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Posts Tagged ‘Motivational’

#The Midnight Caller
Death can be beguiling and enticing.

The Midnight Caller

 

Twas death himself, I know

Waiting silently outside my door

Though no door I’ve ever known

Could keep him away once lured.

≈ 

He held out his hand

Pale and slim

Yet somehow I knew also warm and strong

“Take my hand and walk with me

Away from all you feel

You know that’s what you want to do.

Leave all the pain and strife behind

No further hurt, no tears, no fight

Not even one more struggle

To suffer in this life.”

≈ 

But as ever before my answer came

To the beguiling words from death

“Even though I may be heartsore

I cannot follow you yet

My time to leave is not yet now

There are others here in this life

Who still need me on this side.

They may not know just how or why

But this light I have deep inside, knows this.

So, once again I say to you, No.

I cannot leave this life.

Nor ever desert them in this way

Though my heart bleeds daily for release.”

≈ 

This life is heavy

My heart bowed down

No way forward can be found

In despair I stand and pray for answers

Stubborn belief they can be found.

≈ 

I sensed a smile play around his mouth

A sparkle in the depths of his eyes

“I see you have not yet given up this fight

So once again I must bid you goodnight.

Remember though that I am always here

Waiting for your call

When midnight chimes awaken you

Remember, I wait for you too.”

≈ 

I cannot prove who called this night

At the stroke of the midnight hour

Yet the voice, the words echoed familiarly

And the essence I felt I knew.

≈ 

In my heart I know

Death called this night

And once more I closed the door.

Blessings, Susan ♥

© Susan Jamieson, 2014

Image courtesy of http://www.yeshairstyles.com

 

 

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“The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image. If in loving them we do not love what they are, but only their potential likeness to ourselves, then we do not love them: we only love the reflection of ourselves we find in them”
Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island

“What Price Trust, Respect and Communication?”

It may sound like a ridiculous question, and in some ways it could be said to be a question that is automatically answered and therefore a waste of time. After all, if you have a “significant other” in your life, then you presume that trust is one of the most important things in your relationship. It is an integral part of everything you do. Or have I misread the fine print somewhere?

I know this is something I have asked myself before, probably more than once, and therefore the answer should be in front of me. Yet, I am continually reminded by others, that life is not always so straightforward. People are seldom one-dimensional, and as far as language is concerned, what something means to one person, means something entirely different to another.

So how can we ensure that what we say and do is clearly understood by someone else? It’s really Communication 101, with a dash of Trust 201, and also Respect 301. Sounds funny doesn’t it, yet also self-evident, don’t you think?

I’ve spent my entire life working on the principle that, what I say I can be held to, at any time. I’m reminded of the film and series “Fifty Shades of Grey”. For many life is like that. (No, I haven’t seen it, but I’ve heard so much about it.) If someone can find a grey area, that wiggle room, they will exploit what they say to get round the finer points of the truth. Yet to me, the truth is all important. It is a foundation block for all life.

#trustrespectcommunication

Image courtesy of simplelifecelebrations.com

 

“Friendship- my definition- is built on two things. Respect and trust. Both elements have to be there. And it has to be mutual. You can have respect for someone, but if you don’t have trust, the friendship will crumble.”
Stieg Larsson, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Think for one moment about the misunderstanding, the hurt, the pain and the betrayal, felt by individuals and you begin to realise the importance of truth and trust. You can also add ‘countries’ in this equation, as the furore over the perceived intention on someone’s words has seen entire continents go to war.

Perhaps I am the one “at fault” here. Perhaps I am too black and white, the one who cannot see the middle ground in a situation?

Yet, I’m always reminded of the old Western films, John Wayne, Henry Ford and Paul Newman; even Robert Duvall and Kevin Costner in “Open Range”. They always depicted people of strong character who were willing to die for the truth, the right, and to protect those weaker than themselves. Idealistic isn’t it?

Yet there are times when idealism is what we need to return to, in order to get our country, our world, and our relationships, out of the mire and into the clear skies once more. Are we not meant to be “smelling the roses” each day, “paying it forward”, remembering “kindness, gratitude and appreciation?” I’m surely not the only one who has become lost along the way? I should ask if I have become lost along the way.

#trustrespectcommunication

Image courtesy of crunchmodo.com

“If we can just let go and trust that things will work out they way they’re supposed to, without trying to control the outcome, then we can begin to enjoy the moment more fully. The joy of the freedom it brings becomes more pleasurable than the experience itself.”
Goldie Hawn

There was a time when I believed that family was everything, the glue which held all of us together. These were the people who, no matter what happened, you could rely on to “have your back” and help you, come what may. Yes, another idealistic outlook, but there has to be a start somewhere and if not with family, then where?

We cannot talk to each other any longer because everyone seems to feel the need to ensure they are “one better’ than you are. It makes them feel so much more satisfied if they can “blame you” for saying or doing something, even if they have no idea what actually happened. It makes me feel saddened at the loss of that family bond. I know my parents would be more than disappointed.

These simple “codes of life” apply across the spectrum, from the individual relationships, friendships to the dynamics of country interaction.

