Drop the Mic – Ep. 09 –

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Drop the Mic – Ep. 08 – Happiness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Just be.

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

Seek and ye shall find…

 

 

 

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

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

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

from Vietnow by Rage Against The Machine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What does it mean to be Free?

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

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

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

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

Enjoy.

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

Drop the Mic – Ep. 05 – Exit Toxicity

“I am sinner, who’s probably going to sin again, Lord forgive me, Lord forgive me, these things I don’t understand…” ~ From Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe by Kendrick Lamar

I’ve stared off and on at this blank page for hours.  This feeling I feel being rather listless?  How does one go from upbeat and striving to uplift to down in one day?  Simple.

Life is challenging…    

Ever saw something that was so haunting it through off your whole vibe?  I had this series of dreams before waking this morning and while I speculate they were tied together, the final image was a bit disturbing and has kept me from focusing entirely.  Let’s just say it ended with me having to urinate really badly, only for fluids, that weren’t bodily fluids, to exit as I watched in pain and horror…

As I spent some time journaling and exploring the thoughts that came in response to this message from my Dream World, I looked at thoughts that float around, unbiased on paper.  Once removed from the echoing chamber of my head, the thoughts seem to hold less power when I look at them on paper.

It’s funny in a way because let’s say one is dwelling upon and bashing around a negative thought (‘I suck at Life’), just the simple act of writing it down, can be a form of release.  Take it a step further and cross the negative thought out and replace it with something positive (‘I embody Strength’).

In the past, I have taken to the extreme of burning what was no longer needed ranging from thoughts on paper, possessions, whatever it may be in order to assist in the letting go of the toxicity that I have absorbed and carried around in the psychological and emotional form.  It’s also a subtle reminder that nothing physical can be taken beyond this Life in the material realm.

A mentor once shared the importance of ritual in inner work.  Rituals in the past were symbolic and oft times marked a passing or completion.  In our World as it exists today, we fail to stop, we have forgotten rituals that matter, and we rarely slow down.  Without rest, the body cannot heal, and though the Soul is a perfect sliver of the Divine, its experience in the Flesh is one that requires rest.

I’ve burned a quick pace through Life and as I wrote thoughts today, I contemplated, if at the age of 34, if I was ready to withdraw from the world.  The dream messaging was obvious that I’ve still work on myself to do.  And as appealing as the cave dwelling and meditation sounds on one level, a sense within keeps me focused on the Creator, while also recognizing that I’ve responsibility to serve this World.

I struggle with that every day because in years now long past, I lacked Faith, most importantly within (see negative thoughts above).  While Faith grows each day, I live undoing the damage I did to myself (see negative thoughts above with a generous helping of the repercussions of poor decisions for good measure) and Lord knows, I am still making mistakes.

“The ‘fun’ is in the Journey.  The ‘fun’ is in the Journey.  The ‘fun is in the Journey…”

I’ve used many mantras, some that stuck, others that passed but they all have helped, served as wonderful tools to assist while doing the inner work and battling my own restless demons.

My teacher has many times suggested that people eliminate “try” or “trying” from our vocabularly.  I am still working at her Yoda-esque point, but that’s beautiful.  If I had it all figured out, I’d be done at a really young age, and chances are, have to start all over in the next Life with more challenging circumstances.

So today, I honor the Dream World and its message for showing me that it’s time for me to release whatever residual toxicity I’m holding on to because I certainly am at work in creating an experience that is deserving of abundance in health, wealth, and happiness.

Mahalo ke Akua!

Drop the Mic – Ep. 04 – Let It Go

“Let it go, let it go homie
You know we can see through them blinds homie
And see through the truth and them lies homie
Just let it go, let it go, let it go”

~ Akon on Let it Go by Wiz Khalifa

When I sat down to write this, I wanted to reflect upon irritation…

Ever had the experience of something or someone that is the equivalent of a pesky gnat buzzing around the ear?  Isn’t it funny that for some reason, something so small in the grand vastness that is the Universe, sounds uncomfortably loud and obnoxious?

I encounter these gnat-like experiences/people daily at work and am challenged to use the spiritual lens of viewing the situation.  Feelings are funny because sometimes we just need to be okay with feeling a certain way or letting it out.  As we’ve recently discussed, Life is challenging…

And even though #ThisTooShallPass happens each and every time, what does one do in the interim or when gnats are a buzz, when the buzzing grows so loud one cannot ignore it? Or when something a buzzin’ threatens one’s safety.  If a yellow-jack or hornet or (Ayah!) one of those killer bees were to fly around the ear, it’d be more cause for alarm than a gnat.

It is fair to acknowledge all things big and small.  We certainly do get those larger, bee sized intrusions that fly through our consciousness periodically. I often find one daily, well at least on the days I am at work… When it buzzes by, ready to sting, more and more do I find myself reflecting on the following:

There is no need to react.  In many cases, the reaction can make something worse than it needs to be.

