No videos until I get home

It’s taking forever to upload them. It’s faster uploading them to YouTube but I can’t embed the videos here on my blog unless I have a computer in front of me.

When I get home I’ll make a really long post and embed all my YouTube videos here.

Yesterday was fun. I did exactly what I set out to do. I found a way to make it all the way to Siam square to check out the big shopping center and see a movie. I even ate at a really cool place that lets you cook your own food. I ate so freaking much.

I love eating more than anything.

I figured out the cheapest and most adventurous way to get to the plaza would be to take the fairy to the sky train and the plaza is right there as soon as I step off the sky train.

I left my hotel at noon and exactly two hours later I was seated in a theatre (with assigned seating) watching Exodus in English.

Bangkok is HUGE. Bigger than Madrid, Barcelona, and pamplona combined. At least it seems that way to me. It’s clean here and nobody hocks up phlegm or blows snot out their noses like they do in China and South Korea.

I was born in the wrong country. I love everything about this place and I haven’t even seen the best of it yet.

Everyone practices Buddhism here. Everyone bows to each other in a show of respect. Before the movie began, we all stood like in the pledge of allegiance to watch a video about their country and their leader. Their leader really likes dogs because in every picture he was surrounded by dogs. He looks like a kind man.

There’s more homeless people in NY. There’s no stray dogs laying in the streets panting their last breaths. I seen more monks in the two days I was here than I did in my entire stay in Nepal.

And every restaurant serves my favorite food.

As of now, compared to everywhere else I been, Thailand is by far my favorite.

And today I see Brianna who is already texting me wanting to go out on the town to have a wild night. As long as I have beer in me, this 34 year old girl can handle anything.

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The worst has happened

I’m in Thailand and the worst thing that can possibly happen to a person has happened to me.

Bedlam. I’m experiencing bedlam.

My Mother found my blog!

She posted a comment on my Pearl Harbor post and signed it with “Ma.”

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She claims to have searched my name on the Internet and that’s how she found it.

Impossible! My name is nowhere to be found here except for the Melanie part and since I stopped blogging all the time, it’s rare I pop up on search engines AND WordPress tells me what search terms were used to find my blog and my full name was never one of them.

Which means my own mother is lying to me.

Ever since my blog started getting personal, I stopped sharing it with people. It’s not worth it. A few of my closest friends still don’t know of its existence.

And now of all people, my Mom found it. She wants me to delete it.

Um, no?

And so I did what every normal sophisticated blogger would do if in my situation and told her I’ll die here in Thailand if she continues to read it.

“I have a bad feeling that if you continue reading it, I’ll die here in Thailand. I’m not going to make it home.”

Childish? Absolutely. But I asked her repeatedly to stop reading it and she kept responding with “no, it’s right here on my computer.”

I had no choice but to play dirty and use her superstitious fears against her.

It worked.

Son of a bitch though, right? I’m dying to go home to see exactly what she’s talking about with my name being in the search engines. There’s no way.

I don’t want her reading it but what I’m more upset about is that someone told her about it. Who would do that?

Okay well, if someone has a personal vendetta against me I think that’s pretty much the worst they can do. If that doesn’t satiate their thirst for revenge, negative reviews for my business will be next.

Negative reviews would be the worst possible thing they can do to me.

It’s only Wednesday and my business already made over $400 this week and we sold 2 more memberships. I should go away more often.

I’m here in Bangkok. I arrived the night before yesterday. Yesterday all I did was lay around ordering room service and napping. It was spectacular.

Today I ventured the streets toting my hefty guide book in hand. Sweat rolling down my back and my eyes squinting in the sun because I forgot my sunglasses at home. It was hot. And I was sticky from letting an ice pop melt all down my arm.

I met a friendly thai man who hailed me a tuk tuk and he told the driver to take me to several different places for the low price of 60 baht. The guy was a complete stranger off the street. And I was like, sure, why not? I literally had no idea what to do or where to go. I somehow always end up meeting helpful people whenever I travel. It’s weird but true.

Truthfully, I can’t wait until Brianna gets here.

I want to check out this big shopping plaza tomorrow but it’s a pain in the ass to get to. My hotel is near the grand palace and a few other cool sites, but I’m far from the subway, sky train and bus routes. I’m not in a central location. It makes me not want to go out.

Alas, I can’t stay here all day. Although I love it here in my hotel…I love the room service and the universal TV channel and the friendly lady boy behind the front desk. He’s so pretty.

I’m going to save the grand palace and boat tour for when Brianna gets here and tomorrow I’ll check out the shopping plaza. There’s a movie theatre playing Exodus there. I’ll manage just fine on my own.

Unless if my mom breaks her promise and reads my blog again, I’ll most likely die from malaria.

Yes, a horrible feeling I have. Something bad will happen to me if she continues to read it.

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Here’s a transfixed ramble before I leave for Thailand tonight!

I woke up last night at 3 A.M feeling like I had to throw up.

“Why do I have to throw up?  I haven’t drank anything.”

Then a mini thunder storm erupted in my bowels.

“What did I eat?”

I wanted to get up, but couldn’t.  Every muscle felt weak.  All I could do was lay in bed and decide on whether I wanted to puke or to shit.  Then I realized I’d have to do both sooner or later and I wondered which one will happen first.  Which one I had the least control over.  And that was shit.

I shit like I never shit before.  Then I brushed my teeth because it was 3 A.M and I had morning mouth already – I threw up while I was brushing my teeth.

And so I brushed again.

But man I was sick.  Dizzy, out of breath, brain malfunctioning, black spots.

I couldn’t stand for more than a minute without needing to sit down.

Why?  From half a malaria pill that’s why!  I went online and read the side-effects and one of them were seizures – seizures!  I knew in my heart of hearts that what I was feeling (brain malfunctioning, light-headedness, black spots), are all symptoms leading up to a seizure.  I just knew, you know?  So yeah, no more malaria pills for this girl.  I’ll take my chances with the bugs.

