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Poetry, Prose and Parable.

Communicate to Connect.

Communication involves much more than words; it involves the entire body. The stance of the body, body language, gestures, tone, pitch, volume, eye contact and content are all elements of communication. Words are merely the tools one employs to do the work, however they are very powerful tools. I liken them to a power tool such as a power saw or drill. These tools need to be handled with care and are not to be flung around carelessly because we know they are dangerous and can cause much harm if not used with caution. Words too, flung around carelessly, can cause irreparable damage.

Imagine how irritating a power tool would be if it continued on and on long after its job had been done. It’s the same with words; unnecessary repetition, sometimes called nagging, is unproductive.

Deep Love Quotes and Sayings | The Dark Secrets
Image : The Dark Secrets.

Five levels of communication have been identified.

Level #1: The Cliche Level. At this level we say something like, “How are you?” This level of communication does not wait for a response, nor does it expect one. If there is a response it’s usually something like, ” Yeah, good.” Even if you are feeling anything but good. Both parties realise that at this level there is no real invitation to communicate.

Level #2: We report facts. At this level we report facts to one another. We talk about the weather, sport, the news, the government, other people, although not always with the facts; this is known as gossip! As long as we don’t get close to exposing ourselves, or how we might feel about anything we can talk for quite a while at this level.

Level #3: We report the facts and mention how we feel about them. At this level we are starting to get warm! We can help facilitate the move from level 2 to level 3 by asking the speaker, “How do you feel about……..?” This question indicates that we are listening and have an interest in the person. Often people are led into understanding themselves better or finding a solution to a problem when they are encouraged to articulate their feelings.

Level #4: We begin to reveal ourselves. We talk about ideas rather than other people. We discuss our likes and dislikes, our plans, our goals and dreams.

Level #5: We are transparent to the other person; our mask is off! We reveal our true selves, we admit our deepest fears and confess our faults. We ask to be accepted and loved for nothing more and nothing less than who we truly are. We connect heart and soul.

It is a sad fact that many people, even those in close relationships, never get past the third level of communication. Communication demands much than words. It requires time, the mouth, eyes, body, mind, soul and heart. But mostly it requires the courage to say, “This is who I am and when I speak with you I will be honest enough to reveal some of my precious self to you.”

This is communication to connect.

I Love a Sunburnt Country.

Bunya Mountains.

For the second B there were many places to choose from; Bundaberg, world famous for its Bundy Rum or Bundaberg Ginger Beer, or Bagara, the beautiful seaside location just down the road from Bundaberg, or the historic cities of Ballarat and Bendigo on the Victorian golfdields or Bright at the foot of the Victorian high country; there is nowhere more beautiful than Bright in Autumn. And there is Byron Bay, with its iconic lighthouse, the most eastern point in Australia. Byron has become a haven for the rich, famous and cool, an Aussie retreat for Hollywood celebs. https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2021-03-26/hollywood-stars-hunker-down-in-australias-byron-bay- And many other B’s in our beautiful Australia but for our second B we are going to the Bunya Mountians .

See the source image
Image: Bunya Mountains.com

The Bunya’s make this cut because over Easter we took a little road trip to Kingaroy and Wondai and came home through the Bunya Mountains. So the Bunyas are fresh in my mind but also they are on my list of amazing places to visit.

The Bunya Mountains, which form a stand alone section of the Great Dividing Range are situated between the plains of the Darling Downs and the South Burnett Region. They can be approached from Kingaroy, Dalby, Oakey or Cooyar and this spectacular forest wilderness just pops up out of the surrounding fertile rural landscape. The Bunyas are about a 3 hour drive from Brisbane, 99 kilometers from Toowoomba and about 60 kms from Kingaroy but as you climb into the Bunyas you are literally transported into another world.

