In this video I talk about a new piece to the puzzle I discovered, or perhaps it is more accurate to say rediscovered, of how one can be happy independent of their circumstances. The key here is perception.
What exactly is happiness, and how do we go about getting it? Here are my answers to these questions from some years ago.
What is it you are passionate about? What is that thing, when you do it, that brings you ecstasy, happiness and joy? What is that thing you do which requires dedication, effort, hard work and practice, driven by your love, your passion for it? What is that fire in the engine of your heart that animates your life and gives it meaning, maybe even a purpose?
Until tonight, as I watched the first Step Up movie, I never asked myself these questions. Or if I did I didn’t really ask, to the point of deeply looking into myself and identifying something possibly lacking or missing. I think we go after others we perceive to have whatever its we believe, feel or think we lack.
I think one of the reasons I became so enamored of someone I will not name is because of her passion. This individual is portrayed as being very passionate about dancing. I think that’s what drew me to her, at a subconscious level. I think perhaps a man without passion will place himself around or with others who he sees as having it. A man without passion may pursue a woman of passion, for example. Some part of us realizes that something is missing, that we are incomplete or lacking, so we seek it outside of ourselves.
Can passion be found for something we excel at? Can it be regained if lost? Can it be developed? Is there a time limit for passion? Before you answer that one think carefully… Everyone who I can think of that has ever lived and been passionate about something started doing it as a child. Everyone, without exception. Maybe they dropped off doing it for some period of time then returned. But there was always a time in their childhood they doggedly pursued it as much as they were allowed. The tendency is to start young. How many dancers, singers, painters and programmers do you know who started after 40?
If it is too late, and I am not assuming that, but I think it is a valid question, then another question immediately follows. If I can not find something to be passionate about on my life, and by all appearances it seems too late to start, should I continue living? Again before you answer that, think about it. A person without passion, without that fire in the engine of their heart, has no ambition, no drive, no meaning and no purpose. They probably don’t even have a dream. They are just a shell, a zombie. They will do little more than remain in the same life situations they have grown accustomed to. If they are currently on the couch watching TV, that probably won’t ever change. If person is faced with that likely future, wouldn’t it be better for them to just off themselves now?
I am not saying people can not or do not change. In fact I am the last person on earth who would ever believe, feel or think that. Also I am speaking from personal experience. I am 40 years old and living with my parents. I was doing the same sort of things 20 years ago as I am doing now. Only in my case I have grown desperate, tired of it. That is why I have consigned myself to hitting the road. I want to get away from my parents, find my tribe people of higher frequencies, higher vibrations. More support for me on my spiritual path. The possibility of physically present friends and lovers. I don’t see how I can find that here.
I was thinking earlier today that my parents are trailer park people. They started out in a trailer park, and now that the house is sold and they have a month to move, they have settled on moving into a trailer park again. They did look briefly at houses, then dismissed that. There is nothing wrong with being a trailer park person. But, at least in my parents case, it shows how they limit themselves, how they will not allow themselves to dream. There is no ambition, they are at anchor on the sea of life. They assume there is no better option for them. I catch them making these assumptions all the time, and I keep telling them, over and over again, to exhaust all possibilities.
But I am just like them. I have consigned myself to living on the road for an indeterminate amount of time. I have decided that I can do no better. I have little ambition, my dream is artificial and manufactured. I have no passion, no fire in the engine if my heart, other than to get laid (my apologies to any women I offended by admitting this.) I can’t come down on my parents when I am doing the same thing, in a different way, to myself. I do have good reasons to go, and it is not as easy for me. They can call a number and ask questions, I have to find the people to talk to if I want to go to college, move into a dorm so I can get out on my own, etc. And I am not sure it would be a good thing for me to move into a trailer park with my parents as I try to claw my way into a college, assuming I could find some subject that compels or draws me to it.
