The Man Who Discovered Happiness

The entire world knows of him. The most popular name since Einstein. It is miraculous how he could do what he did. All discoveries and inventions are minor in comparison, since he was able to make just about the entire world happy.

It didn’t take long either since once he announced his discoveries and traveled the world speaking about what he discovered, everyone’s brain lit up. The darkness was forever lifted. People got it.

The unifying thing about humans is not a single one does not want to be happy. The singular shared goal of all human life is happiness. We seek it out in so many different ways. It is what every human being aspires towards so once he was able to figure out how people could actually be happy all the time, it caught like a fire in a dry forest.

 

His name was Joe Ollman. Obviously he has been dead for some time now, but his discovery has still to this day changed the lives of everyone on planet earth. Even though we all live indoors now and are continually on-line, we have all found a happiness that is far greater than any kind of happiness experienced by humans who were off-line and went outdoors. Psychotherapy, psychiatry, life-coaches, self-help gurus, spiritual gurus, all of these professions are a thing of the past. No longer needed. In school I read about how many, many, many years ago, these were the most popular professions. They were everywhere and bookstores were filled with self-help and psychology books written by these people. Not any more. None of them exits today, since everyone is happy.

Joe Ollman. This is a name which will never be forgotten as long as humans are around. You can ask anyone, even children who Joe Ollman was and they will tell you the man who discovered happiness. And his discovery was not even that difficult. It is strange that authentic happiness eluded humans for so long. Joe Ollman just made it very easy for everyone to understand and implement it.

 

For those of you who are interested, Ollman’s Theory of Happiness is: To be happy is the absence of negative thought. Pretty simple, right? That as long as a person has negative thoughts they will not be able to be happy. In order to be happy a person must be able to eradicate all negative thinking. Sounds simple but not so easy. The genius of Joe Ollman was that he made it easy.

When Joe Ollman was alive he lived in a society that created deep unhappiness. The society that Ollman lived in was so dysfunctional that the vast majority of citizens had to take pills to make them feel better and more functional in what he called “The Sick Society.” Can you believe that? Society was at one time so dysfunctional and unhealthy that people had to take a pill, which generated more serotonin in their brain chemistry so that they could function better in that society. Even though it was over sixty years ago since things have really changed it still surprises me that this is how things once were.

People were continually worried about having enough money and what other people thought of them. People distracted themselves with things that caused them to feel even more empty inside. The routine and monotony in people’s lives caused them to live with this empty feeling inside, which drove them into states of deep anger and depression. Wow. Everyone was stressed out since surviving in The Sick Society caused a person to have to do a lot of things that they did not want to do. People had to pretend to be happy about working at jobs that they did not feel happy at. Everyone was disconnected from one another. No real relationships were able to be sustained in this harsh climate of anger, addiction, worry and depression. People pursued happiness but could never find it because their heads were filled with negative thoughts and people spent most of their time lost inside their heads. Fear prevented almost everyone from living the life that they wanted to really live. People were committing suicide and violent crimes everywhere. Men interested in power and money ran the world and the masses were much too afraid to rise up against the state. The people were powerless. They had no choice but to submit. It was pure madness. The only thing that could help this situation were psychiatric pills. It was the real Dark Age.

 

Joe Ollamn is a global hero because he is single-handedly responsible for bringing people out of these dark ages. He basically rescued everyone from the darkness and brought almost everyone out into the light. All with his very simple Theory Of Happiness. Joe Ollman was also once a very depressed and negative man. He admitted to often thinking about suicide and then he realized that there could be an alternative way. He did not have to physically die as much as he needed to psychologically change. Ollman realized that he needed to eradicate negative thoughts.

Ollman started practicing Mindfulness meditation intensively so that he could develop the awareness needed to know when he was starting to have negative thoughts and feelings. “When the emptiness and darkness was starting to creep in,” he often said. Once he was able to have this awareness he could catch it and turn the thoughts and feelings into something positive before the negativity snowballed into a miserable state. The importance of awareness in being a happy person was not discovered by Ollman but it was really brought into the mainstream by him. Today most people practice mindfulness meditation and it is because humans are much more aware that they are able to subvert negativity the moment it arises.

