Thursday, 8 March 2018

Our Humanity

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

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

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

My brothers
Cannot absolve
Of responsibility
With damning semantics

We all 
(Men & women)
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

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

While circumstances
Affirm to me
I am not alone

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

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

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

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

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
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

Lay down
Your weapons
Open your arms

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

An unseen enemy
Your visible

You are seen
You are loved

It is time
To extend
For yourself
A Heroes welcome

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

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

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

Won't you 
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
The vaguely present
Of the beast
On the run
A bent 
and broken 
Chosen pathways
A wash
With patchwork
The trail 
Neither immediately apparent
But not entirely
The pursuit
Spans decades
To a profound discovery
Hemorrhaging life-force energy
A purgatory
Engineered with
Commandeered creativity 
Of self-loathing 
Abysmal isolation
And smothering
In the dank
Of an inhuman
Lies a feral
Hissing and spitting
At a 
Timeless exile

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 
The return to love
To a heart
Had be deceived
To believe
It lies there
Near mortally 
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
Divine majestic artistry
Ever present
Each reduction
Only affirming
The wonder
Love's complete
The minutest droplet
The vast oceans
And reflecting
While it
Carries remenants
of a
Timeless yesterday
Awe inspiring
Eyes welled with tears
As divinity
Bears witness
To itself

R. O'Neill ( January 30, 2018)

Monday, 29 January 2018

Rhapsody's Premier

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

Rejoice in Life's
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..

Monday, 22 January 2018

Let There be Peace

What have
The eyes
A rebellious heart
To deliver peace?

Infantile needs
Directed outward
A cataclysmic rage
Must pay
For this abysmal pain
The rapacious creditor
Oblivious to 
Carnage upon
The fields of dishonour
Where those numbered
In the collateral damage
Writhe in seeds 
Of their orgy
Of premeditated vengeance

There is no 
Seen through
Eyes that 
Envision attack 
With each new encounter

Legs of weary
Battle torn aged warrior
Still carrying
The blind & ignorant
Of a misled youth

The mantle "Rebel"
Illusory pride
A seething cowardice
Festering shame
A lust
For the false power
A self-deceptive aggression
Inner contempt
Heads must roll...
Sought through

Obtained through
The freedom
Of a perceived vulnerability
Armour and arsenal
Rendered redundant
Once realized
There is 
Nothing to defend
And therefore
No need to 

Souls require 
No recompense 
Each charged
With it's own
Return to love

A new day dawns
Never too late
To expand
Respond ... ability
Peace then
A prayerful
Mindful walk 
Of ongoing

R. O'Neill (January 22, 2018)

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Shadow Journey

An electrify foreboding 
Fills the air
Feelings not misplaced
The desolate path
Which now
Threatening to inhabit
My entire consciousness

Labyrinthine cobblestones
Weave their way
Into the shadows
The serpentine coils 
Leave the destination concealed
Myst dripping with fear
Silhouettes of doubt
Upon an assured arrival

Illusory guides 
Offering sanctity & oasis
Are revealed
To confound, distract and ensnare
In webs spun of self-interest & deception

One traverses 
Valleys of pain
While facing consumption
In rivers of tears
Stark isolation 
Must be 
Stared down
Until the truth
is wrung
From its tendrils

You may meet those
That will
Walk a segment with you
No one can
Walk it for you
Nor do they know
Where you are going!

How then 
To build trust
With little known materials?
In an invisible benefactor?
Fashion fortitude
From the 
Very clay of your origins?

Lies an infinite unknown
The intimacy
Of a familiar hell

Welcome to the heart
Dares not to share 
With you!

R. O'Neill (January 20, 2018)

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Fit for Your Life

New Year's ... fitness facilities are bursting at the seams this time of year; just like those that have spent the holiday season over-indulging in all things of a high caloric value.

Beyond the phenomenon of yo-yo dieting, the influence of media (movies, music videos, and magazines) playing on peoples insecurities and accentuating vanity; is there just cause to attend a gym or indulge in some sort of ongoing physical fitness program?

