Our world

What are we doing to our world? By “we” I include me because I’m living on earth and consuming what nature has given us. I’m a part of nature even though there’s a paradigm that I’ve accepted over the years that states I’m not. What happens in the natural world doesn’t have anything to do with me. I’m so far removed from it that I disconnect from it. I go about my life with a lack of awareness that I’m a part of the plants, animals and the earth itself.

Without the flora and the fauna and the ground beneath my feet I wouldn’t be here. It’s the air I breathe, the food I eat, the water I drink, the bed I sleep on, the house I live in, the car I drive and all the technology at my fingertips. We can’t pretend we don’t have an impact on the environment and the climate. We can’t keep taking from the earth and not giving back. Nature renews and regenerates. This is the miracle of mother nature at work. Let’s get together and give nature a helping hand. When we take from our mother let’s give back and show gratitude for what she has provided for us. Our first nation’s people have been doing this for thousands and thousands of years.

As the world’s population grows we need to find ways to provide for everyone. These ways do exist. We can do it. We fear change. It’s easier to keep the status quo than to find new ways of doing things. Those who benefit from keeping everything as it is deny climate change. They deny the impact on the planet because to admit it would mean affecting the bottom line. Wealthy corporations feel threatened so they keep their heads in the sand and wish it all away. It won’t go away and that’s the reality of the world we are living in.

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To say, “I won’t be here in 50 years so what do I care?” is selfish and irresponsible. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to leave them a sustainable world. What kind of world do we want our descendants to inherit? A world that gives them all they need to survive. A world of natural beauty and harmony where we co-exist with all creatures great and small. We can get together and make a change. It’s happened before.

In the eighties scientists studying the effects of CFCs (Chlorofluorocarbons) on the atmosphere discovered a hole in the ozone layer. The only way to prevent it getting bigger was to stop the use of CFCs worldwide. The world came together to ban the use of CFCs. When we human beings have the will to change something we can. When we come together in a common cause anything is possible.

I take responsibility for my part in this problem and I want to be a part of the solution. We only have one home. If we mess this one up we can’t go elsewhere.

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Blessings to all xx

Music

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“So I say thank you for the music, the songs I’m singing. Thanks for all the joy they’re bringing. Who can live without it? I ask in all honesty. What would life be? Without a song or a dance what are we.” Songwriters: Benny Andersson and Bjoern Ulvaeus.

This song just popped into my head as I began to think about music.

“Music is the universal language of mankind.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Music is universal. No matter who we are or where we are music ties us together. It binds us. Music is a language of emotion. It’s a way of expressing feelings. We connect a song to a time and a place in our lives. When we hear it it takes us back there. A song can make us cry or make us happy. Music can rouse us from our slumber and inspire us to do great things. It gives us a voice. The song “I am woman” by Helen Reddy comes to mind when I think of a song’s power to inspire a movement.

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“Where words fail, music speaks.” Hans Christian Andersen.

Songs like words on a page tell a story. Stories of falling in and out of love for example. Music played at weddings, parties and funerals. Music that fits in to every part of our lives. Good times, bad times. Music plays an important role, beyond just entertaining us. It can help to relieve stress and calm us. Did you know that music can increase children’s cognitive and motor skills? Music touches our souls because from birth we are surrounded by sounds and patterns.

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“Music is the wine that fills the cup of silence.” Robert Fripp.

Without music I imagine life would be dull and monotone. If it wasn’t for music there would have been no Live Aid or any other events to raise awareness of worthwhile causes. Music for me is a form of escape. Filling in the silence. I sing and dance and get lost in it. It can transport me from my reality, if only for a short time. Other times it grounds me in the here and now.

Blessings to all xx

The search continues….

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“You must travel your own journey at your own pace; do not rush the process. . . or assume that you have to accept someone else’s choices for your life.” Thomas L. Jackson Ph.D.

I’m looking for ways to liberate myself from my blocks. The ones that keep me from moving forward. They all have to do with fear. I’m not trying to rid myself of the fear, but rather find the courage to face the fear, do what I need to do and be who I need to be.

“On this journey of life, spirituality is the very sand upon which we travel.” Robert W. Chism.

I’ve done this by researching and practicing many modalities over the years. My quest began in 2007. I know this because it was just after I broke up with my first boyfriend. I started with reading cards – angel and tarot. The following is a list of modalities I’ve tried since then. Some I’m still doing, others I’ve dropped simply because they didn’t resonate with me any longer.

