#FlashbackFriday – The First Time

This post was inspired by #WednesdayWishes, became #ThrowbackThursday, and now is finally get published on #FlashbackFriday.  Here’s why…

On this day in 2012, the final version of my manuscript was due!  But I actually turned in what would go on to be published as my first book, Adventures in Urban Mysticism AUM Vol. 1 : Rebirth, a few days earlier, and it would be released in November of that year.

Sigh.

If I only knew then what I now know (or don’t know or something) b/c Life’s events just keep reminding me that Death & Rebirth are constant themes in our lives as we learn more about/how to Love in the time we are given on this plane of existence.

I didn’t write that book for the money. I wrote it bc for as long as I can recall, I have felt this burning urge from within my Soul to express.

That first book was a first step.

Funny thing about firsts, though often not lasts for many of us, there is really only one first, and that’s pretty cool no matter how flawed that first may be.

Five books published in total later, each time I undertake the process, I learn a little more about #Life, #Death, & #Love.

On Sept. 21 of 2012, I uploaded the manuscript files and on that date of this here in 2014, I received my first physical royalty check.

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Writers! Tell me, do you agree that #TheStruggleIsReal!?!?

Nah, just like how Bruno Mars sang about “being a billionaire so fricking bad,” I will just visualize 6 or 7 zeroes attached to future checks, and give thanks & praise either way, any which way.

Anything is possible, back in small kid time, I never dreamed I would be an Author among all the other glorious endeavors I have experienced.  Just like #AUM was my first book and I appreciate it so much, I appreciate this check just as well.  Who knows what shall come and dreams are free…

Dreams are free

Right on, write forth I shall because the learning is #priceless!  Watch for #TheDarkMeeting and #DropTheMic coming out in the next few months!

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Drop the Mic Vol. 2 – Ep. 01 – Iron Sharpens Iron

“You’re nobody till somebody kills you.”  ~  from Nobody by Rick Ross ft. French Montana

Today I was tasked with sharing online how I feel, not just the positive, silver lining bits, but how I feel in the scope of this experience as a Human+Being at this point & time…  LOL.  Here goes.

Disclaimer: I’m a Writer, you’ve been forewarned.  

Lately has been pretty tough.

A few things have happened that are beyond my control personally, which I’ll share second, and professionally, which I’ll discuss first.

At times I’ve felt helpless.

I’m in the middle of the most stressful period of time leading up to an opera for the Marketing Department of our Company, of which I am the Director.  I’d have meetings each day with the Marketing Team to see how my people are doing except our crew is one-person deep (yours truly) so Life goes on because the work must be done.

As part of my responsibilities, I have the ‘glorious’ task of overseeing the program project, which at times feels like the collective toilet that people release their own shit and frustrations into.

I get it, it makes sense, everyone needs to blow off steam.  This is just my opinion, others may see it differently.  I’m just one who hears every complaint about it, sly remark, reads the ‘wonderful’ aka pretentious emails, etc.

I’m not a Designer, things get lost in translation.  It’s a 36 page project with multiple components received from many departments.  It’s not like editing a paper.  Not to make light of copy editing.  That shit is its own type of complex.

We have identified something to alleviate challenges each time (and it really gets smoother) but some things could be done by others before it reaches this stage.  Accountability is on all of us.

Coupled with my daily duties and the main task, cracking the Da Vinci Code of selling more tickets while spending less as a Department on more productions, and well, you might say there’s a little pressure.  

It’s funny because while a critic might not like something in a production, you always hear how amazing it was. Yet, despite the work I’ve done (with the guidance and support truly of my great boss), Marketing work is seemingly never quite making colleagues or Board Members happy.  It’s really a mirror of Life, as more can always be done, but you can only get through so much with the time you have.

But eh, bring it, I’m game for the task.  Or at least Life continues to Flow me through such situations.

I grew up in Hawaii as a hapa-haole kid who looks more caucasian and I’m used to experiencing adversity and people not being pleased about something, whether in passing (stink eye) or direct (Eff you haole!) coming my way from small kid time.  

It’s okay.  It’s Life.  I’ve lived through that.  I’ll live through this and in about 3.5 weeks, everyone will be back to the all smiles, rah rah rah, whatever.  I have half a mind to say ‘Fuck You’ the next time it goes down but I’ll get down to why I can’t totally always be me in that brutal honest fashion a bit further in the read.

As I go through this, I often think of the great words of my friends here at work:

“The Elephant is eaten one bite at a time… and it’s getting smaller.”

“Everyone thinks they can do Marketing.”

“Everyone gets crazy during the Season.”

Last year was different.  It was all new, so there was more excitement. Every day is new, but it’s funny how Life can make us jaded.  I was told yesterday after sharing I try to make the best of each day, that I “sounded like an old man and in youth, we really do squander time. ”

It was a cold dose of Truth that I couldn’t help but agree with.

