It was an interesting time when I was younger, coaching the young girls in badminton at the high school where my daughter attended. The highlight for me, not surprisingly the greatest time of growth for all of us there, was in response to a concept I outlined as a strategy to improve the game and competence each girl displayed. The strategy was simply; to listen to the sounds our feet make. Ideally I was talking about one’s own feet and recognising how this expressed the level of both confidence and skill which was being expressed as one played the game however, we had to start somewhere and my suggestions went in this order:

  • Listen to ‘my’ feet (as I play)
  • Listen to ‘their’ feet (as they play)
  • Listen to ‘your’ feet (as you play)

In the first two instances it was possible to listen and watch. This is more modal allowing for a more intense learning opportunity. The reactions to the idea met with some resistance and laughter and skepticism. But shortly thereafter, curiosity and wonder. And the results of our forays into this particular strategy opened minds, minimised limitations, and paved way for increasing agility and control.

Have you ever listened to the feet of an anxious person? They shuffle deliberately back and forth back and forth. My pod buddy questions how I know how she is feeling when I make comment about her angst without even looking up from my desk to see her. I tell her it’s in her feet but she doesn’t believe me. I must admit, to the uninitiated, it’s an odd concept.

We talk about assertiveness and where it lay roughly between what we might call aggression and non-assertiveness or passivity. Have you ever met someone who is overly and/or predominantly passive? Always on the back foot and ready to apologise in the next moment for anything and everything? Not to be confused with humility, it is instead, a lack of self-assurance. Have you ever listened to their feet? A passive person drags their feet moving almost reluctantly and certainly with over-caution as if they might interrupt someone or run into them or appear when they apparently shouldn’t.

Almost in-arguably, it lives in the realm of subconscious. Probably expected though, given that our body language sits same and that’s why lying is spotted most accurately through this communicative mode. I have in fact, listened to people walking almost without tell-tale signs navigating through their general day without challenge or fear only to hear them then, walk into a pod and approach someone for a conversation or request. That’s when the dragging begins! It’s amazing.

There are people who display general arrogance or express large egos by comparison at the other end of the proverbial scale. They tend to lean forward through fear and so, their feet sound heavy. Their feet are a little behind and they are constantly fighting their own balance therefore, have to plant their feet to establish a solid platform while leaning forward. You always hear these ‘big’ personalities coming (or leaving), and their feet rarely change sounds during any given life period. When these people are female they tend to wear the highest of high heels. Regardless of what appears to be a painful and difficult balance to onlookers, these heels maintain the awkward angle just enough so that the inward lean can be maintained without fear of submission (or surrender). It’s incredible! Interestingly, albeit with a smaller “footprint”, the high heels still express the characteristic plant!

Have a listen next time you get chance. I expect like me, you will find:

  • Most high heel wearers do not plant but swagger and maintain a relatively usual foot sound.
  • Most people do not shuffle
  • Most people change their foot ‘sound’ pending their feelings and or state of mind
  • Most people have no idea their feet ‘talk’
  • Challenging or ‘loud’ personalities have the distinctive ‘plant’ (and aren’t usually good listeners)

God moves in a mysterious way, his wonders to perform.

He plants his footsteps in the sea, and rides upon the storm

William Cowper

It’s not rocket-science though is it? When we consider the premise of NLP  (Neurolinguistic programming) and the characteristic studies over the years detailing revealing body language and predominant human traits, it makes sense every part of our body and our actions will reveal something about us. But learning can be even more fun, when we discover yet another fascinating aspect about how we act as people and in particular, checking it out against our fellow travelers just to be sure!

Certainly, I maintained a similar poise in my position as coach, “It’s not so silly, when you think about it” I stated. A great player leads and swoops. They can cover the court from ‘home base’ with no more than two steps sideways, forwards, or back. And their touch will be poetic – light, bouncy, and deliberately transitional. Compare this with either an amateur or a beginner and, through no lack of trying, they will sound heavy, complicated, confused, clumsy, and noisy all at once.  There will be many many steps and sometimes more than seems possible in the allocated space. There will be dragging sounds, and there will be squeals and scrapes. Perhaps in life too, you can learn a lot about a player and about playing, by closing your eyes, calming your mind and:

Hearing feet


Til next time






BrainyQuote, http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/footsteps.html#TjToUGV3xSMghLJQ.99




