Wednesday, 15 August 2018

I Was Going to be Immortal (then decided... Fuck it!!)

I have a long standing personal mandate that my writing authentically reflect my life as I'm experiencing it (not how I might prefer to have it represented). The last post made mention of some new directions I was either about to embark on, or that were standing, in the on deck circle.

The most recent was to be a "Beginner's" Water colour class (which began on Monday and runs until this Friday). I withdrew after the first class. I won't lay claim to setting my life on fire and achieving some renaissance man status; until I can clearly demonstrate the ass burned out of my jeans and/or I achieve any legitimate depth or relevance.

I did mention, allowing myself any or all of these "experiences," would be telling in terms of self awareness. Before self awareness is of any benefit, it tastes like shit! It's been quite some time since I've sat in a "classroom" scenario; but it took next to no time, before the instructor's voice transformed into Charlie Brown's teacher .... and it "Wha ... wha .. wha'd ... me into oblivion!

I couldn't keep up (I being a bona fide "beginner" was by far in the minority) - the participant intro, revealed many who had attended 4, 5 or 6 other classes before doing this one.

That aside ... before I become too ensconced in "reasons" outside myself. I truly couldn't listen to what this instructor was saying..... "you take the primary colour, into which you introduce a small amount of a second primary colour, to produce the tertiary colour of ??????? and where will that reside on our colour wheel? and enact said mixing of paint and apply it to paper.... It's either listen or do... I can't do both... and while we're at it ... show me and then I'll do it.....

So primarily I was frustrated..... which blended with my impatience, to produce the tertiary feelings of shame, embarrassment, and believe it or not, hopelessness (yes.. before you go back, to see if you missed something, this was just a feckin' art class.

The whole thing reminded me in part, of those damn word problems in math class ..... "if I train leaves Boston travelling at 60 mile per hr............ Rob's attention goes out the window, at 120 mile per hr.

The clincher was when my "colour wheel" was thoroughly pooched and I was a number of colours "behind" the rest of the class ....  the instructor came along a took the "mixing brush" out of my hand, slopped some paints into the palette wells, mixed it up and smeared some different colours on my wheel (which frankly looked like shit) ... "there now your wheel is coming along"...

Not only was this entirely useless to me in terms of be instructional (I had no idea how she arrived at what she did)

But it was just like what my father would do when I was a young boy ...... (in essence I formed the belief I can't do this right .... and was never "allowed" to build my own experience and learning process... eventually - I'd just began saying a blanket, "Fuck it!!!!" One might say, "you should be over that by now!!!" Well guess what, I'm not! (might well be some valuable information there) so to those that say such things, fuck you and the horse you road into town on!!

What I wanted to do was gut her .... what I did, was say thank you. (I have a very special form of contempt for myself, when I do something like that)......

Maybe when all was said and done..... I just said Fuck it, again! I would have withdrawn that afternoon but the registration line was closed by the time I got home.

The time to sleep on it, didn't make me any more keen to go back the next day... so I followed through with the withdrawal process. The upside of that is, maybe I could learn this stuff in a different environment ... I didn't enjoy myself at all the first day, so I see it as a positive, that I didn't drag myself there for 4 more days of it.

It's also entirely possible I like the "idea" of being artistic .... I'm not sure I have any passion for it (lately I'm not sure I have any passion for anything) ... there certainly isn't any evidence of any talent (potential or otherwise).

I feel in integrity both sidelining this activity and giving an honest account of it. Hey, it was only one particular class, as presented by one particular instructor... who knows ... I have all the shit I bought from the art store, maybe I'll mess around on my own and see what I come up with. God knows I'm not always much enthused, about embracing "rules."

I suppose you could say instead of my being the "Artful Dodger," in this episode of as "O'Neill" turns, I dodged the art.

I would love to write post after post, outpouring my delirious successes - but frankly the only way I have any chance of healing my heart and soul of what remains of the spectres of shame from my past; is to stand fully in, sometimes my visions of grandeur, yield me an abysmal pratfall.

