New Series: Book of the Day

Hope you’re all well.

Starting Wednesday 19th of September, one a day for 10 days, I will be a releasing a series covering books that I have most recommended over the years to friends, family, and acquaintances, in order that some of you may be inspired to give them a try. Each of these books has delivered massive value to some area of my life. I hope that they can do the same for you.

I look forward to sharing these with you!

“The more one forgets himself – by giving himself to a cause to serve or another person to love – the more human he is.” -Dr Viktor E. Frankl


-Ben

If you are looking for previous recommendations, then check out this post! Bless.

Play to Grow

Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how.
Once you know the what, the reason, the rest comes.

Sometimes you have to play go grow.
Sometimes you have to give to go
Further than you could on your own.
Nobody knows,
They just put one foot in front of the other.
One step at a time
One reason that’s mine
One life on the line
For greater than ‘something’,
Specifically loving,
And giving the gift
That you fell in love with

…even if you don’t know it…


-Ben

If you liked this post, then check out this post also!

Why you should READ.

I once read a statistic that said this: “If one were to read 1 book on their chosen subject for a month, in 3 years they would be in the top 5% most knowledgable in their field”

WHAT?! You’re telling me that all I have to do is read a book a month?

With a book one disappears  into a world of their creation, all the while learning and being taught anything that they could possibly want to know. The possibilities are literally limitless. Books are the door into your very own intricately detailed brain cinema… that can also teach you things!

So why do so few people actually do it?!

Most people will say “Yeah… I should read but I just don’t have time”

“Or yeah I should, and I do really like it, I don’t know, I just don’t really do it.”

Often when I hear this, the person I’m talking to sat on their phone, or we are down at the pub, or they are watching tv… often not even good tv.

There is a reason for this.

One reason is that there are so many alternatives to reading that are so much more sensorially stimulating. One can sit in front of a TV for hours and just be spoon fed entertainment without having to lift a greasy finger.

Another reason is consistency.

Reading is a participatory. One has to sit down and use their brain muscles. Reading is a practice. And a practice has to be practiced… Mind blown right?

Most people are out of this habit, and so when they do read, they find it difficult or a chore. Surely this should be unsurprising; any level of ability and fitness has to be built and maintained… but often it’s not. And often it’s a discouraging enough experience that people give up after a session. It’s like the new years gym rush in reading form.

Like any other muscle in the body, if you don’t use it then it simply shrinks. We’ve got to train our reading muscles! And it’s a speedy spring-back for sure.

My estimate based on my own experience of reading relapse is that it takes me one and a half weeks to two weeks of being in the habit of picking up a book and reading it daily for it to become simply effortless. To the point where it is as easy to read a book as watch a film except, like eating a salad instead of the chips, reading the book feels healthy and stimulating in regards to my growth, not my complacency.

The trick is to know WHY you are reading, and to be able to discern the feeling of growth from the feeling of deterioration…

So… Why are you reading? Do you want to be the best musician in your field? How many musicians do you recon pick up books in their free time to read about theory applications and jazz history…  Is it for leisure? Great! Just know that… And when you decide to begin reading because you want to learn how to be a great leader, or manage a workforce, or build a motorbike, keep your eyes on the reason and feel it coming closer into your sphere of reach.

Another factor to consider. Rising to the challenge. Do you have a HIGHER purpose in mind that you are working towards everyday?

When you have a higher purpose, reading, exercising, working, and doing anything in alignment with it that purpose comes effortlessly. When what you are doing is in alignment with your purpose, you are excited and fulfilled in dance and movement your own progression, and reading is a vehicle for that momentum. (If you’re having trouble finding your higher purpose, here is a resource for you that I wrote.)

Reading raises your consciousness up. It is part of the vital interplay between the inner and outer consciousness. Both the inner and outer game are on their own path towards growth, and in turn each feeds its counterpart.

If you are interested in growing in any capacity, reading is not only your friend, but your mentor and closest ally.

Books don’t don’t discriminate, they just give. Be a book.