Tom Petty said it best didn’t he? With the heartbreakers and in the 1981 release ‘The Waiting’ where he sang:

The waiting is the hardest part. Every day you see one more card. You take it on faith, you take it to the heart. The waiting is the hardest part

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Because we live in the physical world, we are appropriately equipped to move through it and grow from the experience. Our equipment, is sensory perception. Anyone versed in spiritual explorations knows there is of course, much more to real life than what sensory perception allows us to experience however, for the sake of navigation in and through this here physical realm, it is more than adequate. Especially for the purposes of physical survival. Spiritual survival conversely, being irrelevant because there is no death in spirit, only experience and therefore, to varying degrees, growth in one way or another. So what’s the problem with sensory perception?

It does what it is supposed to do no doubt but, has its flaws in the context of us living as whole people. Yes, it has its flaws. And this is no more obvious than when we are creating. Creating in itself requires a particular level of ‘step back’, trust in the process, patience, faith if you want to call it that, calm as opposed to angst, and balanced focus, if it is to work – inline with natural flow – principles. Here’s a reminder of the process:

ONE: Self evaluate. Honestly appraise where you are right now, what you have and what you do not have, what you are happy with and what you are not happy with. There is no opinion or judgement in this process. It is instead done objectively without involvement and with a clear perspective.

TWO: Visualise and evaluate where you want to be right now (regardless that change takes time).  Getting involved this time is OK. FEEL what it is like to have the things you imagine are worth having. What is life like in your ‘new’ picture, how does it FEEL, how do the people in it act, what is happy about it?

The difference between one and two may be small or large but it is that difference which sets up tension in your life and while most people will respond by saying “why would I want to do that?”, all tension MUST resolve. It’s principle based. Tension MUST resolve either forward or backward, up or down, back to where it was so therefore, without tension or, into a new form and again therefore, without tension. Once the tension is generated, the only part of the process left is to support resolution in the direction you want.

THREE: ACT. That is take steps toward what it is you want, or want to achieve. Nothing could be simpler because every action begets a result. It may be one main action or it may be a series of actions but either way, once it is begun it is done. There is no ongoing need to think about what to do (even if actions continue) or to evaluate add infintum, or to worry, or change the process. It is done.

The opposite of talking isn’t listening. The opposite of talking is waiting

Fran Lebowitz

FOUR: Step back, do something differently – walk, eat, celebrate, visit old friends, sleep. In fact, deliberately walk away from the setting up and thinking about process. It is done. Now you want to act and act accordingly as per your own plan but allow the process to unfold naturally, or of its own accord and in its own time. It will manifest perfectly according to universal law. You may not be happy with how long it takes or the end result may not be perfectly aligned to what you THOUGHT you had imagined. It will none-the-less, manifest accordingly and, in the right place and in the right time (You can adjust the process and act again if you want to get closer to exactly what you want). All you have to do to support it once steps 1 – 3 are initiated, is trust in the process, get on with other aspects of life and, WAIT.

Time has a beautiful way of sifting the important from the fluff

Life Hack.

But this isn’t about sitting in a corner twiddling thumbs and staring at the wall. That is certainly a viable option given the benefits of regular mediation to both our physical and mental health, but not in this context however. The waiting we speak of here is necessary but only valuable, when the first three steps have been initiated. After all, we all know what happens when we sit around and wait aimlessly right? Things change yes, that’s inevitable, but who knows which way they will go? And it’s pretty certain they won’t be going in the way we want.

You have to act, you have to take part in life as it were, IF you want results which are inline with your wants and desires – Deliberate Living as Harry Palmer calls it. But acting constantly without break, evaluation, assessment, review, appreciation, and/or observation, gives rise to angst and does NOT, allow the proverbial space for things to unfold of their natural accord. It’s like resistance training. Through a slight increase in stimulation, you can encourage your muscles to respond. They will respond by growing stronger and more often than not, larger too. But if you stimulate them all the time and do not allow any time for them to actually do the growing – recover – they will in fact shrink and become overworked – weak – as will your physical and mental health.

