Category Archives: Self help

It’s either all or nothing

Freud's diagrams from 'The Ego and the Id' (1923)

Freud’s diagrams from ‘The Ego and the Id’ (1923) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The most powerful information I received during my awakening was that giving is everything.  We can not survive on our own, we must help others to help ourselves.  And by helping others, we evolve into higher blessed beings.

GIVING IS EVERYTHING is written several times in my ayahuasca journal.  Strength is beauty, ego is illusion and this world is fantasy.

I haven’t been the same since I got back from Colombia.  Everyday I progress towards my higher self.  With every passing day, I’m finding myself happier and awake.

I give to everyone.  I love and respect everyone.  Everyone needs love.  Everyone deserves respect.  However, I’m not sacrificing myself anymore to feed others false ego’s.  Ego’s are dangerous.  Ego’s cause pain and war. It’s truth’s opposite, opposite of humility and humanity.  Therefore, I tell the truth – all of the truth and nothing I write is an embellishment or falsified in any way.  If I exaggerate anything, writing in my own personal journal for my own benefit, than whats the point of it?  If I’m not honest here, I can’t be honest anywhere.

The girl who had sex with my ex-boyfriend while I was in the next room, read my blog.  Now she’s pissed.  I can’t help the way I view her, it’s what I see until I see different.  And I can’t ignore the times Dave put me in danger.  He shot a gun out of my car window.  Am I exaggerating that?  He shot a gun out my car window, he nearly crashed Amy’s quad that she cherishes, shot off rounds in her old log cabin.  How is this exaggerating?  I’m stating, not telling.

I accepted who she is, I forgave her.  It was a fucked up thing to do to me, but I forgave her.  Nobody’s perfect and I don’t judge others on their faults and mistakes because why bother?  Their shit has nothing to do with me.  And who really cares what I think anyway?  I’m not of brilliant mind, I’m no angel.

But I can’t have impartial friends.  An impartial friend is someone I can’t be myself around, I always have to placate to their needs – to never say how I feel.  No, I can’t have impartial friends.  I tried that with my ex-friends, but I ended up suffering in the long run.  It’s either all or nothing with me.  But by saying how I feel, all the people who claimed to be my friends, turned out not being friends at all.  Just shadows of what a real friend looks like.  Like Plato’s cave allegory, only images having no substance.  The beauty of it is that if they can’t be a real friend to me, then they can’t be a real friend to anybody, so I can’t take it personal.  Not taking it personal is a great relief (at least for my ego).

What is a real friend anyway?

A real friend wouldn’t leave me stranded in a third world country because of her own warped agenda, a real friend wouldn’t sleep with my ex (let alone with me being there to hear the Ohh Ahh sounds [a painful twisting of the knife]), a real friend would always have my back, help me up when I fall (even if I say I’m okay) – a real friend would care.  They would put themselves aside and care about someone other than themselves for even only two minutes.  They have the rest of the day to divulge in themselves, they can’t take 2 minutes away from themselves to feel what it’s like walking in my shoes?

Eh, I don’t care anymore anyway.  Everyone hates me, I’m a martyr that always gets yelled at for something.  I make people see the truth they don’t want to hear and I get crucified.  It’s always me that gets hurt.  Always.  I can handle it – bring it.

This is my blog, what I put in here is for me.  Readers must read at their own risk because what comes out aint always pretty.  If I feel I’ve been wronged, damn skippy it’s going in here.

The raw truth hurts, but here it is.

I’m not candy coating shit.

Whatever new friends I acquire now, will be of a different stock.  Not just the shadows.  As you get older you learn who your true friends are – this is sad news, but gets you in the doorway for something greater.

So anyway, that’s that.  I told people not to read my blog anymore, I told them.  But they insist.  This girl is most likely going to give Dave the link to my blog so he can be rid of me too.  People use me up like a tissue and throw me away when they don’t like the contents that come out of them.  Everyone has gooey grossness on the inside.  I put my own grossness on a pedestal.  My blog is my high horse.

Anyway, what was I saying?  Oh right, giving is everything.  I want to sponsor a child from a foreign country.  I just need to figure out the best foundation to do it with.  That will be my project for tomorrow.  That was the main point of my post this evening, but it turned into something way different.  You never know where a post will take you..

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My new and improved life, well, sort of…

I had a client queef on my table today. I haven’t heard one of those in a while. They make me smile. They make me smile especially when they come out of an intimidating, sporty, type A woman who could crush me with her big toe. A dainty splutter erupted from under the sheets.

“What? Did you say something?”

Okay, so I didn’t actually say that.

You know how hard it is to relax a woman like that? Take it from me, it’s pretty damn hard.

I’ve been working a lot lately. I mean really working. This is the first time in my life where I actually have money – the kind of money that replenishes itself within hours – HOURS!

I work everyday from 11am to 8:30pm. I get home at 9pm and eat like a bulldozer whatever my mom makes, play a little Skyrim and hit the hay only to do it all over again the next day.

It’s so different from anything I’ve ever experienced. I’m working like a dog and yet feel completely full of life and energy. Like what I’m doing is actually accomplishing something, not just for the client, but for me as well. That’s what been missing this whole time working for others – the ME component.

I will never go back. Will never go back to those long unappreciated hours with little pay – no where to move up or get ahead, constant worry over hours cut and poor performance reviews, shitty co-workers….

The only regret I have is not doing it sooner. I’m kicking myself for not doing it sooner. The water is surely warmer on this side, grass is definitely greener. I crossed over into a new level of awakening.

Lets talk about how many massages I gave in these past 15 days. 73. I massaged 73 people in 15 days. 55 of them were groupons and the rest were repeat clients. I had one day off and that was last Sunday. Me and my friend installed curtains in my office and went out to eat thai food. Well, she installed the curtains while I stood there passing her tools like she was a surgeon.

“You want the what what?”

“The screwdriver.”

“Where is it? I just had the damn thing where’d it go? This makes no sense.”

As for picking out the curtains, I was clueless at that too.

“Lisa I’m so confused.”

She laughed at me when she spotted me holding a box of curtains in Target. I looked scared and confused.

Lisa – “That’s why I wanted to come. I’m good at this stuff.”

She looked at me and started laughing again.

Lisa – “You have to wipe your face. You have that milkshake stuff all around your mouth.”

Me – “Oh shit do I?”

I smear it in more with the palm of my hand.

Lisa – “It looked like something else ha ha.”

So all in all, I’m clueless about most everything including remnants left on my face. I can’t take care of myself, not that I don’t know how, I just don’t care to – there are more important things to do. I had to feed myself for two days in a row after coming home from 10 hour days. The first night of having to cook for myself, my parents went to the casino and I salvaged edamame and chocolate chip cookies for dinner – which were fine.

The second night however, is not so fine. My mother had to go to the hospital for pneumonia (she’s fine) so she couldn’t cook me dinner, and what I ended up feeding myself made me want to puke. I made myself Campbell’s tomato soup and then ate a huge bowl of homemade pickled beets (garden fresh!). I could not, NOT stop eating the pickled beets. They were so good and wholesome, but man oh man. A bushel of pickled beets and a bowl of canned tomato soup do not mix.

I only massaged four clients today. Now I’m sitting here on my little storage benches.

They remind me of the raft Tom Hanks built in Joe Vs the Volcano.

He tied four water-tight highly expensive leather suitcases together and had just about all he needed inside his little suitcase raft. Now here I am sitting on my little raft in my office with all I’ll ever need in life.

I love that movie, I can relate it to anything. And I like the idea of being alone in the middle of nowhere. I always liked that idea, not sure why.

A friend is swinging by a little later for some fun times. Life is good. Super good. And guess what else? I’m typing to you on my very new MacBook Air – yes you heard correct. I finally got one. It’s an 11 inch, 2.5 pound Mac. Perfect for traveling great distances on foot. I bought a handmade leather case to store it in. It looks like an old discarded book on the outside, but on the inside there’s a flourish of high tech wizardry at play.

The next day…

I’m sitting on my benches at the office again. Waiting for a client to show. Last night was weird. I hung out with Amy and it was the first night in a long time where I didn’t have Dave by my side at the bar. Amy and I were both bombarded with strangers buying us drinks and talking nonsense to us.

I’m not in the happy mood I was in yesterday. People are crazy basically and I swear I’ll never understand them.

I have a tendency to connect with everyone. I know that contradicts my last statement, but I can always find something in anyone no matter who it is, something I can appreciate and connect with. I sort of see the potential in people. I do this for survival purposes. If I don’t connect, people – everyone and anyone can frustrate and annoy the hell out of me. And I DO mean everyone. I become grouchy and make lewd inappropriate comments and poke fun at unfortunate people.

I’m a girl with two opposing sides. It’s a toss of a coin with me. I can be miserable and miserly, or I can be joyful and pleasant – I choose to be pleasant but in order for me to do that, I have to connect. It’s the only way.

Reaching for a connection is exhausting. The more I have to reach for it, the more exhausting it becomes. That’s why I treasure my alone time.

My best friend, Dave, he’s a character. I despise him as a man – a nasty, dirty despicable man. He uses women and has no conscious when doing so. His last girlfriend, Heather, gave him everything and all he did was use her for sex and a place to stay. He also taken advantage of an emotionally/physically crippled girl, and now he’s banging a married chick.

I taken him to Vermont to stay at a friends cottage (this friend doesn’t invite ANYONE to her cottage), and Dave forced her into things she didn’t want to do (not sexual stuff). He shows no respect for anyone and most people hate him.

My problem is that I can find good in everyone and overlook their faults entirely. I refrain from all judgement unless it gets personal and hits close to home. I can connect with a toothless heroin addict truck driver (like I did last night) as long as I know he won’t interfere in my personal life.

Dave made it personal this time. He tries to do things to make me jealous, which invariably never work. He wanted to get Amy in bed with him but she has absolutely no desire and not only that, respects me too much to sleep with my exboyfriend. Amy’s awesome.

Anyway, what Dave did to really piss me off was that he slept with one of my friends while I was in the house. Again I have to say, not jealous. I could’ve went into her room and seduced her myself, or could have went into Dave’s room to seduce him – but no, I’m not like that. Not with friends anyway.

He showed no respect for me. Complete annihilation of respect.

During my awakening I understood that respect is a highly valuable quality to have for emotional and spiritual development. I do my best to honor others with my best intentions. When people don’t do the same for me, it’s hurtful and disrespectful.

My morals are my most prized assets. And I see how rare they are since no one else seems to have any.

People are fucked up and gross. After Dave did that, I not only lost faith him, but in everyone. EVERYONE will hurt me. Its inevitable. People will talk shit about me and I’ll have nobody there to defend me, people will leave me stranded on a mountain in a third world country, guys fuck everything, everyone lies, everyone’s manipulative and out for themselves – EVERYONE.

This thought lingered for quite some time and made me sick to my stomach. I started having chest pains and couldn’t breathe. I’m a martyr. During my enlightenment, Aya told me that I played the part of a martyr. That I give permission to people to take out all their self inflicted torment onto me and I take it all and allow it in order for them to see, but in the process, I get destroyed. It’s part of my path, but I was also told that I still have free will and the choice to end my suffering. But in order to fully end it, I have to let go of all the bad influences in my life. All the people who hurt me, I have to let them go. But now after what Dave did, it felt like there’s no one left. It’s in everyone to do this. Everyone’s heart is cold.

I know I’m a coin. But I can choose which side to land on most of the time. I’m happy because I choose to be happy. I’m good because I choose to be good. If I let the world get to me in this bad way, it’s a fertilized ground for evil. Fear is evil. Fear is lack of understanding and void of compassion. It’s complete misery and I’m sure its the place where people learn how to do all these dastardly things to each other.

I may be jaded, but I’ll never let myself fall. So long as I have the will to write, I can never fall.

I’m not mad at my friend who slept with him, well I was, but I can’t be mad at her because I accepted a long time ago who she was and this is part of who she is. I can’t judge, and I know she didn’t do it to hurt me. But Dave on the other hand, he did it to hurt me. The fact that he used one of my friends as a slab of meat to get at me makes me so sick.

Even if he didn’t do it to hurt me, and just did it for sex, I wish he picked a different girl to do it with. My friend has shit luck with guys and gets used all the time thinking that maybe they like her, but these guys never stick around. And Dave, who openly admits he doesn’t want a chick with kids, is getting off with my friend who has one.

There’s only so much I can tolerate from a person before that connection fades and they’re left with snappy, miserable Melanie who gets easily annoyed by their stupidity. When I lose that connection, I’m a completely different person.

My client is coming in 13 minutes. Blogging is making me less attracted to my job. An entire week went by without me knowing it and here my blog sits on the shelf, whispering in my ear telling me, “hey, I’m here, I’ll always be here. Take a moment when you’re ready and we will figure this shit out. Together.” And sure enough, my week just slowed down big time and came together.

Massaging people over and over again is like saying the same word over and over. It loses all meaning and all you hear are sounds. You see the word for what it really is, just noises coming out of your mouth. Not even sounds, but noises. The smooth tongue action it takes to form the word becomes aware of itself and freezes in your mouth forgetting its job and what to do.

When I massage over and over, all I see is skin. The same color skin on the same body, different body part, same skin. My hands gliding, feeling warm and soft. Covering over more skin, more body parts. Silk everywhere I touch. My movements become a painting on the wall. Dripping paint. Moving, but still.

I was massaging someone the other day, forgot who it was, and I was contemplating this – what I think about while doing my job is some weird shit. My mind became blank and I hit zen. Zen is not enlightenment or awakening, it’s absence of thought. It’s blankness.

“What am I doing exactly? Oh yeah, right.”

Six minutes until my client. I have two more. They both booked themselves online so I’m not sure if they are Groupon people are what.

I ran into my brothers fiance today at the mall and I told her I did 75 massages in the past two weeks. She laughed and said I’m crazy.

Melissa – “Why don’t you space them out?”

Me – “I just want to get them done and over with. The faster I get them done the better.”

She laughs again.

Melissa – “You’re funny.”

Anyway, last night at the bar, I was connecting with some really messed up people. I can have fun anywhere you put me and I will find amusement and new friends. I was with Amy and I think I scared her a little with my mingling. You are who you hang with, right? If you hang around dogs, you’re bound to get flea’s.

So it’s either be in a pissy mood all the time wanting to punch people, or connect with everyone and be looked at as a ……oh I think my client is here.

This post will never be finished…..sigh.

Okay I’m back home in my jammies. So tired. It feels so good to lay here and zone.

Stare

Blink

Stare

I think my last client had an orgasm on the table. I was massaging her and she started moaning and it progressively gotten louder and faster – I shit you not she was saying stuff like “Ohh yeah, yeah.” And then her moans ended and she fell silent and peaceful. True story. I was jealous. People who can experience pure ecstasy like that without drugs, god bless them.

I massaged a young woman the other day and afterwards she asks me, “Are you trained at massaging transgender?”

I had to think about it. The way she worded it made me think I needed extra training for it. But why? I’m not massaging the sex parts.

“Um, well yeah. We all have the same bodies, don’t we?”

She smiled at me and said, “Oh good. I just thought I should ask because some people have problems with it.”

Me – “No not me. I’m open-minded and nonjudgmental. This is a safe environment.”

And then I had a guy that came in and plopped down on my Joe Vs Volcano Benches and started sobbing away.

Man – “My job is horrible, I have a lousy marriage. I’m in a bad hopeless place and need something, you know? Something that would help me. I read your website and it sounds like you can help me. I can only go to the bar so much, you know?”

He was an older fellow, early 50’s I’d say. Rather fluffy and unattractive. My heart went out to the poor guy. Starting over for him would be a great challenge – starting over for me on the other hand is cake since I never really started anything.

I told him some deep profound insights into the meaning of life (I forgot exactly what I said) and his eyes and ears perked up.

Him – “You give talking therapy too?”

Me – “Ha, no. I’m not certified for that, but talking is absolutely therapeutic.”

He loved his massage and couldn’t stop thanking me. I saw him again the following week and I’m seeing him again in a few days.

People are strangely beautiful if you get past everything else and let them into your heart.

Whatever negative vibe they give off, or if they seem rough around the edges, don’t mirror it back to them. If you treat them the same way they treat you, its just going to feed into their already deteriorating faith in humanity. It perpetuates the cycle and spreads it to others.

So I guess in my small way, I do help people. And it’s very rewarding.

I’m zonked. It’s 11 pm, my new bedtime. I need to unwind and stop writing. I really REALLY hope I can sleep after writing this post. I haven’t written anything in a while, so this has gotten my mind a little straighter and lighter but now it wants to stay up and let out more. Purge! Purging is great when it’s not the contents of my stomach.

