Positive News

Sometimes, it’s necessary to block out some of the bullshit circulating in the media. So this week, I want to spread some happy news!

Check out this awesome story from Ohio, where a restaurant is actively training ex-offenders on a sixth month placement, in the hopes of providing them with some much needed skills and support. So far since the program has begun, not one of them has re-offended. Furthermore, 90% have gone on to gain employment.

https://www.indy100.com/article/restaurant-second-chance-criminals-edwins-french-rehabilitation-7521866

 

Go local

In our ever expanding society which commits to constantly increasing efficieny of lifestyle, speed of communication and technological advancement – all claiming to act as some kind of phony benefit to improve our own lifestyles to a point where we can really experience authentic happiness (bullshit), we can get lost amongst the crowd, indulging in dreams sold to us by larger, institutions which love to gentrify and exploit – all for a tasty profit, whilst selling us the idea that it was our choice all along.

Don’t get me wrong, I acknowledge that these advancements allow me to touch down in stunning land scapes such as Cape Town, but once my toes are firmly wiggling in the soil, I have an urge to explore and go local.

In Woodstock, Cape Town lies a modest shack, hidden among the chaos of the rather developed waterfront – a five minute journey away. Take three single steps into the Cintha food hall and you will be blown away with fresh, delicious and authentic delicacy whilst being greeted with the brightest of smiles. Ps heaven for a vegetarian!

I am still thinking about it now!!

Reflection

Sometimes blessings come in the strangest of forms. At the time of adversity we can endlessly question and often torture ourselves as to why the event unravelled in the way it did or why it happen at all. I suppose, the biggest challenge most of us face, is trying to find that silver lining whilst embracing the change, difficulty and challenges that are put forward in our direction. 

Recently, I was lucky to find some much needed peace after escaping the country and touching down in the astonishingly beautiful Cape Town SA. I’m trying to learn to make time for small moments in my life to just stop, breathe, release tension, appreciate and carry on. 

Child of the world

At the age of 16, I learnt what it was like to live without my parents in close proximity, and what I considered then to be a hindrance to my emotional understanding of the world, can now take partial responsibility for who I am today. Although the experience gave me the freedom to lay some new stones for my path, my decisions on where to place these stones were heavily affected by the two humans who had led to my existence. Thankfully, my parents were bitten by the travel bug from a reasonably young age, leading them to explore and feed their curiosity for alternative cultures. This restlessness initially lead them from England and Wales to Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, settling eventually in the South of France, with short intervals to Belgium. Myself, being born in Wales, jumped from various locations across England, France and the Netherlands. This independent exploration has essentially fine-tuned my understanding and appreciation for the multicultural essence that rightfully exists in our world. I was always brought up to embrace difference, explore change and celebrate the odd and weirdly wonderful. As a result of this, it feels extremely unnatural to feel a sense of ‘belonging’ when inhabiting a specific place. I have rarely experienced a sense of entitlement, leading me to protect what I understand to be ‘rightfully mine’ – because of this, I suppose that the feeling of threat of this perceived ‘other’ is also absent.

Witnessing the hasty exit of England from the EU, has got to be one of the most surreal moments of my adult life – especially as I write this as an expat, immigrant, foreigner other, outsider – whatever the Daily Mail is choosing to label me as that day. Whilst I can painstakingly empathise and dryly swallow a fraction of the justifications of some individuals who chose to vote to leave the EU, I can’t help but feel heavily disappointed and disenchanted with my country and the regrettable decision. Due to three years of studying the British press, I am able to reasonably understand how dominating and exploitative the media has been in this viscous public propaganda scheme. However, this does not come close to repairing the hurt that sits heavy in my heart. To put it frankly, I can only interpret the ‘Brexit’ as a transparent representation of our volunteering to destroy a nation’s tolerance and understanding. A nation whose foundation is built upon multiculturalism itself. Considering the number of individuals who voted to leave the EU related their vote off of the back of the refugee crisis, I feel that our global family is becoming more exposed to a dangerous, yet stern message that we do not intend to help those in dire need. However, the contention that concerns me the most, are the attitudes being provided with a platform through various social networks, spewing an endless tirade of hate speech – hate speech which is most often based on pure fear and prejudice.

I have witnessed just how beautifully open the human soul can be, when I visited the Calais refugee camp and experienced first-hand how overwhelming the support was. However, this support is a slow blossoming flower that requires a lot of attention from those that selflessly give to it on a consistent basis. Unfortunately, this blossom is being damaged by a selection of perpetrators who spread their poison hard and fast by irresponsibly sharing their destructive judgements. Thus, I choose to use the same platform to encourage you all to use your voice in the compassionate manner in which it was intended and is now desperately required. I am discouraged of how we as a society are continuously treating individuals as ‘the other’. I am disgusted with our severe lack of empathy. It is a shameful ability that we have in being able to turn our backs at lightning speed on these human beings. Whilst these displaced individuals are not provided with the opportunity to have a voice (something that we hugely take for granted at times), I believe that it is our responsibility as fellow human beings to stand in support for them. We need to use our collective intelligence to look past the misbehaving minority who are providing a bad name for misplaced individuals and search for those who truly need our support.

