Inspiration, move me brightly… (to be continued)

Punching fear in the face…

STARTing things…

How’s everything coming along with all of this?

Shit.

How’s that for an answer?  I don’t know.  I got off to a good START with this thing but slowly fizzled out this week.  Not that my goal for The Start Experiment is anything substantial or lofty, it really isn’t much of anything at all.  It’s something that I was already working on.  Well, the reality is that my goal/risk was something that I was planning on.  I intended to do it.

*sigh*

I intend to do a lot of different things in life.  Most of them haven’t happened.  I’m a dreamer…a hopeless romantic.  I’m in my mid-30’s and frequently feel like I don’t have any idea what I’m going to do with my life.  Oh…you’re there also?  

I intended to do a lot as part of The Start Experiment – but not much has happened.  I suppose the reality is that I knew this as we all began this journey on Day 1.  I was in the process of moving.  I was in the process of transitioning into a new job.  All of this is because I am actively working on making major life changes to the manner in which I live my life.  I am trying to be the change that I wish to see in the world.  I’m simply doing all I know how to do because that’s all I can do.

Right now…I’ve typed out a couple of sentences, hit backspace repeatedly and then started over.  At times, it’s frustrating being a writer.  Hell, I suppose I try to be a writer.  I really don’t consider myself a “real” writer.  I’m not even sure I know what that means.  I know people read this crap and I’ve even had a few people tell me I should write a book.  This is actually one of the things that I aspire to do…but haven’t actually taken steps in order to do so.  This writing business isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do.  I mean…I actually have things to do today!

At any rate…with the packing and moving and job change and roommates wanting to spend time with me before I move out and everything else going on, I sometimes feel overwhelmed.  It seems like each time I feel overwhelmed, I encounter someone in life with problems that really put my own into perspective.  Life has a way of teaching us lessons.  When we take time to reflect and observe…we learn.  I’m learning some incredible lessons about humility.

Over the past 12 days, I have taken part in The Start Experiment.  I have networked with people and taken some steps to learn more about several individuals and the lives that they lead.  I am beyond inspired by many of these people.  I hope that some of these people have taken the time to read this shitty blog of mine.  If you have, I thank you.  You are likely one of the people that I find incredibly inspiring.  You are amazing.  Keep doing what you are doing.  You are awesome.

This past week, I have been feeling some stresses based on my own set of circumstances.  Moreover, I have let these stresses control and paralyze me.  As I previously mentioned, some of the people that I have met over the past 12 days are beyond inspiring.  I write this because as I corresponded with one of these individuals in particular and was essentially bitching about my stress, I ended up learning about their stress.  I got some insight into their life.  

It made me feel like a shell of a man because the more I learned, the more I realized how much I take for granted.  As I write these words, this realization hits me so hard again that I find myself weeping and overcome by emotion.  I have so many blessings in life.  There are so many people in life who are so much more deserving of the blessings that I take for granted.  I’ll be thinking of this throughout the day as I spend it packing and moving and preparing for the next few months.

Pomodoro up.

Stay tuned.

Aimless and Senseless and Living Deliberately

This morning, I woke up, feeling refreshed.  I rolled over, rubbed my eyes and decided that I would go downstairs and make a little coffee.  While I used to be quite the hipster, roasting my own beans and making coffee a borderline orgasmic experience…I now resign myself to making terrible coffee from very old dark roast Folgers.

Not only is this coffee quite terrible, it is incredibly old.  However, over the past year…I have learned to make some sacrifices…one of which is my coffee.  Since breaking up with my ex last June and moving into this house last July – I never really unpacked and settled down.  I just knew that this was temporary.  At that time, I didn’t even know what this was.  All I knew was that a few years ago, I took my life savings and moved here to Southern California chasing love…and now I was single and back in debt.

Debt aside, I was single and truly in a process of rediscovery.  Being epileptic, I had been taking medication since I was first diagnosed at the age of 14. After moving from Costa Mesa down to Laguna Beach with my girlfriend at the time, I ended up getting a new neurologist.  This new doctor suggested that I change medications due to the fact that it would likely have caused potential liver damage and eventual bone loss.  I didn’t like the idea of either and decided to change medications.  This was a little nerve wracking, as I had taken this medication for more than 20 years…but I decided to trust my neurologist.  Besides, doctor knows best, right?  That’s what I’d always thought and had been told.

