Category Archives: Communication

Synchronicity, Serendipity or Coincidence.

 

 

Synchron

 

Definition – the simultaneous occurrence of events which appear
significantly related but have no discernible causal connection.

I recently read a post from my dear friend/sister of choice Chris at Bridges Burning.  She wrote about serendipity and how three people, she in Ontario, my sister in the UK and me in New Zealand,  can connect over a comment on Skype.  The comment and the thoughts that preceded and followed it bounced around the world.  It went from Kitchener, Ontario to Wellington, New Zealand and then on to Oxford in the United Kingdom.

The definition of Serendipity is – the occurrence and development of events by
chance in a happy or beneficial way.

Serendipity and synchronicity are quite different words, often confused and should be used differently.  For instance, it would not have been correct for Chris to use synchronicity in her telling but it is correct when we both write about the same thing in a blog post.  Or when I send an email saying we should Skype only to find that she has sent the exact email to me.

How often we find this synchronicity.   I remember years ago when training to be a Life Coach.  I had read one day about Sedona in Arizona, the red rocks and the general feeling of spiritual well-being, the artists and healers who flock there, and so determined that I should go there in the not too distant future.  The course was conducted on a phone link of 2 hours each Monday evening.  Soon after I logged in I heard one of the other participants talking about a visit he had made to Sedona the previous year and how he was planning on returning the next year for the Sedona Film Festival.

My mind/imagination was captured by this place and then the next morning, in an email from my sister in Los Angeles, she said she thought the next time I visited we should go to Sedona as she had heard such great things about it.

Well didn’t that exactly meet the definition –  significantly related but have no discernible causal connection?

Recently, because it was the anniversary of the death of The Architect, I was thinking about him and about the firm he had established many years ago.  Later that day I was at the Hospice and learned that it is his old firm that will be doing the architectural work for the new hospice building. Serendipity at work again.

I say that there is no such thing as coincidence, but do I really believe that?  There is definitely synchronicity, serendipity and probably there is room for coincidence too.

The definition of Coincidence is – a striking occurrence of two or more events
at one time 
apparently by mere chance:

Several years ago I was in London for the weekend.  The elderly woman for whom I was playing companion went off to a wedding which left me free.  It just so happened that friends were visiting London from NZ and we decided to meet up.  The first evening we went around the corner from the apartment looking for some place to have a drink and decide where to eat.  Imagine my surprise when, on turning the corner I saw three friends, a couple from Auckland, NZ and one from Sydney, Australia.  I hadn’t seen any of these people for several years, so their being in London at just that particular weekend was certainly a coincidence.

And for you – stop for a moment and ask yourself, what coincidences have been happening in my life recently that I am not paying attention to? Where do I need to be seeing the truth? What is the Universe trying to tell me?

And consider this –

If there were no such thing as coincidence,
there would be no such word
Heron Carvic (born Geoffrey Rupert William Harris)
English actor writer. 
  1913 –  1980 

 

By the way – if you are an Agatha Christie fan, hop over to my other site to read a review on A Talent for Murder.

 

 

 

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Two Live Chats and a Telephone Call

Confusion

Today I received an email from Microsoft telling me that Office 365 was due for renewal on February 3.  However, on December 5 last I received a similar email.  As it appeared that I had two accounts I decided to sort this out.  Easier said than done.

Well at 6.45 pm I got onto Live Chat and after waiting for a while connected with one of their ‘experts’.  This chap was totally unable to help and finished the chat after telling me that my account was due for renewal.  He then closed chat.

I tried again.  This time I had a very helpful person who agreed that yes, somehow I had two accounts and I should just go ahead and cancel the one due for renewal in February.  After disconnecting from this chat I attempted to cancel the account unsuccessfully.

So this time, I found a telephone number to call.  A local number that went through to the Philippines. A young lady was very keen to assist but her English was hard to follow.  After many repeats of her comments and answers to my questions, several protracted waits while she checked things out ‘at her end’as she said at 9.55 pm the problem was solved at last – one of the accounts cancelled and the renewal for Office 365 was paid.  However, I’m still not convinced and will wait to see what happens when the renewal comes around -or when the credit card statement comes in.

So sorry no time for a newsy post today.  And having returned home at around 6 pm I still haven’t looked at Week 1 of the course and we are already two days into the week.  Perhaps that can be bedtime reading tonight.  Dealing with Microsoft has tired me out more than the 7 hours driving did. Waterfall

 I really needed the quiet sound of water running over rocks to calm me down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Where Did The Days Go?

