Category Archives: Religion

Follow Your Dreams

The future is not something we enter.
The future is something we create.

My dreams have always been the fuel for my success.  Without my dreams there could never have been any meaningful and lasting success in my life.  And, some say I have been very successful ~ depending on how you measure success.

I firmly believe that behind every successful person there is a dream fulfilled.  That all enlightened people have come to their enhanced state of happiness through achieving at least one of their dreams.  There must always be something in your life that motivates, drives, excites, and captivates you, otherwise you are not living, you are just existing.  Or, you may as well be living in a doorway on a sheet of cardboard.

The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential….. these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.  ~  Confucius

My dreams became the goals that pushed me to believe in the impossible, to make interesting and unexpected changes in my life, to get out of my comfort zone and take unimagined risks.

Sometimes we choose to ignore or forget what it is that we really love, want, need, and desire.  We let ourselves be guided and driven by other people’s’ expectations.  We think my parents will never support my ideas, and, my wife will never allow me to do this…..

A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, courage, and hard work.  Colin Powell

Really successful people never forget what they love to do, what they want, what they need, what they desire and lust after.  Fortunate men and women learn to follow their own path and make the right choices ~ no matter how crazy or unpopular those choices might appear to others, especially parents and partners.

Think about this; If money was not an issue, what kind of life and work would you choose to have.  Would you choose to live, or would you choose to just exist?  If you aim to be perfect, if you aim to please everyone all of the time, then you will be very disappointed.

Some say that behind every successful person there is a dream fulfilled.  And, that we should create plans, solutions, and strategies to achieve our wildest dreams.  All I know is that today I live an enlightened life that others don’t even dare to dream about.

Sometimes, the Magic happens.

~

jack collier

email:  jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

last night, the England soccer team were not truly following their dream

Enlightenment

Inner tranquility ~ freedom from anger, anxiety, and fear.

There was something weird about my short stay in Turkey.  Was it the place, or the people, or the blue, blue sky?  Was it getting enough good sleep, good food, staying sober, staying calm?  Or, was it the long, meaningful, and mindful conversations I enjoyed?  Or was it some inner spirituality that was awoken in me? I suspect all of these things and more combined to wrought a significant change in my psyche.

For me this was a jumping-off point.  I lost some things, I lost negativity, I lost the way I was used to seeing the world, I lost judgmentalism, I lost my mistrust of others, I lost my fear and anger, and I learned how to fly…..

Last night I lost the world, and gained the universe. ~  C. JoyBell C.

I had not been there long before I knew a radical freedom that allowed me to seek acceptance, humility, integrity, mindfulness, and understanding of myself, of those around me, and of those I care for.  I was encouraged to take a new control and responsibility for my own life ~ I believe that most of us, (up to and including me), are not in control of our own lives.  Rather most of us drift aimlessly through life, so that today is pretty much like yesterday, and tomorrow will be pretty much like today.

That isn’t really living, it’s just existing, and that’s no way to explore true happiness and well-being.  To know true happiness and well-being we perhaps should strive to improve and enhance our own lives, the lives of those we care for, and society as a whole.

Within the real meaning of human happiness and enhanced existence, within our aims, significance, and overall purpose, we all have the freedom to choose what to do, to be who we want to be.  Sadly so many of us never even try to grow into an enlightened being.

After a couple of days in the mindfulness of my Turkish vacation I began to seek to understand things, to understand the interconnectedness of all things, and the ways to find the significance of my own life among the chaos.

The real meaning of enlightenment is to gaze with undimmed eyes on all darkness.  ~  Nikos Kazantzakis

I realised that each of us is what we take ourselves to be.  But to live in an authentic, caring, and mindful way, we each have to take each situation as it comes and show our true nature through what we do, and not what we say.  Talk is cheap.

I was always frightened to show my true nature.  I was a shadow man, the man in the mirror, I was always conforming to what others expected of me, putting on masks that fitted the roles I was expected to play.  I saw the world through a winter mirror, darkly.

