Drop the Mic – Ep. 10 – Despite All My Rage

“The world is a vampire, sent to drain

Secret destroyers, hold you up to the flames
And what do I get, for my pain?
Betrayed desires, and a piece of the game”

from Bullet with Butterfly Wings  by The Smashing Pumpkins

I can’t explain how our intuition works or consciousness for that matter.  There are some admirable hypotheses that I’ve pondered over the years and ‘theories’ abound always, but I truly believe the explanation will never be articulated in human words.  

Truth is only felt.

With business and in my position, I have to participate in the game just as much as those around me.  I truly do take the time and energy to put myself in other people’s shoes.  I choose my words wisely, work on my tone of voice, apologize when necessary and sometimes just to help ease others.  

Where I filter in my professional Life and allow the written expression to Flow unheeded when I’m creating outside of it, it’s almost opposite with a great many other people.  That right there is quite perplexing and challenging for me.  It makes me feel as though I need to be two when I’m striving for Oneness

Despite my attempts at approaching the experiences of Life with Conscious Vibes, the world can come across from time to time as a energy vampire killing that vibe.

As much as some people share a public persona that is open and collaborative, behind-the-scenes they aren’t very open or interested in collaboration if the venture is not self-serving at all.

That can be discouraging to say the least…

Roll Kendrick Lamar: Bish don’t kill my vibe… Repeat x2

In the past, I fed the beast of Rage within when encountering such experiences.  Though I do believe Anger can be powerful and has a place when used appropriately, I don’t find myself giving into Rage.

I also don’t feel stuck like a Rat in a Cage but situations do get to me. My feelings remind me of my humanity and if that’s the only reason for negative encounters and shitty people, I can live with that because in the end, always remember…

This Life is beautiful!

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The Fight

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Every day of our lives we have conflict.

There is conflict with partners, family members, friends and other Loved Ones to bosses, co-workers, and people we interface with regularly in our professions.

Why is that?

Perhaps this conflict arises because it is just a part of our Nature. Within our very cells, conflicts occur.  Is it so unreasonable to think that since conflict is a part of our make up, it will be found elsewhere?

At various times throughout this Life, I have pondered the idea of peace and well, the idea that no conflict will exist or that there are conflict free zones and spaces really doesn’t fly.

Conflict is inevitable.

Conflict gets out of hand when we fail to acknowledge its existence and respond to disagreements with open Hearts and compassion. Blah yada yada blah!

So how do we do that?

We must stop fighting ourselves.  Only through self-work and self-love will we each be able to accept the conflicts that occur on the daily.

I’m not saying you have to like conflict.  Dislike it like all you want.  I’m just proposing, Dear Reader, to consider that conflict has existed since the beginning and our views of it need to be changed.

Once the view is altered, we can start to see that the conflicts we encounter are great teachers, helping us along the conscious Journey. Then, there shall be resolution…

Release the fight. It’ll be okay.

10 Lessons I’ve Learned as an Author

The Beauty of My Mistakes in Publishing

1.Write your story

Medium tells writers to: Write your story. Isn’t that enough for it to be numero uno on my list?

Jokes aside, each of us is a unique observer of life and have the opportunity to share our unique points-of-view in a variety of ways. Every time we unconsciously act, we tell a story. Each moment we take the time to sincerely thank someone for a service, we a tell a story. All of the experiences in between both extremes of consciousness tell stories. They are important!

Write your story because without telling it, the world loses the chance to feel what your have to share.

2. Edit… Edit. Edit!

In the beginning, I didn’t think editing was important. I was in such a rush to publish and put something out there because I was desperate to share what was burning inside that it felt appropriate to push on and be done.

That being said, I wrote my first manuscript in three weeks, a 150 pg. reflection on my take on the concept of Mindfulness, mixed with humor, and life lessons, and…

I have not published it. I actually really like the piece but in the edits since, it has not quite felt right. Not only is editing important so that there aren’t typos, unintentional grammatical errors (because sometimes we can break the grammar rules to make a point), it is important because in the process of editing one can learn so much more and have a better product.

