During the drive back to Gail’s flat , Ell stopped off at a convenience store to pick up some milk. As I sat waiting in the car, I noticed a box of Crunchy Nut Cornflakes sitting on the top shelf through the window like a dirty magazine. (Crunchy Nut is an addictive breakfast cereal made with flakes of corn, honey, large quantities of sugar and chopped peanuts.)
'Gimme Gimme Gimme a Crunchy Nut after midnight
Won't somebody help me chase the craving away
Gimme gimme gimme a Crunchy Nut after midnight
Take me through the darkness to the break of the day' - ABBA
I often wonder if rehabilitation centres actually exist for Crunchy Nut dependency...
Hello, my name is Nige, and I’maddicted to Crunchy Nut!
People from all walks of life are chasing the crunchy nut dragon; This involves placing powdered crunchy nut on baking foil and heating it from below with a lighter. The crunchy nut turns to a sticky liquid and wriggles around like a Chinese dragon, hence the name Crunchy Nut Dragon . Sugary fumes of corn, sugar and peanuts are given off and are inhaled through a rolled up back issue of Miracle Worker.
One thing is for certain; Crunchy Nut abuse destroys lives.
Moderation is impossible. Complete abstinence is the only way forward.
'Say f**k it and have the courage to get to know yourself'
'A teacher of God is anyone who chooses to be one. His qualifications consist solely in this, somehow, somewhere he has made a deliberate choice in which he did not see his interests as apart from someone elses' - ACIM
I answered the call to become a TOG after taking The Awakening workshop in Toronto in 95. The moment I invited spirit into my life there was no going back; everything that could possibly piss me off quickly followed. My mind had become stained with dark blotches from the past, directing me to attack in the present, so that the future could be more like the past.
'Healing cannot be accomplished in the past. It must be accomplished in the present to release the future. ' ACIM
The ego could be likened to a nasty computer virus, forcing our system to crash without warning.
The Holy Spirit on the other hand is the ultimate anti-virus, cleaning, degunking and unraveling our thoughts; helping restore peace of mind which is our natural state. Living fearlessly is like learning to walk all over again.
Teaching from the wisdom of our struggle is first and foremost about acknowledging and taking responsibility for our current dilemma whatever that may be....
'All shallow roots must be uprooted.'
When we make a conscious choice to lay aside our distorted perception of the world, and make friends with our wounds, the dark blotches soften at the edges, to reveal the oneness that connects us all. This creates a simple-hearted space to share our learning with others.
I seek for reassurance outward; everywhere I find
The silent screams and dreams and fears my unforgiving mind,
Until I breathe with Holy breath the Spirit’s Voice I’ll heed
Remembering that in me I have everything I need.
Correcting my perceptions I remember I am safe
With passion heart and courage too these healing steps I take.
Twice a year, Ell and me assist on a 3 day workshop in Liverpool. 'The Awakening' is a mind changing roller coaster ride from fear to love. I had agreed to captain a team of assistants, whose job is to hold the space for the participants as they make that life transforming dash to the other side.
The epic road trip ‘Up North’ is always one to savour. Ell and me usually split the drive depending on who is saner at the time. Being an older car Winston prefers to take things slowly. This makes for a delightful journey with lots of time to wave at other motorists, take extended pee breaks and drink tall skinny lattés. Sometimes, Ell and me drive along quietly, and other times we listen to beautiful music, and chat about the mystery of it all. Occasionally, I reach over and place my hand in hers, and my heart is filled with gratitude. It is simple things such as these, that make my limited time here on earth worthwhile.
We spent the night, and part of the following day at Mums in Darwen, Lancashire, playing catch up, dejunking her computer and setting up ‘that skype’ so that she could re-contact with Ivy -her only remaining sister. When Mum discovered ‘that skype ‘was up and running, she grinned from ear to ear, and I had a moment of pure inspiration;
Two minds with one intent become so strong that what they will becomes the Will of 'that Skype.'
Sometimes, I sit in Dad’s armchair and quietly reflect ( the same armchair that he was sat in when he told me he was diagnosed with ‘that lung cancer’) Dad often sat and stared out of the window with a faraway teary look in his eyes. He believed that he was robbed of a childhood; tried to make things right by spending lots of time in the shed.
Here is a picture of Dad in the shed , which I made in April 2006 ...
