I know, I know…it’s been so long! But, a LOT has been going on. I don’t even know where to start. I really don’t.
I don’t want to get into it but I’ll just say that the wedding is off and well, things didn’t work out between me and my now ex-fiancé. I know I went into all the detail of the proposal but let’s face it you don’t want to hear the details of a break up. Well, I know you do. I would! But as much as a I normally let the stream of thoughts flow from my brain through to my fingers, into the keyboard and voila, you know what’s going on in my rather messed up brain, not this time amigos. This is private and it’s not just me involved. So cut a brother a break. It was back in January and I’m ok with it all and have made my peace with the whole thing.
Last blog, I was getting ready to hit college to study Psychotherapy. It has been a fascinating journey over the last few months and has been all part of this amazing/ scary journey that I’ve been on since January. I have to admit that one of the most life changing books I have read was a book entitled “The Artist’s Way”.
One of the core points of the book is a thing called “Morning Pages”. Which basically means regardless of what flows out of you, you write 3 pages. I write 3 foolscap pages almost every morning and it’s been transforming. Well, mixed in with everything else. But it has definitely been core to everything that has gone on with me. And for the record, you don’t have to be an “artist” to get into the book. Do yourself a favour and pick it up. I GUARANTEE things will change for you for the better.
Sooooo…what has been going on. One of the most interesting and fascinating things that I’ve taken up is Buddhist meditation. This again I get around to most mornings, usually a 20 minute session to start the day. I find it fascinating. Particularly the Metta Bhavana which translates to the “Development/ Cultivation of Human Kindness” which basically you start off wishing the best for yourself. “May I be well. May I be happy. May I be free from suffering. May I progress.” Having built this up around yourself. You then wish the same for a close friend, recount the same for them. Then a neutral person and then a “difficult” person. I find it a great way to let go of any ill will you might bear against some people. Accept them as another human being, instead of just the aspect that you dislike about them. This aspect of Buddhist meditation really appeals to me. I find it SO much easier than Mindfulness of Breathing. The whole concept of Buddhism fascinates me and is something I have been getting more and more into and will delve even more and more into. Not just the meditation practice but the whole Buddhist philosophy. A picture of the Buddha hangs in my sitting room and a statuette sits on my desk in my room. And today I bought myself some Mala beads. Which are basically meditation beads akin to Rosary Beads. The message of the Buddhist mala is ‘Don’t worry about things; worry about the fact that you are so worried all the time, and address the root of that.”
Worth bearing in mind eh?
Well this has all been a part of the journey. The problem with the journey is the destination is completely unknown. Which I can assure you at times can be fairly scary. But my faith that it all happens for a reason and will work out keeps me going…most of the time It’s like I’ve come to a cross roads. The way behind is all I know and what I know about that is, I can’t go back.
This has all been a part of moving forward in a positive way. Keeping as much negativity as possible out of my life and surrounding myself with as many positive people as I can. So as you can see, it’s ALL change here on the Clarke front.
The other big news is MY dog – Evey! Named after Natalie Portman’s character in V for Vendetta. What?! I figure it’s as close to her as I’ll get!
That was her on the day I got her. She’s 6 months old now and has been great for me I must admit. She has been a welcome distraction and focus. She’s house trained and all now which is such a relief. She’s great company and gets me out with her walking. She lays at my feet now, asleep. Hair every where as she is molting! Not so great! But she along with every thing else in my life at the moment has happened for a reason.
My house has been redecorated. The hideous colours that were here when I moved have been gone and it’s a cleaner, fresher place. I’ve dug a space in the garden where I’m going to plant some herbs. It’s all change. All change in a new direction. Where am I going?! That question I’ve asked myself SO many times you honestly couldn’t believe. I don’t know where I’m going. Couldn’t tell you.
My main focus is college. I’m about to finish the certificate/ foundation course and have been accepted for the degree. So hopefully this time 4 years I will be Allan Clarke, BSC (Hons) Counselling & Psychotherapy. Diploma after 3. I move forward. I move through space and time facing forward.
In a sort of blast from the past I’m currently sporting a shaved head again. I shaved my hair for Today FM’s “Shave or Dye” campaign.
Has been a weird adjustment and took a long time to adjust to. As I said, moving forward, it felt like a weird step back into the past, into a time of my life which I have left behind. But I’m conscious of what I was feeling and why I was feeling it. See, this psychotherapy training is paying off. Well, there’s that and the mandatory personal counselling I have go through for college. I’m required to undergo 50 hours of my own therapy. God help my poor therapist!
I’m coming out the end of the “grieving” process after the end of the relationship and I’m a much better person because of it. I look at it and the role people play in my lives as just that, roles. Certain people will play certain roles in your life to get you where you need to be going. I’m heading in the right direction at the moment. How do I know? Because it feels right!
