My doodle for the day
“You’re only EVIL if you LIVE backwards” -Branlee a.k.a curlyhairedboy
So let’s all continue to look and live forwards.
I’ve been writing for a gay male massage website (massagem4m.com) for a couple months and my first gay massage experience story has finally been published on the site. Check it out, but beware it gets a little steamy:
WARNING! GRAPHIC MATERIAL! #blog #gay #massage
Click on link below:
A girl I am friends with on Facebook recently announced that she has made the decision to delete the Facebook app and forego social media altogether. She claims “We spend so much time worrying about other people that we don’t take time to really improve on ourselves” so she’s decided to go and find the “real” her. Here is her announcement:
She’s certainly not the first person to take such a drastic action. Many people have deleted their accounts. I myself have often toyed with the idea of cutting social media out of my life, then had a panic attack so I quickly changed my mind.
Many have never even had social media accounts to begin with and are the happier for it. So the question is: Would our lives really benefit from deleting Facebook and social media for good?
Does Facebook lead to unhappiness?
Studies show that people check their Facebook accounts an average of 14 times a day. That’s an awful lot of time being spent looking at other people’s lives instead of living our own. There are so many other activities we could be doing, but instead we are choosing to compare our lives to others all day. We’ve become such a voyeuristic society, watching what other people do instead of taking time to improve our own lives. We spend hours reading negative comments which then makes us feel bad. And we seem to be permanently glued to our devices like drug addicts, causing us to lose sleep, which can lead to memory loss.
We see things on Facebook and instagram that other people have and we wish we had it too. We see people who seem to be living perfect lives and have perfect relationships and we begin to get thirsty for everything they have. This envy leads to drama, and drama leads to depression, and depression leads to… the dark side. But is social media really to blame?
We have a choice
No one is forcing us to check our social networks as often as we do or even at all. We have always had a choice. But it doesn’t have to be between using social media and not using social media. It doesn’t have to be between a good option and a bad option. Most things in this world are neither good or bad; they just are. And social media is no exception. It is nothing more than a tool. Whether it’s a useful tool or a hinderance is up to you.
When I’m already feeling low and insecure, I can always count on Facebook and instagram to make me feel even worse. I am reminded of the relationship I’m not in, of the hard washboard abs I don’t have, and the expensive schools I didn’t go to. But this isn’t social media’s fault. This is something only I can mend.
For every person having a negative response to social media, there is someone having a positive one. Instead, they are finding things to laugh about. They are being inspired by quotes posted or being happy for others’ successes. It’s all how you decide to look at things.
Get some perspective
So take a moment to see what your situation is like. Do you find yourself being more excited and inspired the more you use social media or more depressed?
Maybe taking a social media vacation is the answer for you. It’s easy to blame Facebook, or technology, or other people. But nothing really has meaning unless we give it meaning. So why not give it a positive one?
Choose to appreciate the positive aspects of social media. And if you just can’t, then take break until you can. Choose to use the social network in moderation. Learn to see it as a tool instead of the enemy.
Because technology and social media are here to stay and will be a part of our lives in some form or another. So we might as well all get along.
I’ve been wanting to make a vision board for a long time now. I’ve made one in the past, but it’s been awhile so I thought what better time than the present?
A vision what?
What’s a vision board you ask? A vision board is a tool to help you figure out what you want your life to look like. Most people cut and paste pictures and quotes from magazines onto a large poster board. You can put whatever you want on the board. This is your chance to dream and dream big without anyone there to tell you that you’re being silly or that those things will never happen for you. It’s personal and is best shared only with people you trust.
I tend to have more luck when I “Speak things into existence” as my sister says so I thought I’d share my vision board with all of you. I didn’t feel like spending money to actually buy a board and since we are in the digital age I thought a digital vision board would suffice. I divided my board into the areas of my life that I want to focus and improve on:
I want a man like Garrett Hedlund. His good looks and Midwestern values make him an ideal candidate for a husband, but don’t let that pretty face fool you. He’s intelligent, respectful, strong, and isn’t afraid to be naughty once in awhile. And that voice!
He has a mystery to him that makes me want to know more. He is always thinking, but somehow doesn’t sweat the little things in life and prefers to make the most of what he’s been given. Ahh take me now, Garrett.
I want to be a writer. I am a writer, but I want the luxury of being able to write about whatever I want and get paid for it. I currently write for a massage website and am grateful for it, but my dream is to be Carrie Bradshaw. How amazing would it be to get paid to write about all the sex you’re having? All the messed up relationships, heartbreaks, and life lessons? To be able to work from home and have copious amounts of free time would be my ideal job. Then I’d have the time and money to travel wherever and whenever I want. New York, call me.
