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  • 7 Graces and The Road to Peace

    Posted Jun 20th, 2012 By in Blog With | 1 Comment 600banner2

    A Guest Post by Lynn Serafinn

    Dear Friends of Peace,

    My name is Lynn Serafinn, and I am the Founder of the 7 Graces Global Conference.

    I am writing today to extend you an invitation to attend this conference for free. But before I do, I need to tell you why I am doing this.

    Last night I attended the premier screening of Road to Peace, documentary film (and in my opinion, the definitive one) about the Dalai Lama and his message of Universal Responsibility.

    This remarkable film sprang from the inspired heart and talent of my dear friend, Leon Stuparich, who before my own eyes has transformed into what could only be described as a transparent and passionate cultural leader of the important message His Holiness speaks: that all the problems we face in the world—from economic to environmental to social justice—are of our own creation, which means we can also turn them around.

    But this turnaround can only happen when we understand that our worldwide unrest is not the result of political or religious disagreements, but rather unrest within each of ourselves. This means that true and lasting peace can only begin when each of us starts to walk on the road of peace within our own heart.

    In such a state of being, we can work collaboratively together, and invite an open dialogue for change based upon our common desire: to restore harmony, balance, abundance and love to people and planet.

    At the screening Leon mentioned that he is one of the speakers at the 7 Graces Global Conference, taking place in London and via interactive live stream this weekend on Friday June 22nd through Sunday June 24th. The aim is for people all around the world to participate in this important dialogue together, and to come away knowing they are part of a much bigger worldwide community of people who are committed to taking responsibility for positive change in the world.

    This conference is a project I started to being the dialogue of Universal Responsibility with particular focus on business, marketing and media. It is my opinion that the vast majority of our global problems are rooted in our consumer culture.

    Therefore, using the same logic shared by HH Dalia Lama, the key to finding solutions to those problems must also be possible when we begin a dialogue about how to transform the world of commerce so it embraces Universal Responsibility. Our key question needs to be: “How can we heal humanity and the planet by changing the way we sell?”

    The 7 Graces are a set of values that define the ingredients for this harmony and balance: Connection, Inspiration, Invitation, Directness, Transparency, Abundance and Collaboration. During this 3-day conference, our 9 guest speakers will be guiding our delegates through these 7 Graces, and engaging everyone, both in London and on live stream, in a worldwide dialogue about how we can bring these graces into our personal lives, our businesses, our communities and the world at large.

    You can read about the conference at http://the7gracesofmarketing.com/7GGC.

    On that page, you will see that the cost of attendance is listed as £275.

    However – I would like to invite you to…

    Attend The & Graces of Marketing Global Conference…
    For FREE!

    As I would like to offer a gift to all the peacemakers reading this letter: please come to this conference at NO cost.

    To accept this invitation, please fill in the form on this page:

    http://bit.ly/7GGC-Peace

    I would like to fill the room with people who are ready to become the change, and inspire the change in others. To show your sincerity about attending, I would ask (if you can) that you make some sort of contribution, according to what you can give freely and easily, to help defray the high cost of putting on such an event and the 3 vegetarian meals that will be served to everyone who attends.

    Any contribution is gratefully accepted, no matter how small. And even if you honestly cannot afford to offer a single penny, please come anyway. If you are passionate about this subject, I really want you there.

    And, to show my support for Leon’s work, when you make your contribution, I will also ask you to tell me how much it you would like me to donate to Leon’s Road to Peace Productions, so we can help him bring this film to schools, prisons, community groups and anywhere else this message is needed.

    If you would like to accept my gift, and join Leon, me and dozens of other peacemakers for the 7 Graces Global Conference, please fill in the form at http://bit.ly/7GGC-Peace before 12noon Thursday June 21st, so we have time to alert the venue and caterers you will be there.

    And if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at http://the7gracesofmarketing.com/contact

    Here’s to creating a more responsible world together.

    Warm wishes,

    Lynn Serafinn

    P.S.: If you would prefer to attend the Live Stream instead of coming to London for the conference, you can do that too.

    Just go to http://the7gracesofmarketing.com/7GGC and enter the coupon code road-topeace-50 and you can register at half price.

