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--Max Ehrmann


Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.


Acceptance is:full story

"And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation -- some fact of my life -- unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.
Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in our world by mistake. Until I could accept my humanity, I could not be complete in living; unless I accept life completely on life's terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes."

adapted by DonInChelsea

practice acceptance as a key:

Acceptance is a daily task as we live life to our full extent. And the practice of acceptance has many elements we learn as we progress our emotional and spiritual development. Two forms of practical steps to acceptance help us in our daily living.

1. Accepting day to day experiences as they occur, as life offers them to us. When we accept our day, how we feel, why and what we can do about it, we see our part in our daily experiences with others. Acceptance is not blind to our personal choices, merely making sure we respond and not react to what we encounter. Ask how am I feeling, why and what can I do?

2. Accepting long term experiences which affect our daily living is part of daily life. Our past will bring up issues for us, sometimes daily, sometimes less frequently. How we feel about ourselves generally, why and what we can do to let ourselves be free, overcome old denials and just live for this day, this takes time and often support and help from sources we trust.

When I ask myself:

How am I feeling


What can I do

I am asserting my "being here and now", and helps to acceptance of my real situation.

DonInChelsea Blog Global Local
BBC DonInChelsea's A Day in the Life

January 2005

copyright© don oddy

Chronicles January 2005

January 1st 2005


~ haunting melodies ~

we cannot change a moment of past

let past rest easy in memory

New year dawns a world away, as we play catch-up in this hemisphere. Yet as this world turns

and moves on, we are laden with memory. Good, bad and indifferent we store memories

rightfully, to help us with this day, as memorable in our mind to the past and shaping our

responses to future days.

Rich and heartfelt moments, a catalogue, a library in which we indulge to form a view of

now. Our feelings for the day, our responses to what prevails. Seek out your happiness,

where it confirms your choices for.. 'the common and personal good'. Seek out your

similarity and immerse your presence in your world. Value our diversity and gifts, we share

them all. Enrich yourself and fellows with support and worldly experience.

Be patient as nature throws us off balance, makes living as tough as it gets, and work with

all Natures, that of Man, that of the Earth, our World as it spins beyond control. Work with

what is, today, and what might be? What might be is the infinite possibility of your life,

connected with every other, today and forever.

January 2nd 2005


~ still those inner voices of doubt ~

Resolutions abound this time of year. Where remembering and memories make us think about old

habits and new beginnings. Our heads are full of history, and our feelings to improve our

lives sends us to dreams for our future.

Sometimes it is best to sit and let our voices go quiet. Pick a small fancy for the future.

Something which requires little thought or feeling. Maybe as we wake, we start the day, with

just a simple expectation? To expect nothing. To keep our mind open, to forgive everyone,

especially ourselves. And from nothing expected, comes something or nothing...

as has been said,’ the usefulness of any vessel is in its emptiness' and an empty head has

much room for the day, for love, for understanding and enquiry. Be generous to ourselves and

let in the day...

January 3rd 2005


~ balance ~

When you have learned to balance silence and activity, you will be powerful.

silence, the master, activity the slave. It is a harsh feeling, to still voices, to silence

our fears, to marshal our inner feelings of security. There is everything on this earth to

push us to fear, there is little if any consolation where we feel secure from harm. Except

in our mind's eye. Security comes from not wanting. When we do not want, we are most open,

when we do not fear, we have huge capacities to listen to engage and absorb.

Silence of outer voices, quiet. Silence of our inner voice, often a choir of noises we hear

chattering away, they take time to silence. Silence the inner voices to where there is

little to hear but breathe, opens our mind to peace...

Powerful is the mind which enables silence, to hear the moment, to accept the moment as it


January 4th 2005


~ great wealth ~

Even with a small bank account, the one who is contented finds himself with great wealth

Tough times around the world. No amount of money will ever put at ease the feelings inside

so many who lost so much. A person's wealth is the sum of their experience and the

experiences are not often what we would wish. Sentiments abound for survivors of the great

catastrophe, the Tsunami...

For a person shivering with grief, there is not much to offer from far away, for much of

what we feel and express through giving will be only heard and recognised a long time from


We can do our best to support and help, and there will be the 'knowing' of what we did. It

may be years and generations who look back and see the consternation, the sadness and

immense desire to do anything to help. For those bereft and bereaved, a time of struggle, to

come to any sense of belonging to humanity again.

