Hard work, good intentions, positive energy and a bit of help and trust in others really does produce more wealth than money. That is all. - A. Johnny
Brothers and sisters, sisters and brothers,
My previous blog posts have been rather dreary, but if you have read, then you will know that they do not come without purpose or reason. I do think these times have challenged me in a necessary and very time-relevant manner in order for me to grow and develop what parts of my life were lacking at this present time. Thanks for your support and for all of your readership. It has been a bit unnerving for me to leave the blog without any new writing on it for such long periods of time and a bit overbearing to me when I let that happen. I feel that I should write when I know the feeling is there to write, but even then, I was not writing. It was an internal battle. It is my hope to keep a steady pace of news for you to follow, in addition of course to visual aids and a supply of new and upcoming art pieces as well. That is all in the works. It has been a rocky start but I will not back down.
The immediate response I speak of, comes in the form of our natural state and coming back to that. The falling away from our natural state or simply living away from it is something many go through day in and day out. We suffer, we strive, we stress, we celebrate. It's an up-and-down rollercoaster with goals in sight at the end, but the entire way to that goal seems to be battling you tooth and nail. I'm hoping to shed some light on this topic in that goals are well and good, but constantly looking towards greener grass causes you to miss that present happiness, through that present state of living.
I was pleasantly and immediately brought back to that state of peaceful being and contentment through a simple, though much-needed, yoga session yesterday. I had not been in days, mainly due to all the running around the city, job-hunting and such, and because my pennies were being spent on that running around. In order to redeem this, I successfully set up a work-trade with a local studio, and was able to attend my first, free session though their awesome program and will be able to continue my practice while simply offering up a few hours of my time each week.
I suppose this is getting long-winded, so to drive my point home, this simple session of yoga took all of that built-up angst from the past couple of weeks and threw it out the window. I put myself back in a place where I am calm and strong. A free and clear spirit brings your mind away from all the busyness and will give you clarity. For me, this result came from yoga. For you it may be another practice or moment. Stop putting that off and just let yourself and your spirit get what it needs. So much of the day is spent running around and crossing busy work off of these mundane lists we make for ourselves. Believe me, my lists are a bit wild right now, but for no reason, should we let that take us away from our natural and peaceful stillness that is living life. You may ask, "Why would I want to be still in life, when life is all about growth and process?" To shed light further, this stillness I speak of is not the actual act of sitting still, but is a state of being. A state that allows you, as the being, to be fully present and still with whatever it is you may do, whoever it is you may be. Your "stillness" will go with you wherever it is you may go. Whatever distractions or obstacles arise, will be easily weighed and overcome as your peaceful stillness gives you a very enlightened wisdom of reaction. Soak that in and breathe.
Two quotes from Sarah at Root Yoga last night:
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” ― E.E. Cummings
“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.”― F.Scott Fitzgerald
Good bye for now. - Alexander
I am getting anxious and feeling a bit consumed by this city at the moment. It's funny how something so large and diverse as a city, so multi-faceted with so many different things going on, made up of so many different people, can take on this single shape to me. It takes on this form, and becomes a whole. It becomes an entity. Its energy is massive and I feel it like a bearing weight. This is a challenge as I look to become more and grow more, yet being back in a city is difficult as I'm reminded of old ways of living.
The times have been stressful with so much emphasis being put on meaningless jobs and job hunting. It takes so much out of a person, who then attempts to put forth, to produce, to continue art and writing while running on spiritual fumes. The butter is spread pretty thin right now and the batteries will be needing a recharge.
It is my plan to grab a bicycle as soon as possible (hopefully next week) and take to the streets, to the outskirts, and let that raw, black asphalt carry my wheels to the hills where there can be a peace that I am in need of within my soul. Then I will bring that back with me in a way that will cascade throughout my life and my work. You may be wondering, "why would he need to go grab the peace from elsewhere when that very peace is found within him and has been there the entire time?" In hoping that I can explain it to you, I fully believe a person creates their own peace, but there are times when loss of focus, or being too mindful of meaningless and trivial matters, takes us away from this peace as the busy thoughts begin racing and racing throughout our heads. It is when seeking out those physical and non-physical spaces of solitude that I spoke of in the previous post, that I can return back to my roots and become still again. So yes, it was with me the entire time, but will I travel to another physical space outside of the city in order to "find it?" You bet I will.
