“Whether or not what we experienced was an ‘According to Hoyle’ miracle is irrelevant.
What is relevant is that I felt the touch of God. God got involved.”
You know the saying about how real life is stranger than fiction?
Well I’ve had some strange shit happen in my day…REAL FUCKING STRANGE.
1. Reminds me there’s more to this deal called life than we know or see.
2. Lets me know when I’m on the right path.
3. Constantly shows me proof that we get what we focus on.
4. Made me a better man.
5. Taught me about acceptance and forgiveness.
6. Reminds me that we’re all connected.
7. Straight up trips me the fuck out.
Now, keep in mind, some of this stuff may seem pretty out there, and it is.
But the fact that we even exist…that consciousnesses, humans, animals, the planet, the stars, and cute little rainbows even came to be is pretty out there as well.
Diehard Atheists as well as Dogmatic Holier-Than-Thou Know-It-Alls may dispute what I’m about to tell you.
Living-in-the-Ether “Woo-Woo” New-Agers with their Stepford Wife Smiles and butterflies floating out of their butts all the way from here to “La-La-Land” and back may say it’s all because of some Inter-Galactic Cosmic Law of The Universe Called “Law of Whatever The Fuck.”
Now, nothing against any of these groups—to each their own. I have friends into all kinds of stuff, and some are like the people I just mentioned…
But if anyone claims to have Life, God, and the secrets of the Universe all figured out, I’m calling bullshit.
“I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.”
I’m not here to tell you what to believe…I’m just telling you what I experienced, and what I personally learned from it.
Make of it what you will.
Some of these are small, tiny things and some were pretty damn profound.
I’m only gonna list a few here, because neither of us have time to go through them all.
“Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.”
I’ll start out with a few from the lower end of the funky-weirdness scale before getting into the heavy stuff, like the one involving a murder, drugs, and a blues guitar player…
Strange Story #1:
I woke up one day and thought about a dude I hadn’t seen or thought about for a solid ten years…and about an hour later I see him riding a bike down the street.
Strange Story #2:
There’s another dude I went to high school with who I hadn’t seen in about 12 years, let’s call him Ed.
After high school in the late 80s and early 90s, Ed had built up a little gang associated with the punk band Suicidal Tendencies (a band I had loved for a long time)…and ended up on a pretty bad path, fueled by massive amounts of methamphetamine. The gang assaulted a lot of innocent people…it was a bad scene for all involved. I kept my distance.
While trying to break up a fight at a kegger party, one of my little brother’s “Straight A Student” best friends got stabbed by Ed, less than an inch from his spinal cord. (Fortunately the kid survived and is OK today.)
Last I heard, Ed was doing a well-deserved stretch in state prison.
I had thought about Ed maybe 4 or 5 times over the years for a passing moment with the thought of, “Wonder if that dude is still in prison?”
Fast forward over a decade…
New Year’s Eve, around 2004, I’m in a bar and a Suicidal Tendencies song comes on the jukebox…so I tell my “then” girlfriend about Ed, the band, the gang, the whole story.
The next day on the way to the movies, I tell her more about Ed and all the bullshit that went down in my home town because of him…then we get in the ticket line, and there he is standing right next to us.
Hadn’t thought or talked about him for a long damn time. Then I do, and there he is.
“Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.”
Strange Story #3:
In my 20s I used to stress out about things. (At least I did when I was sober…which is part of the reason I was rarely sober.)
December 2000, stone sober and before I had a cellphone, I was driving from Texas to California in my 7- or 8-year-old Ford Explorer…
I was moving back to Cali to start a new life…it had been a rough 15 years.
While trucking my way through the New Mexico desert at about 3am, in what seemed the middle of nowhere, I started stressing about what I should do if the check engine light came on. (I told you I used to stress a lot.)
Do I pull over and check the engine? I have no idea how to do that. Do I keep driving? What do I do if it comes on? Does it mean anything of urgent importance?
I obsessively stressed out about it it for about 30 minutes.
Keep in mind, the light had NEVER come on before.
But that fucking thing came on, stayed on about 30 seconds, went off, and never came on again as long as I owned the car.
“The moment one gives close attention to any thing, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.”
Strange Story #4:
In April of 2000, I was sick and tired of being hooked on massive amounts of benzos and opiates, but saw no way out.
The rotation of daily appointments with shady doctors and suspicious pharmacists, withdrawals, and a plain shitty life had taken its toll.
I was straight up suicidal…I felt I should go to a hospital where they could lock me away from the painkillers long enough to sober up.
