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Monday, June 27, 2016

Broken Monkeys

I've had a bit of alone time recently, and don't read between the lines on it, but it's needed.  I realized how much value their is in silence.  Obviously, a handful of jokes can be made when a wife and pup leave the husband alone for a couple days, and clearly my opening sentence could get me into some trouble... but she also knows I'm a tad strange and that this is probably (hopefully) headed somewhere.
Being alone, for me, is extremely meditative.  I rarely turn on the television, and if I do, I search for things I dont usually watch, like the news (more on that in a moment).  I was alone and busted out a very chunky to do list, and filled it with things that A) needed done and B) a few things I didnt actually know I could do.  So I adjusted my perspective on it and said to myself, yes I talk to myself when alone, I told myself to look at the lawn mower like its a puzzle.  I have a riding mower and it crapped out on me about 4 weeks ago.  So my yard looked pretty much like a pasture with no animals.
I found a part I felt could be needed, a PTO cable that attaches from the rear right fender and wraps around the back of the seat and down into the actual blade deck.  Look how smart I am explaining that to you!  Except I never knew those words or what a PTO cable was 48 hours ago.  I knew where it insert and where it finished... thats it.  So piece by piece, I started taking the mower apart, carefully keeping all nuts and bolts and other crooked little pieces of medal together hoping I'd remember where they go when the time came to reassemble.
First I removed the blade deck... didnt even know it could come off.  I thought "this is it, all done."
Nope.  I then had to remove the seat and battery compartment so I could reach the "shifter-thingy," where the other end of the cable attached.  Good thing I've been working some yoga in, because I was basically playing a game of twister, mounting the rear end of my mower with hands and wrists contorted into holes my meaty hands were much too large for.
Fast fwd to the end... mission accomplished, about two hours.  Now that I know, its maybe a 30 minute job.
All throughout though, I'd run into a speed bump and for a moment, I'd freak out.  I'd want to quit, I'd swear, I'd "curse my ass for being dumb."  But then I'd think - It's already broken, whats the worst thing that could happen? and get back to it.
I found a little Zen there.

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So I'm on my mower, listening to a freaking stellar podcast (for gods sake hit the link, go sit on a back porch a hush for a bit.   If you're reading this in a newsletter, you probably dont see all my hyper links inserted throughout, but copy/paste this http://observingbystander.blogspot.com/ and there it is).
So Joe and Russell and really ranting, one of my top 3 podcasts ever, and Joe always turns his aims towards these primal, animistic urges that he feels we suppress, and I 100% agree.  Actually a lot of podcasts lately have been along these same lines, not sure if I'm finding them or theyre finding me.  But someone was talking about animals, either Russell, Joe or Aubrey, and they asked "ever see a bear give a shit what he looks like?"  and Joe said "we're just broken monkeys."  I laughed and played it back.  Paraphrasing but he said we all want simplicity and happiness and to have community and be useful, but we cluttered it up, just a bunch of broken monkeys.
Isnt that the truth?
Then for some crazy reason, I turn on the TV for breakfast and decide to watch some news.  I never, NEVER watch the news.  I am very receptive to anything that enters my ears, to a fault.  If I'm near negative people, my energy goes down the dumps.  If I hear any gossip or people just talking trash on people, really messes w my psyche.  So I avoid the news.  But I'm thinking I'm on a roll here, very zen couple days for me, lets give it a go.  And there's an interview with Mark Rubio (I think thats his name) and he's talking about Trump and Hillary and the UK and global economy and fingers on war buttons and border patrol and on and on and on.
And I'm sitting here feeling like I just landed from outer space.  What in the shit is this guy babbling about?  Oh, this is real life?!?  This is the crap that's taken over the world?
Broken monkeys.
I'm watching this guy, and he didnt bother me, what bothered me was the game we've all enrolled in at birth.
This is a very silly situation with some wild ass rules and psychotic people running it.  I mean really, sit back for a moment and try to watch some news with fresh eyes.  Watch the news like a child (haha i just compared myself to a kid) or like an alien.  Doesn't the entire thing look nuts?  There's a battle and struggle for control and power and money... but if there was no need for control or power and money... what would we be fighting about??
So why not pull the root of the weed out at the root and go back to where we were?

