In typical Phoenix style, these collections of journal entries and eventually a meeting with Rafiki once again are long winded. I figured I could do this in two parts.

 

Nope!

 

Looks like four parts now.

 

Hey, I’m trying to be respectful, so my Fledglings don’t get overwhelmed in one reading. Plus, I feel the need to give background to my thoughts when I sit down with Rafiki tomorrow since I haven’t connected with all you in such a long time.

 

If you’re jumping in at the middle, good luck. LOL!

 

The short gist: I dated a woman for 8 months, we were in a committed relationship for almost six of those months, and we just broke up 6 days ago.

 

I’m posting journal entries I had written leading up to the breakup followed by processing my break up with my girlfriend when I sit down with my favorite mandrill, Rafiki.

 

If you missed the first two parts, click here:

Part I

Part II

 

Disclaimer: All blogs I have written have gone through extensive proofreading, multiple additions as well as subtractions. Delicate care is taken to help them flow better for reading. These journal entries are ones I wrote in hand as the thoughts flowed. They may sound disjointed or bounce around like trying to dribble a football. Some areas have been cleaned up a little for clarity, however, 90% is in raw form. Basically, unedited free flowing thoughts.

 

 

February 4, 2024

 

I’m bummed. I just finished yoga on the beach and found out there was a 10K race in Waikiki. I would have loved to have run that. Dang it!

 

I’m sitting against a tree in the park overlooking a pond, watching the birds, while listening to the Royal Hawaiian Band.

 

I woke this morning at 4am after going to bed just before midnight. I did some good work on my non-profit event, finally getting the ball moving with that.

 

I tried to go back to sleep, but I decided that if I couldn’t sleep, working on this event would be the best use of my time. Be productive.

 

At 6am, when my alarm went off to wake me up to run, I decided to try and go back to sleep instead. My cough was starting to sneak in. It’s my physical warning that I need more sleep.

 

Going back to sleep doesn’t work. I can’t shut my brain off.

 

I decided to skip today’s morning run. Yesterday I had run a total of 8 miles, and it had been almost two months since I had last run. It would be good to take a break from running since tomorrow I planned to run to the top of Diamond Head so I could watch the morning sunrise from a different location. That would be a round trip of almost 11 miles.

 

The live band I’m listening to is fun. Upbeat and lively. I wish I could do my work for my non-profit out here, but I need an internet connection to do that.

 

This morning on my way to yoga I talked to my sponsee. As we chatted, I realized that I’ll have my recurrent training coming up around the same time as my non-profit event. I’m starting to get that feeling of overwhelm.

 

Crap.

 

Deep breath.

 

Studying for these recurrent events is stressful and takes a lot of my time. How am I going to organize an event, study for training, get taxes done, and do all this self-care?

 

Deep breath.

 

Well, this did get a fire under my butt to stop thinking about what if’s and getting distracted in thought. It’s time to get up and work more on this event.

 

The rain starts to fall. Perfect timing.

 

I’ll see all parts of me tomorrow. Love all of you.

 

 

February 6, 2024

 

(Missed February 5th journal entry. I did run the 5.5 miles to Diamond Head to watch the sunrise.  The picture above was from that morning. This next entry was done in my home with my girlfriend after we both did that amazing hour-long breath work morning Sadhana.)

 

 

Another interesting awareness on today’s practice. This was the same breath work that I’ve done twice and had the epiphany on the beach next to the aerobic yoga class. This time I did it with my girlfriend. I was worried about what she was experiencing. I haven’t done that since the first couple of times we did yoga together.

 

Halfway through, I found myself shaming myself for not suggesting this one earlier to her. Like right after I did it. “Go do this Sadhana! It’s amazing.”

 

I enjoyed it so much, I wanted to watch her have the same experience I had. I wanted to be a part of it.

 

What is that need?

 

What is the need to want to be with someone experiencing what really, they need to experience on their own?

 

Look at how much I’m in my mind and not present during this session. Maybe she’s in her head too?

 

Why do I do that? That need to be seen, loved, and validated by others?

 

That I’m okay when they are okay?

 

I know the answers, but I want to know how to let those thoughts go.

 

My therapist’s comment about me collecting wounded birds pops in my mind. Wounded birds need me. They won’t leave.

 

But don’t I say I want in my life someone who celebrates my completeness, not someone who completes me. And yet, I find that my subconscious actions show differently.

 

Anyway, we get to a point in breath work where I inhaled in the nose and out the mouth, then in the mouth and out the nose. My girlfriend and I are in rhythm, in sync with our breaths.

 

The sound of the two of us was like musical breathing harmony.

 

Then I took a short breath. That caused our breaths to fall out of sync. As she breathed in, I was breathing out. It was easy to tell because the breaths with our mouths were louder.

 

My mind pictured a sine curve. You know. The one from math class. Then I saw the double helix of a DNA strand.

 

I envisioned how when we are in sync, when the waves are overlapping one another, you see one curved line. The two lines become lost.

 

But when they split…Look at the beauty that comes out! Like snowflakes, each one unique and beautiful.

 

Even if the lines are slightly off and not looking like infinity symbols attacking one another (or dancing with one another), they have a beauty of their own.

 

You see each strand for who they are meant to be. Not enmeshed and hiding their individuality.

 

I realize that it’s okay to not always be in sync. That it’s okay for me to be lying on the mat in the backyard while my girlfriend makes coffee or does what she’s doing.

 

It’s okay that I’m journaling and may miss our morning readings together. (Although, that is a beautiful way to start my day with her.)

 

Well, the coffee isn’t quite ready.

 

Junior, John-John, Johnny, Little John, Ironman, and Phoenix. We need to stop trying so hard and realize that we are bountiful, blissful, and beautiful.

 

The gift is, that being with our girlfriend only enhances and celebrates all we already are.

 

By the way, it may be chilly but it sure is beautiful in my backyard. I need to spend more time here.

 

PS: I took a break to throw the ball for my dog in the backyard for ten minutes before grabbing coffee. This gives him a little connection that he needs. Stop ignoring the pup just because he triggers you! Play with him and learn to enjoy how much he truly loves you.