The exhaustion I felt yesterday was impenetrable.  I couldn’t watch tv without feeling sick – I couldn’t listen to my audiobook.  Have you ever felt that sick?

It’s now the next day.  I missed my window to go to the Thai embassy in NY so I’m hoping they’ll still let me on the plane to Thailand.

My stomach is gurgling.  I have a client coming in an hour and a half.

It’s a few days later.  One day away from Thailand and omg…..

OMG!

I underwent a series of events yesterday all leading up to a new understanding about life.  It was incredible.  It all started with my new employee when she spelled the word “does” wrong.

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I cringed at the sight of it.

“There’s a reason why I didn’t hire her in the first place.”

The way my brain operates is, I try to see all sides of a situation before my judgements blind me from seeing truth.  I won’t go into too much detail, but I was once again brought to the conclusion that whatever you believe about a person, you will find.  You’ll keep finding truth to your judgements until that person’s own belief about themselves rises to meet your challenge.

If you dumb yourself down, holding back judgement, in a way, that person you’re holding judgment from will never evolve.  Placating people is a means to enable them.  And when you enable a person – nobody has any power.  It’s a stalemate and an egoic feeding frenzy that circulates back and forth into a spiral.  Placating is not diplomatic, it’s conforming – conceding.  Nobody wins.

I usually close my eyes and say to myself, “all will be well.”  I try not to judge and instead, close my eyes.  If I didn’t close my eyes, nobody will ever like me.  Trust me, they wouldn’t.

“You meant to say “does”, right?”

But what it comes down to is this; (when you’re not enabling stupid behavior and you’re being forthright in your assessments) if their power of belief about themselves overcasts your initial assessment of them, they become worthy of respect.  And since we all judge people from our own perspectives and values, what we believe about someone may be completely opposite of what someone else see’s in them.

The thing I value most is intelligence.  Lack of intelligence is the only thing that annoys me about people.  Feeling annoyed is a subtle branch of anger and hatred.  It’s placing blame to avoid having to deal with our own issues. If we accept people for who they are, this annoyance towards them disappears (it taken me 11 years to realize this).  However, when their behavior affects you in a way where you can’t accept it, remaining passive with your eyes closed will not benefit anyone.

It is more compassionate and giving to express your anger rather than holding onto it.  Expressing anger to someone who upset you is the more compassionate choice.

Since I judge people based on their intelligence, I have absolute power over anyone who annoys me for the sole reason that I don’t care what they think about me.

“Prove to me that you’re not an idiot.  I don’t need to prove anything to you because if an idiot thinks I’m an idiot, it cancels itself out.”

Why do I feel the need to close my eyes during all this?  Because it’s the easy thing to do.  But the right thing to do is most often the hardest.

Expressing our values in a show of annoyance, blame, and judgement – exposes our truest selves.  And the most pig-headed people have no awareness of their truest selves – even while exposing themselves to the wolves.

To find out what you value most, look to see what makes you angry and annoyed – it’s there where you’ll find it.

A dangerous value to have is believing that you’re always right.  By having this value, anytime someone opposes you, you will get defensive and angry.  You can end up running from the truth, and running from yourself.  All mental illness stems from avoiding truth.

Believing that you are always right is a trait of a superficial survivalist who will suffer a mental melt down if their perspective is challenged.  Why?  Because if the world they constructed is wrong, nothing will ever make sense again.  Their foundation is gone.  The void of emptiness (the bad kind), swallows them whole.  Admitting when you’re wrong without experiencing emotions of anger, annoyance, or embarrassment, is the trait of a truly strong person.  A person with faith, not fear.

I also value humility.  I know this for sure because I loathe narcissists – well, we are all narcissists but there’s a scale on how bad we can be.  The more validation you need, the higher you are on the scale.  The stronger our sociopathic traits (we are all sociopaths too), the further up you go.

Ayahuasca told me that we are all worthy of equal respect, but here in the physical realm where the ego is inescapable and spiritual evolution is our only goal – the spirit laws don’t apply here.  Only in death do they apply.

It’s all part of the game.

Growth and belief.  You grow and your perception widens – you’re able to understand more.  Expressing our value’s to others is a way for us to evolve.  You contribute nothing while placating and keeping your eyes shut.

This idea taken me to my own life.  My own growth process.

Up until, oh I don’t know…..YESTERDAY, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life.  I didn’t know what made me truly happy.  Since I was a kid, I wanted and fantasized about every career under the sun.  Then I found my business which brought me direction and goals – but are my present goals really what my heart wants?

Rational brain – “You’re only happy when others are happy.”

Yeah but it’s not lasting.  It’s transient.  Who am I in-between those laughs?  Who am I when a friend carries with them a heavy heart?

Rational brain – “Everything is transient and meaningless.  Leave the in-between part for growth and possibilities.  Never cement yourself.

In the grand scope of things yes, life is transient and meaningless.  I agree that’s it’s improbable and unwise to be happy all of the time.  But It’s about having a foundation – one that is built upon seeing and experiencing my own potential….

A few hours later…..

DAmn I’m drunk.

I trained my new therapist, went to my brothers holiday party and then to a friends house and now I’m here at home drunk wanting to sleep.

I was onto something fierce before.  A good ol’ fashioned head squashing.  But now it’s 2 A.M and I want to watch Japanese anime like the freak-show that I am.  I’m eating left over steak.  Hunter X Hunter is the Japanese anime if you’re wondering.  I’m HOOKED.  I’m being completely honest here when I say this show is amazing.  Why the hell do I like this shit so much?  It’s not normal!  I don’t just like it, I LOVE it!

My brother had a holiday party at his spa tonight.  He had a party last year if you care to scroll back to read about it.  Here’s a pick of me and my folks:

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I love these people more than words can explain.  I cradle their heads in my hands and kiss their cheeks every night wishing them a good-night before I head downstairs to my domicile.  I break out in cold sweats whenever my mother walks on icy terrain.  I cry silent tears when my father can’t write his own name with his shaking hand.