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Ayahuasca in Colombia – A story about my Spiritual Retreat and Enlightenment

I’m at cheshire coffee. I got here about forty minutes ago intending to finally write about my trip to Colombia. But instead of writing, I texted people. I read emails and surfed the net. I found an article about heart attacks in women (number one killer) that I HAD to read, I had no choice really – can’t mess with heart attacks. We all must be informed.

I’m still texting. I can’t stop. I have ADHD.

I wanted to write about my trip for the longest time, but found myself in a whirlwind of activity when I landed back in the states. Not all of it fun.

A huge reason why I chose to do drugs in Colombia was to get away from my thoughts and the people who let me down. But when I returned home from Colombia, I was forced to see these people and relive my old hurt feelings all over again. The repairs I made in Colombia started to unravel. My insights and understanding slowly diminished. Poor me, right? Eh, I’ll live.

I met a lot of new travel companions while I was away, had the time of my life and experienced excellent insights. I even reached enlightenment. I’m hoping this post will bring me back to that blissful state of mind and help repair the unraveled threads. Hopefully this post will bring me back to Colombia.

Now without further ado, let’s turn to the first page of my travel journal and dig in, shall we?

Day One

August 3, 2012

The journey to Colombia was an adventure all in itself. It started at 7 pm August 2nd when I found out my ride to the shuttle bus cancelled on me last minute.

Matt – “I’m sorry but I can’t bring you. I don’t want to take part in any of this trip. It’s a stupid idea and I don’t want you going. I’m not being responsible for bringing you because I don’t want to spend the rest of my life blaming myself if something happens to you.”

Me – “Okay, that’s fine.”

I was irritated.

I booked a shuttle to take me to LaGuardia airport through CT Limo. It was scheduled to pick me up in Southington – very close to home and easy enough for anyone to drop me. It was the first irritation to a relatively long journey.

I found another ride from a good friend, but my anxiety did not cease. I had to deal with an even bigger dilemma than Matt. I had to deal with an ex-friend who was fixated on telling my parents where I was going. She went and worried my poor older brother about the dangers I’ll be facing, and now she was off to tell my parents. I felt like a little kid getting ratted on. It was a huge anxiety trigger to say the least. She was ruining my trip before it began.

I spent about three or four hours (possibly more) texting, no, begging her to “please don’t do this” but it was no use. I was sweating at that point, completely exhausted and my body was so infested with anxiety that I couldn’t stop shaking. This is partly why I’m not friends with her anymore – she has no empathy or compassion towards me, but still reads my god-damned blog goddammit.

The friend who brought me to the shuttle bus had a few beers in his car – thankfully. I chugged one and smoked a cigarette before the shuttle came striding in at 2 am. I hugged my buddy goodbye, wondering if he’d be the last friend I’ll ever see again. And if he was, I made a good choice being it was him.

The beer settled my nerves somewhat, but what really gave me hope was the girl who shared the shuttle with me. It’s pure coincidence, sheer luck that my friend Kali shared that lonesome shuttle with me at 2 am. She was hitching a ride to JFK. What are the chances? I mean, seriously?

So there I was, deathly afraid for my life, sitting in the cold air-conditioned shuttle next to Kali. I was well on my way to the Amazon jungle to experience exotic drugs all by myself. It was the first trip I ever taken alone. My fears being reinforced by Matt’s judgments, compounded with my ex-friends threats, the thought of riding the death wave of ayahuasca. And to top it off, I had a weighted feeling in my chest that my parents were going to drop dead if they found out where their sheltered, naive daughter was.

Sheer exhaustion ensued. Every cell of my being honeycombed with adrenaline. But there was Kali. Sweet, sweet Kali smiling at me and being stoked for my journey. I wondered if God planned for her to be there. The odds of her being there are practically astronomical.

It was a long, dark 2 hour ride to the airport. I was texting my ex-friend back and forth. She couldn’t allow me peace of mind. All I wanted was peace of mind – for the knot in my brain to release.

It didn’t happen until I was out of the shuttle and standing outside the airport at my gate. I was standing outside the door to Spirit airlines letting the lights of Laguardia brighten me up. With my backpack nestled on my shoulders and a newly lit cigarette in hand, I looked around at the twinkling stars and cars coming and going, dropping off and picking up travelers, my heart lifted.

I saw myself as a brave girl – brave and willing to better herself against all odds. I was doing something that I dreamed of doing since I was a kid. I used to pretend I was an adventurer like Indiana Jones. I pictured myself wearing his hat, having mad skills with a whip, but I also imagined carrying around a backpack with a collage of patches sewed into it from all around the world. I was a weird kid, but there I was, outside Laguardia. I had the backpack with one patch already sewn in place. All I needed now was the hat and whip.

I filled my lungs one last time with the fresh night air and the smoke of my American Spirit and headed inside.

The first plane taken me to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It was relatively uneventful. My seatmates were Colombian and told me if I needed anything when I got there, don’t hesitate to call. They were ridiculously nice people. My second plane ride, the one to Armenia, was less enjoyable. My flight from Laguardia was delayed, so I only had 10 minutes (not even) between flights to go to the bathroom, brush my teeth and call my parents to inform them I landed safely in Florida.

My parents believed that I was going to Florida to visit a friend. If I neglected to call them, they would’ve called my ex-friend, found out the truth of my destination and drop dead with the receiver still clutched in their old white hands. Well, I forgot to call them. It wasn’t so much as forgetting, but I was so tired, stressed, and rushing to my gate that it completely slipped my mind.

I finally remembered when I was seated in the plane. Everyone was seated and ready to take off – the flight attendant impatiently telling people to turn off their cells. That’s when I drenched my shirt with sweat and dialed home with shaky fingers. It was the one and only time I could call them – If I called them from Colombia, the number that would’ve shown up on the caller I.D, along with the phone charges, would’ve blown my cover.

My Dad answered and I told him I landed safely.

Dad – “Oh okay good. Thanks for calling.”

Me – “You’re welcome. I’ll probably email you the rest of the week. I want to keep my phone off.”

Dad – “Here, your mother wants to talk to you.”

I could feel the burn of eyes on me from the flight attendant – my face covered in oil and grime.

Me – “Okay quickly.”

Any minute the pilot would come on the speaker and blow my cover. Any minute the flight attendant was going to come over and confiscate my phone.

Mom – “Hi sweetie you made it there okay?”

Me – “Yes mom I’m here and I’m safe. I made it, it was fine. I really have to go cause they don’t like cell phone use at airports.”

Mom – “Okay call us later then.”

Me – “No mom I can’t. I already told Dad I want to leave my phone off. I’ll email you.”

Mom – “It’s hot there isn’t it? What are you going to do there? Where are you going? Why would you visit Florida in the summer?”

Me – “I’m in Fort Lauderdale, yes it’s hot. I really have to go I’m sorta in a rush.”

When I got off the phone with her, I was so relieved. I took in a big sigh and tried to relax.

Fatigue settled in and I couldn’t fall asleep on the plane due to anxiety and screaming children. All I could do was think. I thought for a long time about the actions, the steps that accumulated over time to get me there to that moment. I ruminated on the process that got me to go to Colombia. I was sitting on a plane taking me to only god-knows-where, how did I get here? How’d it come to this?

I started thinking about, in fine detail, the Nepal abandonment. I had five hours to kill, so why not? Deliberating about what happened in Nepal felt like gravity to my mind – it wanted to go there, it followed the current. After cogitating Nepal, I relived the events that conspired after when I returned home. I felt abandoned and shamed all over again. For the entire plane ride to Armenia, my eyes became bloodshot and filled with tears. My chin quivering, my heart physically doing weird things in my chest and breathing became difficult and felt like a chore – I had to tell myself to breathe or I’d forget.

I couldn’t move. I sat there ignoring everything around me. I sat with my head butted up against the seat in front of me and closed my eyes. I felt sorry for myself. I pitied myself. It was the lowest I felt in a long time. I literally wanted to cry, but held it in. Holding in an eyeful of tears brings with it no release. I was a mess, a complete destitute mess. And it lasted for five hours.

The plane landed, the people applauded. I got up, got my things and like a zombie, went through customs.

I slowly walked outside the airport gates and looked around at the brightness of the day and the new terrain. It was my first time in South America – the newness of the experience helped deaden my sadness and I was able to take in a deep, well-needed breath. That’s when I heard my name.

A pretty blonde girl was looking straight at me smiling.

“Yeah that’s me. Hi!” I forced a smile.

She gave me a hug and several others greeted me with hugs. And with that moment I was happy again. I was happy and relieved.

We all piled into a spacious bus and headed to Los Sauces, our new home for the next week. The self-pitying emotions I felt on the plane ride completely vanished. I stared out the window of the bus and snapped some photos. I was pleased to see very little trash on the ground and no ramshackle housing. Everything was quaint and colorful with a luminous mountain backdrop reflecting the sun in a picturesque design.

Okay so some of the houses were dilapidated wrecks…

I was finally there. And I felt safe and immediately cared for.

I met my two roommates who were also single women traveling alone. They’re seekers of change and adventure, real soul-searchers like me. I instantly loved them both.

We unloaded into our appointed bungalow and made ourselves at home.

The girls let me take the top room which was a single room with its’ very own patio. I was in heaven. I unpacked my things and let myself relax for the first time in 31 hours. I spread out my arms and legs, stretching and yawning like crazy on top of the mattress.

I opened up my journal and wrote:

I’ve been up for 31 hours. I’m finally here. I’m having trouble comprehending it, but I’m here in Colombia. I’m so tired. This feels surreal, like a dream. Like it’s not really happening. I’m in a single room upstairs in a simple bungalow. I have my own patio. I love my roommates. One of my roommates is outside my room sitting on the patio and writing in her journal. I can’t decide if I want to write or sleep – write, I must write.

Ralph, one of the trips organizers, said that; “Ayahuasca is like cave diving. With cave diving, you descend fast and swallow a lot of CO2. Some people panic because they can’t breathe. You have to surrender yourself to it. You have to trust you’ll be okay. If you surrender and trust ayahuasca, she will take care of you. The visions that come with it are a gift. It’s like the movie Avatar, being plugged into nature. There’s nothing else like it.”

A few minutes later I hear him say, “yeah, I shit my pants once. It happens.”

Nicole, my roommate, asks – “How much ayahuasca should I drink?”

Ralph – “The shaman knows how much you drink. He’s amazing when it comes to dosages. But if you have any questions or concerns, you can ask him. He’s very good at answering questions and honoring your concerns.”

They have goats here. They sound human, like zombies, or deaf people trying to get people’s attention. I hear them but can’t see them. I’ve never heard goats like these before.

The ayahuasca is the scariest thing right now. We are taking it tomorrow night at 9:30 and at 5 am, people get hungry so soup is made.

Day one was filled with introductions, a late lunch and delicious dinner. The dining area was nothing more than an outdoor kitchen with a roof overhead. It was decorated with antiques, and had a welcoming homey feel to it. I thought it was the best thing ever.

Day Two

August 4, 2012

It rained heavily the night before on my little tin roof. It rained and thundered like you couldn’t believe. The thunder cracked so loud that the trail of rumbling lasted for over a minute. I never heard a storm like that before. Constant rumblings. It felt like the rain would never end – the ground and everything (including me) will always be wet. The thunder kept waking me up intermittently throughout the night.

The first time I woke up from the thunder, I forgot where I was. When I remembered, I became scared and homesick. I fell back to sleep exhausted and dreamt about swallowing ayahuasca. In my ayahuasca dream, I felt the effects of aya. A pounding heart and ominous fear – a fear not directed at anything specific. It was more along the lines of terror – terror in its purest form. I woke up with my heart pounding, my eyes were open but couldn’t adjust to anything.

“So this is what it feels like. This is what I’m in store for. I can’t do it. I’m not going to do it.”

The fog lifted and the fear subsided. I fell back to sleep and dreamt about swallowing ayahuasca again, a second time. In that dream, the effects were subtle – slightly pleasant even. I woke up and decided to do it after all. Dreaming about ayahuasca felt like preparation. If I were to succumb to pure terror, I will laugh at it, grin in its face and call out, “Is that the best you can do!?”

I was lying in bed still exhausted from the flight, weakened from weird interrupted sleep. Outside was cold and damp, but I needed to peel the covers off and shower. I haven’t showered in two days. At 10 am, we were to meet at the Maloca (an ancestral long house used for ceremonies by natives of the Amazon) and have an introduction ceremony.

After my shower, I hung out with my roommate on the patio. We are on the same wavelength her and I. We could talk for hours and hours about the weirdest stuff that mostly anybody would not have a clue. We are both Monkeys in the Chinese zodiac and I honestly couldn’t ask for a better roommate. I garnered so much strength from her. She is no doubt a kindred spirit.

We headed down to the Maloca for our first introductory powwow. Ralph sat us all in a circle and one by one we went around and told a little bit about ourselves.

Me – “Hi I’m Melanie. This is the first time for me doing anything like this. My parents don’t know I’m here. They’re religious and kinda like rednecks. They don’t travel and would have a very hard time understanding all this. They think I’m in Florida. Originally I wanted to go to Arizona for a road trip, but somehow ended up here.”

This made everyone laugh. It was essentially the same remark I made in Nepal: “Originally I wanted to go to Thailand, but found myself here in the Himalayas instead.” It was the remark that marked me for dead. K was out to get me after I said that. But not these people. They cracked up.

I decided a while ago to surrender myself to the idea that I really don’t have a clue when it comes to others.

Me – “I typed in the google search engine “Ayahuasca retreat Arizona” and got the website for here. That same night I decided to do it. I contacted Peter and a month later, here I am. I’m very nervous about taking ayahuasca. I never did any kind of drug before besides pot, so this is new for me. Also I have a lot of weird things happen to me in my sleep like out of body experiences and my dead grandmother coming to visit me, so I’m sensitive to things like this. I’m curious to see what happens. Okay, that’s it.”

Them – “Wow, you’re really brave to be here.”

Me – “Well, we’re all here. We’re all brave.”

I started blushing and getting nervous. They kept saying how brave I was for being there, but I couldn’t understand why they were saying it. We were all there together – them being no different from me. I was the second youngest person there, maybe that’s why. A man, Simon, brought his 19-year-old daughter with him. Besides her, I was considered a youngin’.

Everyone, well, mostly everyone there were completely normal people. A few had their quirks, but they were sensitive, loving folks seeking answers and enlightenment.

This one woman in particular stood out. She lost her twin sister in a freak accident a few years ago and because of it, became extremely lonely and depressed. She sought out mediums to reconnect her with her sister – she ingested ayahuasca to connect to the spirit world so she can see her sister again. The woman is such a character. She can talk for hours at a time and none of its boring. She talked about her only friends being ducks and turtles – naming them and getting to know their personalities. Her voice changed into a little girls voice when talking about her “friends”. My heart went out to her.

She is such an interesting woman with an amazing story, that she is starring in her very own episode on the Biography channel. It’s going to air September 1st at 10 pm. A camera crew followed her around for weeks. The story she told was amazing, but I won’t get into it here, you’ll have to watch her on the Biography channel.

After the Maloca, a few of us headed outside Los Sauces to scope out the little town of Finlandia – population 7,000.

It was relatively early when we got there, but the natives were already sitting down on outside benches gossiping and drinking beer. It was my kind of place. I, however, wasn’t allowed alcohol, so I had to settle for a coffee. I was in Colombia after all, I had to take advantage of either coke or coffee – both being equally addictive.

Dave informed me that on a bad hallucinogen trip, you can counteract the effects by downing a sugar packet – I stuffed one in my bra for safe keeping.

Angela trying to get the local men to dance with her.

Gas is expensive in Colombia. Everyone drives motorcycles.

Moo.

When I pictured what Colombian men were like, I visualized a trim man with khaki pants, tasseled shoe’s, fancy silk shirt and a wide-brimmed hat. I wasn’t expecting to see them asleep on a bench during the day.

The time was nearing. It was almost ayahuasca time. My fear returned and I became a jittery nervous wreck no thanks to the coffee.

We were not given any dinner because it would come back up on us. Ayahuasca makes you puke, but they call it purging. The purge is meant to cleanse you of emotional and physical trauma. I felt that I would have much to purge.

Me and my roommates grabbed our headlamps, jackets, hats and whatever else we needed. Nicole, my roommate, gave Cheryl and I stones shaped like hearts she found in Los Sauces. I was to keep it as my totem – something to keep me grounded and feel safe. I know how silly it sounds for a rock to keep me safe, but it was my teddy bear away from home. It was all I had. I was frightened.

