This post does a terrible job of capturing the “crazy” and the “spiritual” I experienced during Cycle 9. What basically happened is I started getting manic right at the start of my first trip to the US. That mania took me in and out of extremely spiritual experiences throughout the trip as well as when I got back to Taiwan. This blend of mania and spirituality lasted all the way up to December 26th, the day I celebrated my birthday party. That was on a Sunday. The following Monday I got a shot of medicine that put me into a depressive state. This is why the “Story” is getting posted so late. I normally get them done in the period of time between the 108 days.
Here are a few photos that capture the “crazy/spiritual”.
The interesting thing about getting crazy in Cycle 9 is that the goal of Cycle 8 was “don’t be crazy”. I really want to take “crazy” out of my vocabulary and instead use “spiritual”, especially in regards to the experiences I have from my point of view. I understand that things look crazy from the outside, but they’re always extremely spiritual experiences from within.
What I really need to do is create a comprehensive definition of “spiritual” for myself. Spiritual is a really vague term. Anyhow… this is a jumbly mess of a post BUT Cycle 9 was also a jumbly mess of a cycle (which I highly enjoyed for the most part!)
The Blog Post Starts
I titled Cycle 9 Dream+Flow’s “So It Begins”. It was supposed to be the beginning of each cycle building off of the last cycle for the remaining 99 cycles (33 years) of this 108 project I’m doing. Building off of each cycle both personally and professionally.
Professionally I wanted to create something to sell. I made some decent progress on that by reading “The Embedded Entrepreneur” and going through the steps laid out in the book for identifying the audience I’d like to serve.
Personally, I got off to a great start. I was meditating, fasting, exercising, and some other things every day. I was tracking it with pretty graphics like this one:
The reason I choose to include a picture of an airplane is because this was the day I left Taiwan for America for a courier job. This image in particular is a perfect segue into all of that personal and professional progress coming to an end. I stopped posting these updates three days after this one.
Coming to America
My trip to America was intense. My manic/spiritual energy was ramping up and I had a lot of places I was going and people I was seeing. I went to Milwaukee, New York, DC, and LA over the course of three weeks. Here are a couple of highlights from each area…
I was in Milwaukee for a week and stayed with my friend and tai chi student Shane (Instagram). There were two major highlights from this trip. The first was doing a podcast with my father about his experience as an organizer which started with the Black Panther Party when he was 18.
I learned a lot of things I didn’t know about my dad during the podcast and during the time I spent with him before and after recording. Something I was surprised to hear about is that he played a major role in forming the African and African Diaspora Studies program at UW Milwaukee.
The second major highlight from the trip was establishing a Milwaukee Chapter of Black Horse Tai Chi. Three of my students in Milwaukee came together to get this process started and a physical location to hold classes was found as well.
The Founding of the Milwaukee Chapter of Black Horse Tai Chi at St Mark AME Church.
A Tai Chi meetup at the community center under the Bartollota’s Lark Park Bistro
Something I learned from my dad about Teju the Story Teller (all dressed in white) was that he was the driving force behind changing the UW Milwaukee mascot to a black panther. That was strange to hear because earlier in the day I took a picture of myself with the statue of the black panther located at the UWM grounds.
I also learned that Teju, in his younger years, organized bringing Muhammad Ali to Milwaukee.
I was also able to see a bunch of family and friends while in Milwaukee
I had a blast in New York. I was immediately greeted by my favorite member of the Wu-Tang Clan when I entered the New York Subway for the first time.
I prioritized making it to the ODB (RIP) holy site in Brooklyn.
I was stayed with my childhood friend Helen. When she wasn’t busy running around the city for her business, she was showing my her New York like, for example, a burlesque show with a guy who tap danced with his feet on fire! That was great.
She also accompanied me to the pop-up Universal Hip Hop Museum (uhhm.org) which is there while they finish building the main site (which is going to be huge). While there I got to meet Popmaster Fabel. Not only did I get to meet him, but he was our guide through the museum.
Being a Wu-Tang Clan super fan, a friend of mine took me to all of the Wu-Tang “holy sites” on Staten Island.
This same friend also took me to the New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden (Wikipedia) which was also located on Staten Island.
I found it crazy that a hip hop group based on Chinese cultural through kung fu movies existed in the same place where there was a Chinese garden. As far as I know they grew up independent of one another.
I also stopped by the ALLAH SCHOOL IN MECCA because I’m a fan of Wu-Tang Clan and hip hop in general. There is a long list of rappers who were influenced by the philosophies which came out of that school and ALLAH (Wikipedia). This is legitimately a holy site of a new religious movement (even though they don’t call their movement religious).
DC was great. I got to see my younger sister, a old childhood friend as well as A-Sun, a friend from Milwaukee.
