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Cause and Effect

When Change is Your Only Option

[ I haven’t posted any writings in the last few months as I am working on another book but recently I’ve had the thoughts below marinating in my mind and felt the need to share ]

what are you doing for others

Changes in life aren’t always planned or even known, sometimes they just occur all of a sudden and turn your world upside down, hopefully it’s a more positive experience rather than negative but what usually follows is a new ways of seeing, thinking, believing and living.

Transitioning into change isn’t always an easy road but it is naturally how the path progresses.  When you are moving from one phase of your life into the next the changes are not just what is around you, but also what is within.  Changing old habits and/or outdated ways of thinking usually manifests after you’ve either been resisting or struggling to move forward, sometimes without even realizing it.

All life evolves, that we all know and how you personally evolve depends on your choices which of course is of your free will to make but transition can be made easier if you choose to embrace it instead of resisting it (believe me, I’m not saying I’ve always done this, quite the opposite at times, but when you know better, you do better).  I’ve learned to recognize that when I am resisting transition (which I haven’t always been able to identify in the past) that I feel scattered, frustrated, blocked like I’m banging my head against a wall without fully understanding why only to later come to the realization, that “aha” moment, when things start to smooth out and make sense.  Clarity and awareness can be a beautiful thing.

Awareness in yourself is a learned experience, recognizing and reading the signs and symptoms in your own personality is an opportunity worth taking advantage of and sometimes necessary.  Rising to your own challenges will advance every aspect of your character and life but only if you are open to it.  You have to be open to it or it won’t work.

I choose to embrace the positive aspects in all areas of life, I do not like to shed light on negativity for too long because I’m very wary of feeding the wrong energy, but unfortunately sometimes (dare I say, too often) the negative happens and it needs to be looked at in order to raise awareness.

Awareness in others is also a learned experience, recognizing and listening to your inner voice.

When something doesn’t feel right, it isn’t!

Every time I have ignored my gut instinct it always comes back to bite me and that moment of realization, knowing I knew then what I’m learning now feels worse for me because I know I purposely didn’t listen.

I’ve seen a few too many in the last little while of those I care about that are taken advantage of because of their kindness and trust.  Too often when your gut tells you something is wrong you silence it, not always because you think you know better but because within the frame of kindness is the benefit of the doubt.  The benefit of doubt is given out of trust and those who do not have good intentions will manipulate and thrive on that because they are not serving a higher purpose, they are serving only themselves.

  • How does one learn to differentiate between the good and bad?
  • How does one learn to trust their instincts after falling victim to such toxicity and ill will?
  • How does one learn to trust others again?
  • Does the benefit of the doubt ever come back to you?

I think these are the questions you end up asking yourself over and over and over again when an event changes your life abruptly.

I wish there was a quick fix, a way to go back, a way to erase the damage, unfortunately there is not.  The quotes always say you have two options, you rise again or you let it define you, but I don’t know if I agree with that.

I believe there is one option, you rise again, become stronger!

The past cannot be changed, there is absolutely no way you can go back and re-write the story, there is no benefit to re-living it over and over in your mind, you are only torturing yourself. 

There is a process though and the only way to get through a storm is to brave it and fight your way through.  In order to move forward you have to feel the range of emotions as they come and let the wound heal in the time it needs to do so.

The lesson learned, the awareness gained will be that you refuse to give up your personal power to anyone again.  It’s not about forgiving someone else, someone who may or may not be sorry, it’s about forgiving yourself for gracing someone with your kindness and trust when they weren’t worthy of it.

The only thing you can do is make peace with it so you don’t re-live it every day in your present or into your future.  As terrible as an experience is, was or feels, the effects of the experience changes you and how that change manifests within is up to you.

Be a warrior for you!

mirror, mirror

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2016 in Blog

 

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I Don’t Care What You Think!

