Day 25: Let My Love Be Heard

When time allows, I treat my students to some extra relaxation by playing the song Let My Love Be Heard by Jake Runestad.  This evening deserved such a song.  It sounds like angels but just before the end gets very intense with a very soft resolve.  Then, a thought hit me.

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I want my love to be heard even when I am silent.  Is it possible for such a thing to happen.  I’m standing there watching all these amazing souls breathing with their abdomens rising and falling.  I sometimes cry because of the beauty and weight of being responsible for these souls.  I certainly hope that they feel my love for each and everyone one of them without me even having to say a word.  If not, I know that in my heart that is what I was putting out there for them to receive.   

As I returned home this evening, I kept thinking about how amazing this thought was considering I could even get the concept of loving myself as recently as a few years ago.  I am love.  I love people to my detriment but this doesn’t mean that I have to let that affect who I am.  To be who I am, will encounter a lot of hate because the extremes attract each other.  

To know extreme happiness is to know extreme sadness.  To know extreme pleasure is to know extreme pain.  The more you run towards any one thing the further, it seems to run away from you.  For example, if you want to lose weight and you check the scale every day.  You are most likely going to be dissatisfied with the results and sabotage your efforts because you are focusing on one aspect of weight loss.  Eat less, move more and shake the head from side to side more often and that is the key to weight loss not eating something, working out and hopping on the scales. 

I am running head first into this love idea because it inspires me.  I feel that I have been the person that people need me to be rather than being myself more often than not.  I can’t live another day with feeling this hate in my heart for those that have wronged me or owe me money.  My freedom is priceless to any amount that is owed to me.  Besides, it’s not in my kharma bucket to hold.  

I learned several months ago that to acknowledge the fact that you have forgiven someone means that you have not forgiven them.  Distance makes some things much easier to deal with but loving all of the people in this world knows no distance.  

Day 24: Manufactured Reality

We have all read the quotes about making our own reality and seen the coaches and guides that challenge us for a nominal fee.  Quotes are nice but living day by day reading a quote doesn’t change anything.  Hiring someone to fix our problems or, as the modern world of coaching calls it , holding one accountable, doesn’t really fix things either.  Thinking about what we want our reality and what we want it to be, it shouldn’t be lost as to what is directly in front of us.   

From my experience, most Facebook communities turn into a quote-mill.  Some of them turn into a self marketing platform or lead generation for members of the group.  When I worked with Wake the Hero, we would look for potential leads in these groups to convert them into possible customers for the 12 Weeks to Hero Program.  That group turned into a quote-mill.  It yielded no change in anyone’s life.

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Hiring a coach is something that you can easily do these days but do your research before signing up and always make sure to have documentation.  Trust your gut.  Even if this person has the proper credentials, do some reference checks and ask if you could speak to others that have been through the same program.  If no one has been through the ciriculum run far, far away.  Take caution anytime you try to contact someone and an assistant is who ends up contacting you.

When it comes to manufactured reality just turn to most people who have over 10,000 Instagram followers or a Facebook Page with over 10,000 fans.  These people, excluding reality television stars, have paid for their likes, follows, or fans.  I have done this on a Facebook page once and the result destroyed the page completely.  The reality we see as users of these sites is that the person is credible but they may only have several actual followers.  Even reviews these days are paid or, on the grassroots level, the same person doing the reviews.

We often forget that the changes that we want to make are one different choice away.  There is no person in the world that can change you.  Change happens when we want it to.  Also, people never really change.  The fundamental part of who someone is will not change regardless of how much money we throw at it or try to change. Reality is what is in front of you and, in this technological age, even what your eyes can see can’t be trusted.  

Day 23: The Space of Dreaming

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Most of my life, I have been a person that has many things going on at one time.  I have done some pretty incredible things in my life.  I have travelled all over the world, taught yoga for the oldest yoga institute in the world and still take photography with a creative mind.  I have played and sang for thousands of people and have shown my artwork to people all of the world and still I have felt not good enough.

At the end of the day, it’s all dust, right?  I have been struggling with this for some time now.  We are told that we need to achieve this award or improve this so you can that.  At this point, I am ready to turn my dance card in and start doing something that makes a true difference.  I want to be a vessel that inspires people to live their best life.  There are no excuses and I have every tool need to make it possible.   

My entire life has been built on this reward system.  Now, my question is, ‘Why does it matter what I win?’  It doesn’t.  I feel my armor of needing to be incredibly competitive all time starting to fall away.  This means when I feel defeated, it is masochisticly enjoyable.  Also, now that the competition is not another person, it feels good to kick my own ass.  Like the other day, I was doing crunches and I have pushed myself so hard that my upper back and neck are sore.  

I am starting to dream about things I never thought possible.  Do I need to move back to the US as soon as Doug’s assignment is up?  Could be a yoga teacher on the beaches of Sri Lanka for a while?  Is it possible that I could be the one to reintroduce the Yoga Institute to the United States?  All of these questions have my mind on fire because anything and everything is possible.

When I start to have a dream attack, I have to write these things down.  Then, when I’m feeling my life isn’t going anywhere, I pull these out to remind me of where I’m going.  This life is endless just like the amount of possibilities.  I was put here on the planet to do something incredible.  I’m listening to possibilities instead of defeat.

