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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 79: Placing Motivation in the Right Direction.

Motivation is essential if we wish to succeed at any task, without a doubt. However, if our motivation is applied towards the wrong things then we are doing nothing but wasting time of our precious lives, and exerting energy which we should be using for other more important things. Sometimes we wish to do something so badly that we fail to take the time we actually need in order to actually do it properly, or we fail to realize that we have no business doing it at all, which can end up much, much worse. We often get excited and we act on impulse because we have no self-control. We want things to work out now, without putting in the necessary work! We don’t want to even think about all that hard work, all the dedication and perseverance we’ll have to put in over a long period of time if we’re really serious about whatever our goal is. Sometimes when we’re in a desperate situation, we might have an idea which seems to shine so bright in our mind, which seems to be the answer to all our problems. It can be tempting to get started right away in order to escape as soon as possible from our current situation, but often in our excitement we overlook a lot of important details. Whether it’s a brilliant idea that just pops into your mind out of the blue, or a concept you’ve been wanting to explore for quite a while, self-control is absolutely necessary at all times, along with discernment. The mindset that we begin to cultivate when we constantly practice these two qualities, self-control and discernment, prevents us from taking action without thinking things through, before we’re fully ready to start the journey we plan to eventually embark on. Even if you have done everything correctly and at its proper time up to this point though, you can still fail if you are not careful to remain alert. Some things seem so tempting that we can forget about self-control in a second, even after working on strengthening it for a long period of time. Desire can blind a person in the blink of an eye. Don’t become overconfident in your ability to wait patiently. If we don’t remain aware at all times of why we do what we do when we do it, then we are bound to make countless mistakes until we finally learn, if we ever do. We will do things at the wrong time, or we will partner up with the wrong people or promote ourselves at the wrong places. We need to know what our motives are for why we do what we do, and then we have to reflect on the different possibilities which are available to us which can help us to achieve these motives. This is how motivation is applied in the right direction, each move carefully calculated. The word motive is the root of the word motivation. Sometimes we think we know what our motives are for everything we do, that we know what truly motivates us, when in reality we couldn’t be more mistaken. Asking ourselves what our motives are, and answering sincerely without holding back from ourselves, is the key to understanding how we can use our motivation effectively by placing it in the right direction. It can be devastating to find out that, after years of promoting a belief or an idea, or a product or brand, it was not really worth spending so much time and energy on after all. This can be avoided if we take the time to know ourselves and our true motives before we start planning any new project. Many people have various paths they could pursue in life, yet they can’t find the time to do all these things at once plus go to work on top of that. Desperation can arise in such cases if the we can’t find a way to connect our different motives, to synchronize them in order to create a lifestyle which includes them all, and which aims at fulfilling all our short-term and long-term goals. We need to examine our motives and the things we believe we want to achieve in life. Sometimes we might feel really motivated to become rich, or to become extremely popular. Such a person might think that they are interested in fashion or expensive jewelry because they simply like it, and they might make it their life mission to work with these things. Upon further examination of this motivation however, this person might find that their initial desire to be cooler, richer, more popular or more attractive, arose from their insecurity, from their need to feel better about themselves, to stop feeling inferior or uncool. If this person could let go of these emotions of inferiority, they might not even be interested in fancy designer clothes or jewelry anymore, since they will probably no longer feel the need to impress people everywhere they go. Obviously, I am not saying that everyone who is into fashion or bling is like this person, it is only an example is true of some people in real life. We have to examine our motives, our ambitions, our aspirations. We have to ask ourselves why we wish to accomplish such things. Is it so we can feel better about ourselves? If it is, then we know for sure that there is no need to feel motivated to do such a thing any longer. We don’t need to do anything in order to feel better about ourselves. We can only feel as good as we are. If we want to feel better about life then we just have to live life better. It’s as simple as that. There is nothing wrong with setting goals for ourselves, and celebrating when we achieve these goals. There is nothing wrong with being happy with the progress we’ve made at any specific goal, but we should only dedicate significant time and energy to the things which truly matter the most of us in life, not to things which we are only doing to impress others, or even to impress ourselves. In conclusion, motivation can be a great ally on our path to success, but only if it’s carefully handled and properly directed, and this can only be achieved if we work on getting to know ourselves and our true motives for living the way we wish to.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 80.

