This blog's for ME

Almost 25 years old, asking my parents if I can sleep in their bed with them. I had thought I was going to be the 25th Prime Minister of Canada. Things had changed. 10 years later, I was still a scared little boy. The time had come to slap myself awake. One Saturday morning, November 19th, 2009, I declared to the world I would be riding my 10 year-old motorcycle from Vancouver, BC Canada to Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, and back.

The official departure was August 28th, 2010. A group of well-wishers saw me off at 8:03 am.

I arrived in Rio de Janeiro around 6 pm March 1st, 2011.



My return to Vancouver came on July 5th, 2011 about 2:00 pm.

Drug & alcohol abuse, ADD, social anxiety, health, chronic pain, night terrors.

So many concerns. But I am far more interested in this question: Do I have the capacity to make this trip despite all my shortcomings?

My mission: To inspire myself to face my fears, enlighten myself on how all living things can peacefully co-exist, enjoy every moment, and see the world as plentiful and generous.

Go ahead. Call me crazy. Call me anything you like.

I'm out to save my world.



I LOVE YOU ALL



Questions, comments, concerns, threats? Contact me: jason.chapman99@gmail.com


Pleasure....... and other things

Today was to be the day I put it all together. Wake up early, stretch, go for a walk and begin to work at calling editors and asking what they look for for submissions in their paper, or magazine. Alarm was at 6 am, got up and turned it off. I was fast asleep. Got up at 730 instead and just got on with it. I haven't been good at dealing with uncomfortable body things for the last few years, and being extremely tired is one of them. But, I'm committed to living my life, and doing what I need to do regardless of how I'm feeling or thinking. And that is where I started seeing more connections to the body, mind and spirit of the human condition, relationship to pain, fear and other maladies.

Dale Carnegie wrote 'How to Stop Worrying, and Start Living' in 1948, 3 years after the end of World War II, on the 21st of June. It would have been an interesting time, full of hope and promise after a devastating and tragic era of global warfare. Instead, it spoke of people who had literally wasted away physically from the trials and tribulations of life. Bed-ridden, various physical ailments and diseases, and hopeless. Carnegie was able to pinpoint the cause of all of these problems: the patient's minds. These people had literally worried themselves sick. Losing farms, marriages, children's deaths, money problems were just some of the problems of the day.

Now fast forward 60 years. Some thought we would have all been flying around in personal spaceships with robots tending to our every need by now. Not yet. But we do have a mind-blowing array of technology that invades most of our every waking moment. HD Tv, internet & computers, video games, cell phones....... and now cell phones are stuck to us every where we go whether it's hiking the mountain or taking the kids to soccer practice. No escaping it. We as humans have the exact same genetic makeup, and are the same human beings that walked this earth 50 years ago, and 50,000 years ago. But now we have these technologies that have entered our lives, and we're just accepting them as what is, without really thinking of the consequences. Now add bills, and 30 year mortgages, and work, and being a supermom. Why can some people handle it with a 'just pull your boot straps up honey' attitude, and some can't?

Some of us simply have too many 'antenna' picking up signals. Some of us simply need to shut down from time to time, and process it all. It doesn't mean we're defective, or weak, or shouldn't be allowed to pass on our genetic information. It means we were the eyes, ears, and mind of our people for thousands of generations, and now, it's too much. We've learned our calculus, our chemistry, our work functions, and we need a little time to learn about us.

Here's the consequences. I believe there is a direct link between conditions such as fibromyalgia, ADD, anxiety, depression, bi-polar, personality disorder, and tension. Society has generally adopted a sedentary lifestyle in just 100 years, if you consider the average 4-6 hours of technology use, and 8 - 10 hours sitting at a desk. Only the most dedicated and determined take the time to go to the gym to keep their body moving. As my chiropractor Dr. Mason tells me, "whether there's pain or not, a body has to move". As we don't have to work to get our food (except an hour at the grocery store once a week) and we don't have to walk anywhere to get it, our powerful minds can have the ability to turn in on oneself as a means to occupy itself.

I think it is simply a business opportunity for pharmaceutical companies, doctors, and the entire medical industry to take advantage of. I have proven, despite my own difficulties, that with changing diets, restricting technology use and distractions, outdoor exercise, and changing how I behave, I have changed how I think, and feel. When I am totally engrossed in something, I don't feel an ounce of pain, discomfort, or even aware of any negative thought. Our bodies are designed to tell us when something is wrong and needs attention. Our lives, unfortunately, are now filled with things to ignore, distract, and cover up these signs. More ice cream and chocolate please this is too much to handle!!! Furthermore, these bodies of ours are not designed to hold an extra 50 pounds of unneccessary weight. They will break down as it is, not to mention the extra weight put on from sedentary lifestyles. I have proven to myself that my fears are the ones that stop me from doing what I need to do in life, and by working everyday at doing the things I know I need to do, I stay healthy and happy.

Now add to this our society's accepted way of going into our homes, locking the doors, and separating ourselves from both our neighbours and the rest of the outside world. Everything in our homes is meant to comfort us, entertain us, keep us warm, and feed us. In fact, I realized I was getting a bit agoraphobic last night, and forced myself to get out. It was happening to me. The problem is, that outside lies new people, interesting things, exercise, sunshine, basically a host of new and interesting options to actively engage oneself in life. It surprises me everytime I meet someone new, and they have all these stories to tell. You can't unlock those stories if all you're going to do is say hello and goodbye whenever you go to the store.

