ME time ~

I’ve decided to gift myself some ME Time.

What’s ME Time?
(notice I capitalise me? That’s to emphasis to myself that I’m important!)

ME Time is time for me. For my nourishment, replenishment, for my growth. Because I can’t give out to others if I’m a stunted withered soul.

It’s like what they tell you as you’re about to take off on a flight –
(remember those times?)
Grab the oxygen mask and use it yourself before you look to share it with others.

Same deal with ME Time.

We have this perfect opportunity right now during this pandemic. Many of us here in Australia are in lockdown, or we’re working from home, or for whatever reason we find that we have more disposable time on our hands than we’ve ever had before.

It’s a perfect opportunity to grab some ME Time.

So what is ME Time?

For me I’ve decided to institute a daily routine of yoga and meditation, every day without fail. 20 minutes of yoga minimum, 20 minutes of meditation minimum. That’s not too onerous, right? I can find 40 mins at the beginning of each day. And that then sets me up for the rest of the day.

What I’m finding though is that the 20 minutes yoga often becomes 30-40 minutes because I get into it. Same with the meditation. I end up doing 30 minutes or more. And that’s great. But bare minimum, 20/20.

That’s me – my thing. Your thing might be gardening. Or sewing. Or getting out on a bike. Or cooking. Whatever it is that gives you pleasure, and nourishes your soul. Simply getting out into nature is good ME Time.

This whole pandemic has made me reassess what’s important. And yes family is important. Of course. And those that I love.

But I’m also important.
My health.
My well being.
My mental state.

This is not selfishness, this is not narcissism.
This is survival.

And like I say, I can’t hope to give out to others if I’m depleted.
Physically, mentally, emotionally.

I’ve been watching this show on telly called Alone. In Australia it’s on SBS on Demand. It’s a reality tv show where ten people are dropped off into remote wilderness and they have to survive for as long as possible. And the last man, or woman, standing wins $500,000. The unique twist to this is that there’s no crew. They film themselves. So they are totally alone.

I’ve never watched a reality tv show before. I’m serious. Never. They’ve always seemed too contrived and manipulative for my tastes. But there’s something very real and authentic about this show. And what’s interesting about it is that as the days click by and as it gets tougher and tougher, these people become more inward looking, and dare I say it, spiritual.

And invariably, what causes them to tap out and ask to be picked up and taken back to civilisation is often not because they’re starving, or they’re scared of bears or cougars or whatever, but because they miss their loved ones, or because they break mentally.

Interestingly. so far with the seasons I’ve watched, none of them meditate.

But I mention this in relation to ME Time because we can so easily forget that we need to look after ourselves. In the past we have so often defined ourselves by our work, by what we do, that’s who we are. But this pandemic has forced many of us to redefine ourselves outside of our work, because we’ve either lost our jobs or our jobs have changed or we’ve realised that perhaps there are other more significant ways to consider ourselves, other than through work.

For many of us, the work ethos that we thought was crucial we’ve discovered isn’t that crucial anymore.

What’s crucial is ME Time.

Where do Your Ideas come from?

I get asked this question quite a lot – often when I launch a new film or book.
Where do your ideas come from?
And I always give the same answer –

I dunno.

And I don’t.
I don’t have a bloody clue.
I’m just thankful the ideas do come.
But I’m often disappointed that the ideas aren’t better.

I often seem to be given those shop-soiled heavily-discounted
last-season ideas that must have been dragged from the bottom
of the remainders bin near to the express check-out in the
Cheap Ideas SupaStore, you know, the one in that part of town
where you risk getting mugged.

Why can’t I get better ideas?
Why can’t I get ideas from the Oscar-winning, Palm d’Or-winning,
Booker-winning stores that the people I admire shop at?

These elite stores are inaccessible to me, it seems.
When they see me coming they flip the sign on their
front door from OPEN to CLOSED.
They close the shutters and put out the garbage.
If I pound on the door and insist they open up they call security.

Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to be happy with my
last season heavily discounted shop soiled ideas.

