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--Max Ehrmann

Desiderata

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.

Providence

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

Why

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


December 2005

copyright© don oddy

Chronicles December 2005

PAGE TITLE GOES HERE PAGE TITLE GOES HERE December 1st 2005
© Copyright Don Oddy
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~ jack of all trades ~

In the last fifty years the notion of being a jack of all trades has become firmly established in the minds of many intellectuals. These intellectuals seem to be proved right in establishing an individual can perform many tasks and become skilled in their deployment.. And it is with pride and determination that we apply ourselves to these multiple tasks and feel satisfied we are accomplished human beings. In fact we get rewarded

for our ability and when we perform well, the rewards can be significant in any currency we value. The main currency we value in our multitasking is money, then to varying degrees, the emotional currency of joy and happiness.In our societies, the multitasker is revered more and more. The benefits to our society are evident, where we have skills we can use in more places and more places where our skills can be used. This might seem a fantastic move forward for all of us. For we are living longer and have more experience to gain and share in our lifetimes. And we get rewarded for our abilities.

Anyone who enjoys life, tends to enjoy many experiences. These experiences are either continual new experiences or refinements of ones we have found satisfying over years and years. We can all imagine experiences we love to keep and enjoy more, and new experiences which keep us interested in life in general. From early school days, we learn more and more over broad topics, to find our interests and

aptitudes. We develop preferences in our experiences and become more expert in some over others. This is a natural and obvious development. Some like hard science, some like soft science. Some are drawn toward books and some to materials, some to art, some to engineering. And all these endeavours are building more expertise and experience, put to use in work and in our playtimes.

In our "formative" years, the broader the perspective, the greater our choices in life. We get great satisfaction in learning, if we are lucky! And we learn what we enjoy and we learn what we will to make a living.

The market for labour demands more skill, more aptitude and a more "rounded" resource. And we know as experience teaches, we need be flexible and open in our approach to work these days.

We know too, that expertise comes sometimes from years of learning, doing and refining. And we learn that rewards for expert powers command premiums, where the "jack of all trades" command minimums. And in our world we are told that we must develop our multitasking, but no one suggests which and for what and for when. So we need be mindful, we need be careful how we develop our portfolio of skills and expertise. For we may find great disappointment and unfulfilled aspirations if we multitask where everyone multitasks. And worse we might multitask where no one wants our skills and
expertise.

And we might consider our leisure interests and our skills and expertise. What we do for pleasure, may be quite different from our work. Or if we are quite able and astute we may study where our overall interest lie and find ourselves in vocational disciplines, combining both interest and rewards in all aspects of our lives. Let us be hesitant in our aspirations and our "jacks" of all trades.

Masters of Nothing

When we learn and develop our lives, we pay little heed sometime, we live in the moments and put to chance the future. And I am no exception, for the future is not here, and we might never see it! We are sometimes that pragmatic.

We need become masterful over parts of our lives, to sustain us, to enrich us, to find depth and texture. For as a Jack of all trades we find our superficial application leaves empty depths unexplored and never understood. Masters, we observe across our known Universe, give

pleasure and joy to the eye, our hearing, our touch, and every sensibility we have. We relish the feasts of the Masters of our age, we feel our imagination stretched and our appreciation so deep, we feel moved in the works of past masters and present practitioners.

Masters of our Universe

One element we might become master of is ourselves. We might find ourselves more completely, with a weather eye to our happiness and a watchful eye to the world. Be mindful of likes and good experiences, dislikes and poor experiences. Be mindful of our expert gifts developing and other gifts we must learn to get by in our world. Be masterful in making choices and developing opportunity, be careful of redundant and wasteful activity. Be aware of your preferences and leisure, and thrive in difference and diversity. Be accepting of your chices in multitasking, that they are enough to get by, and be expert where it makes the difference and rewards in your currency are high!

When we learn to be expert where knowledge and skill are high, that trade off is not lost to multitasking where superficial is our ability and lower are the rewards. And be aware our rewards and where they come from. For our rewards in life are most often in satisfaction than material gain. Material gain makes good our misery, Mastery of our own Universe fulfilling beyond measure.

December 2nd 2005
© Copyright Don Oddy
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~ tick tock titan ~

There is something compelling in time, we do not heed it till its passage is felt and time is running out. It goes on and on without end. A fascination, a worry. We believe we might master time. And yet it slips through our fingers, and we feel its passing, the hardest grief we will bear as our lives end and Old Father Time, a new beginning leaves open our anticipation, our transition without description. When young, our time stretches like our immortality, cut short only when our alchemists touch is lost to reality. We cannot readily accept, all that time offers, as we get older and older. We don't and have little imagination for the end of time, for it is infinite for us and not for Chronos, our happy God of time. And we learn all too quickly the passage of time is simply a moment in our memory, never to be captured or replicated again. We might relish those times spent in persuit as innocents and moments which fill our hearts and rush our sense to joy. Sitting as a child, listening to stories told, imaginary and real, we hear tall tales and tales from history providing weave and context to our tick tock, time. We listen with sense and acuity to the tick tock of lives before our own. We hear of great deeds and small snippets of lives we will never witness as our time goes by and fills our minds with stories and tales to be told. And our story, our lives unfold, going this way and that. We feel and experience our luxury of time, aware of it one moment and then wondering where it went, has gone, never to be put back. That relentles tick tock, aching hearts and reckless spendthrifts to the tick tock.

And we tinker with time and our experience, we feel its passing slow slow, quick quick, gone! Tick tock, the seconds a mere whisper to our concern, minutes pass as our impatience pushes, then so quickly we cannot count. Tick tock to weeks and months and years as our clock turns, tick tock, tick tock.As innocent as first breath, our growing burden of time. And innocence, that state of conscious emptiness, where no brush with element is lost and
our future is assured and our tree of knowledge takes root and grows to seasons will. And knowledge informs and expands our Universe as surely as it keeps us stuck to our age of Reason, and spirit of our age. Weathered and dated to our horizon... our full measure taken to our clock...
And reason grows with every generation making good our foundation and grasp on life's meaning. Or breaking down our labyrinths as we learn our old science, our Alchemy is smashed on the rocks of time. We move on with our tick tock steady, tick tock, time moves on, never restless or hurried. And our clock speeds, as life shortens, we wonder at its passage and wonder where its gone. Time, tick tock. From the innocence of youth, to the corruption of time, our knowledge continues with our passing and our time. A harsh tick tock. And we feel the move from the bliss of ignorance, to knowledge, to wisdoms folly. Time teaches and gifts, with every tick tock, absorbing, changing, refining as our world transforms from age to age. Tick tock, our hindsight, time marching, and Old Father Time is ever closer. That
grim reaper of bursting minds, taken in the blink of an eye. Our minds full to our measure and then ended, that Grim Reaper spares none from his clock is set, and sets free new Innocence. That time is our Titan, with a simple tick tock, greater than any element, valued above all, cannot be bought, cannot be cheated, cannot be avoided. A colossus, immutable, precious beyond compare, never squandered or lost, forgotten Master... tick tock, tick tock, tock.And in that final breath, old knowledge has served us well and faith rejoices, or the silence, deafens, as a bubble of turbulence is lost to breath..
December 3rd 2005
© Copyright Don Oddy
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~ patience ~

we are patient souls when we allow the fruits of our efforts to emerge in their perfect

time...

or not at all!

