Dance like Nobody’s Watching

Good evening ladies and gentleman

What does it mean to be free? To be truly free and disconnected from the problems in life holding back this ideal freedom, this idyllic happiness.

No idea.

What i do know is that the word freedom is often connected with another word- “financial.” As a generation, or even as a species we spend so long aspiring to this level of freedom, the idea that one day you could tell your boss where to go and live life as you please. Yet, you got up this morning and went to work, as you probably will tomorrow and the day after that. Are you free? Do you feel free?

I know i haven’t had any feeling of consistent freedom for years. Those good days just feel like day release from maximum security, twined to the inevitable stench of consistency as if you sleep each night next to a horse’s head.

How does one feel free- in a world that wants so badly to show you that you aren’t? If we look at it in such a matter of fact way- you are trapped. You are, I am, everybody is trapped and we should accept it for what it is and find the most effective ways to serve this life sentence as comfortably as possible. Maybe give a few hours, weeks, months, years, decades even to make sure that sofa comes, the TV gets slightly bigger every year and that car you dream of finds its way onto your drive- connected to the house you’re going to be dealing with payments on for the rest of your natural life.

I can’t sit and accept this happiness as what we should be striving for. Moreover as you scroll the internet, an endless source of information filled with an ever increasing number of car, cat and dog videos, i don’t think you can either. This happiness, we are supposed to see it as this hugely esoteric, massively significant goal in our life that we could spend most of our lives trying to aspire to. What if there is more to scrolling, to thinking, to feeling, to being happy and being at peace?

Now i’m not going to sit here and tell you to go and join a ballroom dancing class in order to find a level of freedom you have been lacking in your life up to this point, but bare with me. Freedom- or happiness for that matter are not destinations. We often rationalise these ideas we have been told will make us happy by treating them as a journey, a road onto which we lay out our lives to seek ultimate peace and happiness.

There is no such thing as ultimate happiness, i don’t think. These huge ideas, terrifyingly far away, leaving you with a resounding hope for the future. “If i can just get there…” or “when i get to that point it will start to get better…” Its a pipe dream, an idea that makes you ultimately feel better about your life (temporarily) but isn’t happy- not to me.

In my experience, peace usually involves being sat alone in the dark. This almost fugue state is beautifully lethargic, your body becomes so heavy its hard to even lift your arm, but you don’t want to move….all you want is to fall so deep and so hard into that music that reality falls away from around you as the beat and melody take you deeper into your trance.

This is the power of music, for in those 3 minutes and 49 seconds- you are as close to free as you have been all day.

What if it wasn’t that simple- what if there could be more to it. Darkness or light, next time that song comes on, try something slightly different, when completely alone, comfortable in the isolation you have become so familiar with.

Move. Move to the music. It doesn’t matter whether you are a good dancer or a fluid dancer. Just move to the music. Throw your arms around, spin around, kick, spin- just MOVE. Move for the whole song, change your movement as the beat changes, feel it. That’s the most important thing. 

Feel it. Feel every beat in every concierto, every riff and every octave change. Music combined with movement is the connection to the soul living within your body and that connection, that beautiful loving relationship is where you find peace. True peace is through feeling it. Then through feeling it over and over again, finding ways to continuously nurture that connection is ultimately where we find happiness. 

There is no formula to being happy and through this there is no concept or idea that can provide you “ultimate” peace. But what if there were these moments, these fleeting moments where you were ultimately unaware of all the joys and the misery life wants you to feel all of. What if there were times where you just felt good, for the sake of feeling good. 

No reason, no end goal. Thats where happiness is. Just a moment. Soon to blow away and be gone into these pages of memories you will never remember but right there, right then. 

You are free.

So dance. Dance like nobody’s watching, jump higher than you ever think you should, have the cake if thats what you want. Love harder than you should and kiss like its the last time you will ever get to. These moments often seem impossible, especially when there is great distance between them. If you love someone, tell them. If you want to see something wonderful, go. Revel in its wander and sit in awe of the magnificence of what you stare at. 

Feel it, and ultimately be free from a world looking to control everything you are and everything you want to be.

For its the only thing worth doing.

To be free.

Yours, with love, always and forever. 

D.R x

CLEAR!!!

Good evening ladies and gentleman

I, as do many of you, have good days. Days where the flow is good, as you power through it promotes a mental clarity, as if you’re seeing the world through a diamond like crystal. These days come rarely though, the beautiful gems that they are. More often that not are those…other days. Those days that feel so endless it’s as if tomorrow never comes, the days where the lack of feeling anything, the very emptiness that you’re living in and trying to power through, swallows you near whole.

