Self Hope For The Helpless !

Home Is Where The Love Is

Moving home is supposedly one of the most stressful times of your life. So why would anybody want to do it ? I have done it now 8 times since the age of 18 - that's approximately once very two and a half years! My wife equally so - and we are considering doing it again !!

It's a scary thought, and not something that we would consider lightly - given all of our children, their schools, their father and grand parents and our pets. No firm decision has been made yet, but we are banding about ideas and pros and cons. Availability of work, a new start, the closeness of my wife's father and step mother (they live in the area we are thinking of moving to.), the schools in the area, the stress of moving, the impact on the children . . . . . .so many things to consider.

We are thinking of moving around 130 miles eas

Your Life Affirmed

What are affirmations ? I am very new to affirmations, in fact I had not heard of them until I saw this category on the Submit An Article page! A category, by the way, that I chose to ignore! I did not know what they were, nor did I care.

More recently though I have met a very wonderful and spiritual person through, shall we say, a negative interchange with a mutual social networking friend. We have exchanged emails and she has become a very firm friend. She is around my mother's age, and very maternal in her communications. As I said, she is very spiritual and it was on her request that I began to use affirmations.

Affirmations are different things to different people and therefore I will not be telling you how to go about making or drawing up your affirmations, but more exploring the psychology behind them. My friend has sworn me to secrecy with regard to the methods used, and you should never share affirmations with others. So how on earth do they work?

Affirmations become part of your very being, you donot share them because this weakens the effect they have on your inner being. They are not a small insignificant thing, they are very deep rooted and can actually alter the outcome of your life, after being involved with them for just a short time I can already see this as fact. An affirmation asserts that something is true, even though it may not yet of happened in your life. The idea is that by affirming this positive fact we assert within our psyche that this fact is trueand therefore it becomes true.

The fact that affirmations are positive, and that you are taking them seriously and believe in them 110% means that in your mind you are positive, and even deeper rooted is a positivity that can never be thwarted. I have belief in the ability of my affirmations, and of their power to make my life become what it should be and what I deserve. You must believe that you deserve what you affirm totally, with no doubt what so ever.

To share your affirmations is to lessen their impact and weaken their positivity. Imagine you are discussing them with a friend - your affirmation maybe that you have a million dollars and live in a mansion in Beverley Hills with a beautiful woman 10 years your junior - the friend laughs out loud at you, and says "You will NEVER have that, are you crazy?" Do you see what that does to all of the positive energy? It adds negativity to the image and therefore lessens its reality and positive effect.

It is all about harnessing the positivity that your affirmations give you, and using that to progress and actually achieve what you want. I have not even shared mine with my wife, just in case - I would hate for her to spoil my positivity as a lot of my affirmations are for her and our children too. I must say that since beginning my affirmations, my whole persona has become more positive. I look at challenges and problems with a positive slant now, and extract the opportunity from the problem. I am a more positive person - more positive about my future, and more positive about my life. Good things are happening to me, when I think I am lacking in something be it money, love, friendship - it is provided for.

At the end of the day it is all about state of mind. You have to be positive to think positive and vice versa. Negativity can be beaten, and affirmations are the way to do it. You need to find somebody who knows what they are doing - some are practitioners and you may have to pay, but whatever you pay, you will get back multiple times over! Affirmations are confirmations of what your future will be, and mine is looking great.

(C) Copyright Dale Preece-Kelly August 2010

Not Just A Home For The Car

Most homes will have an out building of some kind. Whether it's a shed or a garage, it is an important place, that does not serve as JUST a storage room for the car or the mower or the family bikes. This is the man's domain and you will know this if you have ever wandered into one and put something back in the wrong place.

So why is it that men obssess about their out buildings ? There are more to these than meet the eye. They appear to be buildngs of purpose, of practical purpose. Things are stored here, and things are constructed inside, cars are repaired here and things appear that one never knew one had. That is it - anybody can enter and use a tool or make something, or repair something or take out a bicycle for someone to use. Or can they ?

