Tag Archives: Self-Improvement

Songs on Saturday ~ Enya

trees are poems the earth writes upon the sky

A week ago today I had a mystical awakening to who I am, my place in the world, who I want to become, and something of the meaning of the interconnectedness of all things.  This track by Enya played a part in making me stronger, bolder, harder, wiser, caring, compassionate, more together, more grounded, more connected, and more capable of loving.

There is one vocal refrain, a leitmotif, Be Yourself.  That said so much to me when I was searching for my true identity.  Before a man can try to improve and be better, he must first of all learn how to be himself.

Please listen thoughtfully.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

every leaf is a memory

 

 

Spiritual Survival Skills

this moment is all there is

we were born with wings, why crawl through life?

We all live within ourselves.  All of our interactions with people, places, and things are shaped by our innermost beliefs ~ our internal programming held deep down in our subconsciousness.  We don’t experience reality, we know the Cosmos only after it’s been filtered through our own preconceptions.  This is both a good and a bad thing.  On the downside, perhaps we can never truly understand how another person understands reality.  Yet if we look at this whole subconscious filter in a good light, it means that we can fundamentally change our entire universe by changing our internal filters.

We can give true meaning to others, (especially the other sex), we can understand different beliefs, we can accept, value, and give meaning to all people, places, creatures, situations, things, and moments in time.

The least of things with a meaning is worth more in life than the greatest of things without it.  ~  Carl Jung

Perhaps this is what is known as being mindful; paying the fullest attention to the present moment, and doing it intentionally and non-judgementally.  Nobody, and certainly no real male, can naturally be mindful nor naturally spiritual.  Men think in straight lines and are entirely goal-oriented.  The above-average man might set aside, say, 30 minutes a day to develop the skills to be mindful, spiritual, empathetic, accepting, and understanding.  The rest of the day he will be just as competitive and goal-oriented as his peers.  Trying to be mindful and spiritual is not the path to mindfulness and spirituality.

Spirituality is a brave search for the truth about existence, fearlessly peering into the mysterious nature of Life.  ~  Elizabeth Lesser.

For anyone, a man especially, to be mindful, empathetic, and spiritual, you have to learn to live in mindfulness, empathy, and spirituality.  That’s not a ‘how to be spiritual,’ it’s a ‘how to live in spirituality’. You don’t learn this stuff in 30 minutes a day, you learn this stuff by living a spiritual, emotional, mindful, accepting, understanding life every minute of the day, seven days a week, every week of the year.

The cynical, especially the average cynical, goal-oriented, male who thinks in straight lines is going to ask; ‘So WTF is in it for me?’  If you are in emotional pain, if you are drinking too much, taking drugs of any kind, gambling, are depressed, suicidal, suffering from a personality disorder, suffering from abuse such as Gaslighting, then living a spiritual and mindful life will not only help you to cope, it will help you to recover.

And, being a spiritual, emotive, mindful, accepting, and understanding person will naturally attract other good people to you.  Women especially like strong men with these qualities: and trust me, only a truly strong man can have these qualities.

Some say that spirituality and mindfulness is for Buddhist monks.  And that all this emotional stuff gets in the way of getting ahead in life.  All I know is that if you want to be truly happy in life, then maybe develop some spiritual and emotional strategies to become grounded and take steps to move forward.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

perhaps Marmaduke is meditating

Making Changes

change your beliefs and you change your world

My life has suddenly changed, except change doesn’t happen overnight, sometimes, overnight changes take years of hard work.

March the 1st is a good day to see that my life has changed.  Today is a good day to begin to be happy.  Today my life is sweet.

Please listen thoughtfully.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

this is a little picture of a truly sweet life

 

 

Outside Of My Comfort Zone

success is born out of discomfort, uncertainty, and risk

When I look back at the times when I have succeeded in life, and believe it or not there have been a few, one thing strikes me as germane ~ I wasn’t sitting in a comfy chair pondering the sharp changes in the price of booze since 1970.  Whenever I achieved something important and worthwhile I was uncomfortable, I wasn’t living in the humdrum of my everyday existence, I was operating well outside of my comfort zone.

