Looks can be deceiving…there’s so much people don’t know. TW: Suicidal ideation. What comes to mind when you think of an autistic person? The movie Rain Man? Someone who loves to talk about bugs? A child… More
UPDATE: I wrote what I thought was all of How I Lost All My F-cks in early 2016; but it’s been an extremely intense time, a lot has changed in the last 3.5 years. Actually, everything has changed, transforming the memoir bit of my book (part 1’s “fuckfull to fuckless tale”) into much more than the brief tale I told nearly 4 years ago.
Life is funny.
Please stay tuned, and here’s a preview:
How I Lost All My Fucks is more than a book. It’s a one-month experience designed to have you losing all yours:
“Basically giving too many fucks is when we give our power up to others. When we place our value in others’ opinions. When our actions are dictated by fear of others’ reactions. When we decide that their opinions mean more than our desires.“
I tell my fuckfull to fuckless tale with childhood memories, shitfaced teen shenanigans, lessons from jail time, serendipitous magic, and travels through trauma, all accompanied by illustrations – then I hand it over to you. One month of very “hands-on” learning with Fuckless Adventures and a daily meditation practice (with a grounded and irreverent how-to) will have you well on your way to fucklessness. (All together it’s an average of 20 minutes a day or so, longer if you get creative with it.)
How I Lost All My F-cks a mindfulness one – two – PUNCH! – that will change your outlook for long after the month-long experience has wrapped up. It aims to be a cathartic emotional rollercoaster after which you will never be the same. Kind of like doing hallucinogens or having sex for the first time, but no one’s going to talk about how weird skin looks at great lengths, nor get an STD.
Is current American culture *really* reflecting our hearts and souls?
In good moments, I see people coming together to rise up for what matters, folks advocating both for those who are different than them, and for themselves. I see able bodies who are happy to endure a little discomfort for the safety of those more vulnerable to COVID. And I see the beauty of the human spirit, so willing to fight, support, and serve — and so often with such powerfully beautiful creativity.
But then there’s the rest. Those who think people like me (#spoonie) should just stay home, forever, because they can’t be bothered to wear a piece of fucking fabric on their faces like the rest of the now-recovering world, and the rest of the fucking history of pandemics.
I see people who just don’t care that others (including seniors!) have been working for minimum wage in the front lines, now ready to throw in our teachers; people who whine about being bored and inconvenienced — begging for things to “go back to normal” when the norm is fucking hell for so many.
I do my best to stay positive, but I’m one of them. It’s not okay to be a poor person in our country — is that what resides in our hearts and souls? Do I not count because I haven’t been able to get my body and brain to work in an employable fashion? Because there’s no test for what’s wrong, should I just be grateful that decades of paying disability taxes covered a teensy bit of the time I’ve been desperately trying to survive? If I can’t keep figuring it out, do I deserve to perish? Is that what resides in our hearts and souls?
And are we the kind of people who don’t trust communities reporting mistreatment, even though the stats clearly reflect it (always have), and more shocking video footage of it comes out allllll the time? The kind that still fucking manage to say “is it REALLY all that prevalent though? Things seem fine from my suburb. I just don’t see it.”
Is that what resides in our hearts and souls?
I love this quote. After going through a difficult time, any semi-reflective person is likely to do some thinking on their weaknesses and faults; because how else does one avoid making the same mistakes?
But it’s easy to overdo ‘er. It’s common to not only own one’s errs, but to define ourselves by them, if only unconsciously. When you decide that you’ll never be good enough, things improving seems impossible. And the mental place of “why bother?” is no breeding ground for resilience.
Compassion for ourselves helps us get to a place of seeing ourselves as stronger and wiser for our mistakes, which makes trying again seem worth the effort and potential risks.
And compassion for others is how we become able to look at the world, and the people in it, as potentially trustworthy. This enables us to put ourselves “out there” again, one of many daunting-but-essential parts of getting to a place of resilience.
Becoming resilient is generally a prize that must be hard won, but the goods are mighty good indeed.
Nothing, inherently. It’s nice to want to get along and it’s normal to prefer being adored over disliked, of course.
The problem is when you start giving fucks in order to get someone to like you: Agreeing when you actually don’t, censoring yourself beyond politeness, doing things you’d really rather not, allowing attitudes towards you that are less than respectful, and all kinds of other ways we diminish ourselves when we make our objective: be liked.
Because when that’s your MO, there’s no choice than to be less of yourself. Giving fucks makes a dull wash out of the glory that you are; the you when you’re behaving with more inner-direction, when you’re really being yourself.
