Revisited: All My Friends Are Dead

all_my_friends_are_dead

A friend (who is alive and well!) brought a book to my attention this week, and I said, “Ah! I know that book! I found it a decade ago. It’s so great to see it again.” And I was almost correct — short just a few months. There it is. I blogged about it in March 2012. I also decided to see if I could find some videos of the book, and its sequel. I embedded them below for you.

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Watch Whatever Is Happening

alan watts

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The Magic of @BlackForager

BlackForager

Alexis Nikole Nelson (aka BlackForager) is exciting for so many reasons. It’s rare that I find people that love wild food and foraging, like I do. But she takes it to another level! Her knowledge and enthusiasm for the free-food life is super inspiring and crazy impressive. And I don’t think I’m the only one that thinks so. Her TikTok account has over 3 million followers. With a fanbase like that, she’s definitely resonating with folks. Not only is she entertaining, but she’s putting the power back in the hands of the people. Food sovereignty! The possibilities are endless.

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Artist To Artist Letters

Ray Johnson

Ray Johnson Willem De Kooning
Ray Johnson letter to Willem De Kooning.

frida kahlo diego rivera

frida kahlo diego rivera letter
Frida Kahlo letter to Diego Rivera (Spanish to English translation).

andy warhol

andy warhol russell lynes
Andy Warhol letter to Russell Lynes.

Keith Haring Jean Michel Basquiat hug

Keith Haring Jean Michel Basquiat
Keith Haring letter to Jean-Michel Basquiat.

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Focus and Simplicity

Steve Jobs

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

“We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and every one should be really excellent. Because this is our life. Life is brief, and then you die, you know? So this is what we’ve chosen to do with our life.”

“My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.”

“And it comes from saying no to 1,000 things to make sure we don’t get on the wrong track or try to do too much. We’re always thinking about new markets we could enter, but it’s only by saying no that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.”

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”

“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

“That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

All quotes by Steve Jobs

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In And Out Of The Ground

turtle medicine

Shared without permission. The writing embedded below is from Luis Mojica‘s newsletter.  He’s a musician and somatic therapist, and an amazing being.

Yes, it happened.

Several months ago, my wife lay with a mother turtle as she laid her eggs in a hole she made in our backyard – right where the edge of the grass met the road.

For nearly 4 months we walked out to the spot in the morning, afternoon, and evening to see if the baby turtles were being birthed out of the Earth. We didn’t want them to get hit by passing cars.

For my birthday, a few weeks ago, I went to NYC to have an extensive 48 hour artist date with myself. It went horribly wrong and the entire experience was a process of letting expectations die, which was the perfect birthday gift after all.

On my way across the Rhinecliff bridge toward the train station I passed a big, ancient-looking snapper turtle that had been hit and killed on the highway. She was on her back, her limbs open to the sky, and a neon gash of red over her abdominal area.

Since I had spent nearly 4 months fathering the eggs of a turtle just like her, I experienced a grief. A sudden stab in my abdomen. A moment of relating, empathizing, and pain – all at once.

Then, from the pain, came a song from my lips
Listen here.

Turtle I have seen your eggs,
I’ve seen them fall into the ground,
I’ve seen them hatching little legs,
I’ll keep them safe in and out of the ground.

Immediately, the grief transformed from a sense of constricted pain into a rush of love and tears. Now, I didn’t see these eggs hatch. To my knowledge, they hadn’t. I was just following the sensation, sound, and story of my body.

My ego & expectation death in the city sent me home early and my daughter, my wife and I all felt compelled to gently dig up the turtle eggs for it had been way past the time for them to hatch.

One by one we retrieved emptied, soggy, eggs and celebrated. With each egg, a feeling of relief in my body. The joy of new life – until we uncovered a tiny dead turtle.

I felt a sense of guilt like “Am I allowed to be doing this? Did I kill this turtle by gently digging around this womb in the Earth?”

She was perfectly intact, so tiny and compact, and lifeless. The baby turtle must have died from not making it out of the hard clay.

I held her in my hands and this fatherly instinct came over me to protect her, and then my somatic therapist role turned on. I noticed the smallest movement in her tail and thought “she’s in a freeze response from near-death”.

So I gently took my finger and stroked her shell, hoping to create a sympathetic response and move her out of freeze. Her tail moved more, then my wife poured water over her and it was as if a seed had sprouted and came to life.

She looked all around, reoriented to the fact that she was alive, and began crawling all over my hands. She fell onto her back in my palm and right there, just like the mother I saw hit on the highway, was a raw opening. Her tiny belly button where the egg had attached to her and nourished her was so present and tender.

One dead turtle. One new turtle. One expectation dead. One new experience lived. One wound that killed over the same opening that nurtures.

This is the way of the world and the turtle taught me this. We are in a constant state of renewal and destruction, death and life, rupture and repair. The way of the turtle is slow. They take time, they take space, and they find safety within.

I was reminded by this turtle to slow down. I unfollowed everyone on Instagram, cut my client schedule in half, and began walking the mountain again every day to let my mind have more space, so that my body has more space, and then I’m able to listen and respond and relate to everything around me and within me.

I thank the turtle for this reminder and I am curious where it takes you, the reader. Where do you feel parts of my story in your body? Where are you constricted with fear or grief? Where have you not allowed something to die so it can be reborn?

What I continue learning about trauma is that it cannot metabolize until we release around it. There must be a somatic acceptance of it so that we can physiologically release our grip that we have on it.

And then it composts and turns into new life, into something else.

xo,

Luis

Baby Turtle

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The Unshakable State

Shaolin Temple Europe | 歐洲少林寺

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Tiny But Mighty!

Hannah Shaw Kitten Lady

To my surprise I won a prize! Encompass (an amazing organization for animals & equality, link here) contacted me and said that I won a gift package. And it just so happened to be a book titled, Tiny But Mighty. The latest book by the Kitten Lady, Hannah Shaw. As well as, a gorgeously wrapped soap set from Lush.

Wow, winning something caught me completely off guard. It was totally unexpected! But I had to laugh to myself when I found out I won a book about rescuing kittens. How did Encompass know that I’ve spent the last 4 months feeding feral kittens everyday?! They didn’t, but the Universe definitely knew and worked this whole thing out. I’m sure of it.

Embedded below are a few videos from the Kitten Lady. And here is a link to Tiny But Mighty. I highly recommend it. It’s a big book! Jam packed with life saving information, and really great photography.

Thank you, Encompass team, Kitten Lady, and Lush! I am so very grateful.

Kitten Lady Hannah Shaw

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