 

 

February 7, 2024

 

(This journal entry was written about 30 minutes before my girlfriend expressed her need to redefine our relationship. She does not want to lose our friendship, however, with two days of breath work focused on self-love and our readings this morning discussing the same topic, she explained to me that she has worked hard these past couple of years to love herself and needs to continue that journey.)

 

Another great session with this breath work Sadhana. I do love these!

 

First, I came up with a new mantra. When my mind wanders, I can say “Right Here, Right Now”. Think about the live version of this Van Halen song where Sammy Hagar says, “Don’t worry about yesterday, it’s gone. And tomorrow? Fuck tomorrow! All that matters is Right Here, Right Now!”

 

I need to put this on my motivational music playlist.

 

Right Here, Right Now

~ Van Halen

 

I need to use this mantra to get out of my Monkey Brain when it starts to get scrambled.

 

The other thing that happened was I decided to add my different inner children/parts of me to the song Bountiful, Blissful, Beautiful.

 

I am Bountiful, Blissful, Beautiful….Bountiful, Blissful, Beautiful I am.

 

I said “Junior” and the vision that came to my mind was my oldest daughter as a baby. I have so much unconditional love for my baby girl.

 

As I continued through my different names, I saw how much I loved that little girl through all stages of her life. Even when she struggled. Even as I see her struggle to love herself.

 

Why is it we can love our children with so much abandon, that when they make mistakes, we can let them go, and it becomes water under the bridge, but when it comes to us, we battle so many personal demons?

 

Why can’t we love ourselves as much as we love our kids?

 

When will I have that unconditional love for me that I have for my girls?

 

Is it possible?

 

To be Right Here, Right Now.

 

To stop holding onto all the past hurts and fuck the worries about tomorrow?

 

We are bountiful, blissful, and beautiful we are.

 

All parts of us!

 

 

February 8, 2024

I’m sorry. Please Forgive Me. Thank You. I Love You.

 

I realized today that I had abandoned my inner children. All of them.

 

Not only did we continue to pursue, I mean, I, John, the adult, continued to pursue a woman who we knew (I mean I knew) that eventually her career path would take her to places where she would be gone for weeks, if not months at a time.

 

In addition, I decided to become committed with someone who needs not a few hours to recharge her batteries or fill her bucket, but days, if not a week or more, of limited contact.

 

Is it wrong to want to say good morning and good night to the person you made the decision to commit to?

 

That is what she can’t commit too and why she wants the relationship redefined. I’m fighting in my head. Ugh! I haven’t been here in years.

 

I knew this would bring up old wounds and hurts. On every level my girlfriend and I are compatible except one.

 

On the scale of Maslow’s Hierachy of Needs we didn’t have the foundation of safety and security in place. That’s because what we needed for each other to feel safe and secure was 180 degrees out of sync. If it wasn’t trauma wounds that got triggered, maybe our relationship would have looked like the beautiful DNA strand I envisioned yesterday.

 

Junior, John-John, Johnny, Little John, Ironman, Phoenix. This was my fault I put you in this position and I’m so sorry.

 

There is nothing wrong with you! Nothing at all.

 

You are not a burden! You never have been.

 

You are enough!

 

You are loved by so many and have so much love to give others.

 

It was me who was not taking care of you.

 

And we can’t blame our ex. She tried. She gave us a valiant effort to step outside her comfort zone and everything she felt safe in. She has past hurts from her past relationships, and she put those aside to try with us.

 

On a bright note, her and I provided a safe place for our inner children to experience love again. What a blessing she gave us, and we gave her. And we’ve learned so much on this journey.

 

Just remember, the pain you feel is natural. It’s the normal part of grieving loss.

 

Like so many before, you won’t lose her friendship. It will just be different. And a deeper friendship than many of our other friends can attest to giving us.

 

I start singing in my head as the tears start to fall.

 

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound.

That saved a wretch like me.

I once was lost but now I’m found.

Was blind but now I see.

 

Boys, she opened our eyes. To see that we still have work to do.

 

What is the February morning sadhana called?

 

Breath Work to Remove the Veil of Illusion. The veil has been lifted.

 

It’s like rain coming but we didn’t turn on the windshield wipers. And when we turned them on, we can see clearly until the fog from the heat of the relationship started distorting our vision.

 

How do we learn to turn those wipers on when the first drops start to fall? How do we keep the window defrosted?

 

I won’t say I won’t fail you again. I’m human.

 

But I want to add another perspective. Why do I continue to tell you that I failed you?

 

This was a magical success!

 

We did not start this relationship in our addiction. We did not end the way we have in the past. And, we had one hell of an adventure!

 

So many places, so many different experiences. Someone who would dance with us, play with us, snuggle with us, do yoga and meditate with us, let us read to her, travel with us, have deep conversations with us, be present with us, love us, incredible sex, cook with us, cook for us, clean up with us, clean up for us, watch movies with us, travel across the country to be with us, open our eyes to see that sex does not have to be vanilla nor addictive… The list goes on and on.

 

The someone who meets all we’ve been looking for is a very rare gift.

 

Remember that for her to pursue her deepest dreams she had to make a difficult choice. She recognized that to continue with a long-distance relationship would only hurt her and all of you.

 

She came to help us transition from parent to empty nester. We came to help her transition from her safe Island Haven to follow her dream to travel the world.

 

Let us continue to find us.

 

Junior, John-John, Johnny, Little John, Ironman, and Phoenix…

 

I’m sorry.

 

Please forgive me.

 

Thank you.

 

I love you.

 

 

 

PS: The conclusion to this three part blog will be a multi-chapter series of blogs released every three days. The link to the teaser (you know, the summary you’d find on the inside book cover) and the link to Chapter 1 are listed below. Thank you my Fledglings for being my inspiration to help me process what I’m going through. May you continue to Rise from the Ashes daily.

 

Lessons from an Island Girl – Teaser

Lessons from an Island Girl – Chapter 1

 

 

 

 

Oh my! Phoenix is blogging for a second consecutive day!

 

Turn up the music! Let the banners fly!

