By Monique Rhodes

Here is your weekly dose of three things that have impressed me during the week or that I am contemplating. 

My favourite photo and article of the week  – 

It was hard not to be delighted by the arrival of Neve Te Aroha, the baby daughter of the Prime Minister of my homeland, New Zealand. The world media has followed this birth with huge interest due to Jacinda being only the second female Prime Minister to give birth while in office (the first was Benazir Bhutto, the former Prime Minister of Pakistan. In a strange twist baby Neve was born last week on Bhutto’s birthday).  It made news all over the world and provided a much needed feel good moment in an otherwise distressing week for our world’s children. For 9 years New Zealand had a female Prime Minister, Helen Clark. She wrote an enlightening article in The Guardian the day Neve was born explaining why Jacinda is such an important example for women. Her article Jacinda Arden shows that no doors are closed to women is well worth a read.

“New Zealand is known for being, by and large, a socially progressive country. Ardern is its third female prime minister; it has had three female governors general; and women have held significant positions across the public and private spheres. 125 years ago, it became the first country where women won the right to vote.”

My favourite song of the week – 

I have loved this song for years “Bag Lady” – by Erykah Badu. I have a bit to do with homeless people here in Los Angeles. During the week one of the guys I look out for had all of his possessions taken by the authorities in a garbage truck. In a few minutes every thing he owned, except the clothes on his back, were gone. It was the second time I had been with him when this has happened and despite talking extensively with the authorities both times, there was nothing I was able to do to stop it. It was painful to witness. I can’t imagine how it feels to have this happen to you.

It left me thinking of how many things we often accumulate to try and feel happier. It left me thinking of how so many people have so little and how easily that can be taken away. It reminded me of how tightly people who have a lot hold onto things. And I was struck by how little someone like my homeless friend was able to survive with. And it reminded me of the lyrics of the song:

“Bag lady you gone hurt your back

Dragging all them bags like that

I guess nobody ever told you

All you must hold onto, is you, is you, is you” – Bag Lady, Erykah Badu

My favourite video of the week – 

I love Cheryl Strayed. You may know her name because she wrote the book “Wild” which the movie with Reese Witherspoon was based on. You may also listen to her podcast Dear Sugars. I find her smart and really emotionally intelligent. This is a short excerpt of a live talk called Don’t Let Your Dreams Ruin Your Life. 

This week perhaps we can be even more thoughtful of each other, our differences and that each and every one of us merely wants to be happy. 

Don’t forget, if you have something that has touched or impressed you, send it on to me. I’m always looking to be blown away by the wonders of this world. 

Enjoy!

Monique Rhodes

Happiness Specialist

Founder, The 10 Minute Mind