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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 74: “The Trouble Is You Think You Have Time.”

Jack Kornfield said that “the trouble is you think you have time.” We all think we have enough time. We know that there are important things which have never been said up to this point, things which probably should have been done a long time ago. We know that we have to set things straight when it comes to a certain person or situation, that we have to confess the truth to them, but we are sure that doing so will result in a loss of pleasure to us, so we choose to hold on to a comfortable lie instead. Often times when we hurt others, we immediately realize, we come to know that we are in the wrong, yet we create the dumbest excuse to go on feeling offended and entitled, instead of owning up to our mistakes and apologizing. We are too scared to be vulnerable, too afraid of our own feelings to ever be able to analyze them properly, let alone those of others. We cannot apologize sincerely since we see it as a sign of weakness, of admitting that we are wrong, and therefore inferior somehow to the other person. Too many of us have killed our own inner child. We are afraid to live because we are scared to death of being less, being seen as less, of being seen as weak in this hostile world, of opening up to others and forming true connections. We have become so immersed in one thing or one kind of lifestyle, on our numerous distractions from our problems, that we fail to see the blessings all around us, and we fail to take action when it comes to things we know we should do or not do, things which we ignore for a while hoping they will go away. Soon enough we realize this approach just doesn’t work. Nothing ever goes away, we simply cannot run from ourselves, from the things that still haunt us, from the inner issues we need to resolve, as well as all the external ones. Owning up to his or her own mistakes is really a nightmare to someone who has adopted a victim mentality towards life and who has created the habit of complaining about the smallest misfortune, but to one who is connected to the deeper truths of life and what it means to be alive, this shouldn’t be a problem. When we are honest with ourselves and others, but especially with ourselves, about where we are going wrong, where we are doing the right thing and where we’re not, then we are truly starting our journey into self-developing. Nevertheless, it is only the start. Sometimes we can be brutally honest with ourselves about our shortcomings and errors, but due to our negative perspective which is so attached to physical reality we cannot make the necessary changes in order to truly resolve these issues. We let them linger on in our lives, affecting every new relationship or project, affecting all the thoughts that run through our minds every single day. We do not know how to tackle them, but since we think we have time, we do not even try, we just look the other way, we look for all kinds of distractions, hoping that we will eventually forget about the deepest truths of our lives. We cannot live in this way, fueled by ignorance and fear. We must understand and live by the fact that everything is cyclical and recurring, that there are patterns woven throughout the webs of history which connect the dots of human interaction in the most magical ways, completely unknown to our limited perceptions, and that the time to act is now, that we were born where and when we born to do things, to make our lives worth living and to fill them with meaning. We understand that all pain and pleasure will pass, and this is a constant reminder to us not to fall into desperation. Better days are ahead, but for now, there is simply no time to waste when it comes to the truly important things. Tell your mom and dad you love them today, make plans to spend more time with your siblings or with your friends you haven’t seen in a while. Get outside and meet new people, experience new cultures, don’t just spend the day looking at the same old screen inside the same stuffy room. Live! Get up and live! Lively yourself up, or “lively up yourself!” As the man Bob Marley would say. The world is devoid of honesty nowadays. We have all become addicted to our way of living and are afraid to give it up. We have adopted mainstream society’s shallow values, and if we haven’t, then at least we have learned how to pretend that we have. We have hardened our hearts and become cold to the love which is present within us all and which connects us on a spiritual level, on the deepest level of connection, if we would only choose to stop for a moment and pay attention to the now. Stop seeing others as separate from yourself and simply say what needs to be said. Stop seeing the future as a separate reality in which you will play a part. Your life could end at any second. Understand that the time to do what must be done is now. Do what you must do, and you will feel much better after! You will feel more confident for having spoken your mind, you will feel like a more open person, you will receive more respect and will be able to communicate clearly with the world. You will feel accomplished, and will be ready to take on an even more challenging task. You will be building your stamina and strength, your self-control and willpower. Don’t waste time. Don’t think that you will be able to do something only after you have done something else or become someone better. The time to take action is now. There will never be another time, since every moment is really Now. Tomorrow might never come and we might not wake from our dreams tonight. Life is uncertain, and things seem to happen randomly, but everything has deep significance. Have you thought about where you stand in this wonderful world, in the grand scheme of things, about who you are in this life? If not, then the time to start pondering these questions is now!

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 75.

~ Rebel Spirit

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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 53: From Tired to Inspired.