When I finally published my first book, it had gone through intense edits by myself, an Editor, I’d sought out readers, and guess what, the finished product still has typos, the same way best-selling novels do because Human Error is inevitable.

But… the piece felt right. It was my third manuscript and though what I was trying to say was said in the second manuscript, the third felt like the “vehicle” to share what needed sharing for me.

3. Accept your Worst Critic

If you can accept the old adage, “You are your own Worst Critic” and release it then you can move past the hugest obstacles in publishing.

I have judged and torn apart every piece of writing that I have ever done. In the past, it crippled me to sharing my work even though people would both compliment and critique it.

The best form of feedback is criticism from outside of that voice haunting your brain because even though it can sting, someone took the time to share/it struck a chord in them so you’re on the right track imo.

And the good stuff? Well the compliments kind of pass by quickly because of that hauting voice within but it can also feel nice.

Regardless of external stimuli and input, what’s going on inside can make or break how you feel about your work, and in the end, that is what is more important than millions of dollars, best-seller status, and adulation.

4. Honor where you have been

I cringe when I look back on some of the very early writings that I have published on my blog, in magazines, contributed to other online sites, and my first book.

Were it not for any of that, I would have not grown as a Writer, taken steps towards publishing my work, and I would have not developed further as a Human + Being.

In the end, that is most important to me in my own Journey.

5. Don’t be afraid to re-write

This is a bit different than editing. Though you can re-write elements of your work when editing, a re-write in and of itself is a different beast. When I had the central component of what I wanted to share in a published book, it took many drafts of two manuscripts, before I felt good about one for publication.

The process of re-writing is pretty cool to because one can just sense when something “feels right.” Having a good feeling about your work is cool too because you have to live with whatever it is.

6. Research Publishers

*I have submitted query letters only to receive no response. I have looked for different online publishers in “my genre” and focus area to choose one and then have a mixed experience after my money was paid to their organization in full. I have turned my nose at self-publishing to later self-publish myself and see how amazing it is. I have read article after article, magazine after magazine, blog after blog, book after book, so on, so forth, etc./i.e./wt…efff.

And you know? None of that is important. What is important is creating a budget, choosing what you’re going to go with, whether you have a contract with a publisher or choose to self-publish, and ultimately, have a plan to market and share your work.

I have published three books to date and it didn’t occur to me until after the third that perhaps I should write and share a press release. I’d seen the idea before but it took working in Marketing to teach me about Marketing that it started to click about what’s important. You could have the greatest story ever but if people don’t know it’s out…

If you need any more argument of marketing, how many crappy movies have you seen because of the hype and trailers? How many of the movies that are nominated for the Academy Award Best picture have you actually seen before you found it was nominated or it came out on DVD/Blu-Ray? Chances are many more of the former and your lucky if you’re even able to find the latter in a theatre near you before it’s nominated.

*Please note, in no way am I discounting the value of different options to release your work. Do whatever feels best for you . It is just my hope to emphasize how Marketing is more important than the vehicle in the end and that’s something I didn’t get until the bumps in the road I experienced, which were great because of how much the lumps I have experienced have taught me.

7. Be prepared to self-promote

Similar to the importance of marketing, it is also important to share what you’ve done on your own. Just because you wrote the darn thing doesn’t mean bury it in a field…

It has always been hard for me to say, I did this, I did that, yet when I write, arguably something I feel suited for and comfortable doing, I use “My” and “I” quite a bit.

Challenge for me has been overcoming being shy and not good enough. In my Journey, I’ve often confused modesty and humility with false humility. It’s one thing to not share because you don’t feel the need, it’s another to hide what you’ve created because on a core level you don’t feel good enough.