My dad's shed has net curtains up at the window and it is his "office". A friend of mine has his guitar, a chair, some magazines and his motorbike in his garage - all that he needs and the things that he uses to unwind. In mine, I have a stereo system and a beer fridge! I do not spend lots of time in my garage, as do my friend and my dad, but if I need time to think and be alone then that is where I go. An outbuilding is a place for reflection, where you can be alone and contemplate what you need to do - no kids running in and out making noise, nobody asking what you are doing sitting with your head in your hands, just total peace and tranquility. Ahhhhhhh!

There is a system in my garage - tools and hardware on one side, decorating things and creative bits on the other side. There are bicycles for the whole family in there, the barbecue (wheeled out when it is time to cook - and another piece of man-dom) and some bits that "may come in useful some day"! My wife recently decided that she would build a guinea pig run. She prepared the wood and steel mesh she would use, and commenced. I won't knock her, she is certainly braver than I, I would not even try! A few days later, however, I was asked to place some food into our chest freezer. I opened the door to the garage and the place was a mess - I could not get to the appliance in question as there was wood and mesh piled up in front of it and I could not get in to move any of it, because the children's bicycles were all over the floor! What I needed to do was remove the bicycles from the garage, put the wood back in its place (everything in my garage has its place), tidy my tools, and then put the bicycles back in their right place. Inside I was seething.

My inner sanctum, if you like, had been left in a state. You mess with a man's garage or shed and you mess with his mind - suddenly everything is in disorder. My garage is now restored to its proper glory (as is my mind), and if I wished I could go and sit in there and reflect on things. Just go and mess, occupy myself with sorting or making or just doing. I could sit and listen to music, read a book, sit with my eyes closed and think - nobody knows what a guy gets up to, it is his place and once the door is closed that haven should not be disturbed.

I know that this concept can be difficult to understand for some people. A woman may take herself off to the bedroom and lie and contemplate, she may go and soak in a hot bath, or she may go shopping for retail therapy. A guy has his garage or shed. I think women are better at blocking noise out than men - my wife can sit and read a book in a room full of screaming children, where as I need peace and quiet. She can sit and watch TV zoned out to everything around her, I cannot. We all need somewhere to go, away from everything to think - a man has his garage or shed. If you do go into his domain, please leave it as you found it, put things back where you found them or you may find yourself with a very disgruntled man!

(C) Copyright Dale Preece-Kelly August 2010

Beauty Is In The Holder

Many people look at themselves in the mirror and wonder what their partner or significant other sees in them. They may feel their hair lacks style, or they carry a few extra pounds, or they have too many spots, their bod is not toned enough - whatever it is, is it really so important ? To the person concerned - yes. To the significant other - probably not they love you for who you are, not what you look like.

Initial attraction can be in many ways. It could be that you have got talking to somebody, and you connect either with their sense of humour or viewpoint or personality. It may be that flash of mischief in their glance. For me with my wife, it was her stunning eyes and the way she looked at me! Their are many ways in which people are attracted to each other. It isn't always about looks. Beauty is about what is inside.

If you are a good person, with strong morals and a great personality, you can make people laugh and smile, you make people feel good or positive - then you are a beautiful person and that beauty shines through regardless of how you look physically.

When somebody meets you for the first time, they assess what they see - granted. But you've heard the saying right ? "Beauty is only skin deep". Never a truer word spoken. Once you start being yourself, and that genuine, nice, funny person comes out and what's inside shines through, then nobody cares about how you look. Seriously. You will see the signs - they will nonchalantly say "Hi" to you, as you start to shine and relax, they will begin through unconscious body language to show signs that they are attracted to you. Their eyes will move around, they will smile more, maybe brush their hair with their hands. There are so many signs to see when somebody is attracted to you - the thing is that you are so busy just interacting (with no real intention) that you do not notice until it's happened.

What you need to do is stop worrying about your looks, relax and just be yourself. It works. Partners often say to each other : "You are not the man that I met" or "You are not the woman I fell in love with" - the reason for that is a lot of people show a false persona when trying to attract others, and then as the relationship goes on, they relax and drop their guard and become somebody else (their real self). Another reason is that they may have other hang ups, such as psychological issues (or "baggage") which sees them react differently when in a relationship. You meet a lot of people - beautiful on the outside, but "skin deep" on the inside. These people have nothing to love about them but their looks - they are trophies, on the arm for the sake of image. Is this what you want to be ? Thought not!

