Rocky Balboa & Zen Habits

A Self-Sufficient Mind


In a quiet room, we can find stillness. And in that stillness, we can contemplate our own mind.

What we often find is that the mind is very restless. It wants to take care of a thousand things, because it’s feeling some uncertainty and fear. It wants to fix problems, take care of all the undone things, figure out if everything is going to be OK. It wants to get all of our needs met, from survival needs to meaning, connection and love.

The mind is restless, wanting to fix everything, get everything it needs.

What if we could allow our minds to rest, settling into the full sufficiency of itself just as it is?

We would need nothing in each moment, other than what’s required for physical survival. That doesn’t mean we do nothing (though we could!) — beyond our needs, there might be a wholehearted desire to do some good for ourselves or others, but it doesn’t have to come from fear.

There’s a settledness, a peace, that can come with this kind of practice.

There’s a feeling that we are enough. That everything we need is already contained in us.

It’s a lifetime practice.

Here’s how I recommend starting:

  1. Sit in a quiet spot. Elevate your hips above your knees with a cushion, to give yourself more stability and comfort. Sit in an upright but relaxed posture. Eyes can be closed or slightly open with a soft downward gaze.
  2. Find stillness. Stay in this spot for at least 5-10 minutes, longer over time if you like. It doesn’t have to be long, but when you feel restless, stay for a little longer to practice with this restlessness.
  3. Rest in direct experience. Let your attention turn to the sensations of your body, the sensations of the present moment. These sensations are direct experience of the world. Rest your mind in this open awareness of direct experience, without needing to do anything but witness them.
  4. Observe the mind. Your mind will want to turn away from this direct experience. That’s because it feels unsettled. It wants to get its needs met, or fix problems or deal with uncertainties or fear. That’s OK! Watch the mind do its thing. What is it trying to fix? Notice the underlying fear or desire as the mind tries to do its thing.
  5. Appreciate the luminous quality of the mind. The mind is like an energy, trying to do its best to survive. It is unaware that it already is brilliant, abundant, enough. It is luminous and beautiful. We can start to appreciate these delightful qualities of the mind. This takes curiosity, appreciation, and lots of practice. Keep practicing.

Dearest Neli Hristova:

Ya say you live in a mansion in Pridis – nope ya actually live on the Tsu Tina Reserve.

Ya cheat on your sweet, soft spoken husband Barry from Tsu Tina with a man half your age.

Ya say you are “close personal friends” with people who have never, ever met you.

Stop trying to find validation through others and learn to further develop your soul. Focus on getting better on the inside – less on the outside.

Ya always find some gypsy way.

Ya never attended aesthetics school, nor any post secondary school.

Your daughter is neither a dermatologist nor a lawyer. She is a desperate housewife in Bulgaria.

Ya blackmail, spread rumours & gossip about every client, every person who has the bad luck of walking through your door. You shouldn’t mock people behind their backs, it’s best to mind yo business.

You threaten with an iron fist. Much like the communist shithole you came from.

You lift people up to mercilessly drag them down. You enjoy the fall. The drama. The chaos.

Neli you hate me and you always have . Doesn’t bother me in the least. I don’t play with dark energy. I like sunshine. Hate me more.

Ya move that little devilish shop constantly, always blaming outside forces. When the truth is, the bad reviews come a pouring in, you are unable to get along with anyone who does not entertain your inflated ego . Or ….when Alberta Health Services forces you to close.

The problem is not external Neli, the problem is not with Derma Vital.
The problem is internal. Always has been.

Underneath all that fake Versace, is a very ugly, very ill intentioned creature indeed.

In the wise words of Sebastian Itturalde :

“Get me get out of here Satan!”

Derma Vital

To The man with the God Complex

“A god complex is an unshakable belief characterized by consistently inflated feelings of personal abilityprivilege, or infallibility. A person with a god complex may refuse to admit the possibility of their error or failure, even in the face of irrefutable evidence, intractable problems or difficult or impossible tasks. The person is also highly dogmatic in their views, meaning the person speaks of their personal opinions as though they were unquestionably correct.

