On Spiritual Awakening

Spiritual awakening is the process of going from being enmeshed in the traditional “3D” experience of the world, to being consciously integrated into a spirit-centered experience – sounds so breezy, doesn’t it? Hahahaaaaaaaaa.

This quote by Adyashanti sums it up nicely, “Make no mistake about it – enlightenment is a destructive process. It has nothing to do with becoming better or being happier. Enlightenment is the crumbling away of…untruth. It’s seeing through the façade of pretense. It’s the complete eradication of everything we imagined to be true.”

However, I do think that it makes us better, and it’s also totally worth it. (Plus, you can’t stop it anyways! So, unless you dig feeling lost, just lean in.)

Mine started with 11:11’s, coincidences, impassioned spiritual study, a cyst on my pineal gland, and hallucinogens all filling my world in my 19th year. Then there was a 5-day experience that a psychologist called a ‘mental break’ but my eastern philosophy professor dubbed ‘a spiritual awakening.’ After that, colors became more rich and stayed that way.

But there was much to come, especially once I committed, which took quite awhile (I’m telling ya, lean in now). Spiritual awakening is the process of becoming aligned with your soul’s plan for your life, so it usually involves significant change; and my story’s no different, everyone and everything in my life wholly changed. It shifted in phases, and they were not fun phases. But they were filled with magic too, with meaning and significance that made the ick seem almost irrelevant (and infinitely easier to handle).

And, now into my 37th year, I’m sure there’s still much to come! I’ve heard people talk about fully awakened humans (generally referring to themselves), but I’m not convinced that’s actually a thing. I feel like I’d need to master things like astral travel before I could even begin to know what I don’t know yet, there’s just so much to awaken to, to integrate into this worldly life…I’m not convinced anyone can do it all. (I look forward to seeing how I feel about it in my 94th year.)

What’s your take, can we gain fully integrated spiritual awareness from here? Is that what you think of as ‘the end’ of spiritual awakening? What’s your awakening been like? Please comment (or bust out an article!) with your experience and knowledge…

The How’s and Why’s of Meditation

Meditation will change your life. Surely, you’ve heard this before, yes?

And you probably thought in response, “How the eff will sitting there trying not to think change my life?” and this is a fair question. The answer: Meditation is able to change people’s lives because it changes the way we think, and our minds rule our lives

The power in meditation is all about awareness of your mind, and learning to use it as a tool that serves you; rather than the other way around.

When you start to view your mind from the perspective that it’s just one of the many tools at your disposal in your human body, like your hand or your nose, you begin to detach from your thought patterns like they are who you are. The problem with defining oneself by the thoughts streaming through your head is: they aren’t all gems! (Some quite the opposite. 💩)

Our thought patterns are often just conditioned responses to our environment, and many of them are not actually of service to the lives we’re working to create.

When we define ourselves by our thoughts, we feel a need to defend them. This makes change impossible. When you befriend your mind, thereby befriending your ego, you can start to work with it so it serves you better sans all that messy identity crisis stuff. Meditation starts off this process by cluing you into what the heck’s going on up there, crucial info.

And it’s highly likely that you’ll “suck at meditation” when you start, this is totally normal. You’ll probably think the whole time; but you’ll still be highly productive because you’re learning mindfulness, how to cultivate awareness of what your mind is doing. If you stick with it, it gets easier, more relaxing, and will lead to great (great!) insight and inspiration. Here’s the how’s:

  1. Get Comfy. There are people out there who will tell you that you must sit a certain way, and you should ignore them. Posture helps focus (imagining a line going from the base of your spine, pulling through the top of your head), and if you lie down you run a higher risk of falling asleep but I have fibromyalgia and often enjoy meditation curled up in a comfy ball. As always, do you.

