Episode 23: Unstoppable

Jimmy ThaiHe is one of a kind! Fearless and unstoppable and relentlessly pursuing his dream, he refused to allow anything to stand in his way even at the risk of losing his own life.

After the fall of Saigon hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese desperately tried to get out of the country, running away from the madness and chaos that took over. Unfortunately countless people were shot and killed on their very first attempt. Numerous more lives were taken by the sea or by heartless fishermen turned into pirates.

Jimmy Thai did not attempt to leave until a decade later. But once he set his mind to it there was no turning back. His escape journey was horrific and heartbreaking. It took 15 attempts before he made it out alive and the cost was unimaginable. His brother was shot and killed. He was hunted like an animal and was captured, tortured and sent to labour camp.

Decades later Jimmy returns to the very country that almost took his life to build schools and serve the underprivileged. He is an amazing individual, one of a kind!

Resources and Links:
Music Credits

Intro: Don’t Hold Back (Grow and Soar) by KOÄN
2010 – Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0)

Episode 22: Random Act of Kindness

La’ve JacksonI used to think the world was an ugly place, that people were cruel and life was a long and lonely road to hell. That was until the day I met my late teacher. He kindly took his precious time to listen to my sorrows and gave me some wonderful advice that changed my life forever. Through his small act of kindness he helped me restore my faith in humanity and gave me hope for a better future.

It’s very important to always keep in mind the positive parts of life. And there is no better example of the goodness in our world than random acts of kindness performed by complete strangers.

Kindness is contagious. Never underestimate the impact of a single, simple act. All it takes is your willingness to reach out and help those less fortunate than you.

La’ve Jackson is a homeless man from Dallas. He spent most of his life living on the streets because of poor choices that lead him to drug and alcohol addictions.

After a lifetime of struggle he finally pulled himself together and has remained sober for the last nine months. He spends most of his days on the streets selling STREETZine, a street paper. One day, by a chance encounter he met a group of kind strangers from North Dallas Firewalkers. They came together, took him off the street, got him a VIP ticket to a powerful seminar and then raised funds through gofundme to help him get his own place. La’ve is now determined to stay off drugs and working hard to get his counselling license and make something out of his life. All thanks to those strangers’ kindness.

Resources and Links:
Music Credits

Intro: Don’t Hold Back (Grow and Soar) by KOÄN
2010 – Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0)

Episode 21: It’s Ok to Be an Artist

Brian Robinson
Photo by Michael Marzik

I’m borrowing today’s episode title from Gordon MacKenzie, an American artist.  He used to talk to school kids from kindergarten to year 6, asking the same question: “Anybody an artist?”. And while everyone in kindergarten was enthusiastically raising their hands, as he progressed from one year to the next, the number of hands raised dropped. By year 6 hardly any kids put their hand up.

So Gordon Mackenzie asked the sixth graders: “Hey! What happened to all the artists in this school? Did all the artists transfer out? Did all the artists go to art school? I don’t think so. I think something much worse. I think someone or something has told you it’s not OK to be an artist. If you don’t remember anything else I say today I want you to go home and remember it’s OK to be an artist.”

I am so glad that my guest today – Brian Robinson – was not afraid to remain an artist even though some of his loved ones advised against it. At times it was a lonely road, working long hours, not knowing what the future holds, but that was the sacrifice he was willing to make.

Brian is the 2013 Recipient of the Western Australian Indigenous Art Award, the nation’s richest Indigenous arts prize for exceptional achievements by an Australian Indigenous artist. His works are displayed across Australia, at the Monaco Palace and at the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco. He spent more than two decades perfecting his craft and never once wavered in his pursuit.

Brian constantly challenges himself to create unique and amazing masterpieces. He uses a variety of methods from printmaking, painting, sculpture, installation and design. His work embodies the customs and traditions of the Torres Strait Islander people whilst also referencing mythological narratives from global cultures.

In this interview Brian gives us a glimpse into his life as an artist, the work involved, the unusual materials and tools he uses for his art work. He also shares a bit about his life journey.

Before you listen to our conversation I highly recommend you follow this link to see his talent on display.

I’ll end with another quote from Gordon Mackenzie’s amazing book on creativity Orbiting the Giant Hairball: “If you go to your grave without painting your masterpiece, it will not get painted. No one else can paint it. Only you.”

Bring out your masterpiece, whatever that is!

Resources and Links:
Music Credits

Intro: Don’t Hold Back (Grow and Soar) by KOÄN
2010 – Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0)

Episode 20: Overcoming Addiction

Natalie Calkins Rountree
Are you or a loved one struggling with addiction?

When someone suffers from drugs or alcohol addiction their entire family is paying for that terrible choice. Addiction brings about serious damage to families and to relationships. Those who take drugs can experience deadly consequences such as overdoses, crime, traffic accidents, violence and suicide. Children of alcoholic parents are at high risk of mental, physical and sexual abuse. They also suffer from low self esteem, loneliness and fear of abandonment. Sadly, I am one of those children…

In this episode I’m talking to an incredibly intelligent and beautiful lady, Natalie Calkins Rountree, who was kind enough to share with us her epic battle with alcohol addiction and her journey to recovery. Natalie came from a good background but, due to some poor choices, she became addicted to alcohol early on. She lost her self worth, dignity, the custody of her young daughter and almost took her own life. After a 15 years battle with alcoholism she had finally kicked the habit and has been sober for almost a decade. She rebuilt her life, got her daughter back, she’s happily married and has a very successful career.

Resources and Links:
Music Credits

Intro: Don’t Hold Back (Grow and Soar) by KOÄN
2010 – Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0)

Episode 19: Understanding and Managing Relationship Problems

Dave ElliottAll couples have problems. No relationship is perfect. Some issues can be resolved while others are destructive, unhealthy, unacceptable and therefore you must learn to walk away.

Have you ever wondered why some people keep falling for the same type of person? Why do they subject themselves to the same pain and get burnt over and over again? Yet, they can’t seem to break away from these toxic characters. Cheaters, liars, narcissists…

Does this sound familiar?

In this episode relationship expert Dave Elliott explains why we do what we do and how we can change our destructive thoughts and behaviour patterns in order to attract the right people into our lives.

Resources and Links:
Music Credits

Intro: Don’t Hold Back (Grow and Soar) by KOÄN
2010 – Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0)

A thrilling real life journey to self discovery, riches and spirituality

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