Not knowing what comes next
has its benefits
something greater than me
has my back
This mystery is not a tragedy
merely a vestige to remain
“Everything is going to fall right into place. It’s going to be okay. Everything always works out for you. Life just keeps getting better.” These are the statements I make when life suddenly throws a curveball, or when I’m making big decisions that feel right, but look scary. I’ve developed this positive self-talk over the last couple of years after going through a period where I tested the waters with positive thinking, which proved to be effective in accelerating the trajectory of my life. At the time, I was bombarded by negativity (my own, as well as other peoples). This old pattern of thinking told me that if I didn’t drudge in my own filth from my past mistakes, then I was terribly delusional. The irony was, if I had sat around and drudged through my shit, I couldn’t have opened myself up to the incoming opportunities, or trusted my gut (which was a foghorn at the time). I would have been listening to my head; a nagging, biting Chihuahua at my heels. My gut was like, “GO FOR IT! Take a chance. Trust that everything will be okay and it will. Try complete positive thinking out for once and see how everything will fall into place for you…” It championed me. Who the hell would you listen to in that situation? (The Chihuahua… Really?!)
I haven’t made the best decisions along the way. I’m still living and learning. In retrospect, I would have trusted myself a little bit more, and stretched myself much further. What I’ve learned the most throughout this experience of positive thinking and moving forward, is that you can’t play it safe. If you’re going to go for it, you’ve got to freefall once in a while. That’s the scary part, but it’s also liberating because you realize that when you spread your wings, you’re inviting the universe to breathe the wind beneath you. You don’t believe me? Try it and tell me otherwise. When you let go, you’ll be carried. This is simply a law of nature. If you are doing everything to the best of your ability, and you have a vision, while letting go of outcome, and you keep focus on that vision, I guarantee everything that occurs thereafter (no matter how unpredictable), is a step toward that vision. Things that seem like setbacks are usually opportunities to shed old ideas, worn out beliefs, tired ways of thinking, or they are there to ground you even deeper. Sometimes we have to drudge through old shit, but usually it’s not all at once. There is so much grace and abundance when you surrender and then spread your wings. When things come up that seem like a punishment, it’s usually an opportunity to change your thinking around it. (i.e. This is coming up for me today because I am able to handle it now. No matter what, I am lovingly being guided and protected. I will overcome this because I always do. Things will work out and everything will be okay…). Whatever you need to say to yourself in order to deliver empowerment to your subconscious will pave the path for a magical unfolding of events. It will seem magical, but that’s simply the power of positive thinking.
There is a catch, however. You can’t be an idiot or an ungrounded, irresponsible asshole when you make the decision to let go of the past and move forward. There are always people to think about. You can’t be self-centered and squirrely. You must be rooted in who you are, and confident in your stride. If you’re harming yourself or another human being along the way, you’ve got to stop and take responsibility. You have to regroup and really look at your intensions. Living in blind faith is not a dog-eat-dog philosophy. It’s a humbling experience and you should consistently reground yourself. If you are affecting other people negatively – then something’s definitely off. The universe is a loving place for all (it truly is – it’s simply a matter of trusting in that abundance of love. If you think it’s an unfair world, then that will be your experience). If you’re moving too fast, or pushing too hard to get where you’re going, then stop and surrender again. Keep surrendering along the way. We (recovering addicts) have a tendency to shove our way through life to get what we want. Once in a while, you’ve got to take a backseat to what’s occurring and hang in there, silent. Sometimes you hit a wall, or you feel like you’re failing. This is just another opportunity to grow, stretch yourself and try a new way of thinking. Laugh aloud and don’t take life too seriously, but dear gawd, think of others before yourself. If you have children, their well-being comes first. If you have a spouse, communicate with them along the way. If you have a job depending on you, be responsible. And if you don’t know all of this yet, then you probably need a lot more grounding before you should be trying to fly. Ground yourself. I can’t repeat this enough. Keep centering yourself and rooting yourself in who you are, and in your recovery, and in your practice of positive thinking. Get a little air beneath your wings and take a small leap before you go jumping off of cliffs. For example, if you have a vision for your life (like say you want to change careers to save the world from bad nutrition, but your household is depending on your income from your position at the bank as a teller), take small actions to get to the point of saving the world from bad nutrition. Don’t go out and quit your job today and start preaching on the streets about real food as opposed to GMO’s. You have to have a plan, or some kind of idea how to shift from one career to the next. If you don’t have a family depending on you, then being brave like that may be okay, but always consider who you’re going to affect. That’s all I’m saying. We don’t need to rush to get anywhere. Like I said, when you have a vision for your life, and you do the next right thing, everything will fall into place at the exact right time. Let go along the way, but don’t be foolish. There is no hurry. When you have to make a quick decision, weigh everything out. Feel yourself out. Bounce ideas off of people who are actually wise, not idiots who follow the crowd. (Sorry, but there are a lot of those). Use commonsense, along with your heart.
