AN EVENING CURFEW … RIOTS, PILLAGING AND PLUNDERING!

I wondered if I really wanted to join ‘the bandwagon’ and write something about what is happening here in The Netherlands, since the introduction of the ‘Evening Curfew “ last Saturday from 9pm until 4.30 am. This is an extra rule to just keep people off the streets and congregating and ‘spreading’ the Covid-19 virus. It is supposed to help as an extra, up and above the virtual total lockdown we have here since December.

Of course, and I will say this first of all, we all need to take action. We are all tired and fed-up of Corona and being stuck indoors, no shops open apart from supermarkets and such like (in other words ‘essential items’). People are fed up working from home and at the same time teaching their own children at home. The schools are shut and have been for weeks. I cannot personally comprehend the numbers to be honest, even though we now have the British and South Africa strain of the virus detected here. The numbers infected and dying increases every day. Hospitals are full. Entire towns of people near to Rotterdam have all been Corona tested (more than 63.000 to be exact) and the vaccination program is slow and seems to be undergoing difficulties.

Not enough vaccines to start with, not enough people to give the injections and so it goes on. Anyone who can actually bear to watch the News, which I hardly ever do, it is just all doom and gloom.

The thing is do you allow yourself to be influenced by all this negativity or rise above it? That is a big question and probably hard to answer. How true is all the news, how much are the figures ‘manipulated’ or not? 

However, this blog was to talk more about what has happened since the curfew and to be outright, it is absolutely disgusting what is happening in major towns and cities.

Riots, pillaging and plundering. Setting cars on fire. Smashing windows, stealing from shops and all the ‘youth’ being called up on social media to join in and create as much havoc and damage as possible. This is not protesting; this is downright terrorism and hooliganism. No other words needed.

It is heartbreaking to see police horses being hurt and falling as the angry crowds gather and hurl anything they can find at the police, ambulance personnel etc. Shops which are suffering enough through lack of income being totally ruined and it brings tears to your when you see a shop which sells greetings cards, books, stamps, stationery etc., being totally smashed up. Tell me please what is the purpose? This is not the way to protest to the Government about the lockdown and curfew. This is stupid, senseless, destruction. 

And then you ask yourself, what people do this? What parents stand by and know that despite the curfew their family is out on the streets? Why and what are they up to? The images are alarming to be honest and it spreads literally like ‘wildfire’.

Yesterday, a policewoman wrote a really good letter on social media … inspiring and made you think, and I was tempted to react because something happening in my own family which was really the other side of the coin.

My son works in the food industry on the so-called ‘Maasvlakte’ in Rotterdam. He does shift work and has special dispensation to be out in curfew hours. Very necessary if your shifts end during said times and you either have to travel to work or home. This week he was called in unexpectedly for an extra shift, because yes, these industries are suffering as people are off sick too. On the way home he needed to get petrol. Two police cars trapped his car and 4 policemen got out to ask why he was out. Even though he has all the documentation to explain why, he was told that he should get petrol during normal day hours, a bit difficult don’t you agree if you have been on night duty and have to sleep during the day? And he did not expect to go out and the last thing you think about is petrol until the warning light comes up.

He got an official warning which I thought was very unfair and to be honest, I would like to suggest maybe that the police would be better concentrating on these riots than wasting time doing things like this. Once the explanation was given, end of the matter you would think, wouldn’t you? I thought this is really another side to the story written by the policewoman even though I agreed with her words completely.

Last evening too, thugs were throwing stones and paving slabs from a viaduct onto passing cars on the motorway. This is not protest, this is destructive nonsense and actually you can kill someone if the slab crashes through their windscreen. Attempted murder, trial and prison sentence. This is not screaming your head off about not being allowed to be out at night. This is something which could affect innocent people. Shame on those who were present. Well more than shame!

And so… it goes on and where does it end? Lifting the curfew will not make things better. Thugs and hooligans should be severely punished. Police are armed here with weapons and should they use them? It does not really solve the problem, but it maybe would make them think twice. But even that is doubtful because these people (probably unemployed and receiving a hand-out from the government) and maybe don’t have enough braincells to understand what they are doing. This is as I said several times, not a protest or a demonstration, this is destructive hooliganism. I saw that someone suggested that the water used in water cannons should be colored with permanent ink, so that the ‘soaked’ protestors cannot remove it and everyone will see and witness this. To be able to see their shame. If they have any and that I doubt very much indeed. Maybe that is a good idea? I don’t have an answer. But for every hooligan or thug, there are so many good people as well.

One uplifting thought was that a lot of people turned out with brooms and such like to help clear up the damage. A lot of shattered glass everywhere and then I thought, this is what makes good people what they are. That communities join together to make the repairs, to show solidarity with those affected by this complete and utter nonsense. That is positivity and makes you feel there is hope and some light at the end of this lockdown. Support for your community in the clear up after a night of violence, destruction, pillaging and plundering.

Basically, people are good and it is in our nature when disaster strikes, to help one another. To give our support and offer aid. Do you agree?

In times of so much fake news and so much manipulated information, it has to raise questions surely? I saw this happen when people turned up to help others clear up. To help to board up windows which have been smashed, sweep up the glass from windows and bus shelters lying on the ground in thousands of shards. To clear up where cars have been burnt. Where pavement stones have been removed to throw at the Police. It is too shocking and the list is too long!

It is time that we unite and stop this in The Netherlands, but the big question is how?

But one thing is certain, it has to stop and stop NOW!

Images: Google

TIME FOR OPTIMISM … UNITY … LOVE … AND RESPECT

Who else watched the inauguration of Joe Biden as 46th President of the USA, yesterday?

Of course, it was different, but under the strict controls (so many ‘militaries’ on the streets for fear of reprisals by Trump followers!) and also the safety of the new regime – it was different.

I felt for the person or persons who had placed all those flags in the grass on the Mall.

As I listened to the various speeches, a feeling of optimism came back. After 4 years with ‘enfant terrible Trump’ who sneaked out of the back door and was not even present at the ceremony for the first time ever … coward: it felt as if a breeze of fresh energy and air came in.

I wasn’t really an avid fan of Joe Biden until I heard him speak from the heart which he did yesterday. He may be 78 and probably many think too old for 4 years of damned hard work, the thing that struck me the most was, his words about ‘putting his soul into the job of reuniting the USA and with love! Goodness me. Inspiring !!

I liked the gentle, passionate voice of feeling, it went softer and slower when you realized that he was talking about things that mean a lot to him and what he stands for. Hats off, it is an entirely different story than we heard 4 years ago, when Trump was bellowing about America first and basically f*** the rest of the world.

It is a breath of fresh air to hear on this morning’s news that one of the first things Joe Biden is going to do is come back into the discussions concerning the climate agreements. Good.

As the USA is one of the biggest countries in the world, this is important and together with others in the G30 or whatever number we have got up to in this agreement, now it will make a difference, won’t it?

I also noticed the admiration from many people who attended, from Presidents and First Ladies of the past to present day members of the Senate. I saw a genuine respect and friendship. After all, let’s face it Joe Biden has a lot of experience on the Washington political scene and he was running mate for one of the best Presidents ever – Barack Obama.

Proud family members surrounding him and you saw the emotion, the clearing of the throats as the national anthem was played. It was a big moment for all concerned.

No one was interested anymore to even think about Trump and consortium who made history by not being present. So childish, like throwing all the toys out of the playpen just because you did not get your way and win. I think maybe in reflection a lot of his fans will think twice about in the aftermath of yesterday.

But now the important part and the inauguration of the first woman Vice President, Kamala Harris and you can only feel a huge amount of respect for the way she presents herself and one to watch I feel in the future. I know a lot of people wanted not only Michelle Obama or Oprah Winfrey to run for the presidency, but Kamala is interesting. I don’t really want to hear about any matters concerning race or creed, more about the respect for her as a person and also an amazing inspiring speech later that day. And of course bringing back the ‘feminine power’ into an important political office.

No one will deny that they both have a huge task ahead of them. Mainly first of all repairing the damage, but also finding a way to unite everyone. As Joe himself said yesterday, this is the United States of America and united we must be. Very true. A lot more can be achieved when synergy comes into the equation, which basically means that often opposites come together and create great things. Let’s hope so. It is of course OK to disagree about things, we don’t all have to think the same, but let’s work on resolving the differences, something which Trump as an absolute classic example of a narcissist found impossible.

