Foley's blogs

Foley's blogs

My blogs

blogging about my books

Price of Fame

Guiding ThoughtsPosted by Foley Western Thu, May 14, 2015 23:12:24

The glorious trend of talent shows to our screens is an amazing and exciting revolution, whole countries, genders, ages, and groups get caught up in the celebrity fever which takes over when these events are being broadcast and there is no doubt they have brought in many a pretty penny to the organisers and other stars involved in the productions.

Many people view these programs with different eyes. Some see them as a lot of people clinging to their ideal of fame and fortune, some see them as a waste of time, and some people will defiantly switch off so as not to be included in the sheep growing herds following these programs. However the program designers have become more and more confident and ploughed more and more money into these events knowing that as people, we love watching other people. We do get a bit of a giggle when things do not go according to plan, or an act obviously appeared to be so much better in their sitting room singing into a long handled broom, but there is no doubt it is an opening of our eyes to the fact that the world is full of amazing gifted and talented people.

But there is a downside as well, sometimes the young or fragile who sang or performed quite happily to family and friends are not always prepared or ready to take on global mass attention and it can produce long term damage psychologically. It is understandable that over a short period of time, the supermarket worker who suddenly finds themselves under the viewing of millions and performing to thousands of applauding fans can falter in disbelief. The price of fame does come heavy, it can destroy old friendships, families, and futures, it can take over a life and sweep those involved along in a fantastical way in complete contrast to what they have been used to and that is even before the press and paparazzi get involved.

Suddenly from packing someone's bags as they leave the shop, or checking out a loose spark plug in a mechanics world, they are spotlighted and their lives are in every media outlet from newspaper to online. Every event they are involved in, every venture from their homes they make, every action they do is watched and taken by the ever hungry throng of journalists and sensationalised. Whoever cared before if you bought your pasta at the little corner shop down the road? Whoever asked you did you buy your underwear from Marks and Spencer or John Lewis? Such trivialities of life which were private and in some ways totally not anyone else’s business suddenly are projected to world fame along with your picture. Hiding becomes a very serious option.

Friends from the past can become envious and suddenly reveal their deepest darkest secrets, unheard of relatives arrive out of the blue to comment on the close relationship they had with you as a child, when they had only ever seen you at family weddings and funerals. People who you have known well suddenly eye you as a cash machine and not the person who shared a glass of wine or two with them on a night out in the local pub. The expectation of what you should and shouldn’t be doing becomes a blurred line and it is all of this that is secondary to the appearance on stage the very first time, or the signing with a Publisher who gave you an advance for your first book. For the lucky winner they trade something in their life, they have to be strong minded and determined and take on not only a new found career but a new life. They need to be prepared for criticism and spitefulness, and in some cases may even need protection.

Of course the niceties outweigh a lot of the negatives which is why people still do it, there is the money security and the acclamations and the feeling of success at something they love. Interestingly a class of children were asked what they would like to be when they grew up and over half of them were enthusiastic in their response of “a celebrity”. In the world today the rise of such success has now in some of our children's minds become a career prospect.

The money making wheels keep on turning, the viewers keep viewing and for a long while ahead it seems talent shows are here to stay. Everyone who steps out on that stage, who fills in their application form or who dreams of transition from dancing in front of the mirror to performing all over the world, should remember the price of fame, it is not always a bargain to be gained.

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Life's Surprises

Guiding ThoughtsPosted by Foley Western Wed, April 22, 2015 12:44:59

When Life Takes You by Surprise

Sometimes in life you think you have everything planned, you make a list, or organise an event or even arrange a date in your diary, and out of the blue an unexpected change happens and throws everything into disarray.

So how do you deal with the unexpected? Life is never about one straight forward pathway. We all tweet and twitter and Facebook our plans, that half the time the whole world knows more about what we have planned than we do ourselves. Plans for days off, holidays, or weekend activities, where we are going, who we are seeing or meeting.

When it comes to birthdays and Christmas or any time when someone gives you a gift or a surprise reward do you mind if it pushes your plans off course? Getting a surprise ticket to a live concert on the night when you had planned to sit and chill wine in one hand and a rom com, doesn't seem too bad when faced with the alternative of pushing buttons on a cd player. But if the car breaks down or a household item decides to blow up and needs repairing that same night we nearly all feel the pains of upset. So nice surprises are welcomed, but any unexpected events which cause us disappointment or a loss are the ones we deal with differently. And surprise events can actually add to life making it less predictable and more exciting. It is always worth viewing them from both angles although at the time it may not be that easy.

