John Parker atop Ellie Lane Trail, Poway, CA.

I hope and pray that you’ve never been addicted to drugs or alcohol. Speaking first hand, I have. The constant craving and desire to feel SOMETHING (different) is ever present. But quitting this destructive behavior brought forth liberation of toxic thoughts and coping mechanisms.

Just like me, there are many of our brothers and sisters harboring their emotions behind senseless activities. Speaking my truth, I see that we are guilty of using social media in much the same way.

Hijacking our neurotransmitters, we express both anger and love, the important and the trivial, but above all else, we just keep scrolling…

Imagine if someone gave you four televisions to line the walls of your living room. A bit much right? (Read Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451) Look at Instagram’s discover page. Do you really need to see 100 videos of naked butts, six pack abs, a sweatshirt you don’t need, or someone eating shit on a bicycle?

I have grown apathetic… I noticed myself using this word in my mind’s conversation over the past two years. What an ugly word: why should someone so motivated to help, experience, and live the bounty of life become apathetic?

It was my relationship to social media: seeing the same posts day after day, the same promises being broken, the mundane nature of self-promotion, and the goddamned fitness porn. It was too much. I became apathetic toward the spinning wheel of something new, for something new’s sake.

I don’t know how I’ve put myself in this position, but I feel a call to demonstrate my leadership. I built myself a cage of self-promotion, putting myself on display toward an end I have no desire to be apart of. But, what was this end?

I have had dreams of owning land to walk amongst ancient oaks, admire my garden’s bounty, and kiss my woman gently as the sun sets behind the mountains. With this realization in hand, I wonder: why have I done what I have done?

Here’s my story: with hundreds of hours of creating “content,” showing off, and posting workout videos, I am none the better. Sure, I have found a creative voice in social media (my writing), but the goal was always income.

Money, yes, money. But in truth, #socialmedia is less than 3% of my total income. I service personal training clients the old fashioned way: in person, one on one. Although I’ll handle health coaching clients remotely, they are mostly the product of referrals (as testament to my good work). My clients often stay with me for years. We develop friendships, mutual satisfaction, and love our time together.

I have realized I am a part of the “rat race,” simply by my complacency. Knowing that we are complicit in our suffering, why do we venture forth? Back to the call of leadership I have assumed. Although I might suffer in the short term, I will gain the greatest gift: presence.

In 2013, fed up with social media, I deleted my facebook for 6 months. I only returned to be apart of a professional organization (after all, groups can be tough to manage without social media). During that six months, I was happy. I was happy because I no longer felt the call to “keep up.”

Why do we feel this need? Are we incomplete as humans? Fuck no. But we need to wake up.

And after all, life itself is the real thrill.

John Parker

Look at you, look at me: a collection of trillions of cells with one common goal of keeping us alive. And what do we do? The awakened human uses this energy toward the common good; protecting the earth’s resources, creating art, loving our neighbors, and living a life of meaning.

In our floundering, we argue pedantically,  absolve corruption, and molest our god-given rights. I want something different. I want something pure. I want to live in present awareness.

So here’s my plan: I won’t leave entirely, but I will delete the Facebook and Instagram apps from my phone. I will continue to write every day, but will collect my thoughts in a way of teaching, understanding, and showing compassion toward others.

I think a great idea is to assemble the highlights (and lowlights) of my life into a collage to be posted once weekly. After all, I enjoy deep friendships and camaraderie with my online community – I want them to know I’m thriving, living my dream, and still on the noble path.

So why would someone with a sizable following do such a “moronic” thing? Maybe we have our priorities wrong. Maybe I’m displaying the bravery I wish to exemplify.

Maybe, just maybe, we will be better off with more emphasis on REAL relationships. Maybe this is just apart of my journey. I realized long ago that my life’s mission wasn’t to teach others, it was to teach others by example.

I’ll be 35 years young on July 10, 2020. It’s remarkable how things change. Once a man just wanting to get rich and get laid, I found purpose in meditation. I found myself while¬† lost in the mountains. I kissed a woman and felt a shared vibration resonate within my soul.

Above all else, I asked myself, “what would it be like to live the life I’ve imagined?” (ref. Thoreau)

I can’t think of a life better lived than one of purpose, presence, and deep compassion and love. So with this said, I hold my community accountable to hold me accountable.

I love you as you have loved me. I will be thriving, just as I always have. But I will no longer be complicit in my suffering. I will demonstrate liberation through my lack of presence here. I will exemplify liberation through my powering presence HERE.

With a Loving Embrace,
John Parker 6/26/2020

P.S. For business and education, follow my podcast and IG account Vital Metabolic. My brother, James Wheeler, and I wish to curate this account toward education on the importance of holistic health and proper strength and conditioning.