Saturday, November 26, 2016
It was a corner room, so there were two total windows on two different walls, producing a very nice breeze throughout the room and the second floor, when I had the door open. It wasn't a large room, big enough for my bed, a dresser and I had a very small entertainment center that held my stereo, next to that were two over-sized floor speakers that I bought with the first dollars I recvd from a paper route as a kid (which I still have almost 25 years later).
On one wall, was a collage of posters and rolling stone clips from my favorite bands, covered from top to bottom, left to right. Pearl Jam, Chili Peppers, Nirvana, Radiohead, etc.
Every other wall was painted sky blue.
It was probably the comfortable cross breeze and soft carpet but I like to think it was the music that attracted visitors to enter and stay... maybe it was the incense. They'd sit, we'd open drinks, let the music play and talk all night. Sometimes it was about the music, most times it was about something the music inspired. Growing up, trying to figure it out, talking it out... I don't remember anyone playing a role in that room, it was just happening.
Unfortunately, I rarely let anyone control the music. Ever see the Jack Black character in High Fidelity? I have a bit of this in me, aka music snob.
Which in hindsight, was ok. Not many people around me listened to the music I did, especially the females. But a few male friends were with me and we'd try to impress each other with rare finds of live versions or bootlegs of rarely played songs.
So if you know The Smiths, The Cure, and Morrisey, then mix in The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Jimi and Dylan, then add what was popular at the time (listed above), you could see how conversation transpired... and then let the imagination float on.
My Blue Room is the title of this new page on the site, dedicated to playlists w intent. Remember when we used to do that? We'd make a mixtape for a particular occasion or to share tunes with friends. This was back when I had a job delivering car parts, driving from Willloughby to Akron to Port Clinton with a card board box next to me w 100 different cassette tapes, all labeled something obscure and random, but the title always fit whatever was on it.
Hope you check it out and find something on there you can enjoy from time to time.
You plant a tomato plant. You choose healthy dirt, and protect it. You water and take care of it. In time, it produces tomatoes.
Don't be disappointed with your growth. It takes time. All the yelling and frustration you can muster wont make the results come any faster. Enjoy the ride, enjoy the process.
You've all heard, "The journey is the reward," and we get older, it rings more true.
I was thinking today while leaving the gym "I'm still results driven, but more than that, I want a feeling." My training is just as much stress relief and a general release as it is towards the actual physical goal.
And when I think about my goal list... it's transformed massively over the past 2 years. Where it was once loaded with "buy this," or "make x money," it's now filled with places to go, things to do, that I feel will inspire a new avenue or a possible experience that will give me particular insights.
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
I'm lying... I didn't hit shuffle. I chose Long Road... I think I've heard this song around 73 times over the past 5 days.
Why? Because I have an issue... maybe, this guy above is partially responsible for it. Or maybe he came in in a pivotal point letting me its ok to dive deep into pain.
I've always been very, very bad w funerals. To the point where I've skipped ones I should've attended. I regret that very much.
It takes a lot of energy to not cry. I avoid it (in front of people) as often as possible. It probably looks awkward.
So, I've never understood what to say or how to say it. I mean really, whats to really say?
I had a friend who lost a child earlier this year... what words were there for me to say? The pain is the pain, no words can change that. No words can make it better or less painful. No ones coming back w magical words. Everyone says "I'm sorry for your loss," and I didn't get that. I just didn't understand the phrase. I wasn't cold, the words just didn't make actual sense to me.
I was sitting in the airport with someone who I shared some time with recently at a funeral out of state.
I told a story:
- I used to see some shrinks... mostly for conversation, honestly... mostly little hippy, holistic women. Aside from a doozy, (I just lol'd at that), I'm ok. But I'd honestly tour around and have conversations with shrinks and therapy based ideas, diving into mental exercises and such. Probably 80% useless crap. But I had one conversation that stuck a bit. We were talking about death, suicide and pain and the woman told me "When we lose someone we love, when they leave this world, they take with them a piece of our heart... thats the pain. And then we have a space for them, and depending on the loss and circumstances, it can create a hole.