  2. Focus on Your Breath. Breathe deeply, focusing on the sensation of air flowing out into your nose, the full feeling of your lungs, how the air feels as it passes back out, etc. As thoughts spring to mind, do as Mooji says and, “Let every thought come and hug you, but you don’t hug anything. Then, gradually, the noise will start to back off.” And when it does, things get mega-peaceful. It’s the shit.

  3. Don’t Get Judgy. You won’t be pleased at all of your thought patterns, there may even be content that you feel ashamed of. Well, knock it off! Your brain has been culturally conditioned by the world that we live in, which encourages all kinds of not-fun nonsense. Just let it go, and don’t be surprised if it takes awhile. The thought patterns (and neural pathways) will start to lose their mojo, and eventually peter out. YOU ARE NOT YOUR MIND. It is your tool, and you can learn to use it as you wish.

  4. Repeat. Start with a 5-minute session and work up from there. Challenge yourself to get up to 20 minutes, and to do it everyday for a month. (If you’re not hooked by then, you get a full refund for this article!) You can also take it out into the world, actively meditating, watching your mind and working to still it, while your waiting in line, doing dishes, or taking a stroll in the woods.

  5. Learn More. There are many more methods of meditation besides mindfulness. We just went over moving meditation, and I’ve recently fallen in love with transcendental meditation, which involves working with a mantra. What else can you uncover?

Welcome a New Future NOW

There are many quotes within the spiritual world that are so ubiquitous, no one knows where they originated. One of these is, “What you resist, persists.”

Welcome the Future NOWWhen we wish part of our life would change, and we wish it A LOT – this is called contrast.

Focusing on the contrasted experiences in our worlds pretty standard, we’ve been conditioned to feel that this is responsible; even when all we’re doing is “worrying,” which is perhaps the most wasteful thing one can do with their energy.

I prefer Buckminster Fuller’s take: “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

When we’re trying to invite different experiences into our lives, new energies, we cannot focus on what we wish would fuck off. We must focus on building, on creation, which happens in this very moment. (Even if it’s pissing you off.)

What are you inviting in? New juju, or same ol’ shinola?

 

 

Thoughts on Authenticity

I love this quote. Authenticity sounds simple: “Just be yourself.” 

AUTHENTICITYBut in reality, presenting yourself without a safe facade can be tricky, it’s why I wrote my book! Being authentically yourself means being truly seen – something that requires vulnerability, transparency, and integrity.

And even though authenticity is a buzzword, it’s not actually what we expect from another in our culture… For instance, I write about cannabis for a living, which I LOVE; but being open about that means that some people think of a stoner stereotype and write me off at that. Poof! Done.

But that’s where integrity comes in. Do I want to be around people who don’t want me to be fully myself around them? That want me to skirt around my potential controversial aspects, or pretend they aren’t there? Is that how someone of character behaves?

It’s a grey area. Some could argue that it’s nicer to stay non-controversial. But I would argue that it’s a path to ignorance and crowd mentality. I think it’s our moral imperative to find and be the best, *most whole*, versions of ourselves; that it’s the whole fucking point of this “life” gig. 

#DoYou isn’t simple for most of us. Do it anyways.

 

Living: Spiritual-Style

I’m a spiritual person, which I also frequently describe as, “Spiritual, not religious” — so people don’t get confused. Here’s the difference: spirituality is your experience of the divine, and religion is learning about someone else’s experience. (Mysticism, paganism, and, more recently, “witch,” are also terms I identify with; the last having nothing to do with pointy hats or evil, but aspirations for a more grounded practice.) Spirituality brings depth and joy to the lives of millions, yet it’s not very well understood by our culture at large.

Spirituality can mean magical-feeling experiences that make you wonder if you somehow accidentally ate some ‘shrooms, or it can look like a daily ritual that helps you connect to deeper meaning, or a whole world of other experiences; the avenues to explore in spirituality are endless. While this makes it a never-ending and wildly satisfying path, it doesn’t make it the easiest to start down. Here’s some tips to get rolling.

