Once again it seems Completely Ordinary will not be making episodes.
Joey and I have struggled to make our schedules work but it seems it can’t happen for now.
I feel that the show and my immense efforts to making it happen have always felt off balance.
The Patreon account has been disabled but please make sure you are not being billed.
We will keep the youtube channel up.
I am unsure of what the future will bring but I hope it comes more from this new place in my life that I have recently started to explore and written about. I feel that the lasts few episodes are my best contribution to the show and the rest of them are the audience watching me struggle to get to this place that is not devoid of struggle but more willing to trust and have love in my life.
Thank you for your support and patience. I feel lucky to have had an experience like this. And hope to my find more opportunities like this one again.
Thank you to Joey for asking me to be a part of this.
This is one of my favorite Alan Watts clip I have heard. It describes lately the process of trust that I have been struggling to understand.
At some point we all desire to control things and produce a certain outcome. This clip elucidates clearly the mechanisms that are in play when we think we want things a certain way.
Many times I notice that life knows better than I do and when I really try to force my will and fears on things I suffer tremendously. It also does not help that we have models all around us of enforcing our will to be done as a means to being happy and successful.
The hardest thing to balance for myself is in accomplishing something that is true in my heart and allowing it to be. In other words I have trouble just letting IT be in the mystery of it all. Many times I want it to be something in particular and I want it to produce a particular outcome to quell my fears. But that part is becoming clearer to me everyday that that is not my job. My job seems to be is make the stuff the rest is not mine to govern.
When I divorced my ex wife years ago I thought it should not happen and yet it did. I learned more than I could have ever asked for about being in relationship by losing that one. And to this day that loss has served me more than I could have ever imagined.
Many times the hardships of my life seem cruel and unbearable but the longer I pay close attention the pain signals are teaching me to trust and soften more than I thought I could.
I will not lie these lessons are hard and not easy in the moment but to know that life is not against me can sometimes helps me open to possibilities that I didn’t think were possible and many times I see life is offering me grace and strength more than cruelty.
It seems I am being asked to love more than resist or hate what is happening. Not that life is a series of acceptances because it is also important to listen to the part of us that also says– “I will not allow this anymore.” But rarely do I listen wisely. Many times I listen fearfully and there I lose what is trying to communicate to me — to love and heal with a wise heart.
I have been working some very long hours lately. The last few months I have been making the type art of I have been wanting to make for a very long time. I have also managed to carve out a small living from it.
All of a sudden this week I have felt unfulfilled, unsure of my path. Fears about money and success started to creep in again. I felt lost and not at all resembling what I have been feeling lately in my life. I posted an essay that I took down earlier today that to be perfectly honest was whiny and petty– all stemming from the conditioned fear that brought me a false sense of security from disappointment and failure.
I took it down because it was an older version of myself that I realize no longer serves this new dimension I have been observing that is possible. I call it – TRUST.
My wife and I sat outside tonight looking at the full moon and she asked why I was so upset?
I told her my whiny story and she showed me that everything that I thought about that story was false. It was an old familiar story nestled in fear. And all of a sudden I began to cry. The cool night air hugged me with the moon shining overhead and I realized I doubted this intelligence– this wisdom that has gotten me here to manifest a loving supporting wife and a life that lets me do what I truly love. How could I?
I was ashamed and felt so small. I had taken the gift and taken it for granted for the last few days. My fear got a hold of me like it had in the past and convinced me that I knew what should happen next instead of trusting what has always been guiding me closer to my heart and the life I dreamt about long ago as a child.
Trust has been the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life because as a person that did not have an easy upbringing it was very hard for me to trust anything. I have always doubted everything and a few months ago I felt that pessimism and fear just fall away as I gave myself more and more into a type of self therapy through my art work. Things that I did not think were possible happened and then all of a sudden today I realized I was slowly going back into the old fear– the conditioned state we are all familiar with.
And in that very moment I knew what I had to do– STOP and fall into that trust again. This that is happening to us has an intelligence and when we are clear in our hearts life responds. And yes as cheesy and as ridiculous as I think that sounds I know it to be true.
A few months ago some very strange things starting happening to me while making art and it felt like other dimensions of reality were being revealed. I was given access to something I did not know anything about and there started my journey into this trust. It has been a beautiful journey filled with tenderness and joy that I had honestly never experienced before. But today for some reason I forgot all that and entered an old familiar way that “I” knew that it should be this way instead of that way.