Along the way, notice your fear, hone in on your doubt, but don’t succumb to either of those things. The fear is a mockery. The doubt is self-deprecating. They are phantoms who come along to try and hold you back, but once you identify them, they have no power over you. Oh, and they will come. They always do. The more aware you are, the less they will taunt you, and pretty soon you will be grateful for their significance. They are the arrows pointing you in the right direction, which is forward marching through that shit.
Everything is going to be okay. Things will work out because they always do. If I need to take a step back, I will. If I have to face something difficult, I can handle it now. I’m not going to sink into the stress. I’m going to trust that what is occurring is for the best. Eyes open wide. Heart filled with love. Trust. Trust. Trust. Be present. Stay focused. Know that this universe is guiding me, protecting me and full of abundance. I don’t know the end result, but that’s okay because this is simply an experience. None of the difficult stuff is the end of me. It’s the journey that matters, not the destination…
A friend of mine was telling me about a woman who died of heartache after her son committed suicide. He placed part of the blame on her in the note he wrote before killing himself. Sadly he was in such a poor state of mind, that he probably didn’t realize his words would destroy his mother. Even if he did do it intentionally at the time, it was not an act of good reasoning. He wrote something and reacted to life during the moment it was eating him alive. I don’t know anything about him, but I know from experience that life can feel like it’s swallowing you whole at times, especially if you are suffering in addiction or with mental illness. I don’t know if this young man was, but he certainly felt like a victim. His mother, in turn, succumbed to his victimization.
I recall a time in my life when I felt like I was dealt a hand of shitty cards, and was pissed that I was stuck with them. Instead of playing them, I threw them down and ran away from the table (a.k.a. life – myself). I had no idea at the time, how strong, sharp, courageous, or creative I was. I also had no clue about something very significant, that I understand now. I was not only the player holding this hand of cards, but I was also the dealer. Everyone sitting around that card table of life, was me in another form. Everyone at the table is playing a role and most of us are bluffing without even knowing it.
When we’re born, we immediately wake up in this plane of reality surrounded in circumstances. Some of us are lucky to be born in a loving home under a nice roof in a country that’s basically free, while others are not so lucky. Either way, it’s how you think about things that determine your experience. There are self-destructive addicts that come from a loving home in a free country, and there are brilliant people who are changing the world for the better, who have derived from poverty and abuse. It’s not the circumstances that mold the outcome of your life. It’s how you think and how you respond to your experiences that create your life. If something terrible happened to me today, and I was thrown in prison, I could either go in there as a victim and mold myself into the negativity, or I could make the best out of the situation and remain a positive influence on the other women.
We always have a choice in life. It’s not just a hand of cards that we are dealt. It’s knowing that the hand is an opportunity to be strategic and willing to play the game. Any of us can fold at any given time. Most of us carry on and hope for the best, but what if you knew something that other people don’t know about the game? What if you realize that you are the one dealing the cards, and you understand that this whole experience is all a bluff? What if you wake up one day with the same shitty hand of cards and you pay more attention to your anger about the cards, than dwelling on the cards themselves? What if you look at the cards you are dealt, along with the smirks on the faces of the other players, and you suddenly know your agony? What happens then? You wake up. You realize the game is a farce. It’s a set up. It’s set up to piss you off, to make you feel like a victim, to break you down, and to finally turn you inward. It’s here to make you figure out something beyond the game. There are hints along the way, but we get so caught up in the game that we completely lose ourselves. We forget what we are constantly dealing with, which has nothing to do with other players, or the cards (the circumstances). These are all merely reflections of something greater. When you get this, you can either continue playing the game with a smile on your face, knowing it’s all a bluff, or you can stand up at the table (life), take a bow for your performance in the game, and move on with the understanding that you can now create whatever it is you want from here on out. You aren’t stuck at that table. You have a choice to move along to new experiences, but first you must recognize yourself in every aspect of each experience you are having, and in each person you meet. Then an only then will you understand that you have never been a victim of a bad hand of cards. You were simply the dealer disguising yourself as a frustrated player, in order to wake up and realize that you are truly the dealer.
I know a lot of people that succumb to an idea that life is filled with adversity in order to remind us that there is a god, and that we can count on him. That’s part of it. It’s always good to know that there is a bigger picture, but it’s better to know that you have a responsibility while you are here. If you throw your hands to God and decide to suffer because you think it’s “His will,” then you aren’t fully getting it. The idea is to overcome your suffering by understanding that this whole gig is a set up to discover your freedom. The suffering is like a bad hand of cards. When you notice your suffering, rather than the bad hand of cards, then you are getting somewhere. That somewhere is the place that you came here to discover. It feels like home, because it is.
