People…How well do we really know those closest to us?

I’m currently sitting on a coach on a 14 hour journey. I have been watching some TV series I downloaded with these friends, they are going through some intense stuff together and apart, from the viewers vantage point I can see who’s lying to who and for what reasons. I know Its not real, but it gets me to thinking how well do we really know those closest to us, how well do we know their intentions? How much do we taint, in our heads, to make situations more to our advantage? do we ignore signs to the truth? Do we lie to each other to protect them or ourselves? Or do we lie out of fear, or an inability to accept the truth? Are we all as lost as each other, and instead of being truthful and honest we are only keeping each other in the dark? Are any of us truly honest, with others or with ourselves?

Of course TV accentuates situations and people but when I look around me, really think about the people in my life, experiences in the past when things are revealed and I can’t help but wonder.

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There are people in my life whom I wonder about sometimes. All sorts of people, and I wonder what I mean to them, how much is real and how much is tolerance, how much is people keeping up appearances because its just how society tells us to behave… But I also wonder about my reactions to people, my tolerances. How many people do I truly relate to and want to know and how many do I just allow to stay in my life, never really caring enough to put much into the connection but feeling its rude to just cut them out, or maybe I don’t want to hurt people, or maybe its just that there’s no reason not to have them around so they stay.

Surely with life being a thing so short on time and precious, we should at least value it enough not to want to waste that time and energy, ours or anyone else’s. Should we not be more selective about how we spend our time and energies? What connections are worth nurturing and which have no future. Should we not spend time knowing ourselves and ensuring we are honest and true to our feelings and expectations towards people, in turn making it easier for them to understand and read where they stand as well?

The time I have spent trying to analyse what I mean to people, if anything. Are they worth the energies, or are they a waste of my time. I remember times in my own life when I have pushed away good people and lost great connections through confusion or immaturity and there are times I should have been more honest and ruthless with people, cruel to be kind and all that.

Why is it such a confusing matter, its one of life’s great woes. People, relationships, friendships. How do we get it right? We are all chasing the dream of having those perfect relationships, the partner with whom to spend our life, the friendships to endure lifetimes even the dynamics of work relationships are difficult to navigate, its like everybody’s playing some big game if poker, keeping their cards close to their chests, a lot of the time were not even sure if we have a winning hand ourselves yet so we bluff and bet our way through. But there are very few winners in poker.

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Surely there is an easier way? After thousands of years of evolution, I can’t help but think it so backwards that we are not more apt at connecting. Are we teaching our children the same poker tricks and faces and preventing evolution in this or is the lack of real connection evolution in itself? Is the future a place where its every man for himself, where people are as dispensable as a car, a home or a job. Will there be an end to truly deep connections?
This sounds like a very sad future indeed.

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Filed under emotions, friendss, games, people, relationships

Long old journeys…How do you get through yours?? Heres how I tackle mine:

Since travelling I have discovered myself on many a long and arduous coach trip, whether its to/from airports, around foreign countries or, as I am right now, visiting parts of the UK.
How does one stay sane when travelling long distance, alone on the buses (or even planes and trains)? Well I have a few tactics I find work quite well:

1) Other people. Now there are several things other people can be interesting for. Firstly if they are of interest and free to chat you could engage I conversation, I often find myself meeting some quite random types having conversations I wouldn’t usually end up having. I recently got talking to a guy who was travelling across country visiting his girlfriend, a girlfriend he had met only once before, to give her his phone number and yet he was so in love and prepared to do so much to be with her, it was quite heart-warming…although my cynical side did have a few queries.
You may also find just listening in to other people talking can be rather amusing. Overhearing some overly chatty types or couples bickering etc…I can be entertained quite some time with this but I think my favourite thing when on long journeys is catching people sleep!
I recently found myself awoken via dry mouth as I had managed to doze off with it wide open and upon waking felt quite embarrassed, until I turned and saw the girl next to me was doing the exact same thing…Brilliant!

