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Ways to Reduce Stress

Tell a friend you have taken up bead meditation and said ‘friend’ may suddenly look askance, thinking you have gone ‘weird. ‘ But being in touch with your inner ‘flower child,’ can have untold benefits in combating  stress and potentially improving daily life, memory, concentration and overall well-being.

I was introduced to bead meditation some years via after my yoga class, and have to say that I experienced many benefits of a daily five-minute practice. But lately, I have been too busy, too rushed to continue my practice. And now, as I face a stressful time in my life, I have once again turned to Bead meditation.

The practice can be done anyway and or anytime, as long as you can do it uninterrupted. Carry the beads in your bag and you can practise in those few minutes of down time, where you might be ordinarily checking social media on your phone, or whilst waiting in the car for someone, waiting for a bus/train, last thing before bed, even in the loo! For me, it seems to work best first thing in the morning, when I know that I should get up soon, but don’t want to, just yet.

meditation

Benefits I have enjoyed from Bead Meditation

  • Sense of Calm
  • Less anxiety
  • More control in crisis or stressful situations
  • Lower Blood pressure
  • More sustained attention span and improvement in effortless single focus concentration
  • Relaxed start to the day
  • Distractions from run-away thoughts or self-destructive negative thinking
  • Increased sense of compassion and empathy
  • Increased energy levels
  • Improved sense of well-being & self-esteem

The secret seems to be in keeping the mind busy on a single activity, and in doing so, worry and stress can not seep into your consciousness.  The mind will try to wander and intrusive thoughts will tug at you, and  if this happens, gently bring it back to the task at hand (sorry no pun intended there) Do this as often as you need.

“The mind is harder to control than the wind”, it was said. So now, not only can the mind be quieted by having something to do, the movement of your fingers on the beads, gives the body something to do and allows the body to feel more content and relaxed.

Prayer beads have a similar purpose, however this is more to do with religious devotion and counting prayers, which is not within my realm to recommend or discuss here. Rather than focusing on spiritual growth, secular meditation techniques such as this, emphasizes stress reduction, relaxation and self-improvement.

Wiki tells us, “Most of the ancient religions of the world have a tradition of using some type of prayer beads as tools in devotional meditation.[125][126][127] Most prayer beads and Christian rosaries consist of pearls or beads linked together by a thread.[125][126] The Roman Catholic rosary is a string of beads containing five sets with ten small beads. Each set of ten is separated by another bead. The Hindu japa mala has 108 beads, as well as those used in Jainism and Buddhist prayer beads.[128] Each bead is counted once as a person recites a mantra until the person has gone all the way around the mala, which is counted as 100, with an extra 8 there to compensate for missed beads.[128] The Muslim mishbaha has 99 beads. Specific meditations of each religion may be different.”

schnauzer at beach

Method

Start with the head bead ( the one that is large and different) and start chanting a mantra of choice ( samples shown below), and with each repetition, move your fingers along to the next bead, and repeat, until you are completely round the circle. If you have time, reverse and do the same back to the head bead again. This depends on how quickly or how slowly you chant the mantra. Choose a mantra that speaks to you.

You only have to say the mantra loud enough for you to hear. It is not necessary to sing it, or say it loudly. Don’t worry so much about your breathing technique; it is not so important in this form of meditation.

Mantras

The eternal wisdom contained in the yoga texts explains that a ‘mantra’ is a spiritual sound vibration that purifies one’s consciousness and brings about ever-increasing spiritual insight and happiness. When performed as a group, you can really feel that vibration!!

  • Gauranga
  • Nityananda
  • Om Hari Om
  • Gopala
  • Govinda
  • Chaitanya Nityananda Gaurhari
  • Gopala Govinda Rama Madana Mohana
  • Haribol Nitagaur Nitaigaur Haribol
  • Madana Mohana Murari
  • Haribol Haribol Haribol
waterlilly - Copy

The following passage, from Wiki illuminates the scientific basis for claiming health benefits of meditation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meditation

Scientific Evidence to Support Benefits

 A study of college students by Oman et al. (2008) found that meditation may produce physiological benefits by changing neurological processes. This finding was supported by an expert panel at the National Institutes of Health. The practice of meditation has also been linked with various favourable outcomes that include: “effective functioning, including academic performance, concentration, perceptual sensitivity, reaction time, memory, self-control, empathy, and self-esteem.”(Oman et al., 2008, pg. 570) In their evaluation of the effects of two meditation-based programs they were able to conclude that meditating had stress reducing effects and cogitation, and also increased forgiveness. (Oman et al., 2008)

Li Chuan Chu (2009), found that meditation enhances overall psychological health and preserves a positive attitude towards stress. (Chu, 2009)

Mindfulness Meditation has now entered the health care domain because of evidence suggesting a positive correlation between the practice and emotional and physical health.