Whenever, I walk into Dads shed and pick up his work tools, I sense his gentle spirit, and weep for the 6 year old boy who had no shoes; left to fend for himself. This mans shed became his sanctuary, where he could shelter from the harsh winds of time and ‘iron things out.’ I felt drawn to a certain screwdriver, and decided to take it with me, to add to the cycle toolkit.
That afternoon we made the journey to Liverpool . Gail had kindly given us a place to stay for 3 nights. - a retreat from all things workshop.
Gail is a delicate soul - a beautiful woman with a big heart. Her dwelling place is quaint. We drank tea, had a banter, and then she left to spend the weekend with a friend..
This meant that Ell and me had the whole place to ourselves. WOW!
We had a candlelit bath together, made sensual love, meditated, and read A Course in Miracles. Ahhhh ...
In his book A Year To Live Stephen Levine says ‘ an interesting way to practice dying is opening to illness.’
During his final days, Pops contracted oral thrush. This is a fungal infection which leaves the mouth and throat unbearably sore. The nurses at the East Lancs Hospice compared Dads condition to eating razorblades. He couldn’t speak, eat or drink, and was left with no alternative, but to lie in complete silence, to turn inward and face death.
So, today, I am practicing dying from a common cold - the dreaded sore throat. This is a minor blip compared to Dads suffering, but nevertheless a perfect opportunity to lay down my arms, soften around the discomfort, and practice self acceptance and love.
‘ And in the spaciousness of surrender watch the fear of death bound through with all its attendant scenarios. Take each breath as though it might be the last. Watch your life pass before your eyes. Did you notice something left undone? Do it on the next clear day. Practice living.’ -Stephen Levine
‘Silence is a natural state of spirit and we will never connect with the truth unless we can learn to be quiet’ - Mike George
Today, I am an explorer in search of a quieter world, wrapped in a blanket, sitting cross-legged in the space between the bed and the door. However, Mr ego has other plans; it keeps distracting me with silly thoughts about auditions, workshops, relationships, sex, money. This list is endless and covers the entire surface of my mind, like clouds covering the sun.
I am feeling uncomfortable but refuse to engage, preferring to remain completely still. My mind is rambling but my body is still.
Gradually, the breathing becomes free; and I rest in the space between the end of the sigh, and the next in-breath. Suddenly, the voices inside my head stop chattering, the birds stop singing, and the world disappears. I am pure energy, silently drifting into something uncertain, yet vaguely familiar; gently melting into stillness.
Then its back to counting the breaths and naming the distractions.
In my experience; whenever, I name the distraction I keep the ego at arms length, creating a simple space to gently bring myself back to the breath, choosing love over fear. There is no middle ground, no in-between. To choose one is to let go of the other. In other words; it is impossible to be in both places at the same time.
Our spiritual journey is just the falling away of illusions, to the remembrance of love, as who we essentially are.
Before enlightenment, chop wood,
After enlightenment, chop wood,
Read a passage from the BIG blue book - According to Christi - ‘All healing is essentially release from fear’
Meditated in the space between the bed and the door for 41 minutes. It was raining 'dogs n cats' and blowing a gale so I wore a hat and gloves in an attempt to combat the elements. Meditation calms the mind, bringing inner peace and harmony into my life.
Stretched the body... Ooof!
Ate a simple brekkie of oats, raisins, banana, mixed seeds, honey and rye toast, washed down with a cup of green tea.
Worked from 10 - 5 at the café - A work colleague confided in me about how she was finding it difficult to show up with a manager about certain things . So, I encouraged her to take a deep breath, and walk heartfirst into into the fear. She did exactly that,; sat down and poured out her heart to the manager, returning a few minutes later with tears streaming down her face. I gave her a big hug, and reassured her that each time she does this she takes a step closer to herself.
Had a nice lunch - Baked Potato, Tuna and salad.
Spent a few minutes sat in quiet reflection.
Decided to tell the truth to my manager and share a few things that have been eating away at my peace of mind. Requsted that he put a stop to the pervert joke. Mr manager seemed to appreciate my brutal honesty and said that he would deal with the situation immediately.
Spoke with Ell on the phone. Our connection was simple, intimate and deep. (much to the disapproval of Mr ego who despises having to take a back seat.)
Received 2 x brand new headphones from Koss free of charge. Yippee!
