Rediscovering Creativity

This past weekend, I've been reminded of how much I miss being creative. For me, my creative journey all started with music when I was about 7 years old. A way to express myself. A young boy, not knowing where he fit into this world. Always feeling isolated and different to everyone else. Music was my outlet. My way of communication. Not necessarily to another person, but just releasing what was inside of me.

Photography soon became one of my next creative outlets. Always wanting to use my Dad's film camera to take a photo of anything I could....until I'd get in trouble for wasting too much film.

For the past few months, I've been feeling the need for creativity again in my life. It's been knocking and knocking and knocking, but I just haven't been listening. Instead, my mind has been getting in the way. 'You can't waste time on that, it won't lead to anything.' 'You need to get your shit together first, then you can have fun with that.' I've been putting up walls all around me. I literally have felt caged in, and more so, I think I've felt this way for a long time. I just haven't seen it until now.

But this past weekend, on a road trip with a few friends, I finally took the step and brought my camera along. I didn't really have an idea of what I'd shoot, but I just wanted to hit the shutter button and feel the aliveness that the little boy felt all those years ago.

I can tell you, it felt pretty damn good! It felt right. It felt natural. It felt easy, effortless, aligned, on path. A feeling so powerful yet so subtle.

I write this as a reminder. A reminder to anyone who has lost their way. A reminder to stop and listen. To take note of what lights you up. You don't need a reason to do it. Just do it.

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Abundance Is All Around

When we take moments to stop and fully be present, to really see, almost for the first time, what is all around us, it becomes tremendously apparent just how abundant we really are.

I've been meditating a lot lately, and more than that, attempting to take as many moments of presence throughout the day as possible. I wouldn't be the first one to say it, but it's pretty incredible how the more we bring conscious awareness to the forefront of our attention, all the insignificant, mind-made dramas just seem to dissolve.

We are a part of something pretty damn incredible. The life that we are, the form that we play with, the beauty that surrounds us. Sometimes we forget this. Sometimes we get caught up in stuff. Stuff that doesn't matter. It really doesn't matter. Nothing really matters.

Let this be a gentle reminder to look around. What abundance can you find around you? What is good in your life? It can be as simple as having gratitude for the ability to take a breath of fresh air. Usually, it's the small things that make all the difference, that create the most inner space.

For me, at the moment, I feel most alive, most present, in the place I now call home. Nature. The ocean. Staring into its magnificence, in awe, eyes wide open.

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Making The Move!

On a day like today, it's pretty difficult not to be grateful. After 2 years of wanting to call myself a local to Bondi, procrastinating and making excuses, I'm finally here and living one street from what makes me feel most at home - the big blue.

My latest life lesson that I've been trying to live by is following your joy, following what excites you, what lights you up from the inside out. Little did I know the impact that this can have, but lately, I'm starting to find out.

Even though I've been driving down to the beach most nights for a run or a walk, living here feels completely different. There is such a diverse mix of cultures and personalities, with such a suburban, community and friendly feel.

The sounds of the ocean at night, the smell of salt in the air and most importantly, the complete acceptance of walking the streets barefoot. These may seem like small things, but these are the things that light me up.

I'm still working on following my joy in every moment, but for now I'm going to soak up this one little decision. As Bentinho Massaro says, if we all just decided to do what we love and drop what we don't, we wouldn't have half the problems we create for ourselves.

Much love,

Dan.

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I Need To Find Love

Reflecting on the year that's past and setting intentions for the one to come, I've realised how important it is for me to find love.

For a while now, I've been working on becoming ok with being alone and spending time by myself, finding out who I am, without the influence of those around me. It has been both demanding and liberating. I remember back to my 'people pleaser' days and remember feeling so lost, so empty, so inauthentic, like I was betraying myself. And now, feeling so comfortable with who I am, to the point of rarely feeling lonely, even when I'm alone.

However, in saying this, I also deeply feel that having love, an intimate relationship, a partner in life, a soulmate, 'the one', whatever you want to call it, is just a total game changer when it comes to a feeling of purpose in this life. Not even authentic friendships come close in my eyes. There is just something so special about sharing life and its experiences with one special someone that you hold a deep intimate connection with.

This song encapsulates this for me, well, perfectly. 😉 Being able to share stories, support each other, encourage each other, give love to each other, to dance in the dark, in each other's arms, barefoot on the grass.

Maybe it's my inner romantic talking, but I really feel like human beings have a deep-rooted need for true love.

Song: Perfect - Ed Sheeran 🎤

Hitting Reset In The Mountains

Hiking my way into the new year! ⛰️

There is something so incredibly different about being out in the mountains. Without exaggeration, every single person I walked past on a trail said hello and smiled. A family even invited me to sit and eat lunch with them at an epic viewpoint we both found.

