Self Awareness and Self Love Matter!!


Up to Section 5 of Dare to Lead, Brene Brown’s exciting new book: Get It Here.

The section is titled Curiosity and Grounded Confidence and begins: “Grounded confidence is the messy process of learning and unlearning, practising and failing, and surviving a few misses. This brand of confidence is not blustery arrogance or posturing or built on bullshit; it’s real, solid, and built on self-awareness and practice. Once we witness how courage can transform the way we lead, we can trade the heavy, suffocating armour that keeps us small for grounded confidence that lifts us up and supports our efforts to be brave.” It’s unreasonable to believe that we can just rip off our self-protection mechanisms and streak through the office. Most of us armour up early in our lives because, as children, we needed to.

Brene then goes on about the paradoxes that elicit vulnerability in leaders and provides this excellent list:

  1. Optimism and Paranoia
  2. Letting chaos reign ( the act of building ) and reining in chaos ( the act of scaling )
  3. Big heart and tough decision making
  4. Humility and fierce resolve
  5. Velocity and quality when building new things
  6. Left brain and Right Brain
  7. Simplicity and Choice
  8. Thinking Global, acting Local
  9. Ambition and attention to detail
  10. Thinking big but starting small
  11. Short-term and long-term
  12. Marathons and sprints, or marathons of sprints in business-building

In a conversation with Dheeraj Pandey, CEO of a Silicon Valley IT company, Dheeraj says the following, “Leaders must learn the skills to hold these tensions and get adept at balancing on the ‘tightrope’ of life. Ultimately, leadership is the ability in the ambiguity of paradoxes and opposites.”

So, what does the world say about paradoxes and opposites, here are a few of my favourite things:

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1. How well do I embrace and opposites, better some days than others, a lifetime practice, methinks?

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2. Reads like lines from a really great song: Radiate.

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3. The gravity man, Sir Isaac Newton, watch out for the apples.

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4. The Light and the Dark, both are needed to transform: I Gotta Feeling.

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5. Anything goes, it is all required in our journey of life.

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6. That’s very Woo Woo, Albert: God Save The Queen.

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7. Fact check, did our favourite POTUS really say this?

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8. What do you say to your soul, I’m practising with I love You for five minutes in the mirror every day: A Whole New World.

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9. Something Judgement 101 does not allow.

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10. The classic reason why opposites attract, they are incomplete without their opposite, how many modalities teach us we need all the types of archetypes, personalities, etc. etc. etc: New Speedway Boogie.

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11. I post Ram Dass daily in Booker Looker land, he is one of my top ten faves on the net.

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12. More light and dark stuff, you can’t deny either for your life to work: Duality.

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13. They are sent to you to learn from them, what you resist persists, an old Landmark statement from the 1990’s that still rings true to this day.

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14. Best known for his book, The Myth of Equality, Wystma, a minister of the gospel helps us come to a deeper understanding of both the origins of these issues and the reconciling role people are called to play as a follower of the gospel. Inequality and privilege are real. The Myth of Equality opens our eyes to realities we may have never realized were present in our society and world. And we will be changed for the better as a result: Glory.

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15. The paradox of being attracted by an opposite, what are yours, mine is booze versus sobriety.

Brene sums it up as follows ” Learning how to rumble with vulnerability is work. And vulnerability never becomes comfortable, but practising means that when a vulnerability is washing over us, we can hear grounded confidence whisper in our ear, ” This is hard and awkward, and uncomfortable. You may not know how it’s turning out, but you are strong and you have practised what it takes to create and hold the space for it.” 

If you haven’t work it out from these two blogs, buy the book. It’s worth it for the free workbook and the glossary alone, not to mention the values list and the posters you get thrown in.

If you loved punk, there is a song for you on today’s playlist. We begin with a newbie for me, Hannah Kerr, then the iconic Black Eyed Peas, then the legend that is Johny Rotten leading the Sex Pistols. Another Disney classic from Alladin. An Aussie legend Courtney Barnett, then rocking out with Slipknot, then a beautifully smooth finish from John Legend: Self Awareness and Self Love Matter.

