Friday, 3 June 2011

Rebuilding the Colossus

Arnie has more muscle on his fingers...
I don’t believe in coincidence.

When I look over my life, every major and minor event, every tragedy and fleeting moment of joy, every perceived victory and defeat has led me directly to where I am, right now, tapping at this keyboard…

… and I am truly happy and at peace within myself.

Looking back, briefly, it seems that everything that every happened happened for good reason, because it brought me to this moment.

I have no complaints at all.

I wish for nothing more than I have right now.

From an external perspective, it could be argued that it is impossible I’m authentic in expressing this state of tranquillity…

I mean, I’m 37-years-old, back sitting in my bedroom at my elderly mother’s house. I’m out of work, I have no relationship, no money in the bank. I have debts and don’t know how I’ll pay them.

Likely more than half my life has gone by and I don’t really have anything to show for it.

I have no idea what I’ll be doing next week, or even tomorrow.

So how could I possibly be happy?

Well… because…

I am.

I’m just being.

If I was still gripped in my old, pre-awakened mindset, no doubt I’d be crippled with fear, worry and regret right now… yet I’ve got a smile in my eyes and a glow in my heart as I write, because I’m not that man any more.

This is my reality, and resisting ‘what is’ is as futile as asking the Sun not to set, or the tides not to turn.

I know things will change and - without wanting them so badly that it takes me outside the beauty of this moment – I have my plans and ambitions, even if I don’t know the exact route to achieving most of them quite yet.

One of the things I’m about to put a focus on, though, is changing my body through a process of actually looking after it… properly… at long last.

I’m thinking that - now I actually love life - it would be very wise to take care of the machine I’ll be travelling in for the next few decades; fuelling and maintaining it on a level that I’ve never really considered before and transforming it from something of a chugging oil guzzler into a zippy, nitro-boosted supercar.

The thing is, a week ago... though I had already made it an intention to ‘get fit’… all that would have entailed was a daily walking and weights routine, alongside the input of a bit more protein into my system to help build muscle. I bought a couple of tubs of chocolaty whey powder last Friday to do that job.

Then, at the weekend, a ‘coincidence’ occurred…

Just days after my new resolve, I received an email from a woman in The New World of the Americas, and after some very gracious words about my blog, she asked me:

“I am curious (only because I have done my own “studies”) how much, if any, has exercise and nutrition played into your clarity and on your journey?”

I pondered it for a bit… and I’ve got a beard at the moment, so it was some proper, fingery-chinning pondering, too…

Since the awakening, apart from a new obsession of stomping up mountains whenever I can, I haven’t set myself to any serious regime in way of either exercise or nutrition. I’ve been fuelling my body with cheese sandwiches, mainly. I’m not a scientist, but on pondering this woman’s email, I suddenly realised that’s probably not a very good diet to be attempting to get fit on.

My envisioned exercise approach was simply to burn more calories and take in more protein. I may have lost the weight and looked a little more toned, but it’s almost like trying to repair a car by spray painting it. Maybe the outside would look fine, but I’m sure it would still be a mess underneath.

Now - after this 'coincidental' email - my eyes have been opened to the fact that I should be doing this properly and taking a more wholesome approach to match up the state of my body to the peace in my mind and soul.

Also, I hope that – through this process – I can inspire others to start looking after themselves, too. I mean, as a lifelong tubster with only brief periods of being at a healthy weight, it’s very unlikely that I’ll do what I’m setting out to do…

… but I’ll do it.

And if I can do it, so can anyone else who chooses to.

It’s far from that I’m unhappy with my body. I just have the clarity, now, that I can give myself a much better chance at living a longer life if I really put effort into taking good care of it, so that’s what’s going to happen.

Whether I have more contact with the woman who emailed me or not, there’s an Eastern saying that’s appropriate, here:

“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”

I’m ready.


  1. Personally, I found that when I try to lose weight for "appearance" reasons, I do what you did - continue eating the same bad stuff in smaller portions, exercise, and hope it will work out for the best. But changing the diet along with the activity creates a whole new mindset. I think you're onto something here. Best of luck!

  2. Thank you, Kendall! Most reassuring! Hehe. :-)

  3. Brilliant note here, Les, enjoyed reading it very very much. (Not just for the arm-shaped eye-candy either!) I've been on a health kick recently and although I had my re-awakening three years ago following *that* treatment, and have been blissfully happy ever since, I feel so much better for the exercise I'm taking now and I'm sure that's helping me maintain my positive outlook.
    I too am skint and relationship-less, but I feel absolutely brilliant!

  4. Yeah, I'm really looking forward to the benefits of living in a healthy body instead of a wheezing, wobbly one. I'm already super-happy... I'm not sure how that could improve, but I'm certain there will be great benefits. :-)

    You ARE absolutely brilliant! ;-)

  5. Nice, Les! 'Les'son #2 I've learned about you: you have made a decision to be happy while having very few material posessions. It's so liberating, knowing you can go anywhere, do anything, and at your root, be happy. I like how you are not chasing a hidden dragon, but rather settling inward and strengthening who you already are. That is a lifelong, and extremely fruitful way to be!

  6. Thank you! I'm sure my life situation will change... there is a sense that I haven't reached anything close to my true potential yet and I believe I could make an awful lot of money in my life - but I still won't need a great deal to just live.