Thanks so much for hearing me out through this venting session. Do not hesitate to seek out your own spaces for a peaceful recharge, but remember to carry it back with you, wherever it is that you go. Spread it.
Denver is a space.The bare room I share with my brother and Rosie is a space. The train I take to the city is a space.
These physical spaces and all of the other ones I have traveled to in the past half of a year make up only a small percentage of a whole. The true traveling, and meaningful change of existences takes place within. As many have seen in previous posts, and for those who are new, our footsteps have taken us to Denver for the time-being to stay a bit. For a green-soled traveler, this seems a bit different to me, an uneasy feeling sets in from the stillness.
I want to keep moving, to keep traveling a path. There has recently been an internal struggle with this concept. Just the other night, I spoke to a close friend about this just while catching up on each other's ever-changing lives. She helped me to realize that there is a need for this stillness, or this rest period. Though, it may seem like I am not moving at the moment, she showed me that this can be viewed as another beneficial step to the "journey of sorts" that I began back in January of this year. I am still moving, still traveling, learning and transforming just the same. I move through non-physical spaces to dwell, and witness, while also taking in the physical nature of this new location. The funny part was, only a few years ago, much of my photography and collage had to do with this exact idea on physical versus non-physical spaces, and now here it is again, looking at me square in the face. Perhaps, like Eckhart Tolle says,
"Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at this moment."
So here I am, concerned about my lack of movement, when really, at this exact moment, I am encountering the experiences and travel that are necessary for me. Physical or non-physical does not really matter. The moment is here.
My friend also told me, "sometimes you need an undesired, strategic retreat after a single battle to successfully win the whole war. I found this both thrilling and comical at the same time, that she would compare my life to a war, while I strive to be so peaceful. Sometimes I do feel like I just stepped off of a battlefield in life, with all of the goings-on and exhausted feelings. I am in Denver, a new and beautiful city, to experience and travel throughout. To explore. I was originally so concerned that this time in Denver was a surrender, like I had given up on the travels. Some may still feel that way about it, but I sure don't. It is all connected, and as I continually develop through this experience and the next, I will use this moment in Denver as an incubation, to digest, to grow, to expand and push further on my "journey of sorts."
My travels are not over with. This is merely the beginning for us "road beats." The next chapter and transition I have been speaking of is taking place as I write, and as I seek out connections with others in this great state of Colorado, and travel throughout it. It is my hope that connecting with this community will bring more insights to share with you and allow you to better understand why it is I do not fall into the stale drumbeat of society's accepted norms. Look up the word "hegemony" or more specifically, "cultural hegemony." This may give you a better idea of the limits that people hold over their own lives and how those limits can be broken.
Thank you all so much for your support, for following the blog, and for allowing me to share with you what it is I do in life. I urge you to keep an eye on where these next few weeks and months take me for an awesome summer in CO, and to also set out on your own journeys. This moment is.
Thanks for this one Devan.
My posts have become a bit more scarce in the recent days. Not only on here but within my journal. This is an internal battle for me because every time I put off writing and do not do it, I miss out on that opportunity to share my thoughts and experiences. In order to redeem myself and break this lull of non-existent writing, I thought I'd send out a kudos to someone. I've recently, in the past couple of weeks, become acquainted with a very inspiring and intelligent individual. Dyan. She was another reader, across the ocean of other bloggers, who happened across my pages, of all others. She has become a friend to me through the few talks we've had. Her writings and coaching are an amazing quality she uses to help others. She speaks of finding dimes in her post, and how they're like signs throughout the day. The original blog post is here.