I am a firm believer in the words ‘what goes around, comes around’ and it will happen. Definitely as far as Trump is concerned and it is wonderful to know that Joe Biden will also restore all the work that Barack Obama did for healthcare for all residents of the USA. Instead of wasting money building futile walls on borders. Come on !!

The vastness of the USA and the number of citizens, first priority will of course be, being able to control the Covid-19 virus which has taken more lives than in WW2. That is pretty shocking isn’t it to know that so many have lost their lives. And everyone’s thoughts go to family, friends, neighbors and acquaintances who have lost people because of this virus, not only in the USA but on a worldwide scale.

So busy days in the White House ahead and let’s all cherish the idea that there is hope with this new administration. That both Joe Biden and Kamala Harris continue to inspire and stick to their own beliefs. It is an interesting thought that ‘their side’ have the majority in the Senate, so, laws that were abolished maybe for no reason whatsoever, will be reinstated and there is light at the end of a dark tunnel of 4 years of Trump. I think it’s true what people say, he had to become President to may be shake things up in the stuffy, dusty corridors of the Capitol, but to such an extent, no! It just became ridiculous in the final days.

So, wishing them the best of luck in a difficult challenge, but first impressions are the ones that count, and they were both impressive yesterday.

Inspiring words today on the socials too: for January 21st 2021 (note the numbers 21.1.21)

111: meaning new beginnings and how!

‘Today it will be important to learn from the past and LET IT GO. No need to cry anymore of spilled milk’.

Images: Google

LIVING THE LIE

This is my question? Are you ‘living the lie’ or ‘living the truth’? This really means are you living your life according to who you are, what you want to achieve and how to go about it, or are you taking the easy way out and living the lie?

This may seem like a very hard question! I agree. The first inspiration for this blog came from two directions: firstly, because I started a new online workshop with my friend Janosh on Sunday. This was the second part or sequel to the Source Code which I took part in last year. Basically, for those of you who don’t know his work, he is an artist/visionary who channels sacred geometrical codes. Around August 2020 a special code arrived called Source and it formed the five-part webinar and online series which all came together on the 21st December 2020. This date was not only the winter equinox but there was a major astrological event too, when Saturn and Jupiter were conjunct at 0 degrees in Aquarius.

Doing a visual meditation with the code when more than 5000 people did this simultaneously at the same moment, it reconnected all of us with our Source.

It seemed obvious that there would be more, we had come back to source and now it was time to embody it – literally physically into your body. So last Sunday was the live start to the sequel, ‘Embody’, again in 5 parts.

For more information on Janosh’s work see his own website (www.janosh.online)

But my point is here, it was an eye-opening journey and is still being continued.

Last Sunday we started with Unmasking which is all about who you are NOT. Removing the masks (which we all wear all the time) and face the naked truth. Who are you really?

How did it feel, well strange to be honest. The words ‘naked truth’ were the best possible description. It was time not only to take off the mask but also to face who you are.

And now the title of this blog! Are you then living a lie?

A friend of mine, who is actually well known, is. I realized that for quite a while and after Sunday I knew this is true. They really are. I will not for privacy reasons mention any names or details and just keep this general. But when you live your life in the ‘spotlights’ and are constantly watched by many, how true is your life. Is it a role you play? It is hard to do this when you live like this. Fear plays a role because you basically don’t want people to know literally everything about you, but how far do you go to keep up appearances? What if you are in a relationship that does not work anymore because the trust is gone? Do you ignore, which in the end will cause you so much stress or are you brave enough to break away, irrespective of what people say. And you know beforehand they are going to say a lot. About literally everything! So, what is the choice then to continue to live the lie, or take off the mask and be the real you? 

Tough choice isn’t it? But at the same time not. Because living a lie is one of the most stressful things in life because you are constantly not really yourself. You keep up appearances because you are basically afraid of the consequences. What if everyone suddenly is confronted by the fact that your ‘oh so perfect life’ is not that perfect after all. There are so many cracks and there have been so many attempts to glue things together, eventually you will have to take action because you cannot keep repairing ‘broken wings’.

That is one of the things I have learned in my friendship with Janosh over the years. You can try to keep hiding behind the mask but eventually and at some stage, you will be almost forced to remove it. Not literally forced by someone else but forced because you cannot live the lie anymore.

Let’s take relationships for an example. If you are in a relationship which no longer works for whatever reason, do you make the choice to go on regardless or make a choice for change. I know it is not easy and often people prefer to have a ‘status quo’ than stir up the dust and do it all differently. But long term this does not work. If parents stay together for the sake of children, the children blame them in the end because they have been brought up in a tense atmosphere. Children are in general very much more intuitive than adults in this case.

Falling out of love is painful or if someone breaks the trust. The latter is often harder than the feeling of no longer being in love. Once trust is broken it is virtually irreparable. Because in the back of your mind, you start to question every little thing. Something you may have ignored in the past is suddenly a big issue. And once the seed of doubt is sown, it grows and grows.

What if you fall in love with someone else? Someone who you realize is really your soul mate. Do you think you can possibly carry on if nothing has happened? Making contact with a soulmate can be one of the most powerful things ever. And virtually impossible to ignore. You know you want something more than anything else but how do you move forward. Keep wearing the mask and pretending that everything is fine or take action.

My friend who is in this situation regularly asks me this question and my reply is always the same. ‘Listen to your heart’. If your inner voice or sixth sense is telling your constantly that you should do it all differently then get on with it, no matter what the consequences. Obviously by this I do not mean hurting someone expressly but making a choice to change. To maybe break away and take no notice what other people say. Hard I know, but if it’s challenging you every day, then it will only increase and get worse. Don’t you think long term that people will respect you more for your honesty than the deception of ‘living the lie’?

Then if you are brave enough to actually make a choice for change, because you know in the end you have to, then you are actually doing yourself a big favor and proving to literally everyone that you are not being who you are not. But daring to show who you are!

Life is a continuous learning curve. It was never meant to be an easy flat road to travel along, with all the directions mapped out beforehand: we learn in actual fact by our mistakes. There will always be curves and bumps and even people who try to sabotage you along your way, but if you are who you really are, you will survive and reach your destination. That is in actual fact what we all as soul beings agreed to. We all wanted the experience as a human with all the things that come across our path. The problem is that we often distance ourselves from others (and not talking here at all about the Lockdown situation worldwide) but more about isolating ourselves behind the mask and taking on a role. It does not work long term.

The most important thing is that you care about who you are. As opposed to who you are not. I remember a famous English proverb:

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me!

True. No matter what anyone else thinks or says, listening to your own heart is and always will be the most important advice you can ever have from someone.

IMAGES: GOOGLE

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE COVID-19 VACCINATION?

Today, 6th January 2021, The Netherlands as the last EC country, has begun with the vaccination program for Covid-19. What are your thoughts?  Many countries have a policy about who is first in line, where the vaccination locations will be set up and the pure logistics about moving the vaccines themselves to said locations under cooling. It was several days ago when the first batch arrived over here and since then they have been held in a tight security unit.

Even though other countries have started their own programs, it is big news this morning, like in other countries, that the first person is vaccinated. The news is reporting it almost nonstop. And every time I hear something about it, the doubts come up again in my mind.

As a child (me included) we were vaccinated against ‘deadly diseases’ it was quite the norm and still is to this day. I know there are some people around the world who don’t agree and please, this is a personal choice these days, either you do or do not have your own children vaccinated, but in some countries, there is a stigma about allowing un-vaccinated children into either daycare or schools.

The whole purpose of said vaccination is to inject ‘the virus’ in a controlled quantity into your system so that the body’s natural immune system does its work. That is the way it happens. Simply saying.

For several years a general influenza vaccination is given to people over a certain age to protect them from the annual normal outbreaks of flu across the globe. But Corona, or Covid-19 as it is correctly called, gave the world an immense problem. The speed at which the virus travelled and still travels and how it affected people was something we had never experienced before. It meant that something had to happen really fast if we were going to gain control over the virus, which is now mutating, just like viruses do.

Having worked for more than 20-odd years in the pharmaceutical industry, I know only too well how long it normally takes for a new product to be developed. It is years of work, trials and testing and then getting very strict approval from the appropriate authorities. Often the patents would be nearly at their expiration date when the product was finally launched onto the market, which meant that many other producers could make the so called ‘me-too’ copies. The pharmaceutical companies are big business with enormous budgets. I remember Dr Matheus Rath saying that the world is controlled by two things, the oil industry and the pharmaceutical industry.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not criticizing things, but I just recall how long all the work actually took. I have huge admiration for all the people who work in this field.