~ Rebel Spirit

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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 50: 50 Days Writing! Goals Review.

Half a hundred days of writing and posting a thousand words. I’ve failed at some other goals during this time, and I’ve restarted them right back for another attempt, but I’m especially happy that I’ve been able to stay on track with this particular goal. I was just letting my wife know about it. It’s great to have people all over the world have access to what you write, and to actually have people read it, even if it’s just a few people sometimes. It’s one of the truly wonderful about the internet age which we live in. It’s a great privilege which requires great responsibility on a writer’s part, so I try to keep my mind as clear as possible when I write these things, free of all negativity and frustration. I don’t drink anymore, which is great, since it would have been such a hindrance to staying on track with my daily writing goal, both because I’d obviously going out more, and because I’d feel totally destroyed the day after getting wasted. It didn’t feel so bad when I was younger, and I know for sure I drank a lot more back then, so I knew my body was now beginning to tell me that it was time to take it easy. I’m super glad about this goal as well, I haven’t drank a drop of alcohol in almost a hundred days now, so I gotta a hundred and a few more to go on my current challenge of two hundred days. Sometimes I feel I might just lay off the booze for good, even after I finish my two hundred day goal. I don’t crave it anymore and I feel totally fine without it, and it feels like I got my shit together, like I got things a bit more under control. Life isn’t always about being in control of everything, but completely losing control of oneself can be dangerous, and it’s certainly something that alcohol intoxication can lead to, and does lead to a lot of the time. Life feels good without it, but then I think that, if I can manage to keep it under control and moderation, then a beer or two here and there won’t do much harm, and will make me enjoy any nice day or night out. The problem is that I can’t ever stop at two, so I think I just might try to lay off the booze completely for as long as possible. Either way, I’ve been doing some experiments with psychedelics, in the past mostly shrooms, but now I have a connect for some good acid, and since I don’t party anymore, I’ve been just tripping alone at home (since Maria usually falls asleep), and concentrating on peace, meditating, reflecting having deeply profound experiences of psychological and spiritual growth. New thoughts come to me, and things which I know deep inside, which I’ve even forgotten from so much neglect, from being ignored for so long, from not wanting to deal with them, start to make themselves known to me, their significance becomes inescapable and I know without a doubt that, what matters most in life, is to love others, to love and care for one’s family and friends, to make connections, to always keep a good vibe following you wherever you go, a contagious feeling that will inspire others to live in the same way. I’ve been tripping on two or three tabs at a time, a few months at a time, two or three maybe, and reflecting on my progress with my goals as well. So what do I need alcohol for, that dulling sensation of the mind, that lustful appetite and aggressive behavior? Sometimes I feel frustrated with my goals, but I cannot abandon my sadhana. I have also been working on keeping lust off my mind, inspired by various books, mostly by Hindu Swamis, on the power of Brahmacharya. The concept of Brahmacharya provides, in my opinion, a better explanation of what I had read before in Mantak Chia’s book, regarding the same concept but from the Taoist perspective. Abstaining from all lustful thoughts and looks, ideas, only making love with my wife every few days, meditating and reading daily, the Bible and the Sutras, abstaining from alcohol, writing every day to keep my creative side alive. I wish I was making music, but for some reason, I find I don’t have much inspiration for that at this moment in life, but it comes and it goes I believe. Some other things I feel I need to do are to start focusing more on my health. I was already exercising every day as a goal, but I stopped about a month and a half back since I got sick with a random and mysterious fever. It would hit me every single day, for about a week and a half or two weeks. I had to gather my strength after those two weeks, so I’ve been eating better, thinking that not eating enough might have something to do with me being weak and therefore susceptible to such fevers. I still haven’t started exercising, but I need to, and I will do so any day now, I’ll start again with my weights and pushups, yoga and jogging around the baseball field which is a block away. Exercise makes you feel energetic, alive, and it keeps us healthy. We all need to exercise a healthy habit of daily exercise! There’s no denying its benefits. And the hardest goal of all, I made a promise to Maria that I would start this month, that I would only smoke weed fifteen days of the month. I didn’t promise this to her because of any pressure on her part, but instead because I knew I’d have to honor my promise to her no matter what, so this would be the perfect way for me to keep feeling accountable for completing this new goal. I’m not taking on this weed goal because I think it’s harmful, but because I feel I’m too attached to staying faded. Nothing should become an attachment in our lives, and if we see that something has, then we need to deal with it, then we can partake in it again in a healthy way. Wish me luck so I can smoke only half the month this month of July (usually I blaze every day)!

