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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

June 2005

copyright© don oddy

Chronicles June 2005

June 1st 2005


~ harsh dreams in shadow lands ~

distant memories caught in nights sleep, leaving us gasping for breath as we wake with a

start. Our shadow world revealed in hapless laboured moments, as torments deep is writ on

the conscious mind.

My shadow world revealed to me, a glimpse into darker depths where power is mine for brief

moments and tormentors catch me unawares...

I woke again and again from dreams which left me powerless. Some monster making my inside

world a torment as horrid memories scour and leave me naked. Where memories are conjured of

failure and oppression, I hark to bad moments in my life. The man so bent on will, so bad in

his use of power, I could not change him. Gentle influence and persuasion through example,

it did me no good or use of reason and logic and would be seen as pious in my harsher

reflections. I could not evoke in him his good conscience if ever it existed. For I realised

too late he had no conscience like mine. My notions of fair play and honesty had no value to

him, as surely as he undid me, I found myself undone.

That black dog of defeat as I realise too late my folly, he had all the power and my appeal

to right and justice held no sway. I toppled with alarm to exhaustion, spent on futile toil.

I got no sense of achievement whatever I did. And loyalty kept me going too long. Loyal to

an ideal of humanity, squandered on a leader without one decent quality.

Impaled on my notions of ethics and codes of honour, I laboured to no avail, far beyond

where others had given up. I did not realise and too late in nightmares comes the ugly truth

of failure. I failed to turn another to a path of good. I was righteous and indignant as my

ego swelled to protect the hurt I felt. And ego, never my strongest trait, for I saw it as

the epitome of weak character, my ego failed as I broke to smithereens.

Stuck endless moments as fractured shards cut my shadow. My shadow where ego's worst

prevailed, that dark place where secret thoughts run free. Now struck dumb in front of

torments window, where that scene plays over and over. And I cannot be set free and no one

hears my screams.

Dark nights of shock as the nightmare takes me over and over endlessly playing, excoriating

to reveal beneath each layer, the same nightmare enhanced, more vivid, more fearful and

dread would rouse me with a furious start.

Alone, captured in a rage of memory, the fugue incomplete as tortured recollections seep

into that waking moment. A fugue, where recollection is forgotten, stealing away that grip

which holds the key to terror.

And thankful as my tardy memory makes good the horror which waits for me in slumbers,

forgotten in my waking hours when my world feels safe. And when my world is challenged by

that ill force of malice, I bide my time and opportunity to rectify those impostors I


And as I ponder close, I sense redemption lies in forgiving moments learned in reflection.

Accepting that which can be changed, knowing that which is immutable and learning the wisdom

to know the difference...

Serenity, clear and free of storms or unpleasant change, is as transient as we find all

states of mind. We work hard for wisdom's gift, humbly, accepting our light and dark and

making our informed choices in life. Our Spirit and spiritual path, our gift to and from

humanity. The gift of conscious conscience, making good our world...

June 2nd 2005


~ contemplation ~

When I start the day with a moment of solitude and contemplation, even the most crowded

schedule runs more smoothly

June 3rd 2005


~ gently, with patience ~

The habit of telling myself off subtly shapes a nature of sorrow. Instead, let me talk to

myself gently, with patience, as one would do to a child

June 4th 2005


~ principles and values –

inclusion and exclusion ~

We all have codes of behaviour. And most people have codes of behaviour which keeps them and

their community safe. In fact we make laws in civil societies to protect our communities and


When we have conflicts and some misadventures, it’s important we understand the nature of

breakdowns in our community. We need often to separate out the feelings we have for a person

and their behaviour. It’s easiest to challenge the behaviour, which can be changed, rather

than alienate the person.

An example is, saying to a person ‘I care deeply about you, at the same time I feel you are

behaving….’ This is a good way to enable a person to become aware of needing a change in

behaviour and not being undervalued as a person. A person can then consider their options

without loss of position or their esteem.

It is hard for many who see challenges to their behaviour, to see the difference. Often a

challenge is felt as a personal attack on character. This is often inevitable, if we are

impatient or abrupt in an angry challenge.