Ollman’s Theory Of Happiness stresses that if a person wants to be happy they must be able to not dwell in their heads. That dwelling or ruminating in thought is unhappiness. In order to avoid this a person must engage in distractions that allow them to feel engaged, focused and better about themselves when finished with the distractions. People just needed to become better able at choosing more quality distractions for themselves rather than just taking what is being offered by the highest bidder. It is because of Ollman’s discovery that Hollywood, Netflix, HBO, social media, cable television, most forms of advertising, Amazon Prime are now things of the past. Corporations that created and profited off of human misery are now gone! People now actually live quality lives. Who would have ever thought? All because of one man.

 

Ollman once said in a YouTube interview, “If human beings want to be happy they must be able to remain present and aware. It is so crucial that people are present and engaged in their lives in a carefree kind of way. If a person wants to be happy they must be carefree because if they are not stress and worry and depression will quickly rise up. The Sick Society did not allow people to be carefree. Everyone was worried and stressed out all the time and this is why unhappiness was such an epidemic. If people really want happiness it is so important that they are able to live in  a carefree way. Moment by moment, day by day without worrying about the future or thinking about the past. When a person is truly happy they are fully in the moment. They are fully content and engaged in the moment without a care in the world. The moment a person is no longer carefree, unhappiness sets in. The thing about humans is that we do have the ability to be carefree. We just need to exercise this ability or potential more regularly through mindfulness meditation practice.”

This was once of the most viewed videos in YouTube history and it is where Ollamn’s Theory of Happiness was presented to the world. Einstein wrote books and papers but it is interesting how things change. Ollman wrote no books or papers but presented his discoveries through YouTube videos. No one reads books anymore. Everyone just watches YouTube videos and Ollman was visionary enough to know that this would be the case one day. Ollman was such a genius and I am so grateful for his presence on planet earth. I do not know what the hell anyone would do without his Theory Of Happiness. We would all be taking pills and living in that dark and very sick society that almost caused Ollman to take his own life.

I am so happy the dark ages are now behind us.

*This is an essay written by a young girl for her online eighth grade Sociology class.

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The Man Who Grew Breasts (Overnight)

Yesterday, the majority of Americans elected Donald Trump as President of the United States. I was angry. Very angry. This morning I woke up with breasts.

These are not male breasts. They are good-sized female breasts. It is as if while I was asleep, someone came and took my male breasts and replaced them with thirty-five year old female breasts. I don’t understand how something like this could happen.

The minute I got out from bed this morning I felt a heavy weight pulling my chest towards the ground. I immediately became concerned that I was having some sort of heart issue. Maybe I was too angry yesterday, I remember thinking. But then as I was walking to the bathroom I noticed feeling like I was carrying decent sized water balloons inside of my chest. I could feel something jiggling around. I stopped in the hallway, turned on the lights, lifted up my t-shirt, looked down and noticed I had decent sized female breasts.

I couldn’t make sense of this right away. I thought maybe I was still in a dream. When I realized it was not a dream, I thought that maybe I was hallucinating. I have been meditating a lot recently and have heard that sometimes walking hallucinations can be a side effect of too much time spent in meditation. I looked at my breasts in the bathroom mirror. I touched them and that is when I realized they were real.

I don’t understand how this could happen. My wife has been Googling all morning. She is trying to figure out how a man can go to sleep with perfectly normal male breasts and then wake up with a pair of decent sized, nicely shaped, female breasts.

This must be the result of feeling too much anger yesterday. I don’t normally feel such long-lasting periods of intense anger and somehow the anger must have messed around with my hormone levels. I have read about men who are really angry suddenly losing all their hair or getting a non-viagra induced erection that does not go away. It is well known that anger messes with chemical constructs in human bodies and yesterday my anger was so strong that I was sweating throughout the entire day. My anger intensified after my father told me that he voted for Donald Trump and that he thought that Donald Trump was going to “Make America Great Again.”

I suppose it would be fair to say that my anger reached levels that if documented by a medical device could be safely called rage. But I did not yell. I did not express my rage in any way. I just let it be there as I kept myself present and aware of my breathing. I know that all emotions are just waves and because of my meditation practice I do not really identify with waves. I just notice them. But I wonder if the meditative suppression of my rage with regards to the election of Donald Trump as President is what has caused me to grow these breasts.

