A heartfelt apology to you…

When I started this blog last year, I had visions of regaling you with endless tales of whimsy and fascination. I’ve spent the last months trying to wring some worthy fiction from this brain o’ mine. I’ve tried to to force this square peg of a blog into the round hole of my dreams and expectations to no avail.

Apparently my writing roots run deeper in the Charles Bukowski soil than I thought. Somewhere in that ethereal subsurface, the taproot has found tasty vintage in a deep, sometimes melancholic aquifer. Fortunately, the other roots keep feeding me the occasional tale or memory that provides diversion.

It isn’t what I had in mind. I wanted this to be a fun escape, not a baring of souls…

So that seems to be the highway we are hurtling down with occasional trips down the washboard backroads. And now, as Hunter said many years ago, I’ve bought the ticket. I might as well take the ride.

And you’re all coming with me. For that, I apologize. The advantage you have over me is this: you can jump off the train at anytime. I, however, am buckled in tightly with no knowledge of when or where the ride goes but with the belief that I will be gratefully exhilarated when it ends.

A little background to (hopefully) clarify today’s musing:

My own spirituality is a unique hybrid. If your gaze fell upon the shelf that I keep the books that I find the deepest solace and guidance in, you’d see a mix of Buddhist, Christian, Pagan and Native American spirituality.
The man-made elements of religion have done more to drive me away than to draw me closer to God. As a result, I’ve pushed myself further into seeking wisdom down different paths. In my spiritual travels, I’ve learned to note things such as today: the Vernal Equinox, combined with a New Moon and an eclipse.
My Druidic forebears would have seen great significance in this, and would have altered their usual rituals accordingly.

My own ritual? I will light a candle to mark the equinox and put my intention out there to keep writing and belief for it to grow, just as the farmer pushes the pumpkin seed into the cold spring soil in the belief that a strong healthy, fruitful vine will come forth even though he has no idea which direction the plant will go.

So today I will do a little equinox dance for you. I intend that the magnified power of today’s welcoming of the growing season will feed and sustain this virtual, verbal garden that I tend here. I will shed the doldrums and sluggishness of my Winter’s hibernation and keep priming the pump with these posts until it fills up and allows words to start flowing into a longer stream.

And I encourage you to the same in your life. Whatever it is that has been your passion and desire to do, and you have been sitting there waiting for the light to change from red to green, I encourage you to put more pressure on the gas pedal. As I have said before, my line of work reminds me daily of the short and unpredictable nature of this life. The power of today’s equinox also signals a change for your own growth. It is a sign for you to make the first move.

Take action. Till the soil. Turn last year’s regrets and hesitation under the earth to compost and fertilize this year’s adventures. The sun will warm the ground for you and the rains will fall to nourish whatever it is you should choose to plant.

Plant something and take care of it. An untended dream is like an unkept garden. If you just stick something and leave it to its own, it will most likely fall victim to pests and decay. The fruit will be bitter or rotten before you have a chance to enjoy it.

And that, dear reader, is a plain waste of your life and dreams. I will close this with some great motivation from “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield.

“Are you a born writer? Were you put on earth to be a painter, a scientist, an apostle of peace? In the end the question can only be answered by action.

Do it or don’t do it.

It may help to think of it this way. If you were meant to cure cancer or write a symphony or crack cold fusion and you don’t do it, you not only hurt yourself, even destroy yourself,. You hurt your children. You hurt me. You hurt the planet.

You shame the angels who watch over you and you spite the Almighty, who created you and only you with your unique gifts, for the sole purpose of nudging the human race one millimeter farther along its path back to God.

Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got.”

See you down the trail.

The Secret

A secret arrived at my door a couple of days ago…wrapped in plain brown paper.

I shouldn’t say “a secret.” I should say “The Secret.”

I don’t remember how I discovered The Secret. It was several years ago, in the midst of one of those deep valleys in life that one must traverse from time to time.

It matters not, for The Secret is one of the truest laws that I have ever experienced.

Boiling it down to its essence, The Secret delivers the deepest desires of your soul to you. The things/people/experiences that you hunger for – if you put enough intention and energy behind your desire, you will receive it.

The longer I live, the truer The Secret proves itself to be.

Allow me to give you a few examples of my own:

As any of you that know/read me, I am a unique breed of cat. Most guys have dream cars, and I was no exception. My divergence from the normal guy “dream car” was pretty extreme. And exceptionally rare.

And not to mention, I was broke. So any rational, intelligent human being would look at the pieces of that particular puzzle and say “Not a chance in Hell…”

It’s a good thing that I am not rational nor intelligent.

And what was my dream car at that time? A hearse. A ’70s Lincoln hearse.

Yeah I know. Freudian analytics could go crazy here.

I was working at a funeral home at the time. One of my co-workers told me about a friend of his that collected professional cars (which are hearses, ambulances and limousines in case you wanted to know) and he had his cars on this new-fangled thingy called a website.

I scrolled through the pictures on painfully slow dial-up internet (you remember that, don’t you?) The third or fourth car on the list jumped of the screen and slapped me like a pimp.