I’ll put lipstick on them.

Anyway, back to Where do Your Ideas come from?

I was listening to a podcast the other day and this woman was talking about a book she’d just written, and she proudly announced that she had channelled it.

Like that made it special.
Like that made her special.

Give me a bloody break.
Get over yourself sweetheart, as Caroline Myss would say.
Get off your pretentious self-serving high horse.

EVERYTHING is channelled.
ALL ideas are channelled.
Except most of us don’t know it,
or recognise it, or acknowledge it.

We all get ideas all the time, we just don’t value them. Or we don’t trust them. Or we don’t know what to do with them. We haven’t developed the skills to do something with them, or we don’t wish to develop those skills.

An idea can change your life.
It can change the lives of others.
It can change the world.

But where do your ideas come from?

Source.



Psst! Wanna hear a Conspiracy Theory?

There’s a lot of conspiracy theories flying around at the moment.

Poor much maligned Bill Gates.
Poor much maligned 5G
Poor much maligned microchips.

Here’s one for you:

Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are using nanotechnology and cryptocurrency to create a world-wide pedophile ring of nubile young aliens brought back to earth by Jeff Bezos on his last space flight. The VIP client list for this ring include Bill and Hilary Clinton and Jeffrey Epstein, who is not dead but has been hiding out on a luxury yacht in international waters working with Donald Trump on his new presidential bid. Donald Trump by the way died of COVID that time he went to hospital and the CIA along with George Lucas have secretly created a robotic clone of him that’s indistinguishable from his original self. George Lucas has locked in his personal vault the original footage that Stanely Kubrick shot for NASA of the moon landing which never happened but was faked by Kubrick after the great work he did on 2001 – A Space Odyssey. Oh and by the way, Mark Zuckerberg was seen in Wuhan in November 2019 carrying a locked metal briefcase, then a week later he bought a shitload of stock in Pfizer. I kid you not.

What, you don’t believe that?
Well prove I’m wrong!
Go on, prove it!
You can’t, hey?
See – I’m right!

I watch the news ~

I watch the news.
I not only watch the news, I listen to the news.
And I read news from a variety of sources.

I live in a small country town outside of Sydney yet each day I read the Washington Post, the New York Times, the BBC World service (off their app), the Sydney Morning Herald, and Wired magazine. I get emailed newsletters from them all too.

In the morning while I have my shower I listen to the breakfast show on Radio National on the ABC, or the ABC’s radio current affairs show AM. Of an evening I watch the first half of SBS news. It gives me a global perspective. 

I don’t watch Fox news, commercial television news, I don’t read any Murdoch newspapers. And I don’t get my news from social media, or from Google.

Now, you might say that I live in a left wing echo chamber and you might be right. So what? I believe I’m capable of discerning between what’s news and what’s commentary.

I was trained as a journalist.

I studied journalism at university before getting a cadetship at the ABC. I completed my three year cadetship and then joined the ABC’s flagship current affairs show This Day Tonight. For a brief period I worked on Four Corners before moving from current affairs to documentaries. After twelve years working as a journalist and documentarian I moved into independent filmmaking.

Why am I telling you this?

Because the world is going through a time of unparalleled change, and I believe it’s critically important that I keep up with things, to know what’s going on and why, so that I can make informed decisions that affect not only me but my loved ones, my country and the world.

Also, how can I ever hope to contribute creatively if I don’t have any social or political context?

I don’t understand people who say they don’t watch the news.

There’s a lot of so-called new-age people who say that. They think this somehow protects them from all the negative energy that they perceive to be out there.

What a load of crap.

It’s like saying you’re going to cross the road with your eyes shut because you don’t want to get hit by a car.

Burying your head in the sand isn’t going to change things. What’s going to change things is action based on informed choice. 

There’s many who say they don’t believe the mainstream media. They talk about fake news. I’ve worked as a journalist and what I know is this – good journalists are driven by a strong desire to expose contradiction and hypocrisy. That’s what gets them out of bed each day.

