I don’t want Life to imitate Art!!


What obstacles do you have in your life and what do you do about them? Do you run from them, work out a way around them, or do what it takes to overcome them. In his insightful book ” The Obstacle is the Way: The timeless art of Turning Trials into Triumph.”: Get it Here.  Ryan Holiday writes:

“WHAT IS PERCEPTION? It’s how we see and understand what occurs around us—and what we decide those events will mean. Our perception can be a source of strength or of great weakness. If we are emotional, subjective, and short-sighted, we only add to our troubles. To prevent becoming overwhelmed by the world around us, we must, as the ancients practised, learn how to limit our passions and their control over our lives. It takes skill and discipline to bat away the pests of bad perceptions, to separate reliable signals from deceptive ones, to filter out prejudice, expectation, and fear. But it’s worth it, for what’s left is the truth. While others are excited or afraid, we will remain calm and imperturbable. We will see things simply and straightforwardly, as they truly are—neither good nor bad. This will be an incredible advantage for us in the fight against obstacles.”

We ALWAYS have a choice as to how we respond to any given situation. Between stimulus and response, there’s always a choice. We want to choose wisely. How has society written about overcoming obstacles over the decades, let’s take a journey:

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1. Time to check in with that part of you that embodies your essence, your spirit, your angel guide, etc., etc…

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2. Love that description: The Fear and The Mess, you and your friends are here to handle that: 500 Miles.

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3. Remembered more for his insightful quotes, American career politician Frank Clark points out that a life led without challenges will not take you far.

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4. If you read any biography of the great ones, whichever century they came from, the major content is what they had to overcome that made it worth living for: You’ve Gotta Fight.

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5. In 2014, Jordan became the first billionaire player in NBA history. He is the third-richest African-American, behind Robert F. Smith and Oprah Winfrey.

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6. You can leave port and the sea will be flat as a tack, over the horizon are the thirteen-foot waves that make you a great sailor: Sailing. 

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7. An exercise, list the things you can now do you couldn’t a year ago.

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8. You shall overcome, One Day: We Shall Overcome.

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9. Garth Stein became famous for writing a book called The Art of Racing in the Rain,  the novel follows the story of Enzo, a race car-obsessed dog who believes he will be reincarnated as a human. While his owner, race car driver Denny Swift, teaches him about the art of racing, most of Enzo’s ideas and knowledge— including the Mongolian legend that a dog who is prepared will be reincarnated in its next life as a human come from watching television.

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10. Want radical responsibility in your life, take on more challenges: Don’t Give Up.

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11. You, You or You, choose which one works for you.

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12. Raised by his mother after his parents divorced at an early age, In 1989, Hawke made his breakthrough appearance in Peter Weir’s Dead Poets Society, playing one of the students taught by Robin Williams’s inspirational English teacher: Believe In Yourself.

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13. Yes, they were meant to be there so you could learn the lesson.

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14. Not 42, but an equally empowering distinction: Everybody.

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15. When you’re happy and you know it, overcome your obstacles and turn them into a challenge.

 

Overcomes obstacles by declaring them as challenges, It’s a beautiful idea. Psychologists call it adversarial growth or post-traumatic growth. “That which doesn’t kill me makes me stronger” is not a cliché but fact.

The struggle against an obstacle inevitably propels the fighter to a new level of functioning. The extent of the struggle determines the extent of the growth. The obstacle is an advantage, not adversity. The enemy is any perception that prevents us from seeing this.”

Today’s playlist contains four songs that can rightly be called anthems due to their popularity back in the day, a gospel ditty, some spoken word and finishing with a love song. The Proclaimers, The Beastie Boys and Rod Stewart lead off with three of the anthems. Joan Baez slips in for some gospel then Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush remind us what not to do. Some spoken word by Eric Thomas culminating with pop diva Ingrid Michaelson makes for an enjoyable listening experience: I don’t want life to Imitate Art.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends

namasteflower

The Power of Hope!!


I haven’t written a  political blog for a long time but I am reading the inspirational story of Kon Karapanagiotidis, CEO of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre here in Melbourne, Australia. The ASRC, as it is known is a  refugee centre which receives no government funding who assists refugees who have nowhere else to go as there are people placed on our streets with minimal or no funding at all due to the harsh immigration policies of our federal government towards asylum seekers. Today, they are the largest independent human rights organisation for refugees and people seeking asylum, delivering more services on the ground than any other independent asylum seeker organisation in the country. Our work on the frontline with people seeking asylum informs our practice and enables us to effectively advocate for, and alongside people with lived experience.

The Official title of the book is The Power of Hope or: How Community, Love and Compassion can change our World: Link to buy it. It is the amazing tale of how Kon, himself from a refugee family in Australia came to set up this amazing organisation that has helped thousands of refugees survive in a country that has made the words asylum seeker dirty words.

So what is the official definition of the term Asylum Seeker, here it is:  a person who, from fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, social group, or political opinion, has crossed an international frontier into a country in which he or she hopes to be granted refugee status. 