Spread Love and Respect to All, Everybody Included until next, we meet my dear friends:

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How Poor are You?


It’s that time again, Christmas traditions around the world have been around for hundreds, if not thousands, of years and continue to change as time passes. Whether it’s Christmas in India or a visit from Pere Noel in France, different customs are celebrated around the world, all emphasising time with loved ones as a priority. How much each person spends on Christmas gifts can differ based on the culture they were brought up in and the traditions they need to uphold. Billions of people gather worldwide to celebrate the festive occasion.

Our tradition is opportunity or thrift shop presents, a sustainable way of gift giving that does not add to the ever growing pile of Xmas presents created each year.

But is this exchange really the heart of giving, let’s see what society says about that:

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1. An artist with an extraordinary gift, Pablo Picasso clearly found his, although there are many an individual who would disagree with that statement. His art falls in the love or hate category.

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2. Even though it may not happen at the exact moment you do it, realise you are raising the quality of the planet by lifting others on their journey: Great Spirit.

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3. Robert Brault is a free-lance writer & author who has contributed to magazines and newspapers in the USA for over 40 years. His short thoughts and observations are quoted on thousands of internet sites each day. Some of his most popular books include Round Up the Usual Subjects: Thoughts on Just about Everything, The Second Collection: Thoughts and Other Writings. You can follow him on his personal blog – HTTP://rbrault.blogspot.in.. 

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4. This is making a huge request of people to receive the blessing involved. It could transform your life : Send my Love.

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5. The author of numerous books on success Jim Rohn always included giving in how he told people to attain success. He was not a make a shitload of money for yourself sort of guy.

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6. I was in a cafe the other day having my favourite soy hot chocolate and almond croissant treat the other day when an obvious sufferer of mental health problems asked me to buy her a latte. I did and she kissed me on the head and hand to thank me: Come In from the Cold.

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7. One of the great books ever written , The Tao Te Ching, along with the Zhuangzi, is a fundamental text for both philosophical and religious Taoism, and strongly influenced other schools, such as Legalism, Confucianism, and Chinese Buddhism, which when first introduced into China was largely interpreted through the use of Daoist words and concepts. Many Chinese artists, including poets, painters, calligraphers, and even gardeners, have used the Daodejing as a source of inspiration. Its influence has also spread widely outside East Asia, and it is among the most translated works in world literature.

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8. When was the last time you really felt that you made a difference? You get to say after all: Stand Up.

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9. This could be as simple as a smile or saying hello to a stranger.

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10. My mother , who was a Brown Owl distilled this in all of her children, I am known as the world’s greatest volunteer: Happiness is Helping Others.

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11. I am involved with a Self Development company called Collective Potential. whose target market is 25 to 35-year-olds who have discovered their why in life is not making $100,000 a year. We work with them on discovering their purpose in life tht turns them on again.

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12.Bryant McGill (born November 7, 1969) is an American author, aphorist, speaker and activist in the fields of self-development, personal freedom and human rights.  He walks his talk : Human.

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13. Love in Motion, sounds like a great song title as well as a way to look at life.

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14. This beautiful clip covers why giving is an essential part of a healthy life : Give.

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15. Probably where the title of this blog came from. You do not need a lot of money to give, as long as you have a generous heart people will get you.

So I didn’t mention gift giving much at all did I, that’s because it  is an invention of the capitalist society that is taking over the true meaning of giving. Please don’t forget the original heart-based theme.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

namaste

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Real Heroes don’t wear Capes!


I won a competition when I was very young dressed as a super hero. As you get older you realise that the heroes in life don’t necessarily wear capes. That heroics are much simpler than that, a smile when you feel down, a hug when you feel lonely. a dollar in a cup.

Appreciation of what they do is what people remember, it has been an ongoing battle for me as it was not a strong point in my family as I was growing up. I have to remember to say thank you as it was not something I learnt from an early age.

