So I have a little more than $6K to both live on and utilize towards business pursuits. The goal is to have multiple things up and running within three months: yoga certification and subsequent employment; physical trainer certification and subsequent employment; astrological certification en route; one website, with another in queue; and one e-book published.

Here is a rough outline of my current budgetary needs/strong wants:

Laptop: $500-800 estimated budget

As much of my work will be done online (writing/astrology/school), a reliable personal computer is a must. I migrate from place to place often, so rather than a personal computer, a laptop will afford more flexibility. I have $500 saved towards one and that is my working budget. The laptop is also necessary for my astrology software.

Solar Fire: $360

A comprehensive casting software — and more — for astrological work, Solar Fire is considered the best on the market.

Astro Gold: $60

Astrological software for mobile. Only available for iOS at the moment.

Car registration/insurance/smog check: $~200?

Parents are helping with this.

Personal trainer certification: $500+??

Textbook + tests. Price depends on the certification I undertake. Research needed.

Website domain names: $60-120+??

Going through GoDaddy.com. Price depends on the specific name.

Plane ticket: $200

Just bought!

Professional astrological consultation: $50/hr for 5 hours (?)

Consulting with Jim, a professional of 40-plus years who runs a local astrological Meetup. His expertise is significant and I have much to learn. He can help me out. Will allocate a minimum of $200.

Must go for now. Will update this with more as more knowledge is gained.

Welcome back, practice. I love you.

You didn’t go anywhere. Not really. I practiced throughout the month of April. I did take a break from journaling about it. I needed to re-charge my batteries and re-calibrate the game-plan.

I will now take this journal more seriously. There are the seeds of a book here. Derek is right: you can write a book about your yoga journey, beginning from your reading of The Autobiography of a Yogi to your impending Yoga Alliance certification.

Great idea!

Goals:

  • Finish certification at Addicted to Yoga
  • Mysore practice, two times a week: the complete Primary Series, approximately 105 minutes
  • Personal practice, four times a week: a minimum of Surya Namaskara A and B, 5x, with an intended target David Swenson’s 45-minute short form, modified upwards to 60 minutes

“No pressure, but…”

  • God-willing, add one day of the complete Primary Series in lieu of one day of a Short Form practice. So by the end of the month, when all goes well, we will be practicing the complete Primary Series three days a week, and practicing a Short Form version three days a week, for a total of six days a week.

Monday, May 4:

Surya Namaskara A & B, 5x

Another tough, intense day.

Sunday, May 3:

FULL MOON IN SCORPIO

Spent the day with Jill. <3

Saturday, May 2:

Surya Namaskara A & B, 5x

Okay, so we have a slow start to the month. That’s okay. Today is the day before the Full Moon in Scorpio. Life is exceedingly intense. But at least I practiced. Making time every day, no matter what, even if it’s only 15 minutes, is what is important.

Friday, May 1:

Surya Namaskara A & B, 5x

My fault for not practicing in the morning, as scheduled. It is now 9:34 PM as I write this, and when I am done writing down my journals/logs for this month, I will go home and complete my repetitions.

Today has been one of the most intense days of my life. There has been a lot of crying. Jill and I have gone through trying times. Things are in a holding pattern right now. Only God knows what shall happen. I am practicing acceptance of this.

I had incredible talks with Andy and Derek, solidifying my business plans. I am immensely grateful of my friendships; I have an abundance of support, and I am truly humbled. Whatever happens with Jill, I will be stronger for it. I have new-found focus, direction and integrity, and there is no price that can be put on such conviction.

Tomorrow morning? 60-minute Short Form. See you then!

One of the most important months of my life right here. So much amazing is happening!

Let us learn from the past. Back in February, I made the post titled Direction. I would focus on four things: yoga, astrology, writing and pranic healing.

Unfortunately many of the details of those goals have fallen by the wayside, but the direction was there. Let’s build on that.

For right now and through the end of summer — and beyond! — the primary focus is on building and solidifying entrepreneurial/job/career skills. This post will be a general outline; more details will follow this weekend.

Yoga: Finish Yoga Alliance certification. To-do: no more than 10 hours. I have called Dave and Polina twice and left messages, and I will call one more time before I start showing up in person.

Personal Training: Research, buy and begin studying for personal training certification. Derek gave you plenty of details.

Website: Work with Team Treehouse and Andy on building a website. Right now we are working without a title. Start with one website first, for the e-book and such. Later we will repeat the process with the astrology website/name.

Melee It On Me: Talk with Daniel about creating content for MIOM. Build your reputation and create a brand. Work with Michael in creating content. Solidify your authority within the community as we take on the long-term goal of becoming a coach/trainer for Melee competitors.

