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    Tuesday
    Aug152017

    The Evolution of Love

    Someday, in the maybe not so far future, we humans are going to communicate with animals in ways that today sound like science fiction. 

    Presently, we Homo sapiens are only scratching the surface of how we communicate between ourselves, within our own species. So it's "No Shit" that we have virtually no understanding of how animals communicate with each other; we have no fucking clue how animals communicate with us.

    That's where we are at, presently. And, even within that, we connect with animals in profound and beautiful ways. We reach them through the most powerful frequency of Pure Love. Just like the most powerful and profound way that we humans connect to each other. 

    Lo and behold, this communication between species is not limited to domestic animals. Have you seen some of the videos of people having amazing, intimate interactions with Tigers, Lions, and Bears (oh my!); With Wolves and Primates? Have you seen how some of us have the ability to bond with wild  animals in ways that seem impossible? 

    There is something magic here between us and animals already. There exists some wavelength of connection between humans and animals that is supremely powerful. So why is it absurd to believe that we will deepen that connection, and gain a new understanding of it, of them, as we evolve? Why is it ridiculous to know that, someday, we will be able to bond with animals in ways that approach, or even exceed, the level of connection we currently feel with our own species? 

    I already see that. I see that, someday, we will be able to communicate on a mutually understandable level that will make our current paradigm appear positively rudimentary and primitive. Which it is. 

    But, even this current connection is beautiful, and deep, and sacred. It needs to be honored. And nurtured. And developed. There's so much we can learn from animals. 

    Someday, I believe we will share this earth will animals, with indeed all sentient beings, in a way that will shift our planet and our collective consciousness in ways we can't even fathom. And that shift will coincide with a major shift in our understanding of each other. All of it will be simply a development of our connection to that which Lives, that which Gives Life, that which Is Life, with that which is Love. Someday, I see us able to vibrate together with ALL that lives, with ALL that loves. Including trees and plants. There is already evidence that plants see, and feel, and experience, and connect, and respond, to love, to us and to this world in ways we don't get. 

    We aren't as smart as we think. I believe we are only as intelligent as our capacity to feel. And we have a long way to go before our emotional intelligence, our love intelligence, catches up with our intellectual intelligence. 

    I'm doing what I can to further this rather heady aspiration. This very post was all gleaned from a simple, beautiful picture of me and a little dog named Scooby.....

     

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

    Friday
    Aug112017

    At The Edge Of My Forever

    I dreamt of her last night
    Sweet
    Beautiful
    Her

    I awoke
    Laughing
    Crying
    Feeling
    Missing
    Wondering

    Do You ever dream of me?
    Do you feel the same pull
    Towards a sacred space
    Where our two hearts beat as one
    Where our two souls
    Live together

    Letting Go
    Does not always mean
    Stop Loving
    Stop Caring
    Stop Missing

    Sometimes
    I don’t know what it means
    Except
    Sometimes
    It  just hurts

    I Love You At The Edge Of My Forever

    - Clint Piatelli

    Thursday
    Aug032017

    Mindful Television

    Ah, television. The opiate of the masses (although in this day and age, I would argue that opiate itself is the opiate of the masses). It's never been that for me. Television has actually been a source of great comfort for me, ever since I was a kid.

    Growing up in a family where there was a lot of drama and a lot of tension was quite stressful for this little kid. The proverbial shoe could drop at any minute, and often did, usually, more than one at a time and in rapid succession. Metaphorically, it was like living in a shoe store (maybe that explains my foot fetish). The only place that tended to be a "No Drama Zone" was the family room, where the television was. And the only time shoes weren't dropping was when me, my twin brother, and my parents (often accompanied by my Aunty Yu-Yu and Uncle Mike) would watch television together. 