All of us learn by our mistakes. Principles and values, our traditions enable a move to our

good conscience in matters of conflict. Good conscience helps us help ourselves and others

moderate our responses to disagreeable occurrences.

When we use our principles and values, observe best kept traditions we help keep everyone

included in our communities. Where we get breakdowns, where we don’t observe principles and

values, and react to situations we may end up excluding individuals without due


Exclusion from a community and any society is the harshest penalty exacted on anyone.

Through history, the exclusion of an individual highlights difference and prejudice.

Inclusion enables us to keep seeing the similarities and valuing diversity, and surely is

the best solution to most upsets we experience.

Exclusion, as a means of ensuring well being and safety overall, has been proved without a

shadow of doubt to be a failure and reaction in moments of extreme tension. Exclusion is

often seen as the only answer when reason will not prevail.

Exclusion enables ill will, poor outcomes and loss. When we exclude from our society, the

loss is profound. Especially for those who exclude, for they impose their will over others,

become wilful and elitist.

There is profanity in exclusion. It is the weapon of self destruction, destruction of safe

communities and indefensible. Inclusion enables, keeps us safe and considered. Inclusion

asks we challenge and respond, supporting dynamic communities.

Where we include, we develop, where we exclude we close down. Where we are challenged in our

outlook, safe principles, values and traditions make good our conscience and the challenges

we meet every day of our lives.

June 5th 2005


~ gratus – grateful ~

Gratus, the Latin for grateful. It is a state of mind, gratitude is something we view and

experience. Gratitude is something we feel after the fact of some event or experience which

adds value to our life.

We can be grateful just about anything we experience. Simply, we are able to learn and

reflect on events in our lives. We can be joyous in our gratitude and sad in our gratitude.

All events we deem for the good and for the worse, we learn.

Sometimes when life is full of hardship we are grateful for the simplest basics of survival.

This is most likely when we have been deprived of the basics in life. And for some the most

basic ways of life are the most rewarding.

We can be grateful for most anything. Our breath, our heartbeat in extremes of circumstance

can be enough to be joyous.

Most often our gratitude encompasses love. Being able to love and experience a moment in all

its dimensions. In a moment we capture the essence of life, our life and others lives.

And most extraordinary, when we have a surfeit of rich memories, we are drawn to an almost

Carthusian and ascetic outlook. To draw as much as we can from a single moment in time can

provide recollections savoured over a lifetime.

Gratitude for life comes from our experiences of joy and sadness. The poignant sting of

every heartfelt emotion enriches our outlook.

With gratitude I have acceptance over every moment derived from this life, given to the next

however it may transcend. Through generations of endeavour, through an unknown spiritual

connection, we might ponder…

Not for long as time moves us on. In growth and decay, simultaneous with every breath we

take we grow and decay to some extent. Existential Journeymen, yielding to eternity, we hope

for passage and savour our gratitude…

June 6th 2005


~ Acceptance ~

One year on in a new way of life. A form of recovery from many demons I have had to face.

All my demons are self driven torments most people deal with daily and without resort to

help from others.

Why me? Someone, I have been told is intelligent by all accounts, at the mercy of my wilful

behaviour. Setting myself impossible goals in life, expecting me to achieve the very highest

standards and codes. And failing to grasp the most rudimentary elements of living. We are

best able to achieve and experience what life has to offer with the help and support of

friends and family and our community. John Donne wrote some four centuries ago:

'No Man is an Island'

No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
well as any manner of thy friends or of thine
own were; any man's death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

June 7th 2005


~ loss ~

loss is forever part of life. We lose most we experience as time marches forever toward

renewal and decay. We see the cycle of life and rebirth all around and fear it and love it

with equals measures, yet never quite to the same object and subject of our attention.

When young we never see our end, for life looks and feels an eternity of experience. We feel

impatient to absorb the world and every element, moving swiftly to graze on life and fill

our needs and desires. When we grow older and the candle burns lower, our light less bright,

we hark to life memories deep within. Sometimes with a glow and warmth, and oft as the pale

cool memories in shadows grasp, we fall into that empty ache of loss.

