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

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”

SUFFERING, IDEAS OF A GOOD TIME. TALES FROM THE WALK BEHIND ME, NO.10

Baamonde. Galicia, Spain.
IN CONTINUATION FROM: SOWN OATS. TALES FROM THE WALK BEHIND ME, NO.9

Suffering is fine.

We can’t escape suffering because there are a million things to suffer over.

You can learn a lot listening to the words people say, in particular to their personal expression of suffering, regardless how miniscule. Funny enough, the feeling of suffering itself–or the idea of it– is something that we find community in.

“Is it 5 o’clock yet?”

“Is it 5 o’clock yet?” is probably something that is said incessantly around workplaces across the globe. It is classic workplace banter to lighten the mood between coworkers who have been brought together in a place to collect a paycheck and to go home. In a way, it’s a way for people to “out pain” each other.

It is a deceiving question, for some it may be genuine, and for others it may be something to just say…. Heck, I myself have said it to coworkers assuming it is something the other person would like to here, or to just break away awkward silences.

These days I have nipped that behavior in the bud as I try to refrain from saying things that I don’t genuinely mean, or even opt out from saying anything at all–Silence is underrated!

In any point, if suffering is truly abundant in this world then we must learn to enjoy the suffering.

This is something to think about often, at least for myself. Heck, I came home the other day utterly exhausted from the physical effort of my day job– A standard 8 hour shift with no real food or break, largely due to my own choosing.

My last substantial meal is the night before, my breakfast is a coffee with some oat milk, and I take 15 minutes just shy of noon to down a protein shake, a banana and a square of chocolate. I am entitled to 30 minutes but I cut it short because when I am done dusting off my jeans and shirt and fueling myself, I’d rather just get back to work.

When I come home, I down some BCAA’s and hit the gym for an extra hour. I usually pop into the grocery store after that to pick up a bag of groceries. I then drive back home and lug that bag up three levels to the apartment my girlfriend and I rent out where I’ll clean up and finally sit down for my first solid meal in 24 hours.

At that point, I’ll throw on Love Island with Jess, check out for the night, and set out on the same routine for the following morning.

Does it sound like work? Maybe, but to me it’s just life— more specifically, it’s life for right now.

It’s a standard working experience, but I try to be as productive as much as possible through my days in my own personal vocations– like this website (Littermature.com) my writing, my e-book, my notebooks, my in the works lifestyle crash course philosophy on Udemy, and other projects I’m meddling in.

But of course, the brief description of my daily routine underscores the true essence of the suck that is endured through my day. It’s not about rating the difficulty of my routine in weighing it up against others, because every life has it’s own unique qualities and exhaustive hardships to it–the point is to love it or to seek change in your lifestyle is if you don’t!

My reasons for my routine are specific to me, and I am sure you have your own reasons for the doing the things that you do in the way that you do them. Again, if you don’t have your reasons, then you better figure them out, and quick!

A depressing reality is one where we feel a lack of control in our lives. The satisfaction of purpose is found in the choices we intentionally make for reasons that we understand and enjoy.

Personally, I like my routine because it doesn’t feel like suffering. I like the feeling of an empty stomach at work–it keeps me focused, level headed, and alert, I am more productive. I like going home feeling tired only to pick up some shorts and a t-shirt to hit the gym–I love the physical, emotional, and spiritual byproducts of physical fitness. I like coming home feeling wiped out looking up the last staircase to lug a heavy bag of groceries up–it’s the final stretch of discomfort or effort before unwinding.

These little moments of suffering epitomize the slow death of life.

After all, from our moment in birth life is simply a clock slowly ticking towards death. Interestingly enough, our day is organized by the very same clock ticking down our rise and fall through wake to slumber.

It might seem depressing, but it’s really just what life is reduced to in the grand scheme of things, where fulfillment boils down to the variety that we meaningfully choose between ourselves for ourselves.

In kind, our hours are filled with a range of experiences that embody the fight to survive that very same day, every day. And regardless of the differences between ourselves, it is these little moments that make our life fulfilling if we choose to see it that way.

As I have said before, it is the simple and little things that bridge meaning and reveal life’s beauty for us to experience. Our life then, is made in choosing how we suffer.

What choice are we left with, but to embrace the suffering.

Let’s move on!

The following is Number 10 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.

EXPERIENCE IS A STATE OF MIND, Here is no. 7…

Continue reading “SUFFERING, IDEAS OF A GOOD TIME. TALES FROM THE WALK BEHIND ME, NO.10”

SOWN OATS. TALES FROM THE WALK BEHIND ME, NO.9

The Reward Is In The Work
IN CONTINUATION FROM: FINISH WHAT YOU STARTED. TALES FROM THE WALK BEHIND ME, NO.8

Hindsight is a funny thing

We can look back on our experiences to say, “Ha, I knew it!” or “Dang, I shouldn’t have done that!” or “Good thing I did that!”

In whatever way my own personal reflection of the past comes to me these days, I am always taken aback by where I am in my moments in the unfolding of my life. I feel that has been consistent with perspective over the years in that I am blown away by my own story.

Sorry, I don’t mean to come off in a showboating manner, but I genuinely love life that much… The thing is, I am not doing anything particularly crazy or totally unimaginable. I am simply living day by day in my own personal routines of fulfillment and I love every minute of it.

I’m on such a high all the time, and I feel so grateful to have that experience.

No, I don’t take drugs– Sure, I have smoked marijuana a few times, and I do enjoy a crisp cold pint on hot summer days. But my drug is grace.

I am grateful to have the experiences and mental perspectives that brought me here, more importantly, the capacity for me to recognize it.

I get down sometimes, but even the bottom has element of enjoyment to it, and that is the reason why I typically like to hold the viewpoint that life is still good, even when it isn’t.

We’re in for it.

I don’t know what “IT” is just yet, and I can’t say I have met many people that do. But whatever the future holds for us as individuals is still going to be marvelous— depending on how we choose to look at it.

In the moment of now, I count the blessings I have to experience and for my experiences of the past… I look to my own predictions of the future and relish in whatever moment I find myself in currently as I weigh the potential of impermanence to set itself in.

A common example that is becoming increasingly more extravagant is the luxury of driving as an experience in itself. Beautiful country side panoramas on my way to work in the morning with whatever genre of music I spotted up onto the radio. Beautiful, life is good, and I will remember the feelings of these moments sometime from now when the choice to seek out that experience eludes me alltogether.

The beauty in life is made with life’s simplest pleasures… And though the automobile is fundamentally complex, it is simple in the sense that it is a commonality of modern life.

Life is too short to bicker and bitch about it. But if you choose to do so, the least you can do is to learn to enjoy it.

Let’s move on!

The following is Number 9 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.

EXPERIENCE IS A STATE OF MIND, Here is no. 9…

Continue reading “SOWN OATS. TALES FROM THE WALK BEHIND ME, NO.9”