School: Finish strong and do well on your Finals. Register for summer school, if classes are offered that meet your academic plan. Get straight As.

Northwest Astrological Conference: Fly to Seattle and soak in as much astrology as possible. Make connections. Build, network, learn.

Astrological certification: Meet with Jim and draw up a game-plan on how to become certified. Enroll in whatever courses you need to and begin the process.

More coming soon. As Derek said: Ready. Fire. Aim.

I took a break from my usual logs in the month of April. This was partly due to inertia; my energy felt blocked, with feelings of latent depression underneath the surface.

As I am wont to do, however, I turned it into a positive, into a science experiment. How do you know something is needed, is true, in your life? Let it go and see if it comes back. Do you miss it?

It is not that the food log is not useful. For a neophyte, it is the first thing I would recommend. Becoming aware of your food habits — when, what and how much do you eat? — helps you become aware of your relationship to food. How does sugar make you feel? Once you start logging the time of day you eat your banana or doughnut, you will likely start to become aware of the effect.

It also forces you to become honest about your habits. It is easy to pretend that you eat reasonably healthful until you actually put pen to pad and track your activities.

That said, I no longer need to do that. Eating healthfully has become such an ingrained habit that a food log has become laboriously anachronistic.

I am taking the time to pat myself on the back. This was my first food log. Looking back, that was pretty impressive! I was on the health tip for a few years before that, but wow. That still holds up well.

That said, my posted food logs tend to be the healthiest, because when I was unhealthiest, I tended to stop writing. Sigh: depression.

Anywho, I am officially done making more food logs. Unless: I need to. I always reserve the right to change my mind! If I feel myself slipping, at any point, or otherwise gain motivation and purpose to resume them, then I shall.

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It’s startling how hard it is swallowing truth
I’m dry-heaving on the daily need to water my roots
I’m supposed to be the type of soldier that God would recruit
But I lost my troops and it’s so hard to regroup

This past Saturday, the 18th — the New Moon in Aries, in fact — I underwent a 60-minute healing session from a self-proclaimed reiki master: one-half tarot reading, one-half reiki / raju healing and blessing.

My intuition — oh, how I ceaselessly ignore you! And for what? The perceived comforts of security and intellect, the same stains of civilization my spiritual practices actively train me to wash myself of? — had been nudging me for weeks to partake in some kind of spiritual outreach. But it was only a dream, easily the most intense dream of my life, that convinced me to do this now. While I did not receive any (conscious) insight into my dream, I did receive a hell of a reading.

The first thing Marina from GypsyLuv asked me was: what is going on in your home life?

Bingo. A lot, that’s what. My Dad is dying. I don’t know how I feel about it. On one hand, I am detached and — here’s that favorite word of mine — numb. He was/is an abuser, and I no longer sign up for abusive relationships. He is suffering from kidney failure and congestive heart disease, amongst other ailments, I’m sure. (Fluid in his lungs, for one.) Yet that is the byproduct of decades of abusing — what else? — his own body: smoking, drinking, and indulging in fast food, with nary a day of intended exercise in his life. It’s a testament to incredible genes and a bull-like stubbornness, I’m sure, that he is still alive (he is 68, I think) and not morbidly obese (he’s about 140 pounds).

He did it to himself. He ostracized everyone who could possibly have been close to him — friends, family — through behavior alternating aggressive and alienating, with a corrosive, all-consuming miasma of negativity. I never knew my father; he died long ago.

Yet I contest that my feelings are not callous. I don’t consciously hate him. Obviously there’s a reservoir of resentment build up from my childhood and on, wounds slowly uncovering, knots gradually untangling. When I look at him now, my feelings alternate between pity and empathy. Send him out to pasture already. He’s regressed to little more than adult-sized infancy.

Unfortunately — to my perception, anyway — my mother, who, by my amateur opinion, is still suffering from the residue of Stockholm Syndrome, sees to it to be his caregiver. He’s living in our house, adding a toxic pulse to the environment.

No wonder my energy has been off-kilter.

Marina predictably said that there are a lot of issues — past anger and resentment — that I am not looking at, that I am choosing not to look at. I contend that I don’t know what I don’t know — I don’t even know what it is I’m missing! I’m doing the best I can, or close to it.

Many times Marina rubbed me the wrong way. Not sure what it was.

A few themes emerged: one, work (I confessed to her what I do — this was another moment where she rubbed me the wrong way) portends to be excellent. Great entrepreneurial energy. Everything I’m aiming to do I shall accomplish, more or less. This was a recurring theme, continually reaffirmed.

