My Analysis on the 147 Delphic Maxims of Ancient Greece

Overlooking the Pleistos Valley on Mount Parnassus in Greece lie the ruins of The Temple of Apollo. Carved into the stone at this temple were 147 Delphic Maxims, said to be given by the Greek God Apollo himself. Quite possibly the most famous of these is the simple yet profound saying “Know thyself.” Among the other 146 maxims is a wealth of ancient insight and values that the most virtuous of people still hold today.

Ancient Greek philosophy arose over a half a millennia before the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. This time and area of the world is often referred to as “The Cradle of Western Civilization.” At the time, philosophy was used as a way to perceive the world through a lens of truth without the influence of dogmatic principles that religion often imposes on its followers.

The maxims are also believed to have come from the Seven Sages of Ancient Greece.

Seven_Sages_of_Greece

All 147 maxims can be found below and at the very bottom I have provided my thorough analysis of each and every one of them.

001. Ἕπου θεῷ Follow God
002. Νόμῳ πείθου Obey the law
003. Θεοὺς σέβου Worship the Gods
004. Γονεῖς αἰδοῦ Respect your parents
005. Ἡττῶ ὑπὸ δικαίου Be overcome by justice
006. Γνῶθι μαθών Know what you have learned
007. Ἀκούσας νόει Perceive what you have heard
008. Σαυτὸν ἴσθι Be/Know yourself
009. Γαμεῖν μέλλε Intend to get married ~ Key word here being ‘intend’
010. Καιρὸν γνῶθι Know your opportunity
011. Φρόνει θνητά Think as a mortal
012. Ξένος ὢν ἴσθι If you are a stranger act like one
013. Ἑστίαν τίμα Honor the hearth (or Hestia)
014. Ἄρχε σεαυτοῦ Control yourself
015. Φίλοις βοήθει Help your friends
016. Θυμοῦ κράτει Control anger
017. Φρόνησιν ἄσκει Exercise prudence
018. Πρόνοιαν τίμα Honor providence
019. Ὅρκῳ μὴ χρῶ Do not use an oath
020. Φιλίαν ἀγάπα Love friendship
021. Παιδείας ἀντέχου Cling to discipline
022. Δόξαν δίωκε Pursue honor
023. Σοφίαν ζήλου Long for wisdom
024. Καλὸν εὖ λέγε Praise the good
025. Ψέγε μηδένα Find fault with no one
026. Ἐπαίνει ἀρετήν Praise virtue
027. Πρᾶττε δίκαια Practice what is just
028. Φίλοις εὐνόει Be kind to friends
029. Ἐχθροὺς ἀμύνου Watch out for your enemies
030. Εὐγένειαν ἄσκει Exercise nobility of character
031. Κακίας ἀπέχου Shun evil
032. Κοινὸς γίνου Be impartial
033. Ἴδια φύλαττε Guard what is yours
034. Αλλοτρίων ἀπέχου Shun what belongs to others
035. Ἄκουε πάντα Listen to everyone
036. Εὔφημος ἴσθι Be (religiously) silent
037. Φίλῳ χαρίζου Do a favor for a friend
038. Μηδὲν ἄγαν Nothing to excess
039. Χρόνου φείδου Use time sparingly
040. Ὅρα τὸ μέλλον Foresee the future
041. Ὕβριν μίσει Despise insolence
042. Ἱκέτας αἰδοῦ Have respect for suppliants
043. Πᾶσιν ἁρμόζου Be accommodating in everything
044. Υἱοὺς παίδευε Educate your sons
045. Ἔχων χαρίζου Give what you have
046. Δόλον φοβοῦ Fear deceit
047. Εὐλόγει πάντας Speak well of everyone
048. Φιλόσοφος γίνου Be a seeker of wisdom
049. Ὅσια κρῖνε Choose what is divine
050. Γνοὺς πρᾶττε Act when you know
051. Φόνου ἀπέχου Shun murder
052. Εὔχου δυνατά Pray for things possible
053. Σοφοῖς χρῶ Consult the wise
054. Ἦθος δοκίμαζε Test the character
055. Λαβὼν ἀπόδος Give back what you have received
056. Ὑφορῶ μηδένα Down-look no one
057. Τέχνῃ χρῶ Use your skill
058. Ὃ μέλλεις, δός Do what you mean to do
059. Εὐεργεσίας τίμα Honor a benefaction
060. Φθόνει μηδενί Be jealous of no one
061. Φυλακῇ πρόσεχε Be on your guard
062. Ἐλπίδα αἴνει Praise hope
063. Διαβολὴν μίσει Despise a slanderer
064. Δικαίως κτῶ Gain possessions justly
