Try yourself Out: A Challenge For Meaning.

Opal Hills Loop. Maligne Lake, Alta. July 2019.

A Challenge For Meaning –WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Meaning is something I have struggled with for most of my life. Despite facing my own bit of depression through my 20’s, I don’t mean this in a depressive way. Instead, I’ve always held a natural curiosity to understand the underlying motivations of things. I was constantly on the lookout to challenge and uncover the most basic, most foundational, and most primitive drivers in our choices and behaviours.

It’s this natural curiosity to understand the basics behind our existence that has forced my attention inwards to investigate more of myself. Trying to understand was one solution to help problem solve the onslaught of questions flooding my brain. More specifically, the act of trying itself became something crucial for my personal development in whichever way I applied it.

Trying to understand meant trying new things, and trying them with effort. What I found is that trying ourselves is the challenge to find meaning. But, we’ll get back to that last point later on.

Questions, always questions.

I have toiled in thought many times contemplating the origins of the universe, or plagued by some other teleological thought or theological argument. As such, I realized relatively early that there are no real answers for any of us.

That’s quite the nihilistic statement to make, but it’s complicated.

There are answers for us, but the extravagance of it all only leads to more questions at the tail end of whatever answer we uncover.

Mad World

We can stir our mind into madness trying to figure out the world. Often time, the problem is too large and complicated to fathom as we expand our perspective into the global sphere and beyond.

Personally, I am reminded of the extreme bamboozlement I felt in university trying to piece together scientific concepts like the Big Bang theory.

“Right…” I thought.

“Modern physics makes sense right up to the point of singularity, and then things become highly convoluted and irrevocably misunderstood... So what banged?

How can all these experts imply something with such certainty only to find something even more uncertain on the other side? How can something ‘just explode into existence?

Surely there’s a catalyst…

What was the catalyst?… There must be a catalyst!”

Questions, questions, questions…. So many damn questions.

Sometime during the my 4th year, I recall watching a BBC/NOVA documentary called M-Theory and String theory. To spoil its conclusion, the aim was to highlight the concept of a multiverse.


M-theory or membrane theory goes on to describe our universe as a membrane that exists among a plethora of alternative membranes (other universes) that are ebbing, flowing, and colliding amongst each other.

With regards to the Big Bang, it is thus hypothesized that our universe has spawned from a collision of membranes/universes within the multiverse.

It also helps to refer to the multiverse as an arena of bubbles floating about. These bubbles ebb, flow, and collide all in the same. Alternatively, they can implode, explode, burst upon collision, or form new bubbles entirely.

Wait, tell me what banged again?

This documentary answered the deep yearning to find an answer, at least momentarily.

Clearly, according to theorists, the collision of universes in the multiverse banged up, creating our own as a by-product

“WHOAAAA!” I thought.

With that same stroke of enlightenment, I experienced a deep wave of depression wash over me in facing the infinite nature of it all.

The challenge for meaning became even more watery.

Okay, so now what?!

A question regarding the origins of earth turned into a question about the universe, before it became a question about the multiverse.

And surely, if and/or when humanity transcends itself and becomes somehow capable of peering into the multiverse for an answer on where that came from, we will only be facing the question of:

“Well where did ________ come from?”

Divine Labelling

We are too small to totally comprehend the plethora of existence beyond us. Thankfully, there is a word to describe this total inconceivable mass:

And that word is “God”.

People interpret GOD in so many different ways, but there are likely many similarities to draw between ideologies if you are so inclined to look.

Perhaps this is only my perspective, however, I make note to some of these interesting points and more in the crash course, Make it stick, Write it Down: A Journaled Philosophy.

Here is a little snippet to walk away with:
Ingredients Of The Human Body. Make It Stick, Write It Down: A Journaled Philosophy.

This is all relative from our perspective, and you can connect the dots anyway you can. But, how can we expand this out beyond us?

Again, relative to our perspective we are human beings. But, we can also perceive ourselves as bits of matter and space dust floating about an earthly plane that is composed of more bits of matter and space dust.

Synergistically, we are more complicated than the individual parts that comprise us, remember, as each layer of simplicity contributes to increased complexity with its repetition.

There is more to life than what we can see with just our eyes.

And while it may seem arbitrary to be expanding our thoughts into the subatomic world and the cosmos itself, it is worthwhile to connect as many dots between our physical world and their metaphysical undertones to truly comprehend life’s meaning for ourselves here and now.

So what are we, really?

We are cosmic beings –space dust.

With the focused experience on our modern world, we can often overlook at how miraculous our existence actually is.

G. Kourtesiotis, Make It Stick, Write It Down Crash Course.

The Challenge: Meaning, and metaphysics.

Without going too far off down the field, I want to draw two things away from our conversation to take action on, meaning, and metaphysics.

Meaning:

  • The meaning of something is what it expresses or represents.
  • Importance or value.

Metaphysics:

  • The part of philosophy that is about understanding existence and knowledge.

Metaphysical:

  • Relating to the part of philosophy that is about understanding existence and knowledge.

The etymology behind the word metaphysics originates from the early Greek philosophers, which means ‘after the physics’. In my interpretation of it, it comes to refer to the nature of things beyond the physical realm.

After The Physics

For the sake of pinpointing this blog post, life is an experience of meaning whereas a meaningful life is a heavily debated metaphysical conversation. It is also highly subjective, because one persons deepest passions are another’s disinterest and indifference.

How many of you out there are avid stamp collectors; model train enthusiasts; soap carvers; geocachers; extreme componers; news raiders; fish noodlers; ghost hunters, etc…

Whether you are or you aren’t, there is no shortage of people to fill into their unique community, as there exists a whole host of people for and against such ways to spend their time.

If you know you know, but many of us will meet great challenge at some point through the course of our lives trying to understand our meaning. Sometimes it is left undiscovered, and other times it is only identified in our reflection of time as it lapses.

Sometimes, and quite possibly worst of all, we may fall victim to our own sense of purposelessness as we struggle with the maddening repetition of our own existence.

With regards to the latter, these are things that we come to refer to as the chores of life, which are things to embrace as they can help us clarify what we need to identify meaning as individuals.

Let’s Talk About It

With that in mind, we may continue struggling with the challenge to find any meaning in life if we don’t actively pursue our interests, or the slightest of interests if we haven’t figured out our likes in the most basic sense.

Depression, anxiety, hopelessness, fomo and all their ugly cousins are one hell of an experience. Not only does it feel like hell, but the emptiness and isolation we deeply feel really drags us down.

It might be difficult to find the motivation to do anything at all, and sometimes extremely so. What’s especially disheartening in such a depressive state is the the shallow disinterest and clouded perspective.

Under these circumstances, the approach toward personal bettering is to root ourselves into our complaints.

Really go ahead, bitch and moan about it!

Express all of your personal dissatisfactions to instigate a personal catharsis.

Hell, Littermature started that way.

I would jot down the poetry of my mind onto scrap pieces of paper scattered around my home, workplace, or Jeep. 5 years later, it became the foundation into my first self-published piece of literature:

I can’t tell you if it’s good or not, or if anyone truly appreciates it, but it’s extremely special to me as it reflects a time of great challenge and personal growth.

What Trying Is All About

It’s okay to visit some dark places, but we can’t make our living there— it’s too dark!

All in the same, we can identify, vent, and express our frustrations but we can’t make our life about it by passively bitching and moaning about our problems forever.

There must be a point in choosing to take some kind of forward action.

Life Is Outside

Life is lived, meaning that we do things day in and day out as they contribute to the meaning we create in our lives. If we eat and drink because we are hungry or thirsty, so too must we quench our callings based on what we aim to make of ourselves.

For that matter, trying is what it’s all about, trying ourselves to gather enough clarity as each endeavour bridges over into who we are.

