Thursday, 10 May 2018

Wandering, Worrying, Wondering.....




What compels
You ask,
That I
 present
As one that
Is the consort
Of Saints 
And 
Ascended Masters?

Consider 
A self-loathing
So complete
And 
Profound
That 
To embrace
Myself
In truth
Occurred 
To me
Far more painful
Than 
My self-deception!!

"Spiritual name-dropping"
Then
A desperate ploy
To attain
The love
That I 
Insisted on renouncing
From myself.

I seek 
A love/God
That is real
To me..
No longer
For personal
Aggrandizement 
Too long
Has my ladder
Been
Ascending 
The wrong wall..

I seek
No further accolades
For my heart's plea
For clemency
From my 
Personal hell

I pray
For grace
For which
My response
Is to be
Profound appreciation
Awe & reverence
I am worthy
Not necessarily deserving
And certainly not
Entitled

My life choices
Have groomed me
Near exclusively
To become
Vaguely acquainted
With 
Humility

My God
A lifetime spent
Beating my chest
or 
Quivering beneath
A quagmire
of 
My own shame.

Either way
Demanding - "my due.."
Oblivious
To vast tides
Providing
Ample cause
For gratitude
Refusing 
To release
My grip upon
Self-perceived persecution 
Or to relax
Self-appointed haughtiness
That I might
Come to my knees.

What time remains?
Can a lifetime
of 
Omissions
Be reconciled
While 
A personal Autumn
Beckons
Upon the horizon?

How broad 
Is the embrace
of 
Grace
For one 
Modern day Prodigal Son?

I have 
No answers
Though I'm told
Hold the key

I know nothing
Of the heart's 
Of history's
"Sinners and Saints"

What if
This were 
The last call
For reconciliation?

What could possible
Present
As more pressing
Than my heart's 
Salvation?

R. O'Neill (May 10th, 2018)


Tuesday, 24 April 2018

The Art of Center (Ring)

A recent set of circumstances have given rise to a very vivid example of the power of the mind. Given I'm no expert on neuro-sciences, consciousness or the effects of trauma on present day life etc. I won't presume to make sweeping conclusions about "the mind" in general. I certainly can speak with authority where recounting my own experiences is concerned.

It was nearly two weeks ago this saga began. I had been at a friends place that evening; to participate in a spiritual circle. The next morning (now back at my own home) and preparing to go away for the weekend to Vancouver; I discovered a ring of mine was missing. I remembered wearing it the previous night. It is quite a unique piece, with a very distinct stone. Within the stone there are various colour gradations which are rather mesmerizing - I remember looking at the stone, while the circle was underway.

Try as I might, I couldn't recall the events of the evening, with respect to what I might have done, with the ring. Generally there are a few places at home I would set it down, either to wash dishes, the bathroom or my night stand. One place further is a catch-all when I'm emptying my pockets - the kitchen counter, I fully expected, to find it in one of these spots as I was getting packed. When it didn't appear in any of them  - this would be place in time, when my mind started to become less than helpful. This, despite the fact, that it was still attempting to reenact the evening and remind me of where I "normally" put it.

I was both aware that I didn't want to scuttle our plan to catch a noon ferry; while at the same time, I was not wanting to go without finding the ring. I continued to prepare to leave while looking as I did so. I re-checked numerable times the places it "should be" (because you know, if my insistence that it be where it's supposed to be, is asserted with enough vigour - surely that will produce the ring!! In case you didn't already guess - that strategy was absolutely fruitless. The longer I kept coming up empty-handed, the greater was my level of agitation.

I began affirming that I wasn't going to let this spoil our weekend away. I began to wax spiritual with regard to impermanence etc. These perspectives were only mild consolation. I was not prepared at this point to "let go" of the ring. I was begrudgingly willing to abandon the search - in favour of getting to the ferry terminal on time.

Some additional factors that were influencing my mood were: the ring, which as I said is rather unique (at least here - given it came from Iran) it was given to me by a friend at a ceremony  - the ceremony was to honour the launch of my book. So to say I was emotionally invested in this ring would indeed be accurate. There were a great many energies present for me within my heart regarding this ring.

But that's not the end of the voices that contributed to my angst. From somewhere within my psyche chimes in: "You have no appreciation for anything of value," "When are you going to learn to be more responsible?" "You'd loose your head if it wasn't attached!!" "How could you be so careless?" "Do you have any idea, what it takes to provide you with........??"

Clearly this litany of shaming assertions wasn't much of a moral booster - what made it worse, was there was no one around but me! So regardless where I may have sourced these admonishments - it was me, that was now running them and directing them at myself.

I gathered my baggage (both for the weekend excursion & that which dredged up) and got on my way to pick up my friend and head for the ferry. I wasn't exactly the paragon of inner peace and joy on the way to the ferry. My accounting for these spectres of the past played out more like a self-thrashing. I did eventually drop it. The weekend was pleasant on the whole with nothing further arising that was directly attributable to the ring.

When I got home I resumed the search - checking all the same places I had already searched and re-searched. Then began looking in more obscure places - to no avail. I was sad and disappointed to lose the ring. I didn't relish telling the friend that gifted it to me of it's demise. There was the underlying foreboding of being chastised/punished, the shame of having lost it, the fear of how I was going to be seen. The ring most certainly became a portal to a vast under-tow of my "shadow."

Interesting the whole time I kept getting this imagery of taking it off to wash my hands .... (but then what?) I asked my friend to check with her son and see if he had come across it and set it aside. Still nothing..

