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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Attack on Pearl Harbor, what’s up with that? Melanie investigates.

1 out of every 113 people will die this year.  That’s 1.78 people a second.  This number accounts for the five babies being born every second.  If these babies weren’t accounted for, it would be 1 out of every 66 people will die by next year.  If you know 66 people, one of them won’t make it.

(I found this info on http://www.biblehelp.org/mortality.htm)

700 people died since I discovered these statistics.

It’s 2:17 AM and my stupid brain is at it again.  I was watching a documentary about the attack on Pearl Harbor which made me pause the show and google “Why did Japan attack Pearl Harbor?”  They attacked because we cut off their oil and steel supply in order to stop them from gaining territory in China.  That’s the short version of the reason.

But that brings me to another question, why did Japan want to take territory in China?  I googled that too and wikipedia said it was to stop China from importing arms and fuel.  But why?

I kept googling and it taken me to Manchuria and the Russo-Japanese war.  The treaty of Portsmouth that ended the Russo-Japanese war stated that Japan can lease the South Manchuria Railway branch.  As a way to protect their newly acquired railway, Japan stationed soldiers there to watch over it and apparently those soldiers got bored and pillaged nearby villages. This distressed China, and Japan knew it distressed them, so they made a pre-emptive move to strike by staging a bomb scare known as the Mukden incident.

Japan accused China of blowing up their railway (which didn’t actually blow-up and a train sailed safely over it minutes after the bomb went off) when in fact, it was Japan that set off the bomb.  But wait, what about the Russo-Japanese war?  The Mukden incident seems like a by-product of a much bigger issue – a small tertiary branch stemming from something larger.  And that something larger had nothing to do with China, but Russia!

Russia dominated the trade routes and absorbed all local states in the process.  They kept expanding from Poland in the west all the way to the tip peninsula in the east.  They expanded well into the Pacific Ocean as well.  Japan felt threatened because before their efforts to become industrialized, having a cohesive language and school system, they were a poor peasant country that lay as easy prey for the bigger nations demanding trade.  They were considered unequal to the rest of the world and been treated poorly by dominating countries who set up trade towns in which they enslaved Japanese people into handing over their goods.

As a result, Japan fought back by educating their people, strengthening national pride and unifying their nation so it can stand tall with the big boys.  So they wouldn’t be bullied.  They became a modern industrial country in less than half a century.

Imperialistic Russia refused to acknowledge Japan as a “big boy” country by not recognizing Korea as a Japanese sphere of influence.  Japan taken this as a threat and this brought on the Russo-Japanese war.  Japan considered Korea to be their “buffer” country.  If Russia encroached on their buffer, that meant Japan was next.  Not to mention acquisition of all those juicy natural resources they can use now that they’ve become industrialized.

Blah blah, wars and years later, Russia was humiliated.  Japan wrecked them.  Go Japan, right?  As part of the peace treaty (Russia admitting defeat), Japan acquired Russia’s railway in Manchuria as a way to stop Russian expansion into enslaving Japan (and they get to keep their juicy resources).

But now wait a tick, did Japanese soldiers who were guarding the Manchuria railway really spark that big a war with China?  And why did Japan stage that bomb instead of reprimanding the soldiers accused of tormenting villagers?  And why were the Japanese soldiers tormenting the Chinese in the first place?  Was it really out of boredom?

And this question taken me to the Sino-Japanese war.  In a nutshell, after Japan became modernized and educated, they wanted to protect their newly formed nation by annexing other powers (countries) from dominating Korea.  They were looking to secure Korea’s independence, which at the time, Korea was a vassal state to the Chinese.  Which means that China had easy access to Japan – “Korea was a dagger pointed to the heart of Japan” as some Japanese military guy put it.  As long as China occupied Korea, Japan wasn’t safe.

Wars and years later, Japan secured Korea.  They humiliated China before humiliating Russia, but China taken it pretty bad – they’re a very proud people after-all.

Okay okay now wait.  Hold the phone.  What the hell does the US have to do with any of this?  Why would we care if Japan wanted to stop China’s weapon trade?  Let’s go back to the beginning and study again – this time with a little more background to my knowledge.

The Japanese wanted to cut off China’s trade routes as a way to stop the Sino-Japanese war (China’s occupation in Korea).  In order to do this, Japan encroached on China’s territory and started absorbing local states just as Russia did with the Trans-siberian express among other things.  Basically Japan was taking it too far and becoming their own worst enemy, Russia.  And with each victory, Japan became prouder, more ambitious, and more determined to never be bullied again.  Not by China, not by Russia – not anyone.

So Japan continued in their efforts to cut off all supply routes to Korea – the supply routes that fed the Chinese occupation in Korea.  They succeeded in one route, but the route in Indochina remained open.  Vichy France controlled the supply route in Indochina and after several attempts to persuade Vichy France to close off the route, failed.  This failure led to the war and in the end, France yielded, but called for an accord that granted permission to Japan to control the route under the guidelines that Japan was not to venture further into Indochinese territory.

