Some thoughts on Nola

  Man!  Nola is grabbing at my heart strings.  They say you leave a piece of your heart here.  The vibe calls, no simpler way to put it.  Nola is such a balance of death and rebirth.  She truly is a phoenix.  But my journey must go on.

I’ve had some powerful spiritual experiences here, taking on a rebirth of my own.  My understanding of the energies that surround/impact us in life seems to be growing.  Perhaps because I am in a constant state of IDK WT… Eff is going on, so I pay more attention. 

The people, the culture, the accents, the music, even the brown of the Mississippi are all beautiful.  There really is a justice to seeing and experiencing things with your own being. 

Each stop of this trip shows me more: Seattle- I am whole and beautiful, New York City- why I value what I do, Georgia- I can overcome my demons and to have hope, and Nola, oh sweet Nola- rebirth.

Well, hope it’s all g double o d good.  Give my love to the boys. 

Have a good one.


You asked me
Why I don’t get it

You told me
It wasn’t right.

How can something that was sacred
Be wrong?

Circumstances change
As do people

But that’s life
Peaks and valleys.

Funny that you taught me that
Yet you are the one who left

I tell you one thing
You still are sacred to me

And here’s another
I want to be there for both the good AND the bad

I’m committed to loving you eternally
And for always, I promise to try to understand

I’m changing but I suppose time
Will have to show

Only through my prayers of light and loving kindness
Can I try to let you know.

It is because you are sacred
That I believe.

Oh when the Saints, go marching in…

I woke up at 0400 after having a dream about being very excited to be going to New Orleans.  I’ve been logging the dreams for some time and Joseph Campbell puts it out there that when you go on a trip, you bring the whole psyche along for a ride. 

An entry in my journal before leaving Hawaii:

“I had a dream where I am with my pack and I see a woman with a suitcase, a couple other people, and a child with a bear.  It would appear that all the characters of my unconscious will be bringing their baggage along for the ride…”

I had a few notes after about this dream but I remember getting the distinct feeling I was going to be headed to New Orleans.  While in New York, I was still out to pasture as to whether I should go there or not.  In Seattle, I’d found a place that felt like a new home and saw that I was whole alone, in New York, I understood why I wanted a shared experience more fully and that I was really alot more like Jessica than I’d realized, and from both had seen deeply into who I am and why that is.  Needless to say, I felt a desire to head west already.

Well rather than be all heady, I put it out there to whether or not I should good to New Orleans.  The next day, I’m in the subway and I meet a woman who tells me about her son who is volunteering down there.  She says it’d be great for me to feel that energy.  BTDub- his name is Jason…

I have friends who tell me I look to deeply into things.  I have other guides who have told me that I should be here or there at this point in my life.  One of the biggest things that I have learned on this unknown road, is that I have to figure it out for myself.  Whenever we embark down our path, a path that our heart leads us on, it has never been done before so we have to learn to read those signs and follow our own intuition. 

I’ve made many mistakes in my life, the decisions on this trip, not so because I’m paying attention to the dreams, the signs, and listening to that simple voice in my heart.  Here in Georgia, I learned how important it is to couple love with understanding.  I’m not saying that means my love will be reconciled but I realized that as much as one can love fully, understanding is such a necessary piece to the puzzle. 

I used to think because of a vision I had that I knew.  Well life shook it up because I thought I knew.  I have no idea what comes next but every step of the way, I was reminded to have hope.  And I guess all of this helps in making me believe.  In what remains to be seen but this is where I am as I head off to NOLA.


Further Down the Rabbit Hole

So the fantastic voyage continues to show me more and more each day. I realize it’s only been a few weeks but time has slowed down since I have no place to call home, no physical place at least, and nothing back to go back to really because I do not know what will happen.

Losing the parts of my life that I loved the most, or at least elements that represent them, has shown me a great deal about who I am and why I am that way.

It has forced me to test my bounds and to see why I have such “lofty” ideals as some people have said. It has shown me the world through different eyes. And though this quest is not over, I can say I am forever changed and the same as I always was. Meaning, my core seems to be coming into being.

I can also say what I believe in and I am okay with not choosing to label. I’ll use God and interchange it with the Universe but really, it is just a Greater Presence, and it is so vast, the words and the associations that come with them are limiting.  The word God has long represented a bearded figure to many and in turn many turn away.  The word Allah is recently being associated with terror and wrongfully so.  Buddha has long been associated with a jolly, fat man and yet the man is separate than the many incarnations that are worshiped.  I feel like wisdom can be found in each faith.

