Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Walk Your Talk

Can your friends and business colleagues say that you walk your talk?

I had this quote on my refrigerator for quite some time as a reminder to me to be consistent.

This message means: Be who you say you are at all times, in public and in private. Be a walking example of the philosophy you expound, not just sometimes but at all times. If you say you are an honest person, be scrupulously so. You know what I mean...don't cheat anyone when it comes to money, to work done, to pulling your weight, to taking responsibility, to gossiping.

Others are watching and listening. They notice when we don't live up to what we say we believe in. It's a matter of integrity. I heard a woman recently promote her acrylic nail and manicure business at a networking evening. I was sitting next to her and glanced at her fingernails. They were short, unattractive and completely different to what I expected. If you say you are good at doing other's fingernails you had better be the best living example around.

I have heard salesmen describe the golden rules of giving good customer service and then have seen them treat clients with disdain. I have noticed a man telling his boss what a dedicated employee he is but I know that he steals stationery from the company.

Walking your talk is a matter of having integrity. Of course we are tested on this. I often think we have the equivalent of a line in the sand to negotiate each day. On one side of the line is our list of what we stand for. On the other side is the ocean. Small and large waves can roll in and wash away our line and our good intentions very quickly.

Each situation, personally and in business, calls for us to be on the dry side of our line in the sand. Position the line so that this is possible. If you know that you are too close to the vagaries of life and the ocean, move your beliefs to firmer and dryer land. When the waves of temptation assail us, and they will, stand firm.

If it means saying "no" to money, power, influence or offered friendship which have their foundations in wet sand, know that a day of reckoning has arrived.

I can assure you it is much easier to walk your talk than not. Then and only then are you authentic. You don't need to live a lie. You don't need to remember the complexities of your lie. You don't need to make excuses. What you say and what you do will be easy. It will be automatic. It will give you a sense of pride and deep satisfaction.

Live up to what you say you believe in and be a living, breathing, walking example of the best of you, always.

If you don't take control of your life, don't complain when others do. - Beth Mende Conny

Joseph taking a stand against the Bobcat from taking the sand away at Cromer Golf Course - June 2009

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Embrace the Fullness of Nothing

This is my 100th Post and I would like to talk about NOTHING! or to be precise embracing the fullness of nothing.

Here is a celebratory thought. Here is a freeing action. Here is a key to faith. Did I like it when I first stumbled on it?


Enjoy having no pictures on the wall and nothing decorating the sideboard?
Enjoy empty flower beds in the garden?
Enjoy not having food in the fridge or cupboard?
Enjoy not having a partner and living alone?
Enjoy having no one to hear me 'debrief' at the end of a busy day?
Enjoy not having money in my bank account?

You can see where I was coming from. I saw 'nothing' as a poor, deprived state to be in. I didn't understand it was merely an alternative state. It is a state pregnant with possibilities. To appreciate the possibilities, I needed the beauty and fullness of nothing. If I spent most of my days filling in gaps and silences, I was not coming face to face with reality and faith.

All my life, I have worked to fill in the gaps. As soon as I moved house, for example, out would come the decorative items to place on sideboards, and pictures to go on empty walls - and, the quicker I put Peggy's pieces of homeliness in place, the quicker I felt in control and content.

Filling in the gaps ensured I didn't see the empty spots. It meant worrying about some things and not stopping to consider and look at the blessings I did have. It meant not stopping to think that perhaps there was another way.

Control is what it was all about. Doing nothing, and having spaces of nothingness around me, was inefficient, empty and scary. My senses were frightened by blank walls, blank gardens and blank days.

When I embraced the concept of nothing, it was as though a gentle breeze of love drifted into my life. For a self-confessed workaholic this was a big change. I am coming to terms, still, with doing nothing in particular, except pleasurable escapades, at weekends. Being free from guilt around my strongly entrenched work ethic is taking some time. To be constantly busy is no longer my goal. Emptiness, once disliked, is now tolerated and, quite often, appreciated.

It is a wonderful experience. The controlling Peggy who liked to see spaces filled, still chaffs at this new direction. I have confronted and handcuffed the emotional clutter of my past, and am working on discarding it as easily as I do paper rubbish.

I have been single for quite a few years, spending time discovering who I am, sitting in my quiet courtyard and enjoying the solitary journey. It is the best journey in the world, this journey to yourself.

Do I struggle with the concept? Often. Have I learned golden insights about me? Yes.

The process of enjoying the fullness of nothing is cleansing and freeing. If you feel stuck, or lack direction, try it. The downside of it is feeling out of control and alone. The upside is listening to the real you and appreciating yourself devoid of material things.

It will make you whole. "Be really whole" the Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu said, "and all things will come to you".

Photo taken at Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, November 2003.

Friday, 17 July 2009


"How's things?" I had asked Mary one day...."I'm on the verge of another surrender". I laughed and said, "What does that mean?".

"It's giving up, not giving in," she replied. "It's surrendering to myself, not to a set of circumstances. I've found in the past that, when I reach this stage, when I've painted myself into a corner in relation to a situation, all that I can do it stop fighting, surrender, drop the paintbrush, walk through the wall and, wouldn't you know it, the wall is merely paper".

