I felt clarity about it after doing this where before I had been living out of my expectations of what I hoped would happen.

So what has society written about making hard decisions over the centuries? Let’s take a walk down that pathway:

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1. Don’t regret asking that person out, or moving continents.

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2. Each decision you make could change the direction of your journey quite dramatically. Do not worry, you are on the right path, it’s your path: Don’t Stop Believing.

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3. That old Gut Feeling, It knows what’s best for you.

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4. One foot in the front of the other, or jump and learn to fly on the way down. Either way, something will happen: Fight Song.

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5. And sometimes they don’t end up with the same result.

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6. All those what if, it won’t work out thoughts, that just you mulling it over. Underneath it all, you already know if the answer is Yes or No: Dear Anxiety. 

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7. So, where do you want to be, time to decide.

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8. How close do you get to a million before you have the courage to leap: Unstoppable.

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9. In the background you already knew it was time, didn’t you?

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10. Nicholas Sparks decided to start writing based on a simple remark from his mother when he was 19 years old that introduced him to the possibility:

‘”Your problem is that you’re bored. You need to find something to do…” Then she looked at me and said the words that would eventually change my life: “Write a book.” Until that moment, I had never considered writing. Granted, I read all the time, but actually sitting down and coming up with a story on my own? …I was nineteen years old and had become an accidental author: A Thousand Years.

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11. Very surreal, this quote, what does it mean?

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12. Breath in, Breath Out, and Decide. It sounds simple enough but at times is far from that: Take My Breath Away.

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13. One of the biggest decisions we make in our life. The one to partner someone through life.

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14. It’s like walking through the deep jungle, sometimes the path does not appear to be there, yet the indigenous people have moved through it for centuries: Follow Your Arrow.

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15. And for the final lesson of the day, decisions are a lot harder when these things are in play.

The decision was over whether to ask a woman I had met recently out. The circumstances do not allow for it at the moment. With the new space the clarity of making this decision has created, who knows what may happen.

A few pop divas in the playlist today, and some Country and Western. A rock anthem from Journey leads off, Then the first pop diva Rachel Platten. A spoken word piece then Camila Mora and Christina Perri. Another blast from the past with Berlin and we finish with some C & W from Kacey Musgraves: It’s Not About Perfect, It’s About Effort.

As you are making these hard decisions in your life remember, Love and Respect for All, Everybody Included. Peace Out until next time we meet, my dear friends.

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We Make A Life By What We Give!!


What am I feeling? I am feeling pride in the 200 men I spent a day with at the Island of Men who had gathered to take a stand for we were in it together to become better men for each other, our families and friends, lovers and children. The day consisted of ceremonies and about twenty workshops on a wide range of subjects that could achieve the stated intention. The following poem was written by my mentor Arion about the day, it sums up what happened pretty damn well. Here is a link to his work: Living As Essence.

Men. When you take off your mask.
You break my heart, in every way. 
You share wisdom beyond your years
And unbearable trauma under that smile

Men, when you take off the mask
You show me bone-deep loneliness
No longer covered by the effort of living
And you break my heart, again

Men, when your mask falls away
I see tender beauty 
And breathtaking kindness 
That shatters all I knew, as you

Men, without masks 
I love you, I see you 
I see the depth of your feeling 
And the burden of keeping it down

Men free from masks 
I see your tears and tenderness 
And your ache to love and be loved
I see your true power stirring

Let celebrate all that is behind that mask 
In you, me and all of us 
Let’s start a rebellion 
Where we wear the masks no more

Let us cry in each other’s arms
Then build a new world, together
A world that bows to tenderness
In every living thing

Let us break our hearts together 
In our beauty and our pain 
I love you, I love me 
Let’s take this love, to the world.

So what has the world said about the power of community, here are a few of my favourites:

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1. We attended a magnificent event and are setting up structures so that we can fulfil the third stanza.

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2. There will be Shadow and Light moments on our journeys, but as it says when it’s hard, We’re In This Together: Let’s Stick Together.

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3. But due to all of us, the vulnerability of men and the power that can create will not be a secret much longer.

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4. And Yes, some of this happened: Bette Davis Eyes.

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5. And heaps of Bro Love, which I define as being truly seen by another man, of whatever age.

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6. I’m guessing this is not the Paul Ryan from the Tea Party in the States, great ethos though: I’m an Individual.