Humanitarian aid, the hardest and most fickle response in our forgetful world, let us hope

we do not forget.

The one who is most contented? Not one person on this planet will be content to see this

humanitarian aid squandered, or this catastrophe forgotten. What nature threw us, we are

powerless over, yet we have great resources to help those in hardship.

Our greatest gift to all our fellows in the world is our friendship as we are able to give

it. Our gift will come as timely to our understanding, and to each others understanding of


January 5th 2005


~ we all talk to god ~

our conscience is connected to our higher powers

I hope this does not sound strange. I often talk to my conscience. It might be my way of

sorting things to help me with others. I regard my conscience as my higher power. I also

think our conscience is directly connected to every memory stored inside us as instincts and

our connection to our spiritual senses, if you like our connection to God and good. And with

'good' as the source of these conversations then, we can consider all things worldly and

spiritual. A happy feeling for me.

January 6th 2005


~ gratitude ~

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It

turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into

a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past,

brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.

January 7th 2005


~ worthiness ~

Before I get any kind of advancement or promotion in life I need to have earned the right to

it. There are no free gifts in life nor are there any short cuts to success of a lasting

nature. Being worthy of any kind of responsibility requires an attitude of service to

others. I earn a right only when I have given cooperation to others from my heart.

And there it is written somewhat bold... cooperation is the only way, with a level and even

feeling for us all. Not with advantage or with capricious notions. With honesty and words

spelt out. We need each other to varying degrees and amounts to prosper. Since the dawn of

time, it is never one man's kingdom, it is society, with commitment and agreement which

brings out the best in us all. Advancement and promotion, these are heavy words if shouted

aloud for oneself, not so in a crowd, where collectively we advance to common purpose....

January 8th 2005


~ deep self-respect ~

Spirituality creates the kind of deep self-respect that does not need praise or special


January 9th 2005


~ handles ~

To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart

January 10th 2005


~ fickle in life ~

marked by lack of steadfastness, constancy, or stability : given to erratic changeableness

In life, often we are fickle, touched by insecurity, sometimes surface, sometimes deep we

cannot fathom where this fickle nature may have root.

We have deep instincts to self preservation and we have learned responses from birth. Our

fickle nature resides within, holding us to the familiar, saving us from harm. Yet when

fickle takes over, we are immersed as if our toes just touch an ocean deep. Fickle keeps us

from our richness within and traumatised by the most fleeting touch of reality.

We may demonstrate how fickle we are to others when we don't hold them with esteem, for ours

is so shattered we cannot find our own self worth.

How many lovers, friends do we lose as the deep within remains untouched? Our lightness and

superficial wanderings keep tight our grip and fear. Our self, the inner loving one remains

desperate as our fickle nature covers up.

Attest with mendacity as fickle breath is shallow, and testament to pain manifests in our

ghostly glow.

Put down a tap root to knowing yourself one day soon and authenticate how much there is to

learn. It takes great courage to let go whim and clever intellect, and nourish our soul

without wit or rapier, that double edged cleverness of knowledge and application.

Encourage experience to dull the pain of loneliness, and become enriched with living moments

and dull the edge of daggers intellect.

The grime of living, gnarled wonderment abounds as we let in the tide of humanity...

January 11th 2005


~ disquiet ~

As if to take away the peace or tranquillity of this day. Any remnants of past can bring

turbulence into the quiet of our reflection, and this day. I am reminded often of the hurt

experienced when a nightmare strikes home some fear and complication which I felt long gone.

Then an incident, something I see, I am captured and trapped, engulfed in a fire of anger

and anxiety. Nothing can touch those feelings of rage and bitterness. No amount of

examination pulls me from the fire and bellicose notions...

I will favour and be inclined to start quarrels or wars, I will, my will. Not good for a

sensitive being who wishes for peace and tolerance. A part of me lingers in a fire of untold

fury. Then in the writing of these words I am gifted with patience and recognise my will and

my desire will heap great volumes of hurt upon my inner being. I must let go of fury and

revenge, let go those damaging images from a hell, a part of my life, which churns as a

reminder of what I stand for. Humanity, that gift of knowing, so complicates, that in

essence we are all culpable and able. We can turn to good or bad, with such compelling

argument inside us. We can become that which we hold in contempt in our prosecution of

fundamental rights...