Monday, November 21, 2016
The (For the sake of privacy, there could be some holes in this story)
Once I hear the pup moving around, I toss his leash on, get dressed and we walk.
Ever since I could remember, I had to go nearly everywhere w my blanky. Any road trips w my parents, even the time they dropped me and my brother and sister in Altoona for a week, I had to have my blanky ready and available at all times.
Except then, the blanky was a Walkman and then discman, now it's a phone w Spotify.
Along the path of the walk, unless you're busy staring at your shoelaces, you can't help but stare at the sky and mountain ranges. I've never seen anything quite like it. I like the desert air. I like the rock landscape in place of grass.
I like the change. In a different time and place, I think I would've made a really nice wanderer and writer. I'd travel from town to town, writing of the things I'd see, people I'd meet, and the all the starlit paths that connected them.
I've experienced some changes recently, that I attributed to becoming "a grumpy old man." Excess noise bothered me, traffic bothered me, general chatter bothered, all almost to an annoying "get off my damn lawn," type reaction.
But then I saw it from a different angle... I long for simplicity. I have a deep desire for a simple way. An honest, open minded pace of life. The traffic, the noise, they were all signs and messages, telling me something needed to change.
And I read a quote yesterday that really drove the point home. "When a flower does not grow, it's not the flowers fault."
(Look at me, comparing myself to a pretty flower). If a flower doesn't grow, it needs new or healthier soil, it needs different light or levels of water. It's never a bad flower. It's never a flower that doesn't behave. It just needs to be in the right garden to grow the way it was designed to grow.
I was sitting w a friend recently and we were talking about relationships between men and women, fairly general. She asked if there are as many good men as women.
No, I answered quickly, probably too quickly.
She stared as if anticipating a joke.
I said no, it's not even close.
I often think of the John Mayerlyric in "Daughters," where he sings "she's, just like a maze, where all of the walls they continually change."
I see women in a similar aspect, but not as always in the maze term. I see a kaleidoscope. A very trippy array of colors and shapes and patterns and twisting/turning movements, always changing and surprising, yet the consistency is just in the base line thought of the kaleidoscope.
In using this analogy, the differences I see rest in spectrum of colors. The quantity of angles and ability to adjust the speeds as the colors unwind and move.
The beauty is inside the complexity and when magenta appears, its magenta, not purple or red. Does that make sense? I see art.
We talked about the definition of "good," in relationship terms. What makes a good guy or a good gal. This reminded me a conversation I had many, many years ago in the back of a parts department. There was an older man that worked in the department, just a few days per week and we would talk about everything. I'll tell you though, we didn't click until he heard my cassette tapes. He was an old blues man, around 65, black w the Morgan freeman hair. Very kind. He heard some of my tunes and we bonded over guitars.
So one day, he was telling me about his relationship w his wife, deceased, and communication in love and it always stuck w me.
I'll admit, in this phase, he had a front row seat of watching me attempt to flirt and convince a co-worker into dating me. I'm sure he was completely entertained because we, me and the girl, were pretty much idiots.
But he told me something along the lines of, "love is a language. You can be speaking it, but if they speak it in a different dialect, you won't understand each other. You could be speaking English, she's speaking Italian, both claiming love, but you can't hear it."
Too often in the past, this lesson has slipped away from me. I'd like to think, or hope, it's always on my radar. I feel it's loaded w compassion and empathy, two traits we could never have enough of.
I see this language everywhere now. Between friends, men, women, relatives, etc. it's right in front us, we hear it, but can't always understand it.
The breakdown can be found here, and we need to learn to not be too upset when we see it/learn it/feel it - If you're not able to or willing to, learn another language, you will be limited in relationships and experiences, and you will need luck.
**Please read that part again and really think about love as a language and how many different ways it can be communicated. **
Remember, this is the mind F. You can think or feel all you want to about your love, but if the receiver doesn't feel it, it's not full. There is not a complete connection. It has to go from x and into y, whatever x and y may be. It has to flow out and in, up and down.
Imagine a teeter-totter with only one person on it, or two people but not moving evenly. It wouldn't be much of a ride. It would have promise early, but one would get tried and feel they're carrying the load.
