“Heaven and hell are here on earth.  Hell is when we live out our fears and heaven is when we live out our dreams.”

How many people spend their time looking for the bad things that are going to occur rather than for all the really good stuff that is happening minute after minute?  How many of us forget to look with wonder at the stars at night and see just how vast a universe is out there.

But the heavens we see out there are just one example of how we need to broaden our horizons and dreams.  We are the only real barrier between achieving fulfilment or simply making do with what others provide for us.

I have been re-reading tales from my various holidays including one in the Alpujarra in Spain and it seemed worth passing on to you.

“I am able to get up late and lounge around; do shopping and take the laptop to be charged; chat with the landlady of the local bar whilst having a coffee; generally meander around and watch the antics of the brilliantly blue dragonfly which guards the pond here. In other words, I have had huge amounts of time being busy doing nothing.

All in all, it has encouraged me to be even more foolish than ever.  By foolish I am actually saying ‘be the fool who is free to say whatever comes to mind, without fear or concern that it may be judged wrong or inappropriate.’

giftFools and certain foolishnesses are one of the greatly undervalued elements of society today.  In their most common form they turn into the rather cynical late night TV shows which devalue all around them and fail to find the real nuggets of laughter which can sustain us.

Real fools enable us to question, in a non threatening way, some of society’s treasured myths and practices.  Real fools wonder why churches are locked at night, when they could be doing the best possible job of providing shelter for the homeless.  Real fools wonder why the armed police in Spain stand outside army barracks to protect them from attack.  Real fools wonder if it might be better to pay doctors when their patients are well, but then not pay them anything when they are ill.

I love it when I allow myself the time to be slightly foolish.  Part of my dream is to ask this sort of question, so that it might bring people to have a second thought – if only for one second.  Because each time you question why something always has to be the way it is, then you are giving yourself the chance to bring about change.  And that is another part of my dream. But back to my opening thoughts on Heaven and Hell.

We are all thinking beings, we are all also responsible for making our worlds better, so that more people can gain more from their time here.  We are entrusted with making our heavens on earth and this earth into the heaven it can be.

For some people I know, they make a fine job of it and enjoy all that is provided.  For others, sadly, they seem drawn to the hells they fear most.  It is almost as if they are following an unconscious desire to hurt themselves – even if they will strenuously tell you that it is Fate that is conspiring against them.

These are the people who seem to strive so hard and yet find their wishes thwarted by circumstances. I know a musician who has a true gift, and an amazing ability to communicate with children from all backgrounds and circumstances, and yet she spends most of her time filling in as a supply teacher in order to pay the bills.

She absolutely hates the teaching side of things, and fortunately has managed to avoid a lot of the form filling and box ticking by switching to being a supply teacher, but this then means that her income is much more precarious and of course it also means she doesn’t get paid if she is ill or during the holidays.

fearfailureThis all leads to stress and makes her life much harder, but the truly musical and magical talent she has just doesn’t seem to bloom. In other words, she is still living mostly in the Hell she hates.

Quite a number of artists I know fall into similar situations. They all have great gifts but the the one thing that they all seem to fall down on is actually making a real success of their talents financially. How often have you heard your creative friends saying, “Oh I wish someone else would handle the selling side and leave me to get on with the stuff I love doing best!”

They know that they need to address the sales side of things, networking, looking for outlets etc – but they are so afraid of failing that they don’t even try. Or to put it another way, their fears are controlling their futures.

Make your choice and perhaps a conscious effort to notice the brighter things all around you.  In no time at all you will be discovering the heaven you always dreamed of.