The wounded soul, so hurt by twisted nature, is lost if left to drift. We must attend to

nightmare's as we to our happiness, so inextricably linked to our freedom. Shared reflection

dismantles inner torture and free the mind for forgiveness.

We all need counsel, we all need the touch of humanity, we should seek it where trust lies.

Trusting ourselves to trust others, is never mistaken over a lifetime. Wisdom's touch is


January 12th 2005


~ how little we know ~

In our own world we know most, and often when others are included it takes forever to share

enough of our world, they can join with us. Similarly, we have to get to know the world in

which 'they' live. Our common ground is what we share, our common ground is often something

we assume.

We assume our experiences are enough we can understand one another. We have common language,

we have similar experiences, yet our world's are apart.

Separate worlds so close and so different, our neighbours are not our intimates. Only those

we share day to day and year to year get close enough to comprehend our vastness and our

limited views of this reality.

We need patience, not assumption, we need enquiry, ambivalence and a multitude of approaches

to understand another's world. Indeed we need the same for our own. In these world's in

which we live, knowing ourselves is as fascinating as knowing our fellows.

Our world's may sometimes appear small, by connection and coincidence, be surprised how big

our world's are, infinite beyond any measure,

akin to the Universe....

January 13th 2005


~ wonder ~

a cause of astonishment or admiration

It is with wonder we might look at our world. Wonder at the complexity and so too the

simplicity. How we exist is much to wonder at, and wonder also at the multitude of

similarities. There is complexity in all we see, and we can make it unmanageable easily.

Best to keep our wonder simple, not to understand everything, for this is impossible. Best

to appreciate and experience our world and what it offers today. Beyond this day is a

labyrinth, built on history and connections to futures we may only guess. Enjoy this day

with wonder, with enquiry and with verve....

January 14th 2005


~ guiding light ~

In the midst of uncertainty, keep determination in your thoughts and that will become like a

guiding light in front of you.

January 15th 2005


~ patience ~

Patience and more patience enable a closed mind to gently unfurl.

January 16th 2005


~ seeing things truly ~

We tend to see things not as they are, but as we are. Becoming quiet and simple inside is

the first step towards seeing things truly.

January 17th 2005


~ brotherhood ~

Brotherhood means understanding that a cry of pain means the same in all languages and so

does a smile.

January 18th 2005


~ humility ~

Your happy and peaceful nature unlocks the door to success, and attracts the blessings and

respect of all souls.

The word humility has so many interpretations. I have my own like you. Yet we may agree on

some fundamentals. Humility is a way of living, we can be humble in our expression and we

can be humble in our outlook. Humility is having the knowledge and experience of life, to

take life on life's terms. To accept the day as it presents and to make of the day what we


Humility and power, oft at odds and screaming conflict. Humility is when the conflict abates

and we manage ourselves through the day as it presents, not at odds, right sized and


January 19th 2005


~ optimism ~

Optimism converts problems into opportunities

Without reservation? We can mistake optimism for denial. Denial that sentient quality that

keeps us alive when no other element of life will. Denial is the instrument of self will run

riot... a harsh place to live.

Without denial many would feel all elements of their life perish,

optimism and denial, cloaks relished for their invisibility, I see them, well worn and

cadaverous, pallid and etched...

beware mirrors of truth...

January 20th 2005


~ forgiveness and tolerance ~

Forgiveness and tolerance are the hands of God in action. We need to join our hands with

God's and learn and do the same.

January 21st 2005


~ ~

beware mirrors of truth...

January 22nd 2005


~ ~

beware mirrors of truth... they need polish to reflect it so..

January 23rd 2005


~ sometimes when we have no idea ~

We get strange days when we have no idea what is going on in this world. Our system is

overloaded with to many pieces of fascinating information. And we have no time for sorting

out our own day to day thoughts, because our heads are so crowded with information.

These really are days to let go of those things which we have no control over.

The world is full of woes, the world is full of pleasures and both are going on at the same

time. We need to bring close our own world events and throw out the hapless rest, for we

will drown in them. We may be aware of them, and give our best shot if we can through many

means. And still we must be still enough inside to collect our thoughts on today.

