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Sunday, December 18, 2016

Suicide & Love

One of those -Stare at the screen thinking of the best to get after it- kinda moments...

I posted this pic
With this caption
Lost myself for a minute there... people starting babbling about $100,000/salary and my ego went bonkers, tried to flush my whole self down the drain and create a new thing.
Day 1, I thought "hm, this is the opposite of what @thedolcediet did..." (Mike left 6 figures to roll the dice on his dream job, and won). Took me about 2 weeks of panic attacks to admit I screwed up.
Lesson: well, first I need to read my own damn blogs. It was all right there, I just ignored it.
Second: you absolutely have to, have to, hafta, work a job that makes you wake up wo an alarm. A job that drives you. A job you'd work even if the money wasn't there. You have to find and work your passion and let the chips fall wherever they may.
I didn't need $100,000 5 years ago, I don't need it now. Don't worry about you bank acct, worry about your heart acct. worry about how you're filling that up and you'll be set for life. There's your retirement plan.

And in the beginning I said I'd never censor myself and I'd share everything, but I didn't follow through.  Instead, I wrote very abstract and dropped clues along the way.  I think partly the "views," got in my head and I tightened up a bit.  If you know 200+ are about to read you're crazy ass thoughts, some of those being minors, you cant help but weigh your words.  
But, if I kept it all, if we kept it all and didnt share, how would we learn?  
How would we learn from each other?
Or know we can relate to each other?
Things might get mighty lonely.  
So here is a true story... zero censorship.

---------

As some of you may know, I work for Titans Gym.  Right now, I run marketing & promotions for all 4 gyms (Mentor, Cleveland, Twinsburg & Streetsboro), so its a pretty full, fun job.
One thing I try to do often, is connect us with like minded, useful businesses.  I look for ways to create benefits for members in their community, things like coupons or discounts with their membership card.  Basic things like that.  So with being downtown and Lakewood just 5 minutes away, I contacted the Float center there (Optimal Wellness Center).  As most of you know, I've been "floating," for a little while (a little over 3 years I think), fairly consistently given my schedules and drive time, I guess.  I've found tremendous benefits there, but I've also had some scares (more on that later).
So I email inquiring about a possible partnership, benefits flowing in both directions, etc., just to test the waters... no pun intended.  

Within a day, somone responds and we set up a time to meet.  

Now, those of you who know me, you know there's very little I do that's "normal."  My personal training isn't what you'd expect, my yoga isn't what you'd expect, my coaching on the football field definitely isn't what you'd expect, on and on.  So this business mtg.. I think it was a very pleasant surprise for both of us.  Started off talking about a business alignment and what seemed to be a brief 20 minute thing, turned into a conversation about Ben Harper, life after death and psychedelics.  

Ummm what did you just say?
Hang in there... 

Now the story detours and connects with my above post.
I'm offered a job, kind of recruited.  I'm brought in, there's an interview process of sorts, and flashed some serious earning potential... something I've never really thought about.  
I've never made much money.  I've always had a very strange relationship with money.  I see it, I see its need, but I also think it's over-rated.  I also now know there's nothing I can do about how we value it, sad but true.  
So I leave the gym and personal training to head off on this new golden trail of dollar signs, "You can f around and make $70,000," was all I had to hear.  
The day 1 I wrote about above in the post, that was an actual thought.  Because twice per week, someone would come in and speak about our goals and what motivates us.  Really, really good speakers too.  The kind of guys that could make great high school coaches in some way.  
Problem was, they wouldn't shut up about goals and motivation and it effected me... because my goals were never money.  My motivation was never a bank account.  Had I been left alone in an office to perform x job, I may have stuck it out.  But they just couldn't stop asking me "What drives you?  What motivates you?  What is your dream?"

My dream is, was and will probably always be, to teach.  I want to be a teacher.  I currently am a teacher, just not in a school.  But yes, I want to teach in a school too.  Just two nights ago, I was playing a game with Livi, my 10 year old where I have to pretend to be her age and she interviews me.  She asked "What do you want to be when you grow up?"  A teacher.  Then I asked her the same... "Happy."  

So through a series of texts, emails and a mtg., I head back to Titans... but this time, with some insight and renewed energy.  I felt what it was like to work solely for a paycheck and it was empty, for me.  If anything it gave me more empathy for those who haven't found their thing yet, or those who know their thing but cant do it yet.  I see how lucky I am to do what I do and have the opportunity I have.  

Then, two days back on the job, I get another email from the wellness center, same girl from before, asking if I'm free to meet Dr. Jordan this week. 
I am.  
I knew nothing going in.  I never really research anything before a mtg., I dont want to create a story or a picture at all, I want it all to play out as natural as a couple guys sitting at a bar.  

The room reminded me of my old yoga room... cozy, wood paneled flooring, but a sectional couch on one end.  This is where we sat.  
We talked about exchanging website links and discounts between us involving the float tanks and gym memberships.  As we went on, he would reference a book, classes and appointments.  I asked "What else goes on here?" and he kinda laughed and said "well... theres a lot to that," and he told me his history.
And as he spoke, telling his story, he was telling me everything I 've ever thought... all the crazy shit I thought I daydreamed one day, he teaches it.  He may have seen me staring at him, like Luke watched Yoda (if you dont get that reference... ugh!) But I did... I had to tell myself "blink idiot!  Stop staring, glance around, look natural..." as he went on and on.  
Kind of a frustrated chiropractor... he would fix and re-fix and basically eventually said "I need to find how and why this happening," so he redirected his efforts to the roots of it all.  Movement, nutrition and how emotions and the mind-body connection can heal, repair, prevent and create.  