So, what do we do, completely change society? No, the answer is education. People need to know there are options, and to be able to integrate the best of other cultures, other ideas. Of course these people will only try to search for it when there's a problem. Noone in their right mind will do much of anything if their lives seem hunky dory. It's when a problem arises that a person usually begins to search. Most of us are on auto-pilot for most of the day, so 'problems' are just something to smash through and obliterate as fast as possible. But changing diets, and behaviours take time, time that is not available when you have to check facebook, and email, and watch your favourite program, and cook dinner, and go to work, and feed the kids. Something else has to go. Dont' forget the cell phone going off with texts and phone calls every 10 minutes.

I really do think we, as a society can expect more severe crimes, more mental and health problems, and overall general malaise in the coming years. Despite our knowledge, it's not getting passed on to others, mainly because there are so many perceived differences between us. "Oh, that's their kid, it's not my problem." "They cook that awful smelling curry i don't want to go over there". And of course, old Eleanor Roosevelt's quote "I only give my opinion when I'm asked for it". Granted, she's right. Nobody likes a know-it-all coming into your life and telling you what's wrong and what you have to do about it. But, do anyone of us really allow for the time for somItaliceone to even ask for help? Most of the time, we run from office, to car, to home, as there is little point stopping and talking in between..... we're too busy for that!

(editors note: Jason likes to take his liberties when he's lazy. Please change all the 'we's, you's, and they's, to 'I'.)

Now a story of love. I found corn dogs in the bakery today. They were even warm. I didn't know what they were, but I thought I'd try them and alas it was my corn dog. Maybe they were invented in Brasil for all I know. But I'm marrying this corn dog............ then we'll be a couple of old corn dogs.

And last night, on my 1/2 hour journey outside (as I said I had to force myself to get out) I took a picture of the band that is right across the street from the gymnasium. As it is a planned city, the block has a dirt bike track, skateboard park, tennis courts, beach volleyball, basketball, and several restaurants. It seems a nice idea to keep the city streets alive and occupied at night, and not let it become just a throughfare. Some hard shelled thing on trees here don't know what they are.

Sunday


One never knows when a friend with two beautiful women barges in your door at 12:30 in the morning, so the morale of the story is always be prepared with some candles, and wine. I think he just likes showing off his Canadian 'catch'. I don't mind in these particular instances.



I was just finishing watching a Brasilian movie called 'Carandiru', when they popped in. It is a true story of the Sao Paolo prison that was raided by the riot squad in 1992, leaving 111 prisoners dead. The movie was based on the true story written by Druzio Varella, a noted physician who worked pro bono from 1989 until 2001 to assess the spread of aids that had become an epidemic in the country. He found squalid conditions there, where the inmates ruled the prison, with an established pecking order being the deciding force of not only where each prisoner slept, but life and death. The police had confiscated numerous home-made weapons after the riot, undoubtedly used to navigate this web of tightly spun humanity. Over 7,000 were crowded into a penitentiary meant for only 4,000. As most of the men were having sex with each other, the AIDS virus was a common occurrence with the inmates.

New Beginnings

My parents have been going through a slough of funerals lately, and finally they get to go to a cousin's wedding today, in Stettler. Also, my buddy Steve back in Vancouver is getting married today as well. I love weddings; someday I'll be a wedding singer on the side, that's how much I like them.

Also, I had been thinking of an old FBV oilfield operator that I used to work with over the last couple days, Dave Kastik. He was a hell of a crazy character and I liked him a lot. I was seriously thinking of fb'ing his daughter Sandra and asking how he was, when I found out he lost his fight in the ICU at Red Deer. I'm not sure of the circumstances, but I am glad that I was thinking of him, and had some time to honour his time on earth. It's a stark reminder to just get going on this life thing.

So, I am. I spent 2 hours walking around the gymnasium last night starting around 9 pm, thinking about my life, and getting some clarity. I had spent months at a time, in times past, with books, and writing, and examinations, and tests, to figure out where I wanted to put my energies in life. I knew I wanted to avoid making the same mistakes, and find something that fit me. I took an honest look and inventory of what I've been over the last 20 years of working or so.

I have been a warehouse supply salesman, an oil operator, a oilfield maintenance man, an oilfield warehouseman, a hire-a-student, an oilfield tanker gopher, an oilfield computer inventory manager, a college & university student, a hotel front-desk clerk, a night auditor, a telecommunications salesman, an oilfield PCV admin/warehouseman, a veterinarian office manager, a construction worker, a pet cremation delivery driver, an actor, a model, a handyman business owner, an ESL teacher, and a building manager.

I've just about done everything under the sun, or so it seems, and it is a different kind of blue-print; one that shows a lonely, scared, sad man running from place to place trying to find his place. I never knew about Taoism, and finding one's centre; I always thought it was something to do with the job. Well, it does to a point, but when you're so anxious about going to work because the skills required are ones that are not usual for you, or have been practiced enough to feel comfortable. For example, I grew up a very shy, introverted kid, and suddenly I'm being asked to sell to hundreds of people everyday; every product known to man, and with sales managers breathing down the neck in a city I never wanted to move to. I know I chose that job, but it scary to think what I got myself into just because I was scared to be 'not good enough'. It really was a horrible, scary experience for me, and I realized I spent 14 years trying to come to terms with it. I finally did. It happened, move on. Move on with greater force, and purpose, and let nothing stop me. This experience made me who I am today, and I like who I am today, so I really can't complain. I still have air in my lungs, and this fresh perspective is all I need to get going.

