Listening to a podcast last week I found self affirmation in the statement that, “the opposite of courage is conformity.”
I have always been fiercely individualistic but at the same time community minded as a shepherd with a flock. I never played team sports like football and if the music is playing I’ll dance alone. It only takes one jump to break the ice and when one person is enjoying the water they soon get joined by another. Then pretty quickly every one wants a part of the action.
Most people face the elevator doors, either as it’s “the done thing” and this is conformity. Enter the full elevator, face the back, smile and look everyone in the eye. By the time you get out of the elevator everyone will be smiling. My point is that in general, we are a global society of conformists following arbitrary rules, laws and social norms without even questioning the origin of the “norm”
I had a cat called “Norm.” I never wanted a cat but my friend died and I reluctantly took Norm and fed him the best food that I could afford, kangaroo meat and fish. Norm was fiercely individualistic but Norm was also everyone’s friend and would comfort many of my friends from overseas and all around the world during parties around fires. Norm would rub against their legs and they pat and scratch his chin. Norm would sit on their laps and keep my friends warm and Norm would comfort them in their loneliness.
There is confort in what we get used to and there is comfort to be found in the norm. However there is one constant in the universe and that constant is “change” and it takes courage to be a nonconformist and to embrace change. It’s through change that we grow, drop old habits that don’t serve us and in the process become better people.
Over the past 10 years some of the no serving habit that I have dropped include, smoking tobacco 9 years ago, drinking alcohol 6 years ago, and in the past months I have stopped eating meat and replaced it with nuts, seeds and mushrooms for a source of protein. However the one thing that I have stopped, I was not physically addicted to, I had developed a repeative pattern of behavioral cannabis smoking and for 35 years had smoked cannabis, eaten it and even rubbed cannabis oil on my skin. I had developed an extreme tolerance to the THC in cannabis and no matter how much I smoked, I didn’t get high and I could fully function in society. It’s now 10 weeks that I haven’t consumed any cannabis and I now get “high” from my daily breathwork, yoga and exercise regime which releases endorphins like oxytocin and human growth hormone, metabolites T3 and T4. I feel strong , fit, fast and most importantly I feel that I am a positive role model for my three sons and my community.
I just got off the bus and thanked the driver Scott. He said, “I didn’t recognize you without the hair.”
I’ve just recently cut my dreadlocks and beard off after seven years of growth, I replied, “most people haven’t.”
He said half joking and half serious, “You look smarter without it”.
My point is that conformity is so pervasive that some people find it difficult to accept anyone that’s different to the norms of society so they wear the latest fashion, get married, stay in abusive relationships, go to school, “get a haircut and get a real JOB”, put their fork in the let hand and knife in the right and all the time they are compromising their ideals and all the while they can’t even clean their bedroom and make their bed in the morning, metaphorically speaking.
In 2014, I took a Nazarite Vow from the book of Numbers, chapter 6. Many people passed judgement and made assumptions about me because of how I looked with long dreadlocks and an uncut beard. The Nazarite Vow is a vow of separating oneself unto “the Lord.” It was taken by Samson, Samuel, John the Baptist, James the Brother of Jesus and Jesus Himself. This Nazarite Vow say that my knowledge of the Spirit inside all of Us is strong, unwavering and true. It’s the spirit of no judgement and not eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
After I first took the Nazarite Vow, broke it by drinking wine, eating grapes, sultanas and by approaching a dead body of a friend who had died in the street in an attempt to resuscitate him. His Spirit/Soul had left and I failed my test but I let my hair grow due to my vanity. In my meditations I came to the realization that I had broken my Vow and seven days after on the morning of the full moon before Easter, I took of my hair, burnt it and reaffirmed my Nazarite Vow.
I am not my hair, nor am I my wardrobe. I am a biochemical quantum physics meat antennae full bacteria and I am a vibrating community of living organisms absorbing and emitting light through my DNA. Most of all, I am that I am, and I am a Soul, a Spirit, a tiny piece of the All Pervasive Energy of Source and You are too and when you open to your Higher Self, you can become anything you dream. Please enjoy my accompanying poetry.
You don’t have to be a poet to enjoy poetry You don’t have to be a bird to love sitting in a tree You don’t have to be famous to wear fancy pants Or Young beautiful and sexy to enjoy a dance
You don’t have to be young to listen to hip hop Who’s business is it if you only eat the muffin top And abundance or not, it’s fine for you to share Some of the best people that I’ve met never brushed their hair
You don’t have to be young to enjoy a Doof or rave It’s nobody’s business whether or not you shave You can enjoy your life with no husband or wife The inportant thing is that you live your own life
You can’t be a bully and be a gentle man Immerse yourself in love and you’ll be the best you can Every cat can become friends with a dog And enjoy the sunset sitting on a log
When there is no fear nobody feels forced You don’t have to whip a horse running round a race course Every one know that you are what you eat Mushrooms and nuts are protein and we don’t need meat
You can get a tan by sitting in the sunlight Not only sunscreen companies sell products by fright In a darkened room you make no vitamin Dee When you do your research this is what you’ll see
Pharmaceutical companies manipulate your fear You can go to a pub and drink water, not beer When you are uncomfortable you can change your position Processed and fried food have very little nutrition
You don’t have to be a genius to question marketing Coke doesn’t “add life” and is not “the real thing” To be well change your diet to alkaline from acid Lack of sleep makes your balls small and dick flacid
If you want to grow your hair take B17 You can still be fit and strong after you’re a teen And if you decide you can live 200 years When a loved one dies you don’t have to shed tears
Every one can shine and every one can be a poet By making your words rhyme and rhythm flow it You don’t have to love football just to be a man If you do what you love you’ll become the best you can
If you have wind, it’s ok to fart Cancer can be cured, so can a broken heart Anyone can learn to dance, anyone can sing When you chase your dreams you can become anything.
