Perfect Presentation Een nieuw en krachtig paradigma van communiceren en presenteren! Tue, 14 Mar 2017 14:13:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 ‘A guide to being a better being’, Maggie Richards (aka Mahabha) Wed, 07 Dec 2016 11:00:55 +0000 Guidebook

Imagine you want to go travelling – an adventurous trip to new and strange places. It might be helpful to get a map, buy the relevant guidebook, surf the Internet and learn some phrases in the local languages.
In the world of personal growth, Maggie has written her ‘Lonely Planet’ guidebook for the challenging journey of personal development where the call above all is to the uncharted realms of spiritual awakening.


maggieThis is very much Maggie’s personal story, which she shares with dedication and total frankness. She grew up in a warm household in Wales, speaking fluent Welsh, but where openness around feelings was missing and where the Church was the only sign of anything spiritual in her upbringing. However, as a child she loved being outdoors and discovered her ability to commune with Nature, enjoying numerous moments of deep spiritual connection.
Sexual abuse, starting at the age of 6, and the inability to have it talked about, followed eventually by a harrowing attempted rape experience while travelling in Canada at the age of 19, form the backdrop to painful and inadequate attempts to ‘protect’ herself while still leading something like a ‘normal’ life – but becoming gradually more aware of how futile it was. As Osho would say, trimming the leaves instead of cutting the roots.
This slim volume is the story of Maggie’s awakening, her journey in the healing company of various spiritual leaders and diverse teachings to the point of her own mastery where she is now a guiding light for many others.

Broad contents

Just a glance at the chapter titles provides an excellent ‘legend’ to the ‘map’ in this guidebook: meditation, spiritual retreats, spiritual living, diet, dreams, overcoming negativity, forgiveness, losing a loved one, prayer, the divine… Maggie covers the ground thoroughly, providing useful tips and valuable advice for the seeker struggling to find a way amongst the many possibilities offered.
A chapter on Somatic Experiencing® Trauma Therapy and Peter Levine has threads that continue through subsequent chapters. This work was profoundly important in supporting Maggie’s release from the past, such that she has herself become a ‘certified mind-body expert’ in SE therapy.
Her connection with the divine, and her acceptance of and development in the spiritual world, were significantly supported by author and spiritual adviser Cher Chevalier. Cher confirmed Maggie’s psychic connection, such that Maggie learned to trust and use the gifts she received from the Divine.

Osho Risk

In her early 30s she started to meditate. Attending her first (Buddhist) 10-day retreat was a step towards signing up for the 18-month ‘therapist training’ at Osho Risk in Denmark (2007-8). In 2010, she got the call to ‘JUMP!’, gave up her apartment in London and returned to Risk to live there for nine months, working and sharing in the communal life with all that that entailed: meditations three times a day, doing the chores and sharing with others living at and just visiting this centre.


Less than 100 pages, it lies comfortably in the hand and is ‘an easy read’. But don’t be fooled: Maggie’s thoughtful presentation of the information ensures that the compact tips are sandwiched between personal experience and ‘case studies’, powerful illustrations of the subject matter at hand.
The layout and typeface are spacious and relaxed.
Apart from the moments when the text is somewhat stilted and reads as if it were a translation, Maggie has a curious use of the semi-colon that – along with the small number of typos – would benefit from a thorough proofreading.

Highlights and more

The specific trainings and teachers already described are just the background to Maggie’s awakening – on all fronts. From stopping eating meat to shifting eventually to a vegan diet, to clairvoyance (and other ‘clair-‘ experiencing)… and lots more on her own path of becoming a spiritual teacher. Above all, her mastery of the ‘terrain’, sufficient savvy and knowledge of ‘the local languages’ enable her to write her own guidebook for those who wish to visit the ‘new and strange places’ that are so enriching!


‘A guide to being a better being’ by Maggie Richards

Available through Maggie’s website or directly from Amazon

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‘Chasing the Monsoon’ by Alexander Frater Wed, 07 Sep 2016 10:00:08 +0000 Chasing the MonsoonMany readers will be familiar with the important annual phenomenon of the monsoon, whether in India, Goa or somewhere further east.

When the rains finally come and break the intense summer heat and drought, there is an enormous sense of relief, relaxation and jubilation.
After a fascinating conversation in London, which he describes in detail, experienced traveller, journalist and author Frater decides to pursue the Indian monsoon, from its onset in the very south of the country right through to Cherrapunji, reputed to be the wettest place on earth.


The book was first published in 1990 and has subsequently gone through numerous reprints. Those who are familiar with India will notice where it is dated, such as how, in the days before mobile phones, the writer has to deal with the archaic and unreliable telephone system. But they will also be aware of just how little more traditional features of the country have changed, such as the bureaucracy and the importance of having friends in the right places.Alexander Frater
Frater is an inveterate traveller. It’s in his genes. Born into a line of Scottish Presbyterian ministers and missionaries in 1937 in the then ‘New Hebrides’, now Vanuatu, he attended school in Melbourne, moved later to the UK to pursue his career as a journalist, and continued his studies in Durham (UK) and Perugia (Italy).
Having worked for magazines such as Punch, The New Yorker and The Daily Telegraph, he finished his formal career at The Observer and now lives in south-west London.

A monsoon adventure

Frater himself describes his book as:

… an anthology of the information, advice, help, anecdotes and stories proffered by countless people throughout India.

