Paradise has never been about Places!!


Not about a book this time, it’s about an experience. On the weekend I attended Collective Potential’s People on Purpose retreat: Here’s their contact page. My friend Emeli, the facilitator had a surprise for us on Saturday night, it would test my physical and trust issues to the Nth degree. I had to let my fears of walking down any slight slope when I inherited when I fell down an escalator drunk at the age of 18, a long time to hold onto something seeing I am now 64, but my balance has been shot ever since.

I am one of the worlds great givers, even having the nom de plume, The World’s Greatest Volunteer, but am sometimes naff at receiving, I realise there is a profound cost to this, but have trained myself harshly from the I am Unlovable shadow world.

What I learned was the power of the tribe, of true connection, can have people do things that they had told themselves they were incapable of. What has the world said about the power of connection over the decades, let’s have a look:

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1. Number one spot to Brene, the Queen of Vulnerability.

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2. I love the quote: You can get a kiss easily enough, having sex isn’t that hard really, but finding those people that touch your soul, that’s another thing: Listen To Your Heart.

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3. Relationship 101.

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4. Find Your Others: People Help the People.

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5. Actions not words, true connections not Roses…

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6. As James, the financial planner on the retreat said, you do not change your habits overnight, this is especially true in relationships: Time after Time.

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7. For the Barbara De Angelis fan on the retreat.

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8. I was the elder at 64, there were lots in their 20’s and 30’s, even a teenager I think: Human.

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9. Albert was born in the 18th Century, still relevant today.

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10. Too me this is more profound in shared experience: Shared Experiences.

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11. They are your weirdo’s after all.

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12. Has to slip in Emeli’s favourite word: Purpose: Love Connection.

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13. I think I did this with someone on the weekend, we don’t meet them that often, Emeli was one for me, so glad to meet another.

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14. I  have had these conversations, and they have gone for days: Fresh.

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15. Nada!!!

So go out there and find your others, allow true connection in your life, Collective Potential is a great place to start if you are new to the journey.

The playlist today has some certifiable classics in it: We begin with Roxette, then Birdy’s anthem to People. One of my top ten songs by Cyndi Lauper, then the bass tones of Rag and Bone Man. An unknown electronic classic by Menog. And what would a love connection playlist be without some Bollywood by Shubham Tiwari and some disco to finish off by Kool and the Gang…

Remember to show Love and Respect for All, Everyone Included until we meet again, my dear friends.

IamLoved9

 

Migrant or Refugee?


I went to my friend Kavisha Mazzella’s first solo art exhibition yesterday and she sang a song of her nonna’s story. Her grandmother was a refugee from Burma who  had to flee when the Japanese started bombing and invading Burma and the Anglo Burmese had to flee the invasion. Here is the song: Fisherman’s Daughter.

It made me think how you become a refugee , the previous century had two world wars that saw many nationalities in the European sector become refugees and this century has seen more Asian, middle eastern and African countries due to civil wars and invasion by western countries.

What did the world do and what will it continue to do with these people who have suffered having to flee their own homeland because they have no other option.

The 15 quotes I have chosen cover statements about and people who have experienced being a refugee, let us begin the journey:

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1. This pope has to keep reminding us that migrants and refugees are actually human beings as well , mothers fathers, sons , daughters , uncles and aunties as some nations have started to forget.

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2. Each of us come on to the planet as a bouncing baby, some healthier than others, but none of us are illegal.

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3. Communication between nations or Interculturalism: Love and Respect for All, Everyone Included would solve many of the problems that occur when people are branded migrant or refugee. I have created a Facebook Page to assist this to happen : Interculturalism.

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4. On the page I talk about above I posted a quote that says if you call your self a christian or a muslim or an Italian or English you are being violent. On of you do not say you are from a particular religion or country are you not because you are owning being a human being totally. These flags above represent what is one of the major problems migrants and refugees face.

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5. We can never tell what our journey will contain, unfortunately for the migrant and refugee the struggle is much more difficult than those who live in the country they are fleeing to.

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6. For many of the families in my country of Australia, this is how they arrived, with one suitcase each. They made a successful life for their families from this difficult beginning.

