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Andey Fellowes

Out of the Mud(?)

With the solstice here and the new year on-coming, Rosa and I have agreed to prepare some stories of our cultures to share with the other in our new years celebration. The plan is, drink home-brewed mead and tell stories. I’m looking forward to it. And in an effort to provide something more than what I already knew and had likely already shared with her, I decided to dig into my culture’s history a wee bit more. I wanted stories. I wanted tales and legends of great heros and paths crossed with gods.

When I was researching the old Norse history – with which my culture is in some way intertwined – I found lots of stories and incredible tales which were all (thankfully) preserved more or less as they were told at the time. For the history of England and the British isles, there wasn’t so much readily available. I had to dig deeper. Once you get past the impressively difficult to read Mabinogion (old Welsh literature), there’s not much to find that’s on show. And, let’s be honest, the Mabinogion was tainted by the astute for the era but generally narrow view of the noble who translated it.

So I had to get to work. And I managed to turned over quite a bit in the end. I’m glad about that. I won’t divulge too much of what I’ve found because Rosa reads this blog and I don’t want to give away any spoilers for our story-telling sesh. What I really want to put across here is two-fold, I think.

First, I’d say that it’s a shame that there is so little of the cultural and religious history of my culture available. That’s partly due to it being oral tradition and partly due to the spreading of Christianity – a thing which is many ways has been more of a scourge than a force for good. Though, as Rosa pointed out, it did stop human sacrifice with one final hurrah.

Second, I’d like to point towards the fact that as I’m learning more and more about this I find curiosities… Things like the stories of the lorry that got stuck in a bog during WWII when they tried to build this fort on the island of Anglesey. As far as I know, it got stuck on this chain which they then used to pull the lorry from the bog with. The chain was a slave chain, with larger links to hold the slaves in custody. The impulse is to shrink away at the mention of slaves. But I would bring forward the reminder that slavery itself was only abolished in 1838. 178 years ago.

And, we all know that slaves across the world in the more recent eras where slavery was prevalent were in fact, people from other countries and traditions. So we had this thing that other types of people weren’t as good as us just because they were born on a different bit of rock and dirt sticking out of a different bit of the same vast body of water which – may I also bring to the forefront of thought – is capable of drowning each one of us equally effectively should be spend long enough submerged in it.

The reason I think this is significant is that, you know, above all the clever things we, as a species, pat ourselves on the back for, we are still barely out of the mud. For all the money we’ve made and innovative discoveries we’ve made, we are still barely out of the mud. We have so many ideas in our heads and we’ve done so many things yet as a species now we are so barely out of the mud.

And I think the acknowledgement of that may just help with any pervasive arrogance should we actually accept it.

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To Have Our Personal Genius Evoked

Obscure, it seems, the altogether two-faced notion that we will never truly hear the music written by the greatest composers of our time and before. The notes once put to paper by Beethoven after he lost his hearing is a story we all know by now. The mention of it is no surprise, perhaps, in the context of the sense I get when I consider the composers who wrote the pieces now closest to my heart before we could record them actually playing from the page.

Are the pieces written by these great composers truly the pieces that are closest to my heart? What is the piece itself? Is it the notes on the page? The set tempo of the piece? Or is it the particular expression that one arrangement or one performer of the piece gives it? Is it that moment where one conductor guides the orchestra to speed over a certain note while one slows down?

It is, to my mind, apparent that each version of the music produced as a result of reading from the page – for example – Debussy’s Sonata for Cello & Piano: I Prologue, is infused with a different facet of the emotion implied by the notes and evoked upon hearing them. And so, if one musician arranges the piece to fit better their preference or playing style then we would hear that musician’s rendition of it. And, subtler then, the minor inflections and involuntary alterations another musician might make even if attempting to produce a performance as close to Debussy’s original vision as possible.

The twinge of a pain not felt since first love when the notes come together in a certain way to bring that feeling to the surface may be the reason we – conscious or not – connect with the piece and yet this and all other things affect the way we hear the piece when it is performed by another person. And their rendition will always go through their filter of emotion and perception as much as a minor muscle spasm from an injury suffered when falling from our bike as a child might affect the way we would play a certain coupling of notes if we were to take to a piano and perform the piece for ourselves.

And so, then, to listen to a piece performed by arguably the greatest composers of days gone by in exactly the way their creators would have intended is, in itself, impossible. All we have are, in comparison, pale imitations and try-hard replicas. Each notably significantly more beautiful than what is being shovelled through music studios en masse today but still not, in exact form and sound, entirely what was intended. And though we are never to truly hear the great Debussy’s Sonata for Cello & Piano: I Prologue, the brilliant Bach’s Bouree in E Minor or the genius Chopin’s heart-achingly beautiful Prelude in E Minor, we will always – for as long as we look after the world well enough – have written copies of their original works to interpret for years to come.

And while, no, we will never quite hear them as they were intended, we do have these innately ingenious works recorded in some form. And in that sense, we will be able to take these incredibly provocative works and recreate them, infused with our own feelings and emotions. And in this sense, while the extent of the subtleties of the genius of these great musicians in lost to a degree, the bulk of that brilliance lives on. And it falls to us, the creative minds of the modern era, to listen and reinterpret these pieces. Listening to the music closely so as to be sensitive to the profound nuances that remain hidden in trajectory and prose, we give ourselves the opportunity to access a deeper sense of creativity and wisdom that presides within each and every one of us. In such a way, these pieces of art allow us to access deeper and more valuable parts of ourselves and, in just existing, they invite us to call upon the genius which may have, until putting our fingers to strings or keys, remained dormant and waiting.

If we allow it, I believe all art can inspire us in such a way.

Clouds. Drifting. Past.

It’s an odd thing; time and what it does to us. Anyone who says that time is not moving in a cyclical fashion is not paying attention, I have to say. It’s surreal and yet sort of entirely obvious when you think about it. I’m sitting here waiting for water to boil so that I can make some tea. That in itself is odd. I am, after all, from England and living in Mexico.

Growing up, I was never one for hot drinks. Literally, my family know not to bother offering me one. I’m always one for water. But here, as the seasons change and winter descends upon us, the stark sensation of coldness ripples through my bones as it has done each year prior. No radiators here. No central heating. It’s all stone-age blankets and jumpers. Blankets, jumpers and hot drinks.

It’s funny though how now, when I’m so far away from the U.K, where tea is such a favourite, I’m only now really appreciating it for what it is. Only now am I taking comfort in the simplest of joys: a taste of home. But then, of course, last year it was chocolate made in the U.K that got me all tear-y eyed.