Feeling Vulnerable Without Fear

Sometimes the protective coat of armor doesn’t cover the fear created within the mind.  I think when you’re young, you are most susceptible and vulnerable to the outside influence and/or opinion of others.  So much so that the slightest comment can feel like a horrible criticism directed at you to make you feel inadequate.  I know because I’ve felt that and maybe those that have made the comment may not have realized the magnitude in which they’ve affected me and maybe those that have made the comment meant nothing negative but I just took it that way.  I think that only time, maturity, personal growth and the always “under construction” parts of your “self” as in esteem, worth and confidence is the key to finally breaking away and feeling vulnerable without fear.

tongue has no bones

Growing into the reserves of strength I know we all have is a difficult road and maintaining confidence through your steps and missteps is a challenge in itself.  However you choose to help yourself along through the emotional conflict you’re likely to experience I think that as long as you continue to try to be better than you were the day before then you are progressing, even if it doesn’t feel like it.  I don’t think any of us realize how much inner strength there is to tap into and how much adversity we actually have the ability to withstand.  Until you are really tested, you just don’t know.

Recognizing how far you’ve come from where you were is something you can look back at after some time to mark in your mind and heart of your progress.  Any progress in a positive direction is something to be acknowledged and celebrated because you could have gone in a negative direction and that would have benefited no one.

Everyone wants to be seen and heard and not for any kind of ego boost but because it is a big part of connecting with others, the part that lets you know you matter and the part that lets you know they care.  It doesn’t take a large amount of energy to be compassionate or kind towards others and it will cost you nothing.

So how do you get to the point of saying “I don’t care what you think”?  It’s not really as derogatory as it sounds more like I’ve grown into myself enough to know that what others think of me doesn’t define me, doesn’t make me more or less of a person and isn’t going to change who I am.  It’s not a challenging attitude but rather a more “self” reflected and strengthened version, humbled and content enough to quiet the thoughts of doubt.

I think too often the focus is worrying about how others will perceive and whether or not they will like you, the bigger question is, “do you like yourself”?  If your answer is yes, there is nothing left for you to worry about, you are enough and those that matter will recognize that.  If your answer is no, then I believe self-reflection is the beginning, at some point in your life you had to have liked yourself, find your way back there and re-build from that point.

the roar of freedom

Vulnerability lies in many corners of the heart and mind and at a moment’s notice it can change your nice quiet, calm and contented self into a scared little child.  Of course there are variations of that fear and I think many of us don’t get as far as the scared little child but you get the idea.  Fear and vulnerability or fear of vulnerability, however you want to link the two, they are usually connected in some way.

FEAR:             to be afraid of (something of someone)

                        to expect or worry about (something bad or unpleasant)

                        to be afraid and worried

 

VULNERABILITY:     easily hurt or harmed physically, mentally or emotionally

                                    open to attack, harm or damage

I think both of these definitions are valid reasons for not wanting to leave yourself open to fear or vulnerability but while you may be protecting yourself from others and the possibility of something negative.  You are also protecting yourself from others and the possibility of something positive.

While you may feel protected and comfortable within the walls you build to protect your heart you are also keeping everything else out.  The most magical things happen outside your comfort zone!

stepping into your greatness

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2016 in Blog

 

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Your Destiny Awaits!!

Who Do You Want To Be?

After an extended holiday break I’ve had lots of time to relax and recharge my thoughts and of course with a new year comes new ideas, resolutions and personal promises but I think the burning question is “who do I want to be?”

Life isn’t just about me and it isn’t just about others, it is the harmonious and meaningful balance between the two that help develop the best version of yourself.

It’s not about what you have done or attained, I think it’s more about what you’ve overcome or changed to ensure a more awareness enhanced life that benefits not only you but those around you.  Getting in touch with the “real you”, your core, is actually quite easy because your instincts/intuition is always plugged in, it’s just a matter of letting that inner voice be heard.  What does your soul tell you, what does your heart want and are you listening to them at all?  Are you being true to yourself for yourself and not for others, that is where the true happiness and inner peace comes from, its internal, not external.

who do you want to be

What is deemed important for you by others is not necessarily what is best for you and learning to heed the warnings and understand the signals are what will keep you self-aware and grounded.  Your best self is the one you don’t have to pretend to be, what you present in all naturalness is your most authentic and usually what others are most drawn to.  When you are unauthentic or trying to suppress the “real you” because you think others won’t like you then not only are you not giving yourself a chance but you aren’t giving others a chance and everyone loses.

