Yes, Life is Tough but You are Tougher!!


Nobody gets through life without losing someone they love, someone they need, or something they thought was meant to be. But it is these losses that make us stronger and eventually move us toward future opportunities for growth and happiness.

I really like Marc Chernoff’s list: 40 lessons for finding strength in hard times, here they are:

  1. You are not what happened to you in the past.
  2. Focus on what you have, not on what you haven’t.
  3. Struggling with problems is a natural way of growing.
  4. It’s okay to fall apart for a little while.
  5. Life is fragile, sudden,  and shorter than it often seems.
  6. You will fail sometimes.
  7. You have the capacity to create your own happiness.
  8. Emotionally separate yourself from your problems.
  9. Don’t make a problem bigger than it is.
  10. Everything that happened is a life lesson.
  11. View every challenge as an educational assignment.
  12. Things change, but the sun always rises the next day.
  13. Giving up and moving on are two very different things.
  14. Distance yourself from negative people.
  15. Perfect relationships don’t exist.
  16. You must love yourself too.
  17. Don’t let others make decisions for you.
  18. Resentment hurts you, not them.
  19. You’re not alone. Everyone has problems.
  20. You still have a lot to be thankful for.
  21. Consciously nurture your inner hope.
  22. It’s better to be hurt by the truth than comforted by a lie.
  23. It’s hard to tell how close you are to success.
  24. Not getting what you want can be a blessing.
  25. Laughter is the best medicine to stress.
  26. Mistakes are important to make.
  27. Worrying is literally a waste of energy.
  28. Even when it’s hard to move, take small steps forward.
  29. There will always be people who dislike you.
  30. You are better off without some people you thought you needed.
  31. You can’t control everything that happens to you.
  32. You are only competing against yourself.
  33. Life is not Easy.
  34. Your future is spotless.
  35. You are not trapped; you just need to re-learn a few things.
  36. Everything in life is two-sided.
  37. You always have a choice.
  38. Let others in when you’re in a dark place.
  39. If you ask negative questions, you will get negative answers.
  40. The end is a new beginning.

How does the world recommend you move forward in hard times, let’s take that journey:

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1. The answers are not out there, you are looking in the wrong place if you are seeking the solution from others.

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2. Love truthfully and unconditionally, a worthwhile life to lead: Soul Kinda Feeling.

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3. I survived after five years of mental health crises, that was my true inner strength speaking.

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4. And then there are times you use your inner strength in service of others: Praise You.

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5. From the founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund points us towards where our strengths come from.

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6. You are the creation of your experiences: You Get What You Give.

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7. And then there is meditation.

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8. And then your Inner Pilot Light is always on your side: Don’t Stop Believing.

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9. My friend Em took me in my troubled waters recently, my trust in myself was totally cleansed.

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10, And from a singer of both types of music, Sara Evans points out from little things, big things can grow: A Little Bit Stronger.

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11. Nothing, Nada, Nil.

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12. My 2019 set out for me: Small Stuff.

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13. All champions know it is not the destination but the inner journey that is the more important to achieving the final result.

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14. How much dust have you shaken off recently: Shake It Off.

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15. And some advice from Yoda: May the Force be With You. Some days are harder than others to locate it.

So, say to yourself: “Dear Past, thank you for all the life lessons you have taught me. Dear Future, I am ready now!” Because a great beginning always occurs at the point you thought would be the end of everything.

Not many divas on the playlist today, mainly rock and both types of music, country and western. We rock it through the first four artists with Dynamic Hepnotics, Fatboy Slim, The New Radicals and Journey. Then Sara Evans and Alabama provide both types and we complete with Taylor Swift: Yes, Life is Tough, But You are Tougher.

So today, show Love and Respect for All, Everyone Included to your beloveds until we meet again, my dear friends.

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Don’t Let Anyone Else Hold The Pen!!


Back to Marc and Angel Chernoff for today’s blog, I stubbed my toe on their book 1000+ Little Things Happy Successful People Do Differently: Hit them Up… As is my practice when writing about a possibility I open the book to any page and voila, that is the subject for today. On page 139 is the heading “10 Ways to WRITE a Life Story Worth Living” appeared.

The chapter begins with the following words from Marc:

‘When writing the story of your life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen. Make conscious choices every day that align your actions with your values and your dreams. because the way you live each day is a sentence in the story of your life. Each day you make a choice as to whether the sentence ends in a period, a question mark, or an exclamation point.”

He then offers 10 ideas for writing a life story worth living:

  1. Find a Passion that makes you come alive.
  2. Work hard on that Passion.
  3. Live happily in your own way.
  4. Change your path when you must, but keep moving forward.
  5. When the going gets rough, keep fighting.
  6. Let go of the past and live consciously in the future.
  7. Embrace new ideas, lessons, and challenges.
  8. Appreciate the little things in life that mean a lot.
  9. Live honourably through kindness.
  10. Spend quality time with people you love.

