Surrounded in Love

Don’t ask why I decided to stare at the TV for the last 7 hours before writing a blog post. Usually I don’t spend much time playing videogames but I didn’t have work tonight. There wasn’t anything else I wanted to do other than relax and, hey, why do I have to justify myself to you. My brain is a champ though, I’m surprised I’m awake enough to write. *dozes off

Speaking of which, last night I had an interesting dream. Moving away from friends felt a little traumatic and it’s been hard for me to reminisce without feeling nostalgic. It’s been easier to push it all out rather than feel this weird ache for “the good times”. But I dreamt I was at one of my old friend’s house playing board games with everyone. There wasn’t a pit in my stomach, I just felt… happy.

Usually I sleep solid through the night but I woke up after this dream. I laid in bed with a deep feeling of love. I felt content having had the experiences back in Charleston – and I no longer felt the need to go back and mentally relive those memories. It didn’t feel like letting go but I wasn’t desperately clinging to the past. All I felt was love. A love for my friends, a love for the places I visited, and a love for life.

I laid on my back content for what felt like ages. Eventually I rolled over to the nightstand and wrote on a post-it-note, “I’m so lucky”. I believed it too. I deeply appreciated the people who had wandered through my life and the circumstances which had led me to this part of my life journey. I appreciated both the good and the bad that happened to me.

It felt natural to have this experience. There was no desire to go backwards (or to skip forward, for that matter). I was at peace. The only expression that comes to mind is that it felt like “coming home”. I’ve read that phrase through numerous books but never understood it in the way that I do now.

Last night, I came home to myself. I laid in bed in awe of life. I felt my body’s weight and the way the pillow sat under my head. I was conscious of so much. I feel like a restraint within me has broken and I can move freely again. Oh, how wonderful it feels to be surrounded by so much love. I’m so lucky to have friends and to be alive.

Or… maybe my body just realized it’s humpday and the three-day weekend is approaching. Eh? Eh? :-p There’s joy in making it half way through the week without succumbing to workplace depression. ALSO, one week complete of BLOGtober. What on Earth am I going to do when this month is over?!

Day seven of BLOGtober complied with. Over and out.

OH! Go check out Björk’s song ‘All is Full of Love’, totally applicable emotion of the day!

Over and out for real this time. ;-P

Flow between Happiness and Sadness

For the last week I’ve been unable to contain my happiness. I feel like a glass just bubbling over with the stuff. The funny thing is that there isn’t one particular thing in my life that’s making me happy. I just feel content with everything and the happiness has followed. The best thing about this feeling is that when I encounter adversity or something that usually would make me sad, I feel like I overcome it easily.

Take this weekend for example: I’m going to be working two 12-hour shifts that eat up my weekend. Two weeks ago I was dreading this weekend but as I’ve become more content it’s worn away. Usually when you dread an event you ruminate in it and it gets progressively worse until you get passed it. The opposite seems to be happening right now: the closer I get to it, the less I worry about it.

It’s been written about before on this blog but I wanted to write about it again. I used to think  unhappiness was the degree to which we were aware of a lack of happiness. I thought it was when a person questioned their own happiness and realized that they weren’t as happy as they could be. I no longer believe this.

I think happiness is the degree to which we are living our lives. When we feel alive we also tend to feel happy. When I notice what it’s like to feel my feet press against the ground, I feel alive. When I’m walking and I can feel the sun or the cold, I feel alive. These moments themselves don’t bring me happiness but the accumulation of them brings contentment. Feeling at peace with everything creates a sort of calm undertone in my life which is a root for my happiness.

This root grows into a tree when I start sharing it with other people. I start smiling and my smiling makes other people smile which makes me smile even more.

Osho’s dynamic meditation is definitely weird – singing, jumping, and all sorts of other crazy things. However, I’ve learned something from it. The second part of the meditation is where you let your body express itself freely. For ten minutes if you need to kick, scream, flail, or anything, you do it. When I do this part of the meditation my body goes back and forth between laughing and crying. I feel compelled to laugh and smile like life is flowering through me. Then I’ll feel the need to shrink down and sob.

