Happy Australia Day!

Aussie Flag
Standard

Happy Australia Day!

I am GLAD to be Australian and proud to celebrate Australia Day. It was on this day over 10 years ago, that the official Certificate was handed to me.

I’m experiencing a little conflicting, bittersweet feeling about it though ever since a couple of years ago, when I worked for an outdoor entertaining company assisting with a mobile rock climbing wall and inflatables.

We were doing a gig at an indigenous event in a beautiful park in Melbourne with the climbing wall on Australia Day. It was a beautiful warm Summers day. We turned up all happy and ready for a fun day of entertaining with our usual Aussie flag attires for the celebrations….only to be told that the Australian flag was not welcome and appropriate for this event!

We looked at each other a bit puzzled, but took all our aussie flag pieces off out of respect and got into our usual job of setting up and opening up for the kids and willing adults to have a go.

Later during my break l went for a walk around the event, looked at some stalls, enjoyed the music and talked to some people there. As it turned out it was set up to protest against what the Australian government had done to their people and what was currently still being done.

I was aware of some bad actions that had happened during the early days of settlement of this country. I was also aware of some only a generation ago, but not that there was still so much injustice being done today! After all our government had officially apologized…and you don’t hear about it on tv or in the newspaper…I wonder how many people like me are out there?

This meeting made me think about it a lot and I felt sad that our indigenous people did not feel that Australia Day was a day of celebration, but rather a day of occupation.

Coming from a European background, where my parents almost had to change their language from Dutch to German around the second world war, l did understand their pain very well. In fact, so should all born Aussies for we nearly had to learn Japanese around the same time! I wondered what could be done to ease their burden and make a decent celebration, that I can be proud of, full of great traditions, that includes all Australians?

We pride ourselves on being a caring nation and helping each other out when push comes to shove, so why not do a bit more to help our nations original people?

The first thing that came to mind, was maybe cancel or reduce the elaborate fireworks that cost an absolute fortune, provided by our precious tax money, up in smoke, burned in about 10 minutes. Why not donate some of that to help them preserve what little of their culture is left instead? Or maybe some to finance events that encourage exchanges of culture between old and new Australians. We could learn a lot from each other.

If we really are such a caring nation we should maybe start thinking a bit more about the forgotten Australians and about what and how we are celebrating today. It appears on the official government website that there are activities happening to bring both cultures closer, maybe we should get more involved with that and really care?

http://www.australia.gov.au/about-australia/australian-story/reconciliation

What are your thoughts on this?

Questions answered

Seeds
Standard

My jaw dropped this morning when I looked at the first Face Book post of a lady who befriended me only a few days back. I don’t know her at all and thankfully I do not get a lot of strangers befriending me on Face Book. It would be naïve not to be slightly wary.

In this case I reluctantly decided to acknowledge her request after seeing a lot of natural health and nutrition posts on her timeline, which is something I am always interested in. I send her a friendly ‘thank you’ PM to satisfy my curiosity as to why she befriended me, asking how she had found me and what her reasons were, seeing we had never met, had no common friends and lived worlds apart. No reply so far…

Walking the dog last week my attention was drawn to some unusual yet ancient looking fruit on the footpath in front of an elderly man’s home nearby. Some of the fruit had been squashed by passers-by or kids and looking up I saw a bush that was as laden with fruit as an over decorated Christmas tree! I had no idea what kind of fruit it was and if it was edible or not, but felt a strong urge to do some research and find out, so picked a couple off the ground underneath. I thought maybe I should try cut it in half and see if our ‘resident’ Possum chose to eat it to get a better clue whether it might be safe for human consumption or not, but haven’t as yet.

It felt a bit like deja-vu from around 8 years ago, when I first found Feijoa fruit on the footpath out the front of another house just around the corner. When I asked the owners about it, they told me I could take as much as I wanted, because they did not like eating them nor cleaning the footpath! I loved eating them so much, that I grew my own bush with lots of patience from seed and had my first fruit at the end of last Summer. (More about it: http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/feijoa.html)

First harvest from my Feijoa bush, grown from seed 8 years ago

First harvest, April 2015, from my Feijoa bush, grown from seed 8 years ago

When the dog and me walked a visiting friend back to the local bus stop, I showed the mysterious bush to my friend in the hope he might know or had seen it before, but he knew as much as me. At home things got busy with all my other internet projects and listening to time limited seminars about health and wellness and the sample fruit I brought home was just sitting on the shelf in my kitchen reminding me of my intent to do more research…

