The tired soul is dying Leaving a void within, The Humane-ness is lying In silence, again, we begin; In Freedom & bondage Where deception runs deep, They pass to their advantage – The kingdoms are for keep.
And gaze while they’re sleeping By reaching for height, They rest in your feeling An amazing bright light. When doubt fills our glories Of layers unfold, It is then that the stories Of our history are told.
Outnumbered I spoke with them Recalling memories of delight, But who could decipher them When we’re living in fright. Beyond all refusal The doubts in our glories, The wind is a dismal, And Are part of these stories.
The waving of tall grasses, The song of the hidden sinner, That croons as it passes You do so with a little quiver. The heavy-heart is a fool The summoning of jealousy, The confusing schedule Must blend until you see.
Without these, indeed, you Would discover before too long, Just like I would read to you The words of a beautiful song That exhaustion would linger When flowers don’t bloom, The melodies of a singer, Of The hypnotic tune.
And, melding with each For far too long There, sadly humane-ness is dying We are in need of a happy song.
I like to think of these as the PRISONS WITHIN. Most of us live within the prison of our own minds, with anxieties, fears and uncertainties cluttering our brains and steering us away from mental freedom.
Currently, we are waging a war against being distracted. Yes, you read that right … we are constantly waging a daily war against formidable Goliaths, ripping our control over our ability to FOCUS.
These formidable Goliaths control the platforms and framework on which the increasing advanced technologies rest … and are voraciously consumed by the masses. Individuals have easy and relatively cheap access to and from the Weapons of Mass Distraction (WMD).
In the 90s, we came to know what the “Weapons of Mass Destruction” were during the annihilation of parts of the Middle-East.
Are WE really winning?
Yes, you could argue that we are winning against the infectious diseases that have afflicted the human race. The advances mankind has made in the last 50 years in the fields of Bioengineering and the hard Sciences have benefited the lives of millions.
It has made our lives more convenient. The question we’ve got to ask is – convenience in place of what … our freedom and our ability to control our lives?
However, the recent COVID debacle may not support this (winning against infectious diseases).
It seems, to me anyway, that while the infectious diseases are under control (Externally) … we are losing a lot of ground in our true UNDERSTANDING OF THE SELF. This is significantly affected by the increasing tendency to be DISTRACTED.
Our individual ability to MANAGE THE MIND … our ability to manage the CONFLICTS WITHIN .. INTERNALLY … has been on a downward spiral.
People are struggling to achieve “Peace of Mind” at all levels of society. It is an epidemic.
You, me … each and every one of us NEED to guard the doors of our mind like a good bouncer guards a nightclub door and stop potential trouble-makers.
Individual’s skills at doing this varies greatly and I believe the majority still have a long way to go in terms of mastering that skill being the BEST BOUNCER TO THEIR BRAIN.
In order to be a good bouncer, you must first try to become more AWARE of YOU. This increase in AWARENESS should be a positive one. You should then FIRST try to find your own HEALTHY STRESS LEVEL in life, for example, are you a –
Your increase in Positive Self-Awareness should be built on a strong foundation of the KEY SKILL OF IMPERTURBILITY.
And what does this mean?
PRESENCE of MIND.
Being “imperturble” refers to having the coolness and Presence of Mind under ALL Circumstances … not some of the time but ALL of the time.
Having the presence of mind in ALL weather .. in calm weather … and in storms …
Having a presence of mind means having a CLEARNESS OF JUDGEMENT in MOMENTS of GREAT PERIL.
This is one of the KEY SKILLS needed to live a relatively GOOD LIFE.
This is a key skill that is not spoken about often … a skill that does not get ‘the light of day’ … The KEY SKILL of IMPERTURBILITY.
Improving your AGILITY ABILITY Ratio strengthens your Aura of IMPERTURBILITY.
In my experience, because individuals don’t know themselves as well as they think they do, they don’t know what their STRESS TOLERANCE Levels are. As a result, their ability to RESPOND to Stresses is very poor. They essentially DO NOT have the necessary skills to RESPOND appropriately and sufficiently.
Improving your AGILITY ABILITY is heavily influenced by your ability to ADAPT. It is in the process of adaptation that you strengthen your Agility Ability Ratio.
