Nostalgia and Friendships

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Taken in Niagara Falls, NY 2008

Throughout our lives we encounter a vast number of people, and of course there are those who touch us in a way that enriches us more than others. We call them friends; a lot of the time, through brief encounters, we meet others known as acquaintances who can propel us in directions we wish to go. However, throughout this blog, I want to talk about the different levels of intimacy we can experience during the different phases of life. Now, I’m not talking about “sexual” intimacy, rather, the quality of being warm, comfortable and familiar with another person, whether it be with someone of the same sex or the opposite gender.

The most memorable and nostalgic time, for about 87% of people from the western/modern culture, would be between the ages of six and nineteen. I come up with my own percentage because there are plenty of people out there who haven’t grown up the same way; they could have kept more to themselves, been depressed, bullied, abused, or from a completely different culture and so on. But even they are likely to have had one or two friends with a deep connection. However, the friendships we experienced in our youth were much closer and richer, so much so that if you ever hear a particular song, smell a distinctive fragrance or come across a certain food, it triggers a memory that can fill you with nostalgia and a sense of happiness as you reminisce about your younger years.

From about age five to ten, those friendships could have been apart of the building block of the person who you are today. Many of you still know those people very well, the ones you went to daycare or preschool with; that friend that you colored with, the one that stood up for you in the playground, or even the one that felt bad for hurting your feelings. As a young child it’s so much easier to make friends, even just remembering it now friendships seemed to just have started, like a dream; for the people with a great memory you might remember exactly how it started, making the memory that much more sweeter.

For me, from the age of six until about ten, I had a friend named Carl. He and I went to the same day care and first grade. We were the kind of friends that stuck by each other when playing, listening to the teacher tell a story and so on. I can barely remember his face now, but I do remember the feeling of comfort and loyalty I got when I was with him. I lost contact with him before going off to second grade, and until this day I haven’t heard or spoken him.

From ages twelve to fifteen, you have those friends who are there with you when puberty starts and noticing the opposite sex begins. You start to see groups of boy hanging around together and girls too, whispering in each others’ ears, while the boys pull on the girls’ hair. It can’t help but bring a little smile to your face as you remember the silly moments in life that could have left you feeling utterly embarrassed or completely hopeless at yourself.

There was a girl named Tammy I used to love. I remember during recess I’d act like I was the scarecrow from the wizard of oz in order to impress her and the group of girls she was with. I also knew Tammy from daycare. I vividly recall a time where she let me place my head on her lap to sleep, I think I might have been feeling sad that day. I’m not fully sure how it happened but it was very tender moment. At the same time, I had a very close friendship with a kid named Warren. He and I would ride our bikes in different areas of the Bronx, venturing to places that we’d never been to. It was risky because my mother didn’t allow me to go further than a block from where I lived. We had to be quick in our exploration. We also had a lot of sleepovers and tons of pizza. Our friendship ended shortly before going to junior high school, and I haven’t spoken to him since — nor to Tammy.

Things become very interesting from age sixteen to nineteen/twenty. At that point in your life, you can have friends that can get you into some deep trouble, and or, have friends that are super supportive throughout this period in life — the critical points of reaching maturity. It’s almost like the true bond for both genders. Girls become women, boy become men; deepening into the masculine and feminine parts of ourselves, and, at the same time, experimenting with the other. The first real kiss, SEX, first and second base; the root of our romantic relationships with the opposite sex are formed, however embarrassing that is. For many teenage boys, this involved learning about women’s bodies; for women, encounters with an older guy. An experience filled with moments that were wrong but gushing with sensuality. But those friends were there, and much of us still know those friends until this day.