Even within myself, I always feel a shift as soon as I start walking. I feel calmer, more at peace, more in touch with life, more energised, more alive!

I like to ask questions about these things and my question is why? Why does it feel so much better to be surrounded by nature? Why do we become friendlier? Why do we feel more alive? Why don't we feel like this in our every day lives?

One thing I do know... this was a pretty great way to start off the new year; hitting the reset button and connecting with nature, life and myself.

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The Quiet Amongst The Storm

When you hit the shutter button at the exact right moment. ✊#onlyhadmyphone #galaxys6

Last night I sat and watched a storm pass through in the distance. It was a warm and humid night, with people flocking to the ocean for relief from the heat.

As I sat on the rocks, looking out to the flashes of light, a smile ran across my face. It was only subtle, but it brought back memories of watching storms as a kid.

As my eyes became wider and the smile grew stronger, I felt a sense of calm, a sense of belonging, a sense of peace.

It really just takes a moment of sitting and taking in what is happening around us. A moment to step away from the racing mind to see all of the beauty. A moment to realise that we are safe, that problems only exist in the mind, that we are creators of our own reality.

Everything that's present in our lives right now originates from within. How are you seeing the world? What meaning are you creating from your circumstances? Are you deciding to see lack or abundance? Are you deciding to feel awe or fear?

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To Really See

Although the viewing of the #supermoon is somewhat just a bunch of hype and not noticeably different to a regular full moon, it was incredible to see such a different atmosphere at the beach while I was getting this shot.

People everywhere with their phones out, posing with friends and family in front of the moon, photographers out with their cameras and drones, smiles on faces and a feeling of excitement in the air.

I think that spectacles like this really bring us back to the present moment. They bring us back to the childlike awe and wonder that we've long forgotten about; To the innocent curiousity and eagerness to discover; To step away from ourselves, even for just a brief moment; To look to the sky and smile; To really see, almost for the first time, the unfathomable existence that we are.

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Indulge The Inner Child

As I look up to the sky, and watch the clouds roll by, I'm reminded of my inner child, the one that learnt to smile.

The one that learnt to open his eyes, to see for miles and miles, the one that never questioned it, the joy that flowed inside.

But yet, as we get older, we seem to lose our way, the way in which we see this world, the way we learnt to play.

We forget that we are here and now, instead we fret and freak, not knowing what it is we do, and seeing just the bleak.

If only we looked up right now, to see what we could find, to open up our playful hearts, to something floating by.

Maybe then we'd find our smile, maybe then we'd see the light, the light that was above the clouds, the light that always shines.

Can you hear him calling? He wants to say hello. He will not disappear, no matter where you go.

So answer him and listen close, he knows, he knows, he knows.
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I've definitely hit a threshold in life. A threshold that will no longer allow me to continue suffering. A threshold that starts to break down all the gunk that has built up over the first few decades of my life.

Even something so simple as sitting down to write and be creative can be so freeing for me. We don't need a reason to smile, to be curious, to be playful, to be creative, to be awe-inspired by what's around us.

When's the last time you indulged your playful heart? I'd love to hear your thoughts. And feel free to share this post with someone who might need to hear this.

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Play Time

Have you made time for play today?

This morning I woke up and asked myself what play would look like for me. The instant answer was to make a video. To start out the day with a little creativity.

I’m constantly baffled and amazed by what our thoughts and inner feelings actually are though. I mean, have you ever stopped to think...where do they come from?

I love the question: What is your next thought going to be? Or, what will your intuition tell you next? (Stop and try this!)

We don’t know the answer because we aren’t the ones speaking.

I’ve often come across this truth while improvising on a piano. I remember the first time I realised I was just a vessel for creativity to flow through. My hand would just move across the keyboard without me really knowing what was coming next. The more I surrendered into that guidance, the more the music flowed.

The truth is, I really don’t know if we are guided in this life or not, but what I do know is that trusting that little inner voice/feeling (wherever it comes from) always seems to work out better than trying to logically think things through.

What would a child do when they hear that inner voice?

Play.

Follow Your Joy

I've said it before, but I have to keep reminding myself...we really do need to do the things that light us up. The things that make us come alive.

I've been questioning a lot about life lately and not really feeling like I'm making much progress; spending too much time in my head and not enough time living.

But one thing I do know, is that we all have a feeling deep down inside, an inner voice that tells us what our next move should be.

For me today, it was the yearning to get out on the water again. Not only was it an incredibly fun day, it released my inner child; the little feeling in the background that remembers to smile and enjoy the dance that is life. "The whole point of the dancing is the dance." - Alan Watts

What does life mean to you? For me, I've decided that it's about play. Channelling the innocence of childhood. The wonder, the awe, the curiosity, the adventure, the creativity, the joy that we all once had in our eyes. Remembering that. Finding that. Living that.

Ps. This is why I moved to Sydney. Apparently this is what people do on the weekends here...#doyouevenhaveaboat?