Acts of appreciation, what does society say about them, lets have a look:

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1. Margaret Elizabeth Cousins, also known as Gretta Cousins (7 October 1878–11 March 1954) was an Irish-Indian educationist, suffragist and Theosophist, who established All India Women’s Conference (AIWC) in 1927. She was the wife of poet and literary critic James Cousins, with whom she moved to India in 1915. She is credited with composing the tune for the Indian National Anthem Jana Gana Mana in February 1919, during Rabindranath Tagore’s visit to the Madanapalle College.

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2. I am not like the millions who think that the Tony Robbins documentary I am not your Guru is a classic. Too me it looks a lot like manipulation but a lot of people I respect swear by him and have done the fire walk : The Tony Robbins Experience.

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3. I still remember the Japanese airline staff member who walked us to the front of the line in Kyoto airport because we were due to miss our flight as we had assumed a flight to Moscow would be international. It was domestic and we could not read the signs in 1990.

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4. Expectations versus acts of Appreciation. How dull has your relationship become when your day to day actions are expected? : Someone Like You!!

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5. This is not so easy to do, a dear friend of my brothers is in hospital at the moment with the possibility she will not see 50, you never expect this.

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6. Bruce Wilkinson is a Christian philosopher and author who has given keynote addresses at major national and international events with stadium audiences of 80,000 or more. He has written more than 60 books that have been translated into 30 languages, including several books that reached the number one spot on the bestseller lists of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. Bruce’s book, The Prayer of Jabez, remains the fastest-selling book in history,  with worldwide sales exceeding 20 million. Scarlet Begonias.

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7. A little known secret that can have you lead a fulfilled life.

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8. The Wonder of you. A lot of songs have been written about this. Here’s the most famous by the King: The Wonder of You.

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9. Aaron Polson currently lives in Lawrence, Kansas with his wife, two sons, and a tattooed rabbit. His stories have featured magic goldfish, monstrous beetles, and a book of lullabies for baby vampires. His work has seen print in Shock Totem, Blood Lite II, and Monstrous with several new stories forthcoming in Shimmer, Space and Time, and other publications. The Saints are Dead, a collection of weird fiction, magical realism, and the kitchen sink, is due from Aqueous Press in 2011. “

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10. These people are rare, we usually marry them or have them as our children. Have you seen that ad were the father announces his death to get his children to come at Christmas. It says a lot about unconditional love. Here’s a disco version: Unconditional Love – Donna Summer.

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11. One of the most famous quotes ever written about appreciation comes from Maya Angelou and it doesn’t even use the word.

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12. When you put your love out there you are giving your power away, it lies within the life within you, the same for flowers, don’t pick them and bring them to an early death : Dead Flowers by Townes.

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13. My friend Daniel started a Facebook page : Daily Gratitude Space for a forum so people could write what they appreciate daily. It has grown to over 1,000 members. Join, its a beautiful thing to do.

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14. Love her or hate her, Mother Teresa’s words are still quoted 20 years after her death. There are many Indians alive today who appreciate what she did for them even though she was considered a  bit narky : Mother Teresa’s Song.

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15. What can you not say about the great man who is Wayne Dyer. Who did he appreciate? Wayne Dyer stated Nisargadatta Maharaj to be his Teacher and cited the quotation, “Love says: ‘I am everything’. Wisdom says: ‘I am nothing’ from a compilation of talks on Shiva Advaita (Nondualism) philosophy I Am That. He was influenced by Abraham Maslow’s concept of self-actualization and by the teachings of Swami Muktananda, whom he considered to be his Master. In his book, Wishes Fulfilled; Mastering the Art of Manifesting, Dr. Dyer also credited Saint Francis of Assisi and the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu as foundational influences in his work.

I appreciate all of you who read my blogs, I am in awe you are from all over the world. I was especially bemused by the person from St. Kitts who read one.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

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Is No iPhone the first step?


I lost my iPhone two days ago, meaning when I am travelling away from my abode I am literally off the grid unless I run into someone I know. At first it felt kind of weird, but I have become more and more used to it. It made me think of a journey my friend took down the length of the Yarra River in my home city of Melbourne : The Comfort of Water

I also remember hearing  about a family who travelled around their country seeking out fellow off gridders:  Off-grid.net .

