Exercise, Anxiety, and getting my mind right.

I reached a breaking point.

This happened for a number of reasons. The main on being I haven’t taken care of myself lately.

I stopped working out, I’m not sure why. I wasn’t burnt out. My muscles weren’t sore or my joints, I just stopped.

Exercise, mostly weight training, has always been in my life.

My biological father did bodybuilding when I was younger and when I turned 14 he got me in the weight room.

Initially I didn’t care for it, spending most of my gym time in the pool instead of the weight room. I’ve always loved the water. It’s a Pisces thing.

As long grew older I fell in love with being in the gym. I enjoyed the feeling of the weights, the pump in my muscles and attended the Olympia on a couple of occasions.

Until recently I never associated the gym with my mental wellbeing. It was just something I did.

Then I looked at where my life was when I spent the most time in the gym or my muscles grew the most.

Those were emotional times.

In high school I used my weight training class to deal with my teenage anxiety. Never understanding then what I was doing.

In my early twenties I used it to deal with loneliness and that I was an awkward shy person.

I found comfort in the weight room. It was something I could do where my effort determined the results.

In my late twenties I used it to deal with our first miscarriage. Then in my early thirties to deal with my daughter’s early birth and first month in the NICU.

As I moved up on age I never noticed this, until now.

Most recently, I used it to deal with the death of my big brother.

When I struggle most I return to the weight room. That’s what I’m beginning again.

It’s another way to deal with anxiety, my writing frustrations, and just with every day life issues.

It has never failed in getting my mind right. It never failed in adjusting my attitude or my mindset.

TM keeps my mind in good shape, but with the combination of TM and exercise everything fires on all cylinders.

I’m back in the gym because I realized it keeps my mind more focused when I do it.

I may not thank my biological father for much, but a love of the weight room will always be one of them.

Have a good weekend.

Get shit done, have some fun, and keep going.

Alcohol, Confusion, and…Sobriety?

For the last year sobriety has been on mind.

Maybe it’s because I feel I have a genetic predisposition to alcoholism or that I feel it’s interfered with my writing and family life too much.

Either way, it’s been a detrimental to how I conduct myself.

It’s awfully hard to get words on the page when you’re sick, your skull is pounding and the slightest sound turns you into Thanos, ready to snap the wife and kids into oblivion.

I feel that I’ve been more confused lately about things. They’re not clicking.

I’ve given myself a break from alcohol to see if that’s the cause and it may be. We shall see.

I’ve had moments as a kid when I’d seen family members intoxicated and thought, I’ll never do that.

Then we grow up and it happens. I’m uncomfortable with that.

My kids saw me the way I’ve seen others and it upset the hell out of me.

I’m not sure I’ll ever be completely abstinent in regards to alcohol but it has moved down the ladder of requirements.

I’ve used it to buffer emotional and physical pain as well as a stress reducer.

Yes I’m a TM(Transcendental Meditation) practitioner and will continue to be so but there are moments that stir things and I reach for a bottle to deal with it.

I know and understand I shouldn’t do this but it’s a reaction I’ve had for most of my adult life.

I’m trying to get to a better place emotionally, physically, and creatively. I don’t feel alcohol is needed for me to do that.

I’ll come out the other side with more understanding of my mental state and my writing.

Transcendental Meditation after 3 years.

I posted this on Medium last month and somehow forgot to post it here.

Three years ago I stood on the ledge of the parking garage where I used to work.

I’d been fighting depression since I saw my father at my grandfather’s funeral. He walked past me as if I weren’t there.

The day I stood on the ledge, a co-worker told me, “No one really cares about you or your bullshit.”

That was my end point. I got through with work, set my things in my car and walked to the ledge.

I saw the back of the hotel, the marquee for the hotel and the rooftop of the casino. A slight wind blew my hair and I remember putting my hands out at as if I could catch it.

I don’t remember how long I stood up there, it could have been five minutes, ten, or two, but I stepped off the ledge and sat in my car and cried for a long time.

I knew I was broken at that point and I had no idea how to put my pieces back together.

I called my wife, the emotion clearly audible as she asked, “what’s the matter?”

I told her, “I need help. I think I’m going to look into that Transcendental Meditation(TM) I’ve been reading about.”

“Whatever you need to do, I’m here.” She said and I drove home, but I don’t remember the drive, I don’t remember the next week. I only remember calling the TM teacher in Las Vegas and scheduling to come in for my introduction.

A week later, I started my practice.

It’s been three years since I started TM and here’s a list of things that have happened that I know wouldn’t have without TM:

  1. I quit a good paying job to write full time.
  2. We moved our kids out an environment that wouldn’t help them grow.
  3. I started writing full time.

I never would’ve had the courage or mental strength to leave my job had I not learned TM. I was a weak person, most of the people around me would attest to that.

I didn’t know what I wanted and I hated not seeing my kids.

Today, I write full time and I’m working on a book that I’ll be submitting in June. I bartend a few times a week, I see my kids more often and I’m able to spend time with my wife.

I know without TM I wouldn’t be alive today.

I still get bouts of depression. I don’t think about suicide as often as I once did and I’m less angry than I was three years ago.

If you’re having trouble, please call the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1–800–273–8255.

If you’re interested in learning more about Transcendental Meditation try TM.org.

Today, my wife and I are both practicing TM and we’re planning on getting our kids taught as well.

Have a great rest of your week.

The Course Isn’t Set

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A matter of course.

The matter, of course, is the way in which our lives move through the world and the way we see things in the world.

Each course is the culmination in the way the way see the world and the truth of who we are.

The course we pass through is indifferent, and the reality of how we move through the world is indicavit of our choices as we move.

Our movement, though possibly slow is the only way we know how to get into the lives we’ve worked hard enough to enjoy.

Our enjoyment of these lives is the truth, not the reality.

The reality isn’t the way we want it to be, but in the course of our life, it creates, thrives and moves about the world how we couldn’t dream, much less allow ourselves to be.

We allow ourselves to be comfortable in the false reality and neglect the course. We fit ourselves into the world we don’t understand and enable the course to move us instead of the other way around.

Within the course of our lives, we’re the master, but we oftentimes neglect things because we’re unable to separate who we are from who need to be, the course is set and we must follow.

Transcendental Meditation two years in.

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My anniversary for my first transcendental meditation session has come and gone and I realized, I haven’t done an update.

Here’s what’s happened in the past two years.

  • My wife started doing TM and it’s greatly improved her bipolar disorder.
  • I quit my job in Las Vegas to pursue my writing. This is something I’d never have had the courage to do otherwise.
  • I write full-time and though there have been challenges along the way, I’d never change anything I’ve done in the last two years.
  • I’ve had numerous people reach out to me on Facebook who had read my articles about TM from TM.org. This one thing has meant more to me than anything else.

I still have depression issues, but they are less than they’ve ever been.

One thing I’ve started doing in my daily routine is exercise. The combination of settling my mind and exercising my body has made a complete difference in my life.

I’m more focused in my life than I’ve ever been, I’m not saying things have been perfect, life isn’t perfect for anyone, I know that I’m a better human for doing my TM twice a day for 20 minutes each.

If you’d like more information about TM, follow the link in the article. If you’d like more information about me, connect with my on Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter or Anchor.