Category Archives: Inspirational People

The fear lyrics

Lily Allen, like the rest of us has her demons. I can’t say she has always shown exemplary behaviour, but she is a woman who has something to say within her songs and for that I APPLAUD her.

My favourite Lily song is below, tell me you haven’t resonated with at least some part of these lyrics at some time or another – go Lily…

I want to be rich and I want lots of money I don’t care  about clever, I don’t care about funny. I want loads of clothes and fuckloads of diamonds I heard people die while they’re trying to find them.

And I’ll take my clothes off and it will be shameless ’cause  everyone knows that’s how you get famous. I’ll look at the sun and I’ll look  in the mirror I’m on the right track, yeah I’m on to a winner.

I don’t know what’s right and what’s real anymore. I don’t know how I’m meant to feel anymore. When do you think it will all become clear? ‘Cause I’m being taken over by the Fear.

Life’s about film stars and less about mothers. It’s all about fast cars and cussing each other. But it doesn’t matter ’cause I’m  packing plastic and that’s what makes my life so fucking fantastic.

And I am a weapon of massive consumption and it’s not my  fault, it’s how I’m programmed to function. I’ll look at the sun and I’ll look  in the mirror I’m on the right track, yeah we’re on to a winner.

I don’t know what’s right and what’s real anymore. I don’t know how I’m meant to feel anymore. When do you think it will all become clear? ‘Cause I’m being taken over by the Fear.

Forget about guns and forget ammunition ’cause I’m killing  ’em all on my own little mission. Now I’m not a saint and I’m not a sinner but everything’s cool as long as I’m getting thinner.

I don’t know what’s right and what’s real anymore. I don’t know how I’m meant to feel anymore. When do you think it will all become clear? ‘Cause I’m being taken over by the Fear.

 

20 July 2013 – Africa’s White Preacher

Machine Gun Preacher

A recent, lazy Saturday night watching movies introduced me to Joseph Kony, Sam Childers and the horrors of civil war in Africa (not a movie I would normally choose!).  I had of course heard of Kony from the Stop Kony video in 2012, which told of grisly killings, child abductions and rapes allegedly committed by Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in central Africa.  The LRA is classified a terrorist organization by the African Union and the United States and Machine Gun Preacher is a movie that follows the American Sam Childers who travels to Central Africa and experiences the atrocities of the LRA first hand.

The movie starts with a young Childers getting out of jail in America.  He was all over the hard core, bad boy image having a love for motorbikes and the typical lifestyle of an outlaw biker which led to years of drug addiction, drug dealing, alcoholism and violence.

After a pretty nasty incident and with the help of a wife who had converted from stripping to Christianity, Childers himself finds God and becomes fully ingrained in a new life.  While attending church he meets an African based preacher and decides himself to go to Africa.   In that first trip and the many that followed, he witnesses LRA attacks on villages and rescues some of the boy soldiers who are abducted from those village raids.

With a building sense of compassion toward the orphans of the village raids and increasing anger toward the LRA and Kony, Childers decides to build a children’s orphanage village (The Children’s Village) in Southern Sudan, right within LRA territory.   What a great bloke!

However, the thing that most struck me the most about this story, beside the grim reality of the harshness of life in Central Africa, was the personal approach that the movie took when portraying Childer’s crusade.  Whether it was a hollywood angle or a real portrayal of the personal conflict that Childers felt, this white preacher in Africa was certainly a rough diamond.  At one particular point in the movie, when faced with a hellova lot of brick walls and plenty of set backs you witness the obsessive side to Childers.  His attempts at raising money and awareness for the orphanage back home in the US are thwarted and you see the cracks form from the pressure of being a “saviour” as he becomes destructive in his desire to do good.  His aggression comes to the surface as he alienates his family, makes bad decisions that haunt him and begins to question his faith.

A story like this reminds you that life is not black and white and that although there are people out there with truly amazing human spirits, they are only human and there is always a personal side to any crusade that is undertaken in the name of goodness.  There is always something within us that we have to satisfy for ourselves; for whatever good we do there is always a self fulfilling motivation that we need to keep in check.

For Sam this motivation was a new found sense of purpose.  For all the good in Africa that Sam was achieving he was a success, he was a saviour and this helped him to release himself from his own bad deeds of the past.  However unchecked this motivation as well as the compassion he felt for the children of Africa fuelled his rage and in consequent attempts to stop the atrocities he actively hunts and kills members of the LRA army, but in this action he kills the very boy soldiers he is trying to rescue.

And so the pressure builds.  At height of this pressure and his rage, Childers is sent a message from God in the form of a little boy who he had help save from the LRA.  The boy sits with Sam and tells him of how the soldiers had made him kill his mother in order to spare himself and his brother (you can certainly understand Childer’s anger).  But even though the little boy had to do what the soldiers told him, he told Sam that he refused to be filled with hate, as to him this would mean that the enemy had won.

So because of this magic moment Childers came to a realisation.  He had already done so much good.   He had by this time saved many lives and given hope to so many more, therefore he had already succeeded and repaid his debts from the past.  He had nothing more to prove and could continue his work with the sole motivation of providing safety to ‘his children’, free from his past and from the need to fill a gap, a motivation that was not serving him.

Sam Childers has continued to protect and provide hope to the children of Central Africa so that today the Children’s Village houses and educates over 300 orphans,with over a thousand children rescued since its conception.  The staff at the Children’s Village are primarily Sudanese orphans and widows themselves.  And Sam Childers with the help of his wife provides armed, secure orphanages in Sudan, Ethiopia and Uganda.

