Category Archives: balance in life

The In-Between Spaces by Elledge

Was it just a thought? A sound? Was your voice somehow reaching out to me? An image and then images…I didn’t know, and I didn’t really want to consider anything. I was tired. Tired of waking up every morning with puzzle pieces of my past life showering down upon me. Whether it was real or not, I felt like my brain was a magnet of everything and or anything that just showed up at my brain’s door steps.

And then somehow the day got going and I did what I needed to do. Work was done on automatic – but I was efficient; then grocery shopping, daily errands, took the dogs out on their walks…One activity after another, but I didn’t feel like me while doing it. Who was running the show? Was it me? My DNA? Was it society: of which I was a never ending cog in the wheel of something much bigger than myself? I didn’t know. I only knew that I needed some piece of mind, some feeling that I was actually determining something in my existence. Not just being pushed along  the unending chain of: school, work, love, marry, kids, retirement…then the ‘D’ word.

Part of the problem was that life seemed to happen and I’d jumped on the bandwagon without much consideration. Kind of like you’re waiting for the bus on a street corner in a no where city and a bus does come along. You’re not sure if you should take it, but the driver tells you (and the other passengers nod their affirming heads) that the next bus will be several hours from now. Well, of course you get on the bus, right? I mean, who wants to sit around for hours waiting for another bus?…

“What’s that? This bus is going where?”…”To No Where City? And the next bus?….To Create your life Zone and Maybe Be Happy Too?” Hell, I should have waited for that next bus…..

Now what? Well, those images, those sounds, those puzzle pieces I mentioned earlier, were maybe important ones. Maybe my brain was trying to tell me something. Maybe, I needed to listen to my own mind instead of being that ‘cog in a wheel’. Maybe, I could try to hear what my inner self was trying to tell me. Perhaps I had a message to myself that was more important than the constant barrage of messages coming from my computer. The first step? Turn off the phone! Turn off the computer! Meditate…. Breath… Oh yea, I was always forgetting to do that too. Breath…Yea, it was March, it felt like just ‘Another Summer Day’… https://elledge.bandcamp.com/album/another-summer-day

Some Helpful Thoughts In Life Management by Matt Carlson

Some things that are helpful to remember in life:
1. Have a sincere intention when you do something and be clear about what that is to others.
2. Don’t play into others’ unhealthy game playing, lying or manipulation. Tell that or those people “no” and go on with your life.
3. Don’t judge, but learn to observe things. When you judge something, it cannot become something else, only what you’ve judged it to be.
4. Communicate as best you can & as often as you can. Communication is a bringing together of ideas so that everyone is on board with all of the same elements. If you do not do this, then you are not communicating, only occasionally giving out bits and pieces of a thing.
5. Give of yourself to others. Giving is generosity of oneself. Everyone has unique gifts to give to others. Give freely and often without second thoughts. Without wanting something in return.
6. Take time every day and as often as you can to just be in the moment, to be with who ever you are with or whatever you are doing. Don’t get so caught up in your daily lives, that you forget what is essential: this moment. The past and future do not exist ; the past and future only exist in your mind

Birdsong and Change by Matt Carlson

Can trees be so high? Leaves that green? Bird song so sweet? And dogs love too, so unfailing?.. And what about me? What about this body? It seems too so very consistent: in its needs of food, of sleep, of worrying and such. But I know that if I have the misfortune to see all of it in a mirror, that saggy face, those lines, the missing hair and muscles flask, that all is an illusion. This envelope belongs to another – not the frozen twenty five year old image in my head…none matters, thoughts of yesterday’s are gone, traces only remain… I am no longer the same, never was. We are never the same at any moment. One thing happens and you change and then another and another until so many pieces outside become the new you inside. One has no choice. It just happens… And there is no sadness, no joy of it. Joy has to be considered, maybe even chosen upon, like being unhappy. Perhaps we choose that, those emotions. If you’ve never experienced being happy, I’d imagine it would be hard to imagine happiness. I’m not completely sure of it anymore, myself…..
Was I truly happy once upon a time? Will I be one day? Is that a DNA thing that we simply reproduce because it’s there in our genes? Possibly…I still want to believe that we have some choice in the matter. I still would like to choose happiness, if I can.

Aahh, birdsong. Nothing better, that and the sound of the ocean…

 

 

Life Changing Movements by matt carlson

There has to be intention in what you do. Life must not be just you flowing through it, without any sense of who you are, of what you are doing and or of where you are going!

I think though that my intentions have often been muddeled in the past. I knew something wasn’t right, or that I wasn’t in a place where I fit in, but I wasn’t sure really of anything. So much that surrounded me made no sense. And I had at an early age, been unaccepting of accepting things, thoughts or concepts just because “some said so” or that it was written in “some book” that people were falling all over.