#trustrespectcommunication

Image courtesy of http://www.quoteswave.com

 

“We’re paying the highest tribute you can pay a man. We trust him to do right. It’s that simple.”
Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

In the end, I feel, we have to build trust and respect through communication. It is essential we do this if we wish to survive and bring the world forward into a better place than it is presently. Is this not the meaning of our journey here on earth?

If I say, I will tell you the story of my life, so that you can learn from it, avoid the pitfalls which brought me low, then I must follow through with that promise. I cannot decide to change my offer after I have begun, because I think I can “make more money from it” by selling it to someone else. I cannot say, I will make this promise with you, yet if another country offers me more, then I will forget our arrangement and go with the new offer.

We have to respect our own words first and foremost so that others know they can trust us. They can believe in our words because we have shown them our word is important. It was one of the founding blocks of society when we began forming societies. Respect and Trust in our Communication with ourselves and with others. I don’t believe things have changed much at all. If only everyone else understood those three little words…. We could avoid so much hurt and pain, so much bloodshed. Understanding could be second nature.

So many clichés and yet they are all true. My you find your Truth and Respect for yourself and your fellow spirit along life’s journey and learn the dance of communication to bring us closer together.

#trustrespectcommunication

Image courtesy of sherwoodfleming.com

 

“Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.”
Stephen R. Covey

 

May all our days be filled with understanding so that we can trust one another from a place of respect. Let us then communicate from our hearts.

 

Blessings,  Susan ♥

© Susan Jamieson, August 2014

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“Life is not meant to be easy, my child; but take courage — it can be delightful.”

George Bernard Shaw from his book “Back to Methuselah.”

 

Life is complex. It is rarely straight forward. Each time we look around we find that things have been either subtly changed or intricately woven into a complex tapestry. Is it strange therefore to begin to wonder the reason for this apparent random upheaval of life? Life is a character building exercise and a spiritual means of growth and learning.

Former Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser, (1975 – 1983) coined the phrase “Life wasn’t meant to be easy” in 1983. Using only the first line made it sound somewhat unsympathetic, perhaps in keeping with the persona of Mr Fraser. As far as it goes, this simple statement is infuriating. Think about it for a moment. Such a simple statement of apparent fact says so much more. Each day we are faced with a multitude if decisions and situations which we have to solve in order to progress through our days.

If we accept the premise this simple statement provides we are accepting that, irrespective of what we do, life is going to be difficult. It has cemented into our sub conscious the probability that we have to fail at what we are doing, or if not fail, then we will have a really difficult time in achieving our goal. We “have” to struggle.

 

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” -Thornton Wilder

All of life, from its inception to its last hurrah, can be filled with challenges of one kind or another. This isn’t simply aimed at an individual or a select group of people either. It can also include each and every country on the planet. Can you envision what could happen if each country developed a mindset that “Life wasn’t meant to be easy?”

We see on a daily basis the armed conflicts on a global scale, the individual and group murders, brutal assaults and acts of cruelty and terror on a major and minor scale, and if we accept the premise of this simple statement, it could be the single, most heinous excuse for every unimaginable horror which could be perpetrated.

Yet, it need not be this way. “Life wasn’t meant to be easy” because “Life is easy”. As Shaw said, but take courage — it can be delightful.” I can hear the sounds of derision even now. There is no-one breathing down our necks to make life difficult. There is no-one telling us we have to make decisions which will ensure life be will be a struggle day by day. It is true that there are horrendous events occurring each day. There are people dying as you read this, some in the most sickening manner which could be imagined. Does it have to be this way?

Do people have to be forced to live on the streets, to spend days and nights with little or no food or warmth? Do entire countries or factions need to spend their days and nights contemplating the destruction of anyone who has different ideas to theirs?

#This is Life

you are always in my heart

“You connect yourself to the viewer by sharing something that is inside of you that connects with something inside of him. All you have as your guide is that you know what moves you.” -Steven Brust

These questions can reduced to an even simpler, single question, “Does this person, or these people, these countries or factions, have the right or necessity to destroy anyone’s life? We all have an unassailable right to life, to make our own decisions and choose whether we will have a life of struggle, strife and woe or a life filled with blessings, light and ease.

It can most definitely be challenging and so it should be. Anything which we find too easy to obtain or secure, to earn or to simply be, is rarely valued. It seems that we need to feel that we have earned our right to have a sense of ease in our lives. In this, there may be some truth.

As a spirit in human form we choose what lessons we have come to this place, our home, planet earth, to learn and also how we are going to do this. There are many reasons why these lessons may be so ‘hard’. There is one school of thought which says that the harder the lesson the more we learn from it and the less time we have to spend earning our “credits” in the school of life. I’m not entirely convinced it can be as simple as this, but it does make a certain skewed logic.

Perhaps I need to have a logical reason for why things happen the way they do. The shooting down of a plane of innocent travellers. The continued conflicts around the globe which create arguments on a daily basis – the beginnings of the next conflagration.

I don’t have the answers to even the simple question of “Why is life not meant to be easy?” All I have is the sometimes tremulous belief that life is….life. In all its good and bad, the beauty and horror, it is as it is. Whether it is meant to be or not starts to become meaningless.

