Let’s Talk – Religion and Spirituality

As someone that got brought up in a Christian family and country, naturally my mind had been filled with the Christian beliefs of God, Jesus, Easter and Christmas. Even though my family are not “practitioners” of the faith, where ever we turn the religion is there. I imagine no different in countries that are majority of other believes.

When I was a child I never questioned and in truth invested into religion. It was all there was then. It wasn’t until my faith got tested when I was around 10. My friend had died tragically and I turned to religion to find comfort and answers. Granted asking God to bring my friend back was never going to happen, however other things I asked help for God never answered.

I lost faith, but was curios in what other religions believed in.

Space Wolves and Runes

By the times GCSE’s was upon me I was starting to see the failure of Christianity. It was around this time my sister got me the Warhammer 40,000 novel Space Wolf by William King. I was collecting the models at the time, although my decision on an army was all over the place.

This book changed that, the Space Wolf army was what I was looking for. I then started looking into the whole Viking and Celtic side of this army. There was Gods! More than one! The runes was magical!
I admit, as a 15 year old I was overwhelmed in understanding half of this by my self.

The year later I got given glass rune stones and a guide book for Christmas (seeing slight irony now). I naively practiced rune casting and picking a daily rune. I tried to interpret the meanings and on the most part it was relevant.

I had more answers from this heathenry than God ever gave me…
However that Christian raised voice said this is sinful!

The thoughts of Runes, Space Wolves and more the God Tyr (who’s day I was born on, Tuesday), have always stayed with me.

Jehovah Witness’s

My friend in school was a Jehovah’s Witness. Despite what is said of them I never had a problem with the family or religion. I asked questions now and them and admittedly I started to got to their meetings to learn more. I found out through me own research that a lot of what I got taught as a child wasn’t true.

It came to a point that it was a dive in or jump out situation. I thought hard about it and I found that yes I believe that there was something more than myself out there, this God though was not it.

I honour and respect everyone’s believes, I enjoy learning about them.

Buddhism

For years since then I have been in limbo spiritually. Torn between logically there does not seem to be a higher being, or at least not one that shows face, and there is so much unexplained about our existence to say there is not anything at all.

The last few years Buddhism along with minimalism has been an interest. Although it is not strictly a religion but a way of life.
In a way I have found calmness with this venture. It has taught me that I have got more than I need or want and as such I have started to reduce my things down.

Although I do like the teaching within Buddhism that I will keep learning and bring with me, I have found it isn’t the answer that I have been looking for.

The Gods have been speaking.

2020 for everyone was hellish, for me it seen the illness and sadly death of my Grandfather. This year has seen our family in limbo not only in mourning but an overwhelming amount of things have been happening thanks to Covid-19.

December has brought a few realisations for me. One important one being my spirituality. I’ve come to realise (and is an interpretation “looking for” thing) that Odin has been sending me hints. Not with his favoured Crows, with their smaller cousins the Jackdaws. When lost in thought two always show up at the right time. There is a Rook that lives near by, he cry’s out when my thoughts have been turning darker.
Then a few weeks ago I found a Tiktoker called AHeathensRaid. She does rune readings, the first one that come on my for you page was about judging myself too harshly, to look at what I have achieved with a last note from Tyr.

I have battled enough. Remember, you’re your best lover… not your own enemy.

These words to me was what I needed and in a way delivered by Tyr.
I have started to look more into Norse Paganism these last few weeks again unlike Christianity or Buddhism is has felt homely. I have a lot to learn about the Gods, religious events and what it all means for me, but it excites me and I’m happy for that.

Thank you for reading this post, I hope you enjoyed it.
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While you are here have a look around at my other content and remember you can also find me on Twitter @dpwilliamsweb.

Back to Daydreaming

Growing up, I remember that I always had something to do, playing with toys, watching TV, outside playing with friends or family, drawing and even painting models. Failing that I used to stop and daydream.