My sweet wife leant me one of her black bras, which I am now wearing as I write this. The bra has helped ease the weighted discomfort in my chest. But now I feel this tight constriction across my entire chest and back. Is this what women have to deal with everyday? Is this what bras feel like for them? If so, just like Donald Trump and all his male counterparts, I have yet again underestimated what women have to deal with everyday. No man, no matter how rich and studly, could tolerate this feeling of being hugged tightly around their chest all day long. No way.

 
I don’t feel as angry today. Anger is just a wave, I keep telling myself. The shock seems to be wearing off and I am accepting that as a result of the election of Donald Trump as President, nothing has changed and everything has changed. The sun has still come up. There are birds eating from my backyard bird feeder. I can hear cars racing by outside my home. But the far right has seized power in America. Every advancement America has made with regards to equality for all people over the past eight years has been undone. White patriarchy is now back in power. And I have a pair of decent sized female breasts hanging from my chest.

My wife told me that hopefully as my anger subsides, the breasts will decrease. What does this mean? I have to go to work today so I am not sure how long this will take. If I really try to let go of my anger now, will the breasts go quickly away? But anger is not really something I can get rid of. All I can do is step back, breathe and not identify with it. When it completely goes away is not really up to me. What if it doesn’t go away for as long as Donald Trump is in power?

A great deal of Americans are still celebrating today. They are thrilled that a multi-billionaire, far right extremist has seized control of the highest office in the world. Some people are not happy about this but are trying to make peace with what has happened. I am really upset about it and will not pretend like everything will be ok. I will not take my mother’s advice and just try to see the positives. What is positive about this? I am the one who has ended up with a pair of good-sized, female breasts hanging from my chest.

Everyone else seems to be getting on just fine.

How To Endure The Life Of A Writer. Conversation #27.

“Talent is extremely common. What is rare is the willingness to endure the life of the writer.” -Kurt Vonnegut

You see, I do this thing, I live this life, but it is hard for me to feel happy about it.

Why is that?

Because I am not doing what I love (for money). You read about and see people all over talking about how lucky they are to wake up and do the thing they love to do. “It is not work because I love doing it!” I hear this a lot. Lucky bastards. I don’t have this. I don’t feel this.

But you get to help people as a psychotherapist. As a meditation teacher you get to help people be more present and find healthier ways of living. The work that you do bleeds out into the world in so many ways that you are unaware of. You help countless people. You have such a deep influence in so many people’s lives.

This is great. I am happy about this. But I am not a fan of other people. “I want to be of service to others.” This has never resonated with me. “Let others fend for themselves.” This resonates with me. I do not love helping other people learn how to better deal with their problems. I am not even sure any of it works in the long term. A part of me feels like psychotherapy and meditation is just a scam. Neither work in the long term.

So you do not really believe in the work that you do?

Only a bit. I think these things can help people but only in very subtle ways. The truth is that I am just not that interested in the work I do. I do not think it is very interesting. I am bored by it. Other people bore me. The money I am able to make is good, but is this really the point? To make good money but feel unhappy all the time? You feel like something is missing. Like you are not doing what you are supposed to be doing. I try to get into the work that I do. I try to love it but it doesn’t seem to work. I am just not a people person. I don’t love people and I am in the people business.

How has this happened to you?

Just taking the easy way out. Just doing what I thought I was supposed to do. Wanting to make money. Following the rules. Too afraid to take big risks. Playing it safe. This is how this sort of thing happens. Plus I have never really had the ambition and/or energy to really apply towards doing the thing I love at a larger level. I have been too timid. Too held back. I haven’t applied myself enough because of a fear of failing I suppose. It is much easier to take a path others have created for you (professions) but there is a big price to pay if you don’t love it.

So now you are stuck. You have bills. You are in debt. You own a home. You have a career that you do not love. Your work feels like work. When you are not working you feel this hole and this envy for others who get to do the thing they love. You try and figure out how to get there but you do not know how. You are getting older. You have less energy. You feel like time is running out. You feel like you should just learn to be happy with what you got.