I talked of denial with dear friends. Where we need our denial to keep us safe from reality,

when every waking second is too much to bear.

Denial has been a friend indeed when no friend could touch raw truth and make it seem

acceptable to me.

Denial an old friend, keeping dark my raw nerve, keeping me safe when ego and esteem alike

will not hold me safe from daily torment. Denial, my inner sanctum, where reality cannot cut

another swathe and leave me helpless.

And denial fades as my sensitive nature heals with measure equal to the pain I can bear.

Denial fading into the shadows of time. At least my friend is ever present to protect and


June 8th 2005


~ one day at a time

we are equal to life ~

Is the only day we have to experience to the full measure what that day offers.

Often we hear slogans and exhortations, that we have just one day to live, as if it were our

last. And maybe we feel the ##### to conscience that we waste it when we have chosen to sit

and reflect on history. Or even be absorbed within and not look outward at the world.

How else would we know to look outwards to this day, if we were foolish and did not heed our

personal reflections.

No day is wasted for in idle moments which can last an eternity, our minds eye wastes no

time ever. We come to life and we are its equal.

June 9th 2005


~ positivity ~

Take delight in small things because it is from seeds that flowers grow

Flowers... how often I missed that simple pleasure of watching flowers grow. Simple, nature

and perfection made good from seeds of life. We all are a product of Nature. We come to the

world with the code of life implanted and developed through time as our planet turned around

our sun.

It is beyond our imagination, that this world came to be 'as is' to our eyes. And still we

imagine more, develop more, grow more.

Will our world be never ending? We need not worry over impossible conundrums. We need live

our life span as best we can. Imagine for a moment, the flower blooms and decays in its own

eternity, as will ours. And living on through time our impression and impact are felt by

future generations imbued with the gentle, subtle touch of dreams and recollections

whispering across the ether. Ephemeral beings, eternal impression to touch and guide this

brief moment and leave our legacy felt somewhere in future muse.

Nature and our spiritual endeavour, forever changing, forever moving, our whisper to the


June 10th 2005


~ contentment ~

To make good use of what you have and to let go of what you do not use is to live in a

contented way

When we are able to weigh up and balance life elements, we find our path. Letting go of

wilful wants is the most difficult. Often desire and yearning keep us locked in a world

where we cannot achieve. If we accept those things we cannot change, we make room for those

we can. And the real skill is not a trick, its being open and clear in our mind to the

present day and what we can make real.

We are allowed to daydream, to speculate, and to make a vision for the future. And as we

shape our vision, we see the practical steps to our goal. If along the way we realise we

need to change our understanding and goals, we make good our journey.

Don't ever be afraid to change, and feel good about endeavour. Dreams are quite achievable

when we apply our wisdom. How else would we see a man on the moon? How else would we see our

own happiness in simple steps to fulfilment without a little dreaming? Reality and wisdom

set us on paths to fulfilment, when we are short on the how, sharing informs our view.

June 11th 2005


~ when things change ~

most changes in our lives which are initiated by others are a ####### nuisance at best and a

disaster at worst

So who said life is fair. Well it can be if we realise that we are always facing a lifetime

of changes. Everything changes all the time. I get my fair share of negative reactions to

changes I have no power over, no control and are always inevitable. I need to get over it,

which I do. It just takes me some time to get to grips and come to the new terms of


I am human, and being powerless over most everything, well I reckon its pretty good for me

to realise. Then what is, is. What happens, happens. And I can make the best of the days I


I wrote somewhere, having heard it elsewhere,
'before you go to bed forgive everyone everything including ourselves'
And I added, 'when you still have or I still have negative feelings to the changes, "####
Eventually I will forgive, and every night I will get to sleep eventually. And eventually I

won't need to say"#### em" in the morning. And I will recover and get on with life. Anger

and denial, we need them to keep us going when nothing else does, because we are set to one

default primary emotion...