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7. One of the difficulties forced on migrants and refugees is that they must become …….., the question to be asked of the nation saying that is would your citizens do it if the situation was reversed and you were the Other.

 

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8. We have all seen pictures of refugees camps and people crossing dangerous oceans in boats. Why do we wonder then when these same people make such wonderful citizens after putting up with these treacherous journeys to get to a safer country to call home.

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9. This is a very broad statement, we probably do it to our own family at times, so how do we do this to people from countries we know very little about. Take the time to get to know people, especially new arrivals to your country.

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10. This is what mainstream media forget when they place labels on people fleeing danger in their own countries. It is normally a label that has caused them to leave.

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11. Tshibanda Gracia Ngoy fled tribal conflict in 2005 from Nigeria. In 2012 she was a finalist in the NSW Young Australian of the Year and a member of the NSW Multicultural Youth Network. A commerce and communications degree student at Wollongong University, Gracia Ngoy is also a caseworker for refugee families, a youth motivational speaker and a member of the Illawarra Regional Advisory Council and the NSW Multicultural Youth Network.  Gracia, who speaks five languages, arrived in Australia with her family in 2005 after fleeing tribal conflict in the troubled Democratic Republic of Congo. After settling in Wollongong, she took up an offer of free homework tutoring, simultaneously signing up as a mentor for others. An accredited freelance journalist, Gracia recently published her first book entitled A Little Recipe for Success which aims to inspire young people to live successful, fulfilled and purposeful lives.  She has also written numerous articles aimed at breaking down cultural barriers between her native Congo and Australia.  Awarded the prestigious Australian Young People’s Human Rights Medal, Gracia was also named 2010 Wollongong Young Citizen of the Year. Drawing on the wisdom of personal experience, Gracia is determined to help the ‘many people living shattered lives who have been tied up by their past experiences and challenges.’

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12. What you let your government get away with when dealing with members of their citizenship, especially their migrants and refugees build the future way you are treated as well.

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13. This man is considered one of our greatest minds to have ever lived on the planet, he was a refugee.

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14.  António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres,  born 30 April 1949) is a former Portuguese politician who was Prime Minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002. He also served for a time as President of the Socialist International. He served as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from June 2005 to December 2015. This is what he say about accusing refugees of being terrorists.

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15. This has  been forgotten in our country, in fact we call them illegal and take away their rights to live as a human being saying they do not have a right to live here and send them to gulags.

So my request is that you spend time getting to know the migrants and refugees in your country. Only then will we realise that they are fellow human beings not terrorists. Love and Respect for All, Everyone Included.

Namaste until Thursday, my dear friends.

Namaste2

Fashion, Turn to the Left.


Do you consider your self stylish and what is style anyway? Today is one of my words off the wall blogs – we are having the documentary Advanced Style  where the lives of  Seven unique New York women are depicted. It looks fascinating, here is the trailer for it: 7 Unique Women.

I have not been known as a stylist belonging more to the alternative scene over the years, caftans and flairs do not make many of the fashion magazines  although there were some very unique clothes worn by my fashionista friends. So lets have a look at what society has to say about advanced style, here are my 15 quotes that I have chosen to consider:

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1. Albert suggests that it is difficult to walk through life with a sense of style through just having knowledge, as this is limited. Imagination is what has you stand out from the pack.

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2. But with no education as exists in some places in the world it is also impossible to change your circumstances and break out from the mundane.

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3. One of the great stylists who has re-invented the meaning of creating your own world, Oprah shows what determination can get you.

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4. Don’t young kids dressed as adults look oh so cute, not if you ask them, it’s like putting them in prison garb.

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5. Lynn is one of the stars of Advanced Style, does your mother look like this at the same age, I know mine doesn’t.

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6. At one stage it was Grey is the new Black as they become the majority of the population this statement is now more the norm.

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7. Susan Sarandon recently went to Burning Man, this stylish actress was interviewed about her experience of the major alternative festival in the states : What did she think?.

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8. Definitely one of the more stylish dressers of his age, Mark Twain AKA Samuel Clemens was a believer in age was a made up concept, and that you were as young as you felt.

