The Bell Arts Factory - Possible Studio Space - My Gratitude List...

Well I am going to go to the Bell Arts Factory 2morrow and see what they have to offer. I called a couple days ago and they said that they were full but that maybe I could e-mail a couple of the potters to see if they would be willing to share there space with me. This would be ideal cuz I need the use of a wheel and a kiln. I have everything else but need to keep it cheep so I can still take care of business. Sounds like a very cool place and they are having what they call the First Friday 2morrow so we will see how that goes. I e-mailed a couple of them to see if I could meet up with them. I stored all my art stuff in Public Storage a couple days ago :( Very sad about that.  Anyway, I am taking some positive action and seeing about another local. I might just be investigating it to have something to look forward too - a lot of you know I owe some pretty major money so I need to take care of that before I get into anything else major.

I was thinking today that it would cool to move to Ventura and be able to do a "Camp Host" program. There are different camp grounds along the coast that need people that are not working and can devote 3-6 months to watching over the campground in exchange for fee hookups or free electricity, etc... I used to manage one of these in So. Ca. The Lake Elsinore Campground. This way if I can find one in Ventura I could hook up and be close to this Bell Arts Factory and be able to do my art for a minimal price. If you are an artist you will feel me in that I am fucking going crazy not doing what my soul needs to do. It is like I can't control myself  and I need to find the next place to do what I love to do. I know it would probably be the "wise" move to just hunker down and save all the money I can to pay off the loan as quick as I can.

It is also the case of being good to myself but also take care of business in a balanced way, not easy for this obsessive person.. I feel as though I can't start my life until I get the debt paid off. I know in my head that this may not be "normal" thinking and that I know I have to take care of myself too. I am finding it hard to just hunker down and accept enjoying the beach and my life for a few months while I save some money? Why? If you know what I am talking about please tell me!!! I feel like I am in jail not being able to do what I want to - my art. I need to be able to find the humility or gratitude or something to not let this effect me so much. Sometimes I feel like well I should just rent something and be comfortable and get out of the freezing van. I think what the hell are you doing living in a fucken van making $3,000 a month on Temp. Disability? But then I think well if I can't stay in the van then it will take for ever to pay the debt off. If I can just learn to live with it for about 4 more months and nothing happens like a major car repair or something I can get my side of the street taken care of and end the resentment and come to grips with the past and clean it up. Why am I having such a problem with it? I am cold as fuck that is one reason but other than that I feel pretty good day to day.  I get up go tot he gym, go to a meeting, go to the beach and take a nap and then go to another meeting or visit with friends . Fuck that is not hard living... To me it sucks cuz I am a artist and need to express myself in some way. I also need to be productive. That is why I am glad to have this blog to express my feelings. I know it is stupid but hey it is something. They say that writing is therapeutic and I hope they are right cuz I need something to help me be happy and at peace. At the meeting tonight the subject was self examination, meditation and prayer and how you can use these in unison to feel better about your life. It was a good meeting and I got some real jewels out of it. One was that I will be going back to basics and getting on my knees to pray for the resentment to end and honestly, humbly ask for his will to be done and not mine for that day. I really need to remember to pray every day before I start the day so I can consciously turn my will and life over to God.  I can't afford to nurse a resentment and I don't want to. This is the toughest thing I have ever had to learn in Sobriety that is for sure. So I know a said a few months ago I totally forgave but I guess I need to work on it some more. I know the answer is to hit the knees each day - several times if necessary and turn it over to God, that is what I am going to do when I get in my ice box (cold fucken Van) tonight I am going to get on my knees and pray for everything I would want to come true for her and for her to have everything she could ever possibly want in her life. I will be able to love again and trust someone again. I will just do it smarter with some well earned wisdom.. Growth is a bitch sometimes!!!

OK, so I can't end this Blog entry so negative.. I am going to practice another tool we have in AA and that is to make a "Gratitude List" Here it goes:

Gratitude list

1. I am most grateful for my loving Higher Power (God) that has taken care of me every step of the way through this learning time in my life.
2. My loving "Angel" sent from God and I hope life long friend that has helped me so much through this whole journey. She has taught me that there are true loving, kind, caring, wonderful people out there in the world when I was having trouble seeing that. My angel has been so much to me I could not write enough here about her.. She knows who she is. I will always be there for her. I can count on her and she can count on me.
3. The program of AA and my sobriety of 16 years. I am so blessed to have time in the program and know that there are tools out there to use and I just need to pick them up. Like getting on my knees and praying honestly. This is my foundation, family, everything to me. My refuge form the storm of life and my daily medicine I need to live.
4. The new and exciting people I have met through this "camping" journey. New friends and people that I have had a chance to talk to and let them effect my life. I have made some really good friends and what else is there really in the end of life it is all about positive relationships and people who we touched and were able to give and love with.
5. My "Road Kitty" Charby is the best cat a man could have and the best companion I could ever have wanted to go through this shit with. Again God giving me exactly what I need and what I want as well.  We love to go to the beach and have our chicken taco and watch the world go by. Smell the beautiful beach and listen to the wonderful sound of the waves. Taking a nap and letting the beach heal our heart.
6. I tried and I am proud of that. The business will be back someday soon and it will be better than ever before. This is just part of the journey, I can never stop trying to bring my art to the world. If I turn my will and life over and stay and be willing to be willing I will be able to move past it and learn from it. I can do this tonight and every day form this day on - It is my choice and I have to make that choice (Daily).
7. People and organizations that have helped me. God I have been so blessed all along the way. I have had the organizations on my website and more who have helped me when I really needed it. I have had individual people step up and give to me. The other day I had another friend give me sleeping gear that has kept me warm at night. She is also a special friend and an inspiration to me and to others.
8. My new prospective and outlook on life and the homeless, making money, etc... I have a completely new outlook and faith that was just not there before. This is one of the blessings of this adventure.
9.  Being a man and facing things instead of saying fuck everything and run and I am facing everything and recovering. That is one thing I can say I am proud of being able to own my part and pay back what I owe. I need to do that and I need to learn to not owe anyone ever again. It is a good lesson and one that will befit me in the future.
10. My Van even though it is cold as fuck it is still shelter! When I woke up after a cold night last night I had a text from my sponsor that said how ya doing? I answered back I am fucken cold and he said ya that's why they call it winter. I said I am still grateful and that I don't know how people make it when they don't have a vehicle or some shelter to stay in and he answered back "they die in Idywild". Idylwild is a mountain community where I grew up and where my friend/sponsor works with the homeless. He goes around helping the homeless that is his job. Funny I am now homeless haha and he is helping me.. Another God shot. I love him and he has always been there for me too. We got sober together 16 years ago. That is a something to be grateful for right there. I have lasting connections with people that are honest and know how to be.
11. I am single and don't have the responsibility of having children in this economy right now at least while I am going through this. I have the greatest respect for people that have kids and don't have a job.. Man that is fucken hard shit and I only have me to take care of and keep warm tonight.
12. For the loves of my life and the love that I have experienced. I have been fortunate to have loved many people in my life. I am grateful for the ability to be intimate and give my heart out. I learned that from my Mom/Grandmother.
13. My family, I had a wonderful family when I was growing up and they were always there for me too. Very lucky to have a Mom and Dad raise me and support me though my teenage years. They went through a lot of shit with me with my hips too. My Mom and Dad are the greatest parents anyone could have. Even though the family kinda sucks now they were there for me and I will be there for them as much as I can as well.
14. The people I have been able to help because of my experience. I was able to have a page on my website dedicated to the agencies that have helped me. I have been able to help other people that are going through a rough time and give them this list of resources. I am going to do more of this too. I can make a website dedicated to having resources that people are aware of and that can really make a difference. I need to get off my ass and do this. I have skills - Website design, etc... so I need to use that.
15. My art and skills. I am proud of what I have accomplished in business and going to in my art career. I am blessed to have these skills and I need to use them for what God would have me use them for. I need to stop trying to be the next big thing and just focus on helping someone else.
16. Bands and live music. I love the arts and I am lucky to be able to enjoy this so much. I am looking forward to going to more concert and experiencing more of this.
17. All the other material bullshit that I have had in my life. I have been blessed to have lived on both sides of the fence. I prefer the rich side but am glad to relate to the poor side.
18. My Sponcees, I am grateful for these people that I can maybe help but to be honest they help me so much more. I can get a chance to get out of myself for a couple hours and actually think of someone else and there problems instead of mine.

I could go on and on but I am seeing a cool trend from doing this exercise (gratitude List) and that is I value people and relationships much more than I use to. This is one of the largest blessings that have come with this journey. Valuing relationships and love over all else. Now lets all sing kumba fucken ya and listen to Lenny sing "Let Love Rule".
Till next time - Over and out...