  • Meditation
  • Visualisation
  • Affirmations
  • Palmistry
  • Numerology
  • Crystals
  • Chakra balancing
  • Reiki
  • Hypnosis
  • Automatic writing
  • Law of Attraction

I’m currently looking at sound healing therapy and ancestral healing. It seems promising so far! My intuition tells me what feels right and I go with that. I combine several of the above modalities to create my own practice or ritual. When I find something new I just add it in. This is a never-ending story, a never-ending quest. This will go on till I take my final breath and it’s time to go home. This isn’t a frustrating search. Far from it. It’s an enriching one. With every new concept I learn I become a better spiritual and human being. A journey of self-discovery. Revelations and epiphanies.

“Each has to travel his own path. It cannot be replicated or prescribed, because each one of us is unique and so are our circumstances.” Mishra.

However none of this knowledge is truly new. My soul had this wisdom all along.  I’m simply re-discovering this wisdom and I’m simply tapping into what I already know at my core to be true.

“This thing we call life is not a destination with an end but a path down which we continue to journey as long as we can breath. Life is to be lived not squandered or to give away waiting for the end to close upon us.” Byron Pulsifer.

Blessings to all xx

Fear

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Franklin D. Roosevelt.

 Fear is a primitive state that harks back to the time of our ancestors. At the time there were many real and present dangers around them. Their fear kept them safe. I believe we’ve carried this fear (real or imagined) in our genes.

“Being brave isn’t the absence of fear. Being brave is having that fear, but finding a way through it.” Bear Grylls.

When fear is appropriate it’s healthy to feel the fear, especially if we are in physical danger. It can protect us from harm. However in modern life fear serves no purpose.

“The fears we don’t face become our limits.” Robin Sharma.

 Ninety percent of what we worry about never happens, so why spend hundred percent of our time worrying about what only has a ten percent chance of happening? Most fear is based on illusion. How often do we fear something only to find it never happens? It’s our imagination over-reacting.

“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” Les Brown.

I’m really struggling with fear at the moment. I think I’ve allowed this fear to take over. I used to think I needed to get this impediment out of the way in order to live the life I want to live. If I spend all my time waiting for fear to dissipate I will never move forward in my life. I would never take a chance, take a risk. This limits me. How can I grow? How can I become a better person if I don’t step into the unknown? The fear will always be there, so I feel that fear and do it anyway.

“Who sees all beings in his own self, and his own self in all beings, loses all fear.” Isa Upanishad, Hindu Scripture.

Blessings to all xx

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My father

As promised I’m writing about my father this week. My father, my father. What can I say about my father?

“A girl’s father is the first man in her life, and probably the most influential.” David Jeremiah.

 While my mother is extroverted and a social butterfly, my Dad is an introvert and would rather sit in front of a TV or potter in the garden than socialize. While my mum wears her heart on her sleeve, Dad keeps his feelings to himself. I have rarely seen him shed a tear. Oh he gets angry from time to time, but cry hardly ever. I think he may have learned to be guarded from his mother. She was detached and showed little emotion.

Mum is emotional, Dad is the rational and practical one. He thinks things through and makes decisions on the spot. Once he makes up his mind there’s no turning back. Mum calls him her rock and I can see that in their interactions with each other. In a crisis Dad can be relied upon to see her through. Mum says when it’s time for them to leave this world she hopes she goes first as she couldn’t cope without him. If we need help he is there for me and my siblings. My six year old niece calls him “Mr Fix-It.” If anything needs fixing just ask him and he will help in any way he can.

“Being a daddy’s girl is like having permanent armor for the rest of your life.” Marinela Reka.

I’ve always felt closer to my father than my mother. I think this has to do with our personalities being so similar. Perhaps I’m guilty of putting him on a pedestal. Mum will say he has faults and I know he does, however he’s my Dad what can I say.

“To a father growing old, nothing is dearer than a daughter.” Euripides.

He has always been a hard worker and an excellent provider. He worked in the construction industry, prior to retiring at 65. This was physically hard, but he was as strong as an ox. It’s only been in recent years that his health has gone down a little. Compared to my mother he is the healthier one despite being nine years her senior. He’s been blessed with good health and longevity. It’s in his genes. He’s 82 and the youngest of five. He has three older sisters all in their eighties and his oldest brother who recently turned 90. His mother passed at the ripe old age of 101.

His favourite place is being out in the garden. It’s green and lush and so well maintained. Dad eats from three food groups – pasta, fruit and cheese. Long after everyone else has left the table Dad is still there going through his assortment of fruit.

“I am not ashamed to say that no man I ever met was my father’s equal, and I never loved any other man as much.” Hedy Lamarr.

“You can take the man out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the man.” My father migrated from Italy almost 59 years ago, but still has a strong accent. He eats Italian, reads Italian and listens to Italian news direct from Italy no less. He is an Italian through and through. Although he loves living in Australia, having spent most of his life here, I think when it’s his time his soul will go back to the land of his birth.