 

Yesterday, I gave a little bit of background for processing my recent break up with my girlfriend. I’m aware I haven’t blogged for over two years. And while I have a lot of things I need to do; I know that writing is the best way to help me understand what’s going on within me.

 

This helps me come to peace when I’m struggling emotionally.

 

You see, the multitude of jumbled thoughts in my head, those that ruminate around and around like a hamster sprinting on that squeaky wheel, need a little bit of organizing. If not, I make myself crazy because they become a distraction to my daily life. Like a desk scatted full of messy papers, I need to gather those thoughts, put them into a neat pile, categorize each one, and finally, make sense out of the confusion.

 

What continues in Part II are my Journal entries from Feb 1st through Feb 3rd as I recognized old patterns of behavior in myself and in my relationship. I sensed my girlfriend and I were on the verge of a breakup. However, with limited communication, I had no idea if my fears were justified. I’ve made assumptions in the past, acted on those inaccurate beliefs, and caused more damage because they were not true.

 

So instead of asking questions, making assumptions, or opening up Pandora’s box, I journaled what was going on. (Please read Part I if you would like the background story and my January 31st journal entry.)

 

Disclaimer: All blogs I have previously written have gone through extensive proofreading, multiple additions as well as subtractions. Delicate care is taken to help my posts flow better for your ease of reading. These journal entries are ones I wrote in hand as the thoughts flowed. They may sound disjointed or bounce around like trying to dribble a football. Some areas have been cleaned up a little for clarity, however, 90% is in raw form. Basically, these are pretty much unedited free flowing thoughts from Phoenix right after his morning Sadana/yoga practice.

 

 

February 1, 2024

 

I wish I didn’t have this non-profit event coming up in May. I have so much work I want to do on me and my recovery. I guess I realize that I’m similar to my girlfriend. Recovery is a way of life. And it takes a lot of time. This is what I need to keep me grounded, serene, and able to handle the shit life brings.

 

I got a newcomer’s chip at SLAA. How cool is that!

 

Side note: As I typed the above, I broke down. I looked at my love addiction piece when I went through Tommy Rosen’s 8-Week Awakening back in 2020. I was really trying to understand why it was so hard for me to let go of my ex. Those meetings didn’t resonate with me and I stopped going to them.

 

My excitement for getting a chip was that I found where I needed to be. And the tears that just flowed down my face was the recognition that I have grown and done things differently in this relationship than I did in the past, but I still kept screwing up.

 

I’m always my own worst critic.

 

We can grow.

 

Yet when we’re in the depth of shame, we tend to only connect with those parts that have failed and can only see disappointment, not the growth we’ve gone through.

 

I need to call the person who heads the meeting and find an SLAA sponsor. More work! Ugh!

 

I need to see how bottom-line behaviors work in SLAA. It seems SAA acting out deals with sex, yet SLAA deals with thoughts. How do you stay sober from thoughts?

 

When we’re in the depth of shame, we tend to only connect with those parts that have failed and can only see disappointment, not the growth we've gone through. Click To Tweet

 

I need to keep watching my dog and learn from that pup.

 

Side note:  I have a very attention hungry dog that is always at your feet, wagging his tail, dropping a ball, trying to get you to play with him. He’ll follow you around the house and when you start to play, no amount is enough. He will go until he drops, and still keep going. I find this energy annoys me. He’s always in my way clamoring for my attention. I realized after a conversation with my girlfriend that is how I act around her. My dog annoy’s me because he is a mirror of myself. See me, acknowledge me, play with me. Oh, you want my attention? I’m here! I’m here! What do you want me to do?

 

I also need to learn to give that pup what he needs. I need to stop being so resentful at this poor dog. We can learn together. Maybe I can learn to have more patience with him while he helps me become more aware of my behaviors.

 

I need to text myself instead of texting my girlfriend. Or write in my journal instead of having an overwhelming list of things to share with her.

 

And I also need to understand that there’s a high probability that next week may be a while before I see her again.

 

How do I not obsess over the fear I feel about seeing her next week? Why do I even feel fear to see or hear from my girlfriend?

 

I make up there may be things she wants to tell me, but she’s waiting to do it in person instead of over the phone. Her telling me that she’s now applying for jobs on the east coast and not around my hometown was a warning.

 

No! Not a warning. Just a seed that she’s no longer committed to being on west coast before she does her 5-month adventure in another state pursuing her dream.

 

So, I need to be okay with my inner children.

 

Hence, the meditation today with the hands and the 10-breath. Holding onto the heart today I realized that my adult needs to love all the inner children in me: Junior, John-John, Johnny, Little John, Ironman, and Phoenix.

 

We need to learn to love us!

 

We need to learn not to place that energy on another.

 

 

February 2, 2024

 

WOW!

 

This month’s breath work on Recovery 2.0 is one of my favorites! A bit of a challenge at times. This is just what I needed.

 

Yesterday I cried when I pressed my hand to my heart. My focus has been to learn to love me and not to make someone else my higher power.

 

Today was the realization that I really do love myself.

 

At the end of our practice, Tommy had us lie down. Said we are going to listen to a song for 3 minutes. I knew exactly what it was going to be.

 

Bountiful, Blissful, Beautiful

~ Jaya Lakshmi

 

I am bountiful, blissful, beautiful…bountiful, blissful, beautiful I am.

 

For some reason, I just had the thought that I need to travel somewhere for just me. To connect with me and somewhere beautiful.

 

Like my girlfriend does.

 

Not out of resentment and anger and look what I’m going to do too. I need to do this because I think it would be a gift to give myself. To be alone and have me connect with me.

 

I love my Hawaiian sunrises and sunsets when I am with me.

 

How do I bring that energy and that love to myself wherever I am?

 

Life and recovery are a journey, not the destination.

 

 

February 3, 2024

 

I tried to do this journal entry on my iPhone since I’m on a beach 4 miles away from my hotel. But it’s too cold! In Hawaii? Really?

 

It’s 69 degrees in Honolulu today. That’s too cold for me.

 

Today’s yoga practice was an ah ha moment. An epiphany. Like experiencing something I cognitively know in a bodily way.