We tromped down to the Maloca to meet with everyone.

Mats were laid out with blankets and pillows on top of them. I situated myself next to my roommates. I didn’t want to stray away from them. They made me feel safe. I was in frightened little girl mode at that point.

It started getting dark. The ceremony was underway. After the initial introduction, the shaman started to make his blessings and do his chants. He blessed the ayahuasca – which looked to be a gross, thick brown liquid. One of the natives went around to each of us, smudging us with incense. Everyone was quiet. It started to rain and thunder. It was dark. The maloca was lit up by a few candles. I clutched my headlamp. One of my fears being the dark.

Then it was time. One by one we went up to drink. We went up and kneeled in front of the shaman. The shaman carefully measured out the amount of ayahuasca we were to drink – pouring some back in the container, pouring a tad more into the cup. We were all to drink from the same small cup.

It was then my turn. The shaman attentively measured out my dosage, blessed it one last time before handing it to me. I downed it all in one gulp. He had me drink some blessed water before I returned back to my mat.

Me – “Gracias.”

He gave me a genuine smile – the man was truly a loving individual. He radiated warmth.

I laid down and waited. I looked up to the center of the maloca and waited.

The drumming began. Drumming and more chanting. It seemed like an hour went by before I felt any different. My biggest concern was seeing visions – I didn’t want to see them. I felt I didn’t need to. I accepted the fact I was going to puke. I don’t mind puking, it doesn’t bother me, but some people shit instead. The shit can come on so strong and violently that some people go in their pants. Shitting her pants was my roommates biggest concern.

This one woman, Maggie, wore depends. It was her fourth time attending the spiritual retreat and every time she shits. She never pukes. She was hoping to puke this time around.

I became worried about purging right away – minutes after drinking. When I started to hear others running to the vomitorium or to the bathroom, I relaxed and felt better thinking that I’m a trooper and can hold my liquor (medicine). I didn’t feel sick at all actually, but my mind started going. I started thinking. During this thinking period, I was still coherent – I was myself, thinking the same thoughts as I normally do, only fragmented with very little remembrance. I was very spacey.

I went outside the maloca to sit by the fire with some others, and pulled out a cigarette. I let it dangle from my lips forgetting it was there. People ran past me to the edge of the cliff (the vomitorium) to puke, and I would get jealous of them. Purging meant the ayahuasca was working and cleansing them. After purging, they will experience a deeper level of the medicine.

Nobody was talking, it was all very quiet. Only the drums and chanting could be heard and the occasional retching or toilet escapade.

This is the vomitorium. It’s directly in back of the maloca – a few feet away from the back entrance and next to the fire pit which I gazed at for hours.

The Ayahuasca kicked in for many people. They were lying down, flapping their arms around, some sitting cross-legged with their eyes closed. People made sounds, not bad or good, just sounds. Some slowly walked around, circling inside the maloca with their blankets covering their heads. I sat outside by the fire and waited.

People started talking to each other. They were coherent, but not in the real world – I was envious. I wanted to be where they were. I stood up and walked toward the entrance of the maloca and peered inside. The shaman spotted me and whispered something into his translators’ ear. After listening to the shaman, she walked over to me.

Translator (Catalina) – “Can I get you anything?”

I was hesitant – “You mean more ayahuasca?”

Catalina – “If you’re wondering if you should have more, than you should have more.”

She’s such a warm, good spirit. I sensed a lot of love in her. She could talk me into anything,

Me – “Okay.”

And so I drank myself another cup.

I drank myself another cup and went back over to the fire to sit. I sat there for what seemed like thirty minutes. My thoughts became less scattered and more compact, less fragmented and more felt than before. It was not an unpleasant feeling, but not altogether wonderful either. I still hadn’t purged.

I was sitting by myself next to the fire. Now and then one of the natives would come over to throw another log on, and then smudge me with more incense. With each smudge of incense, I felt heat rising inside of me and felt myself going deeper – deeper into a place I never knew existed.

Once again I found myself thinking about what happened to me in Nepal – how I didn’t deserve to be treated badly – how my best friend, after returning home, told me I deserved it – that I frustrated and annoyed everyone and I needed to apologize. I needed to take responsibility for my actions and apologize. My eyes filled with tears as I stared dazed into the fire with my cigarette dangling. I didn’t deserve it. No, I didn’t deserve it.

That’s when I felt the vile contents rise in my throat – my self pity wanted out – wanted to purge and cleanse. I ran the few feet to the vomitorium and let it rip. I surrendered to it, I surrendered myself completely to ayahuasca and understood for the first time what that meant – it meant letting go. I cried and I retched violently for about 30 seconds. When I was done, I raised my head to look into the dark, foreboding jungle. My eyes saw bright flourescent green strands connecting the tree’s to each other. Like each branch had some kind of bioluminescent quality. I blinked, blinked again – mouth hanging open, chin dripping with bile.

Me – “Whoa. Is this….is this ayahuasca? Is she showing herself to me?”

I decided it was my eyes playing tricks on me and went back to sit by the fire. To this day, I still think it was my eyes playing tricks on me, but I don’t want that fact to downplay my ayahuasca experience. What happened to me next was profoundly spiritual and meaningful.

It was personal – extremely personal. And for me to write about it knowing that I’ll get ridiculed, judged and talked down to by others saying it was a crazy trip no different from acid, I can’t help but feel offended. It’s disrespectful to me, the shaman, the Lakota indian tribe and many others who benefitted from this medicine.

The people who never ingested ayahuasca, will never understand it. Its origins are unknown. It is said that nature told a shaman thousands of years ago what two plants to mix together and how to prepare it in a certain fashion. Out of the millions of plants, leaves, roots and petals to play around with infinite mixtures and possibilities, the shaman story seems more plausible compared to dumb luck. Some records talk about shamans being able to communicate with the plants. The plants tell the medicine men what cures what.

After taking ayahuasca, I’m a believer.

Granted, I never did acid so I can’t compare the two, but I truly did feel connected to the spirit world. That I had access to its infinite knowledge – that I was special and powerful. I felt in control and had complete power over everything in my life. I will try to describe what I felt as best I can.

Calmness soothed my nerves and pricked at my awareness taste buds. My mind became clear, and I was curious about everything. My thoughts slowed and became controlled. I went to sit back inside the maloca and listen to the drumming and write a little in my journal. I felt clarity – I felt light.

People under aya acquire the unusual ability to leave their bodies – to have astral travels to different worlds. I’m a natural when it comes to this. I experienced flight, wormholes and different dimensions all from the comfort of my very own bed, and please remember that I don’t do drugs – it was all natural.

People who leave their bodies often share their experiences with fellow travelers. The worlds are infinite, but people somehow end up in the same places. There’s a world with a giant pyramid, a world with eyes everywhere, a hell world which many people end up, a hall of records world…etc. Experienced travelers can meet up with one another for a shared journey.

I wondered how it’s possible to get outside my body, while at that moment, I was in my body and completely aware and coherent.

As soon as that thought flashed across my mind, I felt a pull from up above. Directly above my head were crackling sounds of electricity. It sounded like a mixture of crackling from a bug zapper mixed with the buzzing of a beehive. I felt my hair being lifted, like someone was rubbing a balloon to it. The maloca started getting hazy, dark and blurry – the drumming became farther away. I felt a string attach itself to the top of my head and started to yank.

Me – “Eh, okay, so that’s how it’s done. Okay, okay I gotcha. Think I’ll stay here for now, thanks anyway.”

The room came back into focus. I was in the maloca again, completely – I didn’t realize I was halfway out until I came all the way back in.

In that moment, I hit enlightenment. The buzzing and whirring, which I contrived as being the sound of rain hitting the roof (please remember that I was able to rationalize and think clearly about everything I was experiencing), diminished. I felt the weight of my body return. This experience alone was worth the trip to Colombia. That experience in itself, was worth double for what I paid, no, not double, priceless.

So there I was sitting cross-legged on my mat, my journal spread open resting on my lap, and I was in complete amazement of what just happened. I looked around at everybody.

“Nobody know’s. They don’t realize. There are so many possibilities….”

Then and there I understood everything. The meaning of life, what happens when we die, where we go after death – I understood evil and hell, religion, people, myself, god – EVERYTHING. I also felt that I was lucky. I was lucky to experience something that not a whole lot of people can experience. I couldn’t understand why me? Why am I so special? I said it in a humble, non-egotistical way. I really wanted to know. Why was I surrounded by holy white light when I was 18? Why did my grandmother take me out of my body on an astral visit when I was 9? Why does my soul want to leave my body most every night? And why this? Why was I brought here to Colombia? What am I supposed to do with this knowledge?

It was a lot to think about. Good thing I had 10 hours to do it in. I actually thought to myself, “No wonder why this stuff lasts all night – there’s so many questions to ask. I hope 10 hours gives me enough time.”

The second cup of ayahuasca sent me into the other world. It felt as if I walked through a doorway, and the purge was a necessary evil – a shedding of the physical and emotional attributes keeping me in the real world. Crossing over is not easy. It can be violent and scary. To purge yourself is surrendering. Purging is like death in a way. One last thing the body has to go through before crossing over into the spirit world.

I understood that not everyone understands this – even those who take ayahuasca, may not reach this understanding – they may not even reach enlightenment. Hence the question, why me?

I looked up with tearful, glassy eyes and said to myself out loud – “Because I know suffering.”

At least, that’s what Aya told me. But still, not enough to understand deeper. There are many layers.

Before drinking ayahuasca, some believe that you should have a question already formed in your mind. A question that aya can help you with. When the shaman passed the cup to me, I held it in my hands and raised it to my forehead. With my eyes closed, I asked the question “show me everything you know ayahuasca. I want to understand everything.” And then I drank. This may have contributed to my experience. Everyone’s experience is different, yet some connect – which is bizarre, and I’ll get into that later.

My eyes felt black with no pupils. The world looked and felt different – like I was in a small room with no sound, no doors or windows, but at the same time feeling the expanse of infinite universe. I knew I was standing just inside this doorway of all-knowing. I knew that I could go deeper. Walk the few yards to meet with souls unborn, worlds that aren’t materialized – I knew I could take that leap and meet my past and future selves. But I was too scared to go further. I could feel all the layers of consciousness. Each layer you walk through becomes a new wave of enlightenment – but then another layer stops you, blocking your path. Courage is the key to going deeper.

I was content with the first layer I found myself in. They call this the break-through layer – the layer of understanding. It all starts with this layer.

I had all the answers to all my questions. I saw the universe for what it really was. I reached enlightenment and couldn’t imagine what it could mean to go deeper. I never knew what it meant for someone to be enlightened. I never googled it, or read books that described what it is exactly. If I did, I either can’t remember them, or never understood them to begin with. I never knew what it meant to be enlightened until it happened to me.

To be enlightened is to have understanding of reality. Pure and simple.

Okay, so it’s a little hard to explain, but while I was experiencing it, it seemed so simple – too simple – like it was all common knowledge. My thinking brain switched off and I was getting answers from somewhere else. I was intuiting answers.

I’ve been staring at this screen for five minutes now. Sweating in my shorts while my laptop pumps out heat to scorch my thighs, and I cannot – no matter how hard I try – I cannot find the words to describe enlightenment.

It’s like understanding a place, a physical place that you can see and touch. And that place is the universe. It’s the ability to see and understand the universe completely. Enlightenment is the ability to see the facts of reality unencumbered with ego. Ego is fantasy – It’s illusion.

It’s as much a physical understanding as it is spiritual. Enlightenment is the connection between the physical and the non-physical. Enlightenment is free of all delusions. Free of physical form. As long as you’re in physical form, grounded in the world you live in, you can never be enlightened. Enlightenment is death. It’s understanding physical from spirit.

The best analogy I can come up with is with Magic Eye art.

You cross your eyes until the images on the left, match up with what’s on the right. You combine the two (spirit and physical) and what follows is a new dimension. But the dimension was there all along – you just had to combine two things to see it.

I wrote in my journal:

1 +1 = 3

It combines into another dimension. It becomes raised as in 3D.

I know it all sounds crazy, but I know no other way of putting it.

The spirit world of Ayahuasca felt more real to me than the world we all live in. I was outside looking in. I was no longer of the material world and so, was able to be a voyeur looking in at it.

I was spying the world with my black aya eyes. And what I saw was a fantasy. The world we live in, is a fantasy. It’s meant to create suffering – everyone must suffer in this world in order to evolve. We create our own problems, emotions are delusions meant to toughen us – they are not real. When stating an emotion, you start with saying “I feel.” In spirit form, there is no “I.” Where there is no “I”, there is no ego and where there is no ego, there is pure understanding of reality. And that reality is beautiful.

Losing the ego is a very hard thing to do without the help of Aya. But in order for us to evolve, the ego must exist. It’s essential for growth.

We are spirit in our natural form. Having a body is not our natural form. Outside this world, when we die, is the true reality. Having that knowledge is enlightenment.

Those living on the superficial fringe of understanding, buying name brands, watching reality tv – running from one quick fix to the next – those people are running from the suffering. They’re not strong enough for it. They want no part in anything that has meaning. Things that have meaning can bring about suffering. Work is suffering. Growth is suffering. You have to purge your old self each time you go through a new layer of awareness. Purging is suffering. Loss is suffering.

Somewhere down the line, someone figured out that one must suffer to gain awareness.

I understood buddhist meditation. Monks work towards enlightenment by suffering through self-discipline. They can spend many years in meditation, in solitude, suffering their bodies through fasting. All in the hopes of gaining one small glimpse at enlightenment. However, after listening to Aya, all that sitting around meditating is not necessary – that is also part of the ego illusion world. At its best, meditation can still the mind, but enlightenment is something totally different.

I intuited that all beliefs whether they be religious, buddhist, or scientific have nothing to do with reality. Organized religions, while I was in the enlightened state, were laughable. I don’t mean any disrespect by that, but they were laughable.

I understood why some religions practice self-flagellation or mortification of the flesh in hopes to cleanse themselves through suffering and become closer to God. Suffering does raise you closer to God as long as the ego is absent. Anything ego driven is based on illusion.

I perceived there to be no literal truth behind religious texts, but some of the symbolism is strong in the spirit world. There is light and there is darkness, there is a hell you can go to. Jesus may not have been a real man, but what he represents is real. People exist in the world today who die for others sins. They are the strong ones, the martyr’s, the teachers. People purge their hatred onto martyrs so that one day the people can see, learn and grow. The shared goal in the spirit world is to evolve. Why that is? I don’t know.

Religion was never meant to be taken so far and used inappropriately like it was. It has become an ego-based illusion.

There is a hell world you can go to – it’s a place, the easiest place to get to in the spirit realm. It has the most amount of gravitational pull than any other world. There is a hell, but there is no evil there. The evil that we learned about does not exist in the spirit world. But what does exist is fear. Fear is devoid of light. It’s a heavy darkness. It’s the opposite of understanding – opposite of enlightenment. The only evil in the universe is fear itself.

I’m very sensitive to people’s energy. When I feel a negative vibe from someone, I can feel my energy being sucked away from me. I feel miserable and don’t understand why. I get agitated and crabby.

When a strong, light spirit tries to help a dark, heavy spirit, there is a chance the dark gravitational pull will force the light spirit down with them. Especially if the dark spirit refuses help.

The way to stay strong, and keep out of the dark side, is for you to suffer. It’s a double-edged sword. Suffering is the only means to gain strength. But we have a choice. We can end our suffering as long as we let go. We have to find strength to let go. We find strength – hence gaining a deeper level of awareness from the bravery it takes to go deeper.

Here are the steps for acquiring awareness:

Suffering

Strength

Courage

And another layer of consciousness unfurls

Me – “But what’s the point? Why evolve?”

Aya – “To stay strong for others on their journeys. We can only evolve together. We can only survive by helping each other.”

Me – “But why? Why does it all exist?”

Aya – “Once you have that understanding, you’ll be seeing things through the eyes of God.”

I was still only at the first layer of understanding. I had no answer for why it all exists, because I’m not ready to understand it. I haven’t suffered enough. Therefore, not brave enough.

I looked around at the others in the room. Each person being a separate entity – each on their own personal journey. That’s when I reached another understanding about people.

Positive people, cup half full kind of people, they believe that we are all somehow connected. That there is some unforeseen force connecting us all, uniting all of us. And that we are never truly alone because we are together. Um, no. Not true. Ayahuasca tells me different. Ayahuasca tells me the complete opposite, actually.

