Fall

curl_by_schnitzelyne-d6rz86y

Curling.

An autumn leaf

Turns from cooling sun

Embracing essence

Hopeful of survival

Against seasonal odds

Brace against the embraceable

Contain the essence of self

Protect against harsh influence

Survive beyond thirst

Beyond potential comfort

Cling to breath

And blessing

Survive.

 

Words errant

images stolen from the internet

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Shine bright, like a diamond.

“Our image of perfection is the reason we reject ourselves – the way we are – and why we don’t accept others the way they are.” Don Miguel Ruiz

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Attaining ‘perfection’ is a perpetual journey. Yet the word perfection is misleading and a potentially devastating trap. The quote; ‘Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without’ highlights that there is no perfection without flaw. It suggests reaching for the most magnificent version of our selves while knowing the flaws; the ‘negatives’ help to create a whole version of ourselves. The concept of perfection can be a falsehood that leads us to constantly feel lacking or not good enough. It potentially denies our core self by seeking to uphold an image of perfection. Whereas attaining holistic balance is a very real and honest process of being, or rather becoming. This describes an active process of growth and attainment where we accept ourselves as we truly are yet seek growth. Our flaws lead us to growth. I see no separation between light and dark, no duality only unity with moments of friction and dissonance providing room for change within our selves.

The first time I read the diamond with a flaw quote I was stumped by it. A humble yet perfect pebble seemed a greater achievement than something ‘grander’ but flawed. I soon found that maintaining perfection was dissatisfying and limiting, I ached for challenge and growth. I was exhausted by the constant effort to avoid my flaws in order to appear the humble perfect pebble; always happy never discontent or hurting. Yet when I embraced my flaws and moved through the discomfort of facing them I became something stronger, more durable, more beautiful and more real. Diamonds are formed through high temperature and massive pressure, this process creates the most durable and beautiful gem on the planet*. This process suggests discomfort. Humans tend to shy away from discomfort or suffer through it by rejecting ourselves because we are not perfect, but through accepting ourselves and gracefully working on our flaws we attain love for ourselves not self-inflicted suffering and rejection. Then we become open to the possibility of a greater version of ourselves that can live in the moment, without the devastating and painful voice of the inner critic shaming us, and we can shine bright like a diamond.

Words errant

Image courtesy of cichutko on DeviantArt

* India is the place where they were first thought to be mined perhaps 6000 years ago and they were revered as religious icons.

Intimacy

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To begin to describe another real human being, one would need to dive into the abyss, their abyss. It is so hard to find someone who may get who you are, even with the barest descriptors that can hardly reach the depth of the point. It is an almost unfathomable occurrence. When we do, it is so easy to compete, or misunderstand. Why is it so hard to hear and be heard? Is our ego as, or less, important as the comfort of being understood? Or is our need to be heard more important than our ego? What stands in the way of our ability to navigate the concept of what measure of risk of feeling the discomfort of vulnerabilty equals or outweights the potential reward of experiencing intimacy?

It might be, that those that raised us inadvertantly taught us some behaviours that are not conducive to productive relationships, be those intimate partners, or friendships or other relationships. It may well be that those that raised us inadvertantly provided us with some bad habits because we were vulnerable and impressionable children and our experiences coupled with the cultural expectations of our society became oddly mixed messages in our inner-most selves. It really, actually makes sense. As does knowing yourself as well as you can. Because being honest with your self, genuinely is the keystone to all relationships. Know thy self. Know, thy, self. We change, we outgrow ourselves faster than we have the chance to figure out who, we, are. And there is no other person on earth that you should know better. That is the ultimate failure in all relationships; not knowing oneself, yet expecting the other party to know who you are.

But how do we start an intimate conversation? Either with ourselves or others? I suggest we start with Arthur Aron’s list, lets use his list in an completely unintended way and answer the questions for ourselves… just for fun. I’ll go first:

  1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?

Oh my, doesn’t this depend upon sooooo many things!? What music is playing? What I have I had to drink? Whose company am I in? What are the rules? Must they be living or are the dead ok? I will answer from the right here, right now…

I would invite Iesous, I could invite Persian or Eastern philosphers or later philosphers, but in all honesty I would like to speak directly to Iesous, better known as Yeshua or Jesus. I have a lot of questions for him. He seems to have genuinely existed as an historical person, he obviously exists as a person of the highest Christian regard. I’d like to ask him how he feels, comparatively, about being called a Judaic rebel and all manner of things under the post-crucifixion sun. Yes, I’d quite like to have a chat with the man himself.

errant.

