Seafarers and Lovers

What do Seafarers and Lovers have in common?

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Standing up here on the rocky platforms of the Gods, high above the sounds of crashing waves and squawking gulls, it’s hard not to see the similarities between the greatest seafarers and seasoned lovers.


For over a thousand years, Europeans looked at the vast Atlantic and saw a dangerous beast too overwhelming to conquer. They saw rogue waves and brewing storms ready to dash their tiny ships on jagged rocks. They saw nothing but a sapphire abyss waiting to swallow them whole.

Simply put, most of them were like, “there’s no fucking way I’m crossing that shit.” It was so much easier to sit on the beach, drink mead or watered down wine, and enjoy the view.

And then someone did. Some dude 1 landed in the God-damned Bahamas. After over a month of sailing with a broken compass through dangerous waters on a disease-ridden ship full of hungry and tired sailors, he and his crew had found a paradise. A little slice of heaven, perfect for colourful cocktails with little straw umbrellas in them.

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“With this sword, oh merciful lord, we shall cut thou lime, place it in thou coconut, and drinkith up.”

I know what you’re thinking though. How does this relate to lovers?

So many of us are fond of the idea of having real love in our lives. Not one night love. Not high-school-bullshit love. Not drugged up or shitfaced love.

Somewhere deep inside of us is thrilled by the idea of meeting that person who we instantly know is different from the rest. The one we can trust will never do us wrong. The one who will never abandon us. The one who gets us. Who smiles when we say something we think might be weird or strange. Who can always deal with our shittier moments and laugh about them with us later.2But how many of us are actually ready for that kind of love?


I think part of being young and naive is looking PAST the journey when we decide we want that kind of love in our life. We call in our soul mate not really understanding what conscious love entails. We’re thinking of going from that great view on the beach in Spain straight to The Bahamas, without realizing that there’s a whole bunch of shit to trudge through in between; a bumpy ocean journey that not many who came before us had been willing to take a real crack at.

Like the sea was to Columbus, that special person we manifest into our lives will be our greatest test and our most difficult journey. The mirror they provide for us will force us to look into the deepest and murkiest waters of our soul. It will seem overwhelming at times. It will be full of endless love and laughter and fulfillment, but it’s also the hardest trip we’ll ever take in our life.

Unfortunately, a lot can happen after the honeymoon phase wears off. There will be an abundance of excuses, reasons why it’s easier to turn the ship around than it is to weather the storms, the hunger and the thirst, the disease carrying rats, and the crashing waves.

It’s easier to look for excuses than it is to put in the work in to figure things out. Especially now, with humans disposed of and replaced with the swipe of a finger, it’s so easy to stay safe with our feet (and our heads) in the sand. It’s much easier on the beach. It’s easier to shut down parts of ourselves to our lovers and throw away the key.

But the seasoned lover knows its not about easy. She knows that her soul mate isn’t here to give her cushy. She knows he’s here to challenge her. To shine a light on her wounds, her bullshit, and her baggage. Their many struggles as a couple will show her the things she needs to learn. He’ll reveal her triggers, defense mechanisms, and fears – all while being the rock she needs to lean on to work through them all.

He’s here to set her on fire and watch her rise from the ashes. Shit, deep down the last thing she fucking wants is easy. She’s willing to pay the price of pain so that she may shed her skin and her baggage. She’s ready to dance on the belly of the creator and the destroyer of the universe. Somewhere inside of herself, she knows the only way to paradise is to sail through an ocean of her own bullshit.

It’s why I can’t help but see a comparison between lovers and those crazy mother fuckers who once sailed the deep, dark, uncharted Atlantic Ocean. They both wanted paradise, not easy.

Or, maybe, you are here for easy. Personally, I’ll take paradise every single chance I get. Imagine if Columbus would have stayed on the beach in Spain?

Be good to each other,

~MG.

1   This dude is better known as Christopher Columbus, the Italian explorer, navigator, and colonizer.

2 You might not think that such a person exists. You might see everyone as equally loveable or equally disposable. Or maybe you’re legitimately such a perfect human specimen that you’re everyone’s type, and you’re miraculously compatible with every personality. You carry with you absolutely no emotional wounding or baggage and every person on this earth would stand by you until the very end. That’s awesome. Either way, to each his own, my friend. But I wouldn’t suggest reading any further.

