Dignity or pride

My dog, photo by Lily Rosen, Tel Aviv, Israel, animal posture
My dog, photo by Lily Rosen, Tel Aviv, Israel

This photo depicts the utmost dignity and beauty. There is a fine line between dignity and pride. Dignity is a strength of character which helps us to deal with life, maturely. This can mean that we survive the worst of life’s ups and downs by having such a strength. Things happen which can either be absolutely terrible or unbelievably amazing, yet how we handle such events determines our health and wellbeing because extremes can stress us. Pride on the other hand leads to a closed character and secrecy, which keeps emotions buried causing illness and unhappiness.

as a young man he was charm itself
popular and loved by men and women
women wanted him, men wanted to be like him
he appeared dignified but was closed
and especially secretive about himself
he became dysfunctional and in time his aggression
lost him his family and the respect of many
unfortunately, he doesn’t see that there is
anything harmful in his choice of behaviour
and he leaves ‘dead bodies’ in his path
whilst self medicating with unhealthy things like
cheating, lying, excessive drinking, overeating and
who knows what else?
his only chance is that he comes out of denial
and becomes more transparent about who he is


Act as if

I love you, photo by Hannah Boettcher, United States, universal messageWe are often faced with someone else’s negativity. When this happens it is far better to acknowledge their message so that they don’t keep repeating it, and then let it wash off us like water off a duck’s back. We don’t have to wear someone else’s negativity. Instead we need to remember that they are entitled to their opinion and we don’t have to agree with it. So if we keep a positive attitude then life is more fulfilling. If we ‘act as if ‘ then it becomes a healthy habit. Free of sulking, free of resentments and in time a more pleasant way of living life.

when I was younger I got easily upset or annoyed
and my serenity depended on another person’s behaviour
so if someone upset me then I would hold a grudge
in other words sulk until they saw my point of view
on my journey of personal enlightenment
I learnt to let go of resentment when someone upset me
now I express myself as calmly as possible
and then ‘act as if ‘ a new page has been turned
after a few minutes I am at peace and have
no need to labour over the issue or
feel resentful until an apology is forthcoming
love is ever-present and ever-healing
an invaluable asset, tried and true


Syron bush wedding

our bush wedding, Elaine Kitchener and Gordon Syron, on SBS 2/11/06Choosing the place to celebrate a marriage is possible when you have a celebrant flexible enough to go wherever you want. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve conducted weddings in the most interesting places – in Sydney on land, on a beach, on the harbour and out in the country, in the bush. The place needs to have meaning for the marriage to be memorable for you. It need not be difficult nor expensive for the location of choice. Then again, sometimes, it does involve a bit of organising and expense, depending on your needs.

SBS showed the Syron bush wedding
which took place at Wilcannia
where originally Elaine Kitchener and Gordon Syron
had discovered their love and where they had
their bush wedding in November 2004
they flew me to Broken Hill and
after a 2 hour drive I joined them
and finally planned their ceremony
which took place on the banks of the Darling River
where the bride carried a bouquet of
Australian wild flowers and they
exchanged their vows that were
based on his Aboriginal culture
and her Jewish custom of
the groom stomping on a glass
wrapped in a hanky on the ground
the weather was perfect
and nature’s playground
was breathtaking


Loves me, loves me not

Daisy, photo by Allison Choppick, Toronto, Canada, true loveSo many people rely on their partner to constantly reassure them that they are loved. Having your significant other express their love for you is great, but to depend on that can only take its toll on you and your partner. It’s much like living in the fantasy of plucking a daisy and counting the petals with the chant “loves me, loves me not” to find out if you’re loved or not. It is far better to love yourself first and believe that others love you, than the other way around.

if you have ever plucked a daisy in your youth
saying “loves me, loves me not”
you will remember the disappointment
when after mutilating the poor daisy
you reach “loves me not” and your
heart plunges in the depths of despair
or if the outcome was “loves me”
and the feeling was that
you didn’t believe it
then that didn’t feel good either
maybe you experienced
feeling insatiable and wanting
to pluck another poor daisy again!
really it’s about
not feeling lovable to begin with
and therefore many of us have given
into the curiosity of plucking
the poor daisy!

