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Andey Fellowes

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 form 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

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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.

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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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E.U, Advice & Action.

I look around and see a world divided. In this moment, it’s more evident that it’s been for quite a while. I’m not going to write that it was perfect before. But in the two countries I love and care about the most, there’s a divide. In my home country, England, everybody is up in arms about whether or not the U.K should be part of the E.U. A debate that is really categorically taking place between various media outlets and their readers in one way or another. eb60f554d51cadf86b02b1ab49ece055All opinions taken from other people who have made a good case rather than offered the unbiased facts. Unbiased facts that are, at current, unavailable. The ‘facts’ available are offered by invested parties with their own spin – largely. It’s all social endorsement. If someone we trust has a strong enough opinion, we’ll probably side with them. That or if someone’s opinion intersects with our own and that person speaks loudly and angrily enough about it then we’ll agree with them as a person. (See presidential election in the U.S – Re: Donald Trump).

So I flick onto social media (my connection with the world outside of my home) and I see people saying all of their things about the current drama that is the E.U referendum. All I can say is that I want the best for everyone’s lives and cannot ensure that I am contributing to that future in whatever choice I would make because the necessary facts are not available to me as far as I know.

mx)1918Here in Mexico, where I’m living, I hear news from the south. School teachers are themselves up in arms against the government. It’s a tricky situation. There’s a government who just seems incapable of addressing the needs of the people because it is too busy preserving its own comfort. Then there’s a new legislation they’ve decided to implement that means that all school teachers are to be tested to ensure that they are fit to teach the next generation of humans who will go on to either restore or wreck the country. The teachers, possibly fearful that they will lose the security of their life and that of the children, are now protesting it. The teachers, I’d imagine, are thinking many things. One of which is likely “This government does shit for us and what it does do it does to fuck us over.” But they’ll be thinking that in Spanish probably.

Anyway, what does the government here do to show that it really cares about the well-being of the people it is saying their new rule is about helping? They start killing the protesting teachers. Amazing. So, naturally, people are pretty angry about that.

And I’m sitting here, drinking coffee, reflecting on it all. It’s easy to fall into the idea that, because neither thing is happening on my doorstep, it doesn’t affect me or mine. And that would be enough to get some people comfortable enough to leave it all alone in their mind. The other side of the coin is that, well, if I knew it would make a difference then I’d stand up and do something about one or the other. But then, how do we know? If I am to give my life to a cause, how am I to know that it will really make a difference? I think that’s probably something we all feel when we look at this sort of a situation. That sense, “How do I know that anything I do will significant a decade from now?” Without sufficient knowledge, it’s tough to make the right choices.

We live in a society of exponential growth, exponential efficiency. But that efficiency is not to be mistaken for effectiveness or flourishing. When you’re in a tough situation, or looking to move forward, asking the people who are in the position in life that you’d like to be in is always a hundred times better than asking the people close to you who care about you but don’t really know what they’re talking about. If you’re talking about moving your life in a direction that is entirely new to you then it’s safe to say that it’s most likely a direction entirely new to the people who raised you too. Have you ever been ready to pursue something a bit outside of the box and got that response from your parents, siblings or friends that just seeds doubt in your mind? If not, you can try for it to prove this point.

Let’s say you want to leave your job and start a new business… You take your business proposal to two people. First, your mum or dad (who is a baby boomer and is used to working hard and getting a decent wage for it or is from the next generation and has been taught that the way you get ahead in life is to climb the rungs of a ladder you actually can’t see the top of). The other, a successful business owner in your home-town who perhaps began with a small shop or product-selling website and has now grown to have fifty to a hundred employees all working to further their dream. They’re not CEO of Microsoft or anything like that. But they’re living a life closer to the life you want to live than your parents are. Assuming your parents aren’t the pillar-of-the-community small business owner I described above.

Super-impose this scenario over your own life and adjust it where necessary. Make up a fake business idea that could be viable and try it out. See who encourages you and see who seeds doubt. Pay attention to detail in your fake-business idea. If you don’t have the story water-tight, you might get support from the wrong people and be shot down by the people who can actually help you.

My point being, if you’re taking advice from the people who aren’t living the life you want to live then it’s going to be pretty tough when you start asking yourself why it isn’t working (or why you’re not happy with your life) and have to admit that you took bad advice from someone who loves you and is terrified of seeing you fail. I’ve taken bad advice in the past, we all have I think. I took money advice from people who had none and were themselves trapped in a mindset of scarcity (scar-city). I took advice on happiness from someone who was depressed and unable to sort their own life out. And I took advice on strategy from people who were totally emotionally driven. Guess how their advice worked out? If you don’t have the knowledge, it’s tough to make the right call.

