- Category: Diet
- Written by Jim Dee
[I started this blog a while back. Meant to post it on Jan. 11, 2009, my 40th b-day.]
"Desperate and meaningless
All filled up with emptiness
Felt like everything was said and done ...
I lay there in the dark, and I closed my eyes
You saved me the day you came alive." ~ Foo Fighters "Come Alive"
Wow, where do I start? ... I think maybe it's best to put my new blog name into a little perspective. Let's start with transformations. Here's a picture of me when I began blogging -- again, my real name's Jim, not Patrick (though Patrick is actually my middle name):
Here's a picture of my wife, Wendi, at that time:
Here's me now:
And here's my wife now:
We're literally different people now than we were then -- above and beyond simple physical appearance (though we're, together, about 160lbs. lighter than before). All I can say is that we were effectively "dead" back then, but now we're more alive than ever. Want to compare those side-by-side? Take a look:
For some reason, a quote from Deepak Chopra just popped into my head:
"To break the spell requires a shift of identity from the time-bound to the timeless. Therefore the wizard sets out on a journey to discover the truth about time -- this is the real meaning behind the tale that Merlin lived backward in time. He wanted to follow time back to its roots." ~Deepak Chopra, Way of the Wizard.
What happened to me before (months ago when my blog went all haywire on you) was the first cry of a newly awakened wizard. You can take that as literally as you're able to. My physical body had simply begun a transformative process well ahead of my spirit. I think, at that moment, just as I posted what I posted months ago, I could've gone either way -- heading "forward" temporally as usual, likely untransforming physically back to that "before" photo of myself, eventually. Or, I could've accepted the many illuminations presented to me, even though some of them represented at the time perhaps a leap of faith, or something. Quite impossibly, I chose the latter course of action. But, of course ...
"...the moment I jumped off of it
was moment I touched down"
~Alanis Morissette, Thank You
The end result: Everything I'm involved in nowadays is a kind of reversal -- living backwards in time -- and it's literally the best time ever! I'm now aging backwards, I'm getting out of my so-called career, we're leaving our home (seriously, it's for sale -- have a look, take a tour of my home!! ), we're leaving Pittsburgh, we're heading out into the world instead of being rooted, we're shedding possessions instead of accumulating, I'm appreciative of what I have instead of taking it for granted, I'm literally manifesting all kinds of miraculous stuff as we speak instead of living in doubt, I'm aware of how precious life is and not keen at all on ever wasting another moment, I'm living in awe instead of in fear, and as a result I'm experiencing effortless role-reversals resulting in my being, I think, a better individual, father, and husband ... and I could go on and on with listing these things.
Philosophically, I don't know if a person requires a crisis in order to experience personal growth. I've wondered about that, though. It seems these things often do present us with opportunities to self-evaluate and make life-course corrections (if we're daring enough or driven enough to do so). Not everyone, unfortunately, will change course. "Why that is" is a question beyond the scope of this extremely long post, though I have my thoughts on it. Perhaps it's simply universal grace guiding us and, if you're ego's not too overblown, perhaps you'll listen.
(*pause for a private nod to Carolyn S.*)
For me, I time-traveled forward to my 65th birthday in kind of Albert Einstein-fueled neo-Dickensian "Ghost of the Future" scenario and was immediately, powerfully overcome with every imaginable realization a person of that consciousness might experience -- "regret" being among the most unsettling of the lot. As I posted atop my political blog in a brief essay:
... For me personally -- and, how *else* are we to judge anything, but subjectively? -- the skyscraper, the legendary-mythical taroic "tower," came crashing down in September 2008. It was revealed to me then that many of the things I'd thought were important in life (e.g., occupying an office in said skyscraper) meant absolutely *nothing* in the grand scheme. I thought of Shelley's poem: "My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings: Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!"
This stuff, this corporate BS, doesn't last. We're not meant to labor our lives away shuffling papers around uninspiring offices in exchange for a pittance. Or even for a fortune. Money is fine and dandy, but we so freely give our lives away these days, uncaringly wasting precious time that could be put to use on things much, much more rewarding. What lasts are memories, experiences, loves, spiritual development, interactions with others, journeys, laughter, music, literature, the arts, joy, light. Not "finishing the Ferguson report." God, I'm so fucking done with that.
I could imagine two awful scenarios related to all this: (1) Never having experienced the awakening I've had lately, or (2) Having had it very late in life, just prior to death. I'm not sure which would have been worse. But, fortunately, here I am at nearly 40 years old, and I'm finally "awake." Better late than never, my friends. Maybe that's my message after all.
