Affirmation.

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When I am in the company of greatness, and I am often in the company of greatness, I can start to feel like a very small pale human amongst very tall gloriously golden trees. Ancient trees. Wise trees. The temptation to become little is strong, to squish my heart into a little paper ball of failed dreams and smeared ink. But instead my heart is precocious. She beats like a proud little bird on the gael. I will not give in to feelings of inferiority! I too have a vision and a spirit that sings! I know that what’s inside me is the same greatness as the greatness inside of you. We are one water.

What Is Boredom? Who Is Bored?

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Boredom. I really don’t get it. The only time I am ever bored is if I’m waiting on someone else. I get anxious because I want to start doing, but I don’t necessarily have time to start. Know what I mean?

We, who are privileged enough with the wealth to be reading and writing this on the internet, are living in a world of miracles where there is so much information available, so much to occupy the mind and the hands. You’ve probably heard the phrase “if you’re bored, you’re boring” and as much as I hate the cliché, I think it’s probably true. Find something to do with your hands. Transform yourself into the kind of person you find the most admirable and interesting. (That is High Magic.)

Why are you stopping yourself from doing the things you know you need to do? Why aren’t you pushing forward in spite of your doubts and second-guesses, faking creativity until it comes? It is your aversion to these things that slows you down. You’re short-changing yourself with self-loathing. Every little bit helps. Experience accrues in a spiral pattern. What is boredom, but a lack of ingenuity, a fear of your own fearlessness, the fire in your belly going dark? DO NOT LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU. Death is down that way. Boredom is bred in stagnation and stagnation is that death.

There’s an endless amount of fascinations in the world, endless forms and permutations. There is so much to do that we can start to feel overwhelmed by it. You may not consciously realize it now, but you have a destiny in mind for yourself. There is something in this world that you are passionate about, that you can accept and claim as your own purpose for being here. So start doing it. Here’s how:

Make a list. What are the activities and ideas that make you feel most alive? Go towards those things in any way you can. You may not be good at it now, but believe me, anything you put your attention to can grow within you. It all accrues. You may not be able to live within your fondest thoughts in this life, but you can talk about them and by communicating them, enrich others and possibly even make them more likely to be manifested at some time in the future. Take Buckminster Fuller for example. Plenty of the things he dreamed of never came to fruition in his life, but they still inspire us today. It is a labor of love and if you love yourself (if you are not afraid to love yourself), you will never short-change yourself with self-doubt again. There is only the love and service to yourself and your dreams.

And by the way, don’t be afraid to love yourself. You are strong enough to do it. Be bold and let that internal fire grow until it roars.

Fever.

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Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.“-Maria Robinson

Good morning. I’d like to say today is a new day to make new mistakes, but really, today is a continuation of all that has come before. Everything we will do flows from our past experiences. Reality is built on a bedrock of history. If you can do something new that you’ve never done before, I applaud you. I answered a ringing payphone at the airport recently. I had never done that before, and you know who was calling? A telemarketer. That figures. I was hoping it was opportunity this time, but you know, you really are better off if opportunity comes knocking at your door. That way you can grasp it before it slips away.

Today, I would like to say that my fever is because The Secret works. I set out to be sick and I am. Why would anyone do that? I feel like my body needs these kinds of challenges once in awhile. I’m not going to say that whatever doesn’t kill me will make me stronger because I’ve learned that isn’t even true. Some things just break you down. Like cancer. But in my case, I take a lot from working through sickness and pain. I have learned patience. I have learned how to care for my body.

This is how you know when you’re growing old: you start caring about what you put into your body because you realize it is winding down and if you don’t start taking care of yourself, the rest of your life is basically going to suck. And also when you start to care about politics because suddenly you understand that the decisions other people make for you are actually affecting your life, your wellbeing, your livelihood. The Little Prince is still my favorite book, the star I try to navigate by.