Love, and love will conquer all...eventually!

June 12th 2005


~ Being Ourselves~

Being ourselves at the best of times is difficult. For years we have been programmed to be

like most other people we know. And we are asked to behave in certain ways by family and

society. So being ourselves often means conforming to others peoples idea of what we are.

Meeting with friends today, the alert is always there. To conform and be a part of

something. I am glad for the most part I can be the person I am learning to be, that is me.

I don’t really have a clue who I really am on any particular day. I exist and get on with

things I must, things I might enjoy, things from which I learn.

Most important learning for me right now is how to feel my feelings. Every day we are prone

to hide our true feelings, to keep them in check in case we are seen as different and

threatening. Most often we hide feelings to avoid being hurt and criticised.

It comes to us all someday, it is better to show our feelings, to feel them as they occur,

not to suppress them. When we let feelings out as they happen, they are right sized and

dealt with as we go along. When we build them and hide them, they are never as we would wish

and they are hard to express. Too big or too small, not quite right.

So when we experience and express, we get them right, in their intended measure about the

right thing.

Its complicated to be here and NOW isn’t it?

June 13th 2005


~ greetings and happy days –

on the road to Elysium ~

How often do we say to others how well they look? Often we someone says to me, ‘you look

wonderful’, I wonder how well I prepare a mask to show the world.

It is the hardest of all human qualities to fathom. It comes from our nature and our

nurture, to hide and mask our true feelings, for to do so would put us in some peril or

other. Exposure to our vulnerable inside feelings are best kept under wraps, we are taught.

When we see ourselves in the mirror, we may choose only to see what we want others to see.

We hide so much of our inner thoughts and feelings, we might wonder how we get them out.

We make virtue of masks, and make up. We encourage pretence and we encourage displays of

well being. A lot of trickery. Some call this faking it to make it. Some call this putting

our best foot forward. And even more call it "putting on a brave face".

Since time made us sentient, there has been something we want to hide. Where our shadow

world of elicit and fundamental self resides. That place where unspeakable us lives and

dwells, the more sinister, the more colourful, the more vulnerable parts of us.

We should make a visit into the dark shadows frequently to check our complete nature, from

our genes to our learning, the completeness of us holds great portents when connected. We

can encompass our whole and let our mind wander across the vastness of time, an ocean of


When we look beyond our mask, the world of making do, there is no sinister us, there is the

complete us as we really are. And as we open the door and let out every nuance that

completes our package, we know our light, we know our dark and we make our choices and we

let ourselves grow. Our growth on complete knowledge enables our worldly and spiritual paths

to mingle and enrich ourselves and others. Included and informed, in control of what is ours

and able to love without condition. Now, who said that is an easy world to experience? No

one, or why else would we mask our magnitude?

June 14th 2005


~ honest broker ~

we might wish to believe that we try to be honest brokers in life. That we live our lives to

an ethical code. We see honesty and truth, fair dealing and integrity as our touchstones

guiding our conscience in all matters.

How often we may slip away and become enmeshed in less helpful outlooks, where we stray from

truth, our honesty is as good as our outlook and prejudice creeps into our world. We strive

for fairness and integrity is embraced to make good the fabric of our thinking. Where

emotions drive us, so all our best efforts might give way to weakened resolve.

We are all honest brokers in our minds eye; we are culpable and driven to judgement which

holds self interest dear. And we learn over and over the penalty of living with poor

choices. Our spirit and conscience tell us almost in the moment that we may stray into

dangerous territory if we shape the truth, just nod to honesty, and worse negotiate our

position to suit self interest.

And there is the rub of it; self interest in some way is our best interest. Yet the greater

good of our community might be compromised at least and destroyed at worst when self

interest drives our lives.

