Someone Asked If I Knew You?


As I said in my last blog I turned 65 last week, on Sunday I attended a memorial service for a friend who will not. He was just 42 and one of the most vibrant people on the planet. He was a DJ, an environmentalist, a teacher and a beautiful man. He was taken by the big C, a condition that does not listen to reason.

In the weeks before his passing rumours spread of him passing and people began to write eulogies. He had not, so I began listening to his MixCloud sets. I was listening to one of these when posts began appearing from his nearest and dearest that he had actually passed. At this moment I received a download from him. It was just four words: Get On With It. You cannot assume you will be here to fulfil your passions and dreams next year, Get on with It.

Today an article from my friends Marc and Angel Chernoff titled 25 Things You Should Never Stop Doing for Yourself came through my news feed, I thought they were relevant:

  1. Never stop stretching and improving yourself.
  2. Never stop listening to your own inner voice.
  3. Never stop walking comfortably in your own shoes.
  4. Never stop working through your fears.
  5. Never stop being a little unrealistic.
  6. Never stop doing what needs to be done.
  7. Never stop embracing your struggles.
  8. Never stop being willing to make mistakes.
  9. Never stop getting back up.
  10. Never stop making the best of it.
  11. Never stop ignoring the naysayers.
  12. Never stop taking small steps forward.
  13. Never stop giving yourself a chance to soar to new heights.
  14. Never stop smiling.
  15. Never stop thinking positive.
  16. Never stop laughing at yourself and your life situations.
  17. Never stop appreciating the life you’re living right now.
  18. Never stop indulging in life’s little daily joys.
  19. Never stop spreading your kindness.
  20. Never stop giving what you can.
  21. Never stop giving your important relationships a fair chance.
  22. Never stop doing little things for your own happiness.
  23. Never stop opening your mind to new perspectives.
  24. Never stop evolving.
  25. Never stop writing your own story, your own way.

My friend did most of these, especially number 21, never stop giving your important relationships a chance. So how does society give friendships a chance, here are a selection of that is said about them:

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  1. Several hundred people attended the memorial for my friend. quite a few travelled from interstate, I think this supports the above statement.

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2. Through a lengthy friendship, all these and more situations arise: Black Coffee.

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3. When the physical sails off, we have the memories in our heart.

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4. As you get older and they pull down the structures of your past, it is the people that you remember who were there with you: That’s What Friends Are For.

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5. I met one of my dearest friends pretending to be a tree at a party in a flat in Carlton in the ’70s when we swayed into each other too vigorously. 

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6. The people who you can sit with next to a river for hours and not a word needs to be spoken, Fuck Yes: Down by the River.

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7. They’re the ones wearing the I’m with them tee shirts.

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8. Ama Ata Aidoonée Christina Ama Aidoo (born 23 March 1942) is a Ghanaian author, poet, playwright and academic. She was the Minister of Education under the Jerry Rawlings administration. In 2000, she established the Mbaasem Foundation to promote and support the work of African women writers because she realised it was important that all people received an education, not just the elite, She has portrayed the role of African women in contemporary society. She has opined that the idea of nationalism has been deployed by recent leaders as a means of keeping people oppressed. She has criticized those literate Africans who profess to love their country but are seduced away by the benefits of the developed world. She believes in a distinctly African identity, which she views from a female perspective: I am Woman.

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9. I think we are best at this as children.

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10. What does the F stand for: It Ain’t What You Do.

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11. There are 51 meanings for the acronym BFF, this could be for two of them: Best Friends Forever or Best Fan Forever.

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12. My friend was so good at this. Written in the 1930s or 1940s, still so relevant today: Humble and Kind.

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13. Until they are not if you have the thought I wonder how they are, time to reach out.

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14. From her Matched Trilogy of teenage novels comes this beautiful quote by author Ally Condie: Tangled Up In You.

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15. And we finish our lesson for today with the eating of buns.

We ended the ceremony with a drumming ceremony in a circle, as it lifted in energy, I could imagine our friend saying fuck this, and jumping into the middle and dancing his heart out. Farewell from the physical world, our dear friend, the eternal will hold you well as will our hearts.

