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.


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.

Ep. 2.5 – Rebirth

“Boy I started on the bottom, made my way to the top. Boy I’m gon’ keep winning, no I cannot stop” ~ Lil Uzi Vert, Do What I Want

Sunlights vs. Tree

Facebook’s On This Day Memories reminded me of the time I was about to head to New Orleans by way of Georgia seven years past.

A funny story really…

I was in New York City, getting coffee in one of the subway stations and this woman in front of me was dancing about.  It is now so far removed, the details of her face escape me but I remember the coffee, the lights, and marveling at the how Free her Spirit was.  I made a comment to her and she turned and we began to chat.  In the few minutes that we spent in conversation, I managed to share I was “on a spiritual journey” and seeking to put the pieces of my Life back together by praying for dreams and following signs.

I hadn’t yet decided on where I would go but had a dream that I interpreted as taking the whole Inner Tribe to New Orleans, The Big Easy.  I also had other nudges and being in the rush to the finish line and figure it all out, I wasn’t sure where I’d end up after New York.

We made our way through the line when she said, “If you get the chance, go to New Orleans.  I think you’ll enjoy the energy there.” The energy was one of Rebirth.

I thanked her, a bit in awe, recalling the dream, how I’d asked for signs to guide me, and thought perhaps, this was a sign.

Then she turned one last time and said, “My son went there to volunteer.  His name is Jason.”

Stunned.  I hadn’t shared my name and even if I did, why would she make that up?  The Universe was yelling so loudly at me to let go, trust, feel the Love, and I fought it.

Fought it for so long.  And really, it was because I was afraid of submitting to the Love of The Creator as it was reflected all around because, gulp, I didn’t want to admit that I had that Love within myself the whole time.  As the Journey has continued since my experiences of Rebirth, then Adventures in Urban Mysticism Vol. 1 Rebirth, on to the Redemption that I am experiencing Now while Wading Through the Stream, it’s Love.

Just Love.  Absolutely A.L.L. of it.




The next time, you’re waiting in line, talking to a stranger, whatever, remind yourself wherever you are, exactly in that manifestation of the moment, is perfect, just as it is and Love is there if you open up to experience it.  We are so conditioned to focus on the acquisition of ‘treasures’ whilst chasing the ‘pleasures’ of this world, both of which are never enough, that we end up missing out on the depth of the moment and how that is  enough.  It’s more than enough and so are you, because that is the Journey, my Friends.

The Design of your Life is only beauty.  That’s all it is.  Have you the courage to believe you are worth of experiencing the natural grandeur of  Being?

Believe me, you do.  It’s A.L.L. you…

Ep. 2.4 – Last Train to Paris

Bullets Vol. 2 – Rage, Rage, Rawwwwwwwwwr
I am Rage / I’m back / Eh yo, You cannot leave me / I’ve been on the table / Ever since there could be / An opportunity / To deploy my vibe / Here I am / For you see /
I am Rage / I am Rage / I am Rage /
“Rawr” ~ My Ninja Kiree
I’ve had a shit vibe all day.  It always finds me around this time and space before a production in my ‘professional’ life. It’s the point where the work and stress levels have peaked and the outside factors can really tip the scale one way or another.  I see this, am aware of the pattern, so unless I submit to the fact that I cannot change anything outside of me, so stop the fighting, Rage will manifest.
That’s not to say Rage isn’t useful.  It is.  Quite.  Beautiful to be at peace with.
But the power of this energy isn’t appropriate for this arena.  “I knows this because I flows this.” The Dream Pusher told me once.
Sometimes the most magical part of the Journey is the continued recognition of how flawed and fucked up I am.  You want some alchemy in Life?  There you go.  Embrace the ego and go for the ride.  I can be quite serious but I’m also in on the cosmic joke.  This Life is so beautiful, so darn amazing.
But it’s also a shit show.
And that’s just how we have to roll somewhiles, with a sense of ah, fuck damnit.
It is what it is.
That blows my mind! On so many levels there are wonderful happenings yet you tune in to what’s floating about and you’ll see it all simultaneously.  The trick is being able to get on the train that’s taking you where you need to go (Elevation), not the one that leads you down the road to nowhere (Depravation).
I get it though.  The trek along Life’s Road as a Human having a Spiritual Experience and a + Being having a Human experience is difficult because the application of what is so easy, is what makes it challenging.
As I told my Ninja a variation of what I told y’all before, just remember:
The Universe Loves Me Exactly as I AM.
Mantra that enough.  Read your favorite verses from scripture.  Like a few inspirational posts from your go to profiles.  Listen to some phuncky Cypress Hill shit.  Maybe a little Future, Migos, or Gucci.  Do what you gotta to make you feel good and wanna holla:
Cause this is a just a dream that ends.  Everything ends.  As does this episode…

Ep. 2.3 – You’re on The Journey My Friend

“Woke her up around one, she couldn’t hesitate to call Ice Cube the top gun.”

~ Ice Cube, It Was a Good Day

Morning Foggy Path

Woke up about 6:45am actually.  And it wasn’t because anyone was there.  But I share this because it ties in nicely to how today started off a good day and how it has continued. Well, every day is a good day, but here’s the story to how this episode of J. Wading Through the Stream, aka The Conscious Dream Being Woke, began…

Having recently moved, I’m adapting to a new routine and exploring my new neighborhood.  Today’s adventure included the necessity to do laundry!