Everyone is alone. We are all alone and separate from each other. What we do and say has very little to do with the people in our lives, but is a reflection of ourselves. We are all embarking on a singular journey through life to better our souls. We, ourselves, are not connected, but our actions and beliefs unite us. Helping each other connects us in a way, but still ultimately, we are separate entities.

However, when we die, we become one with the universe.

Never expect help from anyone – never need anyone. Try to remain self-sufficient and don’t take from others. I’ve gotten a very strong apprehension to never take from others. Never to demand too much of their time, or love. Demand nothing, want nothing. When you demand nothing, want nothing, the love has a much greater return. It has movement and flow. Ego and need are the greatest dividers.

Conceiving this notion led me to a new understanding of respect. Respect for others space, respect their choices. Honor them from a distance.

Kristie taken too much from me. She asked for too much, and in a way, showed disrespect for my time and my self. Kristie needed too much. Taken more than I could to give.

I perceived this so clearly. I also perceived that the people who don’t demand anything are the strong ones. Not only are they strong, but beautiful. Inner strength is beauty. Being able to be strong and empathetic towards others is beautiful. I also understood that these beautiful people had to suffer a great deal to become strong. They rid their ego along with all judgments upon others. They are light and clear, free from the delusions that emotions can play upon the soul. When others look at them, they feel safe.

Children can have this effect on people. When children are around, laughing and smiling, it brings strength and courage to others in the vicinity. Adults feel the need to be strong, if only for the sake of their little ones. The little ones bring their parents courage, the parents return the courage with love. Parents can learn and grow from their children.

Never offer help when it’s not wanted. Offering to help a person who doesn’t want it, is condescending and disrespectful on the part of the helper. They have no right to rule over anyone. They are no better, know no better. A true helper helps at the right moment of need. When a person is reaching out. They never give more than what is necessary – always respecting the person and honoring them – no judgment is ever made.

One who “helps” others, letting the ego drive them, is patronizing and can do more harm than good. These types of helpers are not self-aware. Doctors and other people in high positions, like police and leaders, can succumb to dictating what’s best for others. Ego is not spirit. It is an illusion of the physical world and can only exist there.

Many people offer help with the intension of receiving something back. These people want to feed their ego with love and admiration. The people who accept help from these people, feel pressured to respond back with insincere gratitude.

Matt judged me and tried to rule over my decision to go to Colombia. He felt he was the authority and tried to help when help was not warranted. He was ruling with his ego and fear, not honoring my choices.

Wow it’s really late. I’m so tired. I’m going to have to pack it up for the night and continue tomorrow. This post might be just as long, if not longer than the Nepal post.

Okay so where was I? I have no clue on how to continue. Shit….

Okay, so let’s say you’re one of the unfortunates who end up in hell. Sucks to be you, right? The trick is to get rid of your fear. You can get rid of fear with love. Love thy enemy and all that jazz. To be light, you have to rise. And to rise, you have to rid all the gravity of fear. From above you can see your enemies are fearful and weak, while you are strong. You are able to truly love them. Love hell and understand its purpose. It’s meant to give you strength and wings to fly.

I understood that Ayahuasca is illegal because it awakens people. Our journey in this world is to suffer and by being awakened, we’ll lose that. You can’t overdose on Ayahuasca. It’s not harmful to the body. In present day, shamans feed their newborn babies Ayahuasca as soon as they eject from the womb. Even before they exit the womb, the shamans rub Aya into the uterus.

Anyway, I think that’s all the information I gotten from my first ayahuasca experience. It was purely awesome.

At around 4 am, a man named Will, who is a spiritual bare-footed hippie and a regular denizen to the resort, started banging a steel drum and demanding I sing. So I sang, “Eye-A-wasca, Eye-A-wasca, aya aya aya want eye-A-wasca.” I sang that for about 10 or 15 minutes. People were zoned out on their mats, some were sleeping, others sitting up listening. A lot of people already left.

At about 7 am is when I went back to my bungalow. The aya was wearing off and I needed sleep desperately. I got back to my bed, laid down and closed my eyes. It was there when I saw my vision. It was eyes. Blinking eyes staring at me. I wasn’t frightened as I thought I would be. I told them to go away, I needed to sleep, and they vanished.

Day Three

August 5, 2012

I gotten no sleep. I only shut my eyes and rested them for a few hours before getting up again. I got up and went for breakfast and to talk with everyone about their experiences.

Nobody mentioned the word Enlightenment, which surprised me, but most of them had awesome experiences.

Laura, the woman who lost her sister, she wanted so desperately to reunite with her but Aya told her no.

Laura – “Aya told me to enjoy life now and let go. I have to enjoy the gifts of this world and be happy.”

During my enlightenment, I understood that when you want something badly enough, it will never happen. It can only happen when you let go. You have to find the strength and courage to let go. I thought about Laura when I was awakened and knew she will never find her sister so long as she’s still attached to her.

I told Laura about the answers I received, and she let out a wail saying, “But I miss my sister!”

If you know Laura, you would understand what I mean when I say wail.

Me – “Next time we do Ayahuasca, you should ask Aya how to let go. If you ask her how to let go, she’ll tell you.”

Laura – “That’s a good idea. I’m going to write that one down.”

And sure enough, Laura was able to let her go. Her seven day transformation was miraculous. By day seven she was beaming with happiness.

My roommate had an out of body experience, and this other guy, Bill, was able to create new souls. Bill was able to see cosmic geometry and patterns. Aya came to him and gave him geometric patterns for him to create new life in the spirit realm. It started with a hibiscus plant, then a dragonfly, and ended with a butterfly. Each pattern becoming more and more intricate.

The crazy part is, I totally believe him!

I was sitting there listening to everyone’s stories, being amazed all over again. I couldn’t eat breakfast because I had to do Kembo later. Kembo is another thing that makes you yack. It’s not for everyone, so it’s not required or frowned upon if you don’t do it.

But mostly everyone did it – that’s why I loved the group I was in, they’re just as crazy as I am.

At 12 o’clock we headed back down to the maloca.

We scattered around the room on our mats and waited turns to get mutilated.

Will – “Okay who’s first?”

Laura – “I’ll do it.”

Laura went up and sat on the chair next to Will. She was handed a two liter pitcher of water that she had to drink right then and there. She had to drink the entire thing while Will poked her arm with a seared wooden stick 9 times (it may have been more than 9, I forgot). The pokes hurt her because she let out a loud “Ow!”

After getting poked, Anna, a Hippie chick that also practically lives at the resort, swabbed frog slime onto a wooden stick and passed it to Will. Will filled each poke with the frog slime. Yes…..Frog slime.

Laura stood up and walked over to a row of chairs lined up specifically for this event. Each person, after being slimed, is to sit in one of these chairs with a bucket in their lap. The purpose of the bucket? You guessed it, puke.

Laura sat in her chair with her bucket and waited while the next brave soul sat next to Will drinking a large pitcher of water.

It taken about 40 second for Laura to start hurling. Laura is very loud in all that she does, so when she pukes, it’s the stereotypical loud “blah, huuwaaa, uuuuhhhh.” She was unbearably boisterous. We all let out gasps.

Then the second victim got slimed, sat next to Laura with their own bucket.

Everyone watched in anticipation. It taken about a minute for the second victim was on their hands and knee’s puking in a bucket.

Oh yeah, have I mentioned that? You don’t actually stay seated while puking in your bucket. It comes out so violently and weakens your entire body to the point where you can no longer stay seated, but hunched over a bucket on your hands and knee’s – like a dog hovering over his dish. Your face becomes puffed up like a frog.

Eventually all the chairs were filled and soon enough I witnessed a bunch of people on their hands and knee’s puking simultaneously. It was the weirdest experience of my life. Nothing can possibly get any weirder than that.

Laura was rolling around on her mat, no longer puking but wailing like a baby. She rolled up a blanket and stuffed it up her shirt – I burst out laughing. It was hysterical watching this. People going limp on the floor moaning next to their buckets and watching Laura do weird things with a blanket – I couldn’t help to laugh. I’m such a weirdo, but I wasn’t the only one who thought it was funny. The natives banged their drums and chanted. Laura during all the ruckus, taken off her pants.

I waited to do Kembo until later in the day. I knew I couldn’t drink all that water with everyone watching. And listening to people puke made me not want to touch any kind of food or beverage. So I waited for later. I was going to do it with this woman Kelly who was arriving later that day. It was just going to be me and her.

Until my mutilation ceremony, I went to the little town again, hung out with people eating lunch. I couldn’t eat lunch because I was doing Kembo, which means I didn’t eat since lunch the day before. Not only did I not eat, but I’ve puked the night before and was going to do it again for Kembo. Yes, I’m a trooper. I didn’t even complain once. I’m not the complaining type.

It came that time. I met Kelly and we walked down to the dark maloca together. It was late and no lights were on. Ralph joined us in the ceremony along with Angela and Simon – they were great helpers.

I sat next to Will with my big 2 liter jug of water and chugged. The thing with me is, I believe I can do anything that anyone else can do. I bypass my fear with humor – it’s the only way for me. When I’m scared, I laugh at myself and the situation and get everyone else to laugh as well. I love me….

Me – “I just need to pretend it’s beer.”

Getting all the water down is the hardest part of Kembo. Its mind over matter. Will pricked me, slimed me, and gave me a bucket. I had my period, so I was nervous if the onslaught would be too much for me, plus I have low blood pressure.

I got my period the day before during my enlightenment. I was prepared for it, I’m always prepared.

I sat in my chair and waited.

The purpose of Kembo is to heal the body. It rids the body of toxins and in return, you feel like a million bucks after. Anna, the hippie chick, was doing it for 40 days straight. One prick a day.

Me – “Nothings happening.”

Ralph – “It will, don’t worry.”

My face started getting hot after about 90 seconds.

Me – “Okay, now I feel it. Something is definitely happening now.”

My heart started racing. I HATE when my heart races. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does it scares the shit out of me.

I started feeling sick, and just like everyone else, felt compelled to go on my hands and knee’s. I puked once for maybe five seconds.

Me – “Eh, this isn’t so bad.”

Everyone starts laughing. That’s my way of getting through things, to laugh at it.

Then I puked again and again. Onslaught.

The first splashes of water that came out of me was still cool. My stomach didn’t have time to warm it up yet.

Will – “I’m going to change your bucket.”

Buckets have to be switched before they fill up – they are huge buckets too. I think people are more worried about getting splashed in the face if the puke fills up too close to the brim. It’s projectile vomit we’re talking about.

I wondered what was going to come out of me once all the cool water eliminated. After the cool water, what then? My intestines?

And sure enough, it was hot bile – thick hot bile. Getting that stuff out of me taken one tremendous hurl. A hurl that lasted more than the rest. My body was convulsing – it was ejecting on its own without my help. I had no control.

Ralph – “Good job! That one was great! Good color in that one.”

Me – “Eh thanks. I’m not looking.”

I kept my eyes shut the entire time. Snot was dripping down everywhere, my eyes were crying, my face looked froggy.

I can’t believe I’m eating cottage cheese while typing this.

But it seemed not to have lasted as long as the others. My kembo lasted about 15 minutes, others had it worse.

I couldn’t move my body, I was so weak. Ralph helped me up and I almost passed out. Everything turned black. I was still standing just barely and knew the blackness would fade with a few breaths. My heart stopped racing as soon as I first started vomiting, so that wasn’t an issue.

I needed to be carried to the bathroom. Angela watched me with the door wide open.

After my Kembo ceremony, Simon held my hand and taken me to my bungalow. I laid down and wrote a little. My body was completely ravaged. Everyone was at dinner. I was so weak, I had no energy to walk the 100 yards to the little restaurant. But after 15 minutes of rest, I was ready to join everyone.

I wasn’t able to eat, but it was nice to be comforted by everyone who shared the same experience, and it was nice being looked at as a brave soul by the people who didn’t do it.

kembo scar

Day Four

August 6, 2012

My body felt tired and weak. I joined everyone for breakfast, but can’t remember much about it. I wanted to eat and then go back to bed and sleep all day, but it was Yopo day. The Yopo ceremony started at around noon. Nobody knew what to expect from this ceremony – we had no clue how long it lasted.

Me – “I’m going to do Yopo one time and go back to my bed. I’m not sticking around.”

Nicole – “You don’t know that yet. Don’t think that until you have some.”

The shaman told of a story about a boy wanting to dip into his fathers yopo stash. It was told in old-fashioned Indian style. If you can picture Indians sitting around in a circle with their elder telling a story, this would be it.

I sat and tried to listen to the interpreter, but it was hard. I was unbelievably exhausted.

Catalina – “You can have as much Yopo as you like. It doesn’t harm you. It’s very gentle and will give you a relaxing happy feeling.”

Finally something that doesn’t make me vomit.

Catalina – “But if you don’t spit out the mucus, you’ll get sick.”

Damn.

The ceremony was underway. The shaman started his blessings. It’s mesmerizing to listen to him chanting – he rhythmically speaks fast and then slow, all monotoned. I’m not sure if it’s a real language he’s speaking or what. He blessed potable water that we were to drink during the ceremony. We were told to only drink the blessed water, not our own. There was a pitcher of blessed water for us to drink, but only two drinking glasses – we were all to use the same glass again.

We needed to ingest three ingredients in order for the Yopo to work. First we went up one by one to drink some watered down ayahuasca juice – which tastes horrible by the way. After drinking, we are handed a couple pieces of tree bark that’s been softened in ayahuasca juice so you can easily chew and digest it. The bark is an MAO inhibitor – it stops the body from breaking down the DMT from the Yopo.

The bark tastes HORRIBLE! It was soaking in ayahuasca all day. Everyone grabbed their pieces of bark and sat back down to hear more of the Shaman’s story. It was hard for people to get it down – very hard.

I have a strong tolerance for things that taste gross. I don’t know where I got it from. But as long as I know what I’m eating won’t kill me, I can choke it down. I gobbled down my tree bark like it was nobody’s business.

We went to our mats and laid down.

Me – “I feel weird. Do you feel weird?”

Someone – “Yeah, I feel a little funky.”

A native went around and smudged us with incense, and as before, it effected me and taken me deeper into the weird feeling.

Me – “I feel like I don’t even need Yopo. Something is already happening. I feel so relaxed.”

One by one we went up for the Yopo. You ingest Yopo by snuffing it. Is that how you say it? Snuff? Sniff? Snarf? I don’t know, I never snuffed anything before. My roommate, Cheryl, also never snuffed anything. She was nervous and a little in freak-out mode.

Me – “You just have to do it. Don’t think about it. Thinking will ruin it. Just go up there and do it.”

She did it. She had a little trouble with it at first, but Catalina showed her how’s it’s done.

Then it was my turn.

I knelt in front of the shaman and taken the hollowed out monkey bone in my hand. It was two bones tied together in the shape of a V, so both nostrils got hit at the same time.

The shaman measured out the grey powdered yopo on a flat slate, and held it up to my face. I put the bones to my nose and bent down to inhale.

Just do it, don’t think. Just do.

I inhaled like a trooper. The shaman and Catalina both smiled at me.

Catalina – “Good job.”

I laid back down on my mat.

I don’t know how long it took to feel the effects, but wow. Wow wow Wow. It was kinda like ayahuasca, only without the gateway to enlightenment. It given me feelings of complete bliss. Bliss and amazement of everything. Yopo is Ayahuasca’s fun younger cousin.

I became amazed at everything and walked outside. Anna and Will were sitting down in the grass talking.

These two hippies.

Anna – “Do you want to join us?”

Me – “I would love to join you.”

And that’s where I sat for many hours. We were looking up into the clouds and being amazed by them.

Me – “Wow, it’s like a kaleidoscope.”

Anna – “Oh Wow! Do you see that?! Isn’t that amazing?!”

Me – “Holy crap yes!”

Anna – “Do you see it?”

Me – “I see it. That’s amazing. They’re up so high.”

There were honest to God, hundreds of birds in the sky rotating in a circle. They were up so high you could barely see them – you had to have good eyes to see them.

Anna – “What are they doing up there?”

Me – “Having fun.”

I would have been amazed with the birds without the help of Yopo.

Ralph came over and sat by us. He had a crystal in his hand.

Me – “I like your rock.”

Anna – “Would a crystal take offense if it was called a rock?”

Will – “No it would not. We are all from the stone people. The stone people are from rocks.”

Anna – “What is it made of?”

She pointed to the crystal.

Ralph had a dazed look on his face – “It’s my Joey stone.”

Anna – “But what is it?”

Will – “Silicon.”

Anna – “What’s silicon?”

Will – “It’s the fourteenth element of Gods creation.”

Anna – “Oh is that it?”

I burst out laughing so hard. Everyone started laughing. We laughed for about 10 or 40 minutes.

Will went on and on talking about silicon for a half an hour. Nothing he said made any sense to me.

I felt like I was reliving the 70’s. Peace, love, harmony – it was awesome.

Everyone was either passed out on their mat’s, or walking around aimlessly with a blanket over their head. It was a funny site to behold. Then there was Laura who taken off her shirt and started twirling around chanting madly. I didn’t see her, but I heard her. She chanted wildly for about 15 minutes.

I found out later that she transformed into a butterfly and it felt wonderful.

I went up for more yopo. “I snort yopo 2 time” is scribbled somewhere in my journal.

I started writing weird shit like, “I am not my name. I am not Melanie. This body is Melanie. I’m in the body of Melanie and I’m lucky to be in the body of Melanie. She is strong and healthy. She is beauty.”

I separated myself from my body and realized she’s just a rental and doesn’t belong to me.

Then I wrote, “The numbers 1, 2 and 3 are the only numbers in existence that can do what they do.”

Will was telling me about the importance of 1, 2 and 3 and I thought they deserved an honorable mention in my journal. I also drew a picture of Grandma Spider. Will kept going on and on about Grandmother Spider and how she is the earth and we are her children. I was certain he was out of his mind.

I’m at Cheshire Coffee again. I see one of my old friends from high school waiting for her coffee. She looks like a grown mature woman. Shit she’s with another one of my friends from high school. I don’t feel like saying Hi, we’re not exactly friends anyway. They look and act older than me. They’re in a different world than I am. I don’t understand them, and they don’t understand me. Ha, one of them spotted me and turned her head away. People are so weird. At least I tried to wave.

Everyone here has a MacBook. I scoff at their newly minted Macbooks as I wipe the dust off of my old HP. It taken me 30 minutes to get my laptop running today. Damn kids with their MacBooks….Pffff.

Okay, so anyway, I was in Colombia snorting Yopo with hippies and soul searchers. The feeling it gave me was that of pure bliss. It’s like Ayahuasca in the way that you can have as much of it as you want and it allows you the option of going deeper. You feel in control at all times.

I was in a magical, blissful place for approximately 9 hours. The musicians sang their songs and strummed their guitar for 9 hours, if not more. It felt so safe and magical – like Neverland. Inside the Maloca was smoke, incense and magic. The energy was palpable. You literaly felt a healing energy going into the maloca – it felt thick like moving through water.

I watched Angela get healing done by the Shaman. He gently beat her back with a brush of sage of something like sage, and chanting. Angela kept burping. Burping non-stop during the healing.

It was around 8 o’clock when people started to come around and realize they haven’t eaten anything since breakfast. I missed lunch completely because I was in bliss. I didn’t want it to end. Going to lunch meant going back to reality and I wanted to hang on to the bliss for as long as possible.

I could no longer ignore my stomach at 8 o’clock. I was sitting on my mat talking to Nicole and Cheryl about none other than Grandma Spider.

Me – “I think we should eat dinner.”

Them – “Hmmm that sounds like a good idea.”

20 minutes went by.

Me – “We still haven’t left for dinner yet.”

Them – “Ha ha, no we haven’t.”

We had no concept of time.

We finally left for dinner. We sat at the little table in the outdoor restaurant and laughed our heads off. We were being so silly. We talked about the most absurd things, but it all made sense to us.

Cheryl – “Nicole, I thought I saw you today out in the field by yourself without a shirt on and it looked like you were throwing stuff.”

Me – “What were you throwing? Were you ripping up clumps of dirt and grass and violently chucking them at nothing?”

Nicole – “Nope, wasn’t me. I was too busy having cosmic orgasm and giving birth to myself.”

We laughed and laughed for hours over this.

Someone – “Can you imagine if someone walked by and heard us? They’d think we were all nuts.”

Laura received a message from Grandmother Spider to tell Nicole to go to the birthing stones and wait there for Grandma Spider to come to her.

Laura – “Lay down here on these stones like you’re giving birth.”

Nicole – “Okay.”

Laura – “Are you wearing underwear?”

Nicole – “Why?”

Laura – “You need to take your pants off.”

Nicole – “Whoa there Laura, I’m not taking my pants off.”

Laura – “You should take them off. You’re going to give birth.”

Nicole left her pants on, but laid on the stones and waited for Grandmother Spider. She waited and waited until finally, the Spider appeared.

Nicole was to give birth to herself. She said it was the most amazing experience of her life. She was reborn.

It blows my mind that three people saw Grandma Spider – Will had no idea she came to Laura and Nicole, so his experience was separate. It was from the Yopo. Yopo makes you see crazy shit.

I didn’t see any spiders. I didn’t see anything unusual. But when I looked at an insect, like an ant crawling around on my arm, I stared at it wondering what it was doing and where it was going. He went around in circles on my arm. I put my eye right up to the ant and stared at its tiny little head.

And that was my day Four experience with Yopo.

Day Five

August 7, 2012

Nicole – “What day is it? How long have we been here?”

Me – “I have no idea. My journal knows. It has infinite knowledge.”

By day five, nobody was sure how long we were at the resort. We had no clue what the date was. All we knew was that it was another Ayahuasca day. Daytime Ayahuasca starting at 2:30 in the afternoon.

It was also another Kembo day. It’s supposed to be done three times during a moon cycle. I was all set with doing it again, once was enough for me.

I was journaling outside on the patio with Nicole when Bill tromped by us heading for the Maloca.

Me – “Hey Bill, you headed down to do Kembo?”

Bill – “No, I’m going down there to talk to a tree and see what my wife is doing. I think she’s singing to some flowers and drawing a picture.”

He was completely serious.

2:30 came and we went down to the Maloca to lie on our mats and wait for the ceremony to begin. My goal this time was to see sacred geometry. When under the influence of Aya, people are able to see sacred geometric patterns in all of nature. I wanted to see them. I wanted to see them bad. I wanted to see them so badly that Aya wouldn’t let me.

I taken one cup, then two. The day went by in fast forward, like watching the day in time lapse. I saw no patterns, but waited outside next to the vomitorium just in case they showed up.

The Aya was strong that second day. I purged once and sat on a fallen log.

It was that broken log facing the vomitorium. I sat there for a long time. I was too tired to do anything. I couldn’t focus, could barely walk. People started walking around and talking near me – we were all out of it. I felt I had no energy to ask Aya questions, I was too tired to drink more and I didn’t want to puke again. The log felt safe and secure, like it cradled me. I flopped my whole body on top of it and gave it a hug.

Me – “I love this log.”

Laura – “Ha ha, yes it looks like a good log. I like your log.”

Everyone was giggling over my love for the log. Then I rolled off of it and onto the dirt, where I remained for the next hour or two. I was awake, but couldn’t move. The ground felt heavy beneath me, like it was far and near, warm and alive. I heard people stepping over me to vomit over the edge. My body felt weighted down with thoughts. It got dark out. I was still lying in the same position face down in the dirt.

There was no negativity to what I was feeling. I felt drugged up. Simply put, I was drugged up and never felt that way before (not for Yopo or the first Aya journey). It was my first time feeling that kind of trip. During the first Aya experience, most everyone was laying down with their eyes closed – I didn’t want to do that during my first trip. I wanted to stay lucid and present. Closing my eyes meant visions, and I was scared to see visions.

This time around, I wasn’t scared to close my eyes and drift. So I let it happen, but couldn’t open them back up. I tried, but they were only slits. I laid on the ground with my hair in my face, my eyes open to slits and my mind trying to comprehend what it was seeing.

I heard people sitting by the fire a mere few feet away. They were talking and seemed coherent. I wondered how it was possible for them to do that, to talk.

‘Think clear Mel. Come on, you can do it. Think light and clear. Think awareness. Think enlightenment.’

And then as quickly as I had dropped from the log, I popped up back onto it.

Brian – “She’s back.”

Me – “I’m back.”

Cheryl – “Glad to have you back.”

Me – “Thanks, it’s good to be back.”

I had once again crossed the bridge into enlightenment. My thoughts slowed and became controlled, I was again one with the universe.

Simon – “You look really good. You look clear.”

Me – “Thanks, I feel really good. I feel clear.”

People sensed my awakening just by viewing me. But I still didn’t want to ask Aya anymore questions, I felt lazy and wanted to talk to people instead. I spent most of the night chatting with others. Cheryl told me that she wasn’t allowed to go any deeper into awareness because she hasn’t suffered enough.

Cheryl – “According to Aya, I still need more suffering to do.”

Me – “Wow, she told me the same exact thing! That’s amazing. This whole thing is amazing. It’s like looking into the Matrix. It’s just like the Matrix.”

Day 6

August 8, 2012

I didn’t write anything in my journal for this day, but I remember the day very vividly. It was the day of the Inipi, sweat lodge ceremony.

I wasn’t scared about the sweat lodge. I figured after doing Kembo and Ayahuasca, the sweat lodge would be a nice treat. Holy shit I was wrong. Oh Lord how I was wrong.

The men went in first. They all piled into a little round dome hut covered over with blankets, a hole in the center for the red hot stones to be placed.

Will oversaw this ceremony as he did with the Kembo. He has expert knowledge about many things. He told the story of rebirth. When you are scared, you cling to your mother – she’ll protect you. The inipi is your mother, she carries you inside her womb – you must trust her. He told us we had no choice but to trust that the heat won’t harm us. If we were frightened, the heat would literaly burn our flesh. If we didn’t fight the heat, it would absorb into our muscles and bones.

The men went first. For a half hour they sat in there chanting and singing together. Every five minutes or so, people waiting on the outside would listen for the call to open the flaps and let in air. I think the word was “Kayetay!” That word is seared in my memory as relief.

The men came out of the hut buck naked, drenched in sweat. They warned the women of the heat.

Brian – “That’s hot. The hottest I’ve ever experienced.”

That’s when I became a bit worried.

We got down on all fours and crawled in the small opening. It was a tight squeeze. Will and Catalina sat in the center to glide the hot stones one by one from outside into the pit using deer antlers for tongs. Will started telling the same story he told the men. Then the flap closed.

I’ve never experienced claustrophobia before. I never knew what it felt like, but now I do. As soon as the flaps shut, it was complete darkness. I couldn’t see the glow from the hot stones because Catalina was blocking my view. And it was hot, REALLY hot. The steam is what killed me. Will chanted and threw water over the stones every few seconds – the steam was baking my flesh.

‘Trust it Mel, trust. Trust trust trust – AHH oh shit AHHH it burns!’

I tried. I gave it my best effort to trust the heat, but it still burnt my skin. I wanted to cry. I felt the terror welling up and my mouth holding in a scream. ANY physical contact from the people sitting next to me, will burn me. Including hair. I couldn’t breathe. It was impossible for me to breathe. I put my face to the dirt and inhaled, which helped a lot. I also rubbed dirt all over my arms and legs to stop the steam from penetrating the skin.

The woman sitting next to me, Cheryl, started freaking out before I did. She was crying hysterically and I felt so bad for her – I wanted to tell Will to let her out.

“Kayetay!”

Cheryl hopped up as fast as she could and stormed out.

Cheryl – “I have to leave.”

Will – “No you don’t!”

But she was gone.

Will – “See, people get scared. They have not conquered their fight or flight response. The brain stem tells them to flee, so they flee.”

My brain stem….

My brain stem is boiling in my brain!

The flaps shut and it started again. Searing my flesh, “Ohh hothothothothot.” I was supposed to sing. I could barely breathe, but I tried to sing. I felt moisture dripping off me – droplets dangling at the end of my nose, sweat leaching into my eyes. I had my tank top bunched up in my hand, I tried wetting my tank top with my sweat, and then holding it up to my nose to breathe through – it helped immensely.

“Kayatay!”

Another woman wanted to leave.

Will – “No, I’m sorry, you can’t.”

Will was blocking her exit. He sat naked, cross-legged in front of the door flaps. She was still seated, unable to move until he did.

Angela – “No, I HAVE to leave. NOW!”

Will – “That’s not possible. You’re staying.”

This went back and forth for a while.

She’s an Italian from Brooklyn and is able to get her way without backing down – I envied her for that. Will didn’t budge, but she found a way around him.

Then my roommate, Nicole, shot up and left. She mostly left out of spite cause Will was being a dick, but she did get burned pretty bad. She was very close to the pit and didn’t even have room to put her head close to the dirt.

Will – “That always happens, once one leaves, they all want to leave.”

The flaps closed and we continued. I got an image of hell in my head. Devil with his horns and beating a drum, flames engulfing me. The image was powerful, but I still stayed.

“Kayatay!”

I had the best seat in the inipi. I sat next to the door flaps so I could be the first person the cold air hits when they opened. I hate to admit that it was on purpose. I hung back while everyone went in front of me. The first one in the hut would have to stand the heat a few seconds longer than the last, and the last one in can easily get out. I wanted an easy exit. I didn’t care about getting air from the door flaps, I just wanted an exit.

The only reason I stayed for the whole torture was because I could easily get out.

After the inipi, the girls became jaded about Will being mean to Cheryl. Angela was fine and can take care of herself, but poor Cheryl started crying when we were all out of the inipi.

Me – “Oh Cheryl don’t cry over him, really? Come on now, it’s not worth it.”

I felt so protective of her. And she really did get burnt – on her arms, her legs…I thought I was burning while I was in there, but when I came out, I didn’t have a mark on me. I was red, but it went away after a few minutes. In all honesty, I don’t regret doing it and I’m really glad I stuck it out. And who know’s, maybe there really is something to it.

And that was our last full day there. Sometime during the week, we did a traditional Lakoda Indian tribal dance. It was pretty cool. Other than that, I listed most of what happened. If it’s not listed, it’s not worth writing about. Either that or I’m sick of writing this stinkin’ post. It’s been going on for days already and I just want it done.

It did it’s purpose of taking me back to Colombia. I got to relive my enlightenment by writing about it.

Okay, now this is crazy, but last night I had an Ayahuasca flashback. I was sleeping and woke up in my bed, turned my head toward my wall and there I saw a huge slithering snake crawling on my wall inches from my head. I jumped up and snapped on the light – gone.

I went to the bathroom and crawled back in bed and started reading the Bhagavad-gita. Dave bought it for me a few years ago for $5. Some guy was selling them at a concert and this was the first time for me reading it.

My enlightenment is very similar, if not the same, to the Bhagavad-gita. What they say in the book, about unmaterialized worlds, layers of awakening, ultimate truth, ego, illusions, giving, strength, growth, earth is fantasy – a shadow of reality. It’s all there in the book, what I experienced.

I guess I’m a Hindu now. It’s strange because I wanted so badly to believe in Catholocism, or Christianity but found it impossible to do – have faith? Faith in what exactly? The Bhagavad-gita doesn’t tell you to have faith, but to see the facts. To see what’s plainly in front of you, but you’re not awake to see. There is no faith, only Kharma.

Anyway, I want to read this dammed thing. It’s about 1000 pages, so I better get cracking.

Even if I sustain my enlightenment, what the hell am I supposed to do with it? What’s the point of it? Nobody wants to hear about it, and I don’t see the point in thinking about it.

Elightenment is not the world we see. We accept the world we are given as truth. When we sleep, we adapt to that dream world however crazy it may be and accept it as truth. Of course if you have lucid dreams, you know you’re asleep and now possess the power of manipulating what you dream.

Maybe that’s the point in learning about enlightenment – to become lucid. If we’re lucid, we can control our lives more. We can choose to end our suffering. We can find the strength it takes in letting go.

I don’t know. I need to publish this stinkin’ post already, it’s way too long.

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Filed under journal, Self help, Strange & Unusual, Travel

A little about myself

A late 1990's, 60 minute Memorex dBS cassette ...

A late 1990’s, 60 minute Memorex dBS cassette tape with the top cover removed, showing & labeling the insides of the cassette tape. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A telemarketer called me the other day while I was playing spider solitaire at the office.  She had a southern twang and sounded so sweet on the phone. 

Telemarketer – “Now I’m new at this, so I hope I do it right and tell you everything I’m supposed to tell you.”

Me – “Okay, you’re doin’ great.”

I stayed on the phone and listened to her schpiel.  I had nothing better to do.  I wanted to give her practice and confidence (I’m a weirdo like that).

Telemarketer – “How old are you if you don’t mind my asking?”

