Thursday, 30 August 2018

A Rose by Any Other Name.............

Say what you will about the depicted "certificate," it's priceless to me! Oh sure, it won't get me a passport or an address in Derry (unless it does) but if you, like me, had spent most of your days here on planet earth without a sense of "clan," roots, origins, history, tradition etc; you might have some idea of what answers to life long questions might represent. If you've known all along (or worse still) know & don't care, well then, you have no idea!!

I've walked, knelt, prayed and wept on the land of my ancestors. I've been guided (even whilst I was living rather misguided decisions) held, encouraged, compelled, and driven by "unseen" forces to experience this re/union. I may not ever have the formal/legal ... blah, blah, blah documentation, to verify my ancestral lineages - but I defy anyone, to try and deny me who I am. In fact while in Derry last year and on a walking tour of the "Bogside" with a "former" IRA member (I'm not entirely sure that the "former" is accurate)... I was telling him parts of my story, having previously marched in commemorative procession marking the 101 anniversary of the Easter Rising in Ireland - I carried the picture of one of the "volunteers" who lost his life fighting for Independence. This "guide" says to me, ah ya, everyone wants to be "Irish" these days... in my day, you wouldn't have been able to just show up and join that procession.

I was incensed,  I replied, "look, you've just got through telling me, how clear you are about who you are and what you believe and the sacrifices you've made for that." "I spent most of my life not knowing who the hell I was, I didn't wake up one day and decide to have Irish ancestry, I didn't give a shit what my roots were, I just wanted to know what they were; and now that I know, you nor no one, is going to take that away from me!!" "Fair play.." says he. 

When the "tour" was over and I went my separate way, I reflected on what had just happened (as well as the first hand account of what went on in the Bogside). I'm not entirely sure what "possessed" me to go off on that guy, but I was taken back that I had - to say the least.

Collectively I've spent close to a year in Ireland over three visits. I fully intend to return. Though many that live there keep telling me it's not a very big country - there is for me, easily another life time of discovery (both historic and current).

I have spent a great deal of time and energy on my own spiritual/healing path. To some degree I have come to realize that at a soul level, it may not matter at all "nationalities," ethnicity, gender, religion etc. but then there is the human component.... All these factors, that can become more and more divisive, contribute to the story each must unravel, while trying to reckon with themselves, their creator and what it is they were created for.

The truth of my adoption, my "exile" so far away from my origins, and the path I have walked coming back to myself - have contained excruciating pain (which I won't diminish or deny) while at the same time; I don't suppose it is anything more or less, than ever single human being experiences, as they wrestle with their individual and collective humanity, and associated divinity. 

I feel deeply there is a story to be written here - the story is still be written, at this very moment. I want my story to open doors to the healing stories for others; both here in Canada (which is documented as "my country of origin" & in Ireland, which will always represent my Spiritual origins and continues to inform who I am.

R. O'Neill (August 30, 2018)

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Greater than Flesh Alone

Oh Holiest 
Divine Mother
Long after
Your image
Seared upon 
My flesh
Has been
To the clay
Wence it came
You will 
Upon my heart

I thank you
For the lessons
In the midst

How far reaching
And complete
The example
Your compassion's

May those 
That stake
A monopoly
In your name
Come to 
The Unconditional Love
You embody

Many are lost
Their actions
Not those 
Nor Forgiveness
In name only
Not evidence
A heart's assimilation

A branded flesh
Does not
Embody Love
It is seen
In the care
For the flesh
And that 
Through limbs
The echo
Of your Love
For those 
That will listen

May the doors
Of my heart
Swing open
You welcome
That I 
Might abide
In your Love

R. O'Neill (August 21, 2018) 

Monday, 20 August 2018

Stand (at least one more time than you have fallen)

Framed in a self-loving embrace and expressed in an energy of empathy, this observation brings me great joy and gratitude.

It's taken me until very recently to learn that two locally owned, significantly large bookstores, have declined my book. While I'm perhaps not "celebrating" this realization, I am not discouraged in the least. Oh sure I ran the gamut of thoughts such as: Harrumph!! "Local bookstore - doesn't even support a local author..." (which of course isn't exactly true .. there are books on their shelves, written by several local personalities (most that had attained, some form of "public recognition" before the release of their book).

I was anonymous when I participated in the practice, that became the incubator, for the story held within my book (all of which took place - "locally") I was anonymous while I wrote it, and I'm still anonymous now having self-published it; and locating myself somewhere, on the path to "marketing/distribution."

"Fame," bestseller lists, are not necessarily the be all to end all. I am all for, my book (or future books) opening doors of opportunity (which mine already has). But I certainly don't consider it a "failure," if it never attains these specific bench-marks.

I know the book has already touched lives and been a useful tool; I don't need to jump through hoops, in order for that to have occurred. I haven't really looked into avenues of broader publishing or distribution. I certainly don't want to define my success, or hang the fate of the book, on the arbitrary criteria of publishing houses. It can serve no one in their reject piles. At the same time, where it does receive a thumbs down reception, I can further journey with my own relationship (where "rejection" is concerned). I know the book is good, my approval (as well as my discernment and critical eye) are more important than any outside approval. 

The book has a trajectory of its own.. determined on-going, by the energies that brought it into being. I will trust that.

The sentiment reflected at the opening of this post reminds me - that my life path, that led to the creation of this book, and continues to this very day, was a broad, eclectic mosaic of life experiences; many of which, appeared at the time, to have been glorious pratfalls. In my writing I have never hid my past, nor attempted to represent myself has something I'm not.  In part, the book is meant to reflect that despite my past - I went on, to realize one of my dreams. I expect that to be directly inspirational to others. I'm going to enjoy my journey regardless of the external trappings of success being present or not. The point being, that nobody else's definition of success, is going to define mine. And I'm living proof that the past doesn't need to continue to inform the present and future.

Whether one considers their past to be riddled with failure, the fact remains, it can be harnessed and transformed, to underwrite the current realization of your visions. In fact, some of the inner qualities you will need moving forward, were honed while something of your past, was imploding in your midst.

To borrow from the realm of sports metaphors, generally the leaders on the stat sheets in home-runs and runs batted in (RBI), often have high strike out numbers as well. They are "swinging for the fence" most time at bat. Which means, when then connect squarely, that ball is gone! When they miss, they damn near twist themselves into the ground. 

No swing (and accompanied misses) no home run!!

R. O'Neill (Aug. 20,2018)

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!! 


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)