Pass-it-On-Book Distribution Lessons

I’m writing this blog as an observational ponderance on the PASS-IT-ON Books that I originally set out to create and pass-on in about March this year. The theory behind them was threefold:
1) For me to spend money and time on something and not keep it, but instead to give it away without expecting anything in return.
2) To get people to interact with each other in person by passing it on from one hand to another and jointly participate in the act of passing on good thoughts and good energy, without ANY technological or electronic anything being involved.
3) For me to pass over control to God, for me to have faith that one day a book would have made it around the world and God would return it to me.

So I set out to follow the calling of getting 100 A5 Books covered in inspirational collages and contact plastic and passed on to 100 people around the world by the end of 2014. Through trial and error I learnt that some pens don’t last under the contact glue. I learnt that people need exact instructions (yet others still don’t follow them and do what they feel like). I learnt that I had to write and ask people not to write on the back of each page as ink bleeds. With the enthusiasm of a child I went about giving away the small creations made with love, given for free and in the faith that their journey would be one that inspired a few people along the way.

5 months and 72 books later, the lessons for me have evolved.
1) I have learnt that many people are not inspired. They walk around daily without a passion or drive or anything that makes them feel joy inside. One person received the book over a month ago and I visited him recently and it was still on his coffee table. He said he didn’t understand what to do… The instructions on the first page read like this: “Please fill in a line with a quote or inspirational thought and pass on as soon as possible. If you can’t think of anything, pass on anyway. Please don’t hang on to the book.” I was amazed that a man with a dean’s list qualification in one of the highest positions a company has to offer couldn’t understand what “fill in and pass on” meant!
Further to this, peoples’ responses have varied to such extremes it has shocked me. From “I always knew you were strange, I’ll just tell the next person that…” to “That is such an incredible idea, you are so inspiring!” “How odd.” “Amazing idea!” “Seriously?” “I’d love to, may I have two?”
2) Far more people in the world have control issues than just me. “But don’t you want it back?” “Surely you want to control where it goes?” No, I’m giving them away and trusting that one day I’ll find one complete somewhere in the world. “Are you serious?” Yes, very serious. Take it and give it away…
3) People fear what others will think of them. They don’t know who to pass it on to. They don’t know who will accept it; they don’t know who to choose. They are worried about what they will look like passing on the book. One girl has had a book since April and I spoke to her this weekend, she’d filled it in, but hasn’t passed it on… Then other people filled it in with a random “It was fun” comment and no idea that their words are possibly going to travel around the globe and last longer than their lifetime! They just didn’t get it. Some knew straight away what their life motto was and they were keen to share it with the world. Yet, some fear what the world may think of them, appearances mean that much to them.

I’ve now realised that if/when I do manage to see a completed book it will truly be a miracle in itself.

The exercise has served to shock me. The diversity of peoples’ reactions and ability to love and share and find joy are galaxies apart… this has saddened me and left me with the prayer that God will help people to let go and share and realise that in their sharing they will come to know that there is nothing to fear and only love, inspiration and joy to be gained… Please Lord, in Your Name I pray. Amen.

Whoop Whoop – Signed and sealed on Germany! & 14.7.2014

God is AWESOME! So thrilled that He gave me the idea for the antagonist’s nationality through the World Cup Football.
SOOO Clever :-)
German (2014) guy and his Spanish (2010) girlfriend – bring on the story!

Today is also a great day via numerology so that “signs” and seals it further – 14.7.14 … add two sevens to get 14, then a 7 and then it’s once again 2 sevens in 14 :-) So we have the birth year 1977 ;-) to go with my niece’s birthday 7 June…. Nice!

Ohterwise – I’m currently working on the frames for my photography ‘exhibition’… I think I’ve solved the wall hanging vs standing story… I think. I have to wait 24hours for the glue to dry and then I shall test it…holding thumbs (well picture frames actually! ;-) I’m full of all the puns this evening – Double Nice!

Still trying different holistic healing options to try and get rid of the wheat/gluten etc intolerances I wrote about in ‘Eish! London’… one day I’ll figure out how to accept with joy… or I’ll just keep trying different options. Today: Body Talk,

We shall see.
Be blessed, know you are loved and sleep WELL!