In the end, it was useful to have taken the bad advice though. In some way, it was the perfect storm because it got me to here. Married in a flourishing relationship that enables both me and my wife to feel loved and supported, running my own business and effectively making other people’s live better, living in a hot country and as such the envy of at least a handful of people back home. But now, having learned my lesson, I take advice on money from the people who have it and live rich lives in more ways than just in terms of finance. I take advice on happiness from people whom I know are fulfilled and genuinely contented in their lives. I take advice on strategy from someone who lives it, succeeds with it and really walks their walk. And most importantly of all, I take my own advice when it comes to problem-solving. How can I trust that advice? Because of all the problems I’ve come up against, I’ve been the one to solve them and move myself ahead. With all the advice I’d received, who knew what the right move was in the end? It’s one of the reasons I offer advice to people. I know that I can see the way out of any difficult situation provided I have enough information. I can map out the lay of the land and plot a course out of it. Ask any of my past clients, they’ll tell you the same.

20120827_Mexico-City_0334Recently, my wife was talking to the owner of the business she’s working with at the moment. She was asking him about how he would advise young people starting their own business to invest their money well and do so in a way that yields worthwhile results, his advise was thought-provoking and is something I’ll definitely remember. His story of success began when we took a trip to Mexico City. While there, he saw people making and selling clothing accessories on the street. He saw the prices and realised that in his city, there was no outlet for these sorts of things. Sensing opportunity, he set up a deal with some of the small business owners there in Mexico City and started to sell their products for a higher price in his city.

His advice to my wife was that when people have money – especially here in this city – they immediately think “What should we spent it on?” They think about all the things they want to have. And the people that don’t think about spending straight off, they think about saving it all. Rarely do people know the best way to distribute their savings. In my experience, based on the advice I’ve received from numerous successful people who themselves are brilliant with money, the best way of handling money is to invest instead of spend. Don’t give up the money for something that will not improve your quality of life. That’s like flushing it down the toilet. Invest it in something that will increase your quality of life or the quality of life of another. Something that will be worthwhile. But don’t invest it all. Save some too. But don’t save it all.

I like the idea of creating savings and creating savings’ savings. That way you have your savings and then your savings have savings. Meaning that you can’t touch your savings’ savings because they don’t belong to you. They belong to your savings. And you can’t use up all you savings because then your savings’ savings will be orphaned. And that’s mean. We all have a well-spring of guilt within us, why not use it to your advantage?13514303_838007216330915_1385821648_n

Turning all this back around, it’s about knowing enough to make informed choices. I can’t honestly put all my eggs in one basket in the case of the E.U referendum because there’s just not enough information. Both the government and the protesters here in Mexico are suffering from a lack of information too.

So, at the end of it all, if we’re ever in a tough spot, the best thing we can do is remain impartial and unbiased in a search for the necessary knowledge to make an informed decision. Like Wu Wei – action through inaction. It’s a principle that points to effortless movement. If you are finding a choice difficult to make you clearly don’t have enough information. If you had enough information, you’d be able to make the right choice without effort. Of course, that’s all dependant on you not being totally invested and thus disabled by your emotions. Invest some but not everything. Save some but not all of it.

Keep it real,

Live, love and play.

Andey

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My Strategy For When Things Go Wrong

That feeling, you know it, the one where things are weird and tense for a bit… Things get all heavy and stressful. They build and build and then boom… One thing shifts and it all comes tumbling down? It’s like Jenga but life. Like, you set all these pieces in place and through the natural progression of events (moving in only the way that they can) pieces get removed. One by one, each pieces removed tilts the strength of the tower a little more until finally KABLAM. And then you’re like, “Oh no. That’s bad.” and then you’re like, “Oh well, that was fun.”

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This is Jenga. Say hi to Jenga. It is Jenga.

In life it’s largely the same, in my experience. What’s interested though – and it’s something that I’ve noticed happening to me more and more lately (perhaps you can relate) – is that when things have built up to the point of a shift absolutely needing to occur (as in, there’s no way in hell things can keep going the way they have been and so something has to change) one thing falters. And when one thing falters, the tower starts to falter. And then when that one thing gives, loads of other things start to give way too. It’s sort of like the Tower card in Tarot, I guess. If you’re familiar with Tarot, you’ll get what I mean. If not, it’s about the destruction of illusions and certain ways of things carrying on. It leaves things different when its course is run.

