Your body.

The Navigator to your destiny, and the carrier of your soul. A realm through which you perceive, sense and interpret. The home to your instinct, intuition and touch. The origin of your “gut feel” from whom you begin to know that ‘feeling’ is as good as fact, and to trust those feelings we will (Even though our minds will contradict, compete and argue)
The epiphany that knowledge needs to be FELT and experienced physically to truly be known. The tangible self, the honest self, the pure self, the goose bumps and the butterflies. The Physical. Your physical. Your Body to your beautiful mind. Listen to and look after it.

Bare attention.

Two pairs of eyes, in the same scene see differently. The adept peels away the veil of habit that masks our senses and sees reality as it is in its unembellished raw imperfection. It disregards the minds will to censor the senses and unapologetically, presents and accepts perception how it truly is.

The other cannot refine attention to its bare state, but rather dresses it up to what they hope to see, a preferred palatable reality. An “easier on the eye” a comfortable state of cognition dampening the  inconvenience of dissonance…
The insecure will say that a life of bare attention is a life for cynics, where in fact it’s a life of the contrary. Seeing and accepting a pure unedited reality brings peace, freedom, clarity and ultimately RESOLUTION.
If you preferred to be “less cynical” and exchanged honesty for convenience. You’d be forced to beat your perception to submit to an ideal form before it became comfortable and useful to you, just as you’d aggressively “fluff” your down pillow into ideal shape before you’d go to sleep at night…
When you look up from your phone, ask yourself if what you see is what truly is, or have you been going through life “fluffing pillows” and forcing your reality to take the shape of an ideal, an expectation. If you look up and you’re still uncertain, id suggest you throw yourself into a situation that forces you to challenge your perception, or rather forces perception to challenge you. Flying does this.
It’s funny how being outside of your zone of comfort whilst simultaneously being presented by inconvenient truths at a rate faster than you can “fluff” them into submission reveals what always was, and always will be. The fact that You either can or You can’t, that You either will or You won’t.
I suppose sometimes the left seat is not purely to supervise and sign off lessons of the syllabus. But to wait patiently for the day your student (or yourself for that matter) finally runs out of convenient excuses, and runs into the most inconvenient one. Themselves. (Or yourself…) At this point we can finally crack open the proverbial champagne bottle and be welcomed to the REAL world where no shade of grey exists. It’s pure black and white here, imperfectly perfect and Beautiful!

Effortlessness.

The focus needs to be on effortless living. We need to be less in thrall to morality and instead we need to live true to our natures. We need to trust who we know ourselves to be and live spontaneously, unslaved and unperturbed by those who have chosen to live a life less free. Freedom is not acting on reasons we’ve chosen for ourselves, but rather in not having to choose at all. We respond to life as we MUST, and not how we think we should. There’s no agonizing contemplation between “right and wrong” or “good and evil” there’s no guilt, no regret, no fear. We just are, effortlessly. Morality does not make for better people, what it does however is enrich our vices. Don’t be deceived by those who preach a life of morality, they only do so because they distrust the default setting of their nature. Trust yourself. Be guided by the effortlessness of being who you truly are.

Observationist.

Sometimes you need to take a journey  deeper inside yourself to observe you simply being. Observe yourself doing the ordinary, the simple acts. But every now and again observe yourself through the extraordinary. Hold your own eyes, be entirely embedded in your conscious mind and observe every subtle movement from within. The movement of your hands, the expression on your face, the sensation of your smile that you’ve only ever experienced peripheral to this by mirror or digital replication. Feel the contraction of your cheeks, and the way it hugs your eyes closed. Feel the subtle change in view as the light bends past your saturate lens. Interpret the flickered shift in hue as you smile through tears of gratitude, content and pride welled within the corners of your eyes. Get to know your smile from within, get to know what moves your soul. Get to know what happiness feels like. Happiness that you’ve defined to be.

Observe yourself talking to the person sitting next to you, feel the flow of words off your lips, listen to how they resonate when they rise to the receiver. Do they resonate?
Getting to know yourself this way is the maturation of the connection you have to your central being. Understanding this, understanding YOU is what guides us eternally. The connection you have with yourself, is the connection felt by others. It’s not the connection you have with them that keeps them curious. The higher the degree of self connection, the higher their perception to your “vibe”. You have to KNOW if you want to be KNOWN.

Lost & found.

There’s a discernible difference between being well traveled and having been lost in numerous places. If you didn’t know who you were when you were there, then surely you can’t credit ever being there?

Well travelled are those who incessantly cross inner seas in introspection to find themselves rather than relying on crossing the borders of extrospection lusting in wander and hope that they will one day bump into who they ought to be.

Knowing who you are in spite of where or with whom you are is to be fully conscious in experience, whole in person and worthy of saying “I” have been there when you’re fortunate enough to transcend known territory. Then you can be considered well travelled.
Until then; be still to find yourself, and travel to strengthen what you’ve found…

The ‘I’ in witness.

And so…eventually you concede that just as the world is happening to you, so too are you happening to the world. You are not just the passive witness of events completely beyond your control, instead you have the control to create all that it is that you witness.

Vertical living.

We’re living so close to the surface of our lives that we often can’t make sense of it. Our experiences so expediently uploaded that we forget to download and process what it means to be there, here, inside of it, below the surface that we’re scraping.
What distracts us from diving the depths of our experience? as it is in these depths that sense and meaning swims.
What keeps us a float, buoyant and oblivious to the world beneath. Is it fear of the unknown, or is it that we fear that we know what we will find? Is it the physical effort, sacrifice and impending exhaustion required to kick yourself to these depths? Is it the fear of the pressure and the darkness associated down here, or is it that we only get a couple kicks down before a phone rings, an alarm sounds, a deadline looms an appointment waits and that we can’t be “here” for long before we’ve committed ourselves to being somewhere else…
Whatever it is, we need to live a little more vertically, and less horizontally. We need to give ourselves space to process time. To make sense of experience. To live below the surface. To find the depth in our purpose.
(Cover image by Sam Ayres)