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2) I ALWAYS bring my laptop with me. This provides entertainment in many ways, especially now they have plug In points at every seat so you never need run out of battery! Firstly there is the standard watching your downloaded films, TV programs or playing computer games. Actual hours of entertainment. But also you can prepare and use both your computer and time quite effectively. I will often ensure I have lots of downloaded fitness information, guides, training programs etc. and can therefore research and educate myself on matters I may not always get around to when I have the internet available.
Lastly, you can of course still use word and such programs to blog, write your journal, or make plans and to do lists. (I am literally writing this as I start a 14 hour coach journey home (Cornwall) from Wales)

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3) Books, books, books! (or magazines) Because sometimes looking at screens for hours is bad for the eyes and also reading is good for you. By god if more people read the world would be a much better place, whether its autobiographies, fiction or factual, reading is a wonderful thing and definitely needs to be done more.

4) Lastly, ensure to have a good travel pillow and enough food and water. Sleep is a fantastic way of passing the time and for ensuring you are not left feeling tired and groggy after a long trip. Plus it can save you the indignity of falling asleep on someone or in an undignified position and having some stranger take pictures and laugh at your expense 😉 ha ha. The food and water are also essential not only for keeping you refreshed but also because time can pass extremely slow when you are hungry or thirsty and it can be difficult to concentrate on anything else…the last thing you need is food rage when stuck on a moving vehicle!

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So there you have it, Kirsts recommendations for those pesky long journeys, if you have any additional advice, feel free to share!

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Filed under adventure, advice, coaches, driving, journey, journeys, travel

Losing my rock climbing v platess

So I am in Wales, visiting a friend and after doing Snowdon, my next Welsh challenge was to rock climb. My friend and her friend who I went with are both instructors and so I was able to partake in safe hands without having to go in some big group of people and wait ages to take turns etc…boring!

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So we went to some slate rocks an they gave me a debrief, set up and away we went. The first one was relatively easy, a warm up and was rather enjoyable. The second was hard. After watching Kate struggle up certain parts of it, and she’s a good climber, I was sure I would barely make it up a quarter of the way but with their great encouragement (and at certain points I think Damien was actually pulling me up on the rope), I made it relatively near to the top. Id say just past 3 quarters up.

It wasn’t easy, even with the help. I had to stop and assess where I could go next a few times, mentally prepare myself to push up or to get my leg on a certain grip and there were times my hands were so damn cold I couldn’t even feel if my fingers were still attached any more, never mind if they were gripping anything and there was a lot of doubt but surprisingly not as much fear as I thought there would be. Of course I didn’t really look down and I knew I was safely roped on but I still expected to have some fear, especially as it was rather high and the grips were quite hard at time, hanging on to cracks and nooks where I couldn’t have thought it possible to get grip. I suppose in comparison to my 65 foot tree climb in Australia where we had no ropes, safety nets or trained professionals helping, it was still a little tame on the danger front but still a challenge and something outside of my comfort zone.

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Another experience tackled well, no tears, no failure, no embarrassment. Another survival skill to add to my apocalypse set I have been growing over the last year along with chicken beheading, tackling mountains in both tropical and snowy temperates and of course learning to hand-wash clothing properly…Boy that one will be important when the zombies come for us!

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Filed under adventure, challenge, climbing, wales

My Snowy Snowdon experience!

After finally arriving home just a few weeks ago, I haven’t had the chance to trek much, in fact not at all and I hadn’t done much trekking really since spring last year. As you can imagine my experience with Snowdon was hard and I was not prepared!

First off we had to park further down the valley as all the damn people were in the way! Fools! So we parked and started walking, It was damn hard but the sun was shining and it was real warm. Vest tops ahoy I fact. The initial hour or two was actually nice.

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The third hour brought the best views and the beginning of the realization I may have bitten off more than I could easily chew.

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By the end of the third hour it was so very cold and getting quite misty, I was tired, teasy and I imagine, not very good company at all! The talking stopped and I just had to get the head down.
The last hour up was very hard, lots of snow, lots of wind, lots of incline and by the time we reached the top I was so over the whole experience.

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Looking back its funny, I was ready to strop for England!

The decent was initially fun, very deep and steep snowy mountain meant lots of fun slipping and sliding down, although this did cause me big knee issues and I was in a hell of a lot of pain on the decent.

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We arrived at the car just after dark, 6 and a half hours of trekking and I was done. Had my full blown quasimodo walk going down, my determined, stroppy aggressive face on and a shroud of aggressive air surrounding me.