But again, where does the US fit into all this?

Japan didn’t listen to this accord and instead they moved their troops closer to the railhead in Lang Son.  They were undefeatable at this point, and they were like, “why the hell not?  Right?”

Vichy France protested a breach of agreement and what did Japan do?  They bombed the hell out of Vichy soldiers while Vichy sent an envoy to negotiate.  But Japan didn’t want to negotiate, no.  France yielded and allowed Japan to occupy Indochina.  However, Japan didn’t want to send too many troops to occupy it for fear it will inflame relations with the US and the United Kingdom.

Why would it inflame the US and United Kingdom?  Were they tied into this trade route as well?

At the time of this attack, China was US’s ally.  The US didn’t like how the Japanese were imposing their will all across east Asia.  Is that why we cut off Japan’s oil supply?  Because we viewed it as adding fuel to the fire?  Did we feel threatened by Japanese operations in China?  There’s got to be more to the story.

Hold on…..

Did FDR purposely cut off their oil supply to initiate war?  I’m looking into conspiracy theories now.  I should shy away from them.  But it’s strange how I’m finding no definitive answer as to why we cut off their oil supply and since there’s no definitive answer, history books vaguely breeze over the subject leaving room for debate.

Japan attacked us before we attacked them.  Since we cut them off, Japan had to find a new supplier in Malaysia.  And if they went seeking resources in Malaysia, thereby expanding their territory – it would pull the US into war.

Okay….I just stumbled upon a commenter that said before Japan got it’s oil supply from the US, they got it from the Philippines.  But the Philippines was a US colony.  Japan wanted to infiltrate the Philippines to reclaim their oil supply and before they did, they thwarted the US in a pre-emptive strike before we can send troops to defend our supply – a supply that FDR taxed and sold to the Japanese.  He who owns the oil, owns the war.

Okay, I think I’m done for today.  I don’t want to tell you what time it is (not to mention how many people died in the time it taken me to write this).  Stupid documentaries…stupid brain is more like it.  It’s just that I get insanely transfixed on finding answers.  I need everything to make sense.  I need to understand.

I think my thirst for understanding is a way to protect myself from getting hurt.  It’s a way to protect my ego.  Although finding answers to historical events has absolutely nothing to do with me getting hurt by them, but this need for understanding leaches into and spreads to unrelated subjects having nothing to do with me personally – I still need to understand.  I need to understand out of fear.

Ayahuasca told me that every action and every thought is reasoned and seasoned with fear.  And our personalities are shaped and formed around how we interpret and interact with it.  If I understand other peoples fear, maybe that can give me some insight into my own.

We can only understand the things we’ve experienced.  If this is true, and I can’t understand somebody else’s fear, I can at least see what the outcome of it is.  I can witness what it does to people.  So when it happens to me, I’ll be more prepared to handle my reactions to it knowing full well that it leads to nothing but insanity.  To learn from history means to recognize it when it happens again which is the antithesis of insanity.

Anyway, I’d be shocked if you made it to the end of this post – shocked!  But I gotta say that by me writing everything down after learning about it, really helped me understand everything better than if I merely skimmed over the subject.

 

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Another 3 AM Bolg Post

Garg I’m so tired! And all that bullshit I wrote about in my last post is completely irrelevant now. I have flipped, not tipped (into success), but flipped onto my backside like a turtle. I need a rope.

Rational brain: “Okay calm down. What’s wrong this time?”

Taxes are what’s wrong. Taxes are killing me!

Rational brain: “Haven’t you anticipated this?”

No! I mean, yes. But mostly no! It’s because of my employee’s. Now that they’re working so much, my taxes tripled since August. Tripled!

Taxes have the potential of ending my business. What appeared to be a perfectly good business plan, shot to pieces by Uncle Sam’s buckshot.

Rational brain: “Than it was never a perfectly good business plan, was it?

Shut up shut up SHUT UP.

Okay, calm down and think Mel….Think.

All the online deals I sold at the beginning of this business are expiring this month. So we are swamped and trampled on by last-minute redeemers. I can’t sell any more online deals to quell this unprecedented tax increase because we would be so backed up – Groupon debt is what I call it. Groupon debt is when I sell a bunch of deals, use up all the money I acquired from those deals before they get redeemed, and I’m left with 300 or so patrons with thirsty bodies needing…kneeding. And not a dime left to pay my employee’s with.

Rational brain: “Go to sleep. You can’t do anything about it now. Listen to The Secret and go to sleep.”

The Secret isn’t getting me through this panic. I’m flummoxed. And I can’t promote my membership program because if I did, those clients wouldn’t be able to book until weeks from now.

Transitioning into phase two (stepping back and letting my employee’s take over) happened too soon. But I literally couldn’t go another day massaging 6 clients a day, 6 days a week – I just couldn’t. My thumb started hurting so bad that I had trouble brushing my teeth. I had to hold my brush all cock-eyed like an ape.