    This will give you access to all 10 interactive sessions during the conference, and to the video replays for 3 months!

  • Bonkers About Books

    Posted Apr 17th, 2012 By in Book Reviews With | No Comments dogbanner

    Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend.
    Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read!

    Groucho Marx

    With modern technology affecting all our lives, communication has become instantaneous and the internet has opened up a whole new world for us all.

    In many ways, progress is a good thing and I believe that we are incredibly fortunate to be living in one of the most exciting times of world history. However, there is one tradition that I hope will continue to be treasured by us all – the joy and pleasure of the World of Books.

    With the advent of the ‘Kindle’;  the book reading experience has joined the modern age and gone all ‘techie’. I agree  that it is a great tool for reading on the move…and a boon for backpackers who are often weighted down with kilos of books – I just wish it had been around when I went back packing a few years ago!

    However, I am delighted to report that following a recent ‘straw poll’ of my friends and family to ask how many would want to replace their beloved books with an electronic version of the same, the general consensus was that no piece of technology can replace the joy of curling up with a good book and that it wouldn’t be the same somehow (at least for those of us over the age of 25!) to snuggle up in bed with a good ‘Kindle!’

    There is something special and ‘touchy feely’ about the whole book experience…from perusing the shelves in the local book store or library; to making a selection and looking forward to some quiet time when we can switch off from the outside world and enter the world of inspiration contained within the pages of our chosen book.

    Books have their own special energy and unique smells. We like having them around to bring us comfort and security. Turning the pages to reveal the next exciting chapter is a real thrill. Books are our friends and our companions and we are never alone when we have a good book for company.

    A book that touches us in some deep way will remain in our memory forever. And when a book makes such an impression, we can often we can recall exactly where we were when we first read it.

    As you may have gathered by now, I am just BONKERS about BOOKS!

    Julie Bryant – Creator of Naked Dragon

    **********************************************************************************************************

    Naked Dragon are committed to promoting the joys of books and the pleasures of reading. We will be participating in World Book Night on 23rd April 2012 and will be giving away a copy of my favourite book – The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho -  to the first 24 people to book a ticket for John Whiteman’s talk – Creating Happiness from the Inside-Out – on Wednesday 25th April.

    For further information about John’s Talk, please click HERE

    And for further information about World Book Night, please click HERE

    **********************************************************************************************************

    Some final thoughts on our enduring love for books…

    To read a book for the first time is to make an acquaintance with a new friend; to read it for a second time is to meet an old one ~ Chinese Saying

    Books are the windows through which the soul looks out ~ Henry Ward Beecher

    The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it ~ James Bryce

    If there’s a book you really want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it ~Toni Morrison

    Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers ~ Charles W. Eliot

    Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it ~P.J. O’Rourke

    I find television to be very educating.  Every time somebody turns on the set, I go in the other room and read a book ~ Groucho Marx

  • Food for Thought

    Posted Mar 24th, 2012 By in Blog With | No Comments bannerfruit

    A Taste of Raw Food Heaven

    Three Vibrant and Healthy Recipes by the UK’s Leading Raw Food Coach Karen Knowler

    The Green Smoothie

    The Green Smoothie takes just three minutes to make, uses just two ingredients, can easily be considered a meal in and of itself, and will give you energy and taste to fuel you up for the next exciting activity!

    Serves: 1–2

    Equipment: Blender

    Ingredients

    1 large sweet and ripe mango (or 2 small ones)
    5–6 large handfuls of spinach

    Directions

    1. Chop your peeled mango into pieces and put into a blender first (it’s important that you put the mango in first, as it creates the juice which the spinach can be blended into).
    2. Wash your spinach thoroughly and add to the blender.
    3. Blend the two together thoroughly until a thick but bit-free consistency is achieved.
    4. Taste-test: If it’s not sweet enough for you, add 1–2dates or more mango. If it’s too sweet, add a bit more spinach.
    5. Finally, if you prefer your smoothie less thick, simply add water to reach desired consistency.
    6. When you’re happy with taste and texture, pour into a tall glass and swoon. Feel the green goodness flooding into you!