Blessings to all xx

My mother

This week I’m going to write about my mother. Next week I will follow this with a piece about my father.

“To the world, you are a Mother… To your family, you are the world.” Unknown.

My mother. What can I say about my mother? She’s beautiful inside and out. She’s strong, gutsy and resilient. She’s had to be.

My mother as a teenager and with my father on their wedding day.

She’s an extrovert. A social butterfly. She loves to talk. My mother loves getting to know people. She’s genuinely interested in them and what makes them tick.

“All that I am or ever hope to be I owe to my angel mother.” Abraham Lincoln.

My mother is always stylish, classy and elegant on the outside even if she feels awful on the inside. She is a carer and a nurturer. She worries about her children and grandchildren often to the point of making herself sick.

She gave up her dream of being a fashion designer so she could stay home and take care of us. As children she made almost all of our clothes. She loves bags, jewellery, having manicures and going to the hairdresser. She has exquisite taste and this shows in how she dresses and the lovely pieces she buys.

“A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dates all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path.” Unknown.

My mother is like a lioness watching over and protecting her cubs. A warrior who will stand and defend those she loves. She doesn’t suffer fools gladly. Never try pulling the wool over her eyes! I don’t have children, but my two sisters do. They are wonderful mothers thanks to the example set by my mother.

My sister with her beautiful twins

She has suffered with the tragic death of her beloved brother in a car crash in 1973. In 1979 she mourned the passing of her father (while pregnant with my sister) with whom she had a complicated relationship. She felt most the loss of her own mother in 1988. She and my grandmother were very close. My mum’s mum has been gone for over 32 years now, but she still talks about her. More recently she lost her sister as well.

Mum lives with panic/anxiety disorder plus other health conditions which she manages with medication. Yet she carries on living the best life she can. Caring and loving her family and always being there for us. Thank you Mum. Love you to the moon and back.

Next week my father…

Blessings to all xx

Grief

“Do not stand at my grave and weep

 I am not there. I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.

I am the diamond glints on snow.

I am the sunlight on ripened grain.

I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning’s hush

I am the swift uplifting rush

Of quiet birds in circled flight.

I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry;

I am not there. I did not die.”

Mary Elizabeth Frye.

This is my first post for 2021. This is a difficult topic to write about, however we all go through this in our lives.

There are five stages of grief:

Denial – This can’t be happening. This isn’t happening.

Anger – Why is this happening to me? Someone is to blame.

Bargaining – Make this not happen and in return I will….

Depression – I’m too sad to do anything.

Acceptance – I’m at peace with what happened.

“Grief feels like driving through dense fog with no direction and no end in sight.” Unknown.

These stages are merely a guide of emotions we experience as we go through grief. It isn’t followed in a sequential order. One can jump back and forth between them. It takes time and each individual mourns and grieves differently.

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 However  I believe ultimately acceptance needs to be reached if we are to continue living in the best way possible. There is a time to be sad and a time to mourn, but there’s no benefit (health wise) in carrying it around. Life goes on is a cliché we often hear, but nevertheless a true one. Our loved one would want us to move forward. The best way I can think of, of honouring them is to live our best life. Till we meet again.

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, a time to die. A time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance.” Ecclesiastes 3:1

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Happy New Year!

Blessings to all xx

2020 and beyond

“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” John A. Shedd.

What a year it has been. I’m sure you will all agree. When the year began I had just received my certificate in writing and editing. I was wondering where this would take me. It didn’t take long for the answer to come. In February I found an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. An opening to write for a local community newspaper.

“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” Zig Ziglar.

Great way to get my foot in the door. Great way to get some experience as a novice writer. I applied for it. A meeting was arranged between the editor and I. I was nervous and thought will I be good enough? I stepped out of my comfort zone. By grabbing this opportunity I started to find my voice as a writer. I now have five articles published. I’m so proud of this achievement. I will continue contributing articles in the new year.

“Everything you need to accomplish your goals is already in you.” Unknown.

This leads me to my main goal for 2021. The plan is to gradually transition out of child care into my own freelance business. I will be self-employed. During the course I completed at the end of last year I did a unit all about setting oneself up as a freelance writer, so I know what is involved. To start with I need to decide what it is I would like to write. What are my interests? I then need to research newspapers and magazines to see which would be the best fit for me.

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“You are never too old to set a new goal or to dream a new dream.” C.S. Lewis.

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Next (in no particular order and this list isn’t exhaustive) I need to set up my own website, market myself, pitch for work, decide what to charge and be responsible for all aspects of my finances, etc. It will take time. It will be challenging. Baby steps. I’m now in the middle of a short online course. This focuses on freelance writing. This is giving me the inspiration and encouragement I need to follow my dream. Never be afraid to follow your dreams. Be true to yourself and you can’t go wrong.

