Brighter Diamonds on Haight-Ashbury

We block our light because we don’t believe in our own brilliance. We are more than cobwebbed echoes floating through eternal space. We are brighter diamonds, sparkling in the deep night sky. ✨✨

I moved to San Francisco 3 weeks ago and am filled with gratitude. The way that took me here has been winding, filled with adventure, and absolute heartache. But I’ve come to realize that we are the ones holding ourselves back from our horizons.

11/16/2021 Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco.

We block our light because we don’t believe in our own brilliance. We are more than cobwebbed echoes floating through eternal space. We are brighter diamonds, sparkling in the deep night sky. ✨✨

Love on Haight, San Francisco

We are vast beings beyond our physical bodies and minds. We are consciousness born anew every day. It’s startling to witness & difficult to understand. True being can only be lived wild and unfettered- out beyond our finite comprehension.

Freedom feels dangerous because we’ve been conditioned to fear the strength of our own dreams. The ways to awakening are before us at every moment.

In each attempt to create the best version of yourself you actually become that person. Through every act of conscious co-creation we bring Earth into greater expansion.

For we too will one day be buried, and all of this will have become so beautiful.

In that final moment what will your last thought be?

Perhaps we are here simply to guide each other along the conversation of life. Pieces and people come together when you are ready for them to be put into place. Inspiration arises organically when you surrender to your dreams. Walking every arduous step led you to now. 🔥

All of us is everything and everything is us. Separation is an illusion. Nothing is greater than being the love that changed you. Everything which came before was preparing the way to your calling. Become your full potential. That is how the light gets in. Go to where your destiny is taking you. That is how you change the world. 🖤🌈🌏❤️✊🏿✊🏾✊🏽✊🏼✊🏻🥰🙏✨

Beyond Thunderdome

I didn’t know I had fear of camping in the desert until confronted with the reality of its stark dry silence. The solemn landscape loomed with limestone and clay towers. Canyons leftover from a former ocean.

Approaching the desert, I suddenly became claustrophobic, small, and unsure. Surprised by my reaction, I thought,“those feelings happen in the city. Not out in the sanctuary I’ve found inherently in Nature.

I took a puff from my emergency inhaler, long breaths. AC on blast. Windows down. Whispering affirmations. Just real sexy adventurer stuff going on.

My personal wilderness street cred crumbling. A mild panic attack creeping on the edges and being quickly held at bay. Then a thought flashed: “OMG Furiosa would’ve left me out on Fury Road.” A laugh bringing a brief return to normalcy, grounding, and humbling of self.

Hurricane Flats, Utah

After two years of living in a lush pacific rainforest, I was struck by the seemingly barren landscape outside Zion National Park. The vegetation and landscape across southern Utah swiftly becoming arid, cracked. All moisture was sucked from the whipping 50 mph winds. From my breath. It’s like Earth had suddenly shed her brilliance and exposed the fragility of life just a few exits down the highway.

On a conscious level- I knew I could survive in the forest for several days if stranded or lost. I’ve picked up wilderness skills the past couple of years and could survive out in the mountains for several of days if needed. (Pick me for your Zombie invasion Team!)

The desert is a different ballgame. It’s you against the elements. There’s no direct access to water. No forests to provide protection or berries, fish, or other immediate food sources.

What you bring is all that you can carry. What you don’t have you will not find it in here. Was I ready or responsible enough for that? It is okay for a moment I was too in my head about all this?

And there was no one else who could help me were I to need assistance. I was camping solo. Just me out in the wilderness. Just as I have been a lot of times since leaving Texas. Mostly due to necessity and convenience. I travel the way I live: with a loose knit plan going a million possible directions at once.

Yet, in those anxious thoughts one can remember to access our mental health toolbox: mindfulness, meditation, medication. As well as employing holistic coping strategies like actually calling your support system and being open to guidance.

Some of the strategies which work for me may also work for you: reaching out to my support system, affirmations, remembering how much I’ve overcome while also being present, letting the feelings wash over, not attaching myself to thoughts or outcomes, radical forgiveness, attempting unconditional love, forgiving myself when that doesn’t happen.

I called my sister for reassurance. She said she could talk, but was on her way to pick up her son from daycare. I told her just hearing her voice was enough. She spoke affirmations to me. She told me I could leave the desert. That it would be okay if I kept moving. She told me I would also enjoy it if I gave it a chance. I listen to her talking to the daycare as she picks up my nephew, placed him in the car, and while she goes to pick up the dry-cleaning. She kept apologizing for having to interrupt our conversation. I told her it was perfectly fine- to just keep me on the phone. It was comforting to hear her perform these every-day tasks. It grounded me to Earth to myself to family.

Even with our recent disagreements and misunderstandings- our love for one another transcends the differences. I listen to the sound of family in a different room. Because that’s all that we are when we’re away from each other right? We’re on the same channel just on a different frequency.