There is nothing outside of yourself that is more brilliant or better off than what you’ve brought to the table. No one else’s hand of cards are better than yours. It only appears that way so that your frustration emanates something very clear. When you realize what you’ve brought to the table, you understand that the cards were merely a tool along your journey of self-discovery, and you’ll get up and thank all those players in your life who were bluffing to show you the way to yourself. Most people remain caught up in the game. Let them be. Now that you know, you are set free.
Perhaps it’s just me, but I am not the sentimental type. I enjoy the occasional laugh about a funny past experience, but rarely do I go deep into contemplation about how things were during a different time of my life. I have lived several lifetimes in just this one. Ten years ago seems like a chapter in someone else’s book. My twenties are something to be admired because I was trying to figure out what I know now, but going back there in my mind is like visiting a ghost town. There is nothing for me there.
Sentiment is not my thing. I have a handful of material treasures that I keep because they mean something to me, but I try to keep those meaningful things to the bare minimum. I don’t like being attached to material items, or to memories. It’s not because I am cold or that I lack depth. It’s simply because I’ve witnessed too many people being held back by their sentiment, and stifled by holding on too tight to the past. Many people do not like “letting go” of anything. The fear of letting things go is much more difficult than the actual process of letting go, however. There is no pain or sorrow after you have moved away from that which you were holding onto. Clearing out the old makes room for the new. I am constantly making room for the new.
I’ve walked into homes that feel heavy with sentiment. There’s a stagnancy in this type of behavior. You can feel it in certain places, around certain people. It’s a heavy feeling; sometimes it’s also empty. After two-plus decades of being in the real estate profession, I suppose I am just sensitive to energy in rooms, I’ve entered into thousands of homes. You can feel a divorce. You can feel abuse and neglect. You can feel heartache from a death. You can also feel when someone is in complete acceptance that life is changing and they are ready to move on. There is a lightness to that way of being. You cannot hold on to anything in the physical realm. Nothing here is eternal.
In recovery, it’s so important to constantly let go. If you hold on to the past, it will take you out. If you hold on to the moment, it will swiftly pass you by. Regrets are futile. Life is about shedding old skins and growing out of old ways. It’s in constant movement. It’s a river of change. Once you embrace the movement, you will be set free. The eternal stuff is invisible. It’s wisdom and knowledge. It’s your soul – that part of you that keeps being, even when everything around you keeps a-changing.
When I think of myself twenty-five years ago, I recall being on rollerblades upon a levee. I skated to high school on that levee each morning. Sometimes I go back to that teenaged girl and stand back inside those rollerblades. I look down at myself and see that my body has changed significantly, yet I am still me. Back then, I still felt like me – the way I feel now – and it kind of blows my mind how I have always been me, no matter the circumstances. I’m always this person with the same mind, the same sense of humor and the same concerns. Back then I was just as curious and adventurous as I am today. That was me, and THIS is me. It’s such a strange thing to stand back in those rollerblades upon that levee, realizing that I felt the same then as I do now, because it has always been me. The innate ME has not changed, although mostly everything else has.
It’s incredibly profound to know that no matter what occurs (as long as I am still here), I won’t disappear or fade. No matter what is taken away from me in life, I am still me. That ME has always been here, and I have learned to really love her. I think that’s what we should be focusing on – you know – the eternal. To learn to love and accept that being of who you are, no matter what occurs and changes around you, is where the focus should be. Why? Because the only thing you’re guaranteed to have throughout your life, is YOU. Nothing else will remain the same, so the best thing you can do is embrace who you are and learn to love yourself. Everything else you can let go, because those people, places and things will change and fade. Anchor yourself in who you are, not what you have, and you will discover that you are truly everything you’ll ever need, and more.
After a long walk in the redwoods with a good friend yesterday, I took my son to the coast, which is a half hour away from home. This time of year is ideal for sunshine and clear skies here on the west coast of California. We went to a beach we had never been to before, and I was surprised to discover that we had to practically scoot down a cliff to get to the ocean. The path was being used by surfers with big boards, so I wasn’t afraid to trust we’d make it to the bottom. We were hands-free after all, which meant that we could bend our knees and lean to the side of the cliff that wasn’t a drop off, in order to survive the climb down (or I should say, slide down…). It was a little bit treacherous, especially because my son didn’t have any grip on his shoes. Going back up was a lot easier, and steep, but it felt so amazing to have the blazing sun on my shoulders as we made our way to the top. I hike often, so it was not a difficult climb for me. In fact, it felt amazing, and I was thinking how feeling good sober, is five thousand times better than feeling good drunk, or stoned, or high.
