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It’s OK – Celebrate

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‘Cel-e-brate good times, COME ON’   is how the song goes.   It evokes thoughts of a party –  dancing, eating, drinking and having a good time.

And if you celebrate every good time you have, you might have a LOT of parties!

During my search to Discover Peace of Mind, I often received advice to CELEBRATE when I did something well, or when something went well.   This may sound silly, but I didn’t know HOW to celebrate.   I thought the usual way was to eat something, drink something or go somewhere.   If I did that all the time I’d become obese, drunk and never home!   So what do you do to celebrate the little things that go right?

For me, I now give a little punch to the air. Subtley when I’m out and about, or vigourously at home, usually accompanied by a loud ‘YEH’.  

Now for those of you who are a little shy about being demonstrative in any way, may I suggest your search to Discover Peace of Mind, may still be in progress.   Celebrating your good work is not boasting, it’s not being negatively egotisitical, it’s simply celebrating….and it’s OK.

Today I cooked a great meal. I worked out how to change the date formatting on this blog. I received some photos from my daughters. Yeh, Yeh, YEH!

Creating a habit of celebrating allows you to FEEL how often you do something well, or how often things go well for you. We all know people who curse when they’ve done something wrong, or made a tiny mistake.   The volume of mistakes is usually infinitesimal when compared to what goes right. Yet, we let those few mistakes drag us down.

So,punch the air and Discover Peace of Mind,


Rodney Lovell

If you think you’re stuck with depression, think again!

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If you think you’re stuck with depression think again. for the adventure of a lifetime.

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Difficult Decisions – What Would You Have Done?

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Every so often appears a question that we have to answer for which the options are all doomed to upset someone.   I remember having a full week planned. Every minute of daylight hours had me at work or at a function.   I was only at home during the night.   One night, my wife said that the lawn needed to be mowed.   We had different values. I thought it could wait another week. She wanted it done sooner than that.   My only opportunity before my busy week began was the very next morning.   The council by-laws allowed mowing from 7.30am.   At 7.30am exactly, I began the quickest lawn mowing of all time!   Then I left for  work.

The next time i saw my neighbour, he told me in no uncertain terms that he thought my mowing of the lawn at 7.30 was not a neighbouriy thing to do. As an unemployed person he slept late. I had woken him.   In hindsight, my wife was happy that the lawn was mowed. I was not happy at having to do it when I didn’t want to. however, i was happy that it was now done. My neighbour was unhappy with the noise.   What would you have done?   

When I worked in Afghanistan, I read an article where coalition forces could carry out a risky plan to capture Taliban leaders. The problem was the Taliban leaders were over the border in Pakistan. If the plan was successful, everyting would be ok. however, should something go wrong on Pakistani soil there would be a huge problem.   What would you have done?

There are a myriad of opinions relating to the Presidency of George W Bush.   Elected with a promise to reduce USA involvement in international affairs he suddenly encountered the effects of terrorists hijacking planes and killing thousands.

Without condoning or opposing what he has done, I ask you this…

If you were the President, what would you have done?

For those of you who support President Bush, the answer is easy because it is done for you. However, after many years of asking people who oppose President Bush, I am yet to hear a clear cut answer.

The most consistent answer has been to leave a response up to the United Nations.   Most people I’ve spoken to agree, however, that this means a dilution of sovereignty.  Here are a list of some pertinent facts.   If you leave your political allegiances aside, this makes an excellent exercise for the mind.   There are many things to consider. It is a difficult question.

The war in Iraq began with Iraq and Iran at war for seven years.    Then Iraq invaded Kuwait.   The UN responded with an international alliance to defeat Iraq and save Kuwait.   The UN did not allow persuing of Saddam Hussain.   The UN demanded that Iraq allow weapons inspectors to check for weapons of mass destruction. It gave Iraq 90 days to cooperate.  

Because of Iraq’s refusal to cooperate, the 90 days extended to over 13 years!

Both UN weapons inspectors, Richard Butler and Hans Blick, made public comments that they expected Iraq DID have weapons of mass destruction.

In January 1998, Richard Butler, reported that Iraq has loaded biological weapons onto missile warheads. Butler said, “that the biological weapons were loaded onto missiles that could be put on mobile launchers and driven away to avoid being hit by bombs.”  Iraq had enough biological material like anthrax or botulin toxin to “blow away Tel Aviv.”