We need to be honest brokers in our own minds eye. We need to challenge our codes and

ethics, as quick as conscience makes our skin burn with the shame of deception. So we are

driven by our light and dark, our good and bad. Self reliance and self will, they are

forever challenging our group conscience and societal responsibilities. We tread a tightrope

oft ticking away as the events of life are held to scrutiny in our thoughts. Our feelings

react immediate to the danger and we can mislead ourselves to poor choices and much


We are honest brokers as we examine our lives, moving towards conclusion, we see with

hindsight, better opportunities lost to time. As honest brokers we can accept our choices,

their origin, their efficacy and outcomes we lived.

We share our experiences, our strength and hope, as we march onward, illuminating our

fellows and their steps to the future. Our judgement internal and deep in reflection, our

conscious conscience, our guide to the future. May it be so every day.

June 15th 2005


~ changing times~

It is wise to bend rather than break.

June 16th 2005


~ intrepid ~

characterized by resolute fearlessness, fortitude, and endurance

We all have these qualities inside us, the ability to be intrepid in each and every day.

Its part of our make up to take each day as it comes, because we have little option. When we

analyse our powerlessness over most elements. As some would suggest we are powerless over

people, places and things. We are quite rightly faced with uncertainty every moment. And our

awareness of this ticks alongside our desire for stability, peace and tranquillity.

All life has paradox. And for us humans, the same as all of nature, we might wish for a

steady state of being. We often hear we might get enthusiastic with change and embrace it,

yet when change is thrust upon us, we head for denial as a safety net. Safety in holding on

to a pattern of life we hold as our sanctuary.

Most likely as we realise our subconscious deals with changes without complaint, we might be

assured our conscious activities might benefit from the same outlook. Yet when we are faced

with change, we most often can recoil and hark back to times we prefer.

Odd our lives are laced with opposite viewpoints. And yet we need them all to complete our

picture of the world.

And in reaction, we balk at change, in response, we often relish change. So with a little

patience we get to new outlooks which encompass our new surroundings. I wonder how our

ancestors coped with fire!

As a species we are adapting, we are becoming something new with every generation. As my

grey hairs grow more abundant, so less hair I have. As there is forever more to see in the

world, my eyes grow dim. In my minds eye, sprightly as ever, intrepid as ever, the world

throws me surprises every single day.

And what I do with those surprises I will know as time moves me forever onward in human

doing and human being...

June 17th 2005


~ never despair? ~

No matter how grave a situation, never despair. Yet we will...

What is it like, to lose all hope or confidence? We don’t want to lose our confidence and

especially hope. Yet it seems we do, when we are overwhelmed and powerless over things which

affect our lives. There is a trap for us all, to get stuck and unable to let go of old

situations and change our outlook. To accommodate today and understand our new situation is

in fact liberating. When we have invested so much in stability, change can be the hardest

thing to accept.

We feel torn and our confidence goes when we lose something. People, places and things when

lost, well, nothing prepares us for the sadness which follows when we feel these losses.

Upheaval from stable happy and joyful times, to those of change, they do disturb us. The

extent of that disturbance is equal to our personal investment, our emotional tie to our

situation and circumstance.

We do well when we acknowledge our feelings and let them run their course. When we suppress

our feelings, they remain in us and await some outlet in the future. And while they remain

suppressed, they hamper us. It is better to let our emotions out and share them. Emotions

are there to help us make sense of our world. What we do in actions is helped by our

thinking. We can react happily and sadly to our situations, we need to think through these

events and find useful expression. This is where reaction and response can be so critical to

our personal outlook. Often our reactions are immediate and unfettered, happy or sad, in the

moment and quite impulsive. We are taken by surprise often by our emotional depths. Our

responses are mitigated by our thinking. We place context and see the whole picture. So

often, it is better to feel the reaction, and then think, so we can respond.

Reaction and response are part of our feeling processes. We cannot deny our feelings. We

need to learn the difference. So when we react, we can feel the raw edge, when we respond it

is a deeper and longer process of feeling.

We are all hot headed, we are all level headed, we learn about our deeper feelings when we

find helpful expression. Helpful expression is not always seen as appropriate to others when

we are upset. So we learn our reactions and we learn our responses. Reaction to painful

change will always be difficult, responses to it are best shared, or prolonged denial might

block our path to future happiness.