Our bodies are so complex and easily manipulated. In December I was feeling incredibly “off” and blamed it on outside circumstances, just to discover that all I needed was a little bit of vitamin D (or ten minutes of sunlight) and some magnesium to rebalance everything. First I made the mistake of going to a doctor, who prescribed me two heavy medications. The bottles are still full. I don’t know why I even bothered to pick up the scripts. We have got to know deep down inside, that taking pills is completely unnatural. What we eat, what we expose ourselves too, how we think, and how well we exercise, determines how we feel. If you are feeling shitty, it could be the bad day at work, or it could very well be that your diet is not balanced. It is most likely the latter.
That steep walk up the cliff, along with the sunlight and the negative ions from the ocean, gave me enough energy to go grocery shopping afterward, cook two separate dinners (I’m vegan – my children are not), do two loads of laundry, fold all the clothes, prepare for Monday, clean up the kitchen, and then some… Ask me what my Sunday afternoon looked like five years ago, and I would tell you I could barely get out of bed after two days of drinking.
Feeling “off” is usually a chemical or nutritional imbalance. If you are eating right, exercising and getting enough sleep, along with sunlight, minerals and vitamins, there is no throwing you off in the face of adversity. Our bodies are organic vehicles that need to be kept tuned up and well watered. We have more control about how we feel than we credit ourselves. If you are sick and feeling awful most of the time, the problem is most likely your diet. Just like a car, we need to constantly tune ourselves up, and take care of ourselves. People are not depressed because they have a miserable life. They are depressed because they are malnourished. We have terrible eating habits in the west, and it’s been proven over and over that a plant based diet prevents cancer, heart disease and tons of other ailments.
Our bodies are meant to function at a “feel good” level. If we feel good, we can accomplish more, overcome problems with ease, give more of ourselves to others, and enjoy life to the fullest. Taking care of my mind and body has been essential in my recovery. If I was stuffing myself with food instead of alcohol, I could not honestly say that I was living a life of recovery.
I’ve had to make several life changes in order to accomplish what I set out to do when I decided to get sober. It wasn’t about “not drinking.” It was about living life and enjoying the hell out of it without a drink. Sometimes I have to re-evaluate my diet and exercise routine. Often I have to rid myself of pressures in my life that throw me off. It’s a constant tuning in and tuning up, but there is nothing like being able to climb a cliff without wheezing, or having the energy to conquer a hundred things in a day while feeling amazing. Taking responsibility for yourself includes a lot more than just admitting your mistakes. It is about keeping your vehicle tuned up and knowing that how you feel is a direct result of how you nurture your body and mind. And just like sobriety, you don’t have to change everything all at once. You can do it one fabulous day at a time!
Whenever I watch movies about war or think about what would happen if shit hit the fan in America, and the government tried imposing stricter laws, I question what I would do to defend my freedom. The answer is, I would do anything. In my flesh and bones, I’m a raw American, who will wrath with passion the instant my freedom is compromised. Insanity will take over my calm soul, and I will fight with guns if I have to (although not a big fan of guns, but this is how innately American I am). As a born and bred American, I will fight. I will literally, with my own two woman hands, wage war against those that try to relinquish my freedom. It’s not only me though. Try to mess with any American’s freedom or rights, and all hell will break lose. There is no way the people in this country will stand to be subordinate to a government or superpower. And the government knows this just as well as you and I do.
Have you asked yourself this question? Do you ever think about how you would respond to tyranny in this country? I know all my readers are not American, but it’s a good question to ask no matter where you are. If you are American, I bet there is no limit in how you would respond to an imposition on your rights. I bet you would go psycho just like me.
It’s ironic though – many new laws have been imposed since the “Attack on America” in 2001, but we haven’t risen up at all as “the people.” We’ve unknowingly relinquished a lot of our freedoms in the face of fear. Think about the scrutiny in our airports, the tighter gun laws, the imposition of government health care, the way we’re constantly being tracked and monitored. Surveillance is occurring all around us. If you so much as say the wrong thing, it is possible that you will be arrested, questioned and tried as a terrorist. Do you know how many Americans are sitting in prison because of drugs? Rather than offering treatment, they are filling our prisons with people who are not true criminals. This is all occurring, but because we have the illusion that we are “free,” very few people are stirring in their chairs.
I just wonder what it’s going to take to get me to say “Uh-uh. No more.” I know one thing, I am constantly thinking about how I am completely exposed in this world. Everything I Google, everything I text, all that I write and how I move about a building, and my phone conversations can be used against me in a court of law at some point. That shit should get under my bones, and it does to some degree, but I’m just waiting on edge. Push me to the point of having to fight, and the savage American will emerge. That day may eventually come, but because this has been an extremely slow and subtle process, I doubt it will come in a way that we are aware of it. Think “natural disaster” or “mass epidemic.” It’s going to take something like 9-11, where great fear is induced, that we will become victims of subtle tyranny. We’re already seeing it with the militant police raids.
