I feel like posting a legal disclaimer declaring that I have no control over my post today. That my fingers are working with the keyboard without consent and I am somewhere in the bedroom hiding under the bedside table. Meh! That would be pointless, everybody knows I wouldn’t fit under that thing!

I’m in the garden, its cold but the suns shining. I’m out there to dig up some mature plants. I need to get rid of these things, they are ugly and taking over parts of the garden that I don’t want infected with ugly! I think that the common name for them is ornamental grass. These things are no ordinary ornamental grass, they are massive, the blades are sharp and they grow even uglier looking flowers. That’s my take on them anyway. The people that lived here before us obviously loved them.

Here I am, immersing myself in the swing of the mattock. One hit after the other and my mind is racing. I am in spiralling thought mode. That mode your mind gets into when it’s thinking feeling and knowing too much all at once. I’m breathing through forgiveness, as I watch memories pass through my mind, I’m breathing in patience as I feel pain, regret and resentment. I’m swinging that thing so hard my arms are wobbly, they are so weak from the weight of it all. I’m thinking that it’s a good thing its blunt, otherwise I might lose my balance the next time the mattock goes through my ankle and takes my foot with it.

Confused? I’m taking a walk the talk approach to dealing with addressing my fears, in an attempt to embrace forgiveness. I am smashing the crap out of this ugly, in my garden. It’s interesting isn’t it? That we know, we have this big old ugly freaky flower producing plant in our lives and it’s causing all sorts of imbalance, yet we leave it there! We let it sit, it serves more than one purpose to us and obviously a lot more to the outside world. I watched a sweet little frog get away, after a full on mattock swing. I considered leaving the bush for a bit after that, thought I should let any other little critters get out just in case I chopped them up or something. I didn’t stop though. I caught myself making excuses, who was I kidding. My back hurt, my arms wobbled, my mind spun and my heart felt sick. It had nothing to with the frog, his family or the bush. I looked back down at that thing and gave it another swing. It got harder, loads harder, I cut through some easy stuff and then I felt like giving up. I noticed the enormity of the roots. It’s been in that ground for so long that its roots are all over the place. I swung away as my mind shared my shame, revealing the raw energy of quitting and the story I told myself a long time ago about quitting, giving up! I am still shocked at what I uncovered. I leave things because I can, it’s my statement to the world and all of the ugly grasses in it, that I am in control of my life and my choices, despite any outside influence, I can quit at any time, I can leave, I can give up, I can change my mind, change my attitude, change my actions, behaviour, beliefs. All of it!  Your probably wondering what the deal is in that. It’s a pretty flexible way to be and could work. I have decided that it doesn’t. Not for me anyway. I have grown this little garden in my mind that’s got ugly grass in it and there are some big ones, I am struggling to get out. They are so ugly that they are impacting on other parts of my life. I have obviously found purpose for them, otherwise they wouldn’t be there. Today, I started digging and now I am resting, exhausted. The aftermath of not giving up, of giving it everything until I almost fell apart, I gave that bush everything I had until it was gone, clear out of that bed. Once I finished smashing it out, it was time to take on the roots. I kept swinging, acknowledging to myself that this was a chance to remove a huge part of ugly from my life, a moment that I could choose to persist and not leave a trace of this plant anywhere, the garden would be pure again, free of its ugly.

I got most of the roots out, but then noticed that they (the roots) travel under a paved path, too many to mess with. So I made a choice to see it like this. I took on that grass, I took him out for the long haul, I wanted to remove everything that he left behind but I realised I couldn’t. I realised, that he has left a mark in that garden, these roots are everywhere, the energy and time it would take to rid the roots would consume my life. I had to make a decision to release the belief that the garden would not be pretty again until all of the roots where gone. I had to allow myself to process, that these roots are a part of the story now. They are there, they will always be there, it’s my call to decide what that means to me about my garden. I will plant more seeds and I will feed them, I’ll make sure they have enough sunlight, water and nutrients. The roots will stay. The impact that these roots have on the future growth of this garden remains with me. I could choose to think about them every time I look that way, I could focus on the fact that they are still there hidden under the surface of the ground, I could allow that energy to impact on the way I feel about the garden, the way I see the garden, the way I tend to it, or I could be ok with them just being roots. Roots that have no power to go anywhere, no power to grow. I could admit that this grass has taught me more about myself and how I see the world. I could write a blog about it and share my very bizarre way of looking at things with everybody and anybody who takes the time to read it. I could risk all future sound and conservative employment prospects with just one post.

I haven’t cleaned them up yet, the ugly grassy bushy bits are still lying out in the yard. I will though, I am about too. I can’t wait actually. I can’t wait to see what the soil will look like once I have nourished it with the right food and care. I haven’t decided what I will plant where these grasses used to be. As tacky as this sounds, I really think it will be fruit.





