Living from the Heart


If you’ve been following for a while, you probably notice there are a few different types of posts going up. Some are about lifestyle choices. Things like: tiny house considerations, homesteading/gardening/permaculture, financial ideologies and practicalities, intentional community. Some are basically a diary of what I’ve been up to while exploring what, where and how freedom is. Some, like this one, are basically amateur philosophical monologues. (FYI- they are usually tagged as such, so if you have a preference of what you’re interested in, explore the tags at the bottom of posts)

As much as this year has been about trying to find a way into a sustainable life, it’s about understanding myself. You could frame it as a working holiday in my own country if you wanted to although it feels very different.

I most certainly mostly operate out of a “Type A” personality. Which, if you’re not familiar with the term, is the driven type. I think this is mostly out of a desire to feel (the illusion of being) in control. This year, I’ve tried to park that where possible and explore passion. I have found that in order for that to be any use, I need to act. My ideas tend to be long-term and/or big. As such, some planning and Type A behaviour come into play to create direction. I suspect I’ll never see the benefit of letting stuff just happen in a “Type B” kind of way.

It’s been a time of struggle and a time of torment. It’s been a time of substance abuse and of emotional extremes. It’s been a time of rethinking and reforming core beliefs. It’s been a contradictory battle of release.

It has been an interesting experiment though. It’s meant creating a bit of space and time. It’s meant that time “off” has become a lot more passive but not lazy (as I would have previously seen it). Instead of filling time with activity (well… not as MUCH activity), I’ve made more time to notice sights, sounds and feelings. It’s been a time of learning to evaluate where feelings are coming from too. But not just in a direct cause and effect way. Not even in a stimulus à perception à response à consequence kind of way. It’s been a period of exploring the less logical: the intuitive.

I’ve discussed it a little in “Living for Purpose, Not Pay” and “Money Money Money” and in many of the posts tagged philosophising. A lot of this stuff is no secret and I guess a lot of people don’t need to explore it so much themselves. I certainly perceive the appearance that it happens more naturally for many. But in intentionally living these ideas, I find it consolidates the knowledge.

I imagine it is experienced in everyone differently. For me, intuitive guidance presents as a prickly, tickling feeling right behind my ears on the back of my scalp. It’s just about the exact same feeling as when I’ve just clipped my hair short and run the shower over the point at the bottom and centre of my occipital bone (at the back of my head). It’s a radiant swelling which eventually envelops my whole head.

Other times, it can be different. I think I now understand why we say “gut feeling” because another big one starts on the edges of my diaphragm, which surrounds the top of my guts. It starts with an awareness of tightness at its circumference, which instinctively makes me release the tension. When I do, warmth rises rapidly up my spine, spread through my shoulders and wraps over my head like a hood.

Often, the second also sets off the first as well. When it does, I’ll usually feel choked up and often get the prickle of tears forming in the corner of my eyes. These are the ones I get when I think about “where to from here?” But only ever on the occasions where I decide that The Longest Walk is where I should focus my energy. One of these times, I found a $20 note on the ground straight after. Another time, I found 50 cents. And every time that comes to mind, I feel another of my intuitive signs.

This one has happened on a number of important occasions. The best example I remember was on a Vipassana meditation retreat in Victoria (Dhamma Aloka). Technically, you’re not meant to write anything on such a retreat. But one day, I had a surge of happiness and calm. It lasted 30 seconds, or maybe a minute. It was followed by an outpouring of inspiration. The first two of the children’s books I’ve written on dog training flowed into my mind nearly fully formed. For the next 10 minutes, they just circled and refined themselves endlessly. There came a point that I realised, I wouldn’t be able to concentrate on the work I was trying to do at the retreat unless I put it down on paper. So that’s what I did. I took my (smuggled) pen and wrote two full books, (visions of the pictures and all) on scraps of paper in my bag.

Sometimes, intuition confuses me. I didn’t plan to come to Motueka. I’d planned to head north after completing the caravan renovation. Whangarei (or its surrounds) was always my planned destination. But tales reached my ears of this place where a whole heap of other idealistic hippies lived and it seemed like a place I should check out. I reasoned that if not now, it’d probably get missed. Plans changed.

On leaving Wellington, this completely different gut feeling came about. This one was heavy. It was a belly full of stodgy porridge. It had a really mild electric current all around it and I read it as worry or as a bad thing. Like it was a wrong decision. But my reason still held and I’d booked my tickets, so I decided to go anyway. I could always come back. That was nearly 5 months ago and it may still turn out to be a mistake, but I struggle to think how. Motueka has been a great decision by all accounts.

Proof-reading the last few posts, it strikes me that some people will think I’ve lost my marbles or that I’m pretty screwed up in the head. Maybe they are right. Maybe I’m just honestly evaluating at a deeper causal level than most people habitually do. Maybe those two things are the same thing.

Regardless, I am what I am. I’ve pretended and tried to ‘fit in’ enough to know it’s not worth the effort. Despite what you think, I will still be what I am. To tell of it really makes no difference at all to me. But it may make a difference to you or someone else who reads it. So perhaps it’s better on paper than in my head.

-And thus, another rambling rant ends-


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