I have just realized it is 14 days since I last wrote a blog post.  So where have all those days gone?

In the various courses that I run I always cover Habits and Attitudes.  We know that it takes 6 weeks for a habit to become almost automatic.  But we also know that it takes only a few days to break a habit.  So what happened to my blog-writing habit?  It was well ensconced for over a year.  If I didn’t make time for it during the day then I would certainly do something before I retired for the night.  But as with so many things, I said one day “Oh it wont matter if I don’t do it today.  I can miss one day.  I can do it tomorrow”.  Well tomorrow came and went, and all the succeeding tomorrows came and went too.  No excuse, no reason.

So apologies and here I am again.

Clown

With thanks to Nancy at Spirit Lights the Way for permission to use her photo.

Today I read a post from Nancy at Spirit Lights the Way.  The picture that accompanied the post made me laugh out loud.   I love clowns and always have since I was a little girl.  But I know that not everybody shares this love.  I do know that there is a phobia called Coulrophobia, a fear of clowns.  This is a very real fear and while there has been little scientific research into it a quick Internet search revealed 620 results. There are even websites dedicated to the subject, such as Ihateclowns.com, where coulrophobes gather to share their thoughts.

But moving back to Nancy’s clown with his laughing face, ridiculous clothes and cheery voice,  it came to me that the clown and his antics pretty much describe how life is for many of us.

When we are feeling down or dejected we put on our clown’s face.  We laugh and joke for our friends putting on what I describe as ‘our face for the public’.  Underneath we may not be smiling but we don’t want to impose our concerns and fears onto others.  Perhaps our nearest and dearest see through this act but the rest of the world buys it.  I remember in the awful weeks following my husband’s death, I wore my smiling clown’s face whenever I went out.  Many comments were received by my daughter on how well I was coping.  Oh really..

And it seems to be universally agreed that the clown is sad.  Reference the many songs about clowns, most of which tell a sad story.

  • Send in the Clowns
  • The Clown Song
  • Rodeo Clowns
  • The Tears of a Clown

And my favourite of these is of course, Send in the Clowns.  Many artists have performed it but I like this version.  Click here to hear Angela Lansbury aka Jessica Fletcher (another favourite) singing it.

But often, when life is back on an even keel and all is well with our world we are like the clown.  We laugh and sing and cavort, maybe even dress up in outlandish clothes to show the world how well we are doing.

Ronald McDonald

And probably the most famous clown of modern times is the ubiquitous Ronald McDonald.  As the face of the fast food giant we see him everywhere.  I bet he isn’t sad thinking about all the money his employer is making and hopefully sharing some with him.

Another rambling post but I do hope you got the gist of it.  The clown as a metaphor for life.

 

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Over the years I have heard the saying that no good deed goes unpunished.  This is a sardonic commentary reflecting on good deeds that backfire on the donor. One such good deed made The Times in London when the journalist stated

“Seldom in the field of clerical administration has one woman given so much of herself to a car dealership.”

Our newspapers, television and radio are full of the story of the woman who gave a kidney to her immediate supervisor and then shortly afterwards was dismissed from her job.  This should be a lesson to all those selfless people out there who are considering offering a body part to an employer or supervisor.  Your generosity will not be appreciated and may even be thrown back in your face, as in this case where the recipient of the kidney said to the donor “Don’t expect to be treated special because of what you did for me”.

I shall be watching the outcome of the lawsuit filed against the employer.  If the plaintiff wins maybe there will be a swathe of people offering body parts and then suing the recipient.  Reasons quoted could include lack of suitable appreciation in the form of gifts; if it was an employer no extra or special favours at work eg extra vacation time or even paid vacations (3 weeks in Hawaii at their expense); no notice in the local paper as to who made this happen; no special party to celebrate coming back to full health with the donor as guest of honour.  The list could go on and on.

On this day in 1773 The British Parliament passed the Tea Act.  This Act forced Colonists to buy tea from the East India Company that controlled all tea imported into the colonies.  Direct action by a group calling itself the Sons of Liberty in Boston resulted in the tea contained in three trading ships being destroyed.  We are told by Wikipedia that “this was a key event in the growth of the American Revolution”.

On this day in 1937 the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco opened.  The American Society of Civil Engineers declared it one of the modern Wonders of the World and  Frommers travel guide considers the Golden Gate Bridge “possibly the most beautiful, certainly the most photographed, bridge in the world.