The playlist for today is not really representative of the music our friend loved, but maybe it is as he loved all music. It begins with All Saints. Then drops back a century to Dionne Warwick, a long guitar solo by Neil Young, Helen Reddy and Bananarama. The penultimate track goes country by Tim Mcgraw as does the final number from Aaron Lewis: Someone Asked If I Knew You.

It took me two days to write this, it normally takes two hours. My friend lived Love and Respect for All, Everyone Included. We will miss you, dear friend.

Until we meet again my dear friends, I love you.

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A Strong Soul Shines After Every Storm!!


I enjoyed the shamanic power of Kailash Kokopelli twice over the weekend.  Kailash has been running Sound Healings and Cacao ceremonies around the world since the 1990s. The Link to Kalaish’s World. the first event was a short healing at an Ecstatic Dance experience and the second one at this joyous event called The Alchemy of Joy which was a full-blown experience. The event was organised by a true lover of community spirit named Ivanna. I arrived with my pillow and lay down on the ground and was instantly offered a yoga mat so I didn’t get cold from the floor and the cherubic soul who offered it to me said to make sure I did not miss out on the free springwater, chai and soup.

Kailash offered us all his knowledge and experience about cacao ceremonies and how important it is to bless all the directions before consuming it. We then sang heart songs for about an hour to open our heart for the Sound Healing, they were beautiful and definitely opened my heartspace prior to the main ceremony.

I am a known snorer and have been woken up many a time for the said crime of disturbing others during Sound Healings, Kailash set up the intention so powerfully that there was no way I felt like entering the snoring state but went on a profound journey with my soul.

This has made me ask how does humanity relate to the soul across our different cultures, here are some of the ways:

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1. I love Mandi’s about details on her webpage:

HI.

I’m Mandi.

I used to be a U.S. Naval Officer.  Now I am a hippy artist and body positive activist living in New Zealand.

This website is where I house my personal work.  The work that bubbles up from the muse and me kind of just have to make it.   I make it for myself. and as a way of looking deeper at something that has caught my eye or tripped up my imagination.  I make it for the people of the world as a way of begging us to see past the superficial and to get down to the real meaty raw good stuff of our soul.

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2. How does one turn off that ever-consistent chatterbox: The Instrument to Heal Is The Soul.

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3. The beautiful sounds of the dual didgeridoos, the oldest wind instrument in the world sent healing vibes throughout the hall.

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4. Sha has an M.D. and a degree in traditional Chinese medicine. He is also a grandmaster of Tai Chi, was the lead acupuncturist for the World Health Organization, has been named Qigong Master of the Year and in 2006 was awarded the Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Commission Award for his humanitarian efforts. He teaches his patients that chanting mantras in Mandarin Chinese can heal their ailments.  He has also claimed to be able to replace organs using a technique he describes as a “soul software download”, and practices what he refers to as “soul healings”.

Sha’s practices have been deemed controversial in the west and their effectiveness has been called into question. An ophthalmologist who examined patients treated by Sha reported that none of their conditions was helped by his methods. He claims to treat cancer with “downloads”. A clear case of Eastern versus Western spiritual philosophies: The Voice Within.

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5. From Little Things/Steps, big things grow.

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6. On your tippy toes: Beautiful.

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7. And what would a discussion of healing the soul be without some Rumi?

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8. Each time I leave my city limits I am reminded of the power of nature: Colour of The Wind.

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9. Forgiveness is the ultimate form of healing and release.

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10. Socrates was a classical Greek (Athenian) philosopher credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy, and as being the first moral philosopher of the Western ethical tradition of thought. An enigmatic figure, he made no writings and is known chiefly through the accounts of classical writers writing after his lifetime: The Philosophy of Socrates.

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11. Indigenous wisdom is barely understood these days.

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12. All beautiful side effects: I’ve Got the Music In Me.

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13. Don’t forget that the inner work is the important type required.

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14. It seems that being your true self is magical and stuff these days: You Can Do Magic.

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15. And a final message from your soul after it has been healed.

So keep listening and singing those heart songs, your soul is listening.

