What I’m Not

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Currently, I’m reading a mysteriously compelling book called, “By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept” by Paulo Coelho. I’m very close to the end, but I felt that I couldn’t continue reading past a certain point without some contemplation and writing. This is the point I got to, and here are my musings of the passage.

(The main character is a young girl, Pilar, and in this section she’s walking and speaking with a priest whom she calls padre. They are talking about the beauty of God and how you can see God in everything, particularly in the enormity of the mountains.)

Padre: “Yes. But why not be like the mountains?” (Referring to their magnificent beauty)

Pilar: “Maybe because the fate of the mountains is terrible…They are destined to look out at the same scene forever.”

Pilar: “I was studying to become a mountain. I had put everything in its proper place. I was going to take a job with the state, marry, and teach the religion of my parents to my children, even though I no longer accepted it. But now I have decided to leave that all behind me in order to be with the man I love. And it’s a good thing I decided not to be a mountain–I wouldn’t have lasted very long.”


That was me. I was learning to become a mountain…to remain in one place, with the same people and to stare out at the same scene forever. I was a mountain to a degree. Growing up, it was seldom that I experienced anything new and exciting. Actually, it was seldom that I left my house, met someone new, or even got to travel. For a while I was strangely content with it all; I had slowly and painfully accepted my fate that that’s where I was to be and that’s the lifestyle I was meant to live. My house, my parents, and a few close family members and friends were all I had. In college, I branched out substantially more and absolutely loved it…but…I knew I always was going to return to the same place: back home. Going home for a break or a holiday was something that all my friends in Clarion couldn’t wait for. I remember living in the dorm, and when a break was coming up, everyone would be scurrying about packing and chattering endlessly about how elated they were to be going home to see their parents, their siblings and their pets. For me, it was the opposite. I would be leaving freedom behind for a week of (or in the case of summer, 3 months of) restriction. I worked, went places with my parents…as such, my mother was very controlling for the duration of my stay. Once home, I had to abide by her rules. As the years passed this became harder and harder, as in college I was breaking out and becoming freer and freer. I had the room to discover myself. Yes, there were tons of mistakes, but looking back, I’m thankful for all the mistakes. There were a lot of blessings as well. Everyone goes through these types of changes, but not everyone goes through the same family dynamic.

Over a year ago, I decided to never be a mountain. It wasn’t a question anymore. I had fallen in love with Dave, and nothing my parents said or did was going to stop me. That had nothing to do with wanting to rebel, rather, it had everything to do with my happiness, strength and my overall mental health. If I had stayed home, I wouldn’t have lasted very long. I most certainly wouldn’t have had all of the amazing, astounding experiences I’ve already had with Dave, I wouldn’t have met half the incredible, influential, inspirational people that I now know, and I definitely would have had a much harder time discovering my inner self. In fact, it’d be tricky to just be myself. I’m free now. I’m finding different avenues for work, I’m continuing to learn with Dave and grow both spiritually and mentally. My life is just about where I want it. Granted, there are some things not in place yet that I would like, but I’m maintaining the patience that’s needed in order to gain what I need. Overall, I’m happier, less stressed, calmer, and brighter.

Sometimes in life you have to take what you want in order to achieve full happiness. No one can give it to you. So many people go their entire life without knowing happiness. They cling to their desperation, anger, sadness, helplessness as those are the things they know most. They feel safe and secure and sadly, have no desire to transform because that’s all they know. It’s heartbreaking to watch that process. Worst of all, those that are trapped in that vicious circle of clinging have no clue of the joy that’s beyond their self-built walls–the walls are too high–they blocked out the sun, the warmth, the vast lands to be explored.

Some of my family is still crouched behind their walls. I have torn down the walls that I was in. What does that take? It takes courage, self-reliance, positivity, strength, belief, responsibility. Yes, there’s that word again. Seems a bit odd to say, but you have to be responsible for your own bliss. Too many others are negligent, and let that fragment of themselvs slip off into darkness. Therefore, they are not responsible.

Getting to where you want to be, to not be a mountain, but a river that flows and transforms whats in its path, means not taking into account the negatives that others may say. You have to rise above, let those words of hate, doubt, prejudice, etc. roll off of you, straight through you like an apparition. You can be a river…flow in the direction of your dreams and away from harm. If an obstacle appears on your journey, you can wash over it and transform it, potentially making it whole or you can find an alternate route and drift around it safely. There’s always a way.