    Karen’s Tip

    I recommend that you make 2 pints worth (the above recipe will make roughly this amount) and drink one immediately and put the other into a pint glass and keep in the fridge until later in the day. The latter makes for a great afternoon ‘snack’ or satiating pre-dinner filler. Two in a day? It’s super-efficient, doesn’t take any extra time to make and you’ll be feeling so much better in no time at all!

    Fresh Strawberries Dipped in Raw Chocolate Sauce

    This treat is beautiful to look at, tastes divine, feels naughty – and is the perfect dish to share with a lover!

    Serves: 1–2

    Equipment: Food processor

    Ingredients

    Fresh strawberries (as many as you desire)
    1 cup raw cacao powder (cocoa powder also works but may be stronger)
    1 cup agave nectar

    Directions

    1. Wash your fresh strawberries well, taking care to leave the stalks on. (Sensual Eaters like the contrast!)
    2. Put your cacao powder and agave syrup into the food processor and blend until you have a thick, smooth, chocolaty mixture that is the same consistency all the way through.
    3. Place your strawberries in a medium-sized bowl and pour the chocolate dipping sauce into a smaller bowl in the middle.
    4. Enjoy by simply dipping the strawberries into the sauce and eating/sharing/feeding as many or few as desired.

    Karen’s Tip

    This sauce keeps brilliantly in the fridge for a few weeks, so make as much as you want and enjoy!

    Raspberry Passion Pudding

    This recipe is a dessert or summer brunch recipe that’s universally adored, can be decorated any way you like for the wow factor and, better still, takes only a couple of minutes to make. Well, we wouldn’t want to keep you from your guests now, would we?

    Serves: 1–2

    Equipment: Blender

    Ingredients

    3 cups frozen raspberries
    1 passion fruit (cut in half and seeds squeezed out, shell discarded)
    1 mango, peeled and pitted

    Directions

    1. Place the prepared fresh fruit into the blender first, then add the frozen raspberries on top.
    2. Blend all ingredients until the mixture is smooth and creamy with no lumps.
    3. Taste-test before serving. If too tart for your palate, add some honey or dates to your blend.

    Karen’s Tip

    Feel free to add any other fresh fruits of your choice and decorate as desired.

    Meet Karen at Naked Dragon


    If you are interested in learning more about the part that a raw food diet can play in creating a state of optimum health and well-being, you are warmly invited to come and hear Karen speak at Naked Dragon on Wednesday 28th March at 7.30pm.

    For further details and to book your ticket, please click HERE

  • Are You Truly Listening to The Angels?

    Posted Mar 1st, 2012 By in Blog With | No Comments ANGEL blog post

    A Guest Blog by Stewart Pearce

    The Angels of Atlantis want to drench our lives with their inter-stellar intelligence, suffused with the purity of their unconditional love.

    They hover, waiting to show us that we are simply much more than that we first thought, felt or imagined. For they wish to bring us into direct communion with The Source.

    They wish to diminish within us the notion that we are separate from the ALL THAT IS.

    So can you allow yourself to be bathed in their presence?

    The Angels use this extraordinary time to encourage us to reinvent the wheel – that is to shift our perspective from the fixation we have with being alone. They wish to recalibrate our vision, so that we feel the connectivity of the Galaxy, and they pledge assistance to our restless creativity for one measure only, to aid us in our relationship with the divine.

    A separation took place from the ALL THAT IS in the sixteenth century during the era known as the ENLIGHTENMENT, when the materialists flatly refused to honour that the Universe had a Soul.

    Ironically, this occurred just after the second most significant wave of Angels the planet had ever seen, that being the Italian Renaissance, when great Artists captured Angelic nature in their beautiful paintings.

    For example observe the Annunciation of Mary by Raphael, or the depiction of Heaven in the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo.

    Now the Angels are with us once again in another time of Renaissance, as many of us are feeling that we stand on the brink of a massive change, a shifting point of Divine proportion.

    You see the space between God and Man is decreasing, the light-years between the Galaxy and Planet Earth are diminishing, the chasm between the Light and the Dark is morphing, and the void between Love and Hate is lessening.

