Today I learned that the ancient Persian Sufi adage: "This Too Shall Pass" is the doorway to enlightenment; and a pathway to the wonder of a life without form. #CareerChangeStrategies
I have been reading this book the last few hours.
I have to say it is probably the best book of its kind, I have read for a long time.
I have not even finished Chapter 3 and am completely blown away by the content. Mr Tolle has taken me and given me the biggest shake.
There is soooo much here already that explains a lot about my life and why I am like I am.
Believe me I am going to change. I am not going to be ruled by ego any-more.
Need to know what this is all about – then get this book.
One very small example that stuck with me.
When he was a counsellor, Eckhart was working with a woman who had cancer and was told she had only 2 months to live.
She was raving, this particular day, about a belief that her carer had stolen her grandmother's engagement ring. “It has so much sentimental value,” she wailed.
Eckhart asked her what was she going to remember about this ring in 10 weeks time? She thought for a moment and then said, “They think I'll be dead by then.”
“Yep,” he said.
“And while it is not right that it might have been stolen, why are you wasting the little time you have left getting so excited about it? This is your ego talking. Someone has to be wrong. You are the one in the right. It is YOUR ring. 'Oh My God,' you are crying, 'what have they done to me?'
But it won't matter to you in two months. So let it go now. Live today. Enjoy. Don't fret. Be happy. All that good stuff.”
Think about it:
How many times have we all worried about something like this? Something where we complain and fret just to make a silly point? To be right? To be better than someone else? To be richer, happier, more moral, more beautiful? Ego. I am.
Let it go.
More soon. I am going to finish this wonderful book and take as much of it on board as I possibly can.
A story from Jillian’s memories. A rogues gallery of friends and enemies.
Arthur had been retrenched and had no idea what to do or where to go. Money was not an immediate problem due to a reasonably generous package, and his partner who was still working at a really well paid job. She said she would support him as he figured out his next step.
His life coach worked with him to find out what he enjoyed and what he was good at, basing this on his life history up to now; and with a few generalisations and some chunking up - a model emerged.
Arthur’s patterns of life were related to sport – he didn't play just liked watching. All sports and all events like Aussie Rules, Rugby - Union & League, Cricket of all varieties, Superbowl, Grand Slam Tennis, Olympics – Summer & Winter, World Cup, Grand Prix Motor racing etc. You name it he was onto it.
He even had a pretty good grip on local sport in many of the major cities in Australia
Knowing almost everything there was to know about players, teams and competitions, his knowledge was legendary. Encyclopaedic.
If a player in any team was having relationship troubles he knew about it before the blonde bombshell stories hit social media and TV.
His numbers told him everything.
You see he was also into maths (another pattern that showed up when he and his coach looked for it) not the pure theoretical kind, of codes and theorems, but statistics, probability even finance.
His university studies led him into accountancy, finance and economics. He loved his job as an accountant in a well known city firm, but often seemed to have a plastic smile on his face. Perhaps he was not really a people person, even though as a financial advisor he was meeting with and talking to people all the time. It may have been the backroom stuff that excited him. Not the human element.
But now he had to re-assess - as 'there is no job'.
If sports and numbers were his thing, he needed to figure out how to make that pay. “You see, the clever way to do things is to evaluate what you know and then find a market”, Jillian said. “Someone or some organisation willing to pay money for this knowledge”.
Arthur started out volunteering with a local community radio station doing the sports round-up on Saturday evenings and a much longer summary on Sunday afternoons of all that had gone on sport-wise nationally and internationally in the last week. His numbers ability and knowledge in all sports was now front and centre. Interest in the programs and his audiences grew.
He was happy. And it was good.
So good that before too long he was being poached away from the free stuff to a paid gig at a commercial radio station and then was offered a show of his own on a TV station in Australia. Guests and all. His call. He was the boss.
It was syndicated nationally. A star was born.
