The tired soul is dying Leaving a void within, The Humane-ness is lying In silence, again, we begin; In Freedom & bondage Where deception runs deep, They pass to their advantage – The kingdoms are for keep.
And gaze while they’re sleeping By reaching for height, They rest in your feeling An amazing bright light. When doubt fills our glories Of layers unfold, It is then that the stories Of our history are told.
Outnumbered I spoke with them Recalling memories of delight, But who could decipher them When we’re living in fright. Beyond all refusal The doubts in our glories, The wind is a dismal, And Are part of these stories.
The waving of tall grasses, The song of the hidden sinner, That croons as it passes You do so with a little quiver. The heavy-heart is a fool The summoning of jealousy, The confusing schedule Must blend until you see.
Without these, indeed, you Would discover before too long, Just like I would read to you The words of a beautiful song That exhaustion would linger When flowers don’t bloom, The melodies of a singer, Of The hypnotic tune.
And, melding with each For far too long There, sadly humane-ness is dying We are in need of a happy song.
Let me ask you a question: what’s a drawing/sketch ?
Yep, a series of lines!
And here’s another question:
“What’s a line?”, I ask my kids …
yep, a series of dots!
“What’s a dot?” … the beginning, middle & end of a line. Right?
Well, one could argue that a “DOT” has no beginning, no end… it gives us a taste of INFINITY. If you can’t comprehend this idea, maybe in the 3rd dimension, that’s alright… it is definitely INFINITE in the 4th dimension.
I love drawing ✍️ and managing the fusion of ALL kinds of lines, mostly, to get lost … to become one with … to allow the love 💕 you have WITHIN … just waiting to be expressed…
… in an image that would hopefully be able to be understood and appreciated.
To LISTEN a little BETTER.
You see, after over 4 decades of practising the ART OF FINE-LINE Drawing ✍️, I have found that –
~ it allows me☝️ to LISTEN a little BETTER to my INNER voice … and ACCEPT my CREATIVE EXPRESSION … as I realise that LISTENING 👂…. TRUE LISTENING is a ….. FORM OF ACCEPTANCE
~ it allows me to …. NOT THINK 🤔 SOMETHING UP (some untraceable goal … I’m the clouds ☁️ somewhere up there ….) but instead encourages me to …. GETTING SOMETHING DOWN … GIVING SOMETHING
~ it reminds me that I am NOT DOING…. I AM GETTING…. I AM GIVING (hopefully, to an appreciative audience)
~ it reminds me that I AM ENGAGED IN “LISTENING “ … & that I have (still) much to learn and …. MASTER
~ it reinforces that I am not the CREATOR… I AM THE CONDUIT through which this Energy force .. this ESSENCE OF LIFE… this endless love 💕 … is TRANSMUTED.. into what eventually becomes an IMAGE… that hopefully RESONATES with the audience
Here’s are a number of picture of dots, lines and shades chaotically fused together into a somewhat orderly structure.
SIMPLICITY enfolds COMPLEXITY
One positive result of my fine-line work is that I CREATE or BRING TO LIFE … images that hopefully RESONATE with the heart is at least one viewer.
Many times, I don’t know what I will produce …. As I fuse and bring ORDER to the CHAOTIC lines …. The Art or image I produce is given life … and emerges on to the pages and fundamentally comes about because drawling lines allows me to TUNE IN to what is already there
Feeling the movement of my hand as I caress the ink pen to draw lines in the page …. gives me the strong belief of the POSSIBILITY that the UNIVERSE is helping me with what I am doing (always) … as I become a WILLING SON of GOD and accept his offer of help and guidance in all that I do.
Drawing ✍️ lines HUMBLES ME as it reminds me that GOD is the GREAT ARTIST 👩🎨… the GREATEST DESIGNER
You will see that for some drawings …. There is a lot of uncertainty. For example, In certain parts of the pages I began with chaos (scribbling lines & dots) & moved towards order & in other parts I started with order & transitioned to chaos (randomness).
