Category Archives: Spirituality

I Should Laugh More

a day without a laugh is a day wasted ~ Charlie Chaplin

I was talking with a friend, having a pretty nice time, when I suddenly realised that we hadn’t laughed at all during our conversation.  Then I looked back at myself and came to the even bigger realisation that I don’t laugh much any more.  OK, I have my fair share of problems, and a serious mental health issue called Borderline Personality Disorder, but that’s not a good reason to be miserable all the time.

Lots of studies on the effects of laughter have revealed all kinds of health benefits, from lower blood pressure, reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisol, the release of happiness-creating endorphins, and increased levels of the antibodies that fight nasty bacteria, respiratory infections, and the onset of cancers.  Laughing also burns calories.  There are no health benefits whatsoever in not laughing.

Laughter is infectious, as is being happy.  People are naturally drawn to those who are happier and more positive than others.

Laughter connects you with people.  It’s almost impossible to maintain any kind of distance or any sense of social hierarchy when you’re just howling with laughter.  Laughter is a force for better interpersonal relationships.  ~  John Cleese

For me to laugh more, I need to;

  • First of all smile more, and a natural smile not a strange grimace.
  • Smile when listening to other people speak.
  • Learn to be relaxed and positive with other people.
  • Act positively, even if that’s not how I feel inside.
  • Look for funny and entertaining breaks from my normal daily routine.
  • Watch comedy on TV, read classic comedic books such as Three Men in a Boat.
  • Work out what it is that drains my happiness and makes me feel miserable.
  • Avoid miserable, negative, unhappy, and toxic people.

However, as a mature Englishman I can tell you that we don’t go around laughing at every small thing, and certainly we never laugh at other people ~ that’s nasty.  I can laugh with someone, but I can’t laugh at them.  Also, the things that other cultures find funny, we don’t.  And visa versa, few understand English humour, especially our love of irony.

On the other hand, being positive, happy,  and seeing the funny side of my own misfortunes is something that I can do.  Especially as I know that good humour and laughter is good for you, and it makes you more popular too.

Some say that it’s great to laugh at the misfortunes of a fool.  And that denigrating someone else is the height of fun.  All I know is that being cruel is never funny.


jack collier

Frost Moon

also called Beaver Moon, the November full moon shone yesterday

The November 12th / 13th full moon is a dream moon, and has the power to bring your intimate relationships into sharper focus.  Opposing forces such as work versus home, or what you want versus what you really need, or the state of your romantic affairs, will be shown in any dream you can remember.  If your dreams give any insight, then understanding and communicating your feelings with clarity and sensitivity will become possible through strong intuition ~ if you have courage and fortitude.

This is a time of incredible emotional opportunities, but also a time when struggles in relationships might lead into wrong and misunderstood conversations, and thus the ending of things with a once-loved one.  A lot of tenderness, hard work, and patience will be needed to overcome conflicts, differences of opinion, and pointless arguments.  If handled correctly and logically, with self-discipline and diplomacy, the turmoil will just blow over and you will receive the rewards you deserve for your hard work and efforts.

If you believe at all in the effects of the full moon on your affairs, and if you can interpret your own dreams, then you may also believe in other mystical and spiritual practices such as astrology, numerology, and the tarot.  Well, in astrology the key signs for this full moon are that it’s in Scorpio and the opposing sign is Taurus.  In numerology this full moon falls just after 11:11.  And as for the tarot, you would need to have a personal reading.

For me, this is a time to make some important choices as far as intimate relationships are concerned, but before I can resolve anything, I first of all need to deal with some conflicts, negative emotions, and ghosts from the past.  These echoes of the past are not just mine, but are also carried by some others I am close to.  But the past can only hurt you if you let it.  To make things work I know that I will have to do whatever it takes, without reservation, and without allowing my chaotic, dark, uncontrollable, negative emotions to get in the way.