Okay so what you need to do is : stop looking in the mirror and judging yourself. When you look in the mirror see the you that is inside and see how beautiful that makes you feel. That positivity will make you smile, and hold yourself differently, and it will make you feel more confident. Of course take pride in your appearance - dress well and in your own style, shower regularly, wear make up, scent etc - as this also gives you confidence. But really it's you who makes you beautiful, and once you realise that everybody else will SEE it.

(C) Copyright Dale Preece-Kelly July 2010

Who Needs Luck

"You make your own luck" or so they say! Does that mean that luck exists or that it doesn't? I think that saying is true, you really do make your own luck, you just cant sit around and wait for good things to happen to you, you have to go out there and work hard !

Admittedly, there are some people that seem to have good things dropped in their laps, and we all envy them, but maybe they have done things previously and waited a long long time for their prosperity to result. Who knows ? In reality, you have to forget envy - it's a waste of time - and concentrate on you and your life. It is pointless to compare your life to that of others, because everyone's life is different because we all make decisions along the way that make our life what it is. Life is a journey - full of twists and turns, junctions where we have to decide on a path and unfortunately there is not a sat-nav for life (otherwise we would all make the same decisions).

So how do you make good luck in life and thus bring yourself an abundance of good and nice things with financial prosperity. A simple one word answer - belief! Seriously it's as simple as that. We all feel sorry for ourselves and ask ourselves "why me?", at times when our lives haven't gone quite as we hoped - I know I have, and I know that at times I have wallowed in self pity. In the last few years or so though I have met many wonderful people who have taught me the secret of being happy with your lot and remaining positive throughout.

The simple reason that these people have what they have, and are always positive in their outlook is that they have self belief. They believe in who they are, and what they are and what they are doing. This belief is an amazingly positive thing. It makes the difference between succeeding and failing - if you constantly have belief, despite what anybody says or does to the contrary, then that positivity carries you through and allows you the success that you deserve.

Since starting my businesses 5 months ago, I have had many detractors - a lot of whom are old friends, who I have known for 30+ years. These people do not know or understand the changes in me - they know the me from 3 years ago, and having seen how I am now have refused to believe it hurling negativity at me before walking away. The changes, as I have said, have come about from those I have met who have told me the secrets of their success - the secrets I have shared here. I have changed, in a very positive way, and made something of the negativity I have experienced along the way.

Life is good, and my businesses are going from strength to strength. My time will come - of this I am sure - and so will yours. Believe and be positive, and you can have everything you want in life without exception. Hit back at negatvity, with a bullet of positivity and you will find that you get a bullseye every time - and we all deserve it!

(C) Copyright Dale Preece-Kelly August 2010

Thoughtfully Inked

Tattoos are becoming increasingly common amongst the inhabitants of this planet. Some look upon them as a bad thing, and immediately judge a person with tattoos to be bad, other look upon them as works of art. Are they really as bad as the reputation that they have ?

Tattoos have been around for centuries as we know them, although the word "Tattoo" comes from a Tahitian word "Tatau", where they were seen on natives and reported by the naturalist aboard Cook's ship the Endeavour. The actual practice of tattooing though has been done since Neolithic times! They have many different meanings - some use them to symbolise their beliefs, others use them to immortalise those they love, others just see them as art. In none western cultures though they are thought to have magical and spiritual meaning - warding off evil and bringing luck, protecting and enhancing life, a symbol of authority etc.

A tattoo, is a permanent design etched into the skin, using a selection of needles and indelible inks. I have 5 tattoos (at the moment) and hope to get many more - they are an addiction. When I had my first tattoo - a fairly large one on my upper arm - they were common place, but only amongst certain types of people. They were relatively inexpensive, when compared with prices today and therefore very affordable. My first tattoo for instance was £15, which today may get you 1 letter. My latest tattoo - my wife's name "JEM" in a grafitti font and not that large, cost £45! I had it done the week before our wedding, to show my commitment to her. It is very colourful and very well done, and I now want to have our alter ego's (Stitch & Betty Boop) in wedding gear underneath it. Being a man of symmetry I would then like a picture of 3 balloons on my other shoulder with our children's names in them.

