My mission in life is to shine as brightly as I can, to be the most me I can be, and inspire others to do the same.
My Life Story told through Pictures and Stories:
Baby BritSeptember 22, 1980
I don't remember much about this period of my life.
Born to parents Steven Charles Wolfson and Donna Marie Oehmig on September 22, 1980, at 8:03AM EST in Westminster, VT (for the astrologers in the audience) and named George Brit Oehmig-Wolfson. George for his maternal great-uncle and Brit for his maternal uncle. These names were obviously not, in the parlance of Jim Collins, built to last...
Preschool1984, on some Brave New World ish.
People always say 2 things about how I was as a very little kid. Very sweet and Asian-looking. Those are the 2.
My first memories of early childhood are of the strawberry man. This was a neighbor, an old man, who lived next door. He wore overalls and a John Deere kinda hat. He was a John Deere kinda guy. And he grew and sold strawberries.
I remember rolling hills at our home and rollie pollies with Ryan Baker. I remember breakdancing with Paul Handlen. Tecmo Super Bowl with Matt Huntsberger. Playing 21 (basketball) with Matt and his cousin Pete, two of the top athletes of our childhood, and beating them. Me against both of them. It was one of those "weird" feelings. They didn't see it coming. I didn't see it coming. But it happened. And then we sort of swept it under the rug as an anomaly.
Childhood1986 - 1993
The thing that always strikes me is how NORMAL I was.
I loved baseball cards, sports, rap music, action figures, legos. Maybe the only non-traditional thing was computers. I was always pretty obsessed with computers. And math.
In second grade, my teacher was Ms. Todd. Ms. Todd was blonde and beautiful. I had a big crush on her. That is an aside. Everyday we did times tables. 60 seconds to do a variety of math problems. I had already been labeled gifted and talented so I could feel that there were certain expectations. I was being "watched" at some level. My progress being monitored. At some point, I got stuck on one of the times tables. I must have been stuck on it for several weeks. The same times table, 15 times. It was agonizing. I remember Ms. Todd asking if everything was OK. I remember Ms. Glynn, the gifted and talented coordinator, coming in to check if I had gotten it. And I hadn't.
Every time you passed a times table, you got a star. I wanted those stars. After all this getting stuck, I was like in the rear of the pack. Imagine that. A gifted and talented student getting beat by a bunch of regular public school kids. It was not a good look for the school.
And then it happened. I passed that times table and hardly missed another one for the rest of the year. By the end of the year, I had more than twice as many stars as the nearest competitor.
I go on in detail about a story that is random and potentially alienating due to its self-aggrandizing nature for a reason. I learned from this that I have a very strange learning curve. It takes me a very long time sometimes to ramp up. I get stuck on things that other people don't have problems with. It's strange. The people around me who believe in me get nervous. Looks are exchanged. Oftentimes, I have given up at this point. But when I don't, when I remember that this just happens to be the way I do things, I do eventually burst through and the rest, as they say, is history.
Nerdy Fat Boy1994-1997
The "Difficult Years"--Middle school and My First Two Years of High School. Lots of trauma, lots of shame.
Wow. As I look back on that, that kid would be SO FUCKING HAPPY to be me right now. And so I say to you, Brit, age 14, it GETS BETTER.
It started in sixth grade. Jason Laprell, a bit of a douche who in retrospect probably was physically abused by his Camaro driving father, called me "river" one day at school. This meant---somehow--I was "as fat as a river."
The name stuck for a few weeks and it was my first real face-to-face with self-consciousness. And boy did I get self-conscious quickly.
I had always been fairly oblivious. My friends were the cool kids. I liked cool kid things like sports. Girls liked me. I didn't think much about it.
And because I had been succeeding for no particular reason, when I began failing socially, I had no idea how to pick up the pieces. So instead, I retreated into computers.
I became obsessed with the Internet at a time when that was a very uncool thing to be obsessed with. I got into IRC pretty hard, mostly for the purpose of pirating software (EFNet #warez5 and #snes shoutout) and video games and from there began exploring Linux and lynx and pine and pico, telnet and gopher and bash and /bin.
The best part of this in retrospect is of course that I became incredibly fluent in a language that has increasingly become even more of a lingua franca than English. I kinda know computers inside and out. We think alike, me and them.
But at the same time, I missed out on a lot of the rites of passage that are embedded into our culture. I was shunned from a spin the bottle game in 8th grade. I fortunately had my first kiss at 15 but unfortunately had no idea how to do it right at the time (a problem which I am told no longer exists! SWAG!) I still have the occasional body-image issue to deal with from this time period. I also have a certain shyness that manifests from time to time that brings me back to spin the bottle when I couldn't forcefully be cool and insert myself into the game.
