Selfish is the new selfless. What? Yeah, I said it. I’ll say it again and this time, we’ll break it down for you. When I say break it down, I mean in the old school jazz/soul music sense. We’re going to go from the full cacophony of the phrase and reduce each element to its constituent part. I touched upon my theory of happiness and what are the drivers towards the emotional pot of gold at the end of the human cognitive rainbow in my last note to you. So, I am going to try not to re-hash that. I was thinking about this in bed… naked… (this detail is not important but I just wanted to make you feel uncomfortable).
We spend a fair amount of time thinking, worrying and/or questioning whether what we are doing is for a greater good and how our actions will affect the lives of others. This is an extrinsic selflessness. Then there is selfishness. I am pretty sure we all know what this is. The problem is we often associate a selfish act as something bad. I understand this. BUT. No, wait. DOUBLE-BUT . There is a whole world of good that can come from intrinsic selfishness – those that lie within the crux of YOUR happiness. If you are happier, you are able to build and grow STRONGER which, in turn will IMPROVE the lives of those close to you. There is a fine line. I LOVE to indulge myself, be it listening to music, eating ice cream, wandering the jungles or moving to the Philippines and Liquid Dumaguete. I KNOW that those around me love how positive and how much happier I am now.
I sit here as Michael Franti and Spearhead – Is Love Enough playing in the background and it slowly makes my heart sing along. Is your love enough? IS YOUR LOVE ENOUGH? My opinion which mirrors my sentiment above screams YES. Share/make/ spread/give love to those around you. Temper the dosage OBVIOUSLY. Good moods are infectious. Neutral moods are contagious. Bad moods are vicarious on a pandemic scale. In those darker times when you are almost desperate for someone to reach out to you, you can start the process by doing the same for someone else. There is a healthy side effect to SOME self-indulgence. Build yourself a mantra or set of life rules. One or two sentences. Tell people about them. Think on them.
‘Life is good. Treat others like you would have them treat you. Try anything twice. It’s all good. Find Something. Get involved. Look after yourself. Cut yourself some slack. INDULGE YOURSELF’
I’ve been back in paradise for a while now and let’s be frank with each other (because that’s the way I roll), I don’t think I’ve been myself the last month. I am fairly sure that that was mainly due to the self imposed stasis I put myself in by going back to the UK for so long but over the last few days I have felt the joy and excitement I have come to love creep back into my every day thought processes. Maybe it’s the making of games with Solymar and her constant ‘ray of sunshine’ demeanour and watching her and Kai grow up so much over the last year. I love kids. I love the fact that we were all children once and have each developed in our own ways drawing upon experiences as we go. It blows my mind a little bit to think of myself as a little one. What would you say to yourself if you had the chance? What age would you go back to do this?
I have the good fortune to take Rocky, Nez and Allan who are three of the staff and three future DiveMaster Trainees diving. They all passed their Open Water last month but somehow manage to dive better than most experienced divers I have had the ‘fortune’ to dive with. I always have a great time and it re-affirmed one of the things I harp on about often. Not only is diving very good for the soul BUT, our boat crew and staff here at Liquid Dumaguete have an uncanny ability to create a wonderful atmosphere on our day trips. I LOVE IT. Plus, there is some away time from the resort. I jokingly always say that I never really leave the resort via the front gate, I only ever like going out along the beach and into the water. It’s true.
July is notorious for its meteorological inconsistency and in what was one of the worst weather weeks I have experienced here I had a pleasure of diving with a group of lovely Norwegians who were old acquaintances from Malapascua. The diving was good when the weather permitted and the downtime spent together was wonderful SO, when we decided to dive Mainit a drift dive and my favourite coastal dive, I was pretty excited. Conditions were perfect, the seas were somehow calm and the currents, as predicted were mild. We dropped in on the mooring (standard stuff) then POW frog fish – my visual nemesis. I find it SO hard to spot them, but then, if it was easy, they would not be so special.
We descended down the sandy slope to 18metres and then headed south with the current. Sand. Sand… sand….. BLUE SPOTED RAY… Then from empty ocean to a corridor of fish, mainly larger surgeon fish and somehow it does genuinely feel like they are all around you. What’s that in the distance? Oh so there is coral. Oh WOW, that’s a scorpion fish? It’s HUGE. Amazing. So, in the space of 5 minutes we had been spoilt but I knew that the best was still to come. We are wandering along (the current was a perfect walking pace) and finally, over my left shoulder they were there. The Barracuda with a Capital T and a Capital B. I am not sure how/why but they always seem to be over my left shoulder. For those of you who have not seen barracuda in person, they are both majestic and menacing and when swimming together their impact is exaggerated infinitely. Ok, so I feel like I am boasting and then I realised that I AM boasting. Why? Because that is not it. This is where the geek in me. After the coral peters out we head shoreward towards the hot springs. *in a sarcastic voice* “oh wow. Hot water while I am inside water”. Honestly, there are these almost fluorescent yellow sands in amongst the golden sand which is hot to touch. This occurs due to hot springs reaching the surface and leaving sulphurous deposits. Finally, the safety sausage is deployed and we surface to a-whooping and a-hollering with everyone waxing lyrical about how Mainit on the humble Dauin coast is easily comparable to the all-star hall of famer – Sipidan.
I can’t put my finger on it but there is a very redemptive magic here. I am not sure where EXACTLY I mean by HERE: Liquid Dumaguete, the beach, the ocean? The Philippines, Negros, Dauin? The peace, the simplicity, the happiness? Instead of trying to pinpoint where this magic emanates from, I always try to paint a picture that helps you get inside my head. I hope this works.
All in all, things are ticking over. Head and heart are communicating if not on a basic, civil level. I do not expect them to be best of friends because they have such hugely different opinions on most things. I think about the people who read these words and wonder what you get out of it. I’d love o know. Maybe drop me a line somehow.
In the meantime, as usual, look after yourself, take care of each other,