Headphones On, World Off!!


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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5. Two words – Self Love.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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15. Find the Others.

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

Moyers: Do you belong anywhere?

Angelou: I haven’t yet.

Moyers: Do you belong to anyone?

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

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

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

namasteflower

Nature is Fine, but Human Nature is Finer!!


Humans and Connection, what we search for on an ongoing and daily basis. All elements of society have shifted profoundly in my lifetime. Almost all of them have shifted in one direction – away from the normal and directly towards the weird.

These words come from Seth Godin’s little masterpiece of a book, We are All Weird, The Rise of Tribes and the end of Normal. He states that Creation is amplified: Publish a book or sell a painting or customise your car or design a house – whatever your passion, it’s easier to do it, it’s faster to do it, and it’s more likely that (part of) the world will notice what you do. The ability to reach and change those around you has been changed forever by the connections of the Internet and the fact that anyone, anywhere can publish to the world.

Seth also says that because you can find others who share your interests, weird is perversely becoming more normal, at least in the small tribes that we’re now congregating in. The community you choose can be a mirror and an amplifier, furthering your interests and encouraging you to push even further. The internet connects and protects the weird bt connecting and amplifying their tribes.

So how have we looked at human connection over the decades, here’s a few quotes that give us some idea:

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1. I am in a program called the Warriors of Love. We recently looked at Resonance, when you are at your lowest, what you need is the above, not statements like Just Do It. 

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2. Brene is such a genius in these areas, A state that will always be part of my journey until they put me in the ground: Courage, Compassion and Connection.

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3. I am so glad that I have recently found several events that are based on people meeting in a circle and sharing their stories with each other. This is a profound way to break through the fear people have of others knowing who we really are when the masks have been removed.

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4. Married to one of the worlds wealthiest men, Melinda and Bill have discovered that making more money a second than some countries do does not fulfil you, your connectedness with others on the planet is where the inspiration comes from: Better Place.

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5. And a little more from Melinda on the power of human connection.

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6. Taking time to commune with the power of nature adds to our ability to connect to the 7 billion inhabitants that hang around on her: Earth Song.

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7. Animals seem to like hanging out with each other. They do not analyse why they love each other as nearly as much as the human race.

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8. Viktor Emil Frankl was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist as well as a Holocaust survivor. His best-selling book Man’s Search for Meaning (published under a different title in 1959: From Death-Camp to Existentialism, and initially released in 1946 as Trotzdem Ja Zum Leben Sagen: Ein Psychologe erlebt das Konzentrationslager, meaning Nevertheless, Say “Yes” to Life: A Psychologist Experiences the Concentration Camp) chronicles his experiences as a concentration camp inmate, which led him to discover the importance of finding meaning in all forms of existence, even the most brutal ones, and thus, a reason to continue living: Survival.

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9. To me beautiful art does not necessarily mean paint on canvas, it can be words, hugs, baking, servitude, many different things.

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10. AKA, you and I are unique: Human.

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11. It’s the moment when you find the answer to contentment isn’t just internal or external but a balance of both.

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12. Who makes up the people in your life, category one or two: Delicate.

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13. The Pet Owners eulogy.

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14. From the loinclothed one, comes an excellent point as to what it takes to make the world an unwelcome place: What a Wonderful World.

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15. Amit Ray teaches the importance of integrating yoga, mindfulness and positive approach towards life. His words and teachings are popular and inspire people across the world. Regarding yoga, he says that yoga is not a religion. It is a science, science of well-being, the science of youthfulness, the science of integrating body, mind and soul. He advocates for creating peace and positive vibration on earth. He emphasises that it does not matter how long we are spending on earth, or how much money we have gathered or how much attention we have received. According to him, it is the amount of positive vibration we have radiated in life that matters. He emphasises the value of family. According to Amit, there is no better example for a child than a caring mother and a dignified father.

Only wealthy organisms are able to culturally diversify, and as human beings get richer and more productive, our instinct is to get even weirder. As productivity has skyrocketed, so has our ability to do what we’d like instead of merely focusing on survival. Standing out takes, time, money and confidence. More of us have all three now.

The playlist today begins with some excellent insight from Brene Brown, then a pop diva in Rachel Platten. Michael Jackson delivers one of his more obscure numbers, then an explicit number from Eminem. The beautiful voices of Rag and Bone Man and Taylor Swift follow ending off with Louis Armstrong. Here’s the Youtube playlist: Nature is Fine, But Human Nature is Finer.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

namasteflower

How to Communicate Like A Buddhist!!