Rational Brain: “Can’t you just wait a few weeks until all these deals get redeemed and/or expire? Then sell a few more once these deals are done and send out an email blast promoting the membership? How many more members do you need to start breaking even?”

73. I need at least 73 more members in order for me to break-even. If I can get 20 more sign-ups, that will take care of my new tax problem, but yeah….I need 73 more overall.

The reason I’m awake is, will I reach 175 members before my well runs dry?

Please oh please oh please God.

Rational brain: “There is no God, remember? There is only you.”

Don’t you dare get me started on that debate. How can you even say that?

Rational brain: “Ayahuasca told you to have faith in yourself. You can’t have faith in God if you don’t even have faith in yourself.”

Cripes….

Rational brain: “It’s part of our spiritual evolution….”

Got it.

Rational brain: “Once we discover our own potential and capabilities – we’ll have belief, not faith, but belief in ourselves and….”

Oh my god CAN it already I got it!

Rational brain: “….we’ll see that God is us.”

So there IS no God then.

Rational brain: “Okay, let’s not discuss this tonight. Save it for your Ecuador post.”

Shit my Ecuador post….It’s so far in the past now.

It is October 9th, 2014 and I am struggling. I need to sell 73 more memberships, or make at least $125 a day. Today I made $44 and it was only in tip money. This is why I’m awake. I have shotty plans but no “savior” idea’s. And lord know’s I need a savior right now. If it’s only me throwing myself a rope, I’m afraid I’ll use it to hang myself with.

Rational brain: “Stop being so god-dammed dramatic. Just last week you were beaming from ear to ear and shouting that you were on top of the world, don’t you remember?”

I have 7 as my life path number in numerology. 7’s have extreme high’s and low’s. We are also the loner number, the rebels.

Rational brain: “Puh-lease.”

You’re not being very rational tonight, Rational Brain.

Rational brain: “Please go to sleep. Go to sleep and not publish this post? Please?”

Ah I got it!

Rational brain: “Got what?”

I’m having a low. Yes that’s it. That’s all. It should not be mistaken for clarity, when in fact I’m just going through a low. It’s transient and meaningless.

Rational brain: “Um, okay….So you can go to sleep now because you figured everything out then.”

Yeah.

It’s now the next day.

I woke up so tired. Zombie tired. I massaged two older men who adore me, then ran my errands as quickly as possible so I can go home and nap. I Dropped off and picked up sheets, I finally threw a mammoth bag of garbage that’s been sitting in my bedroom into a dumpster. Went to CVS to buy super glue and then walked next door to the packie so I could prepare myself for tomorrow night with 6 cans of Bud Light. Shit….Tomorrow night….

And no matter where I went today while being in zombie mode – I swear I felt I massaged everyone I came across. The woman standing in front of me at CVS – I massaged her – the woman coming out of the package store – yes I massaged her too. I don’t even need to touch a person to know what it would feel like. Everyone looked familiar today. Just like when I’m stoned, I feel like I know everyone.

Today we made $180, but we’re averaging $105. I’m supposed to be making $125 a day. $20 X 30 days is $600 which means I’ll be short $600 this month if this keeps up.

Shit, why am I telling you all this? It’s not like you care or anything. I’m in it alone. There is no God.

Rational brain: “Would you please stop with that nonsense! And what are you still doing up? It’s 12:24 AM and you never even taken your nap. Sleep damn you!”

When I got home earlier today I started playing The Last of Us. It’s a zombie game. Highly addicting. I know this sounds crazy but….

Rational brain: “When do you not sound crazy?”

The game is helping me conquer my fear. Fear in general. Some parts are insanely creepy, the graphics are phenomenal – you’re playing a man who’s guarding a little girl and at any minute a clicker can run out and with one bite CHOMP you’re dead, or she’s dead. It makes my heart race not to mention my sloppy knee-jerk gameplay reactions. But I’m overcoming it in a way that can be applied to real life.

It’s a lot like that nightmare I had a while back. Let me try to find it because it’s a really good post…hold on…here it is.

Once you’re completely aware of your surroundings and mastered your emotions, you are in full control. It’s all just a matrix anyway, no different from a video game. I experienced the matrix in that night terror, in my video game, and after ingesting ayahuasca of course. But in real life it’s a bit tricky since we’re completely immersed in the ego/fear driven physical reality. We let our emotions tell us what we see. None of it is real.

And since we’re all stuck in the matrix of emotion and thoughts (including other people’s emotions and thoughts), we can’t make choices. We remain unconscious.  You can’t choose what you can’t see.

It’s now October 17. Wow…..for real?

These past few weeks been murder. I was forced into working everyday because of the backload of unredeemed vouchers that were expiring. I’m so tired. My money situation is still in the red zone.

I went to an open house for a yoga studio tonight. There was a woman there doing angel card readings. After my friends had their complimentary readings done, it came my turn. I drew the Earth Angel card. The psychic gave me a huge smile and said, “I love when this happens.”

