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Monthly Archives: August 2014

Checked Out

I keep meaning to write a blog but then I don’t.

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Checking out has always been my best defense mechanism.  I’m fully aware of when I’m doing it now and I don’t make myself wrong about it.  It usually means I am overwhelmed or frustrated.

Some days, I just want to stay off of social media and the internet.  I see the world around me and I have no idea how to react to it anymore.  I feel so manipulated all the time that I have no real connection with the truth inside me.  Do I care about what I really care about or what I’m told I should care about?

It feels like everything is clamoring for my attention, for my agreement, for my participation.  And the more I am bombarded with, the more I want to completely turn away from it and check out.

I’m exhausted with a world where everything has become crucial and critical, urgent and extreme.  My daily experience is completely out of sync with what I see out there.  I don’t know how to feel about that.

I understand the impulse to go live in a cave or the top of a mountain.

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I’m ready for my media fast.  A holiday weekend is good time to take a mental health break.  No social media, no news, no random internet browsing for a few days.

I’ve forgotten what that was like and I’d like to be reminded.

 

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What I Like About My Life: Part C

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We are… until we are not.  And all we have is Now.  This is the drilled down, cannot be made simpler, truth that is life.

Argue all you want, but in the end, there is nothing else but Now.  You cannot experience anything else but right now.  Bring me the past.  The actual past.  Not an object that you tell me is from the past or a photograph of what you call past.  Bring me the actual past.  You can’t do it.  Whatever you try to show me will only be more Now.  You also can’t do it with the future, but I doubt I’ll get as many arguments about that.

Your memories of the past are no proof either because you are recalling them in the present.  We’ve all agreed that there was a past and there will be a future but those are nothing more than abstract concepts.  Even as I look back on the words above, there was no past when they were written.  There is only the present moment in which they are here now.

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Life is one big fuck you.  And this is what I absolutely love about my life.  I love the absolute pointlessness of it.  I went on a spiritual journey and all I came back with was Nothing.

Life is a big, crazy, beautiful, maddening cosmic joke.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

So no matter how this leaves you feeling, I know something that always makes me feel fabulous – laughter.  And nobody laughs better than Ricky Gervais.  Seriously, is this not the greatest laugh?

 

 

 

 

What I like About My Life: Part Deux

Continuing on with what I was saying yesterday, another thing I like about my life is that no matter what happens, it just keeps going… that is, until it doesn’t. One minute, you’re inhaling and exhaling.  Then the next, no mas.

Many people find the topic of death unsettling or even downright upsetting.  But death is real.  It’s final.  And there’s no way to avoid it.  What, or if anything, happens afterwards is up for debate.  Who cares who’s right?  We’ll only know when we get there.

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I actually find comfort in the certainty of my death.  I don’t have to wonder if I’m going to die.  I just wonder how and when, and usually not that often because there really is no point to that.  It’ll happen.  I can trust death.  There aren’t many things in life I feel that way about.

Death is the key to life.  Death defines life, gives it shape and meaning and context.  Without a clear and honest relationship with our mortality, we live in a state of endless spiritual sprawl, a soupy gray fog that creates the hellish illusion of life stretching endlessly in all directions.

Death-awareness is the universal spiritual practice.  What we have sought in books, and magazines, in teachers and teachings, in ancient cultures and foreign lands, has been breathing down our neck the entire time.  It’s not just another mood-making spiritual technique that you dabble with for a few weeks and blame yourself when it doesn’t deliver.  Death always delivers.  Death is your only true friend, the only friend that will never abandon you and that no one can take away.  It slices through every lie, ridicules every belief, mocks every vanity and reduces ego to absurdity.  He’s sitting with you right now.  If you want to know something, ask him.  Death doesn’t lie.

Jed McKenna, author of Spiritual Enlightment: The Damnedest Thing

We are, and someday we will not be.  That’s what I like about my life.  It makes the whole thing a little more exciting, eh?

'This had better be important, I'm in the middle of a conference call!'

What I Like About My Life: Part One

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I’ve done a lot of complaining in my blog recently and I’ve been stumped for topics in a world full of them.  I don’t want to talk about who died this week, or which country is at war or what stupid thing the people in Washington, D.C. are doing.  I have opinions but I don’t feel like sharing those.  They provide nothing new in a cacophony of opinions.

So I’m going to talk about what I like this week.  What I like about my life specifically.  It’s not to make me or the reader feel good.  I just felt like talking about something different.

I could rattle off a lot of material possessions or fortuitous circumstances that I like.  But I don’t wish to praise something in my life that might leave another person feeling insufficient.  I am all too aware of the many privileges in my life.  And I am all too aware of the lack of those privileges in others’ lives.

Can we discuss what we like about our lives that could be felt universally?  Perhaps there is one thing that we can all choose to like because we share that one trait.  We are.

If you spend any time in a spiritual or existential quandary, you will eventually grok that the only thing you will ever be certain of, for as long as it is true, is that you exist.

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Someone is witnessing and experiencing life.  That someone is what you call “Me”.  Now what you are witnessing and experiencing is up for debate.  But from your point of view, someone is there to take it all in.

What I like about my life is that I am here to witness it.  I am here to experience what occurs and that it’s mine to take notice of or mine to ignore.  And the more I stay present to life, the more of it there is to observe.  I like that.

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I Hate Noise!

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This is me when I’m annoyed by any repetitive or irritating sound (especially when I’m trying to sleep like Mr. Bear here).

That cartoon makes me laugh so hard that my eyes leak but damn if that’s not what’s going on inside me when I can’t stop or get away from NOISE!

Noise is any sound that I don’t want to be hearing like honking and crying babies.  Noise is the equivalent of some asshole standing next to you and poking you in the head just because it pisses you off.  Poke, poke, poke.

Like most things in life, if we can’t end something we eventually have to tolerate it or go mad.  I’m not insane yet but some days I feel pretty close.  This morning I lost a half hour of precious sleep because the landlord decided to get an early start on fixing up the next door apartment to move new people in.  It’s probably not a good idea to call the cops on your landlord, so all there is to do is suck it up and hope he gets done soon.

In the meantime, my inner bear rages.  I HATE NOISE!

I also hate perfume, cigarette smoke and bright lights.  Hell, I hate anything that other people do that I don’t like.  That’s really the rub of it all.  I hate feeling subjected to something that I can do nothing about.  It makes me feel powerless and that makes me feel angry.

Anger is not a good or bad emotion.  It’s just one of many we feel throughout the day.  However, misdirected and blind anger can get us all into trouble from time to time.  We can do things and say things that we regret once we’ve calmed down.  Anger is not an emotion most of us are equipped to handle.  I don’t recall anyone really teaching me how to deal with my upsets.  Mostly I learned how to stuff my anger away, push it down and try and forget about it.

I have actively sought to become a more balanced and peaceful person, however, my biggest breakthrough to peace was when I was finally able to come to terms with my anger.  It’s another one of those odd paradoxes.  I really had to feel my anger in order to finally be free of it.  I had to stop judging myself for even being angry in the first place.  I’m sure even the Buddha got angry about things from time to time.

Now my anger is like a firecracker.  It pops off every now and again, sometimes quite brightly.  But then it dissipates almost as quickly and floats away on a breeze.  If it sticks around for any longer, I know that’s my cue that this is probably something more than a momentary annoyance and I will have to see how I can step up and do something about it.  Emotions are some of our greatest tools in this life.  Use them wisely.