“Occu-patience”

“Love the discipline you know, and let it support you. Entrust everything willingly to the gods, and then make your way through life – no one’s master and no one’s slave” – Marcus Aurelius

 So, I’ve had this writing tab open for a considerable number of months, the motivation to type has ebbed and flowed between certain and uncertainty, conviction and confusion, and now its flowing through the “Fuck-it” and onto sincerity. This, is therefore by no means a deep philosophical piece, but its real, and it’s a daily dialog trend that never seems to fade. The advise or rather the collection of observations does seem rather narrow and tends to my craft but I’m sure some of the principles can be applied in whatever realm you choose to invest your skill and service.

Naturally, the position I fill (Although, I prefer to be formless in this field and exist as a presence more so than a “power”) requires a considerable amount of coaching and encouraging. It requires a considerable amount of calm reassurance and the ability to connect to everyone’s story and invest in the “why” they’re doing it. It requires the vision, and the ability to awaken the beauty you can see them fulfilling on the other side of it all. It requires a lot of metaphorical hand holding carefully balanced with some baptism of fire  type base jumping through fears and mind fires.  It requires the investment of an appreciable amount of energy in watering others dreams in order to watch their flowers bloom, only to go home at night and work on your own, whilst burning the candle at both ends in the company of the self, your chosen, and the light of the moon.

So, straight up, I’d like to state that by no means have I got “this” all figured out. By no means is my approach perfect, and although I exude a certain amount of contentment and confidence in the path that I have chosen, and I have no doubt that I know where I want to be and who I want be in order to get there…I do still spend a great deal of time unhooking my thoughts loose ends that have got caught on the sharp corners of my mind and mending the holes they’ve unraveled in my conscious.

None the less, this is what I know for sure…

If you’re awakened to a life outside of commercialism, and commercial expectation. If you’re awakened to a life of higher consciousness and deep purpose, you’ll find it increasingly difficult to integrate into a career, or a cause that walks you away from self rather than leads you towards it. Sooner or later you’ll begin to ask questions of yourself, and your life of contradiction. Your miss called calling will leave voice mails at every beep, reminding you of the guilt stained on your conscious. Reminding you of the car you just convincingly sold to the family who couldn’t afford it, to the loan you just granted to the couple who’ll forever be indebted to it. Sooner or later you’ll be questioning every second of your 9 to 5, and distracting yourself via vices between your 5 to 9. To negate this, this late realization of being a slave, to nothingness, you need to be willing to confront yourself at your careers inception. Confront yourself with the “why” and find the magic in a higher meaning before you agree to exist and serve on the layer that merely scrapes your surface. And this is true for any career, even the seemingly perfect. You could solder together your service with sincerity but unless your purpose bleeds passion you’ll live a life of hollow existence.

Personally, I find this virtue in what I can create from my craft, and not merely in the act of it. What I can create through exploration, perception, perspective and engaging with the people it seems to attract, motivating and mentoring them to edge closer to their potential. How I create myself through the invariable resistance that comes attached to this industry. I’ve always allowed that to be my guide, that to be the determining factor of whether or not I can see myself at its service, worthy of my time. Even if the paper and pay speak to my ego, speak to the lifestyle that we’re conditioned to lust after, if I can’t see it supporting a creative consciousness I’ll forgo the opportunity all together.

Opportunity. Be careful how you define opportunity, luck and good fortune. Often, most often, opportunity is not what it seems. It’s never found behind the door that opens after the first knock, if anything, it’s found when the door slams and you pick up your bags and start walking in a new direction. It exists in the resistance, the “no’s” the “Nevers” the “you’re too inexperienced”, “too young” the “you have enough, you don’t need this as much as …” It exists in the resistance. If you feel that your path has been anything less than slip stream, then you know you’re on the right one. The one that will test, taunt and teach you how to install automatic doors that open to your motion.

Motion. Let’s talk about that. It’s in motion, in movement that you begin to actualize your potential. That you begin to stretch your abilities in order to develop what’s required to progress and transcend previous selves, to transcend present circumstance. Paradoxically, (and this is where a lot of people are fooled) motion, requires the discipline to sit still. To sit behind the books in your crafts “classroom” and invest in its study. To invest in the intricacies of what binds it together in order to understand it from the inside out. To sit still, when all you see is everybody flying past the classroom window to tend to the “Fun stuff” the outside, the practical to the academic. Invest in the movement of your inner world. Invest in building an educated empire, don’t strain to run ahead of the crowd, instead train to be the person they begin to run after, or to for advice. Distract “them” with the illusionary slow progress above the surface they tend to gauge themselves against and ride the rapids of your inner flow until you feel it’s time to break free.

Flow, let’s observe that. There’s no denying that industry dynamics have changed, that fleets have fallen and that offshores have been anchored in doubt and redundancy (For now…) it is a concern to those who have invested their all in keeping their “dream” airborne. It’s a concern if you start to see what was once the definition of “making it” in your career dismantle before your eyes sending all its encompassing pieces back home, and back to the drawing board. It’s hard to hold onto the ladder you’re trying to climb when your hands start slipping every time the oil spills over the dollar. However, whilst holding tight, pay attention to the flow, to the gradient of energies gained and given and you’ll notice that those at the “bottom” smile every time they try and convince you that there’s no longer a “top”. And that you might as well let go and make yourself comfortable at the bottom. I say, fuck that, hold tight and let’s weather this storm together, I’ll lend you my strength when your grip grows weak, and we’re going to hold our place until we get to climb again. We’re going to be savvy about this and not submissive. We’re going to conduct the motion flow, and not exhaust ourselves trying to fend off the faders. We’re going to hold this position and whilst we’re here we’re going to master the art of sweetening our pollen. We’re going to stop being at the mercy of the chase and instead we’re going to add value, hue and sweetness to our craft until we are no longer the ones chasing the game, but rather being chased.

