How does one prepare to be insane? Very simply; just begin by doing everything opposite to convention.

When society says be afraid of going downtown at night: do it to give love. And, while you are there, go into dark alleys where the home-free are and give them love. Take all your worldly possession with you and freely give them away with love. While you are at it, give hugs to anyone, love them, cry with them, acknowledge them…and feel—-love.

It isn’t by mistake that I have come to Eugene, Oregon; the home of old hippies and Track Town Pizza. The Peace and Running Capital of the World both literally and figuratively. But, what am I supposed to do now? I’ve come here to train, but how does one train for something that is impossible? In all respects, I am the least likely person to attempt this. I’m not a great runner nor am I the worst, not a bad artist nor am I Michelangelo. Don’t get me wrong, these aren’t self-derogatory comments, just an accurate appraisal of what I bring to the table.

How does one start…I guess by starting.

In the last couple of days, I’ve been selfless, loving, and peaceful.  I cried with people at the shelters in SF, I’ve fed the poor, clothed the cold and wet, and began a process of forgetting self. But, I’ve also been impatient, selfish, quick tempered, judgmental, and I’ve snapped at my best friend and my mom. I’m aware that I am not perfect, and I will fail to live to my own standards. But, I must admit I am far more peaceful, happy, content, and grateful than ever before in my life. I’m learning to be mindful. I’m learning to be selfless. I’m learning to be compassionate with others…and more difficultly with myself.

So what can I do today to be peaceful, happy, loving, compassionate, invested in others, and grateful. Hug. Love others as best you can, as best I can, as best we can, and as we see fit.

So, how will I begin my “training”? Hell if I know. I have assembled my cart (pictured above). It was a going-away gift from the kids. They were going to get me a tent, but I may or may not use a tent. But, I don’t see the possibility of not taking a cart in order to lug all my art supplies, and yet I am open to the possibility of going with nothing at all. I will proceed as best I can, being mindful of every decision, and using as a litmus test the simple question, “What is the most loving thing I can do in the given situation?” And with this, my training begins. Love to all.