Don’t give up. Ever. It is guaranteed that opposition will meet you when you least expect it. But, it’s not impossible to work with what you have and create a possibility to overcome it. Once you do, or as you do, take note of what the opposition was, how you felt. What did you really feel? Did you accept or reject these feelings and why? Did you learn anything new about yourself, your surroundings, or the people you were dealing with?

Lastly, love yourself. Love every part of who you are. Love the best features of your inner and outer self, along with those that you might not think are the best. Once you come to terms with your skin and soul you’ll realize there’s a whole world out there that’s just waiting for you–and they aren’t going to be mountains either.

Spread the love, spread the joy and be the river that your soul is destined to be.

Here’s a link to the Coelho’s book:

http://www.amazon.com/River-Piedra-Sat-Down-Wept/dp/0061122092/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1445648827&sr=1-1&keywords=paulo+coelho+by+the+river+piedra+I+sat+down+and+wept

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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

Feeling Far Away

I went out yesterday on a hike with Dave and I brought my meditation journal with me, thinking that I would have just found a calm place to sit by the river, meditate then write like I usually do. Rather, I became observant to my surroundings and then to my own feelings that I’ve been tossing around in my head lately. I was moved by my writing experience and thought I should share it. Here’s what I wrote/felt:

I’m in love with nature. Dave and I came to the “tubs” area today to meditate and hike. There’s many different to explore that wind along the river and limb up rocky, steep hills. The trails are made of soft fallen pine needles and leaves, long browned from seasons passed. Large tree roots create stairways and make for a tricky ascent or descent when travelling. Along most paths- mountain laurels adorn the hillsides. Small white flowers with a pinkish hue create a brightened landscape amongst all the greenery. The area is called “the tubs” because there are seven natural carved out areas of rock that resemble large tubs. These cut outs were created from the continuous water flow cascading down from the mountainside. Probably taking hundreds of years to erode, the rounded out caverns with smooth edges and deep pools are now a permanent part of the Earth. Just another awe-striking form in these endless forms most beautiful.

Currently, Dave and I are at the peak of a steep hill. We climbed the rocky path to find a quiet place. From here we can see another lush mountain in the distance. Closer, there are oak trees which are being vivaciously devoured by ruthless gypsy moth caterpillars. There’s a terrible invasion this year- when you look at most of the mountains, there are massive brown spots that spread out for miles. Soon, the creepy critters will turn to moths, but that won’t make next year any better. With literally thousands of them spawning, there’s sure to be another outbreak. Sitting here now, it sounds like rain water hitting the leaves. As fast as the hungry creatures eat, they are making it come out the other end.

Aside from crawling critters, there’s blueberry bushes in front of me, and a bed of green/brown moss below. There’s occasional passerby’s and some distant traffic sounds, but other than that, it’s quiet. I feel it’s an escape- even from our normal life, which isn’t too busy, but we always seem to be going somewhere- doing something- always watching the clock. Today we’re doing that a bit as we have a small agenda. I’d rather sit and explore nature all day. It’s comforting. I think of my aunt Linda, and wonder if she’s feeling any peace yet from the loss of uncle Klaus. I wonder if she’s ever felt this peace. If there was ever a memory that she could fall back on in her time of grieving. It’s still strange to think that uncle Klaus is truly gone. Harder still is the ever-present change that has gripped me and the family. But, from my perspective, life drastically changed the day I moved out- almost one year ago.

From that day I knew that family relationships wouldn’t be the same, there would be no more happy get-togethers, no more travelling, or vacations. Not that I ever went on any grand vacation with my family, but still, the hopes of one are gone. Holidays have been tough, as they weren’t and won’t be the same again. Now, with a death and more looming illness with my aunt, I fear more change is yet to come. Perhaps it will all make me stronger- I feel I’ve already gained some strength. Perhaps the changes are positive- making way for new events, people and traditions. Maybe I have a fear they won’t last either, so I’m still hanging on to the memories of the past, when my family was closer, and times were more care-free.

Dave is good for me and he always will be. I am dedicated to him as he is for me. He’s helping me with the current family issues. There’s more to work on, but hopefully we’ll get through and it will be peaceful.

I am mindful. These are the moments I will cherish. I am free. I am happy.

