I am Rirou the Punk, and I declare December 21st 2020, The Official Punkaste Day!
During this 4 years and 6 month since Luke was born, I confirmed what I already knew it: The way out of depression is with joy and purpose. 2020 is the year where I turned 40 and also the year I connected the dots in my life, marking this a rebirth. I picked this day for many reasons, but mainly is that I was in Brazil on the winter solstice the darkest day of the year. Therefore it makes sense to do this on the darkest day of the year the place I made my home. Well, this time is the darkest day of the year but with a huge light in the sky! Coincidence?
Sarcasm apart, I did connect the dots in 2020. After, I went to that full moon drum circle where I heard about the my possible mediumship, I finally started to talk more about that in my therapy sessions. That is when my therapist told me to go talk to her friend, Leslie the Good Witch. This is when things started to get interesting. So, I went to see her and we talk over 1 hour between tarot cards, astral maps and singing bowls. After the session she gave me a copy of The Celestine Prophecy book, and said “I was guided to give this book to you”. Anyways, life got crazy and I didn’t read the book until 2020 happened.
The other day the book pop up in my mind when I was passing by the office. I mean, it caught my attention and that same day I was talking to a childhood friend, and famous psychiatrist in Brazil, about religion and spirituality. That day I explained to him what I felt in my meditations, so it was a deep conversation. 2 days later YouTube suggested me The Celestine prophecy, so I thought “I guess is time to either read or watch the movie.” Well, I pressed play and boy, the movie is exactly the feeling I described to my friend. That feeling is the same one I get with music.
Now to add to it, in one of my talks with Leslie in 2020 she told me, “I am pretty sure you are an indigo child“. Well, I knew that since 2012, so she just confirmed me. Some people claim that indigo children have a collective purpose as well as personal one. Since I have always being attracted to this exoteric world, so it was super easy to go look it up indigo child purpose on the internet. I found a few things, including exercises that helps connect the dots, and that is when I found my joy, purpose and talents. Well, one of my talents is transform kids songs into punk rock songs which leads me to the mission of building an army of punk rockers. Divine intervention?
Genius or Insane I still don’t know, all I know all this stuff really happened and made my life make sense. Also, I was born with an artistic mind. Both of them explains my sensitivity in different ways. All I know is that I have tremendous joy in listening and doing music, that is how my love comes out. I also know that when I do that I can spread that love to my family being a present husband and Dad… and Nothing Else really Matters after that! Well, it actually does matter because Love is contagious and Love rocks, and I believe in Love!
I feel like a villain, like Drew from Minions, that can transform kids songs into punk rock. The difference in cartoons is that nothing works out for the villain, when for me is the opposite, when I embraced that side of mine, I started to heal myself!
I must confess I am loving 2020 because my life started to make sense, and as I said I found my why. I always believed in crisis, I mean crisis bring the best out of us. Because there is no way around it, you have to face it in order to survive. That is why I truly believe crisis brings in the best in us, we have to change, there is no escape.
During my healing process that includes lots of music, skateboarding, singing, guitar/bass playing and my monthly therapy sessions I realized that Religion is the biggest bully of all times at least with me. That is what my book is really about. I love the topic spirituality/existance but I hate religion because put most people in a box, a depressive box of unworthiness. That why for me in that topic there is a thin line between love and hate. Spirituality is about love and unity, however what religion teaches is hate and separation. Unfortunately I never had a chance to say my side of the story, I was shut off by Religion and that cause me a great amount of pain and anger.
Now, did you know that my best iron man ever was racing with anger released in a positive way. That was the race I did against my brothers. I love them but I hate the fact that I was smaller and got beat up all the time. However, in an ironman race we are all equal, and that day my goal was simple: to beat them in the race with as much as spare time as possible. Yeah, I used all my anger to a good thing, to have the performance of my life, a performance that made my career boom as an athlete and coach. What’s best is that was during the race and nobody got hurt, well maybe egos got hurt,but that is ok. I felt relief but took me awhile to understand why that was my best race.
Now when it comes to religion I have been bully for 40 years, I tried many times to approach and have conversations. Real deep meaningful conversations, but I was never received with an open heart. Which sounds crazy, because it should be the opposite. Up to 2020 I had hopes in 2 Religions, not to join but to listen. The 1st was spirtism and the 2nd new age type of thing. However 2020 showed me different again. Around June 2020, in an instagram live where it was a new age subject I said something about rock and roll I was received with an really weird vibe. A judgmental one, so I was ok, for that reason I am out. Then yesterday I made a comment in a famous YouTube channel about spiritism, and I was received the same way, with the same judgmental vibe. It was weird because in both times I came from a loving place being true to myself, making a true statement and in a polite manner. Once again I was received in a judgmental way.