I had to think about it for a few seconds.  How old am I?  Oh right…but why is she asking?  Oh yeah, I sound naive and too young to afford her magazines.  Any moment she’s going to ask if my mother’s home.

Me – “32”

Telemarketer – “Oh WOW, really?  I’m right there with you girl but you don’t sound it.  You don’t sound a day over 21.”

Me – “Eh, thanks….”

She was being kind, but my voice and the way I come off to others is one of the things I hate about myself.  It’s one reason why I hate talking on the phone.

I have a loving, kind way about me.  I listen to others and care about them – I don’t even have to know them, but I still care about them.  It’s probably because of naivete or innocence, I don’t freakin’ know.  But nothing about it is fake.  There’s nothing artificial about me, maybe that’s considered naive.  Having a young voice doesn’t help.

Perhaps people mistake kindness for ignorance.

I don’t like people thinking I’m innocent, but I can’t help it.  God help me.  No wonder why everyone worries about me.

I feel that people are more likely to get pissed at me more so than at others.  Maybe they consider me as someone who knows better and I have no good excuse for my behaviour because they very well know that I know I did wrong, but I did it anyway.  There’s no wiggle room.  Some people can get away with acting stupid because that’s in their nature, it’s who they are.  But as for me, nobody cuts me any slack. 

Assholes do asshole things.  Nice people doing asshole things are harder to accept and can really hurt others.

I once worked with a slow-minded woman at Stop & Shop.  She was a bagger and I was a cashier.  I felt for her.  She was a bit defensive and ornery, but she had a heart and feelings.  She was working with a bunch of young high school brats who cracked jokes at her, so of course she’d be pissy.

One night at the age of 16 – an age where there’s not many fun activities to do at night, me and my co-workers went over to her house.  We were already in the neighborhood and thought it be nice to pay her a visit.  It felt wrong in my guts and I knew she would take it the wrong way.  If it was just me and my friend that came to visit, it would’ve been okay (she would have been elated!), but instead we brought along three jerky co-workers with us who just wanted to go see the “freak.”

I was against the visit in the first place.  I hung back in the shadows outside while the boys laughed and talked with her from her bedroom window.  I felt like the scum of the earth.  Her sister had to come out and tell us all to leave.

And she WAS pissed.  She forgave everyone except me – the one who stuck up for her and actually cared about her, I was the one she no longer spoke to.

She died in a horrible accident years later.  I never forgave myself for that night at her house.  I did know better. 

If you have two children with a significant age gap, it’s always the older one who gets in trouble, gets the blame.  The little one didn’t know any better.  Well, I’m always considered the older one – not in maturity (heaven knows I’m not mature), but in a different way.  Like, when it comes to matters of the heart.  A wise, caring understanding of people maybe?  When someone like me judges another person, says harsh things to them, it’s felt way more than when your everyday asshole says it.

And when people think I withdrawn my caring, understanding attention, they get spiteful.  It happened with Kristie, and sometimes with Dave (although he loves me too much to ever be rid of me).  It happens with Matt and just about everyone else I ever met.  It never happened with my really good friends though.

It happened with K in Nepal when I told her I didn’t want to hike with her anymore (its a really long story and you can read about it here), and I’m still getting punished for it.

Sometimes I get tired and need a break from everyone.  I have my own problems to deal with.

Telemarketer – “Are you married?  Do you have kids?”

I’m sure that a lot of people would’ve answered that question with a “What business of that is yours?”  Especially when it’s being asked by a complete stranger calling you up trying to sell stuff you don’t need.

But me on the other hand, that thought never entered my mind.

Me – “Ha ha, no.”

Telemarketer – “Oh now that could be why you sound so young.  I only wish I sounded like you.”

Another thing is, I have a tendency to love people in a non-sexual way.  I’m learning that most everybody takes my love in the wrong direction.  I have no ulterior motives or intentions when it comes to others, but they take my attention as being more than it is.  I feel hurt by this and think that the only reason guys stay friends with me is in hopes that one day we can do it.

I have a way with people. 

I was very sensitive, contemplative and reflective as a child – all the ingredients needed to be teased and pushed around.

In all my wonderings and ruminations, I realized at a very young age that all anyone ever wants is to be loved and feel connected to others.  All their actions, every single thing they do is done with the unknowing intent of gaining love and acceptance.  I forgave everybody and learned to accept people.  It opened my heart and changed me.  I guess maybe that’s where my wisdom came from.

I have the knowledge that all anybody wants is love.  I give people that love and connection.  Especially when they have none in their lives.  It’s easy for me to read people like this, and I know that what I give them is important to them.  So when it feels like I’m becoming distant, I get the proverbial shit kicked out of me.

It’s funny how I take the time to understand and connect with others, but instead of them wanting to connect back, they only want to screw me.  Male friendships are very complicated.  However, female friendships aren’t much easier.  At least I know what guys want.  Both sexes get equally fed up with me.

Should I just stop caring about people?  Is that how everyone loses their innocence?

I wish I kept all this crap in a private journal.  Nobody cares about what goes on in my head and writing a blog is pompous in that way. 

I stopped telling people about my blog a long time ago.  Writing a blog doesn’t make me special.  It makes me vulnerable.  I keep wanting to stop, but I can’t.  I feel like if I let too much slip by, everything becomes meaningless.  My life becomes empty when I have nothing of substance to look back on and learn from.  It’s like having a blank cassette tape with no music recorded.  And I love making Melanie Mega Mixes.

I’m sweaty, tired and have on no pants.  This laptop is really hot.  I’m thirsty.  This whole post started from one simple telemarketing call.  I can’t stop my brain!  I write a lot more than I publish, mostly everything I write is still a draft. 

I can’t wait to take some of those Columbian drugs.  My brothers fiancé know’s a girl from Columbia.  I told her where I’m going (upper regions of the Amazon in Putumayo and the valley of Sibundoy) and she replies back saying that it’s one of the most dangerous places in Columbia and she would NEVER under any circumstance go there. 

I wasn’t scared before, but now I’m a bit worried. 

I stereotype people – I love them, but still stereotype them.  An old man yesterday gave me a $20 tip all paid in half dollars for example.  Old men love change.  Who the hell carries around $20 worth of half dollars in their pocket other than old men?  Well, I do now apparently….

But anyway, I don’t have any stereotypes to assign people from Columbia.  These are the times when I don’t mind being blissfully ignorant – I don’t get scared.  The only thing I can connect Columbia with is the old 1980’s movie, Jewel of the Nile with what’s his face and sexy voice lady (forgot their names).  Colombians are comical ruffians who love romance novels, they call their vehicles Little Mules and throw enemies into crocodile pits.  I don’t have much to go on.

No wonder why people worry about me.

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Filed under All about me, journal, random thoughts, Self help, Writing

Eating grass and doing drugs

Soleil Moon Frye as Punky

Soleil Moon Frye as Punky (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I don’t understand me sometimes. I like the ocean, but hate the beach. I love flowers, but hate planting them. It’s like I always find at least one thing to spoil any special interests or passions that spring up.

But if I delve into these spoilers, I learn a little more about the girl behind the curtain. The girl who intertwines the delicate thread-bare webs of reason (aka my wacky brain).

I don’t like the beach because I hate mobs of people. They make me feel exposed, vulnerable and claustrophobic. Why? I don’t know. I’ll save that one for later. Oh and plus I think it’s ridiculous to lay out in the sun all day to fry your skin into “radiance”. To me it’s as senseless as watching people feed slot machines cash for hours on end. Senseless!

Think about it, you’re frying your skin in hopes of looking younger and healthier. When in reality you’re actually searing your flesh to look older and ruined. Same when you sit in front of the one-armed bandit at a casino – you give up your money in hopes of getting more, but you always end up with less in the end. Do only greedy people go to the beach? No, no I’m mixing stuff up again.

But hey, what the hell do I know? I don’t judge anyone anyway. I have my own defects to deny.

But just take a look at this truck driver. I’m sure he can tell you a little about UV rays.

truck driver sun damage

And the evil talking slot machine from the Twilight zone will teach you some hard knock lessons. (I can’t believe I found a picture of it!)

Okay, so where was I? Oh yeah, flowers. I hate planting flowers because of the manual labor involved, the patience, the planning and know-how to plant something that will surely die in the end. I don’t want to plant something only to watch it die. There’s no permanence, so what’s the point? And besides, there’s enough beauty in the world already. I’ll BE the flower, I don’t have to plant one.

Buddhist monks in Tibet do this thing where they kneel on the ground hunched over for hours at a time for several days to create what is known as a sand maṇḍala. They create something so intricately beautiful and meaningful using patience and steady hands, only for it to be destroyed. In fact, the sole purpose in creating a sand maṇḍala is to teach the monks about the cycles of life and that everything material is only transitory in nature.

It reminds me of my Grammy’s old jar of pickled tomatoes from 24 years ago. This is one doctrinal belief that my mind can not adhere to.

To me, anything that has no permanence, is not worth my time or effort. But even if it was promising, I still have to deal with my commitment issues. I hate to blame my parents for my commitment issues, but hell yeah, it’s all their fault.

I am deeply flawed and deeply human. At my worst, I turn the spotlight on myself when dealing with my issues with permanence. I say things like, “I’m not worth the trouble, I don’t do anything meaningful or lasting. I’m not good for anything at all, really.”

But that’s only when I’m at my worst, and I haven’t felt that way in a while, well, not since Nepal anyway.

I wish I got to see one of these sand mandalas in Nepal, but there weren’t any around. It’s more of a Tibet thing.

If you look hard enough, spoilers can show you your fears. Mine being the cycle of life. Living only to die kinda takes the wind out of my bagpipes.

Wow I totally lost the point of what I originally wanted to write. The tips of my fingers are vomiting letters uncontrollably.

Okay, what I really wanted to say is that, I don’t get me. I have this sudden urge to plant grass. I may not like planting flowers, but grass is okay. Grass is replaceable without any attachment issues happening. And I love dirt, the smell of it, the texture, the dirtiness. And I love seeds. Hard little nuggets of life that just need watering.

So, my new project that I’m working on is planting wheatgrass in my bedroom. I bought a long flat planter, and all the stuff I need.

At heart, I’m a granola hippie girl. It’s in my roots. I like natural, organic stuff – even if it tastes dreadful, I love it. And now the granola in me is urging me to eat grass. This may stem from my staying out of the sun, I really don’t know, but I at least want to try it. Believe it or not, wheatgrass is actually really healthy and fibrous. It’s easy to grow in low-light and doesn’t need much watering. It’s the perfect project for the slouch that I am. And a good snack to nipple on when I don’t feel like walking upstairs to ransack my parents kitchen cabinets.

I’m growing the grass in the money corner of my baqua (anything green and growing symbolizes prosperity). Once the grass is ready to harvest, I’m going to juice it and take one ounce daily.

I don’t try to be healthy, but sometimes I do these things that make me sound like a health nut. Truth is, I just like eating stuff that I grow myself, even if the only thing I can manage to grow is grass.

I hung out with my little granola friend, Christian, the other day. He called me up out of the blue and we went out for a few beers. He has dreads now and wears twine around his ankles – he pulls some of these twine anklets up above his calves just for the heck of it. It looks ridiculous, but cool at the same time. Cool, yet uncool. It’s so my style. So Punky Brewster.

I don’t really have a style. My summer outfit this year consists of mens white T-shirts (bought in bulk at Wal-Mart), and my friend Stacy’s hand-me-down plaid pants. I have so many white T-shirts and those pants are always the first pair I see hanging in my closet everyday, so there you go. Everyday, same outfit. No fuss.

Christian smokes like a chimney, but he’s healthy in the same way I am. It’s oddly bizarre how similar we are. He was smoking his cigarettes and told me he bought them cheap at a place that rolls their own with chemically untreated tobacco – no preservatives, just plain old tobacco – the building block of America.

So today I drove over to that tobacco shop and bought 200 cigarettes for $44. I’m healthy and frugal.

Anyway, in other news…

I’ve been contacting advertisers to help me grow my business. I’m doing everything in poor-girl fashion, meaning free. Whatever the advertisers offer for free, I take it. It’s practically a full time job trying to advertise. It eats up so much time. Phone interviews, in-person interviews, how to work their website tutorials – I mean jeeze, come on now. I hate talking to rep’s over the phone. I’d rather see them in person. I’d rather give a free one hour massage than chat with a rep for 15 minutes about how to market my business.

The phone is my nemesis and I hate talking on it. People call me in the afternoon to wake me up. I feel like I have to brush my teeth before I talk to them. Maybe it’s a confidence issue. I’m more tactile than vocal. More visual than listening. The recipe for a dumbass? Perhaps.

Speaking of dumbasses, I’m going to Columbia next month to do drugs with a bunch of people who put the ‘strange’ in strangers and I have absolutely no money and nobody to call if shit hits the fan.

I’m going to be reading this post when I’m an old lady and wonder how the hell I managed to survive so long.

I’m going to eat grass and do drugs! Eating grass and doing drugs is in my near future.

You know, come to think of it, I would totally eat flowers too. I would grow flowers only so I can eat them. I don’t have to watch something die as long as I can kill it first.

Amen and Gods peed

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Filed under journal, Massage therapy, random thoughts, Self help

The Life of Riley

green cherry tomatoes Houston, Tx

green cherry tomatoes Houston, Tx (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You’re reading this blog backwards.  You’re starting with the first post in present time, and then flipping back the pages until you reach the beginning.

In the years I’ve been blogging, you would think I’d be smarter, a little wiser, but I’m even more clueless than when I first began this charade of recording my life online.

The things I thought I knew, I didn’t know.  The things I grew to love and depend on, vanished.  I’m living a different life from the one I had two years ago.  I’m living a strangers life.  It doesn’t feel like my own.  This new person likes to take risks.  She has no stability or ground beneath her – she is free falling without a clue or a parachute.  Where ever she lands, she only hopes someone will be there to catch her.

I have very limited funds in my savings account.  I told my job not to schedule me clients without confirming with me first, but I’m not getting any calls at all now.  I just booked a trip to South America and at this moment, have no way of paying for it.

My only hope for real world survival is completely dependant on the success of my new business venture.  But because of my lack of ambition, I found myself at my family’s cottage in Rhode Island.  Drinking daiquiri’s and clamming with my brother and his fiance.  The life of Riley.  Driving home from Rhode Island, I went over to Matt’s house for a fire pit and drank Connecticut moonshine – getting free voice lessons from him (relaxing your voice is key).  I didn’t get home until 6am.

Distractions are my greatest weakness.  My need to be loved by others, my greatest downfall.

I’m just a girl in the world, not playing by any normal desires to be strapped down into the comforts of convention.  Running around aimlessly searching for the point in anything.  Just when I think I got it, it takes on new form, dissolving itself in the viscous liquid of logic.  The point is gone and leaves me wanting to run and escape the tirade of not knowing.

My desire to write and record is the only link I have to finding what’s real.  This blog is my beacon of hope – a lighthouse in the dark.

It can be viewed as being a backwards account of my life, or it can be seen as having a new beginning everyday.  What’s past is past.

Our cottage in Rhode Island originally belonged to my grandparents.  My grandmother used to pickle green tomatoes.  I found an old jar of pickled green tomatoes from 1988 still sealed in a rusty mason jar.  The contents all brown and mushy.  The point of the tomatoes had been lost with my grandmothers passing.  She died the next year in 1989.  But when she prepared that jar of tomatoes, she didn’t think it would be pointless.  She gave it meaning in the process.  Always having the intension of pleasing others.

Maybe the act of doing anything at all for other people, brings meaning.  And what ever comes of it must be eaten up as soon as possible before it spoils.  My blog is my chance to eat things up and make sense of it all.  Maybe helping others in the process.

I hope I don’t spoil like these tomatoes did.

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Filed under random thoughts, Self help

How I cope with a break down

The Chi Rho monogram from the Book of Kells is...

The Chi Rho monogram from the Book of Kells is the most lavish such monogram (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In my last post I proclaimed that I was going to finish my business website.  That nothing was stopping me from doing it and it had to be completed.  Well, I didnt do it.  Not even close, didn’t even try.  Dave called me as soon as I finished typing and got me out to Billy O’s with no twist of my arm.

I ran into Matt at Billy O’s and asked him where Kristie and Bosco where.

Matt – “They don’t like you anymore.  They are avoiding you.”

He said it in a funny way, so I laughed.

Me – “Oh well, what can you do.”

I take a long swig of my beer.

He then went on to tell me why Kristie doesn’t want to see me anymore, and it made sense.  Matt is a great speaker and communicator.