When we take risks we feel nervous and uncertain, afraid and uncomfortable.  If it’s taking risks with our career, leaving a shitty and dysfunctional relationship, going all-in on a game of cards, or trying to run our first half-marathon, our biggest wins are always born out of discomfort, uncertainty, and risks.

Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, and difficulty.  ~  Theodore Roosevelt

Usually the more uncomfortable I felt, the greater the risks I took, the harder something was to do, when it was almost impossible, then the bigger the success I achieved, the more self-confident I became, and the greater sense of achievement I felt at the end.

And that’s why true success is so rare, why so few people accomplish anything important, and why so few people ever do anything different ~ most people don’t like effort, pain, and difficulty.  Most people don’t even like hard work.

Anytime you try to do something important you will be swimming against the tide.  The people around you; family, friends, co-workers, your partner, will all tell you that what you want to do is stupid, impossible, and wrong.  The more challenging, unique, and off the wall your project is, the stronger the criticism and negative judgementalism will be.  All the people who think they know you will not like you doing something different.  You are not only challenging yourself, you are also challenging their cosy little worlds too.

Ignore the critics, the Job’s comforters, the gainsayers, and the judgemental; you get on and do what you want to do to achieve your dreams, have your hearts desires, or just escape the shit life you are living right now.

There will be setbacks, things will go wrong, you will think you have bitten off more than you can chew, you will wonder WTF made to think you could dream the impossible dream, and then make it happen.  Ignore all that and just keep on keeping on.  It might be hell, but keep on going.

Learn how to be determined, learn how to adapt your plans and schemes to meet changing circumstances, learn how to ignore the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, learn how to be fucking relentless.

Some say that it’s better to stay safe than to take any risks at all.  And that it’s all just too difficult, and I want to watch my soaps instead.  All I know is that faint heart never won fair lady ~ and you can trust me on that one.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

there was a time when Churchill stood alone against the might of Nazi Germany

What Do You Want In your Life?

life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all

look towards the far horizons

Might I suggest that you take some time out to be with yourself, find a time and space where you can be alone with your thoughts, an hour and a place where you will be certain of just a little privacy, and ask yourself some simple questions.

  • What do I need?
  • What makes me happy?
  • What is it in my life that’s making me unhappy?
  • What and who am I afraid of, and why is that?
  • Where and when do I feel safe and comfortable?
  • What is happening to my health, why am I tired all the time?
  • When and how can I make some time for myself?
  • Who are my friends, and who can I really trust?
  • How can I spend more time with my real friends?
  • How can I express myself, how do I show the real me to the world?
  • How can I connect with the people I love and care about?
  • How can I pay all the bills this month, what about the mortgage?
  • How do I find the time to do the shopping, and how do I pay for it?
  • If I leave, who is going to do everything that needs doing around here?
  • How can I ever show my face in that bar, ever again?

Some of these are big important questions, and some may seem more trivial, but if you ask yourself any of these questions, then the answers are very important to you.  If you try to look at the big and very important questions first, then you may become discouraged because they are just too difficult to answer.  So maybe don’t look for any answers at all just now.  Just for now concentrate on the questions, write them down in your journal, or notebook, but for Gods sakes don’t leave your jottings anywhere where anyone else has the slightest chance in Hades of finding them.

If all that seems to difficult, then make the questions simpler, like;

  • How do I feel today?
  • What excites me?
  • Who has captured my heart?
  • What I want is…..
  • My heart longs for…..

Or perhaps write all this stuff down, and then burn it, and flush the ashes down the toilet to join your failed marriage / relationship / friendship / love / partnership / shitty job.

Only by knowing what it is that we really want, need, and desire ~ and what we don’t want in our life under any circumstances can we move on in any constructive and positive way.