December 4th 2005
© Copyright Don Oddy
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~ courage ~

Courage is stepping forward into the unknown with no solution in mind, and feeling opportunity ahead. Moving forward open and even handed, with good conscience for our

strength and hope

December 5th 2005
© Copyright Don Oddy
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~ W.B. Yeats ~

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

we need be gentle with all our dreams. And in our real world mindful, some dreams remain so and others rarely match our wistful pull. When in acceptance we let go and find freedom in an open world, no debt to honour...

December 6th 2005
© Copyright Don Oddy
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~ its ok to be not ok ~

I don't feel ok today, and the feeling won't go away for a while. Being made to be a labyrinth of intellect is not a goal for me. Or being obliged to be other than myself makes me feel sad. I choose to be me. And being me will no doubt cause me grief from time to time.

When we look at our living we seem to have complex needs and wants. We seem to be full of experiences and we have our thinking and feeling guiding us most of the time. We have others fundamentals working for us. We have control, we have our inclusion in society and we have love and affection.

The amount of control we exercise or the amount of control we let others exercise on our behalf varies in different social contexts. We take control when we feel its appropriate and we let others control if they are better suited to it. For example a pilot of a plane we are glad to give control, rather than us do it inexpertly. And so on for all sorts of complicated reasons we take it, control, or give it up. Our reasons are as complicated as we are human beings! Inclusion in all aspects of life feels like a fundamental and wanted part of our sociability. We like to be included in those things which are of interest, and those things we value. Our need for inclusion, or wanted inclusion is as complicated as we can make it! Our need for exclusion from many interactive situations can be equally complicated, and often it is complicated by elaborate social patterns we all find mind blowingly guilt ridden contrivances we would all be better without.

And so to love. Love, as different and complicated as there are people on the planet. Be sure what type of love you are currently 'in'. We need some love and we express some love, and we don't quite ever get the formula right no matter how we try, UNLESS we keep a dialogue going. We need to know when our love is wanted, shared, mutual or exclusive, not wanted, not mutual and not there at all! We all make thinking, intellectual errors about love, when our love arrangements are fucked up. As life shows us if we are open and honest, is love and affection connections are haphazard in the beginning, and made more complicated by our society and learning. How we ever fall in

love is quite a challenge. UNLESS we observe our nature and our experience... Even then we find we can fall in love with people who are unable to love us back. Its a fucked up nature thing!

We also get our control, inclusion and love needs and wants down to a pattern we find comfortable. Our feelings respond to our patterns. Our patterns might be right for us, but wrong for most everyone else on the planet... No how can that be? As we become more alert to our preferences we find these patterns in others and with luck we find friends and lovers.

We can use all sorts of devices to find things out. We can use astrology, we can use our social groups and connections, and we can use all manner of fine personality profiling techniques. And we can find they are completely useless, unless there is a shared spark to get human chemistry going. Over the years we find predictability is easy with our personal rule of thumb.. Or we just get more picky? Either way we grow close or apart or to a place of mutual understanding. Or we just get mad and fling everything at "them" because our requirements do not comport with reality.

In the end our most reliable senses are our feelings. We either have them or not. And when we have, a miracle if they are shared and something sparks. When we have them and others don't, we let go as quick as we can, for our experience of changing people will find there is no change in the people, just a diminishing amount of the sparks we may have seen in the

beginning. When we let feelings be, grow and evolve we learn most and enrich our emotional well being. When we let feelings be, especially when others feel differently, we learn to let go and enrich ours and others well being. We let go control and we let go inclusion, we don't fight or diminish our fellows. And especially we don't throw manipulations at people who are unprepared or not equipped. And especially we don't diminish others with intellect or prejudice unworthy of any other human being. We let go and let good conscience be our guide...

And if we are really able to accept how things are, how life really is, we move with a light step and with great care for our friends' family and society. We live with control, inclusion, love and affection as we can to our pattern, free of device and contraptions made from self will... to the real happenstance and miracle of life, its equal and truly masters of intensity! So it is perfectly ok not be be ok. It is perfectly ok to feel everything we humans are apt to feel. And the truth is there is no intellectual holiday long enough to keep ourselves in denial, unless the journey out is too hard to start...

December 7th 2005
© Copyright Don Oddy
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~ Lightening Up and Experiencing life's Murk ~

Light Some days start a bit heavy and lighten up as they go. Other days go the other way. So why depend on the day for the pattern? Why not set the
pattern ourselves? Why not decide tomorrow is going to be light and easy, right and breezy? And then when we awaken, make sure our first thoughts are filled with..."YES"! If we are not accustomed to creating the atmosphere of our day in this way, it may sound strange, it may feel false or difficult to start with. But if we persist, and determine to be light, it will become the norm and not the exception. Say YES now!The gift the alchemysts drift takes us into visionary deceptions.

Experience is our Chalice

And of course, when we cannot shape our day with the power of will, when our internal rain can come cascading fast even on the brightest days in our minds eye. Our self will, to determine our day is as good as we feel. There may be positive shaping to our day. We can use a mantra, a prayer, all sorts of devices. And still we can fall down in the dumps. No amount of self delusion pulls us back from 'black dog'. When nothing else works, when the will is broken and the world is seen with eyes of acceptance, we learn a lesson of great value. The value of this lesson is beyond measure and

can only be experienced. On another day where reality bites. Where life is experienced without our brush with denial, and the world takes on its true gravitas, grit and pithy redolent, frisson as senses are awash with life's murk... Acceptance! Nature's gift, is one of many a keys to a Kingdom where elemental relish feeds our soul, and fills our inner Grail, common to all of us...

December 8th 2005
© Copyright Don Oddy
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~ our spiritual health ~

spirituel, from Late Latin spiritualis, from Latin, of breathing, of wind, from spiritus of, relating to, consisting of, or affecting the spirit...

