Late last night, while working in my darkened room, with only the light of my laptop glowing... a big brown moth flew into the lit screen. Crashed several times. Hard.
The metaphor was not wasted on me. I recognized my own light-chasing, head-banging work-style. And I suddenly "got" that the completion of my creative goals do not require self-torture.
Nature is my favorite teacher. Here are a few other things that moth reminded me:
Have you had any encounters with moths, or other insects, that taught you something? Please describe it. Big lessons often come from tiny things.
Ecstasy is a direction to lean into. So is pain. This is emotional posture. Most people I know, myself included of course, seem to have had their natural connection to ecstasy disrupted. And their learned connection to pain, reinforced. So it becomes a cultivated habit... to plan, prepare and make room for... pain. Hope + optimism atrophy, while cynicism grows strong + muscular. Stop trying to avoid disappointment. Disappointment doesn't kill. Cowardice kills. Risk disappointment. Ecstasy seeks to drench such fools.
All tied up, at my first bungee jump at Paradise Acapulco!
My friend, LeAnne, dove in like a fearless pro.
I, on the other hand, required a 6-minute pep talk, lots of deep breathing and, ultimately, a gentle push. I was soooo frightened, and nauseous, and I really thought I was going to fold and just turn around. Or vomit. Or worse.
Sometimes help is needed. That was one of those times, and I wasn't too proud to ask for, and receive, it. Next time, though, I'd like to squash all that at-the-edge hesitation. There's a big difference between leaping, and limply falling.
Graceless starts aside, I went head-first 164 feet, and felt what it is to plummet. And to "bounce back." I will hold that embodied metaphor a good, long time.
Free your MIND, and your LIFE will follow! Yes, there are costs and considerations... and each one is well worth it!
Adam Kokesh (the only author I'm aware of who didn't even bother to have his name on the cover), and the generous folks who support him, make this fantastic freedom primer available FOR FREE!! You can get it here: http://thefreedomline.com/freedom/
Please give it a listen or read. If you'd like to then share your thoughts/feelings here as a comment, I'd love to hear what got stirred in you.
With the help of Google Translate, I asked him (he was sitting upright then), for pemission to photograph the painting behind him. He smiled, raised a finger to ask for a minute, and proceeded to spread himself out for a nap. -- Calinda Beach, Acapulco
Hi! I am having a three-month exploration in Acapulco! I'm exploring personal freedom, and am healing and restoring myself from a brutal Western conditioning that -- temporarily -- disconnected me from my own wisdom and power. Okay, that's enough background for now.
Moving on... to the floor-length window in my bedroom that OPENS. Yet, I've been in this space for a week without realizing that! Because I come from a strange part of the world where many windows are not intended/designed to be opened! Fresh air? Who wants to be bothered with the nuisance of a natural breeze? No, we prefer our enviroments as artificial as possible.
And so, due to a repeated occurrence in my life (windows that don't open) I wrongly presumed the window in my room was just for show.
Here's the exciting (to me) part: WHAT CRACKED THE CONDITIONING OF MY MISTAKEN PRESUMPTION was being in my roommates' bedrooms, and luxuriating in the wonderful cross-breezes flowing through. So it occurred to me there was no justifiable reason why my room shouldn't also have windows that open! And sure enough, nearly effortlessly, it slid right open.
With a single finger, I had access not just to the most amazing breeze that makes AC absolutely unnecessary (average temp is 85F + sunny), but I also get a gorgeous soundscape of a water fountain and bird songs. This is a very mundane example, hopefully making it even more useful:
Love + Liberation,
These ladies, strolling down a busy street in Acapulco, sure make their loads look easy to carry. One even keeps both of her hands free.
I giggled as I compared their poise to my recent, and graceless, wrestling with suitcases and stuff. It's easy to get bogged down, but buoyancy is possible!
Which brings me to the important question about your freedom I'd like to ask you. But first, let's be clear and precise with our language:
Freedom is defined as "the power or right to act, speak or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint."