I began taking the “new” medicine in April 2012.  I was advised that it might take a while to get accustomed to the new medicine as far as experiencing any potential side effects, which were considerably less than those of the “old” medicine I had been taking for the entirety of my adult life.  I was told that it might take up to 30 days for me to experience any of these potential side affects as my body gets accustomed to the medication changes.  Moreover, I was told that I might experience some seizures as I learn what dosages of the medication are effective for me.  Super.

For those of you that don’t know what a seizure is like…you can watch a video here.

During the first couple of months, I had a few seizures – but luckily I was in a safe place and was surrounded by people that loved me.  My ex and her family were there and helped me come out of it.  Since then, I have had several more seizures while adjusting to the medication, but this is all part of the learning experience associated with the change.  Now…more than a year after the initial medication change, I still find myself reflecting on the experiences due to this change.   I am still learning.  Always learning…

The most significant thing that I learned was that getting off the old medication was the best thing I could have done for myself.  After a month or so…I realized that I was thinking clearly.  I felt like I had more energy.  My thought processes were lucid.  It is incredibly difficult to describe…but those of you out there who have taken drugs for any various medical condition or simply taken drugs for recreational purposes can relate to the experience that I am talking about.  Reality after a drug induced haze can be quite spectacular.  For the first time in my adult life, I felt like I was experiencing reality.  It was incredible.

The change was remarkable.  I was really astounded by how much better I felt.  Soon after this medication change, my girlfriend and I split up.  This wasn’t anything drastic as result of the medication change, but was something that had been building for months.  Perhaps the new found clarity resulting from the medication change helped facilitate the breakup…but there really isn’t any sense in speculating about the cause of events that have already occurred.  Besides, the old saying goes something like this…If you keep one foot in the past and one in the future, you’re just pissing on the present.

With that said, I would like to not piss on the present, but rather just spend a little time in the present reflecting on the past and wondering about the future.  Wait – isn’t this contradictory to the above statement?  Perhaps.  I don’t necessarily think so, but perhaps.  I’m sure there’s some idiot out there that would argue with me all day long.  Moreover, there’s also some idiot out there that questions why I write in the manner that I do.  Fine, let’s just say I’m pissing on the present.

Either way, let’s get back to the present…I’ve since refilled my mug with mediocre Folgers Black Silk.  The most hilarious part about getting coffee is this story I’ll share with you here.  Typically, I am the first one up.  Often times, when I get up, the television in my roommate’s bedroom is on.  I don’t know if she’s actually awake and watching television or if it’s on because she fell asleep with the television on and it’s still playing while she sleeps.  It doesn’t really matter and I suppose I don’t really care.  I find this curious but I am accustomed to it by now.

As I walked downstairs to make the coffee, the ~50 inch flat screen in the living room was on.  There was no one present in the living room.  While this is a common occurrence in this household, I still shake my head at the absurdity of it all.  The best part about it was that as I glanced up at what was on the magic box while making my coffee, it looked like a movie was starting.  The movie was “Cool as Ice,” starring Vanilla Ice.  Check out the trailer here.  This is beyond classic.

I have provided the links in addition to the little pics above.  I have done so as a redundancy, because in the past somehow, I have put these little pics in my blog post as embedded videos, but seeing as I am a relatively new and inexperienced blogger I can’t quite figure out how I had done it in the past and am not really inclined to spend the time this morning figuring it out.  But I digress…this entire blog post stemmed from thoughts that generated while making coffee and watching the beginning of “Cool as Ice” playing to an empty room.  The television is a dominant part of this household.  Moreover, the television dominates our society.

Years ago, I lived in North Carolina and Colorado among other places.  These two places stick out in my mind as I spent the most amount of time in these states at once before my wanderlust got the best of me and I moved on.  In each of these places, I went through a process of living, learning and growing.  Even at that time, I was living deliberately – even though I was unaware of what I was doing.   I made conscious decisions on who I lived with.

Many of the places I lived with did not have a television.  A few of the places didn’t even have a microwave.  These were deliberate actions from the people I was living with.  They were choosing to go without some of the modern conveniences that modern society offers us.  Other places that I lived had a television, but we took deliberate action to ensure that it was not the focal point of our living area.  For example, in two different places in Asheville, we placed the television on a rolling cart and covered it up with a small tapestry, rolled it into a corner and put plants on it when we weren’t actively using it.  Most of the time, it was used for movies.  We chose not to have cable.

