Friday, February 26, 2010

The Dash by Linda Ellis

This was read to us on the Young Endeavour voyage and is something that I am sure will inspire each and every one of you to look towards making your lives :)

The Dash by Linda Ellis

There was a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning to the end

He noted that first came her date of her birth
And spoke the following date with tears
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years

For that dash stands for all the time
That she spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not how much we own;
The cars the house the cash
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard.
Are there things you'd like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
That can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
To consider what's true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.

We'd be less quick to anger
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we've never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect
And more often wear a smile
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.

So when your eulogy is being read
With your lifes actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?

An awesome video version of this with pictures and music is available at: I hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Relay for Life 2010

Hi all,

I'm going to be participating in the Relay for Life 2010 in March so I'm raising money for the Cancer Council.

The aim of the Relay for Life is to celebrate survivors, remember those lost and fight back against a disease that takes too much.

If you're interested in supporting please can visit:

The main aim for me to create awareness of how the event and the charity (Cancer Council) as I find that more important for the charity and cause in the long term, so please don't feel obligated to donate and donate only if you would particularly like this cause and/or what I am doing for them :)

If you think 80 Australians dying from bowel cancer each week is too many, make a noise!

Help Cancer Council campaign for free bowel cancer screening for all Australians over 50 by visiting

Taking the first step in life...

Life it seems always sets us challenges and obstacles along our journey, and at times we find it hard simply to take that first step in moving towards achieving a goal or dream of ours.

No matter how small it may seem or how big the goal is, and whether it is simply waking up and getting out of bed. The first step is always the hardest, yet by taking that first step, you are giving yourself the opportunity to overcome and turn the challenges and obstacles into a thing of the past.

Here's a nice quote for you that will hopefully inspire you:
Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step' Marktin Luther King Jr. 1929-1968

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sailing the Young Endeavour (post-trip)

Young Endeavour – Vu Long Tran on the V04/10: Sydney - Williamstown

What is the program about?
The Young Endeavour voyage provides an opportunity for 16-23 year olds who would otherwise
not have had the opportunity to learn all that is required to sail a square-rigged vessel, including
helming, navigation, rope handling, working aloft and even command. Individuals come together
from across the country and it is often on the trip that we make new friends as we each develop our
teamwork, leadership and communication skills.

Highlights/ challenges
The entire voyage was fantastic and I found the challenges on the voyage were also the highlights of
the voyage and these included:
  • Surviving the storms where winds reached 45 knots and swells were 6-7 meters high
  • Climbing aloft and typing up gackets and sails during strong winds
  • Waking up at wee hours of the night to man the tacting stations to change the direction of the ship
  • Trying to meditate and not fall off aloft
  • The greatest highlight was being able to finally jump off ship, after hitting storms at the beginning of the voyage I wondered whether I would ever have the opportunity to do so. I finally got the opportunity on my birthday when good weather came along and was able to fulfill my promise to donators of the charity (Caritas) that I had supporting - especially as I had been able to raise $300 for the charity : )

Was it what I was expecting?
I didn’t expect to leave the ship, but thought it was an endless trip at sea from start to finish, it
turned out we hit land more often than I realised. Visiting Eden, NSW first, Normans Bay (and Mt
Oberon in mine and two others case), Wilsons Prom and Rye Beach for a funny Rye assault row boat

Thu 11 Feb - Sun 21 Feb 2010
  • Thu 11 Feb 2010 - Voyage 4/10 Underway
  • Fri 12 Feb 2010 - Heading South
  • Sat 13 Feb 2010 - Torrential Rain
  • Sun 14 Feb 2010 - At Anchor Twofold Bay
  • Mon 15 Feb 2010 - Strong Weather and Big Sea's
  • Tue 16 Feb 2010 - Fine Weather at Last
  • Wed 17 Feb 2010 - At Anchor Norman Bay
  • Thu 18 Feb 2010 - A Perfect Day
  • Fri 19 Feb 2010 - Command Day
  • Sat 20 Feb 2010 - Final Night of Voyage 04/10

Friday, February 12, 2010

Sailing the Young Endeavour for charity

Young Endeavour

I am sailing on the Young Endeavour sailing voyage on 11th -22nd February 2010 from Sydney to Williamstown which is a very unique opportunity that I will be privileged to be a part of, particularly given that selection onto this awesome voyage is ballot based.

