Monday, April 23, 2007

Tired of Happy

Can you be tired of happy? Ever been there? That moment where you're life is so on-track that you're not sure it should not be more challenging. So you add a mixture of office politics, naked bodies and public speaking. But still one's personal "Dow 13,000" lingers right there, almost taunting the repetitive nature of life's cyclical pattern. As if to say, "Sure thing, keep adding 50 points a day. You'll see how your 'calculated risk' pays off, you clown."

But still I keep smiling and getting up with my contract to myself. I am a free and intimate man, growing and succeeding. And so I do. Over and over. And then maybe you re-watch The Secret or re-read Manifest Your Destiny. You think nothing but positive spins on what once would have been negative thoughts. And you feel the success so much so that you plan to test drive the new car, you feel the sands of a tropical island where you'll vacation and you declare "Hallelujah" when the promotion comes through as planned.

It's all falling into place. But the journey is exhausting. Sitting still and letting life pass by without acknowledgment was so easy, wasn't it? Or was it possibly more exhausting but the lethargy was so all-encompassing that it wasn't as obviously present as the reality of expending energy on growing? Anyway, the new thoughts come as the journey progresses. The pressure in your head mounts to sabotage the master plan. The doubters shout louder than ever before. And all the naked pleasures of the world can't save you now. Only your mind can accomplish that. Work and work to fight that voice and continue to achieve.

So lately I've asked not what I want but more, "What will I do with all that?" Will I end up married to an 'artiste' who's retired on my dreams? Will I buy that same bitch a new kitchen, a new car, a new life? Will I live free to my inner core and travel and 'grow' in my personal development? Fine. All of those are options in a world of eternal success. But even without the crash, even if one is not tired of being happy, even with one's goals within a touch of being fully accomplished, so it's necessary to realize that we are not meant to be happy all the time.

What's that? No! Society told me I can be happy all the time, Gary. Well, society lied to you. Happiness is not a human right. EMOTION is a human right. Feeling is a human right. And happiness is just one feeling, one emotion. Sadness, grief, pain, and, yes, even neutral states of being are all other possible options.

So as much as I like to tell myself at times, "Fuck her bullshit. I will achieve complete happiness and succeed beyond my own wildest dreams" there are two fundamental flaws in that thinking:

1) "Fuck her bullshit" as a concept does not have anything to do with growing myself (happy or not) and everything to do with focusing on somebody outside my own self, my own ability to present my very best thoughts to the world. It's a temporary release. Has it's place? Yes. In my head, during moments when I can recognize that thought for what it is, let is pass by and move on. Because the true incarnation of "Fuck her bullshit" is living right past it with a smile of true content.

2) Complete happiness and success will come with focus and free thought. That's easy. How about something bigger? How about content and peace of mind? Which doesn't come with outward focus (see #1).

"I used to think that I was cool
Running around on fossil fuel
Until I saw what I was doing
Was driving down the road to ruin"
- James Taylor

I suppose as it approaches midnight and I'm supposed to rise and shine tomorrow with a blissful attitude (again, happy or not) I am getting to my final point that's stuck in my head. When all that success creates the excess that some force once told me I wanted, will I have the ability to use it for good purposes? Will I look beyond the fact that the $400/night hotels don't phase me anymore and see the grass is always greener so that next time I manifest my dreams they are real ones? One must know when it's time for bed. That time is now.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Spring Break 2007

Some people think that Spring Break is for children. I determined in 2005 that it's definitely not. As a matter of fact, I'd argue that kids have no idea what to do with a good spring break. They have no money, they have no stress from which to really 'let go' and they have no innate ability to gather together and appreciate time to smell the flowers (or the slopes). Nothing against children, but unlike Trix, Spring Breaks are for Adults.

This year I joined about 100 other folks from Rossignol, Quiksilver, Roxy and the like to celebrate "Project C", otherwise known as Rossignol's 100-year anniversary. This meant spring skiing. In a big way. In the springtime sunshine. In Utah. With beer. And demos.

We're talking 3 concerts, happy hour nightly, some good hot-tub gin and tonic moments, a few bail-outs into the slush, a day in Alta, boarding, skiing. Did I mention letting go? The photos pretty much say it all:

Utah Spring Break, April 2007

So what did I learn? After all, there's something to be learned in all experiences, especially those involving travel, friends and that feeling known as Rocky Mountain High. I'd say take aways from this 'meeting' are as follows:
  • Lesson 1: friends are necessary, spouses are not. Not to say that marriage isn't a wonderful institution (I've been there) but rather the 'escape' from one's own obligations is a key component of spring break. So spouse or no spouse the key to the good times during Spring Break are friends. I found this to be the case in my 2005 experiment as well.
  • Lesson 2: Spring skiing is phenomenal regardless of snow conditions. Really when you break it down skiing or boarding is about enjoying the outdoors, nature and sport. Wouldn't it make logical sense that this would be best enjoyed at 65 degrees rather than 35 degrees? Sure the snow gets slushy. All the better to fall down in.
  • Lesson 3: Alta has the best snow in Utah, hands-down. Followed by Snowbird.
  • Lesson 4: If you are going to fall down a mountain, wear a helmet.
  • Lesson 5: Flirting with the lead singer of a hard rock female cover band will result in a video of lips, breasts and...
  • Lesson 6: When "rockin' out" make sure you don't forget that the band does not matter so much as your attitude
That pretty much sums it up. For those of you who enjoyed Spring Break this year I praise your efforts. The Backdoor Man and Dr. Feelgood salute you.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Passover Thoughts

It was in my mind to create something special this year for the birth of a new spring. Not that the previous years were separately categorized. Far from it. But more that I had a feeling that more generosity of myself would result in more coming in. Lets call it testing a theory of Buddhism that I'd felt uncomfortable with in the prior month. Guarding myself? I don't know. I suppose I just knew that as April 1 approached that I could let down that which had been a shield against a force that is within me, not outside.

So for one evening 10 of my closest friends and family gathered at the place I am proud to call my home. And I fed them a meal I labored to make. We drank the fruit of the vine and told the stories of those before us who faced much more difficult situations than mine, than ours combined.

It's my belief that all I did was open my heart and choose to give freely of myself and the rest came naturally. Those who could at first not attend had cancellations and came smiling to my doorstep. Those who had been doubtful were quickly fulfilled. Those who came from abroad had expectations made into memories. Together we even managed to capture a few fleeting moments on film.

But the warmth that filled the house filled my heart and filled my head with pleasantries to replace the drag, the doldrums the awkward nauseous silence that had temporarily pushed aside the laughter.

Thanks to all who came. And those who wished to be there. You, too, were in my heart. I am grateful for this. I recognize the moment. I choose to be free & intimate. I choose to grow and succeed. So glad others can share that with me as the flowers are reborn and the sun gathers its strength for the coming spring. Happy Passover. Happy Easter.

Passover Seder, April 2007