The Awakening of Pascal.

A vicious storm has almost sunk Pascal’s ship. It was unexpected and disastrous. Will he recover? Or will he be damaged permanently?  

 

Pascal lays still on the main deck.

His breath shallow.

Nearly dead.

His first officer Pablo has taken over in these trying times.

 

In the coming weeks, Pascal slowly recovers.

Time seems to be in slow motion for Pascal.

All seems clearer after the storm.

Dark clouds clearing to an open sky.

 

Pascal has realized that his suffering is of his own doing.

Holding onto whats gone.

Going with fear based decisions.

Mis-judgments.

Limiting beliefs.

 

Pascal vows to do better.

 

Be the Change.

“We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change.”

Mohandas Gandhi

The world seems to be on the brink of destruction. News station reporting new mass shootings every week. ISIS beheading videos posted each month. Global climate change killing our ocean’s coral reefs and causing severe hurricanes. How do we keep sain? How do we live our lives with love in a world full of hate? That last question is a tricky one. We are actually living in the most peaceful time in human history! The difference is that our ancestors lived in small communities with little knowledge of events happening outside of their village let alone other countries. In a world of 24/7 news, we have become addicted to outrage, fear, and worry. We are not only what we eat. We become what we watch, listen, and pay attention too. So if we only watch the news, then it’s understandable why we have become fearful of the world. The internet is a medium of total human consciousness. Lots of random thoughts and ideas scattered throughout YouTube, blogs, and Facebook. Within the internet, there is a lot of fear, hatred, and worry. The internet is full of white noise. This white noise can distract us from living a meaningful life full of purpose, altruism, and growth.

Back to the purpose of this blog post, how can we change the world when we are just one small part of it? As Gandhi said, we must become the change we want to see in the world. This will keep our spirits high and keep us motivated on our path. You would be surprised at how much you can change the world with your diet, consumer choices, and by simply living your life in line with your values.

To begin our journey to living an intentional life we must be radically honest with our self. Radical honesty is saying what you truly mean without being mean. Many of us walk around being dishonest with our self. This leads to pain, suffering, and steals joy from our lives. We are fearful of the truth because it will make us uncomfortable. What we don’t realize is that our happiness is often found going through that discomfort. If we don’t face it, we often suffer in stagnation for the rest of life.

I now eat a whole food plant-based diet. Most of my life I was eating a standard meat & dairy diet all while claiming to love animals, environment, and my personal health. BUT my actions were not in line with what I was saying. I was being radically dishonest with myself. I knew the horrors of factory farming but still contributed to it. I was fearful of the discomfort of switching my diet and having to let go of a tradition. Through cognitive dissonance, I rationalized violence and unneeded suffering for my taste buds. I recommend watching “Cowspiracy”, “What the Health”, or “Forks over Knives” on Netflix.

Saying we are compassionate does not make the world more compassionate. To change the world into a more compassionate place we must take compassionate actions every day. Be the change.

We also can take action in the clothes we choose to buy. Many sweatshops make their employee’s work 16 hour days in unsanitary and deadly work conditions. They pay their employee’s extremely low wages so we as consumers can get cheap clothing and goods. “The True Cost” is a great documentary on Netflix about the problems of fast fashion in developing worlds. We can change the world by being more intentional with our dollar by choosing to buy used clothing or from companies that provide better working conditions and wages for their employees.

Do we want to be part of the solution or the pollution?

My intention is to never judge another for causing unneeded suffering in the world. I have caused plenty of pain and suffering in my life. My true intention is to empower myself and others to make healthier choices that cause less suffering in the world. Shaming rarely get’s other people to make long-lasting changes while empowering others energizes the spirit and keeps us strong for the long haul.

Here are some of the ways we can take action today to make the world a more peaceful place for all living beings.

-Transitioning to a 100% plant-based diet.

-Choosing fair trade.

-Organic produce.

-Buying ethical clothing.

-Not buying wool or leather.

-Reusable water bottles and containers.

-Less driving. More biking & walking.

-Buying locally.

-Cutting back on consumer goods.

-Buying used.

-Transitioning to solar energy.

We can take action right now to make the world a better place today, tomorrow, and for the coming generations. Let’s be the change we want to see in the world. In this way, we can preserve compassion, peace, and love in our hearts and minds. We will be living intentionally and authentically with our true self. We will be living our message with is much stronger than just speaking it.

With Aloha,

Johnny Hoffman

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Bon Voyage Young Pascal!

Bon Voyage Young Pascal!

Good luck on your journey!

 

The sea is calm.

But not your mind.

Anticipation gleaming from your eyes.

Butterflies fluttering in your stomach.

 

What wonders lie ahead?

What dangers will you have to overcome?

 

True strength comes from adversity.

True love from pain.

Keep going.

 

Even if you drown in the deep darkness of the sea.

You will have lived.

Lived with every breath.

Every beat of your heart.

 

With risk, comes reward.

With letting go, comes freedom.

 

Bon Voyage Young Pascal.

Into the great unknown.

The Life of Pascal.

A crew of explorers gather for drinks, food, and fun. Their voyage begins tomorrow to the great unknown. There is excitement in their eyes. Anticipation in their hearts. What wonders lie ahead of them? Tonight the men will dance, laugh, and drink around the fire. Who knows if they will return to shore. Nature is fearsome and apathetic to any of their sufferings. Will they have the strength to face their greatest fears?

The sun is shining at the Port of Marseilles. Seagulls float patiently in the sky above. The crew merrily pack their bags for the long voyage. The crew carries large bags of oats, rye, and potatoes on board the ship “Inconnu”. It’s a warm spring day in the south of France. The Captain of “Inconnu” is Pascal Dubois. He’s a young Captain at only 28 years old, born in Marseille to a peasant family. Some of the crew are wary of his youth while others confident. Young Pascal is quite experienced for his age, thanks to his many voyages into the Mediterranean and Black Sea. He has dealt with death, heartbreak, and disease over the past 10 years as a crewman. He has fought many battles versus Berber pirates along the southern coast of France. Pascal is on a mission of peace, exploration, and discovery. Optimism gleams from his youthful face even though he has some fear of the voyage into the great unknown of the Atlantic Ocean. Many have taken this voyage but not many come back to tell their tales. Pascal and his crew know the risk they are taking. Pascal’s passions are writing, exploration, and helping others. He would travel the world for free. The crew’s motivations vary. Some dream of new beginnings. Others searching for lost treasure and glory. They all dream of new lands, people, and experiences. Tales of Marco Polo’s adventures painted into their every thought.

Will this be their last breath on land? Will they sink into the darkness of the sea? Time will tell. Pascal’s focus is on this precious moment. He will not succumb to his minds tendency to fear the unknown or be scared by stories of the past. Pascal knows that his crew will only survive if he is mindful of the now. To not be distracted by the obstacles. Pascal vows to enjoy each moment of this voyage and to be grateful for every new adventure.

 

Every Monday afternoon I will post one new poem or short story. There will be more blog posts about the life and adventures of Pascal. 

Rock Bottom.

Lungs exhausted.

I’m barely breathing.

Pain deep in my bones.

Heart aching with loneliness.

Stomach twisted into origami.

 

It’s the coldest at the bottom.

Harsh winds.

Thunderous nights.

Misery in every moment.

 

All I want is to feel the cool breeze on a warm spring day.

 

To smile deeply.

To laugh.

Feel joy once more.

 

“Don’t worry!”  my mind tells me.

You have survived all that has come so far.

Darkness will become light.

Thanks to impermanence.

We will laugh, smile, and feel joy once more.

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