I decided to get another ring - still convinced that this one would surface. It fits too well to just fall off. I actually got to a place where I could acknowledge - as conscientious and methodical as I try to be there are "gaps" & if I did "lose" the ring none of the self-admonishment barrage was true.

I resigned myself that the replacement ring would be a new ring - but not a replacement & nothing like the previous one. I found an interesting ring in an Egyptian import store. It has symbols on it for "protection," "rebirth," & "eternal life." I decided to go ahead and purchase it.

I began wearing it immediately and in & of itself it began to grow on me. I held off telling the friend about the loss of the other ring. I kept "seeing" the original ring - in particular the stone. I just carried on my day to day life doing what was in front of me to do. All the while I kept getting the impression of both the stone and taking it off to wash my hands - neither of which were doing anything to relocate the ring.

Today I was getting ready to go down town I put on a light weight hoodie to wear under another jacket. As I was squaring myself in the garment .... I brushed both sides over the pockets - I felt what I immediately recognized as the shape of "the ring.." I put my hand in the pocket and sure enough there it was. Ironically, I have worn that same hoodie I time or two since being back in Victoria and it wasn't until today that the ring was discovered. It, I suppose, had been there the whole time. Had I allowed the whole imagery to play forward - the "took it off to wash my hands" - may have concluded with, I put it in the pocket of the green hoodie ( I was wearing it the night of the circle, after which the ring had "vanished.") while I washed my hands.

What an ordeal the mind (my mind) is capable of creating. I am happy to have the ring back. I am also grateful for the insight I received about myself, as a result of its disappearance. I have no idea about the monetary value of the ring in question - but the journey into myself that resulted is priceless.

Here I thought I was searching or a "missing ring," - apparently I was also searching for some missing truth about myself. Another brick in the road toward humility - I don't know if I'll ever attain any but reckoning with myself - certainly gives me a good taste every now & again!!

R. O'Neill (April 24, 2018)


Thursday, 19 April 2018

Heart's Evolution



Will today 
Truly be 
My day?
To be sure
I awaken
To a day
Replete with
 Infinite potential

Have waged
A war
Spanning
A life time
Believing
My very
Being
Hinged on
Inextinguishably
Etching
My signature
Beyond 
The reach
Of mortality

Hypervigilant
My effort
To remain
One step
Ahead
Of being
Consumed
By an 
 Irreverent conformity 
Terminal uniqueness
Shredded
The fabric of
Compassion & connection
Spawning 
That which
I feared 
The most
Irrelevance 
Collateral damage
Became inconsequential
Vastly less important
Than "survival"
            
Sheer will-power
For so long
Wielded defensively
Near becoming
My undoing
Redirected to
No longer
Waging war

I belong 
To my heart
My heart
 Belongs 
To the world

A heart centred 
Directive
Provides meaning
That moment to moment
Expresses the soul
While honouring others
It calls
For attentive listening
And inspired action
Unique 
But "against" no one.

R. O'Neill (April 19, 2018)







Tuesday, 10 April 2018

A Moment for the Dance



Animated 
By an 
Unseen song

First a gentle sway
To & fro
To follow,
An alluring
Tempo acceleration
Inducing
Rhythmic undulation
A uniform gyration
Beckons 
Come hither

I'm captivated
By the 
Visual symmetry
A lower lip
Set to quiver
I swallow hard
Vision softens
Eyes brimming 
With a 
Flood of delight
I'm swept away

Inner experience
And
External display
Become one
Life force energy
Pulses ecstatically
Corporeal confinement
Forgotten

A breath caught short
While a heart expands
Beyond four chambers
To embrace infinity
Such splendour
Tantalizing & mesmerizing 
In equal portions

Emerald fields 
Of Spring's resurrection
My deep appreciation 
For the dance.

R. O'Neill (April 10th, 2018)

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Can I Have Your Attention Please?




Will you allow
The stillness
To engulf
The abstract din
Of your familiarity
That which even now
Renders your presence
An unconscious two-step

Invite 
A more penetrating 
Listening
Probe
Between the breaths
Your heart
Whispers to you
A sweet refrain
Echoed 
From a part of
Yourself
You've yet to meet

Step boldly
Reach 
Beyond the horizon
Of your 
Comfort
Cast aside
The clouds
Of resignation
Make ready
To welcome
The dawning zenith
Of your
Realized potential

Your heart knows
Far more 
Than your eyes
Can see
Just beyond 
Who you have
Thought yourself
To be
Is that
Which you 
Truly are!

Will you then 
Leave unanswered
The knock 
On the door
To yourself?

You
Have been
Kept waiting
A very long time!

R.O'Neill (March 29, 2018)

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Liberation



I shudder with recognition
To realize that
The life-long trail 
Of abandonment & betrayal
Leads 
To my own address
The "smoking gun"
Emblazoned
With a mosaic
Of my fingerprints.

Rolling away 
The stone
That entombed my heart
A long seized gateway
Is swung open
To reveal
The garden

While kneeling
To pray
I wonder
Just how often 
Have I forsaken?
Whom has been left
To vanquish alone?
Their prayer request
Falling upon 
The deaf ears
Of my indifference 
And self-concern
How deep has
the betrayal run?

How complete its taint?
No alibi nor rationalization
Regardless of the sophistication
Of its composure
Absolves my compliance
Nor separates me
From the rabble

In terms of person acquaintance 
I have met none
That have "missed the mark"
Greater than I.

No confession nor indictment
Rather
The key to freedom
Extricated by the sword of Truth

My condemnation
Cannot hold a candle
To the forgiveness rendered
Nor the magnitude 
Of its Source

Grateful, humbled &
Eager to serve

The roaming Prodigal son
Locates
 Love, Forgiveness, God (Father/Mother)
Far closer to home
Than ever before
Imagined

Hallelujah!!