But hey, Otis, let's focus on the positives. You became a 100+ WPM typist. You learned HTML before most people had heard of it. You learned to empathize with people who have social difficulties. You were forced outside of the mainstream and had to wander through the woods and find your own path in life. Reframe it. Look at the gift of it. You became so aware of the link between food and obesity that many people consider you the healthiest person they know. It worked out. It got better. Amen.
Maine School of Science and MathematicsClass of 1998
I thankfully escaped from life in a public school as a fat nerd and became a cool kid at Freaks & Geeks High.
Probably one of the better decisions I ever made. I even dated the hottest girl in school, who was actually in retrospect quite hot. That experience was life-changing because it made me be like WHAT ME?!?!?! I CAN GET HOT GIRLS!?!?!? NO WAY!!!! Boy, there's probably a parallel reality where that all didn't happen and I stayed at public school and became like a 40-year old virgin. Thank God that this is not the parallel reality where that happened. Like, THANK YOU GOD FOR THAT. Srsly.
This was like the height of my math obsession. I went through multivariable calculus and both linear and abstract algebra in high school. The story that sticks out most though is like the second grade times table story redux. I missed a few classes at one point on vectors and did poorly on the test. I was not used to doing poorly on the test. I was not happy.
So I became determined to do better next time. The unit was probability and statistics. I was not very good at it. But I worked hard, doing almost every sample problem in the entire chapter. Asking for help when I couldn't figure something out. I really worked my ass off to be honest. I was not f'ing around. And I broke the curve hard. I had to be removed from the teacher's grading system. That was like redemption. All was right again in the world.
It started at a rave in Montreal during my Senior year high school. I smoked my first bowl and ate my first E pill. And nothing was ever the same.
And it just kept getting better after that. My MIT dreams started fading after I started getting faded. My friend RJ had a hookup for vodka and I had never gotten drunk so I went and did that. We all got suspended cuz I wrote an email detailing the whole thing that was intercepted by the system administrator. I have a big mouth, even a virtual one. What can I say. But I had discovered drugs and I had discovered that they were awesome.
That picture is from a Phish concert called Lemonwheel, which happened in the summer of 1998. The concert was in Limestone, home of the Maine School of Science and Mathematics, which I had just graduated from. In said picture, I have just finished sucking down probably my first or second or third nitrous balloon of all time, and am probably also drunk on Jack Daniels, stoned, have smoked opium, and may also be tripping on acid. That was probably the height of my multi-drug-use, and I'd like to think it's at least mildly impressive. Fortunately, I peaked young and got it out of my system quickly--like 10 years. lulz!
For smart nerdy people like me, I actively recommend drugs, with the exception of cocaine and speed and heroin, which I don't think have any redeeming benefits, especially in relation to their addictiveness. But drugs were very good to me. If you can remember that they are a signpost, and not a destination, you'll be all right I think. I know people say you shouldn't say stuff like that, because even though you are now clean and sober, a lot of people will read that and get addicted. I just have to say, yah maybe. But I think the world could use a lot more acid heads, even if it means a few people blow out their synapses. Just read this list of discoveries that LSD precipitated. It's good stuff, bruh.
Macalester CollegeFall 1998, Class of 2002
The stars aligned and I went to college and became a total pimp. On some "Freshman Five" SWAG.
The Freshman Five were the guys that the Sophomore girls considered the hottest new guys on campus. A girl I was dating told me I had made the list--a list I didn't even know about. I've pretty much bragged about that ever since. Girls always like me for my brains. It was pretty nice to be liked for my looks. On the really real.
Candy RaverWinter 1997 - Summer 2002
"It's all about the music."
The old refrain. PLUR, bruh. Raving was like a totally life-transforming phase of my life. It was where I really first started leaving the mainstream.
I will relate to you the story that is probably the most pivotal of my life. It's only tangentially related to all of this, and in fact it comes toward the end of my raving career, but it's like my favorite story, so here goes.
I went to a rave with Julie Hanus called Lucy In the Sky with Diamonds in Milwaukee. For those of you who are heads, this was a party by the Drop Bass Network, the oldest and baddest rave promoters in the Midwest. I was very confused at the time, having begun to fall in love with Melissa and out of love with academia. Now that I remember, I was even on Prozac, a dance with the mainstream I danced for about 4 months.
I also really wanted to party and just let go. I felt like I was on the verge of something. So my friend Jen Sixtybus found a dude who hooked me up with 4 hits of acid. And I ate them. And it happened.
I let go. I started dancing. I felt like I was not only dancing, but dancing WELL. Like, I was a good dancer. I noticed a few guys who looked like GOOD dancers. And there was one guy in particular who was like THE BEST dancer. I was kind of in awe.
So I'm dancing and he's dancing and we're not consciously acknowledging each other but I can feel that there's an exchange occurring. When you're tripping, you can just feel these things. So I dance for a while, he dances for a while, and we're getting physically closer and closer to each other. Starts like 30 feet away and pretty soon it's only about 8 feet away. Finally, we both stop and he comes up to me and starts talking to me.