However, many other places where I have lived over the years, the television was the focal point of the common living area.  Often times, these houses had multiple televisions.  I am in one of these houses right now.  There are three televisions in this house that I am aware of.  It is possible that there may even be four or five.  I’m not sure.   I take extra measures to ensure that I am exposed to as little of it as possible. The end result of this chosen behavior is often times me hiding in my bedroom reading and writing or simply spending time outside.  This is my preferred type of recreation.  The only times I engaged in lots of television watching was when I felt as though I needed an escape.

In life, we all deal with periods where we feel we need an escape.  Life can be stressful.  We engage in certain behaviors to deal with the stress.  Some of us drink alcohol.  Some of us eat food.  Some of us do drugs.  Some of us watch television.   Some of us play video games.  Some of us exercise.  We all have individual ways of dealing with the stresses of life.  How do you deal with stress?

At times in my life, I have engaged in ALL of the identified behaviors in life.  More often than not, I would engage in one of these behaviors more than the other.  Sometimes, I would allow one of these types of behavior to control me. I claimed that I had an “addictive personality.”  Yes…that was the problem.  I always found something to blame for the result of my actions.  Most of the time, I was looking for an excuse when life wasn’t going according to the way that I thought was appropriate.  When I stopped looking to blame others and simply began living a life where personal responsibility and accountability dominated my thought processes – I changed.

So frequently in life, we seek change. We always look to someone or something else for the change we seek.  We rarely look within ourselves in order to create the change we wish to see.  Moreover, we have been conditioned to believe that there is a quick fix for the problems and challenges in life.  Buy this product.  Go to that doctor.  Take that pill.  Have that surgery.  We spend far too much time looking for an easy solution.  We are putting band aids on wounds that require stitches.

True change is difficult.  True change requires dedication.  True change requires questioning the status quo.  True change requires stepping outside of your comfort zone. True change requires identifying your fears and addressing them.  True change is not a requirement, nor is it necessary.  If you want to continue being a slave, there is no need to change your behavior.  If you are content with your life and feel as though you don’t need to change, then I applaud you.  Perhaps you can share your wisdom with those of us who seek what you supposedly have.  True change is not for everyone.

Are you ready to experience true change?

Stay tuned.

Day 4 and Day 5 – The Start Experiment

Day 4: The big F-word

Nothing kills dreams like fear.  Today, it’s time to face a few of ours.  Your task is to write down your biggest fears in your journal.  That’s it, today!  I just want them to hit paper.

When I went through Step 4 a couple days ago, I wrote down 5 different fears – they were the first ones that came to mind  I’m sure I could have spent an incredible amount of time trying to determine my “true” fears – but hell, I overcomplicate the most simple things at times, so I tried to just write them as they came to me.  Summarized, my fears are as follows:

  1. I’m afraid my “gypsy ways” will “prevent” me from settling in Ohio.
  2. I’m afraid I’ll never find my true calling and be successful in life.
  3. I’m afraid I’ll never find true love.
  4. I’m afraid I’ll never make my parents proud.
  5. I’m afraid someone might get hurt as a result of my epilepsy.

After contemplating this throughout the work day last Thursday, these are the five fears I came up with.  As I reflect on this several days after the initial “assignment” – I still feel that these fears are valid fears.  While I don’t feel consumed by my fears, these things are things that I often find myself thinking about.  The reality is…I may not be thinking directly about these five things, but many of my thoughts stem from one of these fears.  It is my belief that many of our actions are driven by fear.  It is simply human nature.  What can differentiate us from others is how we let these fears dictate and control our actions.

Friday’s assignment seemed relatively  “easy” as well.  Check it out:

Day 5: The Truth

Fear is big, but the truth is bigger. Today, I want you to take out the list of fears and write down one line of truth under each. Don’t argue with the fear, don’t get tangled. Just write down the truth. For example, I am afraid that if I don’t sell out the Start Conference people will think I am a failure. The last 5 sold out and if this doesn’t maybe it means the best days are over. The truth I’d write down is, “If you aim for 1,000 and only get 800 people to attend, you’ve still doubled the size from the last one. That’s a win!”

Within 10 minutes, I had some “simple truths”  written down in my journal.  For added impact, I went out to my work vehicle and grabbed my red ballpoint pen.  Below is the very model of red pen I prefer at the moment.  Get your nerd on with me and check it out:

That’s it.  I took out my pen and wrote these “truths” down.  I placed my notebook down and sat there for a moment.  Step 5 took me all of about 10 minutes to accomplish.  I decided to write for about 30-45 minutes after doing Step 5.  What you are reading at this very moment are the subsequent thoughts after accomplishing Step 5.  I figured the act of breaking this down in a blog post would be a good activity to engage in to further reflect on all of this nonsense.  So…here we go.