My current tattoos are - a skull with long hair and bandana (left upper arm (medium) - 1988 - £15) ; a skull wearing an indian chief's head dress (right upper arm (medium) - 1990 - £24) ; a colourful blue/turquoise evil clown with the Kawasaki logo nose ring in his pierced nose (right of chest (Large) - 2001 - £80) ; Disney's Stitch in his space suit firing his lasers (left side of chest (Large) - 2006 - $350 (I had it done whilst on holiday in Florida)) ; my wife's name (left shoulder (Small) - 2009 - £45). You can see as time went on that they got more expensive, this was as their popularity grew. The Stitch design was very expensive, as it was done in down town Disney, and was hand drawn onto my skin by the artist. It took about 5 hours to complete (in comparison the standard clown on the other side took about 2), and each year I returned, the artist insisted on touching it up for me and re inking the colours - all for free!

Who has tattoos - people from all walks of life. Looking purely at western culture, tattoos are worn as permanent decorations all over the body by people from 18 to 78! And to signify all kinds of things. I have seen people in there 60's and 70's sporting recently etched designs. For some, it is just something that needs to be done before we shuffle off this mortal coil. For others, it is a lifestyle. There are guys of 70 or 80 who had tattoos as young men, and can tell you the stories behind them. I always remember my original artist telling me the tales behind his designs, as he advised me not to pick anything too detailed, incase of blurring - he did this inbetween guffaws, as I had asked if I would be having the area to be inked anaesthetised!!!! The techniques and technology behind tattooing though have improved, and you can see a visible difference between older and newer designs and tattooing. The worry about blurring has therefore become less of a problem - although when choosing a tattoo, I still heed his words!

My love for tattoos started, when they used to come free with gum!!!! Putting them on with water, somewhere very obvious. Then my brother - one of the biker fraternity - began to collect them and I was both amazed and hooked. I remember one of my friends, with a jar of indian ink, and a needle etching a cross into his forearm in my father's garage. I looked on envious, and amazed at his bravery, but in the 70's and 80's thats how lots of people did it! Nowadays though, there are tattoo artists in every town competing for business, so they are accessible to all.

Our children like tattoos - like me, they get the free ones and put them onto their skin, and tell us about the ones that they are going to have on their fore head, or cheek or hand. My wife and I laugh and advise them otherwise, but they are bright children, and we trust that if they do come to have designs they will choose wiseley. People who have tattoos should not be judged harshly. Admittedly criminals wear them, but then so do lawyers, doctors, judges etc good nice respectable people. There are those who have made poor decisions and had poor designs or really bad placement - I would never tattoo my neck, head, forearms or hands - but placement is personal choice, as is design. Still that does not make a person bad, or unemployable or a thug, everyone deserves a chance, and we have to see past the skin and get to what is inside, because that is where the person lies.

Gone are the days where judging a book by its cover may have been 80% correct, these days you have to read the book before you judge, just see the tattoos as making the cover more interesting and therefore the book a better read.

(C) Copyright Dale Preece-Kelly June 2010

A Few For The Road

Binge drinking is a phenomenon affecting our youth all across the world. The intention of this article is to look at the phenomenon, its statistics, its effects and how much alcohol it is safe to consume.

What is binge drinking ? There is no standard definition of the term 'binge drinking', it is heavy consumption of alcohol, approximately 5 standard drinks (for men) and 4 drinks (for women) is considered to be a 'binge'. The drinking becomes binge drinking if a large amount of alcohol is consumed in a short span of time. It is also called heavy episodic drinking.

Over recent years we have seen a heavy increase in binge drinking amongst women (from 8% to 15%), whereas in men over the same period it rose by just 1%. The biggest increase was in young adult women aged between 16 and 24 (rising from 7.3 units per week to 10.8) and those over 65! The incidence in men of the same age range fell by 9% over the same period. The rise in binge drinking amongst young adults could be explained by advertising, easy availability of cheap alcohol and greater disposable income. The British Government are currently looking at sanctions to impose a minimum price per unit of alcohol, based on evidence from those medical experts who have to deal with the consequences of binge drinking.

The most disturbing trend in binge drinking is that of 11-15 year olds - although fewer are drinking, those that do consume more than ever, some consume even more than their 16-24 year old counterparts. If you have children of that age, or who are approaching that age, then this statistic has to be worrying. These children are also shown to lose concentration in the classroom due to hangovers !