Someone with a god complex may exhibit no regard for the conventions and demands of society, and may request special consideration or privileges.”

To the man who thinks he is a God.

Trust me when I say that I understand
That believin’ in nothing is a lead heavy hand
That the fate of the water resolves in the sand
That maybe all we’re doing is for nothin

You stammer anxiously but with nothing to say
The chords all feel empty when you sit down to play
So you stand in the doorway smokin herb, sippin wine, waiting for a change

But if nothing is sacred, then nothing is lost

Wishin’ that every piece was for something
But it’s not.

Im not the one to be shackled with a forehead frown
Still the remaining traces of us seem to lie spread apart. The charred pieces I’m trying to swallow but as usual I keep missing the mark.
The engine won’t turn, and the furnace won’t spark
Conversations of futures, resigned to the dark.

Feels like all that’s been built will crumble

I was in your corner, whatever the cost
The gossip from fake friends with iron fists keeps you down

Once innocent, so sweet we were. I loved you more than I hope you ever understand. Our faith tested, we ripped each other apart.
Doubting each other’s words and validity, the ugliest, most vicious immoral backstabbing.

Sometimes I go back to that perfect place. Before the clouds came, in that space where we were safe.

Cause if nothing is sacred, then nothing is lost
And I was in your corner, whatever the cost
If the fists that are flying, are keeping you down
Then fight a little harder, for once in your life Pirin stand your ground.
I will leave you with this lastly and in very poor taste. The damage you did is such a disgrace.

I spent hours going back to check on that space. that same spot, salvaging what I can for you before it’s erased.

You’re blinded by a fragile ego and false pride. Pirin Rouptchin you lie, a thousand lies.

Lacking integrity, an easily bought opportunist at heart.

But what you dont understand is The heart who has understanding seeks knowledge,
The mouth of fools- feeds on foolishness.

Promises I once believed now resigned to a deeply scarred mistrust. Thanks so much for making the wall around my little heart a guarded mountain of death for the next person to climb.

PS: Your sex game sucks
< sorry! not sorry) I still hate you. Forever and always,

Warmest regards,

Narcissus by Caravaggio, Pirin gazing at his own reflection
Pirin Rouptchin
Pirin Rouptchin
Pirin Rouptchin walking with Ryder Ryckman
Pirin Rouptchin master plan roofing

Like some shitty version of the bachelor, I saw what you are and I exited stage left. Let some other sucker win.

Play stupid games and you win stupid prizes.

I know you think you’re the best thing since sliced bread but what’s stuck in my throat is this: Like the king of wands upside down, it’s all a mirage.

You work hard to look good for an imaginary paparazzi. You live in a place that is not yours. You sleep in sheets you never earned.

Time has escaped you. Spent foolishly in clubs holding someone’s daughter’s purse. 15 years is a LONG time to be doing nothing.

Everything you show the world as your own is borrowed without permission from someone else.

Money aside, what I’m posted about is your well hidden lack of integrity.

You have a blind fold over your eyes and I had one over my mouth.

Holding my tongue for what? To be gentle on your elephant sized ego?

An ego so fragile, you manipulated and gaslit situations and you look like an idiot. All the people you & Neli tried to rip off became my most beneficial friends. I cleaned up your roofing shingle messes, ‘nough said.

Wish fulfiller? Nope nightmare enhancer. I wish I could erase my brain.

Masterplan roofing is the worst joke you’ve ever played on yourself. Master Plan your ass to sobriety.

I finally pulled the swords out of my back! Thank you so much! And fuck you very , very much!

A state of constant discomfort

My life has been a mostly self induced whirlwind.

As I gain wisdom I understand the importance of the delicate balance between chaos and complexity.

When I was young I despised routine and comfort.

Though my parents are very disciplined creatures of habit, I wanted to explore the other side. I had questions.