I think it’s limiting to label, perhaps that is why I cannot find peace with one religion that currently exists. They all have elements that are spot on but in my opinion don’t paint the whole picture alone.  And quite frankly, maybe in this body, that is how it is supposed to be.  Maybe we are each supposed to only see parts so that we can figure it out for ourselves and so that we can work at understanding one another and realize that we do relate.

So how can we understand.? Well, I think if we can understand how we feel and why that is, then perhaps we can understand the feelings of others and relate to their situations.

I also think communication is very key.  I err in communication quite often but I’m trying to improve.  (To a friend who I hurt recently because of my inability to communicate my thoughts effectively, I am truly sorry as I was trying to figure something out, and you were right.  My apologies as I wasn’t trying to say you were wrong although I can see how that came across).

I am definitely learning that there are many ways to achieve the same goals and this blog, this journey, is my way of trying to piece it together for myself.  I share it because maybe someone does relate and if so, I welcome feedback and guidance as I believe we are at a place in human history where we can learn from others’ experiences instantly because of the internet.  And this could aid us to have a more holistically healthy life.

I think there are people out there who are tired of hitting their heads against the wall and as one of the ones who has hit my head against the wall repeatedly, I’m still learning how not to do this and trying to stop unconsciously creating pain in myself and for others.

And it’s on to the next one…

But Still I stand

Tengo un corazon roto
I am filled with love
I feel alive but still
Tengo un corazon roto

I do not understand why it went down this way
No light at the end of the tunnel
Can make sense right now
Because I’m here not there

Tengo un corazon roto
I don’t feel loved
I feel discarded
Tengo un corazon roto.

If love never fails
What happened this time?
I know. I know.
At least I am alive.

Tengo un corazon roto
They say time heals
I can’t fast forward, nor can I rewind
Tengo un corazon roto

So here I am
Broken heart in hand (chest)
Sometimes my knees tremble and I look up
But still I stand

Tengo un corazon roto
But still I stand…

Draft: Following the Signs along My Own Road to Santiago

“A stranger in a strange land…”

I’m taking this trip because I was compelled and propelled too.  I long ignored it and I can see in retrospect that it took taking away many elements of my life that I loved in order for me to get the point and go (which I had a choice to do otherwise and I’ll expand later).

Let me start first by saying I believe in dreams.  I also believe in love.  Couple that and it’s safe to say I think the world could be a bit cooler if people followed their passion and lived a life that they loved.  Just a thought considering that fear based action has been quite limiting in my opinion.

So yeah, lost job, lost the love of my life, lost the patriarch of one side of my family.  Add that I lost the home that I lived in and loved for the past year and left my tribe of warriors and I really am like a stranger in a strange land.

Well, strange can’t be that bad right?  There’s a compilation of short stories called the “Kindness of Strangers” that I once skimmed and it’s all about the help one can find along the way of travels from strangers.

When I began this trip, I had to give myself 3d goals to motivate myself.  “I have to train as much as I can.”  “I have to blah blah blah.”  It evolved to following my passion because I love training, not only Jiu-Jitsu but yoga, tai chi, running, loved Muay Thai.  I love the place it puts me.  This place of peace, a peace which allowed me to feel gratitude earlier this year.

Well, planning may work for some people but it’s kicked me in the balls before and it’s surely not working so far in this trip.  But wandering has.  And so has following the signs.

My first day here I wandered into a trinket shop called The Raven’s Nest.  I read the speech of Chief Seattle and man if that didn’t speak to me.  It hit me that I was here because this is what my soul was trying to tell me.  I love Hawaii, I do appreciate it, but being there was clouding my ability to go within and listen because of the familiarity of it.

I spoke briefly with the owner, Candid, a Chinese woman from the PI, and she  immediately knew that I was Chinese.  WT.. efe, I rarely get that in Hawaii and it was often a point of contention growing up.  My white skin made me feel like I didn’t belong.

I know poor white man.  Well, there’s only so much Fuck you Haole a child can take and understand before starting to loathe their skin, literally and figuratively.

I wandered further into Momo and Zen, a Chinese Herb and Metaphysical store because a big reason I believe in dreams is my favorite author, Paulo Coehlo, the author of The Alchemist.  The book is all about following one’s dreams.

The main character, Santiago, literally has a dream of the pyramids and he goes on a quest.  At the start of the dream, he sees a gypsy, who helps to read his dream.  So me, I think, I plan, I try to control the delivery of the message by going to see a tarot reader.  The tarot reader’s name was Raven, which aha sign, right because I just exited the Raven’s Nest.  Somehow, I didn’t make it back.  It was as though my mind shut off.

Anyhow, The Alchemist is also about manifestation.  Here is the kicker though.  You have to read The Pilgrimage in order to get how it all fits together.  That guy, huh?  Might as well make some scrips off of two books.  Nah nah, joke.  I began reading The Pilgrimage because I was inspired to do so and following the Road to Santiago de Compostella, a journey millions have taken over the centuries, is the spiritual quest that empowered Coehlo.

