Being Cause in the Matter


This is the place from which I and many friends strive to live our lives: being responsible. It’s taken me many years to hear something new in the word responsibility, something other than “blame”. It requires listening with the “ears of the heart”, to use Father Mike’s phrase. Can you hear it too?

Originally posted on Werner Erhard Quotes:

To take a stand that you are cause in the matter contrasts with it being your fault, or that you failed, or that you are to blame, or even that you did it.

That you are the cause of everything in your life is a place to stand from which to view and deal with life – a place that exists solely as a matter of your choice. The stand that one is cause in the matter is a declaration, not an assertion of fact. It simply says, “you can count on me (and I can count on you) to look and deal with life from the perspective of my being cause in the matter.”

When you have taken the stand (declared) that you are cause in the matter of your life it means that you give up the right to assign cause to the circumstances, or to others. That…

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Talk to your headpiece


Solomon was busy judging others,
when it was his personal thoughts
that were disrupting the community.

His crown slid crooked on his head.
He put it straight, but the crown went
awry again. Eight times this happened.

Finally he began to talk to his headpiece.
“Why do you keep tilting over my eyes?”

“I have to. When your power loses compassion,
I have to show what such a condition looks like.”

Immediately Solomon recognised the truth.
He knelt and asked forgiveness.
The crown centred itself on his crown.

When something goes wrong, accuse yourself first.
Even the wisdom of Plato or Solomon
can wobble and go blind.

Listen when your crown reminds you
of what makes you cold toward others,
as you pamper the greedy energy inside.

~ Solomon’s Crooked Crown by Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī (جلال‌الدین محمد رومی) (Persian, 1207-1273)


Image: Interior, Notre Dame du Haut, Ronchamp, France, photograph by Ray Roberts/Alamy, architecture by Le Corbusier

Some thoughts on The Silent Treatment


I’ve always found silence a power thing. When I’m alone with it, it is a friend. When someone is using it against me, it is a weapon more damaging than anything anyone would have to register with the state.


I’m with you sister. There’s the silence of being complete and then there’s … THE SILENT TREATMENT!!! Most damaging weapon known to human being. I’ve got two people in my life who’ve been engaging in it for years. I used to get upset about it, especially after I did the Landmark Forum and I got the damage I’d been inflicting on myself and others from years of doing it myself. I tried everything I could to have them give it up .. apologised, pleaded for forgiveness for whatever I’d done that didn’t work for them, kept inviting them to meet me and .. nothing. Then I got something about it last year.

I saw I’d been believing they were preventing me speaking, that they were controlling my self-expression especially my expression of love. And I got it wasn’t true. I could express myself freely, and had been. What was missing was not my self-expression, what was missing was a response that I liked. Once I got that I was able to drop it. Now I don’t engage in the game (even though it looked to me like I hadn’t been engaging in it before, I had been). I’m standing for the possibility of love and affinity between us.


Good for you for letting go of the need to resolve it. That’s hard to do. I’ve had too many “friends” go out of my life by passively engaging silence. Just becoming ghosts unless I called them back. I kept wondering about them and would call or write. They would seem “so happy” to hear from me and make promises to get together. Then nothing until I reached out again. Communication has to go both ways for it to be communication. I finally got that and decided not to be a “stalker.” If they wanted my friendship, they knew how to find me–but they haven’t come looking for me yet! ;)


Here’s my point of view. They may not be speaking but they are communicating. Whether it’s the passive type of silence or the hostile type, it’s a communication. It’s saying “I’m punishing you for x”. The person may not be clear that it’s x at the bottom of it but there’s always an x and usually it’s a tiny incident. Even if the person gets clear about x it’s usually so tiny they can feel embarrassed to raise it, embarrassed to acknowledge it’s driving them. So it’s easier to keep on punishing, to “win”, to be “right”.


Well said. Being “right” is everything to so many people. It’s as if they wouldn’t exist without making their point loud and clear.


Being “right” is the default way of being of our world. It’s Gaza, Israel, Syria …



Communicator of the Year


Following is a repost from my business site, Business Writing Coach. Did you hear Mr Timmermans speaking? How did it affect you?


Out of the horror and chaos of the shooting down of the Malaysia Airlines jet over Ukraine last week, a great communicator emerged. His name is grand – Franciscus Cornelius Gerardus Maria “Frans” Timmermans – and his capacity to say what no-one else could, even grander.

To a packed meeting of the United Nations Security Council in New York, Mr Timmermans, the Dutch Foreign Minister, gave a speech that went straight to the heart of the matter in direct and simple language.

When a person speaks in this way, something unmistakeable happens. A stillness, a profound hush, falls on the listeners. The listener recognises something special is taking place. A human being is speaking from the universal humanity he shares with each of his listeners. He is speaking without concern for the impression he is making, or whether he is “winning” or “losing” the conversation. So it was at the UN meeting.

Those not in the room could hear it too.

