Posts Tagged ‘#joy’

Lesson of the day:

If you pay close attention, you’ll actually witness you sabotaging yourself.

This is something I’ve struggled with and been a witness to for several years now. It started maybe 6 to 7 years ago when I met this wonderful girl (and I say wonderful now cause time dulled the experience, back then she was psychotic, neurotic, demanding, the list goes on and on).

Our second date was a drive to Toronto, not even 30min into it there was a long silent moment and then she just lets it out… “why do you sabotage yourself”? She didn’t know me for shit so my response was… “what the fuck”?! But she called it. She saw something I couldn’t see. I would have sworn that there was no way someone like myself would ever be doing that. I just landed a 6 figure salary job, I’ve already graduated a chemical engineering program and went back for a second tour for business. How the fuck am I sabotaging myself?!

Long story short, and the reason why everyone needs a life coach of some sorts (and I can recommend an amazing one by the way, she’s taken me from a 2 to a 7 in less than an hour on the phone, and she takes calls from anywhere in the world, especially when it’s an emergency). So since then, I’ve been in reflecting, a lot. From Esther (Abraham) Hicks to Eckhart Tolle to a library full of books to all sorts of hypnosis, meditation, the list goes on and on. Well, until I found Landmark, which changed my life, which led me to Sterling, again life changer, well all the way up to this moment.

I’ve been in a rut. Why? Well simple really, I’m not doing the work. I’ll share a secret with you. The secret to getting everything you ever wanted. It’s gonna sound silly, and simple, but life is really that simple. It’s us that complicates the fuck out of it.

“DO THE WORK” That’s it.

Now, what’s the work? Well, that’s what a skilled coach is there for. I’m still learning. I’ve been in self-development for 3 years now and the boy that was there then is now the man that is here. And I know everything now right? LOL!! The one thing I’ve learned is…

The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.

Yes, that’s my dear dear friend Albert Einstein. But that’s the truth. So I keep learning and growing.

OK so back to my sabotage rant. So if you observe closely enough, you’ll see it happening. One of the thing that you have to know in doing the work is learning to OBSERVE YOURSELF. Not easy, takes practice, but when you do it long enough you’ll start to be able to see things happening in real time.

So there I was, feeling disgruntled all day. Kinda angry, overwhelmed, frustrated. The feeling of “nothing is working out for me”. A story my brain made up. How do I know this? Well, Landmark. Training. Practice. Doing the work. So I start to observe. Break things down. I look at what my brain is saying. “Nothing is working out for me” and I compare it to the facts.

Facts:

– I live in one of the safest countries in the world

– I have a well-paying career

– I drive one of the sickest cars

– I’m healthy

– I’m relatively young and look even younger

– I can do whatever I want, whenever I want, with whoever I want

– I’m planning 2 trips to any destination I fucking want in the next 2 months

– I’m car shopping for my “winter beater” and that’s always fun

The list goes on and on… But the one sticky point is…. The girl situation. That’s what’s getting me down. But it’s a catch 22. I’m single. And I’ve chosen to be single. After my last relationship, things really changed. I want THE ONE and will not settle down with just anyone. Am I not able to get girls? On the contrary, times are plentiful. Right now I’m dating, and these girls are amazing…but… Just not THE ONE. So why be bummed? I can easily make my way to one of their houses and spend an amazing night of wine, sex, and conversation. My work just invited me to a house party where there will be more than enough hot young girls. My other friend invited me to come party with her and her friends. So what the fuck is it?!

Enter the mobster dubbed self-sabotage! I don’t wanna be with any of those girls, I don’t wanna go to the party, I don’t wanna make the drive to my friends, I don’t wanna put on a costume and get shit faced and meet some amazing new girls. And yet I feel so unwanted.

Wtf?! Right?! After reflecting, and observing, I see that it’s me being 7 years old and feeling unwanted. Unwanted by my parents, by my classmates, by girls, by my brothers, by everyone. And there I am, my 7-year-old self still running the show being angry, and my not 7-year-old self using my brain to justify all the excuses I’m making to blow everyone off so I can feel this way!

How to get over this self-sabotage? In the short term, action. In the long term, doing the work. I had 10 days off work that I wanted to do my first solo trip to England. What happened? I justified the fuck out of why I shouldn’t go and didn’t. And in a month is my rematch. Planning to go somewhere hot, Costa Rica maybe? Nicaragua? I dunno. But I feel the justification kicking in so my 7 year old can sabotage the fuck out of it. How do I overcome this?? Pick a place, book the ticket, hope I make it back lol.

So there you have it. Observe close enough and you’ll see it happening. It’s all just a story, and the facts tell a whole other story.

Peace & love. Always & forever.

