I spend a lot of time contemplating ways to improve my experience of life. It’s what I enjoy doing most. My enjoyment comes from exploring new ways to experience the world. My idea of a fun afternoon is exploring mental concepts by exposing myself to different ideas and perspectives through reading and listening to audio. I like pushing my mind. It’s difficult to convey meaning in a way that allows you to see what I mean when I tell you I like to “push my mind,” so I guess I’ll start by saying I like to ask myself:
“where does the end of the mind begin?” Then I sit in awareness.
Welcome to my mind.
I recently realized how poor my understanding of emotions is. As an awareness practice I ask myself to identify which emotion I’m feeling most at random times throughout the day and It’s generally pretty hard for me to identify it. It’s hard to identify any sometimes. It led me to think about how little I know about emotions and myself. I feel self-aware in some ways and distant in others.
I’m unable to identify what an emotion is at certain times. I know the emotions happy, sad, mad, and glad. I understand the basics but even on that level I’m not confident. I’m now familiarizing myself with the language of emotions to help me experience life more fully by giving my mind additional ways to explore the present. Expanding on the map my mind is already operating on.
It’s been challenging for me to sit down and write. I face a resistance whenever I think about sharing ideas passing through my mind-scape. At times I wonder if it’s because I need more time to let the thoughts develop, and I think that is the case for the most part. But on a skillful level I enjoy the art of writing and want to develop my own set of skills. Humans are wired to connect and one way we do that is through language. I’d like to contribute my own art to the pool of existence.
Modern Day Mavericks has transformed a lot since I first created it a couple years ago. In a way it was created out of desperation. I was struggling inside, and I didn’t know where to turn. I spent the better of 20 years with an identity soaked in wrestling. I thought of myself as a wrestler first. Looking back, I see where I used wrestling to cope with difficulties in my childhood development, making the past few years a bear of a time working through things without having wrestling in my life – I was living without an identity and didn’t know what to do. I was the victim of my story.
As a child becoming addicted to wrestling helped me gain a lot of external success because I was able to endure a lot of pain and sacrifice from a young age. I held a goal in the center of my mind, and I went after it and achieved it. Winning 3 high school state championships, having a successful collegiate wrestling career, and ending with a burnout as an assistant wrestling coach at Stanford University.
When MDM was nothing more than a seed of thought I dreamt of a platform I could use to share my experience developing an identity as a healthy, fully functional adult outside of the wrestling paradigm. Moving to California and immersing myself in a new lifestyle and culture exposed me to a different way of living. It made me curious and sent me on a path to discover what else the world had to offer. I thought moving into a van could help me strip my life to pieces in hope of putting myself back together.
When I moved into a van it was a bit of a sporadic decision. I had a lot of spite toward the system America is operating on, bitterness toward my father, and a lot of religious baggage. I climbed the ladder of success in the sport of wrestling. I obtained a college degree and always did what I “was supposed to do,” but I felt empty inside. I never really understood how to cope with my emotions and it’s only recently that I realized it might be good to start by familiarizing myself with the language of emotions to better understand what ones are available for me to feel.
Being able to identify emotions will help me have more compassion and understanding for myself. In ways it’s like creating a room in my mind for the emotion to sit in and play out its role in my body before allowing me to exit the room by shutting the door behind me. The feeling leaves my body as I close the door and step into a different room (emotion). If the emotion doesn’t have a structure to rest in it runs wild in the universe of my mind, stealing my sense of presence and joy from life. Creating anxiety and angst in my body. It’s unpleasant.
When I feel happy, I step into the happy room of my mind, when I’m sad I shift into the sadness room. In my mind, different states of being have different physiological characteristics. When I’m frustrated, I feel like a HEAVY ROCK, unable to move; stiff-like. When I’m happy I feel light, my visual field is brighter, and I feel more able. In the past the way I felt on the inside rarely matched how I “should be feeling on the outside.” I still struggle sometimes but I’m getting better about separating thoughts from myself. Meditation helps me with that.
I’ve found emotions to be the shades of color along the spectrum of experience during our time on earth, and to live a more colorful life we need to be more aware in our presence.
I’m excited to learn more about myself because I think it will help me be a better, more fulfilled individual. When I think about what drives me it’s a desire to understand my mind. I believe in a mind/body connection and I want to share what I find relating to mapping the mind.
MDM has shifted and this is your warning. I certainly want the name to hold its adventurous value but it’s shaping into a more “mind-manifesting” website where I plan to share my experience transitioning out of an identity built on wrestling, into a more fulfilled and contributing member of the human family.
I’d like to create a community of like-minded Mavericks who also see themselves as “harm reductionists.” Mavericks are people who boldly live true to their purpose while seeing themselves in all of life’s united creation. Seeking to make the world more beautiful by reducing their “negative impact” on the environment and existence.
I want my life to be one of connection, love, adventure, creativity, and beauty. The path I was on in my early 20’s was a bitter one. That’s not what I desire. I want to be the person my family looks to with pride. Manifesting beauty and not bitterness when looking upon my life with their own reflected eyes – as we all do. I feel grateful for what I have and who I am, but I also see a beauty in the world I want to share with whoever wants to listen.
I’m passionate about the mind and discovering its seemingly unending potential. Let me ask you once more: Where does the end of the mind begin? The point for me isn’t necessarily to answer the question directly. No, I use it as a guidepost to direct my thoughts and then I allow my subconscious to present me with unique ideas along my inner quest to find the outer boundaries of my mind, if it should exist.
Thanks for reading today’s entry. If you’d like to connect find me on instagram or join the Modern Day Mavericks facebook group! I’m glad you’re here!