Games. Pay attention to the strain and the scurry to be first, to be ahead of the upturn and in front of the queue. Pay attention to how many people you’ll have to invariably step on and use in order to get to the top of the pile to please the powers. Pay attention to this. Pay attention to the game, and how the rules and rulers will bend you to betray trust and lose your shame and concern for the people you’ve stepped upon, how your values fade in favor of hypocrisy and deeds done behind closed doors. Pay attention to well natured things and let that be your example instead. If it means you’ll be sitting on the bench for most of the games then so be it, at least you won’t risk injuring your integrity and if you get to sit next to your honor and professionalism you’ll be in great company. A quote I like to read to myself whilst sitting on said bench;

“If you do the job in a principled way, with diligence energy and patience, if you keep yourself free of distractions, and keep the spirit inside you undamaged, as if you might have to give it back at any moment – if you can embrace this without the fear of expectation, if you can find fulfillment in what you’re doing now, as your nature has intended, in its superhuman truthfulness, then your life will be happy. And no one can prevent that” – Marcus Aurelius

 

Fulfillment. Fulfillment is something that only exists in the present, and presence does not equate to settling. In fact, I have found that the closer I get to the “next phase” the more I’m able to appreciate the simplicity and the beauty of my now. ­­­­­Sometimes, we’re inclined to convince ourselves to fall out of love with something in order to drive ourselves closer to loving something new, as if the hostility of hatred will hold us accountable to change. However, it’s in the infinite capacity to love something, and the ability to approach each day (which would otherwise be ordinary in comparison to futures fantasy) with an evolving definition of love, in good karma and at complete peace with how it concludes that we’re able to see the light that leads us to a new. Very rarely do I look outside the left door nowadays and not think about how much I will miss “this”, and it’s that feeling of fulfillment and complete love for what I’m doing now that makes me certain I am ready to learn new ways to love this craft when the opportunity so arises. That I am willing to be made vulnerable to a new environment, a new role and service, to be uncomfortable and awkward around it, the type of awkward that only love can produce and the degree of nervousness that comes with caring for its impression of me.

To summaries (and to save you from the 47 million observations I’d like to write about) Ultimately, what this occupation requires is an otherworldly degree of patience. Patience. Patience. Patience has never been one of my strong points, but it has been one of my greatest teaches. (Funny that, our weaknesses are always our greatest teaches) but anyway, its lesson is always this; just know that what you seek, is seeking you and eventually you will both meet. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when, and until then you’re going to have to live your present life in peace with that knowing. Patience is like a warm blanket you wrap around your shoulders whilst waiting for the sun to rise. Because it will, and when it does you’ll no longer need the blanket as you begin to feel the imminent warmth of the light you’ve been looking for. Patience therefore is not a supplement for an eventuality, it’s just a reminder of the feeling you’re waiting for, and it gives you something to hold onto until then. So, if you’re willing to sit next to me, and hold onto the blanket I’ve wrapped around your shoulders, and we sit still together in our seeking I’ll show you just what I mean…

The Art of Fight.

Nature is never at peace, yet why when it is observed does it seem so peaceful? Maybe it’s because it has accepted confrontation and contrast as a way of life just as it embraces the fight to endure the wrath of a cold winter as a means to earn a place on the peaceful podium of abundance and bloom in spring. Maybe, just maybe, nature understands that calm can only be found when held against chaos, that peace is not disrupted by the presence of a fight, but rather by the wrongful practice of it. By the fighting “with” and not “for” a cause…

I live to fight, and fight to live, however not with pickets, fists, and fickle things that I want to see fall. I fight through patience. I fight through persistence. I fight through intelligence. I fight through humour and silence. I fight through compassion when I’m met with the cruel, and understanding when I’m met with unfairness. I fight within myself when I undershoot my potential. I fight through the coalescence of knowledge, and my eagerness to learn and apply it’s meaning. I fight through creativity, and expression. I fight the comfort of the very space I’m sitting in, in favour of discomfort in order to feel the urge to move, and keep moving. I fight my age with the acceptance and honour of what I’ve earned through it. I fight my age with the respect and awareness of how to preserve it. I fight conformity with a spirit of benevolent rebellion. I fight yesterday, and tomorrow with the here and now. I fight the reliance on your opinion, by welcoming it in whatever form, testing myself against your criticism and compliment until my opinion of self remains taut through either one. I fight routine and the mundane with mystery and spontaneity and the pursuit of the unknown.