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 51.

~ Rebel Spirit

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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 30: Hope It’ll All Be Fine.

I’m a bit sick with some kind of mild fever and a jittery feeling of every movement being extra sharp when I turn to a different direction. I had it for a whole week already, about two weeks ago. I don’t know what it could be but I’m thinking I might go see a doctor. At least I’m home and I have my beautiful wife with me. Tomorrow’s her day off, thank God. I also got the last of some real good chronic in a tray, so I’m relaxed, I’m not stressing the sickness for now. I’ve been drinking these pills for it anyway, they really help, but I ran out. Maybe I’ll grab a few packs tomorrow if I still feel shitty. Maria’s cooking up something delicious as always; I don’t know what it is but I know it’ll be good. I need to start eating a lot more because I’ve gotten so skinny that I can’t lift the weights I used to anymore. I guess that week-long fever and excessive sweating had something to do with it. I was waking up in puddles of the stuff. I’m blessed to be feeling much better now to be honest. Health is something one should cherish. I take a hit of the bong, I was reading ‘The Perennial Philosophy’ by Aldous Huxley just now, before I decided to start with my daily writing. I gotta read 17 pages a day at least, of a total of 365, in order to complete the book in three weeks. I’m only up to 150 now, but I’m not far behind. Interesting and inspirational read so far, about halfway through. This morning was great. I had time to pray in the morning, to do my twenty-minute meditation, focusing on breathing or simply being, then I had a good meal with some rice and meat. Sometimes I don’t get so hungry, even with the bud, but I’m gonna start eating more without a doubt, since I definitely need to exercise, and I need to eat good if I want to get fit. I mean, I eat three meals a day, but I guess I walk too much under the sun, as I walk daily to work for about an hour. Maybe my fever issues are related to this. Wondering what to write, I look around and take a huge sip of the big red water bottle beside me, then I close the lid. Water is refreshing, especially when cold. I look the other way, pictures of Maria and I on our wedding day. I think we really lucked out and found the right partner for each other, a great blessing came both our ways for some strange reason, and I had to come back to Honduras to receive it. I look at the time, 10:57 p.m. I should try to live life without looking at the time so much, unattached to schedules and time, yet I have just an hour left to write my daily words, eat, and read a Bible chapter with Maria. I hate to be rigid sometimes, but I really have to work on my self-control. No eating after midnight for me, and I have to do the goals today, not past midnight, entering into the next. Right at the end of the sentence Maria called out to me. In a flash I got to rearranging everything on the table and went to the kitchen to help her bring the plates. We ate a delicious pasta  with chicken and ham in it as well as various vegetables. She made quite a lot of food for both of us, since I’ve mentioned my intentions to eat more and regain my strength to her. I was not so skinny when we met, yet I’ve never been chubby or big. I just gotta get back to base, I guess. I’m really feeling like the time is coming up for me to make music again, to create an album like I used to before. I remember how cool it felt, thinking of the album name and cover, how it would all match with the feel and lyrical content of each of the songs, how they would all flow together. This made me feel alive before, but now it seems harder to write music. I’ve been slowly breaking that barrier down though, in part by taking on this thousand-words-a-day goal. Sometimes I feel a great motivation but then I come down, but I hope this isn’t the case this time. I feel like now is the time to really get back on track. I texted my mom today, who is in Canada, and she told me she would be leaving for the vet shortly, as our pet bird Chico, back at their home, is breathing heavily and not really chirping at all anymore, as if he was depressed. I really hope everything will be alright. There’s another bird who’s in a second cage right beside Chico. Her name is Yellow, and originally we received her, from previous owners, along with Blue. Blue got sick and died a few years after. My mom has a big heart, and it would really hurt if something would happen to Chico. I was fond of those cheerful little birds as well, and of their singing, while I was back at my parents’ home. I hope everything will be alright and that the little bird can heal. I wonder what it could be like if we could speak with the birds, with the animals, if we could understand them and communicate them, would we find ways to enslave them in our wicked system, just as we have done to ourselves, or would we find ways to learn from different species, to co-exist in peace and harmony? Just a thought that crossed my mind, we might be able to ask Chico what exactly he feels, so that we may know if his issue is truly a medical one, or if it is instead a psychological one. What goes on in a bird’s mind, if anything at all?