The playlist today has two spoken word pieces, the first is from Carolyn Myss, the next two tunes are from Christine Aguilera, then some indigenous wisdom from Pocahontas. Socrates is next. Kiki dee does the penultimate tune and we finish with America: A Strong Soul Shines After Every Storm

I think the more we have of these events across the planet the sooner the ethos of Love and Respect for All, Everybody Included will be able to rise. Until next we meet. my dear friends:

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Judgement Day Is Coming!!


What does the title of this blog make you think of? The End of Days, in my case it was that I make judgements that stop me being able to be in the moment and feel what I am actually feeling moment to moment on an ongoing basis. This comes from a long history of having to KNOW what is going on and living in the belief that there is a certain way life should be especially in relationships.

I recently did this when dancing with a woman I would like to get to know a whole lot better. She made a request of me that my judgemental persona did not agree with. My People Pleasing identity did it anyway over the top of I don’t want to do this. It continued running me for three days until I had a discussion with my mentor. He pointed out that was I being in the moment of the request she had made of me or was I not being present and living inside the judgement I had made. My body shuddered as I realised the opportunity I had missed out on.

So how often as a society do we do this and what have we written about it over time? Here are a few of my favourites:

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1. How many times are we told this as children by our parents or teachers yet it doesn’t seem to sink in?

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2. Will Rogers provided an epigram: When I die, my epitaph, or whatever you call those signs on gravestones, is going to read: “I joked about every prominent man of my time, but I never met a man I didn’t like.” I am so proud of that, I can hardly wait to die so it can be carved: It’s My Life.

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3. One could link this to many politicians as they lose their right to opinions of their own and must take on their parties beliefs and not truly act for the people who elected them.

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4. The three fingers pointing back under another name: Who You Are.

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5. He passed several years ago but the words of Wayne Dyer still hit home.

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6. Mainstream media is chock full of this: Say Something.

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7. Perhaps the most pervasive form of judgement, the silent passive-aggressive treatment.

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8. This reminds me of the famous Dalai Lama quote about are you really listening: Elastic Heart.

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9. Heartspace 101.

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10. Accepting what is and doing what it takes to have love present: Love and Compassion.

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11. Another way of saying it, is we judge the shit out of each other.

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12. Written 1900 years ago, these words are still totally relevant: The Lonely.

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13. Perfectionism, leading a mistake-free life, not following your dreams, more like letting your judgements rule your life.

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14. If people have to fit into your box, are you celebrating their uniqueness: Unique.

 

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15. And from the great Albert Camus, the final lesson. That hope we will stop judging others, the Buddhists call it enlightenment, do you have years to sit under a tree? All we can do is the best we can do not to be controlled by them each and every day.

My Essence /LifeForce is Unlimited Intimacy: when I enquire into the light of this, the shadows contained in my identity come out to play to have me learn the lessons I need to learn to cleanse my heartspace. It is an ongoing journey that I am willing to take:

Today’s playlist begins with one of Rock’s heartthrobs, John Bon Jovi. then a song I used on my previous blog, it’s so suitable for this topic too and it’s by Jessie J. Four of the remaining songs are pop diva’s, the first two being Christina Aguilera and then Sia. Our spoken-word piece is by His Holiness The Dalai Lama. We finish with Christina Perri and end with Sino: Judgement Day Is Coming.

Having my world ethos be Love and Respect for All, Everybody Included helps me when I am ravaged by the judgements my identity chooses to throw up at me on a daily basis. It reminds me of my big vision. Until next time we meet, my dear friends.

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You May Never Be Good Enough For Everybody!!!


Stage Two of writing about the shadow that comes with investigating possible opportunities in situations where you meet new and interesting women and you are deep in lacking confidence because you are listening to all those stories your identity has been telling you for years and years.

Self-criticism can be debilitating because when our criticism becomes internal, it can be very difficult to shake.

You know that little voice that chimes in when you screw up? The one that tells you you’re no good, or that you made a stupid decision, or that you can’t succeed? That’s the voice of selfcriticism. And you’d be surprised how often that little voice runs the show.

Marisa Peer of MindValley has a great suggestion for dealing with this form of criticism. She encourages you to change that niggling voice of self-doubt into your own personal cheerleader.