Secondly, she asked me if I was seeing someone, or otherwise had any love interests. No, I was not (and am not). She said that would change soon, that love was on the horizon, even despite my reluctance. Reluctance indeed! The other week I had just finally come to grips with embracing being single, and all that entails: the extra, exuberant energy to work on myself, to pool my resources and save, to practice discipline without temptations, and so on. Now she tells me — and, remember, this was also seen by Magda, when she gave me a reading eight or ten weeks ago — that not only is love right around the corner, but this person will be great for me, and should even help take my work to new heights?

That makes me feel ambivalent.

She said my energy was pretty dirty. I am procrastinating on things. I am operating out of fear, and it is hamstringing my potential. None of this was particularly surprising.

This was not the most pleasant of readings. It had a few strong positives, but also a lot of negatives. Negatives that rang true, but that also left me more confused than when I came in. What do I do? The only answer I felt was, Listen to your intuition.

Cause I’m
Not in the present
I’m present, but not my essence

I have been in a foul mood today. I haven’t felt this morose in quite some time. Yoga did not help one bit. It’s obviously connected to Jill. My thoughts were tumultuous in my practice, and for most of the morning. My mind wants to come to many a potentially rash conclusion. I am definitely trying to play both sides here.

Gil says I am irked from her flip-flopping, and that I am disappointed, more disappointed than I am allowing myself to consciously feel. “Do right by you. The friendship will be there waiting if there’s one to build upon.”

What does my intuition say? That there is no friendship to be built upon. That the charts are right and that I should feel lucky to have escaped this situation, that it would have been disastrous, that the last thing I need is another wound to lick. That there are lessons to be learned here. That tarot cannot be taken too literally; what does “soon” mean? As Andy said, “soon” to a kid means a couple of minutes. What is “soon” to a human life? To the cosmos? One makes plans for the divine to dissipate and laugh at.

Part of me wants to say, “Here’s someone who is still attached to her ex. She hasn’t let go from him; actions speak louder than words. Here’s someone who is suffering from depression. Here is someone that has a lot of problems: anxiety, familial, insecurity issues, possible addiction/dependency issues. Sure, everyone has problems, but are these problems you want to deal with? Are prepared to deal with? Need to deal with? Or are you seeking them out of desperation? Out of a past homeostasis that you are simultaneously striving to break free from?”

When she said she still fools around with her ex, I thought: she’s stagnant. Either have the courage to completely move on or don’t. It’s also self-delusion if she really thinks there isn’t emotion. One, she’s a double Cancer. Two, good luck not having emotion when you’re having sex with someone you were with for eight years. That was a complete turn-off.

“Would you really not want to change her? Are you perfectly okay with accepting her as she is right now?”

No. I am not. I would want to change her.

Then move on.

If I hear from her ever again, I would be cautiously receptive. But I am not going to make the next gesture. (Yes, she is probably reading this.)

Despite our great communication,  I have no urge to be her friend. I want something more. In that sense, I ought to give validating to my feelings. It’s okay to be hurt. I wanted something more and didn’t get it. It’s simply not meant to be.

Oh, I almost forgot: Marina said my experience with Caitlin is not done. She said she was getting a sense that there was something to be continued, some kind of love issue surrounding intimacy and trust issues. She said I have trouble trusting. I begrudgingly admit that, although at the same time I partially disagree. I said, Are you sure it’s not Ashley? And gave some brief background with Ashley. But she said no, she thinks it’s Caitlin.

I did not like this news at all. I do not want to hear from Caitlin. Ever. If you are reading this (doubtful), please don’t ever contact me.

Yeah, I still have a lot of issues to work out there. I understand and accept that. I am carrying resentment with me. But at least I can admit it. I don’t want anything to do with her. She is a boil, a stain on my life.

All the same, I know what kind of person I am. Like Jill, I would not make the first gesture, but I would be cautiously receptive. Very cautious. Ready to flee at the first sign.

There is still much more to write about. Maybe more about my Dad, to uncover some feelings there. And my Mom. And my family.

Write about Meredith and how that dynamic is playing out.

Write about coming back to Smash.

Write about yoga, natch. Non-attachment.

Write about school.

Write about my short-term goals.

Write about the incredible Doomtree concert! And the significantly less incredible Cunninlynguists show.

Write about your trip to Seattle.

Just keep writing, mah duke.

I mean to,
Be in the moment, to really sit still in it?
Without the pills and other thangs and get real with it?

Today’s just one of those days. Moody. Borderline morose. One of those “I still don’t give a fuck” (c) Eminem days.

But to explain the present, we must first start with the (recent) past.