And indeed, the numerous colourfully written chapters abound with real-life stories that shape and accompany Frater’s journey, just as film music supports, frames and enhances the action on the screen.


Frater is above all a pragmatist and an alert observer. He describes the various and numerous religious rituals that he comes across in a neutral, non-judgemental way, just as he deals with the complexities of Indian bureaucracy in acquiring the necessary permissions.
Yet there is an underlying theme throughout the book of the pulsing vitality of this enormous and highly diverse country that in a sense is the true spiritual heart of India.


Above all, the reader is treated to a well-documented travelogue, with brief but fascinating cameos of history, geography, botany and especially meteorology.
As Frater follows – pursues! – the monsoon northwards and eastwards, he provides accurate descriptions of the people and places that made India the place it is today. Just this alone is reason enough for both the seasoned and the less experienced traveller to relish Frater’s adventures.


Additional information

Purchase the book: Chasing the Monsoon (also as mp3)
Watch Alexander Frater’s 1990 BBC documentary on flying through Africa in a flyingboat.

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‘When Jesus lived in India’ by Alan Jacobs Sun, 07 Aug 2016 10:00:41 +0000 JesusDuring the First Council of Nicaea in AD 325, the Church selected the four Gospels according to Mark, Matthew, Luke and John as the prime sources of ‘truth’ for the Bible stories about Jesus.
The 55 or so other known Gospels with both supportive as well as conflicting and sometimes astonishingly different stories were either banned or simply ignored.


One of the results is that the Bible contains no account whatsoever of the life of Jesus between the time he was found in the Temple in Jerusalem, preaching to and heckling the merchants – when he was not yet 13 – and the time he reappeared as a teacher and ‘the Son of God’ around the age of 30.
Did he really spend those 18 odd years just working as a carpenter? You can choose to believe that (Church dogma) or you might consider the fascinating information laid out in adequate detail in Alan Jacobs’ thorough, academic yet readable collection of alternative sources that provide a convincing explanation of these ‘lost’ years.

Significant implications

Did Jesus visit Tibet, Nepal, northern India, and Kashmir during these years unaccounted for in the New Testament?
If so, it would have the most far-reaching spiritual implications.
This remarkable book takes an impartial look at the extensive evidence – in Islamic, Indian, and Tibetan sources, as well as the more recent Aquarian Gospel and the controversial writings of the Russian 19th-century explorer Nicolai (Nicolas) Notovitch – to find a definitive answer to this tantalising question.

The Alan Jacobsauthor

From an early age, Alan Jacobs (London, 1929) was interested in religion and mysticism.
He commenced a personal search for truth and studied comparative religion.
He entered the Gurdjieff Society in 1957 and remained there until the early 1970s.
He then met Jiddu Krishnamurti, and studied his teachings until 1979.
Next, he discovered Ramana Maharshi and became familiar with his extensive literature and spiritual practice. He is currently President of the Ramana Maharshi Foundation, UK.

Aquarian Gospel

The subtitle of Jacobs’ book is The quest for the Aquarian Gospel: the mystery of the missing years.
The full title of Levi H. Dowling’s book is The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ: The Philosophic and Practical Basis of the Religion of the Aquarian Age of the World and of the Church Universal, first published in 1908.
Dowling claims to have transcribed the text of the book from the Akashic records, the compendium of all knowledge supposedly encoded in a non-physical plane of existence.
Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the ChristLater in the 20th century, the Aquarian Gospel was adopted by New Age spiritual groups.
True to his academic approach, Jacobs presents his information and leaves the reader to decide for himself the veracity of this source material. He is nevertheless clear about the surprising, perhaps unexpected, correspondences with other source materials.

Coincidences… or confirmation?

There is the travelogue as published by the Russian ‘journalist for the Orient’, Nicolai Notovitch.
There is the Tibetan Gospel of Issa. There are the Bhavishyat Maha Purana and the Natha Namavali Sutra. There is the Islamic point of view, clearly and respectfully presented in the Koran.
These, and more sources that Jacobs cites in detail, present the broad Gnostic view of Jesus’ life and teachings – outside of Judea – as well as his death and burial in Srinagar (Kashmir), all of which serve to support the realistic possibility that the Church has restricted (even manipulated) the ‘truth’ in the Bible to serve its own purposes.


Take for example this extract from Notovitch’s writings.
In 1887 this explorer-journalist reached Kashmir, then moved on to Ladakh.
There he arrived at a Buddhist monastery where he heard about the prophet Issa who had visited Tibet 2000 years ago. The Lama tells the Russian:

We too respect the one you recognize as Son of the One God, not that we see in him an only Son, rather a Being perfect among all the elect. The spirit of Buddha was indeed incarnate in the sacred person of Issa who, without aid from fire or sword, has spread knowledge of our great and true religion throughout the world.

The Lama goes on to speak rather disparagingly of ‘your earthly Dalai Lama’ (the Pope), the ‘Father of the church’:

This is a great sin; may the flocks be forgiven who have gone astray because of it…

Jacobs describes in some detail the attempt to rediscover the sources Notovitch consulted, but that they appear to have been hidden by the Lamas or have simply disappeared, perhaps during the widespread destruction initiated by the Chinese.
We read further about German-born Holger Kersten (1951) and his investigations into the Jesus story, including his attempts to find the original sources.
Nevertheless, Jacobs quotes extensively from Notovitch’s writings, which were initially published in Paris, in French, due to serious resistance in Russia to what was considered unacceptable to the Russian Orthodox Church.
These texts alone are sufficient to recommend this book to those who are willing to look beyond conventional boundaries.


