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The Art of letting go

What are you holding onto?

A question which lead me down a path I didn’t anticipate.

This whole idea of holding on really does have its down sides.

I’ve met some great people in my life. Some, I know will be around for a lifetime, some, I know are seasonal.

Every person who has crossed my path has been a teacher in some sort of way, showing me different parts of myself I have yet to meet, or parts I may have abandoned.

One thing I always had a problem with was letting go.

Why, well, I love to love, I believe in love, friendship and working things out. Yet, the biggest lesson for me was that loving someone doesn’t mean you have to hold on to them. Loosening your grip can often result in that person completely fading away, and if so, they weren’t really yours to have.

What is meant for you will never miss you, and with this philosophy, I knew that I no longer had to hold on to anyone or anything.

Opportunities, people, events will flow in and out, and what is meant to stay will stay, and what is meant to go will go, but I will no longer grip onto anything.

The same goes for grudges and heartbreak. With feelings of hurt and pain, I now allow them to flow through me. I make the space to feel, and allow the feelings to stay as long as they need, then, I allow them to wash away with each tear.

Let the issues go, let the arguments go, let the words go, because deep down, the relationship was all a lesson anyway, and the best thing to do is to ensure that you forgive yourself.

No toxic ties lying around in the ethers. Any words they throw at you out of anger are always a reflection of them, so forgive and forget.

Of course letting go isn’t just about relationships, its also about the past. The biggest grip around a persons throat.

I see it in the eyes of many. The shadows of their past lurking behind their eyes. A dark past that lives in their subconscious, torturing them deeply. The chip they hold on their shoulder with pride doesn’t allow them to love. They get caught in a constant cycle of defense and offence.

Notice behind their smile, behind some of the biggest personalities can be some of the deepest pain. A pain so dark that trying to remove it with wealth, materialism or powerful positions will not suffice.

Think about some of the most powerful leaders. Although they may be surrounded in a pool of ego stroking, compliments and fake laughs, one wrong word from the right person, and their light will literally disintegrate into nothing.

The older I get, the more I realize just how rare it is to find people who are truly living a life for themselves.

I meet a lot of people living a life to prove others wrong, striving for success to patch up their wounds and make them feel worthy.

Maybe it was a parent who never told you they were proud of you, a sibling who has always secretly plotted against you, or friends who you keep around mostly because they feed your fragile ego, or remind you of who you used to be.

But at what cost?

Keeping up with a toxic job, striving for unfathomable levels of perfection, living up to societies depiction of success?

From my observations, the plight to societies depiction of material success does nothing but drive people into a lifetime of unhappiness and debt.

But, I digress….

Listen, appreciating what you have and who you have around you, despite how little or big, simple or small, is how I learned to let go.

Letting go sometimes means letting go of old ideas.

Success is mental, happiness is mental, and whatever you can see, mentally you can be physically.

This last part of the year is about being true to yourself, and figuring out what you need to let go of?

A Free Woman

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you”.

Maya Angelou

What a wise, wise woman. A woman who lived her life unapologetically. A woman who lived her own truth. A woman who had the power to stand alone and in turn, impact the world.

A strong woman, whose soul had a purpose far greater than she could have ever imagined.

Whether fighting for civil rights or women’s rights; facing her demons, and sharing her triumphs with the world was her power.

Her divine feminine power.

I have always been inspired by her daring nature. A nature which dared her to share for her, in a world who didn’t always love her back.

I question whether this is the challenge I have to face in my own life.

As a creative, my urge for self-expression is as strong as my urge to eat. Any of my work whether through film, audio or written is a piece of me. It comes from within, it has a life of its own.

My work is an extension of myself, laying there like a slab of raw meat awaiting the heat of your gaze. I live for it. The anxiety after every post, every publish, every piece.

This truth has always existed in me. Quietly hidden away within my womb space waiting to be birthed. Through living my life by my own rules, I have been lucky enough to stand within this truth and address this creative entity. I have followed the flow of life, never questioning the why and how of my urge within to move, change or express.