The one thing I do well, writing, if it could be transformed into dance moves, would be one eye-popping routine! At least as good as anything in that movie I watched. And their dance moves, if transformed into words, would rival my best writing. But the difference is that those characters love to dance. It is their passion. I have no passion for writing at all. If I could trade it for dancing, drawing or singing, maybe even programming. I think I would trade it without hesitation. I am good at it, but it holds no interest or value to me. I am sure as I write this that someone, somewhere out there, is disappointed in me. Maybe even offended by me. They would do anything to write even slightly as well as I do. Or I could be deluding myself and nobody cares about writing at all. Not like dancing, drawing or singing, to name a few things that somehow hold more value to people.
I don’t know what to do about this. I am pretty sure, and becoming more and more convinced, that I need that fire in the engine of my heart. That I have to find that thing I will devote myself to, practice and work hard at to develop and grow. That thing which will drive me, cause me to want to continue living my life. That thing which, when I do it, I become ecstatic, happy and joyful. That other love of my life. I think I need this, and I think I have always sensed it, but this is the first time it has entered my conscious awareness, this is the first time I have trapped it in a cage of words so that I can identify it.
I do not love myself, not like I should. I do not love life or living. There have been times where, briefly, I was enjoying being alive. Where I came close to ecstasy, happiness and joy. I may have even experiences these at various times in recent years. But nothing has stuck yet, I am like a yo-yo, I come up, and all-too-soon, I am drifting down again. I have not learned how to remain unaffected by my circumstances and those in my life. I have not been able to shut of the influence of these various factors. So I am tossed about on the waves of life, as I have not yet learned how to be the ocean.
I do not know what I am trying to say here. Getting lost in my writing. Still mulling over these recent revelations. I feel and I fear that if I can not find a way to love myself, my life and the moment-by-moment living of it that it would be better for me to give up, quit and throw in the towel, so to speak. Just exit this world, stage right. I have this “grass is greener on the other side” belief and mentality. I believe, feel and think that whatever it is I need or want, I can not and will not find it here. I have to leave my parents and their trailer park mentality behind, in order to change my own deeply ingrained trailer park mentality which I adopted and inherited from them.
But what if everything I need is here, and maybe also inside of me? What if there is nothing to find “out there?” What if I take the blindness I may currently posses with me wherever I go, so that I never see the opportunities standing just on the other side of the door? How can I believe in myself, believe in my body? How can I believe that I can have those things I need and want? That I can have nice things, like my own house and someone to share it with? How can I plug my ear to the specter of doubt whispering into it? (I have wanted to use that line for a few days now…)
I don’t have any answers. I don’t think fighting for whatever it is we are passionate about is the best way to go about things. But I do feel that if we are truly passionate about something we should abandoned ourselves to it, apply ourselves to it, work hard at it. That we would want to, if it is something we deeply and truly do care about. But at this moment, I can’t put my finger on what that may be for me.
If you are passionate about something, pursue it. I think this is the essence of what it means to, “Follow your heart.” Let your passion light the fires of the engine of your heart, driving you to its attainment, expression, mastery and realization.
I just had this thought I wanted to share. I tried to put it into a poem but the words aren’t fitting at the moment. So I will let them rest.
I realized I can say, without a twinge, that I know it can happen. I can also say, and believe, that it has happened to others. But I struggle with saying it is happening for me.
This is in reference to anything desirable, right now my thoughts are on when I leave this place. I can’t see myself as leaving here and moving into my own house. At the moment I can only see myself as probably living on the side of the road.
I am thankful I can see as much as I can. If it has happened, and has happened for others, then there is no reason it can’t happen for me. Even if it has never happened, has never happened for others, that does not mean it can never happen for me. There is a first time for everything!
There is no reason, beyond my own limiting beliefs, I can’t dream bigger and have more. The table is laid out before us. Everyone, without exception, may take from it what they want. There has always been enough, and there will always be enough.
I can sit here in the corner and take scraps. I can pick up a dish and select a small amount. Or I can grab a tray, as many plates as I can put on there, and pile them sky high. The choice has always been mine, is mine, and will always be mine.
Others can try to tell me what I am allowed to take and how much. But it is my choice whether or not I listen to them. I am done listening to them, I am done accepting the limitations of others, I am done accepting self-imposed limitations.
None of that has served me these 40 years I have been alive. Doing as I have done has only brought me here, to these circumstances and this situation. It does not work, so why continue using a flawed method?
