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NEW AGE | VISIONARY FICTION | ALLEGORY | INSPIRATIONAL | SPIRITUAL | SELF-HELP
Through this allegory, discover and explore a key tool of self-awareness for finding peace on your own inner journey and spiritual path.
Inspired by the profound wisdom of Michael Singer’s The Untethered Soul, the author here shares the process of one man’s internal struggle to understand, and escape from, the incessant voices of his inner self-critic. Then–moving well beyond the entry point of self-criticism–this simple story delves deeply to explore the very nature of thinking and emotions themselves and our relationship to them as human beings. What is real? What is illusion? Who ARE you? Is it possible to be freed from the “thought maze” that typically entangles a person in their everyday life? Through the protagonist’s journey the larger picture of personal identity and its relationship to thoughts and feelings is revealed, as he unknowingly discovers a key tool of self-awareness that the reader will also be able take away for everyday use on their own spiritual path. This transformation evolves over the course of only 24 hours…yet magically, time stretches as the mind of the main character opens and his heart begins to truly flow for the first time.
This New Age work falls into the more recently developing genre of Metaphysical & Visionary Fiction. Like James Redfield’s The Celestine Prophecy and Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist, the subtle–yet powerful–unfolding of this allegorical journey will both captivate and inspire you!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ivan ‘Z’ Newell lives in Lexington, Kentucky with his wife to be Liz Haeberlin (photographer, writer, life coach), their cat Jackamo, and dogs Maggie & Mango. Situated in the heart of Bluegrass Country, Lexington–with its beautiful pastoral setting, thoroughbred horses, history and bourbon–is also known as the “Horse Capital of the World.” This is Z Newell’s first novel, an allegory that reveals the striking simplicity of moving one’s internal growth to a whole new level. It is a blend of perspectives from his background in philosophy, psychology, over a decade of experience in transformational men’s work, and his personal spiritual journey. Z’s intention is to leave you with a practical ‘gift’ through this story–a key tool of self-awareness–that will serve you in bringing your own magnificence to life!
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep.
He stood staring in amazement, still not believing that this old diner–in all its stainless steel glory–could really be out here, in the middle of nowhere. Glancing again at its single “OPEN” neon sign, he climbed the two small steps leading up to the door and pulled it open. All he could think about right now was getting some water for his raw, parched throat.
As he entered he tripped and stumbled through the doorway, falling down completely onto the linoleum floor. And there he lay, sprawled face down in embarrassment…for what seemed like an eternity…
“You ok, Mister? Here, let me help you up,” he heard the angelic voice call to him. “People always seem to be trippin’ over that last stair! Ain’t that somethin’?” the voice went on. “C’mon, have a seat over here. You been drinkin’?”
He stared up into a set of big beautiful blue-green eyes, barely able to focus or say anything.
“Hang on a minute. Let me get you some water,” she said, as he put his head down on the counter to rest. “You look pretty tired, Mister,” he heard the voice say as it moved toward him. “You hungry? Kitchen’s closed, but I can let you have a piece of tomorrow mornin’s apple pie. I just took it out of the oven a few minutes ago. It’s on the house if you’re in need. We never let anyone go hungry here in Busy. Town’s too small…we all just kind of look after each other like family, know what I mean?” She paused, taking in the blank look on his face as he lifted his head to look in her direction. “Better drink some water first, Mister. You look a little pale.”
He heard the sweet voice coming from somewhere outside of himself, and felt the glass being gently pushed into his hand and then lifted up to his lips. It tasted good. He must have been so dehydrated from driving under the hot prairie sun all afternoon that he was actually delirious. His mind was swimming…
I just need for this old car to hold up long enough to get me out west. It would be nice to see Mom again. I’d rather tell her in person about Dad dying, even though she doesn’t seem to care anymore.
