no matter what, tomorrow is another day
life’s a beach, put your footsteps in the virgin sand
living in your comfort zone, staying with a bad relationship
is just building your own prison walls
a new year isn’t the only time to make a fresh start
when your partner cheats on you
be positive about it and find a better partner
if what you’re doing isn’t working
try something else instead
don’t be limited by others
choose to believe in yourself
you either own yourself
or you let others own you
don’t look back
you’re not going that way
without struggle success has no value
Here in England normal life has been on hold for 438 days. With varying degrees of severity we have been prohibited from doing most things that make life worth living; from meeting family and friends, to going to any and all places of business, entertainment, and worship, and even following our chosen trade or profession. Face it ~ most of us have been locked down at home, suffering that most terrible of punishments; imprisonment and solitary confinement.
And personally, not much good has come from that. On the upside I haven’t been sick with the coronavirus. On the downside the list of bad and really bad things is long, pathetic, disturbing, injurious to my health, and life-threatening. All in all, I would say that the policy of shutting down the entire country for over a year is the worst thing supposedly civilised and ‘liberal’ governments have done since 1914.
The worst of it is that I haven’t lifted myself above the morass, the slough of despond, and done something useful with my time. I haven’t had a robust programme to improve my physical, mental, and spiritual health and fitness. I haven’t written a book, taken up a new course of study, or routinely practiced something like meditation, tai chi, yoga, or even moon-walking. Basically I’ve felt sorry for myself, put on weight, got myself a prison pallor, and spent lots of time aimlessly staring at the TV. Some of the time I drank too much. I was utterly unmotivated.
BUT, now that there is a light at the end of the Stygian lockdown tunnel, I feel the need to get a hold of my life and make it better than it was before all this fucking coronavirus crap began. So what to do? Big, meaningful changes take a hell of a lot of effort.
Step One. Cut out all the bad things I’ve been doing just to fill in the empty hours.
Step Two. Get out of the garret into the fresh air and sunshine, lose the prison pallor, get some exercise. Yesterday I walked 8 miles, and meditative walking is really good for the body and soul.
Step Three. Make a plan, some lists, some aims, goals, targets, dreams and desires. Use all the skills and techniques I’ve learned about project planning and start a project to make myself and my life better than ever it was before.
travel and adventure are on the agenda
first of all stop being a willing victim
if that’s you then perhaps you need to change
The first step in my total makeover plan New Age ~ New Me is giving up alcohol; or to say it a better way Living a Sober Life. If you misuse and abuse any substance; alcohol, drugs, prescription medication, over the counter medication, sugar, tobacco….. then your life revolves around that and it’s almost impossible to do anything else that matters a damn. And trust me, if you drink, smoke, or take drugs ~ then whatever you think or believe you are an addict. The same goes if you gamble, are promiscuous, steal, cheat, lie….. you are an addict and a victim of your own need for instant gratification.
If you ever want to be better, to become self-aware, self-controlled, self-disciplined, empowered, and truly happy, then first of all you have to give up your addictions. No that’s not true, first of all you truly have to admit to yourself that you have a problem. Only when you really believe that you need to give up hanging around in bars, or drinking a bottle of wine at home every night, or smoking a pack of cigarettes a day can you begin to become a better version of yourself.
And giving up isn’t easy. For years I was a binge-drinker ~ every time I got upset, unhappy, or dissatisfied I would retreat into a bottle of booze to make myself feel better. It never worked. And yet I haven’t touched a drop since Christmas last year.
Here’s how did I did that;
- I came to believe that booze was ruining my life.
- I made a decision to stop drinking alcohol.
- I stopped buying and drinking booze.
It was an instant decision followed by instant action; and I believe that it has to be that way. There has been no help, no 12 step group, no counselors, no complicated programs, no tricks, no searching the internet to find an easy way to be sober, no anything ~ just me and some self-discipline. It’s easy; decide to stop whatever destructive behaviour gives you instant gratification, and then stop.
Except we know that it isn’t easy at all ~ it’s fucking hard.
But what would I rather become? A drooling incontinent who lives just for the next drink? Or a self-aware Renaissance Man who lives a very full and rewarding life?