It’s said that the moments of greatest revelation come from the moments of greatest despair or happiness. Some sort of peak experience in life that tears open the fabric of space and time and transports us almost to another dimension where we’re able to access something greater than ourselves, something higher, some alter self, some elevated self, the true self.

Most days we wander through life seemingly unaware of reality, of life, in autopilot droning on about this or that, taxes, bills, work, stress, girls/guys… Whatever. Trivial matters. Fleeting matters. Matters that will not be remembered a year down the road, something benign. Totally missing the very nature of life, the present, the thing that surrounds us, that gives us life, that elevates our being to some higher plane of existence that we only seem to be on for seconds every once in a while in such a rare experience that it seems almost foreign.

We run away from those moments of peak experience. We fear them. We drown them by busying ourselves with trivial matters that are like farts on tile floors. They’re heard, smelled, but within seconds or even minutes are gone, never to be remembered, utterly meaningless. So then what does one do?

Well, I can’t claim to know what to do, I’m on this journey just the same. And this journey can be feared, experienced with closed eyes, heart, and mind. Or lived. Truly lived with eyes wide open, heart wide open, and mind wide open to all that is around is. Scary is just a word. It’s a viewpoint. It’s a context. Change the context and your world changes around you!

Roller-coasters are scary to some and thrilling to others. So can you go from being scared to not? Well in a matter of speaking, yes. But what’s the solution, how do you do that? Well… This is gonna sound cliché but you just do it! You be scared! Be scared as fuck! Go on, sit at the front, open your eyes, scream like hell, and be scared as fuck. And when the ride stops, you might have to go change your pants but you’ll realize you didn’t die. You made it, you crushed it, you looked fear in the eyes and took it head on. Yeah pissing yourself in the process but gives a fuck?! In a few years, it’ll make for one helluva story either way! You know what won’t make a good story? The time you chickened out and didn’t go on that ride cause you were too scared!

Life is really just a collection of stories, experiences along the way to the final destination. The more of these amazing stories the more life you would have lived. You don’t have to travel the world, you don’t have to be CEO of a Fortune 500 company, you just have to collect stories and experiences.

The best place to start is to become your own best friend. Start with yourself. Find a way to connect with your true self, chase the joy that we see all put on this earth to experience. And the quickest surest way to do that is to clear your mind and experience the feelings that are happening inside you right now. If they are sadness then feel sad, anger then be angry, don’t deny them. Let them go through you, wash over you, sit with them.

One way I like to experience them is when I am going through times like this, as I am now writing this is to just sit with them. The term is “comfortably confronting”. I’m confronted by a feeling, so I find a quiet place that peaceful, and I sit with that feeling. Be curious. Don’t judge, analyze, nothing. Just observe. Where is it in my body. What does it really feel like? Breath through that part of the body, imagine my breath is going from my lungs into that part of the body. Allow it to be there, never making it wrong.

Feelings are your compass in life. They steer your ship. Good feelings, you’re on the right path, bad ones and there’s something off. Embrace the feeling. I tend to feel lonely. Kinda why I started writing. Am I alone, not in the least. I’m surrounded by people constantly. But something is off. I tell myself it’s this or that. It’s a new Benz I need to buy or I once I have a long-term relationship or I need my hair fixed or my nose done or a million other things. But in reality, when those things happen it’ll just be something else. I won’t be able to be with anyone cause I fear being with myself. I fear being alone. Alone in this cold cold world. But that’s not reality!

The reality is that that’s the thoughts of a little boy whose mother left him alone at the house one time cause she had to go to work and from that point in was terrified of being left alone in this world. So I grew up with the fantasy of when I find my princess ill never let get go and we’ll grow old and be happy and never leave each other’s side. So had that happened?? Well yes. Multiple times. The crazy part is, it’s either me that ends it and feels alone or she ends it and I feel alone. It’s this cycle that leads to the same place. Never letting myself get what I want. Why? Cause it’s not me running the show. It’s an addiction of a little bit running the show and I’m just the victim of his terror lol. Sounds messed up right? Well, it’s reality.

The reality is I’m a grown ass man that doesn’t need shit! I have everything. But yet still feel unfulfilled. Why? Cause the things I’m going after don’t fulfill me, they fulfill the little boy. Then after a while, I wake up and realize it’s not what I want. And the cycle continues. It’s vicious as fuck!

So what’s there to do? Well, that’s all part of the journey. There’s no destination. The destination is final and not somewhere you wanna really ever get to. It’s the process. It’s the work. It’s the progress. It’s the struggle. It’s the pain. It’s the joy on getting over the pain. It’s the conquest. It’s the glory. It’s the defeat. It’s the victory. It’s all of those. Life happens in the moments between the destination. We’re always getting ready to get ready to get ready… Never really getting anywhere. Never really catching the carrot. Fucks sakes THERE IS NO FUCKING CARROT!! YOU ARE THE CARROT! life is what you make it. You’re the creator, the director, the producer, all of it! Everyone else is just an extra on your set and you get to hire and fire whoever you want!!

