Reflecting On Another Year…

It’s Christmas Eve, the time we celebrate Christmas in Germany. I have already gotten my numerous German Christmas wishes and just got back from a Mexican Fiesta Christmas in Arizona. So here I sit, stuffed from having eaten too many home-made Tamales and having had a couple margaritas, reflecting on yet another year that’s passed.

What strikes me as so off at this very moment is how wrong we have all gotten it. I feel guilty for having gotten stuck in the rat race that is called Los Angeles; always having to have the newest gadget, the newest technological crap, keeping up with the proverbial Jones’ and feeling no closer to fulfillment than when I sat out to beat “being poor.”

I remember growing up with shitty Christmases, usually defined by people crying or fighting and a couple times, with a crazy stepfather who wanted to commit suicide… by hanging himself from a friggin’ light fixture in the hallway. I remember being so poor that my mother sat there crying because she couldn’t buy us any gifts and yet, still anxiously awaiting the “Christkind” in its sleigh, riding on a shooting star, straight down to our apartment, being heard miles away due to all the bells ringing. And then one small bell would ring and we’d run into the living room and not care at all at the utter lack of presents. We were thrilled at haven gotten one present. We never got to make lists. We always got to choose one.

But now I am a grown up and I live in Los Angeles and I can, at least in a superficial way, afford whatever I want. And while I have all this crap in my life, I find myself no closer to the bliss and happiness I thought I’d have once I have “money.” No, instead I find it all so terribly shallow and not fulfilling at all. I think I, along with many others in the modern Western world, have lost sight of what is truly important and truly matters.

So this year I am thankful for all the losses I have endured; all the pain I have experienced and all the things I didn’t have. I am thankful for remembering what it is like to “not have” and to lose those who are and that which is close and dear to me, as it has made me largely who I am.

I think life was easier when I wasn’t chasing some imaginary status quo. Because the more I got, the more I felt I needed. So for a while there I got caught up in being exactly like I swore to never be. Luckily for me, I never really did take things for granted. I did, however, get used to working too hard and spending too little time with those who matter and that which should be most important. I think I need to regroup again and shift my focus once more on the important things in life.

See, I could spend the rest of my life chasing crap. I could be one of those who are never truly happy, living right by my husband, because I am looking for happiness in materialistic, dumb ass places that bring me no closer to bliss and I could end up regretting wasting my life and wasting my and his time.

I remember a time when I spent almost all my time trying to achieve a higher plane of consciousness. I meditated every day, I spend more time on the astral plane than on this one and I read a whole lot, studied even more and felt bliss. There was a short time when I was one with the universe; but like all other people I got bogged down by life and crappy things that happened. I lost sight again, then started hanging with the wrong people, for the wrong reasons and focusing on the unimportant stuff in life. Somehow I had bought into their version of reality. And hence, I became like them.

I unlearned all my good habits; I became fat, lazy, cynical, angry, and complacent. I was complaining, blaming and whining and gave up my control, losing myself in being a victim of circumstance and buying into my own crap. Fortunately, spirituality remains my foundation and sooner or later will always break through the walls of denial and superficial reality.

So today, I remember that anything is possible. I could simply start meditating again, work out again, eat right again, and keep at it. I could simply stay focused and remember once more what truly matters in life. I could bring out the person I believe I was meant to be, not the one I started to become. Today, I can make new choices and remember that a brain can be rewired and that new neurological pathways can be formed within a matter of weeks. I can remember that we can actually rewire our genetic makeup. Because now I know a whole lot more than I did back then.

In the new year, I could simply choose to start living up to my full potential again and clear away the cobwebs of confusion and falsehood. I think I’ll be simply thankful for all the subtle reminders that come my way, telling me that all is not lost and nothing is ever truly wasted; and that now is as good a time as ever to get back on track of being me.

Thanks, Honey, for having my back. And thanks to our friends Juan and his wife, for taking in the gringos and sharing how happiness looks like when you are simply grateful for what you do have. These people live a very rich life and the make a fraction of what my husband and I am making. But they really seem to have it figured out.