Some say that spirituality, mysticism, and religion are all just bunkum.  And that unless you can see and touch something it doesn’t exist.  All I know is that there are powers greater than me in this cosmos.


jack collier

don’t let this full moon trap you in the prison of your own negative emotions.


Controlling Emotions

the emotion that breaks your heart is often the one that heals it

Most of us would like to control our emotions in order to avoid very negative feelings and make life more pleasant, but in my experience this is not actually possible.  In fact, when we try to control our emotions they become more powerful, but if we don’t try to control them and just experience them instead they become powerless.  The paradox is that when we attempt to control a negative emotion by attempting to change it or escape it, the negative emotion controls us instead.

Last evening I had an example of this when something happened that had me feeling angry, inadequate, worthless, and upset ~ basically I felt bad.  I didn’t want to have those negative feelings, and I tried to avoid them by transferring them to someone else instead.  And that doesn’t work because all that did was have two people feeling feeling angry, inadequate, worthless, and upset.  Then I thought about avoiding those feelings by buying some booze and drinking ~ and for me that is an extremely bad idea.  The most extreme way of avoiding negative emotions is to attempt suicide.

I didn’t want to do any of those things, but the desire to escape negative emotions is strong in me.  For a short while my negative emotions were controlling me.

The alternative is to observe and experience negative emotions without getting lost in them.

I may not be able to control my emotions, but if I try hard I can control how I react to them.  I can’t change how I feel, but I can change what I do.  Last evening I was half successful because I didn’t actually buy any booze and get drunk, and after a short while I stopped blaming someone else for what was basically my own mistake.  I have learned that if I feel bad, angry, inadequate, worthless, and upset, it’s usually because of something I’ve done.  And anyway, my feelings are my feelings, and I shouldn’t be afraid of them.

For me, the secrets of coping with really negative feelings are;

  • Do not immediately react when I suddenly have strong, uncontrollable, chaotic, dark, negative feelings.
  • Recognise the emotions and try to work out why I’m feeling what I’m feeling.  And usually it’s much more complicated than it first appears.
  • Try to stay calm, even if inside I’m feeling uncontrollably angry.  Just realise that in a while the anger will most likely pass, and if I do something stupid now I might regret it for a long time.
  • Try to find a polite, logical, unemotional action in response to feelings which are utterly the opposite to anything polite or logical.

Some say that we shouldn’t get angry we should get even.  And that we should never apologise because it’s a sign of weakness.  All I know is that if I just react to the way I feel I usually get myself into deep shit.


jack collier

this is a good rule

when it comes to negative emotions



let us be grateful to the people who make our souls blossom

One of the most powerful emotional exercises I have ever been shown was to be grateful to those who have nurtured me, been kind to me, and had a positive impact on my life.  Practicing it was one of the few times in recent years that I felt floods of tears running down my face.

Being thankful and grateful is good for your spiritual, emotional, and mental health.  Those who exhibit higher levels of gratitude have better quality sleep, more positive moods, and less symptoms of possible cancers.  People who have a more thankful disposition are more optimistic, kinder, and make friends easier.

Unfortunately, in recent months I found it easier to see faults than find cause for thanks.  I lost sight of the bigger picture and focused on inconvenient and irrelevant details.  Focusing how miserable parts of my life were, I lost the ability to be thankful for what I have.  I had unrealistic expectations of what I thought I was entitled to, and so I was judgemental and complaining rather than kind, thankful, and friendly.

I had to change.  I couldn’t spend all my life feeling down at heel, trapped behind walls of my own making.  And then I remembered that if I wished to stand out and be successful I needed to be simply grateful and demonstrate sincere thanks.

What I needed was a complete shift in outlook, I needed to live with a positive mindset, be a glass half-full kind of man, always looking to be thankful for what I had, rather than complaining about what I didn’t have.  I needed to find things to give thanks for.  I needed to put gratitude and thanks ahead of criticism.  Graceful and empathic men  find it effortless to be a gentleman, to show gratitude to others, and never needlessly criticise other people and their actions.