I write this for me, I hope you know that. This is my way of telling me what I need to hear. I’m the best advice giver but the worst advice taker and I think you can all relate. We can give everyone the best advice but can never give it to ourselves. So here I am giving it to myself. And if this helps you in the process then that makes me just that much happier!!

Much has happened in the last week…which I should just leave for another blog. A few highs, a bunch of lows, and some really fucked up news which kinda brought me peace? Yeah, it’s a whole story. And it’s one that even surprised me, I mean waking up holding a woman’s breast implant in my hand wearing woman’s pink silk pants would surprise anyone, right?! But that’s a story for another time lol

Peace & love, always & forever

Ok, so I missed a few days. I said I would blog once a day with a new lesson I learned that day, turns out it’s a lot more time consuming than I thought. So what am I gonna do about it? I’m just gonna keep working on it. What am I NOT gonna do? Beat myself up over it, degrade myself, use negative language, feel bad about it, or generally turn it into a negative. I did what I did and I didn’t do what I didn’t do… And that’s the end of it.

So now, without further ado, the lesson of the day :

Do you invest in stocks? Well for those that do, what your doing is investing in someone else and their company. So why not invest in yourself? What kind of return on investment would you get if you invested the time and/or the money into yourself compared to that company? Do you have an idea that’s dancing around in your head of something you’ve always wanted to do? Then why not put the money into it and see what kind of returns you’ll get? Is there a side hustle you’ve always wanted to start up? Maybe something you’re passionate about that makes you smile when you think about it? Well, what if it took off and started generating massive income? Hell, what if it didn’t but made you feel excited to wake up every morning to work on it? What would they be worth to you? Isn’t that really the point of living? Isn’t it the point of making money in the first place? Money itself doesn’t make one happy, it’s what that money can buy. And usually, we’re trying to buy happiness. Well what if that investment bypasses the money and goes right for the happiness and excitement, wouldn’t it be worth it? Wouldn’t it be worth more than a million bucks in your account? Wouldn’t it be priceless? Cause if money bought happiness, wouldn’t the richest country in the world also be the happiest? It would, right? But it’s not. There’s a weird relationship between money and happiness. Happiness is directly proportional to the amount of money you make to a certain point, and then around the 80k mark, it takes a weird turn becoming inversely proportional, where the more money you make the LESS happy you are! So invest in yourself like your a fortune 500 company where ROI is happiness and excitement, and if you happen to make money as a byproduct, well that’s even better!!

Where do I even begin this?!

So I’m sure reading this blog you know very well what my intentions are here. To vent about anything and everything, and to share some knowledge and insights I’ve picked up along the way. After all, what the point of learning and growing if you never get to share them with anyone?!

So this story starts out last week on Wednesday. The ex and I have to communicate still because of a seminar we signed up for together when we were still dating and we broke up almost a month into it leaving about 7 more sessions left before the end. This last one was #9.

I message her Wednesday to find out if she still wants a ride and, the previous seminar we agreed we would go to this lounge after the next seminar. So I message, she asks if I still want to go, I said yes but suggested we grab food before instead of after since it’s our custom to do so. She responded all weird and wanted to talk on the phone. She calls and proceeds to light me, accusing me of wanting to get back together and I’m trying to take her out on a date and why am I still having out with her sisters and family and friends. I basically tell her to fuck off, she can’t dictate to me what I can’t and can’t do, that privilege was lost when she broke up with me. So we get into it. I’m confused but it’s resolved by the end of the call.

Thursday comes along, I pick her up, she’s being standoffish and weird. Not a lot of words are said. We start driving and I start into it, about the fact that we completed the relationship and we created a friendship that was good for the both of us, and she veered off from that and I’m still committed to what we created. We also agreed that if anything changes for either of us that we would recreate it. So her thing now is that her heart still has feelings and can’t move on but her mind is telling her to move on. Her feminine and masculine are basically fighting each other. So I suggest that we create us having no more communication period so that she can move on. Well, she loses it on me for that too, why am I being so extreme?! I’m even more confused now. So I’m like, fine then you tell me what you want to create and we’ll do it. She’s like, just do nothing!! Leave it the way it is, there no problem to solve and nothing to recreate. So I did. And for the rest of the ride there, I didn’t speak much, she did though. The seminar was the same, I was quiet and she talked. By the end, she was lit up and wanted to leave early so we go to the lounge and have fun. I guess me leaving her alone gave her energy and she felt great. Well, the night was amazing! We had the best time, I was like… Omg, I get my friend back!! She reminded me of all the amazing times we had and despite all the crap I went through, this was the reason I stayed with her. When she’s happy, she’s the best person to be around. So we went back to her place, slept in the same bed, woke up and I dropped her off at work. We were like besties again. I loved it!