No, balance as with anything in this life is essential. We are living in the physical realm but we are spiritual entities, so why isn’t it obvious that balance is key? Yes, we must act and we must do so in accordance with the universal laws if we want a life created primarily by us however, after we have done so, after we have acted out these planned strategies, then we must ensure the balance is maintained, then we must wait. And nothing worth having ever comes easy right? So we know, in advance, that even though the outcome will be well and truly worth it, the hardest part is and always will be:


Pleasant musings til next time



Wilson, Dianne, J, 10 reasons waiting is good for you, lifehack.org

Palmer, Harry, AVATAR, avatarepc.com

Fritz, Robert, robertfritz.com

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, 1981, THE WAITING, Sony/ATV music publishing, USA



Having been a mentor, inspirator, support worker, unofficial counsellor, personal trainer, coach (literally and life), manager, group motivator, team building specialist, and personal development worker for fifteen years plus, it is no wonder that sometimes I reflect on all I have done – the wins, the losses, the maybes. As in life, there is never only straight road. If there was we would be bored crazy, we wouldn’t grow through challenge and change, and we wouldn’t have any diversity in our experience. Living would instead become, existing. Aside of the fact that I might face the same challenges as many before me and, the same challenges that many are facing now, I am better equipped through experience, study, and practice than the average Jo to handle these turbulences. What sometimes drives the fear of exposure inside me, is that I am on show for all to see and judge. In other words, it’s one thing to encourage others through a particular space and learning, to impart so-called knowledge to them, and to philosophize in ways that effervesce wisdom, but it’s another to show the results.

The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively

Bob Marley

I absolutely must practice what I ask of other people, otherwise I consider myself a fraud and I will be held accountable for such things in one way or another. Nothing wrong with that, I subscribe to accountability. But I want to know I am an integral person and I want to know that what I impart is tried and tested, shared, validated, and therefore, of the most value to the most people at any given time. Not only must I practice these learnings but I must show the results from them. Otherwise, why would people believe me, why would they follow me, and why would they change their lives according to a theoretical perspective only? In order to build credibility you have to PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH. Ultimately, the person who anyone really wants to believe and follow, is the one who is getting the results we want. Talk is powerful but, actions speak louder than words. If they can share with us, how they are getting them, they then, will be PREACHING WHAT THEY PRACTICE.

Thinking will not overcome fear but action will

W.Clement Stone

How do I get to, or maintain this position myself? Not by sitting on the couch, no sir, but by taking action. And in doing so, subscribe to a few of my own key understandings. These are the learnings I often share:

  • I believe in principals
  • I say and act in congruence with my beliefs
  • I share but do not tell, deliver rather than teach
  • I retain a positive attitude in most instances and am almost always “up”, paradoxically I use my experiences of “down” to support me on this quest
  • I write, study, speak to others, and grow every single day in support of what I am doing and trying to understand better – building “real” knowledge to share
  • I share these experiences openly, even the not-so-successful ones, it solidifies my belief and honesty in the process

Though there are several past experiences to speak of, my current situation is a perfect example and currency always speaks the loudest. I am about to resign from a well-paid job. Presently I have no other job. I am about to sell my apartment. Presently I do not know if it will sell and I cannot pay the up and coming expenses if it does not. I am about to move states and do not know how I will afford or manage, the move (again). Although I have long distance support, on a practical level, I am alone (again). The uncertainty is far higher than the certainty in my life presently, and I am about to create more through these above-mentioned measures. The imbalance of certainties does not make for a pleasurable experience but it reminds me, that times like this require a wholesome subscription to what I call ‘truth statements’. Truth statements do not use opinion or guess work, rather they use principals and facts. They state the point concisely, without fluff or artistry. They are our rocks in shaky times. Here are some examples relative to my own current situation:

  • The current imbalance of uncertainty and certainty will soon change because everything changes
  • The current imbalance of uncertainty and certainty will soon change in my favour (toward what I want) because I have created deliberate tension and support purposeful resolution through the particular set of actions I am currently taking
  • I will be offered other work which will pay me what I need and satisfy my curiosity for a period of time thereafter
  • This experience is necessary, fearful and liberating all at the same time and it is the only way I can grow further and achieve necessary steps toward next level stuff – what I want my life to be

Our duty is to encourage every one in his struggle to live up to his own highest idea, and strive at the same time to make the ideal as near as possible to the Truth

Swami Vivekananda

Part of holding tension in order to manifest and in particular, through the challenging times (most crucial parts of the journey right before changes appear), is to rest ourselves against the unchangeable nature of principals. This can be achieved by discovering our own truth statements and applying them to our lives. It takes all the guesswork out, stops us playing with “what if?” ideas, pretending we know what’s going to happen next, and worrying about how long things are taking. In the end, all is as it should be whether we are comfortable with it or not. And in most cases we are not comfortable but of course, that means things are stirring under the ‘couch’ right?

