Love Yourself.

Love yourself because you love.

Love yourself for everything that you have been given in this life, even if there are times when you wish things were different. Those are the moments your love is tested. In those moments, you have to be so loving, to push past the obstacle that stands between you and your own happiness.

But the thing is, that it’s a completely mental hurdle. This game that is being played, you loving and hating these different parts of yourself, is just a dissonance of your mind. You are lost. So you must find yourself again.

There is no simple solution to this problem. You will have to fight, and struggle, and be pushed to what seems like your breaking point. But then you will have to find the energy to not only survive, but thrive in your situation.

You have it inside yourself. The moment you questioned if you did or not, was the moment you certainly did have it already. But it’s unfamiliar now. Something has changed, and this feeling that is called “love” doesn’t feel as loving anymore.

It’s confusing. You look at yourself at certain times in the mirror and the biggest smile comes to your face when you look into your own eyes. Then, at a later time, there is only an emptiness that you see. That lively, bubbly glimmer your eyes had are no longer there.

Does that mean there is a chance that glimmer will be back? Absolutely. Because you have seen it in yourself once before, you will find it again, in time.

Life is more of a journey every time I look at it with a new perspective. Finding the will the love yourself is one grand task, but then what? We think of life in these cycles or phases; that when one passes, another one comes back. It cycles through, like the seasons. So in the same way, when the sun comes out again, everything will be bright, and smiling, and happy again? Yes and no.

Recently, I heard the analogy that life is more like a spiral, then a circle, and that perfectly describes how we have to adapt to life as it continues to move forward. We increase the amount of experiences we have in the world. Maybe they have become more intense, or more demanding, but we learn more all the time, and this adds to the knowledge we already have.

As we age, we have seen more, heard more, read more, ate more, lived more and loved more. We can only gain wisdom through experiencing events first hand, and figuring out how we uniquely deal with the situation.

The way we approach hardship and adversity in our lives reflects the actions we have taken in past experiences. So if we keep feeling some type of way, there is something you haven’t learned yet. There is some decision you have made in the past, that you keep making when the time comes around, and it isn’t productively helping you or the situation. You feel stuck, trapped.

I’m telling you that you have the ability and control to not let it affect you. You have this loving heart that the world deserves to see. You have the opportunity to approach the world in whatever way you would like to. You can put yourself in and take yourself out of any situation you want to. You have control over every aspect of your life, so don’t let a nervous voice in your head determine the way you see yourself.

See yourself for what you are. You are another beautiful soul, existing in a body that was given to you, living in a time when we have a freedom unlike our ancestors before us. If we aren’t living the lives we are supposed to live for ourselves, we are not fulfilling the most of what this life has to offer.

Loving yourself, in this moment is the first step to knowing what you want, where you want your life to go, what you’re passionate about, how to love others, how to stand up to adversity, how to be strong and balanced. Only you know how you want to be loved, so be the one that loves yourself that way. The world will follow in your footsteps.

December 7th, 2015

Today I learned, what I will put concisely as,

“thinking is giving energy to, when there’s a connection.”

It has been some time since I read the Celestine Prophecy, but some of its insights still stick with me. The biggest one being when you’re in a deep, good conversation with someone, the person who is listening is giving energy to the one who is speaking.

To me, this explains why we enjoy having such good conversations. We are constantly receiving energy from someone who connects with us on a deep level, who knows what it is that we truly stand for, who loves us in every sense of the term.

This is such a pure and positive energy that it lights us up in the best way that it knows how: by making us smiling, sometimes uncontrollably. When we become fueled up by this, we are able to process and understand things on a level you previously couldn’t even imagine. And this works in our favor to help us foster good relationships with our loved ones, as well as be presented to others in an attractive way.

You know those people who walk around smiling at everyone, laughing to themselves, possibly skipping or dancing? I’m one of those people. I take care of myself in a way that allows this loving energy to consistently roll in and out of me. I find flow in every moment possible, connecting to the environment around me, staying in the present moment of now and losing myself in thoughts or feelings or sensations.

This allows me to coexist with in this vibe at my pleasure, and in turn I can’t help but walk around being randomly happy, simply at life. There is almost no choice once you know about it and understand it. It is overwhelming. It is unforgotten. It is incomprehendable.