Me – “Yeah? It’s good then?”

Psychic – “I knew you were one of them before you picked this card.”

Me – “Oh yeah?”

Psychic – “You’re an Earth Angel. You come from a far away place and were brought here to teach us. You had wings before you came here. Are you sensitive?”

Me – “Umm…..sort of.”

Psychic – “Just remember that you’re not alone. There are more of you out there. All with special talents.”

My friend grumbled saying she wanted to draw a new card.

The psychic wrote down a book for me to read all about Earth Angels and how to harness my call to help people. It all starts with me having to protect myself from abuse. Apparently I’m a magnet for abusive, manipulative relationships because I shrug off and allow bad behavior. I’m forgiving and have no boundaries with people. I have to learn boundaries and how to put restraints on how much I give to others. When left unrestrained, they feed off me and take advantage.

Ayahuasca told me I was a martyr……

Before my reading, I listened in on the readings she gave to my friends. She talked about ego and fear and completely nailed them both. I won’t go into it, but once again I found myself in awe of how some people can understand ego and fear so completely, while others are stuck in the “matrix”. This psychic girl had my full-on attention.

Tonight after the open house, we all went to the Fire Place for drinks and well, I don’t know….it’s almost like I don’t need to smoke pot anymore in order for me to see through people. They gossiped about their friends, vied for each others attention. All the while I humbly sat there and had the spot-light on me whether I wanted it or not. It automatically zooms in on me.

I’m just so tired. I’m tired and alone. One guy is trying to date me but he’s everything I hate about people. Arrogant, narcissistic, apathetic and according to tonights gossip, he tried making me jealous by bringing his friend (who’s a girl), to a bonfire I attended. I couldn’t care less.  My heart went out to him because I couldn’t care less.

I hate this side of me. The side that remains emotionally unaffected – detached. I just plain don’t give a shit. It’s this side of me that people see the most – the unemotional side. The side that shrugs, gulps down her beer and grins stupidly. I don’t give a shit – but I love you!

And it’s not a way of protecting myself from getting hurt either – it’s the sincere kind of not giving a shit. It’s not a block (I can feel blocks when they occur), but more like an understanding. I understand too much of what’s happening and because I understand, I stop caring.

Anyway, I hate writing about me.  I’m sure that I’m the apathetic narcissist who thinks she know’s everything – that’s why I loath those qualities in others.  That’s why I can recognize them.  I mean, it’s all right here in my description of myself.  It’s all true.  And I’m the worst of them all because I’m so far removed from everyone that I don’t even care enough to play their games or get emotionally entangled and because my cool exterior can hurt a person – I love them all the more for their humanity.

The more removed I am, the more I love people.  I can’t explain it any better than that.

I’m really transfixed tonight.  I need to stop writing.

I wasn’t going to publish this post, but it’s been so long since I shared anything.  It has to go up.  Saved into my memory bank blog.

I just looked up what it means to be an Earth Angel.  It said I’m a light being who is meant to stop people from being fearful.

Holy shit dude.

A few weeks ago I was explaining to a friend of mine my definition of karma and how I learned it’s true meaning after drinking ayahuasca.

Karma is made from fear.  If you’re fearful about something, the thing you’re most afraid of happening, will happen.  If you do bad things and bad things happen to you, the reason why you do bad things in the first place is out of fear.  Fearful actions cause bad karma.  We are all here to rid ourselves of fear by means of the ego.  The ego is fear itself, only disguised under a different interpretation.  Lose the ego, you lose the fear and immediately you’re sent into enlightenment.

But because we’re all connected, we can only evolve together – just like ayahuasca said.  Whoever claims to be enlightened is full of shit.  Ayahuasca said enlightenment is not sustainable in the physical world.

“Don’t believe in false prophets” is just one of the many undeciphered quotes from the bible that nobody understands its true meaning to.  ALL prophets are false.  We are all the sons of god – and believe it or not, according to the bible, Jesus was trying to drill that into our thick skulls.

OH man I’m really transfixed.  I NEED to sleep.  And now it’s 3 AM dammit.

My friend loved my interpretation of karma so much so that she had me explain it all over again to her friend tonight.  And me being the narcissist that I am, I’m driven completely by this need to share my “wisdom”.  I get off on it.

I’m brewing a new breed of egocentricity.  The sparkly guru who drinks beer and shrugs everything off.

Okay, enough self-love for one night.  Bitch gotta get her winks.

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3 a.m blog post

I’ve been having trouble falling to sleep for two reasons:

1)  I don’t have to wake up early anymore and,

2)  I’m excited.

I’m excited because my business is tipping over into the success zone.  I’m so close to it that I can feel its hot breath on the nape of my neck.  Whispering in my ear like a passionate lover.  Its presence never leaves my awareness.