Butler even suggested the UN was assisting Iraq. In an interview with a Melbourne newspaper, The Age in 1999, Butler stated, ‘There was a convergence of interests between Saddam Hussein and Kofi Annan. Saddam wanted UNSCOM (United Nations Special Commission) out of his life so he could get on with his weapons program and Annan and his people wanted UNSCOM out of their lives because it was too independent.’   “Kofi Annan and his people sought to hand to Saddam Hussein the greatest possible prize—the destruction of UNSCOM.’

In 1998 President Bill Clinton approved Operation Desert Fox, the bombing of Iraq without UN approval.

During the 13 years, a military perimeter was set around Iraq to enforce sanctions.   In effect, the war had never ended.   UN sanctioned planes still shot down any Iraqi plane that flew.

After terrorists attacked the USA on September 11, 2001, the USA pleaded with the UN to enforce the UN’s own demands on Iraq. The 90 days had become 13 years, and, the USA had now been attacked.   The UN refused to enforce it’s own demands.

What would you have done?

Most people digress into rhetoric about USA supplying weapons to Iraq earlier and other answers that do not answer this question directly.

So, the question to stimulate hours of discussion is….What would you have done?

A habit you may regularly hear is people criticizing others for what they have done. Often, without even knowing what they would have done themselves.

When you Discover Peace of Mind, you will find yourself less critical of people.  You will see how and why people have done things. You may not agree, yet you will understand their thought processes more.


Rodney Lovell

Is Romance a Form of Prostitution?

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The ritual began….  Casual meeting with friends… A few phone calls… A little on-line chatting and emailing…   Do I want to date this woman, Elle? Does Ella want to date me?   Ask a few leading questions to sound her out, then suddenly she says,  ‘You know, I’m the old fashioned romantic type.   I like to be wined and dined’.   These words clarified things instantly.   However, I didn’t want to suddenly wine and dine.  Maybe a movie or a casual drink but not wining and dining to start.   Instantly, I knew we had a Values disagreement.   And, I still wasn’t sure that I wanted to go out with Ella  at all.

This situation reminded me of another, many years ago before I was able to Discover Peace of Mind.   A relationship I had been in for some time with Margaret was on shaky ground.  I was told quite clearly that there was to be ‘more romance’.   Guys quiver at the words.   I enquired, ‘Tell me what you think is romantic that doesn’t cost money?’   It seems that coughing and spluttering was about all that could be suggested by Margaret!   Now I’m sure we can all think of romantic things that don’t cost money, yet, everything  I suggested to Margaret was met with a shrug or a reply of ‘I have to clean the house’. It seems that chocolate in motels, wine, theatre and dinner trips were what was required.   Some kind of gift.

I spoke to Margaret  sometime later. We had gone our own way and met new people.   She eagerly told me that she now was with a man, Tommy, who ‘couldn’t live without her’ and so she ‘has to be with him’.   ‘Tommy buys me things.   I haven’t been treated better’.   After some questioning Margaret agreed that she really didn’t love Tommy deeply, more as a friend, yet, in her mind, that was balanced by the fact that Tommy ‘couldn’t live without her’.   I reminded Margaret that I used to say that to her too. Only then I had depression.   Clinginess and desperation are symptoms of depression and low self esteem.  

Constant gift buying is a compensation for low self esteem, as is the constant expectation of gifts.   

Margaret wanted. Tommy provided.    I wondered to myself, ‘Is this a form of prostitution?   Was he simply her ‘sugar daddy?  Is the rate negotiable?’   With the gift giving they seemed the perfect match.   Yet later, Margaret needed counselling.   Of course, she blamed me for ‘what I had done to her during our relationship’.   I asked Margaret that  if she was in a perfect relationship, and in control of her own mind, why blame me for her counselling?   Margaret said the counsellor said it was my fault.   I couldn’t imagine any counsellor allowing a client to deflect responsibility for their own thoughts. Or maybe she simply was using a friend as a counsellor.    Another sign of low self esteem is failure to accept responsibility for your own actions and thoughts.   Yep, it’s far easier to blame someone else!

So Margaret, like millions of people all over the world blame others for their lack of  ‘whatever’.   Tall poppy syndrome of sorts. Drag people down so you can have them below you. It seems easier than making yourself a better person.   It’s funny how many people know how to live someone else’s life, yet have trouble with their own.

In my current relationship with Dianne, I jumped at the chance to wine and dine.  Her desire to go out is based is simply to be outside, a picnic would have sufficed, or even a walk along the river.  Our first date was a nice French restaurant.   Now I mix things up a bit.   Flowers and chocolate, dinner out,  or maybe an unexpected foot massage during a cozy night with a DVD.   Even covering her shoulder with a blanket on a cold night or a ittle note for her to find.   When you are in a relationship, particularly a longer term one, it’s critical to remember to take some time to fulfil the Values of your partner, and them to fulfil yours.