This realization terrified me when I first had it. I thought of myself as being a good friend, well-liked, caring, friendly, fun – I was only considering myself in relation to others. This led to trouble when I was alone. Over analyzing my relationships. Overconsidering others’ perspectives on things like my art, or even what kind of music I was listening to, i.e. “I’d be so embarrassed if so-in-so knew how much I love this.”
It was like I was never alone, not really, despite larger-than-normal amounts of time spent alone. Who was I even living my life for?
It was such an important realization: My life should be about me.
It was like I was spending all of my energy on being the best co-star in everyone else’s movie. Not that I didn’t pursue my own passions and whatnot – but “they” (those I’d prefer like me) were intrinsically involved in my decisions, even ones that had nothing to do with them. It was just little blips of thought that seemed like nothing, but as a mindfulness-obsessed sort, I quickly realized that they added up to living on the periphery of my own life.
Watch your mind and see if you do this. (You almost def do, society trains us to.) And try to drop it. This will help loads in the next step: staying inner-directed when you’re with others. This involves fighting the urge to blend in and saying what you really, truly, think of matters and opinions that arise. (Don’t be a dick or anything… Or maybe do, I don’t know what’s best for you. 🤷♀️)
Start paying attention to your feels when you’re around others, and right afterward. It’s important to feel good.
I feel like that’s almost a controversial thing to say, I can hear the cries of, “but selfish!” It’s not selfish to ensure your well-being, not at all. In fact, making sure you’re feeling centered is responsible. Being where you want to be and doing the things you want to do is responsible. The world needs you at your best! Your people need you at your best!
You’ll probably find that even when you’re acting from a truly inner-directed place you’re still a positive force in others’ lives. Perhaps not in the same ways. And perhaps with a totally different flavor: martyrdom vs weeeeeeee.
And the funny thing is that when you get really good at this inner-direction thing, most folks will indeed like you. It’s nice to be around people who are at peace with who they are, comforting even. They lack neediness and emanate confidence. They offer unique perspectives and speak their truth.
But others will still totally think you suck. C’est la vie.
An editor had me switch formats so the following poem will not be published anywheres. But, I couldn’t just delete it! It’s a love letter to cannabis, inspired by my transition to needing it medicinally. I think my fellow herb lovers will get it… So, here:
My dearest Cannabis,
I know my love’s grown temperamental since our relationship has taken on this medicinal tone, and I’m so sorry. Now I lean on you like Snoop taught me, and that’s everyday. I’ve started to look to your faults, pointing out where you make me lose track of thoughts—and overlooking how you make my imagination ace, helping to form a thought worth capturing in the first place.
I take you for granted, it’s not enough that you melt the pain in my aching body; I just want you to rid me of more, and I want you to keep it away forever. You distract my mind from pain via whimsical and varied trains of thought, but I get frustrated when the same locomotives hamper my ability to express them.
I love how you give even boring food pizzaz, but bellyache that you’re to blame when I munch too much. You ease my worried mind, you coax anxiety out the door—and yet still, I ask for more.
I judge you by your appearance, and even take a sniff to see if you’re up to par. I reserve photos for when you look your best, sharing only your gorgeous purple tones and crystals; and resort to name-calling when your game is off—I call you schwag that smells of hay, and you don’t deserve that, not even on your worst day.
But, my dear marijuana; my pakalolo, my herb, my sensi—the truth is that I love you, that you truly are a kind bud indeed. Since our last vote you’re always there when I need you. (Though, I’ll admit, the price increase totally blew.) Whether we meet via vape pen or pipe, or by rip or a toke, if you grew up indoors or out; you’re always someone on whom I can count.
So I vow to appreciate you, my beloved ganja, to see you for all of your goodness; and there is so much to see—for you even make smelling skunky a good thing! I love you so much, I’d even declare it with a ring.
The summer before I nearly died of congenital B12 deficiency, starting me down a path of an extreme health makeover, I went a workshop for entrepreneurs in hopes of starting my still-someday-goal of owning a community-oriented cafe. Here’s the article they wrote about it, and the video they created:
Have you ever heard of Lemuria? It was an ancient civilization that I feel very connected to, and they were said to have a beautiful greeting, ‘espavo,’ which was used for both ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye.’
This word was to help people remember their true place in the Universe, that there was more than the limited reality they saw in front of them. Literally translated it means: “Thank you for taking your power”
Isn’t that fierce? I love how it calls one to service as well as being wildly empowering, like – thank you for standing up, being brave, and doing your fucking thing. Thank you for knowing you belong here and you’ve got shit to do.
