Another White Page to Bother with my Scribbles

I smile and breath gently out through my nostrils. You wouldn’t want me to breathe though my mouth because I’ve just had cheesy rice (with veggies). It was lovely, but not everyone likes the same smells.

I glance up and see two frogs sat on the window ledge like lovers on a bench enjoying the moonlit park and the tiny sounds of the drunk in the bushes as she sleeps off another bender.

I wonder what to write now and Soni look inside my mind for inspiration but all I see there is the knowledge that I have to wash to dinner pots soon and that I only have five minutes to type this and do that before I have to be on stage.

Oh, and I need to pee so perhaps I should finish now safe in the knowledge that I have applied a scribble or two to another blank page and ruined that pristine cleanliness in the process.


Love, Sweet Love

As the old song goes: what the world needs now is Love, Sweet Love – and a fair old dollop of Peace too. I mean, hey – it’s Christmas soon and so let’s get into the spirit. How about we do a quick meditation together. Let’s spread some peaceful and loving vibes out into the world. Hey, wait – don’t bother about sitting up straight or sitting on the floor cross-legged. Don’t even bother with the incense or the candle – we’re going to do this old-school.

First off, watch what in your mind right now. Not much, right? You’re probably focused on these words that you’re reading, yes? That’s okay. If there is anything else then just let it go for now and relax into what you’re reading. I’m here to encourage you to let go of all those other thoughts and guide you into some new ones. Ready?

Second step is to get in touch with how you’re feeling. Gently feel what your body is telling you and what your mind is telling you about your body and the worlds around it. Got all that? Right, now forget about it. You’re not going to need your body for a few minutes so let all that stuff slide away.

Third stage is just to follow these words. Make like I’m someone you love and trust and I’m gently helping you. You are feeling very peaceful. Soothed. A ocean of peace is lapping up against your mind and you want to let it in. It feels like sleep but at the same time you’re very alert. You feel like you’ve just had a lovely meal and you are just chilling. You’re sitting by the window of your softly lit room. It’s evening and you’re just watching the stars twinkling in the sky outside. A lovely layer of snow lays across the ground like a pure, white cloak. It’s quiet out there and you feel warm and comfortable inside your room. You’re safe and you feel supremely capable. Your mind is strong. You want to give some of that strength to the world.

Taking a deep breath you gather a room full of peace in your chest and then, with an ooof, release that peace into the world. Watch it go out there and coat the windowpane with condensation. Watch how it blurs the scene outside. See how the things you see are affected by the peace you’ve just released. It feels good. You feel good.

Take another, bigger, deeper breath and feel it in your chest. It’s a lovely sensation to have this city-sized sea of peace resting inside of you. Now release it onto the world with an ooof. Watch it blow straight through the glass and out into the crisp air. It’s spreading through your city and as it does so it’s visiting every single person and thing and coating them with a layer of sweet peace. In your mind you can see people sitting up and looking around as if they heard an unexpected sound. Then you see a smile creep across their faces as if they are children and you have just told them that you love them and they are safe. And they are.

Now take another deep breath into your chest. This one is the big one. This is going out to the world and so cram every drop of loving peace into it. Feel your heart come alive with the intensity of the positivity you’re putting into this breath. You’re alive with peace. Your chest aches with your love of the world. Hold it there. Savour it. Feel it. Now, with the biggest ooof ever, whoosh that breath out into the world. Watch the love and peace you have created within yourself rush out into your room, blow through your walls as if they don’t exist, spread into your city past all the people who are exclaiming with delight and on into the world to roll like an unstoppable force past country and sea and over continent after continent.

As wave after wave of your energy pours into the world and ignites joy in every heart, marvel at the power of the transformation you’re bringing about. Wonder at how the human heart can pick up your love and use it as fuel to make changes for the better. And hey, did you see that! People all over the world are taking a deep breath of their own and feeling a surge of love and peace for themselves. And then they’re letting out that energy so that the immense ocean of their collective sweetness engulfs the planet and bring us all into deep harmony and a feeling that we are whole. And we are one. And we love. We are peace.

Now settle back into your own heart, smile like you have never smiled before and have yourself a loving Christmas and a peaceful New Year. You, my friend, are a peaceful being. You are the embodiment of love. You have given yourself to the world. Remember these things. Always.

