Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tell Me Something Happy and Inspiring

I was trawling the Net the other day to see what other people say makes them happy. I came across some long jokes, some tales of little gray kittens and new chicks being born, a lady who was getting married in 2 weeks, a couple who had been trying for a baby and succeeded. I also came across some quotations. These two stuck out for me:

"There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved" - George Sand.

"Happiness is the only good. The time to be happy is now. The place to be happy is here. The way to be happy is to make others so " - Robert G. Ingersoll.

In business, the way to get ahead is to either make or save someone money. In life, according to Mr Ingersoll, the path to happiness is to help increase the happiness of others. This sits quite comfortably with the view of some spiritualists who say that we are here to serve - humanity, God, life - and in doing so we achieve peace and happiness for ourselves.

Can you share a happy story? Is there something that always gets your Happy Meter a bit higher up the chart? Or perhaps you have heard a particularly inspiring story - something that helped or encouraged you in some way? Or maybe you have an awesome joke to share! (G rated - let's keep it clean).

Feel free to post in the comments section. I'd love to hear about it.

(Here are some of those happiness quotes, in case you are interested:

I Discovered This Cancer Journey Blog

A friend of mine sent me a link to this cancer journey blog the other day. One of his best friends was recently diagnosed with cancer and is currently having chemotherapy. My friend has been encouraging his mate to record his journey and after reading the blog I could see why. This young man has tremendous wisdom. Despite this challenging upset to his life plan he is facing it with an incredible commitment to make the best of things.

He has bad days, days when he finds it hard to see the sunny side, but by and large - I am sure you will agree - the way he views his illness is really inspiring. I hope you find it encouraging as you face your own trials.

Here's the link:

Best of luck, Meiron! We're barracking for you. Get well soon.

Contrast Leads To Clarity
What Are AUM Qualities?
Anthony Robbins Quote: Moments Of Decision


Contrast Leads To Clarity

We hear stories about bad things happening to good people and wonder why. Some events seem pointless and painful, for unknown end.

We look at our lives - the ups and downs, the wrong turns, the dead ends - and wonder how we came to find ourselves somewhere so far from where we wanted to be! I came across a quote a while back that says "If you don't change course soon you will end up where you are heading". Made me laugh... how true.

Joking aside, sometimes we can find ourselves in situations that are really NOT what we want. If nothing else can be salvaged, we can still take that utter nastiness or despair and put it to good use. The lesson may be a painful one it can teach this: You know now what you DON'T want... and suddenly what you DO want is crystal clear.

Do you know someone who has yet to work out what they want to do "when they grow up" despite having hit adult-hood many moons ago? Sometimes we humans find it easier to articulate what we don't want rather than what we do... it can take an experience of what we don't to be understand where we would rather be.

The trick then, of course, is to take action. Knowing or dreaming of being in a different place is all well and good, but to get there we will have to change course and start striding away from the unexpected place we ended up, and heading back towards where we want to be.

Creating a More Peaceful World
Doing It Anyway
Poem By Maya Angelou: Touched By An Angel
Stroke Survivor - Jill Bolte Taylor


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Your Words Have Power: What Are Aum Qualities?

Do you speak the truth, always? How carefully do you choose your words? We take language for granted. We throw words around, playing, experimenting, casually expressing ourselves according to our mood and whim. Often we are quite unconscious of our impact on others, or how our words can bounce back to impact even on ourselves.

Words have power. They shape our life experience, they influence other people's views of us and their opinions of how things are. I read recently that the quality of your life is determined by the quality of your communication. Perhaps a rather large statement, but I can certainly see some truth in it.

I have a friend who seems to be constantly on the attack / defensive. His language can be very passive-aggressive; I have watched this past year while his business has crumbled around him. He wonders why people keep double-crossing him or letting him down. I wonder if perhaps he just didn't start out with clear boundaries, accurately articulating his expectations, and then when confusion set in, found his communication style alienated the people he was working with, setting up a nasty spiral, often ending in legal action.

Is it the words themselves that have the impact or is there something else at play also?

