Still Breathin’

The Demons in my head, haunt me with their dread, it starts in the morning, and follows me throughout until the bed

Is times like this I hate that my Ego clutches close – relentlessly

Vulnerable in the wind, these times within, I can’t breathe,  I can’t breathe

The world at large in turmoil, much like the chaos raging inside me

The Demons in my head, sometimes they get the worst of me

And the rest of me? The best of me? Lies dormant for me to see. But when The Darkness is at its Brightest, it takes a strong Light to cast a shade.

But the rest of the me, the best of me, I know it’s there cause you see, trouble is I forget, I let, so I can’t see, I can’t see

The Demons in my head, are just another flavor in the spectrum, gotta taste it all, cause Liberation through The Spirit is required, not elective

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Ep. 2.11 – All of it

Fall Autumn Leaves on the Ground_preview

Right now, I feel all of it.

Simultaneously.

Maybe it’s been like that all the time because I’ve often meditated on Okay-Ness (my take on Mindfulness, let’s call it Contemporary Mindfulness, ha, how’s that for philosophy?) as being okay with the moment as it is, for that recognition allows us to see every feeling exists within each experience. With new Light in my Life I’m just being made more aware of how everything is present always.

It’s a bit like like walking into a garage in the dark of night.  You turn on the Light, and really see everything in there for the first time then… BOOM!  There’s the clothes you’re donating next to the unpacked box from college, and oh snap, those albums from childhood in the closet, a fixer-upper project in the corner, and well, a whole bunch of stuff from past seasons still there (in consciousness).

It’s been overwhelming me to be honest.

I’ve worked at cultivating my Life into being self-sufficient, relying on Faith, and surviving no matter what.  It’s not quite dancing like World Class Ballet, but it’s the what’s gotten me this far, which ain’t all that bad.  But, I’m being charged in this Season of Life to let go, to grow, to (gasp) really allow in (be careful what you wish for, I wished to be able to be vulnerable and sh!t…) and enjoy the walk with others.

That’s part of what’s compelled me to process stress, the factors, my capacity, what depletes, what fills and where I am in order to visualize consciously where to go forth.  Allowing myself to Love, to really be without Fear of feeling whatever I’m feeling recently showed me how much the current stress impacts me in ways I’m not fond of.

Each day, I’m slowly understanding more about where my place in the Journey is. And the joke is that right now, it’s kind of like what the f@ck because there’s a bit of really good going on in my Life too. But I’m sure the cosmic joke is always there.

That’s what I mean by feeling all of it; seeing the thin shroud of duality eroding. Subscriptions to even more constructs we’re conditioned to adapt to getting cancelled with each passing Season, not because we said so, but because if one honors the call to Love, and discovering the Fullness of that on the Journey, well that doesn’t mean frolic.

And it’s, it’s, it’s…

It just is.

Another catchphrase, #itjustis.

Acceptance, submission, such a core theme throughout my Journey.  If we cannot accept that Life is beyond our control, even the feelings that we feel when we feel them showing up to teach in the most unexpected of ways, well then there’s no point in Wading Through the Stream.

The ebb and flow of the Universal Waters of Consciousness, all lead, each step, each stumble, Home, to the Source.  Whether that’s God, Love, Ether, Nothingness, that’s not my call for your Journey.  And I’m deep as f*ck and this wading is taking me into a freestyle stroke pretty soon, so best I learn to swim else next Season will be J. Drowning in the Stream but that will never happen.

Cause while I learn and strive to thrive, I’ve no doubt, no matter what I face, I’ll survive.  Because that also what it means to walk home to Love through The Spirit. And the one set of Footprints in the Sands of Time are Divine after all.

And I’m okay with that.

This ends J. Wading Through the Stream, Season Two. We cried, we laughed, we swore , we poetry-d and as so many of my collections of writing conclude, on to the next one, for the  Adventure continues it would seem.

So there’s my AHA – Aloha Harder Moment – for this text.  It’s been fun. It’s sucked. Yet as we shared in Season One, sometimes you have to Embrace the Suck to Share the Stoke.

So FTG! BAM! Choke bishes (no don’t do that). Whatever. It’s all of it. Oh Muahaha.  Muaha-ha-ha. Or…

LMAO

Ep. 2.10 – Why You Stressin’ – Be

Screen Shot 2017-11-05 at 1.38.19 PM

I am not a fan.