Even having a bad hour in a day. How does one avoid that bad hour becoming a bad day? How can we make sure that bad day doesn’t end up as a bad week? It’s so easy to spiral, to feel like there is no way out of this endless loop of insanity, that the world is stuck on repeat and there you are stood directly in the middle. Groundhog day.

That is where the ultimate war of contention comes in. There is a battle going on within us all. The war against you. To survive, we must prepare the armoury for the maximum affect as we go into battle. We are so pained by life sometimes and a fixation on that pain will be the destruction of everything you are and everything you know.

But it happens. Its happened to me more times than i care to count, as I’m sure it has you. So, imagine the good and bad was akin to your heart. The beat has slowed to a near crawl, your soul is shrivelling, your mind- exhausted. The world is getting too much and the weight you carry on your shoulders is just so damn heavy. You can’t carry on, you’re not even sure you want to anymore. The game is rigged, and you cant take another roll of snake eyes.

That is where pleasure can come in. When you imagine you may never smile again, the defibrillator of pleasure jolts your heart into movement. CLEAR! Again… CLEAR!

And out of nowhere, from the brink- your back. It can be something as simple as a hot chocolate on a crisp winter morning. You wake up, surveying another nothing day you have coming- get up and start going through those familiar motions. Step out into the day and feel the wall of cold air kiss your face as you see a plume of breath find its way skywards. You have a plan today though, today is going to be different. You get to work, head for the coffee shop. Empty cafe, early morning, nobody but you and the occasional weary commuter walking past for company.

Hot chocolate down on the table, sugar in. Tap, tap, tap goes the spoon as it lands back on the tray. Up to your lips for a sip and that warm goodness, that elixir of life… CLEAR ! That first sip as the cup leaves your lips and you exhale, it’s as if the negative energy is being forcibly removed by hot chocolate bailiffs. In that moment, you are ultimately so very alone, but so very happy to be. The right word for this, as far as i can figure out, is peaceful.

The way something so simple can make you feel, even if only for a moment is the where the battles are won. The solitude, the pleasure, just for a few minutes when something so minimal is giving you so much. These little things, the fleeting moments in time, of pleasure, of wander and stillness in a world moving so dam quickly are the most important. We need these moments, even if it is just to get through one day.

These moments are rare, and so damn special. In that moment, hot chocolate in hand- nothing else matters. You are there with yourself, and maybe, just maybe- you can get through today.

And if you can get through today, maybe you can get through tomorrow.

You get through tomorrow, maybe you can even see out the week.

Because when all is said and done, the little things aren’t the moments you remember, but without them, you probably wouldn’t be half the person you are today. I know i would have given up long ago.

Here’s to you. To hot chocolate. To beautiful moments on those bleak winter mornings. And to getting up and keeping it moving.

This is how life is achieved, truly achieved. Existence is futile, but life has the means to be beautiful.

Yours, with love as always.

D.R x

Tokens of Love

Good evening ladies and gentleman

Question- what is “romantic?” What if anyone- be it your best friend, a new love interest or your 500th date with a person you’ve known for longer than you care to remember- asked you that question? What does it mean to be seen as someone who is romantic? Who has the means to pursue that person they love, or someone they are attracted to- in a way that is appealing to that person- in a “romantic” way?

I have been gesticulating on this problem for some time, as for many years i’ve been told that i don’t come across the “romantic” type to some, yet to others i’ve been seen as an “old romantic.” Ive always been puzzled by these ideas, as for years its meant nothing to me. The whole relationships, connections forged in fire, love, desire, wanting to build a life with someone and so on. It’s all just sort of left me a bit cold, often taking understanding of an idea in order to fully appreciate it in such a way to accept it.

For years i just haven’t bothered with a lot of these concepts, not feeling like there was enough energy in them to waste time thinking about them. On the rare occasions i do, have produced a powerfully anxious response, as if there were 2 parts of me meeting at some point of powerful vulnerability. I’ll be the first to tell you i couldn’t handle it. I felt so much all at once in these times, rare enough to be noticeable when i would lose myself in the what if’s and the maybes of connection and romanticism as we know it today.