I don’t know if I could get back to her, but I think so. The road of open heartedness and tender vulnerability is available but it does not happen the way we think it should. It has its own timing and momentum and all you have to do is make yourself available whenever it calls.
I am willing, blindfolded, and entering something that my conditioning knows nothing about. I do not know or understand it, but it was there when I was born and has been with me my whole life and because I was always afraid I blocked it out. It is also in all of you reading this.
My heart is open and willing to follow this light. When we trust and are willing to make ourselves an instrument instead of the subject of our lives amazing things can happen.
I have so much love in my heart and I am surprised that I forgot that for the last few days. I felt this intelligence smiling at me as I realized what I had done, and I bowed to her and thanked her. She has always been there and she waited all these years till I finally heard her call and I placed my life in this intelligence with humility and honesty.
For those of you that maybe experiencing a darkness in your lives trust that there is something there showing you the holy intelligence that feels uncomfortable, foreign and terrifying. It is a leap of faith! There is a tremendous surrender that awaits us and one must remain vigilant to its signals and how it communicates through coincidence, insight and tenderness.
This that I am communicating is not a gimmick or some trick to cheat pain but a service to our lives to be used for what has quietly been whispering in many of us throughout our lives and it is bringing us here to this very moment to see ourselves and what is possible for us in trust and surrendering to the truth and this love in our hearts.
Thank you to all that remind me of this light we have.
And an enormous thank you to my beautiful wife that has shown me miracles almost everyday since we met.
I have someone close to me that is going through a tough time. Last night I told him to call me but I missed his call while I was showering. When I got out and looked at my phone I felt awful. I tried reaching him but he did not answer. In that moment I felt that I had failed him.
In reality I know that life has its own mystery happening and of course I wanted to be there for him if he called, but he never did and I worried about him all night and imagined the pain of him having to go through all this alone.
Life has these moments where things are going terribly and to have someone by your side that says “I am here and I won’t let you do this alone” for some people can be of great comfort. The most interesting thing is when opportunities like that are missed, what then?
What is life telling us in these hard places in our lives?
Is life teaching us that no one cares? I think not. In that moment I think life is asking us, can we try again to be seen and share ourselves, if not with that person we are trying to reach or maybe the person right in front of us.
Life is doing things to all of us that we do not want. And sometimes accepting those things is brutal and coarse.
Is acceptance like this a choice?
Sometimes it feels that it is and at other times it feels that “THY WILL WILL BE DONE!”
It can feel like life is doing something with little care for the character we believe to be. In those moments I have found prayer to be a great consolation. In the darkest hours of my life I have asked for mercy and grace, to what I do not know? I do not know if something can hear me or even cares what I want or believe in. But the act of praying is a type of vulnerability that I think can soften the extremely jagged edges life catches us on at moments of hardship.
Whenever I pray something inside me softens and there I am shown that I am willing to go with what life is revealing to me. It is humbling to see at times that the thing we dread the most has no way out and it is here starkly staring back at us. There it seems life is teaching us to die to the many moments we encounter.
We will all come to our end, some of us instantaneously and others will suffer a long drawn out pain that seems terrifyingly unbearable.
Life can feel cruel and intolarable many times, and yes allowing everything as it is seems like a great possibility but for those like myself that at times can’t– then what?
Prayer seems silly and foolish in a world that sees that all of it may be a fairy tale. The idea of prayer in certain circles appears totally amateur and foolish. And I understand that view as well, those that do not believe in anything may be some of the bravest in our world. For how could all this happen without reason?
How can the death of our children be without purpose? How can falling in love feel to be the greatest gift and then taken away from us the in the very next moment?
Why is love so powerful and the loss of it shatters us into pieces that do no resemble the notion of ourselves at all?
This life is very very hard especially if you resemble anything like me, that is stubborn and foolish and sees tremendous beauty in the fleeting, in the heartbreak, and the joy that is offered to us in being honest with ourselves and those we love.
Life has only asked me one thing my entire life and now after more than 4 decades I am answering– Can you be yourself?
