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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

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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 59: Methods For Getting Stoned.

I grew up with joints, my favorite way to blaze for a long time. It was great, taking my time to grind the bud, to roll the joint, and finally to find a comfortable spot to chill and blaze it at. It was so relaxing, the way the high from a joint slowly starts to creep up on you until you can barely keep going by the time half of it is done. I always kept on going though, and by the time the J was finished I would just sit there, stoned out of my mind, and stare at whatever was in front of me for a few seconds, simply enjoying how faded I was. Then I’d go for a walk, not in a rush at all, but just enjoying every step as I walked to wherever I was supposed to go next. I’d put some music on, or rather it was already on and in my ears throughout the sesh, but as I’d start to walk, the music would synchronize with all the different patterns, all the different colors, the different people and the scenery I saw. I was in the world but just as an outside observer, looking outward from my own comfortable little world. My world was the high I was in, combined with whatever song was on, library on shuffle with the volume up to the loudest level. I was happy in my own consciousness, simply observing life happening, observing the music filling my head with amazing vibes. I have most of my music on Spotify these days, but back then I had a 160GB iPod classic which I had all my music stored on. I downloaded a lot of music in those days, albums and full discographies even, and I still have most of that saved on an external drive, so even if Spotify ever goes down or something, I’ll still have my music to listen to. I loved having such a diverse music collection, and having the kind of sounds and rhythms I was hearing constantly switching up on me every two or three minutes, along with the scenery which would change by the second. Those were great days, magical days, walking in whatever weather, even in the rain. I used to tell people here in Honduras, back in Vancouver you would never do anything if you always stayed home because of some rain. I would stand under something, huge joint in hand, music in my ears as always, and I would just inhale and exhale slowly, watching, listening, thinking, sheltered from the rain. Nowadays I spend more time at home, and I guess it had a lot to do with me finally getting a bong as soon as I got married and we moved into our own crib here. I couldn’t own a bong when I lived with my parents, so it forced me to actually go out. I’d spend most of my days outside, and joints were what everyone used to smoke anyway, so I got used to it over the years. Here, though, I rarely smoke joints, maybe once or twice a week, and instead I just hit the bong. It sure is convenient, but I don’t like the fact that I spend more time at home, since it’s so comfortable to just stay at home and chill and take some good bong rips. I kind of miss going out and blazing and looking at places as I mentioned before, or even toking up with friends when we meet up for whatever. It’s been about a year I guess, maybe a bit more, than I’ve been mainly just hitting the bong, but recently, just about a week ago actually, I went ahead and purchased a dry herb vaporizer, which I’m currently taking a nice hit of, by the way. I really think this will be my go-to method of getting baked from now on I think, to be honest. It provides a really smooth hit, and what I’m really loving is the fact that I can actually taste the bud when I take a hit, I can taste much more flavor, yet the heat to the throat is greatly diminished, it’s almost non-existent. In other words, with a dry herb vaporizer you can take a much smoother, cleaner hit, since it’s vapor, not smoke, and so it has much less toxins in it, and you can actually taste the bud you have, and the effect is always great as well. Another pro of using a vaporizer is that it doesn’t leave off much smell either, since the vapor doesn’t linger in the air for much time, in fact it completely disappears in just two seconds, maybe three depending on the size of the hit you take. I took it to Maria’s house this past weekend, since I can’t blaze there at her mom’s house, and was taking some hits in the room before sleeping, nobody knew a thing. Also, just yesterday, I took some hits from it at work while I was on the elevator, and the vapor was gone just in time for when the elevator doors opened on the third floor. It’s so convenient, I can’t lie, and the fact that it’s extremely portable as well means that it doesn’t pose the problem of the bong, of having to stay at home to use it. I mean, it would be ridiculous to carry a bong around in my hand all day, and putting it in my backpack would likely result in it breaking. I’m glad that, apart from convenience, I’m also using the safest option now, not smoking any longer, and I just recently found that I can use the already vaporized bud again, by making edibles with it. I just ate my first attempt at doing this about half an hour ago, a peanut butter and bud sandwich. It wasn’t bad at all, and we’ll just have to wait until tomorrow to know if it will really hit or not. I don’t feel much yet, but then again I’ve already been taking hits from the vape.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 60.

1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 11: Productive Weed Highs.