And I am not comfortable in my current situation as things ‘heat up’ and as the climb gets steeper still. But that’s the beauty of sharing, because in writing about my experience right now, writing about the coming manifestations will make more sense and be easily contextual for readers when that time comes – it’ll make perfect sense. And then, and ultimately, I will be doing what I have proposed that I must, I will be:


Pleasant musings til next time.







It might seem odd, even contradictory that I of all people would send out an invite to come ‘down’? Of course this is assuming we define down as that which is opposite to up, dark as opposed to light, heavy as opposed to light, discomforting as opposed to content and maybe depressing as opposed to joyous and creative? And assuming that ‘up’ does not mean adrenaline-charged highs or drug-sustained stupors (lows) but rather deep fulfillment about being here in this experience? Then yes, that is in fact, how I am content to define it for the purposes of today’s writing. Because there is more than meets the eye, to these definitions and, as a favourite manager would reiterate often:

It’s all about context Johnny

So if we take these ‘down’ definitions and put them into a less isolated context what then happens? The concepts of holistic viewing or approaches has shown benefit to living over and over without question. And in areas such as self-care, various types of exercising, study programs and learning, life work balance – the big picture as it were. And so this is no different. In a world premised by paradox – duality – everything does and must have its opposite just to exist. Along with that comes an infinite number of you guessed it, shades of grey (more than fifty!). Now we can continue because expectantly, we will think differently now about this idea and topic. Bluntly stated:

without down, there can be no up

So, we need the downs? Yep. But of course, it’s not that simple is it? And it’s not so obvious either. When we work with energy both around us and within us, it never is. For example if we say well, “I have had one ‘up’ recently which was 8 on the proverbial 10 part scale, that “obviously” means I need a ‘down’ of equal measure otherwise I will not be a balanced individual right?” No, that’s too simple and without any lateral thinking involved. Paper-based at best. But it is none-the-less, in the ball park.

Primarily, the same considerations are at the forefront however, with less rigidity. Let me explain through some dot points before we open up the discussion.

  • Living a ‘high’ life needs ‘lows’ to be balanced and sustainable
  • While ‘downs’ are by nature, heavier and less joyous, they bring opportunity to live richer
  • The ‘ups’ are easy to experience – they are the ‘fruits’ of our labors
  • The ‘downs’ are instead, where we get to study, learn, work and grow
  • Neither ups nor downs are good or bad – rigid thinking does not apply
  • Both ups and downs are necessary to a fulfilling human experience

We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars

Oscar Wilde

Irrespective of the respect I hold for you, the reader, and whatever way you may choose to spend and experience your own ups and downs in this life, let us concentrate instead, on how we might manage, understand, and grow from the heavier weight of the darker downs when they occur and if we so choose. Because not only, do downs offer us unrepeatable opportunity to grow as people, they offer us unrepeatable opportunities to improve the ups too! And by improvement I mean both joy and frequency.

This is where the math tends to leave our limited thinking. When life is lived ‘in flow’ and therefore, mostly within an experience of attracting high energy and joyous experience, the need for intense and heavy lessons become less frequent. It doesn’t mean that we no longer need the ‘dark side’ to balance us, it means that over time we are learning from the dark, embracing it as part of us, assimilating it’s strength, and living as  a whole person at the other end of the spectrum. It is a little like visiting the dark spaces willingly and without fear, accepting the truths of the lessons, then taking it back with us when we return to the highs – this time as a more whole and balanced person.

It doesn’t come easily, it takes time, it takes practice. But over that time and with said practice, we can improve our understanding and openness to the opportunities which exist in the darker realms – we can increase our experience of joyous highs. Here is a series of questions which, again over time, will help raise your awareness so that when down times come, you will be more inclined to go about your explorations deliberately rather than automatically. This way we can become less attached to sensing loss of the up (when we are down) and the proverbial ‘failing’ to meet socially accepted norms – happiness all the time.

  • For what reason have I attracted this energy to me now?
  • What is going on around me that needs to desist or decrease?
  • What is my now plan for quiet periods to think and write, for quality nutrition, for walking, sleeping?
  • Do I need to talk with trusted people and who will I call and when?
  • Is this serious enough (dark/intense) to warrant a change in environment (break/holiday) to increase my clarity?
  • Are there other resources (books/sites/people) I can use to improve my rate of understanding?
  • In what way will I celebrate when I come ‘through’ this part of the journey?