Better I’ll start changing my faulty wiring sooner rather than later. So, hurray for a new year. Provided the unexpected doesn’t happen, I could live another 42 years, so better get cracking!

Blessing to all of you, regardless what you believe or do not believe. May you learn to wake up, be more compassionate and more kind and less self-absorbed, chasing the imaginary dream of selfish “I must have.” And may you wake up from the prison of your illusions rather sooner than later.

Tell It as It Is!

We are taught to not show anger. It is frowned upon when we are “out of control,” because we are civilized people, who should be able to deal with our emotions in a constructive, non-threatening and non-confrontational manor. Naturally, this results in a whole bunch of passive aggressive BS and pinned up rage, which then unfolds in people “losing it.”

I find nothing wrong with confronting people; quite on the contrary. I am absolutely sick to death of toxic nicety, sugarcoating, beating around the bush and pretentious cowards who run their mouth behind another’s back, while never once confronting anyone. And this brings me to the fact that there are plenty of things I am angry about.

I’m not going into a long tirade now about all the things that really piss me off. But herd behavior is definitely my number one pet peeve; closely followed by the self-serving, whining, woe-is-me, never holding themselves accountable for anything downers, who simply don’t contribute a whole lot to anyone or anything. And of course, last, but not least, we have the self-entitled jerks, who really do believe that the world and everyone else owes them, because they had it hard in their life, had it really good in their life or some idiot parent taught them so. Nothing fuels my fire more than lame excuses for lame behavior and complete lack of integrity.

See, the thing is that we think so much in absolutes. Either we constantly confront, or we don’t confront at all. Either we run our mouths all the time, or never, and when we do, we can count on some Muppet who is going to tell you how negative you are. I, however, find a huge difference in being negative, down and angry all the time, and being angry about things sometimes. There is no such thing as always being happy and mellow, unless you are super enlightened.

These days I sometimes wished people would get more angry and actually do something about it. And no, I do not mean blowing someone/something up, starting a war or getting into fistfights. No, we already have plenty of idiots who are doing that. I just sometimes wished people would grow some balls and start talking, debating or standing up for what they believe to be right in a constructive way. I wished people would stop arguing about who is right and learn to see another’s point of view. And of course, I wished people would be more interested in working on themselves and becoming a better person for the rest, before they start criticizing, attacking or undermining those who are different or make them feel threatened. Imagine what the world would be like if people would actually point the finger at themselves and chose to be the example for others, versus sitting on their butts and blaming everyone else. I can tell you that this world would be awesome.

Alas, complacency, blaming, deceitfulness and cowardice are so much easier to do then lifting a finger and doing something about it. And I think that is my greatest disappointment in human beings.

So how do I get over my anger and disappointment? I realize that there are things I have no control over and things I do have control over. And no matter how hard it is, I choose to take a long hard look at myself first, before I run my mouth about others. I do the work, even though I swim upstream a lot of the times, and I lead by example. I give to others as much as I can, I share and help wherever I can and realize that sometimes one small act of kindness can make a huge difference for another, and therefore inspire that person to do the same.

I’m no Dalai Lama and I am no Zen master. I get angry, disappointed, depressed and annoyed like everyone else. I just won’t let the negative emotions be my number one mode. And when it gets too bad, I let it out by writing, working out or talking to someone I can trust. After all, the worst thing we can do is to bottle things up and to dwell in anger, blame and regret.

Zen Schmen – Tis’ the Season to be Hating!

A study showed that the two number one causes for high blood pressure, heart attacks and all kinds of other diseases are regret and having too many choices. Yep, when one has to constantly make a decision, it causes the body to go into permanent stress mode; which causes high cortisol levels, due to your adrenals working overtime. And regret, well, regret is one of the dumbest modes one can have. Because unless you manage to find a way to travel back in time and change things, you might as well realize that you are wasting your energy.