Cleaned the bathroom - knocked over the mop bucket. Whilst on the subject of extreme cleaning I would like to tell you a short story. Many years ago whilst working as an ancillary for a parcel delivery company, I was made to sweep the entire depot. This was no easy task as the depot was the size of a small town. The following day I complained to a Buddhist friend, who reminded me of the cleansing affect that sweeping can have on the soul. So, later that day I changed my attitude towards simple tasks and experienced ecstasy whilst sweeping a depot. The manager even threatened to dismiss me for being happy in the workplace.
Ate the yummiest din dins - organic short grain brown rice, mackerel, steamed spring greens, carrots and broccoli with a tbsp of good oil.
Constructed a new age compilation filled with lots of soothing music.
Made a barley cup - borrowed milk from my landlords fridge without asking permission first - this could be classed as stealing and may result in me being thrown in jail. I don’t want to go to jail so next time I will ask before I take it.
I was going to have a nice relaxing candlelit bath in essential oils, but the water was freezing. So, I talked myself into having a cold shower instead. Some individuals say cold showers are good for improving circulation, strengthening immunity and increasing energy and well-being, but I have to disagree on this occasion because I almost had a heart attack and captain winky shrunk to the size of a button.
Watched people doing sex on the internet. I have never understood why the women in these films only ever use the word 'YES' during sexy time. Maybe they could use other words instead like; certainly, of course, sure, no problem or maybe they could just make up an excuse like 'Im too tired' or just say 'NO' and sit quietly in the space between the bed and door instead.
Had a read in bed - The Man Who Cycled The World. Its the epic story of Mark Beaumont who travelled 18.297 miles solo in 194 days and 17 hours. Bloody el!
Recently, I came across a fantastic blog by Miss Minimalist whose aim is to live a beautiful life with less stuff. Her blog really resonated with me. Miss Minimalist says that to regain our freedom we simply need to lighten our loads.
Given the sensitive nature of this experiment in conscious dying I had started to explore options. Initially, I had made plans for a more spacious coffin, but eventually scrapped the coffin idea completely in favour of hiring a skip; that way, I could be buried in the local rubbish dump, along with all my assorted paraphernalia...
...or perhaps I could just quietly slip away, and let the relatives sort out my junk for me.
Speaking of picking out out other people clutter...On the day Dad was diagnosed with ‘that lung cancer’ he told me that he wanted to get things sorted while he still had the chance. In other words; he wanted to get his house in order, so that we didn’t have to do it for him when he was gone. Unfortunately, his health took a serious nosedive, he died, and we ended up having to do it for him anyway. Thanks Dad.
Maybe, I could follow Dads words of wisdom (even if he didn’t get the opportunity to practice what he was preaching ) and take responsibility for exorcising my own clutter before its too late.
The mere thought of dejunking horrifies my ego!
So, I packed a rucksack and went out for a mini walk to the corner shop to clear my head. This is what I packed …
1 x Knitted sweater
2 x Socks
1 x Bottle of water
2 x Cheese/tomato sandwiches
1 x Note book
2 x Pens
1 x Wallet
1 x Mobile Phone
1 x Small First Aid Kit
1 x Distress flare gun - to be used in awful situations only.
F**k it! I refuse to be defined by my belongings any longer. The buck stops here! It’s time to put things in there proper place before I die.; to find the courage to wave goodbye to the background noise, and simplify my life.
‘ Love and fear cannot exist in the same space , so everything you are holding on to through fear is blocking you having more love in your life; clearing it allows more love to start pouring in. Fear stops you being who you truly are and doing what you came here to do; clutter clearing brings you greater clarity about your life purpose. Fear suppresses your vital life force energy; releasing clutter helps reconnect you to your own natural vitality. Letting go of clutter leaves you free to be you, which is the greatest gift you can ever give yourself.’ - Karen Kingston
In a nutshell ; clutter thwarts creativity -possessions are the ego's unsafety net - weapons of mass distraction, preventing me from saying YES to life. Simplicity on the other hand creates a vacuum, clearing the way for something new, inspiring, and uplifting.
Time for a change of scenery.
We can accomplish this by borrowing a few suitcase packing tips from Mighty Miss Minimalist
Start with a clean slate. It’s often easier to compose from scratch than fix something that’s flawed. So when you’re decluttering your closet, your living room, or your schedule, empty everything out of it first. Then, put back only those possessions (or activities) that you cherish the most.
