Be not afraid, death is a teacher!
I treat death as a time for me to renew my focus and examine my life. My dog unfortunately is not so well at the moment and it appears terminal so the question for me is whether to allow nature to take its course or exercise what we humans call kindness and end his life while he still has some quality left. A tough call that many people say “you will know when it is right”. This opportunity that he affords me gives me time to reflect on the fleeting nature of who and what I am.
At the same time someone that I knew passed on last weekend – I did not know them well, but well enough to have worked with them on several projects over the years. It has caused me to refocus on what is important to me and mine. So what is that? Bluntly it comes down to my happiness, which hinges on my ability to give and receive from the people around me, both my family and my communities.
33 years ago yesterday my father passed on and I can say that what remains are the things that he taught me and the genetics that are visible in me. Thanks Dad for everything!
14 August 2013
Do you know where you are going? A question applied to drivers on the road and to people journeying through life. Rather expansive for the latter but very specific for the former.
Drivers on the road without a plan or strategy to get to their destination will find that they waste petrol, put high pressure on their vehicles when it comes to maintenance and repair, and are themselves frustrated unless of course the plan is to just drive wherever your fancy takes you.
Journeying through life is somewhat more complicated but in its essence it is the same as the driver heading for a specific destination. Confused? There is a time for specifics, and a time for a more relaxed and unbounded exploration.
The journey through life is made up mainly of the journey itself, and the destinations are milestones or benchmarks against which we end up measuring ourselves.
The questions arising which may be more pertinent are: do we always need to know where we are going and how are we going to get there? Well it is interesting that those of us who meander along through life not knowing where we are going tend to be perceived as losers, whereas those with direction and drive are perceived as doers and go getters with a mission and hence more often seen as successful.
However as a believer in the fact that nothing is absolute I have to ask myself whether it is always necessary to know where I am going. And the simple answer to that is NO! However to not know where you going for an interminable length of time is also a NO! So we need to introduce cycles and balance to create a “happy medium” where we understand the strengths and weaknesses of both states of being and employ them to our best advantage.
16 FEBRUARY 2013
And just for further edification and fun, the Current Mayan Date is
baktun 13 katun 0 tun 0 uinal 2 kin 17
Haab: 0 Kayab
Tzolkin: 9 Caban
Mayan epoch: 11 Aug, 3114 B.C.E.
Just imagine being one of 10000 who work together with one goal in mind – finding out how the universe works! It must be like a phenomenal ant nest where it is all for one and one for all!
Everyone knows what they are doing and delivers of their best on a daily basis because the culture created is one of co-operation through competition. Not competition until the death, but rather competition that ensures the betterment of all through understanding the end goal and knowing that that is more important than the “small wins at any cost” approach.
I think scientists at CERN may in fact be more interesting than the Large Hadron Collider, although I must admit that seems like a pretty neat piece of machinery. ONE VERY BIG toy for little BOYS and GIRLS from all around the world. CERN is situated on or rather under the border between France and Switzerland.
It must be awesome to be part of a project that seeks to find the answers to life, the universe and everything (Thanks Mr Adams). The mathematics and physics must be mindboggling to say the least!
The lesson for all of us is, be your best you, and do your best, and that will get you where you want to go provided you know where that is.
11 FEBRUARY 2013
To those who may have been following our little bits of inspiration I apologise for not being there in 2011/12. I feel as though I have stepped out of a time capsule – 2012 was a year full of reflection and self-contemplation and it flew by without even so much as beep on our website.
Most important for me to realise was that it is important to let cycles of life complete themselves. Just like winter is followed by spring so it is with our development as individuals – it is necessary for there to be a time to sow and a time to reap, a time to think and a time to do. And that these cycles can occur on a daily basis in ever increasing/decreasing circles that overlay each other.
2012 was my hibernation time, a winter that was beautiful in its own right. Winter is not just cold it preserves and holds time whilst rejuvenation takes place. I would argue that winter brings about an almost death in order to bring forth life.
And so 2013 or “The year of the Water Snake” or as it may be on at least 45 other calendars in use around the world, has begun with a bang! In a leaping rush – it is mid-February Gregorian style! The Chinese of course will celebrate their New Year on 10 February 2013! The Hebrews start celebrating this New Year on the evening of 4 September 2013 and the 5th is New Year’s Day. Then the Islamic calendar starts on evening of 3 November and ends evening of 4 November 2013. So we have many chances to start anew as it were! What is more, depending on the different calendars, we are in the year 1433 or 5773 or 2013! Take your pick!