I have often spoken of how much I love the state of feverdream. It feels good to let the mind become unhinged and unbound by conventional rules of rationality and language, to feel that those things take a backseat to pure expression at these times.

So enjoy being sick sometimes. Mandatory downtime that will result in a brighter new day after the sickness has gone. Enjoy the struggle, watch yourself watching yourself. Your aversion to unpleasant experiences is often what hurts the most.

Lightworker.

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This morning when I woke up with my head still spinning pleasantly from all the whiskey gingers I downed like a champ last night, I realized: I am a lightworker. Yes the term is hopelessly entangled with some of the worst New Age clichés imaginable. I admit that fully. I don’t care. I’m taking “lightworker” back. Back from the fruity sorts who believe that promoting and propigating love and compassion and snork-the-whiskey-out-your-nose laughter is a serious thing, that it means your soul is ancient or even that it means you have a soul at all, and especially those who say it must necessarily equate to a belief in some kind of over-arching deity.

Yes we like to play with gimungous RPG characters who usually live in the sky or a paradisal abode we wish we could reach, whose generous bosoms swell with the golden milk of joy even as they fountain this same milk from their bountiful nipples and girthy trunks into our eager mouths, us docile supplicants lying supine below them as if in utter submission. Yes that is true. I admit that fully. We love to pretend that these things exist, are real, have substance because it adds so greatly to the play, to the joy, to the energy dance of existence. We can suspend our belief or disbelief for pleasure and then snap back to rationality when the playtime that demanded the suspension it is over, if it indeed ever ends.

It is okay not to believe. It is okay not to believe you are a starseed or that karma has anything to do with your need to extend healing in the forms of love, compassion, free handjobs, etc. Some people just have something inside them, maybe something really fucked up from childhood even, that fuels their need to give, to inspire their fellow upright-walking primates with glorious visions, kind words, heavy soups, inappropriate workplace massages and more.

And yes the term implies a kind of duality between light and dark and the poopie preference for one over the other. The kind of folk that would guffaw over this metaphor are usually the basement cellardwelling types who think it is cool to cling to walls in dank, moist places, slowly growing larger, some undiscovered crevices of their corpulent phosphorescent bodies rotting imperceptibly to their users. They could use some sunshine. These folks can’t laugh at themselves, let it slide and they certainly don’t know how to flow. It’s okay to love “the light” even if you are a freak goth mutant alternative non-conformist. Sunshine is good too and it fuels every thing we do down to the most minute detail. Our lives, our choices to dwell in basements becoming obese while jerking it to barely legal lesbian foot fetish porn, would not be possible without the sun. SO DON’T KNOCK IT. It’s okay to love the light and to want to illuminate and be illuminated instead of keeping yourself from the world, keeping who you really are a secret from the rest of the world.

DON’T BOGART YOURSELF! Step into the spotlight, grab the mic and go crazy with it. Get it all out. It’s an EMOTIONAL ENEMA.

So. Back to my original point. I’m taking back “lightworker” from both the flakes and the people who make fun of them. Being a lightworker means neither that you must be unconventional (or novel) or that you must conform to what other lightworkers believe it means. It certainly doesn’t mean you can’t ever work in the dark, have bleak moods or feel inspired by a gothic aesthetic. You don’t have to be conventional or unconventional to ride this love ship passion trip. You don’t have to be a washed up hippie without a gourd (but don’t under any circumstances discount washed up hippies: they have the best drugs!) But on the other side of that, you don’t have to be a smug, constipated, unrealized fart either.

I am a lightworker. I am weird. Get used to it. Deal with it. You can laugh at me if you want to, but you’ll be the one on the sidelines snickering to yourself and pretending that you are really enjoying yourself, cloistering yourself from others because you are too afraid to show yourself to the world and risk the vulnerability of putting yourself into a new context. Weakling.

Much of this rant doesn’t make sense. Much of this rant has very little internal logic and flits in a carefree manner between topics and tenses. That is okay because I drank a lot of whiskey before writing it.

