The east side of Austin. Built upon the rubble of a rumored flag toting gang land, a hipster colony arose and defiantly segregated itself from the supercommercial imports and condo farming fun places of west side. Now, I don't wanna sound like i'm writing a tour guide's version of 'The Outsider's' but trends and hotspots move around as much as people do. Austin , much like techonology in the world, is growing faster than anyone can manage it. Where Rainey stole Dirty's thunder, and West 6th kept it's deep pockets despite trend storms, Rainey is falling victim to it's final tides now and a new scene is emerging where minority subculture empires flourished. You'll find a number of new venues opening up all over east side, many owned by bar/venue owners from west side, they took notice of a virtually untapped market, and believe me, they will tap it. Get those $2 or $3 drinks any day of the week while you can :) Now that i've indulged in sharing these secrets with you, let's get specific. What's cool about east side: You can talk to people. West side is all about, "ooh look what i've got and what clothes i'm wearing, and hrmagrjlkangnrkk;a" versus east side wear their sense of fashion seems to be kind of so subculture it can hardly be called fashion, but the people there, are what makes east side cool. Everyone is approachable and has interesting things to talk about. it reminds me of what Austin was about when 'Keep Austin Weird' actually meant something.
One night, a close friend of mine, the ever talented musician, Justin James Hanrahan, took me on an adventure to the east side, a place I had not really paid much mind too for a very long time. We probably hit 7 or 8 bars that night, met tons of people, and had a great time. The night ended seated at a picnic table with some people we acquired a few bars back, where we indulging in the splendors that come from Crazy Ricky's Dawg House. Who ever thought to put fried egg on anything is a fucking genius. If you've had drinks or not, order the bacon, fried egg, cheeseburger and know it's worth whatever heart problems you'll face later in life. I promise you.
I started playing around in my studio again after somewhat of a sabbatical. This painting among a handful of others were birthed and I felt the joy of what it is to create once more. I was planning an art show to be late this August, but suddenly decided against it. I doubt I will have one until next year. If I do it will be a private invite sort of thing as I prefer exclusive events over those which are mass populated. As an artist, it's important that I get to know the people who wish to take my work home with them, that we share a common value for what I have created and expressed.
Lately, I have been really diving back into my memory banks and exploring everything and everyone I was in my life. It's important to be consciously aware of one's past so one may know what not to return to as well as find inspiration for becoming more than one was ever before. In doing so, I've discovered a slew of concepts worth expressing and you'll see that coming out for my 2014 series release.
On an ending note, I'd like to give a shout out to all those who discovered their passions and courageously embrace them. Most people just settle for whatever is on television.
I woke up this morning with a thought how the sky is just an Ocean drop's afterlife. Simmer on that while we dive into more relevant things:
This lovely young woman is April Sanders. Hair, like shoes, pretty much sums a person up, and April is a master of culturing hair to such an extent that you wont even need a new hair cut for another 6 - 10 months, because it looks that fucking good for that long. I found her some 6 years ago working at a real shit hole salon/tattoo shop in Georgetown. She was focused, meticulous and above all had vision. She won't let you go until its absolutely picture perfect, and some how she manages to do all of this so fast and efficiently, you wont even know it happened til its over. I had let a few months slip by before a new style check up and I found she wasn't working up there anymore. The new owners gave me her number and I found she was working off 620/35 at a delightful little place, wonderful owners, great atmosphere, and even though its a 40 minute drive for me to go there, it's always worth it to get it done right by a master professional. You can check out her facebook page here> (Hair By April)
This handsome devil is the notorious Bad JohnPaul. I inadvertently found his work through an acquaintance who modeled for him some years ago, and without having any idea who he was, his work inspired a beautiful painting of mine called, 'Endearing Dreams'. Some time later I happened to find myself at one of his shows, ( not a typical photography showcasing, by any means ) where for a moment, in a mere fractional way, a rather large audience could experience a representation of what goes on in his head. Some people are turned off by it, finding his work too saucy, vulgar, or gross. (I have heard these comments.) For the same reason people do not enjoy Jazz, these comments are made about Bad JohnPauls work. Any intellectual can appreciate that its about materializing the fringe of socially accepted constructs of identity and its done with glamorously. In preparation for my upcoming art show August 29th, I took an opportunity to both support my artist friend in his passion of photography and at the same time get some new photo propaganda for myself by hiring him to shoot me in his studio. I found myself in a temporary studio space ( Photographers of this caliber deserves lots of space, don't worry he will have a new studio by the time you read this.) We sat for a moment catching up, talking about this and that, over a nice Wednesday afternoon cigarette. I could bore you with details but I will summarize it with a bit of wisdom for you: Never judge an artist by his work. On with the get down, the shoot was smooth and painless, as if his shots were premeditated, or perhaps he had stayed up all night tossing and turning over what shots would be made, such is the essence of a great artist because you know he is making the entire thing up as he goes and it just so happens to come out perfect. For being as 'Bad' as he is, I've never really had anything but good things to say about him. Check his studio out, check his work out, I promise getting shot never felt so good.