Coming back to my jaw dropping moment this morning, my new ‘friend’ posted this: http://drhealthytips.com/index.php/2016/05/07/are-you-worried-about-clogged-arteries-start-drinking-this-immediately/…

I now had a bit more than just a piece of fruit to do research and found a few more helpful links on-line: https://authoritynutrition.com/12-proven-benefits-of-pomegranate/ and: https://www.drfuhrman.com/library/article19.aspx for anyone wanting a few different perspectives. I excitedly emailed the link to my friend and as I was writing explaining what happened it dawned on me…

All my questions had been answered! What kind of fruit I had found, what the benefits are and possibly why some stranger befriended me on FaceBook out of the blue. All this without any effort on my behalf! Well, I did ask an internal question…

Pomegranate

Pomegranate

I am so Glad and exited about this, I could not resist sharing it in a blog post, not just to show how questions get answered in mysterious, ‘serendipitious’ ways, but also to share the amazing benefits of the Pomegranate!

I ate both and went back today, got a few more to eat, collect seed and the image above.

Please share your comments, experiences, more info or recipes below.

Flower Passion

Passion Flower
Standard

In some of my previous posts I have hinted at my love of nature. Spending time outdoors is good for everyone, especially on a nice sunny day in Autumn. I am very grateful for the generous size garden around my home and love tending to it. So in this post I’d like to share my passion with you.

The chore of weeding has become a form of yoga as I am tiptoeing through the garden beds, stretching to reach that sprig of grass that self seeded from the neighbors yard through a crack in the fence. I have learned to be mindful of my body and move in beneficial ways that leave me feeling great afterwards.

There is not a lot of thinking involved in weeding and with the improved blood flow to the brain from bending over, inspiring ideas come in freely. I regularly walk outside, away from the computer, to have a play with the dog, appreciate the garden and find weeds and inspiration.

Hosta in flower

Hosta in flower

It is interesting to see how my garden has grown with me, from as easy as possible to maintain when I was working full time, with lots of natives to attract local birds and minimize watering, to the current state.

My vegie patch

My vegie patch

Nowadays, working part time and having more days off, I have added a vegetable patch to save money and have a supply of fresh organic vegetables to pick from any time at my leisure. I also planted some small yellow Marigolds for a little color and pest control along the edge.

Fuchsia flowers

Fuchsia flowers

I have added a lot more flowering plants everywhere else as well, bringing the ones in pots into the house as a temporary indoor plant or craft cut ones into flower arrangements to brighten up the room.

I have started collecting a variety of Fuchsias, which have always been high up on my favorite list ever since loving the Fuchsia flower fairy in a childhood picture book the most.

Pansy baskets brightening up a shady area

Pansy baskets brightening up a shady area

The more flowers I see in my garden, the more I come to appreciate my own piece of nature surrounded by high fences for privacy. This is my own patch of paradise. There is something special about a flowering plant that highlights the impermanent nature of everything. Looking closely at a flower makes you appreciate it while it is in its full glory, before it will be gone in a day or so…

Cacti flowers only last one day

Cacti flowers only last one day

One of my smaller Cacti in flower

One of my smaller Cacti in flower

One of natures little miracles

One of natures little miracles

Another collection I have kind of stumbled on is my Cacti range. Even though they are a little nasty to handle without gloves, the flowers are an absolute miracle of nature and just looking at them takes me on a fantasy journey. The centers of these flowers are like looking into a different universe. Imagine if you were seeing them from a bee’s perspective…

Every Summer I look forward to one or more of them displaying their magic, which does not happen every year and only for one day!  One of the varieties I have yet to see flower, decided to time it right on a day we were not home, so I will be keeping a close eye on that one for the next few years to get a photograph of it too.

Succulent in flower

Succulent in flower

Yes, looking around my garden, seeing the beauty of nature, it is rather easy to be Glad about life while appreciating the flowers I have allowed to blossom in my little patch of Paradise!

What is your favorite flower?