As George Bernard Shaw said, “Life is not meant to be easy, my child; but take courage — it can be delightful.”

Yes, amidst the horror, “life can be delightful”. I’m happy with that.

May all your days be delightful.

#This is Life

image courtesy of dontgiveupworld.com

 

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” -Elizabeth Kubler Ross

 

Blessings, Susan ♥

© Susan Jamieson, August 2014

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#In this Wonderful Life

image courtesy of wallpapers-xs.blogspot.com

“When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know that your name is safe in their mouth.”
Jess C. Scott, The Intern

 In this wonderful life, this often difficult to understand existence we share with the world around us and all its inhabitants, we can be forgiven for wondering what is wonderful about it. It can drive us to distraction and also to the heights of ecstasy, all within the space of moments. It can make us question our reason for being, our reason to stay, and our reason for the apparently innumerable atrocities we are bombarded with daily.

I rarely watch the news broadcasts, the innumerable advertisements, radio broadcasts or read the newspapers. Good news is hard to find in any of these places and the horrors are far too many to count. It is difficult to find the “milk of human kindness” whilst being deluged with the nightmarish ability of some people to perpetuate abominable acts.

Yet, even accepting all of this, I still feel, still believe, that this life is wonderful. We have been gifted with an abundance of beauty, of goodness, kindness and the opportunity to share our happiness, gratitude and kindness with our fellow Spirits, our fellow travellers on life’s road. We have the choice, should we decide to do so, to make a difference in our world, even if it is only in a small way. Even the small acts of kindness and gratitude add up and make a significant difference to others and to our world. Without these simple acts of goodness we would surely be in a dark place.

 

#In this Wonderful Life

image courtesy of artorifreedom.deviantart.com

“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.
Delicious Ambiguity.”
Gilda Radner

 

I see the struggle some people have to endure, the hardships and terrors, homelessness and cruelty and I know that our small acts of consideration are immeasurably worthwhile. The “Thank You” to a waiter or shop assistant for serving us with a smile, helping us to find something we want and in doing so, making our day better. They deserve the same acknowledgement. It makes my heart light to return a smile, a “Thank You” and more, to let their superior know that they’ve done a good job. It takes but a small moment and can mean so much.

We can have no idea what is happening in their lives – the hardships or losses which might be lightened, even slightly, by a kind word or gesture. I remember one sad-looking lady, going about her job in the coffee shop, smiling in all the right places, going out of her way to help by bringing someone an extra jug of milk with a smile. A smile tinged with sadness – hiding the loss of someone dear. A gentle touch on her wrist, a connection between our eyes as I thanked her for her kindness and for just a moment, I saw that dark cloud lift, just a little. Letting her boss know how good the service was and seeing her smile again – worth so much to know I may have made a small difference for just a moment. Who knows how important such a moment may be?

These small acts of kindness, or “Random Acts of Kindness” as they have become known, are often as precious as gold or silver. They spread ripples out into the world, growing ever larger and with unknown consequences. I have even heard a story about how one small act of kindness stopped someone from taking their life. They later said it was this small thing which made them decide they would keep trying and then they helped someone else and they found the strength to keep going.

 

#In this Wonderful Life
image courtesy of flickerhivemind.net   Wonderful Life in Nature
“To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget.”
Arundhati Roy, The Cost of Living
#In this Wonderful Life

image courtesy of robsmovievault.wordpress.com

 

We have all seen or heard of the film “Pay it Forward”. A beautiful film which has immortalised on-screen this effect of doing small acts of kindness and how it can grow beyond anything we may imagine. Yet, it is only one side of the coin. We can be selfish, self-centred and consumed by our own wants, ignoring everyone and everything else.

If you watch the daily news, read the daily papers, even the internet, you can be inundated with the horror stories which can destroy any chance of peace of mind. Occasionally it is impossible to ignore the stories of cruelty perpetuated by other people. Children beaten so badly, like a young toddler today that he could not be saved. We can be brought down by these stories, these acts of barbarism to such an extent that we can find no answer to the question of “Why?” Why do these things happen to innocents before they’ve had a chance to explore this wonderful life?

 

#In this Wonderful Life

image courtesy of 1hdwallpapers.com  Magic is all around us – always.

“Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

If this question is asked there is usually someone who will say they were angels, not meant to stay here on earth. Yet I find little comfort in this. Even accepting the premise that they chose this life, however brief it was, cannot lift the weight on our hearts at their pain and suffering.

Bad things happen because, at present, good people do not do enough to create enough ripples of kindness to prevent bad things happening. It is a wonderful life. It is filled with wonder and joy, happiness and kindness. We can and do make a difference if we chose to. We don’t need coaching to do this because we already know what to do. Being kind, grateful, generous, are already a part of us. We have to make a conscious choice to follow those beautiful parts of ourselves and we can effect wonderful change around us.