It sounds a little crazy at first but I don’t see happiness and sadness as far away from each other anymore. Maybe my happiness stems from an appreciation of what I have – whether that be good or bad. I undoubtedly will feel depressed again and this feeling will fade but I wanted to write about the importance of awareness. Having that base of contentment builds the foundation for happiness in myself.

It doesn’t matter what I’m doing as long as I feel alive. When I feel alive I can’t help but feel happy. Life is something worth experiencing and I hope that you find happiness as well! Nameste!

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Coming Home to Myself

Tonight I took some time and delved deep into my Facebook timeline. I read through a lot of what I’ve posted through the years to compare myself to my younger self. Of course there is growth but it is interesting to see how my mind functioned so differently at a younger age. So many of my struggles were, in the end, petty. The things that I spent so much time stressing over were things that I shouldn’t have been stressing over. The fact that I’ve forgotten so many of them proves how little they’ve affected my life.

Much of the reason why I looked back was to see my sexuality. Facebook is not exactly the place to look back at that stuff but I wanted to see how much I wrote about my relationships and how open I was with other people. In the end I just noticed how many people have come and gone in my life. That is life though. I’ll be forever affected by their presence even without them.

This brings me back to today and what I’m going through. The things that I’m going through now and the struggles I encounter are only a fraction of my life. The relationships I had, while not forgotten, were mostly insignificant. I had an amazing group of friends! Some of them still are around these days! My friends Lindsay and April are at the forefront of this group.

When I move to Charleston, I’m starting another part of my life again. I’m going to a place where I will know nobody. The place will be foreign and I will have few people to guide me. The anxieties I have about this are enormous but I know that I will make it through. I will find some great people and have great experience – time shows that.

Unfortunately it’s getting extremely late and I should get some rest. I encourage you, reader, to sift back through your Facebook. See what you posted 3, 4, maybe even 5 years ago. You may be surprised at how your life is from how you expected it to be. Where will you orient yourself in the future? Who knows, only time will tell where you will end up!

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P.S. I used to be huge into Alex Evan’s photography and I just ran into it again today! Man, it’s been like 4 or 5 years since I’ve seen his stuff! He’s definitely become an even greater photographer than I remember!

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Tonight I don’t have the energy to write. I just meditayed for the last half an hour to clear my mind. Hopefully through doing this I can be more beneficial to all life and help spread kindness. Clearing my mind should be much more easy than it actually is. Perhaps through longer mediation and through more of it I’ll become more at peace. I can already see many of the ways that meditation has improved my life and the lessons that I’ve learned. Today a guy said, why do you make me angry, to another man. Immediately my mind said, you make yourself feel angry, no one makes you feel anything. This is how I know these lessons are sticking in my head.

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“The Peace Commission”, a new project

Almost 50 days ago I started this 365 project and every few days I’m reminded of how grateful I am for the ability to express myself. Yesterday wasn’t a fantastic day, and that’s alright. Some days aren’t that great.

Yesterday I also started a project that I conceived in the midst of my self-pity – an act of desperation if you will. It summarizes what I’ve wanted I’ve wanted to live as for the past six months but it remained intangible until last night. “The Peace Commission” is another blog that I’ve set up to focus on resolving conflict.

Half of yesterday felt horrible. There’s a guy in my class who is incredibly angry and lost in himself. He struggles with himself and everyone around him all the time. The entire class I’m in is fed up with him and we struggle with antagonizing his smart-alec attitude and his mannerisms.

His ability to change from pure bliss to pure hell astounds us and it’s incredibly easy to mock him about it. He’ll go into a test and be extremely overconfident, anxiously tap his feet and sigh loudly when he’s done – in an effort to make us hurry up, then he’ll fail and become angry with himself by calling himself a failure. Then he’ll become overconfident about the next test thinking that he’s going to ace it.

That cycle happens in a matter of five minutes literally.

When someone makes a remark about where their from this guy jumps in and says why where he’s from is more (dangerous, cold, populated…). Then, whenever anyone criticizes him, he throws a fit.