Day 22: Happiness

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We spoke in class on the subject of happiness.  We talked about who’s responsiblility is one’s happiness.  We defined happiness in various ways.  We discussed what causes happiness within us.  All of the joys that we experienced during that one hour was almost like a key to a lock that I had been trying to find.   

Recently, whenever something has been bringing me down or immediately causes me stress, I have been taking a deep breath.  The reaction that this has is incredible.  Almost instantly, I am calm or detached from the emotions of whatever is happening.  Even in asana practice, I have been letting go when I start overthinking about how I am doing by breathing in deeply.   

Regarding work, a simple breath when noticing a repeated mistake by others or getting a negative Google review makes everything seem more manageable.  At times, two or three breaths is require to achieve this feeling.  I am brought into a present state of mind and the irritant is not such a huge monster anymore.  

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I am a dog lover.  My partner and I brought over 4 dogs from the US to our apartment.  Two chihuahuas, a puggle french bulldog and a terrier farm dog, my partner and I all in a 2 bedroom apartment.  It gets challenging at times to say the least with pottie schedules, food disagreements and muddy paws.  My animals bring me joy and they love me truly unconditional and there is a lifetime worth of lessons to be learned in that.  Again, a simple breath changes everything.

Happiness is self-generated.  Saying to yourself that whatever is happening is not going to take control of you is a step towards self-realization.  Saying happiness within is saying that you, yourself, are happiness.  This is just a simple way that I am improving my everyday life.  Inhale. Exhale. Repeat.  

Day 21: Holi

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Today was the celebration of Holi.  Wikipedia describes Holi as, ‘a festival that signifies the arrival of spring, the end of winter, the blossoming of love, and for many a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair broken relationships.  The festival also celebrates the beginning of a good spring harvest season.’  There is no other way to say love than to be surrounded by amazing bright colors and people dancing with endless smiles.  

Spring is my favorite time of year, flowers start to bloom and gray skies give way to blue ones.  It also helps that my birthday is in the beginning of spring.  People wait months for this time of year to resurface.  The celebration of Holi highlights this with an explosion of color. 

i went to celebrate at Juhu beach with a few friends.  We walked along the beach and it was absolutely beautiful.  People were strung along the beach running into the water and wishing everyone a happy Holi by placing color on faces and clothes.  They were al smiling.  Many people speak of the dangers of going to this area on Holi, but I found it to be very peaceful. 

In my experience, holiday is the highlight of the Indian people. They are vibrant in personality and bursting with love.  I had to have been an Indian citizen in a past life because I feel so at home here.  The chanting and drums are my favorite soundtrack while walking around on any given day.  

The Holi celebration should be experienced I by all people.  It leaves you feeling that you are a part of the large mass of people on this little spec in the universe.  It makes you feel like you are one with everyone that surrounds you.  Holi is the festival that, above all else, you learn to be loved.

Day 19: Pain

I have been giving my all in my asana practice the last couple of weeks.  I have never felt pain in some parts of my body before.  We are twisting, we are forward bending and we are staying in warrior pose. I have an unwavering determination that this pain will, one day, be gone.  But, will it?

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I look at life like this.  I try to avoid pain at any level because, simply stated, it hurts.  I have given up on personal trainers because their workouts make me too sore.  I have given up on people because they cause me too much pain.  I have let dreams stay dreams because going through the pain to reach them was too much   

My personal trainer used to say, “No pain, no gain.”   I used to call his sessions The Mahesh Torture Chamber and I wasn’t the only one.  I hate running so I would cheat and get on the elliptical instead of running on the treadmill for 10 minutes.  I would always opt out of upper body days only to be tortured by a whole body workout. 

Giving up on people and detaching from people are two separate things.  I have purposefully given on many people because the pain I let them cause me.  Most of the time, I give the person one more chance by asking them why they would talk about me behind my back.  Then, somehow that makes me crazy.  I don’t even care anymore what people say because most of the times what people say about me is a description of themselves.   

I have easily given up on dreams many times because of the pain I would have to go through to get there.   Who doesn’t like instant gratification?  I am now realizing that pain must be present to truly appreciate the dream that is being achieved.  If you look at anyone that has done something great, you will find that all of them had to go through some kind of pain to achieve their dreams.

While this realization doesn’t make the pain less, it does make the pain a little more enjoyable. Feeling the pain is making me more motivated and results in more pain.  I am learning the ways not to avoid pain but to be with the pain.  I need to feel my quadriceps in order to appreciate the definition they are starting to get.  I need to feel the grind of working towards my dreams to attain them.  The pain is going to always be there.  If I can learn to be with the pain, the process become more enjoyable. 

Day 18: It’s All in Your Mind

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Most people have found themselves during asanas practice falling to the ground because their bodies said, ‘I can’t do this anymore!’  Let’s look at this statement.  Your body said something or your mind said something?  Most likely your mind said it, not your body.  

How many times do we give up when it is literally mind of matter? When someone causes us grief in life, it is our choice to fight or let it go.  A failed relationship turns into a malicious cycle because neither on want to give up.  Maybe one has to have the last word or jab and the other seeks revenge.  The cycle continues on. 

