Lyrics Day Eighty – ‘Comfort’

Hey everyone,

I promised to write lyrics about various memories and experiences that I had, and today’s lyrics are based on a very brief moment, but one where I’ll always remember the feeling that I had. My brother wanted to buy a new football, and asked Dad to take him into town. I think I was probably 7 or 8 years old, I’m not sure. But, I remember watching them leave from the window, and just feeling so comfortable, in that moment.

Looking back, I think it was the security I felt, knowing where they were going, and that they would soon return. I comment on it briefly in the lyrics, but it’s funny how in a life made up of many years, single moments seem to define our existence, where we truly feel alive. I guess it’s just about making as many of those moments as possible.

Stay safe ~

Sean

Comfort (Verse, Half Chorus, Verse, Chorus, Bridge, Chorus)

I’ll always remember the comfort
associated with that memory
father and brother outside
looking back at me

 
Sun was setting outside
pink coloured the sky
dull hum of the engine
as I exhaled a peaceful sigh

They were just going to town
I was staring through the window
acknowledged the cosy feeling
as I watched them go

Sun was setting outside
pink coloured the sky
dull hum of the engine
as I exhaled a peaceful sigh
Sounds strange to experience
happiness as they were leaving
but actually it was because
I knew they’d be returning

In the grand scheme of things
it was a microscopic event
but that’s what we remember
the special feeling in a moment
I’ve been living all these years
it makes a mockery of time
to remember only a fraction
where I felt truly alive

 
Sun was setting outside
pink coloured the sky
dull hum of the engine
as I exhaled a peaceful sigh
Sounds strange to experience
happiness as they were leaving
but actually it was because
I knew they’d be returning

Lyrics Day Seventy Nine – ‘Dial-a-Roast’

Hey everyone,

I’ve been thinking back on some good memories recently, and will probably write about some specific experiences over the next few days, or at least, my feelings about them. To give some context to the random sounding title this time, a few years ago, before university, my friends and I would go out together for a meal, once every month. I think it was actually the very first time we went out together, but Stuart randomly came up with an idea for takeaway roast dinners. The idea itself isn’t bad, but we had a lot of fun going over different scenarios and even filmed a mock advert for it!

In relation to that, and in writing these lyrics, I’ve loved looking back on that particular time. I’ve spoken a little about mindfulness, and perception of time, but I find that the easiest way to be caught in a single moment is just to be happy, as I was during these memories 🙂

Stay safe, and happy ~

Sean

‘Dial-a-Roast’ (Verse, Half Chorus, Verse, Chorus, Bridge, Chorus)

I felt so contented
the six of us together
hysterical over your idea
memories I’ll hold forever

 
Allow me to step back
just for a second
to a moment in time
where momentous joy beckoned

 
Was your idea worthwhile?
Yes – it left a residue
something we’ll all remember
priceless times, high in value

 
Allow me to step back
just for a second
to a moment in time
where momentous joy beckoned
No thoughts of future or past
only friends around a table
sharing in the laughter
which would become a staple

Talked about it for weeks
and even filmed an advert
when I fluffed my lines
laughed till our stomachs hurt
To you guys, to those times
I’d like to raise a roast
always remember what you said
‘It’s not HARD to cook a roast!’

 
Allow me to step back
just for a second
to a moment in time
where momentous joy beckoned
No thoughts of future or past
only friends around a table
sharing in the laughter
which would become a staple

Lyrics Day Thirty Three – ‘Time’

Hey everyone,

today’s lyrics focus on the concept of time. I watch a lot of science talks, and it’s very interesting to me to hear that time is a human concept. Brian Greene, who I respect a great deal, said that you can define time in a way that from moment to moment, different things are happening, but you can’t say for sure what it is, or if it even exists. Strange to think about, right? But, in comparing what he said with my limited knowledge of mindfulness, on the cover of the book I read, I think it spoke about mindfulness increasing your life span.

When I read this initially, I thought it was referring to the health benefits of mindfulness. But actually, it was far more interesting. Essentially, the theory is that many of us are not ‘present’ for much of our lives, instead just relying on auto-pilot, and not truly experiencing a large portion of the time we are alive. So, if mindfulness allows you to become more present, then, essentially, you are living longer. It’s a concept which I completely agree with, but have only really experienced being completely present on rare occasions.