Examples of such benefits include: reduction in stress, anxiety, depression, headaches, pain, elevated blood pressure, etc. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts found that those who meditated approximately half an hour per day during an eight week period reported that at the end of the period, they were better able to act in a state of awareness and observation. Respondents also said they felt non-judgmental. (Harvard’s Women’s Health Watch, 2011)

“Meditation as Medicine” (American Academy of Neurology) [150] cites scientific evidence from various studies which claim that meditation can increase attention span, sharpen focus, improve memory, and dull the perception of pain.

A review of scientific studies identified relaxation, concentration, an altered state of awareness, a suspension of logical thought and the maintenance of a self-observing attitude as the behavioral components of meditation;[67] it is accompanied by a host of biochemical and physical changes in the body that alter metabolism, heart rate, respiration, blood pressure and brain activation.[46][152]

Meditation has been used in clinical settings as a method of stress and pain reduction. Meditation has also been studied specifically for its effects on stress.

Some people feel meditation is an alien concept and take it like they would a bitter pill, while others embrace it wholeheartedly. Are they the less stressed?

It will be something I shall ponder about what you make of it.

near roros P1000751
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Proverbial Friday – Global Wisdom

Proverbs and sayings offer up wise words from all corners of the world.  Best savoured a little at a time, these sayings are passed down from generation to generation. Each Friday, I post a saying, or proverb and a quote that I find thought-provoking. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Each Friday, I post a Proverb or Saying and a Quote that I find thought-provoking. 

I hope you think so too.

Continuing with the theme of ‘love,’ and ‘marriage, we have a somewhat reassuring proverb from the landlocked country of Burundi.

moon

 

Where there is love, there is no darkness –

 (Burundian proverb)

 

shadow

 

It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriage –

Friedrich Nietzsche.

 

shadow

Do you agree with Nietzsche?

He is often controversial, often provocative.

Do you think this was his intention to be controversial in saying this?

After all, he had fairly fixed opinions of marriage, viewing it as a potentially lengthy conversation, in this quote:

“When marrying you should ask yourself this question: do you believe you are going to enjoy talking with this woman into your old age? Everything else in a marriage is transitory, but most of the time that you’re together will be devoted to conversation.”

 

flower

 

Proverbial Friday – Always Something to Ponder more About

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Pelican Poetry

pelicans 20160130_141334

 

Pelican’s Morning

Flapping and fluttering of feathery wings.
Winging their way, on fluffy fantastic down,
Down on the lake they begin to preen,
Preen in the reflected face of the shimmering water
Water is their life, their food, their all,
All of them, families young and old preening and feeding together,
Together they fish, float, flap, flurry and flounder on the rocks they call home.

 

 

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Something to Ponder About

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Proverbial Friday –

PHOTO_20140426_162615

Proverbs and sayings often provide us with wise words from all corners of the world.  Best savoured a little at a time, these sayings are passed down from generation to generation. Each Friday, I post a saying, or proverb and a quote that I find thought-provoking. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Each Friday, I post a Proverb or Saying and a Quote that I find thought-provoking. 

I hope you think so too.

Hearts on waterfeature (Small)

 

Continuing our theme of love this week, a wonderful quote from a very inspirational speaker says much in its words: –

 

“I have decided to stick with Love.
Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

~ Martin Luther King Jr

 

When we hate others we are really saying to ourselves that we are okay and others are not and we allow ourselves to blame others. It is your fault! Either way hating someone else makes us feel lousy and the following proverb alludes to this:

 

Do not wrong or hate your neighbor for it is not he that you wrong but yourself –

Native American Proverb (Pima)

 

 

shadows

 

A sobering thought this Thursday at Something To Ponder About

 

 

Beach Wedding
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Proverbial Friday – Love and Equality

Proverbs and sayings provide us with wise words from all corners of the world. Best savoured a little at a time, these sayings have been passed down from generation to generation. Each Thursday, I post a saying, or proverb and a quote that I find thought-provoking. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Each Friday, I post a Proverb or Saying and a Quote that I find thought-provoking.

