I Believe I Can Fly, Almost.

After three snoozes of my KLOCKIS (I believe that is Swedish for ‘multi-purpose alarm clock with colourful backlight’), I rose this morning to assess the day’s weather.

It was cloudy. But the sun had done well to penetrate and colourfully illuminate the layer of Altostratus; the sky’s paddle-pop palette whetting my appetite for tranquillity of thought and a day of deep meditation.

I am lucky to have such a view to enjoy. To my right, the populous hills surrounding Randwick; behind which a constant stream of planes take off, landing gear still retracting, each banking sharply in my direction.

To my left, a virtually uninterrupted view across the tree tops and flats adjacent, to the ocean not a kilometre away. The water appears calmer than previous days; the waves now ripples; their white turbulent peaks buried deep once again.

The air this morning is fresh. But not too fresh that would require me to put clothes on… I stretch my arms into the air and inhale deeply as three birds lost in schizophrenic flight chase one another past my nose in celebration of the morning’s glory.

I am no morning person but surely there is no peaceful a time as now? I pause for a moment to express my gratitude. Then, I open my eyes, returning my gaze to what surrounds. As ever, I search each inanimate object for deep philosophical meaning. Because I like to feel normal…

But today’s deep metaphorical insight comes not from a tree or a passing cloud but from the trio of Rainbow Lorikeets playfully dancing on the ledge of our neighbour’s balcony. I observe them hopping along. It seems that when you’re a bird, walking is pretty, err, lame.

I think to myself how scared I would be if I too were boisterously parading on such precarious ledges. At six-foot-three a fall from such a height would likely result in thousands of dollars in medical bills and months of rehabilitation. Though if I were just fourteen inches tall with toothpicks for bones…

I ponder the meaning contained within and pose the question:

Would we still be afraid of falling if we knew we could fly?

Surely not. For in my travels so far, I am yet to come across a basophobic bird. Nor has one stopped me to ask, ‘What is my purpose here?’. Putting aside the obvious communication difficulties of course…

But I must ask again: Would we still be afraid of falling if we knew we could fly?

Maybe we can fly after all? Maybe we just haven’t figured it out yet? Or maybe, and far more likely, flying for us means something completely different.

And yet in both cases, we are separated by the same thing: A leap of faith.

PJ.

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Humble Submission

Thank you for the talents and abilities you have given me; thank you for the opportunities you continue to provide.

I hit submit on my final assessment piece and so close the book on my first complete year of tertiary study. I reflect on my ability to balance a full-time work load, full-time study and life, whilst somehow delivering a trio of high-distinctions. That was the second trimester. Curiously, I have found managing my time to complete just one subject this final trimester (after the two others were cancelled) far more challenging.

As I have learned of the intricacies within employee engagement, the topic of student engagement has seemed to become far more complex. I am glad now to be permitted the freedom to breathe once more. And with it, the freedom to write, in my own style, and at my own pace, without the demand for my creative energy to be expended elsewhere.

I return to the pages of my journal, pausing for a moment to recount one thought in particular:

Still it feels there is so much more to have and yet in this moment what more do I need?

I continue to embark on this somewhat instinctively human journey toward ‘more’ though stop now to remind myself that in this moment there is no more; I stop now to remind myself that the dreams that once felt so distant are now at my door; I stop now to remind myself to release my grip on the quest for certainty and humbly submit myself to life’s call.

PJ.

Understanding The Seasons Of Life

Today I sit in this quaint Surry Hills cafe. I have my laptop and journal laid out on the table in front of me. There’s little room spare for my enormous coffee. A necessity for me today!

The weather of late has been glorious. Days at the beach have become the norm; broken up only by quick trips to the nearest smoothie bar for some refreshment and hydration.

Though today could not have been any more different!

This morning my umbrella was retrieved from the depths of my wardrobe and dusted off as torrential rain flooded the streets. It’s still hot as hell though and I’m sweating just as much as I would normally. But I am spared from the guilt that would normally accompany an adventure so far from my sea-side flat.

I love the beach. I love the feeling of the cold water against my skin; the loving, refreshing and reinvigorating sensation that awakens my spirit and energizes my soul. I love the feeling I find when floating peacefully behind the break of the waves. I detach myself from the realities found back on shore, breathing deeply and embracing the wonder of that very moment.

It is beautiful.

You could say then that rainy days like these might fill me with a certain sense of disappointment. And yet it is in fact the opposite.

Days like today remind me not just of the value found in those sunny days but more importantly the value in days like these. Just as the sea and sunshine are so re-invigorating for my soul, the rain is so important for the re-invigoration of the soul of the world.