But it’s how we all come full-circle that astonishes me. It’s like, we grow up with these influences around us and we absorb them. Then we rebel for 10-20 years and then – if we’re lucky – we start to see their wisdom before we die. That’s the way of it now, at least. Us younger lot think we know best and we’ve forgotten that our elders are exactly that. And we’ve forgotten that they’ve been about for longer than us. I mean, okay the world was a different place when they were younger and a lot of what they learned is more or less outdated now. There are, however, some massive staples that remain valid and applicable.

Growing up, I was around a mixed bag of outlooks. From my grandparents on both sides of the family with their own perspectives on matters with which I found myself agreeing on a few minor things and largely disagreeing with everything else. Then, naturally, my parents were my biggest influence in the developing of my world-view. Growing up and experiencing all the things I experienced (which I won’t bother going into much more now as I don’t think there’s much of a benefit to that), landed me with a very… what you might call… “liberal” perspective. I saw things in a way I deemed “fair” and “just”. And by and large, I would say that now I agree somewhat with a decent handful of what I once thought to be true.

I find though, as each year passes (particularly in this year just ending now), that as I become (perhaps) jaded and (maybe) more mature in my ripe old age (23), I agree more and more with my grandparents on the things that inform my life decisions. Simple things like “Don’t buy it if you don’t have money for it. Earn the money first, then buy it.” have always made sense for me and are only now really being applied. But I think more than agreeing with my grandparents (and I have to say that they cannot be blamed for me), I find myself coming full-circle with myself.

Growing up – as for a lot of kids with Aspergers – I was always very matter of fact and would “take no prisoners” (as I wrote on my ‘About’ page before I really swallowed what it meant and then started to enjoy it a bit more). Also, given that I didn’t get Windows Service Pack Social Skills & People Perception with my factory install, I was quite naive, hopeful and easy gulled into believing all sorts of nonsense. Enter slide-show of me thinking every new idea I discovered was “it” and was the solution to everything, including but not limited to lazy Buddhism, new age, law of attraction, half-baked Taoism and so on.

So I sort of went from being this kid who was all hopeful and didn’t quite get life or people to being someone who learned good information and thought he knew it all. Thing is, now, I’ve been beaten around the head so many time by all of this stuff. I’ve been bashed against the wall so many times by believing in something that sounded good in theory but in the end was hollow (to put it kindly) in practice. So much so that I’m bruised and grazed and scarred from it all so much. And what happens when you get burned by fire enough times? So, I’ve learned now, I think. Or at least… I feel like I’ve learned something. Something along the lines of, “Don’t bother.”

It’s odd though, spirituality and personal development have been such integral parts of my life for as long as I’ve been alive. They’ve been around me and part of me for as long as I’ve been me. And only now am I at the point where I… sort of… don’t feel like I need to use them to be happy… I feel like I don’t need to think about spirituality or personal development stuff to be me, or be complete or make sense of the world. It’s all still in there/here of course. It’s all still sort of knocking about inside my head but its not significant for me any more. It’s not exciting or important any more.

It’s like how I’ve sort of stopped bothering trying to make the world a better place with any deliberate action other than just existing. It’s like how I’ve stopped trying to help people. I’ve come to realise that if taking action to make the world a better place is what occurs naturally for you and it’s what fills your heart up… If it’s what sets your soul on fire then that’s what you should be doing. But if it’s not, then it’s insane to try and make yourself do it just because you think is right. And… well, people change.

I was in this state where helping people really used to fill me up… Or, well, I think I thought it did… But now, that doesn’t really any more. Not all the time any way. Like, if I see someone upset or something then I sometimes want to help. But more times I want to see them help themselves. I want to see people seek answers to their own problems. I want to see people employ their own resources and get out there and make a change for themselves. That’s what I do for me. I listen to myself, my deeper inner sense of who I am and what I need, and I do my best to live from that place. Sometimes I fuck up. Well all do, I’m no exception to that. But for me, what’s really useful and what’s really actually worth it is getting up off of my arse and doing something.

As far as I can tell, we live in cultures – so many different cultures (micro and macro) – that are all built on one foundation… They’re all reliant on a singular baseline. Comfort. Convenience. Since the industrial revolution, I think, this has been the case. Or at least, that’s when it started and it’s been exponentially so since then.

I was watching an interview with Olivier Assayas and Kristen Stewart today. Olivier was the writer and director for one of my new favourite films “Clouds of Sils Maria” and Kristen Stewart was one of the main characters in the film. (Watching interviews for as many hours in the day and night as possible is one of my “special interests” at the moment. I love to see people getting passionate and insightful about what they love doing. It’s perfect for me). One of the things Kristen said in the interview was that Olivier never answers her questions.

Kristen will come to Olivier during shooting and ask him a question about her character or a line or something like that and Olivir will always reply with a question, “What do you think?” For me, that was brilliant. I mean, obviously it’s outstanding in the sense that 1. he wants to see the interpretation Kristen has in mind for the character/line/whatever and he wants to allow her creative freedom to flourish there and 2. he really trusts Kristen with his creation. Not easy for a creative person, I can honestly say. Especially when you’re a total control freak like I am a bit.

But I think that captures the essence of what I want to get across here really. To find yourself or to have a life that you’re happy with/proud of or to have anything worth having, you’ve sort of got to find your own way to it… In my ever-shifting view of things, I’m always arriving somewhere new – that place might be totally new or it might be the same place I was before only now I’m seeing it in a new way…

It reminds me of something a friend of mine said to me. I was at college with him years back – towards the end of which experience my long tangent through spirituality was start to take shape – and he was going through a bit of a crisis. He was quite heavily into drugs and would be obnoxious and foul to the people around him. The initial response for a lot of people would be to go in and give support and sort of try and help or get through to him in some way. I just washed my hands of him after he was rude to me once. I just told him to sort himself out and then didn’t bother with him for a bit. He’s alright now. Or, well, better than he was. He won’t mind me saying that. I say all sorts of stuff to him – usually with the sole intention of winding him up and/or shaking him up for my own amusement.

Anyway, that was years back. A few months ago, I posted something on the almighty social network Book of Faces and he just commented “this is exactly the same thing you were saying years ago, Andey.” and I was like: “Shit. Yeah it is.” Bearing in mind I’d gone through what I deemed to be a total transformation and dissolution of my “false-self” and all that mumbo-jumbo. And here I was with the same opinion I had had years earlier.