A pattern followed, uncovered a life plan. Patterns and Big Game Hunting.
“You see.” said Jillian, “It's not who you know. It's what you know.”#ourjillian
Have you ever thought of the similarities between these two? Between children and customers?
Just as an example:
Try shouting at a baby/child to make him/her do something.
Try shouting at a customer to get him/her to buy your goods/services.
Your comments please.
I'm kinda getting with it. Lots of stuff happening here at Career Change Strategies.
New Logo. new plan and new direction. Stuff will be changing here on an almost daily basis. More focus on writing and selling my IP.
Stay tuned for more about this. Very exciting.
1st up that affects my good readers is the
All Jillian posts will now have this included, and you can add stories of your very own Jillian. Or at least someone who is very like our Jillian and has some interesting stories to tell. Or some weird stuff. We're into that.
Would love to see this grow.
Come on all you wannabe writers out there get your fingers going.
Jillian has told me so much over the years and as I began this task; I compiled a list of potential topics. Many have already made it into print and many don't really lend themselves to one of our stories. There are others that will be revealed 'in the fullness of time' as they say.
That leaves quite a few that are not likely to make it due to not enough information, or just not being enough.
But I began thinking that they might make a paragraph or so, as part of a group of similar incidents or memories.
I figured I'd give this a try for the 21st episode. In America this is the drinking age, so I looked for a few drinking incidents. Let's hope it is a bit of fun.
Didn't make it for that number – a couple of others had the pleasure, but now is the time.
These are not all Jillian’s antics, but they are based around friends, family, colleagues, or even just (in some cases) mere proximity. ie Our Jillian was nearby or picked up the story details by osmosis. I don't know. They were just a list of things on my notepad.
There was some connection, however tenuous, with Jillian. If you are bored, just remember – we can't all be wonderfully funny all the time. No matter how hard we try.
“Did you know,” she said once, “that night clubs turn off the air-conditioning during the evening to make it hot and cause patrons to drink more? And then turn it to Arctic levels when they want them all to leave?”
“I figured as much.” I said. Was a no brainer really.
At the finishing stages of a party that a friend of Jillian's attended, many of the revellers popped outside and put one of the guest's cars (a mini as will become obvious in a moment,) up on some wooden blocks until the wheels were just off the ground, but covered by the longish grass in the parking field. When this fellow came out of the hall everyone was hanging around to watch. He got in started it up, put it into gear and went ----nowhere. Wheels just spun and spun. This was really funny because it was an official end of year shindig, she told me later, and the prankee was their teacher.
Gee she knew some dodgy characters, our Jillian.
Another chap was left behind at a night club. They thought he had gone home earlier. But the next day they found out what happened. He had fallen off the toilet in a drunken stupor (those early days when toilet cubicle doors went almost to the floor) and had become wedged between the bowl and the door. Jillian and her friends looked for him and not finding him, headed off home a bit miffed. He was found on the final security check when they couldn’t open a dunny door to check inside. Someone had to climb over and move his prostrate body so they could open the door and get him up and out of the place.
Takes all sorts I guess.
Old joke but a couple of her friends actually did try it – she swears - very early one morning on the way home from a student social function shall we call it?
Cops: “What are you lot doing?”
Students: “Scaring away pink elephants.”
Cops: “There are no pink elephants here.”
Students: “We're doing a f@#$%^& good job, then aren't we?”
I really think this one was Jillian herself. But she denies it. I suppose you would.
A young girl (I'll pretend I believe her) was going to a Blue Light Youth Disco back in the days when they still existed. She was 15 or so I guess and, thinking that this whole boring thing the olds wanted her to go to with her stupid school friends was going to be a complete bust, decided to spice things up a bit.
Not knowing at that time, (it has changed now – well it might have depending on who we are talking about here) much about booze she proceeded to 'borrow' a little bit from each of the bottles in the parents' booze cupboard.