OMG I love my parents.  So much so that it hurts, you know?  It’s this side of me that’s both my weakness and my strength.  The side that I hide from everybody, but eventually I’m sure it leaks out and once it does, it’s viewed only as weakness.  Insurmountable love.  A sentimentality that stagnates and circles around like a little eddie.  Never to venture off into the blue unknown.  That’s what love is.  It’s the familiar, the net.  It’s what enables you.

Both weakness and strength…

Oh man, yesterdays epiphany was awesome but it’s gone now.  If I weren’t so busy earlier I could’ve captured the remnants of it.  But I leave tomorrow for Thailand so there’s no time.  I must post this unfinished thought.

Shit….

So much left unsaid.

I went to visit my best friend in Minnesota for Thanksgiving last week.  Here’s a video to capture the moments.  Held safe here in my memory bank blog for all the world to see.

I’m so tired.  I’m leaving tomorrow at 2 A.M.  My computer screen is so bright.  I gotta get some zzzz….

It’s now the next day.  I’m beyond tired.  I was so hungover this morning and slept for about 4 hours before having to go to work to give a massage and hand out Christmas cards to my employee’s.  They each got $50 and the 3 girls working today all gave me big hugs and wished me well on my trip.

This trip feels destined.  Like I was never not meant to go.

I need to nap big time, finish packing, take a shower before I leave and that’s it.  Then it’ll mostly be video blogs for the next 36 days.

And so my hero’s journey continue’s….

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Remembering Henry

I wrote about my friend Henry a while ago.  He’s the poor guy who lived in a ramshackle apartment and had his mom bring him McDonalds for supper every night.

He was in a dire situation then, so it seemed.  Rock bottom from my perspective but no, not rock bottom.  Now he’s at rock bottom.  Or at least I hope it’s rock bottom this time.

He’s been living in the woods behind my house for the past 6 weeks!

I’m supposed to see him tomorrow.  It’s so weird how he’s back in my life now of all times – right after writing a post about how I’ll never help anyone who refuses to help themselves.  It figures of all times he picks now to call me.  It’s just his luck.

In the meantime, I have to prepare for my trip to Thailand.  Prepare my business and employee’s, train a new therapist, go to Minnesota to see an old friend for thanksgiving, pick up the slack from my employee who gave me a weeks notice and dropped 4 days off her schedule, and go to the Thai embassy in New York to apply for a visa.  I leave on December 6.  Well, technically it’s December 7 at 2 am when I start my travels.  Which gives me 11 days to do everything in.

I’m staying 6 days over the 30 day allowance they give visitors to Thailand.  I went on a Trip Advisor forum today and asked what I should do.  One guy told me I may not be able to leave the states if I’m staying over 30 days without a visa.

The closest embassy is in New York, an hour and 44 minutes away from my house….and processing time takes two days which means I’ll have to go back there.

Damn I just want to leave already.  11 days!

Tomorrow I have to pick up my malaria pills which are $120, get two photo ID’s taken at CVS, go to the bank to get $300 in thai money, massage a client, I’m supposed to see Henry, I really need to visit my friend who just had surgery and keeps texting me to visit her, have keys made for my new employee….Go to Stop & Shop for tissues and toilet paper for work.

I hate having stuff to do.  Why do people purposely stay busy?  Why?  It sucks!

I told my parents and my brother about Henry.  I asked them if Henry is stuck outside a homeless shelter with no beds left, can he crash here?  My mom said it’s up to my brother and my brother said no.

The sensor light attached to the shed in our backyard won’t turn off.  My mom thinks Henry is out there.  My brother went and locked the shed up for the first time ever today.  My mom thinks Henry is locked inside it.  That’s why the light won’t turn off.

Some guy I know gave me a matchbox…..

Him – “I want you to bring this to Thailand.”

He hands me a matchbox with no other instructions on what to do with it. I thought they were waterproof emergency matches.

Me – “What’s this?”

Him – “My dog.”

Me – “Ummm, your dog?  You mean his ashes?”

Him – “Yeah.”

Me – “You want me to spread your dogs ashes in Thailand?”

Him – “Yes.  Please.”

Me – “Why don’t you spread them in Alaska?”

Him – “I am.”

I shook the box and a bunch of ashes fell out of it.

I’m tempted to throw the box away.  I’m horrible.  But I hardly know the guy and I have different beliefs than he does.

I don’t care where the hell my ashes end up.  It be cool if they ended up in my hometowns water supply (before filtration of course), but other than that I don’t give a shit so why should I care about ashes from a dog I never met owned by a strange guy I hardly know?

I better catch some zzzz.  It’s late.

And the odyssey of my life continues…..

 

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Miserable Melanie

My crazy aunt and homoscidal cousin are back here living with us again.  My happiness lasted for about a day and a half….

Damn hard day today was.

I had to go into work early for a client I never massaged before.  He was a man with a Groupon – he bought his massage from an online deal site and if I had one of my therapists massage him, it would’ve only cost me $3.

I pay my therapists $10 when they don’t have any clients, and $13 an hour for online deal clients (I know it sounds cheap, but we’re not massaging many deal clients anymore).

So, I went into work and saved myself $3.  I resented being there – I loathed it.  I was only there because of a technical malfunction.  He was a big black man with thick dreads and he kept his shorts on so I couldn’t massage anything above the knee (because his shorts were in the way), he didn’t want to put his head in the face cradle which made it hard for me to massage his neck and shoulders – and he wanted his abdomen massaged.  His thick dreads got in the way of massaging his neck.  Basically it sucked.  He was really nice though…

When the 60-minutes were up and I told him his massage was over, he looked up at me and said, “I thought I had 90 minutes?”

I’m the one who booked the appointment and there was no mention of it being 90-minutes.

Damn.  I massaged him all over again in a half-hour.  He liked it though, so that’s what’s important.

