Sunday Everyday

Dust Bunnies Just Make you Smile

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On most Fridays I showcase an artist.  Today I want to showcase Amanda Louise Spayd who is creating The World of Dust Bunnies.  Why I hear you ask?  What has this got to do with anything?

Well there are several reasons.

1:  Life is overwhelming at times in so many areas and sometimes you just need to look at an adorable, quirky face.  Today, a dust bunny.

2:  I support the arts in many ways.  One of the ways that I support other artists is by supplying them with nourishment.  In other words, inspiration.  Artists gobble up other artists and their work.  It sparks imaginations and kick starts stale projects.  So for the artist that just needs a quirky side track or a kick in the butt – this is for you

3:  And to you who have had a tough week.  You know who you are.  You might just need to look at a dust bunny, read the words of an imagineer, remember the whimsy of your childhood and just smile.  If I get you to smile then my job here is done.

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Amanda Louise Spayd’s mixed-media work combines the textures and colors of antique domestic objects, the natural world, and an obsessive attention to detail. At once endearing and unsettling, her fabric creatures evoke ideas of cast-off children’s toys and ill-conceived taxidermy experiments with crooked human teeth.

Because of their aged, antique appearance, one is left to wonder about the origin, past experiences, and past lives of these creatures. Do they look like this because they were abandoned, or because they were literally loved to pieces? The idea of an unknown past story, combined with the possibilities of their future, is a central theme of her work. Her work has been published internationally, and is highly sought after by collectors around the globe, and she has exhibited her work in galleries and conventions across the United States, France, and Japan.

You can follow Amanda on her FB site or on her website amandalouise.com

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Dust Bunnies are wide-eyed, snaggle-toothed creatures full of curiosity, but, not so full of smarts.

Ignorance is bliss, however, and they inhabit our world in the shadows and corners, unbothered and unnoticed by humans. They’re the ones responsible for that one sock that disappears after you do laundry, as well as those mysterious chew-marks on the bottoms of your wooden chair legs, and the unexplained shuffling sounds from across the house that you can never quite identify. They don’t need us to notice them, and don’t rely on us for anything. They collect our cast-off things and adorn themselves with the forgotten detritus of eras long past.

They are innocent, they are curious, they are weird, and they are wonderful.

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I came across Amanda’s work on Patreon.  We are both members of Patreon which is a site designed to support artists and the work that they do.  Have a listen to the amazing Amanda and smile.

Why are People Repelled by Christians?

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Last week I watched  the TV series Gogglebox.  On it they played an episode of Bride and Prejudice which showed Chris extending a wedding invitation to his conservative parents.

Bride and Prejudice saw Grant’s fiancé, Chris, ask his parents if they would come to his wedding.

Before we had even heard the parents response,  I looked at the mothers face and turned to my husband and said. “I bet she’s a Christian”.  Then this happened.

Instead of accepting, Chris’ mother Yvonne and army father Jeff rejected the invitation to even meet their son’s fiance due to their personal and religious beliefs.

(I found out later that she was a Jehovahs witness).

Why did I think she was a Christian before she even spoke?  It was the self righteous look of rejection and judgement that was painted on her face.  A face that is all too familiar in Christian circles.  Please dont misquote me.  I do not know this woman or her circumstances.  I am sure that she is in a lot of pain and confusion right now.  I cannot imagine a situation where a mother would reject her son like that.  I am using this as an example of what is far to familiar.

I know that many of you hold differing beliefs and thoughts on this subject and this post is not a discussion on gay marriage, or homosexuality.  

What I cannot get away from are the words of Jesus:

They will know that you are Christ followers by your love

John 13:35

YET…..Far too often we are known by our self righteousness, our prejudice, our rejection and our judgemental attitude.  Some would even say our hate.

Earlier last week a friend of mine Deb Hirsch posted this excerpt from her book.

A question we must ask is:

What was it about the holiness of Jesus that drew people to him like a magnet? Sinners of all sorts were drawn into his orbit: the bungled, the broken and the bent, tax collectors, harlots—all sorts of social outcasts—all wanting closeness. His holiness was certainly alluring and enticing.

Following this, a more disturbing question needs to be asked:

What is it about more churchy forms of holiness that seem to evoke the opposite response?

Sinners seem to be repelled by Christians! They certainly are not rushing forward to hang out with us. I want to suggest that perhaps this is not holiness at all but a counterfeit form of moralism (Deb Hirsch).

This has stayed with me all week.  If the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives within us and if we are followers of the teachings of Jesus, then why aren’t people drawn to us like a magnet.  People felt no shame around Him, they just wanted to be as near to him as they could get.  He certainly did not reject them or despise them.

Why are Christians so repellant?

We really need to ask ourselves this question.

When did we become so in love with the rules of the church that we forgot to mirror the very one that we are following.

After meditating on these thoughts for a week I realised two things.

1:  I have fallen OUT of love with ‘the church’ in the very broad sense and

2:  More completely in love with Jesus and what He taught.

It seems to me that in many ways ‘some parts’ of the Church has moved a long way away from the beatitudes and the mesmerising grace and love of Jesus and has become more in love with keeping rules and peddling fear than with loving people.

I shall pour clean water over you and you will be cleansed…  I shall give you a new heart, and put a new spirit in you; I shall remove the heart of stone from your bodies and give you a heart of flesh instead.” (Ez 36, 26).

Where is this heart of flesh?  Too often we show each other and those who are different from us, hearts of stone when our hearts should be alive, soft, pliable and in love.

Jesus didn’t teach about homosexuality, he didn’t teach about most of the topics that tear the church apart today like equality, woman in ministry,  end times dispensations, muslims and refugees.  He didn’t need to.  His greatest teaching covered all of those subjects and more but you dont often hear about it or see it demonstrated.

It was his sermon on the mount.