“I’m evolving my look”, as Carrie once said. As I get older, I want to experiment with fashion. I want to try bolder styles and play with androgyny. We are living in a time when people can basically wear whatever they want, but me in a full length gown is still a daunting notion. I want to blur the lines between masculine and feminine and have been shopping in both the men’s and women’s sections lately. Women’s clothes are more creative, fit me better, and are vastly more affordable. I’m excited to evolve and to continue to try new things simply because I can.
I love my little studio apartment here in Hollywood, but this is a vision board and improvements are always welcome. These pictures represent how I want my place to feel. I want my home to feel modern, uncluttered, and simple. It is my sanctuary, my temple. It is my home and I want it to feel warm and inviting so that others will feel at home there too when they visit. I want a big bed that will make me and my man never want to leave it. Get back under the covers, Garrett! Who said you could put your clothes back on?!
It’s up to you
These are your dreams. Don’t let anyone, especially yourself, tell you that you can’t make them come true. A vision board is a wish list, so make some wishes and don’t censor yourself. Give yourself permission to want what you want.
Remember a vision board is only a tool. It won’t make things happen for you all on its own. But it will help you pinpoint what you want and how you want to feel. Then you’ll be inspired to make things happen for yourself. Because you can’t get what you want until you actually know what you want.
Oh, and I’ve heard it’s always best to tell yourself and the universe that you want all of these things or something better. Our imaginations, powerful as they are, can only imagine so many possibilities. Don’t get hung up on too specific of an idea. Instead focus on the feeling of that idea and let the universe manifest it in whatever way it thinks is most beneficial to you. Now, make a wish.
We always think we’d be better off living in a time other than our own. The 1960s because of the music and the fashion. The 1980s because of the music and the coke. But most of us don’t realize that now is the best time to live in.
I normally hate lists, but I recently had an epiphany and had to share why I know that we are living in the best time period:
If you love clothes, there has never been a better time to live in. Women can wear men’s clothes and men can wear women’s.
Fashion has always been about not only expressing oneself, but expressing the collective voice of the times. It’s about rebellion and people are realizing that they can dress any way they want. You can no longer say what makes a man and what makes a woman.
A woman can wear a bra as a top with some high waisted denim shorts, throw on a chunky sweater over all of it and call it a day. And a man could put on some skinny jeans, a shirt dress, some heeled timberland boots, and a leather jacket and wouldn’t be considered crazy. The lines between masculine and feminine have become so beautifully blurred that clothes are no longer men’s or women’s; they’re simply clothes. They’re art. They are fashion.
Do you remember when you had to churn your own butter and prep the horse and carriage to go into town? No? Neither do I and thank God for that!
Technology has come a long way in a relatively short amount of time. Maybe I should say in a suspiciously short amount of time. The first iPhone only came out 7 years ago which is mind blowing, and look how far it’s come. I suspect they’ve had that sort of technology for some time now, but decide only to release it incrementally so they can make more mula. But that’s beside the point. The point is that we have the internet literally at our fingertips. Which means information is at our fingertips.
We have cars that don’t use gas, televisions that record themselves, and phones that talk to you. I still think it’s amazing that planes fly and that I can speak to someone on the other side of the planet through a piece of metal and plastic.
We have a black president for crying out loud! We forget how amazing that is. Regardless about your feelings toward Obama, the fact is, a person of color would only be elected ruler of the free world, now. It would be unfathomable in any other time in history for a person of color to have that much power and influence…except maybe Ancient Egypt, but there were beheadings and sacrifices; not good.
We’ve come a long way since blacks were brought over from Africa and the Caribbean as slaves in the 1500s. And 1955 really wasn’t that long ago considering it was a time when people like Rosa Parks were forced to sit in the back of a friggin bus.
Now it’s considered cool to sit in the back of a bus. Now interracial couples are the norm and now a black man can be president. A pantsuit wearing female president isn’t far off if Hilary has anything to say about it. That to me is amazing and reminds me that this is the best time to live in. I just wish Mrs. Clinton would crack a smile once in a while.
Equality isn’t just about race or gender. It’s about love too. People are realizing more and more that love is love. Period. People of all ethnicities are having babies together and gay marriage is becoming more and more prevalent. We still have a ways to go, but I’m not worried. Seventeen countries have already supported same-sex marriage; the Netherlands being the first. The Netherlands!!! If they can do it so can we. You may call it being liberal, progressive, or open minded. I call it equality.
1. The Age of Aquarius
There has never been a better opportunity for spiritual growth than right fucking now.
The Matrix wasn’t too far off. We are all beginning to wake up. We realize that we have choices. We realize that there are bad people out there, a lot of whom are in government or a place of power. But we are also realizing that we don’t have to be afraid of them anymore. We can simply opt out.
There will always be a bully. But bullies tend to go away when you stop giving them your attention. When you see that they don’t have as much power as they’ve been letting on, you’ll realize how much power you do have.
We are letting go of the old ways and making room for the new. We are making up our own rules. We see that it is no longer considered selfish to put our own happiness first. It is not my job to make you happy, but even if I wanted to attempt such a feat, I would first need to be happy with myself.
It is not wrong to want peace, love, and equality. We are demanding them and we won’t take no for an answer.
Now is the best time and it’s only going to get better. There will be times when it seems like our progress has plateaued, but they won’t last long. Things are moving faster and faster and more and more people are waking up.
We are more free than ever before. It may not seem like it at a glance, but if you look a little deeper you’ll see that we have more opportunities than anyone in history. The power really does live in the now. We are explorers, which means we can’t go back, nor do we really want to. We want to keep pushing forward, always improving ourselves and the world we live in. The universe has no choice, but to keep perfecting itself. It wants to prosper as much as you and I do and in order to do that it needs to make sure we all thrive.
Forget past regrets and move on. That way you can be guided in the direction of love, peace, equality, unity, and creativity. Be kind to yourself, be kind to others, and fight for what you believe in. There’s no better moment than the one right in front of you.
Check out “Maps”, another inspiring song from Maroon 5’s new album “V”:
There are so many distractions in this world it’s a wonder we all haven’t gone insane. From facebook, to new iPhones, to porn, to Ebola scares it’s easy to forget what’s really important and that’s yourself.
Everyday we are bombarded with static. We have ads telling us we need to buy a certain product in order to improve our lives, news stories that only show the bad things happening in the world, and other people who we compare ourselves to. None of this really matters. It’s all noise that we can choose to listen to or not.
It’s not our fault, really. We are going up against something that seems like a massive force. Our memories and attention spans have become shorter and shorter thanks to technology and media and we have forgotten how to just breathe. To sit down and take some time for ourselves and really ask ourselves what we want out of life.
We are powerful
We need to remember all that we are capable of. Opportunities are always coming our way, but we can’t see them if we stop listening to that little voice inside our head. The voice that tells you that anything is possible. The voice that tells you to focus on what you need to do to get what you want. The voice that tells you to keep an open mind because opportunities come in all forms. The voice that tells you that you are powerful and beautiful.
That voice has been muffled. We’ve been trained not to listen to it. Instead we’ve been trained to listen to our media, our government, our bosses, our parents, and our peers. Basically anyone’s opinion other than our own. All of those can be great sources of information, but that’s all they are. We need to remember how to listen to ourselves and figure out what we think is important. How do we want to look, feel, create? But how do we shut all the noise out so we can hear our intuition?
Listen to music
Music can be a great way to decompress after a long days’ work. Either find songs you can relax to or songs you can dance to. I prefer to get pumped up. When I listen to music that excites me I get all sorts if ideas. I get inspired to do other things in life that excite me. Music shuts out the outside world and sometimes that is needed.
Be a lone ranger
Being alone isn’t for everyone and being quiet and alone can seem strange, especially in this loud, competitive, and digital age where we always have to be doing something.
Alone time is something I personally cherish. I am a moderately empathic person and am sensitive to other people’s energy. Big crowds can overwhelm me and since one of my jobs involves customer service, it’s easy for my own mental and emotional energy to be drained. In fact, my high school experience began exactly the way Lindsay Lohan’s did in Mean Girls. I was always the new kid and once I filled up my tray with food I would take it to the restroom and hide in the stall because there was simply too much noise and energy in the cafeteria.
I eventually became less dramatic, but I realized that I’m the type of person who needs tons of alone time and that’s okay. Being by yourself allows you to hear your own thoughts and meditation and yoga are great tools to assist you.
You don’t have to chant or do anything fancy. Make it easy on yourself. Just sit or lay down and, well, shut up. It’s harder than you may think. After 30 seconds you’ll be asking yourself, “Okay, am I done yet?”.
But hang in there. If you just listen to your own breath, pretty soon you’ll start to hear your thoughts. Those thoughts will turn into ideas and those ideas will inspire you to go out and do something productive and for yourself.
