Welcome To Hell

pexels-photo-207858Welcome to Hell. You may be wondering where the hell Hell is. Earth? The White House? The person in the White House? A town? Some mystical fiery land that has a creepy red tenant with hooves? The answer is none of the above.

You’ve been living there your whole life, but let me be the first to welcome you. Welcome to the hell created by non other than you, your mind. 

Have you ever heard a little voice in your head bitch about wishing you had done something differently? Or question your self worth? If your answer is no, the little bitch in my head just told me you’re full of shit. That voice is the soundtrack in Hell, and the life you live will match the soundtrack you play. The more we positively change the tune, the happier hell will be.

Whether you consciously know it or not, you’re in Hell. You’ve done it to yourself, but here me out!! because understanding and acknowledging the hell you’ve created is such a critical step to improving your life and making it a little less hellish. 

 Don’t be afraid of Hell. Make peace with this place. It’s teaching us, and allowing us to grow. Plus, we’re going to be here a while, so might as well get comfortable while we work on our tunes. 

The Excellent Choice

Before I get into the nitty gritty of it all, I want to preface that I’m a bit of an Oprah groupie. Not really, but I think she’s the bees knees. Anyways, I was listening to a speech she gave where she told the audience three tips to follow. If you abide by them, you’re basically golden. 

The final tip, which may come as no surprise considering the title, was “Always make the excellent choice- Do the right thing.” Now before you say “Duh” and roll your eyes like a conservative talking to a millennial about anything progressive or current, hear me out. 

Was it an excellent choice for me to have that entire bottle of prosecco last weekend and say regrettable things?(Knowing very well that I hadn’t had any alcohol for several months prior to that night) Obviously not, if I’m being candid. However, unlike that example, the excellent choice isn’t always clear as day, or as obvious as my drunken shenanigans and hangovers.

The excellent choice may be to lean back and not say anything even though you feel the need to explain or defend yourself. Maybe it’s to not do what everyone else is doing so you can “fit in” or feel good temporarily. Maybe the excellent choice is to sign up for that class or workshop even though it scares you. The excellent choice may be to leave a toxic relationship, even though you still love them….pexels-photo-236287 The list goes on and on. Keeping that tip in mind has certainly made me think twice in many (though I wish all) situations. Hopefully next time you have a choice to make, this will inspire you to think about if it’s the excellent choice, and perhaps change your plans accordingly. 

Going After What You Want Doesn’t Make You Happy

boy-828850_1280I can Imagine so many internet trolls reading that title and getting their panties in a bunch before they read any further. I can understand why it would be an easy argument to claim that going after what you want will make you happy, but I’ll prove you otherwise.

Was I happy trying to score a man by swiping left and right on dating apps to the point my finger cramped up? (I’m being extra, but you get the point.) No, what it did was leave me feeling disappointed that the young Leonardo Decapprio looking dopplegänger was as stimulating as watching paint dry.

Was I happy going after my ideal body, having an eating disorder, and going to the gym 12-14 times a week? Well, I did love my gym classes, but the answer is still no. I wasn’t happy. I was never good enough, and consistently had significantly more anxiety than a Californian yogi after realizing they accidently ate something with gluten and meat in it.

Was I happy going after money, recognition, acceptance, relationships, or anything else I wanted? The answer is NO. It’s doing what you love, not going after what you want, that brings true happiness. 

We often try to go after some ideal of a body, romance, financial status or recognition, rather than making sure we are enjoying the process and journey of connecting with others, and deepening our connection and understanding of ourselves. 

Going after money won’t make you happy, following your passions and what brings you joy will.

Going after a lover won’t make you happy, appreciating connections with others and yourself will. 

Going after an ideal created by societies standards won’t bring you happiness. Engaging in activities and enjoying things that nourish you will.

Don’t go after what you want, do something you love. Today. 

Frugal As Fuck

Frugal as fuck. That’s me in a nut shell. Not a pistachio nut shell because they are too damn expensive.

I wasn’t always this way. I’d like to say my spending habits have changed because I’ve grown up, or that maybe the Jew in me is coming out, but I don’t believe that’s the case. I believe it’s fear based. Fear of needing to make sure there will be enough for a rainy day when I know damn well it barely rains in Santa Barbara. I needn’t worry, yet I will do just about anything to save a dollar. I’ve become so frugal, that treating myself to anything that involves a monetary exchange causes more resistance than rowing up a stream, using a dollar bill as an oar.

I once attended some business guru’s seminar. She said something that really stuck with me. “You either say no for two reasons. You either don’t value the product or service, or you don’t value yourself enough to say yes.” When those words went into the microphone and echoed out into the room, my face resembled that of me as a child when I got caught using a butterfly net to scoop out shit in the toilet. Busted. I don’t value myself enough to say yes. That being said, I’ve certainly been improving and working on valuing and treating myself more (mostly in ways that don’t require a payment). When you boil it down, it’s all about self worth.