It’s a HUGE test on patience because I know that he is lost and yet he is so frustrating. I genuinely want him to be happy but I struggle with refraining from teasing him. Knowing that he’ll overreact makes it very easy when he pushes your buttons.

Last night I also got in an argument with an old friend about cannabis. I became frustrated with her and I realized that it was important for me to just stop talking. I came to a realization that nothing I had to say would contribute anything to the argument. Even saying goodbye would be a remark straight from the ego.

Sometimes it takes a lot to just walk away from something and let the other person feel gratification. It’s a mark against the ego because all that our mind wants is to be better than the other person. It doesn’t matter if we know what we’re saying is incorrect, we just want to feel correct. Walking away solves the problem because there is nothing left for the ego to attach to. When you leave you forget your ego and carry on living your life.

Together, both of these frustrations led me to the realization that I want to be part of a problem solving group. If I want to help make peace in the world, then I will have to actively be part of it. One way I can contribute is to write about achieving peace online. It offers a way to help solve conflicts by teaching others how to solve their own internal conflicts. When we learn to solve the mental problems that we suffer from, we can extend that out into the world and help the world achieve peace.

Much of our battles with others are just battles within ourselves that have been disguised. If we can learn to make peace with ourselves, then we can learn to make peace with others. When I don’t know how to deal with my own anxiety I spread that out into the world. I spread my suffering and cause arguments and ultimately more suffering. By taming that anxiety we can go out into the world as problem solving machines.

When you know how to solve your own mental arguments, you also learn how to solve person-to-person arguments. There’s virtually no difference between them. When someone disagrees with us we have already learned how to make peace with that difference. We don’t spread more frustration.

This could potentially solve problems from a micro to a macro level. When a civilization can solve it’s internal conflict, it can help other nations solve their internal conflict. Perhaps one day we will all learn to solve conflict through internal peace.

“The Peace Commission” is going to be a variety of articles focusing on finding peace and solving turmoil. This could be through step-by-step instructions for reducing internal anxiety, how to solve problems with other people, or through larger means. It’s end goal is to solve conflict and find peace.

The project is heavily inspired by the work of Linus & The Feel Go Factory. Linus has created some of the funniest, humbling, most beautiful photographs/paper crafts tied with step-by-step tutorials to learn how to do anything. He’s a great guy and if you have the chance, check out his artwork on his Flickr page!

Finally, before I wrap it up tonight, if you would like to check out “The Peace Commission“, click any of the hyperlinks and you’ll be lead there. If you want to follow the articles and get inspiring quotes, like “The Peace Commission” on Facebook!

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Wordlessness

For the first time in a long time I don’t feel like I have anything to say! Usually I start blogging and words pour out but today I feel very content with myself.

Another blogger once gave me advice on being present. He said that to become more present sometimes we have to empty our minds and what we’re thinking about. To do this, he said, I should write down my thoughts in a notebook so I can carry on with my life. Once the things you’re thinking about have been written down, you can move passed them and live in the moment. They don’t pry at your mind with the anxiety that they may be forgotten if you stop thinking about them.

For some reason though, my mind is empty and clear. The advice I received translated into blogging and I’ve said a lot of the things that I have to say. This is by no means saying that I don’t have anything to write about or that I’m discontinuing my 365 project but rather that I’m astonished by how empty my head is.

Perhaps this is temporary. July through September I had extreme amounts of anxiety from lack of expression. Normally I photograph and express myself through art but I haven’t been able to take pictures. Blogging filled that and gave me a way to express myself.

It’s interesting to think about.

Right now I am content.

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Words

Currently I’m reading “Peace is the Way” by Deepak Chopra. I’m looking for words but I can’t find any. I see myself at peace and I see those around me coming to peace. All I can say is that one day this world will end its conflicts. It will find a solution to the oldest problem. It is my greatest hope that you tackle peace as well. Find it within yourself and share it with the world. Mahatma Gandhi once said “There is no way to peace. Peace is the way”. Take a moment today to think of those you are upset with, those you despise, those people who when happy make you unhappy, then choose to resolve it. Forgive yourself and make peace with your conflicts. Waging war with somebody else will only breed unhappiness and future conflict for both parties.

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