It eventually lead me to my true calling. I fought tirelessly with every teacher, every boss, every bully, to express myself freely. No to be controlled or coerced. I fought tirelessly for my opinions, to not be minimised by any man or any member of authority completely invested within this illusion of physical life.

When you are living your soul purpose, you realise, there is no physical life, there is just purpose, presence, expression and emotion.

This is now my new reality.

Beating to the beat of my own drum. I am a happy, optimist. Some may say fairly naïve, but I am also free.

As a highly sensitive being who feels everything, living this life can be difficult. I fight with the urge to fly away and escape my problems, trying not to stay present in the pain and hurt. The weeping of my inner child pulls at me from the inside to do what has always felt natural…….run.

But now I realize, like Maya Angelou, every experience is a teacher, every emotion helps to fully immerse you and be present in the moment and within every pain is an untold story, an entity bigger than you that once you birth it, you to could be a free woman.

The Freedom Package

If I offered you a freedom package which would require you to sacrifice your happiness and livelihood, would you take it?

What about a 10 year marriage, with endless financial stability, but no emotional fulfilment?

Or a jet setting career which would cost you your marriage and the love of your children?

Would you take freedom if it came at the cost of the people you love or your livelihood?

Think about it, why do the freedoms offered by this modern world come at the cost of something truly important.

Truly think about what is on offer from the modern world we live in right now as freedom.

It’s all tangible.

How can a person ever truly be free when their freedom is linked to external symbols of freedom.

True freedom starts in the mind, and I would even go as far as to argue that true freedom is purely mental. It’s the unlocking of your mental limitations, or your bounds of ignorance. The ability to find out who you are and be who you are, without the imposition of modern day conditioning, or the need to comply.

It’s a process of self-exploration, which requires a journey of failures and successes. These are the only true keys to freedom, building our own set of values, morals and boundaries as we grow. True freedom is the space which allows this growth to take place.

Freedom is not limitation, condition or anything tangible. True freedom therefore cannot be politicised or monopolized.

The modern day concept of freedom has been built upon the condition of external ownership. Yet, ownership, in a world full of brokenness is never truly what it means on paper. Ownership in this world comes at the cost of a third party, a middle man, a broker or entity in the middle, reaping the benefit off your yearning to be free. Its completely abstract from the true meaning of sovereignty.

You see, the concept of freedom has been sold to us as a way of life that is only accessible through financial wealth or tangible assets. Yet, when you look around at those who ‘have it all’, who have followed the systematic ‘yellow brick road’ – you see that these roads never lead to freedom.

They lead to a world full of problems, stresses and limited time.

At some point, the penny drops that the hard work for this ‘freedom package’ comes at the cost of something else, something truly important.

What, you ask?

Well, what about meaningful relationships, family, physical health or an inability to ever truly know who you are?

In a world which has become continuously restricted by state policy, psychological warfare and capitalism, freedom is now a commodity which can be bought and sold on the stock market for the highest bidder.

Its become valuable and with value, comes exploitation. Our quest for modern day freedom has been used to control our decision making, our job choices and even whether we choose to have a family or not.

We spend so much of our lives within a system that is not built to lead us to true freedom that our definition of freedom is completely distorted. It really has nothing to do with anything external.

External freedoms lead us to be co-dependant on ‘things’, ‘people’ and ‘infrastructure’. But once all of this is taken away, once ‘things’ lose their value, infrastructure starts to break down and people lose trust in one another, are you still free?

Think about it, when all has been stripped away and you are left with yourself, are you truly free or has something tangible become an extension of your freedom?

‘Where’s my freedom package REFUND!’ shouts the disillusioned middle class in aisle one!! Ha.

But in all seriousness, this world is in dyer need of innovation. We cant continue to fall into the traps of a system which has us repeating the cycle of generations past.

Ideas are the new currency, and new ideas come from the freedom to create. Spending time in dead end jobs, wrapped up in debt and worried about money doesn’t lead to innovation.

