Let's just clarify that I am writing these words while listening to soft piano music, sipping on an Italian roast with bits of dark chocolate stirred in and looking out my window while a cool breeze reminds me a rain is coming. I can see the water of the James River. I am wearing flannel and writing on a late 2013 MacBook Pro. My toilet flushes and the refrigerator stows away pickled jalapeños and frozen blueberries. In essence, I am rather fortunate. Is this white male privilege? Probably. But either way, this is my current state of physical being. It feels lavish to me so I will honor the luxury while it lasts. I promise to write about contentment when I am homeless and my body withers away from cancer. Just for comparison. To see if my current perspective holds water when the view changes.
I speak of contentment and the efforts to both recognize and monitor this feeling during all my waking hours. This is a practical guide to awareness. Contentment is available all the time. It's just a vibe. Thought waves. I've recognized these vibes while creating a spreadsheet full of numbers. I've also felt the ease of contentment while sipping drinks on a beach. Whether my head is full of practicalities or dreamy with dance I glue it all together with the same thought. The mantra is basic. I am grateful for this experience, this breath, this ability to not measure myself against others. This is the gateway to contentment which is the gateway to happiness which is the gateway to love. When I first moved to NYC I joined a gym. I felt the need to be fit. And there was a Crunch within walking distance on the corner of Christopher and Greenwich. Their motto was no judgements. Still is. I can truly get behind this hashtag. But I would like to believe that Crunch was inspired by a simple Taoist concept that the true measure of life is to not measure at all.
The human species is constantly evolving. Faster, stronger, smarter. But no matter how much we change there seems to be a universal joy for contentment. To be comfortable in your body and your head. The first step to being comfortable is listening to how much we judge. Let go of judgement and you will be rewarded with contentment. But letting go of judgement in order to love is a mental thing. And stuff involving headspace is really hard to grasp. So let's introduce a practical tool to make the act of letting go easier. Unclenching. Unclench your butt, unclench your jaw, unclench your shoulders, unclench all that shit. Now you can get busy with loving.
I'll conclude this journal with a photo of Dee W Squeeze. I met her while living in NYC. I wasn't going to Crunch anymore when we became friends. I had a yoga mat instead. Dee and I recently went on a road trip. We slept at a funky motel in Arlington, VA. It's her most favorite motel in the world. So this is Dee being happy. Her happiness is my happiness because we are like a pajama onesie.
Find your happiness. If you are struggling, please let me know and perhaps we can collaborate on an art project that champions love, awareness, no judgements and contentment. Art project? Sure. It's all art really. But we'll talk more about this in the next journal.