I was in North Fitzroy Public Library the other day, and there was a book sale. Amongst them was a book called the Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness, the much anticipated follow up to Mindfulness In Plain English by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana.

My secret, I am a trained Tibetan Buddhist Calm Abiding meditation teacher and was one signature away from applying to become a monk during the eight years I spent under the tutelage of Lama Choedak Rinpoche,  who is based in Canberra, Australia and in my opinion the second best interpreter of Dharma after his Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Back to the book, it cost me one dollar. So using my write about the subject on the page you open it to, today’s topic is Correct Speech, one of the eight branches of The Eight Fold Path. A little from Bhante on meditation:

Meditation is not easy. It takes time, and it takes energy. It also takes grit, determination, and discipline. It requires a host of personal qualities which we usually regard as unpleasant and which we like to avoid whenever possible. We can sum it all up in the American word ‘gumption’. Meditation takes ‘gumption.’  It is undoubtedly a great deal easier just to kick back and watch television. So why bother? Why waste all that time and energy when you could be out enjoying yourself?
Why bother? Simple, Because you are human. And just because of the simple fact that you are human, you find yourself heir to an inherent unsatisfactoriness in life which just will not go away. You can suppress it from your awareness for a time. You can distract yourself for hours on end, but it always comes back–usually when you least expect it.

All of a sudden, seemingly out of the blue, you sit up, take stock, and realize your actual situation in life.

So let’s take a trip down the eightfold path, memories of the countless nights and retreats I attended studying the dharma are flooding back, I was very good at it according to Rinpoche:

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1. What, no judgement, gossiping, criticism. That would silence a few people I know.

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2. Straight back to the midnight shows at the Valhalla and The Blues Brothers: Think.

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3. Another concept of Buddhism is Loving Kindness, this stream of flowers reminds me of it.

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4. Love me a Mind Map; This should be tattoed on all politicians hands to read before they speak in the chamber: Think Before I Speak.

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5. From the symbol in the left-hand corner, I would say this is a Zen saying,  beautiful, isn’t it?

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6. People’s greedy desire for power, politically we never seem to remember this is a premise of the eightfold path if not addressed: Don’t Tell Lies.

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7. What will mainstream media employees do when this comes into force when I am elected to power in this country, I don’t think they know how to do this.

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8. How long do you spend being ethical with your speech each day?: Where Is the Love.

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9. Not just the Buddhists follow right speech, here’s something from Hinduism.

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10. One of the classic tales about incorrect speech, Pinocchio needs no words under this image to get the message: Bad Liar.

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11. I own up to when the words feel trapped like this when I feel they may not land properly.

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12. How hurt are we when what we think is the truth was revealed as Lies: I’m not a Lesbian Anymore.

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13. Why, How and What. Our job in life is to discover our Why, and then you will never work another day in your life.

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14. I still have a Tee Shirt with the Dharmacakra on it; The Noble Eightfold Path is a sexy beast: The Eightfold Path In The Style Of Adele.

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15. And finally for the definition nerds out there, here it is.

Correct Speech has four qualities, the Buddha told us. It is always truthful, it is uplifting, not malicious or unkind. It is gentle, not crude or harsh. It is moderate, not useless or meaningless. I have a ways to go to achieve this moment to moment, a new daily practice.

The playlist today is quite quirky. We begin with Aretha Franklin from the iconic Blues Brothers movie, Then pop Diva Astrid S. The Black Eyed Peas appear on the next two clips, one with Ariana Grande at the Manchester benefit. Back to pop divas with Selena Gomez. But we finish with a lesbian anthem by Bria and Chrissy and then Rachel Moss interpreting The Eightfold Path in the style of Adele. Here’s the link to the playlist: How To Communicate Like A Buddhist.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

namasteflower

Never, Never, Never Give Up.


Back to Marc and Angel Chernoff’s iconic first book: 1000+ Little Things Happy Successful People Do Differently. Using the write about what is on the page you open on theory today we discuss the 11 things Everyone needs you to know. They are:

  1. You never really know how much the people around you are hurting.
  2. The most important trip you will likely take in life is meeting others halfway.
  3. Relationships don’t create happiness, they reflect it.
  4. Compassion comes back around.
  5. Timing is Everything.
  6. Actions are the loudest form of Communication.
  7. A loving relationship creates freedom and abundance.
  8. People are more of what they keep silent than what they say.
  9. What others say and do is often based entirely on their own self-reflection.
  10. Sincerity is giving without expectation.
  11. Not every relationship is meant to last forever.

