Presents or presence?

I think we give gifts to people we love because we want to show them affection, we want to show them that they are important to us. We live in a material world (not judgment) it’s a truth that “things” bring fleeting joy and create all sorts of wonderful emotions, memories and opportunities for us, but I believe what we are usually most grateful for though, is not so much the gift , but the feeling that is created when somebody thinks enough about us, to give to us, so that we receive joy.

I watch in life as couples struggle to love each other in peace, they care so deeply for each other and therefore are just as able to hurt each other as deeply, then often share gifts to reconcile or to somehow “show” that affection they are struggling to communicate through words. When really all that both are truly starving for is understanding and acknowledgement on the deepest level of who they really are, at the heart of who they are. Being in a romantic relationship with somebody, leaves us open to vulnerability. We feel vulnerable when we love somebody because we open our hearts to them . We open our hearts and show how important another is to us, we feel a risk within this action because we decide that it could lead to pain, we panic and choose to focus on the fear of acceptance or the lack of it, we choose to focus on the fear of judgement or practice of it. We finger point in blame, play who did what, who said what. We dance around in a pattern of fear that keeps us from truly experiencing the other person, from appreciating them, understanding, valuing and believing in them.

What might come if we choose presence instead of presents? I believe that presence is the most important gift we can give to somebody that we love, it trumps everything!  I actually know very little about the “scholastics” of relationships. I have lived them and that is all I really know. However, I have suffered with preoccupation. I have suffered with insecurity, and bewilderment, blame and anger. I have suffered so many emotions at so many levels and that is why I know what I know. Through experience we foster valuable insight, we educate ourselves as we move forward into our lives. If we choose not too, then suffering sticks to us and we stagnate. Personally, I am not a fan of stagnation. I have a passion for life and people. I love to see people in love and laughing. Celebrating each other and sharing a life of wonder together. I think we can all have this kind of relationship if we choose presence. All it takes is courage, dedication and love!

When we are present we hear in a new way, we see in clear sight and we feel the energy between what is being communicated and how we are reacting to it. If we sit in a state of true listening, we can hear beyond the words that are spoken and feel what we need to in order to blend harmony and peace within our connection. A strength will grow both within us individually and also within the collective energy of the relationship. It will be waiting for you , each time you choose to be present.

I think its as close to real magic as I will ever get to it. When you are both totally present, nothing can touch you, you are solid and fluid all at once.

what you’ll see if you look

 Image

Being behind the lense of a camera helps to show the world to others as you see it through your own eyes.  Everyday I get to see more than most through eyes that engage with the fine details of my surroundings. I can’t decide if  over the years, I have trained my eyes through the camera lense or if my heart has engaged them in gratitude. I tend to get so caught up in the colours and shapes and lines that are everywhere that I float from one pretty picture to the next. I think my dad played a huge part in this appreciation, because for as long back as I can remember he would point out the light through the clouds, the colours in the trees or in the hills, the hue changes the shadow casting, he would see it and share it like it was something so valuable and treasured to him.

Imagine a world where you see the beauty in shapes and lines, in colour and texture, where the most simple and maybe even basic of everyday items become a piece of art through your own eyes. It might sound like I am exaggerating because your probably wondering how your morning breakfast cereal and milk carton becomes art. Easily if you look! If you really pay attention to the lines in the shape and the colours on an angle, see the texture behind the box, beside it, and around it. Imagine the change that would create in your life, if just for one hour in your day each day, you engaged your sight to work for you so that you felt awe and inspiration from one pretty picture to the next. Maybe for you it would be about strength of texture, maybe you would like to see pictures of power and courage or persistence and virtue. It’s amazing the things that you will see if you really look. If you take the time to engage your eyes and mind, to segment pieces of what you see you could experience your very own moments of perfect visual pleasure.

