Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Meditations on Sorrow and Love

Love feels so good because the existential depths of alone, that follow us through every moment of our lives, is a place of such sorrow. And yet, love wouldn't feel so good if the sorrow wasn't so deep. We need that sorrow for love to take hold.

And yet more, when we truly let love in, let it take that hold, the inevitability is that that love will leave, either because we or they will die, and all that love will become grief, and with that grief, sorrow again.

Grief and love are a package deal, one we would be fools to pass over during what might be our only opportunity at this life, for along with all that sorrow of grief is the joy of love. We will have sorrow no matter what, and as strong as the sorrows that comes in the stark tension between once-together-in-love and alone, at least that sorrow had the joys of love in tow.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Ayahuasca makes its presence known out of the blue

Today I am microdosing LSD. I am activated, my energetic body alive and awake, sensitive to what happens around me. I thought perhaps that being here in a cafĂ© would be a good place to focus and attend to my writing and although it is, I have also chosen to listen to music that includes icaros and I feel the feeling tone memories of ayahuasca alive in me and now I’m sitting here immersed the presence of vulnerability and sadness.

I feel the pending swell of fear that has in the past threatened to sweep me away from myself and into a painful hell I can see no escape from. But, here now, somehow, the tender pain emerging in my heart is a blessing.

Although ayahuasca intimidates me and I have no inclination to deify it, somehow today its memory feels like the warm safe arms of a cosmic mother whose very touch tells my body it's ok to let go, it's ok to feel what's true: a clustering storm of all the suffering pain hurt fear sadness and grief and all the other darkness I, and all those I care about have passed though is a reason for a profound gratitude for being alive.

My soul prostrates to reality and I breathe the full emotional presence of humanity and I hurt and I know that because I hurt I am alive and life is a gift. For in the midst of all that I have suffered through I have also come to know love and joy and I couldn’t have had them without the suffering of life and so I pray and cry with gratitude for the suffering. I thank for all that it has shown me about what it means to be vulnerable enough to allow love, true deep powerful love, and to have shared it; to know that I love and that I have never, nor will ever love alone, even when I am by myself.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017


I feel fragile.
It has been following me for weeks, popping up periodically, calling me to attend to the ease by which my bodily integrity could be dismantled.

Perhaps it’s the cumulative affects of dark skies; the melancholy of late winter; the great gray beast of SAD trying to wrap its detecting fingers around my tender heart. Perhaps it’s the fact that I have been a cave-dwelling hermit, a sedentarite moving just enough to get by while mostly staying in, hibernating with books and leaning over my computer channeling my best efforts to redesign my career so it can feed me without worry.

Perhaps it’s the supple echo of trauma still clinging on to my soul despite my knowing sense that I have passed through the thick that storm.

Perhaps it’s age. I am young at 31 years old, still a novice in this world and far from the wise maturity I will earn in my 70s, but it is also undeniable that the invincibility of my early twenties has deteriorated. All-night parties and high-risk adventures have become early bedtimes for essential 8 hour sleeps and diligent risk calculations before any headfirst exploits. I feel the injuries of my past constantly requesting my presence of care. I feel the essential need for a quality diet lest I suffer the inescapable consequences. I drink more caffeine than I maybe should, just to keep my head straight.

Perhaps it’s that I live immersed my family unit, including my two young nephews. I am faced daily with the incredible preciousness of the lives of those little boys, and the role of each of us play in their development and wellbeing. I see their tender, innocent hearts and feel the force of instinct that demands my vigilant assurance of their physical and emotional safety. A deep vigilance, and primal, reinforced every time I am taken off guard by a swell of inconceivably profound love for them emerging at otherwise insignificant moments: a smile, a giggle, a funny dance move, or hearing “hi uncle” as they walk in the door. A vigilance inspired by a love that requires me to be the absolute best I can be, for them.

Perhaps it is a combination of all those things and more, I don’t know, but I feel fragile nonetheless.

I have come to intimately recognize how little force it would take for a cyclist or motorist to crumple my bones, shatter my back, and collapse my organs. I feel how little force it would take to traumatize my brain and permanently alter my physical and cognitive function. I am intimately aware of the friends my age who have died or been diagnosed with cancers, brain tumors, and probably incurable degenerative diseases.

The next fall, the next headache, the next flu... I can do my best to eat clean food, move dynamically, embody emotional mature stoicism and practice compassion and gratitude for the little things. But human life is fragile, delicate, precious, and temporary; any moment can be its last.

