The Importance of Desires

Buenos dias!

Something that has been coming up a lot lately is the importance of desires. Why is it we put such importance on our desires? What measures do we go to to achieve these desires? Is there an alternative way of approaching desire, one that doesn’t leave us face to face with the unhappiness we experience when our desires are not fulfilled? These are just a few questions that come to mind when considering my own desires.

To begin with, I believe we put such importance on our desires due to the effects social conditioning has had on the dynamics of our culture. A culture that is solely based on consumption and the idea that this consumption generates happiness. So what is it that we are likely to desire in this cultural dynamic? A new car, new house, new partner, new job? This is all well and good, but again, why is it that we put such importance on these desires, as if what we already have isn’t good enough, which as I said before, is likely due to the effects of social conditioning. Does that mean we are conditioned to feel inadequate, like we are not good enough, like we need to improve ourselves and the way to do this, as advertisement so regularly suggests, is to desire new things or relationships with others.

This is seemingly unavoidable as we are born into this cultural narrative, meaning we are conditioned from a very young age to desire the things we haven’t got. How far are we willing to go to satisfy these desires, what extremities must we endure to achieve the desired outcome, whatever that might be? I met a guy once who continued working a job for over two years, where he would have a panic attack most days at work as he absolutely hated the job, just so he could upkeep his social image, his car, his apartment, his television etc. He was so conditioned to believe that all of these external projections of his social status were absolutely essential to his happiness and feeling successful based on these material objects. Although this is absolutely insane, it is something I have been subject to in the past myself. That may seem to be an extreme example, however, it is a very real scenario in which people face in today’s society. Ready for the paradox of all of this, we endure unhappiness to achieve happiness?

Now we can ask, is there an alternative approach to achieving our desires? Do we actually already have everything we need contained in our bags of skin as Alan Watts so rightly describes us? If so, how do we bypass our desires and access this abundant happiness?

The alternative approach to our desires is to let go of them completely, or at least letting go of the importance of them. A part of the conditioning is that we place such importance on our desires and we become so attached to the perceived outcome that we end up in the paradox described above. Something that is not practised much in the Western world is the power of detachment, not just the detachment to our material world in a physical sense but more importantly, the detachment of the ideas we formulate in our minds of how we can be happy within a material world. It is the attachment to these ideas that lead us in to the undesirable paradox. Happiness is an emotion, energy in motion, it will only ever be temporary, this is a huge part of the human condition.

The way around the human condition, that is to identify with our experience and label all that comes to pass is to begin a regular practise of stillness, of silence, of meditation. I am not claiming to be an expert in this field, but I do know from experience that when we regularly enter this space of awareness we bring ourselves back down into our true selves, the way God intended for us to be. It is in this place we can begin making informed decisions that are centred in our hearts, and not our heads. When we make our primary objective to commune with God in the silence of our hearts, we naturally let go of all of our other desires entirely. It is not to say we cannot still pursue our desires, instead we begin doing so from a much calmer and accepting place, a place that has transcended mind, a place that does not place such importance in the pursuit. This happens as we become aware of the ultimate truth, God has provided us with all that we need to survive in unity with one another, a unity that only exists when we all live from our hearts, and not our heads.

We would all agree that living in unity with one another is the most desirable outcome for all who are graced to live in this beautiful world, so let us all rejoice in letting go and detaching ourselves from our desires and allow our hearts to take the steering wheels of our lives. Allow them to steer us back into The Kingdom of God. Amen

La fundacion escuela de solidaridad!

I have been meaning to write a blog about the foundation of solidarity ever since I was blessed with the opportunity of coming here to volunteer last year, however, words do not come easy when describing a place that has genuinely been built on love!

The foundation was founded by one of the most inspirational people I have ever met, Ignacio, I could not possibly articulate how much hope he brings to my life, and so many other people who have been graced by his humbling presence. If the world had more men with just half of the capacity of this man, it would be a much better place!

Ignacio and me!

His partner, Dora, carries an equal amount of love into this world, and like Ignacio, she inspires me and brings me hope. The warmth of her embrace has the power to sooth even the coldest of souls!

