Is meditation a wonder drug?

Girl meditating meepoohfoto

Meditation: magic pill or path to enlightenment? Meditation will continue to intrigue the researchers for some time but the magic elixir will continue to elude them until they start looking in the right place. Mindfulness meditation (staying still and continuously returning attention to something for a period of time) is a great skill for a whole lot of reasons, not least because we tend to lead such hectic and overscheduled lives that we need to practice the delicate art of doing nothing and being aware and present. But… the delicious benefits we are promised will be hit and miss if we […] Read more »

The New Australia Manifesto

Sometimes I see memes or bumper stickers saying things along the lines of ‘We’re full… f*ck off’ or ‘Australians are struggling, stop spending money on aid until we’re ok’, or other variations on the theme of poor hopeless us, we need to circle the wagons and guard against the werewolves. Well I don’t buy it. So I thought I’d make some suggestions that would actually help, not only by rendering us less hopeless but by recrafting a new Australia we can all feel proud of and in which we can all be free and prosper. You’re most welcome to turn it into […] Read more »

Stand up for a better dream

Stand up for a better dream Last night I watched someone I had known almost 16 years stand up and become somebody else. Through art we have a way to fast forward the glacial pace of evolution. We can move beyond natural laws and into the realms of dreams and deep collaboration. Which is why I cringe at the way we have crippled art by making it a competitive sport. Reality TV, eisteddfods, talent shows… as failure becomes a fixture of art we are losing the art of dreaming up better futures. We are taking what is revolutionary about art and […] Read more »

Teach resilience to your child – Emotional Intelligence 7

Diversity Mask George A Spiva Center for the Arts Teach Resilience

Teach Resilience to your child If you want to teach resilience to your child, arm them with a learning mindset and start practicing that learning approach on their social skills. The best way for them to practice their learning mindset and improve their social skills is for your child to interact with lots of different people in lots of different contexts.  Facilitate connections with a wide variety of people and let your child develop their own relationship with those people, without you in the middle!  Social skills are the best way to teach resilience. Keep encouraging that learning approach we covered […] Read more »

Aboriginal Background: Shouldn’t every Australian have one?

My oldest daughter wanted to know what constitutes ‘Aboriginal background’ as in: does she get to tick the box on the form so that she can get invited to the events only for people with aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds? My initial reaction was no – one of your ancestors has to have been A/TSI. But, she says, she has been adopted by a Yolngu elder, can speak some words in Yolngu Matha, knows a little about the culture, would move back there in a flash if she could and feels like she has aboriginal background. Her school principal […] Read more »

Publishing and The Chikukwa Project

One of life’s most difficult tasks is finding a publisher for your book, everyone knows that. Yet after two phone calls we had two publishers offering us contracts. So what’s the secret to publishing a book… Our publisher said ‘This book is the next step in the narrative. It isn’t another book about the problems, but about real solutions’. She saw and expressed the point of our story more clearly than we could. Sometimes it takes an outsider to find that clarity. And sometimes it takes an outsider to help a community get where it wants to go. So much […] Read more »

Where to from here?

Gazing to the future Pat138241 Freedigitalphotosnet

Last night my seven year old daughter came to me long after I thought she had gone to sleep. “I am really scared that the Earth is going to tip.” “What do you mean? It’s round and spinning so it can’t really tip…” “Yes I know, but I’m worried about it tipping. About the Tipping Point.” “The Tipping Point? Do you know what that is?” “No…” “Then what about it makes you feel afraid?” “I don’t know…” “How did you hear about the Tipping Point?” “People are talking about it everywhere! That the earth is about to tip!” “You know […] Read more »

Before and After… and the Vegetables.

Our society has made an art form of dualistic thinking and Before and After is one of our most revered methods of persuasion but it is drowning in false consciousness. For one thing there is rarely a definitive before or after. We all live on fuzzy continuums that we assign meaning to in hindsight. Because what comes after (Happily Ever) After? The classic Disney happy ever after ending leaves us just after the wedding, or the first kiss or the triumphant return or vanquishing the enemy. Most of us understand that life isn’t a Disney movie and in reality life […] Read more »