Yes. I just don’t know if I am going to be able to make it doing the thing I love. Not enough energy and will to apply toward it anymore. I don’t think it is good enough.

What do you love? What do you want to do?

Writing and making art (drawing/illustration).

But you don’t think it is good enough. You don’t really have the will to apply to it anymore?

Yes. I feel stuck. My career drains me of most of my energy. I am being pulled by the outside world to just settle into being a therapist and meditation teacher. This is where things seem to be happening for me. This is what I am good at and what people are willing to pay me for.

I see.

No one cares about my writing or art. No one would be willing to pay me for these things. I can’t even give my writing away for free.

Maybe you sell yourself short? You work hard at writing these conversations between you and I. You post them on-line and give them away for free. You don’t do anything with it. You don’t try and publish your writings. You don’t try and advertise your blog. You don’t do anything to get more publicity!

I know.

Why?

I just don’t have the energy and I suppose I do not think it is good enough.

I know! But the only difference between artists and writers who make a living from their work is not the talent or the quality, it is that the ones who make money from their work believe that it is good enough. They don’t give it away for free. They don’t sell themselves short.

I do.

Yes. You always sell yourself short. This is why you work a job you don’t love. You sell yourself short. You settle. You take money from people for doing a service you do not really want to be doing. You give your writing and art away for free. You continually sell yourself short. Others walk all over you. This prevents your from really doing the work you would need to do to make a living as a writer/artist. So you are pissed off. Makes sense.

I don’t know what to do about this problem!

Stop selling yourself short. Start really applying yourself to the work you want to do. Take risks. Work hard at it!

I am too tired. I am 45 years old and just want to read my books, do my thing and not have to work so hard anymore.

I know. But then you will just have to keep doing something to make money that you do not love doing.

Maybe I will just have to learn how to love doing the thing that I don’t love doing. Become more selfless. Embrace what is. Transcend my own ego and accept my fate. Make peace with it and apply myself to it. Let go of the desire to be an artist and writer.

This is called selling out.

Or it is called growing up.

Maybe. Give it a try. I don’t know if it will work. I don’t know if it is possible to feel happy this way. I don’t know if you can make yourself love something that you don’t love. I just don’t know.

Neither do I.

Well just keep doing the things you love in your off time. Keep reading, drawing, writing, living. Maybe if you keep doing these things enough eventually it will pay off. Maybe because you are a slower worker, maybe because it takes you a lot more time than say someone who is ambitious, you will not get to do the thing you love for money until a lot later in life.

Possibly. I can only hope this is true.

Just keep doing the things you love. Stick with it. Don’t give up.

Ok.

You are tearing up. Does this make you sad?

I guess a bit. It has just been a long, lonely, frustrating road. But I will not give up.

Stick with it. Keep at the things you love to do.

Ok. Well thanks for your support.

Sure. Hope you have an enjoyable Sunday.

Thanks. You as well.

Masturbating Under The Avocado Tree. Post #19

Shouldn’t you meditate in the morning first?

I should do a lot of things I don’t do.

Like what?

I dont want to talk about that now.

So then why did you wake up at 6:34am this morning and go straight out into your garden and masturbate under the avocado tree?

I needed release. I could not sleep.

But why did you go out into your backyard? Why not the bathroom?

Because it was not my intention to masturbate in my backyard. I went out back to watch the sun come up. I noticed that I had an erection. Suddenly I was seized by a desire to masturbate.

I see. I can understand that. But why not just go back inside your house and do it? Why outside?

I dont know. I wanted a change of scenery. Something different. It felt slightly deviant to do it outside.

Under the avocado tree?

Yes. Under the avocado tree.

Hopefully none of your neighbors saw you. You would be forever discredited as a respectable and professional member of the community if they saw you with your pajama bottoms down around your ankles masturbating in your backyard.

I realize this.

Did you consider it? I mean something like this could ruin you!

A part of me already feels ruined. No, I did not consider it. Like I said, I just needed a release and went for it. I didn’t give it too much thought.

Well, in the future you may want to. It would be a terrible thing if one of your neighbors happened to be looking over the fence into your yard.