I hope you think so too.

shadows

This has been a momentous week in Australian politics. About much debate and anguish, words of love and hatred, legislation has passed the Senate that will allow same-sex couples to marry.

We are perhaps behind much of the world in this respect, however, we have negotiated a long, arduous, divisive, and hate filled campaign in order to reach this point. As the bill was debated in the parliament, a traditionally conservative Senator voiced these words which synchronize with this week’s theme.

“How you love is how God made you. Whom you love is for you to decide and others to respect.” Senator George Brandis –

Australian Senate 28 Nov 2017

prov thurs

Hatred can so often be destructive of relationships, people and things. How can we get past hatred?

Albert Camus has these illuminating words: –

“In the midst of hate, I found there was in me, an invincible love. In the midst of tears, I found there was within me, an invincible calm. I realized that throughout it all, that…In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.”

-Albert Camus

contrast gradtintcropped18dec

Peace of mind can be achieved by a change in one’s attitude.

Do you agree?

What do you make of Camus’ words?

Join in the discussion this Thursday at Something To Ponder About

seeing
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Proverbial Thursday – Global Wisdom

Proverbs and sayings often provide us with wise words from all corners of the world.  Best savoured a little at a time, these sayings are passed down from generation to generation. Each Thursday, I post a saying, or proverb and a quote that I find thought-provoking. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

 

There can be no peace without understanding. (Senegalese Proverb)

phone

 

 

This week I have been pondering Forgiveness. Gandhi is quoted as saying:

 

 

“The Weak can never forgive.

Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong.”

 

 

Do you agree with this statement?

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In today’s world and political climate, some people see those who seek retribution as showing strength? But is it based on strength, fear or even hatred? When I was contemplating this, if was as if Gandhi answered my question himself, as the next thing I read was this:

 

An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind.

Mahatma Gandhi

eye

 

 

 

What do you make of the above quotes and proverbs? They provided some clarity for me, in my head space.

What do they say to you?

Please join in the discussion by leaving a comment below.

porch in Sweden

 

Proverbial Thursday – Always Something to Ponder About

 

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Proverbial Thursday – Global Wisdom

Proverbial thursdfly sml 3932

Proverbs and sayings often provide us with wise words from all corners of the world.  Best savoured a little at a time, these sayings are passed down from generation to generation. Each Thursday, I post a saying, or proverb and a quote that I find thought-provoking. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

 

The theme of this week’s wisdom is kindness.

“The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm”

– Swedish Proverb

You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late

 -Ralph Waldo Emerson

[Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet who led the transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century- Wiki.]

My Yoga teacher used to say that,

“Smiling was an art that comes from the heart and should be practised all the time.”

The kindest people I have met have had the loveliest, most genuine smiles. The heart may be the centre of love, but the smile is the centre of kindness!

Life may buffet and bruise us and although we put on a brave front, life experience and  hard knocks are indelibly etched on our faces, and especially on our smiles.

If someone can’t find a smile, give them one of yours. Light up their day!

 

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.

Kindness costs nothing, yet can make a world of difference.

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible!”  -Dalai Lama

 

The Swedish proverb seems to both reinforce and contradict this advice.

What do you think?

Join in the discussion by leaving a comment below.

 

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Proverbial Thursdays at Something to Ponder About

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My Frozen places

Take a tour with me –

 

Iceland – the ultimate Frozen landscapeIceland Thingvellir

 

A snow bunny in the frozen Norwegian countrysideOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Delicate frozen-ness atop the Swiss Alpssnow

 

Icy vastness in the Antipodes of New Zealandsnow

 

Even in Australia, one can find frozen Gum treessnowgums falls cree 2011

 

The snow was icy and ‘sharp’ this day. If you fell skiing, it really hurt!Beitostolen

 

A face that could freeze hearts!

snow

 

Linking to the Travel theme: Frozen

 

friends
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Proverbial Thursday

Proverbs and sayings often provide us with wise words from all corners of the world.  Best savoured a little at a time, these sayings are passed down from generation to generation. Each Thursday, I post a saying, or proverb and a quote that I find thought-provoking.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Roses

The quotes and proverbs I have chosen this week, relate to friendship.