Jacobs excels in getting to the heart of matters and providing only the essential details of a story that could fill many a thick volume. Orthodox Islam, explains Jacobs:

… sees Issa (the Arabic form of the name) or Jesus as a great prophet of God sent to guide the children of Israel with a new scripture…
… More important for our investigation are the Koran’s verses [which Jacobs later cites in full] to the effect that Jesus was neither killed nor crucified, but raised up alive to heaven.
… He is regarded as a Muslim in the sense that he taught surrender… to the divine will, the very foundation of the Moslem’s (sic) faith.

More supporting evidence is clearly outlined, providing a solid basis for suspecting the shortcomings of the current Bible.

Hindu sources and more

The numerous other sources that are explained, described and cited create a momentum in the book that leads to discussion of how the crucifixion actually took place.
We read how Jesus left the tomb, travelled, learned languages and yogic powers, gained insight into other religions and cultures, preached in other cities, returned to Judea with a non-Jewish story of love and compassion – much more suited to Indian spirituality – and in the end landed up back in Kashmir where he is buried. Osho takes up the story:

In Kashmir he was known as Yousa-Asaf. His tomb is known as The Tomb of Yousa-Asaf who came from a very distant land and lived here.

In another of Osho’s many discourses about Jesus he says:

It is thought that Jesus came to Kashmir because it was a Jewish land in India – a tribe of Jews was living there. There are many stories in Kashmir about Jesus, but one has to go there to discover them. The crucifixion changed Jesus’ mind totally. From then on, he lived in India for seventy years continuously, in complete silence – unknown, hidden. He was not a prophet, he was not a minister, he was not a preacher. That is why not much is known about him.
Christianity lacks much. Even about Jesus it lacks much. His whole life is not known: what he practiced, how he meditated is not known…
Osho, The Great Challenge, Ch 9, Q 2

All in all…

… the inquisitive, open-minded reader will find the tightly-packed 200 or so pages of this highly readable inquiry to be a remarkably compact and relevant approach to one of the most crucial questions surrounding the basis of the Christian faith… and the difference between Church dogma and possible reality.


For more on what Osho tells about Jesus, google on ‘Osho + Jesus’.

See also:

The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ by Nicolas Notovitch

Jesus Lived in India: His Unknown Life Before and After the Crucifixion by Holger Kersten

Jesus in Kashmir, an article by Ma Anand Bhagawati

This BBC Documentary (2003): Jesus was a Buddhist Monk


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Myth 25: When you say ‘etcetera’ and ‘and so on and so forth’, everybody knows what you’re talking about Fri, 01 Jul 2016 10:00:46 +0000 In the story ‘The King and I’ the King of Siam is renowned for his frequent use of the expression ‘etcetera, etcetera, etcetera’.

Anna is the English teacher who is instructed, for example, to write a letterKoningin Victoria to Queen Victoria.
The King dictates a few words, half of which are ‘etcetera’!
Anna protests at how difficult it is to write a letter with so little information, but the King is both an autodidact and an autocrat, and dismisses her and her protests.
The problem is that Anna touches on the painful truth that he has very little to say.


When you look around you’ll probably start noticing just how frequently this word ‘etcetera’ or its more common abbreviation ‘etc’ is used.
ctually, it’s two words and is Latin: ‘et’ = and, ‘cetera’ = (the) rest.
You’ll probably notice it at the end of a list, such as a restaurant menu: ‘We can provide all your snacks, drinks, salads, etc.’
What does this false ‘word’ add to your knowledge? Nothing.

Myth 25 (E)A friend of mine is a real-estate agent.
When I ask him something related to business he usually gives a short explanation full of this sort of empty expression: ‘… and I arrange the contracts, etcetera, and so on and so forth and suchlike.’
Do you learn much from this sort of empty language?


You’ll come across examples of this sort of empty expression everywhere, in books, articles, advertisements, and even in presentations!
When you use such language, you simply show that you’re being incomplete in your communication.
The reader can get all sorts of his own ideas, but unless he’s clairvoyant, the chances are minimal that they’ll fit perfectly with those of the writer.
When you listen to someone using these expressions, the situation is worse: the speaker goes on talking and you don’t even have the time to stop and think about what he could possibly have meant.


When you give a list or summary, and you want to conclude it, use the phrase ‘such as’, with or without ‘for example’. You then go on to use ‘the power of three’:

  • “This afternoon we’re going to discuss various security measures such as registration systems, logging on and pin codes… which help to protect your data.”

Note here the addition of the reminder of the purpose or function of the different measures.

‘The power of three’ describes simply the process of mentioning three of the items in question.

  • “Examples of words that you’d do well to avoid are brilliant, groovy and cool.”

You come across as clear-thinking, decisive and efficient when you use this style of precise language.
These are features which help to give the impression that you are positive and confident, which in turn boosts your credibility.

Empty expressions

Every language has its own ‘empty’ expressions. For example, American youth is well known for the frequent use of expressions like ‘y’know’, ‘like’, ‘sort of’ and ‘I mean’.