Today was another day. I’m tired, but I have enough energy to learn, to read, to write. I’m faded, I ate some pizza so I feel a bit heavy, but I’m comfortable. Today I was thinking back on my fam, the ways in which they may have changed while I’ve been gone away, the way things used to be, how they will never be the same again. It’s not a sad thing, maybe nostalgic, but shocking as well. My youngest brother just finished the eleventh grade, only one left now to graduate from high school. Meanwhile I still feel like I just left high school, and I’m like eight years older than him. It’s hard sometimes, not to feel like you’re getting lost in the system, like you’re not really heading anywhere. It’s easy to judge ourselves based on external values, based on what society thinks about life and how it should be. Life is way too often referred to as a general idea. But life, as in the concept of being alive, and life meaning the time that a single individual has before death, are two different things. Life is something common to all, in the first sense, but in the second, life is very, very different to all individuals. We all experience and perceive things much differently than those around us. We might be more similar to some of our worst enemies than to those around us, because we are all born a certain way, and then we are further shaped in a certain way as we grow, and so many of the factors at play are simply out of our control, such as all of childhood before we can take care of ourselves as adolescents or adults. We don’t decide whether we are similar to others or not, in a way, our nature is embedded in us, and our karma is creating our life, so it is our duty, our dharma, to live, each one of us his or her individual life, to the fullest. We all can find more in common than we think we can with almost anyone we can imagine, just as we can find things about most people which are absolutely disgusting to us. We are all alike and yet very different, when we think of it in a context of duality, but beyond this we are similar in Spirit, in a dimension beyond all duality. So again, we shouldn’t judge ourselves based on external values which society believes are important, but instead we should understand that we are already special, that there is already a purpose to each and every one of us, including me, and including you as well. If we are born in the United States, or in Honduras, or Canada, or whether we are Asian or European or Middle Eastern, we are all born exactly where and when we are meant to be born, to the parents who we were meant to be born to. Whether we are meant to be male or female, all we have to do is to look at who are, who we were born as. There is a reason why we are who we are, why I am who I am, and why you are born are you, and he as he is, and she as she is. Everyone comes to life because of each parent’s decision to make love, to have sex. Beyond this, however, there are deeper reasons, reasons which we simply can’t understand, for why a new life is born at a certain time. It is not our place to take a life that God has chosen to bring into this world, especially if it has come about because of our own carelessness, because we want to party and be wild and free, free to exchange our sexual energy with whoever we please, without ever even attempting to understand its true power, or its connection with the divine force which is love, and how they are meant to be fused together in the harmony of a true and loving relationship. We have to face responsibility for our actions, otherwise we will never be truly free. The evil we commit today will haunt generations down the line for a long, long time, just as the sins of our ancestors have left us in the state we are in today. Changes take time, and things all have their effects. We live in a world of cause and effect, there is simply no denying it. Those who choose to live in denial of this basic truth of life are bound to face the consequences of their actions regardless, but these days they try not to be legally held accountable. We must understand that sex is sacred, that any new life is sacred, that a great Spirit lives in all of us, and is what gives life to any body. A body without Spirit would be nothing but meat and bones, just like the chicken or beef most of us eat. How can we ever understand the sanctity of life when we eat other species for mere convenience? I myself still haven’t stopped eating meat, so don’t think of this as an attack to you or anyone else, but we can’t stay in denial of the facts. If we acknowledge the truth, then we are bound to change sooner or later, we will be compelled to change, since the truth will set us free, it has to. If we stay in denial though, why would we ever attempt to change, to improve, if we can’t see what’s wrong in the way we behave? Time flies, life is sacred, and we need to figure out how to live smarter, how to really feel alive and really be alive during every second. I started out a bit tired, now I feel inspired, just like when I read some truth which resonates with me. Reading and writing are amazing tools, I can’t stress it enough, to get to know about thought around the world, through the ages and even now, as well as thoughts floating around up in your own head.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 54.

~ Rebel Spirit

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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 51: Working Back Home and Abroad.

