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The last time I wrote a digital account of my week’s experience was on September 15th. I have a few hand written notes I’ve made since then, but I have definitely lost track of what I had been doing: writing consistent and concise daily notes.

At one point last month I had become inspired to stop writing about my day and instead write timeless knowledge that could help others. I figured that it would be more beneficial, since value would still exist regardless of how my day went.

At another point I read a response addressed to me, on Facebook, which may have subconsciously thrown me off of the daily writing habit:

The mixture of my inability to see value in a daily log, along with reading the comment above, and attending a yoga retreat where constant thoughts didn’t have to be addressed by my mind or written at the end of the day, is probably what resulted in me no longer writing.

I’ll share with you what I remember from these fleeting weeks and what I’ve learned. Then I will do my best to kick off my grit and persistence to greatness, as well as to writing, once more.

Running a 5: 29 Mile

On September 18th at around 9 PM I ran a 5:29 mile. My very best mile time before that had been 5:34. I did it by meditating and repeating a mantra during the first half mile. Then during the last half mile I had memories running through my mind of bliss and happiness from the retreat I had attended that weekend. Those memories fueled me to not lose energy in the last half of the mile.

One memory alone is what helped me get from the half-way mark to the 3/4″ mark. It was the memory of a new friend I met saying that I have a unique laugh and that they like it. It was the memory of me laughing at the sound of that comment, happily.

At this point in my running my lungs were struggling to breath and keep up. However, the memory made me think that the laugh which my friend enjoyed came from those same lungs. At this thought I laughed inside and kept laughing. Running this part of the mile was the easiest.

At the end of the run I was surprised that it had taken little toll on my body. Before, even running a 5: 40 mile would make me sore for a week. This run did not have much of a negative impact on me. Rather, it made me really happy and energetic for having been able to break my personal record in such a galloping leap over my last best mile-time.

Slacking Off

The period between the 18th and the 25th was a period of extreme slacking off. I was dealing with a sickness, and lethargy, and on the 25th I ran a 6:12 while attempting to run a 5:30 mile. I was in disbelief and somewhat angry with myself.

Since the yoga retreat and since the 5:29 mile, I meditated and ran half as much as I did before.

I think during the last week of September I ran a 5:37 or something of that nature t and I was happy. My lethargy from the week prior wasn’t permanent.

Since I October 22nd also marked the last day that I worked at the company I was with. Having moved 40 miles away further than where I was living before, continuing to work at the same place would have been very difficult (a commute of 1.5 hours one way).

On October 29th I went to a music show which was quite the night to say the least… There were about 1,000 things I didn’t enjoy about the night and there were a handful that I did enjoy. I enjoyed knowing that even through the things that happened which I wasn’t a fan of, it was God’s will. Somehow since I have had that perspective, I have been having it with other scenarios in my life.

It may sound odd to be so vague. Let me give you an example. For the music show I bought 5 “Acid C-Note Cigars.” Mind you, I hadn’t smoked before that in the longest time. Probably since the beginning of my writings when I smoked the last of some shisha I had. I smoked one C-Note at the lounge I got it in, as I spoke with the owner who was Ethiopian and very “awake.”

Then I smoked another C-Note on the way to the music show, with my friend and their brother. After that, I had three C-Notes but I lost them while running back to my car and back to the show after forgetting something. Did I lose my cigars that I bought with the intention of smoking? Some would say that.

I would say that God saw I was going down the wrong path. I had already smoked two cigars in a day, which was more than the zero cigars I smoked in the past months. God wanted his cigars back and he got them back. Other things like that happened during that night, and throughout the days following it. Since then, I see mostly all of it as God’s will, and what I don’t see as God’s will I know that it is but I just can’t seem to see it in this moment.

This mind-set has been inspired by having read a good portion of “The Way Out,” which is a book that my friend gave me to read. Not to say that the first time I had this mind-set or perspective was after reading this book. I used to have it all the time but somehow I felt out of sync with the knowledge.

Oh, this also reminds me that I’m missing some huge portions of what happened during the period that I was “slacking off.” Typically I wouldn’t write with such a style of “oh, by the way, I missed this, so let me write it here and out of chronological order.” However, I intend to make the act of writing these notes as easy as possible.

