Sunday, 23 February 2014

What's underneath

Hey there!

Nice to catch up again! :)

My topic for today relates to getting to know people:

We all tend to judge people based on first appearances and a lot of times that is as far as our involvement goes with them.

We may decide we don't like their appearance, they look stand offish, they're not our type , we get a bad vibe from them and so on.

I've done this before and know many others who have and found that by dismissing people based on first appearance and feelings you can miss out on getting to know somebody really wonderful.

I remember labeling someone as grumpy looking and someone I'm never likely to want to get to know and turning out becoming good friends with them because we became connected through our children.

Other times I've prejudged people at work or elsewhere categorized them in my mind as a certain type who I thought looked rather unremarkable only to find out they are an extremely talented musician or sportsperson or an amazing philanthropist.

After giving myself many mental 'clips over the ear' at my decision to judge on appearances over the years, I have finally become a lot more interested in finding 'what's underneath' the people I come in contact with.

There are so many people with so many great stories and experiences that you do yourself a disservice by not getting to know them.

I have met a few people who have been in refugee camps with some incredible stories.

One Cambodian guy who I struck up a conversation with in the kitchen at work once, commented on the fact that he  can never bring himself to waste food. He was unfortunate enough to be living in Cambodia during Pol Pot's reign of terror and had a diet that included many insects, rats and even bark off trees , anything in the name of survival.

Another Romanian guy from work had literally fled his country with the help of relatives and friends under the cover of night during the days of the dictator Nicholae Ceausescu and his Communist regime. What followed was an extremely perilous trip out of Romania to a refugee camp in Germany and finally settlement in Australia.

You could never imagine these stories about what some people have been through and also achieved just by looking at them.

We can learn so much from other people just by taking the time to get to know them and what lies underneath and likewise others can learn a lot from us.

Some people may be extremely quiet and seem stand offish but often all they are looking for is someone to ask them something about themselves and be given the chance to open up.

If you take the time to ask and dig a little deeper below the surface you may be amazed by what you discover.

Plenty of stuff that is truly inspiring!

Hope you have a great week!

Don't forget to look me up on facebook at:

Talk soon!


The Inspirator

Monday, 17 February 2014

A Day at the Beach

Hey there!

It's nice to catch up again! :)

 I hope life is being good to you and vice versa!

My topic for inspiration today is "The Beach":

I have loved the beach ever since I was a toddler.Spent countless hours down there with my mum, dad and sisters in the early days.Had many surf adventures with mates growing up, still have a surf now and again ,but mostly these days Saturday morning beach jogging and Sunday walks.

I'm fortunate enough to live walking distance to a beautiful beach nowadays and never stop reflecting on how lucky I am,  and probably never will.

This is my take on a 'Day at the Beach':

We have been having a particularly hot summer and our local beach has been drawing big crowds of people from far and wide.The usual cross sections of creeds,colours and religious persuasions take up residence on the beach.There are family groups,couples,groups of young men,groups of young women and many mixed groups all coexisting beautifully down the beach.

The last time I went down the beach on a hot day, I went solo,  apart from my trusty ipod (my favourite possesion in the whole world) and we had a wonderful afternoon together.

When you do go down to a place like the beach on your own it really opens up your awareness and observation powers because you aren't tuning in to any company at the time.

The thing that stood out to me above all,  was that everyone was having fun! The working week was over,   people just left their troubles behind them and magically transposed into a totally different head space.

The instant civilisation that materialises on the beach once the weather gets hot is quite incredible.
Everybody stakes out their plot of  sand that they will call home for the period they will inhabit the beach and sets up their own little kingdom.

Some travel light like me,  and my plot just contains a towel, with, a backpack, a pair of thongs(flip flops) a
hat,shirt and sunglasses,  marking my territory.Others travel in bigger family groups and come down with the idea of replicating their family home on the beach, with massive tents and other belongings that require about a half acre of sand space to set up.

Everywhere on the sand people are just chilling out, having a laugh, a cuddle, a soccer match, building sandcastles or dozing off dreaming of how they can make this day last forever.

The scene in the water is much the same.The coolness of the water is very refreshing and the weightlessness everyone is experiencing is making them all very relaxed and peaceful.The adrenaline junkies are out in deeper water on their jet ski's tearing around,  having a blast on their own aquatic grand prix track.

Ball games continue out in the water as well as on the sand and you occasionally have to dodge out of the way of an errant missile heading towards your head.But you know what? No one cares at the beach.It's just such a relaxed atmosphere. I bet the pharmacists wish they could bottle it.They could market it as "Instant Beach Vibe", just spray it on.

I find the beach one of the best places to meditate.Especially when you have that refreshed feeling with,  you just after a swim.There can be literally thousands of people on the beach,  but the acoustics are such, with the open space and water surrounding, you hardly notice the noise.It just seems like a peaceful hum of positive energy in the background.The sounds of people having fun.

The only adversaries you have to face up to on a day at  the beach,  apart from the burning properties of the sun, are sand occasionally getting in to unsealed parts of your body and a few pesky flies.All things that can be overcome.