The media conglomerates might have their agendas, such as the Murdoch empire, but if you are selective in what news you ingest, you can remain factually informed.

History is happening around us every day, and it’s being chronicled by the news. I saw floods in subways in New York the other night. It looked straight out of a disaster movie. This is climate change in action.

Like all the bushfires.
Like the destruction of the magnificent Barrier Reef.

I saw the storming of the Capital in Washington, live on TV as it was happening. Who would ever have thought that was possible?

America got out of the Vietnam war because of the TV coverage. The visual news reporting, and the reporting of the My Lai massacre were instrumental in creating a groundswell movement stateside that forced political change.

I read somewhere recently that democracy is under threat because it requires diligence and effort to maintain democratic ideals, and a lot of people aren’t prepared to put in the effort.

If they watched the news maybe they would…

Would you regard your life a success?

I had a birthday the other day, and as most of you know, I’m no spring chicken. But I started to wonder – has my life been a success?

Now, I must admit I don’t feel entirely comfortable using the past tense here because I’ve still got some gas left in the tank – I hope!

But it made me think – what constitutes success in a life?

If someone has an expensive car and a luxurious house by the harbour, would you say that person is a success?

You probably would, right?

What if they have a massive stock or property portfolio, or a beautiful holiday home by the sea, or a swanky mountain retreat – would you say that person is a success?

Again, you probably would.

Supposing that same person has several failed marriages. And a brood of children that hate his or her guts. And supposing that person got their wealth through greed and deceit. Would you still regard that person a success?

I wouldn’t.
Material wealth and possessions aren’t, in my view, an indicator of success.

In the work I do, as a filmmaker and author, success can be marked by awards. But I know plenty of people who have done great work that’s had a major impact on culture and they’ve never won an award.

Good critical reviews for a creative work could be seen to be a marker of success – but again history shows us that what we regard as masterpieces now were often dismissed or even vilified at the time when these works were first released and critiqued.

In the creative industries, if you make a lot of money you’re regarded as being a success.

But what you make, or do, could be ugly and hurtful.

If someone for instance became wealthy by making pornography, would you regard that person a success? Or if they created works that were exploitative or incited hatred or violence – is that a successful life?

For me, morals and ethics hold way more sway than material displays of success.

Did Gandhi achieve success in life?
You bet he did.
Did Mother Teresa achieve success in life?
Damn right she did.
They both had bugger all in terms of possessions.
But the impact they made on humanity was immeasurable.

We all can’t be Gandhis or Mother Teresas,
but in some small way we can put a dent in the Universe,
As Steve Jobs put it.
We were born to create.
That’s what our purpose is, I believe.
And every day we create, all of us, in one way or another.
What we create, and how we do it, is what defines us.

I was on a podcast recently hosted by an entrepreneur,
and he asked me:
What would you say has been your greatest success?

My family, I told this podcaster.

That flummoxed him.
He didn’t expected me to say that.
But I believe it absolutely.
Everything else is secondary to that.

For me, success in life is waking up each morning,
being able to do what I love doing.

That to me is a successful life.

I’m back, baby! Yeah!!

Something woke me this morning at 3:13am. I couldn’t figure out what it was.

I checked my FitBit app – I’d had 3hrs 40 mins sleep. Not enough, even for me. So I checked my emails, of course, as if that was going to put me back to sleep. And I saw that there was an email from WordPress telling me that my stats for this website were booming.

That’s odd, I thought, because anyone reading this blog will know that I have been slack in posting regularly. Slack is too kind a word. I’ve been negligent.

So out of interest, I checked on what it was that was causing my stats to boom. I haven’t posted for quite a long time – since my 14day fast I think – so it wasn’t like I’d just put up a post recently and it had taken off.

I discovered that most of the activity was for the home page, and for my archives. And I discovered something else too – that in all the posts that I’ve published here since walking my first Camino in 2013, there are two posts in particular that keep getting viewed year after year. They are:

Today I woke at 4:44am

Sex on the Camino

These are the two posts that, for some reason, people keep coming back to – and I mean like I’ll get multiple views of these daily, and I mean daily.