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 31.

~ 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 

1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 20: Do What Needs to be Done NOW!

As a new month begins, as we gather our energies to begin a new, maybe there’s goals we wish to achieve, changes we’ve been looking to make in our lives. We’re determined that this will be the month of our success, this will be the time to start finally feeling free of compulsion, to start living the way we were meant to, the way we know we are meant to live. Although this excitement is often the result of great motivation, and often motivates us even more, we shouldn’t become too attached to the idea of a new month of change. A month consists normally of thirty days, and each one of those days is made up of 24 hours, each hour 60 minutes, each minute made up of seconds, small lapses of time which fade away as we start to speak about them. What is a second? It is the closest we ever get to the now, and every second we are alive we can make a difference, both in our lives and in the world as a whole. Whenever we make a positive change in our lives we are positively affecting the planet we all share, even if indirectly we are making things better for everyone else. Along with this excitement to change often comes a disappointment in ourselves for not having changed sooner. We reach a point of desperation for not having been able to achieve our daily goals, for not being able yet to cut out that toxic and destructive habit from our lives. All negatives have a positive side, being that they provide us with experiences we can learn from. It is good that past failures motivate us for future success. But it’s even better when past failures motivate us for present success. As we begin to plan a whole month of being aware, of being more conscious, we might become sure that this time we will not fail. We might feel a rush of euphoria as we are now embarking on this journey from which there is no backing down. The problem is that, in a few days, once the initial excitement passes, we might feel disappointed in ourselves for not keeping the momentum going, we might feel that we are losing that motivation. The problem is that we were focusing on the feeling of success since the beginning, we were focusing on how good it would feel to succeed, to take on a whole month of refusing temptation, of remaining calm and collected in every situation, of breaking old habits and finally being able to feel proud of ourselves. Although it serves to motivate us initially, this focusing on the outcome and on the positive feeling it will fill us with does not provide lasting motivation, because it still focuses on future satisfaction. What is needed is not a future goal in order to be able to feel accomplished at the end of a certain period. What we need to do is to remain completely focused at every moment. We need to plan a daily review of our goals and habits, we need to keep track at every moment, we need to remain grounded in the fact that this is a new person, this person here, now, living life differently. I won’t be a new person once I complete a certain goal for a specific amount of days. No, I’m already a new person, and if I intend to live life according to my values, if I know what those values are, then at any moment I can review these ideals, and I can get straight to work. Once you know that something is good for your life, that it will help to build your life up into something richer, there is no need to look for outside validation, or even to look for validation from ourselves. Our own mind might trick us a few days later, throwing temptation in our face, hoping that we break our goals, that we indulge in that harmful habit, that we fail and feel miserable again. We need to remember that we have already made the decision to go through with this, and that decision is true of right now, we absolutely must put it into practice Now. You see, there is nothing other than the now. Focus on the now, learn the teachings of Karma Yoga in order to understand this concept in a deeper way if you must. Don’t feel entitled to feeling good, don’t feel entitled to the fruits of your labor. Don’t worry about what others think, don’t worry if it doesn’t seem like the goal is bringing you to where you wanted. Give it some time, stick to the plan, to the decision which you had in that one moment of clarity, and apply it to the now. Let go of any doubt that arises from past conditioning, let go of paralyzing fear of the future. There is no past, there is no future. There is only now, this moment, this consciousness which allows us to experience the moment, and the all-pervading Spirit which provides us with our ability to do the right thing here and now. So, if you’re trying to break a habit that has you in its grip, don’t start thinking about all the times you’ve failed, don’t start by thinking about how horrible it will feel to be deprived of such pleasure for a whole week, or a whole month, or a year. Simply know in this moment that you are free, that you don’t need anything external, whatever it may be, and be at peace in this moment. Close your eyes and sit and do nothing if necessary, but just be in the moment until temptation passes. If you are trying to pick up a new habit, don’t think about all the extra work you need to put in now. Don’t stress about people liking what you write, about people buying your music, about people criticizing your art, about people looking at you weird for refusing to complain, or for changing your life, for giving up reckless partying and drug use for spirituality, for connecting with the Higher Self within us all, or for following the passion you know you were born to pursue. Pay no mind to these things, know there is an amazing force which is on your side at all times. You cannot fail now, you can only succeed at doing what needs to be done, or at not doing what doesn’t need to be done. Stop complicating yourself and your life, stop looking for gratification in time, stop looking for the feeling of being a better person, a more responsible or successful person, and accept yourself as you are now, be at peace with yourself and with God, and get down to business. You know what needs to be done, so do it NOW! You will never get another chance to do what you need to do now. 