I’m at work at the moment. Normally we don’t have internet connection here to access sites not related to the job itself, but I just randomly tried to get on WordPress today and it worked, and there’s a lot of free time in between calls, so it’s a perfect moment for me to get started with today’s writing goal. I got Maria (my wife) sitting right beside me, and in between getting these words down I’m also just joking and playing around with her. It’s great to be able to look at her throughout the day, as she expresses actual concern about whatever customer’s issue she’s dealing with at the moment, I can see it in her facial expressions and hand movements. She has a sweater on with the hoodie on her head, since it always gets a bit cold at the end of the day, when most people have gone home and the air conditioner is still cooling the place up. We assist commercial customers with their DirecTV accounts, so if you live in the States and you ever call DTV customer service for some billing or technical issues at your place of work, you might get me on the line, or my wife. We probably won’t be at this job for much longer though, maybe another few months, since Maria and I are waiting for her Canadian PR to be approved soon, so that we can travel back together. It’s a cool job for now, easy and relaxed. On my breaks I can usually go out for a joint, I just have to stay alert for the cops, because here they can take me to jail, not like in Canada. Weed wasn’t legal in Canada when I was growing up though, so I’m used to staying alert and watching my surroundings. It’s funny, I do my calls so well that the customers I attend probably have no clue that I’m in Central America, or that I’m faded as fuck. I like helping them out, though sometimes work is a bore and I wish I was doing something more interesting. No sense in wishing though, I have to remain in the now, and stay focused and working towards a better situation. It’s great that I have this available time now and that I can do my writing, since we’re planning on visiting my grandparents today when we get home. It’s been a while since we’ve went up to visit them, and they always feel real happy when we do. Maria and my grandma get along real well. So, doing my writing now will clear up some time at night, the time we need to visit them and to do other goals. It’s cool that people here in Honduras have an opportunity to practice their English by having real conversations with real people who are calling from the States. The conversations obviously center mostly around TV, around technical things, and around numbers when it comes to billing problems. It’s great that these call centers exist also because they provide jobs for many people here. The US companies hire the call centers since they obviously have to pay someone working in a call center in the States a lot more than they pay us over here. I don’t live for money though, otherwise I’d be back in Canada making much more right now. I couldn’t bear the thought of staying separated from Maria though, and throughout the whole time we’ve been waiting on her PR, I’ve been here in Honduras ever since I came back to get married with her. Our two year anniversary is coming up, in fact, on the fifteenth of this month. I’m super excited to celebrate that special day with my beautiful wife of two years, especially since it’s been a while since we hit the beach, and also since this will be the first celebration or beach day since I started my abstinence goal from alcohol. That means I’ll act like less of a fool, I’ll enjoy more, and I’ll be able to remember more of those wonderful moments. I’m excited to go back to Canada, but just as you make more money there from work, living is also much more expensive. Over here it almost feels like I’m on vacation, work is not much of a necessity, and life is a lot more relaxed. When I go back, I feel like it’s gonna be hard not to slip back into a meaningless routine, into a soul-sucking job which I will actually need in order to pay the rent, or mortgage, in order to buy food and groceries. I need to do all that here, but we always have enough, and the job is simple and relaxed. I’m not eager to take up some random job though, after the many I’ve already had already back, and to start waking up early and coming home late every day, working my ass off just to pay bills, with no time to spend with my wife or family. I’m excited because, in Canada, there’s a lot more opportunities for musicians and artists, for writers as well. But what good does it do me if I will have no time? I absolutely need to find a way to break free from the system, to be my own boss and to live more freely. That’s also kind of the point for taking this time off and staying here in Honduras. It’s great to see life from a totally different perspective, and to sometimes have a bit of an escape into a different culture, into something that sucks you out of your own life and environment and mindset back home. I’ve been thinking, brainstorming, planning as to what I will do in order to make things work when we go back to Vancouver, and I have a few ideas, one of the main ones being hard work and dedication to what I do. So, tomorrow the call center awaits again, and while it’s not so bad, and I’m thankful to God for having such a chill job at the moment, I truly wonder if the day will arrive when I’ll find myself waking up to do something much more meaningful than helping people watch TV. I’m sure many of us feel the say way.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 52.

~ Rebel Spirit

1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 10: Cannabis, Self-Reflection and Writing.