I worked a lot this week and kept reminding myself that starting next week, my new therapist will work Tuesdays and Wednesdays for me.  I’ll be free.  I always think I’ll be free, but no matter how many therapists I got working for me, I seem to always get booked.

I went home after massaging Mr. Dreadlocks and watched some TV and tried to relax without letting my crazy aunt and cousin eat at me little by little with running water and weird OCD grunts and my aunt saying “I love you, I’ll be right there” to her 45 year old son plugging up his ears and humming to himself – no he has no mental retardation.

“I can’t do this.  I can’t do this.”  I opened my laptop to look at apartments.

“20 more members.  I need 20 more members and I can afford one.”

I started going crazy.  Members.  All I could think about were members.  I need I need, I want I want.  I started spiraling into that dark place of hopelessness.  My whole world revolving around members.

“I need to pay my debt first.  I need more members to pay off my debt.”

“I’m stuck.  I’m stuck here.”

I closed my laptop and took a deep breath and thanked the lord I was going to Thailand.  I thanked the lord for giving me 128 members.  I thanked my new therapist who’ll be taking over Tuesdays and Wednesdays for me.  Thank you thank you thank you!

I went back to work for my last two clients.  One of whom being one of my favorite people to massage.  I made a full recovery out of the spiraling darkness.  How the hell do I do that?  My resilience never ceases to amaze me – seriously!

But then I got smacked in the gut hard with a dagger of a fist.

My new therapist:  “I have to tell you something and it’s not good news, but not horrible either.”

Me:  “Are you pregnant?”

Before she responded to that, I braced myself and remembered to remain calm.  Breathe, just breathe Mel.  Is asking an employee if they’re pregnant considered sexual harassment?  Probably.

New therapist:  “No, I got offered another job with benefits at a hospital and I need to cut my hours.  I can only work Tuesdays starting on the first.”

Me:  “Oh….”

New therapist:  “I feel bad because I asked for all those new hours.”

Is that why you feel bad?  You don’t feel bad because you’re only giving me a weeks notice and I’m going to freaking Thailand in two weeks?!

I didn’t say that, but I was screaming it in my head.  On the exterior, I was calm and understanding.

No no no no oh please god no no no no.

As soon as she left, I went on the schedule and blocked her shifts off before anyone else can book with her online.  Of course she had clients booked up until Dec 22, of course.  And of course she works Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday – why wouldn’t she?  Without her here, I’ll only have one therapist working weeknights for all of December while I’m in Thailand.  And we are BUSY.  We’re actually doing phenomenal here as far as clients and money goes – this month felt like a gift from god monetary wise.  But money means nothing if clients aren’t happy.

“I have to find someone ASAP ASAP!”

I went on zip recruiter to repost my job ad, but my initiation price expired and the price they wanted went up to $100 a month.  WTF zip recruiter?

I grabbed my old pile of job applicants and sifted through them instead.

“no, no, definitely not her, eh, nah, wait who’s this?  Oh yes!  Oh please oh please god….”

I found an application from a girl who applied here in April when we first opened.  I loved her and wanted to hire her but I held back because she didn’t seem confident enough.

I rolled my chair back over to the desktop and typed her up a pleading email.  Well, not horribly pleading, but pleading enough.  I sent it.

I waited 5 minutes.  I waited 10 minutes.  I was just staring at the computer screen.

“That’s all I can do.  I can’t do anything else about it tonight so I should just go home.”

But I didn’t go home, no.  I texted her instead.  She replied with:

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And once again, I made a full recovery back into feeling fantastic.  She’s willing to put in her two weeks at her other job tomorrow.  Words can’t explain how thankful I am.

The girl who cut her hours, honestly I didn’t think much of her anyway.  She’s one of those athletic types, you know what I mean?  Running, lifting, drinking kerotine or whatever it’s called.  I don’t get it.  I’m not saying she’s a bad person, just one of those types who have absolutely nothing in common with me.  It’s always the athletic type that I have the least in common with.  It’s weird because I really like karate and I run to my car in parking lots.

The person I have the most in common with?  My 22 year old puerto rican male therapist.  I adore him!  He ran track in high school, but he did it for fun because he thought he was the fasted kid ever.  We discuss video games and how much we don’t like dating.  And he has a true bona-fide love for people just like I do.  I can see it just by the way he treats people – he really cares.  He treats old people with genuine kindness.  Not to mention he’s a goldmine as far as clients re-booking with him goes.

Male therapist:  “We’re like the same person you and me, it’s scary.”

Me:  “Ha ha, I know!”

This new girl I’m hiring, I feel like she’ll be a narcissistic supply for me, you know what I mean?  One of those people who feeds ego’s.  All my other employee’s make me feel good about myself, sure, but then you meet someone who looks up to you and they hang on your every word more so than normal.  It’s not about love, but admiration and inferiority.

When something inspires you, it’s because you want to find that same hidden gift inside yourself.  It’s not real love, but a key.  Once that lock is opened, the love for the thing that once inspired you is gone and you’re left with nothing but love for yourself.  I know this is true, trust me.

And once you’ve opened the gift inside yourself, you want to keep it by never returning the power back to its source, so you push the original owner of the key down into inferiority.  Gaining power is what happens.  Stupid ego…

This is why celebrity gossip can crush a career.  Why oceans of people can tear a person down who once stood so high.  If celebrities, politicians, or any type of leader can make a mistake, that means they’re no better than the rest of us.  All their greatness gets transferred over to the people judging them.   It’s inspiring to know that great people are no better than the rest, so we keep the offenders far below our stilettos until we get inspired by a new target that is far more superior than anyone who has ever lived in our lifetime!  And then of course, ruthlessly crush them when they fail.

Martyr’s…I guess it’s part of our evolutionary process.

Truthfully, ego-feeders annoy me because of this.  But they have no idea what’s going on, so they can’t help it.