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 21.

~ Rebel Spirit

1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 19: Setting Daily Goals to Create Habits.

I thought I’d just take a moment to reflect today on all the goals I’m currently working on achieving, and since I’ve yet to write today’s thousand words anyway, I thought writing about my goals would be a great way to reflect on them a for good while. I’m not talking about extremely ambitious, long-term goals here. I’m talking about the small goals which I make a point of keeping daily track of in my notes notebook. One of the goals which has helped me the most so far, which has given me great peace of mind in the past few months is my goal of not drinking. I can’t drink a single drop of alcohol – no liquor, beer, wine, whatever it is. Growing up, drinking was some of the greatest fun my friends and I could have. It was what allowed us to get into the crazy fun situations we always got into. Over the years though, as I started maturing, I realized I couldn’t enjoy drinking anymore, at least not the full experience of it, including the side effects. My hangovers were straight from hell, filled with a general anxiety and fear about life, with a sort of hatred and intense hostility against life, cussing at the heat, brushing off the sweat from my face, everything hurting, not wanting to talk to anyone. I don’t know remember a lot of my drunk times from way back in the day, so I don’t know if things were always so tragic, or if I was just becoming more aware of the horrible state drinking puts a person in. Either way, I soon realized I had to stop. Drinking was draining me of energy, it was making me lose and break things and money was always scarce. I was doing much harm to myself during my drinking days, and not only to myself but to my family for a long time, and now it was happening with my wife. I couldn’t keep it up. I started with a simple 5 day goal, and I kept adding 5 days every time, with some drinking in between goals. With each goal that passed I felt less and less desire to drink, yet when the goal finished I’d always be tempted to start again. I did a hundred days and drank again, only to feel sick of it a few days later. I was also able to drink in a more controlled manner. I was excited for the next goal though, and after a powerful acid experience I decided I had to double the days. I’m currently about sixty days into my two hundred days of no drinking, and I can honestly say I don’t think I’ll even feel the need to drink again once this goal is over. My attitude towards alcohol and its role in my life has completely changed. The next goal I’ve worked on over  the past few years is to stop watching porn and masturbating. This is obviously something more or less normal for all boys growing up, yet we don’t realize we are draining ourselves of essential physical and mental energy whenever we ejaculate. We also don’t understand that we are becoming addicted, slaves to pleasure and lust. As I progress in my spiritual and intellectual journey, it has become clear that both of these habits have to go. It feels good that after many months of working on this, I can now say I am free from both of these things. I have a beautiful wife now anyway, and I don’t need to fantasize about anything else or look for girls on social media. Temptation is always there, as well as in real life, but it is easier to succumb to something seemingly harmless like porn, whereas I took a decision before I married, that I would remain loyal to my wife no matter what, so I’m not too worried about temptation in real life. Now that I don’t drink I have self-control at all times and can make sure I don’t do anything stupid in the heat of the moment. Perfect, both goals go hand in hand. Another goal I’m working on is to exercise every day. I’ve been at it for the past few weeks now, non-stop, and it feels great to have so much extra energy. I take a moment every day to either run ten laps around the baseball field, do some yoga, or some push-ups, or lift some weights. Exercise is essential to keeping our bodies strong and effective, just like one’s diet. Regarding diet, my only goals for now are to make sure to eat breakfast every day, and to never eat any later than midnight. I’ve been pretty consistent with this goal so far. As I’ve mentioned in some earlier posts, I have a goal of reading a book a week. Sometimes I take two or three weeks depending on the size of the book. Apart from this, I have a goal of reading at least one chapter of the Bible daily. Although I can’t really say that I’m either a Christian or a Jew, I was raised with the Bible, and I highly doubt that this book is one to be easily discarded and set aside. Due to my interest in religion, in spirituality, in literature, in philosophy and in psychology and society, the Bible is a must read for me. Since it’s very long I read just a chapter or two every day with Maria, we are currently about halfway. After the Bible I plan to read the Quran, or the Zohar, as the next books to be read on a daily basis. I want to understand the essential ideas of these texts, and to know as much as possible about their connections, and about the mental and spiritual states of those who wrote them. Although it’s not yet an official goal, I usually read a Buddhist Sutra on most days, since they usually really short, but have great meaning to them. I’ve been learning about Buddhism for quite a while now, so I think I just might start an actual goal of reading at least one Sutra every day. The messages I am reminded of as I read them usually put me in a great state for my daily meditation. My goal is to meditate at least twenty minutes straight every day, and I’ve kept this up for maybe a year now, yet I still keep track every day. I don’t meditate to fulfill the goal though, but to just meditate, to simply be. I find that this is the best approach to meditation, but I’m no expert. I encourage you all to try this daily meditation, just sitting for twenty minutes. If anything, it will create a peaceful moment for you to appreciate your life, and to appreciate being with yourself, away from all the craziness of life.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 20.

