Category Archives: philosophy

Knowing Demon Mel

I just ended a post and started up a new one!  It’s the same night, a few minutes later, and here I am still exhausted.

I just wanted to clarify something and I may need the help of Rational Brain to do it.

Rational Brain – “You rang?”

I totally contradicted myself by writing that you shouldn’t adapt.  More accurately, I contradicted Bruce Lee, “Be like water my friend.”

It’s wrong to adapt to something you’re not passionate about.  Like shitty jobs or shitty friends.  It’s only then do you feel pieces of yourself ebbing away.

Whoa, I feel like I just taken this concept on a much deeper level.  Ayahuasca level.  Hold on, let me explain.

It’s not about you adapting to the environment, it’s about the environment adapting to you.  You become one with it.  You own that shit (I’ve been saying that a lot).

What’s the environment?  Anything that isn’t you.

How do you do this?  By remaining present and in the moment.  By conspiring with your inner Demon – the so-called “bad” guy who wants to do only what *he* wants to do (aka, your true nature, your true intent).

So what are you adapting to exactly?  Nothing.  The environment is adapting to you.  You remain still, like water.  Ahhhh I totally get it.

In essence, you’re not fighting anything.  You’re not fighting the current by being miserable by refusing to adapt to the environment.  Instead, your working with it.

When I don’t adapt while massaging someone, I become miserable.  I clash with the situation.  My true intent (money and freedom) has to be sacrificed for the greater good of the client and I’m a little less miserable by doing so.  How is this a bad thing?

By denying my true nature, my environment will never adapt to me.  It leads to stagnation.

The question is, who is this Demon Mel?  What exactly is my true nature?

There is no you, only desires.

By relinquishing my desires, I’m less miserable.  How is this a bad thing again?

Why are you relinquishing your desires?  Is it out of fear of never obtaining them?

Yes.

So, I’ll never be rid of my desires as long as fear controls them.

I know how I sound right now, I know.  But I can’t shake the Law of Attraction and how ayahuasca told me I’ll never obtain anything out of fear.

Everything coincides.

I have to accept that I do desire money and freedom and by accepting my desires, I accept my inner demon.  The one capable of transmuting my surrounding environment.

I have to remain still, like water, and present, unchanging.  I have to work with what is there.  No conflict, no turbulence, just pure intent.

Okay, well, I polished that thought up nicely enough.  I just wonder if I’ll ever implement it?  Because whenever I let Demon Mel sit and stew, I befall to hatred.

“I really hate this.”  Is my prevailing thought.

Rational Brain – “That’s just weakness.  It’s doubt.  And it happens when your actions don’t match up with your intentions.”

I think I’ll end this post the way it is.  I’ll just keep going around in circles if I don’t.

Rational Brain – “And I think you’ve written about this before.”

Hence, it goes around in circles.

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The Good the Bad and the Ugly of The Power of Now

other side of fear

 

As you may know, my business is going through a money crisis these last few weeks of July.  I’m not a happy camper.

I’ve been trying to listen to The Power of Now but Eckhart Tolle  lulls me to sleep each time.

I fell asleep listening to him at 10 PM last night (wicked early) and woke up today at 10 AM, listened to him again, fell asleep again, and woke up at 1 PM.

I’ve gotten a shit ton of sleep.

It’s 2:39 PM on Monday, my day off, and I’m waiting for my mother’s eggplant parmesan to be ready.

How depressing.

I don’t care what Eckhart says, when you’re broke and worried, you can’t go out, you don’t want to have fun.  And all the small stuff that never bothered you before, starts eating away at you.

EVERYTHING annoys you.

Okay ok now wait a sec, I’m blowing things out of proportion for the sake of emphasis.  In reality, I’m enjoying all this sleep and really looking forward to the eggplant parmesan.

And I’m loving my day off from clients.

It’s just that……hold on, the eggplant parm is ready.

YUM!

It’s just that, when I was in Thailand standing on the roof top of that really expensive hotel and looking at my bank account thinking “holy shit I’m rich!”

I was happy.  The happiest I’ve been in a really long time.  All my burdens lifted and it felt real, not delusional.

Mmmm….garlic bread.

One broken armed therapist, higher rent, and a few big investments later, here I am, starting all over from scratch.

I hired two new therapists.  We’ve been getting slammed lately.  So not only do I need $5,000 extra this month, but that’s not counting paying these two new therapists.

I had no choice.  I won’t go into the boring details but it has to do with Groupon lowing the price of our deals without my consent.  They sell couples massages for $89, but lowered the price of our single massages.  So we are hammered with clients this month.

I had to switch to only selling couples massages with them which requires more therapists.  And okay, I went into the boring details.

I hired independent contractors.  They only get paid when they have clients.  Doing that will save me a ton of money by not having to pay their taxes or downtime.

My broken armed therapist taken her first client in four months yesterday.  She’s going to take one client a day until she’s all better.

I finished furnishing the room upstairs, I just need to hang up a mirror and screw in a light bulb and boom, done.  My friend Jill gave me her old massage table.

August 1st I’ll send out an email promoting the membership and our two new menu options, shirodhara treatments and psychic readings.  It turns out that my esthetician is a card reader and she wants to offer readings to people.

Should I get more eggplant?  I kinda want to nap.  I have until 6:30 to lay around until my friends want Mel time.

And come August, I’m going to promote my membership with the Record Journal again.  They’re the guys who made me feel rich last January when I was standing on top of that expensive hotel in Thailand.  They sold a f*ck load of memberships.

It’s always darkest before the dawn they say.

But good lord the helplessness I felt!

Here’s why:

1) I’m getting fat

2) My room is a mess and I have papers everywhere that need to be filed

3) My car is also a mess

4) My debt has never been greater

5) I have more clients than I do therapists and no money to pay them

6) I don’t have enough members to break even each month

7) Groupon lowered the price of our single massages

8) My broken armed therapist does not pull in any money and is costing me hundreds of dollars

9) I’m still massaging people

10) My debt is so great that I don’t have much of a safety net to fall back on when times get tough (such as now)

Numbers 5-9 are being remedied as we speak, 1-3 are easy to fix, 9-10 will be fixed after 5-8 are completed.

When you’re this hard up, depressed and hopeless, it’s easier to bury your head, you know?  You just don’t want to move.

I still don’t want to move.  God why am I so tired?

Poor Kristi, the girl I want to give the ultimatum to, she gets so damn bored and lonesome that she always tries to get together with people but like I said, if you met her, she’d annoy you too.

brushes

Anyway, originally I wanted to write about The Power of Now, but things taken a different turn.  I’m going to write about it as quickly as possible so I can squeeze in a solid nap.

The ugly side of The Power of Now is that you’ll be more accepting of annoying friends.

“I can’t judge them on their past behavior because it’s all in the past.  No one know’s how they’ll act today.”

Basically, you’ll be more susceptible to live with how things are.

The bad side is that it’s possible for you to become delusional by denying your past (escaping it), or fall victim to abusers by thinking that your situation will change if you ignore your past and future.  Everything is “OK” right now.

My happiness on that roof top in Thailand was incalculable.  But Eckhart says that that kind of happiness isn’t real because it has to do with material possessions.  It’s not lasting.

But it wasn’t money that made me happy, it was freedom.

Damn, I’m going up for more eggplant….hold on.

Mmmm so good.

I need to learn how to photosynthesize.  I hear a guy in India does it.

But anyway, unlike Eckhart Tolle, I believe the present moment is a culmination of the choices we made in the past.  By understanding our past, we understand how and why we arrived at this present moment in time.

If you don’t appreciate the effort you made in the past, you’ll never appreciate the present moment.  You’ll not appreciate yourself.  I was able to experience happiness on that roof top simply because I knew how I got there.

Kristi doesn’t appreciate herself because she doesn’t feel her efforts being reciprocated.  How can she appreciate her efforts when she gets nothing back?  How can she appreciate herself at this present moment when she basis her entire worth on how other people respond to her?

I don’t know, it’s hard to explain.  But if you’re not able to let go, the cycle will continue to repeat and I think that’s what Eckhart was getting at.  To let go of expectations and disappointment in order to free yourself.

For me, it’s the effort that matters.  If one thing’s not working, try something else.  And whatever you do, don’t take anything serious.

These last two weeks in July are critical, but not serious.

I guess you’d have to be me in order to understand what I mean.

It’s like saying you can’t be beaten.  You can’t be beaten because your identity isn’t attached to these things.  If your identity is attached, only then it’s serious.  It’s serious because your ego is threatened with annihilation.

In Kristi’s case, her ego is threatened every time she’s bored and lonesome.

Everyone is different and carry their own triggers.  Mine happens to be when I feel my freedom is threatened or when I’m being misjudged.

Oh man I should shower.  I don’t feel like doing shit.  It’s like 90 degree’s outside.

And Kristi is one of those people who tries to be funny.  I swear that girl nails down every one of my pet peeves.