A day is 24 hours. Some we must give to others and their endeavours, sharing and being

caring to our community. Some we must give to daily chores around us. Some time we give to

ourselves for sorting and sifting and placing a modest amount of order to the day.

An activity for community, an activity for others, an activity for ourselves. All three

added on a daily basis, makes for small movements in our lives. And through a lifetime a

recognition of many outcomes lived, and outcomes that there may be still.

This puts in perspective, our predisposition to observe and be critical. To cast doubt on

difference and measure others defects. No man was ever made more perfect by our critical

eye, or our critical word. Society, community and individual growth is reliant on contact

every day, graduating our movement and understanding in an ever changing reality.

January 24th 2005


~ the day of depression ~

It is this day which apparently marks the most depressing day of the year. For a change I am

less depressed than at any time I can recollect. I would not describe my situation as elated

or anything like 'normal depressed' according to any psyche assessment or questionnaire I

have researched in the recent past. I have depression like a dog has fleas, its been around

so long I regard depression as my normal.

I would love to shift my senses and emotional state to ordinary, it would make things so

much easier.

What is it like? Maybe its about time to admit how depression manifests, I hesitate always,

for people would have some empathy for it, but no time for it. I wish I could pull myself

together and march right out of it, I cannot. No amount of will or determination will pull

me or push me out of the anxious gloom. I have to sit tight and wait, as usual and wait for

what seems like eternity. A glum time.

January 25th 2005


~ love ~

Love blinds us to people's faults but dislike blinds us to their virtues.

An observation on an inside job. We can feel love for others and see their virtue. We can

dislike others which means we see nothing of the good they have. Its the same with

ourselves. When we have love for ourselves, we are full of virtue. When we cannot love

ourselves, we cannot imagine or see any of our virtues.

The inside job...

to blind ourselves to the good parts, to only see the detestable, that is the inside job.

And it is this which hurts us, undermines us and undermines our picture of the day. It


A little it of hope, not amiss, yet inconceivable when gripped by self doubt. This too will

pass as time marches and seasons change. A reflection always, an image, the mindful mind's

eye blinkered often, hiding and searching for safety amongst our memories...

January 26th 2005


~ lifetimes ~

can we experience it all in one lifetime?

A lifetime of experiences are second to none. We have lifetimes and no one can experience

our lives as we do. We are unique and original. And we are very similar. Similarities hold

us together in close or extended communities.

Our world is small in the big picture universe. Yet our world is infinite to us. Born with

aptitudes, shaped by our surroundings, our gifts and tenacity grow. Our ability to function

is broadened. Our heritage to the future is assured.

Of our heritage to the future? We experience it, and adaptive as we are, we pass it on.

How is our heritage doing? An open question....

January 27th 2005


~ and if one lifetime is not enough ~

January 28th 2005


~ fleeting moments ~ when brittle hearts snap and crack and soft hearts accept each new

moment as it is....

A funny thing is will power, we cannot bend any single one to our own. The might of

influence, be it powerful words or powerful physical strength, they have no sway. At best

there might be pretence involved, and so it seems we harbour wilful notions of Godly


A happy truth we do have free will. And nothing can take it away. Free will is best accepted

for what it is. A self determined understanding with our world. Free will drives many to

distraction, for they and even I have at times determined not just for myself, but deluded I

might do it for others!

Inside my corporate head, is where freedom exists, nowhere else I fear, and fear I might

delude myself. I am glad I recognise I have no power over or sway of others. I would not

wish their own freedom lost..

We glimpse ourselves sometimes, power mad with intent and frustrated by others autonomy, a

glad reflection on this day, when just a glimpse was enough to know another exists...

happy moments as set free our mind travels with other frivolous notions to our own deity,

kept dreamy as we trundle through reality...

January 29th 2005


~ meeting old friends ~

walking down a road, or a street, an old friend, a significant influence in our lives

crosses our path.

I met Danny a year ago, we spent several months in a dangerous place. He and I were buddies

to an extent. We walked a narrow path, learning about old Demons and new beginnings. We,

together with so many others during those months, paper thin caricatures. And we were all

held in the sway of disastrous mentors.

