Challenges always hide opportunity

All challenges are hidden opportunities.

The challenge of learning to photograph offered an opportunity of photographing this robin in 2012 that I turned into a card.

I faced the challenge of learning to photograph in 2012 and encountered this hidden opportunity of a robin, which I have turned into a card.

A friend rang, it was the year anniversary of a house fire that destroyed everything he owned.  He had no insurance.  Life is full of harsh challenges, which are in my opinion disguised opportunities.  The fire that destroyed his home and belongings gave my friend an opportunity to move on to a new situation without the baggage of the past.  My friend prospered and like a phoenix has rebuilt stronger than he was before.

My friend is also involved with a wood, one that my business wishes to pay for tree planting in.  My friend faces another challenge that the woodland is for sale.  The woodland sale provides an opportunity for the wood to come into ownership of a local, an environmentalist who is working with my friend.  I sense from my telephone conversation that the sale is running into technical obstructions, though like all things I see opportunities hidden inside challenge. I believe all will turn out well in this woodland sale, and I shall plan to visit this wood in a few weeks time.

Giving time to helping wildlife

Each individual can make a small difference helping wildlife.

It is my hope Amber my garden fox will return to my garden in 2015.

I hope Amber my garden fox will return to my garden in 2015.

The British climate after the New Year grew teeth with hard frosts and a climate that sent my mood crashing into the hard ground.  As I eat breakfast I visit the places I planted spring bulbs in my garden, a mood of anticipation like a child waiting for sweets. I watch the slowly emerging green shoots with near religious fervor, wishing, nay praying, their flowering would drive the cold jagged beast of winter away.

The foxes every night emerge with noisy announcements, fighting and marking out their territories whilst pursuing a mate.  One fox includes my garden in its large territory, then circles its kingdom of many gardens with its vocal calls from sunset to deep into the night.  I have seen the fox, but it is too dark to see if this is Amber, a fox I have not seen for many months.

The wild birds have returned to the garden, fighting for food, they are hungry.  The time of winter through to the end of the nesting season in June is a time when wild birds in the UK need the help of humans for food.  Regardless of where one lives, with wisdom, the little creatures appreciate the kindness, so food is always available in the feeding stations; I replace fresh water or break the ice of the water bowls to help birds so they can wash and drink from them.

Today I purchased a nest box which I shall soon put up.  Human development rarely acts in harmony with nature so that yearly the potential nesting sites grow less for wild birds forcing them to nest in such areas as the metal ashtrays of the communal flats in Colchester.  Birds appreciate nesting boxes if located with wisdom away from predatory interference.

Small acts of kindness for the wild animals in our gardens and community takes little effort but has a huge impact on the lives of the animals that benefit.  It is worth thinking how you could help an animal and impact their little lives in a positive big way.

What is abundance?

Abundance is something created such as food.

People often think abundance is money or material possessions, they are wrong, it is a thing that is born out of creativity such as growing food.

People often think abundance is money or material possessions, they are wrong, it is a thing that is born out of creativity such as growing food.

New Year and I bless people with the three elements of prosperity during 2015: health, happiness and abundance.  Health and happiness are easy to understand but abundance can confuse.

Abundance has nothing to do with money or material possessions.  Money is a measure or a token of trade, rather than a tangible or concrete thing.  We measure money either in pieces of paper of debt, a type of IOU note; base engraved metal or as figures on a computer database; all which can become instantly worthless in a financial crisis.  Money really is debt, which is the opposite of prosperity.

Modern civilisation embraces the paradigm that qualities of prosperity such as happiness comes from the constant consumer purchase of material possessions.  Human beings clutter their lives with possessions that brings about anxiety of their loss, protecting them from fire and theft, having to find room, often in paid for storage facilities of something of burden rather than happiness.  The paradox is that there is little prosperity in material possessions.

