Deconstructing Happiness: In The Beginning


Decon HappyWe are all familiar with an ideal intrinsic to the nation’s identity, “the pursuit of happiness.” Since this phrase, coined by John Locke1, became popularized in the late 18th century, its become something the US culture has deemed a right. Even when the pursuit of happiness seems unachievable, there is a notion that you should keep seeking it. This is represented in media and marketing at a rampant rate. Try entering “Happiness” to any search engine for books, you will be assaulted with thousands upon thousands of titles. I tried it with Amazon, as of today 233,832 results come up in the 3.5 seconds it took for the screen to populate.
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Morning Meditations #112: The Voices in Our Heads

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Two fist-fulls of spinach, 1 cup of plain probiotic yogurt, cup of red grapes, 1/2 cup of: water, whole rolled oats, broccoli, frozen peaches, mango, two Granny Smiths, one banana, one nectarine, and a naval orange. Lasted me all day.

My tired mind almost caved this morning. There were voices trying to convince me that I could cheat this morning, giving in to my drowsiness and sleeping in, which by all accounts I did, as one foot wouldn’t fall in front of another until 04:25. Those little voices try to tell everybody what to do, don’t they? Think back to times when you’ve had to make a choice, and it is literally like having an argument, scratch that, it is usually more like hearing an argument between two personal impersonators. It seems most people believe this is the process of them choosing, like they have control over the little voices in their heads.Read More »

Morning Meditations #88: A Good News Sunday

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Ivy went through the next step of her super secret omelet ninja training today. She will be the deadliest of omelet ninjas.

Another Sunday is upon us. The weekend, which had some interesting twists and turns, will end one of the most productive weeks in years.

One of my musician clients landed a sponsorship deal that will make the venue we work out of even more friendly. Which isn’t to say that this venue hasn’t been friendly, quite the contrary. But, the addition of a sponsorship (the first of many to come we hope) along with the residency at this venue has been a huge windfall. It is rare that I bathe in good news, and while that is some of it from this week, there is more.Read More »

Morning Meditations #87: My Current Baseline

Every picture is of you when you were younger.  Ain’t that about time someone said that?” ~ Mitch Hedberg

Life seems to be moving with a quickening pace. Not that time is passing quickly; yesterday seems like a month ago. There is just lots to everyday. And the days feel professional, which is a nice change from my normal sad and regretful. Sad and regretful being my current baseline, I am amazed with my callouses built in response to depression.

I am not depressed anymore. I have no problem getting up and doing my thing. There are daily disappointments in behavior, e.g. drinking soda, few tears for a past mistake, or procrastinating an important phone call. A series of unhealthy daydreams may flow through my head, or I might miss an opportunity to meditate or practice yoga. Temptation for anxiety abounds, but I don’t freeze up, pacing my house for six hours. I am excited to have opportunities to create, discuss, and learn, and the moments of laughter are numerous in my life.Read More »

Morning Meditations # 86: The Sharpest of Weapons

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My daughter’s room is a powerful force!

So, I’ve had this issue. More relationship crap. Early apologies for what I am about to dump on to the internet.

See, she officially left me seven months ago, the relationship didn’t really exist anymore nine months ago. I want to report to everyone that I am no longer in love and blocking her has been a successful way to put her from my everyday life.

As you have already guessed, all efforts have been huge failures. The few, little, near-hit new relationships which I’ve tried to show interest in have all been flimsy because of this factor, at least in part. Going into honest and new relationships with people is likely best attempted with a clear mind and innocent heart.

Of course, that’s hooey.Read More »

Morning Meditations #85: Today’s Been a Good Day

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The Out of The Womb Productions/Publications reveal. Boom!

The good news is that it has been a pretty cool morning. Ivy had some getting off to school without anxiety issues this morning, but nothing too traumatic, more operatic. Nana let me know that she’d be yard-sale hunting this morning, and that she wanted to take Ivy to school. I don’t think this lessened any of her anxieties, but they certainly opened up my schedule for meditation and writing. Which I have done happily.

Meditation this morning ended up being particularly healthy. I kept it simple. Fifteen minutes in a broken lotus, which did bring a crescendo of pain in my right ankle throughout the meditation, brought a much needed exercise in letting go of many processing thoughts and emotions. Some of them were negative, naturally, but letting go of the good emotions and feelings is just as important, for it is difficult to gather new positive memories and thoughts if we hold onto the past’s joy. As well, it just so happens actually having fun accomplishments to share this morning means, Gentle Reader, this is a good day to be reading an MM.Read More »

Morning Meditations #84: Campaigning for Dignity

The writing difficulties, which I believe these are well documented in recent MMs, have continued a bit, perhaps diminished. The most direct result has been morning meditations that get started but never finished. I’ve been trying out and then testing a method of composition for times when I am not able to be at the computer. This method is talk to text dictation, then I can go back through and edit at the keyboard when I get the thirty minutes to knock it out.

