This is Part 1 in a new blog series that explores one man’s journey through a dietary transformation from typical western foods of convenience to a whole foods, plant-based diet, inspired directly by testimonials of close friends and his own suffering.
It’s 5:24 AM as I begin this post. I should be sound asleep. Instead, I just spent the last 75 minutes on a treadmill watching “Forks Over Knives” on Netflix. Prior to that, I laid awake in bed, suffering from insomnia, heartburn, bloating, and sweats - all the byproduct of an otherwise lovely and enjoyable dinner party full of wine, cheese, and all the other fine trappings one might enjoy at such an event. I sit here, awake and miserable, asking myself, “Why do I keep punishing myself with my diet?”
Vegetarians, and their Hezbollah-like splinter-faction, the vegans, are ... the enemy of everything good decent in the human spirit. -Anthony Bourdain R.I.P.
This is part two of a new Mental Jailbreak series examining life through the eyes of a divorced Dad struggling to deal with the emotional fallout of family breakup. While there are many aspects to explore, both positive and negative, each post will try to focus on one topic at a time while still honoring the complexity of the bigger picture. Get a real inside look at the thoughts and emotions of one man’s journey.
Free. Alive. Awake. Grateful beyond belief. Open. Inspired.
These are just some of the amazing emotions I have felt since my separation and eventual courtship and marriage with my new love and partner in life. I was living on autopilot for thirty years, following all the “steps” for a successful life. In the process of being who I thought everyone wanted me to be, I realized that I never figured out who I actually wanted to be. I never even figured out who I was. I was just a scared, deeply insecure, smart, sensitive, young man driven almost completely by my ego to control the world around me and desperate for the acceptance and validation of others that my life choices were the good ones.
Today we will discuss a social phenomenon of EXTREME TALKING. It’s a form of conversational storytelling and dialogue that is fun to listen to but perhaps hard to engage with. You’ve heard someone who does it. Or maybe you do it yourself. It’s basically a never ending series of dramatized superlatives. You had the BEST possible thing or the WORST possible thing happen to you.
Oh my God, I went to the BEST sushi restaurant last night!
This revelation is thirty years in the making. I've known this fundamental truth about life in limited or superficial capacities throughout my life. I've seen evidence of it at various points, especially during the transcendental enlightenment of my teenage years. But I've never really *got it* with full and deep clarity until this morning.
Life is not meant to be controlled.
This is part one of a new Mental Jailbreak series examining life through the eyes of a divorced Dad struggling to deal with the emotional fallout of family breakup. While there are many aspects to explore, both positive and negative, each post will try to focus on one topic at a time while still honoring the complexity of the bigger picture. Get a real inside look at the thoughts and emotions of one man’s journey.
Empty. Guilty. Shamed. Broken. Regretful. Overwhelmed.
These are just some of the challenging and painful emotions I have felt dealing with life as a divorced Dad. Every other Sunday is now home to the all-too-routine gut wrenching feeling of dropping my son off at his Mom’s house and driving away with an empty car and an empty heart. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t shed a tear every now and then thinking about what I’ve lost.
I forget myself.
I am in a long journey on which I have this bad sensation that I do not control my life. More than that, I even feel like I put a part of my life on mute.
I have been raised in a family which taught me from a very early age to be independent, to experiment life, be curious and count only on me. It’s what I have done so far. I succeeded in my education and developed a strong career evolution. I always put my professional life as a priority, to follow my parents’ principles, and to make sure that I will be the owner of my choices and will be the only one to decide on my destiny.
As an independent woman, I want to be free to do whatever I want whenever I want.
My whole life I have suffered from something I like to call Shrinking Self Syndrome. The basic mechanics of Shrinking Self Syndrome are to build somebody up in your mind as if they were something flawless and intimidating of which you are totally unworthy...almost demigod like. When you do this, you suppress your own self to afford full reverence to the greatness before you. This prevents the “great” person from getting to meet YOU!
Example - The Job Interview
(This is a piece I wrote when I was in high school and am presenting unedited. I think it’s interesting to look back on, even if my thoughts are a little different today. My main observation is the undeniable sense of certainty that is often found in teenagers. I was on to the secret of life and approaching full enlightenment I’m sure I thought!!! Life is not so simple young padawan…
Even with that said, there’s definitely some meat to chew on with this idea. Understanding you control your reaction to and perception of any situation is one of the most powerful tools of enlightenment I have found still to this day.)
Some quick thoughts on Life Lessons:
Andy is a curious soul with INFJ-T personality who likes to examine life closely and lives for those moments of deep revelation and spiritual connection.