Now as an adult, I am dependent on a sheet of glass with plastic and metal inside, that can quickly take my time and focus away.
Have you ever thought about or looked at what you use and do on your phone? While we watch TV we play on our phones only half watching this background distraction. When we go for meals you see people with phones in their hands instead of talking fully present in the moment. Heck even when we go to the toilet the phone remains in our hands. Even the idea of listening to music (through the phone) can quickly become a background noise as we need to be doing something on the phone. Day dreaming or being fully present is all but non-existent.

Starting here in November I am reducing my time spent on social media, games and devices in general. A first step to a Technology detox by setting up time restrictions, Focus and Downtime with my iPhone and iPad.

  • 2 Hours for Social Media: TikTok,Facebook, Discord, Twitter (not Tweetbot), Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest.
  • 3 Hours for Games.
  • Downtime between 21:00 and 6:30: and hour before sleep and after waking up.

The idea is to spend more time being productive instead of wasting time watching TikTok videos and playing games when time could be spent writing, drawing or reading. Things that I used to like doing before technology took over.

The coming few months I want to spend re-setting my mind, get into better habits, removing time wasting distractions and trying to gain back a longer concentration again.
It is time to get out of this rut!


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While you are here have a look around at my other content and remember you can also find me on Twitter @dpwilliamsweb.

I had an accident

Since the middle of last year I have been growing a beard. Sounds like I wasn’t the only one during lockdown made no effort to shave. I was proud of it! Until this morning, I tried to tidy it up somewhat. I had an accident, I took too much off on the side. In the end, it had to all come off.

My lesson from this, get a professional to tidy it up for me!
Emma was not happy when she seen it and told me off, then Harley seen me… and stared at me not looking happy. They both told me I need to grow it back.

I am waiting for Caitlin’s reaction now.

The funny thing is how different my face looks and feels not having a beard there. It is cold.

I can’t wait to start growing it out again.


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5 Short Term Goals

I haven’t set any short term in a while. I have yet to commit and complete any short term goals either.
I think it is time to change that.

  1. Move
  2. Stabilise
  3. Write
  4. Got to catch ‘em all
  5. Stop!


Move

Critically this is one area of my life that decreases all the time. I do less and less. I’m not walking or moving as much as I used to. Since this pandemic started things have gotten worse and I feel less motivated to do anything.
Half of my health problems comes down to the fact I do not move enough.
Now Harley has started school and we are walking him there I have felt better and my blood pressure has dropped.
A few times I have closed the exercise ring with the Apple Watch, the last week I have come close otherwise.

My goal is to get into the habit of closing all three rings by the end of the day.

Using the Apple Watch to track my movement and exercise, matched with Fitness+ I want to close the rings each day. Even if it means going for a walk after work instead of Fitness+.


Stabilise

Money has been in nothing but free fall lately. It has to get back in control. Nothing much else to say about it.

I use and app called You Need A Budget (YNAB). I have used it for years (on and off) and have found it the best out there.
The goal is double down and keep track of our budget and stick to our budget.


Write

I keep a journal that I try and write in daily, however not everyday is there anything to write about. All hand written with fountain pen. The analog process I find helps me slow down and think more, a form of meditation in and of itself. A lot of my posts are first hand written.
Despite my dyslexia (which does affect my writing), I enjoy to write. My struggles comes from not knowing what to write other than post ideas or journal entries.

My goal is to start writing in my quiet time each morning. In that stillness before everyone wakes where dreams mix with reality.

I use an app called iA Writer because of the simple interface and aids. I want to fill this app with short stories, dreams, brain dumps and rants. What ever takes my fancy that morning.
If I can do this each day, practice and build up my skills, I would be happy.


Got to catch ‘em all

I have been a fan of Pokemon since the first game came out. I have played on nearly all the games since, currently that is Pokemon Sword. This game has defiantly been the best so far and I have enjoyed it, enough to be determined for the first time to catch *all* of the Pokemon in the game.
Then I found the Pokemon Home app both on the Nintendo Switch and mobile… you can put every Pokemon from 3DS, Switch and Pokemon Go on there!