I had no vehicle, the hospital that would take me was like 45 minutes from where I lived, and I didn’t have money for a cab—so I figured that, while an ambulance would be more expensive, I wouldn’t have to pay today (‘cuz I had no money), and they would just bill me and I could deal with it later.
So, here I was: For about a day I was obsessing about taking an ambulance to the hospital for “suicidal thoughts” and hoping maybe they would keep me for a few weeks, or at least long enough to get that damn craving for opioids out of my system, and I could just chill and figure it out…
… All I wanted was a Pepsi…just a Pepsi, and she wouldn’t give it to me…wait, where was I?
I obsess and obsess about making this call.
I was hungry, so I figured I’d eat first.
I start heating up some oil in a pan so I could fry up some tortillas into nice crispy taco shells…and I used to put soooo much oil in the pan…I liked my shells GREASY.
As the oil is warming up I figure I’ll take a super-quick shower, and when I get out, the oil should be ready.
While in the shower I can hear a scream, so I come running out and the pan has massive flames coming up about 3-4 feet high, actually burning up the cabinets high up above it.
Knowing nothing about fire, I pick up the pan, run to the door, and throw it outside, suffering 2nd and 3rd degree burns on 15% of my body.
The skin on my hand, where I had grabbed the handle, was literally hanging off my body like melted goo.
The person I was with called 911.
I lived about 75 yards from a fire station and could hear the sirens start up they drove the less-than-football-field-length drive straight to my front door.
Before I knew it, I was in an ambulance on my way to the exact hospital I had been thinking about going to.
After 12 days in the Parkland Hospital Burn Unit, I ended up with multiple skin grafts—and a bigger painkiller problem than I’d had 12 days before.
I got my ambulance ride to the hospital, just not the way I had planned it.
“What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: Our life is the creation of our mind.”
Check out the scar on my hand…I love it. It makes me look like I’ve walked a hard road, sort of like my own personal Mickey Rourke hand.
Strange Story #5:
I once had a personal client named Steve Rhee. I trained him in Irvine, California, in Orange County, which is where we both lived.
Turns out our mutual favorite restaurant was Craft Steak, a few hundred miles away in the MGM Grand in Vegas.
Eventually I stopped training people, and I hadn’t talked to or thought of Steve for years.
And then one day I was in Las Vegas, which I went to probably twice a year. I’m eating at Craft Steak and, for the first time in years, think about Steve.
After eating, I walk out of the restaurant, and who’s walking by?
He wasn’t even coming to eat—he was just walking by.
“Every single moment is a coincidence.”
Strange Story #6:
On May 22, 1993, a VERY close friend of mine was murdered across the street from me. His name was Shannon, and he was only 22 years old when we lost him.
Shannon was a great guy…misguided like all my friends at the time, but he had a huge heart and would do anything for his friends. If he found out you were moving, he was always the first to show up and help.
He lived probably 100 feet or so from me across the way…we were great friends and did all kinds of cool and crazy stuff together. We grew weed, lifted weights, played D & D, and even traveled to Europe together to smuggle steroids back into the U.S. (At the time, fake counterfeit stuff was everywhere and Bill Phillips said the European stuff was better than the stuff we were smuggling out of Mexico…and I had already gotten caught down there anyways, so Europe it was.)
Shannon was also a BIG marijuana trafficker…moving close to 1000 pounds a month. Yup, you read that right, close to 1000 pounds a month.
I remember one time I was at his house and he pulled out this duffle bag full of money and asked me to help him count it. I about had a panic attack…the only other times I had seen that much money was in the movies or on the news.
(I actually have another close friend, Big Mike, who’s a regular on the show “Weeds” and who used to fly 500 pounds a week into the U.S. from Canada in helicopters. He’s legit now and owns a business that did $52 million last year selling hydroponic nutrients to marijuana growers…now that dude has some stories to tell.)
Anyway, back to Shannon…
The weed was brought in from Mexico, dropped at a stash house Shannon had under a fake name just north of the border, and then he had other guys fly it all over the county for him ( this was pre-9/11 ).
Unfortunately the lifestyle caught up to him and he was murdered by a so-called “friend” over money, territory, and revenge. The guy who did it is doing a 20-something-year prison sentence today.
The morning after it happened, homicide detectives were at my house at 4am; those dudes are intense.
For a long time I was PISSED…he was one of my best 2 or 3 friends in the world.
After a decade of being extremely confused and angry over Shannon’s death, and holding a resentment towards not only Jason (the guy who had murdered Shannon) but also a resentment towards God that was tearing at my soul (“WHY?” I thought, “How could you do this to him? He was just a kid in over his head!”)…
Something Incredible Happened
I read a book called “Onions to Pearls” by an ex-ecstasy dealer named Satyam Nadeen.