My question was, of course, was it the same opinion? Or was it a new version of the same opinion, revisited and now cast in something more like iron rather than drafted haphazardly in clay? Well, I think it was the second once. Because, after all, things seem to go in cycles. And, as Mark Twain (I think) once said… “History doesn’t repeat itself. But it rhymes.”

stocksnap_86f6d0bdad

Look at this cat

I had a pleasant surprise today. Not the sort that jumps out from behind the sofa and makes you shat yourself after a week of constipation and not the kind that you say you like but you actually don’t. It was odd. It’s the sort of thing that happens where you’ve got this one idea in your mind about how things will pan out – like, based on no evidence whatsoever you generate and subsequently get obsessively anxiously attached to your idea of the way you think things will pan out when the given circumstances present themselves. That was where I was at earlier this week and up until this morning when the surprise came I maintained my position.

Being from England and living here in Mexico, to talk to friends and family I have to use Skype. This morning on a video call to a family member (whom I’ll not name for his own privacy because he’s funny like that and told me not to write about him for some reason), the conversation was more candid and honest than most of the conversations you or I might be used to when we’re talking with the regular human folk of the planet. (As opposed to when you’re reading this post writing by the king of oddball alien toons).

We talked about how I’ve recently come to a lull in my interest in and enthusiasm for most things – a cup that is rarely past mid-way full, if I’m totally honest. We spoke a little bit about how various spiritual principles and ideas are, for me at least, largely a waste of time and effort these days. We talked about how when people talk about “vibrational frequencies” it’s really useful because it gives you a heads up on who to avoid. And when the conversation was about half an hour to closing point, I got nervous and brave simultaneously when I heard that little voice inside of me saying “Go on, say it. See what happens.”

This particular family member is incredibly loving and supportive of me, my life and the choices I make. They are always there for me when I need them and do their best to give me what they feel I need to the best of their ability. Yet, for some reason, I had it in my projecting little head that they would react to what I was about to say in the same way that I reacted when someone first said it to me.

Let’s backtrack a wee bit. Let’s go back 2 years. Two years ago, I’m living in a 6×6 utility room in my Mum’s house for reasons I’ve explained before on this blog and for reasons which I feel are quite heavily enunciated by what I’ll go on to say in a moment. So, I’m living in this little room with a washing machine for a bedside table. The room is about 6×6 and I’m a bit taller than 6ft so it’s fairly cramped in there. I’m staying up until 8am every night to talk to my then girlfriend (now wife) Rosa over Skype (thank fuck for Skype, eh?) and as a result of this habit of staying up until 8am most nights on skype, I then sleep until 2/3pm in the afternoon. At the time I was also eating only burritos – prepared by myself – every single day for dinner in an attempt to get myself in “vibrational alignment” with Rosa whom I wanted to meet. Remember what I said about using “vibrational frequency” as a way to tell who to avoid? Yeah, I was in the Top 10 of “one to avoid” back then.

So, picture it. 20 year old man-boy measuring a little over 6ft, living in a 6×6 room, eating the same meal every day almost religiously and staying up until 8am every night to speak to his girlfriend on Skype. A tad eccentric, right? Right. Then chuck that with a life time of come-and-go friendships, severely lacking social skills, social anxiety, addictive tendencies and a notoriety in the family as someone who “takes no prisons”. My poor mum, bless her, was beside herself with the state of my life. This is a woman who I can affectionately call a very busy, very social and highly productive human but she saw what I was calling my life at the time and didn’t know how to feel about it.

I was mostly happy with my little routines. I would wake up just before my sisters came home from school, eat some Marmite on toast, play a bit of playstation, write a blog post or work on my novel or something like that and then come about 8pm give or take I’d be ready at Skype, fully equipped with a stack of burritos in hand (usually three or four – sometimes five) and then spend all night chatting away to the love of my life. I couldn’t complain, it wasn’t a difficult life really. Well, aside from the fact that I felt like a part of me was withering away due to the lack of exposure to the sun which wasn’t made easier by the already cloudy days of England. And aside from the fact that I would breakdown periodically about how I wanted nothing more than to be with Rosa and get out of the little room I had grown so accustomed to. Oh and aside from the fact that I tore up my o-ring every single time I went for a shit because my stools were like fucking rock-sausages thanks to all those beany-burritos.

My mum, watching from the outside, wasn’t really sure what to make of it all and – I imagine – seeing her eldest boy in the position I was in wasn’t so easy for her. Well, I say “I imagine”, she has told me it wasn’t easy for her to see. Anyway, she started quietly talking to some people and asking questions about what was going on with me and seeing if there were some sort of answers that would in some way provide justification to the odd behaviour I was exhibiting.(Also, no I wasn’t working. I have never been able to actually function in a conventional workplace. At the time I’m talking about here, I couldn’t have told you why. That will be clear in a moment).

Skip to the end, one day my mum knocked on the utility room door and asked me to come and speak to her in the kitchen. Pushing my way through the door that would only open partially because of the stacked up bed quilts I had laid on the floor (my bed), I joined her in the kitchen. I sat at the breakfast bar while my mum emptied the dishwasher and proceeded to tell me that she thought I had something called Aspergers Syndrome. Not really knowing what it was – having only heard of it from a friend I had in college and that one scene in BBC’s Sherlock where Sherlock Holmes insists that he doesn’t have Aspergers (even though he does) and that he is instead a “high-functioning sociopath” – I fought her on it.

If you don’t know what Aspergers is, it’s basically high-functioning autism. It’s on the autistic spectrum but at the far end. What that means is that in many ways people will Aspergers act and speak just like everybody else (or “neuro-typicals”) with exceptions in terms of social prowess, cue taking, sometimes impulse regulation and a few other things. It’s a difficult thing to sum up without basically just saying “it’s autism but not super strong autism” so I think the best thing to say is that it’s basically that the Aspergers brain works a bit differently to the typical brain. Meaning, people with Aspergers see patterns where others don’t necessary; people with Aspergers don’t have the intuitive empathy that most people have – instead people with Aspergers have only the ability to interpret the base-line of social signals (for example, instead of knowing that someone is feeling depressed or lonely intuitively the Aspergers brain will only be able to intuitively interpret that that person isn’t okay or – in more severe cases – that something isn’t right without being able to place what isn’t right.)

It also has within it certain hallmarks of ADD/ADHD and certain learning disabilities although it isn’t itself a learning disability. Oh and most people with Aspergers have a higher than neuro-typical IQ and find themselves filling the gaps in their social etiquette and conduct base game patch by consciously acting and speaking in a certain way in order to appear neuro-typical and get by in the world. Some people with Aspergers are incredible at this, so much so that you’d never guess they have Aspergers.

