There is no Elevator to Success!!!


I was having a deep and meaningful conversation with a friend into what prevents us from meeting our goals which made me think of Angela Lee Duckworth’s great book Grit: Why Passion and Resilience are the Secrets to Success: Get It Here. 

Here are some great lines from the book: 

“What I mean by a passion is not just that you have something you care about. What I mean is that you care about the same ultimate goal in an abiding, loyal, steady way. You are not capricious. Each day, you wake up thinking of the questions you fell asleep thinking about. You are, in a sense, pointing in the same direction, ever eager to take even the smallest step forward than to take a step to the side, toward some other destination. At the extreme, one might call your focus obsessive. Most of your actions derive their significance from their allegiance to your ultimate concern, your life philosophy. You have your priorities in order.”

“Why were the highly accomplished so dogged in their pursuits? For most, there was no realistic expectation of ever catching up to their ambitions. In their own eyes, they were never good enough. They were the opposite of complacent. And yet, in a very real sense, they were satisfied with being unsatisfied. Each was chasing something of unparalleled interest and importance, and it was the chase— as much as the capture—that was gratifying. Even if some of the things they had to do were boring, or frustrating, or even painful, they wouldn’t dream of giving up. Their passion was enduring.

In sum, no matter the domain, the highly successful had a kind of ferocious determination that played out in two ways. First, these exemplars were unusually resilient and hardworking. Second, they knew in a very, very deep way what it was they wanted. They not only had determination, but they also had direction.

It was this combination of passion and perseverance that made high achievers special. In a word, they had grit.”

How does the world navigate this thing called Grit: Lets take that journey:

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1. John Ortberg is an evangelical Christian author, speaker, and senior pastor of Menlo Church in Menlo Park, California. One of his publications, The Life You’ve Always Wanted, has sold more than 500,000 copies.

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2. Grit is a lifetime hobby: Work It.

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3. John says give peace a chance, Wayne not Lennon.

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4. You can have it all – that’s what we think as kids, unfortunately, this is taken away from us in our school years: You can Have It All.

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5. I am ……………

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6. Come across to the other side, its fun over here: On the Dark Side.

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7. Passion and Perseverance – Fuck Yeah!!!

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8. Minna Thomas Antrim was an American writer. She is famous for the quote “Experience is a great teacher, but she sends in terrific bills.” She was also well known for her collection of toasts: Say Something.

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9. Way back to the 18th Century and Ralph Waldo Emerson for part of the recipe of Grit.

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10. Thrusting, now that takes Grit: Call on Me.

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11. I agree with Brene, possibly the bravest thing we will ever do.

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12. Never give Up in search of your dreams: Tough Lover.

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13. Ovid, way back in the times of the Roman Emperor was known as a poet of Love.

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14. Jon Gordon, known for his earth-shattering book, The Energy Bus, which is said about: “If you want to fuel your family, your career, your team, and your organization with spirit read this book. Jon’s energy and advice will leap off the page and help you cultivate positive energy in everything you do—and you will make the world a better place for your having been here: We Shall Overcome.

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15. How often are you unyielding, what does it take?

“In fact, when people drop out of things, they do so for a reason. Actually, they do so for different reasons. Any of the following four thoughts might go through your head right before you quit what you’re doing:

‘I’m bored.’
‘The effort isn’t worth it.’
‘This isn’t important to me.’
‘I can’t do this, so I might as well give up.’

There’s nothing wrong—morally or otherwise—with thoughts like these. As I tried to show in this chapter, paragons of grit quit goals, too. But the higher the level of the goal in question, the more stubborn they are about seeing it through. Most important, paragons of grit don’t swap compasses: when it comes to the one, the singularly important aim that guides almost everything else they do, the very gritty tend not to utter the statements above. …

 

Together, the research reveals the psychological assets that mature paragons of grit have in common. There are four. They counter each of the buzz-killers listed above, and they tend to develop, over the years, in a particular order.” They are Interest + Practice + Purpose + Hope.