Protest dancing around streets, re-tweeting tweets and debating the politics of the politicians on podiums are all tactical means of distracting you from what you should be fighting for, and replacing it with “whom”. A distraction serving to train weakness in areas that calls for indomitable strength. A distraction diverting us from the importance of being able to martial our own art of fighting, and to find an appropriate place for its practice before society finds a place on our behalf. So then, if you’re going to fight, know what its for. If you’re going to fight, learn the art of doing so in the manner that serves to restore balance, and provide a contrast to enhances your peace. If you’re going to fight, be smart about it!

Social Geometry.

We walk around so guarded and course in our selection of social circles. So scared to change shape, add some corners, angles and distort the perceptions of where and how we fit. Yet, it’s this social malleability, and willingness to create congruency with shapes obtuse to our social paradigms that ultimately, and ironically, shapes our being. It’s in the extension of our lines, and shift in our planes that we begin to add faces, facets and dimension to our being.

So, to this I call you to quit your social circles and instead go play outside its circumference. It’s in the stepping outside and over its line, that you’re introduced to the truth. The truth being that social power, and social prowess do not lie in the collection of friends, but instead in the ability to frequently and effortlessly acquaint yourself with an indifferently patterned mind. A mind free of the expectation, entitlement and duty associated with those who’ve always been around. You see, the consciousness of your social circle lies flat in a shared plane, there’s no volume and context outside the already known, the origin is the same, so too is the distance from the origin to its outskirts, (the fence containing you within the familiar.) However, as you start to explore the multidimensional who occupy a completely different world than your own, you’re more likely to be introduced to something you have yet to know, thereby adding acres to the inches of your previously explored worlds, stretching the outskirts outward, and so too inward, adding cognitive dimension, volume and value to your form.

You see, it’s in this world, the world of the weird, the undefined and uncategorised who are not perturbed about fitting in to a particular shape, but rather more focused on being shaped that we’re able to reach our full potential. The question is then, what keeps us from venturing into these other worlds? What keeps us to a form, and away from the process of forming?

Is it perhaps ego, and our reluctance to step away from a recognised social status in fear that we may lose our identity and place if we associate ourselves with those who are misplaced? Perhaps we exclude ourselves from associating with the obtuse to protect ourselves from having to explain how exactly they fit into our lives? What is their place? What is their purpose? What is the category to this uncategorised being? Perhaps we distance ourselves from this dichotomy to avoid the guilt and confusion associated with the urge to connect with the “alien acquaintance” and our inability to pin point the attraction and allure to their company, especially if there exists the polarity of XX and XY. Perhaps, for me, one of the fundamental reasons for holding back on the outreaching and extending of line was to assure a state of energy preservation. I became somewhat “economical” in my social approach in fear that the depth and magnitude I would invariably apply to understanding a soul, and its shaping would lead me away from my own awareness of form and toward the awareness of another’s. As if I were bound to become both the assuming postulate and author of theorem formulating the evolution of their cognitive geometry. As a result, I’d raise my guard and retract entirely sticking only to my circle and “chosen few”, free of the attachment and responsibility associated with introductory familiarity. Cue comments on my guarded, aloof, cold state on first impression, and enter an additional reason to hold back from exploring the matrix between our indifferent shapes. Judgment.

So then, what’s required to travel to these different worlds is a high degree of fearless vulnerability and confident curiosity. The willingness to drop your guard a little and give people a chance. To give coincidences, serendipity and synchronicity a chance, and to be fearless in embracing the consequence of people getting it wrong. Getting you wrong. And so what if they do? So what if they’re not perceptive to your cause. Living through people’s assumptions and inaccurate descriptions is in itself shaping, serving not only to test your form, but also as a reminder that we’re not here to explain ourselves, but instead to express ourselves. The greater risk however, does not lie in being misperceived by the unknown, or even, questioned by the known for your curiosity and association to the “forbidden” form, but instead it lies in being contaminated by the same stagnant consciousness, the same ideas, and ideals that you’ve always been exposed to, keeping you entrapped and limited to your existing world, your existing form.

Now, I’d be the first person to tell you to be incredibly careful with how you guide and disperse your energy, and to not waste it on the wasteful. However, I have learned to appreciate the balance of it all and have left retraction and preservation behind to embrace the “snap chats” and spontaneous crossing of paths. To not be so compelled to understand how the acquainted dots have all joined and how their soul has come to be, but to simply appreciate their present form, and be a catalyst to it’s next stage of forming. To inspire, and invoke some sort of a change without having to be overly involved in the process. To be a strand of influence but not a string attached to its outcome waiting to take ownership of its evolution.

So, what I’m saying to you is this. The undefined are most often, defining. The unaccounted are most often accountable and the seemingly pointless interactions often carry the most profound points. Whilst going through life collecting and keeping people is an impossible feat, complete receptiveness to the ones that are passing by is not. Complete receptiveness to a “stranger” can only be achieved through the balance and realisation that not every path crossed is destined to be an investment of energy, sometimes it’s simply to serve as an exchange. Just as we pause to appreciate a sunrise, or set, knowing that we may never see it again, there’s something incredibly powerful about leaving a conversation, or a meeting in the same way. To make sure, in that instant of rising or falling appearance, we pause, appreciate and take meaning from its presence and find the purpose in the exchange.

