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:

lone1

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

lone2

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.

lone3

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

lone4

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. 

lone5

5. Two words – Self Love.

lone6

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

alone7

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

lone8

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

lone9.jpeg

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

lone10

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.

lone11

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

lone12.jpeg

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

lone13

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

lone14

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

lone15

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:

connection1

 

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. 

connection2.jpeg

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.

connection3

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.

connection4

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.

connection5

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

connection6

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.

connection7

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.

connection8

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.

connection9

 

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

connection10

10. AKA, you and I are unique: Human.

connection11

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

connection12

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

connection13.jpeg

13. The Pet Owners eulogy.

connection14.jpeg

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.

connection15

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:

speech1

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

speech2

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

speech3

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

speech4

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.

speech5

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

speech6

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.

speech7

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.

speech8

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

speech9

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

speech10

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

speech11

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

speech12

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

speech13

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.

speech14

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.

speech15

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

Expect Problems and Eat Them For Breakfast!!


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

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

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

motivate1

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

motivate2

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

motivate3

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

motivate4

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

Motivate5

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

Motivate6

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

motivate7

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

motivate8

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

motivate9

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

motivate10

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

motivate11

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

motivate12

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

motivate13

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

Motivate14

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

motivate15

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

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

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

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

namasteflower

 

H.O.P.E. – Hold On, Pain Ends


The Steppingstone in time for my Life: 65 Stepping Stones – 2843 Life Power Boosters At Your Fingertips by my ex TMLP buddy Thea Westra: At this site. reads as follows:

Experience “real” life. Are you waiting for “life” to begin? You just need to get some of those hurdles out of the way and need a few things to happen first. The children need to leave home, retirement at work first and then enjoy the things you love, the certain amount of dollars need to be saved, the time needs to be just right, etc. etc. etc… Consider that all these roadblocks ARE your life. When will you choose to experience them fully, along with all the other passing moments?

Boom, take that, the reality of life is that life is our reality. What has society had to say about that over the centuries, let’s have a gander:

reality1

1. Experiences, not things equal reality.

reality2

2. Ah, those first moments of relationships – phone calls at least once a day, later on, we may move to this: The Sounds of Silence.

reality3

3. One could ask Lady Gaga what happened to the percentages, as a child we live more like 80//20.

reality4

 

4. We are trained from an early age, not to say those things that may hurt another’s feelings. Time to tell a white lie, maybe: Honest.

reality5

5. WTF up!!!!!!!!!!!!!

reality6

6. Søren Aabye Kierkegaard was a Danish philosopher, theologian, poet, social critic and religious author who is widely considered to be the first existentialist philosopher. He wrote critical texts on organized religion, Christendom, morality, ethics, psychology, and the philosophy of religion, displaying a fondness for metaphor, irony and parables. Much of his philosophical work deals with the issues of how one lives as a “single individual”, giving priority to concrete human reality over abstract thinking and highlighting the importance of personal choice and commitment. He was against literary critics who defined idealist intellectuals and philosophers of his time and thought that Swedenborg, Hegel, Goethe, Fichte, Schelling, Schlegel and Hans Christian Andersen were all “understood” far too quickly by “scholars”: Experience.

reality7

7. This insightful quote can certainly make you think about how you value your time.

reality8

8. I had five worst times AKA Pysch hospital admissions, I can so relate to this. The people who hang around are precious: True Colours.

reality9

9. We hear from Soren again, don’t focus on the problems, live life fully: Everybody.

reality10

10. They stick around because they are the people who love you from the bottom of their hearts: That’s what Friends are For.

reality11

11. How’s your search for your reality going?

reality12

12. Have you bruised your knees too often, the trick is to get back up and on the horse again: Try.

reality13

13. Go on, get out there and do it.

reality14

14. And it is said in many ways around the world: Namkeen.

reality15

15. And for the final one today, one I have no idea about.

And the final word from Dale Carnegie – If you believe in what you are doing, then let nothing hold you up in your work. Much of the best work of the world has been done against seeming impossibilities. The thing is to get the work done.

Music for this blogs starts with going back over 50 years with Simon and Garfunkel, then the Chainsmokers followed by Ludivico Einaudi. Then over to our female entries, Kasey Chambers, Dionne Warwick and Pink finishing with our international guest R. D. Burnam.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

namasteflower

Practice creates the Master!!


I remember one of my teachers saying a master was someone who had been alive longer than you had. I never really understood what she meant  until coming across the saying “You are either a teacher  or a student .” Vincent Van Gogh said If one is master of one thing and understands one thing well, one has at the same time, insight into and understanding of many things. So if you could master and learn one thing – what would it be?