And, for our purposes, those last 4 words do not include hurt or harm to another. So, my question to you is, how much of that power or right do you exercise in your life? How often -- in your relationships, in your work, in your daily decisions -- do you exercise your power and your right to act, to speak and to think as you want? If not very, very often, WHY???
Whether you are restrained by:
* a tyrannical national government;
* a tyrannical negative inner voice; or
* more likely, both of the above!
... you can regain and enjoy more freedom. But there is some honest and daring work required. Here are three things I've been practicing:
1. Be quick to question. Any person, organization or system that tries to rule over you, should quickly be scrutinized... and likely, rejected. Would you ever consciously give your consent to another to rule over (e.g. master) you? Then don't do so, unconsciously.
2. Be slow to judge. Every person, without exception, knows something useful that you do not. Stop dismissing people based on shallow presumption and prejudice. Go deeper. Listen harder. Learn something amazing from an unlikely teacher.
3. Be intolerant of oppression. Anarchy -- or voluntaryism -- is a supremely ethical and philosophical ideal that CAN be lived into. When freedom is pursued, and traced to its utmost, you will find humans co-existing without compulsion and coercion. (Or, at the very least, working toward that end.) In a world that seems intent to domesticate, dominate, colonize and modify all life forms, anarchists steadily hold and develop strategies for personal sovereignty.
Freedom is not an imaginary unicorn. It is an innate birthright, that is too often infringed upon by inner and outer bullies. I'm grateful to be at Anarchapulco, surrounded by so many bold, brave, lovers of peace and freedom.
Do you appreciate romance, sensory pleasure and plants? I made a recent and simple discovery that includes all three! It's a triple-win I'd like to share with you. I hope it helps you get closer with yourself, and/or someone you love.
While making a tincture (an alcohol-distilled botanical infusion), I was slicing a large amount of fresh, raw ginger. Its juice was all over my hands. I licked my palm, and noticed pleasant tingling on my lips and tongue.
I had always loved ginger for its warm, delicious spiciness. But I never considered it as a natural, topical stimulant before. Add a bit of coconut oil, and you have a spicy-warm lubricant or massage oil. No partner necessarily required, but lovely if you have one ;-) XO
This wordcloud is in response to Bruce Rauner's oppressive reign over medical marijuana. His leadership is willfully keeping citizens in needless states of suffering. Why?! How is this possible?! His administration's hyper-regulation will surely strangle the poorly supported medical cannabis pilot program this state rolled out in fear and hesitation... and has now progressed to blatant obstruction and sabotage. Seriously makes me want to bounce... and roam about where wellness and freedom is not infuriatingly kept beyond reach. Because after all, we are each THE ULTIMATE GOVERNOR of our own bodies and minds!
Rise early. Listen well.
Let freeing truth within you swell.
Here's what swole within me early this morning...
A simple thought about SPIRIT. Its essence
means "BREATH." Spirit is a principle that animates
and vitalizes. So, let that be your benchmark
for spirituality that is worth keeping. And practicing.
Ask yourself, "Does it make me more alive? Does it
cause me to be a better carrier and expresser of life?"
If your answer feels like "No, not really," don't despair.
It is a wakeful moment to learn the difference
between breath, and asphyxiation. With breath --
with true spirit -- rules and rulers are simply not needed.
There is order, without oppression. So, INHALE YOUR FREEDOM DEEPLY.
A few years ago I wrote and published an essay titled "The POWER of Your Intense Fragility: What Culture Hasn't Told You About Being Sensitive AND Strong" (available on Amazon.)
A kind reviewer described it as "less self-help for your inadequacies and more of a call to action for your special gifts."
And another said it "illuminates the power of your nature in such a way that you can begin to envision yourself as having a significant role in creating a kinder and more sustainable world."
