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When we  look at Violence at any level, we can see what Despicable, Barbaric Brutes we Humans can shamefully be.

Violence and Bullying are about the exploitation of Power differentials

The average child has witnessed over 33,000 acts of violence on television.

One in three of Australia’s state school principals was physically attacked or witnessed physical violence in their workplace last year.

Can we possibly imagine another issue that destroys the lives of so many being treated with such neglectful silence?

Some individuals and groups are certain that violence in video games actually causes people to become more violent, angry and aggressive in the real world.

Silence hides Domestic Violence

Expose the Dirty Secret of Domestic Violence and Animal Abuse 

People take a firm stand and express Zero Tolerance to all Violence

THERE IS NO EXCUSE TO ANY FORM OF VIOLENCE – THE PEOPLE OF AUSTRALIA NEED TO SAYS NO! VIOLENCE STOP NOW!

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This article taken from SBS News by Rebecca Shaw highlights what an epidemic Violence has become in our country and around the world. There tends to be a silent acceptance in society that violence is the norm and its not my problem. Well, its everyone’s problem and denial will not make it go away. People behaving badly can no longer be tolerated full stop.

People need to be held accountable for their appalling behaviour and know there will be serious consequences for it. We have a human responsibility to behave respectfully and understand we have no right to violate anyone. Every adult knows what is right from wrong and when they choose to behave in a violent manner, they need to know society will not tolerate violent abusive behaviour in any form.

We can no longer tip toe around this urgent issue, we need to deal with it head on and we need to do it now!

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We should not stand by and watch our neighbours get abused, and we shouldn’t stand by and let our governments get away with inaction and detrimental cuts.

When you live in a small two-bedroom unit in a row of units, above another row of units, the way people act in their homes can affect your life.

In such close proximity, you experience much of what they do on a day-to-day basis. Their cigarette smoke drifts from their balcony into your windows. The sounds from their television overpower yours; their music might wake you up at 1am on a Tuesday morning.

But it’s not all bad. Perhaps the smell of your chef-neighbour’s Indian cooking next door will tantalisingly drift into your lounge. Maybe, if you are lucky, they will bring you leftovers and their little daughter will laugh at you struggling with the spice levels she has been eating since she was a baby.

Sadly, most new neighbours don’t change your life for the better. Each and every time someone moves into one of the units, you feel impending dread imagining the new ways a stranger might influence your time in your home. Usually it’s just small annoyances that are easy enough to ignore. Sometimes, it’s not.

One January, a new couple moved into the unit below the one I shared with my girlfriend. Neither of us had seen them move in, nor had we seen them in the few weeks they lived there. Up until this night, they’d been fairly quiet and unobtrusive. It was about 8pm on a Tuesday night when a man started yelling. I couldn’t make out what he was saying, but he sounded very mad.

Every so often I could hear a woman respond, crying. I was immediately on high alert. At first it can be difficult to judge what is actually happening in these scenarios, because sometimes people argue. Still, I think we should always be overcautious in intervening when it comes to the safety of women. And it soon became clear that this wasn’t an argument over who did the dishes last.

At this point my girlfriend and I were discussing if the yelling warranted calling the police, when we heard a loud smash. That decided it. The police were called, the woman on the other end asking for details of which I knew none. I remember being asked, “Does he have a weapon?” There is no way I could have known this without seeing them, but I remember thinking: an angry grown man is a weapon.  I would learn to say, “he could,” in the coming months, in hope of making them arrive sooner.

I hung up and waited for the cavalry to arrive. The yelling continued, the smashing continued. Then came the unmistakable sound of an open hand smacking against flesh. There was no waiting for the cavalry anymore. I grabbed a baseball bat from the closet and went down the stairs, my girlfriend behind me, ready to call 000.

Around me, there was no movement or noise from any of the other flats. There is no doubt in my mind that other people were listening to this. We would soon realise that almost nobody else wanted to get involved, and never did. Yes, there was no way of knowing what would happen if you knocked on that door. It’s scary. But I did know what would happen if I didn’t knock on it. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself.

