Blogs by Bahais

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After Yasi Blog Tour

Pearlz Dreaming

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After Yasi: Finding the Smile Within is going on a virtual book tour, commonly known as blog tour, blog hop or virtual book tour.  A big thank you to all those listed.

Best comments for each blog will be given a PRIZE, either a free copy of the ebook or a choice of a signed print of one of the photographs from the book. Would absolutely love it if you retweet, reblog and share this post – and the blog hop posts, to all your friends.

The After Yasi Blog Tour includes visits to:

Jan 27   (Tuesday) http://open.abc.net.au  ABC Open  (guest blog, June Perkins, storytelling tips)

Jan 27   Karen Tyrrell http://www.karentyrrell.com/

Jan 28 (Wednesday)  Dimity Powell (interview) http://www.dimswritestuff.blogspot.com.au/

Jan 29 (Thursday) Charmaine Clancy (guest blog) http://charmaineclancy.com/

Jan 30 (Friday) Michele D’Acosta https://micheledacosta.wordpress.com

Jan 30 Jedda Bradley  – (interview)https://www.facebook.com/jeddabradleyartist

Jan 31 (Saturday) Carol Campbell  (review) http://writersdream9.wordpress.com

Jan…

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The Rose of Good Health

Pearlz Dreaming

3128126270_9d64df43a0_oBy Angela Marie Henriette Some Rights Reserved

In a quest for wellness, and a past quest for my son’s sleeplessness as a babe – I  have found specifically recommended alternative health practitioners life savers.  After exhausting all other options first, I have turned to them for assistance, but perhaps I should have consulted them at the same time.  Easy to see that in hindsight.

Now having used cranial osteopathy as well a chiropractor (specialising in children) for my son, along with trying a life style and special diet oriented approach to my skin (alongside using vitamin supplementation) I am of the firm belief that health professionals of all denominations need to work more closely together and learn from each others’ wisdom.

A future world will surely see us go into wellness centres, rather than medical centres, and have access to a team who really talk with each other, to help…

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Why being flexible in the holiday season matters

Nourish Me Simply

With only 10 days to go until Christmas (and counting), the festive season can be challenging when it comes to making healthy food choices. Every year at this time, recipes and tips for eating nutritiously over Christmas pop up all over the web. While I admire the efforts of many of these authors, often I can’t help but think that:

a) Many of these recipes really don’t look particularly appetising. Enjoyment of food and feasting is important to all cultures, and we all need a “free pass” every now and again.

b) What you eat on one day of the year (1/365th of what you eat overall) doesn’t really make any difference to your overall nutrition. It’s what you eat on the remaining 364 days that counts.

Image courtesy of nuchylee at FreeDigitalPhotos.net Image courtesy of nuchylee at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Orthorexia is a word that has entered popular vernacular in the past few years. The ‘condition’ is about as legit as other nebulous…

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Nosh Magazine: Bringing some of Australia’s leading Dietitians to your computer

Ever a voice of reason and balance, Sonia on nutrition.

Nourish Me Simply

I often find my Facebook newsfeed and email inbox filling up with discussions around quacks who peddle misinformation and confusion around healthy eating. I’m not a fan of demonising an individual food or nutrient, and I’m certainly not a fan of the amount of money that such an overly-simplistic approach can make. But I’m also not keen on ‘bashing’ individuals for promoting these kind of approaches to eating. Personal attacks easily step into the realm of maliciousness, and I have never seen them to be very effective- they just get people’s backs up.

Adopting a more constructive approach and taking small steps to help others realign their approach to food, however… Now, that’s the way forward.

That’s why I was excited to come across Nosh a month or two ago, on another Dietitian’s blog, Cheering for Nutrition. Nosh is a new online magazine that is published by Australian Dietitians. All of its content comes from Accredited Practising…

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Exploring Fats. Part Three: Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Fish Oils.

Nourish Me Simply

This post has been a long time coming, but it’s also been one of the topics I’ve been most looking forward to exploring on this blog.

I try to put a reasonable amount of effort into researching each post that’s about nutritional science. This ensures that the information I’m giving you is accurate, but also gives me a valuable opportunity to read the latest research in depth, and contributes towards the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) that I have to do to be accredited as an APD anyway. I actually find writing these blogs helps to reinforce what I’m reading in the scientific literature, so even just from a self-centred point of view, it works well!