065. Ἀγαθοὺς τίμα Honor good men
066. Κριτὴν γνῶθι Know the judge
067. Γάμους κράτει Master wedding-feasts
068. Τύχην νόμιζε Recognize fortune
069. Ἐγγύην φεῦγε Flee a pledge
070. Ἁπλῶς διαλέγου Speak plainly
071. Ὁμοίοις χρῶ Associate with your peers
072. Δαπανῶν ἄρχου Govern your expenses
073. Κτώμενος ἥδου Be happy with what you have
074. Αἰσχύνην σέβου Revere a sense of shame
075. Χάριν ἐκτέλει Fulfill a favor
076. Εὐτυχίαν εὔχου Pray for happiness
077. Τύχην στέργε Be fond of fortune
078. Ἀκούων ὅρα Observe what you have heard
079. Ἐργάζου κτητά Work for what you can own
080. Ἔριν μίσει Despise strife
081. Ὄνειδος ἔχθαιρε Detest disgrace
082. Γλῶτταν ἴσχε Restrain the tongue
083. Ὕβριν ἀμύνου Keep yourself from insolence
084. Κρῖνε δίκαια Make just judgements
085. Χρῶ χρήμασιν Use what you have
086. Ἀδωροδόκητος δίκαζε Judge incorruptibly
087. Αἰτιῶ παρόντα Accuse one who is present
088. Λέγε εἰδώς Tell when you know
089. Βίας μὴ ἔχου Do not depend on strength
090. Ἀλύπως βίου Live without sorrow
091. Ὁμίλει πρᾴως Live together meekly
092. Πέρας ἐπιτέλει μὴ ἀποδειλιῶν Finish the race without shrinking back
093. Φιλοφρόνει πᾶσιν Deal kindly with everyone
094. Υἱοῖς μὴ καταρῶ Do not curse your sons
095. Γυναικὸς ἄρχε Rule your wife ~ This one is a big dodgy & dated
096. Σεαυτὸν εὖ ποίει Benefit yourself
097. Εὐπροσήγορος γίνου Be courteous
098. Ἀποκρίνου ἐν καιρῷ Give a timely response
099. Πόνει μετ’ εὐκλείας Struggle with glory ~ Be humble
100. Πρᾶττε ἀμετανοήτως Act without repenting
101. Ἁμαρτάνων μετανόει Repent of sins
102. Ὀφθαλμοῦ κράτει Control the eye
103. Βουλεύου χρόνῳ Give a timely counsel
104. Πρᾶττε συντόμως Act quickly
105. Φιλίαν φύλαττε Guard friendship
106. Εὐγνώμων γίνου Be grateful
107. Ὁμόνοιαν δίωκε Pursue harmony
108. Ἄρρητον κρύπτε Keep deeply the top secret
109. Τὸ κρατοῦν φοβοῦ Fear ruling
110. Τὸ συμφέρον θηρῶ Pursue what is profitable
111. Καιρὸν προσδέχου Accept due measure
112. Ἔχθρας διάλυε Do away with enmities
113. Γῆρας προσδέχου Accept old age
114. Ἐπὶ ῥώμῃ μὴ καυχῶ Do not boast in might
115. Εὐφημίαν ἄσκει Exercise (religious) silence
116. Ἀπέχθειαν φεῦγε Flee enmity
117. Πλούτει δικαίως Acquire wealth justly
118. Δόξαν μὴ λεῖπε Do not abandon honor
119. Κακίαν μίσει Despise evil
120. Κινδύνευε φρονίμως Venture into danger prudently
121. Μανθάνων μὴ κάμνε Do not tire of learning
122. Φειδόμενος μὴ λεῖπε Do not stop to be thrifty
123. Χρησμοὺς θαύμαζε Admire oracles
124. Οὓς τρέφεις, ἀγάπα Love whom you rear
125. Ἀπόντι μὴ μάχου Do not oppose someone absent
126. Πρεσβύτερον αἰδοῦ Respect the elder
127. Νεώτερον δίδασκε Teach a youngster
128. Πλούτῳ ἀπίστει Do not trust wealth
129. Σεαυτὸν αἰδοῦ Respect yourself
130. Μὴ ἄρχε ὑβρίζειν Do not begin to be insolent
131. Προγόνους στεφάνου Crown your ancestors
132. Θνῆσκε ὑπὲρ πατρίδος Die for your country
133 Τῷ βίῳ μὴ ἄχθου Do not be discontented by life
134. Ἐπὶ νεκρῷ μὴ γέλα Do not make fun of the dead
135. Ἀτυχοῦντι συνάχθου Share the load of the unfortunate
136. Χαρίζου ἀβλαβῶς Gratify without harming
137. Μὴ ἐπὶ παντὶ λυποῦ Grieve for no one ~ Not sure if I agree with this one either
138. Ἐξ εὐγενῶν γέννα Beget from noble routes
139. Ἐπαγγέλλου μηδενί Make promises to no one
140. Φθιμένους μὴ ἀδίκει Do not wrong the dead
141. Εὖ πάσχε ὡς θνητός Be well off as a mortal
142. Τύχῃ μὴ πίστευε Do not trust fortune
143. Παῖς ὢν κόσμιος ἴσθι As a child be well-behaved
144. Ἡβῶν ἐγκρατής As a youth be self-disciplined
145. Μέσος δίκαιος As of middle-age be just
146. Πρεσβύτης εὔλογος As an old man be sensible
147. Τελευτῶν ἄλυπος On reaching the end be without sorrow

