Written by: Kayleen Greagen-Castle,
When you look at society today, most of us have our heads down looking at a rectangular screen, funnily enough, this is exactly what I look like right now, coffee to my right as I wait for the car to be cleaned. There is something I feel is different however to people looking down at screens compared to what a lot of people assume is happening, and it's what people are doing while they're looking down.
One thing which is more and more apparent is people seeking inspiration. Not only people seeking inspiration, those who are offering it too. There are people everywhere seeking uplifting content, reading empowering quotes, inspirational personal development books and audiobooks, additionally, more and more people are sharing, demonstrating and offering those things too.
Along with people reading with their heads down, there is a stack more people these days with their heads up looking at positive and inspirational role models. Women and Men who are standing in front of crowds uplifting citizens to empower them to improve their own lives, in whatever area/s it is at the time! More and more people are taking to the stages to share their messages.
The thing which inspires more and more people to live a fulfilled life, are the real life stories of how people came to be successful, how people rose against adversities, how they went against the crowd, the underdog. Why? Because it shows 'regular joes' can have a life full of their dreams fulfilled and be successful too. It wouldn't nearly be as empowering if it seemed the goals and dreams you have were so far out of reach because those who were successful seemed like superhuman who've seemingly achieved the impossible.
Seeing others empowered to make a difference in their life along with the lives of others is empowering, a ripple effect, and for every empowered human being, Man, Woman, Child, another human is empowered and so the domino affect begins in reverse, instead of dominos being knocked down, every domino pulls up another domino after it, standing tall, United, Empowered! Collectively, this is how we are changing the world.
Admittedly, we do spend too often looking down at a rectangle screen than up and at the world around us, to remind ourselves there is more to life than just screentime, however, there is a STACK of incredible content around the world which is inspiring, uplifting, empowering and assists in your personal growth should this be something you are after.
Each of us has a unique opportunity to offer a service to the world, and there isn't a better way than following your own dreams and passions, to walk the tightrope and be the person you wish to be, doing the things you want to do. You never know how many people you will inspire simply by following your own dreams. Your example may give them the courage to stand up and go after what they too desire, after all, if you're empowered, chances are somewhere along the line, you've seen or felt it from another person and just decided to go for it. Each of us are stars, designed to shine, to offer the light we have inside, and by sharing or reflecting the light we have, others can also shine their light.
Positivity is contagious, as is being empowered. When you show you're a strong independent person chasing after your dreams, others catch the bug.
Get out and shine your light, share your gift. What will it be? What do you have to share? How can you help? The true gift of life is giving, the most fulfilling feeling in the world is the service of others.
If you have a message to share, one you'd like published, check out www.facebook.com/1000rippleeffects to become part of the collaborative book project giving back to children and the world, creating ripple effects, to empower and inspire children to succeed in life, no matter which way it is.
Children are our future generation, we get to make way for future generations for it is those who will change the world in ways we haven't even seen yet.
Written by Kayleen Greagen-Castle, living an empowered life, shining my light on the world through words.
For more of my work, checkout www.thoughtfulperspectives.com
How the combined ripple effects of your experiences create the INNER and STRONGER YOU! – An interview with John Stephen Broadbent
Written by: Louise Keramaris
The first of May is a significant date for you? What happened on this date?
On 1 May 1987, I decided to leave the security of permanent employment and a regular pay-check, and head out on my own. I was in a pretty comfortable place at the time when I left my job as I was able to collect my superannuation and long service leave, I was debt free and I owned my own house. I had a $3,500 a month in income and owed nothing! I was bored with my pharmaceutical position and my “heart was not in the business.” I was approached by a colleague who was a contractor to provide support in his business so I threw caution to the wind and seized the opportunity.
What was going through your mind at that time? What were you saying to yourself? What were you feeling? What were you thinking?
I'll never forget that first day of wonder, knowing the world truly was my playground! I felt an extraordinary sense of liberation and that I was the master of my own destiny.
I reflected back on my high school motto which was “Every man is the maker of his own fortune”. If I back track to my birth my parents were advised that I had “24 hours to live when I was born”! In so in many ways I was not “supposed to live” and yet it was this “tenacity” within me as a driver running throughout my life. I grew up as an only child where I had to adapt totally on my own and then later in life I got myself my own scholarship and then cadetship. I spent a lot of time on my own with a “strong sense of independence or rather anti-dependence”. I saw this strength as a “double edged sword”. I got everything by myself.