It’s with this realisation, coupled with that pervasive sense that most things tend to settle as they settle and change when they change, that I’m finding each challenge I’m faced with somewhat easiest to remain calm in the face of than the last. It’s like, five years ago, one problem happened and it toppled me for days – sometimes weeks. Yeah, I was a sensitive emotional wreck. Lol. Then going back even a year ago, a few things messing up hit me harder than it does now. After one thing going wrong I’d be like “Meh” then another thing would go wrong and I’d be like, “damn it” then another would be added to the pile and I’d be like “Shit damn fuck this shit.” and I’d get all ancy and emotional. And we all know that emotion just is not a sustainable source for decision making energy. Unless it’s backed by sound reasoning that is.

Now, though, I’m pleased to report that things going wrong once or twice is usually proceeded by a series of strategic responses from me. It goes like this…

“If this is happened, it was obviously necessary for some reason.”

“Has this happened due to an oversight or lack of action on my part?”

“If so, how can I ensure that it doesn’t happen again?”

“What can I learn from this so that, despite having ensured it doesn’t happen again, I am still able to have gained something worthwhile from the experience?”

Those questions and statements with a few minor circumstance-specific tweaks are about as useful as questions/statements come when things go wrong.

That’s when things go wrong once or twice. Any more than that (or even sometimes as soon as it goes wrong a second time), I respond with more drive. My responses turn from considered and reflective to considered and destructive. Still with emotion being driven by rationality and logic of course. Instead of the more cool and collected response I would’ve had when it first went wrong. This is what follows

“If this is happened, it’s clearly for a reason. Even if I don’t like it, it’s still happened.”

“What this my fault or someone else’s?” (Objective question. Sometimes it your fault and you need to fix it. Other times, it is actually someone else’s fault. This is objective and to be followed up by action and is therefore not “The Blame Game”).

If my fault: “What do I need to stop doing or do more of to make sure this never happens again?”

If someone else’s fault and they are not essential to my life: “How can I delete them from my life without forgoing the benefits of their presence, however minor.” (This might mean doing more or being more of a certain thing myself. That’s fine if they’re causing a lot of hassle. I’d rather put in extra work for less hassle than deal with time-wasters for and hassle.)

If someone else’s fault and they are essential to my life: “How can I make it clear to this person that they have really messed things up in a way that will show them what they have done/failed to do is not only bad for me but for them and everyone else concerned? How can I do this in a way that builds them up rather than beats them down?” (A beat down person does not contribute positively or in a way that yield positive results long-term). OR, “How can I remove this responsibility from them and assign it to myself or someone else without increasing hassle or negative repercussions?”

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Be gone you unnecessary unnecessity

That might sound ruthless to some and it is intended to be. One of the things I’ve learned through the time I’ve spent being a wishy-washy person and dealing with other wishy-washy people is that wishy-wash-i-ness does not get things done. The resting nature of a wishy-washy mindset is to not make choices, not take actions and to sit around deliberating or talking fluff. That in itself is not not taking action. It’s still a decision. It’s the decision to be in-active, unproductive and therefore not a positive influence on the environment around them. As such, I have – over the years – gradually become less in-active and emotional and more pro-active, deliberate and purpose-driven.

Having a strategy in place is key.

Which leads me to an interesting point. For most people Spirituality is one thing and Personal Development is another. For most, these are two separate schools of thought sitting quite nicely at their desks in different corners of the same room. One desk is neat, tidy and a little bit neurotic, sat at by various business men and women with good-intentions and either no self-confidence or a start-up enterprise that needs more juice. And the other is covered in flowers, crystals and is itself neurotic in its own way – only the neurosis is cloaked by a thin veil of “beautiful chaos” so aptly and appallingly called “beautiful mess”. Guess which is which.

Yeah, for most people those are different schools of thought – different things entirely. For me, however, growing up with a Dad heavily into both at different points of his life. I find it largely quite difficult to tell the difference between the two. I hear people talking about energy work and all that and I think… “Yeah but what good is that if you’re not using it to shift your psychological approach to yourself and your life?” And then I see people talking about personal development and core values and all of that and I think… “But what good is that if it doesn’t help you find God?” And that’s where I’ve sort of sat for years. Without realising it, I’ve been sitting at the intersection of a very busy t-junction wondering why only the odd person here or there is sitting down with me while everyone else is caught up in their insane little bubbles of either being largely too focus on the “Bigger” things or on themselves.

That’s not a slight at either camp. There are, I’m sure, plenty of people within either group who are very balanced and mature individuals capable of seeing both sides of the coin and accepting the diverse nature of what life requires from us. You are, I’m certain, one of those people. Actually, I am certain you are otherwise you’d probably not be reading this right now. A takes a special sort of person to be here reading this. If that’s you, you’re awesome. Have a gold star. :B

Anyway, yeah, I find myself at this interesting crossroads. But not with the pressing obligation to choose one road and travel on it… Much more like the guy who moves into a new apartment without realising it’s right next to a train-track. Wondering why there’s always so much noise and why I never really find myself agreeing with much that is said – because most people seem (in my opinion) to be missing one side of a very valuable coin. Like one of those 5 pound coins that were circulating years back. I think my Nan still has one of them. She’s the type of woman who gives her grandkids shiny 2 pence pieces because they were shiny. Is that a type of woman? Or just her…

Lol.