I asked my Nana (a very wise women) once, what the purpose of flies was? She answered that god created the flies,  so that lazy people would exercise and  keep fit. I said "Fair enough Nana!,Good answer and I'll go with that!"

One of the greatest joys for me at the beach is watching the dogs and the seagulls. Dogs are allowed on the beach in the summer,  during the morning hours.When I go jogging on the beach Saturday mornings there are usually hundreds of dogs,  all shapes sizes,  out there doing there thing,  chaperoned by their owners.They keep me sharp when I'm running too because I often have to hurdle a few of them, here and there.

They just seem to be having the best time ever swimming, playing ball games, frolicking around with their friends.No different to the humans that take up residence later in the day.They certainly capture the same  "beach vibe" we all do.

Seagulls just seem the coolest creatures ever.They just hangout with their friends, do a bit of scrounging around and take in what's going on around them.A few of them may be missing a leg here or there but it doesn't seem to worry them particularly.

 I love watching them fly! They look magnificent the way the catch the updraft of the wind before they land and they make flight look so effortless.They certainly know their stuff!

What would be a positive goal for all of us would be to take that "beach vibe" (and of course any rubbish we have) away with us from the beach, so that during the work week in the office and out in traffic we can be relaxed and exist just as harmoniously with those around us.

Anyway, that's my take on the beach!

If you are not able to get to the beach similar principles apply to a day in the countryside ,lake ,park , market etc.

Hope you are finding plenty of things and people to inspire you in your life! :)

Talk soon! :)

The Inspirator

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

When people pull together

Hey there!

It's great to catch up again for a chat! Hope you are well! :)

What I want to talk about today is: What a positive experience it is when people pull together in unnatural situations.

I often turn the news on when I get home from work, mostly to tune in to the sports and the weather.Turning the news on as you know can be a very negative experience at the best of times.

The running sheet is usually a  story of a murder, followed by an assault story, followed by one on animal cruelty and so it goes. I constantly find myself saying out loud in despair, "When is the good news going to start?"

Very occasionally you come across stories where total strangers band together to help each other out.These are the stories I like.

I had  first hand experience of this once in strange circumstances where the unchoreographed  machinations of this wonderful human trait was put on display. It was fascinating to be part of it.

I was traveling home from work on the train one day, doing the usual trip, following the same routine as always when the train suddenly stopped about half way between two stations.We were stopped in what you would term 'no mans land' with rail side vegetation and short very steep cliff faces on either side that led up to fencing that had walking tracks on the other side of it.

We passengers waited and waited for the train to start up again and continue on it's journey.The longer we waited the stuffier it was getting on the train.People were starting to get anxious and after 20 minutes or so there was an announcement by the driver that there was a problem with a train ahead of us and it didn't look like we would be moving any time soon.

Upon receipt of that information one of the more intrepid souls on the train decided he was going to force the doors open and get off the train.Many soon followed including myself.

It was a reasonable jump down from the train to the tracks and you could easily injure an ankle if you weren't careful. It was also very steep climb up rough vegetation to make it to the fence line and finally the walking path.

As more and more people followed out of the train some amazing scenes of teamwork and cooperation amongst complete strangers started to unfold.

Without any delay and not much dialogue, people start to take charge of the train evacuation and self delegate roles they would occupy to help others and make sure the road to freedom was successful and safe for those involved. Nobody was going to be left behind unassisted!

There was a tradesman helping people from our carriage off the train safely, an orderly line of climbers heading up the cliff, one or two passengers at a steep part by a bush about halfway up the cliff face helping others. There was also an amazing guy, who looked like a corporate executive,carrying a briefcase and a wearing a three piece suit, coordinating things at the steepest and most challenging part of the climb.

It was an amazing scene if you can imagine it! There were women dressed in corporate wear in stiletto heels  carrying handbags climbing a steep cliff face. Men in suits with briefcases, tradesman, school kids.The evacuees were people from all walks of life,  all shapes and sizes and levels of strength and fitness.

When it was my turn to climb up the cliff I paused for a split second about halfway up and my mind flashed to those evacuation scenes from the ''Poseidon Adventure''  movie! It made me laugh as we all must have looked bizarre. Not your typical trip home . But it also made me proud!

This was one of the best coordinated and most polished evacuations performed with the least amount of fuss I had ever witnessed.Perfectly executed with everybody's safety and well being paramount.No need for committee's or talkfests, it just happened, amongst complete strangers.

The human spirit was alive and well!

People are amazing when they put there mind's to something and wanting to help others out is an instinct natural to most.How often do you see amazing feats of charity from people helping out unfortunate victims of bushfire, floods, earthquakes etc.

Sure, people can be selfish, aggressive, greedy, unfriendly and the like at times.However, I feel these are the times they have just lost their way a little and a situations where a little community spirit is required can get them back on the right track again swiftly.

People deep down want to help each other as they should,  because in my view we are all connected in some way shape or form..If you treat others the way you would like to be treated,  you can't go too far wrong.

Anyway, that's my story. I'm sure you have many similar stories of your own.

It was great to catch up again! Hope you have an exciting week ahead!

Expect the unexpected on public transport and above all be good to yourself and others!

Talk soon!

The Inspirator

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