Tip of The Week”The joy of Giving”

One small idea can make a positive impact

Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love” Lao Tzu

“You are winning by giving ” Steve Hyne

It is the season of giving for many around the globe from Thanks Giving day to Christmas day. In many religious celebrations offerings and gifts were a part of life. Even Jesus said there is more happiness in giving than receiving. The best type of giving is when its not merited and when it is from a place of compassion. For example forgiveness is the simplest gift but the hardest for many to give. It is so easy to make complaints or feel bitter from the consequences in life especially if others hurt us. Last week I was touched by this wonderful statement “There isn’t anyone you couldn’t love once you’ve heard their story“. When you forgive others you forgive yourself, what a gift that is for both recipients.

The spontaneous gifts that come from the heart are a blessing for both parties. As a parent I love to surprise my children when they are never expecting anything as a surprise. I am thankful to my parents who had very little when I was young and they were always very generous, a lesson they taught by actions not words. The greatest gift is not material pleasures but relationships from all the different domains. It is so easy to take people for granted at work , at home , our friends and others. Sending someone a simple message of kindness and love creates an energy within for the sender and the receiver.

When you fill your heart with love and compassion it creates a positive emotion within your soul. Release that simple joy of giving with a few words that can bring sunshine to someone world. Practicing compassion and kindness for the world will take your existence on this earth to another cosmic level. From a personal experience a few words of compassion is all you can give to some and reflecting back I have no regrets. We never know what tomorrow will bring and if today was your last day what would you say to your love one or friend? Never be stingy in giving because one day you might not have the opportunity to give in word or deed.

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted” Aesop

You are winning by giving

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The Dark Shadow and a New Light

except from new book The new adventures of the Musketeers Draft

The next day Aramis with a new infusion of romance and a trouble conscience decided to head straight back to Paris in pursuit of two dreams. One of them was to declare his intentions to Madame de Rambouillet and the other dream to empower the Black African slave civil rights. He had seen the ships that carried these slaves during his visit in Nantes. He knew deep down within his soul that this suffering was inhuman and no longer ignore his troubled soul. Aramis was connected to his emotions and he could no longer ignore them. They were telling his body you have to do something Aramis and his mind wouldn’t stop signalling injustice. The eyes were full of tears and his body was alive with anger energising through his veins. He knew through his studies in training to be a priest came flooding back to during his visit to Nantes. His memory was reflecting back on learning Latin so he could read the bible passages. He knew the church didn’t agree with the injustices by them issuing different Papal Bulls and edicts. He was a musketeer now and musketeers are men of action he thought. It’s not just being an innocent bystander pacifying the populace with their  credulous statements. He was on a mission and in his heart, he had a new mantra for freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

Aramis arrived at Madame de Rambouillet home in Paris with two passions in his heart. The excitement of Aramis face was aglow of love and compassion. His heart was fluttering as the servant showed him to Chambre bleu (the Blue Room). As he entered the room the servant said” A gentleman is here to see you Madame Rambouillet, I do believe he is a musketeer my lady” 

“Fetch my companion a drink please” said Madame in an elegant sophisticated voice but with warmth in her tones” Aramis was nervous and wanted to impress her so he replied in Italian” grazie mia principessa ho molto da dirti”(thank you my princess I have much to tell you). 

Ciel Melodie Rambouillet smiled and said ”non devi parlare italiano” (you don’t have to speak Italian).  “ Please come over here Aramis and sit next to me and tell me of your latest adventure” said Ciel with a sincere glee sparkled from her brown eyes.  Aramis walked over to his princess and sat next to her and his whole body started to relax. The servant came into the room and gave Aramis a fresh cup of Italian coffee. 

