Messages

I have only just felt confident enough to share my poem entitled Messages, which I received during a meditative process quite some time ago now. This poem is deeply profound for me however, I am intrigued to hear other peoples interpretations and thoughts. If compelled, leave a comment surrounding what you take from this, how you understand this poem and, what touches you the most. obviously, if anything comes to mind please feel free to share your thoughts.

Was that a message from someone or the glen?

From both I was told. Waiting – what then?

Nothing stirred all was at peace and I still waited for them

How long had I been waiting?  not for long or, was it more than I could bare?

Still expecting them, sweeping the landscape with a stare.

Alone, the one I had spoken to had vanished,

as though he had never been there.

Trust your instincts for they never fail you.

I was compelled to remain, of the terrain I was aware.

Another message came forth:

“you have waited long, for this is true. be aware they were always there.”

I had been blind for I could not see

the tenderness, the kiss, the eternal love should not have been a surprise to me.

A Journey into Applied Mindfulness

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The long awaited sun made its appearance in all its Majesty from behind the soft fluffiness of the clouds, drifting serenely across the sky. I welcomed the warmth with anticipation as I set foot outside intent on walking in to town, the feeling of the sun’s rays washing over me gave me a sense of renewed vitality, a sense of newness that had been born within. Even though I begin each day with a sense of gratitude and appreciation regardless of the dullness, wet or cold weather, each season brings its own unique feeling and experiences but, there is something wondrous surrounding the light and warmth of the sun. My senses expanded by listening to the birds singing high up in the trees, the gentle breeze caressing my body as I casually walk on towards my destination. My wandering mind enticed thoughts and emotions to pass through just like those people that had entered my life and left again, leaving their imprint on my development and expanding awareness.

I approach the familiar crossroads along my favoured route however, instead of taking this for granted I stopped, acknowledging the crossroads in a different way. Looking right, the path led downhill and, as I looked left the path led uphill – the significance of the choice of direction became emblazoned within my newly formed state of conscious awareness.  Although both paths eventually merge leading me to the same point, previously I would have made the decision based on how easy I wanted my journey to be. At that moment it felt different, both paths representing the ebb and flow of life. The downhill path represented everything that is good and has worked out, providing an easy and unhindered transition however, the uphill path represented the obstacles, the turmoil that I have encountered providing a difficult and somewhat hindered transition.

Like most things we experience in this life, duality gives meaning to the words we use today. If there was no light how could we identify the dark? If there was no dryness, how could we identify what was wet? Understanding that most of this journey is downhill as my consciousness expanded, I would not be paying homage to the duality of my experiences that has brought me to this moment, as a result I decided to follow the more challenging route. With each step I now took it brought significance to those more challenging moments I experienced, significance towards those obstacles I am yet to encounter.  As with most obstacles, once we reach the summit duality responds in kindness, how do we know what is challenging if there is no downward slope where things become easier, providing a simpler life? Once I had reached the summit I was greeted with the welcomed downhill journey. The downward journey provides a moment of reflection based on how I approach future challenges, experiences with my new found wisdom, the type of person that has been moulded based on those experiences and, where I want to go from here.

‘No mud, no lotus’ Thich Nhat Hanh

A path least taken towards personal growth.

rainI sit gazing out of the window whilst contemplating how to begin my next post, the rain falls from the sky relinquishing the heavy burden of the lingering  menacing black clouds above. The droplets of water cascade down the window pane and then it hits me, everything serves a purpose. The rain provides sustenance, not just for us but for every living organism on this planet, nothing would grow without the aid of water. The trees take in carbon dioxide  and emits oxygen enabling us to breathe the quality of air that our bodies require. nothing, if you will, happens simply by chance but, quite the opposite, everything is designed and happens for a purpose. Simply put, everything is interlinked.

What does this then mean for our personal growth? How does this relate to the experiences we have and the situations we find ourselves in?

If, as I have said, everything serves a purpose then, our very actions, experiences and interactions will all serve that purpose, a purpose to enable us to improve and to lead us towards the path we should be following. I have, at various parts of my development, heard others question how they can identify if they are on the correct path, as well as other connotations of the same theme. Even though I was finding out about myself and questioning what I would perceive as fulfilment, I felt inadequate to even begin to answer those questions.

Having gone through the trials and tribulations by jumping from one office to another, purely for the allure of extra money and then making the conscious choice to move towards the realisation of attaining a level of true enjoyment, and feeling proud of my work, the latter surpasses any materialistic gain. Thereby, now feeling that I can offer one way of looking for this elusive path.

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Acknowledgment and realisation

I feel lucky in that my personality has enabled me to question my actions and this maybe the reason I felt that something was missing, and by questioning whether I was truly happy with my career options, automatically leading me to finding out more about myself, what I enjoyed, the type of person I want to be, How do I want to be perceived, pretty much understanding my emotional and physiological response to the here and now.

One such example can be identified through sitting behind a desk turning paper over, this did not provide the satisfaction I craved . I then realised I was living for the weekend and despising the onset of Monday mornings. However, this period of my life was not without benefit as I had learnt how to communicate effectively with different people.