At approximately 1000 metres above sea level, the air is always clean, crisp and often a little misty. Walking through the forest is literally the experience of forest bathing. The forest is a symphony of bird call and wallabies and pademelons graze on the grassy picnic areas. As wonderful as this all is, the most majestic and mystical part of a visit to the Bunyas is the spiritual vibe the mountains emit.

Long before white settlement Aboriginal people used the Bunya Mountains as a meeting place for tribes from all over Queensland and New South Wales. Here they would feast on the roasted nuts from the Bunya pine and discuss important business; one can feel the ancient wisdom in the air.

For many thousands of years, Aboriginal people from across the region gathered together on the mountains to celebrate the bountiful harvest of the bunya pines on the mountain. The gathering, known as the Bonye Bonye festival, was held in alignment with the bumper bunya nut crop. This occurred roughly every three years and was a time of feasting, ceremony, marriage, dispute settlement and trade.Bunya Mountains Murri Rangers | National Indigenous Australians Agency QLD projects – Mainland region (niaa.gov.au)

For me a visit to the Bunyas is a beautiful, cleansing, spiritual experience. I quote from the Queensland Tourism page on the Bunya Mountains; Visitors find the mystical Bunya Mountains a deep spiritual experience. Some call it God’s country, some say it’s where peace abides; all feel the magic in their own way. About the Bunya Mountains | Bunya Mountains.

Oh, so true!

The Bunya Mountains – Deadly and Delicious | Mildly Extreme
Image: Mildly Extreme

I encourage you to Google the Bunyas. Even looking at the images can induce a sense of peace.

I Love a Sunburnt Country.

B is for Brisbane.

I enjoy watching Harrow on the ABC. Harrow, played by Ioan Gruffudd, is a forensic medical examiner at the QIFM the Queensland Institute of Forensic Medicine. Harrow is cool, incredibly smart, he flies close to the edge, has enormous empathy for his dead clients and their living relatives and is always in some sort of personal crisis.

But the thing I love about Harrow most is that it is shot in the beautiful river city of Brisbane. Harrow lives on a boat on the Brisbane River, moored just below the city Botanic Gardens. The episodes always include stunning day and night time shots of the cityscape, the wonderful Story Bridge, stately Queenslanders, parks, familiar buildings; to put it simply, beautiful Brisbane!

Story Bridge
Image: Brisbane’s Story Bridge: visitbrisbane.com.au

Brisbane is a city with a population of about 2.5 million. It enjoys a sub tropical climate and manages about 280 sunny days each year. It is the third largest city in Australia by population and geographically the largest of any Australian capital city. By area Brisbane is the third largest in the world and is known for its living space. The area of Brisbane is a legacy from the old days when house blocks were quarter acre and large back yards were the accepted normal. This is changing as more people find out just how glorious Brisbane is and high density urban development is increasing.

While none of us live in Brisbane now, my adult children would consider Brisbane their childhood home. One of my very dear Brisbane memories is the weekend my youngest daughter and I spent being tourists in Brissie just before she flew out to live overseas. Brisbane has come of age and is a world class city. As cities go it has a laid back vibe, a reputation of being relatively safe and a great mix of that quintessential Queensland spirit.

Real Estate investment in Australia: Brisbane and Gold Coast property  markets expand residential and commercial properties
Image: LUXUO: Brisbane River, Cityscape, City Cats, boats moored off the Botanical Gardens.

Thank you to the producers of Harrow for showcasing our Beautiful Brisbane while telling a great story.

♫ Johnny Chester ♥ Glory, Glory ♫ – YouTube To Conclude, here is the link to Johnny Chester’s 1971 hit. Glory, Glory, I’ll be back to see the Story Bridge. And to my beautiful scattered family, I surely do hope that we will all get back to see the Story Bridge.

Blessings.

I Love a Sunburnt Country.

Because there is only 26 letters in the alphabet and because Australia is a vast country each letter will include two locations starting with that letter. The second A is Armidale on the New England Tableland in New South Wales.