    Within this transition lies a path towards super-coherence – an opportunity to dispel the urge for separation, and instead we can become fifth-dimensional beings.

    Living thus, we will glimpse our soul’s inheritance as a portal to inclusivity – a transition that does not need to be accomplished alone.

    Although many of us have sought healing over the years, and have taken responsibility for our sorrows and pains, waking to the notion that healing means a movement back to wholeness; Jungian Analysis has brought us the compelling nature of individuation, and simultaneously produced a level of personal independence that can overly-control our lives. If so, we then wake to the notion that we’ve created another point of resistance and in this sense a false sense of exclusivity.

    The point is we don’t need to relinquish this resistance alone, for the Angels are stirring us through their eternal love to recognize that We and the Universe are evolving together.

    They urge that we imagine shades of experience, rather than the force of opposites, encouraging us to at last see ourselves free of limiting thought patterns. For in the fifth dimension we will feel ourselves forever experiencing the oneness of all as a heightened state of interdependence.

    Inevitably, this will alter our expression and understanding of the free-will arena, because the either/or perspective will become diffused into the ever-evolving Oneness of the eternal present.

    Not that duality will cease to exist, for if we are to truly know ‘freedom of choice’ – the motivational driver of our existence – this evolutionary trigger will need to be with us to diminish any passivity or inertia. Can you imagine what it will be like to see the world through the Eyes of Source?

    This is why the Angels refer to us as being the Dream Weavers of the Universe!

    Stewart Pearce (copyright)

    ***Stewart will be hosting an evening workshop at Naked Dragon on Wednesday 7th March***

    For further details and to book your ticket, please click HERE

  • Music – Life – Spirit – Love

    Posted Feb 9th, 2012 By in Blog With | No Comments Love

    A Guest Post by Russell Leak

    A note, a chord or a song can change your being. It can move you, lift you, make you cry…and even make you laugh out loud!

    Since ancient times music has been used to alter states and rouse nations. There’s something in music that goes way back in us, back to the shamans and the drums – back to the first person who worked out how to string a hollowed out log.

    Music has been a powerful and transformative part in my life and I used to believe it was the same for everyone. However, as I was vexing passionately to a friend about a new album from my favourite band he said “I’m not really into music…occasionally I just buy a tape for the car!” What???  I could hardly believe his total lack of interest in music. Then I remembered that he was also a football fan and that he used to sing his heart out every Saturday on the terraces!

    So I guess music really does touch us all – in one way or another…even if we are blissfully unaware of its powerful effects.

    Maybe because it’s wired in us in some way – woven into our DNA. Getting briefly technical; the Pentatonic scale consisting of 5 notes that can be heard in pretty much every culture of music including Chinese, Arabic, African, Blues…everywhere in fact. In those ancient caves, the ones with the animal paintings made by men from 20,000 years ago they found flutes made from a vulture’s wing bone, and low and behold; the scale is Pentatonic. Natures’ natural rhythms…the beat of the wing, the rhythm of the waves and the delicate chimes in the wind.

    Life itself has a natural rhythm too. It goes up and down. Sometimes we are happy, sometimes sad, and sometimes it throws us around so much we start to feel a kind of motion sickness. “I want to get off” or “I just want some stability,” we find ourselves saying. So we choose something quiet or gentle, we settle for less until the rhythm becomes a steady hum. At this point we might choose to get back on the ride and find a little excitement again. As one of my favorite song writers said “if their lives were exotic and strange, they would likely have gladly exchanged them for something a little more plain, maybe something a little more sane.”

    So through this chaos of life’s ups and downs, we start to look for a sign, a reason and a strategy for coping. We follow the wise words written by the ancients. We meditate knowing that we are searching to find ourselves. We remember those wise cracking gods who thought they’d have a laugh and store the secrets deep within us. How can we go looking inside for ourselves when the whole world is distracting us? It throws us daily emails, glowing lights and 3 minute videos! People start to say “With all this science and technology I don’t believe in God, I believe in matter, I want what’s solid, but I’m sure I have a soul somewhere…I have to have something more within me. Don’t I?”