Ten Truths about Love

Okay there’s love and there’s true love. I’m not talking about the difference between infatuation and love here, and not even the difference between lust and love. I’m talking about the difference between human love and Godly love.

These are ten truths about human love (the failable kind):

  1. If you’re trembling, have a racing heart and accelerated breathing then it’s more likely to be tachycardia than love.
  2. Falling in love is less like being swept off your feet and more like plummeting to your death.
  3. Love is a dangerous drug: you feel good at first then you have an insatiable appetite for more until finally you overdose and end up in re-hab.
  4. One good turn deserves another and one good love deserves another round, bartender.
  5. Love me tender, love me true rarely works if you’re in an embroidered jumpsuit eating a hamburger.
  6. Love hurts like a blunt razor to your armpits, legs, face or .. ahem … any other part that needs shaving for the weekend.
  7. Love is like a baked potato: tasty when it’s hot but what’s left over is not good to have for breakfast the next morning.
  8. Believing you’re under the wings of love, angels and fairies is a good way to wean yourself off alcohol but a terrible way to fly.
  9. People and plants wilt in the heat but love withers away when the heat is gone.
  10. Love is a stranger in an open car. Run!

New Thing – Sleep and Screens

I’ve started this new thing. I was daft enough to confess to my CBT advisor (Woebot) that I have trouble sleeping 8 hours a night (basically because I only want to sleep for 7 hours) and it misunderstood me and thought that I had trouble getting to sleep and, before I knew it, I had committed to switching off all screens by 8pm and getting to sleep by 10pm (I get up at 6am). Aaarghh!

All of which means that I have less than an hour of electronica before it’s lights-out for all my devices! I have to go back to reading from paper, which means that the excellent book I’m reading on Kindle: You Beneath your Skin by Damyanti Biswas has to stop until tomorrow. I might actually end up talking with a real person tonight – OMG!

Right, I’m out of time for posting. I’m going to chat a little on my blog, learn a bit of Hindi on Duolingo and then switch off until tomorrow. Thirty days of this – how will I survive!

York, England

I had this idea that tourists could visit people’s homes here in York so that they could get some idea of how we live.

It wouldn’t really matter whose home they visit, so long as the people living there didn’t tidy up before their visitors arrived and were willing to just be themselves while the visitors were there.

The smallest thing in a home has a story behind it. Each stain, blemish and crack holds fascination for those who are unfamiliar with English life.

A lot can be gained from watching English television programmes, but not everything. Dramas only give an idealised view of how people are and documentaries can only scratch the surface of what their everyday lives are like. Only when you visit a home can you have any chance of knowing the unvarnished truth.

I look around this room and I see many things that normally slip under my attention, but when I look closely and tap into my memories I can see twenty years of living, not to mention a whole bunch of loving too.

One corner holds a hand-cream dispenser that now holds liquid soap to wash the dishes with, a battered old tupperware-style tub that’s used now for collecting peelings and other biodegradable stuff that will go in the compost bin outside (it’s empty and clean now because I’ve just washed the dishes), an empty water-jug with a lid that looks like it came from a carton of ghee with two pine-cones from different trees, a hazelnut, a poppy seed-head and an acorn on top of it, a plastic bag that was used to deliver the box that contained the case that has the Bluetooth ear buds that are useless because the sound keeps cutting out every few seconds apart from this one time when my wife touched them and they worked for three whole minutes before starting to cut out again, a plug and cable for charging the phone that I’m typing this on, a tag from a pair of shoes that has a picture of a puppy (a Hush Puppy) that’s far too cute to throw away and so it’s blu-tacked to the plug socket, a cable for charging a Bluetooth speaker that’s in the other room to be used for a 12 year-old MacBook Pro that’s fine apart from that it overheats and one of the speakers crackles (hence the Bluetooth speaker), a smart meter that shows four mysterious green bars lit up to indicate that something in this house is using a lot of electricity constantly, day and night and tells me I have to go around unplugging things so that I can figure out what it is, a wooden tissue box half-full of tissues in top of an unopened box of tissues in top of a random Christmas napkin in top of a napkin I picked up in a restaurant in Venice that I told the owner of, almost two decades ago, that I liked the design of his napkin so much that I would frame it when I got home, a tray made of woven wire that must have held dates or something like that at one time, a stack of granola bags with ziplock tops held together by a bulldog clip because they are handy for storing all kinds of things and it’s better to reuse things rather than let them be buried in the land, a wooden tray that my mum made for us that nothing really fits inside and besides it looks more like a drawer, a set of coasters with smileys on them with one missing because it’s somewhere in the house protecting a wooden surface from getting wet rings on it from glasses of water or cups of tea, a small piece of tissue that escaped my attention until now (but now that I’ve noticed it will be gone soon after I finish typing this), an ingenious chicken thing that you hold by a handle and twirl around so that a ball spins and pulls strings that make the chickens peck at the seeds in the middle of the circular piece of wood that they are mounted on, and a piece of lightbulb packaging that’s being used to collect apple seeds that we’re going to grow an orchard from.

