Monthly Archives: October 2013

Nice things can happen

IMG_0411This morning I saw something simple, yet deep and meaningful. As I was walking to my car this morning I saw a young man from down the street stroking one of my neighbour’s cats. The young man was standing very still, simply patting the cat along the length of its back.  The cat, sitting on top of the fence post, was also still, lapping up the attention, affection and friendship. His eyes were closed, his head up and he would have had to be purring.

To observe this simple act of connection was lovely for me. It was soft, gentle and sweet. It was real. It was stillness in the everyday and it warmed my eyes and my heart.

Can this happen to you too?  Yes it can if you are open to it. So, here’s your strategy.

Go about life with an intent to be open to seeing such simple interactions.
And then you will.
And when you do, be aware you have noticed, and it is from having that awareness that you will start feeling good, on the inside.

These kinds of simple, beautiful moments give our lives meaning not just because they connect us, but because they make us feel good. 

Enjoy your day.


The now-ness of now

UnknownOver breakfast recently, my husband and I were discussing the weather, one very still day in particular, which was so still there was not even a zephyr of a breeze in the air.  I was enjoying my freshly buttered toast and jam and reflecting on my life. These reflections were born from the space of that incredible, unusual stillness, when suddenly, without thinking about it, I blurted out,  “The point of my power has to be in the present moment, you know.  It can’t be in my past because that’s gone and I can’t change it and it can’t be in my future because that hasn’t happened yet.  For me, it is actually now.  It is the only moment I have in which to do anything”.

Always one to not take me too seriously, especially so early in the morning, my heart’s delight countered with “That is a bit like looking at the now-ness of now”.

That stopped me.  That was such an unexpected response.  After I thought about it for a moment, I acknowledged his insight of the essential nature of things.  “Yes, that’s right, like the coffee-ness of coffee or the jam-ness of jam.”

I decided to marry this concept of the essential nature of things (the now-ness of now bit) with the power that exists only in the present moment.
Where is the power in the past, or in the future?  It does not exist!
Sorry everybody, but there is no getting around it – the essential nature of now is now.  Right here, right now.
Not then.
Not next.
Not after.
Not before.
Not when.

What does this mean in my daily life, in yours?  So much.  For a start, it means we are (1) powerful, (2) in control and (3) have choices.

Like a sail that harnesses the air, what is the sail which harnesses power, control, and choice?

It’s our stillness.  In stillness, we can slow down and connect to the now and our own intrinsic power.  We cannot do that so well if we are running around all over the place being incessantly busy.  Yes, our lives are busy, however it is in stillness where we can recoup, settle and find ourselves again, which is finding our power.  Then we are more in control and then the option of choice opens up for us.

To me that is what it means to be in the now.  This is where our true power lies.

So how does this relate to this topic of creating our own joy stories?
If you can appreciate what having that stillness might achieve for yourself, I think you are on that path. It was only when I started sitting still and being at one with myself that I started to change. For me it started with applying myself to meditate.
You can’t meditate and find stillness while you are baking a cake. It is impossible.

You all know what to do to sit still. It’s simple. Just choose to sit still and you will, and things will start to change, for the better, for you. Promise!

Now for those of you who don’t meditate, you might think of looking up how to meditate on Google. Good for you! Anywhere you can get inspiration is terrific. A class. A book. Go for it!

HOWEVER, HERE IS THE SECRET:- At the end of the day you only need one thing and that is to sit still with yourself. Get comfortable, close your eyes and breathe. Keep your focus on your natural breath. Now you are meditating. Congratulations. When you do this you are in the now and you are in your own power.

How wonderful because you are beginning to create your own joy story.

Imogen Joy’s story

October 19, 2013Curiosity Gathering - charcoal drawingArt sale 2008I met Imogen Joy when we were both volunteering at the Brett Whitley Studio in Sydney in 2000.  In 2002 and 2003 we worked together at ArtExpress where we co-curated Art Express at the State Library. Collaborating with her to create what was to become a star exhibition for high school students and teachers was a time of great joy.


Sitting in Burren CafeWhich five words best describe you?   Loving. Resilient. Gentle. Motivated. ‘Enigmatic’ (to quote a primary school report comment!)

What are you passionate about?   Living life to the full, and helping others to do that too. The driving forces which allow me to do this are Art and Capoeira. Art exercises my imagination whilst Capoeira exercises my body and spirit.

Me and my brotherWhat has been a time when you felt joy?   To me, it ‘s a sudden burst of happiness … like a crescendo where everything in the soul resonates and sings out loud.
As a child joy was always just there under the surface, whether running through cornfields with my brother or cycling down hills in rural France until I thought the bike would take flight into the sky.

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When I am grateful, I am saying ‘thank you’ to the Universe for bestowing on me things I consider blessings. Being grateful takes me into joy. It does it because when I have that attitude of gratitude it is almost impossible for me to be negative.

When I go to bed I think of a few things for which I am thankful for that day? I say them out loud. Doing this helps promote my peace of mind. I am calm and relaxed. I feel good. It contributes to my state of well being. I feel OK in the world. My thankfulness gives me abiding peace.

Here are a few things for which I am grateful today.

The new petunias I purchased today. I put them on my balcony.
My good health.
My computer so I can create this blog.
My friends I am catching up with tonight.
My friends I had afternoon tea with yesterday.
And I am so grateful for my comfortable bed.



Casting pearls before swine

UnknownOver the years I have thought a lot about what the expression, ‘Do not cast your pearls before swine’  means.

The much used phrase comes from a larger paragraph in Matthew 7:6 in the Bible which is,  “Do not waste what is holy on people who are unholy, neither cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and tear you.” 

Matthew was giving good guidance for us in our everyday lives so that we would not fall into situations which could pull us down and in fact work against us. 

Why would I want to offer my precious jewels of love, thoughts, gifts, intentions, ideas etc to someone who is likely to not only reject them, but use them against me? I would not.

How then do I know when to and when not to cast my pearls?  I know when I step up to the plate and hit a home run wielding the bat of discernment. I need to be discerning and I know I have a choice to do that.

When you offer your ‘pearls’ to someone who is like-minded it is much less likely you will have them trampled on, because of that like-mindedness. If you are in the energy of someone whose energy is similar to yours you will both be uplifted.

If you offer your pearls in a circumstance where there is little like-mindedness, the terrain you tread can be hazardous and then where is the joy?

However in this modern life we need to speak our truth too. Matthew simply offers us a warning. He gives us something for us to think about.

Can this also help us on our path to joy?