Is Suffering Necessary?

A. Yes it is. But it need not be permanent.

I’m not the first one to work this out, but I will be the first one to describe it in these exact words, and well, the world has always needed teachers to pass down knowledge, so here we are. It is the way of things in the world of mammals. We are born, we learn, and then we teach. We traverse our own experience of life as best we can, and then once we have learnt enough, we pass that wisdom on.

Suffering is one of my favourite subjects to speak on these days, and thus that probably makes me a rare breed. One might assume that a proclivity towards what is perceived as a darker element of life would mean I’m also shrouded in darkness, but au contraire my friends. Suffering was a constant in my life for a long, long time, and I swam away it as hard as I could, until I ran out of energy and sank.

You see, what I am going to try to teach you here in this short blog post, is that suffering is in fact one of the most wonderful delights that the human experience has to offer. Sinking was the best thing that happened to me. Hitting rock bottom is what many call it. Suffering, when framed correctly is the most humbling, illuminating, and ultimately freeing teacher. A teacher that can, if framed correctly, bring us to a deeper place of gratitude, contentment and ultimately, joy. Suffering can create a beautiful bridge to understanding what it is we are truly experiencing whilst we are down here, in these bodies.

We are clinging to the good in our lives, whilst being desperately fearful of losing it. That fear of losing what we love ensures we can’t truly enjoy what we love, and will often eventually result in us losing it.

Lost you with that? Hang tight, try to think of it this way. We humans, for the most part, seek pleasure, and seek to avoid pain and suffering. We seek thrills, and spills, and laughs, and love, and sugar and spice and all things nice. We grasp at what feels good, and then we run like mad, like startled deer from what feels ‘bad’. Now, I understand why we do this, it’s because what feels good, FEELS GOOOOD. It just seems obvious that we should run towards what feels good, but here’s the rub: life is a blend, a steady mix of yin and yang. As night follows day; darkness, pain, suffering and things that feel bad are an inevitable part of life too. By running away from what feels bad, and relentlessly towards what feels good, we ensure one thing… Fear will control us. By running from the discomfort we cling to the pleasurable like our boat has capsized and we are holding on to a buoyancy aid for dear life. We are clinging to the good in our lives, whilst being desperately fearful of losing it. I’ve highlighted that sentence in bold because I think it’s the most important sentence in this entire piece. That fear of losing what we love ensures we can’t truly enjoy what we love, and will often eventually result in us losing it (should probably bold that one too). This is the tragedy of the human experience. By turning a blind eye to the inevitable darkness of our world we in fact lose our ability to embrace the copious amounts of heavenly joy that is also on offer. Bliss, or ‘Samadhi’ as the yogis call it, is available to all, but only to those who are willing to dance with the Devil as well as sing with the angels.

So that’s it. It’s that simple. Accept that life has darkness, and acquaint yourself with that darkness so closely that it no longer feels so scary. Find the courage to befriend the stuff that scares you. Suffering comes along as a gift to make us uncomfortable, to prevent us from being able to avoid the darkness within us any longer. Unfortunate events, tragedies, and heartbreak will be presented to us, on a individual and collective level (2020 anyone) to make us so uncomfortable and unhappy that we have no option but to cease our clinging to our hedonistic pleasures and embrace the pain. And when we do, often the pain ceases and we start to blink our eyes wide open to the ultimate truth.

How do you do it? Well just sit it with it all, sit with the entirety of your experience, allow yourself to feel it all. Feel the pain, the hurt, the betrayal, the guilt, the grief, the anger and the sadness. Meditation is key to this, we need to go quiet, and go inwards on our own experience.

Of course, easier said than done. It really helps to have someone guide you into your subconscious with a deep trance state and then sit with you as you face the trauma and supressed emotions, and that’s exactly what I do. If you would like to work with me because you’re suffering or stuck in a rut and can’t see a way out, then head over to my business page at www.mindbodyquantumhealing.com for details on what I do and how to contact me.

That Girl On The Beach

Two or three years ago whilst I was living near Bondi Beach, on some mornings I would get up early before work and go for a jog on the sand, which is roughly a kilometre in length. Every morning I would jog down to the sand in my trainers, take them off and then run barefoot back and forth across the yellow grains. I would take in the sunrise whilst I ran, and if I was up early enough I could catch it appear for the first time over the horizon, beyond the Tasman sea. I never tired of seeing that sight. The same could not be said of my knees as my bare feet pounded the hard sand near the water’s edge.

What a gift it has been to call this city home for the past five years, I am truly blessed, though it has never felt ‘easy’ here. I moved in with a woman when I arrived and was not ready for the relationship, we were not right for each other, and in retrospect I realise I was awful to her. I have long longed to apologise. I was homesick and lonely. I made new friends, but I wasn’t happy enough in myself to show them my best self. I lost my enthusiasm for my work. I lived in a mouldy apartment that made me sick, and then I moved into a new apartment and got bitten by something in my sleep, which made me even sicker. The four years since have been a hazy blur of faking being ok and working out how to get better. Fighting to heal. The past two or so of which have been documented in this blog. Whilst the symptoms were largely physical, I realise now how much of the underlying cause was mental, and dare I say it, spiritual.

But what a blessing this city has been. I cannot really do it justice. People typically move away from home to find an adventure or to run away from something. I look back and realise that I ran away only to find more suffering, to be less comfortable, and subsequently extended my suffering to the point of not being able to go on living as I was. To wake myself up from the nightmarish dream in which I slumbered. Sydney is undeniably a beautiful city, one of the best, one of the shiniest and sunniest, a land of opportunity, full of beautiful people, excellent coffee, excellent food and some of the dreamiest beaches in the world. It captures the heart of nearly everyone who comes here. It captured mine, and then proceeded to lock it into a pit of darkness.

Two or three years ago, I think three, perhaps late summer, it was before this blog commenced in June 2018, I digress. Let’s just say it was ‘a while back’. I was running on Bondi beach one morning before heading to work. It was early, the sun was just coming up, I was barefoot and listening to some music, probably trance, probably an Above & Beyond podcast or album, it usually is if I’m running. Anyway, I was running, not much else going on, ‘one foot in front of the other and repeat’ kind of deal. Knowing my brain, I was probably riddled with rumination and over-thinking. Running usually went like this for me, I’d run harder and harder, faster and faster, as if trying to outrun the evil demon in my mind that was rarely nice to me. I’d run as hard as I could, until I was so exhausted that I would collapse on to the sand and find a moment of brief respite in that silent exhaustion. The way I attacked a run was a metaphor for how I attacked life. Distracted. Exhausted. Without style. Without grace.

How many people exercise in pain like this? Looking around I reckon it’s like Donald Trump supporters – a large silent majority. I watch people when they run these days, they usually have this scrunched up face of pain or stern concentration. I can see them in the same battle I used to spend my runs locked in. It’s the same thing in yoga classes, and spin classes, and bodypump exercises. Some people seem to go to yoga with the intention of sweating themselves into such a state of exhaustion that they’ll fall into a much-needed sleepy peace in the shavasana at the end. Nearly everyone looks so damn serious. Knowing what I know about yoga now, it’s tragic to behold. It’s meant to be fun, like a dance, but tt’s like their faces say:

“I’m concentrating so damn hard here on finding peace that I have no time for fun. This is not meant to be fun. Finding peace is serious business, I have to sweat or I fail.”

I look at these faces, either stressed, miserable or distant like a zombie’s, as they race past me in the park, or hold a Warrior 2 on the mat, and I feel for them, I really do. I remember what that used to feel like. Occasionally I slip back into that state, but I’m much better at noticing when it happens and then finding my way back out. Much better. It used to feel like I was working damn hard to feel something, but I felt nothing. To prove something, but I proved nothing. To find something that was missing, but I only found more nothing. What was I missing? What are so many of us missing?

That morning on the sand, lost deep in my world of own crap, as my run neared the Southern end of the beach, I approached a girl dancing. As I methodically planted one foot in front of another and panted with misplaced exertion, I ran towards what appeared to be an angel. She twirled, and swirled, and leapt, and swept her hands and feet in circles and lines with a beauty and a grace that to be honest, dear reader, I had no idea what to do with. She glowed in that early morning light. I could see she had her earphones in and was clearly dancing to music whilst bringing her joyous expression of life to that cold hard sand down by the waters edge. We made eye contact for a moment as I ran past and she smiled a smile I will never forget. It was so pure, so beautiful, so full of joy, so happy and loving that I simply could not handle it. My mind went blank. I stopped running shortly after as I had run out of sand, I looked back and watched her for a moment, mesmerised, as she continued to dance.

I realise now, looking back, that it was a pivotal moment for me. She sparked something inside of me, that girl on the beach. She had something I didn’t know I was longing for. Freedom. Love. And I didn’t recognise it in the moment, in fact I don’t think I really fully recognised it until I sat down and started to type this today. Grace.

That girl on the beach was grace appearing in my life at the exact moment that she needed to appear. Grace has continued to appear in my life since, with increasing frequency as time progresses. Katie dragging me to Sydney was grace. The spider biting me in my sleep was grace. The former flatmate, Mathilde, who introduced me to the ecstatic dance that led to this blog was grace. The four days spent with Tony Robbins was grace. The two decades of romantic disappointment was grace. Finding myself in Thailand at that yoga retreat, studying under David, was grace. The woman I have been relentlessly pulled towards for the past year, but whom has always kept me at arm’s length, is grace. My campervan, Vinnie, breaking down and thus forcing me back to Australia was grace, I needed to come back here to find what I was looking for. All along. It was grace. All of it. That was what I was missing, and yet it was there right in front of me the whole time.

My entire life has happened exactly as it was meant to. How incredibly freeing. And my response? Gratitude. Gratitude for all the shit; the sadness; the anger; the fear; the confusion; the suffering; the pain. And all the good stuff of course; the family; the friends; the laughs; the shared experiences; the love; the challenges; the smiles; and the physical touches, and wonderment. And Awe. Look around. Be awed by the world around you. It is terrible, and yet it is awesome. Yin and Yang.

Gratitude. Gratitude for all of it.

A week ago I danced on my own in the park near to where I live, beautiful spiritual music filling my ears, looking every bit the lunatic. I span around and around as I became the music. I twirled, and swirled, and leapt, and swept my arms in circles and lines. My entire being was filled with feelings of love and freedom and connection. I channeled that girl on the beach. With grace.

I smile a lot these days, I smile for no reason other than to be alive. I don’t need anything special to be happy. I have nothing to prove. Nothing to fear. My body demands I take care of it with basic whole foods, plenty of water, sleep and exercise and time and space (yoga/meditation). It’s taken me a long time to get here, and I know the path is never ending, but that death is simply a return home. I smile because I am grateful. Grateful for it all. Grateful for this experience of life, for the grace that I feel within my being, and shows up in my life. It has been so hard, so long, so lonely, so awfully confusing, and yet so magical, mysterious and wonderful in equal measure.