So, during this period of time, I’m only leaving my house to go to work, to go shopping once per week, and to have exercise, at a limit of once per day. Last weekend, I felt lethargic, because I just couldn’t find enough to do. To conquer this feeling, I went for a run, and after I got home, it was really amazing. Before I left, I was just thinking ‘it’s Sunday, I have work tomorrow, the weekend is almost over’, stuff like that. When I got back, I was enthusiastic, motivated, and just happy in that moment – to me, in my perception, the hours I had left felt like a long period of time. I apologise for the long build up, but these lyrics describe my feelings on this.

Stay safe ~

Sean

 

Time (Verse, Half Chorus, Verse, Chorus, Bridge, Chorus)

Felt so lethargic, went for a run
arrived home in the evening
whole weekend had passed quickly
but suddenly, each moment was appealing

So rarely in life
can I appreciate each second
senses are dulled
recognition is lessened

‘Time is a human construct’
was something I’d heard
never made much sense
until every minute was savoured

So rarely in life
can I appreciate each second
senses are dulled
recognition is lessened
realised how it passes
is a matter of perspective
because as the theory says
time is relative

With this new perspective
I’ll attempt to cultivate
a feeling of calm
as if each moment is ornate
Don’t want to waste my life
ruing past and future devastations
instead I’ll take the time
to learn appreciation

 
So rarely in life
can I appreciate each second
senses are dulled
recognition is lessened
realised how it passes
is a matter of perspective
because as the theory says
time is relative

 

Lyrics Day Thirty – ‘Sunset’

Hey everyone,

today’s lyrics focus on a specific sunset that I experienced, a few years ago. Have you ever felt completely absorbed into a single moment? I’m by no means an expert, but I have studied mindfulness, and so I’m aware of the theory of being present, and how beneficial it is; that’s what the sunset did for me on that day.

Stay safe ~

Sean

Sunset (Verse, Half Chorus, Verse, Chorus, Bridge, Chorus)

I remember that moment clearly
orange highlight on the streets
glow of the 5pm sunset
capturing everything around me

First noticed it that day
as I said goodbye to my friend
wondered when this radiance started
wished it would never end

 
The city always felt special
but this time was different
the whole street was glowing
I felt peace in that moment

First noticed it that day
as I said goodbye to my friend
wondered when this radiance started
wished it would never end
walking back to the station
with a smile on my face
lost in the warm colours
sunset illuminating that place

 
Those specific colours
only lasted 30 minutes
held a clue about life –
‘blink, and you’ll miss it’
Perhaps the sunset
was trying to help me
hold onto the moment
and not just my memories

 
First noticed it that day
as I said goodbye to my friend
wondered when this radiance started
wished it would never end
walking back to the station
with a smile on my face
lost in the warm colours
sunset illuminating that place

Vigour

‘So go on, show the world who you are. Make connections, friendships, relationships. But most of all, make it count.’

I love the rain. The way it sounds when you’re inside in the warm, the drops thudding against your windows. The way it reflects light, shimmering on the pavement. Most of all though, I love to be caught in it. Have you ever been running when it was overcast and then felt that first drop on your head, steadily increasing in frequency? That’s happened to me a few times, and if I could I’d always choose to run in the rain. Why? Because you get to feel something. Seriously, I don’t know what it is but it just makes me feel alive when I’m out there, in that moment.

I just described the rain in a positive light, but are plenty of people who don’t like the rain. They may enjoy other weather conditions more than I do, and that’s great! The point is that your muse is somewhere, you just have to discover it.

Those of you who have subscribed to this blog will know that I don’t post often, only when I feel that I have something important to say, and here’s another of those times. I’ve labelled this one ‘Vigour’ because I really wanted to express my own sense of vigour for life in the hope that it helps others to do the same.

Vigour for life doesn’t have to mean performing death-defying stunts, or quitting your job. For me, it just means to have a passion for something, and to appreciate the everyday. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t always easy to do but I feel that it’s necessary, and quite easy if you put your mind to it. Take yesterday for example. I go to work pretty early, around 6.10am. When I’m walking at that time, there aren’t many people out and it’s pretty dark. But, every time I step out there I look out towards the sky and try to catch something of a planetary nature going on. Yesterday I was really lucky, because I was able to spot Venus and Jupiter in the sky. Amazing right?! The countless mysteries and possibilities in an ocean of space and I was able to view a small part of it, if only briefly. Finding your passion, your ideals and what makes you gaze out in awe and wonder, that’s gonna stop any of those morning blues.

