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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 61: Let Go of What You’re Attached To.

Today’s my second day in a row without bud. In case you didn’t know, I’m a daily toker, I have been for many years now. In the past few years I’ve started experimenting with setting goals for myself, daily goals as well as long-term goals. One example is my goal with alcohol. Back in the days I used to drink way too much, and it was causing problems in my life, so I finally decided that something needed to be done. I didn’t want to stop, and every day it was so easy to just walk on over to the corner store and grab a six pack, especially in the infernal Honduras heat as we getting home from work, no longer in the comfort of the air conditioning. In the midst of a painful hangover, since they got worse and worse over the years, I’d always swear I’d never drink again. I had no need for it, I would say, I felt guilty or ashamed about possibly, very likely, having acted like an idiot the night before, and I didn’t want the situation to repeat itself. No more drinking, I’ll be a new man. These were my thoughts, but once the hangover went away, the cravings always came back. The problem is drinking to excess, but why not just have a beer or two? That refreshing cold taste, that initial euphoria and overall relaxed feeling, they were too nice to pass up, especially since everyone I know from work loves to drink. I don’t know many other people here, but wherever we find ourselves these days, usually most people love to drink anyway. It’s a socially acceptable destructive habit. I didn’t pay much attention to all my promises to stop drinking, but over time I did a lot of reflection, along with some powerful psychedelic trips which really showed me the desperate situation I was in, and so I built up the courage to get started on an abstinence goal. I started out with just five days, and I promised my wife Maria that I would stick to the five days no matter how I felt. She’s not a drinker at all, so she’s always been such great support and motivation for me on this particular goal, although she always supports me with all of the goals I set for myself. Sure enough, when I talked about forgetting the goal and having a beer she was there to remind me that I was the one who set the goal in the first place because I really thought I needed it, that I had been the one who asked her to support me with it even if I tried to back down, and that it would only be five days anyway, that I was strong enough to succeed. I did succeed, I didn’t drink for five days. Then I drank again, but this time I was ready, after a week or two of drinking, to do a ten day goal. I did it, and although I always did drink after the goal was over, I felt like each time I completed a goal, each time I stuck to the plan and practiced self-control instead of just giving in to temptation, I was getting a bit closer to freedom, I was leaving the need for alcohol behind. I no longer partied at this point, so I would just drink at home, waking up to a complete mess the next day. This went away, and the longer my no-drinking goal was, the longer I was able to spend uninterrupted peace of mind. My mind was much clearer, I didn’t have such negative thoughts floating around in my head, I felt less pains all throughout my body, less stomach problems, and I got to save up not only the money I used to spend on beers, but also the money I’d spend on all the dumb shit I’d buy after drinking beers. Fast forward to today, I’m three days away from reaching a hundred days, although the goal is two hundred. I previously completed a goal of a hundred days without drinking, it was my last goal. I drink when it ended, yes, but this time much more moderately than I used to. Now, halfway through my two hundred day goal, I honestly have days when I really feel like I could go on for the rest of my life without drinking, like I really don’t need to drink ever again, it just adds nothing to my life anymore. I really hope this mentality persists when I finish this goal, but I’ll probably do a bit of drinking before I start with the next goal. The good thing is that at least my attitude towards alcohol has drastically changed due to these experiments. As for the bud, which is what I started out by talking about, it’s a bit of a different story. Although smoking anything is harmful to the lungs in one way or another, weed is not really much of a problem, as far as cancer and things like that go. Either way though, I recently started using a vaporizer, but the real reason for me setting a goal of abstinence from cannabis for a while is due to my attitude towards it. Unlike alcohol, weed isn’t really a substance which I’m really looking to eventually remove from my life for good. On the contrary, I love bud and will probably use it until I grow old. The problem is not the weed, the problem is my attachment. It’s hard to admit at times, since we want to continue using or doing whatever we are attached to, but any kind of attachment is not healthy for us, and that truth cannot be escaped. Whether it’s weed, or money, or food, or whatever it is, if we are constantly in need of it and we don’t feel okay without it then we are attached. My goal with the bud is to cut down quite drastically for now, from blazing every day, to blazing only 15 days of each month, so basically half the month. This is the first month that I’m doing this experiment, and I blazed up until the tenth day of the month. I stopped on the eleventh and today, but when it gets to 12am I’ll blaze, and I can’t wait, only about fourteen minutes more until the new day. This weekend is directly leading up to my anniversary with Maria, our two year marriage anniversary, so we have to blaze this weekend for sure, and on Monday, which is the actual day. This will mean I’ll have gotten stoned for thirteen days of the month, leaving only two days for me to blaze, and about 15 days left of the month. I’m not looking forward to those five-day intervals without blazing, but the time has come to begin with this goal which I’ve been thinking of starting for quite a while. I already promised Maria anyway, and I can’t break that promise I made to her, so it helps to keep me accountable.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 62.

