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Adventures in Gettysburg

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Back in 2016 I set off on what I like to call, an epic adventure. I explored the world and life for what felt like the first time. And I had fun in the process. This journey surprised me in so many ways. I learned about myself, met so many people, and did many things for the first time. My journey is only just beginning and I look forward to where it will take me in the future. 

I have not stopped exploring the world. I continue to visit and do new things and see new places. This past weekend was. I exception. Where I would go off to Gettysburg, for a psychic event, that I would be a vendor at, offering chair Reiki. It was cold. The day before it was 90, then the next day, it dropped to six. So there was not many people in attendance. Sadly, I got no sign ups for Reiki. Which, I won’t lie, was a little disappointing. Hopefully not a trend of things to come in the future. This was the third event of the year that I have been a vendor at. I would have never believed it to be so. 


Then on the last day there, I did some exploring of the Battlegrounds. Let me tell you, they are breathtaking and overwhelming, to see so much history all at once. To just be in the spot where a major, and bloody, battle took place. As a sensitive person, empath, I can feel the emotions and energies of the environment and the people. You could feel at times the energy that was still there. The heaviness and the pain. The sadness. Luckily, I did not feel too much, as it could easily have been overbearing. 

There was so many paths and things to see that I did not get to see it all. I did get to capture an evp, of a disembodied voice, answering a question I asked, and saying no, which was pretty cool. Which can be heard, here.  
Hopefully I can get out there again and explore some more. To be able to drive out there, have some fun, and not be worried about anxiety and fear, is an amazing thing. I also had to check it Sheetz, while I was out there. Where I live we have WaWa, so had to see this other place. They are very similar, but think WaWa has more variety to it. 

I look forward to my next adventure and vacation. Keep moving forward to new things. I would love to go to Salem, and check that out. One day perhaps. Unless I win the lottery. 

Bravely trying new things. 

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For the longest time my whole life revolved around my anxiety. It was my life. It was my way of being. It was the way life was to me. I had come to terms with that. It was not an easy conclusion to make about my life. That I would be anxious all the time. It was not a good way to live my life. Yet it was the only way I could live… or so I thought. 
Fast forward to today where I am finally at a place in my life where I can live a “normal” life that is not controlled by anxiety. And it feels great. It truly does. It was not something that just happened. It has taken me lot of work on myself, and a lot of healing on myself. To peel back the various layers of myself and who I thought I was. 

Every journey I take, I learn more about myself. I open up more and I heal even more. My journey has been all about healing my life, healing my anxiety, so I can love life. For the first time ever, I am loving life. Each new step I take, I push myself forward and into new territory. That is the only way really to get through all of this. Is to keep trying. Keep pushing myself. For so long I just stopped in my tracks, and now, I embrace, instead of run from. 

Today was another case of pushing myself into things that make me uncomfortable. To do something new. One of the things I do not like to do, is get into a car when someone else drives. For one, I get car sick, and driving helps that. Two, with my anxiety, and stomach issues, I never knew when it would hit, so I prefer the control of being in control of the car and when it stops. So to surrender that control was very scary. As fate would have it, I had to put my car in the shop, and had plans with friends to visit Shree Swaminarayan Temple in Robbinsville, NJ. I would have to either run away from not going, which would be pretty easy to do with my car in the shop, or get a ride with someone else. I opted for the latter. Even if running away would have been easier. 

Let me tell you, I am thankful that I got in that car. It was a fun trip, that was 40 minutes away. The temple was gorgeous. Such incredible works of art and beauty made out of marble. But the joy of being able to have been able to conquer a fear and go out like that, with other people in the car, visit a temple, drive home with them, and then go out to dinner, is a moment that will stay with me for a lifetime. All and all we were out for 6 hours. 5 years ago I would have never dreamed of that being possible. Yet I did it, with no fear or anxiety or panic. I was able to enjoy myself and hang out with friends and visit a beautiful temple. Then go eat and drive with another person driving me. Eating and going home used to be such a fear of mine. Until I started eating the proper foods for my body. Today was an incredible day. I am so grateful. And glad I continued to push myself into new things to go even further in life. 

On the way home, my friend said to me, I would have never believed you lived with anxiety for so long. I smiled and said, that is the way I am making my life now. Where I don’t even remember the old way, or any other way. 

Shadows of the past. 

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Shadows of the past – sounds like a movie in the Star Wars universe. Some days life feels like a sci-fi movie. I think my life could certainly use a theme song to it. Or at least Morgan Freeman narrating it. How awesome would life be if that happened? It would be epic. 