I met with my dear friends from Southern Traditions Meats, Jeff and Tammy, for a catch up session at a unsuspecting restaurant on 6th and Lavaca. I found myself in a restaurant disguised as a bar, showcasing art with substance, non-obtrusive music, and clean everything. We sat down to enjoy a drink as Jeff delivered some fresh steaks. Somewhere in the middle of our conversation, Chef Emilio discreetly slides us a plate of the steak Jeff had just brought that day, providing us with silverware, appetite not included but definitely invoked! Without losing any level of sophistication, we devoured the steak in seconds like ravenous wolves. Imagine most of the beef you eat is actually just garbage. you could go into your nearest trashcan can eat whatever is in there and it would be exactly the same as whatever beef you're eating at most restaurants you go to. Yet this beef, this steak, a cut of Grass Fed Beef, is so different, it tastes so different, its texture is different, you can feel the quality of the beef with every bite. You can feel a surge of energy after the meal, there are nutrients in there that you're just not getting with the other stuff. You can find a plate of this amazing cuisine at Austin Ale House, and I strongly recommend you do. You're not eating real food until you do.
In conclusion to today's Public Service Announcement, I would like to quote Miss Anna Philips: "Free the mind body and spirit... Take time for self to reflect, understand and identify with where you are this very moment..."
My weekend was eventful to say the least but then again i'm called to take part in socials of many sorts all week long. Friday (7/19) I hosted a birthday party for my good friend, Varun, who owns Longhorn Racing Academy and is easily on my favorite people list. I arranged, with the ever cooperative aid of the owners of Brass House, for Varun's party to have a VIP section and we ended up taking over half the club. They all loved Brass House as venue for the occasion, and who wouldn't?
Saturday night, I will keep consolidated to 2 parts and brief. Part 1 is a poem and part 2 is an epiphany I had.
Let me tell you of the moon and how it is a lovers tale.
When the earth was new and its winds first new gust and gale,
there were two moons that lept in bounds
like dancers in tune,
one after another as the latter knew swoon,
the earth was their celebration,
their meeting grounds,
they closed in on one another until one fateful day
they finally knew each others touch,
their collision sparked life on the world beneath their feet,
and as the two became one,
their romance was complete.
As we look at the remnants of a love story old,
we remember love makes us crazy,
it moves the ocean,
it pumps our hearts,
it is our desire more than gold.
I found at the end of the universe that there was nothing and in the nothingness, there was everything.
Everything is either read or don't read. 0 or 1. Everything is code. On or off. In that, there is no off. There is always, only, the on. In the on, there is a new on or off. And in that on, there is a new on, off into the on and on and on and on. The concept of off is only a dream from the on that there could be an off but there has never, ever been an off and never will be. Even in death, there is no escape from the constant state of this perpetual progression of on and on. Spiral forward. The counter to this is that one may pull out of the on and on in order to be present in the state of consciousness that originally perceived the concept of the great on and on. In the on and on, there is a network system of infinite knowledge with all there is to possible know or conceive or imagine. In that you feel a sense of oneness and you only want to be a part of it and nothing else. However, Upon my discovering the on and on and the oneness of said on and on, my later awareness of the original state of consciousness helped me understand that there is more than the oneness. It is imperative that we as beings of the universe to transgress the oneness, to separate ourselves from it in a sort of individuality for the sole purpose of being aware of the oneness itself. If we were always and only in the on and on we would not know to appreciate it in all its wonder and brilliance.