One theme which you may have noticed if you’d read any of my other blogs is my complete fascination with friendship. I believe that there are almost 8 billion people on this planet, and each one of them has a unique story. If you think of it like a book, as I do, then letting someone into your story attaches some of their pages to your own. Billions of other people who you have the opportunity to form bonds with every single day, or getting a little closer to the ones you already know. It’s amazing, isn’t it? I just love the idea that tomorrow, I could meet my future best friend. I think every day can be amazing, I mean sometimes it doesn’t work out but the potential is always there, like a sun ready to burst over the horizon into life. I’ve actually been lucky enough in that a similar situation occurred for me a few months back:

I was at work and noticed a girl struggling with putting a parcel box together, so I helped her out. I saw that the parcel was addressed in Mandarin (which I had studied) so I asked if it was easy to send a parcel abroad because I’d love to do the same for my Chinese friend. She said that if I needed help, then just to let her know. At this point, I just thought she was being kind but anyway, we kept talking and I spoke to her a little in Mandarin. She posited the idea that if I helped her with English, she’d do the same for me with Mandarin. I got a message from her recently; she’s back in Taiwan and I’ve asked for her to send me photos from her country, and then I’ll do the same. Isn’t that amazing?! Just the idea that I have connected with somebody thousands of miles away, purely out of chance. Even if it’s only small, I’m sharing a part of my story over the world, and I get the chance to hear somebody else’s, too.

I could list several examples of moments that I enjoy, and talk to you all day long about how happy I am that I finally picked up a Toy Story mug from the Disney store (those are unbelievably hard to find!); but more than anything, I want to really encourage everyone to take this chance that we’ve been given. In some ways, you can put aside your feelings on why we exist and instead be thankful that we just do.  Life throws a tonne of junk at us but it’s all a part of the ride, and if you’re able to see the light through it all and you can truly appreciate what you have, then you can flourish and do what you meant for.

What you were meant for. That’s an interesting phrase, like it’s meant to happen or something. But, that’s not exactly what I intended. You’re not meant for any one certain thing but if you fulfil your potential then you are meant for greatness. Why? Because everybody has something unique to offer the world. That’s right. You and me? We each have something that nobody else does. That special something is gonna mean a whole lot to a whole lot of people.

So go on, show the world who you are. Make connections, friendships, relationships. But most of all, make it count.

Graduation, and the true meaning of success

I haven’t planned exactly what to write with this; as usual I’m just publishing because it’s a topic which has been on my mind recently. I officially graduated on Thursday, and it has me thinking about the true definition of success. First of all, let me say that it’s a terrific feeling to celebrate 3 years of hard work, and the culmination of all of that effort with your friends! I would recommend University to anybody; it’s obviously important because of the accrued knowledge in a chosen subject area, but what’s of further importance is the personal development and insight which you gain by being put through an entirely new situation, and meeting such a diverse range of people.

This really forms the basis of what I’ve been thinking about. What if I hadn’t graduated, does not make me unsuccessful?

No, it doesn’t.

In my opinion, you’re only unsuccessful if you don’t try. I thought of a pretty cool analogy to explain my point:

You have 2 Superheroes, each trying to save a lot of people. Both of them give everything they have but only one ‘succeeds’. Naturally you’d probably point to the one who saved everyone as being a success, but the success only relates to the task itself, not the person. In my view, each person is a success because:

a) They both had the intent to save everybody

b) Both of them tried their very best.

I think this is a very profound topic to consider because everyday we’re faced with both small and large challenges which all focus on success, but if we were able to manage our expectations of what success is then we’d be a lot happier. Of course, we’re all going to be disappointed when things don’t turn out the way we want them to, but if you can honestly say that you really devoted yourself to your goal, and had the heart and intention to try and carry it out, then that’s what counts.

A successful person to me is someone who wakes up and both aspires and strives to carry out their goals, no matter how difficult.

“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.”

 – Albert Einstein

This links nicely with the second part of my post. The photo which you see attached to this post is of my friend and I after the ceremony. I was speaking to her a few days before the event and I mentioned that for me, this graduation wasn’t about the subject at all, but rather the celebration of the people that I’ve met, the friends I’ve made. It’s true, because why is anything of any significance unless we have others to share it with? I won’t go through the story completely, but basically I feel that because I spent a lot of time alone as a kid, I have a real core of appreciation for those who want to call themselves my friends; I genuinely feel amazing every time anyone decides that they want to speak to me, and I’m thankful for that.