As I have worked with Reiki, crystals bowls, and various healers, I have gone through many layers of myself. I have brought forth parts of me I no longer remember and parts of me I didn’t even know existed. 

The more I have opened up to that, the more I have seen how much the past has cast its dark shadow upon my life. It’s that last thg can create so much anxiety, and fear within us. As we hold on to our baggage that we just for some reason or another can not let go of. Perhaps because it’s familiar to us or it’s just how we identify ourselves as. Some times we hold them because we don’t want them to repeat so if we remember that John was mean to he, we hold that baggage so no one else hurts us ever again. But really at the end of the day, who does it hurt by holding it? We do. It affects us and any future encounter with people. This baggage creates doubts and those doubts feed our insecurities and we start to just descend into dark places of the mind that start to make us feel paranoid about others. This baggage, all it ends up doing is robbing us of peace. 

The more we cling to it, the tighter our grip becomes, the more we lose ourselves in the process. We become consumed by it and that becomes all we can see. 

We then have a choice; continue to grip our baggage tight or let go of it and open our hands up to new experiences with an innocent mind. A mind that is not stuck on the past. A mind that can be one  to trust life. Trust another person. For me I have spent so long living with baggage. Unable to let it go. Unable to trust in people. I have experienced the insecurities in brings to the mind. Causing me to push away the world in the past. I choose to live a better life. I choose to be happy now. 

Working on myself has shown me many truths about myself. I know I am not perfect. I have a lot of work to do on myself. And truthfully we all do. We just have to be willing and ready to do so. Not everyone is ready. And that is ok. That is their journey. Each day I strive to be a better person than I was yesterday. I have come so far in my healing, my development, and life, within the past year. I look forward to where next year, and five years from now will take. 

I am glad I took those first steps to change my life. I can’t imagine my life any other way now. 

Crystal bowls and Reiki

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This past Monday I had the opportunity to once again be a part of a crystal bowl meditation, Halo Wellness in Marlton, NJ, while I provided Reiki on those who were a part of this meditation. The bowls were being played by my friend, Beth, and it was a wonderful turnout. We had 13 people involved. Which was a lot of Reiki to be channeling. Naturally I was exhausted afterward and the day after as well. 

I’ve mentioned before my love for the crystal bowls and how much they have helped my healing journey. They have helped me clear out so much from my energy body, aura, and even my chakras. They have been so instrumental in helping me open up more and be able to step fully into my own power. I still have ways to go with my healing, but know I am on the right track. So to be able to be part of a meditation with them has been an incredible experience for me. 

I am forever thankful for this journey. Reiki has now become such a huge part of my life and I can’t imagine my life without Reiki. I spent the past decade trying to run away from doing Reiki, but it always called me back to. Now I am happy to be listening to it’s call. I love Reiki, energy work, and what it can do for us. I look forward to what more it can do for me, my healing, and helping others. I have only scratched the surface of Reiki and I look forward to where it will take me. 

I love hearing from others about their experiences with Reiki, from a session with me. Such positive experiences and comments from them. Where they do, are able to experience  what Reiki can do for them. It’s exciting and I’m excited for them. 

I am blown away with how far I have come on my journey over the past year. Where it has taken me. The people I have met and are now such a big part of my life. I can’t picture my life any other way. I am thankful for it all. It has not been easy and has been crazy at times. It has been a roller coaster and I am going with the flow of it all. 

When I started it all, I never thought I’d get to where I am today. I never thought I’d be out there doing it all. Yet I am. And I have not been this happy, in a long, long time. 

This was our second session, and I look forward to our next one together in June. If you’ve never been to a crystal bowl meditation, you may want to check one out, it may just change your life. As it did for me. 

The road to hope.

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I have alluded to this on this blog before that when I was living, and I’m sure those with anxiety/depression can also relate to this, and that is a feeling of hopelessness. Where things seem so bleak and bad that there will never be any good in life. That life and living will always suck.

I think the hardest thing with ever having hope is that you can not see it. You can not see that it will happen. You can not see the good that will come. All you can see is this moment that is happening and the moment you had yesterday. So to tell someone that things will get better seems like rubbish. And that is putting it nicely.  At least that is the way it felt to me.

How can we ever believe things will get better? When did we ever see it as getting better? All we know is fear, anxiety, and depression. That is our whole world. That is our life. For me that was all I ever knew. So me to have hope that the sun would finally come out in my life and things would change. I would not believe you. Even today I can hardly wrap my mind around the fact that the sun can come out. That things can change. I guess the saying is true, tough times don’t last.

Then we’d have to ask ourselves, would we enjoy the rainbow if we didn’t dance in the rain? That was a question I had been pondering to myself since yesterday. Let me set the stage for you. Me and a good friend of mine, someone I have been blessed to get to know real well in the past few months, were going to go out for the night, and visit some friends at the opening of their store. Then we went out to dinner afterwards. The whole things had really just blown me away. How three years ago I would never have seen any of that happening in my life. To have been able to go out and meet people, get to know them, and go out and have a fun night on the town. Then finish it off with dinner. It really blew me away.

Which got me to thinking about it, and how back in 2013-2015 was really dark times for me. Had I  known this is what my life would end up like would I still have been so dark? Since most of that darkness was the result of being in such a bad place because of not being anywhere in life, but to finally be somewhere in life, would that darkness have still happened? Would have been able to enjoy the beauty of the night out if I hadn’t had that darkness?

For me the answer(s) was pretty clear. I would not have been able to truly appreciate the joy of going out last night, meeting someone incredible and important to me, if I did not go through those trials and tribulations in life. I had meet people before and even dated them, I know shocking, but I did not have the appreciation of life and them without knowing what it was like to not have it. It is true that we can not fully appreciate happiness without sadness. I am not forever grateful for all that I do have and do now because I know what it was like to not have it.

So how do we get hope? Some would say to have hope you need faith and trust, and belief. I think that is true in many ways. As hope is just this knowing that things will be OK. It’s not something easy to get. It’s not easy to believe in something you cannot see. When all I knew was anxiety and pain, to see anything but that was very hard to do. What we do know is that nothing lasts forever. Bad times and even good times. All we can do is make the most of every moment we have. Which helps us to cherish all the good memories we experience and work on those that we did not like.

For me life did not just change on its own I had to go out there and make that change. I had to work hard at it, as we all do. We all have to work at life. We have to do what we can to make our lives the best we can make them. For many like myself we have an exact image of what we want our life to be and how we want to get there. For me I had to surrender that control to the universe. It’s not easy let me tell you. At first I had an image of what I wanted but once I let go of that and allowed my life to blossom it became so much more than I could have ever hoped. I couldn’t picture my life to be any other way now.

To me that is hope. We get out of the way of ourselves and just let life take its own course. Let it be more than we want it to be. Let it take off. Let it knock our socks off. Otherwise we may try to control life and decide not to go to that luncheon or gathering that night.

What if you go beyond your image and go to that event and meet the one person who could change your life completely around for the better? So don’t limit yourself. Don’t limit life.

Let it be more than you could ever imagine. You may just love the ride.

 

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The courage to try something new.

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Spontaneity has never been a word that was a part of my vocabulary. While I may have heard of that word in my day to day living it was not a word that I was using. The idea of it, to just go and do something, don’t think about it, don’t plan it, just do it, made me sick to my stomach and would fill me with dread.

That was my way of living. That was life in a nutshell for me. And if you’ve ever seen a nutshell they are very tiny, you can not get much in them. So to have life in one of them did not leave room for much. Such was the life I was living. It was very routine. It was very repetitive. Such is the life of a person who was plagued with anxiety. It did not help that I am also introverted. So for me I never really had that desire to be out and mingle with my fellow peeps out there.

The idea of me going against my own core ideals was very foreign to me. Yet I knew if I was to ever make something of my life. To ever have a hope of a better life I had to take everything I had ever known, everything I ever believed was true for me, and throw it all out of the window. And create basically a brand new me. For the longest time I used to say people do not change. Not really. They could change their clothing style, and maybe their likes and dislikes could change, but they wouldn’t truly change who they are. At the end of the day they would still be the same them. Just with different clothes. That is what I believed. In some ways I still believe that to be true. Yet I have seen within my own life that it is possible to change who we think we are. And in essence change who we were. Not all of us will change and that is OK. Because those things that make up us are what make us unique and different than everyone else.

Maybe that is all superficial things that we can change and our core personalities always stay the same? I dunno. Can I go from an introvert to an extrovert? I guess that is something I will have to find out for myself.

So how do we do any of it? How do we get up and change something? How can I go from an anxious guy, not living life, to being able to go on a weekly adventure for a year? How do we get the courage to do that? We can pray for that courage and beg and plead for it, and we may receive what we ask for. But it will never be how we thought it would be. What I mean by that is, we will get opportunities to be courageous, to be brave. It is up to us to act on them. And that is what I had to do. I had to take those steps to be brave. To be courageous. To go out and have an adventure. It was the only way I would ever be able to change anything about my life. I had to take initiative. I had to take the first step.

