Geoff Olds

Entrepreneur. Writer. Helper. Thinker

Filtering by Category: Spiritual

A Blog from Bangkok.

Patience. You learn all about it here in Asia. The hustle, the bustle. The long queues. The interesting confounding processes that seem simple; yet remain so complicated. The delays. The constant shuffling between one person to another. Patience, you learn it here in Asia.

But it is not the patience of raging against the storm. Forced upon you like weathering the storms, in a broken battered down shack. It is the soft gentle patience of acceptance. If you can find it. If you can handle it. It is the patience of accepting the inane ridiculous processes and chores of a life on this earth. Forced rest, my father calls it. The rest is the key word.

Welcome to Bangkok.

Welcome to Bangkok.

And so I found myself in between legs of a journey. From the pleasant comforts of an oasis in Phuket to the bright lights and burning fuel of airports and aeroplanes. On to business and the call of the commercial. Behind lays the sweet friendship of a Thai rose. This butterfly cannot linger too long. The call of the quest continues.

Looking at the travel schedule, I reluctantly give up the desire to race around the city, madly taking in scenes and giving the camera a workout. Instead, I sit alone at the airport, in a square courtyard carved out amongst the jungle of glass and concrete. A single tree springs up next to me, content in its own existence. A reminder that above all nature; is natural. It does not conform. It does seek reform. It does not require the norm. It is. It will be. It will be tree.

These thoughts bring a smile to my face. It reminds me of the depressive rage of past times and the fury of anxiety. A time when peace was in pieces. And Bliss was the name of an erotic massage parlour. Where meditation was a thing for hippies and monks. A time when spiritual life, seemed more construct and destruct. When it was a template for life. Not a temple for living.

Even though I am jet lagged and tired as hell. There is a strong undercurrent of energy and focus. Not on burning ambitions or driving dollars. But contentment and contemplation. The travel drains one force, but if we look hard enough, it creates so much more. And the thought occurs to me, inspired by my reading, travelling is with us all the time. Through meditation. Through reading. Through socialising. Through the observation of comings and goings. It is the desire to escape and experience new sights, sounds and pleasures. Why is this not achieved in our own backyard with a good book, a notepad and the luxury of segregated time.

The humble courtyard - a place for Holy Days?

The humble courtyard - a place for Holy Days?

If we desire a holiday. And if holiday is really a holy day. Cannot then every day be a Holy Day? Why not be on a holiday all our lives. We can escape from the routine. The pinch of the penny. The stress and anxiety of this alien modern world. The worlds within dwarf the world without. The inner voice unleashed is the best travel guide.

Is not the sharing of 2 minute noodles with a loved one discussing philosophy or art or the beauty of your children; far better than the finest steak and wine at a 6-star restaurant with dead of heart and mind?

Wealth is not the material but the immaterial.

The crash of a something, somewhere by a somebody; invades my thoughts. Its muggy in the courtyard. The hum of the airports air conditioners is very pleasant. A cold beer makes for an excellent refreshment and will hopefully aid the sleep on the overnight to Seoul. A depiction of Bill Bentley, hovers over me, holding his own frothy and smiling benignly.

The Benign Bill Bentley

The Benign Bill Bentley

 

Something tells me, quietly, to sit still and just listen. And so I do.

Dealing with Divorce - 10 Thoughts and Musings.

Ok divorce sucks. Lets just be clear, no-one wants to get a divorce. It's a miserable anti-climax to an otherwise beautiful story between man and woman, woman and woman, man and man.... And well anything else that is happening at the moment.

I'm writing this not because I am some kind of awesome person but because I am an idiot. Well I was an idiot I suppose is a fairer way of putting it. Or you can say that I behaved in an idiotic way for a while. Aw shucks.... Maybe I just had a journey to go through and was made of flesh, blood and other things men are made of during the mid life crisis period.... (10% self loathing, 50% confused, 20% fearful, 15% hopeful, 5% intoxicated)

But this blog is not about me. (kind of) This blog is about the big D. Not death... At least in death people turn up and say nice things about you. (I Hope!!! :/) I'm talking Divorce. It happens... Happens to 50% of couples these days. Well that's what some stats say. Who knows it might be out a bit but lets face it - its more common than not...

In reflection after going through the years of pain, agony, boozing, smoking and the heartbreak and coming out the other side, I figured it was time to put down a number of true thoughts and reflections.

This was my awesome wife Eliza and my partner in crime raising two wonderful girls..

This was my awesome wife Eliza and my partner in crime raising two wonderful girls..

1. Don't Flame and Don't Blame.

Yes there are wild emotions during this period. My god it is civil war. (with someone but mostly in yourself) It is carnage. It is the apocalypse. One person has initiated divorce. Or both. You lose control either way. Even if you are off on another tangent the emotions run wild wild wild. But the key thing is not to flame or blame. This is the person you were in love with. This is the person you chose to marry. This is the person that you shared dreams, hopes, adventures and the miracle of love. Who is at fault really? Even if someone has been the main culprit, there is no joy or maturity in blaming or bagging the other person out to everyone who will listen. Rather it is a time to go very very quiet and considerate. Because.... Wait for it... You may get back together! Or not. But either way YOU need to get put back together and it makes it worse when you fire bullets at the other person... Even when they are shooting missiles at you. Rise above it.