So the next day came, the texts flew back and forth, jokes, pics, friendship renewed! Amazing right? Well, now it’s Friday. Saturday goes by. Sunday goes by. So now it’s Monday. Her sister is back from Belize and is bringing me something super delicious in liquid format 😉. And since I haven’t seen her in ssssooooo long, worked out great that I popped by, grabbed my stuff, and hung out. So I do that. We hang at the house for a bit, I take her out to lunch as a thank you for bringing the stuff over. We hit up a super nice spot in town, one not the ex’s fave places, mine as well. So of course, she snaps a couple pics for the IG story. Not even thinking about it, she posts. And within minutes her phone is blowing up. She’s ppiisseedddd!!! Her other sister, who I also Rep Zija with, messages me being like…. Oh, sheeesss mmmmaadddd!!!! And why? Cause I’m hanging out with them. Like I told her, you can choose to leave the relationship but you can’t dictate to me what I can/can’t do. Just cause we broke up, doesn’t mean I have to break up with this whole life I have going on there now. You can leave, doesn’t mean I’m gonna leave too.

So we wrap it up, her sister has to meet the ex at 5 at her work. So I tell her I’ll drop her off but outside on the street. I’m not walking into a battle zone. So we’re almost at her work and who’s walking down the road and sees us?! Yupp!! And SHE’S PPIIISSEEDDD!!!! Red, angry, just livid. Her sister sees this, panics, opens the door and pretty much rolls out of the car while it’s moving. It was insane! The back story is that the ex is the bully of the fam and used the beat the fuck out of her growing up, so she’s a little traumatized. So when the ex is mad, everyone knows what happens!! So anyway, she rolls out of the car, I proceed to speed up, but she is watching this go down, as soon as I get close, she yells….. PULLL OOVVEERR I WANT TO TALK TO YOU!!! 😤😤😤 So I do.

She gets in the car, slams the door, puts the windows up, starts going off on me. Basically, she said that after we spoke about this on Thursday and in told her that it’s her issue and she has to learn to deal with it, that in the past 2 hours she realized that she can’t. So gives me the ultimatum of, if I want to continue to hang out with her fam then her and I can no longer be friends. So I reply with “OK, got it. Anything else?” she replies with “NO” I reply with, “OK bye”. She leaves.

So I do what every man would do at this point…. I drive to her parents’ house to say bye lol. Ok not a good way to quiet a situation, but wtf, it’s already lit up, might as well pour more fuel on it, right?! So I go there, say bye, they invite me in. They know what’s up cause she’s called the house twice already losing it that they are inviting me over all the time. So we have this crazy heart to heart. So I tell them that I’m not sure what to do. I’ve asked both sisters and said: “don’t you fucking listen to her, she can’t tell you what to do!” So after telling them what’s been going on, I ask them what they think I should do. After all, I’m still a decent guy, I don’t want to cause this huge rift in the family. Her dad responds with….” well we’re just gonna have to keep this on the DL then” lmao. For her mom to say that would be normal, she’s alienated her whole fam and almost broke up her parents’ marriage multiple times and HATES her mother. So if her mom said it, I could see why. But she’s daddy’s girl and he would do anything for her. So for him to say that was like… WWHHHAAAA!!! So we agree to not post anything on social media about me being there or if ever we’re together. At the end of the day, people will always do what they want to do. You can either make it so they tell you what’s going on, or they will do it behind your back. It’s really that simple. The one thing she will never learn is that you have no control over the external world, only the internal. And her control freak nature has her trying to control and manipulate everything around her. Life around us is like sand, hold on to it too tight and it’ll slip right through our fingers. Open up your too much and it all falls out. It’s all about the cradle effect.

So a week goes by, and it’s Easter weekend. Her fam comes down to visit her grandma that lives close to me. So, of course, I get the invite to come by and spend the weekend, even sleep over. I tell them I’ll be there but I’ll sleep at my own place. So we hung out for 3 days. Every night at the end of the famjam, her sister and I would go hang out, hit the gym, have some drinks and have the most incredible conversations. Ssssooooo much came out. All the things I had no idea were the way they were. The entire time she would tell me that I’m crazy for staying in the relationship for that long, they all thought I would have left so long ago and all stunned as to how I was able to stand her for this long. I mean really the answer is easy. Love. It makes us do the most insane things. But after hearing all the talk from her entire fam, I couldn’t have been surer that I was brainwashed by love and gave up my soul to be with this girl. A heavy price to pay for such a cheap product. The fact is that I did what most haven’t been able to. I gave her exactly what she has been asking for her whole life since she was 8. And when she got it, she decides it’s not what she wants anymore. At least not yet. Figuring that I’m so hooked that she can go fuck around for a couple more years and when she’s got that out of her system she can come back and I’d take her back. Hell, she probably still thinks that right now. But the reality is this, opportunities don’t pass by like clouds. You have a chance to snatch it up as it going by, but if you let it go expecting it to be there ‘when your ready’ or wait ’till your ready’, your gonna have one helluva rude awakening when you’re finally ready to act on it.