Heaven is all around.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Along with my journal, I brought my guidance cards with me. They are cards that were created by a woman that I met at a recent holistic show. Her name is Denise Crawn, and her main occupation is travelling to Scotland for pilgrimages on an island called Iona. She recently created a book called “Walking Awake”, which is filled with beautiful pictures she took of faces that appeared in trees, flowers, etc. Each picture is accompanied by an inspirational quote that is very fitting. Alongside her book, she created cards with similar pictures, each one with a word on them like fear, happiness, sadness, etc….in a way, like tarot cards, but different in that they’re more for simple guidance rather than predicting/reading. So, I decided to pick three of them holding the intention in my mind of all the changes that have been going on in my life. I choose playful, surrender and grace. Super interesting because I thought they fit my current situation perfectly. I reflected that playful is what I feel I am, surrender is what I need to do, and grace is what I need in order to surrender, which would then bring me back to complete playfulness. Surrendering isn’t a negative in this aspect. Rather a positive where there’s thoughts and memories inside of me that I feel that I need to let fall free- memories of how things were with my family, of traditions, of holidays. Everything. Part of me asks why I should surrender? I’m young. My family is still alive. All of these things are totally possible and still should occur. Unfortunately, no matter how much I transform and push to have my parents shift, there’s just no getting through. Yet, I’m still hanging on to everything I had with them. It all still feels so close. So alive. For all my life my family was the closest to me. More than friends. More than anyone. Then suddenly they were gone when I chose to leave. Anyone would guess it’d be easy or just a matter of time before they let go of their anger and we would be back together. Of course they would, because most people would certainly do that. They wouldn’t hang on to the hatred, the pain of the past.

Now, I’m guessing that surrendering the memories and letting go will be the healthiest for me. There’s nothing easy about that. It’s not something I ever thought that I would have to choose. But, I fear that if I don’t I’ll become a slave to something that will never be. That would be my downfall. Instead of surrendering thoughts, I would want to surrender my life. There’s no point in living when you feel that life is playing you and there’s no way out.

I know I have to hang on. There’s a stand that I have to make. For myself, for Dave and for them. Fear is what I have because if I do make a stand, I may feel ecstatic about myself because it’s something I’ve never done before, but if I put all of this effort into making a stand in order for something to change, and nothing does, I will feel that it was a complete waste of time.

There’s no way to win. Either way, I’ll be torn. I’ll never have Dave and my parents because they are unwilling to change. If I would have my parents, I would have to have Dave separate, and that’s not fair. None of this is fair. They talk about their heart being shattered, well mine has been torn by them, but they can’t admit to it and take responsibility for the hurt they’ve caused me. I have a sneaking suspicion that my mom feels that somewhere she went wrong with me and that’s why she is the way she has been for so long. But, there’s nothing that she really did wrong, per say. There’s just some things that never worked for me and affected me negatively. Things that I didn’t realize until now. Now that I’m older, I have looked back on a lot of things and saw times where my parents weren’t there for me. They fought. They drank. Controlled me in a way. There’s a bunch. Yes, they raised me well and all of that, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t hurt. I don’t think that any parent and child relationship goes without both being damaged in some way by the other. Of course this isn’t done on purpose, but it definitely happens- just part of the cycle. Dave talked about how there were times that he knew he hurt one of his daughters when they were younger, and he felt terrible and apologized early on. He knew there was no way to go on with the relationship with that blockage in the way. I think that’s absolutely beautiful and takes a lot on the parent’s part. Not a parent myself, I don’t know from experience, but I can definitely imagine.

I know I can’t demand or expect an apology from my parents.I guess all I can do is do what I need to do; make that stand and hope for the best. Life is meant to be lived, not survived. I’m currently attending a Landmark seminar where the intention is to live passionately and play the game of life with purpose, grace and ease. I’ll save more details for another post, but for now I’ll just say that it’s helping in a way, but not, because there are just things like Landmark that can’t solve the kind of situation I’m in. I already told my parents about it, since there is a huge emphasis on sharing…so I shared and all my mom replied was, “you can go to all the seminars you want, but they’ll never help us.”

There’s so much I don’t understand, so much torment. So much I don’t know what to say or do.

There’s so much I’m learning as I struggle.

Yet Another Dream

The dreams of my mother have been frequent again. I remember when I first moved out that they were and that made sense, because I was nervous and sad…I genuinely missed her and wanted to be back home in a way. The dreams faded as I became more comfortable living with Dave. Dave and I’s life together was the main focus at the time, along with school, and then, I didn’t have any dreams about him or about our situations. So, after a lull of a few months, my mother has been on my mind again. We rarely talk. As a matter of fact, the last time that we actually spoke in a normal, kinda fun way was my graduation weekend, which was almost three months ago. Since then, it’s been hard. We’ve discussed business things…and even there, she’s cold and doesn’t reach beyond whatever the business is that we’re discussing. (Lately it’s been my insurance with them…concerning the dentist and all). The other time that she recently wrote to me, was just to flip out and again, tell me that I’m wrong and that I’m not going to learn…(regarding posting something on facebook that was directed toward my aunt…it wasn’t malicious, but it definitely was a post that I wanted to use to get her attention at the time, because, she’s another one that I can’t seem to get through to). And yes, I’ll admit that publicly putting that kind of thing out there isn’t the smartest choice…it does typically reflect poorly on someone only for the fact that everyone else can see it and will ridicule, and judge, etc. But it was something that I felt justified to do, and I did, and it’s over.

