You know what I love even more than writing?
Talking.

Ok, maybe that’s not true. Maybe I love talking and writing equally. I’ll have to think about it. Let’s see…

I love the flow of talking, the journey of arriving an unexpected conclusions in real time. Especially when you have a good juicy conversation with someone you connect with.

That’s what I feel I have with Tiger Singleton, also known as Tigmonk. He’s an author and spiritual … well, not teacher. Share-er. He shares wisdom and insight and the joy of remembering that life is a f#@%ng miracle.

Our live, unplanned, random conversations are about spirituality, life, death, reality, truth, love, and anything else you can think of.

SpiritualBullshit Image Final

We completely acknowledge that it’s all bullshit, and we might just be insane.

You can stream or download the podcasts on Tigmonk.com.

The most recent ones are also on Soundcloud.

And you can even find them on youtube:

 

So, I love talking.

Why do I love writing? Because I can spend as long as I want crafting the words. I have control. Not as spontaneous and vulnerable, but perhaps deeper and clearer, more concise.

Both have their good points and their limitations.

So I hope to do more of both. Continuing with the Podcast, and regular writing on my new website http://www.mayaliladivento.com (coming soon!!!).

 

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New Paradigm

July 1, 2013

I feel like I’m living in a magical new reality. Which means that I AM living in a magical new reality.

I’ve been wanting to share all these stories and I’m not even sure where to start. Things have been happening so quickly, flowing so powerfully, that I can’t even seem to put the words together to describe what I’m going through.

“I’ve never been so alive…”

 

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While I was living with a wise woman in Patagonia a year ago, I learned about Native American traditions and spirituality, and I learned about the meanings of animals. This wise woman had a deck of cards and book about Animal ‘Medicine’, as the Native American teachings refer to it.

I think that anything that we use to bring meaning to our lives can be helpful – it can be belief systems, astrology, religion, ‘signs’ from the Universe/god, synchronicity, even science (what we think of as modern “science” has really become more like Scientism – just another set of beliefs that makes us feel safe). Anyways, it’s all about the meaning you give to these beliefs, and if you use these ‘clues’ as part of your personal growth, development and expansion.

Twice in the past month while recording videos, I’ve been interrupted by Bumblebees.

Back on March 10, 2013, I was recording a video out in front of the Academy of Art, Creativity & Consciousness in Italy on a beautiful spring day. I was talking about life, about figuring out my calling/purpose, and about attempting to  authentically follow my dreams and intuition.

Cue Bumblebee. Later that day I googled the meaning of Bumblebees and meant to blog about it, but never did.

Then again on April 18th a Bumblebee gets right up in my/your/our faces/the camera lens. Ok, ok, I’ll write about Bumblebees!

The fascinating thing is how synchronistically aligned the symbolism of the Bumblebee is with what I’d been talking about in the video, what my focus has been the last month or two (focus itself, and creativity), and the lifestyle I’m living (COMMUNITY! If you don’t know, I’m living in a spiritual community in Italy…).

Key words:

Focus

Action

Creative endeavors (hello making videos!)

Community

Personal power

 

 

The following info was gathered from various websites:

Bumble Bees are focused, industrious, powerful, loud, and proud.

Bee is the ancient symbol of good fortune, joy and harmony. In the dream world, bee comes as a gift from Spirit. He buzzes about in order to awaken us into the moment. Alert and aware, we see that life is sweet and filled with brightness, color and light. Bee also teaches us to engage fully in our creative endeavors. The key is to focus with intention and to be single-minded in purpose.

The bee symbolizes community, brightness and personal power. Follow the bee to discover your new destination.

The ancient Druids saw the bee as symbolising the sun, the Goddess, celebration, and community.

ALL bees are productive, they stay focused on whatever they are doing and do not get sidetracked from their goal.

They hold the power of service. Their movement from one plant to plant represents the interconnectedness of all living things. It’s their drive to contribute to the common good of the community that is noteworthy.  The bumblebee is a messenger bringing the secrets of life and service.

If this is your power animal and your energy is scattered, the bumblebee can show you how to become focused again.

If you are stung, the message here is – WAKE UP! Follow the rhythm of your own heartbeat. Listen to your true self, your higher self. Heed your inner voice and wisdom.

Ask for bumble bee help when:

•          You need help communicating with other people.