You can see the impact Dora and Ignacio have on every single individual who resides here, the amount of hope they bring into the lives of the residents is immeasurable!

My house is your house!

Everybody you meet here welcomes you with an open heart, regardless of your ethnic background, religious beliefs, disabilities or political views, you are seen for what we are at our roots, a human being; that is something that I will never forget.

A message we should never forget!

At the foundation there is a permaculture garden which is looked after by Los chicos de Gambia! Gilbert, Sam, Ernesto and James, they are all from the same village in Gambia where they have a fully established eco-village! A place I will undoubtedly visit in the future!

Los chicos de Gambia

The boys from Gambia, like Dora and Ignacio, inspire me so much. It brings me so much joy to be back in their presence and sharing such intellectually progressive conversations with them once again, it is such an honour that I am able to call these incredible beings my brothers and this incredible place home.

As my two day visit swiftly comes to an end, I wake up early to climb one of the smaller peaks in the Sierra Elvira to catch the sunrise. As I stare off into the eastern skies eagerly awaiting the rising of the sun I send my thanks to Jaime, another incredible being in my life, for directing me here.

Sierra Nevada and Granada

I remember him warning me that I would find it difficult to leave. He was not wrong, both times now have not been easy, there is a magnetic force powered by love that draws you in.

Now as the sun comes into view over the magnificent Sierra Nevada, I send wishes of good fortune for all of us here on planet earth, and more importantly, I thank the universe for the foundation and all that is good in the world.

The rising of the sun, a daily blessing!

I sit quietly for ten minutes enjoying the warming sensation the sun inevitably brings in Andalucia, Europes only desert, before heading back to la fundacion to spend the afternoon in the company of these great people.

Time moves forward as it always does and before long it is time to leave, I say hasta otra vez, as I am sure I will see them all again, and reluctantly head to catch the bus.

Next stop, Hidden Paradise, Órgiva.

Let Me Inspire You #1

Birmingham Airport

02.10.2018 18:07

£90/€250

Firstly let me welcome you all to my page and to my new series of blogs, Let Me Inspire You!

It feels good to be waiting for my flight, I am excited to be heading back into Spain to continue my research in Permaculture, ecological living and alternative communities. I have just spent the last five months knee deep in a capatlistic stomping ground working for Butlins, which has been a difficult time for my empathetic soul.

However, I have come out of there even more determined than ever to pave a way into a more sustainable future for our species!

That is why, this is the most excited I have ever been before disembarking on a journey! I am excited; to share all of the experiences I will go on, all of the places I will visit, all the people I will stay with; I am excited for what I will find on this adventure, in the mountains, in the rivers, in the earth; I am excited to venture further into the wonders of sustainable living, spirituality, mindfulness and the human psyche!

As you will have noticed I have listed a few things at the top, the place I am writing the blog, the date and time it was written and my financial situation.

I think it is important that I be transparent with my readers in regards to my finances, it will give you a deeper understanding of how to be a smarter traveller and months into my trip you will see how I manage to travel such distances with such little budget! Or maybe not, who knows!!!

So my first location will be at Hidden Paradise, it is a centre for spirituality in the mountainous regions of southern Spain in a town called Órgiva! They offer Yoga and Meditation retreats, shamanic practises and more! I will be working in the kitchen catering for the guests who are attending the upcoming course!

I am required to stay for a minimum of four weeks, after this I hope to go to the canary islands as I have been in contact with a couple of hosts to work on some permaculture projects and spend time living within an eco community!

So please do keep reading and please Let Me Inspire You!

Quinta da Fortuna 11.10.2017

Hola! Over the next few days I will follow up from my last post ‘The ruins under the city’ with a few diary entries from when I worked on the Mediterranean plant nursery in Portugal! I hope this gives you an insight into what it is really like!