Ear parcel I: Alone Together, Chet Baker

Ear parcel II: Little Talks – of Monsters and Men

Image ‘intimacy vol.2’ courtesy of dorry on deviantart

 

 

The state of our soul

Soul II

There have been various perceptions within humanities experience in relation to the concept of the ‘soul’. There has been the belief that that a soul upon physical death becomes a part of the earth and within the genetics of the generations that remain; or that the soul enters another realm dependent upon the individuals souls worthiness, variously referenced as Nirvana, Heaven, Hell, Hades and other capitalised bifurcated nouns related to various beliefs; or that the soul was recycled/reincarnated into another animate form. Now, in the digital age there are other newer concepts of soul, that the soul can be potentially recorded, downloaded, replicated or at least stored, indefinitely.

Do some, or none, of these concepts give any consolation to the bereaved? What does it do to our psyche? Do we start to think we are invincible, irreplaceble, immortal? We are starting to live within a real and virtual world concurrently. The concept that we can correct any wrong, or that we can do no wrong because ‘it was virtual’ is starting to seep into our general concepts of the physical world we live in, at the same time as we potentially start to emotionally and intellectually vacate it. Vacating, this incredibly beautiful world that exists, that may not exist in ‘x’ number of years ahead of us. The more the gateway to escapism exists we will seek it. Currently that gateway is at its optimal high and growing exponentially.

Regardless of expectation of where ones ‘soul’ or consciousness might arrive at eventually, one’s own understanding of the self is the greatest power one can ever have. Some of us, can understand our souls within a virtual expression of the world, engaging with others of like mind, communicating with others of like mind. We may never find those connections in the ‘real world’. There is nothing wrong with this kind of companionship, nothing at all. Unless it is all one has. Then there is no measure between the real and the virtual or online engagement. Then, lines become blurred. Unless you are an entirely self-contained individual (and there many of those in the world), in which case you are likely just fine. Some souls require nourishment from physical interaction with other souls. I try to attain both elements. I am aware that I am more inclined to a particular way but know I should keep trying all manner of ways… particularly because I don’t believe that technology is in any way prepared to manage my soul as I would intend, therefore it is important that I behave with the integrity I desire, the intellect, the understanding, the subtlety, the beauty of my individualness that may never, ever be seen again.

errant

ear parcel: Max Richter ‘Written on the Sky’

Image stolen from SOUL-SENs

Flow

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It has a name, that sensation where you are on fire, whether with creativity or logic, that state where everything is firing at once and you feel you are making huge strides in what it is you are working on achieving. Where you are extending your skills, applying all you have to complete something, even where there is no apparent reward. It is called ‘flow’. A state of harmony between all parts of the self where the ultimate gain from all areas is being produced; total absorption involving challenging the self and pushing ourselves to the limit of our ability that results in enjoyment. Such a delight, to have flow at any point in your given life or work week, such a state is highly desirous, pulling the sense of ultimate joy that we all at least once experienced in childhood, into our waking adult lives. It is possible to be a grown up and still have that wonderful sensation we experienced as children, to still have ‘play’ in our adult world. And, indeed it is actually more productive than almost any other state of being.

Reference: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi / TED talk on Flow

Here are two illustrative examples from ballet, one is from before the curtain raises and two what it feels like once the audiences eyes are upon you… don’t get me wrong here, these are examples of experts in their field, but we ALL experience a sense of flow somewhere in our lives. It might be when we touch type without making mistakes, it might be playing our favourite social sport, online game, in our work, fixing something, when we solve puzzles… flow can be experienced anywhere. Reproducing a sense of flow everywhere we can in our adult world, like when we played freely as children, is the potential acheivement. Can you recall a time as a child, before any darkness touched you and even after, when you had that feeling within your the depth of the world of your play? That almost indescribable sense of belonging and wholeness? A place of knowing, something we all had at some point, regardless of the trauma we encountered. Later, play may have been an escape from pain so it is important to find a memory that was pleasurable but not escapist. If we can reclaim a sense of flow, even a tiny piece of it, then, we are whole, because we are real, because we are in comand of ourselves, even if only briefly. To smooth the edges of that sensation, to bring a sense of flow into all we do… would be to make heaven on earth.

Errant

Image courtesy of Allof-I 

Ear parcel