    1. Meditate: Spirituality is all about connecting to a deeper wisdom that lies within, your intuition. And you’ll never ever learn how to do that if you don’t learn to get your mind to STFU! It’s really easy. All you need to do is sit or lie comfortably, and focus on your breath. When thoughts arise, let them go without judgement, and focus on your breath again. The more you do it, the better it will serve you.

    2. Read: You can start forming your philosophy on life by reading others’. Some of my recommendations for first picks are The Celestine Prophecy, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Conversations with God, and The Four Agreements. (Here’s more.) I also highly recommend the movies Waking Life and i heart huckabees.

    3. Divinate: Divination is essentially asking the divine for advice. Tarot and oracle cards are my favorite ways; tarot can be explored like learning another language, but oracle cards come with books that explain the cards. There’s also: runes, dowsing, the I-ching, and scrying, among others. They can help you make decisions and help predict the energy of what’s coming next in your life.

    4. Google Stuff: Here’s some topics to start checking out — astrology, numerology, ascension, lightworker, dark night of the soul, shadow work, chakra cleansing, law of attraction, conscious evolution, intuition, sacred geometry, and starseeds. That should give you 20-bazillion more wormholes to fall down!

    5. Buy Stuff: Contrary to popular opinion, this alone will do absolutely fucking nothing. But, when powered with intention and dedication, stuff can be a great aid to your spiritual practice. Go to a new age store and see what you’re drawn to, but a few basics are: sage and palo santo for energy cleansing, gemstones, and books books books! I know I said books already, but there is no one book for this stuff; just many teachers who help point to wisdom that must be located within. So read up!

    6. Practice Gratitude: Gratitude is the attitude, man. Practicing regular gratitude brings you into the present moment; little things like noticing the amazing taste of your coffee, appreciating the way your body feels after a workout, or the fact that your car started today can help bring perspective and shake of nonsense whiny thoughts. Focusing on stuff you want brings more stuff you want. (And samesies for the opposite… 😮)

    7. Community: Finding other people who are into this stuff is key. Check out bulletin boards at health food stores, yoga centers, and other places of conscious living. There’s also non-religious churches! Nontheistic is a helpful term here, Unitarian Universalist churches and Jain centers are two great examples. The internet is also awesome (and so quick!) — just checking out hashtags of topics is likely to introduce you to people. Talking (or typing) with others about these things really helps ground the ideas, helps bring them into your everyday life.

Best wishes on your spiritual journey!!

Weekly Fuckless Tarot

 Fuckless Tarot – September 2nd-8th, 2019

Hey there! This week we start out reconsidering our nostalgic ties, mending those that need love, letting release of ties that bind, or the cacophony of growing-up related issues the 4 of Cups (Reversed) symbolizes — stay true to you, now, and then.

Mid-week things are trying to get luxurious and full of independent freedom with the Nine of Pentacles (Reversed), but there’s a block. Blocks in wonderful energy just mean an imbalance of some sort, so examine these areas — are you craving or valuing your independent successes too much?

But things get good for the weekend. The Six of Wands is all about celebration and achievement, baby. Rejoice in the things in life that you’ve propelled forward, and enjoy every freakin’ second of jubilation. You already got this…now get it, get it. 😉

 Fuckless Tarot – August 25th-September 1st, 2019

This week starts of with a need to be proactive about finding balance in our lives. Look for ways to balance your behaviors, are you yin-ing for all your yang? Are you doing *too much* of this and *not enough* of that? Or, it could be that you need to mix it up – try adding an unusual element to your routine, or introduce friends who’ve never met. Finding balance often takes dancing in contrast, so don’t be afraid to test the waters.

Midweek we’ve got the Queen of Swords keeping it blunt, but lighthearted. She’s direct, she’s saucy, and she’s either going to help you learn some truth, or help you learn to deliver it. (It’s almost definitely the one that made you feel more nervous, sorry. 🤣❤) Be honest with others, be generous with humor, and don’t take things too personally; whilst also gleaning the wisdom of solid advice.

