Wednesday, January 6, 2016

How I learned to meditate

Hey all,

So I always wanted to learn how to meditate and reach that sense of calm that monks reach, right before they start kicking ass! ...OK I watch a lot of movies, but I still wanted to know what was going on and how do you reach that state.

So I did a little research here and there about the Beatles and how they went to India to study with the Maharishi Yogi near the Ganges river at the foot of the Himalayas. The Yogi would give them a phrase to repeat all day while they sat in the sun and try to get there mind to stop wondering.

So how did they do in this mystic land with a real life Obi-wan?? Ringo left after ten days and the rest of the guys were gone a few months later. They did write some good songs including "Dear Prudence"  The problem they had was it was boring and they had other things to think about like the fact they were the damn Beatles.

I tried it myself and I would repeat a phrase and then my mind would wander off to think about getting a glass of wine or did the Beatles minds wander and think about a glass of wine and maybe I should try and record "Dear Prudence" well shit my mind wandered off again!!

Then I recalled a book I had come across about how to hypnotize yourself and others. The book started with its not what you think it is and first you need to be calm. In order to reach the calm state you create a safe place.

This is how I now meditate, I have created two separate stories I tell myself every night before I go to sleep. The results are I have a very deep sleep and my dreams are very intense and detailed. I switch the stories as I feel like and more and more after two years I have become stress free.

Story one:

The brief version, I take an elevator  to a secret room where no one can reach me, it is my sanctum sanctorum or my Fortress of Solitude if your a Superman fan.

When I tell myself the story the details have become crystal clear to me, I know how the room smells,the feel of the carpet every little detail.

Story two:

I'm alone in the woods  walking through a blizzard and I must find shelter. Once again the details are very important, gathering wood for a fire, making a shelter from old branches etc..

Now your story will be up to you, and I have been repeating my tales for two years or so to the point I can think of my "safe room" during my work day and calm myself down and release any pressure.

I do not know what a teacher of mediation would say about my habits or how I am going about it all wrong. I do know that I have a place I can tap into at any time and feel calm.

Peace and Love

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

You say you want a resolution 2015

Hey All,

Looking back on 2015 I must say I was over all pleased with the year, I stayed busy,never once found time to feel bored and I made some new friends. Too many funerals this year and its taken its toll . I had the honor of being a witness for my friends wedding (any excuse to wear my kilt and drink in a pub) I rode my bike 100 miles ,hiked the Chubb trail with friends and walked all of Grant’s trail on my own.
The lesson I learned this year  was not to over do it, sometimes I push too hard and this year I loss ground regaining my strength.
So as far the new year what are my resolutions??
I’m keeping it simple and I am following the four agreements as my compass for the new year.


“The Four Agreements
1. Be impeccable with your word.
2. Don’t take anything personally.
3. Don’t make assumptions.
4. Always do your best. ”
Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom

 I actually right these down every morning at work as wait for my computer to boot up, just that simple.
I wish everyone a happy new year and I hope it’s a year that you believe in yourself and act on your dreams.

Peace and Love


Thursday, December 17, 2015

Heading back to Paleo

Hey all,

I started working on my resolutions and I realized a big one I have not met is getting my weight below 200 lbs. Now I have maintained my weight loss OK for three years now but I have stopped losing.

This year I took up long distance bike riding and I left the paleo diet and added a lot of carbs so I could get more energy for my riding. My heart was in the right place but I did not do the homework and I ended up going from to little carbs to carb over load and gained back a good 20lbs or so and really slowed down in my working out.

I have been feeling lethargic and just not in the mood to move. So I consulted a few different sites and found I just needed to tweak my Paleo diet with just enough good carbs here and there ( potatoes,yams).

This week a co worker walked and handed me a very nice size deer steak just as my wife and I were discussing becoming vegetarians... great timing!

Long story short, that was the best steak I ever ate and I woke up feeling stronger, and I know for myself my body is calling for me to return to my paleo ways.

Pay attention to your body and see where it takes you, I will share my resolutions for next year very soon and I would love to hear yours. Post them everywhere and force yourself to get off the couch!

Peace and Love all!


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Welcome to the Casbah: A Beatles ghost story



Hey all,


If we can agree that ghosts are shadows of the past, then I have what I feel is a ghost story to share..