June 18th 2005


~ the power of goodwill ~

Having benevolent feelings for all generates goodwill. The power of goodwill makes the

impossible possible.

letter to a friend
Hi there,
I have put much thought into what we do as humans. I know from my years of experience that

most people never sort out their lives, they just drift from one crisis or ordinary

situation to another.

As people who are more 'able' following personal reflection, we do have greater sensitivity

to life in general. And as we develop our conscience, we do have deeper and more profound

awareness to "people, places and things". We are more able to see our part in all we


Self knowledge is very helpful so long as we keep the context of what is possible. And this

is really helpful when we realise we can only control ourselves and manage our own part in

the day. And I guess we must have acceptance for how others are faced with the same dilemmas

without the knowledge or deeper understanding gained over the years. Maybe the wisdom is to

accept our own part, and accept our culpability without blame to ourselves or others.

Wisdom for me is letting go our own part and that of others too. Our feelings are real, our

reactions often unmanageable. Our responses are reflections and where feelings are strongest

when we see what could have, might have, should of and did not occur. And in matters of the

heart, we can love profoundly, even when we recognise changes in relationships might end in

loss and sadness. We let go that which is most dear and face much pain inside, especially

when we love with passion.

I can imagine the painful feelings, only to my experience. I have empathy for the situation

you describe, even though I cannot feel the intensity you must be going through. Someone

once said to me (the guru counsellor of the nineties)" I feel your tears", I felt like

throttling him.

Knowing is the very devil, doing the right thing, very painful, accepting things must change

is the hardest. Sometimes people come back when there are changes. In the meantime, I can

only guess that one day at a time works, so far for me anyway. And allowing myself to feel

the emotions daily, till they subside back to manageable proportions. I still have feelings

for the girl who knew me inside and out, who lives far away, she is happy, I hope. And I

accept it, no I don't, yes I do! I do finally, and that took me ages. So take care my

friend, and very best wishes,

June 19th 2005


~ the way of the world ~

We all have notions about the way of the world and how it affects us. Should we be concerned

about the big picture? And what of nature and people? And the environment in all of its

complexity? Of course, we should consider our path through life. What we do as individuals

always has an impact on our surroundings. We might feel insignificant, we might feel

powerless. It’s true; for the most part we appear to have little or no impact. If we feel

that way, we will never see that every element has impact, has a place, and has some

contribution to our world.

Our contribution to the world is our presence and what we choose with a little thought and

application makes our impact. In the grand scheme, the great design of human doings we all

have our time and place.

Most often we may never know the extent of our impact, and it matters little to us. Less

often we see some inspiration in life, a person, a cause or event which influences us and

sets us on actions we may never have imagined.

Forever so, our impact is felt, we all have our contributions to make. Most of the entire

journey though, is our celebration of existence. And we can celebrate the lightest touch;

know the softest moment will change our world. And best of all we can reflect and cherish

our time upon this earth.

Endeavour, fortitude and hope keep us safe when life is extreme, and the same is true when

life is balanced. Life on the edge and life in balance, a matter simply of balance. The

balance of life, tips see-saw and rarely without motion, across oceans of time.

June 20th 2005


~ plant the seed of peace ~

As our thought so is our consciousness, and as is our consciousness so is our life. Let your

first thought of the day simply be peaceful. Plant this seed. Water it with attention and

you will gather the calm

June 21st 2005


~ ethics and principles ~

As we grow more complex and sophisticated, we develop more elaborate ways at looking at our


We hear often we need to keep it simple and live each day as it comes. And why? Maybe for

all our human qualities and development, we can forget the simple pleasures of the days we


Experiencing the day, enabling our senses, taking time to absorb and reflect. To savour the

moment, as if it were our last?

Ethics and principles develop, to enable our enjoyment of living, to have a code, a

framework and a way of accepting our experiences.

All too often we have our minds focussed on the past or the future and not so much on the

here and now. We are missing our lives when caught in dreams, and we might miss opportunity

without those dreams. In all matters we need our balance. We learn balance in life; we need

to cultivate our perception and experience of the world.

