Thursday, 1 September 2011


These ladies are truly 3 of the most remarkable, resilient, strongest and inspiring people I am proud to know.

I am priviledged to work in an environment where I meet truly remarkable people daily. I am humbled every day to be in the presense of such incredible individuals, some of whom are extremely affected by past events. For some, these experiences have made them strong and resilient, others have very low self esteem and little confidence. Being in a position to support these people to find peace and move forward feels very special. Yesterday I met an absolutely lovely 69 year old lady. This wonderful woman has suffered in ways that no human being should have to. However she has survived because she has an irrepresible spirit and zest for life. She is not bitter at what has happened to her, just disappointed, confused and hurt. She has enourmous resilience and an infectious personality that touches everyone she meets, it has certainly touched me.
 As I write this, I feel very emotional and helpless because I cannot change what has happened, I cannot make it OK. I also feel so angry that a person should have to be subjected to this behaviour from another human being, and I feel terrified and powerless to know that there are so so many others, right now, being harmed.

"Perhaps the point of living is not to be placid and happy and untouched by the world, but to be deeply, painfully sensitive to it, and to see its cruelty and savagery for what they are, and accept all this as readily as we accept its beauty. To be touched by it, moved by it, hurt by it even, but not to be indifferent to it"
John Simpson, Foreign Correspondent

If someone is damaged, frustrated, offended or oppressed, everyone's humanity is diminsished. Empathy, not individuality is key to humanity. We have to build a conscious relationship with ourselves, find the goodness within and take action to support others through the companions of human existence: - illness, poverty, death, hurt, desire and love. Unfortunately, it seems that for too many, their exsistence also means abuse, violence, prejudice and neglect.

"There is too much hatred in this world and children are the innocent victims. Having witnessed its destructive consequences on humanity I am convinced that love is the only power that can defeat it"
Mark Cook, Humanitarian
"The Candle Mark and Caroline (Cook as above quote) have lit seems to offer a precious little light in the darkness that threatens to envelop many of the worlds children. But if others light similar candles, it will grow less dark. There is no knowing what the love" Hope and Homes for Children" seeks to arouse in the human heart might achieve in a hard world"
Lord Deedes

We can all support our fellow human beings living by the values of humility, generosity, kindness, compassion, honesty and not being afraid to take a risk.

"Live Boldly, follow your dreams, take risks, look after your friends and smile when the mountain is steepest"
Bear Grylls, Professional Adventurer

"Love, Family, Hope, Goodness, Faith, Dedication, Sacrifice, Trust, Committment, Friendship, Belief and Action"
The Values of the Salvation Army

The people I meet every day, not just through my work, but my friends and family inspire me to live my life according to these simple values. I do this by trying to  follow these simple rules: ( I am not always successful)
  • Appreciate  the simple things in life
  • A freedom from material desires (have not been so good at this one in the past, but I am getting much better now, as I move towards my goal of living a simple life - it's just stuff!)
  • Avoid waste
  • Teach economy to my kids
  • Avoid greed, fear and peer pressure
  • Generosity and Sharing
  • Putting others first with kindness, openess, purity and without expectations and conditions (JoyFest cemented these values!)
I also draw inspiration from nature and the natural world. Today I have been inspired by a beautiful September day; watching the birds in the garden, picking the apples and plums off the trees, picking blackberries when we took the dogs out. Now, I am appreciating this first September evening, knowing that we are now on the count down to shorter days, which makes me determined to relish every moment of the last days of Summer 2011 especially because it has been such a Super Summer!

These are some people in the public eye that inspire me and you can read more about some of them in the book by Oliver Chittenden, INSPIRE, Courageous People of Our Time.

"This book is all about people who capture the imagination. People with extraordinary determination and enthusiasm. People who are committed to changing their worlds. People who make us proud. People with no particular natural advantages - and sometimes great burdens - who made the most of what they had and emerged victorious"

Camilla Batmanghelidjh, Champion
of Child Rights
"Love is all it takes,
We aim to return children to their
Mohandas Ghandi (known as Mahatma meaning
"Great Soul"
"Live Simply, so that others can simply live"
David Attenbourgh, Naturalist and Broadcaster
"An understanding of the Natural World and what's in it, is not only a
source of a great curiosity but of great fulfillment"

 Chris Peckham,A Naturalist, Wildlife photographer and Broadcaster who's knowledge and passion is so uplifting and inspiring.

Bruce Parry, Presenter and Adventurer
"Many of us in the 'developed' world see some sort of global disaster coming. But as modern societies, presently at least, we seem to be continuing in the same vein, feathering our expensive nests, raiding our natural resources, while simultaneously looking romantically over our shoulders at 'how it used to be'"

Eddie Izzard, Actor, Comedian who ran 43 marathons in
51 days!


 Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Global Explorer
"My advice  to people wanting to live their dream is encapsulated in a quote from Goethe: "Whatever you can do, or dream you can.................begin it" "

Lone Droscher Neilson, Wildliife Conservationist, founder of the Nyaru Menteng Orangutang  Reintroduction Project.
A Century ago, there were over 230,000 orang-utans in Borneo and Sumatra. But, within the last decade alone, their numbers have fallen by between 30% and 50%. and now only around 7,500 survive in Sumatra and 55,000 in Borneo.

Waangari Muta Maathai,  founder of the Green Belt Movement, an environmentalist, a civil society and women's right activist and a former parliamentarian.
"In the course of history, there comes a time when humanity is called to shift to a new level of consciousness, to reach a higher moral ground. A time when we have to shed our fear, and give hope to each other

 I love this description of this book because it describes so well, not just the  people in the book, but many whom I have been lucky enough to meet in my life.These are the people who lift my spirit and warm my soul and whose presense on the planet, make it a better place. So, this post is to all of you who have faced such huge challenges and won, you ARE amazing!
Claire Lawrence, Heidi Hill, Ingrid Warren, Rachel Clark, Pete Ewing, Richard Marks, Diane Long, Emma Joynson, Danyell Stimpson, Christine Ewing, Hamish Ewing.

Robbie, Bleu, Matthew, Pen, Sue(s), Kate, Jo, Rach, Ju, Shuna, Rach, Amanda, Lou, Gillian, Jane, Sara, my extended family and so many more who have touched my life and shared their gift.


This post is especially dedicated to my Granny who died 16 years ago, but who I think about every day and who inspired me while she was alive, and who continues to inspire me to be a better person every single day of my life. She was the love of my life until Robbie and my children came along, and now I have 4 loves of my life.
She believed in me, didn't judge me and loved me unconditionally, she was the strongest, most wonderful woman I will ever know.

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