See why I was in awe?  How many times have you heard me reference this or talk about it?
I finally found a guy to say it in front of me, not a book written in India.  

I asked him "How do you keep your energy up?  Or how do you re-energize?"  This is an issue I've always had and why I've stopped teaching yoga, start again, stop again, etc.  Even in coaching or training, I've struggled to re-load my energy, I soak up too much.  Even around people that have tress, drama or pain, I feel it and it drains me... I cant figure out to reload.  

Then I asked ""Do you ever feel bad charging money?"  Another major issue I've had and one reason I closed the yoga room (or so I thought... keep reading).  He laughed and asked "Do you feel bad breathing?  Isn't there enough air for us all?"
Me: Yes, but I feel its just something I'm good at and I can give it away or teach people to do it without me.
Dr. J:  Why are you judging how the best way for them to continue?  If you stopped charging money, you'd have to find money elsewhere... which would give less time to train and less energy to give to your clients.
I dont mind being wrong and was happy he shed light on this for me, so I told my story about leaving the gym for money.  Pretty much the same thing I wrote above. 

He leaned in and asked "How often do you think about suicide?"
The room seemed to get dead silent. 
Even with a 3rd person in the room, I didn't hesitate.  
Often. 
Dr. J:  How far do you go?
Me:  I'm still here.
Dr. J: Your behavior, is suicidal.  You've consistently created situations where you'll hurt yourself.   How long has this been happening?
Me:  As long as I can remember.
Dr J: Why?

I don't want to quote what I said because the order of things gets a little shaky trying to remember it exactly... things were intense.  But I told him "I never feel home," and "I always feel like I'm looking for my tribe," something a shrink said to me a long time ago.  
I've left everything at some point, blaming myself or something odd, for it not working.  Jobs, people, friends, schools, teams, gyms, you name it.  I've either left or created an environment where they had to remove me (I am mostly referring to my younger days).  

He explained that its a reoccurring pattern and something I do, I have done and will continue to do until I can adjust and see it in a proper perspective.  "Your problem is you deny your level of consciousness. You hold it back and down and it needs to be free.  That's why you dont feel home, thats why you cant find a tribe... but look at us... we are here..."

And it was such an intense eye opening moment for me.  I told him how I used to have a certain energy, a way about things but it faded...
"You ignored it, you tried to let it die," and he compared everything to life and death.
We can make decisions to breed life and grow.
Or we can make decisions to suffocate ourselves and die. 
Its a thought I always knew, but ignored.  I've probably written it 100x.  

Everyday is a choice.  Every moment is a choice.  How we eat, what we watch, how we speak to people, how we treat each other, how we love, its all a choice.  I've called it a vote before remember that?
Remember when I wrote "Broken Monkeys?"
Or any of that primal stuff I'd write about?  All the "let your soul lead," it was all along these lines.  In this blog, its been like a light trying to crack through again... I just didn't read my own words.  

"Jason, the world has enough martyrs, we need leaders.  We don't need heros, we need chiefs.  You left to sell insurance because you thought it was the noble thing... but your system rejected it... instead of selling insurance to take care of families after a mother or father dies, sell the insurance, your training, to take care of them all while they're still here... thats the real insurance policy."
I broke the seriousness and asked if I could steal that line.
"Have it, its all of ours."

-----

Thinking about my personal training, I have rejected it in the past.  People have consistently said "this is the best thing I do," in seeing me, referring to their daily/weekly plans.
Its the movement.  The focus on breath.  The exhaustion.  I've always said my personal training, my bootcamps, its yoga.  That's why its good.  Its meditation wrapped up in movements to improve your body, posture, composition, cardio, etc. and you're healing every single day you do this.  You are actively progressing to live a longer, healthier, better life.  
I'm not the most educated, I haven't read all the books or been to the seminars.  I haven't been on a stage or made $100,000, I haven't won any championships and I'm not published in any magazine.  But I do know, when you come in to train w me, you will leave better off than you were when you began.  I really don't have an ego about anything really, the testimonials speak for me.

I do feel its time to own who I am and stop trying to kill him. Stop trying to kill the career, the relationships, the path, the body.  Again, that's not ego.   
But because of the lack of ego, I can hear you and see you.  Because I can see you, I can be useful to you.  Because I am useful,  I have life value and value in life.  A value that transcends the physical and is everlasting, because energy doesn't die.   Tissues die, cells die, bodies die, we know this and accept it.  The soul, the energy lives on.  You might be able to prove this, but you know it to be true. Because you can feel it, you may even dream it or see it in your head.  And if you can see it there, than it is real, because there, it can last forever.  




(when you're 22, listening to Jim Morrison, rooting for Dennis Rodman, reading Hunter S. Thompson... things are going to get weird).