R. O'Neill (March 27, 2018)

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Spring's Fling



In a region
Of a country
With a citizenry
For whom
"Niceness"
Threatens to tip 
The scale
To the realms 
Of pathology
And protracted winters
Are the Norm
Brigit
As only she can
Lines the lane ways
With explosions
Of
Bubble gum hued
Popcorn blossoms
Then seen
Rhythmically waving
To all passersby
Animated
By 
The wind-song Aria 
From our diva
The Salish sea
That embraces
Our wee 
PacificNorthwest
Islet

There are those 
That would presume
To count them

I prefer to 
Drink them in
And 
Express my 
Profound appreciation
To their Creator
And my good fortune
To witness
Another 
Equinox's pageantry

R. O'Neill (March 22, 2018)


Number Please (come in)

Far be it from me to push the river! By this I mean, later this year (which means currently, I'm moving toward) I will mark my 59th year on the planet. This assumes sometime between now and then it hasn't been pre-ordained, that it's time for me, to "break on through.." I'm not much of a "mathematician" ( I did a short stint in "Adult Education" post high school, many years ago, just to prove to myself, if I really wanted to, I could "do math.." - beyond a certain point, I didn't want to continue ... as I proved my point, and there was no further point)..... still I do find a certain allure to numbers, sometimes. So then, this year would delineate my 59th year, as one born in '59.

What is the significance of this? Damned if I know! Maybe nothing more than I find it personally satisfying. I don't actually need another reason. However, if one were to consider that when I was approaching 28yrs. of age (which would occur on August "28th") I had pre-meditated my forced exit - so in fact I was fully prepared to "push the river..." in the form of suicide.

Clearly that I am now sitting here "penning" this missive, it can be concluded, I wasn't successful with that particular vision. This gives rise to another number - 31. As in, it's been thirty-one years since I last used any illicit drugs or alcohol. To be allowed to proclaim this means, I've bucked the odds for quite some considerable time now.

I am entirely comfortable crediting the dramatic turn of events in my life to God; while at the same time, I am delighted to assert; for the most part I don't know what that "means.." I began an exploration of some form of "relationship" with "a Power greater than myself..." out of desperation. Generally I feel happy and grateful that the quality of my life, just continues to be more satisfying; while I exercise continued curiosity, passion, intrigue and surrender,  (and sometimes unbridled rage and exasperation) to that which I call God.

Within this continued "quest," it isn't required that I "define," prove the existence of, engage in debate, adopt anyone else's understanding, dogma or belief system, about God.

This is relationship that is reconnecting me to my heart. As such it seems only fitting to me that this restoration is for the purpose of giving my heart to the relationship. Not out of obligation, guilt, shame or as some sort of bargaining chip; the determining factor, is the joy of a heart returned to a connection with its source.

A wandering heart that finds itself at last, "at home.." need not question further its belonging nor argue for its purpose ... it just needs to continue being (at home).

I enjoy both a continued exploration into my self and through that, "God" and freedom from the need to try and convince anyone of God's existence, the nature of that God, or how they must conduct themselves in relation to that God.

If peace is one of the consequences of a connection with God - I certainly question any that feel it necessary to force feed anyone else, their version of God. If one has attained this state of peace - why would there be a need to convince anyone else of the ways, means and path to that peace. Just be, at peace. Allow the peace of God to speak for itself. To me if someone is intent on convincing me of the truth of their path - the fact they need my affirmation of that, suggests to me they are not convinced and secure with what they are espousing.

Faith, trust, love, forgiveness. I am growing in my willingness to choose and practice these ways of being. I don't hold myself as perfect, that I hold this vision for myself. I try not to chastise myself that I don't always embody perfect attainment of these qualities. I don't excuse myself as being "only human" when I miss the mark. I'm committed to the ongoing discovery of the best possible version of myself.

I still consider myself to be on a "spiritual" path. I would no longer state that all those that are members of a particular faith path are then "religious" and need be cast aside with the bathwater. There are most certainly those that are deeply "spiritual" that attend regular "mainstream" religious gatherings. Even those that in this moment don't "appear" to be conducting themselves in accordance with the tenants of their religion - who's to say that current behaviour, isn't part of the path to their "awakening." All beings are far more vast than any in the moment snapshot I can glean when I happen to look their way.

I find myself in churches with relative frequency. Sometimes for a short interlude of prayer/contemplation in the midst of a day. I don't consider myself religious. I am drawn to find the truth within the teachings of Jesus - I'm also equally drawn to the teaching found through nature (which I incidentally believe to have been utilized by Jesus himself and Francis of Assisi).

Just last weekend I attended a Taize (singing/chant) gathering - Christian in it's orientation, a circle rooted in Sufi mysticism and a fire circle facilitated by a First Nations elder on a mountain which is part of the traditional lands of the peoples of the valley.

The richness I experienced in terms of the presence of the sacred, heart connection, community/fellowship in each of these gathering and collectively, was truly soul-quenching. I find no reason to exclude any one path, in favour of the others. In fact, my heart yearns for the inclusion of all peoples under one roof; a universal collective - where all are honoured, nobody is left on the outside, each contributes the pearls of their own wisdom and experience - everyone leaves deeply enriched and enlivened.

I'm not even remotely interested in hearing this vision is "unrealistic.." I choose to deal in what is possible. I choose to uphold that which I glean from history's great teachers, leaders, sages. I don't claim that I have entirely overcome myself - which continues to challenge me, to live into the vision that drives me. I simply don't have the heart to leave anyone in the cold. Or alternatively perhaps it could be said I have the heart that values and embraces inclusion.

