Yup this is the big stuff right here. Maybe Leonard Cohen summed in up best with Bird On A wire Expectations, if you can crack this well, there is reason to believe you can crack anything. Seriously. Expectations? Seriously most of us are born into this particular segment of our lives well and truly fucked. First of all people are always asking you “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Second of all we are all systematically bombarded by parents, media, the educations system with what the fuck we should be doing. Even Ted Talks ask almost every particpant to conform to “their” format of speaking. I mean fuck them. Really? Seriously? You want ideas to change the world yet we must all conform to your style standards. Right o then. I think fucking not. Can you sense my outrage. So here it is expectations. Born, Job, Buy a Car, Marry, Buy a House, Parent, Grandparent, Leave a Legacy, Die. And could you do all of that as gracefully as possible without upsetting anybody. No I don’t think so? Can you? No. Is this totally fucking unrealistic? Yes. What an excellent reason to free your mind.
Human Life expectations seem to present as some form of cultural dogma. That’s true. It’s fucking wild that our most basic of humans choices seemed to be being dictated to by some kind of cultural hive mind. That straying from the accepted norms may well fuck the system. God know that declining birth rates in the western world are freaking people out. We’re back to the feudal system here guys. Less people, less power (in case you haven’t figured that out, lets not talk about China. Look away now). The fact that any one of us does not manage to reach these “bench marks” is by no means a reflection on us. Most of us have no idea what we are doing here in this earthling experieince. Much less what we are doing here in the right now and seem to be completely boggled by the idea that there is already a pre-determined system that we should be slotting into before we’ve even figured out what our hands are for. Yes seriously people have decided that you will graduate university before you have even figured out how to use your hands.
Expectations for ourselves obviously have to become completely muddled and muddied as a result of the information that we are given. Now we have Facebook and Instagram I can only imagine how confused most youngsters are by there level of aspiration. Have you heard? They just closed The Beach permanently, our hedonistic quest for light relief in paradise is fucked also. So expectations? Really what do you expect? Is it realistic? And are you starting this quest with your self. I’ll give you an example? I expect people to be honest with me……..am I honest? Yes to the best of my knowledge. I expect to have beautiful things……..can I define beauty? Sometimes……Yup get right into your head and ask the big questions…….
Where might I begin with this one? That fact of the matter is the healing journey begins with the idea that you might be in search of something better. As simple as that sounds, it can be an incredibly challenging idea for anybody going through an existential crisis. After all many of us have fallen away from the soft doughy comfort that religion has to offer us, of eternal life, or redemption. All we can attempt to cling to is the here and now.
That life is both painful and pointless. That we all die that everyone of us will die. Buildings, communities and empires will decay and crumble. Collapse and decay are the only true values that persist in our material world. These concepts are something that many of us have succumbed to over the process of our human lives, not least when we seem to have be battered by the fates and we realise that despite our best efforts that we are not entirely in the driving seat of our own lives. That life happens. It’s ok to get lost here. In fact it’s ok to live here. You can even preach this doctrine should you be inclined, because it is of course a truth and unrelenting and brutal truth.
On the other hand we live, we breath and it is fair to say that only a sage few would claim to know or understand the meaning of life in it’s entirety. Even less of us might actually believe them. I personally have no idea what the meaning of life is and at my best might only be able to grasp at what it might mean for me. Your meaning and values might lead you to a different, explanation or conclusion entirely. What I do know, for me at least is that with death and destruction there is beauty, deep meaning, fragility and an idea of preciousness. That everything and anything can hold value if only for a spit second and the way that we know this is based on the way we, or, specifically I feel. I have the power to choose something’s value. I also have the power to change how I feel and I also have the ability to understand things completely differently. If I am able to understand that which any particular moment might give to me. That the gift might not be material and that throughout my life I have always managed to adapt and grow. That pain can be the greatest gift of all. That what we can tolerate, becomes what we can endure and what we can endure becomes our source of strength. If pains become our strength then the fickle nature of life is only here to fortify us. So in the end every trial becomes a game, every test a quiz. We learn that approaching life with a sense of play does far more for our sense of well being than and idea of a predetermined game plan. That just like snakes and ladders winning a losing can be fun.
I personally have been undergoing a rather profound transformation. In the most extreme circumstances. It will all come out in the wash, I’m sure. For now though its a privilege to hear my story and I am not ready to go public yet. Watch this space. What has been truly incredible as a result is taking time to get back to myself. What does that mean? It means sometimes due to work, circumstances or relationships we can actually lose sight of ourselves. The world gets under our skin and we become human doings rather then the beautiful human beings that we are. We lose our sense of joy, our emotional well being and thus our sense of purpose. This can be the result of our environment, the mistaken idea of what we are meant to do, or even be, in certain situations. Then everything changes and there is space for something entirely new.
I love listening to the radio. I far prefer it to the T.V and even social media. I love reading long rambling articles and even music. Somehow I forgot all that and instead for the last few years I have been reaching for the remote control or Youtube hit to just feel instantly good. What I was actually doing I was numbing. So that I could silently ignore my own feelings. Replacing them with somebody else’s. Mistaking other people trials and tribulations for my own. Taking on the motivational music as my response rather than a synthisised reaction from highly curated content.
So I’ve changed and then I realise that actually I haven’t. I have rediscovered something. That depending on where I am at, my vibration and alignment changes. That I like being outdoors. I like the radio because I can wash the dishes, or make the bed while I’m listening to it. It enhances my day instead of stealing it. Radio doesn’t dictate my mood, it engages my mind. Fascinating huh. It’s not just radio though. It’s spoken word media, podcasts, sound clouds or event the best invention ever voice notes. I love getting personalised radio broadcasts from my friends. To get to hear their uninterrupted trains of thought, their feelings and the way that we are totally free to express ourselves when we feel fully loved and supported. So that’s where I’ve been living for a while now. Feeling fully loved and supported. So all of a sudden I have been uncovering a relearning parts of myself that had been forgotten and I’m finding more and more of the life that I write about. A life filled with connection, love, abundance, ritual and peace. All amazing things right?