So I did, the yelling stopped, and a woman of about 19 eventually came to the door, in tears, her face red. Behind her, a pacing and angry young man of about 19. I told her that I’d called the police and they were on their way. I asked her if she wanted to come with us upstairs, or if she had somewhere she wanted us to take her. She didn’t want to leave. I stayed until the police came about 45 minutes later, talked to them both, and then left.

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So this was the pattern over the next few months. It happened about once a week. He would start to yell, I would immediately go down and knock on their door and ask if I should call the police. He would push past me and silently leave. We would talk to her about her options. There was no pushing and no judgement, just letting her know that she would have support in whatever she decided. We told her she wasn’t alone, and gave her information for support services that could help her if and when she so chose. She would respond by running through the common adages, “…he isn’t like this all the time”, “…he only smashes his own possessions”, and the hardest one to contest of all, “I love him”, but always also admitting that she should probably leave.

One night he started yelling at her and pushing her around while two of his friends were visiting. That night I yelled at the other two 19-year-old men on the stairs about what on earth they were doing standing back and watching this happen. They explained to me that I didn’t see how she ‘pushed his buttons’. Then they told me if a man treated their sister like that they would kill him. I tried to make them see the disconnect, but it was fruitless. Sometimes he would come back later at night, sometimes he wouldn’t leave; sometimes we’d call the police again. They came a lot more times; always well after it was over, and it never resulted in any consequences for him.

Soon after, they moved out. I am hopeful that she didn’t stay; that she got help, but I also know it can be a long process. She deserves no judgement, and I will always wonder if more could have been done. I have no idea where they went, or what happened after that. The same desperately sad, helpless, and frustrated feeling I had during this time flares up again with every new report of a woman being killed at the hands of her partner in this country, as happens every single week.

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The frustration flares up when news sites reports on these as ‘domestic disputes’ or ‘domestic incidents’ and not ‘violent attacks’. It burns when just after Rosie Batty becomes the Australian of the Year, and Tony Abbott creates a national advisory panel on domestic violence, appointing Batty and retiring Victorian Police Commissioner Ken Lay as its founding members, he still doesn’t even mention domestic violence in his National Press Club address.

The feeling of anger becomes almost too much when reading that while creating that panel, the Prime Minister is still presiding over $300 million in cuts to family violence and homelessness services that are vital to people in these situations. It’s there when I think about someone like my neighbour trying to access services to get out of a domestic violence situation, and not being able to. And when I think about how this epidemic isn’t the subject of national dialogue driven by governments across the country, instead destined to be ignored.

We shouldn’t stand by and watch our neighbours get abused, and we shouldn’t stand by and let our governments get away with inaction and detrimental cuts.

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Any person seeking support and information can contact:
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Mensline: 1300 78 99 78
Kids Help Line: 1800 551 800
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Deaths of four medical trainees raises questions about mental health support in the industry.

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The recent sudden deaths of three trainee psychiatrists and a hospital intern in Victoria have raised concerns that the medical profession is not doing enough to support people in the industry struggling with mental health.

The three psychiatric trainees were working at St Vincent’s, Austin, and Frankston hospitals, while the intern was one week into an internship at Geelong Hospital.

Beyond Blue’s doctors’ mental health program chairman Mukesh Haikerwal said there was not enough support for medical professionals.

“Just because you are a training or training-to-be medical professional does not mean that you are immune from [mental health problems],” Dr Haikerwal said.

“You do need to seek help. You need to have help. You need to have systems in the workplace.

“This is where Beyond Blue is doing a lot of work in terms of supporting people in the workplace to deal with and… who are suffering from illness and that includes mental illness.

“The problem is it still has stigma. It still isn’t properly addressed in the global way of dealing with health and welfare.”

Dr Haikerwal said he was first alerted to the deaths by a colleague.

“My introduction to what happened was when my own registrar in my general practice came in ashen because he’d been up all night with one his best friends dying overnight.