2. Understand what Divorce Really Is.

Its not nice. Its horrible. Its heartbreak. Its wretched. But what is it really? It is a breakup. Everyone breakups. Whether it is a teenager with a  1 day relationship at school or a 50 year marriage it is a breakup. Yes there are more working pieces BUT at the end it is the loss of love. A miserable shocking thing but a breakup. Like a business partnership or an employment contract; it can end and a new one can begin. There will be always a time to mourn and grieve and deal with the emotions but it is not the end!

A breakeup? Or a breakthrough?

 

3. Children Come First.

This is simple. Do not fight. Do not turn kids against a parent. Be safe. Be Careful. But put kids first. They did not choose to be born. They did not choose to be with divorced parents. They need their Mummy and Daddy. And they need peace and stability so they can grow and deal with their own shit. Which by the way in their own little universe can be like the end of the world. So they have to be Numero Uno.

4. Heal Thyself

Yes all sorts of things have gone wrong and you feel like its the end of the world. Your old comfortable routines are gone. Half of you has been torn out painful and wickedly. And people are against or for you. And you have legal and property issues to deal with. Not to mention sleep deprivation, bouts of depression and fits of anxiety. You also, underneath it all, even if she was a "bitch" or he was a "prick", you still care about the other person. You want to heal them and get things sorted (sometimes). But the point is, forget it all and focus on yourself. Not comforting, I know, but its the fact. What is that you contributed to the downfall? What can you do better? What are your issues? Is it time for counselling? Is it time for exercise? Travel? Study? What is it you need to do to get RIGHT and heal truly... Be complete. Find your values. Find your compass. Find your bliss.

5. Recognise the Reality of Assets

Stuff. That's what it is. You have worked hard for it and built it up. It may be the McMansion in the suburbs, the vintage car, that guitar you slaved for , the business built up, the holiday house, the trust fund etc etc. Its all just stuff. You may not feel like it or realise it but it wont mean an iota on your deathbed. So yes do the right thing and be fair, on both fronts, but don't let it override all emotions and turn you into an A Class Asshole. Oh and by the way its ok to get lawyers involved, its not ok to let them run the show. They are nice people lawyers. I met a few human ones once, (Just kidding legal eagles) but they are acting on  your behalf and will often push to get the "best" deal. It may not be the best deal for everyone. Keep em well managed : (Watch Liar Liar)

Its all just stuff.

 

6. Shut out your Lover and Friends

If you have moved on quickly and got that hot guy or girl or the dreamy love of your life that is ok. If you have a horde of rabid fans or friends that is ok to. Just get them to shut the ____ up. They will always have their 2 cents plus GST and will be on your back to do the "right thing by you" (and them... hint hint). Only you and your partner know what the right thing is; with advice from neutral professional people. PS The blonde at the bar you have hooked up with and cried your heart out to; probably doesn't have all the answers or best advice, especially after 5 Martinis.

7. Respect, Love and Care for the Other Half

Go on. Is it really that hard to look above your own emotion and desires and try to see it from their side? Rightly or wrongly a little love, care and respect goes a long way. Especially if you have mutual friends involved. And especially when there are children and family involved.

The kids are always there and should be always loved

The kids are always there and should be always loved

 

8. Mind Yourself. Meditate and Don't Medicate.

Ok this is where I failed big time! I went on one bender after another. It wasn't just the divorce it was a spiritual breakdown combined with exhaustion; but there is no excuse. Partying hard doesn't solve any problems ad is a terrible solution to most problems but particularly divorce. As someone wiser than I once said, "Going overboard on the booze is simply borrowing the happiness of tomorrow". What I have found that is powerful is meditation. A chance to get quiet and listen to your inner voice and get some real honest and pure answers. A quiet approach to complex and challenging scenarios often is the best way. And get counselling. Together, separately; either way its important to debrief and talk through the situation. Navigate through the maze of the mind? Get a guide....

Boozing is borrowing the happiness from tomorrow

 

9. Understand Control and Power.

Pretty much it's an easy one.  You are not in control and you do not have power. Unless you are referring to yourself. In which case you have control over your actions (Unless you, like me have failed  #8 a few times quite spectacularly) and power over your thoughts and emotions. Forget being a control freak and trying to muscle or manipulate through the divorce. It just wont work. And whatever comes out of it is very bad. Just let go and work through things together and in a "values based approach".

10. Enjoy the Blessings

Believe it or not but there are plenty of things to be grateful for. There are probably 10 right now. Children? Health? Wealth? Friends? Freedom? There are many ways to shape your view and if you focus on your blessings then your brain is wired in a positive and energetic way. I use to scoff but I don't leave the house every morning without. It works... :)

 

Can a marriage really fail? Can love fail?