It’s okay, it’s welcome to share your work and your accomplishments. It doesn’t make you cocky, if anything, owning the confidence that comes with setting a goals and achieving them, is something that will be great for you as an individual and in your publishing voyage.

8. Love

Creating anything from start to finish is a labor of love…

In addition to moments of irritation, anger, despair, and the trials and tribulations that come along the way, there are also the a-ha moments, the great feelings of putting pen to paper or words to screen, and what you learn along the way.

I’ve heard it shared many times that life is all about Love, Love is the Be All, and Love is why we are here.

Love the process of bringing your work to life. Love the challenges you encounter because when you find a way through them, around them, above or below them, it makes the experience all the better!

9. Read. And often.

I find my greatest sparks come from two areas: experience and reading.

Now the act of reading is also an experience in and of itself but experiences are the vast elements in this Journey that help us define characters, struggles, and craft how these characters overcome such adversity. Reading helps us to see things through eyes we haven’t and recall our own experiences because of the feelings we experience when processing what we are reading.

I have enjoyed reading ever since I was a child. I remember that. I don’t remember enjoying writing because it has always been just something that I did, often, sometimes well-enough to get good grades in classes that required much of it, and yeah. But reading took me to another world back then and still has the ability to do so!

Reading also serves to take us into the mind of another Human+Being and take a tour through the words that come through them. It’s kind of like, there are mountains and trees all over, yet if you really take the time to observe and experience, though there are similar features, each differs and can be a great teacher.

I personally really love reading and I’m sure a million places say that reading makes you a better writer and though I wouldn’t doubt that, I think reading is important because it is part of appreciating the written word.

Words, I believe, are gifts. I will never meet Plato but I can read his work and “hear” his voice, I can get an idea of who he was, what he was about, and how that relates to me many years later.

That’s pretty cool if you think about it…

10. Disregard everything that I have said…

And use what works for you.

These were my 10 lessons (thus far) but that doesn’t mean they have to be yours. There may be some elements in here that are helpful and if so, chee huu (Hawaii Creole English for awesome/stoked/oh-yayer) because I enjoy giving back and assisting others, but in the end, Life is your Journey, the same way your written word is your written word.

It’s going to have more meaning for you if you’re living it yourself.

A few years ago, I experienced a great period of loss (laid off, end of relationship, Death in the family) in a two week period of time, and it kicked me in the ass to go across the country, something that I had always wanted to do. It took me two-trips from my home in Honolulu, Hawaii, but I did it and the experience of it is what was mine and mine alone and helped me to grieve, heal, and grow.

It also helped me to have more experiences, be more open, and got me around to finally having courage to publish. I’m no millionaire because of my writing, yet.

Shoot I’m not even a thousandaire or hundredaire, yet, but I don’t write because I need it to pay my bills. I write because it’s a passion and it helps me through the days and move beyond the tough times, which can be short and extreme like that period of loss, or take place over a longer period.

As much as this is a gift to share with others, it’s a gift I can enjoy as well, much like good ole life itself and that a-okay with me.

Commentary – Love, Hate, & War Machine

In my early 20s, I trained in my first Martial Art.

Raised in age filled with Kung Fu movies, Ninja Turtles, and the ever present mystique/awesomeness of Bruce Lee, it was hard not to be fascinated by Martial Arts. Throw in a dash of Pro Wrestling and Hulkamania and well, it was no wonder I was captivated by Mixed Martial Arts when I first saw it.

I can remember just starting my Muay Thai training and going to a bar one evening to watch UFC 40, Tito Ortiz vs. Ken Shamrock.  It was marketed using their nicknames “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” vs “The World’s Most Dangerous Man.”  Just writing these words, it’s almost no surprise to me that the violence that is spilling from the cage/ring/field is making its way into headlines.