Tonight is a night where I have somewhat of a sore throat, a stuffy nose, and a headache. It is a night where I prefer more sleep rather than more editing. I digress.

Spiritual Supersets During the Slack Off Period

At the end of the yoga retreat on September 17th I took a monk to an ashram. At that ashram I met an interesting man, the Guru who created the place. He gave me a book written by spirits, or by a man who would go on to let spirits control his body to write books.

The Guru and one of the members of the ashram were so welcoming. They were prepared to feed the monk and I, as people would feed travelers in the olden days. The monk was going to teach at a university the next day in the morning and in the evening he would give a presentation on the healing benefits of water. I had already seen his presentation but I was open to seeing it again, especially since I missed a few slides while fixing a technical issue for the monk.

Between the member of the Ashram, the guru, the monk, and myself, we had an AMAZING conversation. I cannot begin to describe how stimulating such a crowd can be. Afterwards I joined the member of the Ashram with a few others downstairs, as they had a conversation about an upcoming garden project they were putting together. That conversation was AMAZING as well. I thought I was sitting in on a somewhat trivial task of “let us discuss what color we want the garden bedding material to be and so forth.”

Instead, the conversation felt like I was listening to a variety of university professors planning the first draft-outline of a garden which would be perfect in its relationship to the needs of the homeless community that the ashram serves, the dietary and cuisine needs of the ashram, the unexpected needs of the garden to produce more food when the ashram’s main CSA-supplied food may run short, the garden’s ability to produce food year round, the accountability of working on the garden, and many other systems and organisms. At one point, unless if my memory or hearing fails me, these super-educated women were discussing working with Nature Spirits (i.e. deities) in order to ensure that the garden is a success. At another point, they were discussing planting flowers simply to attract bees to their garden and help the rest of the ecosystem. I remarked to the group having this garden discussion, and to the Guru, that I have been in many meetings in my life both in 9-5 jobs I’ve worked and with clients, and this garden meeting I witnessed was simply the best. There was as little ego involved in the ordeal as possible, and as in any meeting, there were misunderstandings, but the misunderstandings were followed swiftly with such clarity that even the muddiest of waters could be calmed by the succinct quality of the members’ communication efforts.

The next day, on the 18th, I was back for the monk’s presentation. People thought I traveled with him, since he called me “[IT] master” the second a few things seemed amiss during the presentation. I thought that was funny.

On Friday the 22nd of September, I was back at the ashram. This time it was for a crystal bath I had scheduled with the Guru. The crystal bath was administered through the use of a machine which was created by a woman who let spirits use her body to design it.

I don’t know if I’ve shared this before, or if you may know this about me, but it’s interesting to note that I began yoga and meditation after a friend of mine gave me a crystal healing in May. During that experience I felt that my hands were too large for my body. I was a baby and the hands I looked at were too large.

The experience was magical. At the end of it, my friend told me that I have to make an effort [to go to the places I had wanted to but never did.] “Now you just have to go to yoga and continue your healing.”

I listened, diligently, for these were the words of God.

Fast forward a few months to meeting a Guru of an ashram who hands out books on contacting spirits and has a crystal bath machine made by them? That’s an interesting path. In May I felt broken and defeated. The first time I went to yoga it was on a day where I was so sick I’m surprised I was even able to drive myself there. I was agitated and nearly lost control of my car while coming out of an exit, it was raining and very wet.

When I took that same exit, on the path to yoga a few more times, I smiled at the progress I had made. I was no longer agitated. I was no longer defeated. At the times I found myself on that exit, I was either listening to music, or thinking in silence.

I believe that the same week that I went to this ashram a few times, I saw an old friend when walking to the grocery store. He patiently listened to me talk about the people I liked, how I felt lonely, how I couldn’t seem to find someone. He listened to me tell him about what I was getting, food for my meditation group the next day, my stories of how yoga had been like since I joined and how I liked it. Just that day, or maybe the day before, I had been reading “The Way Out.” This book slightly touches on the Law of Attraction.