Whenever I’m admired I always I have the thought in my head, “find your own, don’t take mine.”  Because that’s what it feels like.  It feels like taking someone else’s gold nuggets without bothering to find your own.

I end up sounding rude, impatient, or being in a generally bad mood.

It’s a good thing I don’t have many admirers.  It’s a shitty thing to be admired.

 

 

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Filed under All about me, journal, philosophy, random thoughts, rant, Self help

My OCD Cousin Who Wants to Kill Me

I haven’t wrote about him in a while.

When I was 25 years old, my aunt and her son moved in with me and my parents.  Now here it is almost 10 years later, and they’re still here.  Well, I shouldn’t still be living here but that’s a different story (next year I’m buying a house!).

So, these two individuals, my aunt and my cousin, are among the two most dysfunctional people I’ve ever met.  My cousin only leaves his room to go to the bathroom and he stays in the bathroom for hours at a time using up all the hot water.  On days he has to poop (usually once a week), him and his mother rent a hotel room so he can take a 20 hour shower after having done his “duty”.

My cousin refuses to allow his mother to buy a car, so she has to rent one.  My aunt blew through $250,000 just on rental cars – money from her deceased husbands life insurance policy.  She used to have a really nice house, but the bathroom floor caved in from mold and water damage and they didn’t keep up with the mortgage payments and had to foreclose.

Today was my mother’s breaking point.

My aunt owes my mom $3000 (money she doesn’t have since her sole job is to look after her son who has to be at least 45 by now [he doesn’t work either]).  And instead of paying my mom back, she pretends to.

Mom – “Where’s the money that you owe me?  My bill came in.”

Aunt – “I put it on the desk.”

There was only $5 on my dad’s desk.

Mom – “No you didn’t, where is it?”

Aunt – “It’s there, or someone took it.”

I wasn’t here when all this went down, but I heard that it ended with a bout of screaming.  Finally after all these years, my mom told her sister to get the fuck out of her house.

Finally!

So now my aunt is staying with my Aunt Rosemary, who just so happens to have a dysfunctional son of her own.

The hard truth is, I don’t care where they go as long as they’re not here.  A big weight has lifted, a dark shadow that hung over our house for these last 10 years is dissipating.

My brother thinks they’ll be back.  They always come back.  For once I’m more hopeful than he is.

Anywho, in other news….

My brother bought out his ex-fiance’s share of their business making him the sole owner of an upscale spa.  They do hair, nails, facials, scrubs, massage – they even have one of those fancy spa-type showers with all thems jets that squirt at you from every angle.

Now that he’s the sole owner, completely detached from his conniving ex, I want to see him succeed now more than ever.  I hate it that his spa is literally two minutes away from mine.  I hate that I can potentially damage his business.

I know it may not sound like a big deal, but in case you don’t know me by now – I feel everything incredibly deep – it cuts right into me.

The best visual I can give you to understand how I feel towards my brother taking on a $175,000 business debt and not knowing if he’ll succeed is this:  Think of a woman cradling an infant.  The woman crying profusely, stroking the infants head and telling it “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.”

The visual doesn’t make much sense, but that’s what popped into my head.  The bigger my business gets, the smaller his looks.  And he’s trying so hard!

But no matter what happens, I’ll never stop growing.  What I’ve built has too much freaking potential – too much.  I’ll never do hair, nails, scrubs, or the kind of facials he offers, but I WILL get big.  Everyone in town will have heard of us, or know someone that’s a member here.

If I back down now in fear that it will mess up his business, I’ll stagnate.  Before I ever see a profit, I’ll lose.  It’s not any different from my parents letting my crazy aunt and cousin live here.  My parents acquiesced to them and in return they lost 10 years of peace along with $3,000 – my aunt and cousin, never getting better, just growing older and more stupid – maybe resentful even.

I’ll never concede, never acquiesce.  I’ll not give hand-outs to people who take advantage.  People who don’t work or try – especially to those who lie, steal, and scream in your face that you’re the crazy one (what my aunt did to my mom).

I’ll never sacrifice my happiness to replace it with someone else’s misery.

Tomorrow will be my last long day of work in a very long time.  It’s my last Wednesday of being on the schedule and I’m booked – fully booked.  It’s going to suck.  But then it’s just weekends from there on out.

We all have challenges to face.  If there were no ways at winning these challenges, we wouldn’t be faced with them.  There’s always a solution.  For me, the best way to find a solution is to figure out what my desired outcome is (my intentions).  And more often than not, my most desired outcome is freedom and happiness.

If you don’t know what you want, you’ll never get it.  You’ll never find a solution.  And I bet my bottom dollar that everyone’s most desired outcome (when at their ultimate level of clarity) is freedom and happiness.  But our intentions get skewed into mistaking power for freedom and revenge for happiness.  Revenge towards the people who hurt or angered you, and power for it to never happen again.

It’s living in the matrix of our one shared emotional ego web.  Completely entangled, engulfed.

Anyway, I think I’m done for the night.

 

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More business stuff – just skip over it

I woke up a few days ago and got hit with an intense desire to extend my personal line of credit so I can pay off my Amazon credit card.

It sounds like an everyday occurrence, mundane, nothing special, but the reason it’s special to me is because of the intensity and the velocity of how the idea struck.  It came out of nowhere and I was like, “yes of course!  Why didn’t I think of it sooner?”

The thing is, I want to invest in micro-current facial equipment for my business.  A good device can range between $4,000-$8,000.  In order for me to ensure my credit score remains healthy enough to buy this equipment, I have to pay down my outstanding credit card balances.  But me being the impertinent sort that I am, hates to wait.

I fell asleep thinking about this and woke up the next day with a fierce desire to go to the bank.

After my shower, moments after the idea struck, I opened my laptop to read some emails and what do I find?  An email from my bank telling me to make an appointment with them to discuss my financial future.  They NEVER send me emails let alone one that tells me I should have a consultation with them – I’m being serious, they never do this.

