Monday, April 25, 2011

Slipping into my naked suit.

In the spirit of release and traversing new horizons, I thought I'd share a few things you may or may not even care to know about me. Maybe you should try admitting to a few things, like stealing that bag of ketchup chips from the Mac's store last night. 
 For most of my life I have had a fractured sense of self esteem. It has gotten exponentially better in the last 5 or 6 years but kept me pretty crippled for quite a long time. I tend to keep a hard outer crust along with the illusion of stability but the truth to the matter is that I can be pretty sensitive when not in my power. A few harsh words or judgement from someone I care about and you can consider me shattered. Luckily I have effectively learned the act of letting go and how to rebuild a better foundation.
 There are 2 simple daily pleasures that i get excited over without fail. My morning coffee and sleep. Sometimes i will feel just the tiniest shred of impatience while in yoga practice because i can't wait to have that first taste of caffeine. So I'm addicted. What? Sometimes i will be so jacked over going to bed that i will take a running leap and then I'll beam silently to myself under the covers. Sleep rules. And perhaps I am crazy. Fuck you.
 I once went a solid year or more of eating a chocolate bar every night after dinner. I'd get a little panicky if for some reason I had forgotten to stock up. Usually my bar of choice was Oh Henry but for a while there i was really big on KitKat chunky bars. Amazingly i never ballooned up to 300 pounds but i guess making yoga every day helped curb insane weight gain. 
I once took an eighth of mushrooms and during part of my trip watched Final Destination 3 at home, alone and in the dark. I loved it but remember feeling particularly bummed out when the token black guy got brutally taken out. Does that make me racist? 
 For about 3 minutes a few years ago i pondered my sexuality. You see, i kind of get how crazy raunchy gay sex could be a good time, especially if you're all gay and stuff. And believe me if i was all gay and stuff I'd probably be the biggest riskiest man-whore there ever was, because i figure if you're going to go against "the norm" then you may as well light up like a Christmas flare and take that shit to the bank. But alas I am simply not attracted to men. At all. The idea of man sounds and man funk and man back/ass hair simply doesn't appeal to me. I don't know how you women do it, but I'm glad you do because y'all smell good and generally have nice skin and bits i like to paw at.
 I used to be a pretty angry and resentful kid. Though not that typically emo kind of angry where i would rage around and blame my stupid parents for everything. Mine was more of a slow burn that came out in the form of destruction of toys and setting things on fire. Later on i discovered pro-wrestling which helped to get that aggression out a bit more effectively but not before staging hardcore wrestling matches with a couple of friends which resulted in a number of broken TV tables and sometimes a window. 
 (Here's a doozy) When I was 15 or so I used to cut into my forehead with a razor because i liked the feeling of warm blood running down my face. It was a small adrenaline rush that was mired in guilt and shoddy cover up jobs. I don't know who i thought i was fooling when i used to lie to my folks and say that i must have nicked myself on the headboard while i slept. I'm sure they knew exactly what i was up to but didn't know how to approach it. And i probably would have denied it to the end anyway. I don't cut myself anymore, thanks. And I'm super glad that I was never one of those folks who cut their arms to ribbons and wear the brutal scars like a shameful trophy. My forehead scars are nearly invisible. Except for that one. Maybe I'll show you one day if you show me yours.
 I would run off to India and chill with the Krishna's in a hot second if I didn't enjoy living out my material desires on Western soil so much. Seriously, if I didn't have jobs and girlfriends and close friends and an adored living space and a desire to drink, eat meat, rock out, gamble and fuck I'd be reading the Srimad Bhagavatam right now and not writing these karmically dirty words with the faint egotistical hope that someone might read and be affected by them. 
 Instead of joining a cult and devoting my life to service in the name of blue skinned multi-limbed deities i instead keep a jewel of faith in my heart and a song of ecstasy on my tongue. I don't know if i solidly "believe" in anything, but there are certainly things i know to be true enough to hold on to through experience and practice, such as the act of chant and kirtan, yoga and simply using word, thought and deed effectively. These are not things i can explain as a feeling has a million descriptives, none of which can be rendered well through speech and written form. I just know what makes me feel happy, alive and present.
 For the first time i am in a romantic relationship where i don't feel as though i am inadequate or not giving enough. Through all of my couplings I have held this idea that I'm not exciting enough or my life stories aren't nearly as cool as hers or that there has gotta be something horrible hanging from my nose and at any second it will be the deal breaker. My Britt loves me warts and all and i love her back just as much. We are learning each other as we go and I'd say we take the speed bumps pretty well. 
 That being said, love scares the crap out of me. The beginning stages of courting and the light hearted nature of "taking it slowly and just being chill about it" are all good with me, but when it gets into the later stages and suddenly i am considering another person all of the time or possibly having to check in before i do anything save for taking a shit is when it gets sticky for me. It's when that jealousy kicks in for either of us or i am getting the silent treatment for eating my sandwich the wrong way, that's when i start to feel ill and look for the closest exit door the hell out of there. I'd rather take white hot needles to the eyes than to give up my individuality and the freedom to come and go as i please. But I know love is a compromise and when 2 healthy individuals are involved it is a process of learning, communication and balance. Not every woman is that WAY over-protective and over-bearing mother from my childhood and my last couple of relationships have cast me out of that mode of thinking and back to a place of romantic hope. I am trying, and for the most part feeling pretty good about it. I no longer feel a desire to run.
 I shamelessly would love to be fabulously wealthy and would have no problem exploiting that wealth for all it's worth. A twenty million dollar home? Sure! My own island and stupid sized yacht? Heck yes! Several months long vacations in Europe and Asia? Bring it! Don't get me wrong, i don't for a second feel that wealth would bring happiness and in fact i think it would get kind of boring after a while, but for a couple of years I'd certainly spend the shit out of my riches and enjoy every last second. Then I'd probably get a job and give a bunch away to people who need it more than i.
 If ever there was to be a zombie pandemic I'd like for it to happen in my lifetime. I'd SO be up to the challenge of survival and helping others to survive. I'd be down with foraging for food, scouting for safe zones and generally running amok. Then again, maybe I just want to shoot a gun and break into department stores.

