Sunday, July 5, 2015

the kind of crazy i was, part 2


When I was 19 I had never flown on a plane and never owned a color tv. I couldn’t drive and I had no money but I got the idea to go on a cross-country trip. I wanted to see this beautiful land and be like Easy Rider. I wanted have the wind blowing in my hair, cool and free. I also had a secret motive to get to los angeles to hook up with Guillermo, a guy I was crazy about who spoke with a Spanish accent and looked like a young Harvey Keitel.  I had it bad over this guy. 

I can’t remember who I loved first Harvey or Guillermo. All I know is that they looked like each other and I would go to Thalia to see weird Keitel films like The Duelist just to feel love sick at the sight of the guy. My favorite film of all time was, very rare at that time, Who’s That Knocking at My Door. The gun scene was brilliant, still is. I could not get enough.   

Guillermo had already broken my heart, which I wrote about last week, http://hollyramoswrites.blogspot.com/2015/06/the-kind-of-crazy-that-i-was.html but I was in way too deep and not ready to let go of the idea of him yet. The thing is, Guillermo was a charmer, and I was not hip yet to the destructive power of the drug of charm. When he was with me he made me feel like the most important person in the world. He said things to me with his accent that made me swoon. Once we ate doughnuts together and he told me my skin was like peaches in his broken English and I almost lost my mind and told my friends about it, savoring every word.  

Let me interrupt this story by saying that at 19 I was at a really low point in my life, headed towards the bottom. Things were bad. It was before I learned how to take control of life and flourish. All I can say is thank you 19 year old Holly for surviving so that I could become who I am now. And now please laugh with me because tragedy plus time equals comedy….  

Anyway, I found out that Guillermo was going to be in Los Angels and I wanted to “accidentally” run into him there. Ah, to be young and out of my mind and have the time and energy for such folly!  I called up my best buddy who was living in Minneapolis with her new husband and I proposed the idea of a grand American road trip a la Robert Frank and Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda. She was down! And she had a car! The part I didn’t tell her was how I was going to run into Guillermo because on some level I was sane enough to know that my plan was crazy and be embarrassed about it.  

When I landed in Minneapolis I was disappointed to find out that we were going to spend the night at her apartment preparing for our trip. I had no concept of preparation. Lets just get in the car and drive. I had maybe $200 at the most in my pocket and I figured that would keep me fed and fill the gas tank for the next three weeks. I had no idea about the math, I was just going to make it happen. Lets just get on the road. What else did we need to do?  

Luckily my buddy had filled two five gallon ice cream buckets with cooked beans and potato salad. And had a cooler to keep things cold. Her husband had gotten us a special light and an atlas to help us find our way out there. Her in-laws thought it weird that she was taking her vacation with me instead of with him but I knew that our trip was destined. It was never even an issue. I must say she was an awesome friend and partner in crime.  

The next three weeks were some of the most amazing times of my life till that point. We swam naked in the Rio Grand and slept in the car on the streets of New Orleans and woke up baking to death in dry river beds in the deserts and slept on mountains in the freezing cold, living on beans and potatoes and10 cent coffees in tiny coffee shops in the middle of nowhere, all to a great James Brown, The stooges, and Bob Dylan sound track. 

Ultimately, I did “accidentally” run into Guillermo and we did hook up, in a tent in the yard of a friend’s house that we were crashing at. Mission accomplished. In the end Guillermo left me something to remember him by, luckily it was the kind of thing you can cure with an antibiotic.   

The next day my friend and I left Los Angeles to head to San Francisco and continue with our great adventure. Thankfully, Guillermo had taken second seat to the pure joy of being alive that I was experiencing as we dashed onward and upward. 

Back home in my boring life, without the road to distract and entertain me, I still longed for this Guillermo’s love, VD and all,  and walked the streets of the east village looking for him, hoping to “accidentally” run into him yet again. As I wandered down Saint Marks Place madly combing the crowd with my wild desperate eyes, a homeless man spotted me and asked me dead on “WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU LOKING FOR?” How embarrassing! Right then and there I knew that I was in trouble and needed to stop my obsession and I did. I let Guillermo go.   