Sometimes you just gotta say... ah what the fuck... and then just put on some Sinatra and belt out ..."Regrets I've had a few.. but then again to few to mention....!!"


R. O'Neill (Aug. 15, 2018)

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Let the Games Begin



By no stretch of the imagination am I done with writing. More accurately I'm quite sure writing is not done with me. Just the same, I'm aiming to expand my horizons, with respect to different mediums, to express myself. I already play some guitar I know a few handfuls of chords, a little finger picking technique and with these rudiments, I hope to vie the pretty much uncharted (for me) realms of the electric guitar... I got a good deal on the one pictured here (a Mexican made Fender Telecaster) surely the colour will lend well to virtuosity! I haven't started yet ... I will likely utilize some teaching videos on YouTube, maybe some lessons and fiddle on my own. If this doesn't whet my musical appetite then I also have a ukulele and harmonica that I aspire to play as well.

Tomorrow I kick off a 5 day (2.5hrs./day) "Beginner's Water Colour Course" I see now where the stereotype of the "starving artist" was spawned from; by the time you pay for your art supplies, there's no money left for groceries.

Earlier this year I traded in some photography equipment that I got hold of when clearing out my parents house after they passed. I am now very well "equipped" and very sparsely practiced (with the exception of pictures taken with my phone). I hope to gain more usable knowledge of all this gear through a fall program Beginner's photography class. The community college offers a very good 10 session course that I'm sure will give me some good fundamentals so that I can then get out and practice and get some value out of this equipment. I believe I have the eye for it .... just need to get through the learning curve of the more sophisticated technology. (learning curves not being historically my "sweet spot.")

If you're of a mind that I'm fixing to bite off more than I can chew, you may well be right. However, these are all things I've always wanted to take on and my disposition is such, that I enjoy a broad spectrum of stimulation. Time will tell what the balance point is with regard to, time to practice and become more proficient, with these various pursuits and what represents too much.

There will be far more than the innate challenges of any and all, of these various art forms that will confront me. I'm aware of a history of high expectations, ("perfectionism") that also spawns self-criticism. Couple this with impatience and a lack of understanding and compassion for my beginner status and it's not hard to see, how I have in the past, created inner turmoil for myself; instead of enjoying the learning process. I also would be very well served, if I can just enjoy my interests and passions, without concern for whether I'll ever be good enough, to be paid to do them, or that during the time I'm spending with them, I "should be working."

So I'm setting the intention to go easy on myself. That might take the form of lessening the volume of new pursuits, we'll see. Barring that, at least I can keep my expectations reasonable and give myself credit for being willing to make new beginnings. I want to give it all a fair shake. None of these art forms is an inexpensive pursuit, however, the potential for personal growth and expansion is virtually priceless. While I'm at it I will be learning new skills, which I see eventually could be combined in some form of "mixed media" projects. Of course depending on the form of instruction I seek, there will be opportunity to meet new people as well, and to share and learn from their experiences.

As the saying goes, "the road to hell was paved with good intentions," so all in all, I do expect this/these journeys will be a fine continued development of mindfulness and self-awareness.  I will do my best to kindle grace and ease along the way. The under-taking of them is with loving intent;  so I hope, should the love be found to dwindle or be missing altogether as this unfolds, at the very least, I can hit the reset and begin again newly. 

Great Spirit I invite and evoke the energy of play - help me to find it within myself. Help me to tear down the walls in all shapes and forms, that come between me and Creativity. I ask to connect to and become a channel of, the creative flow - which is to say please show me and release me from, all within me, that stands in the way, of my connection to you!

Let it be done!! 

Amen!!