~ Rebel Spirit

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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 59: Methods For Getting Stoned.

I grew up with joints, my favorite way to blaze for a long time. It was great, taking my time to grind the bud, to roll the joint, and finally to find a comfortable spot to chill and blaze it at. It was so relaxing, the way the high from a joint slowly starts to creep up on you until you can barely keep going by the time half of it is done. I always kept on going though, and by the time the J was finished I would just sit there, stoned out of my mind, and stare at whatever was in front of me for a few seconds, simply enjoying how faded I was. Then I’d go for a walk, not in a rush at all, but just enjoying every step as I walked to wherever I was supposed to go next. I’d put some music on, or rather it was already on and in my ears throughout the sesh, but as I’d start to walk, the music would synchronize with all the different patterns, all the different colors, the different people and the scenery I saw. I was in the world but just as an outside observer, looking outward from my own comfortable little world. My world was the high I was in, combined with whatever song was on, library on shuffle with the volume up to the loudest level. I was happy in my own consciousness, simply observing life happening, observing the music filling my head with amazing vibes. I have most of my music on Spotify these days, but back then I had a 160GB iPod classic which I had all my music stored on. I downloaded a lot of music in those days, albums and full discographies even, and I still have most of that saved on an external drive, so even if Spotify ever goes down or something, I’ll still have my music to listen to. I loved having such a diverse music collection, and having the kind of sounds and rhythms I was hearing constantly switching up on me every two or three minutes, along with the scenery which would change by the second. Those were great days, magical days, walking in whatever weather, even in the rain. I used to tell people here in Honduras, back in Vancouver you would never do anything if you always stayed home because of some rain. I would stand under something, huge joint in hand, music in my ears as always, and I would just inhale and exhale slowly, watching, listening, thinking, sheltered from the rain. Nowadays I spend more time at home, and I guess it had a lot to do with me finally getting a bong as soon as I got married and we moved into our own crib here. I couldn’t own a bong when I lived with my parents, so it forced me to actually go out. I’d spend most of my days outside, and joints were what everyone used to smoke anyway, so I got used to it over the years. Here, though, I rarely smoke joints, maybe once or twice a week, and instead I just hit the bong. It sure is convenient, but I don’t like the fact that I spend more time at home, since it’s so comfortable to just stay at home and chill and take some good bong rips. I kind of miss going out and blazing and looking at places as I mentioned before, or even toking up with friends when we meet up for whatever. It’s been about a year I guess, maybe a bit more, than I’ve been mainly just hitting the bong, but recently, just about a week ago actually, I went ahead and purchased a dry herb vaporizer, which I’m currently taking a nice hit of, by the way. I really think this will be my go-to method of getting baked from now on I think, to be honest. It provides a really smooth hit, and what I’m really loving is the fact that I can actually taste the bud when I take a hit, I can taste much more flavor, yet the heat to the throat is greatly diminished, it’s almost non-existent. In other words, with a dry herb vaporizer you can take a much smoother, cleaner hit, since it’s vapor, not smoke, and so it has much less toxins in it, and you can actually taste the bud you have, and the effect is always great as well. Another pro of using a vaporizer is that it doesn’t leave off much smell either, since the vapor doesn’t linger in the air for much time, in fact it completely disappears in just two seconds, maybe three depending on the size of the hit you take. I took it to Maria’s house this past weekend, since I can’t blaze there at her mom’s house, and was taking some hits in the room before sleeping, nobody knew a thing. Also, just yesterday, I took some hits from it at work while I was on the elevator, and the vapor was gone just in time for when the elevator doors opened on the third floor. It’s so convenient, I can’t lie, and the fact that it’s extremely portable as well means that it doesn’t pose the problem of the bong, of having to stay at home to use it. I mean, it would be ridiculous to carry a bong around in my hand all day, and putting it in my backpack would likely result in it breaking. I’m glad that, apart from convenience, I’m also using the safest option now, not smoking any longer, and I just recently found that I can use the already vaporized bud again, by making edibles with it. I just ate my first attempt at doing this about half an hour ago, a peanut butter and bud sandwich. It wasn’t bad at all, and we’ll just have to wait until tomorrow to know if it will really hit or not. I don’t feel much yet, but then again I’ve already been taking hits from the vape.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 60.