One thing I learned is that with bullies you have to fight back, but in a smart way. Religion have been bullying me for years. They didn’t even stop to hear me, they took my voice and I got in trouble for it. Now I need to make my voice heard for my own healing and for that I am telling my story, a book that Religion will try to burn. Now what do I do with all that anger built? Do the same thing that I did in the ironman against my brothers, use my anger to build good. That is when Rock-it-ology was born.
The name Rock-it-ology came from the song Rock-it from Motörhead. The lyrics says it all, Rock and Roll saved my soul and Lemmy’s got it. Inspired on that was what made want to share the story and use my anger to something good and since life is like an ironman race. I will let it out in this life, cause I am not carring this for the next one. What you do in this life echoes in the eternity so I will fight the evil forces of religion, and remind kids about unity (love). Think about it, I will leave an story with true conisidences, like a prophecy, with music to wake up the inner child feeling (inner punk). This way just like in this iron maiden song, when is my time to go heart will die and my soul will fly forever. Truth is you can burn a book but you can’t shut a thinking mind. Genius or insane? I now think I am a genius, or I am the fallen angel and I am here accomplishing my mission.
Now is a matter of time, of Religion going down, I mean kids just need to be remmeber of who they are and what they came here for. They will shape the world the way they want too and kids are naturally born punks. Like I said is not about me, is about my kids and the world I am leaving for them. I won’t lie the older you get are harder it is due the baggage, but it’s possible. You just need to be willing to get out of the matrix. Meanwhile I will keep fighting back because I won’t sell my soul. The truth is the more I do it, the better and more loving Dad I become, because heals me and allow me to fully presents with my kids and less time between the walls of unworthiness.
They will shape the world the way they want too and kids are naturally born punks. Like I said is not about me, is about my kids and the world I am leaving for them.
For me it all make sense now, is all about Roots and Attitude (thanks Sepultura). The roots here are going within, however going within means going to your darkness and that is painful as fuck, but very rewarding. Attitude is punk, meaning facing your demons. Just remember light needs darkness to shine, is all connected and its all about balance!
When a person turns to wrong, is it a want to be, belong? Part of things at any cost, at what price a life is lost At what point do we begin, fighter spirit a will to win But what makes a man decide, take the wrong or righteous road There’s a thin line between love and hate Wider divide that you can see between good and bad There’s a grey place between black and white But everyone does have the right to choose the path that he takes We all like to put the blame on society these days But what kind of good or bad a new generation brings Sometimes take just more than that to survive be good at heart There is evil in some of us no matter what will never change I will hope, my soul will fly, so I will live forever Heart will die, my soul will fly, and I will live forever Just a few small tears between someone happy and one sad Just a thin line drawn between being a genius or insane At what age begin to learn of which way out we will turn There’s a long and winding road and the trail is there to burn There’s a thin line between love and hate Wider divide that you can see between good and bad There’s a grey place between black and white But everyone does have the right to choose the path that he takes I will hope, my soul will fly, so I will live forever Heart will die, my soul will fly, and I will live forever I will hope, my soul will fly, so I will live forever Heart will die, my soul will fly, and I will live forever The thin line between love and hateThe thin line between love and hate
The day of this picture was the day my eyes open after Luke was born. I mean, I was blind for awhile due to the light Luke brought to me. That day was also the same day Luke opened his eyes physically also the day he flipped everybody off. I mean he was on planet earth for 19 days and all we did was test after test to figure it out what was going on. That was the day things started to change and I understood as: He is fine, he just needs love like any other child in the world.
From that point on my wife and I said enough testing, let’s just wait for more results to come and start seeing what we need to do take him home, taking him out to see the sun, take him to the beach, take him skateboarding, start living in general. We started to work on getting out of the hospital. In other words, we said let him shine and see what support he needs.
Feeling that Luke was fine helped me keep going within and keep working on my healing, he actually speed up the process. That was my promise to myself, I did not want to pass on my baggage to my kids. Luckily, that was not my first transformation, so I knew what I needed to do. In order to change anything you must first destroy the old and that is what I did, something I call anarchy with a discipline of an ironman. I didn’t think twice, and I decided to fully retire form racing and only coach. That felt really good.