    It was a cozy and safe environment for a kid who rarely ever felt cozy or safe. We all sat on two couches, and Mike and I were usually next to Aunty Yu-Yu. We snuggled right next to her. She was warm and fuzzy. All of us were engaged in what was happening on the screen, so there was a communal focus. There was a ritualistic element to watching television, especially that one Sunday a month when the new episode of Columbo aired. Whenever we all watched TV together, there wasn't a whole lot of talking; a welcome break from the action. But that could also be a bit stifling. If you talked too much, my dad would get aggravated. And that was never good. But, overall, it was a beautiful experience. In a house that sometimes felt more like a broadway show gone awry, with lots of lies, a lack of emotional safety, and more than enough yelling, the family room with the TV on was a sanctuary for an over anxious kid like myself.

    I still find television comforting today. I'm still drawn to it when I feel down. When I was depressed, I could literally watch the boob tube all day, becoming a boob in the process. So I guess, when I was depressed, TV was my opiate. Along with opiates. A Double Whammy. 

    There remains lots of complete tripe on television. But there is also plenty of quality programming. I go for shows where I can learn something, or see something created. Discovery Channel, National Geographic, The History Channel, The Learning Channel. Documentaries are especially fascinating. And football. I love watching football. Especially re-runs of Patriots Super Bowl victories. 

    As a kid, Saturday morning cartoons were like having Christmas once a week. And I still remember the very first show I saw in color, on our very first color television set (an RCA): Ultra Man. It had monsters, fantasy, dubbed dialogue over bad acting, and shit loads of color. It was glorious. 

    And of course, there were Looney Toons, or as we simply called them, "Bugs Bunny". I still watch those shorts today and bust a gut. Even more than when I was a kid. Because not only does the visual action still break me up, but I get the adult humor that's all over those cartoons. The sarcasm, the subterfuge, the subtext, the absurdity, and the more "mature" references. Along with Mad Magazine, Looney Toons formed the very foundation of my sense of humor.

    During the fall and winter seasons, my twin brother and I would get our homework done in time to watch the Bruins and Celtics games on channel 38 almost every night. I have very fond memories of Mike and I sitting too close to the television, absorbed by the action, and discussing the intricacies of the game (as much as was possible for kids still in grade school). During the breaks between periods or quarters, we would head down to the cellar, which was covered by a linoleum floor. We had these slipper socks that had vinyl bottoms, so you would slide and skid all over the place you when you ran around. That inspired us to create our own game, "Ice Basketball", a combination of the Hockey and hoop games we watched upstairs. 

    The ritual of watching those sports on television, and playing together in a game we invented was a powerful bonding experience for my twin brother and I. Not only did we make up the game, we made up the teams (with cities and logos), the players and their names (including backstories), and everything else along with it. 

    Our experience of watching those games and playing in between created connection between us, flexed our creativity, sharpened our intellect by analyzing and discussing the games, and fostered exercise. It was a very complete experience, made possible by television. 

    Like any form of media, Television can serve us or it can cripple us, depending on how we use it. Today, the true Opiate of The Masses is the combination of internet and "smart" phones. And, just like opiates themselves, this can be dangerous or helpful. 

    It comes back to mindfulness. Are we using these amazing tools and technologies mindfully or mindlessly? Are we staring at our phones 24/7 while life is happening around us? Or are we skillfully using them to add to our lives? Like fire, which can cook our food or cook us, it all depends on our application. 

    I encourage us to bring mindfulness to our lives, especially in the addictive practice of web surfing, texting, messaging, face timing, and all the nifty things we can do with our technology. Use social media mindfully, as a way to truly connect to others, not as a detached substitution for connection itself. 

    All tools are powerful instruments. Use them accordingly. Television, the internet and the smart phone, are scalpels. Not sledge hammers.

     

     

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

    Monday
    Jul312017

    Charlie And Me

    Charlie and I have been friends since 1982, our sophomore year at Villanova. We've enjoyed more good times together than I can possibly recount. More importantly, we've shared a lot of love. We've shared a lot of life.

    In college, Charlie was part of an extend family of life shakers, trouble makers, party players, and risk takers. He was rather unique in our crowd. Most of us were business majors. Charlie was studying to be a civil engineer. That meant we had a lot more free time than he did. Somehow, he kept pace with our full throttle social agenda and managed to get outstanding grades. Charlie is one of most intelligent men I've ever met.