So, after Eddy, my folks, and Paula, this internet post will be the first public proclamation of what I want to do in my life. I'll call it a travelling life/career educator for young people, specifically high schools and possibly junior highs. I love the age group, and understand their mix of ambition, energy, hormones, and confusion. They have a really tough time, and today's kids have it really hard in some ways: too many choices, too many distractions, too many temptations. Despite this, so many turn out to be great adults, but I think we all owe it to ourselves, and society, to take time to help out that one hidden voice, that one person that feels so lost and alone. Because in my opinion, our value as a society, and a group, or community can only really be gauged, or measured, by the quality of life of our most lost, and most confused, and most downtrodden. Call me a socialist. I just see the people that are struggling more, and I think they can be a much more powerful, positive influence in our world if they just had some help figuring out their brains, and getting some direction. I feel I am the man for that job. And having a job that I love, and means something to me, and gets me up in the morning, can have an effect on all other aspects of my life. All that from just a few hours walking around the gymnasium.

Oh, and I was able to download a youtube video of my house tour. Join me!

Reality

I created this blog to show myself my ups and downs and really understand the absurdity of it, the confusion and self-doubt. It is so unneccessary. When things start feeling ´wrong´ with me, I automatically default to going inside myself, trying to fix it. This is classic OCD behaviour its just more generalized for me. I am fortunate that I am gentle in my ways, but the loss of life and exuberance is still just as disturbing to me, friends and family.


I watched the Aviator this morning about Howard Hughes, and he was a perfect example of a human being whos intellect, ambition, and desire to control led him down a disastrous journey within. His obsessions were heightened by his ability to buy and do whatever he wanted as one of the richest men in the world at the time. He became CEO of his fathers highly successful oil tool company at the age of 19, after his father and mother died within two years of each other.

Totozao

Well, this was supposed to be a video tour of my home of late, but I might have to stay at the airport all night to download it.......... I had been using the hotel's internet, the hotel I stayed at for new years eve and jan 1st only to be plucked from obscurity by Nalmir and invited to stay at the gymnasio. Finally, the manager of the Uirumutam Hotel thought it better if non-hotel guests did not use their internet. But the reception is much better out here, and although louder, I can watch Youtube if I want. It was restricted at the hotel.

I've been writing away, and philosophizing away. I am enjoying my alone time, my 'Walden Pond' of sorts, and even though I feel just as confused about what I want to do with my life as before, I feel at peace. It's pretty cool.

Nalmir got back from holidays and came over today yelling through the gate to come over and talk to him. He wants to go for a motorcycle ride so I want to put on the leathers for the first time in 3 weeks and show off my new badges Talked to Joel for the first time in 5 months, and a conversation with Bonnie. Steve's wedding on Saturday, and Bonnie's performing with Joel doing the spotlight. He said he's doing my job! I wrote up a quick speech and Joel will be sharing it with Steve and Karen this weekend in my absence. Wish I could be there...... I had a dream that I popped back into Vancouver to pick something up without being noticed, but Joel and Amanda saw me before I could get away.

Marley & Eu

This movie killed me, but not until towards the end. I hadn't imagined how much pent up pain, frustration, and fear I had locked up inside me but it all came out. I was crying so hard, harder than I have in years I think. It was very painful when I was in the middle of it, and I felt exhausted after, but it opened up so many realizations for me. Like how I've avoided staying in one place, and one job, and one woman, and one me to somehow avoid pain, and fear of living. I thought about my cats left with Bonnie back in Vancouver, and how I haven't thought about them, because everytime I did, I would have to think about facing my life. Just being a regular, stay at home guy, nothing special. Of course, the life I can have possible within that life can be amazing, and filled with amazing moments, but to my fears it represented only the painful moments of arguments, doing things I didn't want, but mostly, dealing with the physical sensations of pain, tiredness, anxiety and depression.

Some great ideas here in Boa Vista. Almost every night in the square, they have food, and kids games like trampolines and car race track. The night I took this picture there were only two kids out on the track, but Saturday night the track was full. The lawyers back home would have been licking their chops but here, the kids could drive perfectly, and under bridges, all without hitting each other. It really hit me as a very cool thing to put on and bring families together with these little electric carts. Other parts had various rides, and trampolines and fairway food. Usually someone singing, or a group dancing.

I've been fortunate to meet an English speaking lebanese jewellery shop owner. We're trying to get out on the boat and fish the Rio Branco for some arapaima or pirahna, so I will be going back again to see if his friend has given it the ok. He's a funny character, always giving me high 5's to accentuate a point.

There was a fire in my backyard today; I saw lots of smoke, but was sure someone was just burning a pile of something. But it was definitely a problem: the fire trucks turned up, as the fire was started in the next door neighbour and got out of hand. I inspired the local news man to get up and get a better view of the damage.

It's important to remember there are many natural supplements such as Omega fatty acids, GABA and magnesium that can do wonders for brains. Proper diet, combined with cognitive therapy can do away with 90 percent of prescription drugs related to mental health. Opinion only.

Feel Ok

Today, I spent sometime writing, and grappling with myself. I was able to concentrate, but found myself feeling the task of writing a book to be such a huge task. Several mental health tips required to keep at it, when ADD brain wants to kick in and distract with something shiny, or more interesting or more fun. With the prospect of showing work to others, and laying bare my own opinions and ideas to potential rejection, and criticism, it does somewhat intrigue me to wonder how far some people would shun you for what you write. Vancouver is a pretty laid back town, but everyone has at least one thing that is off limits, don't they?

It's not been a vacation. This is a mental gym. I stretch, and run every morning for an hour, sticking to a routine that feels good. If I am to get what I want in life, I will have to commit to some sort of routine, to break away at the ice between me and how I want to feel, how I want to be. It disgusts me sometimes to look at the years, and endless journal entries of working at oneself. I realized today, all this writing is to do one thing: to feel ok. All I have to do is just feel ok. I don't have to talk about my feelings, I don't have to meticulously plan my days. Just feel ok. Off to watch Marley & Me, and possibly some volleyball on the sand court across from the gymnasio.

