What makes a life worth Living?


The subtitle of Hugh Mackay’s excellent book, A Good Life, the above question often comes to my mind. is it our relationships, our experiences, our career or all of them combined. There is a lot of talk about striking a balance between our working and personal life – I find this amusing as to me , it is all part of our lives. As it’s all our life, this means that it is difficult to draw a distinction between the way we behave at work and the way we behave in our social and family lives. I am me, wherever I happen to be, whoever I happen to be with, and whatever I happen to be doing. That’s one meaning of integrity: Integrating our values with every aspect of our lives. If you want to know what your values are, you need to see the whole picture.

What words have been written about leading a good life, they are from across the ages:

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1. In the Arab world, Khalil Gibran is regarded as a literary and political rebel. His romantic style was at the heart of a renaissance in modern Arabic literature, especially prose poetry, breaking away from the classical school. In Lebanon, he is still celebrated as a literary hero.

A member of the New York Pen League, he is chiefly known in the English-speaking world for his 1923 book The Prophet, an early example of inspirational fiction including a series of philosophical essays written in poetic English prose. The book sold well despite a cool critical reception, gaining popularity in the 1930s and again especially in the 1960s counterculture. He is the third best-selling poet of all time, behind Shakespeare and Lao Tzu.

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2. I met a woman on the weekend who makes me smile, I’m finding it very difficult to not be a grinning Cheshire cat: You’re never fully dressed without a Smile.

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3. You get to declare what has been a good life.

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4. In 1968, The New York Times television critic Jack Gould called Rivers “quite possibly the most intuitively funny woman alive”. The first women to host a TV talk show Joan lived her life to the fullest up to her death in 2014: Being Alive.

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5. And like everybody is watching, your heart has been broken, as if you are on stage, and as though you have been through hell. We need the shadow and the light.

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6. The world’s most famous cigar smoker, Winston was Named the Greatest Briton of all time in a 2002 poll. His life was spent in servitude to the British people: Giving Myself.

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7. Remember how great life was when we believed in Santa, you can still do it!!

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8. One of the great screen actors, Cary occupied himself for 3 decades on the big screen, He is remembered by critics for his unusually broad appeal, as a handsome, suave actor who did not take himself too seriously: Sing, Sing, Sing.

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9. How much time do you spend trying to understand? How much time would you have if you spent it getting everybody else to understand it as well, Live Life!!

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10. The number Seven is very prominent in all the worlds major religion, for example in Islam there are Seven heavens and Seven gates to hell. This is a useful  list of Seven to lead a good life: Perfect Peace.

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11. Great question, would it?

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12. We almost, always never know a persons whole story, think that what they offer us is the best they can do at that very moment: All of Me.

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13. Have I found them, Maybe!!

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14. Step onto your path – Follow your heart. Be true to yourself, and ask yourself often what it is you want to be doing, as opposed to what it is you should be doing: Live your Dreams.

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15. Now this sounds like a good life to lead!!

Our commitment to the good life is tested by our response to circumstances in which it is hard for us to live up to the Golden Rule – Do to others what you want them to do to you – one of Jesus of Nazareth’s great teachings.

Music goes from cabaret to pop divas to inspirational: Sia, Neil Patrick Harris, Jennifer Hudson, Cary Grant, Laura Story, John Legend and George Domanian.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

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Do what makes your Soul Shine!!


In the Google Images page for quotes to avoid stopping this beautiful quote that is the title of this blog appeared, seems strangely out of place. The subject for today’s blog is taken from Time for my Life, Thea Westra’s excellent book; Here’s the link to her Website.  It comes from the challenge for February 12 – face the situation and just complete whatever you are avoiding.

I think we spend as much energy on avoiding things as we do in  completing them if we do not set our goals up to act on a daily basis. It’s easy to roll over for another half hour if we have no plans for the day. I tend to not make to many though so there is space for unexpected actions that I need to take. Two to four definites works for me.

So what do our fellow humans have to say about avoidance in their lives, here’s a few cuts at it:

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1. If you don’t face it, will it ever go away? Turn around and walk towards it, time to stop running.

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2. Reach out and Touch Somebody else. If you don’t do this, they may stop calling: Reach out and touch somebody’s Hand.

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3. Adeline Virginia Woolf was an English writer, who is considered one of the foremost modernist authors of the 20th century and a pioneer in the use of stream of consciousness as a narrative device. Woolf became one of the central subjects of the 1970s movement of feminist criticism, and her works have since garnered much attention and widespread commentary for “inspiring feminism”, an aspect of her writing that was unheralded earlier. Her works are widely read all over the world and have been translated into more than fifty languages. She suffered from severe bouts of mental illness throughout her life and took her own life by drowning in 1941 at the age of 59.