After just one week in a small Turkish hotel, under blue, blue skies, among a group of friendly and supportive people, I was able to throw away the masks, stop playing a role, eschew the man in the mirror, and really take charge of my own life.

Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment.  ~  Lao Tzu

Today, back in the garret, I am self-analytical, self-aware, self-confident, and filled with real self-control, and self-discipline.

Now I need to act in a way that reflects my new self-awareness, and the awareness of my own complete freedom.  This is what I am, this is what I choose to be, this is the real me, and I will never again dodge responsibility for being true to myself.

I do not pretend to understand how this enlightenment came about.  Probably it was a unique set of serendipitous circumstances, a synchronicity that has energised me physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Some say that once in a lifetime your chance comes along, that once in a lifetime fate deals you the perfect winning hand.  And, that we each have to be courageous enough to take that chance, to throw everything we have behind our one great opportunity in Life.  All I know is that today I feel better than I have ever felt before in my entire existence.

My short stay in Turkey was the kindling of a flame.

~

jack collier

jack collier7@talktalk.net

 

each man is an island unto himself

Be Cool With The Past

You can never get away from where you’ve been.

We cannot change the past, we can only change the ways feel think and feel about the past.  Most people have brutal, painful, and regrettable memories of their past.  Events from the past have created who we are today, and events from the past will affect us today, tomorrow, next week, next year, and maybe until the day we die and beyond…..

Some of us may say that we are OK with the past, that things that happened in our childhood and adolescence do not haunt us at all.  But beware, even if you are not aware of it, everything that you have experienced in the past; good, bad, terrible, traumatic, joyful, boring….. is affecting your sub-conscious today.

Nobody, up to and including you and me, is completely at peace with their past.  We cannot, and should not, forget the past.  Our past creates in us feelings of anxiety, bitterness, disappointment, doubt, guilt, fear, frustration, hurt, regret, rejection, sadness…..  and most of us recall and remember the negatives from our past more than we focus on the positives.

Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.  ~  Chuck Palahniuk

Some of us try to run away from our past; changing where we live, drifting from one relationship to another, changing jobs, drinking too much, taking drugs, attempting suicide, and metaphorically running away to join the circus. But none of that running away ever works, for wherever we go we take the past with us.  (Even if a suicide attempt fails it will most likely do irreparable damage to the body, mind, and spirit.)

For some of us it’s even worse, because we are also affected by the past of someone who is very close to us, and emotions created by someone else’s past are incredibly difficult to deal with.  This is doubly so if our ‘friend’ hasn’t themselves fully come to terms with their own past.

To be cool with the past we must first be motivated to deal with the past.  We need to understand what really happened in the past, not just some biased half-memories that we use to fuel our negative emotions today.  Try to find out what really happened in the past.  Be willing to talk about and fully explore issues from the past.  Stop pretending that everything from the past is fine, when most likely it isn’t.  Acknowledge your true feelings, whether they be loss, hurt, shame, anger…..

You can accept or reject the way you are treated by other people, but until you heal the wounds of your past, you will continue to bleed.  ~  Iyanla Vazant.

Depending how deeply the past affects us, we may need help to come to terms with what happened, how it affected us, and who we are today because of the past.  Speaking to family and friends may help, you may need to see your doctor or a therapist, you may talk with your priest or spiritual adviser, you may need something like hypnosis, or you may just need to really meditate, read inspirational books, listen to motivational lectures, or just go for a long walk in the sunshine.

With any luck we may find out that the past is better than we feared.  But, no matter if the past is better or worse than we think we remember, we cannot move on from something we don’t understand and we refuse to accept.

That’s the past for you.  Not only does it come back at the most unexpected and inconvenient times, but it’s set in stone.  ~  Jeffery Deaver.

There may well be things from the past that need resolution.  This might be very difficult, but the longest journey starts with the first baby-step.  Be honest.  Be self-aware.  Be kind with yourself.  Seek to understand yourself.  Be kind and understanding towards others.  And, give yourself time to heal.