So what do you need to know to support those people who pop up in your life, here are 15 ways that we can do that:

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1. The way through to growth is through education, finding out what you don’t know and getting out there and learning it, begin today.

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2. Do you know your place in your communities, your family, your friendships, a worthwhile practice to take on daily: Somebody I Used To Know.

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3. On a need to know basis this is quite useful.

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4. Is a riskless life worth living? Not for this little black duck: 

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5. What are your wants, mine is to see the world live from the paradigm – Love and Respect for All, Everyone Included.

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6. A worthwhile thing to stick on your fridge: Learn to Fly.

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7. What you need to know it is your actions not what you say that makes the difference.

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8. I was just curious what this pack of extraordinary looking people needed to know by being at Stonehenge: Mr Curiosity.

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9. Very salient for point eleven – Not every relationship is meant to last forever.

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10. Left the is out, they did, love the grace in it though: Grace Live.

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11. Now let’s get to the juicy details. The lunula can reveal important secrets about your health. For instance, a smaller lunula can indicate anemia or malnutrition. Also, a small one might indicate indigestion from a slow metabolism. If it is blue-coloured, this lunula could indicate diabetes. And if it is tinted red, it might indicate signs of heart disease.

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12. There are over 7 billion versions of this reality on the planet. You may not agree with quite a few of them: Happier.

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13. I have many “tree” friends, I love them for what they provide in my life: 

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14. At Dancing Eros for Men last night we changed the life of our priestesses by honouring them with a ceremony from the heart – we also gave them flowers: Believe.

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15. Find your passion and you will never work another day in your life and you will not need to take holidays to recover.

Love doesn’t close the door against all that is good, that’s a little practice the human race came up with. How can you reverse the situation on your life in practical terms?

The playlist today begins with Gotye’s breakout hit, then the sultry Miley Cyrus, followed by some rock from Foo Fighters, Then a group of boys – Jason Mraz, Jeff Buckley, Ed Sheeran finishing off with Mumford and Sons. here’s the link to the Youtube playlist, music is better with pictures: Never, Never, Never Give Up.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends:

namasteflower

Sometimes, Strength Comes In!!


I have been to events where I have felt totally alone in a crowded room. Yet every person in that room has their own unique story, it is just that most of the time we do not know them, sometimes even the stories of our closest friends. Marc and Angel Chernoff, in their book Getting Back To Happy: Website link.  say the following:

Every passing face on the street represents  a story just as captivating, complicated, and crazy as yours. When you look at another person, any person, remember that everyone has a story. Everyone has gone through through something that’s inadvertantly changed them and forced them to grow. Everyone you meet has struggled, and continues to struggle in some way, and to them it’s just as hard as what you’re going through.  Marc’s grandmother told him the following – “If you think you know someone who never feels the way you do right now – who never feels a bit lost and alone, and downright confused and crazy – you just don’t know enough about them. Every one of us contains a measure of ‘crazy’  that moves us in strange, often perplexing ways. This side of us is necessary; it’s part of our human ability to think, adapt and grow. It’s part of being intelligent,” she said. “No great mind has ever existed without a touch of this kind of madness.”

She continued, “And sometimes how you feel simply won’t align with how you want to feel – it’s mostly your subconscious mind’s way of helping you look at things from a different perspective. These feelings will come and go quickly as long as you let them go…as long as you consciously  acknowledge them, and then push through them. At least that’s what I’ve learned to do for myself, out of necessity, on a regular basis. So you and I actually struggling through this one together , honey. And I’m pretty certain we are not the only ones.”

So what does the world say about the fact we are not alone, here’s some of my favourite quotes about it:

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1. We say we do not like rainy days, but without them we would not survive very long.

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2. Every year my friends from around the world on Booker Looker land send me birthday wishes that remind me that I am not alone and that I am well loved: There must be an Angel.

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3. A salient point made by the creator of the Four Hour Week, Tim Ferris. Remember it is the darkness our most profound insights come to us.

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4. How did you meet your best friend?: Freak Like Me.

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5. Makes me think of the Liverpool Football club theme song, We’ll never walk alone.

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6. The remedy to we are not alone: Travel outside the city until you can see the Milky Way, look up: You Are a Child of the Universe.