    To have the money in the bank to be able to invest in people and projects and ideas would be the greatest use of it. It's so sad to see appeals for sick children who need thousands for treatment... I wish I could just write them a cheque for the full amount, plus extra for ice cream.

  7. Enjoyed this post. I felt your calm resolve while reading. It happens to be a good time (student is ready) because I've wandered a bit from my healthier routine established months ago. I'm glad to have found your blog. ~ LaurieMit

  8. I hope you get back to it. There is a great sense of well-being that springs from taking care of ourselves. It will be interesting to combine this with the state of mind I have, now. Thank you for reading! :-)

  9. I watched a show about positive psychology for a neuroscience class I was taking last semester. They said that exercise produces the same chemicals in the brain that anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds are supposed to stimulate, that basically it can be used as a good treatment option for depression and anxiety in lieu of drugs. So for whatever that is worth haha.

    Oh and I'm on a get fit kick too. Not so much for appearance, more just looking to be more functional (and to get up and move b/c I'm sitting on my ever-widening ass all day writing lately.) I'm hoping to make it stick this time. I had my awakening last year but it's been kind of bumpy; seems the more 'knots' I untie the more I find, haha. I'm getting better though, gradually :)

  10. There is a great benefit from exercise on the body, yeah, but I also think that present awareness does away with the need for anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication. I haven't been doing a great deal of exercise until now, but I've 'beaten' depression.

    I'm not really one for conspiracy theories... but it's fact that medically treating depression is worth many billions of dollars across the world. It's not in the interest of big business or governments to fix this problem without medication, and it will never be fixed with medication.

    If I can be any help with the awakening process, send me an email and I'll do what I can? :-)

  11. What an honest, authentic post this was! I truly enjoyed reading it. I'm sure everything you set your mind to will come to fruition. It sounds like you're on the right path dear writer.

  12. Thank you, Tameka! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'm getting there, yeah. :-)

  13. I really love reading your blog and learn a lot from it. I have been trying for the past few years to stay healthy and get rid of anxiety and depression. Though still haven't achieved my goal but will not give up. Your post really gave me hope.
    Best of luck.(;

  14. Hopefully the road to healthier bodies is one we can travel on together, as I progress that aspect of the blog? Maybe you just need a bit of cheering now and again? :-)

  15. I'm happy you're so excited about your new venture. Good luck!

    Evidently your positive attitude in all this will get you where you need to be.

  16. I believe so. I'm determined and passionate. A long way to go, but I'll enjoy every step. :-)

  17. Hi Les
    Thank you for your honesty in this post. I am going through change myself, and I too have started to focus on my body, and giving it the love and attention it deserves. My body is protecting the 'real' me and I am bursting to get out.
    I love your focus and positivity and look forward to reading more:)

  18. I think the extra padding on my body at the moment must be protecting the real me, too, in that things bounce off me better. :-P

    I hope everything goes well with your own mission! Be happy with your body as it is, though. :-)


  19. The interesting thing to me is that we tend to think of the body as a vehicle, or a machine, to be fueled. With that mindset, it's no wonder we don't take better care. I don't put premium fuel in my car. It's too expensive.

    But the body is as much a part of me as my spirit, my mind or my emotional facility. It has needs, capacities, memories. My ability to interact with reality is directly influenced by the state of my body. My body was there when all the pain and all the joy of my life took place.

    It's a fully fledged member of the club.

    There's a reason why yoga works.

    I'm really encouraged by your post, and also a bit indicted. I keep falling off the pullups and running bandwagon, and I go for long stretches relying on my wife to get the right food on the table. (Which she's fantastic at doing.)

    But it's really not up to her, is it? No.

    Thanks for your post, Les. I'm glad I found your blog.

  20. It remains a vehicle, though, Peter. It wasn't here 10 months before we were born, and when we leave this life, we leave it behind. We're just joyriding with it for all the time we occupy it.

    Going on the car analogy - it makes sense to ensure the wheels are bolted on properly, that you can see out of the winds-shield and that the engine is running as smoothly as it possibly can.

    It doesn't take a big budget to eat properly - just a bit of common sense... and I know I've been guilty of failing to follow that for long periods of my life.

    If you need some encouragement, why don't you join me - have a sparring partner, so to speak? Would be fun for both of us, I reckon. :-)

  21. Well, we don't really know what happens when we leave this life. The fact that bodies "remain" after we "die" isn't really enough to go on. At least, I'm not willing to draw conclusions.

    But I see your point.

    I think the bottom line is, right here, right now. That's what matters. All the more reason to tune the body, because the body is our anchor to the present moment. It helps us experience now.

    Thanks for your offer to spar. It does sound fun I think before I could commit to that I should build up my participation at home. My wife buys good food -- farm co-op and such. I just need to make better use.

    But your post has me thinking...

  22. I agree with you, even if it doesn't stop me eating chocolate and drinking gin :( ! However, I have recently discovered the joys of getting more sleep. Never realised how I was draining my body and my soul by staying up just because I could. Good luck! Still wish I had mountains to walk up or lakes to walk round...

  23. Yeah, I miss the mountains, too. Just joined a gym today... feeling a bit tired. :-P