Feeling happy… being happy… two different things. Happiness has very little to do with what we have, or own. Happiness has much more to do with our outlook on life. I have discovered that the way we do one thing is generally the way we do all things.  

 

If we regularly complain and look for faults we can always find faults. Yet if our general outlook is that life is beautiful our happiness increases exponentially. I have come to learn that life is not about having a half glass full approach instead of a glass half empty – it’s about having gratitude that we have a glass in the first place! If you think your life is beautiful then it is. It is much like the dandelion – some see a wish and others see a weed!

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Your glass was always full
with all the wrong things.
It seemed you could
only ever live your life that way.
…standing on the edge.

Stay warm now.
I will miss you
as only your sister can.
If you had stayed
perhaps you would be laughing now,
knowing that life is really
just all the things that fall at our feet…

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Once again late night pondering…

what if everything was taken away from us – what would be left? 

Our jobs, our looks, our money and our possessions are society’s way of defining us – yet they are merely a facade that projects a distorted reality. What lies behind and beneath is our true essence.

Our mind, our heart, our spirit, our generosity, our integrity and kindness…our sense of humour, our love… when everything is stripped away these are the things we are left with. These are the things that matter. Quite simply, what is left, is what is inside us and what is inside the people we love. 

The pace of life makes it easy to lose the ability to recognise the things that really matter – the things worth fighting for. Yet at the end of the day and at the end of our lives, these will have been the things that kept our souls warm. 

If we are going to swim against the tide it must be for the right things… Life can toss us some pretty rough seas and it can be easy to sit on the couch of passivity. It takes real commitment, communication and energy to fight hard for those things that matter.

Personally it can sometimes be confronting and painful and I may not always get it right, but I do know that I am giving it my best shot.

In order to live a wholehearted life we must have the willingness to get down and dirty, in knowing our own nakedness and being open to sharing it with the people we love.

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Like we ingest food, we ingest images…we embed them into our minds. Yet many of us don’t realise that when we embed images into our minds they become energy sources that have the ability to affect our physical world.

Sounds crazy, but if we stand and watch a river – we become more “river like’. Our neurons wire in response to what we focus on – so it seems that what we pay attention to, literally shapes our brain.

So perhaps we should all practice the art of paying more attention. Attention is about taking time to discover and explore what and who is around us – it is not about rushing to judgement or trying to change something. It is about welcoming the detail of the present, it is about fully engaging in the moment.

I have discovered that whatever I pay attention to is what will grow. If we like a flower we pick it, if we love a flower we water it. So give life the kiss of attention as you would a lover.

Attention is patient and attention is kind. Ultimately attention is what connects us in relationships and as a society. Attention is vitality… it keeps us passionate and eager for living and loving.

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You are here
in my dream.
It is the only place 
I can find you now.
Surrounded by intangible memories
my nakedness grows cold.

Love more than anything 
continues to be my teacher…

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She wanted the ocean to wash over her.
She wanted it to take her apart,
She wanted it to tear her into tiny pieces,
so that her body 
felt like her heart…
misaligned and frayed.

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Why is it, that in our culture we think of success as the way up… and the way down as failure?

Sadly, it seems that learning does not always mean understanding. Is there really a difference between up and down – are they not just a part of the continuum?

Perhaps it is because growing up we are conditioned to view life in a linear way. Yet when we take time to observe life, we find that absolutely everything is cyclical. The warm grows cool, cool things become warm…the moist dries, the parched becomes moist.

Hmmm the circle of life – our unbounded connectedness to the world and each other…
that is what gives me that beautiful feeling of falling but knowing that I am being held.

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Life is a roller coaster, I am finally familiar with that now. I had a day yesterday where once I again I was reminded of the fragility of this life we have been given. Being aware of how brief our life and the lives of those we love, is actually an act of optimism. I am a work in progress, but I do my best to savour my moments and cherish the people I love and are coming to love.

Tonight, I could see a family weaving themselves back together. For me, it was the most incredible gift to see such a beautiful and deserving man in a space where I could literally feel his heart coming home.

I never want to die having left anything unsaid.
So I will say – I am filled with gratitude for this mans happiness and for being invited into his life. He tickles my brain and my heart and brings delicious warmth to my days… I have a suitcase full of blessings!

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“For whatever we lose (like a you or a me),
It’s always our self we find in the sea.”
― E.E. Cummings

Gosh, I love that quote from Cummings.

I am a water person… and always have been. I am drawn to it – it pulls me in. It is the place I feel most at home. 

I suppose in many ways water has been my muse.

When you think about it – and I think about lots of things…

Water is much like us really – it takes the shape of its container and eventually, if you let it be, it will find it’s own level.

I love the way water just flows, no resistance, it’s not solid yet it has strength and when you plunge your body into it, all you feel is a caress… doesn’t get better than that.

As long as you let it flow, water won’t become stagnant.

Yes, perhaps we are all like water in that way…

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When darkness comes,
the stars bleed into me
and together we fill
the holes in the sky.

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Happiness is nature’s way of letting us know, that we are acting in tune with what is best for us. It’s not rocket science.