Sunday Funday concluded my weekend with a wonderful lunch with the family and a visit to Dino and Leslie's Rawhide Trails House Concert. A very special performance by Patrice Pike and the debut of my new painting. If you ever have an opportunity to be in the presence of Patrice Pike, do it. She is a powerful entity. She resonates on a frequency that hears, sees and feels things that most people cannot and her music floods the universe with touch and appreciation for every particular aspect that a being could imagine. It's amazing. I bought her new album. You should too.
Until next time,
The God King Ocean by Jfeelgood
Unfortunately, last night was full of events that I can't really talk about. So instead, I will write it in as complete detail as I would any painting I create. No one will know what it means except me and anyone else who might have an inkling of an idea of the references. In regards to that, have a lucky guess what this throwback JFeelgood painting on your left is all about ( feel free to blast it as a comment ).
Bending time and space, the one and the shadows dropped in on a heroinesque ultra super 60s chic Miles Davis performance in the long forgotten auditorium of heaven's gates. While those sounds poured out, in, and over onto all things, people, and places within earshot, echoes of a time not too long ago came in the form of tiny swirling motions on fine silk. Dreamshift and it's like high school prom again, with tinsel and balloons, an electronic vinyl spinning round, round with a rented boom thang. A millynilly and a falling feather breezed in the doorway as the big rock candy mountain shared its spoils with these four corners. Dreamshift and the city is crawling skywards with its concrete fingers, we slide through them as if standing still and letting the world re-situate itself with our groundpounds at the plastic castle. Once you're able to get past the wazoo's and fizzles, you remember that plastic is so hard, cold and lifeless. It means nothing and you know to a zonko, nothing is ever good enough. Yet the one was shining like the way the sun hits just that one little speck of sand on the beach to make it sparkle, and the shadows, albeit night time, were so keen on the brightness. The millynilly had the wiggles, the falling feather seemed to purr about, and some tinkerbots made a paroozel. Dreamshift and we're in the underworld. Have you been before? Mostly one-sided shapes on the up and downs but oh such a curious thing to experience. The one's brightness stripped the shadow bare and even seem to sear into one-sided shapes around as well. Banging on the up and downs with some ladeedadee and we're sliding through the concrete fingers to the get on. Millynilly, falling feather, and the tinkerbots find their way to the castle in the sky, the one and the shadows in hot pursuit with a quick stop in the meadow. In that moment, the universe doesn't move a muscle, the meadow is motionless while they sit and share. The get on meets the castle in the sky and the meadow becomes alive again, disappearing into the nether of whatever we call this world, and it couldn't end any other way than it had to. Belonging to each other, the one once again sat atop the castle high and the shadows vanished into the night to lullaby tunes of Flight.
LOVE painting by J.Feelgood
I wrote this last year in August as my wedding speech for Jason and Anamaria Rush, and every now and then I like to pull it up and remind myself how powerful and profound the union of two people can be. Enjoy :)
Many people do not know what Love is.
Many people go their whole lives trying to understand love, or trying to find someone special that will join them on that complex journey, and many people go their entire lives living without ever really experiencing what Love truly is.
It begins in the silence of the air between you and your prospect. It begins with the spark of light that shimmers in both of your eyes, subtle and unique to only the two of you, but as warm a glow as a cozy Christmas fire to anyone passing by.
It has such intensity that it can be felt without touch, expressed without sound, and given with nothing more than heart and soul. It costs you nothing and charges no one else. It is precious and rare, next to life itself and without it life means nothing, for even the quest for its wonder is a life worth living.
When the universe’s maker deems it fitting that one should come to have the wisdom of what Love is, one is open to all the wonders of the universe, open to sharing that love with others and becoming a bounty of wealth for all whom they are around, for understanding Love is wealth beyond measure.
To share in the Love of another, to share that Love together is the most powerful love there is. It is the most powerful because in a voluntary mutual accord, the Love is reciprocated, thus inspiring and shining bright for all to see.
What is Love? It’s passion that resonates from stone to sky. It is sacrifice not of self but of temptation. It means compromising nothing to uphold its honor and importance. Love is giving everything you are to whom you care about most.
We can feel the star of love born of these two on this day, we are basking in its glow and honoring it so that it may grow and prosper. We know it is precious, what they share, and it is an inspiration to us all.
Photo by Bad JohnPaul Photography
I hadn't known of Stephen Macmillan Moser when I moved to Austin some years ago. I first heard his name during a brunch time tea with the lovely Micky Hoogendijk, as she told me about a recent photoshoot with him. Micky has a fascinating taste in people, a keen eye for the the most interesting people and magical way for capturing them on camera in a divine light. I looked Stephen up, as she mentioned he was a fashion designer, and I love fashion. We spoke here and there on facebook then decided to meet for a tea at Strange Brew Austin Coffee. There I found myself in the rare presence of a fellow in kind, a true Artist. I found that he wrote for the Austin Chronicle and took a peek at his writing style. In a similar way that i am married to my art of painting and writing is my mistress, he is married to fashion and his mistress seemed to be writing as well. Damn the written word really gets around, doesn't it? Stephen's sense of style is impeccable, bold, majestic and honestly I don't think he could even pull off wearing something less than amazing. He towers over the world in height like a shining star of style, leading by example, and trailblazing beyond look good feel good to something more like, look like a movie star feel like a movie star. The most beautiful thing about Stephen, as I have come to know him, isn't even his brilliance in fashion design. It's who he is when he writes. It has inspired me tremendously and made me fearless in a sort of way. There in a well read column, where he would delicately tap on style anecdotes and fashion trends going on around Austin, he shared his life with everyone. His loves, his passions, his romances, his lifestyle, he placed himself in a wondrous state of pure vulnerability, and when you read it, you understand those parts aren't necessarily written for everyone to read, but a way for Stephen to get his mind clear. To compose if not comb his emotions, the way he feels about the different people in his life, who he interacts with, who celebrates him and how celebrated he feels about that, his pains, his woes, it's all such a beautiful open book. There are times when I've met with him for a tea and cigarette and we catch up, discussing whatever projects we're working on and possible directions we want to go on our individual paths as artists. Despite the fact he is some 6 years overdue for a casual meeting with death, having survived cancer thus far, there is a spark in his eyes that shines from the far and great beyond, a spark undying, eternal and forever, the spark of passion. It is the very thing pumping his heart and keeping him going every single day. I feel in the time I have known him he has discovered that his passion has not been fashion after all, but exploring life and his place in it, fashion was his expression of his passion for it and he dives deeper into it a little more everyday. This is the essence of a true Artist. Most of you won't get the opportunity to get to know him, let alone meet him, or even get to see him, and as you won't ever meet another man like him (he is truly unique), I do hope you come to find someone that walks that same path of passion for life and self discovery. It's the few people like that which make the world so, so beautiful.
Wishing you all the best life has to offer, Stephen, and thank you for being a wonderful person.
It was July 6th, and in Austin that means the second last day of celebrating the fourth of July holiday. It was a rare day in my life as I chose to go out by myself, I am usually in the company of delightful, attractive, and or interesting people. I decided to attend a performance of my friend, Jeff Lofton, before his big show (July 13th, more on that later) and enjoy some fine Courvoisier Cognac at The Jonny Feelgood Venue of Choice for 2013, Brass House. Brass House won the award I give to a special venue that offers the best customer service, the best atmosphere, meticulously clean facilities, and great entertainment consistently when I stumbled upon them earlier this year when they first opened in February. I can go on and on about how awesome that place is but this piece is about the entertainment experience specifically.
Instead of taking my usual over-sized semi-circle bossmode booth seat, I had to have front row seats to get the full Jeff Lofton Quartet experience. It's straight up transcendent. Something earlier that day put me in a kind of off mood, (I know, I know, I just wrote about what one can do to be happy all the time, I guess I forgot to mention that sometimes you still have real life shit that you've gotta sort through. Plus I think I didn't eat enough that day and because I have a ridiculously fast metabolism, if I don't consume 5000 calories a day, I get a little bit agitated.) but I knew the sounds he can make with that trumpet of his can really take me places. So on a torn off receipt and with a pen, I wrote in free thought style how it feels to hear his music. Not to say it's just him performing, the promise of the entire quartet is a sure bet to get lifted from any depths of spirit. Here is what I came up with:
In my mind, i'm cruising in a classic ride from times past and the wind is gentle with a purr through my windows, the sun is warm and kind feeding the world with its genuine love, my heart is the open skies that never end and i'm daydreaming of my lover and time I long to spend. To my left is the ocean of my ego, to my right is are high standing cliffs that are my fears and doubts that run beside me, behind me are people and places that I yearn to but cannot forget and just beyond the dash is open ended possibility calling me, urging me, beckoning me, to drive faster and faster still, with my hands off the wheel, outstretched towards the windows, as I fly off into the wilderness of the universe.
Now you wont be able to find the magical receipt paper I wrote this on because i'm giving to Jeff next time I see him. Sorry. I know how much you wanted it.
This coming Saturday at the Scottish Rite Theater, Jeff's quartet will be performing a Miles Davis tribute and if you want to feel, really feel what great music sounds like, I highly recommend attending.
Here is the Facebook event invite >Click Here<
Or you buy tickets through Jeff's website >Click here<
Here is his epic poster ad for it>
Shout out to Dean, his amazing wife, for all her hard work to make this world a better place by doing her damnedest to make things that are going on in our community brought to people's attention. She has a blog too, you can see it here >Dean's Blog<
As usual, tomorrow is a new day, and even though my car got towed from my friends apartment complex when we were having dinner and it cost me $193 to get it out (towing is stealing, i don't care what anyone says), i'm going to make the most of every new moment the sun shines down upon me, because life is awesome and i'm livin' it!
I hadn't even heard of this musical anomaly until yesterday. I saw on Facebook that my dear friend Lara was interested in going but as usual my plans for the fourth of July involve my brother and I watching fireworks in the town we grew up in, so I was set on that. I went to visit my sister in the hospital ( an unfortunate place to spend the night on such an occasion) where I broke everyone's eardrums with my new violin. A friend of hers stopped by to wish her well and we started talking. She mentioned she was going to a String Cheese Incident concert later that evening. I have found often in my life I wait til I hear or see something three times before it clicks as some sort of sign from the universe for me to take notice, but this time I figured 2 was a good enough lead in a direction for my night plans, as I found my brother had fallen a bit ill as well. Open for a good time and down for whatever, I bought some tickets and went. It was also the first time I have gone to a concert by myself. I didn't really expect to see anyone I knew and found it exhilarating to get lost in a crowd of strangers for a few hours. As I had bought my tickets online in advance, I could have beat the crowd in waiting in line but it was a new venue and I was unfamiliar with their protocol, so like an ignorant sheep I waited in the will-call line. There was a nice gentleman with a case of beer in front of me, which had me suspicious that this venue might be a B.Y.O.B. type of place, which inclined to inquire. He shrugged and noted that if it wasn't he came prepared anyway and offered me a beer. When I got to the end of the line and start of the desk, I discovered that I could have just gone in already, but I don't see how a free beer can be a waste of time. As I made my way inside I was thoroughly impressed with the set up for venue The Backyard. Spacious, clean, organized, 2 drink stands, 2 food stands, 2 merc stands, plenty of room to sit, stand, dance, and the restrooms did not smell disgusting. Around 730 the band came on stage and the crowd went wild with joy and excitement. I sat close to the stage and found people were smoking weed, sharing different dopes, and in all of this complete strangers were just friends for the evening. They were open books without judgement and it was a pleasant thing to experience. Lara texted me to let me know she had arrived, so we laid a blanket down and got caught up as it had been a whole minute since we had seen each other. The music had started with a very chill folk/funk sound but as soon as the sun called it quits, the stage lit up and the band turned the scene into a banging dance fest. The way the lights beamed across the sky highlighting shooting stars, the fog crawled over the audience with their hands dancing in it like seaweed reaching for the sun in coastal shorelines, It felt as if this unstoppable force of energy pushed me to lay down on my back and feel the organic presence all around me. The Earth in its motherly and nurturing way embraced me, her hands and thoughts running up and down my body exploring her child as he had come to feel her energy after a long disconnect. After so long, it was really great to be at home in that moment. Suddenly the music was over and people were making their way out into the world. Lara and I parted ways and I drove home happy, lost in thought, wondering about life in so many new, wonderful ways.