Absolutely! (would be my answer).. At one point I worked as a personal fitness trainer. While undergoing the training for certification, it was cited regarding the general population currently presenting at gyms and fitness studios looking for coaching, that they were some 20% more "deconditioned" than say 10 or 15 years previous. This is directly attributable to automation, less walking, less physical ("manual labour") and a vastly more sedentary lifestyle (for many).

As a consequence people have developed a myriad of physical/mechanical dysfunction; often which needs correcting in order to then, exercise with out injury. There are some muscle groups that are tight and weakened... muscle imbalances that put unnatural strain on joints, wide spread obesity (which goes far beyond aesthetics ) it is an issue for wellness, and for regular (activities of daily living - ADL's) - carry an extra 10 fifteen pounds around your midsection and then recognize how increasingly difficult & uncomfortable it becomes, just to bend and tie up some shoes.

So I would be an advocate of fitness (as an aspect of overall wellness) and maintaining function. (Not a new idea... the concept of functional fitness has already made it's way throughout the industry)..

Still, a lack of it, compromises quality of life... as aspects of living and independence (at the more extreme end of the spectrum) decline; there is a corresponding lessening of ones wellness, and ability to enjoy life..

So "training" is not just for the elite athletes, dancers and underwear models. As my recent experience includes a fair bit of travel, consider the physicality of schlepping bags through airport terminals, through towns, on & off buses and trains. One soon realizes it requires a considerable fitness level. Of course it also makes a case for efficient packing; but you can only minimize so far.

Try riding public transit, when the seats are full and you must stand the entire trip. The driver is on the accelerator on the brake, on back on the accelerator... to maintain yourself in "an upright position" and hang on to rails or hand-hold straps - might not be the decathlon; but it still makes some demands on you physicality.  Some of the decline in fitness is attributed to age, when it more truthfully should be attributed to inactivity/immobility. Taken to the extreme it begins to manifest in seniors as more falls (lack of stability, balance and flexibility - all of which can be maintained and/or restored) fractures (decreased bone density can also be a consequence of inactivity)..

As nothing happens in isolation within the human being... physical wellness naturally effects emotional, spiritual well-being.... In fact many of the underlying causes of various physical maladies pre-exist at "unseen" levels - where until recently, they were ignored in the western world, until physical symptoms present .. then they are addressed at just the level of the physical.

Fortunately more holistic models are becoming more widely accepted and practiced. At the very least people can become more proactive with their overall wellness - given the cornucopia of modalities available today.

My coaching is to be laid upon a foundation comprised of the pillars of personal continued mental, emotion, spiritual and physical development/maintenance.. I wouldn't presume to coach people in the pursuit of wellness, if I weren't doing my utmost to maintain my own.

I have most certainly experienced imbalances and suffered the consequences on various or all levels of my being. I have now nearly resolved some long term low back pain and a extremely painful flare up of plantar fasciitis (the latter spanning more than a year. When every step visits a pain response somewhere on the spectrum between an ever-present dull ache and agony, everything from mood to enthusiasm is effected. Relief is such a blessing! I am thankful for a body that is able to communicate so much to me.. when I pay attention. I am fortunate that mine, still seems to possess the resilience, to counteract some long standing and/or intermittent abuse and neglect.

I have reignited a Qi Gong practice (through a home study program for the time being) it's only been 4 or 5 weeks but I can already perceive the development... Any of the eastern arts (tai chi, Qi gong, yoga etc.) are worth considering ... the benefits are many - again one should seek to practice within their current capacity.. An honouring of the body (right where it's at - is more important - than trying to force it to perform beyond it's readiness). I intend to revisit and revise my diet; which overall is pretty good ... so just a case of reinforcing what is working, & making some shifts elsewhere. I also am beginning to pay attention to some simple yoga moves; as flexibility/stability/balance currently present as factors, with plenty of room for potential development..