Some of you may think I’m being extreme, or you may call me a “conspiracy theorist.” I don’t care. This is something we should all be thinking about. It’s an important question to ask. We should be aware of the freedoms that are slowly being relinquished. Slowly, steadily, done with the injection of fear. “War on Terror,” my ass. More like wage against human sovereignty.
I’m just asking a simple question. How far would you go to protect your freedom? I’ve fought for my life through the “disease” of alcoholism. I’ve faced my own demons and sat in chairs for six months experiencing myself in the raw. I know what it means to be “free.” I know what I did to free myself from my own fears, and it was a dirty business. I know who I am on the flesh and bone level, and it isn’t pretty. I know what I am quite capable of when challenged, and I have been empowered by breaking free from my own prison.
How far would you go to protect your freedom? Have you asked yourself the question? Think about it… I bet you are just like me. It’s just good to know that we wouldn’t stand for our rights being compromised. Because the day very well may come. That’s the trajectory of our current state of affairs. That’s all I’m saying on the subject. Thanks for reading, and also for asking yourself the question. It’s important to know where you stand on the subject.
When things feel out of control and when life feels like more of a labyrinth than a walk in the park, it can really throw us off. I had this experience in December and it got the best of me until I stood alone in nature and pretty much threw my hands up to the universe. “I have absolutely no control, and you know what? I don’t want control, so once again, I surrender. Let me be a vessel…” These were pretty much my words. I have this convo with God a lot in life (I’ve noticed). I’m always getting ahead of myself. My wants and needs become crucial, while the simple things in life get tossed aside and overlooked. I want everything NOW. Or at least in my timing, which means that I am way behind in where I thought I should be by now. Yet when I stop all my whining and nonsense, I realize that all of that chaos is in my mind. Nothing is falling apart right this second. Everything is going fairly smoothly. I feel a little bit raw, and where I want to be is rubbing up against where I am, but to know where I want to go is essential. It is the vision that will get me there, not the drudging to get there. I don’t have to drudge. I simply have to know where I’m headed and surrender to the moment. I need to trust that I’m being guided along the way, and perhaps the universe moves a lot more casually than I desire, but that’s none of my business. I’m simply a vessel, remember?
I had a dream last night that all of these people were cramming into one house, and I wasted all my time trying to figure out where I was going to sleep, while trying to keep all my belongings in one place, but it was impossible to control the chaos. People were arriving and more stuff was being crammed into this one house. There were animals in cages that were hanging outside of their cages because there was no more room. It was crazy. Toward the end of the dream, I didn’t know where any of my stuff was, but it was no longer important to me. People needed guidance and they kept asking me for direction. I stopped all my worry and just started helping the people. When I started being of service, all the chaos happening was no big deal. I felt centered. When I got a moment, I decided to do some exploring, and I ended up in the back yard where there was a pride of lions. There were so many lions – male, female and tons of cubs. I took a photo of the pride and posted on Facebook, “These lions are right in my own back yard.” I woke up and realized the power in that statement.
Lions represent courage, strength and power. I have been dreaming about lions a lot. In my dream there were male and female, which is yin and yang. All of these people and animals were inside one house. Everything in that house represents aspects of myself coming together. This last month was so confusing to me, and chaotic, but once I surrendered and just centered myself in the moment, everything I needed (strength, courage, power) was in my own back yard. (Perhaps the pride was a pun for my own pride that has often held me hostage). There is never anything outside of myself that I need. It’s all in one place in the here and now. If we are confused, overwhelmed, scared and feeling powerless, the best thing we can do is surrender to it and be of service to others. I have been asking the universe what I need to do to be of service, and the answer is right here right now. My own job is service oriented. I can be of service to my children and my roommate. I don’t have to go to a homeless shelter to be of service, although that would be fine too. If we can practice being of service right where we are right now, it will remove us from our confusion, immediately.
Sometimes we have to go through monotonous days so that we know what we don’t want, in order to visualize what we do want. Often we feel overwhelmed so that we can re-evaluate our course. When confusion throws us off, it is a good time to let go and do something for someone else. Being of service is the quickest way to becoming grounded. Give what you think you don’t have. Be what you think you lack. Know that the answer is always in your own back yard. You are not separate from what you need, ever. It may not be clear in the moment, but if you can just remind yourself to be of service to someone else, you will not only forget about the chaos, but you will become centered enough to receive the clarity you need. It may feel like you are going nowhere, which can be frustrating, but nowhere is exactly where answers to your deepest questions await your awareness. In recovery, it’s not about reaching the top of the mountain. It’s simply about being aware of the moment. We can very well climb that mountain, but when we get there, we will discover it was all a mirage. There are more mountains to climb. The journey is never-ending, so the universe laughs when we get ahead of ourselves. There is nothing to achieve. It’s all about now. Who are you helping? Who are you being? How often are you letting go and simply being open to receiving? What is your vision? Do you even have a vision? If you don’t, then get one. With a vision, you will be guided. Without vision, you will be easily misguided. We simply need to focus on where we want to be, and then open ourselves up to moving toward that place, knowing that how we get there is none of our business. That’s where I am today. I know what I want. I know what I don’t want, but while I’m feeling raw between the two, I’m going to put my head down and help others, even if it’s simply helping my daughter get ready in the morning because she’s running late. That’s where it’s at. I know it sounds mediocre, but to get anywhere, we have to embrace each moment as if it’s the path toward our vision, because it truly is.