Time well spent :)
This weekend, go do something you've never done before. Let it consume you. You'll be better for it.
I have spent the past few years exploring (to be kind) a lot of who I am not, in order to find out who I am. In the past few weeks, I have suddenly, miraculously, discovered this sense of unbridled happiness, to such an extent that it feels as if my very body will buckle and shatter to pieces as my soul erupts like some sort of supernova of joy sending little particles of happiness smashing in and through everything around me for thousands of light years. I have finally come to a complete awareness of this great feeling and processed what it was and how it came to be. My conclusion is a list of things one may do in order to attain happiness for the rest of their lives or (for as long as i can prove at this moment) an extended amount of time, at least.
1. Do whatever you want all the time.
Anarchy? Sometimes when people hear this statement, the assume it has a negative connotation to it. For example, people often say, "well if everybody just did whatever they wanted to do then people would just go around killing and raping each other, and what kind of world would that be!?" (You would be surprised how many people propose this.) My answer to that proposal is that if other people feel that's what fits their fancy that's one thing, but it certainly is not mine as I am far more interested in enlightened things, and to the best of my knowledge from experience, most people don't actually like to or want to kill people or rape people. All of that stupid shit aside, it's important to know what you want out of life. Most people don't know they don't like something until they try it and there is great merit in trying new things, it helps you grow. If you don't know what you want, then you wont get or do what you want and you will obviously be unhappy. Ask any child who doesn't get their way, I'm sure they'll back me up on that. Some people say, yes it is wise to do whatever you want... then they add 'as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else.' This is laughably funny to me. Every single thing you do in life hurts someone else. You cannot escape that. The air you breathe is taking someone else's breath. To be specific, when you drive your car, your straight up destroying the environment. We all live on the Earth, therefore you've hurt everyone by going to work today. Asshole. Just Joshing you, lets get back on topic, now that we know that everything you do can, will, and does hurt someone else (obviously to different degrees, most often emotionally, in which case its an evident case of weakness of character on their part) and we know that in order to whatever you want you must know what you want to do, you now have the building blocks to complete step one.
2. Love yourself.
Contrary to the philosophy of my long time hero, Tyler Durden (Fight Club), we really are each beautiful and unique snowflakes. Not one of us is the same as another. Imagine a whole planet full and teeming with complete fucking strangers crawling all over one another, experiencing life, as bold and brilliant as it is. That's what's going on right now. You know just as much about what is going on inside of you as you do the world outside of you and that science fiction mind fuck should throw you into such a state of awe that you cant help but feel at one with everything.That one with everything feeling, that is pure love. It is infinite, undefinable, and has raw power that when accessed, can make you outshine the sun. Let's go deeper, who was with you when you were born? You. Who was with you last night, 10 minutes ago, right now reading this, and tomorrow (assuming you don't die)? You. You know what makes you feel good, you know what makes you feel bad, you know when and how you like to be touched, you know your favorite foods, movies, music, you're not afraid to dance in your house when no one else can see, you are your best friend and you'll be right there with you when it's time to pass on. That's fucking beautiful and if that beautiful, unique person doesn't deserve a tremendous amount of love, I just don't know who does.
