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    MotherLand (part 1)

    As adults, virtually all of us recreate intimate love relationships that mirror, in complex ways, the childhood relationship we had with our opposite-sex parent (Woman/Dad, Man/Mom). As adults, we do this in an effort to “get it right” this time. We try it again, and want to fix whatever didn’t work, once for all, and live happily ever after. 

    There is crossover as well. Meaning that our relationships with our lovers is also a function of how we related to our same sex parent. For example, my dad was a very affectionate, demonstrative, loving man. I learned that it was okay for a man to show his emotions. With woman and with men.

    Most of this is unconscious. When we make it conscious, we can do something about it. We can pull it apart and find out what the hell’s going on in the depths of our hearts, in the recesses of our minds, that drive most of our behavior in relationships (especially the less than stellar behavior). When we dig it up and make it conscious, we have the ability to make different choices.

    In my post “Clint & Little John”, I described my experience of developing a stronger dialogue between my adult man and my inner kid. I literally had to create a father, from scratch, who knew how to talk to and what to say when Little John (my inner child’s name) was suffering and in lots of pain. I had to create that parent because my dad wasn’t good at this at all. His method of getting me to feel better when I would come to him in tears would be one of two ways. Either he would try and convince me that the situation really wasn’t that bad (such logic rarely works on an 8 year old having a meltdown); or, worse yet, he would try and talk me out of how I felt. Neither methods validated anything I was experiencing, or helped ease any pain. 

    It came from love, because my dad really did want me to feel better. And that was all dad knew how to do. But kids can’t understand all that. All I knew as a kid was, that, whenever I went to my dad when I was really upset, I usually felt worse afterwards. So I stopped going to him, or anybody else, when I was in a lot of pain. 

    What about mom? She was, god bless her, no better. My mother was not at all comforting or nurturing if I went to her in pain. Unless I was physically ill. Mom was then a source of great support. Maybe because physical illness is concrete, tactile, and can be measured with a thermometer (remember the rectal ones? Those were a joy). But, tears and cries of emotional pain and hurt?….much more tricky, for a lot of people, not just my mom. She didn’t hug, she didn’t console, she didn’t offer much of anything in that department. She didn't know how. She came from a family of 9 kids. And her mom worked her ass off as well. Sorry. You can't be there for 9 kids emotionally and hold down a job. Even Wonder Woman would strike out there. So mom was out too. 

    I hold absolutely no resentments towards my parents. They loved me and did the best they could. So often, people are reluctant to do this type of work because they believe it will dishonor their parents. Actually, this work eventually leads us to love and respect our parents even more. But you have to walk through the fire to get to the gold. That's just the way it works.

    Which leads me to the work I’m doing now. It’s Very Heavy “Mom Stuff”, and how that shit manifests itself in my relationships with women. And it is a motherfucker (how could I not use that word there?).

    This is the very deep work that I am now facing: the stuff at the very bottom of my emotional hole. I’ve been aware of lots of this stuff, and done considerable work on it throughout adulthood. I’ve learned a lot about myself from it, and it has helped me have progressively better relationships with my intimate partners. But, there is some stuff so far down the hole, I’ve had to do some serious digging. And digging can be very painful.

    Follow me on my journey through this work. I hope it inspires you to dig deep and do whatever you need to create as much positive energy as possible in your intimate relationships. Not only will we love more fully, more completely, more beautifully than ever before, we’ll do it in a healthier way. We’ll be more mindful and more aware when we love our special someone. Our relationships will become less about recreating our past and more about creating something new and amazing and special with the one we love. 


    ©2017 Clint Piatelli, MuscleHeart LLC, and Red F Publishing. All rights reserved.




    My recovery from trauma and depression, and all the maladaptive behaviors that go with it, is akin to a deep dive into a black hole. I wasn’t sure what was at the bottom of that hole, but I was willing to jump. Because if I stayed where I was, at the precipice of that dark, cavernous maw, my life wasn’t going to get any better. In fact, it was going to get worse.

    So I took a leap of faith. The ride down has been beautiful; also painful, and the most challenging thing I have ever done. I made great progress. I got better. I healed. I inspired people and impacted lives. I kept going, and the deeper I dove, the better I got. 

    Recently, I had a breakdown. Like I hit a sharp lip on the way down the hole.

    And fuck, does it hurt.

    It’s battered me like nothing else has yet. It’s bloodied me something fierce. It’s opened up my deepest wounds; wounds so old, I can’t remember where I got most of them. Wounds that I knew about, but that only bled occasionally. Now I’m hemorrhaging. Now, I have no choice but to heal these wounds. 

