A “japa mala” is usually composed of 108 beads. It is a lot like a rosary and it is used to facilitate the repetition of the Divine name. It helps focus the mind during meditation and it helps return to center throughout the day. 108 is a sacred number in the yogic tradition. Today I celebrate 108 days without taking alcohol or pot, today is my sober mala.
I am filled with overwhelming gratitude for the Grace that has brought me here after numberless efforts to quit or moderate my use. More than anyone one else I thank my wife Samantha, who adapted to years of my drinking and smoking with great patience and compassion and was always great support through my efforts at changing my habit. I am grateful for those friends and community that have been of support and those who have had to adapt to my changing the game on them after so many years of friendship.
I am devotionally grateful to Mother Earth herself for the providing the plant medicines that helped me to break my habit, and for the shamanic guides that have held me through the process. I am committed to this work.
I want to be very clear - I have no judgement of drinking or smoking, and I am very far from having a puritan perspective on these gifts. I am still in full support of the legalization of marijuana and of radically changing our “drug” laws. It’s all about relationship. I became unhappy with the relationship I had with those two substances. I tried to mend the relationship. I tried to make it work for me. But in the end, I had to let it go and I’m the happier for it.
Changing a 20 year pattern is a BIG deal. I feel like a new man. I feel high all the time. I have so much more energy. I am able to pursue dreams and passions that have long been in the back burner. My spiritual practices have come to a new level. My quality of presence has been significantly enhanced. I can bring a new depth of integrity to my work, a sharper clarity of mind and a much greater sensibility. I feel more vibrantly alive than I have in a very long time. I am a celebrating today. I feel abundantly blessed! This really is a new birth.
Systems have an equilibrium. Disrupting a system means disrupting a system - even when the change is good. When we change the game everything changes, and many of these changes can be uncomfortable. It is uncomfortable for us and it is uncomfortable for those who are in relationship to us. Discomfort does not mean bad, the best change comes with discomfort. Today I recommit myself to staying in the discomfort when discomfort is what is called for. I stay committed to freedom.
Here is to our co-evolution through friendship.