A strong belief in God has been essential for me. Now this is weird for a lot of people around me because they have the “Christian” idea of God in Heaven, Pearly gates and all that jazz. As you’ve probably seen from Just Ask Me. I have issues with religion. BIG issues. I’m currently reading Jung and it’s scary how much I can relate to him and his view of God. In one section of the book he discusses how on his Confirmation day there was a lot of talk about God, but he didn’t feel God was there. His idea of God seems to be the same as mine. Well mine is of a loving “creator” not a father figure with a big beard. An energy, a being. Who wants you, and me, to be happy. To love and be loved. To be truly happy. I’ve really just been absorbing as much spiritually as I can lately. A lot of it ties into The Artist’s Way book. It really pushes the idea that as an artist your creativity and inspiration is God speaking through you. There’s a saying I read a while back “Your talent is your gift from God, what you do with it is your gift back to Him”. Now, look don’t get me wrong, I’m not some “Holy Joe”, fire and brimstone and all that. MY God isn’t about that either. Mine is a God of love. When you go through what I’ve gone through the last few months you need something to get you through it. Call it narcissistic but I honestly think I have a better grasp of God and the “Christian” way than those that sit in mass every Sunday mourning their faith. Hypocrites who don’t practice what they preach. Suppose that’s kind of the theme of my last play “Fr. My Father”.
I’ve a strong sense of faith, a belief that it will all work out and y’know what…it does. I can assure you I’ve gone as low as I can go at certain points the last while. But it’s brought me to where I am at now and I’m fairly alright with where I’m at now. I’m comfortable with who I am as a person. I’ve accepted myself for who I am. Flaws and all. And that I can assure you is a liberating experience. Especially for me as I set such high standards for myself.
Look at yourself. See that you are a human being. Like the other 6 billion of us here on this wonderful planet. Every one of us makes mistakes. We all have our faults, we all have our weaknesses. It’s what makes us, us. If we were all perfect the world would be a very boring place. Accept your faults. Accept yourself. Stop beating yourself up. I can promise you when you accept that fact about yourself, it’s liberating!
I was down but not out. I think the difference between being down and being depressed is; when you’re truly depressed, you don’t believe things will get better. I’ve known things will get better. It didn’t mean what I’ve gone through wasn’t hard, I can assure it was and still is at times. I’ve lost someone who I thought was going to be my wife, I’ve lost a whole future, not just a person, I’ve let other people go out of my life and I’ve stepped (or was pushed?) into the dark abyss, HOPING there was going to be solid ground underneath each step I took and you know what?! There has been. I can’t say that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel yet, but…so far so good. Still walking in the direction I need to be going. No matter how small the steps are. Another great quote from The Artist’s Way is “Jump, and the net will appear”. That’s faith.
I need to create something. I think that’s why I’m putting so much into this post. I need to write. To let something flow through me. I’m trying to come up with an idea for my next play. I want to keep the religious/ God theme that I’ve had in the previous two and complete a sort of Trinity with them. Ironical eh? I just need to lock down what that idea is. A few things are floating around in my head, I’m just waiting to grab what feels right.
The Artist’s Way has lead me, I truly believe to here and now. I’ve cemented further my faith in God/ the Universe. I’ve gotten a dog for myself. I’ve redecorated. My house is filled with plants and artwork. I’ve gotten ready to plant herbs/ veg in the garden. I’ve started meditating. I’m delving more and more into Buddhism. My unconscious pours into the 3 pages I write and my conscious takes it from there. All of these things and more started out as brief ideas, moments of inspiration, put them onto paper and they now are a part of my reality. They’ve helped me to pick myself up, when I examined my thoughts, broke them down and really looked at them. I can honestly say that there were mornings where I was near depressed or extremely pissed off and I felt much better 3 pages later. They can be daily therapy for me.
I just sat down to write, now a few hours ago, not intending to to go so much into The Artist’s Way. But this is what has come out. I don’t even know if I planned to even mention the book but here we are. All I can say is get the book, be open and go for it! 2 books I’ve read have dramatically affected my life. The Artist’s Way and Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss. Check them both out. Only when you’re ready to though. Trust me if there’s one thing I’ve learned lately it’s that you can’t make people change who don’t want to! But when you’re ready to, if the inspiration takes you, get those books.
I’m not going to promise that I’ll update the blog more. But I will say I will TRY to do it more often. Now I’m back writing it’s always easier.
My friends, I shall bid you a good night. I hope you get everything that you want that makes you happy. I hope you live your life truly happy every day. Take happiness from the small things. Be present in the moment. Don’t sweat the small stuff and don’t forget “worry is interest paid on a debt that never falls due”. I want the best for you.
May you be well. May you be happy. May you be free from suffering. May you progress.
Betcha didn’t think this was how that blog was going to go did you?! I know you didn’t, because I certainly didn’t.