That eternal concept that occupies much of our daily thoughts.

My daughter is having a crisis of sorts in her friendship group.

It is often complicated navigating adolescence with teenage girls.

 

 

The friends of our friends are our friends –

-Congolese Proverb

 

and this:

Promises may get friends, but ’tis performances that keep them –

Plutarch

(Thanks to the blogger Peggy for the book from which the quote came).

 

Friends come and go frequently in our life. They are often themed around where we live, what we do, hobbies and interests.

Sometimes friends can be unhelpful or hurtful leading one down a dangerous path. 

Fair weather friends are hard to understand.

Moreover, though, friendship is a beneficial experience.

Friends can help a person cope with extraordinary struggle and pain with a simple hug or a welcoming smile.

Friends reflect back society’s attitudes in a softer way, guiding us to where we have gone wrong.

Friends might let one down, but also reassure, entertain and teach.

Friends may live close by or far away..

Friends care.

Friends through Art

 

Why do we feel so heartbroken when a friendship collapses? Commonly, another friend may soon enters one’s life, and when this happens, we then have a wonderful opportunity to meet someone different. Someone with new perspectives and values.

Why, then, is it so hurtful to lose a friend?

What do you make of the proverb and quote for this week?

Join in the discussion by leaving a comment.

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Proverbial Thursday

Something to Ponder About

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Proverbial Thursday – Global Wisdoms

I find there to be profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader. Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and from across cultures. They speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned. Quotes, like proverbs, make us think more deeply about something.

Each Thursday, I post a Proverb or Saying and a Quote that I find thought-provoking. 

I hope you think so too.

This week, I present several quotes that are interconnected.

 

proverbial thursday

“Only when we fully embrace change, can you find the good in it.”

Dr Travis Bradbury

 

Stradbroke Island

“You do the thing you’re scared shit-less of and then you get your courage. Not before.

That’s the way it works” – [from The Three Kings]

 

Does courage really come secondary to actions? I feel one must have courage and fortitude to initiate a dangerous manoeuvre, to ignore and override those instincts of self-preservation.

What do you think?

 

But then, there is this:

“We cling to the views that are familiar to us” – unknown

 

 

Why do we cling to the familiar?

Because familiar viewpoints make us feel safe and more predictable?

Is our perspective of actions, a kind of spectrum, wherein at one end, we would sit within a bubble, or a cocoon, safe and never stretching ourselves, and the other, indulge in highly dangerous and risk taking behaviour, stepping completely out of our comfort zone? Some risk takers say that is when they feel most alive?

How do we achieve the middle ground? Is that where we would feel most satisfied and most alive, without dancing with death? 

 

The final word comes from Anais Nin: –

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”

 

artsy photo

 

 

I would love to hear your thoughts on courage. Join in the discussion by leaving a comment.

 

Proverbial Thursday – Something to Ponder About

 

 

 

beach storm
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I Grew Up, but Never Forgot the Summers of the Sixties

Mostly, one’s earliest memories lie dormant in the back of the brain, rising to the surface when a lucid dream, a particular smell, or thought, dredges out a memorable or perhaps, traumatic, childhood event.

So when fellow blogger, “Snow,” wrote about her experiences growing up, it was my Arnold Schwarzenegger, “Total Recall” moment: solid and colourful memories, with all the accompanying regrets, long forgotten smiles and laughs, came flooding back to me. Especially so, the memories of those long, balmy summer days were all there in my mind. And most surprising of all, these memories had been triggered after reading a blog entry, from the far end of the world. But why??

The blogger from TheSnowMeltsSomewhere lives in Finland, a snow laden, Arctic place, thousand of miles from my own childhood home. Yet, we discovered that through one of her posts, that our formative years were spent, not just in the SAME country, but in the very SAME city, and almost, around the SAME time!

surprise
Surprise!

Years later, our paths crossed again in the blogging world! Serendipity? Fate? Whatever! Sharing memories of our childhoods is a great way of creating our own histories, and allows others to have an insight into what life was like –  “back in the day.”