The fears I identified are in bold type below.  The “truths” I identified are in italics below each fear.

1.   I’m afraid my “gypsy ways” will “prevent” me from settling in Ohio.

  • My parents simply want me to be happy and healthy *wherever* that may be.

2.   I’m afraid I’ll never find my true calling and be successful in life.

  • A considerable amount of my employment history are jobs where I followed my heart and did what I loved.

3.   I’m afraid I’ll never find true love.

  • God is love.

4.   I’m afraid I’ll never make my parents proud.

  • My parents claim to be proud of me.  (See #1)

5.  I’m afraid someone might get hurt as a result of my epilepsy.

  • My seizures are best controlled when I am healthy and take my medication on-time.

 

After this simple breakdown…I sat and read it over.  I tried to do so with an objective point of view.  This is an admirable goal, but the reality is that this is challenging for me – because I’m the damn fool that is writing this shit in the first place.

At any rate…I reflected on this for a few moments, trying to think about this being someone else’s fears and truths.  This is much easier said than done.  Besides, it’s always easier to criticize someone else, isn’t it?  I say this…but if you’re anything like me – we are often our biggest and worst critics.  At any rate, my initial thoughts and observations were as follows:

It appears as though I’m looking at my past as an indicator of what the future has in store for me.  Tsk, tsk, tsk.  We all know the old saying, “past performance does not dictate future results.”  With regard to the first fear listed…this appears to be precisely what I am doing.  The only difference is that I am generating fear based on speculation of what might occur when I settle in Ohio.  The reality is that I may never get a chance to settle in Ohio.  The reality is that I could be dead tomorrow.  This life that we live is short and far too frequently we take it for granted.  Moreover, the decision to relocate back to Ohio was most certainly not a hasty decision.  Months of reflection and discussion with family and friends led me to making this decision and taking the subsequent actions to move this forward into action.  My desire to return back to Ohio is a well, thought out and calculated decision.  The bottom line is that past performance does not dictate future results.  Simple.

The second fear of mine is that I’ll never find my true calling and be successful in life.  Growing up, I remember little bits of wisdom that my father told us.  Much of these little bits are still repeated by him to this day.  He used to tell all of us kids:

“Do what you love, do it well and the money will come.”

I still believe this to be true.  Allow me to explain…  The money in this case is a paycheck for most of us.  We view the compensation we receive as a result of our employment the objective of our career.  I challenge you to take a different perspective of money.  Moreover, let’s insert the word success in place of money.  Now, we read:

“Do what you love, do it well and success will come.”

Personally, for me, success is more important the the pursuit of the almighty dollar.  While I don’t run around burning dollars just to make a point and to “spite the system” – I don’t do this because this behavior is simply dumb.  At this point in time, our federal reserve notes still have some “value.”  While I won’t go in depth about the federal reserve and the banking system, let us at the very least acknowledge the devaluation of the US dollar over the past 100 years.

Again, let’s revisit the statement, “Do what you love, do it well and success will come.”  This is absolutely true, despite articles such as the one featured in Forbes recently, “Five Reasons to Ignore the Advice to Do What You Love.”   This article is simply an example of one of the ways that people try to stomp out success and personal growth.  The system wants you be a dispensable cog in the machine.  The system wants you mechanized.  The system wants you to understand your value.  To the system, you are expendable.  You are obsolete.

When we do what we love, we begin living with passion.  When we live with passion, we live with an unbridled freedom to experience reality on the many levels that we do and try to communicate the manner in which we do so with others so that they may experience the abundant joy that accompanies our passion.  Passion helps us define our dreams.

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Often times, this passion is seen as out of line – perhaps even threatening.  Passion induces the desire to critically think…but this is dangerous, because passion also induces the desire to act spontaneously, sometimes not with most desirable results.  Either way, passion results in often extraordinary life experiences.  Even the most simple and mundane tasks become remarkable when performed with passion.  If passion is channeled and experienced in a healthy, positive and beneficial way, we live deliberately and experience the benefits of doing so.  The things we do, we do them effortlessly.  We do them well.  We grow our skill set and become increasingly successful as we continue learning.  When we stop learning we stop growing.  We become stagnant.  Stagnation is a breeding ground for apathy.