In eastern religions, there is a sacred or mystical term, said to mimic the sound of creation and life itself. The term "aum" or "om" is a verbal phrase that when spoken or chanted it is reported as having a profound resonance, an eternal, universal quality. It is said to contain cosmic energy that makes up the very fabric of existence, and resounds forever.

Think about the sound of a bell ringing - the sound gets softer and softer but does it ever end? Or a pebble dropped into the ocean... does the ripple ever stop running through the water?

Om is supposed to be a bit like that. Powerful stuff.

But that's not all.

The universal sound of "aum", according to Indian philosophy, has three forms of expression; creation, preservation and destruction.

In Autobiography Of A Yogi (Paramahansa Yogananda, 13th edition, 2010, Self-Realisation Fellowship) it says: "Each time a man speaks a word he puts into operation one of the three qualities of aum".

Creation, preservation or destruction.

Each time you share words, what are you putting out into the world? What are you creating? Maintaining? Unpicking?

We live our lives on so many levels. If we could become more aware of what we are creating, perpetuating or destroying, and how, rather than being taken by surprise when things don't unfold as we hoped, perhaps we could start to create and manifest a life for ourselves that was closer to our best-case imaginings.

God Speaks In Whispers - Margaret Silf
The I Accept Prayer
Anger Gets A Bad Wrap Sometimes


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Anger Gets A Bad Wrap

Do you have friends who post inspirational quotes and cute sayings as their Facebook updates from time to time? I do. Often worth a read, one went up the other day that didn't ring entirely to true for me. It said:

"Life is short it. ♥ Love is rare... grab it. Anger is bad... dump it. Fear is awful... face it. Memories are sweet....cherish them."

Some nice sentiments but I think anger gets a bad wrap. It can provide the extra energy you need sometimes to propel you forward. Anger directed AT someone - including self - can be destructive but generalised anger... Not bad. Cleansing, motivating, powerful, useful when well placed.

I can't help but that think that anger is one of those gifts we have been given as part of the evolutionary process... it is designed to get us out of a bad place at the right time, to give us the motivation and power to react differently... An unknown adult disciplining your child in the playground causing you to run to the rescue, a boss who has had an unjustifiable harsh word to say just once too often and finally gets a piece of your mind (or a resignation?), an abusive spouse who crosses some imaginary line and triggers a new reaction in the abusee (to resolve to leave at the most prudent time) - to give rather random examples.

Many people though, live with anger. They do not use it but are used BY it. Anger controls them. It causes them to be people they don't want to be, say and do things they regret, creates isolation and separation from the people they love most. That kind of anger... bad news. No evolution there: pain and hurt instead.

No point suppressing it or denying it though. If anger shows up - in it's most positive, motivating form or its damaging, dangerous form - it's a wonderful clue that right there, in that moment, you have an opportunity for transformation. Taking a look at your shadow self and getting to know him or her can actually be a gateway to great joy - it puts you in the position to choose light or dark, old ways of being or the new.

If you can put anger to work, understand your triggers and do something constructive with the massive emotions that sit there, you can create a whole new life for yourself, a life where angers works FOR you as a positive, transforming force, not rules you.

Desiderata: Old Words, New Meaning
Are You Beautiful, Perfect, Broken?
God Speaks In Whispers - Margaret Silf


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Any Kindness

"I shall pass through this world but once. If, therefore, there be any good thing I can do, or any kindness I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now; let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again".

Saying from a little prayer card I picked up at a church a few months back, titled "The Ministry of Kindness".


Stroke Survivor - Jill Bolte Taylor
Still Waters Run Deep
God Speaks in Whispers - Margaret Silf


Thursday, May 26, 2011

My Version of the "I Accept" Prayer

A friend of mine gave me a version of the "I Accept" prayer after a visit to his kinesiologist... but there were a few things in the original (unsigned) version I believed revealed a bias towards the healthy. For people with serious injuries, disabilities or terminal illnesses, or other major challenges, I thought it may even cause them further pain. 

...And yet, I could see where the poem / prayer was going and thought that with some work it would become a poem that could be used more universally - and resonate more widely. So here is the massively re-written version I have come up with.

I hope you like my take on the "I Accept" prayer. 