How many times have you seen an image that just took your breath away? an image that you loved so much that it inspired you to feel grateful for your sight? How many times have you experienced this through your own eyes? I am guessing those that travel the world would know exactly what I am talking about, it would probably be something experienced travellers live with daily, perhaps that is one of the reasons that people become so addicted to travelling once they start. How cool would it be though, if instead of being wowed by a photographic image, you got the same pleasure just with your own eyes because you decided to pay attention to how beautiful your surroundings really are.

I have this wish for everybody. I wish that everybody could experience a day of full visual engagement, where colour captivates them, texture excites them and everything that they take the time to look at brings them joy.

3297_75211357879_1622377_n 3297_75206927879_283211_n 3297_74303302879_7170933_n 2892_75507837879_1343975_n 2892_75510812879_5459736_n

…”if you invest in beauty, it will remain with you all the days of your life.”

Frank Lloyd Wright

 

 

on being you and mindful parkour!

I think we are all born with greatness. I think we all have something of value, something special we can share with the world. I think that everyday brings a new opportunity for us to share ourselves with others, to contribute in a meaningful way.

I honestly believe this. I think that we forget our great bits because we are told in so many ways not to pay attention to them. We are shamed by the threat of pride and ego, we are criticized by others, we are trapped by fear as we move forward in an attempt to be true to our own values. As we move forward in hope and excitement we find words and actions outside of our own that impact on us so much that we stagnate, that we buy into another persons values and beliefs even if they contradict our own. I read and hear a lot that we stumble on our path towards our own success because of the fear of it (success I mean). I agree with this, but I wonder what we would do if judgement and shame vanished. If somehow the universe deleted the existence of judgement and shame. If it were not at all possible for any of us to feel these two things, would we fear success? I don’t think so!

So I guess then, if we look at the meanings that we give judgement and shame individually. We can decide what is most important to us, trapping our life’s success and happiness because of a desire for acceptance? I guess it goes much deeper than that, but the point I am moving towards is about you and your life. Your greatness and your success. I can tell you that you are successful without even knowing you. You can read. You might not value reading as successful, that’s a choice you make. As we grow, we learn so many things along the way that are imperative to a functional life. As we learn valuable techniques and skills we make a choice about how meaningful and valuable that act is or that accomplishment was. Over time we have so many talents and skills and abilities that we have developed. I don’t know why we overlook how precious words are, how special music is or how valuable listening can be. We have ability in bulk! we are walking talking talent and many of us might never know it.

As a child when we find a gift that comes easily to us, a talent that excites us and drops jaws. Usually, we are applauded, we are paraded and hugged and valued and adored, we are a showpiece. As an adult if we stand with the same pride and share the same talent with the world we are not in the same energy of acceptance. It becomes scary and the value of another’s opinion often wages heavily on the continuation or the expansion of this greatness. I hope I am making sense here. What I am trying to say is that we all have something we love doing and the reason we love doing it is because of the way it makes us feel, in most cases we are good at it, we have an ability within us to produce something that inspires an emotion within that creates this overwhelming sense of value. That we have contributed to life because we have created something. At this point it is very common for us to want to share this emotion, this feeling this experience with the people that we care for most. We are drawn to share in hope that our own creation or idea can be of value to another. It is often then that the  influence of acceptance impacts on the growth of this talent or the path of your dream. It seems that we can rely so heavily on others opinion that we will allow it a power to build mountains. These mountains get in our way, they stand between us and a path that is already ours.

Are you brave enough to be you? are you being true to your values? are you supporting your dreams? or are you hiding from you? are you listening to shame or judgement?  are you telling yourself a story about who you are that is just not true?   There is no value in finger pointing in blame or excuse. There is Greatness and immeasurable value in being you!