  1. Blessed are the Poor in Spirit; the kingdom of heaven is theirs.

    That is the first and most fundamental condition for belonging to Christ is to be aware of our utter need for God and have humility toward him.

  2. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” 

    If we love God, we will love all those who belong to God, and every human being without exception comes from God and is loved by God with an incomprehensible love.   The more we understand the heart of God the more we find our neighbour there.  The more we can relate to their pain and in doing so offer comfort and consolation.

  3. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”

    A meek spirit is a gentle spirit.  The poor in spirit who mourn the misery of others because they know all about misery and are moved to share in it.  They are gentle towards those who are suffering.  The meek are not quick to take offense at others; they are very patient with others because they know that God has always been patient with them.  (source)

helping4. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for what is right; they shall be satisfied.”

What Jesus is referring to is the hunger pangs of a first century Palestinian laborer who knew what it was like to go without food for an extended period of time, and the thirst is that of a Palestinian who has experienced the heat of the desert and the thirst it induces.  There is a tremendous amount of indifference in this world, and the reason is that indifference is rather painless.  The indifferent do not suffer over the wounds of others. Those who have entered into Christ will suffer a great deal of hunger and thirst, because there is so much injustice around us. (source)

5. “Blessed are the merciful; they will be shown mercy.

Christ revealed God as absolute mercy.  He came to die for us and cancel the debt of sin, which we were unable to pay.  The Latin word for mercy is misericordia (miser, cor, dia).  The word means “the heart (cor) of God (deus) touching our misery (miser).  God enters into our misery by becoming man in the Person of Christ.  He does so to inject the comfort of his presence into the depths of our darkness so that when life becomes dark for us, we do not have to suffer alone.  When we have been touched by his mercy, we too become merciful; to follow him is to become a channel of his mercy (source). 

6. “Blessed are the pure in heart; they shall see God.”

Being pure in heart involves having a singleness of heart toward God. A pure heart has no hypocrisy, no guile, no hidden motives. The pure heart is marked by transparency and an uncompromising desire to please God in all things. It is more than an external purity of behavior; it is an internal purity of soul. (Source)

7. “Blessed are the peacemakers; they shall be called the children of God.” 

The Latin word for peace is ‘pax’, which means unity.  Love unites, hate divides, separates, cuts off, rejects.   A peacemaker is one who strives to bring together, to maintain a genuine harmony among people  (source) .

8. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of what is right, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Jesus blesses those who suffer by belonging to Him.  We identify with Jesus and with each other in our suffering.  We do not put ourselves above any one else, we are equal with or come along side ‘with’ those who suffer because we know what it is like.    We know what it is like to be persecuted.  The meaning of persecution is to suffer for your racial, religious or political beliefs.  No one should oppress, abuse or victimise another human being.

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If the work here is meaningful to you, you can partner with me in a very real way through Patreon.com.

Patreon allows me to get support for the work that I do on this blog.    Patreon allows people to financially pledge to support artists, writers, musicians, and other creative people. Sunday Everyday has been on line since the first of February 2015.  Since that time I have been doing this in a volunteer capacity.  For the blog to continue I need your support.  You may want to give the amount you would spend on a coffee and muffin once a month or you may wish to pledge $50.00 a month or more.  Every bit helps.

Please help support my ministry and magnify my voice by pledging.

Thanks for considering.

Love Lisa

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Time to Draw the Line

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For various historical reasons, East Timor has never had maritime boundaries.

As a sovereign nation East Timor wants maritime boundaries and is legally entitled to have them. Unfortunately, the Australian Government has persistently refused to establish permanent maritime boundaries with East Timor in accordance with current international law.  Specifically, we’re calling for the establishment of permanent maritime boundaries between East Timor and Australia in accordance with international law – that is, the boundary should be drawn along the median line halfway between the two countries’ coastlines. (Taken from the Timor Sea Justice Campaign).

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The new Movie ‘Time to Draw the Line’ reveals the David and Goliath fight between East Timor and Australia over maritime boundary lines.  

Time to Draw the Line
Directed by Amanda King & Fabio Cavadini
2016, 58 minutes
Demand.Film
Featuring prominent Australians speaking out for East Timor, it is being released for cinema-on-demand screenings around the country this month.  

My dear friend Tim Read and Nandy Gurr  are hosting a special one-time screening of the film Time to Draw the Line, Wednesday March 1 at Croydon Cinemas.  

Unlike a traditional movie showing, our Demand Film screening requires that 60 tickets be reserved in the next few days in order for the screening to occur. 
 
The screening will go for 50min from 7pm, followed by a 15min Q and A, with a small panel of people knowledgeable on the issues.
At this stage and we need another 25 sold in the next 3 days for the screening to go ahead.
To reserve your tickets, please visit the Demand Film Event Page here: https://tickets.demand.film/event/1504
 
Interview with Tim Read about Time to Draw the Line.
Tim, what is the film about?
The world fell in love with Timor-Leste when it was born as a new nation after 25 years of turmoil and war. Australia’s peace keeping force helped with its peaceful transition into nationhood. Now, over a decade later, the dark story of Australia’s relationship with this new nation must be told. Time to Draw the Line presents the campaign for a fair go for East Timor and that nation’s desire to settle its long-running maritime boundary dispute with Australia.
Tim, why are you involved?
For many years New Community in Ringwood has been involved in many projects on the ground in Timor Leste, these include building new schools, feeding programs, purchasing a 4wd to help blind people from remote ares to get to a special school, and much more.
Over time it became obvious there is a stigma attached to Australians, and digging deeper, led us to discover the way our government has manipulated and deceived Timor Leste over gas and oil in the Timor sea.
Whilst native Timorese in remote areas where aware of the Australian governments behaviour, Australians where largely unaware. This had to change.
What does the film hope to achieve?
The documentary was made to raise awareness of the issue and let Australians know how their government (both sides) has represented them. Putting gas and oil companies ahead of one of the poorest countries in the world.
And through that to rally support in calling on the government to act in a responsible and just way.
Things are changing, Timor and Australia have released this joint statement about a September deadline
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Both Timor-Leste and Australia agreed that the meetings were productive, and reaffirmed their commitment to work in good faith towards an agreement on maritime boundaries by the end of the conciliation process in September 2017. The Commission intends to do its utmost to help the Parties reach an agreement that is both equitable and achievable
This is a good start but the process is happening behind closed doors and history has shown so far that they can’t be trusted.
Australians need to be aware and the pressure needs to be kept on.
More info can be found at:

If the work here is meaningful to you, you can partner with me in a very real way through Patreon.com.