All three of the teachers I trained under for Muay Thai shared the Buddhist philosophy that went with the art, their takes on it, and emphasized the responsibility that comes with martial arts.  I was at a very angry place in my Life for a variety of reasons that came with that period of my Life.  But the idea that I could “Walk the Middle Path” made sense in my Spirit, so I went with it.

I’d stop training to finish school, get caught up in work, and it was a few years before I got into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  Though not as spiritually philosophical as Muay Thai, Jiu-Jitsu’s techniques spoke to my own spiritual beliefs.  I learned to “Flow with the Go” and that each technique built upon the previous in order to better set-up the next.  I also learned that on the mat, the same as in Life, sometimes you had to submit.

I wasn’t so angry when I trained Jiu-Jitsu, but I was very much in Pain.  I felt very disconnected and had a hard time being present.  That led to some challenging experiences when Life happened but what I learned in both Martial Arts, helped me because it related to my overall belief that one could endure and overcome anything with a solid spiritual foundation.

I’d stop training Jiu-Jitsu for a time because I didn’t want to rely on the physical for my fulfillment.  I loved Jiu-Jitsu, I still do, but I made a choice to build within.  I would eventually go back, fall in Love further with it, only to tear my calf.  I laughed at myself because I had no other choice but to accept.  Jiu-Jitsu taught me to submit, so I tapped to the position Life had me in, which at the time, felt like focus on my spiritual growth.

I’ve not gone back to Jiu-Jitsu since, I did for a time start doing some Muay Thai work in a gym, but I’m in no rush right now to train in a Martial Art.  I know when it’s time, I will move towards what I am meant to.

Which leads me to the title.  I don’t know why, but my Heart has always gone out to Jonathan Koppenhaver aka War Machine.  He was on a season of the UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter with a friend from Intermediate School, Troy Mandaloniz.  I didn’t follow the season too much but caught a few of Jon’s heartfelt testimonials and it was sad.  You just got the vibe that the Dude is one hurt individual.  Knowing my own pain, I couldn’t helpd but feel compassion for the kid.

The saying, “The struggle is real,” is so applicable to War Machine.  Over the years, he’s been in and out of prison, did adult film, dated an adult film star, and fought not as much as he should because of the trouble he’s found.

He’s currently in a whole lot of trouble that’s making the rounds for very violent domestic abuse charges.

A quick search of what’s trending on Twitter about it and people are saying some really vile things about him as well as the victims of the incident.  Dog the Bounty Hunter has even joined the fray, camera crew in tow.

I find it sickening.  I don’t in any way agree with domestic violence (physical, mental, emotional, verbal, all of the above).  But what is it about us as people to throw so many stones at the suffering, at the ill.  It’s like we want to be a part of the drama.

It’s amazing to see what’s coming out of Dog’s Twitter feed.

I realize these tactics are meant to draw out the volatile character from hiding but how does that make it better?  Why are we cheering that?  

If a bull is already in a rage, do you add more?

It’s like we people just like talk out of both sides.  I’m saying we because I’m far from perfect and subject to my own hypocrisy.  That’s human but I think it’s okay to put it out there that we can be better.  Isn’t it?  Am I alone in my quest?

I don’t know what happened in the recent incident.  You have two very different views floating out there and the gruesome pictures of the first victim, Christy Mack, War Machine’s ex, are Heart wrenching as well.  I feel really bad for both of the victims and hope they heal quickly and safely.

The whole situation is unfortunate.  But I am hopeful that we can learn.

Something else, that is also getting to me, is that the same day as the news broke on this, an MMA site I read regularly, Bloody Elbow (oh the irony), showed a video ofAnthony Pettis, a fighter in the UFC, who let his girlfriend punch in the face.  I couldn’t catch it in the video, but I saw the claim that she hits harder than the contenders in his division.

That’s all good and well but I’m wondering why not much is being said about that?  Because he asked for it, it was okay?

