Stepping Back Up and Forward

It’s been too long since I was here. Distracted by life, a world wide pandemic and many many changes. However like most people I have been growing or stuck. I haven’t been stuck. Something has shifted greatly in this last time.

I am starting a project. I want to step up and forward and I feel I have found the way. I have a vision of a holistic recovery centre. Somewhere where the suffering can come and heal. The artists can come and create. The healed can share their experience.

Ecologically minded, self sufficient and mindful would be the main principles of the entity I hope to create with a good friend. Spiritual ? Yes absolutely. A centre of health and abundance. No drugs or substances in bottles boxes or people. Not into going the chemical route.

Most food grown on site ecologically.

An absence of social media, phones, screens technology that distracts.

Promotion of tried and tested methods of giving people the tools they need to heal themselves through self reflection, exercise, diet, support, community and creativity.

In the next 24 hours I am finally… ( and it has taken me a long time to get to this point) going to go look at a possible site for this project.

This blog might become a record of progress , I am not yet sure. I have to speak to some people about the best way forward. However, I hope I find the discipline to keep it updated more than have over the past years.

It’s good to be back.

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The Big Shift

After over a year on a lock down that no one saw coming, no one ever experienced and most people felt something about, it’s time to ask where are we now? Have you undergone or do you now wish to undergo a big shift in your life?

Through out my life I have worked jobs because they were there, some of them were highly skilled and some were much less so. It was just what I did, need money to live, need a job for money. I didn’t hang around. I have worked in hospitality, camera crews for movies and television, hospital maintenance, also with the sick and dying, and with the dead, I have worked in I.T. and photography and I am a writer. I have made my money over the last few years teaching, amongst other things. My life has been a huge adventure but I know now I am ready for something else.

One of the things I know for sure is I am not my job. Perhaps during lockdown, you have spent more time doing some things you never really had time for before, or more time discovering, or perhaps more time procrastinating, complaining, delaying, prevaricating and wishing it was different. I made great strides in my spiritual life, I became certified as a life coach, I read a lot of great books, and I also did a lot of delaying and procrastinating.

Being locked up against the will isn’t fun. Neither is working in job where I feel under appreciated or not accepted. I don’t need any more training or certificates. I have a plethora of them because I enjoyed learning. Nowadays I am actively learning from others and finding my worth and strength. I am finding my true power. I am good with people.

I am a creating a new business in the area in which I live. I have been working on it for the last few months. Sometimes its daunting and scary. Sometimes it’s exciting and exhilarating. Keeping it in the day, and being true to myself are just the key elements.

One of the concepts that has helped me is Ikigai.

What is Ikigai? Well Wikipedia tells me ” Activities that allow one to feel ikigai are not forced on an individual; they are perceived as being spontaneous and undertaken willingly, therefore they are personal and depend on a person’s inner self”

How I find my Ikigai is at the intersection of the following

  • What am I good at?
  • What do I love?
  • What can I get paid for?
  • What does the world need?

If you can answer at least these four questions and see where the concurrence is or where each intersects, then you have your bliss. It might help you in making the big shift and moving forward into a more willingly productive happy life.

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Why Do I set myself Goals

I wrote about Goal setting and it put me on writing pause. I keep thinking, why ? They say Why is not a spiritual question, but… Why do we set ourselves goals? Or should the question be why do we set goals for ourselves? Already this is a sign of overthinking and getting into a spin.

So it would seem, the society we live in is a Hierarchical , goal oriented, winner takes all, pyramid shaped, top down, celebrity driven model, whereby we must perform, we must excel, we must do better than the other. I have never been a competitor, at least not a successful one. My reality is one of participation. Why? Simply through low self esteem I never thought I could be the best at anything. That didn’t prevent me from being the best. I got a distinction and was top of my class in my graduate diploma, but that had not been a goal. The goal was just to make movies. It’s still a goal of mine. However being the best, or at the top or the number 1 is … not so attractive. So why do I, Collie, the guy behind crackingthecircle.com , why do I set goals if not to be at the top?

I set goals to manage my day. I set goals so that I don’t , especially in these pandemic times, get bored. I set goals to give myself direction, and mostly, I set goals to be my best self.

All of us have a skill set. All of us have a contribution to make to society, or humanity. Each and every one of us has value. We all know something that can help another person. I have learned that just because I don’t appreciate someone’s views or actions, it doesn’t stop those views or actions being appreciated and beneficial to others.

So in keeping with the philosophy of , ‘I am here on the planet, what can I do? ‘ and also the finding solutions instead of looking at problems, I have set myself a goal. It’s a vision. It’s a big thing in my eyes. It’s a challenge to myself. It gives me purpose, it will definitely help others and I have the drive and the passion to make it happen, perhaps partly because the alternative is unimaginable.

In order to achieve this high and mighty vision I have to take baby steps. I have to work on my self esteem. I have to take small bites. Not that I would ever eat an elephant, but as the question and answer go, it’s only something that can done one bite at a time.