So, what is it? This idea that we need a platform to sell ourselves on, these dating apps, chat apps, hookup apps and whatever else sort of app someone can bribe you into buying with a potential for the “perfect” love, this conveyer belt, this meat market of swipes and hearts, messages ” left on read” and friend requests ignored. This is where the trophy partner is won or lost these days, on the Instagram battleground and i hope for your sake you didn’t just like that other persons’ picture. Makes no sense? Of course it doesn’t, its not supposed to. You do it, because thats just “how the world of dating works these days.”

Then people question what it means to be romantic because the term and act died years ago, to be replaced by these faux personalities plastered all across the internet. Now, do not mistake what was once called “chivalry” or some form of “gentlemanly” behaviour for this idea of being romantic- or buying your girlfriend flowers from the petrol station on the way home because you skipped dinner to go down the pub with your boys. This is not romanticism this is guilt, often perceived in similar ways- but very different.

Maybe its where I’m from or the culture i have grown up in, but to be romantic isn’t a natural behaviour to a lot of people. As much as i say this isn’t a natural behaviour, every person alive is capable of it and often in the most remarkable and meaningful ways. The difference is the energy that you receive from that other person. It’s not necessarily about the energy you receive being the same as the energy you put out into the world, but instead about an energy that can mould and shape with your energy, subsequently creating something more.

If you are lucky enough to be open and understanding enough of yourself and this person you care for so dearly to find what might be this energy, you may wish to show them how you feel. Words and feelings can only get you so far i think, especially when it comes to love and this is where we find the place of romanticism in the world. Romantics are offering tokens of love to the world and hoping through this the person they love will react in kind.

The romantic is the one who doesn’t care for frivolities as its never been about materials. Take this- millionaire buys partner a brand new Mercedes. It wasn’t a difficult purchase and will have minimal impact on how they live their lives month to month. Is this a purchase to be romantic? Not really. It’s a trinket to show how well you and your relationship are doing. In comparison take someone working two jobs and extra shifts in order to buy their partner the car they’ve always dreamed of. the one they had pictures on their wall of as a child. When they see it, the smile that will beam from their face and the positive energy and boost they will get from what you’ve done for that person will create more joy in your heart that you know, simply by seeing them so happy.

It’s not about what you do, it’s not about going big against the world. It’s about going big…for them. The thing about tokens of love, is that you have to give more of them away than receive them in order to truly appreciate them. Being romantic is easy, but it’s also so very difficult, because it’s terrifying. Being romantic is an inherent vulnerability because for every token of love you give away, you give away a part of yourself too and as you do you hope that person wont run off with it.

We live, we love and we learn. You will have experienced times where you have believed that energy was there and given a token away, to be left hurt, broken even. Questioning yourself, wandering how you could be so “stupid.” Even though without it you wouldn’t know the half of what you do about yourself, about the importance of listening to yourself and responding to positive and negative energies you could be putting out at any one time.

In the end, your own thoughts are what attracts energy to you. It’s up to you what sort of energy that is. Moreover, it’s up to you to give the tokens of love away.

For in the end, to keep them would be a hell of a waste- don’t you think?

Yours, with love as always.
D.R x

Preserve or Thrive

Good morning ladies and gentleman

I’ve always had a strangely obsessive way of looking at things. Its this idea that everything we do is born of some form of emotional reaction. Every story ever told is primarily designed to illicit some form of emotion from you, as has every moment and every action in your life, every act in every scene, from the first exclamation to the curtain fall.

The first time you kissed them, the day you passed your driving test, the day you got into university, the day you got arrested and the day the relationship was over. It created something in you, something to this day you don’t really understand because understanding isn’t feeling.

It is, when all is said and done, the fundamental building blocks of you. Whether the person looking back at you in the reflection is someone you like or not, it is the creation of you. Without the success, the failure, the pain, the pleasure, the loss life love envy lust and everything in between, you would’t be you.

We have a habit of concentrating on the negative aspects of our lives. It’s like we spend so long working to attain this ultimate idea or pleasure, this presumption that “if i can take it i can make it” to the point of madness in this tireless obsession to reach happiness. You could spend weeks, months, years or decades working towards this without ever truly making it, so never really finding any form of happiness.

In a way, the endless chase could be a form of self preservation. Take for example, love. It is a concept i’ve been theorising about in numerous different forms for years now, but recently come up with the most accurate description i’ve ever come up with. It is the breakdown of self preservation, a fundamental breakdown of this basic evolutionary need to survive, born from a sort of predictable nature of existence.

This desire for structure has created a society of predictable entities, simply because thats the easiest way for us to live and love throughout life. It is the key to preservation, for if you see all the possible moves across the chess board, because then you can’t slip up.