Get right back up, let it go, move on, move forth.  

Last week I accidentally broke a phone.  This week I’m told I made someone cry (and later told that person in the emotional state said they wouldn’t talk to me again).  It hasn’t been my most graceful couple of weeks professionally.  

I can potentially beat myself as much as anyone else.   Today I shared, “you ever think I share positive things because I have to?”

While someone might see me frustrated and at the same time I’m pouring out positive, I see how that can be a contradiction, but maybe, just maybe it helps just a little.

I believe it’s the little steps that lead us the furthest in the Journey.

I am very familiar with my Darkness, with how barren humanity can be.  I am also quite fond of the opposite.  I am so far from perfect and I am continually humbled by how perfect Nature and God work in harmony as we go through this experience.

I feel challenged at work right now, it’s rougher than before, and I can’t really say why exactly.  But I have felt that before.  My last work situation sucked.  I have worked in some pretty harsh situations in general with shitty people who cared more about (insert vice here) than they did about people.

But you know what, the assholes I’ve met along the way aren’t terrorists, they aren’t dictators, they are just people with their own issues and I know that conditions can be far worse.  I pray for myself, I pray for them because I always remind myself, we each have good Hearts.  Some of us may be far disconnected from it than others, but the Paths are each different.

I am very grateful for where I am.  For what I have been.  It’s cool.  It’s okay.

I feel overwhelmed.  I am overwhelmed probably because of a great unknown that is going on in the personal arena of my Life.

A few months ago, I noticed a swelling under my jaw that didn’t go away.  I thought it was nothing because I went to the dentist to fix a chipped tooth, or maybe because at the same time, I had the flu, so you get swelling and weirdness when those things happen.   Thing is, it never went away.

My Doctor wanted me to get a CT and one night later I woke up in the middle of the night with my heart racing for the first time ever.  Panic attack, anxiety, too much caffeine, stress, all of the above probably.

I went back to the dentist, since I noticed it after that, and he found something in my jaw x-ray, and then referred me to an oral surgeon, who didn’t see anything but wanted to see the original film.

Guess, what?  That is unresolved a month later, four months in total, after this all began.

Oh, well.  Such is Life…  You don’t always get the answers when you want them.

An interesting post oral surgeon story gave me Faith everything happens for a reason as someone in that office shared that as a child, she broke her nose and noticed something as an adult in the same area of my own swelling.  This woman learned that because of the break, when sick, or dealing with sinus issues, mucus collected there.

I laughed because this thing has gotten way smaller since I had the flu those months back.  AND, in my youth, I bashed my nose on the bottom of a pool while doing my best Professional Mexican Wrestler flying off the top roles impersonation…

I might still get the CT.  I might not because when asking my Chiro about it, he said just keep an eye, especially if it’s not bothering me. It’s not and I take a lot on Faith, so yeah, for now, I’ll keep an eye on it.  I also believe we go through what we do to prepare us for what’s next.

Which segues nicely too…

My girlfriend has an unknown health issue that we’re awaiting to find out what is going on.  In an age of billions being made in the medicine, it’s amazing how long it takes to get an appointment or go through the referrals.

Out of respect for her privacy, I won’t go into detail, but it concerns me because of what I’ve observed since we’ve noticed it and past observations of the similarities there.

It makes me wonder and reminds me of how much time we really have.  I feel healthy.  So does she.  We both externally look healthy, yet there are things going on inside that we can’t see, that’s beyond our control, and well, that’s pretty crazy to fathom.   It’s a hard pill to swallow sometimes.

I realize we have these things happen in our lives.  We also lose Loved Ones daily.  Wars and way more crazy shit goes on every day around the world.

I factor those thoughts in and while I might be pretty serious, I strive to be mindful with and of others.

I’m not always the best and cheeriest at home but in some ways, it’s the only place safe enough for me to be me, to share these feelings as they are, to be really, brutally honest, because that’s important, whether it’s a smile or a frown or something else.  

I can’t be like that at work because I get too in the moment and miss a step because I see the perfect picture and fall in the water.  I can’t be like that because I make a joke in the same fashion as the person who ends up crying does with me, and well, cry on.

It’s fucking hilarious.  I walk through Life seeing the value of mindfulness, working on it every day, of who I am, how I am, and the only place I can actually allow that is at home.  Though beautiful, I can see how that’d be frightening.

I’m super grateful for it, this person, the relationship, the hard times, the trials, because each mountain of adversity we climb together, the view taken away from that peak is so absolutely amazing and means so much, the harder it is for me to fathom taking a step without her and that scares the shit out of me.

I’ve been in love before, and when that ended, it changed my entire Life.  I was fortunate to have been laid off at the time and be able to rebuild with and through God as the foundation.