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4. And also those who saw the gulp and stood by that person in their pain: Feel the Pain.

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5. Lots of hashtags for this simple Nike like quote.

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6. What was that you said? Oh, nothing, I suppose I will have to make up what you are thinking,  then: Sounds of Silence.

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7. And this may be one of the things I make up in my frustration at the silence.

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8. The worlds greatest philosopher, Ms. Unknown chimes in with the formulae of acceptance, as resistance if futile in making something cease happening: Let it Be.

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9. A mixture of both works for me!!

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10. Fill in the missing words……: Let’s Hurt Tonight.

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11. Founding Honda Motor company in his back shed in 1948, three years after Japan had been bombed into oblivion, Soichiro Honda definitely did not avoid the challenges and vision he saw. The possibility of failure must have been great in the beginning.

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12. If you don’t know what you want, spend more time on finding out what you don’t so you create space for the former to surface: Look what you made me Do.

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13. My friend Lissa Rankin says there are two types of fear, real fear and suggested fear. I think RD Laing is making the same point in this quote in regard to pain.

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14. Other ways to spell inspired action and why avoidance sucks big time: Stronger.

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15. And there are plenty more quotes to help you break through the avoidance, actually 51 in the area of overthinking, a classic avoidance method.

Often in avoidance we are facing the wrong direction, pain we are running away instead of turning to face what it has to offer us, what if …. we are facing the circumstances that stop us beginning when we should be facing the other direction of taking the action that compels us forward towards our bright future. Yes, it’s that time!!

Music today is from two different eras, the 60’s offering is Diana Ross, The Beatles and Simon and Garfunkel. Today’s are Kanye West, One Republic and Taylor Swift.

Namaste until next time my dear friends:

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Invest in People who Invest in You!!


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Question – Can you distinguish essential from non-essential?

Affirmation – I choose to be debt free.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Namaste until next time, my dear friends

namaste prayer

 

And one day, for no particular Reason!!


I was going through my books as part of my decluttering process when I came across Destroying the Joint – Why Women have to change the World. I bought it off my friend Catherine Deveny, who has a contribution to it called Destroying the joint in Twelve Easy Lessons. The stamp inside of it says stolen from the bedside table of Tony Abbott, He is Australia’s ex-prime minister who declared himself Minister for Women, a strange role for an extreme right wing bully boy, he has since been sacked by his party from both roles and wallows on the back bench.

Lesson number one begins as follows: Beware of anyone using the words ‘respect’ ‘traditional’, ‘family value’, ‘honour’, ‘unacceptable’, ‘morality’, ‘uncalled for’, ‘inappropriate’, ‘unnecessary’ or ‘offensive’. and to be particularly wary of the word offensive as offence is subjective. Catherine goes on to say just because you are offended does not mean you are right and that it is being used as a form of social control and that no one has the right not to be offended.

So I had to choose carefully today’s quotes as I did not want to offend anyone, just kidding, here we go:

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1. Bryant McGill is a human potential thought leader, international bestselling author, activist, and social entrepreneur. He is one of the world’s top social media influencers reaching a billion people a year. Don’t look over there at the other person if you are offended.

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2. Could being offended also be construed as speaking your truth, give it a go: Ain’t Worried about Nothin.

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3. The judgement of being offended, time for a judgement detox methinks.

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4. A suggestion, lock your doors and never leave your cloistered premises: Offended by Everything.

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5. Deep wisdom from an unexpercted source, Bill was a baseball player for the Cincinatti Reds.

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6. With the light comes the dark, doing only one of them make it hard to speak your truth: Addicted.

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7. An  interesting quote from a highly religious man. David Bednar is on the quorum of the Church of Latter Day Saints, a place we could expect a lot of people to make judgements about non christian values.

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8. They are located reading mainstream media and the opinions spruiked from its tenuous publications and stations: Equal Rights.

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9. In 1995 Lebowitz wrote Mr. Chas and Lisa Sue Meet the Pandas, a children’s book about giant pandas living in New York City who long to move to Paris. Lebowitz was born and raised in Morristown, New Jersey. Lebowitz describes her “Jewish identity [as] ethnic or cultural or whatever people call it now. But it’s not religious.” She has been an atheist since the age of 7.

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10. Time to look in the mirror for the person who is doing the offending: Ego is not a dirty Word.

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11. Imagine a world if everyone spoke the ones they keep to themselves. Vulnerability or madness?

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12. Her 15 minutes of fame were being married to Kurt Cobain, she has also had a 40 year musical career best known for the alternative band, Hole: Uncool.

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13. If you saw the number of goatee beards in the area I live in the inner suburbs of Melbourne, Australia you would be quite worried about the above statement.

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14. Sprung!! : S & M.