Keep it real,

Live, love and play.

Andey x

 

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Meaning Mean Means

Man’s search for meaning. The thing that, in life, we can’t seem to escape. That’s the one question on so many lips without ever really being spoken in such plain words. It’s always cloaked with some caveat. “What does it mean if..?” As if the “if” section of the question is more significant than the prefix. And then there’s always a bunch of follow up questions which come to glorify the already inflated view of the second part of the question… “What does it mean if Trump becomes president? What does that say about the American people? What will that mean for the world? Will America publicly become just as volatile as the nations it claims to want to protect itself and other countries from?”

The whole Trump thing is just one example of course. But it’s one on a lot of minds at the moment because it’s… Well, for two reasons. 1. He’s on all the news. All of it. 2. The prospect of Donald Trump as president is quite frankly equally as scary as it is a total pain in the arse for the open-minded, level-headed intelligent people of the world. Not to poo poo the people who are supporting him. If you are supporting him, you have fallen for it. And that’s fine. It’s a convincing charade, politics. And even more so when the current leading cast of the show is not one but two decidedly clever idiots. Hillary being the less clever more idiotic of the two. But I digress. I’m not here to talk about fools and their fools.

592d8f217823c8e6dc761651c80215e7Meaning. We miss the point of what it means to want to know the meaning of so much when we focus on the things rather than on our quest for meaning itself. Simply put, “if” and everything after it is hardly the most interesting thing about the question, “What does it mean?” And it’s that question that has been hanging around like a bad smell for as long as humans developed the capacity for consideration and reflection. I’m not gonna claim to have the answer to it. All I can say is that it all means what we want it to mean. Whatever we’re looking at, its meaning does come from us to some extent. And it’s that which has got us all messed up for so long, I reckon.

I was listening to an interview with Tony Robbins recently. (If you don’t know who he is, get out from under that rock and Google him). And he said that most people say they are looking for happiness but what they’re looking for is meaning. I could take that further and say we’re looking for a constant. But at this level, we could say that we’re looking for something which constantly means the same thing, doesn’t hurt us and also brings us peace/relief/happiness to recognise.

The paradox would be that meaning is simultaneously what brings joy/peace/relief *and* pain->suffering. It’s that which causes us to get so wrapped up in things but it’s also exactly what makes life worth living. It’s mental and totally unfair when you look at it. But the thing is, life doesn’t deal in fairness and kindness. Life is just life and it’s generally geared towards efficiency and necessity. As humans, what we want is effectiveness and comfort, so we have to be alchemists to make it through. Otherwise shit just keeps going wrong and we get all ancy about it.

In an interview with Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, Seth said that on the rare occasions he goes to any Hollywood party, all the comedians tend to be huddled together in the corner. He went on to say that they would be there laughing at everyone else at the party. Sound like my kind of people. He added that that’s because comedians are the ones who know how ridiculous life is. Honestly, it’s totally ludicrous. Interestingly enough, Jamie Foxx – after years doing stand-up and being around other comedians doing stand-up – told Tim Ferriss (who also did the interviews with Seth, Evan and Tony Robbins. Yeah, I’ve been binging this week) that most comedians want to look good. Hence why most comedians start out skinny and end up building muscle and stuff. See, Russell Howard.

It would stand to reason then that- if they want to look good and are dedicated enough to “looking good” rather than “feeling good in their body” or “bring healthy” then they are of a self-conscious, nervous or otherwise anxious disposition. Interesting then that in order to be self-conscious, nervous or anxious you have to have attributed some degree of meaning to things. And in order to be successful as a comedian – as in, be funny relentlessly and relentlessly see things in a light-hearted and funny enough way to make a new stand-up routine regularly – ( 9 times out of 10 with obvious exceptions) you have to be in some way self-conscious, nervous or anxious. So, basically, again as always, it doesn’t matter really. You can’t win or lose. It just comes down to studying how things work, learning from them and not getting too day time soap opera about it all.

I think that’s my point today. Yeah. For now anyway. But now I’ll go eat breakfast and take a painkiller because my head is throbbing like… You don’t wanna know.