How about when we want something?  There is the easy example of getting something out of the refrigerator.  The sofa could be 10 feet away and we have to make a conscious choice to get up, open that fridge up and grab a piece of that chocolate cake.  We could just say no and not let the mind speak for intellect but you want that piece of cake.  

On a larger scale, how many times have we done this with job opportunities, community leadership opportunities and getting the day started early.  We all know that the first thing you should do when you get up in the morning is get out of bed and start moving.  Yet, we will stay in bed, get on our Social Media, fall back to sleep and go through the same cycle over and again.  I have tried charging my phone out in the kitchen but I can’t seem to shake my addiction to Apple News first thing in the morning.  

Both examples require us to take some sort of action to get what we want.  Is it possible that the mind does limit our body?  What would happen if the thoughts in your mind stopped while you are just cornering around the 2 minute mark during plank?  Maybe most would be able to hold plank for 7 minutes like Cher.  Regardless, I believe that we are more capable than what our minds think.  Until I can make that chocolate cake levitate to me, I’m going to keep getting up off the couch.

Day 17: Rest

Sundays are usually a day that I get ‘everything’ done.  I rush to laundry, go to the grocery store and squeeze in my yoga/meditation practice.  However, this past Sunday was a day of nothing.  I slept in and take care of myself.  These past 2 weeks have been full of rushing to get this and that done and I felt that I needed to break up the repetitiveness.  

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I didn’t fill my mind with knowledge.  I didn’t read a magazine, book or Facebook post.  I rested my mind, body and spirit.  I did make food.  I made incredibly seasoned black beans and mashed potatoes.  Other than that, I didn’t even leave the apartment to have housekeeping come in.

Rest is important.  When you start to build routines or habits, it probably should be resisted to break the habits you are trying to build.  Following a rigid lifestyle doesn’t provide anything fruitful in your life. Having the freedom in life to let the river take you where it wants to is very important.

so, when you feel like your body and your mind have had enough, reward yourself by staying in your pajamas all day and not allowing anything to o to the mind that will stick.  Your mind and body will thank you for it.

Day 16: Vision

A while back, I had the privilege of meeting a float guru who travels all over the world guiding people through their float therapies.  This man had gorgeous long curly hair and a soft gentle voice.  He led me on a journey that I am still reminded of on a daily basis.  These thoughts usually revolve around the color blue.

For those of you that are unfamiliar with floating, you get into a tank of water that is mix with a lot of salt.  There is so much salt that even if you fall asleep you won’t drown.  At the Liquid Sanctuary, you are left with nothing for your senses to cling to except your own mind.  It is completely dark and quiet in your salt tank.  This is something very hard to come by in Mumbai.

At the beginning, the float guru told me to 30 very slow breaths and then do a full scan of my entire body one part at a time.  I was put in the Jungle Room.  This rooms floor is covered in grass and the walls look like you are in a cave.  I took my cool shower and got in the float tank.  I had floated about a half-dozen times before that so I knew the drill.

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After I got in the tank, I started the steps provided by the guru. My breathing slowed with every exhale and I eventually made it to 30. Then, I started to focus on the different parts of the body. This is where I started having visions. I would visualize each body part, take a deep breath in and exhale slowly relaxing that part of the body. I started going into the mind space where you are not asleep but you are completely inside the mind.

The color purple appeared first as a glow all the way around the tank. Then, the ceiling gave way to stars. I had to convince myself that the owners, Digant and Puji, didn’t put glow in the dark stars on the ceiling because that would defeat the purpose, right? Then, the most vivid hallucination I have ever experienced happened. This blue shining light/jewel came right in front of the space between my eyebrows or my third eye. I can still close my eyes and see this to this day.

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My float ended and I was ready to explain to the guru what I had seen. He explained that the blue color was symbolic of the importance I place on following my passions. He also said that it was so close to me because of the importance I placed on that value. These are very true in my life but how did he know such things I wondered.

On Wednesday, I was visited by the same stone around my teachers neck. I was so fascinated by the resemblance of what I had seen in my vision that I was distracted at times because I was sure this was the same stone I had seen while floating. Not only was she wearing a necklace she was also wearing two earrings of the same stone. Visited by the vision in real life had me just in a state of amazement as I left class that day.

Then, the following day our yoga history teacher, was wearing a blue Kurla and a blue bindi on her third eye. Now, I’m not sure what significance this has but I was completely curious as to why this was happening. I didn’t ask because I wanted to stay in that state of curiosity. Was I being reminded of holding my passions close? Was I being told by the universe that I am on the right path? I have complete faith that it was a higher power trying to tell me something.

The fact that I am conscious enough to be receptive and notice that these things are happening is astounding. I think it’s time that I float again so that I can see what new adventure awaits. My body feels so light and my mind is completely at ease after these sessions. Meanwhile, I’m going to keep searching the meaning of blue.

Day 15: Is the World Ready?

If you could wave a magic wand over your life and change the one thing that could make it all better, would anything really change?  It depends on how powerful your magic wand, or will, is.  At the end of this year, my partner and I will premenantly return to the US.  In a way, I don’t want to go back.  This all hit me this morning. 

I have enjoyed the comforts of being somewhere new and exciting.  I love being in a constant state of curiousity.  It is pointless to point out that life in Mumbai is slightly more exciting than life was in the Midwest.  Most importantly, I have grown so much that I wonder if the world is ready.  It wasn’t ready for me while I was there.  How will it be ready now?