Today with intention, I’ve left my home in France. I am here in California  – on a journey to find my tribe, to be able to use ME in wherever I will finally (?) put my suit cases down. It could be I will be living out of a hat so to speak before I lay my weary bones somewhere…I am accompanied by my two best friends, Foebbe and Fender, two smart Jack Russels (brother & sister) and with each choice I make, I consider their lot, their lives too. We are a roving family of three.

Last week, I was considering again a bike trip, with a rolling trailer for F & F. But now that it’s raining in California (I’m talking serious rain here!) I’m thinking that kind of trip can wait utill it’s warmer everywhere else. After blue sunny skies & 70 degree weather since arriving one month ago one thinks that everywhere else it’s the same – but it’s not!

 

Getting back to those intentions and leaving everything behind…Well, easy and not so much – also I have a return ticket for this summer. (If we return, I do not have even the slightest idea of how that would go or where we would go etc)..It’s too soon to consider my return with F & F. For now, we are here and I want to check things off my life list. Maybe i will finally choose a place, a person or a job that will give me a kind of stability – though I feel totally stable in my head. When I use that term ‘stability’, I don’t mean a stable life that measures up to the status quo – not that normality : that kills you with emptiness, boringness,  steps on your soul repeatedly, the normality that crushes your dreams, the one that makes you forget who you really are…. NOT THAT NORMALITY! Don’t forget too that NORMALITY = the majority. So that means that if it were normal to jump off a cliff and kill yourself at 30 – you had to do it, or you weren’t normal. I say, question your beliefs, question your life, I say, “WAKE UP!”

My intentions are not to have regrets in life. My intentions are to be with people I love (or loved) and reconnect if possible. Also to follow my project ideas: tennis, music, writing… I’m putting myself out there – if someone doesn’t want to connect, that’s okay. Then we’re done. You won’t see me making a scene over it. It’s probably your loss anyway…..

This weekend, I’m going to Indian Wells for the biggest tennis tournament in the world (outside of the four grand slams). Palm Springs is a desert island full of wealth people and hollywood stars, 70% of the population LGBT. That’s a lot of rich gays under the sun. Will go with a friend of mine and we will see a few friends of my past – that’s gonna be nice!

I also have a job possibiity hook up for teaching tennis again full time. It may or may not be what I am looking for. My intention is to find out. I love tennis, love teaching it, love stringing, am totally passionate about it. Whatever happens, I will check this off my list.

Going with a positive intention to find out and spend some fun time with friends. “Good, good, good, good vibrations…..”(Beach Boys song…!)

 

 

 

Road Trip by Matt Carlson

Road trip? Kind of. But a bit of a different one! A life changing road trip with an intention of moving on, not knowing what that destination will actually bring to your life, because it’s not just about the road trip – its the choice I’ve made to leave France.

A big f***ing road trip, huh? And yes I am flipping out – the stress shows itself at strange moments. It’s better to lay off the coffee for sure. After almost 27 years of living here in France too – half my lifetime. Add to that the recent ending to a disasterous ten year relationship with a sufferer of Boderline Personality Disorder and consequent attacks of a hateful nature! Yuck, huh?? (I’ve had to defend myself against repetitive lies & the twisting of reality or just plain nastiness…)  I won’t go into detail here (and this is not why I am leaving) but the change (though it may be short) will be helpful. I think its true that returning home after time living elsewhere can only improve your perspective of it.

I did return this summer and there was a whole lot of joy going on seeing people that I loved after a fifteen year absence. It was my intention to reconnect with family and a few friends. Connect I did and I was sooo happy to see that I wasn’t the only one happy about that ! 😉

Today I’ve left Paris after finding work! I know, crazy, huh? Well paid work too, but I was feeling an important desire to go home. To be with my brothers and their families, my cousins, nephews & nieces…. and of course friends that I haven’t seen for ages. It might not work out, it could be alot of pain for alot of effort, maybe it would be safer to stay in France….but all of those thoughts, I’ve put aside because my intention of being with loved ones is so much stronger.

This is the moment. It’s now or never. In ten years, if I don’t go I will always wonder. This way I’m going to see it for myself and I will have no doubts about an ‘eventual’ outcome. It will be what it will be. We cannot know what the future holds for us, we can only try to create a part of it’s outcome – yet we are not the only factors in determining that outcome. So, what are you going to do? Not do something because of fear ? Not do something because other people don’t agree with you? Not do it because someone is going to get mad at you? That people won’t understand? Judgement? ….The list is long. Life is short.

Follow your instincts. Live a life of following your purpose whatever it is. No one and I mean NO ONE can tell you what you are all about! That’s up to you! And me, my life, like you and yours, it’s not other people who decide (though many try to do that for us); it’s up to us.

Be happy. Look for fulfillment within, find that purpose. Then learn how to share it. I’ve found mine…still learning how to share it.

Take care dear reader!