Ok. In the future I will keep this in mind. I suppose that since I am trying hard to not watch pornography I am now needing different forms of sexual stimulation. Normally, I masturbate at my desk in front of my computer screen. But since I can not do this anymore I decided to give the backyard a try. Masturbating with my eyes closed in the bathroom over the bathroom sink gets boring after awhile. I wonder how much sperm gets washed down our drains?

Probably a lot.

Yeah. I think it would blow our collective minds if we really knew.

Probably. Look I can understand why you masturbated in your backyard. You wanted something different. But you are now just a fine line from masturbating at the shopping mall, in your car, at a restaurant, while sitting by a public pool, while on a walk and various other public places.

Yeah. I understand. I wont let it come to that even though I have been thinking about masturbating in my car while driving.

Please do not do that. Please. If you were seen by someone who knew you or seen by a cop you would be ruined. It would be headline news if a popular meditation teacher and psychotherapist was caught masturbating in his car while driving. Please do not do this.

You are right. You are right. Ok. I will abstain from masturbating beyond the perimeters of my home.

If you could keep it inside your home that would be ideal.

Will try.

Ok.

Although I must say it was fun masturbating under the avocado tree.

Bad Mood

Why are you so pissed off?

I don’t know. I just woke up feeling this way.

It has to be the result of something.

I had a hard time sleeping last night. My wife had a friend over and they were talking late into the night. That was annoying. I am glad she had a friend over and was being social but it made it difficult for me to get to sleep.

You think this is why you are in a bad mood?

Maybe. I am also trying to quit drinking.

You quit drinking?

Yes. I just don’t want to drink anymore. At least not for a long time.

Why? You don’t drink that much?

No, I don’t drink that much but booze always makes me feel like shit in the end and I am tired of feeling like I am doing something that is not good for me. As much as I like drinking beer or gin, I always feel poisoned in the end. So I want to give it up for health reasons.

I see.

But I have had a tough time sleeping since giving it up. I think I may be going through some alcohol withdraws.

It is possible. You were drinking regularly for awhile, so this could be one part of it. I also know you have been worried about not making enough money at your job.

Yes this also. I am also annoyed that I don’t enjoy my job but have to do it because I need the money. I want to be able to like my job. I am trying. But every time I return home after being at work all day I am so relieved not to be at work anymore. I have a feeling that my dislike of my work is causing my business to suffer.

Could be.

Also, I lead a large meditation group last night. Over fifty people. I talked a lot in the group. I talked the entire time. I talked about the value of living in the moment. I talked about why worry is such a useless emotion. I talked about how we are all going to be worm food in a matter of moments, days, weeks or years. I talked about how we should all just enjoy our lives now. How this is the most important thing. I used words like “fuck” and “bullshit” a lot. I talked a lot. People just looked at me. A room filled with wide eyes, looking right at me but no one said anything. I was just talking and everyone was just staring at me. It was awkward. I do not like to talk a lot. I do not like it when people are just looking at me. I don’t know what they are thinking. I wish someone would say something.

So you felt uncomfortable about the group. Maybe you feel like you did a bad job. Like you said too much?

Yes. I keep telling myself that I am not going to talk much. I will lead a guided mindfulness meditation, talk maybe just a bit and then let other people talk about their experience. If no one wants to say anything, then I will end the group early.

Why don’t you do this?

I don’t know! I always ended up talking too much! I want people to have a good experience. I want people to get something out of coming to the group. I want people to like me!

You want people to like you.

Yes. There. I said it. I don’t like it. I don’t want to care about whether people like me or not. I don’t want to have to work so hard to get people to want to keep coming back to the group. It is bullshit.

So you are pissed off that last nights group did not go like you wanted it to.

Yes. I went against what I know is best for me. Once again I worked too hard and said too much. Pisses me off. Also, I think I did not really want to lead the group. I am burnt out. Been doing it for three years. I’ve had enough. Was tough for me to get into. I was tired. I stumbled a bit at the beginning. This felt awkward. I do not like to mess up or feel incompetent in public. I think I felt this way a bit in the beginning of the group. Took me a bit to get into it.

I see. Well it is in the past now. Let it go. I am sure you did fine. Any other reason you are in a bad mood?