I recognise the look on the faces as I walk past people and smile at them now. People in cities are weirded out by strangers who smile at them. They look back confused, or perturbed, they avert their gaze, turn their heads to their friends, or their phones. They react as I once did to that girl on the beach, it is too much for them to make sense of so they turn from it. I have often longed to leave the darkness of the cities this year and retreat to the light of nature’s sanctuary, but something has kept me where I am, and now I know why.

I no longer despair when people turn from my smile, for I know a smile is all it takes. The seed is sown with that smile. A smile lights up the world. It is part of why those damn masks are so insidious and you won’t catch me wearing one. Like that girl on the beach I am going to do my part in healing this world, one smile, one twirl, one swirl, one blog, or Instagram post at a time. The anger and sadness within me grows weaker with each passing day, the darkness of the world affects me less, and with each spurt of growth I become more assured of my purpose here. It is the same purpose we all have. To light it up. To take each other’s hands and guide each other home, together, with love, to Graceland.

I’m going to Graceland
For reasons I cannot explain
There’s some part of me wants to see Graceland
And I may be obliged to defend
Every love, every ending
Or maybe there’s no obligations now
Maybe I’ve a reason to believe
We all will be received
In Graceland

Paul Simon, Graceland

This truly is the most incredible life, the most incredible experience. The world we inhabit may be currently filled with darkness, but where there is darkness there must also be light. The darkness is no match for the light. It never was, and it never will be. The pain is here to guide us towards the light, and I will shine my torch of love into every dark place I can find.

Together, we shall walk each other home, with style, with grace.

Amazing grace. That saved a wretch like me.

Love,

Christopher

How does this happen? I sit down to write and an hour later out pops 2000 words. Are these words even mine? What is ‘mine’? Nothing. It is all ours.

If you would like to work with me because you’re suffering or stuck in a rut and can’t see a way out, then head over to my business page at www.mindbodyquantumhealing.com for details on what I do and how to contact me.

How Can I Help You?

People often ask me what is I do, I figured it’s about time I created a page to send them to in order to explain it. You can read on, or you can head over to services site: www.mindbodyquantumhealing.com

When I first started working with clients it was mostly friends, generously offering themselves up as guinea pigs in my grand experiment. But then others, strangers, started appearing as if from nowhere, seekers looking for answers, looking for peace – answers and peace they had not been able to find elsewhere. It was a strange and unplanned development, it’s not like I had set out with an intention to become a meditation guide / healer / trauma therapist / transformation coach… it just sort of happened. You may not believe in a higher power, but to me it has felt very much like I was chosen to do what I now do. Very “woo woo” indeed, but here I am, this is what I do, and at some point I accepted that I’m really bloody good at it.

So what is it that I do? I will attempt to summarise it in one sentence: I bring clients into a state of meditation, a trance if you were, and from that place I work with the client to release negative vibrations held within them (suppressed emotions – often from childhood), and then move into re-programming subconscious messaging with new beliefs which are more positive and beneficial for the client. Simple! Typically it takes somewhere between 3 to 8 sessions for a client to get to a place they are happy with.

Many, if not most of us, are carrying old emotional wounds, often without knowledge of what it is that we carry. Sometimes these wounds can be decades old, dating back to early childhood, the memories may be vague, or even gone, but the wound remains. By bringing what is dysfunctional within our subconscious to the surface and then releasing it, often has profound, lasting and hugely beneficial impacts for the person involved. A number of my clients have had huge shifts after just one session with me.

These negative vibrations that we may suppress within us can hold us back dramatically; mentally and physically. They are often the root cause of addiction issues, anger and violence problems, self doubt, self hate, self harm, eating disorders, dysfunctional relationship patterns and so on. They can in many cases also be the root cause of physical ailments, aches, pains and diseases. The tragedy is that they can be released quickly and easily with the help of an empathetic healer like myself, but there aren’t that many of us about, and we are often looked down upon as quacks, regardless of what success we may have had. It is a real shame, but the tide does appear to be turning on this, the world of alternative medicine is gradually becoming more accepted despite the propaganda war that is waged against it.

So that, in a nutshell, is what I can offer. I cannot really explain how I came to have this ability, some may call it a gift although it does not always feel as so. It is however, undeniably a force for good, and I know I have no option but to share it with those who need help, need answers, need peace. Whatever their circumstance, whoever they are, wherever they may be. I have no judgement for my clients, I was a big fuck up at one time too, I have only a burning desire to help them achieve a more positive state. I see the world at large in the same way.

If you’re intrigued to know more I recommend looking at some of the testimonials from some of my past clients – see navigation bar at the top of this page, and/or watch the video I posted on the ‘What is Finding our Form?’ page. If you know someone who is stuck in negative patterns of behaviour, who isn’t very nice to themselves in their head, who is chronically sick, in chronic pain, or even has a disease, who drinks too much, smokes or takes drugs, if you know someone who is ready to make a change, then a call to me might just be what is required. Maybe that someone is your partner? Your parent? Your child? Or maybe it is you? I offer a free ‘no obligation’ consult on the phone, the onus is on you to pick it up and dial.

There is no need to sign up straight away, I like to have a 20-30 minute chat with a prospective new client before we start to work together. There is no obligation at that stage. There is no issue that we cannot work with, whether it be day-to-day stress, general life worries, childhood abuse, adult trauma, chronic illness such as autoimmune disease or cancer. I cannot promise a cure, but I can promise that every single client I have worked with has reported feeling happier and lighter, and that those benefits have lasted far longer than any massage.

When I left Thailand, having spent three months in relentless yoga and meditation practice I knew there had been some fairly fundamental shifts in who I was, and what I was. I turned up on that small tropical island with no idea of what laid in store. I didn’t harbour any dreams of becoming a yoga teacher, I didn’t realise so much of the course would be meditative, I didn’t have a clue, I just kind of ended up there. Looking back it’s wonderful to contemplate on that, because I know now that I was exactly where I needed to be, when I needed to be there.

And so I ask you: Where is it that you need to be?

I found a new level of peace and understanding on that small island, understanding of myself, but also of all of us. I developed this ability, this gift, and now it is my duty to share it so that others may also find more peace, and more understanding in their own lives.

Because really, at the heart of it, that’s what this life is all about isn’t it?

Attachment styles – how they mess you up, how they mess your children up, and how they mess the world up

The psychological world has in recent years delved ever deeper into the concept of attachment styles, and as someone who resides in one of the insecure quadrants, I personally find it fascinating.  So, like most things I find fascinating, I’ve opted to write about it.  This is a big, and it’s hellish important.  I want everyone in the world to read this.  Maybe that’s ambitious, but until everyone in the world understands this the world is doomed to suffer.  You suffer.  I suffer.  The planet suffers.  We all suffer.  Maybe it has to be that way, but I’ll be damned if I don’t keep on trying to reduce the amount of suffering, and increase the amount of love.  If ever was a time that this is needed it is now.  Share this post, not for me, not for you, but for the world.  Do it as an offering of love to those who need to read it (which is nearly everyone).

Studies over and over and over again have shown that there are essentially four key attachment styles, and we know that they are largely programmed before a child is eighteen months old, but that the psychological development of an attachment style continues until the child is three.  After that, they’re a bit more resilient and ready to handle the world a lot more effectively without the careful eye of the primary care giver on them all the time.

How incredible is this!  That the most important determinant in a child’s ability to give and receive love, and ultimately, be happy as an adult is largely driven by the access to unconditional love from the primary care giver whenever it is needed in the first three years of life.  This means, essentially, that the main thing a parent has to do is to be there most of the time, and be present, mentally, when they are.  It sounds simple, but for many of us it’s the hardest thing.

I could go referencing a bunch of studies and articles on this, lord knows I’ve read enough, but I’m going to invite you instead to go do your own research.  Take your own action.  Take responsibility.  Maybe you know this already (you do, intuitively, know that your child needs you there, and needs you attentive, it’s built into our DNA, but many of us have forgotten, or have lost touch with our intuition).  Maybe you need a reminder.  A reminder to stop fretting about work, or money, or god knows what else.  Stop fretting full stop.  If you fret, your child frets.  Anxious parents create anxious children, who become anxious adults, who have children…and so the cycle continues.  I know you want what’s best for your child/children, so if the content below speaks to you, you’ll go study up.  Look up attachment styles.  Read the work of Gabor Mate on childhood trauma.

But first, read the rest of this.

If you were triggered, then take a moment, close your eyes, breathe a couple of deep breaths and remind yourself that is isn’t an attack on you, this is merely a man in Australia sitting down to write some stuff that might help you, and your family to enjoy a better standard of happiness and contentment in your lives.  To create more fulfilling relationships.  If you don’t agree with it, that’s fine, but it’s no reason to get angry, that’s just your ego talking.  If you don’t agree, that’s cool, I’m not offended, you’re entitled to your opinion, I really don’t care what you think of me.  Cool, now that’s out of the way, let’s crack on.

Until recently, many parents, especially in the West, had got into the habit of handing their babies over to childminders and childcare facilities 6-12 months after they have been born, in order to protect their careers, in order to be able to pay the bills.  Some mothers simply wanted to go back to their careers because they loved their careers, but did they realise what impact this might have on their young children?  How it may damage the ability of their offspring to be happy?  How it may drive their offspring towards a life of substance addiction, loneliness or chronic lone wolf syndrome, or both? (I’m not sure if that is a syndrome, but it should be, humans are social creatures who desire intimate relationships when we’re physically and emotionally healthy).  Do these these mothers realise that they are essentially saying “yes, I value my career over the future happiness of my child?”.  I would hazard to guess not. It’s likely more of a case of: “well, it’s the done thing, so and so put their’s into childcare and they seem fine, and anyway I’m just too busy/bored to not”

Yes, of course kids need a roof over their heads and food in their bellies, but everything else, the toys, the expensive education, the expensive holidays, the activities, blah blah blah, ultimately are of secondary importance.  All the shit people work themselves into the ground in order to provide for their kids, in order for them to be happy, is actually just fluff.  The kids need happy, present parents primarily.  Don’t sweat the other stuff.  When people become a parent they have one job:

A parent’s responsibility is to create a safe, happy and loving environment for the child.  A child’s responsibility is to be loved, that is all, nothing more.

Read that again.  A child is not responsible for a parent’s happiness.  A child is not responsible for making an adult feel loved, or worthy.  As soon as a parent places that responsibility on their child it creates a dysfunctional relationship with love within that child.  The child will either seek to distance itself from the demands love, it won’t trust love, or it will start to believe they are not enough, not worthy of love, unless they give lots of love first, if they’re really well behaved, or really funny (lots of comedians found their skill from this lack of self love).  Of course that doesn’t mean a parent should molly-coddle a child, give in to its demands, or shower it with gifts and expensive toys.  Oh no, no, no!  The parent’s job is to raise that child to be secure and ready to go out into the world.  The child’s job is to learn, learn they are loved, how to receive love (which in turn will teach them how to give it too – clever huh), and how to be responsible.  They’ll do that naturally if the parents’ create a safe and loving and educational environment for them.