The quotes I have chosen are directly related to the subject with a few left field ones thrown in for good measure: Lets begin our journey :-

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1. Hollywood actor Ed Begley Jr. could have chosen a life of fast cars and flashy woman. Instead after hearing a speech at the First Earth day he had his aha moment and it transformed his relationship to the planet. Here is a story about his eco-house Live by Example.

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2. Lets have an unplug day a month and build up our off the grid moments from there.

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3. When you go off the grid you give up your attachment to the physical things that drive most people’s lives. You still retain these essential things though.

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4. Mainstream society destroys our basic needs, putting yourself off the grid trains you to be self-sufficient. Here is one of his blogs on The myth of Human Progress.

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5. When we are kids we didn’t know what a dollar meant, try living off one dollar. Here is the impressive 2013 documentary on that exact subject: Living on One Dollar.

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6. I’m sure many of you have visited places that shudder, there is no WiFi connection. I remember these as moments of deep connection with the people who had been brave enough to journey outside the grid.

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7. Vincent Kartheiser, the actor who played Martin in the widely popular Mad Men series announced in 2010 he was taking on Simple Living. He no longer has a car and is slowly giving away everything he owns.

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8. Several years ago I attended an Anti-clutter workshop at my local library. The first question the woman asked who was running it was How many towels do you have. She had people raise their hands from 4 to 30, and yes there were people who had 30 for two people. 

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9. Known for diverse roles such as Hellboy and Clay, president of the Motorcycle club in Sons of Anarchy, Ron Perlman is another actor who has joined the growing umber of actors who have followed this path.

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10. All the characters in J.R.R. Tolkien’s books would be considered off the grid. As he states, not all those wander are Lost!!

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11. The quote is from a Maine organisation in the United States, but the link I have added is for off the Grid living in my home country, Australia: Is it possible?

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12. I became curious writing this as to how many people live off the grid, this article states it is as many as 1.7 billion. Its informative and well written: There are lots of us.

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13. I believe it would take something special like Fire in my Belly to live totally off the grid, I am very attached to my internet.

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14. You can’t buy the smiles with things that these simple enjoyments put on children’s faces.

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15. Earthing is seen by many as being an alternative, even maybe hippy term. But the simple act of walking on the earth barefoot is having more and more evidence support it for its health benefits. Definitely off the grid, the wearing of no shoes. This article points them out: Barefoot for better Health.

I get my iPhone back in 3 days but think I will take on the practice off going out without it and see what ensues on my path to off the grid living from there.

Namaste my dear friends and speak to you Thursday, I was a day late again as it is up to my sister what day we go op-shopping with my mum.

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On the Road Again!!


One date late, I was on a Monday op shopping journey with my sister from Tasmania who was over for the week and my regular Tuesday companions my Melbourne sister and my eighty eight year old mum.

I came to work and saw the headline ” My Journey, My Lucky Country ” an entirely different sort of outing, a refugee tale. It made me think what did the word journey mean to an individual was it one of the road, an inner journey of the body and mind, time spent with friends or an entirely different interpretation.

The 15 quotes I have chosen cover many different takes on it, so lets begin our journey:

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1. Dr. Steve Maraboli is a life-changing Speaker, best-selling Author, and Behavioural Science Academic. His quotes and videos have become a social media sensation, being shared by millions across the globe and earning him the designation of, “The most quoted man alive.” On journeying he states that one needs to let go of what occurred yesterday to release the beauty of today’s.

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2. Rainer Maria Rilke  was born in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, travelled extensively throughout Europe, including Russia, Spain, Germany, France, Italy, and in his later years settled in Switzerland—settings that were key to the genesis and inspiration for many of his poems, yet he believed the main journey was an inner one.

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3. One of the great hits of the first great musical festival Woodstock was Canned Heats epic On the Road Again Canned Heats anthem to the Journey.

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4. Ernest Hemingway , winner of the 1954 Nobel Prize for Literature, had an amazing life’s journey. Married four times, he reported from the Spanish Civil War and was present at the Normanby Landing and the liberation of Paris during World War Two. He certainly lived the ethos of his above quote.