“Grow your self worth to grow your net worth “ #truth #preach is another valuable piece of advice I’ve learnt. Yes, I learnt it, but have I been implementing and embodying a woman with the self worth of a goddess? Ehh debatable. I’d certainly like to think so. My therapist would tell me otherwise. However, I’ve made leaps and bounds over the past few years, and I’m seeing results. Slowly but surely, It’s only a matter of time before I’m a baller who treats myself like the goddess I truly am.money-2740408_1280

ATtractive MAN

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Summer 2017

This week, the “OMwork” as they like to say, is to write about how and when I come in contact with my Atman. At first glance, one might think “Atman, what’s that? Is that short for attractive man? If so, where’s the man at?” Well, that’s not exactly what Atman is. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Atman is neither male nor female, person nor thing, rather the energy and space between, it is the eternal witness. Atman translates to “ The divine spark within”, and I’m about to get deep (with a side of sarcasm) and talk about how I connect with the divine spark within me.
One way I come in contact with my Atman/ higher self, is when I do things that light me up, and bring me joy. Since the month prior to embarking on an extreme spiritual journey, I have noticed that the activities and people that made me feel like Squidward around Spongebob, have been leaving my experience, and have been replaced by that which sparks the divine within. I also connect with my Atman daily through physical experiences such as meditation, runs in nature, yoga, and so forth.
Though meditation can connect me with my Atman in a positive way at times, its been more of a sob fest or pity party lately. I’ve realized I’ve got to wipe the dirt off the diamond before I can put a ring on it. Connecting on the deepest level with my Atman, means it’s not going to be all rainbows, butterflies, and fairy dust. (Lets replace butterflies with unicorns or puppies because butterflies are kind of creepy looking up close.) Working through old resistance and detaching from the ego in a healthy way, will help me come in contact with my Atman on a deeper level, and enable my Atman to express itself through my physical body more fully.
On that note, it actually bothers me that I’m writing statements such as “…enable my Atman to express itself” I’m making it sound as though my Atman is something separate from me when that couldn’t be farther from the truth. I am Atman and everything else is an illusion of the mind. I’ll save this for another day because this is going to turn in to a novel if I don’t steer this ship around quick. Actually, I take that back, I’m not turning the ship around, we’re about to sail like Captain Jack Sparrow.
In yogi language, or as others say, Sanskrit, the word “maya” is the concept that the world in which we live is an illusion made up of individual and collective judgments. Identifying too much with maya hinders Atman’s ability to express itself fully through me. It’s like when I thought my happiness relied on that guy to like me, or to win a ton of money. (I’m not saying not having either of those things aren’t irking me slightly still) Identifying too much with maya, this illusion called reality, makes one believe that their happiness is in maya, meaning outside of their true self. When looking at maya for satisfaction instead of my Atman, resistance is built, building a thicker wall between me and my higher self, where true happiness and satisfaction is culminated.
All we are and ever will be is Atman. All the rest is temporary and illusive. My mind, thoughts, and body, are simply the vehicle my Atman uses to navigate through life. Getting caught up in maya is like forgetting to put enough gas in your vehicle, or oil in the engine, and leaving empty water bottles and gum wrappers in the back seat. Some people get so caught up in maya, that they slam on the gas peddle, frustrated they’re not going where they want to, all the while they’ve forgotten to start the car. If we don’t learn to tap in to and listen to our Atman, and do what we love, we’ll never be able to be guided to our desired destination.
When I write and my words begin to flow like an Eminem freestyle, when I get on stage and sing like a little white Whitney Houston, or when my friend and I laugh out loud at inappropriate times because of the hilarious memes we send to each other at work, or even simply appreciating the beauty of the Riviera from my window, nothing but that moment and the joy I feel is on my mind. That is my Atman experiencing life through this body and mind that I have identified as mine. That is lila.
No, lila is not related to the yellow Telly Tubby. Lila means “the divine play” which is to say maya is where we lila. I may not be phrasing that correctly because I know sanskrit as well as I know how to cook Indian Tikka Masala (For the record, I had to look up indian dishes on google because I’m the antithesis of Betty Crocker) Anyways, I am essentially the actor, director, and producer, of the show called my reality. If I connect to my higher self in a way my Atman shines through me, I can create a five star romantic comedy. If I do things or stay in situations that hinder my joy and ability to connect with my higher self because I identify so much with my ego mind and maya, I will produce a box office bomb, and I can’t blame the audience for a bad show.
Though I may have steered this ship a little off course, one can’t deny that it lead us to some treasures, or at the very least, this was an avenue for my Atman to lila through maya. Hopefully I kind of sort of answered the “omwork” appropriately. Though if anyone were to judge me, it probably wouldn’t be very yogi like anyways, right?