It appears simple…
.. but Simplicity in this case, enfolds complexity (the picture communicates – symbolically, various aspects of life).
What can you see? (In my art)
Does looking at my picture in portrait reveal something different to you? What about landscape? Upside down? What images get reflected in to your conscience?
In many of my drawings ✍️, randomness is interweaved with order.
My pictures/fine-like Art, are ultimately a fusion of chaos (random lines & “many mistakes”) & layers of unbalanced order) to produce (hopefully something that is visually stimulating & pleasing).
When does a drawing have enough lines? When is it one line too much?
My question to you is: When is enough, enough (could apply with most things in life)?
It was more of an invite, not a requirement. Jesus, gave his disciples a choice … he gave them the freedom to decide for themselves.
He gave them the option to say “no”
In other words, he allowed them to keep their dignity. He gave them respect. As you know, the “no” Answer is perhaps the greatest expression of self respect … the greatest expression of dignity possible.
So … as a Christian… as a believer, like I am, let me ask you some questions :
⁃ do you follow him?
⁃ are you going to follow him?
⁃ Why / why not?
Ask, Seek & Knock.
Many individuals do not like to ask questions. One reason is that they don’t want to depend on someone else. To ask, makes them feel a sense of humiliation.
Personally, I’ve been asking questions since I was a toddler, some of which certainly makes me look like a fool. My insatiable CURIOSITY gets the better of me all the time as I don’t really ask questions for answers but for better understanding.
Here’s the thing, To ask, you may run the risk of indicating:
⁃ You don’t know.
⁃ You ran out.
⁃ You don’t understand.
⁃ You’re not prepared.
⁃ You need more information.
⁃ You came up short.
⁃ You can’t find it.
⁃ You failed.
⁃ You’re not sure.
As Christians, we should never be afraid or shamed of asking … of asking questions. Not asking questions, undermines our need for God.
Jesus says we should ask … we should knock … we should seek. And why?
Because asking puts us back in alignment with God. It assumes a “two-way relationship “… a NEED-Relationship with him. You could say a “hand-to-mouth” spiritual existence.
We live in modern Societies that tries to satisfy every desire … with instant gratification. Over time, this constant rush to fill every felt need of the individual … rips … steals the soul of a person.
We eventually get our soul back but … at a price.
“And what is this price?” You may ask
I will answer that question with a question: What do you think is the “price” you pay … for losing your soul?
All human behaviour is fundamentally, REACTIONARY.
We are ALWAYS Reacting to something or someone. Many businesses thrive on this Reaction and the predictive futures of this reaction.
We stop reacting when we are dead. Have you observed people who have “stopped”. They’re like walking zombies … they effectively live like they were dead!
Not healthy. Not recommended.
So, I believe ALL human thinking is, in a way, reactionary.
And we, as individuals, as communities, as nations … have to react to accepted ideas propagated by those who control communication platforms.
Here’s one accepted idea: PROGRESS.
What does that mean?
You hear it regularly thrown about by large corporations as they exploit the resources of developing and poorer nations. As they force archaic working policies on our fellow civil citizens. And their request: that we just stand by idly and accept.
Without a voice. Without a reaction.
Progress in technology … progress in pollution… progress in pornography … progress in freedom of speech… progress in behaviour … and so forth… are not All that good.
Well, because the HUMAN NATURE does not change. The term “progress” is a human invention. There is no evolution in the human character and … in the human mind. Human Relationships still take time to form.
Does that mean that you need to stop the change?
Change, in itself, is not necessarily good. Just like stability. Change can be good or bad, just like stability can be good or bad.
Everything in our lives … our human life … every problem is a question of Quality and not quantity.
And yet, the progress has technology and importance of numbers and logic is of paramount importance. This is a very distorted approach to viewing progress as it primarily uses a very deductive and logical framework. At the expense of intuition, of matters of the heart. Of feelings.
All for the sake of Progress.
As part of a healthy inclusive discussion, we should be encouraged to listen to all sides of anything or anyone claiming that something should be adopted.