•          You question if you are aligned with your goals in life.

•          You wish to heed your inner voice and wisdom.

Access bumble bee power by…

•          Extracting the sweetness of life.

•          Being productive while the sun shines

•          Pursuing your dream, no matter how great it seems.

The meaning of bees in dreams speak of:

•          industry,

•          action,

•          communication, and

•          our ability to consciously choose the results we want in our lives

When we dream of bees it may be an indication that we are ready to communicate our spiritual gifts, or perhaps we should more clearly recognize the treasures that reside within us.

 

Fascinating stuff. So I encourage you: look into those little clues that the Universe gives you. If certain animals pop up often in your life, or in your dreams, google their meaning and symbolism. These clues and synchronicities might be mirrors of what you’re seeking to learn.

 

P.S. Random Wiki fact: Bumblebee colonies are often placed in greenhouse tomato production, because the frequency of buzzing that a bumblebee exhibits effectively releases tomato pollen.

Is that not AMAZING??!? That a FREQUENCY can release pollen from a PLANT??????

Blowing Your Tiny Mind

February 10, 2013

Russell Brand belts out 38 seconds of beautiful truth.
Plus, the ending makes me shriek with laughter:

You cannot define yourself in reference to other external coordinates.
You must define yourself internally with you relationship with a higher entity.
Think of yourself as a manifestation of some higher thing
some higher frequency.
This is the visible realization
and you know that because you can’t see atoms, can you,
and you certainly can’t see the forces that hold the atoms together.
There, in the micro quantum micro world, Richard,
lie the answers to everything.

We can’t understand it with our logical rational minds
but we can feel it, intuitively.
Get yourself in alignment with that stuff
and you BEAM like the sun.

Jeepas creepas.

Yeah, man.

Yes, Russell Brand is a performer/comedian/actor. Yes, he’s a recovering addict. Yes, he’s a yoga fiend. Yes, he’s got long hippy hair.

But he’s also wise. Some people who’ve lived through much and suffered greatly have dug deeper into their souls, have gone through the fires that burn away the haze of normalcy, have moved beyond the assumptions that most take for granted and consider sane.

His crazy rant is a call to Wake Up.

To Wake Up from the illusion of physical reality to the truth of our divinity.

Photo by Michelle Perry 2013 Montemezzo, Italy

Photo by Michelle Perry 2013 Montemezzo, Italy

It’s snowing.

You know what I find amazing? That during the darkest months of the year, crystals fall from the sky, turning everything a bright, reflective white, filling the space and sky with refracted and diffused beams from the low sun.

Balance. It’s so perfectly balanced. Summer: direct sunlight, lots of it, hot, dry, colorful life. Winter: indirect sunlight, lots of water in crystalline form, diffracting and magnifying the little light there is WHILE storing water to saturate the earth in preparation for the dry, hot, lively summer.

It’s like a purification, everything frozen and cleansed and simplified, reduced back to its roots, killed even. And then from that cycle of purification and reduction and simplification and death, new life bursts forth in spring, fed by the death of the old.

Fuckin’ incredible.

Totally unrelated – A question came to me this morning:
Why aren’t there different species of humans?
Why is there only one species?

There are different species of everything else. Insects: millions of species. Birds: about 10,000 species. Monkeys: somewhere between 230-270. (More on the lack of exact numbers later).

So why only one type of humanoid living on this planet today?

It seems a little weird.

I believe a lot of weird shit. Spiritual shit, divinity, channeling, the Law of Attraction, the effects of energy and vibration. I’ve been reading more into the fringe lately – ie about the the Pleiadians. I’m not entirely sold on the story that alien/reptilian beings that are messing with the earth, though I suppose I do believe in other dimensions and it’s kind of silly to believe in that and not believe there are other beings that I might not be sensitive enough/capable of seeing mucking around in the affairs of this little, ignorant planet.

BUT, I’m not entirely sold yet. I believe the things that resonate with me as truth, and for now, that stuff doesn’t really resonate with me. That we’re all divine expressions of creative consciousness, yes, that resonates. But aliens and reptilians who have sinister plans… I wonder if that’s just not our fearful ego-based selves projecting and giving form to things our limited minds can’t yet comprehend in a way that makes sense in our mythology.

