When you’re in the business of looking and feeling good, there’s a sort of looming anxiety that occurs when you begin to disembody the very essence you propagate – when you suddenly cease to practice that which you preach.
“Who am I to suggest this to others?”
“Am I a fraud if…?”
And, to add insult to injury, you slowly begin to “lose touch” (not to be mistaken with sight, because it’s staring you right in the face) – with yourself and with this experience called Life, and with All That Is.
“If I’ve stopped doing what I do, am I who I am? Who am I?”
This is a beautiful place to be, and these are beautiful questions to be asking.
The recognition of your sudden disconnection from that which fertilizes the crop that is your soul – practice – is a sign that there is no disconnection. This recognition signifies a call for clarity, a journey home, and a return to basics.
“In order to be more of who you were, you need to do what you did.”
Daily practice was and is and will be an integral part of my life – a part of my life that, when consistently honoured and applied, allows me to fully show up. It’s the difference between a shitty day and an amazing one. It’s the difference between me locking my fucking keys in the house, and me consciously flowing through my daily tasks. The catch though is that when I’m honouring and applying these daily practices, it becomes such a natural thing that life can creep up and convince you that one or two or more days missed will not make a difference in your life. Suddenly you’ve fallen off the proverbial wagon… I had done just that.
“There was this love and light and energy that I emanated, and it spilled over into everyone and everything I came into contact with. What if I never experience that again?”
I took a good look around, a good look inward, and, a few insightful conversations later, it had become crystal clear that it had little to do with who I was with or where I was. Not to say that it was completely gone, but somewhere along the way I had let go of the practices that allowed me to experience and embody and exude the love and light and energy that spilled over into everyone and everything I came into contact with – exercise, meditation, prayer, creation, deep conversation, self-inquiry, contemplation, reflection, visualization, service, fellowship. I was still able to conduct myself in such a way that allowed me to be of service to others – those who can’t do teach – but it wasn’t the same. I wasn’t the same. I wasn’t the version of me that I aspired to be – my best version of me.
BOOM! That was it. The daily practice returned like it was going out of style, and the love and light and energy that I emanated and that spilled over into everyone and everything I came into contact with returned with a vengeance. I experienced life from the inside-out. I connected with people from the inside-out. I felt music from the inside-out. I witnessed nature from the inside out. I connected with All That Is from the the inside-out.
Simple, yet not. Profound, yet obvious. 3 words.
Back. To. Basics.
Where are you feeling out of alignment? Can you recall a time where you felt in alignment and in flow? What were YOU doing? Who were YOU being? From experience, I recognize that it’s natural to contribute feelings to circumstances, experiences, and individuals, but the truth is that those feelings could not exist if they were not already present within you, no matter how deep. Your bliss does not lie in the hands of others. Your bliss is found within – a by-product of the soul. It’s that describably-indescribable space that is the link between the Human Experience and the soul. Bliss is like a a seed – you must feed it and water it and nurture it and love it until it blossoms into a full-grown, and when it does, you must continue to feed it and water it and nurture it and love it, as you would pet, or a plant, or a child – your inner child.
What daily practices are you committed to honouring in the name of self-love and bliss? They work if you work ’em! 😉
I remember hearing that word throughout my childhood and youth. Kinda makes me cringe…
I was on the phone with my mom one afternoon when she told me how exhausted she was, and that she felt tired and overwhelmed with all that she had to do, but all she wanted was to sleep. I asked her why she didn’t put everything aside and get some rest, and then I assured her there was no harm in doing so, and helped her justify that fact, to which she replied “Isn’t it funny that I had to call my son and get his permission to take a nap.” Funny, sure, but the truth is that not just my mother, but many of us, are waiting for someone to give us permission to do what we already know we’re capable of doing.
It feels heavy, but that probably has less to do with the word and more to do with the fact that permission slips were the bane of my existence; it meant we’d be frantically scurrying till the last minute to find the dough so I could join the other kids, but my parents always came through. Not to mention, I’ve always kinda had an issue with authority; “why” was my favorite word, and I frequently deemed it necessary to practice my right to “why”, and to challenge the norm. Many school days were spent in the hallway, day dreaming as the judging eyes passed the self-proclaimed rebel with a cause. But, I digress.