So, every hour of every day I stay away from that first drink.
the things you think you like the most
are the things that will ruin your life
and then kill you
you get nothing without hard work
hanging out in bars is self-destructive
It was my birthday a couple of days ago ~ another year older and deeper into lockdown. Given the premise that this is a new age for me I’ve decided to give myself a complete makeover. And I mean doing it all for myself because there’s nobody to do it for me ~ and anything someone else does for you never lasts. Any real and beneficial change I want to make has to come from within.
This makeover will be directed at significant improvements of my body, mind, emotions, and spirit. It’s also going to include looking better and having a much nicer, kinder, more effective, and more likable persona.
The truth is that I started this big self-improvement programme just after Christmas when I gave up alcohol. If you drink, smoke, take drugs, gamble, or suffer from any of the other life-destroying addictions, then the first step on any self-improvement / self-development / makeover is to quit your addiction(s). And trust me, if you do drink, smoke, take drugs, (including stuff like Xanax), or gamble ~ then you are addicted. (The list of life-destroying things people can become addicted to is long and inclusive.)
My plan for becoming the very best version of Jack Collier that I can possibly be is very simple;
- stay away from alcohol
- have a good daily exercise routine
- eat and drink healthily, (mine is a Paleo / Mediterranean diet)
- get enough good sleep, retire and rise at the same time every day
- cut out a lot of mindless, time-wasting stuff; TV, internet, social media
- look as good as I can all the time; bathed, shaved, hair, decent clean clothes
- study and learn interesting challenging stuff, from proper books by real writers
It should be easy, given some self-discipline and determination.
none of this crap
who could like that guy?
the only real prison is fear
don’t be afraid to go out at night, learn self-defence instead
Here in dismal grey England I’ve had an epiphany, not religious but perhaps spiritual. Lockdown goes endlessly on and and on and on ~ yet I am not going to waste my time being depressed, negative, and unhappy. What’s the point in that? Depression and misery never made anything better.
Instead of accepting that I’m imprisoned until Easter, at least, I intend to become free, adventurous, and charming again. I will be sexier and enjoy my life and loves more than ever before. People, places, and things I might have balked at, avoided, or eschewed in the past will now be on my agenda. There are a few exceptions to my venturesome audacious bucket-list; all of Africa, most of South America, booze, gambling, and drugs. Other than that I’m going to be bold, daring, and damned happy. Timid security isn’t on my future agenda.
Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. ~ Helen Keller
The thing is, how can I do any of that when it’s against the law for me to go anywhere or meet anybody? Well, I am not against breaking bad laws, and anything to do with the coronavirus is a bad law on its face. But more practically, what can I do right now;
- Use the internet to connect more deeply and intimately with like-minded people.
- Go through my wardrobe again, get rid of anything that’s too dated, unflattering, or of inferior quality.
- Use the internet to buy some better attire.
- Improve my immune system by eating better and more healthily, drinking enough good fruit juices and lots of water, taking the right high-quality supplements.
- Exercise as much as I can, getting my trim shape back, and improving my energy levels. Meditate when I can.
- Get a solid 7 or 8 hours good sleep every night, rest when I feel weary during the day.
- Stretching my mind by reading more difficult and inspirational books.
- Get back to studying art, geography, literature, music, psychology, and sociology.
- Husband my resources until I can get back out there again.
All that means is that I am going to live as well as I can despite this fucking never-ending lockdown.
yoga is great exercise
just you try keeping that position for 5 minutes each side
be inspired to think, act, and believe in ways that fulfill your potential
every morning is a new chance to enjoy life
I am not the sum of my past mistakes, nobody is perfect
I am at peace with everything that has happened in my life
I will neither judge myself nor the other people in my life
we each have the power to change our lives for the better
I am good with who I am, and proud of who I am becoming
I can meet each new challenge with fortitude and enthusiasm
my partner is very attracted to me; physically, spiritually, and emotionally
at the end of every day, I know that I will have done the best that I could
you cannot fix something if you don’t know it’s broken
Each and every one of us is programmed ~ what we think, what we believe, how we behave, what we like and what we dislike are automatic responses, programmed reactions and actions buried deep in our subconscious. Our conscious minds only govern what we do about 10% of the time, and most of the time what our conscious minds do, think, and feel is based on all that stuff way down in our unconsciousness. So, if you are scared of snakes, it isn’t a conscious thing, it’s actually a primeval race-memory so far down in your subconscious you don’t even know it’s there until the first time you come across a serpent.
