Magic bricks.

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“I’ve spent so long thinking, so damn long planning and preparing for every possible outcome or eventuality to anything that happens in my life. It’s pushed people away and its made me a very serious person”. That is what you would’ve heard me say to describe myself if I had been asked for an honest description of how I was not so long ago. It’s not a very flattering version is it? It’s not going to make you overly popular or have the party people in their droves gravitating towards you, and its not a very nice feeling thinking thats how you were perceived. But that was then, and this is now. Now its a different story, the zen master pops his head around the corner, looks at me and asks me for tips! If anything, if this is possible my zen state may have gone too far? Now its all too easy, an easy life surrounded by easy going people that are a joy to be around and guess what…so am!

If you investing yourself only good things will happen. The key is in order to do it you have to be honest with yourself otherwise you will never truly get to the heart of rediscovering where you had slipped off the track and therefore you will go the long way to putting yourself back. Kind of makes sense doesn’t it? Tackle it head on, and if like me you feel there is/was something unaligned and you want to do something about it then I’m telling you its not actually a scary path. It may seem or feel bit daunting but its you talking about you, how hard can that be? To do it, to put yourself where you want to be the first you have got to do, the first part of the process is to break it all down. Oddly you won’t even know its happening. You’ll talk and look and explore then at any given point it will start to undo. It’s like dismantling a real brick built wall. You can shout at it and nothing will happen, you can punch and kick it and nothing will happen you will probably just hurt yourself, you can clatter a sledgehammer at it, that will get things moving, half bricks and fragments flying everywhere with no real clue where you are hitting the wall. But, if you look at the wall, analyse it you will see where you need to begin and again just like a real brick wall you find that magic brick, the brick holding the whole wall together and its like a key to unlocking the rest of the wall. It just comes tumbling down, you can physically feel it. I remember  the feeling when we worked out the source of my issue. As soon as I started talking about my Grandad. The best way to describe it it is imagine you are standing in a well, a cylinder of bricks around you, higher that you can reach. Then when you find that magic brick it unravels. Like dominos one after the other. It begins to let light in as the wall lowers, then reaches head height and you begin to see again. It continues to drop allowing you the freedom of movement again, by that I mean you can feel you mind breathing again, like it is clearing its lungs or having a big double arm stretch after an extra long Sunday lay in. Then before you know it its gone and you can just step out of the wall and now you have the ability to step up all of the loose bricks and head back up to the surface.

The only real thing now, speaking from my own experience of course is you (I) felt like a raw nerve, like a totally exposed nerve moving about in the breeze. More like a new born baby, I remember coming home and not really knowing where I was or what to do with myself but not long after I was gone, totally spark with emotional exhaustion. Waking up the next day though was incredible, it was like that night was the closing of a door behind me. now obviously you have to tackle the who, wheres and whys of what caused the magic brick but the hard work is done. You are already on a new path, it’s now the work undertaken to remain on it and to move forwards. Trust me on this, if I can do it then anyone can do it and once you are on that new path you won’t even think back to the old one. Imagine a world, your world with a mental an emotional freedom. An existence where you can move freely amongst your thoughts and decisions, processing and reacting to anything and everything in a constructed and methodical manner. Probably the best way to describe it would be when you have got a naughty dog or a new puppy and you’re over the park. You’re walking along nicely and its only the lead holding him there. Then you think because he is being so good you will unclip the lead and in a micro second he bolts as far as he can as quickly as he can. That is how it feels breaking down and removing these emotional demons. You’r free, off the leash to roam and explore at your leisure.

I think after you do this, after you go through this process and naturally what you discover will be unique to you but it will all be relevant and make sense and I’m pretty sure it will be a surprise and even more so on how it manifested. I guess thinking about it the magic bricks apply a lot of things in life. Any problem you have to deal with or face, the success of getting through it will always be your approach to it. That magic brick could be how and the manner in which you need to deal with someone. My dad always used to say learn how to pick your fights, know when to go into battle and know when to just let something go. he was always about seeing the bigger picture, not necessarily winning every battle but viewing the whole thing. Play for winning the war. That probably sounds a bit dramatic but in it’s simpler form it’s knowing when and how to tackle something.

I work hard, I train hard and I eat well, well at weekends I relax and enjoy my food more. I enjoy life, I enjoy my work, I enjoy the company of some amazing people from lifelong friends to people I share and experience many things with. All of this has been made possible by looking at myself in the mirror and knowing there was something that needed addressing, not even knowing what it was or it’s cause. Just in taking that initial step to self help, to a positive lifestyle. With all things in life it was looking beyond the initial fear and unknown and viewing that bigger picture (thanks dad). Seeing that if I spent some time searching, working and developing myself then the big picture was very much a potential reality. So I reached that point, that crossroad decision to go looking for my magic brick. I didn’t really know that was how it would work with my mind but I knew it was time to do it.

If there is something out there in your life, out in your world that is not right then proactively go after it, go and find its magic brick and I promise you once you do find it and you remove it there will be an instruction or lesson left behind by it. Like a fortune cookie but this fortune won’t be ridiculous, it will be inspiring.

Curtain call.

