I’m tripling down on my commitment

“I have decided to stick with love… Hate is too great a burden to bear.” – MLK Jr.

I’m tripling down on my commitment to love all people. America is not as hateful as our politicians, the media and social media suggest.

There is hate that exists, but for those of us who are paying close attention, we know the root of much of that hate is deep, deep pain. It’s so painfully obvious.

Wisdom from Khalil Gibran

Do not love half lovers
Do not entertain half friends
Do not indulge in works of the half talented
Do not live half a life and do not die a half death

If you choose silence, then be silent
When you speak, do so until you are finished
Do not silence yourself to say something
And do not speak to be silent
If you accept, then express it bluntly
Do not mask it
If you refuse then be clear about it
for an ambiguous refusal
is but a weak acceptance

Do not accept half a solution
Do not believe half truths
Do not dream half a dream
Do not fantasize about half hopes

Half a drink will not quench your thirst
Half a meal will not satiate your hunger
Half the way will get you no where
Half an idea will bear you no results

Your other half is not the one you love
It is you in another time yet in the same space
It is you when you are not
Half a life is a life you didn’t live,
A word you have not said
A smile you postponed
A love you have not had
A friendship you did not know
To reach and not arrive
Work and not work
Attend only to be absent

What makes you a stranger to them closest to you
and they strangers to you
The half is a mere moment of inability
but you are able for you are not half a being
You are a whole that exists
to live a life not half a life

– Khalil Gibran

The Meaning Of ‘Success’ From A Spiritual Perspective

Photo taken at Walden Pond, the place where Henry David Thoreau spent two years, two months and two days of his life writing Walden.

 

I finally understand the meaning of ‘success’ from a spiritual perspective.

Since we’re spiritual beings having a human experience, the true meaning of success is measured by how deeply and honestly we’re able to be our truest and most authentic selves.

The danger of pursuing success in the form of accomplishments, titles, relationships, popularity or material accumulation is that we’re consciously or subconsciously placing our feelings of well-being, worthiness, happiness, joy and satisfaction on the positive arrangement of our external circumstances. Guess what happens when our external circumstances change or when the carefully constructed masks many of us wear begin to slip off or chip off?

Repressed wounds surface. We behave differently. We lash out. We might hurt the people around us or we might hurt ourselves. We desperately look for other means to cover up our feelings of emptiness or lack and if we end up ‘failing,’ we’ll look for others to blame for our underlying issues.

Here’s the thing though with external dependencies. That void within us will always exist. Something will feel off. If we’re even slightly honest and in touch with our inner selves, we’ll feel guilt. We’ll feel guilt because we’re not living how we know we should be living or we’ll feel awful because we know deep down inside we’ve been living a lie, rationalized by us (or society) as something noble, good or advantageous.

The key to a meaningful existence is not about accumulating, being popular, winning or filling voids with addictive tendencies and pursuits. There’s NO depth, heart or soul in those things.

It’s about being so in touch with who you are that who you are leads you down a life of purpose.

This inside out approach might bring to you worldly ‘success’ or it might only bring you deep fulfillment. Either way, you can breathe so freely and love so deeply and exist so lightly knowing that you’re a mega success within a societal framework that runs contrary to the path of self-actualization/enlightenment.

Forever a student of life

The most challenging yet rewarding experience of my last ~1.5 years has been the unbecoming part of my human experience.

The 1.5 years before that was about breaking free, honoring self, detoxing + surrendering.

I cannot wait to re-introduce myself to the world. How that looks like, I’m still working on figuring out. By figuring out, I mean being still and listening.

When I’m in the right frame of mind, I feel the Love of this world and it’s beautiful.

I get it now. I get why I always run away from my calling.

I get why I can never seem to stay focused and disciplined for too long. I get why following different sources of light can be more exciting and appealing than paying attention to the light that is already right inside me.

This past weekend, I had to learn that it is not possible to fully serve the world if there’s a part of us that is hiding for whatever reason(s) (e.g., because we’re insecure, not ready, don’t like attention, feel uncomfortable w/ ‘self-promotion,’  etc.).

There’s real vulnerability involved in sharing an important part of us and going all in on something. When we have a project, an endeavor, a mission, a whatever that is so deeply integrated into who we are, it’s scary to put our stuff (aka ourselves) out there and not feel exposed.

I am 100% more comfortable talking about my thoughts and feelings than I am talking publicly about my passion project (Lessons for Life) sometimes, which has been really interesting for me to observe. Is it because I think my thoughts and feelings are just my thoughts and feelings (which are all temporary…) whereas Lessons for Life is a part of my Soul?

Over the weekend, I learned from Marianne Williamson that “We’re not the water, we’re the faucet.” I understand now that LFL is NOT me and that I am the faucet. The life lessons I’ve collected and will continue to collect make up the water and it’s up to me to let the water flow without interruption so that it can reach more people to help more people, if that makes any sense at all.