I started to build the new or what I thought was the new, but the universe was sending me another way and little by little I started to lose my clients. Until one day my coaching deal with LA Fitness ended out of nowhere. So, we decided to move to Colorado. I tried a to do the same old story, go back to school but that was not it either. I was still confused, so I found a therapist in Colorado and restarted my therapy sessions.
This time therapy were really intense, since I was getting into the core of the issue of my depression. I mean, up to know I have used physical pain (ironman), and it help however it was not healing. I was just a slave of pain. For me, all we need is Love, so I needed to Love myself and that means embrace and accept my inner punk. I knew what I needed to do was to heal my inner child, I was still angry inside. For me that was only one option: I needed to make that air guitar become real. I needed learn how to play my favorite songs in the guitar, that was my goal when I got the guitar before Luke was born. Yeah, those same songs that I always heard it was taking me to hell.
I started to play and since I always wanted to do some non-profit and something the brings change, I was looking for something that could unite both. With time my mission started to make sense, and again the universe made his move and put me in inside a preschool classroom. I did the first year of preschool with Luke as his nurse cause she quit in the 1st month. There I realized that kids are naturally born punks, they know about love and unity. I mean, seen how Luke rocks and keep asking for fast songs, and seen kids in preschool I am sure kids are born punks! Therefore, we just need to teach them not to sell their soul and embrace their inner punk.
The more I meditate the more insane I become, and I know that I need to fulfill my destiny. I decided to turn my anger into something nice. I realize that if I use the enemy (rock) and start them early I could raise an army of punks. An army of love, and love you know, spreads like fire. Therefore, I could make a real change in world while healing myself. As I learn how to play my favorite “Religious” songs they inspire me to create Punk Rock songs for kids. This way I can change the world one kid at the time…. Some might enjoy, some might not, but remember it’s okay to be different, and love is love.
Well, we that was how we started our NICU journey. Looking back at my life I could clearly see that I went to 2 big transformations which all of them had a piece of spirituality. The first one was a mental transformation back in 2003 when I decided to start fighting depression, and I started yoga back then. The second one was a body transformation that started back in 2012, that is when I started receiving Reiki. When we got pregnant my spiritual awakening just grew exponentially. In every transformation I went through things get pretty intense at first, specially if is a radical one. They get intense because you need to destroy the old in order to build the new. To be honest, that is the only way to do, otherwise you will never change. If you wanna change you need to be Roots and Radical.
In the NICU the feelings were raw an intense, that push all your limits above and beyond. Those are real human emotions and super intense, you literally go from 0 to 100 is seconds. Anyways, for me, inclusion starts at home, so my wife and I pretty much moved into the room that the hospital provide for families that lived far: The Conine House. And that is where we lived for the next 84 days, after all we are a family, we are all in this together. My mother-in-law stayed at home with Bolt (our dog) that did not leave Luke’s room until we were back home 84 days later. Honestly, he only left to go outside and then back to his room. Crazy!
During the NICU time I heard all kind of things from Doctors. I was scared and confused, but somehow I knew in my heart that Luke was okay. I was so overwhelmed with everything around me. So, I had to slow down. I started to meditate even more, specially next to Luke with lots of mental talks with him. I started to receive Reiki every time I could, and I started to go to Reiki circles in the hospital (super cool that the hospital have a Reiki Circle). I also restarted practicing yoga own my own in the Conine house in the early AM before crossing the street to see Luke wake up. My goal was to be strong spiritually so I could help Luke, and be there for him. I told Luke I couldn’t stay there 24/7 there, but I left the Chewbacca mask next to his bed, so he knew he was not alone.
With time everything started to make sense to me. Honestly, the way it felt was when Luke was born he came with so much light that it blind me for awhile. That being said, as the days went by in the NICU I started to see again but much much more clearly, and things started to make sense, and it was really ironic. Once I heard that irony is the face of God, and as I look to my life is pure irony, like I am literally walking in contradiction. You doubt? let me tell you:
I was a sensitive boy that cried a lot, but at the same time I love heavy metal. I heard my entire life, how I could be so zen and listen to metal?
I am metal head that loves punk rock, usually those 2 don’t match. I hear all the time, you are a punk that likes slayer?Yeah, I fucking love slayer! I also love the dark side of things, because they are real and raw.