GET IT, GET IT, FRIENDS. 🔥
I just came across a Twitter post by Alex Grey that included a pic of one of his gorgeous paintings. It shows a man being enslaved by self-hatred—something only possible when ruled by ego. Its caption says, “Hey Ego, your fears and limits are really getting in the way of my higher calling…” Some guy commented, “that’s certainly rich for someone so active on social media.”
It reminded me that I’ve been meaning to write about ego. It’s a highly misunderstood concept; people are always talking about smashing it, killing it, generally making it go away—which not only inadvisable, but totally impossible.
What would someone with absolutely no ego look like? They would only have awareness of connection with others, and with the world around them. They would be fully embraced in the truth of our Oneness. They would see no separation between themselves and others, they would truly always see themselves in Other.
Sounds beautiful, eh? Now ask them their name. Where they live. How they pay rent. What they like to do with their time. Etc.
We need ego! Ego serves us in this life, it defines our separateness, and separateness is what we came here to experience.
An unbalanced ego is the troublemaker.
An overgrown ego tells you that you are better than others. It constantly fuels the mind with reasons why others are inferior, why they aren’t as good as you. An overgrown ego is highly defensive, and ignites easily (though not always verbally). It is constantly threatened that someone will remove this sense of superiority, as it is “who I am.”
A diminished ego tells you that you are shit. You aren’t as good as anyone else. You don’t deserve the things that you want. You don’t matter. It is an Eeyore, but it’s not so cute in human form. It is a victim mindset. It will not stand up for itself when hurt, because being hurt has become “who I am.”
A healthy ego is a strong sense of who you are. You like you! (You might even promote your work on social media like Alex!) You see the beauty in others, and appreciate them for just being them. You see when you fuck up, you try to see the humor in it, and do your darnedest to correct it.
You understand that “bad” behavior doesn’t make you less than others, and that “good” behavior doesn’t make you superior to others. There aren’t even really ways to behave “good” or “bad”—there are only actions that are serving to yourself and others, and those that aren’t. You get to choose, and sometimes it’s hard to know which is which.
A healthy ego never feels imperiled because it is aware of “I AM”—it is centered and connected whilst maintaining an awareness of the current perspective and its separations.
There’s all kinds of middleground, of course, we rarely hang out in extremes. There will even be days where your ego shrinks and expands in reaction to who and what you encounter! It’s a versatile lil’ bugger, and not one to attempt to squash.
Certainly to keep yer eye on it though! Watch your reactions, that’s where ego really shines. Notice feelings of superiority and of unworthiness, that’s unbalanced ego showing off. Notice these things without judging yourself, and just jump off that there thought train! Eventually, the tracks themselves will change—your mental constructs will adjust.
Get it get it, friends!
There are many paths to spirituality, but I think books might be my very favorite. Here are the books that have touched my heart and helped me find my center:
The Celestine Prophecy, by James Redfield: An epic spiritual adventure! Lots about energy, very fun read.
Way of the Peaceful Warrior, by Dan Millman: Follows one man’s spiritual awakening, and a bromance to last the ages.
Energy Speaks, by Lee Harris: Shares the energetic components of life, and brilliant ways to use them to our advantage.
The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle: Great advice about staying present, such a crucial aspect of this process. All his books are brilliant!
The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz: Focuses on common sense wisdom that is immediately applicable.
Ishmeal, by Daniel Quinn: Centered on our relationship and evolution with the rest of our planet.
Don’t Let Anything Dull Your Sparkle, by Doreen Virtue: Helps sensitives shine by showing us why we stopped.
The Law of Attraction, by Esther and Jerry Hicks: The OG law of attraction, this is where The Secret came from and puts those ideas more in context.
Flatland-A Romance of Many Dimensions, by Edwin A. Abbott: Explores life in 2-D, making 3-D seem realer whilst also making you wonder about what’s next.
Monkey, by Wu Ch’eng En: A 16th century text that follows monkey’s shenanigans on the way to enlightenment.
Tao Te Ching, by Lao Tzu: The basis of Taoism, feel the flow!
The Tao of Peace, by Diane Dreher: A brilliant analysis of the Tao that provides grounded ways of applying the concepts to life.
Jitterbug Perfume, by Tom Robbins: Tom Robbins mixes the sacred and the profane so very delightfully. His writing feels like Pan meets Jesus. (Which happens in Another Roadside Attraction…)
Conversations with God Series, by Neale Donald Walsh: Translates spiritual concepts through a western Christian’s perspective.
