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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 61: Let Go of What You’re Attached To.

Today’s my second day in a row without bud. In case you didn’t know, I’m a daily toker, I have been for many years now. In the past few years I’ve started experimenting with setting goals for myself, daily goals as well as long-term goals. One example is my goal with alcohol. Back in the days I used to drink way too much, and it was causing problems in my life, so I finally decided that something needed to be done. I didn’t want to stop, and every day it was so easy to just walk on over to the corner store and grab a six pack, especially in the infernal Honduras heat as we getting home from work, no longer in the comfort of the air conditioning. In the midst of a painful hangover, since they got worse and worse over the years, I’d always swear I’d never drink again. I had no need for it, I would say, I felt guilty or ashamed about possibly, very likely, having acted like an idiot the night before, and I didn’t want the situation to repeat itself. No more drinking, I’ll be a new man. These were my thoughts, but once the hangover went away, the cravings always came back. The problem is drinking to excess, but why not just have a beer or two? That refreshing cold taste, that initial euphoria and overall relaxed feeling, they were too nice to pass up, especially since everyone I know from work loves to drink. I don’t know many other people here, but wherever we find ourselves these days, usually most people love to drink anyway. It’s a socially acceptable destructive habit. I didn’t pay much attention to all my promises to stop drinking, but over time I did a lot of reflection, along with some powerful psychedelic trips which really showed me the desperate situation I was in, and so I built up the courage to get started on an abstinence goal. I started out with just five days, and I promised my wife Maria that I would stick to the five days no matter how I felt. She’s not a drinker at all, so she’s always been such great support and motivation for me on this particular goal, although she always supports me with all of the goals I set for myself. Sure enough, when I talked about forgetting the goal and having a beer she was there to remind me that I was the one who set the goal in the first place because I really thought I needed it, that I had been the one who asked her to support me with it even if I tried to back down, and that it would only be five days anyway, that I was strong enough to succeed. I did succeed, I didn’t drink for five days. Then I drank again, but this time I was ready, after a week or two of drinking, to do a ten day goal. I did it, and although I always did drink after the goal was over, I felt like each time I completed a goal, each time I stuck to the plan and practiced self-control instead of just giving in to temptation, I was getting a bit closer to freedom, I was leaving the need for alcohol behind. I no longer partied at this point, so I would just drink at home, waking up to a complete mess the next day. This went away, and the longer my no-drinking goal was, the longer I was able to spend uninterrupted peace of mind. My mind was much clearer, I didn’t have such negative thoughts floating around in my head, I felt less pains all throughout my body, less stomach problems, and I got to save up not only the money I used to spend on beers, but also the money I’d spend on all the dumb shit I’d buy after drinking beers. Fast forward to today, I’m three days away from reaching a hundred days, although the goal is two hundred. I previously completed a goal of a hundred days without drinking, it was my last goal. I drink when it ended, yes, but this time much more moderately than I used to. Now, halfway through my two hundred day goal, I honestly have days when I really feel like I could go on for the rest of my life without drinking, like I really don’t need to drink ever again, it just adds nothing to my life anymore. I really hope this mentality persists when I finish this goal, but I’ll probably do a bit of drinking before I start with the next goal. The good thing is that at least my attitude towards alcohol has drastically changed due to these experiments. As for the bud, which is what I started out by talking about, it’s a bit of a different story. Although smoking anything is harmful to the lungs in one way or another, weed is not really much of a problem, as far as cancer and things like that go. Either way though, I recently started using a vaporizer, but the real reason for me setting a goal of abstinence from cannabis for a while is due to my attitude towards it. Unlike alcohol, weed isn’t really a substance which I’m really looking to eventually remove from my life for good. On the contrary, I love bud and will probably use it until I grow old. The problem is not the weed, the problem is my attachment. It’s hard to admit at times, since we want to continue using or doing whatever we are attached to, but any kind of attachment is not healthy for us, and that truth cannot be escaped. Whether it’s weed, or money, or food, or whatever it is, if we are constantly in need of it and we don’t feel okay without it then we are attached. My goal with the bud is to cut down quite drastically for now, from blazing every day, to blazing only 15 days of each month, so basically half the month. This is the first month that I’m doing this experiment, and I blazed up until the tenth day of the month. I stopped on the eleventh and today, but when it gets to 12am I’ll blaze, and I can’t wait, only about fourteen minutes more until the new day. This weekend is directly leading up to my anniversary with Maria, our two year marriage anniversary, so we have to blaze this weekend for sure, and on Monday, which is the actual day. This will mean I’ll have gotten stoned for thirteen days of the month, leaving only two days for me to blaze, and about 15 days left of the month. I’m not looking forward to those five-day intervals without blazing, but the time has come to begin with this goal which I’ve been thinking of starting for quite a while. I already promised Maria anyway, and I can’t break that promise I made to her, so it helps to keep me accountable.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 62.

~ Rebel Spirit

1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 23: Habits, Self-Control, Spirituality, Attachment.