I haven’t been in love like this before, with this much else going on.  If the unknown is health related, that is what it is.  If it’s incompatibility, that is what it is too.  I don’t know that’s it’s going to be either or something else.  Doesn’t mean I won’t struggle with it.

I’ve never been here before.  In this moment.  At this point in time. Neither have any of the rest of us.  It’s important to be there and love people at their worst times.  It’s also really fucking hard.

They tell you that if it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger.  Well…

I get that.  It’s okay.  But that doesn’t mean it’s easy.  I’m okay with the fact that it’s hard.  I know so long as I draw breath, I’ll find a way to see the meaning, to smile, however briefly, and be at peace.  But I’m as Human as the rest.  I’m as challenged as the rest.

I’m the kind of person who tries to find a way.  I don’t believe in giving up at things.  But that doesn’t mean I won’t stumble or fall.  I have many times and I get back up.  This has just been particularly challenging because of all that it’s pulling in different areas.

But that’s okay.  It’s all okay.  I’ve learned this long ago.  I believe it to this day.  But whether something is okay, it doesn’t mean what comes with it won’t be experienced by those we share a space with as we wander this Earth, see it exactly the same.  

I find peace.  I can be myself, in doses outside of home.  I haven’t learned to gracefully allow that in all areas. I believe that if you really get to know anyone, we can be both God and the Devil in Life because I am very much in touch and have experienced those depths of which we are all capable.

I don’t set out to be ‘Good’ or ‘Evil.’

I am merely seeking to be, as I am.  And that’s fucking hard to do.  I realize it’s even harder for another to allow.  Particularly if the ones we love are in pain, but as that wise saying goes: Iron sharpens iron…

It is said the Buddha will manifest as both a healer and dictator during times of war.  If that Greater Power sense is all things, so are we all expressions of Life.  

I see that.  That’s why as crazy as people can be, I know I am equally crazy.  That’s why as challenging and overwhelming things feel, I know it’s just the tide.  

Life is all things.  I get that and I think most people do but it’s a scary idea to admit.  We have a collective media sharing the Fear and I committed years back to live from and for Love.

Love can be tough as well as gentle.

I share positive messages, silver linings, maybe in excess because if I feel like I need it, and I’m a microcosm of the macrocosm of the world, the world needs it just as much, perhaps more because a great number of us have lost hope.  

I know I can be super intense and honest.  For a time, I got paid to be like that with people and speak Truth and in return saw people cry both in peace and/or storm off because interpretation of what the Universe gives us is always different.

It’s cool. It’s okay.  Life goes on.  It will go on long after we are each gone, for we physically occupy but a small piece of this vastness that is creation.

I get it.  It’s okay to die.  It’s okay for the Ego to sit back.

Doesn’t mean the rebirthing process is easy.  LOL, practice what I preach?  A principle can be understood far before it is mastered. Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t share it for what we share, we need just as much as the rest.

Maybe I’m “wrong” in my view.  Maybe I’m not.  Maybe someone else will kill me for my views as I’ve been told a few times.  Whatever. That’s Life.

One day, I’ll write a book: It’s Okay.  Whatever.  That’s Life.  

And that will be the whole text.  Ha.  

We must keep our heads up. No matter how beaten I get, I keep coming back and I will continue to do so for I know I’m just going with the tides of this Life.  

Top 5 Tips For Weathering A Shit Storm

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From last week Thursday to today (also Thursday), it’s been pouring a bit of some steaming piles let me tell you. It all began when something very horrible went wrong while working on a challenging project for work…

The project involved coordinating/dealing with multiple personalities aka characters, arranging a venue for a photo shoot while my contacts at said venue were on vacation, and took about 2.5 weeks to schedule. The final details came down to the eleventh hour but we pulled it off.

Little did he know…

The day of is where the shit storm starting to pick up.  I was asked to take pictures for someone on her phone during the experience.  I obliged and being really into photography (but no pro mind you), I saw some cool shots.

One particularly memorable and cool shot led me to step in a drop off of water, submerging half my body and her phone.  Top it off that there were maybe 30 or so people in the area and well…

Needless to say, the phone has not survived.  I didn’t get the greatest of vibes the last time I saw this person, understandably so.  My boss joked I was a coward for not going up and saying something.  Maybe he’s right.  Maybe it was just a joke (Disclaimer: not all jokes are created equally, see below).

I took the whole thing a little hard being the perfectionist and diligence I undertake when it comes to work.  And I felt really bad about it, but well, this is Life and these things happen.

Meanwhile, at home, the shit storm kicked up another notch.  Huge beef with my partner in crime.  She has some mysterious health issues going on that I can’t say much about because we both don’t know what the deal is yet (don’t worry, we’re going to the Doctor),  but the stress was building for her.

