The Romance of The Show

May we run to win, learning not to rush, wisdom feeds a steady flow.

Eternal moments, reminding Soul, as humility still to know. 

It is acknowledged that this passion held within is a gift from thee.

Grant steady hands that are well balanced in the art of joyful peace.

Guard the heart from selfish ways, the use of passion, serving only me.

A being not worried about direction, but standing in couraged as I breathe.

A faith anchored in surrender, questions posed through preparation.

Calm and focused like a steady breeze, life approached as meditation.

Where there is a mirror, guard the mind from vanity.

Remind the eyes to reflect loving compassion, before they scan for opportunity.

Engulf desire with a fire of ever growing gratitude.

Any praise that comes to me, may it flow directly back to you.

Not in a way that’s preachy, or alienating to the masses.

A simple conduit,  pointing other vessels to what is already contained within their special glasses.

Let me overflow, with no thought of ever running dry.

Discipline the gaze of two, to become a single eye.

Water the wisdom forest, ancient trees reaching towards the sky.

And If I do fall down, and temptation gets the best of me.

Let me fall within your loving grace, rising quickly, pruning the shame of guilty trees.

Remove all hesitation in the dealings of right and wrong.

Clothed in your presence, walking within light, a harmonious ethereal virtue song.

Teach to see each being encountered as family, before desiring children of my own.

If lost within deceiving mind games, remind to pick up the silent phone.

Train the intuition to perceive the variety in which you speak.

Not seeing life as a list of tasks, staying too busy, too weak to week.

Rather each moment as a student, being led home while schooled by Truth.

From the darkness of the basement, guided upward through the stairwells, emerging on the roof.

And if at times I do grow tired, please remind me of the dance.

In times if there is sorrow, let me see this as romance.

Let me not see your universal laws as obstacles designed to hinder me.

But rather cosmic instructions to be free, beautiful safety information as a quality guarantee.

From your presence, from your sight Lord,  out of this it is impossible for me to ever go.

So with your strength, and with your might Lord, let this all be for your show.

 

 

-B

 

Peace is an inside job

Dear friends,

May this message find you with peace and grace. 

In this moment I am, staring at the mountains, hearing the flow of a river, gazing upon vast blue skies.  

Resting in stillness. Doing by being, a seeing of each moment. 

Reflecting.  

This past year has been a process of emptying, undressing, and disassembly.  Everything experienced prior culminating in a magnificent lesson in humility and letting go, while falling in love with the unfolding of life.  

A season of removal. 

An emptying of bad habits, and unnecessary beliefs. 

A stripping away of untrue things, like the ideas that were held so tightly of who ‘I’ am, what I ‘know’, and what I ‘should’ be after.  A breaking of vices and addictions, and of continuing self realization. 

Unclothing and diving naked into the truth of the moment. 

Often we cling to lesser things without realizing that the better fruit is attained not out of reaching, but by removal. That we are the fruit in which we seek, but we are also the hands that are playing keep away. 

Vast containers that fool ourselves into believing that we are meant to be filled with something other than the inside of what we already are, so we outwardly search. 

Going around collecting experiences and moments and calling all of that stuff our “person”, and then we drink that potion, and trade that juice. 

Always the best effort has been given to present my self as authentic and transparent as possible, and in that unknowingly, there lied a tremendous problem. 

Being authentic and transparent is impossible to do when focused on the wrong things, from the wrong place. 

It’s simply something impossible to ‘do’. 

It is however something to be. 

If the devil can’t make you bad, then the next best thing is to be made very busy.  

And while this Baron Batch guy saw himself as ‘The Artist’, while taking pride in his ‘hustle’, Grace was silently stepping in perfectly designing a punch in the face to knock off the false mask that was creating unnecessary self distortion. 

A punch that brought him to his knees and threw him into the darkest place he had ever been. A punch that forced everything that was not pure and true to bubble into sight to be confronted. 

In hindsight it is clear that such discipline from the universe is not out of punishment but out of tremendous love and grace. 

There is something better for you than the person you believe yourself to be. 

There is a presence.

Because of the thickness of the ego that existed from the experiences that had been invested in by belief in imagination and memory, this had to be one mighty punch, for this person saw himself as a fighter, a competitive warrior that life had hardened in such a way that he saw an art form in not only taking blows, but creating with them. 