I would love to hear your thoughts about it or stories of people you think may enjoy reading it. My friend was given the instruction to read it outloud each day before he left for work, to set him up for the day. I believe he carries his version around with him now. Perhaps he will have a crack at this one too one day!!!


I accept I am a spiritual being and am where I need to be NOW.

My spiritual growth and learning are my responsibility, and I accept the challenge to see and discover myself through my experiences, universal wisdom, and love.

Within me is the impulse to thrive and the vast knowledge and abundance of the Universe.
I AM one with the universal mind, my higher self, God / Goddess, and ALL THAT IS.

I accept that there are no rights, wrongs, injustices, mistakes – only lessons and teachings;
It is not my place to judge – or to judge myself and others.
Instead, I surrender to those forces greater than myself, and trust.
I accept that there are things I cannot know and do not need to understand.

I give daily thanks for the love and generosity present in my life, my opportunities, insights, gifts, and moments of genuine, precious connection with others.
I am blessed. I am lucky. I am worthy.

I give myself permission to graciously accept and receive these gifts NOW.

I recognise “truth” when I see it, hear it or am touched by it;
It is inclusive, expansive, and governed by love,
And I live by this universal Truth.

I am one with the divine thought process within me and I am open to receiving creative thoughts and ideas NOW.

Love heals all.

Love conquers all.

Love is all there is.


I am as whole, healthy and free as the universe intended me to be,
My spirit cannot be broken.
My soul sings.
I find beauty and joy in all that I can.
I am filled with grace and forgiveness.

Every breath I take releases me from thoughts that do not serve me.
I am peaceful. I am still.

I love myself, my experiences, my world, and beyond.


I love.
I accept.
I am.


Gaia Meditations by John Seed and Joanna Macy

Beautiful, Perfect, Broken

Finding Joy Each Day


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Jill Bolte Taylor, brain scientist, gives a TED talk about her stroke

Jill Bolte Taylor is a brain scientist who had a massive stroke and nearly died. She tells her story for the audience in this video. What an unusual opportunity for a scientist - to study the collapse of the brain from the inside out. What she learned - and was inspired to share - will change the way you think about yourself.

Do you choose to live from a left-brain or a right-brain perspective?

I had to share this video. I hope you find it interesting.

Gaia Meditations by John Seed and Joanna Macy
The Desiderata - New Meaning
What About That Moon by Sufi Poet Hafiz


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Gaia Meditations by John Seed and Joanna Macy

I had the great priviledge of meeting Australian environmentalist John Seed last week during Earth Hour. John is a deep ecologist and director of the Rainforest Information Centre in Australia. He also helped initiate the US Rainforest Action Network in 1984.

Idolised by many, and well known the world over, John is a disconcertingly unassuming man with a tremendous aura of calm - ideal if you are planning a few moments of quiet reflection!

At 8.30, after the lights went out, we decided to mark Earth Hour with a reading: the Gaia Meditation written by John Seed and Joanna Macy.

I am thrilled to be able to share this beautiful piece with you on my blog today, with love and gratitude to John and Joanna. I hope you enjoy it.

The Gaia Meditation by John Seed and Joanna Macy

What are you? What am I? Intersecting cycles of water, earth, air and fire, that's what I am, that's what you are.

WATER — blood, lymph, mucus, sweat, tears, inner oceans tugged by the moon, tides within and tides without. Streaming fluids floating our cells, washing and nourishing through endless riverways of gut and vein and capillary. Moisture pouring in and through and out of you, of me, in the vast poem of the hydrological cycle. You are that. I am that.

EARTH — matter made from rock and soil. It too is pulled by the moon as the magma circulates through the planet heart and roots suck molecules into biology. Earth pours through us, replacing each cell in the body every seven years. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, we ingest, incorporate and excrete the earth, are made from earth. I am that. You are that.

AIR — the gaseous realm, the atmosphere, the planet's membrane. The inhale and the exhale. Breathing out carbon dioxide to the trees and breathing in their fresh exudations. Oxygen kissing each cell awake, atoms dancing in orderly metabolism, interpenetrating. That dance of the air cycle, breathing the universe in and out again, is what you are, is what I am.

