WARNING: A Drive-Through-Guru is coming to a Facebook post near you.

Have you seen their work firsthand, perhaps you know one, or have even spent time in the presence of such a peculiar angelic being?  Like as not, I have met my fair share of Drive-Through-Guru douches and the nouveau-riche halfwits who keep them employed. There are an endless amount of various type coaches or guides online who, as the twisted sadistic irony plays itself out, themselves are in drastic need of coaching; let alone being in a place in life that has deemed their experience reverent and advice worthy.  Facebook, the wet-dream of self-medicating narcissists and Instagram, where anyone can be a model, are filled to the brim with untold numbers of these lost souls. It is case in point: the blind leading the blind – in between their never-ending self-fulfilling prophecies, that is when they are not leading their heard to eternal happiness, love and financial successes.  This person will sell you whatever is the hottest trendiest social ‘busy you’ cash cow they can wrap their little greedy and undeserving sausage fingers around. 

First, a person who calls themselves a guru cannot be one, strictly by its definition alone. That should be the first red flag you are dealing with the crème-de-la-crème of Internet graduated ass-waffle. The titles never-ending, creative too: Life Sensei, Wellness Warrior, Spiritual Guide. There is a title for everything. To the person who wants to be my life coach – what have you done so great in yours to prove to me I should accept your wise and sage guidance?  What “hats” in life have you worn and mastered? What is your level of understanding of human psychology? How well versed are you on matters of metaphysical nature? How high an education on quantum physics do you possess? You can make my business more successful too? Really? Aside from being total baseless claims of complete bullshit, I welcome these same ‘successful folk’ to be open and willing in sharing their W2 or tax returns for the past three years. Prove your worth, Bucko.  Otherwise please take your overly inflated ego and dreams of castles in the desert sky and go pound sand. 

Furthermore, beware the one who can easily and happily sell you whatever you are looking for that day; as he was probably an expert on another big niche self-help craze that sold well in the past – such as how to have happy and loving relationships, all the while his short lived ‘oh so loving’ perfect relationship was a disaster that recently flamed out after one too-hot-to-handle year of magical union. As with love, he also views happiness as an object, a commodity if you will, able to be bought and sold. What he fails to realize is that love and happiness are not objects, they are each a process. Each requires you match your words with your actions; neither can be purchased.  He was probably a ‘best-selling’ author in the past too, for all of two long weeks until his efforts fizzled out and his attention moved onto the next in vogue social change-yourself ‘this week’ trend – also guaranteed short lived.  Whatever is the most popular societal self-help issue du jour, they are on it, like white on rice. People, do your homework, there is no easy way to happiness, love or financial success. And it certainly cannot be marketed and sold to you: save your money, look within, it is free.

The answers are free to you. They lie deep within your inner being.  Most people are not interested in ‘Doing the Dirty Dishes’ of life, they would rather opt for a silver-bullet solution, later becoming even less satisfied. The journey is not easy, it requires going to the deep and terrifying annals of your soul.  If you have never been lost and confused in this strange world, plumbed the blood-curdling depths of your inner most existence, explored the frightening and spine-chilling parts within your being, faced your hair-raising fears head-on, done your ‘work’ in life, slain your dragon(s), as a result, no amount of Law of Attraction is going to assist you. It is similar to what I wrote in my book, Unbreakable Mind, in a chapter on diet and nutrition: If your cells are not healthy to begin with, no amount of vitamins or supplements will substitute a healthy diet; the unhealthy cells are not in a position to receive healthy supplements and so, as a direct result, one ends up with very expensive pee instead.  If you are not spiritually prepared and ready to receive the lessons of the universe, they will not come. Other lessons will arrive however, soon enough; and usually the hard way – exit stage left.