If I thought about it, there is a hell of a lot I should be grateful for in my life.  So, in the past days I have begun to consciously show my thanks and gratitude, not just in words, but in deeds too.  Not only that, but I have started to feel grateful, even when there is nobody around to see.  You can judge the true character of  a man by what they do when nobody is around.

Some say that being grateful is a sign of weakness.  And there is no need to say ‘thank you’ if we simply get what we have a right to.  All I know is that there are people in my life I should be grateful for.


jack collier

I can be grateful for every new dawn I see.

Scenes on Sunday ~ Winter Seascapes

we dream in colours borrowed from the sea and the sky







jack collier

the peace of a winter’s morning

Love’s Lost Friendship

whatever you want from me only love and friendship can give


I learned that I can still cry

sorrow is the other face of joy

to grieve silently is to be human

lost and broken and yet I’m a man

now all this friend can say is goodbye

you were the only love I’ve ever known


jack collier

dawn in New Mexico

a better time to say farewell

Kiss From A Witch

never kiss a witch in the moonlight


on all Hallows eve

don’t promise a witch

on a long lover’s kiss

in the bright moonlight

else you will be hers

forever and always


jack collier

only a lunatic should kiss a witch


Lies Always Hurt

what becomes of a man with a broken heart?


my broken heart aches

you could see in in her eyes

her life had been filled with lies


Jack Collier


I was the one lying



Be Yourself

losing yourself means accepting what others think of you


be yourself

in your bad dreams

be yourself

in your worst nightmares

be yourself

in dark desolate loneliness

be yourself

when all seems lost and hopeless

be yourself

be yourself because there is no one else


jack collier

in the starry, starry night

be yourself ~ there is nobody else


Recurring Dream

your dark dream returns out of love

For some reason I have hardly ever remembered my dreams for a long while.  I would like to say that I haven’t been dreaming at all, but I don’t think that’s even possible.  I’ll come back to that point in a while. Yesterday morning I did recall the vivid dark dream I had, and I remembered it well enough to describe my dream to a close friend.

Me, wandering alone, in a desolate landscape.  It was not some desert, nor an icy wasteland, the desolation was very near and all around where I lived as a young boy, in a coal mining village, in the North East of England.  Spoil heaps, abandoned railway tracks, neglected and rusting machinery, an abandoned quarry…..  I think I was content in my solitary wandering.  Then, after a while I met some people I didn’t know well.  There was conflict between us in what seemed like a hospital, or school, or some such other place of officialdom.  There was more to the dream but not so well remembered.

For some reason I recalled that dream again late last evening ~ and it was then I remembered I had been having that same or dream for years, perhaps for decades.  It is my recurring dream of desolate isolation and conflict with officialdom.  And perhaps for the me in my dream officialdom would be my parents, carers, and teachers.

I can do no better here than give you a quote;

Recurring dreams usually mean there is something in your life you’ve not acknowledged that is causing stress of some sort.  The dream repeats because you have not corrected the problem.  Another theory is that people who experience recurring dreams have some sort of trauma in their past they are trying to deal with.  ~  Lee Ann Obringer

I suffer from a serious mental illness called Borderline Personality Disorder, (BPD), many doctors, psychologists and the like believe that BPD is the result of childhood trauma that has not been acknowledged and is causing severe stress.  My dream may be my subconscious mind telling me that I need to deal with my past, back to when I was a boy, in a pit village, wandering alone in desolation.

The exact details of your recurring dreams does not matter so much because they will change over time.  What matters is the emotion, the impression, the theme.

Today I woke at 03:15.  I do not remember dreaming.  Quite often I wake at about half-past-three in the morning.  I believe that I am waking myself just before I am about to experience my recurring dream.  I believe I am afraid of what is in my dream, and that something is protecting me, preventing me from having that dark dream tonight.

Some say that they never have dreams.  And others say that they can never remember their dreams beyond a few moments.  All I know is that my recurring dark dream of desolation and conflict has stayed with me my whole life.


jack collier

in the dark moonlight

our past returns

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