My friend asked me if I was familiar with the Law of Attraction. I said yes. He said maybe I could chill out and I would attract the one. He was right of course, but I had my doubts for a little. I hear the words of God well enough but sometimes I struggle with believing them, and when I don’t struggle with believing them, I struggle with living them.

The crystal bath on that Friday the 22nd was interesting. My body felt like it was submerged beneath the ground and my head was floating on water.

The next day, on Saturday the 23rd, I was back at the ashram. This time it was for a Native American ceremony. My friend joined me. Even though they were beating on drums and singing in their mother tongue as loudly as a voice-box could allow, my friend found it soothing and fell asleep. I cried with my eyes closed in the darkness for a good ten minutes. I was very happy and I could feel an emanating energy from within my core heating up the room.

After the Native American ceremony, another woman thought I was from a Thai temple. I had no idea what she was talking about. I was wearing a shirt of myself wearing a shirt of myself, wearing a shirt of myself, wearing a shirt of myself, and on and on and on for a few more times. She was convinced she’d seen me at this Thai temple and that I was a monk there. I thought it was funny, that there may be someone who looks like me at this temple, but even funnier if this temple had people wearing shirts of themselves like I do.

I will go to this temple one day and figure it out.

On October 1st I went to meditation and yoga as I do on Sunday’s, however this was a bit different because I stayed for an extra meditation session. Staying for more meditation was interesting. I don’t have a good memory of that day but I remember the meditation clearly. It was very profound and I had some amazing revelations about the self and Octavian’s purpose that brought tears of understanding to my eyes and those revelations kept them coming.

At the end of meditating there is a mantra we sing in which there is a lotus in our hands and each petal is a different feeling we offer to the creator, that we had while meditating. For the first time in my life this flower was full and beautiful with colors and designs. I had never seen the flower so clearly before.

Before I offered negative feelings in the petals to go down the stream of consciousness and away from me. This day, it was different. I offered happy realizations and happy feelings and understanding into the stream of consciousness.

Last Week (October 1st through October 8th)

Last week was alright. I don’t remember too much of it though.

On Thursday I celebrated the birthday of a friend from meditation group. At the end we played some interesting games. The most interesting was Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board. This is something my father explained to me once but he couldn’t seem to remember any of the details about it. To sum it up, you raise up someone who is on their back on the ground by using just two fingers along with a group of people who are also doing the same thing.

When I got lifted up and I swayed, I felt like I was legitimately in heaven. That was it, I made it.

For my friend’s birthday I made vegan cheesecake which was absolutely phenomenal. I wish I took a photo to share it on here. I was in somewhat of a rush that day I think, and I also didn’t think I would have time or the desire to post anything.

On Saturday my friend and I went hiking. We woke up late and we didn’t meet with their group of friends, or my meditation group who were all hiking at the same place. My friend’s feet were also hurting so we left without getting to the peak. The funny thing is that this is not the first time I’ve done this going up this mountain. The last time I was there with another friend we also woke up late, and we left early back then because their stomach was hurting.

Regardless of not climbing the whole mountain, I had a great time. My friend and I took a nap and then we went to a vegan and gluten-free restaurant since that’s their diet of choice. I’m vegetarian right now and I don’t think I could ever do vegan and gluten-free. I hope I work my way down to vegan at some point but even that is pretty difficult. I think the longest I went being vegan was 3 days at one point, and then I was nearly crazy without cheese or milk!

Yesterday

Yesterday was Sunday. I went to a hookah lounge to meet some friend’s that were going to the same venue I went to a few weeks ago, to see an artist named Kid Cudi perform.

A friend of a friend, who is also my friend but that I don’t know as closely as others and lives 1.5 hours away, mentioned that they like reading my stories and keeping up with my “mile-time.” I thought I misheard so I asked something along the lines of “wait, what?” They said that they liked reading the stories I posted and enjoyed reading about how I imagined breaking a 4 minute mile while attempting to run a 5: 34 mile.

