STRAIGHT SHOOTER.

Don’t forget that trusty moral compass, stay that straight shooter you always knew you were…

I’m not from around these parts you see; I’m from the distant specs, I’m from the space dust, from the floating black & white colours that we miss at day and hide from when the day goes away.

I’m from the universe… and guess what?

So are you.

OJW.

COWBOY.

JUST.

WATER.

HANGING.

STRAIGHT SHOOTER.

DIRECTION.

FRIENDS.

SAD.

MOMENTS.

THE UNIVERSE AND SERENDIPITY.

Mikyla,

I have the universe, serendipity and our quiet curiosity to thank for finding you. The simple fact that we are together alone is truly amazing in itself.
When we step outside ourselves as individuals and as partners; I realize that what we have is something others are not accustomed to. The story we have to tell is more than any movie or book could ever bring to life – the fact that you know I love you, have loved you and will continue to love you is something I cherish.

My love for you runs deep and wild like the untamed roots of wild flowers that are hidden away, nestled in a clearing amongst old pines… The color you breathe into my life and lives of every soul you touch is more than most.

The color you breathe into my life and the lives of others is ineffable.

I love you,

Happy birthday little ladybug.

GUARDED.

JOY.

CAUTION.

FLATTERED.

LOVED.

NERVOUS.

YOU’RE ANNOYING.

BUT I LOVE YOU.

LONG DAYS.

The day is long my friends, although this is not a place for giving in, no… we do not give in here, we only give it our all.

Believe in yourself a little more – you might be surprised by the outcome.

Regards,
O.

 

MASS.

UP.

SLEEPLESS NIGHTS.

FAR.

STRUGGLE.

AWAY.

NEEDED.

GOD.

 

Hey folks, if you enjoy my posts check out my Instagram too! @awalkintothefray.

please leave a like, comment, and share on social media – it really is appreciated.

EMOTION.

For most… there isn’t much more dire for us than our emotions, although you have to realise how the balance between acknowledging, accepting and moving on from them is very close to being manipulated and enslaved by them.

In the words of Les Brown “you either use your emotions or they use you”

Some exclusive photographs not posted on my other social media.

Regards,
OJW.

COLOUR WASH

AWAY

SOLO

HERS

MY TOY

SUNSET BANDITS

You should remind yourself, that you too are loved deeply. You may be sad or angry at the world, but you have to remember that we are only here temporarily – time is the only king on earth and the only truly precious commodity we have, yet we give so little to the ones we love the most and so much of us spend it within tasks and elements of matter we disbelieve in. I remember when we went to the museum and we wrote letters to strangers and I picked a letter addressed “to the lonely soul” and I will never forget what I read that day with you and how a letter from a stranger to another moved me; in those moments when you first saw my quiet curiosity, my tenderness and how I almost cried in that exhibit.

The letter goes as follows…

To the lonely soul,

there  is always someone on the earth that cares for you & loves you.

I promise.

 

Warm regards,

The (no longer) lonely soul.

GENUINE

SMILE

OPEN

HEART

SLY

ELEMENT

Find your element, then put everything you have into it… don’t let people talk you out of it. If you haven’t found your “element” yet, keep looking. Do not stop searching for your purpose in this world. I want you to look everywhere within and without yourself until you find what makes you happy, where you feel a sense of belonging and purpose, where you don’t have to fight the upstream current, where you can be in your element and excel instead of compete.

Regards,
OJW

SKYFALL

STOLEN

MAXIMUM

FREE-EST

VENTURE

LOVED.

ELEMENT

OLD WAYS

 

Enjoying my photography? search @awalkintothefray on instagram to see more action!

Exploring within myself, exploring outward myself is all the same now, for the wild is not a place to go but a thing I must be.

Some photos released and not yet released from my time in America so far.

Regards,
O.

E L E MEN T A L

overwatch

Lover

LONE

SILENT

WANDER

STEPS

OPEN

WILD

10 ways to increase Spiritual fitness.

You want to be strong AND gentle at the same time…

When we think of strength, we think of a big muscly human picking up heavy objects and moving them. Strength relates to many variables of oneself, including but not limited to physical aspects. In martial arts and self protection, we refer to this
non-physical strength as “spiritual fitness” where the victim of an attack can recover from a physical blow to counter attack or flee the threat area. This is a perfect example of a bridge between the physical world and the mental world we live in. Now how about the mental and spiritual aspects? even though there is a fine line between all of them – when we have weak mental “toughness” or “fitness” and then someone tell us we can’t do something, we  accept it, we believe it and then it is manifested.