And he starts talking to me as though me and him are the best dancers at the rave. Like I'm a cool guy. And at that point, reality fell apart completely.
The one thing I never thought I would be was a cool guy. Like a verifiably cool guy. Not just amongst like nerds, or college kids, but in the real world, amongst the cool kids. And it had just happened. To me.
A portal opened and a vision was shown to me, where I quit school and became a dancer and a cool guy and had this whole other life. I had a dazed and stunned look in my eyes for the next 48 hours. Everyone after the rave noted it and when I got back to Macalester, my friends there, especially Coecillia, were really concerned that I had perhaps gone crazy. Nell was even wondering if I should go to the therapist.
Oh I went to the therapist all right. God, M.D. Within a couple weeks I had dropped out of college and had set out on the path to become a dancer.
13 Countries in 4 MonthsApril 1, 2001-July 31, 2001
I left the continent for the first time and backpacked Europe for 4 months.
So I dropped out of college but I stuck around St. Paul because all my homies are there. I hatched a plan to go backpacking in Europe while they are all studying abroad. I work and save up $6000 and buy a round-trip ticket to Paris leaving April 1, 2001 and returning July 31, 2001. And off I went.
I arrived in Paris and spent the next 4 months wandering around Europe, getting stoned, checking out monuments, and meeting girls, but being unable to make anything happen with them, partially due to involvement back in the States and partially from confusion and cowardice.
I started in France and then went to Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, and Morocco, and then back to Paris to fly home.
The most important lesson I learned on this trip was how NOT to travel. I had a fairly fixed itinerary and rather than buying a train pass, I figured if I went in the specific order which I did, I could save money by purchasing individual train tickets. The flaw in this plan started becoming apparent when I met a cool woman in Holland who was studying architecture and invited me to go to Turkey with her the next day. I would have loved to, but the ticket price would have killed me (or at least I so thought at the time).
Also, I had so many things I "had to" see, everything from the Chartres cathedral to Auschwitz to Michaelangelo's David and Christiania in Copenhagen. I didn't leave any room for synchronicity. I treated it almost like a job. It actually wasn't that cool.
However, I started the process of growing up and becoming a global citizen. And I never made that mistake again when I traveled. I could give two shits what I see these days. I just like to travel. I like people, not buildings. If I go with some people to see some buildings, cool. If I don't, whatevs bruh... whatevs.
West Coastin’March, 2003
Packed my bags, road tripped across the country, and never looked back.
Some fairly uneventful shit happened for a while which involved having a "real" job (my first and last) at the JOBS NOW Coalition. My friend PopNTod, now one of my bestest friends of all time, invited me to come to Montana and work with him at Glacier National Park. So I left St. Paul in March of 2003 and spent 3 months crossing the country, covered about 25 states, spent a few weeks in Phoenix and a few in LA, went with some anarchists to Albuquerque, fell in love with Taos, hung out with Mr. Wiggles and Popin Pete in Vegas, and then spent the summer working in Glacier National Park in Montana with Todd.
Kester HostelSeptember, 2003 - February, 2005
MaddChadd, JRock, Otis Funkmeyer, and PopNTod are the "Kester Hostel."
So Todd and I came back from Montana and our friend JRock, who was supposed to come with us but couldn't, was waiting for us. We went apartment hunting and ended up moving into Sherman Oaks. At some point, MaddChadd wanted in and so the four of us rented an apartment at 4708 Kester Avenue. Unit 6. And it was rad. Our house became the center of the LA popping scene, which has now produced legendary dancers like Kid Boogie, J Smooth, Pandora, Tetris, and of course everyone living at the house.
We had Boppin Andre and PopTart stay with us for almost a month each. Legend rolled through. BBoy Ivan was there for a while. Snow from Taiwan. Yuzuru from Japan. Dementia and Funktion and Popula were always coming through to stay. It just went on and on. All we did all day was watch popping footage and dance. That was literally like the only thing going on.
It was a very special time in my life. I knew all along, and I think history is beginning to bare me out, that people would one day be very amazed that the four of us all lived together. We were just kids then. It was wonderful and difficult. It only lasted about a year, but it became the foundation for all of us moving forward with our careers.
Guruji YoganandaMarch, 2005
I started looking for something more and became a disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda.
Toward the end of the Kester hostel days, I became a little jaded on the whole dancing thing. It seemed fairly superficial. People started going out for auditions. People started talking headshots. Agents. TV shows. I was never into it. I went through a bit of a disllusionment, like, there's got to be more to life than this.
Fortunately, drugs came to the rescue in the form of 2CI. I had a breakthrough night with some people who will go unnamed and decided I had to live for God and nothing else. No more bullshitting. No more masks and guises. It was time to go all the way. I couldn't pretend the things I experienced with psychedelics weren't real anymore. And so I started searching.