Years later I ran into Guillermo and he hit on me and all I could see  was this puny guy with yellow teeth. Thankfully once again I was light years away. 

That is why we work on ourselves, people. Outgrow your pain. Love yourself.


(part of this story appeared in my original blog, which got disappeared when i was in court. thanks for reading)



Saturday, July 4, 2015

the founding mothers and fathers


Oh how I love the story of a small group of people coming together and fighting for what they believe in, seeking liberty and changing the world. What made the founders of the united states so successful was their far reaching vision, their intelligence, their quest for the best for ALL people and their unification over a primary purpose., Those four ingredients are all equally important and often what is missing from so many unsuccessful movements.

I am in awe of the story of the beginning of this amazing country. I love it all. Yes, they had some blind spots around women and slaves, but the structure of the constitution allowed for those issues to be resolved, or start to be resolved and allows for other such issues to continue to resolve as society progresses.

I love the whole system with all of its imperfections. I love free speech, that we are have the right to criticize the government, allowed to seek change, entitled to speak up, and are usually successful when the issue is around the freedom and liberty and justice for all. It is definitely a work in progress and always will be but so very beautiful in the grand scheme.

The Star Spangled Banner brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it. The words are about a flag but I hear them speaking about hope, seeing glimpses of the flag when a rockets red flare would light the sky, knowing that we were undefeated as long as we got those glimpses, through the dark night, till the dawn broke. I have been through many such a night. They say the darkest hour is right before the dawn, yes?

So as our country turns this part of the road, with many issues raised and some progress being made, I have great hope for this great country and great gratitude for our forefathers and mothers.  From every mountain top let freedom ring!

Friday, July 3, 2015

How to be financially responsible 101


This is where I am coming from: I grew up working class. We went to the dentist and ate everyday but lived in deprivation and did not have a lot of “stuff”, which is not terrible but having a choice is so much better.

When I came into fists full of cash in my twenties, i had no idea how money worked so I burned through it with nothing to show for it. I used it for a life style, which is a big no-no. A staggering percent of professional athlete millionaires wind up broke when it is all over, hmmm...

I will never forget the time I was talking about money with someone and they said how all of their friends were cute and creative and living impulsively and eventually it all dried up. When they turned 50 and 60 they all wound up living in shitty studio apartments, not by choice. 

Now I am a happy prosperous individual , imperfect and with a few blind spots, but studied enough to be able to share what I know, knowing that it is solid enough that it may help someone. I wish that someone taught me all of this in high school, because it was a long awful struggle to figure it all out but here’s what I got:

Basically you just want to have a healthy attitude, so…

Educate yourself. Read about money and finance and the stock market. Two classics starters I like are Thing and Grow Rich, and Rich Dad Poor Dad. 

Live within your means. Don’t debt, first and foremost, if you cannot afford it, wait till you can, save up. When you live a lie about your income it, wanting to appear like you have more than you do, you are setting yourself up for a fall. And a financial fall can be brutal, and extremely stressful. People divorce over money, people lose friends over money families divide over money and people kill themselves over it, all of which is unnecessary.

There is na actually an order to living within your means which goes:
First save a prudent reserve (a cushion to fall back on and give you security), then save for retirement, then buy a house, after you are secure in your earning and savings that is when you get to buy luxury items. Don’t buy a fancy car until everything else is in order.

Save 10% of everything you earn. I actually suggest putting aside 15%, so you have a fund of 5% you can give away to any thing you want. I have found that here is nothing that makes you prosper more than giving money away. It changes your brain and your attitude from deprivation to prosperity and you get to elevate so many others while you are at it. But that is a whole other blog: http://hollyramoswrites.blogspot.com/2015/01/to-have-and-to-give.html Anyway, never use all of your money to live a certain kind of life style, use it to get you to the next level, to set yourself up.  Oh, and remember that your house in not an asset.

