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The Big Issue Foundation's core ethos is self help. We offer support to homeless and socially excluded people who seek to gain control of their lives and help them move off the streets and into a home and a job.We work with over 2000 vendors across the UK, supporting them with a diverse program of opportunities either delivered through our own services or in partnership with specialist agencies. Each new vendor has a Needs Assessment, and from this an individual action plan is set, which is monitored in supervision sessions with support staff.



Be Tolerant

You have the power to tolerate anyone and any situation. But tolerance is not just suffering in silence.

It means going beyond any personal discomfort you may feel, and giving a gift to whom ever you would tolerate. Give your time, attention, understanding, compassion, care - all are gifts, which paradoxically, you also receive in the process of giving.

And, as you do, you will experience your own self esteem and inner strength grow. In this way you can turn tolerance into strength.






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May 2007
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May 5 - 6 2007

Listen Without Prejudice - DonInLondon ‘Day In the Life’

Seems like a reasonable thing to do, to listen without being too opinionated. The truth is tho we have a whole load of experience and expectations about people places and things, and we expect them a certain way, our way.

Our way

Is our way always the best? Of course for anyone going through the steps process in AA, the 12 step programme, it does make us think and feel differently about a lot of our living and our experiences.

Our Way

Some of our way has helped us keep body and soul together, and then something of us had been lost in a dependency, addiction and loss of power over anything. We became powerless over alcohol and life was unmanageable the way we were, doing our thing, our way.

What we learn in the first and most important acknowledgement of our living is powerlessness over alcohol. This bruising and horrible truth renders us pretty raw and circumspect.

The gift however, the gift of the truth, that we are powerless over most things in this world can be a real happy release. Providing of course we do accept what it means.

People

We will never stop judging ourselves and others, its just the way we are built, yet we do need to take account that we are truly not running the whole of creation, or even or particular bit of it as we may suggest. The truth is people have their own lives and living to sort, and we may influence as they influence us, but the choices remain ours and theirs to make.

When we are new into our fellowship we tend to listen reasonably well, and as we get a bit more sober often we find there is a whole lot of misunderstanding about how we are to live in this brave new world without drink and to a certain extent without prejudice.

Extent

To what extent can we become perfect is a good question. Of course the answer is simple, we cannot become perfect and never will. Why? Because the goal posts, the target if you like is always changing.

We are in a programme of change, which means its fluid, it never holds together without some elasticity. The best we can do is have some progress and not perfect. Nothing is ever completely pinned down. Nothing is immutable.

The problem is as I can see just for now, that we like to be right, even when we might be wrong, or indeed very wrong.

Self Will

Yes self will and prejudice, preferences and actually doing things our way will forever cause some blurring of our good intent and bad outcomes.

Self will, to wait and do what we may when we are this far along in recovery leads to permissions, like for example, going out to dangerous places, having opinions and behaviour which can still drive others bonkers and lead to torment and anguish.

Even when we feel we have rights to live a certain way, other equally dominant characters can try make us desist and want their own way. And in many instances they are family and close friends who warn us and make prejudice of our behaviour their focus.

Most likely there is some middle ground where the blurs from every quarter make a dogs breakfast in our own empire and sphere of influence. Trying to do the right things can be as helpful as imposing impossible scenarios on others around what we do. Doing nothing can be a real good idea when we are still somewhat broken and in need of emotional repairs.

Holding on to what helps us, can actually been seen as unhelpful and horrible for others who have contradictory opinions.

Time

We need time often and we are so impatient to be right again and well with world. I chatted and had great conversations about these issues and other things too over the last few days.

Time for me

I have needed all the time taken so far, to get a clearer picture of what the last few years have meant for me. And in essence time keeps changing my targets and what I can do.

The Problem

If only! If only things would just stand still long enough I might make a greater impression and get well faster and then speed up and be the person I used to be. But then I realise its not going to be that way. The shift in circumstances means there are things I know more about, and other things have been or become less possible and counter productive.

Lost in Space

Somewhere in the Universe I fit exactly where I am now. Where in this vast panoply of Universal and elemental struggles I am is as I find.

Reality is now, what others say is true, as much as what I may say is true. Truth and honesty are always fluid, yet we believe we have the truth even when we build our truth on limited and prejudiced outlooks.

So we need Forgive

Seems to be a theme this week to have forgiveness close at hand at all times in all situations. Especially as everyone we meet won’t ever reciprocate our feelings of forgiveness, or they may, but in my experience its only after much time has passed that anything might change in others.