However, in several months, some of the big pharmaceutical conglomerates have been able to produce a vaccine and the question that keeps coming up again and again it my mind is – how well have they tested this? Have they really made sufficient studies into possible side effects? To be honest they do not know at this stage what side effects there may be long term. And that is pretty scary.

It is sort of being between ‘the devil and the deep blue sea’. Everyone wants this pandemic to be over so that life can return to normal but at what cost? Health is, as I have said many times, something that no amount of money can actually buy. You may have millions on your bank account, but you cannot buy good health. Simple!

So, what is good sound advice? I do agree that because many conglomerates have worked together and enormous amounts of money have been pumped into making this vaccine that it may have all happened quicker than normal. Another thing to think about as you are on the verge of maybe getting vaccinated or not, which is after all a personal choice, is this: are you then ostracized by society if you don’t get the vaccine. What if you are not allowed to travel if you have not had the vaccine. We may be all still in a worldwide lockdown but listening to the news it is as if we are being promised utopia. Once everyone is vaccinated, it will all be fine again. But will it? 

How long will it be before the vaccination actually works? For starters you have to have a booster jab, three weeks later after the first one. It is things like this that bring the doubt into my own mind and maybe yours? It is not so much that I am against the idea, which I am not, but the questions that many of us have I am sure.

How safe is it? And will this really stop this viral global pandemic? As I wrote earlier the virus is, as we have all seen, mutating in the UK and its spread already to other countries. Viruses are carried by moisture and the air, so how can you literally stop it. Of course, by introducing the strain into the human body in the hope that its own immune system will create the so-called barrier, or in simple terms recognize the virus and deal with it. This is a very true fact that the healthy human body functions perfectly and does in normal cases, but can it cope with this viral strain? We just don’t know.

Many people have been infected and many people have lost their lives. Many are in hospital either in special wards or in the intensive care. Staff (doctors and nurses) are working day and night to deal with the patients and they are exhausted. And when we become exhausted, our own system becomes more vulnerable.

This is not an easy blog to write because there are so many factors and things to think about. But still that niggling voice in the back of my mind, is it safe? Has it been sufficiently tested? Do they really know what the side effects may be long term? 

We all hope that the vaccination will mean that we are no longer susceptible to becoming affected and resilient to the effects. People who have had Corona and survived (as of course there are milder cases) are still not feeling 100 percent. Many people are talking about previous influenza pandemics which happens almost every year and the numbers. And to be honest I cannot comprehend the numbers anymore about the tests, positive or negative and hospital admissions, deaths and such like. I only know the numbers are alarming.

You?

Quite by chance my own GP came yesterday and we talked about the pros and cons of this new vaccination. On the one hand as a doctor, he said he thinks it is good to get vaccinated and we should be getting on with it, instead of talking about it for days, as was the case here in The Netherlands. There are people who have a higher risk factor than others. In actual fact I have the influenza vaccination myself for the first time this year. It’s related to age, which is a depressing thought. If you have reached a certain age, then you are eligible. He said that he was surprised that the GP’s were not being asked to vaccinate the people on their patient lists who are more vulnerable than others, even if it means he said, ‘working all weekend to get it done’. I agree.

But in the meantime, centers have been set up where lots of people will come to, have the vaccination, wait for 15 minutes to see if there are any side effects and I presume they mean like fainting or such like and then all come back three weeks later. Isn’t this going against the idea of having a lockdown to ensure people do not gather in large numbers?

In December I actually had to have a Corona test myself. I booked online using my personal codes and drove the car. Parked in the long line of cars to wait my turn. I did not have to leave my car or mix with anyone apart from the person doing the test who was suitably protected (clothing, mask, gloves etc.) and I got the result same day by email and text message. Brilliant logistics. 

On this morning’s news there was a live report of people assembling at said center, some wearing masks, others not, journalists and the tv people all interviewing everyone and it raises eyebrows. Virtually everything has been shut down, apart from the essentials, but hey let’s all congregate at the vaccination place instead! Seems very double to me. Wouldn’t it be better to apply the same principle as the testing places, vaccinate without leaving the car and if you are the type who faints at the sight of a needle then let someone else drive you? 

This and many other factors were my thoughts when I decided to write this probably quite ‘controversial blog’. In my own personal circles, mixed reactions about whether to have the vaccination or not. Some keen others not.

But don’t you agree with me that it all seems ‘double’. We have been asked for weeks now, to stay at home, work from home, schools and such like shut, everything shut apart from ‘essential goods’ shops, no contact professions – like the hairdressers, manicure salons, pedicures, gyms etc. etc. Restaurants, cafes, cinemas, theaters, museums – all shut down. And yet, we are all asked to come to the vaccination centers and they expect several hundred people to be vaccinated every day. And that is what I mean about being ‘double’ on the one hand avoid literally everyone as much as possible and then congregate with many people for the vaccination. 

Here is the Netherlands they expect that everyone will be vaccinated around August/September time. What? So long? 

Won’t a viral pandemic be over by then, when the weather has improved? Just like normal with influenza?

And that is exactly my point, so many doubts and deliberations? What is your choice? Do we actually have a choice, because won’t the people who say ‘no’ to the vaccine end up as pariahs of society? 

Please share your own thoughts in the comment box below.

WELCOME 2021 … 1.1.21 (nice numbers)

I was working on something on the 30th December and came across this text, which is how I want to start my first blog in 2021. We have just had the final full moon in 2020 in the zodiac sign Cancer, which is all about depth, emotion and water. And what a year it was for all of us and I expect many people are feeling, like me, enough is enough and time to make a fresh start into a new year.

The text is:

New Year, New Chapter, New Verse or just the same old story … ?

Ultimately, we write it.

The choice is ours.

And goodness how true is that? Who wants to keep re-writing or re-reading the same old story. Not me. This is the moment in my year when I have a clear up and chuck out.

Take down the Christmas decorations, even though they looked lovely during December, after New Year, they look totally out of place. What to keep and what to throw away. Not the same old decorations year in, year out, make space for new, later in the year?

Clear out my social media accounts, archive old posts, check the list of names. Who is in and who is out? It may seem quite the opposite to what a lot of people do. People love to have ‘likes and followers’ but my theory is, that it is preferably people that I know, as then it means so much more. This is almost impossible when my socials are connected to my website which has grown such a lot. I am very grateful for that and also the comments I get from people on a daily basis. This is the way I know that people are reading what I write, which is after all the reason that I do it.

I am not really a person who makes NY resolutions, mainly because I find them almost impossible to keep long term. The best laid plans have often dissolved before the end of January, so I don’t make them. I just think of the new ideas, the new goals and the things that I would love to achieve in this (new) year. New choices and new challenges. It is time to wipe the slate clean and begin again. Often on NY Eve we look back on the year that has passed and my advice would have been make it a really short look back. Don’t dwell on it too long.

Numerically 2021 is a 5 year. The number five is the number commonly referred to the as the number of humanity. Humans have five fingers, five toes, five appendages (if the head is included), five senses (not sure I agree entirely on this one I think there are 6) and five major systems in the body. Noted for independence, versatility, rebellion and a daring nature.

Interesting !

And if one word comes forward it is ‘rebellion’. Rebellion against how the world was faring in 2020. It was a disaster on many scores and do you like me, feel that you desperately need change.  A lot of us spent the majority of the year in difficult circumstances, dealing with this new virus, Corona, being asked to stay at home, stay away from people and isolate ourselves, when actually human nature is that we really want to connect with people. We do believe me! During 2020 we all proved our versatility by doing things we had to as opposed to doing things we wanted to. And now it’s time to be daring.

Finally daring to get on with the things you have been thinking about for a long time. Making the impossible … possible. Living your dreams. Creating the things that make you happy and make you feel that are making a contribution. Not only for yourself but for others too.

Another quote I found was this:

2021 Life is not about expecting, hoping and wishing. It’s about doing, being and becoming!

Hoorah! I can relate to that.

During 2020 I wrote a lot about problems on social media and even though I am not going to either go into this subject or repeat myself I just want to say: please wake up everyone and delete anything that does not feel right. Just do it, even though it may seem hard. We have to stop this once and for all. No more terrible stories please of how people are taken in by scammers. But enough said.