In life you’re going to have people tell you that you can’t do something – people like to limit others to their own limitations to make themselves feel better – although it is on you and YOU alone, to decide how that is going to effect you spiritually and mentally.

What are some great ways to increase your spiritual fitness or mental fitness? well… here are 10 of them.

1. Meditation. 

Mediation has been used for literally 1000’s of years to increase positive aspects in both the physical and the spiritual world for ones self and others around them. You can find many scientific/spiritual documentations on meditation and it’s positive effects on the mind and body. Meditation is known for Increasing focus, energy and vitality, healthier sleep patterns and mental health etc with many more health benefits. You can find many documented cases of monks meditating in nothing but undergarments in the snowy Himalayas for hours and with reports of steam rising from their bodies by increasing their body temperatures with nothing but the power of their minds… if that’s is not mental fortitude then I don’t know what is.

2. Inward motivation.

Well… self motivation is quite obvious I know, although it is regularly overlooked – by changing your mindset, outlook on life, surroundings etc you will easily find yourself improving and it harder for the “nay sayers” to put you down. Most people struggle with “self” or “inward” motivation/drive, although if you learn to master this powerful asset you will soon find yourself in places you have never imagined doing things you never thought you could.

3. Outward motivation.

yep, there it is again… that word “motivation” it is used quite frequently here because to me I honestly think it is one of the most important aspects in ones life, those who lack motivation, lack on action, those who make no actions (in the correct directions) rarely achieve. Self motivation is quite hard for most people, one way that helped me for so long was definitely seeking outward motivation-  I quite literally reset my way of thinking from 60 days of listening to motivational talks each morning for 20 minutes – now you can do this also, a good trick is for the first 20 minutes of your day, the first thing you should be exposed to is positive energy, this can come in forms of waking up 30 minutes earlier and going for a walk in nature, watching a motivational video on things like YouTube etc, reading a motivational book such as a the alchemist etc, eating a healthy vibrant breakfast while listening to upbeat music. I think you get the idea! I especially liked listening to speaker “Les Brown” talk about his past and upbringing because I could relate to his “underdog” status and his rise to fame and wealth.

4. Physical activity.

You guessed it! waking up early or going to the gym after work is one of my favourite things to do! You not only feel great in your mind after but the physical benefits are an added bonus. You don’t have to become a prop fitness model, but doing any physical activities will surely help you see brighter days ahead (and live longer too) if weights and big old pecs are not your cup of tea, try going for a run, swimming, bike riding, yoga, Thai Chi, boxing, rock climbing etc you get the idea just go have some fun! – side note, if you’re intimidated by the idea of it, try going to some classes, doing these activities with a friend or your partner is great for your confidence and your relationship. You could be there to lift them up with you because after all “strong people don’t put others down, they lift them up”

5. Healthier diet. 

I am sure you saw that one coming – oh no the word “diet” well get over it, it’s just a word. You don’t have to cut out your favourite foods if you don’t want to, just try drinking less sugary drinks and eating less sugary food and replacing it with healthier natural options like more fruits and vegetables, drink more water (average is about 3-4L’s a day for most people) and leaner proteins/fats. You don’t have to stop eating what you love either, you can still eat that sneaky mars bar – yeah I’ve seen inside your car, I have seen those sneaky wrappers before haha – just try eating more of the good stuff and slowly meander away from the bad things.

6. Start a journal (or a medium of self expression)

Now I am a culprit on this one because I don’t actually have one a journal – although my partner does and she benefits a ton from writing her thoughts, goals, dreams, poetry and even the secret stuff she can’t express to others – but what I do have is my photography! Now I am a big believer in self expression, I express my emotions through my art – photography. I love capturing the world in a different light and showing people how I see things in everyday life. I also have this blog where I get to reach out and try and inspire others, now that is really important to me in life. Find something you love to do, hold onto it and ride that creative/self expressive wave.

