Things we can learn from a dog

1.   Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy ride.

2.   Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.

3.   When loved ones come home, always run and greet them.

4.  When it’s in your best interest, practice obedience.

5.   Let others know when they have invaded your territory.

x laugh dance6.   Take naps and stretch before rising.

7.   Run, romp, and play daily.

8.   Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.

9.   Be loyal.

10.   Never pretend to be something you’re not.

11.   If what you want is buried, dig until you find it.

12.   Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

13.   Thrive on attention.

14.  Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

15.   On hot days, drink lots of water and sit under a shady tree.

16.   When you’re happy, dance around and wag your whole body.

17.  When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle him or her gently.

18.   No matter how often you are scolded, don’t buy the guilt thing and pout – run right back and make friends.



What makes us happy?

There is no single key to happiness, but according to psychologist Professor Ed Diener, the following ingredients are vital:

1.   Family and friends are crucial, the wider and deeper your interpersonal relationships the better.  It’s even suggested that friendship can ward off germs, by having a ‘protective’ effect on us, in the same way that stress can trigger poor health.  This is because our brains control many of the mechanisms in our bodies which are responsible for disease.  ‘Happiness’ research reveals that, on average, friendship has a much larger impact on happiness than a typical person’s income itself.  Economist Professor Oswald has applied a formula to estimate that we would need an extra 50,000 pounds to compensate for not having friends.  Marriage can also influence our happiness, adding an average 7 years to a man’s life, and 4 years to a woman’s life; it would be interesting also to know the statistics on a greater variety of intimate relationships, such as defacto, same-sex, etc.

2.   Having meaning in life; a belief in something bigger than yourself, be it religion, spirituality or a philosophy of life.

3.   Having goals embedded in long term values that you’re working for, but also that you find enjoyable.

Psychologists argue we need to have goals that interest us to work towards, and which draw on our strengths and abilities, to lead fulfilling lives.

Contentment: the undervalued component of happiness

An opinion poll for the BBC series revealed that 56% of the respondents equated happiness with contentment.  ‘Contentment’ can mean: accepting things as they are; mental or emotional satisfaction; a peace of mind.  Does this mean not worrying or arguing?  Having all you want or actually not wanting?  A clear conscience?  It’s a mixture of all these things, and it suggests ‘not fighting yourself’.  When it comes down to it, what we want depends on us, rather than the situation; therefore by changing our perspective we can affect our level of contentment as much, if not more, as we could do by changing the situation itself.

Some quotes on happiness taken from the opinion poll.

happy“For me, happiness is about personal tranquillity”, “Being at peace with the way things are going”, “Happiness is when you are ok inside about where you are and who you are”, “Taking the dog for a walk”.   “There is no key to happiness.  The door is always open for us to choose.”

A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future. Lewis Smedes


Make a new friend every day

(Sri Sri Ravi Shankar at the launch of a special initiative, ‘Nonviolence: No Higher Calling’ in San Diego, California, on March 25, 2013.)


We need to live in the space of friendliness.
Just walk into a classroom and ask the kids, ‘How many friends do you have?’
We have to educate our children to be friendly. This is the way to end aggression. Give them a commitment to make one new friend every day, and you will see how their whole attitude changes.

Non-violence needs not be cultivated. It is natural, but today we need to cultivate it because we have moved far away from the tendencies of natural living. Children think they have to be aggressive to be a hero. This concept needs to be changed.
We need to bring back dignity and pride in non-violence. I would say, when we connect with different communities that will create a sense to belongingness. Fear, anxiety and insecurity will drop away from society. Love and compassion will take the front seat. And time has come for that love and compassion, which is the real nature of all of all human beings, to shine forth. We need to move away from the beast nature that has taken over our society.

There is not a single human being devoid of compassion. It is simply hidden. It needs to be brought out.



Read a great article the other day about the extras in life that can be achieved when trust is a major ingredient in the transaction.

Our experience is not just that money can be made more quickly – after all a 37 year marriage rests on a bedrock of trust. And that trust has been tested many times – that’s how we know it works.

Whilst everything in your life will go better with trust as the keystone: relationships, health, business, holidays, you name it – the key isn’t trust in others despite its necessity.

It’s trust in oneself that makes the biggest difference in our lives.

As I’ve said many a time in Resolving The Mindset Riddle – break someone’s trust and they’ll get over it.

Break your own and you wont.

You’ll forever know yourself as a liar.