Happy Easter, …it is what it is…

Standard

Easter in Australia is always a big long weekend when a lot of people take advantage of the last pleasant days before Winter sets in and go out for a camping trip. For us it usually is a trip to the house in the mountains to do the annual wood chop for Winter and make sure the wood shed is ready to last us at least till the weather is allowing another opportunity to do some replenishing again towards late Winter or early Spring. Because the house is heated by fires, we need a lot and ideally need more storage to be able to cut enough to get us through to the end of the ski season.

 

I have been working a lot in the last couple of months and was really looking forward to getting away and relaxing in nature, besides helping out loading the timber. I got all the shopping done in a mad rush after work on Thursday and had started packing some of the things we take. The plan was to get as much ready as I could, so we could “throw” it all into the car in the morning and get away early and beat the traffic into the country. Once I am in the car I start to unwind and relax.

 

In the morning, on Good Friday, hubby looked at the weather forecast and it was not looking good at all with a big front moving in and a lot of rain forecast throughout the weekend. What was the point of driving all the way up there, to just sit inside looking at rain and fog, waste fuel and not being able to cut dry wood? We decided to stay home for the first time in years, awaiting a “better weather weekend” to go and do the wood chop at a later date.

 

I felt kind of relieved for not having to keep rushing and packing, but mostly very disappointed, because I needed a break and some “me” time, which is always so easy when up there in the middle of nature in the mountains. I love taking Gibbo, the dog, for a long walk without the need for a lead, due to lack of traffic. I love the clean crisp mountain air in my lungs and watching the spectacular view of the sunrises and sunsets from the house. I was looking forward to getting the old, nostalgic Dutch box of eggs out to decorate my Easter tree, which was left up there last year when I decided to take it. Some of the decorations were blown out, real egg shells, painted by myself over 30 years ago! It had not seen any light since we arrived in Australia for the fact that we are always elsewhere for Easter. I was exited about the prospect of catching up with our local mountain friends too…It is what it is…

 

Good Friday was a gorgeous day back home and I took advantage of the breezy sunny day and got a few big loads (mainly sheets and towels) of washing done and dry before the anticipated weather change, to start the long weekend fresh and clean. In between I did some tidying up in the garden and really enjoyed being outside on this lovely Autumn day.

I was looking forward to the rain, which inspires me to work on my writing, which had been a bit on the backburner since work had picked up in unexpected ways and my computer had given me grief. It still needs a few more adjustments before it is back to how I like it. I really started enjoying a few days off at home, not having to do anything but what gives me pleasure! I filled a bowl with caramel filled chocolate eggs and put it on the bar for picking whenever I felt like it. I might even make another apple pie with the last of the apples I picked from my tree a few weeks back.

 

The next morning I woke to another clear blue sky and sunshine! What had happened to the rain that was forecast and put our plans on hold?

Because we did not go away I was able to take advantage of the special offer of a leaf blower/vac in a local store that was only on sale for the weekend of Easter and scored some well priced hanging baskets at the same time, (I needed to replace some broken ones). I tried out the new garden vac on this beautiful day and found myself very pleased with the result. Finally I found a way to get the leaves of the crushed rock areas without losing all the pebbles!

It was warm enough, so Gibbo got a wash in the backyard too, which is so much easier than doing it in the bathtub, which is the only humane option during colder weather. Unfortunately his black hair always covers the white tiled bathroom and calls for a complete bathroom clean up afterwards.

Surely the rain should get here soon, so at the end of the day I also set up a new gazebo that I had purchased before Christmas, which would keep our garden setting dry for a change and I had somewhere to sit or retreat to when playing with the dog in the backyard in the rain. It gave me a great feeling to accomplish all this and have a “holiday” at home.

 

Easter Sunday came and finally we had a few millimeters of overnight rain. Not really enough to water the garden, but the greyish day encouraged me to do a bit more on my computer again.

Despite the fact that we could have done the wood chop and enjoy our weekend away in hindsight, I am Glad we stayed at home and I got all the things done that I had put off for so long and more. “It is what it is” , I am really pleased now with how my Easter is turning out. How is your Easter so far? Wishing you a happy one!

The hidden powers of the “Glad Game”

Standard

I am so glad to have started this blog a few weeks back, because it allows me the opportunity of uplifting you. I like to follow the famous quote of “being the change I wish to see in the world”. I had this idea in my mind that by keeping my writing simple and entertaining I could show you, my readers, what I have learned to apply over my 20+ years of searching. My wish for you is, that you yourselves can also learn to apply it, in order to change your own worlds to your liking.