“Being yourself” to me feels cheap in a psych pop culture Oprah moment kind of way, but the question is deeper when we are faced with the things that seem unbearable. Can we tell the truth? Can we let life totally show us what we are in this very moment of tremendous hardship?
My answer is yes and that goes with a prayer that goes something like this- Give me the opportunity in this moment to be the grace that feels unavailable and to be shown that love is possible in the darkest moments?
There in that moment I die and truly live. In that moment I am seeing all that mattered and all the foolishness my life consisted of. It is the heartbreak we all search for and can barely stand to live. Life was bigger than we thought and more important than the things we carried. And it all happened just for us if we are willing to look and touch the truth we feel inside.
For the last few weeks I have been watching less media programming. I have stopped watching the news all together and gradually lessened my consumption of social justice documentaries amongst many other things.
The reasons being obvious that these pieces of information now feel like a type of coercion, manipulation and dare I say oppression.
I don’t think it is very obvious who is behind all this. I don’t believe the people that expose the evil doers of the world are totally in on this propaganda but maybe so. For my case in this essay I don’t know if it matters.
One thing that I see in constantly informing ourselves with what is wrong and who is doing it is that it is damaging to our souls and our personal lives. Does knowing what shitty thing Trump did today solve any of our problems? Are any of us planning a revolution or are we quietly stewing as the next thing is delivered to us in order to discourage us into living the lives we truly desire.
I don’t think the answer is to unplug completely but I think there is room for less information obsession, and there I see an opportunity that is revolutionary. If you can’t change the people in power can we change the way we live amongst the people that have it. I am currently reading Victor Frankl’s book- Man’s Search for meaning and I see that we have the ability to choose meaning and goodness even in the darkest moments. Dr. Frankl’s book is an account of him during the holocaust and finding meaning in the most horrific circumstances.
I think social engineers if there is such a thing have created a new brand for those of us that can’t deal with reality tv and gossip news. The brand for the intellectually minded is now all over the media as the “woke” generation and that will be another thing Nike or Apple will be targeting to us next, if not already. It is for people like me that can’t watch mindless drama, so instead we are given socially provocative documentaries and we are given celebrities like Jordan Peterson to wake us up from our slumbers as we supposedly get closer to what we want.
Now I am not claiming a conspiracy about Dr. Peterson. In fact I think it is worth the time listening to some of the things he has to share. I believe all these people have good intentions, but do the good intentions serve us after we have received their messages? I think it is necessary as we isolate more and more into our technology that we find communities that not only challenge our way of being but also encourage the parts of us we feel disconnected from. To look at technology and media as a tool and not a mode of being is quite revolutionary these days.
I have been guilty of watching one self help guru after another long ago because something still felt off and not right about my life. I don’t think the answer is to totally isolate but definitely taking considerate measures to what we watch and consume is what I am trying to do and I do see the value in some things that expose the underbelly of power and wealth and its insidious corruption. I do see that these documentaries can be inspiring at times to stand up for ourselves and to tell the truth in our own lives and there I find them to be extremely valuable.
I am experimenting with myself for the next few weeks. Can I just dip my toes and not become consumed by IT again? That is my experiment– what will become of me the less I participate in the propaganda machine that I am in love with…
Yes love might not be the right word but for me sometimes the sheer giddiness of the next horrendous story that finally promises to expose these crooked monsters that run our world is exciting and horrific all at once. I think for me I feel the rush of knowing the truth and that finally someone sees what I have felt in my heart this whole time.
It seems somewhat clear that I am going deeper into something I did not imagine or want. To be free of conditioning is like falling and it takes a tremendous amount of responsibility and self authorship to willingly go through it. I thought I wanted pleasure and yet here I am choosing something other and unimaginable.
Can I do it? What is left when I am alone for weeks without the next story to hook me?
Am I retreating into a type of isolation because the world doesn’t reflect what I feel inside?
The answer is I don’t know? But I am willing to try and see what happens and report back with my findings.
What are we all searching for? Maybe it is right here– our lives waiting to finally be seen and lived.
To know that we can live and stand on our own from all that we have learned is the gift we were all seeking it seems and here it is.
Can we do it?
We do not have to become monks on a mountain but we can become more responsible for the lives we lead and disconnecting from much of the content that is given to us in service of the truth is also seeing when “they” use the truth to fool us into delaying our self autonomy.
