Sunday, 30 March 2014


Hey there!

Hope you have been well and looking out for inspiration.

One thing I am looking to improve at the moment is my awareness.There are are many beautiful and inspiring things around us and I want to make sure I am taking in as many of them as I can on my journey.

All of us seem to have very busy lives these days,  but this is largely by choice.The choices we make in life control how busy we are and how much free time we have.We have control over this situation.

Even if we have filled up our days to the brim with commitments,  it is still possible to find time to take in all the wonderful things around us.What we need to master is finding some space in our mind for the amazing and the inspirational.Things that make us feel good!

For example,  you may be walking to the station on your way to work worrying about a job you didn't get finished yesterday or the pile of jobs sitting in your intray awaiting your arrival.You may see a beautiful garden,  a neighbour of yours has painstakingly created.

 Instead of walking past as normal taking no notice of your surroundings,  try taking in the colour and the beauty of this garden for a split second and clear your mind of your work worries momentarily. I'm sure you'll fell a lot better for it!

Or if your crossing town for a meeting,  how about instead of taking your normal route through the concrete jungle, detour via some public gardens or down a graffiti art painted laneway. Admire the beauty and creativity around you for that part of the journey.Even watching a bird in flight can be an interesting and inspiring experience and the good part is that you can fit these things in to your normal routine.

I believe meditation can help by getting you into a relaxed state where you can really break out from your  highly programmed thought patterns and help you connect with your surroundings.

I am currently at the beginning phase of getting into meditation.It has been a lot harder than I had anticipated clearing my mind of thought and getting it to revitalise. It is definitely a skill, but I believe persistence will pay off and I will be much better off for the experience.

One of my favourite stories about awareness involves a family get together and my mother in particular.

My son James,  had not long completed a University Degree in Graphic design (virtually crawling to the line in the end) when he informed me he was going to join the army.

I was pleased with this decision as he would have to learn to get up early and also keep his room clean and tidy. A couple of things he had been avoiding for a long period of time.

James passed all the physical and aptitude testing and time soon came when we were invited to his induction into the army by the Defence Forces personnel which was to be held in the city.

We were very proud of James and my wife, my daughter and my mother all accepted the invitation to attend James' army induction ceremony.

James left the house at around (in a suit and tie with his bags packed) on the morning of his induction and was in the care of the army from that point on.We arrived in town about 10.30 am for a briefing and ceremony.There were to be speeches from army personnel, followed by a short film on army life and concluded with some food and refreshments and the chance to farewell our son before he was to head off for 3 months of intense recruit training.

As I mentioned before we were all very proud of James and none more than his grandmother (my mother) who ha had a special bond with him all his life.

Once the speeches and film had concluded we all raced over to James to congratulate him and get some photos of the occasion.After a short time I realised his grandmother wasn't with us and wondered where she was.

We looked around and saw her in conversation with another young lad in the corner.We thought it odd her not being with us because of how close she was to James,  but figured she must have known this boy from somewhere.

When my mother finally came across to us after finishing chatting to this boy we found out the real story:

After the movie, the new recruits lined up at the front of room and the families were then allowed to move across to meet them. My mother who was observing the scene (using her awareness) realised that one of the boys (a complete stranger to her) at the end of the row had no family with him and was standing alone.

She went over to befriend him so that he wouldn't feel alone and sad about having no one there for him.The rest of us were oblivious to this and had raced over to James at the first opportunity, not having eyes or concern for anyone else.

It turned out this lad Robert, as my mother had found out,  was from the country and his family had been unable to make the 5 hour trip down to see him off.

I was amazed by my mothers sharp observation and awareness skills!Her kind and loving nature of course we were all very familiar with.I was truly inspired by her and this memory is something that will always stay with me.

Having good awareness and a kind nature is something well worth striving for in my opinion and can only enhance our life experiences.

I hope you enjoyed this story, I wish you all the best and look forward to catching up again soon!


The Inspirator

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

P.S Take a look at my facebook page @

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Look what you've done!

Hey there!

Hope you've had a great week and things are working out well for you! Can't believe January is almost over.

It's funny that this time of year many people look to list some goals and achievements they'd like to achieve for the rest of the year.It doesn't matter what time of the year you do this I suppose, but the start of a year seems to work well and this is a good practice in my opinion.

Some people sadly can't see what they have already achieved for a multitude of reasons.Often this is because they are comparing themselves to someone else or trying to live up to someone else's image of who they should be.Be it family, friends or media.