Anyways, one species of human. I consulted google. Obviously I’m not the first person who’s wondered about this. BBC wrote an article about it, explaining in a rather arrogant fashion that Homo ergaster, Homo erectus and Homo floresiensis all died out between 30,000 to 12,000 years ago.

One thing that gets me riled up is how scientific theory and hypothesis is presented as fact. We don’t actually KNOW. I think that scientific writing should be presented as such: THEORY. We believe, we imagine, we theorize, it seems possible that… statements of possibility and imagination, not fact. We don’t have facts. We have imaginings. We have stories. We have theories. The understandings of science is continually in flux; it is not a stable ground on which to construct our imaginings of reality and of ourselves.

Science is a story we tell ourselves, a way to understand the mystery of reality. Much like religion. It’s a set of beliefs, of assumptions, of theories. I don’t believe it should be treated as something different than religion.

Definition of Religion: an organized collection of belief systems, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values.

Well, science is also an organized collection of belief systems, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to the physical world and the Universe; but in an attempt to separate it from spirituality and moral values.

There’s a fascinating course from UCLA called “Science, Magic and Religion,” 21 lectures given over the course of a semester that discuss how and why science, magic and religion were separated in recent history, and the implications. I found it on the on OpenCulture.com (fantastic for curious seeker gluttons like us). You can download the course for free from iTunes.

I won’t even get into the politics and economics of our broken scientific system, and the paradigm-shifting multi-reality particle/wave/observer effect of the quantum path. Let’s ignore the placebo effect, and I’ll just touch briefly on the problem with the scientific method: the decline effect, discussed in this article in the New Yorker, which posits that “many [scientific] results that are rigorously proved and accepted start shrinking in later studies.”

“It’s as if our facts were losing their truth: claims that have been enshrined in textbooks are suddenly unprovable. This phenomenon doesn’t yet have an official name, but it’s occurring across a wide range of fields, from psychology to ecology. In the field of medicine, the phenomenon seems extremely widespread, affecting not only antipsychotics but also therapies ranging from cardiac stents to Vitamin E and antidepressants: Davis has a forthcoming analysis demonstrating that the efficacy of antidepressants has gone down as much as threefold in recent decades.

“For many scientists, the effect is especially troubling because of what it exposes about the scientific process. If replication is what separates the rigor of science from the squishiness of pseudoscience, where do we put all these rigorously validated findings that can no longer be proved? Which results should we believe? Francis Bacon, the early-modern philosopher and pioneer of the scientific method, once declared that experiments were essential, because they allowed us to “put nature to the question.” But it appears that nature often gives us different answers.”

Let’s go back to species. Seems simple, right? Like something science comprehends, something we understand, something there shouldn’t be any confusion or mystery about. Species.

How many species on the planet? “This number is very difficult to assess, but the discussed range varies from tens of thousands to billions.”

Tens of thousands to BILLIONS!?! That’s a pretty huge fucking gap.
As I touched on before, here are a few numbers of currently identified species (this number is given to change: 9,998 birds, 5,490 mammals, as many as 10–30 million insects.

We can’t even scientifically assess and comprehend the species currently alive, dying, and evolving on our planet, right now; and we think we can understand and explain a few million years of evolution of the modern man?

Or the Universe?

NASA has a daily photo website. Oddly, the image they posted on January 20th 2013 was of an ancient chunk of something man-made, dredged up from a shipwreck in the Mediterranean sea in 1901. It seems to be from the ancient Greeks. And it appears to be some form of an early computer.

Where the hell did this come from?! Thanks for giving me more questions, NASA!

According to our society’s currently commonly accepted scientific “truths” (assumptions) about the linear history and evolution of man, it’s impossible that this technology existed when it did.

From NASA’s site:

“Explanation: What is it? It was found at the bottom of the sea aboard an ancient Greek ship. Its seeming complexity has prompted decades of study, although some of its functions remained unknown. X-ray images of the device have confirmed the nature of the Antikythera mechanism, and discovered several surprising functions. The Antikythera mechanism has been discovered to be a mechanical computer of an accuracy thought impossible in 80 BC, when the ship that carried it sank. Such sophisticated technology was not thought to be developed by humanity for another 1,000 years. Its wheels and gears create a portable orrery of the sky that predicted star and planet locations as well as lunar and solar eclipses. The Antikythera mechanism, shown above, is 33 centimeters high and therefore similar in size to a large book.”