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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

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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 50: 50 Days Writing! Goals Review.

Half a hundred days of writing and posting a thousand words. I’ve failed at some other goals during this time, and I’ve restarted them right back for another attempt, but I’m especially happy that I’ve been able to stay on track with this particular goal. I was just letting my wife know about it. It’s great to have people all over the world have access to what you write, and to actually have people read it, even if it’s just a few people sometimes. It’s one of the truly wonderful about the internet age which we live in. It’s a great privilege which requires great responsibility on a writer’s part, so I try to keep my mind as clear as possible when I write these things, free of all negativity and frustration. I don’t drink anymore, which is great, since it would have been such a hindrance to staying on track with my daily writing goal, both because I’d obviously going out more, and because I’d feel totally destroyed the day after getting wasted. It didn’t feel so bad when I was younger, and I know for sure I drank a lot more back then, so I knew my body was now beginning to tell me that it was time to take it easy. I’m super glad about this goal as well, I haven’t drank a drop of alcohol in almost a hundred days now, so I gotta a hundred and a few more to go on my current challenge of two hundred days. Sometimes I feel I might just lay off the booze for good, even after I finish my two hundred day goal. I don’t crave it anymore and I feel totally fine without it, and it feels like I got my shit together, like I got things a bit more under control. Life isn’t always about being in control of everything, but completely losing control of oneself can be dangerous, and it’s certainly something that alcohol intoxication can lead to, and does lead to a lot of the time. Life feels good without it, but then I think that, if I can manage to keep it under control and moderation, then a beer or two here and there won’t do much harm, and will make me enjoy any nice day or night out. The problem is that I can’t ever stop at two, so I think I just might try to lay off the booze completely for as long as possible. Either way, I’ve been doing some experiments with psychedelics, in the past mostly shrooms, but now I have a connect for some good acid, and since I don’t party anymore, I’ve been just tripping alone at home (since Maria usually falls asleep), and concentrating on peace, meditating, reflecting having deeply profound experiences of psychological and spiritual growth. New thoughts come to me, and things which I know deep inside, which I’ve even forgotten from so much neglect, from being ignored for so long, from not wanting to deal with them, start to make themselves known to me, their significance becomes inescapable and I know without a doubt that, what matters most in life, is to love others, to love and care for one’s family and friends, to make connections, to always keep a good vibe following you wherever you go, a contagious feeling that will inspire others to live in the same way. I’ve been tripping on two or three tabs at a time, a few months at a time, two or three maybe, and reflecting on my progress with my goals as well. So what do I need alcohol for, that dulling sensation of the mind, that lustful appetite and aggressive behavior? Sometimes I feel frustrated with my goals, but I cannot abandon my sadhana. I have also been working on keeping lust off my mind, inspired by various books, mostly by Hindu Swamis, on the power of Brahmacharya. The concept of Brahmacharya provides, in my opinion, a better explanation of what I had read before in Mantak Chia’s book, regarding the same concept but from the Taoist perspective. Abstaining from all lustful thoughts and looks, ideas, only making love with my wife every few days, meditating and reading daily, the Bible and the Sutras, abstaining from alcohol, writing every day to keep my creative side alive. I wish I was making music, but for some reason, I find I don’t have much inspiration for that at this moment in life, but it comes and it goes I believe. Some other things I feel I need to do are to start focusing more on my health. I was already exercising every day as a goal, but I stopped about a month and a half back since I got sick with a random and mysterious fever. It would hit me every single day, for about a week and a half or two weeks. I had to gather my strength after those two weeks, so I’ve been eating better, thinking that not eating enough might have something to do with me being weak and therefore susceptible to such fevers. I still haven’t started exercising, but I need to, and I will do so any day now, I’ll start again with my weights and pushups, yoga and jogging around the baseball field which is a block away. Exercise makes you feel energetic, alive, and it keeps us healthy. We all need to exercise a healthy habit of daily exercise! There’s no denying its benefits. And the hardest goal of all, I made a promise to Maria that I would start this month, that I would only smoke weed fifteen days of the month. I didn’t promise this to her because of any pressure on her part, but instead because I knew I’d have to honor my promise to her no matter what, so this would be the perfect way for me to keep feeling accountable for completing this new goal. I’m not taking on this weed goal because I think it’s harmful, but because I feel I’m too attached to staying faded. Nothing should become an attachment in our lives, and if we see that something has, then we need to deal with it, then we can partake in it again in a healthy way. Wish me luck so I can smoke only half the month this month of July (usually I blaze every day)!