It is most remarkable that we have and continue to build structure in terms of time and so the cycles continue!
The most fundamental thing in self-development is to understand that you are here on planet earth but for a blink in time. However it is your time! You can use it however you deem fit! But understand that however you use it determines the tone, the texture, and the legacy that you leave for others to build on or not. So ultimately, as the human race, we have built what we have because many of us have understood that we are not alone and that we exist through others who have come before us and that we will continue to exist through those that will come after us but only if we have left something worthwhile to build on!
8 FEBRUARY 2013
28 SH’VAT 5773
27 RABI AL-AWAAL 1434 A.H.
Feel the force of 2011! It has just begun and already I am inspired to do more, be more and think more!
This year I will master myself into the best warrior I can be! That means considering, evaluating, actioning and reflecting on physical, spiritual, emotional and intellectual soul aspects in order to harness and shape the best in me!
To do this requires a plan; a plan that can inform structure and discipline at the same time being flexible and agile in order to meet the needs of a diverse environment and a chaotic me.
2011 – It is about the integrity of life. Love life and it will love you back – the trick is giving unconditionally and opening yourself up to receive unconditionally (this does not mean without evaluation and reflection of what is good for you or those around you).
What are you doing about loving life? Like all things it requires effort and determination and then it will be second nature to you; and that is when everything your heart desires comes to you.
May 2011 be your year!
You know what - sometimes it is better to remain quiet, not because you don’t have anything to say, but because the right words and timing are simply not confluencing.Remember to slow down the world, for when we let the world speed past us, we start reacting to it, instead of acting.
Those who choose to live as warriors embrace ACTION, whilst victims and cowards live in REACTION (if not in complete submissiveness) to the challenges of life.
It is actually ironic (even sad) that anybody could allow themselves to be completely dominated by life's proverbial Ratrace, for we each have the ability to slow down the world and assume greater control over our own lives.
How? By choosing to replace matters of urgency with matters of importance.
When we do this... when we are able to focus our thoughts and our actions on those important issues that contribute to our growth, (whether they be connected to our passions, our talents, our abilities) then we experience true joy. However when we let our lives be controlled by the 'immediate requirements' we lose sight of the bigger picture and usually end up wasting valuable time and energy on the trivial and temporary, leaving us with.... what? (Well, stress for one thing, and more grey hairs for another)
I am not advocating the complete rejection of the daily practical necessities. I am simply saying: See it all for what it is.... remember its true value. When you are inundated with the urgent trivialities, do not ignore them, but do not give them false power. Always keep in mind your own personal hierarchy of importance and treat all accordingly.
If you choose to slave away at a desk for 9 hours a day, do not let it be because you simply have to impress your boss. No, let it be because it is part of your plan towards actualising your personal dream. And if what you are doing does not even remotely complement or contribute towards your dream, maybe you should re-evaluate your situation.
Live according to our highest, most important values, and do not let the mundane urgencies blur our vision.
What are your highest values?
28 September 2010
It has been like that for the last month when it came to me writing something meaningful for the Inspiration. And so I started reflecting on why that was the case and came up with what follows.
I take inspiration from the world around me because it is integrally part of me as I am part of it. It is the simple things in life that give the most joy and inspiration to me. It is having the ability to move from quiet time to chaos and back without losing my sense of self. And then I thought what mechanisms do I use to allow that to happen?
Well here is one – the use of seasonality.
Seasons can be used to create helpful patterns in your life that oftentimes we utilise unconsciously; or that sadly some of us have completely forgotten or never known.
However once you start to understand the value of utilising seasonal behaviour you then understand the need for quietness, chaos, excitement, reflection, exuberance, passion and flamboyance.
I like to think of Winter as a quiet time that allows for dormancy and hibernation, which in turn stimulates reflection and growth and that ultimately rejuvenates the soul. I am not talking about a wholesale lockdown of activity but rather a decision making time that generates new ideas and creativity in your life if you allow it to.
Spring on the other hand is a joyous reconnection time; a time when you can assert yourself anew as it were. Spring is a time when new ideas are needed to encourage and strengthen the cycle of growth.