It seems we’re all kinda standing around, waiting for the next motivational message to feed the fire in our belly and potentially set us free – finally. We’re waiting for the right moment. We’re waiting for assurance. We’re waiting for a push from a parent or a friend. We’re waiting a book to fall off a shelf. We’re waiting for an omen, or a sign. We’re waiting for the perfect sentence, crafted in the perfect way, from the mind of that perfect person. But, what if the person you’re waiting on to liberate you isn’t who you think it is? What if you’re the person you’re waiting for. “But why would I be waiting for me?” BINGO! My thoughts exactly.
It’s liberation you crave, not permission. You’ve been duped, and it all started the moment you were told you were to be seen and not heard. The moment you were told to raise your hand if you had a question or a potently-powerful truth you wished to express. The moment you had to ask to use the restroom. The moment you required permission to cross the road. The moment you required permission to stay home and heal. These are the moments that cultivated and nourished your perceived need for permission. Kinda fucked up, isn’t it? Agreed.
So what do we do about it!?
Your inner child is waiting for you; waiting to be set free.
Permission – the duct tape and rope that bind your inner child; a self-induced and unnecessary grounding.
Consider this your permission slip – your call to action.
The coast is clear.
The permission is yours to give yourself. Blow a goodbye kiss to the teachers, parents, authorities telling you what to do or wear or say – it’s YOUR life. Respectfully so.
That blog you’ve been waiting for someone to give you permission to create. PRESTO! Permission granted!
That book or blog post you’ve been waiting for permission to write. That trip you’ve been waiting for permission to take. That dead-end job you’ve been waiting for permission to quit. The energy-sucking friend or partner you’ve been waiting for permission to kick to the curb. That business idea you’ve been waiting for permission to put into action. That dream job you’ve been waiting for permission to apply for. That “ME” day you’ve been dying for permission to have. The truth and the message you’ve been waiting for permission to speak, and share, and express. Whatever it is, just do it, and do it with PASSION baby!
In life, more often than not, we regret the things we didn’t do more than the things we did do. From here on in, every morning when you wake up, I want you to say to yourself “I give myself permission to want what I want, feel what I feel, and do what I do, as long as it is serves me, and may allow me to serve others.” You might not mean it right away, but eventually you will begin to believe what you are saying, and you will start to embody such truths. Practice this every day for the next 21 days, and watch your world change right before your eyes.
The silver lining. When you give yourself permission, people around you love that shit, and when they’re watching you, they follow suit. That makes you a leader! The leader you were waiting on to hand you the permission slip you didn’t need. Kinda cool eh!?
The days of permission and permission slips are long gone. Last time I checked, you paid your bills, you had your own cell phone, your own home, and your own bank account. You’re a big kid now.
It’s time soul sibling. Set ‘er free! Let ‘er rip and roar and soar!
Need some help getting started!? Head over to my “Work With Me” page, connect with me via email, and we’ll setup a Skype call.
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Upon reflection I realize that I’ve been “unknowingly” applying these practices and laws for as long as I can remember. I use the term “unknowingly” very loosely, because I believe in the innate wisdom of the soul.
One of my most memorable experiences with The Law of Attraction happened a couple of years ago, but I didn’t realize what I had fulfilled until after the fact.
It was the first day of class, and we all sat around the perimeter, eyeing each other up and making judgements about who we’d likely become close with, and who might be our competition. The program coordinators had us go around the classroom and share our intentions and expectations during and following the program. Many seemed certain, and some hadn’t a clue, and finally there was me. I ambitiously and matter-of-factly stated “I’m going to finish the program and secure an internship with a fashion PR company and move to Toronto.” I had absolutely no idea what I was talking about, but it sounded cool and I believed it was possible.
As the months went on, I imagine the seed of that intention sat, untouched, until Spring – how fitting.
It was time to begin addressing our internships, as we would soon begin applying to businesses and playing an active role in determining our futures. Again, I stated that I would not be applying locally, which would mean that I would not have the help of the internship coordinator, and that I would take it upon myself to coordinate the process. I’m quite positive that everyone felt this was a bold move on my part, and I could feel the energy shift when I would explain my decision to some of my peers, but that didn’t stop me from treading on.