7. Practice a martial art (or form of self protection)

I’ve met lot’s of people on my travels in life, some of the toughest I have met are those who practice a Martial Art or some form of self protection. The awareness you gain, to the flow of negative and positive energy in life, people, animals, nature and just about everything is very strong. Self discipline is something most people do not engage in, going to a space, learning how to move your body to protect yourself against negative physical forces is a great bridge to mental toughness. When I was 14 I was assaulted (aggravated assault and grievous bodily harm)  on the street, in my own neighbourhood by someone 10 years older than I and I will tell you what, It completely changed the way I view the world around me. If it wasn’t for Martial Arts (mainly Aikido) I don’t think I would be the calm, strong spirited and reserved individual I am today. I now practice Krav Maga and I love it. You can read more about Martial Arts specifically in my last post – https://vvolfwood.com/2017/03/30/the-reason-why-you-should-take-a-martial-art/

8. Challenge yourself.

Challenging yourself (or other people – aka confrontation) is not something we often familiarise ourselves with in this day and age. Most people I meet don’t know how to say “no” or “yes” when it’s the right time. I try not to miss out on opportunities but with that attitude, you’re going to have to challenge yourself. The best way to deal with issues such as “the fear of failure” and “the fear of not being perfect” etc. is honestly going out and doing facing those fears – I know that sounds simple, but simple does not always mean easy – start off doing something small and work your way up to something bigger. In the words of my favourite Author and philosopher of all time Sun Tzu “Do hard things while they’re still easy, Do big things while they’re still small” what he is talking about here is hesitation, try not to to hesitate too much but also understand your limits and boundaries. If you wait too long, the small task may be too big, The easy task may be too hard, the small opportunities may now be impossible to require again but vice versa if you rush into to battle without knowing yourself or your opponent (in this case the challenge) you will lose every battle.

9. New friends.

Now I am sure some people will get offended by this and if you do, it’s probably because it is about you and guess what? the truth hurts. and guess what else? I don’t care. Sometimes you spend time with loser friends, this doesn’t mean they aren’t good people or even good friends – it just means they don’t want more from life and when you try to move forward or change, they’re often the first to put you down. You can do what I do now which is be a bad ass and tell them “Cya never” and don’t  look back, but for most that’s difficult. Science shows when we spend an extended amount of time with a group of people or individuals we often take on their strongest characteristics, so if your friend jimmy is a lazy piece of shit and you spend too much time with him, you’ll most likely become a lazy piece of shit. Try and spend more time with people you look up to or are “better” than you – they will motivate you and pull you up to their level.

10. Go on retreat.

Though I am not an avid retreat attendee, my partner is and she finds it extremely beneficial. She enjoys many aspects of spiritual and meditative retreat, I honestly see those in her when she goes for a long period after. She enjoys being in a community and working together on many tasks with individuals of all walks of life but on her retreats you are to refrain from physical, verbal and spiritual contact with people in any form. Everything is done by body language and basic forms of communicating – she enjoys being able to connect with people without having to use or normal tactics like conversation, physical or building friendship in these “simple” ways. Now,  I go on “retreat” but in a different methodology, I like to go alone and far away from people as possible, usually into the mountains and woodland to camp alone with no technology or human contact to meditate, do Tai Chi, practice martial form or just generally exist in the natural world alone and reset my mind/body. Both forms are intense, I do not recommend either for the faint of heart, as humans we struggle to be alone – I mean truly alone without stimulation… our brains are sponges and CONSTANTLY crave stimuli and so without this distraction, we generally break if not prepared or used to this way of life.

Invest in yourself (self education/development)

Most of the concepts on this post fall under this but just to summarise – anything you can do to better yourself and recreate yourself as a better person day by day is a positive thing, it will increase your spiritual fitness by all means. You can do physical, internal and spiritual improvements but ultimately all of them together will just improve you faster and faster. I suggest try one thing from this post at a time, most are not accustomed to change and find it off putting, try to shy away from the idea of thinking of what you will lose by having self discipline and think of what you will gain by starting this journey and new page in your life. I would like to say one final thing, if you do not wish to change you will not, if you do not want this bad enough to fight for it, then these things will not be possible.

Thank you for reading, if you enjoyed this post please show your support by liking and sharing to show appreciation.

Stay strong, stay humble,

OJW.

 

I took these photos while travelling solo in Switzerland, I kayaked and camped all over and it was one of the best times of my life so far. I spent a lot of time alone and although it was difficult I learned more about myself than before. Thanks to some very special at that time (she knows who she was and I try not to share names here) I managed to pull through in those darkest moments with their support – so when seeking a better life, do not forget to seek support when it becomes to much. We are all in this together after all.