In matters of spiritual health, silence, noise, happiness, love, and openness are important elements. Happiness leads to good health. Only we can give this 'medicine' to ourselves. Some of us bring illness to ourselves through anger, greed, unfulfilled desires, expectations, and most often suppression of feelings. Especially in our relationships when true love is elusive. A healthy spiritual self acknowledges all emotions for what they are,

nature's gift and used in their true value, indispensable Look inwards to our spirit, we will find where our ailments began. Helpful ingredients for a

healthy life include: paying attention to our living and undoing our worry; using time in a worthwhile way; understanding our feelings and thoughts, moving ourselves to positives and building our strength. Recognising our negatives and working ourselves out! When we let our spirit free we recognise every emotion, its value, its place, its worthiness and our value, right sized and right on!

~ ying yang bang ~

Our light our dark,
Our plus our minus
Our Ying Yang bang
Its not so stark

There is something we forget about ourselves. We spend much of life in compartments, we have roles to play, we this thing to one person and that to another. We are the good for many we meet, and they value us and we are the bad that some would never wish to meet. We are of this inside and we really do forget what we are. Inside us, we recognize our good and lesser qualities. Yet the best of us is bad, and the worst of us is good. We cannot separate our experience of life to the good and the bad. We see our mentors and heroes. We value what we see of them and we forget what we donít see, wonít see. We do not learn to be good without learning how to be bad. We may sit and judge for the good and miss some of the bad. But we donít know the value of bad till its experienced. And often we go so bad, we find it hard to get back to our balance. For millennia, the wise souls we seek out, they make it plain. We can experience both good and bad times. We need both to make sense of the other. Why do sayings repeat these learnings for us? So we know how to find value in all our experienceÖ. We need our sadness to make good our joy. We need our dark times, so we make light of the light and know the difference! We need lose our sanctimony, our squeak of clean and emerge the better for our dark days, weeks, months and even years. We pay the price. When we go to extremes, we experience with intensity. The height of success and depth of failure. With both in our life, make our contract of living. Without one or other we have no balance,

Our Ying Yang Bang
Goes on forever,
Bigger or smaller
Forgotten never
Keep your Bang and
your Ying Yang
Lifeís Maybe Merry go Round!!!
December 10th 2005
© Copyright Don Oddy
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~ harsh ~

Sometimes our world feels a harsh and difficult place to be. And today feels like this for me. I know for others it may be the most wonderful day ever experienced. Its just the way things are. No rhyme, no reason?

Events in the world can crowd us, we feel everything as if for the first time, some say itís a 'raw' feeling. Not so today. I feel the weight of painful recollections, about my life and history. And at the same time a whole mind full of recollections, which are fantastic and wonderful. They still hurt today. They are memories of another life, another time, and definitely in my own lifetime. Strange thing to say? Not really, itís the life we have these days, sometimes our life will change so dramatically, it feels like a complete new and different life. And its not always to the good. Yet I work at acceptance and I word at letting go old life experiences. Yes I let go, and sometimes memories flood back. I have had an extraordinary life, as extraordinary as anyone else, as good and bad, as colourful and magical, as unpleasant and daunting till I could not think or feel anything but terror. And its all inside me. I let go most everything and make room for new and different experiences. And thank goodness we have room to make for the new! When we feel, we are indeed fortunate, to build and grow our experience of life. And life is our only deal. When the deal is rough, we learn as much as we learn when life is good. And in a very Zen way, all life, good and bad have their place to stretch our experience. Today though, as if transported to happiest moments, in the best of company and exquisite pleasure at the time, it brings not just a wistful moment of recollection, it brings a torrent of sadness for today and my life. Time will put me right, and bring back balance. Until then, I feel everything, not raw as if for the first time. More like worn down by the thousandth time, a Universe of pain, of sadness, of happiness and love felt and lost, of every ache, of every jagged tear into memories recollected in quick time and no respite. This is harsh, and a reminder to keep an eye on every element of me,. There is no real 'let go' in the sense of forgetting, the let go is letting go the moment, and being aware it will pass. All things shall passÖ Harsh moments, scrape and rip away forgetful walls. Broken down by tides of dread where dark murk holds fear in our oceans of life. Let go? Soonest one hopes, or drown in depths where senses lie in ruinÖ

December 11th 2005
© Copyright Don Oddy
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~ spin ~

we all have principles and values. When we find others who seem to have than we do, we tend to make out they have none at all. A person of no principle and no value. What we really mean is they don't have the same principles and values we set out for our lives. So when we say a person has high principles and values, well all it means is theirs are like ours and we attach great importance to that person's similar outlook.

In recent times the need for acceptance from our peers and from more influencial types in our world makes us want to appear good and just. This applies at all levels of society, and

especially with people in the public eye.

People in the public eye are careful with their outward profile. They hold to society norms in the main, they will go out on limbs for high principles and they keep a lock on their private doings, so we don't take them down or think less of them. Spin is an art. Spin is about telling the selective truth. Spin is about putting our best foot forward. Spin is most associated with politicians. Spin is about sometimes telling. Absolute falsehoods in order to keep an orderly outlook and opinion. Spin is a ruthless tactic for declaring honesty and meaning the opposite very often. Spin has threads which hold to facts. Spin holds stories which highlight acceptable outlooks and outcomes. Spin does nothing for the good, if good were its intent. Of course, spin is not about good at all and we might be mindful why spinning is neither science or art we might support. Yet spinning is an art and science, it is malfeasance and mischief. It is about smoothing over cracks and alarming realities which nobody really wants to get a grip of...

Spin starts early in life. Fairy stories, tales from our imagination, the Bogey Man, Witches and Warlocks, supernatural powers, parables, homilies and tales with magical qualities.

Maybe the very beginning in our psyche, to transcend the real and raw. For when we look at our human condition, we certainly have ego and insecurity which keeps us busy and feeling less than we are. In fact (fact?) we make ourselves less than we are, every time we put a spin on something, every time we put outcomes take to some spiritual intervention. We believe and we accept, we draw on luck and happenstance. Well maybe not happenstance, that randomness with affords good and ill luck.

Spin so deep set, we argue to God and Nature, that we transcend this life and we are offered up to the spirit world for redemption through incarnation and rebirth. And we learn if we are lucky redemption is brought forward when our denial is left out of our acceptance of this world. Spin can keep us healthy too, healthy in useful deluded states until we cope better with the reality of our lot. And thank our luck, our stars, our God for that!

Actually thank nature. Or if we take note of thinkers of our times, even Einstein saw purpose in all things. I choose to believe he is as right as can be on that score.

Spin our best friend, our culprit our palliative, our necessary evil, I salute you and would scratch out your existence if it were possible. But without it, where would we be? The world spins and so do we, the longer the better, for ever and ever...