Analysis Summary: Thrive not to be a selfish, ignorant, uneducated dick.

The Story of Luke Maguire Armstrong (Alekosh), Co-Founder of The Integral Heart Education Center

Luke is a native of Bismarck, North Dakota and the author of “The Nomad’s Nomad”, “How we are Human”. and “iPoems for the Dolphins to Click Home About.” He’s an award-winning travel writer who’s spent time in 36 countries and worked on development projects in Kenya, Uganda, Cambodia, Guatemala, and in the Bronx, NY. His work to combat infant malnutrition attracted the attention of Christiane Amanpour and he was featured on the ABC News 20/20 Global Health Special.

His current focus is on financially enabling The Integral Heart Family Education Center that he co-founded with Mick Quinn & Débora Prieto in Antigua, Guatemala back in 2016. Here he teaches yoga, meditation, and philosophy to kids breaking free from the cycles of poverty they were born into.

Searching for an exit from debilitating neck pain that altered his course in 2015, Luke spent time living in Thai monasteries and studying yoga and meditation in Thailand, Cambodia, Mexico, Guatemala, and the US.

For the last five years a companion on his journeying has been an imaginary hamster named Jerry. His novel “The Release of Jerry the Hamster,” is on the final lap of finishing and he will be shopping it to publishers soon.

He currently resides in San Marcos, Guatemala on the coast of Lake Atitlán. If you go here and ask for someone by the name of Luke Maguire Armstrong, you will not find him. While in Guatemala the local Mayan people know him simply as “Alekosh.”

The Story of Débora Prieto, Co-Founder of The Integral Heart Foundation

Débora Prieto was born in Vigo, Spain in October of 1972. She is an educator of mentally handicapped children and studied philosophy for three years at the University of Madrid. Débora’s active interest in perennial philosophies continues to this day.

Over the past few years, she has studied with such teachers as Andrew Cohen, Eckhart Tolle, The Dalai Lama, and she has also completed a Phowa course of consciousness death lead by Western Buddhist Lama Ole Nydahl in the Czech Republic. Ken Wilber’s Integral Life Practice is also a part of her daily practice and development.