As a mentor told me long ago –
“It is not the smartest or strongest who survive .. it is the one that ADAPTS the fastest.”
In my experience of life and from learning from other peoples’ experiences through life, another thing that helps is to begin by ACCEPTING the IDEA … the School of Thought … that ALL STRESSES OF LIFE is “NORMAL”.
This perspective helps improve your ABILITY to ADAPT and hence your AGILITY ABILITY Ratio.
⁃ fine-lines with Black fine-nib pens on white paper
⁃ the human physique by playing with Dumbells, energy inputs, processes and imagination
⁃ Lifestyle variables to DESIGN TAILORED LIFE & LIFESTYLE SOLUTIONS for individuals
⁃ Consciousness to “see” what many do not in the current & future
First and foremost, I AM AN ARTIST 👨🎨…
I may need a different mix of chaos & order … a more challenging mix of comfort & discomfort … a varying mix of stability & flow compared to more “normal “ people.
People may find it weird, but …
I see life as an very large experiment made up of many smaller experiments. I refer to these experiments as experiences.
And I Am … the Scientist at heart… with an artistic soul.
WHAT WORKS For ME.
I remind myself that I must experiment with WHAT WORKS FOR ME.
As an Artist 👨🎨, money does not validate my credibility.
As an Artist, my credibility lies WITH ME, GOD & My WORK. In other words, if I write a Blog … a poem … if I sketch ✍️ a fine-like picture of beautiful building architecture … then, I write or draw – whether it will sell or not.
As an Artist, my sense of self respect comes from my belief that I am created in the image of God, my internal reflection and from DOING THE WORK.
My work …
One fine-line-sketch -at-a-time, one set of exercise at a time, one poem at-a-time, one blog-at-a-time … one dream at-a-time. Five years working on a lifestyle proto-type, 10 years working on an entrepreneurial adventure, a lifetime pursuing a dream that takes a lifetime.
As an Artist, making money is not what drives me. I do not need to be extremely wealthy & rich but I do need to be RICHLY SUPPORTED by those who love & BELIEVE in me.
My CURIOSITY NEEDS to be fueled for my intellectual, spiritual & philosophical needs. These needs as well as my insatiable physical & emotional needs have to be continually fed to continuously EVOLVE.
I must …
Never allow these needs to be stagnant, for this will show in my work. If will show In my life. It will show In my temperament. …
… In my aura, my vitality.. my life force.
It is very important that I keep moving …. As this allows me to CREATE.
I need to CREATE to express my love for life … of life . If I fail to create, I get moody.
Nobody likes a moody – me.
In order to CREATE I must stretch the boundaries … making new laws … encouraging novel ways of looking at things … and not necessarily following the existing laws and staying within the current boundaries.
First, I must BREAK ALL THE RULES.
As an Creative Artist, I need to continually FEED and NURTURE my ARTIST CHILD… for the more I nurture this INNER CHILD, the more ADULT i am able to appear.
There is a CONNECTION between SELF-NUTURE & SELF-RESPECT.
When I allow myself to be bullied (very seldom), and somewhat allow to be forced by other peoples’ need for me to conform … to be more normal or more nice, I lose myself.
Sometimes I do. I lose my – Self.
I allow myself to succumb to the whims of the ordinary man, to be ordinary like the ordinary. Something My inner fibre of being just does not agree with.
I sabotage my CHILD ARTIST.
For when I am not creating, I am not a very nice person to be around. I am certainly not “normal” or very nice – go myself or to others. Many say I am “weird”.
So be it.
In my experience, There is a connection between self-nurture and self-respect.
Every time I create something from nothing, I feel the creativity is a spiritual journey. For me, doing the ART WORK is a SPIRITUAL PRACTISE.
To me, there is never a “finishing line” or point where I can say that “I have made it!”
It seems that when I feel I “got there” … “there” vanishes. Vanishes into thin air. Just like that . In sculpting the physique for example, I have been working towards the elusive holy grail of bodybuilding: balance & symmetry.
Haven’t found it for almost 30 years now.
Every time I create … I have a piritual journey.
I NEED to keep moving … like a Spiritual Shark 🦈… if I stop improving, I will sink to the bottom of the Ocean of life and …
MY WAY like LIFE’S WAY is not the “straight & narrow path” as the majority take … but one instead which is literally “my way”
MY WAY is a SPIRAL PATH… not the straight & narrow. My way is a spiral path because I AM an ARTIST, but more importantly, I am created in the image of God.