I stumbled upon an ad for an internship position with a start-up in Toronto, Ontario, and I applied for the position. To demonstrate my abilities, I was asked to put together a document for a potential client of the company, and, despite my anxiety around my experience, I completed it with flying colours, and I was offered the position. Because my program didn’t end until September, and I was asked to start much sooner, I had to bravely ask if it were possible that a spot be left open for me until then, and I would continue to help from home in the meantime, to which I was accommodated.
It all seemed very surreal, and I still didn’t fully comprehend the fact that in just several short months I might be on an airplane to Toronto to fulfill my dreams of thriving in the big city.
To put things into perspective for you, I was barely managing on the money I had from my student loan, and I was working part-time, so I was really fuckin’ winging it, but I was a man with a plan and I had already gotten a taste, so I wasn’t about to give up.
I recall having a deep conversation with my uncle where he reasoned with me to make sure that I was in the right frame of mind about the move. He assured me that at this point I really had nothing to lose, because I could go out there, and even if I came back, I’d be no further behind than I was when I left, and that this was probably the perfect time in my life to make such a bold decision.
As summer flew by and quickly came to an end, I began packing my things, and giving many of them away. My father had agreed to let me move in with him and stay on his couch until I was settled into the city, so it was just me, $200, my backpack, and my suitcase. I can still remember the tides of emotions that rise in and out during the week leading up to my departure. There were certainly moments where I thought it impossible for me to leave my beloved home behind, but this was something I had to do for me, and a force was pulling me East.
True to form, I rushed to the airport that evening, and hugged my best friend goodbye. You could see the sadness in his skin, and feel it in his vibration. It was almost as if the city itself was sad to see me leave, and I too, its biggest cheerleader, was sad to leave it. Two of my friends had met me at the airport to see me off, and I couldn’t have felt more loved. I boarded the plane, and I was on my way…
Baseball diamond after baseball diamond, and so many lights. We were approaching the big city, and I was still in shock. I hadn’t found anyone to pick me up from the airport, so I was convinced I would be taking a cab or some other form of public transportation. Luckily, my sister had made arrangements with my friend to come and pick me up. I hadn’t seen her in YEARS, and yet it felt like only yesterday I had seen her. I arrived at my dad’s, where the three of us shared a space – ambitious, I know. I barely settled in, chatted with them, and went to bed.
The next morning was painful. As I write, I can vividly recall the sadness and depression I was feeling. I wanted to pull the blankets over my head and sleep forever. I couldn’t help but wonder if moving there had been a huge mistake. “Nope. You didn’t come here for this. It’s time to get up and get on with the day.” So I did.
The weeks and months to come were interesting. I dove deep, face first into my spirituality, and began an internal journey that nobody would’ve imagined. I began writing more frequently and sharing the many miracles and insights of my experience with those back home. In hindsight, I realize this was just one of many heroes journeys within one vast heroes journey. I was living out “The Alchemist” (if you haven’t read it, you must).
I can recall stepping out of my comfort zone to anxiously approach a familiar face; a model whose career I had followed on YouTube for years. I quickly became friends with her and her dear friend Jules, and before I knew it we were sitting around a table having wine and talking as if we’d known each other for ages. My hip-hop dance teacher from years ago would later walk in; even more shocking because I’m not from Toronto, and for me to run into two familiar faces within an hour seems unheard of. Miraculous.
While my internship had started off questionable, but tolerable, because I was impressionable and open to learning, I had quickly realized that my values would not fit into what seemed to be a more cut-throat environment than I was comfortable being a part of. I decided it was time to plan an out, while honouring my commitment to the tasks at hand.
Through an email interaction with a woman who would offer me an internship opportunity and then later suggest that I might be more interested in interning with a friend of hers, I would find myself connecting with some of the fashion industry’s biggest players, and participating in the coordination of fashion events. Things seemed to continue unfolding in ways I couldn’t fully comprehend.
Frequently checking my inbox to see if any opportunities had come up, I received an email from one of Toronto’s top PR companies inviting me to come in for an interview. I couldn’t believe it. I threw myself into learning the ins and outs of the company and its staff. I remember sitting down in my interview, and later hearing how shocked the interviewer was that I had seen and done so much, and met so many people in that city in such a short time. I was sure I had nailed it, and what would come would seal the deal.