If she had thought about it for a few seconds she might have figured if it was left in a bottle in the cupboard it was probably not much good, but that thought never crossed her mind.
She semi-filled a coke bottle with the concoction and topped it up with enough Coke to disguise the colour and the smell.
The attempt to share it with her friends failed because it tasted absolutely revolting. As it would, having a little bit of Pimms, Green Ginger wine, cheap scotch, cheap vodka, tequila and a couple of lesser know liqueurs. It was always going to be 'the pits'.
But as a girl of conviction, if nothing much else at this time, she figured. “I'd better drink it all as it was my idea.” And drink it she did.
Not long after she felt very unwell and had to be brought home by one of her friend's mothers. She was violently and continuously ill for some 20 mins when she arrived home, went off to bed chastened as it was obvious what had happened, and slept like a baby I'm told.
Didn't even have a hangover in the morning apparently.
How Jillian and her Mum Hit The Town and Learned a Few Choice New Expressions and so Much More!
Show-time in Melbourne continued!
There was still another planned event to go. "How am I going to handle this?" Jillian said to herself.
Venue Number 2
What she really said to me was. "I had a couple of free tickets to the Les Girls show at St Kilda beach.
"They were given to me by a friend (Tom) who worked there as a photographer. You know the kind that muscles up to you and takes those "candid" (and she made the quote marks with fingers) photographs. Later on they bring the prints back and you have the choice to buy them or not.
"Most cases you buy them even though they're pretty awful.
"It was the big thing that used to go on in night-spots before roses.
"Now with the roses, of course, you feel like a bastard if you don't buy one for your girl, and if you do they usually die in a very short time.
"You're stuffed both ways,” she said, and I figured - she'd know.
She went on. “Tom told me all sorts of weird stories about how they operated. Female impersonator shows were relatively new to Melbourne although they had been in Sydney for some time."
For more than 50 years Stan Munro has travelled the world in drag.
When Mr Munro came to Australia from the UK in 1963 he said he landed his first job as a dancer and acrobat.
"I starred in and compeered Les Girls in Sydney and then did seven years with Les Girls in Melbourne," he said.
"It wasn't long until I was doing solo female impersonating and I have travelled the world with it ever since."
On Friday, July 27, 2012, the then 72-year-old "warmed up" the crowd before Australian pop icons 'Mental As Anything' took to the stage.
In 2013 he was still performing around Australia.
Loads of men brought their girlfriends there while their wives stayed at home thinking they were out at an 'I don't know what - gambling evening maybe'? That would probably have been better than out with a girl. And Tom said the men usually refused the photograph because they didn't want their wives to see it. He often took a quick surreptitious one anyway. The girl usually bought it.
He figured if a bloke could get a night off to take a girl to a show in St Kilda, he could probably hide a photograph.
The Dark Room
But anyway - the dark room, he told me, where they did the developing and printing of the photographs was a long narrow bit of a room at the back of the auditorium, shut off to keep out the light.
He said he often found interesting things happening, on the dark room floor amongst the spilt chemicals and off-cuts of photographs, discarded film rolls and scads of damaged negatives. He thought it was pretty gross. Lucky mum didn't see any of that. Me too. It would have been an image hard to 'unsee'.
Enough. On with the show.
“OK.” I said. “Enough of the background. Tell me the story.”
“Ha-ha yes!” She reckoned that the background was indeed fun. I agreed, but, “Let's get on with it.” she said.
“OK. We went there in a taxi. I'm not sure what mum was expecting but even after the débâcle of the Flying Trapeze she probably wasn't thinking she was going to get a man dressed up as a woman singing off-colour songs and making off-colour jokes; some of which she may not even understand.
"And lots of fellows dressed up as girls in a chorus line.
"A magician and a few other cabaret style acts.
"Actually it was quite a good show. Dinner theatre kind of thing. We sat at tables, shared with others in our case, and the food was just the usual basic institution kind of roast beef and potatoes. OK but not special and not, to be honest, what I really wanted to show her food-wise in Melbourne. Afterwards I thought that what we ate was more like the stuff she was used to and would have gone over very well."