Life is forever there to be lived, in the present, with a head full of experience to help us

and a weather eye for the future. In balance, past, present and future, recurring themes and


Past, present and future, essential and reforming as our world and our perceptions change.

Past present and future, our perceptions, dreams and experiences ever so slightly

predictable, yet unique and authentic to our reality. And best experience is in the moment,

and then recollected, foundations for future moments, patterned into eternity.

June 22nd 2005


~ integrity ~

When the thoughts we think are the same as the words we speak, others will feel our


June 23rd 2005


~ the more I know the less I know ~

As I grow older, and many years have gone by, my knowledge grows wider and more deeply. Ask

me anything and everything, I guess I can offer a view. And a view widened through

experience of life. We travel and learn and we accept everything in our own context. Our

context being as wide as experience and life enables.

We see our world clearly from our own perspective, its working and intricacy. It is a

fabulous life enterprise, experiencing and gathering and hopefully, we share as we journey.

As Journeymen we wander this earth to the limits we have. And our outlook is helped or

hindered along our path. And as a journeyman, learning is a mighty paradox, for the more I

know, the less I know.

Every life with a journey, unique and authentic. Every step enlightens our perceptions, yet

our understanding as sharp as life, is the equal of our experience. And out there across the

world, experience moves beyond and reaches across the universe. Beyond me, always open to be

seen, infinity, a forever stretch for mere mortality.

June 24th 2005


~ still waters ~

A life of turbulence and noise may seem desirable to one who leads it, but wisdom is a pearl

found only in still waters

When we are all fired up with life, it speeds alarmingly from one event to another. Our fast

pace keeps the body working and the mind racing. And in these apocalyptic speeds we miss

nothing and forget everything, except maybe the rush and fatigue of achievement. The race

won, the victor the spoils?

As we find in life, there is no victory, there is passage from birth to eternity. And what

we experience along the way is ours, to be savoured as we go. We may feel something in our

recollections, best felt full measure as life happens...

June 25th 2005


~ great wealth ~

To be content with a little is a great wealth

We come into this world with nothing, we leave this world with nothing? In material terms

its the most obvious truth. And in between we are able to learn much about our nature and

the nature of our surroundings. We are never turned off and never stop moving through time

experiencing our surroundings and how they impact on us.

A marvel of nature as we adapt and make use of every faculty we have, each developing for us

as we slide along. And as we learn our patterns of adoption, somehow changes are encoded

into future generations as our offspring and the offspring of others are patterned with

every turn of this world.

Our wealth is in our adaption, our reaction, our response to our world. We live a few years

on a world which has a life far beyond our comprehension. A truly adaptive world, it has no

favourites, it enables and flows with the energies of the universe. Mathematical, physical,

metaphysical, endless infinity. Our pattern emerging and enriching the universe, as we

travel, and so our impact is felt somehow, somewhere, here and into time, forever.

June 26th 2005


~ restoration ~

Someone once said this is an insane world. So much of what we perceive and do is beyond our

control. Often I hear how we are powerless over people, places and things. And how true,

this notion of powerlessness becomes.

As we grow in years, we learn we truly have choices we can exercise for ourselves. How we

choose to live is one gift we forget all too easily. We are beguiled frequently by self

interest and self will. We are sent on missions and ambitions which drive us to distraction.

We live for the future moment and forget this one. We have the store of passion within us as

memory evokes greatness and insignificance predicated on values we adopt.

Restoration is the balance we might find, in the day and this moment, where we put down

insanity and participate as human beings, for the good.

And what is the good, the common good? Ah there is the key to unlock the secret of living.

Balanced and right sized, not big or small, the equal of society. A balance and careful

rumination, a moment of serenity before this insane world might set us again upon a path of

self destruction. Beguiling world, so rich and fertile, can be as barren in the blink of an


Restoration, a forever quest in eternity...