Anyway…the point is, is that my mother will only speak to me if she feels she needs to rant at me for something I did “wrong” or if there’s some kind of business to take care of. In a way, I can understand her concerns…sometimes…but the way she comes across with those things is harsh, not helpful and just plain aggravating. I end up feeling angry instead of helped. Somewhere inside of her, I know she could have the capability of talking to me like a civil human being and nicely expressing her concerns, even if they are over something stupid I’ve done. That’s typically what I’d expect a good parent to do, no matter the age of their child. It’s happened before, believe it or not…and in those moments, I feel a true connection with her, and that makes me happy, thinking that everything is in balance.

I surely do digress.

The dream: I’m standing in the middle of my living room, my parents on one side, and my aunt and uncle on the other. We all seem to be talking normally, when suddenly, I begin to yell at my mom. I unleash the things inside me that I’ve never dared to say before. I say things along the lines of, “The way you brought me up, you were always harsh, and mean, and I know that you did do a good job, but it was still hard. …You’re always so cold and rash about everything…I know that there is something deep down inside of you that you are upset/angry over and  you regret it and that’s why you can’t do anything differently.” After I finished my rant, my mom fell silent, shrunk and pulled her head down. There was an awkward pause before my aunt and uncle changed the subject quickly saying that they had to get going, they hugged me and told me that I needed to come down soon to see the new molding in the bathroom.

I woke up feeling surprisingly and strangely satisfied. I felt that I had exposed something within my mom that she knew as well as I did was true. The way she lowered her head was like how a child does when he or she gets caught red-handed slathering finger paints all over the kitchen walls. Pure shame and maybe guilt…either way, that realization that they’ve done something to upset whoever and they know it. They don’t try to deny it.

In real life…I can bet my whole future of savings that if I were to confront/expose my mother like that, she would rapidly, as always, claim me to be the “effed up one” and say, “Are you out of your goddamned mind?” “You need a psychiatrist.” Not that I would flip out on her, in reality, I would love to just ask her, kindly, nicely, to get to the root of the issue- if there was anything in her past either from childhood or her first marriage that made her feel like she had to be so adamantly in control of her life and others. And what went wrong to cause the bitterness?

That’s the obstacle that I’ve been facing for many years now. I want it to end. I want to talk, but first, she needs to be able to talk with me…things are still to stirred up from me being with Dave…I don’t think it’s a good time. I’m concerned though that that time isn’t going to come.

I guess in the meantime, I will keep on living my life the way I want to…I can’t let her and my dreams of her get in my way and let me down. When the time is right, things will change. Everything in its own time…in its right time and place. Until then, the paradox of my mother will continue to live on.

To Be a Warrior

Another dream plagued me last night. Lately, I’ve been having disturbing dreams that involve my mom. For so many years now I’ve been living, loving and suffering with her. She has been the fulcrum of the balance of my life’s struggles and happiness. Since moving out, it hasn’t gotten any easier. She’s both angry and upset. I know this. And I care. What she thinks, is that I don’t care and never have…that I just threw everything that she’s given me (mentally, intellectually) away…that I just moved on. That’s definitely not the case. What I know is that I do care, and I have cared. She’s been too blinded by her own inner conflict to see. All the blame is on me all the time. I’m the one that is at fault. Therefore, I’m the one that’s not going to make it and I’m going to regret my decisions because there is only “one right way” according to her. So much blame…so much anger…and sadness. She wants me to be near, but can’t be near enough to herself to pull me close. Instead, she holds on to the darkness inside and in result, pushes the light, (myself and others), away. I wish to be near her, too. I want it to be easy. I’d rather my mother not think of me coming and going and the hard sadness that ensues, but see me for who I am and love and embrace me, no matter what…have me come visit, and have everything be okay. It also would be nice if she could open herself up to letting me or anyone help her. Fat chance.

In my dream, I was home, and the house was dim (as in real life at times…just natural lighting) and it was just my mom and I that were home. I was at the fridge looking for something to eat…I lingered there for quite a while, and then chose to go upstairs to see my mom. When I pushed her door open, she was in the half-light of the TV, in bed, and all around were picture frames covered in bed sheets. I became terrified in that instant and asked, “Are…those…pictures of…me?” She slowly turned her head and shifted her body from under the blankets and replied, “yes”.