The first step is being able to recognize the negative self-talk when it’s in action. The second step? Flipping the commentary to something more positive.

Marisa suggests imagining what a supportive parent or teacher might tell you. Would they tell you that you’re no good and that you’re only going to screw it up? No. They’d tell you that you’re a rock star and that you should keep trying and that you’re smart enough to get this done.

“It’s okay to make mistakes because you learn,” explains Marisa. “It is okay for someone to point out your mistakes because you can get better. What’s not okay is to beat yourself up.”

Unfortunately, I did not do this Saturday at Mojo – The Dance of Connection, I got stuck in my identity and gave myself a good beating.

What do the masters say about self-confidence, lets have a look:

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1. Saturday night I failed Number One.

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2. Forgot some of these essential self-loving things Saturday: Hey You.

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3. Thich Nhat Hanh is one of our wisest.

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4. Goethe learnt this at an early age, earning royal recognition at the age of 25: Who You Are.

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5. Pride can be deemed to be negative or positive, most religions see it as the former and aim towards belief, in their god and yourself.

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6. I am all these things at times: This Is Me.

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7. In the book Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable: Transforming the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Dr Brené Brown, vulnerability is defined as “uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure.” Brené says that “vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy and creativity.

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8. Fear or Love: Choose: Don’t Choose Out Of Fear.

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9. More about Fear.

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10. Be Okay for it to be Okay to be you: Be Yourself.

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11. Your dreams do not live inside your excuses.

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12. How good are you at resisting the world: Break Free.

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13. Self-Care 101.

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14. Written by the worlds greatest philosopher, Ms Unknown points to the magic of self-belief: Could It Be Magic.

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15. And we finish with a silent meditation.

I am empowered by Brene Browns take on self-confidence. “Being vulnerable doesn’t just require courage and self-confidence. It requires self-compassion. Having self-compassion has profound effects both internally and externally. Even showing compassion to others can’t actually be achieved unless you have compassion for yourself. “When you cannot ask for help without self-judgment, you are never really offering help without judgment,” Brown says. “Because you have attached judgment to asking for help.”

This concept extends beyond helping. Whether it’s related to health, career or relationships, judging something about yourself means that you will always judge that same thing in others. For example, you must be able to accept and receive love before you can truly provide it.

Though 85 per cent of adults say they are capable of giving and receiving love, more than 30 per cent of men and women fear to be alone and tend to lose themselves in relationships. Reading Brene’s research and insights make me ponder where I am at the moment with all of it.

The playlist today contains that song from The Greatest Showman. We begin with Pink Floyd, followed by pop diva Jessie J. Then that song, Next is the Spoken Word from Jim Carrey. A fine rock song from Audioslave follows. The penultimate tune is from Ariana Grande, and we finish with disco diva Donna Summer: You May Never Be Good Enough For Everybody.

I feel that I am in the shadowland of the journey of having Love and Respect For All, Everyone Included be the world paradigm. Until we meet again, my dear friends.

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Incredible Things Can Be Done Simply!!


Had a busy solstice weekend, crewed on Dancing Freedom Friday night, then Winter Solstice Chanting Meditation on Saturday but have chosen to reflect on the event I attended on Sunday that my friends Robbie, Maz and Paul ran called Own Your Desires. Here is the blurb for it:

Do you ever feel attracted to someone but fear rejection? Is it challenging approaching people you are attracted to? Do you struggle to ask for what you really want? We have all had these experiences….as human beings, we have hopes, needs, dreams and desires. This is a journey in exploring and resolving these situations in a safe, experiential space. This is an opportunity to dive deeper into these thoughts and emotions. A chance to unravel old habits and ways of being. There will be exercises and practices for you to discover and develop communications skills, a reframing of limiting beliefs and empowering you to own your desires.

What will this experiential journey give you?
-Freeing yourself from false expectations and imagination.
-Freedom and power to approach people and own your desires.
-Building courage and learning how to express how you truly feel.
-Developing self-awareness and harnessing your truth.
-Empowering yourself to express your affection for another.
-The opportunity to share your true self with another.

At 64 I was the elder of the group which had quite an age spread, the exercises were short and sharp experiences in asking for what you desired with time building up in each experience. There were also sessions were people could share their experiences. Confidentiality does not allow me to share anyone’s but my own.