I have dreams that haven’t even been dreamt yet.  So, how relevant is the world of Yoga to me right now?  It very relevant in this bubble that I live in.  Indian culture is very integrated in the yoga world.  I live amount people that you can feel their awareness of kharmas.  How relevant is the world of Yoga to me after I leave India?  Well, the real challenge will be sought when that happens.

I will have to combat the western thinking that yoga is only the asanas practice.  I will have to defend my way of thinking and keep true to my beliefs.  I will have to figure out how my diet will work in a world of processed foods and meaty dishes.  This strength will be up to me.  Once again, I will have to leave a land where the ocean and mountains are close by.

The region I come from has a stigma against different things like gluten free, vegetarianism and wellness.  When people talk about gluten free it’s almost like they blame the person for having the allergy.  Needless to say, the things that are so easy to come by here will be rare to come by there.  There are so many things that will change.  Since I know better, I have to do better.

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Day 14: It’s All Dust

While in class today, a profound statement was made.  The teacher said, ‘It’s all dust.  We all go back to dust, isn’t it?’  This is a completely amazing thought.  We come into this world as one being and leave in the form of trillions of particles.  We leave behind dust.

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Put this in perspective of our viewpoint of dust.  We dust our living spaces and discard the tissues that we use or shake out our dusters.  If this dust is so disposable, why should we take life so seriously?  We will all eventually turn into something that nobody wants around.  No?  I want to see your house.  We all tolerate and collect dust.

Look at your house in the sense of your life.  Is it all neat, tidy and dust free?   Do you collect people, memories or things?  These things are probably held to such importance that you attach emotions to these people, memories or things?  It is human nature after all.

Start to take notice of the things around you that you hold so close that if broken, talked about negatively or wronged, you would be shaken.  Do these things matter?  Holding grudges, disagreements and broken vases aren’t really Worth it in the bigger picture of things.  Does it matter at all?  There is so much freedom in that as the ego subsides.  So. Much. Ego.  Who are you trying to prove wrong?  Who are you trying to prove right?

It all turns to dust.  Those people, things and memories will all turn to dust.  So, if you are holding on to an emotion that disturbs you, is taking you off of your path or you can’t let go of, dust your house.  For those situations that the dust hasn’t settled yet, surrender to the dust because it comes if you like it or not.  After all, it’s all dust, isn’t it?

 

 

Day 13: Arguments

It is common in life to get into an arguement at one point in time.  Both parties are angry and eventually making no sense.  One person is right and one person is wrong.  However, both are right.  How many times have we done this with our parents?  I’m not talking about being annoyed at something a parent said.  I’m talking so mad you get to the silent treatment mode.  

My parents and I work together in the automotive industry.  We have 4 businesses that we work together in and sometimes it honestly gets messy.  I over-communicate and they don’t communicate enough.  And, I’m sure visa versa.  I include them even when they probably don’t even understand what I’m talking about.  

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With that said my parents are extraordinary people. I recently read an article that spoke to how when we are mad at our parents we are actually mad at ourselves.  This completely changed my perspective on an arugement I was having with my dad.  I constantly ask if there is anything I can do.  I hear nothing even though I know that there is a ton that needs to be done.  However, I t is not my place to just take control and do what needs to be done.  

My dad and mom are just as much a part of me as I am of them.  If you want to get scientific, my mom and dad are literally in every single cell of my body.  It’s kind of weird to think about at first but when you are 8,300 miles away from them, it makes the things we argue about a little trivial but so monumental at the same time.   We only really argue when things are stressful at work during times of turnover with employees or a heavy workload. 

The things we have in common far outweigh the things that we don’t. We are all three looking out for the employees first.  When a person leaves the business, I don’t think they realize how many decisions are based on their wellbeing and quality of life.  We have many times put our employee’s families in front of our own.  It is impossible to make everyone happy at all times but we try very hard.

All three of us, whether we realize it or not at the time, care very deeply for each other.  We don’t want to see any of us fail. We cry together.  We laugh together.  We have traveled together.  Regardless, of how angry you are in the moment, when you are mad at one of your parents, remember that that anger is pointed at yourself.  Above all else is love.  I miss my parents.

Day 12: Everyday is Your Birthday

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I wake up, most of the time, not to spite my partner as he would think it to be.  I am truly thankful to be alive because I have done some stupid shit.  Despite all the reasons of how I could have died, I have made it, I’m here and, today, I’m feeling fearless.  

When I think of birthdays, I think of celebrating, hanging out with friends and, generally, feeling happy.  Do we think nearly as often as we should about gratitude for just being alive?  As I have been thinking on this, I find that I’m not only thankful that I am alive but thankful for everything and everyone that is alive.  Gratitude and thankfulness for life itself.

Every night we go to sleep, we die.  We literally fall into another state of consciousness.  Every morning you are born again.  You can make new choices and become a new person.  You can be anything you want.

The fact that you breathe should feel like a gift given to you from someone that you will never meet or know.  Listen to music on full blast and sing until you loose your voice.  Laugh so hard that your abs hurt the next day.  Have moments where you have never felt so much love in your life.  These are all possible because you can create it.  If those are the things you want, you are those things.  