Maybe that was one of the lessons I was supposed to learn in the desert. This part of the Earth is still the same Earth. Life and landscape existing and abounding in different ways. I needed to adjust my perception and unpack fears of the unknown.

Take the break which life is giving to you in the moment of your discomfort. A pause is just an opportunity to prepare for your next adventure beyond things like fears, and desires and personal Thunderdomes.

Angel’s Rest at Zion National Park

We Are Natural Mystics

We Are Natural Mystics:

There are pockets on Earth that no human eye has seen. Great mysteries of life are hidden in riddles and rivers. Ancient secrets sag in the marrow of oil.

If we have not been able to catalog and observe all parts of our planet, then how do we bound in all of this together, know how it all works? The limits go as far as we are willing to wonder.

The brilliance of human ingenuity has taken us farther than those who came before us. There are still myriad of seas to ride, underground cave systems to navigate, rain forests to keep virgin, and so many sacred mountains to ascend.

There is so much data and raw information coming to us every day that we can barely scratch the surface to ever knowing anything. We do not truly fathom how really big our world is in relationship to other people and how closely are values align. If we were to stretch all 7.8 billion people in a line across the planet it would take countless years just to say hello to each one of them.

We limit ourselves to our realities based just upon what we can see within the scope of our influence.

We do not truly fathom how really big our world is in relationship to other people and how closely are values align. If we were to stretch all 7.8 billion people in a line across the planet it would take hundreds of years just to hello to each one of them.

There are vast deserts to traverse, people in Papau-New Guniea we’ll never see, species we haven’t even conceived of are out there living undiscovered. There are long spans of human history we cannot account for; and many records have been intentionally altered, transliterated, and destroyed.

“I think therefore I am,” Descartes once implored. But thought does not necessarily translate to knowing. We are electromagnetic beings of consciousness and flesh.

It is we who are the avatars. We keep being told not to peer at the one who pulls the strings. We are lulled into this broad illusion by the dullest of means.

What is it to know oneself when for generations we have been cloaked in the trappings of conquerors and colonialists? When do we know who we really are? At what age do we become the culmination of circumstance and events that have brought us to this moment?

What about our thoughts, and days of laughter and inside jokes with friends; what about those plans we have laid in our unknown futures? Clues of where we’ve come from are written in genetic DNA. Couldn’t answers of our future be found there too? They’re somewhere muddled up and tangled in parts of all of we have become.

We have exchanged our power for fast food answers and back-seat spirituality. The American Dream brought to you by fast cars, loaded ammunition, student debt ambition, and qualified immunity.

If we have not individually fully fathomed our greatest personal potential, then we have not come into our true power as a human race.

What miracles we could accomplish if we lived out our personal visions daily? The paradigm would completely shift if everyone knew we could. “Teach one. Reach one,” like Letha said. Let’s decide to be miracles to each other. In doing so, we’ll all be forever changed.

Part 2


We are being held away from our own answers because we were taught to ask the wrong questions.

Everything about our world is set up to do other people’s work and live out other people’s value systems.

We look not to each other because our ties to community to the land to our own families to ourselves have been severed. Whether through war, enslavement, purposeful reconditioning of the human being during the conformity Assembly made mentality of the industrial era.

Who determines the rate at what things cost? The exchange of an ideas has been given value based on some else’s and generational assertion.

We are taught to live in constant states of disconnection to self. This in turn disconnects us from each other. To keep the cycle of oppression going- the oppressors need to create more oppressors.

Those who are oppressed must continue to believe and see that they are being oppressed. They must not be allowed to wield the magnificence in their minds.

The limitations are systematically manmade and reinforced through generational betrothal of a system to its populace whose members are scarcely aware of its motion.

We can break these limitations and the false scarcity with the sheer power of our spirit and the willingness to just be open.

The more of us who awaken will bring the future we want to come. These rumblings in our world are signs they are happening. The paths to freedom are only road blocked within our hearts and minds. I’m really starting to understand what that means.

Yes, There are other forces running the show, but Spirit cannot be held back by plastic, a racist police state, or even your manicured facade of existence.

The idea that there is more to your existence also dwells somewhere inside of you! Your true nature is worthy and good. You are wholly evident and valid based simply on the fact that you exist. You have a right to be on this planet. You have a right to be exactly who you are and want to be!!

“I am who I am.” The profundity of that message is that it was secretly an affirmation of our own worthiness all along.

We have each have callings birthed deep within our spirits. Some have developed along the way from childhood and youth, others which are unfolding along the way. Some dreams stretch out on lost canyons crossing chasms- scaling breakdowns and breakthroughs we don’t fully know we’ll cross.

But between Nature and time and forces we don’t understand, the gaps are filled in. The knowing comes as quickly as we are able to ascertain its delivery. The pieces of my own life are coming together into clearer view, because I allowed my purpose to manifest even though I don’t know what that’s all supposed to be yet.


There there must be a reason we don’t know what’s farther down the road. We don’t know where we came from, and where the hell are we all going? But it must be something about the wanderings in between the struggle and the turnpike.

Like Bob Dylan sang, “Feel like my soul is beginning to expand
Look into my heart and you will sort of understand.

You brought me here, now you’re trying to run me away

The writing’s on the wall, come read it, come see what it say.”

Sometimes our calling is pulled taut like a drum ready for our moment to come. In moments of abandon we become guided by the blind-faith clarity of our higher purpose. Sometimes a higher consciousness surges through us in the form of creative bursts and materializations; dancing like pagans, to the rhythm of unknown ancestors.

We are natural mystics.The knowledge lives within us. If leave room tiny illuminations will catch flame.

Thoughwe don’t have all the answers. We are not alone out here. We are asking the same questions together. We are as brothers and sisters clothed in forest and nurtured by streams.

For we are all linked and intertwined together Within the earth itself and across vast distances through civilizations, some which have never known or been seen by our post modern eyes, we are connected with the same lineage multiplied and refracted through the various ethnic and diverse communities in groups of human beings spread through six and sometimes seven continents.

With all of our great declarations of conquest andIndividual and generational achievements, we all go back to the earth or into dust.

And Somewhere on Earth the sun is always shining.

Mountains rise above us to reach into a deeper sky. Out there the stars are distant voyeurs witnessing infinity spreading anew.

Gushing in secrets and other eternities, perhaps the Universe is bringing us exactly what we need to grow. Our eyes are tiny voyagers catching truth in glimpses of what we’ve just begun to see & ideas we’ve yet to even conceive. ✨

Thunder on the Mountain 2

Every Mountain calls you home in different ways. St. Helen’s is a mountain of contemplation & rebirth. The felled forests enables one to see out in vast distances. The ghostly backdrop enables one to project your thoughts and hopes onto. Engulfed in barren rugged crust of Earth.

In fact the desolation of Mt. St. Helen’s makes it among the most human of mountains on Earth.

Does Nature forgive the Earth for causing destruction to itself? Does Earth require some karmic debt to repay its own soul? What penance can one offer for the cycle between life and rebirth? In nature they are one in the same.

It made me wonder what one would do if stranded on an alien world.

Would we not be so grateful so thankful to see a whisper of life of something reminiscent of home?

Wouldn’t you gasp from the side of your mouth just to marvel at some thing real? A bed of lichen would be a forest. To see a moth flying like small prayers.

It’s because of abundance that we are even able hurt each other & plunder the planet. Even during its explosion the mountain & its forests were living. We live through our own circles of destruction.We are part of the greater whole.

So as Earth forgives itself through homeostasis: parched in some places, flooding, engulfed by fire others- humans have a very real part in healing or destroying the planet we live on- in thought, deed, and action.

Yet existence on Earth is so fragile. We take it for granted. We turn the inner world outside & vice verse. Humanity will come to peace when we each have come to inner peace w/ ourselves.

Perhaps personal catastrophes aren’t as cataclysmic in scope although they often feel like that in the middle of it all. St. Helens is an offering of contemplation & infinite redemption.


A warning tongue to be the guard of your emotions. To remember that life will come again but there our consequences to regrowing. There are scars and places within you which may never be the same but life returns.

The infinite spiral. You’re coming you’re going you go back round again on another rung of the circle. Some part of you will lives on. We’ve all affected our world by the people who are in it.

We are the closest beacon of lights but we often to look the night sky or artifice to fill the very place we should for each other. We are too worthy of so much more than we accept and give to one another.

But for those who take notice and take charge of their minds, emotions, and desires- your life can become a veritable heaven on Earth- even if in your own mind- because that’s where everything had to begin.

Let us take inspiration from nature. Let us become like the Earth’s friction and raze the skyscrape bureaucracies we created and build something better for us all.

Express Yourself, Respect Yourself, Baby!

There’s a freedom to be who you are in Portland and it’s sacred. This city is unlike any place I’ve lived. The overall ethos of the city is to live with respect and communion with all people and harmony with the Earth, without pigeonholing everyone into tidy labels and categories. That’s one reason why this city (and so many others) are ready to come together to helping other people, communities, social groups.

If it’s good for the goose it’s good for the gander 😅

Speaking out against oppression and refusing the status quo has been a hallmark of Portland’s overall championing of social justice and human rights in various domains. The added bonus of empowering others gives one a new sense of ownership in their own lives.

Facing down police brutality and calling out fascism with thousands of like-minded people emboldens even millions more to physically and mentally stand up to corruption and agents in many facets of society.

It’s helping many of us grow and retrain our private thoughts and actions in our personal lives.

You cannot grow in the same place that forced you to expand.

And if you are not growing it will be very hard to stay in complete balance. Too often contentedness leads to complacency with apathy not too far behind. One begins to wither, grow bitter, or blameful without continual observation, discussion, and contemplation. We must tend and cultivate our inner gardens even when they are not in beautiful luscious blooms of life.

Until recently I realized I still had/have shame of owning or talking about the sexual aspects of my sexuality. Though I am gay and proud of it- many of us have been conditioned through the lens of cis-gendered hetero-normative White Christian practices and policies.

We have been culturally manipulated by the Church, as a whole, to believe that our sexual organs are to be hidden- tucked away. The act of sex is restricted to procreation and otherwise is condemned and mostly immoral.

We are shamed out of acting upon our innate biological drives. The reproductive organs of our physical form are shamed due to cultural and religious mores that have caused women and so many other people groups shamed out of not only being comfortable in our own bodies.

For Black people, and Indigenous and People of color they are shamed, generationally oppressed, and persecuted just for the color and melanin of their skin.

The falling away of stifled and unnecessary cultural mores- of even the ability just to be free from the constrains of clothing in Oregon & other places in the world has given many people (self included) a new ownership in many areas of our lives.

Especially where owning the physical and sexual ascpects of myself proudly and without fear of breaking rigid taboos that seem so silly and antiquated now.

The more comfortable one is with themselves the more they able to make spaces for others to feel safe and also express their individuality.

Symbiotic relationships aren’t just relegated to sea creatures and cute orange fish with a short fin. We exist in constant feedback loops- of a taking in new information, processing that information, and our reaction is a result of variables and life experiences that cause us to grow, shrink away in timidity, recoil in disgust, aid in oppression, or revolt against tyrannies.

The broadening and active efforts to achieve social equality, championing of human rights, and equity across is all tribes, races sexual orientations, gender identities, polyamorous and many more identities and lifestyles embolden each one of us to embrace our own selves and elevate to a higher aspect of ourselves.

To Those who are struggling with your sexuality, gender, coming to terms with a non-heteronormative identity. I truly hope you will find yourself. You are worth living your truest life.

Follow your inner guidance- your life is your own. The Earth is ready to teach us the true power of humanity.

We must first accept that power for ourselves and not be afraid to treat yourself right, Express yourself, Show it off and show yourself and others a sustainably respectful good time.

The Long Ride Home pt. 1

In 2017 I told myself, “When I move to Portland, I’m going skiing after work.”

I moved here one year ago, and for the past 2 months I’ve been gratefully skiing on the Earth’s mirror, scarcely believing this is home now.

It was one of those dreams we all have like building a house, visiting some far-flung land, getting married, working a great job, wanting to be happy. Often the dreams we most want start from a small place of desire without resistance and without knowing how or if it’s all going to come together.

Initial desires seem far-fetched at first, but the mere possibility that a dream could actually come into being has spurred on almost every piece of music, and war, building of homes and skyscrapers, each knitting together of a family that has ever existed.

When you’re young you must depend on another to provide your needs and desires. What if there’s no one there you can trust or depend on to make this happen? What if you grew up without a suitable parent to trust? And those of us who did have that initial trust wish we grew up with a trust fund. As we get older all of the responsibilities lay on our shoulders.

Doubt in our ability to attain goals, and relationships, our states of being, begin at a young age because certain experiences ended in a bad way for us, or we watched it end badly for others, or were told of it in Bible stories and political propaganda.

Or because of dead-end jobs and life in dead-end states or series of failed dates and families have shown us that we don’t get what we want. That dreaming is wasteful. That it is easier to live that life you were born into and the chip on your shoulder you’ve been given. The kids and parents I work with often feel this way and they’re not wrong for feeling so. They’ve been betrayed by family members and country for generations.

When I moved here a year ago, my life had recently devolved into chaos and loss. A published book and traveling adventures came at a huge cost. Mental health issues that had been wading in darkness were finally brought forth into light. That glaring light shone upon the frayed sutures holding my life together. I discovered they weren’t there at all.

Relationships fell apart at seams that seemed unbreakable. Upon reflection I was trying to keep together a life that had not been fulfilling with some relationships where I was pouring into others without much in return. It felt like I was pouring myself into others whose wells were bottomless and insatiable. The water ran dry within myself until there was nothing left to give and finally snapped.

I came up here not knowing what was going to happen or if I was actually going to make it. “What if none of this works out?” I asked myself. I could not handle another devastating blow in any sense of the word.

There was literally nothing physically left in my physical possession save my car and everything I had taken on my cross-country road trip and to Mexico. The plans made and money saved to make a smooth transition from Texas to Portland were unintentionally torn asunder by my own two hands and addled mind.

The first 2 months of 2019, were spent in Texas taking stock of what was left and what had ended. Most of what was still true of my life actually remained. Family and friends still loved me. I still loved to hike and be amongst open-minded kind people.

With the proper diagnoses you can then utilize the tools which can help you live a vibrant and authentic life. Medication, therapy, being enveloped with nature, starting almost completely from scratch were some of the tools in my new wheelhouse.

The West had been calling me forward for a long time. Years before the recent schism. So I asked myself, “What if moving to Portland actually does work out?” Some callings are greater than our circumstances.

Slowly, the same two hands and a properly medicated mind created the life I now find myself living. Everything brought me to Now, and I am happy. What good is it to curse the former difficulties?

I strive to make decisions for the highest good, maintaining boundaries I had so easily let be taken of advantage of in the past, pouring into others while keeping enough in my own well. Positive friendships and relationships have blossomed and have begun to flourish. And as is the way of life New challenges are always on our horizons. Sometimes the horizon itself has literally shifted due to where we find ourselves geographically in the world.

PNW winters challenge the hardiest of souls. To go weeks with cold rain and without sunlight cause many of to withdraw inward. The respite was welcoming at first. But as the perpetual gloom lingered I went into nature less and less. Being in nature was part of my healing process and I stopped going outdoors because of the wet and weary weather. Then I went skiing for one of my roommate’s birthdays and remembered how much I loved this winter activity.

At the end of January, I took new stock of my situation and realized “this life up here is working out and I like it.” When you have recovered from difficult periods you begin really appreciating the reasons that make you live. The shift happens when you begin to seek them out.

So I bought my first ski season pass, skis and gear, and it’s unexpectedly changed parts of my life. Skiing has become a passion and one I often do on my own. Learning new skills help to imbue oneself with confidence that translates into other areas.

I’ll be speeding 40 mph down a black in exhilaration and wondering how the hell I didn’t crash.

Then I tell myself, “I’ve done this before, I know how to ski on piste, and how to talk to this client, and I know how to get out of bed and out of debt. I’ve done each many times before.” And I get out of my own way.

There are times I do bite it, are not as scary as the first time and it happened and now I know how to more easily correct myself when shredding powder or craving on ice.

Skiing is a fluid conversation with the mountain. It’s a mind-body, seasonal and multi-elemental connection. Finding ourselves upon mountains, to ski upon them, is honors the mountain within.

There is nothing more alive than when you feel the thrill of living. It’s as close to flying as we can come. The closest to breaking the bonds of Earth- of our frailties and also of our courage.

Fast Slow Disco

To leave everything and start over is part of the excited human collective dream to succeed and evolve. Coming from Texas the Pacific Northwest is continually unimaginably magical.

A place where borders were created by volcanic mountains and glacier fed river instead of flat gerrymandered land, county lines blurred by bureaucratic inequality. Flashes of false beauty can be eroded in an instant. This Earth is only valued because people sanctioned off pieces and said it was their own. Things which last forever have no appraisal value.

I’ve been fortunate & reckless to see great cities & monuments around this amazing world. Now all I want is to feel at home with good people inside the green heart of Nature. It’s the closest thing to god, to a Oneness, to a peace we all are bound.

Up here Forests stand sentry to staggered waterfalls spread out to the Pacific Ocean- the last true great unknown voyage. Portland is the closest thing to my personal heaven. anchored to a treasure of pedestrian friendly volcanic land filled with liberal values and artisinal beers & cheese. And it ain’t perfect- like everything there are drawbacks and sunny day sacrifices.

If only I could transport my friends and family it would be absolute Nirvana. Kurt Cobain biases represented- besmirched but not required.

Palpable fears litter our minds and overcrowd our politics. We won’t be one with ourselves until we reconcile the shadow side, our fears, to accept truth of our greatest virtues & failings.

When does life start becoming your Life once you’ve started over again? After change has been your greatest constant, trauma your most persistent mistress, bibles and bigotry your hated foes. After learning Life promises only impermanence, you kind of get used to living hand in hand with chaos. I’m loosening her grasp from mine & trying to accept love openly without complaint.

Moving alone is an extremely intense event. The loneliness has almost been unbearable at times but at least being alone is safe. Though hurricane Khatena comes out to play I’m not as much life of the party anymore. Experiencing multiple traumas & a bipolar diagnosis prior to uprooting has forever changed me.

It has made me question everything about my life, my past relationships, career choices, and future decisions. We think life is permanent and stable. You pull a few strings and the positive momentum begins to unravel.

Returning from trauma returns you as a ghost to your former life. How long is it going to take to feel normal again? There are glimpses of it. Each week there are days I feel this is totally where I’m supposed to be.

Yet, it would be a lie to say that doubts don’t plague me at times. I wish Suicide still wasn’t a struggle, a temptation, a way to soften the resistance, the difficulty of getting out of bed some mornings, or putting my life back together once more. I’m trying to not let that be the ace in my back pocket.

Through the healing process You begin to breathe. You accept the fact that some things in your life will never change. You cannot take back what happened especially things that never should have occurred and heartbreaks never meant to be inflicted.

Still your life doesn’t feel real in some ways. The one who came before you feels like a foreigner. You feel like the other shoe going to drop. You become hesitant to trust others even at times to trust life even though you know that it’s always worked out in the past and it’s cyclical.

I’ve gotten through the hardest parts of this past year by pretending it wasn’t me living through states of disgrace.

I’ve been partially ready to run my whole life. But now I fucking get why foster kids I work with do exactly that.

Because what if this person does love you and this part of your life works out only for it to all go away again? People will always come in and out of our lives. We must get rooted in ourselves.

Which is easier for people who have the means to root themselves- mentally, physically, interpersonally, financially. It seems some people have had perfect lives and don’t understand what it’s like to lose, be awkward, to be dealing w/ secret burdens and shame. It’s not our job to sort out the perceived versions of other people for none of us really even know our own selves fully.

The real version of ourselves we continually in but it seems like some have it figured it out from day one.

All one can do is take it day by day and offer grace instead of self-condemnation and bad self talk.

I don’t know what it’s like to wake up next to same person every day and have children but I’m starting to like myself when I wake up. You are not being selfish by not settling.

Sometimes you go on journeys where there is literally not one other person who could have traveled that path home but yourself and by yourself. Trust me, it won’t be like that forever. Above all the wandering soul can not betray their call to adventure for long. The wild hope of wanderlust always beats beneath our flesh.

All one can do is take it day by day and offer grace instead of self-condemnation and bad self talk.

Sometimes you go on journeys where there is literally not one other person who could have traveled that path home but yourself and by yourself. Trust me, it won’t be like that forever.

When you experience a lot of life-changing things it takes a while for it to settle down, to feel real. It feels like everything is just going to drop again. You kind of get used to living in chaos. When things settle down it’s almost like you become accustomed to difficult situations.

As a social worker I’ve been trained to sit with someone else’s trauma while they’re in it. I know how trauma affects you more so than ever because I’m still wading through my own. In some ways I feel totally free and authentic, yet I have also become a stranger to myself.

Is that part of the change? Is it normal to always feel in flux? Don’t people eventually settle down? Will that ever happen for me one day?

Closing yourself to love is like closing the windows of a room on a vibrant spring day like quelling wind from the mountain side. Stealing life and draining it away until you become hollow; a carbon copy of the human you used to be.

At times I do wonder if this move was worth it all. Yet I would have also betrayed myself for not following the call which changed my life.

Above all the wandering soul can not betray their call to adventure for long. The wild hope of wanderlust always beats beneath our flesh.

So many of our explorers, young mothers, pioneers and queers, activists, refugees, and kids in foster care must have asked the same. How many forded the river in spite of doubts and armed with hope they brought for a better life?.

Life comes back in unlikely conversations on mountain passes, across barroom booths, with people you didn’t know you were praying for; people who didn’t know were seeking you too.

Sometimes you must sway in place waiting for the slow disco to move you or within you.

Starting again for the first travelers was unbelievably difficult. People literally died on the Oregon Trail and they still kept coming. People keep risking fate for a new future. As scary as it is to take the leap it would have killed me not to take it. Either way we all will die Might as well do it on our way to something new.

Reflecktion of Reflections

The reflection of a mountain lake is changed by ripples of kayakers, canoes, fish, and wind. Mirrors cannot be fully trusted, even in nature, for they do not present the subject as it truly exists. What we see is the inverse reflection of an image but not the actual image itself.

In that way we never truly see ourselves as others see us and we do not fully see each other because of the images we are trying to outwardly portray belies the depth within ourselves and to ourselves.

Seeing this lake reflect Mount Adams, “The Forgotten Giant” in choppy patterns made me think again about how much of the world we really don’t know- presented by MTV True Life: True Life and the meaning of existence.

Millenia of human history has gone undocumented or painstakingly reassembled by anthropologists, doctors of paleontology, linguists, people charged with studying the ancients. We are still far from complete understanding of the Universe, of dark matter, dark places of human experience.

In his famous allegory, The Cave, Plato presents several chained prisoners who are forced to look at a fire casting shadows/images reflected on the back of a cave wall. He said, “On the walls of the cave, only shadows are truth.” We see mere reflections of the Forms- beauty, truth, life but do not actually ever see “Truth,” “Love,” “Mercy,” as they exist on their own. Everything is just a reflection of an ideal and we cast our own assumptions, experiences, desires and label it good, love, bad.

Objectivity of the material world becomes more apparent in nature. The riddle of “if a tree falls in a forest” becomes more clear when you’re the only one in the forest to hear its silence.

Almost all of us live this way to some extent. Not asking questions which would shake the foundations of our societies, are homes, relationships, and selves. I’ve literally known self-actualized people who said they don’t want to ask the hard questions because they don’t want to know “the answer.“ Often I wish the desire to ask these questions did not burn within my heart because life would be a lot easier to take at face value. It also would be boring and predictable.

As much as I value harmony and living well- I would rather live exultant highs and crushing lows than be bound to a life of tradition never leaving a small town filled with mediocre experiences. And I’ve lived life in both versions. Bipolar, bicurious, but never bi-boring.

A major flaw with theists and atheists is that both camps posit theories of the existence or non-existence of god. They stay firmly planted in their beliefs because it helps them make sense of the world and is an understandable premise because existence is incredibly vast and unknowable.If a creator exists and really wanted humans to know a secret important message that will affect your life for eternity would it not be encoded in our DNA? Would there not be writing on the actual walls, reminders everywhere we turned that we must follow?

The more time one spends in Nature you come to see that the purpose of Life is to live, to continue experiencing the stunning variety of this world, to enjoy life, to reflect on our experiences, and then to evolve based upon what we’ve learned so we can pass the evolved knowledge through art, sciences, thought, the gene pool etc.

It seems to me that the answers to life’s hard questions, (like what is the purpose of life? Is there an after-life? etc.) can never be fully answered and that must be for a reason.

The purpose of life may be that we are to find our purpose and follow where the journey leads. Maybe the point is to Live the best life you can, make life matter for yourself & others while not changing your behavior just to please one another due to outdated modalities of thinking and ways of being.

We think this world is permanent yet it too will burn away billions of years in the future. Life feels like it will last forever and there are many who have contemplated leaving their own- some have succeeded in this arduous endeavor. All of our religions come from some “divinely-inspired” individual who rarely ever wrote down anything they actually said and are disseminated out through thousands of years of translated texts by people with various agendas.

What we think we believe about the world has often been carefully sifted and manipulated through centuries of people gripping to power with the goal of keeping the masses sedated and satisfied. Obviously this isn’t working when so many people throughout various societies are still killing themselves or wanting to die and in America- killing each other with guns on a daily basis.

There is no statistic I know of that measures how people have been aggregately affected because of religious indoctrination and pacification throughout their lives. The millions who are walking a slow-trek to the grave aren’t counted on the census. What about refugees- people who are hoping for a better life and are imprisoned at America’s borders, the children crying out in terror in their own homes, the people who are self-medicating just to get through the day? Rousseau said that humanity became poisoned when the first person claimed the land was their own. We come into this world without and we leave without.

The clamoring for status, possessions, certain relationships is a big Western civilization pissing contest to prove our own worthiness to others, but it’s mostly done in effort to subconsciously prove worthiness to ourselves. How’s that working out for us?

We are born into this world seemingly without knowing anything until consciousness finally appears in early childhood. The way we are programmed to believe about life, god, science is very much dependent upon the geographical space and time of our existence.

Most people who believe that the way we are living is the right way the only way to live have never left their states let alone their country.

How can we look at a refugee or on anyone and pronounce them unworthy. Somehow as less human than us because of an imaginary border we don’t want you to cross? But what if he’s gay and a migrant worker or not a shiny piece of eye and arm candy? We’re human to you because we help you look better and vice-versa. If you actually put into practice what your Bible stories say-you’d be baking that wedding cake with dildos and fireworks galore. Jesus met people where they were at and was not one to fault anyone.

The election of Trump is the last gasping death rattle of a white once-majority blinding their eyes against their own desperate nakedness and clutching gnarled hands onto the threads of an unclothed emperor’s train. A vote against the Future may momentarily deter progress but the Future is coming anyway.

We can be the catalyst of action or churn in the dry rot wood of complacency. My eyes are fully opened to see the Future meet us here while tyrants in various guises will forever eventually fall away exposed, unraveled by their own undoing, and with no subjects left to rule.

What were we thinking during those formative years before the impressions were made upon us the time before memory of which we have no memory? How different would each of us be had we not been collectively fucked over since the beginning of human history?

The ego- the separated consciousness the part of the self that gets scared and insecure is not entirely against us. For in those moments we think life is closing in around us, when our reflections get shattered, we realize how much of life was lived in the wings, in the attempts to prove we have it altogether in the safety of our beautiful homes and children.

Most of us are not used to being loved wholly for who we are with our blessings, personality quirks and imperfections. I finally allowed myself to experience unconditional love during last year’s breakdown. My father, my sister, my mother each came to my rescue even as I was cursing my parents and others with similar vitriol of what I was protesting against.

When I needed love the most my parents and best college friends came to my rescue. We finally let ourselves be loved when we break the walls within us.

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to find all the barriers you have built up against it.”- Rumi

We are all contributing ideas, experiences, transmitting messages with our dna without even knowing it. We all have the potential to beam like the sun or devolve into massively powerful black holes. An awakening in the morning is a destruction of the dream life.

Sometimes we get jolted into the reality we wanted we just didn’t expect to wake up to it so quickly. A tearing away of shade and the shock of being flooded by the Light. We never think we deserve the ruby slippers. That only perfect people in fake fairytales and bible stories get to live that life. The belief that myths are fiction is akin to believing that miracles can’t come true. I get driven to great depths of despair and despondent frustration about this.

But That’s still my egoic self sifting through the darkness imbedded in the false sense of safe realities. I’m not kidding when I say im not afraid of anything. I can’t even began to explain that exultation into words and I’ve seen the darkness within that blessed anarchy. Its like the Power of the dark Phoenix being wrapped inside a rage a tempest in a teapot. The capacity for creation will always be greater than our capacity to destruction. Just look at how powerfully we’ve created and destructed through the best and most destructive days of your life.