Some say that we have to understand what our needs are, first and foremost.  And that if you don’t know what your needs are how can you ever satisfy them.  All I know is that the more you are forced to give to others, the more you need to give to yourself.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

give yourself a wonderful sunrise,

enjoy the peace of the natural world

Unfuck Your Life

you can start with nothing,
and out of nothing and nowhere, you will find a way

if you sink low enough you could live in a building like this

Although I have been putting them on this blog for ages, I never understood quotations like the one at the top of this page, probably because I didn’t read them properly, and never took the time to think about them carefully enough.  The little bit I thought I understood about self-help, self-development, self-denial, and spirituality I found to be rather twee, overly religious, and happy clappy churchy.  How pretentious of me.

The modern church is producing passionate people with empty heads who love the Jesus they don’t know very well.  ~  Voddie Baucham.

The same dismissive attitude applied if ever I attended a self-help group, but in all honesty I put that down to the fact that I dislike intensely all clubs, groups, associations….. In fact I don’t much like being any place with a bunch of weirdos who have a committee and a ‘chair’ because I very quickly get totally unimpressed.

And yet, I always felt that I was drifting through my dysfunctional life, with just the occasional passage of being; a very cool guy, living a really great life to keep me sane and interested.  I was a mess, and the worst part was that I knew I had it in me to be a far, far better man than I had ever been before.  Some things I had already accomplished, I still have a cool roof over my head living in the garret, I have money in the bank, and generally speaking I’m pretty fit, strong and healthy.  (Admittedly I only just got of hospital, where they said I looked like a bad advertisement for death.)  But, generally, as my school reports and annual reviews at work usually read; He could do better if he tried.

As you’ve sought out my blog, then maybe you think there are some parts of your life that aren’t looking so good either.  And, that you could do a whole lot better if you tried.

The place to start is to stop doing all those things that completely fuck up your life.

  • stop lurching from one disastrous relationship after another
  • stop all that promiscuous casual sex that makes everyone with even an ounce of morality think you’re a cheap slut
  • stop the drunkeness, drug taking, smoking, smoking pot
  • give up the gambling, the impulsive buying of things you don’t need or want, spending and wasting a shit load of money you don’t have
  • stop driving that junker of a car that gets you a ticket every time a cop can be bothered to pull you over
  • stop getting yourself fired, or walking out on jobs you can’t afford to lose
  • stop alienating your family and true friends, just because they might tell you the brutal truth about yourself
  • stop being a total fucked-up jerk

Some say that there is a little good in all of us.  And, that if you dig deep enough you will always find a treasure.  All I know is that when I stopped being a total fucked-up jerk my life suddenly got much better.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

selling yourself and your self-respect isn’t a good way to escape your fucked-up life

 

Living Alone With Dignity

Life is a pigsty, and if you don’t know this, then what do you know?

I was just 18 when I first left home.  I bought myself a slightly neglected bungalow.  (In England a bungalow is a single-story dwelling, (it helps when your first job is being a banker)).  Hallway, reception room, 2 bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen ~ and every room needed redecorating.  The kitchen especially looked like something from the WWII era.  In fact the kitchen looked like WWII had been fought in there.

There was central heating that didn’t work, and an Edison-vintage electrical system that did, although technically the lights were so dim they were darks.  I had my clothes, two pieces of furniture that I stole from my folk’s place, (a beach chair and a mattress), my music, a tin plate and some cutlery.

The bungalow was close enough to the bank that I could walk in about 45 minutes.  I sold my sports car, an Austin-Healey Sprite, bought a Reliant Robin three-wheeler van, and tried to work out what else I needed to buy with my sudden small stash of cash.

With cash burning a hole in your pocket there is always the temptation to buy things that will give you instant gratification, more records for example…..  Well I gave in to a little of that and got myself a TV.  The rest of the stuff I bought was more practical; a washer / dryer, some tools, an oven, bed linen, brushes and paint, cleaning cloths….. stuff like that.

Ripping out the entire kitchen was messy but satisfying ~ and the little van was useful for taking all the wreckage to the city dump.  That thing did hundreds of miles on a teaspoon of petrol, (gas), and all the time I had it I never even opened the hood ~ of course eventually the poor thing fell apart.  Later I learned about car mechanics, regular maintenance, giving love, care, and attention to everyone and everything in my life.