Live well and be smart. Being smart leads to your living better and better.  Being smart about money is so fun, because it gives you choices and ease and lets you help others, which is so cool. It all works out in the end even if you do not have retirement, you will figure it all out, but having choices is so much better than feeling desperate or taking what you get.  Live long and prosper my friends

“Money love well being and ease is attracted to me and flows to be from an unlimited source with greater and greater abundance every day.”


Thursday, July 2, 2015

The lowest point of my life




I had this really bad boyfriend. He was an ex con and a drug dealer but that was not what made him bad. He was bad because he was a con artist and he conned me too, he lied and tricked and all that stuff. When I confronted him he acted like he was an honest guy who had no need to lie, said that cowards lied, people who did not live authentically needed to lie, but if he wanted to do something, like cheat, he would just do it, why lie about it?

I was 10 years his junior and young and still learning and I was a mess and as I like to say, "water seeks its own level". I was his match in my own way, equally messed up, that is why we were together.

We were in bed one day and I was feeling really far away from him and in a desperate attempt to connect I tried to initiate sex and he said no thanks. I remember lying there feeling devastated. I felt the rejection in my core. I knew that I was being rejected in my entirety.

I write about various break ups and how hard I took them and always say I was recreating my core wound. I would recreate it a million times until I understood it, until I understood that I was ok in the face of anyone’s rejection. I did not know that yet. I did not understand what had happened to me as a kid and that I was ok no matter what. Instead I kept trying to prove the opposite, prove that I was good enough to make someone stay. Prove that I was good enough to change a mean person into someone who was nice to me, still trying to get the person who slung the arrow to heal the wound. I did not know that that was impossible. Instead I would get devastated by my failures, by these breakups, unconscious that I had everything backwards and unconscious that I was being broken open so I could heal the bigger wound.

This is the crazy part. I was raised catholic and had this strong spiritual longing as a kid. I went on to outgrow religion by middle school and was cut off from any spiritual seeking till my thirties. But on this particular day when I was so very devastated by this not nice guy, I turned to the wall and prayed. Weird choice but I had nothing left. I was at the bottom. I was trying to make a not nice, not good-looking guy like me and failing. That is the bottom. And when I prayed, I just said to no one in particular, “please help me. I do not know what to do.” And then the mean guy said he thought we should break up and I had this incredible ease and I said ok. And that was that. He left. And I was on my way to start figuring out what was going on for me.

The funny ending is that he never got over it. He tried many times to engage me. Shortly after he invited me to coffee, saying that he needed to talk to me, and actually said ‘ I was unfair to you breaking up with you so abruptly and I just wanted to give you a chance to talk to me and ask me any questions you might have”. Really baiting me. I just sat there looking at him blankly and said that I did not have any questions. My obsession had been lifted. I actually enjoyed not giving a shit and watching him freak out. I had been a chaser for so long and it felt great to be on the other side. I was not interest in continuing my chase. I let it go. To this very day if I see this creepy guy, he tries to connect with me and lure me in. It is so funny how that works. I get no consolation from that, I just observe how much I have changed, consciously, on purpose and how exactly the same he is and I just know that I am really lucky.

If things aren’t working you can always act different. Fake it till you make it, kids. I write this to remind my self. Love on.


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

domestic goddess in 100 words


Staying with a baby while they fall asleep is maddening. My son flops up and down the bed, on and off of my body, for an hour before he goes down, I lie there in agony thinking of all the things I have not gotten to do. When I cannot stand it for another second I meditate to try to let go and enjoy the rest and enjoy the joy of a baby lying on me. A battle rages in my mind and suddenly he is asleep and I am calm. I get to run free and wash the dishes.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Forgiveness. Urg. The spiritual struggle of my life...


Forgiveness. Urg. The spiritual struggle of my life has been trying to forgive someone/someones.