I like to think I’ve followed my heart throughout my life.  I don’t have the house and the yard, nor do I have anything of any significant value. However, I am happy and healthy.  I am prepared to deal with life on life’s terms.  A while back, I spoke with my aunt, my mother’s oldest sister.  At 75 years old, she mentioned that she was “still trying to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up.”  I suppose the reality is that we never figure out what our true calling is.  I suspect her thought process is like that of many people in that stage of their lives.  When I’m 75, I want to be asking myself the same question.  I want to continue following my heart.  I want to continue loving hard.  I want to continue living.

The third fear was a thought that I’ll never be able to find true love.  My truth was simple:  God is love.  When we realize this one simple truth, we can begin truly experience life.  God transcends religion and the labels that language limits us to.  God is love.   When we experience love, we experience God.  It is my opinion that true love with another cannot be shared until you have gone through the process of learning how to truly love one’s self.  I’m not talking about some Stuart Smalley bullshit affirmation, either.  The simple realization that God is love is so profound and easy yet incredibly difficult at the same time.

My fourth fear was that I would never make my parents proud.  Yes, this is a fear of mine.  I’m a man in my mid-30’s who fears that he will somehow let down my parents.  Let’s take a look back at the first fear and more specifically, the first truth.  My parents want me to be happy and healthy…  Moreover, my parents have told me they were proud of me.  The simple fact of the matter is that I need to continue to believe people when they say things that are backed up my their actions.  My uncle used to say, “What you do speaks so loud I can’t hear what you say.”  It is important to remember this when observing the behavior of others especially with regard to our own.  Live proudly so that others may be proud of you as well.

Finally, the last fear I had listed was the fear that I might hurt someone else as a result of having a seizure.  Becoming more accepting of my epilepsy over this past year has brought up a considerable amount of emotion, especially since not necessarily denying it in the past…but certainly not dealing with it accordingly or in a responsible manner.  While I have epilepsy, the simple truth is that my seizures are best controlled when I am healthy and take my medication on time.  Health is something I am learning more about lately, especially with regard to our diet and the source of the food we put into our bodies.   The point is that if I have fears about potentially hurting someone if I have a seizure…then the best solution to addressing that fear would be to take measure to mitigate the cause of the fear (seizures).  If I have identified lifestyle choices where I feel healthy and well and minimal seizures occur – then these are likely good lifestyle choices for me.

Over the past two days, these exercises have generated an incredible amount of thought and reflection.  I found it extremely beneficial to write down my fears.   I found it even more beneficial to analyze these fears and come up with a simple truth that counters that fear and puts it in its’ place.   These exercises have forced me to improve upon my powers of objective observation (among others).  This is an incredible experience we are sharing together with The Start Experiment.  I’m grateful to be a part of what is taking place with all the people involved in it.   Who would have imagined that this all began with a little book called “Start,” by Jon Acuff?  I sure didn’t.

Cover Photo

If you haven’t read it…it’s time to START.  Check it out.

Stay tuned.

 

Day 3 – Finding Superstars and Living Deliberately (Part II)

While I seriously doubt people share the same “insane” views of society that I do, the people at The Start Experiment are sharing one common thread with each other.  Life experience.  This sharing life experiences with one another in the many different ways that people are doing so is human.  We are all engaging with one another deliberately.  This is the restoration of humanity in a microcosm.  The microcosm can become macro if we would simply stop trying to force it and simply let it.  It is not our place to control, yet empires throughout history have been built and wrecked seeking the very thing that they will never have.  It is like the goose and the golden egg.  

Yes…as I wrote those words, the pomodoro timer went off.  Thank God, because it is those times where I feel like I’m starting to rant (because I am).  I am challenged with this because I think I have a tendency to drive people away because of this.  For example, I was recently dumped by the girl I was dating.  Moreover, it was totally inexplicable…well, maybe not, but I digress.  She did accuse me of “talking in circles,” which after thinking about this, I realized that I shouldn’t let this bother me.  Moreover, I realized that “Talking in Circles” would make a good name for a podcast.  