    If you spoke to someone, just as they were turning off their bedside light at the end of a busy stressful day, and asked “What was your absolute best moment of the day?” I’m sure most would enthuse; “Well I had a real laugh working with my colleagues” or “I hugged my man as he realised he’d made a mistake” or “I kissed my sleepy child as she gave in and let the dreams take her” …or, some other wild and crazy act of love. Love is a mysterious and wonderful expression of our existence that makes us question, write, sing, express and confuse ourselves on a daily basis.

    With all these conflicting thoughts it’s sometimes hard to find calm in the chaos of our minds. Perhaps a song can transform us, maybe a book, a poem, or a smile.

    Or maybe a talk from a couple of crazy guys who have been around the block, learnt a bit about life – and want to share it with you!

    Russell Leak will be sharing the stage with Andy Dovey at Naked Dragon on Wed 15th Feb.

    For further details and to book your ticket, please click HERE

  • Finding Sanity In An Insane World?

    Posted Feb 1st, 2012 By in Mind Body Spirit Event Reviews With | No Comments nd banner

    A Guest Post by Andy Dovey

    Most of us would agree that we are living in incredibly challenging times, but how do we live through them successfully?

    What are the ‘impacts’ on us (emotionally, physically and socially) and what affect does this daily bombardment have on us?

    How can we mitigate the damage on ourselves from all these stimuli to our minds, bodies and souls?

    Russell Leak and I will be addressing all these questions (and much, much more!) at our Naked Dragon event on Wednesday 15th February – me through words in the form of a talk, and Russell through the medium of music in the form of his songs.

    As a practising clinical hypnotherapist, I have seen an growing number of clients of the past 5 years or so, who are experiencing increasing levels of stress and anxiety, the root cause of which is often fear – fear of losing a job, fear of not having enough money, fear of losing a home, etc. We are also subject to an environment of fear that may (or may not) be real – terrorism, war, pandemics, etc.

    The net result of all this is an almost constant stimulus of our adrenal systems (the flight-or-fight response) which has a number of profound effects on the individual, everything from compromised immune systems to chronic fatigue, and much more.

    My hypothesis is that we are not able to evolve fast enough as a species to cope with the world we live in, and this is placing us under more and more pressure that we are not designed to endure.

    So, what can we do about this? Come along on 15th February and find out!

    During the evening I will also look at how the world really works, taking a peek behind the veil that is projected to us via the media and government, to see how it really works and how we can maintain our sanity in an increasingly insane world.

    There will also be a demonstration of how everyone can use self-hypnosis to benefit themselves and reduce stress and anxiety.

    The event will be in 2 halves…

    My talk will be first, starting at 7.30pm. When everyone has had enough of me (☺) there will be an interval of about 15 minutes, and then Russell will start his Music/Life/Spirit/Love section, linking with some of the themes I will have been talking about.

    Russell is an incredibly talented songwriter and musician and, using modern technology, is able to be a true one-man-band. As a musician myself, I will join him occasionally on drums and percussion. Before playing each song, he will talk about the theme of the song, where his inspiration came from and the meaning of the song, so giving each piece a unique context that many listeners never experience.

    If all this sounds a bit ‘heavy’, yes it is in parts, but we guarantee there also will be a lot of fun and laughter as both of us don’t take ourselves too seriously! Amongst the sober facts there will be many lighter moments of banter, self-deprecation and audience participation.

    So, come along for some enlightenment, some fun and be prepared to get involved!

    For full details of this exciting event, please click HERE

  • A Little Something to Help You Make the Most of 2012

    Posted Jan 23rd, 2012 By in Blog With | No Comments 2012

    A Guest Post by Davina MacKail

    Between now and the full moon on February 7th is a great time to manifest your intentions for the year.

    It’s great to set your big goals and dreams in motion. But I’d like you to focus on something else as well. Something far more important to your daily flow of peace and joy and something that is far more likely to help you ultimately achieve your big dreams.

    That something is “What you LOVE to do“.

    It’s extraordinary how often we ignore this even when we think we’re actually doing it.  Often we’re so focussed on our big dream we forget our daily happiness.