The pros and cons of the idea or creation or technology should be debated and “thrashed out” before it is implemented.
This should be a normal part of any healthy discussion.
Over the years I have listened to many individuals. Listened to their stories.
Over the years I think I have had in excess of twenty thousand conversations with people of all ages. From teens to ninety-year olds.
Over the years I have had many coaching conversations. In these coaching conversations, I have helped increase individuals awareness of how their perception of events in their lives either propel them forward or hold them back.
I have listened to others and the way in which the stories they tell ourselves have the power to hold us back or propel us forward.
As an example …
The bottom line is that I wouldn’t be the person I am today if my hearing hadn’t been terrible when I was young. Neither would you.
This is why taking the time to properly frame our narratives and the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves can be so critical.
The first turns your past into an anchor, while the second turns it into the wind that fills your sails and keeps you moving forward.
Is there some piece of your story, personal or professional, that you’ve been able to reframe in a way that moves you forward, instead of holding you back?
Wonderful question for all to ponder. I’m one of the most self-aware person you will ever meet, but that is nothing new to me as I have been this way since I was a kid (from the adults who knew me in my youth).
Cowboy 🤠 House.
Here’s one I’d like to share – I was raised by my grandparents as my biological Dad died when I was 4 years old, trying to save a person from downing … and was overpowered by the victim and drowning with that person). My biological mother was only 16 and had a choice to have an abortion but I thank her and God that she didn’t.
Her decision to give me life has allowed me to not only live but to do what I do – predominantly, helped people, help themselves building their bridges from where they are to where they desire to be over the last 3 decades.
Anyways, I grew up in a large extended family – grandparents, grand uncles and aunties, uncles, aunties, cousins and siblings and … visitors and extended family visiting.
My home was always full and was always noisy. Our neighbours used to call our home – the “Cowboy House”.
We didn’t have much of anything – food (there were no less than 10 people to feed every single day … and I do not know how my grandparents managed to do this), didn’t have much material possessions (my grandmother used to sew my school uniforms) … but the home certainly had a lot of love.
There was a lot of storytelling and sitting around talking almost every night. It was just part of the home … part of the culture.
Because there was so much noise, most kids would not be able to concentrate/focus. But, I told myself way back in early Primary School that I will teach myself to study/do school work/read in … noise.
My teachers couldn’t understand how a kid (me) could get Top Academic Results every year.
Most kids/people need peace and quiet to FOCUS, so we are told. “How does Paul do it?” I would over hear some teachers say. In my adult life, I have continued to learn/read/focus in any environment, no matter how noisy or ridiculous is.
Focus on what you can control
I remember my grandfather telling me many things (he was a very wise man) … saying something to the effect –
“Paul, focus on what you can control … and do the best with what you’ve got … don’t be part of the problem, always be part of the solution”.
I’ve always applied that in my life, not focusing on insufficient resources and constraints .,. But on HOW I can do better with what I have. That philosophy along with many others, has helped me create the life I’ve always imagined and realise short-term and long-term goals.
Growing up in an family environment that had very limited resources (except for love … the home was always infused with LOVE), has allowed me to almost always have an overall attitude of personal optimism and enthusiasm.
I completely understand the psychosomatic relationship – psyche and soma – mind and body … better than most (hence sculpting a Physique worthy of representing Australia at 2 x World Natural Physique Championships and placing in the Top 5 in consecutive years).
I am fully aware of how the body is the physical manifestation of the mind or in other words, the body expresses what the mind is concerned with. I’m a strong believer that life is many things … and one of which is that life is a self-fulfilling prophecy…. That you usually get what you expect.
My ‘tough’ upbringing has allowed me to develop a healthy self-expectancy and eliminated all forms of excuse from my vocabulary as … I expect to win, almost all the time. I have no doubt the so-called ‘luck’ is the intersection of preparation and awareness.
Life … a very real game but not a gamble.
I look at life as a very real game .. but not a gamble.