So there we are sitting around the kitchen table talking up a storm and Grandma (not my grandma but her grandma which I’ve essentially taken as my own grandma now lol) asks when we’re all gonna go on vacation together?! So after all was said and done, we decide we’re all going to Cuba!! The whole fam, we’ll minus the ex of course lol. It’s crazy that she’s that much of a menace that her whole fam would trade me for her. Hell her own mother was like, “we’d trade your for her any day” lol. Kinda mean, yes. But I mean the truth is the truth, fuck the haters. The fact that I put up with her shit for so FUCKIN LONG is unbelievable. The old saying holds true. For every super hot girl you see, there’s at least 1 person in the world that hates her guts.

So now we’re planning this trip and we’re all on edge. Me especially. This girl still had the ability to strike fear into my heart lol. We all have no idea what to tell her. She’s asking everyone if I’m going and we’re all dancing around it. She everyone nominates grandma to talk to her about it. She so gangster. She’s had many talks with me about this. Telling me, I can’t let this girl control me or what I do. They want me to be in that fam and still come see them and they are all like, “don’t let her tell you what to do, she doesn’t control you!!

So she messages her, tells her, and even then still dances around it. But the picture is clear, or so it seems. So over the next few days, I set it all up, find the best resorts, best prices. Take care of them all. And the ex is still asking. And no one will give her a straight answer, everyone dances around it. I could be a pick and make it obvious, blast it on social media for her to see, but no. Not my style. I’m not gonna throw this in her face, not my style. So instead I’m going to go off the grid for the time being. Media blackout. So no posting anything while I’m on the way, while I’m there, or when I’m back. It’ll have to be all Throwback Thursday posts from now on lol.

Her grandma is so funny and so gangster. She makes me promise her that I will never leave no matter what the ex does. And I don’t see how I gsm now, I’m running a business with her sister, who also is a big advocate for me not ever letting her control me. But if your a man reading this and you’ve been in a situation where you fell in love with a girl so deeply, so madly that it consumed you so much that you would have done anything, even give up your own life for them…. Then you’d know what I’m talking about. It becomes a sort of a Stockholm syndrome situation. So consumed with everything about them that it totally takes over, and the man that once mighty became a puppet at the whim of a little girl. It’s a dangerous place to be.

So the tickets are booked, her 2 sisters, mom, grandma, and aunt. Me and 5 ladies lol. The story of my life lol. But as far as the relationship with the ex is concerned, that ship has sailed, in fact, that ship has sunk to the bottom of the ocean never to be seen again. And the healing begins. No contract whatsoever. It’s really the best way to go about it. Our very last seminar together, which is this Thursday was supposed to be the finale. But things have been cut short. I will not be attending, she will be getting there and back on her own. The first experience of me not being there when I said I would. Her life now does not take importance over mine. She made her bed and has to lie in it. For now, my #1 goal is to recover the masculine energy that was lost along the way. Get back to focusing on me, what I like, what I want, and what I want to be in this life. Everyone in her life essentially begged her to reconsider, knowing her and knowing what I bring to her life. But she refused and wants to go at it alone, to find her passion, to discover herself. The sad part is, she’s not going to like what she actually discovers when she reaches her stated destination. And that, is no longer my concern.

I would never have imagined it to be like this. Not even close! This trip has really been one helluvan amazing experience. And not even over yet.

Last night we stayed at my uncles wife’s mother’s “house” in this little tiny farming village consisting of literally 10 houses surrounded by farms, sugarcane plantation, and lots and lots of animals. Horses, goats, sheep, chickens and roosters running around as wild and as free as animals can be. They even ride the horses with no saddle, bareback and wild. As life is here. The “house” was a big room devided by curtains, 3 rooms, 1 bathroom. Bathroom was a toilet with no toilet seat, and that’s it. No running water, no shower, nothing. Buckets full of well water that is pumped in 2 hours a day, when they fill their barrels outside. Fill the buckets, which they then use for everything from washing themselves to “flushing” the toilet. It’s not easy I tell you. Not for me at least. I’m used to my 3 showerheads, temperature/pressure controlled shower that has hot water for days! This was an eye opener. BIG TIME!!

The days here are long! Yesterday seems like a week ago and time passes by ssssooooo slowly. But the company is always amazing! I can’t even begin to speak about the hospitality. Even though I couldn’t speak a work of Spanish when I first arrived, her mother opened up her home to me like I was one of her own. Called me fam the first day there. And that was just the beginning. The food she made was to die for, and not in the way people speak when they talk about Cuban food. At the resort I was so sick. Here, my stomach felt amazing, I felt amazing! The coffee and was never ending, and it’s quite possibly the best coffee in the world! The rum was on standby from morning till night. And don’t even get me started about the smoking. Everyone here smokes, so what the hell. When in Cuba, do as the Cubans do! So I went all out.