It took about an hour before I actually smiled at the though of what I had done and that actually there were fun parts. The lesson to learn here though is not to be a cocky bastard and assume I can just tackle anything without being properly prepared. Just because I did a lot of trekking before, doesn’t mean I can just jump In and safely do anything now.

I must get out trekking again, I did not like feeling so weak and pathetic!

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Filed under adventure, body, challenge, fitness, mountain, trekking

My Journal Journey!

What is a journal? How personal do we make our entries? Do we write them with restriction in case it is ever found or specifically to be read by an outsider, or do we write our completely inner most thoughts unabashed, for our own eyes only? Do we use it to simply vent, or for record, are they for re-reading, assessing, future help or are they simply an outlet? Should we keep separate journals for separate parts of our lives? One for personal matters, feelings, thoughts and one for goals, accomplishments, wishes and wants? Are they a record of facts, experiences and advice or a mish mash of personal jibber jabber?

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I think its safe to say a journal can be any number of things and can be incredibly insightful, eye opening, and rewarding to the creator and also sometimes to others, depending on the type.

Personally my journal is a very personal thing, only I see it and IF I ever chose to allow anyone else to read it, they will be a very special person to me indeed. My journal is kind of like my friend, my confident, but it doesn’t judge or give false information, it doesn’t give misguided advice or try to warp my mumblings into coherency…It simply accepts.

When I was young I used to write a diary, much like a journal but to me my diary was all about my crazy thoughts, my emotions and turmoil, my trials, releasing the tension…when I read them back they are a desperate expression of everything I couldn’t say, or even make sense of. But there was no development, I was using it as an outlet but nothing more.

Now things have changed, for me a journal is more about a journey than just expression. Its a way of expressing but also of recording, of making sense, planning, improving oneself and I have to say it has been monumental in helping me through what has turned out to be probably the worst year of my life to date.

It really helps me to process my thoughts and feelings, but I refuse to scribble page and pages of nonsensical words, as I sit down to write I find a quiet place and time, I think….I process the things I itch to record, put the ramblings in order and write relatively concisely and with real meaning. Sometimes, the things I wanted to write, the negative or mixed up feelings often find themselves resolved before pen hits paper. I might mention them in a single sentence to record the fact it was there, I felt it but I can deal with it.

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I also use this writing time to make sure I am grateful. Every day I write ‘thankful for’ and aim to list 3 things I am grateful for that day, anything from my health, abilities, specific people, opportunities, experiences or sometimes even just for a TV show I am enjoying, or that wine which helped me relax and feel better. There have been one or two days in the last 6 months where I have been unable to complete this, on my lowest of the low yet even on these days, even writing the title, ‘thankful for’ I know there are things, I know that I am just having trouble pinpointing them at that moment in time, I know I write them every day and have many thing but my mindset is just clouding them.

There are another two sections I do every day to ensure I am looking forwards to positive things and to ensure I am chasing those things. I do ‘wishes/wants’ and ‘goals’. Under wishes and wants I write anything, this could be big things like getting a nice house, having a great relationship or winning the lottery or it could be smaller or more personal things like mental clarity, or happiness.
Under goals I choose things often relating to my wants. Most are small steps I can take towards what I want over the next day or so: start playing the lottery, do certain activities I enjoy to make sure I feel happier, put aside thinking time on specific topics or research them to gain clarity, reach out to a certain person, or give them space, remind myself what I need to do to help the situations go in my favour.

And every day I look back on the previous day to see what I accomplished. I don’t reprimand myself for anything not done, this isn’t a race, its not a competition, its not work. As long as I am moving in the right direction and bearing my goals, wants and things I’m thankful in mind, then I am winning.

I also use my journal for several other useful things.
Firstly for recording my training, so quick notes on workouts, weight, reps and how it felt, just writing it before I do the workout means I can’t just procrastinate and not do it…it is written in pen, it is recorded and so I must do it, I will NOT have to record my failure to do this, it is the one time I am strict with my journal content and entries.
Secondly I use the back of the book for notes, notes to help me. There are lists of my good and bad points, things to work on. I have a 3 year plan, and steps to achieve larger goals. There are some yoga routines, body-brushing information, workout plans, supplement information, notes of names and websites I may find useful and ideas to look into at later dates when I have time.

