The Power of the Unspoken Word (or Flower Bud)...
To begin, allow me to plant a seed.
"The whole art of poetry is to say what can't be said..."
- Alan Watts
As you read, my words will be the water to help the seed sprout and hopefully it'll grow into a little tree of knowledge.
Before I get into the angle I'm hitting with this post, I just want to say how fulfilling it is to be back speaking across Oz! Over the past few months I've spoken at primary schools, a heap of high schools, community mental health events, corporate gigs, and also places that I have a huge passion in helping - prisons. I am extremely thankful for the breakthroughs and connections I make with people at the prisons. Hearing their deep insight, personal stories, and the changes they're going to implement in their lives is what my speaking & writing is all about.
Because of the obvious, I had some big events cancelled this year. I had my first international gig in New Zealand canned where I was going to be keynote speaker at an LJ Hooker conference. I've just been riding the wave and understanding that we're all facing these times, so I just have to be fluid with my energy, thoughts, and schedule.
I must apologise in advance, this story may be choppy in the beginning, things may not relate. Trust me, I'll connect them. I'm a self-awareness and motivational speaker, I love connecting things that seem out of context!
Often on the surface, things may seem like they don't relate, however, with a little closer observation, a slight nudge to set aside the conditioned mind, what is revealed is something I've always enjoyed doing...
When thinking laterally (or not thinking at all), I allow myself to grab little pieces of a story; a passage from a book I've read, a random tattoo, a mentor's words, or even a chance meeting with a bug landing on my arm. I like to piece all of these seemingly unrelated events and start gluing together a lesson and teaching, because like the universe, all questions and, thus, answers are connected in some way. I'm also a Law of Attraction type Mofo, and this story has all of it - attracted moments, mind-blowing synchronicities, deep realisations, poetry, nature, and even a little bit of my dating life!
So what am I getting at?
I recently moved to a breathtaking place just outside Byron. Having moved to Coolangatta in early 2019, I relished in the calmer energy having spent the better part of my life in Sydney. Living in Cooly was great, and I thought it would be home for many years, however, I was bouncing from spot to spot, staying in long term Airbnb apartments and, as I said, it was great, at the time, but something was missing. With my speaking, I'm on the road (or in the air) a lot and staying at different accommodations. Wanting to be more grounded, the Covid issues with getting across the border after speaking in Syd, and my obvious love for Byron and surrounding areas, I chose to move to my new spot. It's only been a few months, but I can easily say that it is now home and will be for a while yet. My 2021 speaking calendar is already fast getting booked, but being conscious of my new life and the comfort that being grounded has brought me, I'm spacing my tours out which will allow me to have quality time at home.
Alright... to this HUGE lesson & synchronicities!
Living in my new spot, I've got my blissful morning routine sorted which involves a visit to one of my local coffee spots, either Footbridge café in Brunswick Heads, or one that I've just started going to ,The Patch, in Mullumbimby. I love a good coffee, though happy people, buzzing energy, and quality service are more important to me, and both of these cafes have an abundance of all these.
The first two hours of my day are my ‘magic hours’ (past blog on sacred morning). Sitting outside at The Patch as the sun starts creeping over trees in the distance, I sit still for a while and watch the diverse crowd chat as they wait for their coffees. Sipping on my long black, I start with a gratitude list. I write ten things I'm grateful for. This is usually interrupted by hellos and greetings to the Mullum (I feel local enough now to use the term "Mullum") locals, and more importantly, to their dogs. I've never taken so long to write my ten things what with so many dogs running around who happily take my attention. After my ten things, I journal, followed by an hour and a half of reading.
I thought I could blend in easily with any crowd, but after chatting with those at the café, I'm often asked what part of Sydney I'm from. I guess my ‘Sydneyness’ is yet to fully rub off (even though I'm now embracing being barefoot most of the time). I am an out-of-towner, but I couldn't feel more welcome. I love my new spot.
So let's get connecting some things together (stay with me!)
I'm committed to my spiritual growth and always looking to dive deep into me. A lot of what I've been doing lately is becoming aware of, and detaching from old thought patterns and beliefs that aren't serving me. Recently, I read in a book by Dr Barbara De Angelis, The Choice for Love, something along the lines of...