Or think of playing catch w someone. You play w anticipation of throwing, catching, moving, you may make a game of it but all the while there is a connection w the ball.
Some people can't throw far and need their partner to step in.
Some have wild arms and sling it all over the yard... that could make for an exhausting game.
Some just enjoy consistent long toss.
Do we all experience fun the same?
Do we all experience fear the same?
Then why would love be any different.
I use Hendrix and Mayer often in blogs... we hear the same notes, but we all don't hear the same thing. To you, it might just be a guitar, to me, I hear language.
Let's say you're traveling and you meet someone in France. Now, you've taken a few classes in preparation for your trip so you're not in the absolute dark, but you certainly can't speak fluently.
You walk up to have a conversation. They are in your boat but opposite, they speak just a touch of English.
There will be some common words, you'll have somecommunication. In time, if you stick w the conversation, you might be able to learn more words from each other and improve the line. It might grow and grow and you learn to speak the same language.
Or it could go the opposite. One of you may not be a great teacher, the other a poor or unwilling student. Maybe they just didn't want to be taught English by you and you didn't want to learn their French.
In this context, you can't be upset. You can be upset about details or something physical/tangible, but not the communication lines highlighted.
We are all individuals w one life, sharing common space on earth. As Steve Jobs said "don't be trapped living someone else's dogma."
For me... I need A) consistent conversations that spark new thoughts and stimulate ideas, I need to know you're in my "tribe," and B) I need to see your soul in action.
(For the record, I don't pretend to be a smartass, I'm just a guy talking shit and throwing out some ideas w my thumbs).
Sunday, November 20, 2016
I attended mentor high schools graduation ceremony last year, and as it was going on, I paused to day dream how cool it would be to speak and what would I say. I remember thinking of words like preparation, patience and perseverance... because I thought it was cool to have three P words.
But I've rewritten my speech and although those three P's could be used and would still be nice and useful, there would be an addition.
If I could tell "kids," one thing right now, it would probably be to NOT do what they're thinking about doing.
(Get the quotes?)
Do NOT do that thing you're about to go and do.
All the things your teachers, parents, friends say.. all those things you're supposed to be doing. Don't do that.
Don't do it UNLESS it gives you goosebumps.
Don't do it unless your obsessed and it's the only thing you day dream about.
Does this make sense?
Otherwise, you're just riding a wave of momentum that's been built by a bunch of people who were riding someone else's momentum... and you're not an individual, you're now an extension. Your just a guy or girl grabbing a torch from someone who didn't know wtf they were doing anyway, and you're just continuing along that track.
It's not your track, it's not your path, and you do not have to ride that wave.
Obviously, you should know by now I work with young guys, 15-18 year olds, so this might read in a way that scares a parent.
And I'm old-ish, I've had some unique experiences, I've been a great people watcher and I've studied. I've seen young people make decisions on marriage and school and ______, and I've thought "hmm that'll be a learning experience."
And I don't have those thoughts from arrogance but from failures and life experiences. I've failed, I've seen failure, so I've grown and I've learnt somethings (that was humor).
-make sure you've read the past two blogs to help keep this one in proper context-
We are born into this... odds are, our beginnings weren't very different. Suburbs or wherever, probably somewhat near me, state-wise.
And we heard about our grades, and sports or band or something like that, and then we got a little older and things started to develop socially. You know we got to our teens and there we learned some things there and started attempting to develop an identity.... but we really had no role models.
We had people telling us the basic a-b-c's of life and we can't blame them, they only knew those a-b-c's.
Go to college now.
Then get a job.
Then get married.
Then buy a house.
Then have some kids.
Then.... whateverthefuck, right?
I think you're lying if you didn't think there was an order. I did.
But now I see all these things to do, anything and everything, and there isn't an order.
Because life is actually chaos.
So back to the 3 P's.
You have to be prepared... you have to be patient to stick to something... and when it gets hard, that's when you need to dig your heels in and be ready for the battle.
But know, the outcome is not designed by you. You barely have any control. The only thing you can control is your absolute here and now. Your literal HERE and NOW.