A ship does not sail with yesterday’s wind.  ~  Louis L’Amour

Some say that we can become cool with the past by keeping a positive outlook and a strong determination to succeed in finding joy instead of negative emotions.  And, that the past only exists in our memories and imagination.  All I know is that the past isn’t actually here.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

If what you’re doing isn’t working,

then do something else instead.

Rhythms of Insanity

Don’t be ashamed of your story ~ it will inspire others.

When nothing is ventured, nothing is gained, so what’s the sense of running away from your own life.  The good things just don’t fall out of the sky, they have to be worked for.  But we have to do the right things, at the right time, in the right place, with the right people.  Trying to force the best that Life has to offer doesn’t ever work ~ we have to work with the rhythms of the Cosmos, and not against the flow of the tides.

The great rhythms of nature, today so dully disregarded, wounded even, have their spacious and primeval liberty…..  Journeying birds alight here and fly away again all unseen, schools of fish move beneath the waves, the surf flings its spray against the sun.  ~  Henry Beston.

Little did I realise when I was an overpaid and overworked international banker how little I saw of nature.  What I saw were offices, the inside of cars, trains and ‘planes, hotels, airports, other offices, and city streets.  I earned a hell of a lot of money, but money is a false God, and money never made me happy.  Today I can be happy to walk by the sea, to look at the sky, to enjoy the vast curve of a distant horizon, to listen to the murmur of the surf and the mournful cries of the gulls.  Cars, trains, and ‘planes still have their place in my life, but now it’s only a minor element of who I am ~ cities are no longer the be-all and end-all.

Perhaps it is the night of despair where you are, and I am certain that you are not sleeping soundly.  If you are dreaming at all, I hope you are having sweet and pleasant dreams, but I’m certain that you are not.  I am certain your dreams are weird and disturbing, turning into nightmares.  Try and leave those night-terrors behind you for a while.  There are enough nightmares in the real world without us having to suffer them during our sleep.

The world turns, it may be day-time here, night-time where you are, and somewhere the dawn is breaking and the birds are awakening.  The Cosmos is like a giant time-piece, it has a rhythm of its own ~ the Cosmos keeps its own time.  Be aware, just like the rhythms of a friendship and love between two people change and develop, so the Cosmos is a continual state of change.  We need to enjoy the moonlight while we wait for the sunrise.

We are a part of the Cosmos, we are where our physical bodies are, but our spirits are everywhere.  We exist in this time, but we also exist in a myriad of pasts and possible futures.  I want, need, and desire that the future that awaits me is chosen from the best of all possible alternative realities.  I can close my eyes and imagine ideal pasts, presents, and futures, and in all of them I hope I can spend some cool times with people I care for, cherish, and love.

We are made of starstuff.  We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.  ~  Carl Sagan

What have we dreamed and who have we lost?  In my ideal times we are entirely friendly, trusting, honest, open, caring and loving.  You know what?  I don’t think that it’s too much for me to pray to the Goddess to help me to attain my own earthly versions of nirvana.  It may seem strange to you but I pray to the mother goddess, and in her form incarnate; Aphrodite.  I dream of he Goddess Aphrodite, still looking for the place where we belong together.

I am excited about where I can go in time and space, in friendship, love, and sensual pleasure.  The cool things I could possibly do, and the cool places I could visit.  It’s about being able to fly, about having the courage to live life to the fullest, to enjoy every moment of every day.  Someday soon I will build a tiny trailer, and someday after that I will build something much more ambitious, like a school-bus RV, or a tiny home in someplace beautiful, with a wonderful view of the dawn and sunset.

Shit happens all the time, but one has to remember that; as there is no growth without suffering, there can be no pleasure without pain.  There is a reason we were brought to this life, all we have to do is trust and take one small step in time.  Such are my beliefs.

It’s not all sweet and elegant lies.  Shit happens, but Magic happens too.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Recovery is possible ~ but first one has to admit that there is a problem.

Quantum Psychology

I want the moon to be there, even when I’m not looking at it.

Nobody really understands quantum mechanics, or quantum physics, or quantum biology, or quantum psychology, or quantum theory.