So anyway, I lay in bed thinking that I really should get back to writing blogs more regularly, so what I’ve decided to do is this: post twice a week from now on – mid week and weekends.

Some posts might be short, some longer. But what I’ll do is write about all sorts of stuff – stream of consciousness stuff, riffs on what I’m working on, what I’m doing in my home and personal life (to a point!), what I’m reading, what I’m watching, what’s important to me.

I’ll try and avoid any reference to saints setting dwarfs on fire.
(private joke for those who have followed me from way back!)

Anyway, it sounds pretty boring, right?
But I’ll try and make it interesting through my writing.
And by nature of my, at times, off-kilter view of the world.
Oh, and I’ll post an interesting photo with each blog too.

So, dear followers, I’m back, baby!! Yeah!!
Hang on tight ‘cos it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

Intuition Insights – by Dr. Francesca McCartney

I met Dr. Francesca McCartney early in the making of my film on intuition: PGS – Intuition is your Personal Guidance System.
Francesca is the Founder of the Academy of Intuition Medicine – perhaps the world’s foremost teaching institution of intuition. Francesca was not only interviewed in the film, she also assisted me greatly behind the scenes in connecting me with other key intuition practitioners.
Francesca was recently interviewed for a new book – Developing Informed Intuition for Decision Making, edited by Jay Leibowitz. Here is an excerpt from that book, featuring Francesca. It’s all about hunches!
Introduction
The idea of intuition is increasingly used in discussions about business management and decision-making, sometimes as if it were a new concept. But it is hardly so. A manager in the days before the Internet had little choice but to use intuition-the raw data simply was not accessible. Often, “a hunch” was all there was. Today, so much data is available that the inverse is true-in mere seconds, we can sum­mon enough data to support any decision we want to make-good or bad. Sorting through this flood of data makes the use of intuition more crucial than ever. Are we back to the idea of a hunch?
What is a hunch? Where does it come from, and how can we tell if a hunch is coming from intuition or false beliefs? Let’s ask an expert.
For the past 40 years, Francesca McCartney, PhD, has been researching and teaching the use of intuition in daily life and as a modality for medical healing. She has published several books, is a featured lecturer on the topic of intuition, and is the founder of three schools: the Academy of Intuition Medicine® founded in 1984; Energy Medicine University, founded 2006; and the Academy of Intuition Medicine® Online, founded in 2017.  
[Kirk Hurford] Dr. McCartney, I know this sounds simple, but to begin with, what is intuition?  
[Francesca McCartney]
That was exactly the question I asked in 1976, and I am continuing to explore and expand upon that topic. Recent research shows that humans have more than 21 senses. Most people assume that we operate with only the five common senses. That belief was given to us by Aristotle and is long overdue for a revision. Those over the five senses are accessed via intuition.
The Oxford Dictionary defines intuition as “the faculty of knowing as if by instinct, without conscious reasoning.” But what does that mean? It is the sense of knowing or perceiving something without knowing exactly how you know. How does this work? Can we develop this ability in ourselves for decision-making and more? Yes!
Humans are wired from birth to receive inner- and outer-world information signals, but too often we ignore or don’t trust our subtle intuitive perceptions. The world is constantly communicating with us and the secret is learning to pay attention.
We are so much more than our five common senses, and learning to listen to, trust, and act upon your intuition develops super-consciousness, and with practice, becomes the normal way you live in your body and operate in the world.
We experience intuition in many perfectly ordinary, everyday ways. Intuition is the sudden “Aha!” that seemingly comes from nowhere after wracking your brain for an analytical solution that refuses to come-the light bulb over your head. Intuition is the flash of insight that reveals where your lost keys are. Intuition is the picture of someone in your head just before they call on the phone or walk into your office. Intuition is that feeling in your gut when something is not right, or someone is lying. Intuition is that inner knowing, so often drowned out by other, more insistent noises, that warns or advises us, and to which we often say (after the fact), “If only I had listened …”  
[KH] Listened to what?  
[FM] Intuition has location signal points within your body. Intuition is a learned language of interpreting those signals-just as a child learns how to decipher signal language from sight, smell, sound, touch, and taste. Each of the five com­mon senses has a receptor location that delivers signals to the nervous system and the brain for decoding and informing. The language of intuition operates in the same way.