 

Let me rephrase.

 

Experiencing something personally that you assume someone goes through, but don’t truly understand it because it hasn’t happened to you yet.

 

I’ve been trying to say, as Tommy Rosen would say, my radio frequency gets tuned to addictive energy. I don’t want to say my Energizer Bunny is an addictive frequency other than it gets my Monkey Brain spinning and I become more sensitive to things that I normally would not have an issue with.

 

I’m not grounded.

 

The questions I ask are:

  • Is that extrovert person bad for my recovery?
  • How do I still the mind?
  • And yet, how do I stay true to who I am?

 

Yesterday, I had one of the most amazing Sadhana experiences. I’ve had a few. This one is at the top. Self-love is the focus. Such a good one. Add I did it after the Breath of 10 Meditation the day before. This is the one my girlfriend was raving about. Plus, this one was a challenge. I love challenges!

 

Today I was going to do the same thing…but in my happy place. On the beach in Hawaii watching the sunrise.

 

I had woken at 2am and couldn’t go back to sleep. I’ve struggled with sleep due to this damn Monkey Brain. So, I did alternate nostril breathing in bed then curled up on my back holding my knees doing breath of fire. I rolled on my side holding my pillow and tried to fall back asleep while breathing out of my left nostril.

 

I can get into that meditative blissful state my girlfriend talks about. But I rarely get past one minute. Shoot, I rarely get past 30 seconds.

 

It’s a feeling I can’t describe. Just everything drops away. As a visual, like a silk, full-length nighty sliding of a woman onto the floor. A blissful state where it feels as if I’m floating.

 

Then the peace IMMEDIATELY disappears, and all the world comes alive! And those uncomfortable bodily sensations come flooding back followed by that Monkey Mind once again.

 

It’s like pulling ear plugs out on a busy highway. Everything was muffled and muted, far away. Then WHAM! It’s loud and overwhelming.

 

Like why is a hot tub so hot when you first get in? Then your body adapts.

 

We adapt to the craziness of life.

 

Around 3:30 I get up and decide to work on my non-profit event. It was too early to run. Might as well get stuff done if I’m up.

 

I get on the computer and read a meditation of the day. This one is a keeper. He talks about the musk deer, who, during mating season lets out a huge scent to attract a mate. Then he sniffs and sniffs his scent everywhere.

 

He’s searching for outside what he has always had inside.

 

This is the power of meditation.

 

The power of meditation is that it helps us stop searching for outside what we have always had inside. Click To Tweet

 

I start to think. In my blog where my 80-Year Old writes a letter to my younger self I remind my younger self to never stop dancing and meditating. Not don’t stop doing yoga.

 

When I wrote that February 2020, yoga was never on my radar. I found yoga that April when I started following Tommy.

 

I thought, “Did the universe bring me my girlfriend so I could learn that this is the next step of self-love and healing?”

 

I did start re-reading Seven Thousand Ways to Listen yesterday; one of my girlfriend’s favorite books.

 

Is yoga just a path to get to meditation? To prepare the body to meditate? Like Tommy’s Sadhanas?

 

It’s a little after 4am and I’m going to try and sleep again. My alarm is set to run the 4 miles to the beach at 5:45am so I can get there to see the 7am sunrise.

 

I climb back into bed.

 

Same thing. I’m almost asleep, then am awake again. Ugh!

 

Just run, Phoenix. Run. Let’s do yoga in the dark and see it all.

 

So, I get up and run.

 

The Run

On the way I get a phone call from a good friend. She’s having family issues that she needs to process. She almost didn’t talk because I was going to run, and I didn’t want her to go for my own selfish reasons. All summer long when I would do this run, my childhood friend would talk to me on the phone while he walked his dog. We had a disagreement at the beginning of the year, and he no longer calls or texts. We’ve gone through our ups and downs in our friendship of 49+ years, but that abandonment piece still hurts.

 

I run about three miles when I hang up. We had a good conversation.

 

I put on my Awakening playlist (which I had also tried to use earlier to help me unsuccessfully sleep). The last song in the queue I had restarted just for the run. It’s the last chant of the song Klim Krishnaya that I love. It’s the perfect thing to say to your inner child.

 

Klim Krishnaya

~ Jaya Lakshmi

 

The ending chant is “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I thank you. I love you.”

 

It goes one time and I think I need to say this to my inner children. So, I tell them each as I continue to run. I say each name out loud before the chant.

 

Junior

“I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I thank you. I love you.”

 

John-John

“I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I thank you. I love you.”

 

Johnny

“I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I thank you. I love you.”

 

Little John

“I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I thank you. I love you.”

 

Ironman

“I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I thank you. I love you.”

 

Phoenix

“I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I thank you. I love you.”

 

There’s one more chant before the song ends and I automatically call out my girlfriend’s name.

“I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I thank you. I love you.”

 

Tears stream down my face as I run. My adult was acknowledging the people he had hurt. Not really hurt. The people he had abandoned because he wasn’t fully conscious.

 

PS: This was not the epiphany. Yes, it was a full morning!

 

Morning Sadhana Practice

I got to the park and it’s dark. I’ve never been here this early. Well, early as in no sun. In the summer the sunrise is sometime around 6am.

 

I only get 10 minutes into the practice. I’m doing breath work and then it hits me like a train. I had royally screwed up.

 

Okay, not a screw up. But I did it wrong! I celebrated my girlfriend’s 20th anniversary from alcohol the way I would want to celebrate. Take her on a cruise with lots of music, fun adventure, spoil her with good food, lots of activities, surrounded by a bunch of happy, partying people.

 

Why the fuck didn’t I take her to a meditation retreat? Five days of yoga and meditation. Seen her in her element. Watch her recharge her batteries after going full steam for three and a half months.

 

That would have filled her bucket. I would have been able to see her blossom and glow. This is what I absolutely love.

 

I’m so sorry!

 

Luckily there wasn’t a wall near me because I wanted to bang my head on it.

 

Deep breath in and let it that all go. Learn from this Phoenix.

 

I’m about 15 minutes into my yoga and breath work practice when the women start to show up. Lots of chatter. “Hello.” “How have you been?” “Missed you last week.”