Overall this relatively small notebook is an incredibly valuable asset, helping me in a number of ways on a daily basis. I would highly recommend people giving it a go.
You don’t need to write the same types of things I do, make it personal, adapt it to help you be the most positive and productive person you can be, it is definitely worth spending 10 minutes a day doing!

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Fighting the UK version of myself…

Since returning from travel, its like I’m a different person, all the changes I made to improve myself are slipping away again, I am regressing!

Whilst away travelling, I had no access to a TV, I had internet but only in specific areas and had interesting tasks so limited my time with them. When I did use the computer it was often for writing blogs, researching fitness techniques, networking or talking to loved ones.

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Upon my return I find myself getting sucked into the TV, not even watching anything specific. Watching my dad flick through channels, watching mindless programs of people falling over, or tacky sitcoms. I find myself sat on the internet, watching videos of cats, following menial conversations, trawling facebooks pages and posts and I even find myself taking time out to talk to people I’m not even bothered about being friends with, feeling like I must talk and be polite because they live near me…Um…why?

Why spend time having conversations you don’t want t have with people who don’t interest you, people with whom you have nothing in common? Why sit in front of the box watching people you don’t know live lives that aren’t real, why follow pointless ‘entertainment’ on facebook??
Is this our culture? Is this what it means to be British? Is this our go to response, particularly to winter? Too batten down the hatches and waste time until Summer once again arrives, and by Summer I mean those 2 weeks or so a year when its not rainy or cold.

Whilst away I managed to eat better, workout more often and with better progress, I learned more, I improved myself and now I feel it slipping away! This is not who I am, this is not who I am going to be!

I guess I figured I was deep enough into this new me to be able to keep it up but I was wrong, I am struggling but have ideas. I refuse to give in to monotonous old Kirst and this is how:

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Every time I turn on the computer, I endeavour to write a blog, this will often mean using my internet time more wisely to research a topic, it will mean engaging my brain every day!

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Each time a conversation starts, I will not reply on auto pilot…I will make the decision with regards to the person, are they someone I value, someone I can help, or someone with whom conversation is actually desirable? If not, I won’t engage, I refuse to bow down to social convention where we must reply just because its good manners, I realize this is probably a very British thing, being polite, well mannered and doing what is expected, well not any more.

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I am going to write goals in my daily journal, short and long-term and I am going to refer to them at the beginning of each day and ensure to plan my days with those goals in mind. These goals may be to do certain workouts, research workout, work or future options, to take time out to learn something new, practise my clubs, get creative, help my Dad with his renovating the games room or simply by taking out an hour to read, or meditate.

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Which brings me to my next point. I WILL meditate every day!! Whether its 5 minutes or 30 minutes, I will use my goal system to ensure to introduce workouts back into each day, starting with my morning Tibetan rights EVERY DAY. Making sure to do proper workouts, yoga and mobility. Within the month I aim to be back to practising Tibetan rights every morning and getting back onto my 4 day workout schedule, days 1 and 2 hard weight training, day 3 yoga and day 4 mobility, each one with a meditation session at the end.

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I will go back to making food plans, shop using lists from these plans and stick to them.  No more spontaneous eating as, when and what is there at the time.

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Lastly I will start making decisions again, it is time to stop wasting time wondering what my future will hold and start making that future happen. Every day I will do at least one thing towards that, whether its researching into jobs abroad, visas, and booking trips, or taking time out to stop and really thing through options and make decision and more importantly to stick to that decision. That’s not to say I can;t change my mind if circumstances change, we must be adaptable after all but it means no second guessing, I must trust myself. I am almost 30 and very capable of knowing what is right for me if I just stop faffing and trust in myself.

So there we have it, I will no doubt blog progress and developments as I go, if anyone has any ways they ensure not to let life pass by, or has the same issues, you are welcome to share, maybe we can help each other?

Its time to turn off the TV and turn on life!!

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Filed under 5 tibetan rights, battle, change, culture, development, life, Self discovery

The patience that comes with old age…or is it complacency???