And this weekend’s got a head’s up to be on the lookout for sneaks. The Seven of Swords is all about using means to get what you want that may or may not justify the ends, and when it’s reversed it’s got an extra dose of warning. The sneak could be someone else, so don’t get dicked over, but it also could be *you* who’s considering acting without integrity – so ask yourself if you’re doing your best this weekend, and ask it often…while also expecting the same from others.

Have a wonderful week. 😘

 Fuckless Tarot – August 19th-25th, 2019

This week’s off to a luxurious beginning, with the luminous 9 of Pentacles. Monday through early Wednesday, look for opportunities to cherish some “me time,” a perfect time to treat yo’self.

Midweek through early Friday, maybe close that wallet again – the 4 of Pentacles hails a time of needing to balance expenditures, but it could also mean to watch out for being stingy-minded. (Are you feeling guilty about that treat yo’self??)

And for the weekend, we’ve got another busy one – the 2 of Pentacles (R) reminds us to prioritize. Write a list of your “fucking must get dones” and see to them first, this card is reversed so it does point to extra challenges in accomplishing everything you’d like. Back-up plans are good, and staying present really helps prevent fuck ups: Be. Here. Now.

Have a fabulous week!! 😘

Fuckless Tarot – August 12th-18th, 2019

Ooopsie daisies. I did remember to make you a weekly tarot video, but I also got great news; and when I get excited I also get bajiggity in my nervous system (#spoonieproblems) and do silly things like accidentally record timelapse video… D’oh!

So, in text:
Early Week = The emotional stability of the Queen of Cups, reflect, nurture, get spiritual.
Midweek = The conviviality of the Queen of Wands, get social and connect.
Weekend = Page of Swords (reversed), watch out for “foot in mouth,” a time for lessons in communication, youths may be sassy.

(Better half-assed tarot than no-assed?)

Fuckless Tarot – August 5th-11th, 2019

Energies are looking busy for our first reading, with much to manage and prioritize. Mercury just went direct a few days ago, and we’re still in the shadow; so this could be about unplanned projects/obstacles returning, or things you’ve been working on taking longer than planned. Don’t worry though, time is ripe for fresh beginnings. (Remember: Do the same thing, get the same results. Patterns are cages.)

I’m excited to be working on my YouTube again, which I attempted during my homelessness journey – but I couldn’t really commit, for obvious reasons. Honestly, the videos (mostly about chronic illness) make me feel pretty fucking proud of myself. I’m such a crazy lil’ trooper.

Have a fabulous week!

19 Months of H-E Double Hockey Sticks

In late 2015, I nearly died from B12 deficiency (because that’s a thing); which catapulted moderate undiagnosed fibromyalgia symptoms to completely debilitating. And they stayed that way. This was all compounded by the chaos of undiagnosed autism, which wouldn’t be addressed until spring of 2020.

My once normal-esque world completely and totally crumbled. I’m much improved now, but the lows were intensely low; like 20 months of near-complete isolation (I’ve known quarantine for yearrrs), repeat hospitalization, and homelessness, low, lows.

The following selection of Instagram posts is from this 32-month crisis, starting after 13 months of slowly peeling myself off my almost-deathbed (whilst trapped in my studio alone); and ending with blessed chronic-illness-friendly dispensary employment. I’ll let the posts fill you in:

 

 

My Words, Their Website: Published Fun

I like to write about all kinds of things, but since becoming acquainted with the infotastic publication Leafly in mid-2019, most of my published writing has filed under wellness – exploring the fascinating realm of cannabis and how it affects our bodies and lives.

I’ve recently pivoted to writing more generally, with a focus on Medium and their world of publications. Connect with me here!

Topics I plan to pitch in coming months: spoonie advocacy, all the health tips, societal conditioning,  social justice, autism and HSPs, as well as how to integrate mysticism into modern living.