Trying is physical and metaphysical (spiritual) in both respects. We physically delve into new endeavours or projects only to experience a deep spiritual revelation in our effort.

It’s not so easy however, because there are no guarantees to experience anything profound. If we are to learn anything at all, we must be aware of the process as it unfolds.

We Must Try. moreover, we must endure.

Endure, as in endurance. Something arduous that also takes us time to complete.

This step is important because our practice is our meditation. It is our trance in experience as the time spent trying with effort under stress allows us to sink and flow into the struggle in mind.

As such, we can uncover things in ourselves that have been left undiscovered, which is both valuable and liberating to experience. On this last note, we must do our best to remain patient, avoiding excessive force to illicit a speedy result.

For that matter, enlightenment is highly illusive.

When we try too hard to reach the pedestal above us, enlightenment eludes us. We can miss the experience entirely because our focus is on the wrong thing.

We must focus ourselves on the menial physical task(s) to ground us in the moment. Doing so means that we become firmly rooted in ground, whereas the enlightenment we yearn for is a by-product encompassing the enduring process as a whole.

This is what we can learn by trying ourselves with personal challenges. The struggle to achieve whatever goal/obstacle that we have set for ourselves can both humble and empower our spirit. It tests our mettle in ways that contribute to our resilience and overall life perspective for the better.

Personally, I can talk over any which way about how seeking challenge can steer us toward our life meaning, the Camino Pilgrimage being a cornerstone to my own experiential development, as it was one of the greatest challenges to reap meaning from.

Regardless, it’s one of those things that you must see and do on your own to witness its value. To sum it up:

You must live it to find out.

Patience in the Journey

Again, please be patient with yourself in your effort. Simply try your hand at the task, goal, or challenge that you have set out for yourself and keep at it with an open mind.

Maintain hope in the fact that you are working/trying for your goals without getting caught up on any self-imposed deadlines. Look forward to meeting your personal deterrents and choosing to keep taking forward progress in light of them.

wHat You’re Looking For Can’t Be Found.


“Grace” gets thrown around a lot.

I’ve talked with people who yearn for it because they haven’t found a way to feel it yet. From my own experience, grace can’t be found–It finds you.

Gratitude is always behind you. It shows itself in your moment when you’re ready to see it.
For me, being active gives me an opportunity to let beautiful moments find me where I am.

I’m out here doing regular things in regular places, yet beauty always has an opportunity to reveal itself to me.

I’m not looking for it, but with the little moments of grounding in my present, grace speaks to me. And for that, I am grateful.

G. Kourtesiotis, November 2019. Post 20km run along the 99 Sea-to-Sky Highway in Whistler British Columbia.

Make It Stick, Write It Down,

Littermature


Self Help Journaling

Ebook, Audiobook, Journaling Crash Course

Make It Stick, Write It Down. A Journaled Philosophy.
CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

Be More Physical. Your Fitness Matters.

Fitness Matters: dO more, bE physical.

Do you want to live a sedentary lifestyle? Do you want to feel incapable in your day to day? Do you want to want to live a desperate, stress riddled life? Do you want to feel weak, unclear, or totally hopeless? Hell no you don’t, your physical fitness matters!

The way of the world.

We live in a world where technology is evolving at alarming speeds. Information moves faster than we can comprehend at times, and everywhere we go we are almost fully connected with the entirety of the globe through our computers, cell phones, and cars.

We can’t avoid it really because the world is already there, and it’s always there. If you can imagine it, the world is on a path progressing towards an even more digital world.

Although Silicon Valley is all about silicon, plastic, and precious metals, the rest of us are very much still flesh, blood, and bone. And though we are creatively complex as an organism, we are also primitive in comparing ourselves to the here and now. Because up to this point, the technology of our body and mind has evolved organically throughout our history.


So suck it up–the air that is– because our body is made to move.

To make a long story short, we are movers. And if you want to change your emotional state, start by changing your physiology.

Movement is the answer we are looking for, as it helps facilitate the natural pump to capitalize on our feel-good vibes.

If you’re generally down, depressed, anxious, lazy, uninspired, or some other feeling we are desperately trying to avoid, the best thing for us in our moment of perceived misery is to move ourselves away from it.

PHYSICAL FITNESS MATTERS- Get it? MOVE!

When we move– we stretch, contract, release, squeeze, and breathe. And so, we are able to purge away all of those uninspired feelings by purposely inspiring into ourselves through the breath.

With regards to the matter, here is something to quote from the Littermature Make It Stick Crash Course:

Regarding the breath, remember that inhalation is inspiration. When we inspire, we are inspired, we are full of breath, full of life.

G. Kourtesiotis, Make It Stick, Write It Down.


What more can We do?

Being physical with a consistent quality practice is an opportunity to shape our world view. It is something we can be intentional with in steering us toward our great life vision.

How?

Well, it will teach you more about yourself and what you’re made of. It builds character, mental fortitude, and other strong qualities, as it also develop the emotional self. Regarding the latter, it can bring you face to face with your vulnerabilities, and better, to your own personal revelations, or spiritual catharsis.

Of course, it’s never an overnight process but rather a lifestyle to adopt. We are all about something, therefore you must choose to be about it. Meaning, you must embody the habit to see and feel the revelation for yourself.

don’t take my word for it, see it for yourself!

If you’re already active, great, but seek out ways to change it up or to get more specific within your practice to effectively problem solve targeted areas of opportunity. In other words, be intentional with yourself in ways that effectively build on your goals going forward.

Do anything and start anywhere.

If you’re new to fitness, just do something. –Heck, do anything and start anywhere.

We need to be both invested and engaged in our physical health. “Boring” is no excuse, as there are many alternative outlets to be more active. Heck, what’s less boring than keeping yourself side-lined with your ass glued to the couch?

Take your mind to paper, and write down areas of intrigue that may push you down the road into action.

  • Have you always wanted to dance? That’s cool, take up salsa.
  • Do you want to climb? That’s cool, go to a climbing gym.
  • Do you love nature? That’s cool, look up some nearby trails, or plan a trip to some mountains.
  • Want to keep it local, or structured? That’s cool, join a gym, or join a class with routine.
  • Nervous to jump into it alone? That’s cool, join a running group, or tag along with a friend.
  • Looking for something totally out of the box? That’s cool, get into LARP….

Whatever.

Anything is better than sitting your ass down on the couch binge streaming Netflix, or numbing yourself to the point of total inebriation on the regular. Trust me, making your living on the couch is likely to pave the way toward apathetic purposelessness.

Alright fine, it’s great to unwind–sometimes. But, realize what you are sacrificing if you find yourself constantly checking out. Please don’t make your lifestyle purely hedonistic–Prioritize the hard work on yourself first.

Making movement a habit is something you won’t regret.

All in all, the solution for a quality life isn’t a temporary one, it’s not a few laps around the block to solve your life burdens. A quality life and a positive outlook is honed by continuously dedicating yourself to some form of movement practice, to some cause, and that is true personally, recreationally, and professionally.

Of course, there are more aspects to finding meaning in life, as there are deeper layers to address within yourself to steer your best life path.

Nothing is be all end all, but prioritizing the physical areas of life is a great place to start.

In fact, I firmly believe that it is the first place to start because I can only share myself with conviction what it has done for me in my life.

Empowering yourself by taking control of your physical health and wellbeing will undoubtedly make you stronger, more resilient, and more capable with your consistent quality effort and dedication.

So go ahead and move yourself. Move your body, move your mind. –You won’t regret it.

Best,

Littermature.


Self Help Journaling

Ebook, Audiobook, Journaling Crash Course

Make It Stick, Write It Down. A Journaled Philosophy.
CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

Stop Having Bad Days- Parables Of A Duathlon.

Stop Having Bad Days.