Meditation or peanut butter?

I don’t think that there are many people in the world that don’t like peanut butter. I could be totally wrong about this, but I think that most people would agree that its pretty “up there” on the special condiment shelf. There is something about the creaminess of it, the rich velvet tasting nutty sweetness that spreads joy throughout the taste buds, leaving a calm and buzzing hum in your mouth for some time after licking the plate clean.

For many of us eating is a drug of choice, it provides instant comfort and satisfaction and pleasure. If you are consuming something that you find delicious, your world tastes delicious in that moment. I read something interesting in the local newspaper recently, it was a report based on research that had been done in a lab at  Connecticut College. Basically, the research found that Rats liked Oreo cookies as much as they liked cocaine. I also remember reading that they ate the filling before the cookie. Which suggests that the high sugar content was what the Rats liked most. The post in the paper was brief in description, but I decided that the point. or theory that could be suggested as a result of this study, is that sugar is a highly addictive substance that could be as addictive as cocaine.

I guess peanut butter would be a little different as its sweetness would be created more naturally than a cookie, especially if it was organic and freshly crushed. I don’t know, I am just guessing. You see my point though? you see where I am going with this?

So I’m thinking as I sit here with a bulging tummy and belly button that has seen less stretched days. What tastes better than peanut butter? Not as a food, as an action, a thing to do, a hobby or interest, something that fills an instant requirement for joy and pleasure and satisfaction, that is not related to anything else with addictive and possibly self destructive potential. We all know where we are heading with high food consumption, large alcohol consumption, sex addiction or Gambling obsessively!  We don’t always talk about it, but these paths lead to misery not happiness, greed and anger, fear, anxiety and depression. Obviously there are more habits that are as dangerous for our minds and our souls purpose as the previous stated. Me, I am just trying to get beyond the peanut butter, but other people, they are trying to get beyond their own peanut butter, which might appear as a spending obsession or a strong physical need to exercise, to produce natural drugs, which are healthy and in most cases proven to be great for us, until that exercise becomes an obsession and our bodies begin to pay the price for the minds craving, for a natural shot of dopamine every few minutes.

I guess we all crave that instant relief, especially when we are suffering. Our minds race with questions and memories, the painful truth of secrets unshared, betrayal and the inability to heal through forgiveness. The only choice then, seems to be to embrace self love and understanding. To allow yourself enough space to feel what you feel without judgement and to make a decision about moving forward with healing and hopefully in a time frame acceptable to your needs. Of course there are many options available, a trained therapist is obviously one.  I guess most people choose this option, I hope that they do anyway. There is a little too much stigma attached with therapy for some. It can be viewed as a sign of imbalance or inability to cope. I know many male friends that feel this way. They feel a trip to the therapist,wether it be a councillor or psychotherapist is somehow related to who they are as a person, or more to the point who they are not. They tell themselves that speaking about issues is not masculine,but is for the weak. They consider that these things are really no big deal, so then they become a bigger deal, that are not healed, because there is a choice made to numb the mind with a substance, with an action that will produce this immediate feeling of relief and comfort and safety. An instant but fleeting escape from the tormented mind.

This is where listening to yourself can be of amazing benefit and consequence. Taking time to put yourself in a meditative state that is pleasurable to you, somewhere that you can hear the wisdom of your own mind. If you are still, you will receive that instant joy, that peace and calm, that safety blanket will rap itself around you and if you are brave, you can go further into your thoughts and discover, what stories you have told yourself along your path, that have led you to believe in something that has never been of true service to you. An abusive relationship, a crippling mind focus, an inability to progress. A fear of change a destructive habit an obsession that has taken over your journey. Your path, your purpose is still within you. Consider it a seed, it will always lay dormant in you until you give it the right ingredients to grow. Nothing outside of you can interfere with its growth without your permission , it is as present as the blood that runs through your veins.

I could write passages on why meditation is an awesome choice for an awesome life, why it will change the way you think and view the world. I could talk it about all day for a week, that would certainly keep me away from the peanut butter. The thing is, before we choose, we need to decide. Sounds crazy hu? I mean, we can tell ourselves that we need to change destructive habits and behaviours, for a better life, a happier more fulfilling existence. We can choose meditation, we can even make time for it and experience that blissful energy of peace. However, we need to decide that we are worth it, that we are capable and industrious and courageous. We need to decide to put the emphasis on what really does work, what really does serve us, that brings benefits into our life not only immediately but constantly and potentially, always. Something that will serve us through the long haul, so that we can break free from destructive attitudes and behaviours, preparing us to make room to decide what we will do to feed this seed that lays dormant within us all.