A friend of mine very nonchalantly invited me to an event, and suggested that I dress up. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but I was excited. We met outside a large building, where security and doormen awaited guests. As we entered the building, I realized this wasn’t just any event. We were asked for our names, and greeted with champagne. I looked across the room and saw a familiar face. It was the man who had interviewed me days ago. The PR company he worked for, and I had interviewed at, was handling the event. He was shocked to see me there. “You sure do get around don’t ya,” he said jokingly. Believe me, I was as surprised as he was. That night I would rub shoulders with many of the who’s who of the local fashion, entertainment, and media industries. I felt like a fish out of water, but you couldn’t tell by looking at me. People seemed to love the glimmer in my eyes, and the naivete and light I exuded.
Spirituality became a major part of my life as events continued to unfold, and I continued to learn more and more about myself. Never had I been surrounded by so many people and felt so alone. But, it did me good. I found inspiration in moments of solitude, and I spent much of my time in meditation, contemplation, prayer, and deep thought. An inward journey that ignited a blazing fire within me. The phoenix hath risen.
Though it came as a surprise to many, considering my success in the big city, it became more and more clear that it wasn’t a place I’d want to plant roots, though I’d certainly want to visit again and again. Two short months into the experience, I would make a bold decision that would change my life in ways I would have never imagined. I decided to return home.
Intuition and instinct have guided me much of my life, and I’ve trusted my soul to guide me most times, which to some may seem fickle, but to those who understand me, it makes perfect sense.
Had I not returned home, much of what has come to be might not be so. I’ve now made much of my life about my relationship with myself, with my soul, with God, and with people. Transformation – through inspiration, motivation, and information – has become a gift I have recognized within myself, and I’ve shared it with others. I’ve become a sort of healer and mentor and teacher – my life being the class.
It’s interesting that I sit here and write this, when just a year ago today, I was packing up to return home in honour of instinct and intuition. People would suggest that I might be making a mistake, or that I hadn’t given it enough time and thought, but they would still support me.
I was sure that I was making the right decision, and my soul was singing at the simple thought of returning home. I remember the moment I arrived and jumped off the plane; I was lit up from the inside-out; a feeling I would come to experience more and more. Call it coincidence or fate, but that very feeling of inside-out illumination has become much of my purpose in life – a lesson I had to leave home and return in order to learn. And here were are today.
Plant a seed of intention. Nourish it with consciousness and action. Watch it grow. You will reap what you sow.
This is the power of intention and The Law of Attraction.
Shackled by the very thing you believe will set you free.
But you must lean in.
You must lean and lean and lean deeper; all the way into YOU.
Do. Pause. Be.
I’ve been on a conscious, much-desired, and much-required hiatus. 30-day information cleanse. 3-month coaching program. Post-treatment communion with my mother. Familial rejuvenation and repair. Divine appointments and agreements with those desiring my personal brand of inside-out transformation. A miraculous calling to write a book that could serve to elevate us all. If you haven’t taken time to restore, replenish, and renovate this year, I encourage you to do so – it’s absolutely uncomfortable, insightful, belief shattering, liberating, and blissful – if you have the balls, or lady-balls, to hang in there long enough and commit to self-love.
I sit here and write, a changed man. A bold and necessary statement. I committed to the journey, wanting to turn back at times, and I’ve broken through and transcended many of the walls and ceilings that would have me play small. I truly understand what it means to love oneself, trust oneself, and lean into oneself.
The moment I decided to remove the crutches of motivation and personal development, and stand on my own two feet, it became clear that I already possessed all the makings of an amazing and successful human and spiritual being. There is a place for personal development, otherwise I would not be who I am or do what I do, but when it becomes more “can’t function without it” and less “dig it and do it”, you may find yourself less liberated and independent than you may think – “It’s personal development, it must be doing more good than harm.” Not always true. Moderation baby. Mod-er-ation.
