My friends and readers, do not be put off by the seemingly dark title. If you know me or not please know this all my spiritual work is designed to promote love and light and to bring in upliftment. This article has a two-fold intention. Firstly it conveys what is going on in my head at the time of writing. And secondly is the basis or the foundations for the final chapter of my book.
I have persevered with the book and have had to manage my time effectively so I could allocate slots to ensure progress and ultimately its conclusion. My Dear friend Ian Timothy and I have readily discussed the final chapter being about the final sleep and what that it might mean to me, is it the end definitively or is it just a pause while we wait for the next chapter. I pondered on it lots and then proceeded to have what I can only describe as a block. I didn’t lose any enthusiasm for it, and I just went through a period of disillusionment with people in general. I realised to remove the block I needed to take my mind off the task and find a fresh perspective, so I took solace in my garden and woodwork, and this helped me recharge my batteries.
Over the years, I have learned to manage my thinking. I have built up quite a reference library in what I call my mental Rolodex; repeat scenarios can be calculated as to how they will turn out if repeat strategies are used to solve problems. All are stored in my mind and has been a useful source of information over the years but like with everything things change and evolve, so I have to be ready to develop with it. To give an example of how the mental Rolodex approach works, I will provide you with a scenario, problem, let’s call it writer’s block, who could help me solve this: the first step ask yourself have you ever experienced this experience before. If the answer is yes, then consult the mental Rolodex for solutions as to how the scenario played out. If the answer is no then for me, the next step is to consult those that you trust. My two primary sources are the lovely Mrs P, and one Ian Timothy Esq, both of them have a way of cutting through illusion and helping me see what is there. Myself and Mrs P were talking of a different matter, and she said do nothing. I placed this in the mental Rolodex for consideration. I turned the thought over and over, to solve a problem do nothing, it sounded strange and felt even more bizarre. I believe in solving a problem, you have to take direct action, but in this case, it yielded nothing. I decided, however, to take the advice on board and do nothing.
I talk a lot about taking personal responsibility for my life, and as we all know, actions have consequences. The new thought process felt alien to me, and my mind needed managing, so I put on you-tube and put on some music. A song came up from a band I have discovered in the last year, namely Pink Floyd. The song was called wish you were here, I listened intently through headphones while scrolling through the comments. A large proportion were people saying that the song’s lyrics reminded them of people that had passed or times from the past. A lot commented that they played it in memoriam to invoke a memory of times in their mind when things appeared to be better. A particular line caught my attention: “did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts” this got me thinking. Remember, life is about perspective, and most likely, my interpretation of the lyrics may differ hugely from that of others, let me explain further.
Heroes to me are present; they are here, they are now, I can if I choose to look up to them or maybe hope to emulate them or at the very least hope to be inspired by them. Ghosts represent the past, people who have passed a memory or a fragment of what once was. If I traded my heroes for ghosts, I have effectively given my present and possible progress to live in the past. What are memories but a perspective of something from your viewpoint? Maybe they are correct but only from your map of the world.
I now had answers for the last chapter; I had indeed done nothing and achieved the breakthrough. My solution was to conjure up an imaginary scenario that was quite simple in its effectiveness. Please indulge me now as I bring the idea to a conclusion: I am approaching the final sleep of death as some people believe. I have been given the date of my passing and fortunately also given the time to tidy up any loose ends. I had much to do and had no time to focus on that which I had lost (the ghosts). I wanted to spend my remaining precious time reflecting on the people that had inspired me (the heroes). People who were my heroes were the ones that spread optimism and promoted self-growth and awareness; people who helped others forward while also learning their lessons. My perception of the final sleep needed to be addressed, as well.
Death or the final sleep is not the total end, for me and my spiritual beliefs it is the shedding of the outer shell and is much like the actor saying the final words of his script in the role that he is playing before moving onto the next project. He stops, says the last lines and once delivered, he becomes himself again and prepares for the upcoming film. I ask myself a question if I knew my role was coming to an end, and I did indeed know my expiry date was what I would want my legacy to be.
I decided to pay tribute to myself. I wanted to be remembered for my smile, my offbeat sense of humour and my loyalty. I wanted it known that I tried my best; I loved hard. I experienced success and difficulties and endured pain but always knew that if I was fortunate enough to open my eyes in the morning, I could change things. My strength, my faith and loyalty to friends and family alike was a constant in my life. I supported people I helped and guided and even sometimes to my detriment I trusted and believed in people who maybe didn’t merit it but do you know what I loved it all.
One of Ian’s Comments then floated into my head “where do you spend your lives hours?” this simple sentence has and had a marked effect on me, and because of its influence I worry less and produce more. Things that I can’t influence aren’t given consideration, anything that won’t help with my life’s journey or impact on the end destination is discarded. The core function of the human being is to find a better feeling if we can’t find it within the way that we feel and act then the time for change is needed.
My imaginary scenario started to fade, and my time was coming to an end. I felt the need for summing up: time is a commodity that cannot be bought or sold. It is precious, yet people can choose how they use it or in many cases waste it thinking about things they can’t influence. My final words were approaching in the role that I had played so well, and I had done the best that I could. I hoped like all good award speeches I had remembered to thank all the people that had contributed. I finished with these words. I, Rick Paul, am ready for the next role I have during this lifetime desired to inspire and hope that when you think of me in the future, you will remember me in all my flawed glory. My thoughts on life are relatively simple; life is life, live it to the max. Love, laugh and enjoy, don’t have any regrets, accept change is sometimes needed for progress. Live in peace and respect yourself as the uniquely talented and priceless person that you are. No need lamenting on your ghosts and don’t focus on loss. Do not trade your present for the past, live in the now. Life is/ was a hell of a journey. I want to thank all of you being on it with me. It is only done once in this costume, so enjoy it till the next act.