December 12th 2005
© Copyright Don Oddy
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~ powerless over people places and things ~

Maybe when we are growing up we learn that we are pretty much powerless over most things around us. To an extent we get co operation one way or another. And we do make choices in life. And life is not just happenstance, or is it. Can I command, can I instruct? Can I exert power over another, or many, or none? I suppose the irony is accepting we can have power and control over others, only if they choose to accept it. Power to command and power to instruct... This requires some code of practice I guess. And even then we have no real power. For we are truly quite powerless without some form of collusion somewhere along the line. So being powerless is a good and healthy understanding about life. We have choices to make, which can include some use of power, and best exercised in some sort of framework and understanding.

Futile use of power can be very upsetting. Power used to manipulate, express defiance and undermine is generally unhelpful and short lived. This sort of power requires much effort and usually falls short of what we want to happen. Powerless over people, we are. Powerless over places, well they are as they are unless some act of will changes them, usually and almost always not our power. Powerless over things in general. Again without some form of co-operative process, all remains powerless. And thank goodness for that. Leave much of the world to turn and get on, as we get on with our daily
grind.

When we are moved to exercise some form of control and power, we might be better able through constructive devices, like open dialogue, or rules of engagement, or some form of agreement. Hapless use of power and control is spotted for what it is, contrived and wilful. Usually by any of us who feels their way is best or their way is blocked. And this form of power and control is met usually with little joy or acceptance and most often rejected and ignored.

Best we find what we can use in terms of personal power, use it with consideration and in agreement. Best to put self willed and pressured power to one side, its use is of limited value and ultimately useless to us. I don't often find I look to get my way, or want to have my way. And when I do want it my way, I only get it on my own... its all about choice and outcomes. I avoid my skilful wilful self? Its in me and everyone, egocentric and anger in the making...

December 13th 2005
© Copyright Don Oddy
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~ some laws of success (not mine) ~

The greatest mistake - Giving up
The greatest crippler - Fear
The greatest handicap - Ego
The most potent force - Positive
The greatest thought - God (or good conscience)
The greatest victory - Victory over the self

Mind you, we might adjust our horizons and feelings towards notions of success and equally failure. We might adjust our concepts of right and wrong in the sense of mischief! Although there are absolutes when we encounter wrong doing. And similarly doing the right thing, is an intellectual hypothesis, when emotion and integrity might push our conscience another way.

Thoughts and feelings...

Our expression and understanding sits upon experience. Our minds eye travels the shortest routes and encounters memories. Our gift is letting in our perception to qualify and quantify what we sense. The gift of intuition is the gift we might prize when the adept will practise scrutiny. All gifts have their awkward sides as we place faith in our judgement and good conscience. Sadness haunts fanatical troughs where obsessions hold sway over sensibility. Track with careful eye and encounter truth hard and majestic, separate from wilful interpretations. Make good to truth and hold our impostors stare with gentle enquiry and respect. Relish diversity and beware our bigots niggle where society and history witness importunate prejudice, the very devil of society and upbringing!

December 14th 2005
© Copyright Don Oddy
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~ an eye for an eye ~

very old testament

"Former gang leader Stanley "Tookie" Williams has been executed by lethal injection, 24 years after he was convicted of killing four people." testament: a covenant between God and the human race I have argued for all forms of vengeance over the years. From no vengeance to revenge in all its gravity. From forgiveness to an eye for an eye. I fall into the forgive everything category presently, and I hope I can maintain my view. How do we keep to the track of forgiveness, and how do we keep to our track of an eye for an eye? Both propositions are based in tragic events, prevention of catastrophe on personal and global proportions. Both are applicable and inexplicable to our rational world. And both are rooted in our emotional reaction to events most often outside our control. So we get to blame, redemption and execution of our will. Tookie Williams, a man I have never known is executed today and I am moved to wonder if we have seen justice. Justice for lives lost and the loss of this life.

When I look at the sparse background and information I can see the law is the law, it has put him to death and the state and the people justify the outcome. I find it harsh and against my principles and values and still I can accept the view taken of punishment to fit the crime. Or do I? How would I feel, as the victim, as the bereaved, as the instigator, the murderer? Our world has moved toward forgiveness and redemption, yet we are pushed backward to vengeance and punishment.

It is the very nature of this world to survive, to get ahead, to push forward and be strong. It is no wonder that violence is never far away, our nature both offensive and defensive. We are a merely a few generations away from a violent past where humans were no more than animals wandering this planet. And our testaments of old make clear the covenants of life

and death, written not long ago, where life was of questionable value, depending on birth and strength. We are evolving, we are learning, we are becoming more human. And we are equally caught by our nature and nurture. We hold fast to our emotions and feel as we do, and our nature and nurture do not evolve at the same rate across our world. We live in a world of catch up, developing at our own pace. As individuals, societies and cultures we are growing one way or another. We have modernism and traditions, principles and values, folklore and law, a higher power and our power. We are evolving.

And what I understand in freedoms of spirit and mind becomes a better way of living as we learn, grow and accept our world, our lot and our place in it. When we take our reckoning, our own inventory and put it to our test of principles, values and life lived, we find our meaning and our value. For any individual who has caused wilful destruction, there are many outcomes, at their own hand or that of others. There is denial and justification, or there

is acceptance, and the consequences are what they will be. Destruction of another will impact on everyone according to his or her code. We learn the code from our fellows and we deliver our outcomes. How we live as a consequence, or die because of it, is our personal journey and our society. In my country with no death penalty, the consequences are I suspect, as fearsome as those who excise an "Eye for an Eye". The impact is felt differently and the consequences may offer no peace to those who grieve. And for those put to death by our laws, their suffering is done. When we look at societies caught between and betwixt, we challenge our morality and our humanity at every turn. We learn from experience as bitter can be. Our journey to forgiveness and acceptance is as long as life itself and maybe eternity...

December 15th 2005
© Copyright Don Oddy
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~ pay attention to your inner voice~

pay attention to your inner voice, its the one you hear all day long as soon as you wake. Take care what it tells you, it tells you what you want to hear, not what others tell you.
Others might be disagreeable, its usual that people do disagree. And its usual that we have our inner voice which makes it good and we filter out the things we dislike. Be aware you only hear half what others say, the rest of the time, you finish their sentences and thoughts. No wonder we find argument and misunderstanding, thank goodness we can listen harder and put it right! So help yourself, listen and do not filter. Don't let imagination take you too far and enjoy the real day, this day for what it is, one of a kind and impossible to repeat
December 16th 2005
© Copyright Don Oddy
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~ validate me ~

this question is always there, how to validate. To support or corroborate on a sound or authoritative basis, who we are and what we are. There as so many challenges we face, we get confused and wonder at ourselves, our feelings and our reason. We often feel the need to check ourselves out. We need only look in a mirror once, and then we are hooked, checking and ensuring we portray who we are. Or we don't because we reject what we see for some reason or another. Animals do it, they are fascinated by reflection,
and so are human beings. We look and preen as nature intended, we look again and figure there is more to us than we see in the mirror. At least we hope there is more than this thin veneer. Yet, so often we are challenged and assessed and codified in the blink of an eye. We do it to ourselves and we do it to others we meet. Not such a bad thing to do? Certainly we need that gumption in our minds eye, we need check for predators, we need check for danger and as important we check for safety.

