From "Connected (with Abe + Isaac) — Volume 9"

For a minute, I want you to shut down all of your thoughts. And, then, focus on anything you can sense (see, touch, hear) that – in the absence of all those thoughts you were having – you find beautiful.

Sit there, with that thing of beauty, for a minute. Let yourself feel good about it.


Do that more. You have infinite access to things that feel good. Let it in, let it in, let it in. Happy Friday!

Tattoo stories

I feel so friggin good whenever I look at this. It happened five weeks ago, with the same artist that did my other tattoo. Unlike that time, I had the distinct sensation of my body welcoming this one. That was new. That was cool. 😄

It says “I love you”, in Japanese. (While researching to make sure what I was choosing, I learned that Japanese has slightly different patterns for masculine and feminine speakers! The speaker, in this case, is masculine.) It’s pictured right side up, here, making this a tattoo for me. And also, it’s convenient that whenever I raise up my arms (which I do constantly 🙌), someone ends up seeing I love you in Japanese. 😄😂

The inspiration for it came from “Your Name”, the 2016 anime film, after which I cried for four hours. In a good way.

This has happened to me twice, in available memory.

  • Your Name (July)

  • Seeing Madeon’s “Good Faith” tour (last November)

Both times, it was my body experiencing resonance at the cellular level. Honestly, I think that’s it. I felt the substance of both of these things so hard, so hard, like I had found myself in the art in front of me.

You know how the details of a dream fade, the longer you’re awake?

I’ve felt, for a long time, like the knowledge I find/receive of myself, of reality, of the patterns that run through everything, are thoughts that I hold for a moment and then find slipping through my fingers, until they’re gone, for a time. It feels exactly like forgetting a dream.

The film Your Name has a plot thread about this idea of forgetting, and of realizing that you’ve forgotten, and of fighting to remember. Of deciding to remember.

That’s what this tattoo is about. Fighting, deciding, to remember who I am. To carry with me, as often as I can remember – and I am fighting to remember – the knowledge of my real essence, my pure, joyful, expressive, expansive essence. The character that is uniquely me, in all of my undiminished glory.

These are strong words. They should be. :) We are, each of us, utterly glorious. Remember.

I suspect my body welcomed this tattoo for the relaxing into self that it represents. It is, at times, a fight to remember. Absolutely. But if it’s a fight to stay aware, the process of registering that awareness is a peaceful one. It’s something that you relax into, the idea that I am who I am, and always have been. I need be nothing more. I cannot be anything less.

A few months ago, I called my mom, and asked her about something that I felt I’d lost when I was a kid. I thought I remembered being the class clown in elementary school, always loving being the center of attention, and then I thought I remembered losing that love some years later, and never getting it back, settling into a place where my relationship to attention was much more fraught. For years, I’d carried the idea that I was less than myself, that I’d lost something important.

And she said, “Oh honey, I understand how you’d remember it that way, but you’ve always had a fraught relationship with attention. Your grandma brought you a puppet once, when you were very little, and suggested off-handedly that you might do a puppet show for her before she left. And you stressed and stressed and stressed about getting it right, about meeting her expectation and about making sure the show got done. It was just a fun idea of hers, and you, little one, were so worried. :)”

I share this because the realization that I have always been me was electric. The freedom I felt, upon hearing that, was immediately life-altering. I felt like I could relax, in the deeper reaches of my consciousness, in a way I probably hadn’t in 20 years.

The specifics are going to be different for you. There are ways in which you haven’t changed, ever, that you’ve maybe forgotten. But, know this: you have always been you. Always, always, always, and it is good. :) So relax! Enjoy the freedom in this knowledge, for if you cannot lose yourself, you are completely, completely safe, and free.

This tattoo is my reminder, of all of that, to myself. It’s a part of my fight to remember.

In the movie, these words are written the other direction, by someone else. But this tattoo is for me, first, and so the ink sits as if I wrote it on myself, like notes on my arm before a test in junior high.

I love you. You are you. You always have been. You cannot ever lose that. ❤️

Fuck that knowledge feels good. 🙌 It’s good, good, good, good, good to be oneself. Claim your freedom, in this! It has always been yours.

Love, Isaac

Originally sent out via email

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