Life is lived and experienced by knowing and being aware of all its boundless possibilities, even within one’s own made-up reality. One cannot know light until one has experienced darkness; equally one cannot know happiness unless one has experienced sadness.  Otherwise we would have nothing to compare and contrast; one does not come first without the other; they inextricably exist and are married in eternal duality – what we refer to as ying-yang, life. The same lesson goes that in order to know happiness in your life one must also know sadness and suffering.  So, if you are only being sold one half the equation to the solution, you are being robbed blind.  In my book I state that in life we all have our own agenda, but do not forget life also has its own agenda. Want to take any bets on whose wins? Life’s does, always; it never fails.  It is only our perspective and reaction that determine the outcome – that hold considerable sway and help determine our level of happiness in this world as well.  These are deep and spiritual matters of the soul, not superficial and shallow echoes of the social media guru of the week.  A wolf in sheep’s clothing? Better he is left to his ways au natural.

The Guru is most apt spending more time in front of the mirror primping and preening, wrapped up in himself, Inc., the perfect social media photograph forever eluding him, than attempting a teacher.  Most of what he tells you can be gleamed from a few hours in the self-help section of your local corner bookstore. He knows not of the masters or their teachings. He is lucky to have read the only a small number of scratch-the-surface books, rarely delving into any original thought or text, and certainly not language. He does not tell you the whole story, both sides of the equation; he cannot, he is incapable. He does not know that of which he tells you, nor has he lived any of it. To him it is all wrapped in theory only; he is a master of talking the talk. Otherwise if practical, he would understand he has no answers. He most likely does not even know where to find the answers he himself is searching for out of life; he is too busy falsely proselytizing them to you. The critical important part they do not inform you on, since they are unaware through all their craft-brew filled sophomoric philosophizing, is that one can only find light the result of traveling through utter darkness. True intellect and intelligence must be bestowed upon us from a higher power. No amount of Guru-Juice or learned theoretical book knowledge will get you there quicker – it is a dark and lonely road that must be traveled alone, only by you.

Some of these ass-clowns are the same ones who will preach to you the value of the Law of Attraction. Yet they do not understand it. They make it sound like some fast food order drive-through of the universe. Yes, hello, I would like an order of a mass produced cookie-cutter McMansion in a suburb, throw in a high paying job, a beautiful bride, a perfect boy and girl and a side of happiness, while you’re in a giving mood. These same fools think that prayer or meditation works the same way.  They think that prayer is a wish list of things you desire in life. As if God already doesn’t know what you want in life. It is only when we have gratitude and thanks for what we currently have in our lives that we are prepared to receive more from the universe.  The Law of Attraction has two parts, but these “spiritual masters” only tell you one side of the story: they sell you on the light, never filling you in or instructing you into and through the dark inner work required to come to true happiness.  Your greatest prayer each day is why you are thankful.  These absolute asses are too busy teaching you their ‘successful’ ways that mean nothing and will get you nowhere – when all you need to do is take the time to look inside.  All answers lie within. 

The Guru who always wants you to Private Message (PM) him or her is also thought to be suspect.  These same type 15 minute rodeo yahoos would also always rather send you a voice recorded message or reply – it keeps them from having to give ‘actual’ or ‘real’ answers that could really guide or aid you, never being tied to the written word.  They are modern day social media snake oil salesmen.  Life coaches with certifications are not as bad on whole, though most are akin to those who enter into the field of study of Psychology – they are trying to solve their own deep inner personal concerns and questions – and definitely are not in any place to be giving out advice or guiding others in life. One can always attend a pay-to-play graduate school like University of Pennsylvania, continually pumping out unqualified consultants, many misguided and unfulfilled, resorting to ABC (insert fancy title) Coach. In fact, many are probably in need of seeing their own therapist or guide in life. Rest assured, either way, come hell or high water, when the next hot ‘sliced-bread’ item comes down the infinite toll road of people’s insatiable appetite for innermost self-betterment, through any means possible one can be hoodwinked, he will be ecstatic to control the click-whirl intimate toll booth reward circuit, smiling all the way to the bank.  You have been forewarned.  Buyer beware! 