    I’ve spent most of my adult life either running from, or bandaging, these deep, massive cuts. I, foolishly perhaps, thought they had scarred over enough so that, maybe, they wouldn’t open up so bad again that they would bleed all over my life.

    I was wrong. 

    Now, I’m up against it. Up against that which I knew, eventually, I would have to face. I’ve opened a wound that I knew I would have to heal.

    The core wound is Abandonment. Specifically, early childhood abandonment. And all the other wounds it creates.

    In technical terms, it comes under the umbrella of “Developmental Relational Trauma”. It happens early in life and continues to get reenacted. I mention that because, a lot, if not most of us, have this. Some of us have these cuts much deeper than others. Some of us, for a myriad of reasons, aren’t as effected by them. We all develop coping mechanisms; some, more effective than others. In adulthood, this trauma manifests itself most intensely in intimate love relationships, and the way we attach to others in those relationships.

    This is my Core Trauma. I thought I had done enough work, picked up enough tools, and enough skill with those tools, to deal with this one more effectively.

    Wrong again.

    So I have to dive deeper still. Into the very darkest depths of this abyss. I have more diving to do. I’ve got more work, to do. 

    I knew I wasn’t at the bottom yet. I just didn’t think I was this far from the bottom. Maybe I’m not. Maybe it just feels that way right now. Doesn’t really matter. Because I’m not stopping, no matter what. 

    I could look at this like I’m even more fucked up than I thought. There are moments, I still do. But that sentiment won’t last. Because if there is one thing I have been, through all of this, is tenacious. I’ve faced every fear with a voracity I didn’t know I had. 

    I will eventually see the opening of this gash as another amazing gift. I will get through this the way I have gotten through everything else I’ve faced over the past three months. I will come out of this with more healing, more growth, and a higher version of myself. This, just like everything else I’ve faced, will contribute to my being far more free.

    But right now, it just fuckin’ hurts.


    ©2017 Clint Piatelli, MuscleHeart LLC, and Red F Publishing. All rights reserved. 


    Yoga Porn

    If you're a human being, yoga is good for you; just like proper nutrition, resistance training, and mediation. There is a spiritual element to yoga that, even if you aren’t spiritual, works its way into you. Somehow, the practice synergistically enlightens you: physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually.

    And, yoga is Sexy as Fuck.

    Oh Yes. Yoga has a sexual component. 

    Yoga might even be the New Porn. 

    Yoga has become more popular than ever. And rightfully so. Because it works. Because it’s beautiful. Because it offers us something extremely valuable. And, because it's sexy.

    Just like Weight Lifting In the 1970’s, Aerobics in the 1980’s, and Circuit Training in the 1990’s, Yoga in the New Millennium has taken its place as a way of life for millions. It’s become a much needed cultural phenomenon.  

    Yoga has made its way into pop culture. Whenever anything becomes so popularized, a piece of it morphs. The essence of it stays the same, yes. The essence of yoga is, well, Life. But, for a proper definition, ask an advanced Yogi. Because I’m still a neophyte. Any definition I offer will just be a rudimentary paraphrase of its larger truth. 

    In this age of unlimited instant visual stimulation, thanx to the internet, 10,000 hours of quality television programming a day, (cough), and a media onslaught of eye candy like never before in human history, we’ve got literally millions of images, available, at any moment, of beautiful women, and men, practicing yoga. Their bodies are absolutely stunning: Muscular. Lithe. Supple. Flexible. Barefoot (foot fetishists like myself are absolutely thrilled that yoga is done without shoes or socks). Modern yogis in these images are in physically demanding positions. They wear body clinging, tight as fuck clothing, that shows their gorgeous physiques to maximum effect. Or they wear next to nothing. Both of that works for me. And for millions of others.

    More importantly, yoga classes are everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Soon, they’ll be offering them at 7-11’s. This means that yoga is now easily available to anyone who wants it. More exposure is good for the practice. It means more people can benefit from it. And, as this post proves, it means that it opens itself up to creative interpretation. So be it. Welcome to Planet Earth. 

    The bottom line is that, if you don’t get at least a little sexually excited looking at women, or men, practicing yoga, then your libido is probably asleep at the wheel. And, dare I say, Yogis know this. This is not an “accident”. Part of the very reason yoga has become so popular is because it touches a sexual nerve. Just like weight training and aerobics did years ago. It’s great for us, yes. It’s benefits are proven, yes. And, oh baby, is it sexy.

    This is in no way a bad thing. Maybe it is to some purists. But those purists may need a little attitude adjustment. 

