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Gumption levels low. Please re-fuel.
I'm headed to a 10-day Vipassana retreat
It has been 120 Sundays now that I have posted something here: a podcast episode, an essay or one of my freaky poems. Today I am just going to freestyle here before I head out to a much needed 10-day retreat.
I appreciate all of your replies, comments and messages. I hope you are getting as much out of this blog as I get from your love.
This year has been hard on all of us. It is no secret. We are going through major shifts. No one can ignore this.
For me divorce was Act 1 of 2023, financial woes was the murky middle Act 2, and just as I barely crawled out of that - we now have this fucking existential angst and heart break in the Middle East that is so intertwined with who I am.
The third act of this year will be long and dark. There is no question about that. Tragedy is an equally valid plot as is Comedy. I learned that in my writing class this week.
So what am I supposed to do when the darkness is long, mighty and insurmountable?
I take responsibility for everything I feel on all fronts. I choose not self-pity but agency. This comes from privilege, yes. But I will take it. Life will never be a paved road, but a constant roller coaster that has no waivers of liability.
I will not be guilty for how I feel. I will express it because that is the only thing I have going on. I will be a commitment to myself, my wellbeing and to speak my truth.
Otherwise, what am I living for?
We are all here for it. We signed up for this. Yes, you signed up for this life. Embrace it!
I have been thinking of what to express and what to curtail in all of these challenges this year. It takes effort to decide on what to say and what not to say. When you are an empath, this dish comes with extra messy sauce. When you are brown, or black, or hispanic, then the dish comes cold with a side of your-narrative-is-lesser-than mine, a generous drizzle of oil and a dash of good ol’ suppression.
You take responsibility for yourself and others.
It is not healthy.
I am not healthy.
I am a functional health mentor, and I have dropped my morning routine, slept at 3 in the morning, and smoked my lungs to exhaustion the past 3 weeks. (This is my second relapse out of health this year).
I have done that to maintain my mental health instead.
At this point I feel overwhelmed by own projects. This blog feels so hard to write. It took so much effort to get the next Gumpcast episode out (it will be about suicide with my dear friend Paulo Machado - so the subject matter was fitting in this state). It is so hard to work on the novel. It is so hard to promote my coaching programs.
It is so hard to do anything really.
This is the biggest telltale when I know that I am running out of gumption. I am running on the sticky icky exhaust fumes of old depleted gumption that is bad for both me, the environment I am in, and those who surround me.
The human brain is a powerful thing that can convince us to keep going.
So today I am claiming my true responsibility - a pause.
I choose not run on exhaust fumes.
I am headed to a 10-day Vipassana retreat where I will meditate and do nothing else. Not that it will be easy. I should not say nothing because it is everything. It is terrifying. However, it will allow me to switch the narrative from “out there” to “in here”.
It is time I give myself the chance to unplug from the news, recenter my point of gravity, and truly see what my inner sources of conflict are.
Why am I my own enemy? Why do I not want success for myself? Why am I not able to love more? What is restricting me? Why shackles have I implemented on myself? Why are they there?
Yes external factors are terrifying, but my internal resolve and ability to change the world is like an infinite ocean that splashes inside of me. It is time to go for a swim, as terrifying as these waves are.
I wish you stillness and inner peace as well.
I will be in the land of Joshua tree - where the veil between man and spirit is pretty thin.
I will pray. For me, for you, for the world.
If you want me to say a prayer for you or for something you care about please send me that prayer and I will read it out loud in that state.
May someone out there hear us.
May the world be more sane.
May we all find health once again.
May our hearts mend.
May our spirits rise.
May we find gumption again.
Much love and see you on the other side,