For a child below the age of three, a safe and loving environment looks like one where the primary care giver is there, and the primary care giver is happy to be there.  If that isn’t available, what happens is the child either becomes self-sufficient, and works out how to be okay without love from a parent.  They can’t trust in love, and will likely go on to reject it throughout their lives, or find themselves in relationships with insecure people, and thus don’t really give themselves to the relationship.  Or, the child becomes anxious, desperately, constantly looking outwards for the love that isn’t there.  This is more prevalent with children who have mothers who are anxious themselves.  These children will learn that love is not available, and has to be worked for, like they had to work to gain the attention of their anxious-preoccupied parent.  These children will become clingy, needy, desperate, anxious, scared, and more prone to sickness.  These children don’t believe themselves to be worthy of love, so they become people pleasers, constantly sacrificing themselves for the good of others, to their own detriment.

There is a big difference between being ‘there’ physically, and being present, mentally, in the moment.  Presence takes attention.  And we live in a world increasingly dominated by distraction, so put down the phone, (if you do this) stop photographing and filming them constantly.  Do you remember how you used to feel when your Mum took your photo?  I hated it.  Kids don’t like it, so if you keep doing it, they won’t like you.  Presence requires the parent to be secure in themselves.  If you don’t like you are then your kids will pick up on that, they’re smarter emotionally than us a lot of the time.  If you don’t like you, then on a subconscious level they’ll struggle to understand why they should like you.

The fourth, and mercifully small minority group, is the children who become both avoidant of love, and anxious of not being enough to be loved.  Those children simultaneously go out into the world constantly looking for the love, and when it comes to them, they reject it.  It’s tragic, and for the 1-2% who fall into that category (although I suspect that category is growing bigger and bigger) they are confined to lifetime of anxiety and loneliness.  It’s not a good place to be, I know, personally, because I have spent my life residing in that category.  I’m gradually working my way out of it, but I am an anxious person, a people pleaser, and I also reject anyone who wants to love me.  Instead I have in the past gone looking for love from the very people who don’t want to give it to me.  And I became sick, chronically sick.  Stress and loneliness will do that do a person.  That being said, I’ve become conscious of all this because I got so sick I could no longer function.  So I went looking for answers in the form of this blog, and then in the form of exploring the mind, and body, and the nature of who we are as humans, and how we operate.  Hello yoga! Hello Tony Robbins!  Two years on, my people pleasing ways are on the wane.  My openness to love is on the rise.  I am gradually starting to re-learn through meditation and hypnosis that I am enough, that I am lovable, and that I want to love someone who respects and loves me back.  I don’t want to be with someone who doesn’t see my value.  I have a huge amount of love to give, to everyone, and that’s why I’m writing this post.  I’m not here to please you, but I am here to serve you.  If you don’t like it, then, well, tough, you’re free to leave.  If you do like it then stay.  I’ll love you regardless, because that’s what unconditional love is.

I’ve said some potentially triggering things there, so it’s probably time to close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, chill out, and then I’ll introduce you to the matrix with the four quadrants that will explain it all.  I’ll briefly run you through the four styles and what it may mean for you:

The secure – roughly 55-60% of the population

Sweet!  The lucky ones, keep working at being comfortable in your own skin, and focus your energy on sending your cherished and most important love outwards, you can afford to give it, because for you, it’s unlimited.  You can draw down on your infinite supply of the good stuff and give it to others.  Be grateful every day for this most wonderful of gifts.  This is literally the best thing you have, forget the houses, the cars, the toys, even your family.  You have the most important thing in the universe – use it for good!  Become conscious of this gift, and use that consciousness to extend compassion and kindness to those who did not receive the same gift you did.  Sadly, many of the people in this camp look at the people in the other camps and label them as bad people.  It’s not true, we’re all born pure, it’s the societal programming that turns people ‘bad’.  At their core they’re still good, and they can be saved.

The dismissive-avoiders – roughly 20% of the population

I see you. I hear you.  You’re confident, you get shit done, you’re motivated, you don’t need no one, life is all good.  BUT (there’s always a but) you find yourselves in relationships with people who are needy and anxious, which drives you mad so you run away, again, and again, until you’re so exhausted that you give up on love completely, or  find someone who is unavailable, and then you have this mediocre relationship where both of you kinda don’t give a shit.  It’s okay, but it ain’t exactly the stuff we dream of.  These people are sometimes drawn to saving others, they become heroes, because that fills the hole in their heart.  In other cases they become happy hermits, recluses who live life alone and are fairly okay with it.  These people need to learn how to trust in love, if they want to grow that is.  They need to lose their fear of love  (I can help with this)

The anxious-preoccupied – roughly 20% of the population

I see you.  I hear you.  You’re anxious.  You’re preoccupied.  But you also care so damn much about everyone else being happy, you care so damn much that you forget to care about your own happiness.  But you want it too, don’t you?  You want the love back that you so generously give, you want it, but you never seem to get it, because you demand it, sometimes vocally, often silently.  Without realising it you say “I gave you all this love, you owe me!”.  It pushes people away doesn’t it, because they never signed up to the unwritten contract you have with them in your head.  It drives you mad, because you just want to love and be loved, but it just doesn’t feel that happens, no matter what you try.  Because you don’t love yourself.  You never learnt that it was okay to just be you.  You are enough.  You don’t HAVE to DO anything.  I also know I can tell you this till I’m blue in the face and you still won’t believe me when I say you are enough.  And that’s okay, because you have this belief that you’re not enough in your subconscious from when you were a baby/toddler.  These people need to learn to love themselves (I can help with this)

The fearful-avoiders – roughly 1-2% of the population (and growing)

I see you. I hear you. You’re anxious, you’re preoccupied.  You are very similar to the group above, except unlike them (they’ll grab on to it), when love comes your way, you run away from it, like the dismissive avoiders.  You constantly go looking externally for the love that you don’t have for yourself, but when you do find it you run away and go looking for someone to confirm that you’re not lovable – you actively seek out people who won’t love you back, and that confirms the belief that you have in your subconscious.  You give up, exhausted, focus on yourself for a bit and then go again, and the process repeats.  It’s tragic, I feel your pain.  These people need to learn how to love themselves, and to learn how to not fear love.  A double whammy, plenty of juicy work to take on (I can help with this).

And that’s it really.  If you identify in the secure quadrant, then great, lucky you, no, seriously, become conscious of what an incredible gift that is you have there, and become conscious of the fact that the unhappy, insecure, angry, cold, needy, mean people are just traumatised toddlers in adult bodies who are either scared of love, or scared of not being enough to be loved, or both.  They deserve your love and compassion, not your dislike, hatred, pity and scorn.  The only way they will heal is if you people use your gifts to guide them into a place of trusting in love, and trusting that they are lovable.

If you identify in the other three brackets, then rejoice, because you are conscious of what is holding you back, and rejoice in your other gifts, your compassion, your empathy, your caring, your will and determination and sheer brute strength to carry on, to carry on loving, to carry on looking, to carry on trying to improve yourself.  You are the fighters.  Heal from this you are unstoppable.  Stop looking for other people to save you, or stop running away from that which scares you (avoiders, that includes you, I’m talking about love here).  People in this camp need to realise that they need to step up and do the work on themselves, for their benefit, for their loved one’s benefit, for their children’s benefit, for the whole world’s benefit.  Tony Robbins is a former fearful avoider, anxious abusive mother, and a father who left.  Look at him go now, bringing love and positivity into literally millions of people across the world.  Once the broken heal they are the ones who can heal those around them.

And whilst we’re talking, let’s come back to the secure people.  You people collect traumas too, bullying, heart break, grief, betrayal.  Unless you heal from those wounds in your subconscious you’re not at full strength.  You often have healing to do too, but things are good enough that you don’t bother.  Which is tragic, because you are the easiest to heal, give me one hour with you and you’ll feel brand new.  These people won’t reach out, because they’re comfortable, but they should.

I can help you.  All of you.  I know how to guide you into a deep state of meditation in little to no time, go look at the reviews on this site.  I know how to help you reprogram your subconscious away from the faulty belief patterns you developed as an innocent child.  I know how to guide you into releasing old wounds.  If you don’t want my help then look up experts in the field in your local area, make sure they incorporate hypnosis and attachment style healing.  Some may call it in inner child healing.

If you’re parent, then just be there, and be happy in yourself so you’re not placing that pressure on your child to make you happy.  I had a mother in the anxious-preoccupied category, and a father in the dismissive avoidant category, I was an emergency C-section, and I was placed in childcare as a one-year old.  It was unavoidable that I would grow up damaged.  I’m gradually, consciously working to heal that damage, and the more and more I heal, the better and better I become helping others who need to also heal.

I see you.  I hear you.  I am you.

Love,

Christopher

If you would like to work with me because you’re suffering or stuck in a rut and can’t see a way out, then head over to my business page at www.mindbodyquantumhealing.com for details on what I do and how to contact me.

 

 

 

 

 

I Wasn’t Meant To Live

Foreword: Please don’t start this unless you have 15 mins to read it to completion.  Come back to it later.  If you read only half way it will leave you depressed.  Don’t do that to yourself.  Comeback later.  There’s no rush.

I read a story recently about a dog who gave birth to a litter of six pups.  To the humans who cared for the mother, all six seemed happy and healthy, however after a short while the momma pooch gently lifted one of the pups up, carried it from the dog bed to the other side, where she nuzzled and then left the poor little bugger.  She returned to the ‘nest’ to tend to the remaining five pups.  The little pup who had been outcast cried and whimpered, the mother looked at it sadly, but did not go to it.

The humans, alarmed, scooped the pup up and placed it back in the bed with the others, but it was to no avail.  After a short while, the mother merely picked it up and removed it again.  The humans tried this repeatedly over the next few days.  They made it their mission to save this unwanted pup from its apparent fate.  And they succeeded, the mother eventually gave up on her mission to orphan her apparently-healthy offspring, but at what cost?

That puppy went on to live for thirteen years, but according to the owners was constantly sick, regularly at the vets, racking up huge bills, needing operation after operation, medication after medication, just to stay alive.  Moral of the story:  Momma pooch knew something the humans, though trying to be ‘humane’, did not.

As my own mother was in labour, her body and my own unborn foetus conspired to turn me upside down in the womb and wrap the umbilical cord around my neck.  The hospital staff, seeing my vitals instantly shift, rushed my Mum into the operating theatre to perform an emergency caesarean to save my life.  Western medical intervention ensured I survived, and here I am, thirty six years later writing about it.  But should I be?  Should I be here?  Should I be writing about it?

Nature is life.  Humans are an expression of life.  Life knew that I was a flawed copy, and took action at the last moment to prevent that flaw coming into existence.  This isn’t about right or wrong, good or bad.  The medical staff overrode nature, and so here I am.  But was I meant to live?