How many of you have heard friends complaining they don't feel they have achieved anything in their lives or maybe you have said or felt this yourself? I know I have.

If you think about it, you and every other person has had a least one major outstanding achiement in their lives. You were born! This is no easy task as you were in competition with millions of other competitors, desperately striving to be born, during the fertilisation process before your introduction into the world. So for starters you are a fighter and a survivor!

The world certainly wouldn't be the same without you because your being has already shaped events in the world and other peoples lives.Therefore, you are important!!

For those that don't think they have achieved much in their lives, try this exercise. Write down on a card a list of your achievements. It may be difficult at first but the achievements don't necessarily have to be of Olympic proportions.I guarantee you'll surprise yourself.I've done it and I was surprised.

Many will have listed: learning a language,raised money for charity, been president of a school committee or sporting organsisation, done tertiary studies whilst working full or part time,learned to drive a car, truck or motorbike,learned a musical instrument, raised beautiful children and so on.

You may not have starred in the latest Hollywood blockuster but, So what?

I'm someone who likes to write down goals I would like to achieve .It works for me and makes me feel focussed.
Sometimes the goals I have written down have seemed difficult and have not been completed in the timeframe I was hoping, but I have had a lot of success.

What has worked for me has been a few things: I don't set stringent timeframes.Sometimes circumstances out of your control can affect these time frames and maybe your original timeframe was a little unrealistic in the first place.
I think it is counterproductive to put any time pressure on yourself.

I revisit and reassess my goals continuously.Maybe the goal I have set is no longer what I want or maybe I want to modify it in some way.I periodically check back to see how I'm tracking.

Also I keep a very open mind about achieving my goals.Many times I have looked at my listed goals and thought that there was no way I would be able to achieve them.When I found myself doing this I would give myself a quick mental slap and change my way of looking at these difficult goals.

What I came up with and what works very well for me when looking at these difficult goals is to pose the question: Is this goal impossibe? In every case the answer has been, No! Difficult, maybe? Unlikely, possibly? But never impossible.

I find if you set limits or impose barriers to your goals, you will only ever rise as far as that limitation or barrier and you may want to go further.

I plan to run a half marathon this year.I had this on my list last year but injury provided a stumbling block.
I know I will achieve this goal soon and I can't wait to take on the challenge. :)

Feel good about yourself! You are already a major achiever and an important part of this world!

Good luck with your goal setting!

It's been great to catch up and we'll talk again soon!


The Inspirator :)

Monday, 20 January 2014

Inspiration of the week- Not taking things for granted

How many times in our lives do we find ourselves taking things for granted?

Health,beauty,other people,pets,generosity and the list goes on. We are often only reminded of what we have and our wonderful surroundings during times of adversity.

I like to run, as exercise gives me a lot of energy and inspires me to get out and achieve something for the day.With excercise unfortunately on rare occassions comes injury.However,if you look hard enough you can turn adversity into something positive.

Like many, when I first obtain an injury my immediate reaction is to sulk and feel sorry for myself. The next stage, once I realise that sulking isn't actually speeding up my recovery, is to formulate a plan for the road back ,be it either a short road or a long road. This is where the "Not taking things for granted" comes into it.

In the majority of the time when I am able to run without restriction. I never stop to think about my health or how lucky I am to be able to run when many others cannot.

During periods of injury I reflect on how much I love running, the freedom it makes me feel, the wonderful scenery I can take in and the great friends I can run with and share this experience.

Whilst recovering I draw on wonderful memories of running with friends on the beach in beautiful sunny weather.I file these memories in my "Great to be Alive" folder and they help keep me motivated. I know I will get to run again and promise myself I will make a concious effort to take time and reflect on the wonderful things in my life such as friends,family, pets, scenery,etc and not take things for granted.

Friends,family and people in general that inspire you, should be high on your list of those definitely not to be taken for granted.Firstly, you have no idea how long they'll be around for and secondly they deserve your recognition and appreciation.

I used to be one of those people that would often admire something about a person but never reach out and tell them what I thought or felt about them.What is the point of that? My awareness has improved over time so that I now realise my positive thoughts and feelings can make someone feel good about themselves. It feels selfish to keep your positive feelings about someone else locked inside you.

If you can relate to this yourself, try unlocking these feelings and see what a difference it can make to others.

Anyway, I'm off to continue my rehab and give my dog a pat.

I hope your day goes well and you have some new and exciting experiences to enjoy!

Talk soon. :) 'The Inspirator'