Love is a questioning of this notion. It’s takes the concept of “self” out of the equation. You are giving the keys to everything you are, your pain, your joy, your pleasure and wander to someone else, then hoping they don’t go and drive it off the end of the cliff. I’ve always been enamoured by this idea, because its completely backwards to what we are designed as a species to do, yet so many people do it everyday.

What makes you question your overreaching need for self preservation?

We have a need to preserve ourselves, but a far more overpowering need is to thrive. We need to thrive because then and only then do we get to truly live. We have all been through some form of pain- a constant, overbearing weight you think you’re “supposed” to carry around, that you’re “supposed” to be exhausted at the end of the day while left with a stomach turning pain that you achieved nothing with yet another day. We are told that life “should” be painful, for without pain there is no beauty. But what you are “supposed” to do with it? That is entirely up to you. Hence I write.

I write. You paint, you build, you love. We need to thrive in order to live a life far outside the realms of what we see and what we believe. We thrive for the desire in your heart and the desire that is bursting from the very soul that drives you.

Driving you to what? To happiness- to success- to love?. Whatever it might be, we need to thrive and in the right situation and in the right headspace, the simple act of showing up every minute of everyday, working on yourself, being the best version of yourself is all you can ask of yourself.

For sure you could live to preserve life. Witness the structure laid out in front of you and take the steps as they are presented to you. See the walls laid out around you, make you bed and watch them close in. Be happy with what you got because the alternative is question your life, to question where you are and what you’re supposed to be doing. A population of free thinking, critical thinking people is scary.

Why? Because then you have a group of individuals that are learning and sharing with each other- to then eventually and inevitably become a vastly superior version of the people that went into that very group. Those people that went in reluctant, curious about what would happen, nervous about being judged, feeling like they were worthy only of ridicule as they opened the door of possibility, the idea that maybe they could be more, after continuously having it thrown back in their face and the door slammed with that sam unmistakable thud.

Without believing you live in a world where you could thrive in your creativity and your artistry, and not even having the mental tools to fight for this right, we will only preserve the constant cycle, the endless loop of nothing we call existence. Self preservation has the means to be powerful, but to thrive could be so much more.

So live, not only to sustain life, but to thrive.

Yours, with love as always.

D.R x

Feel the colour. DR

The Thing about life is…

Good evening ladies and gentleman

The thing about life is…

I’ve been throwing this phrase about for months now. It plays through my mind endlessly, over and over… five little words that are so powerful, yet so bleak and scary, beautiful, wistful, wonderful, so entrenched in darkness and saturated in the amber glow of a summer morning.

The thing about life is…

How does one even finish that sentence?Let alone writing a sentence, a paragraph, a page or a novel on the idea, how does one even understand it?

How do you understand life? You don’t know anything about something if you don’t at least try to understand it surely? We spend so long lost in ideas, but they are never our ideas. We live in ideas of love, ideas of connection, of pain- of passion. Even sex has become so obsolete to so many because we are so terrified of what we want, scarier still because we don’t even know what we want.

For months this phrase has plagued me, over and over i say those five little words and haven’t been able to find the words to finish that sentence in any meaningful way. You could wander into that cliche of understanding life with the phrase “I love you” and when you are upset with them you fall full circle to “fuck you.”

It can facilitate darkness, misery and depression, has the means to create any sort of wander, joy, happiness basking in its own powerful glow. The thing about life is one thing. One thing only.

What do you desire…and how far are you willing to go to get it? Moreover than writing, painting, running, fighting, building, directing, destroying, its anything. The thing you’re confused by, the thing that creates a joy in your heart and leaves you yearning for its warm comfort when the painful, sad, boring mediocrity of life tries to grasp your neck and choke the very life out of you.

When the voice in your head is screaming at you, when it says that you’re ugly, that you can’t be yourself, that you shouldn’t paint, that your friends are better looking than you, that you don’t have a nice car or don’t see the point of carrying on in the life that your living, look to the thing you turn to.

Look to it and listen, please listen. You need that part of you, or joy, real joy will never reveal itself to you. The world is exhausting, so exhausting. It’s full of loud noises, scary thoughts and ideas that so many people spend their entire lives avoiding. Don’t be them. You aren’t them.

You are so much more.

Be the one thing in life that scares you. Scares you to the point where you want to hide at the bottom of a bottle or at the end of the shotgun barrel. Resist society, resist existence, and then your life is truly yours once again.