In the past, I ran away from my calling because I felt like I wasn’t ready, and I was right. I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t mature enough and I didn’t have the perspective, depth, accumulated life experiences or space to understand life, really.

Now that I’m older and I find myself running (or flying) away from my calling, I know I’m making what are ultimately just excuses for myself. It would be so easy for me to say that what I’m afraid of is failure, because that’s what most people say when they’re afraid. However, I know myself well enough to know that I’m not afraid of failure. I LOVE taking risks. I LOVE embracing the unknown (usually). The thrill and wonder excites me, so long as I can keep other people at a distance and not really be deeply seen.

So now,  I understand that what I’m really afraid of is Myself. If I see and sit with myself on an even deeper level, I can’t ignore myself. If I don’t ignore myself, I can’t turn my attention away from the light that is buried within me. Rather than be attracted to this internal light, I have been dancing around it and flying away to distractions and external sources of light. It’s been somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy that I’ve been calling myself a “Peter Pan” (someone who flies from one thing to another and doesn’t want to commit) because of my E/INFP personality type.

In 2018 and beyond, it’s time for me to rise to the occasion and grow up. I’m lucky that I even know what my calling is.

My key takeaway: When we run away from our calling, we run away from ourselves.

Snow

 

PS. I finally understand this quote by Marianne Williamson. Thanks Marianne.

 

 

Admiring the strangers sitting next to me at Starbucks

I’m admiring the strangers sitting next to me at Starbucks.
 
They’re having an actual conversation, about difficult life circumstances, including the effects of both childhood and adulthood trauma.
 
They’re not blaming anybody for their pain, resentment or poor choices, including their neglectful parents or abusive exes.
 
They’re reflecting, analyzing the topics as objectively as possible, knowledge-sharing and coming up with healthy solutions together.
 
There’s nothing but an exchange of kindness and support between the two friends and it’s so refreshing to hear. It’s inspiring actually, because witnessing their humanity reminds me of my own humanity, and the humanity of everyone around me.
 
One reminder/takeaway:
Healing requires full honesty. Honesty produces freedom. Freedom unleashes true joy. These steps cannot be skipped, sorry.
 
Here’s another one:
Without vulnerability and real talk, we can’t connect.
 
If we can’t connect, we feel disconnected.
 
If we feel disconnected, we feel alone.
 
But we are not alone, if we can open up a bit to the right people. They’re out there, craving the same connection too.
 
Connection is what heals. The riskiest thing we can do in life is not attempt to connect at all.
 
I’m sending the ladies a wave of love and well-wishes from where I’m sitting.

Mamba Mentality

So amazing. This is a message from Kobe Bryant to Gordon Hayward, who suffered a very, very nasty ankle injury last night during the Celtics’ NBA Season Opener vs. the Cavs. Hope this inspires some of you who need some motivation or are going through some challenging times right now. Stay resilient.

Source: Yahoo Sports

A message from Kobe to Gordon:

Be sad. Be mad. Be frustrated. Scream. Cry. Sulk. When you wake up you will think it was just a nightmare only to realize it’s all too real. You will be angry and wish for the day back, the game back THAT play back. But reality gives nothing back and nor should you. Time to move on and focus on doing everything in your power to prepare for surgery, ask all the questions to be sure you understand fully the procedure so that you may visualize it in your subconscious while being operated on and better the chance of it’s success. Then focus on the recovery process day by day by day. It’s a long journey but if you focus on the mini milestones along the way you will find beauty in the struggle of doing simple things that prior to this injury were taken for granted. This will also mean that when you return you will have a new perspective. You will be so appreciative of being able to stand, walk, run that you will train harder than you ever have. You see the belief within you grow with each mini milestone and you will come back a better player for it. Best of luck to you on this journey my brother #mambamentality always.

This is really a message for all of us. Our life circumstances is bound to get tough sometimes. Ride through it. Don’t diminish the shock or the pain or the experience. Hang in there. You will be better and stronger (sometimes in some TBD way) because of it.

#mambamentality

How Do I: Common Questions to Becoming a Better Human

How do I…

  • practice self-care
  • release anger
  • heal myself
  • forgive myself
  • forgive others
  • stop judgment
  • attain peace
  • be in alignment
  • serve others
  • better relate with others
  • inch closer to an enlightened state

The answer doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s actually quite simple: Just Love.

The question I believe many of us are asking isn’t actually “how do I do or accomplish (any of the things above)?” If we were to dig deeper, it’s actually “how do I better Love?”

Now this is where it gets interesting because everyone has ‘different’ interpretations of Love. I would argue that a large number of us aren’t even sure what Love is or what it looks like in practice. I don’t blame us. Society is clueless about love. Look at mainstream music, for instance. Love isn’t attachment, it’s not a feeling, it’s definitely not infatuation or codependency.

It’s a function of connection and knowing. It’s already deeply inside us, because we are it.

Love is the Jesus state, or the Buddha state. And that, my friends, is what it means to live… wisely.