I struggle for many reasons, which I have written about before. I am tempted to not write my reasons because they are simply my justifications as to why I am right, but I will write them in all honesty to expose the silly craftiness of my ego and inner mechanics.
1. The thing they did was Really bad and had so much toxic fallout;
2. They are still doing it, it did not end and I am legally obligated to interact with them. I normally would not stick around anyone not acting decently.
3. I have never had space to separate from them and just let time heal stuff;
and lastly, 4. My ego doesn’t want them to think that what they did was ok and thus finds it hard to extend a soft loving heart, which would be a gift to them. The last thing my angry ego ever wants to do is extend a gift to them. So, yes I have a part in this sticky messy problematic situation. Yes, I seek to forgive but on some level I don’t.

I was feeling more and more ready to let go, release and forgive in the last few days and low and behold, this article appeared. This Oprah person has emailed me regularly for years but I can never read the emails because they are formatted weird. Two days ago another unreadable email came and for some reason I glanced at it and in the header I saw the word forgiveness. I googled the headline and found the source of the article so I could read it. Shockingly, it is giving me what I need to let go more, release more, move more towards forgiveness.

I am loving the gift of this article because:

It validates that I need time, that it is normal for me to need time to deal with the toxic emotional residue. The writer is empathetic. Thank you.

 It clarifies that any power I think I have is false. Wow! And it reminds me that my silly ego likes to pretend it is separate and pretend it is superior, when it is neither.

It reminds me that I have f*ed up too and I have been forgiven. “All, without exception, live under the waterfall of divine mercy.”

It reminds me that I am really sad over the betrayal and that I use anger to cover that sadness, which makes me hard. And when I am in pain, I pass pain on to other.

And lastly, if all of that is not enough, it gives me a practical, tool to replace the resentment with something like gratitude for all the good I have, which is immense. My cup runneth over.

This is the most helpful thing I have come across in my years of struggle and search. Thank you.  Read it for yourself if you need it. xH



http://www.oprah.com/spirit/The-Truth-About-the-People-You-Cant-Forgive

1. The People You Can't Forgive Might Not Be Forgiven Today
"Forgiveness is a decision, but making that decision doesn't override the emotional residue that often takes much longer to release. That feeling of wanting revenge or wanting to assert your rightness or your victimhood—depending on the depth of your wounding—can take days, weeks, months and even years to dissipate. On certain days, when you're in a down mood, your psyche will want to grab onto that hurt. You have to go through that necessary period of feeling half dead, half angry, half in denial—this is the liminal space in which we grow for some reason.

T.S. Eliot once wrote, 'Wait without hope / For hope would be hope for the wrong thing' I'm going to say the same here: To forgive too glibly or quickly is probably not full or helpful forgiveness."

2. The People You Can't Forgive Give You a Gift You Do Not Want
"To hold someone else in resentment, judgment or unforgiveness is a kind of power, a false power that allows you to imagine, 'As long as I can hold this in my mind and bring it up at the right moment, I can win every argument because I have won the real game of moral one-upmanship. I am now in control of this relationship.'

The ego always wants the same two things: to pretend it is separate and to pretend it is superior. To play the victim to our own advantage and for our own false empowerment is one of the most common and deceitful games that humans play. This will never give your soul comfort, nor will it comfort or heal the other, because it is not based in truth. And if we do not desire to heal and free the other, have we really forgiven them? I have had people "forgive" me only to achieve their own moral superiority, but not to free or love me. You can always tell the difference.”

3. The People You Can't Forgive Are Not the Exception to the Rule
"I don't know why God made an imperfect world. We certainly see that imperfection every day and in every way. It's almost too much to bear some days. But recognizing that there's an essentially tragic nature to life, one that you have to forgive and accept in a foundational way, allows you to forgive the smaller daily dramas with much greater ease. As much as we want to see the person who hurt us as an evil person—as if they were a major exception to the rule, since we have falsely imagined a perfect world—we need to realize that we're all an exception to the rule of perfection and expectation. Humans are inherently imperfect. That is what differentiates us from the Divine level.