When doing business and communicating in a businesslike fashion, it’s important that you get to the point as clearly and directly as possible.
This is of course unless you are a lawyer, politician or highly-placed government official where your specific profession protects you from my criticism; on the other hand, I might ask you some very confronting questions about your need to be so indirect and unclear.


Consider what you project, and how you come across, when you use clear language, where every word counts.
Consider what you project, and how you come across, when you use empty expressions.

How do you wish to be seen?
What is favourable for your work, your career and your company?
The language you use may only carry some 7-20% of your message, but you can consciously choose to implement it in supporting your desired image.
The choice (of language) is now up to you!


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Myth 23: Reading your prepared text aloud guarantees that you tell everything and that your message comes across clearly Sun, 01 May 2016 10:00:54 +0000 In the context of this myth it’s important to leave aside those speeches of a more political or legal nature where every word will be studied and debated.
We’re talking here primarily about business presentations and the many different sorts of presentations at congresses, conferences and seminars.

  • What are the risks of reading your presentation aloud?
  • What risks are attached to using any text written by someone else?

What the listener takes away

One thing is absolutely clear: the listener hears and takes with him only a very small fraction of what you say. Whether you are stimulating or boring, he draws one simple conclusion while he listens.
This simple conclusion forms the ‘message’ of the presentation.
With any luck what he takes away is the same as what you intended!

You may be sure that when you bore the listener, you lower your chances that he draws a favourable conclusion.
It must be clear to you, then, that it’s in your favour to get the listener excited and involved!

Content… or message

It’s up to you whether you try to tell everything or choose to restrict yourself to just one aspect of the whole story.
You know now that the listener doesn’t hear and remember everything, so what’s the point of trying to do that?
Are you so unsure of your work that you feel a need to prove something?

Whenever you use the message as the theme of your presentation, and as a touchstone for everything you think you want to tell, you create the freedom to talk at length around this single, clear message.
You’re the only one who knows what you leave out!
And: the listener only gets what you give him… when you choose to give it!
These are two of the most valuable sources of relaxation for any speaker!

The reading process

Consider for a moment what happens when you read a text aloud.
Your attention goes to the piece of paper in front of you.
You have no contact with the listeners and therefore no feedback on how you’re presenting.
You have a text in – let’s hope! – correct English, but it’s nevertheless a text which is written.
The sentences will be longer than in the spoken language, they will be more complete, and there’s a good possibility the style will be more formal.

The communication process

Genuine communication involves, as you now know, much more than just words.
Although the words you use should be clear and easy to follow, you need more than just language in order to establish contact with your listener.
Eye contact is an excellent example of what is needed, which is fairly difficult to make when an (inexperienced) speaker reads aloud from his paper.

A certain dynamism – such as gestures and movement – is also an essential requirement.
All rather difficult when reading aloud from behind a lectern.
Many speakers immediately start sounding terribly formal as soon as they begin to read, while it is precisely the dynamism of an enthusiastic voice that is a powerful means of attracting and keeping the listener’s attention and getting him interested.
If you’re honest about it, you know full well that when you get into a conversation which excites you, you tend to speak in shorter, grammatically incorrect sentences with lots of repetition.
Whatever your personal experience, you’ll surely agree that the sentences are different from when you write about the same subject.
Even certain hesitations (no, not ‘uh’) are typical of the spoken word, and can be used to give the impression that you are not reading aloud.


When you have written your whole presentation in every detail in order to read it aloud, how much space is there for spontaneity?
To interact with your listeners?
To choose another direction, or change the emphasis within your story?
Such a well-prepared text makes it difficult to be flexible.
The American writer and philosopher, Arthur Koestler, once said:

The experienced speaker makes a collaborator of his listener.

The interaction with which you engage your listener is one of the keys to his involvement. And for this spontaneity you need to be flexible.

Reading aloud: technique and art

Imagine you were given a text prepared by someone else.
Written, maybe, by a ‘professional’ speechwriter. It could happen to you!
Read on for just some of the many powerful tips to help you make the most of such a text.
Ask if you can have the text in a larger format (14 points is usually adequate).
Give some other instructions:

  • begin each new sentence on a new line
  • a broader left margin
  • non-justified text
  • upper and lower margins of 2-3 cm
  • empty lines between paragraphs and subjects

Mythe 23: "Voorlezen"When you get the text, use a pen in contrasting colour (red?) to put thick vertical lines between parts of each sentence.
Just like in this last sentence, you could put a line between ‘text’ and ‘use’, or between ‘lines’ and ‘between’.
Your task as speaker is simply to speak aloud the words up to one of these lines (or a full stop, question mark or exclamation mark) while you make eye contact with your listeners.
You breathe out, breathe in, ‘suck up’ with your eyes the next group of words, and make eye contact again before you say them. In this way you come across as more ‘natural’ than if you were to just race through the text.

Use the upper margin to write the page number. In the lower margin write the first few words of the next page. Use the broad left margin to add any notes you may have, and to hold onto the papers.

Skilled in contact

You can now appreciate that using a prepared text is more complicated than you maybe thought.
However, as long as you build in ‘space’ to keep in touch with listeners in both content and packaging, then you’re well on your way.
The extent to which you go on to learn all the other skills is now up to you!


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Myth 22: No pointer or laser pen? No problem – just go up to the screen and indicate with your hand Fri, 01 Apr 2016 10:00:58 +0000 Mythe 22: "Loop gerust naar het scherm"Imagine you’re presenting to a small group of some 10-15 listeners. You project slides which you describe in great detail and you stand next to the screen to point out details.