What do the opening references to numbers have to do with where this post ultimately meandered? Maybe nothing, if direct correlation is your defining criteria. However if one considers that whatever the initial spark of an "idea" was, that it is the launch pad/portal to my written exploration of the mystery - then perhaps you can enjoy the surprises, of the journey as much as I do when I'm writing them.

If not, well thanks for coming by anyway! Please come again!

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Our Humanity





On this day
Honouring Women
Worldwide
I consider
My tribute
Begins
By categorically
Proclaiming
A personal
Renunciation
Of misconceptions
Such as:

"Women's Issues"
"Women's problems"

That which
Overwhelmingly
Impacts women
Lie squarely 
At the feet
Of all humanity
As the gauntlet
Of challenge

My brothers
We 
Cannot absolve
Ourselves
Of responsibility
Continuing 
With damning semantics

We all 
(Men & women)
Are 
In "this" together
If ever 
There were
A compelling mandate
A call to 
(Open) arms
For a sacred
Healing covenant
I suggest 
The time is nigh

Naysayers
&
Skeptics alike
I will 
Both acknowledge
The need for
The continuance
Of my own 
Work

While circumstances
Worldwide
Affirm to me
I am not alone

Brothers
Learn to listen
Close your mouth
And open your hearts
If you're 
In this world
You have been 
Impacted
While you continue
In peer sanctioned
Ignorance
You continue 
To have 
An impact

On this day
My commitment
Is a renewed
Intention
To a deep
And thorough
Therapeutic process
That I may be
Fully & authentically
Present
To myself
And those
In my life

At this time
This season of
Death, resurrection/rebirth
I will 
Hold myself 
Responsible
For myself

My gift then
The promise
Of personal transformation
While others
Are granted the
Responsibility 
And dignity
Of their own
Journey 

R. O'Neill (March 08, 2018)


Sunday, 4 March 2018

Shadow's Matrimony




A relational convenant
That spanned decades
 Naively conceived consent
A marvel of marketing prowess
That which conjured
Allure 
For shame's taint

"No no..." 
You'll not need to work hard!!
You will be draped 
In apathy's shawl
And a fine weave
Spun from the threads
Of resignation!!!

Your's will be a stasis
Steeped in 
Complacency and mediocrity 
This bedfellow of yours
Will encapsulate
Your safety
In an abyss
That for you
Normalizes a 
Race to the bottom

You will seek
The company 
Of those 
 Dweling there
In kind
None will
Seek to overcome
The others
The prevailing belief
Being that of
The collective virtue
Of an oasis
Fabricated from 
A harmonized
Victim consciousness

At what price
Will this 
Life-long bastion
Provide you refuge?
You need not 
Be concerned
The currency
Is well within 
Your means

All of this
Can be yours...
You need only
Agree to offer
In exchange....


Your soul

R. O'Neill (March 04, 2018)


Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Call to Arms



Brothers
Lay down
Your weapons
And 
Open your arms

You wage 
War
With an
Illusory foe
Far closer 
To home
Than you realize

Relinquish 
An unseen enemy
And 
Embrace
Your visible
Pain

You are seen
You are loved

It is time
To extend
For yourself
A Heroes welcome

Come home
Embrace
The agony
Extricate yourselves
From within 
The excruciating walls 
Of self-abandoned
Exile

Gather yourselves
Come together
Brothers
 (In each others) 
Arms
Love 
Each other
Until 
You can
Love yourselves

We need
Your hearts & souls
Here & now
"All hands on deck..."
Need you now
You are 
Loved 
More than you 
Can imagine

Won't you 
Please
Check-in 
And see

R. O'Neill (February 20, 2018)



Monday, 12 February 2018

Natural Consequences

"Family Day" today.. A trumped up statutory holiday conceived by a increasingly unpopular Provincial Government that have since been relegated to the "official opposition." Though recognized across Canada, here in British Columbia, it was deemed necessary to observe it uniquely, on an entirely different day. The out casted "Liberal" government, a decidedly right-wing party, that co-opted the name "Liberal," though their policies are anything but; also endeavoured through the creation of this holiday, to be seen as a regime, that had concern for, and valued families. Meanwhile, they hacked and slashed at programs across the spectrum of publicly administered services, making it ever-increasingly difficult for "families" - particularly those of the single parent variety.

As the scope of this post is not a political expose, I will end my "rant" there. Apparently, it was there ripe for the telling - and so it was.

I already had the day off so it wasn't for me, a holiday per se. The only way it would impact me would be those services that were closed for the holiday. I had been up particularly early to meet and friend for a hike at a local mountain. We met at 7:00 a.m. the objective being, to get up the mountain to an optimal viewpoint, in time to see the sun rise.  We managed to  accomplish this feat, by accessing, literally, a "deer trail" up the east face. Footing was stable (despite a decidedly "un-groomed" trail) the challenge then, the acute vertical climb. I have been fairly active on a regular basis for quite sometime now. However, I haven't spent any focused time on cardio development. This climb certainly gave me some insight as to where I was in that respect. It definitely pushed it, just the same in relative short order, my breathing and heart rate stabilized, so I was happy to see my fitness level is decent. It wouldn't hurt to address some cardio training more consistently and then activities such as that, would be more within, a established baseline of fitness (memo to myself).

After a stunning vista of the sunrising, frame by a crystal clear sky and Salish Sea, the hike down allow us to observe the early signs of returning Spring.