If you had the shittiest of days, go to sleep telling yourself that tomorrow is going to be a better.  Then, lay thinking about what it will be like.  Smell it. Taste it.  Feel it.  Dream about it.  Then, the next day, the very first thing you should is stretch your arms, point your toes down, take a deep breath in and exhale. 

It’s your birthday, yesterday, today, and tomorrow. 

Happy Birthday! 

 

 

Day 11: Diet and Dieting

There is a tremendous amount of stress around what we eat or what we shouldn’t eat these days.  Marketing creates a great deal of confusion for consumers.  Low Carb diets, high protein diets and paleo diets are all out there and people are actually making money off of you and your beliefs and disbeliefs.   

First, let’s start with the word diet.  Diet is eating in general so essentially everyone is on some sort of diet.  As a noun, according to Google, a diet is the kinds of food a person habitually eats.  As a verb, Google defines a diet as a special course of food to which a person restricts themselves, either to lose weight or for medical reasons.  So, there lies the difference.  One’s diet is different than dieting.

Most people have a goal or something they want to be dieting for.  Isn’t it interesting that most people don’t want to be dieting just for the sake of their health?  Unfortunately, not.  Even when a person achieves the goal of losing weight and feeling better, they don’t maintain the same eating habits.  

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Dieting is really simple on its face.  Move the head in a no gesture when offered cake, sweets or any food when you are not hungry.  Then, the food itself, keep it basic.  Don’t add the extra salt and butter.  And, keep to whole foods. If it comes in a box, it probably doesn’t have that much nutritional value regardless of what the deceitful packaging says.   You can get creative without having to bake.  You can create delicious complex meals by just letting food be food.

If it’s on social media it’s probably a fad that someone is making money off of by selling you coaching and books so you can look like them and have their lifestyle.  Most people can’t afford the amount of money that those people spend on personal trainers and chefs.  There is so much fake stuff out there.  How do you know what to trust? 

Trust that a tomato is a tomato and onion is an onion.  Get to know your local farmers and find out what they are growing.  Most of them are worried about their impact on the food chain and want people to be happy and healthy.  See if you have a local produce box or mealkit service in your local area.   These are great ways to try new things and be a part of the process and economy of food.  

My diet is mostly comprised of fresh vegetables and lentils.  I am not dieting and keep a really good physical regimen of cardio, exercise and yoga.  You don’t need a gym membership to go for a walk.  Heck, you don’t even need tennis shoes depending on where you live.  Try to think about what you do out of routine and start a discipline of being good to yourself and taking care of the one body that you are going to get in this life.   Most of the time, it starts with loving yourself.

Day 10: Questions

It has been a week and a half since I started the advanced course and my mind is burning with so many question that my mind is literally on fire.  I feel a freedom that is exciting but also terrifying.   There are so many questions from the meaning of life to why I do certain things.  I have really been enjoying my meditation lately.  The struggle of quieting the mind is fun all in itself.

My first weekend of a full week of school was full of presence.  I was present to all the people that attended the St Patrick’s Day celebration at the Lincoln House, the old American Consulate, in Breach Candy, Mumbai.   I drank but did not get drunk or tipsy which should have been really easy since I’m not a big drinker and haven’t drank since my return from Sri Lanka.  

I remembered the story about Ram Das’s guru not feeling any sort of difference after swallowing a whole fist full of LSD.  I didn’t feel my lips getting tingly like usually happens after a few drinks.  I wasn’t all over the place and obnoxious.  I didn’t get louder as the night went on.  However, I also didn’t feel any guilt for partaking in libations with my partner and our friend.  

I also didn’t feel I was above the others that were clearly enjoying themselves as well.  They were dancing, drinking and eating wonderful food prepared on a BBQ Grill.  I enjoyed the breeze that was coming off the ocean.  I enjoyed the beautiful lighting on the trees and main building.  I met new people and talked about our dogs. We talked about philosophical things like the happiness of people who have less.  We talked about the connections within Mumbai. 

Overall, it was an amazing evening.  The people were not overwhelming and most were light spirited and wanting to just have a great time.  While at a St Patrick’s Day event, I highly recommend drinking Ginger Ale, Lime Juice and Irish Whiskey.  I’m not sure if it was my state of mind but it was present the entire time and didn’t feel tipsy one bit.

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Day 9: Smooth Seas, Skillful Sailors

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We always think that life will be perfect when this happens or that happens. When do we never just sit back and think about life being perfect just the way it is?  A complete surrender of everything is very hard considering we are constantly told we are not good enough.  Our social media, cosmetic ads or advertising in general completely trigger this sense of unworthyness even on a subconscious level.   

Many have seen the drawing of what success looks like ideally and in real life.  On one side, it depicts success as a goal forming a straight line to the the end game.  On the other side, the image shows what success really looks like with all the of struggles and obstacles that it takes to get there.  The graphic is humorous because that’s exactly how we think life works.  We want something and there is a straight line in getting there.  

People die, illness happens or the goals completely change in our journey of achieving certain goals.  How do we show up to these obstacles?  Do we accept them as obstacles or do we accept them as part of our journey?  It is nessesary to have things come up along the way because life never pauses.  It keeps going, regardless.   