This is nothing to take personal.  We’ve no control of the World outside of us.  The bird didn’t shit on your head because God had an agenda, the bird just shat…

In the grand scheme of it all, what does this matter? All of these reflections tie together and ultimately, we are all going to die, why make a non-issue an issue when there are crazier experiences at large such as wars, killers, and (insert here) abusers roaming the streets?

I remember an encounter from my early 20s, where a young man, who I grew up with, was very arrogant towards me.  I was with another friend and felt kind of disrespected, so much so that as we walked away, I told the person I was with: “That guy’s always been such an asshole.”  I know, Capt. Courageous over here. A few weeks later, that “asshole” died at just the age of 19 while doing something he loved (free-diving) and it struck me what my last words about him were…

Who do you think felt like an asshole after that?

One of college professors, Dr. Ramdas Lamb,  (who go figure taught my favorite course, Eastern & Western Mysticism), shared with me once that as we go through Life, we gain tools from the people we encounter ranging from our parents, friends, teachers, and colleagues.

Were we to look without attachment, we might even see that gnat is helping us develop other tools needed in Life.  I’ve found the reflections above to be important tools as I traverse this Jungle of a World filled with each of us, who are at different points in our Journeys.

On a separate occasion, Dr. Lamb also shared that Life is much like being gathered around and viewing a painting. Perspectives differed depending on where each of us were in our lives (as a whole), if our view of said painting was obstructed, and what part of the painting we focused on.

During my days in “The Tree,” I would go on to ‘bastardize’ this teaching (What? Everything that’s ever been said has been said before…) and liken it to being gathered around a fire; You could be focusing on the embers as they burned out and I could be looking at the smoke as it rises.  If one were a burn victim, her/his experience of the fire would be different than that of someone who identified as a pyromaniac or an arsonist.

It’s all perspective.

When I factor perspective in and reflect, it helps a little to allow the gnats to buzz around and at the very least, a bee is a great reminder, to “Just be” because bees are sensitive creatures who can sense changes in our behavior, particularly Fear.

Do not let Fear, creep into the equation, ever!  So why not just…

Let it Go!

Let Go!  Let God (or your choice word here).

 

 

 

Drop the Mic – Ep. 03 – This too shall pass

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“Am I wrong
For thinking out the box from where I stay?
Am I wrong
For saying that I choose another way?
I ain’t trying to do what everybody else doin’
Just ’cause everybody doin’ what they all do
If one thing I know, I’ll fall but I’ll grow
I’m walking down this road of mine, this road that I call home”

via Am I Wrong by Nico & Vinz

If I had a dollar for every time I felt judged, misunderstood, scolded, demeaned, and/or discarded because I have been striving to live a meaningful Life since very early on, oh man!  I’d have a small fortune.  If I had a dollar for all of the same except I was making my own self feel that way, man, oh man, oh man!!!  I could probably bankroll a major American sports team!

Life is challenging…

I don’t care if that phrase is overstated or too cliche, it needs to be said often to remind us of its Truth.  In a world where we can find resolution and receive immediate gratification within an entire 30 minute sitcom (trimmed down thanks to box sets and downloads to 22-24 minutes), we have forgotten that the Road from point A to B isn’t always so cut and dry.  As a result, when faced with hardship, the natural highs and lows of Life, we don’t remember the very simple old saying:

“This too shall pass.”

LOL, seriously it seems like everything passes.  I’ve known loved ones and strangers, many older, a handful younger, and an increasing number my age who have passed on beyond this realm.  So logically, if in Nature, Life itself passes sooner or later, should we not think that a emotion and experience will also pass in its time.

I remember one year in Hilo where it rained, and I mean heavily rained consecutively for something like 44 days straight.  Think that’s an exaggeration? Hilo ranks 8th on a list of the cities with the most annual rainfall in the US.  Curious about who holds the top seven spots?  Well, they are all on the Big Island within an hour or two (at most) drive from Hilo…

Despite all that rain, it’s not the reason I wanted to go away for school.  I wanted to go away and dorm for the experience and oddly enough, as a child, I wanted to do so at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, which is also known for its rain, the “Manoa Mist,” which shows up flash mob style.  I heard so many people complain about it while in college (and still when it rains in Honolulu in the time since) and I laugh, almost defiantly because I grew up in Hilo, where it really rains hellfire and damnation style, and takes a long while for “this too shall pass” to occur.

I love looking to Nature for the answers that I seek as I traverse my Path along Life’s Road.  Rain, having been a large part of my Life, always passes.  And besides the fact that it passes, more importantly, we need the rain in order to grow.  Sure as there is night, that day surely comes, and it might take longer than a 12 hour increment for the Sun to shine again, but it always does.

That being said, Life is challenging…

Let’s do ourselves a favor and flip the switch any time we start to give dollars to the self-judgment fund.  While we certainly cannot control the thoughts and feelings of others, we have the ability to manage our own.  As soon as that heavy ish creeps into the psyche, just remember:

“This too shall pass.”

In the meantime, learn to play in the rain.