Research - University of New England (UNE)
Image: Booloominbah UNE

Armidale makes the cut because it is the home of The University of New England- UNE – and it is from this uni that I gained my double degree; plugging away as a part time, external student. UNE was ahead of its time catering to hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of external students, long before on-line delivery of course material became the norm. During my time as a student trips to Armidale were made to attend various residential schools and ultimately for Graduation.

Situated midway between the capital cities of Sydney in NSW and Brisbane in Qld, Armidale is located on the New England Highway. It is about 150kms inland from the coastal city of Coffs Harbour and has a population of approximately 25.000, making it the central and major city of the NSW Northern Tablelands. It is 980 metres above sea level and is home to the highest commercial airport in Australia.

The countryside surrounding Armidale is stunningly beautiful. As well as being prime grazing country for sheep and cattle, the natural beauty extends to national parks, forests, mountain gorges, majestic waterfalls and rolling hills. The area experiences four distinct seasons with autumn bringing a blaze of red and gold as leaves fall and winter is jolly cold. Most of the res schools were in June/July and one surely needed to pack warm clothes!

The city’s beautiful heritage listed buildings, cathedrals and schools are an indication of the historic agricultural wealth of the district. European settlement commenced when squatters moved into the area around 1832.

Home
Beautiful Autumnal Armidale: Image by New England Motor Inn

Armidale, absolutely worth a visit.

Enneagram Energies.

Quotes about Spiritual Maturity (41 quotes)
Quote: Elyse Fitzpatrick: Image Quote Master

Let me make it clear that the enneagram is not Holy Scripture, neither is it Holy Spirit inspired. It is a tool, often used in pastoral groups and workshops to help people understand themselves, to be honest and transparent about themselves to themselves, to address the ways we hide from ourselves, to help us understand others better and be able to work together more harmoniously in church, family, work and social aspects of life. I quote from the back cover of The Enneagram- A Christian Perspective; authors Richard Rohr and Andreas Ebert.

“The Enneagram has emerged as a tool that is forcing many of us to a brutal and converting honesty about good and evil and the ways which we hide from ourselves and therefore God. It tries to address the ‘compromise with life’ and this ‘evasion of reality’ that the ego is so heavily invested in and that religion often promotes…”

Truthfully, I have found this to be the case and I will explain why and how as this blog unfolds but for today some general comments about the enneagram.

The www has loads of enneagram information; there are tests and questionnaires one can answer and at the end you are given a number for your type. I did this a couple years ago and it was interesting, however the better way I now believe is to read widely about all the types. As I did this I found that I could identify with parts of each type. I would think yes, that’s me! And to be honest it was all a bit confusing! Apparently some people can quickly identify themselves and for others it can take a lot longer. And it is not a bad thing to be able to see parts of yourself in all the types -Jesus embodied in perfect maturity all aspects of the human experience- but there will be one which resonates more strongly with your unmasked self.

For a while I thought I was a 9 The Peacemaker and this sounded OK; I do hate arguments and tensions and try to pour oil on troubled waters. On further reading I thought no, I’m a 2 The Helper because I do like to help and the positions I most enjoyed during my working life were those where I was an assistant an aide in a much bigger picture. As I have mentioned before no type is better or worse than any other, all have their strengths and weaknesses and and we all sit on a continuum between immature and mature. The goal is to move toward maturity.

To conclude today I will simply list the nine types and their basic need found on the Contents page of The Enneagram- A Christian Perspective; authors Richard Rohr and Andreas Ebert.

#1: The need to be perfect

#2: The need to be needed

#3: The need to succeed

#4:The need to be special

#5: The need to perceive

#6: The need for security

#7: The need to avoid pain

#8: The need to be against

#9: The need to avoid

There is plenty of material available both in book form and on the internet if you are interested in learning more about this ancient tool for self discovery and growing in grace and maturity. Just be prepared to be a bit unraveled in the process. I also recommend that you don’t get stuck in The Enneagram but use it as a tool and then get on and do the maturing.