By living in the present moment, you’re able to feel the crowd and read the environment – I’ve been doing this since I turned 18 and decided to be as authentic/honest as possible and realized it involves being in the present moment.

The present moment has nothing to do with “you.”  That’s the beauty of it.  And thereby you’ll never take it seriously.

My parents just left for the casino.  Complete peace.  Absolutely no noise.

 

Brianna is texting me to go to Japan with her in April to go hiking around Kyoto.  I promised my friend Jay I’d visit him in Alaska next fourth of July.

If I reach 200 members, all this is possible.  Especially since my broken armed therapist will be taking clients again.

I was going to organize my papers today….I was going to go hiking today……I, shit, I did nothing today except eat eggplant.

I’m laying here, I don’t want to tell you what time it is, but I’ve been laying here all day in bed sweating in my pajama’s that I’ve been wearing for how long now?  20 hours?

I should shower dammit.  Hold on.

*******************

It’s now the next day.

Since Groupon lowered the price of my massages, they’re sending me an extra $1,200!  They lowered the price, but are still paying me the same amount.

You have no idea what this means to me.  It means I’m saved.  I’m saved from having to dip into my personal line of credit money.

If I made it through this month without getting further into debt, my business is indestructible.  But how weird how it happened!  Groupon NEVER did this before and not only that, but they’re known for only giving 60% commission – now it went up to 80%?  And I get the money tomorrow?

WHAT ARE THE ODDS?

I’m looking into salt scrubs and body wraps for either my broken armed therapist or esthetician to do.  I can introduce them to clients by September.

My goal is to own a spa that is nearly impossible to refuse a membership to.  Not only would it be impossible to refuse a membership to, but have no reasons to cancel it.

I organized and filed all my papers and made a “To Do” notebook.  I love finding old “To Do” lists crumpled up in my desk drawer because it makes me reminisce on how I got through those “tough” times of having stuff to do.  It makes me feel like I accomplished something.

So I’m keeping a To Do notebook where I can keep them all in one place and feel perpetually accomplished.

I feel renewed happiness.

Okay, I’m going to take a shower, eat, and get some shit done on my list.

 

 

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Elevate

I love watching older women in fabric stores.  Perusing the textures, calculating the softness, the durability, its purpose…..

They found a niche, a hobby, a craft they enjoy.  Choosing all their materials with a tender heart and keen eye.

I am a HUGE sap.

HUGE.

I found myself at the fabric store today for a more banal need, barren of creativity –  to make cheap blindfolds for the shirodhara treatments we’ll be offering to clients.

That’s when my heart swelled at the site of those chubby ankled women inspecting each strand of fabric.

God bless them.

I fell in love with the frail old lady who measured and cut my fabric.

Years of work with no absolution, not enough thanks – years upon years of answering dumb questions by dumb customers.

Me – “What does half a yard look like?”

She didn’t want to be there but nobody could tell just by talking to her.

We struck up a conversation and I offered to put the roll of fabric back where I found it.

Her eyes lifted in surprise.

Her – “You want to put it back for me?”

She said it in a way that made it sound like I was the first person who offered.

Me – “Of course I want to put it back.  I had your job before and I know how it is.  I’m in no rush.”

And then my love ebbed away the more I thought about how I’m the only person who offered to put the fabric back.

“People are assholes.  Damn inconsiderate assholes.”

I swear uncontrollably in my head.  I tend to use the term “fuckface” a lot.  Like for instance, “what’s this fuckface doing pulling out in front of me?”

I know it sounds crazy, but the more I swear in my head, the faster my anger dissipates.  It never see’s the light of day.  It’s more like a habit and not so much actual anger.

In the plaza, on my way out of the lot, I stopped for a smartly dressed woman with carefully styled hair so she can cross into H&R Block.

Me – “She looks nice.  Why’s she so dressed up?  Oh, she probably works there.”

And then it hit me again…..my sap attack.  I appreciated the way she cared enough to look nice for work.

I have trouble putting my sappiness into words, but I got it bad.  This over-whelming appreciation for things that most folks don’t give a damn about unless they want something.

The woman looked nice for work.  She proudly wore a slim-fitting dress because all those years at the gym paid off, and she styled her hair nice.

Me – “You’re a beautiful person.”

You know what get’s me?  When people try.  When I see people trying, I think it’s the most beautiful thing.

The ladies at the fabric store, the woman measuring and cutting my fabric, all the women who taken that watercolor class with me – it’s effort that I fall for.

My Dad putting effort into the lawn and keeping up on our house.  My Mom carefully choosing groceries with a limited budget and cooking enough food for a small country in Africa.

I don’t care about the outcome of anything, but the effort that was put into it matters to me.  The effort that only endures when someone cares.  Homemade food will always taste delicious to me.

Mom – “I can put catsup on leather and you’d say it’s delicious.”

But why do they care?

Well, why do I care?

We are all individuals, wildly different from one another, but caring is a way of going outside to brave the storm to prove to ourselves that we’re not alone.  It’s our vocation into being accepted.

In return, we feel more.  We are more.  We give more.

And so, this morning I was too tired to write about how being peaceful doesn’t always equate to happiness, but I think I have more of a grasp on it now.  It’s the in-beween moments where we’ll find peace.

Caring about something is like a double edged sword – It can hurt you, or it can hurt you.

But the effort we put in to lessen that hurt, all the pricked fingers from sewing, foot pain from heels, back pain from gardening, headaches from kids, embarrassment from garbled creative endeavors – all that is beautiful.  It’s beautiful because we’re all still here and we’re all still caring regardless.

The moments between the sword swings….

The moments between the swings make it worth it.

Peace can be found in conscious effort.

I know this because I can only write when I’m at peace – it’s true!

Although it may not bring happiness, it brings value.  Albeit, sometimes just enough for you to value your own life.

 

If you’re wondering what someone cares about, just look at their insecurities.  Than you’ll know.  That’s why it’s a double-edged sword.

The more one cares, the more worries she carries.  A mother will never NOT worry.

Trust is found in the swings in-between.  Trust in knowing that either the fright has passed, or a new one is looming just ahead.

Are you a pessimist or an optimist?  Or what I like to call myself, a dreamer?

I swing my own goddamned sword.

ACTIVATION: ON

How bout this?:  Unconditional acceptance of the sword.

A slice of real peace.

As for me, the things that I care most about?  I value family, friends, and my dreams.

What I’m most insecure of?  Loneliness and living with the regret of never giving this life my all.  In other words, succumbing to my fears.

The sword will fall again but as the great Bruce Lee put it, “be like water, my friend.”

Adapt.

You know what I really want to do (aside from becoming a sushi chef)?  Plant a flower garden and stop giving two shits.

 

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You don’t have to be happy in order to be peaceful

There’s a boy that lives near me.  Well, not a boy anymore exactly, he’s 32 or 34, somewhere around there, and we debate until sunrise.  The sunrise is our brick wall as to when to stop debating.

He’s the best to debate with!  He doesn’t get mad at me, feel threatened or angry – he let’s me speak.  Best of all he remains honest.  Honest enough to debate back.

We discuss God and philosophy mostly.

Him – “I love that I can debate with you without you getting mad or defensive.”

Me – “Me too!”

I try not to go over there purposely as to not throw off my fragile circadian rhythms.  It’s nearly impossible getting home at a decent hour when I visit.  But just knowing he’s there, someone like him who’s easy and fun to talk with – someone who mirrors my level of emotional and intellectual capacity – well, it makes me feel pretty darn good.

He makes me feel sane.

It’s 6:56AM and I just woken up from an awesome dream.  I dreamt Brianna and I were at the airport on our way to Japan.  I couldn’t find my tickets at first, but then I did.  I couldn’t find my passport, but there it was crumpled up in my pocket when I needed it.

It was a good dream until I had to wake up to pee.  I woke up to an interesting part of The Power of Now (I’m listening to it to help me fall asleep).  I woke up while it was still playing and heard Eckhart Tolle saying that peace doesn’t equal happiness.

All this time I was chasing my happiness, thinking that happiness would bring me peace, but no.  He says you won’t always be happy while peaceful.

It reminded me of one of my debates with the boy who lives near me – the perfect conversation starter that has the capabilities of stretching into sunrise.

Let’s think about this my way, Melanie style.  Let me try to break it down.

How can you be peaceful when you’re not happy?

When you closely consider this as a possibility, it almost feels like a relief, you know?  Like, “thank god I won’t have to wait for that day to come,” because you’ll most likely be waiting a long-ass time, you get me?  It takes the pressure off.

I can be peaceful now.

What a great perspective at capturing The Power of Now!  I don’t have to wait for happiness in order for me to be peaceful.  No, it doesn’t make sense but ahhh I totally get it.  But I’m too damn tired to break it down into rational thought-out words.

When you associate one thing with another, they become tied together.  I’m certain our brains are hardwired to make these associations unconsciously.

“I’m craving snacks, I must be hungry.”

Just because you have a craving doesn’t mean you’re hungry.