Daisy, photo by Allison Choppick, Toronto, Canada, true love


I’ll be happy when…

Pot of gold 2, photo by Kim Beardsmore, Kellyville, Australia, wishes, dreamsHow many times have we said “I’ll be happy when…” and we give numerous reasons such as after the lottery win, after the weight loss, after the dream job and so on? The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow holds the promise of bliss. Even if that happens, and it has sometimes, we don’t know what to do with ourselves – there’s delayed shock to overcome before we can enjoy the prize. Nevertheless, for some of us we still can’t cope with the fact that something good has actually happened. Stop wishing for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and become proactive about your happiness.

as he shared his ideas about how they
could overcome their financial difficulties
I turned to her expecting to see relief in her face
but instead she looked as though
someone had just died
“what?!” I asked
she said that until it happens
the worry will still plague her
when she realised she was doing the
“I’ll be happy when…” routine
the insight set her free of negativity
and she could enjoy the moment

Pot of gold 2, photo by Kim Beardsmore, Kellyville, Australia, wishes, dreams



Lucky Balls, photo by Steve Woods, Colchester, United Kingdom, win-winSome people are delighted about buying lottery or lotto tickets because it gives them hope. Other people are opposed to this because they believe that buying lotteries is a waste of time and money, as the odds are against winning. Yet people do win against all odds. For a small fee a person buys the anticipation of a dream come true. When this is within reason as far as cost and emotional investment, then it is a form of lifting one’s spirits momentarily. People need to stay in tune with the impact this activity has on them. Making sure that they do not spend amounts of money they cannot afford and that it does not result in feelings of excessive frustration but rather fun and delight.

buying a $2 lottery puts a smile on my face
even better – subscribing to charity lotteries
not only gives me a lift in spirits but also
importantly provides support to people
who benefit from our donations
a win-win activity
as I participate my thoughts go to
the people who are helped by the small
amount of money it costs me and
the huge benefit I have from dreaming
how I would spend the winnings!
I also remember the elderly couple
I know who did win a million
when they were at their worst
that wonderful story
also brightens my decision
to buy a ticket!


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


Rescuing a relationship

love and light, photo by Camilo Labrador, Merida, Venezuela, intimacy, passionIt’s awesome to be in relationship that is fulfilling. The laughter, mutual interests, companionship, and passionate connection. Sure, there can be moments of friction too, but that is to be expected when two people are intimate. Sometimes the friction is a subconscious attempt at igniting a dying flame, because the make-up process heightens intimacy again. Rescuing a relationship can be enjoyable, nevertheless it is far healthier to do so without allowing friction to be the tool. Other methods such as booking in quality time to have fun can be far more effective to bring two people close once more.

they sat across from me looking so tense
what happened to their close loving friendship?
not so long ago they were full of happiness
and plans for the future which always proved
to be exciting for them!
there had been preoccupation with work
and many expenses which restricted socialising
the children had their problems
everything had been too much, and
as they shared about it they realised that
they were not as close as they liked
amazing how a few moments spent together
talking about rescuing a relationship
can bring people closer and feel
loving towards each other again


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


Wedding Vows

wedding time, photo by Noelle Franzen, Carlsbad, United States, love, marriageWhen a couple plans a wedding the most confusing part is preparing the wedding vows. The excitement of the event sometimes overwhelms the couple and thinking of what to say to each other only adds to the confusion. As a marriage celebrant I show them many examples. However, the most important part of composing wedding vows is that they paint a picture of the feelings they have for each other. How they met and discovered their love, adds colour to the event.

he looked into her eyes and smiling
said that he loved her and promised that
his goal in life would be to provide reasons
for her to be happy in the marriage with him
he added that when they first met at a friend’s place
he knew that she was the one he wanted to spend
the rest of his life with.
with love in her eyes she agreed that
she had felt the same when they first met
and she promised that his happiness
would be the most important thing in her life.
Their words were simple yet straight from the heart
and this showed the love they have for each other