The longest friend that I have had is from junior high school and is named Brandon — the one on the left in the top photo. It’s like a dream, not knowing how it started, we’ve been so very close over the years. In those days we were known as Game Heads. At lunchtime at our school, we were allowed to go outside, and so what we would do is run out of the building and head to a small comic bookshop called Lasers. Those were the most amazing times in my life, Brandon and I were VERY good at kickin’ butt, and our favorite arcade game was Marvel VS Street fighter. We were so close that one of our friends asked Brandon if we were either gay or cousins. Now, in those time in a New York City school, you had to watch VERY carefully what you said to people, because they WOULD gossip about it and, being teenagers in those days, they NEVER let it go (probably true for all generations). Brandon, naturally, chose the option of us being cousins. He took me to the side and told me very sternly that I had to back him up, because back then I was free loving spirit and pretty much didn’t think about things like that. Brandon and I also explored girls as well, sometimes at similar moments (not like in the same room or anything, get your mind out the gutter). We’ve watched and supported each other through the various relationships we had with different girls throughout our life. I’ve watched Brandon have children while witnessing them growing up. Even occasionally, we’d scream out the stuff we did when we were younger in the streets of NYC. And until this day, we’re still very close — we’re cousins after all. I even have a few high school friends until today: Eddy, Megan, and Jose. I love them all very much.

While writing this post I can feel an intense amount of nostalgia and happiness reliving the childhood memories and friendships I’ve had and still have. I miss the moments I spent speaking on the phone for hours, the sleep overs, playing online video games while talking on the phone, and experiencing all kinds of different situations that have lead to a strong bond and an an amazing ability to collaborate when problem solving (with Brandon). And I’m currently missing the times I used to watch Game Of Thrones with my friends Eddy, Rohan and Jose.

These friendships are so much apart of our lives and it’s a real shame that friendship like these seem to be unable to continue developing the way they used to because of “life.” Growing up and taking responsibility for paying bills, making a career, growing our own children and developing romantic relationships to start the whole process again for the next generation. I really miss the ease of which a friendship can flourish at a young age; not worrying about anything, focusing on having fun, and experiencing genuine laughter. Of course, you can have those at any age, but it’s not nearly as profound and distinct as in the younger years of our lives.

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Your Toes | Ten Chapters of your Life

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Your Toes | Ten Chapters of your Life

Introduction

Toe Reading is based on the theory that your body holographically records the story of your life. This story is expressed in your feet and toes and can be “read” to reveal your history.

Feet very accurately reflect the physical and emotional health and well-being of a person. An over simplification of this technique would be to say that well balanced people have beautiful, evenly shaped and spaced toes. The toes of people who have had more challenging lives will appear “toe-tied”, depicting the lumps and bumps, twists and turns of the personal and emotional lives they have lived up to this point in time. The ever-changing characteristics of the feet, toes and nails provide valuable clues to the inner struggles or inner resolve of their story.

For example, the angle of the toes reveal whether the person is innately shy…

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Trip to the North of England

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Photo taking on the side of the road in the Lake District.

This past easter weekend, my wife Sara, her friend Adelle Flora Princess Spindlove —but we’ll call her Adelle for now— and I, took a road trip up north. Sara and I were headed to Lake District, whilst Adelle to Stratford-Upon-Avon — the little town where Shakespeare was born. We all jumped into a rented car and drove the scenic route towards Adelle’s destination. Along the way, we saw luscious landscapes of green fields and hills. Adelle spotted a huge tree that had a hole at the bottom of it, which to her looks like a man’s mouth.

It’s been getting better and better driving on the left side of the road, although at times I forget and yank the steering wheel back over to the left. Most of my concentration was used to focus on the road itself, not to much on the signs telling me where to go. Luckily, there was plenty of navigation in the car, from my phone, car navigation and Sara. As we arrived in Stratford-Upon-Avon, I still didn’t see any sun shine. I wanted the day to start out nice so I could see the landscape’s true beauty. We bid farewell to Adelle as she went to spend time with her friends, we would see her in a days time, to head back home.

Sara and I started our next bit of driving towards Lancaster, which was a little over two hours from Stratford. My lower back was beginning to ache, but I had enough energy to do the whole distance. I noticed that the weather never changed since leaving Southampton — the infamous dark clouds of England. However, as we approached Lancaster, the sun shined upon us. The warmth of the sun felt reassuring and made me feel like it was glad to see me too.

We stayed in a lovely house just outside of Lancaster, we could see fields of green far out in the distance; it felt spacious and free. Chickens in the backyard with a little lake stream, the air was clean and clear. I slept really well that night, exhausted by all the excitement of travel.