If you have problems in your life, if you can’t handle certain situations, if you keep lurching from one disastrous relationship to another, then you are not consciously doing that on purpose. A string of dysfunctional relationships in your past, and the likelihood that you will repeat the same mistakes over and over again in the future, means that there is something dysfunctional with the tapes in your unconscious mind.
The scary thing is that all that programming, all of your beliefs, behaviors, and opinions were put there before you were seven years old. The adults in your life; your parents, your wider family, older siblings, teachers impressed their thoughts, beliefs, behaviors, habits, and prejudices upon your unformed mind while you were still a child. And there was nothing whatsoever you could do about it. Ergo, if you are a borderline alcoholic, drug addict, a heavy smoker, or obese ~ it’s not all your own fault. If you’re promiscuous, dishonest, and continually finding yourself in toxic relationships, then that’s not completely your fault either. It’s because you were taught all those things when you didn’t know any better.
Before I was five years old I was taught that women are lying bitches, and that men who have anything to do with women are bad. I was taught that sex is nasty, dirty, and wrong. I was taught that love is meaningless, that interpersonal relationships are always toxic, and that sex outside of marriage is a sin that will send me to hell. I know who did that to me.
It took me right up until a few days ago to realise this, to truly know what was broken in me. Right up until a few days ago my life was dysfunctional, I was unable to have a stable relationship, I couldn’t ever be truly open, honest, trusting, or loving. My life was toxic. I drank to much to escape the way I always acted and reacted.
If that is anything like you, then look deep within to find out what is broken in you. Then, when you know what’s broken you might have some chance of fixing it. Be like me and kill the snake in your mind.
it wasn’t all her own fault that Red Riding Hood liked wolves just a little too much
accept no one else’s definition of your life, but define yourself
Shakespeare didn’t think much of money-lenders
Who are you? The true answer to that isn’t as easy to give as some may believe. You might tell me your name, and then you might tell me what you do; butcher, baker, candlestick-maker, rich-man, poor-woman, beggar-man, thief….. In fact we are so wound up in ‘what we do’ that in times past a person’s ‘family name’ might well have been the trade or craft they were in. Hence; Baker, Cooper, Thatcher, Smith, Wright.
So, we might know your name and your main occupation, but that’s just what you are. It isn’t who you are. Your name and what you do to earn a crust aren’t who you are. If a name was so important then why do half of the people in the western world change their name? And if what you do is so important, why do so very many people have a career change at some time in their lives, and why are so many dissatisfied with their career, profession, job?
Your name and what you do to make a living are not who you are ~ but perhaps it’s what you are, your role, the part that you play in society. That’s if you accept that what you do is just a role, not who you are at all. We are all but players on life’s stage.
All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts….. ~ Shakespeare
My career was in International Banking and Finance. I worked hard at it, and I was well remunerated in return. Was I satisfied with that? Did I think that what I did was important? Not really. I worked to make a living, to have some self-respect, and my own self-respect was why I was good at it. I’ve played some other roles, and I was very good at those too.
But now, I don’t play a role anymore. Today, right now, I am just me. And, like everything I’ve done in the past I am determined to be good at being me, the very ‘best’ man I can possibly be.
Others may have loftier callings; perhaps they want to be a doctor, priest, therapist, teacher ~ but before all of that I would first urge them to be themselves, and to be the very best at being themselves that they can possibly be.
Some say that we should all conform to what society expects of us. And that those in authority have a right to tell us what to do. All I know is that you should always be yourself, no matter what they say.
be the best you can be
but be yourself
no matter what they say
a gluten-free diet is not just a fad ~ modern wheat is bad for everyone
Some say that wheat is safe for everyone except those who have celiac disease. And, that non-celiac gluten sensitivity isn’t a real medical condition. So why is wheat bad for you? Especially genetically enhanced, chemical laden, pesticide sprayed, modern American wheat is really, really bad for you. If you have the sense your mother gave you, then you should stop eating anything made from wheat.