Kirsty Jones Fitness

I was at the house of a local elderly lady this week, cleaning and providing company and as I was watching her prepare her breakfast I was suddenly struck with how patient and slowly she performs her routine.
I will just add here, its a lady I have known since being a child, almost like an adopted nanna to me now, hence the going round to help her out once a week.

Anyway, I was watching as she slowly laid the table, popped out the pills, even took the effort to close up every pill pack and ensure the leaflet goes back in each pack, the way she slowly spreads the peanut butter on the bread, so even, so surely, so precise. I took in the fact that she always gets out a saucer for the tea cups, always place mats for every item on the table. No corners are…

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Being home between adventures

So after being to absolutely terrified of coming home, I got off the plane and into my friends car, I watched the countryside stream past the windows, the rolling hills, the cottages and red brick houses, I felt the fresh coldness of the British winter and I felt peace.

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I have spent the last few days taking it all in, I have watched the familiar scenery roll by, felt the biting, cool breeze and the slippery underfoot ice, I’ve listened to some of the well known UK accents and consumed some local food and teas, I have smelled the freshness of the Cornish sea breeze and I have felt relief and relaxed as I adjusted my body clock and am connecting once again with friends and family.

The thing is, now I have taken it all in, it feels like I never even left. It seems as if the last 7 months were just a dream and I never even left this life. Its quite disconcerting and has me getting wanderlust already. Today was my first day back at work, and I am incredibly grateful they heard I was returning and asked me to come back, but also its scary how easy it is to fit back in to the exact same life I had!

This is not the plan, not that I ever have a plan but this isn’t how I want life to go. I wanted change, I wanted to start a new life not jump back into the old one as soon as things get sticky. I know I need money urgently and whilst I’m doing nothing else it makes sense to do what is offered, and I am grateful, but I’m also scared I will lose my drive in the familiar monotony.

Already I have been online ordering stuff…stuff I don’t need, materialistic possessions! Its like as soon as I got back I feel the need to own things again, this isn’t who I have become and I think its going to take some very special efforts not to fall back to being my old self. I will not allow the last 7 months to be in vain. Every lesson I had to learn, all the heartaches and failures as well as the adventures and realizations, I faced a lot of situations and conquered them, I grew, I evolved and now…what am I doing??

I really need to get a plan and make some serious effort to remember my path. I am above monotony and settling, I don’t want contentment and security, I choose life and adventure, experience and growth! So I have forced myself to get away from the dreaded TV, get into my space, write a blog, do my first proper workout in just over a week and actively make effort to be the new Kirst.

My aim over the next week is to make my big decision as to the possible yoga course I would like to do, to book my trip to the course in Ireland I am doing and to make plans for after this. They may change but I need a basic idea, a get out free card from the prison that is regular life. I am not ready to settle just yet, Its not time for me to be here for long. I will also ensure to be back on track with my workouts, today’s was awful, get my diet completely in check and to get back to my blog as well as ensuring I make plans to actually do things whilst home, make sure I have some adventures even here, just because I am home for a time, doesn’t mean the adventuring has to stop!

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I shall endevoour to make the most of Cornwall, my loved ones and having a home, a real place I can relax, at the same time makin sure I will be leaving it again soon.

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Filed under adventure, culture, experience, home, life, travel, travelling

Homeward bound, And I thought the leaving was the hard part….This is terrifying!

7 months ago I gave up my old life, I got rid of, gave away and left behind pretty much everything and everyone I’d ever known. I was setting out on a new path with the man I loved, we were going to have this big brilliant exciting future in the Philippines and then maybe travel and eventually come home successful, happy and ready for our happily ever after…

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I was scared but I was so excited, I felt like life was really turning around and we were finally getting to start our life together, after waiting for my fella who was in Afghan for 2 years to come home. Letting go was hard, I cried a lot, I wondered if I was making the right move and I thought I was doing the scariest thing I’d ever have to do…But I had my man and together we would make it work… I had made the right decision, we had made the right decision…First fail

Turns out we were wrong…oh so very wrong!

