Sunday, February 4, 2018

Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston talks bad at the National Theatre

Bryan Cranston who played Walter White in the television drama Breaking Bad took on the role of a mad television reporter at the National Theatre. The London Critics' Circle theatre awards has recognised his brilliant performance. He won the best actor award for his role as Howard Beale.

One of his character's standout lines in the play is:
"I don't have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It's a depression. Everybody's out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel's worth, banks are going bust, shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there's nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there's no end to it. We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TV's while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that's the way it's supposed to be. We know things are bad - worse than bad. They're crazy. It's like everything everywhere is going crazy."
The other line you're likely to notice is:
The 1976 film which is now a play might strike a chord with the audiences of today. What does it say about progress? What does it say about our world?

So what can we do about our world today? How can we change it for the better? People have been feeling empowered and disenchanted about the past, present and future.

The answer lies in each and everyone of us. We need to question why we do what we do, how we live and our values. If we decide that we want to make a difference then we can. It takes brave people to try to make things better for themselves and others. We have seen that in the women who have spoken up about sexual harassment. We have seen it in the way people have voted for change. What we do each and every day can be a movement and progress to a brighter better world.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Helen Dunmore - the Costa winner on legacy and life

Before her death in June last year, Helen Dunmore wrote the article facing mortality and what we leave behind. Dunmore and her characters remind me how ordinary people live extraordinary lives. There are those who are recorded in history books. Then there are people like you and me. We are all unique and special. We have experiences and stories told in diaries, photoes and snippets over Sunday family dinners.

Her death from cancer also nudges us to take a step back and consider who we want to be and how we want to live our lives. What do we want to be remembered for? What if our time runs out when we turn 64?

A powerful article I read years ago written by a palliative nurse, Bronnie Ware, identified the top five regrets of the dying. It is essentially about following your dreams, investing in your happiness, family and friends. In a world which is about staying connected and the ease of travel, it is funny how little time we truly spend with those we love. We have all these time saving conveniences but less time to truly be happy and achieve what we really want in life. What is holding us back? How can we change this?

Many years ago, I attended a workshop taught by Helen Dunmore. She was a warm and kind woman who inspired me with her novel about mermaids and mermen. I love that she wrote for children and adults in different genres, and she was a poet too. Helen Dunmore - thank you for your great contribution.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Reflections for a happier and healthier you

We need to invest more in reflections. It's important to think about where we have been and what we have done. Then we can build on our fortunes and learn from our experiences.

When I think about last year, the year before that, 3 years or even 10 years ago, I am amazed and feel so lucky. There have been lots of downs but also lots of ups.

This blog has helped me to develop my identity and writing voice. It may have even helped others as I have had thousands of viewers from around the world. That's pretty good since I don't promote it and very few friends or family know about it. This blog has been a collection of my reflections. It is the modern day diary which genuinely tries to seek and show truth. I would encourage you to spend some time reflecting and really invest in yourself to help you find even greater happiness and health.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Turn a bad day into a good one

This morning started off badly. I woke up thinking about all the things which were troubling me.

By lunch time, somehow my day had turned around. So what changed?

1. I did a meditation class. I learned about both self-compassion and compassion for others. 

2. I read about the importance of dreams. Paul McKenna's 'change your life in 7 days' is giving me a fresh perspective. 

3. I received messages from friends. Maybe it's the universe's way of saying you are not alone.

It's important to remember when you are feeling down that things change. You won't feel down forever. There are great things in your life. You can make yourself feel better, you can change your circumstances and the universe will send help too. Feel empowered, realise a bad day can become a good day and make it happen.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

January - a time of new beginnings

January - it's the time for new beginnings. It might be you are starting or thinking about a new project, relationship or just about wanting to be happier.

In our busy lives, it is easy to be distracted by all sorts of fun frivolous amusements. The internet, social media, box sets, computer games and the list goes on. However if we write down our goals or reflect on our death bed, would we wish we spent more or less time on these things?

We also live with so much fear and anxiety these days. It's hard to remember the ebbs and flows of life which is never always down or up. There is constant change. How do we deal with these challenges? How can we make the best of what we have and achieve even more?

For 2018, I have started on my next project. A long haul flight facilitated this and prevented furthet procrastination. I've realised the way forward for me involves three things. These are reflection, planning and just working to make it happen.

We are now half way through January and before long it will be the beginning of February. It's a new year and a chance to make sure you don't look back on 2018 and wish you had done more. Good luck with your goals and plans. May you find success in your journey. Wishing you beauty, health and happiness.