Therefore, our thoughts have little power to deeply understand it. That’s why I am resorting to calling it “it”, because “it” does not have words that can describe it. It can only be felt, by the heart, not the mind. It is beyond a feeling though. Feelings are simply the way we have been given to interact with it.

Feelings come sweeping in like a breeze. One second there’s a slight breeze from one direction, the next moment there’s a strong gust from another direction. These breezes and gusts of feelings are the way that this energy interacts with us. For some people, it can be difficult to understand and hard to express these feelings. For others, they are overloaded with feelings at any given moment and they easily show it. These people are called sensitive.

I am a sensitive person. When I am interacting with people or situations, I am constantly feeling out my environment.  Patiently experiencing the world around me, to get an accurate read of what I’m being surrounded by. I have this desire to understand the circumstances that I have been placed in, and I have this will that won’t let me back away from knowing and understanding as much as I can.

So this combination of traits helped me muster together the wild thought that I learned today:

“Thinking is giving energy to, when there’s a connection.”

Simply, this was realized because thoughts are manifestations of energy in our minds through unknown processes in our brains. When this work is put towards a thing that you’re connected to, it feeds a hearty interaction. Both sides are gaining, but typically completely unaware of this. This is why when you spend time thinking about visiting a certain place, it holds an amount of reverence to you. Then this train of thought is applied to areas all across life.

There happened to be many more connections that I made throughout my day, but this is the one that stuck with me. This is what I learned today.

Be Reckless.

I dare you to go out and do something you’ve never done before. Do something no one has done before.

There is a reason we are young, naive, and reckless. It’s because we don’t know much about the world yet. And there is only one way to learn.

Go out and experience it! Experience is the best teacher there is. Once you know how shitty something can turn out, I bet you’ll be more prepared next time. Thanks to your shitty experience the first time you didn’t know.

So while you are still young, go do something that’ll turn into a good story. Go do something crazy. Be wild, and young, and stupid while you still can be.

There are all those sayings about what people regret on their deathbeds, and I would gamble that they didn’t take the risks that they wanted to. Travel, love, eat, live. Don’t regret not doing something.

There is this little voice inside our heads that tells us we should get a good job and be comfortable in life; that we need to stay comfortable. But leaving our comfort zone is where we learn.

The comfort zone is this illusion in our head of our past being extended into our future. All the people we love are there, we might hate our job but it pays the bills, we hate the town we are in but we know it like the back of our hand. And that’s the thing about the comfort zone; we know it, and we don’t want to leave it. And we want to know where we are and what we are doing.

I mean, who really wants to be uncomfortable, like really uncomfortable. Like standing out in a snow storm in your underwear, uncomfortable. No one wants that level of discomfort, but thats the moment we learn. Maybe to go back inside because it’s fucking cold, but we learn something.

So I dare you to be uncomfortable, and to make it your new comfort zone.

This is how we grow into those wise, old and grays that little kids look up to. When we are still niave, we need to go gain a newfound knowledge that we can then share in stories.

Reckless acts make the best stories.

If we don’t go out and be reckless now, we are gonna end up with a couple kids and a white picket fence and no awesome stories to tell them. Now what kind of parent would you be if you didn’t have awesome stories to tell your kids. Think about the kids!

When we do reckless things that make our hearts skip a beat, we remember what it’s like to live, to be alive. In a world controlled by our technologies, we need to go out and climb that cliff because watching someone do it in a video just isn’t the same.

You need to have the thrill of looking down and thinking you are going to fall. You have to find the way yourself, or with the help of your friends. But when you get to the top, savor that view. Breath slowly, because you earned it. You did it, when that little voice in your head didn’t want you to leave your comfort zone. You shut that voice up and decided to live, like we are meant to.

When we have these moments that we confront where our comfort level ends, we get a better grasp of who we are, who we are meant to be. Everyone draws the line somewhere, but we all need to cross it at some point in our lives.

I’m in the middle of a reckless decision right now. Three weeks ago I got on a plane and flew to Peru. Now I’m sitting in some internet cafe in Calca in the Sacred Valley, and I have no idea where I’m going next. I ended up here, and I’ll end up in the next spot that I’m supposed to. This whole trip is reckless! And I’m loving it (except for being sick in bed for 2 days, fuck that).