"What I’ve learned from finding the dimes is that if we follow those little ideas, signposts, feelings and inspirations that flow through our lives – they can lead us to amazing places. And they are great reminders to take a moment and a breath." - Dyan
It's in noticing and beholding those little things, that we can start to piece together a sort of path of our own. A path of happy existence, as opposed to constantly wanting this and needing that. The past couple of weeks have been without a doubt, some of the most mysterious, trying, and difficult on the both of us brothers. It seemed as if these times were causing a tension that was not necessary or comfortable. As soon as I take a step back from all of this worry over trivial matters though, and just take a look at the little things in life that matter most, I find that tension melting away. Innocence, joy, happiness. Forget weighing, judging, who's ahead of whom in this life, trying to make sure the score's even for everyone and that you're getting your "just desserts."
I seem to get drawn into these behaviors a lot so it's up to me to remind myself to follow those little signposts and markers. I'm not sure our species is in a constant state of competition, or the fact that there's always someone we feel we need to one up or be better than. Perhaps we were simply misled from the start. A game of survival turned into a game of screw over your neighbor so you can have the most money, the most food, the most whatever. Maybe my life is here to create a rift in that state of being for others to take notice. Do not think I hold myself above others from my previous statement though, since I know I fall into these competitive and irresponsible behaviors the same as the rest of our species, but I feel that we are wrong. I feel that there should be a peace, not a constant state of jealousy, judgement and ruin. So here I am, back on the writing gig after a couple of weeks trying to catch my breath from a constant state of motion, and spotting my own signposts to follow wherever I can. I feel this is all something we can do a little more of, and offer up our own lessons learned as a way of helping others. Not necessarily by preaching it to their faces, because that surely will not get them to listen, but instead, go out and make an example. Show a different way.
I speak of this now, from Denver where our travels have landed us several times before. It seems the mountainous land and crisp air in this mile-high city have got a hold on us, and we will stay to explore it further. I will make it back to California someday soon. I don't consider this an end of any traveling, but merely a stepping stone as we grow in this city and prepare to move on again. I hope you will continue to follow us as we make our mark on this city and the next.
Thanks so much to you, Dyan. Follow your "dimes" as I look out for my own. Thank you for the mention on your original blog post as well and keep in touch. To everyone else, I am pressing forward with this writing in hopes I can continue to provide you with what you want to learn. If you have any thoughts or comments on your mind, or even a question about goings-on in your own lives, I am an open ear and a soul with a beating heart just like yours. Please get a hold of me and I'd be happy to talk.
Lastly, let me leave you with this quote from an author who I'm sure you've heard of if you follow my posts, but if not, I urge you to look into.
"Give up waiting as a state of mind. When you catch yourself slipping into waiting...snap out of it. Come into the present moment. Just be and enjoy being." - Eckhart Tolle.
This was exactly what I needed to hear today. I can appreciate that real connection that comes from real people talking real talk. Tyler feels it. I feel it. I hope you can take the words and let them affect you too. Don't just brush them off. Thanks Jim and thanks Tyler.
In light of recent events, it seems the travels are going at a slower pace now. Consider this an incubating period. There are times when we need to be immersed in all that is new and learn from it, while other times we need to meditate on what was just learned, grow from it, develop that learning. This way the learning will bring you closer to your goals, to help formulate new ones, and above all else, become that much better of a person. A problem or challenge that comes to mind when growing as a person is how much do you really allow others to affect your own path/goals? There is a constant bombardment. A constant judgement. I have recently received such judgement this past week. The person said that I am not working in a full-time job, so therefore I am considered "lazy" and need to get a job "like the rest of society." They seemed to be saying that if they're putting in all of this work each week to buy all of these "nice things" they have in life, then I should too, instead of bumming off of other people.
There's a difference between working a job because it's the accepted norm in society and you feel obligated to follow such a path in order to maintain the status quo and never see yourself veering from such a path.
There are those who do work, whether it's 40 hours, or even five hours a week, in order to have the available funds or skills to achieve what it is that makes them happy. I'm not talking about material goods here folks, but actual ideas, and experiences. The spices of life.
I do what I need to do in order to achieve happiness, not what society says I ought to do in order to fall in line.