From an early age Débora felt a deep interest for matters and reasoning that few around her considered important, let alone essential. Naturally, she followed a life-path that was more closely aligned with her social and cultural conditioning. She got married, found a secure job with benefits, and bought a house. She also developed some serious addictions that eventually led her to an existential crisis which offered her a choice between a life of contradiction and denial or somehow breaking free from everything she knew as being familiar.

Débora decided to take the more trusting option and shortly after separating from her husband and closing many friendships that had no true basis, she happened upon a writer who had just moved to the country across the river, Portugal, from where she lived in Western Spain. Thanks to him she was introduced to meditation and the possibility of living in a completely different way.

Débora met her future and current husband, an Irishman named Mick, quite by coincidence on Saint Patrick’s Day in 2004. From the day their paths merged they have been inseparable in an adventure of learning, growing, and evolution that has driven them until this moment in which they both work, travel and teach together on the joy of life beyond conditioning and the wondrous possibility of relationships free from personal conditioned conflict. They were married in 2007 in Ireland.

As a result of her interest in the works of Ken Wilber, Debora discovered the Big Mind Process developed by Genpo Roshi, which integrates Eastern and Western wisdom in an astonishingly original and effective manner. Débora has trained intensively since 2007 in Salt Lake City, Utah with Genpo Roshi, his staff, and Diane Hamilton in the process. In 2009 she was ordained as a monk in the Zen tradition of Sōtō.

In 2011, she and her husband Mick founded the Integral Heart Foundation which creates conscious leaders through heart-centered sponsorship and educational programs which include the development of mind, body, spirit and emotions. The education center provides education for children from families who live in poverty around the city of Antigua Guatemala.

Both Débora and Mick currently manage the education center and its six staff members. The center is currently home to 85 children with 6 learning programs, a Teacher-Training Program, a library and is serving 1,500 nutritious meals and snacks every month. Since 2011, their programs have delivered classes and support to over 1,200 children and their families in Guatemala.
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Together, their Critical-Thinking/Advanced Functioning Skills and Education Sponsorship Programs have reached an additional 2,800 students and are creating sustainable community leaders. They have also provided over 2,500 food baskets to our 40 sponsored families.

The Story of Mick Quinn, Co-Founder of Integral Heart Foundation

Mick was born and raised in Catholic Ireland. While viewing the film “Angela’s Ashes” in a theater in New York City, he turned to his American friend and said, “Do you remember when you asked what it was like growing up in Ireland?  Well, it was just like this! It was a place where I was surrounded by the continual likelihood of ‘normal’ people doing the most abnormal things; actions that were considered acceptable and customary and were embraced and protected.”

In 1986, like thousands before him, he left his home country. Mick chased the “American Dream,” found it, embraced it and then turned his back on it. After spending seven years as an illegal alien in Boston, doing anything and everything to survive, he “won” his Green Card in the lottery in 1993. This was the first turning point in his life.

The second turning point came when he was taking a meditation class taught by William Arntz, who directed and bankrolled the hit movie, “What the Bleep Do We Know!?” On Will’s advice, Mick sold a service business he started in 1987 and moved to New York City. Then in 1994 a big break came when Mick joined a fledgling recruiting company as a junior partner. In two and a half years the company grew to eight national offices with annual revenues of $25 million.

Mick also became engaged for a time to a daughter of one of the wealthiest families in the US. Now, both his home and business addresses were on New York City’s prestigious Fifth Avenue.

This first company merged with a competitor from California as part of a pre-IPO strategy in 1997. Mick resigned his position shortly after the merger and with the two top sales people from that first company he started another venture, again from the 79th floor of World Trade Center, Tower 1. With intense effort this company ran to $3 million in a year and a half at which point Mick accepted a cash deal for his partnership in a hostile buyout move by his partners.

Tired of computer technology, Mick then started an executive coaching practice to help CEOs and other individuals balance their professional and private lives. His period as a coach gave him the time and flexibility to travel, and with a growing interest in meditation and Buddhism he traveled all over the US and to places like India and France on spiritual retreats.

On August 26th, 2001, while sitting in meditation everything became clear in a moment. Because of this, Mick decided to wind down his NYC-based life to see what might unfold from this realization. His quandary about how to resolve his seven-year business identity with the World Trade Centers was answered two weeks later on the morning of September 11.

