The choice

What happens when you pause? When you are drenched in a moment, be it of grace or of hurt and pain, what happens if you can just pause it and exit for a second?

What happens if you pause a moment of suffering and step out of that frame and look at yourself? What would you see?

I cannot answer for you, but I can answer that question for myself.

I am terrified in the moments leading up to the pause, I do not want to stop, I become the pain, I become the illness I become the anger, the fear and the suffering. It takes courage and unrelenting faith to split from myself. The act of forming space, creating distance between what you feel and what you truly are is agonizing and foreign. How could it be that I am not pain if it is all that I can possibly think about and feel? How is it possible to separate myself from my sick body or from my worried mind. What if this is it? What if i don’t live forever, what if I am not healthy forever, what if I lose everything that makes me who I am? What if I am a victim of the suffering, and there is nothing I can do about it?

The path towards self destruction is paved by our own hands before anybody else’s. 

But, there is a way out. All the what ifs are then stopped by one thought: if so, let it be, but I am not the suffering nor am I its victim. Upon that recognition, I overcome the fear, I release myself. I become an agent, no longer a victim. And in that split second, that pause is a transformation and a triumph.

Dwelling in that pause, and pulling yourself up requires practice and requires patience. There are no shortcuts. The fear will always remain, so will our strength to overcome. It is essentially all a choice, every second of every day.

The Life Game: Set your build to win

Inspiration found me this morning as I was scrolling through my Facebook homepage. A video posted compares your human life from birth to end to a video game; and goes through the entire logical process in less than four minutes. As an avid video gamer myself, it was both ironic and creative to say the least.

The oversimplification made me think about the struggles we go through in order to achieve our goals whatever they might be. I, eventually as anybody would, started thinking about myself and how I manage to balance my life, the things that helped me progress, how I owned my experiences and continue to learn every step of the way. Three major elements keep me in check: practicing mindfulness, dedication to physical fitness and consistency for professional achievement. Yet the thought of attempting to balance mindfulness, physical fitness and professional achievement might induce so much anxiety, that you dismiss the possibility before even trying it. But consider this:

Your life game begins with a standard build, note that I’m dismissing socio-economic status as a start because I am solely talking about “free skills”. Mindfulness, fitness and achievement are unaffected by your external conditions, you could be at top of the ladder or starting from scratch, this should apply to you indiscriminately.

Your standard human build can take you far enough up until the challenges are more complex, and until the challengers facing you have learned new skills and developed their build. Then you will feel stuck, possibly defeated and exhausted by life. While you are still using your basic fight or flight mechanism, others have mastered self-control and tend to stand and fight in situations you would definitely flee, as that is your original coding, undeveloped.

Master the skill of Mindfulness:

To learn this skill, you have to recognize that every human’s basic build consists of personal experience; a lived past, a happening present and a subjective perception of a future. You have to acknowledge your past, own your experience, identify the lessons you have to learn, seek help if it proves to be difficult. You have to acknowledge the blessing of being alive, of having breath run through you. Identify with that breath on a daily basis, and practice being in the present moment, thankful and adamant on self-love not selfishness. The future will be taken care of, when you master the other two skills.

Master the skill of physical fitness:

To learn this skill, you have to recognize that your average build body, if no disabilities are present, is intended for mobility and functional movement. The less you use it for that purpose, the faster you deteriorate and battle numerous glitches and viruses, and the sooner you lose the game. Start with respecting the functionality of your body, follow a fitness program, the little achievements you make whether touching your toes when you couldn’t or performing a series of back flips on command, all reflect on your overall performance in the life game. You will become stronger and empowered, your build allows you to tackle challenges differently. Little achievement matter just as much as big ones. The flip-side of a series of fails, is the consistency that leads to lessons learned and essentially achievement by virtue of trial and error.

Mastering those skills helps you recharge your spirit and your body. You will recognize your weaknesses and deal with them before it’s too late. You will be ahead in your game.

Mastering the skill of professional achievement:

To learn this skill, you must have a clear goal. You have to know why you are in the job and what you plan on achieving by remaining in it for a certain time period. There is no shortage of opportunities, even in today’s economy. Identify where you are on the resourcefulness scale and make your decisions accordingly. Don’t let fear stop you from taking a leap into the next level. But make sure that your boots will jump high enough and your build can stand the impact of a miscalculation.

The life game is different for each and every one of us. We all have the capacity to improve and to develop ourselves in continuously competitive and challenging game play. Stay curious, stay present and improve with every opportunity you get. Keep your head in the game, and believe that winning everyday is actually possible as long as you are in the game.

Reflections

I have to be quiet because this might not make sense. The words I have are attempting a transgression to my spirit. Yet it is such a sweet transgression, it is actually necessary and vital. I bite my lip and I cannot keep this secret to myself anymore. I cannot hold this truth in any longer. It must come out dressed in my petty words; but it will make itself seen regardless.