After finishing this series on fats, I’m actually looking forward to branching out a bit and looking at other aspects of enjoying healthy eating, such as recipes, tips, and overcoming barriers to eating healthily. We’ll see…

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New article at eDietitians.com: Healthy Bones

Congratulations to Sonia for her article over at edietitcians which she shares the link to in her latest blog.

Nourish Me Simply

Breakfast is a great opportunity to enjoy dairy foods as part of your daily routine. Milk yoghurt and cheese are some of the best food sources of calcium, a vital bone nutrient. Image courtesy of Joephotostudio / Free Digital Photos.net Breakfast is a great opportunity to enjoy dairy foods as part of your daily routine. Milk, yoghurt and cheese are some of the best food sources of calcium, a vital bone nutrient.
Image courtesy of Joephotostudio / Free Digital Photos.net

Sorry for being so quiet over the last month. But at the same time, you’ll be pleased to hear that I had a great time interstate with my parents. At the moment, I’m working on the final article in the three-part series on fats, this time on Omega-3. It’s a fascinating area of research to be exploring, and I really look forward to publishing the verdict here in the next few days.

In the meantime, my second article has been published over at eDietitians.com. This time, it’s on ‘Healthy Bones’ and how nutrition can help you maintain healthy bones for longer. With osteoporosis being such a major issue in post-menopausal women and men…

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Butter or margarine?

An interesting discussion on butter or margarine.

Nourish Me Simply

Butter or margarine? One of the many choices when it comes to food that seems to offer no easy answer.

The camps

If you’re from the butter camp, chances are you’re aware that margarine “is naturally grey” and is only yellow because of the “artificial colours” that are added. You might see margarine as a concoction of chemicals, full of trans fats (even worse than saturated ‘animal’ fats), and not “real food” that we are made to eat.

If you’re in the margarine camp, chances are that you know most of the fat in butter is saturated ‘animal’ fat, which is the type that raises cholesterol in your body. When visiting a friend who uses butter, you might be wracked with pangs of guilt, with images of clogged arteries speeding through your mind.

Or you might be sitting on the fence, waiting for a post like this to come along!

The facts

When it comes…

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My Creative Life

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At Tablelands Folk Festival 2013

I start this post with a revisit to 2013, which I think will be seen as a pivotal year in my life.

In 2013, I had the privilege to attend two wonderful national events in the arts: The Inaugural DANscienCE Festival in Canberra hosted by the CSIRO Discovery Centre; and the 5th International Arts and Health Conference in Sydney.

The DANscienCE Festival in August 2013 was eight (8) days of presentations and demonstrations of: the science of dance; scientific ideas that can speak to dance and movement art; and dance speaking for science. Dance with ecological and ornithological themes; dance as sociological research tools; dance for healthy ageing; fluid dynamics; cognitive studies; and dancer’s health.

I was asked to sit on a physiotherapy panel for an evening of presentations from 6 dance genres: ballet, hip hop, belly dance, hindu dance, african and contemporary (over 50s).  The evening was, professionally, a great experience, especially as my co-panellist, Roz Penfold has previously held jobs with the Australian Triathlon Team and Australian Ballet. Evidence to that evening’s success, Glen Murray of MADEinTasmania, Australia’s best over 50s contemporary dance company, reported that he was using ideas from our discussion in his classes. The most ironical presentation of the week came from Deakin University’s Movement Studio who revealed that the Playstation NRL game was animated from the actions of dancers who can represent rugby moves better than rugby players (except the crunching tackles).

The International Arts and Health Conference focused on: creative ageing and mental health, which found me in workshops with Circus Mojo from the USA and clown doctor GP Mark Spitzer, Dancing with Poetry in the NSW Art gallery (among the Nolan’s); writing for resilience with DeathTalker Molly Carlille; discussions on the design of nursing homes for happiness; conversations with the David Cutler,CEO Baring Foundation UK, Dominic Campbell Director Irish Beltaine Festival; UK Churchill fellow Paula Turner; Angela Lion of Arts Fission, Singapore; and many delegates who brought a wealth of experience and aspiration to the place of the arts in the health industry, hospitals, and  community well-being.

