It’s been a long time

With reference to my last post, and in case you hadn’t noticed, I’ve ignored this, my main site, for a long time. The back story isn’t important but I’ve had to cope with repeated hosting issues, vacillating over the cost and being tempted to write longer pieces (“Essays”) that I thought I’d turn into a book at the close of 2020 but didn’t manage a single one! Sadly, my legal work got in the way. In the end, it was easier to stop writing here — I used to blog daily — and, instead, use Livejournal because, at least that way, I knew I’d write something. To be honest, I’m still not sure if I’m doing the right thing — in returning here to write; I’ll take informal soundings and hope the feedback is sufficiently positive for me to turn up at 5 am — my preferred writing time — to spin out a few more words.

When I started blogging, this site was established (and I’m not ashamed to admit it) to generate consulting, speaking and coaching work but save for the odd enquiry, it never washed its face. In fact, it was an expense I could ill afford but mainly because of the amount of time and effort I’d expended, I decided to keep it going. Do I have a new strategy? No. Sorry. That’s not my thing. I do know that I’d like to continue to use the site to connect with people, hopefully attract extracurricular work and sell a few books but it’s never going to be one of those sites weighed down by a heavy investment in SEO, or an annual refresh or hip and trendy branding. Apropos of the last point, and in case it’s not already obvious, I like a minimalist look/feel. To be honest, if I could get the site down to one page that would be my preferred choice. 

For now, the emphasis is to blog and, amongst other things, share some of the milestones and ‘a-ha’ moments that have shaped my life and help me navigate the vicissitudes of the last 53 years. I see something akin to a memoir or at least a stream of consciousness that’s low on the hyperbole of success (which I don’t warm to very much) and a bias towards endings — endings of all sorts. Why endings? Because, if we’re to grow up or rather grow into the person we are at the deepest, most profound level, then we have to get comfortable, and I mean real comfortable, with letting go of a dominant cultural narrative that nearly all of us have lived and breathed, namely be all you can be. Now, of course, I’m making a massive assumption, not knowing the people that might read this blog, but then again, I’ve been around the ornery track a few times and have locked horns with a multitude of people who, despite aiming for the stars and succumbing to a predictable 20th Century ideal, are still…wait for it…miserable as hell. Not just that but they’re worn out. Jiggered. Don’t worry, I’m not about to shoot from the hip and tell you how you can turn your unhappy life around but I will (and have, previously) invite you again to examine the unexamined part of you, which means to look within.

But you know all this, right? 

Do you? No, I mean that? I’m not suggesting for one moment that you haven’t spent years trying to get to the bottom of your angst-ridden days but there comes a point for a lot of people where nothing lasts and, sadly, they give up. To be clear, when I make these broad, sweeping statements I’m tilting very much at the people I’ve worked with and come across in the workplace. There are always exceptions but given that we’ve succumbed so easily to that being the only show in town, you’d think someone would have cracked the Code sufficient that it wasn’t replete with broken people or at least people that aren’t just doing it for the money.

Are you sold yet?

To be honest, even after a decade or more of blogging, I still find it terribly hard to put into words what I’m trying to convey. 

As a segue, it’s no accident that, for a long time, this site had the strapline “awaken, to true Self” and if you look across the Web you’ll still see a smattering of that. The genesis for that incarnation came about from a coaching session where I was forced to considered the thing that spoke clearest to me. And it still does in many ways but I’ve dialled down on the spiritual language only because, or mainly because, it’s very hard to put into words something that we already are. You might say that the “awaken…” strapline sounds similar to the chagrin that I have against the be all you be messaging and I wouldn’t disagree. Then again, that message is premised on the idea of constantly getting better, adding to your repertoire of knowledge (not wisdom) and having a very clear focus around the apogee of success be that money, self-worth or fitting into a narrow cultural norm. My message, such that it is, is about radical self-enquiry. To constantly question the “I” around which our whole life (or is that our ego) turns. What then? Who knows but you might realise that groundlessness or is that fearlessness is a lot more empowering than always trying to figure everything out and coming up with a grand plan to keep your life on track. 

But I’m getting ahead of myself and actually I sound quite priggish. I mean jeez, who am I to tell you anything? I don’t know you and just because I’ve come to a different way of seeing the world doesn’t mean it’s going to resonate with you let alone float your boat. In fact, as you’ll constantly hear me say, we don’t will our will and to that extent, you’ll do exactly what you intend to do including reading or ignoring this little old site!

For now, I’ll sign off with a little poem by Charles Bukowski who, despite his gross insensitivities and endless profanity, captures always the essence of what it means to be alive in a world that’s intent on crushing our soul.

Blessings,

— Ju

Alone With Everybody

the flesh covers the bone
and they put a mind
in there and
sometimes a soul,
and the women break
vases against the walls
and the men drink too
much
and nobody finds the
one
but keep
looking
crawling in and out
of beds.
flesh covers
the bone and the
flesh searches
for more than
flesh.

there’s no chance
at all:
we are all trapped
by a singular
fate.

nobody ever finds
the one.

the city dumps fill
the junkyards fill
the madhouses fill
the hospitals fill
the graveyards fill
nothing else
fills.