“The coffee came from Venice” Madame de Rambouillet said in a seductive manner. Her rich relatives in Venice traded this commodity to the elite. Aramis was thankful for the privilege of this earthly treasure upon his lips as he tasted the coffee. Madame de Rambouillet went to say to her good friend “ Pope Clement VIII was going to ban this drink but tasting the coffee, he declared: “Why, this Satan’s drink is so delicious that it would be a pity to let the infidels have exclusive use of it”. Aramis laughed so much that he nearly fell off his chair and spilt some of his drink.” I am sorry for spilling coffee on your chair Ciel Melodie”

She replied back “I can have the chair mended but France cannot lose a Musketeer. What are you so excited about Aramis, as soon as you came into the room, I could feel your energy and presence? Your eyes were wide open , you had aglow about your aura.”

“ I have heavy heart and a heart full of passion that wants to embrace the mind and soul of a princess.” Ciel Melodie responded in a curious voice but her eyes knew the answer” Who is that Aramis , is it Marie de Médicis?” Madame de Rambouillet laughed because she knew the once Queen of France was even too much for Aramis to handle. 

There was a knock at door and the encounter between the musketeer and his Princess was halted as they came back to the world of Chambre bleu Madame de Rambouillet home.“It is Charles de L’Aubespine come to see you Madame de Rambouillet”. Charles de L’Aubespine was the Justice minister who wanted justice for France not just in words but in action. 

Notes from the author: In my exploration of fascinating French history I am amazed how the culture in 17th century has significantly changed with prejudices from institutions that have evolved. Slowly the story unfolds in history and todays society has evolved with so many enlightenments of humanity that we often take for granted.

Tip of the Week “What are Your Virtues”

The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature. Marcus Aurelius

Through life journey we have many paths to choose, some lead to happiness while others lead to challenges. Many of our thoughts have been placed there since childhood through family systems, educational institutions, religious ideologies and friends etc. Regardless of our identity of beliefs and values it is so easy to forget who we are. The constant of flow information can shape our subconscious mind.

Marcus Aurelius is an excellent idea because our thoughts becomes our reality, in essence our inner world will become manifest in our outer world. Many outstanding individuals in history had a code that they embodied and was manifested to the world . If I mention a few individuals you remember what they were not what they did. For example Jesus Christ , Gautama Buddha, Mohandas Ghandi are just a few.

Benjamin Franklin was keen for personal growth and developing his character . He instituted into his personal life 13 virtues by the age of 20 and continued to practice them for the rest of his life. Spend time reflecting on what is important to you and your own ethics to become outstanding in your work , family and everyday activities. It’s not what you do is so important, it’s who and what you stand for and become.

I am endeavour to live by a different virtue each week so I can become these wonderful blessings not to just myself but to the whole of humanity.

Steve Hyne 7 virtues

Forgiveness is a virtue of the brave. Indira Gandhi

Make time for laughter

Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine Lord Byron.

The reality of life challenges can have a subtle or cascading effect our our physical and mental health. The routines and structure of today’s civilisation is more demanding than what we would prefer at times. On top of the weekly ups and downs we all face is the worldwide pandemic of Covid 19. The restrictions and losses many are facing can make life tougher than a normal winter. I am privileged to meet many daily from different walks of life and can see the toll the regime is having on people in general. The biggest loss I see and genuinely feel is their pain of isolation especially the vulnerable. This post is for everyone but if you know someone who is struggling this can make a difference.

I have seen pain in all it’s guises from personal experiences, to the reality of others horrendous ordeals. The panacea for me is humour and it is free. I will add let the emotions do the work if your are in pain emotional or physical go with the flow.

The mind can be an enemy or friend it’s how you look after it. Imagine it’s a close friend and how would you treat it? Imagine week in week out the same routine with the same and new daily challenges. The sunshine of humour and sharing that humour is cheap medicine and Lord Byron had a few problems in his life so he knew what he was saying. So make time to have a laugh , watch comedy , relax and have a joke don’t be too serious.