The conference coincided with public support from and his State and Territory counterparts, who endorsed a National Arts and Health Framework that was initiated by the Standing Council of Health Ministers in November 2011. As Federal and State Governments realize that there are not the resources to care for ageing ‘baby boomers’ unless there is a far greater increase in health and community support for the older person, it is becoming clear that the ARTS HAVE A HUGE CONTRIBUTION to make in all areas of health interventions and a healthy life.

Federal Health Minister, the Hon Peter Dutton MP, who endorsed a National Arts and Health Framework that was initiated by the Standing Council of Health Ministers in November 2011. As Federal and State Governments realize that there are not the resources to care for ageing ‘baby boomers’ unless there is a far greater increase in health and community support for the older person, it is becoming clear that the ARTS HAVE A HUGE CONTRIBUTION to make in all areas of health interventions and a healthy life.

In 2014, there is nothing more reassuring to me than working creatively, especially with movement and dance, but also writing, sound, and in the organising of children’s festival art programs. So, how did I come to this creative place?

With the 20/20 vision of hindsight, and with not a little humility, perhaps even some guilt, I now put my creative realisations down to the influence of the world working, of God, of everything. In saying that, I find myself in a posture of gratitude for all the gifts that I have been bestowed. Of these gifts, I now add, to the obvious talents of a competent intellect, the trials and tribulations of a lifetime.

It is still a mystery to me that with every force in the universe that broke my heart, a space was provided for my true education. For example, in the midst of some very tough years as a young teen in a boarding school, an English teacher arrived who opened up the whole sphere of creative writing, not as, ‘there’s a right way’ but as ‘there’s a way to turn any idea around and around, until something new and interesting and real comes up’. That same teacher ran two plays that I acted in during my school years.

Later, a maths teacher noted, ‘you can learn the formulae, or you can learn the principle from which the formulae derives’. The latter gives the right answer and requires memorization, the former gets to the right answer and requires conceptualisation and realisation.

Somehow I built a mind (I call it my laziness), to search for the key stone in things.

Later, during my Physiotherapy Undergraduate training I remember a lecturer, who later became highly recognised in the profession, remarking (an I paraphrase heavily) ‘It’s not a recipe. Here are your tools of analysis. Here are your tools of intervention. Your job is to come to each new person, seeing newly.’ Without that boarding school to educate a kid from a rural town, I would not have been exposed to the creative insights both in language, theatre and science that underpins my view of the world and my  place in it.

I am guilty of not always feeling comfortable in my profession. I often wanted out of the four walls that are the environment for such practice. I think there is no right or wrong answer, here, about what path to choose, just what became. And what became was that, whenever I tried to extract myself from the profession of physiotherapy, the world tested my resolve, and I found myself returned.

There is much to ponder about those tests. I now see them as ‘seemings’, as in there ‘seemed’ to be barriers, there ‘seemed’ to be no gain down a certain path. I say, ‘seeming’ because I now realise that our actions in the world rely upon how a number of factors ‘seem’ to us or as philosophers put it, how it occurs to us. How that world and the people out there, seem/occur. How I seem/occur to myself. And however it ‘seems’ that is how I/we act. Between the ‘seeming’ and the action is our ‘being’. In otherwords, if I seemed that there were barriers, and I seemed to myself that I was not equal to the challenge, then I might BE unenthusiastic, dismayed, and then my action would be to move to safer ground (my profession that is sure and sound).

On the other hand, my life had a continual spark of search for the way to that new way of seeing it all. Early in my adult life that lead to the Baha’i Faith. That lead to trekking in Papua New Guinea, to marriage, to raising three sons. As my sons where being raised, I found myself working on the problem of the isolated rural Baha’i teen with a few others. That lead to the development of a youth program that we called Uth Agents of Change (2001-2008). Under the direction of Farvadin Daliri, now Dr of Education and OAM, I found myself immersed in an arts based method for exploring the fundamental social principles of the Baha’i Faith.