Bad example.  The good examples are found in the stuff we don’t think about – our assumptions that are unconscious beliefs.

I was talking to an atheist the other day.  He’s a gay man who denounced all religion.

Me – “But that’s no different than people who have faith in God.  You have faith god doesn’t exist, and other people have faith that he does.  It’s the same thing.”

He got really angry at this.  I had no intentions of making him angry, I just wanted to have a fun lively debate like I have with my neighbor.

Him – “But there’s no proof!  I need concrete proof that he exists.  I HAVE no faith.”

There’s no proof that he doesn’t exist…..And what do you think faith is?  It’s believing something when there’s no proof.

Me – “Maybe you tied God into religion.  What if you tried separating god from the religion?  If you associate him with something you don’t agree with, you’d not want anything to do with him.”

That’s when he gave up talking to me.  He was visibly angry and couldn’t speak to me anymore.  And that’s literally all that was said on the matter – just those few sentiments I shared. That’s all that it took.

But these are the kinds of convo’s I have with my neighbor.  My neighbor doesn’t believe and always has a good argument but he NEVER gets angry or offended.  He especially never wants to stop talking altogether.

I can’t help measuring people against one another.  It’s always the defensive people that are the most disagreeable.  Insecure, closed-minded, defensive, stubborn….don’t get me started on stubborn.

I linked stubbornness with one’s downfall in life.  Stubborn people fall to ruins.

Thinking that you’re right while everyone’s wrong and holding onto your pride is the number one reason for failure.  Why?  Because stubborn people don’t change.

You can think on it all you want and you’ll see that I’m right.

They may pretend to change, but they have no intentions to.  Which turns them into manipulative narcissistic sociopaths (but we all are to some degree).

They want to be accepted for who they are without consciously knowing who or what they are.  These people feel entitled from being spoiled.

I can see it so clearly.

If you grow up learning one thing, and then life throws you a lemon, you cry like a little bitch.

Stubborn people (people governed by ego), turn to manipulation instead of changing themselves or seeing anything wrong with what they do.

You can be stubborn when it comes to standing up for something you believe in.  Never compromise your moral compass – that kind of stubbornness is commendable.  No, I’m talking about the selfish kind.  The prideful kind that doesn’t help anyone in the community, doesn’t brighten the world.

I’m talking about the protective, reactive kind of stubbornness.  Protecting your precious ego kind of stubbornness.

Stubborn people can live out their entire lives trying to prove themselves – that they are right.  That their way of living is the happy, good way of living.

Bible thumpers gone mad…..

Just give up man, just give up.

Eckhart Tolle also talks about surrendering.  To accept things as they are.  But for me, you have to actually know what you’re accepting before you can even think about surrendering.

People can’t see past their ego’s.  That’s why it’s important to talk to others.

To wrap things up;  Surrendering brings peace although not happiness, unconscious associations lead to illogical beliefs, stubborn people are screwed people.

Anywho, I can sleep for about 3 more hours so yeah…..gonna head back to sleep.

Rational Brain – “What do you have to surrender to?”

Sleep.

Rational Brain – “No, seriously.”

I’m perfect just the way I am.  I’m surrendering to my perfection.

Rational Brain – “Blow hard.”

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How Science Fiction Embodies Spirituality

I love science fiction.  Particularly anything having to do with superpowers.  I think that’s partly why I love spirituality.

I somehow linked spiritual wisdom with science fiction.  It’s hard not to since science fiction isn’t about religion, it’s about unexplained mystical powers – powers that remain hidden to non-believers, or those not strong enough to handle it.

Powers that need activation.

Science fiction embodies spirituality.  Anything is possible.  May the force be with you.

And I love Bruce Lee.

yoda

I’m listening to The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle with one of my weekly clients.  We get through one chapter per session.  Instead of listening to relaxing background music, we enlighten ourselves.  We are up to chapter 3.

It’s mostly stuff that I already figured out during my stink-hole office days of malcontent.  Eckhart mentions that we should be a witness to our thoughts and not a contributor to them.  We should view our thoughts from a distance, from our higher selves.  Once we do that, we’ll be aware and conscious.

Activation ON.

This actually happened to me for half a second while I was giving a massage 2 years ago.  I was meditating, quietly watching my thoughts like the instructor said and wham!  I was out of the box and witnessed my thought patterns plain as day.

It freaked me out and scared me some because for the first time I was able to see how blinded I am.  I can NOT see outside my thought process, patterns, and belief system.

This only lasted for a second.  And it’s one of those things that can’t be understood until you’ve experienced it for yourself.

And of course, Eckhart talks about the power of Now and how there are no problems, only situations that you need to address or not address.  Nothing is ever a problem.  Well, he worded it better than that anyhow.

But it got me thinking about my one second of self-realization (not to be confused with my two seconds of emptiness I’ve experienced around the same time).

The following few paragraphs is wisdom from Eckhart Tolle’s book, coupled with my own experience:

My thought patterns, the box I was trapped in, all had to do with time.  My past and future events were inside this tiny little box along with my belief system trying to decipher everything.  I was riddled with problems to mull over, all due to problems either in the past or in the future.  And my pattern of thought was clearly visible.  Almost palpable.

If you’re depressed, you’re most likely living in the past – avoiding or not wanting change.  If you’re anxious or worried, you’re living in the future – not knowing what’s to come of something.

People identify with time.  They identify themselves as anxious, depressed, worried, or hopeful.  If they’re hopeful, hope is also a derivative of time.  As long as you have hope, you will never be fully conscious.  To be fully conscious means to live in the Now.  Hope always involves the future.

I’m mostly happy-go-lucky.  AKA, a complete idiot.  Maybe that’s what it takes?  (This is not according to Eckhart Tolle, but I’m only on chapter 3, so who know’s)

He says that by practicing living in the Now, you will attract exactly what you wish for.  Your higher, more powerful self will be in charge instead of your monkey brain.  You’ll have full control.

To fully grasp this, I had to visualize it.  I visualized myself floating in space on a time line.  I imagined the timeline getting shorter and shorter on both ends until it was just me floating in mid-space, just me with no timeline.  No up or down, no calculable location.  It’s like experiencing emptiness – the good kind – the one where all that exists are possibilities.

It’s science fiction at its finest!  I mean, think about it!

If I can harness my ability at seeing myself (which I know is real because I did it for that one second), I can make shit happen.

But there’s a catch…..

When I was under the spell of ayahuasca, she also told me of the same catch that Eckhart mentioned in his book – that you have to let go of everything in order to gain everything.  You must have no desire, no wants, no needs.  You must trust.

(Trust takes courage, courage takes strength, strength equals choice.)

I asked Ayahuasca if meditation led to enlightenment and she said, “No it does not.  What you desire will never happen.  The more you desire something, the more you push it away.”

Monks meditate for enlightenment – they have a goal.  Goals are time-based and not a member of the Now family.  And sure enough, Eckhart also spoke of this.  Using the same example of monks!

Gives me the chills….

But anywho, I’m fascinated by this shit.  I’m fascinated because I’ve experienced these things.  I’ve experienced them before even knowing what it was I was experiencing!

If I was out seeking these things, I never would have found them.

I want to write a science fiction book based on my findings of spirituality and everything ayahuasca taught me.  Even if I’m the only one who reads it, it won’t matter.  I’ve written 15 years worth of journals that nobody read, so why not a book?

I’m serious this time.  I’m really going to do it.  I gave up writing my last book because it failed to send my heart thumping and I was in no rush to finish it.

I need to read more science fiction novels.  I need to discuss them with other people to get different idea’s and perspectives.  I have to study and learn the language of novel writing and so, your dear sweet idiot Melanie joined a science fiction book club.

Yes she did!

I mean, I have time now so why the hell not?  I also have time to write my book unlike last time when clients kept busting down my door wanting me to massage them.  I have employee’s now beeyoches.

I think my main character will be a sushi chef.  That’s perfect!  To put together a sushi dish is like ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement.  A disciplined art form in which nature and humanity are brought together in an authentic, honest, minimalistic fashion.

Or… I can be the main character.  Massaging people for a living, giving but never getting.  I already know a lot about massaging people, so I should stick with that.

I have to stop writing tonight.  I’ve done absolutely nothing today other than watch old X-Files shows on Netflix.  My business is doing well, everything is caught up and stocked up.  We’re the perfect amount of busy.

My biggest problem right now?  I know problems don’t exist according to Eckhart Tolle, but my biggest problem is sleeping late.  I sleep late and then I’m wide awake at 3AM.  And when I do wake up early, I take naps which only keeps me awake until 3AM again.

I woke up early today and didn’t take my nap.  I’m exhausted.

I’m thinking of joining a fitness club, like tennis or something.  Volleyball if they have it.  I need to do something other than drinking with my buddies, although I love that more than anything.

It’s so weird having time.  The last time I had time, I was unemployed so it wasn’t fun.  But this time is different.  It’s like I have to keep checking back to make sure my business is okay – basically worrying over nothing, it’s a hard habit to break.  My identity is linked with diligent work and chores.  I’m like a farmer.