How does the world speak about these two words, let’s have a look:

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1. There are those rare people who have existed on earth who can hold values as high as these, Martin Luther King was one of them.

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2. Labels are used to make people forget this, especially by mainstream media and governments: Human.

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3. There is not a choice between staying behind and taking a bullet and getting on a rickety boat to seek asylum.

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4. Often a family has to decide which member of a family to send to seek asylum as they cannot afford the exorbitant rates that money grabbing people such as boat smugglers demand people to seek safety, how would you feel if you had to leave your daughter behind.: The Best Day.

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5. There are people running our country who have this fear and shame in their policy decisions.

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6. There is a particular minister, Peter Dutton, who is digging a very deep grave for the reputation of our country worldwide: Set Fire to The Rain.

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7. The two largest words say it all really, Human Rights.

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8. This statement from ancient Greece sums up how mainstream media reports asylum seeking in our country these days: Believe Me.

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9. Especially if your destination was Australia by boat, it means 5 years in a detention centre, including your children.

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10. Especially if they are a fascist right-wing government as holds sway in Australia regarding asylum seekers: Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay.

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11. Considered the founder of modern nursing, Florence has captured truly where our government has taken the boat arrival discussion in our country.

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12. Kon has transformed a lot of ordinary Australian into non-spectators regarding the human rights of the people who are besmirched as boat people by our mainstream media courtesy of the evil media magnate Rupert Murdoch: Get Up, Stand Up.

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13. Had to sneak in the worst long-term refugee cruelty, seeing Israeli snipers deliberately shoot children brought tears to my eyes, and I do not cry.

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14. And what can we do about it, this group of school children spent a night in this cage to show their solidarity and disgust for the situations on the islands where children are held on a long-term basis: Who I Am.

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15. Warsan Shire is a 30-year-old British writer, poet, editor and teacher, who was born to Somali parents in Kenya, East Africa. In 2013 she was awarded the inaugural Brunel University African Poetry Prize, chosen from a shortlist of six candidates out of a total 655 entries. Her words “No one leaves home unless/home is the mouth of a shark”, from the poem “Conversations about Home (at a deportation centre)”, have been called “a rallying call for refugees and their advocates”.

So I will finish with Kon’s words on the back cover of his book: “I hope you take from this book the message that we all matter. That there is a place for all of us. That once we know our own voice, live the values close to our hearts and follow our dreams, we can be unstoppable. Hope is only exhausted if we forsake ourselves, otherwise, no one can take our hope from us. It is both our sanctuary and our destiny to live a life with love, belonging, connection and community.” Thank you Kon Karapanagiotidis, you rock!!

Two classics amongst the songs today, we begin with the fine voice of Rag N’ Bone Man, two pop divas follow, Taylor Swift and Adele. Then a rapper new to me, Fort Minor. The superb Otis Redding and Bob Marley finishing with the Disney interpretation of Natasha Bedingfield. Here’s the playlist: The Power of Hope.

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

H.O.P.E. – Hold On, Pain Ends


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

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

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

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1. Experiences, not things equal reality.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

namasteflower

All you need to get started!!


I attended a free workshop called Present Your Message by my friend and old choir leader Richard Lawton last night, he is known as the Voice Doctor having been an actor, theatre director, singing coach and presentation coach for over twenty years. He has written a book called Raise Your Voice: Transforming How You Speak, Sing and Present – the book’s website.

When I was in Soulsong, that’s the choir’s name we used to do 17th-century french line dancing as the warmup as well as German drinking songs to the tune of Beethoven’s Ninth.

Richards ability to get you out of your head when speaking in public is remarkable because as we all know, this is a human beings greatest fear.

He asked who likes hearing the sound of our voice being played back, one out of twenty people put their hand up. Then we had an enquiry into why we thought that was the case because if he had asked children the numbers would have been reversed.

Where did we lose the love of our voice, when did we make that decision and what does society have to say about the power of the voice:

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1. How many people do you have in your life that this happens with? These are the ones you trust.

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2. Don’t let your inner voice be one of your main hecklers, there are plenty of others whose opinions do this for us. Hands on heart and step forward courageously: The Voice.

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3. What do you want the Universe to hear, for me, it’s Love and Respect for all: Everybody Included.

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4. Possibly the sexiest voice in the world, Tom is a fine example of someone who fully expresses his voice: Kiss.

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5. Someone who did not listen to the inner critic, judge and censor that lives within us all, Malala has created a worldwide movement, do you think you can?

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6. Laurie Halse Anderson writes children and teenage books that make them think as well as battling censorship and the need for diversity in publishing: Express Yourself.

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7. You do the world an injustice when you withhold your truth because you feel they might get upset.

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8. Perhaps he would have made a better opera singer than an emperor, in the end, he wasn’t too great at that: Best Day of My Life.

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9. When I read his name, I must confess the words to The Year of the Cat entered my head.