If quantum mechanics hasn’t profoundly shocked you, you haven’t understood it yet.  ~  Niels Bohr

I have long been fascinated by the spooky world of quantum physics and quantum mechanics, where nothing makes sense, everything is possible, the totally weird is commonplace, and things seem to happen by random chance.  Many respectable scientists will have nothing whatsoever to do with anything called Quantum ~ even Albert Einstein was unhappy about quantum physics.

God does not play dice with the universe.  ~  Albert Einstein

Recently I discovered that there is a thing called quantum biology, where quantum effects are applied to biological objects, events, and problems.

It occurred to me that the spooky stuff in quantum mechanics could also be applied to physical, mental, sexual, and spiritual events and effects in humans.  That there should be something called quantum psychology.  It turns out that some other people believe that quantum psychology does exist, and they believe it is strange, spooky, and probably doesn’t make sense.  In fact, anything to do with the quantum world is counterintuitive and goes against ‘common sense’.

If the word ‘fuck’ is obscene or dirty, why isn’t the word ‘duck’ 75% dirty.  ~  Robert Anton Wilson.

The reason I started to believe in quantum psychology is that, from time to time, I have been instantly affected, (in real time), by thoughts and feelings my friend has, even though she is 5,256 miles away in Orange County, Southern California.  There is a phenomena in quantum physics called quantum entanglement, where actions performed on one entangled particle affect the other, even when the entangled particles are separated by a great distance.  Albert Einstein called this spooky connections and spooky action at a distance.  I believe this spooky connection exists in quantum psychology, which is why things my friend does, thinks, or feels in California can affect me here in England.

This is weird, but if quantum psychology really does exist, then it is guaranteed to be weird.  Quantum physics reveals the basic interconnectedness and oneness of all things in the universe, which reveals that all people are connected at some level, therefore I am connected to my friend, even when I’m in England and she is in Southern California.

…so many people have been hypnotized by Aristotelian yes / no logic to the extent that any step beyond that Bronze Age mythos seems to them a whirling, dizzying plunge into a pit of Chaos and the Dark Night of Nihilism.  ~  Robert Anton Wilson.

This means that in the quantum world boolean algebra, which is basically yes / no and 0 or 1 logic, does not exist, or does not always apply.  In the quantum world, in the world of quantum psychology, true and false do not actually exist.  This absolutely mirrors the real world of medical psychology and practical psychology, where everybody lies, nothing is completely true, and understanding people is more of a black art than a science.

One of the sayings I found most useful form my study of Neuro Linguistic Programming is that information does not have to be true to be useful.  The theories of Quantum Psychology may not be completely true, but they are a very useful way of understanding intimate interpersonal relationships.  The theories of quantum psychology may even help men understand women.

Some women anyhow.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

click on the book

 

 

 

 

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Winter Solstice ~ December 21st 2017

Sadness and fear die in the night of the Winter Witch.

It’s the shortest day of the year, officially the first day of winter.  The sun is directly over the Tropic of Capricorn.  Here in Northern England sunrise today is at 08:25, and sunset darkens at 15:39 (twenty-one minutes to four in the afternoon).  In all we will have 7 hours and 14 minutes of grey daylight today.

It’s the winter solstice, which happens for everyone in the northern hemisphere at exactly 16:28 GMT today.  The night will be dark as the new moon was only a few days ago on December the 18th.  The next full moon will be on New Years Night, January the 1st 2018.   This will be the Full Wolf Moon and it also means a fresh start, a time for reflection, self-awareness, and rebirth.  This is the time for all of us to be born anew.

The winter solstice has been celebrated by pagans in England for thousands of years, and many of the traditions now associated with Christmas have their roots in winter solstice celebrations ~ basically Christianity ‘stole’ the winter solstice.  (One wonders why Christmas isn’t actually on December the 21st.)

The ancient feast of the winter solstice was called Juul in Scandinavia and by the Germanic Peoples, (now Yule), or Saturnalia in Ancient Rome, Yalda in the Middle East, Tekufat Tevet in the Talmud, Dongzhi n China…  Yule is a fire festival, and this is when the Yule Log is brought into the home ~ it should be Ash and it should burn for 12 days before being put out.  (Which is where the 12 days of Christmas originate.)