I won’t lie, it scared the crap out of me. Even with my health doing so much better before I took that step. That was crucial for me. I had to feel better physically before I could feel better emotionally. As they were linked together for me. A lot of my anxiety stemmed from a body that reacts crazy to certain foods. Once I got a handle on that I had better control over my body and that helped me to be able to take more steps in my life. For me those steps were out on weekly adventures. Even with the better health there was still the mental aspect of it. As most anxiety is fear thoughts about the future because of something that happened in the past. So to break free from those thoughts I had to recreate new thoughts that reinforced a new reality. To do that I had to keep moving forward. Keep my life going. And keep doing new things.

Each step. Each adventure gave me more belief in myself. Belief in what I was doing. Believe that I could do this. I could go out. Was it easy? No, it was not. Is it always easy to do? No, it is not. There are sometimes when I want to just fall back into my old habits, and just say no. But I know I cannot do that. I cannot fall back into things. Or I will start to say no more and more. I have to try new things. I have to keep pushing the envelope on who I think I am and keep trying. I need to keep moving. As I encourage you all to do as well. Life and time will continue to tick by. We can either just let it go on without us. Or we can join it in its eternal dance. I don’t know about you, but after 36 years of not dancing, I want to dance until the cows come home. Well not literally, I’m not much of a dancer, but if I keep my mind open, one day I may light the floor up like John Travolta.

So can we as an individual change? Can we be something different than we were? I am starting to believe it is very plausible to change if we truly want and desire to. So can I go from introverted to a social butterfly? I don’t know. I don’t know if I purposely do it. Some would say I am shy. But I am not sure if that’s fully it. I just am not a small talker. Never really know what to talk about. It’s not that I don’t talk. Heck, I don’t shut up when I start talking. Even this post is going on so long that even I forgot what I was writing about. I think it’s about courage. And pancakes. How much better pancakes are than waffles. (Sorry waffle lovers, but pancakes rule. I will give you your due for putting ice cream and waffles together. Sadly I don’t eat gluten anymore for health reasons so I don’t get pancakes in my life these days. It’s sad. Truly is. See this is what I am talking about. Long whimsical rambling that had nothing to do with this post whatsoever. )  Yet when in public or with others I am quiet and reserved. I don’t really talk. It’s like I freeze up and don’t have anything to say. Even when people engage me I will speak short sentences and phrases, to just hurry along the conversion and get you to leave me alone. I sound like a cranky old man. But can I change that? Can I change who I am and be a social butterfly? I guess there is only one way to find out.

Anyways…

Life is crazy and exciting and it’s more so to just go out there and make something of life. To just have some wild and random fun. And if you are doing it with those you love those memories will be cherished for the rest of your life. And that is totally worth it.

Now I am living a life that is fun and that I truly enjoy. I can look back at a weekend or a day and say it was time well spent and had a lot of fun. When someone texts me about a gathering that is happening and if I want to go to it, I can get out there, on a whim, and do something new, and create new memories. That is truly a blessing to have in life. To get out there and make a memory.

Picking up the broken pieces.

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(This post contains snippets of my life and my journey. It is dark and gloomy and moody at times, but that has been my journey. It would be a shame to exclude those parts from my story I am telling here. So this is my journey through the pain and suffering in life to picking up my broken pieces. You have been forewarned before reading. Thank you for reading. )

During the last decade my life has been and continues to be a roller coaster, it’s been crazy, dark, happy, and everything in between. But to get to where I am today I had to pick myself up from the pits of my own life, my own depression, and move to something new.

I guess for me to get there to a better place, I had to hit rock bottom. I’m sure I didn’t actually have to go that route, but as humans we are quite dumb that way. We love to do things the hard way. We are hard headed. We think we know what is right and best for us, and even worse, we tell others what we think is best for them. We seldom see the bigger pictures and even less than that we hardly see the route that was probably much more easy for us. Opting to go through the thorn bushes and not walk on the clear path. Sure the thorns have a lot more lessons and growth but I’m sure we would all like to have had that one time where things went smooth for us. There is a saying that God will not give us more than we can handle. That may be true, and we survive more than we ever thought we could, we will get scraped up and bruised, and maybe even break a bone or two in the process. It’s not all fun and games but they tell us it’s all worth it in the end.