You see, this Baron Batch ‘The Artist’ guy that was being identified with had survived and in his mind triumphed over countless obstacles, setbacks, and painful moments, a “forger of his own destiny”.  A person who had accomplished every goal he ever set out to tackle, and from this an internal story was weaved where he became a legend in his own mind. 

The savior of himself. 

Ha.

Pshh. 

In the midst of this arrogance Grace smiled allowing this belief to be cultivated, and illusory fruit to grow in the form of what others would call “success”, only to silently wind up and deliver a loving ninja chop to dismantle all such false ideas. 

We are all thirsty for peace of mind, but so often confuse this with physical comfort or stability, so we create plans and strategy, and imagine things that we believe will bring us closer to this imaginary place perceived so commonly everywhere else but within. 

The moment we begin to externally search for something that can only be filled from within, we go on a journey that ultimately leads us back home to where we always were to begin with. 

This is the beautiful human love story we are all part of.

About a year ago the lid of this vast container opened, and out spilled the collected illusory magical experience juice potion that was Baron Batch, ‘The Artist’. 

A presence much more powerful within began to wake up to the truth, realizing that this Baron Batch ‘The Artist’ guy was pretty whack, and simply full of stories. And that this presence was not him, nor his mind or its thoughts or stories told, and the reality that existed before the eyes was simply a projected reflection of the inner climate of a imaginary character that was not real. 

This began an inward journey of purity in the pursuit of truth. 

A year ago the dormant presence shook the being clothed beneath the imaginary character being played, and a presence began to observe the experience of the early stages of what can only best be described as ego death. The stripping away of the layers of imaginary ‘person’  being carried. To  everyone who at the time was within close vicinity this looked like a psychotic break. 

And that actually is exactly what happened. 

Baron Batch ‘The Artist’ guy was suffocatingly drudging through an imaginary reality, and the inner being couldn’t take it anymore, it had enough. 

By the Grace of God this occurred, and Grace can come in the form of darkness.

This came in the form of two concise inquiries or well placed punches to the face by Grace, at the precise and perfect time to finally be received and not simply fought with, or viewed as another obstacle to overcome. 

“Why are you choosing to suffer?”

“Why are you punching your self?” 

The first little sip of truth. 

It was both beautiful and terrifying. 

At the time ‘I’ saw ‘My’ self as all of these things that in hindsight are quite comical. A businessman, an entrepreneur, an artist, an athlete, competitive, ambitious, and the list could go on and on. 

And people may say, hold up, those are things that happened. And yes they did happen, simply moments that happened in an imaginary past, that pull like the moon does the tides on an imaginary future, nothing more. 

A hamster wheel. 

Just this imaginary mind stuff.

Just these stories that were believed to sound good referring to moments that happened in the past that were useful to walk around with. 

Just some experiential juice potion traded within conversation. 

We learn to act and look like the things we want, we learn to sound like we desire to be seen, and can get pretty good at it, but there is no hiding from that which is truly inside. There is no escaping the inner calling of what we truly are.

Vast containers aware, that unknowingly know that the only way to be full is to be emptied. 

Harmonic frequencies in need of fine tuning. 

Divine sparks.

Beings within fleshy vessels sailing through time and space, searching for peace of mind, from the mind,  without realizing that the mind is simply an experiential tool to be disciplined wisely, observed and considered, not to steer or believed with its opinions and stories told in the form of what it thinks it sees, knows, and prefers.  

Serving as sort of a pre designed broken compass in a purposeful way, that after leading astray so many times, eventually is looked at closer only to see that its just sitting there looking right back at you, saying something like, “What? I am not you. Ha! you thought its my job to lead you? This works the other way around. Ive just been here having a good time.” 

Once this was realized things got sketchy. It was a slippery slope to realize that not only ‘I’ couldn’t be trusted, but it was actually wise not to anymore. 

Confidence without wisdom is chaos, movement without discipline is wasteful, words without presence are deceiving. 

While becoming more present by the moment to moment discipline of the distractions of both imagination and memory,  ‘I’ began to stop investing in the thoughts that were constantly bombarding in the form of belief in personal story. This was like seeing for the first time. 

I stopped seeing myself as anything other than a being whose daily work became the moment to moment discipline of the mind, by meditating on the question as to what is right and virtuous within each moment, while investing all energy into being, not a person but a presence, not the mind, but a moment. 