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9. To look fashionable you need to be original, if you buy off the rack you have a very good chance you will turn up an event in exactly the same attire as another, no imagination , no originality.

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10. A man who also redefined style was Stephen Hawking, a sufferer of Motor Neuron disease from an early age, he has  not let this hinder him and is one of the most sought after speakers in the world.

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11. We don’t appear to be that far off when our style of transport will change dramatically. Using Doctor Who in this image points to what will be available some time this century.

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12. And the greatest style advantage we have in life is that we are uniquely us, no one is more Youer than You.

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13. Luckily the internet revolution has turned around people’s ability to find out what styles are relevant and allows them to learn and move on from where they are these days. Libraries are also a valuable place to attain this.

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14. Malala Yousafzai (Malālah Yūsafzay:  born 12 July 1997) is a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate.She is known mainly for human rights advocacy for education and for women in her native Swat Valley in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of northwest Pakistan, where the local Taliban had at times banned girls from attending school. Yousafzai’s advocacy has since grown into an international movement. Her Passion and style have influenced many organisations and celebrities to take on her cause.

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15. David Bowie became a stylist by writing awesome songs and changing his persona every few years. The title of this blog is taken from one of his greatest songs : Fashion, David Bowie Style.

Style is a much used word, how do you use it , in your clothes, in your ride, I have the first triathlete pushbike released in Australia, it’s very smick, or in the way you relate to others. There are many ways to be stylish.

Namaste until Easter Monday my dear friends.

Namaste2

 

 

 

 

Pay as you Feel or Donate, its all Giving.


I wanted to write todays blog on the pay as you feel ethos, there is a chain of restaurants in my hometown of Melbourne, Australia called Lentil as Anything who do just that, you eat there and pay what you can afford. There are not many pay as you feel quotes so I have  had to move over to what it is to donate or give of our time.

I give a lot of the little money I have that I can afford to give. I support guide dogs as I have a blind friend, I support Green peace and several other organisations who do good stuff around the planet and volunteer my time as well as an English teacher and a Social media nerd.

I have chosen 15 quotes that i think will allow for some interesting comment. Here we go:

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1. I have a friend Emeli who runs an organisation called Collective Potential whose target audience is corporate types who have realised that the $100,000 job does not provide the satisfaction they are looking for. Frankly they never do.

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2. At least several times in out lives the chance will come to make a difference to someone. I once met a person in the street who told me that I wouldn’t remember him because he used to be a drug addict but that I had saved his life in the way I had treated him as a human being and not a number when I worked for the government welfare agency. He was right, I didn’t.

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3. What makes the greatest difference, the child talking to the homeless man who has not spoken to someone in five days or the millionaire making a six figure tax deductible donation. I know which one does for me.

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4. Cornelia “Corrie” ten Boom was a Dutch Christian who, along with her father and other family members, helped many Jews escape the Nazi Holocaust during World War II. She was imprisoned for her actions. Her most famous book, The Hiding Place, describes the ordeal. She certainly lived the meaning of the above quote.

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5. As the example of the person I met in the street who said I had saved his life thorough my actions and  that of children who talk to strangers like they know the person needs love these are both moments of the above.

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6. This man is a frigging saint, enough said.

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7. Can I put a Dolly Parton song in this blog , yes I can : Put a little Love IN Your Heart.

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8. What would it take to make a statement like this. Anne Frank was a teenage jewish Schoolgirl hiding from the Nazi’s who wrote the Diaries of a Young Girl which was made into the iconic film The Diary of Anne Frank, she did not survive.

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9. Sir Ken Robinson has done four TED talks on the danger of rigid education. He points out if you buy into the mainstream you will not know how to give your gifts to the planet, they will be drained out of you.

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10. In the United states there are over 100,000 people waiting for live saving organs, why do we get buried intact when we could just as easily save another’s life. I don’t think your God would notice the difference.

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11. There are people who are worshipped for what they gave in their lifetimes, this man is one of them, and yes we killed him as well.

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12. What every person thinks who this happens for, they may not be able to say it physically or mentally.