I’m only bringing all this up because it really did feel celestial.  And I just got done paying off my balances online, so it’s still fresh in my head.

I went to the bank, grabbed a lollipop and nonchalantly sucked my way into a loan.

“Can I extend my personal line of credit to add another $5,000?  I want to pay off my Amazon credit card.”  I said before popping the lollipop back in my pie hole.

“I have a better idea.  You’ll be able to pay off your credit card and your personal line of credit too if you consolidate everything into a small loan.”

“I’m sold, let’s do it.”

I’m really not this much of a bone head, but it felt right.  You know what I mean?  My $14,000 debt is all cleared away and I’m left with a clean $15,000 personal line of credit and zero balance on all my cards.  Well, technically I still have to pay back that $14,000 but I’m left with a HUGE safety net and the ability to buy my micro-current facial machine.

I’m not gonna lie, it’s a risk.  As most things are.  But I’ve been snooping around on esthetician forums and all I hear are good things about micro-current facials.  It’s a huge investment but with great payoffs.

I just need more people to sign up to the membership first.  Even with 124 members, I still need to make at least $100 a day to break even.  If I sell 30 more memberships, that figure drops to less than $50 a day I need to make.

I’m not worried about hitting $50 a day, that’s easy for us.  $100 a day ain’t too difficult either.  But the machine, the cost of hiring an esthetician, renting the two rooms upstairs, well shit.

This is why I’m in repose, incubation.  I’m in a good sturdy position financially, but it’s not enough for me to take the next leap.  I’ll have to wait until those 26 new members find us.  Only 26 more…

Once I have 150 members….

$650 for upstairs offices = 13 members

Esthetician for 25 hours a week = $425 X 4 = $1,700 = 34 members

Facial machine $100 a week X 4 = $400 = 8 members

When all said and done, I’ll need 55 more members in order for me to get back down to only needing to make $50 a day.  And with my meal ticket ( the micro-current facials), getting people signed up will be cake.  Not to mention they’ll have to pay an additional $25 every time they opt for a facial instead of a monthly massage.

The facial machine will have to wait for now.  I have an alternate plan in the meantime, one that will attract new clients and let us keep the one’s we already have.  And it will allow me to pay down my loan debt until I feel secure enough to invest in the micro-current equipment.

After 150 members, I’ll rent the two rooms upstairs.

Train one of my therapists to learn ashiatsu (that’s when they walk on your back).

Pay half of my loan.

After at least 20 more sign-up’s (bringing me up to 170), invest in the micro-current facial equipment and hire an esthetician.

And that’s when things will really start to tip in my favor.

My business is following invincible steps.  Steps that are no different from the one’s I took to get here.  Action, rest, turn the page, action, rest, turn the page.  Only with business it’s;  invest, collect, move forward.  Invest, collect, move forward.

I’m in the collecting phase at the moment.  It’s my favorite phase to be in because it’s like finding a secure safe haven during a zombie apocalypse.

I need sleep.  I have a ton of shit to do tomorrow.  One of which is to stand outside my business wearing a Star Wars stormtrooper costume next to a whopper of a sign that says “we support our troops.”

Yeah, I’m that cool.

To be continued……

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Wabi Sabi

wabisabileaf

wabi sabi

 

I’m going through a period of repose and it reminds me of the Japanese philosophy of Wabi Sabi.  It touches on the three main buddhist teachings of impermanence, suffering, and emptiness.  I suffered, I changed, and what come’s next can be found in the emptiness.

When I go into repose, suffering no longer effects me, my past has passed, I let go and when a person let’s go – the emptiness shines through.  A new cycle begins.  A new direction.

I wrote about my two-seconds with emptiness and without going into too much detail all I can say is WOW.  Possibilities.  Infinite possibilities.

Sinshwan:  The only viable move is to not move.

That’s what I feel while in repose.  To not do anything until I gather enough faith to see it out.  To me personally, visualizing an outcome is in exact proportion to your faith.  Until I have a clear visual – sinshwan bitches.  Sinshwan till my little hearts content.

I’m now up to 121 members which means I’ll have an extra $1,000 added to my monthly budget.  I sent out one email promoting the membership deal and it sold 17 memberships.  My suffering can no longer affect me, I can take a deep breath – now I must incubate.

I am the picture of a working Wabi Sabi.

wabi sabi

I’m like grass.  I grow, I prosper, but just as I start to really reach, someone comes by swinging their big blade around and chops my head off.

In the meantime, the tall grass sits on their sunny perch looking down at me bowing their heads.  “Don’t reach too far Melanie.”  They all say.  At least not yet.  Not while your vision is still incubating.

I’ve been incubating all day and you know what?  There’s no place I’d rather be than here in my room.  Seriously, no place.

Which makes me wonder why exactly, am I going to Thailand for 5 weeks when I can see and learn all about it from here?  From the safety and comfort of home?

Oh yeah, emotional connections.  Learning through experience.  I can practice Wabi Sabi all I want when I get back, only this time aged and changed to fit my new scale of beauty.  A bit more ragged and refined.

Learning without having an emotional experience is like having two hands grow out of your heart trying to feel itself but never being able to.  Just like a blade of grass getting its head chopped off.  You’ll never see or understand anything.  You MUST experience it through emotions.

You must sit.  Then experience.  Than sit some more.  Each cycle is necessary.  Each cycle no matter how redundant it may feel like to you, is a necessary step.

Waitressing from the ages of 18 – 28, necessary.  Working at Massage Envy – necessary.  Working in my own little stink-hole office – necessary.  After each leap, there is a fall.  There is a period of rest.  Some leaps require more time to climb while some rests require more time to sit.

And with each new vision, the clarity of that vision is in exact proportion to how well you can clearly define yourself.  How well and how authentic your actions fit in with your truest intentions.  To know faith is to know yourself.  It’s no easy task.  Trust me, it taken 10 years of waitressing for me to realize what my truest intentions were;  To drink and be merry.  But as it is with all dreamers, I was never content.  I knew something was missing but I never sat still long enough to figure out what it was.  I was always being pulled either by friends, or an empty wallet.

