Your Acceptance Speech

BAFTAI was watching the BAFTA’s (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) tonight. There are awards for all the different categories. Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress and more. They all go to the podium afterwards and then give their thanks, give their acceptance speech. If you were to go up the podium for your life now, your life as it is. Who would you be thanking or blaming? What events would you be ascribing your life turns too?

Best event?

A monumental presence?

Greatest Generosity?

Greatest Effort?

Unflinching quest for truth?

When you raised the bar?

Best New Script? (When you did something out of the ordinary)

Best Costume? (Gives a reason to wear a great suit or outfit…and to look good)

And every year there is another acceptance speech…..what will it be next year?

©2013 Yasmin

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New Year and Stress Free Resolutions



New Years day itself, the 1st of January, begins tomorrow for some of us. For others, in different parts of the world, it has already started. It is a day and a date. The New Year of the Gregorian calendar is very similar to the Roman calendar. In 1751, England and Wales had changed the New Year from the 25th March to the 1st January. Can you imagine if it were still celebrated on the 25th of March? Would it make a difference? Would we be having Easter eggs and New Years day within the same time frame?

Meanwhile, I shall celebrate the New Years Eve this evening as New Years day has not changed again and is still set for the 1st of January.

Research on New Years resolutions show that New Year Resolutions often fail.  Why is that? Continue reading

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Expressing Silence

I recently spoke to a sound engineer on producing audios. The world of audio and sound is really that of a another world. When tracks do not flow from one song to another, it is not just about sound fading in and out from one to the other but also it is about recorded sounds. When silence is on the outside it sounds different from the silence which is produced in the recording booth. The silence produced in a recording booth are more compatible with the sounds produced in a recording booth. The silent sounds from outside the recording booth would be jarring and discordant to the sounds produced in the recording booth. The expression – what happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas also applies here ; What is produced and mixed in the recording studio really does belong in the recording studio – sounds and silence.

There are courses and workshops galore on expressing your true self, finding your authentic self, whole processes of expressing anger and feelings. The problem is not just the voice but also the silence. Often the voice and the silence are mass marketed. We are often socialized to express the acceptable sounds and silence. Our true voice and our true happiness comes from the sounds and the silence that have to mix and interplay not just with ourselves but also with the people and the world we live in. The world has so many sounds and silences. The constant chitter chatter that goes on. No wonder it can be tough to voice ourselves – we also have to consider the silence too. To be with ourselves and our own silence is where we truly find peace.

©2013 Yasmin

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The secret to a long and happy marriage

FlowersI have been watching with interest a Wedding of a relative recently. There is so much that goes into a wedding. They have planners at the hotel, then you have to plan things alongside them and the florists, the church, the registry, the reception, the dinner, the band and music. Cakes are especially purchased. In the same way cup cakes were branded by Lola’s, wedding cakes are also branded. So and so used this person to make their cake. It is not a simple unbranded thing – a cake.

Then there is the location, is it going to be in a Church? an Abbey? or a registry wedding?. Choice of hats; I was told hats are often worn. I went looking for hats and found a very scant selection at Marks and Spencer, Debenhams, Fenwicks and John Lewis up at Oxford Street. Hats used to have nearly a whole area of a  store assigned to them. Then there is even insurance for a cancelled wedding. There are so many programmes on TV about weddings. I remember weddings being much simpler and less complicated. Continue reading

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Typhoons in Life

Sunday Morning Post

Sunday Morning Post

At the moment I am in Hong Kong and everything I see is a world of incredible organization. Public toilets are cleaned every hour.  Staff seem very well trained. A typhoon is expected. In the early afternoon it was a level 3. It is interesting to see the reactions and behaviours of people around me. When asked at the hotel lobby about the typhoon, I was told not to worry and that sometimes people like to go to the harbour and put their arms wide and sing like Michael Jackson. The staff and people I talk to appear very calm about matters, and so, myself am calm too.

The hotel has advisories not to go out and by 8pm I receive a message from the hotel ‘kindly be informed that the Hong Kong Observatory has hoisted a Typhoon Signal No.8’  In order to protect yourself from any personal injury, please do not leave the hotel under these severe weather conditions’. What do I do? I go outside off course at 8.30 pm and walk outside the hotel and life seems to go on as normal.

Outside, the shops were busy with people stocking water and food. I bought a few bananas, water, some snacks, breakfast cereal. It seems banal, irrelevant but at another level something I must do, just in case the hotel is affected. There are far fewer cars. People are still going about their business. Even now, a few different people approach me to sell authentic ‘genuine copies’ of Rolexes, some others asked if I wanted a tailor. It is ironic, I can still buy watches and have a suit made in the midst of a level 8 typhoon warning. The hotel is not far from the harbour. The leaves of the trees are moving a little. It is raining a little too. It seems the quiet before the storm. Sometimes, is life a little like this? There is the madness of the outside world. The reality of what each of us is experiencing and then the reality that does or does not happen? When I return to the entrance of the hotel they seem to want me to wrap my umbrella in plastic so that it does not drain onto the floor of the hotel. It seems odd, worrying about water and the rain messing up the floor when a typhoon is due, but life goes on doesn’t it?

