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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

September 2005

copyright© don oddy

Chronicles September 2005

September 1st 2005


~ harmony in relationships ~

speak always with a conscious control and only what is necessary and helpful.

September 2nd 2005

~ patience ~

patience and more patience enables a closed mind to gently unfurl

we learn more about patience every day, especially when we feel our needs are greater than

others, actually all needs are the same and we might count our good fortune when ours are


for in all lives all needs are needs and we might find our wants are happily discarded as

they drift with experience

September 3rd 2005

~ embrace change ~

let me not resist change but embrace it. It offers an easy path to internal transformation

and personal empowerment
or it could be..
let me not desist change but refute it. It offers an easy path to infernal deterioration and
others powerment.
or it could be we learn both through experience. And the devil in experience is knowing we

are all capable of any and every form of empowering known to mankind. We experience all

elements, for there really is no enlightenment without that old friend, endarkenment!

September 4th 2005

~ bondage of thoughts ~

The bondage of the thoughts of the mind do not allow the experience of internal happiness.

To be tied in the bondage of waste thoughts, jealousy and thoughts of carelessness and

laziness are the bondages of the mind. Therefore become free from this subtle bondage.

Put another way, we experience joy and revel in the pleasure. If we try and think ourselves

to joy, we missed the event. For its the event and the experience which enables our joy. Try

writing your joy on to paper, as if describing in a letter to a friend...
very difficult indeed!
September 5th 2005

~ faking it to make it ~

is there something sinister in the phrase which suggests we,

"fake it to make it?"

. Are there issues with pretence and bravado as life skills. Life skills are there to enable

our experience and abilities. We may hold most like skills as virtues. In past experience,

dealing with very gifted individuals, often leaders in politics and industries areas of

ability we looked for included:

" the ability to lie convincingly "
We may question the usefulness of this skill, and we might question it as part of ourselves

and those we would accept as leaders.

I hold strong views and support key values with ethics at their core, for example:

openness, honesty, fair dealing and integrity
Are these values consistent in our society, do they reflect our behaviour and that of

others we would emulate and help us with leadership? This is a confusing situation... for we

often muse over little white lies and deceptions which involve some situation which

benefits from subterfuge.
The whole of the natural world lends itself to masking and pretence, yet when we uncover

these elements in others behaviour, the outcomes are invariably negative as trust in others

is lost.
So of fake it to make and the ability to lie convincingly, we might consider their use and

application. For in truth when in any life, will fake it to make it, or lies ever enable the

outcomes best for all concerned?

Simply never in anyone's lifetime

September 6th 2005

~ friendship ~

friendships endure

What do friendships endure? The first element is ourselves. For in each of us we have the

capacity to maintain friendship. And the second element is the friend we maintain.
Our capacity for friendship is the equal of all our experiences. We experience and make

judgements which enable us to be the friend we desire. Sometimes our experiences make us

difficult people to be friends, it is just the way we are.
Others we include in our lives become friends and we are able to engage them as we

experience them. That is with the eyes and senses of ourselves and the sense we have of


We tend to have categories of friends because maintain differing levels of trust. Trust in

ourselves and trust in others. Always we develop our level of trust in ourselves, and always

we are measuring our confidence and trust in those we include in our lives.
Friendship is part of all our lives. Friendship is a two way experience. We may consider our

value to others in the way we conduct ourselves with our friends, and we can be absolutely

sure our friends do the same.

When we find fault in our friends, it’s based not only on our experience of them, but on our

experience of all friendships we have over our lifetime.
Sometimes our history and old experiences enable better friendships as we develop our

experience and wisdom. All too often we can become less friendly as some experiences where

we have been hurt makes us feel unable to trust and lack confidence in others. We have our

judgement and experience to inform us, almost without conscious thought how best to make a

friend and include them with trust in our lives.