#In this Wonderful Life

image courtesy of http://www.pinterest.com

When was the last time you smiled at a stranger, or dropped spare change into a buskers cap? When did you last smile at your waitress and genuinely thank her for serving you, thanking her for looking after your needs? When did you thank the lady at the checkout, the baker in the bakery, the butcher for selecting a beautiful cut of meat from the local farm or the stall holder who was selling fresh home-grown vegetables for you to enjoy? There are so many ways we can all make this world a wonderful place, our daily lives a “Wonderful Life”.

 

#In this Wonderful Life

image courtesy of http://www.care2.com

“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.”
Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum LP
#In this Wonderful Life

image courtesy of theoldrectorydonard.com

 

So I would ask you – remember to be Mindful, be in the moment, stop to consider how you think and act and remember that one small act of kindness or generosity can indeed be the small seed to save a life or even save the world. In this Wonderful Life we can make magic happen.

 

Blessings, Susan♥

© Susan Jamieson 31 July 2014

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The steam rose in thick towers

Spiralling towards the ceiling

The delightful scents of rose, jasmine and bergamot

Carried upwards with the spiralling steam

One slender leg reached forward

Gently touching the water

Before easing completely under the surface

Quickly followed by the other

As she stepped fully into the bath

Slipping down under the water

The billowing clouds hiding her from sight

A soft sigh of contentment was heard

From slightly parted lips

Hair piled high upon her head

She laid back upon a thick fluffy towel

Water swirling around her chin

Sent more steam and the pleasant scents

To enfold her head in dreams of perfumed gardens

Eyes closed in contented bliss

She lay enveloped in the warmth

All her cares and worries carried away

In the rising steam

Leaving only peaceful dreams

Of perfumed pleasure

Beneath the talented hands of the masseur

Who had softly kneaded her flesh

Into pliant submission

Released all tension and cares

Until she floated quietly into this room

To soak in solitary peace

The oils, warm water and soaps

Combined to lull her almost to sleep

The quiet presence of the attendant

Broke her reverie

And she rose midst yet more steam

To reach for the huge thick towel

Her dream put aside for a time

Until she returned once more.

Blessings, Susan ♥

© Susan Jamieson 2014

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Through the Looking Glass

image from gamesfortrainers.blogspot.com

“Every ceiling, when reached, becomes a floor, upon which one walks as a matter of course and prescriptive right.”    Aldous Huxley

~

A couple of weeks ago I told you about the planned trip to Mount Tambourine so we could have a “time out” to use as a forward planning session for next year. You can read about it here.

Initially I wasn’t a whole-hearted supporter of the planning session as I felt tired and still unwell from the Lyme medication and pressured by the proximity to Christmas. In fact, both issues were learning exercises for me. Being ill is not a natural state for anyone to be in and I’m no different to anyone else. I fight it, which is counterproductive. By this I don’t mean that if you are ill you, or I, should simply lie down and give in to it. Definitely not! But fighting an illness is not helpful. Understanding it and then making the most of your time and resources, is the better way to manage it. Fighting it just exhausts you and leaves you open to many other problems because of the exhaustion.

Similarly, letting the fact that Christmas was so close unsettle me, to the extent that I felt overwhelmed, was a fruitless exercise. In reality, when I had time to look at what I had already done and what was remaining, it allowed me to realise that I was as ready as I needed to be before the big day. I allowed my struggle with ‘brain fog’ to start running a destructive program in my mind which could have ruined Christmas. Fortunately my “time out” sorted through these issues.

Through the Looking Glass

Outlook from Tambourine over the mountain

More than that, after I had my shower and dinner, settled in and allowed myself to unwind, it in itself was an enormous gift. I found I was ready and able to focus on planning for next year. Yes, next year which is now only twenty-four hours away, and as such the reason I felt I should finish “Through the Looking Glass.”

I believe it was an auspicious start to the event as it was the night of the full moon. You may have already gathered that I love the full moon and from the top of the mountain it was interesting. Even with the cloud cover the views were amazing.

We had a table brought up to the room so we could spread out our writing material, and set to work with the check list of questions from the Life Change 90 Program. We each had our own monthly and yearly review sheets which we filled in alone and as an exercise discussed later. It was enlightening to see where we were completely in sync with each other and the small areas where we had a slightly different viewpoint. It isn’t necessary to do this but it was a good exercise from our perspective since I’m the director of Life Change 90.

Through the Looking Glass

The review in Progress

It was also good to see where we were both on the same track; most of the ‘differences’ were in reality, terminology. Which brought home the importance of making sure you and your partner really listen to each other and understand what each other are really saying, not what we think they are saying. If that rings a bell, it’s because we use the same ‘formula’ with our children when we want to make sure they are really listening to us and following our requests, at least when they are small enough to pay attention!

Obviously, our reviews were slightly different as my focus was tilted towards my perceptions of how my illness affects what I do, Ray and us as a couple. Ray’s was naturally tilted towards his viewpoint as the person who carries a larger share of the daily activities since I am unwell a lot of the time and the changes that entails. He also focused on his activities and us as a couple.