Asking ourselves these questions first and foremost at the onset of such falling sensations – beginning downward, forces us to impart our mind with the most important idea of all:

Down and Dark is a necessary and opportunistic place to be, if we allow it

Here is a paragraph from an article I wrote in 2014 titles THE CARERS’ IRONY (actually purged from a self-care article I originally wrote for what causes mental illness dot com years earlier.:

“There’s an unwritten beauty in this thing we call self-care. We get to switch it on or off, up or down, according to our own expectations, emotional stability, motivation to do so, and physical health at any given time. Unlike many things in life, it is completely under our control. While this means ironically, that most people make poor choices looking after themselves, it is still empowering to know the consequences are ours to own. Personally, when I become concerned about potential fall-out from the weight of life’s challenges upon me, I increase my exercise, increase my meditation, increase my journaling regularity, sleep more, and I increase my intake of quality water and quality food, all in advance. Eloquently, this is congruent with the Zen adage to ‘bend like the willow not resist like the oak’ (in flow)”.

To think life is always up or that the proverbial picket fence never needs painting is indoctrination, nothing more. Magazines and media ad infinitum, combine to push us in certain directions which support greed, control, fear, and particular economic direction . But who can blame the bean counters after all, it’s what they do. But for you and I, we who want to experience the richness of a full life away and beyond tick box pragmatics, false smiles, and pretend food, there is so much more on offer. And it’s available to us all. As soon as we accept that life’s dark is necessary and beneficial, that the quality of life’s light is instead, a consequence of our forays into that dark and, that a rich life includes all shades, not just the popular colours of red, green, and blue, we too will begin to feel increased well-being, happiness, and content. We too, will openly and gladly say yes to:


Pleasant musings



Oscar Wilde Quote – http://www.buzzfeed.com/brettvergara/inspiring-quotes-to-help-you-live-your-best-life#.ssQrkm5gK




Just for fun, I decided to write this months’ blog – the whole blog (aside of this introduction of course), using lyrics from songs, some of my own, some of others. They are all referenced during the article. The topic of discussion, just in case it gets confusing, Is celebrating the potential for meaningful communication through music. In fact, imagine, no arguments, no resentment per se’, no yelling without verse, safe disclosure, and hear-felt sharing? It doesn’t sound like the usual communications we share in relations does it? Ok so here’s the story outline, It’s one you know well:


Sit back enjoy, if nothing else, it’ll raise an eyebrow, draw a smile, provoke some thought.


And we live in a beautiful world (yeah we do yeah we do), We live in a beautiful world

Beautiful World – Coldplay

“It’s a beautiful day
Sky falls, you feel like
It’s a beautiful day
Don’t let it get away”

Beautiful Day – U2


I fought all through the night. Oh, oh, but I made it alive. The sun’s starting to rise. Oh, oh, these are beautiful times

This fight of my life is so hard, so hard, so hard. But I’m gonna survive

Oh, oh, these are beautiful times

Beautiful Times – Owl City

Shiver with me in the cold of morn, comfort me and bathe me in your warmth. Hold me like you’ll never let me go, remind me that I am not alone

One Day Of Your Life – Johnny Mackay


I know it hurts, I know it’s bin so hard. I know it gets you down and the time it goes slowly past

I feel the sun is cold, nobody here can tell. I feel that your heart grows weak and the wishing has gone from the well

All of our pain will be shared and done. And you can shelter here little one

And we will cry,one tear at a time. One tear at a time

One Tear At A Time – Johnny Mackay

In the morning time, it doesn’t matter now. I’ll sleep in forever and ever, I guess you’ll find me somehow.

I can feel the dizziness, the confusion it’s comin’ on, behind my eyes I can feel the flies and I know it’s nearly done.

I just can’t do this I’m so lonely, all by myself it ain’t so homely.

I’ll fall away no one will miss me, just one last pill and that will fix me!

One Last Pill – Johnny Mackay


When I met you, selling pies, In a little shopping hide,

you came up closer I knew it then, you’d be my partner in dance and song

The Lover’s Waltz – Johnny Mackay

I would dive the deepest sea to find the brightest pearl, make a necklace for you that would brighten up your world.