This will not only will this be my first time on a sailing ship in the open ocean which will set itself to be the furthest I have been outside of Australia, but what will make it truly special and unique is that on this very voyage I will be celebrating my birthday! Perhaps while I am up high in the masts!
So on the 17th February, I’ll be celebrating my 23rd birthday with 23 other young unknown Aussies and the Royal Navy from around Australia.

Sharing this opportunity

Given that it is set to be a very exhilarating and exciting experience for me, I thought it would be my fitting that I share use the opportunity to help raise money for a charity that I know has been doing great work for communities around the world for some time now.

The great thing about this charity is that its aim is to ‘help people help themselves regardless of race, religion or political beliefs’ but what truly gets it for me is that it focuses on ‘supports long term-development programs in impoverished communities’.

It is their approach and focus on the long term rather than just the short term that is one of their greatest strengths. So think of coming into a community and helping them to have water by building a well for them. That’s great, but what Caritas does is that they focus on teaching the members of the community to make this well, so that when Caritas leaves, the community have the skills and knowledge to continue building wells as required.

The Chinese proverb goes along of the lines of, ‘Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he will eat for the rest of his life’.
To support this great charity, please visit:

The ship, experience and rewards

If you can picture the ships from the Pirates of the Caribbean and/or the One Piece anime then picture me onboard a 44 metre tall ship on the open sea. I will be involved in all aspects of sailing the square rigger vessel from climbing the mast, setting the sails, rope handling, working aloft, navigating, keeping watch, taking the helm and helping in the galley trained by a professional Navy crew who are there to ensure the highest standards of safety and care.

I can anticipate how much I will become more aware of myself and in their words, it will set to test my ‘sense of adventure and willingness to push myself to the limit...and discover new reserves of character, commitment, confidence, teamwork and leadership’.

You’ll be able to follow my progress during the voyage through the Caption’s Log at:
I see this, as they say and it’ll be not about the destination, but it’ll be about the journey. Well I sense that this journey is set to profoundly change my life forever...


There will be instances where I should be given the opportunity to swim in the ocean (probably when there is no wind...haha) So seeing how I can only just swim 50 meters, I’d thought it would be fit to say that if I am able to raise over $250 then I’ll dive into the cold ocean and swim (50 metres? if that's allowed...)! Haha that should encourage me to practice swimming a bit more before the sailing voyage!

So if you’re interested in ensuring that I will have to do this then, please fell free to donate to the charity at:

Friday, February 5, 2010

Chi bending - how to chi bend

I know this might seem quite weird and trivial for some, but it's something that I learnt a few months ago and have only recently been able to share with others at a couple of youth camps. It's quite interesting and intriguing how it all works. I am still learning about it more myself, nonetheless, I will teach you what I have learnt so far.

Others might call it something different, however as I am unsure what it's meant to be called, I like to call the entire process of making a chi energy ball, 'chi bending' or 'chi energy bending'.

I have made a video for you to watch which teaches you how to chi bend (at least this is how I create a chi energy ball), as I'm sure there may be other ways of creating one. This was just how I was taught.

The basic steps are:

  1. Rub your two hands together (this is optional but helps initially while you're unsure of what you're looking for).
  2. You should feel energy building up between your hands, and it will slowly push your hands apart from each other - let it and then reign it in again.
  3. Continue doing so until you've found a comfortable position.

With practice, I have found you can focus and create it with one hand, so it's quite bizarre how it comes about but you can feel a ball of energy just spinning in your hands. Meditation also helps improve the strength of it as it allows you remain more focused, and to be able to sense and direct your energies more appropriately. I have written a basic guide to meditation if you're looking to learn how to meditate (see basic introduction to meditation)

Benefits include: improved concentration, focus, calmness, relaxation and can help some people to sleep.

For some of the people I have taught it has also become a symbol of 'respect' which I found quite interesting. It is indeed a very peaceful and relaxing activity so perhaps it can be a symbol that promotes 'respect', hope and even peace to others no regardless of your differences. Either way, I know it is something that we can all share together! :)