Through the Looking  Glass

image from projectavalon.net Everyone sees things from a different perspective

Our forward planning went into three stages, as individuals for next month, next year and as a couple for the same periods. Then we looked at it from a business perspective.  It sounds onerous but in fact, it was relatively easy. There is a degree of overlap between each which cuts down the planning steps. Once again we worked on individual sheets to begin the process and then began to combine them.

Whilst it was important to schedule the goal setting for the business, it is something which I do at home and therefore it directly affects and impacts on what we, as individuals, are able to do. I am fortunate that Ray is the Chief Blogger at the moment for Life Change 90. (One Chief Blogger at a time is enough, don’t you think?)

Through the looking Glass

image from Life Change 90

One of our major goals is to move in the first quarter of the year, onto our farm somewhere relatively close to here. By it’s very nature it is not something we can have concrete steps for, since there are many things which need to fall into place first, such as my health. I start my new regimen of Lyme medication at the weekend and my response to it will affect some of our plans.

Through the Looking Glass

image from properties.mitula.com.au

Another interruption (or irritant as I call it), is having to visit my Lyme doctor every six weeks. It would have been nice to be told he was changing his routine when I saw him last.  Instead, we found out when the advice he inserted into a Christmas card fell into our laps as soon as we had finished our planning session. Plus my appointment had been moved to 7.30pm and when it is three and a half hours away from home, a late appointment isn’t really what I would prefer. Traveling is not my strong suit. I arrive like a bent pretzel and feel as though the least movement will snap off an offending arm or leg completely. But, this too shall pass.

Through the Looking Glass

image from deltasdazzlingcostumes.com.au –

There is a big family birthday coming up in February, but we need to be flexible until we see how these meds affect me, so we have a mini monthly review planned for mid-January to see how we are going.

I hope you now have an idea of how we went about our review and planning. It is, I feel, important to make the most of the time you have and this way I feel we maximise what is possible.

Make the most of your New Year celebrations; the New Year is almost upon us. Roll in 2014!

Through the Looking Glass

image from blog.grandchancellorhotels.com

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”    Edith Lovejoy Pierce

May you reach all your goals in 2014.

Stay safe. Stay well.

Blessings,  Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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Identity

Image from http://www.bizarbin.com
Best friends

“Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armour yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.”
― George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

Identity… what is it?

Identity is what makes you who you are and it makes me who I am, two totally separate and unique individuals. There can be no other person exactly like either of us and that is why we are unique, and it is this very uniqueness which gives us our wonderful identities.

Amongst the many definitions of Identity Wikipedia say this in relation to “identity formation” –

“the process of the development of the distinct personality of an individual”.

I had to question the reason why there are so many differing ways to define “identity”. There are personal, corporate, country, sexual, gender and philosophical “identity” and whilst they all have some resemblance to each other they are all also very different. Perhaps the easiest way to understand this abundance of differentiation is to acknowledge that as an individual we are complex creatures and in order to understand something as simple as a person’s identity, it has become necessary to view identity in context to the subject being discussed.

Identity

Image from ecofriendszz.blogspot.com
More best friends

So, What is identity?

The above is however, a very clinical way of viewing someone, breaking the very characteristics and behaviours which make people unique into small bite sized chunks of individuality. I believe an identity is the sum total of those characteristics and behaviours which makes an individual unique in comparison to everyone else.  Just as no two people can be the same then no two identities can be “identical”. Even copycats cannot be identical because it is impossible to remove all the individuality of the copycat. Even identical twins are not absolutely identical.

The complexity of ‘identity’ can be seen if you look at the “national/public holidays” a country has. Labour Day is ‘celebrated’ in many western countries. It has created an identity unique to itself by creating a movement to raise the standard of labour laws which had not been seen before. It therefore became part of the national identity to celebrate the ‘global’ change in national identity.

Identity

Image from webtaj.com
Rabbit, mouse, kitten and puppy friends

What is identity in Australia?

In Australia we, as a nation, are known by the colloquial saying of “She’ll be right, mate”. We are also known as a nation of sun worshipping surfers and athletes. This however is only a small part of the picture. There are many more people who are not sun worshippers, not surfers and definitely not athletes. The national image has corrupted the true individual identity, and also the national identity since it has taken away our ability to be unique.

What is identity in America?

In the US, Thanksgiving has just been celebrated (or is still being celebrated). There is discussion on the relevance of celebrating it, in the manner it is currently. It seems there is always some disagreement over what or how, certain celebrations occur. In context it is a good thing.

Identity

Image from advocacy.britannica.com
Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving originated after the Mayflower had landed, half the people had died from illness and the local Indians had helped them to learn how to survive in their new land. At that time it was the creation of a new national identity which is still celebrated today, even though many individuals have changed since then and the national identity has changed, as much as the individual identities have changed to reflect the times. The celebration is one of identity, unique circumstances and the forging of a partnership with the inhabitants of their new land. The celebration remains although much of the original import has been forgotten or changed.

What really is identity?

Identity is the sum total of all the parts which make us who we are. It is the ability to choose our path through life, our spiritual path as well as our family path, career path, life path.   We, as human beings, are unique on the planet in that we can choose to change, to grow, to become more than we are right now.  If we are not happy with who we are, or how we see ourselves and our identity, we can choose to become more.  We can choose to learn more, to understand more, to grow and evolve.  It is human nature to grow and evolve, and we can direct our growth and development, as we choose the identity we wish to present.