“Do you ever have a bad day?” is a question that I’m commonly asked. And though I am not some kind of super-optimist with a permanent smile on his face, I have put a stop to having bad days.

To answer the question then, well, it’s always the same…

“Life is good, even when it’s bad.”


You can stop having bad days too. Heck, we can all stop having bad days!

Wow, I do sound like some kind of lame super-optimist, but hear me out…

Life is made up of sequential moments in experience, where every moment is constantly shifting or evolving into the subsequent moment to follow. With the constant evolution of time unfolding into the next second, we are eluded by the seconds that came before it.

Impermanence is the concept that comes to mind, working its wonder, we find that nothing lasts forever.

What is at one moment, no longer will be at its next.

Even the most seemingly steadfast things in this world are something else from second to second, even if only in marginal ways.

Let’s look to the mountains for this example. From base to peak, every mountain is constantly shifting, and eroding. And as gradual as the process is, surely, it is a different mountain today than it was yesterday.

Understanding Impermanence Makes Your Life Better.

We are manipulated by our pain, losing sight of the impermanence behind it.

Get Out Of The Downpour –Stop Having Bad Days.

If life is raining down on you, it’s only a matter of time before the sky clears out above. If it doesn’t, well, there are beautiful moments and simple pleasures to find in the rain if you’re open to it.

We can’t deny any unbearableness of the difficult encounters we experience, as we may come to face many moments that morally defeat us.

Even still, the best thing we can do when facing hardship is to keep moving forward. That way, there is always something to look forward to.

There‘s Always Something To Look Forward To.

For example, in facing our ultimate demise, we can look forward to the Afterlife.

You can find solace in that even if you aren’t spiritual in any sense.

As you may believe in nothing, understand that an Afterlife filled with nothing is peaceful too. Because nothing, may be better than whatever pain plagues you.

Can you see what I did there?

It’s all a state of mind.

It just takes practice to allow yourself an opportunity to let go. Stop clumping time forward by carrying your pitfalls –no more bad days!

It’s ‘Hope’ That Keeps Us Going.

If you’re clouded in spirit, and feel as if there is nothing better for you down the road, look forward to something finding you by surprise.

That is what hope is, and it’s all we have alongside a strong faith to get us by, to move us away, or to simply hold on as we put forward a valiant effort in action.

Through thick and thin, action is necessary.

We must not let our fears permanently paralyze us.

Make a choice, choosing to move ourselves in one direction or another, regardless of its difficulty.

We must try, for the sake of finding the good road ahead.


Stop-Start, No Bad Days: Run-Bike-Run Kielder Marathon.


Due to the world events that we shall never speak of again, this has been the first organized race that I have participated in since the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in 2019. There have been some long days between now and then, which weren’t all that bad, so we’ll stop there.


Albeit my first duathlon, I went into the Kielder Marathon with a target time to finish between 02:30:00 and 02:45:00.

My official time was 02:57:22.


I blasted through the first 11km run, and made good time cycling 25kms –despite using my girlfriend’s sister’s medium sized bike.

I need my own bike considering that I’d like to compete in some other duathlons, and to cycle more in general. But having had my last bike stolen before leaving Toronto, the thought of buying a shiny new hybrid makes me uneasy.

180km Cycle. Lake Ontario, 2017… You were good to me, 2015-2020.

Walking out of Sobeys to find a grinded out lock on the ground with no bike, I was overwhelmed with a heartfelt injustice.

A shitty moment, most definitely, making it the second bike lost to someone’s sticky fingers. But we accept the difficult situation at hand, for when there is no resolution in our favour, we must shrug our shoulders as if to say…

“Oh well, f*ck it!”

Even still, in leading up to that moment, I wouldn’t go as far to say that I had a bad day, –I chose to stop having those remember...

On the contrary, until that point I was having a great day, and it remains a great day in memory. Especially after the fact, as disappointed as I was, I still had other things to smile and laugh at, or to find joy in alongside the company of others.

But back to race day.

I was running on a high, feeling empowered and high-spirited through the bulk of the race. But the wall was waiting for me somewhere along the last 6km run, and that final stretch became the death of me.

I still felt morally upbeat in good spirits, but dropping the ball with my intra-race nutrition, despite knowing better, set me up to underperform.

Fail to Plan, Plan To Fail.

Okay, I wasn’t totally unprepared, because I had somewhat strategized plan. What ruined me was failing to implement it.

I tend to eat relatively light throughout the working day. By the time I break for a workout, or run that afternoon, I am borderline empty.

After a long day working outside, the enthusiasm to go to the gym, or make for the trail just isn’t there late in the day.

It’s quite exhaustive really, but I know from past experience that I will find the energy to train, and I will enjoy it once I show up to do so. Fighting off the urge to fall asleep on the floor, I’ll chug down some BCAA’s if I have any, and I’ll go from there.

Training empty is something that I have been doing for years now, and truthfully, it’s likely why my body feels worse for it. For this reason, and more, is why I am going forward to include more frequent meals and plenty more carbohydrates.

A story for another day perhaps, but to keep it short, my goals have changed. Likewise, I have a better understanding of the physiological and emotional links between food and body and mind.

All in all, I am trying to genuinely listen to my body’s needs for the sake of my overall wellbeing.

Race Day Fueling

Knowing that I can handle nutritional depletion pretty well, I also knew that this may be slightly different. This wasn’t a routine run where I could feel it out and slow down where necessary, it was a race to make my own time standard. And so I figured that I would need more fuel for more power output.

Despite thinking this way, I ate a light the night before and even lighter the morning of, washing it down with plenty of BCAA’s leading up to the race. My plan was to leave a banana at the first transition along with more BCAA’s, but I only left a banana for no real reason.

“I’ll be fine.” I thought, chalking it up to fear and doubt.

Expecting to find water and electrolyte stations along the race, I figured that I would use what was there instead of concerning myself too much over bringing my own fluids.

I had half a banana as I got to my bike to complete the first 11km run, saving the other half for after the cycling the 25km ahead.

Although I could have done with a two bananas between transitions, my fluid intake was the most obvious culprit leading up to hitting the wall.

You don’t need water yet; Come on, go a little bit more; Come on, you’re almost there; Come on, a little a bit further; Come on You bitch, move it!

If I’m honest, I shot myself in the foot.

Shoulda, coulda, woulda My ego got the best of me, as I omitted drinking anything until it was too late.

I was so worried about losing time having to stop and hydrate, particularly through the cycling portion.

As for the running, eating anything substantial also worried me, looking to avoid any gastrointestinal distress. This is why I prefer to run on an empty stomach, because running hard makes me crap my pants… True story.

All in all, I felt good and strong throughout most of the race, only starting to feel a bit wonky coming into the final kilometres by bike.

Feeling Wonky. It’s nothing new.

I often train feeling terrible, stiff, and tired, therefore half expected to get googly-eyed at some point through the race. The last few kilometres on the bike felt decent, even if I was starting to see stars. Besides, despite oddly fantasizing about cheeseburgers through those moments, looking forward to the rest of that banana mildly excited me.

My goal was realistic for my capabilities, and it is something that I often thought over while training up to the race.

At most, I’d run 11kms in 1hour, and 6km in 30-35 minutes. With 1.5 hours to running alone, I was most insecure about my timing on the bike. At best, I would have to cover the distance in one hour, fearing that it would take me 1.5 hours at worst.

Coming to a halt with the bike, I looked to my watch to see that I was still in good shape to hit the top end of my goal. My performance was good thus far putting my insecurities behind me. All was well, until my feet hit the ground going into the final run.

Bonk

I climbed down off the bike, my posture moulded to its medium proportions, while my feet felt like concrete blocks that were soaked and vibrated numb from cycling. I reached for the rest of my banana to find the downpour had waterlogged the exposed fruit, caking it over with grit. –It was deliciously gritty.