Sunday, March 15. Walking into Unurban Coffee on Pico, in Santa Monica, shortly after noon. Each step feels weighted, but miniscule compared to the gravity of my mind.

It’s an old psychologist’s trick to label your emotions. What are you feeling?

Overwhelmed, to say the least. I enter the back room designated for our astrology Meetup, one of the consistent bright spots in my life.

My very first meeting, Ashley was the first person I saw and talked to. Immediately drawn to her. I underestimated how out of place I would feel; in my mind, I was coming back home, to one of three things in life I know that would never disappoint me. In actuality, upon my first step in the medium-sized auditorium-like setting, I realized how alone I felt.

What were the chances I’d immediately click with someone close to my age — Ashley is three-and-a-half years my senior, going through her Saturn return; for the initiated, that puts her close to 30 years of age — to help put me at ease? A mutual love for metaphysics and psychology virtually guarantees an initial bond. As I look around, I quickly realize I’m almost certainly the youngest person in the room, and certainly the only Black male.

She quickly establishes herself as a far greater authority on astrology than I, and I am eager to soak in as much information as I can. After the lectures end and I wrap up chatting with a few others, I catch Ashley’s eye before we depart: Would you mind mentoring me?

It takes just a few seconds for my hopes to be dashed: Ashley is here after all. Before the untimely demise of our friendship and pseudo-dalliance, she implied she would avoid the group just to avoid seeing and running into me. While at the time I urged her never to do such a short-sighted thing, as my anxiety of attending the meet became conscious, I found myself mentally crossing my fingers that she would make things easy on me and not show up.

On the outside, it seems I calmly set down my things and casually walk out of the room and towards the bathroom. Inside, emotions are churning. I look up into the mirror: Why am I feeling so much anxiety? What is the big deal?

I take deep breaths and calm myself down. I optimistically tell myself, ‘This is a great time to write in your journal and parse your thoughts for nuggets of insight.’

An epiphany quickly follows: fight-or-flight. That’s what this is: the fight-or-flight response. Why? Why am I feeling such an all-or-nothing emotional and physiological response over what could objectively be seen as a minor quibble?

Connecting a few dots, I come to a conscious conclusion that has been unconsciously obvious for years: childhood.

I was trained since childhood to be fully engaged in fight-or-flight. The most vivid memory of my life is a scene that repeated daily: my alcoholic father, each step obnoxiously heavy, storming through the house — from the comforts of his bedroom, through the kitchen, finally reaching the top step upon which the family room descends — ready to terrorize my Mom, and by proxy the entire familial unit, in new yet predictable ways.

This occurred from, maybe, eight or nine years of age until my Mom finally filed for separation and subsequent divorce, when I was 16.

A few years later, at the age of 18, I would go on to replicate the constant fight-or-flight feelings by engaging in drug use and subsequent abuse. Marijuana and methamphetamine, the two particular substances that held such a tenacious hold on my psychological well-being.

Keep going, Adam. Follow the pattern.

How did I break the cycle? Yoga. And what’s your least favorite pose? Urdhva Dhanurasana. And what does that pose elicit? Cue Lindsey, right from the script: This pose stimulates the fight-or-flight response. Within it we learn how to breathe, and learn that we have a choice other than fight or flight: to just be.

I hated that pose, but you know what? I would, paradoxically, always look forward to it. Here’s your least favorite pose in the Series: make sure you knock it out of the park! Subconsciously I just knew this pose was the most important pose for me.

Fight-or-flight was my homeostasis. That became home for my brain. The brain does not discern between good and bad. All it knows is that I have stayed alive for 26 years in this world, and anything that has become embedded and made a lasting impression in my brain is something that must contribute to life. Change is what is unknown, and therefore scary, even if this change is “good.” For what is “good” if not life-sustaining?

Is it any wonder I have become an ardent practitioner of yoga, and exercise in general? That is a healthful way to retrain my brain: still eliciting the fight-or-flight response, yes, but in a beneficent manner.

Lo and behold, is it any wonder I am continually attracted to women who I then discover rely on substances for one reason or another?

To not reject or project these feelings I’m harboring
To not give fuck ’bout whose feelings I’m bothering

What does it mean that I keep running into this pattern of becoming quickly attached to a new potential love interest, towards practicing desperation? It’s a pattern that has been there since Day One. It has never been fully addressed; I have only become skilled at using it to my advantage.

But no longer. It must be burned away, purified and dissipated.

I’m not going to talk about Jill just yet. I’m not ready. Earlier I had a lot to say, but I’m not sure how much of it I mean. Take a chill pill and exercise patience.

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