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13. It is always valued by someone, at times you will be rewarded in person, in other times it may be your next lifetime, if you believe in that sort of thing.

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14.The Tao Te Ching, Daodejing, Dao De Jing, or Daode jing, also simply referred to as the Laozi, is a Chinese classic text. According to tradition, it was written around 6th century BC by the sage Laozi, a record-keeper at the Zhou dynasty court, by whose name the text is known in China. The text’s true authorship and date of composition or compilation are still debated, although the oldest excavated text dates back to the late 4th century BC. It is full of wisdom like this.

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15. The great Buddhist concept of compassion as spread by the Dalai Lama is well spoken in this quote by Steve Maraboli, the worlds most quoted man.

Will the people who are the givers of the world withstand the attack of the takers,is it really the beginning of the Age of Aquarius as is being promoted on the internet, I hope so.

Namaste until Thursday, my dear friends.

Namaste2

 

 

Go back to where you came From!!


My country made a sad decision today, it legalised the right to keep children who were born in this country in prison camps on remote islands where known cases of child abuses take place because their parents are supposedly illegal refugees.

What does this word refugee mean, the definition of it is quite clear:

According to the United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees [PDF], as amended by its 1967 Protocol (the Refugee Convention), a refugee is a person who is:

  • outside their own country and
  • has a well-founded fear of persecution due to his/ her race, religion, nationality, member of a particular social group or political opinion, and is
  • unable or unwilling to return.

Yet we in our own country use terms like border protection and lock up children for up to a period of over 12 months, I call this inhumane and not meeting the above guidelines.

What has been said about refugees over the ages, have we improved the way we deal with them. There are many famous refugees, I had no clue Freddy Mercury was one, fleeing after the 1964 Zanzibar revolution.

Here are Fifteen quotes I have chosen to look at more useful ways to deal with refugees.

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1. I work in a place who dealt with the first wave of Asylum Seekers in Australia, many of them Iranian. I will give an examples changing his name. Ali worked as an airport Manager, his younger brother was accused of political dissent. Ali was called in by the police and tortured for two weeks  and on release told next time he would not leave alive. He fled the country, leaving everything behind the following day. It took him 9 months to get to Australia, and yes he came by boat.

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2. Name calling by the media, used to demean not empower or open people’s hearts to these people who have suffered unimaginable atrocities that people who live in area of war do. The only way I can relate to the effects of it are when I was in Leningrad and our guide said to imagine what happened here in a 2 year period kill 1 in 5 of the people you know and that is what occurred here.

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3. I saw the drone shots Russia took of the cities of Syria, as this quotes states refugees often have no choice, there is nothing to go back to. We are just very lucky to have never experienced this in our country.

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4. Probably the worlds most famous refugee is Einstein. A German Jew, his work was discredited by the Nazi Party. He was one of the lucky one who got out early in 1932 and went out to make some of the most significant scientific discoveries of the modern era.

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5. Tonn Benn served in the British parliament for 47 years as was seen as being the most left wing member of his party. He did not hold back in stating what he saw as the dangers of his right wing opponents, this is one of his most famous quotes.

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6. Famous for We turned back the boats and Team Australia sometimes our politicians forget and let their heart slip out, this was one such occasion.

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7. Go back home, to what?

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8. I love the poster of two earth’s , one with all the flags over it and the other as it actually is , One planet. Then no one would be illegal.

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9. They say that the strength of your team is measured by your weakest link, what does that say about planet earth and its treatment of our refugees.

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10. This picture speaks to the UN convention relating to the status of Refugees, designed to do exactly what it says. Delivery, Comfort and Mercy.

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11.  “Refugees are people like anyone else, like you and me. They led ordinary lives before becoming displaced, and their biggest dream is to be able to live normally again. On this World Refugee Day, the 20th June let us recall our common humanity, celebrate tolerance and diversity and open our hearts to refugees everywhere.”

Ban Ki-moon, Secretary of The UN pointing out with there is no such thing as Us and Them.

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12. Taken from the glorious song by Leonard Cohen Anthem. to me means that we give love as though like we have lost our country and are stateless, a pure love of mercy.