MM 84I have tried now tried to dictate the last three MMs. Until today, I had yet to find my proper stride allowing me to finish an MM. It had been working out well for a few hundred words here or there. Today it seems I will overcome this hurdle. That does feel good. Of course, this hasn’t been the only problem.Read More »

Morning Meditations # 83: Walking Home Meditations

I am the man who has seen affliction under the rod of his wrath; he has driven and brought me into darkness without any light; surely against me he turns his hand again and again the whole day long.” (Lamentations 3.1-3)

This is the exact type passage from The Bible that I seek to remedy. ‘Tis also the exact type passage that allowed religion to keep its grubby, filthy fingers squeezing hard against my emotional esophagus. I am often caught saying, “It is an angry universe.” But, I say this as metaphor for the struggle inherent in survival. This particular passage speaks of prophecy and the destruction of Zion.1 The surrounding passages give the notion that it is permissible to think that trauma can be preordained by god, carried out as you wither and plead. As the book of Job2 shows us, god will spare no child or loved one when it is time for you to be crushed by his awesome, unjustified, and inescapable wrath (or whim, “Remember Er!”3)Read More »

Morning Meditation #82: “This is Mass Madness, You Maniacs”

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I’ve smoked way too many cigarettes since the new year began. If you’ve been keeping up, Gentle Reader, you can see why I have had this little period of weakness. If you’ve ever tried to quit smoking or have successfully quit any addiction, you understand the daily wrestling match within the brain, especially when things become genuinely stressful.

I do want to point out that I am not out buying packs of smokes daily. But I have asked for more than a few during social gatherings, when I just want to feel free of the daily battles waged within. I suppose I could fear a genuine relapse.

That isn’t going to happen. “Announcing you plans, Doc, is a good way to hear God laugh.” (Deadwood) Maybe I can avoid that problem by saying what I am not going to do, which is start smoking daily again.

Another thing I also know, fearing a relapse will almost guarantee one. Fear is like that. I’ve noticed it’s been successful in taking over the political debate. It’s really that powerful. I have a feeling if we continue to debate like this, it will derail a what I know we were all hoping would a legendary political season of honesty and fact sharing. And every now and then an add or post will drift across FB talking about the principles of our fair candidates. Mostly, as of this morning, in my feed I have seen: everyone fearing Donald Trump may become president, a bunch of other people screaming about how scary a Hilary administration would be, and then all the other posts talking about how rabid Bernie fans are angry mobs.

What the fuck is the matter with us?

A few days ago, in between fear of the Burn Mob posts, a friend of mine took the time to mention Bernie and Hillary stand together on many issues. No way!

Of course, debates are shit shows, which dictating almost nothing that ends up happening after a Pres is elected. That is another lesson we all need to remember.

I support the PP/ACA movement that Obama got pushed through. You know, the legislation introduced changes to things that had nothing to do with health care. Some of it down right despicable, and some of it benign. So sure, he got it done, at a potential pyrrhic price. This is governance in the current zeitgeist.

Most of us realize in a sustainable future there is very little profit repairing our energy, travel, and resource infrastructure. Compared, at least, to capitalism, which has run without leash for the last two hundred years, and I am sure some would argue longer; they are likely correct.

Stop letting fear ruin lives. You wanna vote for Hilary, fine. Do it because of the changes and stances she presents. I’ll say this for the goddamn Trump constituency, at least they like him because of the heinous things he wants to actually do. That is why I like Bernie. I know he isn’t perfect, but the changes he wants to bring to the table I support. I am glad Hilary wants to do some of the same stuff.

No, I don’t trust her.

I don’t fear her leadership, or fear for the state of the country if she were elected. I bet the price of milk will change very little no matter who will be elected.

Will I become a more hire-able commodity in a Trump economy vs. a Sanders? Unlikely.

If we sincerely don’t want our culture to descend even further into states of inequality, debt, and failing infrastructure, we would stop brandishing the negative things that could happen, and make certain we ensure the things which will make our citizens great. What if that was to be what decides our future political climate?

Dunno. Maybe I, too, am too optimistic in this regard.