Making a podcast is one of the growing list of things to do.  I mean…this is totally sensible.  I talk in circles, no one listens to me and the ones that do think I should be committed.  Moreover, I want to make a podcast so that I can publicize the trash that comes out of my brain in spoken word format in addition to this damned blog that I keep?  Perhaps.  This would be right on track with the rest of the way I’ve lived my life to date.  An explanation over that last sentence should take place over a drink…

Back to the deliberate living and the finding of superstars!  In our email today, Jon Acuff wrote:  “Chances are, regardless of what your risk is, someone else has already done it.  Today’s task is to find 1-3 people who have accomplished what you’re aiming for during these 24 days.  Research them online and see what you can learn from the trail they have already blazed.”  

I think that this is a great idea, but since my selected risk is simply developing a rough draft of a proposed land lease agreement, I figured it would be tough to find people with such a narrow scope of a risk like I had chosen. Initially, I struggled with selecting a specific risk…so I selected this one because it was something measurable and small.  I have several other things going on right now with regard to my career and current living arrangements, I figured I would just take it easy on this one.  

At any rate, one of the many things that I also considered was working on a blog/website as well as a business plan.  For the purposes of this experiment, I kept it simple, but for the purposes of this specific goal, I decided that I would take time today to look through 1-3 people’s blogs.  I wrote yesterday about how the reality is that I really haven’t taken the time to read very many blogs out there.  I perused a few of them, but today I figured I would take the time to actively explore one or two.  

This evening I explored one of these blogs and was very impressed!  The blogs (yes, plural) AND website that I reviewed were very cool.  Not only were they well done, but the content and the way that it was written was actually interesting to me.  I’m not suggesting that everyone else’s blogs are not interesting to me…well, actually – that’s not true.  That’s exactly what I’m implying.  The reality is that most people’s blogs and facebook pages aren’t interesting to me.  This is part of the reason that I am convinced that I am simply an alien living in human form here sharing an earthly existence with you all.  

In reviewing this blog and the subsequent discussions that ensued via facebook, my faith in humanity was restored.  My faith in humanity was restored several times this week via encounters that I’ve been meaning to write about, but simply haven’t made the time to do so…perhaps the time spent inserting another photo of one of the encounters I wish to write about will serve as a friendly reminder to myself to actually write about it rather than sit around and think about writing about it!  Ha!

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As I was saying, the review of this person’s blog has restored my faith in humanity.  The discussion that occured with the man above earlier this week has restored my faith in humanity.  Much of what is taking place as a part of The Start Experiment is restoring my faith in humanity.  Not all hope is lost.  There are people out there that are living deliberately in an effort to simply be a better person.  

When we better ourselves, we better those around us.  When we better those around us, we better our community.  When we better our community, we better the town or city we live in.  When we better our cities, we better our states.  When we better our states, we better our country.  When we better our country, we better the world!  Some of you may think that this has a bit of a socialist lean to it.  

Well, you’re probably right.  Positive Global Change has such a warm and emotional overtone to it, doesn’t it?  Everybody working collectively to make the world a better place.  Bullshit.  Many of the dumb idiots that spend time talking about how screwed up the world is do so in a way that is totally devoid of personal responsibility and accountability.  Many of these dumb idiots fall victim to the construct of the system.  They know not what they do.

Personal responsibility and accountability comes with living deliberately.  Living deliberately creates an environment conducive to healthy, positive and beneficial change.  This type of change is precisely what is taking place as part of The Start Experiment.  When we work to find superstars in other people, we are looking beyond ourselves.  This simple selfless act allows us to continue our growth and development as we walk the road to awesomeness.

Stay tuned. 

Day 3 – Finding Superstars and Living Deliberately (Part I)

Day 3

Well, The Start Experiment is going well.  At first, I felt a little overwhelmed by “taking this on.”  I say that with big air quotes because for me, the risk I’m taking is nothing more than a little bitty goal.  Basically, I am using The Start Experiment as an excuse to procrasinate a little less on something that I had already been planning.  I wish I could insert audio into the text, there’s a sound that I hear on one of the talk radio shows I listen to that would be so appropriate right now…but alas, I have neither the time nor the inclination to dig up said soundclip.  With the advent of the interwebs here, I could likely do this in less than five minutes, but unlike so many of us mindless zombies these days, I attempt to do things deliberately at times…writing these words right now is one of these times where I am living deliberately.

So what…and what the hell do I mean by living deliberately?  Shit.  Living deliberately is writing a blog that has no real and clear defined purpose for the simple fact that doing so and making these obvious observations may one day assist me as I continue living in a manner contemplating what said purpose actually is in life?  Yes.  That’s part of it.  Living deliberately is also simply refusing to provide a substantial answer to a question and challenging you to provide me with way in which you would define it.  At that point, we are having an intelligent discussion.  This is the good shit.