Some people deal with the unexpected well, coping in a crisis, having a bus timetable on hand when a car fails to start, or being able to look at the rainy weather as a challenge to the picnic day and eagerly rushing to set up a gazebo instead of sitting under the anticipated blue skies. They are not always organised but they do have a less rigid way of life which means “expect the eventuality which may throw your plans out the window and find an alternative without losing the original track”. You have to admire these sorts of people as most of their life is a wealth of “alternatives” and they do have a more relaxed attitude to life because of it, affecting other areas of their lives as well.

Others flap into an almighty overload and rant and rave and feel that the whole event is totally ruined and cannot possibly be overcome. They also very often try to find someone or something to blame rather than dealing with the change in circumstances. These people tend to have a low stress barrier and resort to panic rather than logic allowing the unexpected to be an issue and usually end up wasting time in dismay rather than putting an alternative plan into action.

Whether you were a girl guide or not and managed to carry on “being prepared” through life’s' ups and downs, by the time you get to a certain age your mind has well become accustomed to the idea that nothing is completely guaranteed, and that there will always be hurdles. How you deal with them is always the key point. The pros of being calm, taking the matter in hand and looking for the alternative is a good way of looking at any situation. Without taking the preparations of “just in case” too far, it is better to deal with your attitude when faced with an unexpected change. Sometimes a quiet count of one to ten can work wonders, or a deep breathing moment will calm you into a sense of logic rather than emotion and you can proceed to work through the panicking moment.

Is it life changing? Will it cause a global breakdown; will you or anyone else really suffer due to the unexpected? More often than not the answer is no, and for those events, there is always an alternative.

Less time spent in the disappointment mood, will bring quicker and more positive results and resolves.

So do you flap and find an unexpected surprise too much to cope with and find yourself in a heap without a hope of calmness? Or are you controlled, calm and collected in your thoughts with a carefree spirit?

How do you personally deal with the unexpected?

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Relationship with Food

Guiding ThoughtsPosted by Foley Western Sat, January 24, 2015 10:49:57

Free from all waste and poison, when no solid food has been taken for some time, one's body functions without obstruction and one feels a surge of vitality through out one's own system.

Stop to smell the roses, appreciate your surroundings, realise you live in a great place with interesting and eccentric people.

Appreciate your differences because we are all subtly different which is why we are so great (Humans).

Allow Religion to be guiding only, to give a focus to work towards for a better you, and to encourage love and peace to all peoples.

Now I will be turning my thoughts to writing a sequel to my last book in case it travels to Hollywood


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Over Thinking

Guiding ThoughtsPosted by Foley Western Wed, January 14, 2015 17:03:52

The Dangers of Over-thinking

The mind is like a monkey, as mind-genius Alan Watts said. It’s darting from the present to the future, and constantly dipping into the past, and this running around requires our thoughts. Thoughts are how we interact with our aspirations, fantasies, and memories, and can be wonderful bridges into all-consuming feelings of joy or sadness. Thoughts can also be the building blocks to complex stories and designs, but no matter where they lead, it’s important to remember that one is still their author.

The pace of 21st century living often grabs one’s attention and takes it away from the origins of one’s thoughts. When one is carrying five bags of shopping that threaten to split by the time one finds one’s car keys, it’s difficult to pause and grasp where one’s mind is leading one’s emotions, and one could get angry. Why does this always happen to me? I should have done this differently.

The world is so annoying. This is an unconscious over-thinking, which is difficult to be fully aware of.

How can one recognise, reflect on, and eventually regulate what feels like bubbles of words that flow by as if from an unreachable tap. Eventually they form an ocean that threatens to slosh around and churn up repetitive thoughts.

Our minds are intelligent machines, so why would they flood our thoughts with negativity? Our brains are wired for self-preservation, and will inject our thoughts with worries and concerns to help us realise and overcome danger. The problem is, minds aren’t geared towards modern problems. They’re more built for screaming at harmful situations and telling one to run from the dark. They get stuck on the complexities of a relationship or the bumps of modern day living. In the dark our minds tint our thoughts with added dangers, a throwback to when we had to be cautious about predators. But nobody is hunting us now. It’s just that nobody can tell our minds. Or can we?

The answer is also the problem. The key way our minds protect us is to teach us how to think. They can’t actively put caution in every new-born thought, so it trains us to do it for them. By repeatedly following the same patterns of thought, these patterns become deep rooted grooves that channel our thoughts in a cautious, sometimes pessimistic, direction. So the way out of these grooves is to recognise and examine their effects. Some people consider themselves naturally unlucky, and joke that things will probably go bad no matter the circumstances. It’s more a case of their minds telling them to mentally prepare for the worst, just in case. Unchecked, these thoughts can directly lead to depression and anxiety.

