It’s That Time of Year!

Does anyone love National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation as much as I do? Probably. If not, why not???

Even though this movie came out in the late 80’s, it never gets old! It’s such a classic! I could watch it any time of year but it’s just traditional to watch it anytime in December. I actually haven’t watched this movie at all this year, but I feel tonight is the perfect night! I’m so stoked!

So, tonight is the new moon, the retrograde period of Mercury ends and I’m going glamping for the first time just to experience it because I’m curious. It’s also raining today. In fact, for the couple of weeks I’ve been here in Austin, today is the first time it’s rained.

Of course, it all seems just so cozy and perfect, but I do keep that Stoic premeditatio malorum in mind, just so I can stay balanced if things go less than planned.

So cheers to this movie and all the abs that will be worked on while I watch it.

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Photo: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation via IMDB

My Experience At A Nudist Resort

I came across a few things lately that reminded me of my time as both a guest and a bartender at a nudist resort in Palm Springs, California several years ago. This place is nothing like most people think other than clothing is optional.

But first, as I was enjoying a Coffee IPA at the Texas Oasis Brewing Company on the patio overlooking Lake Travis, I look to my right. I was curious to see if there were any parks in that area where I could hike and venture around. I decided to check on google maps and found out that the park I spotted is called Hippie Hollow Park, which is a clothing optional park. I just laughed, thought about “visiting” but decided not to….it’s too cold outside! Lame excuse right?

Finding out about Hippie Hollow Park reminded me of the reason I came to visit Austin, I kept getting “signs” in threes. However, I’m not sure what to do about this one. Ha!

I had received an email from the resort not too long ago about the upcoming New Year’s Day bash and I just happened to stumble across a Facebook post recently in regards to someone that recently passed away, who was actually the general manager who interviewed and hired me at that resort. RIP Michael Williams.

So the place I bartended at is called Desert Sun Resort.

I worked there as a morning bartender for about 6 months and I have to say, it was an interesting place to work but I left because I ended up going to school full time and could only work in evenings. I applied for the job as a second job and just had a feeling I was going to get the job because I visited the resort as a guest several times to work on getting rid of my tan lines and to enjoy the mountain views in the pool areas. And well, I landed the job the same day.

Even though I visited the resort as a guest, I was fully clothed as a bartender. It’s a health code for obvious reasons and to be honest I would not want a nude bartender making my drink or delivering my food. There’s just something gross and strange about that.

I’ve met all sorts of people there from bartending and yes, I’ve seen it all! However, as the months went by, I became accustomed to the environment, so nothing came as a surprise to me anymore.

When I would visit as a guest, I wouldn’t pay attention to anyone besides the few people I came across in one of the many pool areas the resort has to offer. But when I was bartending, I couldn’t help but pay attention to everyone. But overall, it’s very chill and definitely not some kind of swinger resort. I actually interviewed at one of those places not knowing what I was getting myself into and it was a bit overwhelming for my taste so I declined the offer for the job.

Desert Sun Resort is actually a sophisticated resort, so pervs and such are not welcomed there. They take privacy very seriously and want you to feel comfortable. You have to go through a mini interview to gain access to the resort, which is nice. I highly recommend the resort and maybe one day I will go back to visit again as a guest.

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Photo: Hippie Hollow Park resides in this photo…somewhere 😉

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Photo: The Coffee IPA from Texas Oasis Brewing Company that I enjoyed as I tried searching for parks to hike at.

 

The Problem With Awareness

What is awareness?

Awareness is the ability to derive an explanation about something beyond the surface of understanding.

What do I mean? Let’s talk about jealousy.

Last night I went to IHOP for dinner. Yep, dinner. The guy who was practically running the show (host, server, busser) was in a great mood and really talkative as I walked up to pay. He was having a conversation with one of the cooks about jealousy and how he couldn’t understand why he considered himself to be “the shit” and have all this confidence but still gets very jealous. So, as I’m paying my check, he asked me if I get jealous. I was a little hesitant to answer him just because I just knew I’d confuse the shit out of him with my answer and not because it was some random question I’m sure most people would take offense to. I did decide to answer just to see how he’d respond and he responded just the way I thought.

I replied, “Of course I get jealous, because if I was never jealous, I wouldn’t be human. It’s a matter of how you balance your jealousy.”

His response was priceless. He went from really talkative and confident to really quiet and confused. After a few seconds he asked me what I meant, then asked me what I do for a living.

I just told him that jealousy is a natural human emotion and to not have even just a little bit of it, would make me unhuman. As humans, we are housed with all sorts of emotions because we are mortal and survival depends on our emotions and how well we balance them with our ego. The more untamed your ego is, the more jealous you become as well. This is what separates us from artificial intelligence as their ego always coincides with emotion because that’s the ultimate goal of every human. They have it easy. But as humans, we cannot obtain that ultimate goal so easily as life is all about constantly putting in the work towards learning how to balance your ego with your emotions.

Then I proceeded to leave by telling him that I confuse people for a living. Boy was he confused when I left.

Was my ego lit from that explanation? Nah.