Recognising and seizing opportunities

Once I had identified the problem, opportunities can present themselves in many different ways by taking action in response to these opportunities, gradually the situation I found myself in began to change for the better.

After realising that there was a gap in my quest for fulfilment an opportunity presented itself, giving a fencing demonstration in a junior school assembly. This then led to a breakfast club and for me this was a very big learning opportunity, considering up to this point I had never given any type  of demonstration or talk to any kind of group. Therefore, I really felt outside of my comfort zone and the experience itself empowered me, the sense of achievement having delivered a successful demonstration spurred me on to challenge myself further.

Go with the flow and continue to learn

By simply seizing this little opportunity it had opened up a door to understanding myself further, learning new areas of myself which lay dormant. Without realising, I was shown how I could help others  and that sense of fulfilment was being recognised.

The after school clubs grew and I had also accepted the opportunity to deliver sessions during school time as well as taking full advantage of the change for life scheme. I then decided to take the next step, and that was to leave a secure office job and focus solely on delivering sports in schools. With each session I delivered and, managing myself as a now self employed person there was plenty of opportunity for learning and for personal growth.

Everything was positive and the enjoyment surpassed anything I was experiencing previously, unfortunately disaster struck due to the Government’s decision surrounding cut backs. Schools were unable to fund the sporting sessions and it was now down to me to find the finance through funding avenues. At this point it would have been easy for me to perceive this as a bad omen or, something negative. However, looking back this was an opportunity to reassess my situation identifying any further gaps in what I was wanting to achieve. I still felt that there was something missing, the sessions I delivered lacked meaning and this served as a catalyst to find hidden depths in what I was attempting to acheive. I found that fencing and other non main stream sports which the schools were not delivering were listed as official G.C.S.E activities.  I began to contact high schools offering fencing as an alternative to other sports for their syllabus and thus, I began to work with young people who were struggling to obtain a pass mark for their G.C.S.E PE syllabus. The course would last six weeks which allowed me to see their progression, achieve results and provide an environment where they could experience something new, build their confidence and feel a sense of achievement. However, the obstacles were mounting creating increasing work in generating leads for further sessions.

Act on instinct, first impulses are usually the correct ones

I accepted a cleaning a job as a response to the schools informing me that there was not enough budget to continue. My first reaction was that I had taken a step back and I was not sure what to do next. I gradually realised however, that this cleaning job provided me with the space to think and It was at this point I realised that I could study youth work at university. As I contemplated this I received a positive feeling and, the more I thought about the course the more compelled I was to apply. It felt right, it felt as though this was the next step I had to take and deep down, I knew that if I had not taken this opportunity I would have regretted it.

Thoughts and reflections

As reflected in my first blog, at the time of writing I have completed my first year on a Youth and Community Work course, I can say with determination that this is the best option I have made. All the previous experiences have prepared and led me to this point, if I had not taken that opportunity to deliver the fencing demonstration at the Junior school I doubt that I would be in this position now.

Fighting against the odds and if those odds feel overwhelming or impossible to conquer then, this may be a sign that you are following the wrong path. Leave it, failing is not always a sign of weakness but it might be showing you that better opportunities await you some where else. At the end of the day each and everyone of us are trying to find our way through this life and thus, release yourself of those failures and retain what you have learnt, this is what makes you stronger, wiser and more interesting.

So, to round this up, I guess I’m leading to this point. Take all the opportunities that are presented to you and, if it feels right put everything you have in to it. Even if it fails, there is a reason for this and it just might be that the first couple of steps are preparing you for an opportunity that awaits you.

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A path towards destiny

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As I stand on the platform looking down towards my previous working life, I can see how far I have come, grateful of all the failures I have endured however, at the time it was impossible to find any positiveness,  and of all the opportunities that I have experienced. Without these, I wouldn’t be where I am now and couldn’t envisage where I am going as I begin to climb my stairs towards success, happiness, a sense of belonging and above all what I feel as my destiny.

As I complete my first year of a Youth and Community Work degree at university as a mature student I reflect on the things I have learnt and experienced, it is only now as I wind down from studying, compiling assignments as well as completing 300 hours of work based placement that I realise the intensity of the course and how far I have developed both mentally, and spiritually.rock-731140_1280

My journey has also led me to develop myself holistically and enabled me to find out who I am as a person. This process has been long an arduous but while I stand on the precipice viewing the path well tread I see many smaller paths sprouting off, only to find that those smaller paths always led back to the main path with new found strengths to walk up the stairs on the side of this mountain.

Currently, I’m adjusting while the university shuts down for the summer period, proud of my achievements, comparing who I was before commencing this stage of my life to who I am and how I have developed now. I do believe the main difference that has enabled me to reach this point is that I no longer envisage myself as a victim born in response to the inherent  societal structure, the answers to questions and wishes presents themselves, it is up to the seeker to acknowledge them when they are presented.

In the following posts I want to share how this transformation came to be in the hope that it will contribute to helping others to reach their goals or follow their passion.

What have been your experiences and learning curves, I would be interested to know?