I realize the media changes perspective on a dime and the sheep flock along but…

Factor in that last week in MMA saw the Jon Jones, Daniel Cormier hype train get violent with explicit lyrics and I can hear John McCain’s claims of human cock-fighting echo from years past.  So much has been done by many people to improve the perception of the sport.

In a period of time where the NFL Commissioner is being questioned for a short-term suspension relating to domestic violence involving Ravens Running Back, Ray Rice, we are awash with very violent acts involving people who’s livelihood is violence.  Football is violent but in the end, it’s called a game.

MMA is more violent and before it even begins, it’s called a fight.

I loved Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and have been a fan of MMA for a long time, but it’s a pretty dark hour for the sport currently.

My prayers go out to the victims and I’m praying for you to Jon/War.  I don’t doubt your Heart is good, but your actions have been out of control and I hope peace finds you at some point in this Life before anyone else, yourself included, gets hurt.

 

On the Path – Spiritual Q&A with J

New feature.  Over the years, I have been asked a great many questions, in addition to asking many of my own. This section will be used to share answers to those questions.  Enjoy.

Is one begin selfish, if one wants to move ahead and leave people or loved ones behind to find one’s destiny?

In response to thisquestion, I shall answer your question with another question…

What if you viewed it as though you are walking your own Path, which only you can do?

That frees you up to focus on walking your own Path and leaves behind the concern that you are leaving others behind because each of us has our own Journey, and it isn’t our place to judge where another person is at in their own Journey.

It is very Human to have feelings about/for others and their lives, but in the end, you’ll do yourself a great favor and extend love to others by not worrying about what they are doing in/with their lives.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if others gave you that freedom? Not everyone is going to do it, but you can be the model and live like only you can!

Drop the Mic – Ep. 09 –

“Take the good with the bad, or throw the baby out with the bath water.” from Holy Grail by Jay-Z ft. Justin Timberlake

Life is a perfect mixture if one were to think about it beyond just the highs and lows.  It’s a bit hard to do, but when incorporating mindfulness and presence, it is possible.

Within each moment and every experience, there exists a wonderful opportunity to have exactly what we need.  A blood test indicating high-blood pressure could be a predicator of Heart disease (a curse), or a call to action (a blessing).  The choice in how to view what enters Life is ours as are the actions we take following the learning of such news (fall into depression vs. make a lifestyle change)

What is it that gives us exactly what we need?  I often ponder this question and found an interesting opportunity to reflect further recently when a co-worker, Cathy, shared a story about her cats.  In the last few months, she has learned that one of her cats has cancer, and they are unsure how much time he has left. Cathy spoke with her son about the situation and they decided that night to no longer get any new pets. About a week later, a kitten came to their doorstep, and he never left!  He has not only adopted them but taken a liking to the sick, older cat, who has some renewed energy by the presence of this kitten, who likes to do whatever the older cat.

I marveled at the story because at so many points in my own Journey, I’ve made ultimatums, only to have Life give me the opposite.  In a “be careful what you wish for” paradigm, no matter what, consciously or unconsciously, we are always given exactly we need, as individuals and collectively in our relationships, families, communities, and the World.

Is this because the Universe operates under some Intelligence that is far beyond what we will ever comprehend?  Or is it just Nature’s way to one day drop a crazy storm in a town and the next a kitten shows up on the doorstep?

When I was a child, I remember one night where we experienced both…

It was “raining cats and dogs” in Kailua on the Windward side of Oahu and all of a sudden, a cat showed up outside our door.  About a year or so earlier, the cat my parents had before my birth, Tonto, was hit by a car, and there was a pet void until the emergence of this little one, who looked a bit like a rat, the rain drenching her small, not yet fully grown frame.

We would feed her outside for a few days before she wandered off.  At five or six years of age, the experience left me Heart-broken, but before I knew it, within a few days, we would learn our neighbor found her, and Spot, would officially join our family.  Spot lived for another 18 years and shortly after she passed, my Mom shared they wouldn’t have another pet.  During Spot’s life, we had a number of other pets who came and left the Earth included Skipper & Nick, a pair of parakeets, along with Ding, a cockatiel who could cat call people who walked by, and a host of fish.  It was fair to admit my family had had its share of furry, feathered, & scaly friends.