Later in 1991, the 'recession Australia had to have' cost me my home, my life savings and my 17 year relationship. And a time for some deep introspection after contemplating suicide for feeling such a failure. I remember leaving the house that I built and owned on the long weekend of October 1992 and looking at the keys as I left them on the breakfast bar and walked out with a suitcase, to head to a job in Kuala Lumpur.
When you said you “were contemplating suicide for feeling such a failure” – What did you focus on that prevented you from going down that path?
I drew on specific memories that helped me during this tumultuous time in my life. Let me give you some context… At the beginning of 1991 my wife wanted to swim with the dolphins in Monkey Mia. You can imagine that this was not something that I was keen to do being an engineer! However, I did do it and during this challenging time in my life I managed to reflect on this extraordinary experience. I recall being so immersed in their world and having so much fun and joy. What I most remember is the synchronous event that followed.
When we got back from Monkey Mia I got a phone call from the personal assistant of a spiritual teacher who had recently moved from Adelaide to Sydney, inviting us to a “dolphin meditation”! How that person got my phone number is still a mystery! I was destined to meet this extraordinary man living in “tie-died King G overalls” who happened to be one year younger than me. I ended up going to one of his workshops in June 1991 and within 3 minutes of talking to him he had me in tears. I hadn’t cried like this in years. He then said to me “I know you better than you know yourself.” It was this friend and mentor and these experiences that I drew on during this time.
I came to realise that I needed to be stripped bare of all the things that society tells us are important so that I could recognise what was left was “me”! I spent the next 8 years or so investing in myself and used all my income to travel with this man to various countries and met a Shaman in Alaska, Healers in Bali, Elders at Uluru, Masaai in Kenya and sages in the Himalayas. What I had to go through I would describe as “dismantling my ego” completely. What I realised was that I had to connect with a “complete lack of self-worth” that was at my core, to dismantle this and then re-assemble and build my new self.
Later in 2008/9 the Global Financial Crisis cost me $300k in a wellness centre, again, overexposed and not enough in the bank for a month of rainy days. Being homeless for 8 weeks with a 1year old and 6year old is not an experience I'd like to repeat, however it humbled me by the support I received from our school community. Looking back, it was probably the beginning of the end of my second long-term relationship, which eventually ended last March.
As you reflect on the past 9 years, what advice would you give to someone that is themselves going through a massive upheaval in their life?
The pain is worth it! The sense of liberation is enormous. You only do it once. In effect, you’re engaging with your psyche. The first time is very painful as it is the death of a part of the ego but as you take a little chunk at a time you see the cycle of your own self-empowerment journey unfolding, so you take another bite and then another. You learn more of who you are and then you take another bite and soon enough inertia builds up and you are “learning that who you are is the gift of unlocking something about yourself” and then you realise the “how I know what I know” is the journey towards “the gift of wisdom”. You realise how much the unconscious level has been controlling you and you see this gift as a celebration. I realised then when “we think we are in control” we are truly at the call of our unconscious controllers. We need to do the inner work to come to this place of self-realisation.
As you reflect on the key events that rocked your life what “ripples” did they create? In particularly what ripples were created:
There is no competition between me and my sons and if I can give you an example of the nature of our relationship, I recall a time recently where my son was sitting next to me and simply leaned into me and put his head on my shoulder. At the age of 15 years that so moved me. I’ve also more recently reflected on his experiences with his ex-girlfriends and how he has called each of them to account when “they lied to him or played games – he called it “putting his mind through a blender.” I am so proud that he has such a strong sense of who he is in the world.
The work I’ve been undertaking on over the last 25 years, experiencing “rites of passage” ceremonies with boys, attending mens’ groups and gatherings is focused on understanding the maturing process of men. It has included providing a safe environment to take boys and young men on that journey. My work has been drawn from research done in this area by a key Anthropologist, Arnold Von Gennup, who worked and studied the “rites” of Indigenous communities world-wide. What Gennup identified is that there are common practices across all communities. These are in 3 areas: separation, initiation and integration, also known as pre-liminal, liminal and post-liminal.
For example, the boy is taken away from the main tribe for a period of time. During this time the boy is then supported to participate in a mysterious process of initiation to test his stamina, fortitude and grit. Following on from this practice the boy is then re-integrated back into the community as a “warrior”. The boy is now expected to operate from a place without the ‘me’ ego. This work has proved to address a huge gap in what is absent from many cultures and societies today.