Painted Traffic light control boxes

Summer in the 60’s was so carefree

School Holidays

Australia has its long school holidays at Christmas time – because, of course, it is summertime then. In the sub-tropical part of the planet, summertime means thunderstorms, of the torrential kind. Uncannily, nature always seemed to time the heavens to open, over MY school, at 3 pm – the exact time when classes finished for the day!

This meant my walk home, (yes, everyone walked to, and from, school every day), meant that within 10 seconds, of being in the rain, my body would be soaked through. An umbrella or raincoat was next to useless, as the wind accompanying the storm, would blow the torrent, side and every which way, ensuring the body could not escape full saturation! But I survived, (which is perfectly obvious as I wouldn’t be writing this, if I didn’t), and the storm always meant a cooler evening and relief from the heat!

A good thing, indeed.

The Australian Summer, felt almost endless – school was closed for 6 weeks and it seemed like an eternity, for the first week or so. Many of the families I knew, either owned, or rented, a small beach house at the Gold/Sunshine coast, for the summer period and sometimes, I was invited to go along. I would always return home as red as a lobster, from long hours of exposure outdoors [read: we called it sun-baking]. Swimming costumes were the obligatory uniform of the day for children! Over the next week or so, my newly acquired “suntan” would disappear, as the sunburnt layer slowly peeled off, revealing pink fresh skin, underneath.

The beach houses were quite basic, inexpensively built and often smelt slightly of must/mould, no doubt from being closed up for long periods of time.  Kids were left free to wander the street and go swimming anytime they liked. I would often see kids of 5 years upwards, dragging their inflatable ‘surf mat’ behind them, to the beach. This was a kind of inflatable forerunner to the modern boogie board.  There was, of course, no shark nets, to protect swimmers from Great Whites, at the beach in those days either! I don’t even remember sticking to the “swim between the flags” rule! We knew that we should stick to that rule, but couldn’t be bothered to do so.

We thought we were invincible.

To think that children wandered the streets and beaches, mostly unsupervised might be tantamount to negligence today, but this was perfectly acceptable behaviour for the time.

STradbroke Island
Adder Rock beach

If you weren’t lucky enough to have a family beach house, or the weather wasn’t great, children would create their own fun playing cards –  ‘UNO,’ Switch, 21 or Snap or, if one was feeling particularly mean: “56 pick up.” Did you play that one? Board games like Twister, Monopoly or Scrabble were also popular, but much more fun with a group.

Like other kids, I’d often walk to the public park, possessing as it did, a motley, weather-beaten assortment of arm-breaking, metal and wooden, ‘play’ equipment. There was the mandatory See-saw, the potentially leg-breaking, always dizzying, spinning Round -a-bout, but my favourite was the red-hot, all-metal Slippery Slide, rusted and polished smooth by the many children who, just like me, scorched their bare legs and behinds, sliding down the metal surface on 30+ degree summer days.

These were the glorious pre-plastic days, after all!

Early instrument of torture in Playgrounds during the 60’s

Cubby Houses

As children, we never knew anything as technologically advanced as an ipad, Game-boy or x-box; so we had oodles of time to play with the things we found around us, in our world. With my brother, I’d build go -carts or “cubby” houses. I use the term “house” very loosely. Not having the resources to purchase a finished piece of wood from a Bunnings/local hardware store, children of the sixties and seventies, scavenged  instead for remnant pieces of wooden fruit packing cases, sourced from a pile of rubbish, behind the local fruit shop.  This wood was roughly sawn and full of splinters, and  might be nailed haphazardly together in some kind of semi- triangular shape, in the fork of a tree. We’d consider that project:- done! Cubby house walls were always optional extras!

What I always wanted my Cubby house to resemble..
What my Cubby house was like..   Nothing like the luxurious constructions seen in a Millenial’s backyard.

I always had grand designs in my head for a luxurious  ‘Bridge to Terabithia’ type of Cubby house, but I soon discovered that life isn’t like the movies. Our “Cubbies” turned out to be more like a workplace health and safety nightmare, resulting as they sometimes did, in broken arms. Falls from trees were a fairly frequent occurrence amongst the neighbourhood kids. Again, how did any of us not fall twenty feet to the ground and break our neck? Or drown rafting in a flooded creek?

Raft making in the 60’s with bits of tin in the flooded creek

We loved to explore the suburban wilds – intent on any adventure. It was not unusual to ride a bike for many kilometres into the surrounding rural farming area, just to see what was there, or, make rafts out of washed up walls of a Council work shed, or to swim where ever a body of water was found.