I barely work anymore.  The therapists I hired all run the joint when I’m not around.  I made it impeccably easy and intuitive – the Apple brand of massage clinics.  It’s evolving itself into a beast machine that eats people, slobbers them in lotion only to spit them back out into the world partially digested with lighter wallets.

I feel partially digested….

Yesterday marked the start of my new schedule and with it came insomnia.  I’m entering into phase two of my business plan.  Phase two involves me taking a step back and letting my employee’s step in.  But because I’m at the cusp of entering phase two, I have to delicately balance my finances.  Once the finances are fully submerged in the profit zone, I can enter into phase three – expansion.

My whole life I’ve been waiting for something like this to happen.  I’m actually accomplishing something.

This month I spent well over $3,000 in unaccounted for investments and purchases and my projected total money in the bank for October 1st is the same amount of money that I started with on September 1st.  This means that I broke even.  Even after having made all those unwarranted purchases, I managed to break even.

But I’m still hesitant to lay my burdens down.  I don’t trust it yet.  There’s still a twang of tension in the air.  Mostly due to not understanding the math – according to my calculations, I should be negative what I started with.  I sincerely don’t understand.

Good lord I’m tired.  I don’t want to do anything for a week.  I had one client today, one tomorrow – I still have to massage one or two clients a day which is 90% less then before, but I’m yearning for my week of freedom.  To block out an entire week – I’m not there yet.

I’ll be cusping well up to 115 members, then my new employee can assume the rest of my remaining shifts.  Once I reach 130 members, I’ll be fully submerged in the profit zone.

I’ll have only one problem to contend with once I reach 130 members and that is the problem of insomnia.  Insomnia from plain excitement.  Not a good nights sleep, only day naps.  It makes life miserable.

I can’t wait until I can start writing again for real.  I write exactly what’s on my mind – it’s hard flowing away from that.  It’s like going against the current.

But the thing is, shit….It’s too late to do this Mel.  Asking your silly questions.

The thing is, when I go on one of my little adventures – I’d much rather stay home.  I’m comfortable here.  I’m comfortable, but I’m stuck with the gnawing sensation of letting my life slip by.  I want to see and experience everything, but I yearn for home.  I go against the current when I travel.  The only real comfort I have while traveling, is being able to take my blog with me.  So I can tell my story.  Finding my story is HUGE to me.

I’ve been meaning to write about the importance of story for months now, but it remains stuck on the back-burner.  Suffice to say that it changes EVERYTHING – your entire perspective.  God I wish I had it in me to write about it now.  It’s life changing, it really is.

And so, what was I saying?  Going against the current isn’t always a bad thing.  Hell, if I was floating downstream, I would never have started a business.  But then again, if I was going with the current tonight, I would be asleep right now.

My answer?  There is a time and a place for everything.  When the time is right, it’ll happen.

 

 

 

 

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Another post about work. You can skip it.

I can’t write.  I brought my laptop to work and now I’m sitting here listening to my hispanic worker talking about her crazy shenanigans with her boyfriend.

“Why would he be driving off in MY car with a man who has money on his head?  He know’s people want him dead.  He know’s there’s a hit man after him and he’s driving around in MY car with my kids carseats thrown in the back and some girl in the front seat.”

Me – “That’s shit.”

“She don’t need to be driving around in the front seat with him.  Why was she in the front seat?  I jumped on that car like a spider monkey and sucker punched him in the face through the window.”

She showed me some bruises on her arm.

Me – “Then what happened?”

“He drove off speeding and weaving in and out of traffic in MY car.”

Me – “Did you report the car stolen?”

“Yeah I went to the police but they said it has to be missing for 24 hours before I can do anything.  It’s because I let him borrow it for work so I had to wait to report it stolen.”

I know it’s bad to stereotype, I know, but she’s just like someone you’d see in a movie.  Super cute with her big hoop earrings, her hair always done up in different styles and that spunky Latina accent.  She looks like a young Janet Jackson but sounds like Rosy Perez.  Last week she told me about a high-speed police chase she and her boyfriend were in.

Okay, I’m home now.  Laying in bed watching It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

I was on top of the world yesterday.  I was up to 96 members, a good hefty sum of money in my bank account even after having spent thousands of frivolous dollars this month, and my new employee who’s taking over most of my shifts starts this week – yes on top of the world.  That is until I glanced at my bank account two hours ago to see that the IRS had taken out $1,200.

Shit…..

Shit!

Shit….

The thing is, I don’t want to work anymore.  That’s my ultimate goal.  And with the start of my fifth employee, I’ll now be working Wednesday evenings, every other Saturday from 11-3, and I’m still working freaking doubles every Sunday – but that’s it.  That’s my work load until I reach 115 members and my new employee can assume the rest of my shifts.  I’ll be “by request only.”  All my favorite clients already have my cell phone number to text me for appointments.

I have to rely heavily on my employee’s to rake in dough while I’m not there.