“To me it evoked many of my previous pieces of work… trying to determining what drives our profession to self harm, and observing that the rates of mental illness within our profession is quite significant.”

He said he had since been asked to meet with a number of trainee psychiatrists about the issue.

“With four people in Victoria in a very short space of time dying suddenly, it opens a whole lot of additional questions about why this is happening and what can be done to reduce the drive for this to happen,” he said.

He said the workload, stress and expectations on medical professionals were significant.

“The way in which the system is put together really underrates the danger of people with mental illness. So 30 per cent of the population at any one time will have some degree of mental illness and we don’t really support them particularly well, including our own profession.”

Many people had been traumatised within the industry by the deaths, he said.

Courtesy ABC News

Compassion Fatigue

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learning never stop

The business world is abuzz with mindfulness. But perhaps you haven’t heard that the hype is backed by hard science. Recent research provides strong evidence that practicing non-judgmental, present-moment awareness (a.k.a. mindfulness) changes the brain, and it does so in ways that anyone working in today’s complex business environment, and certainly every leader, should know about.

We contributed to this research in 2011 with a study on participants who completed an eight-week mindfulness program. We observed significant increases in the density of their gray matter. In the years since, other neuroscience laboratories from around the world have also investigated ways in which meditation, one key way to practice mindfulness, changes the brain. This year, a team of scientists from the University of British Columbia and the Chemnitz University of Technology were able to pool data from more than 20 studies to determine which areas of the brain are consistently affected. They identified at least eight different regions. Here we will focus on two that we believe to be of particular interest to business professionals.

The first is the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), a structure located deep inside the forehead, behind the brain’s frontal lobe. The ACC is associated with self-regulation, meaning the ability to purposefully direct attention and behavior, suppress inappropriate knee-jerk responses, and switch strategies flexibly. People with damage to the ACC show impulsivity and unchecked aggression, and those with impaired connections between this and other brain regions perform poorly on tests of mental flexibility: they hold onto ineffective problem-solving strategies rather than adapting their behavior. Meditators, on the other hand, demonstrate superior performance on tests of self-regulation, resisting distractions and making correct answers more often than non-meditators. They also show more activity in the ACC than non-meditators. In addition to self-regulation, the ACC is associated with learning from past experience to support optimal decision-making. Scientists point out that the ACC may be particularly important in the face of uncertain and fast-changing conditions.

Source: Tang et al.
(Source: Tang et al.)

Source: Fox et al.
(Source: Fox et al.)

The second brain region we want to highlight is the hippocampus, a region that showed increased amounts of gray matter in the brains of our 2011 mindfulness program participants. This seahorse-shaped area is buried inside the temple on each side of the brain and is part of the limbic system, a set of inner structures associated with emotion and memory. It is covered in receptors for the stress hormone cortisol, and studies have shown that it can be damaged by chronic stress, contributing to a harmful spiral in the body. Indeed, people with stress-related disorders like depresssion and PTSD tend to have a smaller hippocampus. All of this points to the importance of this brain area in resilience—another key skill in the current high-demand business world.

Hölzel et al.
(Source: Hölzel et al.)

These findings are just the beginning of the story. Neuroscientists have also shown that practicing mindfulness affects brain areas related to perception, body awareness, pain tolerance, emotion regulation, introspection, complex thinking, and sense of self. While more research is needed to document these changes over time and to understand underlying mechanisms, the converging evidence is compelling.

Mindfulness should no longer be considered a “nice-to-have” for executives. It’s a “must-have”:  a way to keep our brains healthy, to support self-regulation and effective decision-making capabilities, and to protect ourselves from toxic stress. It can be integrated into one’s religious or spiritual life, or practiced as a form of secular mental training.  When we take a seat, take a breath, and commit to being mindful, particularly when we gather with others who are doing the same, we have the potential to be changed.

