June 30, 2011 § Leave a comment
When you are standing at the precipice of your awakening it feels a lot like standing on the edge of something mysterious, exciting, and TERRIFYING. You are looking straight into the unknown, a lot like facing death, I imagine. I suppose the death of your old self is as real as anything. I know that as I began my journey into the depths of my true self I encountered fear, trepidation, and the sudden need to run back to my old habits. Once the first steps were taken it was too late to turn around, I had already experienced the truth. And, although the journey was/is trying, it has all been worth it. Today I am grateful for those first steps – as frightening as they were – they have brought me here to new heights where opportunity, wonder, and synchronicity rule my day instead of anxiety and fear.
If you find yourself standing at the edge, rest on the faith that the unknown is more amazing than anything you’ve ever experienced. Once you dive in the rest is history. Unfamiliar surroundings will leave you reaching for old habits. You’ll want to crawl back to the water’s edge, where prison walls keep you cozy. Out here in the expanse you won’t trust yourself to survive. You’ll feel the need to reach for your anxieties, your lists, and your step-by-step guides. You’ll yearn for a blanket of fear to paralyze you, to keep you from diving any deeper. Out here you are naked. Grasping. Gasping. There is nothing to hold on to.
let go and know that it is possible for old habits to disappear, let the darkness swallow them up so that by daybreak you will be new.
Be vulnerable. Be malleable. Be available. Be renewed. Like clay on a potter’s wheel, let your new form take shape.
“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” – Lao Tzu
June 27, 2011 § 3 Comments
Do you have visions of hope only to be discouraged by a nagging sense that the world is too messed up for fixing? Well, there is hope if we can quiet that nagging voice of negativity. When we keep our minds clear and focus more on all that is beautiful the world becomes a harmoniously hopeful place. But aren’t there terrible atrocities happening everyday? Wars? Crimes? Acts of Violence? Yes, but what has thinking about those things ever done to end them? Try this experiment, close your eyes and think about your favorite world problem. Really pay attention to how it makes you feel. What happens to your body? Is it relaxed? Tense? Does thinking about it make you feel safe? or scared? When you think about these kinds of global issues, do you feel empowered to do something? or do you feel hopeless? Most of us feel hopeless because these problems cannot be solved by any one of us, and worrying about it does nothing more than stress us out. A world full of stressed-out hopeless people is not an approach to a solution, it only exasperates the problem.
SO WHAT IS THE SOLUTION?
Keep it clean! (Your mind that is.)
Stop letting all that negativity in and positivity will fill the void. How do you stop bringing in the garbage? KILL YOUR TV! Especially quit the news. With all that information and misinformation streaming constantly into your home and mind negative thought patterns are bound to take hold. Think about this for a minute, if an alien visited our planet and watched five minutes of American news he would think that the whole world is at war, on fire, being sucked up in a tornado, impoverished, hungry, sick, sad, …and publicly displaying their wieners (sorry, I had to!). If this extraterrestrial visitor is any kind of intelligent he would get back in his ship and fly to the other end of the Milky Way. You and I don’t have the option of interstellar travel but we do have the choice to pull the plug on mass media. Mass media is unnecessarily fueling fear and creating a sense of hopelessness where it doesn’t need to be. If it’s not the news you’re watching, you’re still being fed a false sense of scarcity, insecurity, and wanting.
Without these messages from mass media you can start focusing on your own beautiful reality. Imagine for a minute that same alien had the experience of living your life for a day without the influence of the media. Let’s imagine the alien wakes up in your cushy, warm, safe bed to the smell of coffee magically brewing itself. He opens the window and lets the fresh air and music of the morning in. Next he takes a luxurious bath with water that flows miraculously at a personalized temperature. Surely this alien would think he died and went to heaven. But think about it this is your reality! Sure, occasionally the hot water is broken but that’s minor compared to the gifts you receive each and every day. So kill your tv, cut off ties with mass media, and start seeing life for what it truly is – an endless stream of miracles.
June 24, 2011 § Leave a comment
Despair can ravage you
if you turn your head around to look down the path
that’s led you here,
cause what can you change?