Thankfully, it was easy to shake this one upon awakening. Yet, it’s still saddening…it hurts to think that she may be doing that…the covering of the pictures could be a metaphor for her avoiding me and just pushing the issue away as to not be hurt or upset by it. …That’s not going to solve anything. What will is the head on confrontation of the issue…and, in the past, yes, we have talked about what I am doing and we both have expressed how we have felt, but every single time the conversation transforms into an argument, yelling. There’s no solace in that.

My mother needs to not avoid me, or hide behind her anger…there’s something deep inside that is affecting her from the past…I wish I could say what that event was that would be making her that way for so long, but I can’t. So, now, I’ve come to the point where it’s up to me to be my own warrior.

In my Zen book, there was a nice lengthy section on heroes and heroism. The main concept was that heroes and warriors were those who took up their own sword and shield and went to battle or on a quest despite the impending obstacles. Warriors have to be aggressive…but not in the conventional way of forcing violence on someone else out of anger, rather being aggressive means really pursuing what you want and going after it no matter what; it means pushing the boundaries to get through to the other side. In other words, your actions that may appear to be an act of rebellion and aggression, are actually actions moving toward peace.

That’s the path that I am on now. I have taken the call to adventure and I’m now travelling through forests of obstacles to get to the grail that I search for: my own happiness. For the most part, it’s going well. I feel accomplished, strong. I want to show the world what I am capable of…I want to show my family what I’m doing. If only they could know all the inner work that I’ve been doing. And have done. Then, maybe they’d understand who I really am. No matter how strong the warrior, you have to feel love. It’s essential. You have to give and take love in order to survive your quest. And, most of the time you will realize that what you are ultimately fighting for is that love. It’s not to be given up. I hold my love close to my heart; it’s woven within my soul, every fiber is imprinted with passion and compassion. I am the warrior of myself. I will continue to fight, stand tall, be aggressive. I have supporters who are on my side, and with them, I will fight, survive, live and thrive.

The Art of Floating: Part III

My second and last stream of consciousness that occurred while in the float tank…

Is this what it feels like to be dead? Peaceful, enclosed in darkness, without any feeling? What if this is what everyone experiences after death…no Heaven with palaces, mansions, angles and streets paved of gold and no Hell with a burning lake of fire and torture. Just…nothingness. Or perhaps reincarnation really does occur. Maybe this is what the mighty, tall tress feel like…unable to move but alive, rooted for 100 years…a blade of grass, in an open field, undisturbed. Rooted, still, except for the breezes that come, the rains that fall and or the snow that lands softly. No sensations of hot or cold or pain or pleasure, yet able to watch many facets of life pass by. Maybe near a street, where all kinds of people are walking and talking or running or playing. Maybe near a house, where families live, breathe, eat, laugh, yell, sleep and thrive. As a tree, branches extended to reach more sunlight, way up high, away from harm. The only concern is a weary traveler coming to rest from a day of flight. I want to feel this peace, this deep profound stillness forever. No more anxiety, pain or depression. If this perfect stillness and balance is what occurs after death, well, I won’t be so afraid to go when my time comes.

The Art of Floating: Part II

One of my stream of consciousness thoughts while I was naked and afloat…

I am floating…wow, is this what it feels like to the astronauts in space…those in the space station? Wow. Pitch black…nothingness, I am in space and in nothingness. No stars, no sun, I’m on the dark side of the moon. I can feel the earth and gravity pull away from me. I’m in space, just me, alone…there might not be any galaxies, they might be all around me, they are inside of me. I am space. In a vacuum with no time or energy. Not even orbiting, just existing in perfect stillness. I’m not sure how to come back down and that’s okay with me. I wish to stay here; I wish to remain in this blissful exile where every human, creature, object and place are far, far away, beyond any realm ever believed to exist. The sun is blacked out– extinguished and still, I breathe and feel warm. I think there’s blood flooding my veins…my lungs are expanding. I try not to think. I don’t. There’s nothing again. This space is where I’m meant to be, I’m meant to live to feel to think to know what I haven’t known before. I’m not sure what I’m truly supposed to know…but it’s here, in this emptiness that I can know it. I can know anything. I feel safe, a perfect distance away and a perfect place to let go. I have let go. My weightlessness reminds me of this. My muscles have let go of the urge to keep resisting. How far I will travel, I’m not sure. Maybe I will remain in this one place, right above earth for eternity. The silence has taken over.