26 Oct 2012

Smells Like Free Spirit (Part 1)

"Come as you are, 
as you were, 
as I want you to be, 
as a friend, 
as a friend, 
as an old enemy"

- Nirvana, Come As You Are, Nevermind, 1992 

If I want to be honest, from my late teens onwards I have never been one to conform. To paraphrase Lady Gaga, I guess I was 'born that way'. Although a part of me has always craved love, recognition and acceptance, I have always sought to detach from the norm (how insignificantly this might have been) and stand out in my own right.

Iconic portrait of Che Guevara, by Alberto Korda (pict source)

Friends call me a free spirit, and I guess it has taken me years to acknowledge it, as I am somewhat careful about the use of labels, and free spirit tends to be an overused tag, encompassing everyone and anyone, as long as they own a pair of Converse and a Che Guevara tee-shirt and have clocked some mileage across a continent or two...

So then, what makes me and those countless others free spirits? For me this long process has developed once teenage angst was out of the way, yet this was not necessarily out of provocation, for discord's sake, or in gratuitous rebellion, sticking two fingers up to society on your way to an ASBO.

Source (from Apple's 'Think Different' 1997 TV commercial)

Somehow I believe I was encouraged  by my dad, one of my biggest yet most controversial influences, to think outside the box from a young age, not take things at face value or accept the biased voice of the media or school education as universal truth. I was encouraged to forge my own views and opinions, although then again my dad was keen to instill - even impose - his views, values and ideas with the false belief that I would take and accept them uncompromisingly. As he had taught me to question things, needless to say that one of the first things I started to question was his way to spoon-feed his ready-made truths to me, those very truths that I had to find out for myself through life's tortuous journey... Life is a process and so is free-spiritedness.

My artistic streak has encouraged me to let off some steam and express myself creatively, via cartoons, story-boards, illustrations, short stories, songwriting and poetry, where I play God, confidente and biographer of sorts to a posse of free spirits borne out of my imagination. My characters were (are) outside the norm, disjointed, ambivalent and live a life I envy or at least am in awe of, a rock'n'roll lifestyle as I imagine it to be, with creative talent, young killer looks, cash to burn, gigs à gogo, fast cars, coastal hideaways, and a catalogue of human foibles and weaknesses played out in the background and sometimes pushed to the limit, that question the essence of life, the meaning of it all, and which result in excesses, late-night existential fears, falls from grace, and redemption (if lucky enough to be spared from any final twists of fate or spears of destiny)... (to be continued)


Smells Like Free Spirit is a 4-part series:  Part 1  |  Part 2  |  Part 3  |  Part 4

4 Oct 2012

The Laws of Attraction

Very recently and quite accidentally I came across the concept of The Laws of Attraction in the context of relationships. This was brought out to me by Joanne Hall, an inspirational lady who I'd originally met at a business seminar in Manchester three years ago and who happens to be a psychic counsellor and spiritual guide.

'Girl with Panda' by Irena Sophia Original Fine Art Prints, via Etsy

While having a conversation with Joanne recently, she briefed me on the principle and I found it so fascinating that I thought I would share it with you guys using my own words. I had heard about the laws of attraction without giving them a second thought. If questioned, I might have come up with something down the lines of the laws of seduction, without being that sure...

As a starting point, as a basis to those laws, I understand that 'you get what you give'. You sow the seeds of love/ hate/ fear (whatever good or bad) and just wait to see what you reap! 'You get what you give' might be one of those cliché ready-made advice-on-a-plate phrases that pop up in conversation in a social context, it also happens to be a fitting metaphor.

'Stargazer Cloud, Raining Stars', pencil illustration by Hyshil, via Etsy

Take that mouthy colleague who's trouble at work. Next thing, she gets a verbal warning from the boss. She refuses to curb her ways and then it escalates from verbal warnings to the track-stopper written warning. She still carries on regardless, so then ends up being sacked! Her (bad) behaviour brought in the consequences and she's only got herself to blame! In other - more abrupt - words, she gave sh*t, so she got sh*t in return! She got what she gave. Punishment fits the crime.

'You get what you give' has variants which you probably use daily like I do: what goes around comes around, good/ bad karma, positive/ negative attitude. You get the flavour! We are masters of our own destinies to an extent, and we attract what we give out. That's basically the idea behind the laws of attraction. While I have no intention of becoming the next Deepak Chopra, I am keen to understand how we are responsible for what happens to us, how we bring it on to ourselves. The good and the less good.

(Pict source)

The laws of attraction are a vibration we give out. Those on literally the same wavelength, on the same page as us, on the same energy frequency level, will pick the vibe and be receptive to what we give off and respond to it. The good news is that we can cultivate the laws of attraction, tweak them to make them work for us in a positive constructive manner. Therefore in order to attract positivity in the wider world and make the laws of attraction work for me, I am advised by Joanne to write a gratitude list, to love myself (and say it in the mirror!), to exude that happy self, or train myself into it until it becomes second nature, come rain or shine! It's a personal brand overhaul that puts you in the power seat, with none of that PR disaster image which we are all too often tempted to project as an excuse for defeat and potential failure (I'm not worth it! I can't do it! Nothing good will ever happen to me! There's no point in me trying! etc.).

You get it, the positive attitude within the laws of attraction shapes that frame of mind and works its way out: how you present yourself, project yourself, your expectations out of life, for yourself, a potential partner, relationships, career etc. And that's what makes the laws of attraction so compellingly attractive!