After treating myself to a hearty breakfast - butternut squash yams, red onion & goat cheese with some added avacado; I drove across town where I had a dvd to return.  That put me in close proximity to the local sea side, so I decided to go and walk the beach. The combination of a brilliant clear (albeit brisk day) & the afore mentioned holiday, did have an effect on numbers at the beach.

Throngs of people, young children and dogs were enjoying the long weekend and a respite from what was, a fairly consistently rainy January. Heartening to see so many families out enjoying the natural world and each other. I'm one that can when I choose to, rather handily block out extraneous chatter etc. so though there were a great many people, on the pathways above the beach and along the seashore too, it was minimally distracting. Though not my intention to "eaves-drop" on any conversation... I couldn't help but hear snippets of various conversations as a walked along. It was a little like spinning the tuning dial on the radio, briefly allowing it to stop on a station, long enough to hear what was being said in the moment, and then the broadcast changed, as the dial was set in motion again.

The recreation centres that I utilize were closed today for the holidays, which created a wonderful opportunity to take advantage of nature's playground. Trudging through the thickly dispersed stones along beach offer challenges in terms of the varying terrain. Walking along from log to log (anywhere other than the logs being "molten lava.....") is wonderful for balance.... challenging stabilizing muscles through out the legs and hips, as well as the body's core. Why would an adult indulge in such activity one might ask? Multiple reasons! For one thing, it's free! That ought to be a powerful incentive in itself. It's out in the fresh air. It provides a connection opportunity with the natural world, it's powerful energies and resident wildlife.  In North America, a significant percentage of adults suffer fractures etc. from falls. This is not a natural repercussion of aging! It is more a natural consequence of immobility. Aging (without exercise) can bring about a decrease, in lean tissue (muscle) - inactivity can cause further atrophy & decrease range of motion. This not only affects strength, power and endurance; but also the smaller muscles, responsible for stabilizing. Add to that a decrease in bone density and there you have the right and perfect storm for falls and subsequent fractures/injury.

Some time for rest and relaxation is certainly beneficial. Push that too far into an excessively sedentary lifestyle - and it has a negative impact. The body is "engineered" for movement. Human nature is nature; though modern living can increasingly disconnect us from our very nature.  Gyms have their place and can provide the equipment necessary for some specific forms of training. The natural world and a little creativity, can provide a physically challenging playground, that not only useful for the physical heart .. it is fabulous for "heart and soul.." 

No "wellness" program can hope to live up to it's name, if it just pounds away at the physical (though you can't entirely segregate the different levels of our being).

A walk in the park is not just good for your pooch - though if you are an animal lover, getting one is apt to get you off the couch, at least to walk your four-legged friend. Then you get the benefit of the natural world and the unconditional love of your canine guru!!

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Ready... Set... Celebrate!!

Today, at least at it's onset, I showed up. This gives rise to a call for celebration. Celebrate what? Celebrate the small victory! What form will this celebration take? For me, I am inspired to celebrate the small victories until, I recognize, there are no small victories!!

Consider if one was only to celebrate those events deemed "monumental," first of all, what would the determining criteria be, that said reality warrants, said celebration? Secondly, there is no shortage of programming in our world from parents, schools, various religions....  "Don't blow your own horn," "now there you, don't go getting too big for your boots," "humble yourself," "you were born with a taint on your very soul!!!" Then of course there's the media that has many convinced that the only acts of heroism of any significance are those that are Rambo-esque, that come while consuming one's "shaken not stirred" or via the likes of Ms. Croft "the tomb-raider and Wonder Woman!!

Collectively, "on average" many are more inclined to down play their successes and talents, in some cases indefinitely. The tricky thing about this, due to the afore mentioned influences, and innumerable others; for some, the holy grail of a job well done, might continually elude them and no matter what the level of achievement attained; it's never quite good enough. There always remains some often near imperceivable blemish, and the baby is thrown out with the bathwater.

I certainly can state categorically this has been true for me. This doesn't begin to address the countless personal "inner victories" any given person has all day, every day. You've restarted some element of an overall wellness practice (sometimes starting again, is even tougher than the first time ... now one has to wade through all the self-criticism for stopping.... "I used to be able to walk/run 5 kms. now I'm getting winded on the first hill.."

Having that awkward conversation with a friend, or partner. Dealing with some toxic convoluted dynamics in your workplace. Making some life changing, transformational decisions and day by day sticking to them ... with or without, the approval of your peers. Hell, just getting out of bed, opening the curtains and stepping out into the day. Nobody knows what it took for you to do these things except you. Nobody hears the inner dialogue but you! They don't know when you've overridden it, nor when you succumb to it's charms, offering a easier softer way. Fewer still, would see fit to acknowledge what they themselves would consider inane in their own life, which then behooves each of us, to lead our own cheers. Retire the inner judge, jury and executioner - and elicit instead, your inner guide, teacher and loving cheering squad. (why settle for one lone voice in the wilderness) - why not have a a choir singing your praises??

I concede what is being suggested here, is a radical departure from the norm. But seriously, what form of reflection is apt to inspire you ... to keep you, "keepin' on"? To continue putting one foot in front of the other... What if that mountain, that the mustard seed size amount of faith can move .... is you?

If you envision the sort of feedback in your life that continued to "stoke your fire," this might give you a clue, as to what form your own inner dialogue might take. And I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest, you are not in any danger of "over-doing" it. I'm not talking about holding hostage anyone with ears ripe for the bending.

I am going to conjure the analogy that this push toward claiming the small victories is like exercising a muscle. If you go to the gym and just blitz every major muscle group today and then don't come back for 3 weeks. First of all you're going to be really stiff and sore. Secondly you will have attained nothing in the way of a fitness gain (no stronger, no more endurance).  Go two, three or four times a week .... decent rest and nutrition in between ... gradually intensity increases, and in 4 to 6 weeks, you will begin to notice some measurable improvement..