 

I’ve seen this group before. They come out here to do yoga. Cool. I won’t be alone. I focus on my practice.

 

Then the music turns on.

 

Hip-Hop. Popular songs. Things I would play, well did play, when I DJ’d a Halloween party last year.

 

Is there such a thing as aerobic yoga? I hear the yoga instructor getting them warmed up like Jazzercise, followed by yoga poses. At one point, they all went on a short run before coming back into downward dog, then more fast paced movements.

 

Tons of energy.

 

And here I am trying to be still doing breath work.

 

I focus harder inward. Don’t listen to the music. I am here for me.

 

And yet, I want to join. They sound like they’re having so much fun.

 

But I need this work to stay grounded or else I’m off the rest of the day.

 

I couldn’t get into the zone. I couldn’t focus on my breath. Ugh!

 

Then it hits me! I feel deep in my body what my girlfriend must feel around me.

 

She needs that calm space. That time to fill her bucket and recharge. And yet on the periphery, my energy is that music playing in the background.

 

And that music is my favorite.

 

And they’re doing the things I want to do.

 

But I know if I don’t stop and do what I need for me, I will burn out. My mind won’t stay calm. I’ll be less present with the world. I’ll have less patience, become more reactive, and may hurt people who love me. I’ll hang on to resentments, regret, shame, and guilt.

 

These are the things I battle with my Monkey Brain when I’m not taking care of me and my routine.

 

And yet the even bigger one for me is fear. Trauma is triggered and I go into future-tripping using the past as proof that what I believe will happen is going to happen.

 

And it will.

 

Why?

 

Because I put it into the universe. That is the secret.

 

This awareness opens me up. Makes me question how I really am around her. Am I really that bad?

 

What was the difference between January and October?

 

Duh! So obvious. We haven’t been caring for ourselves. Diet, exercise, yoga and meditation, time for self-reflection.

 

My girlfriend didn’t have a break from me, and I refused to connect outside with my friends when I was with her because I felt in my body that she was leaving when February rolled around. I was so oblivious and yet it was so obvious!

 

Fuck Phoenix. Get out of your head and get back into meditation and the power of this breath work!

 

But the music and energy behind me continues to pull me in.

 

And then I see it. The sun! Finally!

 

The beauty of the sunrise when light just touches the dark. Like holding someone’s hand for the first time. So brilliant and bright on the horizon.

 

Oahu Sunrise 1
© 2023, Inner Child Dimensions, LLC.

 

Eventually it fades to a warm lightening of the sky. The world that was shrouded in darkness now is crisp, clear, and fresh. There’s peace. There’s life. Birds start flying and singing their morning song.

 

Oahu Sunrise 2
© 2023, Inner Child Dimensions, LLC.

 

But the beauty isn’t as magical as those first bright reds and oranges reflecting off the black sky and stars. Like a first kiss then becomes a short smack in greeting or parting.

 

I had given up on the sunrise. Like so many people do in relationships.

 

But then…it popped out of the clouds to be reborn again. The bright yellow orb revealing all its glorious beauty for the first time this day.

 

Oahu Sunrise 3
© 2023, Inner Child Dimensions, LLC.

 

To be reborn again.

 

Day after day.

 

The blinding light that heats the earth. Warmth.

 

Oahu Sunrise 4
© 2023, Inner Child Dimensions, LLC.

 

Just like a deep love becomes something more than just the grayish light of a blistery morning (it was really windy, and I can’t think of an analogy).

 

It took me a while to realize that I had lost all focus on the blaring music. I was entranced and reminded that everything rises again. Connected together.

 

Like a Phoenix, I will rise not just once, but every day. I will be reborn again and again.

Oahu Sunrise 5
© 2023, Inner Child Dimensions, LLC.

 

The snake must shed its skin.

 

And so do we. New cells to replace the old and dead ones. Those new cells will too one day hold the crap that’s in our bodies and we will shed them as well.

 

We keep being reborn.

 

Then I see the rays coming down. In an instant I felt embraced by my mom. God, I miss her. Ironman lost most of his family in seven short years.

 

Oahu Sunrise 6
© 2023, Inner Child Dimensions, LLC.

 

But she was with me this morning. Letting me know that it’s not only her in those rays, but all my past relatives, mentors, and friends.

 

I am loved.

 

I just can’t feel it through all the noise.  I need to find a way to find quiet so I can feel the love that is out there.

 

It’s now time to lie down and listen to the song. YAY! This is what I’ve been waiting for. I love the song “Bountiful, Blissful, Beautiful“. The one that takes me back to May 2020 and my journey of awakening a few months later.

 

“I am bountiful, blissful, beautiful…bountiful, blissful, and beautiful I am.”

 

I turn up my music. I can no longer hear the bass and the high energy behind me. So much nicer to focus on me for once this morning.

 

Until….

 

The BUGS!!!!

 

This happens every time the sun pops up. They disappear in 20 minutes or so. Yet for those 20 minutes, they crawl all over your body.

 

I refuse to twitch or brush them away. I will sit here in silence and endure.

 

And what comes to my mind was the song that I was listening to when I was running. It’s playing again in my head. The words I need to tell my girlfriend.

 

“I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.”

 

As I later sit on the bench I reflect. I do need this down time to also charge my own batteries. To fill up my own bucket. To help keep my nervous system tuned into the frequency of recovery.

 

And yet I can’t deny who I am. It’s been pointed out that my free spirit, inner child energy is what attracts people and allows them to feel safe. To truly embrace all they can be.

 

Yet in a relationship, it becomes too much. It’s all the time.

 

How do I find balance?

 

How do I stop feeling like I’m not enough and will be abandoned?

 

How do I learn that just because someone wants space or doesn’t want to connect all the time, that it doesn’t mean they are leaving me?

 

I know there’s tiny past traumas of abandonment that add up. Like my childhood friend not having the emotional IQ to talk and work things out.

 

It’s those texts from my girls that go unanswered knowing they are active in group chats with their mom, aunt, and cousins.