"We're always looking to improve ourselves by learning new material, reading books, going to seminars, listening to mentors, joining groups etc. and while all of this stuff is beneficial, where the real growth lies is actually in the unlearning of the shit (she didn't use that word) that isn't serving us."
This hit home for me!
So that being said, I had some unlearning and reflecting to do. Getting off social media has seen a huge increase in my presence and connectedness with myself and others. I haven't been on Facebook for over a year and Insta for about six months. My goal was to get my business, and life, to a stage that didn't rely on social media. Now, I'm happy in that space.
Another thing I took a step away from six months ago was dating, and I went inwards to understand a lot about myself. About my relationships, my values, my heart opening, my desires, lust, tantra, breathwork and have now implemented a tantraesque practise of retaining since then. I'm not going to go into all this here, so keep a lookout for another post. I even stopped my Podcast, The Stabbed Ego Project.
Since my book, Stabbed Ego, was published in 2014 my public presence had been non-stop with radio interviews, TV, podcasts, newspapers, social media, and of course, my speaking. The speaking will never stop, but to be honest, I’d had enough of all the other stuff. I respect that promo is needed and I did a heap of that, and I know that with the release of my next book, all of this will have to pick up again, but for now, no more PR. I just wanna do me. It's been cool though seeing a bunch of my little homies that I mentor start to implement less social media into their lives, so hopefully, that wave continues to build momentum.
Why am I mentioning all this?
Well, after six months off the dating scene, and after learning a lot about myself, I made the decision to start dating again. Firstly, another reason I took a step back from dating... wait, the word dating can seem a little surface level, and that's not how I play this game of life. I mean, sure, in the past I was "dating" a heap and at the time it served its purpose, but I'm not looking to just date... I'm looking for connection, passion, growth, to be tested, to give and receive love, open hearts, honour and respect. Some people laugh when I tell them what I'm looking for, supposing I'm chasing a unicorn because I then go on to say I want someone open-minded, cheeky, spiritual, emotionally intelligent, plenty of fun; someone who enjoys nature and loves to read. I know, it's a big list, and that's why I wanted to take a step back and work on myself more. I had to be the best man I could be, and offer everything I was asking. (Check out past blog on loving relationships HERE ) I mean, it's not like I'll have a checklist when I meet someone, it’s that knowing what I'd like out of a relationship is important to me. I'm sure there's someone out there that'll offer a lot of these. Who knows, I may connect with someone on a deep level that has none of the above, and that's the beauty of life! (I do crumble as soon as I see a nice smile, so that's probably all that's needed)
Okay, back to the story...
So, I was recently going on a second date with someone and after our first date, she mentioned that she loved sunflowers. That brings up another want of mine in a relationship hahaha, I like someone who is present and listens.
This is where the story starts to open up with synchronicities and a huge lesson.
I searched around Brunswick Heads for sunflowers but couldn't find any, so after a quick Google search, I found a spot in Mullum. It had a heap of positive reviews, but all I needed was some sunflowers! The spot was called Haven Botanical and when I arrived it became obvious why they had their great reviews.
Up a side alley off the main street of Mullum and behind a building there is a floral nirvana... An array of coloured flowers hugged the pathway, large plants and pots spanning the width of my vision. The store at the back seemed to merge with the plants as if the building was growing from out of the garden. There was fresh greenery and bright, beautiful flowers everywhere. A lady was busy tending to the garden, shifting and moving things as though there was another edge of perfection that the untrained eye couldn't see. These gardens were manicured, obviously tended to daily, proven by their intense charm. The smells of plants and flowers are like a soft massage for the soul, and they eased my slight prepping-for-date tension. I felt my whole body relax.
Not long after, I left the florist armed with a Sunflower plant. I chatted with the extremely helpful lady there about what I was up to and she helped me decide that a plant would be a better option (it's more thoughtful, and it’ll last longer).
Driving home, a van pulled out in front of me and on the back was a huge painted sunflower! Yep! Definitely on the right path.
