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Golden Silence

By Todd Pequeen

Is there a game more treacherous than life?  Trying to balance our physical, emotional, and spiritual lives with cultural, religious, and family values can become overwhelming.  Curses and blessings are often one in the same.  Next we intermingle human factors such as desires and mistakes coupled with unanswered issues from childhood or trauma, it’s a wonder we get through our days at all.  To further compound this equation add in some drugs, alcohol, and a lack of exercise and restful sleep, now we are truly climbing up a mountain of challenges.  Whether it is our caffeine fix in the morning, a glass of wine at the end of the day, or a bit of herb passed casually from friend to friend, how can anyone not fall from grace from time to time?  One of the first lessons our children learn is that it is alright to make a mistake as long as one learns from it.  Every elder I know has told me some of their greatest revelations were spurred on by consequential failures.  Is there anyone alive that can say they have never wronged somebody?  Hopefully the values of forgiveness, compassion, and charity are a part of our daily lives.  To quiet all the noise I know of a simple yet often overlooked friend that can help us succeed in this arduous journey called life….silence.  Seeking out silence at least once a day can help everyone improve their lives and their health.

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New Eyes

By Todd Pequeen

Anticipation is the drug of a traveler.  I have always noticed my spirits are uplifted after booking a flight; after all, I am setting a date for what’s to come.  Packing provides a special high in itself, go with more or go with less…that is the question.  In this day and age the internet tries to mimic or replicate the experiences you will have once arriving.  However, until smell, touch, and taster-netting are invented nothing will be able to replicate actually stepping off that plane in an unknown place.  I have a very hard time understanding why so many Americans have never set foot on foreign soil, or for that matter have never seen the awesome cities both on the Pacific coast, or my favorite, the history laden Atlantic coast.  Scared of flying?  Get over it or use a car, bus, or train.  Believe me, just GO!

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Crystal Clear

by Todd Pequeen

“Where did Mom go?” I respond like the smart ass I can be at times. “Perhaps she’s having a glass of wine on the porch next door”, knowing full well it is only eleven in the morning and my Mom rarely drinks as it is. The fact that I am talking to my father is what makes it funny… to me at least. You see my Dad refers to my Mom as “Mom” when my sisters are around, which I find quite endearing actually. The second fact is my father is turning over from a face-down position onto his back, face-up, because I am forty-five minutes into a ninety-minute massage that I am giving him. I know through fifteen years of experience that no matter who you are a good massage can do amazing things to the mind. Relax it, numb it out, or just juggle it enough to the point where funny things can be said or done. As white picket fence as it may sound, Mom was actually ironing clothes directly behind us when we started the massage. Our little beach cottage in Canada, on the shore of Lake Erie, is simply one big room. Besides the screened-in front porch, the cottage is simply one big living room and kitchen combined, flanked by four small bedrooms and a bath. I get no other questions from him for the remainder of the massage and I sense he finally “lets go” after the question. “Lets go” of control, releases time unto itself, and lets me do my work in between sighs, snores, and simple relaxation. I can think of no other place I’d rather be in those moments and am delighted to have Dad literally “under my thumbs”. 

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Quite the Contrary

By  Todd Pequeen

I expand my possibilities by cultivating the opposite in myself. When I was young I did not have much choice. As an adult I do, so I use my free will to be the antagonist from within. I understand that no matter how correct I think my decisions are, or how black and white a situation seems, there are always shades of grey or layers of circumstance that I may be unaware of. This requires humility beyond the four decades of lessons I have learned. A set frame of mind can be my own worst enemy. Cultivating the opposite moves my life towards the pursuit of liberation. Freedom from all lesser pursuits (that often revolve around money, food, sex, and power) can be greatly empowering. The value of seeking change and enlightenment enriches my days beyond what I have previously dreamed.

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Touching Yourself

by Todd Pequeen

“I know that touching was and still is and always will be the true revolution.” – Nikki Giovanni

We should all touch ourselves. I often fantasize with my clients on how wonderful it would be to get a massage every day. Imagine having your favorite masseur at your beck and call to get your fix whenever needed…how glorious would that be? Well, we all do have this available, we can utilize ourselves. While sitting on my board surfing, waiting for waves, I massage with both my hands my head and temporal regions. Just a minute of small circular strokes helps to further relax and loosen me up. Every day I massage my own hands and forearms, it has become a routine, it allows me to know where my aches and pains are as well as flushing out stagnate blood revitalizing my tools of the trade. We are all socialized into the language of the senses and in my opinion have become impoverished with hands-on nonverbal forms of communication, relying instead on disengagement and so called sophistication with each other. Sight and hearing (distance senses) rule our days while taste, smell, and touch (proximity senses) are almost a taboo. A shame in my opinion but adopting a philosophy of touching oneself can help bring us into the light.

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Just Today

by Todd Pequeen

There is always something to stress about. Even when health and happiness are present we often create stress for a variety of reasons. Living this way, in this space, is a mistake. Time is a delusion the mind is happy to hold hands with. I’m sure the cynics are chuckling right now but let me explain. Inside our heads our minds are looking to identify with something. Most of the people I know dwell on memories from the past or their plans for the future. When is my next vacation turns into I don’t want this vacation to end. There is a compulsion to expel the present for the next job on the list, or to space out on what was so good and how to get it back. Obsession with this occurs simply because we can firmly identify with the past, as we have already lived it, and the perfect future is a dream, perhaps even a promise we made ourselves which will be the end all, be all. Whichever we choose, they are both illusions.

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Courage

by Todd Pequeen

“With nothing to risk the Gods need no courage.”

Courage is a relative word by nature. It cannot stand alone, by definition it is simply a response. An ability to welcome something new, difficult, or challenging. This process is positive and fun for some, negative and stressful for others. I propose that we all look at ways to welcome courageous acts into our lives. Day to day living normally isn’t seen as a courageous thing to do. It can be however, to a great advantage. Our daily routines and responsibilities can feel like new if we simply add awareness to the people and events of the world going on around us. By having the courage to do more, be more, care more, and spread more love our daily lives will feel more vibrant and satisfying. I have always been delighted by people who “put themselves out there,” only risking playing the fool. It is no easy task to go outside of our own boundaries, but if we do we can reap the benefits of evolving and becoming wiser. Read More…


The Dream

by Todd Pequeen

I hope all of us are “living the dream.” To me it is a matter of relevance. Advantages vs. disadvantages. A beach life style vs city or suburban living. The reliance and convinces of hunting down goods, services, and entertainment compared to the beauty and simplicity of mother nature. For two months I have been uncomfortable when I am told by my massage clients, or random tourists, that I am “living the dream.” Let me say first and forehand that yes, I am honored and feel blessed to be living in Costa Rica for almost 10 years. I personally know that I am living my dream, I give thanks for it every day. I suppose my issue is the tone and the envy of the complement. I hope and assume everyone is living, or at least working toward achieving their “dream” as well. That is what I was taught life is about, and what I see my friends teaching their children. When we listen to and trust our heart and soul, we make decisions correctly and organically become what we dream of.
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