Perhaps you think I’m being ridiculous in asking such a question.  Perhaps you think you know better than I do.  Perhaps you think I’m over thinking it.  Perhaps you think I’m being morbid.  Perhaps you are right.  Perhaps you are wrong.  It doesn’t matter.  I express my experience truthfully on this page.  That is all that is certain here.  The rest of it is just opinions, as proved by the use of the word ‘think’.  Right or Wrong.  Good or Bad. Beauty or ugliness -it’s all just opinion.  Conditioning.  Programming.  Fluff.

I woke up at 4am this morning and started to meditate, as I do most mornings these days, but rather than finding peace and calm, I descended almost immediately into mental anguish, and eventually, hell.  I have no choice in the matter, I cannot control it any more, and nor do I want to.  If a downward spiral begins I have to ride it to the bottom, and it’s best to get there as quickly as possible.  This spiral spiralled rapidly, and within minutes I had my face buried in the pillow and was blasting muffled screams into the material of the pillow case.  This was the third morning on the trot that this has occurred.

I’m in a strange period.  I have found this love, a strange love, for everything.  I walk around and feel powerful fondness for all the creatures that I see, from insects to birds to humans.  I feel connected to the world like never before.  It’s like I’ve just upgraded my satellite TV package from Basic to Premium Deluxe.  I understand myself, and the world around me, and all the people in it like never before.  But at the same time my life has lost meaning, all the stuff that used to give my life purpose has ceased to fulfill or drive me, and so the joy has departed.  I’m full of love and patience, but in a deep malaise at the same time.  How do you make sense of that?  It’s something I’m working through.

I made some sense of it this morning as I furiously screamed my final bout of rage into the poor pillow.  When I enter one of these spirals, obviously it’s not a particularly pleasant experience, but at the very bottom I fall out and into a void of wonderful nothingness.  It is there where the true revelations seem to occur, the clarity of my existence becomes clear.  When my third eye bursts open and I intuit what I need to intuit.  The spirals aren’t always downwards into hell, sometimes they cycle up into heaven and when I hit the void at the top of that I find pure love.  It seems that pain and anger bring wisdom and knowledge.  Ecstasy and bliss bring love and joy.  I welcome both directions.  You should know that, because I’m fully aware that a vision of me screaming into a pillow int he darkness of my bedroom is probably not a nice one for you.  For me, it’s just part of the process.  I’ve learnt to feel things on an enormous spectrum.  So yes, there is terrible anger and sadness, but there is also mind-blowing, better than any drug, bliss and love.  I’ve wondered if that’s bipolar, but I always feel in control.  Maybe.  Who knows.  Who cares.  It’s life.

You have not lived my experience, so you cannot know my experience, as much as I cannot claim to know yours. I have whole-heartedly and honestly attempted to describe my experience through the words on this blog over the past two years, however it is but a tiny window into my soul.  I have written extensively on the subject of my health.  The sad fact is that I have felt as though something was not quite right, physically, with my body since my mid-teens.  I remember struggling to stay awake in class sometimes at school.  The digestive problems started around that time too, 16 or 17.  Debilitating stomach aches.  When I was 19 I started having issues with my bladder that led to an operation. I almost dropped out of uni in my third year as I was struggling to cope.  In my mid-20s I went from doctor to doctor being tested for all sorts of ailments.  I suffered from terrible arthritis in my knees and feet, my hands were often numb and cold, my digestive system got worse and worse, my hormone system was malfunctioning and I started to suffer mood swings and sexual dysfunction.  There was near constant back pain that no amount of osteopathy or physio could cure.  And fatigue. The fatigue that started to appear occasionally in class at school plagued me regularly in the workplace.  I would often doze off through afternoon meetings.  I became an expert at putting fake meetings in my diary and finding secret places to nap.

Doctors tested for lupus, thyroid dysfunction, rheumatoid arthritis, IBS, crohns, diabetes, and on and on.  They never tested for Coeliac disease.  Why??? I saw at least three gastroenterologists.  Not one thought to test for it.  Looking back now it seems madness. Nothing came back conclusive except that I did have early-onset arthritis.  The medical system is whack.  I’m sorry to all the doctors out there, most of whom just want to help people, but I have very little respect for the profession.  They know how to treat a broken leg, but for chronic diseases they just don’t have an answer.  If you have a chronic disease, come talk to me.  Doctors will likely give you a medication to mask your symptoms whilst you slowly deteriorate.  Doctor after doctor washed their hands of me when they couldn’t find the problem.  Eventually I took matters into my own hands and started to tweak my diet, becoming an early champion of the paleo way of eating.  The digestive issues started to improve, the arthritis went away, my thyroid seemed to perk up.  Life became a lot more enjoyable.  However hangovers became the bane of my existence.  They would often last for three days, but I was oblivious to why, so I drank, because that was the only time I felt free.  I started passing out, having panic attacks and scary things happened with my heart that led me to A&E, twice.  Like gluten, alcohol was removed from my life.  Life became really quite dull.  So I moved to Australia.

I spent my first year Down Under living in mouldy apartments.  High temperatures, next to a large body of water, massive humidity and poorly built buildings.  Mould is everywhere here, and it’s a silent killer.  Just look at the tragic tale of Britney Murphy and her husband.  I’m tuned into it, my local supermarket has a mouldy aroma near where the bottled water is, I hold my breath whilst walking through that section.  The coffee shop with the wonderful-looking pastries that I can’t eat has a mouldy cover out front that makes me woozy if I stand there too long.  There is a theatre in Newtown that I simply cannot go in.  Like a canary in a coal mine, if mould is there, I’ll be able to tell you.  The fatigue I’d largely eliminated with the gluten and alcohol bans came back with a vengeance.  And then I got bitten by that spider, and all hell let loose.  That insect bite put some sort of toxin in my body which was the final straw for my long suffering immune system.  That was almost four years ago.  I’ve written about it extensively on here before, I don’t need to go back over it.  I’ve made peace with it.  I’m bringing it up here for context.

Here I am today, with two decades of research into trying to find ‘health’.  Whilst many of you have been off finding love, starting families, buying houses, focusing on your careers, I’ve been distracted with trying to find ways to feel well.  I’ve covered it all off.  I eat organic and grassfed, no sugar, nothing processed.  I eat according to the body ecology diet, water in the morning, protein at lunch, carbs at night, I do regular fasts, I don’t drink, I’ve learnt how to de-stress, I practice yoga, I meditate at least twice a day, I walk a minimum of 10k steps a day, when I’m not fatigued I can run a 24 minute 5k, I do strength training, but not too much, I take my shoes off and ground, I take epsom salt baths on the reg.  I learnt to do all this, because if I don’t, I can’t function, I get really ill.  In the past year I also developed a spiritual practice, found unconditional love and the truth of life. and resolved the gigantic rift I had with my own past.  I healed my traumas, I found the joy, the gratitude, the clarity, the oneness.  Prana now runs through me and into others like lightning passing jumping from one metal rod to another.  It’s so powerful that it scares me sometimes.  I’m learning how to use it to heal others.  Which is amazing, and ridiculous.  Energy healing wasn’t even on my radar a year ago.  That may be a bit too ‘woo woo’ for you, and that’s fine, but for me it is the diamond in the rough.  The thing that enables me to find gratitude.  Enables me to feel it was worth all the hassle.

And yet, AND YET, despite all this, I am still not in good health.

I have scoliosis.  I was 27 when I found out that my back is slightly twisted.  My left shoulder slopes down lower than the right.  My neck carries my head slightly forward to balance it out.  One of my pupils is larger than the other.  My jaw hangs slightly more to one side.  My nose points slightly to the other direction.  My right hip is looser than the left.  Subtle imbalances are displayed externally throughout my body, but I’m not vain enough to care.  The real flaw lays inside my back.  The spine is the support system for the muscular skeletal system, but it is also the home of the spinal cord.  The nerves shoot out from the gaps between each vertebrae, regulating the function of the organs, the nervous, circulatory and endocrine systems.  When scoliosis causes the spine to curve laterally and unnaturally it pinches those nerves and negatively affects the functioning of those systems.  A prominent scoliosis support website says:

Accumulated stress. In milder cases, most scoliosis symptoms aren’t severe enough to impair the patient’s ability to function, but over time they can add up to a lot of strain on the body. On top of the emotional stress caused by the spine’s deformity, patients may endure chronic pain and fatigue, headaches, difficulty sleeping and digestive problems — all of which can sap vitality over time.

Amazing really, how reading a story about a runt in the litter, could lead to an insight so profound during a 4am meditation (I don’t sleep well).

This is important knowledge for me.  It’s a massive part of the puzzle.  It explains why I have not been able to find good health for the past 20 years despite trying so damn hard to find it. It explains why my body rejects foods which are mild stressors, like gluten, dairy, tomatoes, white potatoes or anything artifical or processed.  It explains why I struggle to build muscle, and lose it quickly.  It (partially) explains why my stress tolerance became low, why fatigue has been a problem.  Why my body can’t clear mould toxins, or why that spider bite wrecked me.  More than one doctor has told me that my physical ailments are all in my head, and to some extent I believe that was true.  Undoubtedly childhood trauma and my parent’s divorce affected me in a profound way, but I realised this morning, in that meditation, that it was always destined to be this way.  I wasn’t meant to live.  Nature reminds me so every day.  The intention was for me to die in my Mother’s womb.

What this realisation gives me is something beyond measure.  I know now that I can give up my exhausting search for optimal health.  It simply ain’t gonna happen.  The thirty six and a half years I’ve had to date have been an unintended bonus.  Any further days, weeks, months or years I’m gifted are a blessing.  How incredibly freeing to realise that I don’t need to try so hard any more, or question why I don’t feel so great most of the time.  Pain and suffering is my status quo.  It’s time to accept it, manage it and move on.

There is a quote that says something like:

“A man with his health will have a thousand desires, a man who has not, has only one”

This is true for me.  Everything in my life, especially in the last decade, has been of secondary importance to finding good health.  It has dominated my existence.  It is no surprise, although of course, of utmost disappointment, that I am single and without children.  I am not the bachelor who revels in his single status.  I have no interest in one night stands and casual flings.  Ever since I can remember I’ve been craving a loving, fulfilling relationship, I just haven’t been able to find it, because I’ve been a little distracted, a little lost.  The sexy, confident women I’ve been attracted to have no interest in man who is lost.

But what about if I accept my limitations?  Stop fighting the pain?  Stop trying to make a conventional life work for me?  What then?  Stephen Hawking only really flourished after his disease took away his physical body.  What’s become really apparent to me is that I feel good when I’m moving my body a lot.  When I’m out in nature, walking through the bush, swinging from trees, diving in the ocean, dedicated to my yoga practice.  Away from the pollution and craziness of cities.  I simply cannot spend forty hours a week at a desk bathing in man-made EMFs, artificial light and air conditioning anymore and expect to be ok.  My body needs to be outside and it needs to be moving.  If I want to live a long and happy life I need to cut the cord with the old life.  To commit myself to Mother Earth.  To Gaia.  I don’t know how that will work, but it will.