    To connect with what you LOVE find a time when you’ll be undisturbed and sit with yourself.  Spend a few minutes just relaxing. Take a breath in above your head and exhale below your feet and repeat a few times.  Now with your non-dominant hand resting on your heart to remind you of where this information is coming from ask yourself “What do I really LOVE?” and keep asking yourself until you can tune in to that energy and get the flow going.

    Relax and allow time for this exercise.  If you’ve been really out of touch with yourself lately it’ll take a while for you to remember what you really love – not what you think you should love or achieve or have but what you REALLY LOVE deep down in your soul.

    To give you an idea, some of the things that I truly LOVE in life include;

    Walking in the woods

    Playing my drum

    My morning cappuchino especially if my husband goes to get it for me:)

    Afternoons curled up reading a novel

    Going to the cinema

    Catching up with good friends

    Rainbows

    Hugging trees

    Dancing by myself

    Making up silly songs whilst driving

    Long, indulgent bubble baths…

    Once you unleash your soul there’ll be no stopping you!

    You’ll also discover that what your soul loves rarely costs much money – so this is a gift you can truly afford. Capture all your deep loves in a notebook and promise yourself that:-

    2012 will be the year you give yourself the pleasure of something you truly love every single day.

    I wish you all a truly joyful and courageous 2012

    Davina has a wealth of inspirational workshops lined up for 2012. For further details, please click HERE

  • Happy Chinese New Year of The Dragon!

    Posted Jan 23rd, 2012 By in Latest News With | No Comments New Dragonbanner

    Welcome to the Chinese New Year of
    The Black Water Dragon

    People born under the Dragon are Passionate, Brave and Self-Assured!

    Chinese New Year celebrations last 15 days; from the first day during a new moon – to the full moon on the 15th day. Each day holds a special significance that varies according to local traditions. It is a time when families get together and feast on specially prepared food.

    The Chinese New Year is a chance to leave the problems of the previous year behind. It is important to start the New Year fresh – so make sure that you clean your house and buy new clothes.

    In the West, the Dragon is seen as a fierce creature that breathes fire and destruction, but the Chinese Dragon is a benevolent animal that is revered as a protector against evil.

    There are a several legends as to how the animals were chosen for the Chinese zodiac – including this charming story…

    “Long ago, in China, the Jade Emperor decided there should be a way of measuring time. On his birthday he told the animals that there was to be a swimming race. The first twelve animals across the fast flowing river would be the winners and they would each have a year of the zodiac named after them.

    ‘Of course’ said the kind Ox. ‘Just climb on my back and I will take you across.’

    The Rat and the Cat quickly jumped up and were very excited when the Ox soon took the lead in the race. They had almost reached the other bank when the Rat pushed the Cat into the river leaving him to struggle in the water. Then just before the Ox was about to win the race the Rat leapt on his head and on to the bank to finish first!

    ‘Well done,’ said the Jade Emperor to the proud Rat. ‘The First Year of the zodiac will be named after you.’

    The poor Ox had been tricked into second place and the Second Year of the zodiac was named after him.

    Shortly after, the exhausted Tiger clawed his way to the river bank to claim third place. Swimming across the river had been an enormous struggle for him against the strong currents. The Emperor was so delighted with his efforts that he named the Third Year after him.

    Next to arrive was the Rabbit, who hadn’t swum across at all. He’d just hopped across on some stepping stones and then found a floating log which carried him to the shore.
    ‘I shall be very happy to call the Fourth Year after you,’ said the surprised Jade Emperor.

    Just then a kind Dragon swooped down to take fifth place.

    ‘Why didn’t you win the race, as you can fly as well as swim?’ the Jade Emperor asked.

    ‘I was held up because some people and animals needed water to drink so I needed to make some rain,’ the Dragon explained. ‘Then when I was nearly here I saw a poor little Rabbit on a log in the water and I blew a puff of wind so that the log would float to the river bank.’

    ‘Well that was very kind of you and now you are here you will have the Fifth Year of the zodiac named after you.’