Matt – “It makes her sad when you tell her you can’t do something with her and then she looks on facebook and see’s you at a wedding with Dave, the guy she hates most in this world.”

Me – “I know but he’s my friend.  I can’t just ditch him for her.  What kind of person would that make me?”

Matt – “I understand.”

Me – “It hurts me that she’s doing this.”

Matt – “It’s a sucky situation.”

Me – “Everyone leaves me.  All my friends leave me.  It’s like, what’s even the point of anything anymore if I don’t have anyone to share it with?”

And that’s when I cracked.  I covered my mouth with my hand and started crying – not just tears welling up, but actually sputtering words and streaming tears.  I was absolutely fine seconds before, but my own words got to me because they’re true.  And said out loud makes them more real and felt.

Matt – “Oh come here.  It’s okay.”

He gave me a big hug.

Matt – “Just so you know, I will never leave you.  You’ll always have me.”

 I felt better after hearing that.  And his hug was amazing.  I love hugs.

The crying episode only lasted seconds – I don’t like to draw things out.  I let things out in one big burst and become immediately soothed when people comfort me.

I stayed at Billy’s till closing and had a good time the rest of the night.

I’ve been battling with this feeling of having nothing to live for, nothing to look forward to.  Even if I accomplish everything I set out to do, what’s the point?  There’s no point or happiness to anything.  Only beer and the bar.  And occasional hugs from Matt.

Later that night Matt called me to do a suicide check.

Matt – “Are you sure you’re okay?”

Me – “Oh yeah I’m fine.  I was referring to other people when I said what’s the point in living.  What’s the point in living their lives if all they do is push other people away?  That’s what I meant.”

Matt – “Ah okay, gotcha.”

I am 100% NOT suicidal.  Will NEVER be suicidal.  I never thought about it nor condone the act.  There is always something that can be done.  And I believe life is beautiful with bountiful love and gorgeous sunsets.  Suicide is selfish and cowardly.

I’m just going through a tough time is all.  I’m okay.

All that happened on the 24th, ten days ago.  I ended up finishing my website last Tuesday, two days ago.  I did it all in one sitting and it only taken a couple hours. 

I had to write about myself in the ABOUT page, and was flummoxed on to what to put.  On other massage therapists ABOUT page, they list all their credentials and training.  They make themselves out to be the omniscient gods of massage.  Snobby know-it-all millionaire therapists holding onto their cocktail wieners with a toothpick.  Daintily fingering their monical’s with one pinkie in the air.

I thought about what I can write about myself and came up with this:

Hi I’m Melanie!  I’m a graduate of CCMT.  I graduated middle of my class with no honors or achievements.  I taken a class in hot stone massage because my last job required it.  I’m horrible at pregnancy massage.  I don’t like administering deep tissue massage because I hate strenuous manual labor due to fear of exerting myself.  My hobbies are Netflix and spider solitaire.  I drink like a fish and my friends don’t speak to me anymore.  My highest achievement is that I can eat a hotdog underwater.

That about sums it up.  On my ABOUT page I focused not on my massage abilities, but on my joy of traveling and experiencing different things.  It sounds pretty cool and I’m happy with it.  I’m a great bullshitter, a real A in the hole.

Anyway, I finished my website and went to the bar and ran into friends I haven’t seen in a while.  I massaged both of them yesterday at my new office and made $120 in two hours.  Once the money was in my hands, I felt powerful and rich.

‘Holy shit $120 in two-hours?  This might stinkin’ work!’

I can honestly say that I love my new office.  I set it up perfect and don’t mind sitting there answering phones.  It’s my own business and I have all the answers to people’s questions.  I don’t need to relay messages or do secretarial stuff for others for free.  It’s bringing me closer to peace of mind and independency.  But again, what’s the point?

I just have to take one day at a time.  Slow down to a stroll and live life full measure.  I might be a small person, but my actions can be greater than me.  I’ll focus on my actions more.  Maybe that will give me something to look forward to.  ‘What great and many things will I do today?  Who will be in my radius to feel the benefits of my great and many actions?’

It’s the fourth of July and I’m laying in bed.  Unshowered in my old sweaty pajama’s.  I’m supposed to go to a fire pit tonight at a friends house, and I really should go, but I’m so damned tired and scared of who might be there.  Dave’s going and bringing Heather.  They are back together.  She’s just so God-awful annoying and all she does is nag Dave.  I hate listening to it.

Dave told a friend in secrecy that he’s only dating her again to make me jealous.  Poor Dave.  He should know by now that I don’t get jealous.  He can hurt me in other ways though, I’m not invulnerable to feelings of hurt.

I’m too tired to put up with people today, but I can’t escape it.  I went out last night and drank myself into oblivion, so today I am reset.  Tired and can sleep guilt-free. 

I had to run an errand with a friend earlier today and told her to wake me up with a phone call otherwise I will sleep till 2.  She called at 1 and I was still sleeping and groggy when I answered.

Her party started 18 minutes ago.  I better take a shower.

Two days ago I was in bad shape.  I was searching the internet for something to get me excited and happy again.  You remember how you felt as a kid when Christmas was approaching?  Pure bliss mixed with impatience.  Happiness, radiance, twinkling lights, snowmen, hot chocolate, loved one’s.  I want that feeling again.  I want the wonderland and the whole shebang.

I found a website offering people the chance to live amongst the Lakota Indians and take part in their rituals and ceremony’s.  They have a re-birthing ceremony where I’ll go into a small little hut and sweat my brains out, inhale some magic smoke, see spirits and shit and then come out a new and improved individual.  I’ll also be experimenting with yopo nuts and some other herbal hallucinogens.  We’ll be sitting around camp fires passing around a peace pipe, banging drums and watching ritualistic dancing.  It’s a mind trip and supposed to be cleansing and very spiritual.

It takes place in Columbia, South America and is the most authentic, traditional place available for white people to experience ancient shamanic customs.  So what do I do?  I sign myself up for it, that’s what I do.  I leave August 3rd, only a mere four weeks away.  I’ll see if I can capture some video for you guys.

I don’t know what I’m getting myself into now….

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Filed under journal, Massage therapy, Self help, Travel

I had sex last night!

Jared

Jared (Photo credit: bullcitydogs)

Yes that’s right I said it!  Booya who’s da man?  Not me cause I’m a girl, but a girl who had SEX last night with a MAN.

Last night was nuts.  Just plain nuts.

I’m sitting in Cheshire coffee feeling super hung over (as usual) and trying not to brag about my sexual prowess, but I can’t help it.

The problem is, it only lasted three seconds because the guys brother started knocking on the bedroom door.  He wasn’t knocking to tell us to knock it off, but knocking so he can join in.  Um, okay….Let me start from the beginning.

My good friend (really, one of my only friends) is upset at me for supposedly being mean to K in my Nepal post.  Not only was I mean, but exhibited a lot of hate and anger toward her too.  If you read the post, you would see how completely helpless I was.  Not only helpless, but confused and heartbroken for being left alone on a freakin’ mountain in a third world country – ME!  Of all people!  But apparently everything that happened to me was all my fault.  I was the asshole, the mean one.

The girl who told me this, my friend since I was 14 , says she’ll talk to me about it in person and tell me how I was mean.  But I’m afraid whatever she tells me will be bullshit and if it’s all bullshit, that means she only said what she said because she’s taken K’s side.  And I have the sinking feeling that she did.

It’s devastating.  Completely devastating.  That moment when you find out your friend doesn’t have your back – the moment when you realize just how alone you really are in the world, well, it sucks.  Really sucks.  Now not only K is avoiding me, but she’s taken one of my best and only friends along with her.

I’m once again the sitting dunce.  That dunce feeling I had in Nepal never left.  I’m the one.  It’s me that people love to torture and deflate.

So anyway, I’ve been depressed and kept myself good and drunk everyday since I been back.  That may be why I signed my own death warrant for entering in the Tough Mudder (or it could be that I have a masochistic personality disorder that I just learned about).  I’m not tough.  I’m weak with flat feet and bugs bunny arms!  I feel like I’m punishing myself.  I’m a dogs ratty chew toy.  I don’t squeak anymore cause there’s too many puncture wounds in me.

So anyway, that’s where I am right now.  Living at home, working six hours a week, half the people I live with hate me – speaking of my crazy aunt and ocd cousin, he was left in the house by himself today.  When I stopped home earlier for a minute, hot steaming water was running (probably for hours) and made the house feel like a swamp.  And I heard domonic chanting coming from upstairs.

Me – “What the eff is that?”

I stood at the bottom of the stairs looking up trying to make sense out of the satanic rumblings.  The voices were monotone, even-paced, and spoken in spiritless voices.  I walked up the stairs, half expecting to be axed to death, but the voices became clearer and I figured out what they were.  It was a bunch of kids reciting the rosary over and over again on an old creepy cassette tape.

“Okay, I’m out of here.”

I filled up my water bottle and jetted off to the Cheshire Trail for some well-needed rollerblading.

“Everybody’s fucking with me.  Everybody’s effing crazy!”

This is my world y’all – welcome to my hell.

I totally got off topic.  Where was I?  Scroll….up, uh yes.  I totally had sex last night!

I hung out with Kristie and her friends yesterday.  She’s friends with Ania and Jared who are in some sort of weird open relationship.  I have a crush on Jared.  He’s cute, smart, big (I like big, I can’t help it) – but above all that, he’s funny.  If someone can make me laugh – they got me.  He had me cracking up the whole night in his blue superman hoodie.

And he’s like me – an empath.  I could tell he’s an empath from the first moment I started liking him.  His whole energy changed and focused on me.   He knew I liked him.  I don’t know how, but he knew and ate it up.

We were sitting at a bar in Southington, all of us moderately buzzed, when Ania and Jared decided to take us some place else – a bar in Bristol.  We piled into Ania’s Catalac, blasted some tunes and Jared drove us there fast – very fast and very crazy.  But I wasn’t scared.  I felt nothing but nostalgia.  I missed those car rides from my earlier years.

Me – “What’s wrong with me?  I’m numb.  I don’t feel any fear.”

Jared – “That’s why I like you.”

He says this as he slams on the breaks and all of us pitch forward.

Kristie held my hand and curled up next to me like a scared little babe.  Everyone’s windows were rolled down, I was in the windy backseat smoking a cigarette.  I tossed it out the window, or so I thought.

Kristie – “Somethings smoking.”

We were in the drive-thru line at taco bell.  I got out of the car and searched for a burning lit cigarette.

Me – “Ah here it is, it’s okay.  It didn’t burn any holes in the car.”

I sat back in the car, Kristie rested her head on my shoulder.

Kristie – “I still smell something burning.”

Me – “I don’t smell anything.”

She looks over at me.

Kristie – “Oh my god Melanie you’re on fire!”

My Savannah Georgia hoodie was alit.  Completely ablaze behind my head.  I hopped out of the car and started jumping up and down patting my back.  Kristie was laughing hysterically as she fished out the flaming butt.

Kristie – “Ha ha ha, how did you do this?  Oh my god hahahha.”

Me – “I’m like Katniss Everdeen, the girl on fire.”  I’m such a dork.  Every time I go out, I say at least one regrettably dorky statement.  This was tonight’s.

We drove to a karaoke bar and danced and sang until the bar closed.  I looked like a complete scrub in my signature hobo look.  My hand-me-down pants were five sizes too big and being held up with a cheap belt that came with a pair of hiking pants and I was wearing a big sexless black hoodie.  But because Dave wasn’t around, I still managed to get hit on.  Jared kept telling me how beautiful I was which aroused only emotions of embarrassment and guilt.

Kristie – “You have a way about you.”

Me – “I’m not a flirt, am I?  Does it seem like I’m flirting?”

Kristie – “No not at all, you’re just being you.”

Apparently guys really like the disheveled, depressed look.

I couldn’t shake off an old married black man from hounding me.  He showed me pictures of his kids and his wife.

Him – “I’m not happy in my marriage.  I like to go out and meet new people, you know?  I’d love to get your number so we can arrange for this again.”

He hovered over me as I added him to facebook – you know, to make sure I did it right.  But I didn’t do it right.  The service was bad.  But still I refused to give him my number.  He made me write down my name, though.

Jared – “Come on Mel we’re leaving.  Let’s go let’s go – we’re going to the strip club, come on.”

And off we went.  But we didn’t go to the strip club, we went back to Jared’s.  It was me, Kristie, Ania, Jared and his brother (can’t remember his name).  Jared’s brother is one of those shameless, self-defacing alcoholics.  A person you can say anything to and he’ll be accepting, non-judgmental and not make anything of it.  He’s also like a punching bag in taking abuse from people both mentally and physically – almost like he expects it from others.  Is this how I am?

Nowadays people can say whatever they want to me – their most private thoughts and secrets and I barely flinch or feel anything.  At one point Jared popped his balls out of his pants and I just smiled in amusement.

Ania – “Look at you, you don’t even care.”

Me – “Huh, you’re right.”

Ania insisted we all play strip poker.

Ania – “Everybody into the kitchen!  Game is on!”

I won the first hand, but lost the next several leaving me in nothing but my purple heart undies.  I stopped playing before they came off.

Then we played spin the bottle and truth or dare.  We were drinking cape codders at 4 in the morning when Kristie asked me; “Melanie.  When was the last time you had sex?”

Me – “Over two years ago.”

Ania – “TWO YEARS!  ARE YOU SERIOUS?”

Me – “Yep, two years.  Over two years actually.”

The room exploded.  Everyone was astonished and nobody wanted to leave me alone about it.

Ania – “Well, we have to get you laid tonight.  We just have to.”

Jared – “I’ll do it I’ll do it!”

Jared raised his hand and bounced up and down.

Ania – “Um, NO.  You will not do it.”

Jared’s brother was laying on the floor in the room across from us.

Jared’s brother – “You can use me I guess.  I’ll just lay here.”

I don’t know what came over me, but I liked that idea – I mean really liked it.  Picturing him laying there while I did whatever I wanted gave me a slight power trip – I sparked to life.  My loins stirred awake.  It was something I haven’t felt in a long time.

Ania – “Go in there and have your way with him.  Don’t think about it, just do it.”

Me – “Okay.  But only for five minutes.  I don’t want to draw it out.  Is there a condom?”

Ania – “Yes there are condoms, now get in there.”

I go into the room.

Me – “The light has to be off and I’m not putting anything in my mouth.”

Him – “Okay, that’s fine.”

And then I started to do my thing.  The minute things heated up, I hear Kristie from outside the door saying “Bye Mel.”

Me – “What?  She’s leaving?”  No, that can’t be right.

But her and Ania did leave.  Ania’s parents wanted her back home pronto – she’s thirty years old and getting yelled at for being out untill 5 am.

As soon as they left, I hear Jared outside the bedroom door knocking and trying to open the locked door.  That’s when I turned on the lights and got dressed.  The mood was over, and I wasn’t about to have a three-way between two brothers.

When I opened the door for Jared, he charged in like a horny bulldozer.  I sensed that his thoughts and emotions were absent from him.  He wanted me and his desire alone consumed him.  He came over to me, picked me up in his huge arms and gently laid me down on the mattress – it made me hot, I’m not gonna lie.  But it was happening too quickly and I couldn’t process if what I was doing was wrong.  Ania made it clear to Jared that he was not to sleep with me.

Me – “No, this isn’t right.  Lets not do this.”

But my words fell on deaf ears – he literally couldn’t hear what I was saying.  It wasn’t because he was purposely ignoring me, he simply was consumed with desire.  I never understood that cliché until now.  He was deaf and blind.

‘Oh shit am I going to be a one in five rape victim?  Is this what it’s like?’

After numerous attempts at saying no, he finally responded.  It was like he snapped out of a trance.  He came back to life.

Jared – “Oh, seriously?  Oh wow I feel like a rapist.”

Me – “It’s okay, don’t worry about it.”

Jared – “Is it because of Ania?”

Me – “Yeah, and other things.”

Um Hello?  I was just with your brother?

Jared – “You know Ania and I have an open relationship.  She’s into girls too.  If she was here, she would be into it.”

Me – “Oh well, I’m not really into that.”

Jared – “It’s no big deal, really.  Is Ania the only reason?”

Me – “It just doesn’t feel right.”

Jared – “But you were about to do it with my brother.”

Me – “It’s different with him.  I don’t have feelings for him.”

That’s when things start to blur in my memory.  I can’t remember much after that.  Only that he walked me to my car and I drove home.  I can’t remember if I went straight to bed, or ate and watched an episode of 30 Rock.