Imagine you’re presenting at a congress, from the stage and mostly from behind a lectern. Just as with the small group you want to go into greater detail about something on the screen so you walk to it and indicate with your hand. You are generously illuminated by the projector and are now talking loudly because your microphone is back at the lectern.

Despite all developments in techniques and presentation technology, and the availability of presentation trainings, this sort of ‘presentation disaster’ continues to happen.
How do you think you would come across to your audience if you were to behave like this?


The language you use communicates only some 7-20% of the information.Lectern The other 80-93% consists of a complex of non-verbal signals such as the speed at which you speak, your facial expressions and your posture.
The physical distance between you and your listeners is also one of these non-verbal signals.
It plays a significant part both in supporting your message (‘content’) and in communicating your desired image (‘packaging’).

Imagine for a moment that you want to be seen as distant, conventional and formal.
That’s easy to arrange: read long, grammatically complicated sentences aloud without looking at your audience from behind a large lectern far away at the back of the stage.

Imagine, however, that you want to come across as friendly, client oriented and enthusiastic. Then it’s essential that you behave in a radically different way from in the previous example.
You come closer to your listeners, both physically and in your language. You no longer need the protective barrier of a lectern or presentation table and you present ‘up front’ with a cordless microphone.


In short, the distance which you maintain is an important carrier of your desired image.
You’re the one who determines how much space you take up and what barriers there are, unless you give all the responsibility to an organiser who may or may not have any idea of presenting. Which is a considerable risk, when you consider what’s at stake!

The Irish writer, George Bernard Shaw, once said that there are two sorts of people. There are those accept the circumstances they find themselves in, and change themselves. The second sort changes the circumstances!

It’s truly amazing how many speakers behave like ‘victims’, and how few speakers take charge of their circumstances.
Make it clear in advance what you need, how you want it, where you want it, and when.
Change what you can change, and have the wisdom and professionalism to accept and deal with those elements that are impossible to change.

Indicate… how?

The basic rule is: never create distance by moving away from your listeners to point at or on the screen. Ensure that you never move between the projector and the screen – unless the projector is turned off.

Always come closer to your listeners.

Stand to one side and use a gentle sweeping gesture with your arm towards the screen.
Avoid at all costs any hectic waving movements!
If you’re right-handed, stand to the right of the audience (that is, the right side of the room as seen by the listeners) and gesture with your right hand.
Look at your listeners and use words to direct the attention precisely where you want it:

Here you can see the three most important categories of your product range. Let’s run through them one at a time. The first item is then the abc category… which you’ll surely recognise…

Where possible, always use different words than are on the screen.
Generally, your listeners can read well and faster than you can speak, so it’s up to you to paraphrase and add interesting details.


It will be clear to you from the examples that it’s ridiculous for a speaker to walk back down a stage to point something out on a huge screen.
For many speakers it’s less obvious that the same is true when presenting to small groups, and that there are benefits to reducing the physical and literal distance to the listeners.
Use the lay-out of the room or stage to support you.
‘Powerful people take up more space’ is a significant adage which should support you in using the space you make available: left and right; nearby; and make gestures from the shoulder, not just from the wrist or elbow.
Make sure you stop and stand still every now and again.
Make sure that you occasionally just let your hands drop.
This calmness in your body is precisely what you need to emphasise your otherwise dynamic movements.


You’ll surely appreciate by now that it’s to your benefit to get your listeners involved as much as possible in your presentation.
The more you involve them, the more involved they feel in both you, what your telling and the solution you’re offering.
And the more involved they feel, the better the chance of reaching your goal.

Express your message in descriptive colloquial language, short, positive sentences, the present tense and active verb forms.
Use the non-verbal packaging of functional movements and gestures, lively facial expressions, variation in your voice (including silence!) and suitable choice of clothing.
The right, varied distance – with the emphasis on close – plays a vital part in supporting how you communicate.
The choice of how close you dare to come is a decision that’s up to you!



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Decisions, decisions! Tue, 22 Mar 2016 11:00:21 +0000 Are you one of those who have difficulty in taking decisions? There are many like you!
There are also many who are openly proud of their skill in this area, particularly in business.
Yet there is another path for both groups that provides a surprising solution – maybe even for ‘everybody’!

Acceptable topic

These days there’s more openness about subjects like spirituality, so that the concept of the path from ‘head to heart’ has become relatively well known.

Real limitation

When you take a decision or make a choice you’re using your intellect. You select among a number of alternatives using the information that’s available. Or, rather, the information that is available to you at that moment.
Ask yourself and ask those around you: have you ever taken a decision based on complete information?
You probably know already that the answer is ‘no’. You take a decision with the information available at that moment.
And the next day, with new data, you might take a different decision.
That is the limitation of the head.
There is another way.

The choiceless choice I

This is literally the choice without choice. This clear expression describes the choice or decision that simply has no valid alternative.
Certainly, you can always ignore the path that’s indicated, but you’ll always regret it later.
This is the path of the intuition, the inner voice that so many people choose to ignore or are simply too busy ‘between the ears’ that they cannot hear the voice.

