The glory of gardening is having your hands in the dirt and your head in the sun.
I built a planter for my friend in California.
I hope that it gives her many years of pleasure.
there’s a handful of dirt from Red Rock country in there
I hope it gives her many years of pleasure
The great task in life is to find reality.
We make most mistakes, we suffer the most, and we do the most harm when our thoughts and beliefs differ from reality. It’s when we create stories and assumptions in our own mind which are untrue that we begin on a journey of falsehoods. And, those falsehoods lead to; alcohol abuse, drugs, eating disorders, gambling, heavy smoking, self-harm, casual sex ~ just to find temporary comfort and the illusion that our falsehoods are true. When our beliefs are untrue we can suffer from anxiety and depression, together with a host of other serious mental illnesses such as; Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder. The stress of having beliefs which differ from reality causes a raft of physical illnesses, including cardiovascular problems, cancers, diabetes, dementia, and early death.
Yet, there is no such thing as reality.
Reality is an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. ~ Albert Einstein
It seems that in quantum physics and interpersonal relationships there is no such thing as cause and effect ~ no straight line between the past, through the present, and into the future. Even in very close relationships there are often merely shared perceptions of the world ~ and two people may both share perceptions, thoughts, and beliefs which are untrue. If alcohol, drugs, or mental illness is added into the mix then we get dangerous situations such as physical, verbal, mental abuse and co-dependency.
If your life is going down the shitter, if you are prey to addictions, if you suffer from a mental illness ~ then the chances are that your thoughts and beliefs have seriously differed from reality.
Einstein and other serious thinkers may tell us that reality is merely an illusion, BUT on a day to day basis we have to live in whatever reality surrounds us. That means seeing and accepting reality as it is, and not as we wish it to be. Reality is neutral and impersonal. Reality has no expectations and no beliefs. Reality is the true state of things. There is only one past, present, and future reality ~ it is our own perceptions and beliefs which create an infinity of different versions of the past, the present, and the possible futures.
To find true reality is both very easy and very difficult;
- be totally honest with yourself and others ~ reality is truth
- never take things personally ~ reality is impersonal
- do not make assumptions nor create expectations
Some say that reality is an illusion. And that we are all just simulations living in a matrix. All I know is that when my beliefs differed from reality I got myself into some serious trouble.
to discover your ultimate reality requires a lot of deep thought
The Ocean lifts the heart, stirs the imagination, and inspires the soul.
be the better man
don’t judge, be cool
be kind, don’t be cruel
don’t assume, it’s a rule
be calm, don’t act the fool
cold jealous anger’s a bad tool
and the better man does it all well
I must go down to the sea again
to the lonely sea and the sky
cry, learn, forgive, watch the dawn, move on
watching the dawn
I can’t take any more
she took me for the fool
now the dreams have gone
just can’t take any more
I’m watching the dawn
the end of the misery in the night
Do the best to treat yourself with truth and loving care.
Red Rock Country, Arizona
On my very recent rip to Arizona I was fortunate enough to be taught some of the wisdom of the ancient Aztecs. These new-found insights into dealing with the more difficult parts of life came in useful ~ when I eventually got back to the North of England, after some 30 hours travelling from the Western USA.
After an interminable delay at Heathrow, I manged to arrive late at Newcastle upon Tyne Airport ~ I got home, but my luggage didn’t. I did not take my missing luggage personally, British Airways had loaded none of the passengers’ bags onto that flight. Something the pilot only told us just as we about to deplane at Newcastle. You can imagine the scene at the baggage agent’s desk in arrivals, with more than 100 people completing forms, crying, and complaining bitterly about their ‘lost’ luggage. It was chaos.
I remembered some of the teachings of the ancient Aztecs;
- Be open, honest, and honorable to yourself and others. In all honesty, it didn’t much matter to me that my luggage hadn’t arrived. That just meant that I wasn’t going to be starting my laundry as soon as I got back to the garret. I was also honest with myself, and accepted that all the crying, complaining, and shouting passengers at the baggage handling desk annoyed the hell out of me.
- Don’t ever take anything personally. I wasn’t singled out by fate or British Airways to suffer the inconvenience of missing bags. There were more than 100 people on that flight, and all anyone had was their carryon bag.
- Don’t make assumptions. I’m not assuming that my luggage will eventually arrive, or not. What will be will be, and there’s
fuckbugger all I can do about it.
- Always do your very best. Yesterday, and the day before were not my best days, but somedays my best isn’t as good as 100%, and somedays my best is maybe just 50%. However, if I always do the very best I can in the circumstances, then that’s the best I can do.
These teachings applied to the trivial matter of a horrible 30 hour journey and missing luggage. However, these teachings of the Aztecs apply even more to matters of much more import in one’s life. For example; Love, Relationships, Illness, Poverty, and Abundance…..