Just a final note, meaning can keep us in fear. It’s more common that we’d expect. Too much too intense meaning causes us to get all fearful and anxious. If you’re feeling like you’re done with that shit, you can join me and 20 other experts in personal development in a 21 days Face Your Fear challenge, set up and put together by a friend of mine, Bristena Mantu. If you’re ready for that, click here and register for free now 😀

Have a nice day!

Keep it real,

Live, love and play.

Andey x

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If Only For A Moment

Odd, isn’t it? What we get used to. The smell of the air after rain – petrichor. The heat of a lover sleeping beside you. The aching of bones as you drag yourself out of bed of an early morning to a job you’re of two minds about. We each have those little addictions, those little rituals that we have to keep up for various reasons. Be it the brushing of the teeth to keep them from falling out – a job I can see not having its desired effects in my case; be it the warming of water for coffee or tea or that first morning cigarette. I remember the feeling well. That weird light-headed feeling and that odd lethargy that sets in just for a moment and it all worth it.

All these things, highlighting our inability or perhaps just incapacity to ever be very good at “suddenly”. It’s all we can do to keep our shit together and ride out the storm sometimes. And when we’ve got our little patterns and our little rituals, it feels all the more tolerable.
For me, a few things have become commonplace without any deliberate or conscious effort. The first, that when I wake up in the morning I stand on the landing in a zombie-like half asleep, crusted-eye stupor and stare out of the window. With eyes only half adjusted to the already bright and growing morning light, I see houses and houses for miles. Humans. That’s what we do, after all.

Standing there, I’m faced with the heat of the morning sun bleeding through the landing window onto my face – warming me where the A/C (which relentlessly switches itself on and brings the house to far too cold – need to change that) had cooled me. Something about the scene reminds me of home.

I don’t think whether it’s the silence of the home as Rosa continues to sleep. I don’t know whether it’s waking up early. I don’t know whether it’s the temperature or the sunlight (probably not the sunlight), but something brings me to this feeling of nostalgia. A feeling which, without any deliberate invocation has found itself a regular slot in my days.
It’s not a sad feeling though, not at all. Far from it. It’s a warm, warm feeling – a lovely reminder that I love my home country and my family.

Living a life like mine, with an internal world that is so drastically changeable from one day to the next – clear-headed, task-oriented and high-achieving some day and then tired, resentful and somewhat melancholy on others – you get used to swinging pendulum of emotion. There’s this inescapable sense that whatever you’re feeling won’t last and that whatever it is should be savoured/scorned (delete as appropriate) for this moment – at least if only for a second – because pretty soon things will change and the whole world will seem to change with it. A feeling not uncommon to many, probably. Not something entirely unique to me.

Today is a quiet day. A reflective day. At least for the moment. I like that. It’s peaceful and calm. And as I stand looking out of our landing window, remembering my loved ones back home, the feelings come and go yet those houses – stretching on for miles and miles – remain.

Keep it real

Live, love and play

Andey x

 

The Immersive Tides Of Change

In the last post I wrote, I talked about change; about this incessant and largely impractical tendency to try and force change when, in reality, it’s actually already happening. The thing with that being that if we’re trying to force new change without acknowledging the change that’s already taking place then, in effect, we not utilising all the available “change energy” and are actually just causing minor disturbances rather than lasting change. The difference between harnessing the needs of your body and eating mindfully and ‘going on a diet’ to lose weight only to restrict and deprive yourself and just get fat again afterwards. In reflecting a little more on this topic, I find myself in a curious place.

As the heavy and rather hard-to-see-through fog of the last week is lifting somewhat, a much needed and much appreciated clarity is dawning. Not a clarity on any one thing in particular as much as a general clear-headedness that means I can understand the difficulties I’m having much more as well as enjoy the more pleasant things much more. After being almost consumed by old patterns from earlier in my life, the breath of fresh air that this clarity has afforded me is totally appreciated.

Often I find that when I come through a tough time, I benefit hugely from taking on new information. And one thing that’s been a hobby of mine after rough patches for a number of years is watching documentaries. Usually, it’s documentaries which are totally unrelated to anything that’s going on in my life at the time but instead, documentaries which are based around a subject matter which is intriguing and as yet unexplored in my life. Kogi

When a close friend of mine died years back, part of my grieving process was to watch a bunch of documentaries. Most of them were to completely insane ideas largely instigated by Zecharia Sitchen and his Earth Chronicles books – ideas about humans being a slave species made by aliens to mine gold or something. An idea which I’ve since decided is far too humanised to be true. I’ll go into that another time. There was one documentary that stuck with me from that time though. It was about the Kogi tribe and their message for us, the “Younger Brother” as they call us. That really stuck with me for years and years. And even today, I remember it as vividly as if I watched it only yesterday.