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10. Echo has five different meanings in the online dictionary, I think what this quote is talking about relates to this one: one who closely imitates or repeats another’s words, ideas, or acts The Voice Within.

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11. I’m sure many of you have seen Wild, Wild, West, the doco on Netflix that belittles Osho and his followers. My take on it, Everybody has Shadow and Light: I relate to the wisdom and freedom that his words and insights provide for humanity.

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12. Remember their opinion isn’t about you, It’s always a reflection of the person saying it: Ironic.

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13. So when you are about to present to 2,000 people you are imaging all of them to be naked this is the voice to listen to.

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14. Or another way of saying it is, you can’t get the moment back. Hand on Heart, stride forward powerfully and say what has to be said: Opportunity.

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15. And of course, the last one must be the most serious and profound.

I mentioned the Judge, the Critic and the Censor under one of the quotes. Richard says these are the three characters that take our vocal power away. The Judge will give you a mark out of ten (usually three or less). The Critic will tell you that not only is this rubbish, but it’s the same rubbish you did last time and the time before. The Censor will tell you to keep your head down, keep quiet and wait till it all goes away.

So how do we get past this, my recommendation is BUY THE BOOK.

Music for this blog is one of Australia’s icons, John Farnham, The sexy Tom Jones, the ever eternal Madonna, newbies American Authors, the versatile Christine Aguilera, The woman who played God – Alanis Morrisette and ends with the sultry Sia.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends

namasteflower

Be Bold or Italic, Never Regular!!


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

The quote is as follows:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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9. I just had to include this one.

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

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11. Neither does boldness!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Namaste until next time , my dear friends.

namasteflower

I’m going to see the World!!


How do you see the world? Gabrielle Bernstein says you can change the way through the statement – When i lean on certainty and faith I change my mind about the World I See. What does she  mean by this statement? Is it that when you believe in what you believe in you do not have to fall for what mainstream media is trying to push down your throat what you are meant to believe about what goes on day to day.

Let’s have a look at ways to do this, there are many:

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1. Do you open up your creativity to see the many different ways that it permits you to relate to the extraordinary journey that our lives are.

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2. I recently learnt that I had very western values about the Chinese culture when I became an English tutor for three Chinese mothers. I learnt as much each lesson about China as they did about the English language each lesson. It’s a great way to find out how sheltered how you see the world is: Curious.

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3. I watched a documentary about Romania, the host was appearing on a fashion reality show as thousands of people were protesting on the streets because the government were trying to legitimise corruption.

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4. How much do we owe to the photographers that travel the world and capture the images that make us go : I’ve never thought that way about that place. Alex Sattler is one of them: Photograph.

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5. I Think Maya is giving permission to young women to listen to their hearts and not what the fashion magazines tell them is their role in life with this statement.

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6. Dali and Picasso see the world very differently to a landscape or portrait artist. Yet each is revealing his soul on the canvas: Art for Arts Sake.

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7. I was in Leningrad the year before the Berlin Wall came down and Communism ended in the Soviet Union, the people we meant said they loved Russia, but they just made a mistake 70 years ago, Now known as St. Petersburg, it is a beautiful city.

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8. My sister takes thousands of photo’s when she travels the world, I don’t think one of them is of the local airport: Leaving on a Jet Plane.

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9. You don’t need to leave your lounge room, to have these if you are , curious that is. Although I imagine that will not be the case.

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10. Shaw’s expressed views were often contentious; he promoted eugenics and alphabet reform, and opposed vaccination and organised religion. He courted unpopularity by denouncing both sides in the First World War as equally culpable, He really meant keep yourself clean and bright: Windows of the World.

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11. How would life be, if this statement was true for each of us every day.

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12. The general theme of Rumi’s thought, like that of other mystic and Sufi poets of Persian literature, is that of tawhid — union with the Beloved, from whom he sees himself as being cut off and aloof. His longing and desire to attain it is evident in the following poem from his book the Masnavi:

I died to the mineral state and became a plant,
I died to the vegetable state and reached animality,
I died to the animal state and became a man,
Then what should I fear? I have never become less from dying.
At the next charge (forward) I will die to human nature,
So that I may lift up (my) head and wings (and soar) among the angels,
And I must (also) jump from the river of (the state of) the angel,
Everything perishes except His Face,
Once again I will become sacrificed from (the state of) the angel,
I will become that which cannot come into the imagination,
Then I will become non-existent; non-existence says to me (in tones) like an organ,
Truly, to Him is our return: Rumi, The Beloved.

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13. So are our opinions of people, as this is what we see people doing.

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14. The Chinese certainly have some quirky quotes, but they always hit home: Plant more Trees.

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15. So, remember to be curious and question what you think you can see or are told about our beautiful planet, or the above statement may be true.

We have the opportunity each day to do something about the planet, is it because we do not have the faith and certainty that what we believe is worthwhile or is necessarily true. It’s time to stand up for it.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

namaste prayer