There’s no life without humour. It can make the wonderful moments of life truly glorious, and it can make tragic moments bearable. Rufus Wainwright

Be silly for a change

Age of Enlightenment with a Dark Shadow in 17th Century

Extract(draft) from my forth coming book The New Adventures of the Musketeers. Researching for the book France during this period the tides of fortune started to change. Women had a huge impact on education and the landscape changed just before French Revolution. On a dark side Slavery was rampant with France monopolising the slave trade. In my book I have tried to visualise the narrative with real people who had impact on the culture. This is fictional narrative copying the author of the musketeers Demas style. Enjoy the story…

Aramis was excited to see his friend Pierre de Ronsard but was sad to hear that René of Chambes the lord of the castle had to flee.” Hello my dear friend Pierre, what a pleasure to be here at this beautiful Chateau and of course to see you”.

Pierre said “ Oh my good fellow please come in and we can spend much time together. The King is staying here with Jean de Chambes and they are out hunting with the royal party”. They both walked to the Grand library in the Chateau  where all the four walls were covered with literature. Aramis loved literature and was an intellectual at heart but it never made him proud. The common French worker if he was lucky could read some French but the bible , legal papers and other important documents where in Latin.

”I love The Book of the City of Ladies” said Aramis as he noticed it on the shelf.

“Yes it is a beautiful piece of literature by Christine de Pizan” 

Pierre continues ”She reminds me of Madame de Rambouillet who I do admire, she established the French Academy in Paris”

Aramis replied in a romantic tone” to be loved by a women not just with her heart but with the whole esscence of antiquity will save my soul from life futile woes”. Pierre felt Aramis soul touch his soul with his sincerity and bashfulness as he echoed those words. 

“I have been working on a project and I am sure you will have affinity for it” said Pierre. “Please read some to me my dear friend and melt the bridges of my heart so the spirit of ambivalent words wraps around my heart and mind” said Aramis in modicum voice.

Pierre said to his companion “this is sonnet three”

“Entre les rais de sa jumelle flamme

Je vis Amour, qui son arc desbandoit,

Et sus mon cueur le brandon éspandoit,

Qui des plus froids les moëlles enflamme.

Puis çà puis là pres les yeulx de ma dame

Entre cent fleurs un retz d’or me tendoit,

Qui tout crespu blondement descendoit

A flotz ondez pour enlasser mon ame.

Qu’eussay-je faict l’Archer estoit si doulx,

Si doulx son feu, si doulx l’or de ses noudz,

Qu’en leurs filetz encore je m’oublie:

Mais cest oubli ne me tourmente point,

Tant doulcement le doulx Archer me poingt,

Le feu me brusle, et l’or crespe me lie.”

Among the rays of her twin flashing eyes

I see Love, who has set aside his bow

And over my heart waved a fire brand

Which would warm the marrow of the coldest.

On one side then the other, near my lady’s eyes,

Among many flowers he spreads for me a net of gold

Which descends blond and curling

In flowing waves to bind my soul.

What could I have done, the Archer was so gentle

So gentle his fire, so gentle the gold of his knots,

That, though still in their net, I forget myself.

But this forgetfulness doesn’t trouble me at all,

So gently does the gentle Archer strike me,

The fire burn me and the curling gold bind me.

Author comments

It helps me to appreciate how each individual can contribute to shape society for centuries into the future. Regardless of gender , age or race by our contributions we can be part of a fabric of society.

Release emotions

What makes us human is the emotions and feelings in our body by experiences. This is just short post I will go in depth in another post or on a page on https://2020-learning.com/

Latin for the word emotion, ’emotere’, literally means energy in motion. The problem due to culture and personal bias or judgments the emotion sometimes is released but subconsciously we may hold on to it. The energy that is not released can effect how we perform in everyday activities. You may of not felt yourself some days or lack of energy or felt like carrying a weight around in the body.

This post is not covering complex emotional problems that have built up over a period of time .If that is the situation I suggest to see a professional for advice. Talking to a trusted friend can very often help release those emotions trapped in the body.

Often the root cause of many trapped emotions are 3 core issues the mind gravitates towards and holds onto.