Therefore we need to become trustworthy with ourselves by keeping promises like going to the gym, staying off alcohol if we said we would, meditating each day…

Boring I know – but if ever I’ve seen a recipe for success – that would be it.

Source – Paul Blackburn, Beyond Success

A world that lives in Love

‘The Alternate Economy is first and foremost about personal change.”

How do we take a world wracked with woe, ravaged by greed and tormented by fear and turn it into a world of Love?

It seems an insurmountable odd.  There are so many things standing in our way.  Even if we did secure the resources to begin building a Utopia, how do we deal with human nature?  How do we deal with the inevitable attempts to destroy us.  To steal what we have.  To drag us back down.

What, even, will this Utopia look like?  How can it be designed in a way to ensure that it survives human nature?  Can such a thing be done?

It is true that I have gone into little detail about the final product.  You will find scores and scores of motivational material that builds humanity up and discusses how we could achieve such a thing.  But what exactly is it we are trying to achieve?

Part of the reason I have gone into little detail, is because I do not feel it is up to me to define what living in Love entails.  Who am I to say?  I believe in Love and trust that it is good and easy and beautiful and therefore I trust that when humanity learns how to live in Love, the end result will be good and easy and beautiful.  But I have never lived in a Utopia before (at least not in this life).  I do not really know what it would look like.  I can guess.  I can hope.  I can imagine.  But I cannot truly say what a world that lives in Love will begin to look like.

Having said that, it is my responsibility to at least give some hint of vision for the future.  I  will not claim this is the only way, but if I were to hazard a guess, I see a Utopia turning out a lot like this:

Let us pretend that our community has managed to break the cycle of abuse and create a community that lives in Love. I would like to track a new life entering this community, one which is free of encumbrances from the cycle of abuse. Let us see what human nature truly looks like.

A young couple moves into their new home in this new community. The home is a gift, a thank you for all of the support they have offered the Alternate Economy so far. Each young individual begins to contribute to the community as best they can, by pursuing their passions. The father is an excellent cook, and had always loved the calm of the early mornings. He wakes each day and travels to the community kitchens. His home has a kitchen suitable for feeding his family, but for the sort of work he wishes to do today, the community kitchen will fare far better. It is equipped with dozens of high-end ovens and plenty of space for preparation. Because he is wise, he makes sure to alert the community to the times he intends to use the kitchen, by signing up for various time slots. Once he arrives he bakes to his heart’s content. He makes loaves of bread, and cookies and muffins and croissants. Tomorrow he may make something else, but he always makes sure to make as much as he can. After noon he retires to his home, with the choice treats he has selected for his lover to share. The rest of his wares he drops off at the community marketplace. Here others come by in the afternoon time to see what is being offered for the day. They drop off their daily offerings and select the products they wish to take home. If the community finds it is always lacking in one thing, they will petition their neighbours to concentrate more on that item for a while. Croissants are nice, but bread is necessary. After checking if there are any requests for his production for tomorrow, he finally arrives home from his day’s work to be greeted by his lover.

She is also pursuing her passions, but these do not require that she leave the home. She is an avid video editor and takes on projects for the community, to help in either education, awareness or entertainment. She is currently working on a collaboration between the local theatre and the local high school to produce a video which features the conversations between Plato and Socrates. She also likes to wake early and get her work done before her lover arrives home, so that they may spend the rest of the day together.

After a few months of this, the couple decide to have a child. They are very excited for the endeavour, and receive large amounts of support from their friends and neighbours and family. The local midwife attends to the expecting mother, and helps to ensure the birth is as natural and stress free as possible. The mother is educated on proper human motivation and responses to stimuli during the pregnancy, of her own volition. She wants only the best for the newest Love in her life. She is shown how human touch is the most important aspect to the development of a small infant. The mothers diet is the second most important thing. She is given various tools to help her raise her child in the most loving way possible.

Once the child is born, she is given a loving shoulder to lean against for the first few months of her life. She is supported with good diet and proper healthcare. Once she learns to walk and talk she is supported with motivational comments. She is not told that she is naturally talented or naturally smart or naturally gifted, as these statement are just as destructive as being told we are naturally stupid. She is told that she is naturally unique in her passions and that it is her efforts that will be her reward in life. She is told how impressive her efforts have been, regardless of the outcome. She is told that she will be accepted, even when she fails. She will be congratulated on her successes, as a feat well-earned through hard work and awareness of her actions. She will enter school when deemed ready and will begin to interact with knowledge in a new way.

