Sativa Thoughts Indica Actions

I was born knowing this planet is special…that we are a part of something much larger than ourselves. I’ve known my entire life that humans don’t appreciate it and continue to harm it for nothing more than greed. It’s a greed that’s grown so enormous, they can only vaguely disguise it as harmless, nothing to be concerned about, filling a need, besides – it’s your right, and/or whatever lame duck excuse of “justification” they choose to use at the time based on their surroundings – chameleons, charlatans, cancers.

Despite the efforts of my elders and acquaintances, I failed to conform. Oh, I spent a great deal of time ignoring my inner voice, my intuition, and my own advice – half a lifetime or more. But then I got to spend some time alone…and some time with others who just let me be myself and I let them do the same, without judgement.

I don’t mean that I didn’t apply judgment. For those whose behavior sent up red flags, I paid extra attention and learned how to set boundaries. I was awful at it in the beginning. My knee-jerk reaction was to run. Disappear. Ignore. Ghost.

To those recipients, I can’t apologize enough. I was, quite literally it turns out, rewiring my brain.

It was the emotional equivalent of a moose on roller skates. I’ve apologized a million times over in my mind, but I also know that those in or on my path (and I, theirs) are always there for a reason. I am no less remorseful, just making an observation.

Amazing what one can learn about themselves when they’re just allowed to be. Oddly enough, not everyone is happy with what they see, but so few of those are willing to put in the effort to change those things about themselves – it’s that whole “though the path is wide, the gate is narrow” thing, my friend.

It’s so much easier to just ignore it. Cover it up with as many of the endless options out there – those things that are harmless, nothing to really be concerned about because you need them. Aim your attention at something else, anything else, whether it has absolutely no meaning or value or not.

Drown it out and numb ourselves to it. Except it’s always there when we least expect it, but if you’re really good, you know how to adjust on the fly…except you haven’t really worked on any of those things, so your knee-jerk reaction becomes one that pushes people away usually in anger.

Anger always seems an excellent choice for those who want others to back off and/or distract from that thing you see glaringly clear in the corner, but they don’t even know exists. A multitasking emotion, it also inflicts both physical and mental harm on both the giver(s) as well as the receiver(s) – gotta love science.

We live in a world that is designed to profit from your choice to ignore/not deal/deflect, but it’s also designed to destroy this planet – please reference back to that whole rambling above about greed. Or, if so inclined, read/watch The Lorax by Dr. Seuss (especially those who took up the whole Save the Seuss cross). It’d be nice for them to put at least one of his messages to good use.

Unplug. Clear the cobwebs. Surround yourself with nature. Take time to truly look at those things you’ve spent so much time covering up and ignoring – but do so without judgment. Find the positives and leave the negatives. Figure out your why and move to the next unaddressed item in the corner.

In the paraphrased words of Jesus, “Deal with your shit before your shit deals with you.”

Self-control is the only control we have. Your choice. What will you do with it?


I’m Still Standing…

This year has been a shit show, for sure, but with it has also come a vast amount of learning, understanding, and growth on so many different levels. I’ve gone back to school and finished my certification courses, started a business and became a pioneer, found a few half-siblings and my birth mother, saved a life twice, had a cancer scare, and lost a few friends and relatives to death. Now, on to learn more in the hopes of helping others.


Our Demons

Our demons whisper to us in our own voices to give their bullshit credibility…it’s our choice on whether or not to call them out on it.

 


Puff, Puff, Pass…The Knowledge

A little over a year ago, I met a man who, even at 80 years old, was full of life. He loved to make people laugh. Because his talents were in saying things for shock value, everyone who knew him was always waiting to see what he had to say next. Any time spent with him was always memorable and always happily so. It was easy to look at him and see the vibrant young man that he used to be because that young man was still in there, just under the surface of the result of the wear that years put on our bodies.

Then, last summer, the cancer came. It seemed like only moments passed before it was October and he was at home, laying in a hospital bed with hospice by his side. He was still making his trademark comebacks and pokes at others, but his light had been dimmed by the pain that he was in and the “cures” that doctors had prescribed – cures that had instead ganged up on his body along with the cancer and, together, had done their part in beating him down. The diagnosis at the beginning of Thanksgiving week was that if we had him through Thanksgiving, it would be a miracle.

A relative who was visiting him on his deathbed, seeing his pain and wanting desperately to do anything to ease it, took a very large leap of faith and offered him marijuana. He looked at this person with utmost seriousness and voiced his concerns about becoming addicted, to which that person had the wherewithal to point out that he was, in fact, dying so what did it matter?

So, this man partook and his pain eased. He partook again and his appetite stirred and he ate. He ate and he gained strength. He continued to partake, weeks passed, and he continued to improve. He stopped taking all the pain medications, the cancer medications, and the maintenance medications and kept partaking. He didn’t tell his doctors who were baffled by his bloodwork that had week by week returned to normal levels. They knew that he had stopped taking the medications they had prescribed, but knew nothing of the medication he had replaced them with. He continued to partake and hospice was sent away, told that their services were no longer needed. Then, his pacemaker was reactivated. Both the hospice nurse and the nurse involved with his pacemaker procedure said they’d never seen anything like it in their careers. Never had the hospice nurse been sent away without a patient passing. Never had the other nurse reengaged a pacemaker he had disengaged due to terminal illness. The man continued to partake and his doctors took him off his blood pressure medications because even that had found its way back to normal.

During this time, he introduced his daughter, who had also been suffering with cancer for the last two years, to this newly found medication. It broke my heart to hear him tell about how she had been confined to the house, unable to even do something as mundane as grocery shopping because she was constantly in pain or constantly in the bathroom, always weak, always mindful of what she ate because of the stomach cancer controlling every aspect of her life. He broke down into tears when he told us that now she was smiling, laughing, no longer hurting and going wherever she wanted to go and doing whatever she felt like doing without worry, or pain. He said that it was a humbling experience to find out that something he had believed to be evil for so long, something that he had preached to his children about the dangers of, had given his baby, 62 years old or not, her life back.

Then a couple of weeks ago, his worry about addiction surfaced again. He struggled with what he had believed for so long to be true and the actual truth that he was experiencing. Sadly, the fear won. He stopped partaking. The pain returned. He went to the hospital on a Saturday hoping to find help. Of course, they instantly admitted him and began pumping poisons back into his system. Pain medications are hell on the kidneys and his started failing shortly after. He was there for five days before deciding that he wanted to go home because he knew that he was going to die for real this time. Four days after he going home, he passed.

We had talked about how he needed to tell his doctors because it’s important that they know. Having experienced the hesitation in other states where it was legalized, it isn’t hard to imagine doctors being on the fence without any real information to go on and that could hurt others in the future. We encouraged him to talk to them and let them know about his daughter’s experience as well because they need to make informed decisions. That doesn’t always come from reading a published paper or study. Let’s face it, they’re scared too…and rightfully so because their association with it has the potential to make or break their reputation and their reputation is their bread and butter. From patients to their loved ones to the doctors and nurses, there’s an underlying fear about something, whether it’s addiction or legal ramifications. At the same time, word of mouth is still the best advertisement and something so vilified in the past is going to need a good PR campaign if it is ever to jump all the hurdles that this fear has put in the way for everyone involved.

A plant gave this man another three months with us and I’m thankful for that. As one of the biggest testaments to its credit, his teetotaler wife has now become one of its biggest advocates, telling everyone she can about what it did for him and continues to do for his daughter. I just can’t help but to wonder how much longer he might have hung around if he hadn’t let conditioning get the better of him.


Reference points

I sit here thinking, wondering, pondering…Why do we struggle? Why do we have turmoil? Why do bad things happen? Epiphany or rambling, this is what I ended up with:

Maybe it’s so that we can have reference points in the future. We hear stories from others with experiences and do our best to empathize, but there’s only so much weight that words can carry without the knowledge that the experience brings. Those experiences provide us reference points later, but only if we have paid attention to the right portion of the experience will we learn the real lessons we need…see, life really is a bitch like that. That’s why we’re doomed to make the same mistakes over and over again if we don’t learn (and learn the right things) from them.

Despite your proximity, the process is called “reflection”. I truly fear there aren’t enough people who are exercising not only their right, but their responsibility to themselves anymore. There was a time when we were told as children to “think about what you did”. I guess they should have mentioned the reasoning behind that command because the reason wasn’t exactly crystal clear for everyone. Some wondered why they’re being picked on – always the victim…you know the sort. Some wondered where they went wrong  Perhaps someone should have mentioned that it’s a time when we can start being honest with ourselves and quite possibly begin to acquire a sense of accountability.

So we examine the experiences. One by one, piece by piece, and part by part. Dissecting them until there’s nothing left. Trying to make sure that we pay attention to the right part…but what part is the right part?? I’d have to say any part that’s positive is the right part. Not because I necessarily buy into what some have labeled “new age thinking”, but because nothing good comes from negative. It’s simple logic. That’s why the best part of life’s joke is the punchline – you can’t possibly know what the positives are without trudging, sifting, and sorting through the negatives to find them. Oh, and the degree of work required is in direct proportion to your proximity to said experience – the further you are from its epicenter, the easier you’ll have it.

The beauty in this whole thing is that it’s all choice – Accountability 101. You and I have no real control over anything on this planet except ourselves. We can’t control how others treat us, but we can control how we react. We control whether or not we grow from our experiences or allow ourselves to become stagnant in them to the point that they define us. It starts with choosing to reflect, openly and honestly with ourselves. Because let’s face it, if we can’t be honest with ourselves, we’re totally screwed.


Vacation

In just under two weeks from tonight, God willing and the creek don’t rise as they used to say, I’ll be boarding a plane and embarking on my first vacation…ever. In my soon to be 46 years on this planet, I’ve never taken even a weekend to get away. True to form, I don’t ease myself into things by taking a weekend here and there because that might make sense. No, instead I’m taking on a full 13 days of whitewater rafting. The closer it gets, the more I try to change my view from apprehensive to adventurous. I’ve been blessed enough to be surrounded by people who understand or at least respect the fact that while it’s exciting, it’s also frightening.

mountains

I’ve also been blessed that I’ll get to spend some of that time listening to the earth. It’s been far too long. I’ve never been to the mountains and I’ve never been whitewater rafting. I’ve known about this trip for about 6 months now and until a month or so ago, it was nothing more than a spot on the calendar. Then things started arriving – a wet suit, PDF, water shoes, and a splash jacket. One by one they showed up and the realization that this wasn’t just a date on the calendar anymore slowly came to fruition…and apprehension began setting in. It’s been my experience that things that are supposed to be enjoyable are only going to let you down because your hopes get up, expectations are set, and reality never seems to get the memo or the script of how those things are supposed to go and inevitably someone or something happens to muddy the waters. Throw in world events and, well, let’s just say that sense of apprehension is difficult to turn into a sense of adventure. If anything, it makes me angry. I lived almost 20 years with an asshole who kept me afraid of living. I finally find the balls to leave and before I can recoup from that, these international assholes pick up where he left off…damn it! Then I overthink it and ask myself if this isn’t what I’ve been training for. I guess we’ll learn soon enough.


Dear Christian…

Dear Christian,

I feel compelled to remind you that compassion does not have the limitations that you put upon it. In case you forgot, there’s a whole chapter written in red that mentions a phrase that goes a little something like: that which you have done for the least you have done for me. For those not acquainted with the power of the English language, he used the word “least”, not “lesser”. Please don’t get the two confused or dismiss your own self-righteousness while looking down your nose at the least as that whole “you have done for me” part still applies.


Forecast

Sometimes, if we slow down, if we can quiet our minds, if we can be a tad bit self-aware, we can see the waves coming in life. We’re usually too wrapped up in or overwhelmed by all the little distractions offered up to us to pay attention to such things. Sometimes, we notice it whether we recognize it or not – the stress, the anxiety. We feel them but, still distracted, don’t listen. But when you DO, when you stop paying attention to the things that don’t really matter, you can hear it loud and clear. If you can calm the fear after realizing that everything is about to change and in ways you know you can’t imagine, you can appreciate the swell of the ocean, the crest of the wave, and prepare for it to crash down on you.

A wave is coming and it’s one with the potential to become a tsunami…


Nothing to lose

How very sad that we live in a world where people have to be reminded that positive trumps negative…every time and without fail. By that I mean that WE must be positive in our behavior and thoughts and stop waiting for others to be that way first.

Have we gotten so lazy that we can’t even be in control of our own behavior and treat each other with kindness? What satisfaction are we getting out of being negative? When we react negatively, nothing positive comes from it…not ever.

We can’t just start treating others that way without first practicing it on ourselves because, I hate to break this to you but, that’s the root of the problem. We treat ourselves like shit and it eventually creates that negativity that has you angry. Anger tends to lash out with negativity. So, maybe if we were nicer to ourselves this rock would clean up a little. You would think that in a world where we’re self-focused with selfies and social media we’d at least be able to be selfish enough to make things better for ourselves. It’s a win/win – you get to be selfish and give at the same time.

I dare you to try it for a week. If you commit to it, REALLY do it and don’t see a difference, you’ve lost nothing. If you do see a difference, you’ll start gaining everything.


When the Cage Door Opens

I’m taking back what’s mine.

That being said…

I’ve always had a sense of running out of time. I can’t remember ever not feeling that way. Even as a child – 5 years old or so – I constantly had the feeling that time’s running out. Now that I’ve reached my mid-forties, I have to think that at some point that feeling must be true…but on reflection, I also have to realize that no matter what I do, what is going to be will be – there’s no forcing of my will necessary, no way to push time to move any faster than it already passes, no need to rush. Instead, I need to slow down – enjoy, savor, drink in every small detail because once this moment passes, it’s gone forever and all I’ll have left is the memory of it…however briefly that lasts.

One of the problems is the cage. See, when you’ve been caged – truly caged – not just your body but your being, your boundaries become safety. When the door opens, you might peek out, but know when you do that your stomach drops like you’ve just stepped onto an unseen roller coaster. The size, the magnitude and sheer vastness of what’s beyond that border is simply overwhelming. So you stay within the safety of your cage, despite the fact that the door gets removed from its hinges. There’s an excitement to it, if you let yourself dare…a vast unknown, completely unseen before – at least by you. There’s adventure there. What safety is there in adventure? But, what life is there in safety? And therein lies the problem…