The truth is that love prevails. It prevails when we let it. It prevails because the world is big enough, wide enough and thirsty enough for light. It prevails when the darkness has eaten itself and it’s inhabitants alive. Beneath the fear, a light travels through time and space to reach those who seek it, regardless how much money they make, regardless how they look and what language they speak. Light finds you because it pierces through every darkness as long as there is a surface willing to reflect it and spread it to the world. 

Love exists and bounces off from your reflective heart. So sit with that, look inside and beneath your torment. You will find that a joy you last experienced as a child still burns within you and is shamelessly requesting permission to fix you, help you out of that torment and simply make you happy again. Because really, what is this all about, if not drenching ourselves and one another in love every opportunity we get.

Double-Tap

I lift my finger and tap once, twice and express how much I like something. My heart remains steady and my breathing breaks as I let out a gentle cough from the unbearable smell of smoke coming out of the lips of the love of my life. This is normal, so is going out everyday and making a living. This is normal, so is changing our plans to fit our moods. This is normal, so is working out our muscles every other day so that we get to keep on living for a slightly longer time, experiencing slightly less pain when we double and triple tap on something we like on a screen when we are 75 years old.

One coffee, two green teas, another coffee and a meal to help my stomach digest the stress of the day and the level of alertness required to maintain a stable job. This is normal. I look up from my phone and I realize that after all my shy attempts during my teenage years to actually escape the world of normalcy, I have successfully landed right in the heart of it as I hit my quarter of a century mark. Maybe many checkpoints are bound to come and maybe none; and here I am still tapping at a screen telling everybody, and nobody really, what I really like.

I cannot solve this mystery; neither will I try. They all know and so do you, we all live here together. We all love together and encourage each other to run as fast as possible towards a glimpse of magic in this world. We run to green places and blue seas, we find the trance and lust of living in the darkness of underground clubs with good bass. We get on the ride everyday and snap a selfie wearing our egos on our sleeves, hoping that the world still likes us because we are beautiful, successful or simply just available.

We all live in this world, some participate others observe; and it is normal.

Normal as it is, how much of what we like have we ever tried? ever learned? ever experienced? ever proactively sought? I ask myself this first, and leave the rest here…

Nothing Lost 

It remains a struggle to look outside of yourself and truly comprehend the wonder in this world. It remains an endless challenge to still believe at the end of the day, right before you close your eyes that you have been a force of good, a positive reinforcement to the powers at play. 

I dwell in the sunlight as I write, it envelopes my body like a loving mother covers a cold child. The spots that have darkened with life, are cleared away by the grace of light. 

I am still and bright, I am quiet as I gain my strength back. Nothing is ever lost inside this light. She watches from afar and greets my wanderlust soul, she watches from afar and smiles as I win this fight. 

It requires practice and might, it requires a journey through the dark. It is sometimes easy and at times a plight. She grants me a lantern and a ring to my step; she teaches me a song and disappears from sight. 

Nothing is ever lost within this light. 

Vivid

My dreams are becoming more vivid. I am surrounded by beautiful nature, rivers, green and every shade of it, hills and corn fields. The wind comes at me from every angle, it greets me as though I’ve been away for a lifetime. The dreams come and go, and at some point I cannot tell if those are moments I’ve lived or simple tricks of the mind. 

I wait for the night to come so I am able to continue my journey into places I’ve never been but still have the familiarity of a land I’ve lived in for years, they feel like home. My waking life is equally as exhilarating. It is a blend of utmost color, and I am blessed. 

I am blessed to be here tonight, blessed to dwell in those spaces and places that exist soley for my peace. I am now an element of stillness in a world of diligent motion. And when my turn comes, I will be ready. Sleep comes to me now with all of its mystery and leads me in with grace. I resign from my wakefulness and retreat into a serene world, one where my vivid dreams wait…

This day has been good, i am learning. 

Kingdom

It slips away when you aren’t looking, when you think it is never to be lost again. It seeps through your eyes and your pores. It drips out of your mouth as you speak, as you lie. Bit by bit, all that light begins to dim and you find your spirit sore and abandoned. It is spiritual beating it is beyond cognitive pain. It is excruciating to feel as though you have just almost found what you wanted and let it slip without really fully grabbing it. 

The journey begins again, but this time you know what you are looking for; you tasted it and felt it before. It all makes sense; you can never Un-know something you have become aware of. It is impossible to forget what you refuse to let go of. 