Whilst the love and grace of those who encompass your entire universe and not just that of your social orbit holds a place within that can not be compared or met by competition. The space between your form and forming inhabits a constellation of contributing energies and anonymous heroes that leave an impressionable mark. The only thing more beautiful than acknowledging and embracing these foreign forming energies is to be the source of this unearthed generosity. To be the beneficent. To pay attention and bring forward the people who are usually blurred into the background of life. The waitron, the attendant, the student, the stranger, or even the soul behind the social media. To simply notice their shape, and ignite a conversation, that takes the tangent to the curve, and extends to a realm outside finite axes. Outside popularity and comfort.

I suppose the appeal I find in all of this lies in the concept of being a ‘Noble nobody to somebody’, to acquaint them to my world, stretch their lines, shift their planes and add some volume to their thinking. To collaborate and cohere our indifferent energies, fulfil potential, design new patterns and convert our ordinary circles into crystal lattices of expression and growth. So, before you dismiss the next person that passes by, assessing their worth as their ability to return your energy investment with interest. Think about the power of a simple exchange, and hold on to the happenstance of it all…

Collaboration over Conflict – A Womans Day piece.

Now here’s a topic I usually just listen in on and don’t readily engage other than the odd grin, and subconscious headshake. Not because I don’t have an opinion of it (of course I do) it’s just that I think so many feed off of this “movement” and bring it up to invoke conflict and stir reaction, and I’m not about that at all. I’m more of an observer, who prefers to remain somewhat on the outside of it all.

 

As I’m sure you’ve come to know, people intrigue me, (or is that inspire?) their patterns of acquaintanceship and interaction as well as the manner in which they arrange themselves proves to be endlessly fascinating. Fortunately, for me, to sustain the fascination furnace, one of the major perks of my job is that I get to be the observer in an exceptionally leveling playing field.

 

South Africa celebrates woman’s month in August, and today, the 9th, the day is celebrated by downing tools, and tea towels and doing, well, nothing. Now I’m not really one to endorse a month or a day, having to set a National reminder to celebrate or acknowledge a presence or struggle is oppression in itself, but non the less, the conversation has been stirred in multiple formats of late so I’ll use this opportunity to express my observations in this realm as experienced through my apparent, “male dominated” choice of career.

 

You see; here is the thing. Men and woman are different. In every possible conceivable way, we are different. I think the whole notion of movements that pledge to empower the formerly disempowered tend to get the message mixed up somewhere along the line. We are to celebrate and empower our differences, as its in knowing how we differ that we become a resource of strength, and a resource in demand. Yet, these movements paint the strangest pictures of what we’re meant to prove in order to assert ourselves as worthy equals. So what you see, as a result, is a movement of woman trying to force themselves into virtues and domains of the masculine in order to be recognized as an equal being, because that’s what our “sisters” have fought for, and we need to honor their fight. No. What we need to fight for is the understanding that the sum of our differences brings equal result. Equity over Equality. That being “better” than a man at a certain discipline doesn’t make you a better woman, nor does it make him a lesser man. To always choose collaboration of energies over conflict, to negate the need to compete.

 

Collaboration. I understand that it must be rather daunting for a man, of the exponent of my age, to walk up to a helicopter and sit next to me with confidence. I understand that, it is by no means a reflection of my ability, but entirely a reflection of his expectation and the perception he has of himself and the role he needs to fulfill. I respect that. So too do I respect that my role is predominately to teach, and in order for learning to occur, the student needs to be somewhat at ease and the dynamic in our difference is making him feel uneasy. If I took offense to his body language, subtle interrogative questioning of my experience and doubt in my ability he has based on face value, I’d take that defensive state of mind into the cockpit and my energy would antagonize his and my ego would torture his pride. But, as I said in opening, I’m not about stirring conflict and reaction. I’m about collaborating energies to create harmony. There is nothing more capable of disarming prejudice than a woman who knows how to play to her differences. There is nothing more powerful, than a woman who’s not afraid to call on her virtues in order to level the field. So you meet his pride, expressed as arrogance with grace, his frustration with compassion, his ego with prudence. And your worlds, when not under threat or competition, co-exist, solve and synchronize in perfect harmony. Harmony.

 

You see, exuding feminine energy is by no means an inferior force, it is not submissive, and secondary, it is in itself a quiet non-boasting strength that doesn’t need to be validated or assured of a place. It is fluid, and flexible and able to adapt, diffuse defiance and restore calm. It is beautiful. Beautiful in every sense of the word, and existing in a “male dominated” career does not require the absence of it’s essence, but rather its presence to compliment the nature of what can sometimes be, cold, dark, work.

 

What I struggle with, is women who oppress themselves by playing through the singular virtue of image and beauty, as if it’s the only notable difference we have to justify our place and harness power. All this does is create a one-dimensional avenue, detracting from our multi-dimensional artillery. The plethora of poses, likes and comments on our surface state speak nothing of our ability, and capability. Relying on image alone will not gain the respect we crave. Popularity maybe, but not respect. What creates respect is an energy in conflict that realizes you’re not occupying the Captains seat because a movement has promoted and placed you there and that the company succumbed to your aesthetic presence and the desire to appease those who’ve fought for your rights. That you’re occupying the Captains seat because you’ve earned it, that your energy is not there to dis-empower or emasculate his, but rather, to work synergistically towards a common goal and operational mission, and to do so safely, and efficiently.