1 Control: The mind or the Ego believes if it has total control there will be no problems. In relationships two Egos have a battle of who is in control that can be a lot of emotional energy used. In a personal life a person may believe that , when they have total control everything will be fine. In essence it is a survival instinct. The reality of life there is no definitives its just an illusion anything could stop the event or feeling.

2 Approval: We all like to have compliments because of the social brain. Animals and humans have better chances of survival hence that’s why more live in cities than rural. The Ego loves to be adored, it basks in the sunshine of approval. The realty is that no one is better on the planet , they may have different skills or have opportunities but internally every human needs a heart to beat to exsist. In instinct survival mode a human baby needs approval to survive or if the parents abandon the child it will die as it does sometimes in the animal kingdom.

3 Safety: The fight or flight or freeze response is a core survival mechanism always on alert. In relationships the emotional energy is there for survival. For example if you had a disagreement the brain will often go in to the familiar pattern for survival. The safety of the human is at its greatest risk during childhood hence there is often trapped emotions because children can’t fight or run but is confined to freeze situation. The old victorian saying “children can be seen but not heard” so what happens to the emotions? They freeze in the child body with no release.

Learning to release emotions takes practice and awareness so don’t give up easily persevere. Remember that little devil the Ego or the mind is in survival mode and runs all your internal programs. Here is a simple tip on releasing the emotions but please consult professional if you need help.

Question to ask the Ego or the mind: On a scale from 1 to 10 , 10 being the worst how is the emotion feeling now?

Your answer 8 (as an example)

Can you let go of the emotion or feeling now?

Your answer Yes

let go of the emotion. You probably will take a breathe or a deep sigh to release energy naturally.

Repeat the question On a scale from 1 to 10 , 10 being the worst, how is the emotion feeling now?

Your answer 6

Can you let go of the emotion or feeling now? Sometimes the Ego will try to stop the release with other sensations or voices in the mind. Trick the Ego and say: Could you let go of this emotion now?

Object is to persist the exercise till you reach 0 or feel empty. Sometimes you may go back up to 9 because the releasing may perturb other trapped energy.

Releasing is similar to exercising the more you do it the more energy you will have and will become easier and fun. A good friend taught me the practice and he says he has bliss factor after releasing becoming his normal being present self.

Meditation is an excellent back up plan if you are struggling to quiet the mind and reduce emotional states.

Another very similar releasing method is by identifying one of the root causes so you can release a lot of energy connected to several trapped emotions. For example: On a scale from 1 to 10 , 10 being the worst, can you release the feeling of being in Control ( Approval , Safety ) now?

I hope this tip will help you be energised again to your normal self by releasing those emotional trapped energies.

Have a go not an EGO

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Lao Tzu “The Old Master”

The Tradition says he was a Chinese philosopher in the 6th-5th Century BC. and is he was believed to be the founder of Taoism. Like many of us our names are different to different people but mean the same person. He is called either Lao Tzu or  Laozi author name  or Lao Tze. Recent historians believe he was an invented mythical figure head. Similar to the origin of Buddha there is no know proof of a man only by later sacred texts. Obliviously there was someone or group of Indi duals that started the stories very often we call them their disciples.

Confucius is often believed to be a student of Lao Tzu. Similarly, some believe that when Lao Tzu travelled to India either taught or became the Buddha.

The Dao De Jing also known as Tao Te Ching is a religious text of Daoism.  The Dao can mean: Way or a path , de mean: Virtue or being morally good. Central teaching  is that there is a natural order or a “way of heaven” and by living in harmony with nature and with the Universe. The flow of ‘chi’ energy,  or action forming part of all living things, is compared and believed to be the influence that keeps the universal order of Tao balance.

Here are some teachings though out The Dao De Jing that contains 5000 Chinese characters

Compassion, kindness, love, tenderness, love, mercy, kindness, gentleness 

Moderation, simplicity, frugality meaning economy, restraint

Application in moral life it stands for the simplicity of desire.