See what I mean, hard to explain! It’s pretty complex. It’s not like depression where you can sum it up by saying “deep emotional pits of despair where the light of the sun fades to grey and everything seems bleaker than it probably should.” Oh, I just went on Google and it says that Aspergers is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction and nonverbal communication, along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests.” That’s the tip of the iceberg, Google, but it’s more concise that what I just tried to do, eh? Probably should’ve just Googled it in the first place.

Anyway, when my my mum told me that she thought I had Aspergers, I responded as most teens of the “New Age” movement likely would. To me, at the time, all conventions other than archaic ones were evil (more or less), so I got quite defensive and annoyed when mum brought it up. She pushed though and asked me to come to see the doctor with her to see what they’d say about it. I reluctantly agreed. She was right by the way. Listen to your mums kids. They know shit. And, usually – if they’re paying attention and not on their smartphones 24/7 – they know you.

So, today when I sat down on Skype with this family member of mine, the conversation came around to a moment where I felt this rippling, counter-intuitive urge to put myself in the potentially very vulnerable position of telling this person a bit about the fact that I have Aspergers and what it’s like. As I said earlier, I had already done a rather marvellous job of convincing myself that telling them that I have Aspergers would cause them to sort of judge me in the way that I judged the idea of having Aspergers when the idea was first presented to me.

The surprise was that their response was quite the opposite. Instead of judgements and close-downs, I got support and understanding. In fact, they said to me that it’s a gift and that I’m clearly the way I am for a reason. They said that I should use it to my advantage and just make sure that it doesn’t stop me growing.

Needless to say, I was like “Wow. Shit man. Das coo'”. So happy that that was the result. Especially since it was only really my immediate family like Rosa, my mum, sisters and stuff that knew before. I’ve not actually come out and talked about it at all since it first came into my life. And I think that maybe now it’s time to consider starting to do that a bit more. Who knows, maybe I know a few people with Aspergers that have been a bit afraid to speak up about it too! If that’s you, let me know. That’d be cool. Maybe we can chat, or like, sit in silence and misread each others vague inexpressive cues. Or take it in turns to rant about what we love. Either or works for me.

Also, did you see the cat?

Done With Spirituality.

Sitting here on the edge of my bed (because, y’know, sometimes you just can’t get comfy on the sofa) with the A/C blowing cold air at me and conveniently masking the sound of the obnoxiously loud music the neighbours are playing because today is Mexican Independence day. It’s a strange sort of holiday because it seems a lot like it’s more of an excuse for everyone to get pissed up, laugh at nothing and scream unintelligently at soul-shaking volumes than cause for any real introspection or reflection on the reason it’s even a holiday in the first place. But then, I guess that’s what most national holidays are for a lot of us. Doesn’t matter which country you’re in, it’s about the same. Get pissed up in the name of something you sort of care about (even though you care more about getting pissed up).

Over the last few months, I’ve been having this nagging feeling that I needed to get in contact with my grandparents (the ones on my Mum’s side – I talk with my grandparents on my Dad’s side once every two weeks). I’m not the sort of person to remember to contact people. I’m not actually the sort of person to think about people either. Things remind me of stuff and people. I don’t often sit in contemplation or consideration without worthy cause. That said, I emailed my grandparents – my Nan and Pap – and arranged to Skype them on Saturday. And I’m sitting here thinking about the things we usually talk about together. In all the years we’ve spent as grandson and grandparents, I think the thing we’ve talked about the most (and inherent within that statement is the assertion that it’s also the subject on which we’ve clashed the most) is religion.

Well, religion for them and spirituality for me – more or less. They are Jehovah’s Witnesses. I am not. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to catch me within a 5 mile radius of any Kingdom Hall unless I’m inside a car at full speed and the Kingdom Hall just happened to be on the way to wherever I’m going – and if we’re being honest here, that won’t be very often because I’m so seldom outside of the house these days that the only times I pass a Kingdom Hall is when I’m buying biscuits on the occasion that Rosa doesn’t pick them up for me.

Anyway, you get the point. They’re into that and I’m not. We’ve argued about it a lot. And I’m sitting here on the bed thinking about us chatting on Saturday and realising that where once spirituality was this huge part of my life, now it rarely crosses my mind as “spirituality the thing”. If I look back to 2011, spirituality was this massive part of the growing and learning me. I couldn’t get enough. Skip forward to 2013, I’m writing this blog, 60% brainwashed by a cult and ready to change the world. Skip forward again and I’ve dropped all the bullshit ideas I absorbed in the cult and from various other places (law of attraction, trying to be nice all the time, forcing myself to be a certain way and so on). And here I am today thinking more about developing my actual skills so that I can improve my life and improve the lives of my clients.

Where once I was obsessing over my “vibration” (dear god), now I’m thinking, “No one is coming to help me. Let’s do this thing.” Quite the change in attitude and I’m better off for it. The law of attraction is a very smooth way to royally fuck yourself into doing nothing if it’s not treated properly. And by “not treated properly” I mean that to treat it properly is to more often than not leave well enough alone and just get on with your life instead of faffing around with things you can’t see.

This has been a pretty mental evolution, to get to the point I’m at now. For ages I was into the whole thing and now, looking back at it all, I’m like “Oh god, save me from myself.” Herd mentality will get you and get you good when you’re a clueless 18 year old idiot.

I think, if it was Saturday now and I had my Nan on Skype in front of me and she asked me what I thought about God now… I’d have to think about what I’d say… I guess the truth would be: “I’ve had some sort of experience that makes me want to say that God exists. It makes me want to say that God exists as much as we do and more. But how I know that or what God is like or what I’m supposed to do with or about any of that… Well, I don’t really know and I don’t think I care that much any more. In short, I feel like God is real but more than that doesn’t concern me. Like, if what someone else thinks of me is none of my business then God is definitely none of my business.”

I know that a lot of religious people use the existence of some sort of god to make them be nice to people. I also know that it doesn’t always work as an incentive because, well, there’s loads of Catholics who do that confession thing where they tell their designated god-man about the things they’ve done wrong all the time. I could guess that if I was to say to my Nan what I said in the previous paragraph then her next question might be about my relationship with morality – in words to that effect.