Concentration

When I think of all the thousands of different experiences in my life, it's no wonder I get confused and overwhelmed when it's time to make a decision. Ignorance is bliss, Farmboy.

I am, I said

I am, I said
To no one there
And no one heard at all
Not even the chair
I am, I cried I am, said I
And I am lost,
and I can't even say why
Leavin' me lonely still

- Neil Diamond

It is not only our parents responsibility to teach us how to live as adults, it is our responsibility as sons and daughters to teach our parents how to live as children.

Some Info Please

Over visiting Solange and her kids for a movie as friends when a knock on the door, and Solange puts her finger to her mouth. Oh no. I tell her to open the door as whoever it is is getting more and more violent on the door, she tells me to hide in the bathroom. Now I'm trapped like a rat. After the kids start screaming, and I hear glass breaking, with 'Canadense' being yelled from the other side of the iron fenced window, I can't stand it anymore and walk out. He has his shirt off, his arm is bloody from the plate glass, and I tell Solange you tell him we are just friends. I already have she said. How long you have been seeing this guy? 2 weeks she says. And you've had sex with him? No... yes. Fuck.

Solo amigos I repeat to him several times but he's not settling down. He puts his arm through the window and tries to slap me. More exchanges and I'm staying calm, trapped in this one bedroom ground level house. He lights up a smoke I ask him if I can have one he motions for me to come outside. I'm thinking it's an opportunity to bond somehow. Solange warns me do not go outside. There's at least 2 other guys out there with him. He puts his arm through the fence again this time with a knife and he hits me with it, somehow not leaving a mark. I get some paper towel for his arm as a peace offering he throws it away. Such close quarters with an animal on the other side of the fence. It was hard to tell who was in the cage. He starts throwing her bike against the wall and window. I tell her tell him the truth, and apologize for lying to him. He doesn't settle down. Tell me what he is saying! He wants to beat you up. Ok, call the police now. I'm envisioning my moto is ripped to shreds by now.

The police show up rather quickly and start asking questions, all the while crazy guy is going off. They decide they want to see all three of us down at the station. I tell her explain to them that there is nothing to talk about here. We are just friends, and I just want to go home. They seem to take that as an answer. I ask her if it is safe to go now, and she said yes the police will watch him. The police wave me out, as the guy is yelling at me 'vagabond' and go to Canada for your own women that's what racism feels like.

Turns out the guy is the cook at the restaurant Solange works at, and he's been watching me come and go for the last week chatting with her in English. He must have decided to walk by the house that night and check on her, and saw my bike. He knew she was lying, and I didn't know what was being said, but I clued in fairly quickly. I had a taste of violence directed at me, and I am thankful for the police stepping in. Incredibly uncomfortable situation that a nieve innocent I love the whole world me got myself into. This is why I don't carry a gun. My words, my mind, and my inner calm will win out, even in another language. If I lose, well, then my time is over. No one said the world was a safe place.

I had a hard time dealing today, looking over my shoulder, and wanting to stay safe at home. But I had to get out and force myself to face the world again. I believe in us, I believe in peace. I believe the best kind of security is found within.

Peace

Whether I found it, or it found me, I know peace. I care not what will happen tomorrow, or happened yesterday, but only to know I have peace within myself. It is a skill I have been too harried to acquire, and I forced myself to stay once more in the eye of the storm and wait it out. "I'm just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round." - John Lennon
The movies I've given myself as a late night/early morning respite from me, basically, have melded nicely into the movements in my mind and heart. "Troy" featured a remarkably skilled fighter in Achilles who knows only his desire to have his name be spoken for thousands of years. I know that desire, yet wonder why I would care when I would not be able to hear, or see any sort of adulation, or attention. That is the warrior in me, the one that fights for something, some kind of acknowledgement. I may seem like a flakey artist, but make no qualms I am a fighter, and i will fight to the death for what I believe in. I believe in myself! Basically, I know that desire, the clear cut feeling of war, of battling someone.

Also, i've craved attention since grade school, as I learned somehow that if I am known, I exist.

I now question that young man's ability to fully know not only the relevance of that belief, but the ramifications. Normal life seemed so busy to me, running around from bank, to grocery store, to fitness gym, to work........ I don't know how people do it. From the many experiences of the road, Chico taught me that I can keep money right in my house, and take it out whenever I need it. My .01% banking interest will just have to be ignored. But what if someone steals it? Noone is going to steal it. My fears cost me, and not just financially. I have to go to the gym and workout so people will still love me. They wouldn't love me if I was fat. I don't have time to cook for myself because I gotta be out there where people can see me, making money. Oh no, no time to cook. Surely I jest. It was, and is ALL in my mind. Noone ever told me how I was supposed to live, not directly anyways. I picked it all up somehow, and it made me who I was.

Now I am taking on an even bigger challenge: to write a novel. It may take me up to 2 years to complete, I may lose all my savings, and the book might only sell 10 copies. But at least I will be able to relax knowing that I put myself on the bookshelf, and people can read it, enjoy it, learn something from it. I did my part. Unless the Nazis burn it, it will still be there. That gives me great comfort, to know that I will live on somehow, or at least my thoughts will. Perhaps it is immortality that I seek, and bereft of ego, simply the want to exist. I love life! I love to live! But death is certainly a necessary journey, and one that teaches so much about the gift of life, and the value of the short time I have here.

Tonight is movie night with Solange and it will certainly be a pleasure to just sit and chat and be, and have no thoughts as to who i am, or how i look, or how another thinks and feels about me. Pure and absolute self-love acceptance, and therein lies love for all. Boa Vista has been very very good to me.