The heart: receiverHeart

The head can only access a limited amount of knowledge and data. Put another way, everything you know is guaranteed less, much less, than what is available in The Universe (God, Source, Life, Existence).
The Universe communicates with you through the heart, not through the head.
What you receive – and you can be sure you are receiving all the time! – first makes its presence felt in the area of the heart. It then makes its way to your awareness through words, pictures and/or feelings that you register or notice in your head. If you’re willing and open to listen.

Blame Descartes

Our Western cultures are still suffering from the inheritance of the French philosopher, René Descartes (1596-1650) who proposed a ‘truth’: Cogito ergo sum (I think, therefore I am). Everything must be logically thought out and explained.
Luckily you’re now living in a different age where there’s more acceptance of intuition and less need to explain oneself, which makes decision-making a lot easier.

The choiceless choice II

Imagine you’re sitting in a restaurant considering what you’d like to eat. You weigh up a possible selection in your mind, you try to choose. You take into account what you had yesterday or last week, you count the calories, you consider all sorts of implications. All the while, however, your body is quite clear about which food it needs and therefore which of the available dishes is most suitable. But do you listen? In the end, do you order body food or mind food?
If you take the path of body food, the right choice will present itself. Effortlessly. You just know without having to think about it what your body needs. You listen, you obey, you place your order and then eat the right food that nourishes you.


Although this word has a certain negative social connotation it is, in its purest form, the key to the choiceless choice.
You genuinely listen to, trust and obey the inner voice of intuition, the voice that is always right.

Farewell to doubt

It is only in your head, through your thinking, that doubt can arise. In the heart there is always clarity and certainty; the heart knows the path that is right for you. In other words, at moments when you notice that you’re in doubt, be assured you’re thinking instead of feeling.
Listen to the heart and you’ll no longer have any doubts about your right way.

Experience - Oscar Wilde

A just life

There are many lessons on the path to a long, healthy and happy life of joy and love.
Maybe this is one of the most important lessons: listening to, respecting, accepting and resting in the inner wisdom.
It’s up to you!

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‘What’s better today?’ by Dr. John Kenworthy Tue, 15 Mar 2016 16:55:03 +0000 Dr. JohnWhat a wonderful way to greet somebody, to open a conversation, to express interest, to create a bond, to show concern. Just those three words, a socially safe and acceptable way of saying “I love you” with interest but without commitment.

In some sense, this question is the key theme to the success of the gift which Dr. John Kenworthy offers in this book, currently offered as a Kindle download at Amazon.
John rightly uses his Masters title to enhance his status in his Singapore-based business and to distinguish himself from the other authors with the same name.

Love expressed

John loves coaching people. John loves his wife, Annie. And John loves Jesus. This new book, “What’s Better Today?”, is his way of sharing his love and his passion for supporting others in being the very best they can be in this God-given life:

“Neither do men light a lamp, and put it under a bushel, but on a lamp stand; and it gives light unto all that are in the house.”
Matthew 5:15 (King James 2000)

Coaching tools to support change

In considerable detail, John provides the tools for making the most of your best. As John’s brief personal profile states: “I am a Professional Leadership Caddy for leaders who want to achieve greater success in your career, business and life. I enable and support you with the right tools and techniques at the right time so that you can align your skills, mindset and behaviour.”

Target: growth!

And that sums up this book: a step-by-step review of the coach/coachee relationship which is a vital part of reaching the top and staying there. Using a coach, being a coachee, being a coach yourself for others, understanding the process, maximising the effect of the interactions, defining the relationship… and lots more, including detailed lists of ‘the right questions’, ‘to do’ steps, metrics for measuring progress and success, templates galore for activities and stages of the personal development process. John is thorough in his details and is an ‘easy read’.

3-step approach

Part One: ‘Starting Out’ looks at discovering if you’re ready to be coached. If so, what sort of coaching will work best for you? How you can go about choosing someone to work with?
Part Two: ‘Grow and Learn’ describes how to get the very most out of your coaching. There’s a structured framework with templates to use that both shortcuts the coaching and helps you get the results you want as quickly as you want.
Part Three: ‘Wrapping Up’ is about concluding your coaching effectively so that both you and your coach continue to learn from the experience.
John is honest about the fact that, by using the templates and guidance he provides, you can actually coach yourself – if you have the self-discipline to do the exercises and answer the questions in depth.


The lay-out is spacious and supported by many relevant, fun cartoons and interesting quotations. Chapter 11, for example, is about the metrics that measure progress. There’s a quotation from ‘management guru’ Peter Drucker that confirms the importance of measuring: “What gets measured, gets managed.”

Critical notes

  • As an expert in the area of leadership and coaching skills, John gives of his best. However, a further round of thorough editing would ‘tighten up’ the offering, reduce the amount of repetition and perhaps enhance the effectiveness of the message.
  • Such editing would definitely clarify the mixed messages expressed in the gamut of personal pronouns, where ‘you’ refers to the reader, the coach, the coachee, the leader… and ‘I’ refers to… well, the same. It’s often confusing!
  • To enliven the tale further, more anecdotes and a better integration of the cartoons and quotations would heighten the immediacy and relevance.
  • I fully agree with John about the importance of the click (he avoids this word!) between coach and coachee. From my own experience I would say that it is essential – and there’s plenty that the coach can do to improve it. In my world we’re talking here about ‘limbic entrainment’; if you want to know more about this subject, dive into the joys of A general theory of love.
  • John discusses metrics at great length. Sometimes it can be as easy as simple ‘scaling’ such as I use in my sessions: I give my client 10 cards, numbered 1-10, and ask him to lay them out on the floor. “As far as your current skill (problem/reason for coming) is concerned, where 1 is a disaster and 10 is complete mastery, go and stand near the number that applies right now.” We do the session and repeat the exercise. There’s always a shift and there’s always plenty to do around the awareness of the shift.
  • A ‘good’ coach is one who knows when to pass his client on to a therapist. So many difficulties, challenges or growth steps cannot be overcome just by talking pragmatically about them or by providing cognitive solutions. Real change happens when the four areas – mental (cognition), physical, emotional and spiritual – are involved and integrated. As a coach and therapist I see this as the one prime area of John’s book which is both a weakness and a strength: John restricts himself to his field of expertise, an area where many people are willing to function but not in all four areas. The joy is that we all get the clients we deserve so John can look forward to many more productive and loving years of work!