PRAY PREY

lonely twig

HEAL3R

solitude

little space

The reason why you should take a martial art.

I don’t make it public often that I practice martial arts and self protection variables. The reason for this, Sun Tzu once said “weapons are omens of war” and by doing a martial art, you essential turn your body into a weapon – now do not jump the gun here! the title does say “the reason why you should take a martial art” and that is because that is what I believe, the reason I don’t tell people I do is for the same reasons why cops don’t wave a gun around. If you make a big deal out of it, someone will notice that being said – let me tell you, why I think you should take a martial art.

When I was 14, I nearly died. I went out one night skateboarding with a friend (unannounced to my parents… sorry mum) It was about 1am in the morning and it was the 23rd of December (two days before Christmas). We were walking up a big hill when some guys drove passed in a black sedan. They yelled at us, threw bottles and I acted out and gave them the finger trying to be cool. My friend ran off, they turned around and I got caught between two guys in their late 20’s who were looking for a fight. I was honestly terrified, but what happened next changed my life forever…

Now I know what you’re thinking, a “Mr Miyagi” type character jumped out from the shadows, a good citizen stepped out of the local bar and saved me, a cop drove past just in time! a good guy pulled over and helped me… well… you’re wrong.

No one came to help, it was just me and the zero skills I had to defend myself. They beat me until I couldn’t stand or breath, I am not going into details but it wasn’t pretty. I am not saying this for sympathy, for pity etc. that is just what happened that night. I woke up a few moments after they went to go look for my friend, I crawled into a bush and waited for them to leave. I remember not feeling any pain at all, it was far too dark to see any of the blood on my white shirt. I heard them run past and yell out to try and scare me out of my concealment, I heard them talking about how they had to find me and kill me or I would call the police. Well, they didn’t find me or my friend, they eventually left. I walked the few Kilometres home limping like a zombie (the mental image actually makes me laugh right now) and I ended up passing out yelling out for help about 20ft from my front door. I thought I was going to die, I actually accepted it. I woke up inside my house, the police were there and my family were crying. I remember being in the ambulance and seeing my whole body covered in blood. They told me “You’re going to be okay” but honestly – I wasn’t. I woke up in hospital and spent the night – It was the worst Christmas I have ever had. I don’t even remember it, the presents, the people, the lunch and dinner. I don’t remember anything for about 8 days from the pain killers but what I do remember was the dentist re-positioning my jaw and teeth back into place. I never really talked about it, my friends came over to see me but they didn’t understand and for the first time in my life, I realised I was alone… not the alone where you don’t know anyone at the bar or party… just alone in a world full of people who will never know what it’s like. I eventually became angry at everyone, when I look back now I feel ashamed of how I acted and wish I knew what I knew now, or that I could travel back in time and tell my younger self “hey, you’ll be stronger one day and you’ll feel safe again”

When I was 17 we did Aikido at school for extra curriculum. I thought it would be fun and something to do, by this point I was angered constantly and struggled to find peace within my mind and even though the assault was 3 years ago, it was also yesterday in my mind. I would explode as soon as i felt threatened, punching wildly at the air in hopes to push the non-existent or minimal threat back in any situation. I was being controlled by my emotions like fear and anger. I walked into the Aikido room, blue mats littered the floor. I had done karate as a kid and thought I was a pretty decent fighter, I went in with the mentality of hurting people when I should’ve been thinking of protecting people. The first day, the teacher called me to the front of the class, he asked me to attack him – I thought with my cocky teenage hormones “easy” he had me floating in the air for a second, or so it felt, before palming my chest into the floor. I was flattened. I got up and charged him again (like an absolute idiot haha) he put me down again.  By this point, I was kind of embarrassed, my friends laughed in the class and I lay on the floor having a good look at the ceiling.

The Sensei asked for me to train with him for the rest of the lesson, I did as instructed. Everyday before class, he would ask me to attack him, each day I would be flattened, this went on for weeks. The classes at school ended, although I didn’t give up. I kept attending his classes outside of school just to prove him wrong.

One day when practicing techniques he said “you fight too hard, too much anger, too much effort – this is why you lose. I use your energy against you” in that moment, it had finally clicked.