About a month back, my own Dentist discovered something he didn’t like in a x-ray and I had to go to an Oral Surgeon to rule out a cyst, abscess, cancer, etc. That’s actually still tbd as what drew my attention (area beneath my jaw) to the deal is as of yet, undiagnosed.

So I get the unknown is stressful.  I also see my work load is picking up as is my Lady Friend’s and well, that’s just Life.  It ain’t easy nor is is segmented as much as we’d like.  Alot of time, the shit just flies all at once.

What’s cool about she and I is that we work through things, and we’re laughing about it later, but it doesn’t mean a couple turds didn’t drop in the process on us, ya know?

So today, walk in, after a week of little droppings here and there since the big splash and I find more shit floating through my in-box.

It’s pretty busy at work mind you around here because we have a production in 3 weeks.  Literally it’s the craziest time right about now with each show.  Anyway, when a co-worker jokes with me about something in the midst of her own stress, I joke back for the first time, it ends with this crazy blow up, where she slams the door, calls someone else in tears, etc.

I’m like, “Eff…” because in the process I knew there was no point in having the conversation amidst the emotional.  I probably shouldn’t have said anything, joke or otherwise considering that it drives me batshit crazy when people joke on me and I’m stressed but I thought I’d give this whole not so serious, lighten up and go with it thing a try….

Besides it’s the dynamic (seriously, this lady is busting on me and us all the time) and I thought, why note, when in Rome since I’m trying to laugh at my stress and well, Mr. Monotone here didn’t quite deliver the punchline (though I did find it a little funny).

Tell my boss about it and you know what that buggah says:

“We all need some malasadas…”

Anyhow, Life goes on.  I’m in the shit storm and well, I cannot lament it.  I can only embrace it and realize this is where I am.  Even though it might feel like half-past forever, this too shall pass.

And honestly, it’s all okay.

With that…

The Top 5 Tips for Weathering A Shit Storm

1. We all create this experience together.

If you’re in the wrong, you’re in the wrong, and it’s cool. If you’re not in the wrong and you’re standing your ground and the other person takes it however they do, it’s cool. That’s Life.  40 years from now, you or the other person involved in a conflict won’t remember something like an accidental broken phone  or a miscommunication.

That or it will make for a great story.

2. Adopt a “Next Play” Mentality

The difference between great athletes in sports and the average  ones is that the greats have the ability to move on to the next play after a mistake or stroke of bad luck.  

Whether it’s your fault or someone else is misunderstanding you, Life happens, and we have to move on to that next play otherwise we end up on the sidelines.  

3. Take a Deep Breath

I subscribe to Brutal Compassion & Honesty.  Not everyone is like that but for those of who are (and aren’t), just take a deep breath every time something occurs.  

Besides, they say it’s good for stress.

4. You Need Stress

Not necessarily drama, no, no, no, don’t want no drama, drama! But you need a little stress here and there.  These things happen in the spiritual pursuit to teach us to be more mindful, loving, and compassionate plus it’s all a part of the balance of energies.  

If you think about, Life is seasonal after all…

5. It’s Okay For You To Flush

In the end, we all have choice to release, let go, and flush.  If work is too stressful and not worth it, find employment that you do enjoy so the stress doesn’t matter as much.  If the challenges of a relationship are in excess, leave and trust what will be, will be in the area of Love.  As shitty as the last week has been professionally and personally, I’ve had worse jobs; as rough a patch as we went through, I’ve had rougher relationships to deal with.  It’s just Life and I’m choosing to be accept it.  

As a result, I know I’m okay exactly where I am in the middle of this shitter.

Ah, and there you have it, the middle of the storm aka the calm.

Cheers!

Journeys: Bogart

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The definition of “Bogart” is brought to you by the Urban Dictionary website.  

While I’m not going to write about cannabis today, I am going to focus a bit about higher consciousness.

In an interesting conversation with a colleague from another Arts Non-Profit here in the islands, I was told that his Life changed simply because a bottle of a shampoo…

That simple gift from a friend would be the defining moment for him to something different with and chart a new course in his Life.

For this young man, he enjoyed the quality of the shampoo so much that he gave himself an ultimatum to get out there and do something that could provide himself just a bit more comfort in Life so that he could afford the shampoo.

Guess what?  By the time he finished that bottle of shampoo, he made it happen and has used that shampoo ever since (I failed to ask how many bottles it’s been).

Where my story was filled with twists, nuances, and deep, introspective spiritual mumbo jumbo (as another colleague likes to say), my friend was inspired by a $30 bottle of shampoo.

And that’s the beauty of our Journeys.

The lessons are all the same, how we learn them unique, and ultimately we can relate to the underlying feelings and energy that resound as we take our steps towards living more consciously and in alignment with what resonates from within.

Now go on, stop bogarting the Flow of you Life!