Yay for antagonist selection via World Cup Football

Super stoked! Looks like my prediction from the beginning was right :-) I may just get Germany as the winning World Cup Team! Brilliant.
That means I can write in the 2010 date of selection for the host nation into my novel and have the antagonist as a German…
May as well go with it now, whoever wins the final…
Hmmm… Go Germany ;-)

“April Fool” Novel, on we go…

Artist’s Way has opened ‘The Way’ for dreams to come true it seems…

God is great! It is good :-)

This is a filler-inner blog as I haven’t posted anything in a while. The majority of my June 2014 was spent marking 150 odd papers from 50 to 150 marks per learner… 23×50, 93×80, 36×100 and 26×150. Ja, that’s a lot of marks! Then calculating them into the equations with the other 4 marks accumulated during the term… a report comment for each child and then the term was rounded out for a three week break! Amen. I can’t believe the first of which is now over and gone… craziness. As per usual I spent the first couple of days sleeping off the exertion of the term. Then things started to happen!

I managed to get into a recording studio and record some of my poems. {} I’ve wanted to be able to do this for a very long time and now I can tick it off my bucket list.

Within 24 hours of that excitement in studio, some of my photography was accepted by a local shop-owner to be sold in her store in an ‘exhibition’ format :-) I am super happy about it and am holding thumbs, toes and touching wood and praying that the glory of God that I’m ‘exhibiting’ will indeed happen and be wonderfully supported. Here’s the write up for the ‘exhibition’… 25 photos the shop-owner is taking with this story:
“A Window of Dawns: Light, hope, joy and inspiration; a gift to us all every morning without fail. The earth will move, the sun will rise, and so too should we.
This exhibition is a set of original, un-edited, non-photo-shopped photographs taken by Shannan on various mornings through 2014. Each composition of colour is a gift to everyone from nature herself; untainted by man and presented in awesome beauty for every human being, regardless of race, language, class and/or status, to enjoy. These photos are her way of saying Thank-You to her Father in Heaven, and our Creator, for the love that resounds around us every single day; if we only take the time to look, see and feel that the grass is green right here where we water it.
These photos are also presented as a celebration of our city; its colour, its diversity, its beautiful people and the way that it offers us a life and surroundings worth appreciating.
Every morning Shannan witnesses the earth turning and these photos are her evidence of the glorious miracle of that fact. As you look at them, may they gift you with the inspiration, love and peace that they have gifted her with, knowing that today IS a new and wonderful day, a gift :-)”
I sit at the moment with the photos and the frames I have to put them into whilst adapting them to be hanging instead of standing. Personally, I prefer the standing option, but the lady is keen on hanging, so I’m trying to configure a plan to have both options… God bless me with the way please.

Further to these two fabulous moments for me, I posted a blog I put up here onto my LinkedIn site as they emailed me to say that I could, so I did. I was so busy marking at the time that I never even logged in to check on it, until Saturday night. Oh my greatness! 389 Follows! I almost fell off my chair and then double-checked that maybe I had it wrong and it was actually my ‘connections’, and not ‘follows’… no, I have way less connections than 389! It was bizarre and awesome at the same time. The stats for this site: no-one’s checked in or read anything here for about 2 weeks!

The other good news is that my play that I have on Kindle has sold a few copies, in India and Canada! How random. I’m fascinated that something I wrote has been bought by someone in a far off land; it is totally awesome, miraculous really. Oh, AND a group called “Off the Wall Plays” are backing one of my plays “Choices” and marketing it for me off their website and selection of plays for sale! How cool is that!?!?! I wrote that play back in 2007, now, 6 years later I’m finally getting someone to publish it for me, even if it is online, that’s ok, it’s a marketing platform, which is FABULOUS!

As far as “Eish! London” goes: I’m still selling the odd copy here and there, so I reckon I must have hit the 55 sales by now… 17 months after I self-published it on Kindle.