Somehow, I don’t know how yet, I am going to get… No, I AM AT, the place where I can say, without a twinge, it happens for me. I am just as deserving as anyone else. Nobody has more of a right to the things they desire than I do.
We are all equal in our rights to our desires. It may not make sense from a human, physical standpoint. It may see as if some desires may cancel out or override others. But that is not our concern.
Our only concern, the only thing that matters, is following our heart, moving to the best feeling thought we have at this moment, visualizing the fulfillment of all our desires, and I guarantee that the closer we get to who we really are, the more harmonious all our desires will be together.
There is no reason to sit in that fucking corner and gnaw on bones. There is no reason to subsist on table scraps. It is time for me to get up off my ass, grab a plate and embrace all my desires, without criticism or judgment, without worrying about the how or finer details.
I want a nice bicycle and all the gear I need for a comfortable trip. I want a sleeper car train ticket pass and enough money for any other mode of travel I might want at any time. I want to be able to stay at nice places and have access to any physical care, from massages to mani-pedis, that I want. I want to be able to eat the kind of food I enjoy that makes my body feel good. I want a nice camera to take pictures with. I want to be able to stay at the Esalen Institute, in its nicest accommodations, and take as many course as they have of interest to me. I want to come back from this having finally released all excess material from my body and emerged like a butterfly from a cocoon, beautiful, light and free. I want a home to return to, a place of my own, in a community where I feel I belong, where I am welcome, where I have friends and someone to share my life with.
Those are my desires, and I leave them all the room they need to expand and grow as the time for me to leave draws nearer. These are the things I want, not sleeping off the side of the road, unless it is my choice, and only if I have chosen that.
In the eyes of society maybe I do not deserve these things. But I am done caring about or concerning myself with what society thinks or wants. Its interests do not match my own, so I leave it to its own pursuits while I follow my own.
I am done believing, feeling and thinking that I have to earn things or work hard for them. I have just as much a right to all my desires as someone who works 80+ hours a week serving others. Maybe they have to work that 80+ hours to feel they can have their desires. That is their choice. I am done feeling like I have to perform Herculean tasks in order to live a live of abundance, luxury and wealth.
I do not criticize or judge others in positions of service. That is the portion they have chosen for themselves. I will encourage them to dream bigger, to take a bigger portion, but at the same time I will support their choice, loving and accepting them as they are.
My idea of Donald Trump is that he sees himself as successful, wealthy and the next president of the United States. He accepts nothing short of the vision he has for himself. He accepts no limitations, not from others, not from himself. From this moment on, that is the example I follow.
I have a few things I would like to do here. First of all a huge thank you and blessing for all that helped my body heal from whatever it was it was fighting.
Secondly I am excited to report that I have had a breakthrough today! This morning I woke up and started on my three morning pages as assigned by Julie Cameron in her book, “The Sound of Paper” I realized something. That I Am An Artist.
I guess I have always denied this. I remember seeing the drawings of my cousin Shadow, and the work of his brother Chris. I remember seeing work by a friend and mentor named Jepson. I remember my mom’s work on her piece of music. Maybe I thought there was no room for me, or that I wasn’t a good as them, or something.
I have also been at war with myself. Obviously I have the ability to write. I did try to get published, but when I discovered the 80,000 word minimum for fiction, and after I received rejection letters for everything I submitted, I sort of gave up. I guess I like telling stories. I like sharing things that I have learned. But I never really saw myself as a writer. Maybe I thought that life wasn’t exciting enough or special enough or something? I think also with the whole artist thing in general I was plagued with doubts. You read how few artists are ever wealthy or successful. I have this other dream in my mind to design and help build my own house. Obviously I have to have a lot of money to do that.
It has been a struggled. I was raised by and am surrounded by limit-minded people. That is my parents, as much as I love them. have built-in poorness programming, installed in them from their own parents, at least on my dad’s side. I am not sure they even want to be rich. But I do. They also believe in limits and lack. I do not. But I received the same programming they did, and I have been in the process, especially during the last few years, started with ACN, of changing those internal instructions. Still it is very hard to have a mindset that runs contrary to everyone else’s around you. It’s especially difficult when you go to a Sangha after yoga class and the instructor asks you essentially what you’re doing with your life.