Now without an income, his plans to begin a new life had been shuttled into overdrive. It took Mick about two years to wind down his busy life. A brief search for a home in Europe yielded a restored 19th Century watermill in northern Portugal, which he purchased the very day he viewed it.

This move also to led his path to cross with that of his wife, Debora, a native of neighboring Spain, and to a publishing deal in Spain and Latin America for his book Power and Grace – The Wisdom of Awakening.

Mick is currently leading workshops in three countries, notably the Integral Heart Foundation of Antigua, Guatemala. His work is quoted and featured in many publications, including The Washington Times, ADD Magazine, and Woman’s Weekly. He is a former NYC CEO, executive mentor, a sales and marketing expert and a serial entrepreneur with four successful startups in seven years totaling $35 million in revenues.

His most recent bestselling book, The Uncommon Path – Awakening Authentic Joy, offers its readers the clarity to be courageous, the tools to express our originality, and the awareness to sustain our full potential.

Puerto Rico: My Experience with The People, Nature, Art, Music, Fashion, Culture, History, Politics, Love & Letting Go

My visit to 🇵🇷Puerto Rico🇵🇷 was driven by my desire to explore a connection with an incredible woman that I fell for back in Puerto Escondido in the summer of 2016.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned while traveling, it’s this: Nothing ever works out exactly how I plan, but more often than not, things usually find a way to turn out infinitely better that way in the long run.

During my 40 day visit to La Isla Del Encanto I was delighted to have experienced so much more than I had originally bargained for.

THE PEOPLE

What I have come to realize is that one of the greatest personal benefits I receive from traveling is the deepening of my knowledge regarding the history and anthropology of each region I visit from the people who have lived their most of their lives. That said, I was delighted to find the Puerto Rican people to be among some of the friendliest I’ve come across in my travels throughout Latin America thus far. At every stop in my tour of the island I was greeted with a smile, open arms and a plethora of food… usually in the form of pork and plantains.

However, when it came to conversing with the Puerto Rican people in their native tongue it didn’t take long for me to realize that Puerto Ricans speak their own unique brand of Spanish. When attempting to speak their language, I was told that I talk like a Mexican. Well… at least I’m doing that right.😊

NATURE

Besides the people, the gorgeous landscapes and natural resources of the island have proven to be one of its most exquisite assets.

El Yunque Rainforest:

El Yunque is a sub-tropical mountainous rain forest located on the eastern end of Puerto Rico, where the trade winds first meet the island and dump the rain.

The Puerto Rico rainforest is a unique part of the U.S. National Forest System.

La Parguera

Christmas this year was spent wading through the drowned forests of La Parguera in the southwest coast of the island.

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El Rincon

El Rincon, the surfer’s part of the island, hosts beautiful coastlines and many beach-side restaurants.

el-rincon-sunset-pr

ART & MUSIC
It is now incredibly apparent to me that art comes in many forms and I recently had to rethink the way I encapsulate it. If you asked me how I would define art, my answer would be this: Devine love transformed into a tangible gift for the senses of others. When a musician performs from their heart, those lucky enough to bare witness feel it stir something deep within themselves. This was a pleasant surprise for me on more than one occasion during my time in Puerto Rico.

Ileana Mercedes Cabra Joglar aka ILE (of Calle Trece)

After hearing recordings of her angelic voice fill the halls of the Sanctuary back in the summer of 2016, I moved my arrival date to Puerto Rico up a week so that I’d be able to catch this incredibly talented and beautiful artist perform live at Teatro Tapia in Old San Juan. Although she’s only 27 years old, she has an incredibly mature talent with a fan base that spans several generations.

Lucky for you, I recorded a portion of my favorite song from her performance that night back in December 2016.

Roberto Roena (The Puerto Rican Godfather of Salsa)


When it comes to salsa music, it’s not usually my go-to genre, but I will say this: Roberto and his band know how to absolutely rock a packed club!