So I set off to explore the unknown, the dreamy Yin. To sample everyone, everything, every moment, every inch in every corner of this life.

From the floor of an underground punk concert, to the Armenian mafia, I wanted to learn about chaos. 

I saw the best things and I saw the worst things. 
But I know now the value of both sides now.
Life is yin and yang.

Part chaos, part order.

Life is half light, half dark.

Neither is anything without the other. But both are dangerously damaging in excess. 

So the best place I’ve found is to carefully tiptoe the edge separating the two.

Practice with the Feeling of Chaos

We often think the problem is with our outer circumstances — we have too much to do, everything is messy! — or we think the problem is that we’re not good in staying on top of everything.

But there’s another approach, rather than changing external circumstances or getting better at doing everything right.

The approach is to learn to find peace with chaos.

It’s an acceptance that our lives will always be a bit chaotic, turbulent, messy. Our lives will never be in order. And so we can accept this chaos as not just a part of life, but the experience of life itself. This chaos is how life feels.

And then we can learn to relax, and find peace. Imagine finding calm while out in a stormy sea. Learning to love the storm itself.

So here’s how I suggest practicing with this:

  • Write out a reminder to practice during the day — a note to yourself like, “Feel the chaos.” Then practice noticing when you’re feeling scattered, overwhelmed, messy.
  • When you notice the feeling … pause. Take a breath. Bring your awareness to the bodily sensations of the messiness. Stay with these sensations for as long as you’re able, coming back to them if your mind gets caught up in thinking.
  • Bring a gentle, open, non-judgmental awareness to the sensations of scatteredness. Can you be curious about these sensations, wanting to know more about them?
  • See these sensations as simply how chaos feels for you right now. Can you learn to relax with these sensations? Can you learn to breathe and find gratitude for them?

If you practice with these sensations of fear & messy chaos, learn to get more comfortable with the chaos so you can face it head on. You can learn to relax, and flow with how things are, take the hits as they come. And restore order.

The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows.

Down the Rabbit Hole


We all live in our own reality. I knew that expression 2 weeks ago. It was just that to me, an expression, a quote. Some new age hippie bs, whatever.

I always categorized myself as someone who was “kicking ass”. I was a rebellious teen who had really lived an exciting life. Then a successful single mother. I had a silver Mercedes. I had a “dream” career in Hollywood. I admired everything about Harvey Specter from Suits. I worked my tail off and people liked me. All good.

Then it all disappeared. My reality was suddenly something very real and I was watching it crumble like a sandcastle.

When I woke up 2 weeks ago, in Calgary Alberta (no offence) a single mother of two very young boys, with no job, staring at an email from my ex’s lawyer that he was listing our house for sale; just like that.

It seems clear on the outside, just find somewhere else to go Lauren-.

But it’s not so forking clear when this tiny house you bought together in a foreign country is all you know.

I couldn’t see it as clear. I didn’t want to see any of it!

Every email from Adam Mair ( Canada’s   🇨🇦 Worst realtors) felt like a wave crashing into me, leaving my eyes blurry, my ears ringing and terrifyingly disorientated.

My hair was all straggly, I didn’t want to see anyone. In between gasps of air I emailed complete strangers for help. The only person who responded (without a credit card authorization slip) was the fantastic inspiring Alexa Mason. Did I heed her wise advice? Nope. No I did not, I didn’t do anything productive in fact (except become a research expert on just about every new age/self help rabbit hole) without actually helping myself.

I couldn’t accept that my own mind had somehow talked me out of who I was. My mind had decided that mediocre was fine. My former cheerleader and greatest ally, myself, had suddenly turned on me.

Our  minds can be a bit sneaky like that. The mind doesn’t want to be carefully examined,or dictated to, much less over ruled. So my mind slowly began to conjure up +67,890 reasons that could be a scapegoat.

It had to be something else. It had to be ANYTHING ELSE than me taking full accountability + responsibility and hardest of all: taking control for discipling my own mind.