But everything is okay.  I’ll even have that extra $3,000 in the bank to pay my employee’s with next month.

Rational Brain – “Everythings okay.”

Me – “Are you sure?”

Rational Brain – “Yes I’m sure.”

Me – “Let me just make sure again.”

Everything’s been done.  I even paid my over-due parking ticket.

Me – “No, that can’t be right.  Let me write my employee’s an email telling them how much I appreciate them.”

Rational Brain – “Please don’t.”

I just sent all my employee’s a long ramble about how much I appreciate them.  They love reading my emails.

Eckhart Tolle says that our ego is linked with time, and all the ego does is struggle to keep alive.  The ego thinks that if it dies, our bodies will die – Eckhart Tolle said this.  The same exact epiphany I had while smoking pot.  Since our ego’s identify with our problems, they become perpetual.  One problem ends while another begins.  We are the problem.

Eckhart worded it best by saying if a detective was trying to figure out a murder mystery while he himself was the murderer, it doesn’t make any sense to keep searching.

But that’s exactly what we do.  We incessantly search for answers to our problems because we need validation.  Validation that we matter, validation that we’re right and did nothing wrong.  We do this to fill the void where our trust should be.

And by desiring such answers, being perpetually bombarded with either the past or the future – we’ll never disconnect and let go enough to actually see the truth of what really happened.  We are caught in the matrix.

All problems are linked in time and time is linked with ego.

Side note:  Ayahuasca told me that fear has a gravitational pull.  

If time is a manifestation of ego, and ego is fear – than that explains the force of gravity and it’s effects on time.  I know it’s a long shot and nearly incomprehensible to understand but it’s a neat idea.  How our own fear created this physical world that we live in.  We are the creators even down to it’s barebones, it’s blueprints.  Manifested not out of love, but fear.

Eckhart:  “Ego is fear and that means that all action, everything we do, is a derivative of this fear.”

I just recently started listening to this audiobook and holy crap, right?  Same stuff I learned on my own.  Same insights.

I witnessed this particular insight when I was under ayahuasca and realized that if the only evil is fear, and the whole world is orchestrated by fear, than that means this world is hell.  An evil wasteland.

But at the same time, people are here by choice.  We WANT to grow, we want to move past fear.  And these foretold intentions walk us towards peace by confronting our fears head-on in a godless world void of answers with only illusionary faith and hope to guide us.

Once we awaken, we’ll know.  Faith will become obsolete.  And we’ll then identify with the world as being the loving, benevolent place that it truly is.

So yes, I’ll write my book.  It’ll be similar to The Celestine Prophecy and most likely written just as poorly.

Shit yo, I gots to sleep.

How is it that Eckhart Tolle can write stuff like this, but when I do it I sound crazy?

Rational Brain – “If gravity is a derivative of our ego’s, than how do you explain the time before humans?”

All time happens simultaneously.  Ha!

Rational Brain – “Whatever nerd, I’m going to bed.”

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It’s Alive! Alive!

Atop my shoulder sits a hair.

Wily it moves as it sways through the air.

It tickles my cheek,

Whispers words that are sweet,

And yes you heard correctly,

my hair doth speak!

“Reach for the stars”

A tiny voice says.

“Look at me!  I’m almost as tall as a tree!”

My hair frolics and dances and provides good company.

My new friend occurred quite

unexpectedly.

“There there now, life is cake.

You must stretch yourself  and

you will not break.

Roots become stronger, the longer you grow.

That’s the way of life,

Quid pro quo.”

I found this ghastly hair growing out of my shoulder yesterday.  It was moving as if it were alive.

Weird.

Anyway, what’s up with me other than my illogically long shoulder hair?

Life.  Life is what’s up.  It happens and I can’t do anything about it.

It’s happening as we speak.

It’s Saturday afternoon and I’m laying in bed rhyming about one absurdly long shoulder hair.

“Live life fully Melanie!  Get up and live!”

Shut up stupid hair.

My Dad’s best friend died last week.  I called him Uncle Sparky and attended his Halloween parties and New Years eve parties every year when I was a kid.

I call these people “The Greats.”  Our foundation of stability and love – the cradle I was born into but not just cradling me, but my parents too.  We always had them.  Their doors were always open.

I started thinking about how some day, no one will be left.  All I’ll have is my brother who refuses to speak to me, but he refuses to speak to mostly everyone.

And I was sinking back into the dreaded “What’s the point of it all?” outlook on life.

Uncle Sparky’s wife died a few years ago and everyone at his funeral said that made things easier.  So now they can be together.  But for me (being selfish), it was harder because now they’re both gone.  Their festive house is gone, their vegetable garden, gone, my parents going over once a week for visits, gone.

Everyone going but my brother who is still here, is gone to me too.

Unless you’re made of stone, it’s hard not to feel the emptiness.

One of my friends posted a video on my Facebook page about chakra’s.

This is a HUGE reason why I watch these cartoons.  I never gave chakra’s a second thought until seeing this cartoon but everything about it fits in perfect with what ayahuasca taught me.

My biggest hurdle, the one I can’t release, is my thought chakra.  The one on top of my head.  I have too much attachment, too much sentiment.  Sentiment is more like sediment.

Ayahuasca kept trying to drill it into me to “let go.”  Over and over she told me this.  She also told me that this world is an illusion meant to test your courage to let go and to trust.  Once you let go, you’ll not need God (or anyone) because you become him – you are him.

Ayahuasca – “Don’t rely on God.  Rely on yourself.  You are God.  You’re here to learn awareness of that.”

Me – “But why do I have to be here in the physical world to learn it?”

Ayahuasca – “You can only become aware of something once you’ve been separated from it.”

We’re him right now, God, but we have no awareness of that so we turn to faith which is not the same as actual knowing.  It’s just a substitute for the real thing.  We have faith that God is in us.

That’s not awareness.

Ayahuasca said I’m here to learn how to let go and to trust.

My brother unfriended me on Facebook.  If I’m hurt by this, it only means that I’m still attached to my ego and can’t let go of fear.  Fear that the one person in my life that will always be there, won’t be.

As long as I keep the pain going, I’m still attached, I’m still connected to my brother in some way.  Just like my Uncle Sparky stayed with the pain after his wife died – it was his only connection to her that kept her alive.

If I escape it, if I ignore it, if I place blame and judgement and rationalize that it’s for the best he’s out of my life – that’s not letting go.  It’s holding on to hate and anger.

But how do I let go?

I bought an audiobook about chakras.  It’s pretty good.  I’ll post the important stuff I learn from it.

I’m actually okay, I always am for the most part.  But I experienced the emptiness once or twice before and I never want to go back there again.

It’s just that I don’t want to hurt anyone and no matter what a person does to me, I ALWAYS forgive them – there is not one person in my entire life that I can say I won’t forgive.  And I keep comparing them to me.  That’s where the problems start.

“How can they do this?  I’d never do this to them.  I don’t understand.”

This is a form of judgement and judgement doesn’t allow for understanding.  It’s like a sentence – a justice.  The gavel came down and ended the hearing.  Blame has been placed and we can all move on.

I have to understand that everyone is different and I need to accept them, which I do over and over again (at least, I think I do).

But then when I do feel like I let go in the proper way, I look straight ahead and forge on with my life and I wonder, what’s the point?  Why live only for myself?  I’d rather die.  I edge myself closer to the void.

And I look to see where I went wrong.  To see all the mistakes I’ve made.  And when it comes down to it, everything that’s happened to me was inevitable.  Unavoidable.  I had no influence what-so-ever.

Ayahuasca told me that everything happens for a reason.  Every detail fits into the larger.  My life is directly affected by other people and vice versa.  All leading up to the single goal of letting go.

I have fear in me that can only be addressed by situations outside my control.  No matter how hard I tried to fix my mistakes, I tried fixing them out of fear.  Not love, not trust, but fear.  Fear of living a pointless, meaningless existence, fear of the ultimate misery of loneliness – a verdict worse than death.

Ayahuasca showed me all this and I cried for myself.  I felt compassion for myself.

The other day I binge watched The Quest on Netflix which is a reality show where the contestants vote each other off.  One woman stood behind a man to vote for him simply because she felt everyone should have at least one person standing behind them.  She stood behind him even though she didn’t like him and was glad he was being voted off.

But then when it came her turn, nobody stood behind her.  She was the only contestant during the entire show that had nobody standing behind her.

I found this interesting because I understand that everything happens for a reason, but how is it that the one person who understood the importance of other people’s feelings was left standing alone?  The one person who made such a fuss about it?

She was well liked, she wasn’t an asshole or anything like that, so why did this happen?

She stood behind him out of fear.  Her own fear guided her to do it.  It wasn’t out of compassion, but more like “do unto others what you would want done unto you” sort of thing.  A pay it forward.

This is how karma works.  It doesn’t matter how many good deeds you do, if you do things out of fear, it will bite you in the ass no matter how noble you are.