Claudi of Pinc Louds

One Sunday morning we went to an event, Hangover Brunch, where her friend was performing and I was surprised to find the artist, Claudi of Pinc Louds, from New York City was also performing in the hipster region of Rio Piedras, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The Street Art of Avenida de las Artes in Santurce Arts District

The arts district starts at ‘Stop 12’ in Miramar and continues for approximately 4 miles with the largest concentration of arts, culture, nightlife and entertainment in the Caribbean! We made sure to spend some time in this area to behold some of its breathtaking street art.




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FASHION
I just wanted to add this little tid-bit regarding men’s fashion in the Caribbean as I find it to be fascinating. Being considered a stylish man anywhere in the Caribbean is actually quite simple. All you need to do is wear a short sleeve button down shirt with four pockets on the front. Make sure there are FOUR pockets! I cannot stress this enough! That’s it. You are now a Carribbean fashion icon!

zoolander-so-hot-right-now-puerto-rican-fashion

CULTURE, HISTORY & POLITICS

Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastian

As divine timing would have it, the final weekend of my visit just happened to be the biggest party weekend in Puerto Rico. That’s right, I was there to experience the San Sebastián Street Festival in Old San Juan. On this long weekend in mid-January from Thursday to Sunday all the roads in Old San Juan are closed off to motor vehicles. Over 200,000 people were shuttled in by the busload and the entire city becomes one giant festival filled with music, dancing, food and of course drinking.

For those who don’t know, San Sebastián was this bad-ass from the third century AD who was crucified by the the Roman emperor Diocletian’s reign during the persecution of Christians. He is commonly depicted in art and literature tied to a post or tree and shot with arrows. Despite this being the most common artistic depiction of Sebastian, he was, according to legend, rescued and healed by Irene of Rome. Shortly afterwards he went to Diocletian to warn him about his sins, and as a result was clubbed to death. He is venerated in the Catholic and Orthodox Churches and celebrated in the streets of Old San Juan for one weekend every year.



Promise Law:
From my understanding, Promise Law in Puerto Rico can be summed up like so: Seven people from the United States come to the capital of Puerto Rico to decide what is best for it’s people. The governor basically gets their coffee and/or any snacks they require and then proceeds to tell the Puerto Rican people that all is good.

I would like to point out two things regarding Puerto Rico’s economy. First of all, Puerto Rico is in serious debt. Secondly, one of the major catalysts for this are taxes that the United States imposes on them grossly outweigh the financial benefit they receive in return as a colony. The American Revolution was started because of taxation without representation, so it’s no surprise that many of the Puerto Rican people want to either be their own country or become the 51st state.

Whilst in a bookstore, I happened upon a book entitled “Free Puerto Rico”, so my curiosity got the best of me. I flipped to the first page and this is what I found:

The Pardon of Oscar Lopez: For those who don’t know, he was one of the leaders of FALN (Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional). His Presidential pardon occurred during my visit in the twilight of Obama’s presidency. Oscar Lopez is to Puerto Rico what Guy Fawkes is to England and the rest of the world.

I feel this is an important part of history to reflect on to better understand how imperialism, colonization and policing the world have proven time and time again to be major catalysts in the rise of radical terrorist activities worldwide.

One artist in a gallery I came across in Old San Juan had an interesting take on American foreign policy in a vivid portrayal shown in the painting below.

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It’s incredible how perceptions change when you look at something from the outside rather than from within. This holds true not just for nations, but for relations as well.

LOVE❤️ & LETTING GO😢

Distance is an interesting thing. The well-known and somewhat trite saying “absence makes the heart grow fonder” has time and time again proven to be true throughout my life.

My favorite 19th century poet and writer, Kalil Gibran, paints a much better picture with his words when he speaks of togetherness in his masterpiece, The Prophet:

Let there be spaces in your togetherness.

And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:

Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

Fill each others’ cup, but drink not from one cup.

Give one another your bread, but eat not from the same loaf.

Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,

Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.

For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

And stand together yet not too near together:

For the pillars of the temple stand apart,

And the oak tree and the Cyprus grow not in each other’s shadow.

The time I spent in Puerto Rico was without a doubt one of the fastest 40 days I’ve lived so far on this earth. I now have a much deeper understanding of relativity after my visit.