Authentic is the “real you”, being yourself gives others the chance to know your heart, your soul, your passion and your many other qualities.  When you are truly authentic you are completely in check with humility, gratitude and inspiration, all the beautiful qualities that create the moments to cherish and the opportunities that flourish.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best:

To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882) American Essayist & Poet

Now that is success!  If you achieve one you’ve succeeded, if you achieve more than one, that is twice blessed, more to aspire to and more to be proud of.  An enormous amount of personal gratitude comes with personal successes like these not because of any sort of adoration or recognition that may accompany it but because of the personal rewards from seeing others truly happy, knowing you were a part of it.  Gratitude for having been given the opportunity not because you are looking to tip the scales of karma in your favor but simply because you can, because you are able to.

There is a bigger meaning to life and I think all of us at one time or another get lost in the hectic and forget the blessings in our own lives not because of a lack of gratitude but because the distractions in life become so over-stressed.  Humility becomes familiar again when things slow down and you have a moment to look around and reflect, to realize how quickly things could change and how easily that might shift your emotions.  It is only through compassion and empathy when you see others down on their luck that you realize that could be you and if it were would you handle it as respectfully as some people do?  Would you fall apart and blame others and/or life or would you get back up, dust yourself off and try again?  Strength of character runs high in those that refuse to give up their tenacity, ambition or integrity.

Alternatively when you see others that are high on the success scale, those who seem to have it all but are also very grounded and happy.  Does it motivate or inspire you to also seek higher goals for yourself, to emulate and/or aspire to be like another, not because you want to be that person but because the qualities and personality as a result of that inner peace and connection is magnetic and you too want to feel that happiness.

You always hear that when people get to the end of their lives they start reflecting and thinking about the beginning, times that they regret and wish they had made better choices or taken different paths.  While I always think it’s great to reflect and even better not to have regrets the important aspect of it all is the learning and I say “why wait, start asking yourself these questions now, the earlier the better”.

Your Destiny Awaits!!

Who Do You Want to Be?

Click the link below for some light inspiration:-)

Dance with Me Tonight; Tim Halperin

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2016 in Blog

 

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Trust

Affects All Parts of Your Self

I happened to catch a show on the OWN Network the other night with a couple of key note speakers discussing the topic of Trust.  I always like to hear different perspectives and thought processes on any topic because it always makes me think and sometimes challenges my own perceptions.

Everyone has a different opinion and perspective and even if it doesn’t match mine at times I think it’s important to at least honour their feelings.

Trust is built in very small moments – Brene Brown.

If you think the littlest of gestures are insignificant, think again because they build that grander scale of trust.  It takes a longer time to build then it does to destroy it.

I’ve included the definition of both trust and distrust as described by Charles Feltman because like Brene Brown, I think it’s close to the best one I’ve heard.

  • Trust is choosing to make something important to you vulnerable to the actions of someone else.
  • Distrust is what I have shared with you that is important to me but is not safe with you.

I absolutely had to include the acronym as created by Brene Brown regarding the “Anatomy of Trust”, because it seems to me to be the best description and aspects of all relationships.

Brene Brown’s acronym for trust is BRAVING, when we trust we are braving connection with someone.

B – Boundaries; I trust you, if you are clear about your boundaries and you hold them and you’re clear about my boundaries and you respect them.  There is no trust without boundaries.

R – Reliability; I can only trust you if you do what you say you’re going to do and not just once.

A – Accountability; I can only trust you if when you make a mistake you are willing to own it, apologize for it and make amends.  I can only trust you if when I make a mistake I am allowed to own it, apologize and make amends.

