I have a spaceship inside of me
A time machine too
As you create a thousand waves of stress out there
I step inside
Close the hatch
*I began meditating for the same reasons everyone does – to destress, calm down, health benefits, becoming more mindful.
But there is something else, somewhere else, and we access it when we transcend the everyday experience via meditation.
Here in this dimension, we reply to emails, think about what to cook for dinner, discuss, ponder and cogitate what is going on, what we are coming up against, our mind is the scribe and we are trapped in the vehicle of this body and where it takes us.
I have long been interested in health for the goal of living a long and hopefully, disease free, pain free, drug free life. So a life of freedom which is (rather ironically) what a bit of self discipline delivers us.
My Mother, like her own mother died of Alzheimers disease, after a long and winding sad journey which I accompanied her on and because of that, I will try and do everything I can to avoid a similar fate.
The spirit is not as obvious as the mind or body. Wounds and scars and weaknesses of spirit don’t show up on any scans or blood tests. Nevertheless a broken spirit will kill you faster than a blocked artery, and a strong spirit will lend resilience to every corner of your being.
This I’m learning.
The spirit is also called a soul and although there is plenty of evidence as to what happens to the body and brain after death, there is very little as to what occurs to the spirit.
Because the soul is largely discussed in conjunction with death, or rather after death, I hadn’t thought a great deal about how best to reinforce it whilst alive.
Last night I was doing yoga and happened to glance at the bookshelf in my office. There in a long line were my cameras. Two beautiful Canon SLR’s, two Olympus SLRs and an array of lenses.
As usual, I was struck by guilt that I no longer used them, these expensive tools that had for a period of ten years or so been a passion of mine.
Like most creative folk, I have quite the array of interests and photography had been an enduring one, for a long time. Why didn’t I do it anymore?
Time? Perhaps, and the fact that the iPhone is such a great camera and always with you and I had begun writing and that took a lot of energy. The boys grew beyond letting me take their photo all the time, so I lost my main muses. I began wearing glasses – so that was annoying. Maybe a little bit of laziness sprang up in there as well. Plus, photography is something you have to be doing all the time or you can literally forget how your camera functions.
But it only takes a little practice to remember again. And as much as iPhone photos are great, nothing matches the pleasure and science and artisan end result that a good SLR with a quality lens can produce.
So many cameras though, which to choose? I took one down at random, the Canon 6D with a high end Carl Zeiss 20mm prime art lens affixed to the front.
Rather then suffer a paralysis of indecision as to which camera to choose. I figured it may as well be this one for a start. I love this lens.
“I will use this camera and lens setup all week, and then next week I’ll use a different combo. No matter what, I will take photos every day” I was excited to begin.
I went for my morning walk today with Bodhi and the chunky SLR side slung around my torso. I wish I had picked an even heavier combo – that of a telescopic zoom because of the amount of birds I came across, but I enjoyed the wide landscape lens anyway.
Brolgas are on the move. (The brolga is a tall graceful stork like bird that dances ) Parrots filled the trees and cockatoos flew in flocks calling raucously as they passed overhead. It was as if the universe was congratulating me for picking up my beloved tools again.
As I wandered along trying to remember how to use my camera and enjoying the process so much, it came to me that this is the way to nourish the soul.
A nourished, healthy, resilient spirit is ageless. It is indefatigable, unbeatable. It is impervious to any toxin the world throws at it. And the happy spirit encourages all around it to grow and thrive and be joyful as well. We are our own gift to the world when we follow our hearts.
Having made this connection I realised there was something else that I hadn’t done in a long time.
Returning home I washed my motorbikes (they were covered in dust) and added air to the tyres. Checked the oil and started the engines, a big smile came out to play as the rumbly big twin engine of the Dakar snorted to life.
As I write this post in the afternoon I have dozens of happy plans bouncing around in my head. Later in the year a bike trip, some hiking – the great walk (6 days through the Carnarvon Gorge) again (I did it a couple of years ago) I have to finish the edits on my first book, finish the draft on my second and all through this will be the rebirth of my love of photography.
I read a quote that was something like “you are not tired because you are doing too much, you are tired because you are not doing enough of what sets your soul on fire”
It’s so true!
I didn’t choose the admin life – it chose me and it certainly doesn’t set my soul on fire. But it does allow me to live a life more flexible than many ordinary jobs would. And as long as I do plenty of the things that do inspire me, I will have the energy left over to do the things that don’t. So often we get this idea backwards.
We are creatures who have the potential to enjoy and pursue so much in life. Why do we live such mundane existences? Why do we become trapped and smothered by a lack of inspiration?
Why do we forget to nourish our spirits? To mould ourselves into strong, free people? I don’t know. I too forget. But when I remember – life becomes magical again.
Header photo: from this mornings walk. Brolgas. Of course it would have been better with a zoom lens perhaps, or it would have just been different.
It doesn’t really matter, as I got to see the birds in person, not just one flock, but several as they flew in intervals overhead. I watched them with my spirit leaping lively, and my heart beating happily in my chest. My brain may have labelled them “brolga” but my spirit cried “beautiful!” and I promised that sacred part of me more – more of that which sets my soul on fire.