My advice is to think of reading (like meditation) as a practice that is a guiding light: A grounding force: A sturdy hand pointing the way for intuition on your Hero’s Journey.

If you’re still not bought on the idea of reading, consider some of the greatest teachers and leaders ever to have lived: You can have lunch with Gandhi, and Tea with Malcom X, dinner with Steven Hawking, and drinks with Arnold Schwarzenegger… Lives and lives worth of tips, tricks, lessons, and mistakes, compiled into a book that can be held in the palm of your hand and enjoyed at your leisure.

If you are not sure where to start on your reading journey, here’s where I started, and it is a great place to start for anyone: ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People.’

This is about outer game. This is about becoming the most educated version of yourself in order that you can bring yourself and others up. To educate is to elevate. True education is self guided, and it’s there for the taking. Elevate yourself, and bring others with you. Share your gifts. Take your power.

Reading, unlike most modern media, is not just entertainment. Reading is a practice. It will reveal things to you about yourself, and take you to places on your own journey of personal development that you never thought possible.

Who knows… maybe one day you will end up writing your own book. May it be filled with tellings of wonder and success.

Take it from Abraham Lincoln:

“My Best Friend is a person who will give me a book I have not read.”


-Ben

If you liked this post, then I’d recommend checking out this post also…

Also if you are still not bought on the idea of reading: here’s an interesting article that might aid your decision,

Incantations have warped my understanding of reality.

Incantations are a bullsh*t I always thought… well not quite.

I had experimented with Incantations in the past, and not to much avail. There was always a moment of catharsis, and what I thought was false confidence, at the time. I did persist with them for a week or three, but I didn’t really believe in what I was doing and as such came to yield no fruits from my labours.

Above all, the trouble with Incantations is if you do not EMBODY them, then they are merely words. When they are merely words, they are merely affirmations. A squeally yoga mum telling herself that she is a strong indendent woman, but not necessarily actually EMBODYING this statement. This is largely where I went wrong. And this is most people go wrong. We all know that words can take on a different meaning hourly depending on our feelings that day. It is not the words, it is what the words are pointing to, and the experience that they are rooting to. I like a quote by the philosopher Alan Watts. ‘…Like the finger pointing to the moon, yet instead of seeing the moon, most people suck on the finger.’

Incantations are not just words. Incantations are the complete package. To yield results, one needs to anchor these words in experience.

While reading Elliot Hulse’s ‘Non Jobs Revolution’ (a fantastic read which I highly recommend), I came across his version of Incantations. For me, this is the most effective way to go about Incantations, and I can speak from experience when I say, it works!


Here’s how it works:

1.  Firstly going back in your mind to an experience that made you feel like you were walking on air, elated, powerful. Whatever is in line with the state that the Incantation is pointing towards. Now you play the video of the experience over in your head, being there, hearing the sounds, seeing the sights, tasting the air.

2.  Feelings are going to come up at this point. Feel them. You might smile or laugh, be there now. Don’t cling to them, but let them arise within you like a volcano. You’ve got FIRE in your belly baby…

3.  Now you must speak your affirmation with conviction. One Incantation that I have chosen, and that has made a MASSIVE psychological difference to me is ‘I am Limitless‘. Say it as if you flipping mean it… and do flipping MEAN IT.

4.  Now anchor these emotions into your body with a gesture. I like to fist pump my arms in front of me as if I am about to get into a championship ring and get it done.

Now you have affirmed yourself.

You can use multiple affirmations. Any time that you are feeling unsure of yourself. AFFIRM yourself. Stand firmly in your own ground and be the person that you want to become.

This technique is completely parallel with my own experience with an acting Method that i used to train in called ‘The Meisner Technique’. It is a method acting tool that allows you to get into the emotional state of the character that you are going to become for the performance. It worked brilliantly.

Life is a also performance… You can be the leading man/woman, or you can be the understudy.

Note:

Using affirmations is a practice. for real: bold, italic, AND underlined.