I noticed I had judgements on what each person would be willing to do and was often surprised when this did not turn out to be the result of the request. Out, damn judgements.

Given this, how has society related to desires over the centuries, here are a few takes at it:

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Coventry Kersey Dighton Patmore was an 18th Century English poet and critic best known for The Angel in the House, his narrative poem about the Victorian ideal of a happy marriage. I think desires in the 21st Century may be a little different.

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2. One distinction was to align your mind, your heart and your sex, all essential areas of your soul, methinks: Everybody Dance.

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3. Desire versus Love, an eternal conversation!!!

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4. Breath was an important part of the process, Dan Brule is a breathwork master who makes the following statement: Our Breathing is the only system in the body that is both completely automatic and also under our control. That is not an accident of nature, not a coincidence. That is an opportunity, an invitation, to take part in our own nature – our own evolution: Breathin

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5. The long and windy road of placing your dreams and desires in the hands of others.

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6. It looks like a scene from Marry Poppins so, that word: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

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7. How often do we leave our desires out so that our lives appear organized without ripples on the water?

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8. Do you purposefully bring your desires to life on a daily basis, you belong with these people if you do: Love Shack.

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9. As I found out I probably fit in the latter group when it comes to my desires.

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10. Grateful for both the Yes’s and the No’s, need to work on the latter: Kind and Generous.

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11. A bucket is just another word, as are To-do lists, both can prevent you from actually living in the moment.

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12. From the man who gave us the bliss distinction, here is another classic that points to why we may not be fulfilling all our desires: Staying Alive.

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13. It’s in the tax area our desires live.

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14. As Tantra came from India I had to include one image of a wise Indian guru or it would just not seem right: Slave To The Rhythm.

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15. And Oprah points out in our final lesson, that desires should excite you at first as it is that, that will keep you focussed.

I feel sated after the experience and acknowledge that Robbie, Maz and Paul delivered full value with love and compassion, they worked well as a facilitation team, I will be back.

Today’s playlist contains some musical royalty: We begin with funksters Chic, then shoot forward to pop diva, Ariana Grande. Then that word and song from Mary Poppins followed by a jump around track by the B-52’s. The superb voice of Natalie Merchant is next, then pop royalty The Bee Gees.  We finish with the always sultry Grace Jones: Incredible Things Can Be Done Simply!!

My major desire is that the world lives from this paradigm: Love and Respect for All, Everybody Included. Until next time we meet, my dear friends.

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Leaving With A Lighter Load!!


My friend Emma invited me to her partner David’s choir Gloriana’s performance of Path of Miracles on Sunday: Here’s another Choir doing some of it… The music was as evocative and haunting as my friends who have braved the Camino say the courage it takes to complete it requires. What inspires people to walk 700 kilometres when they have never done anything like that in their lives before? My friend Marc says it was a major event in his life, divorce proceedings, my other friends Kavisha and Andy that it was a journey of faith. So what has the Camino community said about it over the years, here are a few sayings they came up with:

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1. Both of them said it was when they stopped listening to the logical no answers from their mind and what was possible in their hearts that saw them arrive in Spain.

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2. You could possibly get lost walking 700 kilometres in the fields of Spain. But all the people I have spoken to about it, say what they learnt about themselves is what had them complete it: Find Your Way Back.

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3. Norman Vincent Peale (May 31, 1898 – December 24, 1993) was an American minister and author known for his work in popularizing the concept of positive thinking, especially through his best-selling book The Power of Positive Thinking. I don’t know if he ever walked The Camino but this would be a useful tattoo to have done before you commenced your trek, I think.

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4. And it continues well after finishing if the looks on my friends’ faces apres arriving back from Spain were anything to go by: Shiny Happy People.

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5. This is one of my favourite all-time quotes, I can see how it would relate to The Camino as blisters miraculously appeared on your feet.