When you are living with anxiety and panic that creates fear in everything you do you tend to always crawl through the thorns of life wondering if this next crawl will be your last. For me I crawled for many a mile that eventually I stopped crawling. The fear of being out there in the world was too much for me to handle. To be crippled by fear so much so that you would rather choose to stay away from the world is not a way to live ones life. As you are not really living life at all. You are just going through the motions. That is how I always described my day to day. Going through the motions of it all. While surviving another day. Until my time on earth was over. It was a bleak way of seeing life and very was depressing. You start to think something is wrong with you. You start to stop loving yourself. Stop liking yourself. And start to think no one else would ever love you either. Eventually all of that turns to self loathing and self hatred. You then start wondering what is the point of it all? Why even bother? Why even get up in the mornings to do it all again?

You shout out to the heavens, screaming and cursing, and shouting profanity that you didn’t even know you knew. Wondering what you ever did to ever deserve such a fate in life.

During that time you start to isolate yourself from your family, from your friends, and even loved ones. Relationships start to suffer and you end up not having anyone to talk to about it. As those who have never been there never really understand what it’s like so you feel alone. Which of course makes everything worse for you. For me my relationships suffered during that time of not being able to live my life. To not be able to go out and be young and dumb. In some ways that wasn’t me. I was not into that stuff, but I also was never able to really give it a shot. So relationships did not seem to work. Who would want to be with someone who couldn’t enjoy life and living? When you lose people you think you love because of it the fear starts to multiply and you think the next person will do the same. For me the next person(s) would be the same with it. Not wanting that type of person who can’t enjoy the life they want and choose to life. You then become afraid of any future relationship you could have. Would they all just be the same? 

So you start to dislike yourself more and more. And that hatred for yourself grows and you just stop caring about anything. Yourself. Others. Living. For me that was when I started to just eat poorly. I was not a drinker, nor did I do drugs. For me, I ate poorly. I loved junk food. Each and every meal had something sweet with it. Potato chips, and a candy bar, and the end of the night I would eat ice cream. I stopped caring about myself, and how I looked. I was trying to just numb the pain through sweets. Eventually I would balloon to 260 lbs. I no longer liked looking at the person in the mirror. For that person finally reflected what I felt like on the inside.

And in that moment you finally realize just how broken you have become. I knew, deep within myself, all the way to my soul, that I could no longer live like this anymore. This life was not worth living. I could no longer do it. I knew I had to make changes. I knew I had to do something about my life. It was not going to do it for me. No one was. I had to take the reigns of my life and steer it into something better.

I had no idea how I was going to do that. I had no idea what exactly I wanted from life. All I knew was that I didn’t want that life anymore. I had to do something. I knew I had to do it and I could not let myself give up. I couldn’t. Not anymore. I couldn’t go another day of not living.

So I started to make changes in my life. I had to change my life completely around. And that scared me even more but I knew I could not let the fear consume me and make me run away as it had done for my whole life. I had to wade through the waters of fear and keep going.

I had to start taking better care of myself and work on all the damage I had done from living that way for so long. Living in fear really leaves its mark on you. So I had to work to heal that fear. To heal my negative thoughts and heal my life.

I had to start the long journey of going from rock bottom, pick the rocks up off of me, and climb out of the fifty foot deep pit I had found myself in. It has been an incredible journey. I’ve done things I never thought I would or even could. Yet I do them all the time now. I have gone through fear and now I am able to not let that fear stop me from living my life. Much of that journey is documented on this blog, through my year long journey.

The only way to get through that fear for me was to walk through it. Slowly at first. Crawling. A step here and there. Pushing myself more and more. Each week going further and further. Doing more and more healing on myself. Living more and more.

Today I am happy to report that I am doing so much better in life. I am no longer obese, I have lost 80 pounds, going from 260 to 175. I am healthier than I have ever been in my entire life. I have met some incredible people. Made some great friends. Went out on adventures once a week for a year, and continue to do so. Continuing to push myself further and further. To being able to driving for hours in the car with another person. One of my biggest fears in life. I now can do.

My life is so much better. I am thankful for the journey. For the pain. For the heartbreak. It taught me much and brought me to this place where I am thankful for every moment of it. To now I hardly even recall that other life. It’s like a distant memory and I am thankful it is. I love my life now. I love life. I enjoy every moment of it. Today I love myself fully and completely. For the first time in my life.

Now I do Reiki sessions on others to help them heal their life. If I can do it. Anyone can.