11.10.2017
As I awaken I can see the sunlight seeping through the window at the end of the bed and through the gap in the curtain I can make out the silhouette of the trees against the morning sky, I become fixated by the beauty of such a natural phenomenon. I start to wonder what time it is, I check my phone to see it is only 07:15, so I roll over and go back to sleep for another hour. When I wake for the the second time I look out of the window and although it is brighter now I can still the silhouette and it is just as glorious. I tell myself I will do this every morning for the duration of my stay.

I get up and go to the bathroom and carry out the standard morning in activities. I put on my boots and head over to the house for breakfast. Sabine, the German lady who will be hosting me shows me out to the terrace where there is freshly baked bread, homemade loquat marmalade, cheese, butter, peppermint tea and… chilli. Didi(short for Dietfrid), Sabines partner, comes out and we shake hands in a formal greeting. He takes a few chillies straight from the plant that is behind me and puts a small, deep red chilli on my plate. I remember hearing that the small ones are the fiery ones. I decide to just chuck it in my mouth and bite straight into it, and in an instant my tongue catches fire like somebody took a match to a bush in the Australian outback! Without hesitating I remove it from my mouth and put it back on the plate, we all share a laugh and Didi says he eats some every morning. This man sure loves chillies, I think to myself. In an attempt at easing the fire in my mouth I butter some bread and take a bite. I look down at the chilli thinking you will not beat me so I decide to have another go at it, this time I accompany it with some bread and a cheese spread. The flavour is immense, fiery as before but with the addition of the cheese it has created an incredible taste which lingers on my tongue. They offer me another one, which I kindly decline.

We finish our breakfast and Sabine gives me a tour of their beautifully wild garden, there is exotic plants from all over, different species of trees, flowers of all shapes, and vines growing everywhere all creating a real spectrum of colour. There is one vine that catches my eye, it has a bright blue, purple and pink bell flower on it of about 6cm diameter so I ask what it is, Sabine says it is a weed called Ipomea! I cannot believe this could be a weed, she goes on to say it spreads to much and kills a lot of the other plants in the nursery and I am likely to have to cut some of it back while I am here. it saddens me to have to destroy such beauty, but I understand the importance of keeping the other plants alive.

She ends the tour by showing me where the bikes are and says I can use them to go to the beach in my free time. She passes me over to Didi who has got an assortment of jobs line up for me. We start with emptying an enormous pot filled with soil, we do this so Didi can make, what he calls a warmhouse. It is a mini greenhouse he plans to keep his Plumeria in during the winter to keep it dry, the Plumeria is a wonderful little plant that grows in hot summers and dry winters! This does not take long and we move it to its new home near the back of the garden. After we move on to a simple task of tidying up the mini papyrus and re planting them in separate pots to sell on the market.

As I am nearing to finishing the task Sabine comes to say that I can stop what I am doing and come and have lunch. She looks at the plants lay on the trailer with the roots exposed and says that she thinks the plants will be okay until tomorrow, I politely tell her I will not be able to rest knowing the plants are laying here like this and I will finish of the task after lunch. She thanks me as we walk through to the terrace. On the table is a vegetarian pasta dish, simple but delicious nonetheless!

We finish up with lunch and they invite me to share dinner with them this evening outside on the terrace of the guest house, I accept the invitation and head back to the caravan. I spend thirty minutes doing yoga outside before taking a lukewarm shower to clean the dirt off from the garden. Once I am all cleaned up I pick up a book, lay on the bed and start to read before drifting off.

I wake up as I can hear Sabine outside shouting me to say dinner is early and will be ready in ten minutes. I quickly put on a shirt and head on over to see if there is anything I can help with, there isn’t, so I take a seat at the table and quietly wait.

After a few minutes all the food is on the table and we all start serving the food, they have prepared, a chicken, roast potatoes, a roast cabbage and a bowl of tzatziki. I have not eaten roast cabbage before so I am excited to see what it is like! In good old German fashion we all open a beer and say broust (German word for cheers) and start to eat. The potatoes have been cooked in rosemary from the garden, they go very well with the tzatziki, the cabbage is a new flavour that I will try to recreate myself one day. It is not long before we have all had our fair share, so I head to the kitchen to clean the dishes and put the remaining food in the fridge, a task I don’t mind doing.