R. O'Neill (Aug. 12, 2018)



Saturday, 11 August 2018

Indirect Directions

I suppose where "spiritual" matters are concerned, faith might appear high on the list of integral practices (states of mind/heart). For those convinced that "seeing is believing," I offer for consideration that if you indulge in modern day conveniences such as satellite radio, television, wifi, microwaves, electricity, etc. you are placing a great deal of faith in the unseen. For many, it would represent conveyances that they couldn't begin to explain the operation of, but just the same, a great deal of reliance is placed upon them. This continues to be true even though at many points in time, there is no awareness that they are even present and "working;" yet indeed, they are in operation all day, every day.

Having said this, for me, I love an example of "Spirit working" - or the following of a "hunch" and then experiencing the wonder of seeing it unfolding, in ways I couldn't have imagined. Now I'm not suggesting putting "God," or the "universe" to the test, demanding demonstration. Some say of the power of the unseen: "Believe it and then you'll see it.." Obviously this turn of the phrase, implies a willingness to put aside my doubts or fears, & as they say, "act as if!"

Just such an occurrence was gifted to me over this past few days. If you've been following my facebook posts you'd see I was on a little road trip/get-a-way up island. I had put half a dozen of my books in the boot, "in case" I happened across any book stores, that would be potential venues.

I had between two shops, already had five of the books spoken for which of course left one. While walking around the downtown of one of the towns we discovered two additional shops that might have been a match for my book - both of which were closed for the day.  On our way to a late lunch I said of the two, I want to go to this one in particular first. If I'm left with no book afterward, I can always talk up the book with the second shop, and if they were interested, get some to them later.

I just had a "sense" about the first of the two shops. The following day we had packed the car and vacated our Air B&B refuge; so we ventured into town, before heading toward home. We went to the shop and the moment I set foot in the door, I knew I liked the energy. The owner greeted us warmly and after the exchange of a few pleasantries and refections on the smoking hot temperatures of late; I began to tell her about my book. She was most interested. When it got to asking how many she would like to stock, she indicates she would take six! While she was outlining her policy regarding shop/author split - she presented the very best I have experienced so far!

When I explained that I had no more books along with me, but was more than willing to ship them to her or make another trip up island; she asked, "where in Victoria do you live?" When I mentioned the area of town, she laughed, her daughter works at a restaurant a block from where I live. She said, "to save you the expense of postage etc., just bring the books to her, she is coming up her in a couple days anyway."

As far as I'm concerned this is nothing I could orchestrate. There is a need for me to participate with some level of receptiveness and a willingness to follow through on the "guidance."

For those of you that have been aware of the completion and launch of my book about a year ago and have long since returned to the concerns of your life and have relegated my book and work I aspire to develop around it, to yesterday's news; certainly your life is where your attention is best placed, but the need for me to promote the book and myself is as ever present as it ever was. You can get bored with me and my book - I cannot. Your boredom is none of my concern. I deeply appreciate the support I have received from those that got behind me and my book. It would be great if the same people continued to "promote" my endeavours, I don't believe for a minute that most would or will. That leaves the onus on me. I'm of a mind that if people have forgot the book and my visions, I'm not getting the word out enough. If the same cross-section of people consider the novelty has worn off the idea that I've a book available (as well as over thirty years of spiritual/healing life experience) then I've got to reach new segments of the populations.

It's synchronicity like mentioned here previously that reminds me I'm not "in this alone," and that I need to continue with the footwork here on my side of the net.

I gave both the shop owner and her daughter (once I met her) a copy of my book. I am of multiple minds where this is concerned. I definitely believe that book needs to be put in as many hands as possible. I also believe as the title reads: "What Goes Around Comes Around."


R. O'Neill (Aug. 11, 2018)

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Coming Home

Something occurred to me today while walking. It came in such a fashion that I would call it; insight, guidance, an "aha moment." Part of how I define those sorts of "downloads" is that I wasn't thinking about anything even remotely related to it, and suddenly there it was! And unlike other "inspirations," I sometimes have and "intend" to write about later - this one stuck with me all day (rather than vanishing from my awareness).

I still only have the basic premise to roll with and have no idea where it will lead. Let's find out shall we. The idea that came to me while walking, pertained to children.