So it is with the inner victory.. Let's face it, it I cannot overcome the inertia, doubts, fears etc. necessary to roll the small snowball up the hill ... what chance am I going to have - what mental, emotional, physical, spiritual resources, will I have developed, to assert in the face of some of life's bigger challenges..


The small victories, the "fun" - damentals - over and over & over .... sometimes ad nauseam, will hold you in good stead when the big winds blow.

You might never stand on a podium (unless that is what you aspire to) but then again, you'll never be outed by the Olympic committee, having been found to be utilizing performance enhancing drugs, in the form of your latte compulsion.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Truth the Final Frontier

I'm going to go along with Tina Turner and proclaim "We" (in the interest of personalizing it) I, don't need another hero!!" Whether my interpretation of that song lyric reflects its intended meaning, matters not - I am standing in "what I'm making it mean.." Of course art is open to interpretation and what it elicits from the beholder.

I don't need rescuing or care-taking - so would be "white knights" can either hang up their armour when interacting with me or need not apply at all.  This is not to say I don't appreciate nurturing, support, encouragement and loving-kindness. I'm clear the former is debilitating, stifling, smothering and generally detracts from an expansive quality of life. The latter, part of an environment that has love as its basis and is far more conducive to vitality, empowerment and living in alignment.

The fact that I'm not, "broken" doesn't preclude my want to proclaim, if you are inclined (consciously or otherwise) to want to "fix" things, I am not your next winter project.

To be clear this applies equally with respect to my assuming these roles in the lives of others. I respect the innate power of each and fully stand in, upholding the dignity for everyone - of their own journey. As such, I surrender any notion, that there be any need for me to define myself, by means of showing up in ways that lessen others & myself.

I am committed to showing up in the world, as he, defined through the ongoing connection and surrender to, the God of my understanding, via my aligned soul. No other man, women or child will determine who I am. Your perspectives, visions and experiences around what it is to be a man in the world, will be considered and held with interest and curiosity; you won't be allowed to interfere with what is between me and God. The agenda of others is none of my business.

I do not need a leader. Which is not to say I don't have need for teachers within my life. All "leaders" are not created equally. Many presume to lead, for the express purpose of accumulating followers. I serve the ego-gratification of no one. It is only my responsibility to seek to illuminate the dictates of my own ego where that creates limitations. I reserve the intention at all times and in all ways, to determine and discern, moment to moment, my willingness to follow guidance from outside myself. I will blindly follow, no one. There is no reason to believe that where another presumes to lead - that there is any benefit for me, or that their vision, isn't far more about serving them, than it does me. I don't condemn the self-interest of others - but I won't abdicate my own guidance nor acquiesce to anyone. I don't believe in ego-driven hierarchy - I will maintain, "all are created equally."

I am responsible to bring forth the best possible version of myself. One who seeks ongoing, to be an expression of the love of God - as it uniquely expresses through me. No one, but no one, has any idea of what that might look like.

God, self, others..... God's business, my business, the business of others... Perhaps keeping clean and clear on these in themselves, are ample to keep me engaged full time. I can forgive myself those times when I allow the order of priority to shift - it's also my responsibility to realign myself and reprioritize. It's not a case of what God "needs" - it's more to do with determines the quality of my inner peace (or whether I have any at all). I am clear there is no one outside of myself that provides that. This provides both me and anyone I interact act with a great deal of freedom. If I'm operating from my aligned centre I cannot be controlled by anyone else nor am I looking to someone else for my sense of safety, amusement, love or approval. How liberating!! For those that can appreciate that spaciousness sheer delight. For those that attempt to build their value through the dependance of others it might well be disconcerting.

It is through this "declaration of independence" that I become clear within myself of my intentions. It states opening and authentically my chosen path and creates a platform of personal accountability - which provides me an anchor and self-assessment tool.

Too frequently through my life, I have allowed my voice to fall silent. Of course there have been those times, when it might have been preferable, that it had remained silent. Nothing can change in that, defined as my "personal world," nor in the world at large, if my power is given to those whom presume authority - they have none, that I don't willingly hand them.

I am, "the one I've been waiting for!!!" (Thank you Hopi prophecy). Better to be alone for a time, in who that is, than in the company of those that seek affirmation through numbers for themselves, offering at best, a conditional love.

I then trust that in alignment with my values and truth - a divine loving community will form...


Monday, 5 February 2018

(In) The Way of Love



Across dale 
Over endless hills
Innate tracking instincts
Following
The vaguely present
Talisman 
Of the beast
Wounded
and 
On the run
A bent 
and broken 
Branch
Chosen pathways
A wash
With patchwork
Crimson 
The trail 
Neither immediately apparent
But not entirely
Illusive
The pursuit
Spans decades
Leads
To a profound discovery
Self-inflicted
Wounds
Hemorrhaging life-force energy
A purgatory
Engineered with
Commandeered creativity 
Reveals 
Fabrication
Of self-loathing 
Generated
Illusory
Abysmal isolation
And smothering
Disconnection
In the dank
Confines
Of an inhuman
Solitary
Lies a feral
Boy
Hissing and spitting
Rage
Aimed 
At a 
Timeless exile

Platitudes 
And sanctimonious posturing
Cannot hope
To bridge 
The now conscious 
Cavernous divide
A life
Destined for
Seeking to know
&
Express the
Love of God
Will find
No greater test
Nor depth
Of knowing
Than to 
Present
The return to love
To a heart
That 
Had be deceived
To believe
It lies there
Near mortally 
Wounded 
By Love itself

R. O'Neill (February 05, 2018)

Sunday, 4 February 2018

To Me With Love

After conducting a lifestyle experiment (going without a car) for that past 2 1/2 years - after years of owning a driving a car; I have recently rejoined the ranks of "motorists." I had during the afore mention "carlessness," rentals while I was travelling & have been renting since returning home; to have the ease and convenience of transportation, to utilize for getting out & about with my book.  After having the restoration of freedom and ease of movement allowed by a car, I decided I wanted a car of my own again.

