17) No Banks Required

The World Bank Group building in Washington, D.C.

Da-da!!

Today is the first of my blog a day challenges.   The “B-a-D” topic  was waiting in my inbox when I woke up.  I felt like a kid at Christmas.  Full of high expectations, surprisingly excited at what feast would get my creative juices flowing.  I savoured the moment. The suspense was palpable (well no, not really, but I did leave it a minute whilst I popped the kettle on).  What would be the fascinating subject that would inspire me to write today?

Click: If you made your own currency, what would you call it?

Boring!  First day. Disappointed.  Deflated.  No interest in that one little bit.  Dam. Why on earth did I sign up for this? Simon (husband) said it would be awful, said it’s not easy when you don’t choose your own theme, said I would give up, said I shouldn’t have told everyone I was writing every day.  Why not once a week? he asked, or even once a month? You don’t have time, he said.  You don’t have the energy, he said. Can you un-subscribe?  He knows me too well …. give me all the negatives and I’ll come right back at him with all the positives and then prove it, so there.  Drat, this is not good though.  Money, Euros, Dollars, Yen, yawn.

Then I noticed a descriptor for the topic: What would the currency be called if you had your own country?

Ah-ha. That is far more interesting to me.  Suddenly I can be the master of my surroundings. I can be a creator of my very own ‘kingdom’. The first image after that word popped into  my mind was of a magical place.   An enchanting fantasy land of pastel colours, towering castles and spires. Mythical dragons and unicorns. Ice creams and candy floss. Pancakes and maple syrup with ice cream.   Manicured  lawns and white picket fences.  Flower beds where weeds wouldn’t dare to exist. Pavements made of pink and mint green tarmac.  Houses with wrap around porches and pretty white rocking chairs.  Everything clean and gleaming and smiley and happy.  Tinkerbell and Mickey Mouse.  Oh my God, back up, it’s Disneyland!  No! I cannot create that in my head.

Start again.  Right, I’ve got it. An island.  Name of island … hmm …..  St Sharmon? Yes, that’ll do, it sounds friendly and inviting. Warm climate. Surrounded by clear crystal blue  waters. Shores of pure white sand. Turtles and dolphins playing in the waves. Palm trees.  Thatched villas overlooking the sea. Smells of freshly ground coffee.  Gardens full of perfumed roses and lavender.   The waft of Calypso music.  You get my drift.  Yet, it still just doesn’t seem right to me. It’s too …. oh, what’s the word ……….manufactured, too perfect and prissy and just downright unreal!

This is far harder than I ever imagined.  It’s like playing scrabble and you get to have a couple of blank, go anywhere, do anything, tiles.  They are such a complete nuisance.  I’d much rather sit there with a W or even an L rather than having to work out what these blank tiles are supposed to be!

This task of designing my own country is so tough. Taking it all a step further, away from the landscape, the architecture  etc, I have to start considering the nature of the place.  The animals that will inhabit the forests, the mountains, the rivers.   Are all the creatures suddenly vegetarian or do I have to populate my island with carnivores? The horticulture. Which plants do we need to grow to survive?  Can we import some of our foods from other islands? What have we got that can be exported?  Where will our building materials come from?

Goodness, the enormity of my task has left me quite dumbfounded.  I cannot possibly design a country with all these far-reaching complexities.  The problem is too great for one human mind to comprehend. It has made me realise more than ever the genius of our Creator, who many call God.  Our whole world that somehow came together and everything but everything works in harmony. All that we know, that we have, that we need, has a place and a purpose.  What a plan that was. Our creator got so much right and yet left us room to make our own choices. Very little is set in stone.  There is room for growth, for improvement. It is never stagnant. The resources we all take for granted are right here for every living creature on this earth.

So I am going to leave the conception of a country in the safe hands of our Creator.  I have no right in meddling in perfection.  I cannot possibly start to improve on anything that has, and is, and always will be, part of the divine composition of life.

Which means, now, having realised my limited abilities, I have to get back to the topic in hand.  Currency. Ok, I have given this some thought and in my country, which I had no hand in creating whatsoever, the currency would be called the Cashanka. Translated into English means, Handshake.  Simple as that.  You do work, you’re paid with a handshake. You ‘buy’ goods, you pay with a handshake. Simple. No debts, no savings, no deficits, no interest rates, no inflation, no fiscal policies, and, most importantly …….. NO BANKS ……..  just a handshake.