I'm grateful to those readers for getting my message, and I'd like to share a little of it with you here. This is section 11:
We are facing more crises now than have been faced in the last 5,000 years of recorded history. We have to think differently and act quickly. We have to return to good sense and sanity, rather than normalizing the absurd. Indifference is possibly the most harmful threat we face.
Ecocide. Attachment to privilege, comfort and convenience at any cost. Disregard for the health of this planet, and the life-forms on it. It is time to live the wisdom that indwells each of us.
Mothers' breast milk should be pure and powerful... instead it is loaded with dioxin and many other toxic contaminants.
Forests -- literally, the lungs of our planet -- should be large and thick... instead North America has less than 4% left, and we are quickly slicing through everyone else's trees, too.
Oceans, topsoil, air, 100+ endangered species a day, as well as our overall sense of well-being and contentment are all vanishing under the deadening weight of chronic materialism.
Please consider the following words (which I have shared many times elsewhere), written in 1955 by marketing consultant Victor Lebow, and carried out every minute by most industrialized people:
"Our enormously productive economy demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfaction, our ego satisfaction, in consumptionÉ We need things consumed, burned up, replaced and discarded at an ever-accelerating rate."
Lebow's mandate disconnects us from ourselves, each other and the ecosystems that make Life possible. We should be angry that these tender webs of life are being carelessly swiped away. Alarm! Outrage! These are appropriate responses.
Empathic writers have long sent letters to editors, senators and representatives to voice their concerns. That's good, but this revolt demands more of us. Seeds of sanity -- freedom from mental derangement -- must be embedded more deeply and more broadly throughout culture.
Consumerism is not a viable way of life. Opposition to that murderous death-style has got to turn way up if it's ever going to be properly challenged and changed.
Many of the doctors in the Nazi death camps tried to help the imprisoned Jews by giving them, from time to time, an aspirin to lick. Can you see the littleness of that gesture, however well intended?
Socialized craziness requires radical revolt and resistance. Aspirin-licking won't relieve this planetary migraine.
We *have* to come together and shut the sick show down. United in sanity. Bonded in our knowing of Life. Committed to act, and to cause acts. The redeeming kind. The saving, correcting, game-changing kind. We are homo sapiens, not homo consumericus.
Start with your Burn, your holy indignation, and craft from there: songs, movies, books, articles, public service announcements, plays, TV shows, business plans, small farms, urban homesteads, community gardens, workplace outings, birthday celebrations. Allow sanity -- sound, healthy thought -- to pervade all that you create.
Embrace the pain or burden that gnaws at you. It entrusted itself to you. Your particular area of care is just that. YOUR area of care. Own it. Then assert your creative, sensitive influence into that space. Accept this match made in heaven, and express it here on earth. Let your ink flow into the very dry parts, and create, author. Citizen. Lovely, lively human.
Cultural conventions that cause cancerous, disastrous consequences have been masquerading as normal. When do we stop pretending that bagged and boxed crap will make us happy? Will we mindlessly shop 'til everything drops?
Remember how thrilling it was to play outside? To make discoveries in the natural world. To watch the flight-pattern of a bumblebee or red-breasted robin. To get splashed by fresh water from a lake, or salt water from an ocean. To eat berries and pears straight from a tree. To get breathless from a mountain hike. To get romanced by the silver light of a full moon, or energized by the golden light of the sun. To get quiet and still from the closeness of a deer. To get drunk from the scent of honeysuckle. To feel your skin extend to the green land around you. To remember when you preferred a monarch butterfly to a manic mall.
Start there. From the place of your deepest care. And write as if your life depended on the blossoming of your words, because it does.
Our sensitivity is tied to our highest calling. I believe we are neurologically-wired to lead the way in personal and planetary upgrades. Our special nervous system uniquely equips us for the global tasks and issues that require unprecedented delicacy in all of the realms that affect every living creature -- social, political, economic and environmental.
Heightened perception is both a privilege and a responsibility. Societal power structures are drastically shifting, and more and more empowered Sensitives will be needed to come forth to serve as humanitarian and visionary leaders.