So yesterday I wrote a bit about how, not wanting to quit smoking weed, I decided a few years back to try to spend most of my stoned time doing something creative, something productive. The reason I ended up writing about that yesterday was because I started by writing about the fact that, at least for me, weed shares one quality with psychedelics in that, in a very subtle way, it lets you be more in tune with what you know is the right thing. Things that I would ignore about my life would often become perfectly clear to me. One thing that became very clear was that I was spending too much of my stoned time just sitting back and listening to music. Now, don’t get me wrong, listening to music is quite possibly my favorite thing ever to do while I get stoned. But, you see, that’s exactly why I chose to cut down on that. I’m not suggesting that anyone should the the same, since there is nothing wrong with simply sitting back to relax to some trippy chill music when you’re taking flight! The thing about me is that, I really want to make certain things happen. I’ve always wanted to be a musician, and in fact I have a lot of albums recorded, some of which you can hear on this site by the way, but during that time I was no longer doing music. I was trying to find another outlet to express certain ideas about life and the world, since I was now expanding my horizons and beginning to learn a lot about spirituality, as well as living life in a much different way. I didn’t have many friends in Vancouver at this point, having been gone for so long, but I was enjoying this newfound peace of solitude. During the evenings and during my lunch breaks from work I would video chat with Maria who had stayed back in Honduras. We spoke pretty much every day, a few times a day. We couldn’t wait to be together again, and I was motivated to save money instead of blowing it all on drinking and all the bad decisions that come from that, so I was beginning to experiment with some solitude. The people in my life were my four co-workers at the immigration consulting firm, my parents back home, and my wife Maria on video chat (she was my fiance back then). I felt like I had a mission, I was a lot more mature now. So during those days of smoking at the New Amsterdam lounge, when instrumental tracks came on, by Ravi Shankar mostly, or some binaural beats which are said to be set at certain frequencies to relax the brain waves, I would think deeply, and it was during those moments that I began to notate my ideas on my cell phone notepad. I grew tired of this notepad since I had to press these small buttons and I couldn’t get my ideas down quick enough, and I also got tired of writing only when instrumental tracks came on during the general song library shuffle. So I started carrying my notebook with me to work and keeping it in my bad while I worked, and in the afternoon as I sat there, usually by the window, in peace, surrounded by other stoners, I began to write many thoughts down. Usually I would listen to “The Spirit of India”, the full album by Ravi Shankar, instrumental music, peaceful and serene. It got me in a relaxed mood every time, and I wrote all kinds of thoughts during those days. I wrote about my personal life and mind, I wrote thoughts on the world and life as a whole, thoughts on everything that came to mind, that captured my attention at that moment. I became fond of writing during those days, and I began writing a daily journal with diligence. I was determined to use my high times productively, to make the most of the creativity that the cannabis brought up from within me. It relaxed me and allowed me to write freely, about anything, whatever, just to write. It felt like the beginning of a new era for me, like something brand new, something fresh was beginning to blossom. Needless to say I’ve been writing in some way or another to this day. I simply can’t forget those days when I began this venture, the sitar sound in my ears, devoid of any words, the majestic melodies contained within Shankar’s masterpiece brought me to ecstasy as I inhaled huge puffs of chronic smoke, held them in for a few seconds, and then exhaled. I would feel my eyes close on themselves while I was only about halfway through the joint as I stared at it contemplating, asking myself “Damn, can even I finish this?” I finished every time, of course, but I can’t say it wasn’t always a challenge. In the end I always had a few pages written, and some ashes I’d have to brush off what I just wrote. The point had been to roll a joint that would be hard to finish, and that I had definitely done. This definitely allowed me to settle my thoughts and write with enough time not to feel rushed at all, the joint had to be just the perfect size, King Size, RAW. At a certain point the high and the music and my writing became completely merged and intertwined with each other, I felt the melody getting me higher and I couldn’t put the pen down! These kinds of experiences always put me in such an amazing mood. On sunny days I would look out the window at the park on Victory Square, at how the grass and the leaves shone brightly as yellow beams of light sparkling as if moved by the wind. On rainy days I would just watch the rain fall over the gray streets and that was satisfaction in itself. What I feel is good about such experiences is that they remind us of the beauty of life which is everywhere, in the seemingly simple things, the trees, the sun, the clouds, the rain. These beautiful things, God’s creation, constantly inspired me to write. It was like poetry was imparted to me by nature, in order to have it written in my journal. Maybe if I read back on that journal entry now I’d find myself in that timeless moment once again.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 12.

~ Rebel Spirit

1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 10: Cannabis, Self-Reflection and Writing.