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7. Mark Hyman, MD, believes that we all deserve a life of vitality and that we have the potential to create it for ourselves. That’s why he is dedicated to tackling the root causes of chronic disease by harnessing the power of Functional Medicine to transform healthcare. Dr Hyman and his team work every day to empower people, organizations, and communities to heal their bodies and minds, and improve our social and economic resilience.

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8. Those African dudes know how to keep our intention simple: How Far I’ll Go.

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9. Gentleman, make some noise!!

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10. We Wee’d in nature on the island. it really gets you in contact with the power of the wellness offered by communing with the land: Oh, Well.

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11. And didn’t they share this so beautifully in the Heartspace process?

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12. A philosophical doctrine or approach to life that emphasizes social unity and generosity of spirit: Ubuntu.

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13. Even Rumi’s on our side.

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14. Here is my favourite movement creator, here are some of his words: I Have A Dream.

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15. And for our final lesson, Men of the Island remember the power of the snowflake.

There is so much great stuff happening across the communities of the world to have its heart space be transformed. It was an honour to attend one of them on Sunday.

There is a playlist, it has one of Australia’s greatest silly songs amongst other classics. We begin with Bryan Ferry them move to Kim Carnes. Who remembers Jacko then a musical tune from Moana. One of the great early Fleetwood Mac numbers follows then a world music number from World Edition. We finish with the wisdom of Martin Luther King: We Make A Life By What We Give.

If you really knew me, you would know in my heart there lives the statement: Love and Respect For All, Everybody Included. Until we meet again, my dear friends.

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Not on my watch, Anymore!!


I wrote the following in my Facebook news feed two days after New Zealand:

I am sitting in Preston Town Hall at the Multicultural fair, cultural diversity Festival 2019. There are hijab’s and henna painted hands everywhere, so many different cultures. Firstly I went to the Preston Mosque, ironically the day after NZ they had already invited their neighbours so they could meet and enjoy a meal together. I was privileged to hear the Imaan give his welcome speech and his communities comment on NZ. I firstly had spent an hour having my hand shaken by both Muslim men and women thanking me for being there, I did not know if it is cool to walk around a mosque with tears flowing from your eyes so I sort of controlled it. The Imaan spoke of common humanity, then of a noble death, where you are looked after in the afterlife. He quoted the Koran where it says if you kill an innocent human being you kill the spirit of the human race. I made a promise to myself at that moment I will do everything in my power that this will never happen again on my watch. 

I picked up my friend and extraordinary poet Ari Amal’s beautiful tome: The Details and the Infinite when I got home and opened it to the following poem, it spoke to my heart, here is her webpage link: Find out about Ari.

May All The Blossoms Within You Unfurl

It only takes one brave bud

To start a revolution

So to the buds in you that are yearning to burst open

These words are for you:

Darling ones

Spring has come

It is time to become

All that you are

So lift your face to the sun

& laugh with the sky

For even your fragrance is a Gift

To those who happen by

It only takes one brave bud

To start a revolution

So tell me,

Who amongst you will inspire 

the Fiesta?

I don’t think the human being who committed the heinous act in Christchurch had read it, who amongst us will do what it takes to transform the world into the majestic place it could be. What have we written about it, let’s take a look:

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1. One of the bravest acts a human being , can commit in their lifetime, be themselves in the face of the crap society throws at them not to be.

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2. Can’t read their name, but I have enjoyed the revolution, my artistic friends have created for the past 45 years: Art for Art’s Sake.

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3. “Nisker’s book (Essential Crazy Wisdom) is twenty-three times more liberating than the Bible, the Torah, and the Koran combined. It may be crazy to say such a thing but it is also wise.”  — Tom Robbins, author.

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4. From the Black Panthers, if you don’t know who they are, google it. It’s not about the people, it’s about their stand: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.

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5. Begin one today.

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6. No Isaac Newton here, grow some: Formation.

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7. Donald Trump, Scott Morrison and other far-right world leaders, Jacinda and us mob, we are coming for you.

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8. Dorothy got this answer to a question, I don’t accept it: Que Sera Sera.

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9. A revolution of desire has given us today’s world, pick again.

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10. Will it be yours, what area in your life will it be: Stir It Up.

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11. He, Joseph Stalin may have got carried away with his zeal but I get his point, just don’t go over the top like Uncle Joe did.

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12. When I read George’s books, I decided Tyrion Lannister was one of the great characters in literature. Not just fantasy literature – literature! A brilliant, caustic, horny, drunken, self-flagellating mess of a man. And there was only one choice to play him.”: Never Forget You.