I’m so tired.  I just ate a corn dog and now I’m laying in bed.  Ania just sent me a smily face text out of the blue.

I’m not positive, but my new friends may not be good for me.

I’m lonely, have an addictive personality and I crave attention and love from others.  These people like to drink, have fun and liquor me up to get me in bed with them.  They fit nicely into my needs.  But my needs are my worst qualities – the ugly side of me that will never grow up.  And now I seem to be diving head first into them.  If I cave and sleep with my new friends, then I would lose to my demons.  And I’ll be known as being the shameless whore with emotional problems.

I really want to leave the country.

And Jared’s brother turned out to be married.   Women are allowed to kill their cheating husbands in Hong Kong, but only with their bare hands.  They can kill the mistress however they want.  If I was in Hong Kong, it would be legal to kill me.  It’s wild to think that my murder can be acceptable.  Think about it.  It’s okay to murder me.  Its okay, just do it.

I’m pretty sure that I have a masochistic personality disorder.  I mean, why else linger on the fact that I can be legally murderded right now?

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Filed under journal, Self help

Okay, I’m going to just go ahead and lay it out for y’all

Blind Idiot God (album)

It’s 5:29 A.M and I can’t sleep.  Well, it’s not so much that I can’t sleep, but more like I’m not allowing myself to.  Instead my brain is wide awake forming unwritten blog posts.  Sentences streaming together spiraling into paragraphs, paragraphs expanding into troubling brews of insight and self-awareness that I find impossible bedding down for the night without getting it out of me first.  I MUST get it out.  Get it out of me like that movie where the alien pops out of the guys stomach.  It ain’t gonna be pretty.

I hear birds.  I’m so tired…..

I got myself good and depressed last Wednesday.  I started thinking about Nepal again and how I managed to botch things up with everyone.  K’s statement about me being an embarrassment to everyone was what mixed the pot of goop in my head.

“I’m an embarrassment……hmmm….how?  Why, why why….am I so lame….”

“Is it because I look weird?  Yes, but there’s got to be more to it than that.  My hideous laugh spotted with intermittent snorts?  That doesn’t help me in the cool department but no, that’s not it.  I am however, an idiot.  That could be it.  That’s most likely it.  I’m an idiot that doesn’t try at anything.  I don’t try to get people to like me, I don’t try saying smart things to people and I don’t feel special or interesting enough to talk about myself (I have my blog for that).  I don’t pretend I know what I’m doing, but not only that – I can be mean.  I can be mean by my lack of responding to others.”

My silence by not sharing myself, and by not putting any effort into anything I say or do, can make me come off as being aloof and indifferent (maybe that’s what makes me a puzzle to people!).  And this is what even my closest friends can see and came to believe about me.  They drive me crazy, but really it’s my fault – it really is!

That was my final answer.  That I’m a stupid, unresponsive goofy attention seeking needy child, too caught up in her own world of magnificence that she fails at responding to others and their needs.

And that explains why I’m best friends with this guy:

                                              He manages to love and adore the real me somehow.

“Okay, so I really am embarrassing to be around.  Now that I know why, how do I fix it?”

This was a damaging realization that sent me into a clichéd shame spiral.  So what did I do to appease the Gods of remorse?  I went to the bar with Dave, my crutch.  And drank beer, my other crutch.  I hobbled into Jersey Joe’s on my two crutches and played horseshoes outside feeling like I was a kid at a family picnic.  Swinging my horseshoe like Happy Gilmore swings his club.  But still the damage moped around my head.  I couldn’t let anyone see what I really was –  A stupid, unresponsive goofy attention seeking needy child – no, couldn’t allow that.  Not anymore.

Dave’s new girlfriend showed up at the bar.  This may sound un-girl-like of me, but I’m actually okay with Dave having girlfriends and bringing them around for me to meet.  Me and him are playmates, nothing more.  I felt that I could be hurt if I let myself sink into it, but I didn’t because, well, it’s Dave!  The man-boy who pants like a dog and wags his butt when he’s happy so he can come off as being cute with people – which works on me, sadly.

His new unofficial girlfriend brought her friend with her.  We all sat down at a table together and immediately Kristie (the GF) had her radar locked on me.  She was being overly friendly, talking a lot and vying for my approval – nothing she said seemed genuine or authentic (two things I started perfecting in myself when I turned 18).

I have experience with these types of people and most everyone has a bit of it in them, but then a Kristie comes along to make it nearly impossible for me to form any real substantial connection with her.  If I gave her the approval she was after, I’d only be encouraging her behaviour and in the process, I would be fake in return.  Being fake is something I chiseled away at for years.  I sculpted myself down to find my truth and hate it when people compromise it.  This is my meanness that I don’t try to hide.  My lack of empathy towards fakes.

I could never understand why people do this.  Torturing themselves just to win the approval from someone who doesn’t even matter that much – keeping everything real in them from escaping and then plastering me with laser-edged attention that I find unnerving and annoying.  Especially annoying.  ‘This person is not self-aware.  How can I talk normally to a person who doesn’t know themself?  They’ll only tell me a bunch of fake made-up shit and frankly, I don’t have the time or patience to hear it.”

Melanie spells Meanie if you leave out the L in Love.  Heh heh…

The meanness in me manifests into an unresponsive wall – completely unaffected by anything being said to me.  These kinds of people hurl themselves at me only to crumple against my unflinching, unblinking stare.  Sometimes I try to be nice by throwing in a “Ah, that’s interesting” and place a finger to my chin as though I’m deep in thought.  But mostly I just nod and say, “Oh yeah?  Really?  Huh….”

Kristie’s eyes never left mine.  She talked very lively and animated.  In-between breaths she would scan me for a response.

But here’s the kicker; I started doing it too!  Because of my recent emotional trauma and the belief that I must hide my damaged parts to fit in, I found myself holding her gaze, keeping up with her focus.  She was obviously more skilled than I at this game, but I was learning rapidly what it was about.  We blocked out Dave, we blocked out her quiet blonde friend smiling next to her.  We blocked out the entire bar.  The space between her and I became a funnel – a vacuum that sucked each other in and spat everything else out.  I felt needy for her acceptance – to prove to myself and everyone that I really am normal.  So I hammed it up – pretending to relate and understand.

It didn’t take long for me to realize what was happening.  While she was talking, I spaced out to listen to my own inner voice.  ‘Holy shit so this is why people are fake!  To try and hide their damaged parts.  Someone had hurt them, made them insecure and now they’re trying not to let it happen again.   And having a new person to chat with is their ultimate test at fitting in and to start fresh.

BOOM!  Connection was formed.  I put a halt to my fakeness, I didn’t need it anymore, and beneath it was my humanity.  I sympathised with her and for the first time ever, I made a connection with a fake personality because they were fake!  Such a paradox, I know….

But as soon as I sympathised with her, and with my own fakeness waning, that’s when I saw the real her being drawn out.  It was like cranking up a Jack-in-the-box.  I was slowly, patiently winding her up – knowing she’ll let herself out when she’s ready.  And I made it perfectly clear to her that she could unleash everything she’s got.

And she did.  Our laughs became real and infectious and soon the whole table became involved in our conversation.

It was funny watching all this unfold in front of me.  A lifetime of not understanding these people to only become one of them and then come out of it with new enlightened wisdom.  All the while everyone else being completely oblivious to whats going on in my head.  People tell me I’m a puzzle?  Well, it’s probably because of this shit.

When I was in my late twenties I had a problem understanding jealous, needy people.  As soon as a person got jealous or needy, I wiped my hands clean of them – but then felt guilty for doing it.  I was the complete opposite of anything remotely jealous or needy and if I could remain that way almost into my 30’s, than I wondered what the hell was wrong with everyone else?  I wanted to understand these people, know how they operated and what it felt like, but to my chagrin – I did just that.  That one is a little bit harder to pull yourself out of.  I really wished I had my blog back then, but all I had was my crumpled handwritten journals tucked away in a Century safe.  And being jealous and needy also intertwined into needing narcissistic validation from everyone – bad road to head down, trust me.

But anyway,

Socrates – “You know the difference between knowledge and wisdom?”

Dan – “No, what?”

Socrates – “You learn knowledge from a book.  You learn wisdom by living it.”

That’s from The Peaceful Warrior.  Not sure if the phrasing’s right, but you get the idea.

And as soon as the pretenses dropped from our table, everyone chimed in to talk – energy flowed how it should flow.  From one person to the next, no favorites.  No boundaries.  And it turns out that Kristie is awesome.  Turning out to be more true and genuine than most.  I gave her a chance and let her in – that’s all I did.  That’s all anyone wants, really.  Now I know how important that one small gesture is.

My previous self was immune to the faker’s silent plea, hoping they would give up, get bored – go a different route.  I was too lazy to make an effort for them – the little extra love it takes to get to know these people who need it the most.  But now I’m one step closer to being a better version of me, and even acquired a new friend in the process.

Kristie and I hung out for three days in a row.  Yesterday she taken me to see an 80’s cover band that was phenomenal (omg I LOVE 80’s cover bands!), and today we hung out all day just bumming around and ended up listening to a live calypso band outside sitting on the patio of a riverfront bar.  It was a good day.  But then if she ever gets needy, jealous or weird, I hope the new me is able to deal with it better than the old one.  My understanding is expanding, I just didn’t think it would be this painful.

At 7 o’clock we had to part ways so I could go to my five-year massage therapy class reunion.  Two girls from my class now practice Thai massage which involves using their own bodies to stretch and position the clients body.  I shit-you-not it looked like kama sutra.  We drank wine, did a few yoga poses and practiced kama sutra with our clothes on.  Well, actually I didn’t want to get involved in it.  It looked to be too intimate for my taste – which is most likely yet another ingrained problem that I have, but I’ll save that one for some other time.

I know I have a problem with over-analyzing everything, but I kinda like that one.  Think I’ll keep it.

I guess I should try my hand at sleep now.  Fml tomorrow.

You know I read somewhere about the Dalai Lama politely dismissing insincere people from interviewing him – he didn’t have the time for them.  Perhaps I am surpassing the Dalai Lama in my scope of understanding the human psyche?  How awesome is that?!  Awesome, yes – if it’s true, but true it is not.  I’m a small-time egomaniac, that’s all.  Small wormy narcissistic entrails still resound in me.

No, the Dalai Lama probably dismisses the people who look down on him, don’t believe that he’s the real deal, but Dalai don’t give a fuck – the boy ain’t got nuthin’ to prove to nobody.  Ha ha, bad ass Dalai that’s what he is.

Shit I’m tired.  Sorry circadian rhythm.

I’m such a mess.  I mean really.  My ankle is STILL swollen from when I fell in Kathmandu, my left knee still hurts from trekking and my period is 23 days late!  Plus my head is nuts, I have a cold, I’m broke and live in a basement down by the parents.

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Filed under All about me, journal, Self help

Menstrual Mel

Understand The Chaos

I liked being alone when I was little, but I never was. There were always people around watching over me, hovering above me, wondering what I was up to. “When I grow up”, I thought to myself, “I want to be alone and think. Just sit and think until I understand.” I was a weird kid, but I actually had this desire. I was really little too, like maybe seven? I couldn’t understand why people talked so much and why they were always angry or sad. I just wanted to understand, but I felt I had to get away from all the noise first, to be able to do it.

This yearning to be alone followed me all the way into my twenties. “Just for a little while,” I thought, “just enough time for me to clear my head and understand better.”

I had an experience when I was a kid. I may have written about it already, but my head is so foggy tonight that I can’t remember.

I was talking to my Dad. I was about 6 or 7 years old. We were talking about the universe and how it all started.

Me – “What was here before the universe?”

Pop – “Nothing was here.”

Me – “Was it just blackness?”

Pop – “There was no blackness. Blackness didn’t exist yet. There was nothing.”

That’s when I experienced my first zen moment. My mind became quiet, clear, still. It became blank and empty. It was the feeling you get when listening to an empty conch shell. Well, almost that feeling.

A split second later, I was back to reality. I had no idea what just happened – had no name or knowledge of it, but I knew I had experienced something, just no idea what. I tried to do it again. I called it “blankness,” and I could only obtain the “blankness” if I thought about the blankness before the universe started. I was able to control it. I was able to go in and out of Zen.

Are these two things normal for a kid to experience?

I had another zen moment a few weeks ago. I hadn’t had one in maybe 10 years.

What brought on this zen moment were thoughts about energy. The fact that it can never be created or destroyed, only change form. I thought about the time before the universe began – the timeless blankness – and wondered that because energy could never be created or destroyed, than it must have always been here, but since nothing existed before the universe, energy had no form to take. If it had no form, than what was it? If it had no purpose, no place to go, what form was it in? Does matter make energy, or does energy make matter?

This type of unanswerable question is called a Koan. It can’t be figured out or understood using rational thought, but can be intuitively felt and realized. It’s something that can’t be described (though, you can try), only felt. And it induces a state of meditation. Zen Buddhists use Koan’s as a way to obtain enlightenment. It is possible to find an answer to a koan, but the answer is only true if it’s a personal realization and not a rationalized one.

With all that said, I’m pretty sure I was a Zen Buddhist in a previous life. I mean seriously! I read that the Dalai Lama has no tolerance for insincere people – and neither do I! And I intuitively sense when I meet an inauthentic human being. I’m not sure tolerance is the right word. Maybe no patience, or no time to be wasted by conversing with them.

I also get an insane amount of anxiety when I feel that I’ve hurt someone. Whether they are genuine or not, I don’t want to hurt anyone. I don’t want to hurt Christina for being how she is. You can’t make a person understand by hurting them, it’s just a cycle of anger and sadness. I would hurt her, and she hurts me back. Nothing is gained.

I’m going through a rough time. It’s not just because I want to quit my job at a time when I could really use the money (for Nepal), It doesn’t have anything to do with Christina or the man-baby. It has to do with my Mother. I still haven’t told her about Nepal and it’s tearing me up inside. I feel I’m being dishonest with her – this dishonesty is throwing me off balance. My guilt is wreaking havoc on me. I want to cry. I want to stay home just to appease her, but I know that’s the wrong thing to do. It’s the wrong thing for both of us. I’m hurting my Mother without her knowing I’m hurting her.

I’ll no doubt still lie to her about buying a resort package with a guided tour of Nepal. I have to lie. But it make me feel worse by telling her nothing at all. In this situation, I rationalize, that by me lying to her, I’m only hurting myself with guilt – but by telling her the truth, I’m relieving my guilt, and hurting her instead. Telling the truth to a person who will never understand, is hurtful. However, telling the truth to someone who would understand, is the liberating, respectable thing to do. Well, in this situation at least. Shit, I’m rambling.

But by lying to her, I’m secretly conveying the message that she’s incapable of changing herself or understanding. That she will always be a control freak and not expect much else out of her. This is a paradox. Did I just create another Koan?

I guess the best thing to do in this case is compromise. To grow by gaining small levels of understanding at a time. I’ll tell her I’m touring Nepal, but with a large group of tourists. She’ll become enlightened in increments.

I’m PMS’ing. This type of thought ALWAYS happens to me when I’m PMS’ing. I hate it. Absolutely hate it. Okay, so I was a Zen buddhist in a past life – whatever you say menstrual Mel!

I bought a book about meditation. This is the book:

This guy’s meditation technique is that there is no technique, no effort. It just simply is was it is.

I mix a little of my own technique with his no effort/no control way, and it seriously works. It works to quiet and untangle my brain.

When I meditate to find “quietness,” I feel a physical barrier. A wall. This “wall” feels like a fist that tightens the closer I come to it. It’s stifling, claustrophobic and has the same kind of pressure that you may feel from a headache, only it doesn’t hurt.

My technique to this fist in my head is to approach it lightheartedly without effort, and to visualize it tightening and then loosening. It doesn’t lose the shape of a fist when it loosens, but every time I squeeze it and release it, it’s able to relax slightly more after each pass. I tighten and loosen, tighten and it loosens some more. I do it to the rhythm of my breath. As I inhale, the fist tightens and on the exhale, loosens. And that impenetrable wall and pressure dissipates. It’s left open and free for idea’s to float in.

Of course as soon as I figured this out, I had to jump on my blog to write about it. My mind is a fist once again. I need to learn how to let go. That’s what it is with me. I have trouble letting go. It’s hard to let go of something when you don’t know what it is. I’m guessing it’s fear, or doubt maybe? I don’t know.

Am I done yet? Hmmm, I think so. Sorry for the weird post.

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Filed under All about me, random thoughts, Self help