A reckless act doesn’t need to be as drastic as leaving the country though, that just happened to be how reckless I felt like being. Go explore a new city, or start driving without knowing the destination, or try every flavor ice cream at your favorite ice cream shop. Being reckless doesn’t necessarily need to be some stunt Evel Knievel would try, it just needs to be reckless for you, outside your comfort zone.

And bring a friend along to make a memory with them. Have a story that you will be able to look back on and think, Remember when we did that?! That was nuts! Friends somehow make doing crazy things easier. Maybe it’s a peer pressure thing, but they actually are a support system that is full of encouragement and only wants you to succeed. Friends are cool.

So if you take anything from this article, I want it to be this. Push yourself to a level you didn’t know you could reach. Because when you do, you learn more about yourself than anyone else will ever be able to teach you.

P.S. For those of my friends wondering how my trip is going, it’s awesome! If you know me, you know I didn’t learn Spanish before I left. I’m quietly regretting that now. But being here is amazing. I’ve been in the Sacred Valley for about a week and a half now and it is so beautiful. The other day I thought of the perfect word to describe it: silencing. I’ve seen a few ruins so far (Ollantaytambo, Pisac, Salinas de Maras) and I plan to see more while I work my way up to Machu Picchu. I can recieve texts still, although I have a limited number of replies I can send, so feel free to text me if you feel so inclined! I am taking pictures, more than I thought I would be taking, but I probably won’t post those until I’m home. You’ll see them eventually though!

The Individual’s Path to Enlightenment

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Over the past while, I have been thinking, considering what it takes to become enlightened, spiritual awakened. Not necessarily the enlightenment that Jesus or Buddha or any other prophet achieved, but enough to see that this world is not the way it should be, that there is a truth that needs to be searched for.

On this path, one comes to mass realizations about the way our society and world is run. Money is power. You need a degree to get money. Energy is something that we use to run the utilities we need to make our lives run.

People actually believe this stuff, just because someone that is raised on a pedestal has told them. It sickens me.

People need to think for themselves, listen to their hearts, learn to truly love. So much is misunderstood about life. Everyone acknowledges this, yet not many people are doing the real questioning (but there are more and more all the time, and reading this probably means you are asking the right questions).

On our own paths to truth and love, we all come across many difficulties. Discrimination, fear of judgement, anxiety. I believe that in our time, it is hardest for men to overcome these difficulties, and straight, heterosexual men at that.

The classic “man” is depicted as strong, fit, resilient, powerful. Yet, he doesn’t think for himself. He thinks his car defines his status, or his job gives him worth, or how much alcohol he drinks is prestigious.  It’s sad that these physically strong men are so mentally weak.

Naturally, women are the closest to knowing the love the universe holds. They bear children, having life being created inside of them to be the gateway to our world. A mother’s nature is love. And that love is so far extended to understand the truth that love is not simply a romantic feeling, or something that can only exist between a mother and a child. An enlightening comes at birth when the women then understands that she played a part in creating, holding, and caring for the newest being of love in that moment.

While women have the easiest access to this truth, in a sense, they can overlook it and abuse the knowledge the universe has shown to them. There are bad mothers out there, but the point is that they have witnessed it and are closer to realizing the full truth behind it.

Homosexual men come to another realization about how the world runs on love. When a middle school boy is questioning that he keeps thinking about guys when all his friends are thinking about girls, he is confronted with confusion. After time of coming to a realization about his own life, he realizes a different perspective on the same truth that mothers learn.

People are people for who they are, and they are beautiful in their own ways. Finding that beauty is a skill that needs to be learned. Love is the path to seeing this beauty.

Gay is a term now associated with homosexuality, and I find this funny. The definition of gay beyond homosexuality is having or being in a merry, lively mood (from dictionary.com). Gay people are happy, vibrant, and in touch with themselves because they understand that their own beauty was realized when they understood that they liked members of the same sex.

This was misunderstood over time, and gay became homosexual, but before that, gays knew a truth in life about how to love others. So they were always lively to be around, being comfortable with themselves and whoever the people around them are.

Bringing the conversation back to the classic idea of a man, he learns to accept whatever is deemed acceptable. And when being gay was deemed unacceptable, the band wagon was created and discrimination started.

Now these are all stereotypes of people, but we need to look past that to see how to grow. The reality of the situation is that people have become so sectioned off, creating cliques that judgement is one of our biggest difficulties we face. Mothers dress there kids up as if they were dolls, gays become exclusive to feel included, men brag about their newest gadget to show off.