Not at all.

But just like sh!t, stress happens.

And it’s not fun and that doesn’t mean we need be crippled by it.

That mindset to not be crippled by limitation, perceived or otherwise, applies to anything really but since we’re talking about stress, let me divulge.  Though I’ve never been diagnosed with anything, throughout my Life, I can look back and see spaces and times where I felt a great deal of anxiety and worry.

If I’m not care + full, it gets the best of me now.  But I do care to have a full and balanced Life so I work at it and my Life improves more and more.

How then do I make it without copious amounts of drugs and alcohol?  That’s a great question.  If I figure it out, I’ll let you know.

Just kidding!

From my experience and observation, that stuff doesn’t help because you can only escape for so long before you are faced with the next hurdle.  And as great as sex or rock’n’roll are, not the greatest of escapes either because reality knocks.  The only way I can ever decompress from stress and anxiety is through self-work, analysis, pause for reflection, and prayer.

And it’s never once been easy.  As much as my Life gets better, it seems a challenge arises to test my ability to deal with Life on the daily, else feel tormented on the nightly.

That’s probably all good and hypothetical, JMAW, but seriously, stress happens.  Yes it does, but we can be honest with ourselves by looking at what is going on and realize, Life is a process, a continual process of growth and evolution.  And if we nurture ourselves enough, we can start to identify what matters.

Perhaps that is the purpose stress really serves.  When there is a whole sh!t ton of bullsh!t to filter through and flush in consciousness, what actually means something, to you.  When you start to approach Life in this fashion, you stop asking ‘How do I pay for this?’ or ‘Why don’t they like me? and start to ask important questions:

Does it matter what people outside of our circle think?  Does it matter what possessions we have?  Does it help to focus on the pressure we feel by focusing on something in our mind?

Answers to that could vary.  And that’s okay too because we are all made differently.  Take 45, it’s apparent it matters what folks think about him.  But that’s just where dude is at in the Stream of Consciousness.  I don’t advocate or approve of dude by that statement, but the extreme example he presents is one that Life has given for us to learn from.

And sometimes I feel like Life gives more questions than it does answers and in pockets of my Life (mostly related to work and finances), I have felt more stressed than ever recently.  But deep down, I know none of that matters because I’m on a Journey through the Stream of Consciousness and being awake in that is realizing I’m being taken on a trip.  And going back to what might not make sense to anyone but me, I’ll be okay because I’m okay now, as I am, event with the stress factors in my Life.

Nothing is writ other than Death and perhaps Fate. 

But both are in the Hands of God and those are pretty good Hands to be in.  As we’ve walked and walked and walked through each of these manuscripts my Friends, I still don’t know what’s to be.  But it’s cool, because I really am okay, as flawed and fucked up as I am, I am okay.  And that women, men, little bitty children, dogs and cats, is what Mindful Living, is really about.

To see and be.

Aloha – We Out.

Roll Credits.

Ep. 2.9 – Mat Rust, Show Cancelled

Kiree Higa, CJJF Purple Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  Photo by Bret Thompsett.

On the day when I let it all go and laughed, something completely shocking and wonderful happened to me as the activities of the day were drawing to a close –

I got my Purple Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ).

I found Martial Arts in my early 20s; my first practice of Muay Thai, provided a physical outlet balanced by the underlying Buddhist philosophy as taught by our teachers.  I began my Jiu-Jitsu Journey in my late 20s, and BJJ was a God-send and point of reference for all things in my Life.  Within Martial Arts, I have seen significant spaces of time where I’ve not practiced.  Those spaces have not been the best of my years, and with more age and awareness, I’m hopeful I won’t see years away from a martial arts practice as this most recent return has shown me how much I need it.

Receiving my Purple Belt, from someone as decorated and respected in Arte Suave (The Gentle Art) as our Mestre, Professor Aldo Caveirinha, was a huge step in re-committing myself to this Journey in Martial Arts.  His words to me were that I’ve always been loyal and humble, which means a great deal, because I strive to live up to a personal code, which values loyalty as it relates to realness, and humility regardless.

Getting back on the mats over the past year has not been an easy task.  I had some very serious doubts about my ability and if I was any good, concerns about my health having already experienced a few significant injuries, and was in quite a vulnerable mental and emotional space as I was healing in the aftermath.