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15. Carlos Castaneda’s books and the man himself became a cultural phenomenon.  The story of his apprenticeship to a shaman, a kind of hero’s journey, touched a chord in the counterculture generation and resonated as a myth of adventure and self-discovery.

The reason  offended people use offense to put you in your place is in order to fortify their place, the truth being neither have greater value than the  other, they are after all just our opinions. The skill one should bring into place here is the ability to not live your life from judgement moment to moment, a life long educative journey.

Music this week comes from one of the iconic 70’s Australian bands Skyhooks, Peter Tosh, Courtney Love, Rihanna, French Montana, Enrique Iglesias and an offensive number by the virtually unknown Stuart Whitaker.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends

namaste-with-light

What sets your soul on Fire!!


When people find their passion, they not only love what they do but they lead a life that other people only dream about. In his book Living Your Passion Keith Abraham has a quiz in which he asks the following questions:

  1. What does having a passion mean to you?
  2. What was one thing either in the past or present that you were passionate about, really focused on or just loved to do?
  3. If you won 10 million dollars in Lotto tomorrow, what would you love to do with your time and energy?
  4. Of all the things you have ever done, what were you doing when you were the happiest?
  5. What are the five things you value the most in your life?
  6. In 30 seconds, write down the three most important goals in your life right now.
  7. What have you always wanted to do but been afraid to attempt?
  8. What type of activities or circumstances gives you the greatest feeling of importance?
  9. What is the one thing which you would dare to dream if you knew you could not fail?

They say that 3% of people have written goals, I must know a rare breed of people because at least 50% of my friends do. So what does the world say about having and knowing your passion, Let’s have a sneak peek:

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1. Want a boost of energy, follow your passion and with it comes the energy to excel.

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2.The 3 P’s that fulfil my life: On Purpose.

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3. You’ll know when you find it, Steve definitely found his.

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4. It is said you are both a student and a teacher in your life when it comes to your passion it’s up to you: Teach Your Children.

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5. How beautiful, Live it, Breathe It, Beam It. Yowzaa.

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6. America’s greatest gonzo journalist often got people’s blood racing if you have ever seen the interpretation of his life in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: The hotel on Acid.

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7. When your passion enters your soul, it also enters your heart and mind.

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8. Passion fills you with the roar of the ocean, Its like people can hear it as you enter the room: Oceans Roar.

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9. That’s why it doesn’t go away, the rest of life may be random, but your passions are not.

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10. It’s Oprah time. always good advice: Born to be Somebody.

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11. Converting a nation with her passion, Julia Child definitely did this. Julia Carolyn Child was an American chef, author and television personality. She is recognized for bringing French cuisine to the American public with her debut cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and her subsequent television programs, the most notable of which was The French Chef, which premiered in 1963.

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12. having written over 300 blogs, I have definitely found mine: My, My, My.

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13. Make me think of Jim Carrey’s Fear or Love Speech, here it is: Fear vs. Love.

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14. They’re your dreams, no one elses: Live Your Life.

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15. And at the end, a wall chart for you to print out.

Don’t just get up, go to work, go to bed on a daily basis: do things that make your heart shudder.

Music is from Sabrina Carpenter, CSNY, Johny Depp, Dinah Smith, Justin Beiber, Troye Sivan, Jim Carrey and T.I. Enjoy their focus on passion and purpose.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

namaste prayer

 

Sometimes I’m afraid to be Happy!!


In his book The Code of the Extraordinary Mind CEO of Mindvalley, Vishen Lakhiani talks about four levels of living. The first is The World Around You or Living in the Culturescape, The second The world you choose or The Awakening, the third The world inside you or Recoding Yourself and the fourth the world you can change or Becoming Extraordinary.

One of the main premises he points to is that firstly we must trust yourself and others to achieve this journey. So a question, how much do you trust, is it easy or an ongoing enquiry for you. There are many beautiful quotes on this state of being, let’s have a look at a few:

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1. I have read many a fine self-help book, but until I have taken the actions recommended to achieve the states spoken about in them, nothing has been achieved.

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2. Have you ever come across people that grate on you and you don’t know why. This is your intuition speaking to you. Time to trust it fully and move on: Thinking Out Loud.

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3. I’m still working on this. Have quite a few moments where I forget that when life gets harsh it’s just a challenge to face.

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4. We don’t have to fulfil our big dreams tomorrow if we just stay in our essence of it and take one action a day it breaks it down into doable chunks: From Little Things Big Things Grow.

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5. This quote is taken from Spock’s 1946 bestselling book Baby and Childcare. It was a message to new mums to trust their intuition, it resonated with millions and made their journey into motherhood so much easier.

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6. How many times have we not and had to deal with the consequences later on: Gut Feeling.