Patreon allows me to get support for the work that I do on this blog.    Patreon allows people to financially pledge to support artists, writers, musicians, and other creative people – ME.   Sunday Everyday has been on line since the first of February 2015.  Since that time I have been doing this in a volunteer capacity.  For the blog to continue I need your support.  You may want to give the amount you would spend on a coffee and muffin once a month or you may wish to pledge $50.00 a month or more.  Every bit helps.

Please help support my ministry and magnify my voice by pledging.

Thanks for considering.

Love Lisa

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Five Minutes of Natural Mood Enhancer

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Can you believe the the first 5 minutes you spend outside in light exercise are the most beneficial?  This means that all of us are able to take advantage of this easily available  natural mood enhancer.

You know that feeling where your brain seems to be sputtering to a halt? Researchers call that “mental fatigue.”  I know that I am mentally fatigued at the moment with the constant mind numbing news and politics.  Having just returned from 7 days on the Murray river I couldn’t believe how invigorated I felt.  Just a 5 min swim in the river boosted my mood to a euphoric state.  I hadn’t felt that happy in a long time.

“One thing that can help get your mind back into gear is exposing it to restorative environments, which, research has found, generally means the great outdoors. One study found that people’s mental energy bounced back even when they just looked at pictures of nature. (Pictures of city scenes had no such effect.)” Lauren Friedman  As a creative person I was especially careful to do this when I was working at a computer all day in an office.  Every couple of hours I would refresh my right side of the brain by looking at  pictures of nature, flowers, bouquets, rivers, ocean scenes.   A caffeinated boost to the brain.  This enabled me to keep going and to stay fresh.

If you are feeling stressed out or mentally fatigued, studies have shown that students who spent two night in the forest had lower levels of cortisol — a hormone often used as a marker for stress — than those who spent that time in the city. (Lauren Friedman and Kevin Loria)

I want to share this article  with you which I found in Psych Central  and is written by Kellie Edwards.

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The Forgotten Five-Minute Mindful Mood Booster

By Kellie Edwards

~ 2 min read

It happened again today. I forgot to go outside.

I don’t mean I completely forgot to go outside, but I forgot to do my Five-Minute Mindful Mood Booster.

Green Exercise

Ever since I discovered the research that showed that the first five minutes of light exercise in nature delivers the biggest mood booster of time spent outside, I realized what a realistic mindfulness practice it is for even the busiest person.

It’s true. The green exercise research program at the University of Essex (UK) has started to quantify some of these health benefits

“The research has involved a range of different types of nature therapies, contexts, activities, clients, motivations and needs, but all have shown positive health and wellbeing benefits. Findings report that many types of activities, irrespective of activity and duration, lead to improvements in self-esteem and mood, by reducing feelings of anger, confusion, depression and tension. We have also measured physical health benefits, such as reduced blood pressure, and seen how engaging in group activities facilitates social networking and connectivity.”

And you don’t have to live in the countryside or do any particular type of exercise — no three-day hike required — although if you enjoy that, it will probably deliver a decent dose of well-being your way.

The research showed little difference for urban or rural dwellers, or for the type of exercise.

And just in case you are thinking — oh, it’s cold and wet outside, I am not going to get the benefits of THIS Five-Minute Mindful Mood Booster am I?

Wrong. Green exercise works no matter what the weather is — it is not just about getting the Vitamin D or the joy of a spring breeze — the benefits of green exercise transcend the weather. Wow.

The real clincher — what makes it really hard NOT to take up this idea — is the bit I shared right at the start: it is in the first five minutes that the greatest benefit is realized — and that light intensity activities produce the greatest effects. 

So I have adapted green exercise into a five-minute mindful walk in nature. No headphones. No cell phones. No distractions. Just noticing my breath, the movement of my body. And the greens, blues, and browns of nature around me. It really is a reliable Five-Minute Mindful Mood Booster — and yet it is one we can all forget.

We forget to do it when we become engrossed in our list of things to do. We forget it when we are taking care of other people’s needs. We forget it when we are rushing.

But when we remember, what a powerful difference it can make. So much so that writing this has renewed my intention to make mindful green exercise a daily habit this year.

So what would your Five-Minute Mindful Mood Booster be? Here are a few ideas, depending on where you live and what is most accessible for you (because if there is one thing we know about forming healthy habits — the easier you make it for yourself, the more likely you are to make it last.) So choose something you know you can do every day for five minutes, no matter what the weather (got a good raincoat?).

Stroll, cycle, run, skip, ride your horse, dance, jump, or cartwheel your way

  • on the beach
  • in a park
  • through a forest
  • by a lake
  • in your garden
  • by a river
  • across the moors
  • on the plains
  • over the hills
  • through the fields
  • in the snow
  • in the rain
  • in the sun
  • in the wind

Interesting reading isn’t it:  Just think, spending time outside improves you mood, boosts your immune system, improves mental health, helps you think sharper and more creatively, reduces stress and inflammation and can help improve short term memory.

Get out there people and enjoy the fresh air. x Lisa.

 

Australia’s Ice Epidemic

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Tuesday Talks:  Australia’s Ice Epidemic by Lisa Hunt-Wotton

The biggest threat facing Australia today is not Donald Trump it is not ISIS it is ICE.