Delete. Unsubscribe. Delete. Unsubscribe. Delete. Every email. Every blog. All of it, for 30-days. Didn’t need it. Thought I did. But, after 30 days, I brought some of it back, because it serves me, and I can handle it now – I respect it. It wasn’t so much about getting rid of it all. Information for me kinda became like an addiction to food. I’d consume and consume and consume, as if there would soon be no more; hardly allowing it to digest or using it for fuel. I realize telling you this could be career suicide, but I believe in service and in you, and in myself, so much that I’ve made it my business to be genuine and transparent – we’re building a relationship here.
More love. More light. More bliss. More me.
Not even 30 days in, it was as if I could do anything. Scratch that; I COULD do anything. Scratch that; I CAN do anything. I now look to those who I came to adore and follow as inspirational muses and mentors and peers who I will someday join at “the top”, or whatever we’re calling it these days. For now, I’m exactly who I need to be, I’m exactly where I need to be, and I couldn’t be happier.
What’s holding you back? What’s keeping you shackled and stuck? What stories are you still telling yourself? What’s dying to be dug up, seen, heard, expressed, and released?
Would you like some help with that? You, the people, are my purpose.
It’s time to get honest. If I can do it, believe me, you can get ‘er fucking done. As sure as you are sitting here reading this, you have the chutzpah, zest, balls, pizazz, and all that other innate goodness that’s required to be your best, boldest, and baddest self.
My morning commute to and from my bridge job is an enlightening one.
I watch as a fuster-cluck of drivers honk, curse, and hustle to promptly arrive at the jobs they despise, in the vehicles that their jobs pay for. I watch my fellow bus riders struggle, frustrated and agitated because they can’t seem to get the sensor-equipped doors open, while I shake my head and stare at the yellow sign, which clearly instructs to apply both hands to the door.
That hour that we spend alone in our cars or on the bus could possibly be the most peaceful, relaxing, and inspiring hour of our entire day – some of my best writing is done on the bus – but we choose to spend it in a frenzy, attempting to part the sea of cars with our horns and gestures, or digging into the addictive negativity that is the newspaper, or gawking over the seemingly-perfect lives of our Facebook friends, further perpetuating “the suck” that we perceive our lives to be.
That frustration and agitation that we create, as a result of the “failed” technology – also known as sensor-equipped bus doors – developed to make our lives easier, and the time and energy we waste bitching and complaining about the many shitty drives and the poor infrastructure, could be avoided by simply paying attention to the clearly-provided instructions, or accepting the fact that we’ve all got somewhere to be, and we’ll get there when we get there… but we’d much rather kick and scream our way to work.
One can’t help but think that we’ve become addicted to the negativity and non-sense, for if that weren’t the case, we’d simply slow down, or stop to smell the flowers as they say….
I sit, all up in my head, watching, wondering, thinking; making metaphors out of morning commutes – and then it hits me:
My morning commute is a metaphor for life.
The hustle and the struggle. Struggling to open doors of opportunity and abundance, when the instructions are clear as day. Hustling, honking, cursing, and stressing our way through life; convinced we’re the only ones who have places to go, things to do, and people to see. This is unconsciousness at its best – we’re awake and yet still sleeping.
In the morning, don’t just “wake up”; be AWAKENED. There’s magic in the morning commute, if you’re present enough to notice it. How you begin your day is a reflection of how you’re likely to continue the rest of your day. Use that time to inspire and be inspired. Use that time to channel your creative genius, or awaken your mind and soul. Let the flow of the morning capture your senses. Don’t just wake up; WAKE UP!
Here are 5 tips for a more peaceful and productive morning commute:
2. If you’re on the bus, do some consciously corny crap (I poke fun at the Kool-Aid, cause I drink it) like stare out the bus window and allow your thoughts and ideas to flow. Be aware of your surroundings; take in all the sights and let them fuel your imagination and your soul. Those moments served as inspiration for this post.
3. Use your smartphone, tablet, or – dare I say – a pen and paper to write down thoughts and ideas you may have been dreaming up, for example: Things I Want To Do Before I Die; Things I Am Grateful For; Places I Want To Experience In This Lifetime.
4. Realize that honking, shouting, cursing, or getting up to go bitch at the bus driver isn’t going to get you anywhere any faster – the same way your counter-productive habits and negative actions are not going to lead to a happier, more peaceful and more productive life. Seriously though. I want you to really think about the last time any of the above served you in a positive and/or productive manner… Save it for the gym or the punching bag, or channel it into a blog post – “10 Reasons I Loathe The Morning Commute”.