That's it. Tomorrow is definitely not promised. Nothing about it is.
But you can influence it. You can create the curve. You can influence your "tribe," and environment. You don't have to work or live in a negative environment, that causes pain or stress. You can choose to move and find something new, a new vibe or flavor, one that fits your soul and you'll know it when you see it, you'll feel it and it will ring "home."
Do not quit until you arrive.
Be ready to know it when you find or it finds you.
Don't be surprised by easy successes.
When your soul is home, success will grow all around you. Life will become effortless yet full of ambition and positive vibrations.
You cannot settle for THEIR story, you HAVE write your own.
Otherwise you'll be 73 years old, with nothing but memories of mortgage payments, heating bills, and stress.
Travel. Meet people. Experience cultures. Dive in. Drink life. Don't lock yourself into one place, one job, one anything.
This ride is so much shorter than you know, than some will acknowledge, go after everything with passion and every ounce of energy in you soul.
Saturday, November 19, 2016
(Started writing notes while on a plane and listening to music)
Don't be so judgmental
Don't be so hard on everything
It all meant more than I ever let on
Take a look back on the good moments and be truly thankful. They were all gifts.
I wrote in the last entry that the three rarely meet and then "work together." All three, rare, but two of the three, often.
I've written a bit about ego and many other ideas along this line, I'm efforts to alter how you see the word "ego."
Many times we read it or hear it w a negative connotation, but that isn't accurate. Think of the word ego as a mask you can wear or a role you can play.
Imagine the ego as the minds mask that hides the soul.
Is it needed? In proper places, probably, but debatable.
So back to the top, Mind-Body-Soul... and why it's on my mind.... why it's all I see right now.
I don't know.
I just see people and I'm seeing more.
To me, our bodies are just tools for what the body and soul want and need. Maybe I subconsciously wrote BODY in the middle of "mind-body-soul," because there can be some tug of war happening.
On one side, we could talk about how the mind is our controller and give ourselves these traits of behavior and say "well I'm just a little ______," right?
The mind has this need to create "teams," and box in our thoughts so we feel like an individual.
But then we have to admit, the mind runs the show for most of us, probably 99.5% of the day.
The soul however, is searching for a different level. Where the mind is searching for control and order, to connect dots, the soul wants to be free and feel. The body and the mind can trap the soul.
Think of this.... do you know that thing you did where you didn't remember thinking about doing it? And I don't mean "driving to work," no one thinks about their actual drive, we just drive. I'm talking about a "dance."
The zone, flow state. When was the last time you moved your body in way that made you feel a way you almost can't explain, certainly not w one word?
Maybe playing an instrument...
Maybe a kiss...
That was the soul finally running the show, right? And it felt like heaven. It felt effortless, it felt like the easiest thing ever and all the pieces just slid together like you're in the matrix.
(Damn, this would be so much better in person over some beers and tacos).
My personal goal(s) is to find this state as often as possible. Is it an individual state? Can be, but can also be shared by a team of 2-100. Think about it.
Think about a yoga class, one that isn't run around pop music and a bunch of fortune cookie quotes, but how a yoga class was intended. Breathing w movement, in "line," w 30-50-100 others.... all w breath in line and actually meditating. I think there's some magic there and a state that can be found.
Thinking about the defense I coached this past season. I didn't write much during the season, I prefer the privacy. I really enjoy the conversations and moments and that it has its special space, the fields, no different than a yoga room or mat.
We had moments down the stretch where we peaked because they played without the mind. Their bodies moved automatically and not only were their souls assisting the body for their individual play, but there was one beat connecting all 11 guys. And it was absolutely beautiful. One of my most enjoyable moments as a coach, ever. I got to watch them from August, just kids, just good guys, and through time, through conversations (and some meditation), through a fire, they learned to get away from the "mind," and this is where they found pleasure.
This is why the tattoo reads "anything & everything." It's all the same to me.
(YouTube Dennis Rodman highlights, you'll see it nonstop, that's why I loved him so much. He's not thinking, he's playing basketball like Jimi Hendrix played the guitar).