And I would tame a whale’s ride, just for you

I would walk the fire rocks but I would feel no pain, I’d only feel your lovin’ and could only hear your name.

And I would tame the clouds of time, just for you

Just For You – Johnny Mackay


My shoelaces are undone, they will trip me up I will fall down.

And the spinach in my teeth looks bad, if life is so good why am I so sad?

Cause sleeping in all day is meant for losers.

But she loves me anyway, the way I am on any given day and that’s all that matters to me perse’.

She loves me, loves me anyway

Anyway – Johnny Mackay

Oh, it’s such a perfect day, I’m glad I spend it with you. Oh, such a perfect day

You just keep me hanging on, You just keep me hanging on

Perfect Day – Lou Reed

My scotch is there I see, you light a cigarette for me, I pull my chair and I settle in

Like a little boy, I feel so full of joy, you let me be the one I am

Judge Me Not – Johnny Mackay


Your eyes sparkle, under these city stars, I’m sorry I didn’t tell you before we fell apart, before we fell apart

Last September Moon – Johnny Mackay

When I look at you, In the morning time. Hold you in my arms, know that you are mine

There aint no easy way, to say what I gotta say

I’m leaving, babe I’m leaving. I’m leaving you, babe I’m leaving

When I watch you, while you’re sleepin’, I’m quite as a mouse, and already grieving

But there ain’t no easy way, to say what I gotta say

I’m leaving, babe I’m leaving. I’m leaving you, babe I’m leaving

I’m Leaving – Johnny Mackay

I remember waiting in the dark, but you never came. I remember begging for your love but you showed no shame.

I remember asking you to hold me, but you turned away, and I remember pledging you my love, but you never stayed

and now  …

I’m Not Waiting – Johnny Mackay


I never knew what love was, until love was turned around. I never knew that all you wanted, was for me to be found.

Now I am your servant, and you are mine. When I’m lost in the dark of night, you’ll be my safety line and I will,

weather you, beautiful storm, run me over break me down, rip me up so torn but I will,

weather you, beautiful storm, I’ll carry all the doubt you leave me on my back and more, weather you …


It’s in the way you look, it’s in the way you love

And I can see that this is real

It’s in the way you talk, it’s in the way you touch

And I can see

This is real, real, real, real love. This is real, real, real, real love

You give me that feeling, you give me that feeling. You give me that, you give me real love

You give me that feeling, you give me that feeling. You give me that, you give me real love

Real Love – Clean Bandit & Jess Glynne

You are the answer to my lonely prayer. You are an angel from above

I was so lonely till you came to me. With the wonder of your love

I don’t know how I ever lived before. You are my life, my destiny

Oh my darling, I love you so. You mean everything to me

You Mean Everything To Me – Neil Sedaka

When you’re needing to keep on sleeping, I will tiptoe without making a sound.

But I might kiss you where your face meets the pillow, you just need to be around, I just love you, being around

SONG4KATE – Johnny Mackay


You never know what you’ve done for me, what your faith in me has done for my soul

You’ll never know the gift you’ve given me, I’ll carry it with me yeah yeah

Through the days ahead I’ll think of days before

And you make me hope for something better and made me reach for something more

You taught me to run you taught me to fly, helped me to free the me inside

Helped me hear the music of my heart, helped me hear the music of my heart

You Taught Me To – Justin Timberlake

You are the love of my life, I knew it right from the start. The moment I looked at you, you found a place in my heart

You are the love of my life. You give me reason to live. You taught me how to be strong. With you is where I belong

Love Of My Life – George Benson


You just call out my name, and you know wherever I am, I’ll come running to see you again

Winter, spring, summer or fall, all you got to do is call, and I’ll be there yes I will

You’ve got a friend

Carole King

I see trees of green, red roses too. I see them bloom for me and you, and I think to myself what a wonderful world.

I see skies of blue and clouds of white, the bright blessed day, the dark sacred night,

and I think to myself what a wonderful world.

The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky, are also on the faces of people going by.

I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do, but they’re really saying I love you.

