Grown Men don’t Cry?

The stereotype of course, men don’t cry, suck it up lad, don’t show your weaknesses to anyone. The trouble is that love expresses itself in tears, the trouble is this, there are tears of sadness, tears of joy and tears for many other emotional states and technically speaking, it shouldn’t be a ‘trouble’ or a ‘problem’.

This morning I had the pleasure of an unexpected tear whilst watching a sunrise. I share this story now.

The sun rose high and as it did it painted the clouds red, orange, yellow and purple, a breath taking spectacle,

The starlings rose one by one in there collective hundreds from the long abandoned west pier, they danced effortlessly through the ever changing palette of colours in the rising sun’s sky,

The water facing the sun began to shine and yet when looking in a Westerly direction at the sea and all her surrounding vistas they looked cold. An intriguing contrast the warmth and light had penetrated most of what was life in that moment and yet a portion was still left cold and icy, why?

The icy cold water caught my attention, it froze me in a moment of time not the same as this and yet not that different either, why the contrast I wondered?

My heart I realised was in a similar position, recently it to had been lit by a rising sun, allowing a warmth to move through it and be given away from it and yet there was and still is this part of my heart that is hidden even from me and that was the cold reflection of the icy blue sea.

I allowed myself to feel my heart and its contrast as I gazed upon the multicoloured East and the Icy blue west, not thinking about anything in particular, then as my gaze settled into a nothingness racing across the calm waters of the icy blue western sea a tear appeared,

Where did you come from tear, surely not me? Why yes, the tear replied, where else could I have come from if not you? It’s just that I have no reason to shed a tear I countered, and  I’m not sure i’m comfortable looking out into the vastness of the blue ocean whilst little blue oceans of my own stream down the canyons of my weathered storm called my life.

I am but a tear, I am neither good, nor bad, I am free from judgement and so are you, you saw beauty in nature and in that moment saw the beauty of your own nature, you understood that you need not battle with yourself anymore and as you let go of the dams you had built inside of you I came out simply as a reminder, a reminder that we are water after all, that life is lived in the ebb and flow.

How many dams have I built tear? Ask your heart, tear answered, she knows and she will work with you to open the channels of your stagnant rivers so that they may run freely to once again nourish the heart and soul of life.

Men do cry and this was not my first tear and nor will it be my last, but it was one I felt had come from the heart.

Love to you all

Matt

 

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A Crisp Morning – Training in the Cold

I awake at 5.35am, I do what most do as the alarm on my phone wakes me from my slumber, I press snooze, the hope of eternal comfort is present in that action of pressing snooze and yet the adventure that waits in the midst of that cold mornings chill is to great for me to remain snuggled.

When I’m up I’m an up kinda of person, this maybe an advantage I’m not sure it’s always been my operating system and so I have little to compare it to, however I see the struggle that others face upon waking and I know I do not share those same battles, me I’m ready, I could if absolutely required to run a marathon 5 minutes after getting out of bed and with absolutely no need for either coffee or breakfast, no gloating here I’m simply painting a picture of my waking state.

Hot chocolate with roasted dandelion root, cloves, chai spices and some molasses to sweeten, all prepped and ready in my flask for after my mornings cold training antics, there is nothing quite like the sensation of a warm liquid running through a chilled system to heat the core and get you back to balance, needless to say I never leave home without it.

Standing on the jetty as it protrudes into the sea with a stary sky above and a chill in the air similar to as if you were standing outside in a ski resort, whilst the world around you is asleep apart from the gentle lapping of the seas water upon the shore all is quiet and still, it is in these moments I loose my breath and thoughts.

I must focus inwards and focus using the medium of surrender and not force, I must calm my fears and explore my curiosity, my curiosity of being at complete ease with the cold. I work through a QI Gong practice and after I sit for three rounds of deep breathing, my hands always the coldest part of me take the most convincing that what I’m about to do is a good idea.

This morning I marry focus with determination and intention, I am determined and focused to embrace the cold sea with the intention of completely embracing and accepting all experiences and dissolving all resistance.

I am in my shorts and the soft breeze offers the first blow to my determined will, I hum loudly to channel heat energy through my core and chest and leave through my breath, I slow my breathing down and with it my heart rate. I step into the sea and sink into my hips holding horse stance for a minute or so, I roar at this point and focus on my internal fire and strength then I smile to release the tension, I slow my breath and ease into the cold calm sea.

It’s electrifying, it’s nerve rattling cold, it penetrates deeper and at an awesome pace than I had anticipated. My toes and fingers begin to feel numb and my whole body feels as if sandwiched between to beds of nails, but the gaze upon the red and orange rising sun and the shimmer of light upon the seas surface offered calm and warmth, I breathed in and as I breathe out I sink beneath the sea, the rush of cold around my head and down my back was both nerving and transcendent as if existing in another reality different to the one I’m normally in.