In a few weeks my new therapist will work Tuesdays and Wednesdays which leaves Saturdays and Sundays as the only two days I have to work each week.  All clients during the week will be by request only.  In two – three months, I’ll have at least 150 members and once I reach 150 members, I can play out my vision.  My vision in which my little business will tip itself into success.  It starts with hiring a sixth employee to work my weekends.  I’ll be free.  Free enough to see even more visions.

When you take yourself out of stress, out of work, out of responsibilities, only then you’ll start to think clear.

If you’re broke, have no money – you’ll not think clear.  If you pity yourself, feel inferior, are jealous of others – you’ll not think clear.

Thinking clear means finding your faith and it feels a lot like falling in love.  You fall in love with your potential.  You see yourself plainly.  And if you don’t like what you see, you have the sight to see it and change it.

I’ve always been in love with myself.  Ever since I can remember, I’ve always loved myself.  I love who I am.  I don’t know what it’s like to feel any other way, so I can’t teach anyone to love themselves when I don’t know what it’s like not to.

But I do have high’s and low’s.  When a low hits, it’s because I stopped trusting myself.  I stopped seeing my potential.  My dreams remain in an untouched fantasy world and my head gets chopped off by people’s judgements along with my own self pity.  Waitressing for 10 years left me with a perpetual headless corpse of a dreamer unfulfilled.

But no matter what happens to me, I’ll always find my faith again.  Always.  I mean, that’s what faith is for, right?  Always being there?

People give up because they think it’s too late for them, or too much work, not enough reward.  Let me just tell you, from all my years as a headless corpse – follow you damn heart and quit ur bitchen.

And until you have a clear visual, sinshwan mutha fucka sinshwan.

Sinshwan is where the biggest changes happen.  As long as you know how to do it properly.  The way to do it is said in this post.  The totality of this post is the way into understanding transitional periods of incubation.  A real turning of the chapter, you know?

It’s hard for me to say that 10 years of my life can fit into one chapter.  But where there is no change, there is no need for incubation.  Where there is no heart, there is no mend.  Where there is no faith, there is no awareness of yourself.  And where there’s no awareness of yourself, there’s no reflection, no understanding, no conscious development.  Drink and be merry.  Stay busy.

What’s in my head is so freaking hard to put into words.  But I swear as if my life depends on it – authenticity and awareness of character is the center of courage, where it all begins.

Know your heart.

And my heart just so happens to be taking me to Thailand with a beautiful person in less than a month.

The ground evaporates under me and mists into cascading flowers floating all around.

That’s what it feels like to follows one’s own heart.

 

 

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How to buy cheap plane tickets online

Short story:

The best way for me personally is to use Google flights.

Long story:

I hate buying plane tickets. I spent hours pouring over choices and comparing tickets on Priceline, Expedia, Travelocity, what-have-you. None of them come close to the power of Google Flights. You simply type in where and when, to and fro – and BAM a calendar pops up with the lowest price available. It’s a calendar that shows you what days are cheapest to fly on. All right there on one page without having to re-type new dates in and search again and again from website to website.

It compares prices for you. Click on the day you want to fly on with a price you can afford and it shows you where you can buy that ticket for that price which is usually Priceline, Expedia, Travelocity….etc. But the odd thing is, when searching through one of these websites (priceline..etc) for a flight, they skip over and don’t list all your options. You can ONLY find these flights on Google Flights.

I tried buying a plane ticket to Thailand and every site that I went to, they had me flying to Chicago, than Tokyo, than Thailand. Or Texas, than Tokyo, than Thailand – all really long layovers with 35+ travel time. Tickets ranging from $1600 – $2000. And in Tokyo, some flights wanted me to go to Tokyo and board a plane at an entirely different airport during a 30 minute layover! WTF, right?

I searched on Google flights and what do I find? China Air! China Air was everywhere! And they don’t take me to Chicago or Taxes – hell, they don’t even take me to Tokyo. I have one stop in Canada and then it’s a straight shot to Thailand. Travel time? 27 hours. Price of ticket? $1100.

So anyways……

It’s done. My parents know I’m leaving, I have almost everything I need for the trip. My first four days are already planned out which includes seeing the Jade Buddha and the Grand Palace.

My business is in the red zone, meaning, running low on funds.  I’m only going to Thailand because I have perfect faith that this month I’ll sell enough memberships to cover all my monthly bills and then some.  Perfect faith.  Yes.

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Ayahuasca in Ecuador

(For anyone wanting to read about the effects of ayahuasca, you should read my first experience with it here.)

ecuador

This post is long overdue.  I didn’t keep a journal while I was there which makes it hard for me to write about it especially now being that it was over two months ago.  I did however film a few videos that I’m not too keen on sharing (a big reason for procrastinating this post).

I remember the first day of my trip very clearly.  Getting off the plane and arriving in Ecuador.  I arrived late and had to stay in Cuenca all by myself the first night.

My first trip to do ayahuasca, I was sweating bullets.  I had to down a few beers before getting on the plane and even on the plane, I couldn’t escape the anxiety.  I didn’t have a panic attack thank god – but the anxiety was very severe.  That flight I taken to Columbia was the last time I felt deep inescapable fear without it crossing over in to a panic attack.

This time around was the complete opposite.  My parents knew where I was going, so I didn’t have to worry about anyone ratting on me (yes someone actually threatened me with that!), and I did ayahuasca before, I knew the shamans, knew the people – I was relieved to go and escape life for a while.  This was at a time when I massaged 8 hours a day, six days a week.  I was too worn out to be scared of anything at that point.

My arrival to Ecuador played out like a fairytale.  I taken a taxi to my hostel and enjoyed a quiet nights sleep before waking up early the next day having to take another taxi back to the airport.

“We’re going to the airport too.  We can drive you.”