This small moment of illumination had to do with why it is (in part), that children are seen as so "cute." I mean of course, pretty much everyone that is a parent, believes their child is extraordinary (and they are). But what also comes into play, (at least for me it does) perhaps because I never was a parent; is the same mechanism whereby one projects their unconscious and unhealed energy upon others outside themselves, is drawn to the freedom of expression, the innocence, the imagination, the out-pouring of love of the young child. All or parts of which, were squashed in themselves as children.

Just to be clear, when I say "drawn" to the child, I don't mean in any other way than (if I'm talking about myself) as someone that is endeavouring to connect more consistently with those parts of myself, that were repressed and emotionally (sometimes physically) beaten into submission - I am then able to recognize them as expressed by children.

My "spiritual" growth and healing path has led me (to some degree again) to focus on contacting, establishing a connection, expression, nurturing, loving and forgiving my inner child. To become a loving parent to this child (as an adult) replacing the existing critical and sometimes abusive inner parent and to more consistently, meet all the needs that were neglected of this child, when I was a child.

If you consider the idea of "inner child" some sort of "New Age" horse hockey, then if you haven't already dismissed this post, you might as well at this point. I'm not trying to sell this idea to anyone, I'm writing about my experience and what is relevant to me. I always hope my writing touches others but I certainly won't massage what is being expressed, to cater to a particularly audience. Take it or leave it - that's the readers choice.

There does exist a biblical reference (not that I insist that is the be all to end all)....

Matthew 18:3 - "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

I happen to believe Jesus was speaking of the condition of "heaven on earth" (elsewhere he spoke of, the kingdom being "within").

 I'm submitting, this "inner child" is the door to and the expression of, this "inner heavenly state." This is where the connection to Spirit occurs, the source of imagination, creativity, unconditional love, joy, curiosity and enthusiasm are sourced and expressed from.


When I repressed and cut myself off, from the painful feelings, in effect I severed my connection to all of it. It is my experience, that one cannot selectively "numb out." If I go out of my way to disassociate from my painful past (and I did); I effectively cut myself off, from any relationship with my inner child. I can't feel the "good" or the "bad" feelings. Can't feel a damn thing.  Being cut off from this "inner child," abandoning and ignoring it's needs - is unquestionably "hell," I know, I've been there.

I'm not now going to say, that the recognition of this, thrusts me into ever-lasting Shang-ri-la. However, it does empower one to do something about being more in alignment with themselves more consistently.

I'm certainly not insisting that anyone do as I do. While at the same time, it doesn't matter whether anyone else holds true any of what I've outlined here. This is my journey - hell to me is created from within - so I need to find out what works for me regarding attaining inner peace. From my earliest writing I have been sharing authentically my experience. In doing so I hope to more often than not, strike chords of recognition, as different elements of the human condition are articulated.  I'm of a mind that the human part of our existence, is fairly finite, in other words we're all not that different. Still we all tend to experience (even the same thing) differently. As such what I write won't always be meaningful to everyone. 

I don't have all the answers, but I continually generate a myriad of questions and I've been asking them for a very long time now. Sooner or later this has to bring about some answers.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."  Matthew 7:7


R. O'Neill (August 09, 2018)





Thursday, 26 July 2018

Picture This!



The way I understand it, St. Francis received the "stigmata" rather spontaneously. That which appears, impressed upon my flesh, come more intermittently. The photo above depicts the latest manifestation, which presented yesterday (line work and some shading completed). The lower picture places it in context with that which proceeded it.

If I needed a rationalization I would say this addition to "a work in progress" represents a self-loving birthday gift. The fateful day is more than one month away, however; logistics, schedules, healing time etc. suggest the employing of some premeditated spontaneity.

It's not a "milestone" birthday; at least not in the context of what many consider as such. Given I'm not inclined to care how anyone else does it; if I say it's a milestone ... it's a milestone.