How many times have we needed to go to the grocery store for one thing and ended up with a cart full of stuff, ran into an old friend and discovered that we need gas?  This is literally every time I would go to Wal-Mart.   This is life, isn’t it?  There are no straight lines in life.  Everything is a wiggly lines that winds, bends, twists, turns and loops.  The thing that matters the most is how we show up to the obstacles.  

Do I tell my friend that I was just in for one thing so I can talk because I’m on a rigid, linear path?  No.  I engage in a conversation about their kids, their jobs or what is going on in my life.  Did I ‘need’ all of the extra things that I put in my cart?  No, but I happily purchased them anyway.  Do I get frustrated because my vehicle needs gas?  No, because how will I make it home with my purchases if I have no gas? 

Disruptions will happen and I will be distracted.  I am of a world that is made of distractions and they are large, heartbreaking distractions to minor distractions like a Facebook notification on my phone.  How much attention I give to them is up to me.  A distraction is just a detail along the journey.  Let the waves become large but soak up all that water.  You won’t forget it.  

Day 8: Throwing Stones

The first full week of class is over and if this is what the next 7 months is like, I have no idea the person I will turn out to be.  I contemplated on my morning walk home if there is a purpose in life.  If we have dharma, our duty, could it be possible that purpose really doesn’t exist?  This was a terrifying thought and also a relief.

There is a park next to a school on my walk home.  At the entrance of the park, a boy carrying a rock passed me and then I notice all these kids literally throwing rocks at each other.  My initial thought was that it is ironic that in the Unites States kids cyberbully other children.  Here, children try to stone themselves.  

Isn’t it what the world is really like?  You are walking through a park trying to avoid being hit with stones.  That the dilemma was in the fact that I contemplated if it was my place to say something.  I used to rescue people from their own situations.  I used to step in when it wasn’t my place and try to fix peoples’ circumstances.  I was raised this way.  When someone throws a stone at someone, who’s responsibility is it to warn, stick up for or protect the person who is receiving the stoning?

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In an episode of Handmaid’s Tale, Joan sticks up for a character that is to receive a stoning for trying to hurt a child.  Joan struggled with the humility but knowing the consequences of refusing to follow an order.  The entire group of people knew that this was wrong.  They in solidarity and everyone dropped their rocks.

Over the past two years so many things have changed within me, but many of the same traits remain.  I am gullible.  I want to see the good in people so much so that I will make things up to make them good people.  However, now that this trait is glowing in front of me, I have noticed a withdraw from meeting new people or engaging in social situations that don’t contribute something positive to mine and others’ lives.  I have even been distancing myself from conversations.  I have been asking people that I know that gossip if they are going to have a conversation or if it gossip because I simply have no interest in the ladder. I enjoy this inward space but it feels like I am in an identity crisis.  

I can’t but help make the correlation between these school kids and the people that would love to see me humiliated or destroyed.  I have thrown my stones as well when provoked.  I’m one of those people that are blindly nice until crossed.  After the first stone is thrown, I used to throw one back.  All of the people that I have been close to me have had a bridge burned by me or by themselves.  While I miss them, I know I’m better off without them.  

As for the boy that was going to throw a rock from the entrance of the park, I told him to place the rock down.  He looked at me and blatantly ignored me.  I told another group of children to stop it but they either didn’t understand me or couldn’t figure out why this complete stranger and a foreigner was interfering with their version of fun.  Rather than making a safe environment for me and the others, I was ignored and the world kept throwing stones each other.

Day 7: My Story to the Present

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When I surrendered to the negativity that was happening in my life some amazing things started happening.  I was asked to teach for The Yoga Institute Powai Branch.  I started teaching at Movement Sanctuary in Bandra.  I was even the Mumbai Times to promote a workshop I did, Unicorn Yoga.  I took over the Marriott expat group as Andrea returned to Brazil.  Everything started in place.   

After several months of teaching 13-18 classes a week, I went back to the US and surprised my parents. I stayed there for a few week but was gone from Mumbai for a month.  I explored possibilities of possibly living in Rochester, NY after Doug’s assignment is over.  I spoke to my parents about moving to our family farm preparing for our next project together.  Regardless of where we land our feet, my life is going to be forever changed.   

I have just begun to explore who I am. Although Mumbai is a huge city, I have been living in a bubble.  It will be very interesting to see how life is after this year.  My dreams are to do yoga retreats and teacher’s trainings in the late spring, summer and early fall.  I plan to teach at several studios in the areas wherever we choose to live.  I want to reconnect with my artist roots and start creating visual art again.  Hopefully, I can find a theatre group to start performing again. 

To even be able to think this way is incredible.  After all my training, I am able to create the life I want to create rather than fall into the same habits or traps.  I feel myself making progress instead regressing.  I know what is good for me so I am attracting just that.  I have cut out or stopped associating with the people that are toxic to and for me.  I have surrendered to the fact that it is not me alone that is going to change this world.

Creating peace for myself, my partner and my family is a huge step but a very important step.  I have related life to painting.  You start with the broad strokes and move to the details.  Not getting started with the details and stepping back to look at this ever-expanding canvas called life.  I am enjoying the blank void to realize that that is where creativity begins and ends.  Now, all I have to is pick up is a brush and start to paint.  It’s beautiful and overwhelming place to start.   