I hear baby’s crying and I watched them grow, they’ll learn much more than I’ll ever know

And I think to myself what a wonderful world. Yes, I think to myself what a wonderful world

Until next time – Pleasant musings





While there may be no silly questions, no wrong times to ask them, there is it seems, an inappropriate time with which to make detailed reflective assessments about ourselves. When assessing such aspects of our own experience like mood, general wellbeing, happiness, progress, future prospects, relations, fulfilment, and worth, a certain base state is required. Unless we are well, content, of clear mind and ego free at the time, we are infact biased against accuracy from the word go. It is imperative, given our nature as humans and the way we navigate the human condition, that we make our assessments during the right ‘assessing times’ and when we are experiencing anything other or less than, we can instead, postpone anything seriously reflective until another time.

The problem is not only that we may be in a bad mood – it is also that we have gotten into the unfortunate habit of constantly checking in with ourselves to see what mood we’re in. Am I down? Am I very down? Am I down again? Am I down because I’m down? Hamlet pestered himself with the question, ‘to be or not to be?’ and rendered himself limp and indecisive. We pester ourselves with the question, Am I depressed or am I not depressed? And fail to realise that this very checking in on our mood is a choice – and an unnecessary and unfortunate one

Eric Maisel

So we can check in all we like. In fact we have to if we want to master self-work in the course of this life-time however, checking in and making assessments about anything self-reflective, must be done at a time when we are ready to do so. If we ignore these considerations we will, as Maisel suggests, through our insistent and perhaps obsessive self-evaluations, reinforce our own negative viewpoints having coloured the assessments before we made them. The impact of this practice although I use the word “practice” lightly, could be catastrophic and certainly, restrictive at best. How can we grow from our own courageous efforts, wonderful achievements, and self-work when all we do is concrete our dark beliefs about everything by questioning ourselves when we already feel sub par?

Assuming you are, as you read these lines, in relatively good positive space ask yourself how incredible you really are following some of these outlines about you and your life:

  • What makes me happy over the long term (remember happiness is a journey)
  • What makes people feel good about me?
  • What makes me feel good about myself?
  • What makes me creative, funny, and a good person to be around?
  • What are those dreams I’ve always had?
  • What is my favourite colour and why?
  • Which foods make me feel best inside
  • What time of day do I feel the most focussed and clear?
  • What is my greatest strength?
  • What do I like about myself?
  • Which piece of clothing is my favourite and why?
  • Which shop is my favourite?
  • Where did I love to go once?
  • Where would I like to go next time?
  • Who would be the first person I will hug today?


Simple questions aren’t they? Can you answer them all? They are so important in the scheme of things. In the scheme of you and how important you are in your own domain/cirlces and to the people that share them. But ask these questions when you are ‘down’ or tired, or with a hangover or after an argument or dismissal or in poor health and what do you think the answers will be? More importantly, how different would they be from those established in a moment of silence and quiet reflection?

Your days are short here; this is the last of your springs. And now in the serenity and quiet of this lovely place, touch the depths of truth, feel the hem of Heaven. You will go away with old, good friends. And don’t forget when you leave why you came

Adlai E. Stevenson

So the next time, and there will be one, you feel down, sad, upset, tired, confused, acknowledge that is how you feel and be done with it. It won’t make it fun to experience, it won’t make the experience any shorter, but it allows you to name it and let the feelings take their course. Don’t forget the questions could be conciously asked but more often than not, we are asking them subconciously and at a fair clip – checking in constantly without being aware of it. Because of this, what we don’t want to do is ask these important refelective questions checking in on our progress or worth at any time less than feeling in good space, content, loved. These questions subconsciously or otherwise are far too crucial in the lives we live to allow them an inappropriate space for consideration. This is and always will be, something far better done


Gotta be worth thinking about because you, and I, and all of us, are truly worth the effort


Pleasant musings



Maisel, 2012, Rethinking Depression: How to Shed Mental Health Labels and Create Personal Meaning, New World Library, California




It’s funny to even think of black as a colour for some people. And I reckon that might be fair. After-all, in the visible spectrum, it represents an opposition to white light which combines all frequencies and therefore all colours of that range. Black is in fact, an absence of them all. So it logically removes itself from being a colour at all, doesn’t it? But given we have spoken before, regarding perceptions and reality, what is it that black actually pertains to in our hearts and minds – what and how we associate the colour to mean in our lives and for our selves? What affects does it have upon our psyche in relation to colour psychology and, as importantly, why do some of us wear it almost exclusively?

Ah, I’d love to wear a rainbow every day, And tell the world that everything’s OK, But I’ll try to carry off a little darkness on my back, ‘Till things are brighter, I’m the Man In Black.