Thanks for checking out my words, hope your day’s a goodie 😘

Medium
How Tarot Can Help Spoonies

Leafly Med/Endocannabinoid System:
Home DNA Kits Can Help You Pick a Cannabis Strain
Canna Pioneer Launches Company to Unlock the Endocannabinoid System
Why is it So Hard for Medical Cannabis Patients to Get High?
How to Prepare for Your First Psychedelic Mushroom Trip
Does Endocannabinoid Deficiency Play a Role in These Common Illnesses?
Why Isn’t the Endocannabinoid System Taught in Medical Schools?
Can Orgasms Help Your Endocannabinoid System?
What it’s like to be a Kid who Medicates with Cannabis
What It’s Like to Be a Parent Who Medicates With Cannabis
Endometriosis Is Painful as Hell. At Least There’s Cannabis
Here’s What Symptom Relief with Cannabis Feels like for MED Patients
5 Medical Conditions Psychedelics May be Able to Help Treat
The Stoner’s Guide to the Wim Hof Method
Does Cannabis Make You Poo?
The ‘Sleepy’ Cannabinoid CBN Might Not Actually Be Sedating
How Cannabis Helps ‘Spoonies’ Soothe the Symptoms of Chronic Illness

Leafly Culture:
How is a Cannabis Pill Made? Its Journey from Seed to Capsule
How to Prepare for Your First Psychedelic Mushroom Trip
Why ‘Marijuana’ Should Have Always Been Called ‘The Gage’
How to Tell Legal from Illegal Cannabis Dispensaries in California
Do Anti-Drug Campaigns Actually Work?
Cannabis Can Make You More Creative—But It’s Complicated
Cannabis Church Founder Runs for Indiana Governor

6 Stoney-Yet-Productive Self-isolation Activities
End-of-life Hospital Care in California Could Soon Include Cannabis
What’s Next for Psychedelic Decriminalization?
Seniors Celebrating Cannabis
6 Weird Ways to Consume Cannabis
Are We Turning CBD Into Snake Oil?

Civilized: Are We Made for Weed? How to Boost Your Endocannabinoid System With Cannabis

Huffington Post: 10 Things I Learned Working at a Cannabis Dispensary
Green Cross of Torrance (entire blog)

 

SheKnows:
How a Vitamin Deficiency Nearly Killed Me
What I Learned from Months of Being So Sick I Couldn’t Leave My Studio Apartment Sans Help
My Weight Made Me Invisible and I Kinda Miss It
My Sex Life Needed Some Time Off: Lessons from Abstinence

Elephant Journal:
What I Learned During My Time in Prison

Offbeat:
6 Lessons for Introverts That Love People Time
How I Stopped Giving a Shit about My Size
Single Living vs. Couple Living: Game On
7 Tips for the Chronically Ill

LifeHack:
8 Quotes from “Say Anything” that Teach Us to Rock at Life
How Losing Someone’s Approval Can Set You Free

Tiny Buddha:
Do you constantly think about your relationships?
How to Live a Full Live and Smile Your Way Through It

Long Beach Post:
Being Homeless in Long Beach

Yogi Approved:
5  Tips to Support a Seriously Struggling Friend

The Mighty:
How I Learned There’s No Shame In Being Ill 

Southeast Living:
Juneau, My Two-Faced Love.
Chronic Illness Gets Even Worse in the Winter: Here’s How You Can Help

XoJane (R.I.P. Jane Magazine, you were beloved.):
How I Went Gluten and Dairy Free without Losing My Damn Mind
How to Throw a Fundraiser for a Cause You LOVE

The Experience/Book

ill drag

How I Lost All My F-cks is more than a book. It’s a 3-part experience, lasting one month, that will help you to shake off harmful societal conditioning and find a version of yourself that knows how to feel satisfied, how to have some freakin’ fun, how to prioritize the things that really matter, and how to be present during them. 