I found Yogananda and lived at the Ananda Ashram for about 6 weeks and took formal discipleship there. The woman, Anandi, who performed the ceremony, is there with me in the photo on that day, shortly after the ceremony. Probably the most important thing underlying my life. It's kinda a little known fact about me, even to those close to me.
Vermont CollegeClass of 2005
Two things happened. I did my first hour long one-man show. And I learned how to teach myself things.
So I had dropped out of Macalester and I come from a good white people lineage and so it was important to my maternal grandfather and thus to my maternal mother that I go to college. My attitude was that if I was going to go to college, I have to be doing what I'd like to be doing anyway. And so I was introduced, by my father, to the concept of Vermont College.
Vermont College is a distance learning college in Montpelier, Vermont. The way that it works is that you go there once every six months for one week. While you are there, you create an independent study that you will do over the course of the semester. The requirements are that you have to read 20 books per semester and write a paper on each and a culminating essay.
Pretty rad. So I went and in my first semester I studied dance. I read what seemed like every book there is on dance and wrote essays on dance and race, dance and spirituality, and in addition to that, I danced. In Los Angeles. It was like the best of all worlds. During that time, through a bizarre synchronicity involving a Christian missionary and the Inland Empire, I was introduced to the extremely underrated CLEP exam, which allows you to test out of classes for college credit.
I took a semester off and passed 5 CLEP exams and received 30 college credits, all for the cost of $400. This meant I only needed 2 more semesters of college. In these 2 semesters, I did one study on business and in my final semester, did a studio study and created my first one-man show, the hour long "Bite, Scratch, Claw: A Divine Love Story."
I learned to be an auto-didact at Vermont College. And I really started my true career as a performer. It was another one of the best decisions I ever made. And the whole time I was there, I was doing what I would have been doing anyway. Ice.
Middle Eastin’December 2005-March 2006
I went on a quest to Jerusalem and Cairo searching for saints. I found two.
After graduating from Vermont College in November, 2005, I began preparing to visit the Middle East. That summer, while doing research in New York City for my one-man show, an old friend of mine, Bram Belzberg, introduced me to the Birthright program, a 2-week long trip to Israel for the descendents of Jews. My father is a Jew, so I qualified. I immediately signed up and quickly discovered that in addition to the trip, for just $50, you could extend your plane ticket for another 2 1/2 months. Ummm... Yes.
So off I went, inspired by Yogananda, who had left home searching for saints. I attempted to follow in his footsteps. Almost immediately after stepping off the plane in Tel Aviv, I met the first saint, Pesach Stadlin. He didn't look much like I expected a saint to look and in fact, I didn't realize he was a saint until much later. I thought I was literally going to go to monasteries or temples to find these saints. Instead, they just appeared in front of me.
Along with Pesach, I met a woman named Yifat. The thing that both these people had was that they seemed to have life figured out, in the sense that they were both genuinely happy. They almost always had a huge smile on their face and were ready to help out, to lend an ear, to sing a song. Their joy was tangible. They were both great teachers for me.
I went all over Israel. I studied in a yeshiva, Aish HaTorah. I got stoned with and then studied Kaballah with 90-year old Yemeni Jews. I went to a Rainbow Gathering outside of Dahab, Egypt. I saw Petra. I had mystical experiences in Tzfat. I cruised up the Nile from Aswan to Luxor in a fallujah where I was given the Muslim name Abdullah, slave to Allah. I spent a week at the Lagoon outside of Ras Abu Gallum and knew that I would return there one day, to the most beautiful place I've ever been. And most importantly, I was introduced to Assir Assab, Arabic for sugar cane juice, the best beverage God has yet dreamed up.
Elastic IllusionApril, 2006 - November, 2007
Teh group taht started it all for me.
While in Egypt, I met a middle-aged man Italian named Bruno who had struck it rich while running an online casino. He had 20 million Euros and no idea what to do with his life. At that time, I had offers to do all sorts of crazy things. Go overland to Mongolia on horses. Stay in Israel and become a hippie Jew. Study in a yeshiva. Start working for Birthright. Move to Jordan and work in a friend's hip-hop shop. Join a roaming circus. I was torn.
But upon hearing Bruno's story, I knew immediately and irrevocably that what I must do was return to Los Angeles and begin street performing with my friend Tyson. So I did that.
Tyson was waiting for me with a room and a car. I had an epiphany that I no longer wanted to act like my trip was "over" and that I was now returning "home" to my "real life." So I thought about it and the main thing I noticed was that when I was travelling, I didn't have a car. I used public transportation. So I said thanks but no thanks to Tyson and started using the bus and subway in LA. At that time, most people I knew weren't even aware LA had buses or subways. I also learned to ride a bicycle (at age 26) and begin riding that all over the NoHo Arts District where we lived.
Tyson had become incredibly ambitious and had an idea for a dance group. We attracted Josh "Ace" Ventura and for a while, Shawn "Aizas" Shar. We started making a street performing show and were doing our thing.