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I’m not really sure what is happening to me this week. For those of you that don’t know (why would you?)I’m about to move, this marks the end of a very long chapter my life. The final run of packaging takeover the box of closure to be put into storage. It’s a time I have been patiently waiting for. Truth be told I have been held in a state of limbo for 18 months. Not being able to relax in my own home has taken its toll on me. Imagine, every time you hear a car coming down the road you twitch into a meerkat like state of alert or coming home and knowing someone else has been in and moving around the place. This behaviour, for one reason or another I have had to endure. It’s been far from nice and the worst thing is knowing my daughter is there watching her dad never be able to relax or unwind, always tense.

But…we are virtually there now and the realistic thought of closing that door behind me for the last time is amazing. Naturally it’s tainted with sadness, 18 years this has been my home but as we know, change promotes growth and that’s what we want isn’t it, to grow, to develop. Yet even with the finishing line of the mental horrors from the last two years in actual touching distance, the brain and my emotions still manage to catch me unawares.

Imagine this, you have an entire life to sort through. Years and years of intertwined memories and experiences. Things you forget about. I had a couple of boxes to sort through, mainly paperwork, a nest of cables, tonnes of NBA trading cards (one quite special one oddly missing..?) but the thing that got me was a folder of keepsakes from my daughter. All the normal stuff like fathers day cards and a load of notes that I used to put in her packed lunch that she kept. Straight away just looking through those put me on the ropes but as always, the big guns took me down. The grand royale of knocking you sideways, the photo albums. Flicking through those those physical visual memories done me. I was gone. For some reason a photo, a real photo in your hand seems to have about a billion times more emotional power than just looking at your screen. Maybe its because you took the time to actually get in printed? You liked an image, a moment in your life so much that you turned it into a physical possession. So I won’t lie to you, I was done, the tears were thick and fast. Going page by page through photo albums removing and destroying those images I just didn’t want to remember anymore. What really tipped me over the edge was seeing those pictures of my daughter so much younger, seeing the three of us as a unit doing stuff and the innocence of her. I think thats the power of photos, they capture a moment that’s rarely taken for a negative reason. I mean who in the middle of an argument stops and says “Wait wait, lets capture this” We don’t, photos are taken for remembering those moments we live that we want to be reminded of. I guess that’s why looking back at them, not through negative eyes but maybe..cold eyes; it’s sad. It’s very sad actually and even now, a grown man in full control of his emotions was reduced to a blubbering mess instantly. That’s a good thing though, I’m not going to deny myself of these emotions and moments. Let them out when they are there or they will only resurface as something different. Release them there and then, it acts like a pressure valve and it frees you, it certainly freed me. I woke up the following morning feeling a hell of a lot better. I had felt myself putting up a bit of a people buffer of late. Just to keep everyone at arms length as I tackled this last bit. Not a defensive barrier just something to enable me to focus. It is a journey that only I need to be on, this is to be my closure.

I’m not afraid to take anything on by myself now not that I ever was but with this subject I have to take it over the line alone, it feels right to do so. The last piece of the jigsaw, well maybe not who knows what last minute curveball life could throw my way? The difference now for me is I actually embrace it. I don’t run from whatever is on my plate, I simply pick up my knife and fork. Learning to trying not to steer the things happening in your life or the decisions of others is a huge leap in making processes like dealing with moving under these circumstances so much easier. So I think the important thing for me this week was the instant recognition that I knew it was going to be tough and instead of shutting down and isolating myself I actually took the time to say to those close to me, “Hey this is really quite tough on me at the moment  but it’s something I know I must do alone so please be patient with me”. I had to be upfront and honest with the nearest and dearest because the last thing I would want is any other them to think I was upset with them or them to take it personally. My past track record would have been exactly that. This is a prime case of my personal development and growth.

It’s all bit surreal though, such a large chapter of my life winding up, it’s the first time I have had to really deal with something like this from this perspective and it really isn’t nice but I know I’m not alone. How common is this scenario? Sadly very, all too often relationships end but the bottom line is that a relationship that has done so for one reason and one reason alone, because it was meant to. There was something, maybe many things there that weren’t right and all the pain and upset are necessary in taking you forwards, making you stronger and more adaptive. So if you feel that something isn’t right; I can tell you now you’re more than likely right.

So now as the packing boxes come out I will be traveling light into my next chapter, both in materialistically and mentally. I don’t really want much of this period to follow on with me into the next phase of my life. Leave the past in the past, take the memories, from time to time you’ll think back on them, maybe be reminded by something and you may even smile and that’s ok. That’s healthy. I guess what I would say is if you are going through something like this or if you have been through this and it continues to affect you, let it go. You don’t have to let any negative influences from your past infiltrate your present and future. After all going through this stuff is what has made you the amazing person you have developed into today and likewise don’t deny yourself the good memories either, it all played a part in developing you.

It’s madness though really isn’t it? You can go through a full spectrum of emotions. As you hurt, recover and heal you break down barriers, establish new boundaries and experience amazing growth as a person all to have it temporarily torn down by a photo! Another example of life mixing it up as and when it chooses to, but ultimately the process of sorting through everything has been positive, if anything its been soul cleansing. I guess the moral is that its ok to have things upset you and its ok to have things from the past that you didn’t want to think about again make you smile, even if only briefly.

That’s all part of being human and its nice to be reminded from time to time that we all are.