This is my determined goal, to catch, trade and gather all the Pokemon, their different genders, variations, and Regional forms. If possible their shinnies.

Image by Thimo Pedersen through Unsplash

Yes, my geek moment, not sorry.


Stop!

Image by Melissa Askew through Unsplash

The other thing I need to start doing is stopping. Spend more time doing nothing at all, more time in my head and with myself.
I find my self trying to fill gaps with something. Whether it is my phone, tablet, games, tv, anything that stops me from sitting with myself


My goal then is to have at least 5 minutes each day, stop, do nothing, no music, no distractions and stop. Sit with myself and listen to what I have to say.

Thank you for reading this post, I hope you enjoyed it.
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While you are here have a look around at my other content and remember you can also find me on Twitter @dpwilliamsweb.

Let’s talk: Audiophile

When I was young my family moved to Saudi Arabia for a few years as part of the Gulf War. The travelling between British climates and the Middle Eastern with the pressure changes “scared” my ear drums (as far as I understand). This has affected my hearing and sensitivity to pressure and sounds, a few sounds hurt my ears even though the sound itself is pretty inoffensive.

Like a lot of people, I enjoy music with a wide variety of genres and artists. However my issue has been the ability to listen to the music comfortably, this journey of understanding has taken me 20 years to figure out (honestly I have suffered with it).

Headphones and Speakers


This has been my main way of listening to music in my bedroom as a teen and as an adult in work and chilling in the house.

I had started listening to music on the cheap headphones that came free with the iPod (classic) and with phones. I could never listen to the sound too long before my ears started hurting. I thought that was natural.
When I got my own computer when I was 16 I listened to music on the £10 speakers from Argos… no quality! The tinny and blended sounds did little better than the headphones.

It wasn’t until I want to my friends house to see his sound system, something that cost hundreds, that I realised that the problem wasn’t with my ears, but the system I was using.
He sold me an old amp and Bowers & Wilkins speakers. I had bought cheaper headphones to listen through in the evenings/nights.
My life had been changed, even if I could not appreciate music as much as I do now.

A few years later I ended up selling the system due to money problems (a sad day) and my living situation didn’t allow for much use. I do regret the decision now.

I went back to the cheap free headphones that came with my iPod at the time. This became Beats Studios wireless headphone and Beats earphone (for when I was in work and walking). The sound was an upgrade even if it was bass heavy.

After that I got the AirPods and now AirPods Pro, an upgrade each time.
The improvement has been noticeable each time, even the time I could spend listening to music each time had improved. These days I can spend the day with earphones in without issue.

The Future Plan


Despite AirPods Pro not being able to take full advantage of the lossless format no offered with Apple, there is subtle improvements to clarity. At least enough for me to notice. This has sparked a drive to find out (again) what true lossless sound is.

I am not planning on spending hundreds to start, but a modest £200-300. This is enough to get a decent headphone and a DAC Amp to connect to my phone.

I know I have a lot to learn from this and it will likely be something that develops over time. I would love to receive any tips and advice you can offer on the way please.

Sometimes I hate my brain!

Sometimes I hate my brain. My mind does not slow down, it is always too busy, too turned on with sleep seeming the only off switch there is.

Ideas, projects, thoughts, feeling… things are constantly coming and going in my mind.
Sometimes ideas stick in tirade of thoughts to start to develop into… oh, never mind it’s gone again.
Even if it stays I have no doubt that my dyslexia will filter it out. It always stops me putting the ideas into physical form.

So many things half started before the interest is lost dues to frustration, lack of time and resources, or a better idea comes along. Is it lack of discipline or concentration? It could be something else like ADHD or something?

Give me a job and I will do it. Mass Production? I’m your man! Projects? Okay, give me the details and its done. However, try to get me to do my own work, project or anything that is all me, forget it.

Even writing this, I have got half a page written and lost interest in what I am doing.


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While you are here have a look around at my other content and remember you can also find me on Twitter @dpwilliamsweb.