  Harvard Business Review

A Mature Person

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In fact a mature person does not fall in love, he rises in love. The word ’fall’ is not right. Only immature people fall; they stumble and fall down in love. Somehow they were managing and standing. They cannot manage and they cannot stand – they find a woman and they are gone, they find a man and they are gone. They were always ready to fall on the ground and to creep. They don’t have the backbone, the spine; they don’t have that integrity to stand alone.

A mature person has the integrity to be alone. And when a mature person gives love, he gives without any strings attached to it: he simply gives. And when a mature person gives love, he feels grateful that you have accepted his love, not vice versa. He does not expect you to be thankful for it – no, not at all, he does not even need your thanks. He thanks you for accepting his love. And when two mature persons are in love, one of the greatest paradoxes of life happens, one of the most beautiful phenomena: they are together and yet tremendously alone; they are together so much so that they are almost one. But their oneness does not destroy their individuality, in fact, it enhances it: they become more individual.

Two mature persons in love help each other to become more free. There is no politics involved, no diplomacy, no effort to dominate. How can you dominate the person you love? Just think over it. Domination is a sort of hatred, anger, enmity. How can you think of dominating a person you love? You would love to see the person totally free, independent; you will give him more individuality. That’s why I call it the greatest paradox: they are together so much so that they are almost one, but still in that oneness they are individuals. Their individualities are not effaced – they have become more enhanced. The other has enriched them as far as their freedom is concerned.
Robert Tew

Immature people falling in love destroy each other’s freedom, create a bondage, make a prison. Mature persons in love help each other to be free; they help each other to destroy all sorts of bondages. And when love flows with freedom there is beauty. When love flows with dependence there is ugliness. – Osho

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The Power of Kindness

Every day we are presented with opportunities to show random acts of kindness and compassion, however there is always the intention in the back of peoples minds to do such things but unfortunately don’t usually follow through.

As Albert Einstein once said, “A human being experiences themselves, thoughts and feelings as something separate from others a kind of optical illusion of ones consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison to us. Out task is to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion”.

Such emotional skills like caring and empathy are necessary to build and grow a healthy society. Having constant exposure to violence through different mediums like television, video games, movies, media we become numb to the sensitivity and feelings of compassion and empathy through rewiring parts of the brain. This is a critical skill to our emotional wellbeing as it supports ones self awareness and social development.
Caring about others demonstrates compassion in action, something that we all need and can benefit from in many ways. There is now scientific research from Harvard that supports how kindness can strengthen our immune system and boosts our health and wellbeing as well as reduce depression, aggressive behaviour and increases optimism and resilience as well as support healing in general.

As we mourn the tragedies of this week in #MartinPlace Sydney & Pakistan, we are witnessing an out pouring of grief and an abundance of collective kindness and compassion amongst total strangers bringing a comfort to many. A strength, a oneness that is powerful beyond measure and connects within your core.

The gallery of photos shown below from The Australian news website actually demonstrates the ripple effect and power of what one act of kindness of one person and one bouquet of flowers can do.
As you go through the gallery of pictures you see how one lonely bouquet has now multiplied to a giant landscape of thousands of flowers and people connecting as one to deep sadness, loss, love, unity and healing.
This is what an open heart looks and feels like. The true power of Love and Kindness in magnificent action.

Kaylene Wynn

#MartinPlace  #PakistanSchool #PayItForward #sydneyseige #Kindness #Power #Tolerance # compassion #oneness #connection #Love

Pictures courtesy of the The Australian http://www.theaustralian.com.au

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As Sydney awoke to the news that two hostages had died in the city’s siege in the early hours of December 16, the first flowers were left in Martin Place,
at the edge of the railway station entrance, by an unidentified man. Picture: John Grainger

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          Despite not knowing the victims, Lindt cafe manager Tori Johnson, 34, and barrister mother-of-three Katrina Dawson, 38, well-wisher Erin Costelloe
           left a floral tribute near the scene. Picture: John Grainger

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                            Finance worker Kate Golder, 37, followed, breaking down in tears. Her office is just 100 metres from the Lindt Cafe.
                            “It could have been any of us,” she told reporters. Picture: John Grainger

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              The dramatic stand-off with gunman Man Haron Monis lasted over 16 hours, with much of Sydney’s finance hub Martin Place closed off to the
               public until later that morning. Picture: Mark Metcalfe/Getty

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          More and more Sydneysiders came to leave a tribute, with the message ‘We do not fear and nor do we forget,’ written in chalk on the nearby footpath.