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7. God is a word that does strange things to me, which god are they talking about, Zeus or the christian one. Anyway, I think what they are saying is to have faith.

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8. I have friends who live in other countries but whenever we meet, it feels like we have been apart five minutes: Song For You far Away.

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9. Under all gifts you can give in the world, lies Love. this is what all the great prophets spoke of, unfortunately mankind misinterpreted it.

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10. Is this from Ernest Hemingway’s of Mice and Men? Not sure, but quite profound: You Are Not Alone.

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11. More proof that underlying all is Love, it just that life’s circumstances make us forget at times.

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12. Here’s the cute photo quote: Postcards From Italy.

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13. Green’s rapid rise to fame and idiosyncratic voice are credited with creating a major shift in the young adult fiction market. ) He is an American author, vlogger, writer, producer, actor, editor, and educator.

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14. This is not necessarily an easy thing to do. I remember during my six years of mental health issues I would pretend to be not home when my relatives came around because I was so sure that I was alone and that they were pretending to care about me. Luckily for me they never gave up on me: Mama, Weer All Crazy Now.

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15. And if you want to sing along with Michael, here is the chorus.

When times are tough, and some piece of you is chipped and broken, it’s easy to feel like everything – all of you – is broken along with it. But that’s not true. You will wake up again tomorrow, and each new day is a chance to begin again.

Todays playlist begins with the Eurythmics, a band named after a Steiner education method, Halestorm follow with a rap anthem then the timeless Desiderata. two pop icons in James Taylor and Michael jackson come next followed by Florence and the Machine. We close out with a timeless anthem by Slade. here is the link to the Youtube playlist: This Weeks Playlist.

Namaste until next time we meet, my dear friends:

namasteflower

 

 

Three Things that Can No Longer Be Hidden!!


I was saddened when Debbie Ford died in 2013, I loved her work, it was so insightful. I recently found her book: The Dark Side of the Light Chasers – Reclaiming your Power, Creativity, Brilliance and Dreams in one of my cupboards. I opened it to page 68 and the following paragraph caught my attention: “Unconcealing is the first step of the shadow process. Unconcealing requires rigorous honesty and willingness to see what you haven’t been able to see. Acknowledgment of our shadow self-begins the process of integration and healing. Remember that each of these “negative’ traits has a positive gift for you, more value than you can even imagine. It’s only a matter of doing the work, and in a short while you’ll receive the blessings of wholeness, happiness and freedom.”

She still has a fine website dedicated to her work: The Gifts of Debbie Ford., you get a free audio if you sign up, her work is worth it. on the next page there are about 200 shadow words, here are just a few: Greedy, liar, phony, cheap, hateful, jealous, vindictive, controlling, nasty, possessive, bitchy, wimp, evil, geek, prudish, womanizer, slut, angry, secretive, codependent, predator, alcoholic, drug addict disgusting stupid,idiot, fearful, unconscious: that’s enough, you will have to buy the book if you want the whole list.

So why don’t we unconceal our shadows and dive deep into them to allow them to be healed by bringing them to the fore, the best way I have found to achieve this is through presencing them in your body, mind work does not do it for me anymore.

Let’s have a look at some quotes on the subject of unconcealing our lives:

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1. As Byron Katie says, do the work, it’s the only way.

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2. Don’t know if I agree with the first line, perhaps in Donald Trump: You’re so Vain.

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3. And this is one area in our lives that what we don’t unconceal can have terrible costs, please reveal your sacred love stories to each other.

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4. These rules will help you unconceal the areas you don’t do it, because with the light comes the shadow: Fight the Power.

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5. Myrtle Reed was an American author, poet, journalist, and philanthropist. She wrote a number of bestsellers and even published a series of cookbooks under the pseudonym Olive Green.

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6. Art, when unconcealed centuries later, reveals a lot about the cultures that have gone before us: Art for Art’s Sake.

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7. Having appreciated Rodin’s The Thinker sculptor for time immemorial love this quote re unconcealing our naked form.

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8. I have cried three times in my life since my baby days, one of them was when I was watching a tearjerking episode of Apple’s Way, a cheesy 1970’s TV show, go figure: Hello.

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9. As is a man.

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10. Have you unconcealed your commitment to service, it comes when you get to realise that life on earth isn’t satisfying when its all about you: People Help The People.

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11. Beautiful image, time to unconceal the Universe, my friends.

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12. Putting in Isha brings up Esha Gupta, an insanely beautiful Indian Bollywood Actress, arguments get the matter dealt with: Zombie.