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5. In these hectic times of Internet, Facebook and many other forms of Social Media, the journey often feels more like a race. Try to slow down and find the joy that is available on the journey of life. Remember to smell the Roses.

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6. How often are we reminded that the journey is not always on a straight lineal path. For me it has been mental health episodes. What have been your falls?

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7. My brother left our family home and travelled to Western Australia without notice at the tender age of 17. My parents at the time did not understand this at all. I think we all have incidents in our life’s journey that are not understood by others. They are not meant to be. Its our journey and we mostly know why we are doing it.

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8. All the books we are read as children have a happy ending. Yet in our lives this is not always the case, we have much more interesting stories to tell from our journey.

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9. “Harness the power of today. Seize the blessings of today! Make something happen, enhance your life, make someone laugh, help a friend, love, love, love!”  

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10. I have been training myself recently to be in the present, it is quite remarkable how different your experience of life is when you exist from this paradigm,      all experiences are more enjoyable.

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11.   If the Earth formed at midnight and the present moment is the next midnight, 24 hours later, modern humans have been around since 11:59:59pm—1 second.  And if human history itself spans 24 hours from one midnight to the next, 14 minutes represents the time since Christ. This put our lifetimes in perspective, remember to enjoy the time you are here.

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12. Big Tony point out that to be able to experience a journey you must begin it. Many people choose to never do this.

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13. Many people just a few years older than me have been passing recently including a good friends father totally unexpectedly. Don’t forget the people in your life who mean a lot to you. Assuming they will be there tomorrow is just that, an assumption.

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14. That’s what friends are for Dionne Warwicks divine tune on the subject.

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15. And finally Snoopy has the last say, Lets bring in Willy Nelson as well On the Road Again, to me this is so true. My friends and family have been the best part of the journey.

So how ever we travel our journey, as an entrepreneur, a Nine to Fiver, a sporting hero, a stay at home mum all the advice seems to be enjoy it as much as you can because we are here for a short while.

Namaste until Thursday my dear friends.

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It’s not about selfishness—it’s about sanity!!


Was in a quandary what to write today’s blog about when a friends video blog and this fantastic article Authentic Self Care appeared on my News Feed.

It raised in me memories over my life when I had not done this for myself. The times I would go to work with no sleep and fall asleep at my desk when I was meant to be managing Fourteen people. The times I would not take notice of my depression and anxiety returning and end up in hospital again. The times I would not be in contact with the people who loved me, my mother once sent me a post card with a picture of a ship on it asking if this was the ship I was returning to Australia in as she had not heard from me in 3 months. There are many other examples over my 60 years but I hope you get the point I’m making.

I have spent the last five years becoming more in contact with what is self care for me and am much more aligned with it these days. I gave up drinking, I declared a day the 40th Anniversary of commencing, thanked it and gave up, I investigated healing modalities and settled on Tai Chi as my practice, and I go Op Shopping with my Mum and sister every Tuesday.

So , onto the 15 quotes I have chosen to discuss the sacred practice of Self Care – Here we go.

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1. I remember those times earlier in my life when it was about Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll. That life was about me and my pleasure. I have since learnt that Service is what provides true satisfaction. Some of my friends didn’t make it through.

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2. The glass half full quandary is a popular way to look at how you look at life. The empty vessel is a state you do not really want to get to, what it does to your health can be devastating.

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3. William S. Burroughs, one of the most politically trenchant, culturally influential, and innovative artists of the 20th century speaks to the power of relaxation in this oft quoted statement.

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4. Never forget to add a sense of humour to your Self Care principles, Snoopy has something to say on the matter.

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5. What affect does does how you Self Care have on you, It shows the world how you are willing to be treated, so choose it wisely.

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6. I handed this poster out at a Mental Health talk we gave at our centre last year, people still come up and thank me for it stating that it is on their Fridge door. it’s a great list of practices that can make profound changes in your health.