It is a simple and as complex as that.
As an artist, I am a traveller. In body and in spirit & imagination. I yield to my SPIRITUAL LEADING.
The Creator bestows on us the gift of creative thinking & doing. Our recognition & use of our gifts, given by God, is, in turn, our gift 💝 to God.
When you Accept this DEAL OF A LIFETIME… I believe it is the beginning of TRUE SELF-ACCEPTANCE.
Give thanks and praise the Lord.
FIRST: MOVE INTO THE BODY, HEART ❤️ & SOUL.
To move into the body, heart & soul, one must first resolve to ACCEPT that one MUST MOVE OUT OF THE HEAD/MIND.
This is not easy.
Especially in a “busy” world with a lot of external & internal noise.
I make exercise a key part of my life because I am and have been seeking a form of MOVING or MOBILE MEDITATION. The execution of well-chosen exercises allows me to practise this … what I call – moving meditation.
This meditation experience puts me squarely IN THE MOMENT… in the NOW.
If I don’t respect the weight and/or don’t focus, I will get injured. I have not gotten injured lifting weights since I began almost 30 years ago.
My goal has always been to seek BALANCE & SYMMETRY in body… which translates to balance & symmetry in mind, heart & soul.
Like I said, earlier, many of us (like me), we DO learn by doing. Exercise, for example, is often the impetus that moves us … moves us from stagnation to inspiration… from seeing problems to opportunities for find solutions … from self-pity to self-respect & living with dignity.
One of the things we learn is that – I AM Stronger … WE ARE … STRONGER THAN WE THOUGHT. From my experience, we learn to have a different worldview… we learn to look at things with a new Perspective.
And a lot of times, this different perspective is the KEY to experiencing life a little differently … a little bit better …
God does not give individual gifts 🎁 to frustrate a marriage. No. God gives us unique gifts to ENHANCE the marriage. God does not lead two people into a marriage to see “sparks fly”, pulling a husband & wife in opposite directions.
No… God, leads them into marriage to blend and maximise their strengths, their usefulness.
Whenever this happens in my relationship with my wife, I pray to God for his help…. To give me the strength, courage & wisdom to make good decisions.
This is where our faith in God helps us during turbulent times in the marriage. There are many forces (internal and external) that work hard to tear a marriage apart.
If you believe in your marriage & what it represents is important to you, ask for God’s guidance and work hard to keep your marriage .
Over the years I have listened to many individuals. Listened to their stories.
Over the years I think I have had in excess of twenty thousand conversations with people of all ages. From teens to ninety-year olds.
Over the years I have had many coaching conversations. In these coaching conversations, I have helped increase individuals awareness of how their perception of events in their lives either propel them forward or hold them back.
I have listened to others and the way in which the stories they tell ourselves have the power to hold us back or propel us forward.
As an example …
The bottom line is that I wouldn’t be the person I am today if my hearing hadn’t been terrible when I was young. Neither would you.
This is why taking the time to properly frame our narratives and the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves can be so critical.
The first turns your past into an anchor, while the second turns it into the wind that fills your sails and keeps you moving forward.
Is there some piece of your story, personal or professional, that you’ve been able to reframe in a way that moves you forward, instead of holding you back?
Wonderful question for all to ponder. I’m one of the most self-aware person you will ever meet, but that is nothing new to me as I have been this way since I was a kid (from the adults who knew me in my youth).
Cowboy 🤠 House.
Here’s one I’d like to share – I was raised by my grandparents as my biological Dad died when I was 4 years old, trying to save a person from downing … and was overpowered by the victim and drowning with that person). My biological mother was only 16 and had a choice to have an abortion but I thank her and God that she didn’t.
Her decision to give me life has allowed me to not only live but to do what I do – predominantly, helped people, help themselves building their bridges from where they are to where they desire to be over the last 3 decades.
Anyways, I grew up in a large extended family – grandparents, grand uncles and aunties, uncles, aunties, cousins and siblings and … visitors and extended family visiting.
My home was always full and was always noisy. Our neighbours used to call our home – the “Cowboy House”.
