Tuesday, July 9, 2013


I watched a video this week documenting the work of Jane Elliott (A Class Divided). Jane has been running an exercise that has ignited controversy around the world. She says it lays bare the hidden truth about racism in white societies. Her methods are intense but her message makes an impact. One must remain open minded and accept her intentions as leading to a positive outcome. Surrender to her method and there is a lesson to be learned The lesson isn’t obvious but it seems as if that’s part of her point. Neither are the subtleties of racism including but not limited to the notion of white entitlement and the overall lack of awareness concerning the unspoken modus operandi that elevates whites to a different social status based solely on the color of their skin.

These were my thoughts as I watched the documentary.

Unless we wish to spend our mortality endlessly repeating the past, doesn’t it stand to reason that at some point, if we want a different result, we have to change the way we emotionally react to it?

The tendency toward world domination and the endless pursuit of power has created a massive weight of human suffering. It has taken on a life of its own. Emotions are measurable. They have weight. The suffering of fellow men from acts of domination weigh down the fabric of our shared consciousness. We are all caught in its gravity to the extent that being at its mercy feels "normal." The earth spirals around the weight of the sun. The moon spirals around the weight of the earth and our collective consciousness spirals around the weight of our emotional attachments to outcomes. We are equally at the mercy of and largely unaware of the gravity of the situation.

From a operational stand point, if we recognize the weight of emotional expectation as an entity unto itself, could we then decide to challenge the negative charge of the entity by casting a positive ripple of heightened recognition toward it? Could we either reverse the emotional charge and turn these entities into an equal weight of positive energy or dilute the negative charge all together and dissipate their weight entirely?

If we chose to view the past from a broadened perspective and if we looked upon it as a valued teacher instead of an object of duress, could we send out a ripple that might unsettle the entity and affect its charge? When it comes right down to it, in spite of our intellect, we just don’t know how to do. Who knew that free will was a free radical? Step one: recognize that we are mired in centuries of weighty, emotional, anguish that has taken on a life of its' own. Step two; diffuse the past by stepping out of the mire and recalibrating our social expectations based on the notion that all humans are created equal. Step three goes how it goes … right or wrong … at least it’ll be different.

“It's a hand-me-down, the thoughts are broken, Perhaps they're better left unsung. I don't know, don't really care Let there be songs to fill the air. “

Thursday, May 23, 2013


I’ve read The Power of Now, Barrington Bunny, The Giving Tree, Illusions, The Prophet, The Greatest Salesman in the World, The Way of the Wolf, the bible, the Tao Te Ching, The Tao of Pooh, Chicken Soup for the Soul, The Art of Happiness … you get the picture. I’ve laughed, cried, meditated, and prayed … but … then what? What happens when nothing happens?

It wasn’t until I discovered the silence that resides beneath desire that I began to understand the true meaning of enlightenment. It isn’t about gaining something. It’s not about being more (or less) than the other mortals. No one gains special power. There are no psychics or intuitives. There is no such thing as an empath. Medium is a size, not an ability. Anyone who makes a claim that they possess “special” power is either wishful thinking or lying to you, or both. Once we make peace with our normalcy and what it is to be mortal and give up the notion that we were meant for “something greater” or that we are “special” we begin to comprehend that there is nothing more miraculous than breathing in and out. There is nothing more precious than being exactly whom and where we are, at this moment. Consciousness is magical. Think about it for a second. Think about the fact that you are a tiny representation of the entire universe riding around in an earthly suit. It’s mind blowing.

Conversely, there is thoughtfulness and observance. There is intuition and empathy. As with anything else, these traits must be exercised and honed if they are to be useful in our daily lives. Otherwise, they lay dormant. If we apply the same effort to awakening these traits as we apply to our 9-5 jobs, something breaks open. We DO seem to be able to read minds. We DO seem to have abilities beyond that which others possess. We DO appear to possess something "special." There is an awakening. When we take the time to hone these traits and when we practice, practice and practice some more the art of observation and empathy, when we consciously practice feeling our aliveness by focusing on ... being alive ... as with any skill that is repeated many times over we become better at it. In a state of surrender to what is and with complete acceptance of the now (as it is), we awaken. Is enlightenment really that simple? Can we transcend these earthly bonds and find inner peace by simply being aware that we are alive? Is it that simple? Yes.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Walk It Off...