It goes far beyond what I'm able to articulate in this single update. But, I'm telling you: I saw the world for what it truly is for a moment. Or, at least part of it. I glimpsed something enormous. It was like being in The Matrix and suddenly seeing the code instead of the virtual landscape everyone else sees. I glimpsed ... possibility... in its widest definition. And now I'm after that vision again, knowing it's there. I want to live it and, by god, I'm going to.
Explaining the "Wheat Grass" Thing:
For one, now that I'm 40 years old (yesterday, January 11, 2009), I feel like I've B lown enough S hit U p W ith G as. I haven't lost my lust for fire, of course. But, it's just time to change things up a bit. I think Ecclesiastes sums it all up well, right? -- there being a season for everything. I didn't want to get rid of the BSUWG archives, of course (though they will be pruned a bit of certain things that need to go). So, I redid the acronym's meaning ... in a clever and personally meaningful way.
It gets a bit unusual and subjective here, but stick with me ... As part of this realization, I've come to recognize very clearly a relationship between physical health and numerous other aspects of our lives, including most notably our capacity for development in the realms of the mind and spirit. Some of these observations are my own. Others are things I've simply come across in my readings and immediately resonated with. You see, I have this complicated theory about ideology and belief systems that I've been kicking around for a while now. The whole theory is probably a post for another time, another blog -- maybe within a book or something. But, it has to do with our coming to a point at which we're READY for change.
Change presents itself constantly -- and, I'm talking about the "right" change, too. Change in terms of personal development, in terms of charting a course to the "next level," whatever that might be for you or me or anyone. And, the cool thing is that there's *always* a next level. At least, it seems that way. I don't think we're ever "done" -- unless that's what nirvana is.
Compassion descended upon me suddenly and profoundly during the past four months while away. I'm not sure I can articulate that concept fully yet, as it's knowledge within the heart realm and therefore somewhat ineffable. Was it the crisis I faced? Was it my adoption of 100% raw veganism as a lifestyle? (If you don't know what that is, and are truly interested, there's a free eBook about it here at another site my wife and I maintain on that very topic.) Was it the perfect storm of a number of things coming together at once? I don't know the recipe for it. I just know that it happened.
* * * [I just deleted a ton of text here] * * *
I think, for now, I'll just close off this post. I'd planned to go into the topic of compassion and my personal transformative experience, but this post is getting a bit long and, if I put off posting it, it could take me a week or more before being able to finish it. So, maybe that's a topic for next time.
Below, are the original comments on this post. Additional comments may be made via Facebook, below.
On January 12, 2009, wrote:
On January 13, 2009, wrote:
You both look absolutely fabulous!!!!!!!!!
Happy belated birthday :)
On January 15, 2009, wrote:
Great to see you back, contributing again in this powerful blogosphere! I’ve been plugging away as constructively as I can, at my own blog, during this hardscrabble Idaho winter and thought you might enjoy reading eight selected anagrams, I recently unearthed for “Boldly Serving up Wheat Grass”:
A Bad Vegges Worthily Spurns
A Bad Vegges Township Slurry
A Bad Everything Growls Puss
A Bad Everything Glows Spurs
A Bad Overweights Slung Spry
A Bad Overweights Lungs Spry
A Bad Overweights Sprung Sly
A Bad Preserving Gutsy Howls
What you said about how people sometimes wait for a crisis before reacting strongly resonated with my own experience. I distinctly remember going through similar thoughts, while approaching my own 1993 move from the great eastern seaboard beast, to the best stern west.
Another synchronicity is that I, too, am a James Patrick. And one-third percent leprechaun too, I truly believe! Not only that, but also that mid-December day you started blogging again, was under the biggest full moon of the year. It’s a day considered by many to be a sacred holy day and that day has usually been one of high significance to me.
On January 15, 2009, wrote:
Welcome back, Jim, and happy 40th birthday, too! Looking forward to your wit and wisdom for 2009.
On January 17, 2009, wrote:
Do you mind if I call you Evil Jim? I am still trying to get past my fantasy that you would come back posting about astrophysics, goldfish and cartoons.
New avatar link should be up at Wantonly Inspiring Living Action Toward Utopia* by the time you read this.
*I am still a sarcastic, depressed omnivore, and my blog is still What I like About the Universe. Sorry to get your hopes up.
On January 18, 2009, wrote:
Thanks, everyone. I'm doing well and sincerely appreciate your thoughts & friendship. And your patience with me (how and I EVER going to catch up on your blogs???!!!!)
On January 22, 2009, wrote:
We live in the jet stream, some are closer to the ground and others are flying high.
Interesting transformation. Good four you.