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So where have I disappeared to? No, I am still not back at the tables, and yes, I decided to skip FTOPS.
I was approached with an amazing opportunity to fly to California and re-connect with myself....my spirit. I am writing this blog from there. It is my 5th day out here and I can't even begin to describe how much self-awareness, self-healing, motivation, inspiration and re-focus I have found here. I am in the company of the most amazing, selfless individuals...who inspire others to live a healthy, serene life... physically, mentally and spiritually. Those who have been reading my blog from the start, or have ventured into my soul fountain blog.... know that I am a very spiritual, deep person...because there have been times where I have shared this with you through my reflections, poems and artwork. So when I lost control with poker... it REALLY made me stop in my tracks. Why? Because it was so far off the center of peace I always aim to maintain that I didnt even recognize myself. I didnt recognize the behavior...I didnt recognize my persistent pessimism.. blaming everything and anything except for myself and my own shortcomings. It's as if everything fell into place when this selfless hand reached out to me and invited me to Ventura, California to take part in this healing, uplifting experience. I have been on a physical pH Diet Detox for 5 days now. It consists of 3 liters of water a day, green vegetables, flax seed oil and raw cashews/almonds. Thats it!
No sugar, no processed foods, no yeast, flour, caffeine, dairy, meat, etc. Many studies have showed a strong link between your physical health and mental well being...and I was open to trying anything when I came out here, because I trust the individuals leading me and I know their intentions are pure. I'm not gonna lie.. I have definitely had my share of cravings, especially the first two days.. but it has become easier and easier as each day passes. I am at the halfway point...it is a total 10 day detox. However, if someone told me right this second that it was over.. I know I wouldn't run to the nearest Taco Bell or Pizza Hut...It has felt great eating healthy, because for so many months I neglected my diet. I ate whatever, whenever and barely drank water. I was addicted to diet soda and I havent had it in 5 days, and its been great...
Along with the detox diet.. I have been doing daily sessions of meditation and yoga. I have learned breathing techniques to help quiet a restless mind and I have learned to focus my mind on thoughtless thoughts. As each day passes, I notice more and more about life...little things that I used to appreciate that I havent noticed in so long. I was on a walk a few mornings ago and I smelled a strong scent of Jasmine.. so I went along the sidewalk trying to find the house with the jasmine bush and really just took it in.. I know this all must sound so corny and ridiculous.. but I was in this bubble of poker for so long... that I had become so numb to the little things.. to the beauty that surrounds us every day... the good in everybody. It's as if someone took a high volatge conductor and jolted the life back into me. I have never felt so alive.. so grateful.. so appreciative of the beautiful people and things in this world. You know in poker, we expend a lot of time focusing on our opponents. I wonder what his range is.. what is he three-betting me with here...what are his time tells...what are my notes on him...but imagine, how much more success we would find in poker if we focused our attention on the biggest opponent of all.. sitting right there at the table with you....yourself. There is no doubt, strategy and skill are important to being a winning poker player. And I had both.. it wasnt my lack of strategy and skill that caused me to fall down into a vicious cycle. It was my lack of discipline...my lack of will power...my failure to connect with those stable, strong parts of my being that would have stopped me from continuously making the same stupid, irrational, destructive mistakes.
How many of us play in games daily that we know we shouldnt be in? How many of us are in a tournament and know that our hand is beat but we shove it in anyway? How many of us do not listen to our inner voices, and do the opposite of what we often know is best for us? How many times do we continue playing when we are clearly agitated, feeling defeated, feeling as though we can only lose that day? How often do we use the will power to stop and walk away til our mind has reached calmer shores? For me it was not often enough.. and only you can truthfully answer these questions for yourself and motivate yourself to improve the leaks you may find. I knew if I didnt fix my leaks soon, my ship would sink. So here I am...giving honest answers to difficult questions that are arising from my depths, sorting through them, and releasing the negative energy that had been tying me down for so long. In upcoming blogs I will talk about different methods I am using to control, recognize, and act on tilt when it may arise again. And also methods I am using to focus myself before each session I play.
In the meantime, spend time giving honest answers to the questions that arise within you...and inspire yourself to change. Change only happens at extremes.. when we are faced with inspiration or desparation. Stagnancy does not initiate change. So be inspired...
Because all the physical, tangible things you may get in life, will never make you as happy as the fountain of joy and strength you will find, if you search deep within. Happiness is not a possession.. it is a connection with your spirit.. and the resultant impact it has on those who find themselves in your company. Let it be contagious.