©2013 Yasmin

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The Royal Baby and what it may Trigger

George The Royal Baby

George The Royal Baby

So we now have a new Royal baby. This usually is a situation which brings up such happy feelings for many people. Many wish the best for this baby and their family. For some though this is not a happy event. It is a reminder of feelings of abuse and neglect. It is a trigger. It can bring on depression and anxiety. How does a seemingly innocent little baby bring up those feelings?

Firstly let me go into what abuse is? Something like 1 out of 4 people have been abused. If you are in a room full of people, the statistics are 1 out of 4 have been abused. If you are in a family where there is abuse generally then – many of them have been abused. They will certainly be 2 out of 4 or 4 out of 4. Abuse is not just sexual, it is physical, mental and emotional. Many who are in abusive families and relationships do not recognise the signs and patterns of abuse. To them it is normal, and if normal, it cannot be anything but a normal family relationship. – ergo it is not abusive – but reality is that it is. Those who have not been abused can seem to those who have been abused; like aliens from another planet. Many who have been abused learn to walk and navigate in the world of the 3 out of the 4 unabused people. It is just navigating and is not really living a full and complete life…..

Signs of possibly being abused – are avoidance and not getting on in the world. Not being able to maintain long-term healthy relationships, note I write ‘healthy’. Long-term ill health. Addictions – drink, drugs, co-dependency. Repeating patterns of abuse onto future generations.

This is where the Royal baby trigger is about. It is here when such abuse festers and stays on. Without training an abused mother often repeats the patterns. The mother marries an abusive husband, is possibly directly abusive themselves or is avoidant and neglectful. Some children who have grown up in such households have told me – they never wanted to repeat the pattern only to find themselves having repeat it. It is very hard – not to repeat a pattern. it is inbuilt for us to do so.

I have lived near abusive families. They shout and scream at each other, some hit, some shout words which are emotionally set up to bring about maximum pain. Then when these families go out into the street, they are the height of decorum and good behaviour. I remember when I was growing up, I lived near someone whose father often beat up his wife. You would hear the screams for miles around. (Decades ago it was not illegal to hit your wife -or husband. Now it is so, not that that makes much difference. So many still do not report it). Then his son who I knew and played Cowboys and Indians, Astronauts, climbing tree houses with; grew up and then also hit women too. The pattern thus repeats itself. I have met many women who say they will never have children because they never want to repeat their childhood. Not having a child does not stop the abuse from repeating. Not having a child may be the best thing. What many do not realise is that it is possible to change such behavior but it does take hard work to break a pattern. It starts with awareness. It starts with therapy. It requires more then just crossing your fingers to stop many lifetimes of abuse……..

©2013 Yasmin

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Haze and Smog is Dangerous to Your Health (Mind and Body)

I was in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last week and it was heart-breaking. I grew up in Malaysia and have family and friends living there. There was what was called ‘haze’. The photograph I took was in the middle of a sunny day. The ‘haze’ seemed to darken the sky. ‘Haze’ sounds a minor inconvenience. A little mosquito bite. Nothing of consequence.It really was smog and the pollution levels (API) were high; bad is about 150, severe is 300. There were reports of 760. When I went out I noted how I could taste the pollution. I could taste the wood and smoke particulates in my mouth. It was as though I was going out for a toxic meal everytime I opened my mouth and breathed it in. Burnt tree with Malaysian air was the speciality. The smog is occurring because there is forest burning in Indonesia.

Smog in KL

Smog in KL

When the Singaporeans complained about the pollution, the Indonesian government retorted that the Singaporeans were being ‘babies’. Lets think on this some more. This slash and burn and clearing which is causing untold damage to the air quality has been going on for over 20 years in the middle months of the year.

What does smog do? It is not just about quality of life but smog has oxidants. It has free-radicals which are absorbed into every part of our body. It causes respiratory problems. We do not just have a problem breathing, but also thinking. Our thought processes and cognitive functions are affected. Smog can make you stupid. Free radicals in the air are oxidative stress and an excess of free radicals will enhance aging and in the long term cause degenerative diseases. Think about it. This smog is just not a minor inconvenience but also will add to the list of possible diseases you will get – or anyone who visits will get. For example degenerative diseases which are associated with free radicals are: heart failure, cancer, Alzheimer disease, cognitive impairment, cataracts and macular degeneration. Psychiatric illnesses are also a possibility; autism, dementia, schizophrenia, anxiety, mood, sleeping and eating disorders have been associated with oxidative stress.

The smog is not just an inconvenience but also has other far reaching effects governments are unaware of.

How can you help ameliorate these free-radicals which are being given away so freely by governments who do not have enough protective policies in place?

Face masks with carbon filters are helpful.

Antioxidants as a means to counter the deleterious effects – vitamin E, Vitamin C, selenium, beta-carotene, lycopnene and other carotenoids.

Go out as little as possible and close your doors and windows – maybe with clingfilm to seal the air out.

Filters on air conditioning.

The best way is to do something about it. legislate. Fine the culprits heavily. Have a body in place that actually monitors this. Otherwise in the long-term these developing countries are really developing and hot housing some pretty horrible diseases for the future. Otherwise migration may be necessary…….to another area where there may not be such awful levels of air pollution….

©2013 Yasmin

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