When she arrives at school she will be greeted by a mentor. This mentor will help her to learn to read and write and will guide her in her progress at school. There will be no grades, no marks, no tests. Only books and guest lectures and special screenings and interactive computers and science labs and art rooms and music rooms and workshops. School will be a giant library, with practical labs attached for students to practice what they have read. At first our new student will be obsessed with horses. She will look for any book that has photos or drawings of horses and only read those. Her mentor, understanding the power of passion, allows her obsession. The mentor knows that in time, she will either tire of horses, or become the most knowledgable horse whisperers in history. It seems she does tire, as her concerns are shifted by one book. “Animal Farm” by George Orwell. Her love of horses has turned to a passion for the phrase “ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL, BUT SOME ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS”. Her mentor attempts to explain how other societies in the past used to enslave people and animals and how the sharing of resources and knowledge had not yet been mastered. She does not quite comprehend how this could have been. No one would ever be so silly as to believe that some humans were less worthy than others. All of her friends were beloved in her eyes and worthy of nothing but praise. She then begins to investigate the current farming situation in her community. She is shocked and appalled to find that animals are still used to man’s advantage, as if they were somehow less worthy of Love. A new passion is born. She will not rest until she comes to understand why we still, even after creating a Utopia, raise animals for food. In her quest for Truth, she meets many interesting people and hears many sides of the story. She listens and learns and shares her Love. She comes to learn about the nature and habits of domesticated farm animals. She comes to learn about ecosystems and the food chain and how it has functioned up until this point. But she is not convinced. She will not allow animals to be treated thus, even if it all makes sense on paper.

She has become Love. In her quest for Truth, started by a love of horses, she has come to design fully integrated eco farms. Giant paddocks that use natural processes to allow cows and pigs to live in the closest thing to their natural habitat. I don’t really know what that looks like, she hasn’t been born yet, and hasn’t designed them, but they are pretty spectacular, of that I am sure.

Welcome to the Alternate Economy. People are allowed to share in the community’s wealth, because they contribute to it. The community supports one another in sickness and in health, with Love as their motivator. They do what they do best and they share it with their friends. That is all there is to it. The rest is up to its members. The Alternate Economy will only ever be as spectacular as the people who create it. I do not want to limit it. I believe that people are great, if given the chance to prove it. Imagine what this community could look like. Your vision is just as important as mine.

For it is only together that we will ever find out.

Source –

Terms of Enragement

Your belief in right and wrong, good and bad, best and better and your ability to distinguish one concept from the other is likely a very honorable system of judgment.

Your beliefs illustrate for you what might be described as ideal behavior. Like you, however, people don’t always behave ideally. That does not mean you should compromise your beliefs. It does mean that you can make better choices in how you encounter weakness in others. Simply because people don’t behave ideally does not mean they are bad or flawed. It simply means that people are not always willing to cooperate with you.  Hold on to your honorable beliefs about ideal behavior. Do your best to express your beliefs in your own behavior. Remember, however, people don’t always live by your expectations of them.

In fact, you, yourself, don’t always live up to the expectations you have of others. We all fail on some level. Everyone has a perfect right to behave foolishly. And they often exercise that perfect right. No one HAS TO treat you respectfully, honestly, favorably or kindly. You do not NEED people to be considerate, empathetic, thoughtful, intelligent, selfless or brave. You can live happily in a world where they don’t – right alongside them. Maybe not as perfectly as you could if everything went as you planned. You could experience, instead, a different kind of happy – a more rational happy, one that includes such things as sadness (that people behave that way) and forgiveness (for human failure and weakness). 

Your expectations are your terms for enragement. I will never like it that people are so irresponsible with one another, but I can still be happy in my life even when they behave in ways that I don’t like.”

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Dance! Dance! Dance!

Did you know?

  • Music improves serotonin levels making you feel happier.
  • Music can help you relax: “Half an hour of music produces the same effect as 10 milligrams of Valium.”  R. Bahr, Director of Coronary Care, St. Agnes Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland.
  • Dancing is so good for the memory and mind it has a preventative effect on Alzheimers disease!
  • Dancing burns calories, tones your muscles and is a great way of getting fit!

There is something so invigorating about Latin Dancing!  I love my Zumba. I get such a thrill from it I feel like I am high!  Maybe it is the music, maybe it’s  all that blood rushing around my body, whatever it is, IT FEELS GREAT!