    I’ll put my money where my mouth is. I’m a Santa Claus purist. That means that the image, the symbol, the spiritual significance, of Santa Claus, is sacred to me. Ridiculous for a grown man, maybe, but true. I am aware, however, that my view of Old Saint Nick is not shared by everybody. If I got my shorts in a knot every time somebody took a shot at Santa Claus, or lampooned his image, I would be one miserable fuck at Christmas. But I’m not. I love Christmas. Because I embrace all of it. 

    And, at the same time, I keep my own vision sacred. Embracing change and grounding yourself in your own unique vision are not mutually exclusive. Anybody who tells you otherwise just hasn’t tried hard enough. Or, they’re a snob. 

    You can be a snob about anything. Whatever your own Sacred Pursuit, it is open to snobbery; be it Yoga, Santa Claus, Music, Food, Money, Social Status….pick your poison. The common denominators in all snobbery is that snobs have a superiority complex, and they have difficulty embracing change. Like when minorities start making lots of money. Or when “real” musicians start playing rock music instead of jazz. Or when jokers like me get into Yoga and find it sexy.

    Well, NewsFlash, Yoga IS Sexy. So is rock ‘n roll. Let's deal with it. Or don’t. Your call. I’m gonna continue to practice. I’m gonna continue to see the physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, and sexual beauty, in yoga. 

    And I’m gonna continue to go for yoga babes. Because they totally rock my world.


    ©2017 Clint Piatelli, MuscleHeart LLC, and Red F Publishing. All rights reserved.


    The Fuckin' Good News

    I’ve hit a bump in the road. And that bump is me.

    A wise man told me that he starts his day by looking in the mirror, pointing at himself, and saying “YOU are the biggest problem you’re gonna face all day”. 

    Ain’t that the truth.

    Getting smack dab back into the real world has proved more jarring than I anticipated. 

    Currently, I'm an absolute raw nerve. That’s not a bad thing. But it's very challenging. Sometimes I don’t know where to put, or what to do with, all the raw emotional energy that seems to be constantly charging through my body like sizzling electric current. I’m still learning to live life from this other side.

    Before treatment, there was always an undercurrent of sadness in me, no matter what. Sometimes it was barely perceivable, but I was constantly aware of it, like a stone in my shoe. That’s not there anymore. And that’s a bloody miracle. Another thing that’s stopped are the barrage of negative thoughts and voices that used to constantly race through my head. That’s an even bigger miracle. Both of these miraculous events have me considering petitioning for Sainthood. Yeah. That would fly. 

    My heart has always been huge. I’ve always been sensitive. I feel very deeply. And now, there’s so much more space for all of that. Nature abhors a vacuum, so, that space is now filled with even more emotional energy. More feeling. More love. More sensitivity. More everything. I’m still navigating my way through that. Still learning how to manage it. 

    That’s truly a great thing. I know it’s improved my writing, not to mention, well, my entire fucking life. Everything feels more vibrant. Everything looks different, tastes different, smells different, feels different. The colors of life are screaming at me, even more than before.  It’s sounds are clearer, louder, more beautiful. As an artist, the potential to translate all of that into my creative endeavors is positively delicious. 

    Instead of going directly from my transitional living space in LA back home to Boston with an after care plan in place (which is normal protocol), I went to Phoenix to hang out a bit. Yes I know. Far be it from me to do ANYTHING according to protocol. That maverick approach, however, does not always serve me. As we shall see. 

    Before I left Los Angeles, I knew I would be going back there to take care of some business and do at least one more week of treatment. What I didn’t know was what these two weeks in Phoenix would be like. Or what I would be like, when I returned.  

    Well, now I know. And there’s Good News. And there’s Bad News. 

    Bad News first. I’ve always been a “Bad News First” guy. It suits me. When I boxed in college, I was a pretty damn nasty counter puncher. That means I will take a punch (bad news) to give a punch (good news). I have a good chin, so I could take a hard shot. Then I could nail you with one of mine. The tough part about that approach, however, is that you can get battered and bloodied in the process (you should have seen me after a few of my fights). I’ll get my licks in, but I’ll take some hard knocks to do it.

    Being here in Phoenix for two weeks, I’ve taken a step or two backwards. I’ve lost a little bit of ground; slipped into some old maladaptive behaviors. Gotten some blood on my chin. Split my lip. Maybe even broken my nose. For the fifth time (the first four times were literal, not figurative).

    The Good News is that none of this negates any of the progress I’ve made, or diminishes any of the work I’ve done. In fact, it clarifies, it reinforces, the shit that I still need to get. Despite the fact that I’ve done nothing short of change my life, I’ve still got a lot to learn. I will always still have a lot to learn. That’s My Life Path. Even though I’ve come home to myself, I’m still getting used to the place. It’s a big house. Actually, it’s a freakin’ mansion. 