The emphasis these days is on being the peaceful warrior; and while I have worked my butt off to be just that I find it at times downright impossible to be the Zen master. So why are we all so pissed off and angry all the time? Well, why shouldn’t we be? Get ready for one big, nasty rant about “the world!”

We live in a self-absorbed, narcissistic, boring, ignorant and dumb ass, Facebook posting society (which can’t spell or properly punctuate), where kind, tolerant and giving people are the minority and loud mouths recording their every meaningless move to the world are the majority. Yes, I need to know when you took your last dump and your ugly battles with your spouse or others. Yes, the nice guys do finish last, A LOT, these days, while the jerk who backstabbed you is now in your life for good, because your “friends” are a bunch of friggin’ cowards who “won’t take sides,” because they won’t friggin’ stand for anything really, and definitely would not engage in a scary thing like deleting the jerks who’ve wronged you. After all, anything that requires an honest conversation, loyalty, or some balls is out. Passive aggressive, toxic nicety and meaningless chatter is in.

We live in a world where Broke-Back-Mountain-jacket sporting douche canoe Rick Perry is running for president and is probably going to find plenty of dumb asses who agree and vote for him. Because what this country needs is more intolerance, bigotry, class separating bullshit from the top.
We have to listen to hypocritical adulterer Newt (the name says it all) Gingrich and find plenty of support in the ranks of “I-barely-finished-high-school-and-don’t-know-English” nutjobs, who couldn’t put a correct sentence together if “there” life depended on it. Yep, folks, this is the majority who not only votes, but procreates.

We live in a world where companies can fire you “at-will,” because as long as we call it “downsizing” we are OK. We then outsource our jobs to China or India, because this is what capitalism is all about.

We scream “communism,” because yeah, we really do know the difference between socialism, communism or any other system, and we are brainwashed enough to vote against our own interests. And when the proverbial shit hits the fan, and you’ll end up in the hospital, don’t count on your already shitty insurance to pay for it. If you have any “preexisting conditions,” which includes ever having felt depressed, you might as well kiss benefits goodbye. But let’s all scream a little louder, because damn it, this country is not a communist one, this is the land of the free; except that they are really not that free at all, but hey, delusion counts for a great deal.

Every day I see more mindless defending of a view, versus talking to each other. After all, it is so much easier to actually hate those or that which is different, versus spending some time to research or truly listen.

And amidst all of this, one is supposed to keep the Zen mind going. Maybe this is why the Dalai Lama is my number one hero in the world. I cannot do anything but stand in awe at the one person who consistently stands in their own word with integrity, kindness and selfless love for mankind, while we are busy acquiring another bullshit gadget; or post/tweet that we just had a sandwich to the world, while watching “Jersey Shore,” or other quality “reality” shows.

No, my friends, I cannot be the Zen master in this world, as much as I aspire to be. I can do what I think is right and give of myself to those who need it more, fight for that which I know to be right and refuse to become like “them.” But at the end of the day, I get bogged down by the sheer idiocracy of the culture I am part of; you know the “I didn’t do it/it’s not my fault, whiny ass, spineless, woe is me crowd, who has a huge sense of entitlement, who demands higher wages, perfect relationships and 6 figure incomes, while sitting on their butt and pointing fingers, telling you to go and “f*** yourself when you call them on their shit? Ah, what solitude I find in isolating and not partaking in whatever bullshit activity one has to do in order to be popular.

Yes, it gives me great pleasure to point out how shallow, selfish, ignorant, stupid, predictable and boring I find most people to be and how deeply disappointed I am in the human race as a whole, which I am really not proud to be part of.

I really cannot choose to be an atheist, because the only thing that gives me hope these days is the belief that there is something bigger than me, which I will hopefully join one day. I don’t even care if that something is “god” or an alien. I’ll happily climb on board the mothership! Farewell suckers! I’ll watch as you keep hating, shooting, blowing and beating each other up over who is right, as I drift off into outer space or some other dimension/realm. See you, never!

Non-zen hater, over and out!