 So at this point your wondering what Parkour has to do with anything in this post. I use something which I call mindful parkour! I love watching Parkour, just in case you have never seen it or are unsure of what I am talking about, parkour is a discipline  that developed out of military obstacle training. …it is also known as “free running”!  It’s origin comes from the Latin word percurrere , which means to run through!  Of course I am not suggesting that you rush through your life bounding through obstacles of your mind. I think that our obstacles are a reminder of humility and I value humility, I just think that it feels good to share something that works. I think if one person finds this post valuable then it is and I do already! so it is. Mindful parkour is my way of seeing the mountains and running through them, because they are only mountains of the mind they become transcendent as soon as you allow them to be! It’s a fast way through the fear, its efficient and its a great tool for a great you!

The Miriam-Webster dictionary defines Parkour as ; the sport of traversing environmental obstacles by running, climbing, or leaping rapidly and efficiently. 

I hope that this post has tapped a part of you to choose your own values consistently, to be true to you and to understand what does and doesn’t service you well as a belief or value, to be mindful of mountains and understand your ability to apply the parkour principle! To nurture and develop your greatness!

chasing passion

I always find myself lost in thought everyday, connecting to different things that I am passionate about. I day dream so much that I forget what’s real and what’s not some days!   We all have this connection to something that shakes us in a great way that makes us excited about living. Something we enjoy doing so much that it effects everything inside and outside of us. 

I think it starts from a very young age, we try something and just connect with it and before we know it we get so involved and inspired that we try one thing after the next until we have a pocket full of passions. I think we grow to love a few things more than others and move through life with more grace and balance because of these things that light us up. We experience something significant daily and our mind/body/soul feels nurtured.

So what happens when life is experienced without this balance?  I think that we starve ourselves at times of what can potentially be the most important emotion of life, the love and passion that we put into something can be lost if we don’t make time for it. We don’t ever lose it, we just forget how great it really feels.

If your reading this, I hope that you are dedicating time to your passions. Time to do the things that keep you smiling and nurture you fully. If you are not, then I hope you take 5 minutes to consider what it would take for you to make it happen. Then do it!

Buddha and bedtime tales!

I love reading parables. Often they are so simple and moving and powerful. They move the mind.

I read a Buddhist parable once, I think it was called the Turtle and the Fish. One day a Turtle walked by a stream and a fish started chatting to it. The fish asked the turtle where it had been and the turtle told the fish …”on dry land”. The fish had no knowledge or understanding of “dry land” and began to question the turtle, in search of his own “proof.” The turtle answered the questions and at the end of the conversation the fish didn’t believe it. He had asked questions about what dry land felt like based on his own experience with water, the temperature of it, the feeling of it and its behaviour. Before the turtle left he responded to the fish by stating that if he insisted on thinking that way then that is all he will know. That if he was determined to think that, then he would always think that dry land was nothing, but anyone who knows water and dry land would just think he was a silly fish, because he thinks that anything he has never known is nothing, simply because he has never known it!

I often think of this parable when something wow’s me. When I experience something I can’t explain or understand. It’s a very gentle energy of openness. I think I cultivated it in some search for the “magic” in life, from a very young age. Even though our peers and guardians might label it with wonky words like naïve and gullible. I see it from a learners perspective. It’s empowering being open to receiving new teachings. I can’t imagine where we would be as a civilization if we had continued to mock the people who pave the way with an open mind and heart, that pour their everything into developing something for the good of a whole nation. 

Of course this does not mean that I stand rigid to knowledge that is unexplainable. It’s a flexible decision to consider it. I do not blindly accept things that I can’t explain. I love to listen to others with experiences that are true and real to them and consider that this can be thought provoking and valuable, not only to them but to me also, even not having had the experience.

If we follow the history of language into the past, we can consider that at some point we…”made stuff up.” We had to in order to understand each other. So we chose sounds for each object as we discovered it. Another after another. Why is it now that we question so much of what is new and can’t be explained because we do not know of it, because we have not decided on the “proof” of it. It seems that so many choose to not “know” based on not having ever known, just as the fish did and yet the turtle walked away on dry land. 

Gratitude, death and the power of giggling!

If there is one thing that I have absolutely learnt this year, it’s the amazing power of gratitude! For a long time now, I can honestly say that I know true gratitude. For years I have lived with a sound understanding and knowing that I have so much to be grateful for.