My life was pretty good until I had almost finished my professional examinations ~ then I experimented with dating.  My first girl was older, curvy, blonde, great legs, and before I knew where I was she was leaving her stuff at my place and taking over.  That first time living alone taught me three great lessons;

  1. Don’t spend money you haven’t got.
  2. Nobody is allowed into my place.
  3. Do everything for yourself.

As well as building a new kitchen I made all the furniture for that place.  I still have some of it; decades later.

Some say you should never wrestle with an amoral woman.  And, that if you do, you will get dirty.  All I know is that she will like it.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Reliant Robin

one of the worst cars in the world

Stress #7 ~ Anxiety and Depression

if you’re going through hell, keep going

Severe anxiety and depression will blight your life, make you incapable of doing even the simplest things, alter your personality for the worse, give you panic attacks, headaches, breathing problems, digestive problems, heart problems, extreme fatigue, and fill you with a foreboding of doom.  Oh, and most likely your blood pressure will go through the roof.

Go to see your doctor and most likely they will tell you that you are suffering from a mild to moderate state of anxiety and depression, and medicate you with something like Xanax or Prozac, amd maybe Zyprexa.  All of these drugs directly affect the chemistry in your brain ~ when you take them you are not you.  All of these drugs have serious side effects, up to and including making you want to commit suicide.  Unless body, mind, and spirit are all nurtured, full recovery can never take place.  Taking an antidepressant / anti-anxiety drug is just painting over the problem, you need to find the proximate cause of your severe mental illness and find a way of dealing with it.

The potential causes of your anxiety and depression are many and mostly a part of what should be a normal life ~ but even normality can be taken to extremes.  You will probably have recently experienced, or still be suffering, one or more of these shattering events; death of a loved one, or someone you felt you should have loved, a failed relationship, a toxic and dysfunctional relationship, separation, leaving home, divorce, physical illness, a very shitty job, loss of your job, poverty, bullying, fear, taking care of the sick and elderly, worry about getting old and your looks, lack of good sex, spiritual issues…..  and you are most likely addicted to booze, medication, or something like pot and cocaine.  Also, anything and everything bad in your past means you are suffering from stored pain.

Nobody is even remotely interested in your pain.  Your family and friends will proffer fatuous and useless advice.  You must be willing to take full responsibility for your own physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.  Especially you must stop hurting yourself with booze, too much medication, drugs, cigarettes, bad food, not eating, and not getting enough sunshine, fresh air, and exercise.  If you don’t take care of yourself you will get sicker, you might die.

Most importantly stop trying to please other people all the time.  You cannot ever change other people, you can only distance yourself from them so they stop hurting you.  You must be the real and true you, and not someone that those around you think you should be.

Some say that you cause all your own problems.  And that you just spend all your time feeling sorry for yourself.  All I know is that you will get much better if you stop listening to all those unhelpful toxic people.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

you can get used to almost anything

except death, but by then nothing matters

Down and Troubled

the trouble with introspection is that is has no end

my mood today

Still in hospital ~ I’m pretty down, depressed, and very troubled.  Nothing seems to be going right for me ~ excepting I’m not dead and I haven’t had to have major surgery.  I have some good and caring friends on this site, and who I met through this site, but I’m certain all of them think I’m crazy.  Nothing much I can do about that other than every single day try to be a better man than I was yesterday.  I hope my friends try to understand.

Now I’m free of the catheter I was able to take a bath this morning ~ you might have no idea just how good a soak in a hot bath feels if all you’ve had in about 10 days is a bed bath.  My skin doesn’t feel madly itchy, and my hair doesn’t feel greasy and lousy anymore ~ and I had a proper wet shave.  They won’t let me wear aftershave; why is that?

