The best present.Stop worrying.

The morning started with me opening up my phone for last nights text.
Our men are coming home tomorrow

by bus leaving at 8 a. m.

but no other details available as yet.

Hope you sleep well.Cheers R………

Valentines Day for me was complete with the fella and other members of our Fire brigade coming home safely.

I had been carrying my phone with me where ever I went, dog walking on the beach, cleaning windows, washing floors. Keeping myself busy. (No time to worry by being busy, Going to bed to tired to worry.)Because I was waiting for the very brief calls, that my fellow was able to get to me. He was out fighting horrendous fires.

For the men and  women who are still fighting the fires in Mudgee, New South Wales.

I wish you safety and courage and most of all a speedy and safe recovery home.

To the people who have lost everything, homes, farms their animals, and possibly their livelihood, there are no words. To stand and watch your green fields turn to black ash, to walk through dusty foundations that only yesterday was your home your sanctuary and your place of peace. Anything I write here will seem lame and hollow.

Though from devastation there must come renewal. First for the human spirit, and in time with the greening of the land, I hope that those who have lost everything, Will once more find Joy in their land and their new life.

This prayer taken from the wisdom of the ancients, is for all who have known the power of fire too close.

May all beings be happy 

May all beings the free

May all beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering

To the people who phoned me to ask after the Fella and other men and women out fighting . Thank you. Those who invited me for coffee etc, Thank you, it mean’t so much. The knowing that I am part of a community who cares is beyond price and very humbling.



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Being me in a world that is trying to make me someone else.

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This lovely image came from eequalsvs.

I am reminded of the saying “Interesting times we live in”



I would like to write more on this but the computer is on go slow today.

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Life is Joy…..well most days.

Some things I struggle with. My school days I am glad are well behind me,I was never the Teacher’s pet. No  my parents probably dreaded Parent’s teacher night. I was the child who tried to blend into the wallpaper.

Because everything we attempt/embrace  / join means taking on and maintaining new skills. Hence the need to update my fire fighter volunteer skills form bush fire or basic to structure fires.



I have just completed a four day Portrait Painting class  with Grace Paleg and woke each morning delighted and anxious in a positive way.Setting out full of wonder that I too, perhaps, could complete a likeness,a portrait, bringing a person to life on paper or canvas.

Rushing home, tired but delighted with my progress, to gulp down a snack  and on two of those evenings I then joined my ‘Fella’ and friend to begin the firefighting Village course. Driving the three quarters of an hour back to school.

I wish I could say I was buzzing with positive energy and expectation. Sadly  the anxiety was about how little I know and how I could let others down, especially in what could be a life threatening situation. This is working on the other side of the brain. Leaving the creative intuitive free fall of painting( yes there are rules involved) over to the anilitical, reading, writing, arithmetic side – no room for error.

And yet so many in the room were nourished and flourishing on the pathways of fire, how solids become gases etc.What type of fire needs what to extinguish it?

As I sat watching the terrifying videos e.g. What happens when a gas tank explodes? I was asking myself …Why am I here?

Answer:  I’m part of a small community that does  not  have enough volunteers,

How can I ask someone else to do what I am unwilling to do?

I have formed strong friendships with the diverse people who do volunteer, these people have taught me so much, enriching my life, I know they also struggle with  the responsibility we all take on. I guess that will have to be enough for me.

The wonderful quote below………. well I am still trying to translate the joy of painting into the Fire fighting aspect of my life.



Posted in Bush fire,Village fire fighting,Women's health,Men's health, Anxiety, Portrait Painting., Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Are you green and Growing?

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Or do we?

It seems to me in a world that is trying it’s best to make you…….

be better, work harder,earn more, spend more to keep the economy a float.

Save more for your old age. Well stay slimmer, eat better, look younger

to be true to yourself is the hardest thing you can do.

And yet who else can you be? You must always be authentic to your self, how else can you bring the gift to the Earth that only you can deliver.

A few tips:
1. Meditate daily
Start with your breath. Each morning just  5-10 minutes each day to sit quietly, close your eyes and just breathe.

Take this time  to see how you feel, not how others expect you to be. Develop a relationship with self.

2. Enjoy some simple pleasures
Easy to spiral downwards when the world seems too much. By giving ourselves small gifts we are able to refill our reserves, which in turn allows us to be our very best.