Part of what I have done over the last 3 decades is help people, help themselves build their bridges. I have learned and taught many things. It seems that every individual tends to receive what he or she expects in the long run.
From my experience and deducing from other people’s experiences in my life so far … it would appear that you may or may not get what is coming to you, or you may or may not get what you deserve – BUT YOU WILL nearly always get what you expect.
As someone who has mastered the art of body re-engineering (building muscle and reducing body fat to < 4%), believe me when I say, there is an intricately close connection between your mind and body … a negative thought can cause your ‘look’ (that you get judged on) to go from excellent (Top 5 and finalist) to awful.
I’ve learned and mastered much of the ‘mind-body-heart-soul’ interface connections and one important one is this – mental obsessions have physical manifestations. Basically, you BECOME WHAT YOU FEAR – you get what you expect – you are that which you expect to be!
Here’s the thing – since all individuals are responsible for their own actions and cause their own effects, optimism then, is a choice.
Choose well, my adult friends.
Optimism, Enthusiasm, Faith & Hope.
What is needed is : continual fueling of – OPTIMISM, ENTHUSIASM, FAITH & HOPE.
Each is a synonym for – having a HEALTHY SELF-EXPECTANCY.
So, my question to you (if you’ve made it this far) is –
1. Do you have a healthy self-expectancy about things in your life?
2. Do you expect the best for you – in life and as a way of life?
3. Do you look at problems/constraints as opportunities?
With regards to question 3 above, try this little exercise and let me know your answers –
Make a list of your KEY problems/constraints –
> the ones that block your professional and personal fulfillment.
> Next, write a one-or-two sentence definition of each problem/constraint.
Now, rewrite the definition, only this time view it as an opportunity or exercise to challenge your creativity and ingenuity (some refer to it as ‘re-framing’).
Here’s a tip: view the solution as you would if you were advising one of your best friends.
So, where does your thoughts stand in relation to your Self-Expectancy now?
Why has society demonised anger? Why is it that we (especially Men) cannot and not encouraged to “get angry?” This is hammered into men right from when we are toddlers. Why? Why have we only focused on the destructive results of anger?
It is just as much a valid emotion as being happy, sad, excited, joyful etc.
Yes, that’s right, he has been a great friend. Not a lovey-dovey friend, not a particularly nice friend, far from being a gentle friend. No, anger … is a very, veery very LOYAL friend.
Anger has always been there with and FOR “me”. Anger loyalty reminds me with ease when i have betrayed myself enough. It is there to stop anyone or anything from taking advantage of me, beyond what is reasonable.
“Reasonable “ here would refer to my imaginary boundaries/tolerance limits of certain suffering.
To me, Anger is fuel. This is a KEY aspect of the power of a loyal friend.
This friend loves me.
This friend LOVES ME.
And, I have come to love this friend, all the way back to consciously recognising him when I was about 9 years old.
Yes, it is a form of power… a powerful energy. When we feel it, we almost always want yo do something about it – hit someone, throw something, break or smash something, punch a wall or spew out profanities to the person.
Why do we do everything to it … except LISTEN to it. I mean, we are taught to … deny it, bury it, hide it, lie about it, medicate it, ignore it or simply muffle it.
Why don’t we just allow ourselves to feel and express it just like we do with other feelings?
Anger not only summons courage, but it points the finger and shows the way… an alternative way. To me, anger is a sign of health … good 💝itality.
Unlike what most of modern societies espouse, I believe anger is a good thing. It means you’re alive. Anger is part of our inner voice … it is meant to be listened to.
As fuel, we can embrace the energy of anger to turbo-boost our actions to where our anger points us. Here’s the catch that many struggle with – anger is meant to be ACTED UPON, not ACTED OUT.
It awakens me.
Re-read that last sentence again. Let it sink in.
Every time I get angry, it reminds me that I am being courageous and expressing something that is pushing me towards my perceived boundaries. Should I tolerate it, extend the boundaries or … resist.
