I’ll Stay in my Own Lane.

I won’t change you

I won’t judge you

I won’t argue with you

I’ll stay in my own lane

For life is too short for me to focus my energy on others

Telling them what they should or shouldn’t do

My work will be to accept all as they are

For I’m no god nor tyrant

No dictator or ruler

My path is mine to walk

No one can walk it for me

And I can not force you to change

Grow & change in your own time

Or not!

Who am I to judge?

I have plenty to work on

Much growth to be had

Any energy spent on you would be wasted

For my life is my message

If others follow

That’s great

If they don’t

That’s fine too!

I’ll stay in my own lane

Non-Judgment Day.

Who am I to judge?

Deciding what others should or shouldn’t do?

I am no God or ruler.

Today I will begin the process of letting go of judgment.

For I too have fallen short.

I will allow love to fill the space where judgment once was.

To work to understand those I disagree with.

To understand that people change in their own time.

First I will begin the journey of letting go of self judgment.

Non judgment day has arrived.

The Creature of the Dark Forest.

One breath at a time

One step at a time

I ascend up a steep mountain

A forest so lush it blocks the sun

As I reach the summit

A sudden storm appears above

Rain & wind torment me to no end

I start to run as fast as I can

Anything to escape this dangerous storm

A dark creature appears from the darkest depths of the forest

What do you want? I shout

It doesn’t answer me

I begin to move towards the creature

Fear filling every ounce of my soul

The creature runs away as I chase it

I hear its painful screams echoing within the forest

I finally catch this creature

What…. I can’t believe what I’m seeing

The creature is the darkest part of me

He was banished to the depths of the darkest forests

Suppressed, ridiculed, & beaten the creature laid wounded on the ground

Sobbing uncontrollably

I extend my arm to him

Picking up the creature I was astonished by how frail & weak it had become from my neglect

Yet so powerful to cause such powerful storms

I carried the creature back to my home, letting him rest and repair from all of the abuse

Thank you, said the creature as it gained consciousness once more

Anytime, I replied.

I’m so sorry that I banished you to the dark forest

You are part of me & always will be

I promise to shed light into the darkest part of the forest

True Compassion.

As I glance through YouTube I see many arguing over diet, ethics, and the environmental problems of animal agriculture. I see my fellow vegans becoming angry with meat eaters. I hear the words ” I just don’t understand” being repeated over & over again. To develop compassion for others we must first understand them. Us vegans will drive ourselves crazy with this mindset of misunderstanding. I hope to inspire others to practice a vegan lifestyle but do not wish to force others to be vegan. People change on their own time. You can not force anyone to be more compassionate to animals or care about the health of themselves & the planet. Forcing another is a violent act in itself, which goes against my vow of non violence. The world will change in it’s own time. All we can do is live our message and share it with others. If our message is peace & compassion, then we must be peaceful & compassionate with our meat eating brothers & sisters. Peace is the way.

Understanding others is necessary for compassion, love, & peace. I ate a meat/dairy/egg based diet for 27 years and have been vegan for 2 years. How can I judge anyone who still consumes animal products when I ate them most of my life? My focus as of now is to develop true compassion for those who consume animal products and especially for those who advocate for them in ones diet. True compassion is when we can show compassion to those we disagree with. It’s easy to show compassion to the innocent & weak. It’s much more difficult to show compassion to a slaughterhouse worker but nothing could be more important than developing compassion for them as well. Slaughterhouse workers are often immigrants who are recruited to work long hours for little wages. They often suffer from PTSD from the horrific violent acts they see on a regular basis. There are documented cases of slaughterhouse workers dieing from bacterial diseases and neurological diseases from freshly slaughtered animals.

I also feel strong compassion for those who suffer from chronic diseases from eating animal products all their life. From heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, colon cancer, and many other diseases that could of been prevented with a whole food plant based diet. They were lied to be industry and led to believe that they are wild carnivores that need to eat meat every meal for protein. So much unnecessary human suffering. My heart goes out to them & their families.

I hope to inspire my fellow vegans to be more compassionate & understanding to our meat eating brothers & sisters. Many of us were meat eaters most of our life. Who are we to judge? We are not perfect enlightened beings floating above others. Let’s focus our energy on educating others while showing compassion & understanding to them. This way we don’t drag ourself down with anger, rage, & misunderstanding. We can allow compassion guide our life. How will they ever understand compassion if all we show them is apathy? How will they know peace if all we show them is violence? Our own life is our message to the world.