We all have to realize that no one is perfect. We all fit into a stereotype in one way or another, and absolutely nothing is wrong with that. Because we are all unique for our combination of stereotypes that we are.

When we have a new perspective on love, we realize how to see ourselves and others with appreciative eyes. Everyone has a uniqueness and a specialty that makes them beautiful. When we start to look past all of those and judge people on material basis, we have to bring ourselves back to the lessons we have learned. That is the truest way to learn something.

We will fail in life. We judge others when we preach about not judging, we discriminate when we want to be included. We have to be responsible for ourselves, to reminder us of the truth we have realized. When we fail, we can’t put ourselves down. See those moments as times to re-teach yourself these lessons.

You are becoming smarter, wiser, and enlightened every day. Have faith in yourself that you are proceeding down the path that will bring you happiness. Remind yourself of the truths when no one else will. And remember to always keep that smile on your face.

Perceiving the Beauty in Every Decision.

Decisions have come to be one of the most complicated things to deal with.

When you look at a situation and see what your options are, you have a choice. Sometimes, you know what is the best option is, but that isn’t always the case.

When you struggle to make a decision, you can feel lost at times.

I decided to start writing this article, then after 3 lines felt lost about what to write. Shut my computer and went off in a day dream for a second.

And now I’m back, and I know what I really decided to write about.

These times when you have a really tough decision to make, you have to take a couple steps back and look at the situation you are in. When it comes to following your dreams, you have to make hard decisions. Some for the good, some not so much. Your decisions can hurt people that you love, they can eat you up inside, and if you don’t take that step back, you could find yourself in a hole somewhere.

This comes back to this idea of changing your perspective that I’m always talking about. When you perceive your own situation in a new way, you see more possibilities, more options and outcomes.

I like to think of it like this. If someone else were trying to make this decision, what advice would I be giving to them? We usually look to others for some advice during tough decisions, but we have all the knowledge we need to give ourselves the best advice.

You must follow your dreams, and do whatever it takes to be happy.

I need to take my own advice. I’ve been telling it to many people, yet I struggle with it myself. How can I be the example to follow if I don’t lead the path?

We are all meant to teach the world something. Absolutely. You have a very unique perspective on the world, and it will be used to help someone in some way, as long as you learn to recognize the omens (to quote The Alchemist).

We first need to love ourselves. See ourselves from the eyes of someone who deeply loves us. Everything that is both perfect and imperfect about us is what makes us so beautiful. When we learn that we are amazing for being ourselves, then we must share ourselves in the way that is most suited.

My form of expression is writing. This is how I share my knowledge, perspective, thoughts with the world. And that makes sense because these are my words, but I believe any form of art is the best way of expressing yourself.

Whether it is a literal form of art like painting or music, or something you consider to be an art. This could be playing a sport or writing code.

There is beauty in everything, and where there is beauty, there is art.

Share your art with the world. We deserve to see your style of beauty.

The Nature of My Anxiety

Everyone is always asking for the same thing from life.

We go through the motions of school, work, careers to make money to one day be able to change our lives. We have the picture in our minds of what we want to create, yet no one around me is doing it.

I’ve seen and read how you should get up and go. Leave that behind and live the way you are supposed to. But I’m conflicted, and not because I don’t know how to start.

I’m conflicted by love.

There are so many people around me that I love and care for. Randomly getting calls for advice on how to act in a compromising situation, reading over the same thing again that was just worded differently because you need someone to read it, being that last strain of support you have on this side of the world.

I care about so many people, as our human nature compels us to. We are beings of community, derived on love and thriving on happiness. Yet, when I look around I fail to see that.

I see people failing to be there, I hear petty drama about people who fail to think for themselves. I recognize that I do the same, because it’s what is asked from our circumstances.

I try to talk to people about it, but they are in on it too. It appears to me that we have been conditioned to assimilate to letting life not be lived to the fullest. Which blows my mind.

Some of the people that I am closest to, that are able to think critically for themselves, even they will tell me the same thing.

You should finish school to be able to get a job. You need a way of getting money to support yourself. You have to think about the future that you want to have.

This idea of the future will not happen if we keep conforming to what other people are saying. Yet I’m still doing exactly what they want.

What does it take to be happy. How is life supposed to be lived.