"There is nowhere else to go, and what happens is that the fighting, the resisting, has been holding me back. When I surrender, I let go, the load is lifted, the albatross falls from my neck and wonderful things happen."

Mary writes poetry, reads tarot cards and has a wonderful sense of humour in the face of difficulties.

When she told me about her latest surrender it set me thinking about simply letting go. "Let go and let God" is a powerful philosophy for many. It takes courage. I find myself using it more and more often when I don't know the answers or am perplexed by the questions.

Without fail, if I let go and let the higher force of spirit lead me, talking to the force as I would to my best friend - I don't know what to do. This is too difficult. Please take over and show me the answer or I'm leaving this up to you. Show me the way and let the right things happen. I release this problem and go free.

Then I am led to the very best solution.

This wonderful sculpture I feel represents 'surrender' perfectly. I took this photo in November 2007 at Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Reason, Season, or Lifetime

Each year I become even more mindful of the fact that people really do come into our lives for a reason, season, or lifetime.

In evaluating my own relationships its very clear who my reasons, seasons, and lifetimes are and vice versa. At the moment for some reason I am deeply introspecting, reflecting, and meditating on everything and everyone that I am thankful for. God is Good! I’m very thankful to have crossed paths with such remarkable people throughout my life and I look forward to crossing paths with many more. I feel so very blessed.

A Reason, a Season, or a Lifetime

"People come into your life for a reason, a season, or
a lifetime. When you figure out which one it is, you
will know what to do for each person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON . . . It is
usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have
come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you
with guidance and support, to aid you physically,
emotionally, or spiritually. They may seem like a
godsend, and they are! They are there for the reason
you need them to be.

Then, without any wrong doing on your part, or at an
inconvenient time, this person will say or do something
to bring the relationship to an end.

Sometimes they die.
Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.

What we must realize is that our need has been met, our
desire fulfilled, their work is done. The prayer you
sent up has been answered. And now it is time to move on.

When people come into your life for a SEASON . . .
Because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace, or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount
of joy. Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons; things
you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional
foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the
person, and put what you have learned to use in all
other relationships and areas of your life. It is said
that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant."

Author Unknown

I am sure these 2 beautiful souls are LIFETIME people - Joseph & Charlie, June 2009, Circular Quay, Sydney

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Believing in Angels

A childs face on the 4th of July
That black woman smiles, when she started to cry;
Believing in angels
I'm feeling undone, once again.

A rich man's dream
And a poor man's friend
We are all searching for true love
All in the end.

Believing is harder than you think it is
That's the truth.

It's the dream that we dream of
In everything we do.

It's the hope that we hope for
And God I hope it's true.

Broken wings and some broken dreams
Can keep me from seeing
What love has to bring.

So I am burning a candle right here in my heart

Joseph is my little angel here on earth - June 2009, Cromer

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Follow Your Dreams

"It's never too late to be what you might have been" - George Eliot

Here is a call to action. It has always been a reminder for me to keep on target and not lose sight of the big picture. I haven't always known where my target is or quite what the big picture encompasses. Often knowing what it isn't is enough. I clearly remember, many years ago, saying to my former husband with strong emotion, 'I don't want to do work in an office anymore being an accountant.'

'What do you want to do?' was his obvious reply.
'Something creative.'
'Like what?'
'I don't know.'
The shrug of his shoulders and bemused look, said it all.

The key to my future was that it needed to be something creative. I needed challenges - exciting challenges which would allow my creativity to bloom. I didn't realise the depth of my need at the time. When everything in my life completely changed five years later I embraced an entirely new career which has expanded and changed and creatively challenged me ever since. This blog is part of the rich tapestry of that challenge.

'It's never too late to be what you might have been' means for me, always being creative, and having variety with tasks. When familiarity and the world of the blasé strike, back I go into, 'How can I do this differently?'

The way I work my life is to have big goals and a big picture. How I will achieve my goals, I'm not quite certain - the secretaries of the sky can help me there. I do know, for me, the more I am in touch with the creative woman within, the happier I am.

Give it a go. Do some of those courses you have been putting off for years. Take up that hobby with enthusiasm. Look at your career and think clearly if it has all the elements in it to give you happiness. Some annoying elements you can live with. Being a square peg in a round hole, you must not tolerate!

What about the fear of giving away security? What about that? I know it is frightening. I have been there too. What I want for you is satisfaction and pleasure each day.

There is nothing more satisfying that knowing you are making a difference in the lives of others and knowing, as well, a feeling of confidence and self esteem.

There will be a way for you to have those feelings. Decide that's what you desire more than anything. Now, what are you prepared to do to make it happen?

Know that the very best for you will always come your way, if only you allow it to.

Follow your dreams.

This post was inspired by an email conversation I had with Lilly - visit her new blog Inspiration - she is very accurate in her description of it - 'Creativity, Design, Beauty, Art, Technique.'

In November 2006 I followed my dream and travelled to Rwanda to teach some orphans photography.