Mastery has sort of been stolen by the Law of Abundance market as the way to make a fortune but I believe as Vincent says it relates to each and every area of our lives. How has the world related to it over time, what have the masters themselves said about it:

mastery1

1. The curly headed one, Albert Einstein says that we need to give our all to obtain it, no Netflix for masters.

mastery2

2. From the Buddha to Steven Covey, these quotes over the Ages give you wide choice to achieve Mastery: Know Yourself.

mastery3

3. Mastery is obtained by giving time to something, money cannot buy it for that you, yourself wish to master.

mastery4

4. Gold Medallists do not just happen, they occur from a well-executed plan from an early age to them stepping up on the podium: God’s Plan.

mastery5

5. Passion is also required to achieve mastery, it lives in your heart.

 

mastery6

6. Author of the Classic As a Man Thinketh, another part of the recipe to obtain mastery, Calmness on the journey: A Thousand Years.

mastery7

7. As Vincent says, mastery is obtained by concentrating on a particular field of knowledge which then allows you to obtain it in others.

mastery8

8. When I complete online surveys I never give anybody a score of ten, this quotes points as to why: The End.

mastery9

9. For nearly 80 of his 91 years, Picasso devoted himself to an artistic production that he superstitiously believed would keep him alive, contributing significantly to — and paralleling the entire development of — modern art in the 20th century.

mastery10

10. What a beautiful line of wisdom – Only we can control our appetites and passion, says it all about mastery really: Love Story.

mastery11

11. Where did we go wrong on supporting mastery with our education system? Thank god for the teachers that recognise the gifted ones.

mastery12

12. Explains Mastery perfectly, this quote does –  Tribute to the Best Human Being.

mastery13

13. My brother is a computer Luddite if anything goes wrong with his technology his eyes roll over. But ask him about music and he can answer any question.

mastery14

14. Another part of the recipe of mastery,  acceptance of fear and keep on going, Mention of the word fear equals Jim Carrey’s video: Love or Fear.

mastery15

15. And finally, from one of my favourites, Deepak Chopra, the final part of the recipe for mastery: do not take personal offence.

My master also gave me an exercise to practice she said would help with mastery – Hold an optimistic view of the world – All Day.

Our Music today is two Drake songs in a row, the beautiful Christina Perri, the ever haunting anthem by the Doors, Pop Diva Taylor Swift, a tribute to Bruce Lee, ending with the iconic speech by Jim Carrey.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

namasteflower

Be Bold or Italic, Never Regular!!


I really like the quote in today’s Forward Steps – the fantastic book compiled by Thea Westra: The link to her site. that allows you to take an action, a challenge, read a motivational quote, take a clearing, answer a question and have an affirmation for the day.

The quote is as follows:

I love the phrase: ‘In a world that’s round, it doesn’t make sense to take sides’. So with skills I do not have to position myself against anyone, I become curious about them and I want to teach them about me. When I approach communication and conflict management from that place< I am not butting heads with anyone, I am learning or teaching: Dr Rhoberta Shaler.

To relate to the world in this way seems to me to be an act of boldness, not to but into the run of mill way we are expected to live our day to day existence. How do you relate to boldness, there are some famous quotes on the subject, let’s have a look at them:

bold1

1. My friend and Anam Cara Emeli always reminds me to use the koan: remember to ask, the worst thing they can say is no.

bold2

2. They say one is the loneliest number you will ever know, I say only if it’s about you and you do not provide service to others: One.

bold3

3. Here’s the most famous quote on boldness, the one most people can finish when someone starts it.

bold4

4. Have it in your muesli every morning: Bold.

bold5

5. Dumas won the Pulitzer Prize for history for his six-volume history of Franklin, Critics accuse him of sheathing his boldness when it comes to the well-known relationship Franklin had with his slave Sally Hemings.

bold6

6. If you are going to make mistakes make them bold ones, they allow you to recover in a more audacious way: Space Oddity.

bold7

7. George definitely did this in his own life. Shaw’s expressed views were often contentious; he promoted eugenics and alphabet reform and opposed vaccination and organised religion. He courted unpopularity by denouncing both sides in the First World War as equally culpable.

bold8

8. The latter statement could be called the day your Boldness is born:  You are Alive.

bold9

9. I just had to include this one.

bold10

10. Reminds me of the statement about baby birds, they jump off and learn to fly on the way down: I’ll Fly Away.

bold11

11. Neither does boldness!!

bold12

12. Not knowing what Chamba meant I looked it up. It’s a district in India according to Google, don’t know what it’s got to do with bad business. But I love how he states success can be achieved: Changes.

bold13

13. These are becoming more and more a part of my life as I enter the world of boldness through self-love and self-belief.

bold14

14. For each traveller they are a different love story, we get to be who we want to be in new and wonderful places that are just a name on the map until we get there: Gypsy.

bold15

15. And a friendly reminder what not being bold can cost you.

The clearing for today is Decide on actions, and with as much clarity and boldness as possible. Time to act on these decisions.

Music for today begins with one of Australia’s icons: John Farnham, then rapper Lil Lonnie, the masterful David Bowie, new to me Fragma, the superb Gillian Welch, from the land of movies Shrek and finishes with pop diva Shakira.

Namaste until next time , my dear friends.

namasteflower