I know that 96 members sounds like a lot, but once you factor everything in, 96 members will only cover the cost of my workers and little else.  I sell 40 Groupons a month which pays for most of the rent, but all other bills and stupid taxes are not yet covered.  As long as I make at least $80 a day, I’m good – but now that I’m hardly working anymore, it’s going to be a constant struggle in hoping that my little stinkers hit $80 a day.

Under normal circumstances I wouldn’t be worried, every day I sell more and more memberships, but I’m planning a month long trip to Thailand in December.  It all comes down to another crunch.  I’ll need at least 135 members by December to pull off Thailand.

And that’s the most of my worries.  Well, there’s that and I sliced open my finger last night while putting together a cabinet I bought from Ikea.  I spent $300 without batting an eye on a new cabinet to store all my shit in.

I’m a fanatic when it comes to feng shui and my money corner is way too cluttered with junk.

$300 on a new cabinet, $500 for a plane ticket to Minnesota, $300 to advertise in the Bargain Book, $300 for peel ads in the Record Journal, $200 for regular ads in the Record Journal….I spent $1600 this month plus the $1200 in taxes – that’s $2800 I spent towards things that aren’t accounted for – meaning, they aren’t part of my regular monthly spending.  That’s a lot!

And that’s another big reason why I don’t want to work anymore.  I mainly massage member clients now – that’s $50 an hour plus a tip between $10 – $20.  Making $70 an hour doesn’t seem like a whole lotta shabam anymore.  I massaged 3 members today and a woman with a birthday coupon – that’s over $200 for 4.5 hours of hands-on work which sounds like a lot, but it’s not.  Not compared to how much I actually need to make.  But then add on the members that my employee’s massaged today and that tacks on another $150.  Now we’re talking.

It’s like if a person cuts the grass and trims the hedges of their own million dollar mansion just to save a few bucks.  It wouldn’t be worth the effort unless they actually took pride and enjoyed it.

And that’s the thing isn’t it?  I don’t enjoy it.  I NEVER enjoyed it.  And I find it hard to believe that people actually DO enjoy it.  Are they kidding themselves?  I mean really….

As you can see, I’m becoming greedy.  Greedy out of fear.  Fear that I may have to keep working just like my father.  Keep working with nothing but Ikea cabinets to show for it.

Perhaps greed doesn’t stem from over-indulgence or power.  Maybe it’s just fear of losing everything.  Maybe the fear of having nothing causes greed.  Well, that’s in my case at least.

I salivate at new member sign-ups.  With each sign-up, I chip away at that $80 quota I have to make every day.  Once that $80 hits zero, would I still yearn for more?  Or would I indulge in a life of travel and leisure?  To not give a shit about anything anymore?  Would my greed sickness be remedied with 40 more sign-ups?

And now it’s 1 A.M.  I have to be up early tomorrow for a regular client.  But then I can come home and nap after.

I think I’m mistaking worry for greed.  I’m worried, but I really shouldn’t be.  I’m worried I won’t be able to go to Thailand – what kind of ridiculousness is that?

I can’t believe how high on life I was yesterday and tonight is just the opposite.  I am so freaking lucky compared to others.  This blog entry is shit, I’m a shit.  I still have to write about my trip to Ecuador.

I’m genuinely curious to see my behavior after I sell 40 more memberships.  Will greed corrupt me or would I finally exhale?  Stay tuned!

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Another reason why the flashlight was a bad idea

To elaborate a little more from my last post.  Carrying a flashlight in lieu of turning the outside lights on whilst hunting zombies in the backyard, is not a smart idea.  First off, If you’re trying to be sneaky by hiding “under the radar” it won’t work.  You’re holding a flashlight!  It has tunnel vision and you can only see things that are directly in front you.

The zombie can see you, but you can’t see him.  Right away he has the jump on you.  However, if you light up the entire backyard with spotlights, you’re more likely to see something that shouldn’t be there than the zombie has of spotting you first.

I just don’t understand my brothers logic for choosing a flashlight for hunting zombies in our backyard while he was stoned last night.  I mean seriously, a flashlight?  Come on bro.

I need to have a talk with him about this.  It’ll gnaw on me.

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Oh Brother….


Man-with-Shotgun

 

My brother (not pictured above) and his girlfriend watched a bunch of zombie movies yesterday and come around midnight, when they were outside having a smoke, they hear something “suspicious” in the backyard.

Next thing I see is my brother grabbing his shotgun and flashlight.

Me – “What are you doing?”

Bro – “There’s something outside.”

Me – “There’s nothing outside.  You’re just scared from those horror movies you watched all day.”

Bro – “Me and Michelle both heard it.  And we seen a shadow move.”

He snuck out the back door and circled the house with his flashlight and shotgun.  I don’t know why he didn’t just turn the outside lights on to see.  If he didn’t turn them on for fear of scaring off the intruder before he got the chance to capture them, than that defeats the purpose of the flashlight, yes?

My Aunt laughs a little and spies on him from the window.

Aunt – “What’s he doing?”