The plant idea went down extremely well, and the night out went pretty well too. I had to get up early the next day to drive to Sydney for a two week speaking tour. It was a big couple of weeks with back to back sessions all across Sydney and NSW. I stayed in a nice spot at Coogee and watched the sunrise and jumped in the surf most days.
During the tour, I held my keynote for primary and high schools, I had a full day at a juvenile detention centre which was out-of-this-world in terms of connection. I held a heap of reducing stress and anxiety workshops for teachers, corporate speakers events, and mental health speeches for parents/community. I also got to visit my amazing nephew, Ruben, who has brought so much love and happiness to our family!
While I was away, so many different things kept popping up about flowers and plants! This was all very welcome and an obvious wink from the universe. I ran into a close friend in Sydney who I hadn't seen for a while, and she spoke about the new place she moved into. Going into detail about her new spot, she mentioned her housemate is obsessed with plants and showed me a video of her apartment. The apartment was filled with as many plants as the grounds at Haven Botanical (okay, not that many, but there were HEAPS!), and as my friend showed me, I had a little giggle to myself. I mentioned to her that I was going to look at getting some house plants upon my return home and that I had the perfect spot to go to.
I'm not going to bore you with all the little plant synchs while I was away because I want to get to the juicy bits and mind-altering lesson.
Returning home after the two weeks away, I opened the door to my crib and was suffocated with stuffiness (not sure that's a word) and an old smell from flowers I left in a vase. Two weeks closed up, plus old flowers weren't the best thing to return to. Opening all my doors and windows, a cool breeze extinguished some of the stuffiness (I guess it's a word now), though an old smell was still lingering around. I went back to Haven Botanical and spoke to the same lady who helped me the first time. I told her what was up at home, and she suggested a bunch of lilies that not only look great but will flood my place with a beautiful fragrance. Perfect!
Okay... Here we go with joining some things together and getting that seed sprouting.
Before I left for Syd, I was listening to an Alan Watts Chillstep (Click Photo below to listen in)... If you haven't listened to either an Alan Watts, Ram Dass, or Terrence Mckenna Chillstep, you have to jump onto it ASAP!
While listening, the softening tones of the music calm your body, ease tension, and smooth out your stickiness. The music opens your pores, ears, and mind, readying your soul. The volume then lowers a touch, your body has been marinating in the loving frequency, and it's now tender enough to receive the magic… With the ego taking a back seat, the questioning mind now silent, the words dance out of the teacher's mouth and glide through every open crevice of your being. Like a stream of water meeting a rock face, the words manoeuvre around the mind, knowing that the mind doesn't understand, but the soul does, so the stream continues. With the words reaching and touching the very depths of your essence, it's now the right moment to solidify the teaching. With a split second of silence, a gap long enough to feel the stillness, a trusting tension stops your breath, and then it comes... The raised volume of a deep beat hugs the words into your heart, taking your breath away, closing even your eyes to stop any of it leaving you, and now, that lesson is yours.
In the Alan Watts Chillstep I'm speaking about, that seed I planted earlier, is what stuck out for me this time…
"The whole art of poetry is to say what can't be said..."
- Alan Watts
He then goes on to talk about Zen, and how nothing really can be talked about, or explained, adequately through words, and how most artists at the end of their work feel that something essential is left out. Zen is not the moon, but the finger-pointing in the direction of it. So, the power of poetry, writing, art, and Zen, comes from the unspoken word. What isn't said, or portrayed, says a lot more than what has been uttered.
Listening to this, it reminded me of a comment my editor, Sarah Catania, once said to me as we were working on my first book, Stabbed Ego. "Luke, you're 'telling' us here, instead of showing. You need to trust your reader..." I needed to point to the way instead of being the answer. I was trying to tell what should be learnt, rather than opening minds and leaving the unspoken word to work itself into the perception and openness of the reader.
Back to the story…
A few days after grabbing the lilies, I sat in my lounge room to just chill and appreciate being home. In front of my lounge, on top of my coffee table sat the lilies
I noticed the bright colours of the blossomed flowers taking deeper notice of one still closed up. It was slightly tucked away behind the flared petals of those that were open. I stared at it for a while, going in and out of thought... more wonderment than thought. I wondered why it remained closed but then pushed that aside to be present. I stared for a while longer, and just appreciated the smells and peace of the afternoon.