Can a marriage really fail? Can love fail?

Conclusion. Don't run off and get a divorce! Work at it. But if it is the right thing to do. Work through it maturely, carefully. Learn from my mistakes. :) There is no such thing as failed marriage. It is a beginning and an end. Sometimes it ends at the grave, sometimes sooner. Enjoy, endure while it lasts and then move on with respect, care and understanding.

To Eliza; thank you for the 13 years of our relationship, the 11 years of marriage and the days and months following where you really showed your values, character and heart. I'm so happy you are happy and those two little girls we share are a gift from heaven. Salute!

 

The Importance of a Start Up Sequence

Ever leap out of bed, dashed to the shower, jumped into the clothes and ran out the door?

I think we have all done this... :/

But what if this was closer to the norm? What if the amount of activities before sleep and action were minimal to zero. What sort of start to the day is that?

Imagine an elite athlete running a race without the right nutrition, warm-up or clothing?

What about a race car exploding out of the blocks without the proper fuel, oils and start up regime?

How about taking an exam without any preparation?

I think you get the point - its pretty much the worst way to tackle something.

Sadly I spent a lot of my life (like a lot) jumping out of bed, hitting the shower and rushing out the door. Unsurprisingly the days didn't exactly go so well. Head aches. Lethargy. Lack of Patience. Lack of Calmness. Agitation. Depression. Anxiety. And the list goes on.

And it doesn't matter how many beroccas or coffees you slam down (and in my bad old days; cigarettes) you still just cant perform or get the efficiency expected. Not to mention the feeling when finally landing at home. Annoyed. Frustrated and in general irritated about lack of progress or another day not at your best. (Yep Guilty as charged)

The funny thing is after a lot of soul searching I have found my Start Up Sequence to each day absolutely critical in being the best and following a meaningful and purposeful life. I have been doing this for the last 6 weeks with GREAT results. I haven't missed a day and quite frankly do not think I will miss another one for the rest of my life. I mean if you can be at your best ALL DAY for the rest of your life then what's there not to like. :) :) :)

And in reflection it makes sense to me. A computer has a Start-up Sequence. A car has a Start Up Sequence. Just about every machine has one. Animals have a start up sequence as well. I mean have you ever seen a cat wake up. The amount of stretching they do is incredible. :)

So here is my start up sequence.

* Set Smart Alarm - I always set a smart alarm to ensure i wake up at an optimal time with in the range of getting up. I use my pebble watch to wake me up in an hour range which is any time from 5.30 to 6.30. (PS if you don't like getting up early here is a Great Little Inspirational piece from Forbes )

* Prayer and Meditation - Ok so you might not be religious or believe in higher powers. I'm certainly not religious but have become very comfortable with a higher power or a God. In any case meditation is amazing! Especially if you are like me and suffer from a flurry of thoughts mostly about the future. I do a lot of gratitude thinking before 5 minutes of meditation split into two sections. 2-3 minutes counting to 1-10 front and backwards in 3 languages. (English, French and Korean - helps me practice and takes my mind away from thoughts). Then 2-3 minutes of body scanning. This is a fun one. Just sit with feet on ground, upright and hands on lap. Start feeling your toes, sole, feet, heel, ankle and all the way up to the top of your head spending time on each part. Amazing how good you feel after doing this - the mind is a LOT clearer. (Here is WebMD on Meditation)

* Exercise and Stretching - Its amazing how important movement is in getting out of sleep and the feeling of fatigue. I use my Han Mudo warm up routine which takes about 10 minutes to do. It is effectively warming up every part of the body before 5 minutes of quick cardio. This gets the body moving and fired up for an epic day. (Lifehacker on Stretching)

* Diary - After hitting the shower and getting into clothes I sit down and hit the diary. This is a critical part of the start up sequence for me. Sitting down and mentally preparing for the day, acknowledging successes and getting a list going is awesome. (I confess I often do this with a coffee sitting next to me - cant beat that aroma in the morning :) I cover off the date, my personal values, my successes, my list of actions for the day, the things I am grateful for, my long term goals and a motivational quote that I write down. By the time this is done I am FIRED UP! (Huffington Post on Gratitude Diary)

All in all from start to finish this is generally 45 minutes to an Hour depending on other activities. (I cheat a little most days by having an UP and GO rather than a fancy omelette or the good old wheatbix)

Oh and if you didn't notice. The acronym for my sequence is S.P.E.D or as I like to remember it SPED UP!

What do you think? Worth giving a try? Worth designing your own Start Up Sequence? What if an extra 30 minutes a day in the morning gave you 2 or 4 hours extra output in productivity? Or simply left you feeling great, charged up and ready to go.

Life is too short to waste! I strongly suggest you watch Tim Urban on Procrastination. Absolutely brilliant in focusing our lives on procrastination and purpose. Wow! 

Thanks for Reading and Wishing You the Best Each and Every Day!