to lose and to gain

We lose—only—what we must

allow ourselves to lose,

regardless of the pain

and suffering we choose, to lose

and to gain—

to have what it takes,

to further ourselves

to a better tomorrow.

Boba Raton, Joe.

A message from that time I cut myself off from the world. (circa 2009)

What I lost in my depression

What developed over time

Who grew within my absence

Who called but couldn’t find

The person who they once knew

Who only wished to die

Where deep within my fortress

Of solitude did I

Salute them in their merit

Who tried from time to time

To free me from my burden

Which words could not describe

Though even in my heartache

I never told a lie

But took pride in them knowing

Their strength I too could find

That’s why I keep them with me

Past lovers, friends, and my

Gratitude for suffering

This awfully fragile mind

Grown with understanding

Like fruit picked from a vine

I’m grounded by their blessings

And grateful for this life

Children

Children are very important, more in tune

than our fragile adult minds are willing to admit,

because kids know what’s important

and they’ll tell you to your face,

though it’s hard to hear them

with all the nonsense man’s created

to convince the world

he ain’t so little anymore, knowing the truth

once he’s willing to truly listen.

My Nephew Collin

A Breathing Room – something we can all benefit from

How many times a day do you feel overwhelmed, frustrated, angry or confused?

After counting all of mine, would you mind if I borrow your fingers and toes?

In Peace Is Every Step, Thich Nhat Hanh suggests a breathing room. He writes, “we have a room for everything—eating, sleeping, watching TV—but we have no room for mindfulness. I recommend that we set up a small room in our homes and call it a “breathing room,” where we can be alone and practice just breathing and smiling, at least in difficult moments.”

If by chance you’re thinking, why didn’t I think of that, then join the club.

He goes on to describe this common space, the “breathing room,” as sort of a fortress of solitude where with respect to the inhabitant, no one else may enter or disturb their chosen silence.

It’s basically for that moment when a conversation turns into a discussion, which turns to a debate—with seemingly no agreeable outcome—which in turn forms into an argument, with no resolve.

So it’s reserved only for that peak moment of, “I need some space,” or “give me a moment to think.”

With so much information cycling in and out of your subconscious, be it social apps, advertisements, marketing, news, or work, where it can feel like our minds get lost in the shuffle, or rather programmed with ideas that aren’t solely our own, this often causes our discussions or thoughts to turn to anger and confusion, which in turn manifests itself in words of anger and confusion.

So instead of falling into a pit of verbal debate which at the start was never our intention to begin with, there in lies the breathing room.

It seems a bit strange at first but if you factor in the amount of screens we allow to jumble our thoughts on a daily basis, it really makes a lot more sense as to why it’s more than necessary in today’s day and age to have a space for mindfulness and calm reflection.

It’s a practice I continue to engage, like a well oiled machine, with proper maintenance and care, we can all find peace and understanding, and better ways to dealing with hard situations.

And I think that by allowing ourselves this space and time, we can find a better means of listening, speaking, and treating one another with the proper respect of another that we also deserve.

Breathe in. Breathe out. And by getting to the center of ourselves, we can then find better understanding of another.

Peace In Every Step, Thich Nhat Hanh

A holy moment.

Taking a moment

to examine your palm

is a holy moment.

And those lines, well

they’re the most honest

you’ll ever read.

From the Kindness Rock Project. Topanga, California

Her morning meditation

Her silence is an offering

The morning sun’s a gift

Her morning meditation

I watch as my mind drifts

Our backyard is a symphony

The melody and pitch

Free from all temptation

Her presence does enrich

Morning Meditation 09/24/2020

What’s truly important

What’s truly important

is not what was

but what is, and

how you’re willing to thrive

within the moment.

September 14th 2020

(This was me, 2:25pm, August 31, 2020—happy, and holy, and released)

It’s become abundantly clear through time and misfortune, not to be confused with the physical form such as money or objects, but rather with the exploration of self, the embodiment of peace, and the idea that expression can or should be limited or contained due of a value system built out of fear and intolerance.

Most of our lives we are given what can be thought of as a safety net of ideals—paths to follow, standards to meet—to make life “easier” or conducive to the perception of others.

Rather than present ourselves the way we deem fit, the general standard is to be as the chameleon—to do whatever it takes to fit in—who blends into its surroundings for survival.

Well, for myself, I’ve learned to accept and reject that pattern as it does not allow for growth.

I’ve grown everywhere from upside down to sideways and still have come to the conclusion that no matter how hard you try, there will always be a group, a banner, many men and signs who will make it their duty to mock one’s freedom of self.

I accept myself.

Further more, I applaud myself.

I look in the mirror and examine an ever changing life force composed of trial and error, love and appreciation, a life force who has exhausted himself to live his truth, that is…well…hell if I know!

I’m still figuring that out, one moment, one step, and one portrait at a time.

Thankfully enough, I’ve been blessed by an equal partner, a beautiful guiding spirit of light and love to help nurture my venture to freedom of self—Ariel Rachel—who does not judge but embraces my eccentricities as I honor and trust full heartedly in hers.

I highly recommend letting go of inhibition, being open and honest with yourself, others, and showcasing who you are, each and every day.

Be well my friends. I look forward to seeing you for everything that you are, today, tomorrow, and in future discoveries.

(This was me, 2:25pm, August 31, 2020—happy, and holy, and released)

2:25pm, August 31, 2020—happy, and holy, and released

a rose petal pair

secrets untangled

the lengths of her hair

sun bathed and dreaming

a rose petal pair

hysterical heavens

we laughed at all fear

what good is a martyr

or death or despair

Shaking hands

I’m not very good at shaking hands

I just kind of put my hand out there

and well

try to match the shake of the other.

I guess I sort of know what that

says about my character, but

I’m cool with that, you know.

Sure I told him

without even saying a word — the courtesy

hug thereafter well, that’s a whole other story.