How to Communicate Like A Buddhist!!


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

namasteflower

Never, Never, Never Give Up.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Namaste until next time, my dear friends:

namasteflower

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

 

 

Let Yourself Be Silently Drawn!!


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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9. What happens to us that we forget this?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

namasteflower

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

 

Cats, as you know are impervious to threats!!


Yes, the blog title did appear as a quote for giving some things up in Google images and I fell in love with it because it is so true. page 114 under Perspective in Marc and Angel’s book Getting Back to Happy: Here’s the link. The title is We have to give up some things to get what we ultimatley want in life: Marc and Angel write, This might be one of the hardest truths to swallow, and that;s why we mention it several times throughout this book. We have to say no to good things to be able to say yes to important things. We simply can’t do it all. So be mindful, and choose wisely. What you choose to focus on grows stronger in your life. At every moment, thousands of little things are competing for your attention. All of these fall into two categories: things that are priorities and things that are not.

So, what are your priority things versus your things that are not? For each of us they are profoundly and subtly different on each day. What have we said about what we need to give up to fit in those things that deserve our priority, here’s a few goes at it:

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1. I regretted not travelling more in my youth, now my body is not so sure about climbing mountain peaks and thin air like in Nepal.

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2. When were you last broken down? It doesn’t feel good but you are still here walking the path one step at a time: Break Free.

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3. Is your life over because those bad things happened to you. The answer is no, you are still on this planet to fulfil your destiny.

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4. Being patient, believing and never giving up, the recipes to your dreams: Don’t Give Up.

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5. Time after Time, the journey to greatness.

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6. I am accused of smiling far too much: Make me Smile.

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7, I keep thinking about my Intercultural slogan for the  new world paradigm: Love and respect for All, Everybody Included.

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8. From the great philosopher Ms. Unknown comes the great line: Success is failure turned inside out: Teardrops.

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9. I have not given up on you, remember to breathe next time we meet.

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10 Put on the glasses to read this one. Ten things to do at number 10: Fast Car.

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11. The grandfather of the positivity movement, Dale Carnegie reminds us of a poignant fact.

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12. Faith

 a : allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty

  • lost faith in the company’s president
b (1) : fidelity to one’s promises

(2) : sincerity of intentions

  • acted in good faith
2 a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God
(2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion

b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof

  • clinging to the faith that her missing son would one day return
(2) : complete trust

3 : something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs

  • the Protestant faith

on faith

: without question

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13. It is one of the most awesome things in the world, because it is known as unconditional love.

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14. I spent 8 years as a devout buddhist  praying every day, some of the things in my life now were’nt in the pictures I was imagining: Black Hole Sun.

 

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15. Mary Anne Evans known by her pen name George Eliot, was an English novelist, poet, journalist, translator and one of the leading writers of the Victorian era. Back in the 18th century women didn’t write books.

The point Marc and Angel make finishes with these words: Focus on the few key things that are most important for you to succeed today – to take another small step forward. And too remember that giving up other things isn’t just about making small immediate sacrifices; it’s also about gradually  gaining the resources you need to do something significant. If you want to achieve an important goal or outcome in your life, you have to give up the things that conflict with it. That doesn’t man you have to intentionally suffer. it just means you can’t have it all – you have ot sacrafice something that you value less than whatever it is to you ultimately want to achieve.

 

The playlist for today comes from a different method, the first six songs followed each other on Youtube and the last is a beautiful tribute to someone who gave up, Chris Cornell. Pop diva Ariana Grande, Pop icons Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush are followed by 70’s star Steve Harley. Then on to the 80’s with Womack and Womack and Tracy Chapman. then we return to this century with Adele and Norah Jones.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

namasteflower

 

 

Excuses will always be There!!!


Kate Swoboda writes in her excellent book, The Courage Habit: Here’s the link., What are Stories? Stories are internal narratives and assumptions that we make about how the world operates. But, here’s the important part: stories might not be objectively true. They are your lens on life and, like a pair of sunglasses can change how you see the world. The story you put on your experience has everything to do with whether you see yourself as a victim or a survivor, whether an experience is dangerous or an opportunity, and whether you have the capacity to develop more courage if you are just not very courageous.

What stories have you made up and accepted that stop you from doing those deepest wishes you have had all your life. The world has had a lot to say about limiting beliefs, so let’s begin that journey:

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1. I first heard this expression in my Anam Cara, Emeli Paulo’s RAW workshop, always remember you are Enough.

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2. Remember when you used to believe in dragons and unicorns, what happened: Changing your Limits.

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3. When is that possible while I have all these things to do today, it’s a Nike situation, do it now!!

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4. There is that saying, whispering sweet nothings, Isn’t it time we changed nothing to something: Careless Whispers.

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5. You have to guess what some of these empowering beliefs are as you can not quite make them out, what do you think they are?

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6. While sitting alone on his cushion, Adyashanti had a classic kensho, or awakening experience, in which he “penetrated to the emptiness of all things and realized that the Buddha I had been chasing was what I was: Love No Limit.

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Where do you come on the scale, perhaps you discuss the non-real people our TV screens toss at us via reality TV every day.

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8. Didn’t all quite fit in, my vote is for Is no box: Little Boxes.

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9. I have many positive signs on my walls, hadn’t thought of using my clothesline.

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10. Bring on the Gorgeous for me, love the Gorgeous: Gorgeous.

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11. One step forward or one step back, just don’t stay stuck where you are for a very long period.

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12. Of course, Guatama had something to say about limiting Beliefs: An Unguarded Moment.

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13. And here are limited beliefs playmates that quell your happiness.

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14. I often dream of the South African plains and being a Lion: The Lion Sleeps Tonight.

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15. What would or could you do if you didn’t know it was impossible? I would make the world paradigm, Love and Respect for All, Everyone Included.

These quotes show exactly why it’s important to examine the Stories that we inherently assume to be true. You could ask if it’s possible to cjange your stories? The answer. I have known many people who have shown me it is possible to consciously choose another story. Consciously choosing your stories is a matter of where you  put your attention and what you decide to make things mean.

Music and words for today starts with some Wayne J. Dyer wisdom, followed by a fantastic George Michael anthem. Then a love song from Mary J. Blige and back in time to Pete Seeger. Then my favourite pop diva Taylor Swift, an iconic Aussie band, The Church many  of you willl not have heard of and finishing with a street Acapella ensemble, Alcapella Soul.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

namasteflower