3. Be sexual.
Honestly, I don't care about sex. My thoughts on it are that it's there merely for procreation and mankind has just perverted the act of sex to exploit how they feel about themselves and ultimately it is, in so many ways, just another control drama. That being said, It is an amazing way to connect with other people, ideally just one special someone. Exploring another's body is in a strange way, like exploring your own. Being sexual isn't just about having sex. It's about fashion and style. It's about the way you walk and talk. It's about courageously being who you want to be even if others my not understand or accept you.
4. Wear tailored clothing.
In Texas, Austin namely, most people think it's okay to wear t-shirts with stupid things written on them, shorts with cargo pockets, and brightly colored tennis shoes made by under-compensated children in foreign countries, to bars and clubs. Worse even is the new plaid shirt trend. Please stop that. Immediately. To wear stuff like that, despite the oven we live in, means you've just given up or worse yet, you haven't even begun or don't know where to begin. It doesn't matter how big you are, how small you are, if your face looks like a baseball mitt or an angel's smile, Getting clothes that are tailored to fit your size and shape, accentuate your character thus making you more appealing, thus making you look good and in brief, when you look good, you feel good.
5. Try new things.
There is no real limit to this. You can use legal boundaries if you feel you need to, (Just understand that law only exists so long as people uphold it) but most people grow immeasurably by trying things they have never done before. I do this most commonly by facing my fears. For example, I am a horrible swimmer. I do try to get in the water even though I know there are giant leviathans and alligator gar fish that only want to eat me in there. I've been skydiving, on a motorcycle going 180 mph, sailing during squalls, and so many other things that I'm not willing to write about in this blog. If it scares you, buck up and try it. There is a trick to this though and it is the next step to happiness.
6. Have conviction.
If Cosimo disagrees with Hubert and visaversa, they should believe so strongly about what they believe in that they're willing to die defending their beliefs. That's respectable and honorable. Try not to be foolish and go around telling everyone what you think about this, that, and the other, because you may have to die sooner than you intended and probably, your opinion doesn't matter anyway. (Please try not to be upset by that, it's that everyone is right because everyone is wrong, so all opinions mean nothing.) That being said, when people are doing something that you decide is very, very wrong, having conviction can mean multiple things. It can mean standing up and butting in, helping those people understand what they are doing is wrong, or another thing it can mean is to know to not be involved at all and walk away. You are never alone (as we now understand) so there is no reason you cannot leave a party of people doing something that does not sit right with you. This, in almost every case, speaks far louder than had you opened your mouth. It also shows people what conviction is and what character looks like in true form, something more people nowadays need to experience.
7. Know when to stop.
This is the hardest part. Once you find something that brings you a slight and temporary bit of joy, you know as fish are with food, that you may never have it again, so in an attempt to be gluttonous, most people continue doing something even if it doesn't bring them joy anymore. Just like with cigarettes. Knowing when to stop, doesn't stop there though. It can go really, really deep, and into very uncomfortable places in common societies current heart states. It can mean parting ties with your spouse even if you have children, not for their sake, but your own (One day they'll understand, hopefully they wont have to). It can mean shutting down a company you've vested in for many years that's actually tanked a long time ago but you're just sure this next thing is going to be your big break. Knowing when to stop goes a whole other direction to though. It also means knowing when to stop being weak and go for it. It means being settled and content, but not at all complacent.
Life is full of so much, so many, and so few and if you miss any of it, it was your choice and your choice alone. Maybe you'll say, but i am locked in a prison cell somewhere and I cant experience anything here :( You can close your eyes and see worlds beyond this one, let your heart love and your mind wander. There is a thing that we lost when television was created called imagination. There is nothing you can't do when armed with that. With these 7 steps, which don't have to be followed in any particular order but must be followed all at the same time all the time or it wont work, and by doing so you will no longer be in the pursuit of happiness.
You will be living it.