Statistics out today show that over 1.3 million Australians have tried Ice.  It effects all levels of society.  It is addictive, destructive and it takes over 18 months to shake an Ice addiction.

Detective Chief Inspector Michael Cook said this morning on ABC News:

Ice is the biggest threat facing Australia today.

It is a growing industry, this battle is not being won.  Ice labs are being set up all over the country, in hotels, domestic houses, cars everywhere.  The labs are primarily operated by Australian middle aged men.

Ice places an enormous strain on the health industry and on health and emergency workers.  Around 40 % of patients in health facilities are ice addicts and health professionals are struggling to deal with it.

Is is a drain on our resources and we are in desperate need for more rehab facilities.

What is needed is more education to push the need for the drug down.

To find out more, the  ABC  4 part series called  Ice Wars starts tonight at 8.30pm.  I highly recommend that you watch it.

Ice Wars examines the scale and scope of the challenges facing law enforcement, health workers, users, families and the community as they grapple to mitigate the effects of ice use in Australia.  “This provocative series takes us to the frontline of Australia’s drug war on ice. Through unprecedented access, we follow the stories of Meth lab busts, front line importation arrests at the docks with Task Force Polaris, decontamination of suburbs by the clean up crews, forensic teams tracing precursors and toxicologists investigating human impact from passive Meth cooking”. Ice Wars ABC

Today in this Interview Cathy Mandile talks to us  about Drug Addiction.  What is it?  What is this epidemic called Ice?  What resources are available for rehabilitation and support?

Cathy is a passionate advocate of peoples rights to  receive support and compassion through the darkest times in their lives.  She is a professional counsellor currently working in the public mental health sector and has cared for many people with dual diagnoses of mental illness and substance abuse.

Cathy thank you so much for joining us today on Sunday Everyday.  I want to talk to you about Drugs and what this looks like in our Australian landscape.  This is a huge topic and I’m sure it will be the first of many posts.  However, firstly lets look at some statistics by ANDREW CARSWELL – THE DAILY TELEGRAPH  JULY 07, 2014 12:00AM.

“AUSTRALIA, a country of sports champions, innovators … and drug takers. The nation has the inglorious distinction of having the highest proportion of recreational drug users in the world — an embarrassing new low, albeit from getting high.

Our collective craving for a hit is only set to heighten, with the number of drug users continuing to rise steadily. The frightening statistics in the United Nation’s 2014 World Drug Report confirm Australia as leading the world in the use of party drug ecstasy, third in methamphetamines and fourth in cocaine.

Of greater concern is the addiction to prescribed or black market opioids such as codeine and morphine. We rank second only to the US, with 3.1-3.6 per cent of people between 15 and 65 considered regular users, mostly women”.

“AUSTRALIA is in the midst of an ice epidemic, with the drug being linked to a growing number of crimes, and higher quantities of the amphetamine seized at our borders”.

And there is no end in sight to our addiction.  Evidence showing the extent of the problem emerged last week with an Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) survey showing large numbers of people who had been arrested had amphetamines in their system, with ice being one of the most common varieties.  The report said the long-term use of ice can lead to aggressive and violent behaviour, depression, cardiovascular problems, and kidney failure” (Article by news.com.au JUNE 04, 2014 11:36AM).

LW:  Cathy do these statistics ring true to you?  Personally I know so many families devastated by drugs;  and it effects the whole family not just the one taking the drugs?

CM:  Absolutely! Ice is one of the most evil substances on this planet not only for its addictive nature but because of the effects it has on families and individuals alike. We see in the media daily reports of robberies, domestic violence, and car accidents and of course lives taken as a result of ice addiction. It is not a respecter of race, religion, age, sex or socioeconomic demographic. It can cause psychotic episodes and behavioural changes that are extremely confronting and quite often frightening. I have counselled many people with substance abuse and mental health issues including businessmen/women, mothers, fathers, GLBTI community, individuals being exited from jail and Flo and Joe next door. I can honestly say that these precious people have families who have been devastated and traumatized by the effects of their substance use.   Addiction Monitor Shows Craving And Substance Abuse

What is Drug Addiction

CM: Where do I start? Wikipedia suggests. A drug addiction, is defined as compulsive, out-of-control drug use, despite negative consequences.

An addictive drug is both rewarding and reinforcing  otherwise people would not engage in it. I have asked many clients what the ‘pay off’ is in using illicit drugs and the response is often around these themes.

 

  1. It makes me ‘feel’ good.
  2. I don’t have to deal with the trauma.
  3. It is an escape from ‘life’.
  4. Everyone is doing it.
  5. I just wanted to try it and now I can’t stop.
  6. I can go for days without sleeping and party all night.
  7. To lose weight.

Just to name a few! In the beginning of using methamphetamine (Ice) the experience can be euphoric and very pleasurable. However it leads not only to physiological difficulties as you have stated above but also HUGE psychological and behavioural consequences. Confusion, anxiety and agitation, impaired cognition, aggression and violent behaviour, paranoia and delusions. Scary stuff!!! It is easy for us to say to an individual to ‘just stop using’ however we need to explore drug addiction in its entirety. What other factors are going on in their life? Have they endured significant trauma? Is there a family history of substance use? Is there polysubstance use? (use of more than one drug) What, if any, medications are they taking?

People often find themselves in a quagmire of hopelessness and helplessness when facing drug addiction.  They want to give it up and often relapse into further addiction.  Mix these with anxiety, depression, psychosis and other mental illnesses and you are faced with very difficult and soul destroying circumstances.

LW:  Why has Ice become such an epidemic and why is this addiction so hard to break? Human hand stretch out from prison bars

Firstly the epidemic of Ice. 

Ice is a stimulant drug and when a person takes it, they can stay awake for days on end. It is also an appetite suppressant and the user will not eat for long periods of time.

Let’s look at this for a moment. We live in a 24/7 society. There is such a lot of pressure to perform at our best and an obsession over our weight that these can often override our  family life and self care.