Said a seemingly nice couple enjoying their continental breakfast.

“That would be wonderful!”  I proclaimed goofily.

This is what idiots do abroad – accept invitations by complete strangers.  And yes, I AM an idiot abroad.  They seemed nice enough though.

Before I go any further, here’s a video of when I first arrived in my hostel.  I don’t recommend that you actually watch these video’s, but since I didn’t keep a journal, they’re pretty much all that I have of my trip.

I found my box of soup and it didn’t bursted like I thought it would.  I was so tired that I stopped filming and started eating my soup and crackers while watching The Simpsons in spanish.

So anyways, there I was getting a free ride back to the airport.

“Where you headed?”  Asked one of my new companions.

“I need to find a shuttle bus to take me to [I forgot the name of the town I was going to].”

“I’m from there!  What will you be doing?”

“A spiritual retreat.”

“I’m actually going to Peru today for that exact same thing!  I’ll make sure you find your shuttle before we leave you.”

When we arrived at the airport, my companion started speaking in spanish to an airport guy – not a whole lot of people spoke English there so I was very thankful.

An airport guy pointed the way to the shuttle busses.

In the email I received prior to the trip, it stated that the shuttle busses are to the right of the airport as soon as you come out of it – but as it turned out, it was a right,  a left, then a walk down a few blocks – not good instructions for an idiot abroad.

The airport worker seen my confusion and offered to walk me there himself.  He spoke little English but found the words to tell me that he won’t leave me until I get safely on the correct shuttle.

I hugged both of my new companions good-bye and thanked them profusely before being handed over to the airport guy.

“You shouldn’t walk alone.”  He said in broken English.

“Is it dangerous?”

“During the day a little, but at night yes.  Very dangerous.  And what you have on…..”

It was so hot that I opted on wearing a tank top.  A youngish girl with a backpack wearing a tank top – walking alone in one of the most poorest area’s of Ecuador is not a good combo.

He kept his promise and got me on the correct shuttle.  Thank goodness he was there because nobody spoke a word of English.

I slept for most of the way there.  I passed so many little restaurants.  They were more like outdoor kitchens.  Everyone ate outside on cheap plastic Coca Cola patio sets.  Everything looked poor and rundown as opposed to Columbia where there was no litter and the houses looked newer.

I fell asleep watching the ramshackle houses go by and woke up a few hours later to my ears being blocked up from the effects of high altitude.  We were in the mountains and I had to put on my sweatshirt, then a half hour later, I put on my jacket.

After a long five hours, I arrived to my destination with time to spare.  It was the [forgot the name] airport.

I was hungry so I grabbed myself a mini pizza from the airport cafeteria and waited for my new spiritual seeking friends to arrive.

We all met up and everyone was lovely.  There were Canadians and people from Jersey.  One woman from Jersey had a stash of cocoa leaves that she swears heals just about everything.  One of the Canadian boys was suffering from altitude sickness and been miraculously cured by the cocoa leaves.  We were up 9,000 ft.

We piled into another shuttle to take us to Gaia Sagrada – way up in the Andes mountains (the longest continental mountain range in the world!).  We needed a special driver because only two taxi’s in all of Ecuador know how to get there.

Basically, my arrival magically slipped into place.  When I needed help – no, not even – before I needed help, there were people there to guide me.  My appreciation was at an all-time high.

But after that first day, I don’t remember much.  I have a horrible memory, that’s why I write.

Here is another video for you guys….

The thing I didn’t like about this particular ayahuasca ceremony is that first off, it was cold, and secondly – people weren’t allow to talk or walk around.  To be able to talk and walk around clears my head from the fog you feel in the beginning of your ayahuasca experience.  Without being able to walk around, I remained in that fog for the entire night.

Here’s another video: [Warning:  This video is very long and uneventful.  Try to go easy on me.  I was exhausted and stretched to my limit.]

 

Nearly everyone was pissing me off that day.  It was supposed to be about love!

And here’s the last video that I made while in Ecuador:

Those last few nights in Ecuador consisted of dancing with the locals, mud baths, getting shit-faced, reuniting with some of our retreat pals, getting yelled at a few times by cute Ecuadorian cops, getting locked out of our hostel at 3 AM…. I think that about covers it.

There’s a lot more that happened on the trip other than what the video’s provide, but it’s too far gone to capture it.

Now I’m laying in bed tired as hell as usual.

My Mother went on a comfort food cooking spree that lasted for about 2 weeks.  Lasagna, hamburgs, loaves of meat concoctions – not a shred of veggies anywhere.  Then getting bombarded with clients at work redeeming their expiring vouchers – going out a few times, my insomnia still won’t let up….

I was supposed to go hiking today but had to call it off.  I need to get back to a regular sleep routine, exercise, and start eating healthy.  I feel like shit.  It’s 6:30 PM and I want to sleep.  I don’t know how people with kids (let alone a husband/boyfriend) do it.  I don’t know how people have regular jobs!  At least with my job there’s light up ahead – a reprieve from work.

Starting today I can go back to enjoying the comforts of having people work for me.  By next month I’ll have more members signed up to my membership program along with plans to expand.  As the months move along, I’ll be working less and less.  I’m working towards earning my freedom.  Our innate human right.

I’ve decided to go to Thailand in December with Brianna, the girl who held my hand during the ayahuasca ceremony and told me that she loves me.  We get along swimmingly and this opportunity may not happen again if I delay it.

This is not my favorite compilation.  I didn’t film a whole lot while I was over there and had nothing but scraps to work with.  I picked this song because it matched the mood and shamans from all over the world believe that fire cleanses everything.

I had an experience during my last ayahuasca ceremony having to do with fire, but I’m still not in the correct frame of mind to write about it.  I’ve been waiting for it to come, but apparently it’s not happening anytime soon.

Too many buckets, too much stress, too much insomnia….the fall is passing by as quickly as the summer months.

It’s 10 PM.  I’m going to try my hand at sleep.

 

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