This may be the last chance I get to talk to you. Here goes. I hope you are paying attention, and this may help inspire you to take your life and your purpose as something tangible, something real and not too far off.
Recent changes in my health and energy levels has forced me to take my living habits more seriously, or I may not be here on this earthly plane for too much longer. I have to begin the work every morning correctly and consistently, or die. My chest has been hurting, my breathing labored, and I my heart’s been feeling like it has been beating “off rhythm.”
It is trying for me to get CHF (Cosmic Habit Force) into action. I always wake up so feeling depleted, aching, and wanting to crawl right back into bed — and these are on good days.
I feel it in my bones. I am slowly, incrementally dying. And I’m becoming content with it, with just fading away incomplete and unfulfilled. I find myself effortlessly fading away.
My heart beats off-beat and erratically. This is not normal.
I’ve observed people eating out of trash cans, that have better diets than I do. And my constant alcoholic binging and marijuana smoking had only made things worse.
I was so gung-ho when my second wife had left me for the second time — so disciplined and on point. I worked out everyday. I wrote everyday. I prayed constantly. The pain was deep, and real reaching as far back as my childhood. I’d collect painful memories as one collect seashells. This was not only because she left me. I was hurt, angry, and felt spineless as a whole, and I felt this way for a very, very long time. But when other people started to creep into my life, my self-maintenance fell off. I was distracted from my hurt and self-loathing momentarily. I began to let just anyone in. I began to let the wrong ones in.
I’ve learned that it’s hard for me to get motivated unless I have an enemy — someone that hates me. I’ve always used hatred and enmity to transform myself to new levels physically and mentally. I’ve always fed off of disappointment and rage to transform. I got off being sold-out as the classic song by Soundgarden, “Outshined” so eloquently put.
I’ve lost a lot in this lifetime, but I’m not a loser. No matter how I tried to settle and just accept being a failure, I couldn’t embrace it completely. Hence, is the opportunity for a wonderful lesson in transformation. Transformation without being motivated by negative emotions. Come, come, follow me now.
Stretching is important. Stretching the bodily unit, has amazing benefits — increased circulation, builds elasticity and resistance to injury, and allows you to move around with less pain.
Stretching is important. Stretching the psyche (or spiritual unit), has amazing benefits — better harmony with the universe, increased concentration and mental fortitude, and helps in letting of the negative things that bind themselves to us.
Stretching is paramount. In order to thoroughly understand your reality and your purpose here, you have to be willing to even stretch your ideas of what is and what should be. Never be rigid in your beliefs, be open and flexible.
So I made a decision to stretch daily. My decision to stretch every morning has increased my quality of life for the better, and to develop better communication (and therefore a better relationship) with God.
For years I had been dealing with depression — for 8 years to be exact. And as much as I had tried to fix this on my own, my attempts only drove me deeper into feelings of inadequacy, guilt and failure. I had verbally declared my devotion to God in saying out loud that “I am a disciple of The Christ! For The Christ I grow stronger in this place!” I had some moderate success with self-diagnosis and self-treatment, but results were inconsistent due to the level of depression and involving drugs and alcohol in my self-treatment. I was successful in curbing these bad habits for some time, working out and strength training daily, but it only took one setback to have me crawling back to the starting line. Another setback, another failure, another lie to myself, and I was once again waking and baking, binging and purging. Demons and devils were gathering once again laughing loud and arrogantly among themselves, each one stronger and more malicious than the last. For a long time, this was the cycle, and it was not showing any signs of slowing down nor changing. They all kept piling on me like some sick game of Twister. I was losing. I was losing myself.
Then one day it happened. I came face to face with my mortality in the form of a heart attack. One day after smoking and binging, I stand up to grab another beer. Suddenly, my head had starting spinning, and I clutched at my chest. I couldn’t catch my breath, no matter how deep I breathed. The tips of my fingers were going numb, and my heartbeat erratic as I felt as if it was about to burst through my chest. “This is it,” I thought to myself. “I’m dying. My bad habits have finally caught up with me. I’m going to leave this life unfulfilled, and orphan my three children. What was I thinking? Time is up! Jesus please don’t let me die yet! I’m finally getting my act together!” I was not afraid of dying. I have faced death many times in this experience, more than most people do in their lifetime. But I didn’t want to die. I have so much to live for. So much more to teach my children. So much more to learn. “Good God! I’m for real going to die right now!”