As I move forward most days, I might set the goal of just sending out a query, or a bigger task of completing a project plan. It doesn’t really matter. The goal or the intention is set in order to realise the vision. The vision exists because it’s what I finally choose to do. I choose to do it, because I have gotten to a place where I believe I can do it. I believe I can do it, because I have listened to the voice of the universe, speaking to through those I love and care for and what I have heard has led me to this conclusion.

Set goals. For yourself. Set goals because of who you are. Set goals to be your best self within your abilities. Set goals every day, and don’t worry if they are not achieved. We are not perfect, we miss the target sometimes. But set goals and stay open . The Universe may tell me the conclusion I see ,is not what it wants, perhaps it only wants me on the journey for a small time. Nonetheless, I see the possibilities, I believe in them. So I set my goals.

Now I have my answer. Why do you set goals?

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The problem with Goal setting.

Cloudy rainbow.

Can you make it out? Can you see this blurry rainbow there somewhere in the distance? You know it’s a rainbow, it gives you hope but you just can’t really get it crystalised in your head.

Have you ever had that sort of response to goal setting? That kind of feeling, of vagueness about what you should and could and might be able to achieve that sort of gets you stuck is very common. We seem to lack the sharp edges, the definition. We lack the belief that our pot of gold is obtainable. Sure look right over there, even if there is a pot of gold it’s in very cold water and who wants to be bothered?

I know you can identify now. I have seen it so often in my own life, and in that of the clients I have worked with. A belief that somehow we cannot, or should not be crystal clear, defined, brilliant, rich happy and content and loved.

So we don’t bother with our goals, we sit in the mud of doubt and fear. It’s warm, it’s what we know and anyway we are stuck. They are unrealistic in any case, right? Nope. We are better than the photographer who doesn’t bother to check the focus. We have the tools. Let’s use them.

So I have an exercise for you. I want you to take 5 mins and write or draw or dance or express in some artistic way, your perfect life. Not the one you have now. The perfect life. That one that is full of love, abundance, purpose, or full of relaxation joy or play. Whatever it is that you think would make you happy. Now … once you have it once you have visualised and recorded this ideal life… I want you to improve on it. That car you visualised, make it a better car. That house you visualised, make it a better home. Keep improving. That perfect relationship, how could it be even better? Keep improving it.

Don’t tell yourself that money is an object or barrier, it’s not. Neither is your relationship history, nor your family situation. Visualise that there are no blocks no issues. Everything you could ever want desire or aspire to, is within your grasp. If you were the best, perfect version of yourself, if you were 10/10 in everything, what life would you be living?

This is our issue with goal setting. We put on brakes and blocks and barriers and we tell ourselves yeah I would love to be, but I am not good enough. I would love to have, but I can see how that wouldn’t work out. It’s not really realistic is it?

If you really wanna set goals, set lofty high goals. Forget the blockages forget the barriers forget logic. Do you think Copernicus had thoughts about being realistic? If he had Columbus should have sailed off the edge of the earth. Do you think Nelson Mandela had realism? Do you think Buddha decided it wasn’t possible? Set real goals. Set true goals. Getting off the sofa today is not a goal, although in this time of covid it can and will be classed as an achievement. But REAL Achievements are never realistic. Goals are the mini destinations on the road of life.

If you need help setting yourself some new goals, getting unstuck and moving forward, reach out and connect. I am more than happy to help.

Thanks for reading.

PS.. Our dreams are the stars by which we charter the course of our lives, Happy is the one who follows the dream.

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It’s Spring if you want it to be.

Spring traditionally was Feb 1 when I was a kid, but I lived in a different country with a different culture. Spring is a time of new beginnings, so in a sense, every day can be spring if you want it to be.

I can remember a man, he was considered holy. He told me there is no such thing as endings only new beginnings.

I liked his philosophy and I have tried to apply it in my life with varying degrees of success.

As I have often stated here, what you tell yourself, even right now reading this, is just an invention of your own, to make sense of what you experience. It’s your unique experience. We are all different yes it’s true. However we are nothing without each other. I don’t believe a community of one is viable for a human. Everything you think and feel reject and accept is because of your interactions with others.

In these interactions with others I have made choices. I can easily make excuses for those choices. I can easily say I thought that way because what of the others did or said or how I experienced them. I can easily put it down to personal, national or international culture and education. However, My life is not to be about blaming others for who I am. My life is about me being the best version of myself I can attain, to be me, being responsible for my choices. Not guilty, not shamed either. Just understanding that some of my choices were not healthy ( how could they have been? ) for myself nor for those around me.

At some stage I have to put my hand up and take responsibility, let you know I am aware I made bad choices, that regardless of my intention , you were affected, hurt by them. At some stage I am apologising for this lack of awareness and this self centered obsession that I didn’t even consider you or your feelings. I am apologising for the hurt, unintended or otherwise, and hurt that I will not diminish, or belittle. I respect it as being your hurt and I acknowledge that it came from my behaviour and I am sorry.