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 51.

~ Rebel Spirit

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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 42: First DMT Trip, No Breakthrough.

I tried DMT today for the firs time. I had given a friend some cash the other day in order for him to get me four acid tabs. Today he came to my house, he bought some bud, we took some bong hits and chilled a bit as usual. Before that though, we quickly took a ride in his car of over to his other friend’s house, it was really close to mine. I went because it turned out that this dude had some DMT, a substance I’d always wanted to try but had never gotten a hold of, even back in Canada. Buddy gave me my four tabs and told me his friend had wanted to trade some DMT for a tab. I asked my friend some questions about how it looked and some other things, and I assumed it was the real deal since he told me it was a yellow powdery kind of crystal, a description which reminded me of the photo I’d seen on the erowid website before. I checked it out once again on my phone and decided to go for a ride. Initially I didn’t plan on taking the DMT at the guy’s house, the guy who had it. Instead, I planned on taking it home and planning a nice trip. Maybe if I had done it this way I would have had a breakthrough experience, and sadly I didn’t. Although the trip was way too short, which was expected, it did get a bit intense for a minute or two, sort of like the peak of an acid trip but a bit more animated even. When we first arrived at that guy’s house I was surprised to see that it wasn’t a party, it was just the dude there with a pipe, taking a few tokes, some open beer cans on the table. I don’t know much about DMT use, although I have used other psychedelics quite a lot. I trusted that he was telling the truth when he told me that the amount of DMT which he gave me was about the same amount’s worth as the blotter tab I gave him for it. My friend wanted to do it, and I offered him a hit for himself, since that way I could at least see how he tripped and know if it was good stuff or not. The other guy said it was better to put it in a joint with some bud, and although I remembered I had actually read online that the most effective method was a pipe, we ended up going ahead with the joint. We put the DMT around the center of it so the flame wouldn’t burn the crystals upon sparking the joint, I lit it and started taking fat hits, expecting to see spirits and kaleidoscopic patterns flooding my entire vision, expecting mystical unity with the universe, ego death, I inhaled as strong as I could and held the smoke as well. I passed to my friend who started taking fat tokes also. Instantly as soon as I lit it I started feeling an energy creeping up from my legs, from me extremities, towards my center, things started to have patterns flowing through them, colors, lines and shades, reflections all looked way more defined, the dude who traded it with me for the acid didn’t hit the joint at all, he was just telling us to stop talking and to let the experience flow. He didn’t need to tell me, I had my eyes closed, smile on my face, letting the trip take over at that point. My friend kept telling us how it was hitting him, how nice it was, a lot of things. A few minutes later everything was back to normal. The feeling was overwhelming in the beginning, and we felt that we were getting way too high, so we put out the joint. I think this might have been our main mistake, apart from smoking it in a joint in the first place. If we would have blazed that jay all the way to the dome, together, in one sitting, without putting it out, we probably could have had a breakthrough. I think I wasn’t ready for it though. Initially I had planned to just take it home, then I ended up deciding to let go into it, to do it and to just be in the moment, in the experience. I didn’t feel like waiting to try DMT for the first time, so we went ahead and did it. The second time we lit the joint, and finished it now, the DMT hit almost the same as when we smoked the first half, perhaps just a bit more lightly, since we knew what to expect at that point. Maybe I’ll get some more in the future, although I’m going to investigate a bit more first, to find out about what really contributes to whether one has a breakthrough experience or not. It seems that it would only be worth it if the experience could be that intense, seeing as acid or mushrooms last much longer. A lot of substances, mostly the psychedelic ones, can be used in a safe setting, without much risk of danger to one’s health or to those surrounding us. I’ve been using psychedelics, every few months usually, for many years, and I know there’s lots that can be learned from the trips they take us on, if we are in the right mood, at the right time in our lives, and if we can let go and stop trying to control the experience, in much the same way as we must stop our obsession with always trying to control the whole of life. Life is unexpected, just like a psychedelic trip, and the way in which we perceive it depends quite a great deal on our minds, in much the same way as a psychedelic trip as well. Do your research, learn what is needed before you even plan on indulging in any substance. Knowledge is power, education is key to correct use of these tools.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 43.

