Headphones On, World Off!!


I am reading Brene browns new book, Braving the Wilderness: Brene’s Website. Using my formulae of writing about what is on the page I open the book too, today we are discussing the rise of loneliness amongst our society. Sorting, or living and hanging around with people who hold the same beliefs as you have become more prevalent: in the American 2016 election 80 per cent of counties gave either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton a landslide victory. In 1980, 20 per cent of American reported they were lonely; the figure is double that now.

This seems counterproductive, sorting and loneliness. If we are living in a like-minded community, shouldn’t we naturally feel like we belong? In her book, Brene quotes neuroscience researcher John Cacioppo of the University of Chicago who has been studying loneliness for over 20 years. He defines loneliness as “perceived social isolation” and states we feel loneliness when we feel disconnected. At the heart of loneliness is the absence of meaningful social interactions —- an intimate relationship, friendships, family gatherings, or even community or workgroup connections.

So, what does society have to say about the state of loneliness? There were many negative quotes, but I have chosen to stay with the more positive aspects of loneliness:

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1. Rocker philosopher Henry Rollins paints a beautiful scene with his words on the matter. How great is the term “A Special Burn”.

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2. Can’t quite make out the name of who said this, but how many times have we curled up in life to our favourite tracks hoping that they will make the pain of loneliness go away: Perfect.

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3. During my Mental Health crisis of six years, this thought was always in the background.

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4. On this walk, you get to realise that it is you who has to make the final decision, alone or not: You’ll Never Walk Alone. 

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5. Two words – Self Love.

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6. How we define a situation can clearly give it a different meaning: Solitude.

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7. For those who have suffered the abuse, we wish didn’t exist on our planet.

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8. Some people use escapism to get away from it: Time After Time.

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9. There is someone I am hoping is thinking this at the moment.

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10. John Steinbeck wrote this quote. He won the 1962 Nobel Prize in Literature” for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humour and keen social perception.” He has been called “a giant of American letters,” and many of his works are considered classics of Western literature: Precious Things.

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11. We assume that our life will remain the same, change is the reality.

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12. Carl Jung knew that speaking up was the solution to loneliness. Time to make some requests: Don’t Speak.

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13. I was not a hugger for 59 of my 64 years. They work.

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14. Time to reach out when Satre’s prognosis is in place: Bad Company.

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15. Find the Others.

Here are the final remarks from an interview between Bill Moyers and Maya Angelou:

Moyers: Do you belong anywhere?

Angelou: I haven’t yet.

Moyers: Do you belong to anyone?

Angelou: More and more. I mean. I belong to myself. I’m very proud of that. I am very concerned about how I look at Maya. I like Maya very much. I like the humour and courage very much. And when I find myself acting in a way that isn’t…that doesn’t please me—then I have to deal with that.

Today’s playlist begins with pop icon Ed Sheeran, then we fly back to the 1960’s with Jerry and the Pacemakers. Even further back to Billie Holliday. Then three fine female singers: Clare Danes, Bic Runga and No Doubt. One of the classic English rock bands Bad Company brings it to a close. Here’s the video playlist: Headphones On, World Off.

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

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

 

Excuses will always be There!!!


Kate Swoboda writes in her excellent book, The Courage Habit: Here’s the link., What are Stories? Stories are internal narratives and assumptions that we make about how the world operates. But, here’s the important part: stories might not be objectively true. They are your lens on life and, like a pair of sunglasses can change how you see the world. The story you put on your experience has everything to do with whether you see yourself as a victim or a survivor, whether an experience is dangerous or an opportunity, and whether you have the capacity to develop more courage if you are just not very courageous.

What stories have you made up and accepted that stop you from doing those deepest wishes you have had all your life. The world has had a lot to say about limiting beliefs, so let’s begin that journey:

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1. I first heard this expression in my Anam Cara, Emeli Paulo’s RAW workshop, always remember you are Enough.

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2. Remember when you used to believe in dragons and unicorns, what happened: Changing your Limits.

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3. When is that possible while I have all these things to do today, it’s a Nike situation, do it now!!

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4. There is that saying, whispering sweet nothings, Isn’t it time we changed nothing to something: Careless Whispers.

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5. You have to guess what some of these empowering beliefs are as you can not quite make them out, what do you think they are?

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6. While sitting alone on his cushion, Adyashanti had a classic kensho, or awakening experience, in which he “penetrated to the emptiness of all things and realized that the Buddha I had been chasing was what I was: Love No Limit.