Update – September 2021

I have not been keeping up with this website as much as I wanted to. So I thought I would write an update post, let you know what I have been up to, what I am currently working on and future plans.

Where I have been

I haven’t been active here sine about May. I was working on a series called “All I Own” and I was in the mix of health issues as well.

I was finding that trying to write a series was too much of a commitment so soon and I couldn’t keep up with everything, doing the work for the post and writing the posts in time.
In the end I lost interest in the series, it is something I will pick up on at a later date, just not yet.

Because I was was feeling disappoint in that, when it came time to start blogging again I felt I had to carry on with the series and in the end didn’t write anything.

In the middle of all of this I found out I have high blood pressure and got put on medication for that. It did not agree with me to start with and for almost a month I was not well enough to do much more than function.

What is the plan now?

Reading back to my first post, I stated that I wanted to write random posts, things that interest me, thoughts and funny things. I am going back to this. While writing the “All I Own” series I felt trapped into having to write and continue that instead of posting something that interested me.

Going forward from that, I’m going back to my original plan and posting one off posts that I enjoy instead of committing to series.

I also want to push this website for myself with a bigger commitment. As such I want to spread into Social Media more and try to get my name out there.

I have also got a small list of posts that I have been working on or thinking about the last few weeks and will be delivering over the next few weeks.

Recent Changes

The “All I Own” series has been taken down for now. It has been an ongoing personal project, but it has been put on hold in my life for a minute. This will be something I will work on in the back ground for now.

I have added and changed pages on the website:


Come back soon, follow on social media or subscribe so you can know when future posts arrive.

Image by Hello I’m Nik through Unsplash

Adventure Day: Melincwrt Waterfall

This morning I had planned to spend the day writing the next post in the All I Own series. I had it all planned out and ready to go… then I looked out the window and seen that we had a nice bit of weather!

So I quickly packed my bag and headed out the door to Neath. For a couple of weeks I have planned to go to Melincwrt Falls, today was the best chance for me to go.

I have been here a few times before, it is a nice little walk up a trail to this lovely waterfall. A good place to start doing trails again after so long.

Continue reading “Adventure Day: Melincwrt Waterfall”

Adventure Day: Bwlch-y-Clawdd

It has been a while that I have been out on an adventure!
Today I have decided (last minute) to go to The Bwlch (known locally).

Quick interruption… So I looked up the translation for “Bwlch”, it has multiple meanings. One such meaning, that makes sense here is “Mountain Pass”. Although it is technically a hill, here in Wales we like to call them mountains.
However, where the Cymraeg (Welsh) gets confusing. Bwlch-y-Clawdd means “gap in the hedge”. Now this is off a Google search, I would love to know if this is correct, but it doesn’t make all that much sense.

Bwlch-y-Clawdd Road
Cwmparc
Treorchy
Wales

Latitude: 51.640389 Longitude: -3.534217

Thankfully being mid-week it was very quiet. In fact only one person passed me on his bike.

I had started off using my camera, a Canon 700D. However in all honesty My iPhone takes better quality images than it does. The only real ‘sacrifice’ is printable image size. Something that I don’t really do anyway.

I will explain my decision in a later post.

There are a few different tracks that you can walk here. I chose to go up the one that goes along the South-East that over looks the valley down to Bridgend.

It was a pretty perfect day for it, it was neither too hot or cold with a nice little breeze. It was slightly overcast with a nice lazy sun lighting the sky. Pretty good for photography.

I had walked about half way up this one track, i could have gone further, however being the first time in a while I didn’t want to push too far and regret it later.

I sat down on a rock for a little while for a drink and rest. It was really peaceful, considering that not too far away there was the main road and not much further than that a village. There was almost no sound spare for a bird chirping (a skylark I think) and the silent whoosh of the windmills.

I know this is a bit of a short post, there really was nothing exciting to talk about on this adventure.

However it really was what I needed.

I encourage anyone who has been struggling with the pandemic to get outside, somewhere peaceful and spend some time recharging.



I hope you enjoy this post, I am planning to bring more posts to this blog about a range of topics and interests.
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