5. Use music to ignite your soul and take you places you’ve longed to explore. Take a audibly-delicious trip down memory lane, or keep up with the newest tunes by downloading one of your favourite albums and jamming out. People may look at you like your nuts, but we’re all technically nuts, and the morning commute culture is simple/complex proof of that.
To be grown-up, or be a grown-up or an adult; what does it mean? Think about that for a moment…
Remember when you were a kid and you used to play house or grown-up, which was ironically close to the real thing (arguments over what to name the baby, whether to get a dog or a cat, who would work and who would stay home, what would be prepared for dinner, etc), minus all of the prolonged stress. The only difference is, when you were a kid, you could just stop playing grown-up and go back to being a kid again.
If only life were like that… Guess what. I’ve learned that it sorta is.
See, being a grown-up/adult definitely has its perks, but it seems to come with a lot of unwanted BS – I wanted to say uninvited, but let’s be honest; we may not want the BS, but we totally invite that sh*t in for tea and toast. But I digress.
When you were a kid, you did much of what you wanted, and little of what you didn’t want (unless you were commanded to do so). When you were a kid, it was all about imagination, fun, creativity, connection, happiness, experience, and play. When you were a kid you created your world. A stick was a magic wand, and a jungle-gym was a spaceship that could transport you to the moon, or back in time to the prehistoric era. Snow hills were mountains, and you were ready to conquer them. You didn’t watch the clock, you came in when it got dark out. You didn’t text your friends to hang, you went and knocked on their damn door. If you weren’t into it, you let it fall to the wayside. You spoke and lived your untainted and untethered truth, and it got you into trouble sometimes. Nevertheless, the world was your oyster.
When did you stop playing? Why did you stop having fun? When did you become so unhappy?
The only difference between then and now is the reality you’ve chosen to project onto your surroundings, the lifestyle you’ve created for yourself, and the stories you’ve continued to tell yourself in order to keep you from LIVING. It’s not entirely your fault.
It’s my belief that we enter this world innocent, perfectly-imperfect, and whole. Upon our grand entrance we begin the human conditioning process, and it’s all kind of a blur from there. But, if you’re lucky enough to be one of the individuals who develops an awareness, a mindfulness, and a consciousness, somewhere along the way you begin to wake up; you’re suddenly called to “stop and smell the flowers”, and do more of the cool sh*t that fills you to the point where your cup spilleth over and you begin to inspire others. Sounds like a bunch of psycho bibble-babble, but all it means is that you stop living under the tyranny of people pleasing and of your thoughts – fear and worry and resistance – and start living in the present moment. It means you respectfully say f*ck it to what happened in the past, you stay open to what may happen in the future, but you exist in the now, and you simply BE and DO YOU. Pretty cool eh!?
What does this have to do with being a big kid!?
That child-like sense of freedom and zest for life, love, experience, happiness, and truth hasn’t left you, it’s just been in a deep slumber, waiting for you to wake it up. You’ll hear it speak to you from time to time – sometimes in whispers, other times in shouts – but you’re not always in a place to acknowledge, honour, and receive it, so it goes back to being quiet again – sleeping. It’ll show itself in those moments where you feel most alive; where you’re totally yourself; where you lose track of time and you’re in the zone. For some it may be cooking, swimming, or writing. For others it may be spending time in nature, gardening, or making music. I challenge you to be conscious of those moments and what you’re feeling and what’s happening around you. That’s your sweet spot.
So kiddo! What’ll it be!?
You ready to wake up, start living, and do more of what lights you up and less of what doesn’t? You ready to speak and live your truth, no matter how uncomfortable and scary it may seem? You ready to stop lying to yourself and move beyond the many limiting stories and beliefs your mind would have you fall for?
Start by asking yourself this question: “What do you really want?” I challenge you to spend some time with that question and then share your answers in the comments below. There’s no stupid or wrong answer; go deep and honour yourself by really showing up while you search for your truth. This is the first step outside of your comfort zone and into living the kind of life you were put on this Earth to live.