Once I can accept my past and own it, I have a new beginning. Once I have a new beginning, then everyone else has one too.

Enjoy your spring.

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New Beginning Same Story

Here we are in 2021. After all the talk about leaving 2020 behind because it was a horrible year . So we have this new beginning called January 1st where everything is supposed to change. Here in France where I am writing, we have the whole month of January. On Jan 31st if you meet someone here for the first time since last year, you wish them a happy new year.

You all the know the story of the kid who asked the wise man about life. He was told about the two wolves the black one which is despair pain and suffering, the white one which is joy gratitude and acceptance. They fight for position within us. The one who wins is that one which you feed.

Thankfully I have not been feeding the black wolf by watching endless news, or making events that are nothing to do with me, all about me. Neither have been trying to control any viruses or tell myself I am invincible. While I don’t agree with the rules or find much sense in them, I have generally applied them to my daily living. I don’t have a degree in science but I get it.

It is not the end of my world if I don’t get to celebrate a certain day with anyone, after all it’s just another day.

I can if I choose tap into the trauma, drama, concern, conspiracy and clamour of the outside world. It’s my choice. There are other ways to spend my time. Some very productive some not so. I have been focusing on becoming rather than just being.

So all that said and done, this year this 2021, is entirely up to you. Do you want good year? Do you want the best year of your life? No excuses, no reasoning it away, just a simple yes or no. So if you answered yes, good for you. Go do it make your new beginning.

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Forgetting is Forgiving

Morning Glory

If you haven’t forgotten you haven’t forgiven. That’s a statement right? Forgiveness is something I have been challenged in greatly of late. What is there to forgive? Why should I forget?

I can pardon wrongs done to me by others, I can pardon unacceptable behaviour. I can make excuses and say that the other was in their special space, perhaps it was baggage, their buttons were pushed, or even yes their hormones were too strong. In any way it wasn’t intentional… Oh wait, it was intentional? Well I still forgive you, because I want to move on, I don’t want to let go, I don’t want to remove you from my life. Any and all sorts of excuses could be made for the behaviour of another. But how do we behave afterwards?

Even though in our relationships we think we have gotten past the incident, the hurt, are we now a little more cautious? Has it got to the extent where we start to compromise ourselves for fear of another event? Are we actually in some form of mild trauma, because we haven’t forgotten, that if we blow our nose at the table one more time our significant other will go off on one?

Well the truth is there is BIG difference between coming to terms with, and accepting, and knowing about the behaviours of others and truly forgiving them. Forgiveness is not about just acceptance. As long as there is a grudge, a painful memory, a regret, a wish that it was different, or had been different, then we haven’t truly forgiven. We are still in someway holding onto the resentment.

Resentments as I am coming to learn, are that magic trick we do whereby we drink the poison and hope the other person gets ill. Or to be more specific shoot ourselves in the hope that someone else will feel bad. Wow heavy analogies there right? Nope. Who benefits from me holding to a resentment? Even if I understand the reason that my parent wasn’t parenting the way I expected, even if I have talked myself round and flipped the switch and tell a different story to that of victim or survivor, if I am holding onto it in any way, If I am remembering it, recounting it, then I am repeating it and then I haven’t forgiven , because I haven’t forgotten.

Not only that, but If I am still acting out because of it? Then I have not even come close to forgiveness.

See forgiveness, is not easy.

NO they won’t win if you forgive. You will. Your holding onto whatever bad feelings is what is causing that pain in your body, that discomfort in your breathing, that blockage in your intestine. I am pretty sure, after manifesting many physical conditions and listening to the gurus and the teachers and the lightworkers, and going through 12 steps programs time and time again, resentment ( lack of forgetting) .. is the number one cause of pain discomfort and dis-ease

Our quest as many sages and wise ones have stated, is to live in the now, to know God ( whatever that means) , to be our best selves. We cannot do this while we are grasping the nettle of our past and telling ourselves that just because we are used to the pain, it doesn’t really hurt anymore.

So in my quest to be my best self and of best use here on earth there are two questions I have to deal with daily. Can I let go, can I truly forgive those who through no fault of their own, who were ill equipped to deal with life or step up in a way I expected? If I cannot , then there are no winners. If I can, then it is I who win. How? Because I heal, I let go, I free myself and I move on. Now who wouldn’t want that? If I win, there is a ripple effect. But here’s the rub, can I also forgive myself?

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Has it really been a horrible year?

How you view your year, YOUR year, this year, is really down to your own personal choice and perspective. It’s up to you to count your blessings or to let in all the bad news you can find and make it yours.

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Doing the right thing the right way

Have you ever got yourself into a mess, just trying to do the right thing? Too many commitments, bad time management, stress induced by where our head is at, and the story you are telling yourself?

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Meditation

What is meditation?

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