Happiness is prison?

Boom, Robert H.

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Happiness is Prison? by Rob Boom God spoke. A bowel shaking voice is screaming over the loud- speakers,"Chow release, chow release! Don't forget your cups, i.d.'s, and eating utensils." Cell doors begin to open and slam shut as inmates proceed to the dining hall in single file order. And if a cure was ever needed for over sleeping and being late for work or school, then this was most definitely it. We can call it "Never Ever Gonna Be Late Again." Chuckle Chuckle. I slide on my faded blue CDCR prison issue polyester elastic pants and "tidy-bowl" blue shirt, grab my bright and shiny orange spork and proceed single file with the rest of them. The five dollar question now is what in God's good name will they be slabbing: on a tray for us to shovel down this morning? Eggs Benedict? Nova Scotia lox on an everything bagel and lightly toasted with lip smacking Philadelphia Cream Cheese slathered all over? JK! :):) It actually turns out to be S.O.S.(shit on shingle), mmmm- mmmm delicious. Surprisingly enough, it's quite tasty this morning with just the right ratio amount of grease to soy protein clots, which incidentally, taste like authentic rabbit turds. All of this is served with a heart—warming and homeade buttermilk biscuit on the side. Wow, I can't remember when we've had it this good. The food in state prison has become less gourmet in recent years due to the ridiculous amounts of greivances filed by various inmates complaining of too many calories and high cholesterol in their diets. This is coming from a group of individuals who are insisting that an early morning drive—thru run at Taco Bell is ample nutri- tion when fortified with their medical marijuana wake and bake. How- —ever, being the epicure that I am, this particular meal is pala- table. I Mornings are brutally honest. Sarcasm is especially habit forming this early in the a.m., and usually it takes me an hour or so to sober up to my good senses, with mindfulness and breathing meditation to help set the tone of the day. It is only after this daily ritual that I am able to find some relief and begin choosing thoughts which feel a little bit better, and then even a little better. I then gradually become aware of feeling lighter and sense myself producing a smile. Softly, I come to the inevi- table realization that I am the creator of all of this which I am experiencing. Wait, what? And that it is I who is solely responsible for my own happiness. Nothing and nobody else. Come on, really? Who in the hell would choose this friggin place? Honestly, when I look back upon my life before coming to prison, I never even thought that I had a choice in creating any of the circumstances surrounding me. I lived my life as a single and homosexual male, who was having, what I perceived at that time to be a lot of fun. Yet, when there was a person, place, or thing whom I did not like, I simply ignored it or them. I frequently found myself complaining to the several friends around me in order to justify my engagement into various and life-long addictions- -illegal or not—-so that I could quickly disappear and make it all go away for a few hours. Again, seriously, what kind of person would make a conscious decision to come to prison? How does one wake up one morning and suddenly find themselves serving 82 years to life? Never been to prison before, and no second chances. How does this little delight just kind of happen? Bad luck? Wrong place, wrong time? I mean I did some really good things out there, do they not count? And the fucking happi- ness thing. Who am I really kidding? I mean "Hello," I'm in prison. What kind of over-sized testicles do I frankly think that I have in farting my thoughts onto paper about authentic happiness? I guess that more is going to have to be revealed. There are 10.35 million inmates in the world today. 2.2 million inmates are in the United States, the largest prison industrial complex nation in the world. America has more than 7 people in prison for each one in all of Europe, Canada, Austra—~ lia, New Zealand, Korea, Japan, and Taiwan on a per capita basis. So when you are staring directly at it without blinking your eyes, one quaffs that there might be a sinister reason why America has 730 percent more people in prison on a per capita basis than the average of all the industrial nations combined. And with hundreds of suicides or unlawful conduct, as well as physical assaults on inmates reported each year, prison becomes a depressing and inhumane place. Without mentioning the politics and violence between inmates, government personnel, intended to protect and serve, have turned out to be highly skilled experts at twisting information and facts to present outright lies as if it were truth. How does the word "corrections" morally fit into a "Depart- —ment of" title? Even correctional officers are struggling with all of this. Just because someone is employed in law enforcement or corrections does not make them well adjusted and mentally stable citizens in society. More often than not, we are hearing Via news and soial media that many of those who are employed in law enforcement agencies of the United States are actually criminal minded themselves. Los Angeles County Sherrif Lee Baca is facing up to 6 months in his very own county jail for insisting his deputies eclipse and conceal details of a federal investigation into the inhumane and gladitorial treatment of inmates by jail