What Defines us?

Is it the colour of our skin, our race, our heritage, our parents, the culture we were brought up in, and are we stuck with these aspects of ourselves or can we re-define WHO WE ARE?
In today’s society we do tend to judge people, and though most human beings have a moral compass, many do not. So whether you think you are a fairly decent person, society through the press and just plain gossip may just decide a different angle on YOU.
We all try however to define who we are by our actions, be these how we present as an exterior to the world around us on a daily basis, to the acts of kindness (or cruelty) we endear upon others, and the social conscience we lead our lives by.
Some people never really find themselves, some are locked in social conditions they simply cannot escape from. Some choose not to participate in the opportunity they have been given, this thing called “Life”. But is never too late to start that quest for personal enlightenment.Our jobs define us massively, and this makes up a very large chunk of our day, most of our waking hours in fact.
My first encounter with my own realisation that our jobs define us was when I went to a networking session and introduced myself as “having retired recently”, which I realised was the worst thing you can do to a conversation. A similar effect would have been walking into the room with an automatic machine gun and pelting the room with gunfire,…..they scattered real quick! Yet I thought it was pretty amazing that I’d managed to retire at the ripe young age of 54, but soon realised that I was only kidding myself as the boredom of ‘living the dream’ gave way to the need to create again. Which was how I found myself writing and painting…….and blogging.

As the author of this work I (Barbara Harkness) acknowledge the moral rights to the above have been asserted with the copyright, designs and patents act 1988. If you wish to use any of my material you may contact me for permission


Life is a four letter “F” word

The future is an exciting place

It is not a place we are going, it is a place we are creating.

The paths are not found,…they are made

And the act of making them changes both the maker and the destination

When we come to the fork in the road, don’t we always just want to run away with the spoon! Well I have come to the conclusion that there are two tactics one can take when confronted with the dreaded fork in the road. It is the rhythm of life itself, ‘the flow’. But it is also ‘the force’. Light & dark, good & evil, love & hate,…flow & force are the juxtaposed aspects of life itself. Does it matter which road we take if (as Ghandi states) the outcome is always the same. Then perhaps it is the journey we seek, which makes us whole, to wake us up along life’s path.
If we force life, then things happen faster. The obstacle is removed, like a boulder that has been blocking an entrance, and suddenly the flow is a river and life will unfold its mysteries to you because you have opened that door. You have forced it open and now life awaits.
But there is also the simple ‘flow’ of life, when you are unsure of which direction to take, then surely to ‘go with the flow‘ makes perfect sense. If you don’t have the energy to force it, then simply let it flow. Force or flow, whatever your decision when faced with life’s obstacles, only you know which road to take.
But to preceed the force or the flow, there is always the reason! It is staring you in the face, your life!. You wake up one day and say FUCK, how did I get here? This is not the life I ordered! But you live with it. You live through the three stages of futility that consume you as a human being. Firstly when you do finally wake up (and this is pure human survival or instinct coming into play) you find yourself in denial and so you fake it. This is by far the easiest route, for nothing changes, life remains insitu and one day blends into the next and the next day after that. We are all good actors and it is much easier to play the part we already know. It’s a no-brainer, and even if we are desperately unhappy, it is still easier to pretend that ‘nothing is wrong’!
But somewhere deep inside our core is the seismic rumbling of discontent! We choose to ignore it, and to go with the flow. This is the neutral zone, not even low gear. We coast through life being unchallenged by our inner voice. The one that is continuously trying to wake us up to get with the programme and get on with the job of really living.
Until one day your psyche finally moves against the flow and hence becomes a force. The seismic selves have shifted. The shake up/wake up for the soul has occurred and you feel an enormous sense of personal relief as you face your own truth.

You can no longer fake it, nor go with the flow and you know that the only solution to your life is YOU. And you’re off the richter scale when you feel the force within you. That life force becomes an all-consuming conviction that carries you along.

Life is a four letter “F” word – until you master it and then it becomes five. The passion for life returns, you can face each day knowing that you are living the truth, your truth, your life. May the FORCE be with you…always!

As the author of this work I (Barbara Harkness) acknowledge the moral rights to the above have been asserted with the copyright, designs and patents act 1988. If you wish to use any of my material you may contact me for permission