He drank down the whole thing and then heard the voice say, “You’re welcome to another,” as she poured him a second glass. “I’ll be right back with that pie. How ‘bout a little melted cheese on it? That’s the way my Grannie used to serve it to us when we’d come to visit. I swear she put more love in her pies than anyone I ever knew!”
The water tasted great, and he started to come around a bit. “I’m sorry. I guess I just haven’t had enough to drink today,” he said as the waitress walked away, pushing her way through the swinging doors and into the kitchen to get the pie.
His throat was still parched even after two glasses of water, and he felt terribly weak. His mind wandered back down to the road from where he had been driving when… BAM!…that tire had blown. His head was spinning just thinking about how the sun had beaten down on him as he had struggled and fought with the four-way wrench, all the while with the continued thirst scratching at his throat…
You are so stupid! I can’t believe you didn’t put a couple of jugs of water in the car before you left! What if the radiator blew? You know the trip is mostly through the prairies and desert and those barren states. What made you think you could just get in the damn car and boogie off without planning? You are such a damn loser, dude!
He looked up into the mirror behind the counter, taking in his bloodshot eyes. “Man, do I look raggedy!” he thought to himself. The little curls in his light brown hair were still there. And he could see the touch of red in his sideburns that he knew he inherited from his father. Every once in a while when he got lazy about shaving, he could really see the red jump out. As for the rest of his body… it was hanging in there. He was just under six feet and had given up on his secret wish to crack that barrier a long time ago. He wasn’t in bad shape overall, although he knew that if he didn’t get that extra weight in line, it could easily get out of control. “I really need to start exercising more,” flashed through his mind for the briefest of moments.
But what difference does it make? Nobody really wants me anyway. I’m just not that lovable.
He sat there, still in a daze, looking around the diner. It was as gloriously original on the inside as it was from the outside. It had old black and white pictures on the walls, a collection of license plates nailed to the area just below the cash register, menus that looked like they had been there for years and–best of all–the very stool he was sitting on, with its original orange top and glistening stainless steel base.
He knew that diners were prevalent in the Northeast and had fallen in love with them when he went to college in Massachusetts; the memory of sitting in a cold diner after midnight, then warming up from eating hot lasagna and drinking coffee was embedded in his whole body. Those experiences were so vivid and real that he was known to drive well out of his way to find anything that didn’t smell of another franchise. The worst were those ‘authentic diners’ that had been intentionally crafted to look like old diners but were actually just another form of franchise in disguise. There was just something very wrong about that!
He had been tracking the history of diners all the way back to 1872 when they first started as horse-drawn lunch wagons. They weren’t actually mass produced and referred to as ‘diners’ until around 1920; but he had never seen a real diner this far west. He knew that the railway lines started criss-crossing quite a bit out here as the land flattened out; so it seemed that someone, somehow along the way, had actually managed to move this one a bit further and plant it out here in the middle of nowhere!
He had been so excited to come across the diner when he pulled into the town that he had forgotten about both looking for a motel and his almost unbearable thirst. But now the discomfort in his throat was finally beginning to ease up a bit.
For just a moment he came out of his wandering thoughts and realized again where he was… sitting at the counter turning ever so slightly to the left, then to the right again, on this beautiful old stool. There was something about those diner stools that had always captivated him…so much so, in fact, that he had once managed to salvage one from an old diner that had closed near him in his college days. He had hauled it around for years, and finally attached it to the floor right in front of his studio work bench at the house he and Rachel had lived in. He spun a bit more, this time making a slow but complete turn…feeling the effortlessness of its circular movement beneath him. He missed his studio at that old house…
His mind flashed back to a day when he had decided to clean up his entire workshop. He had cleared the main workbench and laid out his six most recent creations of jewelry. Although painting was his main avenue of expression, he liked to dabble in various mediums from time to time. For him, it was similar to an athlete’s cross-training; spending one hundred per cent of his creative time in one place seemed to lead to stagnation, so he liked to occasionally explore other modes of art as a way of getting some space and refreshing himself.
