Sweet, photo by jesusroxs, United StatesThere is no use blaming others for our misery because happiness is in our own power. In other words whether we are happy or not depends entirely on our own decisions and perceptions. Other people can try to make us happy or unhappy but we allow them to impact us in whichever way. So make a plan to bring happiness into your life and live fully and blissfully.

Ellen is in her 80s and was an exceptionally
beautiful and talented women in her youth
but most of her life she has been miserable
when asked why this is so she replies that
happiness has eluded her and
misfortune has left its mark on her!
she cannot see that it has been this belief
that has caused her to miss any opportunities
at having happiness and fulfillment and
to this day still blames everyone and everything
for missing out on life’s joys
what a waste of talent and beauty?!

Sweet, photo by jesusroxs, United States

New Year resolutions for 2007

Happy New Year - 2007, photo by Bill Kolios, Ioannina, Greece, big celebrationAs we wish everyone Happy New Year and fill our hearts with love many of us have made New Year resolutions for 2007. Some are realistic and some are just wishful thinking. Nevertheless, both types are useful for our personal and professional development because the process makes us visualise our dreams. Visualisation is an effective tool for achieving our goals because it means we prime ourselves for taking up opportunities as they arise, otherwise we miss them. They say ‘when Opportunity knocks, open the door first and ask questions later”. When New Year resolutions crumble then find another way of achieving them. Don’t quit searching for a way to succeed.

the year before last, feeling guilty for her behaviour
she made her New Year resolutions
and then felt hopeful but that didn’t last long
because she knew how hard it was to
stay away from the trigger foods that
were the cause of most of her ill health
she was overweight, had diabetes and
what’s more she spent her money easily
which always left her broke
then she remembered to try something new
for her carbohydrate addiction
success followed and her health improved
this year’s resolutions were more joyful to list
because she had achieved some of last year’s ones

Bill Kolios, Ioannina, Greece, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/678548

Christmas Day

Christmas Decoration, photo by Law Hui Sheng, PJ, Malaysia, Happy ChristmasIn this country Christmas Day is a ritual that’s a great pleasure to people of all ages. The religious folk attend church and those who are not religious participate in other activities which define the ritual of Christmas, including public holidays. Christmas cards would have already been sent out, a Christmas tree decorated, special food and presents purchased to enjoy on this day. Children wake up early to open their presents which are kept under the tree, including the special ones from Santa Claus. Then still in their nightwear everyone enjoys a breakfast together. People not of the Christian faith, even Christians whose Christmas Day is on 6th January, have been known to also participate in this process as it’s part of Australia’s identity. In time hopefully we will all become more familiar with, and celebrate, rituals of the other cultures which make our society multi-cultural.

some of my grandchildren’s friends are of the Jewish faith
and have been eager to decorate a Christmas tree
therefore next year it was suggested that a
Christmas decorating party be organised to
do just that and give them the experience
how delightful the way that children can
share their cultural differences in a way
that’s full of friendship and fun
an exciting learning curve which
fosters love and peace

City Christmas decorations

Christmas Tree, photo by Martin Boose, Dresden, Germany, Christmas EveRemembering our history and that we are a country which has its foundation in the Christian faith, means that Christmas has been a huge festive event. Now that our society is multi-cultural it’s important that community education raises awareness to other cultures’ festive days too. Government claiming fairer treatment across all religions and rationalising expenses need not have reduced the city Christmas decorations. Such action is not good for our reputation here and overseas. Even if a portion of the community is secular there still needs to be a splash at Christmas especially in each major city, as in the past. So government funds need to be allocated accordingly.

I met with my family to celebrate Christmas Eve
tomorrow it’s their turn in their own homes and
then at the homes of the other side of the family
as the family grows so do the in-laws!
on the way home we drove through the city
to see the Christmas lights and decorations
even though I am not religious it’s
the time of the year I enjoy because of
its festivities and people’s joy
to our disappointment the city was almost bare
gone were the beautiful decorations at Sydney Town Hall
earlier today some tourists witnessed the
lack of decorations and perhaps this explanation sufficed
that government want to spend the minimum on a
Christian celebration so that the rest of the community
would find it fairer and so that money is not wasted!
then why did government not just increase their spending
for other cultural festivities and continue with the
usual Christmas festival?
government certainly spends a lot more on war, moreso
peaceful festivities warrant a larger chunk of the budget

Children expressing themselves

Children Looking, photo by Victoria Mellado, Mar del Plata,  Argentina,  self awarenessAs commented by Robert Shields regarding my post called Tools of Serenity, I agree it is true that children are wonderful to work with. Their innocence is inspiring and they can express their innermost thoughts and feelings in a way beyond their years. We often try to protect children from expressing themselves, whereas if we encourage them to say what is in their hearts not only is it good for them but we learn from them too. Children expressing themselves is a lesson to adults.