Humility, modesty

Going with the flow 

Letting go

There are many other concepts from The Dao De Jing from a simple life to the role of a government . The book is translated into English give the native reader an idea but to truly understand its context you need to think in Chinese and understand its culture.

Finish one concept that I read today that is applicable about the worldwide Covid19 virus

“Should we Fear what others Fear? It has been like this since ancient times, it never ends!”

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Early to bed and early to rise makes a human healthy, wealthy and wise

The above quote was from Benjamin Franklin who was a Polymath. It means a person well educated in a wide variety of subjects or fields. Polymaths are also described as persons with encyclopaedic or broad or varied knowledge or learning.

Here is a sample of his day routine waking at 5am from his autobiography

  • Getting ready for the day: shower, breakfast, personal study, and prepare for work (3 hours)
  • Morning work (4 hours)
  • Review of current projects and to eat lunch (2 hours)
  • Afternoon work (4 hours)
  • Dinner and rest and wrapping up the day (4 hours)
  • Sleep (7 hours)

We all have different body clocks but through my observation and many individuals body energy is optimised after a good nights sleep. I have always been a morning person so its a lifetime habit. But old habits can erode over time and good reminders help adjust our mind and soul to reach our goals. It is easy to stay up late and waste time with media trivia from the internet or Netflix’s etc.

If you want to out smart and outshine the competition or expand your mind , body and wallet get out of bed 30 minutes earlier during the work week. Imagine you would have gained extra 130 hours in a year or over 10 hours a month. That is investment you can’t refuse because the best investment is in your self by being healthy , wealthy and wise.

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Lifestyle Patterns

Excerpt from my book draft

A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.                    Charles Darwin

You and I are essentially infinite choice-makers. In every moment of our existence, we are in that field of all possibilities where we have access to an infinity of choices.                                                        Deepak Chopra

Lifestyle is the choices we make as adults but very often they have roots from our childhood patterns or routines. An example is if you enjoyed sports as a child you will probably incorporate some sports in your life. The foods we had as children are likely taste we developed and enjoyed as familiar foods. Our parents, friends and education influenced many other choices that have probably become patterns. That could include our use of resources, relationships, spirituality, sexuality and so forth. 

Our personal beliefs about our self and others will also have an effect on our lifestyle. This will include our motivations, desires and personality. The neuroplasticity and neurogenesis of the brain gives all humanity the opportunity to change to a better version of themselves if the intentions are there. 

A person lifestyle patterns will support their choices or conversely erode and stop the choices all together.

Poor food choices will affect the motivations and desires of the brain and the body. When the body and brain have a lack of exercise this too will impede the choices. According to the World Health Organisation it says

56.9 million deaths worldwide in 2016, more than half (54%) were due to the top 10 causes. Ischaemic heart disease and stroke are the world’s biggest killers, accounting for a combined 15.2 million deaths in 2016. These diseases have remained the leading causes of death globally in the last 15 years. Ischemia or ischaemia is a restriction in blood supply to tissues, causing a shortage of oxygen that is needed for cellular metabolism (to keep tissue alive). Ischemia is generally caused by problems with blood vessels, with resultant damage to or dysfunction of tissue. Treatment for myocardial ischemia involves improving blood flow to the heart muscle. Treatment may include medications, a procedure to open blocked arteries (angioplasty) or bypass surgery. Healthy lifestyle choices treating and preventing myocardial ischemia are vital.

The difficulty in attaining a healthy lifestyle is not easy for many reasons from Physiological, Psychological ,Educational, Spiritual, Emotional and so forth. Added to this dilemma is a life pattern has become in grained for decades and sometimes through several generations. The body is an amazing feat of engineering and the brain is a supercomputer organization the body. But the mind is the secret weapon that can fight for your dreams or fight against you to your untimely death. 

In this chapter I will explore simple lifestyle patterns to identify some of the foundations and the structures of different choices.