She needed to learn to let go.  To do things not expecting reciprocation, not because that’s how you yourself would want to be treated.  Because in a way, that’s selfish.

You should do things simply because it’s the right thing to do.

And my brother not speaking to me anymore may seem like the wrong thing, but it’s still his choice.  I have to accept it.  And that shouldn’t influence me into also doing the wrong thing.

I do things for people.  Not because I’m scared of them not liking me, or that it’s the way I want to be treated – no, I do things for people because I love them.  And I’ll alway love my bro, so I have to be strong and keep doing what’s right.

Ayahuasca told me none of this matters.  All the hurt, all the pain, none of it matters.  It’s not real.

I just have to focus on doing what’s right and living solely for myself doesn’t feel right to me.  The only thing that feels right is to trust the process that all will be well in the end.

And acting all righteous and shit is no better.  Being the bigger person is crap.

I just texted my bro telling him that I love him.  I hope he doesn’t read into it like I’m being the bigger person thereby making him feel small and wrong.

Telling someone you love them can backfire.  Being the bigger person can backfire.

But I did it because it’s true and it was the right thing to do.

Strength and believing in yourself…..lots of strength, lots of belief.

He texted back “I love you too little sis.”

How do you let go?  No effort.  That’s how.

No effort.

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Laying in bed on a Tuesday

I originally wanted to tie up loose ends from my last post such as the “letting go” part of it.  If my esthetician “let go” of the taxi cab she was in, she wouldn’t be around today to tell her tale.

I would’ve went on a long wild tangent on how you have to make a choice and to trust God within you.  To “let go” of all that is unnecessary, to trust, to choose, and to take action knowing that you will NOT fail.

There’s a very fine line between letting go in the physical, intellectual sense of the meaning in comparison to the other way of letting go.  It’s such a fine line that I have trouble describing it which only makes me sound like I’m full of shit.

How do I describe it?  If she let go of the cab even after her instincts told her not to, it’d be more like giving up.  Giving up is not the same as letting go although for most of us it’s the same thing.

People choose to fail because they still have power as long as they can choose.  They choose failure because they have no trust in themselves or the process found in courage.

Choosing failure is the ego’s last resort to exert control over a situation that takes courage to endure.

The “letting go” I’m talking about, the one my esthetician described to me is just the opposite of giving up.  She let go of fear and made a choice.

But anyway, it’s too heady even for my head.

So instead of going into one of my transfixed wild tangents, I want to write about my business.

A few posts ago, I was having a really good week.  An astounding month actually.  I claimed that my take-home pay was $1000 a week.  Well, it’s a few weeks later and no, I was wrong.

I keep ping-ponging back and forth between success and fear (failure).  At the beginning of the month when I charge all my members, I feel relieved and successful.  But then as the end of the month approaches, when that money drastically dwindles, my stomach turns upside-down.

“What can I do.  What can I do to help my finances?”

All my choices thus far have been thought-out and calculated.

Every action, every investment I made – everything figured out in my monthly budget.  Everything except one thing.

My therapist broke her arm and instead of taking in money (clients), she sits there answering phones all day.  Roughly 35 hours a week, $350 a week, $1400 a month.  Figure in taxes, that’s about $2,000 a month I’m investing in with no added return.

I was planning on hiring a receptionist eventually when I could safely afford it, but it happened too soon.  And as a way of compensating for my new expense, I invested in facials and rented the rooms upstairs for more space to accommodate those facials.

The money I spent as the result of her broken limb is immense.  Not only do I pay $2000 a month, but all my new improvements are enough to bankrupt me.

So what do I do?  I have to get her taking clients again as soon as possible.  The only plan I thought of to combat this was ashiatsu – walking on clients backs.  And with the two new rooms, I’ll be able to fit in the ashiatsu bars.

I love this employee and she loves me.  My esthetician even pointed it out that she loves me.  So this employee is going nowhere but here.  I care about her too much.

If I can take back my $2000 a month, I’ll definitely be making $1000 a week after all my bills (personal and business) are paid.

The next ashiatsu class is July 24th.  Can I hold out until then?  During the dead of summer when no clients book?

On the ride home yesterday, I discussed more menu options with my esthetician.  We decided to add eyebrow threading and waxing to the menu – both being of little expense on my part but have big payouts.

Today I have to figure out her commission for doing these new services, and finish my brochures.

I strive for peace of mind – I’ve been striving since I opened up this place.  But it never ends.  There’s always something.

I work but I don’t have anything to show for it.  I work and get nothing but worry.

My estheticians story from yesterday unknowingly showed me the difference between letting go and giving up, although I can’t put it into words.  I feel it emotionally.

Giving up causes hate and anger towards her offenders, but letting go releases all that.  In a way, it’s acceptance.  It’s taking responsibility.  It’s accepting death in lieu of your fears winning over you.

My esthetician – “I kept telling them to kill me.  They threatened me with being tortured in prison and I say ‘kill me now then.  Kill me now.  I’m not leaving this cab.’

She accepted death and let go while still not giving up.

I know you don’t understand, I know.  But I can’t explain it any better than that.

She’s an amazing woman, my esthetician.

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My Day

I’m sitting at a Starbucks in downtown Manhattan on official business.

At least, that’s what I want to believe.  I want to believe that I’m a successful business entrepreneur who ended up in a downtown Manhattan Starbucks on official business.  With her Apple iPhone and Macbook at hand, dressed like a smart hipster with a cool aloofness that draws people in.

No, instead I’m cleaning my computer screen with the sleeve of my shirt and itching my runny nose with also, the sleeve of my shirt.  I’m wearing second-hand pants and my shoes are made out of some kind of plastic or something similar to plastic.  I’m not sure what.

What the hell are my shoes made of?  Now I’m searching the inside of my shoe.  Doesn’t say.

I’m supposed to be working on brochures for my business but I’m too tired for that shit.

Why am I here?

I’m getting my esthetician trained in micro-current facials.  This is the closest school I found that does it.  I offered to go with her so she wouldn’t be alone in NY and she said ‘yes please’ and so here I am.

I hate that I’m nice.

I’m roughly 1 hour and 45 minutes away from home but the traffic tacks on another hour or two.  An hour or two of teeth grinding traffic.  I have a mouth full of teeth sand.

I got lost and had to go over the GW bridge twice which ended up costing me $16.  Going over the GW twice is becoming a tradition.  One of Melanie’s many humiliating traditions.  I dropped my esthetician off at the school just shy an hour late.

I parked at a garage not knowing the full extent of how much they charge.  Across the street from where I’m sitting, I see a place that charges exactly $10.14 for up to 30 minutes.

Um…shit?

After parking I came here, to Starbucks.  There’s one on every block.

I really want to pick up my car….

So far this trip is costing me a fortune.  I want to feel like a successful entrepreneur doing work at a Starbucks in downtown Manhattan but the truth is, my shoes are plastic (or something similar to plastic), and I’m too cheap to even buy myself a sandwich.  Not cheap, poor.  There’s a difference.

Maybe not poor, but realistic? I get my sandwiches at home for free mothafugas so why pay?

Today is payday for all my employee’s which means today is the opposite of payday for me.

It’s 1:50.  Only four more hours to go.

I dropped my car off at 11:20 at the parking garage and I’m not thrilled about leaving it there.  What was I thinking?  I didn’t think it would cost so much that’s what I was thinking!

I should go back and get it.  Yeah, I have to.  Definitely have to.

Okay I’m back.  My bill totaled $30.  Not horrible, but not great either.  I moved my car to the street which costs absolutely nothing.  And the absurd thing is, there’s ample street parking everywhere!  I didn’t think a garage would cost so much seeing that their competitors offer free parking.

Ridiculous….

I just met Phil, an old woman who works at the Gershwin theater.  She wants to get me free tickets to see Wicked.  We exchanged numbers and ate ramen together at a small but popular ramen restaurant that had a line out the door.

***************

I’m home now.  I’m fried.  Big crowds seep up my energy like suction cup tentacles.

Oh and my car got hit!  How did I forget about that?  I heard a dull thud while I was driving 5MPH and I thought it was a pedestrian at first and…..oh god this is bad…..I shouldn’t be telling you this…..

I ignored it and sped up!

Okay okay, I know that sounds bad but if you were there you’d understand.  I thought a person fell into my car – not me hitting them, but them hitting me.  When I came to my senses and looked back, I saw a yellow van pulling out into ongoing traffic – it was him that bumped my tail end.  Not a pedestrian.

“That asshole.”

My esthetician told me the most amazing stories on the ride home.  Crazy crazy stories about her visit to Saudi Arabia where she was held at gunpoint, and her friends living in Iran with abusive husbands.

The judges over there don’t allow divorce due to abuse (even if it was an arranged marriage to a man 34 years your senior and who already has wives) and they even tell the victims that it’s their own doing.

Not only that, but rape victims get thrown in jail, whipped, tortured, and one woman that she knew of was sentenced to disembowelment – they took out her intestines because she got gang raped.