The culture here in Honduras is very different from the one I experienced and became a part of in Canada. Most of the experiences which have truly shaped my personality the most up to this point are those that I had in Canada after my parents decided to move there when I was ten, at least until recently when I returned here to be married to my beautiful wife Maria. I grew up in Vancouver, BC, more specifically in the Surrey area. Many things that I grew up seeing as totally normal were things that completely shocked and terrified my folks, such as my appreciation for cannabis which started at the young age of thirteen. My parents went through a lot of suffering due to my love for that sweet BC bud. I always had to, and did, keep in mind that my parents come from Latin American countries where illegal “drugs” are associated with tremendous levels of organized crime and violence; it is a business which is fully controlled by gangs. In Canada, on the other hand, everyone and their mom smokes bud, or even sells it. Seeing my mom suffer like she did when I was finally caught selling at school made me never sell weed again, at least as a job, even though I think the laws which make it illegal in the first place are completely bogus. I couldn’t be happier about the fact that cannabis is now legal in Canada, nationwide, since October 17th, 2018. This is necessary in order to break the stigma, in order to open the world’s eyes to the fact that cannabis is not a dangerous drug, but rather a powerful and potent plant in many respects. Just like everything in this planet, it can definitely be abused, so it must be used with moderation. Balance is something which needs to be applied to every area of our lives if we want peace of mind. My belief is that no substance in the world is completely bad or good. Some cause more suffering than the experience is worth, and some ease the suffering of many people as long as they’re used properly and treated with respect. It is all about the way anything is used, just like the internet, or the TV, or social media. Just because so many people feel empty and alone or misunderstood in this dull world so devoid of life to the point where they begin desperately abusing weed, or alcohol, or pharmaceuticals, or any other substance for that matter, is not a valid reason to label the substance itself as evil. And if this was the actual reason why a substance like weed was ever illegal then all pharmaceuticals would have been completely forgotten as soon as the dreaded opioid epidemic reached massive proportions. I’m sure glad the fight is over in Canada, but I’m also speaking for and to the rest of the world where people who just want to chill a bit, as well as people who really need their weed have their basic rights denied and as branded as criminals. In reality, most problems related to pot use are due to its illegal status, including my own problem with my school and even with my parents’ view of it. Apart from that some people say that weed makes you lazy. I’ve thought about this in depth and to explain I must tell a bit of my own story. Cannabis has been a trusted friend to me for a very long time. The effect one feels after consuming this plant can obviously vary immensely from person to person depending on mental state and many other factors, but its general effect is usually one of slight sedation as well as of comfort or relaxation. At times I’ve felt as if I were becoming completely immersed in a bunch of blankets, as if I were sinking into my warm bed or something as soft as clouds, as if I were fading away into a dream as I lie in under the stars, my eyelids slowly closing over my vision. Most of my most wonderful weed memories are from my earliest days with it.. One cool thing I notice is that although cannabis makes one feel so wonderfully comfortable, it does not blind one to the facts of life, and in a way it shares an important quality with all psychedelics: the ability to bring you into deeper contemplation of your own thoughts. Interesting ideas seem to envelop my attention to the exclusion of everything else around me. I started to figure this out for the most part after having the realization that I didn’t want to live a life of time-wasting any more. This realization hit me the most while high one day, when I realized that I was losing motivation to work towards my goals, and I couldn’t lie to myself about it. This thought made me evaluate my daily activities and be honest with myself about when I was wasting time. Then I would do something more productive during that time in order to improve at being productive. I realized that all the time I was spending on weed after work might be holding me back and preventing me from doing more important things ,along with time wasted scrolling on Facebook or partying with friends. After work I would walk two blocks from Homer Street over to West Hastings on the corner of Victory Square in Downtown Vancouver. After purchasing the product at the corner dispensary I would merely cross the street to the New Amsterdam Café, a lounge where anyone can come in, and for a five dollar fee, smoke freely in a comfortable and secure area with some trippy paintings on the walls. Music is always playing, munchies are for sale, and any smoking or vaping equipment is provided if needed. There are large spots with conjoined couches for big groups, and there are also individual couches for the more introspective stoners. I usually went alone since I went right after work, and plus I preferred to blaze alone in those days anyway my main reason for being back in Vancouver being to save up for my then upcoming wedding. I would walk in like I was home and remove my tedious tie and jacket with a sigh of sweet relief as I proceeded to plop down on one of the free couches. Then I would continue to unpack everything I needed: the weed came out of my pocket, the grinder and papers were in my bag along with the lighter, and I was already deciding what music I would listen to for the next little while om my 160GB iPod Classic. After deciding on an album or a playlist I would commence the rolling of the humongous joint which was about to be blazed up. Since I had been waiting all day to smoke (the job I was currently working allowed me no opportunity to wake ‘n bake), this session was always meant to take me all the way. I would properly pack up a full KingSize RAW paper and roll a fat joint longer than my index finger, ending it with a nice filter which I took my time to make with perfect precision. It was almost as if I were trying to last as long as possible without sparking the joint, as if the satisfaction were such that I just had to hold it off in order to feel it even more the second I lit it. It was during these relaxing times of stoned self-reflection that the idea of writing really began to take shape in my mind. More on this tomorrow though.

To be continue tomorrow, on Day 11.

~ Rebel Spirit