Summer is always much easier if you have taken time to prepare yourself and those around you to receive the bounty that the universe has to offer.
And I love Autumn because it shows you the value of life in its diversity of colour, shape, size and texture even in its tempo and timbre.
I have to say that my strategy has always been to work in 6 month blocks from January to June and then July to December, although not strictly in synchronisation with the seasons I use the first 6 months of the year to wind down and prepare for what I call the high season (the last 6 months). It has created an unconscious competence in terms of my understanding of the universe with regards to timing, preparedness and opportunity.
I must admit that I love chaos so it is much more work for me to remain quiet which I have managed to do this Winter, but of late I am hankering for a bit of chaos. Inspiration truly comes from within when you begin to understand divine love and power are best intertwined and that they rise within you as you discover who you are.
Sitting here in my space, in my time, in my mind inspires me. So what inspires you?
29 August 2010
I was driving towards a meeting a few days ago, and when I changed the radio station, I came across a classic 'song / inspirational message / talk'... (if it sounds confusing, it is because it is pretty unique), called Sunscreen.
(I have added the actual lyrics below)
In the song the storyteller (Baz Luhrman) shares many words of wisdom and pieces of advice, (and repeatedly emphasises the fact that you should wear sunscreen...obviously).
Now firstly, I have recently become extremely critical of these typical little ‘life lessons’ where somebody says: Always do this, never say that... and wara wara wara. It is not so much that I necessarily disagree with the advice, it’s simply that every situation and every experience for every person ... is unique. You see, in principle I hold that there are no absolute external truths.
Ok, ok I realise that many of you will probably disagree on this point and that it will make for a very fun and interesting point of debate.... but in another session.
What I want to focus on in this article is the fact that yes, even though I have become critical about absolute statement of truth or wisdom, and even though I always carefully scrutinise them and hold them up to the standard of 'reason' before simply agreeing…. With this song, I have chosen to be a bit more relaxed.
I still carefully considered the advice (admittedly I didn't subject the song to a stringent-critical-analysis.... I enjoyed it too much to follow that route) and in the end I walked away with a sense of … well, agreement.
Soooooo, after this lengthy introduction, what do I really want to say???
Well, there is a short piece of advice which really stuck with me, and it states:
"Do at least one thing every day that scares you!"
Ignoring all I said above about the analysis and absoluteness of such a statement… I think it’s a motto that fits well into the warrior-lifestyle. After all, it is simply another way of saying: confront your fears!
(Once again we could go into a lengthy discussion as to why we should confront our fear...? To what degree should we confront it…? What is the difference between confronting fear with courage and being blatantly reckless…? We could discuss this….BUT…. for a change… today I am not going to. I leave the interpretation of the statement, and the parameters thereof …up to you.
Today I am simply going to agree with the ‘opinion’, and also encourage you to, DO AT LEAST ONE THING EVERYDAY THAT SCARES YOU.
And the only reason for this advice… is because amidst fear, especially the fear of death… we truly experience life!
Fear reminds us of death…. And therefore reminds us to live!
What ‘scary’ challenge are you going to confront this week?
Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of '97.
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.
The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience...
I will dispense this advice now.
Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh nevermind; you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded.
But trust me, in 20 years you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked...
You're not as fat as you Imagine.
Don't worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum.
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind.
The kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.
Do one thing everyday that scares you.
Don't be reckless with other people's hearts, don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.
Don't waste your time on jealousy;
Sometimes you're ahead,
Sometimes You're behind.
The race is long, and in the end, it's only with yourself.
Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults;
If you Succeed in doing this, tell me how.
Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.
Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your
The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don't.
Get plenty of calcium.
Be kind to your knees, you'll miss them when they're gone.
Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't, maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't, maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary.
Whatever you do, don't Congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either.
Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else's.
Enjoy your body, Use it every way you can... Don't be afraid of it, or what other people Think of it,
It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own...
Dance... even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.
Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.
Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.
Brother and sister together we'll make it through
Someday your spirit will take you and guide you there
I know you've been hurting, but I've been waiting to be there
And I'll be there, just tell me now, whenever I can.
Get to know your parents, you never know when they'll be gone for good.
Be nice to your siblings;
They are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.
Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on.
Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.
Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard;
Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.
Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will Philander, you too will get old, and when you do you'll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.
