Thanks, Dad. A Valuable Lesson On Letting Go From Beyond The Grave.

As an old guy looking back, I can tell you we all have the same vivid sense of elation and depression haunting every day that we live. Have we done enough — Why can’t we do more? Relax. There’s lots of time to work it all out. Take it as it comes. Don’t worry so much about where you’re going. Enjoy where you are. “Go with the flow and ride with the tide.”

-Grady Lyda

In the process of writing a long reflection on today being 5 years since my dad’s death, I decided to look up one of my old blog posts from 2013 entitled “Restless,” in which he wrote a comment I didn’t actually read until a year or so after he died. It wrecked me then, and it very appropriately wrecked me again today. For some context, this post was written when I had just started to pursue a career in animation but was feeling horrible because art already felt like a “job” to me, just from the minimal freelance I had done. I was feeling absolutely stuck, and I came to the stunning realization that I didn’t know how to balance my life and that something must be seriously wrong with me. HILARIOUS. I wish I could go back to 24 year old me and tell her “It’s ok, you’re just bipolar! Watch these videos! Read these things! Start working on it now!”

In that post, I mentioned this podcast about Andrew Forsthoefel, a 23 year old kid who walked across America, and how jealous I was that he had gone on a true adventure that changed him forever. I felt like I was missing out and wanted to see the world, meet new people and hear their stories. It’s not like I’ve walked across America, but I have gone on some serious life changing adventures since then. When writing that post, I never in a million years could’ve guessed that I’d get married in Hawaii, meet Mother Ayahuasca in Peru, or sail through Drake’s Passage and have a chance to cruise around Antarctica. I also really have met tons of interesting people all around the world with amazing stories who have shown me that living an alternative lifestyle is possible, and that there can be another way to live your life.

But even after all the life I’ve already lived… This wise message from the great beyond will always bring tears to my eyes. Because life IS overwhelming, and no matter how much cool shit I do, no matter how much inner peace I manage to attain at times, I feel like that pressure to do it all will never quite go away. That feeling of needing to rush things because I always feel behind. And it’s because we’re human. And we die. Everything we are inevitably turns to dust. His words are validating, inspiring, and enlightening all at once. Reading a message like this at exactly the right time is proof that my dad’s spirit will always be here to guide me, and a deep reminder of the importance of learning to let go and live in the moment. When you think about it, that’s really the best option we’ve got.

This is GREAT! I love your commentary and all the heartfelt responses you received. I heard the same “This American Life” episode, and I was also touched by his discoveries.

It reminded me of one night when I was sitting at a Winchell’s in Santa Ana in the early 80s, innocently drinking coffee and eating donuts. A guy in his mid-20s came in with a big grin wearing a cowboy hat, and he looked at me and said, “I just walked across the US, from the East Coast to California. Now, here I am!” I said, “Wow, your feet must be tired.”

He was a cool guy, and the crowd in the shop was happy to hear what he had to say. He represented all of us who listened to his stories. Everyone wished they could have done the same thing. Actually, many of us HAVE done similar things. Life is a fantastic adventure that never ceases to amaze us. We make plans, but more often LIFE leads us into directions we never expected. The best we can do is be ready for whatever happens. Always be prepared to “go with the flow and ride with the tide.”

You have a wonderful list of goals and I hope you can accomplish them all, plus many more you haven’t thought of yet. Remember, you are in this for the long-haul. You might feel desperate to prove yourself and experience the whole world immediately. I’ve felt the same way, and I’ve criss-crossed this country several times, and visited other countries as well. It’s a fantastic planet and you have plenty of time to explore it.

As an old guy looking back, I can tell you we all have the same vivid sense of elation and depression haunting every day that we live. Have we done enough — Why can’t we do more? Relax. There’s lots of time to work it all out. Take it as it comes.

On my blog about my life 40 years ago, my younger self is always fretting about how nothing happens fast enough. Of all the entries so far, maybe this would be of interest to you:

http://truetimetravel.blogspot.com/2013_03_01_archive.html

Don’t worry so much about where you’re going. Enjoy where you are.