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Where do you come on the scale, perhaps you discuss the non-real people our TV screens toss at us via reality TV every day.

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8. Didn’t all quite fit in, my vote is for Is no box: Little Boxes.

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9. I have many positive signs on my walls, hadn’t thought of using my clothesline.

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10. Bring on the Gorgeous for me, love the Gorgeous: Gorgeous.

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11. One step forward or one step back, just don’t stay stuck where you are for a very long period.

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12. Of course, Guatama had something to say about limiting Beliefs: An Unguarded Moment.

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13. And here are limited beliefs playmates that quell your happiness.

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14. I often dream of the South African plains and being a Lion: The Lion Sleeps Tonight.

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15. What would or could you do if you didn’t know it was impossible? I would make the world paradigm, Love and Respect for All, Everyone Included.

These quotes show exactly why it’s important to examine the Stories that we inherently assume to be true. You could ask if it’s possible to cjange your stories? The answer. I have known many people who have shown me it is possible to consciously choose another story. Consciously choosing your stories is a matter of where you  put your attention and what you decide to make things mean.

Music and words for today starts with some Wayne J. Dyer wisdom, followed by a fantastic George Michael anthem. Then a love song from Mary J. Blige and back in time to Pete Seeger. Then my favourite pop diva Taylor Swift, an iconic Aussie band, The Church many  of you willl not have heard of and finishing with a street Acapella ensemble, Alcapella Soul.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

namasteflower

 

 

I didn’t change, I just found Myself!!


The title of this blog comes from one of the great musician/philosophers, Bob Marley. Today I would like to put lists within a list, one of them being quite long. They are the list of lessons for finding your strength in hard times. There are forty of them so it will take a while to ponder them all. They come from my friends Marc and Angel Chernoff, I have the honour of being a Facebook friend of Angel. here they are:

You are not what happened to you in the past, Focus on what you have, not on what you haven’t. Struggling with problems is a natural part of growing. it’s OK to fall apart for a while. Life is fragile, sudden, and shorter than it often seems. You will fail sometimes. You have the capacity to create your own happiness. Emotionally separate yourself from your problems. Don’t make a problem bigger than it is. Everything that happens is a life lesson. View every challenge as an educational assignment. Things change, but the sun always rises the next day. Giving up and moving on are two very different things. Distance your self from negative people. Perfect relationships don’t exist. You must love yourself too. Don’t let others make decisions for you. Resentment hurts you, not them. You’re not alone. Everyone has problems. You still have a lot to be thankful for. Consciously nurture your inner hope. It’s better to be hurt by the truth than comforted by a lie. It’s hard to tell how close you are to success. Not getting what you want can be a blessing. Laughter is the best medicine for stress. Mistake are important to make. Worrying is literally a waste of energy. Even when it’s hard to move, take small steps forward. There will always be people that dislike you. You are better off without some people you thought you needed. You are ONLY competing against yourself. You can’t control everything that happens to you. Life is NOT easy. Your future is spotless. You are not trapped: you just need to re-learn a few things. Everything in life is two-sided. You always have a choice. Let others in when you are in a dark place. If you ask negative questions, you will get negative answers and The end is a new beginning.

Pretty cool list. But I wish to ponder how society deals with our strengths, sometimes we have to go through a lot to realise them. It’s a common human frailty, a thing you will notice in the quotes I have chosen as examples, here we go:

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1. We all feel better in summer under the sun. Remember to use winter to recuperate and allow your inner strength to shine when it needs to.

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2. Reminds me of the last few kilometres of the first marathon I ever ran. I wondered why all the people around me were talking to themselves, and then realised I had said that out aloud: Not Afraid.

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3.  My name is Brigitte Nicole I am a writer, specifically quotes and self-help material. I dedicate myself to providing help through my writings to people who are struggling with life. My goal is for my page to revolve mine around my writings, which I fondly call “the art of words”, for I believe in the power of words to induce change personally and globally.

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4. Heart, mind and spirit. In the training program I am in called Warriors of Love it is your seed essence: Spirit Bird.

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5. Just your best, it may be as simple as sleeping all day some days.

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6. The day after mothers day, I am reminded of how my mother held on for three months without really eating at the end of her precious life. How much did we put our mothers through: Superwoman.

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7. You are here for your unique reason, some days you are closer to it than others.

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8. A bit like the perfect relationship does not exist, even the one with yourself. Remember to look beyond the imperfections: Perfect Day.