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7. Guilty as charged, I was a Yes person for Years, Byron Katie is known for her generosity in having a website that enables you to do The Work for nothing. It is profoundly healing and transformational. 

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8. I like to pamper myself, be pampered by others and to pamper others. It is an excellent way to return to the heart, to me this is the journey we are on as we travel towards the time we are no longer here this time.

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9. Sacredness is holy divinity, promising yourself to honour your own well being  should be on your personal Ten Commandments.

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10. I fill out my Desire Map daily planner every morning here’s the link Daily Planner, one of the five sections is Well Being, another Essence and Spirituality. These are just as important as work you have to do. All work and no Play makes us dull boys and girls.

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11. I enjoy Mind Maps, they look swirly and a bit chaotic, which self care can be some times. Give it a go for your prescription for Self Care. A resource for this is the magnificent book by Lissa Rankin The Fear Cure.

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12. Make a habit of Excellence in your Self Care, keep on doing it daily.

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13. Blogger turned New York Times best-selling author and speaker Mandy Hale is affectionately known around the world as “The Single Woman.” With a heart to inspire single women to live their best lives and to never, ever settle. Her advice is to never give away being the source of your own happiness AKA self care to another.

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14. My friend Emeli Paulo from Collective Potential, creator of the transformational RAW workshops and True Grit weekends, has us go around at the beginning of meetings and say I am enough to empower the space and get rid of the stories we have come in with. I recommend the practice if you attend or organise meetings or workshops, Its powerful.

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15. Here is a mind map that I have followed for several years. At times I forget part of it and when life starts feeling dazed and confused I look it up and see what it is that I have let slip and put it back in place.

Writing this has reinforced for me the importance of including Self Care in your daily practices. Waking up, Showering, having a coffee, rushing off to work, Getting home, making dinner, Watching TV , crashing out, repeated daily is a formulae for disaster.

Here’s to a healthy dose of Self Care daily. 

Namaste until next time, my Dear Friends

Namaste

What is Clutter?


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Clutter to me is books, I cannot go past a good bargain and as I take my 87 year old mum op shopping every week its really easy to buy one or two a week. I am also a member of the Sunday Assembly book club in Melbourne Australia so there is another book a month. Living in a one bedroom apartment this means that I have several piles of them as I brought most of the books I had from the house I was sharing in Northcote and they fill my book shelf plus some.

I chose the above picture because my  desktop sometimes looks like this, I use pictures a lot on Facebook when I comment on someone else’s post, I don’t understand why people share and comment with a heart or something like that which gives you no idea what appealed to you about the post. If social media is about sharing I think people should put in the time to contribute to another/others. I recently created 6 files and categorised all my pictures and files on desktop, heaps easier.

So what else can be cluttered, I recently attended a talk by Mary Anne Bennie, http://www.paperflow.com.au which was fascinating in the way she got people to see how we keep unnecessary things in our homes. The first question she asked was “How many towels do you own’, The answers went from two to twenty, Mary Anne asked the person who replied twenty, what do you do with them. The person lived with her husband and the children had left home, Mary Anne pointed out that they could never use more than four, One in the bathroom each, and one in the wash. She moved through each area of the house and sprung me in the clothes cabinet, I have about twenty shirts, same question, why did I need twenty shirts? Off to the op/thrift shop for some of them. It takes a breakthrough to give your precious possessions away and I am working on it on a daily basis.

I recently met a musician who has gone off the grid, moved out of his home and lives out of his car and on the goodwill of his friends. He has been doing this for  over a year and the way he spoke about it on the night I met him his sense of freedom was extraordinary. I’m not up to this yet but good on him for showing it can be done.

The mind also gets cluttered with the fast paced life we live these days, constant information via phones, computers, media, hardly a break from it if we allow it to happen. I have recently returned to my meditation practice as well as my Tai Chi practice. i find this switching off of the world liberating from the constant chatter in my head. My 60 year old legs do not appreciate the lotus position but I have noticed the slowing of the chatter that clutters my mind.

So where is your clutter? Take some action to  free your self from its hold. Namaste to next time my friends.