Darkness, Transformation, and Redemption.

The darkest moments of my life led to the most transformation. The darkness brings self-reflection, awareness, and focus.  This is only if we do not numb the pain with alcohol, drugs, and/or overeating. When a family member suddenly dies or a relationship ends, we can have moments of pure awareness and clarity on what led to this moment in time.

My first experience with this transformation was when I was honest with my ex-fiance about my infidelity. She left me the following day. At first, I numbed myself with distraction but when her parents moved all her stuff out of our studio I was forced to sit in a dark & empty apartment. My first reaction was to run away and move to a new place. Luckily I chose to stay in my empty studio. The following weeks I cried every night in sorrow. Pain, suffering, and anxiety filled each moment until one day I picked up a book called “Buddhist Bootcamp” by Timber Hawkeye. Suddenly I was meditated 1 hour a day, reading, writing, eating healthier, and working out every day. I quit smoking and significantly cut down on drinking alcohol. My days were now filled with joy instead of sorrow. This all took place from March-May 2015 in San Luis Obispo, CA. Since then I have fallen back into old habits, relearn lessons, and also had new transformations from suffering. I began a journey of self-love, peace, forgiveness, and acceptance; a journey I am currently still on (and always will be). There is no destination on this path, only the love of the journey itself.

The famous Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh says “No Mud, No Lotus”. The beautiful lotus flower grows in the darkest and muddiest environments; I truly believe humans are much the same as the beautiful lotus flower. The right environment for growth usual consists of awareness, compassion, and love while we are suffering. Once we learn how to suffer, we suffer much less. Suffering can actually be the most transformative process of life if we allow it to be.

Through the darkness, we can transform ourselves and become the light to see out of the darkness. We accept the darker side of ourselves (and the world) with compassion, understanding, and peace. In this practice, we feed the light while accepting the dark. This allows for peace instead of war. The key to transformation is to sit with ourselves through the pain instead of distraction or numbing the pain. The coldest winters of my life have always ended with a warm inviting spring. All is impermanent, even the darkest of times.

 

With Aloha,

Johnny Hoffman

The Sins of Pascal.

This post is part of an ongoing series I created about a young French Captain named Pascal. To learn more check out these posts. 

https://zenhoff.blog/2018/05/22/the-awakening-of-pascal/

https://zenhoff.blog/2018/05/07/the-life-of-pascal/

 

Sins of the past now present.

Pascal’s mind like a school of fish pacing in the deep blue sea.

Many mistakes.

Many lessons learned.

 

Pascal can not change his past.

Only his perception of it.

 

Pascal is only human.

Folly as the rest.

 

There will be mistakes on this voyage.

Hearts broken.

Ships sunk.

 

Forgiveness will let Pascal enjoy this moment.

Compassion will set him free.

 

 

Welcome To Heartbreak.

I cried.

I begged.

I promised I would change.

I poured my heart out.

I suffered alone.

 

How could you not want me back?

Why can’t you forgive me?

How could you be so cold?

How could you be so heartless?

 

Welcome to heartbreak.

The heartbreak of rejection.

The sadness of regret.

The pain of looking in the mirror.

Self-hatred.

Anxious days.

Depressed nights.

 

Through the pain, I learned how to be the lotus flower.

For the lotus flower grows in muddy waters.

 

Through suffering comes joy.

Through suffering comes peace.

Through suffering comes transformation.

No mud, no lotus.

 

My heart is now filled with gratitude.

Thank you for letting me suffer and grow.

Thank you for letting me go three years ago.

Thank you, Alicia.

Hope all is well.

With Aloha,

Johnny Hoffman

Backstory: 3 years ago in Feb 2015 my life changed forever. I finally told my fiance that I cheated on her. She left me that day. I felt heartbroken, fearful, and anxious. I had to sit with myself. Sit with the anxiety, pain, and loneliness. Sit with the self-hatred. Through that suffering I found a new way of life. A one of meditation, mindfulness, and joy. 

no-mud-no-lotus.jpg

 

 

(Main photo: Kanye West, 808’s & Heartbreaks)