Say it, Live it. Living your word.

Most of us make promises at some point or another about things that we are going to do, books that we are going to read, programs that we are going to destroy. Some of us start, a few of us get halfway through, but how many of us finish what we say we are going to do regardless of the discomfort involved in the process.

Discomfort isn’t ideal, unless you realise that discomfort is the process of change. The discomfort is the resonance of the dissonance between where you are now and what you need to be in order to function on that level.

Find people who are on your wavelength. Those who relish in the challenges that they set you. Set them challenges in return, and hold them accountable for that which they commit themselves to, and vice versa. Relish the challenges that they set you.

Finding ways to learn to love the challenges that face us is part of growing into strength.
The first step towards doing this is to condition yourself to stick to your word… However seemingly insignificant at the time, they all add up.

I quote this a lot, but it’s because it is great! Here’s a lovely quote by Lao Tzu that sums is up better than I possibly could:

‘Watch your thoughts, they become your words,
Watch your words, they become your actions,
Watch your actions, they become your character,
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.’


Ben

Much love folks. x

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Photography by Aleksandr Slovodianyk

I set myself a challenge to read 13 books in one month. Here’s the post on instagram in case you’re interested.

Getting out of your own way

Often the best art comes when we get out of our own ways. When we allow the spirit to write its own passages and to be its own creator. Yet… how could this be the case?
This is the hardest thing to do and to accept. Our sense of self seems to create the things that we see in front of us, but where does it really come from? The art, the ideas, the music, the life.

From where it comes is the most truthful source. Getting in touch with this source only requires that you feel into it, and get out of your own way in doing so.

Liberating, scary, relentless, brilliant… Sounds like life to me.

As a practice or meditation, try following the flow back to its source, and see what you notice about the details of your interactions with life as you do continue to do so.


-Ben

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Listen to your body

Most of us realise by now that the body and mind are connected. They are reflections of each-others state. If the body is hunched over and the head looking up towards the horizon at all times, you’re going to feel quite ‘deflated’. If you are constantly thinking all of the time, then your body’s attitude is going to reflect this with a disconnect from the legs, and an ungrounded nervous energy.

Meditations of all kinds help us to observe these phenomena. In the thick of it, it is hard to realise one’s own dis-ease.

Through meditations we can observe the thoughts that are arising… Our spirit’s ‘Calling’ if you will. Through these realisations we can align our practices to reflect these callings in the physical world, the world of the body.
The same can be said of physical meditations. Mindful stretching and Yogic methods help us to connect with the callings of the body, in order that we can align ourselves literally to a more subtle and efficient degree.

Both meditations when practiced become extremely gratifying, and even beautiful. Healing one’s own uneasiness is often only a practice of listening, and then right action presents itself naturally.

Fear of stopping is largely what gets in the way. Stopping the thought process where often most of us spend the vast majority of our time means a death of that place. Yet it is this place that is causing us to disconnect from our natural states.
In order to get back in touch with that from which we have separated ourselves, we must listen carefully.

When one begins to listen: Patterns of thought emerge. Patterns of feeling are realised, and instinct begins to realign itself with its natural state.

If lost… Watch the mind. Listen to the spirit.
If unfeeling… Listen to the body.

Most of all trust what arises. Ones own path does not lie, and will make itself heard eventually, regardless.

What arises does so from stillness, and it is here from which we can see most clearly.


-Ben

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Fear is your friend

Most people live their lives in the avoidance of fear.

Consider the people in your life who you truly admire. These people live with an element of fear and discomfort in their lives. Yet they continue to do what they need to do while living with this fear… They don’t let fear stop them from giving their gifts. They become acquainted with fear, living in touch with it, they cultivate a relationship of mutual understanding.

Fear is the edge of you.

Fear is your closest ally, if you allow it to be.

Fear lets you know that you are growing, living, and giving fully.

If you do not feel fear while living by allowing it to be part of you, then you are becoming fear itself. Fear is always there. Your fear represents the boundaries of you.

If you feel up to the challenge of living fully…
Become intimate with your fear. Feel it. Allow it to show you where the boundaries of you are in order that you can break through them and give the gifts that you incarnate into this world, fully.  In this way, you can practice love despite your fear. Helping others to do the same will be a side effect of this.

Notice what gifts you want to give to this world, and consider why you don’t give them fully. Truly enquire as to where the root of this cause is. Feel it. If you didn’t let fear stop you, what would you want to do?

Most importantly however… Do it because of love. And do it for love. Because why do you do anything really?


Ben

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Reading: The guidance of an older brother

A perspective on the art of reading

Reading is about possibility. Reading is about looking at a set of things that might happen to you so that you know what to expect when it does. A book says, ‘If you take a left and follow the river, there might be a cliff side. Here’s how you might go about getting down it.’

Reading is merely about identifying what to expect, and then bringing that foresight into the world of experience subtly.

A common fear is that if you read, it will take the magic out of the discovery. This is a false fear. Reading brings another perspective to the discovery. There is the feeling of discovery, which is magical. There is the unknown. And there is what you were expecting to experience. These three will never truly match up completely. If seemingly they do, then it is not difficult to add the magic back in. Anyone who has ever had a conversation in ‘gibberish’ with someone knows this.*

Going into the new year, consider reading as a mentorship from an older sibling: ‘This is what I’ve seen. This is what you might expect to see. This is how you might go about dealing with it. Take it or leave it!’


-Ben

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*If you don’t know this, then try it: Have a conversation with someone in gibberish, not thinking about the words, no filtering, just simply saying whatever comes to your head. Let the gibberish speak for you. The conversation topic can be about whatever you want. It will change your perspective on interaction.

Living with an Open Heart.

The first time I felt my heart open after 5 years of it being mostly closed, and another 5 of it being most completely so, I finally understood what had been bugging me all this time (and why I closed it in the first place). This opening felt overwhelming, in the sense that with my recognition of the love that I felt in that moment, fear that I had not felt in years returned sharply.

People that have closed hearts mostly are not aware of this. They simply attempt to fill it with other means, and have mostly forgotten what it feels like to truly love. When one veers so far from the feeling of fear, and of love, it is easy to forget why I do anything in the first place. This is because in the same way that those who are numb do not feel love, they are also numb to their own feeling of fear. It has become a vague memory to them, an itching that never leaves, and echoes every action and every moment as an underlying buzz, as it had to me. In me this manifested in a trying to escape the present moment by any means necessary. I was an escape the moment ninja. I could backflip over my own insecurity towards the chocolate and ninja star my laptop on in mid air.

I understand now that one does not wait to feel. Ones simply faces their suffering and opens their heart by relaxing into it. One always loves (as one always fears), it is merely a case of recognising it in the present moment. It is a practice of opening ones heart in the present. Opening up to love also opens you up to pain, suffering. The truth is however, that you were always loving, and always in pain. You either live with this awareness and participate in the expression of this loving and fearing, or you let it love and fear you.

When you begin to practice the opening of your heart, to love and to fear (suffering), in the present moment, a path of inspiration magnetises you. This seems to be the path of right action, and if you can live in the present with an open heart, feeling your love and your fear, yet still continuing in the direction that is opening and beckoning itself to you, then you can live with full conscience and purpose.

A good read on this practice of living with an open heart would be ‘The Way of the Superior Man’ by David Deida. I’d highly recommend this to men and women. However especially to men. The same author also has other works that are more specifically directed towards women which may feel more appropriate. These can be found online also with a quick search.


-Ben

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