 

So then, in the distant (distant…) future, when I’m able to exchange words with my daughter. What I would like to teach her is this. Your strength lies in your uniqueness, not in assimilation. That knowing who you are as a woman enhances your presence, and your presence alone has the power to pacify and disarm the most hostile hearts. That your “place”, is everywhere, and anywhere you so choose. That you’ll be able to love greatly, and with that love, and it’s degree, you’re going to have to be strong. That you’re a nurturer, and that you have the ability to heal, that means through the practices of self healing, you’ll be able to overcome any hurt and teach others to do the same. That sometimes you’re going to feel vulnerable, but in that vulnerability you’re going to need to be fearless. And this, fearless vulnerability is going to make you increasingly alluring. The fact that you can adapt and calculate your way through the odds without relying on your physicality alone, but instead your mind and how it has the ability to tie untie-able ends into petite little ribbons. That your words, and the way you articulately arrange them into bouquets of knowledge and meaning will captivate a ready audience. That your feminine frame and demeanor is an accessory to your soul, not the definition of it and the purpose of its power is not purely to persuade. To always meet resistance and doubt with kindness and understanding and not bitter offense, to be bold and courageous and to revel in your infinite potential and the power that comes with being a Woman.

Writers block.

“Every human being is the author of his own health or disease” 

 

He is the author. He has been writing the story of this disease for 60 years. And for the last twenty odd years he has been the man that has taught me how to read, not just words, but also the lines between. Not only did he teach me how to read, but he also encouraged me to express what it is I see, and to believe in its significance, its place and purpose despite my limited life experience. In fact, sometimes I think he relied on that. He relied on my untrained eye. The eye seeing things for the first time, seeing things as they are and not as they seem. The eye free to focus, or relax, a vision with a lens that has yet to be corrected and bound by frame. A vision that has access to the “inaccessible”.

I can clearly remember my tiny self drowning in the depth of observation urgently trying to find the words in my limited, junior vocabulary that I could throw out like a life buoy to keep us all afloat as the next wave of his stress broke. For what I was lacking in word, I made up for with my ability to analogise and somehow relate to what was then un-relatable. So I tread tirelessly to keep my head above the water and my eyes fixed on him so I could observe, decipher, and diffuse situation with the innocent eyes of true perception.

You see. He may have written the story, but societal expectation and his consequential blurred perception of who he should be gave him the pen and told him how many pages he was allowed for each chapter. So he worked harder in order to keep up with his word, refusing to put down his pen. His stops were never full, and his commas always capricious. All he saw in front of him was the incentive of his fountain tip pen (engraved with proof of his loyal service) and the paper he tried to make meet end. I can remember reading what his tired face wrote in the evenings, and highlighting the business terminology depressed on his page of thought. I needed to understand their meaning in order to keep up my “profound” relate-ability, to provide some sort of comfort and conversational use.

By trade, he negotiates, and as a result of his misperception of what he felt were tribulations, I would try and get him to buy into the stock of my achievements (however small) to trade as his own, to supplement his worth that he often misspelled.

The closer he got to the end of each chapter, (or rather, the closer the end of each chapter got to him) the more he struggled to define his story and the less he was able to identify his hand in the writing. Writers block. He had writers block. Out of frustration he threw down his pen and allowed a ghostwriter to step in. So the ghostwriter began to tells the story from where his ends. A copy paste life of conformity, obedience and sacrifice.

You see, we do this. We surrender ourselves to societies ideal because we fear that we’re not where we should be, that we have run out of time and pages to write our story. So we allow it to be written for us, by forcing ourselves to fit the mold, the template provided for every year we unfold.

So we wake up, and we serve. We serve and sacrifice ourselves sick for silly things that are deliberately designed to lure us further away from ourselves, to forget about the story we were writing, and to start believing in the one that has been written for us. To believe in these external, material motivations which are conveniently left just out of reach. The false belief, and artificial perception that you need extravagance and grandeur, the motorbike, the house, the boat and the white collar to match your picket fence and fake friends, so you sell your soul for it. As it’s only in things for self, and not of self that you’re deemed a valid, worthy, “successful” being.

It’s in the exorcism of reaching for the conveniently placed out of reach things, that our soul gets torn away from our body, and disease has space to set in. In this Disease, the dis-ease, his, I have begun to realise its purpose, and his. I have begun to realise the inadvertent beauty in the consequence of its existence, and the frustration in its western perception of “cure”

Disease. Dis – the Latin prefix meaning “apart”, “asunder”, “away” or having a privative, negative or reversing force.

(Privation. Causing, or tending to cause deprivation. Characterized by the taking away, loss, or lack of something.)

Ease. The freedom from labor, pain or physical annoyance, tranquil rest, comfort. The freedom from concern, anxiety or solicitude; a quiet state of mind.

To my understanding and interpretation between the line. Disease manifests when you’re apart, asunder or away from self. When you’re anxious, stressed under duress and deprived of a quiet state of mind.

So, as I read on from where the ghostwriter wrote, I see themes of disrupted rhythm. I see the cessation of self-belief, and the trade of organic identity for a generic celebrated “norm”. I see the false perception of insecurity. I see the disorientation and dissonance created in the imbalance of spent time. I see doubt. I see distrust in the ability to be all for self, and the encouragement to rely on the outsourced. I see society selling false quick fix “solutions” to a problem they’ve created. I see the complete misnomer of richness. I see someone else. Until that is, I read chapter 2015.