What else have you learned about yourself?
I have learned to trust myself now. I’ve become aware of what is called the “witness process”. At the Wellness centre in 2008, there was an outstanding NLP practitioner who explained the concept of the “witness process”. By this she was able to describe that I was experiencing an awareness of this “observer” in me whilst I was watching me. I thought at one point I was going mad as I had this ongoing sense of watching and monitoring myself. She explained that it would go away in its own time and yes it did do just that. It’s then that I realised that I am free, that I trust myself and at my core I know what to do in any circumstance. If I do make a poor decision (I don’t believe we ever make mistakes), it then becomes an opportunity for reflection and further growth.
Last year between April and May, I ended my 21year relationship, buried my cousin and also asked a 20-year friend to leave our business partnership. It was a whirlwind time of my life, yet considering what was going on I had this “deeper inner peace” of “acceptance”. I felt in one piece and mentally, physically well and solid. I understood that I was simply where I needed to be. I noted the “paradox of being nothing and everything at the same time”. It reminded me of the experience I felt whilst doing a profound workshop in Uluru many years ago. A privilege granted with the respect of the Traditional Owners. At this powerful workshop, I experienced a process where each person was led into an egg shaped hole in Uluru and invited to climb in and sit in an almost foetal position. I watched as each person had to be carried out of the hole which was intriguing in itself. When my turn came, I climbed in and as I connected to the space my consciousness was propelled into space where I experienced a state of bliss and being-ness and I was consumed with a divine sense of oneness. I thought “there is no way I’m getting out” and then like the others before me, I too had to be carried out!
So tonight, 1 May 2017, I'm pouring myself a wee dram of Lagavulin (my favourite single malt whiskey) to remind myself of my grit and determination in still wanting to turn up every day and give my best.
Do I have difficult days? Hell yeah! Do I have any regrets? Hell No! Each decision I made took me one step closer to self-awareness and closer to my destination ... whatever that looks like. I now know I have a well of inner strength that has become a solid foundation on which I can engage with Life … and that it contains!
John’s book, Man Unplugged – Exploring The Inner Man, is available at manunplugged.com.au and explores:
Hello and Welcome Terese Eglington to the 1000 Ripple Effects Book Project!
Hello, I am Terese Eglington, author and illustrator of ‘Wotsiu and the Whispering Wattles’ and ‘The Laughing Tree’. I am a primary school teacher and former dance teacher. Writing and painting are two of my favourite activities, and combining them in children’s books has been extremely rewarding, especially seeing the faces of both children and adults light up as they turn the pages. My stories and illustrations are inspired by events, landscapes and wildlife of the local area.
If you would like to know more or chat about my writing or art please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or
follow my face book page: https://www.facebook.com/terese.eglington
Terese Eglington - Children's Book Author
Written by: Louise Keramaris
YOUR RIPPLE OF WHAT DRIVES YOUR OWN “ENERGY” CREATES HOW YOU KNOW YOURSELF AND WHAT MEANING YOU ASCRIBE TO YOUR LIFE
From as young as nine years of age, I was always intently and deeply curious about myself, how my physical body ticked, the purpose of my life, the essence of humanity, the universe we inhabit and all of what I could see in the sky, the stars, the clouds, the sun, the moon, the earth, all the animals and plant life, what I felt and the source of my feelings, where my thoughts came from and even this thing called “AIR” became the inquisition into everything and anything that crossed my path. I was obsessed to know and understand ME and LIFE! It became what I was drawn to each and every day of my life. I had this deep quest to know and understand it ALL.
I would describe my first ripple of intense “push and pull” energy as being a pull in my consciousness which drew out thoughts that pushed me to an “intense curiosity to understand”.
This became the quest of my life, to create meaning in each of my experiences in order to make sense of what I witnessed every day. During these early years, I trusted that we must be a MIRACLE of life here on this planet and hence something that could not be explained. I also had this other part of me that could not accept this to be as is and wanted to understand the source of all life. This tension was the starting point that nurtured and niggled at my soul.
My aim was to get to the truest truth and to understand what was the meaning of life and specifically the purpose and mission of my essence.