I’ve seen the nutritionist, who was nice, even though she gave me a good talking-to about my previous eating habits, and especially about my getting very drunk every few weeks.  I have to completely change my lifestyle, and eat a modified Paleo diet;

  • No Alcohol at all, ever
  • lots of fruits and vegetables
  • high fibre plants and whole grains, but not legumes
  • nuts and seeds, but not peanuts
  • low fat meats and oily fish
  • very little added sugar, salt ~ and no trans fats, saturated fats, refined carbohydrates (flour)
  • no processed foods at all

But I can have black coffee and green tea.

Why do I think my whole life up ’till now has been a total failure?  But dreams can come true, if you have your dreams and you’re strong enough.

The most introspective of souls are often those that have been hurt the most.  ~  Shannon Alder

Other things on my agenda today are an ultrasound on my carotid arteries and a PET scan ~ they keep testing me for possible precancerous signs.  Thus far I’ve been lucky, apart from early-stage alcoholic fatty liver.

I also have to go for a walk today.  That should be fun, so far everywhere I needed to go in here a porter took me in a wheelchair.  If I’m going home tomorrow I’ve got to get up and get back on my own two feet again.  That’s not just walking, that’s my whole life ~ because at the moment large parts of my life are down the toilet.

Some say that if you have just one good friend then you can do anything.  And that if you truly love someone you can conquer the world. Too bad that love is blind.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

my life is merely a darkling reflection in a winter mirror

Keto Diet Myths

Jack Spratt could eat no fat
his wife could eat no lean

apple, butter, and sage pork chops

Some confuse the Keto diet with the Paleo diet, and while there are some similarities, in reality they are radically different, and you will be on one or the other for completely different reasons.  The Paleo diet is all about a healthy way of eating that should normalise your weight.  Other benefits of the Paleo diet are improved heart and circulatory health, less inflammation, and it also helps people with type 2 diabetes, and / or staves off diabetes.

The Ketogenic Diet is something else all together.  It’s also a low / zero carb way of eating, (less than 50 grams of carbs per day), but the key thing is that it’s a very, very high fat diet.  Among the principal benefits claimed for the Keto Diet are that it helps with diabetes, polycystic ovaries, and it also staves of cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, drug-resistant epilepsy and acne.  But mainly, the Keto diet is about weight loss.

I have read that one should not begin a proper Ketogenic Diet unless you have proper medical supervision, because the whole point of the keto diet is to completely change the metabolism of your body, especially the way the liver works.  Instead of turning carbohydrates into glucose, your liver must turn fat into ketones.  Thereby your body will become incredibly efficient at burning fat.  You will see a massive reduction in blood sugar and insulin levels.  Once you start this diet it will take your body 3 to 5 days to reach the point where it switches from using sugar to using ketones.

One danger of the keto diet is ketoacidocis, where excessive ketone bodies accumulate and you will get a dangerously toxic level of acid in your blood.

On the keto diet you don’t eat carbohydrates, (less than 50g a day, say a bagel), and only 10% to 20% of your daily food intake should be protein.  The rest of what you consume is fat.

Eat; high fat meat like bacon and a good steak, cocoa butter, lard, goose fat, olive oil, palm oil, coconut oil, almond oil, avocado, coconut meat, fat-rich nuts and seeds, green low-carb vegetables, butter, hard cheeses, wild caught oily fish, liver, eggs, dark chocolate, hard liquor without a sweetened mixer…..

Do not eat; any grains or anything made from flour, like bread, refined sugars, mayonnaise and the like, starchy root vegetables like potatoes and sweet potatoes, corn, squash, fruits, fruit juices, peas, beans, peanuts, anything marked ‘low fat’, beer, wine, flavoured and sweet booze….

The keto diet can be dangerous causing; low blood pressure, kidney stones, constipation, nutrient deficiencies, Beri Beri, heart and circulatory disease, dizziness, low energy, mood swings, upset stomach.  The keto diet is very antisocial.  The keto diet is utterly unsafe for anyone who has problems with their pancreas, liver, thyroid, or gallbladder.

Some say the keto diet is a great way to lose weight fast.  And that it helped with their diabetes.  All I know is I wouldn’t try this without consulting my doctor and a dietitian.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

you can drink this with a little spring water

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: