For the 50th time… Merry Christmas!

And Bah Humbug!

Not that its really a horrible day or anything, just had to put it out there for my introvert acquaintances, my “I hate this season” peeps out there, and those who are just coming up a little short one the “joyous” holiday spirit.

And for those brothers and sisters of service in uniform – thank you for holding the watch. I salute you wherever you are.

Christmas – Hannukwanzamus – holidays, etc., whatever you call it for you, is a special time of year. I look at it now and think – what does this mean to me? Well….its not the same as it was when I was younger. I remember not being able to sleep at all, anxious to see what was in the stocking and under the tree for me and my siblings. Sometimes all six of us would retreat into one room and try to sleep but mostly end up staying awake out of anticipation whispering aloud what we thought Santa would leave.

And you know what comes to mind when I think of that? How the hell did I do that without coffee? See? I can live without coffee!

Oi.

Ahh… Today is that day that I get together with them again though. Not all six because one sister goes to her husbands family. But all the rest of us, plus our significant others and the respective kids. All descending on my mothers with bagels in tow for brunch. I think I need to go get my foam ear plugs now that I think about it. Hours of yelling and screaming and kids and dogs running through her house, bits of wrapping paper and opened empty boxes everywhere, kids that can’t remember to clear their plates, bottles of champagne opened by the twos.

The corners of my mouth twitch when I try to smile about it.

And then… we all go see a movie for a few hours while the house gets cleaned and the food gets made just to show back up for the annual party with the exended family. A lot of decadent food made by my French Chef auntie, family that I haven’t seen all year asking the same shallow questions about what I’ve been up to, how work is, and how life’s been treating me, and then a few shots of tequila or Soju and promises about keeping in touch and getting together more than once a year.

Gosh. I make it sound horrible, don’t I?

Actually its nice to see everyone. I guess I really don’t have much to complain about. One thing about hitting the 50 is that I realize I don’t really want to see everyone all the time. My family has never really been that way. And I kind of like it. It seems OK for me to admit that now. I love them all, but seriously. I like my space, and I like when I have family. But I appreciate their separation also.

Perhaps the greatest gift this year that I can think of is the one that I gave to myself: permission. Permission to be OK with who I am and what I feel. No longer having to respond according to others expectations. But to honor mine.

I hope we you all have a joyous day. Being YOU!

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Health

One thing off the top – it takes longer to bounce back.  Ho. Lee. Crap.

Gone are the days where I can have an incredible surf or bodysurf session where I bounce off the sand bars repeatedly, get closed out in the shore-break, or sit out on the board taking wave after wave until the sun sets.  Gone are the days of going to a show and wrecking myself in the mosh pit all night then waking up ready to run a 10K. Gone are the days that seemed not so long ago where walking through Thailand for 6 hours then going out drinking and eating with the rest of the crew wouldn’t have me heaving any food I introduce into my system for the next 2 days while I soak my feet and legs in hot salted water.

Not like I’ve ever done the last one.

So recently I went to address some of the aches and pains that have been haunting me.  I made a commitment – or was actually suggested to me – during my last jaunt down to my Shipibo friends for some expansive ceremony.  The one I am referring to is the one where I am to take a long serious look at my physical structure and habits about how I treat my temple and rebuild it to its full glory.

Or bodies are our Temples, and the gateway to true ecstasy and awakening.  I remember reading in the series Life and Teaching of the Masters of the Far East that we should live “right within our temples” and that Divine resides and abides in our body.  It is truly the only place we ever have to live, the only one we have been given, and is the repository of our soul. 

When I had my ceremony, I realized that although I had appreciated my body to a certain extent, I had some arduous work to do.  As Joan Rivers once said “My body is a temple that needs some serious redecorating.”

I began to take stock – I am way above what I should weigh for my height and have been there for decades.  Somehow I made it through boot camp at 32 and Officer School right before my 34th birthday, and have never failed a physical readiness test. I had a lingering meniscus issue with one leg, and a lingering shoulder issue on the opposing side.  Never could run after the first knee scope, and that bothers me.  Tingling in the right hand, neck issues with bulged discs, and various other things that have given me the excuse to sit on my ass after work and dinner watching streaming shows until its time to go to bed.

Well the three letter demon (ego) is losing out on this one.

So when I was in the ceremony, this was all easier.  I took this grand look at myself while standing in my etheric energetic glory of a golden-white illuminated body consciousness and thought, “This will be good.  And this will be done. Easy.”  You know, when you’re in that plane things are real clear, but also you are totally aware that when you step down from that platform and assume this density again – WHAM!!! the “My Lord this sucks” and “What the heck was I thinking” thoughts stream faster than Netflix. And I knew that it would be painful, long, drawn out, and totally be worth it.

And I made the appointments with the orthopedic surgeon when I got back. Yep, he went in and scoped my knee first and 2 weeks later did my shoulder.

And I – like a total dumb… – thought it would be easy peasy. Well… let me tell you.  WE DON’T BOUNCE BACK THAT DAMN QUICKLY ANYMORE!!!

Yep, the body wanted to start bringing it all to the surface.  After the surgeries, somehow (someone seriously tell me how this is possible) I managed to get a hernia and – with my wonderful limited walking – barely be able to sit and walk. Then, to top it all off I have been having night sweats and low energy so they searched me for infections. And I am not talking a light sprinkling sweat. No.  We are talking either “wake the wife up and change the damn sheets and pillow cases” or “bring out 3 towels to try to soak it up while you sleep” sweating.

And on top of that, the shuffle.  Oh. My God.  It’s like I am a damn zombie.  I have that old-man slow “I’ll get there eventually” shuffle going on and its pissing me the heck off! I will get there though.

See the thing that I realized is that the work on the body can always be done.  And all of this is that crappy muck from the surface that is being scraped off.  In one area.  The body. The Temple of the Soul. I anxiously await the day that my energy is back, my leg is stable, and my arm can handle swimming a mile again. It will come.  But with decision, comes natural shifts as well.

I knew that the shift in focus to the body was another thing that I had to pull the ego monkey mind out of and allow things to show up in their own way. I noticed – probably a week ag0 – that suddenly coffee was making my stomach churn and my head ache.  So I decided it was time to stop.  And *snap* I was just done and haven’t thought of my second favorite beverage since.  Another thing was that I was suddenly craving more fruits and veggies.  That the desire for carnitas, chorizo, steak was just not there.  I have been noticing these things, and just appreciate them for what they are.  I choose not to hold on to that, because why jinx it with some ego statement? At least inside of me. 

Inside my temple. Where the Highest Me speaks and lives. 

And makes the changes. 

My ass just needs to allow and stay the hell out of the way.

Moving Forward

So the first thing that tends to happen when we hit the big Silver is a quick sense of inventory of life.  Well…I have no proof of that so go with me here. But anyway, so I have been thinking of all the things that I have done, not done, hope to do, etc.  Coming to me have been the thoughts of what I wished I had done, rights where I should have gone left, people I … well you get the picture.  Not really regrets per se, but more like other directions that could have resulted in drastically different outcomes today.

If I am dragging you down, that’s not my intent.  What I am attempting here is to direct where this blog is going to be going.  There is no day like the present, and we only have each day left before us.  I am by no means completely disheveled. On the contrary – I work at a major corporation, am a veteran and reservist with close to 20 years of service, have a Master’s degree, blah, blah, blah.

One of the things that I have noticed in my life is that I have been a slave to the ego.  It has interjected itself in everything I have done throughout my life.  You’d be amazed at how it weaves its nasty little web and lures us into doing its’ bidding for even the stupidest little things.

A few years ago I was involved in a shamanic ceremony – I am REALLY into all of that so if you’re cringing, STAY and learn something – and I moved into this place where I was watching how the ego was designated to assist us rather than rule the show.  I was shown how there are streams of light and “absence of light” (note NOT darkness) within every thought, deed, decision, action, direction, belief, result, etc.  We constantly have what is presented to us via the ego and what it’s direction desires, and what the authentic true Self desires.  Think of the Yin and Yang, Night and Day, the balance of two halves.  If you could visualize it, it would be long streams of energy wrapping around each other in light and non-light, each splitting in various areas based on tangents or possibilities depending on decisions or follow on thoughts, all streaming down into your head. (Hard to describe in words apparently)

Point is – we have options to go with the thing in our heads or in our truth.  Let me change this up a little.  You ever notice that part of your thoughts and mind that yells the loudest, tells you over and over and over that one piece of cake is okay since you had one yesterday, tells you that if you have the knee scope you’ll not just be ending the slight pain you have but you’ll also have attention from others as well as a technical “disability,” that you don’t really need to practice your meditations 3 times a day because you’re already a spiritually minded person, that whatever story that guys just told us all – hey listen to this one…. Yeah…EGO.

What I want to find here as I put my efforts into this over the year is a place where the ego takes the back seat and some of the things that I have always known would better myself are where I put my effort.  Things like actually going within and focusing on meditative practice. Like doing something to heal my body rather than diminish it. Like stopping the easy trigger responses to the Goddess in my life who I am so blessed to have in it and yet ego wants to destroy that too.

Oh yeah – ego sees her as a demon.  She is the one person who truly sees me and wants me to evolve and drop it like a hot potato.  I was down at the beach meditating during a sunset and ego totally attempted to convince me she was a demon, even dressing her up, giving her fangs, red eyes, long tentacle arms with suction cups like an octopus with this gross slime oozing down – it was nasty.

But I digress.  This is not just about the ego.  The ego in fact is only a minor part of this.  The true essence of the effort is in the shift and the evolution.  We all grow what we think is in a certain direction, yet that is not completely accurate.  You can work your ass off and train and train and finally be able to complete that triathlon, but how has that actually changed your spiritual awareness? How has that helped you to let go of the baggage of your youth, the scars and trauma that you have witnessed, done to others, or been victimized by? No, sometimes all of that is actually avoidance because there is not a holistic perspective, an awareness that everything we do affects everything that we are, will be, have been, and are becoming.  I truly believe that it is all intertwined.

If you decide – with your Authentic Self rather than ego – to make a change, it has to be in EVERY aspect of your life.  Making a dietary change has to not be coming from some rampant drift from someone that says vegans are more whatever. It has to come with feeling, intent, focus, and drive.  And if you make that change, you have to think about it regularly, affirm it with your speech and actions, embody is as you move throughout the day, etc. It has to be something that you have contemplated for a long time, feel an affinity for, but most importantly – ready to enact. And that one decision can be subtle or grand, minute or huge, even simply, “I am done with ever eating pork” and you just never touch the stuff again.  You know why? Because you know, and it has move into the level of feeling, of being, knowing.

Sounds like some lofty thing? No not really.  We all know certain things.  Like – making excuses for not getting up from the desk every hour doesn’t help us.  Like – not swimming 3 times a week “because its cold outside” is a weak excuse for a 50 year old. Like – I made it a whole week, once cigar and a flask of tequila won’t hurt. Those are the low hanging fruits friends.

But those are what I am aiming for first.  You know why?

Because once you scrape the shit from the top off and deal with it, the deeper pollutants have to begin to surface.

And I want some clean frikkin’ water.

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

And if you are 50, then I have just joined your ranks.  They say that after fifty things start to get real. Real what, I am not sure.

But I know that the journey here has been tumultuous, challenging, horrifying, glorious, unnerving, ecstatic, lovely, etc.  Each moment a new sensation, a new thought, a new epiphany, a new door opened and closed.

And – well – holy shit I hope it all SLOWS THE HELL DOWN NOW!!!

I mean shit.  Now that I hit fifty, I am hoping that this all shifts into life being a lot more peaceful.  I hope I am not coming off as a complainer here, because that is not my intent.  But what I am hoping to elicit with the formulation of the blog is life and the changes that begin to happen at the age of 50 and beyond.

We have always heard of all the wonderful things that come with age – wisdom, patience, more understanding of life and others, awakening to your Higher Self, rethinking priorities, mid-life crises, etc. I am interested in watching that happen.

Honestly I never thought I would make it to 50.  It was always this “off in the horizon” age that constituted being older and accomplished.  Even last week it still felt like it was just this “thing” in the future.

When I was rowdy and younger, there were times that even family members were surprised I made it past 25.  But I am grateful that I have turned 50, and I am determined to make this next year about openings, awakenings, newness, and discovery.

So I hope that you stick with me over the course of this.  I am not sure what the year will entail, but my hope is to reflect on events in life from the perspective of change actively happening.  And along the way, I welcome your thoughts, laughs, and audience.

Welcome to the Fabulous Frikkin’ Fifty!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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