If you enjoy hiking in the woods or mountains.... it is not realistic to be inactive all winter and then thrust yourself back into the riggers of a hike come spring or summer. What you could do "last year" or the last time you visited that mountain trail, is irrelevant if you are not maintaining all year round..

If you enjoy gardening ... I don't have to tell you of the demands of bending, squatting, lunging, lifting, pulling etc. Physiotherapists, chiropractors etc. offices do a brisk business at those times of year when the yard or land require renewed vigour and physical fitness; has been allowed to lie fallow along with the fields.

This is not meant to be a blazing indictment of blame, shame guilt! Quite the contrary, it is an invitation; to consider wellness at all levels of being, a sacred privilege and one of the most worthwhile pursuits one can undergo. Is the suggested approach, "selfish" and therefore self-indulgent and lacking in any intrinsic altruism or virtue? I would submit yes and no. It is necessarily self-focused - while at the same time, if one has interest in being in service to a cause outside of themselves; they most certainly will need the requisite energy, stamina, endurance, mental/emotional resilience and spiritual fortitude, to continue to show up.....

Everyday of a given life, might call upon you to "run the event" of your life...  some energy, attention and focus ... along with some forethought, can help ensure you're not caught "flat-footed.."

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Transformation - "In Name Only?"

"That which we call a rose... By any other name would smell as sweet." "Tis but thy name that is my enemy." "Thou art thyself, though not a Montague."

Various lines written by William Shakespeare that Romeo spoke to Juliet. Words that convey Shakespeare's belief that a name means very little; it is the individual that defines themselves.

I ponder the implications as I have now, during my time on the planet, been tagged with three different surnames. I was born "Robert Draper" - was placed for adoption where I was then given the name "Robert John Mason..." and I just recently completed all the necessary paper work, to legally have my name changed, to Robert John O'Neill.

Does it make any difference? I certainly have considered that for myself, from many different vantage points over the years. I've often felt the transition from birth name to adopted family name was rather arbitrary. I mean, I could have gone to any family where I would have assumed then, their name. So unless there was some soul aligned agreement, that I would go to this family in particular - the name itself might otherwise have been, rather random. Spending most of my life without any idea of my ancestral origins, I never really felt much of any affiliation with Canada, beyond,, it's where I was born..

It's not that easy to articulate the connection I have become more acquainted with since learning of my Irish ancestry and some of the history of the "O'Neill" clan. By that I mean, it's not that it's emotionally overwhelming, or that I lack the vocabulary; it's that it would be challenging to be succinct. Brevity is not my strong suit anyway, but on the theme of my heritage, I could go on forever.

Even without being steeped in it ... there is a familiarity and soul knowing for me throughout Ireland, but powerfully and significantly, in the North..

While there are many aspects of soul-evolution that are not reliant on external labels of any ilk. To be able to claim my name has been, continues to be, and I suspect will always remain, very empowering.

The previous "identify" was in my estimation, a kin to one nation attempting to "assimilate" another. It was super-imposed, literally, imposed upon me. It's like spiritual/soul colonization.

In my book, "What Goes Around Comes Around" there are some 800 questions .. that could be utilized to determine what one has believed, where those beliefs came from, whether they still hold them as true and if not, what do they now believe. I can assure you, I have subject myself extensively, to this line of questioning, through innumerable different processes.

So this "name change" I do not treat lightly! It is no whim, it is no, the grass is always greener scenario (though admittedly the grass is pretty green in Ireland!!) Nobody but me, knows what I have gone through in my life, to arrive at this place and this decision. And no one, but NO ONE , will ever deny me my name, my voice and my connection. The name whether of itself or not, represents my choice in "who I am," what I believe & how I show up in the world.

I sat in the cue to have my papers processed and when I considered that sooner than later ... there will no longer be a "Robert Mason.." tears welled up in my eyes - for the love of God, do you realize what that guy went through in order for Robert O'Neill to live on?!!! I am deeply present, to my long line of ancestors that have, and continue to support, this journey and I am profoundly grateful..