After years of pushing himself beyond what was kind, the disease (pancreatic cancer it was so defied) Manifested in the space between his soul and body. The doctors, (who usually specialised in quick fix solutions), now came forward with a quick, break resolution. He had to choose between 3 months of ruin or an unforgiving surgical procedure.

Herein lies the beauty in the consequential, and the light to the wound. As a result of his inability to serve, and his weakened body pulling him back down to earth. The pattern of his product, cut so perfectly to society’s template was no longer of use and the job he reached so far for, and severed ties between his body and soul for was out of reach. So he lost it. He lost it, along with his false perception of identity, the who “I” am, and how “I” am seen to society. When you lose your job, and win medical bills, eventually you have to “insert more coins” in order to keep playing the game that is this life. So, he inserted the house, his car, and his pride in order to keep playing, because he is a sport, and of course, a fighter. However, It is only in losing everything, that he realised that he is everything. It is in this aggressive detachment from everything he was misled to believe he should slave for did he realise his place, and his purpose through a childlike, pure perception. To see himself as I have always seen.

As we read on from chapter 2016, we begin to see the narrowing of the gap between the soul and body as he finds the courage to pick up his pen and start writing his own story again. The only thing he still needs to break free of, that insultingly attaches him to this sanguine coloured society is the chemo that drips in his veins. The pharmaceutical solution that’s sold to fix the problem they co-wrote.

Fuck, I used to get so frustrated when my dad would force me to “read”. I would think it so selfish of him to make me feel so responsible and atone to his emotion. To try solve or at least dilute the true problems that he refused to see, and to refute the fake problems that he could. To constantly be the one that would have to define, what matters vs. what was of matter. You see; all this time I thought I was reading his story, but instead he was selflessly reading his to me so I could have the opportunity, with hind and sight fore to write mine differently. So too did I realise that the weight of his worry wasn’t only for my shoulders to bear. So, as I sit, in the familiarity of the oncology rooms this late afternoon, my mom not beside my dad, but rather he beside her as she is consulted with the solution and cure for her disease reoccurred. I realise. That as he sat down to read from his book, she was the light that sat beside him and brought light to his word.

In conclusion; you are not the salary you earn. You are not the space you occupy in your office. You are not the title on your door or the name on your tertiary education certificate. You are not your twitter or instagram handle. You are not even the face on your book. You are the divine source of everything that you have, and have yet to need. Detach yourself from meaningless shit, refuse to buy into it, the “health and happiness” you so seek is inner sourced. There is no supplement for self.

Besides; you have time. You have time to make it all happen. You have time, so take it and build yourself properly. Disregard the templates; there is no ideal age, other than the now. Now is as good a time as any. By all means, go out there and dominate the “work force”, but don’t allow yourself to get pushed around by it. Don’t lose your sense of self and forgo evolution out of fear of losing position, or your “bosses” favor. Don’t down play your ability, your power, and your worth. Whatever happens, or doesn’t happen you’ll survive. More than just survive, you’ll prosper. (Remember, you’re holding the pen so you’re telling the story.) Trust me, I am as ambitious as any, but the work ethic I apply to my career has to be matched or superseded by the work I put into my self. That, for me is the success to the situation, to learn how to remain true whist playing the “game”. So this is not about denying yourself the accruement of possession, it’s about not allowing yourself to become possessed by it. Before reaching out, you must reach in. To deny the distance, it to deny dis-ease.

 

This is a Sub-blog

 