Break through the wall, never return through it, and do the only thing worth doing. The thing about life is… its so fucking difficult to be you- but if you find them, and few people do.

It will be beautiful.

Yours, with love as always.
D. R x

Photo by Andrew Neel

Ghost of You

Good evening ladies and gentleman

Who are you? I’ve covered this idea or problem behind the idea of self identity a number of times now, but what if we looked at it from the other side- from the opposite side of the spectrum if you will. I am forever destined to be on this tireless campaign for creative individuality and independence, to rage against the machine the world has constructed around us and rise as the creativists we are, all in our own way.

Yet- what happens when this idea is questioned? How should, or how does one feel when this supposedly idealistic way of living creates pain in your heart and throughout every inch of your soul, so much so it causes you to question everything you thought you knew about yourself?

I wrote some years ago about the relationship between addiction and emotional trauma. In particular how in a time of powerful positive emotion we almost become addicted to feeling so much because everything feels so good. Only when that positivity deserts you do you naturally run as far away from this addiction as you can- to get as far away from this idea of feeling as possible.

A similar premise is shown here. You spend so long against the machine, be the outsider, don’t fit in, not noticed, in the background. But you have what makes you- you. As far as you’re concerned- in that moment, that thing is enough. But what if one day- all of a sudden- that thing wasn’t all it was cracked up to be? What if the passion and power became harder to muster- what if solitude and loneliness took a hold of you- gripped by your art but wanting- in the moment, to simply let it go?

You look around and see the rest of the world and how much happier they look than you (like happiness is a competition?) so naturally you consider dipping your toe in the fountain of normality and maybe for a while you find some joy- even with a wet toe. An ignorance of who you are is a dangerous game though, for fitting in can become addictive. As you continue on this theatrical lifestyle, one day you will look in the mirror- and whether you see it or not, the person looking back is nothing more than a mere shadow of who you were.

Almost like a ghost.

When you fall so far from who you were, in fear of the pain, the loneliness, the heartbreak, the contempt or confusion that it caused- how does one survive? How do you come through this and out of the other side? Can you?

When you start destroying yourself, out of fear of yourself- When you start on this path of self destruction in some hope of finding some happiness among others; what remains?

Who remains?

I don’t have an answer, no grand solution. There isn’t one i guess. All i know is the ghost of you will never be able to give you the satisfaction, the contentment or happiness that you are so desperately looking for. In the end, everything is temporary, no more so than when one “tries to live life in another man’s context.”

I think as much as the idea of self exploration is terrifying, especially when it seems like so many of us are living in a mere delusion of self awareness, it is the only way to truly learn about ourselves. Emotional trauma is a part of life, a negative event of some form is inevitable, for this is how we learn how much positivity life can give us. The event itself isn’t causing the heartbreak, the pain, the desire to run. It’s you. The way you feel about yourself is the key to understanding how you react to issues the universe puts in front of you. Good, bad, right wrong- it happened and as of right now it is part of your past and there is nothing you can do about it.

We are part of a society full of individuals trying to break free. The result is a powerful society, built on the destruction of individuals. You, me, anyone- we end up as this idea of us, an idea of what we are supposed to be according to an arbitrary set of rules and ideas designed to eliminate free will, individual creativity and any sort of beauty you see in the mirror.So in the end you’re nothing more…

than a ghost of you.

Yours, with love as always

D.R x

Gold Medal Ego

Good evening ladies and gentleman

In the random passages of thought i have, usually lost in some daydream, the most far reaching boredom in which every cell of my body has just had enough of this muscle memory existence or in times where sleep fails me-i’ve noticed that the puzzles i wish to solve come at me in waves, like they are almost themed. I say themed but maybe not as sporadic as i first thought is more appropriate.

What i mean is that, when you feel good, you think about and attract things that makes you feel good- and so on with bad feelings, sad feelings, bored feelings. How does one trust this feeling? How much can you trust yourself to look at something in an open way, without the attention of the ego? Everyone has an ego and everyone likes it being massaged. It’s 2020- an age of social media and people increasingly sharing more and more of their lives over the internet for the world to pretend they care about. So, in a world so apparently vain, how does one trust even their own opinions anymore- let alone anyone else’s around them?

We attract what we think about , but how do we trust that what we are thinking? Is it simply what we believe, or just socially speaking- our minds best guess?

In terms of it being your minds best guess it comes down to one thing- how much freewill do you have? Do we have freedom of choice- to live as we please and to a level that gives us the means to feel happy? or is this a well heeled illusion, like i’ve already said- our minds best guess?