Rapture Parable

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The Messiah returns to Earth to initialize the Rapture and his lambs are overjoyed. His sermon is broadcast all over the world simultaneously, in every language known to humankind. It is a momentous event that can not be mistaken: God is real and his son has returned to gather the faithful. But instead of the powerful message of peace, forgiveness and homecoming that most of his devoted flock were expecting, their Messiah is full of brimstone and vitriol.

Is this how you’ve kept my faith?” he screams from his pulpit and pounds his fist like a gavel. “You’ve allowed every kind of filth to go on in my father’s house, you’ve condoned every vile act and impure deed to stain the beauty of my father’s creation. The Hour of Judgement is upon you – listen to me, your Savior. I tell you now that you must prove yourselves faithful to me before I can take you with me to my mansions and gardens in Heaven. Purify my Father’s house, wash the stain of sin from the Earth!

He goes on to describe the evils of feminism, fornication, adultery, sodomy, transvestitism, prostitution, religions other than that of his own, various deviations from the natural order – all these he demands that his true followers burn away in a firestorm of righteous hatred.

After the sermon, he dismisses his flock to do his work, and many of them take to the streets, killing in the name of their Lord. The Apocalypse nigh, the atrocities they perform in the midst of their holy ecstasies are unlike any that have ever been witnessed or even imagined before. Hundreds of thousands of deviants are destroyed in a matter of hours. Blood runs thick as oil in the streets.

Many of the flock gather together in groups, watching the blood spill upon the land with smug satisfaction, thinking to themselves how these infidels brought their own demise with their faithlessness and brazen hedonism. They watch the horror with a bright-eyed fascination, but don’t want to dirty their own hands with the Lord’s work. Some look to the sky, weep openly and ask their Lord why he has instructed them to commit these horrific acts of violence when they are so contrary to his prior teachings of love, peace and forgiveness. Still others, the ones with valor and gut, run into the streets to try to stop the madness, reasoning with the blood-thirsty Berserkers, entreating them: “You know in your hearts that this is not the way!” They are mowed down in a hail of gunfire, cut down with makeshift spears.

As the Holy Bezerkers tire and come to a standstill, the Messiah faces them all again with fire in his eyes. He runs his hand over the landscape, wiping the slate clean, removing all destruction from sight and restoring the lives of all who have been slain, taking away their memories of painful vivisection. Those who have killed in the name of their Lord stand in shock and confusion as their Savior undoes the results of their purifying rage.

I took you several days ago,” he tells them quietly. “You were brought to a part of my Father’s creation that seemed identical to your former lives. This was a test.

He pauses and looks at his flock with a great sadness. “Those of you who killed in my name failed the test. You must atone for another 2000 years before you will be ready for another chance at grace.

Those of you who stood by and let it happen without questioning me will also have to atone. You will bide your time in Purgatorio, where you will learn humility and kindness and love, all of the goodness in my Father’s creation.

Those of you who questioned me, who refused to kill in my name: you are blessed. You will live with me in the fecund gardens of Paradise forever.

And those of you who tried to stop the others from destruction, I have a special destination for you. Fear not.

He pauses again and looks more heartened this time, resolute.

Fallen ones, if you would follow my commands blindly without question, you have never heard me and understood my words. You have never known my message. You have not been true to your convictions. It is not my image that must command you but the spirit of that which I have taught you. The qualities of greatness that I have spoken of are what must command you. Not the brazen image, but the living spirit. Do you understand?

There is silence under the sky, in the fields and valleys, the plains and mountains. This is an awe so deep.

Soup.

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The Soup Is For All: Soup Alchemy & Experimentation

In my conversations with friends and loved ones, I’ve come to realize how many people are AFRAID TO COOK! Whether it is because of a lack of experience or bad experiences in the past, so many people I know are hesitant to try something even as basic and fantastically mutable and customizable as a soup, and certainly not without following a recipe to the very letter!