“Writing only happens when thoughts are written down” Herb Wharton
Are you a writer with writer’s block?
There is a solution to writer’s block and it is easy.
Write and give yourself opportunities to write. This can be done anywhere, anyhow, anytime? Carry a notepad and pen with you and when you get a smell moment scribble your thoughts down.
Why? Because writing is about transferring the inner talk of the mind’s thoughts into written words on a page, whether it be a paper page or digital file. It doesn’t matter as long as you write and it doesn’t even matter what you write about.
You may be two thirds through writing a potentially award winning book and get writer’s block. Then it’s best to stop and write something else or just step away. It could be any style or topic but what matters is that you continue the practice of writing your thoughts because when you get your next big idea for your novel could come at anytime and if you aren’t ready then you may miss the opportunity being presented.
So right now I sat down at my computer and thought, “I ought to write something… but Ive got nothing to write about sooooo….. I’ll write about writers block”
And now, here we are standing in water up to our knees.
As a creative, I don’t just write. I draw, sing, dance and play music and if I don’t have the inspiration to write then there are many other creative outlets. I guess this is why as a single man, I don’t get bored with my own company. Instead of using other people’s creative content to entertain myself, which is not super productive, I would rather create something in which the process of creation brings me joy but which I can also sell as an artist to enable me to keep creating and doing what I love.
I also enjoy drawing and exercise as well as writing poetry but there are times when I might not draw for months and other times where I will draw for weeks. However when I am not drawing, I don’t consider myself as having artist’s block because I will be creating something else like a poster, piece of furniture, T-shirt design, publishing a book or organising an event.
Back to topic….. In 2019 there were days where I would write 3 or more poems everyday but now I might only write one every day or so. But I don’t consider it as writers block. because I am doing other things.
If any thing, I suffer from procrastination as well as poor planning and execution which is the current focus of my personal development. That’s what I am working on and I’ll let you know how it is going in another blog post titled something like:
“Stop scrolling and get to work.”
The other option that I like to use in addressing writers block is the recording app on my phone. This is especially useful in a car driving and you can dictate what you want to write and then use a transcription voice to text app to put your spoken word into written form at a later time.
(It’s now 4 hours later) I got writers block writing about writers block so I got up went for a walk, had some dinner, chatted with friends, generally took myself far away from the computer. I went did something else totally different, fully trusting that when I came back to write that I would know what to write.
I recently read a great little book by the English comedian John Cleese “creativity: A short and cheerful guide” in which he wrote about trusting your subconscious to foment the words and thoughts in your down time. I find for me it is when my thoughts become unfocused away from what I am writing, especially when I am tired, then it is the best time to step away. Some days stepping away involves walking outside and standing in the sun for 10 minutes, then I will stretch a little and return to the task. Other days I will go on a longer break then sit down and continue.
The main reason that I love writing poetry is that it enables a deftness and succinctness in that it can express profound ideas with a variety of vocabulary , syntax and form. Plus it can often be written in one sitting and finished. However editing is often required to make a good poem fantastic.
Last week I wrote a quick poem of six lines and it was only the next day when I decided to publish it as an 8 page children’s book that I added the final two lines. That poem is titled: Johno the Cool Cat and was originally written on a piece of paper with a calligraphy pen and ink. I then took the poem, made a collage and printed it. (Each A3 coloured sheet cost me $1 to print and I sell them for $3 of which $1 profit comes to me and $1 profit goes to the Thundercloud Repairian Forest Fund to assist in forest regeneration and everyone benefits)
This is why I began the post by suggesting giving yourself opportunities to write. An opportunity to write can be a desk top, laptop, phone, notepad, or a piece of plain paper with a pencil or the back of a toilet door and photographed and posted on instagram. The point is, just write your thoughts down as Herb Wharton said in the quote at the top of this post.
I became a writer by writing and allowing the words in my head to flow out my hands and that’s pretty much it so being able to publish and sell my writing helps me to be able to continue writing.
I like writing because my writing makes me smile just like my dancing and playing music makes me smile and that also make other people smile. In my opinion there should be more smiling in the world, with dancing and giggles and tickles and wiggles and hugs.
One last thing. This blog post was not written in one go. It was written and honed in 6 different sessions over a period of one an a half days and Johno the Cool Cat was written over two days and the book took another day so in total there are about 12 hours of work to get this blog post to completion. I began Johno on Wednesday and will hit the publish button on Sunday……. Here goes (and I just reedited it for spelling and punctuation once again)
Johno the cool cat
Johno was a cool cat who like to have fun.
In the middle of the night he’d go for a run,
All around town, on the fences, in the parks.
Johno was a cool cat who loved wearing Clarks,
Desert boots and shorts with cool Hawaiian shirts.