In business, and in life, operating with a wide perspective of information yields the best outcome in the decision-making process. Five points of perception is a lim­ited range of information and often is filtered through bias from conditioned data entry. An excellent starting place to stimulate stronger intuitive language signals is to listen to your first hit, go with your hunch, trust your gut feeling. The more you listen, trust, and follow through with your hits and hunches the stronger the sig­nal wiring in the nervous system becomes, whereupon your decisions are memory imprinted in your brain, which develops a cognitive intuitive language.  
[KH]
When we say cognitive bias, we’re referring to a personal perspective, right? How is this different from intuition?  
[FM]
Cognitive bias is a language of personal perspective that for the five-sense person is developed from a limited perspective of the five senses. Western-minded people lean toward using analysis and rote educational sources for deductive decision-making. This system of analytical decision-making does not recognize the larger menu of possible choices available with the expanded human sense of intuition, and therein is a limited decision-making process. Decisions made in a box rather than inspirational choices streaming from outside of the box-where intuition, inspira­tion, and invention operate.
Limited perception developed as a survival mechanism as our body is bom­barded by two million bits of information every minute. The common senses and analytical mind act as a filter. If we were unable to filter out most of these bits, we would go mad in one second. We use our filters-the purpose of which was to weed out information irrelevant to our species-for the task: to lock into those objectifi­cations alone which are in tune with cultural, informational, and survival purposes.  
To survive with a semblance of sanity, we need some sort of filters to pick out those events, interactions, or relationships that we want or need to focus on. This doesn’t mean that we should always keep filters in place or use them for purposes other than they were originally intended. Filters require intentional management. If properly handled, filters can both isolate the objects that we need to focus on and reveal their relationship with other objects and the whole. They can be both-like two sides of a coin.  
Intuitively sourced information does not pass through the same perceptual fil­ters that process analytical information. The sense of sight, for example, gathers five points of data through the rods and cones in the eyes, travels through a decoding filter in the optic nerve that chooses three of the five data points based on the most common memory-that is the memory pattern that has the most charge stored in the brain and delivers a composite image to the brain built on that three of five choice of repeated experience.
This creates visual image perception based on repeated data and most likely probabilities and excludes new data/new perception as a primary choice for decision-making. These filters become so internalized and automated that alternative perspectives, such as intuitive sensing, are not even rec­ognized. This mostly unconscious control mechanism obstructs the ability to think outside of the box, thus limiting new knowledge, inspiration, and the “quick hit.”
Historical and cultural contexts also influence perception and create bias. A Coke bottle dropped from an airplane into a society of bushmen in South Africa’s Kalahari Desert in the movie The Gods Must Be Crazy is seen as many things, but never as a container for carbonated beverages. It has been reported that some pre-Columbian Native Americans could not see the large sailing vessels of the first European explorers to approach their shores because they had no cultural prec­edent for such an event or object, and no appropriate words in their vocabulary to describe it. Thus, in their reality, such things simply did not exist. Even the “objec­tive” cognitive act of seeing in the material world requires a synergy of senses.
Genius is often described as highly creative, clever, and brilliant-characteris­tics of a person who has access to knowledge and data beyond the norm-which is a definition that also applies to intuition.  
[KH]
So, you’re saying intuitive information is from outside the box, and cognitive bias is an attempt to restrict information from inside the box?  
[FM]
In the broadest sense, yes. Information is more than just facts. Facts also have context. Context is a powerful influence on how we perceive facts. Context is what gives facts meaning. For example, you might be reading a story about animals on a farm and, at some point in events, you realize that there is a bigger story being told (Orwell, 1945). As the context changes, so does your perception of the facts. The pig is no longer a pig. Intuition allows for a richer context. Cognitive bias comes from a failure to perceive and appreciate the contextual information that comes from our extra-normal senses.