"You are not here merely to make a living. You are here to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, and with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world. You impoverish yourself if you forget this errand." (Woodrow Wilson)
* Get the full essay HERE. *
Stay tuned for "Sativa Yoga: Two Steps to Sanity" which is about freeing yourself, and being yourself. We'll talk candidly about the blessedness
of cannabis, and how incredibly effective it is at exposing and healing
lack and sickness in our bodies, minds, ecosystem and social systems.
The cannabis "industry" talks about what we DO with it.
That's cool. I'm just more interested in who we can BECOME with it.
What are its transformational effects? Let's have some real talk, friends.
We know that we don't have to wait for arbitrary dates
to do aspirational things. But our limbic system is complicated.
It still seems to need prompts, triggers and calendar cliffs
for us to leap from... to declare, "NO more of that!"
And "LOTS more of that!" So whether you embrace
December 31 as the ultimate re-set button. Or, like me,
you view each day as renewed, may your Right Now
feel shiny, new and full of possibility.
Because it is all of those things.
Yesterday was winter solstice,
the shortest day of the year.
Which means, going forward,
you get a little bit MORE LIGHT
added to each of your days...
starting TODAY! More light.
What will you do with it?
Make with it? Heal with it?
Love. Art. Illusions.
When you think about it, life is just a series of meetings.
Some make your heart race with giddy anticipation, like auditions, interviews, new client pitches, dates... You want these to go well.
Others make your neck and shoulders tighten, because you dread the people, the purpose, or both. But since your presence is somehow required, you want those to go well, too. For either type, here's a fun and easy experiment to try:
Since practicing this as a habit, I've noticed:
Whatever you believe, may it bring you peace all over. XO
Astronomy disrupts ideology.
But can a night sky break feverish
addiction to a sack of stuff?
Would we wait in a long line
for a heart full of knowing?
Why doesn't that have more juice, more appeal?
Not the line, but the knowing heart?
Or, at least, the heart that wants to know.
And see. Like the Magi did. Reportedly,
they followed the arc of a star, to know and see.
Wise, magical things often appear ridiculous,
and later lead to Life.
While bigoted, hateful things often appear muscular,
and later lead to Death.
What about those gifts they brought?
May the gold remind you of your preciousness.
May the frankincense uplift you with fragrance and aroma.
May the myrrh anoint you with purity and power.
The definition of terror is "extreme fear."
The opposite of which is "extreme love."
Fear clenches. Restricts. Chokes. Like a hyperventilating man who needs oxygen, but will not get it with short, shallow breaths.
Despite his body's urge to go completely ballistic and flail in panic, exerting energy and burning the last bits of oxygen in his system, he must instead:
And we must do the same.
We can choose to opt-of of bandwagons racing toward Fearville. Just don't jump on. Let 'em ride past you. Hysteria is movement, but not necessarily wise movement. So remain calm and centered, knowing that your grounded state-of-mind is the greatest contribution you can make in a time of heightened pain and unrest.
Greet the knee-jerk rage that wants to kick and punch and react.
Say "Hello" to the rage, and then tell it to stand down.
A clear head + clear heart is needed. A mass shooting of love is needed.
How does that happen? What does that look like? It looks like being slow to draw:
We are all suggestible, to some degree. So the question is, whose suggestions are you taking? If those suggestions -- media of any form -- shorten your breath and tighten your chest, they are not good for your body or mind. Those suggestions are literally constricting life, and your body is even giving you a felt experience... of life narrowing when you feed fear.
And the opposite is true. Life expands when you feed love.
I don't know how a proud and egoic country like mine would implement this ideal on a national level, but if individual people in the nation choose to focus on extreme love, then the same effect will be reached.
Breathe slow and deep. Love extremely. Expect great insight to be revealed. Carry out those insights. Share some of them here, if you are inclined.
"THE CAVE YOU FEAR TO ENTER