Speaking of intelligent discussion, I just left an intelligent “discussion” via facebook with someone from The Start Experiment.  Not knowing the formalities of blogging and not really knowing this person, I’ll simply keep it anonymous right now.  I’m sure I’ll figure all this stuff out as I continue writing and maintaining this blog.  Whatever.  I won’t even take the time to find audio sound bites on the interwebs. 

At any rate…this person from facebook began commenting about a post I had made regarding homesteading.  I actually got a fair amount of response about this post, but began exchanging messages and blogs with one person in particular.  The Start Experiment has been great!  This is a wonderful way to network with people that you normally might not cross paths with.  The nature of “the experiment” brings us all together with the common thread of the author and/or the book, Start.

While I was complaining earlier about not wanting to write and wanting to simply go to bed, I think about the amount of material that I have churned out since the timer began and the fact that if I wasn’t actually involved in The Start Experiment that I probably would have just gone to bed.  One of the many beautiful things of The Start Experiment is the fact that I have a little bit of motivation to share my life with others.  Earlier today, through this network on facebook, I was asked to share my story of how I lost 60 pounds and then trained for and successfully ran a marathon and how this transformed my life.  

The ability to share life experiences with one another is in large part what makes The Start Experiment what it is.  Sharing life experiences with one another is simply something that we have gotten away from in life.  Sharing life experiences with one another is human.  We are allowing ourselves and our society to get away from our own humanity.  Candy Crush Saga controls our lives and we are fascinated by television programs of cool lifestyles rather than taking that time to forge our own.

While I seriously doubt people share the same “insane” views of society that I do, the people at The Start Experiment are sharing one common thread with each other.  Life experience.  This sharing life experiences with one another in the many different ways that people are doing so is human.  We are all engaging with one another deliberately.  This is the restoration of humanity in a microcosm.  The microcosm can become macro if we would simply stop trying to force it and simply let it.  It is not our place to control, yet empires throughout history have been built and wrecked seeking the very thing that they will never have.  It is like the goose and the golden egg.  

The pomodoro timer just went off but I’m on a roll…coming back for more in 5.

Stay tuned.

 

Bring this back to the start experiment

 

Day 3: Find Some Superstars

Chances are, regardless of what your risk is, someone else has already done it.  Today’s task is to find 1-3 people who have accomplished what you’re aiming for during these 24 days.  Research them online and see what you can learn from the trail they have already blazed.

 

On feeling comfortable…

OK, the phone is in airplane mode.  I turned off the music.  I turned on simplynoise.  I prefer the pink noise.

Anyways, I had recently written about The Start Experiment.  It’s been 6 days since I last wrote, but am feeling inspired tonight after reading multiple people post their own blog posts.  The reality is that I really haven’t read very many of them.  There were a few that I checked out – you know…people I’ve made connections with, but in large part – if you have a blog, it’s highly unlikely that I’ve read it.  Sorry, that’s the law of probabilities with people like ourselves that are a part of The Start Experiment.

And…here we go.  That previous statement likely offended some people out there.  Tough shit.  Get over it and yourself.  The fact that I’m cursing in my blog posts probably offends the hell out of some other people out there.  Life is sometimes offensive.  Life is also tough.  Life sometimes can be all about adversity.  People like ourselves choose not to be defined by the adversity that life sometimes presents us with…rather we choose to define ourselves by the manner in which we handle the adversity.  

Wow!  Such profound statements instantaneously come from presumptions of my blog posts being offensive?  Yes.  Does this make sense?  No.  Is there anyone that even wastes their time reading my blog?  Perhaps.  The laws of karma dictate that it would probably be good form for me to read at least a few other blogs as well.  The reality is that there have been three blogs from people in The Start Experiment that really caught my attention.  I actually took the time to add them to my “to_read” list.  

Why not simply read them as I see them?  Well, the reality is – facebook can be a major timesuck.  This is a harsh reality that we all deal with.  This is precisely why I wrote an angry rant last year and decided to take a hiatus from facebook.  This break lasted approximately 8 months and was one of the best things I have ever done in my life.  I will likely repeat again in the future sometime.  Anyways, back to the question of why I don’t simply read what comes across my screen as it comes across my screen?

