Sunday, 22 November 2015

The Bard and the Beauty

There are many beautiful things in the world. It was through an acquaintance that I found out about my happiness lying in living within a framework of honesty, truth, and knowledge on the one side and helping on the other. It is my job to eliminate dead ends and put forks on the road instead.
It was after my university days that I bought a one way ticket to rural Greece and wrote 2 books of poetry and another of short stories. I lived alone in a house with limited running water, an out house for a toilet, and no hot water. I gave up many everyday things like human contact for days on end and I also decided to lose any type of footwear. No injury came to me. When I walked to main street I made sure I looked presentable, but people knew of my unique behavior and I soon had ladies bringing me meals for days on end. I made art and created great literature.
Most of all, I experienced serenity and set out a life plan. I started helping others and it felt okay. It was a bit later that I realized that I had not empowered anyone since I hadn't empowered myself. I continued to meditate and create. It was a bit later that I became interested in politics and participated in aiding the marginalized.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

My Story --- Ted Kouretas' Tough Road to Optimal Empowerment

When a person is born, they need to be raised properly in order to be successful.  Success also depends on your environment and, unfortunately, your means. Some people are born in more enlightened households and others will have to struggle to the top. In a world of inequality, there is little to do but accept our position and work our way up. There are rules to follow and obstacles to overcome. As an experienced empowerment trainer with proven success, I need to tell you that anything is possible. If I could do it, anyone can.
I was born in a time of plenty to immigrant parents new to Canada who knew just enough to scrape by.  Having sent me to Greece to be raised by my grandparents to age 7, you can imagine what kind of a transition I was in for starting the second grade with almost no knowledge of the English language.  It was tough to even know how to communicate with my teachers. I managed to pass the 2nd grade with fairly good marks, thanks mostly to my math skills and the way I quickly picked up grammar. In grade 3, I was put in a class in the basement of the school called BP  (basement paradise ). It was a nice way of cramming the less successful students in an underachieving class. But I loved it. I soon became the smartest kid in the class. This was due to my mother's constantly looking over me and making sure my work was done and often sending me next door to a retired teacher's house to make sure I was progressing.  My uneducated parents unknowingly planted the first seed of empowerment in me --- EDUCATION. Education is a broad concept that people often mix up. I will touch on this later. I was soon a star student and overcame my obstacle of succeeding in school quite easily.
My life got a lot harder as I started high school. I was bullied a lot. I was very sensitive and unable to cope. I was unable to go to school without having trouble breathing or getting depressed.  Age 13 was a terrible and pivotal time in my life.  There was the bullying followed by epileptic seizures.  Then there were the anti depressants I had to take.  I was given permission to miss a year of school by the doctor, but I decided to stay. I felt that stopping school would have been beginning of the end.  I fought with depression for almost a decade. I am glad this happened because it brought about my creativity.
I was not bullied for long because a gang member that I helped with his homework warned the bully to stay away from me or he'd break his arm.  I had other bullying incidents, but this one that affected me so much had been taken care of. I recently met this bully and saw a pitiful man, which truly saddened me. It seems bullying was the only way he could fill the void in his life.
Bullying is perhaps the greatest impediment to happiness and success, breaking us down during our formative years.  I strongly encourage all of you to join an anti - bullying campaign in your area in order to help empower children to deal with bullies and empower the bullies to better understand their life and seek help. I will get into this in depth in the future. After all, this is the greatest problem to youth and to adults currently, affecting the increase in suicide rates and depression.
I will write a much bigger bio on my upcoming website and when I publish my short stories. Suffice it to say that even after all these setbacks, I never lost focus on my goal. Not for one minute. Not even through panic attacks and tearful confessions. During my darkest moments, there was always that light at the end of the tunnel that made my current moment worth living. I now understand that it was all a learning experience leading to now.
All my successes I attribute to turblent times and growth experiences.  My political career would not have been possible had I not learned how to be eloquent in my creative years. My leadership skills in special interest groups were possible because I had acquired the education to be able to empower myself. My being one vote away from being a member of the Canadian parliament was no fluke, but rather a question of will. And although I lost the runoff to the eventual winner, I took that as a sign that better days were ahead. After all, how many had gone as far as I had?
My proudest moments are less glorious. They are filled with gratitude from people I've helped. From dirty soup kitchens to heading support groups in upper class neighbourhoods, the smiles of gratitude and a human smile of grace under pressure are my biggest reward.  My biggest achievement to date is helping myself get out of dire straits and empowering others to do so.
Thank you for reading and I hope to have you at my website when it is up.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Calm Down Before We Go On

I discovered  a couple of years ago and have recommended it to many people for their relaxation needs and to sometimes facilitate flow experiences. ENJOY!

Enjoy the silence

While Depeche Mode and Mad Men are become spiritual and silent by accident, we need to understand that epiphanies are often obtained through meditation and inner peace even in pop culture.

Whether one is religious, spiritual, or agnostic, they need to find and manipulate the mechanisms that brings about inner peace within them.

The numerous ways of doing this are explored more in depth with happiness practitioners.

The Secret to Success

No two people have the exact same goal and the reasons for similar goals are varied. There is also not one road to success. We all know our strengths and weaknesses and we need to concretely identify them to set a path to success. But that's the easy part. The rigid part is sticking to the outlined steps to success.
You will notice that extremely successful people have never put their foot off the gas. They never stop their run to the finish line. They find a way to survive when mere mortals would have thrown up the white flag.  While Ronda Rousey and Justin Trudeau are classic models of success, showing perseverance and commitment no matter what may be going on,  Charles Bukowski and Nelson Mandela show a commitment that goes beyond mere everyday challenges to overcoming the extraordinary or even the impossible. Bukowski had a goal of speaking for the disenfranchised in a way no poet has ever done. An alcoholic and mired in poverty, he manages to  cope and find ways to survive while trying to meet his end goal. While Bukowski always had the talent, he needed it to shine through. He got his break because he managed to get noticed. Isn't that what we're trying to do now?
Nelson Mandela is perhaps the most inspirational man to have ever been born. All he wanted was equal rights. Imprisoned for decades,  he came out of prison after the international community gave the apartheid government in South Africa no choice but to free him.  He immediately blamed no one for what happened and didn't forgive his oppressors. He went a step further and just turned the page. Only in this way could he stay committed to his end goal. Letting hate, the vehicle of the week, take control of him would not have led to his success. Wanting revenge would have caused tumult. The smooth transition that took place was smooth because Mandela was a strong man. He was beyond reproach in his commitment.  This is what heroes are made of. This is also what leaders and people who want control of their lives need to be made of. You don't need to have anyone to look up to. You need to have the passion and love to see your path to happiness through to the end.

Slow Down and Smell ....

We need to use our senses optimally in order to enjoy all the joys life has to offer.  For me, the smell of nature is optimal, as is the smell of the salt water when closing your eyes to hear the ocean waves. Then there's the taste of grilled octopus or whatever else tastes good with some lemon and olive oil on top. I love the touch of smooth skin or the feeling of sand between my toes.  And boy do I love to see autumn leaves in Canada. And who doesn't like the unending horizon of sky and ocean.
I love the feeling of spending time with friends over coffee. I love barbecue pool parties.
Mostly ,  we need to count our blessings and the time to do it.
I have been a part of the Slow movement, first started through the concept of eating food that cooks slow and savored even slower. My logical next move was Voluntary Simplicity. I became the coordinator and got to understand that people from all backgrounds were interested in downsizing their lives, be it one less car in exchange for a bike, or great natural food with no additives.
I will speak of simplicity and optimal empowerment in depth in a future article.