~ Rebel Spirit 

‘AFRICAN HERBSMAN’ by Bob Marley and The Wailers.

african herbsman

AFRICAN HERBSMAN, by Bob Marley and The Wailers

Released in 1973, ‘African Herbsman’ is a must-listen for anyone looking to take a moment to relax with some great music, and although this is a compilation album it never loses the warm feeling it carries throughout. The reason why the songs flow so well together could also be since the compilation is made up mostly of songs from ‘Soul Revolution’, an earlier Jamaican release from two years earlier. The album also includes a few singles, like the opening classic ‘Lively Up Yourself’ and the beautifully melodic track ‘Small Axe.’ From an upbeat beginning the album mellows out more and more with each track, yet never loses its energy, you can hear it in Bob’s voice. The songs which I personally love the most on this album are ‘African Herbsman’ and ‘Keep On Moving’, the latter being such and inspirational song, yet keeping chill as if to say everything will be alright in the end. Bob Marley really knew how to get his message across through his music, as well as the mood he transmits through it even after his passing. The rough vocals on ‘African Herbsman’, the title track, really add to the rawness of the singing and the pure talent, the beauty of the song. Although it can be appreciated by anyone and everyone under any conditions, I just gotta say that if you enjoy the ganja as much as I do, you then you have to hear this if you haven’t yet. From the title track, to the weed song ‘Kaya’, to the super relaxing and uplifting ‘Sun Is Shining.’ Other Bob Marley albums have beautiful songs, don’t get me wrong, but this one really carries a completely chill vibe throughout. I have so many great memories blazing to most of these songs, so this album is one of my favorites, without a doubt. A message to all, check it out if you haven’t!

1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 23: Habits, Self-Control, Spirituality, Attachment.

