Street art stencil piece by “MEEK”.
When we sit and ponder this idea of “change”, one can safely say that the majority of us are numb to such a word. Living our days in and out filled with crazy demands, expectations, attachments and so forth, we’re not even sure who we are anymore, let alone how to change any of it. We’re on autopilot…tick tock…going through the motions. We’ve accumulated all these mental artifacts through the journey but refuse to throw the older stuff away; dragging it along behind us until it triples in size and becomes an integral part of ourselves. We’ve become “THIS”. “THIS” is whatever we describe ourselves as…all of the things that make us who we are (or who we believe we are). We have a preset notion about ourselves based on our beliefs, personal preferences, comforts, expectations and so forth. In our minds we have this unshakeable “definitive” knowledge (although, based upon the regurgitated opinions of others) which we hold onto for dear life. If anything outside of this arena conflicts with it’s inner workings, we shut down and defend it by all means necessary. We are not open minded people; as much as we think and say that we are. We formed such an impenetrable ego around us and we hide there, certain that everything we know is right and good (or as long as the majority of society agrees, then it must be right and good). And when we think that something is NOT right or good, we immediately “make plans” to change it. Think about that for a moment…if we know deep down that something is not working or serving us in some positive manner, why would we not at least make the attempt to change it right away? Ya know…start chipping away at it one piece at a time? But no; instead we TALK about how we’re going to do this and that sometime in the future “when all the stars align”…there is no such time. The only time you can actually DO anything, is right NOW. The moral of the story is this: Stop being busy thinking and be busy doing.
Within the whole theory of time there is the past (which does not exist), the present (now) and the future (which does not exist). So, if we are constantly beating ourselves up over the past and planning for a better future….what exactly are we DOING right now (in the only space where we can actually exist)? The answer is NOTHING. We are doing nothing. We are having an endless argument inside of our head all while sitting on the couch and staring blankly at a wall. Rather than using our brain for evolving, creating and enjoying what life has to offer us, we are using our brain as an internal television. We are constantly recording dramas and playing them back over and over again. We analyze the scenes and react to the emotions we feel during the viewing of these “shows”. And if we come to any conclusions about them (good or bad), we PLAN to do something similar or different in the future so we can continue those good feelings or end the bad feelings. But change cannot happen in the future…change can only happen when you actually make the change (now). Therefore, if you are not doing the changing…you are doing nothing.
This leads me to the subject of personal health and wellness and the idea of planning “New Year Resolutions”. Most of the world is addicted to something; be it cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, food, sex, depression, drama etc. These are patterns which we’ve created for ourselves and attached to our ego over time. The thought of NOT doing them seems foreign to us. We’ve been behaving a certain way for so long that we are scared of the thought of losing this thing. Obviously, some of these things give us temporary satisfaction and comfort, even if they are disgusting, painful, hurtful and are slowly killing us on the inside. These things become such a part of us that we are not willing to let them go…the very thought of it is terrifying. What would I BE without it? What will I do if I don’t have it? Again, the argument inside of us rages as the present moment is wasted doing absolutely nothing. “Oh, but a new year is coming up…time is passing and it is resetting itself on January 1st, so thats when I am going to start doing everything that I have not thus far”. So wait…..earlier this year it was also a new year, why weren’t you already working on those things then? Because its an endless cycle of judging and planning…never doing. “I am going to go on a diet next month AFTER I finish all the junk food in the house”…”I am going to quit smoking AFTER I finish this pack/carton”…”I am going to stop drinking AFTER my friend’s wedding in 3 months”…”I am going to start juicing WHEN someone gets me a juicer as a gift”. Do we hear ourselves??? The ridiculous excuses we come up with just in order to make it “ok”, to justify our lack of self control. We are not at the wheel man. We’re letting our diseased brain drive our car all over the place, picking up random people along the way, crashing into things and then looking for some miracle to fix the car after the damage has been done. If we stop making stupid promises to ourselves (which we know we will never honor) and just simply start DOING them as they pop into our heads, we’d be on the right path. Take the fucking wheel and control your own path. “Easier said than done”, right? Exactly.
So how do we DO something as opposed to just saying or thinking it? We need to first turn down the volume of the chatter inside our heads. Stop thinking about everything little thing so much. Stop allowing every one, every moment and every thing to rent space inside your head. Stop analyzing yourself. Don’t be afraid to be “bored” in the present moment. Breath deeply and slowly…stop thinking…visualize yourself floating in nothingness…visualize your body disintegrating. Be nothing in this moment. Now, tap into the subconscious YOU…that “gut feeling”. Now ask the question “Is smoking good for me in any way”? If your gut says quitting smoking will help your body heal, feel better and live longer…then just start there…right now. Just throw your pack of smokes in the garbage. Don’t smoke for the rest of that day. Don’t think about what not smoking will be like in a day, two days, a week, a year…stop trying to leave the present moment and simply experience now. “BUT NOW IS WHEN I WANT TO SMOKE!!!” Ignore that diseased part of the brain that keeps the drama going; when that happens just ask yourself the same question again, “Is smoking good for me in any way”? If not, keep on the path. If you feel like picking up a cigarette…NOW, go to the fridge and get a carrot stick instead. Focus on how crunchy and tasty the carrot is and the benefits it has for your body. Chew it slowly…really taste it and enjoy it. Relax and breathe. Always being conscious…always being present.