    When my college band, The Albino Skunks, came up with the marketing and PR ploy of having completely unnecessary "security guards" to accompany the band at a talent show (which we won) and at gigs, Charlie was a proud member of a crack four man squad known as "Skunk Security". When I invited a bunch of Jerseyites to cape cod for The Fourth of July in 1984, Charlie made the trek along with Kevin, Mike, and Harry. At one point during the long, alcohol laden ride, as the conversation turned philosophical, Charlie made the now infamous comment, "Ya know, we're just great people."

    Sophomore year, many of this extended family all lived in the same wing, on the same floor, of the same dorm. Sullivan 3rd West was more like a carnival of tumultuous mayhem than a housing establishment. Charlie was always in the thick of things. Inevitably, at some point late on a weekend night, Charlie would grab Harry's boxing gloves, and, knowing I was on the boxing team, inexplicably challenge me to spar. Within 30 seconds, I was pummeling him so bad he would hit the floor, laughing and crying "Uncle!". 

    Senior year, after upsetting Georgetown in 1985 to win the NCAA Basketball Championship, a few of the more rowdy members of The Albino Skunks completely destroyed three floors worth of wooden railings at Charlie's apartment complex. He was understandably pissed at us. For months. And he got over it. 

    Less than 10 years after graduating, Charlie started his own construction company, becoming so successful that he's now "retired" (a relative term, considering how much he still oversees his labor of love). When he was considering striking out on his own those many years ago and needed some advice, he called my father, who also owned his own constuction company. They spent hours on the phone. Charlie has never forgotten that. Neither did my dad. Neither have I. 

    As we've gotten older, Charlie and I have gotten closer. We share our struggles, our triumphs, our thoughts and feelings, in conversations that would not have been possible years ago. Our friendship has deepened, and, even though we don't see each other nearly as much now as we did in our college days, we are closer than we've ever been. Unlike real estate, intimacy is not about location. It's not about geography. 

    Intimacy is about our hearts, about ourselves, about our lives, and how much of that we are willing to share. I know Charlie, and he knows me, far better than ever. I see a beauty in him that is only made possible by experience, wisdom, and openness. I know his wife, his kids, and what's important to him. Our reciprocal love and respect fuels our relationship.

    Age, time, and lots of work have gotten me closer to the core of my being, and that is reflected by a life more in harmony with that core. That path is not a linear one. It's not a path I can plan. It's had bumps and detours and lots of pain. It's had periods of time where I regressed, not progressed. But ultimately, all of those twists and turns bring me closer to being in my life more fully; of living a more enriched, more authentic, more fulfilled life. A life full of love. I realize that now like never before. 

    Connection has proven, time and time again, to save me when I was drowning in my own sea of despair. Connection to myself. Connection to others. Although I'm physically further away from many of my oldest friends, I'm closer to them in the the ways that matter. So when we do get together, the times we share together strike my heart like a harp, and my heart sings.

    I love Charlie. He was just in Los Angeles with his whole family. When I saw him, I snuck up behind him, put him in a loving head lock, kissed his cheek, and told him I loved him. He laughed and gave love right back to me. Two grown men, acting like a couple of kids. That gives me goosebumps. 

    We all have this capacity to more fully develop ourselves and our relationships. But it requires us to open ourselves up and risk our hearts. To risk being hurt or rejected or growing apart from people we love if they aren't on the same wavelength. That's happened to me with some people I used to be very close to. That has been the cost. But the benefits of stronger and more loving connections to those willing to risk the same with us is more than worth it. Always.

    Take those risks. Open yourself up. Actively Love with wild abandon. Share. There's only one of you, and the world needs you. In the unfathomably vast history of the universe, there is only, there will only ever be, a YOU; that unique combination of heart, soul, mind, and body. 

    That gives me goosebumps too. I'm getting a lot of those these days.

     

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

    Friday
    Jul282017

    Fail Safe Compatibilty Test

    There's this old tank top I still wear. How old? Not really sure. Let's put it this way; I've got pictures with it on, circa 1990, and it doesn't look brand new.