Respect your elders.
Don't expect anyone else to support you.
Maybe you have a trust fund, Maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.
Don't mess too much with your hair, or by the time you're 40, it will look 85.
Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.
But trust me on the sunscreen...
19 August 2010 Charlene Deacon
What does it mean to make your existence count?
To make you existence count, ask yourself two simple questions:
Do you know what you want from life?
Do you have a plan to guide your way to what it is you want?
Note these are simple questions but not necessarily easy. Knowing what you want from life can be a simple as deciding that you want to be happy, and figuring out what that entails requires self introspection and evaluation of what is important to you. Just remember that a dream without a plan is just a dream, and that you could be wasting precious resources that may or may not be renewable if you do not plan your future space.
SOMETIMES YOU CAN PLAN TO BE “UNPLANNED” and let yourself go with the flow – the trick is – Are you conscious of what you are doing?
Indeed there are times when you will lose the plot of the plan but then you need to check whether:
a) the plan is still what you want
b) you are overloading yourself with unreasonable expectations
c) the plan in line with the ecology of your life and surroundings
Or did you just lose focus, and if that is the case understanding and accepting that that is in the past and that you need to move on and reconnect with the plan.
Living your life in harmony with your “purpose” will bring you balance and exquisite acuity. Take courage and know that many have been there before you and that many will come after, however there has and never will be anyone quite like you!
When your uniqueness shines it is the result of making your existence count!
9 August 2010 Paul Rothmann
Some days… we lose focus.
Then we need to regain it.
Perhaps ‘focus’ is not the best word… and yet, I am pretty sure you know exactly what I mean when I use it.
Quite simply, we ‘lose focus’ when our thoughts and actions are not in line with our ‘life-purpose’ or ‘chosen path’.
· Perhaps you set yourself certain personal goals, and you are not achieving it.
· Perhaps you made a commitment to act in an honourable manner, only to catch yourself doing the complete opposite…
· Perhaps you strove to only have pure thoughts, only to be overpowered by more questionable images in your mind.
Whatever the case may be, the fact is that you feel as if you drifted away from your own ‘life-purpose’ or ‘path’, and you feel like a disappointment… and even like a failure.
So back to the statement:
Some days… we lose focus.
Then we need to regain it.
We need to regain focus…. To get back on the path we want to walk.
For some reason many people (usually self-proclaimed victims) choose the alternative, namely: to continue sulking in self-pity or self-admonishment… But lets be honest, that seems considerably less pleasant and less productive, so personally, I recommend regaining focus.
I don’t think that we should blatantly ignore the ‘de-focusing’ experience. No, ideally we learn from it, perhaps identify some obstacles that we might encounter again in the future, and develop some plan to avoid them or deal with the more effectively.
· Perhaps we realised that factors such as boredom, alcohol, certain people, stress etc triggered or lead to our lack of focus… and thus we should be careful of those in the future.
But the most important thing is to simply say: OK, lets go again.
It’s the proverbial… ‘Get back on the horse, and try to do a better job!
So, as you undoubtedly figured out by now... this is predominantly a ‘reflective’ piece, because I had a somewhat ‘personally’ challenging 2 weeks, and found myself to be relatively unfocussed.
Needless to say I was feeling a bit depressed, and I was trying to figure out what went wrong, when, where and how…. And then I realised I was wasting time.
So I said: Just do it better.
After all, I can’t change the past, and as for the future, well my friend Death is eagerly waiting for me. So I certainly do not want to waste time on ‘pointless-inner-finger-pointing’ (I think I should trademark that word.)
When Death comes, he/she should struggle to wrench me from some sort of thrilling, life-enhancing adventure, and not lazily escort me away whilst I am drowning myself in self-blame.
So… if this piece is applicable to you: Simply regain focus.
(And yes…. at some point in time…. you will have to do it all again… and again… and again)
After all: This is WARRIORCRAFT.
26 July 2010 Charlene Deacon
As you become fully aware of the meaning of “I am because we are” it becomes easier to grasp that “We are because I am” is an equal and opposing truth. It is the ying and yang, the hot and cold, the on and off, the black and white; it is indeed the opposite side of the same coin where “I” cannot exist without “the other” and vice versa.
So my challenge to you is to make your existence count on the positive side because that will generate many more good returns for you and the universe.
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