It’s just the message that I wanted to propagate really; there are many mysteries on this Earth and beyond, so many things that we don’t fully comprehend, but for me love is a constant force, an innate feeling embedded in each of us. I am, and will always be a person of success, not because of anything I achieve, but simply because I attempt with all of my heart to achieve my goals, and most importantly love, and am loved by those around me. That’s all that counts, right? 🙂

If ever you feel like you’ve messed up, then please try to remember that. If you’re reading then and you feel like you have no-one that you can count on, then reach out. I was definitely in that position once, but we all have special qualities that will be appreciated, trust me.

IMG-20141127-00765

Greatness

I’d had an epiphany concerning the topic of greatness and it’s definition, and I’ve realised that I’ve been thinking about it from entirely the wrong perspective. As I’ve mentioned numerous times, the perspective you hold counts for everything; hopefully what I’m going to write in this blog will be another indication of why it’s so important.

Recently I’ve been having some problems which have caused me to lose a lot of confidence in myself. The truth is that I don’t really have a great deal of confidence anyway so it’s difficult when things knock you back; but here’s where perspective works it’s magic. I’ve been talking to my friends just to get some reassurance and advice and they gave me that, indefinitely.

What is greatness to you? On Friday, I would have said that greatness means to do something great (okay, I’d still give that answer, but what is ‘something great’?) Well, here’s my answer from Friday:

“Great means doing something amazing, something which helps a lot of people in a significant way. Something which will be remembered by at least the person you helped for many years to come.”

Wrong! Well, not wrong as such, just not complete. That example is great, but what I realised that there are many forms of greatness. We are all great; we have all done great things. Let me explain; I’ll answer as if you were asking me today what greatness is. Sunday Answer:

“Greatness is not only the act, but the intention behind it. A person’s importance isn’t measured by what they’ve done; it’s who they are. Holding a door open for someone, for example, doesn’t take a whole lot of effort, but it’s great. It’s great because you want to be polite to the person walking behind you, and it’s great because they appreciate that kindness.”

But that’s not all. In that example, I only referred to helping someone as being a great thing, but the truth is that we’re taking part and contributing towards many great things each day of our lives. Take friendship, for example. I was feeling low on Saturday and watching some old videos that my friends and I made, and thinking ‘as long as I have that, I’ll be okay.’  Those thoughts were echoed yesterday evening, when my friends and I hung out together. What I mean is, if you have even a single friend, if you trust each other, respect each other, laugh together, then you are part of, and contributing to something great. In a nutshell, life is greatness. And we’re all living it.

The courage to face challenges in our everyday lives is also great. Doesn’t matter if nobody knows about it; what matters is that you didn’t give in to fear, and took a step towards your goal. That’s happening every single day, with a whole host of people.

It’s a relief to feel this way because previously, in burdening myself with the pressure of wanting to complete a great act, I was missing all the great things that I do, and am part of in everyday life. I’m pretty sure I mentioned this before but I’ll leave you with a nice story which ties in nicely, and is my proudest moment – a great one! When I was about 8 years old (or so), I went to the bathroom in the middle of the night and noticed that a beetle was drowning in the toilet, so I saved it. It’s a very small act but also a great one because my intention was to help save that beetle’s life.

Take a second to think back on the great moments that you’ve contributed to, and forge some new ones tomorrow.

“The test of leadership is not to put greatness into humanity, but to elicit it, for the greatness is already there.” (#)

 – James Buchanan

 

Moments

Something pretty cool happened to me today. You know those moments when you’re kind of overcome, but everything feels right just there? Yeah, one of those 🙂 As with most things, this story needs some background so here goes.

 I’m not certain if I’ve written it before but I love the American Pie films, (the first two mainly). Yeah you can talk about the humorous and sexual aspects of the films but for me, the friendship comes through. I won’t spend time explaining the whole plot but it’s basically these four friends together, trying to get girls and just going through life. A lot of the people I’ve spoken to don’t really get it but for me, those films are just genius because I really felt that connection between the characters. 