You might as well go flush money down the toilet because otherwise these modern day online Bonnie and Clyde fraudsters will continue to take your hard earned money with a perfectly orchestrated and polished smile, while they play off of your insecurities to their ultimate financial benefit. Some of them even have weekend retreats or even go so far as to schedule foreign trips. I would be willing to bet most participants initially walk away happy. But ask those same people in six months what has changed in their lives and be prepared for many blank stares. It is back to business as usual.  There was no real or actualized change that occurred outside the warm-and-fuzzy feelings they all had when manipulated for a weekend away at a tranquil spiritual destination, ignorantly anonymous and blind, drinking the cool-aid with contented delight.  They paid for that part but did not receive instruction how to continue the lessons in actual everyday life because the teacher was either unaware the importance of this, the process of how change actually occurs in a person through daily habit, or was not qualified and/or competent to train you on such.  Refund! 

The newly discovered ‘spiritual rich’ who buy themselves up the Buddha Ladder are guilty just the same.  Somehow they think that because they now have financial success that affords them the time and right to seek out the best spiritual guides that money can buy. Although this same person also thinks he with the most toys accumulated wins the race, it is no surprise spirituality is the greatest atrocious omission from his list of life’s personal goals. This person is the same void of a being as before, now with money – money that has only bought him further disquiet.  Spirituality should be atop his or her wish list, yet it is relegated to another trophy for the oak mantle. What new part of life can we objectify and control this week?! The head monks at the monasteries understand the unspoken relationship; they also understand their monks have to eat. The ignorance of one brings light to many – a fair deal according to the monks. So the pay-to-pray patronage relationship that has greatly benefited them in the past, often financial, continues to assist struggling monasteries and their causes unabated today.  In the end, these wealthy ass-hats only find themselves higher up the proverbial spiritual mountain, with lighter pockets. Confucius say: Never get too high up mountain, no one hear you scream.

The Dali Lama has been quoted as saying: There are eight billion people in this world; there are eight billions realities in this world. Recently on Facebook I saw a post on why this one particular Guru was unlike all others.  Most witty people would have stopped at the first line but rest assured, many not only read on further but also believed this hot-air-filled idiot. He went on to pontificate his experience with ancient cultures and shamans. He had spent 1000s of hours with shamans though I am unsure he could define one or its role in society. He had also notched in his fine Italian leather belt 10,000 hours of laser focused meditation.  And? That means exactly what to me? It tells me you are wrapped up within your own narcissistic mind, concerned with meaningless numbers and your boundless self-inflating ego; that you have no real understanding of love, any matters of the heart or even a shred of comprehension on human consciousness or psychology. It only reinforces and makes clear to all reading this blog, the only thing any amount of personal hours has ever done to benefit you was to make your last Facebook profile selfie look like it belongs on the cover of GQ.  Perhaps your greatest egoic attributes and abilities could best be utilized, no doubt improving humanity in untold ways, by retiring as a douche Guru extraordinaire and morphing into an international social media model-phenom. I hear Instagram is hiring.   

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Book: Unbreakable Mind. (Print, Kindle, Audio)

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Travel Blog links: Covid-19 stranded in NYC JFK and Maine – also travel stories on Ireland, Spain, SwedenBelgiumIcelandColombia (Espanol version), AmsterdamGermany, New HampshireTN and NYC.

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Thank you for your love and support.

Per, you touched my mind and heart, my left butt-cheek responded.

This is my first official blog post. It is a blog of love and gratitude: dedicated to Per Gjeding.

The idea of a blog has been presented to me many times over the years but was never a true fit.  As with all things in life, the sands of time did their infinite magical dance and, as a result, I was again faced with Doing the Dirty Dishes in life.  So, as I embark on this new chapter of my story, on the journey we call life, it is my hope you will find my musings informative, light, witty and funny, or any combination of the above.  Please take a minute to read on and share with me my first official blog post sent into the universe.

As I sat in the shower today, as on most days, I let the hot water run over my head, trickling down all over my body, comforting my over-worked muscles and frazzled nerves, contemplating what could ever I write as a blog. There were so many ideas running through my head.  They were endless; all over the map.  Another part of me was unsure who would want to read it, but after a quick reality check of what my life has morphed into, and with the continued robust monthly sales of my first book, Unbreakable Mind, I finally capitulated to the universal forces to be and decided that I would post one blog entry per month.  And so it goes. 

