No Negative Emotions

I was interviewed for a podcast in Newcastle earlier this week and we talked a lot about mindfulness, and dealing with depression and various emotions. Yesterday I neesunlight figureded to remind myself about what I had said during the podcast, as I was feeling some dark emotionsprobably arising just from being overtired. So I mindfully reminded myself that there really are no negative emotions — there are just emotions. Some of them certainly feel better than others, but emotions are not who I am. Deep down inside, I am always okay in that place where I find balance and peace. That’s where I find my authentic self. If I accept emotions for the transient state which they are, then — like the UK weather — there will always be a change. And indeed, this week we’ve had a deal of sunshine and light after a dull and cold period. And the sun always rises, even if it is sometimes behind clouds from our vantage point.

Today I wish for anyone reading this that you may look for the place where the sun rises inside you, that place where there is always light. That’s where you can find your authentic self. Shine the light!

Transcience of Time

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frownozymandias colossus 2
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
― Percy Bysshe Shelley, Ozymandias
In honour of Shelley, who died on this day 8 July 1822 – my favorite of his poems. He was apparently inspired to write this by a fragment of a colossal statue of Ramesses II in the British Museum. Two years ago I was in Luxor, Egypt and, due to recent tumultuous events in the country, there was only a fraction of the usual crowd of tourists in Luxor. Not a good situation for the people there, but wonderful for me, as many of the archaeological sites had few visitors. I was very keen on visiting the Ramesseum temple where there still remained a colossal statue of Ramesses II. Incredibly, I had the temple all to myself – not a single ozymandias colossus 1other person there. It was an unparallelled opportunity to study the architecture and wall carvings, and to contemplate the great statue of Ramesses. It was indeed fallen on the ground, half sunk in sand – a great symbol of power in ancient times, now an equally potent symbol of the transience of worldly power. A reminder, as Shelley captured so intensely in his poem, of why we should not bind our identities to either our successes or failures, as all things do pass. And how much more reason to inhabit each of our days truly and authentically, as there is only ever the present moment.