After eating the banana, I was looking for something to hydrate. One of the events marshals nearby pointed off somewhere into the trees while uttering the words “juice”, surely referring to an electrolyte sports drink. That’s exactly what I wanted, some sweet and salty concoction straight into my bloodstream.

Shuffling my way out with an outstretched arm, a squeezable water pouch made its way into my hand.

Where’s that damn juice?!” I thought.

By the time I saw two giant pink jugs of it around the corner, it felt like more of an effort to stop. With that squeezy water pressed flat into my face, my feet kept me moving without hesitation…

“Fuck it, it’s the last stretch. Just 30 more minutes, and you’re done.” I mumbled to myself.

And That Was It, My Final Mistake.

My muscles were desperate for whatever sugar and sodium was mixed into those jugs of pink deliciousness, and I ran right past it.

Consequently, a half-hour routine run for that distance turned into a 45-minute fight with cramping quads. What I feared most in that moment was risking injury as my muscles spasmed, shooting pain from knee to thigh with every stride.

With my goal still in mind, I thought to strategize some time for recovery, slowing myself down to a walk. The intention was to rejuvenate my stride, but contrary to thought, walking was a mistake because it was somehow worse than running. It also chewed up more time than I’d anticipated because my body forced me to a standstill.

Shuffling ahead between squat and stretch I’d capitalize on any momentary relief, closing the gap to the finish line.

It was this crucial 15 minutes where I lost traction on my goal.

Runner after runner now passing me by. Runners that I passed early on along the first phase of the race we now catching up to surpass me. –The magic behind the strategy of nutrition and a regimented pace, perhaps.

Talk about The tortoise and the hare.

Here I am, feeling like a well oiled machine being outpaced by rickety Jim and Jane.

A humbling experience actually, and it brings my mind back to the Camino. Whereby I would find people of all shapes and sizes, age and ability making the pilgrimage to Santiago for themselves.

A vivid memory was walking past a blind man and his guide along the crest of some rocky hills in Spain.

If he was out there breaking barriers and perceived limitations, what excuses do I, or anyone else have to keep us from our yearned successes and experiences.

Truly inspiring, and it is the reason as to why I say that regular people inspire me most as we encounter regular people regularly. – I know, I have a way with words.

We may look to the limelight and find the stars of humanity. And though some of them have achieved miraculous things, we must never place them on a pedestal so high as to invoke a sense of inability for ourselves.

Regardless of who or what you are, where you came from, or where you’re going, you are always capable of greatness in some way shape, or form.

Sometimes We’re Bound To Simply Surviving

Prior to the race, I had informally met a a mother-daughter tandem who were running alongside a mutual friend. Now shuffling toward the finish, the mother-daughter duo paced by me and asked how I was doing.

“My quads keep cramping up.” I muttered back.

In hearing my response, they offered me up an Apple SIS gel for my troubles.

Life’s Little Reminders

In the past, I would refuse help from others despite needing it, excessive pride being one of the seven deadly sins. But, it’s not the sin part that bothers me.

I could never understand why I’d be so reluctant to accept genuine good deeds and offerings from others. Perhaps it is a seeding fear of weakness.

Ironically enough, that fear of weakness contributes to my own weakness, as it links into the feelings of being a burden for others. –I don’t want to be a bother, but who does?

Either way, learning to accept help was something for me to overcome, as they were lessons to grow from throughout the course of my life. As far as that goes, journeying along the Camino trail helped expedite that process.

We mustn’t forget where we came from.

I could feel my pride rise up as they offered me up that delicious Apple SIS gel. But as quickly as the emotions surfaced, I rerouted my thoughts to accept their good deed alongside the fact that I was both struggling, and failing.

Give credit where credit is due; they were a godsend to me in that moment, and they smashed their race together.

Adapt or Die

Those were the pivotal moments to refocus my goals, the aim now targeted to finish what I started, while striving under the 3-hour mark.

Surely, there is a mild sense of disappointment knowing that I could have better controlled the outcome of the situation. However, there is plenty of good and great to walk away with in my performance.

With that in mind, we can find success in failure depending on where our focus is. Regarding the latter, it is important to acknowledge for yourself. What went right, being just as important as what went wrong.

Lean Into Failure

All Smiles. –Cycling the last 10 minutes to transition, and running through the final kilometre to finish.

All in all, I wasn’t strong enough; the cramps got the best of me.

To be blunt about it, I failed to achieve my goal. Being totally honest, I failed to achieve yet another goal.

I fail, and fail often.

In my day to day, I drop the ball on my vision; with my diet; in my workouts; in my relationship; at work; with family and friends...

In Life I Am A Failure, But Failure comes with the effort to achieve.

It teaches you important lessons on how, what, or why you missed the mark, and what you can do about it.

Success is slim, really, because we are constantly striving for ideals that adapt and evolve as we achieve whatever ideal came before it.

Flexible Goals And Adaptation

Again, I failed my race time. In the moment of failure, I can hang my head, give up, or drop out. Or, I can adapt to the circumstances looking to make it out as whole as possible.

See, the goal changes then and there, when we’re in the thick of it for ourselves. Even in failure, I am left with a choice on how to carry myself forward.

What else is there to do but to put one foot forward again, and again until we meet the mark, to do our best, or to simply survive.

We will fail, and fail often.

All of us.

Even the best of us, and especially the best of us. As losers lose, winners do both.

There is no sense getting caught up in what didn’t go our way, because it’s the wrong thing to focus on. Doing so only strips us of the gratifying experience to learn, grow, and piece together missing information geared towards success.

That is why I smile or laugh, even when facing unfavourable circumstances for myself. –A relieving outburst of expression wrapped into the arduous path forward.

But I haven’t always been this way, opting to sulk in self-pity instead. But, I am fortunate enough to have been shaped towards better by the strong characters I’ve encountered, and by those I look up to and admire.

To point it out again, give credit where credit is due. Likewise, it’s important to grant myself credit for having trained into the capacity to be more resilient. After all, we are makers of our own choosing.

Embrace the ability to choose for yourself without overlooking your efforts in the making. And do so alongside the gracious contributions of others, as your life has been shaped by energy of characters you’ve been exposed to.

Aftershock

Crossing the finish line brought a different experience altogether. The race was done, but my fight was ongoing. My body was having a hard time regulating temperature following the stress of a 42km duathlon.

Back in 2019, the organizers for the Toronto Marathon handed out thermal blankets at the finish, but there was nothing of the sort here. To make things worse, I didn’t leave anything for the bag drop, and my raincoat was still with my bike. Any warm and dry clothing was in my car, 15+ minutes away by shuttle.

At this point, I didn’t think much into it, I was just glad to be done.

I caught up with my girlfriend and some mutual friends at the finish line who were waiting for other runners to cross. In that time I had another banana, more water, a tiny KitKat bar, and some chewable taffy that came with the post-race baggy they gave out.

It wasn’t that cheeseburger I’ve been dreaming about, just simple sugars lacking any nourishing substance and salt. They did toss in a bag of bath salts, but I wasn’t about to dive into a spoonful of that stuff.

It was about 20 minutes past my finish, my hat and clothing still soaked with sweat, and my shoes still damp from the puddles and rain. I was starting to get cold, and luckily I put on a dry-fit t-shirt they gave me upon completing the race.

It helped me feel better temporarily, but another heavy drizzle started coming down overhead. All that sugar I ate was making my energy crash now, leaving me feeling nauseated sick, and generally very terrible.

A Slow Death.

I gave my girlfriend a nudge with glazed eyes to make our way back. My body was cold, stiff, and shivering as the rain intensified, making the 5-minute walk to the shuttle feel longer than it was.

I found some relief once on board the bus because it was warm and out of the rain. However, warm wasn’t warm enough, and the circulating air felt cooler once the bust started rolling. I tried to keep myself together in those moments as I continued to violently shake cold, drawing my focusing to slowly breathe into my shirt through blue lips.

