Archive for the ‘Life direction’ Category

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What I think happens in life and thereafter.

There is no supporting evidence for this. None. But I think this photo depicts what happens to us in our life and afterwards.

Firstly, the sign.
The concept that life ends when we die is a man-made concept. Take that away and the picture takes on a different meaning
In the foreground, the road and painted line shows the direction that has been mapped out for us. We may have painted the line or we might be following a line painted by others. It’s still a direction we follow. Life is reliable if we walk this way. No surprises.

The end of the painted line.
Notice that the line stops but the road continues. At some point in our lives we don’t need to follow a direction. We just know which side of the road is the safest and the direction we should be travelling in. It’s still a direction followed by most but we don’t need as many rules to guide us. We brush our teeth, save some money and have the weekend off without thinking about it. Admittedly, doing these things does save you some heartache later but really it’s your choice. There are consequences for everything. Even if you stop in the middle of the road there is a consequence.

The gravel.
The end of the road and start of the dirt shows our partial return to the way things should be as we age. We can start to connect with the natural way of life and appreciate the little things. Like being outside. Feeling the wind. Listening to our own thoughts. All these experiences becomes more comfortable as we realise that all things pass. We end up walking our own path regardless of others. The realisation that happiness and contentment is up to us makes it much easier to live.
The decisions we have made, passage we have taken, and where it has lead us finally shows what really matters. Material gain and credit for our performance loses its lustre. The knowledge that others are struggling now seems to drive us to a point where we are rewarded with a deep contentment that only service to another living being can give.

The sign.
It may be the latest theory to explain death but it really just shows a transition. In science, nothing disappears, it changes state. Ice melts and become water; water boils and becomes steam; the steam seems to disappear but really spreads out to become, well, everything.

Afterwards.
Just because we can’t see something doesn’t mean it isn’t there. There is a continuation of us but as the picture shows, things change.
It seems to me there is a natural beauty thereafter. No roads, no directions, no hazards. Still in existence but a more natural one that allows us freedom that we haven’t experienced beforehand. Whether we continue into the trees or the sky is up to you. All we do is move forward into a new experience.

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The tidal bore wave roaring down the Amazon river was stuck in my head. Local tribes named the Pororoca – meaning ‘Great Thunder’ – because of the sound the wave makes. It can be heard 15 minutes before it comes into sight. Trees and other debris are swept along the river making it a threatening site. Alligators that frequent the water disappear as it approaches. Piranha scatter.
In the absence of a scientific explanation, local tribes fear the wave and have made up stories to explain its occurrence and fury. For surfers however, it is a mesmerising site. As the river narrows the surge of water condenses and picks up in height. As the bottom of the river becomes shallow it forms into a breaking wave that follows the contours of the river for miles and miles. For me, as each day past I preferred to use this as an escape from my life trauma. I researched the wave and tried to track down anyone that could give me information that could put me there. As with all endeavours, the louder and more persistent your knocking is, the more doors that open for you. Slowly, evidence started to surface that this was possible. Contacts materialised. An expedition organiser was found. Money was discussed and dates made. Due to the accuracy of measuring tidal movements and full moons, the exact date and time of the next wave was chosen. September 7th.

Four months to go.

IMG_3405Pororoca Part 1
The world’s longest wave first made an impact on me in the form of a large screen in an Australian pub. Looking for a break from my struggle with depression and life problems I was standing in a bar surrounded by people 20 years younger than me. On a large screen was an aerial view of a surfer riding on a wave.
No eyebrows raised there.
Then the shot panned back and on either side of the wave were rolling green fields. The wave, with the surfer on it, kept going… and going… and going.
I stood, transfixed at the natural phenomena that I was seeing. You see as a surfer this is a dream come true. A wave that doesn’t stop. The discussion with the person next to me informed me that it was somewhere in South America. He had seen a documentary on the National Geographic Channel. His interest turned to matters of the other sex but I was transfixed. Somewhere deep inside of me I made a decision that would change the direction of my life for ever. One that would take me to the other side of the world and into one of the most remote places on the earth. An area where time stands still.
The longest wave in the world takes some time to get your head around. It rolls down the Amazon River only twice a year: once in March, and once in September. It is the result of the tidal flow of the largest river in the world when it meets the incoming tide of the ocean. Combined with a full moon, the moving bodies of water clash and form a tidal bore wave. Scientists call it a “hydraulic jump”. At this point, I had no idea it would help to put my problems into perspective.

Pororoca Part 2 Tomorrow.

I’m definitely no better than you.
Only difference is, right now, I’m writing this and you’re reading it.
I could talk to you about life events. Things that I don’t have a monopoly on.

(more…)

Not being mean or anything. Just saying that this is a law. It’s not meant to be nice. Just true. (more…)

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The picture itself is 15 years old. I remember it like it happened yesterday.  (more…)

If the destination isn’t clear, why start walking?
Problem is that sometimes the destination doesn’t become clear until after you start walking. It’s all about perspective.
When I wrote my blog about the meaning in life it was really supposed to be about what was going on inside of me. Since then, I have had many replies and comments. All of them remarked that it was an opinion that they share. That it was about them. The internal dialogue that I talked about seems to be the common thread that links us all. Makes us human.