On this day in 1989 Beijing students took over Tiananmen Square in China.  In case you are too young to know about this thousands of students and other citizens started gathering in groups large and small, protesting many issues, centered on a desire for freedom and democratic reform.  By mid May hundreds of thousands of people occupied the Square.  Chinese authorities responded with a declaration of martial law, and on June 3rd  tanks and armored personnel carriers rolled into the square, killing and wounding many, mostly civilians – estimates vary widely, from several hundred to several thousand dead.

On this day in 2011 a lashing string of tornadoes tore through Alabama smashing buildings, snapping trees and ending at least 58 lives.

And now at 12.19 am I realise that I have missed the midnight deadline and so this post will be published on the 28th.

I’m late! I’m late!
For a very important date!
No time to say “Hello”, goodbye!
I’m late! I’m late! I’m late!

Scorpions A-Buzzing Today

I have become very behind in my blog reading and today I decided to pick one that I follow and get really up to date.  My hovering fingers landed on Patricia’s Today I Think Blog.

I really enjoy Patricia thoughts on many things and love Teddy the stay at home cat.  He manages to get into adventures even within the apartment and on the balcony.

Teddy

Photo copyright Patricia Tracy

However, one post that Patricia wrote really set my blood boiling.  Have you read “Monday, not really a book review”?  Living on the other side of the world I wasn’t aware the interview talked about in the comments and have never heard of this woman.  While we all thought or perhaps knew in some cases, that JFK was a philanderer I wasn’t aware just how blatant and abusive the man was.  Please understand that I haven’t read the book  so I am relying on my good friend Patricia and other reviews of the book.

All that said, I now get onto my rant for the day.

Firstly, the President and all his sycophantic helpers must bear the most blame for these happenings.  How did these people think it was OK to treat a young woman this way?  How was it kept from Jackie or did she know and turn a blind eye to the abuse of this 19-year-old?  And what a seemingly innocent 19-year-old she was.

But the girl must bear some of the blame.  At the time she describes I was a 22-year-old so not that much older than she.  I  knew that it wasn’t acceptable to sleep with some other woman’s husband.  She must have known this.

I knew if I was invited to view somebody’s bedroom without the wife being there, there was likely to be some ulterior motive.  She must have known this.

I knew that if anything unacceptable to me, or something with which I was not comfortable occurred that I should tell somebody else.  She must have known this,  But I now come to the realisation that this wasn’t unacceptable to her.  This has obviously been a secret that she kept and fed upon for the past 50 plus years.

And according to  Janet Maslin‘s report in the New York Times it appears that this woman sees nothing wrong in what she did.

Several questions jumped immediately into my mind:

  • How would she react if it happened to her daughter or granddaughter now?
  • Was this only allowed to happen because of the age of Camelot and the public’s adoration of the first couple?
  • Did the President think he was above normal standards of human behaviour?
  • How did the aides and the others in the know satisfy their own consciences?
  • Did none of them have daughters of their own?

And of course the big one.  How are her family reacting to this unveiling, telling of a secret now?  Did she consider their feelings before writing this book or did she simply write it for the money it would generate?

I have since watched part of the interview on NBC’s Rock Centre and it seems to me that this woman is totally self-absorbed and I wouldn’t be surprised if she didn’t even consider the ramifications on her family and indeed the rest of her life, before going public.  My thoughts re with her family at this time.

And of course the big one for me – Am I being unnecessarily hard on this poor woman?  Maybe if I read the book I might have some more sympathy for her, both as she was then and as she is now.  But for now, I am leaving it as it is.

What are your thoughts?

End of today’s rant.

“Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves.
But deep down below the surface of the average conscience a still, small voice says to us, something is out of tune.”
Carl Jung

Gremlins in the air?


“An apology is a good way to have the last word.” Anon

After a few weeks of being so far behind in reading the blogs I follow, I eventually spent all day yesterday glued to the computer reading, reading, occasionally commenting and often clicking ‘like’.  So now I am caught up and today have only 32 items in the inbox.  Hoorah!

Applause

But now I think I must have offended WordPress in some way.  I have tried to respond to various bloggers today and after pressing ‘post comment’ the comment has disappeared into the ether.  So for the many bloggers I follow and particularly those who have mentioned my blogs in their posts – Elizabeth at Mirth and Motivation and Caterel at caterel.wordpress.com and therefore deserve a response from me, I offer my heartfelt apologies.  Hopefully, whatever the gremlin is it will disappear later today.

____________

I recently came across this quote from Stephen Levine, poet, author and teacher.  It’s in his book A Year To Live

“If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say?  And why are you waiting? ”

Who would I callMy two sisters on a three-way call.  Why my sisters and not my family?  Because my sisters would not be able to be with me while my children and grandchildren are here in New Zealand and able to come to me.