As I continued on with my bath routine, a peculiar Wilander act of sudsy balance, something was amiss, suddenly change was upon me. This was not my first time down this road; big changes always portended future recovery. In massive amounts of pain in my groin, hip, pelvic cradle and glute muscles for weeks, nothing out of ordinary, I was in search of answers.  I knew a newly introduced Physical Therapy system, PAS by Aktiv Form, created and developed, the result of twenty years of endless and selfless years of dedication to heal himself from tragic injury, by Per Gjeding, of Danmark, was affecting my nerves and muscles but had no real or clear idea where all that hard work would lead me. For the first time in my injured life I was able to lift my left butt-cheek and wash it without any bracing or other assistance.  I was so ecstatic I wanted to get up and jump in the water.  I knew what this meant: It translated into a major piece of recovery still required before I could walk again. I was over the moon with love for Per, and incredibly grateful to all others who helped prepare me to get to this point to be ready for PAS therapy.

Not long ago I was on a trip to Iceland.  There I would be meeting an old friend, a friend whom is special to me, a friend I met while living in Tokyo over twenty years ago. She was originally from Nepal but was now a married nurse in Boston, with a lovely teenage daughter, Hazel.  It was a ‘layover’ in Iceland, en route from Sweden to Philadelphia, a result of the infamous Iceland stopover in Reykjavik. Which, it should be noted, and perhaps will be elaborated on in a later post, is not really a stopover where technically you pay taxes to exit the airport, rather, it is actually two separate flights they string together and refer to as a stopover.  If it truly were a stopover, the cost to stop in Iceland would be much less money out of pocket. With tourism on the decline, an over-priced and over-supplied housing market in full throttle, they might heed lessons from the past, and change their bait-and-switch ‘stopover’ international ad campaign.  Otherwise the country is absolutely amazing. I plan to return this year.

After arriving at Reykjavik airport early, I stopped for a cup of tea and some last minute local Nordic sweets; a pre-flight relax routine I have developed over my years of extensive world travel.  That and older age have me arriving for flights extra early these days.  Actually, I find it more fun and it eliminates any undue stresses on my body.  Nothing tenses an injured body more than rushing it – even though you are not pressured, your body will become so on its own.  Normally I am first to board but the flight crew did not have the aisle wheelchair for the plane ready for me.  Finally I settled on having a nice young strong Polish ground crewman carry me the ten feet onto the plan to my seat.  Until he found out I was sitting in seat 1D he was not overly thrilled at the thought of my request.  I have been a few places and knew better to get on the plane sooner than later.  After a few minutes of settling in I looked to my right to introduce myself to my seatmate.  “Hello, my name is Steven,” and he introduced himself in a heavy English accent as “Piere.”

Upon first hearing his accent, I thought I had a Frenchman sitting at my side.  The stewardess came out with some champagne and fresh fruit.  It must have been a long day for us both as the glasses never had a chance to touch the tray. A few minutes passed and I was curious where my new flight compatriot was from.  As the stewardess poured us some red wine, people filing past, Piere and I were locked into deep conversation. Though I was still unsure what is his actual name was, and from where he hailed.  At some point in his explanations to me, as I assume he is answering my questions, I hear him say “Slovakia.”  Ahh, that is it!  He is Slovak. Lucky me, I speak some.  “Aka sa mas? Dobre?” I say to him.  He looks at me as if I have three eyes.  Fifteen minutes, and another round of Spanish red wine later, I conclude his name is actually Per and he is Danish, a true Scandinavian.  I decide at this point to skip any attempt to utter any bit of my small Dansk repertoire. 