Women are not allowed to be in the company of men who are not blood relatives or their husbands.  When seen in public, the woman is arrested, tortured, and thrown in jail.  This is what happened to my esthetician when she shared a cab with her male friend.  That’s when she was held at gunpoint and nearly raped by a gang of men claiming to be authority.

Hole-lee-shit.

I love America.  Americans don’t know how good they got it.

My esthetician – “I asked God to help me.  I kept thinking about that quote that says, ‘if you were to fall from a cliff, God will be there to catch you and if he’s not there to catch you, he’ll give you wings.’  And I was trusting God will help me and I heard him tell me that whatever happens, don’t leave the cab.  Don’t get out of the cab.  So I held onto the cab and refused to leave it.  They were punching me and kicking me in my side but I didn’t feel it.  They kept pulling and pulling on me to get out.  They couldn’t get me out and so they stopped.  I’ll never forget that day.  9 hours it lasted.”

*************

I’m exhausted.  Crowds man, they kill me.  Life kills me (literally).

You know, if God didn’t exist there wouldn’t be atheists.

Think about it.

Beliefs like that are trippy.  I can understand agnostics, but ANY hardcore belief trips me out.  Atheists have faith that there is no God, while everyone else has faith that there is.  It’s all the same.  Whether you do or you don’t, it’s the same.

That’s why I’m not a fan of faith.  I’m a fan of “knowing” and when I was under ayahuasca, she said that faith is not part of our spiritual evolution but actual “knowing” is.  Faith doesn’t exist in the spirit realm.  It’s just another lie we tell ourselves.  An illusion to help our ego’s control and understand.

Do you have faith that you exist?  No!  You know you exist.  Why?  Because we think.

{Completely off my original topic, but if our thoughts are the only proof of our existence, wouldn’t that mean the closer we get to silencing our thoughts, the closer we get to the source of its power?  The soul?

Now now wait, just hear me out a sec.  If we abolish the “self” and empty our contents, there wouldn’t be anything left separating us from the source.  I was high one night and totally understood this!  It’s our own fear that keeps our thoughts in place.

I tried and tried to empty my mind and meditate while I was high, but it was like a tug of war.  I kept holding on and it dawned on me that it was my own fear.

Ultimately, I believed that I would die if I let go of all thought.  No matter how ridiculous that sounded, I couldn’t deny my reasoning.  I was in fact, terrified of dying.}

Now back to our regular scheduled topic….

I understood this on an emotional level and it was immense (that faith doesn’t exist).  There IS no faith.  Faith is an illusion.  But how do you get to the “knowing” part?  Through suffering and in letting go.  Trust is real.

The words we use in everyday speech take on different meanings – deeper, emotionally felt meanings that can’t be put into words.  Trust and faith are not the same.

Trust is tangible while faith is a dream.  You’re able to let go because of trust – trust in that whatever happens, is meant to be.  And whatever you do, it’s all part of the process.

Trust the process!

Rational Brain – “Okay there Gandhi, let’s wrap things up before you go on one of your wild tangents.”

Don’t you think it’s a little too late for that?

The thing that gets to me is, some people don’t think it’s that bad over there in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Africa or wherever.  They say it’s their culture and it’s what they agree to.  It’s all they know and it’s not our place to fight it.

They turn a blind eye to it.  If we label the country as bad, than that means the entire nationality/race must be bad and us pious non-racists don’t adhere to that.

It really irks me that people do that.  They label an entire race or nationality of people based on what country they’re from.  They can’t separate the one from the whole and because of this, we allow bad behavior to continue because if we didn’t, we would hate and discriminate.

For example, if you agree that it’s not bad over in Saudi Arabia or Iran, but your ears perked up in agreement that yes, Africa IS bad – there’s a good chance that you’re a little prejudiced towards black people.  Unless that is, if you’re one in the few who can separate the one from the whole.

Another reason why we refuse to “discriminate” is that we don’t have the power to do anything about it.  We don’t have the power to help anyone.  And because we lack power, instead of admitting to our lack of power, we end up defending ourselves.  We defend ourselves by denying that there’s a problem in the first place.  All because of our ingracious ego’s.

I mean, to me, it’s the obvious reason why we turn our heads when we see others suffering (especially by our own hands).  We end up blaming the victim which is no different than sentencing them to death.  We all lack power and can’t let go of our own needs.

We are globally the same.

My esthetician – “I come to America and I get job, I get shelter, food, I get a big welcome.  But in Iran we get none of that.  We have only our family and our culture.”

This makes me think that the more we depend on our family to care for us, the harder it is to let go of culture and outdated beliefs.  If we were to let go of one, the others will topple like a 4 foot tall jenga.  Our world unravels and we are left with nothing.

It’s like instead of having both feet planted firmly on the truth, we’re stationed up in hammocks not wanting to get our feet wet.  The stronger your “faith” in the hammock, the less likely you are to get wet.

Fear…..

Aaaagh…..I can never up and leave to go live someplace else.  But what if I’m just looking at shadows on the wall?  This is my culture and I can’t see outside it?

Okay, new item on bucket list:  Live somewhere else for at least 6 months.

Rational Brain – “Are you done now?”

Hold on let me think…

Yup.

Rational Brain – “This is all said by someone who sped up after thinking she hit someone.”

Reflexes Rational Brain!  That was from reflexes!  It would’ve been their fault anyway!

Rational Brain – “Blaming victims are we?”

Oh shut up.  Just shut up.

 

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Where My Empathy Comes From

It’s not from being a saint. I’ll be the first to tell you that. No, but it’s because of my Mother.

My Mother – I love her to bits, but she’s crazy. I learned of her craziness when I was young – super young, like four or five years old.

Let me start from the beginning…..

We are helpless as infants.  We take a massive amount of time to mature.  During our maturation, we develop what’s called mirror neurons.

Basically, when we see someone doing an activity, mirror neurons fire off and our body feels as if it’s doing the same activity.

This is why people watch sports, although, I never been into sports – especially not watching them, but that’s besides the point.

Mirror neurons also help you imagine what others are thinking and feeling.

This means that all of us have the ability to empathize.  That is, as long as our ego’s don’t interfere. I have my mother to thank for letting me push my ego aside.

Let me explain what I’m talking about, it’ll be worth the read.

We are the most vulnerable of all species as infants.  We die if we’re not being held.  Even if we have food, water, and shelter – that’s not enough.  We die.

The thing is, when we’re completely dependent on a care-giver or whomever, that person becomes a representation – an extension of ourselves. We idealize them. We don’t see their flaws. This is because we depend on them for being strong – we see what we need them to be in order for our safety and survival.

As we get older, we project this idealism onto teachers, friends, representatives. Instead of seeing a person for who they really are, we only see our needs being met or not being met. When they are not met, we lash out and defend ourselves – especially to those we love and care about. Because they’re an extension of ourselves, a lifeline, a factor in our survivability, they represent ourselves and we can not have a person of little worth representing who we are.

We either deny our representatives of partaking in any wrong-doings, or we exaggerate their flaws and push them off their high horses in an attempt to recover our own lost value. By defining ourselves through the people we don’t accept, we regain our power.

When we don’t accept a person for who they are, drama ensues. Wars break out.

But then there’s my Mother. A care-giver whom I stopped idealizing at an insanely young age and instead, learned to accept her. I saw her for who she was and since she’s my Mother, I grew to love and accept her in a truer sense, and not thru the needs of my ego.

Only when you don’t need someone, that’s when you’ll find real love.

Most people don’t understand this – no matter how hard they try, they’ll always think to need a person foretells real love. It’s hard to undo the beliefs you developed as an infant.

But anyway, how was I able to accept my Mum? Because I understood her. Understanding a person is EVERYTHING when it comes to empathy. I understood her because my mirror neurons wanted to understand. They didn’t just want to understand, they needed to. They needed to understand simply to ease my anxiety of loneliness, of not understanding.

While most kids were enjoying the worship and sanctity of their parents, I evolved in the opposite direction of detached rationality. I was on my own, but calmed by my ability to empathize.

How was I still able to love her? Through her flaws. Through her most vulnerable, sensitive self. She was sensitive because she was frightened. I understood and saw it all. It’s because of my Mother, that I learned compassion.

Empathy is understanding, compassion is the action you choose to make stemming from that empathy. Just because we empathize, doesn’t mean we automatically know what to do with it.

You can either choose compassion, or push your Mother off her high horse – denying any attachment or value to her. As long as she represents you, you’ll keep pushing her away. You push her away in order to define your own worth.

Nowadays, whenever my mirror neurons pick up on a persons frightened ego lashing out, I immediately feel compassion towards them. No matter how horrible that person is, no matter how awful their despicable behavior, I empathize.

The only thing that really gets to me is me being the cause of their despicable behavior – it is I who unleashed the beast. I made them scared. I caused them harm. How can I blame them when it is all my fault?

This is another lesson I learned through my Mother. I learned how to see the best in people.