We spend so much time in validation of others and ourselves. We take a split second preview and base a lifetimeís judgment on that assessment and then we seek to endorse that moment. In our validation we find, if we are to take expert testimony, our own, and that of the scientific world, proves assumptions made in that dramatic moment is usually right and by exception wrong.

So why is it we find our validation process off the mark, less than, and inferior? Simply we take what we see and then deny it, we shrug it off. We then exercise filters and factors we have learn which confuse and destroy that gift of perception. The gift nature gave to keep us from harms way. Smiles and take an endorsement out with you today and see the world trusts you and you trust yourself...

December 17th 2005
© Copyright Don Oddy
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~ sometimes ~

a day goes well. And we forget the utterly fascinating quality each day brings. Complete, unique and always the same, always different, always

December 18th 2005
© Copyright Don Oddy
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~ time of year ~

this time of year, well in my world, it seems busy and fraught with so many trying to do so much and getting tired and frustrated to boot! Everyone I know is trying to make the best of the holiday season. And for some its not holidays, its just another day In my world these days, every day is just another day. And my approach to the day is to experience it in its totality, the good and the bad, the easy and the hard as best I can I will not succeed every day, I will sometimes feel like I have more to do and there will come a day when nothing more can be done.

If ever we have an understanding or a contract with this world, we might find we have just one, with ourselves and how we conduct ourselves, and if we are lucky we will realise this gift and if we achieve more than our goal, recognise our humanity and humility, our wonder and our astonishment at life and feel lucky this day and every day we awake to experience it!

December 19th 2005
© Copyright Don Oddy
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~ God & Good are one in the same ~

The mind that rests only on the surface of things will be tossed about in every storm. Let me dive deep to where peace can always be found.

Sometimes we wonder why we seem to be tossed here and there, out of control, or running from one event to another. Along the way we pick up all sorts of ideas about what makes us happy, what we want from the world, what makes the difference.

We have some things inside us, our confidence and ego have a lot to do with how we feel and think. Sometimes I wonder if we make it all too complicated. That we make our lives worse by trying to make them better.

For a long time I have had problems with any form of organised approach to the meaning of life. Things like organised religion make me feel awkward, suspicious and rebellious before I have even opened a book or start a conversation with a 'believer'. I don't know why I should feel awkward or do I? The answer is I don't want to put a spanner in someone else's works, I donít want to play down what works for others, for I have no monopoly on right. Yet anything, which has certain elements, makes me want to challenge and question.

When it comes to the spiritual, we enter this world alone and leave it alone. At least that is what I feel is true. A collective, a heaven and a place where we all become more enlightened or receive rewards for our life here on earth brings doubt into my mind. Yet there is no doubt in my mind that we do experience more than we might imagine, more than the five senses at our ready disposal, and we can feel connections where there is no solid evidence.

And the notion that one humans experience is either a template or a body of wisdom to idolise, well that makes me very wary. And when someone suggests God told them something, or God wrote a book, or God is watching me, I really do get very suspicious. God as far as I am aware has never uttered a single word. And as far as I know God has never put pen to paper. And as far as I know God, good is probably short for good!

We all have good in us. We all have conscience and instinctively we know good from bad. Our feelings make most of this abundantly clear. Where we get into a lot of heartache is around our interpretation, our distortion of most good we encounter. When we our out of balance with our good side, we use our thinking and intellect to bend our will and others to a point of view, usually our own view and our own self interest. So nature in my opinion provided a template of good, that is nature provides for the good.

Our nurture has moved us along many strands of thought, society and culture developed on top of what we got from Nature.

Sounds plausible to me. So when others try to persuade me to a view, a way of living, it most certainly is well received when it is to the common good.

When others would suggest, after great thought and self interest to join their belief system, not to the good of all, I tend to go my own way. Most religions turn me off. Most people I meet with good in their hearts are welcome, even if they are inside a group, because despite everything good comes to the fore eventually. Good is from nature. Good comes from our conscience. And so good conscience is usually consistent with my belief about God, and God is just a convenient abbreviation for everything we hold to the good. So when people say that God is love, I am very happy. You may have noticed that one emotion above all else is number one. Love. And from love

every other emotion is derived. We have love, we have every emotion ever felt and ever described in each of us. Love certainly does conquer all, well eventually, its where we start and where we end.

December 20th 2005
© Copyright Don Oddy
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~ therapy ~

often a definition is a good starting point, so what is therapy? For my purpose here therapy is a form of psychotherapy using imagery, self-instruction, and related techniques to alter distorted attitudes and perceptions. I stole the definition! I could otherwise blend it and distort it to my perceptions of what therapy could, should, might offer a person. We tend to bend things to suit us don't we?

For me therapy is a voluntary exercise. Its something we do most days in some way whenever we talk or share our world with others. Either we get recognition and someone agreeing, or the opposite, and most likely somewhere in between. So when we talk therapy in the broadest and most understood sense, we probably go talk to someone when we have something big on our minds. Actually, these days I go and have therapy because it simply makes everything the right size, and helps me keep a balance in my experiences and a balance in my own mind.

There are so many jokes and put downs about therapy, we might be considered mildly bewildered to do it, or seriously shocked by something to put ourselves through the pain of therapy. And, this is only my experience, we have something painful and therapy helps us make sense of our experience. Therapy when practised with care never forces pain on a person, it helps a person process their experience and feel things properly. There is pain in all our experiences as we go through life and few of us find ways which help us without others to assist. As we grow up, we learn something about our feelings. Our feelings are as sharp as our physical senses when we understand them. The feeling of joy is experienced with the intensity of some physical pleasure. I am sure you can imagine them both so I'll let your imaginations go their way!

There are times when the stormy lives we lead are serious and dangerous, as emotions are as real as physical dangers most often. The emotional pain we can experience can be as life threatening as any natural calamity we may encounter. And if we don't do something to make sense of these ups and downs in our emotions, we can be hindered all our lives, or worse stuck all our lives in old worries and bad times. What helps is process, simple processes to help make sense of what we experience. And simply the process helps us sort and make sense of experiences which clog us up or keep us stuck somewhere we don't want to be. There are old fashioned notions of mad science attached to the world of therapy. And of course when we are dealing with our feelings, they go as deep as our soul. Our feelings are real always, and we might wonder why they are so powerful. Feelings simply keep us alive and more, we live and feel our experience, its so fundamental we do well to keep our feelings sacred. In essence we need to be able to trust our feelings and experience them and so experience life. Our feelings help make sense of our purpose for living at all. So when we are unsure our feelings, and wonder at them, then its a wise peron who checks them out with others.