Is the flower bud similar to the unspoken word?
This is where good old synchro’s and laws of attraction kick in, big time! No shit, the very next morning, I'm sitting at The Patch Cafe, having just finished my gratitude and patting dogs list and journaling, I opened the book I'm currently reading, Letting Go and two pages into chapter nine, on Pride, this jumped out, smacked me in my face, and took my breath away...
All of that was just beautiful, and what stuck out for me was about the metaphor of the half-unfolded flower! The very morning after I sat staring and contemplating those flowers in my lounge room. Now, as I started designing the content and understanding how I was going to glue everything together for this blog post, I was about halfway through writing it when I realised I had to extend it.
Two big things happened that I needed to add.
Over the past weekend, I was invited to a guided meditation and connected ceremony held by an Aboriginal elder. During the ceremony, we stood in the ocean, eyes closed, as the elder spoke. Out of respect for the ceremony, I won't go into too much, but one thing that stood out and washed over my body along with the tide of the ocean was on judgement and trusting in nature... again, I won't go fully into it, but hearing about trusting in nature, even though deep into a meditation, I smiled to myself.
One more thing before I get my spiritual glue-stick out and starting piecing this together... I went out with my dad for dinner the night after the meditation. My parents were up from Sydney staying at mine for the week, and my mum was busy watching Home & Away, so I took the old man out. He brings his bible with him most times, and sits to read in times of stillness, or if he feels his impatient-self about to explode for having to wait in a line for too long.
We visited one of my favourite dinner spots in Byron, Elixiba. My dad isn't vegan but there are some spots even he doesn't mind if the food is good. Elixiba is one of those. After ordering our meals, Dad sat reading his bible. He stopped, "Man, when something hits you while reading, nothing comes close to that feeling. You know some people never search or seek their spiritual side."
"Not in this lifetime anyways," I said cheekily, knowing our after-death beliefs are a little different.
"You're right though, Dad." I continued. "My reading times in the morning are just bliss. I read something over the weekend about the flower after observing the flower. Remember what I showed you?" After reading the passage in the morning about the flower, I went home and spoke to the old man about it.
"Yeah," Dad remembered. "That's just delivered from angels, mate. Really special. Sometimes when those moments pop up while reading, I have to stand up to read. It's like I get lifted. I can't explain it."
"It's beyond words isn't it." I smiled.
He looked up at me with with a bigger grin. "There's those angels again. This is the section I just read, right then...
"Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words..."
Too deep for words!
Out of the whole bible, Dad had just read and had THAT passage highlighted, and the page was still open!
So... All of the above, it's now game-time! Let me put all this together...
WOW... SHIT... Something special just happened. I just wrote and summarised the above into what I thought was poetical, mystical, love-filled, and creative in a way which taught a deep lesson and flexed my spiritual intellect. But then I noticed. I was doing something that was going against the very teaching of this writing. I was telling the lesson instead of trusting the reader. So... I deleted it, and I'm trusting you with the glue-stick...
Too deep for words x
Luke S. Kennedy is Australia's most sought after guest speaker. He uses his "Breathtaking" story to inspire deep, lasting change, and self-awareness, for a wide range of audiences, from primary schools, high schools, businesses, events, and even prisons.
For eight years of his life, Luke was an obese alcoholic and drug addicted thug (Luke PG's Story & Content for Primary Schools). Leading a violent street fighting crew, he was stabbed on two separate occasions; once in the lung, the other time in the head (again PG's Story & Content for Primary Schools).
Luke connects deeply with any demographic. It doesn't matter what the demographic is though, we have found that all suffer from the same internal battles; worrying what people think, living up to labels/expectations, social awkwardness, anxiety, dealing with past trauma, and not knowing who they really are or where to fit in. Through on the edge of your seat stories, Luke's talks have proven to help in all of these areas.
"The Best Bit of Professional Learning I've Witnessed in 15 Years." - Teacher, Wellington NSW
"Luke's the best speaker we've had!" - Optus Marketing Team
Do you have a group of kids that need a push in the right direction? Let Luke inspire your kids.