June 27th 2005


~ introversion ~

Great people speak very little

A saying sent me by a thoughtful person. In my opinion, introversion is our inner place of

contemplation, where we try to sort out the information we receive. Inward reflections are

informed by the world outside, and the greatness of thought, if kept inside, might serve us,

might never serve anyone else.

We get our balance from inner and outer reflections. The greatness of our contribution is

the equal of its impact to the greater good. It would be silly indeed to gift introversion

with greatness, in fact it is a mistaken notion. It illustrates tho' how easy we can take on

our own importance. And in our largesse, loose sight of the greatness around us...


June 28th 2005


~ transform ~

Transform regrets into realisations and therefore ensure that what could become waste is

made into something worthwhile

Hindsight is one of our best teachers. We learn from what we do. And when we are young,

often we bounce back from adverse experiences, learning as we go those things which are

helpful and those not worth repeating.

As we grow, we tend to hold on too long to people, places and things which might be a

hindrance. We do this because we make investments in our situations and society.

There can be regret and resentment, when we hold on too long, to anything which hurts us,

emotionally, physically and spiritually.

We do have regrets, how we use these feelings helps us move on to new experience. If we

suppress our regrets, they can become resentments. We are able to amplify the impact when we

ignore and deny our feelings. And in time these feelings overwhelm and stunt our capacity to

deal with the real world.

When we hear many talk about letting go and moving on, they forget this is a human process

of development. We need to move on and let go. And when we are moving on it is because we

have experienced our feelings of regret and resentment, in fact all our feelings. So when we

look back in hindsight, let us hope we felt the experiences fully. That we have cleared our

systems of feelings felt at the time, and we had made room for new experience and feelings.

How else would we progress and reach our full human potential?

Dwelling on experience is how we process and learn. Time: there is no right amount, or wrong

amount, just a need to understand our situation. Then we can enable our understanding and

share our experiences...

June 29th 2005


~ informing and sharing ~

Our thirst for knowledge, information and sharing is insatiable, even when we would rather

it were different.

Being complex people struggling often for the gift of simplicity, we often find ourselves

wishing we knew more and wishing all too often we did not know.

Informing and sharing is our gift. We impart knowledge in the hope we inform others wisdom.

Wisdom is a hard won state of mind, for most wisdom comes from personal experience. Its as

if we find others experience helpful, but not necessarily useful, until we endorse our views

from acting out our desires.

So informing and sharing, helps us become included and often make a decision to exclude. And

humans are full of ploys to include or exclude. Informing and truth, two bedfellows on the

path to redemption. Informing and mistruth, two bedfellows so often deployed they have their

place in our society. From the "white lie", to blatant palpable distortion and deception.

All have their place in our repertoire of social skills.

Informing and sharing, our gift and that of others. Beware all gifts we have, for they turn

on a feeling from good to bad, where the intent is benevolent or malign. Never more so than

the gift of silence, wherein imaginations reach out for the sublime, the ridiculous and

whatever else our internal conjuror can evoke...

June 30th 2005


~ feelings and thoughts ~

The quality of thought creates the quality of life. And what of feeling...

Our quality of thought is the equal of the quality of our experiences. Both good and bad

experiences add to the quality of what we think and feel. When we experience joy, like none

before, when we experience sadness, so heartfelt, we widen the quality of our experience.

Somehow even though the experience may be joyful or sad, our range of feeling and thoughts

widens, deepens and becomes evermore real.

This notion of thoughts and feelings being different, somehow separate helps us to

understand how we process information and how we experience our world.

Feelings are always in us, bubbling and moving us to all sorts of emotional states. Love,

hate, happy, sad we names for all our feelings. We have these feelings evoked by our day to

day experiences and stored in our memory for good measure.

Our thoughts, our interpretation on experiences, come after our feelings. We feel something

and then we think about the experience, to check out what is going on. We feel and think.

So when we hear that the quality of thought creates the quality of life, we have a process

to help us make sense of the world we inhabit. Our quality of thinking relies on our

feeling. When we feel good, we think good, when we feel sad, we think sad. For most normal

folks that works just fine.

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."