Get real

Yes let us be real, accept we do have prejudice, to our preferences, and this will often lead to conflicts inside us and around us.

I realise the reality is to move with grace and care, not hurting if we can be so inclined, and realising some of our decisions when we look back will seem so distorted, we will forgive our self will and egocentric selves. Even when others are stuck and not forgiving a thing… we may forgive them their outlook based on our straightness and decisions based on the here now and now, then changing through time.

We do come Round

Yes we do come round and see the big picture, and see our part in life, and as we develop we will be amazed at our changes and better living. Not perfect, just good enough for now and until the next crisis or calm occurs.

We are intrinsic and extrinsic in so many ways, we forget others in ourselves. And especially if we have helped make people or family or friends the way they see and look out at everything, then we can be assured whatever we so, then we reap straight back. Strong will and ego, begets as many as we encounter and influence. Or others may leave us out and exclude us.

Exclusion

The harshest and most formidable weapon mankind has. Best left unused like nuclear bombs, for they devastate down the generations and we need heed our intent and use of such devastating tools.

Inclusion and truth

Well we can do our best and know the consequences are what we make them. This is sometimes the most difficult of choices. And as rewarding sometimes as they may be damaging. There are no rules as we know these elements will change, except for one. We live the consequences as they manifest. And that is reality as we experience.

In the end its neither right or wrong which matters, its how we love and are loved. Its how we include and exclude. Its how we control or give up control which will define our living overall.

Gentle, forgive and forgive again as we learn the lessons over and over, progressing as we may. Perfect? Is the ever present, present moment of now as live our spiritual consequences forever changing as we all travel in the same space and time. So diverse we are every connection and perception different and from similar experiences. Its no wonder we find life such an endeavour and never complete. Were it so there would be no purpose at all.

May 5 2007

Courage To Change - DonInLondon ‘Day In The Life’

Why change, if we have a successful pattern of living which works why change it? My answer is ask yourself how successful you are and make your choices. As for me, my life went out of whack for a long time, and really I did need to find some courage to change.

Friday Nights and the Bolton’s "glam hour". Well it is a bit glamorous, people do dress well and behave as well as they can! Of course we are a bunch of recovering alcoholics, so what we may consider normal may not be everyone’s cup of tea.

Courage to change is the theme and in truth we all needed courage to change back to a recovering way of living and being. Some of us are learning new skills and ways to live as others return to their best way of living for they had a successful pattern before drink got them pretty well messed up.

Disease we have one at least, for most that’s plenty, yet plenty of us have others as well, so being in recovery is essential to deal with other living scenario’s before we ever head to near normal and cross the bridge back to living sober, happy, joyous and free.

Truth

Truth is as hard to find as anything we cannot touch and hold tight. it’s the truth of life, where we are, what we need do, taking responsibility and accepting that in the big scheme of things, life is inevitably as it may be. As we develop our understanding of now, then we get choices back and how to live is the real issue, just live simply in the day, and that’s a complicated thing to do when reality has been lost along the way and living has been so distorted.

If we had hindsight which we could apply, then maybe we would never have become addicts, if we did this, if we did that. Well the list is infinite. Life s just the way we live. And when we get to understand the possible, the opportunities get a little more obvious.

Nothing is ever a given in this world.

Change

Change happens all around us, change makes us develop differently or get left behind believing something which just may not be so. As we hold to beliefs and sometimes we promise things for a lifetime, we get dreadfully upset when we have to let go our promises and start living another way.

We change, others change and we learn where others need to be a part of our living and where they are best on their own path.

Loyalty to an Ideal

So often we are held to principles and outlooks which are eroded and lost in time. What we feel ought, could or should, well time changes how we feel and we can have inner conflicts as we realise the promises and principles, well they change too.

Let Go

We do need understand that blind loyalties and beliefs, well if they are not shared or understood, the outcome can be less than helpful.

Let Go

Yes we do have to sometimes. Let go what we thought or felt, or even we understand that we were right in our outlook and still we wished it different somehow. The letting go is so necessary in recovery or we kill our chance for happy, joyous and free living. We can be loyal where loyal is important. We can be principled and follow a path of truth and integrity. And we are very well served when we check out the rest of our living connections are doing the same. Or we find that denials and lies and deceits send us careering backwards again.