That is why I also have a ‘session’ early in the first week of January. Deleting old emails, usually I just keep the ones from December and delete the rest, received or sent on all of my accounts. Who am I connected to on Facebook? Personal friends or just ‘circles within circles’. Instagram same story. Followers or being followed. Who are they? People I know or not. Archive away all the old posts.  Just make a fresh start. 

The number of all these ‘social contacts’ does not help you to be a better person. Only you can be and do that! 

I repeat: It is about doing, being and becoming!

So here we are, a new chapter, a clean page and even though I find January a long dull month, it is the best time of the year to de-clutter. The weather is usually not that good and with a Code Orange Worldwide restricting travel, we have more time to do this.  It is also therapeutic. The pile of post on my desk is so high, everything falls regularly to the floor. I will file or bin in the next few days. 

As I am a writer, I fully appreciate the words – CHAPTER ONE as I write a new book and then at the end of each chapter, the feeling as it comes to and end and I type the words CHAPTER TWO. This to me represents a moment when I have a full blank page to fill with my story and as I write along, following inspiration, I never really know what is coming next. Like life itself really. In any storyline, I have a backbone of the actual story. The beginning, the middle and the end, but along the way I often diversify if I have new inspiration and this comes in many directions. Often, I have been known to delete a lot of words and start again, sometimes I even begin with the final chapter. But it’s a creative process and being creative doesn’t mean that you have literally everything mapped out from start to finish.

We can relate this to life itself. Of course, each and every one of us has obligations. No getting away from it, but we all have a lot of time in between to do the things we actually love to do. Moving away from the herd and not blindly following for example. The gyms may be closed at the moment, but a half hour walk every day is enough exercise. We may not be able to pump the muscles on the apparatus, but there is an awful lot you can do at home with a few simple tools to keep fit. One of the best ways to exercise is do yoga, which I used to love doing. But I don’t anymore. Why not? There are many online courses which you can follow. If you happen to be working at home, make this part of your routine too. 15 minutes moving and stretching pumps the blood around the system once again and you can go back to your work feeling refreshed. My son-in-law has a very busy demanding job and he told me the other day that he uses a special chair to work at home. Some parts of the day he is standing, some parts of the day he is sitting and during his lunch break he is walking. A brisk walk in the fresh air is therapeutic. It really is. Try it. Make that maybe one of your ‘NY’ ideas. Only excuse is when it is pouring with rain. It is also very good to rest your eyes regularly from computer screens and smartphones, which, come on admit, are on your desk all the time.

Because we do not want to miss out on anything … do we??

So, January is here, 2021 and my first moment this year is a dental appointment on 21.1.21.

It is not my hobby and was moved into the New Year as I had several sessions during 2020 and my mouth needed a rest. And it is for two extractions and I am dreading it, apart from the fact when I noticed the date, I thought again and wondered what is this trying to tell me? Too much stress? Possibly right so what is the next move?

Remove the stress if possible.

The thing is with stress is, I feel, the moment when we often cannot see the wood for the trees. How much stress do you actually have and more important what can you do about it?

Well, the remedy is only something you can do yourself and by that, I mean – remove it!

Turn things around, do things differently and make a real effort to let go of all the baggage you are carrying with you that you do not need, or even want anymore.

My top twenty or so ‘In and Out” for 2020/2021 is:

OUT IN 2020

  • Fake news and fear
  • The never-ending stream of boring reality programs on TV
  • The long list of social media so-called influencers who feel they have to share their entire life with us
  • Copying other people
  • Duality and Competition
  • Being a sheep in the herd 
  • Following trends, just because they are ‘trends’
  • Scammers on the socials
  • Feeling obliged to do something even if you do not agree
  • Staying in situations that you know are not good for you
  • Hoarding shopping
  • Overindulging
  • Keeping things just for the sake of ‘keeping’.

IN FOR 2021

  • Being who you truly are
  • Speaking your truth
  • Making a blank page for 2021, write your own words
  • Being your own person
  • Paying attention to signs and synchronicity
  • Helping others
  • Kindness 
  • Synergy (often two opposites make the best team!)
  • Respect for everyone!
  • Creating your own trend and magic
  • Taking a walk every day and getting enough sleep
  • Healthy eating 
  • Only sharing things, you want to share not what you feel you need to get the most ‘likes, comments or followers’.

And most important is the word – LOVE !

So, Happy New Year to everyone. Let’s all make a pledge to make this year better than last (and that won’t be very hard). A big thank you to everyone for your support last year.

Let’s toast to fresh starts and new chapters. Happy 2021 !

Images: Google

WHERE THERE IS HOPE … actually … (IS THERE ANY LEFT?)

What a tumultuous year 2020 has been, totally not what anyone expected at all. Just as if our world had been tipped upside down, we have all been shaken about and then dropped back down to ‘terra firma’ left with the idea – ‘what actually hit me’?

This year has been a year when we have been asked and on numerous occasions, to totally re-evaluate our lives. From simple things to life changing subjects. A lot of people have been confronted with illness, loss of family members, but the underlying factor the entire year was fear. And we all know that fear creates power. But the wrong sort of power! We are so shell shocked by events that we tend to just go along with what we hear, see or read, without ever asking ourselves, can this be right? Is it right?

To be honest I have stopped watching the News and also reading the papers, it is so depressing. Each and every single day for months there is a daily update of figures of people either infected, hospitalized, or passed away all because of a virus, which hit the world big time.  I personally feel and I begin to wonder more and more what is true and what is fake?

There is no unity anywhere in the world about the precautions, each and every country seems to be doing its own thing and as far as The Netherlands is concerned, we seem to be ‘lagging behind’ the rest. Wasn’t that the whole point of the EEC to be united as one front? All I am hearing at the moment, is the endless (boring) discussions still going on about Brexit! I thought that was all done and dusted, didn’t you? However, I am not putting down the need to form good sensible trade agreements, but do you, like me, think there is never going to be an agreement, however many meetings they hold in Brussels?

This is one of the very simple examples of how easily our world has been filled with negativity.

And right at the moment when we are standing on the brink of an amazing shift in human consciousness.

On the socials you can read many posts about it all. Every single spiritual person and anyone who has influence is talking about it. That is all fine, but can you relate it all back to your own actual situation. Many people have been forced to go within and by that, I mean, away from literal physical contact, and then we all have the time to take a serious look at our lives. Are we actually living our dream, or merely wandering along in the rat race, doing what is expected of us? It is not an easy question to answer is it?

The one word that came up this morning, when I started this blog was HOPE. 

Hope that things will at least get better. But it begins with you and me and literally everyone, because as long as we just keep following the herd and not making up our minds for ourselves, then nothing is going to change. Change is about choices; I have written about this many times. And then it becomes personal, it is then about the choices you make.

Do you want to make a change, a positive one? The way I see it is this: If we all start to think about making a change in our life this also has an effect on everyone else too. Similar to the ripples on a pond, when you throw in a stone, the ever-increasing circles. And more important the choice you take and the action you do, has the same effect on a much bigger scale on the entire human race. 

Yes, you may be thinking how can anything I do make a difference? Well, it can. Great inventions occurred because one single person dared to make a choice. Dared to stick up for what they believed in. A great example of this, was in a film I watched recently. Bohemian Rhapsody, the story about Queen. When Freddie Mercury wrote the lyrics for the song, their manager at the time, laughed at him. Saying how stupid it was to make a song which lasted 6 minutes with stupid nonsensical words too. No radio would ever play it, and no one would ever listen, the manager said. It caused such a disagreement that Queen walked out and left the manager. I wonder what the same person thinks now. Bohemian Rhapsody is the most popular song ever, it tops the charts every single year and has done so for years. Everyone around the entire world knows the song. So, in that way, Freddie Mercury dared to stand up for what he believed in. The entire band too. This is just an example, but you can feel how those ripples increased and increased and increased to such an extent it is now a ‘classic’.

What would happen if we all dared to do something like that? I am not talking about things on a worldwide scale but more on a personal one because everyone knows the theory about one slight movement in the water, makes a huge wave in the end. What could you possibly change in your life, or do differently that would make it better? Not only for you, but the people who surround you. It is something to really think about isn’t it?