“We’re almost there.” I kept thinkin.
my girlfriend reassured me in kind, her face growing increasingly concerned. “How are you feeling?” she asked.
“I kind of feel like I’m about to die.” I responded with laughter.

In the physical distress, my focus remained on one slow breath after another trying to relax my musculature. The shuttle couldn’t get there fast enough.

Truthfully, I was on a different high at that point. As unbearable as it was, I could not help but smile and laugh at my own predicament.

It was what it was.

Of course, I could see the way out.

I knew where my car was, I knew what was in it, and I knew that I would sit my ass in the front seat with the heat on full blast. It was glorious to think about while physically fighting it out on the shuttle.

Finally, the bus came to its halt and we got off. The last stretch on foot back to the car was even more hilarious than the moments before.

The rain had ceased and the sky showed off a crisp late afternoon blue, while the low sun made room for the forest shadows to cascade over us along the path.

“It’s beautiful out here.” is what I might have said if I wasn’t so f*cking worked.

My legs were totally shot now, the cramps in my quads made their comeback in full force. One step after the other, chasing a visibly cold breath as it escaped my chattering teeth.

I don’t know what I must have looked like to those passing me by on foot, let alone what they may have thought about it. The visual I get in memory of the experience is that I was walking around like Cosmo Kramer in those tight jeans.

Finally making the scramble back to the car, I stripped down trying hard to keep from falling over. Success, I put on some dry layers, sat in the front seat and swivelled the dial on full for the heat. –Oh baby, how glorious!

In hindsight, I find it hilarious from the warm cushion of my couch. Quite truly –ironically, a miserably yearned moment in adventure, but I could only imagine how torturous over-exposure would be.

All in all, it was about an hour experience since crossing the finish line.

As shitty as it felt, the best I could do in that suffering was to take the same approach to get me by:

To take it step by step.

Or in this case, second to second, breath to breath.

Sometimes it’s all we can do when time comes to standstill in our suffering.

So, Do You Ever Have Bad Days?

Do I ever have bad days? I think the best answer I can give someone is no.

No. I don’t have bad days, I have bad moments.

I say this because I also have good, great, and beautiful moments all in the same day. Heck, some of my most gratifying experiences have come at the end of a seemingly terrible day.

**Especially considering that I got myself that giant cheeseburger with sweet potato fries when I got home.**

That’s grace, maybe, but it is something to look forward to, and something to smile about when trouble finds us.

That alone is energizing, our hope propels us forward and the suffering that we are experiencing in the moment goes on standby, even if just for a moment, as it is enough of a moment in peace to revel and rejoice in.

Very Best,

George Kourtesiotis –Littermature.


Self Help Journaling

Ebook, Audiobook, Journaling Crash Course

Make It Stick, Write It Down. A Journaled Philosophy.
CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

The Meaning Of Life And Coffee.

The meaning of life and coffee.

The meaning of life and coffee is deeper than what you’ll find in the bottom of your cup. As good as your coffee may look, we can’t fully comprehend what it’s all about without tasting it for ourselves.

Yes, The Meaning Of Coffee Is Really About Life.

One of my greatest revelations was coming to understand that “life is work”.

Understanding this allowed me to improve my outlook on life. In turn, my mental and emotional self lightened up as well.

Likewise, I always try to maintain a functional mindset, being able to apply one thing to a multitude of things.

This is going down another route, but fractals come to mind, where we find similar characteristics across various scales of reference. From large to small, we find similar patterns– Or something like that.

It’s all in my crash course, if you’re into that sort of thing. Yes I have a crash course, Make It Stick, Write It Down: A Journaled Philosophy.

The Repetition Of Simplicity Gives Rise To Complexity

We can over-complicate life, but something to loosely quote from fractalfoundation.org is that “complexity is the repetition of simplicity.”

Meaning that simple processes, functions, or characteristics that are repeated, and layered upon themselves cater to create an evolved, and complicated whole.

Consider how an artist’s masterpiece starts with just one brush stroke. And as it started, the masterpiece is completed in similar fashion– With its final brush stroke.

All in all, from the artistic end, it took one precise stroke after another to bring it all to fruition, in line with the artist’s creative vision.

On the other end, taking in the whole while having missed out on the creative process entirely, we can become overwhelmed by the intricacies of the finished piece. We marvel and awe at its beauty, its mystery, and more– intrigued and perplexed by the puzzle of creation.

What are we to make of the story that comes along with all of its colors and hues, its textures and shades, or its mood and emotions?

What we take away from the masterpiece for ourselves is unique to our perspective outlook. Meaning, although we are influenced by such a striking painting, whatever story we take out of it only goes back into it. We pepper what we see with a creative story of our own that is projected from the history of our unique life experience.

In this sense, we make the painting come alive.

To bring it back, life is the same.

We get emotional about the ups and downs, as we may compare our effort across various pursuits. However, that “effort”, that “work” is a pattern that underlies every moment in life.

Take for example how we find the underlying characteristics to work in our morning cup of coffee. Truly, the meaning of life is evidence in the simplest of things, consider the “work” involved in making a good cup of joe in the video below.

Moka Pot | Travel French Press | Milk Frother | Glass Kettle


It is relatively easy work certainly, and something to enjoy as the work is rewarding in both process and result.

I am captivated by the simple processes to make my own cup of coffee, as I create it specifically suited to my very own tastes.

Successfully making it for myself, I can sit back and relish in the simple pleasures that come along with a nice warm cup.

That’s the meaning of life in coffee.

Easy Work is Still Work

We take the easy work for granted because it’s easy– We don’t have to think about it. The opposite is true when we are severely challenged with difficult and trying work– It can get to our head, as we can overthink it.

I’m not delusional, some things we may come to face as individuals are extremely difficult, trying, taxing, overwhelming, or worse.

We can buckle down to our hands and knees, paralyzed by the sheer difficulty of it.

However, resilience is another topic. How thick our skin is dictates the resistance we are able to tolerate. If you can’t tolerate much, find a way to make yourself more resilient to life’s resistance.

Bulletproofing

For this reason, if life is work, we must embrace the grind of our day to day.

When challenged at your day job, at home, in your relationship, or wherever else, break down the path forward to get yourself out into your better days.

Look to simplify the process and path ahead of you– Look to the next step, and work from there.

Seeing Is Believing

Ultimately, I can say these things, but you have to see it for yourself to understand. Meaning that your revelation must come from your own experience in action.

Go on then, get out there and challenge yourself in whatever way, shape, or form to improve the qualities of your life.

What am I even saying anymore…

My coffee is getting cold, have a great day.

**Sips Coffee**

Littermature


Self Help Journaling

Ebook, Audiobook, Journaling Crash Course

Make It Stick, Write It Down. A Journaled Philosophy.
CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

Why Less Is More. Tales From The Walk Behind Me, No.14

IN CONTINUATION FROM: THE CIRCLE OF LIFE AND EVERYDAY, TALES FROM THE WALK BEHIND ME, NO.13

Happy Days.

For wherever you are reading this thing, happy, happy, happy days. Well, that was random, even for me. But truly, I wish you well, and that is it more, or less.

The recent events in my life are fairly interesting, which brings me to note on two things that I will briefly list —for the sake of my memory— prior to explaining them.

  1. When faced with indecision, or the fork in the road, life will present specific circumstances beyond your intervention that ultimately forces your participation into action.
  2. A theme that always seems to surface: less is more.

The Fork In The Road

If you have been following my story over the last blog post, I divulged the back story on how my girlfriend and I are about to welcome our first child into this crazy –yet beautifully marvelous— world.

Over the past 1.5 years we have found ourselves in northern England living in a beautiful and cozy flat overlooking the countryside.

For the short time to call this place home, we have been happy here.