    The next thing the Jade Emperor heard was the sound of the Horse’s hooves. Just as he was thinking the Horse would be the next animal to arrive, a sneaky Snake wriggled out from around one of the Horse’s hooves. The Horse was so surprised that he jumped backwards giving the Snake a chance to take the sixth place in the race. The poor Horse had to be satisfied with Seventh place.

    Not long afterwards a raft arrived carrying the Goat, the Monkey and the Rooster. They explained to the Emperor how they had shared the raft that the Rooster had found. The Goat and Monkey had cleared weeds and pushed the raft to the shore. The Emperor was very pleased that the animals had worked together. He said the Goat would be the Eighth zodiac animal, the Monkey the Ninth and the Rooster the Tenth.

    The next animal to finish was the Dog. ‘Why are you so late when you are one of the best swimmers?’ asked the Jade Emperor.

    ‘The water in the river was so clean that I had to have a bath on the way,’ explained the Dog.
    His reward was to have the Eleventh year named after him.

    Now there was one place left in the zodiac and the Emperor wondered when the last winner would come. He had nearly given up when he heard a grunt from the Boar.

    ‘You took a long time to cross the river,’ said the Emperor to the Boar. ‘I was hungry and stopped to eat,’ explained the Boar. ‘After the meal I felt so tired that I fell asleep.’ ‘You have still done well,’ said the Jade Emperor. ‘The Last Year of the zodiac will be named after you.’

    As for the Cat who had been pushed into the water by the Rat – he finally crawled out of the water but was too late to have a year named after him. He felt very cross with the Rat and since then Cats have never been friends with Rats!”

    From that day to this the Chinese Zodiac has followed this cycle of years named after these twelve animals.

    HAPPY NEW YEAR!

    To read more about what 2012 has in store for The Year of The Black Water Dragon, please click HERE

    If you would like to find out your Chinese zodiac sign, please click HERE

  • Enter The Dragon!

    Posted Jan 19th, 2012 By in Latest News With | No Comments BlackWaterDragon

    The Year of
    The Black Water Dragon

    The Year of The Black Water Dragon begins on January 23rd 2012 and continues until 9th February 2013.

    These special Water influenced years are notoriously erratic in their outcomes, but nevertheless are considered fortunate time periods.

    These Dragons indicate a transformational time for world events and important turning points for individuals – as well as a high degree of good luck. The calm perceptive nature of the Water Dragon will make it a good year that should also incorporate a few surprises.

    Dragon years in Chinese Astrology are usually noticeable times of change when they involve Dragons associated with the other elements of Earth, Metal, Wood or Fire.

    When, as in the case of the Year 2012, Water is the driving element influence, it still brings with it transformations – but they are calmer. This is because the Water Dragon has more patience than the other Chinese Dragons and is not so reckless in his decision making.

    He prefers to evaluate situations before taking action and his domination of the Year 2012 will introduce only essential important changes. These may be when you least expect them, but you can be assured that they will be beneficial in the long term. Adjustments in society structures and peoples world views and development are highlighted during a Water Dragon year.

    All years of The Dragon have a traditional association with new beginnings, happiness and good fortune – and 2012 is no exception!

    The Chinese consider Dragon years to be the best times to get married, have children or start a business. There are lots of positive energies for growth at work in 2012 courtesy of the Water Dragon’s influential progressive spirit.

    The Water element influencing this Dragon calms him long enough for him to emit his aura of positivity and direct it sensibly rather than recklessly. His influence will be concentrated in the right places and directed at those who will benefit the most from his lucky air of wisdom.

    In a Water Dragon led year everyone should be inspired to contemplate the grasping of new opportunities and directions that may present themselves in 2012.

    2012 promises to be a dynamic year with plenty of changes underway and the Water Dragon has a valuable message. He advises us to ensure we resolve old issues during this time and to aim to build strong new foundations.

    The first few months of the Year of the Water Dragon will appear to be quiet and quite uneventful. Once the Spring arrives in 2012 this Dragon’s influence will be at its peak as this is this mythical creature’s favorite season. We will be reminded of our weaknesses and how to be resourceful and adaptable when faced with difficult challenges.

    The period around May the 20th to the 18th of June will see the appearance of a Dragon Moon. This is when a Water Dragon’s perception is at its most intense and so creates a fortunate time to begin planning anything for the future. This short lunar period’s luck for initiating actions applies equally to society as a whole and to individuals.