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I took my oldest out for breakfast the other day and we're talking about a bit of everything.  For fun, I bring some work/training talk and a little thought Im having but trying to push it away, maybe a bit of fear.  She says "why not do it?"  I say Abby, it isnt that easy.  She says "why sure it is!  We learn this (business) in school, first you do ____ and then ____ and you need ____ and thats it."  I smiled at first and asked more questions, letting her teach me about business and plans, but then it hit me.
She just saw it through the eyes of a kid.
Which meant she saw it as success and without fear.
A view I've had troubles finding lately.
And she re-sparked something inside me.
Poor broken monkey.

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I'm at the grocery store and I hear a man say "hey its the workout guy!"  I'm wearing a tank top, the face and beard may change but the tattoos arent "I'd recognize you anywhere!"  Hey buddy, whats up? Good to see you.
I used to train his daughters a few years ago.  He asks me why I left and shut down and stopped training there and the whole thing and I always give the standard answer "just time to move along and do something different," never telling the truth.  He says "ah man, you've been missed (and I'm thinking - time to go) "everyone knows you had those kids on a mission.  The coaches are ok and all, but you're 'umph' was needed."

Literally two days later, I'm walking through the mall and see a few former clients, now HS athletes.  We go through "hey, whats up?  How ya doin?" and all that and I'm trying to scoot along because Im a socially awkward weirdo and a girl says "give us a speech," and I laugh.  "No, seriously, we miss those speeches you'd end workouts with."  And now, I'm thinking A) she's kinda bringing up something tough for me and B) guuurl, you dont want to me tear up a pep talk right here! (wink)
I say "i'll stop one day," and laugh and bust out.

So these two stories, and its happened before, definitely hit me.  You know how you have that song or maybe a number and you keep seeing it or hearing it and you eventually start to think maybe somethings going on?  Like "man, i keep seeing 1037, i better play that lotto number!"  thats kinda what I'm feeling.  x conversations have come up drawing me in a direction and I may have to investigate whats over there. (no, not 8100).

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alright two more thoughts
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I have this stone with a weird on it "create."
It's just a weird that's always in my head and the stone is just a physical form, a little reminder, a little something to keep it present.  
I ask myself "what am I creating?"  
What kind of atmosphere?
What kind of life?
What kind of memory?
What type of thoughts?
And I took it a step deeper and thought about our energy and what we create with that.  How would our energy create an atmosphere or a relationship or even just a brief encounter?
SO just ask yourself, I think it'll help set the mind right for the day or night, "what am I creating?" and challenge it a little.  Poke it and pull at it.  Are you creating a healthy state of mind?  A loving heart?  Or are you creating stress and pain?  Either way, just witness yourself.  Like what you see?  Continue.  Dont?  Work to change.

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I heard Aubrey say "Everything is medicine," and talk about an exercise where they would have to say "this is washing dishes medicine," and "this is clean shirt medicine," or "this is exercise medicine."  And the point to it was to feel and witness how you felt when you looked at everything as medicine.  The science or theory behind it (one of those) is that everything actually is medicine.
Everything you say or do or watch or hear, its all medicine and it has an effect on your brain chemicals.  
Disagree?  Think of your favorite song... how does it change your behavior?
Think of a very sad song... did it have the same effect?
Think of someone you absolutely love spending time with... how does it change your behavior or perspective.
Now think of someone that you feel causes you pain or stress.... Now how do you feel?
A nice drive on a Sunday with nothing to do, listening to great music, windows down, youd feel great, right?
That was "Sunday with nothing to do, listening to great music, windows down," medicine.  
Hopefully just a couple tricks to help you out.

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One more, yesterday was "Build a badass table!" medicine!!
And I can build you one as well!  
Hand-made Farmhouse table, delivered for $500!
(seriously though, I freaking love making these)