Day Three: Devotion

Tomorrow, I will be flying to Phoenix, Arizona. While I am there, I plan to post pictures from the trip and blog about experiences. I will conduct audio interviews with my current girlfriend, who is a somewhat successful rock drummer, and Kevin “HotWheels” McGregor, my former bandmate in The Earps. 

“Our  bodies, our hearts, and our spirits must be totally concentrated upon what we want.”

-Chapter 3, 365 Tao: Daily Meditations by Deng Ming-Dao

I have succeeded for two consecutive days at waking up before 5AM. When you have many small bad habits and addictions, the general (almost cliched) advice is you can’t conquer them at all at once. 

My morning routine, sadly, going back to high school (and maybe even further back) is:

  1. Alarm goes off.
  2. Push “Snooze” button several times.
  3. Say “Oh shit!!!”
  4. Rush to get ready and go off to work, racing the clock to get there on time. 

My mother has also struggled with this her entire adult life too,  even now into her 60s. 

This morning:

4:30 AM: Woke up.

4:30AM-4:40AM: Showered. 

4:45AM-5:00AM: Folded laundry and put away. Wet clothes from last night into dryer. 

5:00AM-5:15: Coffee. Marlboro Black Menthol cigarette. 

5:15AM- present moment: Composing this blog post.

Moving on to morning readings and hopefully, 10 minutes of meditation. 

To be fully transparent, I am working on “Week One: Lesson One” from  Self Mastery: Personal Empowerment for Creating the Life You Desire by Dr. Marcus Chacos. 

First week’s challenge is to wake up earlier than normal, master that one, and add a challenge the following week. 

“Life changes require behavioural change. Behavioural change requires moving out of your comfort zone. This is the first step towards self-mastery. The best way to change your habits is do something differently.”
-Dr. Marcus Chacos

The history of my romantic life can be easily summed up in two words: 

“Jerry! Jerry!”

One of my own personal addictions is desire to get payback and “tell that son of a bitch!” 

Yesterday, my former brother in law, seeing my new girlfriend on Facebook, dropped a private message telling me how pretty my new girl is, and how we are a better fit than I was with his sister. 

I had no idea what he was really trying to say. 

I should have said “Thanks.”

Instead I told him that only a woman who doesn’t lie to me, sneak around behind my back, have drunken meltdowns in public, and run off with a married man is a good fit for me.

He liked to simplify the situation of her running off with another woman’s husband, causing a massive wake of destruction for several people involved, as “things just didn’t work out between the two of you.” 

I added some commentary about how I amused I was that his sister got drunk, started a fight with her boyfriend (and former affair partner), resulting in his arrest in front of the kids, eviction from his home for 30 days, order of protection, et cetera.

Clearly, I’ve been struggling to adopt the “Right Speech”part of my spiritual practice. 

This morning, another ex, from over 10 years ago, sent a long message detailing the major conflicts and struggles in her personal soap opera. As usual, I will not reply. I will probably receive another one next week. 

“If the level of drama drops below a certain threshold, someone jumps in to amp it up. Dad gets drunk, mom gets sick, Janie shows up for church with an Oakland Raiders tattoo. It’s more fun than a movie. And it works: Nobody gets a damn thing done.”

-Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

I could go on and on, with details of my exes. Embarrassing public meltdowns. One ex actually punched me for not taking her side in a fight with another Walmart shopper, and eventually left me for a heroin addict who stole money from her. Their relationship was ended by his death, presumably from overdose. Bizarrely, I was devastated at the time. 

Last year, I learned to recognize my patterns of codependency and left Crazy Town, but some of the old residents still phone me from time to time. 

I need to work on responses, or maybe lack of response. 

See ya tomorrow.

B.G.

    “Even harder is saying no to certain time-consuming emotions: anger, excitement, distraction, obsession, lust. None of these impulses feels like a big deal by itself, but run amok, they become a commitment like anything else.” 

    -Ryan Holiday, Be Ruthless to Things that Don’t Matter, from Daily Stoic.

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