In the Northern Hemisphere, friends gather to celebrate the longest night… a chance to still ourselves inside, to behold the glory of the cosmos, and take a breath with the Sacred.  ~  T. Thorn Coyle.

The ancient monument at Stonehenge, Wiltshire, England, was built so that it actually indicates the solstice.   Modern druids still go there to celebrate the shortest day of the year and the rebirth of the sun as the days begin to lengthen again.  From today our physical, mental, and spiritual energies will begin to increase from the low ebb they have reached as the days have shortened.

This is the night The Goddess becomes The Great Mother and gives birth to the Sun King, (not the Son King).  It is a time to eat, drink, and be merry ~ light candles, give gifts, gather greenery…  It is a time to connect with the natural world in a way that honours the sacred immanent in all things, and a time to celebrate the interconnectedness of all things.

The Wheel of Life has turned again.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Marmaduke and I

Wish You A Happy Yuletide

 

 

 

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Core Values

Core Values are who you are when no one is watching.

Appreciation of natural beauty is one of my core values.

I cannot claim to know, accept, and understand in detail what my core values about Life are.  In fact, I even had to check the definition of ‘core values’ before I could work on knowing, accepting, and understanding my own core values.  The various definitions seem to coalesce into;

Core Values are Fundamental Beliefs and Principles that guide a person’s conduct and relationships with others.

It would appear that Core Values can be positive, negative, or pretty meaningless and neutral.  I firmly believe that almost everyone has all three types of core values, and we all have more negative core values than we would like to believe.

My own negative core values include;

  • Everybody lies.
  • The world is full of fools, and 90% of the people I meet will be much less intelligent than I.
  • The world is a dangerous and brutal place, and a man has to be capable, knowledgable, and tough to survive and thrive.
  • Casual sex, first date sex, sex with multiple partners, picking up girls in bars ~ are all reprehensible behaviours.

My more positive core values include;

  • Treating my friends with kindness, consideration, acceptance, understanding, and unselfish love.
  • A belief that there is great beauty in this world, and it should be protected, celebrated, and appreciated.
  • Life is short, and I should therefore make the very most of every minute of every single day.
  • I should continue to strive for self-improvement and self-awareness.
  • We should treat all others as well as we possibly can, just as we ourselves would wish to be treated.

If you want to see the true measure of a man, watch how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.  ~  J.K. Rowling

As it goes, I have a small problem with the quote from J.K. Rowling, as it makes the assumption that some people are superior to others, ergo some people are inferior.  Actually, this is true, but it is not a pleasant thought.

My wishy-washy, neutral and meaningless core beliefs include a belief that politics, and religion are pointless, dishonest, and self-serving.  Which may really be more negative than neutral.

There are some other words which resonate with me when it comes to my core values;

Honesty, Integrity, Individuality, Enjoyment, Trustworthiness, Reliability, Wisdom, Simplicity, Learning, Discipline, Truthfulness, Politeness…..  All of these words should probably form part of my written core values.

It’s actually all pretty difficult stuff.  I think I need to meditate, or take a long walk, or just let my subconscious mind ponder the whole subject of my own core values for a while.  It could take the rest of my life.  It should take the rest of my life.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Dawn seen from the garret.

 

 

 

 

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demons I can’t face down

Our very souls may be consumed by shadows.

We each have a complex relationship with ourselves.  If we have ever really suffered through something like; alcoholism, drug addiction, addiction to gambling, sex addiction, too many of the wrong prescription drugs, parental abuse, an abusive relationship, borderline personality disorder, PTSD, serious problems with our diet, mental health problems, failed relationships, job loss, loss of our home…  (or more likely a mixture of all of these problems and more), then we also have a complex relationship with the whole world and everyone in it.