The microbiome, normally inherited from our mothers as we pass through the birth canal, and so in my case disrupted upon birth by C-section, needs me to be outdoors.  Caesarian babies are 10 times more likely to have asthma, 4 times more likely to have coeliac disease.  Babies who do not pass through the birth canal suffer a blow to the development of a well functioning immune system.  Is it any wonder that so many more kids have autism, behavioural issues and food allergies when elective C-sections are borderline fashionable?  From my experience you simply cannot heal a damaged gut or rescue a failing immune system with sedentary lives, indoor gyms, offices, and 40-degree yoga studios.  My body needs dedication to the practice.  It needs space.  It needs clean air, and food, and water.  I need to go live out there.  My gut has known this for some time, I’ve been thinking about it for a while.  It’s time.

I’ve seen people holding on to nothing
Broken dreams and broken cords
Running on empty, losing sleep, oh
It’s true I’ve earned these cracks upon my feet
Walk away from all that you know
Walk away and hold your own
Walk away and hold your own
And I’ve seen people holding on to something
Smiling with no place to call home
In you I see something so familiar, uh
My dear friend, so nice to have you home
Xavier Rudd, Walk Away

That last verse gives me real hope, and you know what else gives me hope.  That puppy.  That puppy who wasn’t meant to live, but did, thanks to human intervention, and went on to live a long life.  It was a life of pain and suffering, but you know what his owners said about that dog?  They said he had more love in him than he knew what to do with.  He gave that love freely to those blessed to be around him.  He was a survivor.  It seems to me I could learn a lot from that pup.

Maybe I was meant to live after all, but it’s a redundant question, it’s not worth pondering, because I am here, alive, and grateful to be here; grateful for the past; grateful for the present; grateful for the future, whatever it may bring.

And a grateful heart is a magnet for miracles.

Love,

Christopher

If you would like to work with me because you’re suffering or stuck in a rut and can’t see a way out, then head over to my business page at www.mindbodyquantumhealing.com for details on what I do and how to contact me.

Practice Gratitude, Believe in Magic, Befriend the Wizards and Witches

How long will #Lockdown last?  Another week?  Month?  Longer?  Good question. Nobody really knows.

What comes next?  Good Question.  Nobody knows.

Might this lockdown be followed by a period of non-lockdown, before lockdown is enacted again?  Good question.  It’s possible, but nobody knows.

Is the virus real?  Or is something else killing people?  Good question.  Some ‘body’ somewhere probably knows.  The rest of us, well, nobody really knows.

Will life go back to how it was?  Good question.  Unlikely.  But nobody really knows.

Should life go back to how it was?  Another good question, but each individual’s answer is just going to be an opinion, based on inputs received from external sources.  So should we pay much attention to it?  I’ll leave that one to you to decide.  But guess what, nobody really knows.

No one has invented a time machine to catapult us into the future, yet, so nobody knows what’s coming up.  Despite that fact, ask yourself how much time and mental real estate has been spent in the past four weeks in rumination on the future…  Added up across the globe the number of minutes would boggle the mind.

So what the heck do we know?

We know this:

The past is a concept carried in our minds and photographs, which we remember as we remember it, not necessarily how it actually was.  We remember the bad stuff more than the good stuff, because remembering the bad stuff means we know where the danger lies.  This keeps us safe, it’s an evolutionary survival trick, but has the potential to wreck our lives, if we let it.  How can we trust our memories of the past, if we’ve forgotten a lot of the good things that happened?  Or even more devastating; misremembered the bad stuff as worse than it was.

What about the future?  The future is also a construct of our minds, a projection of what it may look like based on our current experience of life and the concepts we hold in our memories of how the past unfolded.  That projection is also likely to be influenced by what other people have told us of their own predictions, but how can we trust those?  Should we trust their sources more than we trust our own untrustworthy sources?  Projecting goals and intentions for the future is a smart move, but if we fall into the trap of assuming the future will pan out exactly as we imagine it in this moment, if we spend our lives dreaming of future riches, we set ourselves up for a lifetime of distraction and disappointment.  A lifetime of failing to be present in the present.

So if we can’t trust our memories of the past, and we cannot foretell the future, what are we left with?

Answer: The present moment.

It is the closest thing to reality, to the truth that we have.  It is all that is.

But what if our present moment is being destroyed by our addiction to, and obsession with, the past story and future projections… Then what do we have?

Nothing but a mess of thinking.  An inner lie that cannot be trusted.  A total fabrication of our own making.  And worse still, a heart blocked by the intellect and thought patterns.

It is the primary error of humanity.  Pure programming.  A prison of our own making.

And so what comes after Coronavirus?  After the incredible global experience that is, and eventually will have been, the Covid-19 freak show?

I’ll tell you what comes next.  Whatever we choose.  If in fact we choose to choose.

Regardless of your opinion on the ‘Law of Attraction’, we are constantly manifesting, everything in our lives is a manifestation of our beliefs, decisions and actions. Everything.  Individually and collectively.

So what do we do?  We decide, right here, right now, to let go of any negativity we are holding on to towards the past, to see it all as a messy series of life lessons to be grateful for, nothing more, nothing less.  We look back on our entire story and give thanks for it led us to this moment. 

I’ll use myself as an example here.  My parents got divorced when I was eleven years old, I’ve delved into the story on my blog before so I’m not going to go into it again, but in summary: the sequence of events were not beneficial to my development or happiness.  Or at least they weren’t, until quite recently, when I finally reached the point where I could no longer sweep the problems under the carpet and decided to do something about it.  What did I do?  Well I’ve done a lot, tried a lot, it’s all documented on my blog, but it really just boils down to this:

  • Firstly I made a conscious decision to re-frame my past as a beautiful life of experience and illuminating teachings.  No longer do I look back on any thing that happened with resentment, anger or bitterness.  Why would I?  It all led me to this moment, sat here, typing this, with a smile on my face and a glow in my heart that no one can extinguish.
  • Secondly, I worked with a skilled practitioner to release the negative emotional energetic frequencies that were trapped inside my physical body.  A skill I was so utterly impressed with that I went on to study the method so I could offer it to others.  It has become my purpose.

I make it sound easy.  It has not been easy, but a large part of that is because I was deploying trial and error as my method to finding the solution to my problems.  I never employed a guide.  I was too stubborn and too stupid, and as a result I was stuck for years and years going round in circles, repeating the same mistakes over and over again.  I needed a guide.  A coach.  A teacher.  Or maybe I didn’t. because here I am, finding my own way, eventually, but my goodness it would saved a lot of time and heart ache.

Okay, so I’m just a kid of divorce who experienced some bullying and got himself trapped in a negative cycle.  Trauma, yes, but not that unusual.  Many would argue that there’s nothing that traumatic about it, but trauma is a spectrum, and no one can say for sure how an event or upbringing is going to affect a child.  Kurt Cobain’s parents got divorced at nine and look at how it affected him, he never got over it.

A trauma is defined as a distressing or disturbing event, or series of events.  By that measure it could include anything from being left to cry for hours as a baby, to having an angry or depressed parent, to losing a loved one, or having your heart broken, from failing at school to being mugged at knife point.  It could be living with an emotionally manipulative partner, being disabled by an accident, or working towards a dream only to find it dashed at the last minute.

Many people will hear the word trauma and think because nothing ‘serious’ has happened to them that it does not apply.  It’s not true.  Simply having an unhappy parent whilst growing up can be deeply traumatising for a young child.  And so if you’re reading this, and you’re a parent who’s unhappy, it’s probably something worth exploring, for their sake as well as yours.

But what about the people who experience mega trauma?  Losing parents? Sexual or physical abuse?  Surviving Nazi concentration camps?  History is littered with famous achievers who had dark pasts.

Isaac Newton’s father died before he was born, his mother then left him to be raised by his grandparents, by all accounts he did not have a happy childhood.

Oprah Winfrey was sexually abused from the age of ten by several members of her own family, and aged 14 she became pregnant, but lost the child.

Joaquin Phoenix lost his brother to a drug overdose when he was 19, Joaquin went on to have his own substance abuse problems.

Russell Brand has very publicly battled his addictions.  Look at him now, married father of two, becoming one of the most internationally known British comedians, commentators, and dare I say it, spiritual teachers.

Tony Robbins’ mother tried to drown him with bleach.  His companies now turn over in excess of $6billion a year, he has provided millions of free meals to the poor, and has helped countless attendees of his workshops to turn their lives about.

And there’s Viktor Frankl, the Jewish doctor, neurologist, psychiatrist and author who, against all odds, survived over four years in the unimaginable horror of the Nazi concentration camps, and went on to provide inspiration to millions.

There are more examples of triumph through adversity littered throughout history than I could possibly list or uncover.  Madonna and Lady Gaga, both were raped.  Charlize Theron witnessed her mother shoot her father when she was 15. Nicole Kidman has been incredibly open about her struggles with infertility.  Keep looking and you’ll find more and more.

The further your rubber band gets pulled back into the darkness, the faster you can catapult into the light, if you so choose.

The point is this: Human beings are incredibly adaptable and resilient creatures, just look at how we have adapted to this Covid-19 situation.

“Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get”

The bigger point is this: When life gives you lemons, make Lemonade.  We all have things that go ‘wrong’ in our lives.  Sometimes at the start.  Sometimes in the middle.  Sometimes at the end.  When the lemons inevitably land in our lap we have a choice:

We can say: “fucking lemons, they’re all bitter and acidic, I didn’t want fucking lemons”, and then watch them rot in our lap.

Or we can say: “fucking lemons! YESSS! Get in! What a result!  I can add a little sugar and use these lemons to make refreshing lemonade, I can have a glass for myself, yum, and then I can gift the remaining lemonade to my dehydrated neighbours, so that they may taste this delicious lemonade and enjoy their day a little more”  I win, they win, everybody wins!

This is it, it is that simple.  If we want to be happy in the present we must look back on the past with nothing but gratitude.

And this is where meditation or prayer comes in.  But before I dive into that, we need to address the future again briefly.  Once we stop letting the past control us, we should also work to cease attempting to constantly control and map out the future.  We should aim to understand that seeking to precisely define the future means we lose our ability to adapt, to find opportunity in the unexpected, and we close off other potentially more fruitful, joyous paths that the universe may present to us.  If we demand that there is only one path we must follow, and then that leads to a dead end, where are we then?  Stuck.

How do you DECIDE to do these things?  “It’s hard!” I hear you wail…

You must take ACTION to change your BELIEFS to the ones described above.  Take the DECISION to BELIEVE that the past is something to be thankful for, regardless of the story.  And BELIEVE that the future is yours to manifest, but not control.  Then take ACTION to lock those beliefs into your subconscious.

That’s a bit messy, let’s condense it into one line.

Decide to take action to change your beliefs. 