This time it was me that did the eye-roll thing. This was getting a tad boring.
She saw me and cut to the chase. I didn't get 'The Glare' Funny that!
“The funny bit,” she said, “was what happened at the end of the evening.
"After it was all over, I went to the toilet and left mum in the foyer. Told her to wait for me. Strange really. She was usually the one to rush to the toilet as soon as a show was over. Not tonight!
"On my return – no mother.
"Now this was a bit of a shock. And not a pleasant one. How could I lose my ageing mother in a down-town venue after a show? I had no idea. Panic set in and I began running all over. Back into the auditorium, the dark-room (NO), the toilets again. Calling out 'Mum' in the dunnies is not a good thing in a drag venue in Melbourne. Still nothing. Back to the foyer.
"Then I spied a small sitting room kind of thing a bit off to the left of the foyer. I rushed in.
"There was my dear old mother, her daggy ancient handbag on her lap, her hand on a man's knee and …. the chap was Stan Munro – the star of the show. OMG. I couldn't believe it.
"She was chatting away in a very lively and almost intimate manner with a female impersonator. They were both so engrossed in conversation they didn't seem to notice me creeping up to them.
"Don't ask me what they were talking about. I have no idea. I don't want to know. Believe me."
I gathered her up, apologised to Mr Munro and made a hasty exit.
The Cab Ride
In the cab on the way home she was quiet for a long time. Then she said, 'He was a very interesting young man that Stan chap. Very clever and quite sweet. His head was shaved. I thought that was funny. Why do you think he would have a silly job like that? And why dress up as a woman?'
This time I went home horrified.
How Jillian and her Mum Hit The Town and Learned a Few Choice New Expressions and so Much More!
Show-time in Melbourne
Some time ago, now (must have been mid to late 70's) Jillian was in Melbourne with her mother. It was the first time Nancy had been in the big smoke. Any big smoke. Much less Melbourne. I mean there was nowhere you could stand and see the whole town. It was too big to even imagine.
Nancy was a small town girl at heart. Her one vice was a very tiny sherry at Christmas. Although I heard there was one occasion she was coerced into taking a shandy. But that is most definitely a story for another time.
Jillian wanted to show her mum a good time while she was here. But our Jillian sometimes missed the mark with her plans. This is the story of two of those times. For some reason it was the night-life Jillian thought would be a good idea. Remember the sherry? Mum was going to go home with a cupla stories NO-ONE would believe.
Venue Number 1
Sometimes I really wonder about her mind. Jillian figured a live performance would be the thing. A kind of comedy cabaret venue, reasonably new, owned and operated by a Melbourne University chap Johnny Pinder. (After all, he was from NZ. How bad could it be?)
(6 January 1945 – 27 May 2015) born in Timaru on the South Island of New Zealand and raised 80 kilometres (50 mi) further south in Oamaru, North Otago was a comedy producer and festival director who produced band performances, ran live venues and co-founded three Australian comedy festivals, including Melbourne International Comedy Festival and Circus Oz. In the early 1970s Pinder established The Flying Trapeze Café, Australia's first comedy cabaret venue, in Melbourne. (WikiPedia)
The night started well. It was a gorgeous warm evening and mum and daughter went to a very nice little Eyetalian place on Lygon St for dinner. (Nancy's pronunciation) She was a tad racist and a bit slow to change old habits. Of course she was not sure why they weren't eating Australian food, and why was it so late? I mean they were eating TEA as Nancy called it at 7.00. That's PM. In the evening. Nearly midnight really.
After this experience which may well be the topic of anther story they headed off to the dark and dingy venue colloquially known as the 'Fly Trap'.
