rocketLaunch Day. It's been a long time coming. It was back in April of this year that I first posted to Bodhicyclist. I don't have the post anymore, and I don't remember what I was going to write about. I do remember that I liked the name though. There is a good chance that it would have been about my observations whilst cycling. That is if I had ever followed through on it then. Instead I preface this new iteration by making an admission.

I am flawed. When I first conceived to start this project I imagined it would offer to readers insight, advice, and humor. But in truth, I have no advice to give, no insight to offer. Rather, I have a lot to learn. I live a life full of inconsistencies. I'm essentially insecure, and never really certain that I'm doing the right thing. What I used to perceive as the long, beautiful fan in my wake is actually a twisted trail of disappointment dotted with former lovers, friends, and students; I'm an equal opportunity disabuser.

How I came to this conclusion. Over the last year I've completed some wonderful accomplishments and suffered some terrible failures. On one hand I managed to organize and host a hugely successful charity event almost entirely on my own. It was awesome. I run a profitable small business and have done so for years. But I also managed to alienate a couple close friends and damage those relationships in a way that I'm not sure is repairable.

Everyone I know seems to be a better version of themselves than I am of me. Maybe you know what I mean. I have a few friends who are far more dedicated to their photography than I am to mine. To them its religion. Nothing can dissuade them from spending their free time photographing. And they are really good. My wife knows every actor and director from every motion picture made before 1934, and has an appreciation for these films like no one else I know. I photograph all the time but the last time I picked up a camera and just went "walkabout" was well before Christmas. I claim to eat a paleo diet, but if I'm buying organic ground beef from Uruguay, is it really paleo? Is pizza? I call myself a Buddhist but if I can't describe the difference between Mahayana and Theravada traditions, and what I follow personally is the philosophic core wrapped in a jacket of my own design, am I still Buddhist or just something akin to Buddhist?

Taming the beast. Too often I treat my convictions more like suggestions because it all just seems too hard. I like to speak romantically of battling 'inner demons', but honestly- I'm not plagued by demons, I'm plagued by bullshit. I know when I start to cut myself slack its a signal that things are out of balance, and that I'm skimming along just fast enough to stay above the water. And I let conviction lapse.  So every few months I screw up the strength to clean up my diet, or make the time to read my 'holy cards'. And I can feel whole again. For a while at least.

Revelations. Clearly, I have much to learn from my family and friends. Most people aren't afraid to ask for what they want. or to stand up for what they believe in, or to pursue their passions undeterred by convention or circumstance.  I need me some of that. I need to learn the secret of stamina. I need to understand the true meaning of the word "conviction." I also acknowledge that I need the assistance of my friends, and am helpless without them. And this is where you come in. I will be seeking your advice, both in public and private, and sharing your insights here. And what was once to be a blog about my insight will instead be a blog about personal growth and the wisdom of others.

And so it goes. How this plays out over the next several months I don't really know- this is all new to me. But to quote Russell Kirsch, the inventor of the first internally programmable computer, "Nothing is withheld from us what we have conceived to do." Translation? Do, because you have conceived to do, and trust that the answers will come. He said God told him that.

The answers will come. Who am I not to believe that. This blog is proof. This first post is proof. What I initially envisioned for Bodhi, with its outward looking form, seems inconsistent with what is unfolding now. The answer to a question it never occurred to me to ask made itself apparent only because I was advised by a friend to push Bodhi's launch date back by a month. That Bodhi should now be about the inner journey is a direct result of sitting at my desk and simply writing whilst waiting for the new launch date to arrive. And now a very inward, very personal blog is what I have conceived to do. And we shall see where it leads, and from it what answers will come. But through it all I will continue to rely on my friends and loved ones for guidance and reassurance, because I know, fully, that they are the better part of me.

Until then.

namaste,

Mark

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