Jonathan Livingston Seagull: A story about a bird who knows that there’s more to living than meets the eye, he follows his heart even though the other sheep-birds think he’s bonkers.
The Dark Side of the Light Chasers, by Debbie Ford: This book is the reason I find myself engaging in shadow work daily, she makes befriending and balancing our difficult aspects somehow kinda fun. Genius.
The Valkyries, by Paulo Cohelo: A darker look at personal transformation, occult focused. (Loved The Alchemist as well, so many more of his to read!)
Eat Pray Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert: A woman’s quest for inner peace via traveling the globe; to indulge, intensely meditate, and to learn ancient wisdom from a medicine man.
Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury: A dystopian society, a seeker, and an enlightening young woman.
Proof of Heaven, by Eben Alexander: A neurosurgeon and skeptic falls into a coma and an experience of life after death.
Asshoolios. We all know ’em. Sometimes we even behave like ’em, don’t we? Most of us eventually see our err; and try to make good, hurt as it may. But there’s some that can never ever seem to see their own wrong doings…and these are the true asshoolios.
These guys don’t mean to be mean, it’s usually just their own unhealed wounds at the wheel, but they still hurt people and fuck up lives nonetheless. They need to be taught that this behavior isn’t effective, and, as a society, we really teach them the exact opposite.
When someone’s a dick (even to someone else, even while “joking,” even if they’re the boss) it’s tempting to shrink, to make yourself less noticeable so that heat’s not tempted to burn your way – but then they fucking win, man.
They dominate the exchange, and the heat’s rarely thrown back in their stupid faces; which is the whole point of their debacles, to deflect negative attention from their insecure asses.
Assholes often appear fuckless, but it’s a faux-fucklessness. It might scream “I do what I want!!,” but it’s actually just a precious security blankie, one they have no idea they’re clinging to. A warped mirror offered to the world instead of their authentic soul.
And that authentic soul would be cool AF someday, if only given the chance to play. To grow on purpose, to not only acknowledge their errs, but to make light of them, as they used to do at others’ expense.
They could make growth a shtick, or a company culture, industry standard, or cultural norm – because these fuckheads run this world. And it’s got to stop.
To this end, I vow to call these peeps on their shit more often, and to continuing to offer “yeahHhhhh!!’s” if someone braver starts first. And, more importantly, I vow to always be my weirdass self, even though she tends to take more of this ‘heat,’ it’s just worth it.
So, you with me?
I’m so sorry to hear you’re a fellow fibro fighter. It’s not easy to be diagnosed with any disease, but learning that you have one doctors cannot help you with can be profoundly defeating. I understand that you’re probably discouraged, but you’re definitely not alone – even if it feels that way sometimes, and I know it must.
A few tips:
- Exercise will make you flare. Exercise will heal you. These things are both true, and it sucks: baby steps are key. I started out trying like hell just to get like 30 minutes a week in, done in like 90 second increments (I was bedridden though, hopefully you’re not as far gone). It really does add up, I promise.
- Many fibro fighters have a mutation called MTHFR (which looks like another, apt, word 🤣). If you have it, you’ll want to cut out gluten and dairy and bulk up on methylated vitamins (especially methylcobalamin).
- Cannabis help WORLDS! Fibromyalgia may be caused due to endocannabinoid deficiency, so the (exo-)cannabinoids in cannabis essentially act as a supplement.
- Fibromyalgia has a very high correlation with physical and emotional trauma, which are also known to negatively impact the endocannabinod system; therapy and personal development can help ease your nervous system’s ridiculously painful reactions.
- If you Insta, there’s a community of chronic illness fighters called spoonies that are wonderfully inspirational and informational.
- Cymbalta doesn’t help most people and is HELL to go off of. I would never have done it if I knew how horrendous quitting was going to be. If you choose to try it, absolutely do not go off of it cold turkey and have emotional support ready. (Lyrica also did me no good, but Amitriptyline does help me sleep; though not as well as canna capsules.)
- I discovered the Wim Hof method a couple months ago, which has been proved to release endocannabinoids (which you’re deficient in) and is also said to reset your immune and autonomic nervous systems. Some claim this has healed their fibro. I just do this video followed by a cold shower everyday (no bone pain from the cold, I swear!) and it seems to be helping in a few different ways!
I hope that you’ve got understanding people around you, and in case you don’t: this is not in your head, you are not crazy, and you are not lazy.
And, most of all – YOU GOT THIS. ❤