Different Year...Different Flow...Still Magic.

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I was asked to write a piece for talesofflowandmagic.com (original story here: http://talesofflowandmagic.com/blog---tales-of-flow-and-magic.html)about my Burning Man experience last year. Today they shared the piece as most of my close friends prepare to leave for The Playa. I am not going to Burning Man this year. Of course, those of you who know me well know I’m a “never say never” kind of guy. I am always open to a change of flow, but it’s feeling pretty certain. And I must admit, it stings a little. I wasn’t expecting it to. I made the decision feeling very firmly rooted and confident about it. I have a lot of professional/career momentum in every way right now and shifting my energy doesn’t feel like it is in the highest good and aligned with the things I am consciously manifesting in my life. But damned if The Playa doesn’t keep testing me. Last week someone offered me a ticket, at a time when many friends are still calling one in. I’ve had two work opportunities come up this week that involve a trip to Mammoth area (right on the way to Black Rock City) and Sacramento (almost there). I’m letting some friends use some of my gear and went and got all my things out of storage yesterday. The smell of Playa dust swirling into my head every time I get in the car triggers me. I turn around and see my tent and all my gear and think “wait…am I going to fucking Burning Man?”. I keep checking in…not with my head, but with my subtle feelings. Not by logically going over the pros of gifts the Burn will most certainly shower on me and the cons of the energy it will take to get there, get back, and acclimate. I’m listening to my body. I’m asking myself…how does this feel? What is in my heart? How does it taste and what part of this is based in fear and what is based in Love? So far, my instrument is staying the course. It is telling me to honor the gift of staying on track and loving myself enough to know there is nothing that I am going to miss that will lessen me. That my body knows what is in the highest service of my mission and purpose. I believe the universe tests us in a way. When we are ready for a new energy or calling something in, she will send us little nuggets to see if we are really ready for what we are asking to manifest. We always have the choice of taking the bait and staying in the old energy/frequency, or confirming to the creator that we are ready to be ready to be ready to accept the new by saying no to the old. And of course, it could all change in an instant. The next time I get in that car the smell of Playa dust could spark a chain reaction that leads to me spinning into something like the story below to burn baby burn. My vow is to listen to my intuition and be in the moment making decisions based on what I am feeling now and not the story I have made up to this point. Right now, the only thing I’m feeling pulled to is watching my dear friends Rachel and Johann share their vows of Love with our community. But I’m just gonna have to Love the fuck out of them all year long to make up for it. Thank you to Tales of Flow and Magic for sparking a little inspiration this morning. If I get a wild hare up my ass and make a dash for The Playa…you’ll have another story for next year.

#burningman #flow #magic #talesofflowandmagic #playalove #synchronicity #blackrockcity #nofomo #sexplantsandrocknroll #realmenweartights #seeyounextyear

Easy With The "Poison" Talk Miss Harvard

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OK...I'm not saying coconut oil is a silver bullet and that anyone should go on an all coconut oil diet. But...to label it as "pure poison" does not seem quite scientific to me Miss Harvard graduate. I wish this talk that she gave was translated from German into English, because this article gives zero facts for the "poison" label short of stating that coconut oil is high in saturated fats "that CAN clog the coronary arteries" (can sounds a lot like "may" to me). Additionally this is backed up by the AHA which still recommends taking the skin off fish and chicken...and only consuming low-fat or non-fat dairy (which I think is all loads of bullshit). My understanding, which is admittedly amateur...but also very educated and in tune with my body, is that high fat diets are not as beneficial and even have some unhealthy side effects when you are still on the federal-government-made-up-by-lobbyists-bullshit-standard-America-food-pyramid-diet which is high in grains (which by the way are now ACTUALLY poison do the the proliferation of Roundup). So...fuck the click bait...coconut oil is not "poison" (or I'd be dead). Don't overdue any one thing and most importantly...listen to your own body. Mine likes lots and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and some coconut oil but also likes lots of butter, ghee, olive oil, flax-oil, and omega's found in fish (especially the skins), eggs and sustainably/humanely farmed meats and cheeses (preferably raw and always full fat). This all works better (FOR ME) when carbs are the smallest part of the my diet and it is mostly sweet potatoes and regular potatoes....and when I eat grains...organic whole form and smallest part of my meal. And if you haven't watched the documentary Magic Pill....I recommend it. And if I drop dead of a heart attack tomorrow...throw away the coconut oil. #coconutoil #wellness #health #newpost #sexplantsandrocknroll #nosilverbullet #foodwars #moderation #roundupispoison #buysustainable #keto #magicpill #fatismyfriend 

A Parting Gift From a Tragic Hero

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This one hurts. It’s wild how we can feel like we know someone so well that we’ve never met. Anthony Bourdain has been one of the most influential people in my life over the past decade. He gave me courage and he gave me permission. He proved that you could recreate yourself at 40. He demonstrated that just because you had hauled-ass down one path for a decade or so didn’t mean you couldn’t march off into the rough and find a shortcut. He had persistently found his voice through authenticity. He could tell a fucking story and his seemed to be one of redemption.
 