Blessings.


	

I Love A Sunburnt Country.

Just by coincidence, we begin our A-Z trip across Australia on the day our Federal Government has announced the good news of half price airline tickets to 13 places across our beautiful land. This is a stimulus to rebuild our tourism industry which has been highly impacted by Covid. So to begin: A.

Adelaide is the capital of South Australia. I first visited Adelaide in the summer of 1977. It was a long road trip across Queensland, NSW, ACT, along the mighty Murry, down through the Riverlands and into Adelaide. We arrived on a late Wednesday afternoon and I will never forget the dry, baking hot Adelaide heat which greeted us on alighting from the air conditioned car. The heat from the bitumen was like a blast furnace and the incredibly dry heat was a complete contrast to Queensland’s humidity. It was 40deg C+ in the shade and the air was just HOT. Overnight the direction of wind changed from a Northerly, coming off the desert, to a Southerly, coming off the Great Southern Ocean and Antarctica, to 19 deg C. I had to go and buy some warm clothes!

Little did I know then that Adelaide would become a regularly visited location. As at the beginning 2001 my eldest daughter moved to Adelaide and has lived there since. Over the past 20 years I have traveled there once a year, if lucky twice, to be a part of the many celebrations of life. So many wonderful memories!

Adelaide is a beautiful city. It is nicknamed The City of Churches due to the many beautifully structured church buildings, sadly many of them now repurposed as night clubs and restaurants. It is our fifth largest Australian capital city. The state of South Australia has population of over 1.7 million and over 75%, about 1.3 million, live within metropolitan Adelaide.Adelaide Population 2021.net.au The city is surrounded by over 760 hectares of beautiful park lands which create a green ring around the city.

There is over 70 kilometers of coastline and some lovely beaches close to Adelaide city. A tram ride from the city to Glenelg is a must! Other attractions close to the city are the beautiful Adelaide Hills; the lovely little German village of Hahndorf, and the many wine regions which surround Adelaide, particularly the Barossa Valley.

Adelaide and surrounds - South Australia - Tourism Australia
The Glenelg Tram: Tourism Australia.

Blessed with a Mediterranean climate, Adelaide has loads of sunshine during the long hot summers and cool to cold winters; but it does not snow. The climate has little to no humidity but boy, it can get hot! But usually not for too long before a cool Southerly change comes through. My daughter says there is nothing nicer than a clear, blue sky, 20 deg C Adelaide day; and she is quite correct!

Fun Things To Do In Adelaide | RedBalloon
Adelaide Oval: Image Red Balloon. Below: The Sir Donald Bradman statue with one of those churches in the background.Sir Donald Bradman becoming a key part of Adelaide Oval's defence - ABC News

In the last 20 years of visiting Adelaide I have driven there from Queensland again only once, it is a long road trip and one travels across the guts of Australia, but flown countless times. In 2014 Lonely Planet listed Adelaide as one of its 10 top cities to visit.I think that is a good enough recommendation for anyone to take an Adelaide trip!

Enneagram Energies.

Best Richard Rohr, The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective Quotes with  images to share and download for free at QuotesLyfe
Quote Richard Rohr: Image http://www.quoteslyfe.com

I first heard of the Enneagram during a Face Time chat with my middle daughter. At that time she was 2IC at a private game lodge in the South African bush. The company for whom she worked had enlisted an Enneagram Coach to deliver staff professional development. She said that it was confronting but she was really enjoying the information and activities and thought that I too would find the Enneagram fascinating. My youngest daughter worked for the same company but at another lodge on the other side of The Kruger and the staff at her lodge did the same professional development. I asked my eldest daughter if she was familiar with the Enneagram and she was aware of it and understood it to a degree. And that is where it ended.