This year though, something else has shifted for me. I am constantly feeling that I am blessed daily and I find it so easy to appreciate how beautiful our planet is and how precious love is. So many things contribute to this state that I am constantly finding myself in. One thing that I would always highly recommend is giggling.

Laughing, allowing yourself to burst into a smile within any situation is empowering and life changing. I wonder why we choose not to laugh when we think that something is funny!

So many social settings require a certain grace and presence. We enter a conversation that seems funny to our own nature but withhold our laughter in fear of shame or judgement which belongs to the same family of guilt and fear. I wonder how many of you that read this post are courageous enough to embrace your individuality and laugh anyway, let these things be funny to you. So much seriousness everywhere, people really taking things to a whole new level of rigidness. Perhaps your ability to see things from a lighter perspective could shape the way to a great adventure! Your career could take off, your love life could find its spark again, your independence and sense of value could be improved (perhaps) all in this one action of defiance.

Funerals are a good example of our social responsibility to be respectful and mourn loss. Of course this is a personal choice. Not all of us mourn loss in the same way. At the time of death of a very dear loved one its human to feel broken. Grieving is a natural and healthy process for human existence. I totally believe this, even though its just my belief and not an educated statement. The thing is though, what if within that grieving time we could find moments to giggle for the amazing soul that has become invisible to us. That we could share laughter and love and stories to celebrate the impact that this soul had on our lives. To smile and laugh at the things that we will always treasure, to choose to focus on gratitude. To be so grateful that in our lifetime we had the immense privilege to love this soul and in turn possibly, be loved back!

Now, I am not suggesting that you rock up to the next funeral laughing or kicking back with the giggles. I am just poking you with a choice. A choice to focus on how awesome this person was. How amazing your life was because of them. A choice about focus! in that one action you can create so much change in your life, just by focussing and sharing that focus with others, you could impact on them too and before you know it, a chain of gratitude appears, shiny and sparkly and bright and there it is! Love. The emotion that will always connect you to this soul, easily and effortlessly.

So… if you are missing someone right now and you find yourself focussing on the pain and heartache of loss. Try focussing on what was funny, try focussing on how they made you laugh. There is always a giggle to be found when love exists, love and joy live hand in hand. Then focus on how grateful you are that you are blessed with these memories and this love, because as long as we are focussing on love we will receive it. We will find it and we will be surrounded by it. If you look for something hard enough, you will always find it!

Asking the right questions

In morning meditation, I had a great question poked at me!  Spending moments in thought of my own emotions and challenges within certain relationships in my life, I stumbled across a good poking with a great question…”why is it that you tell yourself, that as a soul before you returned to this life, when you existed only as pure love in consciousness that; you chose your current family to be of most benefit to you in this lifetime for your own growth and vibrational change?

so…as you can imagine, I had more questions and then understanding washed over me. Wow!

All this time I had been telling myself that my families purpose in my spiritual evolution was to guide me towards enlightenment! In fact – it is my souls purpose to assist in “leading them.” What a wheel of fortune spark that turned out to be.Suddenly a belief 180’d itself! This conversation became really powerful and valuable in a moment. I considered it for a bit. In pure consciousness a soul would only ever choose to give, not receive, so it seemed a fair truth that as a soul I chose my family as my masters. I chose this group of souls to be of service to them, so that I could in some way benefit the souls growth within them in this lifetime, not for mine. Wow!

Later in the day driving in the car, I noticed the ego hopping around uncomfortable with being such a power to someone else and their path. I had always considered that the path was a lone path, that we were all each others teachers and we are all students in life, we learn at different rates and we understand on different levels but we all grow as an individual! Nope, not now, I see this path in such a new light, still shaky on the absolutes of anything but love, but I am keen to work with this new information to see where it takes me.

I guess it will take me to each and every relationship I have. If I am strong and brave I will continue to ask myself how can I be of better service to you!