The playlist today contains quite a few Pop divas: We begin with Rihanna and Drake, Then some rock and roll from Yo Lo Tengo and Eddie and the Cruisers. Two Christina Aguilera tracks are intersected by Eric Prydz and we complete with some wise words from Martin Luther King: There is No Elevator to Success. 

Remember to provide Love and Respect for All, Everbody Included until we next meet, my dear friends.

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The Good News Is You are the Pilot!!


In their inspiring book Getting Back to Happy: Change your Thoughts, Change Your Reality, and Turn Your Trials into Triumphs: Get It Here., Marc and Angel Chernoff explode myths. The one I am writing on today is that you have to wait for the “right time” to make a change in your life. The truth is it is never too late or too early to be who you are capable of being. There’s no time limit on when you can start living the life you’ve dreamed of. There is no mythical door that shuts after you turn a certain age, blocking you off from experiencing the things you want to do.

Happily, life has a way if throwing red flags when it’s time for us to make a change – we have to be watchful for them. With that in mind, take a look at this list and ask yourself: are any of these the reasons I’m unhappy with my life as it is now?

  1. Fear is Holding me Back.
  2. I catch myself feeding the negative.
  3. My mind is everywhere except right here, right now.
  4. I feel pressured to be someone other than myself.
  5. I feel like I’m competing against everybody else.
  6. A relationship is making me miserable.
  7. I feel bored.
  8. I’ve been resisting change.
  9. Other people are writing my story for me.

If any of these resonate with you, you certainly aren’t alone. Many people are afraid to step forward and change their situation simply because they don’t know how or because they’re afraid to fail. Remember, it’s always better to take an imperfect step forward than to take no step at all.

So, it is time to have a look at what society says about this situation:

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1. Without doing this you live yesterday after yesterday. I think its called Groundhog Day.

 

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2. After several failed attempts, Danny Sullivan won the Indy 500 and totalled $2 million dollars winning from 12 starts: The Time of My Life.

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3. Inspiring Buddhist nun, Pema Chodron, points out that the possibility is now.

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4. You will know when: Right Place, Right Time.

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5. But giving up your fear of failure will give it a more than even chance of it being the right time.

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6. I vote for making it: Hustle.

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7. Watch what they do, not what they say. Actions speak louder than words.

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8. Don’t give up, we all have mistakes along our journey: Don’t Give Up.

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9. They wrote some great song lyrics.

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10. As the navigator, you have to be right here, right now: The Navigator.

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11. Take that imperfect step into the above.

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12. When to do it by a man who changed the direction of the United States: His Greatest Speech.

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13. Begin it Now.

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14. Find the Others: Friends.

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15. We have the same 24 hours as Martin Luther King had, go for your dreams.

Rarely is life going to work out perfectly, and rarely will the stars align. If you’re waiting around to gather all the resources you think you need to take the next step forward, before you know it, you will have wasted all the time you have. Changing your situation is about being mindful of what you want to change- and then finding the one thing you can do first to improve it. That one action might not change everything, but it will put you on the path to something better.

The Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes classic starts the playlist today. Then the million-selling Olly Murs who I had never heard of. Jamelia funks it up next, then a superb live version of Peter Gabriels biggest hit. A  grungy offering from The Pogues, then some wise words from MLK, finishing with Ed Sheeran: The Good News is That you are the Pilot.

Love and Respect for All, Everyone Included until next time we meet, my dear friends.

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We want Presence, Not Presents!!!


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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6. Where’s Wally: In my Presence.

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

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

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

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

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11. Soul presence, very special.

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

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

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

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15. Some of these conversations are silent.

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

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

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

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

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Invest in People who Invest in You!!


I have 4,,828 friends on Facebook. I use the principle if we have 100 mutual friends and we have not met that we eventually will. This means I have a lot of the Melbourne Conscious Movement, musicians and female American life coaches as friends. I write a Facebook birthday card for each and everyone of them. Today one of the people was my friend from Landmark Education Thea Westra. As I wrote it I started to think about her remarkable book Time for My Life, 365 Stepping Stones, 2843 Life Power Boosters at your fingertips.