The Story of the Flying Trapeze
"Things are very strange over here, darling," Nancy mused, on the way which was a short walk. Only one toilet stop. "We have tea or am I now supposed to call it dinner at night and long after the usual time. Your father used to come home after work and his tea had to be on the table at 5.00pm. No later? Except dinner is what we eat in the middle if the day. Lunchtime. You used to as well, dear. Don't you remember?"
"And why are the pictures or concert or whatever we are going to see on so late. Will I be able to get a cup of tea, and will there be a toilet? You know how I am when I'm not at home?"
"I bet you were doing the Jillian olympic eye roll by this time?" I said, chuckling,
Again the glare. I thought I was being funny. Bit I digress.
A largish, slightly unkempt guy in jeans and a T-shirt met them at the door. The place really was quite small. They had a booking. The chap looked at his list and back over his right shoulder into the dark room behind him (we can only imagine what Nancy was thinking at this time) and found the table. It seemed to have people sitting at it. John (for it was THE John Pinder who was looking after them) walked over to the table and sort of politely asked them if they wouldn't mind moving as this table was booked for a lady from N.Z. no less. Almost family.
The couple looked around at the crowded house (sorry - couldn't resist), at the piano suspended from the ceiling immediately above where they were being directed to sit, and pleasantly suggested that as they were there first they should NOT be the ones to move.
Without missing a beat Johnny shouted at this unfortunate couple. " Well, If you aren't going to move - you can FUCK-OFF then."
OH. MY. GOD.
Jillian was gob-smacked. But Nancy was almost apoplectic. Her mouth was open so wide you could pretty nearly hide in there which is what Jillian wanted to do right now. Hide. Not in her mum's mouth, silly. She wanted to be anywhere but there.
Realising that Johnny was not to be crossed they collapsed into the seats at the table and looked at each-other.
"He said wha...???" exploded Nancy. "I mean what IS this place? How can anyone talk to people like that? What are we doing here this late at night anyway. (Editor's note it was about 9.00 pm) With THESE people? We are going to get killed! What will I tell them back home if that happens? What has happened to you Jillian, my baby?"
"I have not heard anything like that before even from your father and he was in the war." she continued in a kind of frenzied voice. Fright and shock mixed together.
"I am not even sure I know what it means, but I know it is a bad word. A very bad word." she erupted again. I thought she was going to have a fit and hit someone.
"I told you she was a strange species," Jillian said as I looked at her not even sure if this was possibly true.
"It was true. Unfortunately," puffed Jillian, reading my mind.
Jillian didn't remember much more of the night. She had a wine or two and a bit later a small snack of cheese balls.
She had a vague recollection that the acts included a man sitting, swaying on a piano stool suspended above our heads playing a Tom Lehrer number 'The Masochism Tango' on an equally dangling and oscillating piano.
Of course Nancy understood that the name of this song also included a bad word and was talking about terrible things.
These thoughts even transcended the unbelievable sight of the piano, stool and man above our heads. “I thought that bit was magnificent,” remembered Jillian.
Things were ominously quiet in the taxi on the way home. But that was infinitely better than Nancy worrying about their safety and the morels of young people today, and what is being called entertainment, and what about the old pictures like the December 1939 classic 'Gone with the Wind' with the lovely Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable and things like that?
And so the night ended. But there was still tomorrow.
“Bloody hell,” thought Jillian. “How can I have stuffed this up so much? What will happen at the next place? Why the hell did I think any of this was a good idea? A cup of tea at home would have done. We could have talked. Mother daughter catch-up stuff. Yeah. Right. I don't need this.”
“FUCK. Who am I kidding? I am so stupid.”
Woo Hoo. Yippee and all that jazz. Another publication under my belt.
This time an article in a magazine.
Here is the link.
It is the first in a series of 8 articles covering the topic of retirement / retrenchment (Laid off for my American readers) which leads up to the generation of a life plan and a set of SMART goals. Stay tuned to see the rest of them.
Comment if you will.
That link again.