staff. Also, Under- —chief of Fresno Police Keith Foster is currently facing 20+ years for the theft and distribution of previously confiscated narcotics after they were admitted into official county evidence. It appears that there is no longer a right or wrong. And as inmates inside county jails or federal and state prisons, we are witnessing this monstrosity first hand. Let's suppose a guard wanted to do the right thing and try and make some changes to make prison a more humane environment. Will he be successful? California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation officer Scott Jones left a note when he committed suicide saying "the job made me do it." He was disclosing to authorities the unlaw- éful conduct of his fellow officers—-and as a result, they harassed him for snitching on them when they would brutally beat various inmates down. How is it that I signed up for possible fulmination from guards and other inmates? How am I going to survive all of this negativity and hostility? And what's even more important, when is it that I can likely go home? I'm a convicted child molester. Creature. Rapacious savage. Blacklisted from Halloween €andy forever. Therefore, it comes as a relief to witness President Barack Obama and Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton initiate discussions in recent days regarding mass incarceration in the United States and the devas- tating effects it has on all people involved, especially loved ones. This is definitely a start in the game, because prison does not make very good sense alot of the time. An aging 74 year old inmate describes the sexual Violent predator civil committment program where he resides as a "concen- tration camp and a warehouse-—and the only way out is in a body bag." These civil committment programs are thinly disguised prisons to keep sex-offenders warehoused even after they have paid their debt to society and completed their entire sentence all the way until they die. In the State of Kansas——only 4 out of 250 inmates have ever been released. There are Nazi-like tactics being used involving the treatment of sex-offenders in and out of prison. And with a 3%-5% recidivism rate for all sex offenders, including child molesters, compared to the enormous- recidivism rate of 40%-80% for all other crimes, including violent ones, sex offenders are completely treatable. Golly Gee, you don't see Chris Hanson covering this kind of information on his highly rated NBC Dateline Series "To Catch A Predator." It's time for yard with our normal program activities, and since my bro Paul is at school working on obtaining his G.E.D., I decide to trek on over to the prison library. As of recent, there have been a good amount of self—help books which have been donated, and have become resourceful for surviving a prison term. I am not speaking of any type of religious titles, moreover, I am referring to books that specifically deal with the nature of Quantum Physics and consciousness. Two such books that I have studied at length are "Ask and It Is Given," by Esther and Jerry Hicks, and "The Nature of Personal Reality," by Jane Roberts. Both books have helped me to become aware of a much larger reality, a vast and unknown reality to most others around us, but it is always present in our lives. It is unmistakably clear that society takes a liking to and feels it of an urgent necessity to isolate the criminal ele- —ment in an environment with embarassingly little to no compen- —sation at all. The entire make-up and foundation of prison is a constant reminder to us convicts of our dour situation, and blindly reinforces our original difficulties and problems which have gotten us here in the first place. The most comfortable living and home environment is denied us only to be replaced by a slave—like interior and exterior design(and mentality), which rapidly speeds up the natural deteriolization process of physical and mental functionings of our bodies. Along with an overall encompassing concentration of our immediate problems at hand, most normal and ordinary human stimulation is purposely held to a bare minimum. In their own ways, the Warden and Correc- ~—tional Officers(C.O.'s) all hold exactly the same beliefs as us prisoners-—the idea of force and power being our main focus, and each of us believing that the other is the enemy. The Warden and C.O.'s are most certain that we inmates are the dregs of the earth and must be held down and captive at all costs. Both sides accep- éting the concept of human aggression and violence as a way of life in acheiving what we intend to. We who are confined prisoners like to project and blubber our personal problems out upon society. Society loyally returns the favor. Granted, Pleasant Valley State Prison, at which I reside, is one of the better prisons in the State of California, and that there are a few more freedoms and benefits offerred to an average inmate. However, as a whole, California lawmakers along with the CDCR, have cut almost all of the necessary programs to help an ex—felon be successful upon their release from prison and back into free society. These programs are vital in helping to change an offender's thought process and behavior. It's almost as if all State Officials.are forgetting that many of us will be returning back to society, only to eventually be back behind bars again and again—-the revolving door of the prison industrial complex. / A detective and an offender wears versions of the same mask. The criminal element represents an