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“It’s the only thing I knew I could do, symbolically, to show that I stand up for peace,” administrative manager Lauren Langley said after laying a bunch of          multicoloured roses. She was working nearby on the day of the siege when police cars by the dozen poured into Martin Place.

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                  Visiting members or the public were joined by Prime Minister Tony Abbott and wife Margie, alongside Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione,
                  NSW Premier Mike Baird, Lord Mayor of Sydney Clover Moore and Governor General Peter Cosgrove. Picture: Joosep Martinson/Getty

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As night fell, the memorial site was lit up with candles left by visitors, as members of the public continued to lay flowers and leave messages of remembrance.

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                   The following day the shrine had grown dramatically, with some of the hostages and their families visiting, including Elly Chen,
                    Harriette Denny and Jarrod Hoffman. Picture: Cole Bennetts/Getty

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             By day three, people were being asked to wait in line for at least 30 minutes to deposit flowers,
          “(The long queue) doesn’t bother me at all; it’s the least I can do,” said visitor Julia Ong, “I wanted to pay tribute.” Picture: Toby Zerna

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                  An ariel view of Martin Place shows just how big the sea of flowers has now become, as people continue to attend in their droves.
                  Picture: Cole Bennetts/Getty

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Master Mindfulness

Mindfulness involves a conscious awareness of current thoughts, feelings and behaviours within a person’s environment. Simply being the observer of self in a non-judging way, while still being able to remain open and inquisitive.
Mindfulness has the ability to stabilise and enhance our emotional and general well-being, which simply means that’s great for our long-term mental health and overall wellness.

In this ever demanding, busy and stressful world mindfulness focuses the attention on a moment of non-doing, this allows us to concentrate and maintain the attention span over extended periods of time.
With a plethora of technological influences and the continuous feed of never ending information challenging our ability to concentrate on single tasks, we find ourselves instead browsing through bits and pieces of tasks rather than using conscious focused thought.

Generally people don’t have a true awareness of their intimate inner self, because our unconscious programming has trained us to focus mainly on the outside world. There are some who feel so disconnected and look for connectedness through self-medicating, sex, drugs and alcohol.
This can be a struggle to work with, for some are so lost within that world it gives them a brief experience of what they think is connection, but its like living in an abyss as they become more alienated and isolated from within and eventually spiraling from the outside world.

Mindfulness reconnects you on many levels and awakens an aliveness that you will never want to let go of.
It brings a realisation of how non functioning you actually were as it re-connects you to an inner peace that elevates you to a new high.
Mindful awareness is simply paying attention to the present moment as we let thoughts come and go freely without any attachment.

Take a moment and get Mindfulness started, within weeks you will feel the transformation and benefits of making Mindfulness a habit.

Here is one of the Mindful techniques that is relatively easy to master.
I call it checking in and going on a MindFull Pause.

The MindFull Pause
· Set aside 15 mins each day – anytime, anywhere
· Find a quiet place
· Put yourself on pause and stop and shift your focus onto your breathing,
· Close your eyes or focus on an object and become aware only of your breathing.
· Breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose, bringing awareness into filling your lungs completely, then slowly breathe out through your mouth until you have expelled all breath
· Continue to focus on your breathing, each in breath draws in new life and each out breath a letting go of any tension, stress, worry, anger etc
· Continue and then repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, and repeat.

Mindful Breathing practices actually enhance a more balanced neurological system that makes for a perfect environment for optimal brain function. There is no doubt we can create healthier minds through positive practices of mindfulness.

This is only the start of taking your life back and becoming the best version of you!

Kaylene Wynn
http://www.mindfullthinking.com