We didn’t have much of anything – food (there were no less than 10 people to feed every single day … and I do not know how my grandparents managed to do this), didn’t have much material possessions (my grandmother used to sew my school uniforms) … but the home certainly had a lot of love.
There was a lot of storytelling and sitting around talking almost every night. It was just part of the home … part of the culture.
Because there was so much noise, most kids would not be able to concentrate/focus. But, I told myself way back in early Primary School that I will teach myself to study/do school work/read in … noise.
My teachers couldn’t understand how a kid (me) could get Top Academic Results every year.
Most kids/people need peace and quiet to FOCUS, so we are told. “How does Paul do it?” I would over hear some teachers say. In my adult life, I have continued to learn/read/focus in any environment, no matter how noisy or ridiculous is.
Focus on what you can control
I remember my grandfather telling me many things (he was a very wise man) … saying something to the effect –
“Paul, focus on what you can control … and do the best with what you’ve got … don’t be part of the problem, always be part of the solution”.
I’ve always applied that in my life, not focusing on insufficient resources and constraints .,. But on HOW I can do better with what I have. That philosophy along with many others, has helped me create the life I’ve always imagined and realise short-term and long-term goals.
Growing up in an family environment that had very limited resources (except for love … the home was always infused with LOVE), has allowed me to almost always have an overall attitude of personal optimism and enthusiasm.
I completely understand the psychosomatic relationship – psyche and soma – mind and body … better than most (hence sculpting a Physique worthy of representing Australia at 2 x World Natural Physique Championships and placing in the Top 5 in consecutive years).
I am fully aware of how the body is the physical manifestation of the mind or in other words, the body expresses what the mind is concerned with. I’m a strong believer that life is many things … and one of which is that life is a self-fulfilling prophecy…. That you usually get what you expect.
My ‘tough’ upbringing has allowed me to develop a healthy self-expectancy and eliminated all forms of excuse from my vocabulary as … I expect to win, almost all the time. I have no doubt the so-called ‘luck’ is the intersection of preparation and awareness.
Life … a very real game but not a gamble.
I look at life as a very real game .. but not a gamble.
Part of what I have done over the last 3 decades is help people, help themselves build their bridges. I have learned and taught many things. It seems that every individual tends to receive what he or she expects in the long run.
From my experience and deducing from other people’s experiences in my life so far … it would appear that you may or may not get what is coming to you, or you may or may not get what you deserve – BUT YOU WILL nearly always get what you expect.
As someone who has mastered the art of body re-engineering (building muscle and reducing body fat to < 4%), believe me when I say, there is an intricately close connection between your mind and body … a negative thought can cause your ‘look’ (that you get judged on) to go from excellent (Top 5 and finalist) to awful.
I’ve learned and mastered much of the ‘mind-body-heart-soul’ interface connections and one important one is this – mental obsessions have physical manifestations. Basically, you BECOME WHAT YOU FEAR – you get what you expect – you are that which you expect to be!
Here’s the thing – since all individuals are responsible for their own actions and cause their own effects, optimism then, is a choice.
Choose well, my adult friends.
Optimism, Enthusiasm, Faith & Hope.
What is needed is : continual fueling of – OPTIMISM, ENTHUSIASM, FAITH & HOPE.
Each is a synonym for – having a HEALTHY SELF-EXPECTANCY.
So, my question to you (if you’ve made it this far) is –
1. Do you have a healthy self-expectancy about things in your life?
2. Do you expect the best for you – in life and as a way of life?
3. Do you look at problems/constraints as opportunities?
With regards to question 3 above, try this little exercise and let me know your answers –
Make a list of your KEY problems/constraints –
> the ones that block your professional and personal fulfillment.
> Next, write a one-or-two sentence definition of each problem/constraint.
Now, rewrite the definition, only this time view it as an opportunity or exercise to challenge your creativity and ingenuity (some refer to it as ‘re-framing’).
Here’s a tip: view the solution as you would if you were advising one of your best friends.
So, where does your thoughts stand in relation to your Self-Expectancy now?
Here is one ☝️ loooong thought 💭, posing questions –
“What does IT all mean… ?