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Now, 7 months later, 4 of which were spent enduring life in an awful part of the Philippines, dealing with corruption, and disappointments business wise, having only each other pretty much for company, only each other to vent to and take it all out on, it was hot, we were teasy and it was difficult! There were no places of quiet, nowhere to go and find calm, nowhere to g and trek, explore we were trapped and it wasn’t fun!…Making a life and work fail

Following a trip away where we realise we are much happier away fro that place and did indeed have a relationship worth fighting for, we decided drastic action was needed. So I arranged to go to Australia and the fella was due to meet me there after his trip to India…

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yeh that didn’t work.
Time apart for him and his realizations in India made him decide to embark upon some journey of self discovery, minus the emotional baggage AKA me…so relationship fail (for now)

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I was devastated but we stayed talking and decided although were not together, there’s a good chance we could be again one day and, bear in mind I am simplifying things, I was able to accept this. I wont go into it but the guy does have things he needs to sort and in retrospect me being in his face wouldn’t help those issues…anyway so I set out to get a grip and do this travel thing everyone does.

Problem was, travel was something we’d planned together, everywhere I went I felt his missing presence as a physical thing, it felt like I was carrying around all this wistful sadness. I tried, I went through the motions, I made a few friends on my travels, I did 2 months in Australia and a month in Newzealand…I explored, I spent a lot of time and energies working on ‘me’…yet, I still don’t feel like I have managed to get a grip…I mean yesterday I cried as soon as I awoke, I barely sleep and I still feel like i’m not quite here, I have been here and there but a part of me has been elsewhere…I am clearly not getting a grip just yet..another fail

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So now it’s time to go home, I’m terrified. Going home means facing everything, out here I have been able to distance myself from reminders, from the things I’ve given up and lost, I have concentrated on being a new person, a better person but suddenly I feel like I haven’t changed at all. Being faced with the reality of life, my old life, people, places, the monotony of the life I left behind really makes me wonder, what did I do? Where did it all go wrong? I was so happy, so sure and so ready to make this wonderful step…How did it fall apart?

I thought leaving was the scary part, then I thought the separation was, then I thought the dealing with stuff out there by myself would be but it turns out the worst bit of it all is the returning home.

Don’t get me wrong I’m excited to see my loved ones and to spend time catching up with them but personally I feel like I’ll be facing each and every one of them embarrassed and slightly ashamed that not only could I not make it work, but that I was so smug before I left. So sure I had it all sorted.

Oh how the fates love to humble us!

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Tao Paths…Interesting tit bits!

I’ve been reading an interesting little book today on Taoist practises, Pretty light-hearted book and a few of the little quotes stood out to me so I thought I would share them.

The book is subtitled love so most are based on relationships, friends, family and the whole yin yang balance. So here they are, out of the hundreds of little quotes, here are the few I thought were wise or just worth remembering:

“The opposites have a vital need for each other, just as no human being can live fully without relationships. An attempt to do so is either to stagnate or to court metal and spiritual malaise”

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“Sometimes the only way we can truly know love is by its absence. Or perhaps it is a certain indefinable something that make us feel better about ourselves when we are with that person.”

“When our inner treasure is inexhaustible, we can provide limitless love and still remain independent and non-posessing.”

“Discipline and mutual respect between a man and a woman prevent arguments like a health regime prevents disease.”

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“It is said that in marriage, even more so than in a monastery, one can find all the challenges and opportunities for self cultivation.”

“Once you have acquired the awareness of others’ flaws, you need not poke at every one of them. Sometimes, one compassionately ignores the chink in ones companion’s armour. Constant awareness of human shortcomings can be a very gloomy way to go through life.”

“Taoists believe that the way to attain and keep physiological well-being was through proper application of the bedroom arts.”

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“If you feel unable to us your sexual power lovingly, then don’t use it at all! Sex is a gleaming, sharp, two-edged sword, a healing tool that can quickly become a weapon.”

“ We must always look to our own faults, or own problems, our own internal dynamics before we begin to judge those around us.”

“In the end, say the poets, the love we get is equal to the love we give. The seeds of love, respect, forgiveness, tolerance and gratitude that we spread throughout our life will be the fruit that will bloom in our last day.”

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Filed under 5 tibetan rights, beliefs, culture, health, mind, tao, taoist, yang, yin