Only you know what pleasures you can you feel happy. It can be something very simple that takes only a few minutes or something that takes a bit of planning for later in the day or week. my brother told me of organising a trip to surf.Quite an undertaking he said. But the joy of the final half day surfing  travelled well into his working week.

A walk on the beach always lifts my spirits. and I’m sure the dog is smiling at me when we share the beach walk.


wet dog heaven.

Perhaps your simple pleasure is taking a bubble bath, watching a movie . catching up with friends for coffee, Being absorbed by a hobby etc.Remember the challenge is to be green and growing. The alternative is not so healthy. Overipe and rotting.

3. Rest
When you give yourself plenty of rest and time to sleep, you make better choices.

To remain green and growing takes energy, as you spend your energy for the things you want to do  you  become a master of your own destiny.

No time for yourself you say well try just one, and see how it feels. After all, it’s YOUR life. YOU get to choose how you live it.

Green and growing? Is that your choice?

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Spring .

On our morning walk we noticed this pod opening, so intrigued, the hard shell cracking open to reveal  how many seeds? (I came back to photograph the merging life)



Opening the pod

I am intrigued by the beauty of the  process, seeds becoming the silver threads that will act as parachutes to fly the seeds to new and fertile soil.

One pod how many seeds?

Abundance, Nature and Spring,a reminder of the infinite life around us and how life is always renewing and forever giving.



Spun silver light made solid.


If your day bogs down and you feel anxious or overwhelmed, remember your mind also holds endless seeds, endless possibilities, infinite ways to respond to your cares.

Sit still and slow your breath, the silver filaments of your mind will unspool and calm you.

So often the shell we have created around our heart needs to crack open to reveal the infinite abundance and infinite possibilities within our minds. In the inner silence miracles occur.

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Can your makeup harm you?

Ever since Kleopatra and well before we have been finding ways to enhance and modify our features. Well we do want to present at our best.

Unfortunately   as our skin protects and seals us from toxins what we put on it eventually can move through the protective outer barrier and into our liver. This is not to frighten you but to inform.Remember all meditation starts with awareness, so too does bringing greater transparency  to the business world.

Many beauty and skin care products on the market are full of hidden chemicals, and makeup products may be the worst.

Do you know how many product safety assessments the FDA requires cosmetics companies to conduct?

None. This is an article from America ,read the full content on https:/

And harmful ingredients — which are linked to cancer, organ toxicity, and more — can easily be hidden by confusing or deceptive titles.Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 3.23.06 pm.png

Annmarie Gianni says “Swapping your regular makeup products for natural versions can seem like the scariest step in the transition. You found mascara that takes your eyelashes to new heights, a lipstick that makes your pout pop, and a foundation that makes your skin look like it traveled back in time. Why would you give those things up?”

Under current American, the Federal Drug Administration does not require cosmetics companies to conduct safety assessments on their products.  Ingredients that are harmful can be easily marketed under confusing or deceptive titles like “fragrance.” They may even be listed, plain and simple, on the label, but with no messages to inform consumers of their potentially harmful effects.

If makeup is a part of your daily routine, it’s vital to think about what you’re putting on your skin. Your pores absorb what you put on them—they don’t know any better! That lipstick on your teeth? You ate that.

So let’s talk about some toxic chemicals in the makeup and how to get healthy with our beauty routines!”


“Where would you find phthalates? They’re used to plasticize products, making them more flexible or better able to hold in color and scent. From deodorant to nail polish to scented lip balm, the catch here is that these chemicals can be grouped under and listed as “fragrance.” Companies claim their fragrance formulas as “trade secret,” and thus don’t have to specify on the label which ingredients are included.

Your best bet is to avoid products that list “fragrance” and choose ones that use plant oils and essences to give them the “yum” factor.”


“How does lead make it into cosmetics? It isn’t added as an ingredient, but rather makes its way in through contamination. Color additives are some of the most common sources.

The best way to avoid lead is to buy makeup from companies that make products in small batches and avoid contamination, or to buy products colored with fruit and other natural pigments.”

Formaldehyde-Releasing Preservatives

Quaternium-15 is one of the more common ones,used in mascara, pressed powders, and eyeliners. In addition to potentially causing cancer, this ingredient can cause skin sensitivities and irritation. It belongs to a class of compounds called quaternary ammonium compounds, or “quats.”

Quats have many uses—as preservatives, surfactants, germicides and conditioning agents. Choose products that use natural alternatives that perform similar functions such as rosemary, honey, tea tree oil, grapefruit seed extract, and vitamin E.