I met Danny yesterday as I walked through familiar streets well trodden in recent times.

Danny walking toward me, head down, cap firmly in place, anonymous to others as he crossed

the street toward me.

I hailed to Danny, he saw me and was shocked at first, he smiled as did I. We talked as

friends do, how are you, what's been happening and other stuff, I had not seen Danny for

eight months or so...

Chatting so well, we got to a coffee shop and spread out our news. He was doing well,

somewhat better than I had, I had some more tough times just after I left our common

lodgings with others still confused by the day to day.

So much in common and worlds apart. A friend indeed we talked for near to two hours about

people we knew. So there was good and bad news both ways...

What I know most is, that Danny is a gifted and most definitely a friend to have. Without

guile or pretence, with a smile and a story to cheer a person, with the reticence of life's

experience, Danny has no answers, yet helps a person find their answers.

An exchange of numbers, a possibility should it arise, and a coffee, or tea to cheer a day.

Friendship intact across a year of struggling and disaster, to quieter times of reflections,

in between stormy moments, friendship rests easy on the mind.

January 30th 2005


~ perturbation ~

almost a celestial disturbance and spiritual challenge

We are often slow to let real worries go. We let them simmer and fester inside. We have fear

of those worries, the things which can hurt us for what might seem like forever. Our most

inner thoughts of worry are so big often, we don't see how small they are. A big worry can

pick away at our confidence. If we share that worry when it is bothering us, we can expose

ourselves to two things. First we might get understanding, and find everyone feels those

worries. Second we find another uses this to make fun of us.

We learn two things straight away when we share these feelings and worries. First is that we

are not the only one with these feelings and concerns. And second we find out who we can

count on as friends. And if they are not friends in their response, we find out sooner who

we might prefer to be with.

It was said some time ago, we keep our friends close so they help us. We keep our enemies

closer, so we may know them and what they do.

My view? Keep your friends close and be mindful of your unfriendly neighbours. Seek your own

enlightenment and confidence in truth, for indeed and in word truth will set us free...

January 31st 2005


~ intensity of feeling ~

we all have intense feelings, we all live in the same place and time and we all feel

differently, especially feelings of love....

It took me forever to learn to understand my intense feelings. And when we consider how much

we rely on our feelings, is it surprising we all don't feel the same at the same time?

So many times, so many feelings. When we fall in love at first sight... Those crashing and

crushing moments, when a light appears and we are drawn as a magnet to our fundament of

love. And if we are struck and they are struck we collide with great happiness and joy..

More likely we see another who is as attracted to some quality we manifest and similarly we

feel those pulls. Love is in us and we expose ourselves to the opportunity to develop our

love with others.

And with time and sharing love grows inside us. It does, it takes time to confirm and

develop our feelings for others, as we show ourselves and our nature.

We use our imagination as we confirm our ties to others, accepting each other and

acknowledging our kinship as we understand each other more.


we accept with time we move closer, our feelings and understanding help us become absorbed

in love at our own pace. Our pace of change and the depth and intensity of feelings.

Love me now, I would have desired, yet love was far away in another time and place. And with

heavy feelings we have often asked others not to love us now, or ever, or shrug off the

burden of love for us with a swipe of hand or word...

It is coincidence we happen upon love, coincidence, happenstance and serendipity, no wonder

it takes forever to understand our changes and our love...

Copyright © Don Oddy
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--Rudyard Kipling


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream--and not make dreams your master,
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!

August 14th 2006

A month in Recovery

This link to my birthday, and the start of my diary on "30 days in recovery," this follows my journey over a month in my fellowship, Alcoholics Anonymous.

Unedited and written raw, no revisions or re-writes. Just as it happened and without prejudice.


fear of fear?full story

"I did feel the need to speak to a couple of people after the meeting to allay their fears of some things medical and what it means for me, a person who has some experience strength and hope to share about precisely those medical fears as they come along. And why?

Well because I have had some medical scares along the way and have ongoing medical conditions. I don’t shout or complain too loudly about my medical conditions. For the record they fall into three categories. First I am in recovery from addiction and have been sober for some time, measured now in years. Second, I have clinical depression, an ongoing medical condition which has been around for most my adult life according to professional experts, and is now treated. And third, the one which makes life even more haphazard is Type 1 diabetes."