What If?

What if there weren't any answers? What if there isn't any secret to find out? What if it's all about staying calm, and happy inside yourself, and that's it? No decisions right or wrong, no opinions right or wrong, no places right or wrong. Solely, the ability to be, and to feel, ok within oneself. That is all we want isn't it? What would we do with ourselves if it was true? Just live, exist, and nothing stopping you.

Get Over It, Through It, With It

No matter what you do, or are doing, you can be sure it is a 100% human activity. As teenagers many of us were so concerned about 'weird' behaviours, or 'weird' things going on inside of us; we were so anxious to just be like everyone else and not stand out. As an adult, I have had so many years of 'being different' I've become accustomed to all sorts of behaviours and things that make me go 'hmmmm' about myself. But, as i am human, i am guaranteed that no matter what I do, it is completely human of me.

Of course we would have fears about things. We have the same brains we had 100,000 years ago foraging for food, killing 20 ton wooly mammoths and protecting the family from sabertooth tigers. Our brains are just doing their jobs, and as the brain controls the entire body (our brains are EVERYTHING ;-) it will do just about anything to you to stop a perceived threat, or an uncomfortable situation. It will make your knees go weak, your vision blurry, your heart race, and your speech slurred. It will pump adrenalin into your system such that your hands begin to shake, and all you can think of is "I want to get out of here NOW". The problem is, that after 20 years of seeing Much Music, MTV, movies, news channels, newspapers and magazines, we see all these people who are doing amazing things with their lives, and we want to do that to. We get extremely disappointed and upset when we can't, or when we think we can't. Some of us can't help feeling somewhat inferior to these celebrities.

So, I spent 15 years dealing with the 'fact' that I was uncomfortable selling things to people. If I hadn't accepted that sales job, my life would have looked completely different, and I mean completely. If I had gotten a job with AGT (Telus at the time), which is what I had wanted, that one step in a different direction would have made this life impossible. Not better, just different. That one step in one direction changes what is possible forever. So, there's no need to stress about decisions, because no matter what path you choose, it will be a different path that leads to different experiences. It would be like arguing about which foot you should put on the ground first after getting out of bed. We do have a propensity for magical, premonitional thinking that allows us to imagine spaceships, ghosts, aliens and all sorts of things. But this thinking can drive us crazy if we sick it on what direction we should go in life, especially today when there are so many choices available.

For me, I just spent too much time playing video games, and not enough time dealing with people. Getting hurt, getting angry, fighting, crying, negotiating, having sex, hurting someone........... these are all important social activities that can definitely be stunted in today's technological world. Would you rather get rejected by a pretty girl, or go and play World of Warcraft on the computer and slay dragons without the slightest physical danger?

No Country For Old Men

This movie features a psychopathic killer without a shred of human emotion. We now forbid our children from playing on the streets, and instead allow them hours in front of the computer, video game, or TV to keep them safe from such a character. Meanwhile, the 99.9% who crave human contact, the outdoors, and community have padlocks and steel bars over our windows fearing for our lives. Our need for security creates more fear, and isolates us even more from each other. For such advances in technology and society, we are more afraid of each other than ever before. This is a breeding ground for even more violent acts towards each other; the less connected we are to each other, the easier it is to victimize them.

Say hi to that stranger today.

Do what I fear the most. http://ezinearticles.com/?Do-What-You-Fear-Most&id=3744944

Jackpot

Everytime I go to the bank and money comes out, I leap for joy. After experiences in Panama, and Venezuela, I don't take a bank machine for granted anymore. This time, I went for R1000, and Got it! I'll be keeping it in the pillow case ;-) and saving my outrageous banking fees. $30 per month allows for unlimited withdrawals anywhere in the world; I should hope so! If I can make one big withdrawal, and be my own bank, I can save that every month. I may not have a safe or a security guard with a big gun but I have a feeling noone is going to touch it.

23

I love it when I pick out a movie based on whether it would challenge me, and end up loving it too. That was '23' a movie with Jim Carrey who finds himself in a paranoid state searching for the significance behind the number 23, seeing it everywhere and in everything. I was happier than a pig in shit in my little bare gymnasium room, getting set up in English with Portuguese subtitles. I was struck by the passion of filmmakers, directors, actors and the whole gamut of people working in something they love, and how they will spend every waking moment thinking about how great they can make their work. This is a form of obsession, and although it can lead to divorce, general unhappiness, and 'saving the nose despite the face', it is generally accepted among today's society as a positive trait. "Hard Worker", "Devoted", "Committed", "Focussed", "Killer Instinct" and the list goes on. It may have it's lineage in our communities need to lift up the hero as they fight the mammoth or sabre-tooth tiger, saving us from certain death or starvation. But it doesn't have a place as much in our society today what with our grocery stores, tv's and air conditioned homes. Nothing can hurt us, nothing can eat us, and yet we still have this incessant need to fight for something against all odds. We have to get battered and bruised. Problems can occur when those injuries occur inside one's mind; a CFR rodeo cowboy gets a broken rib and recovers after 6 weeks, feeling 100% albeit a little scared of that horse for a bit. Someone trying to write a serious novel can go through spurts of agonizing mental and emotional upheaval as they try to create something that not only expresses their story but would be appreciated by others.

Can we not teach people about being human? Can we not have a part of our curriculum devoted to psychology, physiology and philosophy at an early age? "The most important things in life cannot be taught" Oscar Wilde.