My dad had a blog he called True Time Travel Tales where he archived this journal my aunt returned to him from a trip around the country that he went on when he was 18 years old. I always meant to read it but never got around to it because I always found myself “busy” with something else. Then, after he died, I felt so guilty that I hadn’t been able to talk to him about it when he was alive I just couldn’t bring myself to read it. But then at one point shortly after his death I noticed there were a ton of broken images and contacted the hosting site to make sure they got it back up. Now, years later, I still haven’t read the blog, and again there are tons of broken images. Upon clicking that link, I had a straight up panic attack. I started shaking and couldn’t breathe, and completely lost it when I found out that the hosting site he had used no longer existed. The first time I had got the site back up, I vowed to myself I would save all the photos before this happened… but again… never got around to it… and now they’re gone forever.

My mom has a serious hoarding problem that was awful to grow up with, even getting to the point where me and my dad wanted to see if we could get her on the Hoarders show. When I was a kid I didn’t really understand it… I just thought we lived in a messy house. But as I got older and started seeing the hoarding tendencies within myself, it became clear to me that hoarding physical items represents underlying emotional issues of not being able to let go and move forward. Fears of the temporary nature of life and the inevitability that you and everyone you love are someday going to die. I’m not as bad as my mom, but I do take thousands and thousands of photos because my memory is so terrible and I find myself desperately clinging to certain moments of my life and not wanting them to disappear. I often have nightmares about losing all these photos somehow — in a fire, in a flood, in a zombie apocalypse, accidentally spilling water on my hard drives… I know this actually does happen to some people, which Eddy would constantly remind me of and make me more upset. Until today.

Clicking on that link in my dad’s comment was beyond upsetting. I cried and cried and cried. In a way it felt like losing him all over again… losing these parts of him that I really truly wanted to discover, but again, being so caught up in myself that I never found the time. Familiar guilt and shame crept back in, and I felt myself grieving like I had in the beginning. I thought I had come so far and healed so much, yet the wound felt as raw as ever.

But then Eddy reminded me that this is basically like my worst nightmare… and now that it’s happened in this capacity, I should see that it’s ultimately fine. I’m still alive, I still have the memories of my dad, and life will go on. He also reminded me that my dad was never the type to cling to photos or physical objects. He was throwing things out all the time! In fact, the whole reason he made the site was because he had thrown out this journal years ago, and somehow a man found it and tracked down my aunt who had returned to him. Considering he was already sick and died 2 years after he made this blog, he was no doubt already feeling the need to reflect on his life somehow. He was never the type to hoard, and he was especially put off by my mom and would always try to throw out her garbage because he knew she never would.

When my dad died, I looked frantically for this journal because I wanted it so badly, but me and my mom discovered that he had already thrown out most of his things. It became clear that he had planned his death, and in the beginning I was super angry at him for not leaving behind any of this stuff for me, or even a note explaining himself. I suppose he thought I wouldn’t care… and it’s taken me a while to get over the idea that I should’ve just asked him… that I should’ve shown some interest while he was still around. All these familiar feelings of self hatred and regret came back today when I found out his hosting went down, until Eddy talked some sense into me and reminded me what kind of person my dad was. How he was never the type to hold onto things and wouldn’t expect me to either. He would want me to just keep moving forward and enjoying life…

So when I came back to my senses and actually read the post he had linked to me, I couldn’t help but laugh. Even though the image was broken, it was literally just a blank page. Just like life. Just like this moment. He said that he wanted to preserve the beauty of the page before adding his thoughts onto it. It’s just like him to make this sort of point… and I started to see that this is an incredibly important lesson for me to learn. Even though he’s no longer around, he will always be here guiding me, helping me break through these walls that are such a natural part of the human condition.