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13. This is being questioned with the current refugee crisis sweeping Europe. perhaps they need to send the political leaders on a holiday to Syria for a week or two and it would be put in perspective.

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14. This poem was written by a Somali refugee commenting on what happened to his country and how he thought before the war and after the war when he became one.

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15. A sign that says it all, not needing the political or economic commentary, just the humane one. Please when commenting on they should go back home, remember this, especially in our country where a great majority of our immigrants were refugees.

I had to stop halfway through writing this, we had a U.N. Interfaith Harmony Week event, the ethos if this week is Love of God, and Love of the Neighbour. They has youth speakers from six different faiths, aged from 12 to 20 they all spoke of love and compassion. This gives me great hope for the future of refugees.

Namaste until next Monday my dear friends.

 

 

 

 

Are you Interested?


I have lived in Preston, Victoria, Australia for four years now and find it a much more communal area than the suburb I previously lived in. Perhaps this is because of the local council who are committed to each of the 153 different cultures who make up its population and the Darebin Intercultural Centre that was sent up to ensure this happened. link to information on DIC.

What makes a great community, It is defined in meaning two distinct things

community
kəˈmjuːnɪti/
noun
  1. 1.
    a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.
    “Montreal’s Italian community”
  2. 2.
    the condition of sharing or having certain attitudes and interests in common.
    “the sense of community that organized religion can provide”

I have belonged to many different communities over my life: The football playing community, the singing community, the self development community and the Northside living community being some of them.

What has society said about Community over the centuries. The 15 quotes I have chosen say different things about it, lets have a look :

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1. Author of the outstanding book Love and Will Rollo May states that Communication is an essential part of Community as it leads to us understanding each other not judging from made up opinions.

 

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2, This beautiful poster suggests many ways to build a sense of community. If these are in place I suggest you would be part of a vibrant one.

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3. When you become a genuine part of a community there is something you give to it, your heart. One touched in your heart you realise that this is what fulfils you th emost in your life.

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4. Marianne Williamson, known for her quote from her best selling book A Return To Love: Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate,  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. This quote is often incorrectly credited to Nelson Mandela. Another powerful pointer to th epower of community from Marianne.

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5. Synergy is another benefit of strong communities. Synergy is  the interaction of elements that when combined produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual elements, contributions, etc. You need less to achieve much more.

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6. In your Face community, Love and Respect for all, Everyone Included – the ethos of my public FB group Interculturalism, a space to join and share your examples of Community that includes everyone.

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7. Always look out for people who are in your community who are not partaking of what is available in belonging to it. Always give them the choice but don’t assume they don’t want to be.

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8. I agree with Mahatma, when I am not partaking in a Community I feel a little lost as I did for the first year of living in Preston, but after discovering The Intercultural centre and its activities I became part of that beautiful gift one gives, Of Service.

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9. Love this image and quote from Henrik Ibsen, father of the school of Realism. In a community anyone can step forward and lead, they tend to have less bureaucracy than other structures.

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10 A gaggle of words that come out of Community. Things that you obtain, assets, a sense of wellness, support of others and events to attend and meet the others from your community.

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11. I am listening to Mitch Albom’s book the Five people you meet in Heaven, a book about Ernie who dies where he learns that heaven is not a lush Garden of Eden, but a place where your earthly life is explained to you by five people. These people may have been loved ones or distant strangers. Yet each of them changed your path forever. Its fascinating and points out the importance of creating purpose and meaning in your life through community service.

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12. David Bowie worked on this his whole love, from Ziggy Stardust to the Thin White Duke, he was all about including everyone in his fan group AKA his community. Here is one of his finest songs in relationship to Community:  Heroes.

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13. Jasmine Guy is an actress who pointed out that Community is not as easy as it used to be when we were part of a tribe living in a Village, but it is still is so worthwhile.

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14. Maria Montessori was an Italian physician, educator, and innovator, acclaimed for her educational method that builds on the way children naturally learn. She created schools where the whole school was a community not broken up into separate classes.

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15. And finally something to remember, that our bodies are a community as well, made up of millions of Star Seeds and Cells.