Me –  “Being stoned.  He’s probably a little high, that’s all.”

I’m almost positive he was high and freaked out.  Not a good combination while holding a shotgun outside a home that contains everyone he loves (minus my niece).  In a completely safe town, with friendly neighbors, and the police station and firehouse two minutes away.  He was guarding our house with a SHOTGUN at midnight quaking in his boots from horror movies eked out on drug induced paranoia.  

I found this to be hilarious.  They’re doing it again, watching The Walking Dead in the next room.  I’m watching Once Upon a Time.

I had to upgrade my Netflix account so that 3 people can watch movies at the same time on different devices.  My brother, my niece, and me – all one big happy family watching Netflix not together.

I unpacked my bag from Ecuador yesterday (a month after returning home).  Work has slowed down a bit and I gave my employee’s more hours.  We’re up to 92 members and I was able to relax yesterday and today while my employee’s worked for me.

A steady stream of blog posts are ebbing closer and closer.  It’s only a matter of months now.  A few more months until I’ll never have to work again.

Shit, can you imagine?  My dreams can actually happen!

I don’t like massaging people.  I like massaging friends, sure, but not as a job.  I don’t like massaging strangers.  But I LOVE the business side of things.  I love managing and seeing things grow.  Nothing excites me as much as filling out my accounting chart and watching my therapists getting booked with repeat clients.

I was meant to be a business owner, not a massage therapist.  And oh the plans I have…..

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A quick post while getting ready

The older I get, the more I realize how important it is to do what you love to do.  But my question is; how do you know the difference between addiction and passion?

Think about it.

I had an epiphany last night after coming home from massaging people’s backsides for 8 hours.  Everything that I am, all that I know, all that I do, is built upon the structure of pure addiction.  I am addiction incarnate.  My persona is held together by an inferior sugar-laced, heroin injected lattice framework meant to dissolve in tears when I don’t get my fix.

Addiction keeps you away from people.  It makes you selfish.  When you’re not in a high, you dissolve.  When you lose that thing that defines you, you fall apart.

When I was under ayahuasca, she said to me that addiction is a way to fill the void where your faith should be.  It keeps fear at bay.  And ALL fear, no matter how big or small, are subsidiary branches growing from our one mega fear of death.

Like the tree of life has its branches that lead down to mushrooms.  We are related to fungus, just like having addictions are related to the fear of death.

Our ego’s can only be controlled and fastened when something outside ourselves defines us.  And where there is nothing to define us, we fill the void ourselves whether it be through art, writing, drugs, alcohol, fooling ourselves into thinking we’re somebody we’re not by hanging around with people who like only our facade image.

We run from the loneliness, run from not feeling connected to others.  We fill the void by avoiding fear altogether.

Addictions holds us away from people.  The same people who make you feel unconnected to them.  Unconnected from the world, society; having unique problems that nobody gets or understands.  We are alone in our heads.  I’m the only person occupying the inside of my head.

Writing to me, is as much of an addiction as it is a passion.  Completely derived out of fear, not curiosity.  How true is this?  I want nothing more than to hole myself up in a strange exotic land, not talk to anyone, not know anyone, and write.  Just lose myself.  Detach from my head.  If I make something real, than I become real.  I become defined and palpable.

As real as my beating heart, only this time, knowing why it beats.  Or you can have the unhealthy kind of addiction.  The kind that makes you not care anymore.

Why me?  Why here?  Why now?  These are questions that lead us to addiction.  They are questions that can’t be answered until we pull the wool above our eyes and make the connections.  Until we stop finding answers at the bottom of a pint glass.

Today is my day off and I just wrote all that crap between blowdrying and straightening my hair.

I’m wearing a dress!  I bought this dress last year for a wedding that I never attended.  I’ve been in uniform most days between then and now.  My legs are hairy.  Damn….

So anyway, I’m a writer.  That’s what I love to do.  But another thing I’m just learning about myself is that I love making money.  Maybe as much as I love writing.  Money brings freedom, so maybe I’m addicted to freedom?  One major reason why I love being single.

But it’s troubling to me.  It’s troubling to learn this about myself.  To actually contemplate the question; would I choose money over writing?  If I could choose only one?  I’m leaning towards money.  Maybe because I don’t have any yet.  I don’t have any money yet, but a superfluous over-flow of words that need to be written are well at hand.

I better go.  I have sheets that need washing.

 

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The World’s Greatest Nerd

Dr. at the November 29, 2005 meeting of the NA...

Dr. at the November 29, 2005 meeting of the NASA Advisory Council, in Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m the world’s biggest nerd.

I’m sitting at home excessively watching Cosmo’s with Neil deGrasse Tyson.  It’s already 1 am.

And I just wrote him an email telling him he should try ayahuasca.

“If a guy like you can connect with the spirit realm, having all your questions answered, it will literally change the world!”

“You can go on Ted Talks after your experience with ayahuasca and you’ll no doubt change the world!”

