life is a sea of shifting sand dunes, unpredictable and erratic
I like this song ~ rather strange accompanying video.
If my ship sails from sight it doesn’t mean my journey ends,
it simply means that the river bends.
please listen responsibly
serried calm waves in a grey sea
Be where you are, not where you think you should be.
My post earlier today was about rain ~ sort of. Doing yoga in the warm summer rain is uplifting. Yoga in the foothills of the Himalayas must be even more so.
Yoga is a 5,000 years old form of exercise that is focused on strength, flexibility, breathing, and mindfulness to boost physical and mental health and wellness. Yoga is safe, effective, and beneficial ~ especially when it comes to increasing your strength, flexibility, balance, and inner peace. Yoga tends to improve posture, and far too many people slouch these days, up to and including me, at times. There is strong evidence that regular yoga has a positive impact on people who suffer with high blood pressure, cardio-vascular diseases, arthritis, migraines, IBS, fibromyalgia, sundry aches and pains, lack of mobility, depression, and anxieties. I just find that spending time every day doing a little man-type yoga makes me feel better.
Scientific studies on the physical benefits of yoga show that it helps to alleviate the pain and stiffness of osteoarthritis, but, the symptoms of arthritis can make some yoga positions difficult and painful in themselves. However, whatever yoga one can do helps improve the arthritis sufferer’s range of movement, and strengthens the muscles around painful joints. Those with the autoimmune disease of rheumatoid arthritis also benefit from yoga ~ there will be improvements in overall physical health, walking, energy levels, mood, and reduced pain.
The purpose of yoga is to build strength, awareness, and harmony in both the mind and body. ~ Natalie Nevins, M.D.
The physical benefits of yoga include:
- increased flexibility
- increased muscle strength and tone
- much improved posture
- prevents cartilage and joint breakdown
- improved bone density
- helps the lymphatic system and boosts immunity
- helps to fight cancer
- better breathing, energy, and vitality
- better balanced metabolism
- better weight control
- improved cardio-vascular health
- reduces high blood pressure
- improved athletic and sexual performance
- protection from injury
There is also strong evidence that shows regular yoga practice leads to an increase in serotonin, and a natural decrease in monoamine oxidase. What this means is that we feel happier, more positive, more energised, and are less likely to suffer from depression. For me, happier is good.
Some say that yoga is just for girls and metrosexual guys. And, that we should all get a grip and concentrate on everyday life. All I know is that everyday life isn’t everything.
how long to capture that shot?
it doesn’t really matter,
in meditative Yoga time is immaterial.
to walk the warriors path is to continually step out into the unknown
For years my life was based on self-belief, selfishness, and instant gratification. I was a one-dimensional man, and deep down I was always afraid. I went to church but I had no belief, I was married but there was no love, I was successful but all that gave me was money.
When we as human beings are disconnected from our true selves we place ourselves in a perilous position. Our sense of identity becomes lost and we are prey to evils from within and without ~ anger, arrogance, envy, fear, greed, jealousy, lust, paranoia….. There is no inner peace and little joy in our lives. We act without thought for others, and we react to real or perceived attacks and slights with anger and extreme verbal or written or even physical aggression. There is no real love in our lives, either for ourselves or for other people.
Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life. ~ the Buddha
Without spirituality, without a belief in a power outside of ourselves, outside of that which we can explain through modern science, we do not live, we just exist. This leads to serious physical, mental, and emotional problems and illnesses. Alcoholism, explosive anger, drug addiction, gambling, infidelity, inappropriate casual sex, lust, resentments, narcissism, self-doubt, paranoia, fear, cowardice….. It is not by chance that the second step of 12-step recovery programs is; Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Accepting that there is a Power greater than ourselves is the beginning of spirituality, the beginning of a real connection with our true selves. Spirituality means evolving our consciousness, and at each level of evolution we react to the Cosmos in different ways. Most people are driven by what is happening in the world outside them, some shape their lives to live in the world they choose, and a very few change themselves by looking at the world inside themselves. Extraordinary people learn to reshape themselves physically, mentally, and emotionally ~ learning inner peace, true happiness, and how to love themselves and others.
