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Archive for the ‘Inspirations’ Category

I know the world already knows this most likely is new news to anybody reading this, but I wanted this in my blog for posterity purposes.   Today President Obama “officially” supports gay marriage.  Personally I don’t believe he went through an “evolution” in his beliefs (I believe he has privately always supported gay marriage), but rather an evolution of his politics that now is the time to step up to the plate and no longer ho-hum the issue.  This is a GREAT moment in history.

 

 

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The Beastie Boys - Adam Horovitz, Adam Yauch a...

The Beastie Boys – Adam Horovitz, Adam Yauch and Michael Diamond (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Beastie Boys filmed an unreleased musical performance of “The New Style” for the 3rd season (which never aired) of “Chappelle’s Show” in the fall of (in NYC) 2004.

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“Success demands singleness of purpose.”

–Vince Lombardi

One of the books I am reading recently is a never-before-released Napoleon Hill book titled, “Outwitting the Devil.”  It is considered a controversial book in the “New Thought” realm, and in fact he and then his wife and later nephew’s did not want to publish it for this exact reason. It wasn’t until the nephew’s wife died that it was then published in 2011, approximately 73 years later.

Those that know me well know that a belief in a physical devil, red-skinned, horned, and pitched forked does not at all exist in my world of reality.  And Hill I feel rides the fence here and is perhaps purposely ambiguous, perhaps to be heard/understood by all parties.  One could read this book as religious, spiritual, or psychological, and all three I find challenge by beliefs and understandings up until now…which is exactly what appeals to me.  I find the parallels of ideas in Steven Pressfield‘s, ” The War of Art” to be striking, which is significant to me personally since I just “happened upon” both of these books.

I’m not going to give a full on book report or dissertation, but want to note something specific that struck me.  In this book, he states how “definiteness of purpose” is the key to being a “non-drifter,” how to succeed in one’s life.  He defines “hypnotic rhythm” as a natural law, which is then how the majority (he states 98%) fall into the habits of “drifters” because of their indefiniteness, and how the other 2% of the population uses this law in collaboration with their definiteness of purpose to habitually live the life of the “non-drifter.”  You can easily know which you are currently (although you could be moving towards one or the other either by conscious decision and commitment) by taking a look at your life:  your finances, your health, your relationships, how you feel about your work, etc.  To be in the population of the 2% non-drifters, all areas of one’s life must contain the through line of one’s purpose.  The reason that there is such a large percentage of drifters is because most don’t consciously know or ask themselves (or believe that they can/are allowed) what their purpose is.  The truth, however, is that every single person has their own individualized purpose and that this purpose can be easily accessed;  all one really has to do is do that 2nd grade mantra: “Stop, Look, and Listen.”

I bring this up now not because this is new information to me, but because an “aha!” light went on this morning when pondering these concepts.  I was inspired to pull out the book I created from the Intentions Retreat I went on in 2010.  I flipped to the page of my “purpose statement” and reread what I wrote, comparing it with my current 2012 Intentions journal.  I’m not going to share what I wrote in 2010 here, as I am realizing there is power for me in keeping it to myself (much like one would in acting out a scene in theatre;  there is often more power in the unsaid and in the doing).  But I want to note that even at that time, there was a word in my statement that came to me, but looking back I get that it was too big for me to grasp and accept at the time (or better said, so I thought).  I remember battling with this word, bringing it up in the group, and even embarrassed and feeling that I was being completely brazen for even suggesting it (as in a “who am I kidding or trying to fool”).  I scratched the word out and changed it more than once (even in the final copy of my book).  In my 2011 and 2012 books, that word didn’t come back, and suddenly this morning while reading all of this I GOT IT. And I don’t know how quite to explain, other than in perhaps acting terms.  The purpose of one’s life is like their intention.  When you have a play, you have all kinds of beats, scenes, acts;  you can look at the whole of the play and you can break it up into these smaller and smaller chunks.  Each chunk can have its individualized tactic, but during the entirety of the play your character is going after one big SPECIFIC centralized intention/objective.  And it’s always about doing/action and it’s always about in order to affect outside of oneself.   Living one’s passion alone (with the focus on “what I will get from it”) will never lead to enduring success.  I focus on the word enduring because obviously it is possible to reach temporary success on passion alone, as we have seen with so many.  But only those who find and ground themselves in their purpose will be able to stay there.  For enduring success the focus must be on one’s purpose, which allows the freedom to continuously live out the passions.  The purpose is the intention of one’s life; the passion is the chosen method of joy in how this purpose is achieved (I say “chosen” although in truth the passion almost always “chooses” us).  While often the passion is what is initially ignited and then opens one’s eyes to their purpose (although if they access their life, they will usually see how they were already unconsciously living it), it is the purpose, not the passion, that must be so alive in a person that the stakes are then raised so high that they are  then free in the faith of said purpose.  This leads to the willingness to risk their full vulnerability(giving-ness) of self in the how of their tactic(s)/passion(s).