Other People and their Principles

Other people may feel they are exactly right the way they are. Yet in many instances they will fall short of our own measures and principles, being human as we are, they too can be changed by time and circumstances.

Some elements of how we behave are often inconsistent with out intent, we do well when we realise everyone is in this every changing moment of now, where we understand more as we live more.

Forgive

Forgive and let go. We need forgive ourselves as well as we forgive others for their humanity. Forgiveness of ourselves is simply the only way we get to forgive others, as they are making progress same as we do.

Intellect

Thinking and Intellect trip us up more than anything as we learn our feelings. Comparing is even worse. And worse still is living in denial most of the time. it’s a hard lesson learned over and over through life.

Change makes it so, love makes it inevitable.

Love

So abundant and so misunderstood. Love is unconditional. For anyone who loves with condition, love will be lost somewhere along life’s highway. Before we go to bed, we do well to forgive everyone everything. And in the morning when we wake to do the same again. One day we may forgive ourselves for our human frailty as much as we can forgive others.

Progress is perfection, and change is another key, a day at a time…

May 4 2007

So Far… DonInLondon - Day In the Life'

Yes so far today its been eventful. I woke up to a flood and water pouring in from an upstairs neighbour. In minutes the landlord and builder were here to sort it out. Now that is fast! The builders round the corner, my landlord in the country!

Spiderman 3

With the success of yesterday and my attention fully absorbed with seeing shooter, I got to see Spiderman 3 this morning too. Now the things is this film has some of the best special effects ever seen. And at the same time a story which is over egged and overdone. I don’t know if its me or the movie. It was neither science fiction done on its own or love story underdone and half baked.

Somewhere in all the hype and splutter a good film lurks, probably shorter and niftier than this directors cut. A lot could be cut out and a great spectacle. Some good comedy yet overall I would not take youngsters to see it and adult will get a little frustrated with the pace. A Curate’s Egg of a film. Go see it and be amazzzzz d ddd! It made me sleepy. Or was it the new seats in the Cineworld Fulham Road. Nice and comfy for a brief siesta.

Back home and a meeting later. The water damage is less than I thought so some clean up to do and make way fort he bank holiday weekend. Which starts now.



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Guardian Unlimited OnLine May 5 2007


Amid the chaos, Scotland takes historic step May 5 2007



SNP wins narrow victory

Salmond seeks Lib Dem deal - 100,000 ballots spoiled - Tories gain ground in England

Patrick Wintour, political editor

One of the most dramatic and chaotic post-war British elections reached a climax last night when the SNP became the largest party in Scotland, pipping Labour by one seat, and putting the country on an uncertain course towards independence.

Nineteen hours after the polls closed, and results had see-sawed, a disconsolate Labour conceded that the SNP had secured 47 seats to Labour's 46, a desperate setback for Gordon Brown in his backyard as he prepares to take over the premiership.

The SNP leader, Alex Salmond, staked his claim to become first minister, saying: "It is very clear indeed which party has lost this election and the Labour party no longer has any moral authority left to govern Scotland. Scotland has changed for ever and for good. Never again will we say that Labour party assumes it has a divine right to rule Scotland."

Read The Guardian OnLine




Times OnLine May 5 2007


Labour’s election calamity May 5 2007 2007




Philip Webster, Political Editor

Gordon Brown was preparing last night to take the Labour leadership after his party lost its half-century of dominance in Scotland to the Nationalists and hundreds of council seats in Middle England to David Cameron.

With the SNP now the largest party in his own backyard, the Chancellor learns today that he is almost certain to face no heavyweight challenge for Tony Blair’s crown.

Charles Clarke, the former Home Secretary, told The Times that he would not be standing against Mr Brown and would serve in a Brown government if asked.

“I am not going to run in the leadership election. I was ready to run. I was considering running. I think I would have had the support to be nominated and be able to run,” he said. But there would have been the possibility of division around personalities that would be damaging. “There is not the appetite for that kind of contest in the party at the moment,” he said.

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Independent OnLine 'Indy' News May 5 2007 2007


Divided nation: How the elections have fractured the political landscape of Britain May 5 2007



By Andrew Grice, Political Editor

Britain emerged from Thursday's elections as a divided nation after the Scottish National Party (SNP) became the largest party in the Scottish Parliament, Labour lost ground in the south of England and the Tories failed to make a major breakthrough in the North.