And sure, like every bad habit you kick…there will be some yucky detox feelings until you get the shit out of your system. Don’t take that as a bad thing. It is a good thing…your body is rejecting its dependence on it just as you (your true self) have decided to. And once you are passed that, you will feel different…better than ever. You will just know that your body is healing. Quitting or changing anything about ourselves is definitely work (and even pain, blood, sweat and tears); but it is the ONLY work worth doing. Forget about your job…your career…whatever makes the money machine keep turning. If you aren’t at your best, you can’t be doing your best for anybody else..that is a fact. I used smoking as the subject above but this can be applied to anything you want to change about yourself. For me, earlier this year, it all started with a simple walk around my block. I was tired of being stiff, sore and overweight. And I was tired of the mental jail I was keeping myself in over it. I let my brain talk me into eating and drinking so much garbage, all of the time. The excuses I’d give myself were never ending. I had meditated a great deal in the past to help with depression some years back and couldn’t believe how long I had let go of it. I got comfortable and didn’t think I needed to work on myself anymore, so I threw it aside. That was one of the dumbest mistakes I’d ever made. Realizing this; I knew the same rules would apply for my physical health (it’s all in the mind). So, one day I just did the same meditation/visualization thing I described earlier and before I knew it, I was outside going for a long walk, enjoying the fresh air, warmth of the sun and just the calm quiet of my surroundings. I kept doing the same thing until that transformed into riding a bike…juicing…getting colonics…changing my diet and so on. I just kept doing more, adding more and making the changes as they came to me. Not pondering them…not fearing them but just checking with my gut and TRUSTING.
I hear a lot of people tell me that I have good “will power” but I truly don’t think that is it at all. When I think about my own experience, I would instead call it “being awake”. I simply don’t let my mind ramble on and on about ridiculous things anymore. There is no auto pilot inside of my head. I “think” when it is needed for creativity, work, etc. I speak when something needs to be said. If my mind is at rest, I’m sleeping or meditating. And if I witness my brain starting chatter, I end it. Just like the food I put into my body; if it doesn’t nourish me in someway then I don’t eat it. I try not to ponder decisions too much (as I have a long history of doing so). If something feels like it will be good for me and serve me on a positive level, I will just do it. And if I see/feel good results from it, I just add it into my way of doing things and adopt another good habit. Keeping up with it really isn’t difficult at all because I see/feel what these changes have done for me and I know what I felt like before I made these changes. I would never want to go back to that and neither does my body…so we’re in sync now. It craves good things, so I give it good things. It’s that simple.
My ideas may seem extreme to some of you; almost a little TOO BIG maybe? Thats the problem right there. Stop making everything so big in your head. By taking a HUGE idea and squishing it into something SMALL, it allows us to chip away at it, piece by piece, as each moment comes, as we tap into our true power. Each time we do this, we cease to stop living in our heads and begin living in real life. DOING things with little or no thought at all. Thats the trick; stop making BIG GOALS and BIG PLANS; instead, break them down into small chunks and logical steps. Then just start with the first little piece right NOW. Before you know it, you’ll be tackling each little piece until you have reached the original goal. Much time will have passed, you will feel better and be different. You will have changed your lifestyle and the way you do things without even realizing it. And its simply because you focused on the DOING instead of the PLANNING. You will feel better than you ever have because you are actually achieving things.
But the ups are not without their downs as well. The very essence of “change” is a lonely path. It’s nothing that can be shared with other people, no matter how hard you try and force it. Sure, have an exercise buddy if you want…someone to juice with, whatever…but don’t marry yourself to the idea that you are both doing it TOGETHER. That other person may just be along for the ride…something to do while hanging out, etc. Don’t wait for the other person to catch up…don’t let their shortcomings affect your progress; some people will simply not be as awakened as you are. If that other person can’t make it one day, gets sick, gets hurt or whatever; you can’t just stop doing it too. That is why change needs to be a lonely path. You need to DO for YOU…you need to make the time for yourself and not base it upon all the others in your life who are just siting around waiting for you to get back into your old habits again. Family, friends, aquaintances…some will embrace your changes while others who don’t fully understand will shy away from you over time, poke fun, question your choices constantly and try to to knock you down with their own ignorance. They will be the first to step up to you and tell you their opinion on it all, what you are doing is dangerous, unhealthy, unnatural, unconstitutional, not what “god” intended…blah…blah…blah. Scratch all of that shit. They are all speaking from their own “brain prison”. Spewing out their version of what truth is for them. Your intelligence, open mindedness and trust in the universe tells you different. They will blindly fight to defend their own beliefs, opinions and ego. As sad as it may be to lose some friends or not communicate with a family member; unfortunately, it’s all part of this process. As history has proven, majorities do not like minorities. There is a “majority” only because that group ALL agrees on the same thing. So, if you’re opening up your mind to change or be different from the flock…most people will not like it (except for the ones who are open minded and willing to change as well). Not everyone will be happy for you and support your journey. Mostly because it reflects back upon them, the very things with which they have failed at themselves.
In my case, I am still the same guy I have always been; other than my relationship to food and the way in which I eat it, I’m still the same old fun loving introvert that I always was. I don’t even bring up my eating habits unless someone asks me directly about them. Then, I will passionately share what I’ve learned because it TRULY helped me and I would love to see others experience the same energy and happiness. Yet still, some take it as a personal attack against them and come to the conclusion that I am preaching or judging their lifestyles (which could not be further from the truth). But, that is their own shit to deal with…not mine (case in point). When moving forward, something always gets left behind.
Happy New Year.