I probably could actually write an entire dissertation on this and go on and on and on (you know, like I just did), but for now I’m going to leave it at that.  I get that this understanding has come to light in conjunction with all of the recent action I have been taking in my life.  And now I get, as in GET get that Master Key that keeps that flame burning.  It was a question that had been rolling around in my brain for so long in frustration because I was only obtaining grasps of the answer in a very generalized way.

“The price of anything is the amount of life you

exchange for it.”

–Henry David Thoreau

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To post something like this is normally so opposite of what I would ever do, but…but–not since the death of Heath Ledger (who’s artistic work effected me just as greatly, although it wasn’t as long of an affair as this) have I felt so gutted by the death of a celebrity.  My childhood household was a strict one, and I remember sneaking to watch MTV (when I was supposed to be doing homework) on the downstairs television, sound turned down as low as possible but where I could still enjoy it, in order to see the video for Hey Ladies just one more time.  Years later, at 19, my roommates, “Nice Guys” Tom and Joey, would blast Check Your Head and this would be when and how I learned that some albums were just so obviously made to be listened to with a little green.  That album basically proved it to be a SCIENTIFIC FACT.

 

Four years later, I’m in Denver, Colorado, in some hole-in-the-wall dive bar that the nice clerk at the downtown 24-hour Kinkos recommended.  My friend, Carri, and I are half-way through our drive across country to move to Seattle (me from Virginia, her from Indiana) and enjoying a couple of beers at  this bar near our overnight motel stop.   Some old drunk lady had apparently done or said the wrong thing and was being heaved out the backdoor by a body guard three times her size.  Suddenly and simultaneously the jukebox begins to blare, “NO SLEEP TIL…” followed by that infamous guitar riff.  And then Carri and I are “singing” along (in the loosest definition of “singing” as possible), substituting our next major destination, “Boise” for “Brooklyn” in the lyrics.  (Little did I know it was much more prophetic than I ever could have imagined, as I would end up very unexpectedly moving to Brooklyn 12 years later.)  No relation to the song, but to complete the story of the night,  a couple of hours later I would be hit in the back of the head by the side-view mirror of a city metro bus, the driver of which would give no effs and keep going.  (As you can probably guess, I survived.)

 

In Seattle, I would end up working at The Hurricane (formerly known as The Dog House), a greasy (and I do mean greasy) spoon 24 hour cafe, where the busiest part of the night would be right at bar rush, while Intergalactic played on the jukebox at least five times (extremely conservative estimate) a night.

 

The Beastie Boys last album, Hot Sauce Committee part 2, was released right around this time last year. When the upcoming release was officially announced, I was like a kid at Christmas;  it had been a LONG time since I had been that excited about a new CD coming out.  As soon as it was available I immediately downloaded the entire album (the only full album on my ipod to this day) and proceeded to wear that nonsense out every single dang day (in reality, like all of their music, in never wore out but rather got better and better with each listen).

 

The news of Adam Yauch’s death today literally felt like a punch to the stomach.  So much of my life and experiences and memories are intertwined with their music.  Every time I tried to buy concert tickets, they were sold out in MINUTES (I’m talking like three minutes most of the time).  Now I’ll never get that chance; first world problems, right?  When I was in the 7th grade, a rumor spread like wildfire (which I caught wind of in my math class) that all of the Beastie Boys had died from drinking Draino (or some other similar household cleaning product).  I always associate that memory with Barbara Simms, who was also in that math class (maybe she was the one who told me? I can’t recall now…), who had an untimely death from a freak car accident after a football game during our senior year 5 years later.  Every single one of the Beastie Boys’ songs I can relate to a memory, person, emotion, environment, what I was wearing etc.  Adam “MCA” Yauch‘s way-too-early death marks a sad, sad for many.  Thank you MCA for a lifetime of incredible music, film and art, good old nostalgic memories, and the never ending generosity of your spirit. What a gift your life was.

 

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Never underestimate what you can do when you believe in yourself.

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(Find out more about “Being Elmo” here.)

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I’m sure many of you have seen this by now.  THIS is the power of passion and vision.  9 year old Cain knows what he loves and what drives him, and seeming limit in resources and lack of interest from other people had nothing to do with following what he knew was his to do.  He just created for the love of creating and he used what he had right in front of him and the power of his heart and mind to do it.  Beautiful beautiful beautiful.

 

I’ve mentioned in the past my love-hate relationship with social media;  THIS is where its power and value is and I could absolutely get on board with something like this.  LOVE LOVE LOVE this!

 

You can also go here to contribute to Caine’s college scholarship fund.

 

So if you haven’t seen it yet, without further ado…

 

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