But not all hope is lost, because believe it or not, despite what the government may want you to think, COVID has created a true freedom era, where anything is truly possible and true freedom is at your grasp. But are you ready for that?

Fear and stagnation is the enemy of our freedom and over the past few years, wars, pandemics, and overall brutality has kept many of us in this state. It’s a pit you fall into when you have given up on chasing that burning desire and ambition to keep going. Fear will make you fall in line, rush out of competition or even convince you to work against your own interest.

You see, freedom releases you of all attachment to things, people and places. Its monk living, allowing rather than controlling. True freedom starts in the mind before it manifests in life. What you can see in your minds eye, can be in your reality.

You can have it all. You don’t have to sacrifice. Fulfilment is at your whim if you allow yourself to think for yourself and unlearn the teachings of the past which thrust you into commitments which work against your inner ability to innovate.

Your intuition is your life compass which will lead you away from those decisions which aren’t meant for you and your heart will lead you to what’s for you. But your mind must be truly clear to feel the direction. And yes, I said feel it, not see it.

In this time, allow yourself to witness your attachments and your addictions as the illusions of the last era come tumbling down. People are still bidding for their freedom package as we speak which is making it such a hot commodity, but you don’t have to be one of them because the truth is, attachment is a dying market and I expect it to come crashing down in the near future.

Welcome to the New Age

The biggest understatement of the century has to be this all knowing phrase, ‘the world is changing’.

If you didn’t believe it now, the past five years should have shown you that’s exactly what is happening.

Change.

Everything you thought you knew is being dismantled before your very eyes.

Questioning what you believe and know is simply apart of your everyday. Whilst the loud repetitive world mantras of low resolution thinking keep you from broadening your mind, your perception of what is, continues to evolve.

Do you know why?

Well, lets say it together, the world around you is changing, evolving, shedding of an old way which is no longer serving the interest of the planet or humanity.

We are on our way to a great reckoning between old power structures thriving off separation and the structureless power who want equality. The dismantling of poverty and mass deprivation of resources from all life on the planet will become a priority.

You can’t constantly take from every species on the planet, burn down natural resources and create chaos and think that no form of karmic energy will come back to you. Lets not be silly, we are all responsible for what has taken place on this planet. Our cars, our out of control consumerism, greed and habit of discarding what we cant control.

The planet needs a harmonious humanity to solve some of its biggest problems. This cannot suffice if we continue to label, separate and broaden the gap of understanding and respect between species. There should be a common goal a common direction and at the moment we are still in the phase of waking up.

Like, what if I told you that your body is nothing but a vessel. That every experience you have had on this planet thus far are purposeful and intentional experiences that you came to this planet to learn?

Beyond you is a higher you, a you which is connected to all. Source, Life, Plants, nature, animals?

This level of evolving and thinking is taking us to a place of harmony. Although it may feel like chaos now, it is all happening for the greater betterment of our planet so we can understand our mission, our true soul purpose our calling if you will. There is no denying that this planetary revolution is affecting every species, including the most powerful of them all. Humanity.

But do you know how lucky you are to be in this moment where anything is well and truly possible and despite who you think is in charge, the only person who is truly in charge of your destiny is you?

You can create, fulfil, learn or live out any fantasy or dream that you have had in this moment. Anything you have been putting off or have been afraid of is within your grasp right now in this moment. You cant ignore it. Any urge or pull that is taking you in a new direction, stop putting it off because this is the moment for you to try!

In this time there will be many inventions, innovations, creatives, scholors, philosphers who will come forward to broaden your perspective and educate you on what is possible beyond your limitations.

One thing I have been learning is that everything I wanted before I already had. Within, I have all of the gifts and talents to create the life I want. But living in this physical plane has attached me to culture. This concept that associates me to the physical world be it beauty, race, class, history.  This cultural concept creates an ideology that everything I need is outside of myself.

I’m sorry to tell you but culture has you fooled. It’s not a way to help bring together, it actually separates people into groups based on external features and a history which in many ways can be traumatic or the source of our ignorance.

This concept is repeated from generation to generation and creates this limited way of living and being. Such is the saying, ‘these people don’t do this or these people do that’.