If she did ask me that, I don’t really know what I’d say. I couldn’t be completely honest at that point. They don’t like swearing so I couldn’t say what I say to most people, which is, “Try not to be a cunt”. I feel like that pretty much covers it. I guess, to get my Nan and Pap on board with what I’m saying and have it be a proper chat rather than just another time when I get moaned at for using bad words, I would have to be a bit more articulate…

Either way, what’s most curious – and I reckon you’ve found yourself at a point that’s similar in your life – is that now everything that I deemed “spiritual” – like really really spiritual – is now just “life” (as my Dad once said to me that it is for him – instead of it being some big thing, it’s just how things are). And moreover, most of the “spiritual” stuff looks about as silly as a punk or a goth or something like that. All dressed up over the top of just you and then you just go about life pretending to be something only to still be you at the end of the day. And then you look back at all the stuff you used to do and what you used to be like and you go “oh god” and “hah, jesus fucking wow on a little chocolate biscuit” in equal parts.

I think more than being done with spirituality, I’m just done with most of the things that surround it. The way people are, the things that are expected of you, the things you end up expecting of yourself. All that stuff. There’s a lot of shit out there. It’s all I can do to filter out as much of it as possible really.

Also, yes the title of this post was to make you click it. Sorry about that. No I’m not really done with spirituality, I just don’t bother with 90% of anything pertaining to it any more. I’d rather have a good time, coach and mentor people to do incredible things, learn about myself, lock my front door, play video games, eat and ignore pretty much everything else. Probably won’t last. That’s just where I’m at right now.

What about you?

When You Want It Enough, You Make It Happen

More and more I get the sense that life doesn’t happen to me. I get the sense that it happens for me, in a way. And I get the sense that it’s about me deciding how things are going to be and driving towards that with a burning passion – never taking less than 10/10 and never giving less than 11/10. I get the sense that the only reason things happen the way they do is because I have set things up in that way. If I’m not moving fast enough or hard enough towards what I’m driving towards then it’s because I haven’t got things set up optimally. And if I’m seeing the results I want, it’s because I’d paid attention, listened and applied myself.
 
Years ago, I would’ve cringed at how much that sounded like too much hard work. And now, I think back to my lazy “law of attraction will fix it all for me” attitude and I’m like, “lol, what an idiot.” To the point where I don’t even bother with the “law of attraction” as a thing any more. I just get connected with God as much as I can and I get connected with myself as much as I can. I look at my life and my blueprint for my life and go “if they’re not matching, how do I make them match” and then, as Neale Donald Walsh says “God says yes”. But honestly, I’m not thinking about anything other than my strategy and getting myself in the state that I need to be in to make tidal waves. Because if I’m not in that state, I make tiny little pointless ripples at best.

When you want it enough, you make it happen. When your pain is greater than your comfort, you get hungry.

 
Here I am now, 23, with my whole life leading to the point where I look at my life and know that no-one is coming to fix it for me. As much as it’s appealing to want some greater force to come and sort it all out, that never worked out for me. And I sort of get that it can work for other people. But that’s just the way things go. Some things are right for one person but terrible for another. Like dairy in the winter. Makes my eczema go mental. But others are fine with it.
 
I feel pretty blessed to be surrounded by the people in my life who have supported me and been able to hold their own when shit goes down for long enough to turn things around. That’s fucking inspiring. And, equally, I’m blessed to have those people around me who are honest and real enough to say “shit, I’m in over my head. I need to ask Andey about this.” when they hit a wall or a find themselves in a crazy shitstorm.
 
Whether it’s old friends or new friends, family or my wife, there are people around me that I’m so grateful to be in proximity with. These are the people who have helped me get to where I am now. And that (all of the above) is exactly where my starting point is this moment. It’s where I’m carrying on from as I keep moving forward, keep adjusting and making the right choices to set my life up in the way that works for me. Part of that, of course, is to work with Rosa to set our shared lives up in the way that is best for us. Which, naturally means that we are both learning a lot about ourselves and cutting the fat wherever necessary.
 
Speaking for myself primarily here, 80% of my energy is focused on increasing happiness and decreasing drama in my life. It’s what I’m all about. I’ve sort of got to that point now (coming on more and more over the past few years) where I have literally zero tolerance for drama. Problems, be gone. They’re useful to make life better and show me where there’s a leakage of energy or where the rigging is weak but that’s as far as it goes. Like… I see a bullshit, I kill a bullshit.
 
And it all means that I’m now building an awesome business that I can look at and be proud of. It means that, together with Rosa, I am able to change lives and see people growing in a way that they are facing their life like a dragon with fire in its belly. It means that I am helping people to make tidal waves in THEIR lives so that they can see THEIR vision realised. That’s what it’s all about. And that’s what keeps me up at night. That’s why I’m up at 7 six out of seven days of the week. That’s why I work my fingers to the bone to make Darshan Road what it needs to be. That’s why I don’t stop learning and growing and turning to face my own bullshit. And it’s why I’m relentless.

Don’t fear the man who is sad or angry. Don’t fear the man who’s scared or weary. Fear the man who’s fed up. Fear the man who’s hungry for more.

I am hungry. I am desperate to pulverise the useless, the pointless, the unnecessary, the wasteful. I am hungry for annihilating the dead weight, the draining and the unfulfilling. And I am forever ready to put in the hours and see the fruits of my labour.
 
About 6 months ago the hunger set in. My drive intensified. All my interest in the soft, the half-arsed, the unclear and the second-best ended. Then and there, it ended. And what I’m glad about is that it never cost me my compassion. It never cost me the depth to listen to someone, to hear them and know their pain. It never cost me the capacity to put my own shit aside and get outside of myself long enough to actually make a difference for someone. And here I am, running an international business with clients across the world, doing just that.
 
I’ve got to say, I’m grateful for grace for getting behind me. I’m grateful for the people who support me and Rosa for getting behind us. I’m grateful for Rosa for being so damn incredible and for being here with me every step of the way. And I’m grateful for myself. Without whom, none of this would be possible.
 
Onwards and upwards I say. That’s the only two directions I’m interested in. Who’s with me?

 

(I shared it on facebook and thought you’d get something out of it).

Visit DarshanRoad.Com here.

Mothers Will Change The World

When asked who will be able to change the world, the Dalai Lama answered, “the world will be saved by western women.” Surely not women like Hillary Clinton. But women who have connected with what it actually means to be a woman – rather than women to who have embodied enough masculinity to survive in a male dominated field (such as politics).

I’d take Lammy-D’s statement and raise him “the world will be changed by western mothers.” But hang on, ’cause I’m not just doing a shout out for mothers. I mean, I love my mum to bits but stay with me here. Because what I see is that the most effective resource for making a real difference in ourselves – and by extension, the world – in pain.

If we have pain, then we have the raw materials to create immense strength. It’s like the mineral ore you got out of the rocks that time when you were definitely a miner. (Because, we’re all miners at heart). When you have the raw ore, you’ve gotta do something with it before it’s actually useful. You need tools to turn ore into ingots.