Well then, i think I'll leave it there. From my insecurities to my apocalyptic fantasies and a few things in between I think I've covered some decent ground. Do you still like me? Can we still be pals? 
Keep stripping yourselves bare, friends. Every chance you get. It'll look good on you.
As always, thank you I love you!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Eye on the prize.

You know what i want?
I want to go into a job i don't really need for two days a week and get paid fabulously for it. I want to go home from that job resting easy in the knowledge that my work day was spent doing something worthwhile and sustainable. 
I want to feel inspiration coursing through my fingertips and from my tongue as often as possible and I do not want my creative flow to ever feel like a chore or something forced.
I want to be totally drug and alcohol free and i want my mind to shut the fuck up about it for good because I am well aware of what is best for me and what would more easily attract that which I truly crave. 
I want these words to come much more easily than they are right now.
I want to for my hands to be more useful, as in sculpting or building something even if but for my own eye to look at. Gardening is probably a fair bet and i certainly know my share of crafty earthy gardening types. 
I want a huge yard or some acreage and in that space i want to have a dog running around. Not just any dog though. I don't want one of those little lappy things that exists only for some lonely crazy person to dress up and spray perfume on. I want a meat and potatoes dog who is clever enough to know its role and beefy enough to protect my shit.
I want to sink deeper into my yoga practice and to continue learning, remaining open to the changes that may come as a result of life's twists and shifts.
I want to keep at this lovely relationship i have. I want to keep showing up and giving the best parts of myself to this. I want to grow with her and learn her and to be with her fully while giving fully to myself. I want every moment, every touch and every 'I love you' to count.
I want loads more money so i can visit great places like this or this.
I want to sit at the feet of this man and chant Hare Krishna with hundreds of devotees.
I want to provide for myself and my love a place to rest our heads like this.
I want to believe in myself more, more often. There should be no question about the personal power i hold and what i can do with it.
I want to see my parents more often.
I want to cultivate a better sense of play and to leave these heavy awkward feelings of looking like a geek at the door for the rest of my time here on earth.
I want to have joy in my voice.
I want to have peace with every step.
I want to keep the song in my heart.
I want to be strong of body and able of mind.
I don't think that's too much too hope for. 
But enough of this talk, there's work to be done!

Happy Easter. 
Enjoy the warm weather! 
Thank you i love you!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I'm getting my hippy on!