SOCRATES: Do you think the one who had gotten out of the cave would still envy those within the cave and would want to compete with them who are esteemed and who have power? Or would not he or she much rather wish for the condition that Homer speaks of, namely “to live on the land [above ground] as the paid menial of another destitute peasant”? Wouldn’t he or she prefer to put up with absolutely anything else rather than associate with those opinions that hold in the cave and be that kind of human being?GLAUCON: I think that he would prefer to endure everything rather than be that kind of human being.

I am returning to the light and to living and loving well. My nephew was born three days ago and I couldn’t think of a better time in my sister and brother-in-law’s lives to be parents, my father to be a grandfather, and in my own to be an uncle. May we each be faithful in our charge as we continue to love and guide this precious being to life. Ashes to Ashes we come and go through this world reflecting on our deeds and Reflecting life back to the world. Little nephew, you are highly loved. May you see that example reflected back in our words and actions. May you have the best life has to offer us all.

Nothin’ But Time part 1

It’s almost been one year since embarking on the eloquent adventure/disaster that changed the landscape of my life. I keep coming back to Mount St. Helens- a mountain who is no stranger to spewing new effigies upon the land.

It’s the geographically closest and most accessible of the great 5 mountain peaks of I now live by. The gem of the PNW mountain range has now been reduced to 2/3 of its original height and glory. Magma began filling the mountain increasing its mass for a year and eventually reaching 400 yards a day prior to the explosion. How oddly relatable.

Mt. Saint Helens Before & after 1980 eruption

The pressure rose in St. Helens’ until that fateful day in 1980 when this sleeping giant hurled lava, pulverized rock, a side of the mountain outwards, killing 57 people, melting several glaciers and created the largest mudslide ever recorded.  Calamities millions of years in the making only took seconds to raze foundations entire ecosystems and collapse empires.

Yet 40 years later this mountain is now replenishing itself. Life is returning with hundreds of new habitats, ponds, and waterways in this ancient place.  

Which version of Mt. Saint Helens is the real mountain?  A gem reduced to ashes. An antagonistic foe looming in the distance biding time until its next eruption? A ticking-time bomb drowsing until the pressure builds to a crescendo and Saint Helens wildly flings destruction to all in its vicinity? A haven for life, a peak which glacier water flows down providing the source of many rivers? A mother, a place of beauty, a liability a home?

Are you the you who had it all together or are you now the person that is left after blasting your life into fragments? Are you something else altogether?Each perspective is valid but binary conclusions fail us so much of the time. The mountain, the aftermath, the you before and after are all of those things the good, the ugly, and the authentic self.

The volcano where I was unknowingly rapid cycling through a manic-depressive breakdown is also the mountain that has brought me back to life. A cataclysm of eroding glaciers within oneself.

Just as this mountain has done countless times over the centuries. Re-shaping and forging the land through destruction and setting the stage for new creations. Sometimes caused by brutal natural calamities, at the hands of others, at the hands of yourself.

Nature vs. nature is an antiquated paradigm. For It is within nature we find nourishment and true being as we have since time began.

The more we connect to the Earth the more we begin to connect to our truest selves. The false self begins to peel away the false self the egoic nature craving and never at peace.

You realize aspects of your personal identity – the job, the relationships, the home, coping mechanisms, habits, and patterns of self were aspects of the false-self. How many of us cling to externalities to validate and explain who we are?

The egoic nature craves and screeches to satiate desires- to fulfill the idealized version of yourself. Buddha said, suffering is caused by desire. Suffering is also caused by looking for things outside of us to determine our self-worth.

The dizzying thrill of an unrealized manic high was exhilarating. I felt like a rockstar. Everything all my dreams were within reach and anything was possible. Nothing and no one could stop me. Mania is the closest thing to being a superhero and a supervillian at the same time.

Mania mirrors some narcissistic qualities. Writing a book that partially included my life was misinterpreted by some as overly ambitious or egotistical. Those who judged my first book as a vanity affair didn’t even crack the cover.

Yet my personal worth began to be increasingly tied to social media, gaining followers to build a writing platform, and with each gain I began validating myself and experiences with things outside of myself. But mania causes a sort of inner Stockholm Syndrome daring you into climbing stratosphere’s into mountain peaks you would not dare to travel in your right mind.

And when it all stops and you’re left to confront the emptiness and then to build your life the way you really want it. With the first step, the first trickles of snowmelt you begin again. If you’re still alive you still have time to forge the life you want.

When you’ve reached bottom the only way is up from there. We finally start seeking out the people, places, activities & thoughts that are good for us the more we believe in our own worth.

Sometimes it takes losing everything to find who and what is really worth fighting for. And eventually time will reveal the things, the people, the mountains left standing after the dust has settled. You’ll be surprised about how much remains and how much space you have to gain.