Taken this summer in a parking lot in front of Home Depot in front of a sign that read “Parking for Veterans.” Veterans don’t infuriate me but the exploitation of the falsified ‘special suffering’ of poor people by those in power, does.

No, it’s not a song, though, as usual this over chewed thought was inspired by music. In spite of everything, or maybe because of it, I love to sing and dance.

(I like their name and some of their lyrics but don’t like loud, fast, vegan punk rock, in general.)

Quick aside: I’m sorry for the choked garble I purge into the digital toilet of the blogosphere. I’m sorry I called our sacred place a toilet. I’m sorry I’m not better in every way possible. Anyone else carving up a slice of cherry topped, shame spirals this post holiday…day?

Abraham says it’s normal for us to complain on our way to who we’re meant to be. More about him in a minute.

Post-traumatic growth theory, according to me, is damaging propaganda spouted by toxically positive, privileged people who want us to believe oppression makes us special. It doesn’t. Or maybe it does? Sometimes it makes them special. #bebrave Until we discover the them in us, it makes us exhausted, sad, guilty, confused and the occasional pet project. Just watch Downton Abbey. That show explains everything and in a much more clear and entertaining fashion than I may ever be capable of. Plus they have great costumes and accents.

I try ridiculously hard, as many of us do, to see the gift in every challenge, to turn all the crap into nutritive fertilizer and grow prosperous flowers which I hope to pass out at airports while telling every fellow traveler in this human experience; I love you. Namaste.

I even mediate. No I don’t expect bonus points from the universe, it’s just cheaper and safer than Xanax.

But that’s the problem. I try too hard.

Do less. Ok, a little more than that. Well, which is it?

I understand Buddhism but when I first started studying it, it made me so angry. Now it just makes me wish I could quit my job and live in a garden, minus the vow of eternal poverty and those 5am wake up calls. Ugh. Ok, basically, I just want be left alone to do nothing until whatever it is my soul is aching to express has the space to naturally rise up to the surface. Is that a crime? Maybe it’s not a crime but it’s probably a symptom associated with this semi permanent condition called life.

Me, meditating with a giant hunk of rose quartz, the love stone, on my forehead. Also, no filter. Meditation is seriously better than Botox. But I’m still a delightful, psycho-spiritual mess with a crooked nose.

Case in point: I couldn’t look at my own face for an entire year thanks to grief, social anxiety and the general bubble of weirdness that boatloads of trauma tends to caste around us. I stuff my feet in my mouth, in public (metaphorically speaking) all the time. Me to myself: What are you even saying right now?! I DON’T KNOW!

There ya go!- Dan Crohn

I used to blame my social awkwardness on my zip code but I’m starting to embrace the fact that it’s just me. I’m weird. (Because of trauma? Eternal, existential exhaustion? Honestly I think I’d be weird even if none of all that stuff happened and that’s fine. This is fine.)

Pretend it’s that cartoon dog sitting in the apartment on fire. I can’t use it cause of copyrights.

I’m not intentionally or maliciously inauthentic. Just an amorphous, mildly terrified, dysregulated puddle of cells trying to wedge myself into any recognizable hole of existence. That statement is a disgusting euphemism but I can’t even bother to spare myself from my own Ben Stillery.

Ben Stillery; Verb: the act of being so anxious you try overly hard to say the right thing, mostly to protect yourself from assholes and end up saying a million wrong things until you just want to unzip your soul out of the prison of it’s body and go far, far away.

Many of my best teachers have been Jewish. They taught me how to hypnotize myself, drive, choose a career path, set boundaries, find love, make latkes, connect with the deep, spiritual meaning of life, sing as a form of meditative self-regulation, own my shit and generally love myself and all of humanity. Catholicism gave me many gifts too but all of the gifts came with mountains of guilt, hours of servitude long before I had my own clothes, shoes or food, debt, indebtedness and a belief that suffering is an essential and favorable necessity to anything good. I don’t believe the source of all creation, which is pure live, intends for us to suffer. I do believe I chose my weird life so I could co-create something beautiful through whatever I’d hoped to both give and receive.

I’ve tried to live by stretching myself across the spectrum between genesis and revelations with layovers across all of babble on. This is probably spiritual self-extortion as opposed to yogic dexterity. I sort of understand why Ram Dass just ate acid and called it god. (Good? Good g-d.)

Theology aside, if that’s even possible; post-traumatic growth is a real thing but here, it’s capitalization is a destructive lie at best. It’s always been used by those with different kinds of power to manipulate those of us without their kind of power to go on serving them in the futile hope that one day all our hard work (and suffering) will be redeemed in some fantastical afterlife where everyone gets a mansion and ice cream has no calories. Well, f*ck that.

Food stopped being special to many of us lifetimes ago and who cares about a theoretical afterlife when now is right here and there are profoundly good life experiences waiting to be activated?

Yes, I know I’m no longer a victim of the past and I can choose but do you see these Stonehenge boulders? And the ones behind us we’ve already climbed? There were only three episodes of the Hobbit before that ring was finally toast. Aren’t we about done here? I AM.

I could’ve posed for Playboy and been financially free by now but my soul would be burning and what lesson would I have to offer then? Besides, I was fifteen and my trauma account was waaayyy overdrawn. Just like I thought then, how is selling my body a viable form of universal freedom? I want more for my brothers and sisters. I want a wide path to heaven, not hell. Where’s that map?

Getting Ready to Be Ready

I’ve been revisiting the teachings of Abraham (aka the medium, Esther). It’s a long story but basically this very nice, middle aged woman named Esther started hearing the voice of god and now she helps people manifest yachts, lucrative jobs or whatever other satisfying experiences they’ve come here to have. They say it’s all in our vortex. I listen, part as an objective clinician and part as a curious fly on the wall. I believe them and at the same time, stubbornly argue for my limitations. Arguing for our limitations is also know as telling our victim story and being overly familiar with fear and powerlessness. Creatures of habit. But at the same time, I know every single one of us were created for so much more.

I’ve prayed or manifested my way into and out of situations; I believe in the power of visualization, intention, prayer, channeling-whatever you want to call it. But I continue to question one of the very ideas I teach: Vastly Infinite Possibilities.

Who or what is at the intersection of free will and divine intervention?

Are we truly infinite? Does god ultimately decide our fate? Does society suck the life out of our good vibes? How do we stop that? Is self-actualization really possible for all of us? (Yes.) And if so, what does it look like? How do we do it? Now?

There are many people with sad stories who’ve gone on to do cool stuff but are they actually actualized or did they just figure out how to make a bunch of money? There’s a difference between having a lot and having it all.

Can we be awake and alive? Can we see, be and receive all at the same time? Are some people who seem to have reached the top, really just good at shopping? Are some people who seem to be floundering, really just banging their heads against the bars of an invisible cage?

Do you wanna know the very best part? I don’t know the answers. It’s quite possible, I don’t know a damn thing.

Except I love you. Let’s dance.

 “A piece of advice: if you’re caste on thin ice, you may as well dance. Do what you feel you must, but as for me I was not put upon this earth to subjugate or serve.Supporting Caste, Propaghandi