 

 

Agenda’s: Yours’ or Theirs? by matt carlson

imagesAgenda’s: Yours’ or Theirs? by matt carlson

Sometimes it just doesn’t stop. The constant flow of vibration….whether it be the TV, your iphone, laptop, cell phone, radio, car noise, people demanding, wanting things from you; the kids, your wife (or husband), your boss, dead lines, bills, payments due….then you realize you’ve gotten fat, you’re having a bad hair day (or maybe you’re bald already!) and you think “What have I done with my life? This is bullshit!” And to top it off, you don’t even like what you’re wearing!!!

Well, whoever you are dear reader – you are not alone. You are just caught up in what was once called the ‘rat race’. And guess what? It’s still called that – AND YOU’RE THE RAT!…Yea, let that sink in for a moment. Rat’s being used for experiments (I am totally against animal testing of any kind, by the way) running through corridors where there is seemingly NO escape. But the rats keep running, they continue to search for what they have been conditioned to find. For them, it could be the gratification of finding food, or perhaps a sexual partner…. And you? Why are you running through those seemingly endless corridors or maybe even driving those never ending highways with your music blasting away any possibility of thought?? Are you running around searching for something in particular?

Well, whatever you may think – you have been totally conditioned too. Just like those poor rats. Maybe you’re thinking, “No way man – I’m too intelligent. I make all my own choices.” Well, you’re probably full of crap, if that’s what you think. Because today, we are learning that biology determines most of what we consider to be free choice. That much of what we may think is original, impulses, desires and so on are actually stimulated through our DNA. Do you think you’ve ever said anything original in your entire life? Hmmm; Sorry, but I seriously doubt it… I’m not being pessimistic either, just rational about old time accepted dogma that has become rooted in our thought processes as some kind of truth. But there is hope, not all is lost !

Our perceptions determine how we react to everything. That means that if you believe something is true, you will respond accordingly and usually within the perimeters of your constructed value system. Your value system is a learned ensemble of ideas and concepts that one develops throughout life. You are the total sum of all that you have learned & experienced to this day. It’s those experiences that can alter the exchange between dictating genes and your brain. Enviornmental influences are perhaps the determining factor in change. Taking the time to question what you actually think and what you actually believe is imperative to escape a value system that might not be yours, or at least not consciously; that is to say, if you’ve never taken stock of those things before. What do you actually believe? AND, what do you actually think?

Take food for example. You love to eat hamburgers, drink milk, have fried eggs with bacon for breakfast and chicken curry for dinner -there’s a great Indian restaurant down the street you discovered; maybe you even love “veal”… So those experiences are a given, something you have accepted to be truths, or at least things that you enjoy eating and have experienced. You have accepted these ideas so they are a part of who you are, part of your value system. Now suddenly someone says to you, “Do you know where hamburgers come from?” And you think, ” well yes, of course. From cows.” And that person then asks you, “Do you like animals?” And of course you do! You even have a cat or dog, or maybe a horse; maybe you even grew up on a farm!

So then you are asked to explain how you think that hamburger got onto your plate ie: the process… Hmm that’s a stickler; you know it is. You know that your hamburger is made of beef, which comes from cows, that cows are raised in pastures happily chewing on grass until the faithful day at least. It’s at this moment that your brain starts to get fuzzy, that moment where the cow or “soon-to-be-beef” image starts to elude your consciousness. Why is that? Be cause you don’t want to know that – you don’t even want to see it. And you know what? Neither do the companies that “grow” or “raise” cattle. They would like you to believe that cows actually still live out in green pastures, that they are happy, but otherwise incapable of feeling anything, that they are only “stupid animals”…That’s the same comment I always hear from people who fish, “Fish don’t feel any pain”. So for them, this saying of fish feel no pain helps them to feel alright about what they are doing. But didn’t you say you liked animals? Do you see any conflict in what you say and do?

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So what exactly are they doing? Well, cows don’t live free range out on the pastures anymore. They, like chickens, pigs and other animals that are part of an enormous enterprise called industrial farming are kept in limited spaces, no longer roam about eating healthy grasses where multiple salads are ingested, but are fed grains in a troughby a machine that passes by several time a day so that they will get fatter faster, and are usually killed at 2 years of age. They have no life of their own; they are regularly forced by artificial insemination to stay pregnant ( so you can have that nice cold glass of milk), their babies are  taken away from them only after a few weeks after birth to the immense sorry of mamma cow and baby. The babies (called veal in the groceery stores) are usually tied up in a closed space with very little room while awaiting a soon to arrive brutal death…Of course, for the other animals, it doesn’t get any better. Billions of animals suffer terribly thanks to industrialized farming practices…

Nowadays these same companies are trying to pass laws in order to keep their practices private. That anyone who films or documents the true goings on by these companies be arrested, fined and jailed. They believe that they have the right to do what they are doing and that “it” is “right”. Their belief system. Is it yours?

Still want that hamburger?