YOU Are In Control

Every living moment of every day, the universe is open and free. It gives all its energies to you to see, hear, use and feel. Every day is a clean slate. Everyone you meet is a clean slate. A person you can choose to create a lasting bond with or to speak with briefly before moving on. There’s even a lot of money out there that can be made, and there’s great and healthy ways to attain it. Relationships: they don’t have to be a maelstrom of madness, anger and unhappiness. And attaining a fit body to avoid health problems doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. From larger parts of your life such as those examples, to smaller parts such as how you decorate and furnish your house or landscape your yard, and keep your house clean…all are in your complete control.

So why all the complaining, fighting, crying, anxiety, depression and drama?

As I go through life, I’m observing and learning that it’s not really that complicated. It’s actually only as complicated as you, or other human beings make it. (Don’t even mention the government or how our social and economic system is structured…yikes.) Anyway, if you take away all the ridiculously complicated rules and structure of institutions, higher-ups and power figures, it’s not hard to see that life is simple. It’s meant to be.

Here’s a way that I view life and how it all went down…

People. Poof. Magically materialized on a spinning, spherical gas bubble that’s made up of water, dirt, rocks and plants. They look around, confused, not quite sure what to do with themselves. Eventually, development begins on shelter, clothing, and all the necessities. As these things get produced, people begin to realize that they could give their items to another…but with a price as not to create in vain. It could be trading but…Poof. Money. Once that’s established, almost immediately it becomes unfair. Fighting occurs. But not with everyone. But with those who want to be in control, they will continue to fight, because they see no other purpose to life. As those who crave control continue to build bigger and better empires, companies, etc. to look all macho and stuff, those who hang back will branch off into another location and live peacefully and humbly. They will be the ones that realize, “Hey! We’re all here in the same place…we’re not sure why or how we got here, but we’re not leaving anytime soon! Here’s what we got to work with. We can work with each other to make this experience as pleasant as possible for however long we’re here! Go team!”

But, sadly, out of the peaceful and the fighting, there will be those that are in between…those that fight with themselves internally based off of their external environment. They will become horrendously torn between the “good” side and the “bad” side. When they ask others for help, this will sometimes tangle their minds even more. They will start to carve a path of rebellion on their own. So much so, that they will want to evade everyone. This may not work out well and eventually, they will become deeply saddened and alone. Depression will hit. What’s there to believe in when you can’t believe in yourself, or others around you? Surely there’s a “higher power” out there that created everyone and everything and clearly that being is in total control of the entire universe. Why else would everything work out so perfectly? So there will come to be a book about this being and all these stories of him. Stories of justice, peace and redemption. So, there will be people that decide to claim these stories as the absolute truth because there’s no other way or hope in their mind. They will devote their entire life to praising and worshipping these stories and that great being. They will come out of their slump and thank this being, over and over again, and will continue to rely on him when things don’t turn out right. This outside, invisible being will be the source of their life, happiness, and will even become the scapegoat for everything that goes wrong.

So, with all of these systems, and sub-systems, and outside sources it’s extraordinarily easy to get caught in the web of irresponsibility. People will realize that they don’t have to do much of anything in their life. Meaning, they don’t have to work for their money, help others, be honest, take care of themselves, etc. They will lose all control. But the complaints and anger and unhappiness will persist. Why? Because there will even be a loss of control in those emotions, too! It’s a downward spiral!

One of the simplest ways to cut through the web is to simply be responsible. For everything! I mean, everything. From how you maintain your finances to how you maintain your toenails…it’s all important! And, if something doesn’t go right, then you can take your own responsibility and own up to what happened. So, if you don’t clean your house, and clutter monopolizes every crevice, and then you’re ashamed to invite friends or family over, don’t blame the clutter for just “happening” or, “getting out of hand”. Take full responsibility for the clutter! Be honest. Call your friend and simply explain why Saturday night won’t work out. It’s perfectly okay to say, “Hey man, I’ll admit I haven’t cleaned in weeks! My house looks like Godzilla tap danced through it for three hours straight! Can we make new plans?” Most likely your friend will completely understand, (because really, who hasn’t had their house pulverized by a tap-dancing Godzilla?) and they will thank you for being honest and then proceed to reschedule. Boom. Done. No lies to be made to then later be cleaned up. No feeling guilty. Nothing! All that will remain is total freedom! When your mind is freed, you’ll be motivated to take action, drag out that Godzilla, rather, drag out the three weeks’ worth of trash and have friends over! Once you get in the habit of taking responsibility for everything in your life, it will get easier as you go.