Then last, but not least, my desire to create pass-it-on books for people to write in and pass on to another person to write in, and so on; has taken off faster than I expected. I had planned on getting 100 out this year and I now have 62 out in the world in 5 months. 1 to France, 2 in Bolivia, 1 in Turkey, 3 in Greece, 1 in Italy, 1 went from America to Norway, 3 in Australia, 5 in England, 2 in Germany, 1 in Switzerland, 1 in the Netherlands, 2 to Ireland, 1 to Swaziland, 1 to Thailand and 3 have just gone off to the World Masters Championships in Hong Kong. Unfortunately, the one I sent to Canada never arrived. A few have gone to Johannesburg and many have been scattered around KwaZuluNatal. From there I have no idea where they have all gone to, I know one KZN girl said she was sending it on to Dubai, I’m hoping that happened. When I got the idea through ‘Artist’s Way’ I was enthusiastic and excited, now I just want to get it over with as it takes so much time to make and cover each book. Then there’s buying the book, finding all the pictures to collage, the glue, the contact, the postage expenses… sigh… I still believe that God has a plan for them, and I do hope that one day I’ll get to see one of the books filled and be inspired myself by what’s in it and the journey it has travelled. The exercise has indeed helped me learn to “LET GO”. Not to hold on to creations and gather things I don’t need. It has helped me pass on control and leave it up to God to take care of. It was most certainly what I needed to do.

In my prayer time yesterday morning God asked me to go to the local Botanical Gardens… it was raining and such an odd request that I thought I was making stuff up in my mind. The request persisted and eventually I got in my car, in the rain, and drove to the gardens, parking near the buildings. I got out and walked in the entrance. To my left was a new church gathering. An extension to the church my dear friend Andrea (Eish! 27 October 2009) has been a part of since the 80s! They are now in my city. The little voice in my head said, “That’s what I needed you to see…” So it looks like I’ll be investigating that church soon as my Spirit needs more nourishment and the verse I read today was Hebrew 6v1-3 where it says that it is time to move away from the ‘principles’ of Christ and into perfection… so bring that on!

Yes, so all of that is why I haven’t managed to blog in a while. Lots of blog topics have been popping up though, so I’m hoping to get some of them down in typing and posted for whoever would like to read them :-)

One last thing … for my next book that I’m formulating at the moment, the antagonist needs a nationality, so I’m going with my bet for the World Cup Soccer Winning Nation = Germany… and his girlfriend / mother of his child can have the nationality of the 2010 World Cup Winners = Spain… :-) I thought that was a fair way of deciding their nationalities ;-) Then when it came to settling on his name, Tim it needs to be. A guy called Tim just won the Ballito Surf Championship, there’s currently a Tim in the top world golf rankings, there’s an annoying radio advert for ‘Tim’ber City on at the moment and I found a cartoonist who draws comets called Tim Walt… so I’m going with that one… and I’ll have to see where it ends up.

Thanks for reading. Stay beautiful!

Facebook… Have you thought about it?

23.9.2010… “outrage as Facebook is down”… 19.6.2014 tweets around the globe: “outrage at Facebook being down”… As I type this in Microsoft Word, I’m quite surprised that “Facebook” isn’t in their dictionary yet… anyway, that’s not the point of this blog. I actually have two points stemming off the “outrage” over the minutes that the site was down on Thursday, and the times before that.

1) Outrage? Seriously? It’s a computer site for crying in a tea-cup. A site created and operated by a small bunch of people that only a minute number of individuals in the world have ever even actually met. ‘Outrage’ at having the social calendar interrupted for a short while? That deserves outrage? You’ve got to be kidding me! I was too busy WORKING to even know that it was down. I was too busy speaking to, and interacting with, real FLESH AND BLOOD human beings to even smell that some computer system somewhere in the world hit a glitch; yet the rest of the world was “outraged” and the entire GLOBE was tweeting about it… apparently…

So my jaw literally drops… no-one gets up in ‘outrage’ about HIV/Aids/TB/cancer, worldwide epidemics. No-one gets ‘outraged’ at girls being raped every minute of every day. No-one gets ‘outraged’ at climate change and pollution PERMANENTLY destroying our wildlife, water-supplies and incredible planet. No-one gets ‘outraged’ at the richer getting richer and the poor being starving and homeless. No-one gets ‘outraged’ at the lack of resources in hospitals, schools and war-torn countries. BUT they can get ‘outraged’ at a little intermission in their personal ones and zeros feeds on a little machine that creates fabricated and specifically angled stories to suit the individual? WHAT ON EARTH IS GOING ON????