It took a few years, but my parents got another pet, a dog, Frankie Beans, who interestingly enough found his way into our ohana, in part because of his friendly demeanor (my parents thought he chose them when in fact, he’s just a really nice guy), and the loss of a dog I shared with an ex-girlfriend.  That dog was my first dog and though the relationship was over, I missed the dog and found Frankie online in Volcano on the Big Island, near where my parents lived in Hilo.  The rest is history!

Frankie was born in Washington, where his previous owner lived, and in yet another strange twist of Life unfolding as it did, where they all reside back currently (my parents left Hawaii after retiring).  I’ve never seen my parents so happy in Life since they got this dog and even more so after moving.  I can’t say I know what exactly is the cause for this but in thinking about it, Life gave them what they needed in the process of their movements through it.

That’s not to say it was easy nor did it happen overnight for them, but in persevering and moving on, things unfolded.  Recently, my Lady Friend, had her own experience of Life giving her what she needed.  A few months back, she was laid off for the first time in her Life.  It was a rough three months I can attest since I observed the process first hand! Having ridden the unemployment roller coaster a number of times in my Journey, forced into a learning to trust and accept Life and the Flow as it guided me, I realize it can be challenging.

This woman was perplexed every step of the way as she was randomly selected on an audit, was accused of leaving the State two times (when she wasn’t) and had her benefits frozen, and went on 8 job interviews before something caught.  Though there were many positives going on for her, she never went hungry nor homeless, it was tough.  The day she was finally offered a job revealed an interested a-ha in looking back at the whole series of events.

Her mother had told her shortly after being laid off, she should take about three months off (which is about the time it went).  She also got the chance to help out her grandparents, really experience her newly turned one year old nephew, whereas in the past, she lived with the family unit and got to be around every day for her older nephew during his infancy.  Her younger nephew, who she absolutely adores, got to hang out with her this Summer and visa versa when she went to pick him up every day from Summer Fun.

Coincidentally enough, the day she started work again was the day he went back to school AND this job quickly is turning into something like out of a dream.  It wasn’t overnight, it wasn’t easy, but it was exactly what she needed and from the look and feel of it, things are only going to get better.

Throughout my Life, I’ve read countless texts by Dr. Wayne Dyer, Marianne Williamson, Deepak Chopra and basically the who’s who of New Age, Law of Attraction, and contemporary spiritual writers/speakers.

I’ve read similar stories but in living it, and through seeing it for myself and others, I truly marvel at how the Power of Life Itself has this complex maze figured out.  One need not believe in God in order to observe Nature and trust Life.  It certainly doesn’t hurt to believe in a Higher Power but truly, if one seeks to know more about this Journey, just see that Life is not about the single high or low, rather it’s about the whole darn process.

So next time you’re challenged or ready to throw in the towel, just remember that something great could be just around the corner, Life is still unfolding, and in the end, it will all work out and be exactly what you need.

Drop the Mic – Ep. 08 – Happiness

Happiness is when you share dat love wit one another
Happiness is when you together
You got to 
They can get no time to press
Because of all the distress that the society leads

What I’m a longing for is some happiness
~ From Happiness by Black Uhuru

A quick Google search of the keyword ‘happiness’ shows an estimated 316 Million search results in just over half a second.  It’s safe to venture that happiness is something most people are “a longing for.”

Happiness is a fascinating subject because in some ways, it’s about as broad and vague as the word ‘success.’ Culture, background, experiences, individual values all play a role in painting what we each view as Happiness.