V – Vault; what I share with you, you will hold in confidence, what you share with me I will hold in confidence.

I – Integrity; I cannot trust you and be in a trusting relationship if you do not act from a place of integrity and encourage me to do the same.

N – Non-judgement; I can fall apart ask for help and be in struggle without being judged by you and you can fall apart ask for help and be in struggle without being judged by me.

G – Generosity; a relationship is only a trusting relationship if you can assume the most generous thing about my words, intentions and behaviours and then check in with me.

In my opinion, this acronym encompasses everything that is important for trusting to be successful, if you have doubts in any area of the descriptions from the acronym then maybe further introspection would be of benefit for you.  Everyone has their own ways and I wouldn’t say that there is only one right way but I do know that everyone knows in their gut when something is off so pay attention to that as it will be your greatest guide.

Knowing yourself and how things make you feel is the best way to know how your level of trust with someone is doing.  When trust is damaged it has you questioning not only the one you are in trust with but yourself, you end up going through the usual conversations with self “how could I have been so stupid” or “why did I not see that coming”.  As a result not only is the relationship damaged but your own self-esteem, self-worth and self-confidence.  It’s amazing how much damage that can be done in a moment when the thought of another is not held to the high standard it should be because trust is very important.

I just had such an affinity for the conversation because the integrity of trust is such a huge part of all relationships, more than I think many realize.  It’s always said that it’s the little things that matter and this is very true within trust because in the little moments you learn about others, develop, build and evolve the relationship.  You get the true moments and of course with it the openness and vulnerability.  It’s important to be very aware of the vulnerability in others, I think especially so you can always strive to be a better person, one that knows compassion and empathy and wants to bring it into relationships as an enhancement for the connection.

disappointments

 
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Posted by on December 15, 2015 in Blog

 

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You Must Be The Change You Wish To See!

All Gestures Matter

Change doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you.  When change occurs try to accept and embrace that it’s the catalyst to propel you in a different and better direction.  Having appreciation at that moment can be difficult but knowing within that everything works out as it’s meant to for the betterment of you and those around you is the silent blessing.  Sometimes certain changes push us into directions we ought to have found ourselves but are too preoccupied or unaware to see.  Taking your own form of a “time out” to become aware of the benefits behind your changes whether they are apparent at the time or not is a great way to ground and humble yourself.

Recognizing and having gratitude for the basics that you live with every day is a good way to keep yourself in check, it’s easy to forget and/or take for granted that they are in fact luxuries.  There are many people that can’t perform the basic tasks simply because they have limitations and most of them are grateful for what they can do, are you?  It starts with the little things, the little gestures, and this is no different, on the smaller scale if you want to see more people offering a moment of kindness to strangers, then start offering it to strangers yourself.  You must be the change you wish to see!

present moment

It doesn’t matter what end of the scale you are on the concept is all the same and when you start paying attention to the smaller things and having appreciation for them, the bigger things change from wants and needs to “it would be great if it happened but I appreciate what I have” because your level of gratitude has been elevated.  As a result more of what is in alignment with your state of gratitude shows up in your life and while it may appear to feel like luck it’s actually just more of what you are starting to gravitate toward and embrace.

An attitude of gratitude tends to shift your perception which as a result changes your reality and the way you connect with those around you.  We are all universally connected to one another but don’t always realize it because there is so much else going on around us, in our lives and in the world.

It doesn’t matter what you call it (God, source, a higher power, the universe) the essence of that which connects us all to each other is very real, even though we don’t always sense and/or feel every other person’s emotions they are there and usually just under the surface.  I think we feel and notice more when something on a global scale or more intense level brings that sense of human emotion to the forefront.

Connecting with others is the true essence of authenticity because it binds you in such unspeakable ways you can’t even explain, you just feel it.  These are the golden connections and are as rare as they are pure, the ones where you almost don’t have to say anything but feel an abundance of love through the connection.  It touches your soul so deeply that you feel as one and not because you’ve blended together but because these unexpressed or guarded emotions which are rarely on open display are sitting just below the surface waiting for the right person to inspire them out.