And then we saw OK Go's treadmill video and we knew that YouTube was our new home.
We covered our home in melanine sheets and started whiteboarding names and ideas. Elastic Illusion stuck and we decided to begin by making instructional videos, in an Adult Swim sort of way.
We were the triangle of power. Ace, Brit, and Tyson. We had an Internet startup. We were destined for fame. It was one of the most special times in my life (which just continued to get better).
Insanity. The Good Kind.2007-Present
At our height, Elastic Illusion was heading in a very Monty Python direction. It's when I started deeply letting go into creativity.
And lest you think I'm totally delusional, let me remind you that Elastic Illusion does have about 40 million views on YouTube. Clearly, that is peanuts compared to Python, but I'm just saying, I started getting a taste of what it feels like to be crazy like that. I'd never let myself do that before.
Indescribably DeliciousThanksgiving 2006 - February 1, 2007
Thanksgiving, 2006, is the day that my life turned in the direction it's gone on ever since.
Life turned galactic that day. I realized there was a lot more going on than I had ever even imagined.
Ace, Tyson, and I had become obsessed with "The Secret" along with our roommate Thaddeus III. We kept focusing on things that we wanted in our lives and they kept happening, more and more and more. It was a completely unprecedented time for each of us. We truly had not known life could be that good.
This all sort of culminated with the day shown in the picture. The seven of us spent Thanksgiving day together in 2006 and became Indescribably Delicious. We went to the Agape church service and dinner and then spent the evening smoking blunts and hugging trees, literally. We om'd together and found like minds and spirits at deeper levels than any of us ever thought we would.
We realized that reality really was being created by each of us moment to moment and we began acting on it. We spent the next 2 1/2 months having an endless series of evermore improbable adventures, pushing reality to the limits again and again. It was like eating the red pill. There was no going back after those experiences.
Becoming a PsychicAll of 2006
When life started getting nuts, I started asking big questions. And it led to me becoming a psychic. Who knew.
I didn't really even believe in psychics until I became one and started being all psychic and shit.
Over the course of 2006 and especially in the later half, the unlikelihood of the "coincidences" (synchronicities) I began experiencing led me to really wonder what this whole reality thing was all about.
In "The Secret," the idea continually being expressed is that by the power of your thoughts, you affect the reality around you. At some level, you are the reality around you. I mean, I had heard it all before, but I had never been so pushed to actually go out there and really try it.
When I did, everything became so trippy it was really hard to believe. Perfect situations would arise again and again, often only moments after I thought "wouldn't it be nice if..."
I also started having occasional experiences of precognition, where I just knew someone was about to say or do something. Increasingly, I was also experiencing what felt like telepathic communication. I could feel the friends around me communicating with me in my mind. Much of the communication was about things that they were keeping secret and that they would later confide in me about verbally.
Like I said, the shit was trippy. I started checking out weird books about being psychic and astral projection and stuff like that from the library. It all felt really complicated and I felt like I needed an actual teacher to learn this stuff.
Synchronistically, I discovered that the author of one of the books I was reading called "You Are Psychic" was starting a workshop, in Los Angeles, only 3 days later. I called up Ms. Debra Katz and signed up.
I quickly discovered I was a serious psychic and that while I may be talented, being psychic is in many ways being very in touch with your imagination and then having the honesty and willingness to share with another what your imagination is showing you. I was shocked but I couldn't deny it. I would close my eyes, do a reading, and person after person would tell me that what I told them had major relevance to and impact on their lives. The most surprised person was me. And that's when I knew I had to jump.
I Met My WifeFebruary 9, 2007
On February 1, 2007, I gave away all my possessions and decided I was really going to go for it. 9 days later, I met my wife-to-be.
This is a long story, and it's one worth hearing. After getting into "The Secret," I discovered that the principles being expressed really came from a group called Abraham Hicks and was based on their material on the Law of Attraction. Abraham was a group of beings that this woman Esther Hicks was supposedly channeling (though they don't like that word) who gave discourses on how we attract experiences into our reality.
To put it mildly, I became obsessed with Abraham. I would listen with the Elastic Illusion gang for hours and hours per day, completely amazed at what I was hearing.
After a few months, I started to get the picture. Abraham was like a kindergarten teacher. No matter what was asked, they would respond with something to the affect of "It is good to feel good. When you put feeling good as your priority, all other things will fall into place and good feeling things will flood your experience." The end.
I wanted more.
So on December 17, 2006, while hanging out with the Indescribably Delicious crew on a Sunday night, after a rousing discussion about women (and our lack of them), I posed the question "I wonder how multidimensional beings have relationships?"
A few hours later, after being sufficiently stoned and having everyone gone to sleep to get ready to fly home for the holidays, I did what I do... I googled "how do multidimensional beings have relationships?" And up popped this: Comparing 3rd and 4th dimensional relationships. I read this and wondered what this site was that I was on so I went up one level to here.