Thea wrote a book that has a page for every day of the year that has a stepping stone, action, challenge, quote, clearing, question and affirmation for you to contemplate. As an example her is today’s page.

Stepping Stone – Be willing to accept. A gift given and received requires two parties. The person who is giving the gift and the person who is receiving the gift. You must be open to receiving after you ask something to happen or to come your way.

Action – Today is the birthday of the author of this book. Send Thea Westra a hello birthday greeting. Just use the Contact Form at http://www.myforwardsteps.com . Your message will go directly to Thea’s inbox and she will reply.

Challenge – Be patient and focus on daily changes, rather than waiting for revelations.

Quote – Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non- essentials….Lin Yutang

Clearing – Check chair/table legs to see if they need new protective caps.

Question – Can you distinguish essential from non-essential?

Affirmation – I choose to be debt free.

So, do you allow time for your life? How does society relate to this noble practice, lets have a look:

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1. The one time this happened to me was in a motorcycle accident and memories of people who were special to me filled my heart and mind.

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2. I didn’t know Marilyn was a fan of Eckhart Tolle: Teach me Tiger.

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3. The problem with this is that if the person you are talking about departs, it leaves a huge gap. Working on self love as the driver might be more useful then it can’t be taken away when someone leaves.

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4. As we make more and more time for our life, we learn to stop doing the things that do not come from our passions: Lights.

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5. They say the magic is in the silence not the small talk.

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6. So many of the business gurus I read say it isn’t about the money, It’s about the time and to stop wasting time doing things you regret later or do not enjoy. It’s probably because of the second sentence above: No Regrets.

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7. Seems a bit contrary, If you are in the Now why would you also be living life as I can’t wait to get to the future?

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8. The 27 Club is a list of popular musicians, artists, or actors who died at age twenty-seven. It originated with an unsupported claim of a “statistical spike” for the death of musicians at that age, but this has been repeatedly disproved by research. Members are Jimi , Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Brian Jones in the 1970’s and recently Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse: “27”.

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9. At what age did you stop doing this with your friends, It’s supposedly when we grow up.

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10. They say we meet a few people in our lives who we can be separate from for years but when we get back together it feels like five minutes, I think that’s because they have placed themselves in our hearts: You’re in my Heart.

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11. I love the last line, sometimes I get stuck in the belief its a permanent fixture.

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12. Don’t forget the people who teach you the hard lessons: Difficult.

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13. It’s like the saying, if the door doesn’t open for you – It’s not meant to at that time in your life.

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14. What if, why did that happen to me, etc. etc. Turn around and walk towards to your dreams: Mr. Brightside.

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15. Rabindranath Tagore, also written Ravīndranātha Thākura, was a Bengali polymath who reshaped Bengali literature and music, as well as Indian art with Contextual Modernism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Author of Gitanjali and its “profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse”, he became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913. Tagore’s poetic songs were viewed as spiritual and mercurial; however, his “elegant prose and magical poetry” remain largely unknown outside Bengal. He is sometimes referred to as “the Bard of Bengal”.

You can contact Thea via http://www.forwardstepsblog.com, it seems these days you receive a free 179 page eBook and for a paltry $10 Australian you can purchase the eBook of the book I am talking about in this blog.

Music is from Marilyn Monroe, Ellie Goulding, The Walker Brothers, the unknown Maria Stoian , Rod Stewart, Eminem and the Killers.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends

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After the Hard Climb!!


What is the best view you have seen? I couldn’t think of a word or distinction for today so I just typed in inspirational quotes in google images and was amazed by what came up. I suppose I would count the Grand Canyon as the greatest I have seen. To see best views you have to put in an effort to get there, so let’s have a look at what quotes have inspired people in getting to their best views of life:

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1. They say the reaction time of elite athletes is phenomenal compared to that of the average punter on the street due to their reaction time. The average punter would not have moved by the time the target had arrived that the elite athlete manipulates so easily. 

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2. They say that when people pass a majority of them talk about the things they regret they did not do. That says something to me about taking as many chances as you can in your life: No Regrets.