Her brothers, uncles, aunts, cousins, everyone was there. And they spared no expense for me. Her brother knew I wanted to see the horses so he brought his horse King for me to ride. He rides bareback but knew as a newb I’d need a saddle. So he saddled him up and off I went! Oh and everywhere he went his little baby sheep Bebe followed him. The most adorable thing I’ve ever seen and loyal as a dog. Follows him around, ever step of the way. When he went too far she would call out to him, try to follow his scent. Simply amazing!!

There’s not much to do out there, it’s pretty remote. So again, time passes by ssssooooo slow. Sitting on the porch, drinking, smoking, talking, laughing. Drinking coffee, eating, bonding. They ended up going for a bit and leaving me there alone. Took the time to reflect. And the feelings came flooding. Not bad feelings, but ones of gratefulness and appreciation. My “problems” in life seemed ssssooooo small now. They just didn’t matter anymore. These people have almost nothing and yet they are as happy as can be. I can’t even fathom this. Her brother loves his horse, his sheep, and his birds. He is truly living out his mission in life. They all are! Her aunt cooks for 67 people a day, makes 1 US dollar every 4 days, and you’d never hear her complaining about her situation. Always laughing, always happy. They make the very most of what they have and are grateful for it, as hard working as ever. Their bond with each other is as strong I’ve ever seen in a family, it’s hard to even describe.

So we sat, we laughed, we joked, we drank, we smoked, and we ate. And best of all, we bonded. It was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had the privilege and honour to experience. Just the day before I was so upset that my one IG video didn’t post and now I’m laughing at myself thinking about how ridiculous that sounds! #firstworldproblems for real!!

So I get to bed, the makeshift fan turned on, I’m reading as I usually do. Finally pass out, to wake up to something dropping on my head. I freak out obviously. Get up to see a baby frog on my pillow. I shoo him away and get back to sleep. Not an hour later he hops on my head AGAIN!! I wake up panicked, launching him against the wall. Ok, no problem. Again I sleep. And AGAIN he jumps on my head! Now I can’t sleep. I get up, go for a smoke, cause now the nicotine is firmly implanted in me. Come back and try again. 430am on the dot the roosters start going. ALL OF THEM!!! OH DIOS!! finally get back to sleep to be woken up at the end of a crazy intensely vivid dream that no doubt had omens of my ex. Now I’m up. Wake up to the smell of coffee. What a glorious smell that is to get up to. So out I go for the first puff and coffee of the day. Glorious!! Breakfast is served with fresh cows milk that flowed out of a cows udder hours prior. Except here they put salt in the milk? Definitely NOT what I was expecting. But ok, what the hell. Now it’s time to “shower” lol

Before I knew it, it was lunch. Now to set this up, just after breakfast I noticed a sack outside on the ground. I walked up to it and it started going crazy! I ask what’s in it and I’m told it’s a chicken. So ok, that’s different lol. Now fast forward to lunch. Yupp, you guesses it! We’re having chicken!!! I’m blown away at this point! Life really doesn’t get much fresher than that!

We get packed up, car loaded, and we’re almost ready to go. But not before saying our goodbyes. Well that took an hour! The jokes were never ending, as was the love. Waved goodbye and we drove off. Off the next place, her grandmothers. But I’ll have to save that for tomorrow!

So we’ve arrived. This is much much better, but not my much lol. Greeted with the same love and affection that’s given to family. We arrive and everyone is there for the fanfare. All the neighbours, relatives, dogs, cats, horses, chickens lol. And within minutes the coffee is made and the rum is poured. Every uncle, cousin, friend is now on the porch drinking, laughing, smoking. What amazing people. Much of the day is spent this way. The ladies are inside making dinner, laughing, talking a million miles a minute. So much love poured on everything and everyone. It’s such a beautiful thing!

We drink our coffee, rum, and smoke a bunch. Such a chill and happy lifestyle. The biggest take away from this whole experience is that the North American lifestyle, and much of the developed world, is the chase of money. And we’ve really been chasing the wrong thing! Money is the reason wars are started, children are starving, villages are burnt and enslaved. The love and chase of money is what’s driving us further and further apart, causing all sorts of mental illness! They have nothing, barely a roof over their head and their families are super close, they’re super happy, and they literally live each day as if it’s their last!