Part I is a 30-day meditation challenge, teaching you various methods of mindfulness meditation, which I’ve been practicing for close to two decades, as well as daily reflection questions and a space for a short journal entry. It also includes several concepts and tales meant to leave you in an uplifted and thoughtful state, pulling from sources like psychology, philosophy, the nature-oriented spirituality of the Tao te Ching, and more.

While you’re finding your meditation groove, you’ll also be rising to the challenge of Part II’s Fuckless Adventures; choosing 20 dare-like experiences (out of 30) that are aimed to incorporate more authenticity and vulnerability in your life, connect (safely) with others, and immerse you in a whole lot of fun. This section also includes a handful of inspiring tales from lives lived boldly, learning how one Prince’s truth expanded the rights of millions, how Frida Khalo overcame tremendous odds whilst fully expressing herself all along the way, how an octopus helped renew one man’s spirit, and much more.

And while you’re meditating and adventuring, you’ll also be reading Part III. This section elaborates on this “fucklessness” business, often using entertaining tales from my, uhm, “colorful” life to ground the concepts and ideas described within it. It’ll take you through learning to care about all the wrong stuff (as we’re conditioned to do), teen shenanigans, serendipitous magic in a philosophy class, near-death meets chronic illness, adventures in jail and mental institutions, homelessness, and more.  

Together, it’s an average of 20 minutes a day or so, longer if you get creative with it. 

The world is presently a confusing place, and this book will help you to better orient within it by teaching you to center in yourself. By the end of your fuckless experience, you’ll feel like your life has gone through a refreshing cleanse, and so has your mind—which is really your home, if you think about it. (And the lease is for the rest of your life…)

I’m presently seeking representation, so stay tuned for the release of How I Lost All My F-cks! (Support on the socials is also much appreciated, @howilostallmyfs across the board 🙏❤)

Untitled15_20171023141342Upside Down_20171104124052Passing Notes_20171014210522fuck-storm

How am I not myself?

 

When I first encountered the phrase “be yourself” I remember wondering, “What does that even mean? Isn’t that my only option, who else would I be?” The movie i heart huckabees illustrates the quandary via Jude Law losing all of the things he defines himself by: his job, his home, his relationship. He’s left pondering, “How am I not myself?”

In a time where authenticity is a buzzword, do we even know what we mean?

It seems to me that we are the most “ourselves” when we honor our honest desires and needs by expressing and acting to satisfy them. But what are your honest desires and needs? Sometimes it’s not as easy as it sounds to pin down.

A list might pop into your mind like, I want a book deal, I need to get some sun, I want that hot guy, etc. It’s what’s behind them that holds the keys: why do you want what you want?

Do I want a book deal to appease someone else, or do I genuinely feel that I have a message that can help? Do I really want that hot guy or do I want to be seen with him? Do I want to get some sun for my health or to look tan for someone else?

Examine your motivations (without judgement!) and you might get some clarifying surprises. It often turns out that all too much time spent without regard to what you actually want and need. It’s normal in our society to fill one’s time with obligations, letting them replace our passions under the guise of adulting. Be yourself by getting clear what you truly want and why. Make a list.

A great way to not be yourself is to let your reactions rule you. How do you behave when you’re scared or anxious about something? Are you dick-ish without apology or explanation? That’s hiding, you know. So not you. (As is not trying so you can’t fail.)

In high school I had specific music for when friends were in the car, lots of top-of-charts songs I didn’t want to anyone to know annoyed me deeply. That wasn’t great self-ing. It’s pretty common to censor oneself like this, attempting to hide or delete the parts we feel might be rejected. It’s not great you-ing though, and isn’t it exhausting? Try dropping it.

“But then I’ll be rejected,” you might say. Yeah, that’s possible. But if you crack that nerdy joke or share that personal revelation – you might be rewarded with connection and empathy. Also known as “being truly understood.” And that’s the good shit.