June 9, 2015 - Thumbs Up To Nice Guys

It must be tough being a sensitive, nice guy in a macho, sexed up, muscled up, revved up, mucked up, violent world.  Thumbs up to all the ‘nice guys’ (and girls for that matter) who choose a different path.  That takes balls – and brains.  Check out The Black Dog Story about difference.  And think about this and this.  Pass it on to all the nice you know  ….

May 25, 2015 - Brain Train

 brain train todd

Redesign Your Brain .

“Whether you’re scared of heights, public speaking or failure, you can face that and overcome it. It never goes away. The clarification is that brave people are not without fear, they just deal with it differently – it’s the fear that makes them brave,” Todd Sampson (Gruen Transfer) tells AFR Weekend.  Redesign My Brain 2 with Todd Sampson will premiere this Thursday, May 28, at 8.30pm on ABC TV. Read full article about the show at Australian Financial Review here.smartphone

Todd On Smartphones …. “Our lack of attention is being exacerbated by smartphones – a trend he sees with his two young daughters – or as Sampson calls the devices, ‘our substitute brains’.  The numbers are saying that with technology our IQs have gone up but our EQs [emotional intelligence] have gone down, so we are doing better on these tests because we have more information at our fingertips but our ability to relate is dropping because we have more virtual friends than real friends,” he says.

Todd On Creative Thinking …. “One of the defining factors of creative people is the ability to switch perspectives.  As we age, we become functionally fixed, we narrow our perspectives and actions. Really good creative people have the ability to switch. If you follow the same people on Twitter and subscribe to the same magazines, then your perspective stays the same because you’re pretty much getting self-selected information.”

Todd previously featured on Black Dog talking about ‘World Proofing Our Children’.  And in the show you’ll see Todd take some impossible steps like the Frenchman between the Twin Tower buildings here.  A previous post about the danger of labeling people as in picture above here.   Pass it on …

May 13, 2015 - Rice Is Nice

damien rice 2

damien rice


Long live the CD.

Sometimes when you’re not feeling so good, it’s easier just to stay roomed in at home.  Or you could take a risk, go out and possibly be met by a ‘feel good’ experience and someone nice …..Went to JB Hifi for a dose of music in the form of some new CD’s and found Damien Rice’s package of smooth vibes and beautiful artwork within a ‘nice to hold’ cardboard sleeve.  But it wasn’t just the physical process of flicking through the CD’s that provided the feel good experience, it was also the guy who worked there who, on taking interest in the small collection in my hand, enthusiastically strode off to bring back a favorite of his own that he thought closely matched my choices.  And so we talked a bit about the music (and the covers) and …. well, it made my day.  The digital age (and hunkering down at home to escape the world) puts us at risk of losing these simple, meaningful and excitingly intimate connections – unless we keep resisting, continue buying the real thing and engaging with the real world.  More feel good with previous posts, ‘Canned Kindness’; ‘Full Stop’; ‘Hey you’;  ‘Pay It Forward’.

April 18, 2015 - Critical Thinking

black dog

Why didn’t the Black Dog cross the road?                                                                                                       Because he wanted to wonder a while at the masses marching in blind faith.

Why didn’t the Black Dog cross the road?                                                                                                             Because green’s not always right – and red’s not always wrong.

Why didn’t the Black Dog cross the road?                                                                                                                     Because he wasn’t ready to go yet.

Think about it…

Find in Clunk & Jam book.

April 6, 2015 - Army of Ink Little Star

army of ink twinkle twinkle

Little Star .

When the lights go out I cannot see, but when I sit alone in the dark with the glow of real stars above, the warmth of the distance soothes the longing to be close.  Now, when I go out into the woods at night, it’s not a star that will grant me my wish -it will be my own candle glowing in the dark.

Footnote:   This little soldier is from the Rock The Boat book.  Which is what often happens when you endeavor to make personal change.  Or when you tell the truth. It ‘rocks the boat’.  The small, feathery space where she sits calmly with a single lit candle might suggest a quiet, personal vigil.   One that reminds her to value herself and the small space and life she’s so painstakingly created.  A space that keeps her protected from harm – her world snugly contained.  Allows her to control when the ‘lights go out’ rather than the onset of darkness being manipulated by those around her.

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March 20, 2015 - Strange Magic of Art

harley painting


(Art Harley Manifold, original in colour.  Excerpt from article, ‘What Lies Beyond’ by David Malouf, Weekend Australian Magazine Feb 28th-March 1st).

The article below is a refreshing insight into the downfall of our ever-shortening attention spans and the ability of art, music, books, films etc to capture our attention, hold us still and allow us to escape for a longer, deeper while in a self replenishing place …

What Lies Beyond .

Any activity that demands our complete attention – absorption in a task, looking hard at a painting or piece of sculpture, losing ourselves in a book or play or film; doing anything, as we say, that “Takes us out of ourselves” – is restorative, and in a particular way.  We are there, fully there, in the most complete exercise of our consciousness and being; but, since we are also outside ourselves in the object of attention, we are relieved for a time of the heavy consciousness of being; and, in that strange suspension of time we experience on such occasions, we are free as well of the even heavier consciousness of Time.


harley painting 2

On the whole, modern living is not very conducive to this sort of activity:  to the concentrated long-looking, a painting demands, if we are fully to take it in, or the kind of intense listening we need to give to music. When we allow our attention to become thin and spasmodic, when we give up “attending”, it is not the painting or musical work that grows dim and disappears, it is us.

Read full article here.