The beginning... 

Day 6: Awakening

After the dust settled of being duped, I had to take my focus off the actual act that was done to me and notice a pattern.  I constantly gave to others, causes and things without making sure that I had more to give.  I was a half-full guy with an empty glass.  In truth, I expected Wesley to give me something.  I'm not sure if I placed expectation on him to come through with his promises or if that should even be a reasonable expectation anymore of humans.  Is it toxic to expect people to be who they say they are or just let them be fakes and carry on in the opposite direction.  

I have wrote before about how I don’t need to fight every battle.  Battles are internal, external, close or far away.  They can be for great sweeping causes or for personal dislikes or passions.  However, what battles are worth fighting?  And, what battles are worth losing?  How do you handle yourself when you are right in every fiber of your being but are still put in the wrong?  Again, is walking in the opposite direction carrying that defeat toxic to oneself?

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These are questions I struggle with because at times it literally feels like the world’s problems are on my shoulders.  I had two friends that faulted me for this and, eventually, we stopped speaking to each other.  I can’t say that I do things because they serve me in a tangible way but I engage in these issues of society, families and the world because it feels as though I’m called to do these things. 

So, here I am on my yoga mat, crying my eyes out, because I can no longer give energy to these passions because I am empty, broken and hollow.  Was depression brought on by myself to deflect from something larger?  Is my anxiety used as a way to avoid situations or people?  I would say ‘yes’ to both.   I realized at some point that I was taking antidepressants, antianxiety and sleeping pills to deal with not was wrong with me but what was wrong with everything I had surrounded myself with.  This was people, situations and circumstances. I was poisoning myself to handle others. How does that even make sense?

I have a high standard of values and because of that I expected people to be of those same values.  To me, these were right and, to this day, they still are right.  The only difference is now, these are my values and no one else’s.  You can sell a lot more than your body to sell your soul.  You can be a chamaeleon in a group of people blending to adapt to their standards or you can silently be different, with a whole different set of values, and still be the same person.  

This has been a common theme of my life.  I no longer beat myself up for losing friendships, having confrontations, calling out what needs to be called out or for causing someone to think.  The friendships I have lost were going to be lost anyway and the confrontations that I had to have let me stand up for what I believe in and that takes courage.  I used to fight a battle, lose a battle and fall apart.  With this new sense of being or awakening, I fight a battle, lose a battle, reflect and say, ”Thank you, Next!” 

To be continued... 

Day 5: A Lesson

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Many followers of yoga say to find a guru.  A guru is a guide that you follow in life and/or spirituality. Some people choose to follow blindly and others follow with caution.  I don't follow a guru because I’m terrified.  I have a hard time with the entire guru thing because I'm fearful of being taken advantage of or guided down a self-serving path. 

You give money to most gurus to fund some sort of mission that usually has great intent.  My experience was horrible because I felt like I was completely doing the right thing.   Wesley Chapman, the son of Dog the Bounty Hunter, was my guru.  He had an amazing mission of helping kids that were severely abused and were labelled the same as him - unlikely to thrive.  

For most of 2018, I paid $1000 a month to talk on the phone with him once a week.   I had assignments and we followed a curriculum that was supposedly reviewed by Dr. Drew whom I eventually met.  We talked about my life story - the abuse, my fears, passions and the life I wanted to create.  In many ways he used all of those against me in the end.  I paid $1500 to fly out to Malibu and work an event called The Human Gathering.  I got to drive around the founder of Make a Wish and other attendees to and from the hotel to the event venue. I met Maggie Q and Dylan McDermott and the daughter of Rodney King.  At the end of the event, Wesley told me, ”You convinced me of your future.”

I thought I had finally surrounded myself with the like-mined people I had always dreamed of finding.  Then, the ’ask’ happened.  Wesley had me on conference call with his assistant, her husband and myself.  They invited me to join them in the quest to help kids all over the world through his organization, A Human Project.  This was only an increase of $500 more a month.  I felt so sure that I was so the right path that I, without hesitation, said, ”Yes.”  

After completing my coaching program, I was asked to come to ’his’ ranch for an internship.  This internship had nothing to do with Camp Human or A Human Project and everything to do with how we were to build a product for people to enroll in The Hero’s Quest.  I also was used as an assistant for an event called a Warrior Podcast Emersion.  Where people paid an upwards of $10,000 to learn how to start podcasting.  I ended up building a clickfunnel that made Wesley about $5000 off of two women.  This was a complete disaster.  I was asked if I was all in.  Later, I learned that ‘all in’ meant to leave my life as I knew it and move to Idaho to work for Wake The Hero.  There wasn’t actually ever a real coaching curriculum in place at the time of my coaching training.  

The call never came after I left the ranch as well as a reimbursement check for gas and a lock.  The Long Shot Ranch ended up being owned by three men - Wesley Chapman, Nick Long and Russ Perry.  All of them, in my opinion, are frauds.  However, after being strung along I was reimbursed with Nick’s permission.  Wesley was eventually kicked off the ranch and is now trying to use his family for monetary gain through a vlog where companies sponsor ads with Life With The Chapmans.   