From the March 29th entry: ONLY THIS PAGE WILL HAVE TO SUPPORT MARCH 29, 30, & 31 IN THE INTEREST OF PRESERVING ONE SMALL PORTION OF THIS BOOK AS IT WAS BEFORE I MARRED ITS BEAUTIFUL BLANKNESS WITH MY THOUGHTS AND DEEDS.

We as humans can’t help but be so deeply affected by mortality. I felt so terrible losing these photos that I know he had thrown out. There was a time years ago that I started to try and save all the photos on each of his entries, but it took so long I couldn’t see myself doing it for the whole year. I also see that a bunch of videos he had posted have already been taken down… which really hurt in the beginning, but thinking about it logically… that’s just the nature of the internet. All this important stuff is just located on the cloud, and once it’s gone… it’s gone. This was a way for him to reflect on his life when he knew he didn’t have much longer in this world, and I have to just be grateful that he at least created this website and I have his words to reflect back on. And stop thinking that losing all of this was my fault…

In the end, all we are is dust in the wind. Just because these images are gone doesn’t mean he didn’t live a rich life, and it doesn’t mean he’s no longer my dad. Life is just a series of moments and experiences, and the best we can do is live in the present and enjoy where we are. And if something is important to you… don’t WAIT like I did, or it may be too late. I am so sick of waiting, of avoiding, of thinking “I’ll do that thing tomorrow” and never getting around to it, the weight getting heavier and heavier… JUST DO IT ALREADY.

A fantastic reminder for a 5 year death anniversary. Thanks, dad. Maybe now I can truly listen to your advice. Everything does indeed happen for a reason… lesson learned. All of this will be over before we know it. Perspective is such a trip.

I close my eyes
Only for a moment, and the moment’s gone
All my dreams
Pass before my eyes, a curiosity

Dust in the wind
All they are is dust in the wind


Same old song
Just a drop of water in an endless sea
All we do
Crumbles to the ground, though we refuse to see


Dust in the wind
All we are is dust in the wind

Now, don’t hang on
Nothin’ lasts forever but the earth and sky
It slips away
And all your money won’t another minute buy


Dust in the wind
All we are is dust in the wind

Everything is dust in the wind.

LISTEN, RESPECT, FOCUS – How To Connect With Your Soul

LISTEN
Listen to your breath.
This is your heart, your soul
This is me, this is you
And all that surrounds you

RESPECT
Respect the power of the divine light within
And recognize that it is also yours to wield
You are only a vessel
Allow me to propel you forward

FOCUS
Focus only on what lies ahead
And you can do no wrong
Observe the cycle, for it is you.
You are the universe.

Had a CRAZY experience when running this morning. I started off focusing on my breath like a regular meditation, but then the words Mother Ayahuasca kept harping into me during third ceremony found their way into me.

LISTEN. RESPECT. FOCUS. 

I realize now that this is a mantra! I’ve been saying it to myself, but never REPEATEDLY over the course of like… today I had to run 5 miles so I was out there for nearly an hour. Focusing on these words a strange thing started to happen… My eyes were being forced shut, similar to 3rd ceremony, and I found myself running with my eyes closed in a straight line for the first time ever. I love running with my eyes closed but I could never trust myself to do it for extended periods of time, but this mantra put me in a weird, trance like state where I was able to run with my eyes closed and messages started pouring in. The above is a paraphrased version of what I was told, but essentially what happened is that… I felt similar to I did in ceremony, being one with the universe, and so light like I was completely going with the flow of this “lifestream” the voice called it.

I was so amazed and grateful that I was able to enter this type of state that toward the end of my run I said “Thank you Mother Ayahuasca” and the response I got back was “I’m not Mother Ayahuasca… but she helped open you to me. I am you, you are me. I am your heart, your soul… I’ve been trying to get you to listen for so long… I’m so glad you finally did.”

I was shocked. I started bawling. What even is life anymore.

moon011919

This is what the moon looked like last night… never seen it like this before. It’s a preshow for the main event this evening 😀So excited for the Super Blood Wolf Moon eclipse! I can already feel it… some strange magic is afoot.

