It’s Been Too Long

For too long have I allowed my insecurities and bad habits to prevent me from attaining true freedom!

For too long have I created barriers to my own manifestation of my very greatest self!

For far too long have I dwelled in alternating states of growth and decay – never quite maintaining a peaceful, purposeful life!

This needs to change.

And it can. Right this very moment.

What I NEED to do right now, and in every moment, is to channel my energy into the things that build me up, the things that serve me, the things that will ultimately lead to further growth. But wait, I already knew this over a year ago. So why has nothing really changed?

I’ve often wondered whether I’m simply meant to just dwell in this state of fear, immobility and stagnation. But then I realise that the reason why I feel so damn afraid is because I’m wasting my true potential. I’m simply not living as my best self. IF I were truely meant to just live the way I have been living, then I would feel GREAT. There would be no fear, no anxiety, no self-created suffering because I would be following my higher path, cultivating positive experiences and helping myself and others to be the very best we could be.

But I’m not doing any of those things – at least not on a regular basis.

So HOW do I consistently stay in a higher state of being? I seek an answer to this question.

I’ve found that in the past, that if I just keep expressing my raw thoughts and feelings, I eventually end up answering the question at hand on my own. I definitely feel that we each contain the answers we seek, we just need to remember them – like a person with amnesia realising who they really are.

So again, how do I live as that greater self, free from fear and anxiety?

I think that it definitely begins with reminding myself each day of my higher purpose and of the potential I have to do great things in my own life and in the lives of others. Each day when I wake, I should remind myself of why I decided to keep on going in this life, why I haven’t “opted out”. I need that higher purpose in my mind, in my being each and every day. I think that all of the times when I have slipped back into self-destructive habits, it is because I forgot this higher goal that I am reaching for and I’ve allowed myself to seek momentary pleasure to escape from the challenge of reaching that goal.

So again, remind yourself each day of why you want to be your greatest self. And that reason is:

“My potential to do great things in my own life and in the lives of others is truely infinite!”

Write this on your wall. Look at it each day. It will serve to guide you and remind you of why you are doing this.

I already know what I should be doing – this is something I have said before. But I’ve lacked the motivation or passion to follow through with it. Part of that is because I’ve found an escape and a comfort in marijuana. It really is a great, sacred, healing plant. But when you abuse it, like I have, it punishes you and allows you to fall into an abyss of loneliness and pain. It does this as a final resort to waking you up from this self created misery. And so for this, I only have respect for this plant. I cannot blame this sacred tool for the pain I have felt – I only have myself to blame. And that’s okay. I accept this.

So, in order to do the things I know I SHOULD be doing, the first step is to remove my dependency on the things that make it far too easy, the things that allow me to escape the challenge of becoming my greatest self. This includes pot, but also excessive time spent playing video games, watching mind-numbing videos and obsessively pursuing sexual pleasure. Let me be clear that none of these (except the mind-numbing videos) are necessarily “bad”, but for me they have no place in my life at this point – because I use them as a way of escaping from my responsibilities from my friends, family, work and studies and because I use them as a way to feel momentarily comfortable in order to avoid the greater challenge which I wish to overcome: leaving this state of fear and immobility and moving towards a higher state of love, creativity and growth.

After I finish expressing these thoughts, these insights, these ambitions for my life, I need to remove all of these escape mechanisms from my life – as much as I can possibly can. I have already committed to a life free from dependency on pot, this plan is in motion and I have some support for this. I will remove everything that makes it possible to play video games and rearrange my workspace to better suit my goals – to replace time wasting games with beneficial time spent learning valuable knowledge and working on myself. This means DELETING all games, software and removing components necessary for gaming, whilst still maintaining the components required for writing music (as this is a highly beneficial creative outlet). Next, I need to delete accounts or restrict my access to sources of mind-numbing videos. This one will be hard as there are some sources that provide highly beneficial visual content. So, instead I will need some visual reminder on my devices to keep me focused on the positive, beneficial content. And lastly, I need to recognise the unhealthy habit I have formed for reckless sexual gratification. This does not mean I view sexual pleasure as unhealthy – in fact it is an essential component of being a living being – what it does mean however, is reframing the way I relate to sex and recognising it for the sacred and powerful act that it is, by returning a greater level of respect for our sexual energy and changing my intentions behind sexual pleasure.

