So in Love…

A few years back, my Life pitched, I swung and done missed a curve ball that I didn’t expect but propelled me to do this Inner Work and figure out what this personal relationship with God through Love was all about to me.

So I went walking about…

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And realized that what we say in Hawaii is true, Aloha Ke Akua, God is Love, and I could feel that all over because I was a Mirror of Love myself…  We all are Mirrors!  Or for those of you more inclined to the following language:

We are made in God’s Image and Likeness. 

I took a number of videos and pictures on my trusty old smartphone (what an awesome Life, eh?  some ish goes down but many of us are blessed enough to have smartphones!) to document the sights and sounds.

One of my fondest memories is this video, of New York Street Performers, was taken outside of New York City’s famous American Museum of Natural History.

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It was a beautiful late summer day, the Life around me was vivid and Flowing and well, who isn’t a sucker for a classic Love song, eh?  With that, here ave a few Van Gogh Sunflowers to go with your Love song!

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Enjoy!

 

 

‘Do or Do not, there is no Try’ Meaning

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Like many people I have tried and failed quite often.  I have often tried and made mistakes.  Whenever I have used the word ‘try’ around my Teacher, Adya, she always says:

“Get that out of your vocabulary!”

I still use ‘try’ here and there even though I don’t much say it around her.  And if I do, I catch it and correct it as soon as it makes its way into sound.  I don’t necessarily think trying is bad.  But I understand why it is important to do, to give it one’s best fully instead of trying half-heartedly.  And I think that is what Yoda meant when he uttered:

Do or do not… There is no try.

The memorable scene depicted the brash teenager of Luke Skywalker grappling with a hard choice as he followed his Path.  He could continue his training and learn the ways of the Force or he could give up.  This choice was something that was not easy as he had to face his greatest Fear, acknowledging the Truth that his father was one of the largest forces of Evil in his story told a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

From my experience in Life, when we have trouble whilst grappling with what to do next and face our fears, it can be hard to keep going, not give up.  As hard as it can be, sometimes Life throws a curve or gives some inspiration when we need it most in order to take the next step in our Journey. Luke couldn’t do for himself so the Star Wars Universe put his friends in danger, giving him extra motivation to stop trying.

In that instance, he stopped trying and actually gave into the tune that Life had been playing for him all along.  If you watch the series through its first trilogy conclusion, even though he leaves his training, he does go on to become a Jedi Knight and a Master.  Though he didn’t listen to Yoda’s teaching the first time, his Path gave him what he needed in order to ‘Do’ what he needed to do.  And it did so in a painful way.  He lost his buddy for a time, lost his hand, and got the rude awakening about his Father.

But that is how Life goes.  Doesn’t matter if the song is the same and someone has already sang it to us.  Sometimes we just have to sing, listen, and dance for ourselves.

Who is Johnny Redd?

Who is Johnny Redd?

He is You.  Him is Me.  He is Her.  Her is She.

Johnny Redd is Whoever One Wants Him to be.

He is the Ultimate Shadow,  the Unseen Freedom that we all can be.

When Johnny Speaks, he does so that We can see.

Now who is Johnny Redd? I don’t know any more or less than you.  So why don’t you tell me who Johnny Redd is to You?

Because your Truth is just as True.

Non-Attachment… It’s Really All Okay

Note: This piece was a submission for Tiny Buddha that was not selected but gonna give some airtime for here. Enjoy.

“Serenity comes when you trade expectations for acceptance.”  ~ Unknown

In my Life, expectations rooted in the expectations of others have led me to experience a lack of being, an incapability to be mindful, and unable to enjoy the presence of each moment.   I have had to hit my head against the wall repetitiously to learn this.

At the start of 2009, I sat amidst my Quarter Life Crisis, which was on life support as I was close to turning 30, and I was trying to just “Breathe and Smile,” as Thich Nhat Hahn put it.  I had been meditating off and on for years, part of the spiritual hokey pokey I played, before starting to realize that I truly was seeking to live mindfully and create a peaceful existence for myself.  As I went deep into meditation that night, I heard a voice within my being ask: “What do you want Jason?”

As I focused on the question and where it came from, I felt like it was asking me what was in my Heart, the area in my chest feeling like it was opening up.  One of my teachers expressed that “the body is the way the Spirit experiences the world” so I was learning to pay attention to sensations within my body.  In that instance, as my Heart opened, I saw the image of a woman and that startled me.

I had not really any idea what that meant or why.  Within a few months I found the answer, meeting the woman who was presented as a vision and with whom our lives seemed intertwined with synchronicity.  I thought for sure that we would be married.

Well, Life being the “expect the unexpected” that it is, happened and we broke up during a series of events that changed my life. Within a short period of time, I was laid off from work, laid off from that relationship, and experienced the Death of my Grandfather, the latter two experiences within a day of one another.

Having been brought to my knees by Life, I had a choice: to see myself as a victim or quit playing the hokey pokey, strive to go deep within to understand, to let go, and finally accept.  My pattern of fighting the occurrences of life stemmed back to childhood when I found out that my family was moving, an experience that was very difficult to understand at the time, impacted my development, and took years to process.  The trauma that I experienced from the sudden change at the young age and made me strive unable to accept the house of cards tumbling around me each and every time a change occurred.