Acceptance and Awareness
Better perception of reality
Doing what you dig
Freedom from fear
Growth (mental, emotional, spiritual)
Just being yourself
Kindness toward yourself and others
Laughing comes easier
Open to life
Restful instead of restless
Surrendering to what you have no control over
Unity with yourself and others
World opens up for you
X marks the spot for new beginnings
You (underneath all those layers)
Zeal for life
In high school, I recall wanting to lose a bunch of weight quickly, but a doctor told me I would have to eat right and exercise for the best results. I was angry with the doctor because I wanted a pill to do all the work for me. Eventually, ephedra was hot on the market, and there I had my quick fix. I lost the 40 extra pounds I’d been carrying most of my life, and while I took the pills, I remained quite thin. The worst part about it was that I could eat like a pig and not gain a pound, so I developed terrible eating habits while using ephedra. Eventually the FDA took the pills off the market because there were a few reported deaths due to heart attacks. I was more than willing to put my life on the line to take those pills and remain a size four, but I would either have to accept my natural size ten, or figure out a way to keep the weight off organically. There is nothing on the shelves that will melt the pounds away and keep them off. Eating right and exercise is the only sustaining answer, so I had to change my mindset.
This last year, after three years of recovery, I have slowly lost weight that I gained while drinking. It has taken me six months to lose ten pounds. That sound dreadful, I know, but at least the habit of eating right and a daily exercise routine is something I have been able to maintain, not to mention that my self-esteem has increased, because doing the hard work has made me feel good about myself. If I can’t look in the mirror and accept myself for what I am right now, then there is a lot more work to do simply than a diet. More than anything, I want to be healthy, feel good and live a long life. If it takes me three more years to lose another ten or fifteen pounds, I’ve got the patience now. I know it will stay off because I’m not using a quick fix, and I fundamentally feel good about myself for once.
This morning I read an article about a vaccine for heroin addiction – a pharmaceutical that will block the cravings. This is another one of America’s short term answers to a fundamental problem in the culture. This drug could literally increase the usage of heroin. I mean, my old addict thinking is like, “Cool. Now I can try heroin because if I get addicted, I can go to the doctor to stop the cravings…” (Yeah, that’s how sick I am on an addict level). There are no sustaing quick fixes in life. As pioneers, we Americans are also incredibly backwards. We work ourselves to the bone to maintain a standard of living, and then drug ourselves into zombies in order to maintain that standard of living. None of it is fulfilling, and there is way too much pressure in our society. We’ve got to turn this around on a fundamental level.
When I was twenty-seven, I already had been married for six years, birthed two children, and maintained a stressful career for nine years. I got the children ready in the morning, did all the laundry, kept my house in tip top shape, cooked dinner most of the time, and cleaned up afterward. I was doing what I thought was “normal,” but I was miserable. I got through it with ephedra and alcohol. We all know how that ended. My husband was fighting his own demons at the time, trying to contort his natural way of being, into a standard American husband model. We both failed greatly. I don’t know how most people do it without going insane, especially if they are doing it sober. All of that keeping up with the Jones’ nonsense, felt like I was twisting my soul inside out and then flushing it down the toilet. To make things worse, some people made this lifestyle look incredibly easy, and the pressure from outside people, was terrifically constricting. I didn’t know anything about what I wanted in life, yet I was molding myself into something completely opposite of who I truly was. I’m an explorer, not a homebody. I’m creative, not regiment, like my career required of me. I’m also not keen on committed relationships. I cried a lot back then.
It takes a lot of courage to discover yourself, and all your defaults of character on a fundamental level, but some of us don’t have a choice. For some reason (perhaps a deal I made with the gods before I was born), I couldn’t ever drink myself to death, so the only solution for me was to figure out how to live my life sober without being completely miserable. Nearly four years later, here I am sober and happy. My lifestyle is nowhere near what it was in my twenties. It certainly doesn’t live up to the American standards, but I am fulfilled. I took the time to find out who I was. I explored myself and the world around me enough to know that I’ve got dreams, and hopes and yearnings. To ignore those, is futile for me. I have nightmares of people telling me, “You have a calling to be a pianist in a church…” blah blah blah. (You might as well stick a needle in my arm and call it a day). God, the last thing I need is people deciding what’s best for me, yet that’s what I did until my late twenties. Thank the gods for my rebellious nature. It eventually did me a world of good.