So have a think about what communities you say you belong to and those you would like to, I guarantee that it will open your heart more for you and by being of Service you will live a healthier life.

Namaste until next Thursday, my dear friends.

Namaste2

 

 

 

If Liberation feels like a chore, It isn’t Really Liberation is it ?


This question goes deeply into our Psyche, doesn’t it. Its point to the fact you may go to conscious dances, attend bush Doof festivals, do ten day silent meditation retreats but if it is something you are doing to fit in, or because it is something you have always done it isn’t really liberating your Soul is it.

Wikipedia defines liberation as:

noun
the act of setting someone free from imprisonment, slavery, or oppression; release.
“the liberation of all political prisoners”
synonyms: freeing, release, discharge, deliverance, salvation, rescue, relief, extrication, setting free; More
freedom from limits on thought or behavior.
“the struggle for women’s liberation”

Being set free from imprisonment is how I relate to it on a personal level, that being that my mind is imprisoned when it comes to certain beliefs, and if I do not take actions to release it from its slavery to the thoughts that have me trapped there I do not liberate myself from these situations.

The 15 quotes I have chosen cover a wide range of views on what Liberation is and how it can affect your life. Lets delve into it :

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1. The story of Nelson Mandela is living proof of this, Nelson said “As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”

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2. Jeanne Moreau is a French actress, singer, screenwriter and director, stated this early in her career after struggling like many actresses to have success in her career but knew the path to liberation was not over.

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3. Eckhart Tolle, best known as the author of The Power of Now and A New Earth: Awakening to your Life’s Purpose. In 2011, he was listed by the Watkins Review as the most spiritually influential person in the world. What does he mean by this statement. Liberation lies in the answer to that question.

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4. What is Harriet Tubman, well known slave abolitionist pointing to here, that what is called a certain life style by one person is not seen as that by another so can not be liberated because they do not understand the concept you are talking about, the power of language.

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5. This should bring up some discussion, “believes she is human as a man”. My friend Justine posted recently that women run the world so don’t need to be liberated, they just need to wake the fuck up. Here’s some of her music Ikigai’s sweet tunes.

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6. This takes what the mind does to us a step further, Nisargadatta, one of India’s great philosophers blames our bondage on it, and that our mission in life is to go beyond its influence on us.

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7. How many of us have seen the pictures of horses being tied to plastic chairs and elephants held by the slenderest of ropes. They could leave whenever they felt like it but remain there imprisoned by their minds training.

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8. Joseph Campbell, author of the Heroes Journey points to that liberation is not hanging on steadfastly to the life we have created so far. In fact we must let go of that exact one for us to have the life that awaits us.

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9. Junebug is a mythical character of the Civil Rights movement in America. Liberation is being who you truly are , not what other people want you to be.

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10. Stu Mittleman lives the above quote Stu Mittleman is an ultra distance running champion, as well as a fitness/running coach and author. Mittleman set three consecutive American 100-Mile Road Race records in the US National Championships 1980–1982. He is a liberated Elder proving that life does not stop at 60 when you retire.

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11. Liberation is not handed to you on a silver platter, you have to work for it on a daily basis especially in the circumstances Assata Olugbala Shakur, who  is an African-American activist and member of the former Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army who resides in Cuba describes above.

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12. No one could ever accuse Mahatma Gandhi of uttering a Yes to please or worse, to avoid trouble, after all he led the movement that free the second largest country in the world.

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13. Personal Revolution, one at a time is Jim Morrison’s cry for a large scale liberation. He wrote a classic song about this Break on Through.

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14. There are thousands of references on Google pointing to Abe Lincoln being the first gay president, not something that makes it to mainstream media but David Herbert Donald wrote an extensive biography on Lincoln in 1995 that explored this.

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15. Martha Graham was an American modern dancer and choreographer whose influence on dance has been compared with the influence of Picasso on modern visual arts, the influence of Stravinsky on music, Martha says the path to Liberation is through discipline, blessed discipline.

Liberation is as we call it is unique for each and every person and culture. I hope you have enjoyed studying the history of Liberation with me.

Namaste until next Monday , my dear friends.

Namaste2