Feelings are personal about our very being, we know they all have their place and keep us balanced. When feelings seems out of place there are many who wonder if they are normal or not. And as there seems no real normal for us to know, we can feel very odd indeed. As we grow up much of our learning is pretty difficult we learn every right feeling and maybe wrong feeling, we only find out what is right from what we learn. And when we get disturbed,

we are less likely to seek help because we feel shame. Old notions of therapy, going so deep we wonder where the journey might end keep many of us in the dark until things get into a real bind. And the worse it gets the more intense our reluctance to seek help. Its our heritage and for us humans most often a product of our very good memories. Forgetfulness is sometimes a luxury we would all find useful and often we use it at as a way of letting ourselves off the hook for things we don't want to be reminded we did. Our times are not particularly enlightened. Through our own endeavour and sharing we can improve our chances of personal enlightenment. We can grow emotionally and see the truth of life. Our mystified friends might often find our drive for balance and truth a weary and possibly frightening path. For those of us who take courage and ask for help, a world of normal perceptions awaits, a place where we recognise our true feelings in their right proportion. And in our balance we find good therapy and bad, wise counsel and less informed counsel. A world evolving as we are, through common understanding where for every experience there is joy and sadness, maybe at least in their right measure...

December 21st 2005
© Copyright Don Oddy
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~ tolerance ~

Someone who has tolerance won't even say "I have to tolerate," because that implies they are feeling sorrow. Instead, they will say, "It's not a problem. There is something for me to learn in this." Whatever the situation, tolerance enables me to learn. Perhaps I need patience, or humility, or understanding. Tolerance allows me peace and my love to stay
constant. That way I stay connected with the Source of all that is good, so that I can help both myself and others.

Tolerance enables me to stay focused, so I can be connected with God or and my good conscience, and the light that comes from that connection to the good enables me to see what I need to do at every moment, and how to do it. Chaos may surround me, but if I have that light in front of me, I know where to go. If I experience that light in each step I take, then I can help illuminate the way, maybe for others as well.

December 22nd 2005
© Copyright Don Oddy
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~ gorillaz in the mists king kong ~

we are fascinated by nature and we draw on it to find meaning. Sometimes songs and film evoke more than we expect. A mood, a time, some misty recollections, waking up in good cosy company and letting the mystery of the day start to unfold through sleepy eyes.

This is a romantic time of year, the season draws night quickly and there are a few hours of light, sometimes so piercing and bright we might get giddy.

Cold tramples through us as we move about and catch steamy breath. The muffle and then sharp relief of noise, that crispness of sense about us. When we find it difficult to express our sense of now, and memories are captured, we tip ourselves into pockets where we recall cherished moments.
And music and film pinch our sense as sensibility is lost in raptures well worn fondness.

Bitter sweet and sweet again as a tear is caught before it drops and we come back from sharp to sharp relief...

December 23rd 2005
© Copyright Don Oddy
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~ hold on tight ~

festivals upon me, my world in a grip, wanting me here and there, I cannot find time or space to say all I could this time around. And what if they find me and ask me out to festival? To join a celebration of pagan times. The winter solstice, our ancients who worshipped the sun, knew this time well, we dark to dark is nearest and light its least and weak upon the far horizons.

I praise their knowledge, those ancients, with time to measure our earths turn, sense the seasons change and build monoliths to mark their passage.

Old souls in transition in our modern age, we know as much and much more again. Moved by our turning world and spinning reveries. Our primal touch within speaks loud and batters at our will, to set free our spirit and move without control, let go our sensibility and feast!

Our primal stir, let go! We find as slumbers lost, our exact nature from the gloom, let out! We marvel at our rally and find our circumspect spectre, as doubt creeps past to present and our true self let out! Awake to that noise of reverie ringing as loud as fractured recollections haunt or weary rise. Best celebrate our solstice and return of light as dark is losing to eternity. Acceptance is the key...

December 24th 2005
© Copyright Don Oddy

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~ ego's drift ~

A place of fascination, the mind and where it wanders. How we grow and develop our outlook is very dependent on our worldly contacts. Years and years influenced by drives and motivations learned at my Fathers knee.. Not quite for my father was often missing in my world. Absent with intent to build a life fit for his family. Lost in battles where winning and losing were the measure of man and mankind.

Deep felt philanthropic ideals and harsh times make forever the lonely ambition to be master of a Universe. A universe where law is written and code established to keep a wolf from any door. And as my master and leader led me where culture and climate pushed, we made our way with intrepid bravery against hard rocks and hard knocks. Caught forever in self will and
ego's drift to be all powerful and indestructible. So lost to the world of materialistic acquisition and boldness beyond the pale. As ego's drift captures minds, and pulls all to commodity, so we place value on output to corruptible ends, so brazen as measures of success in this material world. Value on the obvious. So obvious in the measure of man and his pocket. Caught in flat value, flat worlds where instant fix and pleasure are valued beyond all else we have, or have not as the mind is crushed to obvious value in this world dispensary. Yes that drift imperceptible, not seen or considered as man toils and ends life in our world of commodity. Drift and drifting deeper and deeper in our world where the measure is what we see is what we get. Where our harsh measures leave passion as surface and love beyond grasp, for love is lost and only a banner for forever more we find to fix that empty void as wide and deep as imaginations cold. For every love is ego's drift, where love beyond sensibility is held to ransom, we learn our path and balance, where there is neither wrong nor wrong. From ego's drift my vision stirred forever wondering, where fractured torments basked in completed moments where love stretches across forever. Peace comes to torments hour, and we find our gift across oceans of time holding promise in a momentís bliss.Be reminded where in Ego we drift and where we find loss as great as loves touch, in a moment holding our Universe complete and journey never done.
December 25th 2005
© Copyright Don Oddy
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~ ego and esteem ~

hostage to fortune

If we are lucky in life we find there is forgiveness in every event and situation we encounter. For if we are a part of the event and situation and we are human, we usually do our best, and others do their best to their ability and motivation. If we can forgive our part in anything and everything, for we were a part of it because our life took us to that or this moment, then we may understand and forgive our fellows. Unforgiven is not in our gift, and forgiven is due every creature of nature. In this perfect imperfect ever present, present, we hold by a thread of existence. In our state of grace and good conscience, the measure of everyone and everyone immeasurable, there is no judgment day. Mere consequences of living.