Swimming Pools

In our neighborhood, everyone had a swimming pool in their backyard. Big or small, they had something.  As there were no child-proof fences in those days, we just swam when we liked, completely without adult supervision. It was a given that kids in my area, knew how to swim.

swimming pool1
We never wore sun protective sun shirts in the 60’s like these kids did!

I recall one day, I went swimming, on my own in my neighbours pool; it was deeper than our pool and I could do back flips without fear of hitting the bottom, and back flip I did, for a half hour or so, until one back flip went slightly wrong.  I misjudged the angle of entry to the water, came up short, and scraped my nose on the side of the concrete wall. It could have been a lot worse than a mere scrape! O.M.G – as a parent, I think about this and wondered how on earth I made it alive, past the age of 13 years, without inadvertently killing myself or, at least, incurring a spinal injury of sorts???

But the safety of children was not a serious consideration, until the eighties, it seems.

Cars

Until 1972 seat belts weren’t even compulsory in cars.  This would mean that primary school aged kids were, more often than not, jammed, like sardines into the back of station wagons, (cars weren’t called hatch backs then).

The sardine troupe would often be ferried to a local pool or skating rinks by a lone parent. That same parent would proceed to unload the kids from the station wagon, and then drive off, only returning to pick up the troupe, hours later! This was the freedom of life in the 60’s and 70’s.  My kids think it is unfathomable that my life was like this!

Television

Television arrived in Australia in the late fifties, and by the sixties it had invaded our home too! It was the one electronic screen we had;  a Black and white TV, a little Astor model, (colour TV arrived in the late seventies), and I occasionally watched shows, such as, “The Jetsons.” The seven-year old me always thought it would be so awesome to have a robotic maid, like Rosie; was that really her name?

My brother was somewhat addicted to watching programs like:  The Land of the Giants, Lost in Space and perhaps the cartoon, “Gigantor”, too. It was just as well TV programming commenced in the late afternoon, otherwise he probably would never have gone to school at all.  [TV showed only screened for part of the day in Australia in those times, otherwise a black and white test pattern with awful background music was the only thing visible.]

And I do wonder why it is that I can still remember the name of the characters from those TV shows, as well as every child in my school class from those early years of school, and yet I find it so difficult to remember where I put the car keys, just two minutes ago?

Can you pick me out from the crowd?

Encyclopedias

Back in these days, there was no such thing as Google, or a computer, for finding the latest fact, unless you were talking about those brilliant female minds, who worked tirelessly, (without due recognition), for NASA’s early space program. A child of the sixties and seventies had to look things up in a book, either at the library, and few did that, or at home in an encyclopedia. Our nearest library was about 15 kilometres away.

Encyclopedias mysteriously arrived at one’s door, in a complete boxed set, from A to Z, usually presaged by a visit from a travelling salesmen, who would canvass would-be owners, door to door, with sales deals that “could not be believed!”

I think the Britannica clearly had it all over the Funk and Wagnells……

Sundays

Recently, I drove past my Grandmother’s former home with my youngest child – she is at that stage of life when she is learning to drive a car. In my day, we had to wait a mere three months, to sit the test, for a driver’s license, now they have to wait at least 12 months and complete 100 hours of supervised driving. This is a good thing, I think.  An improvement from the sixties! When I showed my daughter, her Great-Grandmother’s former property, it felt like I’d lived an entire childhood of Sundays in that place, as our weekly visits occurred, without fail.

The house that exists there now, is the same, but different. No longer recognizable, my Grandmother’s house has been raised up and another floor has been built-in, underneath –  in what feels like my space!!

My space: The space where my brother and I would spend hours forming roads for toy cars in the dirt, underneath the house. The same space that held the tank water tap where we used to quench our thirst and where you would find the old grey concrete tubs and gas fired boiler, where my Grandmother would wash her clothes and boil the sheets, stirring the pot, with a big wooden pole. Maybe that is why her sheets were so white!

I notice that the front yard, is still there. I feel like it is MY front yard, like I still have some kind of stake in it, having played in it, worked in it, and run around in it, for over ten years. I pulled and pushed a lumbering, old, metal push mower around that yard, every other Sunday, in summer. It was an ancient hand mower, that had a reversible handle, like the one pictured below, so you didn’t have to turn it around to mow in the opposite direction.