We must remind ourselves that in order for the world around us to grow and flourish there must be a balance between days of sunshine and days of rain. Though we might fantasize about endless sunshine and idyllic holiday destinations that provide us with such, speak to one or two drought stricken farmers and you’ll quickly learn that such realities are far from what is ultimately necessary.

It’s about balance.

Thus we must return to look at ourselves and acknowledge this reality as a value that must be embraced within our own lives. As fellow energies that exist within the same world, we must not forget that we too cannot grow and flourish without both days of sunshine and days of rain.

Surely it would be foolish to ignore the connection we share with our natural surrounds; surely it would be foolish to overlook the reality found within our deepest origin?

At a talk I attended last year by acclaimed speaker Rob Bell, he spoke of the changing of seasons within our lives. That feeling we get at times when one chapter closes and another begins to open. At the time we cannot articulate this feeling in the way we would perhaps like to though still we know. We can feel it. Somehow. Science can only explain so much.

Surely then we must not ignore the coincidence found between the character of the world and our own character? The ups and downs and ebbs and flows are not so much just a part of life but are in fact the very essence of life; the days of sunshine and the days of rain.

Might we also remind ourselves that even in the peak of Summer there will be days of rain just as in the depths of Winter there will be days of sun.

Life thus becomes not a fight but rather a challenge to embrace. Through the trials and tribulations that form our lives we must learn to both recognise and embrace this fluid habit of our natural surrounds; we must learn not to attach ourselves to circumstance or a particular moment in time but rather to let go and allow that which gives our existence its true meaning the freedom to guide our steps forward.

Herein lies a key I hope many will soon find.

True joy awaits.

PJ.

 

WARNING: Stories From Three Nights In Vegas…

Eight huuuuuuundred titties. I’ve got eight huuuuuuundred titties waiting for you boys for whenever you’re ready…

Olly and I looked at each other. We were amazed. Was that even possible?

I’ll get you boys a free limo, a free bottle of champagne…

The deal kept getting sweeter and sweeter. It almost seemed too good to be true…

As we slowed our walk in ponderous amazement, we looked back and forth at one another with both curiosity and disgust. Was his offer genuine? Just how big was this place to fit 400 topless girls?

Tonight was not the night on which we were going to find out however. In fact, no night was. We continued walking only now a little faster.

‘It’s a trap!’

We seemed to repeat this to one another every few hundred metres. Passing through what we thought was an exit out of one casino, we would somehow end up in the foyer of another.

Buying a beer and finding a seat at which to enjoy it presented the challenge of finding a table without a pokie machine at it’s center. A seat at the bar was no better.

Our gaze often met that of a beautiful girl walking by.

‘Was she, errr, checking me out?’ we would ask ourselves.

Maybe. But the price tag hanging from her neck, just barely shielding her enormous silicone bust from the seedy prying eyes of the three hundred desperately dissatisfied married men in her vicinity, was certainly not what we were after. Not now. Not ever.

We would eventually find a way out of this labyrinth of lustful greed. Though not before another hour spent navigating the ocean of roulette and blackjack tables.

Finally, we made it, throwing our arms into the air proclaiming:

‘Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty we are free at last!’

I doubt whether a certain Martin Luther King Jr. ever foresaw his words being used for this particular purpose…

We woke up the following morning, checked out of our AirBNB two nights early and hit the road bound for San Diego which, for those of you who don’t know, means ‘A whale’s v…’.

I’ll cut myself short on that one.

Perhaps our time in Vegas might have been different had we have had thousands of dollars spare to spend. I’d like to think not. Though I can understand the temptation for those that do.

I’m sure I’ll return one day. But not to gamble. Or to have a twenty-seven year old single mum grind on my junk. Instead it will be for something much more worthwhile. Just what that is exactly, I don’t yet know.

Watch this space.

PJ.

 

An Eternal Possibility: What Will You Create?

Dare to dream, they say.

Shoot for the stars!

Better to aim for the moon and to hit a tree than to aim for a tree and to hit a rock.

So focused we have come to be on what comes next. On where we are going. On where we want to be; on who we want to become.

It is a mark that is forever moving. It will always be this way. Our dreams change because we change. We are not the same person that we were five years ago. Nor will we be the same person five years from now.

I must remind you, we have in life only three things:

Memories of the past, dreams of the future and now.

But there is of course only one constant through all: Now.

One moment. Not bound to a timeline. Now is forever.

Remove from your mind this concept of time with which we have grown so familiar. The idea that there is a beginning and an end. I cannot overlook the challenge in doing this of course. It is all that we know.

And yet still I ask, expand your mind.

This moment will never end. Even in the absence of all, this moment will endure.

And thus we realise that the concept of an eternity, or dare I say, an ‘eternal being’, is not so hard to comprehend after all. Nor our own ability to be creators.

And so I must ask:

What will you create?

PJ.