A Culture based on history doesn’t evolve. It stays stuck in the past.

The answers which lie internally will help you evolve. That growing awareness of your inner awareness is a sign of you finding this connection to who you truly are; beyond who you identify as externally is the divine you, connected to source energy.

Now hold on, don’t start to become hostile. By source energy, I mean what you call God, Universe, Source, whatever you want to call this energy source to which we share with the rest of the species on the planet (which has been scientifically proven).

For arguments sake, I will say God/Source.

But as I was saying, many have heard, God/Source has created man in his likeness and throughout every religion and spiritual practice has a way of bringing people inward in search of him. Sitting in prayer, meditation, internally connecting to him/it. Its an individual ritual bringing one inward, shutting out the external world to deepen this connection.

But what man has done over time has conceptualized this notion of connecting to your inner being and made it digestible for the world to comprehend. A world which can only comprehend what it can see, something tangible, external. This made people reject that which they can’t see as a limiting construct.

This New Age we have stepped into has truly got people questioning everything, but instead of being sat confused and letting life happen to you, you have all the information at your fingertips.

We are repeating a cycle the earth goes through every new era, this is nothing new. Your questioning of everything is therefore not weird or strange, its actually a result of the planet evolving and you with it. What it asks of you is instead of trying to externally escape the changes you see, dive inwards. Be open and information and answers will come to you. Shut yourself away from external influences which tell you what is, if internally you know this is not your truth.

Be still, be silent, align with who you truly are and follow your calling. This will lead you to inner knowing, inner happiness.

This time we are in will continue to get interesting, but if you are playing the role you came here to play, you will effortlessly flow with this change.

The Bridge of horrors

Towering skyscrapers surround the Waterloo bridge with beaming rays of iridescent lights.

After midnight, the buildings take centre stage; morphing themselves into a dazzling spectacle of shiny glass cylinders.

Just imagine the sight of multiple buildings emerging from the depths of the concrete and illuminating off the dark waters.

With the backdrop of the velvet blue sky, the whole landscape made the night almost perfect.

Well, almost.

It was so close……

But as always………London snaps me back into reality – in the form of a human crisis that catches me completely off guard.

Stopping mid run behind me, a middle aged man pressed pause on his midnight run, to unleash a colossal round of “SCREAMS OF RAGE!”

His screams were so loud and sudden, everybody froze around him like statues as he slowly walked towards the edge of the bridge.

The atmosphere was filled with horror because the screams were so violent it heightened concern of this mans safety and what the man was about to do, especially as we were on the Bridge!

Yet nobody dared move and nobody dared approach him. I guess we shared the same though of not wanting to scare him, yet wanting to be close enough to save him.

The handful of civilians surrounding him waited, but for what?

All we knew is that he was completely unaware of our presence.

Some passers by slowly observed the scene, staring at the man holding onto the bridge and facing the direction of the Thames.

The moment he straightened up, he became aware of the watchers around him.

Cautiously, he backed away from the bridge and continued his jog.

We all looked at each other with a sigh of relief and as if someone pressed play on life, we all just went our separate ways. The surrounding sounds became louder and the moment of horror had now passed.

After all, London during the midnight hour has became infamous for witnessing a stranger on the brink of a mental breakdown.

In fact there are more police calls here in the night than there is at any other time of the day.

It was actually that night I gave the Waterloo Bridge the label, ‘Bridge of horrors!’

The midnight runners sudden “Screams of rage” really wasn’t that surprising.

In London, everyone is slightly more unhinged than it seems on the surface. The midnight runner is your manager, director or the guy on top being driven around in his town car.

Most professionals have built there whole existence around their careers. I mean, lets look at their social lives – most peoples relationships are a direct connection to their workplace and here it is very easy to blur the line.

Their successes are their promotions and their wealth is measured by economics.

Therefore, failure in their world means failure in life.

The breathtaking picture of the Thames you take selfies on, is also subject to multiple suicides throughout the year. In fact, in 2014 the suicide rates of those jumping and drowning in the Thames rose to 57%.