(Alex steps off of soapbox.)
P.S. a friend, Owen, who happens to write a very intelligent and insightful blog called "A Mindful Traveler," recently nominated me for the versatile blog award and proceeded to share this link. I had never read this specific letter before, but go ahead and take a look. I'm sure you'll recognize him. The power of change against societal norms is not something unheard of in the past, yet people still treat new ways of thinking or living as absurd or wrong. That's why we show them differently.
Here's to knowing a bit more about the road beat that I am: 1. Everything I own is located here with me in a pack, on the road, aside from a few spare clothes, some musical instruments and books left back at home.
2. I do not think that enjoying one's travels consists of running from lookout point, to landmark to other touristy icon as fast as possible, but involves a much slower process of getting to know the space your are in and the people who make it up.
3. I try to ask myself at least once a day, "what can I bring to this experience" instead of constantly expecting or thinking, "what will I get from this experience."
4. I'd rather be silent and simple, than loud and overbearing, but sometimes it cannot be helped. (Working on this.)
5. My time management skills are not up to par lately. If you have any tips that'd be amazing and appreciated.
6. I am a creative being. The newest piece will be a photo suite for everyone to view my newest work. I don't talk about what the work is. You'll see it and you'll know.
7. Lastly, this one is more so about all of us. Here's to the one's who face judgement daily, the ones who dream, whose ambitions know no boundaries. We are ridiculed and hacked down from our soaring heights by the ones still caught in the muck. You are me. I am you. We can all create the ideas and changes we want, not by talking about such ideas to those that bring us down, but simply showing them. Cheers.
These are several blogs I have recently followed who I have connected with in some way. These writers shared great insights with me, some shared laughter, and others a good memory. Take a look. They're awesome people.
- dreaminginarabic.wordpress.com - Jolandi and I had a pleasant conversation the other day. Her adventures and dreams have taken her to faw away places. Go see what she's up to.
- lorenaharper81.wordpress.com - Lorena has a loving heart and a kind soul. Her writing is intuitive and I am sure there is something on her blog you will connect with.
- aopinionatedman.com - Awesome blog. Just visit it.
- breakroomstories.com - I used to serve tables. This blog is an amazing window into the world on the other side of the table from the ungrateful customers who are NOT always right. Haha.
- dyandiamond.net - Dyan's truth and guidance are great. She has offered me help along my path and is truly a great soul. Thanks.
Thanks for this one Martina.
Hey all, I have recently been receiving a little more feedback and readership from the blog and was graciously nominated by blogger and friend Jeannie, the girl behind Metamorphosis of Letters. She provides original work and useful insights on life to peruse daily. Thanks again J. If you follow the blog, or happen to stumble across it, thank you as well for reading. The blog is meant to be a learning and guiding tool, and part of a larger art piece that will take form in the future, but as for now, I document, I philosophize, I photograph and present this art to you in hopes you can get some form of help or guidance from it. Happiness is key. Your support and feedback is greatly appreciated and I urge you to take what you can from this artwork and proceed to transform your own lives and live happily.
I have to follow some rules governing this blog award. Those who will be nominated must also follow such rules.
- First is to accept the award, post the picture of the Liebster Award on the top of post and say who nominated you for the award and list their blog site.
- Rule number 1 is to list 11 random facts about me.
- Rule number 2 is to nominate 11 other bloggers for the Liebster Award and list their blogsites.
- Rule number 3 is to notify the bloggers of their award.
- Rule number 4 is to ask the award winners 11 questions to answer when they accept their Liebster Award.
- Rule number 5 is you don’t talk about the Liebster Award.
- Rule number 6 you realize I just made up rule number 5 and 6 to be funny and you hopefully get the reference and laugh.
- Rule number 7 is I answer the questions left for me by the blogger who gave me the award.
Eleven interesting facts about me:
- I would never talk to anyone when I was a toddler. Shyness?
- To supplement my extreme shyness in a very noticeable, but not purposeful way, my comfort was wearing a neon pink ninja turles ball cap. Inconspicuous, I know.