At times we can find ourselves in a very bad place where every voice is critical, malevolent, and negative ~ even our own inner voice.  Our inner voice creates inner demons;  anger, depression, fear of rejection, rejection of others, jealousy, judgementalism, self-doubt, self-hatred, worthlessness…

All the dark, malevolent Passions of the Soul are roused and exerted; its mild and amiable affections are suppressed; and with them virtuous Principles are laid prostrate.  ~  Charles Inglis

Unless you have been there you can have no idea how bad the pain and anguish these inner demons can create.  One will do almost anything to escape the crippling pain; including going back to our addictions, making big geographical moves, shutting down and numbing ourselves, isolating ourselves, psychotherapy, strong prescription drugs, attending 12 step groups, spirituality, retreating further into mental illness, suicide…

It is not just our inner demons.  If we are in that bad place then we are also surrounded by demons.  Everyone we know, everyone we meet, adds to these outer demons with their misplaced concerned advice, criticisms, and rejection.  Many people do not want us to get well, they measure themselves against our struggle and feel superior, they add their negative demons to our own.  When I was at my last rock-bottom I became aware that almost everyone I knew, everyone I met, was feeding off my pain.  Few understand, few want to understand, and fewer still truly want to help.

Some especially gifted, intelligent, and sensitive people believe that there is a third layer of demons, in addition to our inner demons, and the tormenting demons gifted to us by almost everyone we know.   Most spiritual and religious people also believe that there are more demons than the physiological and psychological.  These special people believe in genuine demons, in the spiritual realm, and that some of us may be victims of these demons.  In my mind’s eye I am very aware that in the shadows surrounding my soul lurk the powers of darkness seeking to torment and torture me.

Demons manifest themselves in people in different ways.  For instance, out of nowhere, somebody can become very angry for no reason.  That’s not just an emotion.  That’s a demon.  ~  Stephen Baldwin.

None of the details really matter.  What I do know is that if you have truly suffered, and if you are suffering now, then you are the victim of demons who will feed off your pain, and want nothing more than to destroy you and everything and everyone you care for.

It is our demons that make us believe that our partner is sleeping with other men, that giving into our addiction will solve our problems, and that suicide is painless.

Many of us have tried over the years to face down our inner demons.  Some succeed, many fail.  Many fail because they don’t realise that the main causes of their misery are inner demons which seem to have an intelligence and will of their own.  Many more fail because they never realise that they are also surrounded by malevolent evil demons emanating  from the subconscious psyche of everyone they know.  And, some fail because they are the victims of true demonic possession.

Demons are not your superiors, demons are not even your equals.  All demons have is the ability to make you cause yourself pain and suffering.  Demons can only torment and torture you if you let them, but most of us allow demons to torture us because we are not even aware that they are there.

Negative thinking patterns can be immensely deceptive and persuasive, and change is rarely easy.  ~  David D. Burns.

Recovery begins with admitting that you have a problem.

I cannot yet face down my demons, but I know they are there, trying to make me torture myself so that they can feed off my pain. (Even your inner demons feed off the pain you cause yourself.)

Now, when I feel myself going down a negative path to my own personal hell, I can tell myself that it’s just my personal demons trying to destroy me, and that I should ignore their oppressive persecution.  That helps me.  A psychological bully can only bully you if you let them.  Your demons have no physical power over you.  Ignore them and your demons will go away.  Eventually I shall be able to face down my demons and tell them to fuck off ~ and that will be a good day.

Demons are to be pitied.  They have nothing but your pain and suffering.  If you do not allow your demons to make you cause yourself pain and suffering, then those demons will eventually die and vanish into nothing.

You can and will get well if you do not allow your demons to torment and torture you.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

click on the book

Terror in Manchester

Slaughter of the Innocents.

Late last night an explosion ripped through children leaving a concert given by Ariana Grande at Manchester Arena.

The 21,000 seat venue had been packed for the concert and the blast was in the foyer between the arena and nearby Victoria Railway Station.  The explosion tore apart innocent children and young people leaving the gig.  So far 22 are confirmed dead and 59 more injured.  Ariana Grande has told of her horror and sorrow on twitter.

Manchester has a large Muslim population, and this brutal suicide bombing has all the hallmarks of a Muslim / ISIS terrorist attack on innocents.