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Feeling Lost and Hopeless

As my feet sink in the sand, I contemplate you life, I try to understand you, why you cut me like a knife. I've been here many times before, I'm sure you know me well, but yet again, here I am, just standing in the swell.

As your moon begins to rise, bringing light to my shallow fight, your wind it chills my bones, but here I stand into the night. I stand where I feel most alive, most connected to you life, for a moment you shiver through me, and I know that I'm alright.

Oh life you entertain me, with your humour and your glee, one moment you're right beside me, then the next you go and flee. Like the waves upon your ocean, you are graceful on the surface, yet underneath you have a secret, you are hiding such a circus.

But I surrender to you life, let your currents take me home, as I float atop your ocean, the path I will be shown. I may not know the answers, I may not know your game, but play I will with trust in you, this game shall light my flame.
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Sometimes we just don't have the answers that we seek, but we can always have acceptance for what is, trust the process without judgement and know that we are ok right where we are.

Has anyone had similar feels? Would love to hear your stories. And feel free to share this post with someone that might need to hear this.

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Find Meaningful Connections

This past weekend I organised a trip with some new friends of mine. The amazing thing was, that even though we’ve only crossed paths a couple of times, it feels like we've know each other for much, much longer.

Over the past few years, I've realised that these types of relationships are becoming more and more common for me and I’m starting to realise why that is.

Many years ago, I was quite shy, socially awkward and had no idea about how to make friends. I would people-please and always be agreeable, so that everyone would like me. And I had a lot of people who liked me, but I felt empty inside, lacking any feelings of true connection. I never understood why this was and just decided it was the way things were going to be.

Over the years though, I came to realise that there was nothing wrong with me, but I’d just been attracting the wrong kind of people. Instead of being myself, I would put on different personas, different masks, depending on who I was around. We all do this - We act a certain way at work, a certain way at home, a certain way in front of young children, a certain way in front of strangers - however, I think we’ve got it all wrong.

You see, everything started to change for me when I realised I had so many different versions of myself. I was confused as to which one I truly was. Was I the person I was in front of family? Maybe the one in front of friends? Or was it the one when I was in front of strangers? The answer was none of the above. The solution? Figuring out who I really was.

Once I had taken a step back and started listening to myself (what I wanted to do, where I wanted to go, who I wanted to be), everything starting changing and I felt the connections with people getting deeper and deeper.

Achieving deep meaningful connections all starts with ourselves. Figuring out who we are and loving ourselves enough to go out into the world without the fear of rejection. If we go out with our masks on, we may feel a little safer, but we end up attracting people who are attracted to that mask. If we go out as our authentic selves, yes, some people won’t like us, some people will reject us and some will even put us down, but when you finally come across someone who is just like you, it is the most blissful, fulfilling and energising thing a human being can feel.

Remove your mask. Let us see the real you.

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Being Your Authentic Self

When we show up as ourselves, we can experience some pretty amazing things. Too often, we go out into the world trying to be someone we’re not. Trying to impress someone, trying to fit in, trying to be how society says we should be. We get influenced from those closest to us, from our upbringing and from our experiences. But what if we were to start listening to our true self? That voice that tells us we’re uncomfortable being around that person, unhappy in that job, that we don’t like getting drunk on the weekends just because our friends do.

When we people-please, we destroy a little part of our true self, but what we fail to realise is, that we can be exactly the person that we want to be, even if some people don’t like us. Our fear is that we will be rejected, that people won’t like who we really are, but at the end of the day, we don’t need everyone to like us. Do you really want to be around someone who doesn’t like the real you anyway?

Alternatively, when we start to show our true self on a daily basis, we start attracting the people that are already similar to us, that already like who we genuinely are - our tribe. We start to attract the right jobs for us, the right passions, the right travel destinations, the right foods, the right fun activities. Life becomes effortless and so much more fulfilling.

Try spending your week listening out for that little voice. When it tries to nudge you away from something…listen. When it tries to pull you towards something…listen. In time, your life will change dramatically. I can say this coming from someone who was an expert people-pleaser, always striving to get people to like me. It was unfulfilling and I felt empty inside. Finding, loving and being yourself is the most important thing you can do in your life. It is the foundation to success. It is the foundation to true happiness.

Roller Coaster Life

We all know that life can be a bit like a roller coaster at times - ups, downs, going round and round in circles, twists turns and a feeling of overwhelm, lacking a sense of direction or knowing what’s even going on; just hanging on for dear life basically.

One thing I’ve learnt recently is that you’ve hopped on the ride and you can’t get off, so put your damn hands up, let out a huge scream and enjoy the exhilarating ride!

Life can make you vomit, or it can send a rush of excitement through your bones every day. It’s up to you.

ps. Sorry for the image of vomit in your mind at the moment.

Dan.