- My shortest relationship lasted a couple of hours. Playground love.
- I would much rather breathe in the air of a mountain's presence than the pompous air of a city.
- My art is not for others to understand.
- I was an American consumer, blind to everything else, but now I have opened my eyes.
- I am not good at drag racing..
- I am good at listening.
- Also making pizza from scratch.
- If I had the choice to either teleport or fly, I would fly.
- I used to work at a roller skate rink.
11 questions I provided answers to:
1. What is the most memorable event in your life? The moment Adam, Rosie and I set out on our journey of this new life on the road.
2. Why did you join WordPress? I joined in order to create this blog, as a way to help show others my philosophies, writings and examples of new ways to view life.
3. What song soothes your soul? This one. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ
Haha joking. I hope you watched that. You just got rickrolled. This song actually soothes my soul, while at the same time invigorating it. Sigur Ros "Glósóli" watch the movie here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bz8iEJeh26E
4. Who’s your favorite teacher? Eckhart Tolle
5. What makes you happy today? A warm cup of coffee, and the freedom of the road.
6. Do you believe in God? I believe in the presence and existence of such a power. "God" is merely one word, of many, made up by us in order to define this higher existence. So yes, but I do not exclusively use that word alone.
7. What certain experience in your life that made you think you’re a lesser person? Anytime someone is angry with me. I feel at fault.
8. Do you always experience the so-called writer’s block. If so, what do you usually do? Yes. I turn the mind off, or decide not to write and go do something else for a while.
9. Do you like classic literature? Why or why not? Yes. It gives us a look at the author's thinking in the setting they were in and how that affected their life, how they grew during it. It's a learning process for me.
10. Who inspires you a lot to be a writer? My friend Nate once told me (the visual artist) that anyone can be a writer. They just have to read. Then just begin writing. My separation of writing and visual art became dissipated and the two ideas became one creative flow.
11. If you’re to dedicate one poem to me, what will it be and why? It's not a poem but a quote, in regards to your dreams to do what makes you happy.
"When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” ― John Lennon
Blogs I nominated:
I have notified the authors I have chosen for the award as well, and they can answer the following questions however they wish. Congrats all. I chose your blogs because your writings have impacted me and offered me light at some point on my journey. Cheers. - alexander johnny.
Here are 11 questions for you to answer:
- Would you rather teleport or fly? And why? (I ask everyone this ha.)
- You're handed a plane ticket that leaves in the next hour. Where is it going and what one thing do you pack with you?
- On the way to the airport, you find another ticket on the ground. Who do you take with you or who do you give the ticket to?
- What is one quote that changed your path in life?
- Have you read Rilke's first letter in the book Letters to a Young Poet? If not, as a writer and creative, you should read the first letter, then get back to me with your insights.
- Do you enjoy the song, "Boogie Wonderland" by Earth, Wind and Fire? Well you should. This song gets anyone in a good mood. Give it a listen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jLGa4X5H2c
- Do you focus more on your mind or on your soul? Watch Jill's TED Talk. http://www.ted.com/talks/jill_bolte_taylor_s_powerful_stroke_of_insight.html
- Would you rather live in the country side or in the city?
- What is one book you recommend to others in need of a jump start to life?
- What time of day do you do most of your writing?
- Finish this sentence: "In order to be less fearful of what others think about me, I..." (what you would do, say, think, etc.)
We have been making a lot of moves lately and have suspended work on the blog in the past month. New ventures and changes await as we've built up quite an extensive collection of photographs and knowledge along with experiences that are more valuable than a green piece of parchment with some guys face scrawled on it.
Appreciate this photo for it's intimate simplicity and bliss. Or hate it. The true point of my art is that it is for my understanding and that you are entitled to your own judgement and in bringing your own experiences to the table when understanding it.
Let this photo be a sign of taking time in the day to learn a little more about yourselves. Go seek out a new experience or a getaway of sorts, if even for a moment, and let the moment soothe your endlessly buzzing mind. Good bye for now. -a
A close friend with a good sense for philosophy. Thanks for passing this on to me C.