1979 AHA Lincoln Hearse. Ahhh…masturbatory material for the demented.

There he was. Midnight Blue. Damn near 30 feet long. Glorious louvered headlight covers that were the trademark of that era Lincoln.

And close. Oh so close that I could touch it.

Later, in the afterglow, I spoke with my co-worker and thanked him for telling me about the website. I confessed my forbidden love of the Lincoln. He laughed.

And unbeknownst to me, he called the owner of that car. He inquired about his interest in parting with same. And then he came over to my desk with a folded piece of paper.

“He’ll sell it to you if you are interested. The price is on the paper.”

Thanks, but this broke-ass boy can’t afford the thought, much less the car. He shrugged and said, well if you change you mind, the price and his cell number is on the paper.

Curiosity got the better of me. How many ducats would this majestic chariot require? I looked at the paper.

I was shocked. I put it back down on my desk.

I picked it up and looked at it again. My mind tried to wrap around the amount and how he could justify it.

Written on the paper: 0

and a phone number.

For 2 and a half years I owned my dream car. I sold it to get a down payment together for my house.

But it was okay with me. I had it. Drove it. Showed it off. The mission was accomplished.

Another example: my previous job. The years 2010 and 2011 pretty well sucked for employment. I left a job that was going to cause me to stroke out. I was pretty sure that I was on the fast track to being shit-canned so I made the decision to leave on my own and not have to do the “all the crap from my office hastily thrown in a bankers box” walk of shame.

Job hunting was dismal. I drove a taxi (ohh so many stories during that brief stint). And then, for safety and sanity’s sake, I got a job working from home for a rental car company doing reservations.

Oy vey. I have never hated a job more in my life. The profound stupidity and rudeness that I encountered on a daily basis almost drove me to drink and/or lose whatever little religion I have left in me.

I dreamt of getting a phone call. With a fabulous job offer. That would take me to new and exciting places. Oh yeah, and make a lot of money.

I posted a bitchy remark on Facebook about a job that didn’t pan out. Just venting. A Facebook message from a friend arrived soon after. And then an email.

And then, the phone call.

It was a Friday. The good man on the other end of the line said “I need a date that you fly down here to meet me.” I picked the following Thursday. With a bounce in my step, I strolled through the airport, got my shoes shined and tipped well. Drank a beer or two. Flew to Phoenix. Interviewed. Had to call off from my reservations job with the wonderful excuse “sorry, I am in Phoenix and won’t be back until tonight.”

The phone chat I had with my reservations manager (an extremely good guy) the next day was also wonderfully awkward.

“So you were in “Phoenix” yesterday, ehh?” I could tell he wasn’t sure of it’s truthfulness.

“Yep, I was.” For what, he asked.

“A job interview.” A pregnant pause on his end. And then a long conversation about life goals and dreams.

I got the job. Flew to Phoenix to train. Nothing has ever felt so good as my flight there and back. On the way back, I bumped myself up to First Class (best $50 I ever spent) to celebrate.

I had that job for about a year.

A final example of The Secret in action. I was really needing money. The holidays were coming up and so were the bills.

If only I had about 10 grand. That would take care of a lot and maybe give myself some breathing room to write.

I fixated on that amount. I had no thoughts of where the money would come from, or why or how. I just had that figure in my head. For a couple of months. I said nothing to anyone.

Just before Thanksgiving, I received a most unexpected gift. A check.

The amount? 10,000.

It led to one of the best holiday seasons that I had ever had.

I have other examples of The Secret manifesting itself in my life, but I won’t bore you with them here.

My gift to you this holiday season is this: You can fail or lose what you don’t want, so you might as well dwell on and ask for what you do want. And allow the Universe time to deliver your request. (A paraphrase from Jim Carrey’s Commencement Speech at Maharishi University. Youtube it.)

My current employer was the vehicle with which the Universe decided to remind me of The Secret. I had forgotten it here of late, wallowing instead in self-pity and self-loathing.

I am living proof that you don’t need to do or be anything special for your dreams to come true.

You just need to be you. Focus on what you want. Be purposeful, intentional and most importantly be grateful.

That is The Secret. My payment to the Universe was to share it with you.

To end this, here is quote from The Secret:

“Creation is always happening. Every time an individual has a thought, or a prolonged chronic way of thinking, they’re in the creation process. Something is going to manifest out of those thoughts. What you are thinking now is creating your future life. You create your life with your thoughts. Because you are always thinking, you are always creating. What you think about the most or focus on the most, is what will appear as your life. Like all the laws of nature, there is utter perfection in this law. You create your life. Whatever you sow, you reap! Your thoughts are seeds, and the harvest you reap will depend on the seeds you plant. If you are complaining, the law of attraction will powerfully bring into your life more situations for you to complain about. If you are listening to someone else complain and focusing on that, sympathizing with them, agreeing with them, in that moment, you are attracting more situations to yourself to complain about. The law is simply reflecting and giving back to you exactly what you are focusing on with your thoughts. With this powerful knowledge, you can completely change every circumstance and event in your entire life, by changing the way you think.”

Spend the waning days of this year thinking about what you want to be different in your life. If you need help, grab a copy of The Secret in either book or movie form. With the right kind of eyes and mind, your life will change.

It’s the dreams that count.