Friendships are best as we become confident and trust. And we can become better friends the

more open we are. So we might consider all our conduct in making friends, for we inevitably

get the friends we deserve. We need find our own sense of self and worth as we meet more

potential friends, and equally we will find many we cannot befriend.
Best always to check our needs and wants, for the friendships we develop reflect them.

Without friends life is less tolerable and without friends we never learn how to be one. We

may pick our friends as experience shows us, and we always need keep a weather eye on our


Sometimes only as time and experience have developed our friendliness do we realise how we

are at our best in friendship. For without doubt we get back what we put into a friendship,

only when we know ourselves and the capacities of our friends.
Friendship is not a one sided affair, it is the bond developed and the ability we have to

support and challenge in the most constructive fashion which holds them firm over time. As

with all relationships the measure of a friend is also the measure of us, with ups and downs

and trust and confidence.
All elements of friendship, forever moving and reforming, always moving and never still

close or distant, friendships are what we put into them…

September 7th 2005

~ inner reflections ~

In any situation, where there is inner peace and love, life changes for the better...

September 8th 2005

~ inner reflections ~

happiness and sorrow are the fruit of my own actions.

September 9th 2005

~ harmony in relationships ~

speak always with a conscious control and only what is necessary and helpful.

September 10th 2005

~ smile and say hello ~

in life you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and

care, even if all you do is smile and say "hello"

September 11th 2005

~ think simply ~

With so many choices and decisions, so many demands from people and events, in our modern

fast changing world, it's a real challenge to 'keep it simple'. Making it simple means

making things easy and clear. The magic wand to wave over your life is 'planning and

prioritising'. Make plans, long and short term and then prioritise. Then practise taking one

thing at a time, so you can have one thought at a time, with some space before you have to

have your next thought. But don't get attached to your plans or priorities. Be flexible

(easy) and yet focused (clear) and in this way you can teach yourself to think simply and

act simply. One thought at a time. At your own pace. In your own space. A simple life is a

contented life.

September 12th 2005

~ openness ~

openness is a virtue that searches with patience for the good in every person and situation

In our world the opportunity to keep our minds open to others and the possibilities is

challenged by our rush at life. The more we rush, the less we experience. Finding the

balance in our open viewing of the world needs be tempered with some clarity in our

understanding about capacity. Our capacity to take in and experience fully, to feel life

rather than just understand its meaning. What a tall order life can be!

September 13th 2005

~ amidst our silence ~

Do we ever wonder why libraries have special atmospheres? They are places where many

congregate and where silence is the code. Quietness in an atmosphere means there is the

presence of quiet minds, and quiet minds are not only relaxed, they can concentrate easily

and create more freely. Imagine we are in a library in our minds, browsing the accumulated

wisdom on the shelves - listen to the silence, be aware of the stillness. Now we can really

listen. Now we can really hear. Now we can really think. Now we can create. And behold, we

are artisans of life.

September 14th 2005

~ give ~

make your every thought, word and deed such that the impact gives someone courage and zeal

and enthusiasm.

Without doubt our greatest gift to our fellows is sharing our experience, strength and hope.

Since the dawn of time, memory and nature have enabled and evolved. Our words may be mighty,

our deeds more so. And in combination what a rich offering most of us share.

Often the gifts we never know we have or had are best understood with the benefit of

hindsight and humility.

As with conscience, just a brief consideration with our higher power is most likely to set

us straight.

Straight about what? Our right size of course, the same size as our fellows, no bigger or

smaller, just the same size...

September 15th 2005

~ developing identity ~

When something must be said, stand up and say it. When something needs to be done, get busy

and do it

When we remain fearful and silent, we wither inside. When we forget to move and strive for

new ideas and challenges, we may be stuck awhile. We would be extraordinary people

without our internal doubts. And we are more extraordinary for having our doubts and moving


Our strength often resides in our fear, and our fears are in our strengths, for without

either we would have nothing to compare. That's the bounty of life and movement, as with

stillness comes peace. Peace only understood as we understand our combative nature...