When did an internet programme become more important than human life? I am honestly BLOWN away at how messed up peoples’ priorities are. SERIOUSLY!

2) Although I am not addicted to Facebook by any means, I do have a few accounts so that I’m not seen as completely anti-social and non-reachable. I often get the odd bit of interesting information, but mostly I use it for the Messages of Light posts, I LOVE that site. One a day and it’s all good. When I log in to get there, however, I’m opened up to all the lives of people who have at one point in my time been a part of my life. I see their posts and life stories being marked on their pages… and it struck me… Facebook is one GIANT scrapbook for planet earth. If an alien were to pop by and visit God, God could say, “Here, have a look at My children”, and whizz the alien through Facebook a page (or a thousand) at a time. “This is my naughty child, this one is an angel, this one gives me headaches, here, have a look…” and so on… metaphorically speaking anyway. There are pictures of weddings, posts for funerals, birthdays, memorials, births and anniversaries. Graduations, first car, first boyfriend, first divorce and many many more. In between are colours, pictures, jokes, pets and video footage of all sorts of things. One GIANT scrapbook, the old “family photo album”, made for the world to contribute to, made for everyone to participate in and be one huge worldwide family. Full of the dodgy uncles and home-made-recipe-aunts. The M.I.L.F.’s and son-in-laws that were sent to prison… Our lives are now not being put into fading photographs and memories in paper and plastic, they are now being recorded for the lifetime (eternity?) of Facebook’s existence, and/or the internet and however far our signals can be resounded into the universe. This gets me fascinated…

It then struck me, what about the people who don’t have Facebook? What about those who have chosen not to be a part of the wave of unified scrapbooking? Those worried about pedophiles, or the essence of “Fakebook”? Those who are taking a stand against the general mass populations’ desire to put themselves ‘out there’? Those who are overwhelmed by too much information all at once? Is their act of excluding themselves going to mean anything when their lack of an account serves to make them erased, or not thought of as having existed? How is this new wave of ‘fame’ for 5 seconds, this new platform of ‘family scrapbooking’, going to affect/effect the self-esteem of future generations?

In 10 years time, presuming Facebook is still around and hasn’t gone off-line permanently, will our children be comparing their ‘online histories’? “Look at my baby picture,” tap tap. If those who are ‘taking a stand against Facebook’ don’t have stories or photos about their children online, will those children understand? Will it be a case of “My Dad doesn’t do Facebook” or a case of “My Dad put his beliefs against Fakebook, ahead of his love for me”? Will that create an argument between the children as to which Dad is right? Who ‘loves’ more? (Please note, I do not connect “Facebook” with “love”/“self-worth” AT ALL for myself, but, especially as a teacher, I know teenagers’ lives have been DESTROYED over the site and the cyber-bullying. Learners under twenty have not had 10 years to rebuild their broken self-esteem and/or repair the insecurities that were created between birth and twenty.) Will the lack of parental participation in Facebook benefit the babies being born now, or create more insecurities because these children are too young to remember a time when Facebook didn’t exist?

I have friends who post all sorts on Facebook with regards to their children: birthday cakes, drawings, graduations and the like. My mother kept a photo-album for all her children. If Facebook is the new ‘photo album’ of the 21st century, will a child be able to understand why they have no ‘album’ up there; or not? I have friends who refuse to participate in Facebook, for their own personal reasons, but, if we look at the long-term outcome of that choice… will it be worth it? Or will their children see it as their parent/s weren’t proud enough of ‘their baby’ to put a picture up for others to see?

I guess only time will tell, but, as I have already typed, the thoughts are fascinating me. . . Maybe Facebook is so important to people because it’s their new family album. . . Nah, humans aren’t evolved enough for that logic I reckon ;-)

Who got you where you are?