Apparently it's springtime in Vancouver. Although you'd hardly know save for those shining moments when the biting cold rain and ever grey skies give way to heaven in the form of a sunny warm day. It wants to happen so badly, i can feel it in my bones and heart and maybe that is enough. I am thawing out and my complexion is returning to the ruddy happy glow i tend to wear during the warmer months. I am getting out more and adventure is becoming less forced. Hibernation is complete and i am stretching these limbs, shaking out my Leo mane and filing my claws. I am awake and being alive is such sweet nectar. Despite the clouds in the sky 5 days a week i take heart in the moments that anchor me to the present, those moments that cry out "I'm here! Celebrate! Love!"
 Like when the cat joyfully roils around on the warm cement of the driveway.
Or when the wildflowers poke their little heads out and show off their colors, seemingly overnight.
Or when i come home to a lush garden so lovingly tended to.
Or the many BBQ's, gatherings of friends and music parties this Franklin home loves to play host to.
And then there are the amazing mid-summer peach and lavender sunsets that contrast so beautifully with the industrial buildings, prostitutes and drug seekers in this east side neighborhood.
 It may be cold, grey and raining right now but in this last week or two i have tasted the beginnings of Spring. I have been reminded of these simple pleasures and the weight of a long wet winter is finally lifting, even if in an energetic sense. Blossoms are blossoming and faces are smiling. I am flirting with natures changing course and it feels pretty great to be alive. I've got good feelings about this summer, so rain all you want sky. You won't dampen my spirits.
Here's to the little things and the bigger ones to come. Thank you, i love you!                                                                      

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Inspiration! Exaltation!

The intrusive alarm puts an end to my half conscious dream state. My eyes dusty, adjusting to the dim light filtering through the curtained window and it is another day. I begin my ritual of making the bed and sweeping the floor, creating a clean and balanced space conducive to a comfortable asana practice. Showered clean and with teeth brushed I will step into my space and shut the door, perhaps spending a few minutes on the computer checking to see who said what on Facebook and whether there are any newsworthy items to fret about that day. This is usually just a stalling technique because I am still not awake and the thought of exercising for 2 hours seems ridiculous, however necessary it may be. Eventually I will close out the external world and roll out my mat, breath deepening and becoming more focused, eyes softening around the edges and becoming less sculpted by thought. Despite the minds protests the preparation and willingness to practice is there and it is good. The first and hardest step is to show up, but I am here fully. I would have nothing less.  This is what I do each morning.
I take this bed stiffened body through a series of warming and opening stretches, still partly present with the ego mind that doesn't want to be here. I honor with acknowledgment and remain where I am because I know in 20-minutes time I will have changed my mind completely. But for now thoughts of that first coffee of the day or a conversation had the night before tug at my presence and it's almost funny because in this space and in this present moment there is nothing less important than what my first girlfriend is doing with her life right now, but such is the nature of the carnival-like mind. 
And soon thoughts give way to feeling, opening, deepening and lengthening. The breath which only an hour ago was a bit shallow and filling only about half of my lung capacity is now becoming boundless and full of energy, I can feel it in my eyes which are opening from the inside and seemingly radiating a soft light. Those gentle bodily motions give way to stronger and more realized movements and now it is 20-minutes in and I have changed my mind completely. Sweat begins to bubble to the surface and the alchemy of yoga is taking place. This is why i do this stuff. This is how i spend each morning.
For an hour and some to a couple of hours i expand in awareness, strength and capacity of the body/mind. Some days are a flawless flow and other days are choppy waters full of debris and oil slick and still other days are fierce, hot and sweaty and i wonder just what in the hell i think I'm doing but the beauty and life I am experiencing keeps me here. It is a dance and it is how i want to spend each morning.
Over the years my yoga practice has shifted every which way. It has been weak and in short sessions and it has been explosive in its strength and length. I have felt inspired and opened for weeks on end and have spent months just spinning my wheels, going through the motions and alienating myself from the deeper practice and study of this lifestyle because in our western society this practice has almost become less of a necessity and more of a scene to be seen in. Something with which to puff up our already inflated ego and to identify ourselves with. I struggle with seeing something so beautiful and honest being mired in product placement and the desperate need to look hip with our eco-friendly vegan yoga mat and 'Om Namah Shivaya' tattoo across our low back. This is not why i show up every morning and wake up with opening movement. This is not why i sweat and shake and bake and curse myself for holding a challenging posture for 10 breaths. I do this because it is feeling. I do this because it is the right thing for me to do. I do this because it helps to create a state of play, lightness and acceptance. I do this because it makes me feel amazing, even if halfway through the day something sets me off, it is now that much easier to anchor myself back to this present moment and to let go completely.
No amount of incense or overpriced trinket can replace doing the work. You want a desired result, you show up and you do the work. You keep doing the work and you don't stop even when your lying mind is telling you that you've got it figured out, and in fact that is a sure sign that you've got a lot more work ahead of you because really, with all of our conflicting theories and ideas and 'get spiritual fast' plans, who in their right mind actually has anything figured out? I know I never will nor want to. I'd much rather revel in the question and to just enjoy the ride. 

May you all have something that brings you back and opens your heart right up, be it yoga or dance or meditation or playing in a band or chanting Hare Krishna for hours on end. Your bliss is beautiful and always welcomed on this earthy crust we walk on. 
Do yourself the biggest favor and keep showing up. That's all you need.
Thank you I love you!