And while being this presence, ‘I’ became ever more aware, beginning to observe each thought from a vantage point of consideration and contemplation, posing the continual self inquiry of, “Does feeding this thought with belief bring the presence that ‘I’ am closer to bliss or psychosis?” 

“Is this thought just a story I’m telling myself, or an observation of the moment?”

These became very useful filters as to what thoughts were necessary or not. Beneficial or deceiving. 

In this transitioning from a character within his own mind seeing from this lens, to the awareness of the lens that existed simply as a character experiencing moments moving through it, life immediately changed. 

And it got dark before it got light. 

In a hurricane of realization that took place over the next six months, a pit of darkness and depression was battled every moment in a way that had never been dealt with before. As if the person ‘I’ could no longer play the part of was grieving over the loss of its character.  

As this realization grew that the part being played was not real, It also was realized that it should not be trusted. 

Realizing that the person being identified with was nothing more than unnecessary weight within a self created hamster wheel, the ambitious goals and temporal things that were once cared so much about and invested in with so much energy and belief, were no longer of interest or importance. 

‘I’ no longer cared about the business, brand, or character that had been built, realizing that ‘I’ was the culprit of every bit of stress, frustration, and darkness that currently existed.  

Every memory and prior experience poured out, and instead of looking and seeing the world outwardly through the lens of a persons ambitious goals, there now was tremendous space for it to be perceived inwardly. Like a necessary sickness had been vomited out, beneficial to finally see what had been inside, useful to properly consider the diet that ‘I’ had been on. 

A vast container realizing it was not the contents it held, only emptied to see the truth that emptiness can be most content, and that without carrying around all of the imaginary ideas, goals, and labels, life still happened, just without all of the previous stuff attached. 

The story I had been telling to myself and others was no longer needed. 

Deep within it was realized that nothing external that had been pursued up to that point in life was important anymore, and never truly was. Because of this, a presence deep within got a taste of its self. 

This did not feel like finding anything, it was simply ceasing to play dress up any longer because ‘I’ had finally been seen, no longer celebrated by belief. 

And things got dark before they got light. 

If anything it felt like being stripped naked.  At first there were all of these items like shame, guilt, frustration, fear, jealousy, pride, and anger because everything was forced into confrontation. 

These projections manifested in the way reality was presented, so at this time which was about six months ago I began to spend considerable amounts of time in solitude. 

And these items weren’t things I could just walk away from because they had been cultivated and fed by habit. It was seeing what was actually there for the first time. 

Like woah…I am not awesome, I stink. 

It was gross. 

You know, its like trolls live under bridges for a reason. 

Thriving there while not being believed in. 

Never would I have thought myself to be any of these things until I saw that what I thought I was, I wasn’t. Once I stopped feeding myself with this story I made up, it was all out in the open, things that only I could really see, things that only  I could begin to work on by being aware of them.  

It makes sense that if you are telling your self a story, you see yourself as the hero. No one wants to believe they are the troll underneath the bridge.

And for so long the mind was believing ‘I’ was this good guy.  Set out to do good things, for good reasons. 

“The Artist”,  people love that dude.

 ‘I’ love that dude. 

And why wouldn’t ‘I’ love him?  He served as the magical juice potion that filled the presence of the vast container. He was Captain Culprit from the pulpit, that was navigating with Napoleon complex the stories of the mind. 

The presence now is thankful for him, he was necessary to see, useful to realize untrue. 

What was previously dark and heavy began to become light. 

Often we choose to feel special rather than feeling peace, we seek importance rather than calmness, imagining that purpose is something to be done, not a presence to be filled by the emptying of what we believe our characters to be. 

The terrible ways I had treated people without seeing it because of the justification from this imaginary character, and his silly imaginary purpose. If you are reading this and that ever happened to you I ask for your forgiveness. ‘I’ was ignorant. 

All of these habits that could no longer hide within the busyness and lack of moment to moment awareness, veiled by the shadows of an imaginary daily to do list,  labeled within the mind as purposeful productivity steering from the compass of some silly little mans ambition. 

The poor decisions, addictive behavior,  and all of this stuff that was there that wasn’t very pleasant to see. 

The hero troll underneath the bridge. 

Grace revealed a light. 

Presence it rose. 

I am thankful for it. 

Its really pretty simple. If you aren’t kind to the other beings you encounter, you are not being productive.