Another reason to consider is that long term Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation that is government funded have waiting lists that stretch into months.

People often think that if a person detoxes from the drug of choice, which takes about 10 days, then they should be as good as gold.  NO! Ice and other drugs have a significant psychological addiction too.

This needs long term rehabilitation in most cases. We simply do not have enough rehabilitation centres available to facilitate the growing pandemic of Ice and other drug addictions.

Secondly why is it so hard to break this addiction?

Some drug addictions respond to pharmacotherapy drugs.

For example: Alcohol withdrawal can be treated with benzodiazepines (eg diazepam);

Heroin with methadone.

Ice however does not to date have a standard pharmacotherapy treatment for the management of withdrawal or dependence. Medications such as dopamine agonists (which have similar properties to methamphetamines)  and antagonists ( which block the effects of stimulant drugs, Herman et al 2005) have been trialled for their effectiveness in managing methamphetamine withdrawal or dependence. (Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre).

Furthermore, the beginnings of meth use cause euphoric and pleasurable feelings. The more dependent one becomes the more frequent and higher doses are required to sustain the ‘pay off’.The addiction then is set and the ‘pay off’ subsides to the negative consequences depression, psychosis, anxiety etc. A very vicious cycle.

LW:  Recently I heard of a brother high on ice, breaking into his family home and terrorising the family, head butting the father and threatening to kill his sister.  This is a boy who would normally never dream of acting out like this.   It’s so difficult because your natural inclination is to protect or to help but I am hearing more and more parents and siblings saying; “We just don’t know what to do”. 

What do family and friends do in these situations?  Do they have avenues of help and protection? What practical steps can they take?  Can they go to the police?  Will this just make it worse?

CM:  There needs to be a plan.  Don’t do this by yourself!!!!! Support! Support! Support!!

There is help out there!!! I think of the scenario of when you are on a plane and the hostess states that if in the event of a crash and oxygen is needed then place the oxygen mask on yourself first and then your child. We are no good to anyone if we don’t self care first.

If you are in danger?

Leave the situation. Call the authorities.Be informed about what options you have in support for you and your loved one. Is this selfish? No! It is giving an opportunity for you to be at your best when your loved one needs you.

Also remember that a drug affected person does not have the same reasoning capacity as you.

LW:  If you do have a drug problem and you want help, where do you turn?  What are the first steps that you can take and how hard is it to rehabilitate?  Is there government assistance?

CM:  There are many public and private drug and alcohol support services in Victoria.  These include detox units, rehab centres and counselling services.

Many of these are government funded. I suggest calling
  • Directline 1800 888 236 which is a confidential alcohol & drug counselling and referral service in Victoria for people of all ages and backgrounds.They will be able to direct you to support in your area. (this includes carer support too) Very Important!!!!
  • See your G.P. for a referral to private hospital services if you have private health cover.

LW:  Lets go to the Christian parallel.  I know that many Christian families find this particularly hard because of the stigma and the desire to portray the perfect Christian family and of the fear of people finding out.  Also the church is not the greatest at talking about these issues.  What would you say to this predicament and do you face this dynamic in your work from Christians?

CM:  You know Lisa, I find this incredibly puzzling  I think our Christian culture has lost the very basics of what Christianity is all about.  Didn’t Jesus come to save the lost?  Aren’t we all lost?  We create walls to ‘protect’ ourselves and these extend to our loved ones too. I recall a pastor who was using Ice blamed the devil for his addiction whilst his wife was in agony watching the man she fell in love with soliciting prostitutes. She was trying to hold the family together and ‘keep face’. Recovery followed once he accepted responsibility for his actions and sought after help and support.

In my work with Christians who have drug addictions and mental health concerns, isolation and shame is prevalent. It makes me ask. How can we make a safe place of hope for ALL Christians and ALL Non Christians without the fear of judgment and retribution??

LW:  Oh so many questions, I can see that we have so many more conversations to come.   Cathy is there something else you would like to add?

CM:  If you are a Carer of a loved one who has an addiction or if you suffer from addiction yourself, please don’t think you have to do this journey alone.

Call someone.   Family Drug Support 1300 368 186  Lifeline 13 11 14. If you are feeling suicidal. There is hope!

LW:  Cathy thank you so very much for joining us today.  I hope that you will join us again soon.

Resources and Recommended Reading:

Brilliant 3 min DVD on “What is Drug Addiction by Dr Gabor Mate http://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/what-is-addiction-gabor-mate/ http://www.turningpoint.org.au/ http://www.adf.org.au/ http://www.getoffdrugs.com.au/ice-epidemic/ (Article about Ice)

If the work here is meaningful to you, you can partner with me in a very real way through Patreon.com.

Patreon allows me to get support for the work that I do on this blog.    Patreon allows people to financially pledge to support artists, writers, musicians, and other creative people. Sunday Everyday has been on line since the first of February 2015.  Since that time I have been doing this in a volunteer capacity.  For the blog to continue I need your support.  You may want to give the amount you would spend on a coffee and muffin once a month or you may wish to pledge $50.00 a month or more.  Every bit helps.

Please help support my ministry and magnify my voice by pledging.

Thanks for considering.

Love Lisa

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What is Love?

love-flies

What is love anyway?

Jesus asked us to love, He demonstrated love.  He instructed us to love God and to love others.  He asked us to love others as we love ourselves.  How do we do this when most of the time we don’t even like ourselves?

If we hate ourself, berate oursel, underrate ourselves, do we still love our neighbour as we love ourself? Cameron Semmens

Love is a command but how much time have we spent reading and learning about love?  We spend a lot of time researching and learning about  other topics, issues, scriptures, doctrines, but not that much on love.  If we learn more about love we may begin to love ourselves more, to love others more.