In order to yield results you must practice them consistently. It is going to feel strange at first and this is normal. One doesn’t build a beach body from a ‘dad bod’ (hate that term) over night, and you’re not going to become someone completely new overnight either.

Take this technique and any time that you catch yourself falling into a pattern of negative thinking, eg: “I don’t know” “I can’t do it” “I literally have no friends”, affirm yourself. Give your negative thinking a metaphorical kick in the ass, meet it with your chest up and head-butt it in the face by replacing it with thinking patterns that will support your growth, support your change into a new person, and support YOU.

Incantations are yielding results for me that I never thought possible. They have changed the way that I look at myself. I have come to realise through affirmations that I manifest my own reality. I create my thoughts, and my thoughts create me.

I hope this technique can help some of you on your own paths.

There is a great quote by the Taoist sage Lao Tzu:

“Watch your thoughts, they become words

Watch your words, they become actions

Watch your actions, they become habits

Watch your habits, they become character

Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.”


-Ben

P.S: If you’ve got any thoughts on this post, drop me a line! I’d love to hear from you.

If you liked this post, then I’d recommend you checking out this post also.

Caves: #Cycles 6

The volcano opened into me
unexpectedly whipping out,
lashing me into feelings long dormant.

I provoked the eruption
Dancing around it’s openings,
Prancing the periphery,
Singing carelessly into the unknown
Of the caves of conscience
That I had long not entered
Until that day

The lashes tore the mask off my face,
Ripping me from comfort,
Peeling my clinging fingers from safety
I fell

The way to redemption became clear.
As the mist lifted,
That of the healing path opened itself to me…
The path through the caves.

I entered into the darkness.

Days turned to weeks turned to months.
I followed onward
Into the full wrath of the shadows,
Enduring the torment of lost knowledge

Until the shadows opened up the truth to me…
The truth was my death.

Yet in the moment of death
When my light flickered to an end,
The possibility of new beginnings arose at the deepest point,

The inevitable possibility as heirophany birthed itself
In the form of seeds of new light.

From a seed
A new self,
Born as the centre of a new light,
Blossomed forth.

Then it was that I learned,
I was ready to grow.

 


-Ben

If you like this post, then I’d recommend checking out this post also.

 

Bounding Over A Flower Field

Oh Dear,

Bounding over a field

You could be us

But we are metal

Pedalling tracks, we mostly forget you

 

Oh Dear ,

Warm Cold Freedom

You seem so fluid, jolly, with purpose

I hope you don’t find a line or carcass

Want to keep you in your paradise

 

Oh Dear,

do I want to be you?

Tell me something that you have thought of

more than footsteps from concrete fortress’

 

Oh Dear…

Oh Dear…

I won’t forget you

No longing, you wanted to jump the highest

Feel the air and other spires

The highest grass wasn’t tall enough

You found the sky and fields within it

 

There were never any lies

Nor ears for them

Eyes for the sky

She put her heart on the ground

To listen for the direction

 

The little ones cuddle the floor

The corpse

No others need to know it

They are tired of lying still

and being lied to.

They knew that Mummy found the sky and weren’t below it

bright eyes glew among the grassbush

A city of petals glimmered among the kingdom

Green, Yellow and Red,

beyond Grey

The destination

 

Oh Dears,

Practice the the ways of

up and down and over

They invented forward on a backward day

 

Oh Dears,

Stonger every day,

Put the flowers away,

The grass is getting smaller,

Trees are moving into order
Taller

Taller

 

Oh Dears,

Branches now beneath their haunches

When the grey came

Yellow gave Red the Green and launched it.

They made it down and put it up,

and bright eyes glew among the treetops.

 

Grey,

Up high,

So suddenly it looked off colour

when left to find it’s own way

down, from the peaks

down from the peaks

down from the Monkey Puzzle tree.

 

Oh Dears, Oh Dears,

Over the Grey Country they marched,

Green, Yellow, and Red

“When Grey was backward we went forward”

-Ben