Until last year when my eldest daughter asked me what I would like for my birthday and I answered, a book on Enneagrams and thus my journey began! In due course the book arrived and whilst reading the back cover I determined that I would read every word of this book. That I did, some passages several times over and about half way through I decided that when I got to the end, I would begin the process over again.

The Enneagram is ancient wisdom and I respect ancient wisdom! It is a tool for personal understanding and growth into maturity. There are nine personality types; NO TYPE is any better or worse than another, as each type has its own strengths and weaknesses and each person on any type is on a continuum between immature and mature. The point of the Enneagram is not to box or pigeon hole any person but to spur each person on to face their own true, core self, to unmask and debunk the false self and allow us to flourish into the freedom of spiritual awareness and maturity.

It is not some magic hocus pocus, mumbo jumbo rather it is con- fronting and challenging work!

Years and years ago I did the Meyers Briggs personality typing test. I am an INFJ. Introvert, Intuitive, Feeling and Judging. Being an INFJ wasn’t too bad at all. In fact it was pretty cool. I like the wrap given to INFJs. But The Enneagram; well that is a different story! One cannot come face to face with their unmasked, unredeemed self without feeling humiliated by it! This has certainly been the case for me; working with the Enneagram has quite rattled me, especially since I think I have already done quite a lot of spiritual work. It is a reminder that there is always further to go in growing into maturity. We humans have an amazing ability to hide from ourselves. We invest so heavily in our self image and want to protect it at all costs; even if it does not serve us well.

Often we think we have done the work to unravel certain parts of life, our heartaches and pain and for a while all seems to go well but then years later we find ourselves having to deal with those same issues again. Although this is no fun it is not a bad thing because each time we wrestle with life we come through it and out again at a better place.

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This is my first Enneagram book which was gifted to me by my eldest daughter.

The ideas for this blog have come from the reading of the above titled book. There is much more to say but that’s enough for today. Please join me again next week as we explore more of this ancient wisdom.

I Love a Sunburnt Country.

I was walking down the Katoomba street on a drizzly evening holding hands with my little granddaughter, who in a few days would turn three. Out of the blue she said, I love Australia. I love the kangaroos and the koalas and the kookaburras. And I love you soooooo much, Grandma!

This gorgeous little one has a beautiful Japanese mother and will live her life with the benefit of exploring two cultures. I am so glad that she loves Australia … and me.

Australia is an island continent; the largest island in the world and the smallest continent. We have 35,877 kilometers of coastline, which contribute to Aussies being a beach/surf loving nation, and 8,222 islands lie within Australia’s maritime borders. We are a land of contrasts, from tropical rain forests, to vast eucalyptus and woodland forests, to wide open spaces, to our snowy high country and to the parched, dry interior deserts. Apart from Antarctica, Australia is the driest continent in the world. About 35 per cent of the continent receives so little rain, it is effectively desert. In total, 70 per cent of the mainland receives less than 500 millimetres of rain annually, which classes it as arid, or semi-arid.(www.ga.gov.au)

We experience cyclones, raging floods, crippling droughts and devastating bushfires; and the country is so vast that all of these can be happening at the same time in different locations. We have unique fauna and flora and some of the worlds greatest natural wonders such as The Great Barrier Reef, Frazer Island and Uluru.

We are a multi cultural nation and apart from the descendants of the pre colonised Aboriginal people we are all immigrants. As a side note, on this point there is some discussion about our Aboriginal people and when they first arrived in Australia; if interested it is possible to do some research on this.

Australia is a BIG country:Image: bing.com/images

Australia is known as The Lucky Country and to be fair we are not a bad lot! I hope you will join me as we visit some of our well known and not so well known locations in Australia.