I thought that we might ponder and lean into this classic poem On Love by Thomas Kempis.  Thomas  was medieval priest, a poet, monk and writer.    This is his poem On Love.

On Love 

Love is a mighty power,

a great and complete good.

Love alone lightens every burden, and makes rough places smooth.

It bears every hardship as though it were nothing, and renders

all bitterness sweet and acceptable.

 

Nothing is sweeter than love.

Nothing stronger,

Nothing higher,

Nothing wider,

Nothing more pleasant,

Nothing fuller or better in heaven or earth; for love is born of God.

 

Love flies, runs and leaps for joy.

It is free and unrestrained.

Love knows no limits, but ardently transcends all bounds.

Love feels no burden, takes no account of toil,

attempts things beyond its strength.

 

Love sees nothing as impossible,

for it feels able to achieve all things.

It is strange and effective,

while those who lack love faint and fail.

 

Love is not fickle and sentimental,

nor is it intent on vanities.

Like a living flame and a burning torch,

it surges upward and surely surmounts every obstacle.

 

If the work here is meaningful to you, you can partner with me in a very real way through Patreon.com.

Patreon allows me to get support for the work that I do on this blog.    Patreon allows people to financially pledge to support artists, writers, musicians, and other creative people. Sunday Everyday has been on line since the first of February 2015.  Since that time I have been doing this in a volunteer capacity.  For the blog to continue I need your support.  You may want to give the amount you would spend on a coffee and muffin once a month or you may wish to pledge $50.00 a month or more.  Every bit helps.

Please help support my ministry and magnify my voice by pledging.

Thanks for considering.

Love Lisa

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The Virtual Reformation 

What is happening in the world today?   Brilliant article by Jane Caro about how the world got into the state that it is in at the moment. 

The Virtual Reformation

BY JANE CARO
In this new ‘Age of Anxiety’, where the world’s future appears unprecedentedly bleak and volatile, historical parallels between our times and the Protestant Reformation can draw some comfort – and some alarm.
In 2017 we live in a world that is gripped by fear.
Social researcher Hugh Mackay has dubbed our times an ‘Age of Anxiety’. All the old certainties have been turned upside down and the only thing that we are told we can rely on is an ever-increasing pace of change.
To a jittery population that is cold comfort. In our existential dread we thrash about for people to blame: the left, the right, Muslims, refugees, feminists, believers, unbelievers, terrorists and that reliable old omnibus – political correctness. The one thing we all agree on is that the future looks alarming and unpredictable. We are, we believe, in uncharted waters.
But perhaps that is not so. Perhaps human beings have been through something like this before.
*
In 1440, Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press and changed the world. Prior to this technical marvel, every book had to be handwritten, predominantly by monks laboring in scriptoriums.
Information was controlled by a tiny number of educated scholars, most of whom were priests of the Catholic Church, and almost all books were Bibles. The rest of the population were mostly illiterate. Information was guarded zealously and people were woefully ignorant.
Those in power liked it that way. The many Bibles and religious texts that were laboriously produced by hand were written in Latin, a language ordinary people did not understand. When people participated in worship – and it was compulsory – religious ceremonies were conducted in that same dead language, with the priest behind a screen, his back to the congregation.
Worshippers were only permitted to participate in a pre-ordained, ritualistic manner. Indeed, it was one of the tenets of the Catholic Church that ordinary people should neither read the word of God nor pray to God directly. Their only contact with their maker had to be through a man of God: a priest. 

Everything else was heresy. In this way, the priests and the Church controlled virtually all information for centuries. And through controlling information, of course, they also controlled the population.
*

In my other life, I have written a trilogy of young adult historical novels about Elizabeth I, and this has meant I had to research her life and times. As I did I began to see powerful resonances with the present.
Elizabeth Tudor’s very existence was a direct consequence of the dramatic changes occurring within the power structures and organisation of the world at that time. Changes that were the result – as I suspect they always are – of a technological innovation.
In the 1500s it was the printing press. Elizabeth Tudor was born in 1533, during the tumult that followed the first information revolution. We are currently living through the second.
It was the invention of the printing press that gave rise to the Protestant Reformation. Suddenly, books (most of which remained Bibles) could be produced more rapidly and in greater numbers, and at much lower cost.
With more books available, supply created demand. People, particularly those with means, began to learn to read. Even before Martin Luther nailed his ‘The 95 Theses’ to the church door in 1517, cracks were beginning to appear in the ironclad control the Catholic Church had previously exercised over access to information and knowledge.
Even the language of knowledge started to change. Luther translated the Bible into the German vernacular, and William Tyndale translated it into English. Such was the Church’s fear of the spread of information that both men were excommunicated. Tyndale was eventually condemned as a heretic. He was strangled and his body burnt at the stake.
But even in the face of such draconian consequences, the public continued to demand their own direct relationship with God and their right to read the Bible in their own language. 

What people were really agitating for, perhaps, was access to information and knowledge. They were no longer willing to know only what the priestly class wanted them to know.
Elizabeth I’s mother, Anne Boleyn, a devout and evangelical Protestant, is famous as the coquette who held a King’s ardour at bay for a decade until he eventually made her Queen. It was Henry VIII’s determination to get a divorce from his Catholic first wife, Catherine, so he could marry Anne that led to his countries’ break with Rome and the establishment of the Protestant Church of England.
Henry was a Protestant for political, dynastic and sexual purposes, but Boleyn was a true believer. Her tenacious commitment to ideas, such as each Christian’s right to a direct and personal relationship with God, was one of the reasons she made so many powerful enemies.
In response to the Protestant schism and the threat it posed to their power and control, the Catholic Church burnt heretics, hunted them down and tortured them. The Spanish Inquisition was formed to stamp out heresy. Huguenots were massacred in France and wars were fought between Protestant and Catholic nations. Elizabeth herself lived under a Catholic fatwa. (Protestants, of course, were brutal and fanatical, too.)
The Catholic Church had to learn to share power…with the growing secular society that emerged as a result of widening education.