September 16th 2005

~ our inner beauty ~

"Wow...that's beautiful!" Is either a cry or a thought when faced with the mountain sunset,

a spectacular view or a well formed man or woman. But where is the beauty, where is the

appreciation of beauty, where is the ability to discern beauty? It is within our own

consciousness. For the essence of who and what we are is beauty itself. The essence of

beauty is not found in the body, a face or a mountain - they only stir the essence of beauty

within our own spirit. And that beauty is not only something we taste within ourselves, but

it emerges in our character as virtue, and in our life as care. For what is virtue, but love

in action. The next time you say, "That's beautiful!" know that you speak of yourself, and

it is you who are beautiful. Always were, always will be.

September 17th 2005

~ acceptance ~

We are forever challenged in our daily lives, by what ifs and why nots. What if we just

accepted our day as it is? A day where we can experience every moment as it is, where there

are things we cannot change, where there are things we can change...

And with a bit of luck knowing what the difference is between can change and can't change.

Maybe then as we accept, then joy is as possible, inevitably as is sadness, that there is

something in between and that we can experience this day as openly as our mind enables.

What a testament to get to bed and realise every moment of the day was full of possibilities

and impossibilities and we exercised choices and outcomes. Now that is acceptance and


September 18th 2005

~ hope n pope! ~

Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
Man never Is, but always To be blest:
The soul, uneasy and confin'd from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.

-Alexander Pope,

September 19th 2005

~ regard ~

when we recognise that everyone is of unique value, we give regard to every soul by never

comparing it to another.

September 20th 2005

~ the path of life ~

"We can exhaust ourselves in seeking power, success, prestige and money. That is, if we

consider life as a means of obtaining everything we desire.

Or on the contrary, we might think of it as a goal and use all our faculties to reinforce

it, enlighten it and purify it. Then we maintain the life within ourselves, our intellect

understands, our heart loves and rejoices, and our essence creates and grows stronger.

Otherwise, our intellect grows dim, our heart grows cold and our essence wavers.

Without life, even science is no longer possible, nor art, nor philosophy. The science of

life is the key. If we enhance the life within, if we clear out the spring so that the water

runs more freely, we can fill reservoirs and send this life all the way across the oceans of

this earth, brightening, giving heart in this vast universe, and to our essence always and

forever, creative and inexhaustible."

September 21st 2005

~ intervene lovingly, or not at all! ~

One of the deepest habits we learn is interfering in others' lives. Even if we are not

actively interfering there is a good chance it's happening in our heads. Then, when people

don't do what we want them to do, which is usually all the time, our ability to relax is non

existent. If you want to interfere successfully in someone else's life, try this loveful

approach. It begins with acceptance, continues with acknowledgement, is empowered by

appreciation and ends in actualisation. Only in this way can we help others be all that they

can possibly be, and what else is life for, but to help others to be all that they can be.

Only by making love practical in this way, can we heal our own habits of criticism, envy and

blame. Accept, acknowledge and appreciate. It doesn't mean you have to agree, comply or

condone. The paradox is that we ourselves will receive the same in the process, not only

from ourselves, as we become what we give, but from others along the way. Why? It's the law!

September 22nd 2005

~ empathy ~

A compassionate soul will travel great distances and scale high walls in order to understand

another point of view.

September 23rd 2005

~ smile and say hello ~

In life you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and

care, even if all you do is smile and say "hello".

September 24th 2005

~ old principles revisited ~

~ My Principles & Values August 2nd 2003 ~

Terms of Reference –

This week is a good starting place to remind myself of some of my ideals. Just some of my

ideals, because like any other human being, my thinking and feeling is always evolving,

gaining wisdom and to an extent, gravitas.