Day turns to night, the power goes off, bonfires are started along the streets, and we slowly wind down the already slow day until it screeches to a halt! Bed time. Her grandmother literally gives up her bed to me, they give us their place and everyone goes and sleeps at the neighbours. The most amazing hospitality. Well not before they make us an amazing dinner of rice and beans and chicken! And of course not forgetting the sweet wine! Which btw was…. Not the best lol. Imagine old box wine mixed with lots of sugar lol

The beds are prepared and we’re ready for sleep now. I walk in to see that a net was setup over the bed I’m sleeping in, another thing I’ve never experienced but I’m sure glad it’s there! Tonight I can sleep and not worry about frogs jumping on my face at night!

Well it’s morning now and I didn’t sleep a wink. The bed was uncomfortable, blankets are non existant, and the noise at night will keep anyone up. 4am and the 10 hunting dogs next door start howling. 430am and the roosters starts going off, ALL OF THEM! And the sun comes up and lights up the room. Frustrated, exhausted, I get up. The only thing that makes this better is the smell of fresh Cuban coffee ready for me to consume! And it’s much needed today! We walk around the property, checkout all the fruit trees, pet the horse, and get ready for the day ahead.

Off to Camaguay!

We arrive! It’s charming as hell. Something out of old Europe. This entire country is like stepping in a time machine and going back about 60 years! Untouched for that long, and it has hella charm!

I took way too many pics to post, but even this small city has a lot to offer. Statues, street side cafes, lots of little shops, amazing food (the pizza is a must have!) And the place we are staying in is amazing compared to what I just experienced! It has A/C, running water, a shower with heated water, and lots of blankets!! This is luxury! LOL.

We spend the day walking around downtown, have lunch, drink coffee at a street side cafe, and the nights doing much of the same. Very charming! One of the only places where tourists are super safe to go anywhere they want, day or night!

I have to take back a souvenir of course. This 15 year old was on sale for $60 pesos. A steal! Well for me. Turns out, this is the salary that supports an entire family for 4 months!!! Mind blowing!!

Slept like the dead!! Got up, showered, dressed, and off to the airport. But not before going for one last walk and checking out this sweet sweet Lada cop car!!

Well, that’s it. It’s been one helluva trip! If one word can describe this entire journey, it’s HUMBLING! So many realizations, so much introspection, so much reflection. So many breakdowns and breakthroughs. Its been such an amazing experience, recommended for everyone in the developed world. See what the other half lives like and what they deal with on a daily basis. We can’t control the external world, the only thing we have any control over is how we feel about it. We can let our circumstances break us, or we can strap them on like wing and have them make us! Change your context and the world around you changes!

This journey of 1000 steps had to start at some point with just one. I’m not talking about my life journey, that’s a whole other one running simultaneously. We have so many journeys and so many first steps all running at once, the more we take on, the more we grow. That’s really all it is. We already getting ready to get ready. Getting ready to start a new journey, getting ready to take the next step in that journey, getting ready to end that journey, getting ready to start another journey. It’s really a never-ending process of getting ready to get ready to get ready. And this was my first step in Man Finding His Edge journey.

So I said yes. Wth, I’ll go to Cuba. This might not seem like a big deal, but in my world it’s huge. I’ve always avoided travelling to resorts cause I see it a thing for couples. Even being in a hotel room for me somewhere makes me think, I need a girl there with me. Whatever happened to me when I was younger has led me to this line of thinking. So I’ve never gone anywhere. I didn’t even have a passport before I met Christie (the ex). Which btw I’m sure grateful happened or else… Well or else 100 things, one of them is travel. So anyways. The only times since then, which has been 12 times in 2 years, that I’ve gone down south was with her or to meet her there. This time was gonna be the very first. And I didn’t expect that arriving here would be such a trigger for me but it was HUGE!!

Long story but the place I wanted to go, all the flights were booked, so had to take a different flight to another city and cab it the 4 hours to where I wanted to be. That was… Very interesting. I can’t speak Spanish, at all! I was in a cab with a man, his wife, and his child. We made lots of stops. And neither of us could speak a lick of the other’s language. Made for a lllooonngggg trip. But I really got to see a side of Cuba I bet most never get to see. And there’s not much. Literally. Shrubs, small trees, and this blood-red soil. But lots of cows! Everywhere. Cows, goats, horses…. Everywhere! I could literally count how many people I saw in cars driving on the road. It seemed like we had the whole country to ourselves. Not what I was expecting.

We arrive at the hotel, I’m met by my uncle and his Cuban wife and her family. 2 nights here, then we take off to the village and live like real Cubans live. That’s tomorrow so I’ll update when that happens.