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3. Often we make our lives a misery by thinking more about what we want than what we have. raise the gratitude level daily and your happiness level will increase.

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4. Set your controls for the heart of the sun, or the controls will set them for you and you have no idea where you may end up: Set Your Controls.

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5. George Bernard Shaw, known at his insistence simply as Bernard Shaw, was an Irish playwright, critic, and polemicist whose influence on Western theater, culture, and politics extended from the 1880s to his death and beyond. He wrote more than sixty plays, including major works such as Man and Superman, Pygmalion, and Saint Joan. With a range incorporating both contemporary satire and historical allegory, Shaw became the leading dramatist of his generation, and in 1925 was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

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6. Live your life to the full, remember you were destined to be: Leader of the Pack.

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7. Moment by moment you can take a chance in life or you can go back to what you know, but life will go on whatever you do.

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8. Before Enlightenment, chopping wood, after enlightenment chopping wood, one thing at a time, it’s all you can do: Step by Step.

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9. Exactly where you need to be even if it didn’t feel that great getting there.

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10. Doing a new program this week I now know about ten people I did not know before, I am a different person because of that: Changes.

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11. Open the lens of your life, if it’s not a great shot take another one.

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12. And remember to stop and smell the roses, or observe the beauty of the planet from time to time: Time after Time.

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13. I don’t always remember to breath when I am in my head. I have to let go to do that.

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14. And the best kind is a deep faith in yourself because you gotta have: Faith.

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15. Originality cannot be made better by rubbing it out. 

So lets Live life to the fullest so that we get to see the best views on the world.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

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I’ve got the Music in Me!!


I have 33,000 songs in my Itunes library, I subscribe to Apple My music, Spotify, have 130 albums on my Bandcamp play list, Mixcloud, Soundcloud and am subscibed to about 300 musicians webpages: so the above statement is my truth.

I cannot play an instrument as my right and left hand do not talk to each other but my dear friend Kavisha Mazzella taught me to sing as a member of The Moon’s a Balloon choir which I honour her for each and every day. The secret is learning to listen not to sing the words. Here is one of her songs to explain why she has such an exquisite ability to do so: Invisible Indivisible.

There are a lot of quotes about the love of music and it is my joy to select them and interpret what they mean to me: Here we go –

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1. This statement is very truthful, I have never been able to get into death metal or people who are racist and sexist.

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2. I am sure we all have our favourite up and down songs, probably two or three. Think of yours as you listen to one of my all time fave love songs: Let’s Stay Together.

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3. Feelings are said to have colours, I agree with the sentiment expressed in this quotes that they also have sounds, rage is aargh and love is aaw to me.

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4. You can be stock still to it, you can also be in a state of total chaos but there is always a solution to whatever problem you are facing in your music collection, it might even be the sounds of nature.20 minutes of natures bliss.

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5. Because I like puns.

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6. Seems Plato was a music dude as well as one of the worlds great philosophers. Here’s some Soul of the Universe music : I am a Soul.

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7. Unlike native languages music is understood in every country on every continent of our planet. From Antarctica to Iceland the dulcet tones of an instrument can unite people from all races.

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8. Well, I didn’t expect her to be a news anchor. Here’s a news musical Clip: Not the 9 O’clock news.

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9. You can put her on in the mood you need to talk about at any time and it doesn’t cost you 200 dollars.

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10. How often have you heard music being performed where you forget to eat and drink. I recently went to see one of my favourite ex rock gods Stephen Cummings, lead singer of one of Australia biggest bands in the 1970’s the Sports now a much loved singer songwriter who plays to crowds of 40, here is one of my favourite Steve songs: When Love comes Back to Haunt You.

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11. Kavisha, who I mentioned before used to lead a session called Empty Sky, there would be 5 minute breaks of silence between silence. She believed that was where the magic and the healing lay.