Dr. Francesca McCartney in PGS – Intuition is your Personal Guidance System

 

Hope Bridges

I did a Facebook Live video the other day on the concept of “Hope Bridges,” and thought I’d do a blog too, for those that never saw the video. 

A Hope Bridge is someone who provides a bridge of hope from one part of your life to another. 

To give you an example: during the making of my movie: PGS – Intuition is your Personal Guidance System – at critical points in the production when I needed finance to keep shooting, various people at various times stepped forward and offered me funding. 

Sometimes these offers were considerable – in a few instances I was offered big bucks to complete the film. Sometimes I was left dangling for years – literally years. But for one reason or another, these offers never materialised. 

Often, fear kicked in. 

That’s ok – because I later realised that these people served an important function – with their promises of help they bridged me over a period where, had they not made that offer, I might have given up in despair. 

They provided me a bridge of hope during a vulnerable period. 

It’s easy to consider these people as giant time-wasters, energy-wasters, to look at them disparagingly and call them flakes, or worse – and there were occasions where we ourselves invested money, as well as time, in traveling to meet with them, take them out to dinner, or pick up the tab at lunch – not to mention the emotional investment involved.

And later, you discover their promises are worthless. 

Now I realise that wasn’t their purpose – that’s not why they came into my life. They came into my life to give me hope – sustained hope until such time as someone else presented that did step forward and enable the film to continue. 

So these people, who in another life I would have called nasty names, in this life I say Thank You! – for being a hope bridge, and for allowing me to gracefully transition across an abyss of worry and despair, so that I land on the other side, my hope fully realised. 

I’m not special ~

In starting off a blog with the title ‘I’m not special,’ it kind of implies that actually I am special, and I know I’m special, and anyone who knows me must also know that I’m special, because bloody hell isn’t it obvious?

I mean, crikey – you’d have to be a total dumb arse if you knew me and weren’t in awe of how special I was.

And in writing a blog titled I’m not special I’m actually pretending to be humble, and that, in a perverse kind of way, makes me even more special.

Does that make sense?

Nah – it doesn’t make much sense to me either. 

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m not special, because we all are special, and that makes none of us special.

I’ve made a movie on intuition, and now I’ve written a book about it too – but that doesn’t make me special. It makes me curious. It just so happens that over the past forty years I’ve developed certain skills that have enabled me to turn that curiosity into films and books. 

I heard a voice early one morning, while driving. It told me to slow down as I was approaching an intersection. A truck ran a red light and nearly killed me.

That voice saved my life. 

I was curious about that voice – so I made a movie about my search to find out what it was. 

And what I discovered was that what happened to me wasn’t so special – many many people have had similar experiences. Most of them just don’t want to talk about it – and none have made a film about it. 

Paul Allen died the other day. Paul Allen was the co-founder of Microsoft, along with Bill Gates.

Paul Allen was 65 – same age as me.  He used his years on this planet in ways different to me. And to you.

Does that make him special? More special than me, or you?

We are all special.

None of us are more or less special than anyone else. We are all part of divine energy and it’s this divine energy that’s special. 

If you want to read my book of the film PGS – Intuition is your Personal Guidance System – here is a link to its Amazon site. 

PGStheBook – Amazon




PGS the Book is now available ~

PGS the Book is now on sale on Amazon – 

The book goes even deeper than the film into the mechanics of intuition, and details how you can use your intuition every day to make better choices, to enrich your life in ways you never thought possible.

Over the past year, the film has been playing to sell-out screenings across the US, and Australia. The film has been called a “life-changer,” and Caroline Myss described it as “truly superb.”  

The film finally goes on sale online on November 1st!

Thanks to James Terry of Arcadia Press for publishing the book!

By the way, for those of you in Australia, because Amazon still hasn’t worked out its GST issue with our country, the paperback won’t be available for another month or so. If you want one, email me on billbennett.pgs@gmail.com, and I’ll post you a copy. Cost is AU$25 + postage.