    The Summer and Autumn of the 2012 Water Dragon year is predicted to be filled with a steady flow of additions, corrections and positive developments. This is as the Dragon prompts adjustments and improvements with a sway towards less dependence on artificial foods and materials.

    The remainder of 2012 is destined to be quieter giving a time of reflection to assess the first results of any changes.

    This quiet year end may have a couple of unexpected occurrences that although unanticipated, are forecast to improve our environment. Any ideas generated in this favorable timespan are likely to be groundbreaking and highly advantageous to mankind’s future.

    There are plenty of ways to take advantage of a Water Dragon’s reign on the year if we trust his intuitive vibes of optimistic fearless progression.

    His message of reassessing situations and determinedly moving forward will make 2012 a year to remember for the enrichment of knowledge and understanding in many areas of life.

    Article adapted from 2012 Chinese Year of Dragon

    ***A Limited Selection of Prints of The Black Water Dragon, signed by artist Bill Brouard, are available through Naked Dragon***

    Please email: namaste@nakeddragon.co.uk for further details of how to obtain your print

  • The Gift of Our Dark Side

    Posted Nov 12th, 2011 By in Blog With | No Comments connectingwithourshadowselves

    Guest Post by Davina MacKail

    How do we manage to develop a dark side after landing on this planet in all our abundant glory?

    Watch any toddler. They can be happy, angry, sad, and giggling all in the space of a few minutes.  They don’t hold on to, or repress their feelings. They fully express themselves in the moment.  They exude 360 degrees of radiance.

    Then the trouble starts!

    As we grow, we get socialised into our cultural karma. We’re taught by our parents, teachers, neighbours and peers, the “right” way to behave.  We learn by direct communication and indirect influences, the differences between right and wrong – as imposed by our culture.

    Such messages as “boys don’t cry” or “good girls sit with their legs crossed,” become ingrained into our malleable young minds until they become part of how we are.  We learn quickly that certain behaviours get rewarded – and others get punished.  There will always be a small majority of escapees; the rebel drop outs and anarchists amongst us. But the majority of us opt for the easy life of reward for good behaviour.

    But those hidden aspects of ourselves don’t just disappear. They simply get tucked away, deep inside – repressed – or at least unexpressed. We’d be lying if we denied experiencing those emotions and feelings we may not publicly admit to; jealousy, anger, fear, vulnerability, guilt, shame – and a myriad others.

    Instead, these unacknowledged aspects show up in our external environment. The handy thing about living in a holographic universe is you get to see all of yourself mirrored constantly in everything around you.  This is especially true of our relationships; in particular those closest to us, and certainly in those who annoy us, or who we deem to be our enemies.

    Shadow relationships are instantly recognisable; even if we don’t always understand the reflected messages. They’re the ones who produce an excessive energetic reaction. The ones who make you feel out of control as your internal feelings conflict with your need to be well behaved.  Your cultured mind argues that you have no right to your negative emotions, but the churning in your stomach says otherwise.

    We don’t understand these emotions, and feel “bad” about having them; especially when the person isn’t really doing anything “wrong”. It’s just that their very existence irritates us.  As a result of our reward and punishment cultural conditioning, we tend to blame the person who’s “pushing our buttons.” It’s “their fault!” We’re just minding our own business!

    It’s an insidious plot – although it looks plausible.  Friends and family will offer their support.  People will take sides, and inflamed emotions will escalate; robbing us of our energy and creative power.

    Yet that person who’s irritating us is a huge gift. They are kindly mirroring aspects of ourselves that we’ve disowned or made unconscious. To paraphrase master psychologist Carl Jung, “Until we bring the unconscious – conscious – it will rule our lives and we will continue to call it fate”.

    By recognising and owning for ourselves the behaviours we see reflected in others, we experience the truth that there is no other and nothing goes one way.  This releases us to be more fully realised within our authentic selves.  Only then can we regain our creative energy and power and live the lives we were born to live.

    For full details of Davina’s One-Day Workshop on 19th November – please click HERE

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