Drinkaware - a charity funded by the alcohol industry, have stated that the biggest increase in binge drinking has been amongst women, and said that "studies suggest women are more prone to liver disease after a comparatively shorter period of heavy drinking. Alcohol can also affect women's chances of conceiving a child and can lead to an increased risk of breast cancer." This cannot be good for the future health of our society members.

Another interesting fact is that when questioned, 77% of adults did not know what constituted a unit of alcohol. If we take wine - a 175ml glass of white wine is 2 units of alcohol, and two 125 ml glasses of white wine is 3 units. This is the upper limit for a woman wanting to avoid binge drinking. These facts also need to be considered when driving - the basic rule is if you are driving then do not drink.

Binge drinkers typically only drink once or twice a week. The effects of binge drinking however, can be alcohol poisoning (which may result in death), high blood pressure, liver disease, neurological damage, intentional & unintentional injuries, fetal alcohol syndrome (in pregnant women), dehydration and dry skin etc. 50% of street crime is attributed to binge drinking and on top of this, over 15,000 road accidents last year were also proven to be due to binge drinking.

So what is safe to drink ? The experts say that women should not consume more than two units of alcohol per day (for men it's 3), and that you should have at least 2 drink free days per week. A unit is half a pint of average strength lager, a 100ml glass of wine, or a standard 25ml measure of spirits or fortified wine. When pregnant - drink no more than one to two units of alcohol once or twice a week. (Heavy drinking during pregnancy can cause the baby to be born with a condition known as foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). FAS causes growth deficiencies, central nervous system defects, lowered IQ and facial malformations.)

If you do not feel drunk, then you have a high tolerance to alcohol - this does not mean that you should drink more. The alcohol still does the same damage to your body, it's just that you do not notice it. If you think you may have a drinking problem then you should see your doctor or get in touch with your local branch of Alcoholics Anonymous.

When drinking, drink in moderation, only you know how much your body can tolerate. If you have a high tolerance to the effects of alcohol then you should count what you are drinking to ensure that you do not over drink and do your body damage. Enjoy your night out, or lunch, and enjoy your friends and family who are keeping you company - do not drink too much, or it could be the last night you spend with them.

(C) Copyright Dale Preece-Kelly June 2010


Speak Out For You

I am very guilty of saying what I think when I think it. A recent experience has prompted me to write this article. I shall mention no names or relationships. I shall just tell you what happened. The purpose is to show you the reader that you can speak your mind, you are entitled to speak your mind and air your views and opinions, and to give you the confidence to speak up next time you feel like you WANT to.

People tend to speak their mind in negative situations - an argument, a debate etc - when they feel they NEED to, usually to defend themselves. The thing is, that we all have different opinions on different subjects - the world is a big place full of different people, and therefore there will be many times when our opinions don't necessarily match. It is therefore alright to air YOUR opinions, just because you can! I'm not telling anyone to be loud mouthed or over opinionated, but to air their opinions in a way that makes the other person see what you are saying and why. It doesn't need to be aggressive, and if done in the right way can be quite eloquent and very powerful.

Okay - the story. I have been watching somebody closely recently on a social platform, this person promotes themselves in a way that makes them appear like a guru whom one's world should revolve around. They post regularly, and their posts coupled with their photograph make them come across as extremely arrogant, egotistic and self centred. One evening I noticed their post, and decided that I wanted to air my opinion and so I left a comment (not particularly eloquent or respectful I am ashamed to say) to make my point.

What followed was an extremely entertaining and highly charged volley of comments from the person concerned and their other social media "friends". Needless to say, they were all supporting the person they were following and not me. I was told I didn't know them, and that I was wrong, and that I should shut up - but I continued to make my point. This person kept telling me that they did not have to justify or defend themselves to me, and yet they still kept going. So I continued to air my opinion.

Whilst my conversation was going on, I had several - almost in double figures - new requests for friendship, from people who were social friends with this person, but felt the same way about them as I did. They were all thanking me for my courage and for speaking out and telling me that my comments about this person were actually spot on. I don't know these people too well yet, and therefore I can only hypothesise about why they contacted me, either way they all said that I showed them that it was okay to say what you think and that everyone's opinion is valid. The person I was having the exchange with has, I assume, treated all of these people to a dose of - "the world revolves around me, and therefore only my opinions count" - in the past, and therefore they probably felt less confident of sharing their opinions in the future. My actions showed that they should be confident to do so.