These detached representations of suffering that we see plastered on the front of the morning newspaper of humans covered in dirt from an explosion or painfully crying, yearning for a place to call home, these humans that we gawp at whilst sipping from a cardboard coffee cup, are real, they are existing and often they feeling nothing but uncertainty and unease – their stones being constantly displaced by the inaction of men today. Personally, I find it very difficult to switch off from this and I am starting to think that there is a reason for this.

It all begins with an attitude and eventually this attitude will develop into opinion. It is never too late to share the lesson and encourage others to learn acceptance and tolerance before poisonous opinion is unleashed, becoming untamable.

I am, we are.

I am standing here In the dark. It is raining and the ground feebly trembles beneath me as a gentle storm appears to brew. The rain catches the edges of my hair, dampening it and darkening the tips in colour. My toes are slowly numbing and I wiggle them in anticipation of  being amongst the warmth of the tram that was due to arrive. The roads are wet and deserted and civilisation represents a scene from a 4am winters morning. I watch nervously as the time ticks past 8:45pm and my intention to reach home in good time gradually becomes threatened. There is no sign of the tram and I gaze towards the lady stood next to me, for reassurance. Knowing that there is a human body of warmth, one that carries emotions and sensations just like my own, provides me with an immediate sensation of connection and familiarity – the wonderfully strange reassurance of the company from a stranger.
It was at this moment that something became evident to me – if I was alone, my thoughts would be pacing, restless. Yet the obvious fact of having another human next to me was proudly comforting. We are social begins who were made to love and explore, thus when we come into contact with others, albeit briefly, their energy force field can penetrate our own, leaving a mark. Every day that we travel from one place to another, we are encapsulated by an energy force field, projecting our subconscious emotions onto those who we pass.
Keeping your soul open, allows you to pick up the sensations of another, even when they are painstakingly attempting to create a particular projection to display to the world. Occasionally the raw, uncut, uncensored, often dark emotions can prevail, painfully communicating this to the person who is staring deeply into your eyes. Most of the time, these darkened, more brutal, perhaps even less attractive emotions, are ignored and layered under a phoney facade.

Every so often you may encounter another soul that touches yours, softly yet intensely connecting with yourself- like two interlaced hands. Suddenly you don’t feel so deserted, you don’t feel betrayed by your mind and any old, reoccurring hurt may gently soften. Your souls reverberate off of one another and in that moment, the notion of time is obsolete and you are reminded, we are one.

10 mantras to help you on your journey

I’ve made it my life long quest to understand what it is to be happy and content. This may sound incredibly simplistic to some, but to other individuals who have experienced suffering, pain, tortuous thoughts or behaviours and a general disequilibrium of self, happiness being their only goal, is a tough one. I also understand that happiness is not a permanent emotional state that we can camp out in, feeling no more or less than eternal bliss. It is a wonderful emotion that reminds us that the dark, sometimes suffocating days will subside for the warmth eventually – we just have to be open enough to allow it. 

I came across these beautiful mantras through The Mind Unleashed Org and wanted to share. 

1) Even when I am alone I will remember that I am connected to all

2) I will find my path by helping others with theirs

3) I will not compound negative thoughts with shame

4) I will accept everybody wherever they are

5) I will look for and see beauty around me

6) I will allow abundance and good to happen to me

7) I will treat my mind and body as they deserve to be treated

8) I will dwell only on thoughts and emotions that help me grow

9) I will seek truth and knowledge

10) I will laugh and contribute positive energy to the universe

The disease of settlement

It is incredibly powerful. It carefully infiltrates every cell in your body and your mind. When you finally realise and acknowledge its presence, it spreads even quicker. Now you search those dense forests far and wide for the antidote – anything to cure this demobilising disease. This demobilising disease of settlement. The same disease that cripples your mind from curiosity and wanderlust, from encouraging you to pull back the curtains on life, allowing you to expose what is really out there, because in the world of settlement, the curtains are constantly drawn. 

Those dense forests that you struggled through, tried to rob your desire for more, whilst presenting you with a barrier to your own true self that you believe you in fact created. 

This desire is not a cheap dream sold to us as a scam, it’s a true state of being that only we ourselves hold the key to. But this version of ourselves is rarely accessed without a disruption to our equilibrium. We must suffer occasionally in order to allow ourselves to understand our true selves. Polarity. 

It must be a challenge to avoid the disease of settlement of course, otherwise, without it, it would be completely contradictory, it would simply involve settling.