My Country My Country – Public Domain Poetry (poetscollective.org)
20th CenturyFlight of Fancy
by Dorothea Mackellar, 1904
The love of field and coppice,
Of green and shaded lanes.
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins,
Strong love of grey-blue distance
Brown streams and soft dim skies
I know but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.
I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me!
A stark white ring-barked forest
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon.
Green tangle of the brushes,
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops
And ferns the warm dark soil.
Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When sick at heart, around us,
We see the cattle die –
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady, soaking rain.
Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the Rainbow Gold,
For flood and fire and famine,
She pays us back threefold –
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze.
An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land –
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand –
Though earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.

Way Leads onto Way.

Oh I kept the first for another day Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I  doubted if should ever come back. - Jar of Quotes
Quote: Robert Frost: Image Jar of Quotes

The title of my blog wayleadsontoway.life was chosen because it has been my experience in life. A personal commitment to always do the best in whatever circumstances and to look for the blessings has resulted in ways opening up. It is the advice I would give to any person. We create our future today and this is why it is so important to show up and give each day our best shot.

Our ways lead us into all sorts of experiences, interests, employments, meeting of new people and travelling to new places. And interestingly enough our ways tend to take big circles as well. Circles which find us renewing interests and friendships we had enjoyed, sometimes decades earlier. This has been my experience since retiring and what a delight it has been to renew connections with folks who were part of life forty, fifty even sixty years ago.

So with this in mind wayleadsontoway is moving onwards. I have two new ideas which I want to explore so Poetry, Prose and Parable will be replaced by I Love a Sunburnt Country. This blog post will be similar to the Places you will Go posts which took an A-Z trip across the globe to places to which I have been blessed to travel; I Love a Sunburnt Country will do the same for places across Australia. The inspiration for this comes from our recent trip to the Blue Mountains and my absolute love of driving through the landscape of our beautiful country.

The other blog thread will be titled Enneagram Energies. And this is the story of a recent interest and one which requires much more exploration on my part. Perhaps I can share this journey with you?

So far wayleadsontoway has explored in series Poetry, Prose and Parable, Communicate to Connect, The Shift to Thrift, Pearls of Wisdom, The Places you will Go, The Twelve Gifts of Christmas, The Books you will Read, The People you will Meet, Ten Life Lessons and a number of random posts simply about life. I write because I love to and it is my discipline. I make it public because I am a cast your bread on the waters sort of person. I am thankful to those who read the posts and it is my hope that we can spur one another on to love and good deeds.

The Road Not Taken - Robert Frost
Image: Motivation Mentalist

Blessings.

Poetry, Prose and Parable.

Tomorrow’s Hope

Quote: Ainissa Ramirez: Image: eduropia.org

Last week our eldest grandchild entered the teenage years. As a retired secondary teacher, I just love to see the transformation young people undergo; entering high school as 12 or 13 year olds and exiting as young men and women. It is a privilege to walk these years beside them, to facilitate and encourage their learning and growth and to model for them what responsible adulthood can look like. I always told my students that regardless of which subject was being studied we were here together learning about life; we were learning how to take our place in all the worlds that surround us, how to use our wonderful, unique gifts and talents and ultimately take our place in society as contributors. We place much hope in our young people. The future truly does belong to them and in those classrooms, all across the globe, there are students who have innovative solutions to the problems which face us today and to the problems that are yet unforeseen.

Our grandson has begun his secondary schooling at the high school which is the alma mater of our first female Prime Minister. He is part of the STEM; Science,Technology,Engineering and Mathematics program. The poem below was written when one day, as a supply teacher, I was in a classroom of junior secondary students working on a STEM project. I dedicate it to all the young people who are tomorrow’s hope, building resilience, learning how to cope, for futures yet unseen.

STEM Poetry by Estelle D.

Screens flashing, keyboards tapping,
Mouse clicking, students thinking,
Plan, draw, design, create,
Throw some ideas around with a mate,
Group work, discussion, collaboration,
Solving problems, fascination,
Imagination on a screen,
3D printer flashing red and green,
Today’s students, tomorrow’s hope,
Building resilience, learning how to cope,
For futures yet unseen.

Estelle D  © July 2016.