 So, did I date Ella, the first woman I mentioned in this story?   No.   Neither or us was right or wrong, we just have different Values to each other.  Yet in my story, both Ella and Margaret’s Values demanded a need for a ‘gift-buying’ demonstration of love.  And therein lies the difference.   It’s in the ‘WHY’.        Maybe they need to Discover Peace of Mind.

Rodney Lovell

Love Moves Houses

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Thousands of people move house every day.   Four weeks ago I was one of them.   Of course there is a wide range of reasons why people move. I moved for love.

Leaving my beloved home city of Melbourne, Victoria for the summer humidity of Brisbane, Queensland seems on face value to be a big step. However, this is the fourth Australian state I have lived in and so it’s not such a big deal.   Of course, one year ago I was in the snow of a Kabul winter which makes this my first Australian New Year’s summer in three years.

--Peace of Mind meets the challenge--

--Peace of Mind meets the challenge--

I had gone to Kabul for the love of  challenges. The opportunity had arisen after a culmination of events where I had rediscovered self-love. The type of self-love and self-respect that comes as part of discovering peace of mind.   Leaving Kabul was the same.  With experience gathered and knowledge gained, I again realised that there was more to life than living in a war zone.   Sometimes the enemies are obvious, other times the other ‘combatant’ doesn’t even realise  how dangerous they can be.   (Passive aggression is the ultimate in guerilla warfare. It smiles as it imposes it’s values and beliefs, sapping life, creating an invisible cage of depression.)

Expectation can also be  dangerous. Some years ago, I moved our family home closer to my daughter’s new school.   The educational opportunity that had arisen for my daughter was offset by the detriment of excessive travel.   So, well meaning and with immense love for her, we moved closer to her new school.   Unfortunately for my daughter, our eldest and therefore the ‘pioneer’ of the family, this meant a general expectation of high achieving results….for six long years.    There was no doubt she would have achieved at a high level nearly anywhere, but our move – for love – imposed an unwelcome burden on her.   It is interesting to reflect on those years, the love we had for her was immense, yet, the parental pressure of that move may not have demonstrated love.   Here is the paradox.   We loved her, using our values as a guide.   Like most teens, she had entered the socialisation period and had differing values.   It was our job to guide her,not expect to bend her to our will.    Looking back, she experienced our ‘loud’ aggression, but there was also passive aggression (also known as passive resistance) .    At the same time, her parents had a similar struggle with each other.   Often one parent used passive aggression to influence the dominate loud aggression of the other.   Like making the bullets for the other to fire.   Often one used overt aggression to dictate.   So it was a three way shuffle, with my daughter in the middle.  

Of course, this is just a small extract of life.   There were many happy times.   Yet, there could have been more, if only we all learnt to Discover Peace of Mind.  

Justification is another dangerous opponent.    As the previous short paragraph alludes, there was much fun and laughter in our home.   The previous short paragraph also runs the risk of simply dismissing any negative.   Just like the word “but”, justification is a wave that washes away all manner of sins, and, also removes any opportunity to learn.   I cherish our fun times, yet, I am acutely aware of the subtleties of negative influence on a growing child / adolescent.  

Once I discovered peace of mind, my ongoing love for my daughter allows her to have her own space, free to choose her own values and beliefs.   Many in her circle mock her choices, continuing to passively resist and impose their own values.   Generally speaking, the cage of external values imposed on another creates a ‘cage’. A set of boundaries and expectations that may not be agreed with.   This situation is often a trigger for depression.    Behind the imposed values are people saying ‘I love you – I tell you this for your own benefit’.    I see it as, ‘we have a different opinion and we will use subtle resistance to influence you to our beliefs’.  

When people see another’s ‘achievement’ as their own badge of honour, they can tell their friends of their connection to a ‘high achiever’.   Their bragging rights are dependant on their success in subtley influencing another person.     Yet there is another paradox….balanced achievement comes best from inner peace, not from external pressure. For when you truly Discover Peace of Mind, you can take on anything. …

…Like moving to another home. I now find myself in another relationship.   Both a new home and a new relationship were totally unexpected not so long ago.   Whether it be moving to a war zone for the challenge, or moving to another state for love, respect others values and most importantly, Discover Peace of Mind.

Rodney Lovell