I couldn’t believe this person had read my work. The statistics on my writings are very slim. A handful of people click through the pieces, 1-3 read them. I was under the impression that the 1-3 readers were the same exact people every time and that I know them well. I guess my assumption was incorrect. It looks like the 1-3 readers may be completely different every time.

I asked this friend of a friend their thoughts on my writings. They said something along the lines of “well you know, it’s nice to read about your day. I imagine you wake up early and have a vegan meal and [it’s neat to see what you’re up to and what new thing you’ve cooked.]”

When I first started my writing and photograph series, I think three people reached out to me in the span of a few hours telling me how they liked the content. I forgot about that. I let the monotony of living day to day and attempting to write those days down drown out the positive impact it seems to be having for people. I thought at first it was just entertaining to the ones who didn’t find it boring, but now I see that it’s somewhat inspirational.

Which is odd. I didn’t think my day to day would be inspirational. My goals, maybe, my actual day to day results, I never thought in a million years that they would be enjoyable to keep up with.

I don’t even write this blog with an interesting tone or perspective! I’m literally just here, like most other subliminal writers, trying to experience a cheap form of therapy by writing everything that would lead to insanity otherwise.

I told the people there about the comment on Facebook that may have deterred me from continued writings. Someone mentioned that those people making comments like that are just haters. “Oh my God I can’t believe this guy is writing about his day, I’m not doing that but he can just do it and he doesn’t care what people think like I do. Let me hate on him.”

I looked the friend who said the comment above in the eyes. I thanked her tremendously and told her that I would remember these words and I was grateful for them. Maybe she doesn’t know how much words have an impact on me, especially those that she shared, yet I already know that they will be even more powerful than the words that complimented my laugh and helped me run 25% of the best mile-time of my life.

Her playful nature of how hating some people can be, on those who are DOING something, are definitely words that will ring around my head for decades to come. Funny enough, I heard the same ones an hour or two later.

Meeting An Interesting Young Man

After my friends headed out for the music show, I stayed at the hookah lounge. I continued to smoke the hookah, as I contemplated my lack of running and my increase of smoking. In my pocket I had 3 new Acid C-Note cigars I’d bought myself. I smoked one on Friday, the 6th and shared another with someone that I was meeting with.

Why am I smoking!

I contemplated leaving. I didn’t need to finish the hookah I told myself. A while later I saw a young man waiting for the bathroom. He was listening to music on his headphones and dancing. I went up to him, let him know I liked his energy. He was in another hookah lounge next door.

I left and went next door, and we spoke for a while. It was an interesting conversation with him. I don’t know where I would begin or end to be honest. We covered just about everything.

Before going to IHOP to get some food, I played a song for him on my bamboo flute and one on my Native American flute. He thought that the Native American flute bag was actually a gun and sort of ran away saying “oh please don’t shoot me!” I laughed and thought he was joking.

He wasn’t. This young man, and I say young because he was 2 years younger than me, was in a deep-rabbit-hole-of-a-mess. He thought people were out to get him.

The young man enjoyed boy songs I played. In fact, he bowed down on his knees as I played both of them and let me know afterwards it was because out of respect because it was so touching to him. He told me that I could play music and that I’m really good. Throughout our conversation before he’d told me that he can tell I have haters, because people hate on smart people like me. I hadn’t even mentioned anything about myself at this point that would warrant such a comment from him. After playing the music he told me that I’m really good and that I could release music and that it doesn’t matter what the haters say. He said he doesn’t often see talent like mine and my talent is rare and I could take it really far. He told me that people who hate on my music or my instrument are just jealous. Again, I hadn’t made any comments about myself that would warrant this advice from him.

So far in fact, I’ve had only positive reactions to my music save maybe for one-off-the-cuff-comment which I found funny. Maybe his words are still good to remember, should I one day have music haters.

I smoked two more C-Notes during our conversations, and I gave him one. I also gave him an Acid Blondie cigar I bought for myself the day before.

By the time I got home, I had a splitting headache. I was settled on not smoking again. I wanted to wake up at 5: 30 AM and run, but unfortunately I knew it wouldn’t be possible since I was going to bed at 2 AM.

I was settled on setting up my days ahead for success, by starting with a good today.


Also published on Medium.