My local museum is full of images of gods with symbols of abundance, one common example is a cornucopia overflowing with fruit.  The ancient coins of the ancient Celtic rulers of Colchester shows an ear of barley, another symbol of abundance reflecting good soil fertility in the Colchester area.  From these images abundance means something you create: harvests; children; poetry.

When I wish abundance to you my readers in 2015 I mean that what you create, work at and accomplish results in an abundant harvest.  If you love growing fruit, may that fruit be plentiful.  As a result of abundance, money will come to you, and so will the material possessions if that is your goal, but it is useful to have in mind that abundance is directly related to creativity, what you create is what you harvest as abundance.

Overcoming challenges by doing it

Procrastination, fear and obstruction overcome by activity.

Human society loves immediate gratification but nature shows that the reward is often delayed in coming after action.  The acorns I planted sat silently sleeping for many months before manifesting as an oak sapling.

Human society loves immediate gratification, but nature shows that the reward is often delayed in coming after activity. The acorns I planted sat silently sleeping for many months before manifesting as oak saplings.

You achieve nothing in life without intelligent action.  After time away I faced challenges to writing on Liberated Way again: fear of losing writing form; procrastination formed from the fear and inertia of writing inactivity; the changes to WordPress that made the blogging platform strange, complicated and clumsy, changes that I totally disliked.

Change is a universal truth in nature, Heraclitus observed  “everything flows,” a motto I have adopted for my business.  Living things adapt to change or fail in the game of life.  It is for us to flow with the changes, adapting in harmony with nature.  Change has no master, it is useless complaining, and worse, doing nothing.  Regret is painful to those that make no attempt to meet a challenge or seize an opportunity; by attempting something and failing such as getting light out of a potato a few days ago, provides relief from regret.

The only answer to challenges in life is activity, getting your hands dirty, taking the cuts and bruises; learning through failure; expending energy, tears, sweat and sometimes blood through a painful, sometimes boring process against relentless obstacles, opposition and pain.   It might seem that after a massive expenditure of time, energy and money in a painful fight resulting in abject failure the individual might question why they bothered, but hidden treasure such as wisdom born from experience in the attempt, and a tough mind born of the strife of the stressful experience is the least of rewards no book or easy walked path can give you.

In this game of life those who act are the hero, those that complain and do nothing are the zero.  The rewards of life come to the hero who has acted because they have planted seeds that often reward them later on with a harvest of benefit.  Those who do nothing, plant nothing, and often harvest nothing but regret.  It is also the case rewards in life are rarely immediate, manifesting months, years even decades later after the attempt just as my acorns I planted took many months before manifesting as oak saplings.

It is good to use intelligence in action, by following a path with intelligence increases success and reduces the pain suffered by a process of action.  The flowers I planted in my garden I intelligently decided to plant in the right season, the joy of watching them slowly manifesting as spring flowers is born of this intelligence.

The only answer to these challenges against my blogging was plunge in and get writing again, it was hard and messy, with mistakes, but now I flow again as I write this latest article.

Learning from homicidal cows

Science should work in harmony with nature.

The modern day climate benefits a domestic cow rather than an Ice Age auroch.  Working against nature only ends in suffering for all living things.

The modern-day climate benefits a domestic cow rather than an Ice Age auroch. Working against nature only ends in suffering for all living things.

In the news this week a farmer had to kill some cows bred by German Nazi scientists due to their extreme aggression.  Based on the extinct ancestor of the domestic cow called the auroch, which appears on ice age cave paintings, the “Heck super cows” expressed homicidal tendencies towards anyone near them.  The farmer had to use an athletic young man as bait to get the cows into a trailer and off his farm.

There has been talk in recent years of bringing back into existence the wooly mammoths from the Ice Age, though in my opinion this is another expression of human hubris of acting against nature.  In the Ice Age the focus of animal genes was on strength, aggression and size, in harmony with an environment which contained abundant food and a hostile climate.  To bring back an animal that genetically is out of harmony with the modern-day environment is cruel to the animal and perhaps problematic for other species.