With Aloha,

Johnny Hoffman

Expectations=Planned Failures.

I accept that I am flawed and not perfect… So why do I expect the world around me to be perfect?

I see myself and many others suffer from setting high expectations for the world around them. Expectations are planned failures. We expect ever traffic light will be green and every day for the sun to shine. Everyday at work has to run 100% smoothly. We expect the barista to be friendly and helpful. What if we could let go of our high expectations and just enjoy life in the now? We can focus our own energy on improving ourselves and the world around us instead of criticizing others. Sounds like paradise compared to everyday struggle of constantly being disappointed when our expectations aren’t met by our family, friends, and coworkers. We can raise the standards of what we can control(diet, friends, habits, perception) and let go of the expectations of perfection in the world around us.

Another beautiful side effect from this change in perception is that when things do go smoothly it’s so much more enjoyable than ever before. There’s much less complaining, victimization, and mindless gossip when we let go of our high expectations.

There’s no right or wrong way of living our life. But we can suffer much less by being mindful and open minded. We can’t change others into what we want them to be. We can only change our mind set towards others.

With Aloha,

Johnny Hoffman

Resistance: The Root of Pain, Suffering, and Insanity.

We are either resisting life or accepting it.

Whether that be sitting in traffic, aging, sickness, or our own mortality. Many ignore the truth and live in an imaginary world of what life is supposed to be or should be. Anytime you say should or suppose to be, you are resisting the truth. Resistance to the truth of life causes suffering. So why do people choose resistance? Accepting the truth is scary while resisting gives us a false sense of security and control. It’s easier in the short-term to avoid or resist aging, disease, and death than accept it. In the long-term, it can cause a tremendous amount of suffering within you and the world.

Suffering = Pain x Resistance 

  • The world should be at peace, but it isn’t.
  • My parents should be supportive, but they’re not.
  • I shouldn’t be stuck in traffic, but I am.
  • Relationships aren’t supposed to be this difficult, but it is. 

Here is an example that will show you exactly what I’m talking about.

Jack and Jill are both studying for a Biology final at Harvard. Both don’t enjoy studying, it causes them both mental and physical pain to sit down for 5 hours in a room. They would rather be outside on a hike or hanging out with friends. Jill accepts that this necessary to pass the class while Jack resists and complains the whole time. Jill is at peace and actually enjoying studying, taking breaks to watch Netflix or call a friend. Jack sulks and stares at the book. They are both in the same exact situation, only Jill accepts the pain of studying and makes the best of it.

The most impressive study of acceptance vs. resistance is Victor Frankl’s story in his 1959 book Man Searching for Meaning. Victor Frankl was an Austrian Jewish neurologist, psychiatrist, and holocaust survivor. While at Auschwitz concentration camp he kept himself sane by studying fellow inmates behavior and noticed an astonishing correlation. Those prisoners who accepted their truth and found meaning were both healthier and happier than those who resisted their new life. Their suffering was caused by their resistance to life and not mere outside influences. If someone can find peace, purpose, and meaning in Auschwitz concentration camp there is hope for all of us.

But Johnny, shouldn’t we resist harmful situations?? Isn’t acceptance just giving up? I don’t want to lay down and give up!

I understand this perspective because I once believe that acceptance was giving up but nothing is further from the truth. We must accept our situation before we can make it better. The people who accepted their captivity in Auschwitz were not merely giving up but awakening to that they have no control over being prisoners in a concentration camp. What these prisoners did have control over was how they spent their time, how they perceived their circumstance, and to make the best out of it. They saw resistance as a waste of energy on what they could not control. Accepting the truth is both practical and logical for peace within.

Paradoxically, we must accept suffering before we can transcend it. We have to accept our suffering before we can be at peace with ourselves and the world. Accept that you have no control over other people’s actions and beliefs. Accept that everything is impermanent and that we can only control a small amount of our life.

Try to avoid all should or suppose to be statements. Ease your grip on life and how it’s “suppose” or “should” be. More acceptance and less resistance is key to a peaceful life with less suffering and more joy.

My mission is to alleviate suffering in all living beings.

“What we resist, will persist.” – Carl Jung

With Aloha,

Johnny Hoffman