“Whenever we are confronted with the experience of moving forward, we are also confronted with the experience of having to allow others to be where they are.”
– Master Kaskafayet (Paraphrased by Carl Buchheit)
“I’m going to die.” That’s what I told myself as I drove home from my girlfriend’s (Claudia’s) house. It was about 3pm on a winter’s day in Sydney. But that moment didn’t induce panic for me. It didn’t induce the sort of fear I thought I might have when the dreaded day came. To my benefit, the experience put me in a state of crystalline clarity and gratitude. And it lasted for a good week or so…
During that time, I decided there and then, on the work I wanted to dedicate the rest of this incarnation to. To facilitate personal and professional change in people’s lives. I will also leave behind a written copy of my life’s work, a masterpiece collection of; poetry, prose, essays, and allegories on the human construct. Much like Dante Alighieri did in his own way with Divina Commedia. The work I do and the pieces I write are my contribution to humanity. That’s what I’ll achieve personally.
“But what about thinking about your friends and family Jon?” You may ask. Of course I thought of my interpersonal relations! And to my delight, I naturally found myself thinking about what I wanted to say to my beloved partner, mother, father (when I meet him on the other side), mentors, siblings, and close friends. Knowing I am going to die, I looked upon their lives, and asked myself; what beauty in their lives do I want to enrich before my time is up? What do I wish to leave them in my will? To my delight (again), what struck me was the love I have for their potential deep inside. This one thread, the will to support others in fully expressing their potential, is what I reached to cling on to most in life.
Very romantic Jon. But mind you, sustaining this state was not an easy maneouvre. During this period, I had to yield to the temptation to want to change anything in their lives for them, or “do something” to make their lives easier. I confess, I wanted to help them make my going easier for them to accept, and to move on from. Egotistical? Partly. But mostly because I know a part of each of us lives within each other. So inevitably, the loss, the grief, and the sadness was there.
When Master Kaskafayet said “Whenever we are confronted with the experience of moving forward, we are also confronted with the experience of having to allow others to be where they are”–this is what I experienced. It was the radical change in the relationship I had with others, myself, and the life I had been living. Within the layers of the gratitude I had felt, was that inherent sadness. The sadness of losing the way in which the very precious people and things had stablized who I was to date.
For most, they didn’t know this was the experience I was having. They would have just figured me to be my normal self. But the way I saw others, and the stance I took in their company, had evolved to something completely different. It was one of presence, and consenting to whatever decisions they were making, weren’t making, or desiring to make. As Kaskafayet would say, “… allow others to be where they are.” To understand the energy or spirit of that statement, it is a respecting and acknowledging of people’s unique experiences and choices. Regardless of whether you think to agree, disagree, like, dislike, wrong, or right–the stance is one of knowing everyone has a right to their own experience. And it is more graceful not to violate another human being’s free will.
At 30 years of age, this whole experience was quite a rare treat for me. Especially since I felt healthy, looked healthy, and wasn’t in any apparent threat. But as always, it isn’t what happens that governs our experience of life. It is how what is happening feels that does. And that feeling is a function of the meaning we imbue to the events that surround our lives. Those events for me, were much about leaving that big part of who I was behind. That was the part that was dying, or what I like to say “taking the backseat now.”
You see, 3 months ago prior to this experience, I moved out of my townhouse that I was living in for 12 years, packed my belongings in a storage facility, stopped all client-serving activity, and traveled to Europe to attend my sister’s wedding. With my partner Claudia, I got to visit London, Ireland, and Italy. Big changes in scenery. It was the first time in 14 years that I took a month off in full, free of work obligations. It gave me some serious space reflect upon my life as a writer and facilitator.
Prior to this journey, I was pretty much living the dream. I was working from home (or wherever I wanted to be), in the comfort of my pyjamas, and earning a healthy income. My services mostly involved; ghostwriting, writing, branding, and doing personal change consulations for others. But I reached a stage where I realized, I wanted to focus more on writing my own things.
I didn’t want to just write other people’s messages anymore. Sure, people paid me well to do it. And I never had to worry about paying my bills. But then I crossed the threshold between staying as I was, and becoming more of who I am. The threshold was catalyzed by viserally feeling my mortality. I don’t plan my days just to live, but I plan my days towards my death too. And every footstep towards that moment matters.
That meant that I wanted the majority of my writing projects to be more a focus of my personal expression–the collection of my essays, poetry, prose, and allegorical creations. And that facilitating change in others would become the nucleus of my commercial services, and what I wanted to render as my primary services hereon. Which is, to provide live private consultations, and help people clarify their heart-felt life intentions, while simultaneously coming into deeper rapport with themselves and life.
After all, for those who know me well, all my communication; spoken, written, and unsaid–is focused on understanding, respecting, and appreciating the human construct. In fact, this is the seat that I feel I am of most value, and in most flow in life. On the surface, this format looks very simple:
- Ask questions.
- Repeat all the above.
But the possibilities this simple format liberates in other people’s lives is astounding. As testified by many of my clients, and many of my mentor’s/colleagues clients worldwide. This is the material I want to teach in a class format, full-time. The writer, poet, and facilitator in me has morphed into a full time trainer.
The goal? To do whatever it takes to help the client respect, value, and most importanly, appreciate their life as whole. Not a small task, I guarantee. But certainly something worth dedicating a lifetime, if not lifetimes in service to.
(Outside of my life’s work, I want to enjoy good food and banter with my loving partner Claudia, and our collective family, blood and non-blood related.)
Letting who I was take more of a backseat in my life, also meant losing my attachment to many previous material posessions; nice furniture, nice living location, and good cash-flow–and certain relationships and friends. It felt like cutting ties with the things that gave me a sense of security in life; financial and non-financial. But having been gifted the knowing that death is going to kiss me passionately soon, the fear of lacking money or resources no longer has a grip on the stance I take in life. Because I consent to the fact that I am going to die. And all that matters to me most, is being with those I love most, and doing the work I love most.
This is my barometer for life.
Sure, I will likely accumulate greater material possessions in this lifetime than I had before. Especially with this new stance. And I will surely embrace the opportunity to do so when they come my way. But the possessions are not the primary criteria that drive my voids. The senior, more immortal part of me is spending more and more of my time in the driver’s seat. And I respect that the decisions made from its vantage, are vastly different.
To this Self that sits with us all, I pledge, “I am in your care and service now. Let’s ride!”
P.S. This is my Epitaph. I wish it to be engraved on the vase that will house my cremated remains.