This thrills me, because it brings the mystery of it all into sharp, real, in-your-face focus.

What if everything we think we know is wrong? Everything we assume we know about history; everything we believe about ourselves? All the stories that we’ve been taught are reality… What if they’re wrong? What would it mean for each one of us, individually, in our lives? I love this because it calls in the power of our imaginations. It begins to break through the limitations and boundaries of what’s accepted. Maybe what we all knew to be true as children but were educated out of believing is what’s really real – Maybe magic is real, and science is telling the lies. Titillating.

This kind of blog is what happens when I wake up early and decide to spend the first half of a Sunday doing whatever I feel like doing, which also included: yogaing, meditating, dancing around to the remix of Ascension by Maxwell, making some collages in my Life Vision book using images of Greece, Bora Bora, and pretty paper, drinking some yerba mate, listening to the Life Visioning techniques of Michael Bernard Beckwith, as summarized by Brian Johnson, and periodically stepping outside onto my front porch to be dusted with damp snowflakes and take deep fresh lungfuls of frigid, snowy Italian countryside air.

I’m a Maker, Baby

January 19, 2013

I realized today as I was walking through the snow that I am a content producer. I love to make stuff, and I love to share. When I’m going down the path of fear, I just consume stuff I find online and regurgitate it on Facebook and Twitter; some people say I post too much, some thank me for all the inspiration I fling about. But it’s not fulfilling.

I read so much, I listen to so much music, I take so many many pictures and videos, I have so many ideas to write about, I have so much jewelry crap I’ve been dragging around the world with me and hiding in my suitcase.

When I can shake The Resistance, when I’m allowing myself to be led up the path of my heart, I’m creating.

I’m starting to unblock. These past few weeks I’ve been making videos, making mash-ups, making mixes, making websites, making jewelry. I’ve been singing, playing harmonica, playing guitar, playing my chicken egg shaker. I’ve been creating. I can feel the floodgates opening. It’s about time.

I wonder if the inspiration is coming from the snow. I’ve never lived in snow before, and it’s certainly conducive for keeping one inside… creating.

Today’s Daily Dose of Sanity from the as-named book by Alan Cohen:

“God lives in your heart. If you take your heart to church, there God is. If you take your heart to the woods, there God is. There comes a time in every person’s evolution when he or she must decide the truth for him- or herself. You are the one who has to live with yourself, and the closer you live to what you believe to be true, the happier you will be and the greater the contribution you will make to the world.”

Lone tree near my house, somewhere in the Italian countryside, Italy 2013

Lone tree near my house, somewhere in the Italian countryside, Italy 2013

I’m here!

November 20, 2012

I’m still here.

Planet Earth > Europe > Italy > Umbria > Assisi > Nocera Umbra > Ananda.

I’m in Ananda’s “library” with artist Mavis Muller. Mavis traveled from Alaska to Spain to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of an oil spill that happened in Galicia. She wove a basket sculpture in the form of a fractured heart, which was exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Vigo. The public was invited to begin to tie the heart back together with rainbow-colored ribbons, and the plan was to release the basket by burning it. But the museum was unable to secure a permit from the fire department to burn a sculpture on the streets of downtown Vigo. So, the fractured heart sculpture is being shipped here to Italy. On 12/12/12, we will have a community ceremony to burn the sculpture after Ananda community members have had the opportunity to add their own white ribbons!

The leaves have been turning here in Umbria the last few weeks. I’m loving the blazing colors, the brisk cold fresh fresh air, the smell of firewood burning.

This is my second autumn with the actual seasonal evidence (sorely lacking in Los Angeles), and I love it.

The day after tomorrow will be my second Thanksgiving abroad.
Last year I was in Argentina, and had a big fat steak with an Australian friend (click here for the blog and here for photos of the meal).

This year I will be having a vegetarian Thanksgiving in Italy at an Ashram with Italian, Portuguese, Greek, French, British, Croatian, Swiss, German, Canadian and American friends.

I love my life.

Coincidence. Synchronicity. Manifesting. Magic.

Lucky shot – stuck the camera out the window and took a photo of Assisi behind us, without knowing there was a rainbow in the sky!

Whatever you want to call it, I love it. I love finding evidence of magical creation in my life.