Well, this is embarrassing. Apparently blogs are taboo. Why didn’t you guys tell me and save me the despair? Yesterday, I was told by a media expert (laughs) that;
“blogs are for bored people who ramble on about shit that nobody has time to read” – media expert
(laughs again) so in his honor I’ll ramble on about his shit. (He wont be reading this as he is far too busy,  so we’re all good.)
I always appreciate advice from people who are so caught up in trend. Who govern their lives by what the majority are doing and are so darn scared to be seen to take a chance on anything that isn’t current, or pop culturally relevant. My question is though, who decides what is relevant, and why are you so loyal to their opinion? Surely relevance is something entirely subjective. What is relevant to me, may not be relevant to you? Unless of course, you’re willing to remove yourself as a subject and submit to becoming the person that “fits in”. A product of popular culture, an obedient clone nobly spreading the word, protecting us against what was “so yesterday”
Now, I hear you, and I see your point of view about a Vlog.
“Videos are so much easier to watch and engage with” – media expert.
They undoubtably have their place, but for now, this is not about being distracted by the ease in watching a video, and maybe, just maybe, my intention is not to engage with you but rather to encourage you to engage with yourself? Is that not more sustaining? And I don’t know, relevant?
Say what you will, but words, however imperfect, grammatically incorrect or improper are powerful. Think about it, you’re reading my thinking in the sound of your voice? How crazy is that. Vlogs may be engaging, but words are intimate. How close do my thoughts now lie next to yours, and how soon will you not be able to distinguish between my voice and your own? Especially if you’ve been conditioned to only speak up with the support of a crowd.
You see, it takes a strong mind to plough through words. Firstly to have the attention span and focus to do so, and secondly to get out on the other side of it and still have a unique voice, a sense of subject, identity and opinion of self that is not of a group. To read things that you don’t agree with, with as much ease and effortlessness as reading things that you do. To measure yourself, and the strength of your identity against conflicting ideals. It’s with this resistance, the push and pull of opinion that we develop strength and engrave our identity, and begin to distinguish who we are from everyone else, and what OUR thoughts truly sound like.
Anyway, I digress. What I was actually intending on writing about is criticism and how we should welcome it. Criticism reflects the things we most often find wrong about ourselves. So when someone is kind enough to offer you theirs, it’s important that you don’t put up a fence of offense, but rather pay attention to the insight they’re offering about themselves. After all, it’s those “things” we’re self conscious about that we most often notice about other people isn’t it? We try and gauge other people’s reactions against our self perceptions. For example; if you’re trying to lose weight the first thing you notice about everyone else is whether or not they’ve gained or lost weight. Relationships. Whether you’re finding yours difficult, or finding it difficult to find “yours”, you’ll be closely observing and criticizing the way everyone else conducts theirs. This is why tabloids and Reality TV are a thing. We’re hoping to find some sort of relief in the comparison. Relief.
For this reason, it’s often a good exercise to encourage criticism, to ask people to speak up of your flaw (or just listen in when they offer it freely to anyone within range) and pay attention to what they notice, and for you to then notice wherein lies their reflection. Also, when they catch onto your ability to recognize them in all of this, they’ll think twice about exposing themselves in this way again, and seek to find relief elsewhere.
Anyway. Those of you who know me (even just a little bit) understand that I don’t take myself as seriously as it seems, and that I appreciate good humor, humility and banter over rigidity and pretentiousness. That I’m as much of a tease as I am a nerd. So, to the expert that keeps mocking absolutely everything I post, I appreciate your concern over my credibility and reputation and see it as your own. I also appreciate the fact that you won’t be able to mention reading this.
It’s been fun.

One minute and thirteen seconds

“Do you understand the implications of what happened to you on Thursday?” I was asked again by one of the engineers, almost a week after it happened. “Yes, yes I do” I replied. “The incident has been running through my mind as much as it has yours…”