So, in essence I MUST:

  • No longer depend on external “pleasures” such as habitual use of pot for comfort and escape
  • Remove the time-wasting escape activities including video games and mindless videos
  • Reframe and change the way I view sexual pleasure
  • Recognise each and every day that I am capable of SO MUCH MORE

 

One final thing that I recognise as being incredibly important throughout this is that I keep myself accountable. I have people around me that would help keep me on track – but I do not want to overburden them with this and instead I want to focus on how I can help them as through this I will inevitably help myself. But, in order to maintain some level of accountability I have access to a network of individuals online, in communities and forums – some of which I am already actively participating in. It makes more sense to me to go to these online communities as nearly everyone there is dealing with more or less the same struggles and issues. I also have this blog, which although nobody reads it, it goes a long way to keeping myself accountable – if I check it regularly and gaze back at previous posts to see where I was in comparison to today.

I think this is enough for now. Its time to make this real – I simply am running out of opportunities to manifest the very best for my short time in this vessel on this Earth.

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You Need To Read This

 

So, this simply cannot go on. I need to get this off my mind, I feel like it is devouring my soul from the inside. I feel this darkness that is inside me, it feels as though it has most probably always been a part of me. But it is only recently that I notice its uncomfortable presence, choking me out, manifesting as pure paranoia. I can’t remember for sure, but I think I’ve had this experience before, for days and days at a time over many months. But that was during darker times, during times where I simply did not take care of myself. I guess the same could be said for my recent daily existence, but feel that I am stronger now, more aware, more in tune with my true self. And yet, this sensation of a thousand writhing muscle fibres on my face and the perception that my words are fading away into oblivion causes me so much distress. I remember to accept what is, I try to remind myself to stay present, but it doesn’t always stop those face melting sensations.

But wait, what is really going on here? What is the problem?

There is no problem. The issue, as always lies in your perception of events and of the assumed perspectives of others around you. Even if it appears to others that you are trembling in fear and confusion – what does that even matter? You shouldn’t be trying to resist what is. You should not be ashamed to involuntarily display your inner state. More importantly, you should surround yourself with people whom will not judge you and hold your best intentions at heart. The most likely reality of these nerve-busting moments are that they are in fact completely unnoticed by those around you. These signs that you believe people are interpreting as anxiety, fear, panic and paranoia as most likely not actually being perceived as such. Even though it feels ridiculously uncomfortable, the truth is that you really have nothing to be afraid of. Again, to reiterate; the most likely scenario is that your fear driven, physical manifestations are completely unknown to those around you. Even if it is noticed, it is most likely not interpreted to the same severity to which you perceive them. Even if it is noticed, it is unlikely that the other individual has made the same conclusions that you have. Even if it is noticed and the other individual believes that you are fearful, it does not matter. This is something you must meditate on. This is something that you must be mindful of. The judgements or assumptions made by others are not your concern. Regardless of whether you subjectively experience or actually manifest these fear based behaviours, others will ALWAYS judge you and draw their own conclusions based on the information that they receive. So you should not be concerned with the supposed or assumed perceptions of others, this is of no real value to you. What is of value is your own perception of yourself. And I know that this is something which you are aware of already. Yet I believe that you often fail to see how you devalue yourself through the existing negative habits you still have. You need to respect yourself. You need to take care of yourself. To nurture and value your mind, body and soul. After all, these are truly divine gifts that hold infinite potential. You need to recognise in each and every moment that you deserve to live well, you deserve to be happy and you deserve to give yourself the decency of acting with good intention, to realise the greatest version of yourself.

 

“Today you are alive and well, so get up, meditate and become the greatest version of yourself”.

 

These can no longer just be words written on my wall, you absolutely need to embrace them as a daily practice. You need to maintain awareness and mindfulness of your actions if you truly wish to break free from samsara or to at least have a positive experience in this temporary reality. If you really want to make a positive impact, you need to project the very best aspects of your being. And the best news is that it is well within your ability. Even better, through each mindful day you move closer to liberation and further away from fear. Through each mindful action, thought and word you will slowly reshape your being to radiate with love and to vibrate as such a frequency that fear is no longer within your ability. This is an ultimate goal for this life. This is a real possibility. But just please above all else, remember one thing; love yourself and all beings, do what you love and the rest will follow.

The Greatest Obstacle in Your Life is Yourself

Every experience you have is ultimately neutral by nature.

By this I mean that the way something makes you feel or the way an experience feels to you, is completely due to your own perspective, to your own subjective belief about the matter. Now obviously, this does not apply to situations where you are suffering at the hands of someone else. Be it physical or psychological pain, these circumstances are due to the imbalance in someone else life, an imbalance in the way they view you and themselves. But that discussion is a completely different topic, and it is not within the scope of what I want to say to you today. But let it be clear that the outcome of all experiences, excluding the ones where someone is exerting their will over yours, are completely up to you.