He asked me a question in which most people would respond with either no or yes because of their surface understanding of the word jealousy and the negative connotations that are attached to it. My response wasn’t just based on philosophical principles, it was also logical, based on the awareness of human emotions and I wanted to share that with him.

The problem with awareness in this case is the fact that I see jealousy as something more than being a negative emotion. I see it beyond the surface as an emotion that helps us to evolve when balanced correctly and also an emotion that emphasizes the beauty of being a human. However, I cannot emphasize that awareness to most people because they do not understand due to lack of awareness and, therefore, would consider me “too deep” and confusing.

All people see is just a dull thought of how jealousy is “bad” because it’s an easy and simplified way to understand something without much brain activity. End of story. And because more people are unaware than aware, and majority rules, the aware ones are considered outliers, weird and awkward. Well, how else are we supposed to communicate with you to where you can understand? Annoyance level 100.

However, to be truly aware is to acknowledge that our annoyance stems from our own lack of awareness of understanding that most people don’t know any better and we can’t blame them. It simply isn’t their fault. That’s where learning to balance compassion comes in and this is something I do struggle with.

Becoming more aware is trying to balance your compassion level with your annoyance level. It’s not easy and, like I’ve mentioned before, is a continuing process but continuous effort does need to happen. You want to be compassionate and understanding of the unintended and restricted thought process of most people but know there’s more to life than superficial conversations and surface level small talk.

So what do you do? It’s a battle and definitely a challenge that comes with becoming aware. However, I feel more people are becoming aware so the annoyance level should pipe down to a minimum at some point.

What do you think? Do you consider yourself to think beyond the surface of most things in life? I’m curious.

 

 

Why Is Life Hard?

Life is only hard if we make it that way.

Everything we experience derives from perspective. Nothing in life should ever be hard, but rather challenging. Challenges are there to wake us up to what we need to do to overcome the inevitable obstacles in life and improve ourselves. It’s up to you whether you want to face the challenges head on or look away. But if you look away, nothing ventured, nothing gained. And when nothing is gained, life is hard.

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Photo: Solo hiking adventures at McKinney Falls State Park in Austin, Texas.

 

 

Why You Should Force Yourself to Meditate Consistently

Meditation is like going to the gym consistently for the first month – it’s very difficult to do when you first start and very easy to quit.

I quit a lot in 2018 when it came to meditating but was way more consistent with going to the gym. I only know this because of my physical strength in comparison to my mental strength. I’m pretty damn strong physically, more than ever now, but my mind is still struggling to catch up.

I know all the benefits of meditating and how imperative it is to develop it as a habit because I blogged a lot about it. Some of my best written blogs came when I was meditating daily back in January and February. However, because this year has thrown me so many challenging curve balls during the development of this habit, I fell out of meditating before it became a habit, several times. This only caused me to get lost in the sauce all year long by continuously forgetting everything I personally feel that contributes towards mental strength – the philosophy of Stoicism and the philosophy of Buddhism. These two philosophies compliment each other very well and actually almost run parallel with one another.

When I look back to everything I experienced this year, the only thing I would’ve changed was my meditating habit by FORCING myself to be consistent with it.

Would it change anything that happened to me this year? No because everything is based on perspective. You cannot change what happens to you, you can only change your perspective.  If I had forced myself to meditate, regardless of what was going on around me, I either would’ve handled everything more effectively or not noticed any challenges whatsoever because I wouldn’t be triggered by much, not even the dark night of the soul. When you are triggered by something, that’s an indication that there’s something in your mind that needs attention.

This year was definitely a year I needed to force the meditation habit because there was a lot that happened to where it would’ve saved me a lot of energy. Out of the 37 years of my life, this was by far the most difficult and challenging year I’ve EVER experienced. I cannot tell you how confused and misunderstood I felt all year long and how annoyed I was from feeling confused and misunderstood. Basically, I was just lost all year long, but that’s ok, shit happens right? Time to move forward, not get lost in the past.

And so as the year comes to an end, I made a promise to myself that I would force myself to meditate every day for at least 20 minutes, regardless of where I’m at. I’ve already seen major results in the efforts I’ve put in towards going to the gym on a daily basis but I want my mind to outperform the progress of my body because the mind is more powerful than the body.

The mind is our consciousness which is responsible for generating all the matter that our physical body and organs are made from and keeps them functioning. So, if you think about it, you can be in the best shape of your life physically, but if your mind is trash, you’re limited. However, if you’re mind is in the best shape it’s ever been, but your body is trash, it won’t matter because your mind has the unlimited potential to adapt and change. Besides, the human body is only a temporary housing spot for our consciousness in order to experience life as a human. Get what I’m saying?

So with that said, I need to make some major gains with this mind of mine by forcing meditation consistently now that I’ve seen major results with the way I’ve forced myself to go to the gym consistently. And plus, the mind is a forever energy, so as a human, now is the time to tap into that while I can.

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Photo: A panoramic photo I took yesterday of Lake Travis from the patio of the Oasis Texas Brewing Company in Austin, Texas.