I had some REALLY moving experiences at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. This really needs a post of its own, but I’ll use two pictures to capture the roller coaster ride of emotions I felt there. There first is an image of shackles that were used for men, women… a BABIES?!?
The museum starts in the basement with the dark history of the slave trade. I wish it went further back into African history and showed all of the great technological and scientific achievements of Africans but… nope. Slavery is where it starts. The next level up is about Black life in America during slavery right up to the civil rights movements. There’s where the third level begins and it felt REALLY good seeing this right as I stepped into the third level.
There were some other museums I checked out, but we’ll leave it here for brevity.
The day I got there I happened to catch some graffiti that happened the night before.
I also saw a peace vigil that has been going on for over 40 years, 24/7…
I ended up walking all around the National Mall and stopping at all of the memorials the surround it.
LA was… crazy. Weed is legal there and I had my first experience of staying “smoked out” almost 24/7. It ended up being a very spiritual experience for me. I have a lot of great experiences that came out of my weekend there but… they’re best left off of the internet for now. Nothing too crazy, it just requires more writing than I want to include in this “Story” post. My host during the LA portion of the trip was my spirit fam. Empress.
After the “Big Trip”
I never got back into the rhythm of Cycle 9 after that trip. Coming back into Taiwan I had to do 15 days of quarantine. I ended up doing another courier trip two weeks out of quarantine, but I didn’t hang out in the US that time. I ended up coming straight back to Taiwan and doing another 15 days of quarantine.
The travel ended up putting a strain on my marriage. This strain, plus mania, plus “spirit mode”, plus medicine, had me on an energetic roller coaster. I experienced some really high highs and some depressive lows at the end of the cycle.
There are a lot of stories to tell from this period of time as well but… I don’t want this post to get too long. I’ll just say that everything got capped off with a delayed birthday party I had on December 26th because I was in quarantine for my birthday. I was feeling really high that day!
The Point-by-Point Breakdown of my Dream+Flow
This is really what I want these “Story” posts to be about. Holding myself accountable. In the “Cycle 9 Dream+Flow” post I say what I want to do and how I want to do it. Below I recap how well things went. Let’s do that now!
Dream: Create a Product One Year Flow to Your Dream Master Class (maybe)
Flow: Spend at least 1 hour and 8 minutes working on this each day (ideally more)
Like I mentioned at the start of this. I was following the steps of a book and did a really good job making progress every day until that trip to the US threw everything out the window.
Dream: Have Deep Conversations with Myself
- Pen and paper journaling every day.
- Review old journals, personal development plans, and digital media
- Maybe: Produce a blog post about the main takeaways every 12 days
- Maybe: Produce a profile for mtk and CAP
- Maybe: Produce podcast episodes about the transformation
- Maybe: Restart therapy
None of this really happened. It’s Day 30 of Cycle 10 as I type this, but I think I’ll roll some of these things over into the Cycle 10 Dream+Flow when I get it done. The really is some reflecting that I need to start doing.
Dream: Investigate the Void and Don’t Fear Being Full of Shit
- Meditate for 1:08 for 108 days
- Study “The Secret of the Golden Flower”
This actually went really good for the first 24 days. I meditated every one of those day for 1:08 and I studied “The Secret of the Golden Flower” daily as well. Even though I stopped doing this after I started traveling, I got A LOT out of the work that got done before things stopped. This was my second attempt at meditating for an hour or more a day and I learned a lot from each session. The first session ended up freaking me out! I really started to see the “emptiness” in all things and started to lose touch with my sense of self. It was really strange. I went in to this second round with the experience from the first and with more insights from “The Secret of the Golden Flower”. I didn’t realize it during that first try, but the book actually talks about these kinds of experiences, both how to avoid them, and what to do when they happen.
I got to a point where I wanted 1:08 to be the minimum amount of time I meditated every single day. That didn’t happen, but I was definitely pulling a lot of positive experiences from those longer meditations to have that thought. In Cycle 10, I’ll just be working on getting my basic daily meditation practice rolling again.
Dream: Check-In for 108 Days Straight
Story: That didn’t happen. >.<
Dream: Rehabilitate My Hip
Flow: A daily healthy exercise routine that rejuvenates my hip.
That never happened the last cycle, but I created a routine for Cycle 10 that I’ve been sticking to. The cool thing about these cycles is that a total failure one cycle becomes the education for making it successful the next, or another, cycle.
Dream: Cook One Meal a Week
- Do meal planning on the weekend
- Cook one meal a week.
This never happened, but I might have a plan for Cycle 10…
I really wanted this cycle to be the beginning of making consistent progress towards a single idea which is basically creating the 108 system, Flow to Your Dream/Flowism philosophy and sharing it far and wide. Even though that’s not exactly what happened this past cycle, it still feels like enough progress was made in those early days for it to have successfully been the start of something that I’ll be working to grow each and every cycle moving forward.