Time is precious.  I simply cannot address everything in my life as it comes to me.  I have to be selective.  As I think about this very principal, I am reminded of Jon Acuff’s video about his book, Start: check it out here.  Like Jon talks and write about, I am in the editing phase of my life right now more than ever.  I’m 35 years old.  I am about to leave where I live for 6-12 months on a project and life in hotels again.  I am eliminating things from my life and reevaluating everything.  Over the past couple of years, I have edited the hell out of my life.  I recently made a plan to START living my dreams.

Ironically, I stumbled across Jon Acuff’s book, Start.  Actually, this is not ironic at all.  I’m sure that this statement resonates with someone out there.  It’s highly likely that the person that this statement resonates with isn’t reading my blog.  Chances are, they are too busy living their life and trying to document the hell out of it just like me for reasons that likely resonate with me as well.  It’s a mad, mad world we live in and here we are…exploring how deep the rabbit hole goes as we move forward with The Start Experiment. 

So far, my experiences with this whole thing have exceeded my expectations.  Well, the reality is that I really didn’t have any expectations.  As I am doing more “editing” now than anything else, I feel that because I am heavily editing at this stage in my life, I am merely processing the information as it comes to me.  Often times, I feel almost overwhelmed by all of this information – but it is not overwhelming.  I feel comfortable with the amount of information and the manner in which I am processing it.  

I feel comfortable because for once in my life, the idea of “life happening on life’s terms” seems to be working out.  I feel comfortable because for once in my life, I don’t feel alone with the fears that I have.   I feel comfortable because for once in my life I am sharing my innermost thoughts, feelings and emotions with YOU.  I feel comfortable knowing that you are experiencing similar emotions in a similar way with your own unique experiences.  I feel comfortable knowing that there is a power greater than myself that seems to be “guiding” all of this along.  I feel comfortable as I try to be like water.

Pomodoro up.

Stay tuned.

Life Stuff

071013 Life stuff

After struggling with a witty title to tonight’s blog post, I just called it “life stuff” and decided to move forward and continue writing.  Perhaps at the end of the pomodoro I will come up with something that is a little more intriguing than “life stuff,” but I doubt it.

So…long story short, I had been dating this girl for a few months.  I was madly in love with her.  Last Monday, she told me that she wanted to “take a break.”  I agreed and after 9 days of not having any idea what is going on, I just spent two hours composing a letter to her.

My initial thought was that I was going to provide a handwritten letter, but I deleted a text message with her address and I had no other record of it.  While I figured I could find it easily online, I just decided to send the letter via facebook.  Tasteless?  Perhaps…

Without spilling all the details of the letter, it pained me to write it.  I was madly in love with this girl.  Am I still madly in love with this girl?  It’s very difficult.   The fact that I wrote her the letter is not so outrageous, but the content of the letter was a little different.

In this letter, I “stood up for myself.”  The abrupt nature of the “break” with no explanation left me initially dumbfounded last Monday.  After analyzing the situation and praying for guidance, things seem to make a little more sense now, even though my heart hurts tremendously.

After 9 days of a “break” without understanding the nature behind the break made me realize that I simply don’t want to be in a relationship with someone that engages in behavior like this.  I find being on the receiving end of this type of behavior stressful. 

Personally, my experience leads me to believe that relationships can be difficult and require work.  While, this certainly isn’t desirable, my personal opinion is that this is wholly realistic and should be expected in relationships.  Relationships and life aren’t always easy.

We seemed to have drastically different communication styles and that’s perfectly ok.  We already appeared to be going in different directions and this “break” seemed to be the very thing that occurred to facilitate growing even further apart.  I wrote the letter asking her to consider the letter an official termination of our relationship.

This was extraordinarily difficult because I was/am madly in love with her.  However, this formal nature of the process on my end seemed gentlemanly and proper.  It is the way of the hopeless romantic in the 21st century, I suppose.  Many acquaintances and some friends think I’m eccentric.  I’m inclined to believe that they are correct.

 

Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man.

At any rate, we’ll see what (if anything).  I sent her the letter and concluded with an offer for her to call me if she wishes to discuss anything.  This was the hardest part to do, because talking with her will probably rip my guts out…but the reality is that I think her goals and ambitions in life are admirable.

Often times, I bitch about society and the direction it is heading.  This woman I fell in love with is one of the people that has the ability to create the positive change we both wish to see in the world.   While an intimate relationship with her may not work out…at the very least wanted to end our relationship on good terms.  It is good practice to do so.

Pomodoro up.

Stay tuned.