After a good few years of enjoying alcohol, partying and all that goes hand in hand with these, I started to feel deeply unsatisfied. I developed an underlying dislike of who or what I had become. Not entirely because of the relatively hedonistic life style I was leading, but of how much inane chatter was present in my head and how low my confidence was, even though I managed to project confidence externally. After finally admitting this to myself I decided that it was time to have a look at these aspects of my life. During this introspection it transpired that true confidence was something that I desired intensely. I was fed up with the fickle and superficial confidence that I had when drunk or when something in my life had gone the way I wanted it to. So what was the answer, if any?
At this point I was lucky enough to be introduced to meditation. My view, at the time, was that this was an esoteric practise and it appealed to me greatly. Armed with some books, advice and a soft cushion, I delved deeply and whole heartedly into this discipline. My understanding was that by meditating, many benefits could be experienced. The particular ones inspiring to me were: increasing confidence, reducing mental chatter, calming, and any mystical experiences that might come along too!
The initial effects of meditation were exactly as promised in the books. My inane chatter, usually highly critical was starting to lose his voice, friends started to comment on how calm I appeared to be, and I had a deeper understanding of my true nature which in turn increased my confidence. More importantly, I took introspection to heart which has helped to provide me with a growing inner strength for the last 10 years. Along the way Yoga played an incredibly significant part in my life which led me to India learning from the bendiest people I have ever come across! My meditation took me to South Africa and India also, taking part in 10 day silent retreats learning what is called Vipassana. This was the hardest thing I had ever done but I felt like I was taught something almost magical!
More recent events in my life have turned everything upside down again (in a positive way), but I’ll share the details of that with you another time. Coming down to earth a little, it is important to say how all this mumbo jumbo has helped me in my profession. As a jewellery designer creating fine jewellery for over 60 retailers in the UK and Eire, I am quite a busy chap. I am confident in saying that without my alternative interest, my mind would be far too busy to probably even enjoy my job. Even though I have a deep passion for my craft, I also have a healthy detachment from it where I appreciate that the emotions and feelings I experience from and in my business are not me, not permanent and not to be cherished or despised. One intriguing aspect is that when creating my designer engagement rings for example, even though they can take many hours of resolving, testing and adapting, the initial ideas come quite effortlessly. It appears to be less about hard, brow creasing thinking and more about introducing an initial idea and then being receptive. This receptivity allows a flow of ideas and to be honest I am not sure where it comes from…. but I like it!