“Things are perfect just as they are…”
I once heard some guru say that and I remember feeling anger, fear and confusion. I did not understand how the enslavement and the suffering of billions of people could be perfect or just, or how crooked politicians and tyrants ignoring basic human rights could be anything like perfection.
I have pondered this concept for years looking for this perfection the guru spoke of, and to be honest I thought it was all BS till now.
But recently while making tea it hit me he was right! Everything that is happening is perfect as it is. What I mean is that I was looking for peace, bliss and satisfaction in this supposed state of perfection. But life is not like that there is struggle and billions of other things, and they all affect each other like that movie the butterfly effect which I have not seen.
Sometimes when we rest in a cool comfortable bed and the surroundings are just right it feels as if things are perfect but in reality they can’t be in that moment, because that is just a fleeting experience and those experiences just imitate a false illusion of what we learned perfection should be. It would be more honest to say that this feels comfortable and I have no desires but resting right here and now.
In that moment that I was making tea I realized that everything is happening and affecting everything and that our opinions and feelings are perfect based on what has happened prior to this realization and will continue to be perfect.
What this guru may have been pointing to is that all the horror, bliss, suffering and what ever other nouns, superlatives and adjectives we can think of are perfectly appropriate for the circumstance. And even the desire for things to improve are absolutely perfect as well, and even the desire to take down an oppressive government is perfect and dare I say the holocaust was perfect and children dying are perfect.
Perfection doesn’t mean it feels good or that it is right. To me it means that everything that is happening happens with reason and purpose from the multitudes of phenomena like Hilter being a mediocre artist to Tom Cruise being the greatest scientologist that has ever lived.
Life seems crazy doesn’t it? Doesn’t it seem like everything is backwards like we have lost sight of something really important? It is perfect because we have in many ways.
I think when I was seeking perfection I was looking for the ability to get what I wanted without responsibility for my thoughts, wishes and actions. It takes a tremendous amount of integrity, effort and honesty to be a responsible person in this perfect reality.
Look at the recent phenomena of internet trolls or even the concept of fake news makers these people that do these things want to experience a reality without repercussions or responsibility to reality and truth. They want to experience a life immune from responsibility in hopes that they can outsmart something that is supposedly billions of years old – reality and truth.
To me that is perfection and it all happens without any one individual making it so. It is in perfect accordance with natural laws that govern reality and has everything to do with the truth we all feel inside. And we are so lucky that many of us have not lost that ability.
Many times I live like if I throw a ball up in the air that it should never come down. Many times I expect such phenomena in my life to take place because I wish it to be so. I want things the way I want them without accounting for the multitude of things that are happening and what my real responsibilities are to that desire to manifest.
We want to be rich, famous, taller, skinnier, smarter, wiser and healthier– do we realize what has to happen truthfully for that to take place? Are we willing to take on such a task? Do we know how much effort and time all those things would entail to make happen?
So let’s ask ourselves what is not perfect? The way we feel or think? Are we sure this is not absolutely appropriate for this moment that we are experiencing? It seems that even injustice and horrific personal events do not account for the lack of perfection in our reality.
I don’t want to seem callous about the horrors I described earlier. Just because things are perfect does not remove their sting and that they don’t feel perfect is also perfect. But for me to know that I was only seeing it one very small way allows me to see a bigger perspective of the rolls we play in this immensity. And my heart breaks even more for someone that thinks– “Why did I have to lose them? What is wrong with me that I got sick.” Things like this will hurt us more than help us it seems, and seeing a different perspective can sometimes reorient us to something truer than the delusions we believe to be our reality.
I believe that what I confused perfection with was my desire for a particular outcome without responsibility or accountability for the natural laws of reality.
So yes, things are perfect but we still have lots of work to improve the things that hurt us, for even the desire for things to change is out of an innate wisdom communicating something beyond our current understanding of reality.
We were sold an idea long ago of science and logic to interpret our reality, but do we truly question the mere fact that we live on a planet (an atmospheric rock) in an enormous galaxy of uninhabitable space that exists with conscience beings that evolved from supposed single cell organisms from supposedly two space rocks colliding? Can we recognize how perfectly outrageous this reality matrix is? Are we sure we should conclude that it is all arbitrary meaningless chance that we are here and that nothing is perfect?
