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My Latest Online Articles

My last post on New Beginnings – Online Writing started off a snowball effect of articles. First of all, the concept of Deliberate Practice inspired me and I created a plan for regular writing to achieve the 10,000 hours.

I have started two blogs since on blogger.com and published four articles online on hubpages.com.

Deliberate Practise Blog – I will be writing posts on how I am going about doing ‘deliberate practise’ (British spelling), the factors involved in achieving it. This will be once a week.

The Theosophic Life Blog – This will be about applying Theosophical Principles in daily life based on the meetings we have at the local branch of the Theosophical Society. It is a good way for members to be in touch and for me practice my writing as well!

My four articles:

5 Books That Have Helped Me Take the Next Step

Free Apps to Avoid Eye Strain – Mac and Windows

Content Writing – Marketing Through Blogging, Ebooks and Websites

Early Childhood Education – Nurturing the Magic

I even co-authored one article with my husband:

Active and Passive Approaches to Investing on the Share Market

That equals to 9 hours 30 minutes so far on my deliberate practise clock.

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New Beginnings – Online Writing

Life has come full circle in the last three years. I am again inspired to write and write regularly. It is going to be almost four years since I came to New Zealand and I have learned a lot here.

I recently learned that to become world-class at anything a person must put in a minimum of 10,000 hours of deliberate practice in his or her chosen field. I have decided it will be writing in my case.

This year I will be focusing on developing my online writing, creating e-books, content writing for websites and of course making money online. The opportunities on the internet have changed tremendously and I am looking forward to explore its potential.

So I am back with a bang after a gap of more than a year.

Watch this space!!

St Francis of Assisi – His Compassion

The last few days I have been reading the biography of St Francis of Assisi. I have waited many years to find one and recently a friend lent me a book with beautiful illustrations. As I read the many pages I was inspired by his life and one incident stood out that has made a deep impression on me. I would like to share it and am quoting exactly from the book, Francis of Assisi and His World – Mark Galli:

Furthermore, Francis encouraged his brothers [of his order] to go to one another for help and guidance: ‘Let each one confidently make known his need to another that the other might discover what is needed and minister to him.’ This rule may have arisen because the early brothers were striving heroically, but often silently, about their spiritual struggles. But, as Francis reminded the brothers, they should be able to count on one another’s compassion: ‘Let each one love and care for his brother as a mother loves and cares for her son in those matters in which God has given him grace.’

Francis illustrated this early on, while the brothers were still at Rivo Torto. They were in the middle of a particularly severe fast when, one night around midnight, one of the brothers cried out, ‘I’m dying! I’m dying!’ The other brothers woke up, startled and frightened.

‘Brothers, get up and light a lamp,’ ordered Francis. When the lamp was lit, he asked, ‘Who was it who said, “I’m dying”?’

After the brother, probably sheepishly, identified himself, Francis asked, ‘What’s the matter, brother? Why are you dying?’

‘I’m dying of hunger,’ he said.

Francis immediately ordered that the table be set, and they all ate a meal together with the brother. When they were done eating, Francis said, ‘My brothers, I say that each of you must consider his own constitution, because, although one of you may be sustained with less food than another, I still do not want one who needs more food to try imitating him in this… Just as we must beware of overindulgence in eating, which harms the body and soul, so we must beware of excessive abstinence even more, because the Lord desires mercy not sacrifice.’

Francis tempered his demand for obedience, then with mercy.

———–

I hope this incident in his life serves as an example for us to emulate in our own lives.

A Tribute to My Mother on Mother’s Day

Here in New Zealand we have already celebrated Mother’s Day. I would like to share some thoughts on how much I appreciate my mother being a mean mum.

We need more mean mums. I read a whole poem about it. And I am glad I had one. Today I read a quotation in a little book I bought for my mother:

‘My mother is a lady who has had a lot of problems in her life.

Most of them me …’ — Diana Briscoe

I laughed softly when I read this. It applies to our relationship so perfectly. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t remember my mother with gratitude for all that she has done.

Photo with My Mother and Husband

With Mom on our Engagement Day

Another quotation that touched my heart was:

‘She is soaked through everything I see. I look at my face in the mirror, at my mannerisms, the veins in my hands and realize she will always be with me.’