This time, in working through this weird patch of my inner-world, I’ve turned to documentaries once more. And the subject this time? The Wild West of all things. What business do I have watching that stuff, eh? Little English LDR runaway like me looking at the U.S.A’s cultural history. I tell you what, though, there is something so captivating about these stories. Like so many people before me, in recent days I’ve found myself entranced by these tales of scandal, daring escapes, risky gunfights and the sand-coloured line between law and lawlessness. There is just something so alluring about the raw humanness of it all; about the rising of leadership in the midst of the anarchy that seemed to be all but drooling at the prospect of itself ensuing; about one or several men standing up against tyranny and injustice and against all off prevailing only to ride off into the night with more injustice tailing close behind breathing the words of being a wanted man with this wispy, ever-weakening voice. A voice so tired that it was easily ignored in the face of opportunity…

Wyatt Earp, 1929

Wyatt Earp, Billy The Kid, Jesse James… These were not names I grew up with in same-room-earshot. Growing up in England, I heard about Hitler and the IRA in my history classes whereas in the U.S, I’d imagine my lessons might have touched a little more of these icons and symbol of America’s relationship with freedom and tyranny. They probably would’ve gone into the whole Hitler thing too – it was, after all, a huge and traumatic chapter in humanities history. And one that we would all do well to learn from. That said, my disappointment after taking GCSE History to find out I’d just be studying Hitler and the IRA and not Old Celtic traditions was something I would hope was displayed abundantly on my face at the time. With that in mind, it’s possible that these things wouldn’t be taught in schools in the U.S. of A. Did you go to school in the U.S.A? Tell me in the comments below whether you learned about the Old West legends in history class?

In my researching of these figures, one stood out as certainly less of a favourite for me. Buffalo Bill. I don’t know whether it was because he was pitted against the native people of America and had a huge part in generating a demonised view of these people in the eyes of the regular folk at the time – not the only hand though mind you, the Native Americans certainly did their share of tarnishing of their own name, it seems. Though, there was a point where they cut their losses and tried to just not be wiped out by the relentless violence of the colonists. I don’t know whether it was the fact that he was neither a true hero nor a true showman, but something grey and ambiguous in between… But it’s safe to say that without Buffalo Bill, these stories possibly would’ve been forgotten in time and it was perhaps his doing that kept the interest in the Old Western tales years down the line. I don’t know if that’s the case. I’m guessing, of course.

What I can say on this is that whether it’s the twisted wrong-place-wrong-time heart and story of Billy The Kid or the heartbreak and heartache revenge tale of Wyatt Earp… There is something not just American about these stories… But something so honestly human about them. I feel as though it’s that which has brought me some relief and a generous load of curiosity in my exploration of these stories.

Much less than a distraction, this exploration of new terrain and into areas of my own psyche I’ve yet to fully venture is something I feel is genuinely integral to forever remaining as well-rounded and balanced as possible. I’ll admit, sometimes I don’t want that. Sometimes I just wanna be the grumpiest person in the world and roll about in my frustration at how stupid most things in life can seem – and indeed are. In fact, most times I don’t watch these documentaries – or go into most bouts of research with personal development and/or growth in mind. Sometimes, I just… You know… Do it ’cause I wanna. Which, like rolling about with a teenage angst about how stupid the world is, is absolutely fine for the time it needs to be that way.

It’s a real relief to be able to breathe cleaner air again now that the storm has passed a bit. Though, the full moon does tend to bring its own stuff along when it comes – and that’s only around the corner now. So we’ll see what’s next! Regardless, I’m grateful for the respite, however long it lasts. And I’m grateful for the coolness of the Old West – which from where I’m at right now is more north than anything… Hah.

Speaking of change and climbing out of ruts, I recently made a video for my more spiritual YouTube channel. That’s something I’ve not done for literally ages. The last one I made and actually uploaded was way back in January I think – and we were in England at the time! So it’s long since due, I reckon! The video is uploading now and will hopefully be up some time later today. If you’re keen to see it, you can go ahead and subscribe to my spiritual YouTube channel by clicking here. It’s due a revamp but that’ll come in time. Long list of things to get done in the coming months and as each day passes, that list grows. So, bear with me. The topic of the new video that’s coming follows the suit of these last few posts, it’s all about change and I hope you find something of value in it.

Big hugs,

Keep it real,

Live, love and play!