Even with the access to a car, I am far more inclined to continue to walk, use the bus or my bicycle where that is practical and convenient. I also am letting go of any notion that there exists any "altruism" in going with out one and that somehow makes me a more evolved stewart of the planet (or whatever other stories people spin about such things)..

I benefited from the extended period of time where I rediscovered a love of walking and cycling .. I don't enjoy always showing up somewhere bathed in the afterglow of these activities, nor continually being clad in clothing that is more conducive to those activities.

I let go of any programmed martyrdom or mistaken beliefs around any virtue obtained through the suffering of inconvenience, complications to logistics, confinement.

I out the ego and it's inclination to categorize (I am myself: who happens to utilize, a blend of: a car, public transportation, a bicycle and walking) - I don't "identify" as "a motorist," a "cyclist," a "commuter," or a pedestrian..) I won't join crusades that focus exclusively on the needs of any of these movement special interest groups.. I am aware of the pros & cons of all of them.

It is not "more spiritual" to engage in any one of them.. It is not "more spiritual.." to do anything - it's not a competition. If you are happy doing something (and it generally brings about no harm to others then do it and enjoy it) - nobody else "needs" to do it - to validate your choice. Nor are you a "better" person than anyone else by virtue of that choice.

If you are making a choice and living it (primarily for the optics) all the while hating it, you are out of alignment with yourself. The "universe" won't reward you for the depths of your "sacrifice." The universe is not looking for sacrifice; that is something you are thrusting on yourself - it might be an interesting exploration to inquire into why that is so.

The car I had rented over the few months being back in town, I was really enjoying - I decided that some version of that was going to be where I began my search. It is a North American manufacturer of long-standing (& though American made cars weren't particularly competitive in the smaller car classes with the various Asian suppliers - they are now producing a decent car).

The lower entry level pricing means one could then consider further "bells and whistles" at a lower price point.

"New/used" - well I'm not enamoured with "twisting wrenches" at all. A basic adjustment or assembly of something ... maybe. Working on cars - I'm not even vaguely interested in, so I want reliability. This starts to weed out used vehicles in my mind - particularly as I wasn't in need of a "used car" price. Besides the technology that is part of most all newer cars now .... has reduced the number of "backyard mechanics" (even in the ranks of those that are that way inclined).

So then, the entry level line of vehicles would get me there, just as sure as the more premium vehicles.. but then again - why would I settle?

How many times have a settled for something in my life, I wasn't that excited about at the onset, but I "talked myself into it...?" How often was that pep talk effective at creating lasting satisfaction? The answers are, too many to count & pretty much never (respectively).

So this car (metaphorically) represents "I'm not settling for just anything..." I'm allowing myself - what I want! (not what's "more practical," not "what I should have...."

This choice doesn't mean anything in terms of my "status.." There is no virtue in "affluence.." and there most certainly is no virtue, in poverty.

Nothing wrong with owning a modestly priced, well-maintained vehicle - but there's nothing superior about it either.

I am blessed to be in the position to do this at this place in my life. I know full well that nothing from the outside can bring me fulfillment or happiness. But that doesn't mean, I need to go through life accepting the "short end of the stick," & and always settling for the crumbs.

Who I am, is someone growing in the ability to love himself. I can enjoy nice things and not be attached to them. I can invite ease and comfort into my life without "identifying with it.."

What of those that would present - the life of poverty of the likes of Jesus or the Buddha as being the criteria by which a "spiritual life" is to be led? Well I would submit that these spiritual teachers/guides had large networks of people that underwrote their work - so they didn't need to concern themselves with generating income.

Money (having it or not) is not more or less spiritual and awareness of ones inner "wealth & prosperity" is in my estimation far more valuable. Beyond that - do no harm and have what you please!

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

House of Mirrors


The gallery
of
Divine majestic artistry
Ever present
Each reduction
Only affirming
The wonder
of 
Love's complete
Engineering
The minutest droplet
Containing 
The vast oceans
And reflecting
Immediacy
While it
Carries remenants
of a
Timeless yesterday
Awe inspiring
Beauty
Prompts
Eyes welled with tears
As divinity
Bears witness
To itself


R. O'Neill ( January 30, 2018)









Monday, 29 January 2018

Rhapsody's Premier


Windswept
Heaven sent showers
Place Brigit's kiss
Upon my cheeks
As I walk
Each droplet
Mirrors
The pageantry
Of an
Even now
Incubating Equinox
Blanketed meadows
Technicolour mosaic
Splashed across
The grey pastel
Skyline
In arches
Stretched across 
The horizon
Sleeping giants
Drink heartily
Life giving
Nectar
Penetrating 
Deeply quenching
 Their subterranean origins
Listen closely
The refrains
Of Spring
Are being
Heralded 
By erupting
Snowdrops
Will you 
Allow the walls
Of your interior
To close in around you
When instead
The cleansing staccato
Offers you
A polyrhythmic
Accompaniment 
With which 
To sing
Your heart's content
And dance
Along the undulating
Rivulets..