(We looked it up and it’s actually called a 22 degree lunar halo. Never seen this in my life… I guess it’s pretty rare.)

Another bonus — I just finished my daily Yoga With Adriene and the theme of today was LISTEN!!! How weird is that!!! SYNCHRONICITYYYY!!! 😀 And it’s also… ALL ABOUT LISTENING TO YOUR BREATH! YOUR SOUL! YOUR SPIRIT! She calls it your “heartsong” 🙂 Anyone can connect with their soul in this way, as long as you take the time to listen. Gosh I love Adriene so much… totally affirmed what happened this morning. The universe is a strange and beautiful place. I’m glad I can finally see it for what it is…

Just As The Night Falls, The Sun Rises

Just as the night falls, the sun rises

Rays of light blanketing the earth

Reminding us that the new day

Holds boundless potential for growth

Daring us to gaze upon the limitless beauty

Deep within our soul

5022457-sunrise-nature-trees
Wish I had my phone to take a pic of the ACTUAL sunrise… but like Mother Aya says “The best camera is your mind” Sigh.

Wow. I can’t even believe how much I’ve been learning lately. I also am so ashamed that I dared to think the ayahuasca was messing me up due to my bipolar diagnosis the other day. Really… it’s helped me in ways I could’ve never even imagined, and I shudder to think about the trajectory of my life if I never made the choice to go to Peru. No joke… I would’ve most likely killed myself — A very valid fear which is totally GONE now. HAPPY TO SAY! 😀 Hehe!

But I can’t go too deep into this right now. All I can say is… I have been taught such valuable lessons since my previous post. It reminds me of this article, The Yin-Yang of Fortune and Misfortune: Alan Watts on the Art of Learning Not to Think in Terms of Gain and Loss. Alan Watts and I share a birthday btw… which became known to me when Drew shared this on FB… on my bday. BAM SYNCHRONICITY.

“The whole process of nature is an integrated process of immense complexity, and it’s really impossible to tell whether anything that happens in it is good or bad.” -Alan Watts

Synchronicity really is the key word here. Another thing that Drew shared with me recently was this documentary about channeling that he had mentioned at Dreamglade, but we never got to watch. When I had my “episode” the other night, I wanted so badly to ask for help, but instead something told me to ask for the documentary instead, as well as the Tibetan mantras he would do during breathing and ceremony.

And holy shit was I rewarded for trusting myself.

This documentary changed my life. I actually want to do an entire post about this but again, GOTTA GO TO WORK. So here’s a link to it instead!

It’s amazing though how, everything I wanted to gush to Drew about, I got answers to from this documentary. Essentially one of the biggest messages that I came out of it with is that, the more we’re able to open ourselves up to messages from the higher powers, the more we’re able to harness the power of the soul and our lives begin to change. One of the women in it talks about how when we ask for something from the universe, it’s like putting in an “order” that we can’t expect to be fulfilled right away, or in any way we expect. We begin to think we don’t deserve it and get discouraged, but then that changes our frequency to where we can no longer accept, or even “see” the answer. If we open ourselves to abundance, we are rewarded with acts of synchronicity, that lead us in the right direction. Remind us that we’re on the right path, and give us everything we’ve ever dreamed of.

Yesterday I watched this documentary 3 times in a row, and it boosted my mood so much… and now that I think about it I’m assuming that also means it boosted my “frequency.”

Then THIS MORNING when I went to do Yoga with Adriene, I was so pleased to see that the theme of today was “DIVINE,” and it was about CHANNELING THE DIVINE YOU.

WTFFFF!!!!! SYNCHRONICITTTTYYY~~~~

Adriene is seriously the best — I love how she turns these concepts that could so easily turn off a lot of people into something practical. Totally inspiring to what I want to eventually turn this blog into 🙂 Because really… all “channeling” is, is learning how to trust yourself. As Adriene says “focus on BEING not DOING,” or “trust your gut” or “process not product.” And in Women Who Run With Wolves it’s described as “ego apertures” or the “crack between worlds.”