Societies, human beings, our unique spiritual beliefs, all form a part of our “identity”.

When we choose to band together, our identities merge to form a group of people with a common bond, purpose and identity.  It may be to celebrate one of these national holidays, or a religious festival.  However, we remain individuals within the group, always with free will, always with the ability and capability to decide to be different, unique, truly an individual, because we do have our own unique identity.

Perhaps this is the most important part of ‘identity’ that needs to be remembered.  Regardless of the group, the bond or the cause, at all times, we have that free will to choose to step out of the group.  We are ‘united’ by the common beliefs, but not necessarily ‘bound’ by them.  It takes strength and courage to be an individual, to accept your own uniqueness, but then, that courage and strength is also part of your identity.

Celebrate it.

identity

Image from eeryelegance.blogspot.com
My best friend is ducky!

I believe that identity is a multifaceted and unique part of each person. It makes us a spiritual being unlike any other. The very complexity of our identity is what makes us a global and spiritual masterpiece.

Blessings, Susan x

“We know what we are, but not what we may be.”
― William Shakespeare

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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Abundance

Happiness

“If you always attach positive emotions to the things you want, and never attach negative emotions to the things you don’t, then that which you desire most will invariably come your way.”
Matt D. Miller

There are times when, no matter how hard we try we feel that nothing we do is going right. Everything seems hard and we don’t know how to get things back on track again. We feel as though we are going round in circles and can’t find a way to get off the merry-go-round. The last thing we can believe is that abundance is all around us.

It’s so frustrating when things feel like this. Unfortunately the more energy we put into these thoughts the more of those kinds of events seem to occur around us. Abundance seems to be anywhere but around us.

Abundance

image from harmonyinspirations.com.au

Your day might feel something like this:
  • You’ve been feeling tired and lethargic and decided to have just a few extra minutes in bed to get the day off to a good start. Instead you drop off into a sound sleep, wake up half an hour later and now you’re running around madly because it looks as though you will be late for work.  
  • Frantically rushing around you forego breakfast to make up time and as you finally dash out the front door you trip, catching your jacket on a nail you didn’t see and tear a huge hole in it. Now you have to go back and change your outfit which means you will be late after all and it’s going to cost you a repair bill to get your jacket fixed.
  • Finally on your way to work you have a dream run with no traffic hold ups. You start to think you are going to get there on time after all when you turn the corner and… there are road works ahead and the lollipop facing you says “STOP”.
  • Instead of a long delay the lollipop is turned around almost immediately and you get through the road works.
  • There is one car park ahead but a car suddenly cuts in front of you and it looks as though that parking space, which would have seen you arrive at work on time, is gone. Your sigh of despondency turns to a cry of joy as the car in front keeps going and you drive into the parking space.
  • In through the front foyer and you are going to make it if you catch the next lift. As the thought crosses your mind you see inside the lift. It is crammed full of people. There will be no way you can get into that lift. As your shoulders start to slump three people suddenly get out of the lift and you quickly get in.
  • You are working on the fifteenth floor and as you look at the panel you see almost every button for each floor is lit. Can anything else go wrong? The doors slowly close and the lift just sits there for what seems an age before climbing to the next floor. This happens all the way up.
  • Thoroughly chagrined you finally arrive on your floor and start to make your way out only to see your boss walk out of the lift just behind you.
  • You are waiting to be chipped for being late when he says, ”Damned lifts, it’s impossible to get in on time is it? Drop by my office later, I have your bonus cheque on my desk”

At each step of your journey you have met with delays and unfortunate accidents. Each one seems to be the one which is going to ruin your day and possibly get you in hot water with your boss. It couldn’t have been a worse start to the day, could it? Now the day has started so badly the rest of the day will only get worse, right? It’s so bad how can abundance be anywhere near you?

Abundance

Grateful for everything

Look at the day again.
  • You managed to get an extra half an hour of sleep which means you won’t feel tired all day. Yes you had to rush a little to catch up but you did and were going out the door on time.
  •  Oh, but then you ripped your jacket. Then you remember that you chose that jacket because you thought it might rain and you really don’t like it much at all, so it wouldn’t have bothered you if it had gotten wet. You will get it mended but it’s really not such a disaster.
  • You could have been delayed for ages at the road works but the lollipop guy turned his sign around almost the second you stopped and you got through in no time at all.
  • You would have had to drive around the block if the parking spot had been taken but instead you drove straight in.
  •  If those people hadn’t left the lift you would have had to catch the next one, but you didn’t have to.
  • Stopping at every floor you cannot get to your office in time, but as you leave the lift your boss is behind you.
  • He has been stuck waiting as well as you, and even better he has a bonus cheque on his desk waiting for you.
Abundance

image from onajourneybacktoherwings.blogspot.com

In the first scenario everything which could have gone wrong, did, and it would have made you late for work and probably seen your boss, at the very least, upset with you. Your focus was on the negative which might have happened.