Bill Clinton, former US President and master communicator, watching on TV from far-off Australia, remarked on it, saying he had been “overwhelmed” by Mr Timmermans’s comments:

He took my breath away when he speculated what the last moments of those people must have been like.

Below is the clip showing Mr Timmermans’s speech. The point Clinton refers to comes at the 46 second mark. Watch it and see for yourself, but let me say one thing before you do.

You may think Mr Timmermans’s mastery of communication is reserved for a few individuals, a rare politician or CEO. That is not the case. This kind of communicative power is available to everyone, and doesn’t reside in training, working on your grammar or collecting tips for “being a better communicator”. What it takes is one thing: the courage to be real. Choose this and you too can communicate with the power and grace of Mr Timmermans. Our workplaces, our societies, need you to.


Take your communication to the next level …

Arrange an inhouse coaching program today by calling 0412 616 076 or register into the next public session here: Public sessions.


Ummm and errr …

Undated, Chicago, IL

I’m out of things to say. I think it’s temporary. I used to have my pet standbys to fall back on, like books, for instance. Now I read only two sorts: those about God, often disguised as something else, and crime novels. The latter are honest. The former, the only sort not beside the point. Literary fiction, on the other hand …

There is no point to writing unless it’s to touch ourselves and through ourselves to touch the world. And just for now, I’m fully touched up. My cup overflows and not in words today …


Image: Vivian Maier

Ode to Friday

October 29, 1953, New York, NY

There was a branch
Was in a bush was in a night was in
What became parcelled in my careless skin.

Colours went by
As shades of colours and a rose tree was
Where space must thicken and where time must pause.

By the roadside
A water made away with itself and stayed.
Only by it was silence disarrayed.

And silence, by
That sweet dishevelling made lovelier,
Fell silent all the more and would not stir.

The man going by,
As though a mind were an informing grace,
Put on the being of that common place.

He was therefore
Enriched by bank and wall and, there, beyond,
A star being glow-worm on a bracken frond.

And structures rose
Into a future that is now where these
Long buried things are present histories.

~ Brackloch by Norman MacCaig (Scottish, 1910-1996)


 Image: October 29, 1953, New York, NY by Vivian Maier


This is NOT a Case of Getting What You Pay For


The Scorpiolicious Lorna (aka, she whose name means “lost”) has made her memoir, How Was I Supposed to Know?, available to download for free for a few days only. Lorna’s story is a moving one, and she tells it with great courage and her trademark humour. It’s a model for anyone contemplating writing their own memoir. This is how you do it, and win a real audience of loyal fans along the way.

Originally posted on Lorna's Voice:

I know if something is offered to me for free, I get suspicious.

Free to a good home. Interior in great shape.

Free to a good home. Interior in great shape.

You get what you pay for, right?

I suppose in some  many  most cases, that’s true.

But not in this case.

In this case, you’d be as crazy as dog trying to catch a bug not to take this offer AND tell everyone you know about it.

In this case, you’re getting a real bargain, and who doesn’t love a bargain?

shopping dog

Starting today and ending on July 5 (Saturday), you can CLICK HERE to download a FREE COPY of the second edition of my memoir, How Was I Supposed to Know? 

(You’ll need a Kindle App for your device if you don’t have a Kindle.)

Here is the new look for the second edition. I hope you like it!

Here is the new look for the second edition. I hope you like it!

Giving away free copies of your book is…

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Wonderful post from songwriter, Tony, about caring enough to do one’s highest work. A gem.

Originally posted on t h i n g s + f l e s h:

caringI thought the song I made up for N was completely finished. She asked me to compose a short piece for string quartet and computer-generated sound, and I did.

But listening to it, there was something wrong with the words, with the tune, the tempo … there was a deceit somewhere in there, there was a sincerity that I hadn’t achieved.

I was handing it off, completed, and yet I knew that I couldn’t sing it. I could hear it in the vocal on the demo I recorded: I, the songwriter, was putting you on.

I hadn’t put care into the song, not enough anyway. I let the managers, the record company, even my fellow artist get in the way. I let the opportunity entice me to do something beyond the point to which my heart was willing to go.

A songwriter has one aim in life: to bestow his heart. Caring gives you a compass, a direction to head, and more than anything a purpose for making up a song in the first place.

It’s what endures in…

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Ode to Friday: Hafez

I want both of us

To start talking about this great love


As if you, I, and the Sun were all married

And living in a tiny room,


Helping each other to cook,

Do the wash,

Weave and sew,

Care for our beautiful



We all leave each morning

To labour on the earth’s field.

No one does not lift a great pack.


I want both of us to start singing like two

Travelling minstrels

About this extraordinary existence

We share,


As if

You, I, and God were all married


And living in

A tiny



~ I Want Both Of Us, by Khwāja Shamsu d-Dīn Muhammad Hāfez-e Shīrāzī (خواجه شمس‌ دین محمد حافظ شیرازی‎), known by his pen name, Hāfez (Persian, 1325–1390)