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‘Adrenal Fatigue’ by James L. Wilson Mon, 14 Mar 2016 11:00:30 +0000 Adrenal FatigueImagine: you feel tired, you’re constantly tired and you drag yourself through the day (with the help of caffeine).
Your nights are broken and soundest sleep is between about 7 and 9 a.m.
You have odd pains everywhere in your body (you may already have been told by a doctor that you have ‘fibromyalgia’, which is just a fancy name for ‘pains everywhere in your body’).
You feel lethargic and depressed.
Your blood pressure is low, your blood sugar levels are on a roller-coaster ride and you are prone to respiratory infections and various other sources of physical discomfort.
Your doctor and the specialists he sends you to give you more and more medications – including steroids – to deal with the diverse complaints.
They appear to relieve some symptoms, but have their side effects.
You feel you’re not getting better; rather your health is declining.
You are given a variety of ‘labels’, such as ‘chronic fatigue syndrome’, but you don’t get a diagnosis that provides a solution.

Then, one day…

… you come across a certain book. You read it and instantly feel validated in what your body is dealing with.
The book promises you a solution that is so clear and so logical, yet when you broach it with your doctor it is waved aside as ‘unproven’ or ‘under discussion’. How is this possible?

The system

In the regular medical system, all illnesses and syndromes have been assigned a code, a so-called ICD. This code indicates the specific protocol for the treatment (drugs, surgery or whatever) and only with this code will hospitals give treatment and insurance companies provide reimbursement.
Imagine, then, that the solution to the syndrome you’re suffering from has no ICD, is not recognised and will therefore not be treated as such. There is no protocol. Yet the cause is very simple.


In the last 50-60 years, adrenal fatigue has become one of the most prevalent yet seldom diagnosed disorders. The vast majority of regular medical doctors are unaware that this problem exists; their training definitely excludes this subject. And this despite the fact that adrenal fatigue was described in medical texts as long ago as the 19th century and despite the development in the 1930s of the first truly effective treatment.
What is recognised is the adrenal dysfunction known as Addison’s Disease, an extreme condition that goes far beyond the range of what is known as hypoadrenia or adrenal fatigue as described in Wilson’s thorough book.
However, as becomes very clear in reading the book (as well as ‘official’ statements on the Internet) Wilson’s approach is maligned by the orthodox medical world.

James. L. WilsonThe author

As one of the very few specialists with three doctorates and two masters’ accreditations in different disciplines, James L. Wilson received his PhD in Human Nutrition from the University of Arizona, with minors in immunology, microbiology, pharmacology and toxicology.
Wilson is also a Doctor of Chiropractic and Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine. His masters’ degrees are for bio-nutrition and experimental psychology.
Dr. Wilson is one of the 14 founders of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM) in Toronto. He is named in The International Who’s Who in Medicine (Cambridge, UK).
During his 24 years of private practice he helped hundreds of people with adrenal fatigue to regain their health and vitality. Besides having lectured extensively to doctors, he is a recognised expert on the adrenal glands and other endocrine disorders and their effect on health.
His researcher’s understanding of the science of adrenal function, combined with his clinician’s insight into the effects on the human body, are the keys, which help so many people to understand the physiology behind this tragically common disorder.

The programme

Wilson makes abundantly clear that it is possible to heal yourself. A change in eating pattern, choice of food, and a fairly simple selection of food supplements are essential.
He also gives valuable advice about exercise, reducing stress and a large number of additional factors.
The real-life examples help you to understand the broad extent of imbalances resulting from adrenal fatigue.
The expert descriptions and explanations are both scientific and useful at a pragmatic, daily level.
The book includes a questionnaire to help determine the health of your adrenals.
One thing, however, is abundantly clear: the content of this easy-to-read book (the more technical biochemical passages can be skipped) provides solutions for the lingering exhaustion that regular health practitioners neither recognise nor can resolve.


A personal note

Many months after reading the book, I visited my local doctor to have my blood pressure checked: 120/50. The doctor congratulated me on my low blood pressure but ignored the fact that 50 is really too low, resulting in a distinct sluggishness.
I remembered that Wilson warned that such ‘congratulations’ were to be expected!

When I mentioned that my adrenals might be involved, I was told that this was a subject that was ‘still under discussion’.
I remembered that Wilson warned that such lack of help was to be expected!