I don’t know how I should feel about myself right now.

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An update on my business. You can skip this post.

The archer Legolas Greenleaf, here portrayed b...

The archer Legolas Greenleaf, here portrayed by Orlando Bloom in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, is arguably Tolkien’s best known elf. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Oh God blog…..

I can’t seem to catch up to anything.  My thoughts, my debt, my job, my life.

I got back from Ecuador, hmmm, when did I get back?  Three days ago?  Four?  My suitcase is still laying where I left it before slipping into bed after a long two weeks.  An awesome two weeks.

I have no time to unpack just like I have no time to write.  I’m laying in filth which I call my bedroom.  

Destroyed since my brother decided to go on a cleaning spree while I was away and threw a bunch of my old stuff in my room in order to “clean” his area of the house.  A guitar, old mail, storage containers, a life-size cardboard cut-out of Legolas from Lord of the Rings (don’t ask).

I gave one of my employee’s more hours.  Two extra shifts hoping that will free up some space.  So I don’t have to work so much.  But it seems like no matter how many hours I give my employee’s, I’m still fully booked from 11-8 six days a week.  Mornings and nights, before and after work, I find myself working still.

I need one more employee.  Just one more.  To take this burden away.  But I haven’t done the math yet.  I have yet to do the math to figure out if or when I can hire another.  All the numbers are there from last month – how much I made, how much I paid, my projected income for the months ahead – it’s all there.

But instead of pouring over the numbers, I’m writing this blurb.  A blurb that tells you absolutely nothing about anything of real importance.

It’s like having a lump of upset in your throat, only it’s in the pit of my stomach.  A tightening, a sort of wrenching feeling of constipation, only I’m not constipated (I ate so much freaking papaya).  My heart is beating so fast.

Oh God blog….

I’ve sold 74 memberships so far.  I need to do last months numbers to figure out how many more I need to sell in order for me to start breaking even every month.  But it’s a catch-22.  From every angle, it’s a catch-22.

If I continue having all these clients, giving shitty massages because I’m so damn worn out, I’ll never sell more than 74 – who would want to get a monthly shitty massage from me?  Not to mention I can’t get myself out there to market my business whilst I’m busy giving shitty massages all day.

Solution?  Hire another therapist.  Catch-22?  I can’t hire another therapist until I can make sure I can afford them.  I can make sure I can afford them by selling more memberships.

And the members that I DO have, I’ve promised them easy bookings.  They can get in whenever they want whether it be short notice or not.

I’m not keeping this promise.  All of us are completely booked solid for the next seven days.  There are five of us!  What members are going to want to stay if they can’t get in?

We have 550 online deals still circulating out there.  Once they get redeemed, we’ll have more space.

There’s always some kind of crunch to go through, you know what I mean?  Two months ago I was going through the online deal crunch – groupon debt.  This month I’m going through an entirely different crunch.  74 monthly members need to be able to conveniently schedule with us at the same time we’re redeeming all those stupid online deals.  Member clients make up 90% of our income (I’m not making anymore from the online deals), so they are priority, however, I need those online deal clients to sell more memberships (not to mention to keep my employee’s booked).  Catch-22.

And I’m drowning in skin, lotion, limp bodies, back and neck pain, sore legs, empty stomach, no sleep, stress.

Crunch…..

I need to do those numbers.  I need another therapist.  I haven’t been eating away into my personal line of credit yet, in fact, I paid half of it off leaving me with a remaining $4,500 of debt.  The only thing that could bring me into borrowing money again is a new hire – it’s the only thing that can tilt the scale.

But if I allow myself to borrow again, will I eventually be able to pay it off once we sell more memberships?  How long will it take to sell enough memberships until I can stop borrowing?

Oh.  My.  God.  Blog.

Growth seems to happen on a gamble.  Although, I don’t like to think of it as a gamble, but an investment.  We plant crops on a gamble hoping they’ll grow.  If we don’t plant, there will be no growth and where there is no growth, we find ourselves scrambling to the nearest wild berry brush, gnawing on cattails and grubs.  Always starving.

Do I start planting or start preparing for a hard winter?  Catch-22…..

Ayahuasca told me she will give to me as long as I give to her.  The more I drink, purge, let go, surrender, don’t slink away into control and darkness – she will show me everything that I’m ready to understand.  If only I give to her everything I have.  My heart, my curiosity, my strength.  I’ll get it all back.

How much faith do I have?

I go through this every time I hire someone new.  A period of torment.  And after each new hire I always exhale and say to myself “now I can relax.  Now I won’t need to work so much.”  And each time I’m wrong.

Shit I need to sleep.  Sorry for these types of posts.  They are mainly for myself so I can record my progress.

I’ll write about my trip to Ecuador after I crunch those numbers.  My next post I’ll tell you exactly how much I make and what I pay each month.  As of now I don’t know if I’m plus or minus.  Literally no idea.

Monday.  I’ll figure it all out on Monday.

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