I have actually gelled very nicely with a few of these new friends, and I am looking forward to learning from them and making a greater connection. I wasn't aware that I had said anything particularly special or enlightening or that I had made a difference to anyone, but to these people I had done something very special, and it had helped them. This gave me the confidence that speaking my mind had been the right thing to do, and also the inspiration to write this article and share it with people.

So you see, you CAN speak your mind with confidence, whenever you want to - it gives a freedom that allows you to grow. Don't do it because you feel you need to, do it because you want to, just because you CAN. Speak out for you!

(C) Copyright Dale Preece-Kelly June2010

Murder For Sport

A friend of mine's Facebook status recently said "Why is it that when a man murders an animal it is known as sport, but when an animal murders him it is called ferocity?"

Thought prevoking isn't it? Recently fox hunting got banned, the Conservative (half) Government have vowed to lift that ban whilst in office. The different opinions of different people. Personally I was elated when it got banned. It was indeed a cruel and barbaric sport, the poor foxes never stood a chance. How would the hunters feel had we trapped them in a corner and allowed the foxes to rip them to pieces ? The fox would have been "humanely destroyed", should we do this to hunters who kill for "sport"?

Can hunting be classified as a sport ? Sport is defined in the dictionary as : "an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature" ; and a sportsman is defined as : "a person who behaves in a sportsmanlike, fair, or admirable manner". Strangely under the definition of sport hunting and fishing are given as examples!

Taking these definitions lets ask if hunting (or fishing for that matter!) is an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess or is of a competitive nature ? Horse riding requires skill definitely - I've been lucky enough to do it and it requires the skill of balance, poise, and hand eye co-ordination. Athleticism is not a requirement for riding a horse and neither is it a requirement for killing a fox or casting a line and ripping a fish's lip open, nor do you have to be an athlete to fire a gun. Is hunting competitive ? Not in the slightest, if it were then the animal in question would stand an equal chance of killing the hunter, just like duelling. Hunting therefore does not fit the definition of sport. As for sportsmen / sporting behaviour - fair and admirable - hmmm, I think not! Hunters may be nice people when not hunting, but the act of being a hunter is in no way fair or admirable.

I am now hunting (pardon the pun) - for a word that will actually describe hunting in a manner befitting the activity. . . . . In the old days, travellers returned from far off lands telling tales of "savages" - some of which were cannibals, hunting the explorers for food. The dictionary definition of a savage is : "a fierce, brutal or cruel person". Does this fit the bill of the hunter ? Oh yes - so he is not a sportsman, he is a savage! As for hunting being a sport - it is NOT a sport, it is a game, like patience - pointless and played for the amusement of the hunter alone.

I understand that we need to control the numbers of some animals, which thrive in certain areas and conditions, but there are ways and means - humane ways. We do not however, need to control numbers of other animals - such as tigers - who are dying out, because of hunting - its ridiculous! What we should do is leave nature to its own devices, it does not need our interception, it knows what it is doing, and has done for the last God knows how many millions of years.

If people do want to "hunt", then they should do it in a sporting way. There is a sport, that requires sportsmen - its called paintball. Now why not let the "savages" form one team, and we (the anti's) form the other. Lets not give them guns or shields, but we will let them have a head start. Now lets go get them!! See how they like it. . . . sorry I got a little carried away!

Alternatively, these "savages" could just form two teams and go off shooting each other - they would get the thrill of the hunt, the enjoyment of the kill and if they used red paint, they could still smear each others faces. The only thing they wouldn't have is the murder of an innocent defenseless animal, who pitifully screams as it is ripped to shreds by their dogs. Maybe - like nicotine patches - paintball could be made available via the Health Services to rid these people of their addiction to kill, after all most serial killers begin their prolific "careers" by torturing and killing animals - what does that say about the hunters psyche?

We all know that the "savages" would not enjoy becoming the prey, and therefore just like in other areas of life - if you don't like having it done to you, then you dont do it to others, regardless of the specie!

(C) Copyright Dale Preece-Kelly June 2010