Columbus photo courtesy of: http://teacher.scholastic.com

Ocean

“I am that.”

What is it, exactly, about the ocean that calls to us? What is it about her waves whispering in our ears that fill us with the excitement of a child and the calm of a sage instantaneously?

Our ears wiggle to a music that seems to speak to somewhere deep inside of us. We close our eyes and listen to the singing seagulls and the chorus of crashing waves with smiles on our faces.

It’s a song that forces us to stop thinking with our rational brain. Instead, we let our bodies tell us what to feel.

Watching her waving waters as they dance to the steady beat of a lunar drum that we cannot hear, we begin to realise there is intention in nature. We feel a magical impulse, a divine will, a call to action, a collective soul.


We witness the energies of the universe as they swirl all around us. No one knows where they came from. No one knows exactly what they are. But now, in the overwhelming presence of the source of all life, we can feel them. Life’s energy.

It’s in this moment, gazing at her colossal strength and infinite beauty, that we realise that these are the same energies that ebb and flow within us. We look at life in motion and we say, “Ah, that’s who I am. I am that.”

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“I am that.”


Even if it’s just for a moment, we transcend our consciousness.

In this transcendental experience, we realise that we already live in the kingdom of heaven. We remember the promised land has nothing to do with real estate, titles, or deeds. We understand that nirvana is inside of us, exactly where we stand. We may even laugh at the all too curious realisation that we ARE the mystery which we are seeking to know.


The Gods didn’t kick us out of the Garden of Eden. We banished ourselves, and we continue to do so every time we lose sight of these simple truths. The ocean reminds us to come back into Eden and eat the tasty fruit of who we really are.

That’s why the ocean calls to us.

Or, maybe, you just like to surf and sun tan.

Be good to each other.

~MG.

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Cover Photo Courtesy of: http://bighugelabs.com/

Adventure of the Soul

We each have our own path to walk. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be a true adventure of the soul.

It is said that while on the quest for the Holy Grail, King Arthur and the knights of his round table each entered the forest of adventure in different places. They chose the points in the forest that were the darkest, that scared them the most, and that didn’t have a previous path for them to follow.

They didn’t do this as a misplaced show of machismo, or as a competition of manliness. They didn’t do it to prove something to themselves, or to the other knights.

They did this because they knew. They knew that even though they were on a quest in search of the same prize, and they were on that quest together, they still had to walk their own paths. They each had their own lessons to learn.


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The same applies to us. We’re all searching for the same thing, and we must all enter the dark forest of the psyche to find it. Some of us are going to take that journey together, some of us will take it alone, and some won’t take it at all. We each have our own path to walk. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be a true adventure of the soul.

As we relentlessly swing our machetes to carve a path through the forest, we’ll uncover fears and experience hardships. We’ll face death and demons, and we’ll gaze into the darkest parts of ourselves. But in the deepest and most terrifying part of that journey, we’ll find the treasure that we seek.

So choose that dark and scary place to start your quest, and I’ll meet you in the woods.

Be good to each other,

~MG

Featured image courtesy of 123hdwallpapers.com

Do You Believe in Magic?

How long has it been since you believed in magic?

How many of us believe in magic?

Nearly all of us did once, at a simpler time in our lives, but I doubt many of us would still say we do.


 

Since I was a little boy, everyone from teachers to parents to priests have reiterated to me how silly the idea of magic is. 

As a boy, I didn’t believe them. I remember running through the woods behind my house, certain I was in a magical place.

When you’re a child, everything from the brightest star in the sky to the smallest insect in the dirt is magic. After the age of seven or eight, however, it was no longer appropriate to believe. There was no longer a Santa Clause, or an Easter Bunny. It was time to grow up.

I still remember when the Harry Potter series came out, schools all over the world were banning the books in a desperate attempt to contain the potential spread of something as demonic as witchcraft and wizardry.