I have to go to work today. I don’t really know what I am going to do with my life. How am I going to break through and find a way to live the kind of life I want to live? On Friday I have to be interviewed by a news station. I do not want to do it. I do not want to talk any more about mindfulness. But I need the publicity. It could improve my business. So I have to smile and pretend like I really am interested in talking about mindfulness. Talking about mindfulness bores me. Listening to others talk about their problems all day bores me. I just don’t want to do it anymore but I must do it because I need to earn a living.

I see.

I am pissed off. I want to get high, have crazy debauched sex, drink, masturbate to porn.

None of this will help.

I know. That is why I am not going to do it.

Go for a walk.

Go for a walk?

Yes. Go for a walk. Bring your headphones. Listen to music you want to listen to. Just go for a walk.

A walk?

Yes. Go for a walk now. Right now. It will help. Get out of your head MR. MEDITATION TEACHER.

Haha. Jerk. Ok. I guess I will go for a walk.

Yes. Do it.

Ok. I am going to go for a walk now.

Ok. Go.

I Don’t Want To Go To Work!

Are you feeling down?

I am feeling frustrated, irritated, aggravated and yes, I suppose I feel down.

Do you know exactly why?

Of course. Didn’t you read the title of this piece?

Yes. I just want to hear you say it.

I dont want to go to work!

Why? That is ridiculous. What is wrong with going to work?

I just don’t want to do it. Something deep in me is revolted by the idea. It is like a yucky feeling in the pit of my stomach. I don’t know why it is there.

Hmmm. Interesting. You should feel happy about going to work. You are fortunate to have a job. You are even more fortunate to have a job where you can help other people and make good money doing it. You have your own office. No shitty boss to deal with. You only work three days a week in your office. It is kind of an ideal situation.

I know. It is. That is why I feel like I should be happy about it. I am continually telling myself to snap out of it. I should be thrilled to have the job that I do. But still there is this yucky feeling in the pit of my stomach. I feel like, in a few hours, I have to go do something that I really do not want to do.

Why?

Good question. I know it is simplistic but I just don’t like doing it. Its not want I want to do with my life. There are things about it that feel great. Like I said, I can help others and they pay me well for this assistance. I get a good amount of gratitude and appreciation from others for helping them out. It is good that I can be of service in this way. My work also comes with a fair amount of social status and cultural legitimacy. These things can be nice but I don’t care that much about it.

And as a result of all of this, you are able to afford a comfortable lifestyle for you and your wife.

Yes. This is a big benefit.

And you only have to work three days a week!

I know. I could not tolerate working a five day week. I was miserable all the time. I was on the verge of jumping off a cliff. So my wife agreed that I would work three days a week and see if that helped.

Has it?

Yes. It has. Now I only feel pain three days a week. Makes a difference.

What do you want?

This is a question I have been asking myself for almost three decades. The answer is not easy to find. I want my work to feel fun. I want it to be enjoyable. I want it to feel like something I do not mind doing. I don’t want to feel this yuck feeling in my gut every time I have to go to work. It sucks.

What is that old saying? “Make sure that you love what you are good at doing because once people are willing to pay you to do it, you will have to do it….” Something like that. You are really good at doing something that people are willing to pay you a lot of money to do, but you do not love it.

No. I do not love it at all. I am not sure I even like it. I am ok with letting people work their problems out on their own. I do not feel this huge need to be the one to help people work their problems out. I just don’t care that much. I am not a big fan of other people. I think people can be a pain in the ass. I am ok leaving this being-in-service-to-other-people-job for someone else to do.

But you are the one doing it.

Yes. I have ended up doing something that I do not really want to be doing. I am an introvert. Having to work with people all day, three days a week in this way, is painful. I do not believe that the only way we can be happy is through helping others. I think that is a bunch of crap. Maybe if you are an extrovert this is true but the quickest path to unhappiness for an introvert is to work with other people.

Why sooooo painful?

I have to hear about all their problems. I have to listen and pretend like I am interested. I have to really force myself to care. Seven people, seven hours a day. It hurts. It gives me anxiety. I am terribly uncomfortable when I am sitting their listening to people talk about their lives. I try to listen deeply and pretend like I am fine. Inside, I can not wait until the session is over.