But finally a breakthrough this morning. The peace I had afterwards, and the immediate effect it has had on me, words don’t really do justice. Suffice it to say I dug out an old computer carrying case and made my own artist portfolio, complete with handmade cardboard pencil holders. Even I was impressed by the unusually good engineering I was able to do. It’s as if a huge dam has broken and crumbled. I have decided to, “Follow my bliss…”, do what I enjoy doing, and trust the Source to provide. I released all the old beliefs I had, mindsets, everything. No worries about making enough money to have the life I want to have. All things are possible and I am connected to the source of all resources, wealth included. How can I ever be poor?
Now I am looking forward to my next drawing time. Spending what funds I have for my artistic needs. Just got a cheap little Sumi brush collection so I can play with automatic, expressive drawing. I know that rendering is not my specialty, but I am OK with that. Working at any art will strengthen all artistic muscles. I Am a computer artist (level design, modeling, textures), and a sketch/drawing artist, and a writer (poetry, non-fiction instructional articles, short stories.) I find my niche, wherever it is. I Am Awake to who I truly am, hence the saying I posted before this.
Do not deny who you really are. You truly do know, just as I did. It was not so much a realization but a ceasing of hiding the truth from, of deceiving myself. I knew I was an artist. I have said I Am an Artist before. But my heart was not in it. Even now I picture that dragon Shadow drew years ago and I am tempted to compare. I ignore the evidence hanging here on my wall that I can draw just as well. The only thing I lack is patience. But that is OK too. It will also come with the practice of what I enjoy doing, my art. Find what you enjoy doing and do it. Even if you have a family make that priority number 1.
But you have to be sure that it is truly your thing. I distracted myself by buying a guitar telling myself I always wanted to play it. But I am a lyricist and possibly a singer. Not a guitar player. I have more fun with my packing tape frame drum. Once you wake up to the truth, once you allow yourself to do that, once you know for sure, go after it. It may impact your family and dependents negative in the short run. But if you trust whatever you call God to provide for you, if you are doing what you love to do, things will work out, and it will be better for you and your loved ones in the long run.
I can’t claim that things will be easy. But they will be worth working hard for. Can you say that about what you are doing right now? If not you are living a lie. You really are violating one of the 10 commandments. You are bearing false witness. To yourself and to whatever or whoever you call God. You were not made to fall in love, get married, and have a family. Nor were you made to flip hamburgers, wash toilets, runs items across a scanner, lug boxes around, or drive all over the country.
There is something that speaks to you. You ignored this voice for so long you can’t hear it any more. But it is still there, waiting for you to hear it again. That voice is telling you what you love to do, what you most enjoy, and if there is any dream, any purpose to anyone’s life, it is to pursue that thing, whatever it is, with reckless abandonment. No excuses, no exceptions, I don’t care what your life circumstances may be! It is in ignoring that voice that you slowly destroy yourself and suffer the consequences of your actions. It is not karma, justice or punishment. It is just cause and effect. If you are not doing what you enjoy, what you are passionate about, if you are not “following your bliss”, then your life will remain unfulfilled and no matter how rich or poor you are you will know it.
For my part that means I have to teach, because I am good at it and as much as I used to deny it I enjoy it. I love to be able to help others in this way. For the same reason I have to write, because I secretly do enjoy this as well, even though I have denied that fact for so long when I write it is as if I don’t feel anything. But the feelings are there. Obviously I am passionate about writing, just look at this post! And finally I have to sketch, draw or scribble, design levels, models and textures, maybe even sing. But I can’t do these to anyone else’s standards. I must do these things my own way, the way that works for me, the way I am happiest doing them. If I can find training that fits with this great. If not then I am on my own, but that’s OK. I can trust the Source that if and when I need a teacher one will come. What is there to worry about?
It is time to wake up. You have been asleep for so long. You are a bud and the winter has long passed. It is time to open to the warmth of the sun and let people see who you truly are inside! You have so much beauty to share with the world, for your own enjoyment and the enjoyment of others. I look forward to the sweet perfume of you doing whatever it is that you are passionate about!