Happy and prosperous new year to all.

“A dream written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by action becomes reality.” Unknown.

Christmas

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What kind of Christmas will I have this year? It’s fair to say it will be a Christmas like no other. Regardless of what is going on around us, we always want the same thing. To share this festive season with our families. With those that mean the most to us.

“The magic of Christmas never ends and its greatest of gifts are family and friends.” Unknown.

I’m no different. My family is close. We keep in contact all year round. However this year it has been a challenge for obvious reasons. One way or another we made it work. Thank goodness for technology is all I can say.

“Christmas will always be, as long as we stand heart to heart and hand in hand.” Dr. Seuss.

The tree is up. The presents are wrapped or in gift bags ready for the intended recipients to open on Christmas Day. As I walk down the street I see a flurry of last minute shoppers rushing from one place to another.

“My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern is very simple. Loving others.” Bob Hope.

Christmas Eve is the one day I don’t venture out. I’ve made a promise to myself to complete all shopping by December 23rd. I may go out for a walk, weather permitting, however no-where near the shops will I go the day before Christmas. I can’t stand crowds. Never have.

“Christmas is the day that holds all time together.” Alexander Smith.

I have been home from work almost a week now. I’ve started a course. It’s online and runs for five weeks. It focuses on freelance writing. This is one of the goals I have in mind for 2021. I will go into more detail next week.

“What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future.” Agnes M. Pahro.

I would like to express my gratitude for all of you who have taken the time to read my blog this year. It is very much appreciated. My Christmas message is to be grateful for all that you have. Share your blessings with your loved ones. Merry Christmas everyone.

Blessings to all xx

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Am I a writer?

I would ask this question in a moment of uncertainty. Am I entitled to use the word “writer” after “I am?” I’m confused. I’m about to call myself a writer, but something would pull me back. I’d hear a voice in my head, an all too familiar voice say,

“Don’t be silly. You can’t call yourself a writer. It sounds pretentious, self- indulgent, immodest. You are trying to get attention. Stop it right now.”

This voice I call “the Bully.” It didn’t want me to step out of my comfort zone. Bully had been the thorn in my side most of my life. Bully reared its ugly head when I was about eighteen. The year I left school. Perhaps it’s right I thought. It’s just trying to protect me from making a fool of myself.

Bully would go on to say, “What could you possibly have to say that hasn’t been said a million times already? Who would want to read what you have to write? You are only one soul in a sea of seven billion souls swirling around the world.”

I’d respond, “but other people are writing and reaching others with their words. Why can’t I?”

 “You are just not at their level. They know what they are doing. You don’t. Be realistic. You can’t earn a living from writing. So move on.”

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 And so I did. I believed this. I moved further and further away from my dream. I moved away from who I truly was. I disconnected. I became a receptionist, an administration assistant and then an early childhood educator. I convinced myself I was happy. This went on for many years. There was an elephant in the room, but I chose not to see it.

“I needed to be myself and find my own identity.” Bill Skarsgard.

My true self was buried deep, deep down, so far down it would have taken some heavy machinery to drag it out into the open. At school all my material needs were taken care of. I didn’t have to go out and earn a living, so I was able to indulge, explore and experiment with writing. I could express myself freely. The Bully was nowhere in sight. I soaked up books like a sponge. I couldn’t get enough of the written word. I didn’t just do this because it was part of the curriculum. I had a love and passion for writing.

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Once I left school the Bully became a part of my life. I never got the chance to get my dream off the ground. I left school not really knowing (or rather thinking I didn’t know) what I wanted to do. If I had, had the maturity and wisdom then that I do now I would have followed my dream and not allowed fear to get in the way. I knew in the depths of my soul what I wanted to do, but at eighteen I didn’t think or know that writing for a living was an option. The Bully had won.

“Where you are is where you need to be. Learn to trust the timing of your life.” Unknown.

I could just wallow in regret but where would that get me? I can’t get in a time machine, go back and change it. I can see now that life isn’t in a straight line. Life is full of detours and crossroads. Which ever way I chose was right for me at the time. I was always on the right path, only I didn’t know it.

“Identity cannot be found or fabricated but emerges from within when one has the courage to let go.” Doug Cooper.

Now finally after over thirty years I’ve unshackled myself from the chains of Bully. With my life experiences behind me (and more to come of course!) I will be a much better writer. NO I am a much better writer. This is what it’s all been about. This inner conflict and struggle. It was to allow my true self, my identity safely out into the world. Be who I am meant to be. Be comfortable in my own skin. Be true, be real, be authentic. Now when I ask myself, “Am I a writer?” the response is an emphatic, “You better bloody believe it, I AM A WRITER.”

Me proudly holding my certificate

Blessings to all xx