Question every item. In a small carry-on, every item must pull its weight. Demand the same of your household possessions: have a conversation with your stuff, and ask what value it adds to your life. If the answer is “not much,” give it the heave-ho.
Set limits. To keep his bag light, a traveller might limit his pants to two, his shirts to three, and his socks to four. Use a similar strategy to keep your stuff under control: decide, for example, to own only five sweaters, fifty books, or the amount of craft supplies that’ll fit into one storage box.
Use modules. Take inspiration from packing cubes, and gather like items (cosmetics, office supplies, video games) into separate “modules.” Consolidating your stuff helps you see how much you have, weed out duplicates, and keep a lid on further accumulation.
Think versatility. To save space, light packers favour items that do double- or triple-duty (like clothes that can be dressed up or down, and layered for different climates). Use the same principle in your home: choose versatile or multi-functional items (like a sleeper sofa, or all-purpose sauté pan) over single-task ones.
Digitise. Digital music, books, and documents are not only easier to transport—they’re also easier to store. Use technology to transform physical possessions into bits and bytes: scan paperwork, convert CDs to MP3s, and buy electronic books instead of paper ones.
Live on the edge. The light traveller addresses her needs as they arise; if she runs out of toothpaste in Tokyo, she simply buys some more. Adopt a similar philosophy at home: instead of stockpiling stuff or holding on to “just in cases,” acquire things on an as-needed basis.
A few years ago I co wrote and taught a workshop with Ian Patrick called 'The Real Alternative.' The workshop focused on changing our mind about the world rather than seeking to change the world. The underlying ideas for this exercise came about when a 13 year relationship I was involved in suddenly ended. As issues surfaced for healing, I experimented with exercises that could be completed alone and came up with the simple idea of healing on the go, anywhere, anytime, anyplace, regardless of the circumstances. Ian and myself invented this exercise to help people stay one step ahead of the ego. It is based on the 'Get Real' process used by Duane O'kane inThe Awakening workshop. Okay, fellow bloggy bloggers here goes ..
1. Healing Prayer or intention-
' I am determined to take full responsibility for the thoughts I am thinking and to see myself and my brothers as innocent.' 2. Disempowering thoughts (attack, blame judgements, etc.) - Write them out quickly and intensely without reading them. Empty the mind, leaving no stone unturned, no matter how murderous or sick it may appear. No one will read this, not even you.“Deep down, I am feeling……….…, which reminds me of………….…”
3.Root feeling and just like when - Shadow. Take a moment and feel feelings. Deep down, what are you feeling and what does this remind you of, in your past?
4. Limiting beliefs - Hell. Write in present tense about your deepest fears and shame. “I have been trying to prove that I am………” End with: “ These are beliefs I have invented and they are not true.”
5. Ground yourself with 3 deep breaths. Invite the Holy Spirit to help you see this differently. Say slowly and whispered: “Dear Holy Spirit, show me the light at the centre of my brothers. Show me the light at the centre of myself. Where I see guilt, show me innocence. I have been mistaken. Help me to see this differently. Amen.” Deep breath.
6. New beliefs - Positive statements of truth - Heaven. Write in present tense. Write new beliefs on a card and sit quietly, breathe and reaffirm these statements of truth. Let each ‘land’. “I am.…. …just the way I am““The truth about me is……” etc. (Highest truths.) Tear up the chart.
7. Carry card with you and read throughout the day.
'The mind is very powerful, and never loses its creative force. It never sleeps. Every instant it is creating. It is hard to recognise that thought and belief combine into a power surge that can literally move mountains. There are no idle thoughts. All thinking produces form at some level.' ACIM
Today, whilst working at the café I said to one of my co-workers that I thought the young girl in the farm shop was a cutie. My work colleagues started to ridicule me, calling me a pervert. Then, they played a joke; the girls Father visited the café to warn me to stay away from his daughter. I feel uttterly humiliated.
Time to write a forgiveness chart...
I am determined to take full responsibility for the thoughts I am thinking and to see myself and my brothers as innocent
F**K YOU for calling me a pervert you stupid f**KING B**TARDS! If you ever speak to me like that again and I will F**KING KILL YOU!
Root feeling and just like when
Deep down I am feeling sad.. which reminds me of a time in my past when kids ridiculed and bullied me at school just because I had one testicle.
I am trying to prove that..
I am guilty
I am worthless
I am powerless
I am unlovable
I am helpless
These are all beliefs I have invented and they are untrue.
