We have become masters

. . . of distraction.

We must disrupt ourselves. We must mess up the lies we’ve told, we must wreck our fears by throwing them into the abyss. We must run rampant on our comfort, leaving it bewildered behind us. We must detach the untruths--we must discover them first. We must hear the thing we wish not to hear, we must give chance to the thing we hate to watch, we must say the things we cannot say. We must drink the thing we cannot chew and swallow the thing we cannot stomach. We must break the things given to us and put them back together our own way, for it is a sin to do nothing with a gift that has been given to us and yet call it our own. 

We must disrupt everything. 

#3: Publish work

$8, I've been told it's like Where the Sidewalk Ends for adults

One of the most exciting things I've done and the easiest way to get your work out there is to publish. This short book of poems could have been sold through many a different route, but since it's my first compiled public piece, I wanted to do two things: NOT sell the rights to Apple in the iBookstore (since it was put together using IBooks Author) and give Gumroad a chance to distribute it. The great thing about it is that once it's out there, it's out there. The feedback is out of your control, you have to listen, you have to adapt, you have to take in whatever is said and you have to break apart from the work in order to really look at it. Praiseworthy or WTF? doesn't matter. What matters is that you put your work out there, and you should be really proud of that.

#2: The "It's Not for me" Excuse

One time when I was younger, I was playing with this building kit. It was essentially 2000 colorful pieces of metal and screws and wanted for whatever reason to build a super awesome looking helicopter. It was me and my cousin Michelle, and it was 2 o'clock in the morning. Laughing and talking as we played, my Dad woke up, opened our door and found us in the middle of the floor with more than a thousand colorful metal parts around us. "Go to bed!" he said. I instantaneously replied, "We're building a helicopter for Mikey!" (my little brother). He paused. Hesitated. Replied, "Ok, keep it down."

One of the easiest ways to get over myself and to give me permission to do something (i.e. build, think about something, make some form of art) is to say, "it's not for me." This, of course, is not the place we wanna stay. We eventually want to say that we ARE doing it for me, for I, and that that's plenty good reason.

For now though, baby steps. 

Suffering Makes Two Options Available

 Option 1: Become bitter. Not a little bitter. Soul-turning, dream-resigning, disbelieving bitter. This can be, depending on the person, the much easier option. It's certainly more straightforward. It's like a switch, you turn off. But for the person whose nature it is to care, this will undoubtedly lead to (you guessed it) more suffering. It seems so easy doesn't it? You hurt?? Stop caring and you'll be fine. Well isn't that the greatest advice you've ever heard. Care, by all means. But don't care to become bitter. Care to become better.  

Option 2: Be creative. Turn it into a creative force. I know that sounds borderline ignorant to the suffering in the first place, but, the truth is that this is the moment you have no shame. This is the moment you have time. This is the moment you have you (whether you like you or not). So do something with you. 

At the end of the day, the people who suffered Hurricane Sandy or a broken heart or a painful mourning (quite sure we each have gone through--or are going through--at least 2/3 of these) who cando something, will do something. I'm pretty sure bitter people don't help re-plant trees in their town.

Just saying.

#1: Meditation is Uncomfortably Comfortable

Nonetheless, necessary for reflection, vision, clarity, and some sort of peace. 

It's admittedly the weirdest fucking thing to sit cross-legged on the floor or on a bed in quietness purposely breathing. When I say purposely, what I'm saying is we are conscious of something that we normally give no thought to, and do it in such a way that we are trying to AND simultaneously doing it. That is, just being there. So, besides EVERYTHING leading me in this direction, what actually got me to sit down and meditate is a funny simple book entitled, Buddha Walks Into a Bar.

It's like an every-dayer's guide to meditation and Buddhism with some valuable principles to live by. The most useful I've found so far is the teaching that all things should be done with one intention: be kind to ourselves. So, while being present to the world takes practice, it's so obviously useful that I can't argue it anymore. 

Paying attention to your breath makes you present, and it teaches your mind how to be present, and that is the most important thing you can do to live right now.

Freud and the Compulsion of Repetition

If you've ever found yourself in the same position you were in last year, or the year before, or the year before that, it's time we've introduced you to the concept of repetition compulsion. Freud's coked out ass may have gotten this right as it's something many of us experience.

The same type of relationship. The same kind of idea. The same kind of work procastination. The same bad experience.

There's a comfort in familiarity whether the familiar experience is harmful or not. Freud was confused by this, particularly the repetition of negative experiences because he believed that we very much moved towards pleasure, which this theory goes against. In one of his patient's therapy sessions he noted, ". . . is obliged to repeat the repressed material as a contemporary experience instead of...remembering it as something belonging to the past." We may have issues letting something sit in the past and moving away from it. We may be obsessed with the feeling it provides for us. There is a repressed instinctual process that moves to cleverly bring about situations (like oh I'm out of money again, or damn that paper is due in 5 hours) that make you think why do I always do this. Your unconscious is a smart, slick bastard that's why. Luckily, the part that knows better, Freud's Ego, can be used to catch yourself beforehand. 

I think, however, that we are simply obsessed with Feeling. If we're going to keep repeating experiences, make sure you're creating the kinds of experiences worth repetition. 

Freud, five years later: "There is no need to be discouraged by these emendations...so long as they enrich."