There are three principles to reaching inner peace, knowing our true selves, and spirituality;
- associate with like-minded people, people who strengthen us. avoid toxic people and toxic relationships
- put aside time every day to make and strengthen the connection with our true selves. rest, meditate, harmonise your heart and brain
- transform our character; turn arrogance into humility, hate into love, paranoia into trust
Some say that there is no God, no Higher Power, nothing greater than man and science. And that Spirituality ranks alongside Magic, Sorcery, and the belief in a Flat Earth for stupidity. All I know is that a Power greater than myself restored me to sanity.
My own mind was a prison
Some don’t even ask for happiness, just a little less pain.
I’ve spent a lot of my life being miserable, angry, jealous, paranoid, depressed, in mental and spiritual pain. From time to time I’ve shared my pain with others, especially those close to me. In that I don’t mean that I’ve sat down and had a quiet and reasoned discussion. On the contrary, I’ve shared my pain by attacking people close to me verbally and in writing, or by just disappearing, or by getting drunk on the very spurious grounds that it would make others worry about me.
Just what part of my subconscious mind was hard-wired to think that being unhappy would do anything for me? Except to exist in a state of unhappiness and pain being unhappy achieves very little. To a sane mind, being unhappy should act as a spur to change whatever it is about one’s life that is making you unhappy ~ except it almost never does, because very few people have that degree of grounded and mindful sanity.
For many people being unhappy, miserable, angry, jealous, paranoid, depressed, in mental and spiritual pain becomes their normal state of being, it becomes their comfort zone. And how utterly sad that one’s comfort zone is a place of utter and total negativity.
For some others those negative feelings act as a spur to find an escape ~ in alcohol, drugs, binge eating, gambling, pornography, inappropriate casual sex, self-harm, attempted suicide, making a big geographical change….. For me, the escape from being in a bad dark place was always alcohol ~ and that worked for a while, just as all those other addictive behaviours may work for a while. However, very quickly the cure becomes far worse than the problem of unhappiness, mental, emotional, and spiritual pain.
Addictive behaviours are not a cure, they are just another facet of the kaleidoscope of some serious underlying issue deep in the subconscious mind of the sufferer ~ it’s like throwing a drowning man a concrete lifebelt, or trying to put out a fire by throwing petrol, (gasoline), on it. Giving someone with depression a bottle of booze and encouraging them to go out and fuck the first person they meet in a bar is just as bad ~ all it will do is destroy any feelings of self-worth they had left.
So why are so many people seriously unhappy, to the point that it can be classified as a mental illness?
Because we learned to be unhappy before we were old enough to know any better. Before we were seven years of age, deep and undying unhappiness was inculcated into our subconscious mind by our parents, carers, older siblings, teachers, et al., and now it’s hard-wired into our subconsciousness. And it doesn’t work.
How we break out of the downward spiral of misery will have to be the topic of another post. This post is too long already.
Some say that they are unhappy because the world is a bad place. And it’s all going to be OK because their doctor has given them some happy pills. All I know is that unhappiness and misery doesn’t work.
booze is a bad way to try to find escape from mental, emotional, and spiritual unhappiness
To truly forgive is to set a prisoner free, and discover that the prisoner was you.
Looking back, I never learned what it means to truly forgive someone. Worse than that, my morbid fear of abandonment makes it extremely difficult for me to forgive anyone I believe has / will / may betray me.
Refusing to forgive has never made me feel better about anything. All I was doing was holding on to negative feelings of upset, anger, jealousy, resentment, and a desire to somehow get even. And all that has ever done for me has been to drive me deeper into the Abyss.
Resentment and holding on to anger is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die. ~ Malachy McCourt
The worst of it is that I can become angry, resentful, jealous, paranoid, and believe that someone has betrayed me ~ when it’s really all in my own mind. I can feel abandoned and betrayed by things that a friend did in the past, maybe years before we even knew one another. The reason I am hurt may be just crazy, but the hurt is real, and the forgiveness I need to feel should be real as well.
To create even a moderately successful life I should forgive others who have hurt or offended me, even if the offence, betrayal, or hurt is really all in my own mind. I need to learn forgiveness, not because I believe someone close to me was right, or because I can forget what they have done, but because forgiving will free me mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. By forgiving I can allow myself to move on with my life ~ I can get my feet back on the warrior’s path.
Forgiving others will allow me to finally learn to trust. Honest and real forgiveness will be a part of me learning to build relationships with others, instead of always having unstable and dysfunctional relationships which usually end with one of us just walking away.