Take a walk
Johnny Cash felt as if he walked the line between good and bad. And in a way we all do. There is a lot of negativity in this world and we can get so overwhelmed by it that we forget that there is a lot to be positive about too. We really could go either way, but who wants to feel like shit?
Like meditating, taking a walk is an easy way to clear your head of all the staticky clutter of the world. Not only is it good exercise, but breathing in all that fresh air helps you to think more. Pretty soon your mind will be clear and you’ll begin to think about the things you do want instead of the ones you don’t want. You’ll come up with ideas of how you can improve your life instead of worrying about things that upset you.
It’s really not rocket science. In order to hear yourself think, sometimes you need to get away from everything and everyone. Taking time for yourself is the best thing you can do for yourself and we often forget that.
I’m not saying become a shut in and never communicate with anyone ever again, but realize that your thoughts, your ideas, and your opinions are the ones that count at the end of the day.
A lot of people would rather you didn’t think for yourself because then you wouldn’t be as easily manipulated or controlled. Those people will always be out there, but we don’t really need to worry about the haters. Instead, just remember you can always turn down the volume on all the chatter, the static, and the noise. That way you can hear the really good stuff, which is you.
Here’s a song to inspire you. It’s “It Was Always You” from Maroon 5’s new album:
I’ve always been curious about fortune telling, but was always cautious about going to see a psychic. I’d often pass by shop windows with, “$20 palm reading”, shining brightly in neon and wonder if it was the real deal. Are there actually people out there who can see your future?
Yesterday I was interviewing a massage therapist for an article I’m writing for another website. As I looked around he and his boyfriend’s apartment I noticed a lot of books on spirituality and witchcraft. There were tribal and ceremonial masks hung up on his walls and an overall calming presence filled the room. I found it interesting that he would be into all this. He was a tall, burly man with tattoos, but had a gentleness to his voice when he spoke. He was shy. It struck me as odd that a man of his size, his muscles, and his good looks would be shy about anything. I myself am shy, but I’m a little curly haired boy who weighs a buck forty at most and has daddy issues. Not much to boast about.
As I scanned the room, a book caught my eye. It was called the Book of Thoth. The masseur explained that it was a book of ancient texts supposedly written by Thoth, the Egyptian god of writing and knowledge. He had bought the book because of its info on mysticism and tarot. “Ooh you mean like tarot card reading?!” I asked. I explained that I’d always wanted a reading and he said that his boyfriend was better at it than he was.
Tell me my fortune
His boyfriend offered to do my reading and we all sat down at a table made of bamboo. I rubbed my hands together, thinking my palms were somehow going to be involved. “Nervous?”, the two men asked. “A little; I’m not sure what you guys are going to find out about me”, I replied. The boyfriend shuffled his cards and asked me to cut the deck. He placed five sets of three cards face down on the table.
The first cards he turned over he said showed him that I had been defeated by something in the past that I am now coming to peace with. It was something regarding a man in my life. Hmm…
The next card was called the Hierophant and had all the creatures we associate with strength: the eagle, the bull, the ox, the lion, and the human. It shows us that we are capable of more than we think are and that there are a lot of things empowering us that we often forget about.
The next card displayed a skeletal creature and the word Death on it. He said not to worry. In this case it represented the death of something old from my past and the start of something new; a rebirth. That sounds good to me.
The next card represented lust. It meant that lust is a natural part of enjoying new things. It could be lusting after an idea or something I’m really passionate about that I want to go after. This card was in the row that represented things that were out of my control. Things that will come into my life that I need to decide to either drive me or ignore.
The following card set represented interference. It meant that people are asking me to do a lot of different things and I don’t feel as if I can make everyone happy.
The final card represented my cup being full. I have enough, but I don’t realize it. Everything I need in my life I already have.
I enjoyed my first tarot card reading. I don’t know how truthful the tarot practice is, but it definitely resonated with me. It’s more of a guide and a tool for revealing the path you are already traveling on. The cards have broad meanings so that everyone came interpret them in their own way.
I realized that everyone has something that has defeated them in the past or is currently giving them struggles, but that with time, we can overcome that pain. We are all a lot stronger than we think we are and a new beginning is always around the corner if we choose to see it. We all have things that are out of our control. We can either choose to pursue our dreams or ignore them. We can’t make everyone happy and we don’t need to. And we usually have everything we need, but don’t realize it.
We’re not so different you and I. We all came here to do one thing: to live. How you live is up to you, but enjoying yourself is always more fun. Don’t let your past defeat you. Don’t be afraid of your future. Follow your dreams and live well. I will if you will.