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Sara and I

The next day was an early one, we were ready to see what the Lake District was all about. The woman who owned the house we stayed in, gave us a nice route through the Lake District, which was great since I had no idea what to expect. As we were driving up we could see the most beautiful landscapes, the sun shining on the land, like how I imagined. It reminded me of taking the train trip from London about 16 years ago when I visited a pen-pal; the first time I took the train alone in another country — I originally was visiting my family in London for the first time.

During the Lunar eclipse, Sara and I were in a small restaurant. I could feel the pressure in my ears and soon after Sara started feeling tired and emotional; the increase in energy was certainly felt. As we continued on our journey through the Lake District, scenes unfold of different hills, animals and mountains pass — lakes sparkling in the sunlight. We walked in a little village named Rydal, we walked with some sheep and Sara did a small meditation involving the four elements. As I waited for her, I took many photos of anything that was interesting; as the day was coming to an end, I said a small prayer in thanks for the weather being so great.

The next day, which it was time to head home, I woke up and looked outside the window to see thick fog. A short distance away I could see some cows huddled up together as if they were having a group meeting. As we headed back to Stratford-Upon-Avon to retrieve Adelle, the fog seemed to have disappeared. However, the dark clouds of England had returned and things were bleak again.

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Rocking my Pancho

As we were approaching Stratford the clouds started to dissolve and the sun took claim of the skies, it was that moment I realized why I loved the sun so much: I understood that when the sun shines it creates contrast, you’re able to see distinct shadows on places that the sun didn’t reach. In a metaphorical sense, the sun creates light to see our shadows or subconscious so that was can shine the light of awareness upon them. The dark and cloudy weather keeps things in even lighting and it’s much harder to see the shadows of our being, thus no awareness of what’s keeping us from reaching new heights in life.

We arrived to Adelle successfully and headed back to home. I didn’t want the trip to end, remembering my love for traveling by car. The combination of music and the road in front of me, makes me feel like I’m always going somewhere, staying in motion does something to my being, something I haven’t fully figured out yet.

Poetry: Inhale and Exhale

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Photo taken at Stow, UK

In with the new, like a toy, unable to leave this unique and unusual element alone.
The increase in Eros throughout my being gives rise to excitement, like the rush from sugar, sweetness engulfs my soul.
In with the new, the muscles of my face less used, with a smile. The art of life drawn on my blank canvas with all the colors of the rainbow.
Fluid and free, I Inhale the essence of existence to automate my shifting energy through the space of my four walls.

Out with old, the full trash can of decomposing emotions, recycling in its release.
The contraction of my being causing pain of change, the elements I wish to keep are allowed to leave, whether I want it, or not.
The freewill of the universe resides in my bloodstream, flowing down to my feet and up to my heart, the circulation carrying the oxygen of dead cells — on the Exhale.
What no longer is needed withers in the invisible substance that floats around our anatomy. I am safe in knowing I no longer need to keep, what I thought I worked so hard to reach.

Take a deep breath……..Now, let it out, be at peace.

Kambô; From Poison to Medicine: Session 3 (Final)

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Photo take at the session

The weeks leading up to the final session, a number of concepts, ideas, and “ah-ha” moments have come into my reality. From understanding what a vibration match means, I’ve finally seen in full why my wife and I are a match and what our growth together entails. Along with finding the rhythm of my being, knowing what it is I want out of life and pursuing it without all the doubts and conditioning that were interfering with my mind. You know, the ideas our parents pass down to us that turn into introjections, which follows us everywhere we go — even while we sleep. About five weeks went by leading to the final session, which was the weekend after the huge solar eclipse (March 20th). I can’t help but think that the universe knows exactly when to do things, especially in this time of awakening.