FIRE — Fire, from our sun that fuels all life, drawing up plants and raising the waters to the sky to fall again replenishing. The inner furnace of your metabolism burns with the fire of the Big Bang that first sent matter-energy spinning through space and time. And the same fire as the lightning that flashed into the primordial soup catalyzing the birth of organic life.

You were there, I was there, for each cell of our bodies is descended in an unbroken chain from that event. Through the desire of atom for molecule, of molecule for cell, of cell for organism. In our sexuality we can feel ancient stirrings that connect us with plant as well as animal life. We come from them in an unbroken chain — through fish learning to walk the land, feeling scales turning to wings, through the migrations in the ages of ice.
We have been but recently in human form. If Earth's whole history were compressed into twenty-four hours beginning at midnight, organic life would begin only at 3 pm . . . mammals emerge at 11:30 . . . and from amongst them at only seconds to midnight, our species.

In our long planetary journey we have taken far more ancient forms than these we now wear. Some of these forms we remember in our mother's womb, wear vestigial tails and gills, grow fins for hands.

Countless times in that journey we died to old forms, let go of old ways, allowing new ones to emerge. But nothing is ever lost. Though forms pass, all returns. Each worn-out cell consumed, recycled . . . through mosses, leeches, birds of prey. . . .

Think to your next death. Will your flesh and bones back into the cycle. Surrender. Love the plump worms you will become. Launder your weary being through the fountain of life.

Beholding you, I behold as well all the different creatures that compose you — the mitochondria in the cells, the intestinal bacteria, the life teeming on the surface of the skin. The great symbiosis that is you. The incredible coordination and cooperation of countless beings. You are that, too, just as your body is part of a much larger symbiosis, living in wider reciprocities. Be conscious of that give-and-take when you move among trees. Breathe your pure carbon dioxide to a leaf and sense it breathing fresh oxygen back to you.
Countless times in that journey we died to old forms, let go of old ways, allowing new ones to emerge. But nothing is ever lost. Though forms pass, all returns.

Remember again and again the old cycles of partnership. Draw on them in this time of trouble. By your very nature and the journey you have made, there is in you deep knowledge of belonging. Draw on it now in this time of fear. You have earth-bred wisdom of your interexistence with all that is. Take courage and power in it now, that we may help each other awaken in this time of peril.

The Desiderata - New Meaning
What About That Moon by Sufi Poet Hafiz
Time and Peace - Gifts Money Can't Buy


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Creating a more peaceful world

One peaceful person is like a pebble cast onto a lake. The ripple effect of that person's peacefulness creates gentle, wide, unending waves.

If we set peace as our primary goal, suddenly all of our interactions have focus and meaning. At each moment we can be choosing to create peace - or create drama and upset. It is possible to have difficult conversations without losing your peacefulness. It is possible to be frank - and gentle - when necessary, without crossing into drama and conflict. It requires committment, self mastery - a lifelong goal!!! - and at times we will not be able to pull it off. Old patterns will dominate us, challenge our new thinking. We will make mistakes, but every second is a new opportunity to see yourself more clearly and step outside to reflect and re-focus on peace.

Our sources of unrest may not be reactions to other people and events, they may be thoughts or situations we keep choosing for ourselves. In each new moment, though, you can make different choices. Meaning that with each new thought you have a new opportunity to choose and move closer to peace.

Sometimes our desire to please others, or protect them, means we don't listen to ourselves, our inner voice that tells us when we are okay and when things are off. I have a friend who is engaged - but doesn't want to be. To avoid disappointing his parents, and hurting his girlfriend, he is reluctant to break it off. Needless to say he lacks peace. In his heart, though, he knows what is right for him. When and if he can eventually be honest with himself, and those around him, about what is right for him, hopefully inner peace will be much closer for him. Although a period of drama and upset, may, indeed, be part of his journey in that case.  

Whatever your situation, work, home, self, it is possible to move and grow and embrace a more peaceful life, a happier, more honest life, closer to our individual bliss.

When fear and guilt coming rushing in and you stand on the edge of a major upset breathe, ground yourself, trust, and re-commit to a peaceful path.

Finding Joy Each Day
Wishful Thinking
Beautiful, Perfect, Broken