A plentiful life without beginning or end is our accomplishment. Acceptance of anything and everything in the moment in our dreams and stormy times, to peaceful infinities firm in recollection and in living moments. Where the metaphysic meets hard science without prejudice holding reality and imagination to the good. Humbled and the equal of every sentient, in awe of life and anchored in the mists of eternity..

December 26th 2005
© Copyright Don Oddy
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~ where am I in the ever present present ~

patience conquers everything and nothing strange times always, and times are moving, forever onwards to where we may find happiness, we may never know as searching clouds our path. Somehow the old adage, old phrase, "joy is in the journey and not the destination". And we all have the same destiny. Along the way where we experience all life can offer. In a village a town, in a family, on our own, we get what life is for us. Our unique experience, our one and only life provided by nature and nurture.

We never know what might happen, we can plan and miss everything, make no plan and miss nothing. We find inclusion in our world, we include because we want to, or because it may be all that is open to us. We choose how we respond. And we will feel exclusion, that hardest of hard realities, where self will may part us from our sanity. And in responding to our world, gentle is best, passionate is best, calm is best, whatever our pace is best. The best of life is its simplicity, patterned we are, with nature's gift. And when we experience each day with minds as open as we are able, we let experience inform our choice and choices. And we learn from experience to let others have their choices of experience too. Sometimes together, often apart, as we come into the world we exit same way, in the singular sense.

Let go harsh times, and recollect memories to inform our wisdom. Let go and let free those we might hold to fortune's grasp, our will not theirs. Be free and let freedom's gaze fire joy without prejudice. Love with deepest passion and hold good to nature's virtue, spiritual governance, in this perfect ever present present. Control no one, and be free in our journey across the oceans of this world and the next, it is there, tomorrow...

December 27th 2005
© Copyright Don Oddy
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~ tsunami ~ the day after a silent moment of nature

Beyond our hearing and beneath the sea, turmoil as the earth cracks and shifts, perceptible to none who woke to an ordinary day. Across the earth, our science picks up on traumatic movements and we are informed. We know an event of magnitude has hit and we cannot quite believe the news that devastation is abroad. And we are yet to know the extent of this significant natural heave of the earth as it settles in unsettled patterns. A steady trickle makes the breaking news get more and more disturbing as we hear the worst has happened across countries far away, and near enough to feel the brush of horror. Disbelief, then a sense of doom as news darkens every hour and loss of life grows beyond any expectation. A force of nature as calamity hits every sense and holiday is lost and gloom deepens, a world is touched. Loss beyond imagination. A year ago and life returns in part to shores so distant. Some of us know them first hand, I do not, fewer now and still surviving. Hurt by nature's power and left stranded by modernity.

For modernity puts another value on their lives, their living and their future. Not all to the good as we find old prejudice clouds new beginnings. Grief lies scattered and hurting

Amongst a desert of despair. Memories acquaint us with tragedy. Not forgotten, but far, far away as others are caught in nature's grind. One day our response to all that nature gives and deals us, it may improve and be the better for mankindís evolution as we learn to coexist. Mighty nature deals harsh blows, humanity far worse across this earth. Powerless hands mourn sad times. Times against humanity...
December 28th 2005
© Copyright Don Oddy
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~ tortured mantle - philosphers stone ~

Our relationship with the unexplained, anything we cannot prove remains instinctive and beyond reason. We are an age into reason, we know and understand more than ever the complexity of our world. Our world...

I have pondered for all my life about belief and faith. I have found hard fact and hard words which condemned my easy judgments made with an empiricists gaze. I have watched many a philosopher argue this way, then that. Then the other and over and over until a conscious wall separates all de facto wisdom and leaves intellect hanging on ego's drift. Ego, our hapless fist, strident and right, makes our world go round. And when a metaphysic's gnarled reckoning sits across the divide, there is no answer than your own. Smile with the hefty weight of reason a blind faith as we find abundance in our quest to accept the inevitable end of a lifelong debate, ended with last breath and gasp... Anotherís words follow, adding torture to the argument as free thinkers dwell betwixt and between, knowing the unknown, until next time?

"Let God "

Whether you believe in God or not is not important. Belief can be an obstacle to experience. The main thing is to keep an open mind, and be willing to start the conversation. The experience of so many people is that when they engage in a mental conversation, whether it's with a question or simply sharing what is in their heart, they get a reply. This is God as a personal experience, not just a voice in your head. Not your higher self. But the presence of the Source in your life. God is not a concept, or a belief. You cannot have a conversation with a concept. You cannot have a meaningful relationship with a belief. Worth a try? Dear God. Hold still my good conscience as fires combust and our reckoning is simply

beyond our bidding

December 29th 2005
© Copyright Don Oddy
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~ a book with little to teach me? ~

a place where last gaspers turn up. The last chance saloon, the place where when all else fails, broken people might get mended. The problem is the mending is inside, but no one tells the hapless and no one can, its that bad. Rehab stories are like war stories, trouble is hearing them might impact, most likely don't. I got a book this year for Xmas, on a man going through rehab, and being told how good it was, my reaction was not to read it.

I did rehab. And reading a book on it... The usefulness to me of reading the trial, sentence and redemption, or put another way, experience strength and hope. Well it is as good as a chocolate teapot to me. Consequences. I know them. Good news when others tell me of this book, then they are aware the horror of where addiction takes a person, thank God not experienced first hand, at least its a primer for the blissfully ignorant. Thank society and nature they are ignorant that blind addiction, yet aware enough to share the horror of anotherís experience of rehab. Shocked and elated by transformations, the miracle of recovery. Given to me.. I started reading it. First page, last page. Dipped in to it. Every word shouting and
sharpening recollections the merest tinge more clear. For my recollections of rehab and every moment to its door are etched as deep as life and never forgotten. This book eloquent in my experience and real and plausible. This little book of horrors, a sharp shock maybe, or to me just another day in the life of... Sometimes people want to show they know, they care and they see the good that came from this book of experience and recovery. I know first hand each day and moment. The book is good, I know, and know full well it serves no purpose in my experience, just for me, just for today and every day.

I could write the book, it would be as good, but no better or worse. Its a good book for those who never need to go to rehab, to get a flavour of savage days and torment, self inflicted in the beginning and beyond control to the end. Rehab, recovery, blood and guts and worse as living dead like me get back to living life, alive! I read some more and can attest its accurate and moving pages portray the worst and worst of living and its consequence. The trap of consequence, the shame and guilt injected as daily reminder by hapless tenants and their keepers. My days in rehab, closeted with fellows as deeply wounded as life can deal and held in check by insanity. Watched over by walking miracles who deftly wound their charges, without qualm and without mastery, hacks and quacks devoid of both feeling and intellect and doing good as do gooders do. My days in rehab I can confirm as grim as grim can be, saved by my own compassion, as in the book I was given. Recollections and malpractice, ignorance and malice stalk the halls of rehab. And in their eyes, the do gooderís bible, predicated on their own folly and experience as Hair shirts are their uniform. Sad mystics and rehab are obvious bedfellows, our present day workhouses where moral fibre makes for tough shit, not tough love. And tough love might once have been the medicine now distorted and obscene as grubby practitioners kill most their charges.