My wife and I drove over to Glastonbury really early that morning. We wanted to catch the first session of the day so we could enjoy the rest of the afternoon — to fulfil my hungry wife’s urge to eat. We were the first to arrive and rushed in as we had to use the toilet; it was a new599d22a0f56669e57a87be4c486d2012f912c4b13ad7d057c5c31bb3550614a0 venue for us and we liked it much more than the other one, despite the stiff coldness of the room. We wanted to be the first ones to go, we were much more confident than the last two times and my wife’s hunger was growing bigger each time. When she went up, very quickly, the medicine took its effect and her skin turned as red as a stop signal. The majority of the people in the room were on their first time doing Kambô, so it was good for them to see some veterans step up to the plate. A man who sat next to me, who had done Ayahuasca a few times, looked nervous. I reassured him that it was fine and it wouldn’t last very long. That came from me, who was about to have sixteen dots applied. The more dots you have, the deeper the medicine goes, and probably that much more intense.

As soon as my wife went back to her spot, I was called up next since a lot of work had to be done on me. I went on up, not a worry in the world but with all eyes on me. Everyone knew the amount of dots I was about to get and even the practitioner, jokingly, told me that he wasn’t responsible for what might happen to me. I sat down, on what appeared to be a preschool chair, and rolled up my shirt on my left arm. A woman sat in my view and she kept her eyes on me, she had really cool indian looking pants on that were brown and baggy — earlier, I had noticed her doing some stretches like she does yoga. The practitioner applied the burns while I was still drinking my last pint of water. I felt super relaxed and ready to see what would happen with this final experience. The room was lit with the dark clouds outside, I wished the sun was out so I could really get into the mood; the first dot of medicine was applied. I opened and closed my eyes, the gushing sound of water hitting a bucket, my wife had started purging; at that moment I didn’t realise how quickly she had started. The sounds of my heart beat started to become much more noticeable, the medicine’s effect was in the ON position. I opened my eyes and saw the woman looking at me, I told her, “Don’t be alarmed by what you see, I am totally fine.” Half way through having the rest of the medicine applied, the practitioner asked if he could take photos of the medicine on my arm. I allowed him, a long with a few others in the room. Then, I noticed that I was no longer going to be able to get up. The medicine seemed to have travelled where it needed to go in my body, in a flash. The practitioner came close to my left ear and asked if I could get up — I couldn’t answer. He told me to stay there, 4949669126ddaee5601cd15c41eee392f15efdad6b970e124bf41b93b859b240and he grabbed his drum. Two other helpers came, I could feel one behind me with a rattler and another in front of me wafting palo santo — my eyes closed the whole time. I could feel the whole room looking at me but I wanted them to, I wanted them to see a person who had made the choice to go as deep as he could and be just fine. I swayed left and right in the preschoolers chair, thinking to myself that it was probably a bad idea. I felt the medicine seeping in even deeper, agony was afoot — get this shit out of me, I chanted to myself. I thought about the heaviness that was in me at the last session and I wanted it to come out, so I stayed with it and then; I purged. I cheered myself on, as one would do when they see a hero in a movie or T.V show finally get that left hook on the bad guy. I purged beautifully and I was assisted back to my spot next to my wife.

It didn’t take long before I recovered, much quicker than the last two sessions; I was amazed by how I felt. I pictured myself as a clear being with no murkiness — squeaky clean. I cleared my throat and I felt the urge to “oum,” but I got too shy and kept it in. I laid back and allowed myself to relax, my body felt like it had been through two marathon runs; I wrapped myself up in mine and my wife’s blankets.

It took me about three days to recover from this session, I felt like laying down all the time and when eating I had to do so slowly so I wouldn’t bring it back up. Wherever the Kambô medicine went, it went super deep and a number of emotional things came up, which were triggered and integrated during the recovery time. It’s only today, after writing this I feel like I’m fully in my body.

If after reading these blogs, Session 1 and Session 2, you may get a fearful feeling; that’s your ego trying to protect you. Tell that dude or dudette that it’s completely fine, however, if you want to have a Kambô session, be prepared for your shadows to surface. Have the bravery to take on these shadow and integrate them. Your shadows are what are keeping you from achieving what it is you desire in your life, whether that be from relationships to money. Face these shadows and all that which you want in your life will be in reach because you WILL believe it is. Thank you all for reading these blogs and be safe.

Winds of Outer Space

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space background from http://wonderfulengineering.com

 Photo take in my living room.

In the middle of the night, I woke up slightly from the strong wind outside my window, howling like a night wolf. Halfway between sleep and awake, I took part in a journey that might have been a dream or may have been real.