We’ve been taught that we live in a logical world. But we’ve been lied to. We’ve been taught that logic will keep us safe. But the illusion of safety keeps us limited, trapped, unempowered, and fearful.

All children believe in magic. And as children we’re encouraged to believe in magical lies – Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny. Eventually the lies are revealed, and we’re taught that to be an adult means to accept the fact that magic is a lie, and to grow up we must relinquish our magical powers.

Well, I think that’s crap.
There have been more, but here are a few magical synchronicities that have occurred in the past few days:
#1
On October 5th, I wrote: “Maybe I should take an improv class.” I wanted more laughter in my life, and I wanted to be actively participating in comedy, rather than solely consuming it, as we do by watching funny videos online, movies, etc.

The next day, I found myself in a Clown Workshop. A famous clown, Moriss, from Milan had come to the Academy to give a one-day workshop, and though I don’t have much interest in Clowns or Clownery, I had to be at the Academy to open the doors, so I decided to join.

The Clown had a red nose, white and black face paint, and strip of long hair on the front of his head that he strung through a toilet paper roll, wrapped around and rubber banded, giving himself an absurd, blunt unicorn horn.

The Clown spoke of love. Loving everyone you meet, looking at them with love, feeling it in your heart, having an eternal smile on your face, smiling at everyone you meet because you are loving them, open, fearlessly. He spoke of using the power of Clowning to break out of the normal oppressive boundaries of daily life, the dead feelinglessness of the people in cities, trapped, joyless, in subways and on busses. He spoke of learning to stop thinking and of learning to just feel, and react. Feel and react, without planning or thinking or worrying about judgment. Like a child does.

We did an eye-gazing exercise, a hugging exercise. We learned a few clown secrets, we learned the foundations of juggling. We did improv performances for each other, our courage bolstered behind the red clown noses we wore. It was, of course, terrifying for me to get up in front of everyone and attempt to make them laugh. But I did it anyways.

(I also told the Clown about Burning Man, which he said sounds like his idea of heaven on earth. Yep.)

#2:
October 8th was a grey and foggy day here in Umbria. I wanted to stay at home and work on some personal projects, but I’d told a few people that I’d be available at the Academy. So around 10am I packed up my laptop and put on my boots. It was cold outside, and the walk from my house in the countryside to the Academy is about 20 minutes along a lovely dirt road.

I stepped out the front door, and it was raining. Hard. I don’t have an umbrella, and I didn’t want my computer getting wet on the walk to the Academy. So I figured I’d wait for a break in the rain. There is one guest staying at Villa Gioia (where I live) who has a car. Briefly I thought: maybe he’ll come by and give me a ride! But he didn’t appear.

About ten minutes later, one of my roommates came home. She’d walked home and gotten fairly wet, but she had an umbrella she’d left in her room, and offered it to me. I accepted, ans as I stepped out of the house to make the trek to the Academy, a car I’ve never seen before pulled up. Aside from the occasional guest who has a car, cars rarely pass by the Villa.

The car stopped in front of me and a good-looking italian man rolled down the window. “Vuoi un passaggio?” Would you like a ride?

Why yes, yes I do.

So my new friend Gianluca drove me through the rain to the Academy.

#3:
Yesterday I skyped with my friend Captain Dave in Marseille, France. He goes rock climbing on the weekends, and I expressed how much I wanted to go rock climbing. I have been telling various rock climbing friends around the world that I want to go rock climbing for the past few years, but it just hasn’t worked out.

Today at breakfast, out of the blue, a member of the community here at Ananda walked up to me, and asked: “Do you want to go rock climbing tomorrow?”

Why yes, yes I do.

I know he hadn’t heard my conversation Skype conversation – no one had.

Believers in logic say that it’s just coincidence, a result of me looking for meaning behind happenstance. But if you have the choice, why not choose magic? We create the meaning in our lives, our experience is a result of our beliefs. If I can choose to experience and enjoy a magical life, why wouldn’t I?

As I was typing this today, sitting in the after-rain sunshine in the rolling hills of Umbria, Italy, a big fat ladybug walked up to me, and sat on my arm for awhile.

Which reminded me of this post about Life and Ladybugs that I wrote back in January of this year.