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7. Still here? Keeping trusting yourself, you have lots of ways to go.

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8. Not sure about this one, ofter when it looks right and feels right I call that intuition too: Intuition.

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9. I have had both of these, lately, still following up on the first. When you are told I Love You and you totally get it, it can cause unexpected shockwaves.

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10. Maya Angelou spoke on many subjects, but was most powerful in the area of love, the area she said that supported all others: Love Liberates.

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11. Edward EstlinE. E.” Cummings, often styled as ee cummings, as he sometimes signed his name, was an American poet, painter, essayist, author, and playwright. He wrote approximately 2900 poems, two autobiographical novels, four plays, and several essays. That’s a prolific output.

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12. Another one to think about, which one do you say to yourself more: What about Us.

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13. Imagine if we spent our whole life with that nagging thought in the background, but can I really trust them. Mainstream media are proponents of having this become the norm.

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14. And most games are based on there being a winner and a loser: Hurt.

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15. What if each day, in the morning as we woke, we got in contact with the magic of the new beginning that was going to happen that day, a new world would be revealed to us methinks.

As you ascend the levels , your relationship with life alters, you begin to trust it  more

First Life happens to You.

Then Life happens as you Choose.

Then Life happens from You.

Then Life happens Through You.

Music comes from Ed Sheeran, John Butler, Devo, John Lennon, Maya Angelou, PInk and John Cash – quite a wide range of styles.

Namaste until next time my dear friends.

namaste

 

 

They may forget what you Said!!


How many times do you have to repeat what you said to somebody? Human beings have a habit of waiting to reply, not listen when in conversation. This trait does not lead to powerful interactions that create the most useful actions in our day to day lives. So, is it the way we are educated so that we grow up thinking that we are meant to know the answers already versus a genuine curiosity in life.

When did education become about rort learning for each student being rated against each other in one or two exams instead of empowering them in what they are great at, let’s enquire into how society defines this:

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1. How much of the math you learnt at school do you remember? A math major may say a lot, but the students focused on another calling would probably say ver little as they were not involved in it.

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2. Way back in the olden days of the education system in my schooling, I remember having a piece of chalk thrown at me for asking a question that did not fir the cirriculum: Don’t ask me Questions.

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3. And with the curing of this habit, we could do this in a  relatively short time.

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4. How would it be if we used this premise in dealing with each  person in our lives, transformational methinks: You are my Sunshine.

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5. Was she referring to her new compatriot in World leadership when she penned this. Only time will tell.

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6. Rollo Reese May  was an American existential psychologist and author of the influential book Love and Will (1969). He is often associated with humanistic psychology, existentialist philosophy and, alongside Viktor Frankl, was a major proponent of existential psychotherapy. These are all schools of thinking that champions communication over silence: Intimacy.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDkoknFMvfI

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7. Just assuming that people are listening to you is a wide stretch  of the permission they have given you, you need to earn their respect.

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8. As Thomas says, take action, observation will only get you so far. Remember the classic quote, they do not remember you for what you said, but by your actions: The Hokey Pokey Song.

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9. Engagement is just not in the physical, but also the etheral.

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10. Bill Gates, Steve jobs and the Dot.com gurus are probably the greatest examples of this in recent history: Love.

 

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11. Dale Harbison Carnegie spelled Carnagey until c. 1922; was an American writer and lecturer and the developer of famous courses in self-improvement, salesmanship, corporate training, public speaking, and interpersonal skills. Born into poverty on a farm in Missouri, he was the author of How to Win Friends and Influence People in 1936, a bestseller that remains popular today. 

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12. I think the question she is asking is how do you turn your students into the next leaders of the planet: Survivor.

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13. If you get people’s attention, they are willing to believe it and grow from it.

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14. To become the female leader of a muslim state, Benazir must have had remarkable skills at both of these things: Give Peace a Chance.

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15. The Road Less Traveled, published in 1978, is Peck’s best-known work, and the one that made his reputation. It is, in short, a description of the attributes that make for a fulfilled human being, based largely on his experiences as a psychiatrist and a person. The book was broken up in four parts – Discipline, Love, Religion and Grace. The book took off only after Peck hit the lecture circuit and personally sought reviews in key publications. Later reprinted in paperback in 1980, The Road first made best-seller lists in 1984 – six years after its initial publication.

So from these interesting takes on engagement and listening to people when they speak, we can see that there are many diverse takes on actively engaging in life, so let’s get out there and  do it.

The music today comes from Graham Parker, The Civil Wars, an obscure singer songwriter, Hannah Sutherland, Debbie Doo Kids TV, Lana Del Ray, Destinys Child and John Lennon. Enjoy this quite diverse offering.

Namaste until next time , my dear friends.

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