I truly believe that there are people who have naturally addictive personalities, just like there are those who are naturally hyper. I call that “excess energy.” It simply needs to be channeled. Put an addict to work on something they love, and you will see passion. That extra energy simply needs to be focused. Most people who have an addictive personality, are incredibly ingenuitive. You can’t put a bird in a cage and expect it to forget about flying. I hate seeing birds in cages. It’s awful. It reminds me of a creative mind being forced to learn algebra. (Kill me now…)
There is no quick fix to a fundamental problem. We need to teach our children how to channel their creative energy into what they’re passionate about. If they are drawn to horses, we shouldn’t direct them toward tap dancing just because that’s our dream. If another family has all their children in sports and your child doesn’t like sports, don’t force them to be in sports. It’s a dangerous thing we’re doing by keeping up with the Jones.’ If you hate working nine-to-five, find a way to make a living more creatively. The good thing about America is that we have a lot of choices. We shouldn’t settle, and we should never stop exploring. It is not human nature to be stagnant.
I feel like there are many people who are fundamentally unhappy, and rather than taking the time to explore ourselves, we quick fix it. Many people don’t have a drug or alcohol problem, but they eat to fill a void. This is so common. Other people are chronic relationship chasers. Listen, we all have an inner void. It’s there for a reason. Explore the void, rather than trying to fill it. It takes less time to enter into that void than it does to fill the void. You can never fill the void because it isn’t a void at all. It’s your inner-self needing your full attention, and it gets louder and louder until you acquaint yourself with it. We need to learn to sit quietly with ourselves, and to be uncomfortable once in a while without trying to numb the discomfort. We all have traumas and pains and sorrows. They are there to assist us in our spiritual development, but if we ignore them or numb them, then we end up even more miserable for a longer period of time.
Self-love is the answer to this backwards thinking society, but not on a topical level. We need to go deep. It doesn’t take as long as we fear, and the journey is incredible. The bottom line is that if you’re unhappy, you can turn it around, but you need to do the work. Admitting it is the first step. If you can do that, then you’re already brave. You also need to be courageous and willing. And if you can’t muster the courage up, think about the end of your life and reflect on what it’s going to feel like if you didn’t make an effort. If you spend your life trying to impress other people, how is that going to add up in the end? It’s not worth it. We are responsible for what we do, who we hang out with, how we feel and where we are headed. There is no one or nothing that can pump you full of self-esteem. It takes work, and time, but it’s worth it because the journey is truly fulfilling. Along the way you realize what you’ve been missing all along, which is incredibly profound. I won’t give it away, but it begins with Y and ends with U!
We underestimate ourselves, and settle for way less than optimum. From a very young age we are conditioned to think that life is mostly against us, while being ignorantly taught “survival of the fittest,” although this statement was never coined by the late Charles Darwin, who not only studied the theory that life struggles to remain alive, but later confirmed that this was not so. He determined the reason why life continues living, is definitely not because it fights. It’s because it adapts to its environment and goes with the flow. Harmony allows life to thrive on this planet – not competition. It is not the strongest creatures on this planet who thrive here. Those that collaborate with their environment, are the ones who flourish.
Our most idolized scientists of late (including Stephen Hawking who is still profoundly alive), study their own theories so thoroughly, that they prove themselves wrong, and end up opening another one of Pandora’s boxes in nature. It seems that there is no solid, fundamental particle that gives us the true make-up of life, although science has been trying to pin the source of life down for centuries. Even the Higgs Boson field (discovered in July 2012 – a.k.a. “God Particle”) is incredibly subjective and “unstable.” What is being discovered, is that consciousness and human intention plays a significant role in how subatomic particles (like quarks) navigate. It is within a human being’s innate power, to observe and create their own experience by what they focus on during the experience. Over and over, science has proven that human consciousness plays a direct role in how an experiment unfolds. Results of several experiments are subjective, according to whom the observer is during the experiment, and according to what they believe while they are performing the experiment.
