Aim high. Ride easy. Trust the Universe.

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There is this glorious song by Birdy and every time I hear it the words catch in my throat, I end up slowing down to look around and tonight was no exception.

I was driving home and, pulling up to a traffic light there, in the middle of the road, was a woman curled up into herself - dejected and crying tears of utter desperation and loneliness. As I rolled slowly up to the lights all I could feel was the immense sadness of those tears; I think we’ve all cried them for different reasons. The tears that pull us to the ground and engulf everything around us - like a black hole of nothingness sucking us into it for the belief that there was just nowhere else to go.

There was this woman and, with no idea of her background, situation or the circumstances that led her to that spot, I felt ‘there but for the grace of God go I’. Her small face and dark sad eyes looked up towards me and I was completely lost. I don’t know what happens to us really - I know stuff I’ve learned and read but what really draws us apart? What really makes my journey this evening so remarkably easy and what makes hers so desperately difficult.

Birdy’s song is so idealistic it’s brilliant - people should help the people and nothing will drag you down? Right? Did I help this evening, sure but in my way, I’ve no idea if that helped her or me. On I rolled and there she stayed.

"Oh and if I had a brain … I’d be cold as a stone and rich as a fool that turned all those good hearts away"

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in Thoughts 2863

About a week ago I had finished at a client and I called him to say I was heading back to the office; he answered the call in a fairly customary 'Hiya' and I was immediately shot back in time.

There was my life, and it seemed like just yesterday for the vividness of my memories, and that life consisted of the voice at the end of the phone being of Jekyyl the well known alter ego to our Hyde. The moment he was left alone - or rather I wasn't around - his mind would immediately be pulled to his dealer and we'd lose him either to a craving or the giving in to that craving - either way the results were exactly the same - he was gone and in his place would reside a panicky, devious, gibbering, paranoid shadow of himself.

And last week I was reminded of those days - the panic I would feel when I knew I had to leave the house - I remember so clearly planning my day and days, weighing up the benefit of running all meetings in one day even if that day meant it would run from dawn 'till dusk because at least, then, the fall out would be just one day. But it was never just one day because a bender would start days before and end weeks later. It was cyclical. It was debilitating. It was all consuming. And it was my life for so long. I never thought we'd see the light of day.

Not so long ago he asked me if I ever thought he'd be rid of the drugs, the cravings, the alter egos and, in taking my time to respond, I said No. I had to admit I'd not allowed myself that optimism. It had permeated our lives - and the lives of many other people - for so long that I don't think I hoped that it could ever be different.

Life is different now - he white-knuckled his way through it working endlessly and tirelessly to rid his life of almost all of his triggers and I know the effort it took / takes; always looking to be more, say more, love more but you see the truth is an addict is always an addict; whilst the cocaine was replaced by coffee, cigarettes, sky-diving, running, mountain-biking and now booze it’s all different sides of the same coin.

It took me a long time to understand that addiction isn’t weighing up your options to make better choices it’s just an action and a reaction - the thing is that there are always choices then consequences and people being caught in the middle.

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in Thoughts 1434

..when I can take time to just be. I like being up early (when I wake naturally that is) because I can unfold my day with a semblance of quiet, I can slowly perform the rituals of breakfast feeding of my 4-legged companions whilst my 2-legged one still sleeps.

It's in the quiet and the calm that I'm reminded time and again that it's the little things that make a rich life and here's to a rich life.

 

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in Thoughts 890

It can be easy to judge can't it? It takes no effort, no consciousness, awareness or thoughtful process. Imagine if every time we found ourselves in judgement of another we stopped and thought 'Where am I  like that? Where do I display that thinking / action / behaviour / attitude?'. When it's not in ourselves we can often see a challenged situation for what it is and without judgement - it's someone growing.

"Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It's a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognise our shared humanity" Pema Chodron.

 

 

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in Thoughts 911

Isn't Mark Twain famous for (amongst other things) saying 'The more I know about humans the better I like my dog'? well I can echo that thought, a lot.

As an animal person, in that I love all animals, I find them fascinating to observe. Over my many years and the many animals I've been blessed to know and love I've learnt tremendously from them all - there's much we can learn if we just pay attention. 

This TED talk, by Laurel Braitman, is both kind and compelling - worth the time.

 

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in Thoughts 1307