None of it worked. The Catholic Church had to learn to share power. Not only with Protestants but with the growing secular society that emerged as a result of widening education. From ruling half the planet, to such an extent that Pope Alexander VI actually divided the new world in two and gave one half to the Spanish and the other to the Portuguese, Catholicism became just another branch of Christianity.
As education and knowledge spread, Enlightenment followed the Reformation, and then all the liberation movements that emerged thereafter, including the abolition of slavery, child labour, and increased rights for women. After all, if every man could have his own relationship with God, why not every woman? Why not every slave?
This democratisation of the word of God led inexorably to democracy itself; predicated on the idea that all men (even, perhaps, women) were created equal. Everyone ended up entitled to not just a relationship with God but with a vote and a say. One followed inevitably, I think, from the other. As those in power understand only too well, once a few difficult questions began to be asked, a great many more would follow.
*
The internet is at least as revolutionary as the printing press and we can already see the effect it is having on today’s information gatekeepers. In the West, these are no longer the churches, although they battle on manfully. 

The mainstream media, particularly newspaper proprietors – the high priests who used to set the daily political agenda – big business, banks, retailers and governments are all feeling the loss of control. Many are thrashing about in protest, trying to hold onto a power that they once acquired so effortlessly that they may have begun to see it as a divine right.
Now that everybody with a smart device has access to the media as well as the ability to create content themselves, things that used to be kept quiet are getting out; everyone can have a direct relationship with what used to be privileged information.
Most recently, WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden have brought that home to the powers that be in no uncertain terms. I can’t help wondering if Julian Assange, Snowden and Chelsea Manning are the William Tyndales of our time. They can expect – and indeed have received – no mercy if they are.
Wherever you look in the modern world, old certainties are collapsing. Bricks and mortar retailers are struggling to hold onto customers and profits. The music industry has returned to concerts and touring to make money, not just because of internet piracy but because even when fans legally purchase their download, prices (and so profits) have collapsed. The troubadour, it seems, is back.
The same is true for books, films and TV. Advertisers are in a cold sweat about how to catch viewer’s attention in these days of fragmenting media, Apple TV, Netflix, IQ, live pause and fast forward. Those that rely on making a profit to exist are badly shaken.
Rupert Murdoch began his attack on the new media landscape by berating public broadcasters like the BBC and ABC, aware that their publicly subsidised model allowed them to offer viewers much better service than his stations could afford. Public broadcasters are now under siege around the world.
Murdoch’s desperation about holding on to the readers and viewers has led to staff at some of his newspapers using the new technology to break the law and invade the privacy of those who attract the attention of a fickle public. Arguably it is the sense of having lost control that drives people to take escalating risks.
Newspapers – direct products of the invention of the printing press – appear to be on the brink of extinction, at least in hard copy and on weekdays. And news stories no longer break on the evening news or in first-edition headlines, or even on radio. They break on Twitter, Instagram and on Facebook. 

The witnesses to momentous events now upload their smart phone photos and videos instantly. Who needs an expensive camera crew anymore?
Newspapers – direct products of the invention of the printing press – appear to be on the brink of extinction.

Even that indomitable old dame feminism has found herself firmly back on the political agenda, thanks to women’s unmediated voices on social media. When the women of India find the courage to march in the streets to protest the endemic rapes in that country because access to social media (even the poorest have smart phones) has at last given them a voice, you know the world is changing.
The current outpouring of rage by women over the treatment of the Stanford rapist is also an expression of the new capacity to speak up and speak out. LGBTQI activists are asserting their rights just as emphatically, further panicking those who see power as a zero sum game. 

Polish women have marched in their thousands and gone on strike in their millions in protest against proposed draconian laws against abortion. Their combined voices are forcing politicians and church leaders to take notice.
The response of today’s powerful class to their comprehensive loss of control mirrors that of the Catholic Church five hundred years ago. They are furious and they are fighting back.
Politics have moved sharply to the right. Only three decades ago, it was a conservative Fraser government in Australia that reacted with compassion and generosity to the first boat people from Vietnam. Today even Labor appears to be in some kind of competition with its conservative counterparts as to who can be most cruel.
The election of Donald Trump, the triumph of Brexit, the re-emergence of Pauline Hanson – all are signs of such fear-based responses.

It is human nature to react to a sense of losing control by clamping down twice as hard on anything you can control. Hence the triumph of the measurement-maniacs in areas such as health, education, government policy and management theory. I have even read an article touting a new quantitative process for ‘objectively’ measuring success in the arts.
Worse, what now goes by the once liberal term of ‘reform’ often looks much more like old fashioned authoritarian ‘control’ when scrutinised. As author C. J. Sansom warned in the preface to his dystopian novel Dominion, forget fascism and communism, what we may be facing now is the development of toxic democracies based on nationalism and xenophobia, both favourite boltholes for the frightened and insecure.

 The election of Donald Trump, the triumph of Brexit, the re-emergence of Pauline Hanson – all are signs of such fear-based responses. If things feel out of our control, we turn to leaders who find us scapegoats to blame.
*
But it is in climate change denial that the powerful most resemble the Catholic Church of the 15th century. Faced with the literally earth-shattering realisation that the old economic model of continuous growth is starting to decline and that the planet’s resources are not infinite, many of those running the world have reacted by closing their eyes and covering their ears.
Like the Inquisitors of old, they prefer to accuse climate scientists of heresy and conspiracy than listen. Using somewhat more subtle tactics than burning or torturing, they have still managed to intimidate many – including our public broadcasters – into a nervous silence or, at best, spurious attempts at balance. 

Professor Brian Cox debating One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts on the ABC’s Q&A was a recent example. I won’t labour the point by mentioning Galileo, but you get the idea.
Of course, such tactics didn’t work for the Catholic Church then and won’t work for the powers that be now. But if history is any guide (and it’s the only one we’ve got) we should expect the powerful to fight back hard and to fight dirty for some time before they bow to the inevitable. 