I’m a firm believer that though we may have similar experiences, we can only really relate through feeling. Jill could be happy by being a dutiful daughter whereas Jack feels happy when he is a contributing member of society.  Studies have shown that the energy and wavelengths in the brain when we experience such feelings, regardless of what causes them, have great similarity.

As much as I’m into spirituality and consciousness, I have also to some degree been a skeptic throughout my Life.  Allowing myself to be all things, feel the assortment of feelings, helps me to see the bigger picture. The more I learn and the further I grow, the more the picture evolves.

I find comfort in looking at different studies because they validate hypotheses and intuition.  Yet, the folly in information seeking solely to know, has often left me feeling a bit empty, and at times very unhappy.

Occupying the moment fully requires balance in both Flesh and Spirit.  There can be no other way.  I’ve not yet achieved that balance but in having a vision, I experience more and more happiness because I can look back at all the dark corridors which I have passed through and see how it contributes to this unfolding Journey.

I don’t have all  the answers for you.  You don’t have all the answers for me.  Answers create more questions and quite frankly, the only answer that really matters is to…

Just be.

It’s a simple statement with a vast amount of meaning but I challenge anyone who reads these words to think about them when in the midst of different experiences.  I have a feeling that in just being, clues on happiness will find you.

Seek and ye shall find…

 

 

 

Drop the Mic – Ep. 07 – Seek and Ye Shall Find / Never Know a Love Like, What, Love Like This

Sometimes you just gotta stop and SEEK the Light...

Sometimes you just gotta stop and SEEK the Light…

“Terror’s tha product ya push
Well I’m a truth addict, oh shit I gotta headrush…”

from Vietnow by Rage Against The Machine

The search for #Truth is an interesting quest.  At times in my Life, I’ve been told by a great many people bits of the following:

“You’re so spiritual.” or “You’re so introspective.” or “Wow, that’s deep.”  And consistently by most friends I’m told: “You’re my only spiritual friend.” or “You’re one of the few people who I know that is interested in this type of stuff.”  or bits of the same if ya know what I mean…

Maybe I’m a “Truth Addict?”  Who knows?  I can for the longest time remember describing this as “I have always felt a connection to something greater.”  The funny twist, or turn, that I find myself at upon Life’s Road is that as I grow older, the less I feel a need to explain what that is, more so, I find myself just expressing as creatively as possible the feelings and experiences I’m having.  In the past, an explanation was needed in order to feel validated externally.  Somewhere in the last few years, I’ve let go of the approval of others to “be spiritual” and/or be me.

The other day I was thumbing through the Bible and found my reading Journey taking me on a stroll through Proverbs.  The first thing I noticed was the emphasis on Wisdom, Knowledge, and Insight, different facets of the same diamond but all involving a sense of looking into the Truth.  The second is that it was apparent a man penned this because as poetic as parts were, women still got a bum rap, which is sad, but I digress…

If you think about it, we all seek from early on and that’s probably just within Human Nature itself.  As soon as a child can move, there is exploration.  I’m not just talking about crawling leading to walking evolving into running and jumping becoming (insert “Child, No!” here).  Even from the earliest inklings of reaching out to touch and feel the environment, a vast majority of humans explore.

I remember being inspired by Star Wars, with its epic mythological undertones and the mysterious Force, as a very small kid.  From there I was led into reading these totally out there sci-fi/fantasy books, that mixed magic and overcoming adversity along with these fantastical creations, both in Spirit andman-made.

When it was time for me to physically leave the child behind (though learning to care for the Inner Child is a lifelong relationship), I started really exploring spirituality.  There’s just something magical about looking for #Truth in my opinion and one of those other things I’ve said for as long as I can remember:

“I believe we can overcome anything when we have a strong spiritual foundation.”  

During college, I can remember heated discussions with folks (mostly in their early 20s, who surprisingly knew it all), who were adamantly opposed to God, or even there being a sense of Meaning to Life.  I’ve never been able to relate to that.  I’m just not cut from that cloth.

