This holiday period hasn't turned out as well for me as I would've liked. Sure, there were some fine moments. I went to Tasmania, I drove up to the Central Coast, I did walks and worked in the garden, and spent time learning Bach cello suites on my bass guitar. But I've also felt distracted, and pained. I'm disappointed to admit that I've relapsed into the emotional backpack I'd once been some 15 years ago. I blame the weather, partly. Most of the time the weather has been unpredictable and murky; cloudy, coolish, still days that do not sit comfortably in the high summer of late-Dec/early-Jan, instead reflecting and refracting from the ghoulish pain that sits in the stomach and has been set free to vapourise throughout my body since putting my feet up from work for a lengthy five weeks.
It all started on Christmas day. I decided to open a bottle of vodka that I won at our fab Christmas party at the Doncaster just up the road from drama school. I'd duly maintained that bottle in the freezer and had been looking forward to prying it open on the X-m day. It was something of a novelty as I'm not a man for spirits at the best of times. So, finally on xmas day when the weather took a turn for cloudy cold, I poured us all a 'vodka and orange'. I filled the tumblers with about a third vodka, thinking that was "ok". I had a second V&O about an hour later. I felt that alcoholic buzz, yes. Trouble is, it stayed with me all day and didn't shift. And well into the next day too where my body felt decidedly out of sorts, poisoned even. I've realised now, after consulting with a few people who are a bit more versed in matters cocktail, that I probably had about the equivalent of 6-8 shots of vodka in the two glasses I drank. No wonder I felt that I was riding the rocket fuel-train for a good 36 hours thereafter!
There was a funeral to attend. Then New Years eve. New Years day. All very quiet and inconsequential. I reached my nadir on Sunday 3 Jan. It was cold and cloudy. I seemed to submerge into a nasty depression that I hadn't encountered in quite some time. Old thought patterns re-emerged. Lack, limitation, envy, jealousy. All that is the opposite of abundance, gratitude, joy & giving. During the past week these emotions have been shooting up through me from the yuckky sensation that's centred in the stomach region, that of unhappiness, that of emotional pain. When I'm coming through this placenta of murky sensation I find myself frustrated with my living situation and even more frustrated with the alternatives. I feel envious about those who seem to procure and inherit properties like I may acquire a box of chocolates. Financially, not all are created equal.
And of course, for the remainder of the time, I'm free of this inner-ghoul and I feel happy and unconcerned with anything but the now.
I suppose I'm disappointed in myself because something tells me I'm more "evolved" now and I've "moved on" from that place of past hurts and disappointments, only to have demonstrated to me that this is clearly not the case; past hurts and resentments are still living on in me, and I can detect their energetic presence down in my stomach region. The point, or conundrum, is not to judge myself, for self-judgement merely adds to the emotional muck that already exists in ocean-fulls in me. It's about being the conscious observer, the pure, energetic, true presence that lies behind the emotionality, and to hold onto that as much as can be achieved.
That's the thing about being away from work, you relax and unwind and yet with that, all of the ghoulies that usually submerged during the busy year come floating up and taking over. This is what's been happening with me these past two weeks.
And yet now as I write this, I'm feeling rather fine - but I nonetheless sense that tension in the stomach region.
Sydney's also to blame. I don't like the way we live.....or to be more to the point, the way I live. Modern life is bullshit. Yes it can be fun and exhilarating but it is not ultimately fulfilling. Today I was up around the North Shore. It's so much nicer than the Eastern Suburbs. More relaxed too. I love nature and my happiest moments always seem to be when I'm surrounded by the beauty of the the planet, the blessed Earth. If it wasn't for my great job and my friends and my family and muso pals I'd be outta here. But then, that's why we stay here, for those reasons more or less. Sydney's a magnet, and also a "black hole - it sucks you in" as my former work colleague Kathrin once said.
But now to more imperative, humanely universal, concerns. Emotional pain is something that most of the Earth's population carry in varying degrees. For all the baggage we carry, or the memories of past pains, hurts & disappointments, emotional pain is fundamentally energetic; meaning that all of these past traumas and pains and hurts are lodged in an individual's subconscious and form an energetic entity within the body that sits in the upper stomach region, just below the solar-plexus. Most people project this outwardly or deal with it their pain with drink or drugs or a myriad of distractions (my obsession with musical instruments is mostly an outlet for my pain, if I have to be honest with myself). But if you take the moment to look into the emotional pain and feel its presence, well, it's not a pretty sensation. It's like the (seemingly) eternal ring of fire, the cauldron of hell one has to pass through before finding the 'kingdom of heaven' (within).
Dealing with emotional pain is a fundamentally simple process, yet it's the most difficult thing to apply. It can be a life-long journey, like a never-ending game of chess with the world's most cunning, relentless player. This is what to do: feel the sensation in the body at all times, without thinking. Spend some time to keep still and focus on the inner-body. While feeling the good or pleasure of the overall body sensation - without thinking - also hold onto the sensation in the stomach. Sometimes there'll be no sensation there at all. But the battle will duly commence when you do sense that feeling of emotional pain, for it will try and throw you off and make you give up and just make a cup of tea (or grab a beer). Or more likely, it will make you want to think about the past so it can feed off you and get you all emotional and leech your energy.
Emotional pain will seem to win out each and every time as it spins you out into thinking and emotionalising about the past and past disappointments with yourself and others. The point is to be now at all times, be fresh and new, be valiant, and just keep at it without monitoring your 'progress'. Over time you'll win, it's to be hoped.
Emotional pain is a right bastard. But it's a universal one. Nothing comes close to ridding oneself of (energetic) unhappiness as a life-long endeavour. It's been said that the key to life is to "find death before it finds you". Yet it's almost like being Sir Lancelot and wielding a mighty sword against an impossibly fiery dragon. You just want to give up. But in our day-to-day living, where good jobs and loving family and a wonderful creative life are just not enough to quell the beast that lives in that murky dungeon within the stomach, one just knows that the ultimate freedom is freedom from unhappiness. Yeah, that is the big one...
enjoying a bevvy Awakening to the ‘good’ in our lives and to the fulfilling sense of gratitude which follows often comes to us via ...
A decade after Barry Long's death, his posthumous autobiography has finally been published. The manuscript had purportedly been sitting...
On the Thursday morning of 4 June, while passing through Melbourne, I had a chance to take a little excursion out to the Maton Factory in t...
I believe the inexplicable has happened. Something that I’d never believed could swing and shift in the space of this one l...