 

These little things add up so that one more small one feels like a giant tiger attacking me. There are some friends who just disappeared, and I can let those go. See ya. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

 

And yet, the ones closest to my heart, trigger the wounds that keep me awake early in the morning.

 

It’s not them. It’s me.

 

It’s my wound and I need to find a way to heal it.

 

To be true to who I am, while at the same time continue to do the necessary work so I can rise again from the ashes. One day at a time. Like the sunrise I just experienced.

 

I need to follow the principles of #75Hard and Tommy Rosen:

  • Eat healthy
  • Keep sweets to a minimum
  • Do yoga, meditation, and journal so I can connect with me
  • Exercise regularly
  • Get outside – whether exercise or to just be in nature
  • Continue on a journey of loving self, whatever that may be
  • Play every day – let my inner child let loose
  • Dance – may be a form of play, but for me it’s essential
  • Connect with others – meetings, friends, peers in program, family
  • Stop doing and just LIVE life

 

There’s a difference from knowing what I need to do and doing it. This is one of the reasons I haven’t blogged. To do all of the above with everything else that life brings we trip up sometimes.

 

I tripped in December. I made Xmas cookies and lived on that diet for two weeks before keeping myself extremely busy in January. No wonder my radio frequency was tuned to the wrong channel. I knew it would happen and yet I went down that path anyway.

 

Thank you, universe, for your continual lessons.

 

Thank you, sun, a God of your own, warming and brightening our world giving us angels on your rays to embrace us and love us.

 

Thank you, my Island Girl, for giving me the gifts to help me continue to look inward. You have definitely been my muse and I love you with all my heart.

 

And most of all, thank you, Junior, John-John, Johnny, Little John, Ironman, and Phoenix for reminding me that all of you is who I am, for never leaving me when I, John, have failed you, and allowing us to have such an open, loving heart for us to share to the world when we could easily be cynical, compulsive, and reactive.

 

Together we are a very powerful force.

 

Together We Can Heal.

 

 

PS: I realized later that the bugs that were crawling on my skin when I was trying to drown out the aerobic yoga music was symbolic to the multiple texts I send my girlfriend the minute we are separated. When she finally gets her space and down time from me, I become those nagging insects crawling on her skin.

 

Another work in progress.

 

 

 

To Be Continued….

 

Good morning my Fledglings.

 

Oh my, it has been a long time! So much has happened since the last time I’ve sat down and blogged.

 

My girls are now both adults, one in college, one living in the dorms three hours away. With the help of my oldest daughter, last year I organized a huge non-profit event in my local community helping enrich the lives for children with disabilities. I ran my first half marathon summer of 2022. And I took a risk by allowing myself to melt the shell around my heart and allow myself to love once again. Oh, and I’m going to be a grandfather.

 

So much growth and change.

 

To my followers that haven’t heard from me in a couple of years, as well as anyone new to my blog, I want you all to know, that even though I haven’t kept current, my heart and prayers go out to each and every one of you who are on a path of discovering your true self and learning how to love who that person is.

 

That’s the reason I’ve kept this blog open. To use it as a reference when you’re struggling and help you remember you’re not alone. I go back to my writings all the time to help me relearn something I may have forgotten and to help bring me peace when I am fraught.

 

And this is why I am writing once again.

 

I use many different modalities of self-care to help me process my life daily:

 

  • Yoga
  • Meditation (though I still have trouble with this)
  • Exercise
  • Journaling
  • Connection in nature
  • Connection with friends
  • Healthy eating
  • Self-Help Books
  • Podcasts
  • Music
  • Dance
  • Meetings
  • Sponsoring

 

In fact, my daily routine usually consists of starting the day with 3 hours of “me” time. This is necessary to keep me grounded. Sometimes, due to my monkey brain, I get distracted, and those 3 hours end up taking 5. As you can see, I’ve had to decide what gets prioritized in my life. I can go a few days of not doing my inner work, yet over time, I can feel my energy depleting and my emotional centeredness starting to drift.

 

This has been why my blog has been put in the back pocket. With limited time in the day, what has taken precedence is myself.

 

Unfortunately, I don’t always get that right either.

 

The biggest key indicator I have to tell if  I’m taking care of me is my diet. The minute I start turning to sweets, I need to really look inward to see what’s going on. If I’m not careful, sweets and lots of carbs, can throw my body into a physical spiral. I feel fatigued and foggy in my head. This eventually ends up affecting me mentally. I end up distracting by doing things that don’t make me feel productive and cut back on my self-care circle. Then I battle with the negative self-talk about procrastination, falling behind, feeling overwhelmed because I have so much to do, and then turn to sweets to medicate.

 

This is addictive behavior. And while it may not be my root addiction, I’m walking a tight rope when I continue to act in this way.

 

It’s hard not to turn to a cookie or chocolate when feeling off. (The temptation to open that box of Oreos in the garage right now has been killer!)

 

So here I am again. Processing what I’m going through by blogging to my Fledglings. Not only to let you know you aren’t alone with what you may be going through, this is also one of the ways to help keep me from spiraling out of control.

 

This will be a multi-part blog. As you already know, I can get very “wordy.”

 

Wait. Let me rephrase. I am very “wordy!” There’s a lot of meat in between the rolls of this foot long sandwich.

 

So, I’ve broken it down into small meals. If you’re really hungry, go ahead and read all of them. But if you need a while for these to digest, eat a little bit each day.

 

The Background

 

I met a woman in Hawaii last summer. For four months, we would connect once a week for a day or two at a time (my career allows me to travel). We explored the islands as well as started to develop a strong foundation in friendship. We were able to keep sex off the table for three months, which seems unheard of these days. Especially for a sex addict who had once defined sex to feel connected, albeit many times not an authentic connection, with someone else.

 

In today’s dating culture people go out for a date or two, have sex, and then try to figure out what that all means. We focused on the friendship, something both of us agreed that we had never done before. New territory. Let’s build a foundation first.

 

This woman was in a transitional phase of her life. She had lived on the island for many years and was ready to change careers, spread her wings, and follow her dream of traveling by deciding to join the travel industry. She had much to learn, just like going to college, a lot of studying to pass the certificates she needed to be eligible to apply for different jobs. Her career path will take her all over the world.