But then the word comes back again HOPE. What do you hope for in 2021? What would you like to do which is different from what you are doing now? The first place to begin is to ask yourself within, who you really are and what you want to do. A friend of mine in his recent blog spoke about the exciting times we are in, the huge energetic shift, which Planet Earth is on the verge of making and this will have a universal effect too, but the point is here, like he wrote, that you and I and literally everyone is here right NOW and we are all part of it.

Remember the famous words when the US astronauts landed on the moon? ‘One small step for man, a giant leap for all mankind’. That was back in 1969, July 20th to be exact and it was Neil Armstrong. And we all remember it don’t we?

Are you ready to think about what your step will be? You only need a small step! It’s a bit like the lyrics for the song I wrote about above, one word becomes two and then you have a first sentence. That is the way it works when you want to make changes or choices. You don’t have to do it all in one go. Baby steps first then you can go jumping and leaping. Because you have to feel one with your choices. There is absolutely no point whatsoever making a choice when your heart is not behind it. It has to feel right and meaningful in every single cell of your body. In your heart, in your mind and your emotion. You have to physically be able to do what you have chosen to do. But remind yourself there is one single word that you can focus on when making such choices and that is HOPE. 

HOPE is like a flame in the heart which never goes out. It may dwindle to just a small flame or be a raging fire inside, but never lose it. Never. Whatever happened to you in 2020, just remember this on New Year’s Eve, as you stand at the moment of stepping into a New Year, you can let go of the past. You cannot change what has happened at all, only look forwards and make the choice to move in that direction too. Let go of absolutely anything which no longer ‘fits’ in what you believe. That is after all the first step… the rest will follow if you always have HOPE in your heart.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas (which is definitely doing to be different this year) but focus on the important things. Let’s all hope that 2021 will bring the changes we all dream of. Happy New Year!

Thank you all for your support for all my work this past year. There are so many people subscribed to the feed and it is a huge compliment to receive your comments.

IMAGES: GOOGLE

CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS

Over the past few days, I have been busy with an Instagram story in the form of a sort of digital Advent Calendar, with photos and music (when I can find an appropriate song). I had just started on about Day 2 and I noticed that suddenly everyone seemed to be doing the same. A huge compliment, but probably more a case of ‘great minds think alike’.

I was searching for something a little bit different, not just photos from Pinterest and music (you know all the ones you hear non-stop on the radio around this time of year) – just something a little bit different.

Then I suddenly thought about an old Christmas song I remember from my childhood about the Twelve Days of Christmas. It is one of those repeating songs, but everyone seems to know it:

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me ‘A partridge in a pear tree’. Not exactly the handiest of presents I would guess, anno 2020, and you would always be worried if the partridge would stay sitting on the branches or just fly off (ha-ha). Not to mention all of those people who go on about animal protection rights etc.

So, the song goes on:

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me ‘Two turtle doves’ and of course repeat the sentence once more about the partridge in the pear tree.

The third day  – 3 French Hens

The fourth day – 4 Calling Birds

The fifth day – Five Golden Rings

The sixth day – 6 Geese a laying

The seventh – 7 Swans a swimming

The eight – 8 Maids a milking

The ninth – 9 Ladies dancing

The tenth – 10 Lords a leaping

The eleventh – 11 Drummers drumming

The twelfth – 12 Pipers piping

I got interested in the origin of this song, because the majority of English-speaking children know it well and were all taught. It is sort of like a game of Memory … that you remember what you got the day before and right back to day one.

And guess what this song seems to be the most popular Christmas song ever! It has been recorded by many artists, even to present day. The lyrics were first published in 1780 !!! but there is some suggestion that the original words came from France (maybe this was the reference to the 3 French hens). Weren’t English ones good enough?

The song is all about the presents that someone receives over Christmas from their true love … long before we had online shopping and top list suggestions.

The song really starts on 26th December (Boxing Day) and goes on until 6th January (12th night). Boxing Day is also known as the feast of St Stephen.

The song is comprised of what is called ‘chain lyrics’ or in other words, repeating sentences, a bit like I said above, a memory game.

The best-known version is the song that James O Halliwell published in 1842 in the 4th edition of the Nursery Rhymes of England (1846). I mean this is really old and traditional.

So many versions have been made in many languages, apparently even in Dutch (and I did not know this) by Jan Rot. You learn something every day!

But there are so many traditions around the month of December. More than any other month in the year. Is it because we are recalling memories before the year comes to an end? Nostalgia? 

Yesterday one of the grandchildren was telling me the story of Christmas and all about the birth of Jesus, ‘in a stable’ he said: ‘in a crib’. It is actually very lovely how the children in 2020 are still talking about probably the most famous story of all time. I had to laugh when his mother asked him: ‘and who were the parents of Jesus Christ’. His reply was” ‘how many times have I said that you mustn’t say Jesus Christ, it’s just Jesus, he was a baby’. And if there was ever sense in the saying: ‘from the mouths of babes’. 

But Christmas this year (2020) is going to be very different for many people all over the world, so perhaps it is exactly the right time to remind ourselves of the old traditions and stories. Sing the old songs, dance around the house, turn up the volume. And yes, it’s perfectly ok to allow the emotion to come through as well. As it will.

Modern technology (Facetime, Skype and video calling) makes it possible for all of us to connect all over the world. It may not be the same as sitting down around the table as a family, but you can certainly have a Zoom breakfast all together on Christmas Morning. Why not? That is the upside of technology today.

That was why I started by Instagram Advent Calendar story at the beginning of this month, it was looking back at old traditions and stories and rhymes. And some are really ancient. But the whole point is that it jogs a memory in you again, memories of your own childhood, parents, grandparents and all the things you did.

I remember when I was very young, we always used to walk in the village to the phone box (goodness this is making me sound ancient too) and phone my grandparents who lived several hundreds of miles away in the north of England. It was (in my recollections) always a dark starry night, frosty and on the way back home my father would always ask if I could hear the bells on Santa’s sleigh? I only have to hear the first few notes from the song, Jingle Bells, and it reminds me of those Christmas times long ago. 

I am not missing the commercial side of Christmas at all this year with shopping restrictions, you can get literally everything online these days, delivered to your door, but you miss the atmosphere, the Christmas markets, the smell of gluhwein (which I love) not so much for the actual red wine, as I normally cannot drink it, but those scents and aromas you always remember, spices, oranges, cinnamon, cloves etc. All those memories stored away in your mind. The endless Christmas songs playing on the radio.

Recently, I have watched a huge amount of Christmas movies on Netflix etc. The same story, always, romance, love etc., but the thing is the atmosphere, built around it. Decorating the tree, singing carols, making gingerbread houses, hot chocolate with marshmallows, peppermint lattes, candy canes, but most important and the purpose of this blog, to remind us all about the connection with one another. Forgiving and forgetting those who may have acted in ways we did not expect, quarrels, disagreements or things that offended us. Let it go and make this time a moment to reconnect. With a fresh view. Getting ready to step into 2021.

Working together with one central theme, LOVE.

Astrologically it is the perfect moment, you can read all about it on all the socials. Saturn and Jupiter will come together and appear like two big stars very close together in the night skies. They are actually both at 0 degrees in star sign Aquarius. The beginning of the new age, remember? Now that was a famous song too!

ARE YOU AN INFLUENCER OR JUST INFLUENCED, PART 2

Recently I wrote a blog about whether or not you are an ‘influencer’ or ‘just influenced’. In my wildest dreams I never expected so many reactions from so many people. Unfortunately, a lot of sad stories too, shared in confidence, but at the same time, its ok to generalize and tell you about them too.

I find myself continually asking why people attach so much importance to being popular on social media. Is it to flatter the ego or just to be considered as someone important? In other words, an influencer or someone influential. A person who others look up to and follow as an example? Sure, there are differences between the real influencers and by that, I mean people like The Obama’s, Oprah Winfrey, a lot of Hollywood film stars, popular singers, royalty and such like. People look at them as those who set an example for others. If this is entirely true, I am not sure. Maybe yes, maybe no.

Yes of course there are inspirational posts, but you have to be selective and not take everything at face value all the time. You have to think that maybe some of the so-called influencers are posting not only for their own ‘feel-good moment’, but they are often sponsored by special brand names and either get free goods and samples or receive payment for each post. I remember being totally flabbergasted one time by the income that footballer Ronaldo Cristiano receives per year for social media posting. This is big business! Going up to millions of dollars a year. But for those who have good insights into the costs of advertising, say in newspapers, or magazines, will realize that social media advertising is very lucrative and then we come back to the web of algorithms I talked about in my previous blog. Literally anything to keep your attention for as long as possible. That is what it is about! And even worse if you are tempted to order products using their so-called special discount codes it is only giving them more and more.