Dealing with others and writing -

To be clear in thought and feeling to explore with a persistent thirst, delving and

wandering, recollecting flotsam as well as deep felt moments to me and to you. So why do I

write? For expression of feelings and thoughts, to try to explain what captures my

imagination and what I see around me. This is why I have written a journal these past few

years and more. So I include a pastiche of experiences and anecdotes, not lofty or lore from

wisdoms touch, just experiences. I need to learn, to remind myself, to be me, for I am

easily lost in others dreams. And in understanding and expressing my thoughts and feelings,

I learn every day.


I hope and endeavour to express my views and recollections with sensitivity. And it is

important for me to keep in mind my principles and values when I write on the web and in my

journals. This page will always be found somewhere in my work published here and other sites

on the World Wide Web. I like all of us need keep a light or heavy touch as our world

provides every experience.

This particular week in August 2003, turned out to be one of great vulnerability and

reflection. With only a few hours sleep in many days, my words not as precise or sharp as I

might wish. I experienced great physical and emotional damage, and in the process caused

anxiety and pain to many who know me. Culpability is mine.

For the hurts to others and myself were profound and elemental. And inflicting these hurts I

have been given many more lessons in the fragility of life I paid little heed to over the

years. These lessons and experiences evoke memories, which give my principles and values

more meaning and cut deep in my psyche, and an affirmation. The affirmation might be simply

to find my identity and what I might become. I am sure the first principle I hold as

absolute is I am responsible for, my conduct and welfare.

Through experience, there will be joy and sadness. My reaction and response to life will be

a reflection of my understanding. Life is for learning, and how I deal with life, both the

joy and sadness will be my path to wisdom.

My path to wisdom is as hard fought as any other in this world. My path to wisdom is the

equal of any other human being, not bigger or smaller.

My wisdom hard earned will be as important and profound as any other in the world. My wisdom

and experience will be the equal of any human being, not bigger or smaller

I accept hurts self inflicted, and deep felt hurt to others I have caused, ‘mea culpa’.

Acceptance of my part in life, the world and everything, no bigger or smaller than any other

in this world


Clarity is about finding my terms of living in the world and who I really am. It’s no one

else's responsibility. Feedback and comment and challenge and support are essential

reflections welcomed. Clarity is about writing in the moment. Writing about what is going on

in my micro world, my local village where community may prevail. And of what I call the

global village, the macro world, writing about interdependencies we most often never

address. Our constant surprise is interdependence at local community or global geo- national

are so similar and simple even to the most abstract theorist.

Outcomes and Output

I think about my success and failures and I think about those of the great and the good. I

have to learn from both and be honest, knowing what I say is opinion about myself and how I

see others. This notion of honesty and truth, of fair dealing and integrity. Otherwise is

there any point? And with chance of others expressing their true views….

There may be enlightenment


Is a key part of learning and necessitates risk. And with time I know I have grown shy of

the risks involved, in new challenges and enterprise. With vulnerability I learn. Time for

me to learn afresh values and matters of importance not yet understood.


I have taken in and accepted all that has been given to me in terms of feedback near and

far. Especially when cut to the quick. Truthful feedback is hardest to absorb because it

opens every deep notion and challenges our reason for living. I have had great doubts on

life’s purpose, mine in particular when crushed to insignificance. And self exclusion drives

the mind to ponder darkly as isolation hacks away esteem, which is where the self hurt

originates. Ignorance in my world, is not bliss, it is harmful and destructive, damaging the

foundations of all life experience.

My responsibility

To be myself and know what I stand for now in my world, the local village. And of the global

village, support, comment and challenge as is the right of all humanity? For me it means I

am more likely to keep on track through expression and listening carefully as best I can to

all my equals. And my responsibility, in this is to be clear how I conduct myself now and in

the future. This is my "hope" as the tenacious process of denial and acceptance, keeps me

safe from harm and always in harms way.

Your responsibility

Is your path, is your experience and wisdom. I learn from your experience, making no

judgment on you, and every judgment on myself…

To love and be humble

The greatness of mind and action, of feeling and experience of joy and sadness is our life.