I first met my friend around 7 years ago, when we started 6th form. As we got to know each other, I recommended these movies to him as he’d never seen them before (I know, right?) Needless to say, he loved them! And better yet, he understood the reason that I loved them, too. At the end of the first film, they toast to ‘The Next Step’, a particularly poignant and important moment for me because it’s like ‘we’ve all come through this time together, now let’s face the future too.’ Towards the end of the second film, they have a similar moment at a beach party where everything has worked out well and they raise a glass together. 

To put slightly more back story onto this, I’ve recently accepted a job offer in the area where I studied for University and so I’m relocating permanently over there. I guess for me, that is the ‘next step’. So, I’ve come home for a short holiday before it all begins and me a friend of mine are sitting down for coffee today; it was my birthday around a month and a half ago and he’s giving me my present now that I’m home. He tells me to open the card in front of him, read the note and look up to him upon reading the last line. Here’s the note, in all it’s sentimental glory:

Breckland-20140716-00629

 

“To set the scene, we’re all at a beach house, awesome tunes, beautiful ladies & great friends are around.

Much like that film I know you adore, I can’t do it physically but I can do it metaphorically.

You look over, & Sean, I raise my cup to you.

For all you’ve done.

For all you can go on to do.

You should be proud of who you are.

Because I am proud of you, I lift this to friendship, to your next step, & to you Sean Craemer!

Elliott”

Amazing, right? I wanted to write this blog in dedication to my friend who did this wonderful thing for me, but also to spread a little positive thinking out there. I read a lot of negative things on social media these days and I realise that life can be difficult but I can’t help but wonder if these people truly appreciate what they have, you know? Right now, thanks to my friend I feel like I’m invincible – that’s what these moments do for me. 

I hope that if you’re reading this, then you’re able to recall similar moments of your own and sit back and smile for a little while.

And hey, here’s to your ‘Next Step’! 🙂

Sean

Mindfulness

Image

Apologies for the poor picture quality, but I love scenes like this one. Since I was a kid, there’s always been something about lights in a dark setting; the kind of ambience it provides. I remember when my Dad was taking us home from a trip to the city, coming home at night along the dual carriageway I’d just be staring at all the lights, and to be honest I’m not sure exactly sure why…it’s just when I see a view like this one, it kind of sparks something in me, you know?

I wanted to talk about that because it kind of sets the overall scene of what I’d like to talk about, and that’s mindfulness. This word was introduced to me last year, when I was having problems separating myself from my University work; just like thinking about it all the time. I was recommended a book on mindfulness meditation, which  summarised is a philosophy about really taking in each and every moment, reconnecting with yourself. 

While I’m on this topic, I’d like to quash rumours regarding meditation; it’s not anything like some people would have you believe, it’s just (in my experience anyway) sitting in a straight-backed position whilst focusing predominantly on your breath. That’s a very simple way of putting it which perhaps doesn’t do it justice, but it’s really something that everybody can do; that’s my point. Mindfulness teaches you to appreciate the here and now, and it has been a great help to me when my mind is constantly racing, wondering what I have to do next and focusing on the best way to achieve it.

Lately, with the rush which comes from your final year of University I’ve been feeling a bit anxious; like my mind is racing all over the place again. So, I wanted to write a little bit about appreciating the here and now, as much for myself as for anyone else.  The picture I took on my way home today is just one example of this, but there are countless others out there which if you’d just take a moment to stop and notice them can be really nourishing and rewarding. 

Today for example, I’m working in the IT labs; I have a headache and I’m tired already at 11am. My friend shows up, and we’ve both been talking to each other about things lately, asking advice..friend stuff. She comes in and we’re talking, and she’s like:

“We are such losers!”

Haha, amazing right? …Wait, doesn’t sound too great? Well, I can’t really put it into context because it was kind of private but I just love moments like that, when it’s like two people together through difficult times. She may not know it but that really made my day; kind of like a really cool, sentimental friend thing 🙂

I guess my point is that I have this great stuff going for me –  it’s not perfect of course but you know, a lot of things in my life are just as I want them. I realise that it can be difficult to recall these moments in times of stress but it’s what I always try to do, because these experiences are everywhere if we take the time to look, and appreciate them. I hope that no matter how much pressure you’re under, if you’re reading this then you can just take a step back to appreciate the smaller, unseen things in your life. The smell when you walk outside your door, or in my case the wonderful colours of the sky, or the illumination of the streets on the way home.

Until next time 🙂

“There is more to life than simply increasing its speed.”