    And, I still have be on top of my ego. Literally. There’s a BDSM term, “Topping From The Bottom”. It means that, in sexual role playing power exchange scenarios, the person who is submissive, the “bottom”, is still trying to control, or “top”, the scene. Usually because they have serious control issues, and can’t let someone else take the reins, even when they have agreed to it. That’s kinda like My Ego. He’s a total control freak. And He thinks he knows everything. He does not. Arrogant Motherfucker. 

    The process of recovery from mood disorder, from anything, is not a linear one. It’s bumpy, messy, beautiful, really. I have seen, I have experienced, so many people I love, change through this process. It fills my heart. I have been a part of their journey, and they have been a part of mine. We have become intertwined in a way that nobody who has not been through it will ever truly get. Nonetheless, we will share our story. Because sharing our story makes this planet a better one. Sharing the magic we’ve been through can help the lives of everyone who listens, so much better.

    And that’s the Fuckin’ Good News. 


    ©2017 Clint Piatelli, MuscleHeart LLC, and Red F Publishing. All rights (both top and bottom) reserved.


    Balanced Motorcycle CD Mind Love

    Balance. How do we get it? How do we maintain it? Is there such a thing as “too much balance”, where our steadiness can be an indication that we aren’t taking enough risks? 

    Actually, as I write this, I’m figuring it out. Maybe my frame of context is wrong. If I use balance metaphorically, say, as in riding a motorcycle, then it helps translate the term of “balance” into the nuts and bolts of life much more concretely than the abstract concept I’ve been writing about. This is one of the most beautiful things about writing; I actually come to new insights and connections about what I’m writing, precisely because I’m writing about them. Figuring it out on the fly. Kind of like riding a motorcycle. And speaking of motorcycles….

    Balance on a motorcycle is critical. If you lose your balance riding on one of those bad boys, you can crash. And that can be mildly or tragically disastrous. If I look at my life like riding a motorcycle, it makes sense. Sometimes, I see balance as a rather staid, prosaic, even downright boring, concept. But that sort of thinking needs to be examined. Because it is potentially indicative of something I learned about in treatment called a “Cognitive Distortion”.

    We all have Cognitive Distortions. It’s a function of humanity. Some of us have more than others. Those ‘some of us’ usually end up in treatment, recovery, or the halls of 12 Step Programs. No matter. Nobody is free from Cognitive Distortions, or “CD’s,” as I call them. And we can all get a better handle on them.

    Cognitive Distortions are exactly what they sound like: thinking gone awry. Maybe I’ll do a whole piece on it, but for right now, as it relates to “Balance” (oh yeah, remember that?), let’s just say that I need to be aware of how my mind is working. Because when I do that, and only when I do that, can I direct it. Only then can I direct my mind and allow it to work for me, as opposed to against me. And that’s very important; I learned just how important over the past three and a half months. 

    Those of us who are big, heavy, deep thinkers, we have a wonderful mind. A beautiful mind. When I sit down to talk to you, look into your eyes, and off we go, part of what I love about you, part of what you’re showing me, is that beautiful mind. And part of what I’m showing you is mine. I don’t ever want to lose that. I don’t ever want to discount that. Your mind, my mind, is indeed, beautiful. And, Our Minds, are, like, well, many things. Our Minds are like Fire: because fire can cook our food or cook ourselves. Our Minds are like weapons: in the right hands, they can serve us; in the wrong hands, they can destroy us. Our Minds can be like bad neighborhoods: Don’t go there alone. The Mind, like Money, is a wonderful servant and a poor master.

    Jesus, there I go again. Off on another fuckin’ tangent. Part of my process. I’ve gone from “Balance”, to “Motorcycles” to “Cognitive Distortions” to analogies between “The Mind” and “Weapons Of Mass Destruction”. See, THIS is exactly how MY mind works. This is exactly why I have no idea what to call this post. This is exactly why I have a writing coach who keeps me focused.

    Which, TA-DAH!, leads me back to “Balance”. And as it relates to one of my favorite topics, Love.

    When I am with a woman who is Grounded, Centered, and Balanced, she’s really good for me. And I’m really good for her. Because I am a constant reminder that she needs to fly. I am, in fact, The Gold Standard Poster Boy of Flight. Which is precisely why I need a woman who has her pretty little feet (that I constantly touch, kiss, and pay attention to), on the ground. Ultimately, in our mutual respective unbalancedness, we balance each other.

    It’s times like this when I fall in love with writing all over again. 


    ©2017 Clint Piatelli, MuscleHeart LLC, and Red F Publishing. All rights reserved.