Let me put this another way.

Your own perceptions of the reality in which you currently exist determines the way your reality unfolds.

For example, if you are in a situation where you feel that there is external pressure or expectations on how you should be acting, or what you should be doing, the truth is this pressure, these expectations come from within. This is true because once you realise this, and if you are able to change your perception, you will free yourself from the anxiety of these seemingly “external” influences. Look deeper and you will see that these are not in fact external to you, they are in fact a part of you. A part of you that you choose to embrace, over a better alternative which is also within you.

It really is your choice in how you respond to a given outcome or reality that determines how you feel, and ultimately how that experience shapes your very being. Seriously, think about this and look inside you – you will see that everything that worries you, everything that you are afraid of, everything that you don’t like about reality is due to your misperceptions and your own internal unrealistic expectations.

Its a strange thing to consider how your very thoughts, your very ideas about your reality are what can shape reality itself in such a profound way. Eventually you realise that all these thoughts and ideas lead to the creation of what we call emotions, and it is through these emotions that we as humans have the ability to interact with our experiences in a way that words cannot. Yes it is true that words can evoke emotions, but it is the emotions themselves that are felt – and these are indescribable.

The bottom line here is that you should be kinder to yourself, to give your self a break, to not create these unrealistic expectations of yourself and of this current experience we call life. After all, we are only here for but a few moments, so do not waste them worrying about simple things. For these simple problems that we allow to overwhelm us are nothing compared to the ultimate reality of our existence – to learn, to love and to live right here, right now.

The Art of Slowing Down

Our current society’s paradigm compels us to do more, to work harder and to occupy every second of our day with endless tasks and hopeless activities. Well, it may not always be that bleak, but the reality is that for many (myself included) the overwhelming pressure from society strongly encourages us to always be doing something. The “ideal citizen” is considered an individual who is highly productive, one who contributes to society. This is something I have a very hard time accepting. There is nothing wrong with contributing to society in our own way, but it should be done with the right intentions. Because the very notion that a “good citizen” or a “good person” for that matter, is one who is solely productive is completely absurd! I’m not saying that the desire to achieve, or the ability to get things done is a negative trait – it is in fact something that it quite admirable. The issue is the way in which productivity is defined. In general, this is conceptualised as the one who can produce the most things or a group of workers who can do the most work, in the least amount of time. It’s all about doing as much as possible, with minimal downtime. It is driven by our big business and government interests and their desire to maintain the depressingly pointless linear growth trend. It all comes down to maximising profits, to increasing yield – more than ever, bigger than before and right now without a moment to lose!

This is completely insane. And I will tell you why.

This desire to constantly outperform, to increase production capacity and to maintain that linear growth will ultimately never satisfy us. As human beings we will never find true purpose within such a lifestyle. And that is because this lifestyle, perpetuated by capitalist ideals, has all the wrong intentions. It really is a simple case of choosing quantity over quality. And thus, the basic problem with this system is that it is grounded in the desire to attain as many “things” as possible. This is evident within a typical business model and also within the consumer based lifestyles that many of us live. Since this is the starting point for many individuals, there is inevitably going to come a time where this will no longer be enough – because the pursuit of material things, or immaterial things such as popularity and status, will always leave us wanting more – forever chasing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. This is truly a hopeless way to exist.

Instead, consider taking a different starting point. One which is fundamentally about pursuing quality, instead of quantity. This is not necessarily to be considered in business models alone, but rather as an individuals choice to seek out the experiences which provide us with more than just “stuff”. With this perspective, one will go about things in a vastly different way. Because now, instead of trying to fit in as many errands and activities as possible, ones primary focus will be about creating quality experiences through our daily habits and tasks. Now this is a much better way to approach things. On my journey I’ve realised that in order to do this, in order to live a life based on quality, one simply has to slow down.

Slowing down isn’t always about doing less and it’s definitely not about decreasing the amount of energy you put into a given task. Instead, slowing down is simply taking your time to do things properly, with full awareness of you intentions and actions. It’s about observing what we are doing each day and increasing our understanding of why we are doing the things we do. It is based on the fundamental concept of giving ourselves permission to enjoy each activity we do, to breathe and to understand how each action in our lives is part of our continual journey in this world.