A dramatic election in Scotland saw the SNP win a knife-edge victory last night over Labour by 47 seats to 46, inflicting Labour's first significant defeat north of the border for 50 years. The poll was overshadowed by a fiasco in which up to 100,000 ballot papers were disqualified amid confusion among voters and problems with a new electronic counting system.

Alex Salmond, the SNP leader, claimed he had the "moral authority" to govern and that Labour did not. "Scotland has changed for good and for ever," he said, adding: "Labour will never again be able to assume a divine right to rule Scotland." He promised an independent judicial inquiry into the voting scandal.

The historic victory by a party committed to pulling Scotland out of the United Kingdom was a crushing blow for Labour and could cast a dark cloud over Gordon Brown's first months as Prime Minister. It could provoke huge tensions between the Government and the Edinburgh parliament ­ and demands from English voters to allow Scotland to break away.

Mr Salmond, who is determined to become Scotland's First Minister, will try to reach agreement on a "progressive coalition" with another party but if he fails, he could seek to govern as a minority administration.

Labour could try to cling on to power by striking a deal with the Liberal Democrats to keep the SNP out. A weekend of frantic horse-trading is in prospect. Jack McConnell, who was Labour's First Minister going into the elections, said the parties had a responsibility to keep "all options open and consider what is best for Scotland". But a renewed Lib-Lab coalition would enrage the SNP.

In its traditional heartland in Wales, Labour's vote declined to 32 per cent, its lowest level since 1918. It remains the largest party in the Welsh Assembly but will need the support of another party to run it. Labour is expected to hold coalition talks with the Liberal Democrats next week.

After Tony Blair's last election as Labour leader, the coalition which propelled him to power in 1997 is in danger of fracturing. Senior Labour figures admitted the party was suffering from the same "southern discomfort" which denied it victory in the 1980s and early 1990s when it failed to win parliamentary seats in the south of England.

Read The Independent OnLine




BBC OnLine News May 5 2007

Labour ponders election defeats May 5 2007

Labour politicians are taking stock after the party's defeat in the Scottish Parliament election and the loss of nearly 500 council seats.

Gordon Brown - expected to be the next PM - is contemplating a future that may be overshadowed by instability north of the border after the SNP victory.

He will also be planning how to counter "breakthrough" gains for the Tories in the local elections.

Labour is also looking for a coalition partner in the Welsh Assembly.

Power share

The SNP took 47 seats against Labour's 46 in the Holyrood elections.

The SNP said Labour had lost the "moral authority to govern" in Scotland after the end of its 50 years of dominance.

BBC OnLine Full Story




BBC OnLine History May 5 2007

May 5 1980: SAS rescue ends Iran embassy siege

The siege of the Iranian embassy in London has ended after a dramatic raid by SAS commandos.

Five Iranian gunmen were killed and one was arrested. Nineteen hostages were set free but one died and two were injured in the cross-fire.

Millions of people watched the rescue live on television as bank holiday entertainment on all three channels was interrupted to show the real-life drama unfold.

"We did not surrender, we became victorious"

Iran's President Bani-Sadr

More than 30 masked troops stormed the embassy building from the balcony and front and back doors throwing grenades through the windows.

Screams were heard from inside the building and some 15 minutes later the hostages emerged and were escorted by Scotland Yard police to waiting ambulances.

The siege began five days ago when six gunmen took over the Iranian embassy in Kensington.

BBC OnLine Full Story








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Ghandi

There come to us moments in life when about some things we need no proof from without. A little voice within us tells us, 'You are on the right track, move neither to your left nor right, but keep to the straight and narrow way.

A person falsely claiming to act under divine inspiration or the promptings of the inner voice without having any such, will fare worse than the one falsely claiming to act under the authority of an earthly sovereign. Whereas the latter on being exposed will escape with injury to his body, the former may perish body and soul together.

You have to believe no one but yourselves. You must try to listen to the inner voice, but if you will not have the expression"inner voice", you may use the expression "dictates of reason", which you should obey, and if you will not parade God, I have no doubt you will parade something else which in the end will prove to be God, for, fortunately, there is no one and nothing else but God in this universe.

For me truth is the sovereign principle, which includes numerous other principles. This truth is not only truthfulness in word, but truthfulness in thought also, and not only the relative truth of our conception, but the Absolute Truth, the Eternal Principle, that is God. There are innumerable definitions of God, because His manifestations are innumerable. They overwhelm me with wonder and awe and for a moment stun me.





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