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

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

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

 

Comparision is the thief of Joy!!


 

In Time for my Life: 365 Stepping Stones The Stepping Stone for today, the 10th May is as follows – Feel more emotions that are positive. Increase the number of times that you experience the positive emotions, such as elation, joy, comfort, enjoyment, happiness, success, fullness, satisfaction, excitement, certainty, freedom, liberty, peace of mind, security, gratitude, personal power, contentment, pleasure, love, passion, support, fascination, trust, positivity, upliftment, awe, richness, abundance, enthusiasm and one I am adding community.

The one that jumped out at me was contentment because at the moment I am the most content I have been in my 63-year long life following an exercise I did with my mentor a mere three weeks ago. He asked me who was I trying to be that I wasn’t that prevented people from getting to know who I really was. So we listed the qualities More available Rod was meant to have and scored them out of ten. The highest I gave myself was four. He then asked me what do my family and friends say about me. They were I was generous, loving, kind, loyal and supportive. I scored myself eight for a couple of them.

Remarkably since then I have had access to some of the qualities More Available Rod wished for by being OK about the fact that is not the real Rod. So what do people say about contentment, let’s have a look:

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1. I live my life from five core desired feelings from the Desire Map process: Read about it here. They are Potency, Divinity, Beauty, Magnificence and Ignited.

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2. The Power of Now – Eckhardt, Happy – Pharrell Williams, Don’t Worry, Be Happy – Bobby McFerrin and countless other things can take you there: Don’t Worry, Be Happy.

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3. Seeds turn into beautiful plants, in this case, one of the ultimates: Peace.

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4. Remember, they say you cannot take chattels and goods with you. But if you have led a contented life you will die wealthy: Happier.

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5. For Epicurus, the purpose of philosophy was to attain the happy, tranquil life, characterized by ataraxia—peace and freedom from fear—and aponia—the absence of pain—and by living a self-sufficient life surrounded by friends. He taught that the root of all human neurosis was death denial, and the tendency for human beings to assume that death will be horrific and painful, which he claimed causes unnecessary anxiety, selfish self-protective behaviours, and hypocrisy. According to Epicurus, death is the end of both the body and the soul and therefore should not be feared. He also taught that the gods neither reward nor punish humans; that the universe is infinite and eternal; and that occurrences in the natural world are ultimately the result of atoms moving and interacting in empty space.

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6. My to-do list to attain my Core Desired Feelings, what would you add: Listen to your Heart.

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7. Many great and small acceptances, sounds relatively easy, yet we make it quite difficult at times.

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8. My first cousin’s name is Peter, a simple name, a profoundly content man: Simplicity.

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9. A. B. Facey wrote a book in my country, Australia in the 1980’s. He wrote it nine months before his death. It became an immediate bestseller because even though his life was hard he saw it as a very fortunate one.

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10. I see this as the Golden Triangle of Life. With all three pieces in place: Lolly Gobble Bliss Bombs: Faithful.

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11. Three words: Internal, not External.

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12. I need to contemplate this one. William Blake was a man not forestalled by predecessors, nor to be classed with contemporaries, nor to be replaced by known or readily surmisable successors”: More Than This.

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13. Yes, it is!!

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14. There is always someone who would love what you have in your life. In my county Australia, we all live in the top ten percent of the world yet our mainstream media is full of complaining, go figure: Ironic.

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15. Unaffected by outward circumstances,  let that sink in…

Contentment means embracing a sense of satisfaction and sufficiency. Contentment sees the cup half full, the beauty and bounty that are available to us. It allows us to take pleasure in what we have and what we are, even life’s simplest offerings. It frees us from envy and longing and so makes us generous.
Although contentment is influenced by external circumstances, it is an internal attitude and can be cultivated no matter what our situation. Contentment looks for the riches that can be found amidst poverty and the small marvels that can be found in the most dire conditions. It is the close kin of gratitude and wonder.