It’s a beautiful thing to be lucky enough to have someone in your life that you can miss when they are not in your presence. It’s even more beautiful feeling as if they are right beside you even when you are thousands of miles apart.


My appreciation and understanding of art has grown exponentially in recent years. If I had to choose my favorite medium, it would be the ephemeral human being as it flows graciously through life.

I see art in watching someone lovingly dance through the kitchen as they prepare a delicious meal. There is art in transforming the tears of screaming toddlers into smiles and laughs through song. Art can be stepping into a house full of strangers from all corners of the world and immediately inquire if those preparing dinner would like any help. And of course, it truly is an art to breathe new life into the heart of another that lost its way not too long ago.

I’ve experienced so much from so many different relationships in this life to perceive love the way I used to. The most profound lesson I’ve integrated is understanding the difference between love and co-dependence. The easiest way I could exemplify the difference between the two is thus:

  • Co-dependence says “I need you and can’t live without you.”
  • Love says “I want you in my life but I wish you the the greatest happiness possible in yours, even if it isn’t with me.”

It wasn’t that long ago when I mistook co-dependence for love. I was however lucky enough to discover the remedy for this common misconception; that being self love. It is only when I learned to truly love myself that I was able to fully embody the love of another.

Now I have no intention of bestowing upon you all the juicy details of my love life, but there some less intimate parts that I am more than happy to share.

There was one thing she said to me last summer that still rings true in my heart today and I’m sure it always will. Six little words that completely changed the way I look at love and relationships in general.

I don’t want to own you

😳 ¿Como?😳

After hearing that, I took some time to reflect on all of my previous relationships and had a major revelation as to where they had all gone wrong. Each and every one, in its own way, felt like a mutual ownership of the other person’s free will. It was almost as if I signed up for some form of consensual slavery. Whenever the relationship ended, after the grieving portion at least, I always felt a deep sense of freedom wash over me. This major realization changed everything. I have the utmost of gratitude for the opportunity to break free from these mental chains I’ve carried with me throughout most of my life.

Though our time together was short-lived, having it come to an end hurts in a new and beautiful way. It was the first time I shared a mutual love with someone where we could appreciate each other for exactly who the other person is at their core. The major reason for this being that I only recently figured out who I really am.

It was only when I started to understand, appreciate and love myself that I was truly able to welcome the same from another. Reaching this milestone in my ever-expanding emotional maturity has forever changed me and I am eternally grateful for the experience.

So what’s next for us?

Facing the fact that we would once again be separated for another extended period of time, we both decided not to continue the same long-distance relationship path that we had for the 5 months before my visit.

Living this new reality hurt us both deeply, but we welcome the pain with all its intensity. What better way to grow and evolve than to allow all the feels to wash over us.

A dear friend and one of my life’s greatest teachers once said:

Sometimes it really sucks being a human

I couldn’t agree more. The bright side of the less desirable moments of life is that the pain we feel in the wabi sabi of life helps us grow, evolve and make the pleasurable moments that much more enjoyable.

Though we are no longer together, I have absolutely no regrets regarding the time we invested in each other. In being with her, I gained a much deeper understanding of what love truly is.

In this particular case of love and letting go, I plan on taking the alchemist’s approach to coping with the pain.

So, what will I create? I have a good idea thus far, though I’m not yet ready to share it, and am always open to new avenues of inspiration. Lucky for me, my third backpacking trip through Mexico has begun. What better way to heal a bruised heart and find the missing pieces of our soul than to travel?

And what better next stop after a break-up than Cancún?

I’ll leave you now with a few select lyrics and a link to the video of a very special song that I’ve had on repeat for some time now. No other lyrics at the moment more accurately capture my feelings and state of mind after leaving La Isla Del Encanto.

❤️🙏🏼❤️

The road will teach you how to love and let go

It can be lonely but it’s the only thing that we’ve ever known

I’ve traveled half way across the country and back

Only to find love undefined and I’m okay with that

‘Cause I’m gonna be a guardian

Be a man among men

Be a guardian

Be a man among men

Or be a woman among women

Be a guardian

Be my friend

~Nahko & Medicine for the People – Wash it Away~