23 days into writing a thousand words. Writer’s block feeling is creeping up. Damn, I knew this day would come. Scratch that ‘damn’, I can’t complain. No, really, I can’t complain. I’m about a week into my new goal of catching myself whenever I complain, ideally before the words leave my mouth. A mental complaint isn’t as bad as an uttered one, at least it shows some self-control building up within if I can stop the complaint before I spew it out. This writing goal has definitely been helping in that aspect as well, of self-control, since on some days I don’t even feel like writing. I’d always thought about inspiration in the way that it is something which suddenly strikes, and which one has to be prepared at any moment to give artistic expression to. I’ve been realizing it isn’t much like that at all, though. It’s been great to come to know the truth, that one can summon inspiration, that one can produce a mental state which is optimal for creativity, for inspiration to strike and for magic to be manifested. When I don’t feel like writing I just push myself to write, in the moment, I realize the moment is all I have to put up with. One moment of boredom, of confusion, of indecision. But after that moment, as long as I was able to get one word down, every successive moment throws more words at me that I can connect with the previous ones I wrote. Often all that is needed is that we begin, and ultimately that’s the biggest gain from all these goals I’ve been setting: greater self-control, a determination to beat resistance and to never shy away from my goals, big or small. One of the most difficult goals for me to work with so far has been the chronic. This is a goal I’ve been thinking of setting for myself for quite a while now but neglecting. Since weed isn’t really all that harmful to one’s body or mind, I haven’t ever gotten serious enough about balancing that aspect of my life. The problem is that, after years of blazing, the high is no longer the same, especially when one is smoking various times a day, before meals, before sleeping, wake’n’bake every morning. The experience loses its value and begins to feel commonplace, dull, another motion in the everyday routine. If we let this happen, the outcome is that we become way too comfortable with being stoned to even think about extending our energies outward, into the world, and we become trapped in our own world, in our comfort zone. We might have great ideas yet we never bring them to life. I think this is a consequence of abusing an otherwise benevolent plant which ought to be respected and treated with restraint,, used with balance just as any other substance should. I’ll probably take my last big bong toke of the day right at 11:59 p.m., since I can’t blaze past midnight. I’m only supposed to blaze three days a week, since a few weeks back. If I’m honest, I’ve failed most weeks, yet I do feel I’m smoking a lot less now, each week getting closer to the actual three days, and I don’t feel as attached to the kush any more, to the need to have it. This is great progress, since I was used to having bud around at all times, during all activities. Although the weed wasn’t really harming my life in such a drastic way, I was confronted with the realization that if I’m serious about following the spiritual path in life, the path of discernment, of doing what is right, of living free, of feeling and being in touch with the real Self, then I cannot afford to be attached to any external substance, or anything else external for that matter. So now, whenever it’s time not to blaze, although temptation arises, I tend to sit and meditate and focus my attention fully to the present moment, realizing that God dwells within me, as in all of us, and that there is no need for me to crave for anything other than this everlasting love. This practice has become a great way to build spiritual stamina and to strengthen self-control. Also, I get to save a bit more money, which is great since I’m at a point in life now where I’ve really been thinking about simplifying my life, reducing pointless spending, and being free from most products, from money, and from the need to work. Not to an extreme, just trying to minimize and simplify. So, it’s good to work on my weed consumption from that point of view. I’m not saying that weed is addictive in itself however, and I do understand that it has many positives that go along with it. My point with this goal is not to quit blazing for good, since I think weed can be used in a very positive and even spiritual manner. Other substances I’ve cut out of my life for good, since it has become quite obvious to me that they serve no purpose in my life other than creating chaos where none needs to exist. I suspect this might be true of other people’s lives and experiences with such substances, yet they continue to ignorantly indulge. Sadly one can only lead by example, since people don’t like being told what to do. Personally though, I’m glad I’m completely off alcohol and cigarettes, two habits which I cherished and partook in heavily for almost a decade. They both started with small goals of a few days of abstinence, and now I feel zero to no craving for either one. Often I get frustrated with having to do these goals, with failing, with starting again, with failing and starting over yet once more, but this is how self-control and willpower are built, and we have to remind ourselves that true progress takes time, that success isn’t reached overnight. Failure is a part of success. My success in overcoming alcohol and cigarettes has also, apart from building up my self-control and willpower, contributed to the improvement of my overall health and mood and to a much clearer mental state, and it has allowed me to stop wasting money on things I used to compulsively buy when drunk, on junk food, and on things I have to replace when drunk me breaks them. Instead of hearing all the gossip that gets said at parties I stay home and read, or enjoy any other activities with my wife. I always love staying home and feasting on one of her delicious meals. Maria is a naturally gifted cook, and her meals always turn out delicious. I always remember to thank God for giving me such an amazing wife. As far as food goes, I’ve had to set some goals as well, such as not eating at all after midnight, and making sure to eat breakfast each morning. These have been easier to take on than the goals regarding substances, but in the end everything helps strengthen my self-control, as well as weaken my attachment to external conditions. 

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 24.

~ 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