Journal Entry: Douglas Jason Way-03/03/2024-Bitcoin

Journal Entry


We started the month of February 2024 at the camp at FCI Thomson with two weeks of lockdown, including limited email and phone communications. I thought about how to make the best of the situation and decided that I would treat it like being on a spiritual retreat, with extra time spent on reflection and introspection. I would turn the lockdown into an AFG (another friggin’ growth opportunity).

As I was reading, I found myself wondering why I’m still in prison. Society doesn’t need protection from me and the experience is beyond repetitive at this point. There doesn’t seem to be any discernible reason for my presence here. I put the question to my higher consciousness and Higher Power, what am I doing here? The answer came back to me in the form of a witty story I heard around the rooms of my spiritual tradition years ago. A guy tells his mentor that he wants to find a new job. The mentor responds, “You’ll find a new job when you’re ready.” The guys asks when he’ll be ready and the mentor replies, “When you have a new job.”

Okay, I’m still in prison because I am not ready to be home. I had time on my hands, so I explored that avenue. The next logical question to throw out was, how am I not ready? That is when things took a turn for the interesting.

I have been on an unintentional streak of reading books lately that provided various perspectives–spiritual, psychological, philosophical, neuroscientific–on how our inner being, and the thoughts and actions it motivates, affects our outer lives. I have been taught that when you keep getting the same message from different sources, it is best to pay attention.

There I was in lockdown, asking how I am not ready, paying attention, and I find myself thinking back to times in my life when I have engaged in self-sabotage. At this point, I was a bit nervous to go forward, but I figured in for a penny, in for a pound. I came across this passage in On the Brink of Everything by Parker Palmer that seemed to be urging me on:

“Fierce with reality is how I feel when I am able to say, ‘I am that to which I gave short shrift and that to which I attended. I am my descents into darkness and my rising again to the light, my betrayals and my fidelities, my failures and my successes. I am my ignorance and my insight, my doubts and my convictions, my fears and my hopes.’ Wholeness does not mean perfection–it means embracing brokenness as an integral part of life.”

Fierce with reality was the quality I was after. No way out but through. I asked the next question, what is that pattern of self-sabotage all about? Two answers came that hit me in the center of my being: worthiness and forgiveness. I could see quite clearly in that moment how beliefs about my unworthiness, which I frankly don’t know exactly how I adopted, have resulted in self-defeating patterns of thought, and ultimately behavior. Then having fallen short or screwed up, I compounded the issue by not forgiving myself. It has been a negative feedback loop.

Again, reinforcing messages came from the books I read. Paraphrasing the Proverb, Johnny Hunt wrote in Demolishing Strongholds:

“You are not what you think you are, but what you think, you are…God’s standards are higher than yours, so quit treating yourself as less than God considers you.”

Dr. Joe Dispenza doubled down on me in Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself:

“Our purpose in life is not to be good, to please God, to be beautiful, to be popular, or to be successful. Our purpose, rather, is to remove the masks and the facades that block the flow of this divine intelligence and to express this greater mind through us. To become empowered by our efforts of creativity and to ask greater questions that will inevitably lead us to a more enriched destiny. To expect the miraculous instead of the worst-case scenario and to live as if this power was in favor of us. To ponder the uncommon, to contemplate our achievements in utilizing this unseen power, and to open our minds to more expanded possibilities challenges us to evolve our being, to let more of this mind come through us…When we overcome, and remove whatever stands in the way of our infinite power and self, we are demonstrating a noble deed, not only for ourselves but for all of humanity.”

In short, those words were telling me to get out of my own way.

At that stage of the lockdown retreat, I’d put together that I wasn’t ready to be home because my deep-seated patterns of thought and belief regarding worthiness and my resistance to forgiving myself were creating instances of self-sabotage. Hoowee! That was a lot to chew on. But given that I committed to come home stronger in body, mind, and spirit, I couldn’t bring garbage like that back with me. What to do about it?

Dr. Joe prescribed a meditation practice augmented with journaling that I embarked upon. I added mantras focused on my worthiness, readiness to go home, and capability to do great things in service of my family, friends, and community when I get there. Prayers for help with letting go of the past to forgiveness were mixed in as well. As one might imagine, I was pooped by that juncture and decided to take a break to watch a movie. I had to laugh at myself when a final piece of my new transformational regimen was delivered by Christian Bale’s character Ken Miles in Ford vs. Ferrari.

Miles was explaining to his son how he uses vision to prepare for a race. They were sitting on the track at sunset and he said, “Look out there. Out there is the perfect lap. No mistakes. Every gear change, every corner. Perfect.” He asked his son if he could see and the boy replied, “I think so.” Miles went on, “Most people can’t. Most people don’t even know it’s out there, but it is. It’s there.”

That is how I am now envisioning my homecoming and my life beyond prison. I am one of those people who, like Miles’s son, is not quite sure that he can see it clearly. But with every day of practice, along with my meditation, mantras, and prayers, I feel my capacity for creative vision getting stronger. I believe that when the picture is clear enough, when it is embedded in my very being, that it will be strong enough to pull me out the exit door and deliver me home.

The lockdown ended and I felt tremendously grateful for what I had gained by using the time purposefully instead of bitching and moaning like most guys did. Willingness to grow is a beautiful thing. From it I garnered powerful insights into myself and a new routine that will make me a better man who is entirely ready to return to where I belong, having transcended the cycle of self-sabotage.