~ Rebel Spirit

1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 3: The Mystery of God.

As I wrote in my previous post, I recently had a conversation with my grandparents, while my wife Maria and I we were visiting them for Mothers’ Day. Somehow we got to talking about God, about Christianity and Judaism, and about Jesus, and I brought up some concepts from some other religions which I’ve learned about. My grandparents are evangelical Christians, and we were debating on a lot of topics regarding religion and spirituality. Although it was a conversation I enjoyed, as I always love talking about these things with people, usually with family, we simply could not come to any kind of agreement. Normally, this would not upset me, but what got to me is that they made it seem as if I just don’t have enough faith if I don’t believe exclusively in Jesus as God, like I just don’t get it. My grandma also said that there is no need to learn or do research about any other religion, since one has to be sure that the Bible is exclusively God’s word and Jesus God incarnate, no questions asked. Some other religious beliefs were labeled as absurd or weird, and that was that. Then they lent me a few books to read in order to strengthen my faith. I don’t mind at all, of course, and I do intend to read them among the other books on my list of planned reading. It wasn’t like I got mad at them at all, I love my grandparents, but I just left there feeling like either I just don’t get something so obvious, something my grandma claims to understand and believe wholeheartedly, or she is just not debating in a logical manner, since there is really no way that we can ever know the truth about God simply by believing in a religion. I didn’t put down any specific belief system during our conversation, I just asked: if one hasn’t learned at least the basics of any of the other religions that exist, then how can one be sure that one’s own is the one and only true religion? My grandpa did admit that the majority of people simply believe what they were brought up to believe, depending on where they were born and raised, and he even questioned whether this could be his case. Although I didn’t get mad, I was bothered by the fact that, although people might love each other, there is always some disagreement between every person and everyone else. Of course I know this is what makes us unique, and that it’s an essential part of life. But why can’t we all know the truth when it comes to death and God and the meaning of life, and whatever follows it? Why do we have to guess, and why do we have to believe differently from one another and even fight about and kill and die for these beliefs? Why can’t it be all so simple? I don’t identify with any specific religion because I believe they can all teach very valuable lessons for humanity, but also because I cannot claim to know beyond any shred of doubt that any one religion is exclusively true. I don’t think anyone really can know either. In other words, we are all living in a reality which we are conscious of, yet none of us, absolutely none of us, know why we are here and who put us here, if anyone at all. No one knows for certain, and this is the only certainty of life. Many people have come to believe that they know for certain, and perhaps they are convinced in faith or blind belief that they do, but perhaps they really don’t. Yet we all defend our beliefs with a clenched fist! I wonder why we were placed on this earth without at least knowing the reason for our existence. Is it so that we may spend our days in search of God? The Bible does say to seek God first, and all else will be added. Yes, right now we could be living our fiftieth reincarnation, unaware of all our previous lives, but it could also be true that we have never lived at all, and that there are actually millions of people living up in heaven now or below us in the fiery depths of hell, that Jesus and the Father God of the Bible are watching over us from up there, knowing our every thought and action. It could very well be that the Bible is, in fact, the word of God, uttered through his prophets in ancient days, but it could also be true that what many believe to be divine is really just a collection of texts written from the minds of many men who believed sometimes contradictory things, or it could even be an ancient work of fiction. I am not promoting any of these views, I am simply making you aware of the fact that all these possibilities are valid ones, seeing as how none of us know for sure what there is in this universe, and what the structure behind its design even is, apart from what we experience in our daily lives or the little that we know of this planet which we inhabit. What lies beyond this? It could also be that there is nothing beyond this, and that all the people who have passed have simply ceased to exist forever, gone into nothing, blank. Could life be a meaningless and random nothing? Could our lives be God’s dreams? The Kybalion states that “The Universe is mental. Held in the Mind of the All.” There have been and there will continue to be many theories, man will always be on the search for meaning, yet the only undeniable fact is that we still don’t know any more than we ever did. We all need to humble ourselves and to search sincerely. We all try to conceive of a God, of a religion to identify with, a God to worship. Yet we ignore those things which are cherished by all, which are essential to human life and which should never be ignored, no matter what. We ignore the very essence of God within us, all the good in our hearts, all the love we have available to give. If God is real, I believe that God is love, and pure goodness. We can all recognize within ourselves an understanding, a gut feeling, that good is better than bad, that love is the strongest force there is.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 4.

~ Rebel Spirit.

DAY 8: 1,000 WORDS: ON ALCOHOLISM, ON HABITS, ON TRAVEL, ON LOVE.