The more I see these kinds of conversations and changes going on around me and in the world, the more I believe in the value and promise of positive change.

There is no shortage of inspiration for being the changes you wish to see, everyone inherently wants to connect with others, that’s what we are all here for, to make connection.  Things get skewed and foggy when presented with the opportunity at times and I think that’s because vulnerability, a large level of openness is required to make the real difference.  It is a scary step to take because of fear, fear of feeling too exposed, too open and too available for criticism.kiefer-sutherland-kiefer-sutherland-the-most-significant-piece-of

Real changes, real opportunities and real moments happen outside of your comfort zone, take a step out there and give it a try, you won’t regret it.

You must be the change you wish to see!

I think what is authentic about this statement I found quoted by Kiefer Sutherland is that I believe it applies to all aspects of life and not just acting which is what he is referencing.  My take from it is that when you “believe in the moment” it is when you are being your most authentic, with authenticity comes a sense of truth.  When you are being genuine with others it is felt, recognized and appreciated and as a result reciprocated.  When you trade the protective walls of personal security for authenticity you increase the opportunity for connection and I believe “being the change you wish to see”.

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2015 in Blog

 

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The Point of Impact!

Don’t Let an Emotional Hurt Define Your Life

Faith and reason sometimes aren’t enough to pull you out of the cage in your mind you’ve trapped yourself in from an emotional hurt even if you have the intellect of knowing better.  The worst thing you can do for yourself is to bottle it up and not let it go.  No matter how much you try to stuff it down, it’s going to continue to bubble back up to the surface until you dare to feel, process and let it go.  Finding the root, the point of impact that has stunted your own progress and growth in life is the only way to truly find your peace.I'm alright

Sometimes it’s easier to replace your hurt with anger because then you don’t have to feel the pain even though you probably still are.  Unfortunately that won’t diminish it or make it go away, it will continue to grow until you find the courage to face it head on.   When another person, whether it is friend, family or stranger causes you to feel bad about yourself it injures your confidence, self-esteem and self-worth.  Your personal connection to that person will be dependent upon how deeply it will affect you.

Friends aren’t your blood relatives but can feel just as close, sometimes closer and I don’t think it matters how much you value their opinion but rather how much of your heart, trust and loyalty you’ve placed in their hands.

Family are your past, your present and your future, how much you evolve and blossom is dependent upon the love and support they offer.  I’ve been lucky enough to have such strong love and support from family, even during the times when I was not receptive to it, you know like when you’re a teenager and think you know it all?

When your confidence, self-esteem or self-worth gets injured it changes you, it changes how you present yourself, how you connect and relate with others and how others perceive you.  What I believe is the worst part is that the change in you as a result of the emotional injury prevents others from getting to know you authentically because you end up withdrawing, building walls and distancing yourself as a way of blocking such an injury again.  New people in your life that could potentially become friends notice and feel that something is off which pops up as “red flags”, that something just isn’t right and depending on how interested or invested they are, they may just walk away.  Who loses here?  I would say both, chances are you aren’t happy if you’re not being your authentic self and that person doesn’t get to know the “real you”.

Unfortunately an emotional hurt can run deep and when not dealt with you may start projecting negativity towards others as a way of offsetting the hurt, which turns everyone away and if you hang onto it for too long it will start to manifest as more serious warnings in your health.  Negativity is like a virus and at first it will be symptoms that doctors can’t find answers to because the only prescription for health is within you, you must face and embrace the pain.

I believe we are all seeking the same in life; love, acceptance, connection and compassionate familiarity.  I base how I treat others on how I want to be treated and while everyone may not behave or react in that same way, it’s not a reflection of how they feel about me but rather how they feel about themselves.  While that may not make things easier to take I think with time it makes things easier to understand.