Unfortunately, though the downside is that a lot of data, specifically photos then become available and unprotected for all of us. I heard a lot of sob stories in all the reactions I received of people complaining that their photos were used to create false accounts. Well yes, obviously they will be if you are continually posting day in day out and believe me, social media giants like Facebook and Instagram (who are actually the same conglomerate) might sympathize if you are lucky, but they will do very little to help you. You can report, block, dismiss and delete but it does not stop those who are constantly searching for profiles to use. By this I mean the rows of ‘suggested for you’ contacts.

What made me sad was the stories I read from people who have been misused and mostly for one thing. Money. Even though to me it seems absolutely not done to ever send money to someone you don’t know personally, believe me people do. There is so much phishing email and scams at the moment, even in encrypted WhatsApp that you may receive a message from your own family members for money and send it in all innocence to find out later it was a scam.

It is really scary how much and how easily our data can be accessed. I noticed this in a recent TV documentary where software was placed (remotely) into someone’s phone and then used to track down a fake person posing as someone else. That is pretty damned scary. Another thing I know is that if you have your ‘Location’ on, is that you can be tracked literally where you are, what time you are there and in fact all your daily movements. Needless to say mine is switched off. Have you ever looked at the settings on all your apps and seen how many give camera and microphone access? Do, you will be amazed and the only advice I can give, is close it off if you don’t need it.

Big brother is watching you whether you think he is or not! Believe me he is!

But the blog caused a bit of stir, which on the one hand is great for me because then I know people read it, but on the other hand, sort of depressing that there are so many freaky people all over the place, who firstly have nothing else to do than impersonate another and secondly actually have the time as well.

And I haven’t even started to talk about the people who have accounts and communicate with so many people (who they either do or do not know), the latter being the point and how much rubbish they can write. Thing is: how many people are they actually writing the same message to? More than you may think. I had several stories which related back to one or two people.

Yes, I could name them and give you all the link to their accounts, but that is not my style. I am someone who still respects another’s privacy, even though I may not agree with what they are doing, I think it is their choice and that they have to live with it. Things can go horribly wrong and then who is to blame. The victim or the perpetrator?

My only advice is what I have said before. Check your own account regularly. Maybe make a golden rule for yourself, like me, to only accept the people you know personally or have met in person. This seems the safest way to me and also regularly filter your Facebook contacts. Often, we are added into groups almost automatically and then find ourselves commenting to a post that someone we know had made and then being inundated with comments from people we do not know. This does not of course, apply to closed groups. Why? Because you are then asked if you want to join and then if you click on ‘yes’ it has become your own choice. Simple really. But you have to think about your choices, it’s been said so many times before and it’s the only sound advice too.

I was grateful to the people who were brave and shared their story. That is being not only vulnerable but authentic too. Literally daring to share and comment makes them the winners in my opinion. Of course, every single one of us makes mistakes, but the great ones are those who dare to admit it and move on. That is after all how we learn. What we came here to do in the first place. There is never a path or road anywhere in the world, where the surface is smooth and its easy going all the way. There will always be challenges and also saboteurs (and in this case social media ‘so called’ influencers). Just be brave and don’t be taken in. The moment that your gut feeling tells you that something is just not right, then listen to it and move on. It’s the best way, believe me, no matter how much you think you can’t or how much you are involved. The big question is: are you? and with whom?

Again, many thanks for all the reactions and just keep checking. Your passwords too, it does not take long to change them and you can save and update them all in a ‘3 step protected wallet’. Use the really strong difficult passwords that are recommended and if you are worried about not remembering, save them and you could take a screen shot, write it down somewhere safe and then delete the photo.

As I wrote the majority of this blog yesterday, I have sort of debated a bit about whether I will share a little bit more from the stories I received and again I think it is pretty scary when you see the same name cropping up again and again.

Even though as a writer, freedom of the press and so on, it is not my style to mention the names, but as a story writer I can make a story (which in this case is true) into fiction. I had more than 50-odd reactions about this person who will call for the sake of the story ‘soldier boy’.

An Instagram social influencer who has many followers and follows many too. The very moment that you make some form of comment to any post, trust me you will suddenly find a message in your direct message box. And it usually begins with copious thanks for being a fan (did you know you were?) and then saying how lovely it is to meet people and the chat gets going. It will not be long before you are asked: Are you on Google Hangouts or WhatsApp. Going to WhatsApp means giving your private mobile number. My advice do not!

But Hangouts is a sort of chat program too, related to your Gmail (or Google) account. It always begins the same, well that is what my readers told me. A nice little chat when the only point is to make you feel sorry for them. Usually, a breakup from a relationship, lost their partner, lost family members and yes, they are so grateful to have a friend to talk to in these troubled times. Believe me the Corona crisis was ‘music’ to these people’s ears. People had more time, were at home more often and often looking for more contact via social media. This was absolutely the case with ‘soldier boy’.

And then daily posts, non-stop stories and if you have clicked on the ‘follow’ button you will be constantly inundated with information. If at this moment you begin to have your doubts, then my advice is to click off and block the contact, but by this time you have been completely taken into their story. A lot of the time, chats begin with the cheesy comments, like Hi Honey, Hi dear, Hi beautiful and if you feel flattered which every single person would, you are then whether you know it or not into some form of relationship. The ‘soldier boy’ starts to share a lot about his life but believe me he has a full-time job on his hands chatting to a load of people and they all get the same story. You may notice that your direct questions don’t get answered and you are expertly led into a discussion about something else.

At a certain stage he will share a secret with you. About his lifelong dream and he is so excited it is about to happen. Please remember he tells you I am only telling you because you are so special to me. Again, the flattery. But remember it is all b.s. he is saying that to loads of people at the same time. When the moment comes, and it will, when he asks for financial help, then you are going to have to come up with a reason why you can’t. And this is where the sad bit comes in, that people actually think they are in a relationship with this person and yes, they want to help, of course they do and the moment they refuse, then the tables are turned immediately. Your friendly contact suddenly becomes angry and then goes on to blame you for the failure of his dream. Accusations, abusive comments some of which are very below the belt and you end up in a sort of nightmare situation. On the one hand it was all going fine and suddenly you are ‘persona non grata’. In all the comments I received about this person, it was exactly the same each and every time. And then how do you get out and away?

The answer is very simple and please remember here that it is your choice. Stop taking any notice of the messages you receive, delete the chat and then block the person and report. It is the only way even if you think your heart is breaking. I was absolutely shocked to read how many of my storytellers had actually sent money! No surely not? But yes, they had. ‘Soldier boy’ knows exactly what to say and how to target and once the money is received, you will not hear from him again. He will move on, laugh his head off and think what a stupid person you were. Hard but true.

People like this are the ‘pits’ in my opinion because they take huge advantages of other people and it’s almost a form of abuse. There isn’t really any option whatsoever to make or file a report, this is happening, all day every day and it will continue to do so until you make the ‘golden rule’ for yourself if you are on social media. Restrict your contacts to the people you know personally.  It is simple and even though you may like to think that you have loads of followers or people interested in you, the real ones are those you know. There are sites online where you can report, but I ask myself if this really has any effect. If in doubt and it is something serious, then of course call the Police. If someone is stalking or threatening you.

I keep writing about this and I keep receiving comments from a serious amount of people who have fallen for this. In a few weeks it will be 2021 and you could think about a real clean out for the New Year in your own social media. Just restrict it to those you know and remember once more, it is your choice to accept a chat or not. Remember that. You are not being forced to and even though you may think they are handsome, charming, have lovely eyes and so on, you HAVE to ask yourself one simple question: Is this the real deal? There are fakes and imposters using other people’s information and photos to make accounts but and this is even worse, there are people with accounts which actually belong to them, but it is all a game to them to chat to many and to get the maximum they can from literally everyone. ‘Flattery will get you everywhere’ is a well-known phrase. But ask yourself, how far will you go? How desperate are you for the attention? How much can you trust that it is genuine. It may look it, it may sound it but how can you be totally sure. You can’t. Not unless you know them personally.