Once you’re aware of them it’s more possible to dig the grooves in a more positive direction. So, Why does this always happen to me? because well, this is annoying, but understandable. The plastic bags are thin and not designed for heavy weight, and this happens to a lot of people. It changes from a generalised accusation, to a more balanced statement.

Be kind on your mind, it’s only trying to protect you. Critical thoughts are essential in life, it’s just the quantity and power of them that needs to be watched. The most important thing to remember is that negative thoughts tend to flood, whereas positive, beneficial ones tend to feel at the front of one’s mind. Here’s the danger of conscious over-thinking— it feeds the over-cautious tendency of thoughts, and when you’re putting energy into thinking over a certain issue, it allows them to multiply.

Listen to those easily-overshadowed thoughts that aren’t touched by over-thinking. There’s a reason why people often return to their gut feeling when trying to decide a big issue.

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Guiding ThoughtsPosted by Foley Western Tue, June 03, 2014 15:30:58

Give but don't allow yourself to be used, Love but don't allow your heart to be abused,

Trust but don't be naïve, Listen to others but don't lose your own voice.

Life is quite short, so Love the people who treat you right and forget the ones who don't.

Leave Haters to be themselves, you will not make a determined hater love you, no matter what you do.

Try your best in all you do and you will find life can be great.

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Marriages & Relationsips

Guiding ThoughtsPosted by Foley Western Wed, March 05, 2014 14:18:42

Should you only marry your own kind? There are arguments for both sides in my estimation, but the real answer is NO.

Marriage is about the coming together of two people who love each other for themselves, not their race, their colour, their wealth or lack of it. Relationships, what ever the make up of it will survive if They show respect for one another, If they apologise when wrong and accept apology quickly when given, If they strive to always tell each other the truth, If they show each other respect and If they can help it, Not raise their voices to each other and to think before they speak.

A marriage is supposed to be made in heaven but if it is to work in the 21st Century it has to allow both partners to discover their inner potential rather than being merely an institution for living together and raising children,

The best marriages are probably better today than at any time in history because spouses are looking for something other than simply sharing the same home, a goal which would have been acceptable a century or more ago, but now couples are also looking for a spiritual connection, with similar goals and ambitions which they describe as finding their soul mates.

All couples argue, and some disagreements may not be bad for building a relationship. But when arguments become heated, that’s when blame, criticism and name-calling comes out, sometimes unintentionally. And too much of that isn’t as good for marital happiness, as plenty of research show

Women take more responsibility for emotional harmony in a marriage.

It’s important for partners to realise they have a lot of emotional influence on each other. There are two people in this dance, but women may have to take the first step to show him the way and other things will follow.”

This may be something that husbands and wives know intuitively, but now there’s science to back up these hunches

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A Chance

Guiding ThoughtsPosted by Foley Western Fri, February 28, 2014 11:41:05

The quality of mercy is not strained,

It drops as the gentle rain from heaven

Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;

It blesses him that gives and him that takes:

IT is the mightiest of the mightiest: it becomes

the throned monarch better than his crown;

His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,

The attribute to awe and majesty,

Wherein sits the worry and fear of kings;

But mercy is above this sceptred sway;

It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,

It is an attribute to God himself;

And earthly power then show likeness to God's

When mercy seasons justice.

Therefore if law is all we cling to with no mercy or

kindness, then none of us should see salvation:

We do pray for mercy; And that same prayer does teach us

all to render The deeds of mercy to everyone.

William Shakespeare

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Atlantis - Merely Just A Myth

Guiding ThoughtsPosted by Foley Western Mon, January 27, 2014 11:38:35

What springs to mind when you hear someone mention the word Atlantis? Do you conjure up images of underwater cities and mythical characters or remember the latest TV or film to hit our screens that depicts the lost city under the sea? So is Atlantis merely just a myth or did this now submerged city once look out over the ocean that surround it.

According to Plato, one of the world’s best known philosophers, Atlantis was in fact a major sea power located in the Atlantic. His accounts included detailed descriptions of Atlantis, the mountains and plains that surrounded the great city and its successful conquests of parts of Western Europe and Africa. It is also believed, after a failed attempt to invade Athens, Atlantis supposedly sank into the ocean and has remained there ever since.

For many years archaeologists, architects and scientists have tried to discover the exact location of this missing city and searches have, with the help of the information Plato shared, been focused on the Mediterranean and the Atlantic as the most likely sites.

We have seen how much of their life these specialists devote to carrying on their research and finally get the proof they have been long searching for. Astronauts have gone into space and landed on the moon, surely experienced divers can locate Atlantis and show the world that Atlantis was more than a figment of a great philosopher’s imagination. It would be interesting to see what comes to the surface in the future.

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