I flew to AZ yesterday. So I had 5 hours to myself w no social media or game distractions. Just my book, my study materials for the new job and my music.
When I was a kid, if my parents weren't happy w my grades, they'd box up all my cassette tapes for the next grading period, even back then that was the only punishment that effected me.
So I'm flying.... and thinking... and decide to listen to some John Mayer. Now, you might be thinking of "your body is a wonderland," John Mayer, and if that's what you know, that really sucks. Mayer's guitar work is Hendrix meets B.B., sooooo soulful. Blues w some pop and just an electric sound that'll make you question a lot of choices. When he's riffing away, you can feel it... you can feel it's not his mind letting it loose w that tool (body and guitar), it's a deep, deep soul and he may admit he couldn't repeat things.
I'm a huge Pearl Jam fan. At one point I owned around 90% of those live bootlegs they released plus a good 20 of pirated cds and anything else I could find.
I could hear a version of Even Flow and know "Italy, 2001," for two reasons. 1) I'm a psycho about them and 2) the guitarist said "I don't know exactly what I'm playing... I know the song but then I go somewhere else."
The zone. Flow state. The soul taking over.
My point in this long winded, two thumbed rant (typing on the phone), is that we need to search for that x that help bring the soul out more often. We don't have to live in la la land, floating around and ignoring this reality on earth, but we also cannot live in our minds.
Let the bodies be the expression.
Open your mind and find that thing that sets a spark and makes your heartbeat skip one and you go "whoah... what was that jolt and can I have another?"
Right now, or today I guess, go do something that can help you find this feeling and try to tell me I'm wrong. Feel that feeling and tell me it isn't the best drug.
Mind off, soul on, let the body go and see what happens.
Thursday, November 17, 2016
There are some things I'm really, really passionate about. Like, yelling and screaming, passion. Like the kind of passion that makes you yell and carry on so much, you pull a muscle in the back of your neck to get a point across... I now have that pain, no need in knowing how that one arrived.
Good chance you're new to this, so let me give you a quick recap into the author.
A) Its absolutely not a fitness blog. No chance you'll ever read shit on here about to perform a squat-crunch-push or pull.
B) Read between the lines.
C) I;m highly influenced by events that took place, primarily in the west coast music scene, between 1962 an 1971.
B) I write wicked shit w a few beers and just the write conversation to send me along...
(get the joke there? btw, in paranthesis... I write shit I'd sually mumble under my breath).
I posted on social media...
You have to know... you have to believe w all your energy, w all your soul... there's much more at play here than what we see on the surface.
There's more than this "game," much more than what you see, what you think is "important."We are immortal and I don't mean that in a comic book, I WILL LIVE FOREVER bullshit way.Our moments, our words, our actions, our energy... it vibrates and carries on.I do not believe it's some wild hippy theory. I've seen too much.Don't hold back. Don't stop yourself to err for safety.Jump. Jump and fly and tell great stories of your life.
See... I get in a mood here and there.
Problem is, my 12 and 10 year old now follow on certain social media so I have to oull back here and there. Again, they're only 12 and 10, not quite ready for this stuff... they'll need their early 20's and some college days under their belt before this dose.
So to recap:
You have to know... you have to believe w all your energy, w all your soul... there's much more at play here than what we see on the surface.
There's more than this "game," much more than what you see, what you think is "important."
We are immortal and I don't mean that in a comic book, I WILL LIVE FOREVER bullshit way.
Our moments, our words, our actions, our energy... it vibrates and carries on. We will last.
I do not believe it's some wild hippy theory. I've seen too much.
Don't hold back. Don't stop yourself to err for safety.
Jump. Jump and fly and tell great stories of your life.
I mean it with every ounce of my energy... I had a conversation a little while ago with a woman who had a situation w some cancer. She told me her story and how it effected her psyche.
I said, "please believe, your body caught the cancer, not your soul." I said it because the cancer effected her deeply. It altered her inner being. The physical, effected the mental and spiritual.
I said "Know, they're separate, the mind, body and soul. They are separate and often, they dont communicate thoroughly."
Her body caught cancer.
Her mind struggled to understand and accept.