 

Her plan was to ship her car to the mainland, leave the island in November, and do a road trip across the country to her new home in Florida. From there, she would figure out the next stage in her life depending on what the universe had in store for her.

 

And what the universe gave her was me. A man who was on a similar journey as she, with similar dreams and goals, who was also in recovery, and who could keep up with her energy. Both her friends and mine kept telling us, “Finally, you found someone who can keep up with you.”

 

Picture the image of the Energizer Bunny meeting Miss Energizer Bunny and the amount of energy that comes from two crashing cymbals. That was us.

 

In this transition, she needed a place to stay for a month. Without a vehicle (it takes 4-6 weeks to ship a car) and a place to stay on the island, I offered my home to call Base Camp. A place she could work remotely, not have to worry, or stress about what was coming while her old work winded down and her new adventure began.

 

She agreed to stay with me for the month of October and work remotely. We quickly established healthy daily routines following Tommy Rosen’s Recovery 2.0 Food Reset program learning about juicing, smoothies, salads, and soups. All of which she already knew due to being Vegan, yet an area I had only scratched the surface.

 

We started each morning with Sadhana practice followed by yoga and meditation. We followed that with coffee and together would share daily recovery readings. We would contemplate them, talk about the day, make something to eat for breakfast, then she would excuse herself to my room to work remotely for eight hours. I would go about my day taking care of the dogs and things that needed to get done before my next trip. We would reconnect during lunch and dinner, then spend an evening together ending it with a cup of decaf coffee and discussion.

 

On top of this, we were in a group of 7 people doing the #75HardChallenge. For those who have been around for a while, you know I’ve done this before. We would either go on a walk at the end of the day or a bike ride during lunch for our outside workout.

 

Each week, I would leave for work for 3 to 4 days, giving her time by herself to fill her bucket giving her the emotional bandwidth to handle my energy when I returned. Something I failed at in January. But, I’m jumping ahead.

 

In addition to our daily routines, the month of October we took a couple of dance lessons, traveled to Maryland to attend my nephew’s wedding, walked a half marathon, and dressed up as a couple performing a dance routine we practiced at a Halloween Party I was the DJ at. It was a whirlwind of activity, and yet, also balanced for both of us. I did say two Energizer Bunnies.

 

November, she started her road trip across the country where I had the pleasure of traveling the first 6 days with her. Then she was gone for a month and a half as she applied for jobs in her industry and had an adventure of a lifetime traveling to Argentina and Antarctica.

 

When she got back, she didn’t slow down. She only sped up.

 

She had a day of rest after 32 hours of travel, then flew from the East Coast to the West Coast to be with me for four days. She ended up having one of the worst stomach flu’s I’ve ever witnessed, spending three of those days in bed, in pain, and completely miserable. Only to turn around just when she started feeling better so she wouldn’t miss Christmas with her sister and mother. Another four days later, she’s flying out of Chicago the day after Christmas to spend Christmas with me.

 

I had taken vacation for the entire month of January so I could spend it with her celebrating a New Year’s Eve bash, she joining me on my 4 day trip to Hawaii while she worked at her old job for a couple of days, then to Disneyland with her sister and my girls, then off to Florida and a cruise to the Bahamas. She had one week off to fill up her bucket before spending three more days with me.

 

And this is where we end up. We’ll start with my journal entries. They start during that one week break after spending 31 consecutive days together (but who’s counting).

 

This was right before she told me she no longer wanted to be in a committed relationship.

 

Whew! The tears are flowing. I need to breathe.

 

 

The Big Picture

 

Sometimes when we’re so wrapped up in what’s going on, we miss what’s really going on – the big picture.

 

I haven’t really had a chance to become truly aware of how much she was doing. For four months, she was constant go-go-go. For me, that’s normalized. That’s how I live my life. In some ways, staying busy is my way to not have to slow down long enough to be alone in my own skin.

 

I was trying to think of a visual analogy of my energy. The first thought that came to mind was Pig Pen from Charlie Brown.

via GIPHY

 

Nah. Not a whirlwind of dust and dirt.

 

Then I thought of the road runner’s feet. Beep Beep!

via GIPHY

 

Nope. Not that one.

 

Wait! I’m the Tasmanian devil!! Spinning around here to there and stopping oh so briefly before spinning around again and destroying something.

  via GIPHY

 

I rarely stop. And when I do, it’s just to get my bearings before I’m off again.

 

I never gave my girlfriend the opportunity or space to breathe in January. And the minute she wanted to do something else, I grabbed on and wanted to be a part of it. I completely missed it.

 

My therapist once said, “when you’re too close to the source, you end up missing the things that people from the outside clearly see.” I didn’t see the big picture.

 

When you’re too close to the source, you end up missing the things that people from the outside clearly see. Click To Tweet

 

Back to my journal entries. These were started when she had her 10-day break from me.

 

She was with her sister during that time, driving 10-hours to get there. She had many days with her sister before they would go on a road trip to Florida and spend a day in New Orleans for Mardi Gras before she flew back across the country to be with me. We only had three days together before she left for DC for a few days to catch up with an old friend, heading next to Iceland for a week to witness the magic of the Northern Lights, then down to Florida to work a few days.

 

And the week she’s gone, I can feel the distance.

 

There’s something different. I can’t place it, but I can feel it. The energy is different. It’s shifted and changed.

 

I work at giving her the space she needs, but my abandonment radar has the sirens wailing.

 

I’ve felt this before in my marriage. It’s that Spidey sense that tingles the back of my neck. The signal that someone is emotionally pulling away from me.

 

My sixth sense feels it deep within the cells of my body.

 

It’s not a really a sixth sense or Spidey sense. It’s my trauma. My trauma has been triggered and I realized I had triggered hers.

 

I’ve been wanting to learn how to dance with my girl. We even took lessons. And yet the dance we both know so well, a dance that’s second nature to us, is the one we automatically did.

 

It’s our Love Addiction/Love Avoidance dance. Pia Melody calls it the Co-Addicted Tango. And we’re unconscious experts!