As it turns out, in our mutual attempt to get over one another’s initial accents, he was telling me the story of how had been paralyzed in an accident as a young man, and taught himself, through sheer gritty determination and the endless quest to understand how his body heals, his own method of Physical Therapy.  The name of the system he created is PAS by Aktiv Form. He then goes on to not only tell me of his recent groundbreaking speech at Oxford University, which, in case you are wondering, floored the audience, before handing me an actual copy of his presentation, with his whole 7 keys system of healing revealed to me. Well, talk about synchronicity of the universe; the unconditional unending love of God – I was speechless.  For those who know me know that is no easy task to accomplish.  Stewardess, two more wines, please.  I was unsure what had just happened.

When we got back to Philadelphia airport, it turned out Per was staying at a hotel near to my home.  He was in town visiting his son, Jack, whom I have rarely seen such love for a son by a father.  Two hours of our flight were spent listening to stories of his awesome American university, Division II star basketball player son, along with plenty of photos, also including those of his family and home in Jutland, Danmark.  We shared a taxi.  I got out of the taxi at my residence and as I went to shut the door, Per asked me, “Steven, are you free in a few days for lunch?”  “Sure, Per, that sounds spectacular. Let’s do lunch soon.” I said as I exited our Uber ride.  Later that evening I tried reaching Per at his hotel and they had no record of him.  The Whatsapp number he gave me was also unreachable.  I was unsure what to think and soon got back to settling in my home after a one month mentally and physically exhaustive trip to Scandinavia.

Three days later, early in the morning, a text arrives from Malik, my local Pakistani Uber friend.  He asks me if I am ready for lunch at 12 noon with Per. Oh shit, I guess he did not forget our unconfirmed appointment, even though we had not spoken a word since I left the taxi three nights prior. It turns out his wife forwarded him the email I sent to him through his Danish website the night we had met.  As he enters my home, with a big smile: “Halo,my good friend,” jolly and joking as always. We have tea and chat.  Then he asks me to lie down so he could do some tests.  Observations completed, with a big smile on his face, he informs me my body is healing well and with further physical therapy regimen, his, I could complete all the circuits and start walking again.  He then popped up, said he was off to see his son practice basketball, and asked if I would be free again in two days.  Before I could holler out a loud yes, he was out the door.  As he ran off, I quickly made it to the door to scream out the door, “yes Per, yes, let’s do it again in two days.”  As he moved out of site, I could hear him say, wrapped in an impish child’s laughter, “see you in two days, Steven.”  Two days later at high noon he was there.

What was transpiring in my life? What galactic forces had combined through serendipitous means in order to bring us two together, sitting next to one another on a trans-Atlantic plane ride, and later in my living room.  It is my belief that forces beyond the comprehension of the human mind are responsible for bringing us together in Iceland.  Nothing is random in life; everything happens for a reason. Including Per. But there I was, sitting quietly with information I knew could help me walk again. Over the next two months I would follow his system exactly as he instructed. After about thirty days, I began seeing the results of his ground breaking physical therapy system.  It was tremendous, some might say miraculous.  It is only a matter of time before I start walking with a walker.

Per, you touched my heart and mind, and my left butt-cheek responded. Never before in my wildest imagination would I have dreamed of meeting you, or the result of such aligned planetary forces that brought me together with you and your amazing PAS Physical Therapy system. There are no mistakes in life; there are no chance meetings. We met for a reason – which is now clear to me and hopefully soon to others in the universal shared conscious of our cosmos. Thank you for your love and support. Steven

Travel Blog: Click here.

Spiritual Blog: Click here.

Book: Unbreakable Mind. (Print, Kindle, Audio)

Doing The Dirty Dishes Podcast: Watch or listen to episodes and subscribe: SpotifyApple PodcastBuzzsprout.  Also available on Google PodcastiHeartTunein, Amazon Alexa and Stitcher

Doing The Dirty Dishes YouTube channel – watch and subscribe.

Social Media linksTwitterInstagram and Linkedin.

Travel Blog links: Covid-19 stranded in NYC JFK and Maine – also travel stories on Ireland, Spain, SwedenBelgiumIcelandColombia (Espanol version), AmsterdamGermany, New HampshireTN and NYC.

Personal Website link where you can also find my bookphotos of my travels and updates on current projects.  

Thank you for your love and support.