Good Ole Canadia

As a Canadian, I have been spoiled by the beautiful Canadian landscape to call my backyard. As a result, I have such a deep love, appreciation, and forever incessant yearning for nature, and the vast emptiness of the great outdoors.

England, and the UK for that matter, is a significantly smaller landmass. A big island, really, it’s landmass is smaller than most Canadian provinces on an individual comparison.

Taking into consideration that Newfoundland and Labrador is approximately 405,720 km2, it makes up just over 4% of the total Canadian landmass. On the other hand, the United Kingdom is approximately 242,495 km2, but of course, it is considerably less remote, and much more densely populated. 270 people per km2 vs 1.4 people per km2 (4.2 people per km2 representing Canada as a whole).

The numbers are pretty wild, with an overall landmass of approximately 9,093,507 km2, Canada is 97% larger than the UK. However, Canada’s overall population is nearly 60% smaller, and it’s population density is 98.5% less per square kilometer.

Putting the number crunch aside, the UK has some beautiful country. There are so many picturesque corners, splendid viewpoints, serene country sides and hilltops, and countless winding country roads.

It’s quite extraordinary, but I also do feel that the opportunity for the purchase of land, with some good acreage, and a house with a view is a lot trickier to come by here in England.

That has been my perspective thus far. But to clarify, it’s not that you can’t find these things, rather, the cost is a little bit more than a pretty penny to find what you’re looking for on that scale.

Full Of Shite.

Maybe I’m talking shit, I don’t know. I haven’t been here long enough to know the ins and outs whole heartedly. Regardless, this is the long way to tell you that our current flat sits on the top floor of the building, the view is great, the trails are right in my backyard, and it gives us comfort and peace of mind.

With that off my chest, the bigger picture of things reveals something different. Personally, I do not want to live in a flat, or a building for the matter in the long term. Rather, I’d love to have a small dwelling on a plot of land, with some acreage to it, however that looks. The future possibility of that being a reality for myself, and many individuals is seemingly up to debate, and another story altogether.

To avoid any further pessimism, we have been discussing moving out of the flat to accommodate the birth of the child. The benefits being to ease logistical and financial issues that we are currently facing.

Seeing as I am the only one who drives, our flat is inconveniently too far for our personal liking and time management, and such it makes sense to be closer for our personal needs, and the baby’s.

Scatterbrained

Wow, I can’t keep focused today. Having slept to heavy rainfall, and waking up to a medium drizzle, I set off for a nice 8km rainy run before dropping into Starbucks to work on this post and some other projects. I’ve been here for a few hours already, and I’m pressed for timing trying to beat a dying computer battery before setting off to the gym prior to closing.

Time, and Time Again.

If I may bring us back on track in our discussion to move, our main objection and barrier to moving —at least from my girlfriends point of view— is that “WE LOVE THIS PLACE”.

Again, we do love the flat, but I on the other hand, am more or less… a dog. What I mean, is that you can put me anywhere, and I’ll be more or less content.

My life has always been outside of the home. Naturally, my only request to find something suitable going forward together, is that our home must have two things: an outdoor space or garden, and a spare room designated to study or work.

So without trying to point fingers, but to point fingers anyway, my girlfriend is a little bit – a lot more— particular and selective when it comes to these matters. My criteria for a suitable home is a lot simpler to satisfy than hers. And it shows, because I have found 30 out of 31 listings for let that are suitable homes to potentially move into. In comparison, she has found 3 of those 31 listings for let to be suitable. By her standards, the rest of the listings are unquestionable, and condemned to even speak of.

How classic!

The dilemma continues in our search as we have been discussing it:

  1. Do we stay in the flat that we love so much?
    • It’s inconvenient because it’s on the top floor, which is a carry on for the pram/stroller.
    • It is logistically inconvenient as it is significantly further from local shops, meaning that it would be much more difficult to manage our time.
    • It is smaller than we’d like, and it is fairly more expensive.
  2. Do we move house, and where to?
    • With inflation, and the global cost of living crisis, we may end up paying more for less than what we have now —potentially.
    • We could be close to shops, within walking distance.
    • We would reside on the ground level, and closer to family.
    • The move would be more budget friendly in other ways in cutting down commuting time, and money for utilities and amenities.
    • The drawback would be, that we would have less views, and more confined— relative to the general area.

This has been the discussion regarding the choices to make, and let me tell you now, the indecision is through the roof.

Life Throws You Curveballs

What’s funny is how we are at crossroads with ourselves, debating over which opportunity is best. The irony is that our indecision leads to procrastination, and ultimately inaction, which does nothing but waste our time, and expend our efforts.

But that is when life intervenes with its own plans and ideas. As if it knows you are quarrelling with yourself on which choice is best, which it then presents you with choices that you absolutely must make.

It does so by backing you into corners, all while telling you to jump, one way or the other.

Faced with both a lack of listings up for let, and the ongoing indecision to make a choice, our landlord spurs up on the phone one nights asking to meet.

“Well, this is interesting. Whatever could it be that she would like to meet about?”

Upon meeting the following day, she revealed her plans to sell the property, and wanted to discuss my girlfriend and I as prospective buyers. Likewise, if we were not going to be purchasers of the flat, well, we would have to move out upon completion of the sale.

Our dilemma now changed ever so slightly.

  1. Do we move house, and where to?
  2. Do we buy the flat that we like so much?

How interesting, isn’t it?

In our earlier discussions for rent, we have been discussing buying property as well. The most ideal scenario would be to become homeowners, as it would satisfy several different concerns.

Naturally however, purchasing a home comes with another set of questions for us to debate over.

Finances are the main culprit here. Seeing as you must have a deposit for down payment that isn’t coming from a loan or credit, it is a little trickier to get onto the property ladder here in the UK than it is in Canada.

Likewise, regarding the pandemic over the past few years, and the worsening global events in general since then, our finances —my finances in particular— have been stretched beyond thin.

Shit happens, and the storm must be weathered when facing uncertainty. In the thick of things, we must aim to ensure our very survival with direct action, hope, and faith. We must do so without succumbing to the overwhelming nature of our emotions. The most we can do in our attempt to save ourselves then, is to try. Without any effort to do so, we are most certainly lost.

Make It Stick, Write It Down.

But The Question Still Remains

Do we make an attempt to buy the flat— flat out— to find the options to make it possible despite the barriers. Or do we make the move out for the aforementioned reasons above, to look to another place for rent to call home.

Well, given our discussion we have decided to move into another property instead of trying to push down the path to buy out the flat.

A big decision that locks you in should never be rushed into for the lure it provides. To keep it short, the dangling carrot in front of you isn’t necessarily the best thing to pursue, as good and tasty as it looks, it may only exhaust you in your attempts to seize the attraction.

Inevitably, it will become one of those lessons to learn the hard way.

To complete the moral, we may be considering our options upon finding ourselves at the crossroad—which way do we go? We find ourselves in the trap of indecision, as we start to overanalyze our options, avoiding making any choice in an attempt to avoid making the wrong choice altogether.

The clock has elapsed, the time to choose your path is now.

It is in the pivotal moments like this, where life assumes the role of an active bystander watching the struggle of the mind unfold. Call life God, universe, source, spirit— call it whatever— It looks you up and down to say:

“What are you doing?! Just make a damn choice!”

As the indecision continues, life get’s fed up. And as such presents you with new information, or alternative circumstances to consider that forces your hand into action; to choose one way over the other.

It’s all very interesting really.

As for me in my current life perspective and experience, I can appreciate and feel grateful for having the scope to see that process unfolding as it does. Taking that approach helps me be more patient, as things will unfold and flow towards one end or another.

As bad as indecision is, taking forced actions will also yield forced results. Therefore whatever choices we take, we must become active participators and active listeners to recognize the feedback in our decisions, to navigate ourselves effectively going forward; to adapt, or to change with our best interests in mind.