“But how do I do that?”  Read on.

The present moment is all we have.  And once we have freed ourselves from the tyranny of our pasts and the hopeless unknowing of our futures, we will be able to fully live that moment.  ‘The Power of Now’.  This is not new.  Many men and women have figured this out through the ages.  However, never before has the entire planet pushed the pause button, never before has the entire planet been connected like it is today, never before have we had access to this information at the same time as having the time and space to explore this concept.

It is time for us all to take out our vision boards and write down the utopian future that we want to take shape when the lockdown rules start to ease.  The prison of our own making has a prison door, but that door is not locked, you just need to test the handle, open it and step out.

John Lennon once sang:

“You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one”

I finally understand what he was singing about.  He isn’t the only one.  There’s a whole army of dreamers, of wizards and witches out there, hiding in plain sight, casting magic spells.  Some are celebrities like the late John, but it might be the cook in your kids’ school canteen, or the barista at your favourite coffee place who is always smiling, always chirpy.  It is the people who live with unconditional love in their hearts, and freedom in their souls.  Hagrid was a wizard just as Harry and Voldemort were.

How do you live with unconditional love in your heart and freedom in your soul?  I’ll say it again.  Give thanks for the past, and cease trying to control the future, instead decide what it is you want, and then ask for it.

It is important to note: Some of the powerful wizards and witches have gone to the ‘darkside’.  The power has gone to their heads, not their hearts.  Watch out for them, like Voldemort and Darth Vader they want to take the war to, and destroy the Muggles, they’ll seek to first take out the rebellion, the dreamers.  I’m not going to point them out, but when you see a powerful person, simply ask yourself, is that person operating from fear or from love?  Trust your gut.  If it’s fear, laugh in the face of fear and move on.

The world is full of fear at the moment, open your eyes and ears and you will realise we are engulfed in it.  We are in a dangerous place.  It is more important than ever to open your eyes and open your heart.

Instead we should look to the Dumbledores, the Yodas and the Gandalfs.  They are there, you just have to look for them.  I’ve given you one already, but go read the lyrics of Pink Floyd and you’ll soon see the magic.  Shakespeare’s pen was a wand.  David Gray, the clue was in his first album title (White Ladder).  Monty Python – definitely.  Ricky Gervais – almost certainly, watch ‘After Life’ or the ‘Invention of Lying’.  Jim Carrey?  See him in ‘Yes Man’?  Powerful wizard that one.  Eckhart Tolle blows my mind with his magical words and peaceful demeanor.  Have you seen Chris Martin on stage?  Pure presence.  They are there, look for them.

How do you know who they are?  They’re often unconventional.  a bit ‘strange’.  They talk of love, they talk of freedom and free speech, they give no credit nor time to fear, they are creative, thoughtful, kind, occasionally dark, yet hilarious.  Find them, and then DECIDE to BELIEVE in their message, and then DECIDE to take ACTION.  Make their message your message.  A message of hope, faith, love and humour.

“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro”

Maybe this will all end tomorrow.  Maybe this time next year it will be a mere historical footnote, the butt of jokes between regulars down at the local drinking establishment.

Alternatively, maybe this is just the start of a post-Covid-19 dystopian future that would give George Orwell nightmares.  Maybe it’s going to rip the carpet from underneath us, destroy the world economy, bankrupt nations, bankrupt businesses, end capitalism, usher in a new world order, enable the new age of AI to dominate us, reduce us to peasants, destroy families, destroy humanity, plug us into a matrix.  If we all collectively succumb to fear this may well happen.  We will manifest it with our fear.  God forbid.

Or maybe we’re about to witness the greatest period of human history.  Maybe we’re about to step into the world that John Lennon imagined.  A world where we live as one, in peace and harmony.  We have the opportunity to achieve something that we’ve never been able to before.  If enough of us place hope, faith, humour, and love in our hearts, we will collectively usher in the most incredible new age.

The spiritual folk advise that we are entering the age of Aquarius.  The age of water.  What is water?  A mass of molecules held loosely together by cohesive bonds, fluid, flowing, held together but not rigid.  There is no life without water.  Gaia, Mother Earth, more water than she is soil, she is waiting for us to make our move.  What do we want?  What direction are we setting our ship for?  What will we collectively manifest?  Will be bond together or will we freeze in fear and drown?  Wake up.  Step up.  Your planet needs you.  Your people need you.  Your family need you.  You need you.  Open your heart.

Take your power back, take the power away from the past and the future, give up control of what we cannot control, practice forgiveness, practice gratitude, and then ask for the future you want to see.  Demand it in meditation or prayer.  Although I’m not religious, these are the teachings of Jesus Christ, but they’re also the teachings of the powerful dreamers; Shakespeare, the Buddha; Bill Hicks, Kurt Cobain, John Lennon, Tony Robbins and Joe Dispenza; Ricky Gervais and JK Rowling; and don’t forget those rascal Monty Python lads.

Love will always conquer fear if we remain open to love.  That is all we have to do.  Stay open to love and laugh in the face of fear.  When we run from what is scary we let the fear win.  We let the devil win.  Face it down.  Laugh at it.  Choose love.  Choose life.  And don’t forget to smile.

And then meditate on that decision.  Close your eyes and repeat the following over and over again.

I give thanks for everything that came before

I choose love now

I laugh in the face of fear

I am love

We are love

Together we will build a loving new Earth

Don’t know how to do meditate or pray?   Watch my video click here and then listen to one of the guided meditations I’ve recorded click here.  Want to dive deeper still? Click here

I leave you with the words of the late, but timelessly wonderful Bill Hicks:

“The world is like a ride in an amusement park, and when you choose to go on it you think it’s real because that’s how powerful our minds are. The ride goes up and down, around and around, it has thrills and chills, and it’s very brightly colored, and it’s very loud, and it’s fun for a while. Many people have been on the ride a long time, and they begin to wonder, “Hey, is this real, or is this just a ride?” And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and say, “Hey, don’t worry; don’t be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride.” And we … kill those people. “Shut him up! I’ve got a lot invested in this ride, shut him up! Look at my furrows of worry, look at my big bank account, and my family. This has to be real.” It’s just a ride. But we always kill the good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok … But it doesn’t matter, because it’s just a ride. And we can change it any time we want. It’s only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings of money. Just a simple choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one. Here’s what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money we spend on weapons and defenses each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would pay for many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace.”

You are far more powerful than you know.  Don’t listen to those who tell you otherwise.  They speak from a place of fear.  Everything is possible when you choose love.

Love,

Christopher

If you would like to work with me because you’re suffering or stuck in a rut and can’t see a way out, then head over to my business page at www.mindbodyquantumhealing.com for details on what I do and how to contact me.

 

 

 

Finding Out What Love Is

Love,

Chris

A while back I started signing off my posts with this.  But what does it mean?

Love is an incredible thing, it permeates through our lives, through our societies, through our arts.  Some of us spending our lives chasing it. Some of us never find it.  Some of us feel it all the time. Some of us have it but lose it.  A lot of us would struggle to even define it, and yet there it is.  Everywhere.  Sometimes it feels as though, collectively, we are obsessed with it.  We chase it, we throw it away, we sing about it, we cry about it, we talk about it, we ruminate on it. But what is it?

For years I’ve listened to that Phil Collins Song ‘You Can’t Hurry Love’ and found some solace in its message.  As the years rumble past and my status remains firmly as ‘single’, I started to realise that you can’t hurry love, so there was little to no point in trying to make it come easy.

“you can’t hurry love
No, you’ll just have to wait”
She said, “love don’t come easy
But it’s a game of give and take”
You can’t hurry love
No, you’ll just have to wait
Just trust in a good time
No matter how long it takes”

I read Phil’s autobiography a while back and was touched by what a hopeless romantic he obviously is, so much so that he’s been married three times, which coincidentally is how many times my father has been married.   Big Phil LOVES to LOVE love, and if you ever read his autobiography it becomes obvious that he’s not some kind of chauvinistic pig who casually discards women.  No instead I got the sense that he met the love of his life, a few times over.  Given he was a superstar music icon, I imagine he met many women, the chances of meeting ‘the one’ likely became higher as his star rose.  If anything three marriages is probably a tad on the low side.

Love is something that has evaded me throughout my life, but not for a lack of trying.  I think it’s fair to say that I invested way too much time, money and mental space on trying to find love.  From about the age of seventeen I have been hopelessly chasing girls, and then women, trying to make them love me.  I had the equation all wrong.  Obviously.

Of course I talk here of romantic love, which is the love our culture obsesses over, and I include myself in that group.  During my long and futile search for romantic love I was almost oblivious to love as an entity in its own right, a kind of love that is not tied to a person, or group of persons, or even an inanimate object. Or dare I say it, ourselves.

As I bundled my way through my twenties and early thirties, careening from drunken dates, to holiday romances and half-arsed attempts (on my part) at relationships I knew were doomed to fail from the start, I picked up some wear and tear on my emotional chassis.  And last April, as the girl whom I had been seeing on and off for a few months said goodbye and left Australia, I think I subconsciously switched off my love switch.  I was done with it.

I’ve done a fair bit of self-analysis on myself in recent years to try to understand why I’ve remained single whilst pretty much everyone else around me coupled up, settled down, and started families.  The answers started to tumble down around me as I sat in silence on that yoga mat for hours on end in Thailand.  The clue was in the language up there, two paragraphs up.  We all know this.  Phil knew it.  You can’t hurry love.  You can’t make it come.  You can ask for it.  But you can’t make it come when you want it.  What I started to realise is that I had spent all that time looking for love in order to fix my life.  I was searching for someone to fill the void in my heart, and this was the problem.  My own heart had no love in it for itself, and so I was sent on this mission to find someone with enough love to give to make up the deficit.  The tragedy of this is that I met plenty of women willing to give me that over the years, but I was never able to accept it.

How crazy is that?! I was desperately looking for love, but when it presented itself I rejected it.  It’s not actually crazy, now I realise where that behaviour comes from.  My own lack of love for myself meant that when people offered me love, I didn’t deem myself worthy and so rejected it.  Conversely, when women rejected me that felt more normal, and made me want their love even more, and so I’d chase it even harder.  Usually this led to disappointment and despair, but occasionally I’d succeed in winning them over, and then lose interest.

How all very fucked up.

I’m reminded of another song, by love ballad specialists, Foreigner – who once sang:

I wanna know what love is
I want you to show me
I wanna feel what love is
I know you can show me

These four lines sum me up prior to the earth-shattering awakening that occurred in Thailand.  I didn’t know what love was.  I wanted someone to show me.  I’m not sure I’d ever really felt it, at least not in a romantic sense.  Even in a family and friend sense I’m not convinced I knew.

