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

You Will Not Know How Powerful You Are!!


Often when we talk about helping poor communities, we’re actually working not to save a life but to offer more choices. That’s how we improve our well-being – by enabling choice.

The above statement is from Seth Godin’s inspiring little book: We Are All Weird: The Rise of Tribes and The End of Normal: Link to Buy It. I like the testimonials – “This is a book about giving a damn. It’s about caring about what you do and (as important) who you do it for. Professional apathy is a relic of a dead era and, as Seth teaches brilliantly, a mentality you cling to at great peril. Everyone with a pulse and a paycheck should be living, We Are All Weird – Chris Taylor, founder, Actionablebooks.com.

But it is Sherold Barr’s testimonial, who describe themselves as a  Master Coach and Freedom Fighter that impressed me the most: “This book will resonate with anyone who wants to lead a tribe, be authentic, dance to the beat of their own music, and make a difference in the world. If your inner critic (the resistance) has been telling you that you are not enough, your work is not good enough, and who do you think you are to make a difference then buy this book. Let your freak flag fly high.”

So how does the world present enabling choice? It actually goes to many places and here are some of them:

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1. How often do we forget that the person we must first enable is the one looking back at us in the mirror?

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2. Rosemary Edghill (born 1956) is an American writer and editor. Some of her work has appeared under her original name, eluki bes shahar (lower case intentional). Her primary genres are science fiction and fantasy, but she began by writing Regency romance novels. The publishers of her first novel felt that “Eluki Bes Shahar” (her legal name at the time) sounded insufficiently English to attract readers, so she adopted the pen-name Rosemary Edghill, which became her legal name in 2004. Not really an enabling choice when you think about it: Choice.

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3. Relationship experts say that choice has nothing to do with who you fall in love with. I think that is what this quote is pointing out. Our heart doesn’t seem very logical at the time.

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4. Those people that are no longer in your life for an excellent reason, they didn’t stay around long enough to discover how truly valuable you were: Don’t Give Up

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5. Victor Hugo is the poet my brother took his new name from when he changed his given name to create a new identity.

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6. It’s the behaviour that rankles, stopping one person will not cease the violence committed against women by men. Its behavioural change that is required not naming the perpetrators: Bon Appetit.

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7. It’s become less and less that I wake up these days thinking of the opposite of this.

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8. You can choose to make a difference with your life or not, really, really, truly:  Where’s The Love.

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9. A title like Chief Executive Officer does not make you a leader, try Nobel Peace Prize Winner or something in that ilk.

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10. Sammy Davis Junior rose to the top of the entertainment tree in America at a time when African Americans had to sit at the back of the bus in most states, he had a commitment: Mr Bojangles.

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11. How often has it been said a particular person had the ability, but that person never chose to utilise it. That’s why it is the people who make the tough choices rise to the top.

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12. One may say, impossible, because they have to want to, you can not make them do it: Tough Lover.

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13. In psychotherapy and mental health, enabling has a positive sense of empowering individuals or a negative sense of encouraging dysfunctional behaviour. One must choose to give up the latter definition and allow the person to do what they need to so they can move forward.

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14. Don’t be forced into a hasty decision, what occurs in your life is your choice, not others. Unfortunately, I think 90% of the human race forget this at times: Thinking Out Loud.

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15. If you are making no decisions in your life there is nothing that is important to achieve, so how can your day to day actions be significant?

Today, some people can make a living as painters or professional bowlers or even poets. There are ten million households with a net worth of more than a million dollars. And there are millions (perhaps a billion) people who make enough money from their day job that they’re able to pursue something they enjoy with their spare time. More and more often, the thing they enjoy is something weird. Choice is what we choose.

The playlist begins with Bollywood superstars Miss Pooja and Manjit Rupowalia, followed by Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush with one of the great duets. Kate Perry adds some Pop Diva, then the Black Eyed Peas sing a sultry number before Sammy Davis Junior takes us back to another era. Christine Aguilera and Ed Sheeran close out the list: You Will Not Know How Powerful You Are.

Namaste until next time, 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

 

As Soon As I Saw You!!


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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6, Simply, Appreciation 101: Thinking out Loud.

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

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

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

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

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11. Repeat after me, LOVE YOUR LIFE!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

namasteflower

 

 

I want you to take off your Clothes!!


Forgot Brene again, so instead of Daring Greatly we get to look at sexuality and vulnerability today. I am doing a course called Dancing Eros for Men: Info Link. at the moment and it is transforming me molecule by molecule. I cannot talk about the practices, only my experience of them. last night we did the one that prudish Rod was going to survive, it was around our unleashed sexuality. I rated myself about two out of ten in this area at the beginning and moved to about a four.

What I did discover was that what had turned me prudish was an event that one could relate to as a males ultimate fantasy. I used to hang around the Rythm and Blues scene in Melbourne as a door bitch and a sometimes sound guy. We did a gig south of the river, Melbourne is split into Southside and Northside by the Yarra River and you have a favourite side. I lived north of the river and eventually got home late in the morning after drugs and alcohol. Comes a knock on the door ten minutes later, it’s the amazing looking woman from the gig. Her – I am here to fuck you. We did, I never knew her name or saw her again. I felt a deep shame about this even though she had instigated it and left the music scene never to return soon after.

So what are you vulnerability edges, what have people said about it over the ages, here we go:

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1. Possibly one of the worlds most famous TED talks, the book I meant to bring Daring Greatly is what Brene based this TED talk on.

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2. It’s not about the bodies that take part, its so much more: Sex with Me.

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3. Hot Chocolate – You sexy thing!!

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4. Pleasure me and you as part of the deal or if you are polyamory as many as you feel like: Is This Love.

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5. I am learning this more and more in Dancing Eros. I get to see how really, truly I have shut these areas down in my life, and yet they are a crucial part of who I am.

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6. Courageously show up and you will get what you need in all areas of your life, including your sexuality: Thinking Out Loud.

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7. As true as 50 is the new 30, or in my case 63 is the new 30.

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8. Self Love 101. master this and you become one sexy motherfucker: We R who we R.

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9. I think I’m one of these, will I change from Dancing Eros?

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10. Nudism is a natural state, negative thoughts about it are clearly not: Show me your Pussay.

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11. Handle the body to body stuff, then go for this. Yes, Please.

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12. the founder of psychoanalysis, a clinical method for treating psychopathology through dialogue between a patient and a psychoanalyst. Hence the creation of the patient couch: Vulnerable.

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13. More from the fabulous Brene, after all, she is the Queen of the subject.

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14. How many types of sexual are there, many to chose from these days: Demisexuality.

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15. What would the world be like if we all walked on this earth letting ourselves be truly seen?

So I have quite a journey still if I am ever to feel the pure joy of ten out of ten in this area, although I think a little bot is sneaking in, nanoseconds of it, time will tell.

The playlist for today begins with Rihanna being hot and sexy, followed by a classic from Bob Marley, then the uber raunchy Kesha. Lords of Acid then put it in your face, finishing with a milder Roxette and an info video on Demisexuality.

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:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

namasteflower