Now, I'd like to look at the prison system, another passing observation as a result of the above movie. Let's say...... hmmm...... you murder someone. AND the police investigator finds you, AND you are sentenced by a judge and jury to life in prison. The idea of the prison system is to be a very large stick for punishing malcontents in a society, or people that do not follow the rules i.e. don't murder people!!!!. Now, obviously, you aren't going to be able to murder someone again unless you are out on parole in say, 20 - 25. But how effective is this system REALLY in stopping these kinds of behaviours in society? What if that person was triggered by something the other person said that made them so angry they lost all sense of control? A deep childhood repression? That's the job of the psychologist I guess. I don't feel like getting into this too much right now, but how about a system, after a judge and jury find the defendent guilty, that subjects the guilty to 1 month of unimaginable personal pain - torture, mental, and physical would not be necessary. But a system that plays on the person's deepest fears..... such that they never would ever want to risk doing this behaviour again. Currently, the prison system is one of the biggest money making businesses in the world, filled with minor misdemeanors........ keeping the general society in a veil of secrecy to satisfy their need for 'safety' and security i.e. "don't worry honey we put the bad people away." Fine, you as as society deem this is bad, this is good, let's punish the hell out of the bad, and see what happens.

I saw a photo of a bear taken down in Saddle Hills, Alberta. The two hunters were heros and their photo with the gargantuan bear (1300 lbs., 11 3/4' tall) has lit up the internet community around the world. Now, if we were a society run by bears, those two hunters would probably get a life, or even death sentence. Not only did they shoot and kill the bear, they posed with it after!!! Oh, the bear lawyers for the deceased bear's family would be up in arms! "How did you know the bear was going to attack you?" "How could you be certain that it was not a bluff charge?" "Would you have shot this bear if it was 1/2 the size?"

I think there's a need to keep our so called 'criminals' in perspective, and understand that not only are we animals, but that we sometimes do bad things...... how we 'punish' those bad things, and what we consider bad in the first place, has a very long lifespan in the overall health and happiness of our society.

Infinite Worlds

Each of these businesses I visited today have a story; each person who works in these stores have an endless array of ups and downs and in betweens. Like Karam, a Lebanese Jewellery Store owner whose brother lives in Edmonton, who was helped by a Canadian named Greg who gave him $60,000 interest free to buy his house, car, and restaurant. Karam believes in world peace, and that there is one life, and that it should be lived to experience: other cultures, other languages having lived and visited England, France, and Latin America. From large grocery stores to high fashion to hair stylists - anyone could be a potential english student. I spent some time speaking with Aerton from the Assemblico de deus about teaching for an entire month. Their rooms rent out at $80 real for the whole day - a marked improvement in price. Hey, selling is not for me as a day after day reality. It's an exhausting experience for me trying to keep my head straight, and feeling physically positive about how things go. The reality is that someone can go door to door for 10 years and not make a single sale. You have to push things a bit, and risk the chance of offending, or stepping on toes. That part I could do without. But, it keeps me busy here, and sure is a hell of a good way to learn a Language FAST! I am using Spanguese at a rapid pace. Oh, and I kissed a girl....... and liked it.

Tudo Bem!

I'm back from a couple hours of going business to business, starting with the photocopy place, where they taught me how to say "I am CANADIAN", as my book did not show the proper pronunciation. So, with my photocopied brochure, and 10 portuguese words, I threw myself into it. I honed my offerings as I went; didn't think about groups and cost, so I settled on 25 Real/hour, and less if there's a group. Spoke with the hotel staff about renting their room, and they replied that it's only available for the day, ($1000 Real) or 1/2 the day. Shows to go, when you put yourself out there and start something, there's always going to be another hurdle. But it's so much better than sitting around worrying about what could happen. Commit fully to anything, and ride it out effortlessly and fun. That's what I had created for several months before I left Canada, and I had let that slide for quite sometime now.

I've spent all these years fretting about failing at sales. I actually never failed at sales, I feel I failed at DEALING with sales. Instead of looking at my experiences as making me a better, stronger person, I used them as an excuse to take chances, and put myself out there. Get on with it, move on I've said now a couple times. And it's true, focusing on how I am being WHILE i'm selling - checking in with my body, checking in with my state of mind - it's all important to enjoying the experience.

As I look back on it now, I simply happened to CHOOSE a job that dug into my achilles heel. I didn't have to take that job, and I didn't have to keep doing it. I just took that experience as meaning so much more about myself, and I've exhausted myself over 14 years trying to make up for it. What a fool......... But I'm happy. I'm glad I'm a people pleaser. I know there's a lot of people out there that I've made one moment pleasurable for them. I now focus more on the people that count, and not spreading myself thin. If I want to have an easy, comfortable job, I can have it. Just because I had some difficulties in sales, doesn't mean anything really. In fact, I could go out and be a salesman right now if I wanted to be. If so, I would have to focus on enjoying it, no matter what I'm doing, or selling. I remembered Adam's time with me too, about 5 year plans, and working backwards......... totally forgot about that. But now, is a new moment, and I'm getting a free city tour from the english speaking guyanan at 6!

Like a beacon, the communications tower at the centre of the city always will help us to facilitate directions. No need for street signs, as I haven't looked at one. Just look for the tower, and we're all good. Backwards? Not efficient? Possibly when you're trying to tell somewhere how to get somewhere, but it actually allows you to venture further through a city just by simply knowing one landmark. Similar to Burning Man Festival, and healthy for an individual's sense of direction.

Facing

When confronting fears, how one exposes themselves to it is as important, if not more, than the exposure itself. For instance, despite 2 different sales jobs, countless hours of preparation, and years of PR with Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, hockey teams etc. selling everything from xmas trees to raffle tickets and bottles, I still have immense fear about selling. This is due to not practicing 'how' to be while selling all those years; instead of learning to stay calm, and control my thoughts, I was focusing all my energy on getting it over with and the hell out of wherever i was. Learning to enjoy it had only flashed in my worried mind a few times over all those years.