As far as i can tell- the idea of “real,” as far as our own personal universe is concerned, comes down to two fundamental building blocks and the relationship between them.

  • Trust
  • Ego

These 2 supposedly singular ideals are related in their own way, for i believe without understanding the one, the other simply cannot exist. Let me explain…

Take something i said earlier- quite callously in fact about how “its 2020- everyone has an ego” and so on. This is true to a degree, but not something that can be judged and assumed in such a sweeping way. I put it there to see if i could lure out your egoistic demon from just beneath the surface of your consciousness. I am a firm believer we are all plagued by this demon in our own way and this has an affect on our actions and behaviours throughout daily life.

Your ego convinces you that you need to be the best at everything and have the best everything and nothing else will do. Moreover, if someone was to question your status as “top dog” you would need to defend your “territory” because your image being bought into question is tantamount to a threat.

Why? because it’s creating doubt about who you are.

Reality is neutral, it’s our additions, the building blocks of who we are that create the issues and where the questioning of your reality comes from.

In a word- trust.

Trust as an idea has been given a very singular meaning across the generations of recent decades. Given an almost higher meaning, a staircase for someone you care about, someone you are attracted to, someone who means something to you to be placed upon a pedestal. We live in a world of distrust, where in no time at all anyone could find out who you are, where you live and even your mother’s maiden name. We truly do live in the information age, now more than an ever in a time where paranoia and distrust is higher than ever too.

Why? Because people like to know things about other people, as per the ego, to establish mental dominance and defeat this enemy like the boss level of a video game. This isn’t trust, this is ignorance of the obvious, just another way for the ego to take control of your life. Trust is born not from ignorance, but understanding.

Take the information age- its very easy to perceive this idea as a negative, the swathes of personal information pouring into the exponentially growing skies of the internet. It could be argued even as scary, that “nothing is sacred” anymore. We live in a society where information is king. So- why not use this to your advantage and develop that edge over your ego, because then you give yourself the means to quash the thoughts of your ego running around in your head. Learn about what scares you as much as what brings you joy.

Take the breakup. We all have that one, I’m sure as i mention it here you’re having flashbacks to it. Understanding that you enjoyed it while it was good, understand that it ended and understand how you feel. We live in an endless pursuit of avoiding bad feelings for the risk it places upon us according to your ego. But if we took the necessary steps to understand the demon ailing us, got lost in those thoughts and feelings, allowed yourself to feel everything, all the joy, misery, envy pain and sadness there is to feel and trust we will pull through, then maybe we get to grow from it all.

Trust yourself first, and the rest of it will come. Believe in yourself, place yourself on that pedestal before you waste your time worshipping other people. This idealised ignorance is a guaranteed path to bitter disappointment.

Life isn’t boring, you just haven’t found the thing worth doing yet. Things always come at you in themes- its the universe trying to teach you how much good this growth will do for you- no matter how truly awful you feel right now. Listen to it- listen to yourself.

Then maybe you get the gold in the win over your most proficient adversary- yourself.

Yours, with love as always.

D.R x

Make your Bed

Good evening ladies and gentleman

So, as we continue through our days, some in lockdown, some now more free to move about in a world far removed from the world and society we left, i can’t help but think about something that i have hated on for years, as have many of us across this country and across the world. Yet for so long now so many of us have missed more than we could have ever imagined.

This was most effectively illustrated to me by the “big” day- Saturday 4th July 2020 and a collection of buildings by people of all ages as a second home, a haven away from the stresses and exhaustion of our modern existence- the pub.

The pub and a pint are the best illustration I’ve seen in a long time for the routine. The routine is a funny old thing, because its something we all hate on- almost on a daily basis, but the moment it is taken from us we yearn for its return. We need this pattern, for this pattern is supposedly the key to our purpose, our place in society.

We are told we need to be a part of society- we need to provide a role for the good of the “big wheel” of life. For without us, the wheel cannot continue to turn… and so on. This makes the routine something we see as a necessity, to get up and go to work, to be there for 8 or so hours a day, go to the same things you did yesterday, eat at the same times you did yesterday, be the same person you were yesterday.

We have been convinced that routines are the key- not to happiness, but to survival, then before you know it- a decade has passed. 10 years have gone by and you were just sat there wandering what the fuck happened. Routine happened, and we wander why we feel so awful at the mere idea of trying to live for your job as a member of society, to serve this machine that doesn’t care about you and doesn’t want to care about you. Routine is the thing that anchors you to a life you can explain and can understand, but it is the one thing that without it- you are truly free.