 

The Love Addiction Cycle ~ Pia Mellody

 

OMG! I feel like such an idiot. I know, I know. Watch the negative self talk.

 

I’ve been doing this work on myself for years and I thoroughly missed it. And two weeks ago, caught up in the bodily sensations, emotions, and a hyperactive mind, I was completely blind.

 

More tears.

 

This is the dance I did with my ex wife for over 16 years. If the “Co-Addicted Tango” was included at the World DanceSport Games, we’d easily take first place! And I had unconsciously found another willing partner.

 

Just like the Karpman Triangle, the only way to survive this dance is to get off it. That’s what a healthy person does.

 

She stopped the dance 4 days ago.

 

There’s a waterfall on my cheeks.

 

Deep breath in. Deep breath out.

 

Okay, that analogy is not entirely true. The Karpman Triangle, yes, you need to get off. However, the only way to end the “Co-Addicted Tango” is to heal the wounds of abandonment and intimacy. This can be done individually or in a relationship.

 

They key to knowing if healing has occurred is to take a risk and test it again by opening your heart to another in a relationship.

 

This was my first test and I can see there’s still work that needs to be done. I battle the shame of failure. I pray my Island Girl sees the dance she participates in so she too can heal those wounds that bring her into these toxic two-steps.

 

And yet, I should have known! I have done the work and yet I screwed up again! Me and my excessive fucking neediness and fears of abandonment!

 

It’s hard to see my computer as I type.

 

The girl who melted my frozen heart, who I could envision spending the rest of my life with, who matched my energy and goals in life, and who understood me like no other, I had once again danced a relationship into a wall. I wasn’t paying attention to my surroundings.

 

And as she pulled away, I only gripped tighter, bouncing her off all the furniture in the room.

 

Breathe in. Breathe out.

 

Until I didn’t…

 

This is where I’m going with my multipart blog.  I need to once again sit down and ask Rafiki for clarification and understanding. It’s been a while since the two of us have had a deep conversation. There are areas that still need work and yet, there have been tremendous leaps and bounds in how I now handle the complexities of life.

 

The following are my journal entries starting with January 31st as I struggled to make sense of why I felt the energy shift between my girlfriend and I. My warning light was blinking and the accompanying horn was blaring. I felt our waltz coming to an end. And instead of pursuit, I turned inward and worked on me. Instead of attacking, blaming, and shaming, as I had done so many times in my marriage, I turned back to journaling. And instead of medicating, I put all my energy into following my self-care, outer circle behaviors.

 

And now, for the past three days, I’ve turned back to blogging for a time to process all I’ve learned.

 

Disclaimer: All blogs I have previously written have gone through extensive proofreading, multiple additions as well as subtractions. Delicate care is taken to help my posts flow better for your ease of reading. These journal entries are ones I wrote in hand as the thoughts flowed. They may sound disjointed or bounce around like trying to dribble a football. Some areas have been cleaned up a little for clarity, however, 90% is in raw form. Basically, these are pretty much unedited free flowing thoughts from Phoenix right after his morning Sadana/yoga practice.

 

 

January 31, 2024

Side note: When we were first dating, I would send too many texts. It made her feel as if we were in a relationship and she didn’t like feeling obligated to respond to me. So, I started a connection journal. The things in my day I wanted to share with her, I instead wrote in the journal to allow me to feel connected and not overwhelm her with numerous texts.

 

I find it ironic that yesterday I wanted to call this journal a connection journal to myself. I was reminded after my meeting with my counselor that my love addiction is looking outward to show I am enough and the antidote is self-love and self-acceptance.

 

The yoga practice today from Tommy Rosen’s Recovery 2.0 said to write in your journal “what does your heart long for?”

 

My first thought was for somebody to express love to me the way I receive love. This immediately was followed by why I can’t find someone to communicate on a level where I don’t have so much energy that I push her away.

 

But what my heart really longs for is to love me. To not feel the need or desire to have others fill my bucket.

 

I thought about how I always put my phone on do not disturb so I don’t get that “hit” I get when I receive a text, especially if my phone is not on me. I keep my girls available so I can be there if they need me. I keep my girlfriend on heartbeat vibration so I can feel “my love” when she wants to connect.  And yet, I don’t want to feel the need to respond immediately to anyone else when they reach out. So, I keep it on do not disturb. What I long for is to not have that energy that comes up when I receive a text or notification I’ve received a text.

 

I want to learn how to feel the peace and serenity in everyday life that I feel when I am in Hawaii. I want to be comfortable alone. I want to not have so much energy that I push the people I love away. I want to be okay with being separate. I want to let go of the negative and nagging thoughts that plague me. I want that feeling of confidence that I get when I’m in a grounded state.

 

Hmmm…

 

I just thought of something I need to process with Rafiki. I’ve always got so much on my plate, so much to do, that I create an energy of craziness. How do I learn to let go and just live? To not put so much on my plate?

 

I brought into my relationship exactly what I do to myself. Are these linked? Are these intertwined?

 

What do I need to do to bring calmness into my life?

 

I must look at gifts:

  • What a gift I was given to learn to love again.
  • What a gift for all the adventures I’ve had in the last eight months.
  • What a gift that I opened the door to more healing.
  • What a gift I learned new perspectives in sexuality, relationships, travel, etc.
  • And look at the growth I’ve experienced by seeing how I communicate better in a relationship

 

Maybe this isn’t the “end”. Maybe this is an opportunity to continue to grow. Do we have to make our first conflict cause us to fail?

 

Why does this feel like conflict?

 

Let’s allow the universe to continue to direct our course. If my girlfriend gets a job in my hometown, it could mean the universe gave us this challenge to prepare us for the five month hiatus coming at the end of April.

 

Who knows!

 

The Courage to See it Through

 

The next right step.

 

Today’s practice with Tommy was to give me the courage to continue to learn and to grow. And the biggest part is to learn to love me. That starts by doing what I did this morning.

 

God, grant me the serenity

To accept the people I can not change

The courage to change the person I can

And the wisdom to know, that person is me.

 

 

To Be Continued….

Part II