That was really the coolest part of it, I think.

mower

My Aunt and Uncle lived next door to my Grandmother, and as my Uncle was a retired war veteran, he didn’t do much except smoke and drink to excess, but he did breed budgerigars and chooks at the end of his enormous yard – that same yard that seemed ever SO big to me.

bird

I remember one year, my Dad killed one of the Uncles’ chooks for our evening meal. Unfortunately, he wasn’t too good at chopping its head off cleanly and it ran around the yard, half dead! As a town girl of 8 years, I was absolutely mortified.  I had never seen anything so raw and so cruel, yet my favourite meal was chicken, so clearly I managed to reconcile it somehow, in my child-like mind. Afterwards, my ‘Ma’ plucked the chook, showing me how to do this, by dunking it in hot water, to make the plucking process easier, yet I noted with slight revulsion, that a few tiny feathers remained on the carcass.

Cedar Creek, Australia

It seemed to me that Sundays at my Grandma’s house went by, ever so slowly, with nothing much, for a kid, to do. The adults sipped tea, ate Orange cake and Iced Vo-vo’s biscuits, talked and talked and talked, and when my brother, cousin and me were sick of playing in the dirt under the house, we would wander down to play in the nearby creek, catch tadpoles and make small banks to dam the water, just to see what would happen.

Iced Vo-vo biscuits

Today, the creek is the same, but different.  Flood mitigation has spelt the end of the rushing torrent this hapless stream would become after a summer thunderstorm. The trees on the littoral fringes have now grown so tall that no kids play in these waters now. Instead they seem confined, whether by their own volition or not, to their own backyards or, even perhaps, indoors with technology for company.

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By contrast, our days were very simple, we simply made do with the world around us.

To be continued/…… there is so much more to ponder about.

Thanks to Snow for inspiring this post.

daisy
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Proverbial Thursday – Global Wisdoms

I find profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader. Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and from across cultures. They speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned. Quotes, like proverbs, make us think more deeply about something.

Each Thursday, I post a Proverb or Saying and a Quote that I find thought-provoking. 

I hope you think so too.

 

If you are filled with pride, you won’t have room for wisdom.

African Proverb

 

 

Vigeland

 

 

I have always felt pride as an emotion, centered in the heart or chest, and wisdom to be centered in the head.

Can pride manifest in thoughts only, or does it always involve emotion?

 

We understand life backwards,

but have to live it forwards

– Kierkegaard

 

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What do you make of the Danish Philosopher, Kierkegaard’s comments?

Is this true for you?

Join in the discussion by leaving a comment below.

 

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Proverbial Thursday – Something wistful to Ponder About

lonely
Community

Proverbial Thursday – Global Wisdoms

I find there to be profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader. Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and from across cultures. They speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned. Quotes, like proverbs, make us think more deeply about something.

Each Thursday, I post a Proverb or Saying and a Quote that I find thought-provoking. 

I hope you think so too. 

The proverb this week contains a warning regarding ‘loose lips’ – at least that is the way I see it!

Do you have another interpretation?

Proverb of the Week:

Ron Mueck Exhibition Old Woman

Don’t make use of another’s mouth unless it has been loaned to you-

Belgian Proverb


Quote of the Week:

koala

Only in solitude, do we find ourselves – Miguel de Unamuno

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Miguel de Unamuno was a Spanish intellectual and writer, who thought that history could best be understood by looking at the small histories of anonymous people, rather than by focusing on major events such as wars and political pacts.

Life was tragic, according to Unamuno, because of the knowledge that we are to die. He explains much of human activity as an attempt to survive, in some form, after our death.

Unamuno: “Those who believe they believe in God, but without passion in the heart, without uncertainty, without doubt, and even at times without despair, believe only in the idea of God, and not in God himself.”

Unamuno summarized his personal creed thus: “My religion is to seek for truth in life and for life in truth, even knowing that I shall not find them while I live. [Wiki]

What do you make of Miguel’s words?

When you are alone, is this where you really are yourself?

Or does the loneliness and quiet of solitude unsettle you?

Do you fear loneliness, will be a curse, as you age?

Join in the discussion, by leaving a comment of your thoughts

Something to Ponder About this Thursday