“Though small in size the ladybug is fearless. As fear cannot exist amongst joy, the ladybug brings a message of promise, for they get us back in touch with the joy of living – we must let go of our fears and go back to our roots, to love. We are also taught to restore our trust and faith in the universe, we have to get over ourselves, our egos, and allow life to take its course going with the flow.”

Magical.

463 Steps, 0 Pictures

September 25, 2012

Today I did something I’ve been wanting to do for 12 years.

I climbed to the top of the Cupola, the dome of the Duomo in Florence, Italy. 463 steps up.

For once in my life, I have no photos. I somehow forgot my camera at the Academy in Assisi, so the Radiohead concert, this week in Florence, and the Duomo climb are undocumented. Most of you know that I loooove to take photos, but it’s been a refreshing change to just be totally present for life instead of looking at everything through a 3″ screen. The world is more holistic.

I arrived at the Duomo at 8:15am in order to avoid the crowds. I took the bus from my couchsurfing host Dario’s house, using a trick he showed me – I bought a bus ticket with my cell phone. With my cell phone!!! What you do is send a text with the letters “ataf” to 4880105. It texts you a ticket and charges 1.20 Euros to your phone. The virtual bus ticket is good for 90 minutes.

I love technology.

There is no technology at the Cupola. No new technology anyways. Ie, no elevators.

The entrance to climb the Cupola is on the left side of the cathedral when you’re facing the front, and it costs 8 Euros. There was a group of about 20 dewy-faced German girls in front of me, and a Taiwanese woman wearing heels. She exclaimed over my Vibram Fivefinger barefoot shoes, as did a few other people I met during the climb. They all agreed that my footwear was the most suitable for the occasion.

We all huffed and puffed and worked up a sweat – I consider myself to be in fairly good shape but this was a workout. Not recommended for claustrophobics. It was fascinating being inside the sides of the dome itself – you could see the walls curving overhead within arm’s reach overhead – and there are walkways that ring in interior of the dome so you can check out the details of the frescos of naked people getting their skin flayed open and being strangled by pitchfork-wielding devils and demons. There are also depictions of heaven and cherubs and god and all that, but the hell scenes are much more fun.

Construction on the dome was started in 1420 and completed in 1434, making the Cupola 578 years old. FIVE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY EIGHT YEARS OLD!!! The Duomo (the whole cathedral) is even older, started in 1296. From the pavement to the top of the dome is almost 300 feet, about a 30 story building (no wonder we were huffing and puffing).

It wasn’t as windy as I expected at the top. The sun was still low in the east and there were few clouds in the sky. The giant shadow of the Cupola stretched west across Firenze, and I felt a bit bad for the people who lived in its shadow and probably don’t get any direct light until almost midday.

Chaotic harmony is what Firenze looks like from above. The colors are uniform – warm golds and yellows, umber and sienna and terra cotta. But the architecture is chaos. Hundreds – thousands? – of years of building on top of buildings, chopping down neighboring towers, adding on rooms and passageways. Done with skill and a strong aesthetic, but still chaotic.

I spent a long time up there, longer than the German girls or the Taiwanese woman in heels. I wasn’t taking photos, obviously, as I was without camera. I just absorbed it. I tuned into the presence of the city. I identified all the buildings I knew, and picked out the general area of the apartments I’d lived in on Via San Zanobi in 2000 and 2001. I stared at the towers on the hillsides I remember staring at and sketching in art class so many years ago. I watched the early sunlight reflecting like shining liquid silver off the Arno river. At one point my eyes filled with tears at a wave of joy and gratitude that surged within – the joy of being in Italy, the joy of this wonderful life. High up above in the center of it all, I felt love. I’ve loved Florence since I set foot in it in 1997, at age 18, and its consistent reliability, its beautiful lack of change, is reassuring, intimately familiar, calming.

And then the bells began to ring, all around me, from Santa Croce Basilica, from San Lorenzo. 9am. They rang as they have for hundreds – thousands – of years, as they will for hundreds – thousands – of years more.

Super Tramp Nomad Life

September 24, 2012

I wrote this post about four months ago, but like many maaaaany blog posts I’ve written, it’s been languishing in my Drafts folder awaiting further editing. Well, I’m in Florence now, and I don’t feel like editing – I feel like going out into the summer rain and getting some gelato. So that’s what I’m doing. Please excuse the unedited rambling, says the perfectionist.