Eighth day of my project of writing and posting 1000 words. It hasn’t been that long and I can’t even believe I’ve gotten this far. All that time of working on my self-control seems to be slowly but surely paying off. Aside from this writing/blogging goal, I’m also 31 days into my meditation goal at the moment, which consists of dedicating 20 to 30 minutes a day to silent meditation, without even the noise of the fan blowing in the hot Honduras weather, in peace in our fully darkened room. I’m also currently 76 days into my no drinking goal! This last one is a goal I’m especially proud of. It’s not the first goal I set for myself to limit my drinking, but it is the longest one so far though, since I used to drink quite a lot at certain periods of my life growing up, and I came to a point when I just needed to cut back without a doubt. Since 13 or 14 basically, life was mostly about partying and trying to get as fucked up as possible, to be frank about it. This mentality kept me going for the better part of the following decade, until I realized it was totally stupid. Now at 24, I find that that mentality is gone, I’ve moved past it, yet the habits remain, since habits are strong forces, and once developed it’s extremely difficult to fully let them go. This is especially true of very pleasurable habits, vices, addictions which can develop before you know it, like alcoholism. I don’t think that my goal is to stop drinking altogether, forever, yet I don’t want alcohol to be something that’s constantly in my life any longer. 76 days in, I can honestly say that life is way, way clearer, my mind is way clearer, my mood is way better with less ups and downs, now that I don’t get drunk every weekend and feel a horrible hangover the next morning. Not to mention I get to keep more of the money I work for. I’ll go more into detail in later posts into my full motivations and expectations for this goal, and also into further detail of earlier no-drinking goals I’ve set for myself, and of my complicated history with alcohol. Although drinking can have its place in life during certain occasions, if you feel like you are having problems in your life due to it then it’s always best to completely stop for a set period of time, in order to analyze your life situation from a sober standpoint, and at that point you can make a truly wise decision if you just sit back and contemplate for a moment. So, drinking had a lot to do with the reasons why I decided to travel back to Honduras for what I call my first trip back (on my own, that is), as it led, or contributed to, most of the problems I got involved in in Vancouver. As a teenager, I was drunk a lot, and although I never committed any extreme crimes, my parents couldn’t handle what was going on, as I was getting in endless problems and fights while wasted. My father had brought my brothers and I to a new and better nation so that we could succeed, so that we could prosper, and there was no way he would just stand by and watch me fuck it all up now. He was living in stress every day, the atmosphere was tense at home and it was all my fault. I didn’t hate my family or my home, yet I needed to get out as quick as I could in order to diffuse the tension within me and within my family. As I didn’t have enough money to rent a place in Vancouver, which is in the top ten most expensive cities on the planet, I traveled to Honduras where the few thousand bucks I’d saved up would be worth gold. My objective? Continue my party lifestyle in the perpetually sunny summer of Honduras. Who would have known I would return to Canada in order to save money to return to Honduras yet