The fear and loathing around debt and deficit, the constant pressure on public services, particularly those that serve the vulnerable, are examples of desperate attempts to take back control.
Living in a constant state of ‘crisis’ helps keep people docile. Frightening them into compliance by taking away social safety nets is another way, as is exhausting them by making jobs insecure and asking them to work until they drop.
Increasing the barriers to further education is another method of keeping control in the hands of the already privileged. Noam Chomsky put it like this in a speech on the cost of public education in May 2011:
Students who acquire large debts putting themselves through school are unlikely to think about changing society. When you trap people in a system of debt they can’t afford the time to think. Tuition fee increases are a disciplinary technique, and, by the time students graduate, they are not only loaded with debt, but have also internalised the disciplinarian culture. This makes them efficient components of the consumer economy.
I’m not saying political leaders have done all this consciously, or as some sort of conspiracy, but, as I was taught in my advertising career long ago, if you want to know why someone does something: follow the benefit.
The part of the world, however, where the impact of this latest information revolution may be most powerfully felt did not experience a reformation last time around.
As I was taught in my advertising career long ago, if you want to know why someone does something: follow the benefit.

We can see that already in what used to optimistically be called the Arab Spring. Not just the explosions of dissent in Egypt, Libya, Syria and, more surprisingly, Thailand and even Hong Kong, but also the general resurgence of fundamentalist Islam (and Christianity, for that matter) makes perfect sense when looked at through the prism of history.
In 15th century Europe the once all-powerful church tried – vainly, as it turned out – to shut down access to newly available information and to continue to control the population. In the 21st century, extreme anti-information movements, like the Taliban and Al Qaeda, Boko Haram and now ISIS, are attempting to do the same thing.
They will fail just as they did five hundred years ago. So will the authoritarians and the previously all-powerful information gatekeepers in the West. The only question is how long it will take until they do.
*
We do not have the same luxury in terms of time that we had in the 15th century. Climate scientists believe it may already be too late to cap global warming at two degrees and no one really wants to contemplate what effect uncontrollable global warming may have. Add to that the super-destructive weapons that technology has put into the hands of modern humans and I cannot help fearing what state the world may be left in once the virtual reformation has run its course.
In the words of George Santayana: ‘Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.’
My only hope is we repeat them in a hurry.
Jane Caro is an author, novelist, journalist, broadcaster, columnist and social commentator. She spent thirty years as an advertising writer and her creative work has won many national and international awards. Her most recent book is Plain-Speaking Jane (2015).

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee,
Thou changest not, Thy compassion’s, they fail not,
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided,
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

As I wake this morning after a fitful night, this hymn is playing in my spirit. Great is Thy Faithfulness is a tribute to the steadfastness of God and to his immovable character.

Life is wild.  It rolls at us like the breakers of the sea.  Smashing against us and then drawing us out into deep water where we fear we may drown.  At times the water is still and calm, but inevitably it will stir up again with some wind of change or discontent.  Yet Gods faithfulness remains.  His characteristics of love, comfort, peace, kindness, endurance, strength, gentleness, goodness, mercy and grace never waiver never change.

These are the things upon which we can rest and trust.

Thou changest not, thy compassions thy fail not.

Today I think of the family this week who’s loved one was diagnosed with cancer.  To the young couple who have just been told that they are carrying  a disabled baby.  This is for the family who have been in hiding from a wild, violent and destructive husband and father and who have just been asked to come and identify his body in the morgue.   To the children who are now caretakers of a mother diagnosed with MS.  To the couple who have been told that they are infertile.  To the one struggling with depression and mental turmoil.  To the parents whose son is addicted to ice and to the daughter who is dying from anorexia.

Although I may not know you my friend.  Today I offer you this song as a bond of friendship.  To assure you that as you listen to this, I sit with you in your pain and I identify with your grief, with your loss.  This is the bond of community and the hope of friendship.  Know that you are not alone

“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.” 
― Henri J.M. NouwenOut of Solitude: Three Meditations on the Christian Life

Why did we think we would have a  pain free easy life?  Why do we grow up believeing that the wildness and unexpectedness of grief and pain will escape us.  We will inevitably find pain in our lives, life is messy, complicated and unexpected my friend.  To believe anything else is to believe a lie.

God never promised to take the trials of life away from us.  He did however promise that He would never leave us or forsake us.  That He would always be with us.  That His unchanging, steadfast love and strength would carry us and hold us.  That His love would soften our hardened hearts and that His peace would calm our anxiety.   It is the grace of God that purges the toxic bitterness from our hearts and it is His joy that gives us the strength to endure, the ability to forgive, the hope to continue.

Close your eyes and listen to this beautiful song.

Let it wash over you like a benediction. Be strengthened knowing that you are not alone in this trial.  There are heroes of faith all around you singing, believing, hoping and praying for you.  Love Lisa.

Played and sung by friends that I love and trust and who have held me in times of distress and pain.  Close your eyes and let the peace of God fill your spirit and strengthen you today.

Sung by Tania G.

Piano by Andrew Naylor, Guitar by David Tweedie.

“I am convinced that healing is often so difficult because we don’t want to know the pain.”
― Henri J.M. NouwenLife of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World

 

If the work here is meaningful to you, you can partner with me in a very real way through Patreon.com.

Patreon allows me to get support for the work that I do on this blog.    Patreon allows people to financially pledge to support artists, writers, musicians, and other creative people. Sunday Everyday has been on line since the first of February 2015.  Since that time I have been doing this in a volunteer capacity.  For the blog to continue I need your support.  You may want to give the amount you would spend on a coffee and muffin once a month or you may wish to pledge $50.00 a month or more.  Every bit helps.

Please help support my ministry and magnify my voice by pledging.

Thanks for considering.

Love Lisa

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