The wind had a vast sound to it that made it seem like I wasn’t on earth anymore. I got up from my bed and looked out the blinds and I saw endless amounts of stars. My eyes widened as if I had just been punched in the stomach, the unbelievable beauty of a nebula creeped into view — its pink fluffiness stretching out like an arm as it floated on past me. As I continued to watch, the wind blowed itself harder; the walls of the room crumbled away like bits of a broken chocolate chip cookie. Only the ground of the bedroom, with a huge chuck of earth rock was under me, the wind’s untamed air incasing my body, it felt warm and made me feel secure — no sense of danger in my heart. I watched the nebula go out of sight as galaxies formed around me, feeling the massive distance between us, I did not feel alone, but I questioned why I wasn’t afraid. Whisking past me in an instant were a family of big green and blue aura rocks; they seemed in a hurry, wherever they were going. The wind now felt like it was guiding me somewhere.

For a while, magnificent stretches of jagged light passed over me; many different colours, it felt like the lights were waving to me — happy to see me blowing across space. I caught eye of the sun as it came closer and closer, then I knew where I was going; I thought, “Will I die in the sun?” The ground that was under my feet crumbled away, floating in space, the wind’s presence still with me. As I got to the sun’s lavaic surface, my body plunged in, and, at the same moment, turned into crystal form; I looked at my hands to see clear quartz fingertips. The wind carried me to the depths of the lava ocean, I could feel the multi-layered-infused, dense energy of the sun. The liquid energy, orange and yellow in colour, dissolved into my clear quartz skin. I could see it floating within me, the tension that was in my body left immediately, I was now a part of the sun.

Waking up in my bed, hearing the wind again outside the window, my body felt hot. I pulled open the covers and checked if my wife was still next to me. Yet again, an amazing experience — not sure if it was just a dream or if it was real.

True Stories: From Screenplay to Screen Play

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Photo taken at the back lot of Universal Studios

Disclaimer: This true life event happened in January 2010

It was nearly a year after I left the army. What a relief to leave the grips of an organisation that wanted to control my life — if not the world — and not have a say in it. I left the army with all the benefits and decided to do some schooling. Not knowing what I wanted to study, I went back to NYC and suddenly remembered the school I had had my eye on before I left high school: New York Film Academy. I thought since I would be able to study in the city, and receiving all the benefits from attending, I could save as much money as possible for whatever I next wanted to do. However, when I visited NYFA, they told me that the NYC branch didn’t accept the GI-Bill that was created that year, but the Los Angeles branch did. I was extremely nervous about going to California, but finally decided to go ahead with it. Being in LA, where all the movie magic happens, was a once in a lifetime chance. So, I jumped in my car and drove over to LA where I would meet the roommates I had assembled and start my studies as a filmmaker.

After the first two days of school, I thought it was the most amazing thing. My class mates and I got to play with cameras on the first day, the second we were writing a small screenplay (or script), which we would film in the back lot of Universal Studios — yup, I had definitely made the right decision. The next day in the back lot, I was standing in an old western bar, listening to the coordinator who was explaining the rules and safety regulations. All the different programs studying film making were given three actors to work with, it turned out that I was the first one to start filming my small story, which involved an exchange. It was the very first time directing actors to do a short film, I felt extremely nervous and did my best to be a Director.

The actors that I received were exactly what I needed for my story, one woman and one man, however, I was missing an actor. It took some time for the final actor to come and I thought it was going to mess up my film. The coordinator, herself, came to me and apologised for the wait. She offered me a young actor, who turned out to be excellent at acting as well. I considered myself lucky to meet those actors that day, they listened to everything I told them and adjusted themselves the way I needed. Looking through the lens of the camera and seeing the actors bring my material to life, giving direction, well, the most amazing feeling rushed over me and I could see the instant creation of motion picture in front of me. I remembered all those times in my life when I used to watch bloopers of movies I loved. I used to laugh and wish I could be apart of a creation that many people in the world would see — it still fills my heart today and drives me to make more films. When I finally sat down at the end of that day, I thought about where the nervousness went and how fluid I was in the middle of everything. It was one of the happiest days in my life.