I then started reading everything on the site and finally came upon the teachings of Bashar. And the final question I had, the question that would change the entire course of my life was answered. Is there a real reality? A real reality that you can veer too far away from? To which Bashar answered, There is no "basic" reality that is any "more real" than any other reality.
And with that, my fate was sealed. I decided I wanted an entirely different, significantly grander reality than the one that I was currently living and so I went for it. On February 1, 2007 I gave away all my possessions, left my apartment on 11126 Huston St. in North Hollywood, CA, 91601 and went into the unknown.
9 days later, at the Conscious Life Expo, I met VV Hsu who became Jenny Funkmeyer who became my wife. The journey began.
NYC Street Performing FailJanuary 2008 - April 2008
I moved to Williamsburg, Brooklyn to Street Perform. They told me it was the coolest. It wasn't.
What I learned from this experience was that whatever people are saying is the cool place to be is ALWAYS, AXIOMATICALLY, MATHEMATICALLY NOT the cool place to be. And that lesson, well, it's about as valuable as they come.
And that's really all I have to say about that.
Bali with No MoneySummer 2008
I went to Bali with no money to see if reality is real. It's not. Just FYI.
This is probably the highlight of my life up until now. Cuz like, that took balls. Big brass cojones. F'real.
While living in Brooklyn, and then later that year while living in Silver Lake in LA, a voice began introducing itself into my head telling me to go to Bali. This felt fairly crazy, even to me, who as you can tell had gone fairly crazy at this point.
This kept happening, and after $1000 of Elastic Illusion DVD money fell out of the sky unexpectedly, I decided to throw down the gauntlet. I checked airfares and found a one-way ticket to Bali for $960 and I went for it.
I went to Bali with no plan, no money, no glasses, no change of clothes, and no toothbrush. I was also 100% raw vegan at the time with no willingness to budge. And I spent the next 30 days wining and dining and having the greatest adventure of my life.
About halfway through that month, the reason that I feel in retrospect that I was sent to Bali emerged. It was a workshop called The Template (there is a brief introduction to the work here) that involved reconnecting Biocircuitry using Sacred Geometry. As the story goes, I met Jiva and Juliet, the couple who brought forth this work, 2 days before they were starting the first ceremony in 20 years where all 33 circuits would be connected. So I was in the first group of fully reconnected people on the planet. The synchronicity was as comical as it was staggering and they let me attend as I just knew I had to be there.
So that happened.
After a month, I was told by my guidance to change my name to Otis Funkmeyer and to stay in Bali and get a job and a house. I became Otis Funkmeyer The Crazy Psychic, made a good amount of money, and ended up in a mansion with 3 servants, including a personal raw food chef. The surreality knew no limits.
My experiences in Bali showed me once and for all that reality is a dream that I am dreaming and that it is my mission to dream my dream so fully that I die peacefully and consciously, satisfied with what I have come to the Earth and done.
Elevate FilmsSpring 2008 - Winter 2010
I got my first taste of stardom. And lived in a yurt. On a rooftop penthouse. In Downtown LA. It was pretty rad.
I'm actually surprised to read that. Cuz it's all true. And it happened to me. And here I am now. Just another memory.
So Jenny came to Bali armed with cameras and mics on a mission to shoot a documentary for the Elevate Film Festival. She did. I came back from Bali not knowing where to go and Jenny and I moved in to Elevate (thanks Mikki, sincerely) and became the chefs/janitors/stars.
Our film "Meet the Funkmeyers," which you should watch immediately as it is beautiful and inspiring, was directed by the truly inestimable Chris Bradley, whose talent and depth is becoming more and more (deservedly) well known. It was screened at the last Elevate Film Festival in 2008 for 6000 people at the Nokia Theater in downtown Los Angeles and the reaction to the film was overwhelming. Jenny and I became "The Funkmeyers" and were the cool kids in the hip LA new age/spiritual/yoga scene. We'd get stopped all the time at Whole Foods and on the street and it was rad.
I liked it. They even wanted to turn us into a reality television show. We had meetings with agents/producers and the whole nine. In the end, that wasn't my path. But we did live in the Funkmeyert and in a lot of ways, I sort of grew up during this experience. I realized I really did have something to offer the world that people were responding to and it began solidifying for me the fact that I was gonna go for it. With that said, I still had to figure out what it was I was gonna go for...
Living in Paris FailSummer 2010
I always wanted to live in Paris. I did. Fail.
The biggest problem was the food.
So Elevate, or at least our tenure there, ended, and Jenny and I decided to fulfill some childhood dreams and went to Paris to live in Montmartre and write a book. That got checked off the list.
Paris felt somehow not-as-alive-as-we-hoped to us and in large part it was because we really missed Whole Foods. We have just become so accustomed to being able to get our organic superfood snacks and herbs and powders that to not have a giant megamart for these things was disconcerting. It made me really grateful for America, which was not the feeling I was expecting to feel.