Just a word of warning though, if you decide to watch the Machine Gun Preacher make sure you have a box of tissues, a very, very, strong stomach and not a picture of Joseph Kony in sight.

16 July 2013 – Naked Tuesday

It all started with sitting so innocently on the couch the other day (fully clothed) watching Adam Hills Tonight when the camera swung around and Adam introduced – Craig Coombes.  Craig was in the audience to fulfil one of the requests on his bucket list – to meet Adam Hills.  Craig is actively working on his bucket list, because he has terminal cancer.

The other thing that Craig does is spend a lot of time being Naked.  He has inspired the website Naked Tuesday and as this website says, once you stumble across Naked Tuesday, you won’t look at life the same ever again!

TuesdayNaked Tuesday came about when Craig starting posting pictures of himself in 2012, to show that he, and his family are OK with who he is – warts, other bits and all.  His philosophy is get out of your comfort zone, have a crack, and give it a go but while Craig is terminally ill, his message is not to wait until you are presented with a really, really bad situation, but “make the rest of your life, the BEST of your life” from today.

make the rest of your life, the BEST of your life

There is a public gallery and a weekly challenge and so people can send in their own happy snaps. Not surprisingly there are substantially more pictures of men than women, but the women who have bared all for this ever so good cause, show us true courage and acceptance of the normal wobbly bits and what it looks like to be a gorgeous, naked woman.

There is even a ‘Craig’s wall of fame’, however so far I think Adam Hills is the only one showing any flesh.  The wall of fame is linked to Craig’s bucket list and it shows just how much an act of courage can open up life.  Craig’s face, and possibly other bits too, are being recognized around town so that on a recent trip to the zoo someone stopped him so they could get a naked pic with him, then and there.

So while the concept of the site is enough to put a little perspective in your day, the comedy of the site is also worth a google search, though I wouldn’t want to be on the other side of the pic of the man on the trampoline…

Naked Tuesday is yet another example of someone so courageous laughing in the face of adversity.  Yet another example of a beautiful human spirit sent to teach us, the ones who complain about working too hard or another rainy day (clearly no-one from Perth) the real meaning of life.

Hats and clothes off to you Craig – and so I did, on the couch all by myself.  I hope one day to have such courage :)

28 June 2013 – Seeing in the Dark

A gorgeous friend of mine recently introduced me to the magic of Dr Clarissa Pinkola Estés.

Dr Estés is an American poet, Jungian psychologist, psychoanalyst and post-trauma specialist who brings back to life the myths and stories of ancient cultures.   Her origins are from Mexico and southern Germany and much of her writing is influenced by her family people who were farmers, shepherds, weavers, lacemakers, knitters etc .

Through the myths and stories that she tells on her “Seeing in the Dark” CD, Dr Estés conveys what can happen to the soul, our medial nature, by the gaia or the whirlwind of life.  We are all born with the gift, the ability to embrace and connect with our medial nature, but the influences of society, human practicality and fear as we grow up, can squash the enormity of that gift and lead to the death of the soul.

Our medial nature is described in analytical (or Jungian) and depth psychology as our instinctual nature, our psyche, whereby the integration of unconscious forces is believed to motivate behaviour and the unconscious mind is considered a source of healing and development in an individual.  Jung saw the psyche as mind, admitted to the mystery of soul and believed in the significance of dreams, archetypes and mythology to human development.

To explain this a little further, our medial nature is the one that exists between the world of the hidden and the world of the obvious.  It is a combination of our instincts and unconscious knowledge, it is the deep sense of knowing, the knowledge resource that we can tap into to assist us with our daily lives.

The ability to access this medial nature therefore provides us with a deep pool of wonderful, instinctual knowledge.

We can use this knowledge source in conscious living to determine which is the best direction for us to follow, who is in peril and who is good, recognise things that are not visible to the ego such as our own motives or the motives of others, as well as to provide inspiration and innovation.

Dr Estés speaks in her stories of the medial woman as one who is in touch with her medial nature.  The medial woman is one who lives instinctively, she instinctively knows when its time to change, to heal and mend and time to let something die.  And she is the one who nurtures her instinctual/medial nature.  She does this by seeing in the dark.

Seeing in the dark is the ability to NOTICE, the ability to see what ordinary sight overlooks.  Dr Estés describes it as the ability to live and see through the soul, to be in nature and from her world to:

  • notice the shape of the clouds
  • notice the return of the tree swallows
  • notice when the male woodpeckers are pecking  in order to get the attention of a mate

Taking the time to see in the dark by taking the time to notice, both uses and nourishes the instinctual/medial nature, by bringing the world of the hidden into the world of the obvious. Through our ability to see, to notice, we are provided with the benefit of ideas and inspiration from the wonder of life and a sense of calm and peace as we appreciate the marvels around us.  The ability to pay attention provides us with a sense of connection to something bigger and a perspective that exists far beyond our own immediate lives.  It develops the instinctual nature, it feeds the soul.

Those who are in touch with their medial nature and an ability to notice create imagination in others, they encourage creativity, speak with wisdom and convey the sense that life doesn’t have to be as bland or tumultuous as it can sometimes appear – they see life, and encourage others to see life, as a gift.

A special gift that must be watered and fed. 

It is a magic time in Perth at the moment, winter brings with it dew on the spider’s webs, daffodils in their masses in gardens and green spaces and mushrooms hiding under the long grass.  Notice and revel in the miracle of life and thereby feed your own soul, your own magic, medial nature.

Mushrooms in the grass