By slowing down one starts to become present, to experience each and every moment for what it is. Regardless of whether it is an enjoyable task or a monotonous one, you begin to fully immerse yourself in that given activity. And the benefits are endless. The quality of your work drastically improves because you are investing your energy in a much more efficient way. Your enjoyment increases because you are no longer concerned with simply getting something done, instead you are focusing on completing that task to the very best of your ability – and once it is completed you can marvel at your achievements. Your food will taste better, books and articles will be more interesting and your ability to retain knowledge and recall information will be improved. Most importantly, your level of stress and anxiety over completing a task will gradually dissipate. This is because your mind and body will slowly adjust to this new pace and in doing so, it will become more relaxed and more present. Your thoughts and words will become more coherent as you are now no longer preoccupied with thinking and speaking for the sake of achieving a set target or purpose but instead your ideas and verbal expressions will be about expressing yourself in a way that is true to your being. You will no longer feel the pressure to rush through life, chasing unrealistic goals and expectations. Instead, you can breathe and take comfort in knowing that in every thing you do and every word you speak, you have created something unique, something which represents the best you can do and the desire to be the best version of yourself.

Changing Habits (Or how to replace negative energy with positive energy)

Positive and Negative. Light and Dark.

These are all elements of the same whole – the infinite energy that is the universal consciousness.

But that does not mean that it can not manifest in a seemingly dualistic way. On my journey, I’ve found that both the dark and the light is essential for the growth of ones soul. But in all honesty, I think most would agree that walking in the light is much more favourable than crawling blindly, on hands and knees, through the dark. So as part of my goal of becoming the greatest version of myself, I recognised the need to replace the negative energy in my life with positive energy. To stop the negative habits and replace them with positive, enriching ones. To consciously remove the harmful negative programming of the mind and in its place, cultivate a positive mindset – one that would be conducive to positive growth.

We are born into this world without any expectations or concepts and with no choice in what we are to learn as children. From the moment we hear the first sounds and see the first sights of this world, we are downloading information to our brains. We have no distinction between particular ideas. The concepts that we learn are those that others have either purposefully or unknowingly exposed us to. For the first seven years of our lives we are like sponges – soaking up all information, with no judgement or analysis of what we are actually learning. This time in our life is crucial to us becoming who we are. Therefore, during this time in our early life, there is the real potential for great things to be learnt, but there is also the capacity to learn destructive habits and negative thought patterns – which ultimately affects the way we interact with the world.

After our first decade on this planet, we begin to formulate our “own” ideas. I use parenthesis around the word “own”, because despite the fact that we are individual beings who can create our own opinions of the world, it seems that often our attitudes towards life are simply complexly intertwined concepts, copied from others whom we know. After all, we are the product of every individual we have ever met and every experience we have ever had. And often the individuals in our early life are stuck in negative states – and so we adopt this energy into our own lives. As we begin to progress further in life, and as our experiences shape our perspective of the world, for many of us, we are still subject to the initial programming we learnt in our first seven years. It seems that these learnt behaviors form the fundamental basis for all other understanding – and so depending on what one was exposed to early on in life, one may find that destructive habits and thought patterns underline our ideas about life.

But not all is lost, as the current understanding of habits and thought patterns is slowly shifting throughout our society. Through concepts such as neuroplasticity and mindfulness, we are beginning to understand that thought patterns and habits can be changed. So despite the years (often decades) of harmful programming that many of us have acquired, there is real hope that we can destroy the negative ideologies that imprison us within our own minds. On my journey I’ve recognised that the simplest way to approach this is by replacing negative energy with positive energy. This is the essential pattern that I have followed which has lead to a renewed perspective of my life and the opening of my mind which has lead to innumerable possibilities. First I had to recognise which areas of my life were not conducive to becoming the greatest version of myself. Through some quiet reflection and meditation, it became obvious to me which parts of my life were no longer serving me well. With this realisation I set about removing these negative parts of my being and replacing them with positive pursuits – habits and activities which would support my growing soul, which would allow me to tap into my real potential.