If you see other beings as competition or threats, you are not being productive. 

If you prioritize your imaginary personal agenda over the moment that is revealing itself to you, that has been aeons in the making specifically sent to teach you,  then you are not being productive. 

I can see this now. 

Upon clearing room by vomiting out this potion ‘I’  had been drinking, from the emptiness that at first seemed like a dark abyss new observations began to arise from within. 

What was previously dark and heavy began to become light. 

Trust, Faith, Calm, Peace, and for the first time real Joy. 

Not peace from the absence of problems, rather the relationship with the truth that I am not them, the wisdom of seeing that ‘I’ once was, and knowing without humility still can be. 

Not peace of mind in the way that troubling thoughts ceased to happen, instead a laughter at the lunacy of some of the minds proposterous propositions I realized that prior I believed as truth. 

Not joy created from making others joyful, or a happiness from making others happy. Yes those are good too, but this is something different. Something that stands on its own. Without a cause, something that takes up no space inside but rather grants it. 

A realization that the purpose of a story carried is to eventually not need it, and the pleasure in the moment to moment trusting of that. 

Story can help make sense of what has happened, create imaginary meaning to what is happening, and give comfort that what is going to happen can be known, but as a being settling into the truth of the moment, speaking from story becomes quite unnecessary. 

True seeing. 

The search for peace of mind is ceased once the mind is transcended. Joy blooms in fertilizer from the death of arrogance. Calm is ok with knowing nothing, but pleasures in being. Faith does not seek direction, it reveals it. 

It is true that you are seeing what you are thinking, and until you get past thinking what you see, and believing what you think, you are both blind, deaf, dumb. 

An enemy to your self, a broken compass seeking direction through stories of how good it has been with directions. 

A sip of truth, both beautiful and terrifying. 

Beauty with the purpose of rousing what is true within awake to the recognition of self, to pursue what truly quenches. Terrifying to what is untrue, forcing it out in the open to be seen, never again able to camouflage with the thoughts of praiseful narrative, or imagined purposeful productivity. 

The idea of having nothing and being no one, to be at peace with this. 

Like dying and being reborn. 

A vast container realizing that even without the contents held for so long, in stillness can be full of nothing, and thats actually a lovely place to be. 

Peace. 

A lesson by the Grace of God, with the gift of presence. 

‘The Artist’, that man is dead. 

Baron Batch, the character who paraded around like he knew something, ambitious and full of desire. I now can see he knew nothing. 

He was simply a necessary lens that revealed what was true, by allowing a being to see what it was not, which was its self playing dress up.  A fleshy bag clothed of diverse experiences, all necessary to realize the truth in the unnecessary clothes being wore, and story told;  that once removed revealed what was always there. 

Within the temple of now, a being observing an awareness of presence, connected with everything, simply here to learn and love each moment encountered and properly reflect. 

Now. 

There isn’t much to say. There isn’t anything desired or being chased. There are no plans or goals.  There is tremendous peace here, from that peace, calm. From calm, a spring of joy. 

I sit in awe of the Grace of God, and the intricate design of each moment, divinely ordered leading each being to the recognition that each moment and being encountered sits as both a mirror and a teacher. 

No matter how dark things are, there is always a light within.  It is the moment to moment removal of the darkness of ignorance not that leads home, but reveals it. 

Purity in the pursuit of Truth. 

 A miraculous moment of life, celebrating its existence through the instrument of a person. 

A harmonic frequency, being properly tuned. 

The adherence to truth in everyday life is to be guided by intuitive wisdom as to what is right and virtuous in all circumstances. The awareness that each moment that passes and every thought that occurs is not to be a ruler over us, but rather a proper measurer specifically encountered for each being to train and grow, while attending this earthly school. 

Often we can learn to look the part. We can learn what it looks like to be confident, to have faith, to be humble. But these attributes are nothing without them being tested, and the greatest tests we encounter are the dealings within the mind as the moment to moment illusion of the journey of life passes through the presence which is truly you and I. 

My person, your person, their stories and beliefs that are held so close and tight, simply exist to realize that it can be let go of, and once that is done, life still happens in a much lighter and vastly more entertaining way.  

For from this place there is a presence that is seeing what is happening, not limited to a character being played,  pulled by their mind that is simply telling stories. 

There are enough people with beliefs, and not enough humans being. 

So what now? 

In this moment I am, staring at the mountains, hearing the flow of a river, gazing upon vast blue skies.  

Taking these moments to simply be still with nature. 

This past year has been a process of emptying, undressing, and disassembly.  Everything experienced prior culminating in a magnificent lesson in humility and letting go, while falling in love with the unfolding of life.  

Everything previous preparation for a being to awake, moving forward aware that by simply being this, proper use of this person can be maximized by God. 

For there are no plans or agendas of my own, in this way being surrendered. 

Lord search my heart in each moment with this. 

This is the beautiful human love story we are all part of.

While at times the world seems like a very dark place, in the midst of wars, violence, hatred, greed, lust, and all of that other icky mind stuff, the world is very beautiful. What we see as the lack of beauty within the world is simply the inner reflection of humanity outwardly manifested, and its dealings with ego and mind. 

Therefore to see the world in a better light while adding light to it, move forward choosing presence over person, stillness over story, not personal goals or agenda, but a presence reflecting what is true, and allowing existing as this to be in harmony with the natural unfolding of the universe. 

We collectively sit at a very opportune time for beings to realize that the best way to make a change is to be a proper reflection of what is true wherever it is that you go, resting in stillness and faith that to make a difference it is paramount to first be able to truly see what is happening within your intimate interiorized interactions with the moments given, when and where they are given.

May we honor the moments and interactions that are sent to train, and teach us each day. 

Purity in the pursuit of Truth. 

Loving other people while transcending your own. 

May hearts be open to this.

Peace is an inside job. 

-B 

The Ocean that can see

There was a man inside a bottle, inside an Ocean that could see. The ocean tapped upon the glass, the man said “I’m busy don’t bother me.”

The Ocean was persistent, it had all the time to wave. The man was so consistent, thinking he knew how to behave.

The Ocean kept on knocking as the bottle kept on rocking, while inside the stubborn man stayed distracted by his talking.

The Ocean loved the man for it would not give up on him, in time the talking ceased the man was all alone again. No longer entertained by the voice of his own talk, he leaned against the bottle as the Ocean steady rocked.

He began to understand that there was something big and wondrous outside, and realizing he ignored it soon his heart began to cry.

He cried out please don’t leave me, I was busy talking I didn’t know. Please come knock again its very crowded all in here alone.

Dear Ocean, Father, Friend of mine, please don’t give up on me. As his breath began to fog the glass, the man began to see.

The Ocean became invisible, but the veil that hid it all the same. The man soon came to know the Ocean and he were never separate, rather substances the same.

The man stayed very quiet, waiting for the Oceans tap. But the tap it did not come, so soon the man began to nap.

Inside the bottle floating in the Ocean that could see, the man began to dream that the Ocean it was he.

In this dream floated a bottle, while inside a sleeping man. The Ocean yearned to wake him so it created an elaborate plan.

With all the time to wave, the Seeing Ocean rocked itself to sleep. Awakening as a man inside a bottle, through foggy glass began to see.

A burst of freedom, joy exclaimed, the Man wept oceanic loving grateful tears.

“How did I never see before this bottle that was gifted?”

“Why was I busy talking when within your substance I am lifted?”

The Ocean smiled infinite, saturated with pure glee. Then the Ocean as the Man, spoke through its own vessel that could see.

I am He, I am He, from the Ocean said a Man.

I am He, I am He, I don’t not need there is a plan.

The vessel grew into an old man, in perfect time to rejoin it’s own ocean. He closed his eyes, the bottle opened, starting another rocking motion.

 

A Storm is Coming

If I laid my life out as a detailed book of the unfortunate events that have happened to me, most people would see me as cursed.

But from every unfortunate thing that has ever happened to me I have been more fortunate on the path ahead. Life is fair in this way if you allow it to be.

You become cursed when you believe you can be, and you become blessed when you believe that you are.

For example, because of an injury that at the time altered my present in a way most saw negatively at the time, I instantly gained my entire future by seeing it differently.

The instant I tore my ACL, In a way I became an artist. Because that injury is why I began to paint.

Perspective.

For me adversity has always been my greatest blessing, because adversity is what gives a man perspective.

Adversity is what has created me, but that is the way it is for everyone.

Adversity always makes us who we are, because adversity forces recreation of self. It forces everyone to either become better or worse because of it. And no one can ever be the same person they were before an adverse situation. It is impossible to do so. Adversity is the judge that is never wrong.

Because of this, adversity can be a blessing or a curse depending on ones perspective.

We are the ones who ultimately must save ourselves. We create our own triumph and we create our own misery.

With every difficult situation you begin to live another life. And I have lived many now.

On August 8th 2011, during the last play of the last practice before my first NFL game I tore my ACL.

It was a non-contact injury meaning that the odds simply were not in my favor that day, as most would see it as another stroke of bad luck for me.

My foot got caught in the perfect position in the turf, moving exactly in a certain direction causing what most would see as a freak injury.

It all happened so perfectly.

I sat in my tiny dorm room that night alone with my thoughts, fighting to not let the doubt and self pity set in.

During a situation of adversity the minute you let doubt win you immediately lose a certain future that is always better, replacing it with another certain one that is always not. If negativity wins during adversity you change your future outcome becoming cursed by being blinded to the other reality that is always present, that is always locked within your own decision to choose which perspective you proceed in life with.

In this way I see life as fair.

I drifted off to sleep in my tiny dorm room at training camp with my leg propped up with ice.

I began to dream vividly.

It was a dream that gave me perspective, so it was a dream that changed everything for me.

Upon waking up I felt at peace with what had occurred the day prior. Upon waking up I felt in control of my thoughts for the first time, and quickly learned that is all that matters.

And this is what I wrote.

 

 

 

August 9th 2011

On a deserted island my thoughts and I sit, with a small coffee table in the middle of a forked trail with two paths. There is a kettle of coffee in the middle of the rickety warped wooden table where 3 coffee mugs sit in front of 3 old wooden chairs.

Above the skies are filled with dark clouds. The smell of rain fills my nostrils and I can taste the saltiness of the air. A beach is near. I can hear the distant crashing of the waves and the wind is beginning to whip across my face. I can see the brilliant flashes of lightning jumping from earth to sky, dancing across the clouds while speaking in a thunderous voice that I cannot understand. But I know what it says.

From the skies the lightning speaks with thunder distantly proclaiming. 
“A storm is coming”

My thoughts and I sit at the rickety coffee table, just the three of us with only a kettle of coffee for separation. Across from me sit two beautiful women; actually the word beautiful doesn’t suffice, beautiful is an understatement. These women are mesmerizing, they are radiant, and they are hypnotic. They begin to introduce themselves to me. As the first begins to speak and extend her hand for an introduction she is interrupted by the second woman who shows a gleaming perfect smile and says, “ Hi Baron, my name is Doubt.”

Doubt is stunning. She has long red hair, and wears heavy makeup. Her eyes draw me in immediately almost as if she can peer into my soul and see my thoughts and fears. My heart begins to race as I can feel all of my anxieties and fears being drawn from my deepest depths to my surface. I begin to panic but can’t look away. She is too enticing.

I feel a gentle touch on my forearm and immediately my fears, worries and anxieties subside. I break away from Doubts gaze and look to my right to see an outstretched hand. I grab hold and another woman introduces herself to me. “Hello Baron, I’m Faith.”

Faith looks much different than Doubt but is just as gorgeous. Faith has long dark hair that flows over her shoulders. She wears a white dress and cowboy boots. She has glasses and doesn’t wear makeup because she has nothing to hide; her skin is flawless. Her eyes are calming but her touch is what is indescribable. There is nothing like touching Faith.

As I sit with Doubt, and Faith at the tiny wooden, rickety, and warped table with only a coffee kettle in between us I ask, “Why am I here?” 


Doubt sits down her coffee mug with her thick red lipstick stuck to it and swallows before speaking.


“Look around you. Can’t you see that a storm is coming?” She says.

“Yes I can see that”

“Well you have to choose who you are going to set sail with.” Doubt hastily replied.

“Set sail?” I ask?

“Yes set sail! The storm is coming and we have to hurry. If we set sail quick enough we can maneuver around the storm and escape this island, the path behind me leads to a safe place to depart and we can avoid the storm, but we have to hurry. You must decide quickly.”

Doubt says with panic in her voice.

I begin to get nervous as I can see the colossal storm clouds moving closer to shore. I hear the increasing thunder and my heart begins to race.

I turn to Faith and ask, “Where does your path lead? Is it safe? Can we avoid the storm?”

Faith calmly replies “I cant tell you that, all I can assure you is that I can get you through the storm and to the beach on the other side”

As I sit at the rickety coffee table just my thoughts and I, the storm clouds begin to surround me. I can feel the rain starting to fall gently on my skin. I can hear the thunderclouds billowing their warning.

“A storm is coming.”

I know I must make a decision and make one quickly if I want to survive this storm. I look across the table at Doubt and Faith and both of them reach out their hands. I close my eyes and grab onto Faiths hand. She holds mine tight as we get up from the tiny wooden table and walk down the path that was behind her chair.

As Faith calmly leads me down her path that leads to the ocean the rain begins to pour, and the thunder begins to roar crying out,

“A storm is coming, a storm is coming!”

While Faith and I walk hand in hand to the beach I ask, “Where did Doubts path lead?” 


“You’ll see.” She replied


Soon we emerge at the end of the path and I can see the ocean. I can also see the enormity of the storm. The storm stretches as far as I can see and I am terrified.

In fear I turn back and run to Doubt.

“She said that knew how to avoid the storm. She said she knew a safe way of crossing.” I thought with panic.

As I turn to go back I see the exit to another path that was not the one I came out of. On the exit of that path I see Doubt standing. Her makeup has washed off and she looked nothing like she did before. I call out to her over the roaring winds “You said you had a safer way! You said that we could avoid this storm.”

Doubt says nothing. She only glares while standing at the exit.

I turn back to Faith and cry out with tears in my eyes,

“What do I do? I can’t face this storm.”

Faith says nothing.

She only extends her hand.

I run towards the ocean where she is standing by a small canoe. I look down with fear at the small canoe thinking, “there is no way this will make it through this storm.”

The waves crash at our feet as Faith calmly says, “Get in and row, don’t stop.”

I’m terrified but I crawl into the tiny canoe with Faith. We begin to row. The waves toss us from left to right, and up and down but we keep rowing.

The rain and wind slaps our bodies but we keep rowing.

The thunder proclaims from the clouds, “the storm is here!” as we keep rowing.

My arms begin to tire, but we keep rowing.

We row for what seems like eternity and finally the rain slows, the waves calm and the thunder echoes behind us whispering, “The storm has passed.” 
I turn to Faith exhausted from the journey and ask, “Why did Doubts path lead to the same place on the beach? I thought she said she could avoid the storm”

Faith simply shook her head and said “Storms aren’t sent so that we can avoid them or run from them.”

“Then why was that storm sent for me?” I asked.

“You’ll see.” Faith said.

As we keep rowing the storm calms more and more and we begin to approach another beach. On this beach I can see thousands of tiny dots. At first I can’t make out what they are but as we row closer I can see that they are people; thousands and thousands of people standing at the waters edge.

As we get closer to shore I can see the seemingly endless amount of people standing in amazement watching us row out of the storm in the tiny canoe, just Faith and I.

I look at Faith and she smiles and says, “That’s why the storm was sent.”

“I don’t get it.” I tell her.

She says, “Do you see all those people? That storm was sent for them, but you are the one who had to sail through it.

You are an overcomer.

Because you are an overcomer your waters will rarely be calm. Because you are an overcomer your life will not be easy. Because you are an overcomer you will have to sail through storms simply so people can see that it’s possible. Because you are an overcomer you have no choice but to overcome. Your storms are not for you. Your storms are not your own.”

My storms are not for me. My storms are not my own.

I am an overcomer.

– Baron

 

Adversity is the judge that is never wrong. By our own choices we are blessed or cursed by the adversity that life gives to us.

Fast-forward four years, and I am who adversity made me to be.

Fast-forward four years, and I am who I choose to be.

I have made it to shore now and more than thousands have watched me do it, and because of this each person that sees my art sees my adversity.

And each person that enjoys my art, is thankful for my adversity just as I am.

The odds that I am where I currently am are very improbable, but then again life as a whole is very improbable.

However, I find beauty in the improbable. My improbabilities make me feel special, and to ever want something great for yourself you must first see yourself as special. Self-love is a romance that lasts a lifetime.

I am an anomaly. I am an outlier. I am different. I am destined. I am blessed.

But so are you, if you bring yourself to believe that to be so.

I am the mathematical inconsistency of what studies say I should be, and where I should be.

But right now, I am who I am and I am here.

 

-The Artist