You need tools to turn pain into strength.

The tools needed vary from person to person. Traditional psychology is one tool – the pickaxe, let’s say. Traditional psychology gets it out of the rock and onto the ground. Then, maybe some NLP techniques or some Buddhist-esque insights are the next tool. We can call those the shovel. They get the ore from the floor into your cart. The cart being your determination – the will to make the change.

Then you arrive at the smelter with your raw pain. You shovel the ore into the smelter (your process) and you set some coal (Consideration/mindfulness/empathy/understanding) ablaze. With the fire from the coal (compassion), you heat the furnace and begin the transformation (your process). And what comes out at the end is true strength. Solid and true. Yes I’m thinking about Skyrim with this metaphor. What of it?

If pain is the ultimate resource for strength, who’s got the most? Why the western mother, that’s who! And I hope that any mothers reading this will find themselves brave enough to admit that what I’m about to say directly references you. Or that you will remain comfortably seated in the idea that you’re the exception and thus enjoy this blog post as an exciting romp through Andey’s mind and nothing more. Either way, you’ll find that western mothers have just about the most pain inside them in the entirety of our society.

The pain of seeing their little ball of love grow up (regular mum stuff), the pain of not feeling good enough (regular human stuff), the pain of losing love and relationships (usually the case in the modern world with our modern way of doing love and relationships), the pain of being super anxious or controlling (usually one or the other, though both tend to feed each other), the pain of the loss of youth and beauty as you age (regular woman stuff because society says that you’re only valuable or worthy of love as long as you can excite sexual arousal in other humans – I know, it’s insane. I’m just making observations here. Don’t shoot the messenger. Don’t shoot the message either. It’s good paper. At least scribble over the words and use the other side for something that doesn’t cause a regressive emotional reaction where you act out your own pain).

What I’m saying, jokes aside, is that if the mothers in our modern society were able to face their pain for long enough to turn it into strength then we’d have a bunch of crazy strong determined xena-esque warrior women who would get shit done.

If we could all just get outside of ourselves for long enough to sort shit out, we’d notice that the pain we feel isn’t unique to us. It’s pain. Not “my pain” or “your pain”. It’s just “pain” and everyone feels that. Even animals feel that. And it’s the same in everyone. And if we were to actually get outside of ourselves for long enough to really see that the same pain in our heart is the same in everyone else’s then something would change in us. If we felt that – and I mean, truly felt it – we would really know what compassion feels like. And then the world would have to change. Because… Well when a strong, determined woman wants something… Watch out.

Props to women and mum’s everywhere. You’re awesome. Even if you’re still holding onto that pain, you’re awesome. So many of us are holding onto our pain still. It’s pretty normal, that. Loads of us aren’t quite ready to let go yet. Just know that when you do, you’ll move mountains. Or, give the mountain the silent treatment until it comes to you…

Keep it real,

Live, love and play.

Andey

Addicted To Spirituality

If you look at addictive tendencies and behaviours closely enough, you’re probably going to notice that among all the “addicts”, there is a commonality. If you’re a medical doctor working in the medical industry who tends to agree with all of what you’ve been taught then it is possible that you have been trained to overlook or ignore certain things regarding early life trauma and addictive tendencies and chronic disease. At least, this is what Dr Gabor Mate points to in his work. A body of work which I’ve been delving into in recent days.

9dfc5ddfc7ad19bffb0751cf70ee8ca0Although I’m always fairly cautious when it comes to pigeon-holing myself, you could call me an “addict”. I’ve been through a number of addictions in my life, all stemming from the my addictive tendencies which themselves stem from adverse childhood experiences. I’ve been addicted to cannabis, cigarettes, intimate experiences, food, spirituality, the list goes on. And in my personal experience, I can definitely say that there is some merit to what Dr Mate talks about. Over the years, I’ve looked to a number of different substances, behaviours or experiences in an attempt to fill a void which would otherwise be left gaping and hollow. And although most would say that spirituality is the square to fit the square-shaped hole of addiction and pain, the reality is that really that spirituality actually only really began to fill that void. As sad as it is to say that, a lot of my spiritual journey has probably been more of an enabling experience than it has been a healing one. It was just another behaviour, another experience, that I could use to relieve the stress I had grown accustomed to, rather than uproot it and really overcome it. Even techniques that claimed to be the solution to these things were themselves, for me, enabling the very thing they were supposed to fix.

It’s not an easy thing to admit, that. But it’s true. And I dare say that it’s true for other people as well, not just me. Dr Mate defines addiction as something which has negative consequences that we continue to engage in despite the negative consequences. If that’s the case and spirituality has – as it has done for many of us – alienated us from friends and family, made it hard to work and participate in society in a well-rounded, respectful and critical manner, or even caused delusion or depression (which is not uncommon), then it is possible that spirituality in this instance is an addiction.

For me, that was the case. The particular (more cultist) vein of spirituality I landed myself in the midst of about three years ago now led me to severe delusion, damaged relationships with my family and irreparable relationships with friends among other things. It was an insane two years but honestly, it left me better off. I think that’s one thing that we had to admit about our addictions. When we come out of the end of a particular attachment, we have to admit to ourselves the bad consequences it had but we also have admit that there was good things to come of it as well. f84d7aaa88619d3a5e24a1da7939b749

Cannabis altered my brain in such a way that I am able to understand things in such a way that most others are not. It also helped me to relearn my relationship with creativity and the creative process. Both things I am incredibly grateful for. It also showed me about the intense capacity for want and denial that we humans are capable of.

My addiction to physical gratification, which has manifested as a seeking for intimate experiences and the pursuit of other physical sensations most frequently throughout my life as a whole but also as an addiction to intimate interactions (to put it eloquently) in my teenage years taught me lots of things about loyalty and its wicked brother betrayal as well as about the mind-body connection. It is because of the betrayal in and untamed roguishness of my teenage years that I am so fiercely ruthlessly loyal, honest and truthful now.

My addiction to food and other escapist behaviours is still on-going, though I am pretty happy to report that I haven’t smoked a single thing for about two years now. I think, I don’t keep count. I once heard it said that if you are counting your days sober then you’re still addicted so I ensured I didn’t fall into that one. And I can say, for those of you that don’t know me personally or are new to my blog here, I am happily married to the love of my life.