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6. This is a post by a younger Camino trekker: I am 21, will be 22 when I walk. I think it’s great being around older people, 30 or 70 years old. They have a different view of their country than someone in their teens/the early twenties(when it comes to telling stories it makes them more interesting) They will be able to share more experiences and their stories with you than most 18-year-olds would be. I know what you’re saying, but I wouldn’t be worried about it. You might not have much in common with a 60-year-old or even a 30-year-old but I think that’s part of the journey, to understand one another, appreciate our differences, and to share this one magical experience with people all over the world of all ages of all backgrounds of all classes. :) I think it’s good to feel out of place once in a while.: Roam.

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7. By the worlds greatest quote writer, Ms Unknown, comes this mighty insightful offering.

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8. Deciding to walk the Camino, is that when you give up all your I can’t do it stories: Walk a Mile In My Shoes.

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9. http://www.womenoftheway2011.com is a wonderful website dedicated to a  brilliant doco that was made and information for our sisters who take the journey.

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10. I’m sure you would get a lot of time each day to ponder this as you stroll through the Spanish countryside: Long Way Home.

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11. Grace is from Canada, she has a Pinterest site called Discover Ideas about No Way.

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12. And it is not only written about in one language: El Camino.

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13. Am I off to The Camino, Maybe?

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14. Janette has written a free book of poems about the Camino called: Camino Quotes and Poems – The Meaning of The Journey, it’s downloadable, word magic: Listen To Your Heart.

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15. Google won’t give me the exact answer if Tom Petty actually walked The Camino, but this quote from him appears all over it. A worthy lesson to finish on.

So these are some of the things and reasons that have had people walk and comment on the sacred journey that is known as El Camino de Santiago (The Way of St. James). Music, poetry and quotes, all point towards the transformational experience it seems to be.

Today’s playlist is mainly made up of Rock groups. We begin in the ’80s with Jefferson Starship, REM and the B52’s follow. Back even further to Joe South before returning to our current time with Garth Emery. Our Intercultural offering is The Gypsy Kings and we finish with Roxette: Leaving With A Lighter Load.

From the 21 years old’s offering I sense that El Camino de Santiago fits right in with my world paradigm of Love and Respect for All, Everybody Included. Until next time we meet, my dear friends.

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It is What It Is, No Means No!!


I went to a social occasion where a very lively conversation on consent was held recently. In my mind, this does not happen nearly enough in our instant gratification society, where things seem to be assumed as we do not have the time to discuss what works for all parties involved in interactions these days.

To me, evidence of this in the level of divorce, domestic violence and sexual assaults that take place daily around the planet. How different would communication be if we took the time necessary to set respectful boundaries for our social interactions?

How has the world related to gaining consent over the centuries, here are some takes at it:

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1. Possibly the most patriarchal argument that bad men use in cases of sexual assault, that the way she dressed caused them to act that way, not their inherent evil.

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2. This is becoming more widespread day by day, in our country recently our Federal police raided our national broadcaster in the name of national security, how to promote fear in the population 101: You Say,

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3. In granting people consent, you take away their inferiority complex.

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4. It is a legal contract, everything else within it needs to be based on open communication: Till It Happens To You.

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5. Apathy has its price.

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6. And it has a name, sexual assault: Don’t Touch My Body.

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7. As the title of this blog says, No means No.

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8. Unfortunately, this seems to be the direction the world is heading in Roll Jordan Roll.

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9. Here is the opposing view when it is personal, not universal.

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10. The state does not get to oppress their citizens unless the citizens allow it: Get Up, Stand Up.

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11. Unfortunately, men may lie to get into government though.

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12. What do you consent to in your life, creeping or soaring: Your Love.

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13. Consenting to a cause where you are willing to die, that’s rare these days.

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14. It isn’t only humans that require consent, remember how our beloved moggies behave when we move them: Best Kittycat Song.

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15. MLK pointing out why consent is so important.

At the end of the discussion we had set what were basic premises for consent in the area we were discussing, it felt great.

The playlist today begins with two pop diva’s, Laura Daigle and Lady Gaga. Then a spoken word piece followed by a choir. Then two great classics from Jackie Wilson and Bob Marley. We close with a number from a cat: It Is What It Is, No Means No.

This is an area society needs to do a lot of work on if we are to live from the world paradigm, Love and Respect For All, Everyone Included. Until next time we meet, dear friends.

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