– This is Not an Exit, Saves the Day
Three days in a row I sat down to write and share my history with you but I hit a brick wall. Writer’s block came in to protect me from old habits but I just kept thinking there is an important history here that needs to be shared. People need to hear how I struggled with anxiety and depression. People want to know how I finally kicked the Effexor habit and how my mind was healed one breath at a time. They need to hear that even though my mind was being healed I still had episodes of panic attacks and that the cure didn’t come overnight.
Those things are all true and would probably be helpful to some people but as I started to recall those stories I started to feel down. I started beating that old me up with my thoughts. Man, did I really waste all that time being anxious about nothing? Was I really that sad of a person? How could anyone have loved me then? As I recalled more of the details I even started to get anxious that those symptoms could return, and maybe they could but I don’t need to spend today worrying about that. I don’t need to beat my old self up and I don’t need to worry that she could return. Today, what matters is that I am happy, healthy, and anxiety free.
Maybe you suffered from anxiety or depression yesterday, but that doesn’t mean you have to today. You don’t have to identify as a sufferer of depression, you can choose to identify as a conqueror of depression/anxiety/etc. You conquer these things by taking one conscious step forward and never looking back.
What does a conscious step forward look like?
It is a single moment of peace. You might take a minute to breath deeply, focusing on the sound of your breath and not the constant stream of thought. One breath is a step forward. One breath is all it takes to start rewiring your brain. When the voices in your head start up again, stop what you are doing, close your eyes, and take a couple of deep breaths. Tell yourself “one deep breath is a step forward”. In this way you are training your brain to see positive growth even though your brain typically wants to believe that one breath isn’t enough.
Fill your mind with beauty, or insane cuteness. Do you know why all those puppy and kitty pictures are so popular? It’s hard to look at a baby kitten curled up in the arms of a Great Dane and not feel the corners of your mouth turn up. Hard day at work? Open up one of those old emails from Aunt Tina and let your frown melt, maybe even work up a smile. Puppies aren’t your thing? Maybe a flower, or a mountain, a river, or a sunset. Find out what makes the corners of your mouth turn up and keep an arsenal of frown stoppers around. It only takes a single moment of bliss to get you out of your funk. One moment at a time. Don’t get caught up in thinking about how this isn’t working or how bad things seem just let one bit of beauty into your mind at a time. Not convinced? Click This and feel your heart melt. Right?
Enjoy one breath, one moment, one ray of light and the whole world stops spinning just for you.
June 18, 2011 § Leave a comment
Are you aware of the fact that you are part of a great flourishing of consciousness right now? Are you, like me, watching in amazement? Do you feel the pull to something greater?
A few years ago if you had told me that all of human consciousness was evolving I might have argued otherwise. The economy was tanking, war was being waged out “there” and in my own neighborhood, people all around me were down and out and I felt I was soon going to be one of them. Then one day I was walking to my Koreatown apartment from the bus stop and something was different. Where I had seen garbage, gang graffiti, passed out homeless guys, and extreme poverty, I was now seeing beauty and interconnectedness — no, “seeing” isn’t even the right way to describe it, I FELT it, felt it in every molecule of my being.
I had been walking as, I always did, with my head down and forward in determination to get home to my sanctuary. A blooming tree caught my attention, I smiled at it and slowed my step. I had been reading Eckhart Tolle and thought this would be a good opportunity to to practice being present, a deep breath ought to do it. Suddenly with one deep inhalation the whole world slowed, the sun at my back turned to pure love, the breeze across my skin now penetrated my very being, and at that moment the universe and I were one. The weight I had walked with was lifted. No one was homeless because we all were. No one was rich because we all were. There was no separateness between a clean wall and a tagged wall. No separateness between the children and the elderly. I walked slowly and saw everything as one.
The moment itself passed but it became a part of my new consciousness, as if my brain was rewired to see differently. It was a moment of profound peace that changed me. It became a part of me but there was still a LOT of rewiring that needed/needs to be done. In that moment the seed was planted, but the soil still needed to be softened. This softening has not always been easy, having your thoughts and beliefs challenged and flipped on their heads can be a painful, but worthwhile, process. Now I am in the process of nourishing a delicate seed so that it may flourish.
This is a blog about that flourishing. My hope is that by sharing my own journey other people will be empowered to share theirs and we will begin to see that the entire collective is flourishing.
If you are like me a few years ago you might have an argument to the contrary. I understand, but I urge you to lift your head on your next walk and let a blooming tree greet you. It might change your life.