When I see the best in them, that is my way of enjoying a little of the worship and idealism that I was missing. I get to experience both worlds. One being selfish and wanting to see the best in people (to quell my loneliness), and one being unselfish; acceptance.

As long as I continued seeing the best in my Mother, I was less likely to unleash the beast within. Doing this was just another ploy at my survivability – filling the missing gap from not getting my needs met by a crazy parent.

As long as I saw the best, I again, was able to hold on to the loving safely of stability. The feeling that I’m not alone.

And these days mom Mom is fine. She’s a hell of a lot less crazy than she used to be.

Anyway, in other news, my email campaign brought in about 15 or 17 new members. I need at least 20 more to ensure I don’t fall short every month. My cross-county motorcycle adventure is a far reach at this point. An impossibility really.

Last night I had trouble coping with this. The fact that my life is slipping by. The fact that my business is in jeopardy. I even turned to the ICHING which only confirmed my worry. It said that I’m pushing too hard and with each push, I get stuck further in. I’m burying myself. It also said that I’m getting arrogant with having too high of hopes.

Its advice is to remain still, don’t invest any further, and in time, everything will work out.

In time……

Nobody cares what I do, which to me, is freedom. My parents don’t care, my brother doesn’t care, my friends don’t care – nobody cares what I do and because of that, I’m free. And this is true for most people. It’s our own self interests that shuts us in. My self interest is with money.

I’m not free because I depend on money. Just as it is with people depending on people – they will never be free.

But then again, as long as money exists, we’ll always need it and as long as people exist, we’ll always need them no matter how much we tell ourselves we don’t.

It’s now a few days later. A week actually. And I had an awesome week!

I first started this post with a heavy heart. My projected outcome in the bank next month was only going to be $2000. I need at least $12000 a month to pay for everything so naturally I had a heavy heart. I resorted to valarian root and the iChing.

But now, being a week later, I’m actually looking at buying a tanning bed! It’s not a tanning bed exactly, but a skin rejuvenation bed that uses red LED light therapy. It just so happens to also bronze the skin.

I have my heart set on this tanning bed. It’s about $3000 including taxes and shipping – the same price as my Honda Grom, the motorcycle I want to go cross-country on.

Damn damn damn.

The iChing told me to stop investing for a while. I need to cool it. But if I get this special tanning bed, I’ll get even more members!

According to my outward projection, I’ll have more money in the bank than ever before by August which means that I’m no longer breaking even. If I were to have a take-home pay, to cut myself a paycheck, it’ll be close to $1000 a week. Shit accumulates fast – really fast.

Yes I want this tanning bed, but should I wait until August when I don’t need to dip into my personal line of credit? That’s 3 long months away!

I have a ridiculous marketing idea that will no doubt humiliate me. I won’t tell you what it is yet, but I’ll show you in my next post. Depending on how well it does, I might not need to wait until August for the tanning bed. And if it works REALLY well, I’ll be able to take my cross-country trip.

I need to get my ass up out of bed. I’m back to having only one or two clients a day (thank god). Just imagine what I could accomplish if I wasn’t so lazy!

I have to put together my humiliating marketing stunt and finish at least one of the new massage rooms I added upstairs. If I can get those two things done today, I’ll be happy.

Then tomorrow I’ll try out my marketing stunt. If I get even just one new member from it, I’ll deem it a success. If I get just one new client booked from it, it’ll be a worthy humiliation.

If it doesn’t work, I’ll have to wait until August for my tanning bed and worse than that, I’ll have to wait until next year for my motorcycle adventure.  As of now I am broke and it’s too much of a gamble to leave for a month. It wouldn’t be any fun if I can’t relax.

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Melanie freaks out on one cup of chai tea latte and concludes that cancer is necessary for evolution!

(Please note that the ending to this post is better than its beginning.  It get’s better the further you read.  Good luck!.)

Why?  Why does caffeine hate me?  I mean, it does give me the ability to read minds and all, which is cool, but I don’t like the forlorn doom effect it has on my psyche.

Chai tea contains 40mg of caffeine compared to the 120mg’s found in your average cup of Joe (which drives me down to crazy town).

The effects are almost instantaneous.  I take one sip and beads of sweat dapple my forehead.

Chai isn’t as bad as coffee, but I can hear it whispering and laughing at me in the distance.

Chai – “Ha ha look at her!  Is she freaking out?”

Chai #2 – “A little.  Let’s keep quiet.  Maybe she won’t notice us.”

I’m nuts.  Clearly nuts.

What amazes me, I mean truly amazes me, is how it messes with my whole thought process.  This is NOT me.  But if I’m not my thoughts or my actions, what am I?

Rational Brain – “We went over this – it’s your intentions, remember?”

Oh right….so confusing….I still don’t fully get it but I’ll save it for another post.

So anyway, to dig deeper into the mystery of why caffeine makes me crazy, I googled it and didn’t find a straight answer but what I did find was cytochrome (CYP1A2), the enzyme that breaks down and processes the caffeine molecule in the liver.  The liver!  Of course.  That makes sense.

It also synthesizes cholesterol which means I should get my levels checked.

But does this mean I have too much CYP1A2?  Or not enough?

Not enough (I think).

People who smoke have higher levels of CYP1A2 which means they can process drugs and caffeine easier than if they flat-out quit.  When they quit, the drugs they take (prescribed meds) can have adverse side-effects.

I’m sorry, am I boring you?  I don’t care!

Scattered notes I found across the net (to be patched together later by me):

  • CYP1A2 takes up about 15% of our liver.
  • Smoking (from the polycyclic hydrocarbons found in the smoke) and drinking caffeine increases CYP1A2 levels.
  • Smoking increases cholesterol.
  • Cabbages, cauliflower and broccoli are known to increase levels of CYP1A2.
  • Lower activity of CYP1A2 in South Asians appears to be due to cooking these vegetables in curries using ingredients such as cumin and turmeric, ingredients known to inhibit the enzyme.
  • South Asians have a very low cancer risk.
  • Alcohol induces CYP1A2
  • If you smoke, your body clears caffeine from your system faster than if you didn’t smoke.
  • If you drink coffee while on prescribed meds, the molecules in the coffee and in the meds compete for the CYP1A2 enzyme in order to break them down, therefore caffeine takes longer to clear from the body while taking meds (because less enzymes are available).
  • Caffeine has a powerful anti-depressant effect (unrelated but interesting).
  • Alcohol decreases the speed it takes to clear caffeine from your system because they both compete for CYP1A2.
  • CYP1A2 is responsible for the metabolism of estrogens.
  • Increased CYP1A2 function may be associated with increased risk of breast cancer.
  • Woman who smoke have lower levels of urinary estrogen.
  • Chinese woman with slow NAT2 and rapid CYP1A2 activity were at greater risk for lung cancer
  • Cooking meat over an open flame such as charbroiling produces heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) found in cigarette smoke (the stuff that increases CYP1A2 levels).
  • Polycyclic hydrocarbons (HCA’s) are mutagenic, meaning, they can cause mutations in the DNA resulting in cancer.
  • HCA’s and PAH’s are formed when the fat and juice in the raw meat drips down into the open flame and that same flame is used to cook the meat.
  • Humans started evolving shortly after learning to cook meat by showing rapid growth in brain size and smaller jaws.
  • Cooked food contains more calories than raw food.
  • The more calories we consume, the more proficient our brain works.
  • Eating raw vegetables can decrease the risk of cancer.
  • It is possible (not 100% proven) that cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli reduce the risk of cancer depending on how long it takes the body to metabolize the protective isothiocyanate found in them.  Meaning, some people keep cancer fighting agents in their body longer than others.

(I got a little off topic.)

Scattered notes from personal thoughts / experience / assumptions:

  • I’m very responsive to aspirin and acetainophen (they last a long time in my system).
  • One beer makes me happy.
  • Caffeine gives me insomnia (it lasts a long time).
  • Maybe South Asians are sensitive to alcohol because they have low levels of CYP1A2?
  • Maybe caffeine can enhance and prolong the effects of alcohol?
  • Maybe humans evolved quickly as a result of cooking meat due to the PAH’s and HCA’s creating mutations in our DNA.
  • Cooking food evolved us into the humans we are today.
  • By cooking cruciferous vegetable in turmeric and cumin, slows the activity of CYP1A2, therefore keeping the cancer fighting protective isothiocyanates longer in your body.

One bullet point that stands out is why woman who smoke have lower levels of urinary estrogen.  Is it because the increase level of CYP1A2  metabolizes the estrogen too fast? Thereby sending estrogen into the bloodstream to accumulate in the uterus and breast tissue causing breast density to rise due to the fact that estrogen causes breast cells to divide and multiply?  Never to escape?

All these bullet points were taken from researching nearly indecipherable medical jargon.  I’m sure that somewhere in the jargon describes perfectly well why smokers have lowered estrogen levels in their urine, but to me it doesn’t add up.  I don’t get it.  There is literally no clear answer.  What little I could decipher, I wrote as a clear bullet point.