Although we all may feel the pressures of metropolitan life weighing on our shoulders, there is this unique detachment here that can eradicate simple forms of human empathy; that probe the question, ‘Are you okay?’ to the person plugged into their earphones, the timid girl behind a newspaper or the sunken head to the floor.

Why is it that we have to wait for something to happen to approach someone?

Why are we no longer present to those that need the help around us?

Or is this just a London state of mind?

THE STUDENT CON GAME

The deftly tones of the grand organ drown the theatre in a tribunal concerto. The atmosphere is palpable. A sense of nobility fills your body and you are proud that this momentous occasion is a result of your hard work.

Graduates are seated in the centre of the action; bodies covered down to their feet in their signature Hogwarts gowns – colour coded in ranking of their degrees importance of course. Teamed with an inexcusably immoderate oxford hat, like a student ready to be initiated into Gryffindor, you get the sense that Mr Potter may appear at any moment.

Yet the only magic taking place here is deception, the magical illusion of ceremony and reward, that will make the worries of a £50,000 debt and a high risk of unemployment, miraculously disappear.

Throughout your time in high school and college you’ve been fed the same line, “The more educated you are, the more successful you will be”.

This same line has now become a deep embedded ideology institutions have been repeating for decades, which has dramatically changed the peoples general behaviour towards education. Now, education has been deemed the only way to create access, opportunity and career success.

The reason why?

Well, it’s our societies obsession with meritocracy and its adept association with education and class. To be educated can only be proven by merit i.e GCSE’s, degrees, PhD’s, NVQ’s………..and the list goes on. You are taught that by obtaining such merit, doors into higher paying careers and specialist industries will open.

A UK Bachelor’s degree:

Average Cost: £50,000

Result: Certificate

Pro: Education

Con: No guarantees of employment in your chosen field of study or preparation for the working environment.

Introducing: THE STUDENT CON GAME.

After basking in the afterglow of your graduation; its the moment you discover your new reality of unemployment. You solidify your place in an overcrowded job market and realise there are more graduates than there is jobs.

But don’t expect this suprise to reveal itself until you receive your degree.

With a lack of opportunities in your specialism, you discover you’ve been conned. All of a sudden your degree isn’t enough. At this stage, you recognise the value of hands on experience is held to a higher standard, than your shiny certificate.

This is when you contemplate whether your £50k loan was worth the paperwork?

Not only are you competing with graduates, and the general public, but internal employees are applying for the same positions. They may not have the education, but good companies will invest in educating their current staff to degree level.

But don’t expect to be forewarned of these formalities whilst in university, because who knows…………..you might just end up leaving.

Just imagine the disappointment of the 50% of students who don’t even end up working in their field of study? (Independent UK, 2014)

Unless you have paid for your degree outright or have financial support, debt is a result of why you may probably fall into a different industry. As higher education comes with a cost that you now have an obligation to at least try to clear before you die.

How are students to know that despite their dedication to receiving this degree, they may end up choosing between their career and a job?

Years later, you yourself will go on to find truth in the latter. Fashion graduates in the insurance industry, biomedical graduates working in property management firms, law graduates working full time in restaurants, I mean the list goes on. University is nothing but a blurry memory to these individuals who discovered a passion in different industries.

At this point, university just seems like an expensive investment you make to justify that time in your twenties where you get to answer the question:

‘What the heck do I really want to do with my life?’

But my question is, is that answer worth £50,000?

Game of Thrones: The Commuter Edition

DISCLAIMER: Despite the title, this article is not a direct reference to the TV programme.

07:45am

It all starts one step behind the yellow line – literally a line between you and accidental death by tube.

The doors slide open, and frantically the commuters burst onto the train, darting crazily into different directions. The grey haired fox pushes past you to slide comfortably into the seat you had your eye on. You scowl.

Already you’ve been cheated and this wont be the last time.