— Harriet Walter

Though she is far away in India and I am in NZ, I feel close to her and thanks to the telephone we can keep in touch regularly.

My mother was strict when it came to our character building. So we had a long list of do’s and don’ts. It was painful when we had to follow all those rules but now in hindsight I am grateful for those restrictions. When I read nowadays about how kids need the adults to define the boundaries for them, I see how important all my mother’s rules were.

Thank you God for a wonderful mum.

Learning HTML

It is really exciting to learn HTML. Last couple of days has seen me doing all the HTML coding exercises given in a book called How to do Everything with HTML by James H. Pence.

I feel more confident now. It helps you create a HTML Reference Library in a step by step process so you build on the tags you have learnt. I was able to add my own code to format the page in a way that I will find helpful later. It is like having an offline website for reference.

Tigerfernz home page banner

Web Banner for the Tigerfernz.com website

I am looking forward writing the code for my company website www.tigerfernz.com which I have been designing in a publishing software. I have named the website TigerferNZ Studio. However, in the meantime I have built the website using iWeb on my Mac computer to get things moving.

It is always a good idea to have the layout and design ready before sitting down to write HTML and CSS code.

Web Design skills

The last couple of months has been exciting and interesting. I have been trying my hands at HTML and CSS. It is important to know these languages if I have to have control over my web designs.

I find CSS is similar to other publishing software in the sense that it gives more control over the layout. That is what inspired me to learn the basics of coding. It is important to have control over your design. I thought that it is like learning all about the material and technique of stone carving if you want to be a good sculptor.

I have also been designing web graphics and corporate identity packs. I have also been concentrating on establishing our company called Tiger Fern Ltd and its website www.tigerfernz.com that I have uploaded has only one page which I created on iWeb. Our friend Malcom suggested I put it up so that the search engines can start finding it. Once I am ready with the whole website I can just update it. I am looking forward to doing the HTML coding and layout with CSS for the whole website in the near future.

It is wonderful how many resources you can find to teach yourself new software. I tried many different books and one of the best I found is the one called HTML and CSS in 24 hours by Sams Teach Yourself series. Now I was stunned to see the title because I wondered how one could learn something so time consuming in a day. But when I looked closely I found that the chapters were divided into one hour lessons. I felt that this would be a good way to learn and I was right.

I have done 12 hours of lessons, another half of the book to go.

Practise makes perfect, there is no substitute for that.

Watching the Ego

Today in our study group of the book A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle, we started on the third chapter ‘The Core of Ego’. It was a most interesting session. Many things that we take for granted were revealed to be a form of conditioned consciousness, a human dysfunction. When we assume we are leading a conscious life, have an idea of who we are and what we want, we are actually ‘unconscious, spiritually speaking’.

The phrase ‘unconscious, spiritually speaking’ hit us like a sudden bolt of lightning! Here we all are thinking we are leading intelligent lives, when all the time we are just a bundle of memories, thoughts and emotions that we identify with as ‘me and my story’, of role playing and thinking we belong to collectives such as to a nation, religion, race, social class, or political allegiance. We also identify with things, opinions, appearances, resentments, or think of ourselves better or not good enough according to our state of mind. Are we really conscious of all this in our daily life?

‘The content of the ego varies from person to person, but in every ego the same structure operates…. They live on identification and seperation.’

That is proof that human beings are alike everywhere. I wonder why we try to prove we are unique. The very act of trying to prove ourselves unique is the common ground on which we all stand. None of us is different underneath. Now that is something hard to digest.

Complaining and Resentments

Under this subheading, Tolle discusses how the ego tries to strengthen itself by complaining and harboring resentments. We are very quick in assigning labels to people, things, situations and even the weather. Never satisfied in the way things are, we always try to think that things would be better if it was some thing else.

We seem to take everything that happens to us personally and that is the root cause of the strengthening of the ego. The only way to dissolve it is to be aware of it and recognize it for what it is and remember to be impersonal.

As an exercise it was decided that in the coming week we would watch ourselves whenever we complain about something. I said, I would actually write it down in a journal and share it with the others!! Let us see how that goes…