The response of youth to the arts and the insights the formed in an easy manner through arts, inspired my to look at how I might bring the arts to the discourse and transformation of a rural community. Very early in that process (2007) I ran a children’s poetry writing workshop on request of June Perkins (our host on this blog who then lived in Tully, NQ). In 2008 I began creating space for that possibility by establishing a business vehicle for it, Phoenix Functions.

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Rehearsal for Out of the Box Theatre

Through Phoenix Functions, I have played with a few concepts attempting to bring knowledge to community through arts. These included an environmental play for children, “Cape York Critters and Wild Country’; and street events in my town of Atherton (The Child, Critters), and an evening by Architecture historian, Barry Rowney. While the earlier small events where okay, my action received enquiry from other agents who were looking for someone to organise for them, notably the Tableland Folk Festival who wanted a Children’s Festival Coordinator.

A couple of years into doing this, I was asked to organise a children program for the Cairns Festival. Meanwhile, June Perkins, myself and an actor, wrote a script writing workshop as discourse for community issues. Called ‘Out of the Box’ Theatre, I have kept this idea alive in various forms including providing as a workshop in the local rural community and taking an offshoot from it as an ‘Empathy’ workshop, to the MultiCultural Conference in Townsville in 2011. That same year I was asked to act in a local theatre production of ‘The Female of the Species”.

During those years, I began looking at my physiotherapy practice around bringing a creative perspective to maintaining activity with the older person. Following the design of a project I called, “Fake It’, a play on the idea of non-exercise, having fun or playing games with movement, I worked with members of the University of the Third Age to design ‘The Big Board Game‘. That project in particular gave me a great thrill as older men laughed through activities of their own design provoking one woman to remark, “I haven’t seen him laugh so much for many years.” While designed for the older person, I was provided the opportunity by Creative Cairns to host a children’s style of the Big Board Game at the Tanks Perfoming Arts Centre, Cairns, in March 2014. This foray into creative movement meant that, when I met contemporary dancer, Jess Jones, who wanted to do a project in 2011, I jumped right in there.

After that Jess, myself and Miriam Torzillo developed a contemporary dance in community project we called ‘Made2Move’. Our endeavours got noticed by AusDance who referred us to Liz Lea of Canberra Dance Theatre, who invited me to the inaugural DANscienCE Festival. Since then my own movement training and learning about facilitating contemporary dance creative class has continued through three further projects. And somewhere over 2011, 2102, I supported other artists run children multi-art workshop programs: ‘Flights of Fancy’; ‘Sound Structures’.

Recognising a certain ‘ceiling’ in my own capacity for networking with the larger number of people that I felt I needed to in this aspiration to facilitate the arts as a transformative process, in 2011 I undertook some courses from Landmark Education. This work certainly allowed me to accept the invitation to DANscienCE where I worked on a panel with a physiotherapist, Roz Penfold, who had been physio to the Australian Ballet Company and Australian Triathlon Team. In 2013-14 I attended the Landmark ‘Wisdom Course’ from which my view on ‘seeming’ has developed.

It was fabulous to be able to attend the Landmark Wisdom Conference in San Fransisco  in May 2014, and rub shoulders with 800 people who are asking how they can better contribute to the world. Particular to the creative process was a workshop of Sandy Robbins, who asked,”What if, instead of having rules about what people can say to us, we were open to listening to whatever anyone wanted to say to us, however they wanted to say”. The workshop that followed was amazing in its somewhat simple method but huge effect. I came away with the most wonderful new understanding about listening and a clear understanding why he is one of the USA’s lead actor coaches: huge humanity evoked through the arts.

As I now post this report, I have a Children’s Arts program to organise for this years Cairns Festival: another Children Festival for the Tableland Folk Festival. I am putting my support behind Liz Lea of Canberra Dance Theatre and organiser of the 2013 DANscienCE Festival, to organise another DANscienCE in 2015. And, towards that, I am hoping to organise a North Queensland day festival of DANscienCE as a lead into the Brisbane Festival.

My conclusion about my creative life, is that life outs, so hold on to the idea that the creative idea is the only idea. It’s power gives us all good things in every aspect of our life. And where it has no expression, well these spots of our life are our failures. Finally, love the failures, they point to the place that creativity is looking for a home.

(c) Owen Allen