I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face and a grey dawn breaking.
Sea Fever by John Masefield -1902
This was as true for Jillian much more recently than when it was written.
She had ventured on a voyage from Melbourne to Hobart (Tasmania) on a tall ship, 'The Enterprize' a wonderful replica of the ship on which the first settlers to Melbourne travelled.
Wikipedia tells us a little about Mr Masefield - Born in 1878, died in 1967. He left boarding school in 1892 to train for a life at sea, and to break his addiction to reading, of which his aunt thought little. He found, though, that he could spend much of his time reading and writing Later as his love for story-telling grew, and as he listened to the yarns told about sea lore, he continued to read, and felt that he was to become a writer and story teller himself. Sorry Aunty.
While the poem was not quite the Ancient Mariner it truly resonated with our Jillian on that voyage. You see all the passengers were expected to perform shipboard tasks as much as the crew.
And one lovely night Jillian found herself at the tiller (this ship did not even have a wheel - a bit early in maritime history for that - but who's quibbling - the tiller still had a kick), steering on a compass heading as instructed by the 1st mate. She was joined at her lonely task - the only other person on watch was a lookout on the front of the ship (bow) - by the Captain.
"Of course" I muttered. "Once a Siren always a Siren."
"Anyway," she said, giving me the evil eye, "He told me to check that I had the correct compass heading and then look up and forward. For a star. Find one that lines up with a part of the ship and keep them lined up as best you can. For at least a few hours that will be as good as anything and much less to-ing and fro-ing will occur. A compass heading, he told her, will require constant vigilance and many, many corrective actions making you very tired and not in the end being all that effective, or comfortable for the rest of the crew and passengers. Hmmmm, perhaps that was what brought him out of his bed and up on deck in his PJ's", Jillian mused.
“It was good advice, but made me recite that stanza of the poem over and over. I couldn't remember any more," she said.
“There were many other memorable events and sights on that cruise if you can call it a cruise.” She said. And she went on to mention some of them. Not in any particular order. But she was not the most logical in her memory, our Jillian.
- Fishing from the back of the boat and eating the catch for dinner that night. Awesome.
- A bay where we anchored which was so still that I couldn’t tell where the water ended and the sky began.
- Container ships passing in the night looking like cities speeding over the horizon.
- Crew members (and a few intrepid passengers - not me) swimming with dolphins as we sedately sailed along in the sunshine.
- The stars. Oh the stars. How can there be so many?
- Being rocked to sleep every night. Well every 6 hours as we all had to be on watch - 6 hours on 6 hours off.
- Being woken up after 2 hours sleep when it is raining so hard you couldn’t see; and blowing so hard the bow of the ship was dipping under the water; and being expected to go out on deck to help pull sails down, and tie them up. NOT.
- Being so seasick the first 10 – 15 hours of the voyage you wanted to die.
- Gliding majestically under full sail down the Derwent River in the sunshine towards Hobart in company with a large number of other tall ships and boats of all kinds. (Going to the Wooden Boat Festival in Hobart.)
- Using very sharp meat cleavers in the galley while the ship was rolling sideways such that the rails on the deck were almost touching the sea. AGAIN NOT.
- Being on deck working the sails when the wind, rolling and pitching were such that we had to be shackled to lines (ropes) running along the side of the ship from front to back. VERY FRIGHTENING.
- Working the tiller (steering without a wheel) when it was so rough the tiller had to be secured with many ropes and a block and tackle was required to move it in any direction – and even then it required more than two of the real crew members to move it.
- The sun. Inside or outside, arms covered or not. But always the hat, which had to be tethered to your head like those old lady librarians glasses.
- The tranquillity. Oh the tranquillity. When the sea, the weather and the captain all agreed we needed a break and it was calm and beautiful. Wondrous.
“Yep. It was hard work. And I paid more than $1,000 for the privilege,” Jillian mumbled.
“But, did you enjoy it?” I asked.