Music for this blog travels the world. We begin with Jazz vocalist Bobby McFerrin with his very non-jazz number one hit, followed by heart throb Ed Sheeran, then back to the 80’s with Roxette. We then catch a flight to India  with Sabee Sohal, followed by Phora, then back in time to Roxy Music and Alanis Morrisette.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

namasteflower

Thankful & Grateful!!


I opened Marc and Angel Chernoff’s fine book 1,000+ Little Things Happy Successful People do Differently to the article: 12 Things to start caring about today. It begins “Life is about taking chances. it’s about doing something you initially thought you could never do. It’s about being a little bit crazy, following your heart, and not worrying about every detail of what everyone else thinks. And above all, it’s about learning to love who you are and what you have.”

It then follows with the 12 self-caring tools, here they are:

1. Start caring about your own happiness.

2. Start caring about your goals and dreams.

3. Start caring about how you invest your time every day.

4. Start caring about how you think and what you think about.

5. Start caring about how you treat yourself.

6. Start caring about how you treat others.

7. Start caring about how others treat you.

8. Start caring about your health.

9. Start caring about your education and your personal growth.

10. Start caring about doing the best you can.

11. Start caring about all the wonderful things you have right now.

I must admit I fluctuate between fulfilling these things on a day to day basis, I suspect that society does too. Let’s have a look at what they say about caring:

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1. Rule 6, Take care how you treat others, there is such a thing as karma.

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2. If you worry too much, you are not giving Peace a chance: Give Peace a Chance.

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3. Rule ten for me, be the best you can.

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4. How many lives have you turned around, include your self in the total: Stand up for Something.

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5. Really an Eckhart Tolle moment, Live in the Now.

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6. As I say to the woman I love, remember to breathe next time we meet, that’s what love does to me:  I will always Love You.

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7. Joel Scott Osteen is an American televangelist based in Houston, Texas. Osteen’s televised sermons are seen by over 7 million viewers weekly and over 20 million monthly in over 100 countries. His sermons also broadcast 24 hours a day on Sirius XM Satellite Radio, Channel 128. Osteen has written seven New York Times Best Sellers. In 2004, his first book, Your Best Life Now, was released by Time Warner and debuted at the top of The New York Times Best Seller list. The book remained on The New York Times Best Seller list for more than 200 weeks.

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8. Uncanny, it’s rule eight, take care of your health, both mental and physical: I’m Gonna Be.

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9. Without the latter the former do not matter at all, they would be meaningless moments.

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10. Imagine if every day was like a surprise birthday gift. Go on,  you can do it: If Today Was Your Last Day.

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11. Comes under rule nine for me, especially if you were or are parents. Start caring about their education and personal growth.

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12. A mild harsh, but resonates being close to the truth for me: Making Excuses.

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13. When is the right time and place to care, right here, right now…

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14. The Buddhists have the four noble truths, so does the world of caring:  If I sing you a Love Song.

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15. Mandy Hale is affectionately known as The Single Woman TM around the world. In just over two years, Mandy has garnered a massive Twitter following of a half a million people from across the globe. With a heart to inspire single women to live their best lives and to never, ever settle, Mandy cuts to the heart of the matter with her inspirational, straight-talking, witty, and often wildly humorous take on life and love.

I have decided to finish this blog with Marc’s introspection for rule twelve: When I watched the Grammy Awards recently, I realised that many of the speeches musicians make when they accept an award go something like this: ” Thi means so much to me. My whole life has been leading up to this moment.” But the truth is, our whole lives have been leading up to every moment. Think about that for a second. Every single thing you’ve gone through in life, every high, every low, and everything in between, it has led you to this moment right now. This moment is priceless, and it’s the only moment guaranteed to you. This moment is your ‘life’. Don’t miss it.

If you are a regular reader you may have noticed I have a love affair with the work of Marc and Angel Chernoff, it has helped me through many a dark moment, I thank them for it.

Music today goes way back for a few – John Lennon and Yoko Ono start the journey, then we return to the present day with Andra Day, then flip back with Whitney Houston and The Proclaimers. Some rock from Nickelback, the little known Mr Heavenly, closing out with Bonnie Tyler.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

namasteflower