It's funny because it was like, I had to do it. No matter good or bad, I always wanted to/dreamed about living in Paris. And now it's like, yep, I did that. No regrets homies... no regrets.
Tony Robbins FailFall 2009 - Valentine's Day, 2010
I was all like, I know lots and lots. People should pay to listen to me. Fail.
They paid, but it wasn't me. Jenny and I decided to take all the things we were into and lead workshops on them. Basically, in retrospect, I was trying to get closer and closer to just being a performer, which was my goal all along. But I was scared of being a performer and talking is easy for me.
As will always be the case when you aren't actually doing the exact thing that you really deep down would be doing if you could do anything, the workshops were cool but blew up in our face. That was the first real experience of realizing that working together was a truly challenging experience.
So challenging in fact that I took off for the summer when an opportunity came up in the Northwest to do some dancing and to clear my head.
Releasing ShameSummer 2010
I finally got naked at Burning Man. A small penis for man, a giant penis for mankind.
The first time you expose yourself in public is the hardest. The summer of 2010 was like an introduction to a new lifestyle of awesomeness. I meandered around Portland and Seattle for a few months performing and teaching workshops with the West Coast Avengers crew and experienced so much fun and new people and shiny things and healing and radness that I was like... umm... I wanna just live like this.
This culminated with finally getting naked at Burning Man, which was the cherry on top of a summer for the history books.
Circus Performer FailSpring 2010 - Fall 2010
You know how they say everyone wants to run off and join the circus? I did that. It sucked.
C'est la vie. So I got back from that summer to LA and went all gung ho into "putting myself out there" and joined a few circus groups in the city. I was all psyched on "being a part of something" and "collaborating with other artists" and I was all geeked on it for like a couple months, looking forward to rehearsals and to getting the choreography down so that I could perform in real shows and get real street cred.
When I look back, the moment that really sealed the deal that yet again I had found a path that was not the actual path I wanted to go down was during a rehearsal where the choreography I was learning was not only shitty but dangerous. One person got injured during the rehearsal and I myself came close to having a knee taken out--and all this to perform choreography that could have easily been modified to be safer due to the fact that it sucked even when done right (in my "humble" opinion obviously).
I never went back. Back on the lonely road for me.
LA Street Performing FailSummer 2011
Street performed 17 times, made 17 dollars. Total.
Public humiliation FTW.
So I came back to my old friend. Street performing. The thing I deep down wanted to do and be good at it and be loved for. And that same fear, that same terror, reared its beautifully iridescent head yet again.
Thank God for Jenny Funkmeyer aka Captain JFunk. The performer who is not afraid. The lady who showed me what fearlessness looks like. The one who stood there with me and let me be in the background scared while she took the brunt of the pain on that grueling stage of the streets.
Gradually I was able to speak up and be heard and even dance in front of the peoples. Jenny truly nursed me in this regard. My desire was strong to just improvise our way to success. Jenny was game and we did that. 17 times we went out. On the final time, we actually got an audience. Nearly 100 people surrounded us and we realized we had absolutely no idea what we were doing. They left as quickly as they came. We realized we needed a show.
And a show was the one thing that the two of us had no capacity to create together...
Startup CTO FailFall 2010
But hey, at least I kicked it with Vinod Khosla.
I mean, it was still an epic fail though. I had been beated down by performing and realized maybe it just wasn't for me. I was always a G on the computer front and started getting freelance gigs doing web design and other startup-related contract work. People were impressed and one particular wealthy client felt that I was "the best computer guy" he had ever worked with.
He was in the process of starting a company and dangled being a CTO in front of me. A new life of BMW's and daily commutes flashed before my eyes. I was now 30 and thought maybe this is what I'm supposed to do.
The dream was dashed as quickly as it formed. It just never materialized. And I became more and more resentful about the work I was doing. I wanted to perform, not be some "computer guy." Arrogant perhaps but true nevertheless.
I realized I would rather be homeless and performing than well fed and computering. Another nail in the coffin in the sealing of my fate.
Becoming a Jetsetter: Hong Kong and TokyoJanuary 2011-April 2011
People were no longer impressed by me or my country. It dawned on me--we live in a Post-American world.
Time to grind and hustle, hustle and grind. Toward the end of my experience freelancing, Jenny and I went to Asia. I include this in the story of my life mainly because of the realization I had on this trip, as it relates to my feelings about performing fairly significantly. I realized that I was actually competing with the entire world. That the web and YouTube had changed everything and everyone all over the planet was now hip to what was going on in the world. This view is best summed up in a TED talk by Chris Anderson and I watched the truth of the talk play out in real-time in front of me.
People in Asia were doing their own thing. Striving to be the best. People in America were doing their thing, but only comparing themselves to other Americans, as though it was granted that Americans would always be the best at everything. I realized that while this may be true in many ways right now, this was about to change quite drastically. And that I better get ahead of the curve and wake up and realize that I'm in a much larger playing field than I knew. If I was gonna be a world-class performer, I had to broaden the scope of what that meant. I had to take in the entire world, from Africa to Eastern Europe to Brazil to China. It affected me as it should have--it made me much more willing to work my ass off.
On 11/11/11, at 11:11, we done did it.
We done did it. We came back from Hong Kong and hit the ground running. We announced our marriage on January 1 in Tokyo and spent the time from March until the wedding renovating the house, clearing out dead weight, making our dream life our real life, and really committing to each other on many levels.
And then it happened. At this point, my feeling about the whole thing, considering we are such weirdos and into freedom and all that, is that Jenny and I committed to a spiritual union, to walking through this life together, no matter how weird our relationship looks to the outside world, and using our relationship as a platform to return to God. We are friends and lovers on the spiritual path, walking together. My wedding ring reminds me that no matter how far away I am from her and no matter what circumstance I am in, that she is there with me, through thick and through thin, and that she is the person that I have chosen to go into the deepest levels of reality with.
I am honored that she went along with a guy as crazy as me.
Marriage FailFebruary 2012
While vacationing in Taos at the Earthships, just like Achebe, things fell apart.
Ouch. Ouch ouch ouch. Fortunately, we were able to bend and not break. But that was a close one.... oh was that a close one.
Vision QuestValentine's Day 2012 - June 2012
I didn't know where to go, so I just got on a train to Arizona.
I spent the spring of 2012 wandering around Arizona, dazed and confused, as everything solid in my life had seemingly turned to so much dust.
It was really quite hard at first and it was during this point that I really internalized Bashar's mantra "this must mean something good is coming!" This is based on the idea that reality is fundamentally neutral and that no matter what is going on, there is a way to interpret it as positive, and thus it will reveal itself to be positive. This is easier said than done when your whole life feels like it has just fallen apart but I was persistent and things turned around fairly quickly.
During this Spring, I had a lot of incredible synchronicity around meeting people who I interacted with in a very similar way to other people in my life. It felt as though I was being given the opportunity to change the same old dynamics with new people. I uncovered a lot of very dysfunctional patterns in how I related to Jenny and in the process unearthed a dream that had been hibernating for years and years.
I dreamed of traveling around the world being a performer. So I got to work and in a couple months had a 90 page script for a one-man show called "Breakdancing, Aliens, and God" that I had been dreaming about for many many years.
Jenny and I reunited and our patterns were immediately put to the test. Fortunately, we both (with some difficulty) were able to change and have a new relationship. We traveled together all over the East Coast from South Carolina to Massachusetts and then returned to Arizona for a workshop with Drunvalo Melchizedek.
During this merkaba and heart activation workshop, Yogananda came to me and said that I talk too much. I should throw away the script I had written and get out into the world and start juggling. Just take off, begin traveling, and juggle.
Back to EdenJune 2012
On July 1, 2012, the Funkmeyers returned to the Garden of Eden. Foreal.
Jenny and I returned home triumphantly and were promptly introduced to the final piece of our puzzle. We both agreed that we were totally done with watching documentaries about the sad state of affairs of our world and would from now on only watch documentaries about what is right.
The next day a man told us to watch "Back to Eden" which we did and it changed our lives. We realized that we were now ready to return to the Garden of Eden for the rest of eternity and to wake up from the dreamspell we had placed ourselves in. We got a shit ton of wood chippings and Eden'd our garden and agreed that something had entirely shifted; we now lived in Eden.
Galactic ActivatorJuly 1, 2012-Present
Burned the bridges, wormholed from the 3rd to the 5th dimension, and set out to "get rich or die trying" and play my position in ushering in the New Reality.
Now that I was back in Eden, it was time to share the good news and fulfill my life's dream: to travel around the world performing. So on July 15, 2012 I left Los Angeles for the foreseeable future to make it as a performer.
The theme song for this phase in my life:
My Core Values
Continual growth and learning
- Taking risks and failing miserably, realizing that it is better to fail 100 times in a row with no success than to not try
- Regularly asking the question: What do I want in life?
- Willingness to base my actions on the answers to this question
- Focusing on the basics
Truth to Self
- Saying no when needed or desired.
- Dedication and perseverance beyond reason.
- Making choices of my own, even if the cost is in friends.
- Defining success and happiness for myself.
- Living the life I dream of living without giving up or selling myself short.
Service to Life and to God
- Realizing that we are all connected. What is good for you is good for me.
- Thus, serving others.
- Telling the truth, even when doing so seems foolish or risky.
- Following up with people.
- Tithing, giving, generosity.
- Allowing myself to be led by my inner guidance.
- Living a balanced life.
The guiding principle of my life. I do my best to remember this and stay on Don Juan's Path With Heart™.