However, each time something happened, the worst case scenario didn’t follow. Instead something positive happened. At the end of the journey to work, which saw one positive thing after another happen, you found out you had a bonus waiting for you as well. You found that abundance had been surrounding you all the time.

Abundance comes in many forms, not always money, although that is nice too. Abundance is something positive which makes your life easier, better or nicer. It may even mean it is something which can be shared with someone else. It may also be something which might seem negative but is a blessing in disguise. (Take for example a car accident. It could have been disastrous, serious injuries, but whilst your car is damaged you just have a few bumps and bruises, that too is abundance).

If all the negative aspects were the only ones you gave thought to, you would have had an awful day. However, if you consider all the positive things which helped you, then, you are going to be grateful for all the blessings you have received.

Abundance is all around us; it all depends on our perspective, how we choose to view the world.
 “As long as we remain vigilant at building our internal abundance—an abundance of integrity, an abundance of forgiveness, an abundance of service, an abundance of love—then external lack is bound to be temporary.”
― Marianne Williamson, Everyday Grace: Having Hope, Finding Forgiveness And Making Miracles

Abundance and Blessings to all.

Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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I Am - You Are

image from the-hobbit.tumblr.com   Vastly different individuals who had to learn to work together

“There is very little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude.”
  ―    W. Clement Stone

Have you ever noticed how much grief we either give ourselves, or allow someone else to bring to us, by the insidious comparisons which are made between people? All because I Am and You Are and we are not the same.

We are reminded over and over that we are all individuals, unique human beings. Have you stopped recently to consider what being unique actually means? The most recognised definition is:

 “being the only one of its kind; unlike anything else.” In other words, I Am and You Are, we are not the same.

But what does that mean to you or to me? In its most simplistic sense it means that there is no-one or nothing who is exactly the same as I Am or You Are.  Consider for a moment this simple idea. This simple statement makes each of us an exceptional person, not better than or less than, but different, exceptionally so. It tells us that we each have qualities which we use in ways to make ourselves different from everyone else, each and every day. There is no-one else on earth who has exactly the same looks, outlook, the same qualities, the same aptitude, the same way of looking at life, of behaving towards others or the challenges life presents to us.

I Am  - You Are

image from -www-facebook.jpg(IMichell Renee)        Even in a reflection there are subtle differences

“If you hate difference, you’ll be bored to death.”   Toba Beta, My Ancestor Was an Ancient Astronaut

So why do so many of us allow others to put us down, to belittle us, to ridicule our efforts, our achievements? We allow others to influence the way we perceive ourselves, as somehow less than ‘they are’. Much of the time such actions are the result of simple envy or perceived threat. The antagonist is ‘afraid’ that they may not seem like such a great person if your efforts are seen by others. They feel threatened by the fact that they are not you, and yet we feel we are somehow the lesser in this situation, simply because of our unique abilities.

We are all meant to be unique. Think about it for a moment. If everyone was exactly the same, if we were all a race of clones, it would be an infinitely boring place. It would be like having a continual discussion with yourself. It would be, in my opinion, a recipe for worldwide insanity. There would be no stimulation, no impetus for change, for creating a better you or a better world. Imagine if the one unique identifier which the clones were modeled on, happened to be a mass murderer. I’m not sure anyone would survive for long.

I Am - You Are

Can you see me?         You cannot see yourself through another persons eyes.

I Am and You Are, both of us are unique and magnificent human beings. We are beings of magnificent complexity and diversity. You know so many things which I do not, in the same manner that I know things you do not; we have the incredible opportunity to share our combined knowledge and help create something entirely new. It is the way in which we, as Spirits in human form, are able to learn so many previously unknown things. It is the way people gain knowledge and improve the lives of everyone. It is the way of life.

History is built on the exchange of knowledge and the invention of new things from these exchanges of ideas. It is therefore of supreme importance that I Am and You Are completely unique. We are the special ingredients in life’s recipe to discover a new, never before seen or tasted experience. In its own way it is a miracle. It is the miracle of life.

“All humans are alike and all humans are equal. It is just the perception of the eye that sees any different.”
  ―      Isabella Poretsis

I Am, and always will be forever grateful that You Are, and that together We Are able to be greater than the Sum of Us.

I Am - You Are

image from http://www.bradaxelrad.com     Together we can make a difference. Be the difference.

Blessings, together we are all loved and guided.

Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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A Blend of New Worlds

image from spirit_elements-www-josephinewall-co.uk

Apart from my trip from England to Australia, which I admit is quite a trip, I hadn’t traveled overseas much. I had been to Tasmania, which is considered part of Australia, just not attached to it, and to Fiji, which was my one overseas trip.  This however, was my one REAL overseas trip since I was doing it alone. So, everything I saw and experienced was with the eyes of a novice. It was fresh and unknown.

As my driver pulled up to the Sheraton (Yes, I really went all out on my first big trip), one doorman rushed over to get my door and another went around to get my bags. Luxury was the name of the game. I didn’t want to stand and gawk but I tried to look everywhere at once, I wanted to savour the idyllic splendour of this incredible place….. until a loud voice in my head yelled “Get it together girl! You don’t want to look like a country yokel, wet behind the ears, a little more aplomb please!”