These are questions that I am afraid I cannot answer but I can only tell you that the stories I received as comments to my own blog were shocking. I personally feel ‘soldier boy’ and he is a real person, is a complete and utter insult to his profession. If this rings a bell with you are you happen to know who I mean, then please think again and get off the chat with him.

Forewarned is forearmed. Remember that!

SAW THIS IMAGE YESTERDAY QUITE BY CHANCE ON FACEBOOK AND THOUGHT: THIS IS PERFECT ADVICE!

ARE YOU AN INFLUENCER OR JUST INFLUENCED?

I just happened to read a ‘heated’ discussion on someone’s Instagram post yesterday which made me think about this: Are you actually an ‘influencer’ or ‘just influenced’?

This is a popular term at the moment, for literally thousands of people all across the globe who apparently have nothing else to do than continually post about their lives on social media. Yes, yes, I post too, and actually this week I did three posts in one day for the first time ever. And that was just to share some magnificent photos of the an amazing sunset. The incredible colors in the sky on that particular moment.

So, what is the definition of an influencer?  Quite simple really: a person or a thing that influences another. A person with the ability to influence potential buyers of a product or service by promoting or recommending the items on social media (thank you Oxford English Dictionary!). Well in that case there are millions of them. From well-known influential people like royalty, film stars, rich and famous people, TV personalities, singers, song writers and so the list goes on.

But an influencer today is someone with a social media account, either Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook etc., who spends their days continually giving everyone the impression that they lead the most exciting life ever. Really? Often, they are supported by products, like supplements for example and often offer a special discount if you follow them and use their code. And this is where I started reading this discussion between two followers on such an account. One was very disgruntled because the account holder never reacted to any of their comments. Well, no, they never will because that is not the point. The other however, sung praises for the person concerned saying what a great influencer they were and to stop carping on and basically get offline. Is that what social media has come to then, a ‘slagging match’ when you don’t agree with what others say or think. This is definitely true for Twitter and the best example ever is of course Donald Trump, famous for all the ‘nonsense’ he posts out.

Of course, every single person wants perfection. We all do. Whether you agree with me or not, you and me and in fact everyone, is influenced by this. It can be from simple things like the ‘best decorated Christmas Tree’ to the ‘most attractive table setting’ to a ‘perfect complexion’ to the ‘latest fashion’. So, if the trend is going a certain way, we as humans often have the tendency to just want to follow the herd. By doing that we are being interesting, and by following the latest trends set an example to others. Or do we?

One thing as I write which springs to mind is all the fuss over here recently about a young social influencer who said some quite prolific things about the ‘do’s and don’ts for Corona rules’. This is a young woman followed by more than a million people. She appeared on television and was literally lost for words when asked to explain. Of course, she couldn’t say why she had suggested such stupid things. And all that just to be a social influencer! It ended up with her having to make a public apology and thus subject herself to the comments of others, some of which were quite vicious.

This is exactly what I mean when I think of the words ‘think before you speak’ or post in this case. Surely even the simplest of people realize that when you are being followed by many people on social media, they then think it’s smart, or right to agree with you and follow what you say. Remember what I said about sheep and following the herd. You have to ask yourself simply if you agree or not and if not, do not follow or waste your time making a comment.

Now social media influencers seem to have more than 24 hours in a day and post a huge amount about their daily lives, from food to fashion, about sessions in the gym, how big their muscular body looks (and thus posting photos which are fodder for the scammers) and so it goes on.

Ask yourself why? Why do you do this? Do you seriously think that people have nothing else to do than follow others? Isn’t it much more important to put your own ‘stamp’ on things? You can agree with the good ones for sure, but not just follow the rubbish just for the sake of keeping up. Or do you? It’s something to think about isn’t it?

This week I just happened to read one of the best posts I have seen in a long time from Michelle Obama, talking about the moment when she and Barack left the White House and had to welcome the Trumps in. For those of you who read it too, it was a good piece and inspiring for others. Posts like this are worth reading. Also posts about things that interest you personally too. But all the rest of the garbage? Come on, get on with something more productive. (You can find this speech on her Instagram account).

Be more selective, I try to do that every day and at the end of this year I will clear all the posts from my own Instagram account and begin again, with a fresh clean slate for 2021. The past is behind me now and I don’t need a record number of either posts, followers or to be an influencer either. Just to share things, that is fine but in moderation. I don’t need to be sharing my entire life with people I don’t even know. And I am strict on that score too, if I see that anyone is following me who I don’t know personally they get blocked and deleted.

It is the only way and social media people who keep complaining about the number of fake accounts they have, in other words, people who have made accounts using their countless number of stories, photos and posts, then the simple solution is to stop posting so much. Especially when it concerns private things, like photos made in your own home. It’s just my advice, not that I expect them to either stop or do it differently, the only thing I can hope to achieve is that for all of you who read my words. Think again! Of course, it’s ok to share one or two things, but keep it general. As long as the world is full of fakes and scammers, is it worth it? Is it a good idea to post literally everything because you are just feeding them with information and the opportunity to then abuse others using your information too!

Which brings me back to the discussion I started talking about at the beginning. The disappointment from the one person that the so-called influencer never reacted to her comments and the one defending the account holder. As much as I am tempted to mention the names, so you can look and see for yourself, I won’t because then I am just following the herd and that is the thing that I do not want to do.

Basically, I think it is a sad fact of life that social media influencers don’t have anything better to do. In this day and age? Surely, they must have. But the point is that it is a huge ego boost for them, the followers, the comments, the numbers and then of course once the ego takes control, then you know you are definitely not following your true dream and goals. Isn’t being just that bit different the most important thing and then also doing meaningful things. Things that are good for your own growth on a physical, emotional, spiritual and mental level. Or do you prefer to waste your time comparing yourself to people who have definitely gone off the path? Be honest with yourself, it is really a load of rubbish, which will not help you in any way. Wanting to either copy or be like them really is irrelevant. Be yourself. You are a unique being and have something so much better to contribute.

Be an influencer with an important message. Be the one to inspire others. Be the one who is empathic and cares. Be the one who is not afraid to be authentic. Be the one who speaks his or her truth. And be the one who dares to follow their own dreams and goals.

Now that is influencing!

IMAGES: GOOGLE

ASTROLOGICAL HAPPENINGS

Every day when I open my email ‘inbox’ I find a huge amount of ‘astrological emails’ and I mean a lot. And each and every one of them is offering me advice! I never get the opportunity to read them all, as it would probably take me the entire day at least, but some have important messages. So how can you separate the wheat from the chaff? You sort of know instinctively that there is an important message for you somewhere in there! So, what is the meaning? I have written on this subject before, but thought it was time to perhaps do something again … so here goes.

A lot of people may or may not realize that the so-called Natal Chart that every single one of us has, is in fact a very important photo image of the exact moment of birth. If you know all your details, you can search on the internet and go to a site called: www.astro.cafeastrology.com and fill it in.  One important thing to try and add, is the exact time of your birth. Then you will receive a long report about all the aspects of your own personal natal chart. But how to you decipher it all? It’s going to be along very detailed report, which may confuse you totally.

I have been fascinated by stars and planets since I was a child. Like probably everyone does, I read my ‘horoscope’ in most newspapers and magazines on a regular basis. Also, the annual predictions for the year ahead. But normally these are just general comments for a particular zodiac sign, the important information is in your natal chart.

The rising sign in your natal chart (in other words your zodiac sign) is the moment when the sun was rising at the time of your birth. Your sun sign is the birth moment. There are 12 signs in the zodiac wheel, beginning with Aries and ending with Pisces.

But then it is important to see where all the planets were at the time of your birth and in which of the 12 houses of the wheel too. 

To make it easier maybe I should use mine as an example:

I was born in Hampton Court, near to London, England on 20th August at 03.45 am.

My rising sign is Leo, and the sun is the ruling sign of Leo too.

My ascending time (which relates to the exact time of birth) is Leo too

My lunar sign (in which position the moon was at that time) is in Taurus.

But let’s have a look at the meanings of each sign and whether they are fixed, mutable or cardinal signs and what is the ruling element:

Fire Signs:

Aries, Leo and Sagittarius

Earth Signs:

Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn

Air Signs: 

Gemini, Libra and Aquarius

Water Signs:

Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces.

Four of each:

Fixed signs: Taurus (earth), Leo (fire), Scorpio (water) and Aquarius (air). 

Mutable signs: Gemini (air) Virgo (earth), Sagittarius (fire) and Pisces (water).