Of all the addictions though, the one that is the most confusing, it has to be said, is the addiction to spirituality. Why confusing? Because it’s not all bad. I think of it all, the bad bits are mostly the bits I shed. Things like the exclusive cult mentality, the weird beliefs that set me apart from others rather than helped me to access a deep compassion for them and things like that. The Law of Attraction idea. Pfffff. Imagine that one for an addict. Fuck. Like, seriously. If it actually worked at any point for me, just imagine. Maybe that’s why it never worked. Maybe some iridescent father figure saw my wallowing addictive nature and was like “Nah mate, you probably shouldn’t be one of them powerful creators like the shiny unicorn girls because like, you’ll just get fucked up and do nothing forever.” I joke, of course. That’s totally fantasy.

I feel like when it comes to addictive tendencies and spirituality, the biggest benefit can be gained through facing the biggest challenge – as is usually the case. I think it’s about separating the stuff that is dogma, doctrine or concept from your actual personal experience. For example, I have no actual tangible experience of this Law of Attraction concept. Literally, anything I could put forward as proof would just as easily be torn to pieces by a little bit of logic and a critical eye. I get that other people perhaps have more convincing testimonies and that’s great. For those guys, hats off to you. If it works for you, it works for you. Good. I just don’t wanna be banging my head against a wall for something that doesn’t work for me and never has.

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So given that I’ve actually had no experience that I can actually say is proof the Law of Attraction, I would discount it. But then, I’m left with the pieces of what would’ve pointed

to a proof that could not be certified. Namely, the big long list of traits I wanted in a partner that I then later found in their entirety in Rosa. So, it must be explained some other way which is either more convincing than or more certifiable than the previous idea. For me, that can be shown through psychology (emittance of subtle signals), karma (cause and effect), grace (the flow of events and the guiding hand that seems to be moving everything outside of human control) and sheer luck (which although it is denied by some contemporary philosophers masquerading as spiritual seekers, it has to be said that it is at least marginally likely that luck itself plays a hand in the unfolding of events).

Regardless, all that is to say that unravelling addiction to spirituality is to understand several things…

1. What is concept and what is personal experience. This is so that we might free ourselves from the majority or not the totality of mind-made illusions/delusions surrounding our faith and/or belief in spirituality and similar.

2. Why the spirituality itself became something addictive. This is so that we might further understand the void that we are trying to fill, the pain we are trying to subdue and the stress we are trying to calm in using spirituality.

3. The negative affect that the detrimental elements of the spirituality is having on life. This is so that we can minimise and in time eliminate the negative repercussions our spirituality practice might have on our lives. This would be done in such a way that it is not preserving detrimental practices and minimising negative consequences but rather in such a way that the detrimental practices are eliminated altogether. A tricky practice if we do not understand the void we feel, the pain we are trying to subdue and the stress we are trying to calm.

The list would go on and differ for each personal experience, I feel. So getting to grips with this on a personal level, for each of us, seems paramount. It should suffice to say that when we have shed the concepts, dogma and doctrine of our spirituality, what remains is only our personal experience. And then it becomes much less a “spiritual” experience and much more of a “life” experience. It becomes less important to take on new information and more important to pay attention to your experience in each moment. Not that taking on new information is bad. It can be good. It can be incredibly useful. But to use that as our sole conduit to spiritual practice is largely without benefit.

I’m saying this because I have noticed that, at least for me, as an addictive person when I take something on in the heat of an addictive episode (from a phase of passion as it comes) then it doesn’t tend to stick. When I’m totally immersed in spirituality, I become a “spiritual person” but it wears off. When I was totally immersed in smoking weed, I became someone who was very interested in particular types of media, conversation, behaviour and so on. But when the addiction ended, the interested ended too. As such, using advice offered because the advice has been offered is never as beneficial as listening fully to the advice, remembering the advice and then – when it feels like the right time – applying the advice in a organic way.

That’s something that comes up a lot for me. Being true to the organic, natural nature of your own personal path. Whether that path is spirituality, magic, personal development or whatever. I’m talking about being true to yourself and your path in such a way that you are allowing yourself the space to organically grow, rather then to be buffeted around by the winds of trauma, anger, willpower and passion. Comparing your path to no other path, making no attempts to quantify your success or gauge it next to that of another. Of course, all this is to say, consider what I am saying, remember it and if it becomes something that makes sense to apply at some point in your life, then apply it then. Don’t just take it on now because you heard it and agree with it.

Addiction is a vast topic and it’s one that I could easily speak on at length. Thanks to my own personal experience, I have plenty to say and plenty to learn. So, over the coming months, I’m going to be sharing some of my experiences, some of the lessons I have learned and some of the insights I have gained as I travel my own journey to understanding the pain and stress that has given rise to my particular void – the void I try to fill with my addictions and a void that you too will know well if you are an addict too.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll probably have noticed by now (or will notice soon) that your addictive tendencies have caused you all sorts of problems in accessing happiness and success in your life. I know that’s true for me. My addictions have been the reason I’ve self-sabotaged so many times. More time than I can count on my hands. And if I’m totally honest with you, I’m at a point now where I’m pretty fed up with it. I keep looking at my life and thinking, how come I keep coming up against walls in my success and happiness. It’s not as if my life is half as bad as it was three years ago when I was smoking more weed than I could afford in a day and living in a tiny 6×6 utility room with exponentially worsening eczema and asthma. I’m 100 times better off now than I was then. But still, there’s been something in the way of my success and my happiness. What it was was pretty much a mystery to me until the last week where I realised that it is actually my addictive tendencies that are sabotaging me.

f7adbc69b8c7fe66b10068cabf423bd7And you know me, if I see a lie I have to crush it. That’s the reason I stopped smoking. That’s the reason I gave up being a “Spiritual Teacher”. It’s the reason I started playing music again and taking it more seriously – all things you’ll remember if you’ve been following my blog. So, I’m looking at the fact that my addictive tendencies are severely limiting my access to happiness and success and you know what I’m going to do. I’m going to crush it. Or, at least, I’m going to do everything in my power to find out how. And I’ll be honest, I don’t even know if it can be done. But, I’ll be damned if I don’t make damn sure. If you’re at this point too… If you’re at the point now where you’re fed up of letting your addictive tendencies get in the way of your happiness and success then I’m with you.

Let’s figure this out together. Actually, fuck it, I’d like to formally invite you to join me on this journey. If you’d like to be part of it, click here and join my newsletter and you’ll get all the latest updates straight to your inbox. I’ll make sure that you get notified about all the new blog posts and video I am uploading. And I’ll make sure you’re the first to hear about them too. The second they go live, you’ll know. And, with any luck, we’ll get to the bottom of this thing together and start to live happier more successful lives. I’m talking, shiny unicorn shit my friend.

If that’s what you want, get your name on that mailing list and I’ll be in touch with your sweet face.

Keep it real,

Live, love and play.