I stay close to the breath and maintain a slow rythmn, sensation surprisingly returns to my extremities and now I even begin to feel the pulse in both my liver and stomach and whilst this to is a nerving experience I also felt very powerful and comfortable and the more I relaxed the greater the energy I received and felt.

Returning to clothes is no easy feat and I must maintain this calm and focus, it’s all to easy at this point to get complacent. The key here is focus on nothing other than the small task your are doing at that moment, don’t stop with your task keep going and before you know it your dressed.

Once dressed the greatest battle with pain commences, on the one hand you have completed your training and you relax into your warm clothing, however as these scenarios combine your body goes through a sometimes unforgiving transition, as circulation returns and flow picks up the discomfort one feels can be very intense, I have stood in a warm shower for 10 minutes before to readjust, however now I’m practicing surrender and relaxation I have noticed my bodily functions have been either not affected at all or return back to normal much quicker than before.

Tea time, ahhhhhh, that magical moment, the sun has risen, the body is feeling amazing, the mind is awake, the soul invigorated and now that brown golden warm liquid runs from the tip of your tongue to your belly and dances the dance of pure ecstasy.

I have found you can force your self to overcome obstacles and challenges, but if you embrace them and go with the flow free from expectation and attachment then the journey is that little bit sweeter.

To you all in great adventure.

Matt

Comfort – a grand disillusion 

This may take some time to digest so make yourself comfy and empty your mind.

The pursuit of happiness could just as well be called the pursuit of comfort, we could also throw in security and safety if we wanted to, but let’s keep it simple and maintain our focus on comfort or the illusion of.

It was written somewhere that we often meet our destiny on the path we take to avoid it.

That being the case, why would we avoid our destiny? Others say that one must be brave enough to first hear there calling and then more so to act upon it. One man who recently experienced success in his art was asked how he foresaw this coming of his dream, he simply replied I visualise my destiny, then I’m brave enough to speak it and when the opportunity arises I take it.

It is easy for a critic to be critical of others work, but no one remembers the critic, it’s easy to doubt and it has been written; that those who believe it’s impossible should not get in the way of those making it possible.

The common theme being painted here is simple. If it’s worth doing it’s not going to be easy and the sooner you get to grips with that then the sooner you can move from your current place of inertia and towards your destiny.

Every morning I face a battle with comfort, my bed is comfy, the warmth that a bed offers is tempting, but when I overcome those temptations I rise and go on a daily life adventure to the sea.

Today she was stormy, the sky was full of stars and a rain cloud was moving in. She crashed her waves into the sea front with speed and power and yet as I watched in a meditative state everything slowed down, you could see the rise and fall, you could see the old receding wave join the new approaching wave, you could see the single drops of water flying through the air before it rejoins the sea.

Most people these days give in to the comfort of an ordinary life missing there calling to being extraordinary, everyday a new experience is awaiting those who are willing to put comfort to one side and embrace the uncomfortable. The more you do this, the greater you connect with yourself, others and nature.

The cold sea as it embraces your naked skin sends a surge of energy through you that is almost undefinable and unmatched by comparison, but one of the main lessons is that we are stronger than we think, we can have a greater experience of life than we are currently experiencing and its this that the greats discovered, they simply went against the grain and lived, the effort became effortless, so rather than seeking comfort we arrive at comfort from the complete opposite path; it finds us.

It’s not about disregarding comfort, I wore an all purpose weather jacket to the sea this morning to help with the high winds and rain, but it is about not becoming helplessly dependant on these comforts, it’s at this point of helpless dependence that the real problems occur.

Domesticated animals by there nature are not as strong or wise as there wild oppositites, they have no need to be, but what do they loose by not being as strong or wise? It’s worth noting humans are domesticated animals, we rely on our comforts so much that in the wild most would not survive.

This is not a good place to be in and it’s each persons responsibility to re-wild themselves, that is to encourage yourself to become adaptable to all environments regardless of perceived comfort.

This is important because the human being is a remarkable entity that’s true potential is being wasted. Being a fan of potential and wellbeing the more we connect with nature the greater our potential and wellbeing becomes.

Comfort is not in and of itself a bad thing and I’m not attempting to suggest that it is. I love many creature comforts, however potential, greatness, creativity, wellbeing, vision and I could keep going are found not through the comfort you perceive, but in finding the comfort within the uncomfortable.

When you can truly relax in stressful situations you are powerful, when the situation is off Center and yet you can remain focused and calm you are stepping into your power, when you are faced with an obstacle greater than you and you can approach it with truth and grace then you are getting close to be the greatest and most authentic version of yourself.

I believe we all have an artist within us and that our creativity is stifled by our inability to be at peace with who we are and where we find ourselves, we believe that things would be better and easier if certain factors were changed in our favour, this is our desire for comfort and dreams will not be achieved from this mind space.

Change the perspective and nothing is unachievable.

Go take a 3 minute cold shower then sit down and have a hot chocolate and notice how you feel. You may feel so alive after your cold shower that you don’t want the hot chocolate anymore.

To you all in great health and comfort.

Matt