“Little did he know…”

It still sounds odd to voice but without my Faith, my ‘home team’ to quote That Ninja Kiree (pictured), and Jiu-Jitsu, I don’t know where I’d be.

All of the above saved me.

I was in a very dark space a year ago.  I’m still having aha moments opening me up to how imbalanced and far from my Truth I was in the five years away from training.  Without the reminders that Jiu-Jitsu taught me before my time off the mats coming back, I might still be struggling, or worse.

But Jiu-Jitsu taught me.  It taught me these thoughts verywell:

From Getting Smashed to Flowing with the Go – In Life, you get smashed, don’t fight getting smashed, flow with it, go with it, and most of all, learn from it.

It’s not about how many times you submit someone, it’s about whether or not you submit – You will have to submit.  Time and time again.  Sometimes you’ll have to submit when in a position you’ve already submitted to and thought you learned to avoid.  Submit anyway.

Keep rolling – Did you show up? Then that’s a win. Did you learn? Then that’s a win. Did you win, even if those were the only two wins? Then that’s fun.

And as our Mestre teaches:

Train hard, fight easy. 

Whether on or off the mats, if we are prepared for the battles ahead, we can easily roll with it, because like Life, and this is probably why I love Jiu-Jitsu so much, it’s a Journey.

The Jiu-Jitsu lifestyle has helped my health, overall well-being, and it’s a very valuable part of my Life.  That means even more because of the time I spent away from it.

Oss!

Note: Read the full Mat Rust series and more Jiu-Jitsu lifestyle articles online at www.freerollmag.com.

 

 

 

Ep. 2.8 – Let Go and Laugh

Blue Sea Waves Behind The Boat

This might be TMI so you’ve been warned.  

Today as I doing my business in the bathroom, last minute business crept in via text message.  All I could do was continue to ‘let go’ since I was doing just that, and laugh at the cosmic joke I found myself in, then start to work on addressing the challenge…

But first, let’s rewind.

My ‘day’ job is Marketing Director for an Arts Company that stages world-class multi-million dollar opera productions.  Technically, the full title of my role is HOT Marketing Director.  I tell that to people to some eyebrow raises like ‘who the eff this guy think him stay be’ followed by ‘I’m paid not to sing’ which brings forth some laughs.

It’s never a dull moment here and workload and responsibilities have increased each season.  My boss seems to dream up new ideas even though I’m fairly certain he does not sleep and our activity peaks in intensity for 8-10 weeks at least 4x a year, and when you work with hundreds or artists (singers, designers, musicians, and more), it can be a bit like coloring with the whole box of crayons, at once.  That can pile up on top of itself when productions are in consecutive months, yet in terms of major campaigns, with dozens of projects and tasks for each, it takes about 8-10 weeks to adequately promote a production.

We open our Season in a few days, which adds another degree of complexity and meh-are-you-for-real, so without lots of descriptive language, in addition to all the colors, it’s been fucking batshit crazy.  In the past week alone, I’ve been yelled at or talked to sternly 5x by 3 stressed different people.  Now on one level of consciousness, that irritates me, but when I can step back and let go, it’s funny, because the question I ask is this:

What mirror am I looking into?

Searching for the learning makes me really look at my own stress and how I process it.

When we closed the first volume of J. Wading Through the Stream, I was about to enter that 8-10 week period, with the heightened cray because the Season opened, in addition to processing the end of my longest relationship, which while both of us are in better places, wasn’t necessarily easy.  In the year plus since, I’ve lost 45 pounds, my bloodwork and blood pressure is all g, and I credit that to again enhancing my spiritual practice further.  Let’s be real, it’s not like I could stop the spiritual quest.  Rather, it’s go even deeper every day because as more presents itself, the challenges of mental-emotional-social can definitely weigh your Brodie down. The only way to balance the scale is to go harder spiritually because God/Aloha/Love is one heck of GAL, who’s always got yo’ back.

Releasing the physical and symbolic weight I was carrying from that experience has certainly helped me travel this period of work cray-os more smoothly but I too, get exhausted, overwhelmed, and all the eh’s from meh to bleh to keh to (whatever consonant-eh fits here).

And I’m there.

I’ve been so there.