By doing this in an inclusive way, without making it sound like anything too religious, spiritual or scientific, I hope to appeal to a large audience. I do think I have accomplished some of that so far, considering the feedback I have received. I thank all that have left comments on my blog and especially the ones that decided on receiving my stories in their emails and clicked subscribe ;). This keeps me motivated to share more of my insights.

Despite all the good news, I have this niggling feeling that most of my audience does not fully grasp what I am aiming for and does not read between the lines to see the real power of this “game” I am playing here. The reason why I have decided to do something a little different in this post and try and clear that up a bit more, is that I want you to understand the amazing benefits for yourself and the rest of the world and see things from a real different perspective!

So how did I come to the conclusion that the “Glad Game” can have this kind of impact? (more about this in: https://happypollyesther.com/2014/05/13/introduction-to-happy-pollyesther/) Can something this simple really change your world, our world? I have observed my memories from before my discovery and became fully convinced by what I saw there, that thoughts, accompanied by feelings, really create (sometimes via an unexpected path) the result of reality. Once I came to this realisation, by seeing the proof in my own life, I started thinking about this a lot, what the consequences could be if everyone knew about this, and the results we are seeing because not enough people are aware of it! What is important to know, is that it always works whether you are aware of this or not! I looked at the world and realized all of a sudden that there are so many good willing people out there doing the opposite to what they should be to achieve their desired results!

I see a lot of Face Book posts asking for attention to some problem or other and feel sad looking at animal abuse, bullying, illness and human rights issues, just to name a few categories. I am drawn to these causes and want to know the truth of what is really going on in the world behind the news and who’s really in charge. I watched Zeitgeist, the Freedom movie and many more like that. They shocked me into opening my eyes to a lot of different agendas and possibilities we generally don’t see on the evening news or in the paper. I started doubting what information to trust and believe. Some were good enough to conclude with some possible solution or hope for the future, but most of it makes you feel pretty small and powerless overall. I felt angry that our so called “chosen” and self appointed authorities appear to do as they please and act without apparantly taking any notice of what the population they represent really want. This kind of thinking places the responsibility elsewhere besides ourselves which is counter productive to a positive change on any level, be it personal or global.

The good thing that came from educating myself in this way, was that it created the burning internal question of “what can an ordinary citizen do to change all this injustice?” As you may have seen in my previous post, about overcoming my health issues (https://happypollyesther.com/2014/05/26/how-my-illness-made-me-healthier-than-ever/), the passionate internal questions have a tendency to get answered by the right information showing up in time. This came for me when I found out about the power of our thoughts and feelings on creating our reality. I started to see the pattern why all this misery is not declining! Through all the exposure to our problems, coming from multiple media, we focus more on them and as a result we actually are contributing to them! When we feel powerless we maintain our focus on the problems and how they impact us on a personal level, leaving us in an angry, upset state. This state is a great conductor for more problems and confusion! If we wish to free ourselves from the issues, we have to focus on creating the right mindset for solutions first, starting by changing ourselves. Like the quote by Albert Einstein:

“A problem never gets solved from the same level of thinking that created it in the first place”.

This is where the “Glad Game”, or GG for short, comes in (just in case you missed this link earlier, more about the GG in: https://happypollyesther.com/2014/05/13/introduction-to-happy-pollyesther/). The GG creates a mindset of gratitude and happiness, which is an excellent conductor for solutions. Not only that, it will also create the right chemicals in our bodies that are beneficial for health and brain functioning! We start to feel stronger, more vibrant and creative. We become more productive and likely to take responsibility for our decisions . This is a place where solutions to problems are born! Another important thing to realize is that mindsets are contagious! If we can uplift others by being a living example of this positive mindset, we are already making a small impact on our predicament by setting off a chain reaction that can lead to actual results on a global scale.

Life responds to you

This understanding is what made me so passionate about starting this blog. To show to everyone that by small personal changes in mindset we can be so much more powerful than we realize. To give the power back to the people. We can all learn to direct our thoughts away from fear and hopelessness to happiness, hope and solutions for a better future with this simple GG. By just doing this, we are taking the first steps to actually creating this future now, for our own personal and the worlds benefit! Please share your thoughts on this post in the comments below.