To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I should mention anything about this (for a couple reasons). Initially I didn’t think it was the biggest event. When shit happens, you just deal with it and move on. I also didn’t want to create the wrong impression of helicopter training and deter interest, but mostly I wanted to allow the incident to run through my mind until it was tired, and out of breath. I was going to keep chasing it until I was at peace with how I managed the situation, I needed to scroll through the “what could I have done differently to avoid this?” questions, and in truth, there’s a part of my ego that wanted to have a career clean slate of not having had an “incident” or occurrence. Nobody wants to be the “unlucky one” even though this was completely out of my control…or was it?
Intuition. From the get go I was uncomfortable in that machine, in fact, there were a few of us that were. There was an immediate distrust (please excuse me as I begin to personify this helicopter) She was a “foreigner” to us, understandably, when you don’t know the aircrafts history you are a little suspicious at first until you learn her ways and eventually welcome her to the fleet. This one, not. Every flight prior to this I’d find, mention and attempt to amend a snag. The pre-flights were always more thorough, intensive, and attentive. The flight path and method always defensive. A little extra height than usual, and I a little less forgiving when the student deviated from the ideal flight path to the GFA, (outside of what I felt would be a manageable glide distance to a safe LZ) There was just something. Something she was about to tell us…
On the day she found her voice, prior to the scheduled training flight I mentioned to the student that we were just going to take the machine for a test flight to make sure all is in order after we had the engineers tend to the snags we made the day before. So, we flew two circuits. The clutch light flicker issue seemed to have been solved, and for additional peace of mind, I decided to do two autorotation entries to make sure she handled it, and that the RRPM was set within the prescribed limits.
“If the engine does quit on me, I at least want to have something to work with” I thought. As if I knew…
So anyway, I felt better about the RRPM and so the student and I signed ourselves out and proceeded to carry on with our scheduled lesson. Exercise 9, lift off and touch down. Which, every lesson before this one I had taught at the GFA, about a 15-20min ferry distance from base. This day however, I said, let’s go to Virginia (an airport 5mins away) and practice on the grass, west of the runway. It’s near by and it will be easier to get assistance if we need it (as opposed to the rural located, uncontrolled GFA) I thought.
So we went to Virginia and practiced lift off and touch down. He was a lot tenser on the controls than usual, and he was struggling more than he had the day before, visibly and vocally frustrated. Not himself. As if he knew…
So we spent a little bit longer than usual on the exercise until he got it right, and felt more confident in his performance and ability. He kept on asking if we can stay a little longer, and I obliged, once, twice until finally (after checking the stop watch I kept running on my phone…) I said “lets call it a day and head back, you’ve done well” After approximately one hour and six minutes, we were cleared for lift from Virginia to head back to base. One hour and seven minutes, transitioned to forward flight. One hour and eight minutes on the climb. One hour and nine minutes, right hand turn, climbing to 800ft. One hour and ten minutes left downwind for Greystones. One hour and eleven minutes, I took the controls to demonstrate the transition from forward flight to the hover (an exercise to follow) one hour and 12 minutes on final approach. One hour and thirteen minutes. The engine failed.
To me, it felt like we were about 5 ft, The engineers that witnessed it said it was about 8ft. Either way, it doesn’t matter. What matters is, we were just about in the hover when it happened, which means the rate of descent had practically settled, and when I asked her for that final bit of power to keep her steady, she decided to quit.
There’s a quote I’ve been meaning to use, that incidentally I heard at an instructors course I had attended a couple months earlier “When under pressure, you don’t rise to the occasion, you fall to the level of your training” and in this case, I’m grateful that I’ve had good training and that the fall was gentle. Lower collective. Right pedal. Raise collective just before ground contact to cushion the landing. (Engine failure in hover)
I’m also grateful that I’ve had the privilege to log a good couple of hours teaching emergencies, to enhance the instincts, and expose myself to the “what if”. This is why I wholeheartedly endorse an instructors rating. You’re just far more current on the procedures, and the reactions tend to be a little more fiber optic than copper wire.
BUT. This is not about that, it’s not even about why the engine failed (which I will get to…) this is about one hour and thirteen minutes…
One hour and thirteen minutes. Had we left fractionally later, we would have been in trouble. Big trouble. We would’ve had to deal with an engine failure over an unforgiving approach path or a built up area. Had we left earlier, fractionally, we wouldn’t have known about the problem, and the failure, which was imminent would have happened to the next unsuspecting student/instructor. (Something I struggle to think about…) At One hour and thirteen minutes I heard the voice of intuition say confidently “I told you so”
Now, let me be the first to tell you that you have many days where you don’t FEEL like flying. (I know right? How can you not?) But, sometimes you just not in the space for it, as simple as that. In the commercial world however, you have to push through not feeling like it because it’s what you do. (Although they’re fewer and far between than, dare I say, the “average” job) so, you learn to push through, to get in the chopper regardless of whether you feel like it or not and to just get things done. Intuition however is NOT a feeling, it is a knowing. This is different. This is not you psyching yourself out and refusing to get in the chopper based on what you fear might happen, (because if that were the case we’d probably never fly) This is you RESPONDING to what you know can happen. This is you trusting yourself. This is you taking heed of the hunches and adjusting your plan accordingly. This is you putting yourself in control by allowing yourself to be guided by your intuition. I think this is where the cessation of unrealistic fear happens. When you begin to trust yourself, and back your intuition by adjusting your plans or acting on the hunches you feel somewhat in control, guided and protected by…yourself? I think it’s important to understand that the onus is on you. This is not me saying let go of your fate, and leave it in <insert your belief here’s> hands and he’ll/she’ll take care of it. This is me saying, you need to listen to yourself so you can look out for yourself. I see so many people being detached from their inner voice because they don’t feel empowered enough to be for themselves. They delegate their life and the responsibility of it to someone or something else. They have this crippling fear of being wrong, or even worse, for looking stupid. So they stand in the corner and wait for someone or something to say something first. Fuck that. If you don’t feel right about something, you owe it to yourself to say something. More than once. Find your inner voice. And learn to listen to it, learn to speak up!
Everything happens for a reason. Everything happens at the precise moment that it was meant to happen, no matter how undesirable the “happening”, when it happens, you switch on and pay attention. Forget the “why me’s” and ask “why now”
Instead. In this example, it’s quite simple. If it didn’t happen “now” at one hour and thirteen minutes, we would never had known that the problem existed and a solution would never have been sought. This is life. This is exactly how life plays out. It plays out in seconds. A couple extra here or there and things could have been totally different. In this example, it’s so easy to appreciate the time line of events, and for that reason I’m grateful. In my “peripheral” life however, the “engine cut” timing is not always so beautifully, and obviously defined without the assistance of hindsight. But. There is a lesson in this, and that is to always be grateful when “shit happens”. As difficult as it is, be grateful for it, because had it not happened, you would never be given the opportunity to solve the problem. The real problem. Because it’s going to continue to happen, and you’ll keep snagging the “machine” and woefully drag it through the sky until the real problem is solved, or ignored consistently until you run out of opportunities, and succumb to the problem. You’ve just got to trust the timing of your life, and find peace in knowing that things happen for you, and not to you.
The mechanics. The fuel tanks in the Robinson R22’s are gravity fed, that means there is no fancy fuel pump ensuring that the fuel is fed at a constant pressure. It relies purely on gravity (Gravity, you know, that thing we rebel against on a daily basis?) Anyway, fuel tanks need to breathe. In order to breathe, they need to be vented out to the atmosphere or have some tangible means to access it. In the R22, the breather pipes run out the top of the tank, in the direction of the mast, concealed within the mast cowling. Allowing the tank to breath as fuel warms up (expands) and cools (contracts), compensating for the corresponding increase, and decrease of air pressure as the volume fluctuates. This pressure equalization allows gravity to do it’s thing. The main tank, wasn’t doing its thing. It’s breather was blocked. Meaning we were running off the remnants of the Auxiliary tank, (which coincidentally was lower than the gauge was indicating) and when the remnants ran dry, the vacuum created in the main tank (as a result of its inability to breathe) created a suck that out sucked the fuels worth in weight (Gravity), and starved the main fuel feed. I guess the lesson in this, outside of the literal, outside of the mechanical, the engineering, piloting, intuition, timing, “shit happen adapting” is that, like fuel tanks we need to breathe! We need some means of venting to compensate for the pressure fluctuations in life, and I guess, in some way writing this has been mine…