If you are new to London, you will learn very quickly that it’s easy to get left behind when boarding public transport. You end up in a group called, ‘The standers’. Their usually the newbies like yourself. The capitals rookie re-locator’s, who get lost in the chaos and settle for a standing space in the aisle.

You can spot them a mile off. They are jumpy, easy to push over and suffer from a mild case of PTSD from their first commute. So please be patient with them when you tell them to move down. Know they have heard you, and their pause or minion like shuffle movement, is just a generic malfunction caused by their untreated PTSD. (And this is not a joke)

In fact during your first few weeks in the concrete jungle, these are your first commuting friends in London, as they are the ones who will help squeeze you onto a train when they backwards reverse their backpacks right into your stomach!

Every morning and every evening without fail you will start to notice the same faces. They will stand in the same spot, pick up the same newspaper and will stand on the same side of the platform.

Introducing ‘the regulars’.

Unlike ‘the standers’, these individuals are the top primates of the jungle. The top of the food chain, the ultimate contenders, who have fought this fight nearly all of their lives. This is their habitat and they will display their position of hierarchy by who sits first and who stands.

They display their position by offering a seat one of ‘the standers’ have been guarding, to a lady behind them.

Apparently, they were more in need, despite the lack of visual ailments which would say otherwise.

You bite your tongue and say nothing.

The game starts.

Grabbing onto the handles above, staring at the weakling below, the feeling of being cheated comes rushing back and all of a sudden you need to sit down.

You stare at the person seated below you intently, practically seething at the mouth, knowing that by every turn of the head, and every bum shuffle, they will eventually get up – and that is when, the throne is yours!

Yes the throne, that oh so precious throne that was unfairly pulled from your grasp by these savager hunters. That enticing seat with its magnetic pull that charms you towards it, tricking your mind into believing this seat is yours for the taking.

The moment you sit on it, you’ve won the game!

You body immediately relax, letting your mind travel to a place of satisfying tranquility; amidst the pandemonium around you. Deep down, you can’t believe you’ve finally won this precious seat, and you try your hardest not to gloat in your recent win.

The win of the luxury of sitting on the throne of ignorance, where you can ignore everything!

The losers look over you sour-faced at the reality of being stood for what could end up being hours, constantly being tugged from side to side like a boneless fish.

In this game of thrones where every move is calculated, there can only be one winner. Whilst the vultures congregate greedily- pushing, shoving and cheating each other for a seat, you begin to understand the savage behavior and the unique mindset of the people here.

Lack of eye contact for example is definitely one of the biggest signs of a savage. Understand that this is part of the community here, and as a outsider, you will notice accidental eye contact will create an awkward exchange of eyelash fluttering and robotic head movements. I call it, glitching.

You see, the lack of eye contact makes the cut throat behaviour easier, it allows you to remove yourself from the human you are as you ignore the pregnant or disabled and keep hold of your throne. By not looking you can pretend you are disconnected rather than ignorant and heartless.

Pregnant and disabled have even started to wear badges on their scarves or jackets, to ensure people can see these individuals are a priority.

What type of a nation needs to be prompted in this way?

In Manchester, you don’t have to wear a badge. No local will allow you to sit in a disabled seat if there is a pram, elder or disabled person on the bus or train. It just wouldn’t happen. Mancunians are way to self- aware of their surroundings to have the luxury of ignorance, especially when such an obvious injustice is taking place in front of them.

The Game of thrones is just another example of the problems with capitalism and the retention of rivalry it produces in the hearts of the people who live in these cities.

Common practices like commuting; turn into an almost animalistic combat between a nation of competitors who just don’t know when to stop.

It’s a sickness and it has poisoned us all.

This is why people here look the way they do. There soul is slowly and surely being chipped away, with every commute, with every push, scream and abusive threat on the tube. You will notice the people sat down will give you dirty looks. They kick you if you accidentally touch them. In this seat they feel they have an advantage above ‘the standers’.

They avoid eye contact so they don’t have to give up their throne to someone who may need it.

Its a different world here.

A world where the highly strung and driven meet their savage contenders in the fight of all fights, ‘The Game of thrones’.