The Mandela Effect

A cup of tea for my adversary

A cup of tea for my adversary

Mandela leaves us with a tremendous example of how one person can

transcend a legacy and seemingly endless spiral of







to achieve uncompromising greatness.

He transformed himself and then went on to transform his country and the world.

Mandela’s life teaches us that in every situation, there is a common ground, which can be reached by compassion and unwavering commitment to excellence. He taught us that the best way to disarm your enemy is through civility and understanding. He taught us that the best way to lead is to inspire others to their unparalleled greatness: by supporting and inspiring them to be even greater than they thought they could be. He showed us that symbols of the ‘oppressor’ can be transformed to ‘symbols’ of hope, unity and empowerment for all.

But most of all, he taught us this process must begin from within. One can’t demand reconciliation if they themselves have no peace in their heart. Great leaders such as Mandela ‘lead by example’. For Mandela, nothing less than greatness would do. He charted this course for himself and the nation followed.

How many of us can relate to this situation in our lives? Not just at the national level, but at the personal level in how we relate at our jobs, in our relationships, in our divorces, in our feuds. Mandela shows us that we must create the peace within first, then lead through example and maintain an engaged, inspirational and uncompromising conviction that nothing but the greatness of ourselves and those around us will do.

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Guided Meditation – Sending lovingkindness to ourselves and others


Many years ago I wrote this guided meditation. Its message is still as relevant to me now as then. Find yourself a quiet spot and let these words sink in and soothe …

May I open my heart to the happiness inside me

In – open heart                        Out – happiness inside

May I open my heart to the peacefulness inside me

In – open heart                        Out – peacefulness inside

May I open my heart to the compassionate feelings inside me

In – open heart                        Out – compassion inside

May I embrace the impatience inside me

In – embracing                        Out – impatience inside

May I befriend the fear inside me

In – befriend                           Out – the fear inside

May I smile at the anger inside me

In – smiling                             Out – anger inside

May I open my heart to myself and others

In – open my heart                  Out – to myself and others

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A blessing for the New Year

lake1On the day when the weight deadens on your shoulders
And you stumble
May the day dance to balance you
And when your eyes freeze behind the gray window
And the ghost of loss gets into you
May a flock of colors: indigo, red, green and azure blue
Come to awaken in you a meadow of delight
when the canvas frays and the carrock* of thought
And a stain of ocean blackens beneath you
may there come across the waters a path of yellow moonlight
To bring you safely home
May the nourishment of the earth be yours
May the clarity of light be yours
May the fluency of the ocean be yours
May the protection of the ancestors be yours
And so may a slow wind work these words of love around you
An invisible cloak to mind your life

-John O’Donnor

* = great rock

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