That being said, my God-view is nothing like what you’d find in a Born-Again circle of Christianity, nor is it all too New-Age.  It’s certainly influenced by my Catholic upbringing, with a healthy dash of my studies of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Eastern Philosophy in general.  I can even find hints of Islam when I reflect upon some of the hardest lessons I’ve had to endure learning…

I don’t know what other to say than it’s the #Truth that I have found as I have sought since early on…

Note: This is a funny experience to write about and reflect upon because I remember being adamant in my 20s, I too knowing everything (even though I claimed that I didn’t), and now reflecting back and seeing how little I actually got back then.

30s are a strange era I find myself wandering through because I am increasingly okay with the fact that I don’t know much beyond what I’ve observed in Nature that resonates within and from what I have learned through experience.  It’s a humbling period because as “spiritual” as people have seen or experienced me, I am only just now feeling really at peace with that term and that it truly is of great value in this Life that my Soul holds for this momentary period of time.

I guess when it’s who you are, even if you are far from the end of your Journey, some things are just revealed.  And of course, Time, as much as an illusion as it is, is truly a wonderful teacher.

Moving beyond Fear, not succumbing to the Terror of this World, is a practice I am far from perfect at, BUT for some reason, the same as I’ve continued to seek out a meaningful existence, striving for an understanding of Love, as it moves through me, is a vehicle that helps each day.

Love has made me stronger.  Love has made me be an honest with myself.  Sometimes my honesty is quite cutting; you can ask those closest to me.  In my younger years, I would create a song and dance as I crucified myself with Catholic Guilt. Though I haven’t put away my cross completely, I’m not so quick to pound in the nails nor seek out a crown of thorns.  I have learned that I can look within quietly, in a variety of ways to know that I still bear the ugliness of my humanity.

With that horrid picture in place, focused there, it allows me to find and believe that there is also a Beauty to this.  In seeking to Love myself a bit better, in a more healthy fashion each day, I’m growing more consistent with embodying #Truth with myself, and in turn, I can be that way in my interactions with others.

It’s funny because the old adage, “You can’t love others, unless you love yourself,” comes to mind and by striving to release Fear, not giving up seeking, I have found #Truth, in the form of Love.

Love, I’m growing to find is a lot like Baskin Robbins, because there are at least 31, if not an infinite amount more flavors in how Love is expressed in this Life.

If that makes me a “Truth Addict,” well that’s just effing awesome.

Drop the Mic – Ep. 06 – Free Your Mind / Know Thy Self

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Free your mind and the rest will follow, be color-blind, don’t be so shallow!  from Free Your Mind by En Vogue

It’s so common to throw around catch-phrases and cliches. In an age permeated by Marketing and Media, it’s no wonder we let “Carpe Diem” fly while ordering a Triple Tall Skinny Sugar Free Vanilla Latte.

So why then am I writing to “Free your Mind” and “Know Thy Self?”

I’m not actually, it is just the title of a song by Cut Copy that I got as a free download from Google Play as part of their Marketing of Media strategy for the Holidays and to push their product. Note: A Diet Coke and bottle of water sits within reach.

What does it mean to be Free?

Is it possible? I don’t know. Sometimes I feel free but does that mean that I am in fact free? No, of course not.

My personal opinion is that freedom in this Flesh based experience comes at its conclusion but what are we supposed to do in the time in between if Sweet Death is really the answer?

Whether Death is the answer or merely the destination that our Journeys each seek, I’ve only felt free when I am learning something about what makes me tick and others tock. In seeing how the workings of my +Being flip around in harmony (or at times chaos) with others, it is so fascinating and it helps me to let go of my Mind’s chatter.

“Free your mind and the rest will follow, be color blind, don’t be so shallow.” Can’t help it, I think and reflect deeply.

Enjoy.

Note: I originally posted this over @Medium in the Oceans of Consciousness Collection.  Enjoy.