individuals own feared and unfaced aggressions, using social media as a channel to continue this mirage. A violent offender who is being put to death for their actions represents society ngt wanting to face such "evil" and aggressions in themselves, and so they direct it outward onto those who are perceived to be despicable. The persons in society who speaks and protests out most loudly in favor of the harshest of punishments, do so to pay for their own great aggressive and violent thoughts, sexually perverse thoughts, and secret feelings that they never dare express or admit to anyone else. Very little effort is being made to understand the basic problems beneath all of this and so prisons and law enforcement agencies inevitably need us criminals for social and financial reasons, very much in the same way that criminals clamor for them. We both are typically operating from the same set of beliefs. While I am scouting the yard for my canteen contact to see when it is that we can shop this month to restore our much needed and endless supply of ramen noodles-—a miracle food—-LOL, the alrm suddenly goes off. Everyone gets down on the yard and eagerly scours around and about to see what event has triggered this interruption. Is there a fight? Did someone call "man down?" Just then, a roly-poly C.O. stampedes his way past me, huffing and puffing, turning beet red as beads of sweat trickle down his clammy white face. He is a wide load. He looks like a cross between the Pilsbury Doughboy and the CEO for Dunkin Donuts. LOL! I mean seriously, arenft these guys supposed to be passing some kind of yearly physical examination? Many inmates are in excellent physical shape due to the excessive hours of time that we can afford to work out, if we so choose to do. Most of these officers could'nt hitch a ride on an "All You Can Eat-—Jumbo Jacks from ‘Jack in the Box'" Party Bus if their lives depended on it.. Maybe I'm just being a Sarcastic Sally, but it's quite ridiculous. ‘It was a false alarm and so we return back to normal program. And as I am heading back to my cell, I remember that I have not yet done my mindfulness, and breathing meditation with visualization. All of my thoughts and attention thus far today have been centered around negative and frustrating realities. Before coming to prison, I would have never imagined that someone living in these particular circumstances could ever be able to live in a predominate state of happiness, well—being, abundance, and delicious joy. That's nuts, right? There is an overwhelming amount of crap surrounding me to conciously contemplate, with turgid victimization located in every nook and cranny of this prison life, that I have got to be lame in the noggin foragonfiidefing living a life of my dreams. I must always remember where it is that I came from. ?. The year leading up to my trial was brutal. It was impossible to not want to plan my comforting death with a few other inmates in county jail. I literally saved up more than twenty sleeping pills, which other inmates provided me in support of my mission. Looking back, I recognize that all my self—inflicted torment was only an inaugeration of my vilifying bottom point. A pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization. There is evidence of my guilt. There is evidence of my innocence. And there are enormous amounts of evidence which were gravely misunderstood, because I havefnotébeeniallowed to tell my story in a court of law as of yet. I am looking forward to the day where7I will be doing this. In addition, I received an astronomical sentence, which includes 5 life terms, and makes the "death penalty” seem like a competent plea bargain deal. Nonetheless, I continued to look at everything and everyone else around me for some answers as to how something like this could happen to someone like me. I felt hurt and stupid. Three weeks before the commencement of my criminal trial in court, I began reading "The Secret," by Rhonda Byrne. I read it over and over again, practically memorizing every line from each contributor. I did not like what was presently happening in my life, and to be honest, I was not very fond of my past as well. I wanted something better to live for, and decided that I was going to have to learn more about quantum physics and the "law of attraction." M beautiful parents continued Y . sending me books to read on thesevveryésubjects, and I fervently studied them until they became engrained in my psyche. After my first year of prison, I was living and breathing this stuff. With huge sighs of overwhelming relief, numbering in the hundreds of thousands, I was able to fully accept that I am responsible for every person, place, or thing in my entire life. Furthermore, I discovered that each and every thought or emotion that I have ever consciously or subconsciously had up to this point in my life,has invited all of my current circumstances to fruition. Every bit of them. Good or ugly? No mistakes whatsoever. Kind of brutal, right? Some of what I am about to say is unorthodox to most, but that would only be an obvious judgement based on pre—existing beliefs, not on the thoughtful consideration of the quality of the insight. As Terry Neal, an ex-federal inmate at the Sheridan prison camp, writes from his award winning book of 2009 "It's All Thought," he recognizes that what we believe to be facts may not really be facts at all. It is often said that throughout history probably 90 percent of the things people were so sure of, and ready to die for, turned