Some say that Life is a version of Hell. And that if you think someone is out to get you then they probably are. All I know is that the Cosmos doesn’t really single me out for misery and misfortune ~ even in matters of missing luggage.
if there’s something I can’t do for you
dispair’s stygian midnight darkness
the lost bloom of rose’s red dark abyss
my spirit told me there’d be times like this
my dreams told me there’d be days like these
and my heart warned me there’d be love like this
but nothing told me that there could be hurt like this
ending this painful bliss with our one last farewell kiss
just some far away blue horizon.
follow your bliss and the cosmos will open doors where there were only walls
The view from my hotel balcony
Over the weekend, and for the next few days I will be attending a conference ~ retreat called Embracing Bliss in Sedona AZ. It’s spiritual / self-improvement, and I’m expecting great things as far as balancing my life is concerned.
Sadly this means that I won’t be online as much as usual. But normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.
Take care in the meantime.
Sedona is a beautiful town, and this is a cool hotel
The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing. ~ Albert Einstein
A vegan diet is one that excludes any food that comes from an animal, fish, or whatever. This includes eggs, dairy, meat, fish, fowl, and even things like snails and honey. A vegan diet is exclusively plant-based; vegetables, fruit, grains, soy, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Vegan diets usually usually exclude any canned or processed foods. Vegan diets are extreme.
There are far more vegan women than men. In the UK 63% of people who say they are vegan are women. Anyhow, in the UK veganism is not exactly part of the mainstream dietary culture, there are only some 542,000 self-identified vegans here, which is 1% of the population ~ and I don’t necessarily believe there’s a half-million vegans in Great Britain. I once dated a vegan, and she cheated all the time.
Dr. Richard Twine, a senior lecturer in social sciences, interviewed a shed-load of vegans and found that 73% were women and only 27% were male.
In America, that world epicentre for weird cults, fads, and fringe movements, only 3% of the population identify as vegan. Amazing, as more than half of Americans believe that alien abduction, alien visitation, and UFOs are real. Aliens probably exist.
Proper scientific studies show that true veganism can be very bad for your health, especially if you consume unhealthy plant-based food such as fruit juices, refined grains, wheat, fries, and a lot of fatty, high-calorie stuff like avocado. The recommended daily serving is just 1/3 of a medium sized avocado.
My vegan diet brought on early menopause. ~ Virpi Mikkonen
A vegan or vegetarian who consumes no animal products can be just as unhealthy as a slob who dines on nothing but burgers and beer.
Some health problems caused by a vegan diet include; leaky gut, hormone disruption, (including oestrogen and thyroid hormones), anemia, low omega-3 leading to anxiety and depression, lack of vitamin B12, (which can lead to irreversable memory loss and impaired cognitive function), lack of zinc, (which is especially vital for pregnant women), too much carbohydrate, (which leads to fatty liver, diabetes, and obesity), and eating disorders.
Personally, I don’t care so much if someone wants to be vegan or vegetarian, but I do object when they preach to me about my own omnivorous diet.
Some say they don’t eat meat because eating animal products is unethical. And that being vegan reduces their carbon footprint. All I know is that I really like a good steak.
onglet steak, a butcher’s best kept secret.
The sea rewards those men who have love in their heart.
Marmaduke likes the beach too
The only certainties in life are death and taxes. ~ Mark Twain
Everybody lies, and everybody lies the most to themselves. Because of my 30 years in banking and finance, I have been able to mostly avoid paying taxes through not always telling the whole truth, but death is something nobody can avoid. However, like a lot of men I’ve been lying to myself about that. It’s time I faced the truth.
Over the past few weeks I’ve come to the conclusion that I need an ‘end-of-life’ plan, so that others are not left to clear up what is left after I shuffle off this mortal coil. I never wanted to think about these morbid things, yet what I need to do over the next few weeks and months is put in place some very uncomfortable stuff.
- Contact a lawyer and write my will. I more or less know what’s going to be in it.
- With the same lawyer write a ‘living will‘. A living will is an advance decision that says I refuse certain medical treatments, even if that would lead to my death. I have no wish to spend my final days as a vegetable.
- Contact a funeral director to arrange and pay for my cremation ~ which will be a very simple affair.
- I have more money than I can sensibly spend between now and when I’m not really interested in having fun any more. Even though I’m an expert in banking and finance, the money I have, and the property I own should be better managed. I need to get on with that.
- I need a better plan for my own physical and mental health.
I never, ever wanted to think about these morbid schemes. Planning my own ‘end-of-life’ has been freaking me out. But, now that I’m determined to get on with it, things don’t seem so bad.
The greatest reward a man can leave at the end of his life is a clean and tidy death.