Let me explain, love for me, in the subconscious part of my head at least, was always conditional.  I know where this comes from, like most of us, it’s childhood.  I don’t blame my parents (I did, subconsciously, but I don’t think I do anymore) but if we as children feel we need to be a certain way in order to get love then that is how we develop as adults, not just in a romantic sense, but in all senses.  We learn that we need to be a certain person, be likeable, be good, or nice, or be helpful, or be different, or be funny, or smart, or good at sports, whatever it is, we find a way as young and mentally undeveloped individuals to be accepted, and then that’s who we become.  People pleasers.

People pleasers are fucked up.  I know because I am a recovering one. Being a people pleaser is exhausting because you’re essentially putting on an act, most of the time. Working hard to make sure no one finds out the truth, that you’re a horrible, evil bastard. You grow up acting so much that the act of acting becomes the default. Which is a disconnection from self. And that’s where auto immune disease comes from. It makes you unhappy, tired and eventually sick. I know this, because I have lived it.

People pleasers do things to make other people pleased, aka, so they will like, or even love them.  It’s low-self esteem manipulation 101.  We should be careful not to blame people too much for this behaviour, as it’s simply a coping mechanism they developed as children in order to survive a childhood that was lacking love in some way.  Our subconscious is mostly developed between the ages of 0 to 7 years of age.  If parents are unhappy in their own lives or just too damn busy to give their children the love they need, the children will grow up constantly looking for love, feeling like they don’t have enough, and using whatever methods they can to get it.  Do you have a partner or friend who uses guilt trips to get what they want (/need) – they’re probably lacking enough love for themselves borne out of childhood experience.  Do you have a partner that does lots of things for you, but then gets annoyed that you don’t reciprocate or fully appreciate their efforts? Ah, the classic unwritten contract of the love-lacking people pleaser.

So what happened on that yoga mat in the jungle?  I’ll try to explain it succinctly.  The longer I spent in meditation, the deeper the states of trance I found myself in, the more I started to see the truth of the world, the truth of our species, and the truth of myself.  The truth was occasionally accompanied by visuals, visions, and messages.  About a month in I felt a connection to the divine spirit, or God, that left me on my knees in tears.  After that I cried almost daily as stored pain washed out of my bodily tissues.  Towards the end of the course I would often find my meditations quickly moving away from tears of pain to a state of blissful joy that I eventually came to realise as love.  True love.  Unconditional love.

Even sitting here now, just typing that sentence above, my entire being tingled with loving awareness.  It is the same feeling I had at lunch today as I sat on a large tree root eating a few morsels whilst watching two birds sing to each other on a branch overhead. And then again, as I walked down the main shopping street in Sydney’s CBD tonight and stopped to watch two talented buskers perform an interpretation of ‘Despacito’.  As I watched these two men play their guitars and sing their hearts out my face broke out into an uncontrollable grin, I closed my eyes, listened to the music and felt love wash over my entire being. I walked, smiling, past a charity hawker with a clipboard and he said “hey man, do you always look so happy?”

Oh mate, if only you knew what it took to get here! Lol.

As I sit here and type in my tiny studio apartment, a thirty-six year old man, listening to that latin pop song on Spotify in the growing gloom and typing these words – those tingles of love have washed over me again.  I was worried that when I left Thailand I would lose access to this, but in fact as the days, weeks and months roll on I seem to be experiencing it more and more.  I can now sporadically feel what love is.  These tingles I feel, they are a constant reminder of what is true in this world.  Love is infinite in this universe, it’s all there for us, you just have to know how to ask for it.  I wanted to know what love is.  Love is everything.

“Something’s happening
Happening to me
My friends say I’m acting peculiarly”

Something interesting has happened in the face of my recent experience.  So devoid of love in myself in the past, and thus constantly searching for it externally, I have (I believe temporarily) lost interest in much of the world outside of myself.  People close to me have reached out, worried about me, something that I am beyond grateful for. However, I’m ok, in fact I’m better than ok.  I think what is happening is that after decades of investing energy into what others think of me, I’m finally investing it into what I think of me.  At the moment, a lot of the time, social exchanges feel like hard work.  It’s nothing against those people, I just simply don’t have room for it at the moment. Having always been such an extrovert who thrived on such exchanges and struggled on his own, I worried too about myself, was I having a breakdown?

I’ve meditated on this a lot and have come to the realisation that this self-imposed isolation is a necessary part of what is changing within me.  Like Foreigner, I do want to know and feel what love is.  Unlike foreigner I do not want you to show me.  I am gradually learning how to fill up my cup with my own love, and when it is overflowing I will share it about. I haven’t studied Buddhism all that much, but I believe this is what they teach.

I think this is also the message behind taking Holy Communion, drinking the wine not only reminds us of his suffering, but also shows us the amount of love Jesus had for us.  Regardless of where you stand on religion, this is what I know.  Love is within every one of us, it exists in every cell, love is the very energy inside the atom, and thus it flows abundantly throughout the world.  Once you start to realise this – everything changes. Everything.

You don’t need to hurry love.  You are love.  It’s already here. There. Everywhere.

Love,

Chris

Embracing The Panther Within

I’m laid out on the kingsize bed of my quaint bamboo-lined bungalow on the tropical Thai island of Koh Phangan.  It’s mid-afternoon, and the fierce morning sun has been replaced with an epic downpour accompanied by the odd crack of thunder.  After a month here, this is weather I have now grown accustomed to, quite unlike the mosquitos, which continue to be the bane of my existence.  The threat of getting wet is really quite immaterial compared to the threat of being eaten alive once the rain stops.  What’s more, since arriving I’ve witnessed two people come down with Dengue, and it does not look pretty.

I laid down on the bed and cracked open the laptop with the intention of doing my tax return (reminder for the Aussies reading – the deadline is the end of this month).  However, as I started watching ‘Stranger Things’ (the tax return can wait) I realised I wasn’t really watching it.  There was too much going on ‘upstairs’, I had a urge to write instead, so here it is.  I should warn you, it’s a bit of a weird one this one.  It’s shorter than some of the recent epics though, 6 minutes tops, you can do this.

In my last post (link here) I talked quite openly about how I learnt as a kid to keep my needs and desires to myself.  Since writing that post I’ve examined this pattern of mine, this behaviour, in some more detail.  The yoga course I’m attending at the moment is not so much how to perfect a headstand, but more on how to perfect the knowledge of yourself.  However, it turns out that perfecting the knowledge of yourself, and learning how to resolve some of the not-so-helpful character traits is a confronting, painful and surprisingly difficult task.  It has not been all fun and games by any stretch of the imagination.

This inability of mine to speak up, to vocalise my truth, to say what I’m thinking, or feeling has been ever present throughout my adult years, and oh so damaging to both my contentment with life and my confidence.  As a ten year old boy I decided that by doing things to please others, or to entertain them, to make them laugh, help them out, etc, it would mean I wasn’t a burden, and would ensure that they would like me enough to keep me around, and then I’d be happy because I’m loved.  How fucked up is that!  I laughed out loud just reading it back.  I realise now that this model was severely dysfunctional, with this model I was locked into a forever cycle of looking outwardly for happiness.  Rarely did my thought process work along the lines of “If I get what I want I’ll be happy/content, and therefore in a place where I’m capable of giving out the love to others”.  This is, it turns out, is the correct way.  Most of you probably already knew that, I think even I knew it, I just couldn’t ‘be it’.  Instead I was locked into a complex system of make believe contracts whereby if I did something I was expecting something (usually love and acceptance) back.  It’s so fucked up, I’m really sorry everyone.

HOWEVER….

I had major breakthrough this week.  Anyone who follows me on Instagram will have heard me babbling on about meditation.  I’ve done a lot of it this past month and shit has started to get real.  Last weekend I sat on a manic, heaving dancefloor and managed to find mental stillness whilst bare-chested and barefooted ravers banged against the wooden floorboods around me.  Two days ago during an aerial yoga class I laid down on the tiled floor, went to a breathing exercise and completely zoned out into bliss, whilst my fellow students swayed around in hammocks.  But it goes further than this, I’m no longer meditating just to relax, I’ve started to focus my thoughts on what it is I want from my life, with the aim of manifesting them into existence.  And now for the really crazy shit, following a deeply moving spiritual experience on something called a soundbed (it needs its own post, I’ll come back to it) I have started to feel the presence of a number of animals who are part of who I am.  They represent my strengths, and who I am within my subconscious once you strip away the conditioning I put in place over two decades ago.

WTF are you talking about, Chris?  I hear ya, this shit is so far out of my comfort zone, so far into the realm of the hippy, alternative world that I can’t quite work out how I’m able to be sat on this bed writing about it, but well, if you throw yourself into a two month-long spiritual retreat I figure it’s inevitable that some weird stuff is going to happen.  And weird stuff is definitely happening, and it’s fucking cool.

So back to the animals, I was sat in meditation last night before I headed out to a reggae bar, and the panther, my feminine spirit animal came to me again.  Her message was simple:

“Express yourself, Chris.  Embrace the openness. Do not be scared.”

This big black cat is magic.  She is sleek and sultry, her muscular body sways with confidence as she moves, and she has these dark yellow eyes that could pierce your soul.  When she looked at me yesterday and told me her message, the eyes were so powerful that I could not deny her. I haven’t quite come to terms with the fact that this predatory feline now lives (or has always lived) deep in my subconscious, and I am learning how to bring her out in to the world.  When she departed I was left with the image of a face and I knew what I had to do.

I had something in the back of my mind that I’ve been wanting to say to someone for a quite a while, it’s been gnawing away at me, but for the past six months or so I’ve found myself repressing the urge to say it, for the reasons explained at the start of this post.  After the panther left and I came back to the real world I knew what I needed to do.  I needed to send a message to this person, but here I was back in the realm of consciousness and all the old patterns were screaming at me to shut up and not cause a fuss.  I took my phone out half a dozen times but kept putting it back in my pocket.  I steeled myself, closed my eyes, the panther image was strong in my mind, and I just did it.

And then something amazing happened, something else that had been bothering me came into my focus, so I whipped out my phone and addressed that issue too.

The outcome of either action was not exactly as I had hoped, but something even bigger happened as a result.

1) I realised that I needed to say what I wanted to say six months ago, so it was bloody good, albeit painful lesson that I needed to learn.  When you want something, or someone, go for it, don’t hesitate.

But even more powerfully:

2)  Despite the disappointing outcomes I felt good, and strong.  I had expected my ego to be a little bit broken by the failure, but instead I felt empowered and healed.  By embracing my feminine I found myself feeling more masculine.  Strange huh..  I had finally spoken up for what I believed, and what I wanted, and despite not getting it, I came at it from a place of strength and love, and rather than feeling knocked back by the outcomes I feel more confident that the next time I will succeed.

Put yourself out there.  Dare to Dream.

Footnote:

I know some of you may be thinking it, but no, I am not losing the plot.  I am feeling, and thinking the best I have ever felt or thought.