It AWAKENS me.
It is a a tsunami o that annihilates and with that destruction, signals that death 💀 of our old life. Anger is the springboard that springs you into your new life.
To me, anger is envigorating. It helps INFUSE me with the “essence of life” – 💝itality!
It is a tool, and like all tools, when used in the appropriate manner, allows you to CREATE something with it. It is not something to MASTER. Anger, instead should be something used as a resource .. to be tapped in to and drawn upon.
For example, I have used my loyal gym training partner & friend – “Anger” to accomplish record-breaking lifts & intensity in my workouts . He has always been there. He helps me “climb mountains” and achieve small goals in the gym. As a tool, I TRANSMUTE my loyal friend, Anger into the various mediums of Art that I express my love through.
Anger, my loyal friend, has also been the wind under my wings when I need to summon courage to fly.
I cannot live with my loyal friend.
I need him.
Every single day.
Anger, I pray 🙏 that you visit me again. Soon. I need you to fill up my senses. As John Denver sings in his song “Annie” –
You fill up my senses,
Like a night in a forest;
Like mountains in springtime,
Like a walk in the rain;
You fill up my sensors,
Come fill me again;
Come let me love you,
Let me give my love to you;
Let me drown in your laughter,
Let me die in your arms;
Let me lay down beside you,
Let me always be with you;”
And you should, too.
Embrace your Anger. Make him your friend.
Dance with him. Get to know him again, if you have to.
He died when I was 19. Six years after his wife, my grandmother died.
I spent a big part of early childhood with my grandfather. He didn’t say much but he had many little “coaching conversations” when appropriate (I later realised what he was doing after he died in my late teens).
At University (almost 30 years ago now whilst doing my second degree in Accounting/Business Management ), I read a book by the author Ken Blanchard called “the one minute manager”. I realised then, that the management style my grandfather was using in relation to raising me and the family household, was the same as what the author was espousing in the book.
A Man’s Man.
The best manager I have ever worked for was the CEO/Managing Partner of a Top 20 Accounting & Business Advisory. I was there for about 3 years and was some of the BEST years working as an “employee “.
This man, was a Man’s Man … a Clint Eastwood demeanour with a Tom Hanks (heart .. when appropriate). His physical presence was intimidating. He was a former Australian ranked boxer and his reputation for results preceded him.
Everyone was scared shitless of him. They trembled in their seats when they heard him coming down the passages and everyone avoided him.
I found him fascinating and I loved him and his management style. I thought about why (after I left) and it was because he reminded me of my grandfather.
I didn’t buy into the fear and the water-cooler stories about him that became part of the Firm’s Legendary stories. So, I decided to “get to know him”.
No need for Sir, call me Bob …
As he walked by the cubicles in the morning, I would yell out – “Good morning Mr E…!” The other staff couldn’t believe it… I actually spoke out snd greeted him.
The first time … I would hear his footsteps pause and … then continue. The following morning, I did the same. He did the same.
On the third day .. he stopped and then said –
“Who is that?”
I stood up from my cubicle and replied –
“Paul ❤️alentine, sir!”
He laughed and said –
“No need for Sir, call me Bob... snd a good morning to you, too.”
From then on, each time he walked passed by Cubicle, he would call out my name and we would end up having chats. Matter of fact, he preferred me to handle many of his clients and over time, we would become very good friends.
It got to stage where, he would only allow me to interrupt him in any meeting he was in. No one else in the Firm could do that. There was a level of TRUST that he had in me that no one else got.
When he had to “Sign off” on Reports and Files … he would go through others’ files with a fine-tuned comb, asking many questions. With mine, he just wanted me to give him the “gist” or executive summary (usually one page of the Risks and my personal assessment)
He would always ask me one question –
“Are you happy with me signing Paul?”
I would say yes or no.
He would act accordingly.
The One-Minute Manager.
The “one-minute managed” approach is to be very FIRM in your values & principles snd DO NOT compromise on INTEGRITY. EVER.