So I check in, get a quick tour, and head to my room. I walk, close the door, and break the fuck down sssooo FUCKIN hard I can’t even describe the emotional anvil that dropped on me. Every trigger at once. The plane, the crazy cab ride, the hotel (which was a resort, even worse), the room that’s meant for 2 people with only 1 in it, the smells, the sounds, the little tiny things that looked exactly how our place in Belize looked. I just wanted to turn around and get on a plane and get the fuck out! But I knew I couldn’t. I would never let myself quit, fail that hard. But it was like being at a 7, walking into the room and dropping to a 1. I was so far out of my comfort zone, so far over the edge that I was panic mode, unable to digest everything around. At this point it wasn’t healthy, it was me dangling over the edge holding a rope. Not standing at the edge looking down, still in full control.

So I did what most men don’t. I asked for directions. I called Tracy. (If you haven’t read my stuff you won’t know who she is but Tracy is my landmark seminar manager. And quite possibly the most amazing woman I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet.) So she starts off the call with “why the fuck are you calling me from Cuba”?! I reply with, “I know, right”?! So I start talking and I’m getting so choked up, eyes welling, almost unable to make words come out of my mouth and when they did it was like a flood of gobbledygook. She slows me down, and we go into the most amazing conversation. Well, all our conversations are amazing. Legit, I go from a 1 to a 4 in 1.5 hours. And by the end of the night, I was at a 7 again. But it took help.

Why? What happened there? How did I sink so fast and come back up? Well, it’s all perspective, how we choose to see something. If 2 people had a mug in front of them, sitting opposite each other, how would they describe that mug? Or a pad of paper. Or anything really. Perspective changes with where your standing. Literally and figuratively. And when there’s something we can’t, we need a spotter to tell us what’s going on so we’re able to maneuver around or else getting out would take so much longer and would be so much harder.

For me, I needed Tracy to point some things out to me. My journey is that of rediscovering the masculine man I am that all but withered away during my 2-year relationship with the ex. I turned soft. Unsure of myself. I stepped so far back from the edge I couldn’t even see it anymore. I get like that with people I’m afraid to lose. And it’s because I give them more value than I give myself. And I had to learn to take that value back and give it to the only person that really matters in my life. Me. And that involved me stepping just far enough out of comfort zone where I felt the fear but not so far out that it gripped me. Tracy helped me to take a couple steps back and be in a place where the fear was there but not overwhelming. How? Appreciation. Being in the moment and appreciating the place I’m at as a place I need to be to grow, that was huge. It’s like the story of the crab. The crab only knows to shed his old shell and take on a new, bigger one, when he feels the discomfort of growth. It has to happen or else he’d be a little tiny crab his entire life. That discomfort is the edge. Doing something we know we don’t want to do due to fear and discomfort. We do it anyways. Let the fear be our friend. Be with the fear till it becomes an ally and not an enemy. Then and only then can we live life fully, not being pushed around by the person we “know ourselves to be” based on all of the past experiences. That person lives in the past. To be the man that lives into his future we must drop all understanding of who we think we are and allow greatness to pour into our lives from places we didn’t even know existed. What will show up will confront us, trigger us, place us on the edge. To the point that we want to step back. But we don’t. The man that lives into his future self will have to learn to have discomfort and fear be a friend, a guide, showing us that this is where the growth lies. This is the direction of our mission in life, whatever that is. The mission that will have us sacrifice even the most perfect relationship, let alone a relationship that was based on circumstances and fantasy.

So I went out with my uncle and his wife, I was in full appreciation of where I was and the brand new experience I was experiencing. Got back to the room, slept like a baby. Woke up to breakfast, coffee, and the beach. And I was good. But the goodness comes from constant work. We can’t go from a 1 to a 9 overnight without the work. The reason is that 9 isn’t insta-bliss. Without the groundwork laid down, 9 is torture! The man that is able to face his demons having done the work will be the man that laughs in his demons face, puts one arm around their neck and says… Let’s grab a drink. The man that’s at a 4 would shit himself at the same occurrence. Life happens in the work, not the destination. The work is where life fully shows up and where we fall in love with ourselves. It’s where we learn our worth and our value. Where we learn to never give discounts. You think there are discounts on a Bentley? No! Hell, they don’t even advertise! You know what your getting and they will not give you discount to bring you in or keep you.

So there I was. In the place that floods me with triggers and I was so appreciative of so much. Like not having to see if she wants to go to the beach, I just go when I wanted. Not having to leave cause she wants to. Not worried about wearing my sandals inside the room cause of the sand I track in. Taking a nap when I want. Eating/drinking when and what I want. Not having to compromise. I’m just happy I’m on a beach in nice weather. She would be complaining about how this place isn’t that nice compared to other places I’ve taken her. The whole time I’d be running around making her happy and forgetting my own happiness. And now it’s time for me to get back there. Eventually, I’ll get back into a relationship, but by then I would have learned a lot of valuable lessons. Like the lesson of, your mate should be your best friend that you have sex with. Seems obvious right? Not really. We don’t treat them or behave the same way around our gf’s as we do our best friends. Why? Well, that’s a whole other blog post! For now, enjoy the journey!