Andey x

That Need(s) To Change 

There’s a great deal of obsession with changing, growing and being better in this way or that way. I can sort of appreciate why. We’re all suffering in one way or another – or, at least, are all in pain – so it’s pretty natural to expect that we’ll respond by looking for solutions to that. Each of us, based on our own experience, seem to be inclined to a different sort of preference when it comes to the finding of solutions. CF2gRcDUgAA6tEd

For some of us, psychiatry is what a solution looks like – pumping us full of drugs so we don’t have to actually face the problem. For some of us, it’s personal development or psychology – a pretty good idea in my experience but it does fall down at a certain point. And for others it might be spirituality or something else. Most of us have ideas on what the solutions to our pain look like and most of those solutions invoke some sort of forced change.

Change in this way and you’ll be happy in this way. Alter yourself in this way and you’ll be happy in this way. So on, so on. There’s multiple multi-million (if not billion) dollar industries which have been established on the idea that we we are right now is actually not good enough and that in order to become good enough, we need more personal possessions, more substances which alter our physiology, more identity and personality changes and so on. And the majority of us see through the thick pane of bullshit tinted glass that’s being offer through those mediums. But what we tend to forget we’ve bought into – or even bought shares in – is the idea that change for the better has to be forced.

When you look around at like and what happens during, you’re faced with the apparent inevitability of only several things. Death, pain and change. And death and pain are both forms of change. So it seems that (at least within the realm of physical life) just about the only thing we can really know will happen for certain is change.

So why do we feel like we need to force it? Why bother? It’s going to happen anyway. Much better than trying to make changes happen in ourselves, we could be just noticing the changes that are already occurring and figure out how we can either benefit the most from them or manipulate the outcome of them in a way that better suits us in our lives.

“I need to change.”  No, you are changing. All the time. Just make sure you don’t change into a total bastard and the world will be a bit of a nicer place for all of us.

On the path I walk, the riddance of illusion is integral to any degree of honesty. I am always ready to just get rid of any lies I’ve told myself or anything similar to that. In the various stages I’ve been through in my life, the illusions/lies have differed from chapter to chapter. And as I drop each next illusion, I come to know myself better; I come to recognise a deeper level of what I have maintained in order to be “Andey” and engage in life “like Andey does”. We all do it.

When I peel back yet another layer I realise more and more so that whenever we’re happy, contented or at peace, we are only really relatively so. There’s a whole other realm/void beyond our current level of self-knowledge (as with any sort of understanding) and while we are not stepping into it, we are total ignorant to the nature/contents of said realm. It’s sort of like a vacuum though. You open the door and you’re sucked in. Yanked from the comfort of your delusional ignorance and plonked into some new terrain as yet unexplored and generally quite scary.

Like, before I dropped the biggest attachment I’d generated in the last few years, I had reached a point where I had become quite content, peaceful and generally quite joyful. But, as life itself doesn’t cease in its relentless changing, that didn’t last. In some sense, the peace I found as a result of surrendering all the attachments I thought I had in that moment was only a conditional happiness. It’s sold as an unconditional happiness but it’s still conditional. The condition being that you surrender all your attachments and then the general sense of peace at your core is allowed to pervade. So, okay the peace itself isn’t necessarily conditional but the practice of surrender very much is.

Without surrender actually becoming the only rational and intelligent response to your illusions/delusions, you just perpetuate the ones which would be more uncomfortable for you to get rid of. All that does is enable small glimpses of some greater thing. So, in a way it’s a life-long process. But, it’s not too much of an actionable one. Like, there’s gotta be a drive and a determination to get rid of your shit but after that, you’ve gotta let the flow sort of bring the things to get rid of to your door. Going in pursuit of them is far too intellectual to yield any sort of decent response. If you just sort of do your best, things work out. And, if you’re honest enough, sooner or later surrender becomes the only rational and intelligence answer to these things. But, at least in my experience, you’ve gotta try everything else to be totally sure.

It’s that same thing again. It all seems to come back to this for me… Just get on, do your thing, don’t worry too much but make sure you’re not being a stupid idiot with yourself. That’s my way. It’s one of the things that’s yet to fail me. I mean, what’s better than our best?

What I mean when I say I realised I was only relatively happy was that once I let go of that thing, I’ve started to open myself up to another deeper realm of feelings. Like another layer of the spiral. All the things I’ve found it tough to deal with in my past have returned to be re-evaluated. And on top of that, I’ve been faced with my addictive and depressive tendencies once more, as well as the pang of inner-loneliness. So, it’s all really sunny and rainbows are everywhere right now. Everything makes total sense and I’m really happier than ever. Hah. Nah, I’m really getting down and dirty with some of the stupid things in my inner-world right now and, yeah, it’s not all unicorns and rainbow candy. It’s tough. But, that’s life. Life’s shit some days and it’s tough on others. But we get by. How? We just do our best. What more can we do? It’s giving me something to channel into my re-emerging psytrance music, so that’s pretty sweet.