Frankly, though I cease to relate to myself as my history, the fact remains given that journey, everyday above the grass, is a fricken' milestone!

This year (assuming I'm there to realize it) marks 59 years (I was born in '59). Without being able to articulate much about why I presume that to be significant - I just intuit that it is. So I declare it as such and perhaps someone, somewhere along the line, might offer some insight into why that is.

In the meantime, it's my party and I'll grace my body any way I see fit!

Speaking of fit, that is something I've decided to frame into somewhat of a personal make-over, fitness challenge, let's try and hedge my bet that I might see 60, "Rob my temple has fallen into disrepair - I want you to rebuild it." 

I had already started a new walking regime (some 8 days prior to this post) so that, plus the days remaining until my birthday, will give me my favoured (40 day +) time frame to "get 'er done!"

The walking will step things up for sure. I started with a program that required a base line of 6900 steps in order to make the day's goal.. it has since been raised to 9600 steps (the program incrementally introduces the increases - that wasn't my doing). So I have an 8 day "streak" (nine counting today, which has already been achieved) of reaching the targeted number of steps. I have in fact well exceeded the target most days. (which will likely rebound and result in my minimum be raised considerably again). But I know from my "personal trainer" days; gains don't happen once one becomes comfortable, at the previous plateau.... you have to push the envelope again. Given my love for reading and writing, as well as a passion for such things as meditation (all of which are the epitome of sedentary) it is vitally important that I move my ass.

My rekindled love of motorcycle riding requires a decent strength and endurance level. I want to continue to be able to enjoy long hikes. My continued casual employment working with people rehabilitating from injuries and surgeries (and some long term care residents) reminds me, I shouldn't take it for granted, that I can still tie my own shoes and clip my own toe nails. The latter demonstrating already, that "use it or lose it" is not just a empty platitude - that shit is real!!

I've heard countless people (charter members of the peanut gallery) exclaim - "tattoos, oh I would never deface my body - what are you going to do when you're older?"

First of all, some of those individuals, might consider that some artwork on their body, would be the least of their concerns. Secondly, if I get to older... then I'm going to enjoy each of those tattoos and the life stories they represent.... I'm going to celebrate one feck'in hell-uva ride; and I might just go out, and get another tattoo while I'm at it!!

R. O'Neill (July 26, 2018)






Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Self Care Prayer





If I'm to forgive
Seventy times 
Seven
May that
Take the shape
of 
A prayer 
For willingness
To remember
I am
Born 
In the image
of 
That which 
Created me

Divinity 
In human form

Above all 
It is 
The will
of 
My Creator
That I
Become acquainted
Accept
 Love & Nurture
Myself

To Love God
Is to 
Love myself

To love myself
is to
Love God

My Creator
I release
Any and all
Arrogant self-criticism
For who 
Am I
To criticize
That which 
You created

Please grant me
 Clarity
Strength
Courage
And direction
To 
Care for this
Life
Your grace
Has bestowed
Upon me.

Amen

R. O'Neill (July 25, 2018)


Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Never Too Late


Forgive me
My old friend
I owe amends
That are some
Twelve years overdue

You stood 
As perhaps
The only example
of 
Unconditional love
That I 
Will ever experience
In this lifetime
Or perhaps
The only 
Being allowed
Near my 
Heart
For a 
Very long time

You took up 
Far more
Than your
Share
Of 
My bed?

When we 
Walked 
The trails
I frequently
Had to apologize
For the picnics
You attended
Uninvited

You knew
You always knew
When it was 
Time to play
And when 
It was time
For soul-soothing
Power-nap

When the time
Came
To say good-bye
I did 
What I had to do
It broke 
My heart
But I never 
Let on

It felt to me
Like the
Ultimate betrayal

I realize now
My greatest
Sin of omission
Was to 
Not tell you
While you 
Slipped away
I love you
And I will miss you

Perhaps now
Your legacy
Will be 
My allowing
My heart 
To love 
Again

R. O'Neill (July 24, 2018)