I feel I have a really strong spirituality, (intuition, deja-vu etc). I honestly feel that the universe and I have a super strong connection (its a huge story). Truth being said, up to now my feelings were 99.9% of the time right, it’s just hard to trust them because of what I learned. Yet, I don’t believe in God because I hate religion (Religion is simply exclusive, like a box or an aquarium). However, I believe in the Force, the life force that bind us together because for me it’s all connected.
I was a pro athlete that didn’t want to take performance enhancing drugs (I always like weed but weed is not a drug). Yeah, don’t pretend you don’t know, 90% or more of the athletes take something. Even amateurs. Anyways, I was racing for me, because I had a purpose for doing 18 fucking ironmans. I was facing one demon at the time on those races, and that is when I learned that the dark side is your friend. I always loved the dark side, and as a punk I love to face them. After all I love challenging the status quo, like I was born for that!
I always said that hell was a good place. I mean, think about it: Tons of beer, weed, rock and roll for eternity? Where do I sign up? and I think most of my friends will be there, so hell here I go!
In school I didn’t want to cheat, and I didn’t like to study either. That is why I flunk 3 times. I am not perfect, I did cheat a few times but mostly on group work, where some of my friends saved me. But in general, I did try to take responsibility for my grades. In the triathlon was the same, I didn’t want to cheat, where 70% of the athletes did cheat. I honestly rather finish last than cheat, again I had a reason why I was doing those races. Physical pain helps with emotional pain.
Now 2 triathletes have a son with muscle weakness, how ironically beautiful this is? I mean, who better than 2 triathletes, to parent a kid like Luke?
For me being a Dad is accepting a Soul that is coming, and that soul is coming for spiritual growth, meaning we are all perfectly imperfect and life is a challenging school. Therefore, the way I see it is I got the son that I need for my spiritual growth and Luke have the parents that will help his spiritual growth, same thing with my daughter that is coming soon (we are at 32 weeks today). My biggest fear in the NICU was how I was going to teach Luke about acceptance, if I haven’t accepted myself. Meaning, I dealt with depression for a reason, and now it was time to heal.
I’m no fool… yeah that is from a Foo Fighters song, title best of you. Foo fighters was the most heard band during Luke’s pregnancy in the house. The truth is Luke came with illuminating the best side of me, however that is a side that I have never really shown. In fact, that is the side that I hid for a long time for numerous reason, and the biggest factor of my depression: my spirituality. However, I am far from being religious, in fact, in that sense I am very very PUNK! And no, is not Luke from the bible, is from Luke Skywalker (Star Wars), but I think I prefer Luke SkyRocker like a friend of mine told me. Anyways, Luke lighten up that side of me like the Tatooine sun.
After Luke was transfer to Joe DiMaggio Children’s hospital at midnight, my wife stayed in the hospital with her Mom and I went home try to sleep. By coincidence my middle brother was in USA for work from Brasil, so he stayed with me. We woke up early the next day and went to Joe DiMaggio, and as I was going in to the hospital I had at least 3 deja-vus. I was still confused, but it really felt that I already knew, and in fact felt like I already knew that place even though I have never been in that hospital before.
Got in the NICU the nurse explained to me all the test and what was the plan. I was able to change Luke’s diaper for the first time, and I told Luke what was going on. I also, started to play with him like he was doing chest press since we knew it he was not moving much. That is when I stopped to look the sticker in the incubator and guess when that incubator was clean? My birthday 2 weeks ago. For me, that was no coincidence, it felt like it was written in the stars.
The social worker asked me if I wanted any spiritual practice for Luke, so I requested Reiki since I always believe in energy, and energy do not lie. For my surprise they had a Reiki master in the hospital. Meantime we were waiting for the Doctor discharge my wife in the other hospital. The hardest part of all that was to explain to my wife everything that was going on and the fact that we gonna arrive home without a Luke for now until we know more. That is extremely fucking hard.
For me, when you decide to become a parent your are actually bringing a soul to the world, and each soul have a personal challenge. Why? is life and life is challenging. Luke was no different, he has his own personal challenge like every other soul in this planet (we are all perfectly imperfect), and in my view, my job as a parent is to empower that soul to achieve their personal challenge. That being said, I told my wife: “The answer for all of this will not be in the realm, and I believe we choose our parents, therefore Luke choose us for a reason, there is no coincidence” and I also show her this video: