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TATTOO SIGN

backbone

I called up a friend I haven’t spoken to in years when I found out she had scoliosis. A fellow tattooer from Detroit, we were both in a documentary together. We met when she came to Cincinnati like eight years ago, since then I’ve traveled to Detroit a few times. She tattooed the scissors on my left arm, with the banner that says “SHARP!”

So much life lived since we last spoke. I’m really happy to reconnect with her, and hope to work together more this year. The love never went anywhere. Nothing happened between us, her family grew, I moved around. We didn’t purposely stop talking to each other, just didn’t have reason to stay in touch outside of social media.

I sent her a before and after pic of my spine curvature and was telling her about how I did it with the foam roller and binaural beats. She told me how she started working in the medical field, and has a great chiropractor that she really trusts. Her chiropractor was explaining how scoliosis affects other organs, the slightest movement or pinch can cause an avalanche of discomfort or pain. Organs can start to break down, since the spine is the neural passageway that links the mind to the rest of the body. The entire network of nerve cells is compromised by the misalignment, which affects how nerve impulses are transmitted. The spine being the operating panel for the body’s entire nervous system, scoliosis can cause anxiety and emotional imbalance. The nervous system processes and interprets sensory input, determining our ability to respond appropriately. The brain and spine are so connected, they are one. The brain is the flower or seed, the vertebrae is the stem.

When she started getting adjustments, she said she was crying all the time, and the slightest thing would set her off. It makes you feel so vulnerable, I said and she agreed. At first, I wasn’t sure what was happening, I was just trying to make it so my lower back disc wouldn’t feel like they were pinching. It was causing muscle spasms. I started the process of straightening my spine during winter of 2015 going into 2016. This explains my erratic behavior during that time.

I wasn’t sure if my emotional pain was caused by physical pain or vice versa but I was spazzing on everyone. It was so bad that I was walking around hunched over at a 90º angle, throwing my shoulders forward to stretch the length of my back, as well as dragging my back down stairs, pressing pressure points on the ledge. With the foam roller, I adjusted my spine continuously, and it changed overtime, fusing in its new position. From the shape of the foam roller, I was able to push any part of the protruding curve into a straight axis. When this process begins, the vertebrae is somewhat dislodged, and you have to continuously pop and stretch the vertebra discs so they do not return to its misshapen default position. Proper postures and yoga poses and binaural beats remedy this.

This also makes sense as why I was so reactive and easily triggered by things, bringing up the past as if it had just happened. My lower back stored memories from 15 years ago. My chest and sternum was holding memories from 10 years ago. My neck, which is straightening now, contains the programming from the past five years. These are the memory timelines that are activated by where I feel the cracks and pops on my spine. The chakra system has been an excellent tool in diagnosing and balancing myself.

I’ve been mainly working on the spine but my hips, shoulders, ribcage, and abdomen have all adjusted. All of these are much more symmetrical, especially in the abdomen. I may have gotten taller. Emotionally, I’m more stable and less extreme. I don’t say that my nerves are bad anymore. Change the inside to change the outside. What strikes the shell does not budge the pearl inside.

I must be gentle and patient with myself as I now recognize that I was undergoing a deep recovery process. I realized it when I first saw my updated x-ray (2017) but after talking with Alyssa, I learned that the psycho-spiritual aspect of healing involved toxic purging, re-integrated abandoned emotions, unexpected breakdown, feeling all the way vulnerable, stripped of defenses. Thank goodness it happened when it did and not a moment later, more organs would have suffered. I’m so grateful for this new insight that explains the chaos and confusion of mental breakdowns from a couple of years ago. I didn’t see what was happening on the inside at the time but I now get to live inside this new body that endured the hard work of necessary transformation.

want no smoke

i think i don’t smoke anymore.
not everyday, not every week.
eventually, not even socially.

i don’t mind if people smoke around me, it’s me smoking alone that does the most damage.

i go on breaks all the time, but never longer than a week. my little one who stops by to sweep and stack papers suggested i go the whole month of december without smoking, since christmas is god’s birthday. to show god i can do it. that’s reason enough for me to try. they say kids are impressionable but the reverse is also true for me.

so i haven’t bought any or smoked by myself in over a week, but finally did over the weekend to reward myself and prepare myself to draw. i could afford it, and i deserved it. but i never got started on the drawing once i got high. there wasn’t enough of me in my body left after i smoked. once your body has detoxed and gone a while without smoking, you really feel it when it hits your system again. the herb has an inertia to it, it’s hard to quit when you’re already high but it takes some adjusting, once you have gone a while without it.

there’s a lot i want to do with my time, an enormous amount of clarity and mental focus i require of my brain and body, in order for it to do what i am here for. if i ask myself where my last three years went and why my production has dwindled, i must honestly answer: it’s the weed. so far, i’ve like it, but it’s no way to live. i know it’s always accessible so there will be times where it is hard, but i can’t do what everyone else is doing. the quickest get rich scheme i know, is to quit smoking.

i’m trying not to put too much pressure or restriction on myself, because then it still brings attention to the problem. the goal is for the NEED for it to shed. to find an empowering alternative. to delay the gratification. to not get stuck in a stress cycle. smoking doesn’t solve any problems, it just delays symptoms that are mostly mental. as i was smoking most recently, i wondered, how was i doing this everyday? anything you do daily produces a gigantic build-up, so what do i have to show besides physical deterioration and chronic fadedness? i want to be sharp and bright and pure and efficient. i had it in my mind that i was taking temporary break, and going to reward myself with it later, but now it is no longer a viable reward. the reward for not smoking can’t be smoking. the reward for not smoking is the clarity and control in the absence of addiction or dependency itself.

the weed itself contains spirits, the spirit of inspiration and also that of sloth. i think that the plant was originally banned because it made people free thinkers. people get high and start questioning what they were taught, what they eat, what their minds are truly capable of, government conspiracies, etc. in the same manner that the weed will make a person rebel against the powers that be, it also makes a person rebel against their own priorities. just like any crop or flower, the plant has to adapt in order to seduce humans into furthering its existence. so to get high is to host the spirit of weed. 

after getting my wrap, a lady in the store looked at me and said “she don’t even look like she smoke.” which means my face and lips and eyes changed after not smoking for a week. i still want to a little bit. i still might. no matter what, i won’t let it get in the way of things. more discipline, more freedom. 

monday update

a sink is getting installed in the back tattoo room. since i’ve opened i’ve been using the bathroom sink which is right next to the back room.

the business slowed down the whole month of november after someone called the health department. i’ve had a cease and desist for a month. ideally you’re supposed to have a business license before you start but it caught up to me a year and a half later. i’m not mad but very inconvenienced by it, but going through protocol procedure is making me stronger. it’s upscaling, it’s a level up. it’s something that warrants enthusiasm during the ideation phase but drags on during execution. it’s good then bad then great. impatience is the only stressor, but still a big one. my faith doesn’t waver.

the plumber is really cool and i appreciate him. i appreciate my neighbor and friend for letting me borrow his drill. i appreciate my friend for the plumber referral. it’s not a sink replacement but a whole new sink, new pipes and plumbing that needs to go into the basement. 

spent today cleaning, wiping down mirrors and watering the plants. went to the gym, listened to the new meek, about to work on the plan review papers after i post this, then go pick up some birds to charge. 

after i wrote the saturn blog post, i worked on the online shop ferociously with stunning detail and focus. it felt good, it made me happy. the pressure i was putting on myself is gone. i’m glad i waited. the internal frantic feeling has dissolved into a deep reassurance that i am doing a favor, providing an exclusive blessing for each customer and won’t lose no matter what the outcome is. writing about my process a crucial part of the process and this is where i’ll do it. every monday i will update this, if i don’t get to post, at least i’ll start on something to post and work on it through the week.

my recent saturn revelation had more steps in it than i anticipated, truly an awakening process. the first night and day was research, then for another day or two i interpreted the patterns and how it applied to myself. then yesterday i wrote a list of hindering thinking and behavior patterns to release. 

don’t help people before helping yourself. stop trying to hook up all your friends and be friends with everyone. control your control issues. take pride in craft and appearance. presentation speaks for itself. decorate passionately and purposefully. don’t spread yourself thin to escape what needs to be done. see yourself as more than rich, but wealthy. but don’t measure your worth with money because not every soul you touch will have a dollar to spend. understand that abundance comes in unexpected ways, perhaps not how you expected but exactly how you need. desperation is hustling backwards, reverse ambition, short-changing myself.