We shared passions. The dining experience, Rock N Roll, Jiu-Jitsu, and general irreverence to name a few. In the early 2000’s I was working as a waiter and a sommelier and I wrote a treatment for a travel show focusing on food, wine and fun activities to experience around the world. His first show came out shortly after. I knew right away he had nailed it. After reading Kitchen Confidential I was a forever fan. 

 

When mom calls at 7:00 a.m., something is usually wrong. It was a rude awakening. Initially I was actually relieved. The sound of her voice made me think it was a family member. But in a way, he was. Mom and I have been watching Tony and comparing notes for years. We spent my 30th birthday on a classic Tour de Tony, eating and drinking our way through recommendations in his native Manhattan and did it again seven years later when we crossed a “Christmas in NYC” off her bucket list. I had been on so many of those tours, in so many places, sharing deliciousness, with so many people I love. Those memories along with all the heartfelt shares on social media brought waves of tears over the next few days. I knew how much he meant to me. I had no idea how many people felt the same. It’s a true testament to authenticity. 
 

The thing that was the toughest to swallow, the thing that was my initial shock and became a point of deep contemplation over the next few days, was just how someone who was surrounded by SO MUCH beauty could be in so much pain. How someone with that much privilege could get so far away from grateful for another day on planet Earth. The food, the wine, the relationships, the creative outlets, the open-doors, the martial arts, the money, the fame and the girl…he really had it all. And it began to dawn on me. Maybe that’s just it. Maybe it’s way easier for us to turn the wheel outward and blame everyone for our dissatisfaction. Maybe once we have all we’ve ever wanted and still struggle with our existence the only thing to do is turn the wheel back in on ourselves. 


I don’t know much about Tony’s spiritual life. My best guess, from what I could gather, is he is like so many of our greatest voices. He felt a lot. Artists tend to do that. It’s part of the process of reflecting humanity back to itself. It’s why so many choose the numbness of heavy drugs. Without a deep sense of trust in the divine, I think it can all start to feel pretty dark. I think we can start to carry the pain of the collective consciousness and I think that just having an outlet to express yourself isn’t enough. I think the fuckery that organized religion has been pulling for millennium has ruled that one out for free thinking radicals like Tony and Me. And I think for many of us, artists especially, the woo-woo, new age, always be in a good mood or I’ll send you a meme, movement can be too literal and too contrived. It sometimes denies what we are actually experiencing, and it lacks the subtly that we crave in that which is sacred to us. I feel very fortunate to have practices in my life that keep me in a state of awe and a desire for more. I pray that it is always that way.

 

Ultimately, Tony gave us permission. He gave us permission to eat the weird thing, to love the weird neighbor, and to say the weird thing on our mind. In this last act, he has given me permission to go to another weird, dark place. I have never suffered from serious depression or mental illness. I have had hardships and bad times and many days I did not want to get out of bed, but I have never experienced any of that for long periods of time. I have never in all those times considered taking my life. But in classic Tony fashion, I was able to see it differently. He took me on the ride in some way. And as recently as Robin Williams, I now realize, I still lacked some compassion. I still had a “well it was his choice and I just feel sorry for his family” sort of attitude. In the days that followed Tony's suicide I visualized it. I imagined it. What it must have been like, to be at that level of despair. What it may have felt like to be in so much pain and feel that there is no one to blame but yourself. What fame must be like where everyone is telling you that you are somehow different or special and you still feel unworthy of praise. It started to make more sense. And I realized that his parting gift to me was a very deep, deep sense of compassion for this epidemic of mental health. And for that, I am once again grateful to you Mr. Bourdain. 
 

I was recently asked how I would want to be remembered when I die, and my answer was “…that the food tasted a little better when I was around”. The food tasted better for all of us when you were around Chef. Thanks for sharing your gifts with us. May your next trip around come with more peace.

#AnthonyBourdain #travel #sexplantsandrocknroll #food #depression #compassion #peace #gratitude #heartbroken #permission #tourdetony #mentalhealth #partsunknown