When our bodies, minds and souls are in sync – joy is the natural by product. It is not something you can search for – or buy, or acquire like a new pair of Nike’s.

I think perhaps we are conditioned to press harder when things don’t come together the way we would like. I fear that as a society we are in danger of choking on our own regurgitated idealism. Many of us are so busy keeping score and measuring where we are on the bar graph of life… we miss the moments of joy.

Pushing to make things fit our preconceived perception can be so ingrained in us, that we don’t even realise that we haven’t taken time to step back. We haven’t allowed ourselves time to take an unburdened breath. We haven’t allowed ourselves to actually feel what it is, that makes us feel light.

Sometimes it is necessary to stop and stand still… open our palms and loosen our grip a little – let the chips fall where they may … even if they make a mess on the floor. I have found, that even on the messiest floor days, if I step back, I will find there are snippets of things to be grateful for…. always.

The thing is, joy is not a product on a shelf. It comes from acting in tune with what makes you feel light inside and what makes you feel whole – it is about paying attention to you and embracing that.

That is when you discover that joy just slips in!

(thank you S for the inspiration) 

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Inspiration where does it come from… what is it?

I think that we are built to inherently continue learning, wether it’s information, life or love… inspiration is food for that learning and food for our souls.

I discovered that the word “inspire” relates to the words “aspire” and “expire,” The root of inspire – the Latin word inspīr – comes from inspīrāre, which means “to breathe into.” Perhaps inspiration is found when we take the time to be receptive to what is around us and breathe it in – inhale deeply. Just maybe, that’s why things that inspire us literally take our breath away.

Paying attention to what is around us is an intrinsic process – you may read something, see something or meet someone and suddenly you are more productive more purposeful, more excited. You are inspired!

Inspiration is magical and magnetic. When you feel inspired life is effortless – basically you smile more, laugh more, believe in more – you feel lighter, you feel limitless.

Infinite and unbounded, everything is a little tastier on your tongue.

Being inspired is drawing inward, taking that breath and letting that feeling tingle down your spine…

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To approach things without expectation – it’s not easy. The art of expecting is habitual. Perhaps it is because so many of us are taught that we don’t need to be accountable – we don’t need to take responsibility for ourselves. 

Expectations: where do those little buggers come from? Even if we think that we have none, they are there… hiding like the little miscreants they are. They buddy up with our ego filling our heads with fantasies of how we expect people to behave. It can be confronting trying to let go of expectations – for most of us are accustomed to using them as a form of control, and also as an excuse.

We enter new moments and we can already have unrealistic expectations… jobs, lovers, friends, how can they all measure up? Put simply – they can’t and when they can’t measure up, we can be left with an aftertaste of disappointment.

Hmmm becomes a bit of a cycle…

My fear is that we can become so tied and reactive to the expectation that we wind up missing the deliciousness of the moment… and life is full of delicious moments.

There is so much freedom to be found when we are able to respond rather than react, to let others in and accept them as they really are… struggling, beautiful and imperfect (just like us)…

Stepping back, letting go and allowing things to just unfold can actually bring unexpected wonder and joy into your life.

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My fingers linger
over the soft curve
at the base of your spine.
They like being there
where it feels like sunlight.

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 “existence precedes essence” Jean Paul Sartre.

Hmmm so do we human beings really have no predetermined essence?

There really is no predefined pattern that we must fit into – this lies at the heart of Sartre’s version of existentialism.

Sartre believed that we have the capacity to create our own meaning by the way we live our lives – we place our own value on our actions because our freedom to do so is unbounded and absolute.

Does this mean that we are then always free to reinvent ourselves?

Would we be more authentic if our choices were made with a clear awareness of their contingency and responsibility… or is this just a form of self deception.

Or are we merely assuming a perspective of our ‘self’…?

If we are entirely responsible for not only what we are, but also who we will be – does this allow us true freedom? – does this allow us a spontaneity that is not a product of reflective decision?

Because if we saw ourselves as only objects with fixed identities then would we be ceasing to be? Are many of us merely identifying with social roles? Wearing masks…

But then I wonder… if existence precedes essence – how can something come out of nothing, how can an unformed collection of existence’s create themselves into an essence?

Always so much to ponder…

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The ancient philosopher Heraclitus understood the world to be a place where nothing remains fixed; everything is constantly being transformed. Not unlike the Buddhist philosophy – everything flows, it gives way… nothing stays fixed

I have discovered that everything is in a state of flux and that the striving for one thing against another brings tension and out of tension comes a certain amount of discord. . It seems that both positive and negative realities feed one another and both are required in order for harmony to exist.

As Heraclitus illustrated with the bow and the lyre. The strings of the bow require tension in order to operate harmoniously. If the bowstring were not tightened, an arrow could not be shot. If the lyre strings were not tightened there would be no beautiful music. Is the discord that we experience merely the process whereby unanimity arises?

Perhaps our souls are energised by this endless unrest – does opposition bring discord? and I wonder …from discord does the fairest harmony come?

Hmmm always so much to ponder…

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