The culture here in Honduras is very different from the one I experienced and became a part of in Canada. Most of the experiences which have truly shaped my personality the most up to this point are those that I had in Canada after my parents decided to move there when I was ten, at least until recently when I returned here to be married to my beautiful wife Maria. I grew up in Vancouver, BC, more specifically in the Surrey area. Many things that I grew up seeing as totally normal were things that completely shocked and terrified my folks, such as my appreciation for cannabis which started at the young age of thirteen. My parents went through a lot of suffering due to my love for that sweet BC bud. I always had to, and did, keep in mind that my parents come from Latin American countries where illegal “drugs” are associated with tremendous levels of organized crime and violence; it is a business which is fully controlled by gangs. In Canada, on the other hand, everyone and their mom smokes bud, or even sells it. Seeing my mom suffer like she did when I was finally caught selling at school made me never sell weed again, at least as a job, even though I think the laws which make it illegal in the first place are completely bogus. I couldn’t be happier about the fact that cannabis is now legal in Canada, nationwide, since October 17th, 2018. This is necessary in order to break the stigma, in order to open the world’s eyes to the fact that cannabis is not a dangerous drug, but rather a powerful and potent plant in many respects. Just like everything in this planet, it can definitely be abused, so it must be used with moderation. Balance is something which needs to be applied to every area of our lives if we want peace of mind. My belief is that no substance in the world is completely bad or good. Some cause more suffering than the experience is worth, and some ease the suffering of many people as long as they’re used properly and treated with respect. It is all about the way anything is used, just like the internet, or the TV, or social media. Just because so many people feel empty and alone or misunderstood in this dull world so devoid of life to the point where they begin desperately abusing weed, or alcohol, or pharmaceuticals, or any other substance for that matter, is not a valid reason to label the substance itself as evil. And if this was the actual reason why a substance like weed was ever illegal then all pharmaceuticals would have been completely forgotten as soon as the dreaded opioid epidemic reached massive proportions. I’m sure glad the fight is over in Canada, but I’m also speaking for and to the rest of the world where people who just want to chill a bit, as well as people who really need their weed have their basic rights denied and as branded as criminals. In reality, most problems related to pot use are due to its illegal status, including my own problem with my school and even with my parents’ view of it. Apart from that some people say that weed makes you lazy. I’ve thought about this in depth and to explain I must tell a bit of my own story. Cannabis has been a trusted friend to me for a very long time. The effect one feels after consuming this plant can obviously vary immensely from person to person depending on mental state and many other factors, but its general effect is usually one of slight sedation as well as of comfort or relaxation. At times I’ve felt as if I were becoming completely immersed in a bunch of blankets, as if I were sinking into my warm bed or something as soft as clouds, as if I were fading away into a dream as I lie in under the stars, my eyelids slowly closing over my vision. Most of my most wonderful weed memories are from my earliest days with it.. One cool thing I notice is that although cannabis makes one feel so wonderfully comfortable, it does not blind one to the facts of life, and in a way it shares an important quality with all psychedelics: the ability to bring you into deeper contemplation of your own thoughts. Interesting ideas seem to envelop my attention to the exclusion of everything else around me. I started to figure this out for the most part after having the realization that I didn’t want to live a life of time-wasting any more. This realization hit me the most while high one day, when I realized that I was losing motivation to work towards my goals, and I couldn’t lie to myself about it. This thought made me evaluate my daily activities and be honest with myself about when I was wasting time. Then I would do something more productive during that time in order to improve at being productive. I realized that all the time I was spending on weed after work might be holding me back and preventing me from doing more important things ,along with time wasted scrolling on Facebook or partying with friends. After work I would walk two blocks from Homer Street over to West Hastings on the corner of Victory Square in Downtown Vancouver. After purchasing the product at the corner dispensary I would merely cross the street to the New Amsterdam Café, a lounge where anyone can come in, and for a five dollar fee, smoke freely in a comfortable and secure area with some trippy paintings on the walls. Music is always playing, munchies are for sale, and any smoking or vaping equipment is provided if needed. There are large spots with conjoined couches for big groups, and there are also individual couches for the more introspective stoners. I usually went alone since I went right after work, and plus I preferred to blaze alone in those days anyway my main reason for being back in Vancouver being to save up for my then upcoming wedding. I would walk in like I was home and remove my tedious tie and jacket with a sigh of sweet relief as I proceeded to plop down on one of the free couches. Then I would continue to unpack everything I needed: the weed came out of my pocket, the grinder and papers were in my bag along with the lighter, and I was already deciding what music I would listen to for the next little while om my 160GB iPod Classic. After deciding on an album or a playlist I would commence the rolling of the humongous joint which was about to be blazed up. Since I had been waiting all day to smoke (the job I was currently working allowed me no opportunity to wake ‘n bake), this session was always meant to take me all the way. I would properly pack up a full KingSize RAW paper and roll a fat joint longer than my index finger, ending it with a nice filter which I took my time to make with perfect precision. It was almost as if I were trying to last as long as possible without sparking the joint, as if the satisfaction were such that I just had to hold it off in order to feel it even more the second I lit it. It was during these relaxing times of stoned self-reflection that the idea of writing really began to take shape in my mind. More on this tomorrow though.

To be continue tomorrow, on Day 11.

~ Rebel Spirit