The absolute best of Robert Mason will be carried forward and live on through Robert O'Neill .. the rest will be released and/or transformed. I have the legacy of my clan behind me and to live up to. To walk a good road, will be both a suitable epitaph for Robert Mason, and that due, Robert O'Neill.

God if it be your will long may he live to serve!!

Monday, 8 January 2018

You're On!

What are you waiting for
Did you suppose
I would come
Searching for you?

That I would
Somehow elicit 
From your
Habituated stasis..

A burning bush
Cannot appear
Where there doesn't
A poised  & kindled inferno 

What will it take
To break through
Your inertia?
Summon your faith
To move
The mountain
That is you...

Pray tell 
Would you seek
Outside yourself
"In"- spiration

I may fan 
The flames
Fuel sources
May present
But not until
While it is you
That must 
Build the fire

It is you
That must court me
Spend less energy
Hoisting another hero
Instead conjure
Within yourself
Veracity, Enthusiasm, Creative obsession

The seeds 
Of an infinite harvest
Lie as dormant potential
At your feet
You have not
Been forsaken
You deny
Your very destiny... 

R.  O'Neill (January  08, 2017)

Sunday, 7 January 2018

More Questions - Less Answers

Whether through grace or good fortune; happenstance, coincidence, fate, destiny, luck of the draw, lady luck, luck of the Irish, dumb luck, beginner's luck or no such luck:

I'm still here!

I wonder if those for whom life is by many accounts cut short; pass over, knowing what life is about?

I suppose I ponder that as a direct result of having numerous opportunities to travel around the sun and even still - I don't have all the answers! If anything I have more questions.

I believe that the coaching/guiding direction I am currently taking my life's work will be facilitated by my ability to teach others; to ask a better question.

Then it's up to them to answer it, perhaps with another question - and so it goes. "Stuck" you say, I won't tell you why, I'll coax it out of you. I simply don't have all the answers - for you or for me.  You do have all your own answers.

Let's face it, I might more appropriately be associated with the "Fool on the Hill" than be able to deliver a "Sermon on the Mount."

My ability to serve as a coach/guide/mentor doesn't negate my continued need to subject myself to ongoing questioning conjured through the wielding of the Sword of Truth.

I stumbled up that feck'n thing quite sometime ago; much the same way those characters in the cartoons discover the rake hidden in the overgrown grass - "right between the eyes!'

I suppose you could say I've been serving an apprenticeship with it ever since. I don't claim mastery -but I assure and guarantee an ongoing refinement that is second to precious few. For the romanticists in the world, you can forget about being a "truth-seeker" & not have the sword insist on being directed at you, if you would presume to carry it..

So as is frequently the case after I have engaged in some genuine soul-searching & authentic sharing with others (which incidentally I consider a form of prayer); it most certainly spawns further prayer to follow - an answer was provided to me; where I wasn't even looking for it.

I grabbed an "Active Living Guide" - course calendar for the New Year from the Recreation Centre I had been working out at.

In bold lettering on the cover it proclaims:

"I belong here, learning skills"

Thank God for that!

Even if just for today I gratefully receive that answer!

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Something of Duality (or nothing at all)

Here it is then
I'm writing something
Before I end up 
Writing Nothing at all...

Which doesn't mean
What is written
Though Something
May amount 
To Nothing

Even taking into consideration 
I am taking this on
At the moment 
With my "non-dominant" hand
Won't ensure the contents
Are Something of significance

So then Something 
Could still be 
Considered Nothing
& better than Nothing

As well as 
Something to speak of
Nothing of the sort

Could be that
Something is up
While just as easily
It's discovered
Nothing's doing

But Something 
Has got to be done
Nothing changes 
Nothing changes

Nothing from nothing
Leaves Nothing
Isn't that

You got Nothing 
Out of this
You say? 

Isn't that
Awareness of clarity

It's just part of
I have taken on.

It guarantees Nothing
Perhaps that is
Exactly what it delivered!

Unless of course
There was Something
After all.

In which case
No need to thank me
Think Nothing of it
It was Nothing at all...

R. O'Neill (January 4, 2018)