The good news is that right about now, or rather as I sat there ‘letting go’ I saw my ego and didn’t care what itw was saying because, eh, what will be, will be, and it was funny to be problem solving in that setting.  It’s interesting for me to watch, all of it, especially what I’m facing personally as I walk through the stages of a new partnership, and look even deeper at all the elements of my Life, putting the pieces together that I might see the whole that much clearer.

The experience of time and the deepening of awareness provides a few reminders aloud with some new subtle a-ha moments:

YOU’RE ON THE JOURNEY – every step of the way!  Just because you think you have addressed something before, doesn’t mean you won’t be taken into a new perspective as those steps continue because…

HEALING IS LIFELONG – that means, it doesn’t stop until the final breath so whatever comes up, no matter if it’s a new way of looking at something old, or an old way of taking in something new, it’s all good, it’s all valid, and it doesn’t stop until…

THE JOURNEY HOME ENDS IN DEATH – until we draw that breath of Shoots Kay Aloha, all the breaths taken before lead us closer to The Creator, with every opportunity to breathe in the Fullness of Love that this Life is really All about.

JUST KEEP BREATHING – Do this because it gets better and better.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, at the very least my Brethren and Sisthren, do you, keep flowing, and always, always, always,

Aloha Harder

Ep. 2.7 – BAM

“Y’all be talkin’ crazy under them IG pictures” ~ Jay-Z, Bam

Hand Love Heart by the Sea

My homie doesn’t like to swear and she always says (in real life and text) the term of endearment: MotherFer!

Or MotherFers! For multiple such cats. That being shared, we can certainly encounter a great deal of B*tch A$$ MotherFers (BAM) along the Journey.

Such is Life…

“You keep saying that.” I’ve been told. LOLOL, I’ve been saying that along with Ajahn Sumedo’s expression:

“Right now, it’s like this.”

When little BAMs on the road show up in our lives, just remember these are little, small blips in the grandness of vast expanse that is Love.  Sometimes they might shout and create uncomfortable circumstances for the world around them but that doesn’t mean we need to fuel them with our attention.

Nor should we fear them.

That also doesn’t mean to allow oneself to be trod upon.  Factoring that in, what should one do.?

First and foremost, turn to prayer because while the situation might not change instantly, a prayer goes a long way in helping to ease the burden of the emotional energy.  It might help you to see the the situation in a new Light and The Creator works in mysterious ways fo’sho.

Next, give yourself a time limit to look at an issue.  Drama is drama is drama and it’s impossible to turn off the drama unless we tune out of it.  Conflict resolution can unfold in a number of ways from addressing an issue and standing your ground to letting it go.  Whatever you choose, do you, because this Journey is yours, not a miserable little BAMs.

And remember, you are in on the cosmic joke. Laughter truly is some of the greatest medicine available. If you need a visual, just picture the BAMs who show up from time to time as little, bald men, who are just really sad, wearing fake smiles or sneers to mask their hurt and insecurity.

In closing, don’t forget that the ego, like the Devil, has no power unless we give it power.

Give that power to yourself and just Love.

Ep. 2.6 – Sacred Tears

DSC_3569This morning as I sat across from a Sacred Presence, I felt so much Love, the Love that she carries within her own Essence, and the Love that Flowed between us.  I felt my eyes fill with tears and believe it or not, there were not words that I could share at that time.

Over the course of my Journey, I have projected a great deal of what I’ve hoped to find in this world.  And when I was reading folks on the regular, I would strive to share with them the Highest Good, that I felt.  That not so much a projection but a declaration in the Goodness that I believe exists at the core of Creation.

This morning was the first time I felt like the projections and declarations have evolved,  and rather, they are reflections of the vibe of Love I have always felt exists all around us.

For so many years, I kept my Light dim in hopes of fitting in.

There have been so many things I’ve done just do because it’s what you do if you’re alive in this day and age, yet, it wasn’t me living out my Truth.

If anything, it felt like I was ‘living’ in the pale shadow of Truth.

In that case, was it really living?

Or was it subsisting?

I’ve said it, wrote it, and will probably never stop doing it either, but truly, I believe that we are meant to

Live and Love Fully.

To see such a reflection, to feel such a Love, most definitely that’s what this (waves hands all around) time here wearing the masks and costumes of Flesh, are all about.

It’s time we remember.

Start crying.  You are Love.  You are Beloved.  I’ve said this before too:

It’s Time to Fly.

Aloha ke Akua.