23 days into writing a thousand words. Writer’s block feeling is creeping up. Damn, I knew this day would come. Scratch that ‘damn’, I can’t complain. No, really, I can’t complain. I’m about a week into my new goal of catching myself whenever I complain, ideally before the words leave my mouth. A mental complaint isn’t as bad as an uttered one, at least it shows some self-control building up within if I can stop the complaint before I spew it out. This writing goal has definitely been helping in that aspect as well, of self-control, since on some days I don’t even feel like writing. I’d always thought about inspiration in the way that it is something which suddenly strikes, and which one has to be prepared at any moment to give artistic expression to. I’ve been realizing it isn’t much like that at all, though. It’s been great to come to know the truth, that one can summon inspiration, that one can produce a mental state which is optimal for creativity, for inspiration to strike and for magic to be manifested. When I don’t feel like writing I just push myself to write, in the moment, I realize the moment is all I have to put up with. One moment of boredom, of confusion, of indecision. But after that moment, as long as I was able to get one word down, every successive moment throws more words at me that I can connect with the previous ones I wrote. Often all that is needed is that we begin, and ultimately that’s the biggest gain from all these goals I’ve been setting: greater self-control, a determination to beat resistance and to never shy away from my goals, big or small. One of the most difficult goals for me to work with so far has been the chronic. This is a goal I’ve been thinking of setting for myself for quite a while now but neglecting. Since weed isn’t really all that harmful to one’s body or mind, I haven’t ever gotten serious enough about balancing that aspect of my life. The problem is that, after years of blazing, the high is no longer the same, especially when one is smoking various times a day, before meals, before sleeping, wake’n’bake every morning. The experience loses its value and begins to feel commonplace, dull, another motion in the everyday routine. If we let this happen, the outcome is that we become way too comfortable with being stoned to even think about extending our energies outward, into the world, and we become trapped in our own world, in our comfort zone. We might have great ideas yet we never bring them to life. I think this is a consequence of abusing an otherwise benevolent plant which ought to be respected and treated with restraint,, used with balance just as any other substance should. I’ll probably take my last big bong toke of the day right at 11:59 p.m., since I can’t blaze past midnight. I’m only supposed to blaze three days a week, since a few weeks back. If I’m honest, I’ve failed most weeks, yet I do feel I’m smoking a lot less now, each week getting closer to the actual three days, and I don’t feel as attached to the kush any more, to the need to have it. This is great progress, since I was used to having bud around at all times, during all activities. Although the weed wasn’t really harming my life in such a drastic way, I was confronted with the realization that if I’m serious about following the spiritual path in life, the path of discernment, of doing what is right, of living free, of feeling and being in touch with the real Self, then I cannot afford to be attached to any external substance, or anything else external for that matter. So now, whenever it’s time not to blaze, although temptation arises, I tend to sit and meditate and focus my attention fully to the present moment, realizing that God dwells within me, as in all of us, and that there is no need for me to crave for anything other than this everlasting love. This practice has become a great way to build spiritual stamina and to strengthen self-control. Also, I get to save a bit more money, which is great since I’m at a point in life now where I’ve really been thinking about simplifying my life, reducing pointless spending, and being free from most products, from money, and from the need to work. Not to an extreme, just trying to minimize and simplify. So, it’s good to work on my weed consumption from that point of view. I’m not saying that weed is addictive in itself however, and I do understand that it has many positives that go along with it. My point with this goal is not to quit blazing for good, since I think weed can be used in a very positive and even spiritual manner. Other substances I’ve cut out of my life for good, since it has become quite obvious to me that they serve no purpose in my life other than creating chaos where none needs to exist. I suspect this might be true of other people’s lives and experiences with such substances, yet they continue to ignorantly indulge. Sadly one can only lead by example, since people don’t like being told what to do. Personally though, I’m glad I’m completely off alcohol and cigarettes, two habits which I cherished and partook in heavily for almost a decade. They both started with small goals of a few days of abstinence, and now I feel zero to no craving for either one. Often I get frustrated with having to do these goals, with failing, with starting again, with failing and starting over yet once more, but this is how self-control and willpower are built, and we have to remind ourselves that true progress takes time, that success isn’t reached overnight. Failure is a part of success. My success in overcoming alcohol and cigarettes has also, apart from building up my self-control and willpower, contributed to the improvement of my overall health and mood and to a much clearer mental state, and it has allowed me to stop wasting money on things I used to compulsively buy when drunk, on junk food, and on things I have to replace when drunk me breaks them. Instead of hearing all the gossip that gets said at parties I stay home and read, or enjoy any other activities with my wife. I always love staying home and feasting on one of her delicious meals. Maria is a naturally gifted cook, and her meals always turn out delicious. I always remember to thank God for giving me such an amazing wife. As far as food goes, I’ve had to set some goals as well, such as not eating at all after midnight, and making sure to eat breakfast each morning. These have been easier to take on than the goals regarding substances, but in the end everything helps strengthen my self-control, as well as weaken my attachment to external conditions. 

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 24.

~ Rebel Spirit