How marvelous.

When Life Takes You Out To The Edge, It’s Up To You To Jump Out With Faith That You Will Be Caught.

Let’s move on!

The following is the final post and Number 14 of 14 in the series of blog posts called “Tales From The Walk Behind Me”.

If you’re new to these, it is a series of originally journaled entries through a few of my days —events, experiences, thoughts— along the Camino De Santiago.

If you missed part one, here it is — Click Me!

This was my second Camino that took place over 26 days through September to October, 2019 that covered 1010+km along the Camino Norte route, including Muxia-Finisterre.

This is my standard cut and paste disclaimer from the tale before, I will give you the bit of warning because it might not be what you expect– my thoughts can be ugly because I’m a weirdo.

Furthermore, the content will vary, and the timelines will be all over the place because my mind loves a wild goose chase.

You also may question my own benevolence as a human being.

Why Less Is More, DEclutter Your Spirit And Get Rid Of Some Things. Here Is No. 14…

Continue reading “Why Less Is More. Tales From The Walk Behind Me, No.14”

The Circle Of Life And Everyday, Tales From The Walk Behind Me, No.13

The Circle of Life
Castro, Alicante, Spain.
IN CONTINUATION FROM: Pulling The Blade From The Civilized Man– TALES FROM THE WALK BEHIND ME, NO.12

The Miracle Of Creation In The Circle Of Life.

Ah, the circle of life.

This past April, I came home to find a pregnancy test sitting on my laptop, the result was positive. To clarify things here, I wasn’t pregnant, my girlfriend was.

In all the excitement wrapped up with the thought of becoming a parent, one of the first things I thought to myself was just how quickly the coming months will pass us by.

Well, my girlfriend is now entering her third trimester, and the gap between now and the expected due date is quickly closing in. Over the past few weeks, it is becoming increasingly real as her swollen belly is showing obvious signs of life.

What a trip it is to see the workings of creation for myself– Quite truly, a miracle.

I find such interest in how bizarre this thing we call life really is.

The Final Countdown

It’s no secret, physical fitness is extremely important in my life, a cornerstone to what makes me who I am. But as more people hear the news that we are expecting a new born child, I frequently hear them express how my hobbies and physical interests are now, for the lack of better words, over with.

My active lifestyle is soon to be dead and gone.

Apparently, time as it stands is now over. As if I am about to lose full control of my personal priorities and obligations to maintain my own standards.

And though I may share a laugh with them in their lightly expressive tone in humor, the reality is that we have to set a firm intention regarding what kind of example we are to set for our child once born.

How do we do that? Well, we do that through the example of our own patterns of behavior.

Fitness has played such an important role in all aspects of my life. Of course it helps positively contribute to my physical well being, but especially more important is how it has shaped my mental, emotional and spiritual self.

Seeing all and more that it has done for me, I hold it in such high regard.

My introduction to fitness started with my father. As his presence and personality shaped my future, so too will we aim to stress similar values, and instill similar perspectives into raising our child.

Again, we do that by leading in our own example.

So many people have dropped the ball, they have disempowered themselves in their ability to choose their own priorities. Or at least, that is how they make it seem.

“Your Life Is Over; You won’t have time; Say goodbye to the gym; Say Goodbye To Sleep; You’re About To Get Tired And Fat…”

Nah, not me.

I understand this will be a great challenge, which is perfectly okay because challenge is good. But, I have accepted the enduring nature of the work involved in raising a child, and the challenge to do so is something I have embraced in my mind.

Intention Is Everything, Bring it on then!

I’m the dad who’s going to be running with a running buggy. The dad who’s going to be stressing fitness, play, and physical expression. I’m the dad who’s going to encourage that child to dream as big as big can get to help that child become it’s own decision maker in the grand scheme of its life; for the sake of their own story.

I am going to be that dad, because that is what my dad did for me.

He was the example for me in what he valued for himself. And that is important for me to share going forward.

Sure, nobody is perfect, and things can unfold any which way. However, we still need to set our intention alongside the vision we want to build on for ourselves, and the vision we aim to impress on others.

That is something to think about now for the distant future ahead of us.

We must take control now, as we must also always be willing to take control at any moment to help steer our future successes.

For myself, it means thinking about what being a great parent means to me, all while continuously seeking to uphold that standard.

Again, however it unfolds will take adapting to when the time comes, to realign our place in time with the intentional vision we have prioritized.

I can’t Wait, Bring It On!


Let’s move on!

The following is Number 13 of 14 in the series of blog posts called “Tales From The Walk Behind Me”.

If you’re new to these, it is a series of originally journaled entries through a few of my days —events, experiences, thoughts— along the Camino De Santiago.

If you missed part one, here it is — Click Me!

This was my second Camino that took place over 26 days through September to October, 2019 that covered 1010+km along the Camino Norte route, including Muxia-Finisterre.

This is my standard cut and paste disclaimer from the tale before, I will give you the bit of warning because it might not be what you expect– my thoughts can be ugly because I’m a weirdo.

Furthermore, the content will vary, and the timelines will be all over the place because my mind loves a wild goose chase.

You also may question my own benevolence as a human being.

The Circle Of Life Continues, Here is no. 13…

Continue reading “The Circle Of Life And Everyday, Tales From The Walk Behind Me, No.13”

Pulling The Blade From The Civilized Man. Tales From The Walk Behind Me, No.12

The Civilized Man
Mile Marker Zero. Finisterre, Galicia. Spain.
IN CONTINUATION FROM: tO lIVE iS tO wORK– TALES FROM THE WALK BEHIND ME, NO.11

In the Eye.

This is exemplary of the tortoise and the hare, but we’re getting there. These tales are slowly coming to their conclusion, and this one is a fiery one on behalf of the civilized man.

With regards to the current place in time, the news to share is that there is a newborn on the way in time for Christmas. Life moves quickly, and that is the beauty therein of it, to be able to marvel in the progression of time.

Alternatively, there was also news of a high school friend who had recently passed; he was in his early 30’s.

Krima is the word to use in Greek, and it means to express, “what a shame.”

Indeed it is, as murder is such an ugly word.

Truthfully, I was close with his brother as we played side by side on the offensive line in high school. And though life and time has drifted us apart, I deeply feel for him and his family for their loss.

Shocking really. But death is funny that way, as death is mourned by the living. Who knows what is to say of the dead in their passing.

Regardless, may he rest in peace.

As for myself, I am in a rather pessimistic mood regarding our evolution into the near term future. Well, as pessimistic as I am in expecting the worst, I always have hope; at least for myself.

I feel that is important to have, as it is better to lose faith in humanity than to lose faith in yourself. If the world goes, well we’re going with it. But if the world is here to stay, than we risk losing ourselves entirely if we have no hope left for ourselves.

Call it pessimism, I feel it also part of my own intuition at work. I am not bragging, but I feel that I have a small knack for seeing things unfold before they do. I’m not always right, and I don’t always listen, but something is there.

I’m not special either, I feel that we all have that capacity to tap into our own intuitive prowess.

Intuition is very much like a puzzle, meaning that there is no clear-cut instruction, or guidance, but totally abstract. The picture is there and it takes a little bit of awareness to piece things together.

To throw another expression at you, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

The intuitive process can be revealed in our own mental imagery. We can see something and draw out a conclusion based on how we see it. Further, as we see it, we arrive to that conclusion immediately, as it flashed before our eyes.

I can attest to this for myself, but would you believe me? Certainly, if you haven’t noticed already, you can probably attest to this yourself as well.

I am no seer, really, but life can be pretty weird that way.

Burned By The Fire.

Well if you’d like to go into more detail regarding the interesting nature of intuition, I go into great detail regarding the epistemological topic in the crash course.