Andey

A Break Before I Break

This has been about as intense as days get. The last handful days have been super intense to be fair. Loads of crazy shit has been going on. Worldwide and here in the Fellowes-Ortega household. From my home country changing its status in the world and this country (Mexico) rebelling against its leaders in a huge way – which is largely a positive thing in my opinion and objectively. Though we will see if it goes how it should go or if it goes differently. On top of all that, we’ve had the full moon this last week too which, as always, brought its own share of craziness.

Apparently it was the same type of moon that we had in the summer of love..? You’d expect everyone to be rolling around naked, mid-coitus, eh? I guess the energy is just more of real intense purging than of an outright sex-moon. But yeah. I had a bunch of stuff come up about my past and some experiences which I had tried to forget. A load of guilt and shame surrounding that period of my life. That and a weird mix of feelings where I just want the people who were involved in those episodes to be alright and doing well. I do hope they are.

13553217_839783286153308_1727652955_nThen after that, our laptop started messing up. The mains had a false contact a few months back and the other day, it started playing up again. To use the laptop now, it has to be precariously balanced on our “table” (really an ‘up-cycled’ plastic bucket spray painted gold with a large flat cardboard box on top of it) and used incredibly carefully. I’ve not had the breakdown I usually have yet. The “I don’t want much” outburst. We’ll see.

Nonetheless, I’m in need of a detox. Energy detox. I need to “de-stress” as my mum calls it. De-stress and chill the fuck out!

I feel like that’s something we all need to give ourselves sometimes. That chance to think about nothing of import. That opportunity to say no to things you’d usually say yes to. I’ve felt for a fair while now that brief “episodes of madness” are crucial for health in a world like ours – one which requires relentless attention to maintain any part in. It can be pretty tiring to be fair. It can be totally exhausting to be honest. Yet, we’re not without hope!

Whether your life is set up in a way that the demands in your life are set by bosses or family members or set by yourself, there’s always that moment where you get like, “fuck this shit man. I need a break.” Some more often than others. I mean, the generation I’m part of are about as acclimatised to genuine elbow grease as the generations before are to VR gaming – an experience even the younger generation are just hearing is a possibility come reality. This naturally means that, for my generation, the “fuck it” threshold is considerably closer in any given moment next to that of the baby boomers for example.

What that means is that when life gets tough and stays that way, we all get tired out and fed up very quickly. And I’m no exception to this rule. Whether you frame it as a bad thing as say we just don’t appreciate the value of “good hard work” or whether you frame it as a good thing and say that our tolerance to bullshit is just somewhat lower, it has to be said that there’s definitely a benefit in a few days of madness – however frequent.

A YouTube channel described it perfectly in this video about the sanity of madness. They pointed out that we should definitely allow ourselves to have a couple of days where we do things differently how to we usually do them – to make different choices and respond to things in a different way. To spend your whole weekend naked or to answer every phone call, email or other form of text message with a different quote from your favourite film or tv show or even with just something you made up and is totally irrelevant. To speak in an accent that isn’t your own with every new person you cross paths with knowing you’ll never see them again. Or even just to sit around in your underwear, ignoring every call, message or other reminder that there is a world outside of Netflix and chill. These are freedoms afforded to us when we afford ourselves a few days of madness.

Personally, I’ve been letting my reigns be a bit looser of late – as a general rule. 9c6824b743056a1dc99be43ac363c8ddReplying to people’s messages/email/calls at a time that works for me rather than whenever I receive them. Less pressure that way. Caller ID doesn’t mean you have to pick up. It just means you know who to call back when you’re ready to. If you’re ready to. To realise that life does go on without you is quite liberating. And outside of desperate emergencies and acts of God, most times you don’t actually need to answer the phone in that moment or reply to that message instantly. My general rule is that if someone calls me more than twice, it’s probably urgent. If someone sends me a stream of messages and uses my name a lot or seems like they’re desperate, I’d be more likely to check them sooner. But life does go on. And there’s little that can’t wait three days while I sit around in my pants and play quests I’ve done a million times before on my favourite game of all time (The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion).

All this reminds me of a surprising realisation I had after meditating with my wife one night about a year ago. We laid on the bed, before settling down to sleep for the night, and meditated for about twenty minutes. Afterwards, we were both so serenely rested in ourselves that neither of us had the inspiration to speak. In fact, it almost felt like a crime to break the beautiful breathtaking silence which had been left behind by our meditation. Neither of us said a thing as we finished our night-time routine and fell asleep for the night.

It was only the next day when I reflected on what had happened in the silence that I realised something… 80% of what we say could be conveyed in only 20% of the words. Moreover, most of what we say is said just for the sake of speaking – of being involved in an interaction. Usually it’s idle and it goes nowhere. Something which the Buddha alluded to being a rather empty act in his teachings.

When you look at this on a larger scale, and superimpose the principle over other areas of life, it’s quite clear to see that the large majority of what we do in our lives is this empty fluff. And most of it is reactive. We have a thought, we speak about it out loud. We think to do something, we do it. There’s less of a vetting process than there perhaps should be. On top of the relentless babble of the mind, we do still have all these rules and regulations for ourselves to follow. It’s no wonder that we start to break after a certain point.

kitkatno
Have a break or something

When things start to erode our honourable and valiant patience, we aren’t representing ourselves properly in our social interactions or in our actions in general. We feel tested by everything that happens that doesn’t go exactly according to our specifications. We get fed up and worked up really easily. It’s understandable. Why wouldn’t we snap? Sometimes we do need a break. And I feel like it’s much better to give ourselves a break so that we don’t break. I feel like it’s a good thing to act out of character as an intentional practice to stir up your inner pot of creativity and refresh your circuits – recharge your batteries. It’s certainly a better choice to misrepresent ourselves as part of an intentional inner-cleanliness practice rather than out of reactive patterns that end up hurting people and hurting ourselves.

Let’s face it, we’re going to get to the point where it all gets too much at some stage anyway. We may as well take the time for ourselves before we go all Adam Sandler in Anger Management about it. (One of the only films of Adam Sandler actually worth watching in my opinion). Is it not much better to give ourselves a few days of madness before returning to the craziness of life? And hey, maybe we’ll enjoy being insane so much that we don’t want to be the caged hen working at a desk with deadlines kind of crazy any more! Maybe we’ll want to be a swallow flying about and carrying coconuts from one continent to another! Maybe we’ll be an African swallow. Maybe a European one. Maybe a Brexit one. Who knows.

Just let it all hang out. Chill for a bit if you need to. You’ve got my support. As if you needed it.

Keep it real

Live, love and play

Andey

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