I would often drink alcohol, smoke weed on a daily basis. I had a belief in a janky alchemical kind of way that taking my mind through altered states via drinking and smoking, that I would find answers to life, the universe, and myself that I could not find through conventional means. In the back of my mind, I was trying to gain spiritual attainment via shortcut using depressants and psychedelics. Although consciously I wasn’t thinking that. In fact, when it came to drinking, I didn’t think. It was automatic. Like before I knew it, I had already bought the bottle. It was in my hands, and I was drinking. Well, years and years of this on a daily basis has finally caught up with me.
As the days progressed, the pounding in my chest was getting stronger, more off-rhythm. I tried regulating my breathing, and that didn’t work. The feeling was getting worse. I begin to hear buzzing in my ears. My head is spinning, and I fall to my knees. I lower my head, and accept death. To God I belonged, and to God I return. My resolve was unshakable at this point. I did the best I could, with what I knew to be the truth in this lifetime. If this is it, and it is time for my transition… so be it. I close my eyes. I breathed deeply and deliberate. I felt patient and serene. This is it, the end of my ride. I accepted my death, and probably my gravest failure yet.
What would follow next would be nothing short of miraculous, a prayer prayed 20-years ago was finally answered.
I won’t go into details in this entry, just understand that the next morning, I awoke at 5:00am, brimming with energy and spirit. I ironed my clothes. I made breakfast for my children. I read scripture from The Bible. I prayed earnestly and without fear. Finally, before going to work and getting the children to school… I stretched.
I was hesitant at first. I wasn’t in a rush to start another good habit, just to quit again. It would be another dead-end dream piled on top of my already gargantuan mountain of failures. I couldn’t stand to lose again. I wouldn’t be able to face myself anymore. So eventually, I hunkered down and began to stretch myself out on my yoga mat. Almost immediately I wanted to quit, but I stuck with it and pushed myself through the discomfort. I’ve been quitting my whole life, and I hated it. Even if I die right now, I’m not going to give into this pain. So I push through, determined and pissed off that I have been so weak for so long.
Fifteen minutes in, a sensation, like lightning shooting up my spine, starts at the base of my spine, up the column, past my neck, all the way to the top of my head. I finish the stretch and rise to my feet, feeling twice as strong as I did about fifteen minutes before. It was funny — the air tasted different when I breathed. The numbness in my extremities had ceased. I held my breath, expecting my heart to punch out a hole through my chest. Nothing happened. My heart was beating normally. In fact, I hadn’t noticed any weird heart palpitations this day. I felt euphoric — new even! I could move without pain now. My back wasn’t stiff. I could inhale deeply without soreness and stiffness. I almost didn’t believe it. I felt wonderful! Like The Orge from ‘Time Bandits.’ “At last I can cough. I can really cough!”
Giving all glory and honor to God, I thanked my Creator immediately and earnestly, and prayed that this would be the beginning of a path towards an unshakable discipline — something that I have been trying to cultivate my entire life. Prayer, exercise, meditation, study, and scribing — this is the way toward the disciplined personality. I am determined to make this the way for as long as I live here.
Although it’s only been two weeks, I’m glad that I pushed through the pain. Stretching has helped me develop a determination that I never had before — it helps to set the stage for a better daily workout regiment. Pushing through, and enduring the discomfort and pain has helped me develop the ability to face said discomfort or pain (physical or psychological) without hesitation or deference, by learning to relax into the pain (physical or psychological) and to let go. I had began to remember the importance of applying these experiences to my disciplined life. I really feel connected. Increased physical circulation rolls into helping with better mental sharpness and spiritual connection.
I’ve been going strong for a few weeks now, seeing better results daily. I have no intention of slowing down. I sincerely thank God my creator for showing me how to further develop this wonderful vessel that he has blessed me with.
I want to be ready.