I dig, one mental black hole and into another. One simple thought becomes a lifetime belief and I refuse it. I look for that light beneath trenches of webbed and darkened thought. I stumble into realms of self hate all disguised as intelligence, all disguised as reality. Somehow there is a way out and I am not afraid. I am not afraid of this anymore, so i slow down…I slow down because there is nothing to be running away from it is all right where it should be. I am exactly where I should be. I recognize these walls, I spent years building them all, thought by thought, doubt over doubt. I recognize my demons and my still open wounds. One deep breath, two deep breaths and my beat is on repeat. All of this is my world, I am just on the opposite side of the fence. I like the other side much better and I refuse to let it get away from me. I walk. One step saves the next and i make my way. The confusion drills holes in my shoes, the path is difficult and elusive but I keep my pace I focus on my guide. One spec of light. It takes a single spec of light to grab a thread, which becomes a rope which becomes a bridge which becomes my kingdom of light. 

silence;

Chipped and sharp, my nails are no longer white. They are grey and apathetic to the skin surrounding them. This is not about the flame, but about the cold. This is not about the good, it is about the uncertain. This is not about the truth, it is about the mystery; anything could be true or false at this very moment. This is not about reality, it is about infinite possibility, the opposite of every impossibility you have ever entertained. 

My skin reacts to this, chills and rejection of the bland. Goosebumps because, just because. In this space of no flavor, nothing happens for the pleasure of your senses. In this state of being, comfort is extremely similar to boredom. In this kingdom of routine, the sun hides and winds blow, uncertain and unappreciated. My head rests, and my body slows, little motion brings forth less life. 

I bring music to my silence and he asks my imagination for a dance. His voice and his words ring and play on my nonchalance waking my curiousity and interest. I enjoy it. Softly, slowly, and quietly I anticipate the way his breath sounds in my ears. Violin, piano…and then percussion a simple perfection to my sleepy, bored and comfortable senses. Perfect. He asks about my feelings, he asks about my words, letters and emptiness in between. On repeat, two,three, four times I know his words now, I smile. One beat upon the next I find that I have been pacing around this space letter by letter. Step by step I trace the warmth of my letters, I press every word and I prepare my self. Silence will subside and I will transcend every wavelength, I will dance to the tune of a world of my making. 

For now, I dwell…

Chapter Twenty Five: Prologue 

Well here we are. Quarter of a century and still kicking. With the proper nutrition, and medical advances I might even live seventy five years longer. But I’m not betting on it. Whether it’s 75 more years, or just one more day I am more than blessed to be here today.

I’ve always adopted a rather dramatic approach towards my life. Ive circled around myself like a predator and pounced at myself when weak, I tore myself apart any given chance I got. Except I made it through, it never worked, nothing was ever solved, words were just words at the end of the day, and thoughts remained just thoughts, with no real value.

Approaching twenty five i began to take it easy, I figured, well if all this hate, this suffering, this negativity surrounding me couldn’t destroy me, then I probably am bigger than this, I am deeper, stronger and much more surreal. I decided to love. I chose it even when walls crashed. I found it in ruins of relationships, broken ideals and beliefs. I created love when it ran out from the hearts surrounding my own. I loved, and I learned. I still am.

I started to let go, and forgive. I decided that every human I will meet from now on will be a lesson and I will try my best to be a source of light. I started getting comfortable in my skin or lack thereof. I shaved part of my head and i discovered that just like thoughts, my hair wasn’t real either. I was still there, even when uncovered I recognized myself. I overcame my deep fear of loss. I pushed through.

Twenty five and present, no more preconceived notions. I have exhausted my prejudices, and my thoughts. My doubts are all still present, so are my insecurities and my demons. Except I know them all on first name’s basis now. I see them coming, I greet them and sit with them. The battle to get them to leave has become civil. But very difficult still.

There is more to life than I thought there was. I will keep this one to myself though. Words are just words after all. Let’s hope that at twenty five, I can live better, love better and just be.

Thank you

Full Moon 

I erase line after line, all my phrases seem vacant. I am trying to fake this. It’s not really working. I am trying to run yet my feet are heavy, they won’t move as fast as I hope they would. My breath is short and unforgiving. My mind refuses the track, it refuses the motion it demands that I stand still at this specific moment and just stop for a moment. Just stop. 

I have a million and five thoughts racing to the front lines, my blood freezes at the notions of some and boils for others. My mind demands that all this stops as well. No motion whatsoever, I must stop every transaction, transition and transformation taking place inside and outside of myself. Nothing will happen now, nothing must. 

Being still used to be so much easier that’s for sure, all it took was closing my eyes and sinking. Now I can’t stop.

I grab onto a tune that slows me down, one that forces the friction I have been avoiding. My scars begin to show again, indifference cannot be faked at this pace. I grab onto the night in hopes of shielding my cowardice, maybe the darkness would help make this pause less shameful; but it doesn’t. I am stripped and stranded because I need to stop and listen, to stop and look at everything. Maybe today is special, and maybe that is why I cannot move. 

Naked and foolish I rub my skin and peel off the beauty, I do not need this here. My hair falls to the ground beneath, and my nails grow long enough to claw through this fractured body. I must stop and see, my eyes water and my mind soars. I cannot move but I can see. 

I can see that my soul is aching, I can see that all this motion is sickening. It is mindless and senseless, it is excruciating and exhausting. 

I just stop, unprotected, frail and aimless. I am in awe of this crash. My mind is unclogged. My blood is cleansed. 

Maybe this is being free.