This post is a tad left field.  I get it.  If I myself was reading this five weeks ago I will have also likely been saying “huh?”.  Talking to spirit animals, manifestation, soundbeds, it all sounds very ‘woo woo’.  It is woo woo, but speaking from newfound experience there’s definitely something to all of this.  Try to see past the ‘woo woo-ness’ and understand that the subconscious is an extremely powerful tool, but if your subconscious has been incorrectly programmed it needs some magic to put it right.  Turns out that for me, closing my eyes, quietening my mind and then having conversations with imaginary animals seems to work.  Find what works for you.  Tony Robbins is a good start if you can’t swan off into the jungle for two months.

 

 

What it Means to be a Man on Love Island

In one of my first ever posts (link here) I questioned the idea of modern masculinity, and lamented the fact that much of it seemed to focused on how much cashish you have in the bank, how big your biceps are, how many women you’ve slept with, and how much beer you can sink in a single sitting without toppling over and falling into the gutter of broken dreams.

This is something I’ve pondered a lot over the past year of writing, and it was brought back into my focus by an episode of Love Island UK that I watched last night (episode 21 FYI).  The brazen, and let’s be honest, somewhat frighteningly frisky, Maura looked on in shock as her chosen ‘Hideaway’ bedmate for the night, Tom, chauvinistically declared to the rest of the boys:

“It will be interesting to see if she’s all talk or not”

Oh Tom.  After Maura’s endless stream of provocative chat and innuendo, we were all thinking it, but don’t bloody say it, to a group of lads, in a house you can’t leave, which is surrounded by cameras and microphones, whilst the person in question is within earshot.  Silly, silly boy.

Maura’s response was typically blunt, and brutally fantastic.  In no uncertain terms, Tom was told to “go f**k himself”, she was clearly no longer feeling frisky, and that was seemingly the end of that.  He was five seconds away from getting what he desired, and blew it, in favour of showing off to his new mates.  It was a spectacular display of self-sabotage.  Most of us have witnessed someone blow it before, but not like this, on the screen, in front of millions.  It was a beautiful mix of being both hilarious and painful to watch.

So what will we take from this? (For starters let’s ignore the fact that I’m watching this voyeuristic trash despite being 35 years old and supposedly educated) I’m sure Maura will be fine, she’s got undeniable spirit, a potty mouth, comedic timing and good looks.  I’m fairly sure she’s my favourite character on the show.  And Tom?  He’s young, he’s also good looking (obviously, they all are), but from what I can tell he lacks a bit of self-confidence.  One obvious mistake he made: there is a big difference between someone talking about sex, and wanting to have sex with you.  Seduction is rarely that simple.  I’ve learnt that the hard way.  Multiple times.  Hopefully he will too.  However, the thing that struck me most about the whole situation was Tom’s desire to impress the other men, that comment he made was solely designed to big himself up in their eyes, it certainly wasn’t meant for Maura’s ears.  I’m not judging too harshly, I get it, we all do this to some extent.  He’s not a monster, he’s a red-blooded male who was riding the crest of a Maura-shaped wave.  He certainly wasn’t thinking logically, he was trying to be funny.  Since the dawn of time men have lost their minds, and their game, trying to woo women.  The old adage of “try, try, and try again” is only approach that works when it comes to chatting up the opposite sex.

In this villa, how much money you have and how much beer you can drink don’t count for much, given everything is paid for, and alcohol is rationed.  They have no control over what they do, or where they go, so there is little room for leadership or spontaneity.  They all have rippling physiques, and so I would argue that the primary tool available to most of these chaps to assert their masculinity – is their ability to pull a woman.  Admittedly there are tiny alternative opportunities; like how hard they can punch Tommy Fury’s (brother of Tyson) open palms; or how fast they can swim the length of the pool whilst keeping a bucket hat on.  However, it seems to me, in this situation, that the most obvious method for these men to prove themselves to be men, is by winning the woman they fancy.  It is a corrupt, fabricated  system, designed to create drama like the one seen on episode 21.  I have some sympathy for Tom here, he was bragging about getting the girl, sure it was premature, naive, and crass, and it also reduced the fiery and extremely likeable Maura to a sexual object to be conquered, BUT it was exactly what the producers of the show sent him in to do.  Yes he made a mistake, yes he turned her off, but I also think he genuinely likes her.  That point should not be ignored in the furore of his laddish bravado. IMHO.

My sister text me last night to say her MVP on the show was Curtis, and I understand the appeal.  Somewhat effeminate professional ballroom dancer, Curtis, is a wise, yet flamboyant head on relatively young shoulders.  It is obvious that the other household guests really rely on his council and wisdom.  You wouldn’t describe Curtis as particularly ‘masculine’, but he coupled up with the slightly ‘challenging’ Amy early on in the process, and so hasn’t needed to prove anything in that arena.  Instead, he adds value with his purpose in the house, which is clear; he is the stable foundation upon which the others lean in times of uncertainty.  He may be camp AF, his sexuality has doubt been questioned on sofas across the land, but he’s also a leader.  For the others, I’m not sure how else they are supposed to express their manliness.  If swimming the length of a tiny pool in the quickest time, whilst keeping a hat on your head, is the way to prove you’re the man, then I’m closing down the blog, cancelling my gym membership and off to buy some speedos.

This piece is not really about a young man on a British reality TV show making an error of judgement, it’s about what it means to be a man, in 2019.  But there are some similarities, which I’ll explore in a part two.

To be continued.

Footnote: You may have noticed the blog has a new name, and a new URL.  I’m toying around with some new ideas as I approach a period of doing something different with my life.  The old www.redesigningmybestself.com url will continue to function for a while.  Watch this space.

 

Did You Just Lick My Face?

Get this.  I’m hanging. Badly. REALLY BADLY.

Not feeling my best on my way into work this morning

I know, right?  This is the perfect counter-balance to my last post declaring alcohol is the devil – link here

I woke up on this Thursday morning without an alarm, it was around 7am, I had about 1.4 blissful seconds of feeling great. Then it hit me.

Light was flooding into my room through the uncurtained window.

Last night’s clothes, including my new fave first date shirt (it’s a pink and blue check number – Sydney watch out), were strewn across my bedroom floor.  A crumpled metaphor for how my body was feeling.  Thought process went a bit like this:

“Fuck Fuck Fuckety Fucking hell!”

“What day is it?”

“Is it a work day?”

“What time is it?”

“SHIT! Am I late for work?”

“Has someone shoved a javelin through my skull?”

“Maybe I should call in sick”

“Why does my back hurt?”

“Did I leave my umbrella in the bar?”

“I need to piss”

“I REALLY need a sauna”

I’ve been told the blog can sound a bit preachy at times.  Well folks, I will preach sod all today.  I am a broken, shambolic mess of a man.

Look, I’m aware that I’ve slagged off booze.  I’ve slagged off modern society.  I’ve slagged off modern dating culture.  I’ve even slagged off gluten (fuck you, gluten).  Today I’m not slagging off anything.

No, today I’m down on my knees. My arms tied behind my back.  Ball gag in mouth.  Getting figuratively f*cked in the arse by this hangover, as my liver desperately attempts to restore some homeostatic balance to things.

I’m a flawed human, just like everyone else, and well, I got truly carried away last night.  It was a first date.  Whatever.  It was bloody good fun.  Would it have been as much fun without the ‘devil juice‘ coming along for the ride?  No fucking way.

I’m not going to go into the specifics of the date too much, we met on an app and after two weeks of ridiculous role play text chat, which mainly centred on our failed marriage, her drinking, and our three delinquent children, we agreed to meet at a bar in the city last night.

Funny old start to the date to walk you through though; I rocked up about ten minutes late.  I was washing my hair – Legit – I went to the gym to kill some time beforehand and pump up the guns – standard. Then I showered and washed my hair, it took a bit longer than I anticipated.  Man’s gotta look sharp and smell good for that first meet.

So, I walk into the bar, I can’t see the girl so I plop myself down at the bar and introduce myself to the bartender, a young chap with a strong beard, and a garish tie.  His name is Josh.  I think this is an excellent move on a date, I often do this.  I’ll tell you why:

  1. It’s basic human manners
  2. It warms me up, conversationally, before my date arrives
  3. I will, hopefully, look to my date, upon their arrival, like an outgoing normal kind of person who can engage with humans.  I hope to be perceived as such.
  4. I can get some advice on which wines are worth drinking
  5. Later, if the date is going badly, I can ignore her have a good chat with the bartender instead
  6. I like to talk to people, it feels good to talk

Anywayyyyy, so I’m chatting to Josh, he’s poured me a well deserved glass of red, a French GSM (love a good red blend #winewanker), loving life.  Josh has a girlfriend of four years.  He has Sundays and Mondays off.  Josh is Australian, but would like to pour drinks in London at some point.  He’s hoping Brexit will mean that they relax the immigration rules to let more Aussie bartenders in.

A couple come stand at the bar near to where I’m sitting.  The girl, sits down on the stool next to mine.  I think “fuck it, I’ll chat to these two too”  So I do.  I tell them that they’re a great looking couple, and we’re off.  The girl, ‘Melea’ is half cut already.  The guy, ‘Al’ seems pretty sober.  They’ve got a great vibe about them, quite the comedic duo.

Melea finds out I’m waiting for a date, a first date, and naturally, loves this – they proceed to interrogate the shit out of me, ask to see a photo of her.  We decide they should come back half way through the night and run an interception.  I suggest that they roll back over in a couple of hours and ask if the date is up for the foursome.  Which incidentally they did.

I’m having such a laugh with Al and Melea, that I don’t notice until 7.28pm that there is no sign of my date.  We were meant to be meeting at 7pm…. So I text her saying I’m at the bar, and ask her what she wants to drink.  She texts me back saying she is also at the bar, and already has a drink.  She’s been waiting there for 30 minutes, angrily texting her friends, probably on the group chat, and was about to leave.  Brilliant.  I brush it off, it’s all good.  And we’re off.  The rest is conversation, flirting, LOTS of flirting.  I’m on fire.  The warm up with Melea, Al and Josh has paid off.

Five or six glasses of red, a negroni and few glasses of overpriced Japanese scotch later I am full-blown wankered.  Like properly properly blotto.  My date has had a solid six or seven glasses of white.  I think she’s drunk too, but I’m too drunk to tell.  The date has escalated: my hands are on her, her hands are on me, we’re sat at the bar and snogging the faces off each other.  At one point I lick her face.

She says:

“did you just lick my face?”

I say:

“Yes, I did just lick your face”

She responds by kissing me forcefully.  This is great.

Fast forward, I’m in the toilets, trying not to fall face forward into the urinal.  Al comes in.  He’s also too far gone.  We’re stood at the urinals having a grand old chat about how well my date is going.  Al says:

“If it doesn’t work out, I work with a smoking hot single lass, you should go out with her”

(he’s Scottish, is Al)

So I give him my number, and we agree we should go for a beer, regardless of whether I date his hot friend or not.

After that I don’t remember much, I think me and the date PDA’d some more.  I got home, presumably in a taxi.  The umbrella made it back.

Happy days.  The end.