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9. The honour of not hiding your vulnerabilities anymore, your life empowered by the strength that is given to you by this not so simple action.

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10. I have been asked to list my perfect life several times, I always seem to leave out the pain that life included in its recipe, Oops: My Immortal.

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11. How many times have you been broken? Congratulations, you are still here, that strength within got you through, Yay!!

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12. There will always be things that happen in our lives that as young innocent children we could never imagine. Well done for still being here: Imagine.

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13. As a qualified proofreader, it amazes me that they can create these images and leave words out. But you get the drift without the to.

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14. Mahatma was a dude: Everybody Hurts.

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15. American-born author Aberjhani (born July 8, 1957, in Savannah, Georgia) is a historian, columnist, novelist, poet, and editor. Although well known for his blog articles on literature and politics, he is perhaps best known as co-author of Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance and author of The River of Winged Dreams. The encyclopedia won a Choice Academic Title Award in 2004.

Everyone you meet, everything you encounter, etc. They’re all part of the learning experience we call ‘life’ Never forget to acknowledge the lesson, especially when things don’t go your way. if you don’t get a job you want or a relationship doesn’t work, it only means something better is out there waiting. And the lesson you just learned is the first step towards it.

The music today begins with some rap from Eminem, then the beautiful Spirit Bird from Xavier Rudd, followed by Alicia Keys anthem to women. Back to the 70’s with Lou Reed and Jools Holland, followed by a little bit of rock with Evanescence. Then hope for the world with John Lennon and finishing with the powerful pop divas, Kelly Clarkson and Pink.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

namasteflower

Practice creates the Master!!


I remember one of my teachers saying a master was someone who had been alive longer than you had. I never really understood what she meant  until coming across the saying “You are either a teacher  or a student .” Vincent Van Gogh said If one is master of one thing and understands one thing well, one has at the same time, insight into and understanding of many things. So if you could master and learn one thing – what would it be?

Mastery has sort of been stolen by the Law of Abundance market as the way to make a fortune but I believe as Vincent says it relates to each and every area of our lives. How has the world related to it over time, what have the masters themselves said about it:

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1. The curly headed one, Albert Einstein says that we need to give our all to obtain it, no Netflix for masters.

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2. From the Buddha to Steven Covey, these quotes over the Ages give you wide choice to achieve Mastery: Know Yourself.

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3. Mastery is obtained by giving time to something, money cannot buy it for that you, yourself wish to master.

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4. Gold Medallists do not just happen, they occur from a well-executed plan from an early age to them stepping up on the podium: God’s Plan.

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5. Passion is also required to achieve mastery, it lives in your heart.

 

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6. Author of the Classic As a Man Thinketh, another part of the recipe to obtain mastery, Calmness on the journey: A Thousand Years.

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7. As Vincent says, mastery is obtained by concentrating on a particular field of knowledge which then allows you to obtain it in others.

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8. When I complete online surveys I never give anybody a score of ten, this quotes points as to why: The End.

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9. For nearly 80 of his 91 years, Picasso devoted himself to an artistic production that he superstitiously believed would keep him alive, contributing significantly to — and paralleling the entire development of — modern art in the 20th century.

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10. What a beautiful line of wisdom – Only we can control our appetites and passion, says it all about mastery really: Love Story.

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11. Where did we go wrong on supporting mastery with our education system? Thank god for the teachers that recognise the gifted ones.

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12. Explains Mastery perfectly, this quote does –  Tribute to the Best Human Being.

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13. My brother is a computer Luddite if anything goes wrong with his technology his eyes roll over. But ask him about music and he can answer any question.

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14. Another part of the recipe of mastery,  acceptance of fear and keep on going, Mention of the word fear equals Jim Carrey’s video: Love or Fear.

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15. And finally, from one of my favourites, Deepak Chopra, the final part of the recipe for mastery: do not take personal offence.

My master also gave me an exercise to practice she said would help with mastery – Hold an optimistic view of the world – All Day.

Our Music today is two Drake songs in a row, the beautiful Christina Perri, the ever haunting anthem by the Doors, Pop Diva Taylor Swift, a tribute to Bruce Lee, ending with the iconic speech by Jim Carrey.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

namasteflower

Be Bold or Italic, Never Regular!!


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

The quote is as follows:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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9. I just had to include this one.

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

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11. Neither does boldness!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Namaste until next time , my dear friends.

namasteflower