out not to be true. We create our own reality, even if we do not understand that we do it. Physicist Max Plank discovered that all matter originates and exists by virtue of a force...we must assume that behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter. The Universe rearranges itself around conditions of thought. In essence, therels really nothing physical about physical matter. Matter is all energy which vibrates at a specific frequency level. Thus, matter itself does not exist. The Universe is thought and observation in action. The vibrational frequency that we humans radiate outward through our emotions vascillates with the thoughts we are focused upon. What we are and what we shall become depends upon the quality of our thoughts. We do not get what we say we want, we get what our minds are focused upon and the essence of what we are feeling. And so if I am wanting something better to start happening, then I am going to have to learn how to change my thoughts and percep- tions of everyone and everything around me. Period. It is in this evolving point, where I am able to come to an exuberant realization, that I can changeilife to be living something that I have always dreamed about. Nothing is impossible. A sense of relief surges through my being when I contemplate the idea, that if it is possible for me to get myself into prison, then it is most definitely a probability that I am the one who is able to get myself out of prison, or anything else that I would deliberately like to attract into my present and future circumstances. Now of course, this is all dependent upon my staying out of the way and eliminating any and all preconceived notions, as to the who, when, how, and where my intentions may come about. But wait....not so fast. We have a problem here and it's a real humdinger. How am I supposed to start feeling really happy, appreciative, and joyful, in quite possibly one of the most violent and negative environments this side of the western hemisphere? I am now back inside my cell, my cellee is gone, and I have my prison issue tempurpedic mattress rolled up, so that I can comfortably sit upon it for 45 minutes or so, to practice my daily mindfulness and concentrated breathing meditation. I begin inhaling and exhaling deep and natural breaths, so that I may allow whatever it is that is currently present in my physical body and mind, torsurfaee, and to be acknowledged and felt. Anxiety, depression, sadness, knee pains, anything from the past or present——whatever it may be, even happiness and joy. I allow any outstanding thoughts or emotions which are asking to be realized, and rather than engage them with more energy, I simply observe and acknowledge them until they are ready to be released. Most important, I am often keeping in the forefront of my consciousness, that the mind is simply a mechanism, in which conscious thoughts and personal perceptions, produce feelings and emotions based upon our assumptions. Our assumptions become what we perceive to be reality——they may not truly be our present reality, physically speaking, or even our actual reality, but they are our very own realities, and they can be changed at any point. Sometimes quickly and sometimes slowly. A belief is only a thought that we continue to think over and over again. And we only see what we are ready to see. A few years ago, the constant tightness in my throat and chest was debilitating. Paranoia and Obsessinve Compulsive Disorder ran my life. Practicing daily mindfulness has allowed pains, fears, and angers which have been stored away for years, to finally be acknowledged and felt. Years and years of psychological abuse and trauma that I had put myself through, due to acting out my various addictions to food, sex, and other substances. I also built up a towering inferno of shame and guilt because of the hardships that my family members have suffered due to my addictive lifestyle, and yet to this day, they are still loving me and are by my side. Wegareihumans and we are supposed to be feeling negative emotions from time to time. Anger is good. Fear and sadness / can be healthy at times. All of these feelings are literally begging to come to the forefront of our beings so they can eventually dissipate and be released. If we are not recognizing the feelings and circumstances that we do not like, then how the hell are we supposed to be able to know and identify what it is that we do want to be living. Most people in today's society are looking to not have to feel something uncomfortable, searching for a constant high or feel good. Likewise, in negative environments such as prison, most inmates are looking to anesthesize their emotions, act their ugly self—hatred out(without even realizing that they are doing so), and speak to everyone else around them from the neverending assumption that they are the ones who are being victimized by everybody on this earth. I realize that this can no longer be the case for me, and that this whole victim consciousness thing has got to stop at all costs, if I truly want my life to get better. Our power to create anything that we desire is always in the present moment. The now. All resistant thoughts and emotions begin to fade away when I focus my awareness only on the now. Everything else is non—existent. What am I doing in this "now?" I am breathing in and out, naturally, and with no resistance or distractions. Within minutes, I am feeling much relief. I begin to feel a little lighter and even a bit giddy. Gradually, I