As I listened to my granddaughter’s words
I was enthralled by her ability to express her
innermost feelings in such depth
children expressing themselves is
such an enlightening process
which we adults underestimate
and need to encourage in them

“Where’s your passion?”

Man standing on the wall, photo by Amir Darafsheh, Tehran, Iran, meditation, procrastinationLife can sometimes pass us by so quickly that we wonder where it went. To avoid this happening too often we need to meditate more regularly to help us relax.? We also need to think about what we are doing and how that relates to our passion. Trigger off that thinking by asking “where’s your passion?” It’s amazing what thought processes and plans that question can ignite.

he thought about his plans
and found that he had got
bogged down!
and then I asked him
“where’s your passion?”
so he meditated and
then searched for the
answer to that question
and the rest was easy as he
became inspired and
flew over the procrastination

Planning a Wedding

Sweetheart, photo by Daniel Perry, Luton, United Kingdom,  in loveBeing in love is a beautiful experience. Many people know what comes next without any doubts, that is, planning a wedding. Usually both put their hearts and heads together and decide where they would like to celebrate this important event. You can even turn to a wedding planner who will do the practical work for you. Others cannot afford this so they use the internet to explore ideas. The whole process can be exciting as you research and make decisions about your celebration. Will it be on a boat, at the steps of the Opera House, on a wharf there, in a park, or in your own backyard? As a celebrant I have been a part of several memorable ceremonies.

being a wedding planner is not the role
of a marriage celebrant but we can
inspire ideas for the couple to explore
as can be seen in my page on
weddings, marriage celebrant
showing where I have conducted weddings
on the beach, in the mountains, in a reception centre
in the Royal Botanic Gardens, in Centennial Park
and so on

Overcoming obstacles

desert caravan, photo by Arjun Chennu, chennai, India, dreams come trueLife is one obstacle after another and some of us overcome those systematically while others stumble and fall. Nevertheless, there is a system to help us overcome the constant pain. Like a caravan of camels we need to set on a course and then gently and persistently stay on track until we reach the destination we have aimed for. Overcoming obstacles then becomes manageable and we have dreams come true.

I often come across obstacles in Life but I
have learnt to set a course and follow it with
the support of a network of people heading
to the same destination or thereabouts
like a caravan of camels
overcoming obstacles then becomes easy
that is the difference between succeeding or not

Desert Caravan, photo by Arjun Chennu, chennai, India,ttp://arjmage.blogspot.com

New beginnings

behold, photo by Arjun Chennu, Chennai, India, new relationshipsWhen relationships end, either by death or divorce, part of the growth process is how we make new beginnings. We complete our grieving and only then can we accept that it’s over. Some decide to spend time alone to recover from their loss, while others search for a new relationship. Nevertheless, Life goes on and so do we, that’s the way it should be.

every other time he had gone after her
this time he waited for her to come back on her own
and she didn’t!
so he licked his emotional wounds and
got back up from the depths of his depression
“Life goes on” someone had said
and now it was the best thought
as he considered new beginnings
the future was more promising
last time I saw him he was smiling and his life
was so much brighter now
behold, photo by Arjun Chennu, Chennai, India, http://arjmage.blogspot.com


Friendship photo by Richard Styles Newcastle under Lyme, United Kingdom http://www.sxc.hu/photo/517789 soulmatesFriendship is one of Life’s most valuable experiences. Whether it’s between friends or lovers, friendship is the basis of being soulmates and finding happiness. We enjoy being with our friends. They are there for us when we need them and we, in turn, try to do likewise. Furthermore, a loving relationship based on friendship has a better chance of being fulfilling and lasting.

I sat in a meeting and he shared that he knew
many people but did not have close friends
I was stunned at how profound that was
because it applied to me also
so I made a decision to leave myself open to
strengthening friendships with peers and
as the year passed I had a handful of
close friends – soulmates
friendship is so important to
having happiness in my Life