I have been trying to do yoga regularly since about March 2008. I began to do this as I stopped smoking cigarettes in about November 2007, after smoking since the age of about 11. My dad half heartedly discouraged me but gave me cigarettes from about 14. He also let me drink alcohol from about the same age. My mother objected but he was in charge so there you go: a different time a different code. I don’t blame them. I have always had anxiety issues and serious social issues as I have a harelip. Harelip was a term used by the medical profession and my parents. It is now conidered to be a pejorative term and people say “cleft” instead. People were seriously offended by my existence and I had to have many fights with many men and boys, who I now know were scared ( the last three years ago with three people led to me suffering a fractured skull I fought back mind you) of course I was always blamed and it never had anything to do with my appearance. The policy towards my kind in the UK is now a eugenics based approach: women are scanned and bullied into aborting foetuses who are “suffering” form a harelip, sorry cleft-palate/lip. The fact this happens is an extension of the discrimination we all still suffer but nonetheless it does not exist as it is always in our minds. If I mention it to people in authority they always become uncomfortable and say “you can’t tell it just looks like you have a broken nose, are you sure it is not just you?” In many ways it is worse than being in another minority group as we have no protection whatsoever. I avoid people, always assume I will be blamed and keep fit just in case I get attacked. I am 59 soon. Of course because of the eugenics policy there is no health support, no dentistry and no legal protection. It is all because of fear. In the UK we are/were called harelipped as a hare is associated with the devil. Women who had harelipped children were considered witches and burnt. The child was killed or abandoned in the forest. Some grew into wildmen and are probably the etomological root of the idea of ogres or other deformed near humans. Cleft palate “sufferers” in Spain are considered supernatural. I like Spain as the atitude of the humans there is noticeably (to me anyway) different from that in the UK. This is probably rooted in epigenetic psychological differences that arise from the different social approach to those born with clefts that go back centuries.

    I have often thought of challenging the approach of the UK, which is of course a predominantly white male dominated society, on a human rights basis relating to a lack of health care provision which is driectly attributable to the policy of trying to wipe us out using abortion. I would imagine I would suffer significant abuse, opposition and trageting by the authorities so I have not dipped my toe in this murky pond. A brave lady who did so anumber of years ago failed. A couple of babies who were accepted by the doctors as being 28 weeks old (of course they may have been older than this) were aborted (on different occasions by two different doctors I think) as they had cleft lips. The way they do this is to deliver them like they would a “whole” baby. They are therefore born alive. They cry, want their mum and are viable. But, in the UK, according to the Civil Appeals Court, because they were attached to the mothers via their umbilical cord they were foetuses still and suffering from serious physical abnormalities, such that their lives would not be worth living. I would say that the reason for this conclusion was driven by the knowledge of the white male judges who decided the case. They knew they would be discriminated against by men and women just like them. So the decision was that because there was an attachment to the mother and even though they could have been fed, nurtured and reared that it was not murder for the doctors to give them a lethal injection and kill them. I have to say I consider this to be euthanasia. I would welcome you feedbakc on that point. Even typing this I am getting angry and need to rush to the mediation cushion. . .

    Okay, I am back now. This is the background against which I live and which is dismissed as fiction and all being in my head by the state and majority of people in the UK. So you can see why I may have opted out somewhat. But I do like people, I love my five kids. I have been loved and accepted by the women I have loved back. I do not seek to harm people but I do defend myself from attack if necessary. I am a lawyer – albeit hounded out of the profession – so can defend myself in that arena. I have had to so a few times and probably will have to again. I am a writer, a poet, a teacher and a programmer. But most of all I am quite a reasonable human, father and a husband. I would call myself a secular Buddhist, a Christian and interested in politics my views on which are informed by my life experiences and beliefs. I have friends and there are some who think little of me and there are some who actively try to hurt me physically, psychologically and emotionally. But I guess that applies to us all. I have been divorced but married again. I am still with my second wife and have been for about 23 years now. I have made many mistakes, corrected some but cannot correct others. My philosophy: “Don’t give up, keep trying, keep learning, keep practicing and practicing and try to be as good as you can be at everything without hurting others”. This is, of course, a target I would not suggest I have achieved it yet.

    But I digress. Going back to cigarettes and alcohol. My dad used to send me to a shop to but Capstan Full Strength cigarettes. This was how he encouraged me to smoke. I think he found it amusing to do so. Later in life, I was allowed to consume alcohol by my dad as a teenager. He let me smoke in fact I would go further and say he encouraged it actively. Prior to this when I was much younger there were many other incidents which now when I reflect upon them were emotionally harming. In my teens he punched and kicked me, at least once that I remember. But he was often extremely threatening in his behaviour. Later in life I developed a problem with alcohol, cigarettes and then weed. This led on to other substances. I wouldn’t say don’t do it just do plenty of research and know why you’re doing it and manage it. You may lose control. It may control you and this will, probably, impact the lives of those you love and who love and accept you. This will cause you damage. They will help, or at least try to, if you let them – and if you are lucky and they keep trying if you don’t – you will be saved. You need to think deeply about why you do something and how it makes you fee. You need to meditate to truly purify your mind from these memories and experiences, the worse they are the deeper they are buried.

    My Yoga practice developed into ashtanga yoga and some tai chi. I still practice both. I began meditating and doing some meditation in 2010 or so but this dropped off after a while. Meditation is easy to do but quite hard to maintain. I read a lot about yoga around this time and got quite healthy as I moved onto a 90% vegan diet (some dairy and eggs crept in but no flesh). To cut a long story short I went through some traumas had a relapse or two but came through it. I developed heart disease three or four years ago had help from the amazing NHS, changed up my habits, my exercise and diet and am now a lot better.

    I started out at maybe 15 stone. I am now 12 stone. I need to be 11 stone for my build. Not easy at all.

    I began meditating again in January 2019, using i. rest (integrative restoration) which is really yoga Nidra. This is why this blog was started and I will write about this and other topics as I develop it. I am doing this for my three boys so they know who I am and what I am and why. I hope it will help them and others who read it. If my son and daughter who are now a man and woman read it, that would be good.

    I have since moved on to The Mind Illuminated system of meditation which is very good. Especially for purification. I dare say the increase in cognitive function and the ability to concentrate intently for hours may have effects that can be used to ill effect on the innocent. But that is rare.

    Thanks for reading this far and namaste.