May or June, 2012, El Huecu, Argentina:

One of my oldest friends has been traveling the world since November of 2010. The other day on Facebook she posted a photo of a beach in Sri Lanka, white sanded and turquoised watered, palm trees in the distance and a few puffs of cloud in a pale blue sky, a surf board stuck in the sand. The caption: “The view from my office; busy day.” Someone asked, “Your office? What are you doing out there?” And she replied, “I’m a hobo.”

A hobo. Wiki says the word “may come from the term hoe-boy meaning “farmhand,” or a greeting such as Ho, boy!… or from the railroad greeting, “Ho, beau!” or a syllabic abbreviation of “homeward bound”.

Writer H. L. Mencken wrote this:

Tramps and hobos are commonly lumped together, but in their own sight they are sharply differentiated. A hobo or bo is simply a migratory laborer; he may take some longish holidays, but soon or late he returns to work. A tramp never works if it can be avoided; he simply travels. Lower than either is the bum, who neither works nor travels, save when impelled to motion by the police.”

I’m not sure if she’s a hobo or a tramp. It’s a shame tramp has taken on a negative connotation. I want to be a tramp! Or do I?

Being a hobo has definitely simplified my life. I’ve let go of a lot of my possessions and I’ve learned that I can live with less and less.
I feel content where I am right now, with my life right now.

Though I’m the most content I’ve ever been, there are a few small things I still struggle with: I am still working out procrastination blocks, especially when it comes to painting and writing, and I’m not currently living my intention to meditate two hours a day – one in the morning yes, but that second evening hour hasn’t happened more than a few times. I haven’t rolled out my yoga mat since I left Buenos Aires (I haven’t shaved my legs or armpits either, which is kind of awesome). I’m also eating more than my body needs, out of avoidance and self-soothing.

But I’m practicing acceptance. I saw a quote by Thich Nhat Hanh the other day that resonated with what I’ve been coming to comprehend – ‎”To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.”

A woman that I met here in Patagonia, who lives on a beautiful remote ranch, was wondering – does being out here in the middle of nowhere make people crazy and eccentric, or are the crazy and eccentric ones the ones who are drawn to this kind of life? And I wondered – crazy and eccentric compared to what? Eccentric, ex-centric, deviating from the circle, not having the same center. The same center as society? And of course we don’t all have the same center – our hearts and souls call each of us to our own paths, our own hero’s journeys and personal legends.

This song found me the other day as I was laying on some rocks and watching the clouds:

Ella sings of the murmur of the cottonwood trees that you see here in Patagonia, brought to Argentina by settlers, the only plant around here that’s taller than two feet. Cottonwoods, or alamos, reach straight up, towering three stories above the flat desert floor, crowding around ranches. ‘Don’t fence me in’ could be talking about physically being fenced in, but I think what’s more poignant is the longing for emotional freedom – to not be emotionally and psychologically fenced in, trapped by the opinions, expectations and judgements of others; and by the internalized fears and limitations that have been programmed into you.

It seems to me that out here, away from the crush of the judgment and opinons of the “normal” world, people are able to truly be themselves. They’re free. They’re not subject to what others think of them, and they have the freedom be wholly, unlimitedly, crazily, eccentrically themselves.

Homeward bound, searching for that center within, our souls,

We can only be free by accepting ourselves, and loving ourselves – hobo, tramp, whatever.

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I find the worst things inmy life are my fears, my internal limitations that keep me stuck, that keep me suffering. The Buddhist word for suffering literally translates to ‘a stuck wheel.’ I am afraid, so I don’t do, nad then I paradoxically create the exact situation I was trying to avoid. My avoidance creates the suffering, the discomfort, the negative consequences I’m trying to hide from, that my fear is trying to protect me from. You are the only one who can fence you in.

“Las Unicas Barreras Son Mentales” Buenos Aires, Jan 2012

Las unicas barrierires son mentales- The only barriers are mental. The only limitations are mental. My only limitations are mental. I have created the sitations in my life that I don’t like, that make me uncomfortable. I am 100% responsible for the good that has come to me, the good that I’ve refused to accept, and the bad that has come to me. I’m like a racehorse. I’ve put the hobbles on myself and then wonder why I can’t run free the way my heart longs too. I wonder what’s stopping me, holding me back, tripping me up. Well, it’s me.