Okay, so my example was a little crazy. But in all seriousness, no matter what the case is, it’s better to be straight about it. Even with anxiety and depression…I’ve come to believe that it doesn’t make sense to rely on some outside source. Yes, everyone needs faith, something to believe in to get them through, but that doesn’t have to be a God or what have you. You can have faith in yourself! In life itself, that it will just work out! No sweat. I have found freedom in not being tied to either religion or my own setbacks.

YOU are in complete control. TAKE it!! That’s where you can power and strength- realizing that everything you want can be yours. Anything. A million dollars? Do it. Save it. Control how much you spend. Yes, bills and emergencies exist. That’s not to be doubted. But, you can still save a little out of every paycheck, and you can spend less on material things that aren’t totally necessary. It might take a long time and some perseverance, but it’s doable. You want to have six pack abs and unbreakable biceps? Set up a workout schedule and follow through with your routine. That’s it! And, if something unforeseen happens, like a car accident, don’t panic! No matter how bad it is. If you’re still alive and able to take care of yourself and the situation, then do it! Find what it takes to get yourself back on track. The sooner you’re back on track, the sooner you can continue to live a life like you’ve never lived before!

When control is taken, life smooths out, becomes seamless. The universe smiles and good things will come a lot easier than if you have a bitter outlook. You’ll be shocked at how easy things just work out after you take control and work for it. Not to mention, you’ll have freedom to focus on things that make you happy. Maybe it’s a hobby, a series of books you want to read, an instrument you want to play. No matter what it is, when you’re free of pointless drama and all, you’ll be able to thrive on all that is for good and happiness. Control is within your grasp.

“You have the world, it’s all for you…I can’t make you want the truth, it’s up to you!” –Nightwish Yours is an Empty Hope

The Guidance of Nature

A fifteen minute hike over a windy, hilly moss-covered path- weighed down pack straining my shoulder blades, tautly rolled sleeping bag slug around my front, and an insulated blue bag of cheese, wine and silver chalices- this was my initiation to camping. Now, I don’t know about you, but I had the notion in my head that most children, or even teens would embark on this journey either with their parents or with their friends, typically year after year and would find it an exhilarating adventure. (Minus the wine of course). Whether my mental construction is true or not, I can say that I had never before had the pleasure of heading deep into the woods to do this…camping thing. Once, when I was little, my dad and I pitched our nifty largish tent with a little front porch on it in the backyard, just so I could at least experience what it’d feel like sleeping outside all night. Back then, I remember liking it, being mildly freaked out, and then becoming absolutely annoyed at the early sunrise, so when my dad got up at five in the morning to go to work, I headed out of the tent and back into the safety of my warm bed. Since then, until the other night I’ve never been in a tent.

Since being with Dave, he’s often talked about camping, showed me pictures and explained thoroughly that he loved it. Of course he offered to take me early on in our relationship, yet, to be unashamedly honest, I was terrified. Black night, a decent distance from the house, deep woods immediately behind the tent, potential threat for a 300 lb. bear to come stomping by…otherwise creepy rustling leaves in this blackness. Nope. Wasn’t having it. To make a long story short, in order to go camping, I had to overcome all of these fears. I guess the biggest one was feeling vulnerable. Spending the night in a seemingly flimsy tent completely isolated from civilization didn’t feel too reassuring to me.

Well, needless to say my fears were erased as time went on. We have hiked many times since my first encounter with the camping thought, and I’ve seen the exact location many times as well. Finally, I realized I could just trust Dave and that it would be fun. He assured me there were no bears on his camping experiences, no threats, nothing bad, nothing to worry about at all. I took his word. We planned the trip.

