LA to Phoenix

As I sit here in Phoenix, Arizona, I’m reflecting on my last two months in California. I’m en route to Colorado, to cat-sit for my mom so she can take off, because she has doctor’s appointments (a Parkinson’s specialist) in another state, and her guy Ray wants to take her to the Grand Canyon, so I’m gonna kitty-sit and wait for her to return, at which point we’ll hang out for a month or so, before I journey on…

lights

As I left lovely Santa Monica today (more on this later), I kept thinking about ‘Guides’ and what might this notion of having a Guide ential, as we go through this life. My friend Brett was telling me about how his Guides are spiritual in nature, even super-natural, which he went on to explain that they actually spoke to him, or sometimes sounded like the voice in our head that we listen to every day… He requests assistance from his guides as it pertains to his goals and dreams and always includes the phrase ‘and I’m willing to be surprised.’ For example, he might request in five years, I want to be producing my own tv series, traveling the world, and making x amount of dollars, and.. I’m willing to be surprised’ or in other words, I’m willing to accept more if this is what’s in store for me. So, putting energy and requests, literally, out there after getting clear on what it is you want.. I think this ‘getting clear’ is a vital and necessary component. Actually writing or verbalizing it and continuing to put it out there… I’m at ‘I want to make 75k/year in self-generated income, make a lovely, long-lasting connection with a girl, and continue to travel/be self-reliant…and I’m willing to be surprised.’ I’m not sure, but I think there might be something to this getting clear and asking the universe, your Guides, or God for whatever it is that you’re after. The Buddhist chant ‘nam myoho renge kyo’ is chanting with the intention of becoming the ‘best version of myself.’ I like this idea of becoming the best version of yourself, and having a clear idea of what that means.

open road

So, Guides. I’m more conditioned to think about Guides as something more tangible, like people, who cross my path, or have been a part of my path for a while, before I even realize I need to be paying attention and appreciating this person. Are guides people, like Leslie, Craig, Dave, Brett, and not only those that inspire and are looked upon fondly, but those that are challenging, a la Adam from soccer? I do know that as i get older, I am getting more appreciative of people, and seeing their beauty, uniqueness, and recognizing that I’m grateful for having us made a connection. For all I know, these people, all people, are somehow placed in my path in order that we share and learn from one another, whether the exchange is positive or negative, and whether we recognize what can be learned now or later…

Or, how about coincidences as Guides? More frequently lately, as I pay more attention, I’m able to notice that as I’m thinking about a certain specific something, there will be a sign on the road, or a lyric on the radio, that will be a mirror of what it is that I’m thinking about. What this might mean, I don’t know, but I’m noticing it and I want to continue noticing it.

So, that’s enough about Guides for now. I really just want to acknolwedge the bitter-sweet ness of just having spent two months at my apartment in santa monica, playing soccer doing yoga, being alone, yet also having these moments with friends that seem were inspiring and opening me up to something new. I feel more creative now than I ever have (which isn’t saying much), but as I drive away from these people and this community, I wonder and doubt that I can retain this inspiration without regularly seeing the people that contribute to my getting more clear and motivated. Travis Eliot, a most recent yoga teacher, recently said ‘If we don’t rule our minds, our minds rule us, and that’s the difference between a victim and an empowered mentality.’ How am I gonna do without this stuff in my ear on a regular basis? You can’t hear this shit often enough.

Santa Monica, the weather, the community incline the mind toward health and exercise.

Leaving these minds that contribute to my creative juices flowing and remind me of what’s important to me is a bit, ugh right now. Dave told me to write this travel blog, and be me, the real, raw me. Craig weighed in heavily on BAM, a new workshop we created that I’ll lead in hopes of helping people wake up. Leslie, who helped me with a practical plan to put it all together. Waylon Lewis of Elephant Journal who speaks of Being of Benefit, How Can I Be of Benefit? What do I want to give to the world?

p.o.s.

How can I free up my mind, open my heart, drop my defenses, and get closer to this sweet spot that Ram Das calls Loving Awareness. That tender moment when you feel connected to all things, to the man on the street next to you, recognizing the fragility and preciousness of all things, the temporary nature of it all, the hurt and the pain and the beauty that we all carry. Seeing this all with an undefended heart as Mary Stancavage says. How can I cultivate and nurture this sweet loving awareness moving forward on my own, leaving this community of connections that ive made over the years.

Each moment as I reflect seems special. Not each moment, but there are so many moments, that when we pay attention we notice the special nature of them, often once the moment has passed, and how sweet and unique they are. Even the moments that seem so average at the time, yet when you look back, you see the how precious some moments are. Kelly, Edgar’s wife, telling me to look at Bren on the Road’s travel blog, which seemed so benign but may be so integral. This moment, and then it’s gone. And now this one… and now it too is gone… and now this one.

I guess the final thought is that the universe is often speaking to us… it’s up to us to notice it and interpret it.

Songs that were a part of this blog somehow:

Ben Harper’s -Steal My Kisses

Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam- A 1000 Times

Jimmy Cliff- Use What I Got