The essential message in this blog, in case you read no further: If you know anyone in a Retirement Home or Frail Care, PLEASE, please go and visit them. Please.

I went to visit the mother of my Mom’s friend in Frail Care yesterday, and, after spending an hour there, one thing kept coming to my mind. Neither on this visit, nor any of my other visits, have I seen another visitor. There are dozens of old people in these Homes all over the place, yet, whenever I go, I’m the only visitor to be seen. This is now bothering me immensely.

Chatting to the old dears of all personality types, one thing is glaringly obvious: They are starved of fresh, outside, energetic company, love and the human touch. Some of them haven’t been visited in months; others say that when they are visited the visitor is on the clock and continually checking their watch, thus making the old dear feel like a burden and something that was squashed into a timetable. One man even said that for this generation money is much more important, the young people are chasing money, visiting the people who provided for them is not making them money, so why should they do it? Gutted, I felt gutted at his comment and embarrassed at the truth of it. Young generations today take everything for granted, gear themselves into commercialism and materialism and have cut themselves off from the essence of humanity, love; and even worse, cut themselves off from gratitude.

None of us would be where we are, or have what we have, or know what we know, without the generation that came before us. They paved the way for us to forge ahead. They fed us, clothed us and gave us an education. It’s true that often our elders didn’t ‘get it right all the time’, but they tried. They persevered and provided in many ways that we cannot imagine.

I sit now as another of my generation has given birth. I think of the love, the preparation, the money, the patience, the medical bills, the clothing and dozens of other things the parents have done and provided. Will their child put them in a Home and forget about them too? Are any of our generation teaching the next generation to care? Are we showing them how important the elderly are? Are we setting the example of how to treat those who gave so much? I don’t think so.

I sat with one lady and she said that she never expected to end up like this, in Frail Care with no family with her at all. She’s been in there months and her son hasn’t even visited her once, it’s her daughter who pops in every now and again. Her grandson has been once. Humans today desire independence, desire to be separate from other human beings, spend a lifetime striving for that… the result: An independent wait in a Frail Care with a stranger dressing you and feeding you, and no-one wanting to visit you because you spent your whole life telling them you wanted to be independent, and by living that example. Yet, when I left yesterday afternoon, every single person I’d spoken to thanked me for coming and said what a delight it was. None of them wanted to be independent of company. It was like one person taking an hour out of their week to sit and be and listen had uplifted the spirits of many.

Please, if you will, go and spend time with someone who paved the way for you to be where you are today. Be it by showing you who you never want to be, or who you’d love to be. They helped create you, and that is worth the equivalent of your lifetime…

If you’re hurting and want to forgive…

Forgiveness creates freedom, letting go is being set free… There’s a course on the go at the moment, for free, just log in and follow :-) Here’s what Day 4 says:
Day 4: No Apology Necessary

Dear Friend,

Often when we are suffering from loss or harm of some kind, forgiving can seem too overwhelming, too complicated to even consider. How do we forgive if there has been no apology or explanation for why someone has hurt us so? How do we think of forgiving when we feel the person has not done anything to “deserve” our forgiveness?

Where do we even start?

The work of forgiveness is not easy. Perhaps you have already tried to forgive someone and just couldn’t do it. Perhaps you have forgiven and the person did not show remorse or change his or her behavior or own up to his or her offenses—and you find yourself unforgiving all over again.

Forgiveness is not an effortless act for any of us, and it does not serve anyone to minimize the complexity involved in the work of forgiving. It is best to break our forgiving down into bite-size pieces, and begin from wherever we are standing.

For today, know that you do not need an apology to forgive. You forgive to set yourself free, not the other person.

With Love,

Desmond & Mpho Tutu

Open the door to your freedom and good health… Tuts from the Universe emailed me today to say:
A great trick of every enlightened master, Miss, is being ever mindful that it’s not what you do that brings about a miracle, but that you do it.

Doing something, almost anything, in the direction of your dreams, every day, is all I need to reach you, connect the dots, and drop a few jaws.

We takin’ over,
The Universe
Which means, Miss, usually the best way to extraordinary is through ordinary. Which, actually, makes ordinary quite extraordinary.

Be blessed