By the time we reached adulthood, magic was something only the strange or the unintelligent still believed in. We were grownups now, after all, it was time to think and act like one.

We were taught to scoff at the ancient spiritual traditions all over the world. Medicine men, shamans, wuyus, mystics, oracles, priestesses, and witch doctors were all terms that became synonymous with barbarism and the uncivilised. Silly adults splashing water, singing strange songs and burning incense in honour of spirits with funny sounding names.

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Some see a healer full of wisdom; others see a savage.
So, how many of us believe in magic?


Well, there’s around 2.2 billion Christians in the world, with the Americas and Europe providing the largest percentage of those who follow Christianity.

There’s an additional 1.6 billion Muslims in the world.

Add another 1 billion Hindus, 400 million who follow the traditional religion of China, and 375 million Buddhists.

All up, around 5.6 billion people make up the following of the top five religions in the world. 

That’s a lot of believers in magic.


 

Because really, what is the real difference between magic and religious practice?

I look at their priests and monks and see adults splashing water, singing strange songs and burning incense in honour of spirits with funny sounding names. Sound familiar?


 

 magic

ˈmadʒɪk/

noun
 
  1. 1.
    the power of apparently influencing events by using mysterious or supernatural forces.

 

What religion doesn’t claim to have that power?

Religious practitioners believe they can influence eternity by uttering suggested prayers or through the singing of hymns and mantras. Whether its going to heaven, attaining saṃsāra, or improving the quality of our next life by raising of our karma, we must first place our faith in the mysterious and supernatural in order to find salvation.

We must believe in the prayer, the chant, or the mantra. We must believe in the magic. Without our faith, there is no power behind our actions.

We’ve somehow legitimized a select few forms of magical practice and file them under the term “religion”. We’ve used the power of words to shape our perspectives and change our opinions on what is legitimate and what is not (that, and a few good old fashioned witch hunts never hurt as a deterrence).


 

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You know what they say: there’s no better way to beat the competition than by burning them alive and, for good measure, also throwing their baby into the flames.
Instead of chants, we call them hymns. Instead of incantations, we call them prayers. Instead of minor deities, we call them angels. Instead of acolytes, we call them priests – or nuns instead of priestesses. In the end, it’s all just magic.

Has anyone seen the epic wizard staff the Pope carries? Even Gandalf would blush at the sight of it. If we were in the Harry Potter universe, that bad boy would be a 72 inch wand, made from elder wood (coated in gold) with a dragon heartstring core.


 

 

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Seriously, how is the Pope NOT a wizard?
I’m not knocking religion. I think there are wonderful lessons to be learned from every religion and their texts. I’ve had profound moments reading the Bible, the Vedas, and various Buddhist teachings. I carry many of those lessons with me every day. Anything that makes us better people towards our fellow Earthlings and helps us to dive deeper into the deepest parts of ourselves, I absolutely support.

Our greatest gift as humans is the immense power of our belief; the strength of our faith. It gives power to the mind, body, and soul, that we never knew we possessed. Truly believing is the power behind our visualization and manifestation practices. There is no mountain we cannot climb as long as we keep the faith. The faith in ourselves; the faith in the universe. That is where the magic happens.


 

Children naturally possess the gift of magic. They possess imaginations that are limitless and a faith in the universe that is unwavering. They innately understand their own magical power – the power to manifest their own reality. They see the universe as it is: infinite, expanding, beautiful, and full of potential.

That is why I find it so hypocritical that we readily stomp on those imaginations and shatter their belief in magic, and yet we take them to mass on Christmas to perform ritualistic hymns for a deity who will burn them for eternity if they don’t follow his rules.

We turn a child’s world from one where anything is possible into a world with walls and barriers and limitations. They come to us wild, free, and full of self-belief, and we put them in shackles and convince them of their limitations.

Instead of teaching our children how to fit into boxes, maybe it’s time we learn from them how to live outside of them.

Maybe instead of teaching them religion, we let them teach us how to believe in magic again.

Be good to each other,

~ MG.

