Home is a shelter from storms

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“May I become at all times,
Both now and for ever,
A protector for the helpless,
A guide for the lost ones,
A ship for those to cross oceans,
And a bridge to cross rivers,
A sanctuary for those in danger,
A lamp for those in darkness,
A refuge for those who need shelter,
A servant to all in need.”

– Dalai Lama – 

When I woke up this morning, I knew that I would write a blog post today about the importance of shelter. 

Recently I have found myself needing to find a new place to live, and despite my best efforts of looking and searching, not much showed up. In fact, it wasn’t until all of my things were packed into a removal van, did I get a text message from a friend offering me to come and stay in their spare room. How funny the Universe can sometimes be, leaving you hanging, right until the 11th hour. 

So, even though it’s Christmas, and the majority of my possessions are in storage, I am very grateful to have had a place to stay for the last few weeks, and will have for the coming months. This stray Kat has a home for the foreseeable future. Better still, the people that I am living with are all beautiful, kind and incredibly compassionate. 

Plus, it seems as though I’m not the only stray who has been welcomed into the house, but another cat (who we have affectionately named Dave) has started to visit us regularly. In fact, I think he came to see us on 4 separate occasions yesterday. No sign of him today, but perhaps he’s enjoying some Christmas Treats with his own family today. 

I can’t tell you how special it is knowing that I have a loving home to come and live in. A place where I feel welcome, and that I belong. Even though my biological family are on the other side of the world, it is incredibly comforting to feel part of someone else’s, when it isn’t possible to be with them physically. 

And it is for this reason that the new company I am starting next year is supporting a Children’s Shelter in Kathmandu, Nepal called the Katja House Foundation. They exist to give shelter, food and clothing to the street children of Nepal. 

And for every tote bag that we sell through Katkin, we will give shelter to one street child for one night. 

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There are over 30,000 street children in Nepal and there are 500 children a year that are added to that list in Kathmandu alone. 

There is a running joke in Australia, that if you’re an expat here at Christmas and you’re not with your family, then you are referred to as an orphan, and that is true for me this year. In fact it will only be the second Christmas out of the 33 years that I’ve been on this planet, that I won’t be spending it with my family. 

However, I’m grateful for the shelter and beautiful home that I have to live in, the lovely family that I am living with and the food, fun and frolics that we will all be enjoying together over the festive period. 

If you would like to buy a tote bag and provide shelter for a street child for one night, skip over to our crowd funding page to purchase one and help us raised $10k by 19 Jan to start our business in 2014. 

Wishing you a Merry Christmas Eve. 🙂

Sending you all love & light from Sydney,

Kat x x x

P.S.

Here is a beautiful song by the British songstress, Birdy called ‘Shelter‘.

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Live for the now

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While I was looking for inspiration for my blog post today, I saw two posts on Facebook that I couldn’t ignore and were very definitely linked.

The first was the quote from the Dalai Lama, which is above, and very simple, yet profound.

And the second was an article from viralnova.com about a set of pictures that photographer Tom Hussey took to illustrate just how much we change in our lives and how  quickly time can pass if we’re not present to it.

Here are a handful of the photos, but you can view all of them here.

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And you can visit Tom Hussey’s site here.

So, if you were 100 and looking back at a photo of yourself when you were younger, would you be happy with the life that you have led up until that point? Are there things that you are likely to wish you had done? Places you’d been? Things you had seen?

I have recently turned 33, which means that I have another 77 years on this planet to continue to make a positive difference and live the life of my dreams. What would you like to feel about your life and the journey you have taken when you look in the mirror at 100?

Sending you love, hugs and light,

Kat x x x

Show loving kindness to others

Love one another

“This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.”

– Dalia Lama –

I have just come out of a deeply relaxing meditation and this is the first thing that came to mind, so I wanted to share it with you.

I have a very simple thought to share with you today. Be kind to others. Be loving to others. See everyone around you as a mother or father, an uncle or an aunt, a grandmother or grandfather, a sister or a brother, a cousin. Treat everyone as if they are a family member.

When we treat others with loving kindness, we treat ourselves with loving kindness, because, in essence, we are all one, we are all connected.

The Wake Up Project

I recently came across this fantastic project called the Wake Up Project when I went to see the Dalia Lama a couple of weeks ago and wanted to tell you a bit about them.

Their mission is to celebrate and inspire kindness and wisdom in modern life.

What does it mean to Wake Up?

According to their website, ‘It means to wake up your natural capacity for kindness and wisdom. It means savoring the beauty of each moment and expressing your unique gifts into the world. All this, while remembering to lighten up, laugh, dance and celebrate your precious human life.’

Join the Kindness Revolution

In an effort to inspire people to carry out random acts of kindness, you can order a pack of kindness cards that they will send to you for free, which you can leave, anonymously, whenever you do something nice for someone else.

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How it works

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What can you do?

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You can order your kindness cards here. 

So, what random act of kindness are you going to carry out today?