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13. Think Donald in the U.S.A, Malcolm and Peter in Australia, Recep in Turkey, Bashar in Syria.

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14. Drisi is a young woman from India who describes herself as a bibliophile and a learning enthusiast, It’s great she is featured in Google images: Love Yourself.

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15. And finally, Unconceal the wild woman and man within you and unhide the love for yourself.

At the end of the demonstrative list of negatives is the following exercise and insight: “Imagine that an article was written about you in your local newspaper. What are the five things you would not want to be said about you? Write them down. Now try to imagine five things they could say about you that wouldn’t matter to you at all. the question is. are the first five things true and the second five untrue? Or, have you decided with the help of your family and friends that the first five things are the wrong thing to be, therefore you do not want them said about you? We  must uncover what is behind these words, so we can take back these disowned parts of ourselves.

Write down the judgements you have about each of these words. See if you can identify when you first made that judgement or whom you took that judgement from. Was it your father, mother or another family member? I’m sure this excercise will unconceal enough to start the transformation, its a worthwhile book to get to have the entire list.

The Playlist today begins with the 1970’s icon Carly Simon, then some grit from Public Enemy, a classic from Ten CC, A massive hit from Adele, Birdy follows with a plaintive plea, some Indie Rock by the Cranberries finishing with Hailee Steinfeld who appeared in the last playlist. Here’s the link: Playlist for Today.

Namaste until next we meet, dear friends.

namasteflower

 

Let Yourself Be Silently Drawn!!


Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams. Live the life you want to live. Be the person you want to remember years from now. Make decisions and act on them. Make mistakes, fall and try again. Even if you fall a thousand times, at least you won’t have to wonder what could have been. At least you will know in your heart that you gave your dreams your best shot.

Each of us has a fire in our hearts burning for something. It’s our responsibility in life to find it and keep it lit. This is your life, and it’s a short one. Don’t let others extinguish your flame. Try what you want to try. Go where you want to go. Follow your own intuition. Dream with your eyes open until you know exactly what it looks like. Then do at least one thing every day to make it a reality.

Two inspirational paragraphs from Marc and Angels first book – 1,000+ Little Things Happy Successful People Do Differently, what do you do to follow your heart and intuition.

What has the world said about being in contact with your heart when it comes to fulfilling your dreams, here are some of them:

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1. Regrets, you will have a few if you do this.

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2. You do not read the answers to the questions and demands that this pair will ask of you: Listen to your Heart.

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3. You will never have to worry about being lost on your life’s path if you do this.

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4. And you do really know what it is that is good for you, stop running away from it: Soul Kind Of Feeling.

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5. Feel your heartbeat increase as your belief in the good things in your life increases.

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6. Maybe, what if, it mightn’t work out, all brain food. Eat from the heart and go for it: Do It Again

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7. Time to follow the Silly manifesto – your heart is calling you.

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8. How long is it since you have really articulated your truth in life, find a buddy to do it with weekly: Get Up, Stand Up.

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9. What happens to us that we forget this?

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10. Reward Offered: Mind lost somewhere on the path of my magnificent heart journey: Let Me Blow Ya Mind.

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11. The heart knows rules are meant to be broken!!

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12. Can we ever really turn that voice in our heads down long enough to feel the yearning of our hearts: Too Much.

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13. Angie Karan is a nurse who lives in Sydney, Australia and writes a great blog called: Angie Karan –  quotes, poetry, love & inspiration.

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14. Pharrell instantly comes to mind after reading this quote: Happy.

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15. We finish with 80’s pop icon Patti Labelle giving you the main reason to follow your heart – if you don’t your dreams get crushed.

The last paragraph in the 12 things you should be able to say about yourself is entitled I have no regrets: Follow your heart. Be true to Yourself. Do what makes you happy. Be with who makes you smile. Laugh as much as you breathe. love as long as you live. Say what you need to say. offer a helping hand when you’re able. Appreciate all the things you do have. Smile. Celebrate your small victories. learn from your mistakes. Realize that everything is a lesson in disguise. Forgive. And let go of the things you can’t control.

The playlist this week begins back in the 70’s and 80’s with Roxette, classic Aussie R and B band Dynamic Hepnotics, Steely Dan and then Bob Marley. it then moves forward to present days with Eve, Drake and Pharrell Williams. I am now making Youtube playlists of them to make your listening pleasure easier: Let Yourself Be Silently Drawn.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

namasteflower