Why is this? Because the whole idea of living with meaning and purpose, while powerful, has been mired in misconception for generations now. We consider routines as the purpose of our lives, the existence which gives us a reason to wake up in the morning and not go and enjoy another day- but to just “get through it” as you hold on for lunch break while you stare up at the giant clock on the wall.

I’ve always wandered about why that clock was there, beyond the obvious. Have a look around when you go to work next time for the clock, its always in such a predominant place. Always obvious to remind you that your time is not yours when you’re there, you’re paranoid about how long you have to eat, how long you have to complete a task and fear of the managers saying you aren’t working well enough and need to get out.

Without routine- we are nothing.

Not so.

Without ritual- we are nothing. Simply floating.

Similar in meaning, but contextually- very different. Routine is the thing that grinds you down, beats you into submission. It is what you feel you must do and is what leads to living in this endless ludicrous loop, living in hope that doing the same thing day in day out will eventually provide some form of different result. It wont. Doing the same thing everyday and hoping for a different result is in itself the definition of insanity.

With a certain amount of irony and the more i think about it, the routine is as major aspect of our lives limiting happiness, not helping you build it. The feelings of purpose, of feeling self aware and emotionally aware, being able to live your life in a form of persistent and consistent self realisation are all things that have the means to bring us happiness and joy, but we need something more in our lives to measure this by.

Even the simplest of things, woven into the routine we sometimes think we are so blessed by. Make your bed in the morning. Simple, shouldn’t do anything- but is a remarkably effective method for controlling an anxious reaction to not being happy in life. You have control over your room, so look after it. Appreciate what you have- your room is your kingdom. It’s where you rest, it’s where you grow. Look after the war room, you’re going to need it and doing these simple things help you understand that you’re doing okay.

We are convinced, in particular when we are not ok, that we should appear ok, convinced it’s not ok to not b ok. The ritual is a power you have control over, to wield as you will. Find something you enjoy and do it everyday. Not huge things, they will take time. Have a cup of tea, take a walk in the park, go for a run, go for a drive, go and do something that grounds you to the person you are. The ritual is your reminder to yourself to keep it moving. Movement, of any kind is your power.

Through doing these small things, to me, you are taking back control of how you feel about your life. Make your bed, prepare your food- eat well. You have a busy day ahead. And remember…

A pint is a moment in time, a fleeting snapshot of joy on this continuous line of life. Life is not a circle, its a straight line- from beginning to end. Today was a bad day? Tomorrow is a new day.

Get up- make your bed. And carry on. Even when you don’t want to.

Yours, with love as always.

DR x

Passions’ Guilt

Good evening ladies and gentleman.

Recently i have found myself wandering about the feeling of passion. Its one of the few beautifully pure things left in our modern lifestyles but what do we do to promote this feeling of wander? I got to thinking about materialism, love, sex, food, wine, travel, cars- everything. How to someone, somewhere, these object is a part of a lifestyle that at its heart is a feeling of pure, unadulterated joy.

These moments are important because the development of these passions is a fundamental step to figuring out who you are.

Yet, knowing how important these moments are, i sit in those lower moments questioning the very notion of something so supposedly frivolous like building a car, or just owning something i like or getting to go somewhere I’ve always wanted to go. I feel guilty for wanting to do something so “meaningless” for we as a nation have become obsessed with persistent and profoundly large steps in this need to progress.

Yet doing something just because i enjoy it, or because it makes me feel good, often seems like I’m wasting my time.

What if that comes back to the need to progress, to advance to the upper levels, to constantly and continuously moving in bigger and bigger jumps every time. It feels to me that society is trying to force us all to be born in their image, to like what the world tells us to like, to enjoy something we are told to enjoy. That way we can be kept under control and given just enough freedom to remain under the illusion we are free.

Is it really that black and white though? For freedom, is a state of mind. We see people on tv shows and inspirational people across the vast sphere of the internet making changes in their life and that positive effect is rippling around to millions of people across the world- one of them being you. Naturally you start to think- “maybe i could change the world too,” and for a moment- you feel inspired.

Then as time passes, even minutes after the initial inspiration you start to feel different, more worn down, for whatever you felt, has passed. Without realising, you carry on the same as before, sure that whatever far flung idea you had “would have never worked anyway.”

I have been there many times and i am only able to offer this alternative. What if you, what if i, what if nobody in fact was ever going to change the world? What if me, you and so many others have been living under the illusion this was even possible? More than that- what if we weren’t even supposed to?