Cardinal signs are Aries (fire), Cancer (water) , Libra (air) and Capricorn (earth)

Fire Signs: tend to be emotional, passionate, dynamic and often temperamental. Often get angry quickly, but they forgive easily. Adventurers with enormous energy. Physically strong and inspire others. Intelligent, self-aware, creative, idealistic and always ready for action.

Earth Signs: are grounded and people that literally bring ‘others back down to earth’. Conservative, realistic but also very emotional. Connected to material reality and goods. Practical, loyal and steady and stick by people, even in hard times.

Air Signs: rational, social and love communication and relationships with people. Thinkers, friendly, intellectual, communicative and analytical. Love philosophical discussions, social gatherings and good books.

Water Signs: exceptionally emotional and ultra-sensitive. Highly intuitive and can be mysterious. Love profound conversations and intimacy. They rarely do anything openly and always support their loved ones.

The Houses in the Zodiac Wheel:

1st: This literally is all about the ‘firsts’. First impressions, the self, appearance, leadership, new initiatives, fresh beginnings. The sign on the cusp (or starting edge) of this house is referred to as your rising sign or Ascendant. Aries

2nd: Covers everything to do with matters related to your material and physical environment. Taste, smell, sound, touch, sight. Also rules money and Self Esteem. Taurus

3rd: Rules all forms of communication – talking, thinking, gadgets and devices (cell phones, pagers, messengers). Also related to siblings, neighborhoods, travel, libraries, schoolteachers and community affairs. Gemini

4th: Sitting at the ‘bottom of the zodiac wheel’ therefore the ruler or foundation of everything. Including your homes, privacy, basic security, parents, children, parenting abilities and nurturing. Cancer

5th: Governs self-expression, drama, creativity, color, attention, romance, fun and play. Leo

6th : Domain of health and service. Schedules, organization, routines, fitness, diet and exercise, natural and healthy living. Helpfulness and being of service to others. Virgo

7th : Relationships and other people. Governs partnerships, both business and personal and any matters related to relationships in general, like contracts, marriage, business deals. Libra

8th : Mysterious. Ruling birth, death, sex, transformation, mysteries, merged energies, bonding at deep levels. Other people’s property and money (real estate, inheritance, investment). Scorpio

9th :  Higher mind expansion, international and long-distance travel, foreign languages, inspiration, optimism, publishing, broadcasting, universities and higher education. Luck, risk adventure, gambling, region, philosophy, morals and ethics. Sagittarius

10th : At the top of the chart and most public part of the chart. Governing structures, corporations, tradition, public image, fame, honors, achievements, awards, boundaries, rules, discipline, authority, fathers. The cusp or edge is also referred to as the Midheaven. Career. Capricorn

11th : Teams, friendships, groups, society, technology, video and electronic media, networking, social justice, rebellion and humanitarian causes. Originality, eccentric, sudden events, surprises, inventions, astronomy, science fiction and anything futuristic. Aquarius

12th : Endings. Final stages of a project, tying up the loose ends, completions, afterlife, old age and surrender. Separation from society, institutions, hospitals, jails, hidden agendas and secret enemies. Ruling the imagination, creativity, arts, film, dance, poetry, journals and the subconscious mind. Pisces

Confused? Either go back or read on :-

So, on the natal chart, your picture photo moment of arrival, the planets are positioned in houses. Some have one or two, others may be empty. But according to the planet and its meaning it has a ‘highlight’ effect on your personality and life path… 

The Planets: There are of course 12! Listed in proximity to the Sun: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Ceres, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, Chiron and not forgetting the Moon.

Just so that you aren’t confused, the sun is not strictly a planet, it is a star undergoing evolution. Other planets circulate the sun in the solar system.

However, the so-called inner planets: Sun, Moon, Mercury, Mars and Venus – they all move quickly through the zodiac wheel. Affecting your day-to-day moods, and habits.

The outer planets: Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, Uranus and Pluto. Move slowly changing signs everyone to fifteen years. As a result, they shape the bigger trends in your life. Neptune, Uranus and Pluto orbit so slowly that they are said to shape entire generations.

So, what are the key words for each one:

Sun                  your basic personality                      every month

Moon              moods and emotions                         every 2-3 days

Mercury         mind and communication               every 3 – 4 weeks

Venue             love and attraction                            every 4-5 weeks

Mars               drive and energy                                every 6-7 weeks

Jupiter            luck, growth and wisdom                every 12-13 months

Saturn            discipline, fears and challenges      every 2-3 years

Uranus           change and originality                      every 7 years

Neptune         dreams and healing                           every 10-12 years

Pluto               power and transformation               every 12-15 years

So, here is the meaning about what happens when two or more planets are within 0 degrees to each other in the zodiac wheel. It is then called:  a conjunction. If they are 60-degrees apart then it’s a sextile, two planets that are 180 degrees apart are an opposite. There are of course 360 degrees in the wheel.

Astrology is literally ‘tracking’ the movement of the relationships of the planets and other celestial bodies. Words like trine, square, aspects, conjunctions, and opposition are common terms in astrology. But what do they mean?

Basically, it describes the angles the planets form to one another across the wheel. As planets move across the sky, each angle means something different.  Whilst each planet has a meaning (see above), the way that they can affect us is, in which sign they are located at any given time. As well as the relationships they form with others.

Of the five major aspects some are considered hard and others soft. Easy aspects are sextile and trine. A conjunction is generally aligned into another category or a strong potential for it to go either way, depending on the direction of the planet itself. A planet going retrograde (and this happens a lot) means it is going backward. Some trines can be helpful, others not.

But the aspects are essential to predict or interpret astrology. They can totally change or influence the meaning of a planetary placement. We have also to look at how they blend with other planetary energies. Two compatible planets are cozy, or they can challenge each other and be harsh in a square. As an example, Venus is the planet or love and generally associated with positive qualities, but if it is a ‘difficult’ aspect with another planet like Saturn for example it can cause a lot of upset in our love lives.

There are so many factors to consider it is really too much for this blog and it was never written to aspire to a ‘quick course’ in astrology. 

Summarizing: 

A conjunction is when two planets link up together in the same sign. They share their energy. If they get along, it’s a high potential, if not, then a heavier more challenging aspect occurs.

Sextile is fun, full of good vibrations and positive. A friendly ‘flirty’ aspect between signs, 60 degrees apart. Often between fire and air signs, or earth and water signs. Sunshine, happy situations, and a nice break from stress. But a downside is not a major energy aspect for don’t expect a major shift. 

It’s all about ease and compatibility. Not too much drama.

A trine (120-degree angle) is generally considered the best and most auspicious aspect, bringing luck, harmony and major synchronicity. An understanding of the elements. A trine happens when planets are in the same elements (fire, earth, air or water). When this happens, they understand each other’s motives making the energy much easier to work with than against. Positive aspects with positive outcomes.

Square: a bit of a cosmic drama. Just like the shape of the square itself. An intense aspect that often dictates action. They show that work is needed to produce a favored outcome. 

Opposition: When planets are directly opposite one another (180 degrees). Often in this case planets are literally ‘butting heads’. Even though they are as far apart as they can be in the wheel itself, it is difficult to find harmony. Wants or needs may seem polar. But you probably remember the famous saying: ‘opposites attract’? It is sort of seeking a balance between the energy of the planets opposite and trying to work together. In simple terms then making an opposition run smoothly. Synergy, two opposites complimenting each other.

Astrology is an immense subject and people study it for years. This is just a simple sampler for the basic terms and meanings. But as everything is moving, its continually changing. Each and every day. The only stable moment is your birth moment, which is a photo shot of that exact moment in the celestial heavens. It forms your basic character and you know your strengths and weaknesses.

I could write on and on, but it was not really my intention. I started all this by talking about my email inbox and now you probably know why it’s almost impossible to read everything.

This is my natal chart and you can get yours too, with the link I gave in the beginning. Its free and will give you a good insight into who you are and why you are hear. And more importantly: what you came here to do!

MY PERSONAL NATAL CHART

I hope this gives you a better insight into interpretating your daily horoscope or even the realization of why you behave or present yourself in a certain way. I highly recommend an astrologist, who I do actually read in all my pile and that is Astro Butterfly.  You can google her easily and subscribe to her newsletters and insights. This is the one that resonates the most with me. (www.astrobutterfly.com)

Thanks to the mentioned internet sites and images Google. Natal chart image is personal.