It was not uncommon for me to spend hours upon hours asking these questions in my head, pondering over scenarios covering many reflections wired through my imagination. Even though I spent hours reading over thousands of pages in the encyclopedia (in those days there was no internet!) I nevertheless found that I would not find what I was looking for there as I had this inner knowing that all the answers were right here within me and it was up to me to come up with the answers. I conjured up spectacular theories of other planetary beings and even at one stage believed that perhaps we are not alive at all but merely living in someone’s dream. I recounted these theories as reflections in my diary. I kept these thoughts private as I was aware that these were not subjects that other people engaged with!
The second ripple of energy came about through the “infinite questions I asked” myself, others and the books and resources I sought after to receive the plausible truth.
I started to read everything and anything I could get my hands on, asking a myriad of questions to my parents, my aunts and uncles and my grandmother – the wiser older ones that formed my community. I targeted any significant peer and all the adults in my life. The most interesting answers to some of my questions came from a dear uncle. This uncle was a spectacular story teller who recounted extraordinary accounts of “miracles” achieved by saints through the ages and stories told to him about healing and manifestation. The ones that I do recall most clearly were stories of “superstitious practices” and beliefs relayed about the gypsies in Greece that caste extraordinary spells. One of these provided a plausible explanation as to why you were never allowed to handover any items of clothing to them as they were likely to caste such spells nor were you to invite them into your house. He recalled an instance where key members of a family that suddenly became ill without any explanation. There was a strong belief that the gypsies had some role to play here!
One of his stories is the most vivid of all. He recounted what he saw one day on the front page of a Greek newspaper. The article was about the remnants of a spaceship that had landed and embedded was a photo of an alien that unfortunately had not survived! He went on to describe in great depth this tiny being. I remember being so awe-struck by this possibility of life-forms on other planets. I felt somewhat comforted by this knowing that perhaps these beings did surround us. It gave me some hope that they were looking over us.
The third ripple effect of energy was triggered through the “early answers I received to some of these big questions”. It set forth a wave of inner knowing and consciousness. This was the beginning of truth and understanding.
When I was growing up there was no internet so the key sources of knowledge were each family’s trusted encyclopedia, books from the library, the television, radio, the local shopping strip, magazines and newspapers and anything I could get my hands on at school.
Having grown up in a strict religious Greek Orthodox upbringing, I had this inner knowing that of course there was something bigger than ourselves and perhaps this was what was labelled as God or the Holy Spirit or some other creative force.
I joined my wise grandmother who I am named after, Theologia, in church as I sat and stood for hours in prayer and meditation listening to ancient Greek church services. I remember being entranced by the vibration of the humming created through these foreign scriptures that permeated through my being. I received waves of overwhelming peace and a knowing that there was something here worth figuring out. This sowed the seeds of my spiritual journey. I started to understand the power of silence, the gap between my thoughts and the trance like state that carried me to a space beyond what is known, through the power of prayer.
The fourth ripple effect on energy was realising that the wisdom of truth was the “power of silence as this was the source of vibration”. This was the turning point of my life and one that took me on a bigger journey through the years to explore the ancient wisdom of Elders of diverse cultures and the practices and teachings of spiritual mentors such as Wayne Dwyer, Deepak Chopra, Louise Hay, Marianne Williamson and various mentors from both the East and Western spiritual traditions.
My urge to travel extensively and connect with diverse cultures and to pursue as much as possible a life of independence and freedom has lead me to make choices that have not been about following the masses but rather forming my own path to explore and discover. It has not been about following the “norm” and I was very conscious of this from a very early stage as I’ve never been one to follow any one tribe or group.
My quest to educate myself in the breadth of personal development training and courses in human behaviour, positive psychology and the tip of the neurosciences have equipped me with even more tools and resources to create “ripples” in the lives of many through my work professionally and personally.
I discovered that this “pull and push of energy” I felt that initially started as “curiosity” and then manifested in “questions and an exploration” and then tested through “experiences” were the ripples of energy that drove me to develop a theory of myself, humanity, this world and my presence in it. Without this internal “pull” and “push” of energy which I now see as a “ripple” I would not be standing here today focused on my passion of coaching people to create the “push and pull – ripple effect” within them to generate an energy and motivation to take action and create the results in their lives supporting their dreams and aspirations.
I now invite each of you reading this to reflect on the key ripples of energy that have moved you forward to understand how you have come to KNOW YOURSELF and those energies that have formed the trajectory of your life as it is to this day.