Apparently the trait that separates us as humans from animals is to do with thinking. Animals think and we think. The difference is that we know we are thinking.
(Or so we suspect. Maybe they are just keeping quiet.)
So it’s control over our thoughts that is the key.

Our happiness, suffering, contentment, struggles, calmness and upsets are more to do with how we process events than the actual event.
This means the millionaire and the homeless man are both the same.
Its more about their enjoyment of where they are right now. That is all.

Old head on young shoulders?
When I was in my 20s I was a fitness instructor. One client I met was in his 70s and had a triple bypass operation. I was worried about how hard to push him and expected to see a decrepit old man. Old he was.
Decrepit? Far from it.
He bound down the hallway towards me and stuck out his hand. “G’day young fella”, was his jovial greeting.
Even then, my young brain surging with testosterone and ego, registered that here was someone who was happy in his own skin. Happier than me. Like he knew something I didn’t.
Well, 30 years has passed. I’ve had sporting success, marriage, fatherhood, divorce, business success, depression and many other excitements have passed. I’ve even had open heart surgery myself. How would I tell myself 30 years ago what I know now? What could I say to make a difference in my young life? What could I say to make a difference in your life?
Only one thing. There’s more to it than what you are experiencing right now.
Much more.
Knowing this – and that all situations and feelings pass – gives us contentment.
Best of luck to you.

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The more I think about the stages of life, the more I realise no stage lasts forever. Change is constant … as they say. And that is good.

Here is a conversation that demonstrates the point. It was supposed to be about martial arts but it ended up being about life. In martial arts a student is confronted with highs and lows. At times the feeling is that they are actually getting worse. But each low creates the platform for the next level. Once the student realises that, he or she relaxes and understands it is a necessary stage of development. That is why the martial arts is split up into three stages – physical, mental and then spiritual. You work through the physical stage to become mentally stronger and finally spiritually calmer.

Trauma tends to have that effect on us.

Stages in life

“Surely this patch will finish soon”

It will. They always do.

“That’s a bit negative.”

It’s not meant to be negative, or positive. The truth is just meant to be the truth. It just enables you to breathe and be calm at this stage.

“But you don’t know what stage I’m in. And how long it will last for!”

I don’t need to. It’s a stage. It’s not meant to be permanent. That’s the definition of a stage. It’s transitional.

The funny thing is that each stage is meant to teach a lesson. If you don’t learn the lesson you will find yourself visiting the stage again later.

“So I have to beat it. Like in a game?”

It’s not about defeating something or being defeated. There is not you and the game. There is not you and the enemy. There is just you. You are the game. You are the situation. If you fight it, you are fighting yourself.
The idea is to step back from your emotions and see it for what it is. If you get angry, you block the message.

“Oh. Sort of being my own worst enemy.”

Not really. If you think ‘enemy’ you set up two sides within yourself. Think of the word ‘understanding.’ It’s about gaining an understanding of things.

“But if I think of all things and me as being two separate ideas isn’t that the wrong outlook? Shouldn’t I think of all things – the world – being a part of me? Sort of… the inner world and the outer world is still my world. If I think of it this way, if I think of controlling my inner world, I can change my outer world.

You will make a great teacher.

“No. I struggle too much.”

That’s what makes a great teacher. The struggle is a necessary stage.

Interesting response I got from a friend last week. I took a picture of the last page of a book I had finished. It was just a great quote about life so I shared it on Facebook.
Her response to me was that she really enjoyed reading it.
I said I try to read and educate myself a little every day.
Her response was – “I wish I was as dedicated to self improvement. I barely manage to keep up with life at moment let alone move forward!”

It made me think.
I remember being overwhelmed by life on a regular basis.
I remember scattering my attempts at success into many directions.
The only result was that I wore myself out making moderate progress.

Looking back, every time I find I am barely managing to keep up with life, it’s because my dedication to self improvement has stopped.

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Big confession coming up.

My formative years were spent trying to prove to everyone that I was awesome.

I did things that would make people turn around and say, “Check that guy!”

I pushed the limit and used success as an excuse. I was a go-getter. A goal setter. The real motivation was to increase my persona to a point that the real me wasn’t visible.

My attitude was that if I did things better than others, they would see me in a different light. What was actually happening was that many other people were trying to do the same thing. Hundreds of us trying to be someone else.

 

Empathy

Only problem was that I didn’t know this. No one took the time to tell me that deep down everyone is pretty much the same. Even so, I probably wouldn’t have listened anyway.  But times change. Everyone grows older and matures. Actually, everyone grows older but not everyone matures. You have to read the signs. The difficult part is that we live our life going forwards but learn by looking back. What you have to do is connect the dots and decide your next plan of attack.

So that’s what I did. I took a helicopter to the ceiling and stopped to think. Then I made some changes. Some big. Some small.

So now, I have finally achieved something better. I look at myself now and don’t think that I’m awesome. I look back at a mixture of my achievements and failures and say to myself, “You’re a good guy.” That’s all – just a good guy.

It took a while, but I am glad I’m here.