Struck dumb in abject misery most die in or from rehab. And so the book describes. And accomplishment for living through another hell leaves most, most grateful some might believe.

For me and my view, before during and after the rehab of my life, it was never in rehab! It was in life, the gift of anonymous friends and fellowship. The book I was given is sound and forthright, exuding emotion and experience common to every addiction recoverer. And not lost on me. I guess to read it...

I lived it I will not forget the horror and death, and I wonder why some rehabs still continue old and stupid practices, which kill rather than cure. They seem to know best and I am one voice. And I am just that, one voice, with experience and knowledge and skill, to make good... Hair shirt preachers, their only path to redemption, their own pathology, neither science nor art, mystics without mystery, clerics without religion, sanctimonious dangerous lawless sleazy miscreants, lazy in their parsimony. No wonder rehab fails most who enter, where death is just around the corner and life is a lifetime away. I am glad of joy these days in spite of and not because of rehab ways.
December 30th 2005
© Copyright Don Oddy
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~ forgive ~

we like to believe we are forgiving, or do we? A big assumption on my part, some people don't want to forgive, don't understand forgiveness and some never will. And some people seem able to forgive some things and not others. Incidents, from small to extreme hurt against a person, they are all there to forgive. If we want to. When we are hurt, we don't find forgiving anything easy. Simply because we are hurt. And hurt can be felt as rage, anger, frustration, disbelief and much more. Hurting and being forgiving are a

long time overcoming when we feel broken inside. Don't get mad, get even then forgive? Or just get even and simmer in our own hate. Even if we do get our own back, at what cost? To live in hate and hurt. Especially when we try to get even hurt comes to town, we don't want to hurt others do we, really? Sometimes we do. And we suffer till the age has passed and either we let it go or we moved on... Thatís what counsellors would wish us to do. Forgive, let go, move on and live life.

Itís a real bind when we attach blame onto things we feel hurt over. It was them, I want my pound of flesh, my compensation, my revenge. And while we are exacting our penalty, we are stuck in it too, not letting go, not able to move on and not able to get on with life. I am human and human means I feel hurt and pain as much for what others have done to me and what I have done to others. Those are the consequences of living, me and everyone makes mistakes and suffers until we get out of blame, get to forgive and let go our atrocities. To forgive, we gave to a God to do, it can be that hard and our life is shadowed in hurt if we let it be so.

To forgive we need start with ourselves. I need to forgive myself for all I have done. And at the same time accept the consequences of my actions. I can be forgiving of me providing I live with and learn from everything I have done. Consequences mean we gain and lose elements in our lives. We lose the trust of others in actions of betrayal, and we need accept the consequence and live differently. We may not ask for forgiveness from others, but they can bestow it!

I have forgiven over and over the betrayals I have felt over the years. And when I feel forgiveness is taking time, when I feel the fuck em feeling, then I forgive myself again for being involved, I forgive them for doing their best and their best leaving me vulnerable and hurt. I keep forgiving humanity its less than perfect being. I forgive every element of wickedness towards me. I am learning to forgive completely, so I can forgive myself.

I accept the consequences of life on lifeís terms, real life and not a self willed version I might wish to pedal as reality. I forgive myself for mistakes I have made and will endeavour to learn and be a better person. I will try to be myself so others may find the real me acceptable, and if they don't accept that consequence. I forgive betrayal. I forgive violence toward me, and I forgive malice meted out to me. And consequently, I will be more aware and careful with my fellows and where they are with the world and accept their capacities for honest dealing or not.

Honesty, a commodity in scarcity in a world where front and bravado keep our world secure and the real world at a distance. We need be forgiving when this world lets down our expectations, and find gratitude in our acceptance of everyone and everything. We can move on and away, we can find our true self along the way, as we let go and renew our world. And we continue to make good choices on truth we learn, not what we think it might be. Forgiving ourselves and being human, knowing we can stray each day and every day off a path where open and honest gets the best results, even when they are not our desired results. Knowing that as we let go we make room for new and as we forgive ourselves each day, we don't pile up lifetimes of junk we can never see through. And when our life junk is getting us down, let it go and share and toss it away as best we can. If you hate someone today, you can be certain they hate you as much. If you can forgive yourself as victim or forgive yourself your "sin" then you are on a path ward equality with your fellow man. If you accept all consequences whatever they may be, then you have found the path of redemption. And if with hindsight and wisdom you travel a way, the path is easier and smoother, life gets better and different. And because of our actions, consequences are what they are, exacted and accepted. Others may wish us harm and in harms

way, another consequence of life beyond our control. Choice informed and learned from every hard knock makes for real living in the real world. Holding on to illusions? Best make sure we know reality and fantasy, both essential elements for the discerning human being making good.

And what might you forgive in yourself this day?

December 31st 2005
© Copyright Don Oddy
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~ validation ~

this question is always there, how to validate. To support or corroborate on a sound or authoritative basis, who we are and what we are. There as so many challenges we face, we get confused and wonder at ourselves, our feelings and our reason. We often feel the need to check ourselves out. We need only look in a mirror once, and then we are hooked, checking and ensuring we portray who we are. Or we don't because we reject what we see for some reason or another. Animals do it, they are fascinated by reflection, and so are human beings. We look and preen as nature intended, we look again and figure there is more to us than we see in the mirror.

At least we hope there is more than this thin veneer. Yet, so often we are challenged and assessed and codified in the blink of an eye. We do it to ourselves and we do it to others we meet. Not such a bad thing to do? Certainly we need that gumption in our minds eye, we need check for predators, we need check for danger and as important we check for safety.

We spend so much time in validation of others and ourselves. We take a split second preview and base a lifetimeís judgment on that assessment and then we seek to endorse that moment. In our validation we find, if we are to take expert testimony, our own, and that of the scientific world, proves assumptions made in that dramatic moment is usually right and by exception wrong. So why is it we find our validation process off the mark, less than, and inferior? Simply we take what we see and then deny it, we shrug it off. We then exercise filters and factors we have learn which confuse and story that gift of perception. The gift nature gave to keep us from harms way. Smiles and take an endorsement out with you today and see the world trusts you and you trust yourself...

Copyright © Don Oddy
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--Rudyard Kipling

IF

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.

Obsessions

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 donít 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."