But moving forward into my own pessimism, the following tale is a mashup of 3 entries in the conclusion of my walk. I made it to the coast, to Muxia and Finisterre, and proceeded to finally depart my way back to Santiago by bus.

I’ve mostly experienced the bubble of my mind throughout the walk, as I have been separated from the workings of the real world. With the abrupt introduction back to our civilized ways, the feelings were ugly.

So, buckle up because these entries are obscene, even in my own reflection.


I’ve Said This Before, but Don’t let these hard times ruin your impression of humanity.

Follow your heart, genuinely.

Let’s move on!

The following is Number 12 of 14 in the series of blog posts called “Tales From The Walk Behind Me”.

If you’re new to these, it is a series of originally journaled entries through a few of my days —events, experiences, thoughts— along the Camino De Santiago.

If you missed part one, here it is — Click Me!

This was my second Camino that took place over 26 days through September to October, 2019 that covered 1010+km along the Camino Norte route, including Muxia-Finisterre.

This is my standard cut and paste disclaimer from the tale before, I will give you the bit of warning because it might not be what you expect– my thoughts can be ugly because I’m a weirdo.

Furthermore, the content will vary, and the timelines will be all over the place because my mind loves a wild goose chase.

You also may question my own benevolence as a human being.

Civilized Nature, Here is no. 12…

Continue reading “Pulling The Blade From The Civilized Man. Tales From The Walk Behind Me, No.12”

To Live Is To Work. Tales From The Walk Behind Me, NO.11

The Last Stretch. Arzua, Galicia. Spain.
IN CONTINUATION FROM: SUFFERING, IDEAS OF A GOOD TIME. TALES FROM THE WALK BEHIND ME, NO.10

Where has the time gone…

Well I’m not that surprised, time is the most illusive thing perhaps. Regardless, here we are another year older, another year wiser –maybe.

With respect to this series of blog posts that I have titled “Tales From The Walk Behind Me”, what started off as a goal to edit and publish them within two weeks from March 2020 has evolved to a slow close going into the 4th quarter of 2022 –two years past its origin. And in thinking about it, it sounds like some other all too familiar story that we’ve been hearing about on repeat within that same timeframe.

The last tale (NO.10) was published almost a year ago from today as we’re sitting at the 8 or 9 month point currently. But for anyone out there patiently putting their life on hold for me to drop the next one of these bad boys in the series, I am sorry. I must say, though I’m not sure if anyone is actually reading these, I am all too content to be posting them anyway.

**Insert gratifying sigh here**

But again, time has flown by and the work–my work– has been plentiful.

I have taken a hiatus on everything else, that being creating new notebook designs for my Etsy Shop, dropping new posts on my Instagram channels@ Tikitakamalikilaka / @ Littermature — and of course, keeping up with the enjoyable process of publishing new blog posts for this website. (Littermature.com, In case you didn’t know where you were. It’s okay, it happens.)

Over the past two years, all of my effort has gone into two things:

  1. A children’s book that has been on the backburner since 2017, which I am now on the verge of completing
  2. A journaling crash course to which I can now say is released and out there for the world to take on.

To plug it in

“Make It Stick, Write It Down: A Journaled Philosophy. A crash course journaling philosophy that can help transform your life into an empowered quest for happiness, purpose, and deeper meaning.”

My God, am I sick of saying that!

Well, not really. Sick of typing it is more like it, as I have been tediously updating the links and informational landing pages on this blog since releasing it earlier this month.

And since I’ve intrigued you, here is the promotional video I have made to compliment the course that is available now on Udemy.

CLICK HERE to learn more

Going forward, let me tell you a little back story into it.

Initially, I first wrote Make It Stick, Write It Down: A Journaled Philosophy in 2019 that was released as an ebook/audiobook just before the pandemic kicked itself off.

Soon after moving to England in September 2020, I felt it necessary to outline a more detailed crash course to expand on the original 18 chapters behind the philosophy depicted in the original material. And of course, what started as a small evolution naturally expanded into a bigger one that took nearly 2 years to complete up until this point.

Even still, there are some after the fact finishing touches that I’d like to make, but the work is done, and I am happy and excited to share the material that has been produced.

To tie everything together, the Make It Stick philosophy was a life long creation, however, it came to fruition with explicit clarity soon after completing my last Camino pilgrimage in 2019, which is where these Tales From The Walk journal entries stem from.

Full Circle

To come full circle then, this blog post here right now epitomizes the necessary labouring that I’ve endured to produce the content over these last two years. Here we are then, talking about it with a philosophical thought that preceded it, but has now succeeded it entirely in its reflection.

Does that last statement even make sense?

I don’t know, but I’m sure there is a proper word or phrase to describe exactly what has happened within the reference, but my thesaurus skills are at bay right now as I prepare to seek refuge for the night.

So Goodnight.

And Good morning.

I am now back up to write again in the wee hours of the morning to finish off these next few sentences before setting off to work.

You see, this is my life now:

Wake up, make my coffee, get onto my personal work– crash course, children’s book, blog, or whatever the next step is. Then I go to my day job. Afterwards, I go for a run or have a workout–or both. Then it’s time for dinner followed up with some more computer work if my timing permits it. Finally, I go to sleep only to wake up at 6am again to another coffee, and more computer work before heading off to my day job again to continue the cycle.

This alone doesn’t fully capture the tediousness of most days, especially without pointing out all of the general chores that life has to offer us daily, which we are all obligated to.

Regardless, if it sounds tiring, it is. I’m tired all the time.

But this isn’t a complaint.

Because in saying that some days most days are totally exhausting, my mind and emotional spirit feels extremely resilient.

Mostly, I feel content and very happy, and the exhaustion is a natural byproduct of a solid effort to pursue my personal goals and ambitions wholeheartedly.

Rest is illusory, as we seek and crave it all too often. And as mentioned in Make It Stick Write It Down, with rest we grow restless as we seek to eventually exhaust ourselves further….

We have an impression that we work to build up a security so that we may one day rest,
where we can one day stop “working” – The age old fantasy in retirement.

But that day will never come, because we are here to toil in work, to put effort into, to overcome, and exhaust the time in our day— To slumber, to wake, to repeat our work yet another day.

When our journey is done, and we’re ready for rest, we grow restless because we have no “work” left.

In which case, we burn to embark towards new journeys to work on, and quest until our time is up— Until we come to meet our true rest that comes with our deaths

– G. Kourtesiotis, Make It Stick, Write It Down: A Journaled Philosophy. (2019)

Currently at the ripe old age of 33, i am still very young.

Clearwater Lake, 2019. British Columbia, Canada.

But in looking back on my even younger years, this is all I could’ve asked for–to feel totally satisfied with my life path and journey.

The link between meaningful work and personal satisfaction–“happiness” if you will– is one that can’t be understated. And truthfully, this is what sits at both the core of the Make It Stick journaling philosophy, and the main point to emphasize within the context of this blog post.

Right, I wont delay things any longer to let you get on with reading further, and on with your time –If you wish.

Let’s move on!

The following is Number 11 of 14 in the series of blog posts called “Tales From The Walk Behind Me”.

If you’re new to these, it is a series of originally journaled entries through a few of my days —events, experiences, thoughts— along the Camino De Santiago.

If you missed part one, here it is — Click Me!

This was my second Camino that took place over 26 days through September to October, 2019 that covered 1010+km along the Camino Norte route, including Muxia-Finisterre.

This is my standard cut and paste disclaimer from the tale before, I will give you the bit of warning because it might not be what you expect– my thoughts can be ugly because I’m a weirdo.

Furthermore, the content will vary, and the timelines will be all over the place because my mind loves a wild goose chase.

You also may question my own benevolence as a human being.

Life is all about work, Here is no. 11…

Continue reading “To Live Is To Work. Tales From The Walk Behind Me, NO.11”