A New World

image from http://www.colourbox.com“Never been anywhere before”.

Alright, I was back on track and my image not too tarnished. I signed in and was taken up to my luxurious room. I had traveled in Australia and seen my fair share of hotels and motels, but this was something else. A huge king sized suite – just for me. For the first time ever, I had this huge bedroom for my own personal use. No-one coming to me for anything, no-one to share it with, it was just for me. It was totally surreal.

A New World

Room to move and then some

I started to unpack but the lure of the sunshine through the window, and wondering what was there drew me, so I threw on a pair of joggers and decided to go for a quick walk. I was never one to ask for directions, I always managed to get lost anyway, so deciding to throw caution to the winds I took my rough bearings, crossed the driveway and away I went. The traffic! I couldn’t believe how much traffic came flying down the road. Everyone jaywalks in Australia- at least we used to.  Taking a long look and gauging the traffic, how fast it was flowing, I dashed across the road.

The esplanade was amazing. It was so wide and the paving in geometric designs as far as I could see. It seemed as though there were seats arranged in nooks and booths everywhere and people were sitting, talking, reading or walking, jogging, running, cycling along, on roller blades or skate boards. It was a hive of activity and at the same time an oasis of calm. The sand was a refined golden carpet and the ocean, the Mediterranean, was the most amazing blue imaginable.

A New World

Tel Aviv Boulevard       This open air exercise area was used nearly the entire day and night.

Mesmerised I didn’t get too far that afternoon. The beach seemed to stretch for ever and the different architecture, from the ultra-modern to ancient almost next to each other. It was a glimpse of the Old world and new side by side. In the distance I could see the old town of Jaffa. It was to be my destination the following morning.  Retracing my steps I once again took my life in my hands as I charged across the street to get back to the hotel. I decided if I was to stay in Israel for any length of time I had to work out how to cross the roads, or at least where to cross them.

For someone who was not a great breakfast eater, the temptation to go into the dining room and simply watch the world go by was too enticing. Once in there I had to have a look around and with freshly squeezed orange juice in hand I could hardly leave without trying a few dishes, could I? I cannot remember the names of the dishes I decided to try, but, a tasty tomato, cucumber and parsley salad with a tuna, mayo and onion dish and I felt my batteries charged. So, fortified with some traditional Israeli breakfast I set out.

A New World

Breakfast salad, a new idea

I rounded the corner from the hotel and, not dashing across the road walked along the footpath towards where I could see a crossing. Five minutes later I found myself surrounded by six giant, well-armed American soldiers. The funny side of the situation hit me and I started to smile, then giggle and I was not making the soldiers any happier. After all, I was a mere 5’7″ and these fellows were all giants, at least 7’ tall, or so they appeared to me.

Demanding to know what I was doing did not help. I really tried to explain I was just walking up to the crossing, but it appeared I was committing some serious crime, and I couldn’t work out what it was. The tension mounted and I simply could not stop the chuckles. Eventually someone asked me where I was from. Once I said Australia I heard a grumbled “Bloody Aussies” and there was an immediate release of tension. Apparently I had transgressed onto the US Embassy grounds. Apart from three foot high bollards there was nothing to say I had moved onto a prohibited area. One of the giants pointed a finger skyward so I craned my neck and saw a US flag on the top of the building. With a stern warning to “watch where I was going” I was allowed to leave, still holding in the chuckles until I made my escape.

That morning was the first time I walked from my hotel into the old town of Jaffa. There was a great view from the top of the area around the marina and along the boulevard to the high rise buildings along the foreshore. After breakfast and around midnight each day I would make this walk to Jaffa, listening to my iPod and watching the whirlpool of people passing by. There was a constant flow of people, walking, running, on roller skates, skate boards or little scooters. People walked their dogs and groups of people would be sitting and chatting until the early hours of the morning.

I’m not certain what the hotel staff made of my nocturnal jaunts but I received a smile each time I returned. I still wasn’t sleeping very well or for very long but these nightly walks were soothing. During the day I explored the city. Being geographically challenged (I got lost easily) I saw a few areas more than once, but it was fun, almost as much as my first excursion to a shopping centre.

My map was great, my sense of direction not so good and my Hebrew non-existent, so the fact that I found the shopping centre was amazing. As I walked towards the doors I was surprised when a man, not much taller than I, suddenly popped out of the corner of the entrance,  dressed all in black and carrying – a machine gun. (I’m no expert so I’m not guessing and he didn’t tell me exactly what it was). At that time all people not recognised by the guard were stopped and had their bags checked. Okay, it wasn’t that long since the Gaza problems so I could understand it, but it did make me stop and think. Since my natural reaction would have been to resist someone grabbing at me it could have been a different outcome. It appears I had my guardian angel sitting on my shoulder each time I ran into an armed and dangerous person. It was good to know.

A  New World

image from http://www.reuters.com     Israeli soldiers, a fact of life.

This strange new world still felt like home and I was excited about exploring more of it.

Next week…….. History comes alive and a new friend.

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