And it is this fragility, it is this understanding of preciousness, of brevity and the lightening fast changes that can bring it to its close, that I understand its value. And I cherish it. With a tender heart of sadness and grief, earned in the recognition of how little and yet how grand this blessing is, I cherish it.

I feel fragile, and I am so grateful for it.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Fear Of Failure

Today’s got me off, but not as intensely as yesterday. 

I was hurting big time. Life just was a big pile of ‘not worth it’ and I felt like I had nothing behind me, nothing ahead of me, nothing to offer of value insofar as my work. Thus, the answer was not to try, to give in for the day and just vegetate on couch-lock and escape into Netflix. And yet, I couldn’t do that. There was a massive amount of force that kept pushing me to ‘work’ despite not having the enthusiasm or even reason to do so. I felt like I deeply needed to surrender for the day, coil up in my cave and lick my wounds but to do so would be a great failure that would only inflict greater harm upon my wounded soul than would a day of using stimulants to push past the lethargy. And yet, to push hard and to fall short would be just as devastating as surrendering. I was trapped, agitated, and dejected. 

I was sitting at the small table in the kitchen, drinking yerba mate and guayusa, stewing. I typically start my day on yerba alone, no food for a few hours. But, I decided that despite how trapped I felt in regards to my work/rest conundrum, I could at least succeed at making breakfast. I got up, put in my earbuds and turned out a podcast to engage myself with ideas and topics outside of my hard stuck morning neurosis. 

Among my favorite podcasts is Bulletproof Radio. At the beginning of each episode, the host Dave does ‘cool fact of the day’. It just so happened that on this episode the cool fact of the day was that a single self-perceived “failure” can create a negative feedback loop that creates a fear of failure that permeates into one’s life. It can persist for days, even months (even past down through generations). This fear breeds a pre-defeat to all impending choices and potentials, leaving one feeling inadequate and trapped in their own mediocrity, all the while informing behaviors that reinforce that inadequacy by blocking one from showing up to their goals in a successful way.

"Today’s cool of the fact of the day is about the psychological effects of failure. It turns out that failure makes the same goal seem less attainable, it distorts your perceptions of your abilities, it can make you believe that you’re helpless, and just one single failure experience can create an unconscious fear of failure. When you have fear of failure you can sabotage yourself without even knowing it and it’s something that you can transmit to your own kids, or maybe you got from your parents.
The pressure to succeed increases performance anxiety, which causes you to choke.”-Dave Asprey, Bulletproof Radio #371

On this past Saturday, I intended to go to yoga. I have not been to a yoga class in a very long time. It was a new studio and I was feeling all sorts of resistance to going. But I forced myself out of bed, got dressed and drove down to the studio. I was about 10mins early and sat in my car, getting increasingly anxious about it. I debated with myself for a few minutes, trying to convince myself to follow through with the little voice in my head that said 'do it', while also arguing against that little voice with a series of excuses to justify turning back, while also simultaneously mitigating between the two. 

The ultimate deciding factor was that I felt bloated and farty because I left so early I didn’t follow through with my morning BM and so it was “the best choice to just head back”, which I did. 

As soon as I began driving away I noticed feelings of defeat, failure, and self-deprecating anger emerging in my being. This wave of feelings grew and battered me against the shores of my life for the rest of the day and into Sunday. I hadn’t realized that on Monday morning, the burden of that failure was still looking over me, distorting the perception of my abilities, calling me to see failure as an absolute in all potential choices before me. 

By the grace of a higher order of reality, I was granted, in the first 30 seconds of the podcast, a light of perspective that shone through the obtrusive fear of failure that was officiating my sense of self-confidence. Slowly, over the course of breakfast and the rest of Monday, I managed to mutter and self-talk myself back to baseline.

Now on Tuesday, I feel better but a piece of that remains and I continue to place effort in realigning myself back to confidence. (this is a part of the process)

I once heard Peter Sage, self-proclaimed extreme entrepreneur, say that the most important job an entrepreneur has is to protect their self-confidence. These last couple days have certainly been an obtuse example of that, though I face the challenge of protecting that self-confidence on the microlevel every day. I face it when I decide to show up to being a writer, to being a podcast host, to being a public speaker, to being an online artist crowdfunded entrepreneur. I face it anytime when I show up to say 'yes I will take the social, financial, psychological and emotional risks for this because I know its what I need to do for me, and for the world'. 

Some days it's easier than others. Some days it’s like breathing in a moist, vibrant forest. Somedays it’s like breathing underwater. Most days it's somewhere in between, as I do my best not to let my fears block me from unwrapping and sharing my greatest gifts.