In it, he describes the events of his journey on The Road to Santiago.  So I’m reading it, I get to see how he experienced certain elements that can help me.

Let me step back and say that I’ve always planned.  Also, I have always tried to control what would happen.  I think rather than listen to my heart.  It’s the natural function of the conscious mind really.  It means well but is dealing with some collective unconscious baggage as well as some personal hand carries if you will.

Well, I’m here and learning to let go.  To trust and to follow.  And you know, the things that I set out to plan have kind of crapped out.  So the only guides right now are the signs that just happen.

This is all day one.  Day two I awake to hear this damn bird.  Can’t tell what it is.  I set off to wander, something inside telling me when and where to turn.  Really weird too because I have no idea where I’m going.  I walk into this courtyard filled with trees that have chimes in them.  If it were a movie, it’d be some eerie, cool music.  For real!

And I see a totem of the Sun and Raven.  Then I hear the cawing again and see a black bird.  Now I’ve since learned it was a crow but at the time for all I knew it was a raven.  I started to get this weird tingling sensation in the crown shakra of my head.  The body is the way the soul experiences the world and this was a feeling that I’ve learned means to pay attention.  I keep following the sounds and it leads me to another part of the square where there’s these two homeless dudes chilling, a black man and a white man.

This is the leap of faith dear reader because it sounds crazy, but if you’ve read this far, than here goes: I look around to my left because the black man was giving me stink eye.  New city, being careful, makes sense.  He then says my name: “Jason.”  I look back, he looks at me for a second, and then turns away.  I pause and I recall The Pilgrimage and how God (and at times the Devil) act through others.

I stop and look across and see a sign for the Seattle Underground Tour.  Now this was interesting because this was the one tour I wanted to do here.  I thought symbolically it would be good to do to honor my dreams and show that I’m letting go and going into the unknown, the underground if you will.

Tour was bomb and it led me to the top of the Smith Tower which is a 35 story building which overlooks Seattle.  While there, I started talking with this woman there, Meseret (The Foundation), because her accent tripped me out.

Being on a spiritual journey, I asked her why she had traveled so far. She told me something had guided her. I told her of my dream to really live and later an actual dream I had which showed me going from NYC, to Las Vegas, and ending in a place like Huntington Beach and that I felt I was being pushed to take this journey.

We talked some more and as though it was message, she said foreigners would be my guides. She took my number and told me stop by when I return to Seattle.  Later, she called me because she stayed later so that people could see the sunset.

I did and it was a beautiful sunset in a different way.  I thanked her because I had a feeling she set it up to stay open because they were going to close early.  She thanked me and said she was happy that I could see what she sees.

I head back to my Hostel and I meet my Asian roommate with a Hawaiian name, Kai… from Australia.  We have a bloody good chat I tell you.  Quite eye opening in many ways.  I found it all too coincidental that he was a foreigner and told him what Meseret had said.

He quips back: “It’s because we see the world through our own eyes and can say what we see.”  And that’s when the aha’s of the day made sense.  All the different viewpoints create a picture with more dynamic colors and dare I say balance the equation.

I’ll be writing more as I go but I just wanted to share this because this that seagull I saw in the sky reminded me of Jonathan Livingston Seagull.  Jonathan truly believe life was meant to be lived fully and that seagulls could do more than eat, shit, sleep.  He was into dive-bombing and 360s, then 720s.

But like the character in Plato’s Allegory of the Cave.  Jonathan was ostracized from his community because they thought he was a bloody nutter.  Well old boy goes on his journey and basically meets the Seagull God.  He hits this point where he decides he has to go back because he wants to share what he has learned.

He remembers what it was like to be angry.  To be afraid.  He knows that he has something to share, even if it’s only for one person.  And I’ll spare you the rest because it’s like 70 pages, just read it, it’s bloody awesome.

Why all the bloody banter you say?  Well, because Kai checked out and a new Australian moved in.  We talk and for some reason he tells me to be a writer (funny side note: Kai said to be a travel writer or to start my own religion (shut up Gavin McCall (who said I’d start a cult)))  I told him I cringe when I look back at some experience I am far removed from.  He says, yeah but even though you are past it, someone else may not be.  And I realize why I want to share my experience.

Some will say it’s narcissistic.  I’m sharing it because I want to be of service to this world.  Even if it’s only to better relate to others.  Why?

Well, I’m a product of my generation, and Tupac’s underground song, “Pain” once spoke to me.  Spoke to me in such a way that I realized that I am never alone.

Which will probably lead to Chapter Two…