More info to come…

Review your life style Pexels.com

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Age of Enlightenment with a Dark Shadow Part one

The New Adventures of The Musketeers

(A Psychological and Historical Perspective draft)

Madame de Rambouillet was the daughter of an Italian woman named Julia and her father was Bland Julia secret lover. Madame de Rambouillet was raised as Jean Vivonne daughter the husband of Julia as his own. He never knew of the affair of his wife Julia and Bland. Julia lover Bland was a traveller from a distant land who many stories to tell about his journey to France. He was intelligent calm and caring but yet a daring solider who wanted to join the Musketeers. He has seen death , hunger , rain and cold but his spirit was always joyful bringing solace to his friends and lovers. His charm and educated tongue could cast a spell on the educated ladies of Paris. During a visit to Paris the king’s army threatened him because he stood out from the local native Parisian. Because of his quick thinking he escaped the prejudice of the solders with his life. 

Madame de Rambouillet first name in French is Ciel Melodie or in English it is Sky Melody. Ciel was a bright young lady who had the privilege of being educated from Italian philosophies and arts. Her French father was keenly interested in the sciences and literature. This gave her the opportunity to develop her love of many passions of literature from different perspectives. This attracted the young aristocracy and promising Parisians to be in her company. Her mother Julia mentioned to her about her real father Bland in secret vowing never to tell her husband of the affair. Ciel knew the difficulty of the situation but she still loved Jean Vivonne as her real father. Ciel Melodie now understood why she felt different from most French citizens having an Italian mother and foreign father. Her heart and mind always looked below the skin colour and intellect of a person looking at the inner beauty of humanity. 

Ciel Melodie Rambouillet wanted to expand her understanding of the many interest she had to share with the local Parisons. She decided to convert a building in 1618 that became a saloon named chambre bleue. Her  influential women companions stated a new structure of learning for the most important writers, philosophes, and artists in France. They encouraged and supported the founding of the French Academy. 

The Dark side

From 1628 to 1642, French sailors captured slaves on foreign slave ships and brought them into the French colonies. The slave trade was legalized by King Louis XIII in 1642, and his successor Louis XIV encouraged the slave trade by giving a subsidy for each slave introduced into the colonies in 1672. The French slave ships, from the ports of Nantes, Bordeaux, La Rochelle or Le Havre, transported millions of innocent Black Africans

Aramis decided to see some old friends in Nantes where he was studying to be a priest at the city St. Peters Cathedral years ago. The city was vibrant with the many ships from the French colonies importing goods to the wealth of the king and the economy. The market gardens selling the local produce was a bustling city with many stories being told by the sailors and visItors. 

Aramis stayed at the château de goulaine where two of his good friends were working Michel Colombe a sculpture and architect Jean Perréal were living. “It’s been a long time Aramis, we can remember your youthful days chasing all the ladies but at the same time training to be a priest.” Aramis replied in a hearty tone” The ladies just loved my curls and smooth boyish cheeks. It was hard focusing on my studies as I had to walk every day through the streets of Nantes with so much activity with many young ladies of wealth spending and dinning in the town” Jean Perreal said jokingly “ They would have had you for breakfast” Then the sculpture said “ Many of those ladies husbands or fathers had plantations in the Caribbean. They used to brag about their black slaves being beating for looking at them in a strange way. Aramis said, “I never understood why the church didn’t say a bad word about the slave trade”. Jean Perréal said “ I remember reading a newspaper and it said about the English man Sir John Hawkins. He was the first slave-ship captain to take African slaves to the Americas, and he was a religious man who insisted that his crew serve God daily and love one another.” He continued in a cynical laugh “he called the ship the Good Ship Jesus”

to be continued

Comments by author: The continued episodes from the new musketeers will be eventually a book. I am planning to release the book in time for Christmas with all previous stories in  volume one. My mission is to make French history interesting in a light hearted story that teaches major issues we all faced in some guise in life. Hope you enjoy the narrative and this is only a draft so please excuse the grammar.

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