again, but that the money I’d be saving this second time around would be for my wedding? Again, life works in mysterious ways. That first trip to Honduras was the ticket to a profound transformation which began taking place within me. So, I returned to Canada and got to working as the administrator of an immigration consulting office. I improved my people skills, my time management skills, and my fluency of my native Spanish, as well as my Portuguese. During my time in Canada I got to attend a Kabbalah class mostly every weekend, where I was introduced to a lot of basic mystical concepts, and also got to practice some meditation there. I was feeling great at this point in life, really serene, like I had a clear objective to work towards, like things were truly meant to be. I saved up the money that Maria and I needed in order to marry. Maria saved some of it up back in Honduras, of course, and since her visitor’s visa to Canada, where we originally planned to marry, was denied, I traveled back to Honduras after a year and a half of working. The job had been great, although often stressful and extremely busy, but it was time to go. The time had finally come to be reunited with my love. We were indeed reunited in June of 2017, in San Pedro Sula, and we married a month later on the 15th of July in this same city. We were now together for life, and we were both excited about it, since we’ve both always known each other to be loyal lovers, who are ready to work through problems and make opportunities out of them. Maria brought out the best in me, and it turns out I already had it in me. I had learned much of love simply from my mother’s example. Both my wife and my mother have such big hearts, and I don’t only say this because they are the 2 most special ladies in my own life. I mention this to stress the fact that, when one meets a person who reminds one of the good one has learned or experienced in another special person at some point before, this meeting ignites that flame of goodness that resides within, which has been transmitted at some previous point in time, and which is currently dormant within the individual’s soul potential. Our love was bliss, and after our marriage we had our honeymoon at La Ensenada Beach Resort, here in Honduras. No need to travel anywhere for beautiful beaches and weather (at least for relaxing at the beach). Everything had gone as planned and even a thousand times better. At our wedding, I rapped a song to Maria that I had written to her. The final recorded version is on my 2017 mixtape “Musical Alchemy” (which you can download freely on this website). It was a success, and my family and extended family was there as well as Maria’s. We had some wonderful times during the ceremony, and at night we blazed a nice doobie on the hotel rooftop, watching the smoke fade up to the stars while enjoying each other’s amazing company once more, yet now as a newly married couple, just before heading down to our room. That was July 2017, and since then a long and arduous process of gathering a bunch of paperwork followed, until we were finally able to submit our spousal sponsorship application to the Canadian government, very recently in fact, last month, just finishing up 2018. The application takes about a year to be processed, and there is no reason why it should be denied, so God willing we will be together in Canada soon, and we can have some great times with my family and friends up there once again. For now it’s just another blessed day here in Honduras, writing to you all, to the world, working on my goals and taking it one day at a time. One love y’all!

~ Rebel Spirit ~