Sounds like the opposite of fun.

It is. But it pays me well. It allows me to be economically independent. So I try to do the best I can. I give it everything I got. It is kind of like saying, “Ok, fuck it. I am just going to jump off this tall cliff. I will do what I have to do to survive. I am all in.” And then when I am out, I really enjoy being out. But I dread having to do it all over again.

Sounds tough. I think this is what most middle class people in the Western world deal with. Most people are in your situation.

Yes. We live quiet lives of desperation.

So what can you do about your situation?

I try and make the best of it. I try not to think about it too much even though this yucky feeling in my gut is always there on days I have to work. I really dread it. But I try and write, read, listen to music, exercise, go for walks before, during and after work. It helps a bit. I really don’t know what else to do right now. I own a house. I have debt and bills. I have a comfortable lifestyle to pay for. I don’t want to give these things up. I love my lifestyle in a way. I just don’t know what else I could do to afford all of this. I can’t just quit my job and start writing and making art full time. This will not work. I need something else to earn an income, but have no idea what.

You are stuck.

I am stuck.

Stuck.

I have always been stuck. I am not so sure I know what it is like not to be stuck. I feel like I was raised by stuck people. I was taught how to be stuck. To live a stuck life. I really don’t know how to be unstuck.

I think being unstuck is the result of a lot of luck and some talent. You have the talent, but in a way you just have not been lucky.

I know! And I am bitter about it! And now I have to go do something that I really do not want to do!

But maybe, just maybe, no matter what you did for money you would not want to do it. You hate traveling. You hate leaving your home. If you were making a living as an artist and writer you would probably have to travel a good amount.

This is true. Maybe. I don’t really know. I would not be happy about traveling. Maybe it is a no win situation. Maybe work is just painful. No matter what you do, work is pain. There is just no way around it. You will always have to do shit you do not want to do.

Maybe. I don’t know. That might be the case for you.

Maybe so. I just wish I did not have to feel this yuck in the pit of my stomach. I once made a deal with a Buddha statue. I said that I would promise to spread the word about meditation and Buddhist philosophical teachings if in exchange the statue helped me to become a successful writer. Every day I walked by that statue to remind it about our deal. I have lived up to my side of the deal. I teach meditation classes to large groups of people every week. I talk about the benefits of mediation with my clients. I am doing what I said I would do but the statue is yet to come through on its side of the deal!

I am not sure a Buddha statue has the ability to make a deal like that with a human.

It was a really large statue.

Still, I think you are being a bit desperate here.

I am desperate. I need some fucking help!

So desperate that you are talking with Buddha statues?

Yes!

Jeeze. That is bad.

I know! I really don’t know what to do here. I am forty-five years old and I can’t seem to figure this one out. I try to meditate, to accept my situation, to make peace with things as they are- but still!!! There is this angry, yucky feeling in the pit of my stomach. I am being forced every week, for three entire days to do something I don’t want to do. Then I spend two days in recovery.

Learn to love it.

Shut up with your self-help crap.

Learn to love it. You are incarcerated. You are not getting out any time soon. Learn to love your incarceration.

Oh hell. Really? This is what I am trying to do. In my own way I am trying to learn to love it. I try every day. I accept it. Embrace it. Lean into it. But it hurts!

Well, you have to go get ready for work now. You have to go listen to people talk about their problems with you. You have to try and be really interested.

I really do not want to go.

I know. But you just have to jump in. Don’t think about it anymore. Just jump. When you get out try and enjoy being out. When you are in, just breathe, swim along and wait until it is time to get out. Just deal with it. Like carrying a heavy load.

Yup. I just have to deal with it. I just have to tolerate it. No easy answers coming anytime soon. I just have to carry it and make the best of it. It is what it is. This is my life right now.

Yup.

Ok. Well thanks for talking with me about this. The yucky feeling in the pit of my stomach has gone down a bit.

Good to know. Go do what you must do. Jump. Oh. And during your break, take some of your hard earned money and go buy yourself a record. That helps ease the pain a bit.

My entire record collection is a collection built out of pain. But good idea. I will do it.