 

 

 

Photos:

Gandalf: MTV.com
The Pope: Wikipedia
Burning at the Stake: breitbartunmasked.com
Medicine Woman: pinterest.com
Featured Image: dreamatico.com

 

 

Why We’re All Artists:

Have you ever had a moment when you’ve observe genius and you were instantly inspired?

That was your inner artist showing itself.

Have you ever had THE moment? I think we all have, at some point in our lives. The moment we observe genius and we’re lifted into action on the wings of inspiration.

It might have been the first time we set our eyes on Claude Monet’s “Water Lilies.” For some of us, it was the first time we heard the angelic voice of Freddie Mercury singing “Somebody to Love.” It could have been the first time we read a poem by Sylvia Plath, the first Steven Spielberg film we watched, or the first time we saw Meryl Streep on the big screen.

Regardless of what the moment looked like, that was your inner artist showing itself.


 

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“Water Lilies” (1920-1926) by Claude Monet.

I’ve had many such moments in my life, but I remember the first time with absolute clarity.


 

When I was growing up, hockey didn’t appeal to me much. It was very un-Canadian of me, I know. I hated getting up before sunrise in the middle of winter to skate in an arena with ice on the walls. I didn’t like how my feet would be frozen for hours after I took off my skates. I didn’t like how much it hurt when I fell on the hard ice. I decided hockey wasn’t for me.

One night my family was watching hockey on T.V. A guy named Mario Lemieux was playing, and I was instantly hypnotized by him. He was a magician. His stick as his wand, he cast spells no other human could. Every time he stepped onto the ice, he created something from nothing. He made everything look effortless.

To this day, he’s still the closest thing I’ve ever seen to a unicorn. I didn’t understand it then, but I was witnessing genius in motion.


 

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Super Mario: In my humble opinion, the best to ever lace ’em up. [Photo Source: http://images.performgroup.com%5D.
Needless to say, my little heart was inspired. I gave hockey another chance. Suddenly, the arena didn’t seem so cold. The broken bones didn’t take so long to heal. The frozen feet thawed a little quicker.


 

So why does the witnessing of genius inspire us the way it does?

Art – in all of its forms – comes from a place we’ve forgotten. It comes from the higher realms of the self; it comes from the same place as our souls. We give it many names: heaven, the cosmos, the universe, Valhalla, source, Olympus, and the list goes on.  From the moment we’re born, the deepest parts of ourselves call us to return to that place.


 

This is why a masterpiece inspires us. It gives us a glimpse of the divine; a glimpse of the divine within all of us. For it is only when we see God in another that we come to realize that God is in ourselves. We stop seeing ourselves as separate from the universe around us, and start seeing the cosmos as a part of ourselves.

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“Taken Under the ‘Wing’ of the Small Magellanic Cloud” : I know this looks fake, but it’s not. This is a photo taken by NASA of a small cloud galaxy that orbits the Milky Way. It is a small fraction of the universe you are a part of. It is a small fraction of you. [Photo Source: NASA – http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/spaceimages/wallpaper.php?id=PIA16884 ].

That is why it lifts our hearts when we express ourselves with creation. Our soul sings when we dance and paint because, for a moment, we are opening ourselves up to the higher realms that we came from. For a moment we remember that we are Gods.


 

You don’t have to paint the Mona Lisa, or write Romeo and Juliet to find that place. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece. The most intimate parts of ourselves don’t care for acclamation or praise. Our souls only long for us to remember who we are; to remember the divine perfection in all of us.

A soul – personified as the artist – is in each of us.

It is why Michelangelo spent over four years painting the Sistine Chapel.

It is why Mario Lemieux  spent tens of thousands of hours on frozen ponds.

It is the reason that I write.


 

Art is the language of our soul and the artist is the one who speaks it. So take some time to create something, big or small. Paint a self portrait, build a tree house, or write a ballad. Take a dance or yoga class. Write a song, or learn an instrument. Find a way to express the soul trapped inside of you. Remind yourself of that feeling you get when you open yourself up to the heavens.

Remind yourself of your own divinity.

Because you are as infinite and as sacred as the stars we look upon.

Be good to each other,

~MG.