Sending you lots of love, hugs and light,

Kat x x x

Inspiration for this post

The Dalia Lama

The Wake Up Project

The Dalai Lama’s 18 Rules for Living

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A very neat, clean and simple one today for you my darlings.

At the start of the new millennium the Dalai Lama issued eighteen rules for living.

1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

2. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.

3. Follow the three Rs: 1. Respect for self 2. Respect for others 3. Responsibility for all your actions.

4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.

6. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.

7. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

8. Spend some time alone every day.

9. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.

10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

11. Live a good, honourable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.

12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.

13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.

14. Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.

15. Be gentle with the earth.

16. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.

17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.

18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.

Sending you lots of love, hugs and light,

Kat x x x

Inspiration for this post

The Dalai Lama’s 18 Rules for Living

Peace starts within

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“World peace must come through inner peace”

– Dalai Lama –

I went to see the Dalai Lama in Sydney yesterday with my friends and this was one of the messages that he had to share with us. Peace starts within. 

After he had given his talk Beyond Religion (Ethical Mindfulness in Every Day Life) on the benefits of living ethically, he answered questions for about 45 minutes and one of the questions that came in was “How do we, or I, have an impact on today’s world, when there is so much violence and religious tension? What can we do as an individual?”

And his answer? “Real change, at a global level, must come from the individual. Not through the United Nations or European Parliament. . . we as individuals must start.”

And he went on to say “World peace, must come through inner peace.”

And this is something that has taken me a little while to get my head around. However, through my spiritual journey of late and from reading a fair amount on Buddhism, some of the Dalai Lama’s books like ‘The Art of Happiness’ and most recently Mr Eckhart Tolle’s books, the penny has dropped.

Our thoughts create our reality. Therefore, if we are not at peace inside and in our head, the reality that we experience will not be peaceful.

And it’s very interesting, because the more calmer I have become in my body and in my head, the calmer my life has become. The more love I have given to myself, the more love I have experienced in my life. And the more peace I have found inside, the more peace I have started to witness in my external life.

To some, it might sound too simple, but the beauty and brilliance of this notion, is that it really is that easy.

If for any reason we don’t like what we are experiencing in our external world, all we need to do is look inside and start to change what is happening in the thoughts in our head and the feelings in our bodies, and watch how our external world changes accordingly.

If our life is too fast and too crazy, we need to slow our thoughts down through meditation or yoga perhaps. If our life is sad, angry, or frustrating, we need to be kinder and more loving to ourselves through the thoughts we are thinking, and watch how everything external to us starts to change.

And most importantly, if we are looking for peace in the world, rather than running around trying to change everything outside of us, we must look inwards and seek to be more peaceful in our thoughts and feelings. We need to be the change we desire to see in the world.

You can see the Dalai Lama answering this specific question in the below You Tube clip around 2 hours 47.

Sending you lots of love, hugs and light,

Kat x x x

Inspiration for this post

Ethical Mindfulness in Everyday Life, The 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet Sydney Public Talk

It’s OK to have a wobble

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“If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.” 

– Dalai Lama –

We all have them.

Days when we’re not feeling 100% ourselves. Days when we look in the mirror and don’t like what we see there. Days when things just get on top of us and don’t seem to be going our way.

After all, we’re human.

The important thing to know is that everything will be OK. It’s fine to feel like this. In fact, really feel it. Really embrace whatever rubbish feeling you might have. Sit with it. Have a good cry, or get angry if you need to. Let it all out.

And then move through it and move on.

Move on and fill your body and your mind with good things. Healthy food, water, nice long deep breaths. Surround yourself with positive, happy people who you love or give someone a call who you know will make you feel better. But choose to let everything before it go, and be in this new positive moment.

Go and do something that you love, listen to your favourite music, go for a walk to your favourite thinking spot, somewhere that will inspire you. Watch a clip of one of your favourite comedians on You Tube, a video of cats doing hilarious things or one of a baby laughing hilariously at ripping paper. Anything that will remind you of the lighter side of life.

And remember that it’s OK to have a wobble. You’re human after all.

Inspiration for this post

My day today

Just say YES

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“Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.”

– Dalai Lama –

We watched Yes Man last night, and I had forgotten what an awesome film it is.

I got halfway through Danny Wallace’s book halfway through the 2000’s, but never finished it for some reason. If only I had been able to read my blog post JFDI back then. 🙂

Anyway, it’s a great book and film, mainly because of the sentiment.

The premise is that a guy starts to turn his unhappy life around by starting to say Yes to questions, rather than No, and karmically, good things begin to happen to him. And most importantly, after a few interesting experiences, he realises that he needs to be selective about the things that he says Yes to. He needs to follow his heart and say Yes to the things that really matter to him, when he perhaps once might have said No.

The Universe wants us to be happy. It wants us to live a life full of peace, joy and love and it is constantly giving us opportunities to experience these things. All we need to do is be willing to allow these experiences into our lives, so they can happen.

So, what do you need to say Yes to, that you have been saying No to, for too long? I promise you, you’ll be rewarded as a result.

Inspiration for this post

Yes Man the film

Yes Man the book by Danny Wallace