I have been recently trying to unplug a little more from all things that seem superfluous. I have even let go of some old friendships that no longer seem to be a fit for me. I say,”I let them go,” but the truth is the feeling was somewhat mutual but it made me reflect in my solitude recently about what friendship means, why I wanted it, and why do I need it.
I am not a lone wolf necessarily but I do spend a tremendous amount of time alone and I absolutely love it. I always have since I was child. I felt safe and I could retreat into my personal universe and there I had the world the way I wanted it. I imagine this is a symptom of many things and even when I see people driving and texting, or walking with their headphones on into traffic, or riding their bicycles with cellphones in hand. I look at them as if they are crazy, but truthfully I somewhat understand the desire to shut it all out.
I don’t think the answer is to retreat into the safety of aloneness but so many us have and do. The reasons are obvious. Friendships and all familial relationships have always forced me to feel and do things I did not want.
But why do things like that?
Why not retreat?
Partly because I secretly always knew that I was here to learn something and life was orchestrated in such a way for me to learn these things that I would eventually deem valuable and meaningful in my life. Lately I see an intelligence communicating in all peoples lives that is delivering a wisdom if we are willing and open to it that makes us grow to our fullest capabilities and some people listen and others insist on their habituated modes of being.
Friendships are a great lesson for someone like myself that totally wants to isolate all the time from the world at large. I have always forced myself to keep in touch with people that were in the periphery of my life. I thought it was my duty and to a certain degree I still believe it to be true. Just because I do not need constant companionship does not mean that some people should be abandoned or ignored or seen as inconsequential. I recently discovered how important my almost 20 year friendship with my best friend is. It is much better and sweeter than I ever realized.
In the most recent episode of Completely Ordinary towards the end of the show a light came on for me that illuminated further the concept of friendship. Joey and I are were talking about our responsibilities on the show I have always complained of having to do too much, but the truth is it is the way I want it. As we talked about this a light went off as Joey said that many of the things I value he did not.
I have always put more value on my relationships with people than was necessary, and added many superfluous feelings to my friendships because it made me feel good about myself and what I was doing with them. And I disregarded many people’s feelings because it served my fearful and protective narrative of myself.
In that instant in the end of our conversation (Episode 69 to be exact) I saw Joey for a second as a total stranger. For a few seconds it felt that I saw him for a second as the way he feels about himself. I saw all the meaning I had put on him for so many episodes. In a way I had shrouded him in my values and I was unable to see him for who he really was trying to convey. It was sad and liberating all at once. I had done this to so many people. In that instant realization I was delivered an enormous download and it took me almost a week to take it in and it is still being slowly understood.
It was awkward and uncomfortable like realizing you had spend the whole day with your fly down while running errands confidently, which I did last week by the way. These gifts of humility come with tremendous vulnerability that I constantly rant about. It is a gift for in that moment I take myself off the pedestal and find myself as I am, just like seeing Joey in that instant as himself. Joey was not this amazing person that changed my life and yet he did. Relationships are like a strange dance where we realize that all the meaning we apply to things serves a purpose and some of it is of great benefit and others times it is of great detriment and delusion for a self fulfilling purpose. It was beautiful to feel the truth of life staring at me as it is- not like I am special or omniscient but completely ordinary. It was nice to lose this sense of specialness and still feel the magic and mystery in all that is happening and possible.
To know oneself has to be the most sincere bliss one can have in my experience. We finally rest as we are and we see what we want from life, and we get to investigate if it is even possible to be such things. Life to me is an opportunity to further delve into the horrors and bliss we experience. It is all part of this desire in us to keep editing it or making it better or more special. It is humiliating in many ways because I thought so highly of myself because I was so afraid that I was worthless. I don’t think either one is true, it’s just like life always subtle, nuanced, more powerful, mysterious and vulnerable than I thought.
I gave all these ordinary people special powers because I needed to be special and I ignored their magic so I could be the ONE with it all in a sense. What a surprise that allowing people as they are into my life would allow me to see myself that much more clearer.
The concept of knowing myself is constantly expanding beyond what I thought was possible but it is more humbling than aggrandizing. It is paradoxical. The reality gets bigger while I get smaller and almost unnoticed even when I want to be seen.