Satyam’s take on Consciousness is that it’s like the ocean, and when we’re alive we’re like a bubble on the ocean—we temporarily take a separate form, but just as the bubble is still part of the ocean and connected to it, we’re still connected to The Source of Our Being.
And when the bubble pops, it just goes back to being ocean and loses its separate form…just like when we die, we go back to our Source.
At the this really resonated with me.
So the next day I’m driving to a dentist appointment in San Juan Capistrano, and I thought about the whole ocean/Consciousness thing—and for the first time I thought about how Shannon probably accepted his situation as he died; once he hit a certain point in the process, he was probably OK with it.
Sure, I’m sure there was resistance to a point…but I thought about how that probably faded away and he eventually just allowed and accepted the whole thing.
I remembered how I had spun my car out of control and off the road one rainy day and how, when I realized I had no more control of where the car was going to go, I was filled with a deep sense of peace and everything was in slow motion.
I imagine Shannon probably had a similar experience after he was shot, although it was probably much more profound.
For the the first time in a decade, I was finally OK with his death. I finally accepted it…and I felt so light and free of the hatred toward the killer and free of my anger towards God.
Shannon’s time came when he was 22.
And at that moment, on the rock station on the radio, the following words from the George Thorogood song “Who Do You Love” came through the FM airwaves and straight into my car….
“I’m Just 22 And I Don’t Mind Dying.”
After 10 years of being in a bad way over the death of my friend, who was 22 when he was killed, I finally accept his death—and at that moment of acceptance, George Thorogood sings, “I’m just 22 and I don’t mind dying” on the radio I’m listening to.
Make of it what you will, to me, the message was all too clear…
Acceptance is key. Shannon did it, and now it was my turn.
“Happiness can exist only in acceptance.”
What Does All The Weirdness Mean?
I could go on and on and on…I’ve literally had HUNDREDS of experiences like these happen…WHEN I’m on the right path.
Things just seem to kind of line up and the answers come.
There’s a flow to things.
Occurrences which seem highly improbable, close to impossible, seem to be the norm.
I don’t talk about these things often, but I love when they happen, especially when it’s clear why it happened.
When there’s a lesson.
When there’s healing.
When I become a better man.
“If evolution is outlawed, only outlaws will evolve.”
Sometimes it’s as small as the right call or person or place or thing at the right moment…just perfectly as needed to take me along my journey.
Not always the journey I thought I was on, but the journey my Soul wants me on.
In the 80s and 90s, when I was off my path and doing drugs for 15 years, the only serendipitous thing in my life that seemed to happen was that I would run into this enemy of mine all over the place. It was crazy how often we ran into each other, and sometimes not even in the areas where we lived or hung out…I used to really trip on that.
I now realize we were so focused on our mutual hatred of each other that we were like magnets of hate, pulling each other in.
When I’m on the path my soul wants me on, the signposts, the reminders, and the “way too coincidental” occurrences are everywhere.
They’re a great reminder of how only my soul knows what’s best for me; no one else’s opinion means a fucking thing.
A few years back, when I made some poor choices and made money my God, these occurrences stopped happening—I had none of them.
When I got back on path, they started happening again from the very first day.
Today, I do my best to let the path be laid out in front of me, let the answers come to me, and give up control.
I have goals, but don’t worry too much about the “how”…don’t have to.
I just jump off the cliff and build my wings on the way down…doing my best to enjoy the now and every step of the ever-windy path that my soul wants me on.
And guess what? The result is 100 times better than when I try to figure everything out myself and control life.
“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.”
The path is mysterious.
Acceptance is the way home.
I’m not a religious person, and I’m not here to tell you what to believe. In fact, I have an extremely low tolerance of people who try to push their beliefs on others…whether it’s a particular religion…an MLM scheme…whatever…
I’m just here to tell you about my experience as I go and what’s been working for me.
And what works is staying in the moment as often as possible and living in the gap between the thoughts with the openness of a baby…a beginner’s mind.
It’s a moment-to-moment thing, because the mind LOVES to take hold and get me to believe all kinds of stories, judgments, and limitations.
The gap is a much better place to live.
The gap allows me to be open in the moment to the path being laid out in front of me.
It’s a place of “Thy Will, Not Mine, Be Done.”
I do my best to return to that place as often as possible.
Giving up control, accepting “What is,” and moving forward in faith that the path will be revealed as I go—and when I do that, it always ends up what’s best for me and everyone else, even when it doesn’t seem like it at the time.
Live your TRUTH.
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I’d love to hear your comments below… and if you’ve ever had these kinds of experiences I’d love to hear about ’em.
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