I've been given that advice by coaches and friends for situations ranging from anger management to taking blows so hard while playing that my ears were ringing and I could see spots. Helmet? Nah. Doesn't go with the dress. Walk it off. It's good advice.

Evenings, around dusk, armed with earphones and a slapjack, I walk.The path varies from day to day winding through the cobblestones of Greater Downtown within The City Beautiful.

My state of mind dictates whether cobblestones become stepping stones or stumbling blocks. By the end of a typical day I am leaning into the wind both literally and figuratively. I exit my 9-5 with the days stress strapped between my shoulders. I begin my walk in this posture staring hard at the stones and re-playing the loops of the last 8 hours. Time passes, echoes fade and the sun draws my eyes upward toward the trees and the sky. The music soothes me. I step across the cobblestones and they pumice the day away.

I walk against my will. I still have to bully myself out the door. After 15 minutes of drudgery the walk takes over. The droning of my steps combined with the chill vibe in my headphones creates an awesome vibration and a lucid space for contemplation. Conversely, The City Beautiful, a.k.a. The City That Will Mow You Down and Never Look Back dictates that I stay fully present and in the moment. Maybe treading equidistant between bliss and obliteration will teach me to remain calm when the heat is on…and to always watch my back.

Speaking of heat, the trailer nears completion! Trailer, check. Refrigeration, check. Generator, check. Truck, check. The arrival of the oven is imminent with the exhaust system soon to follow…It’s time for a turn in the road…bring it!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Was that a knock in the engine?

Was that a knock in the engine?
I’ve taken a gamble. I’ve dropped a significant amount of cash; a.k.a everything; into a concessions trailer. Briefly, this requires living beyond my means. Let’s add a dash of grossly overdue, maintenance visits to a general practitioner and a dermatologist. Add a pinch of insurance coverage that pays out like a 3 card Monte. Comlete the dish with a soupcon of there wasn’t a whole lot of throw around money there to begin with. If I can cover the spread for the next couple of months it will have been worth the risk. Now is not the time for... Of course, that’s a knock in the engine!

What’s up with that?

What came first, the expectation or the egg? Could it be that chiming in with the “work sucks” gang Mon-Fri and straining against the yoke might eventually manifest as a life scramble? If “coincidences” are perpetual are they coincidental? If tomorrow is directly influenced by my meditations from today how can I convince the universe that I am ecstatic for the opportunity to spend 45 hours a week at a job that, regardless of appearances, is…great? It’s not. It’s just NOT. I mean, it is but it isn’t. It’s really not. It sucks and it’s awesome? How can I also convince myself that I don’t, really, want to scream; bang my head against a wall; swing?

Is it sensible to entertain the notion that the universe needs to believe me when I say that I am grateful? There are folks that I've met while at work for whom I am grateful. I'm grateful for the paycheck. I'm grateful to have gainful employment as an artist. Surely all that gratitude balances out my tendency to get pissy over the minutiae. If it doesn't, dear universe, please don't take it out on the concession trailer.

Will the universe fall for it if I lie? Does the universe take effort into consideration? Do I get points for showing up and doing a good job? Where do I redeem those? Can they be traded for cash?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The greatest of these...

Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake; Please allow me the ability to haunt the bitches that got on my nerves! Amen.

Fairytales unfold in black and white. The good guys are obvious; ditto for the bad guys. Dogma plays out in similar fashion. Oh look! There’s Christ with white robes and halo. Look there! It’s the devil with horns and red pajamas. Eve, watch out! Snake! Adam, watch out! Eve! I suppose the imagery is meant to be obvious so that a child’s mind can grasp the concept. Unfortunately we carry those naïve concepts into adulthood with the expectation that we’ll see evil before it has a chance to creep up on us…WRONG!