Gluten intolerance and celiac disease are direct results of American agriculture policy and, specifically, the government’s wading into the food arena. ~ Joel Salatin.
Gluten is what turns a mixture of flower and water into glue. Gluten is a family of proteins found in grains like; wheat, spelt, rye, barley, bulgur, oats, and seitan. There is no gluten in either quinoa or rice. Nor is there any gluten in potato or beans. However gluten is found in almost all processed and packaged foods, sauces, and canned food.
Non celiac gluten sensitivity is poorly understood, and there are no specific medical tests of your blood, stool, or urine that can reliably diagnose gluten intolerance. You and your doctors can only reliably diagnose gluten intolerance by the symptoms and health problems you have. On the other hand, there are reliable diagnostic tests for full-blown celiac disease.
- Irritable bowl problems such as abdominal pain, bloating, cramping, constipation, and diarrhoea.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Irritation of the mouth and throat.
- Brain fog, difficulty concentrating, problematic memory.
- Frequent headaches.
- Mood changes, anxiety, depression, irritability.
- Low energy and chronic fatigue syndrome.
- Muscle and joint pains. Osteoporosis.
- Peripheral neuropathy, numbness and tingling in the hands, arms, feet and legs.
- Skin problems, dermatitis, eczema, rosacea, skin rashes.
- Nutrient deficiencies, vitamin deficiencies, iron deficiency, anemia.
- Asthmatic attacks.
- Higher risk of learning problems including autism and ADHD.
- Sexual problems and in women missed periods.
- Gut autoimmunity, damage to the gut biome
Gluten intolerance will affect every single part of the body as the bacteria in your gut help to control everything from nutrient absorption, to hormone production, to metabolic function, to the way your brain works.
The problem is that gluten from wheat is found in just as many products as that other evil and unnatural food; high fructose corn syrup. One should read the labels before buying any food, and certainly avoid these foods
- bread, crackers, pizza, burritos, tortilla, cakes, cookies and the like
- beer, lager, stouts, ales
- barley malt
- packaged, store bought chicken broth
- malt vinegar ~ buy natural organic apple cider vinegar instead
- most salad dressings including mayonnaise
- veggie burgers unless they are certified gluten-free
- soy sauce
- packets of seasonings and spice mixes
- noodles unless they are rice noodles
- all pasta, (unless it’s marked gluten-free)
- most condiments
- non dairy creamer
- bullion cubes and stock cubes
- canned soups
- cheese spreads and other processed cheeses
- sausages and hot dogs
- ice cream, frozen yogurt, and milk unless it’s from grass-fed cows.
- Sour cream, which may contain modified food starch.
If you are even mildly gluten intolerant you will need to be very careful when eating out. The same goes for buying Chinese take-out which is likely to be stuffed with MSG, (Monosodium Glutamate). When eating out avoid fried foods, thickened sauces, and obviously bread. Try to drink gluten-free booze such as cider, wine, spirits and liqueurs, (there are gluten-free beers). And, if you’re drinking spirits don’t have diet soda as your mixer ~ diet soda is also bad for you.
Some say that gluten intolerance might really be glyphosate poisoning. And that pre-harvest spraying of wheat and sugar cane with Roundup makes for an easier harvest. All I know is that I don’t want to eat food contaminated with weed-killer.
Glyphosate is for sure, in every bite of food that contains wheat. ~ Nancy S. Mure
As it goes, wheat flour and refined sugars are just so very bad for you that your best choice is to avoid them all together. The list of health problems caused by these two staple foods is both long and nasty.
For most of us, giving up bread and beer is a pretty easy and very beneficial thing to do.
Some say that if you want to be really fit and healthy, start by never again eating anything made with wheat flour. And that you know it makes sense. All I know is that I’ve felt healthier, fitter, and more alert since I realised that wheat is bad for you.
sigh…. Guinness and brown bread with Irish Stew is so good…..
half of all Americans are clinically obese ~ that means they’re fat
plenty of fresh air and exercise
not much need for a calorie-controlled diet