Keep it real guys, 

Live, love and play all you can

Andey x

Ps: speaking of the need to change…

Back To Music

So, I’ve been absent for a while now. It’s nothing person to you, really. I’ve just been riding the wave that is my life the past few weeks/months, without really giving a thought to how I’m going to translate it into words or how I’m going to share it – or even begin to. Over the past few weeks, or however long it’s been, my life has taken a few quite odd and largely curious twists and turns that I wouldn’t have expected.

The first is that I’ve been spending a lot more time alone. Due to recent complications regarding our commitments and obligations, Rosa has had to be out of the house a lot more than usual. This has meant that I’ve had a lot more time for myself, for introspection, for Darshan Road and for my hobbies. Weirdly enough, most things have lost their appeal for me recently. All I want to do is listen to music, make music, mod Skyrim and talk to Rosa. All of which are things I’ve been able to enjoy a fair amount of recently, with the exception of one – which the lack of has made way for more of the other bits.

Since we last spoke, the garden has come to life much more so. The colour green is now a resident of our little oasis. Mr. Tam is still around and rarely strays far from home these days. He’s become quite territorial over the house and Rosa and I. He doesn’t tend to let the other cats and dogs disrespect us or the home we all share now. When one particularly boisterous cat tries to steal his food (and this happens often) Tam sees the cheeky little bugger off with a few swift wallops to the head. Nothing too hard though, just enough to get the point across. “This is my food, you little shit. Sort your life out.”

If you’re into astrology at all – which I don’t claim to be – chances are you’re well aware of the Mercury Retrograde that’s currently on-going.This far it’s been quite a gentle one, as far as Mercury Retrogrades go. Myself and pretty much everyone around me has been brought to re-evaluate certain things from their past. For me, it’s been a sort of “You left this behind when you left that other thing before, are you sure you don’t want this?” sort of a Mercury Retrograde. When I left a relationship which wasn’t working, years back, I moved out of the flat I was living in with my then-partner. When I moved out of the flat, I sort of drifted around England for like 4 months before ending up back at my Mum’s house. One thing I was sort of forced by circumstance to leave behind – or I sort of just, left behind because I forgot about it (that we’ll never know) – was the electronic music production part of my life.

For years and years, I’ve been a musician. Fascinated and mystified by music, I picked up the guitar when I was 11 and have played regularly since. I’ve always been writing songs but about 5-6 years ago, I started making electronic music… electronica/psytrance/psybient sort of music to be more specific – although not that much more specific. It all began when I was living at my Mum’s still, totally addicted to smoking weed and at college, studying music business and performance – an experience which landed me with plenty of experience, plenty of memories (both good and bad) and a BTEC Diploma in Music.

I started making weird drug-fueled psychedelic music with a band I was in at the time – a psychedelic rock band called Gravity Junkie. A band of which I’m immensely proud of to this day. If things hadn’t gone sour – and if I was still living in England – I’d likely consider trying to get the original members back together again for at least a play through of the old set for old times sake. That same theme carried through into a college band I was in for a while – a band I made some good friends in, as well as rekindled an old friendship as a result of. Through all of that, this electronic music production was where I found myself most passionately creative. When I wasn’t swinging my guitar around and bashing it with my fist to make otherworldly delayed effects resonate around festival big tents in wet and windy fields, that is. Well, that exact scenario only happened once. But you get what I’m pointing to.

When my whole life changed, I let it go. I just… stopped making electronic music. It was the start of another chapter of my life. A chapter wherein I got into another bad relationship, became homeless and then ended up back at my Mums again. A chapter wherein I caged myself totally in ideas of being some grand spiritual figure. All ideas of my own creation, I must add. A chapter which in time showed itself as nothing more than an intense transition stage wherein I met the love of my life, dropped even more than I had dropped before and then came here to Mexico. Then… Well, you know the rest.

Only now, 3-4 years on from uploading my most successful tracks… I’m back at it. And, you know what? I’m fucking glad. I’ve missed it. It’s the best thing in the world. Okay, so I’m a bit rusty with my DAW and just about everything else I need to know. But I’m remembering fast. And I’ve already put out one new track – a track which itself sort of serves as a transitional piece between my older music and my newer stuff. Perhaps. Maybe. maybe not. Either way, I made it and I’m making more. If you want to , you can check it out here: http://soundcloud.com/FractalMandala and follow updates on Facebook here: http://facebook.com/FractalMandalaSounds.

 

Anyways, it’s time for me to finished my pasta/soup sort of things because it’s approaching room temperature as a daunting rate and I want it warm!

 

Keep it real, folks.

Live, love and play.

Andey x

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