I know what you’re thinking:

Yay, laundry…

TBH, I actually enjoy doing laundry, especially at laundromats.  It reminds me of travel because I travel light and as a result have to do laundry on every trip.  I also play a game in my mind thinking of each time I do laundry as a check-point, or save location, in the video game that is my Life, honoring the completed missions since the last time I washed them boxers (and gis, so many boxers, quite a few gis).  Today’s check-point was located near a small cafe, appropriately named Mirage Art Gallery and Cafe, on the other side of Palolo Valley, where the Journey has placed me for this season.

The only parking space available was in front of Mirage and immediately looking at the place, I had a feeling that it was to be a magical space.  The decor and ambiance was flavored with the cultures of The Middle East, with inspired pieces of Art all around.  As I looked at the menu, I saw there was an Open Mic held there, along with options for Book Clubs and Groups to meet.  I smiled at the little wink, perhaps another nod on this Path I find myself on.

Speaking of nods and winks, just yesterday, I received an email from a gentleman in India, who is reading, my first book, Adventures in Urban Mysticism (AUM) Vol. 1.


Our Brother on the Journey shared some very heart-felt words about his own experience. I was blown away and still am because it made feel so small to put what I’ve experienced into words, sharing my Journey as it unfolds, what I learn, then finding out that it has resonance and touched a Life across the world.

That smallness continued at Mirage as the young barista there shared with me that he left his home in Compton to come to school out here.  He is compelled to serve and give back to the youth and on Faith, nothing else but Faith, left home and his Life has been working itself out here. As I listened to him, I thought of Adya, my teacher, and the first time she told me these words:

You’re on the Journey into knowing who you really are.

As we talked, I shared a few thoughts and smiled within because in hindsight, this process of discovery and feeling fuller and further how much the depth of God’s Love is, and how at time I’ve been such a sh!t, yet still, there’s so much Love, and my Life continues to get better and better.

It is taught in some circles that God hates things like sin but truly, if God is Love, there is no hate.  Sin, hell, these are spaces where we are not with God.  The only times we are like that are when we are out of alignment, questioning what’s unfolding, not trusting that this Journey is taking us home.  The Spirit speaks through our Intuition and if we follow the Invisible Threads of Spirit, we will KNOW the realness of Love all around.

That sounds all good and well, right?  It’s inspirational perhaps, maybe even stirs the Heart but… BUT, BUT, BUT!

Yes, I know the world around us is in tatters.  I don’t read or watch much news but I peruse headlines daily.   I also observe the world wherever I am and witness the micro-system of my Life and feel such reverence for this.  And that’s the thing.

The world is also in awe.

If we want there to be less tatters we must free ourselves from judgments and Let Go.

It is time we Let Go and Let Love.  It’s the only way we’ll elevate as a collective.  Until then, those of us who walk in and with Light must be who we are, full authentic expression of the Spirit, Alive in Truth, for when the Light is taken into the Darkness, a few things happen:

The Darkness is no longer that scary. The Darkness provides great contrast to the Light and is in fact quite beautiful.  The Darkness is understood.

Cause when we shine Light in the Dark, we can see.

The next time you ‘sin’ or ‘err’ and start to judge or wonder why did that happen, what was I thinking, yada yada blah, take a breath and remind yourself:

I am Love.  I am Beloved.  God Loves Me Exactly as I Am.

If you are Love and Beloved even in those moments of what in the eff, and start to feel that Love exactly as you are, watch what is revealed and how you start to view your Life.

Everything on this Journey is about knowing who you are, yes, just as Adya told me.  But let me expand that and say that as much as it is about knowing who you are, it’s about knowing what you aren’t.

No matter what unfolds, You aren’t a failure. A scrub. A bitch. A piece of sh!t.

You aren’t worthless. You aren’t unloved.  You aren’t alone.

Most of All, You aren’t evil.

You are a Human + Being.

You are a Child of God and while we might ‘sin’ or ‘err’ from time to time, all of that is so we go deeper into The Arms of The Creator.  It’s a part of The Plan, your Life, your Path, is already mapped!  I pray, I hope, I send Love that whoever reads these can go so deep on the Journey, they feel moved to tears by that Sacred Love we can be given when we walk with Belief.

My laundry finished up and I asked my new homie to pray with me.  We gave each other a pound, and he told, Bro, I feel so good. I don’t get to talk so deep like this.

I am always a bit taken back by that. Am I that out there, that it’s different for such conversation?  I live for this!  Whatever the case, I am grateful for the exchanges and also take it as, the World is ready.

We are ready.

We can rise up.  And we are meant to rise up for when Christ went as deep as He did, He paved the Path that we can follow because of the examples that exist in the symbols of His Journey.

The Path has times where we have to stand up, like He did in the Synagogue.

Times where we need to be alone, often much of that time alone in prayer, as is referenced frequently in Scripture.

Times where we feed everyone because we can through Love.

And times where we feel as though, ‘My God, my God. Why have you forsaken me?’

Every curve in Life is a piece to the puzzle into Knowing you are a Beloved Child of God, God is Love, and Love, Love got this.

I went my way feeling Light, feeling clean (I washed my boxers yo!), and excited for the new-new I’m walk into.  If there’s one thing that’s for certain, this Journey is guaranteed to give you back your deposit and more than you could ever dream.

Love answers Prayers!