feel sensations of love, happiness, and appreciation for everyone and everything in my life. It is from the power of this present moment that I can begin to attract some better experiences. After our p.m. chowtime, I'm feeling the desire to go for a walk on the yard. I overhear some other inmates talking about the bullshit slop garbage that they served us for dinner tonight. My stomach begins to tense up into a juggernaut from the complaining that I am listening to, and I realize the specific thing that I do not want—-so what is it that I do want? I find an immediate and realistic thought about the dinner which feels a little better. The lettuce was crisp(because it's hard to screw lettuce up). The beans are always healthy and satisfying, and of course tonight, they were extra tasty due to the Lawry's Garlic Salt that I brought with me,*which.incidentally, also helped to make the enchilada casserole surprise taste quite delicious. I am appreciative that the kitchen supervisors make an effort/to provide us with a balanced variety. I'm feeling content and satisfied right now and decide that I want to feel even better. So I start thinking about other meals in the past that made me happy, and brought me pleasure when I ate them. Sushi. Lobster. Greasy—ass Mexican- food from hole-in-the-wall taco shops down in San Diego, and available at any time of day orxyear;-—especially after being downtown,j§r;€Iubbing~with friends. I further imagine what these scrumptious morsels smell and taste like as I devour and delight in consuming them, only to be quenched by a satisfying and icy gulp of Diet Coke from the can. I'm feeling pretty good now, and I can feel a smile hinting on my face. I barely even notice the harccore protective custody and special needs gangsters complaining about all of the creepy child molesteréf and sex offenders that are on the yard with them. And that they better not be getting any of these pieces of shit moved into their cells with them or they are going to have to take off on their ass. One exclaims to the other, kMy cellee's paperwork had better be clean!" The hysterical thing is that I personally know this person who is talking about "clean paperwork," and I also know what he is in here for. Since when does a "double homicide" fall into the category of nice and clean? And now I am going to flip this back over to my feeling good, because as you can see, it can be easy to get off track.‘ I think about all of the people in my life whom I have ever loved, and who has loved me back. My family. My friends old and new. I run into my bro Paul and we begin commenting on some topic from earlier in the day, and it's pretty funny. So we begin to laugh at it. Our laughing eventually gets so loud and hysterical,that we are now laughing at each other's ridiculous sounding laugh, and we can't stop. People are looking at us4and I can't breathe. Both of us notice the roses on the yard which are in full bloom,andithis nice smell wafts through our nostrils. What kind of prison has plants and flowers which are in full bloom? We are quite lucky here. Another favorite of mine to help jumpstart my Vibration levels upwards and to the point where a buzzing universal source energy is flowing through me, is to start thinking about "wouldnft it be nice if?" thoughts. These particular thoughts hold no resistance to them because I am not focusing on the fact that they are not happening yet, but on the happiness and excitement of considering their real possiblities of them actually existing in this very moment, or at some point infimy life. Wouldnit it be nice to‘ jump up on my private boat to go sailing around on the ocean right now? Wouldnit it be nice if I jumped on a plane right now Lto fly to Hawaii? Or Florida? Where would I stay? What would I do? What would I eat? What does it feel like to be there? What does it smell like? What does it feel like to have an unlimited and abundant amount of cash to spend? _ Each and every day I am making it my top priority to find ways to feel good and be happy--no matter what. Not surprising, I notice that more happy occurrenees.which match the essence of what my conscious mind is currently focusing on, begin to show up immediately in my daily living. They always will. It is a scientific and proven law. I am back in my cell now, and it's well after midnight. I have been watching episodes of ”Seinfeld"(because they always make me laugh my ass off). I'm feeling sleepy and so I close my eyes. I am walking along the beach, and I can feel the warm sand between my toes. Cool and crashing ocean waves are splashing against my body,and I breathe in the salt misty air. The sun is shining up in“a clear blue sky and feels warm upon my skin. Beachgoers around me;-and surfers in the water are laughing and smiling, and I feel a tickle in my nose from the scrumptious scent of Hawaiin Tropic Coconut Oil. I take a frosty gulp of bold and cold brewed iced coffee, and I walk towards my parked car so that I may drive back to my apartment to get ready for the night's activities. I am feeling the immense relief and delicious joy of being on paroleg and back in free society again. I am dozing off now, but I can still feel a smile painted upon my face,thus I realize that according to Quantum Physics-—all possiblities are in existence. And like a wave collapsing in time, I'm already here.

Author: Boom, Robert H.

Author Location: California

Date: April 28, 2017

Genre: Essay

Extent: 16 pages

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