THIS POST IS GETTING TOO LONG AND I STILL NEED TO SHOWER AND MAKE LUNCH GAH!

OK REAL QUICK!!!

My original plan was to go running after yoga, but as I was going to put my socks on, my journal on my super messy desk called to me and made me do some automatic writing. I’ve been meaning to draw/write/paint/create SO BAD since coming back from Peru, but really… my messy room turns me off and has become an excuse. And that’s basically what my soul was screaming at me… TO STOP USING IT AS AN EXCUSE AND CREATE ANYWAY!!!

It made me set a 20 min timer on my phone so that I could go run at 6am, but I stopped writing before the 20 min was up because after the journal entry, I was compelled to do an automatic post it drawing in the “scribble style” Christie was explaining to me the other day. What came out was super interesting and unexpected, and although I don’t know what it means, it was at the request of my soul so… whatever. I was able to accept it.

Then, as I went to finally go running, Eddy knocked on my door. It was so early and I was surprised he was up already, so I asked “Did you have a nightmare?” and he said “Yes…” and he told me about his super horrific nightmare that I won’t go into but basically he accidentally set fire to a building and it ended up becoming like 9/11 and he killed a ton of people, including children, and was struggling to apologize and it was the worst ever.

Since I’ve come back to Peru, Eddy has been going through a CRAZY transformation which I ALSO have been wanting to write about but holy crap there’s just TOO MUCH TO WRITE ABOUT. So much potential for growth EVERY SINGLE DAY and it’s been happening… INSANE. But yeah essentially, he’s really been taking in the information I’ve returned with and it’s broken open this door to spirituality within him, and I think it’s made him ALSO really sensitive to signs and synchronicity.

Last week he was really shaken up because our dog Han just randomly ran into the street in a sort of…freak accident sorta way. One of the other puppies in the dog group we go to ended up rushing out after him, and they both almost died. However, he was the only one who saw how close a car came to hitting the other dog, and he hated to think about what would’ve happened if Han’s actions had caused that death, and how that other dog’s owner would’ve felt for him not keeping Han on his leash.

He took this as a sign that he needs to finally grow up and start taking more seriously… being more responsible… there’s SO MUCH here because there was so much crazy character development that happened that day I could write a full post on that too… but yeah. That was just last week and he was so driven for like a day or two, but again fell into bad habits.

So last night, he ended up playing a mobile game into the night, which is his ULTIMATE bad habit (seriously, he had to get a safe for me to put his videogames in so he could do some work), and he says that this nightmare he had was ANOTHER reminder to him, in a similar vein to Han almost dying, that he really needs to get his shit together.

Again… SYNCHRONICITY. I was blown away by how everything worked out so perfectly this morning. If I had gone to run right after yoga, I wouldn’t have been able to be there for Eddy to talk to him about his nightmare. And not only that, I realized that we’ve been going through such similar stuff… wanting to change our bad habits but not being able to. He was scolded in the form of a nightmare, and I was scolded in the form of my soul literally yelling at me in my journal and forcing me to take the time to do the automatic drawing that I’ve been putting off for a couple days. (Seriously Elora, Christie took the time to teach you that scribble game shit and blow your mind and you still haven’t done it.)

I’m constantly getting messages to SLOW DOWN, from Mother Ayahuasca, Eddy, Christie, Adriene… but today it really started to sink in. If I hadn’t slowed down this morning… I wouldn’t have given my soul the time to speak… and I’m really starting to see how much of a tragedy that is.

I ended up going on my run way later than intended, but was rewarded with SUCH a beautiful sunrise that sparked the poem above! If I went running at 5:30am like I was GOING to, I would’ve missed it! And I feel like that sunrise also taught me so much… Shining through the darkness of the other night.

SO MUCH SYNCHRONICITY!!! Such a magical morning… thank you so much, Universe 🙂 I’ll be listening more from now on.