Dear Holy Spirit, show me the light at the centre of my brothers. Show me the light at the centre of myself. Where I see guilt, show me innocence. I have been mistaken. Help me to see this differently. Amen.
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise: If you can dream and not make dreams your master,
If you can think and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools: If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!" If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And which is more you'll be a Man, my son!
Black Angel first befriended me when I was a boy. He agreed to protect me from ever having to re-experience the ridicule and humiliation familiar with losing a testicle, or the pain associated with sexual abuse. Black Angel became my imaginary friend keeping me out of harms way. Today, he sits on my right shoulder like a scavenging vulture- feeding on the guilt of shattered dreams.
‘That way is hard indeed, and very lonely. Fear and grief are your guests, and they go with you and abide with you on the way’ ACIM
Initially, when I discover a good idea I am filled with energy and commitment but the moment I have to take massive action something happens; fear consumes me, spreading through my mind like a virus, obliterating creativity and spontaneity and deadening the senses. Then I burn out and find myself distracted by the next thing. A friend once said that I am like a dog following a scent, going off in one direction, then picking up another and heading off in a different direction.
So, with 84 days left to live, I am filled with regret at having thrown away my life.
Peace Angel also befriended me when I was a boy. He is love without conditions. Peace Angel supports the process of my life encouraging me to explore golden avenues of potential , celebrating every step along the way. Peace Angel sits on my left shoulder. He is a true friend.
‘ God doesn’t love anyone over anyone else. There is no atom in the universe more blessed than any other . No one has more potential for greatness than anyone else. The ultimate success of your career will not be determined by credentials, backing or marketing techniques. It will be determined by your ability to access the spiritual gulf stream.’ - Mariane Willilamson
In other words; the existence of Peace Angel preceded Black Angel.
Black Angel has worked extremely hard for me during this lifetime, but its time to give him a new job description, in which his skills can be used in service of Peace Angel.
My days of being like a like a dog following a scent, going off in one direction, then picking up another and heading off in a different direction are finished.
'Though there are achievements to be made and lessons to be learned from each thing, it is better that the clarity of which way to go comes from within, over a sustained period of time.' - Ian Patrick
I have 83 days left to discover my true nature before the winter - something that will allow me to add value to the world.
The question is what do I REALLY want? Rather than what do I want this week or this month?
'God hides nothing from His Son, even though His Son would hide himself. Yet the Son of God cannot hide his glory, for God will him to be glorious, and gave him the light that shines in him. You will never lose your way, for God leads you. When you wander, you but undertake a journey that is not real. The dark companions, the dark way are all illusions. Turn toward the light, for the little spark in you is part of a Light so great that it can sweep you out of all darkness forever'. -ACIM
Meditated for 25 minutes in the space between the bed and the door. Found myself getting annoyed because I kept losing contact with the breath. Had to spend a few minutes identifying and naming the distraction..
Called work and lied to my boss. Made up a story about having a to attend a business meeting, so that I didn't have to cover a shift.
Made a truly scrumptious brekkie consisting of blended rice, bannana, raisins, seeds and honey.
Intended to type a blog, but sadly the optical mouse died. No batteries.. no blog!
Ate a simple lunch of roast tatties, canned mackarel and steamed Kale.
Drove Winston to the DIY store to purchase new batteries for optical mouse. Ended up buying a tool box instead.
Had a decaf latte and a rock bun in the 'nice cafe' in Shoreham.
Sat cross-legged on Shoreham beach and watched the waves crashing against the shore.
Had a nice dins - roast tatties , white fish and steamed Kale
Downloaded some uplifting New Age music
Read and commented on a few bloggy blogs. Wrote and posted a new bloggy blog.
Watched people doing sex on the internet- Supposedly, men think about sex almost 5,000 times a year. Personally, I think the hormone "testosterone" may be to blame. I had thought about becoming a porn again christian but the idea of organized religion doesn't really appeal to me. However, I did attempt to seek out advice from a local pastor.This is what he had to say...
'If God takes the sexual sins of his men so seriously that men who remain enslaved to sexual sin will die in their sins and wake up in the eternal torments of hell. Sure, the naked people you like looking at are hot… but so is hell. '
Be true to yourself - the best life is the authentic life. Never betray yourself. Take off your social mask and have the personal bravery to present the real you to the world. The world will be richer for it. - Robin Sharma