What a beautiful, inspiring list, I’m willing to take it on. Now lets have a look at what the world has said about writing your own story, let’s take that journey:

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1. This beautiful image could be included on your vision board.

 

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2. Not all testimony is in the negative: when you have the feeling your words can make a difference, speak them: Song for Someone.

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3. Yes, You, the unique human being you are. Go on, you can do it.

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4. Mine says I am an Interculturalist: Love and Respect for All, Everyone included. Over to You: Live your Story.

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5. As Helen says, It will not always be easy. As Marc’s point 5 says, keep fighting during these time. Each little step makes a difference.

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6. To my new friend Josie, you are editing at the moment, your writing is magnificent: Write your Story.

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7. Excitement to me is covered in the expression Lolly Gobble Bliss Bombs.

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8. Ready, Set Write!!!: So Much Magnificence.

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9. Even the stars don’t necessarily have great stories. Greta was one of Hollywood’s shining lights in her time.

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10. And how could we leave out Deepak when writing about our lives: Change Your Life.

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11. Or Brene!!!

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12. 我是, Wer bin Ich, qui suis-je, ko wai Ahau, kas aš esu, هستم: Who I am.

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13. We all have friends we can do this with: don’t be stingy.

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14. To each of our glorious adventures: Yay!!!: This Is Me.

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15. And finally, some blank pages for you.

I will finish with some more words from Marc and Angel:

‘If you live honourably, no matter how old you get, you’ll never lose your beauty; it will gradually shift from your face to your heart. And remember, there is no better exercise for the heart than reaching out and holding the hand of someone in need.’

Today’s playlist even contains both types of music, County and Western. We begin with U2. Then to the European continent for Auli’i Cravalho and Francesca Battistelli. I just had to put in Miten and Deva Premal’s song about magnificence. Who would have thought I would ever include a Little Mix song, but here one is. Jessica Andrews is next and we complete with the cast of the Greatest Showman: Remember, Don’t Let Anyone Else Hold The Pen.

So remember to show 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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I Fall Too Fast, Crash Too Hard!!


The title of the chapter on letting go in Marc and Angel Chernoff’s inspiring book, Getting Back To Happy: Their Website. is Letting Go: Surrender Attachments That Are Holding You Back.

In the chapter, they write the following: Limits illuminate beauty, and death is the ultimate limit – a reminder that we need to be aware of this beautiful person and appreciate this beautiful thing called life, Death is also a beginning, because while we have lost someone special, this ending, like the loss of any wonderful life situation, is a moment of reinvention. Although deeply sad, their passing forces us to reinvent our lives, and in this reinvention is an opportunity to experience beauty in new, unseen ways and places, And finally, death is an opportunity to celebrate a person’s life, and to be grateful for the beauty they showed us

Most of the time it’s tough, to be honest about what we really need and how our lives might benefit by letting go of some things If you have felt any of Marc and Angel’s list, maybe it’s time to reassess your situation.

  1. Someone constantly expects you to be Someone You’re Not.
  2. A Person’s actions don’t match their Words.
  3. You have a habit of moping and feeling Sorry For Yourself.
  4. You’re clutching Tight ti an Easy Street Mentality.
  5. You truly dislike your Current Situation.
  6. You catch yourself obsessing over and Living in the Past.

Letting Go is not giving up, it’s about surrendering obsessive attachments to specific people, outcomes, and situations. Where in your life could you do this on an ongoing basis?

Much has been said about Letting Go over time, here are a few of my favourites:

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1. God, Buddha, Allah, we know what they are pointing to in this insightful quote.

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2, It’s paramount that one of them is not yourself: I Was Here.

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3, His Holiness rocks.

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4. Vacate them from your space, so that there is room for those who are meant to be part of your tribe: Let It Go.

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5. I have felt this situation in my life several times. Each time it had to happen for the better version of me to flourish.

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6. They were experiences, not life sentences: Climb Every Mountain.

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7. Let go of those things that you know are costing you power on an ongoing basis.

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8. They say everyone we meet is either to teach us a lesson or to be taught one by them, remember the lessons: Let Go Of Attachment.

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9. You can only be you, don’t try and be someone else for someone else, it won’t work.

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10. If you are having difficulty with the latter, please reach out to others: Starting Over Again.

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11. I love the imagery of this Meme. It hits home in a very powerful way.

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12. In the end, the heart and soul are what has the final say over the often flawed logic of your mind: Heart and Soul.

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13. If we bodily don’t do this, we die. What difference in our psychological world.

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14. In my country, the voicemail number is 212. I don’t answer numbers that I do not know because of my past history with giving too often to charities who onsell your details, they don’t leave a voicemail: Living In The Past.