This is a shocking discovery for me because making and consuming good food is one of the most satisfying and life-affirming things I can think of. It is one of the things that keeps me going even in my darkest days. With that in mind, I’ve created this little two-part tutorial with tips on how to create The Most Satisfying Soup Experience You Will Ever Have!

Basic Soup Template

Tools:

  • Frying pan for browning meat (I prefer a light metal pan to a heavy dark pan for this)
  • Big soup pot!
  • Knife for cutting veggies
  • Small spoon for tasting
  • Ladle for ladling your delicious creation into bowls for family & friends!

Ingredients:

  • Meat (if you’re an omnivore)
  • Fresh Veggies (any kind you like, chopped into bite-size pieces)
  • Canned Veggies (stay away from mushy stuff, but DO try cream-style corn and stewed tomatoes!)
  • Broth (I use store-bought organic broth like Pacifica, but you don’t have to!)
  • Olive Oil or other vegetable oil (to keep the veggies moist and from sticking to the pot)
  • LOVE. It really does make the soup taste better!

If your soup will have meat in it, season & brown the meat first. Make sure you drain the grease and pat the meat dry with a paper towel. You might be tempted to put the grease into the soup with the meat, but if you do, your soup may turn out very oily. (*) Set the meat aside.

Coat the bottom of your soup pot with a thin layer of olive oil, or another cooking oil of your choice. This will keep your veggies from sticking to the bottom & sides of your pot. Go for a strong oil rather than a light-tasting oil as the oil will add lots of intense flavor!

Cut up your FRESH veggies and dump them into the pot. Remember: this phase is for your more tough veggies that will take longer to cook: potatoes, carrots, peppers, onions, squash, etc. If you’re using leafy greens or other delicate veggies, they should go in later so that they don’t get cooked into mush and disintegrate.

Cook your fresh veggies over medium heat until they are partially cooked/wilted, stirring frequently. (**) Feel free to add a bit more olive oil as needed to keep them moist. And DO season your veggies a little now so that the flavor will have time to blend and mature.

Once your veggies are a little tender, add your meat and broth. Ideally, you want the liquid to cover your meat & veggies. It’s totally okay to use water and/or milk to supplement your broth. This is a good time to add more seasoning as well.

Turn up the heat to high and allow your soup to come to a full rolling boil. Cook on high for a few minutes, then cover and turn heat to low. Simmer until your hardest veggies are tender and the flavors of the ingredients have blended together. This means you have to check on your soup somewhat frequently, tasting and testing the consistency of your veggies.

Now: add your canned veggies! If the juice is tasty and not too watery, don’t drain it out; add it to your soup! This will give the broth even more flavor. I’ve especially found that cream-style corn can give weight and balance to the higher, hotter elements of a soup. For example, the very hot red fresno pepper in my kielbasa soup is only balanced by the earthy, starchy element from the corn. Let your soup continue to simmer for about ten minutes while the flavors blend.

Lastly, add your delicate veggies. Your basil, your spinach, your green onions. You want these to cook only until they are wilted, dark green, but not olive drab. You don’t want them to be mushy or falling apart.

Once your delicate veggies are cooked, your soup is ready! Enjoy!

FAQ:

How do I figure out how much meat, veggies, etc. to put into my soup?

Everything in this template is to your own taste. Seriously. Use your best judgment and intuition and individual preference. Ideally, you probably want to have your meat and veggies covered with some broth, so keep that in mind. The best advice I can give you is to do what pleases you and what tastes good to you. If it looks and tastes good to you, it will taste good to others. Let your own taste buds and sense of aesthetics guide you to soup ecstasy!

O’ Great Soup Goddess, tell me which seasonings to use!