Samuel Johnson said, “The supreme end of education is expert discernment in all things – the power to tell the good from the bad, the genuine from the counterfeit and to prefer the good and the genuine to the bad and the counterfeit.” Well, duh! That’s easily said but what do you do if the bad and the counterfeit are smarter than you and what do you do if they mount a vessel that might very well be good and genuine and manipulate said vessel as to accentuate the bad and counterfeit under the guise of the good and genuine? Riddle me that! Duped again is what that adds up to but guess what – duped does not mean defeated.

Gandhi said, ”Remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murders and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall –think of it, ALWAYS.”

Buddah said, “All that we are is the result of what we have thought. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.”

Camus said, “The evil that is in the world almost always comes of ignorance and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence if they lack understanding.”

What I am trying to understand is that I am both good and bad. I am genuine and I am counterfeit. If I can accept my propensity toward both as dictated by the circumstances that affect me maybe I can learn to recognize both within me and in doing so maybe I'll recognize both in others. Hopefully I'll learn to dodge the evil bullet. If not, hopefully I can forgive and in doing so, be forgiven.

Nietzsche said, “What is done out of love always takes place beyond good and evil.”

Love, huh?

Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake; Please give me the ability to love the bitches that get on my nerves.

I’m not there yet.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

"When you look for the bad expecting it, you will find it." ~ Abraham Lincoln

What makes a good friend? Why do we find ourselves settling for people who do not particularly enhance our lives? How do we attract and keep the kind of friends we have always wanted?

We are all, to some extent, the product of our circumstances. We carry the victories and failures of our parents’ into our own lives where they become both cornerstones and stumbling blocks. We sew our own circumstances into this ancestral tapestry and pass the heritage along generation after generation, ad infintum. When we choose friends who ‘feel like home’ we fall, once again, into the patterns of our childhood.

Consider nurture. What affect do circumstances have on the decisions we make and how do those decisions shape the cycle of our day to day lives? Conversely, consider nature and our predisposition as dictated by our DNA. When we take the time to consider how nurture has infringed upon our nature we can begin to unravel the circumstances that dictated who we became. A clearer understanding of who we are as dictated by our circumstances opens the door for exploration of our nature of who we were meant to be. What makes a good friend? First and foremost we must know ourselves.

My father was a bully and my mother was distant. These circumstances left me feeling unwanted and unneeded as a child. I carried the result of my circumstances into adulthood and, over time, I became the quintessential caretaker. Being the “hero” defined me. Consequently, I drew people to me who fed the need in me to feel important. Generally, I attracted people who had very little to offer me in the way of true friendship. Psudo-friends, more than willing to allow me be their “hero”, had nothing to give me in return when I reached out for reciprocity. I repeated a cycle. I would attach myself to anyone who allowed me to solve their problems. I’d feel important. Then, when I needed support and got nothing, my feelings would be hurt. The friendship would fizzle…next!

In my thirties my nurture and my nature began to quarrel and I began to question why, even though I had a large group of friends, I felt alone and unsatisfied. I questioned the circumstances of my childhood in relation to the patterns of my adulthood. Understanding the circumstances that led me to the role of caretaker led me to the realization that I wanted to be a “hero” and as such solve problems and get my fix of feeling important. Feeling important felt almost like love if I didn’t look at it closely and it also made me feel needed. These surrogate feelings became a shield that provided temporary shelter from my feelings of exclusion. This shield allowed me to show concern for others while maintaining a façade of aloofness that hid my own fear of vulnerability.

“You can’t always get what you want.” ~ Mick Jagger

I realized that many of the people that I allowed to enter my circle were there because something about them felt familiar...not necessarily good but familiar. Also present were people who loved me and wanted to support me but I kept them at a distance because drawing them closer required something of me that I was unequipped to give; trust. My actions as a “hero” worked in direct opposition to my desires for my life! I was working diligently to create for myself the exact life that I didn’t want! I was an adult still reacting to the circumstances of my childhood. I put on a brave face but because I never confronted the unwanted little girl she followed me into my adult life.