16) I’m going to post a blog a day!

Inspirational Barnstar

WordPress have this wonderful idea – Post a Blog a Day!  They even give you a nice little intro that you can copy and post to your blog – but of course, when I tried, it refused to paste, so here is my version:

Having weaved my way around the WordPress site, trying to glean tips for the a new blogger, I somehow came across what is termed The Daily Post.  Its is full of inspiring ideas to help us bloggers blog a little more.  To begin with we have to add widgets and tags and things, some of which I find more than a little formidable.  I have read, re-read and read again the easy to use instructions, and as the intelligent woman I still try to consider I am, I find I am still none the wiser.

I have, as instructed,  pointed my mouse at the widget picture and clicked and then gone backwards and forwards to my blog ‘dashboard’ (that’s the technical word for the technical background bit of my blog, a bit like an engine for a car) and clicked here and there and have still found I haven’t got the widget I need.  It’s so much like my car, I know where the pedals are and the steering wheel, but put me under the bonnet and I have no idea what is what! I have learnt more about tags in the last couple of weeks, but I’m not quite sure of the difference between a tag and a category, so I always end up with a mixture of the two.  My ever helpful husband, advised me to keep a list of tags and categories on my desktop so that it would be easy for me to find for future use.  Hmmm, I’m sure it would be if I knew where on earth my computer had saved them.  I’ve made several lists of tags and categories now and can never find them again.  There must be a mass of lists somewhere in my laptop that I’m sure one day will come to light, but for the moment at least they are very much hidden.

So, to get back to this wonderful innovative idea of ‘post a blog a day’.  The challenge is to find inspiration from ideas that the Daily Post will give us bloggers, and then be able to write about it.  To me it sounds very much like a class I took with the Accolade Academy in Margam, Wales, with the most wonderful spiritual tutor, Tony Stockwell.

He had the bright idea that each of us would choose a random word and then someone in the class would have to talk about it for at least five minutes.  You couldn’t prepare this talk, or do any kind of background research, it had to be totally off the cuff and ideally inspired by spirit.  We all had to have a go, and I must say it was good fun once you get over the ‘I’m sounding like a total idiot’ phase.   The problem was, that unknown to us students, Tony was walking around the class listening in and was deciding who he would choose to demonstrate inspired speaking to the whole course on the final night.  He walked up to me with a big smile on his face and told me I was going to be one of his chosen students!  It was more than a little daunting, he told us that we could talk about absolutely any word at all, for at least five minutes.

The other classes on the course also had students that had been chosen by their tutors and the evening before the ‘performance’ I could see everyone busily writing notes and discussing their ideas.  I thought I must have the wrong idea, because I had not prepared anything at all.  I guessed that if it was supposed to be inspired then you should leave it to spirit and trust them to inspire you. I went to bed that night concerned that maybe I should have spent the evening in preparation instead of chatting socially with friends.  I spoke to Tony the next morning and asked him if I had got it wrong. He laughed and said, no, it was supposed to be inspired and no preparation was necessary.

In a way that sounded too easy and too terrifying all at the same time.  The whole day my tummy was full of butterflies, not gently fluttering away, no, these butterflies had boots on and were stampeding around, and I was dreading the moment I would be called to talk.  As we all took our seats I thought that I would feel better once I had seen a few others give their talks, but little did I know that I was to be called up first!  Looking back though it is a bit like having a dentists appointment first thing in the morning.  You get it over and done with and can then get on with enjoying your day.

I had been visibly shaking at the thought of standing up in front of all these people, my stomach was churning, my mouth was dry and my palms were sweaty. Amazingly as soon as my name was called and I walked to the front, a feeling of calm came over me.  I still had no idea what I was going to talk about.  There was a stand by the side of me with a description of all that Accolade Academy offers its students.  “Understanding your Awareness”, was one of the phrases that caught my eye.  Suddenly I was off, chatting about awareness.  I don’t know how long I spoke for, and to be honest I can barely remember what I said, but I did feel it flowed and was certainly inspired.  Phew, was I pleased when I could sit down.

So, I am going to try to approach this ‘blog a day’ challenge in exactly the same way.   All I have to do is trust that spirit will inspire me …. they have never let me down yet!

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