Although he wasn’t quite perfectly satisfied as he stared at the most recent pieces of jewelry that he just finished, the critic within him had finally subsided a bit. He actually found himself in a rare positive mood at that moment, grateful for the energies and spirits that had brought these pieces into creation. There was a distinct yet subtle underlying thread to his creations of twisted pewter and roughly polished stone.
He was suddenly aware that–in this very moment–sitting on the diner stool thinking back to sitting at the stool by his workbench, he observed and remembered clearly how his mind had wandered off in fantasy even then. It seemed as if one of the only methods of escape from his self-torturing inner critic was either to sleep or to enter a fantasy world through his daydreaming.
As he continued to daydream, the smell of the warm pie wafted from the kitchen. He kept on with his slow rotation on the diner stool, clearly remembering his fantasy back on his own workbench stool that day, just a couple long years ago…
He saw a tall, handsome, well-dressed man in an Armani suit standing before him. Walking beside the studly man on his arm was the most gorgeous woman on the planet that he could imagine! She had long legs and a sleek figure, along with a unique two-tone radical haircut and a striking square jaw. And, of course, around her neck she was wearing one of his signature pewter and stone necklaces.
Two top designer magazine catalogues were vying for exclusivity to advertise his jewelry, and soon the wealth would be pouring in his direction. All of this was a result of years of staying the course and following his true passion! Just then, at the peak of his fantasy, his lovely Rachel had walked into the room. “Looks pretty neat in here for a change,” she said glancing around. “It’s about time.” Then she spotted the pieces on the workbench. “Not bad,” she said, “but none of them are even finished! Why don’t you just go back out and get a real job again? You’ll never make a living this way. You know we’re running out of money, and you haven’t had a paycheck in almost two years,” she glared at him with a scowl on her face.
The irony of it was that even if the pieces had been finished, it really wouldn’t have made a difference to her. She just didn’t get what the creative act was about….that his very life itself was living art. More than once Rachel, and sometimes others, had commented on his ‘living on the edge’ Bohemian lifestyle. While he had often identified with that description, there was a very different energy underneath than what his life might look like to those looking in. Although it might appear from the outside looking in that his life did have this gypsy-like element, something inside of him had been shifting slowly over the past few years.
Maybe it was a sign of his maturing. He had just turned thirty seven, so he was now moving away from thirty and much closer to that often referred to ‘dreaded forty’ on which the world seemed to place some radical significance. He felt a certain settling-in taking place and although he had nothing concrete to show for it, he felt that his potential was somehow greater than ever before. He liked to think of it just like making Jell-O. You mix the ingredients together, and then simply wait. Each time you go to the fridge and open it anxiously to see if the Jell-O is ready, it doesn’t seem to be Jell-O yet. Then you get pre-occupied with something and even though you may have only stepped away for another few minutes, you suddenly remember and open the fridge again. Voila! Suddenly everything has magically congealed, as if certain elements just needed the time to fall into their respective places. In fact, his life at this time felt to him that it was not so much ‘living on the edge’ as if it was on the brink of something greater to come…Jell-O waiting to happen, if you will.
“That’s kind of ironic…Brink…just like my own name,” he thought, as he sat spinning on the orange diner stool, lost in thought about those days gone by. The aroma of the apple pie heating was starting to work its way into his consciousness, as he continued to think about his own name. He had realized on more than one occasion that there were no accidents in this life. Growing up, he had never really cared for his name. In fact, he hadn’t ever actually heard of anyone else named Brink, or even called that as a nickname. But over the years he had come to appreciate his name more and more as another element of his uniqueness.