We have be un-empowered in this society, believing that we must compete in order to thrive in the world. We must work hard, and struggle if we are going to succeed. (Does “divide and conquer” ring any bells? What a great way to control society, so that individuals don’t realize their true nature). It is a competitive culture we live in, but we all end up in the same boat – “From ashes to ashes, dust to dust.” There are many people who have had it all, just to discover that money and power doesn’t equal joy. If you compete your way through life, there is no end to the competition. There will always be someone richer, better, prettier, etc. If this is your goal, then it is completely unobtainable, and if your goal is to live the “American Dream,” then you are selling yourself incredibly short. That material way of thinking is terribly unfulfilling. Our nature is to create, to evolve, and to thrive. In order to thrive, we must be open to life. If you have a strict opinion or belief about anything, then you are shutting yourself off from the incredible journey of being. Life is subjective, according to the observer. Life moves and unfolds according to how you think. If you are open to great things, then great things will occur for you. If you are shut down and opinionated, then life will be very small, and you will probably discover yourself agitated when things don’t go your way.
People are so busy pointing fingers at what is wrong in this world, fixated on the problems of society, and praying for God to deliver the planet from corruption, that they are too blind to see that their own human power, when focused and directed with total consciousness, has the power akin to the light of the sun. One human being has the power to illuminate the entire world. Some people are so arrogant to think that they have solely been blessed by God with special gifts and powers, but the truth is, we all have consciousness, which means we all have the innate power to change the course of humanity.
Rather than competing to be right, contending to be the best, or fixating on the problems of society, we should focus our energy on healing disease, and breaking down the walls of institutionalized thinking. You cannot place a box around life and expect it to flourish. God does not reside inside of a church, and the answers (which are always subjective) are not discovered within the walls of a classroom. You cannot pinpoint the truth, because it is always flowing and moving and changing according to the observer. God is not one thing, or several. God is, which means that you can’t grab God and label God and identify God’s source. It will never happen.
Your own consciousness defines and determines your experience of life. You can either package your life up into an ideal, or allow it to flow, evolve and thrive. You can focus your energy on a standard way of living, or open yourself up to a spectacular way of being. There are no limits to what can occur when you are open. You completely limit yourself when you are convinced about anything. Life is incredibly subjective. We have the power to move mountains, so why are so we fixated on mediocrity? Soon we will understand how ignorant we have been all along, now that science is realizing that consciousness is the very fabric of our existence.
How you think, and what you believe, determines the result of your life experience. If you want greater things, then it is up to you to be open to those greater things. It is not going to appear out of the sky in the blink of an eye from someone outside of yourself. You are determining your life experience right now. The more love you give, the more you will receive. The more support you give, the more you will receive. The more compassion you give, the more you will receive. I had a big wake-up call the other day when two people told me that I was responsible for my own success. My success is subjective to how I think about myself, not how society thinks about me. If I think it is subject to how society thinks of me, then I am completely stifling myself from my full potential. If we have the power to move subatomic particles on a fundamental level, then imagine our power on a universal scale.
We underestimate ourselves because this is what we have been conditioned to do in our society. The people in the world who are of greatest influence, are those that do not subject themselves to one way of thinking, but open themselves up to possibilities beyond measure. This can be you, but it is clearly up to you to get out of the box and flourish. How boring we have become in America. We are creatures of habit, and parrots of our predecessors, rather than realizing our own dynamic potential. Why so much addiction and mental illness? Because we are completely going against nature, and it is driving us mad. There is so much more to life, but we have cultivated a society of limitations, laws, with an institutionalized way of thinking. What for? I don’t exactly know, but I certainly don’t want any part of it. I am not afraid to walk against the crowd if it means that I get to discover something beyond that which I’ve been taught. I don’t want to be told – I long to discover. I want the magic, not the material.
There is magic to behold. It is up to each person to realize their full potential. If you are tired of your life, then change your thinking around it. Do something different. Be open to a subjective existence rather than being stuck in the familiarity of your conditioning. All those beautiful stories in the Bible are illustrations of the human potential, yet we’ve ignorantly condensed them into a religious belief system. Even the interpretation of such texts is incredibly subjective. Don’t you see? It is through your vision that the world expands. It is your belief that determines your reality. The only limitations are our own.
If technology is synthetic of nature (and I propose it is), then as you can see, there are no limitations to what will evolve out of technology. Likewise nature is non-absolute. It is subject to interpretation and open to our imaginations. There is so much more to this existence merely than having a career, reproducing, retiring and dying. Don’t you agree? So if you’re bored like I was, in this institutionalized society, then might I suggest that you go a little bit deeper? Learn about who you truly are on a conscious level, and do experiments with intention. Practice giving yourself what you are looking for outside of yourself. Go the distance in your lifetime. If you are straight, gay, transsexual, Muslim, Christian, disabled, female, male, an addict in recovery, or simply feeling lost because you don’t know who you are, then you are clearly a human being with a brilliant mind who has the ability to move mountains, simply by directing your mind to greater awareness. Your differences are more about how you think, than they are about how you label yourself.
“Be not conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” (Romans 12:2) This is a empowering scripture. We can transform anything by simply changing our thinking, and we should continually be changing our thinking if we want to be constantly renewed.