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13. And, Go!!

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14. If you are decluttering your house to do this, stop it: Smooth Operator.

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15. And finally to my Mojo crew, Awakening Women for Men brothers, Warrior of Love travellers, Dancing Eros sisters in male bodies, Expand the Box and Possibility Lab cronies, my ISTA family and my siblings Hugo, Ruthie and Jann, two words, Fuck Yes!!

I think writing this has helped the sadness I feel in my gut for what happened in New Zealand, time to grow some and go.

I like today’s playlist, it has some of music’s icons and one of my favourite spoken word jazz tracks: 10cc with a classic head it off, Gill Scott-Heron then some diva pop from Beyonce. Then we go way back to Dorothy Day. The certified legend Bob Marley follows, next is new to me but not ten million people, The Noisettes, and we finish with the always sensual Sade: Not on my Watch, Anymore.

Do I really have to say it, We need Love and Respect for All, Everybody Included or we all may not wake up one day because we thought everything was OK and someone will prove that wasn’t true in an ultimate way.

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Drop the last year into the limbo of the Past!!


Fast forward to December 2019. You’re sitting at home pondering the year that’s been…What’s next? My friend Emeli and her crew wrote this as a sub-heading under 2019, ideal vision in Lifebook 2019 On Purpose: Get in Contact.

Em asks 8 questions, they are as follows:

  1. Who are You? What have you achieved? Where do you want to be?
  2. List the top three reasons you want this vision.
  3. Who do you want to be in 2019? List three small actions you can take to make a big change.
  4. What advice would you give to yourself in a year’s time?
  5. What books do you want to have read?
  6. What places do you want to have travelled to?
  7. What hobbies will you have started?
  8. Who would you have kissed more? Hugged more? Made, deep, deep love to?

So, if you are deeply ensconced in your humanity, you will have up and down periods over the year, so what are some of the favourite quotes about the year that was, let’s take a stroll down that lane:

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1.  Andriy Shevchenko is a soccer player and politician who made Champions League history; on 23 November 2005, he scored all four goals in Milan’s 4–0 group stage drubbing of Fenerbahçe, becoming only the fifth player to accomplish this feat; his company includes Marco van Basten, Simone Inzaghi, Dado Pršo and Ruud van Nistelrooy (while Lionel Messi joined that group in the 2009–10 season and Robert Lewandowski in 2012–13), and the only one to have done it in an away game. 

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2. By the worlds most prolific quote writer, Ms Unknown, the world gets you: Golden Years.

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3. Don’t forget to include the fun factor as well as the hard work during 2019.

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4. Two words: Simon & Garfunkel: Frank Lloyd Wright

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5. Each of us reaches this revelation at different stages in our lives, will you do it in 2019?

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6. And some of it you dread and other bits you say Fuck, Yes too: After All These Years.

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7. For the sisters.

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8. René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke, better known as Rainer Maria Rilke, was a Bohemian-Austrian poet and novelist. He is “widely recognized as one of the most lyrically intense German-language poets. Obviously, Maria must have been a strong family name to be chosen to keep: Best thing I never Had.

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9. One of the shortest professional tennis players ever, Michael’s Chinese name (simplified Chinese: 张德培; traditional Chinese: 張德培; pinyin: Zhāng Dépéi) was chosen by Joe, his father and his English name by Betty, his mother (who named him after her father).

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10 Hurts so bad but living so good, great line: Hurt So Bad.

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11. Can you genuinely say this?

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12. Thirty, the new …..?: The Prime Time of Your Life.

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13, Just, because I can.

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14. Will it fill up your 1,000-litre cup: A Thousand Years.

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15. And the final message is for my beloved Warriors of Love.

Emeli also stated: that we can spend all day making lists of the external ‘stuff’ we want like clothes, cars etc. But what really drives us. I will leave you with that question to ponder over the months of 2019.

Last century songs outnumber the 2000’s in tonight’s playlist. We begin with David Bowie, then further back to Simon and Garfunkel. Some rock from Journey follows, then we move forward to Beyonce. Another oldie from Linda Rondstat, then we finish with two tunes written after the 2YK crisis by Daft Punk and Christina Perri: Drop the Last Year into the limbo of the Past.

So I have a request, in 2019 spread the ethos of Love and Respect for All, Everybody Included amongst your communities, workplaces, families and love relationships.

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