Yes we have options when it comes to what we put on our faces and bodies. If the makeup industry isn’t going to make transparency a priority, we have to take it upon ourselves to do our research so we can make healthy choices.

Looking for healthier and safer beauty and skin care products? You can try Annmarie… click here!

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Meditation- why is it difficult?tips to make it easier.

My sister has newly retired after 38 years of running her own business, she now needs to adapt to a very different lifestyle. I have been teaching yoga well probably 30 years. Now we have time to talk .Rae is ringing me often, most excited as she has discovered Yoga.  Fallen under the spell of the magic and science of Yoga. She has even asked asked teacher for homework. Very determined, I suspect that she is still running her body as she ran her business. And so she’s learning the Sanskrit names for the postures and is determined to be able to move with the same grace as her teacher. I very much admire her dedication, but I feel I need to slow her down a little, when I can finally get a word in my advice to her is to do her sun salute when her muscles are warm or her muscles will feel worn very quickly.

It then becomes too difficult. This is why people cease something  that is inherently good and can definitely change their lives for the better.

Tip: I will tell Rae you cannot Meditate when you are tired , body needs sleep.

You cannot Meditate when you are bad tempered. Get out your yoga matt and do some cobra poses. That takes the “snakiness venom from body/mind.

Basically we fall into three categories or three types of personality.

“There is no creature on earth nor among the hosts in heaven who is free from these three qualities which arise from Nature.”
“The three great qualities called sattva, rajas, and tamas – light, or truth, passion or desire, and indifference or darkness – are born from Nature……………….Of these the sattva quality by reason of its lucidity and peacefulness entwineth the soul to rebirth through attachment to knowledge and that which is pleasant.

Know that rajas is of the nature of desire, producing thirst and propensity; …….consequences produced from action. The quality of tamas, the offspring of the indifference in Nature, is the deluder of all creatures, ………heedless folly, sleep, and idleness. The sattva quality attaches the soul through happiness and pleasure, the rajas through action, and tamas quality surrounding the power of judgment with indifference attaches the soul heedlessness.”

From William Judge’s translation of the Gita.

Yes we are all imbued with these qualities. But we have a much more of one than another If we are more Rajistic  like Rae,we’re all eager, full of fire and approach  yoga or meditation with a do or die attitude.

Or maybe for long we have been the sweet natured, follow our friends type of personality. And so we try something new,often it is in a very half-hearted way. And we tend to fall by the wayside. So when we meet something a little challenging it’s much easier to stay home and do what we are used to.

There is nothing wrong with any of these personality types, but it does help if we recognise our nature and that we understand taking on something new can be difficult, challenging and often uncomfortable, because we’re using muscles we have not used in a long time. Physical and mental muscle.

So I encourage you to find a way to pace yourself. For most people they join a class with a friend. If you have recognised that you are more the Sattwica personality that friend I suggest you join with, could be the fiery type,  Rajas As they will not listen to the idea of going  out for coffee instead of going to class. And and if you are the fiery type your need a good friend who has steady persistence, someone who will not let you burn out quickly.

Tip:I am suggesting whenever you take on something new or you find that you’re losing interest having a like-minded friend will help you until you recognise the benefits and then you will stay at it, stick at it and join the millions around the world who cannot imagine their day without meditation

Tip: Just as it is better to do your yoga postures when your muscles are warm. It is better to meditate when the mind is rested, it is not so active and filled with the days events. Early morning or evening.


Dawn rising renew your mind.


You can join my sister and I in our story, as we use the fire of Rajas to overcome the lethargy of Tamas   and arrive at the sweetness of Sattwas.

Surya Namaska salute to the sun. This series of linked yoga poses that stretches all the muscles in your body, yes that’s why a Yogi in Puna designed this set, to move the body easily gracefully and elegantly through all the major muscles in the body. I loved the way the poses build, my yoga teacher Shanti Gowans was often adding some variations to the series.  Here is my sketch of one variation.


Sketch of sun salute variation.

Initially you will find the yoga poses that honour the sun, (think of the  millions of people all around the world honouring the sun, by yoga poses) warming your body, but eventually like my sister, you will learn the sun you honour is your inward sun or your mind. The force that heats you, and directs your life.










Posted in Hope and Courage, Men's health, mind health, Rajas,Tamas,Satwas, Salute to the sun, Surya Namaska, Meditation, three Gunas,, Uncategorized | Leave a comment