In between fantasy and reality my ego said Aha! Maybe I hadn’t done enough Feng Shui for April, better go rearrange the entire house,  buy some foo dogs online.

Maybe it’s the high altitude and barometric pressure changes in Calgary. The chinooks can be a good scapegoat as to why my life feels meaningless and my procrastination is increasing.

As the hours ticked away, my research into; barometric pressure, vitamin deficiencies, my rh negative blood type, Vedic horoscope, Eastern and Western philosophies, geomagnetic storms, solar flares, all theories were openly appealing to mind. This “research” was surprisingly wielding few answers.

the Secret, “The Law of Attraction”, “subliminal mind reprogramming” & “don’t commit suicide today!”

All good advice.

But I kept waking up feeling exactly the same.

Stuart Wilde, my mind loved that idea,  stay home and manifest miracles.

I wanted someone, anyone to tell me how how I felt. Tell me I’m not in charge of my own destiny, tell me I hadn’t created this life where I had lost myself in mind. My living room littered with cheap dollar store Buddhas, arabic prayer writings, Amazon crystals, cupboards of vitamins and herbal remedies.

The further down the rabbit hole I went the darker it became. This ship had a hole in it, everyone jump off now, save yourselves.

I wished I was going insane in those days.

Because I was sane but I couldn’t for the life of me find a direction, find any meaning in my existence. I  wanted to cry in bed or more honestly get drunk and cry, with Xanax to clean up the mess of me
I can’t because I’m a mom. And I’m beyond grateful for the chance to be trusted with these perfect souls.

And Harvey Specter wouldn’t cry.

I had re started once again, this time in Calgary. 🤮

Determined to carve out a new life with my son. I quit most obvious bad habits, moved  two thousand miles away from everyone I knew.

I really thought I could outrun myself. Instead I had repeated myself,

with another son. A general lack of sleep. But filled with gratitude and humility z

I was comparing myself to all the people who had a marriage,a team mate and I started to suddenly blame and attack myself for why I was a single mom.

I would start a new project, not finish it, then let it irritate me every time I saw it unfinished.

I was self sabotaging but I couldn’t recognize it because I was carrying so much contempt for myself.

Again, in that reality, I was coasting along, able to take and discard the numerous “wake up Lauren slaps” and opportunities life kept hitting handing me. Because I didn’t think I deserved anything, I had become so self aware,so self conscious. My mind started to rip up old my ideas of myself, my self esteem to shreds, murderously and without notice.

If you want to remain the same, don’t ask where God is, or God where are you? Because he will show you. He will show you that your pathetic life is not serving anyone, not yourself, not your kids and definitely not the greater good.

I came to realization eventually that the only way out of this mind trap was to strive for the greatest good you can do in that moment.

When you feel overwhelmed – just do the next right thing.

make a sandwich.

To bring my chaotic life slowly but surely back into order I now know I should strive to go to bed knowing I did a little bit better job that day than I had done before.

I began to realize that everything my parents and the older generations had tried to teach me, was correct.

.Get up, make your bed, answer the calls , look at your bank accounts (even if that seems scary) raise these kids,stop blaming,be grateful, be open to possibility, strive to be more industrious, fix things that needed fixing.

Handle your shit.

Though I felt alone in those days I later felt like God was there the whole time. Listening to me act like a toddler. Waiting for me to finish my tantrum so he could show me how to behave better. And there I was. No sandcastle, two babies, all alone with my reflection, every wave exposing another lie I hadn’t wanted to see.

And I was finally fine with it. I picked my butt up and aspired from then on out I would aim higher. Do better. I would follow the straight and narrow path that our forefathers had carved out for us. My mind left to its own devices is a terror. But if I redirected it, focused it on doing the things that needed to be done and helped it to stop being scared of the million things that can be scary at any given time, things started to get better.

Start with making your bed. Take it from there.

sandcastle life

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