My desert island picks for seasonings are a black, white & red trinity: crushed black pepper, garlic powder and cayenne pepper. I swear that you can make anything taste good with the right portions of these three seasonings. If cost is a factor, these are your best bet, in my humble opinion. But again, use what tastes good to you and matches up with the soup experience you want to have! Maybe you want to create a chicken curry soup. Maybe you want a fruit soup that would taste divine with cinnamon. Use what feels right. Sprinkle lightly, taste and then adjust according to your preferences. A great cook uses a wide variety of seasonings, orthodox and not! Just remember not to let your spices overwhelm the food. The spice should complement, not compete with, each individual aspect of the dish you’re preparing.

*My soup is oily. How can I fix this?

A good fix for this is to put a couple leaves of lettuce into the soup, let the oil collect on the lettuce and then fish it out. Repeat as many times as necessary. Another thing that helps is to refrigerate your soup. The oil will harden on the top and can then easily be removed with a fork or spoon. Then you can reheat and enjoy!

**I don’t get it. Where’s the alchemy?

The whole process of cooking a meal is very much an alchemical process. You are taking base elements and transforming them into something almost impossibly glorious! Try not to cook if you are upset or angry. Your mood will affect the quality and taste of your food. Prepare your food lovingly, savor each component, thinking of the wonderful color and texture it will add to your meal. As you handle the ingredients of your elixir, energetically push in your feelings of compassion, contentment, loving-kindness, inspiration, whatever energies you & your loved ones need most. In this way, your cooking becomes a meditation and a ritual for healing and inspiration.

Mother Mosquito

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Mother Mosquito shoved an ancient pencil and scrap of envelope into my hands and made me take down the following list of spell components:

Feathers, keys, nesting dolls, figurines, dried flowers, pages from old books, strange stones, egg shells, branches hit by lightning, animal bones, nail clippings, beads, moonlight in a box, red envelopes, spent candles, old love letters, worn records, hand-me-down jewelry, flavored cigars, seashells, wooden spoons, antique mirrors, parchment, hard candies, cornsilk, broken clocks, magazine clippings, river rocks, graveyard dirt, dog hair, rabbit skins, puzzle pieces, glass eyes, fish hooks, mirror shards, hat pins, buttons, photographs, valentines, caustic liquids, rusted nails, brick dust, spiderwebs, teeth, old lace, liquors, menstrual blood, curiously strong mints, brine, razor blades, pine cones, drift wood, dollhouse furniture, honey, mushroom birds, false eyelashes, mardi gras throws, tarot cards, faerie wings, pills, toy cars, whiskers, ribbons, bells, whistles, coins, hair trimmings, shadows.

She eyed me with that sly sideways glance of hers and said, “When you’ve gathered all these things and know how to use ‘em, then you’ll really be somethin’, won’t you? Then maybe you’ll be ready. But not. Until. Then.”

The Thorny Labyrinth

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A way out…

Let go of it. Change your response. Take control of your reactions. Understand that you do not have to be slave to your normal chain of emotions or to the expectations of others. Refuse to let it get you down. Refuse to let it stop you. Remember that your ego is a tool – use it, don’t let it use you. Use theatrics. Play. Remain ridiculously calm. Don’t struggle so hard; you’ll ensnare yourself even more. Step back and think for a moment. Attain inner peace. Silence. Stillness. Just for a moment, become nothing, become no one. Silence your critical mind for a moment, and let your dreaming mind work at unraveling your self-inflicted knots. Ask yourself if it really matters in the grand scheme of things. Try to justify it. Find out if it is for the “highest good” whatever you deem that to be. Find your center and stay there. Work to heal others by healing yourself. Work to heal yourself by healing others. Seek out emanations of love and beauty. Don’t let the fear of change stop your transformation. Forgive your perceived mistakes. As often as possible go towards what feels right and good deep down in your entrails and cojones. Put into life what you hope to get out of it. Play Devil’s Advocate with yourself. Examine the scenery from as many angles as possible.

Good luck.