Once dinner is all finished up we share another beer before I retreat back to my cosy little caravan to reflect on my first day in the Mediterranean plant nursery! I am so happy my hosts, Sabine and Didi are warm hearted beings. It is always so uplifting to meet such humble and knowledgeable folk, but I guess it’s what you would expect from two nature fanatics such as them. It is not long until I am dozing off into a peaceful sleep, ready for another day on Quinta de Fortuna

A Penny for your thoughts…

Coco and Penny

This is a tale of two dogs, Coco and Penny. They are the most adorable little chihuahuas, they make the best companions and together they melt hearts, particularly the hearts of our family, friends and now you!

The tale begins with Coco, he was so tiny when he was born, he could fit in the palm of my hand!

The handsome Coco

With everybody working all the time my mum decided Coco needed a friend to keep him company in the day. This is when we were blessed with bringing Penny, the most fragile of animals, home after she had been rescued.

Penny was ill treated for her entire life, she was force bred in a cage by some sick people who only cared about money! I find it interesting how this insignificant material turns people into greedy beings with no compassion towards who/what we are affecting with our behaviour.

Our precious Penny

Penny was so timid and frightened when she first came back to our loving household. She would often flinch, she would wee all over the house and she would occasionally have fits bought on from her traumatic start to life in the hands of them monsters!

These are things she still does occasionally, but we comfort her, we clean up after her and make sure she is showered with the love that all beings deserve!

It has been incredible watching Penny adapt to the daily routine of a dogs life in a loving home. How she has copied Coco in her attempt at learning how to behave in her new environment. Coco is a boy so he naturally cocks his leg when he goes to the toilet, penny is a girl and she will also, funnily, cock her leg!

Truly amazing to see such behaviour in another species. I ask myself how much stronger the influencial behaviourisms within our own adaptive species are in comparison to a dogs. Especially with the addition of speech to aid us in the learning process.

My mind works in a way that everything gets processed with depth, those who know me will understand this when they see my brain in action as it deciphers the puzzling world.

So I have to further ask myself why, when we can observe this behaviour in the life of dog, do we as a supposedly more intelligent being continue to behave in such destructive ways? This happens on all levels of society, particularly in the lower classes, which is where we observe characteristics from archetypes such as the wounded child, the escapist/addict, the rebel or the victim and more!

Since the dawning of Blue Planet 2 we have seen such a drastic change in our consciousness towards plastic pollution, this is amazing, it is so great to see the impact it is having in the UK and how the ripples are reaching the entire globe! When we all change our behaviour together, in unison, we send out a stronger message to the rest of the world. The power contained in a collective consciousness is unfathomable. It appeared we were starting to harness this power, together as a nation, as a species, to move in the right direction to actually begin rectifying the damage we have caused!

Then Easter came around and we all went out and bought lots of Easter eggs and other unnecessary commodities that the corporate elite push onto is in these false festive times. They continue to push these commodities onto us as we continue to buy them, and for the sake of what? Upholding a tradition that lost its truer deeper meaning within our colonial past.

You are probably thinking what has this got to do with my dogs? Well, after observing these two dogs grow together over the years and now to see Penny be the beautiful little dog she is today, it is so comforting! In this symbiotic relationship my dogs share, I observe some amazing characteristics, the same characteristics we all have inside us deep down. The possibilities when sentient beings are born and raised in a loving environment is incredible. What is even more incredible is when we take a sentient being from a chaotic environment and it manages to adapt to its environment and thrive with such joy. A clear sign that hope will forever exist.

One of the most significant reads of our times!

I do believe we can re connect with our truly sentient selves but we have a monstrous task of taking control of our egos and cultivating them in a way that is not just beneficial to ourselves, but is beneficial to our species as a whole.

I hear you, impulsive desires, I hear you.

I shall not act, I shall not act.

Understand why,

for the planet

is bigger than I.

Now remember, for every action there is a reaction. So act positively, love unconditionally, be respectful, be mindful and live in peace. We are in this together. Let us not make our next phase of evolution; extinction!