What would I say? I would tell them how very special they both are to me.  What important parts they have played in my life.  How I have missed being and sharing with them over the years.   And if it was at all possible, I would wish to be all together again. It is now 12 years since we were all together (and that was for Mother’s funeral).

Why am I waiting?  I am not.

So think about it.  Who would you phone, what would you say and why are you waiting?

A stiff apology is a second insult…. The injured party does not want to be compensated because he has been wronged; he wants to be healed because he has been hurt.  G.K. Chesterton, English author, poet and playwright.  1874 – 14 June

Recent posts on sisters

Crop Circles

Crop Circles

Photo copyright Colin Andrews (www.ColinAndrews.net)

I have been intrigued by crop circles since I first heard about them several years ago when living in the UK.  But even though this was the first I heard of them, these circles have been discovered around the world over the past two centuries – They were witnessed by policemen and farmers as far back as 1890, they exist in the folklore of South Africa and China and are mentioned in 17th Century academic texts. (quote from Crop Circles Secrets.org.)

And then, through a friend, I heard about Freddy Silva and his fascination and work on them. He has produced a fantastic book on the subject – “Secrets in the Fields“.  In the site – Crop Circles Secrets it states

Crop circles are scientifically proven to be manifestations of energy under intelligent guidance.  Over 80 eyewitnesses describe them to be made by tubes of light in less than 15 seconds. The evidence for crop circles as a genuine phenomenon is found in Freddy Silva’s book Secrets in the Fields and throughout this site.”

Crop circles first appeared in the fields of southern England in the mid-1970s.   These circles were quite simple; they appeared overnight in various farmers’ fields in amongst the wheat, rape, oat, and barley. The crops were flattened, the stalks were bent but not broken. And there was no sign of entry through the fields to the circles.

The county of Wiltshire is the acknowledged centre of the phenomenon of crop circles.  Wiltshire is one of the most mystical places on earth and the county is the home of  sacred Neolithic sites including Stonehenge, ,Avenbury   and Silbury Hill.  and these circles seem to appear most often in close proximity to ancient and sacred sites.  It is an area well worth a visit when in England.

Crop circles have been reported in Australia, South Africa, China, Russia, and many other countries.  But southern England is still the hub of the activity and we are told that more than 100 formations appear in the fields there each year.

Discussions on whether these circles are man-made or not range widely.  Because of my interest I attend lectures and presentations where this phenomenon is the topic.  Divergent opinions always surface, usually with the presenter being in favour of some other source of the circles while there is always at least one in the audience vociferously opposed to this.

Serious crop circle researchers seem to agree that the majority of the circles are not made by humans and seem to be messages from unknown intelligence.  These researchers include those with advanced degrees in science and engineering.

If you are interested in reading more about crop circles and whether or not they are an elaborate hoax perpetrated by men/women around the world either read the book Secrets in the Fields or go to www.greatdreams.com and read Joseph E Mason’s take on this.

And for even more information on this phenomenon visit Colin Andrew’s site.

A Post A Day

“Losers make promises they often break.
Winners make commitments they always keep.”  
Dennis Waitley, motivational speaker and writer, 1933 –March calendar

Go back to March 1 2011.  What was I thinking when I made a commitment to myself to write a blog post each day for a year? That’s 365 posts.  Where did I think I was going to get enough ideas to write every day?

There are days when inspiration or just an idea for a post pops into my head – often when I am in the shower.  But other days…  And today is one of those other days.

MMP Voting paper

via Wikipedia

OK it’s the day after Election Day and the outcome was fairly much as the polls showed.  John Key and the National Party (right) gained 60 seats out of the 120 seats in the House.  This enough seats to govern on its own and with the help of a couple of small parties, to have a clear majority.  However, the pundits were very wrong in some of their other predictions.

Most guessed predicted that NZ First and its founder and mainstay Winston Peters would stay out in the cold where they had languished for the past three years.  But against all the odds, and all the polls, NZ First led by a jubilant Peters has stormed back and will have a say in parliament with 8 or 9 seats depending on the final count.

The Green Party gained 15 seats and will have a strong voice in the next parliament. This is the largest number of votes transcribing into seats they have ever gained.

Labour (the left) gained only 34 seats a sad outcome for this party that under the leadership of Helen Clark held office for three consecutive terms.  The party appears to be in disarray.  It is commonly supposed that the current leader of the party, Phil Goff, will resign following this major defeat. Several names have been  mentioned today as likely candidates for the job but with no obvious choice.