There is no understanding the mentality or motives of vile monsters who perpetrate these atrocities.  However, by instigating these terror  attacks, a few home-grown religious fanatics will only stir up hatred against the entire Muslim community ~ and perhaps that is their perverted intention.

I know this area of England very well indeed.  My sympathies are with the victims and their families.  I have no compassion for the people who made this cowardly attack.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Walking Meditation

Through meditation the higher self is experienced.

True health and fitness can only be experienced and enjoyed when the body, mind, and spirit are all in balance.  You cannot be healthy in one part of your being, if you are not healthy in all.

You should pray for a healthy mind in a healthy body.  ~  Juvenal

To be truly fit and healthy one must exercise, take care of, and nurture all aspects of our being.  Although physical health is deeply connected to mental and emotional health, I believe there is little point in just ‘hitting the gym’ because all that is likely to do is strengthen our body at the expense of our mind and spirit.  I firmly believe that to balance our body, mind, and soul we need to incorporate an integrated health regime into the totality of our lives.

When people tell me they can’t afford to join a gym, I tell them to go outside; planet Earth is a gym and we’re already members.  Walk, run, climb, sweat, and enjoy all of the natural wonder that is available to you.  ~  Steve Maraboli.

One of the activities I use to balance the physical, mental, and spiritual parts of my being is to get out into the sunshine and fresh air for a couple of hours brisk walk every day.  Walking is excellent exercise, but more than that I can also practice walking meditation.

When I was much younger I thought that meditation was weird, nonsensical, even ‘girly’.  But back then I also thought that prayer, self-discovery, spirituality, and yoga were also distinctly odd.  These days I embrace all of these good practices ~ although I still don’t consciously pray to a ‘God’.  With maturity I have begun to understand that these are methods by which I can know myself and become an emotionally healthy man.  To be truly healthy we all need to get outdoors for at least an hour every day.  We all need to exercise our own mind and spirit if we are going to escape from the fortress prison we have built for ourselves.

If there was a mature and peaceful woodland nearby I would take my daily walks there, enjoying forest bathing, what the Japanese call shinrin-yoku.  This is a meditative and spiritual activity that is known to improve one’s mindfulness.  Trees are well-known to possess healing powers.

However, in the here and now of my life it is more appropriate that I take my daily walk by the sea, under the open and  ever-changing sky.  Both the sea and the clouds are peaceful, they help me to experience serenity and mindfulness.  The clouds fire my imagination.  The sea is a primeval and primordial force of nature, a part of the Mother Goddess to which all things return at the end of days.

Walking meditation is an easy thing to do ~ providing one is not distracted by everyday activities.  I don’t use my cell-phone on my meditative walks, I don’t use my camera when I’m in a meditative state, I walk alone, and I don’t talk with anyone ~ as a matter of fact I don’t even notice other people.  Walking meditation is a peaceful part of my life where I can be in touch with the more enlightened part of myself.  Time and space cease to exist in the normal way, the world becomes fully open for me to explore in my mind, I become open to appreciate all things with acceptance and understanding.

The secret to walking meditation is to get outside, on your own, and walk in nature for a while ~ an hour or more is good.  Empty your mind of all immediate concerns.  But most of all, walk.

Even if you have to walk fast for 30 minutes, five days a week, by all means do so.  Never make excuses to why you don’t have time to work out.  Your body deserves to enjoy the taste of a good health.  Never settle for less.  ~  Edmond Mbiaka.

Obviously, just taking a walk each day isn’t enough exercise to keep me fit and healthy.  Walking does little for strength and mobility.  For that I practice yoga.  I used to believe that yoga was the sole preserve of incredibly fit and supple young women, but then I learned that yoga is also for men like me.  Done properly, yoga will improve your health and fitness in body, mind, and spirit.  Done properly, yoga for men hurts a little bit.  If it feels right, you can incorporate yoga into your daily walk.

We can experience so much, appreciate so much, and understand so much, if we are brave enough to open our minds to the wonders of the Cosmos.

I enjoin you; get outside into the fresh air, and walk.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

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