Surely people have hurt you and you wish you could punish them, but whether you recognize it or not, you yourself were forgiven when you also were broken and mistaken. All, without exception, live under the waterfall of divine mercy. There is, of course, an essential and direct connection between our receptivity to undeserved love and forgiveness and our ability to forgive other imperfect people. There is not much point in weighing which fault was the greater; that is merely the ego protecting itself. When you understand your own limited but lovely place within this universally imperfect world, you will find it almost natural to become more patient and forgiving with other people too."

4. The People You Can't Forgive Lead You to a Sadness Disguised as Hardness
"When someone that you once trusted—and shared your heart with—betrays you, it feels like someone stomped on your soul. And they probably did. I am afraid many people, always still growing up, are willing to abandon their relationships for the sake of money, advantage or power. Betrayal, and how we react to it, seems to be a necessary step on the spiritual journey, just as it was for Jesus. But those who have betrayed us are among the very hardest people for us to forgive. This pain is so deep because it somehow breaks our very contract with life. We assume friendship, love, confidences, intimacies can be trusted, but if life appears to be untrustworthy on that dear level, we naturally think, 'Who can I ever trust again? Why should I trust again?' And many people don't! Which is the normal beginning of their downward path.

The pain of betrayal from a confidante becomes, for many, the straight path to a life of cynicism. It brings a hardening that you can often see on people's very faces and the way they walk and move. When I am in airports and public places in our country, I see so many faces that appear so ravaged and overly defended." This tells me that every day religion is not doing its work very well.

5. The People You Can't Forgive Can't Fully Be Released Until You Find Something Better to Fill the Hole
"Releasement, which is just another word for forgiveness, doesn't entirely work unless we have a larger comfort, a safe and more beautiful enclosure to move toward. If we only empty out, and do not refill with something better, there is still a gaping hole within us. The attempt at forgiveness will not go deep or endure. Without something positive, comforting and loving to fill that hole up (which some call grace), we're left to depend entirely on willpower— and our willpower is normally very weak, especially on those days of loneliness, stress, tiredness and hunger. So we've got to keep our aloneness and emptiness filled with something loving and positive. This is the primary work of spirituality. I know that the word 'prayer' has been so trivialized, but it basically means refilling our souls with 'Everything that is good and noble, everything that is virtuous and worthy of praise', as Paul says in his letter from a Roman prison that could be called an early lesson in the power of positive thinking (Philippians 4:7-8).

If we can find a way to live inside of a deep gratitude for our own undeserved grace and mercy, past hurts have very little power to cause us pain in any lasting way. They are not worth our time or energy. They are mere sludge and dredge in the great school and journey of life. The gratuitous surrendering of hurts ("forgiveness"), the refusal to make them our identity, is almost the heart of the matter. If you do not transform your pain, you will with 100 percent certainty transmit it to others. And, I am afraid, you will have pain! Both the Buddha and Jesus seem to say that pain is part of the deal, and its overcoming is the very shape of enlightenment." 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUYaosyR4bE

Monday, June 29, 2015

Instrumentals




I am a word person. I love lyrics. When I listen to a band, I mostly just hear the singer. When I dated guys in bands, I always dated the singers. I myself was the singer and songwriter in my bands. I wrote the words and said them. It is what my brain relates to.

So I am not the biggest fan of instrumentals-Green Onions, what ever; Pipeline, of well.  But when an instrumental hits the vein, it changes everything. Sometimes, in rare cases, the melody of a song is so profound it makes me cry. The master of that art is Booker T and the MGs, the personification of when sound is more powerful than words. Oh how I love it. I thought of this because last night I posted Booker T and the MG’s version of Time is Tight, brilliantly written by Booker T, Steve Cropper, Donald “Duck” Dunn and Al Jackson, Jr. And tonight I will add to it with another song they wrote and recorded which brings me to tears everytime I hear that chord change on the bridge, oh man we were just digging the beats and then you gotta go break my heart open with beautiful ache and longing. Yep, the stunning groove of Melting Pot. Ahhhhhh…