Under MMP (Mixed Member Proportional) we have parties represented with only one or two members in the house.  While this caused consternation and mayhem during the first term of this new (to us) electoral system in 1996, most New Zealanders appear to be happy with this form of electoral voting.

So while John Key and his party received an overwhelming a resounding vote to continue its policy making it must be noted that fewer than 60% of voters actually went to the polls to record their vote.  In Australia it is mandatory to vote but here in New Zealand it is mandatory only to register to vote.

I wonder if the number who voted actually reflects the fact that the pundits all had National way out ahead of Labour in all the opinion polls or are 40% plus, simply apathetic.

Anyway, congratulations to John Key and his team.

fireworks

Phew!~ Another post on the way to 365.  Number 266 only 99 to go!  Thanks for reading and taking this journey with me.

Election Day

“People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people.  Of course, that is not true.
Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote – a very different thing.”
Walter H. Judd
, American Politician, 1898-1994,

The Beehive, NZ

The Beehive is the common name for the Executive Wing of the New Zealand Parliament Buildings

Election Day 2011.  But where is all the usual hype that attends an election?  Perhaps New Zealanders have had all the excitement they can bear for a year with the Rugby World Cup.  Or are they apathetic and don’t care who runs the country?  We are told that the National Party (the right) has an unassailable lead against Labour (the left) and all the minnow small parties that want a seat and a say.

We have a system of MMP ie Mixed Member Proportional voting whereby each person has two votes.  One for the candidate of their choice in their electorate and one for the party of their choice.  The party vote determines the number of seats a party holds in addition to those won in electorates.  This means that we have a lively mix of parties in parliament; some having only one or two seats.  Very different from the days of first past the post when only two parties ruled.

In the run up to the election we have had the leaders’ debates between leaders of National and Labour; we have had leaders debates of all the smaller parties who are likely to gain a seat in the next parliament.  But these debates have all been lack lustre and no one party or politician has come up with any good responses to the major questions bothering New Zealanders ie

  • What is to be done about the horrific statistics relating to  child abuse in New Zealand.
  • What is to be done about literacy and the numbers of New Zealand teens leaving school barely able to read or write
  • What is to be done about finding employment for these young people leaving school and also for the numbers people of all ages who cannot find a job.
  • What is to be done about the surging cost of living that leaves the ‘the man in the street’ way behind.

We have had lots of rhetoric but no real answers and of course, who really can come up with policies that are going to make a real difference to those of us on middle and lower incomes, not to say the poor.

So tonight while we are attending election day parties with friends, those people brave enough, or foolish enough, to want to step into the political ring, will wait to see whether the next three years will see them involved in governing this country.

Bottle of Champagne

Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote.”
George Jean Nathan
, American drama critic 1882-1958

Just Another Scam

I rarely go onto Facebook.  I just don’t get it.  But I signed up so that my blogs could perhaps reach a wider audience.

Today I received an email saying that a person had accepted my request to be a friend.  I know the person so I went in and responded that I was happy to be his “friend” but that as I so rarely go into Facebook  he shouldn’t expect to hear from me.

Scam posterSuddenly I was in a chat conversation with this man person.  In the role of my acquaintance, he  said he was in Bolton in the UK.  He had been mugged the night before and all his credit cards, money and cellphone were stolen.  This chat came accompanied with the icon of my acquaintance.   When I clicked on the icon I saw pictures of he and his family. and so I assumed it was from who it said it was.

After enquiring after his health and getting a response he asked me for my cellphone number as the cellphone had been stolen along with the other things.  He then asked if I could do something for him.  Yes – he wanted money!!

His story was that he was leaving to ‘fly home’ shortly and he was having trouble paying the hotel bill.  “Please trust me” and “You know you can trust me” and “I’ll pay you back as soon as I return” followed this plea.  Of course my response was NO!

I tried calling my friend/acquaintance to be met with his answerphone message so maybe he is away.   I then sent him an email advising him that this scam was being perpetrated in his name.

My lesson from this is that anyone seems able to get into a Facebook identity and use it to promulgate a scam.  I wonder how many people are actually conned in this manner each day, week, year.

I have had the usual scams including the Nigerian guy with the money to share, the widow whose husband has left money in an account that can’t be accessed from wherever she happens to live at the time.  I have had emails telling me that I am due a tax refund (ha ha) and others all  requesting details of bank accounts, but this is the first such scam I have received.

I shall stay away from Facebook in future and urge you to all be aware and alert for such scams.