To be a member of my local village, no more no less, of equal stature and equal frailty, no

bigger or smaller than any other. I am glad to be a seeker. Listening, vulnerable and

learning, a finder and sharer of wisdom garnered from life. Forgiving even the worst of

hurts inflicted. With or without intent, an endeavour as long as life.

September 25th 2005

~ ephemeral sadness ~

We are all struck with sad moments as experience of life's grief emerges and love is lost.

Loss of love, ephemeral and short lived adds a piquant edge. When more everlasting and

eternal loss is experienced, the profound permanent shift in our well being sometimes feels

too hard to bear. Loss of our mate, our partner, our close family and friends is the painful

ache which never feels like it will heal. Only time and talk and remembrance assist our

passage through grief to acceptance.

Ephemeral sadness, our well worn skin, becomes a close friend as we travel through our

lives. We learn its natural touch, it assists and makes good our joy of living.

The joy of living when faced with its loss, a journey we can make alone or with love from

those around us supporting our journey through grief. Unexpected and only understood when

experience provides. Often a maturity we might wish never again, will inevitably return.

Until we gain acceptance and have this experience, our ephemeral sadness is as elusive as

joy itself. Our wisdom of love, heartfelt and heart broken, mended and everlasting, humanity

and eternity, our spiritual journey...

September 26th 2005
~ humanity surprises the quiet spirit ~
a timely smile is as welcome as a cup of water in a desert
September 27th 2005

~ Order & Chaos ~

how we view our world as if in order
nature the perfect composition for
nature is the perfect order
drawn from an infinite universe
when we interpret, our wish may be
no division between our viewer
and what they are seeing
between the seer and the seen
here our inner artist oft mesmerises
and we are left with experience evoked
from within our mind's eye an embellishment
and so in happy chaos dwell....
September 28th 2005

~ dig deep into that glow of night ~

Dig deep into that glow of night
a firmament of infinite stars
a moon luminous we find our way
so often confused our dark hours
where our only danger is a waft
from imaginations deep
Happy hours as we feel the pull of sleep
and watch a glittering theatre as our
mind’s eye plays amongst our universe
inside and the vastness of space chills
our vulnerable souls so small
We revel in our imaginations grasp
and vie with reality for sentience wit
as we might wish we were divine
and our potency far more than truth
for in our truth is greatness
From imaginations grip we dream
in waking truth we bask as giants
in control of nothing but ourselves as
happenstance competes with serendipity
and trickster’s ego digs deep for meaning
we might seek nothing and find joy
In acceptance of the day fixed by no
meddlesome noise from dreamer’s realm
and see the world complete with fortitude
open eyes with wonder to a new day as dawn
hides smallness and we can find
boundaries to stretch our measure of self
September 29th 2005

~ enlighten ~

When someone enlightens our lives just by their presence, we can be sure they are emitting a

very positive energy. When someone puts a damper on the meeting or a conversation, we can be

sure there is some hidden inner baggage which contains sorrow and darkness.

What do we bring to the party? A little light or a little dark? A lot of optimism or a

little pessimism? In olden days, before one switch could illuminate a whole city, one candle

had to be lit by another. So if we are aware that we carry a little darkness, perhaps it may

be useful to spend time with someone whose inner light is already lit, and stays lit in

almost all circumstances.

Eventually we may learn the art ourselves, and then serve as a candle to others. Especially

if they are getting on our wick!

September 30th 2005

~ automatic darkness ~

we are all prone to automatic darkness

As we develop from childhood, we have great stores of memories. These memories are for the

good. Even the darker worrying memories have their place. When danger is near, our automatic

alarms are triggered. We need these signals to confirm potential dangers to our self and


We neglect our feelings and gut reaction in favour of self will, we don't always heed the

warning signs memory and feeling provide.

Some say feel the fear and do it anyway. I suggest we examine where that fear presents and

don't always do it anyway. Ask a lemming!

Copyright © Don Oddy
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Home Page

--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."