Despite all of this, I am going out into the business community today to look for English students. I feel as if I could be a claustrophobic asking to be nailed into a coffin for 4 hours. So, the process starts NOW. Who am I going to be? Confident, self-assured, calm, and present. What am I going to say? I'll be using the 10 portuguese words I more or less know so far. What am i going to do? I'll give them my photocopied sheet with all the information, walk out the door, and go to the next one.

I think this all ties into the mango tree story from yesterday. I drove by a big one filled with ripe ones, thinking "I'd sure like to grab one of those, but it's on someone's property." Driving on, I decided to turn back. As I pulled up to the side of it, I saw a man with a long pole and a pail on the end of it, standing on the patio rooftop coaxing the yellow fruits off the tree. I asked him "how much?" and he motioned for me to come around to the entrance gate. Inside was his supposed young, hot wife with 2 kids. I patiently waited as one child, about 6, collected 4 or so mangos. I asked again, as the child offered me the bag, "how much?". His wife said "nothing!" I said "C'mon, let me pay for something here!" "No!" she was adamant. "Ok", I said. "Let me give a tip for the mango collectors here." I wasn't about to take no for an answer this time, giving them each 1 real coin.

Morale of the story: just get over to that mango tree and ask if you can have one.

And if that doesn't work, keep things in perspective. 250 feared dead in Brasilian floods.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/01/13/3112044.htm?section=justin

The Real Made Me Do It



Apprendar & Melhorar

Seu Inglês

Facil

Brincadeira (not the perfect word to use, means more like 'joking')

Effetivo

Amigável

Com um Professor Canadense Só Atel Febrero 14!!

(No Falla Portugues! :-)

Educação Superior (Negócios)

Universidad Cambridge CELTA

(Certificado Idioma Inglês Professor)

When Fruit Flies Attack!


Put some banana peels, bits of mango and pina into a bag and leave it there for a few days. Also, make sure you're about 350 km from the Amazonian equator. You will see thousands of fruit flies amass, and when you disturb the bag, they will fly around so vigorously that several bump into you trying to figure out what the problem is. Either way, just trust me when I say I was quite a sight for sore eyes with said bag on the back of the motorbike, fruit flies in tow, looking for a garbage can.

From gross to gordo, I like the food so far in Brasil. The little deep fried batter wrapped sausages, chicken, and eggs with hamburger are a great starter for breakfast, getting some much needed fat into the system for a long day. I met someone who speaks English from Guyana yesterday omg it was such a relief I'm going back there as much as I can to get things translated. Her restaurant was the one where I first explored these deep fried wonders. Get....... In....... My............ Belly!!!! Tired of paying $2 for bottles of water, I invested in a large container, and will be filling my smaller bottles from there, getting my deposit back before i leave.

And to go from food to Yvette, a French friend who can cook, who, when I mentioned my opinion on her bravery to do all the things she does, replied that it was a result of having lots of responsibility as a child. I believe it is crucial to give children some sort of responsibility at an early age. Something that, if they do not take care of it, or work towards it, there can be consequences. All I can think of now is, feeding the chickens for example. You don't feed the chickens, they die or get sick, and the family doesn't eat. Giving them a gerbil? So what if the gerbil dies? Give kids something that's meaningful, something that contributes to the family. Every human being wants to contribute.

Beautiful Daze

Feeling great these days, working at stringing together some disciplined days of exercise and EFT (emotional freedom technique) which involves tapping certain areas of the body, and repeating a phrase to release emotions. that combined with a good 1/2 hr. run, and a little computer game to get my mind off things it's feeling very very positive. I think I could have a very nice little relationship with the food down here, and with some caution (cause brasil food isn't quite sure about me yet) we could fall in love. Will have to watch myself - there's lots o calories in those sausages / chicken/ beef rolled in deep fried batter........

I guess all I really have to worry about now is doing too much. I want to play guitar and sing for people down here, teach English, sell some writing, learn Portuguese & more Spanish, take people on tours, but to get rich you have to focus on something and get really good at it. God, I know i can let myself do what I love to do, but what happens when it involves something I'm afraid of? It's crazy..... something like someone who loves to be a gold miner, but is claustrophic!!!! AAAHHHH! Oh well, it gives me something to rail against.

Now, to get going on contacting people and putting my writing out there. This has been the crux of it all........ as soon as I started thinking about money and how i was going to earn it, my black holes started coming..... then I stopped being social to try and figure it out, which made things infinitely worse and started a cycle. All there is, is to face the rejection, and go towards a YES. Its what I've been avoiding for 14 years.......... all this unnecessary pain and trouble. Oh well, I guess I am human after all. I saw a quote from Thomas Edison today from Joel on fb and it was perfect timing:
"Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time."

After receiving my first "Thanks Jason but we are going to pass. Good luck on your travels. Becky" messages back from newspaper editors, it is a no-brainer to commit to persistence. What else is there, after all?

I joked on our WHINEY SNIVELY WEATHER GROUP on fb that I've been getting so used to the plus 30 amazon weather that I think about putting long sleeves on whenever it dips below 25! Sure to get some bitches about that one ;-). I love that this world is big enough to have so many different things going on at anyone time....... imagine! All the heartaches, joys, deaths, births, excitement, anger, fears, beauty, bad and good weather, everything. It's overwhelming!!!