Me, you, everyone else … everyday? The Everyday. What does IT all mean? The empty words .. the useless thoughts … the lies we tell ourselves.. the lies we tell others … the ineffective actions.. the roads, the cars, the buildings, the bright lights … everyday … The Everyday. The thing we call and hang on to called … Life. The Life… … we thought we had … the life we now live … the life we thought we would have… The Life … we would like to Create. What does it all mean? When does Life begin? In the womb ? … at conception? Why? When does laughter really begin? In the womb? At conception? Why? Life … When does life end? When does laughter end? Does life end when laughter ends … or is it the other way round? Does it matter? Does IT begin with the rise of the sun ☀️.. everyday? Does IT end with the setting of the sun 🌞.. everyday? Is the Sun our true measure of time? Is the sun our pendulum of … Life? What does IT all mean? Where does our “time” go? Why do we think being “busy“ is important… is right? What about what’s left? Who gets what’s left? Of time … of Life. Why should there be a “waste” of time, when you, me, no one … can control time? Who makes that judgement? Is it better to fill our time with laughter? Why? How so? What do you believe? Do you believe… that you’re the INFINITE? Why? Why not? Do you believe you’re the culmination of each and each & every improbable moment that led to your existence? And what about the SCARS you carry? Do you wear them with pride? With honour? Like badges you’ve collected along your path … your way? For ALL to see? Why? Why not? What are you hiding? Who are you hiding it from? Does it IT really matter? You hesitate? Don’t! Don’t even allow any of your future precious moments be taken up by “looking down on yourself “ There are enough people in the world who would gladly do this – “put you down … “ So, don’t do it to yourself. It’s not worth your … Life .. That is THE INFINITE. YOU are … The INFINITE. So… What does IT all mean… anyway? What abyss of time does IT fill? IT … The Life… “What does IT all mean?” I curiously ask… Anyone? “
I used to tell people that if I made that person I see in the mirror better than, last week, than last month, than last year … in ten years I will be on the World Stage, standing and competing against the best in the world.”
Within ten years, I stood on stage against the best natural bodybuilders at that time, representing Australia. A Big Dream, come true. I repeated the feat the following year for good measure. As a great mentor once said –
“If you think you can, you’re right … you CAN.”
Don’t ever laugh at another person’s dream, no matter how far-fetched it is.
2.5 Disagree with people, if you must but don’t hate them.
It’s ok agree to disagree and still like someone.
In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling and personal judgements. Leave judgemental comments to God or people who have a profession as a Judge.
I remember sitting with adults when I was a kid, Listening to their stories. They would say –
“Paul, why don’t you go and play with your cousins & friends outside”
I would reply –
“No, there will be time to play with them later”
I’ve listened to hundreds of other people’s stories when I owned & managed my Family Gym for 7 years.
I love 💕 telling stories.
I believe there is power in storytelling.
It begins in the home.
It begins in the Home…. Practising the art of Storytelling, that is.
Home is where the foundation of storytelling starts. I recall listening to my dad & his close friend’s tell stories around the Kava bowl. In the home, I got a strong 💪 foundation… Of a past that lends my existence a place, a sense of belonging, a historical context.
Home is where stories get passed on for generations. I have continued with this 💝alentine tradition. My two kids can retell the stories I tell .. because they have heard them countless times. And as my daughter says –
“Dad, it keeps changing all the time”
And I say –
“Aaaahhh… yes, my dear … that is where facts and imagination fuse in the optimum place”
Home is where I was told that I am built like & physically intelligent like my grandfather, Ben Valentine. A powerful & skilful National heavyweight boxing champion, going undefeated for 3 years in his prime.
Home is where I heard stories of my quirkiness from early age & my creative & innovative nature in my early youth. I heard stories of my country of birth through the filter of my own genealogy.
Struggles, family migrations, family triumphs, as well as ancestral successes & failures were taught to me through the history of my 💝alentine Family.
In my Home now, it is a place where I build my own legacy: through my love 😍 for history & storytelling, I have shared & will share more stories I was told in my youth with my children.
Always, adding my generation’s story to this 💝alentine Novel in progress. I’ve always believed the REAL histories of families aren’t the records of births, deaths & marriages. No, to me …
… they are the stories told after dinner, while having chocolate or dessert. So full and satisfied.
For i have learned many things so far, and one important one is the importance of LEGACY.
Legacy is fueled by US… in our family. It is fueled by ME. And all this evolves from our history… our family stories passed down …
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