Do You Want To Know The Truth?

They sold us a dream.

We’ve been persuaded to try and buy happiness. We’ve been bamboozled into ignoring our own intuition and to blindly follow others who somehow know the “right” way.

These false narratives have been pulling us apart for decades and causing us to collapse on ourselves and each other.

The worst part is, we’re afraid to wake up. We’re afraid to leave the fairy tale behind because we just don’t know what’s out there.

We’ve been pulled so far from home that our dreams have started to feel like reality. But the longer we carry on this story, the harder it’s going to be to face the truth.

When I was 18, I remember thinking that I didn’t have to worry about my future because I thought I was going to be rich. I conveniently skipped over the “how” part. Oh, to be young.

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Just Forget About It

We think the world revolves around us. We really believe that everything should go our way. Even though we know better there seems to be this underlying idea that we’re in charge how things turn out.

I was driving home the other night in the rain and I hit traffic. I wanted to get home and relax, but reality said to wait.

We’re delusional sometimes. It causes a lot of unnecessary stress.

I decided that I’m going to start reminding myself to just forget about it. Whenever I can remember, I’m going to forget about my plans, forget about my demands, forget about my wants. Because they seem to be getting me into more trouble than they’re worth. Life’s lighter and more spontaneous without them and sometimes giving them up is a wise move.

I’m sick of running in a hamster wheel. I just wish we believed in the small stuff that could set us free, but for some reason, we doubt the power of simple persistence. We give up on ourselves too quickly and search for the big quick fix.

I pray we find a way to forget about all the things we wish for and spend more time embracing the way things are. We just might realize that what we want exists right here.

Air Fried Chicken

I saw an infomercial the other night for an air fryer. They showed someone frying chicken the conventional way which was a “sloppy” mess. Then in came the air fryer.

The opening line went something like “now you can eat all of the foods you love without the negative side effects”. Too bad that little machine is nothing more than a convection oven that’s missing all the fatty oils that set our taste buds on fire. So these so called fried foods aren’t going hit the spot like we wish they would.

We’re famous for trying to find ways around facts, but sometimes the good stuff comes along with bad stuff and that’s just the way it is.

I’ve been working on finding a healthier version of a chocolate chip cookie. I’d like to have a treat without feeling guilty or sick (after I eat 10). But at the end of the day, I want the real thing. The one from when I was a kid that was giant, filled with flour and packed with sugar. I can’t fool myself no matter how hard I try.

Desires are complicated and as hard as it might be, we’re better off shrinking them rather than trying to find loopholes. And if you can go cold turkey, more power to you. But don’t quit smoking then pick up a habit of kicking your dog when your stressed.

Getting what we want has consequences and when we know those consequences are going to be negative, we often try to come up with some way to lessen the blow. Like my knock off cookies and the phony air fryer.

But lessening the blow actually makes our desires stronger. We end up wanting the original thing even more. So my advice would be to notice desire as it comes up. When we’re paying attention and we feel our desires bubbling, we can recognize them and decide what we want to do rather than be swept away.

When desire runs the show we eat the entire bag of “30% less for the same price” Cheetos. When we’re consciously paying attention, it’s a lot easier to have a few or say no all together.

And when we screw up or give in, oh well. What the hell can we do about stuff that we’ve already done? Nothing except for try to do it less in the future.

Turns out life ain’t easy when everything’s right at our fingertips, it makes things more convoluted. But that doesn’t mean we should throw in the towel.

Except for when it comes to the air fryer. Give that up and grab yourself a real bucket of chicken.

The Only Way To Change Your Habits

Last year I set a goal to eat less chocolate. Then on day 1, I failed.

I went to work that morning and by noon I was face to face with the glistening golden wrapper of a Twix bar. I dropped 4 quarters into the vending machine and smirked as the Twix fell to where I could reach it. After that, I scratched that goal off my list. I didn’t think I could do it. Chocolate was my favorite.

That’s why I never get too excited about goals or New Years resolutions. Most of them don’t get achieved or accomplished because we carry along old habits and expect new results, which never works.

Setting goals is more than just writing aspirations down on paper. There are fundamental habits that we have to change in order to achieve something other than the ordinary.

But who wants to change their habits? It’s way too hard. The only time that I change habits is when I hit what I call a “mini rock bottom” and get burned out with whatever it is that I’m doing.

So our only hope is to learn how to hit rock bottom faster by paying attention and honoring ourselves.

I was finally able to cut back on eating sweets after my doctor mentioned that it was contributing to my anxiety. That was the last straw. I was willing to give up something good for something better. My anxiety was driving me nuts. It was a mini rock bottom moment.

I realized that I had to change the way I treated myself and my body if I wanted to get back on track. I had to honor myself. I could have ignored his advice. I could have kept believing my own lies and excuses, but I was paying attention and noticed that my nonsense was no longer serving me.

Sometimes we treat our desires with too much respect. We give them the power to rule us. That’s no way to live.

I wish I had better advice, but I don’t. When you get burned out, you’ll want to change. For some of us, that’s just the way it is.

Changing habits is possible, it’s just a pain in the ass. There’s nothing more challenging than uprooting our patterns, but it’s worth it. Cut yourself some slack.

It felt good to be able to give up chocolate for a while because I was back in control of my mind and actions.

I still suck at changing habits, I’m like a wave pool. Good for a while, then I fall back into to my old ways. You’re not the only one. That’s life.

It’s a slow upward journey. Things will change at some point, you just have to be ready for it.

Why You Should Say Yes To Everything In 2017

It was a cold, dark and windy weekday night. One of those nights that I dread having to make a late night run, but I needed gas.

I stopped at the pump, opened the door and began filling the jeep with fuel. I stood there and gazed at a patch of pine trees in the distance.

I started to think…It’s too cold out. When is this wind going to stop? Did I pick the slowest pump here? I wish I got better gas mileage.

Then I caught myself. Those thoughts didn’t seem to be helping me. It felt like I was rubbing salt in the wound. It was cold and windy and taking forever to fill the tank, but why did I have to keep reminding myself and wishing things were different? That’s insane. And we all do it, all the time. It cant be healthy.

I decided that it would be easier on my mind and body to say yes to the situation, since saying no was only making it worse.

I actually started to feel relieved. Like I didn’t have to fight the situation tooth and nail. I appreciated being able to experience the moment, minus the extra chatter.

When we say no to life we’re not only closing the door on our direct experience, but we’re also distancing ourselves from being able to see our problems clearly because our vision is clouded by incessant thinking and resistance.

2016 was a wild year. We can all agree on that. That’s why in 2017 we need to start saying yes to how screwed up things are. We can’t keep denying whats happening and arguing over opinions if we want to fix things. Shaking our heads and chalking it up to hard times isn’t going to help either.

Change starts with each one of us. On a personal level. There are things we wish were different and there’s nothing wrong with having aspirations. But in order to get from here to there, we have to accept where we’re at. Then we can drop our resistance, free up our energy and focus on creating new intentions.

Appreciate the fact that you see the need for change. Respect your deep seeded desire to see yourself and others free from all of this stress and suffering.

As hard as it’s going to be, try to say yes to 2017 and everything that comes with it. It’s what we need.

Happy New Year.