Being present to the feelings of others enhances and strengthens your connection with them, it allows them to feel safe to be authentic and vulnerable.  When you embark upon this kind of connection with someone, know that you’re in the presence of a kindred spirit.

important encounters

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2015 in Blog

 

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Change is a Gift

Let it Be

Change is inevitable, how you view change is ultimately going to define your state of being, happiness and outlook on life.  Not every change is welcome but every change is necessary because without it you won’t progress or have the opportunity to evolve your level of consciousness.  It is through change that you become more defined or shall I say more refined but you will end up becoming more connected to your world and those in it which is definitely a gift.

I don’t know if there is some cosmic shift going on or not right now, I know the astrology forecasts are always talking about specific shifts but I feel that some kind of change is in the air even though I can’t quite figure out exactly what it is, it feels positive though and hopeful and I sense it will be fulfilling.

The shift itself feels similar to how you feel when you are coming out on the end of some sort of emotional process that you had to work through like that of failure, disappointment or heartbreak because these kinds of experiences change you in ways you wouldn’t have expected, they seem to cause a deep stir in the make-up of who you are.

How do you make it through the transition of tough and emotional experiences like failure, disappointment or heartbreak; are you letting these experiences define you or are you defying the odds you feel are against you to overcome them?  Probably the most soul-crushing experiences because they ultimately alter who you were and from there who you are to become and while the words “growth period” is usually what is used to describe these kinds of experiences it doesn’t ease the challenges or hurt any less.you get to choose

Finding the light at the end of that “oh so long” tunnel sometimes seems non-existent and that is because you are so enmeshed in the grief period that the other side is unseen and unimaginable.  Growth periods take time, patience and your personal understanding in realizing that there isn’t anything wrong with you even though you may feel broken.  Jane Fonda described this particular experience as “not being broken but rather broken open” which I think is the best description because when you are broken open you are fully exposed, fully vulnerable and fully open because there is nothing left to damage and nothing left to give.

This is the key moment to change that is now to become a part of your path, because you have been stripped bare and are open there is no resistance left, there is now room for new and positive experiences to enter your life.  I think how you view each of these experiences is ultimately going to be your guiding force to get you back into your life and feel positive and hopeful about your future.

Sometimes the presence of emotions over failure, disappointment or heartbreak is not existent during a major time of transition but I think the process in getting through it is similar in that you aren’t really sure of what you are doing or where you are going but the need for some kind of change feels imminent.  Balancing a sense of peace and patience (knowing that things will work out in a positive way) when things feel a little scattered or misdirected will be what grounds you.

Failure:  I’ve always been hard on myself and viewed my own personal failure as a huge sign of defeat but in the last 5-10 years I’ve taken on a different view.  I no longer believe it to be failure, instead I’ve come to the understanding that the word failure is the word I had interjected into my experiences because my faith that “everything happens for a reason” and “all things happen as they are meant to” conflict, my faith and failure cannot logically co-exist.  If all things happen as they are meant to then how could it possibly be failure, it would have to be an intended outcome, which I do believe it is.  It is the ego that constantly tries to override the soul and the emotions that our soul relates to us are our signals that the ego is trying to gain control.

Disappointment & Heartbreak:  I think these two are the more heartfelt emotions because they are usually connected to your hopes and dreams.  Everyone gets caught up at one time or another in the fairy tale idealism and why not, there’s a wisp of it in almost everything within our view through magazine, television, books, etc.  I think problems start to arise when the ego tries to control who and what is going on, and of course to make people, places and things that are currently in your life fit into your soul’s hopes and dreams.  As a result disappointment and heartbreak happen because this is not something that is guided by the ego but rather felt by the soul, you can’t rush or fit it.

I really believe that “everything happens for a reason”, I really believe that “all things happen as they are meant to” and I really believe that when the time is right all of that falls into place and not a moment too soon.

Without gratitude for where you are now how could you ever get any further without struggle or resistance while trying to rush the future?  It’s all about allowing your soul to speak, enjoying the moments in between and appreciating what you have in the now.

the experience of gratitude

 
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Posted by on November 2, 2015 in Blog

 

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