Rejoice in Life's
Sustenance
That is provided
In such
Uproarious abundance
Give thanks
For a resurrection
Already set in motion

R.O'Neill (January 29, 2018)







Sunday, 28 January 2018

Live Long and Prosper

Today was a day fully dedicated to, not just reverence expressed at the temple, but tuning in and allowing the temple; to define and guide just how that reverence would look, moment to moment as the day unfolded.

The temple I refer to (if you haven't already guessed) is that of my body, and the various levels of my being, housed in and through it.

It is said that Jesus took rather serious, the desecration of the temple. Whether an account of an actual event, or a most effective metaphor; one's own self, is a temple, that is well worth respecting. Now without question, my "temple" in particular, could have quite accurately be deemed, "the temple of doom.."

I don't disclose this to dwell in the past, seek sympathy or bolster a victim consciousness.  For clarity's sake, I share that I know what it is to inhabit a body, that has suffered the rigours of abuse and neglect.

To begin with, I identified that I needed to get back to various intentions, commitments that come in the forms, of a wide variety of heart's desires.

In itself to realign with these things is a brazen act of self-love. I realized that over the course of a number of days, I had made various other people/places/things a priority. Now having said that, the connections, the value added, heart and soul nourishment, of these various undertakings was grand. Just the same,  if they come at the cost of my particular form of worship (as laid out in accordance to my inner compass) - the at first subtle deficit, can become its own form of suffering, if left unchecked and ignored.

I had wanted to attend the "Health Show" held in town this weekend.  I had originally had thought I would go on the Saturday.... I chose to do otherwise, and fortunately that still left an additional day to attend.

I am most certainly passionately interested and have endless curiosity around, the realm of health/wellness. So on the one hand, to have so many different vendors represented under one roof is a bit like Disneyland to me. Conversely if I allow it, the barrage of people trying to convince me their product is the nectar of the Gods, can become tiresome.

I decided to hold firmly the energy of curiosity and an intention to learn what I could; and just bless those and their products I had no interest in.

I might add, I would be remiss if I didn't mention part of the attraction is to attain a mid-day meal comprised of the wide assortment of nutritional foods and products, and score free samples and of course, feed my pen obsession (an additional 6 were brought into the fold).

So in this particular arena (and as it happens the event was held, at an arena) the honouring of my temple didn't stop at attending a event that holds themes that interest me. It is also necessary that I navigate within the aisles being guided as I go. Without a firm stand at the helm and my hand on the rudder .. their were no shortage of people, that would be only too happy, to steer the ship for me.

One example of this would have been the two sales reps that gushed with enthusiasm to have me enter a draw to win this "fabulous bowl.." (my thoughts as they proceeded were: "oh ya, what a bowl! - It's a veritable "holy grail...") - my awareness, is the "draws" (while they do yield some "prize" to someone) are really just to get your contact info for further marketing.... I politely declined, fairly confident I can live without their magnificent bowl, or future solicitation.

I found a cd of guided meditations and a dvd that contains what is described as a gentle combination of breathing, yoga and meditations ,,, now these are in alignment with what the temple requires at this time.. Just as Francis received guidance of God's temple being in disrepair ... so it is with elements of my temple.

Earlier this day I had been in a message conversation, with someone hosting an event that was comprised of yoga/qi gong/soud healing.  All beautiful pursuits - but all such offerings are not created equally. One cannot assume that participation in any such event, necessarily honours their particular temple and what it requires in the here and now.. Program design, that is too advanced in terms of forms, duration and intensity, can be more traumatizing than beneficial. It's not necessarily the intention of the facilitators ... but nevertheless, I am responsible to see to it, that the temple isn't further traumatized. The temple will quite readily convey it's needs. I am only now, once again, being brought the awareness of various forms of early life trauma (which has at least been, repressed and stored in my body) and am acutely aware of the ongoing role I must play, in seeing these traumas receive the loving attention they need.

Nobody....... NO BODY (but yourself), can determine what your temple needs in response to it's call for resurrection and restoration. It doesn't matter for example, if some emphatically describes their class as a gentle hour of relaxation; if, what is being offered there, you don't have the capacity to do for more than 15-20 min. It means their self-defined gentleness, is excessive by 40 minutes!! It is not a sacred practice, if elements such as ("getting your money's worth), group mind - as it can influence self-determination, are allowed to define the trajectory, of the participation, rather than one's direct inner guidance.

While at the show I was drawn to connect with a practitioner of Shiatsu/accu-pressure - the conversation we had and the treatment I received there, were pure gold - there & then. Maybe another day I would have passed it by.... maybe I see here in the future for further sessions, maybe not..

I have been reading a book (over the last week or so) that specifically focuses on male related physiology and the hormonal changes of aging and the cascading effect that can have.  I purchased the book and didn't the same store's booth, now have the book (for the show) as a free give away..

I wrestled briefly with my having "bought the book" and now it's free - my guidance was, I am already benefiting from some of the ideas I had implemented prior to getting the book, that are also actually in the book. I fully expect to receive further direct benefit from the book as I get to the section that outlines the different strategies. I am grateful for this information and wish to play a part in seeing to it, that someone else receives these teachings. So with that in mind, I put a "free copy" of the book in my "trade-show" goodie bag & I will gift it to someone, that can benefit from it's contents..

The temple is a wondrous, miraculous collective that I am so grateful for. I am pleased that I have lived long enough, and am now receiving additional input, as to how to more deeply listen to it, care for and maintain it's optimal function, expand in awareness to it's various potentials and just generally enjoy it's many graces.

Praise be to the Creator for the splendour of the temple rendered...

Long may it stand for and remain in, service..