Forgiveness will release me from my self-built dungeon of extremely dark and negative feelings.
Some things I will never forgive. I will not forgive the low-life vermin who burgled my place a short while ago. Come the Revolution they will be the first up against the wall and shot.
Some say that forgiving others is weak and stupid. And that to forgive means that you weren’t actually hurt, upset, or angry in the first place. All I know is that I must forgive others for the sake of my own well-being.
with forgiveness, it can be a Wonderful Life
If you feel lost, it’s because the heart and mind are not in harmony.
I really need to find a way back home.
More importantly, I need to find a way back to myself.
this is what my the prison inside my mind feels like
The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection.
I’m in trouble, my soul is in distress, and it’s only bravado that’s keeping me sane and sober.
Every day is a winding road, and we can never know what the end of the day and the end of the road will bring. The future and the destination are both uncertain, and sometimes all a man can do is to keep on going on. And, it seems to me that the real man doesn’t give up, just because the going gets really tough. As Churchill said sometimes we just have to ‘keep buggering on…..’
My past few years have had lots of ups and downs, but it seems that today I have really hit rock bottom, and there is no booze involved ~ I am stone cold sober. In fact I have passed through sobriety to the desolate slough of despond that lies beyond. Taking a drink would only solve the problem in so far as it would help me to forget my worries for a while. In reality, taking a drink would compound and multiply my real and perceived problems ~ and that’s not a good plan.
For a while I’ve been working towards being a better man, more worthy on body, mind, and spirit But, worthy for whom? It seems that I’ve been striving to be better every day, not just for myself, but also for someone I cared for. Trying to be the better guy for someone else is incredibly false, and it set me up for a fall. Your Goddess will never be perfect, and that presupposes that your ideal of perfection has some ultimate truth.
So, from now on I will still go on quietly working to be the superior man; in body, mind, spirit, and achievements. However, from now on I shall be doing this for myself, and never again to please another. No more lists, no more plans, just living each day to the fullest.
The strong are considered weak, and the weak are considered strong, that’s the way of the world, but it’s not the way of the spirit.
Some say that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. And that real character is to live each day as if it was your last. All I know is that I don’t want to live another day feeling like this.
don’t make a list
do something real instead
If what you’re doing isn’t working, then change what you’re doing.
Time is short, make the most of every day you have.
Sometimes it takes a shock to your system before you realise that things aren’t working. Sometimes you could be aware for years and years that your life just isn’t quite right. As it goes, I’ve had both of those things forcibly tell me that what I’ve been doing, the life I’ve been living, isn’t really working for me, nor anyone else either.
What I want, need, and desire to to lose my feelings of existential dread. To remain calm and grounded in the face of adversity. To be more considerate, more self-aware, and self-reliant. To be less judgemental, and not so angry. To have the strength to defeat my fears and rise up to any challenge. To stop running away from myself, my thoughts and feelings, to stop going crazy and hiding at the bottom of a bottle of booze.
Snag is, to make those deep changes within myself would usually take months or years of counselling, or a good while in a retreat / rehab. I don’t have months or years, and finding a suitable retreat / rehab that would be willing to take me on isn’t a quick fix either.
So, starting from this morning I have built my own programme, and believe you me it is not going to be easy.
- No alcohol and no coffee.
- No bread or anything else made with wheat flour.
- No dairy; milk, cream, cheese, eggs.
- Cut down on sugar and salt. Add more spices such as cinnamon, sage, turmeric…
- Eat a mostly plant-based diet, with no processed foods whatsoever.
- No T.V. except for some motivational speakers on YouTube.
- An hour reading some deep spiritual text every afternoon,
- A 2 hour meditative walk every morning, and 30 minutes or so meditation each afternoon.
- A half-hour of yoga each afternoon.
- Lights out at 22:00 every evening, and wake-up time is 06:00. If I go 3 nights without 8 hours of good sleep then I will take a non-narcotic sleep-aid.
None of that actually gets to the hard point of what this retreat is all about. In meditation I will allow my thoughts and feelings to flow through me, no matter how deep, dark, difficult, perverted, or uncomfortable I will just accept my thoughts and feelings without reacting, taking action, or being judgmental.
This is a weekly programme. Next Sunday I will write a progress report on myself, and probably post it on this blog.
saying ‘Fuck It’ is just running away
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