Hit the Reset Button

Like all drugs and addictions, an initial feeling of relief, and overall thoughts of calm and peace can often be replaced with an even more intense anxiety and disease. Whatever fear or worry or concern that needed to be covered up or ignored simply intensifies. Worse yet, now you are addicted to one more thing, adding to the pile of dirty laundry to sort through at the end of it. When the high is over, or the video games over, now what?

This was my experience, a couple nights ago, when I just gave up, and went 'home' at 830. I had decided it was too late to do anything, and I had a bit of a chill from my cold. In an effort to entertain myself somehow, I looked into my laptop, and 'aaahhhh' (sound of god opening the 'eavens') found 'Zuma', this very addictive little game that I've given several hours over to already. Despite it giving me a bit of relief, and allowed for even more insights into addiction and fear, it is one more thing to deal with. But, I'm committed to some positive energy, so, first an explanation:

It's a game that features a stone frog that can rotate 360 degrees, and is controlled by your mouse. The object of the game is to eliminate the constant stream of fascinating, artistic little colored rolling balls, that, when contacted by 2 or more of the same, will explode. If not eliminated, they start to roll into the final gaping maw of the ancient aztec floor, and you lose one of your three lives. As the procession of rolling balls (almost like pool balls, making the same sound when hit) snake through the screen, several enticing long rows, and 'special balls' come into the line of sight, making it very tempting to want to shoot them. But, if you're not paying attention, the end of the snake line of balls will easily go right into the hole. This is like 'home base' as the frog, and the hole, are located near the centre of the screen. What I gleaned from this is, YES, go out, be ambitious, and take on some challenges, but make sure 'home' (inner health, mind) are taken care of at all times otherwise it could be game over!

The game also featured some clever 'hints' after each stage including "The fact that noone understands you doesn't mean you're an artist". Cute. Or, "Once you realize that the universe is expanding into nothing then back to something, wearing plaid with stripes isn't so hard."

Oh boy, all this talk about balls.............

I don't want to make mistakes in my life, despite knowing that that's how I learn. But one by one, little by little, they aren't so bad. Most of them i'm not even aware of, I suppose. It could be why I find computer games so addictive: I can control things, and champion things with only a computer life to lose. No embarrassment, no uncomfortable feelings, no real risk. As more and more children are using computer games as a big part of their emotional salve, I can suspect we will have more 'retarded' teens, and adults trying to connect with others, and leading social lives. There's a need to take one science class, and instead, give kids an opportunity to teach themselves how to live with ignoring impulses. If it can help one kid (one kid that might just go out to a school and shoot a bunch of other kids) it would do a hell of a lot more for humanity than chemistry/physics/algebra has generally. Its far more advantageous for a society to live in peace, than to invent one more use for salt out there. I love the sciences, but we need a balance. We have sex-ed as the only 'personal' type of school out there, as far as I know.

With technology, separations of cultures and identities, cliques we create differences between us. That's just human nature. What is scary is that the trend towards separation is getting more and more stronger. I believe, starting with me, my life will be more connected, and more satisfying with people. My first experience with severe anxiety, I started posting reminders all over the apartment walls; but they lost their validity when it wasn't in my mind, and it also made the place look like an insane asylum. An insight is only good to you when it's in your brain, and you act upon it, or as Rachel's dad used to say, "you can buy an insight for a nickel down at the store".

It's probably why I'm fantasizing about coming home and having a big party. I have been so inconsistent with daily fighting the urge to 'turtle', that I just get to miss people SO much. At least with a party for me, I know what to do: be a great host and laugh and make sure everyone enjoys themselves. Talking small talk with a stranger can be a bit worrisome for me.

Whatever failure, or problems, or guilt or mistakes today, forget about them. Get up, start the now, and receive the gift that every man and woman can have at any moment. NOW is a whole new day, and the past needn't exist. It can be full of opportunities, and love, and fun, and excitement, and power.

If I could get one tattoo on my wrist to remind myself, like a diabetic, that I've got a predisposition for something, what would it be? Instead of a concern for sugar and insulin, I simply have a concern for obsessing on thoughts about career, money, social standing, and relationships that can get me into quite a mess. The difference is, as with all mental conditions, the longer, happier, more satisfying route is to create a disciplined, aware lifestyle rather than take medications to take away the symptoms. I think it's healthier to learn to adapt to the human condition, rather than always keeping it at bay. There will be a point in everyone's life when you aren't able to keep it at bay, and I want to be ready for that time with full acceptance and open, loving arms.

We all have primitive psychological tendencies that don't really work, or are necessary in today's society. Some of us just have that 'knob' turned up a bit too high (some of us are just knobs) and from personal experience, if I didn't have a great family, and strong desire to succeed and help others, I could easily be on the streets. Those people just have brains that were better suited for a simpler lifestyle, and noone was able to help them find the key to live in the world we have now: one that requires discipline, self-control, strong boundaries, and awareness. There's just too many distractions, and ways a person can really mess up their lives for good.

The 12 step program hints at a common human need, and that is to give up all personal control to a power stronger, and higher than oneself. It seemed to me that these alcoholics who admitted they had no control over alcohol, and that God was the only one who could give them freedom, were missing out on real power. We all have an infinite ability to take care of ourselves, but it just takes practice. But once you've got it, and you keep practicing, you can do it, all on your own. Just like riding a bike. We have all the answers we need right inside of us.

Tom Cruise couldn't win with a post-partum depressed Brooke Shields. Who wouldn't want to end their misery right now just by taking a pill? Of course he's going to sound like some crazy scientologist when he says you can think your way through it. For me, I just don't like the idea of taking pills for my brain. Never will. Unless of course there's an infection...... oh here we go again! No Jason despite popular opinion you do not have a brain infection.

Videos of my journey

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