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12. Not Might mouse Modest Mouse, they are actually a band – The band’s name is derived from a passage from the Virginia Woolf story “The Mark on the Wall,” which reads, “I wish I could hit upon a pleasant track of thought, a track indirectly reflecting credit upon myself, for those are the pleasantest thoughts, and very frequent even in the minds of modest, mouse-coloured people, who believe genuinely that they dislike to hear their own praises. In Australia there is only one song you can use to depict the soul, here it is: Soul Kind of Feeling.

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13. Best known for his Fanfare for the Common Man, Aaron Copland was an American composer, composition teacher, writer, and later in his career a conductor of his own and other American music. Instrumental in forging a distinctly American style of composition, in his later years he was often referred to as “the Dean of American Composers” and is best known to the public for the works he wrote in the 1930s and 1940s in a deliberately accessible style often referred to as “populist” and which the composer labelled his “vernacular” style.

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14. Yes it’s mi-spelt but that is the joy of this form of music , its can be corny and yet so deep. My favourite is alternative country and my favourite artist : Gillian Welch.

 

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15. As my musical ownership list proves , I totally believe in music, and I also believe in Unicorns.

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Thanks for letting me write about my addiction once again, every little bit heelp on the path to recovery.

Namaste until next time my dear friends

 

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Space is the Place!!


My friends Emeli and Jodi run a social enterprise called Collective Potential, their mission is to: Create spaces for people to connect in real life and provide experiences and resources to create fulfilling lives: Collective Potential website.

It got me to thinking about what does this term creating space mean? Perhaps its talking about astronaut space, physiological space, acreage space, there are many to choose from. I have chosen from a wide range of modalities for the 15 quotes today, lets begin:

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1. One of the two most famous philosophers in the world Unknown and Anonymous, Unknown says that we need to let go to allow better things to happen to us.

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2. Never devalue your worth for another, never.

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3. Well known blogger Melanie Koulouris is famous for her Life has taught me poem. This is a beautiful quote about the need for space on your spiritual path.

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4. If you are leading a totally full life, there are time you may need to delete some of it to allow for growth. Randy Gage, author of Mad Genius, a manifesto points out that this means people as well.

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5. Busyness means that life can become a bit hum drum with all of that doing, remember to have space for a creative outlet amongst it all, mine are dance, Tai Chi and singing.

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6. Something borrowed, something new, something blue: that space that is happening is occurring for the new shiny you to emerge from the ashes. Time for the title song : Sun Ra’s opus.

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7. Our job is to turn our minds down and listen to the body, our home. In the silence we can welcome the rest of the world.

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8. Saying Hello to the new and goodbye to the old. There was a famous song written about this in the sixties by the lads from Liverpool : Hello Goodbye, check out those outfits.

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9. Little boxes all in a row, modern architecture of convenience has seen the beauty of previous time periods be  eroded into fitting in as many people as we can on one block.

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10. Come home my darling, you know where I am. How many of us enter our sacred space on a daily routine. The bliss king Joseph Campbell says this is where to go to when you feel lost.

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11.  I promise to laugh with you, cry with you, and grow with you. I will love you when we are together and when we are apart. I promise to support your dreams and to respect our DIFFERENCES, and to love you and be by your side through all the days and nights of our lives.

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12. Turn around, you are going the wrong way. Yes you, are you listening?

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13. You can be anybody in this space, most definitely not the authentic you.

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14. Enter your space ship of light. Back in 1972 David had something to say about this : Space Oddity.

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15. Democritus was an influential Ancient Greek pre-Socratic philosopher primarily remembered today for his formulation of an atomic theory of the universe. He was born in Abdera, Thrace, around 460 BC, although, some thought it was 490 BC. Atoms and empty space, puts it in perspective doesn’t it.

In other words, all of those points that I made about how to hold space for others can and should be applied to yourself first. Give yourself permission to trust your own intuition. Give yourself only as much information as you can handle. Don’t let anyone take your power away. Keep your ego out of it. Make yourself feel safe enough to fail. Give guidance and help to yourself with humility and thoughtfulness. Create your own container for complex emotions, fears, trauma, etc. And allow yourself to make decisions that are different from what other people would make.

Namaste until next time my dear friends.

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