My wife and I decided to makeover our basement from sunny yellow to dark red walls with a black floor,give it the feeling when you walked down the stairs you were walking into a night club or an old movie theater. I spent the next few long days getting up at dawn and working after everyone had gone to bed. In between breaks I had finished reading a very detailed book on the early days of the Beatles and in particular the Casbah club.

In the summer of 1959 Mona Best , the mother of soon to be trivia answer Pete Best opened up her cellar to the young people of Liverpool as a coffee house and a place to hear bands play. When Pete’s pals failed to show up his young friend George Harrison invited his pals Paul McCartney, John Lennon and Stuart Sutcliffe to play. The boys became regulars there jamming all the time and at Mona’s request they pitched in and painted the place. The room still stands today as Beatle landmark of their early days before they kicked Pete out for their pal Richie and moved to the Cavern, but that’s another story.

Around that time the Beatles managed to put out a recording called “Cry for a Shadow” an instrumental that was a poke at the popular band The Shadows..

So all this is going through my mind as I paint away, and its getting late so I put down my brush for a cup of coffee and sit back to take in my work. I picked up a near by electric guitar unplugged and started to work out how to play “Cry for a shadow”.  Now the song is not much of a challenge but Johns part did not sound right and I know that the other guys use to laugh at his chord fingering because he would make broken ukulele/banjo chords his mother Julia taught him. I tried some simple variations and came up with “the Lennon Chord” sooner than I found out it I started to feel odd. Now its 2am the house is quiet and I’m feeling something like stage fright all alone in my basement.

The room appeared to be getting darker and crowded with people milling about, I saw all of these people looking at me waiting for me to do something, my room was gone and I was in The Casbah.  I was overwhelmed with how much I did not belong here and that I was trespassing through someone else’s memory.

I could smell sweat and dampness of a much older basement and when I released the chord the room was filled with thick shadows. I slowly got up and headed down the back hall to my studio and put the guitar away. I was filled with dread at the notion I now had to turn back up the hall to the stairs.

My hallway felt claustrophobic, thick with shadows and just the feeling of being watched, as I climbed the steps. I was so scared I would hear a “scouse accent “ come from a voice behind me.

Once up stairs again I poured myself a coffee and refused to be frightened in my own home, so to prove to at least myself I went down the stairs again and left the lights off and sat in the dark and tried to make sense out of what I had just gone through. Nothing happened, just an empty basement. I turned the lights back on and started painting again. Cry for a shadow was thumping in my head and I started to feel that I was being watched again, It got so bad I said “enough!” out loud and the room was once again still.

Its been several years and nothing more had happened, my daughter received a ukulele from her great uncle and along with it a chord book. I flipped through the pages and there was Lennon’s chord shape just as I had figured out.

I have no explanation for what I went through, tired, paint fumes, head full of stories all a good recipe to mix together and make a haunting. I do know that for as much as I treasure the Beatles work I do not listen or play “Cry for a shadow” anymore..that feels too much like trespassing to me.

Peace and Love

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Self pity is bullshit


Hey all,


There’s so many ways we mess with ourselves, but none come to mine that due more damage than self pity. What we need from time to time is someone to hold up a mirror to us so we can (to quote Bob Dylan) “ see what a drag it is to see you coming”! 

When I was lonely teenager on my road to becoming a lonely adult, I spent so much time self loathing everything about me that I did not notice what an amazing ass I was becoming. My main sport of choice was to spread some more gloom. The truth can hurt and be painful,but self pity is just a lie we make up and tell ourselves until we make it true. The cool dark people I read about in books or saw in films were most likely a real kill joy to spend any time with. Yes they do look cool in a photo looking out the window with a fucking scarf on in the middle of summer but in real life..wankers!

The moment I quit feeling sorry for myself and took action, my life got better..not easier but I started to enjoy it more.  Life is not fair, good the odds just got a little better I decided.

Someone once said tell a Zebra on the brown plains of the Serengeti where everything else is brown and your decked out in black and white stripes..about feeling sorry for yourself.

I gained some weight back this summer in spite of all my efforts to be fit, I spent about 5 seconds feeling sorry for myself until I snapped out of it and got my head out of my ass and moved off the couch. My fault, get back to work!

There is always someone who has it tougher than you, a lot more and the best of them never show it. The triumph over the pain, the poverty etc..

I don’t regret much in my life because I try and learn from my past,but if I was going to change one thing it would be all that self pity that made me pass on so many chances because I just felt that I did not deserve to be as happy as everyone else and that my friends is bullshit!


Peace and Love