See also David’s HealthCheck



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Myth 21: A laser pen is one of the best ways of indicating what you’re talking about Tue, 01 Mar 2016 11:00:26 +0000 Maybe you know those individuals – maybe you’re one yourself! – who just have to have anything and everything that’s new, innovative and revolutionary.
They’re the ones who first bought CDs when they still cost a fortune, they’re the ones who bought the first tablets when they came out, and they bought the first clumsy and noisy LCD screens to place on their overhead projectors and link to their computers.
So, too, they have to buy a laser pen, the electronic pointer to replace the traditional piece of wood looking like a miniature billiard cue.
Most remote controls these days have a built-in laser beam.
It’s time to stop and ask what is the use and functionality of such a piece of equipment during a presentation.

Are you able to conjure up a picture in your imagination of the teacher or lecturer who, long ago, used a long wooden stick to point out items on a blackboard covered with chalk? That’s a tradition that some speakers continue in their own lectures – because there’s little to recommend them as ‘presentations’! First there was wood. Then came the fine, telescopic, metal version (the de luxe versions had a rubber tip and even a small built-in ball-pen), the pocket-lamp which could project a faint red arrow on the screen, and later came the laser pen. The telescopic pointer fell out of grace because the speaker would play with it like a mad conductor. The ‘tick, tick’ on the projection screen became a sort of wry tradition on its own.
The laser pen appeared to solve all these problems in one go. Was it the end of ‘tick, tick’, banging on the screen, and the distracting telescopic movements? Or was it the beginning of another era?

The facts
Even when the speaker knows nothing about the focus function, the laser pen provides a point of red light on the screen.
The better the focus, the sharper the point, the clearer and brighter the red light.
When the room lights are turned off or just dimmed, and the speaker can support his hand somewhere (maybe on the edge of the lectern), there’s a good chance that a solid and relatively still red point is visible on the screen.
But it is and remains just a ‘point’, which for many is quite difficult to see.
Ah, indeed, is that the reason why the speaker waves the laser pen around, drawing wobbly lines around the spot where the listeners’ attention should be?

Mythe 21: "Laserpen"Imagine that the speaker is fairly anxious or, just like the other participants at the congress, has indulged in the wine at lunch or has paid no thought to steadying his hand or arm against something… what can then be seen on the screen? A vibrating red mark that – for those who can even see it – tends to distract the attention rather than focus it.

Since this is the most frequently used presentation software, courtesy of Microsoft, this is what we’ll refer to. When you present electronically, make sure you avoid the mistake made by a participant in one of my open workshops. Frank works for a large, multinational high-tech company. He believes firmly that he must then present using the high-tech combination of computer and beamer. After 17 minutes (!) setting everything up, he finally starts his presentation. He takes a telescopic pointer out of his jacket pocket, goes up to the screen and stands in one place talking to his illustrations and waving the pointer first at this point then at that point on the crowded screen.

When you work with presentation software, use a modest number of the useful features provided.
Just consider for a moment that the software engineers who designed the program probably know nothing about presenting, and never present anyway. All these features are just distractions which tempt the inexperienced speaker to turn his presentation into a multi-media event which ensures that neither the speaker nor his message get much attention.

Let’s look for a moment at some of the useful features. In the context of this myth, one of those features is the arrow or circle in contrasting colour which you make appear at the right moment in your presentation, at the right place on the screen. Or you let the colour of an area change, or you zoom in or out.

One of the most useless, yet alas most common, features is projecting the full picture all at once, with everything underlined or emphasised in other ways.
Use the possibilities of your software sparingly and with appropriate timing.
A good presenter is like a good teacher: he provides a small amount of information, visual and verbal, at a time.

Even better
Instead of a laser pen or pointer, use your words.
You are presenting, you are the person whom your listeners ‘buy’ before they ‘buy’ your solution.
Your projection screen sells nothing.
What you project should support the transmission of the essential message. Your screen may not tell the story, your listeners must not be able to follow the story from the screen – otherwise you may as well not be there!

How it works
Tell the listeners what they can expect to see in a few moments on the screen.
Direct their attention with words to the appropriate part of the illustration.
This is where you may now make modest use of some of the features of your software.


“Now that you have a better idea about the possible developments in the area of ABC…”
[you sum up what’s on the screen right now or what you’ve just described in greater detail]
“… let’s now move on to look at the technical requirements for the XYZ product group.”
[you prepare to switch to the next sheet or illustration]
“In a moment you’re going to see a fairly complex table.”
[prepare the listener for what he’s going to be looking at]
“Look first of all at the column of figures on the right.”
[there’s still nothing on the screen; you’re just warming the listeners up; with the imperative form you come across with confidence and you direct the attention]
“Take a few moments to consider the implications of these figures. What are the challenges for you and your department?”
[the imperative again, followed by a question to set them thinking; you’re in charge! And now you can show the next sheet]

With this said, and with the next illustration on the screen, you move aside out of the line of sight and wait until the listeners have had the time to carry out your instructions.
Relax, soften your shoulders and jaws, watch your breathing… then draw the attention back to you and continue the presentation.
While standing close to your audience, keep using your words to indicate what’s on the screen: “Bottom left you can see the input from your HRD department, Frank…”, “When you read the third line again more closely in the light of what Peter just pointed out…”, ‘…the red line linking the second and third quarters of last year…”

In conclusion…
Remember that you present, not your visual aids.
They’re there to support you, and may only be the central point of attention when everybody knows it’s designed to be a high-tech laser show.
Because – and you know this now! – the listener can’t do business with a screen, but with you!

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