Now, turning his attention to the thought of the name Brink, he suddenly felt it resonating within him at a very deep level. It was as if the totality of him was on the brink of something huge and unknown. But this time, instead of that familiar low grade feeling of fearing the unknown that living on the edge brought with it, there was a certain indescribable peace that he was beginning to touch within himself…
He could feel the stillness rise up within him as he sat slowly spinning on the diner stool. It was an unfamiliar feeling, to say the least. Most of what he knew was a general uneasiness and dissatisfaction with himself, so this feeling of peacefulness was a stranger in his house, so to speak. “Hmmm, that was actually the same feeling I just experienced at the end of today’s drive,” he noticed to himself.
He’d made the drive out west before, but had decided to take a slightly more northern route this time. He remembered reading something about Nebraska as the place “where the West begins.” Since he’d lived his whole life in the Eastern part of the U.S., he thought it might be nice to start his new life out west and follow a bit of the path that the California Gold Rushers had taken. Nebraska was thinly populated with lots of open space and, quite frankly, he wasn’t really up for talking to anyone these days. The voices in his head were enough to keep him occupied, and the last thing he needed was a lot of people to deal with. The open prairies seemed like a good place to mentally start his journey and maybe, just maybe, to get some respite from those voices that were continually beating him up…
What made me think that I should throw away all of my art supplies? What if I wanted to stop in the middle of the desert and paint something? I suppose it doesn’t matter because most of my painting isn’t that good anyway. I don’t know why I ever really wasted my time with it. Maybe I should have stuck to more practical stuff a long time ago… What made me think I should give up that great, cheap space in the church basement? What if I want to go back? What if I run out of money and can’t buy more supplies, or more gas to finish this damn trip? This old car will probably give out pretty soon anyway. Now the A/C is gone…man, it was so hot today! Why am I going out there anyway? I’ve been to the Burning Man festival so many times…I’m probably just wasting more time avoiding making something happen in my life…I should have just ended it back there with my dad’s old Winchester rifle instead of fighting with that damned flat tire…geez, I’m not even forty yet and I could barely even change that sucker…I know it’s that extra ten pounds I put on that gets me out of breath so quick, but who gives a damn about how I look anyway? I’m done with girlfriends and I can’t afford hookers…hell, I can’t even afford regular dating. It costs more money than I ever have. And who ever came up with the custom that the guy needs to pay all the time anyway? I’d like to shoot the person who started that ridiculous trend! Even if I could afford it, I just screw things up most of the time with women anyway, so what’s the point of it all?
But then at some point, as the drive wore on, he began to notice that the voices were beating him up. The difference was a subtle one, and he wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. Somehow, he found himself watching the messages beating on him in a way that was different from listening to the voices themselves. As annoying–and sometimes even terrifying–as all of his inner talk was, the part of him that ‘noticed’ those other parts did not contain the same feelings that the voices themselves brought up in him. There was a certain calmness of this watching himself listening to the voices in his head that was very different from his actual reactions to the messages. So how could it be that the same ‘him’ who was tormented daily by those inner messages–with all of their accompanying anxiety–could simultaneously feel calmness and peace? Which of those directly opposing states was actually ‘him’? Who exactly was Brink Simmer anyway? And, as if those questions weren’t complicated enough, how could he possibly find peace when those moments were just a glimmer in between the damned barrage of never-ending negative thoughts that he kept beating himself up with?
On the drive, he had decided to ‘bookmark’ those thoughts. ‘Bookmarking’ was something he had learned from his mother a long time ago. When he would ask a question of her–such as where his father had gone away to–she would respond with “Let’s bookmark that and talk about it later.” Looking back now, he realized that this was simply an expression she used to avoid answering his questions…because more often than not, “later” never came. Yet he had adopted ‘bookmarking’ as a method for mentally making a note of things that he himself wanted to remember and come back to later to explore. Sometimes he did, and sometimes he didn’t, but bookmarking at least gave him a temporary feeling of closure around things.
Brink sat at the diner counter slowly coming to consciousness. He had no idea how long he’d been sitting there just thinking…thinking…thinking…
Follow the rest of Brink’s inner journey, as he works his way through his ‘thought maze’ to a place of inner peace…