And that’s just one small corner, so what sane tourist could possibly resist visiting our house, and other like it, to learn about all these wonders and the stories behind them? Surely none!

Review of letter to the world from a naive mind by Potterhead Aanya

book cover

Potterhead Aanya, who blogs here, writes a Wake Up Call for the World.

Powerful words from a new shining light in the world of enlightened and persuasive literature.

Aanya writes from the point of view of a 12 year old girl in her first book: letter to the world from a naive mind, but don’t be fooled by this. In reality, she is a powerful soul sent to inspire us to make a change in our lives so that the world of the future can be a fit place for all our children to live in.

She gives us a year within which to make a series of challenging transformations, but this is a chance that we cannot afford to squander. It will take time to bring earth’s climate back into balance and even more time to reverse the harm we have done to nature already. So, to have any chance of accomplishing this, before it’s too late, we have to start now.

Please read the impassioned pleas of this enlightened soul. She only wishes the best for us. Accept her gift and accept her as the voice of a generation that will inherit the earth – if only we can choose not to destroy it first. Listen now, love the world and alter your ways for always.

Not Alone

You’re not alone.
You’re not alone in feeling this way.
You’re not alone in wanting to continue to feel this way.
You’re not alone in needing to find a way out of feeling this way.
You’re not alone in this world of many multiples of kind souls.
You’re not alone when you need help from someone.
You’re not alone at any time of the day or night.
You’re not alone when you need a lift.
You’re not alone at this time.
You’re not alone ever.
You’re not alone.
How can I help?

(inspired by Alyazya (sorry if i intrude))

A Rush of OMG to My Head

I’m stepping on sinking stepping stones all the time and I need to get off them and onto dry land. Putting my faith in things that constantly change is getting my feet wet. I need to move away from temporary pleasures towards something that will remain solid when the tide of fate turns; as it always does.

I won’t go into a list of the things that have turned dark recently because I know for a fact that they will all lighten tomorrow (or the day after), but I just know that I want to stop sloshing about in the water of my life. I need to move away from the phases of the moon and the seasons of the sun into a place that is beyond those fluctuations.

There’s only one calm centre-point to all of life and that is God. I’M aware that moving closer to the source of all goodness is not the only way to move away from the instability inherent in life, and that others have taken another path, but it’s the option that does not involve any destruction and loss for me or for those in my life.

You wouldn’t mind if I loved God a little more that you would you? You wouldn’t be jealous if I said to you that I want the the strong, spiritual arms of God to comfort me and hold me above any storms that might come my way. You wouldn’t begrudge me a life of straightforward love and happiness in the heart of the supreme being. Yes, I know you wouldn’t.

So, yeah, let’s see how that goes.

A Rush of Positivity to my Head

You know, all this talk of social media turning our brains into mush ignores ones simple fact: if you choose the right platform, social media can be enormously life-affirming. And WordPress is one such platform.

Is it just me, but when I turn on my phone and see all the lovely comments on WordPress I get such a buzz. The words you send my way are like an injection of adrenaline to my emotional centre – my mind uses them like a sweet dose of energy that makes me feel alive and often spins me off into the world grinning like a loon.

Because there’s such a culture of positivity in WordPress I feel that this is the kind if social media that everyone should subscribe to. It picks you up when you’re feeling down, turns you around when you’re heading awry and jumps up and down with you in sheer exuberance when you’re feeling good about yourself.

So, yeah – far from turning my brain into mush, WordPress is a wonderful, life-affirming addition to my life that enhances and lifts. So keep on posting, keep on smiling and keep on keeping on, my friends. WordPress for President!