Johnny Cash

And it won’t come as a surprise then, that most beanies are black, most hoodies are black, that teenagers dress in black more often than other colours? But this ‘colour of all colours’ can be used to cover much more than the obvious right? Funerals are almost always associated with black as are nightmares, horror films, mystery, and emptyness.

Considering the fundamental understandings afforded us through N.L.P (nuero-linguistic programming) we begin to comprehend the magnitude of correlation between external and internal. For example how we walk affects how we feel, but how we feel can affect how we walk. What we wear can affect how we feel and without doubt (we see it all the time), when people are feeling heavy, anxious, fearful, lacking in esteem or confidence, dark, depressive, suicidal, or exhausted, they will more often than not, choose dark colours to wear – usually black. But just because our associations or, indoctrinations as Harry Palmer would call them, are strongly implying that black is a reflection of all of these things including confusion, heavy emotion, and an inability to face the world, it doesn’t have to be.

Black is the end, but the end always implies a new beginning. When the light appears, black becomes white, the color of new beginnings

Judith Collins

Death to the old, life to the new? A rebirth of sorts? And that being the case, who wouldn’t want a rebirth “of sorts”? Most people (granted not all) would be happy with a wash or cleanse as it were, of the proverbial pressures and baggage accumulated over a lifetime of learning so far. Emptying the vacuum cleaner allowing it to restart and perform at it’s best, cleaning the blackboard off having absorbed all of its contents and rendering them no longer necessary making space with a wipe clean therefore, for more thoughts and experiences to come. And if this is it, the power that black can and does hold for us, and how we use it becomes more important than just using it alone.

It creates a barrier between itself and the outside world, providing comfort while protecting its emotions and feelings, and hiding its vulnerabilities, insecurities and lack of self confidence

Judith Collins

We all use black at various times to hide from the world around us in one way or another. Some of us use it to hide our weight; others among us use it to hide our feelings, our fears or our insecurities


Would it be worthy of consideration? – In the right time and place?
I am often surprised by peoples’ reactions to my own attire when, without conscious awareness, I have donned a coloured shirt or top, and receive comments that I have rarely if at all, been seen out of black. So bringing my attention to the now as it were helps. It allows me to explore why this is the case, why I am more often than not, drawn to black but more importantly than that, it allows me to explore what I need to go through in order that black has been used to its fullest extent. I can assess where I am at with my journey through the black and how I might begin to utilise the cleanse as it were – rewriting the verse or, starting the next chapter in this unfolding I call my life. This way, I have no quarms about black itself and in fact, acknowledge and celebrate the wonderous nature it affords us both in our now moments, and in what is to come through growth and change.

All successful ritual contains first, a death of the old. Without this, no implying of the ‘new’ can take place. We must take ourselves as we are, for all the hurt and challenge we have experienced to this point. We must acknowledge it, thank it, know that it was necessary. And then we must lose it having benefitted from the experience and rendering these aspects no longer necessary within us. Shedding of the proverbial skin or baggage occurs, most successfully without interference, without interuption, without distraction, and in our own silences. Sounds like black to me?

I fell in love with black, it contained all colour. It wasn’t a negation of colour … Black is the most aristocratic color of all … You can be quiet, and it contains the whole thing

Louise Nevelson

Perhaps some of us would agree after all, where are the confusing hues? The abberations? The flare? Or the dispersions of other colours when we observe? Black is black, it is pure and honest, no need for judgement or analysis, it doesn’t come to us with any level of pretense, it is what it is – simple and plain yet, extraordinarily strong.
And besides, when it happens, I can’t help but feel refreshed when I do wear a splash or more of colour. Of course it’s because I know I will surprise the people around me. It is also because I will know I have progressed and am growing along my human need to expand. But something else too, I will also be aware that my own perceptions and those around me, by similarly acknowledging and appreciating the colour when it does come, will ready ourselves for even more appreciation of contrast which will no doubt re-occur in the future. This will be when I am in need of more ‘step-back’, more cleansing, more assessment and growth. And all of that will become blatantly, and welcomly, obvious when I am again, donned in:



Pleasant musings as always




Colins, Judith, D, THE COLOR OF BLACK, http://www.judithdcollins.com/#!color-black-/c1z9k

THE COLOR BLACK, http://www.empower-yourself-with-color-psychology.com/color-black.html

Nevelson, Louise, http://www.sensationalcolor.com

Palmer, Harry, http://www.avatarepc.com