Through research, I found that his ’story’ is just that - a story.  After several days of kicking myself around, I wrote an email to his dad, Duane, Dog the Bounty Hunter.  

 ”Duane -
I am writing you today out of desperation because your son has scammed me and others out of money.  My portion alone is $15,000.  I worked with Wesley to help build Wake The Hero.  I even spent a month at ‘the Longshot Ranch’ helping him write a curriculum called Hero’s Quest, later Hero’s Legacy.  I am a signed witness on his marriage license to Jodie Jensen, now Chapman.  I trained with him to be a life coach with my main goal of helping families reunite and become functional and thriving.  Wesley used my passions against me.  After paying him over $15,000, I was to become a certified life coach.  Since, I have never received a certificate.  I have also learned that Wesley cannot have anything in his name (businesses, cars, homes) because he owes the IRS so much money.  However, he is no where listed on the businesses but is the face of them.  I am contacting you given the fact that you are THE Bounty Hunter and you are also his father.  He is in a lot of trouble right now.  He is leaving his home because of broken business agreements.  He is constantly lying about everything.  I believe he is spreading lies about you as well now that I have come to know the real Wesley Chapman.  He comes across as your relationship with him is not important but it is.  I believe in his honeymoon he was to drop a book off at your house because he was going to close his NGO if he could get you to Warrior.  Again, after all this, I’m not sure what was truth and what was lies.

I’m at a loss as far as what to do, so I am writing you today to see if you could offer some insights or advice on what I should do to obtain a refund for this scam that Wesley has created.  I’m not a rich person.  I simply paid the money because the program seemed promising and aligned with my passions and dreams. Then, that was used against me to get more money out of me. 

I’m not the only person that is considering legal options and I believe that would come back on you given the way the media like to report things. 

If you have any insights or advice, it would be completely appreciated. 

Thank you,

Jeremy Eaton 

PS. I’m sorry to hear about Beth’s return of cancer.  If anyone can kick cancer’s ass, it would be Beth.  I send my regards.”

To my surprise, I received an email back rather promptly.  Beth ’Alice’ Chapman wrote back the following email shedding some light on just who Wesley Chapman was.

I’m very sorry to hear of your troubles .

There’s a reason Wesley does not come around this family. Wesley has tried to destroy his father numerous times . He tried to destroy his fathers website when we did let him come around  Wesley always borrows money but can never pay it back we have turned the other cheek when Wesley started talking loads of lies about his father to try and further his own career . 

He has 8 brothers he speaks to none of them his sisters do not tolerate him or Jodie as they speak bad things about his dad and me . I see right thru him and always have I do not let him have any information and I block his calls when I see him trying to talk to his dad .
He is not at all ever going to get his dad to come to any of his stuff ever we will not be associated to this garbage .

For example when we first got our tv show in 2003 he tried to go to the network and say that Duane beat his mother and abandoned him and his brother which by the way was never true his mother ran away with both boys changing their name to morgenegg Duane couldn’t even find them .. I’m so sorry you got duped but we have nothing to do Wesley he’s not a good guy

I suggest you do whatever you have to .

Again very sorry but hope you have a
merry Christmas
Judge a woman not by how she treats her peers but by how she treats her disciples.
Sent from my iPhone”

Wesley had all the right credentials, but this is how his family speaks of him?  He had spoke on Ted Talks regarding BioWorth & The Impact Theory.  He knew Gary Vanerchuck.  He had a passion to work with kids and save them.  It was very sad to know that although he really ‘knew’ all these people, he is a complete fraud.  He owes the IRS lots of money. He was using nonprofit funds to afford his personal life.  He refuses certified mail to avoid legal troubles.  All of his companies are in his most recent wife’s name, Jodie Jensen/Chapman.  This is so when it does come crashing down, he won't have to take the fall.  All of it can be found in the internet with a simple search.  I photographed Jodie and his wedding announcement for social media.  I was at their wedding on Long Shot Ranch Ranch.  I stayed with Jodie and the kids to protect them while Wes was gone to complete the Warrior Program.  I'm a signed witness on their marriage certificate.  It was all too crazy to comprehend not let alone find a lesson in all of this at the time.  The whole experience lasted about a year and a half.  

The lesson I learned was that not all things are as they seem.  Not all people that want to help people want to really help people.  Nick and Russ had the power to help me and did nothing but serve their own interests which is to milk people for more money disguised as saving or helping them.  The entire  Wesley/Warrior podcast scheme is based off of fraud by using some third party marketing team that is based in Asia to boost their rankings.  This is so that they can rank higher in Apple Podcasts. Their reviews are fake and it makes them a ton of money.  I had an ex-police officer tell me that he is owed money by Wesley and that he wasn't getting his money.  So, I wasn't probably either.  It was best to just move on.  So, I did.  I put out a lot of good work.  I didn't expect anything out of it yet the ’opportunities’ kept coming.  Sometimes, beautiful smiles that seem real are absolutely not.  Sometimes the beautiful backdrop of a Malibu sunset can be a turd that was polished to a shine.   

So, for those of you looking to follow a guru, do your research including some communication with their parents.  Be around the person - in person - before you blindly follow them.  Or, in my case, don't follow a guru at all.  If you are made in the image of God, then your guru should be your own heart.

 To be continued...