    It started off jet black, and has faded to light black. It's got more holes in it than the streets of Boston after a snowy winter, when the asphalt has been mangled by plows. All the edges are frayed, and it's ripped halfway up the right side, held together by two big safety pins. And it's got a few bleach stains on it from who knows where. I love it.

    I wear that shirt to the gym, to yoga, and out and about. It's not something I would wear on a first date, however. Or so I thought.

    At yoga the other day, a striking woman walks by me and says, "I like your yoga mat". She had a good eye for style, because, in the generally austere world of yoga mats, this one was bitchin': it had a cork base, with seven colorful circles riding up the middle, demarking the chakras. "Thank you", I replied, and winked at her. She smiled. Not a bad way to start a class. Later, I saw her in the lobby of the yoga studio, checking out clothing. We started to chat, and I asked her out for coffee (told you I love yoga babes). She accepted.

    Over coffee, she asked, with a smile, "Is there story behind that shirt you're wearin'?". It's worthy to note that my tank top had acquired even more distinction by being drenched in sweat. I told her about it, and she laughed. She dug it. We had a honey of a time.

    That interaction got me thinking. I have a mile walk home from Westwood Village, which is where my gym and yoga studio are. I walk to and from The Village at least once a day. It's a beautiful jaunt, bordered by UCLA and it's botanical garden on one side and Sorority row on the other (flora over here, fauna over there). I get lots of ideas on these walks, sometimes sketching out entire writings in my head. 

    It occurred to me that my infamous tank top has been more than just a trusty garment over the years; it's been a barometer for female compatibility. I thought back to all my girlfriends since I started wearing it (approximating of course, not knowing exactly how long I've had the thing). I realized that, without exception, there's a line that breaks like a perforated Saltine cracker; the women who have had issues with me wearing this ragged piece of clothing, and have proven to be incompatible, are on one side; the women who have dug this shirt, and have proven very compatible, are on the other.

    This is not a matter of right or wrong, good or bad. It's a matter of sensibilities, attitudes, and a general approach to life. The women who don't like me wearing this shirt are of the opinion that it looks "tacky". The women who like it will say things like "I dig that shirt because it's so You". And therein lies the compatibility acid test. Compatibly is a complex phenomenon. Which is why it's so exciting to realize that a simple article of clothing can gauge it.

    I feel great wearing this shirt. I wear it like I do all clothing; from the inside out. I'm comfortable, feel good, and believe I look great in it. If you're totally on board with that, it says that you're okay with me being me. With me wearing whatever I want. With me being comfortable in my own skin, with my own second skin, and expressing that to the world at large. If you like it, you place a high value on self expression. You don't care too much about what people think of me, or what people think of you being with a guy who would wear a tattered tank top that predates the millennium. This is just one way I express myself, but it translates well across the wide spectrum of self expression.

    If you don't dig it, and in fact if you truly hate it, I'm not going to psychoanalyze you; but I am going to say that our sensibilities don't align. Our values don't match up. Our attitudes about self expression and letting it all hang out are quite different. That has been the case, every time.

    Expanding my general thesis, I don't go for "preppy" women; their conservative nature, attitudes, and overall approach, along with their conventional lifestyles, are usually reflected in their clothing; and I'm at the other end of the universe. I'm most compatible with women who are unconventional, far from conservative, are wild at heart and wild in spirit, very artistic, with a certain unique flash. I go for women who love how they look in a pair of tight jean shorts, a bikini top, sparkly Chucky Taylor high tops, no make-up, and a baseball cap (with the ponytail pulled through the opening in the back - fuck, I love that look). If a woman feels sexy in that, I'm on board. It's not just skin deep (or clothing deep). You look sexy in that because you feel sexy in that. And if you feel sexy in it, you are sexy. To yourself, and to me. I pick up on that vibe and resonate with your energy. The same is true the other way around. I feel sexy in my battered tank top. If you can feel that, ride my energy with me, then we're on the same wavelength; were vibrating on a similar frequency. We gel. We ignite together.

    I'm looking to explore this more, I'm just not sure when. That's all I got for now.

     

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