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15, The past is the past, it will not change. Use your energy towards whats next on your agenda in life.

So how can we let go and live better? By realizing that there’s nothing to hold onto in the first place. Most of the things – situations, problems, worries, ideals, expectations etc. –  we desperately try to grasp, as if they’re real, solid, everlasting fixtures in our lives, aren’t really there. Or, if they are there in some form, they’re changing, fluid, impermanent, or mostly created in our minds. Life gets significantly easier to deal with when we understand this.

We go further back than ever before in today’s Playlist. We begin with Beyonce and The Frozen Soundtrack then warp back to The Sound of Music. Some Spoken Word from Alan Watts and Co. then soulful Natalie Cole. Then there is our pre WW2 track by Bea Wain and Larry Clinton finishing up with the flute-driven Jethro Tull. Here’s the link to make for easy listening: I Fall Too Fast, Crash Too Hard.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

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As Soon As I Saw You!!


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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6, Simply, Appreciation 101: Thinking out Loud.

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

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

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

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

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11. Repeat after me, LOVE YOUR LIFE!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

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Expect Problems and Eat Them For Breakfast!!


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

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There is a voice that doesn’t use Words!!


It’s here, arrived in the mailbox today, Yay!!. I’m talking about Marc and Angel Chernoff’s wonderful new book Getting Back to Happy: Here’s the Link. I have been a huge fan of theirs since I came across their first book and their Facebook page a couple of years ago, definitely one of the top five list creators on Social media. if you are one of my booker lookers you know I share their posts unashamedly because they can make a profound difference.

I used the method I always use when I write about their insights, open to a page and the right thing will be there, so on page 52 in the Mindfulness chapter is the following piece of wisdom – Inner Peace is Knowing how to belong to oneself, without external validation: In order to understand the world you have to turn away from it on occasion. Sometimes the need to justify yourself to others causes you to cease to be at peace with your thoughts. Don’t look for anyone else to give you permission to be yourself, or validation to be happy in the present moment.

So let’s wander off into the world of Inner peace and see what wonderful quotes have been expressed about it over time:

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1. I had an amazing example of this in my life recently. I became seriously content for the first time in my life, and in doing so I gave up the wish that the women I had met had to be the one, something that had been controlling my thoughts for months.

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2. From one of the two greatest philosophers in the world, Ms Unknown and Anon. comes a reminder to be calm in your heart: A Great Big World.

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3. Although born a prince, Buddha Sakyamuni realized that conditioned experiences could not provide lasting happiness or protection from suffering. After a long spiritual search, he went into deep meditation, where he realized the nature of mind. He achieved the state of unconditional and lasting happiness: the state of enlightenment, of Buddhahood. This state of mind is free from disturbing emotions and expresses itself through fearlessness, joy and active compassion. For the rest of his life, the Buddha taught anyone who asked how they could reach the same state.

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4. How much my inner proofreader wants to change center to centre but for my American friends I will give that thought up: Riders on the Storm.

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5. We all have this within us, its called the shadow and the light, they travel together.

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6. 42: Silence is Golden.

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7. They say time is money, they cannot pay you enough for this.

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8. The place to start looking for it is inner, not outer so what they do doesn’t threaten your Inner Peace: Hello.

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9. Hi, my name is Zero (really). I’m the author of Not Everyone Will Understand Your Journey: Lessons learned from the path less travelled. Some of the work I’ve written over the past few years has been shared millions of times across the internet, so there’s a good chance you’ve already read some of it — although it doesn’t always have my name attached. Cool name.

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10. You can become such a famous cartoon bear I don’t even have to put the name down here: Anything is Possible.

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11. Francis de Sales was a Bishop of Geneva and is honoured as a saint in the Catholic Church. He became noted for his deep faith and his gentle approach to the religious divisions in his land resulting from the Protestant Reformation. He is known also for his writings on the topic of spiritual direction and spiritual formation, particularly the Introduction to the Devout Life and the Treatise on the Love of God.

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12. How often do you ask yourself, who am I really: Remember Who You Are.

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13. Love me some heart opening, any time of the day!!

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14. My daily to-do list: I Gotta Find Peace of Mind.

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15. it reads like ancient hieroglyphics, but you get the point don’t you.

I’ll finish with some more wise words from Marc and Angel – It’s important to remind ourselves that the greatest enemy of good thinking and mindfulness is busyness. We all have seasons of wild schedules, but very few of us have a legitimate need to be busy all the time. Too often, we simply don’t know how to prioritize well and say no when we should.

The playlist for today begins with Christine Aguilera, then back in time to The Doors and The Tremeloes. Back to the present with Adele then an iconic Aussie band of rockers Icehouse, some wisdom from the Lion King, finishing with some soulful Lauryn Hill.

Namaste until next time my dear friends.

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