Aikdo is not about brute strength, it is not a martial art to be abused. It is about realising you have no control of life’s energies but merely redirection, misdirection and applied direction. He told me I was too angry, He asked me why and I told him about the assault and how I was afraid and that from fear, anger arose. he asked me to do something similar to what I goatinlgy imagine a Jedi from star wars would say “accept your emotions, then let them go” he had told me about meditation and how stilling your mind may give me the clarity I seek.

I remember going home and thinking about this for hours. I researched meditation so I could practice it alone in my bedroom. I thought on the revelation I had come to while speaking with him. I came back to the class next week and when he asked me to attack, I simple stood still and waited. He bowed, he told me I now had an understanding of martial arts. It is not simply to attack or be attacked, but to be still and allow for clarity to flood your mind, so when something disrupts it, you can direct it away from you. when you move quickly, you cannot focus. All this time, I had forgot how to centre my emotions and be still, I kept wanting to go and hide from the way I felt, so I would explode emotionally to push others away. I realised that being angry about what had happened, was destroying any chance at happiness I would have. I continued Aikido for another 6 months at his Dojo, the Sensei left for another state and while usually I would be sad before – I had no issues letting go. I was no longer angry about what had happened, I realised that it had simply been and gone and all I could do was decide how I would let it affect me.

The reason I am telling you this, is not because I want you to learn a martial art necessarily to defend yourself (yes that is one of the many benefits) but to learn how to discipline your mind and strengthen your body. There is a quiet peace and confidence i gained from Aikido and for years to come from many other martial arts. Knowing I can defend myself and others I love has brought me peace and confidence, knowing to not “control” my emotions, but simply be still and let them “pass” or “be deflected” has made me a very rich man in my heart and mind.

Aikido taught me many lessons in life, about the flow of energy and emotions, how they can be utilised against you or for you. You can learn this from not just martial arts, but all things in life if you look closely enough… things like yoga, meditation, agriculture, gardening, driving, cooking, painting – I simply found it through this.

If you have trouble within yourself, within the world maybe you should learn a martial art? being physically and mentally confident and stable, can surely not be a negative. Please do not go in with the attitude of “I am going to learn how to beat up people” that’s not what true martial artists are, they understand that violence is real but peace and compassion should be mandatory, if anything I wouldn’t say “martial arts saved my life” I would say “It showed me how to save my own”
Thank you for reading,
OJW.

 

in-sense

On the brevity of life

Most people don’t know the word “brevity” so I will elaborate for some of you – the word “brevity” is just a pretty way of saying “shortness” (such wow, such amaze)

There is a book called “on the shortness of life” by a Greek philosopher called “Seneca” and it was honestly the best $9.99 I ever spent. It is about 100 pages long and I honestly only needed to read the first 50 pages for it to change my life. I recommended picking this book up, taking a moment to read 4-5 pages a day (psst! that’s called time management baby!)

“It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it. Life is long enough, and a sufficiently generous amount has been given to us for the highest achievements if it were all well invested. But when it is wasted in heedless luxury and spent on no good activity, we are forced at last by death’s final constraint to realise that it has passed away before we knew it was passing. So it is: we are not given a short life but we make it short, and we are not ill-supplied but wasteful of it… Life is long if you know how to use it.”

– Seneca “on the shortness of life”

 

Seneca mentions many other things that you might not learn until it is too late. The biggest for me was reading “we waste our time doing needless tasks for thankless people.” as humans, we yearn to belong, by doing so we usually find ourselves doing things we later come to regret or things we would have not done for someone else or even for ourselves simply because they normally would not interest us. I think most people should know by now that people take advantage of kindness relentlessly (not all people but they’re out there) I say this from a realist point of view, even though I still choose to believe in people and that they will do the right thing – you must also protect yourself by not needlessly discarding your own valuable time. I have hurt people, taken advantage of people and done things that still keep me awake at night – that being said, when I look at whats in front of me, I don’t waste anytime on whats behind me and certainly will not bow my head to any man or woman who expects myself or anyone I love to submit their precious time on our journey here to simply benefit them.

Do you struggle with saying no to people? are you a crowd pleaser? Have you done things for or still do things for people simply to fit in or make others happy when you know at heart you do not want to? well then maybe you should read “on the shortness of life” you will not regret it.

Remain strong & gentle also.

Regards,
OJW.

Stills taken in Hamburg, Germany by OJW 2016.

a wound and a scar

4WARD

lovesick

progress