Conclusion:

My brother rented the movie Bird Man and I’m going to watch it.  I spent waaaaay too much time on this.  I did however, eat a bunch of cabbage just now to increase my CYP1A2 levels so I can flush out that damn latte I had earlier.

It turns out that there’s more than one type of CYP1A2.  It depends on your genes.  It varies like blood type.  I self-diagnosed myself with the slow metabolizing CYP1A2 type – the type that decreases your chances of getting certain cancers, but increases my risk of heart attack (this is my theory, no one else’s).

So I guess it’s safe to conclude that I have low CYP1A2 levels of the slow type of CYP1A2.  I need to start charbroiling my food and eating raw broccoli.

Maybe it’s also related to stress?  Damn it now I want to google CYP1A2 and stress.  When will this be over?  Are you kidding me brain?

Well, according to one guy “….stress alone results in increases in the abundance of proteins responsive to oxidative stress, along with Phase I and II metabolizing enzymes.”

My new bullet point under assumptions (not facts):

  • Stress may cause rapid metabolic function which results in low absorption of cancer fighting agents found in cruciferous veggies.

These enzymes increase in order to rid the body of carcinogens.  And since there’s a strong link between our physical and mental state, these enzymes can’t tell one from the other so mental stress can in turn, cause them to increase.  And upon the increase, all metabolic processes also increase resulting in cell division and abnormal DNA mutations.

I have a crazy whacked out theory that psychological stress is the pre-curser to evolution.

Think about it.

Evolution occurs when our desires don’t match up with our current circumstances (this causes stress).  And according to my recent study, stress causes mutations in our DNA (proven with lab rats).  Thereby allowing me to presume that thought (stress) alone created the way our body looks and operates today.  It’s like our evolution had direction.  Do you know what I mean?  Like our mutations were conscious choices.

And my theory that we fall in love with people who have traits that we desire but lack, our collective desired traits are passed down from generation to generation, creating mutations and in our eyes, a more attractive species.  We are the culmination of our (inherited) desires.

Which brings me back to the belief that WE created US.  God didn’t create us, we did.  We are it.  Don’t get me wrong though, there’s still a God.

If we thought tails were sexy, we’d still have them.  But having a tail means less blood flow to the brain and extremities resulting in lower intelligence and stamina – in other words, we didn’t need them.  Evolution also means to let go of things you’ve out-grown.  Like pants.

Rational Brain – “What about the whole “survival of the fittest” rational?  Black bears living in the South Pole didn’t last long because their little black cubs were easily spotted and snatched up.  So only the white polar bear survived.  Are you saying that polar bears “desired” to mate with white bears and it had nothing to do with the black cubs vulnerability?”

Ugh…..*sign*.

I really wanted to watch Bird Man.

But think about it, seriously.  Stress causes mutations in our DNA – mutations can lead to cancer or it can lead us to an evolutionary leap.  Maybe cancer has to exist in order for us to evolve?  If we stop all abnormal mutations and start growing humans like soy beans with GMO’s and what-not’s, we’d all be the same apple tree for as long as time lasts.

Rational Brain – “Don’t ignore me.  I made a really good argument.”

Oh god I hope I don’t get cancer for writing this.

And cancer is genetic because our bodies are trying to evolve, but not quite getting it right so each generation has to cope with their inherited cancer risk until they hit a generation that surpasses the threat by owning a new mutated gene that wasn’t present in their ancestors.  Like reading minds for instance.  Reading minds would be cool trait.

Rational Brain – “Melanie, stop.  Please just stop.”

One latte!  All this from one latte!

And yeah, I know I sound crazy.

So much went down today.  I want to fire one of my employee’s and I didn’t even broach the subject.  That was my original intension for writing this post – to tell you the story of how I want to fire one of my employee’s.

OMG brain….you distracted little pissant.  You hath no focus.  Or do you have too much focus?

I think I need to eat more cabbage.

Oh and get this!  Don’t you find it strange that the same time we start cooking food is the same time our evolution speeds up?  It’s like having those fatty juices falling into the open flame helped speed up the process.  It’s like evolution never would have occurred without the use of fire.  I mean, homo sapiens never would’ve occurred.  Something else?  Maybe.

Shamans believe that fire heals and acts as the gateway between worlds.

The last time I did ayahuasca with them, I understood more deeply the healing aspects of fire but I never got the chance to write about it because I was working non-stop at the time.

In essence, the fire (in my case), represented my thoughts.  They burned, engulfed me, consumed me – but it was the smoke that felt healing.  It’s hard to describe, but it was like watching my thoughts burn and then release.  Burning, then releasing.  But I also understood that the healing smoke wouldn’t be produced without the burning fire, so both needed to exist which makes them equally important to the healing process.

While I’m on the subject, another thing I got out of my last ayahuasca experience was the impenetrable loneliness I felt from the idea that I’m the only one inhabiting my mind.  I’m the only one in here.  It’s just me.  And if our perception of the world is responsible for the world we are given, it felt as though I was the only person living in my world, do you understand?  It’s just me living in my own little world.  Isolated, completely cut-off.

This sent me into the dreaded ayahuasca world of fear.  A lot of people go through it.  It’s basically a panic attack.  And I swear if it were anyone else besides me who experienced this particular fear, this dreadful thought, it would’ve resulted in an outburst – a verbal cry of hysterical panic.

But I knew what was happening because shit like that happened to me before, without the help of aya.  I taken several deep breaths over and over while staring into the fire and remembering what the shaman told me – “the fire will eat your demons so long as you stare into it.  When the demons come, the fire will cleanse them.”

And so I stared, I breathed, I remembered his words and then I saw it.  I saw my thoughts in the fire being swallowed up and turning to smoke.  Letting go of them was like watching myself float away with its ashes.

My panic lasted for maybe 5 minutes before slowly vanishing.

“Are you almost done leaving me yet?  Nope, still there.  Almost out of me now?  Almost….almost.  The smoke, watch the smoke.  My thoughts are drifting away with the smoke.”

And then it was gone.

A post or two (or three) ago, I wrote that somehow my emotional sensitivity made me a stronger person.  Two days ago while I was giving a massage, I understood why this is.  It was a pristine explanation with no holes.

Allowing myself to feel without distraction or the self-inflated shallowness of ego or “rightness” (which too, is a distraction), I’m able to connect with the selfless side of me.  One who suffers for (with) others.

Okay okay, I know how I sound right now and trust me – I do NOT think myself a wondrous sparkly saint sporting a halo.  I’m NOT trying to make myself sound grand – that is not my intention.

Eh hem…aya told me I was a martyr….eh hem….

But I understood how my weakness is strength.

Rational Brain – “Go to bed.  It’s too late for Bird Man.”

Let me just finish this thought.

A coward is someone who’s selfish.  Someone who care’s nothing for anyone but themselves and so they focus on survival and distractions, feeling big and powerful.  But those who are affected deeply by the human plight, and not try to escape from it, care for others besides themselves.

It’s common sense, but when you look at it from the eschewed angle of experience, it tends to make even more common sense.  Does that make sense?

When you care for others, that’s where you’ll find courage.  In fact, it might be the only place to find courage.  That’s why ayahuasca made it abundantly clear that giving is everything and strength is beauty.  You give out of piety, not pity.  Your strength comes from weakness, not power.

My strength, my “weakness”, is the stress put upon my shoulders that evolves me.  It can either eat me as a cancer, or evolve me into something greater.  Stay in the fire, or release me to the heavens.  According to ayahuasca, I get to choose.

Rational Brain – “I’m speechless.  Tonight, for once, being rational is not the beautiful thing to be.”

You’re wrong.  Being rational accentuates my philosophy.  I’m the flame and you’re the smoke – the exquisite aftermath.

And according to ayahuasca, you can only gain understanding with experience.  And according to me, experience occurs when you have an emotional reaction.  So in theory, the more you emotionally connect with an experience, the more likely you are to understand it.  My emotional vulnerability (not to be confused with instability), connects more freely with others, hence I can understand them.  And shit man, sometimes I wish I didn’t.

Rational Brain – “The cabbage didn’t help get rid of the caffeine, did it.”

I’m not anxious anymore, just awake.  Awake at 2am.

Damn, I just remembered about the employee I want to fire.  That post will be at least 1500 words.  I can’t believe how I didn’t write about it at ALL.  I can’t believe I didn’t write about Thailand!

I have so much stuff to write about.  The things I do, the people in my life, my everyday shenanigans….none of it takes precedence while I’m “in the moment”.  While being consumed by the flames.

It’s like none of it’s important to me but than again, it’s my life!  It’s my actual life that I’m not writing about – the purpose of my blog is to record and chronicle my life but instead, some other part takes the reigns.  A part that I have no control over.  Which makes me believe that my writing serves a purpose greater than my personal desires.

Rational Brain – “Again with the big head.  You write shit online and get carried away with it.”

Oh shut up and go to bed.

Rational Brain – “You first.”

2,801 words later……I need help.

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