Despite humanity most species of plant and animal become extinct because genetically they are unable to cope with changes in their environment, those that do survive have changed to stay in harmony with an ever-changing climate.  Similarly attempts to bring back species of animal such as bear or wolf to nations such as Britain where they have been gone for hundreds of years is unfair on both humans and the animals in an environment that has changed making it unsuitable for their return.  Colchester Zoo shot three of their wolves dead for instance that escaped from my town zoo in 2013 for public safety reasons.

If there is a lesson from the homicidal cows of the farm in Devon it is that scientists need to learn some humility and work in harmony with nature in their work on behalf of humanity.

“Since they have gone it is all peaceful again. Peace reigns supreme on the farm.” – Farmer of homicidal cows.

A happy 2015 to my readers

Wishing my readers health, happiness and abundance in 2015.

As a great start to my blogging for 2o15 I would like to introduce my readers to the work of the talented wildlife photographer Tanja Askani.  My good friend Paul of Learning from Dogs published a series of astonishing photographs by Askani of a rabbit and deer relationship.

The biography of Tanja Askani on her website introduces her love for animals and photography:

“I was born in Czechoslovakia and grew up in an industrial town of a Czech mining region. Love of animals was lived at home. My father taught me from the very beginning how to treat animals and how to take care of them respectfully. He always took abandoned, sick and “waste” animals back home and supported me in taking care of them until we had managed to find a new home for them

In 1990 I moved to Germany and managed to fulfill some of my smaller and bigger dreams. I began to work as falconer at “Wildpark Luneburger Heide” and meanwhile I am in charge of several packs of wolves which I hand raised by myself. Apart from my job I am a passionate photographer, write books and deliver lectures. The focus of attention to me is always the animal itself, and that we have to accept these creatures for what they are and free of moral adjudications and romantic prejudices. “

Askani’s various websites shows young animals in harmony with each other:

“…fascinating photos of animal friendships and encounters between foreign species. These encounters and friendships of the animals have come into being spontaneously, unconstrained by directives. There is no after work in studios, no dressage and no faking by photoshopping. All that is used is the photographic equipment, patience and a lot of time.”

Below is a video capturing some of her work:

Building a simpler life

Simplicity allows more resources for the important things in life.

All living things are perfect energy systems that use simple energy efficient processes towards their goals of living, growing and reproducing.

All living things are perfect energy systems that use simple energy-efficient processes towards their goals of living, growing and reproducing.

All living things are highly effective at ways to use their energy resources in the most efficient way.  The trees in my garden shed their leaves because it is more energy-efficient without leaves in the dark winter months.  All living things focus their energy to live, grow and reproduce along the line of least resistance to get the most profit out of their limited energy resources.

Mark Zuckerberg the CEO of Facebook recently answered questions about why he commonly wears the same grey t-shirt most of the time, he answered:

“I really want to clear my life to make it so that I have to make as few decisions as possible about anything except how to best serve this community.  I’m in this really lucky position, where I get to wake up every day and help serve more than a billion people. And I feel like I’m not doing my job if I spend any of my energy on things that are silly or frivolous about my life.”

Zuckerberg seems to have developed an art form of keeping his life simple so that he can concentrate on the things that really matter to him.  If you keep a diary of your daily events I am sure you would be shocked at the time wasted on trivial things like getting dressed.  This is something I am slowly doing, rather than wear other people’s branded clothing, I wear my business branded clothing such as t-shirts and hoodies, and most of the time that is all I will wear.  Like Zuckerberg I have no desire to waste my life thinking about what I should wear each day.

I have this principle: “The Unity of Purpose,” which is to say that on your desk should only be those things that solve the problem you are working on, all else is junk and should be eliminated.  Unnecessary action, information or objects that have no purpose in solving a problem in your work space will waste your resources and obstruct you, better to get rid of them.

Simplicity is natural and offers opportunity for you of being able to focus upon the things that matter to you in life.