The campsite we stayed at was right on his mountain, so it’s completely private. To get to the woods, we take a short drive about half a mile down the road if that, and then get out and hike up the mountain for about fifteen minutes. In that short of a time, we arrive near the top of the mountain, the view- astounding. The entire valley below, far in the distance. Beyond the wide-spread valley, more hazy mountain ranges that appeared to be delicately layered on top of one another. You can see eye to eye with these far off mountains at least 60 miles. Thankfully, we’re not staying right in the heart of the woods, we’re in a nice open area, the ground made of huge, flat slabs of stone that probably were born out of the glaciers that once inhabited the space. There’s a small fire pit that Dave built out of loose, large rocks on one side of the flat rock surface. And at the back of this space, opposite of where we emerged out of the woods, there’s a flat, grassy patch where we placed the tent.

Pitching the tent wasn’t as tedious as I had imaged. I couldn’t be happier we tested out the whole tent-putting-up method before we set out as I had no idea how to put a tent up. Before doing so, I had crazy, cartoon images in my mind, you know, where a group or couple gets to their desired camping spot that stumble, trip and fall over each other attempting to erect a temporary shelter made out of fabric and metal. And of course that classic image came to mind of the tent being finished then as someone walks away looking all smug and satisfied with hands on their hips, comes crashing down with a puff of dust arising from beneath it. These were all of course folly. I learned quickly that tent setup was like nothing. For this, I was grateful.

The next step was gathering some wood and kindling for a fire. That wasn’t too painstaking either as there was an abundance of dried out sticks, twigs and logs to choose from. What I was dying for was the euphoria of placing a warm, crusty and browned-on-the-outside and gooey-on-the-inside marshmallow on top of a decadent Hershey bar piece in between two sweet, crunchy graham crackers. UGH. I could NOT for the life of me remember the last time I had this God-given delicacy that someone dubbed as a “s’more”. Soon after the fire was crackling and dancing towards the darkening, golden sky, Dave and I found perfect marshmallow sticks and engaged in the art of roasting.

Too soon, the spectacular sunset that set the sky ablaze with profound depth and beauty of gold, red orange, mixed with wispy white clouds melted into the horizon. The transition of day to night was breathtaking. Stars began to reveal themselves against the dark blue blanket and the moon slowly arose to the south illuminating the landscape with a surreal glow. Dave and I stargazed through binoculars and he pointed out constellations and single stars that were remarkable. After, we turned in to our tent for some late night, outdoor Yahtzee playing accompanied by Asti sparkling wine, Adams Reserve Cheese, and Chex Mix.

When it was time to sleep, I had the most difficult time finding a comfy spot amongst the lumpy grass clods beneath. I managed to wiggle myself into a decent space with my butt resting in a dip and my head against my pack. It was a rough sleep, but it worked out. In the morning, I couldn’t wait to get up, actually, I was hoping I was going to be able to move since my back felt like it was completely locked up a few times. Around 7 o’clock an extraordinarily loud bird began repetitively chirping a distinctive chirp. Over and over again it called out to the mountains and valley below. I had forgotten my earplugs and most certainly was not ready to get up yet. I carefully rolled over to Dave who was half asleep. He asked it I wanted to see the sun, which replaced the moon behind us, and cast a magical glow all around, but I was still in my half slumber, and declined.

When I finally did arise out of the tent that following morning I felt refreshed. Not because of a good night’s sleep, but because of being in the purity of nature. Dave and I took a short walk to a small adjacent meadow to look around, then headed back to pack up and make the hike downhill. I was a little sad leaving, as my first camping experience was truly wonderful and beautiful. I am thankful for my Love who owns the property and who was excited to take me. I am grateful for nature and what it told me while spending the night. It told me to relax, to feel safe and not to worry. The sky and full moon comforted me and the trees stood guard and held us tight. Even the birds we heard taught us something. When we were building the fire, Dave decided he wanted to call for a whippoorwill since they were around still, (he has an amazing ability to mimic these tiny creatures) and alas, when he did there were two of them that called back almost immediately. Their energies were blended with ours. What a magical, fun experience! I cannot wait to go camping again to feel the seclusion, closeness to nature and overall magic. 🙂