This is not always an easy process, and it still continues to be a challenge for me. Often the negative habits in our lives are the ones that we have formed such strong bonds with. I began to see how dependent I had become on external activities and how that dependency had caused me to lose sight of the truly important things in life. I had created these habits which relied on superficial means to satisfy myself, instead of turning inwards and seeing that everything I needed was already within. This revelation lead to me to recognise that for too long, I had concerned myself with what others where doing, what others were thinking and how I would appear to them. This condition of seeking approval was completely destructive, and it formed the basis for all of the other harmful habits in my life. After seeing the reality of my situation, I was able to set myself free – to recognise that I had to pursue the things that were important to me, to do what I loved and to let the rest follow. Rather than looking outwards at others for the answers – I realised I would never be able to please everyone, nor should I want to – I began to look inside myself for direction. This complete reversal in my perspective changed the way I made decisions. Now when I approach something, I ask myself if it is really going to help me to achieve my life’s purpose: the growth and enlightenment of my own soul, as well as the enlightenment of every soul whom I meet on my journey. If the answer is a resounding “YES”, then I know that it is the right way for me to go, if my intuition tells me that I am looking to please others or to satisfy some external expectation, then it becomes clear that my true intentions are not in line with the core of my being.

Some days this approach can be difficult to maintain, especially during periods of stress or in situations where I feel vulnerable – where I am unsure as to the real intentions of myself and others around me. This can be extremely confusing at times, as I can sometimes feel that in my panic I revert to my old programming. When I turn back to this “default” way of being, my focus shifts towards maintaining an “appropriate” outward appearance, rather than staying strong to my beliefs and resisting the compulsive urge to conform to those around me. So as I continue on this path, I have to constantly remind myself that rather than trying to impress others, I should express myself. Because in this way, I shift my focus inwards and the resulting decision and actions tend to me more in line with my own beliefs and desires. It helps to stop during moments in our lives where we feel overwhelmed with our current situation, and to ask whether we are doing what we are doing because we genuinely want to, or whether we are living in a certain way because we think that that is what others want us to do. By doing this, one can also begin to see which areas of life are shrouded in negative energy, in practices and habits that do not serve us. With this realisation, we can begin to reprogram our minds, to pursue a positive way of being which will ultimately allow us to become our true selves.

Walking The Path

I am a Humble Learner. Or at least, I try to be one.

Each day on my journey is a new opportunity to learn, grow and develop my being. Early on in my journey I came across Shunryu Suzuki’s Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind. This book was instrumental in leading me back to my path, to realigning my energy with my true self, or at the very least – it opened my mind in a way that I knew would change the course of my life forever. Through his simple zen teachings, I began to see how maintaining the mentality of a beginner is essential to learning and understanding not only myself, but this strangely beautiful thing we call reality. I am in no way aligned to a specific religion, but I have found sincere meaning in many zen texts, the simple teachings have proved an effective way to approaching life. During my teenage years I was convinced that I understood life, that somehow I had a thorough understanding of the universe and a belief system that would serve me well in the “real world”. But, as I was to find out, I actually knew very little at all. With my inflated ego and false confidence, little did I know how poorly equipped I was for navigating the path that I was to follow. Looking back on the past few years, I now understand why the second decade of the typical modern-day human life is often considered a period of finding ones self. That is not to say that I have found myself or that I even fully understand what the self is. But I have, without a doubt, recognised that I am here, that we are all here, to learn and grow – to understand ourselves and the universe through direct experience of each moment, and all the happiness or suffering that it brings.

Happiness and suffering. Seemingly polar opposites, but as I am slowly beginning to understand, they are both crucial to our growth as conscious beings. Suffering is a condition of the soul, when we have either strayed from our true path, made decisions that go against the core of our being, or as a cosmic test created by the universe in order to help us grow. There is much more that could be said about the notion of suffering. And there is of course physical suffering, but that is not something I wish to delve into right now. Instead, consider what happiness is. Happiness is simply the absence of suffering. Happiness is what we experience when we are fully embodied in our true self, when we are walking the right path. Through both the pains and struggles of suffering and the joys of true happiness, there is always a lesson to be learnt. And that is why I am writing these words, for the internet and for myself today – in the hope that I can use the freedom of writing to help myself and others grow towards the light and away from the eternal cycle of suffering, to be free from samsara.

I have come to learn the value in writing things down. Too often we rush through life, without taking a single moment to pause, reflect and observe the mind. Yet with writing, one can focus their attention on raw, instantaneous expression – allowing the thoughts and ideas of the mind to be expressed in written form, to be captured indefinitely. So, it is for this reason that I will be writing as often as I can. This is a sort of experiment for me. It will be interesting to see where this goes and to be able to look back and see where my journey has taken me. Through meditation and mindfulness, psychedelics and consciousness expansion, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, floating, reading and writing I continue to explore new aspects of my own being, and the consciousness that is the infinite expression of all that ever is and ever will be. A lone wanderer in a magical, beautiful and terrifying world –  I continue to walk the path.