I was unhappy, physically and metaphorically, so I began the process of manifesting a new me. I took an honest look into the reflection of the universal mirror a.k.a. the people around me and listened to what it/they were saying. I didn’t like what I saw. I repeated patterns that didn’t suit me questioning my actions even while I was repeating the cycle. I ignored the reflection of my actions and rationalized my habits by making justifications like, “that’s not what I meant;” “people don’t get me;” “I know who I am it doesn’t matter if anyone else does…” Guess what! The universe could care less about our pride. Manifesting positive friendships isn’t about who we think that we are as much as whom we are perceived to be. Accidentally planting briars when you think that you are planting tomatoes gets you a garden of guess what? Briars. If you want tomatoes then you must be very careful to plant tomato seeds.

In an attempt to Pay It Forward I offer this website to anyone who is looking for confirmation that happiness is surrounding you. This is not a new concept. Dorothy was already wearing the ruby slippers. She simply had to make the choice to click them together. Click ‘em already! We must confront our actions; accept full responsibility for the result of these actions and MAKE DIFFERENT CHOICES. We must be our own best friend; treat ourselves with respect, hold ourselves to a higher standard, become an active participant in our own lives and focus on the people who can help us achieve our goals.

Imagine your best case scenario. Do this constantly. Embrace the dreams of your childhood. Fall asleep at night excited about taking charge of your life. Realize yourself. Things will change. You’ll see. If you build it, they will come.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Change your mind, change your choices, change your life.

Lately I’ve been putting positive affirmations to the test. I’ve had mixed results.

"When you look for the bad expecting it, you will find it." ~ Abraham Lincoln

A life beyond the ordinary is within the grasp of all of us but rising out of the grind of making a living and embracing the joy of making a life takes effort. Change takes time and making the effort, especially when the path to success seems to take one step forward and two steps back, is tiresome. In spite of my mortal tendency to wallow in self-pity and criticize every, other, living, thing I digress and superimpose affirmations. Nothing feels more empowering than blessing an asshole.

“You can’t always get what you want.” ~ Mick Jagger

I play these positive thoughts in my head like a loop. As soon as I realize that I am dwelling on thoughts that would, if manifested, result in mayhem and destruction, I check myself and accentuate the positive. Trials are a part of life. Embracing a struggle is like embracing an ex but what doesn’t kill us… The first act toward changing your life is changing your mind. Negative inside equals negative outside. The converse is also true.

I was getting by as a struggling artist. I use the term, “getting by,” loosely. The utilities were on, the utilities were off. The rent was paid, the rent was not paid. The check cleared, the check bounced…good times.

I wasn’t lazy. Actually, I worked very hard but I never seemed to GET anywhere. More out of desperation than anything else I decided that if I continued to fall short of my desires it would NOT be because I passively allowed opportunities to pass me by. Broadening my perspective, adjusting my reactions and accepting responsibility for affecting the circumstances that dictate my life changed my trajectory.

Changing my attitude, acting from a state of confidence (even when I had to fake it) and making the effort made an enormous impact on my life. Ok, life in Orlando isn't exactly Mecca but I'm on my way, ok? The point is that I wasn't happy where I was, physically and metaphorically speaking. I took the first step of imagining the life I wanted instead of the life I had and (POOF) here I am living medium in Orlando! All kidding aside, I totally manifested this life that I have here in Lake Eola right down to the quaint, brick, streets. If I can manifest this chapter of my life I can manifest the next one and the next and the next. We can do ANYTHING that we set our minds to. Change your mind, change your choices and change your life.

“Let go of your ego’s need to be right. When you’re in the middle of an argument, ask yourself: Do I want to be right or be happy? When you choose the joyous, loving, spiritual mode, your connection to intention is strengthened.” ~ Wayne Dyer

I did just that. I let go of my egos need to be right. I had to bite the inside of my cheek to do it but, hey, the skin will grow back. I stopped allowing the actions (opinions) of other people, most of whom I didn't hold in particularly high regard to begin with, cause a negative reaction in me. I started ignoring the peanut gallery. I disciplined my will and planted the seeds of “good” actions and I keep the faith that the laws of reciprocity are in my favor. I am uncertain of what lies ahead but I am absolutely certain that my life will continue to manifest in a positive way. How can I be certain? Because, concerning my dreams, I dwell on the best possible scenario and I fall asleep at night feeling the joy of my convictions. Concerning my frienemies, "Who dat? God bless!" Concerning the future...Raybans, I prefer Raybans.