I began to pray for dreams, interpret them, and observe/interpret the symbols of my life as they showed up in my experience.  If it worked for people in the past and other cultures, it had to work for me and I began to trust that Life knew more than me because each time I went through a change, in hindsight, I realized it was for the better, if only because of the growth that unfolded for me.  I wanted to stop resisting the change and enjoy the whole show.

I found ways to joke about Mindfulness so that I could enjoy it, telling people that it was Okay-Ness, because within each moment, the perspective can shift and we can find the beauty in the chaos, the chaos in the beauty, or both.  And whatever we focused on was in fact Okay because it was there to teach us.

In November of last year, my Grandmother passed away.  Within minutes of finding out about this, my car died on me while I was driving.  A friend informed me that perhaps it was my Grandma saying bye.

I believed it because for a time I drove her old car and it did the same thing to me, dying out while I was driving and left me on the side of the road, signs I took as it was time to leave a bad work situation that I was stubborn on exiting because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to pay my rent.

As I look at Life’s Road, with its twists and turns, I am beginning to appreciate what presence brings in each moment because our fears really can facilitate our experiences.  With all my expectations, I rarely had the opportunity to appreciate the emotions I didn’t like that came with change because I was not ready for disappointment, anger, or sadness.  I have fought my emotions for so long and when I lost that last relationship shortly after my job and right before my Grandfather, I couldn’t fight the feeling because of how intense it was and how it consumed me.

It was a lifetime of not accepting change and the feelings that came with it and during that time, I felt it all fully because it helped me to really feel alive.  I have since been cultivating the garden of my observer and feel all of this without getting so overtaken by it that I forget I have peace in each moment, if only because I realize I am not my emotion, I am just feeling them.  Whatever I am feeling is really okay because it wouldn’t be experienced if it was not necessary.

The disappointment that came with my attachments, the suffering that I thought I was going through was merely my opposition to allowing whatever was present in my life.  The other day, my then girlfriend and I broke up.  I met her months before my Grandmother passed and there was chemistry that I chose to ignore until I was reminded of the frailty of life on the day my Grandmother passed away.

I gave love a chance again because I was present and it felt right to do so.  I opened, allowed myself back into love, and yet we broke up.

It was mutually created, it sucks, but it is beautiful because I can allow my feelings to exist.  I can accept that this is where I am.  As with previous changes, where I didn’t know what was yet to come, I still do not know.

The fact that I feel strong enough to get out of bed, go to work, keep walking, give myself space to grieve, be angry, smile, laugh and feel peace as I go through each day is liberating.  It is challenging but considering that I am a stronger person this time around, I made it through something that was at the time what I would consider worse, so I will be okay.

I am going to be okay because I already am.  Even though I didn’t set out for this relationship to unfold as it did, the fact is it did.  I am not a victim.  I just had an experience and that is cool.

 

Circles of Life : Healing the Inner Child

At 434 Tattoo, Tattoo Adam has often expressed to me the idea of circles and Life, and  I have heard oftentimes that it is important to close circles before entering into new endeavors.  When I watch how the patterns in Life unfold, I have many times seen repeats, though in new experiences with new people, the same lessons seem to apply.

I’m told that I am still young, at the cusp of 33, and I can look back and see how I was hardly present in my Life.  I was either wishing to be ahead or past something or had an opportunity to revisit another ‘past something,’ that had occurred.  When a Mentor expressed that I should expect the unexpected, the words did not quite register until a jarring change after jarring change occurred.

As each shake to my Life hit, I started to adopt a mantra of: “This is where I am…”

It is usually when I can honestly say those words without shuddering, that I finally accept whatever has occurred, if only to feel aligned within, whether it makes sense outside of me or not.  To get to the place where I can say those words, I often have to check-in with the different characters of my Inner Family.  The one who seems to have taken the brunt of it all, my Inner Child, is usually the last who I remember to check-in with.  I am striving to be more attentive to that part of me because each jab of Life, which sparks the incessant non-sense of “I am not Loved” by Life, God, whoever, whatever really has to do with the wound to my Inner Child, who I have spent a Lifetime learning how to Love and who I will continue to do the same, if only to Love within more Fully.

I have long believed it possible to not have to run away or escape the “this is where I am…” that is going on in Life around me.  Just because I felt that way does not mean that I have necessarily applied it.  There may always be a part of me that wants to go for a run, a run away from my Life, but if I can be okay with that, perhaps then, I can move back to a sense of peace… permanently.

If we find Inner Peace, it allows us to find the Love in All of Life, even when chaos may be unfolding around us.  Storms have calms and there has to be a way that we can be there for if Nature does not judge itself, why should we?

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Pictures and Poetry Say it All…

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What do you think this Cat is all about?

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Keep on Preachin’ on Ole Bhajan!

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I used Miracle in reference to Living once and got blasted about how it was actually Science and no Miracle… 

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Well if it ain’t a Miracle: How about a Dream?

Epic Real T-Shirt Stencil

The Bryce Says: Epic Real! & approves of this message…

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ALOHA HARDER!!!

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Sometimes I say too many words but…

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I think Nature ‘says’ the best things &

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Ole Bear agrees!

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Life is short or fast depending on who you ask. 

If it were were your Last , how would you look back today?

Embrace the Tears just as much as the Smiles I say,

B/c when you look back, you realize it was really all okay