Her soul was caught in the crossfire.
Now, none are connected, but all are connected, because we dont know how to disconnect... most dont know how to disconnect.
Fact is this... my mind, my body and my soul are all very separate entities.
Can they or could they, cross over and assist or work together? Absolutely, I hope they do often, I think that would probably be nirvana (ever been there?)
You have to believe in things bigger than what you see.
You have to have faith in something... something larger at play, a more dynamic "script."
And you have to believe, you are not a passenger. The opposite is true.
Now, you can choose to be a passenger. All dumb, watching bad television, wishing you were that, hoping for this, wondering what ever happened to them.
Or you can give it some energy... you can drive this thing. You can start by giving it some mental energy and SEE what you want in your own head. SEE it. SEE it again.
Think about it. Study it.
Heres another quick story.... remember that story from a couple years ago, where I prayed for something and 2 day later the phone rang with an answer?
Well I was bored one day, flipping through some instagram shit... and saw a guy I know.
He was just a guy, I followed mostly for nutrition and workout motivation, but again, he was just a guy w a normal job.
Then over time... his pics changed. His gym changed. His clothes changed. His vacations changed. Everything upgraded. He went from ok money to MONEY-money, know what I mean? SO I see him and I thought "Whatever change he made, I want that." And I started checking on his page more often to see more vacation photos and more fun.
Next Monday, I start a new job in the same office he's in.
Power of fucking thoughts. Believe it.
YOU are in control. YOU choose to sit or stand. YOU choose to walk or run.
Will their be hurdles and obstacles. I hope so. If its easy, everyone would do it and then the value would diminish, right? So we want it hard and thorny and dangerous, to weed out the pussies. When we arrive, we want a tribe of like minded badasses who are ready for a grind and success and love and everything else that encompasses that best drink you've ever had. That drink of water you needed when you were completely dehydrated and fading, that one drink that tasted better than anything youve ever had... you can have it daily.
But YOU have to choose.
YOU can choose to be average and thats fine, for you. I advise against it, but some people like safety. Some people like 4 door sedans. Some people like basics and pecks on the cheek at night (yes, I edited out what I really wanted to write for "pecks on the cheek.")
Or you can crank it up and really breathe and feel and hear and use all those wild senses plus wonder if you dont have a few extras that if you bring up at a party, they'll think you're "weird."
Again... its not black and white.
It's not life and death.
It's not this or that.
It's everything and then some.
Fuck the rules.
Fuck what they said you should've done.
Fuck where they think you should be.
Drink it up, eat it up, feel it all.
You are you, and you're the absolute only one... so what are you going to do with it?
The clock is ticking, and it WILL expire at a time you dont know... Fact.
You can run on a treadmill and stare at the same shitty walls, or run the roads and feel the air.
Sweat. Feel the rain. Cry. Laugh. Fail. Listen to great music. Do something that feels good. Love. Take a chance. Bet against the odds. Stop think so fucking much. Just play. Play full go.
Sunday, November 13, 2016
You had, were given or made mix tapes.
To the right of this post, you'll see a spotify playlist (if viewing on your phone, you'll need to scroll to the bottom and open the web version)
In the late 90's - 2002ish, I was delivering auto parts, driving from Mentor to Akron to Toledo daily/weekly, and everything in between. Loved it. Best job I've ever had. Just cruising in this van with nothing but a box of cassette tapes (after the Howard Stern show ended around 10:30am).
I "found," a tape, I think it was titled "The Plan."
On it, was pretty much everything on this list. If you're an indie fan, you'll enjoy most of this. If you like music, you'll enjoy most of this. I know a couple are cheesy, but... nostalgia got me on a couple of these.
Listening to it right now actually...
Song 3, Modest Mouse, "Talking Shit About A Pretty Sunset."
I could listen to this everyday... .I love the guitar... So simple, so direct, so sweet. Something about that sound that dissolves. Their new tunes are nice but their old stuff is just so honest and... better.
Song 7... Elliot Smith was a gem.
Song 12... Another wicked guitar piece that tells its own story.
If the blog site doesnt work correctly, heres a direct link to the playlist: HERE