What if, individually, we were to work to charge OUR world. I would work my world in my way, you would work yours in your way and as a collective, through genuine innovation and often in the smallest of steps, we would change the world, by simply working to bring about evolution in your world, thus facilitating a revolution.

So whatever your passions are, why not pursue them? It doesn’t matter how the world perceives what you enjoy, or what you love. If you wake up everyday looking to spend your time writing poetry or painting a beautiful masterpiece in the morning as you wander down to your garage to work on your project car in the afternoon- then why not?

It doesn’t matter what your artwork is and it certainly doesn’t matter what value it can add to the world- for it is yours and yours alone. It’s something deeply personal, the working on things that instils a fire in your soul, the personal touch on existing that makes your heart beat just a little bit faster and makes you want to reach just a little bit further. This is where we find passion. Its sensations and feelings of this nature that are the components of true happiness.

Nobody and nothing should be able to take that away from you.

No amount of guilt is going to change this, for it’s the difference between existing and truly living. The world will always think something, it may evolve but the fundamentals stay the same and not everyone is going to agree. You will disagree with some and others will disagree with you, it’s nothing to shy away from and certainly nothing to feel guilty about.

For apart, we will simply be left asking that age old question- “What if I had done things differently?” “what if i had pursued that? what if i had just listened to myself rather than what the world told me to do, then maybe I would have been happy”

But together, understanding and accepting that while our differences may divide us, the way they make us feel will always bring us together.

Puts me in mind of a verse from an old Frank Turner song….

“We’re not trying to shape the world
So people think like us
We just want our own space to dance man
No favours, no fuss”

Passions guilt is a just another obstacle to overcome, for then innovation and happiness will be a force for good in all of our lives.

Yours, with love as always

DR x

Image from Pexels

The Perfect Candidate

Good evening ladies and gentleman

Tonight, and not for the first time for what has been more than 4 years now, I pose a simple, yet remarkably complex question…

Do you know who you are? I mean really know yourself and go to the great lengths you might go to for someone you care for, someone you love in the same way you would to know yourself? What drives you? What causes you to feel pain? What makes you fall head over heels in love and laugh until your stomach hurts?

To truly know oneself, is rare. This is something that continues across to our relationships with friends, family, coworkers and even strangers on a crowded train. Think of your job for instance- think of what happened when you walked on your first day, think of how you felt, your demeanour, the way you carried yourself and even the eloquence of how you spoke.

Then think to three months later and how prolific the change ended up being. Think even of how your posture changed, not so nervous or uptight as the people you were spending the majority of your average week with became a group of people you were becoming more comfortable to be around.

You became more comfortable around these people, so you felt settled enough to remove some of the barriers you had placed around yourself in self protection. We all, not just at work- are surrounded by barriers. The employment contract you signed, often just like in life, comes with a candidate specification and we have all been led to believe through years of fearful obedience to a emotionally flawed and damaging system this is the person we must be in order to be successful.

When the truth is, when we play this character, this supposedly “perfect person” we feel cheated in the happiness it’s supposed to bring us, when the truth is nothing really changes.

However, as time passes with a never ending uneasiness, people will start to break away at those cast iron blocks around us, as we do theirs. We learn by listening, and share through the confidence listening gives us and from this you might start to remove more and more barriers, maybe the mask of the perfect candidate is revealed to show a sliver who you really are.

I wander, does anyone really know you? Truly know all of you. What you like and don’t like, what scares you, what makes your skin crawl and that nightmare you cant get away from sometimes when all you want is for them to hold you that much harder? In this world now does anyone every really know another person? How much of what we see is them and how much is simply our perception of them?

Perhaps perception is the wrong word. As you learn more about a person and they learn more about you, its seeing through the character they present to the world, the “perfect candidate” in turn for someone else, someone more recognisable to the person you look at in the mirror and complain at every morning.

So my question isn’t necessarily about people you now, your friends or lovers seeing through the character completely and without compromise, because a lot of the time, that sort of love is nothing short of a fantasy born from what the through the fear of losing it can do. It is about you. You are never going to be able to truly reveal your soul to someone, if you aren’t able to show yourself who you are.

Who knows you? Do you know you? Who is your perfect candidate?

Im not sure i do to be honest. Even if can’t help question the notions and beliefs of my Perfect Candidate- I’m not overly sure who he is anymore.

Yours, with love as always.

DR x

Original image by Bongkarn Thanyakjj