This is communicated EFFECTIVELY. There is no ambiguity. … ALWAYS communicated CONSISTENTLY, CLEARLY and CONCISELY.
Integrity is what most Good Leaders have. But, RE-INFORCED integrity is what GREAT Leaders have. They NEVER sacrifice their MORALS & ETHICS in ALL that they do & say and say they do.
That is the One-Minute Manager…. On Enthusiasm Turbo-Boost. That is what the world needs right now … more GREAT LEADERS in all KEY areas of life.
“What is your message ?” I ask.
What is the message you leave to the world, when you … leave this world?
The one-minute manager approach primarily relates to the FEEDBACK being TIMELY and SPECIFIC. For example, when I fuck up with something on a client, I would hear his footsteps come towards my seat. I would feel his presence snd his hand rest on my shoulder (as I looked at my computer screen). I could sense his frustration snd he would say –
“Paul, you fucked up. Learn from it. Don’t do that again”
And then he was off. He was the first to reprimand me and “pull me in line” as soon as the incident occurred.
The reverse is also true. When I did a great job and exceeded clients expectations, I would hear those same footsteps again …
His hand on my shoulder, looking in my eyes and saying –
“Great job Paul, well done. Keep it up, son! Take the afternoon off!”
My salary increases in 6-monthly reviews were in the top and I had one of the best corner cubicles in the Firm. Many other staff were jealous but … I learned that TRUST is one of the foundation stones of any relationship.
I’ve almost always adopted this Management style in almost all my dealings with people, as an employee, managing groups/teams .. and as an Employer, managing egos.
Do you trust – YOU?
Out of interest, what are your top 3 to these :
1. What 3 words describe your Vision for your business?
2. Do you believe in YOU? 3 strengths you have as a Leader?
3. Do you TRUST “you?”
4. Do have a need to be “liked” by everyone? Do you have a need to be “agreeable “ with everyone?
What is YOUR MESSAGE?
This is one of the KEYS to almost ALL successful communication to any audience: know your message.
I remember sitting with adults when I was a kid, Listening to their stories. They would say –
“Paul, why don’t you go and play with your cousins & friends outside”
I would reply –
“No, there will be time to play with them later”
I’ve listened to hundreds of other people’s stories when I owned & managed my Family Gym for 7 years.
I love 💕 telling stories.
I believe there is power in storytelling.
It begins in the home.
It begins in the Home…. Practising the art of Storytelling, that is.
Home is where the foundation of storytelling starts. I recall listening to my dad & his close friend’s tell stories around the Kava bowl. In the home, I got a strong 💪 foundation… Of a past that lends my existence a place, a sense of belonging, a historical context.
Home is where stories get passed on for generations. I have continued with this 💝alentine tradition. My two kids can retell the stories I tell .. because they have heard them countless times. And as my daughter says –
“Dad, it keeps changing all the time”
And I say –
“Aaaahhh… yes, my dear … that is where facts and imagination fuse in the optimum place”
Home is where I was told that I am built like & physically intelligent like my grandfather, Ben Valentine. A powerful & skilful National heavyweight boxing champion, going undefeated for 3 years in his prime.
Home is where I heard stories of my quirkiness from early age & my creative & innovative nature in my early youth. I heard stories of my country of birth through the filter of my own genealogy.
Struggles, family migrations, family triumphs, as well as ancestral successes & failures were taught to me through the history of my 💝alentine Family.
In my Home now, it is a place where I build my own legacy: through my love 😍 for history & storytelling, I have shared & will share more stories I was told in my youth with my children.
Always, adding my generation’s story to this 💝alentine Novel in progress. I’ve always believed the REAL histories of families aren’t the records of births, deaths & marriages. No, to me …
… they are the stories told after dinner, while having chocolate or dessert. So full and satisfied.
For i have learned many things so far, and one important one is the importance of LEGACY.
Legacy is fueled by US… in our family. It is fueled by ME. And all this evolves from our history… our family stories passed down …
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