Have you ever been in a group of friends and one person simply radiates negative energy? You can just feel the bad vibes seeping through their skin and soaking into all the people and things within the general vicinity. We have stink bugs in the south that produce a stench unlike anything I’ve ever smelled and the emotion the odor elicits is incapable of verbal description. The unpleasant smell of a stink bug and the energy exuded by someone with no passion for life are one in the same in their elusive evasion of tangible explanation. You just simply feel the universal dissonance.

In a similar way, I felt this very energy solely within my own Being over the past couple days. I identify my mind, body, and spirit as separate entities all cohabitating the same space in time. They each have an individual perspective on the world and a unique say in how the collective unit operates. At times I’ll find myself lusting over every female in the gym but have to side with my mind which advocates for being a decent human that thinks about things other than sexual pursuits. However, at other times I find my mind creating a plethora of anxious thoughts that have to be overridden by the body in the build-up to a physical competition. Not to be overlooked, my spirit often has to step in and tell both my mind and body that their exists noble ventures outside of monetary acquisition in the form of love and mindfulness. These constant conscious and subconscious negotiations are what comprise the entity that is identified as my “self.” The important takeaway, however, is that no one aspect of my Being is particularly in control or has more say than any other. I view these three pillars of my existence sitting at a round table having constant discussions as to how to optimize their collective existence in reality. Just as a group of friends talks ideas over a meal, so too do these core aspects of my personality consistently discuss options, perspectives, etc. Although I’m still working out if more layers of existence have a seat at the table as opposed to being loose figures that lurk on the outskirts, I have a relatively reliable picture of how this “board room” of sorts works, for now. The function of these internal discussions tends to result in relatively desirable outcomes for all involved when my mind, body, and spirit are all healthy. However, if one is off, it can throw off the rhythm and vibe of the entire room. Over the weekend, my body was “that guy” in the room that simply drags all conversation into a negative direction and adds nothing to the discussion but complaints and worry. Granted it was infected with some virus, however, given the relationship I worked so tirelessly to build with my body, I felt betrayed that it would willingly bring such bad vibes to the round table of my own Being. Like the primary colors in a painting, if one of them is missing it throws off the balance of the entire picture leading to a lackluster portrait of who I am.

I may have to title this post “Ramblings #2” because I’m not entirely sure what the goal of this discussion is. The best I can derive is that I’m sad my body would betray me in the way it did over the weekend. For the past couple years I’ve had a side-quest, if you will, to discover the inner workings of my feminine side. Through this journey of self-discovery I have put a lot of effort into dealing with my emotions. This comes into conflict with my traditionally logical mindset in that I’m always trying to find a solution to a problem. However, given that my body seems to be back on track and the disrespect it did to my entire Being is fading into the past, I’m left with a few lingering emotions that serve no purpose and lead to no “solution.” So in the spirit of getting in touch with my feminine side this post, for all intents and purposes, is to simply vent. Feel free to stop reading at any time if this gets too wacky and unrelatable but I feel as if theres something to be gained from anybody discussing their own raw experience of life. (This is the Noah from after the post is completed. I’m time travelling back in order to tell you I actually really enjoy the ending of this one and I think you should keep reading!)

In recent history, especially in many of these blog posts, I’ve found myself fixated on the mind and spirit. I want to take this opportunity to think about my body. I used to think about my body far too much. The sport of BodyBuilding was my first gateway into the world of fitness. It was fun for a while but the overwhelming reliance on vanity started to put a bad taste in my mouth as my focus in life strayed farther from physical beauty. As I pursued nobler ventures in not only athletics but life in general and began to think about anything other than the acquisition of females, I gave progressively less attention to my body. Granted, I clearly made bodily maintenance through healthy eating and general hygiene a top priority, however, it stemmed from a desire to boost the well-being of my mind and spirit. My brother is a massive nerd and once told me that the Vagus Nerve, the nerve connecting the brain to your gut, is comprised of 90% fibers that send message from the gut to the brain and 10% in the other direction. If that doesn’t blow your mind take a moment to consider that your gut has 9x the amount of influence on your brain than the brain has on the gut. This means that, at risk of sounding too cheesy, you quite literally are what you eat. BONKERS! Therefore, for the past year or so, as I began to distance myself from superficial bodily pursuits, my body was simply a vessel to elevate the level of my mind and therefore my spirit. I love my body but it’s pretty much been on the back burner for about 12 months. It’s a tank and got a lot of attention for a long time so I think it was cool with not being in the spotlight for a while. However, only when something goes wrong and the “dish” on the back burner erupts into flames and consequently ruins the whole meal is one forced to pay more attention to it. Over the weekend, my body felt like Gary the snail when spongebob pushed him too hard in that snail race. Between a combination of over training and the untimely contraction of an illness, everything I was building for the past couple months kind of went up in flames.

The more I think about it it’s almost exactly like that snail race in Spongebob. However, I am both Gary and Spongebob in this situation. I think I’ve been a bit of a hypocrite. This post is actually an apology to my body. I previously mentioned that all three of the “knights” at the round table of Noah Cottmeyer’s Self, were equal in stature and ability to share ideas. However, I’m now realizing that I have clearly developed a hierarchy within the three. I view my spirit as having the final say in what decisions really get made. I even hinted at it without realizing it earlier in the post when I said the spirit could override the mind and body but gave no example of how the spirit could be overridden. I think this unequal division of power and control stems from a lack of trust. My mind has betrayed me so often through the production of hormones that make me stressed, sad, or anxious. My body has faltered by getting injured despite my best efforts to keep it healthy. However, my mind is also responsible for producing the hormones that make me happy and my body is also capable of choking a motherfucker out on the jiu jitsu mats. No matter how much I try and claim that my spirit is doing all of these things my body is the one with the arms to throw a punch and my mind is the one with the nerves to feel the touch of a loved one. As with people, it’s hard to give up control and fill the resultant gaps with trust. It’s hard to stop talking and simply listen. That being said, in the same way that my three “knights” need to manage their egos and work together, so too do all the 8 billion people sitting at the one massive round table we all share. As Above So Below.