Life has taught me a few things so far. First, something that makes you smile is something you should continue to do. Second, when you live for someone else’s dream, you will fail to live your own. Third, do whatever it takes to be happy.

So far it seems like I’m failing to follow my own lessons. But I’m not writing this as a diary entry about a rut in my life. Almost the opposite.

I’m questioning why it is that so many people have been tricked into the system and don’t know how to get out of it. And why that I can recognize this and not do anything about it, for myself or anyone around me.

I had a very profound shower thought today, and stay with me because it is kind of out of this world.

I realized that my higher consciousness looks down on my life, living through my eyes one moment at a time. This consciousness is what really knows all these secrets of how to live life, and it merely notices the decisions I decide to make. Now a conscious decision would be the one that my consciousness is present when I actually decide. Therefore, we have unconscious decisions that our body is making without our consciousness.

So I look at my life and question why I wouldn’t be making conscious decisions all the time if I had the ability to. But it is hard to be that present all the time, so we like to take breaks. We sleep to dream, we watch a movie to observe someone else’s life, we get lost in the rhythm of the music to forget about our worries. These moments are necessary to balance out our life, between the conscious and unconscious.

Our higher consciousness, the wise voice in the back of your head that comes around occasionally, would laugh at some of the decisions we make, if it has a sense of humor.

Think about the reasoning of why we do anything that we know is not good for us. We want the reward, whether it be through hard work or no work. Yet, we know.

Life is not supposed to be spent in a chair. Life should be experienced, and we constantly choose to listen to what someone else is telling us is best for us. This is when we need to know how to be selfish. If you live for what someone else is telling you, then you will never make yourself truly happy.

Never.

Yet, I find myself and my loved ones constantly stuck in someone else’s thought out plan. We seek advice from others, someone else. We ask questions and get answers, from someone else. We are unhappy and we blame, someone else.

I’m tired of witnessing it. My heart is hurting from it. I want to change this, but I fear I have no control.

This is the nature of my anxiety.

The Dying Art of Good Conversation

In the current state of the world, our connections are being created through the internet more often than in face-to-face interaction, which is frustrating. It is human nature to make connections with each other, and it doesn’t get more real than through a meaningful conversation.

Everything nowadays is about being better, faster, stronger. Advertising the newest technology that can further your life. Getting stuck on social media instead of being productive, checking the number of likes your selfie on Instagram got for the fifth time in 3 minutes.

I know this is a negative view, but technology is great when used in the right context; if it’s not relied on or overused. We get to connect with distant friends and see what they are doing with their lives, work from a place we call home, and access a seemingly infinite amount of information on the internet. Learning to control ourselves to not overindulge is a process, but is necessary to make the most out of our lives.

In my eyes, conversations are one of the best things we can do to improve our lives and make us happier. We need to stay up late to have more heart to heart talks with our best friend, or decide to talk on the phone with Mom (who everyone knows could go on for hours). If we continue to overlook the importance of human connection, we will surely lead ourselves to the downfall of humanity. It is human nature to connect with like-minded others, and something is getting in the way.

Maybe that’s why I felt lost in this generation; stuck in this age of information. So many facts to learn, truths to disclose, feats to witness, experiences to have. I needed a release, a way to take a break from all this commotion.

So I tried a lot of things, and adopted many of them into my life. But, time and time again, I found that having a good conversation was the best remedy. And by good, I don’t mean small talk about how your day is going. I mean the real, intimate, mind-blowing, thought-provoking kinds of conversations.

All conversations should be more like this. It is a time when you can talk with someone about anything that might come to your mind. Let your thoughts flow as you speak the words. This can be so beneficial in your life, especially your relationships, well-being, happiness, creativity, and even sanity (if that ever needs saving).

When you engage in a style of conversation that is fully open, you learn to break down barriers and reveal your true, genuine self to whomever you’re speaking with, but more importantly, to yourself.

I’ve battled anxiety for a couple years now, and while I’ve pulled away from it, it will never truly leave me. I definitely believe that conversations helped me think more clearly and find my true self. Through conversations, I was able to exchange ideas on the nature of the world that we exist in, how we operate, what drives us, what love really is, how we should express emotions, what family means to different cultures, differences between meditating and praying, the food we are putting in our bodies, how drugs can affect our minds, what death is or isn’t, if there is a God, and the list goes on.

It’s like looking up some astounding fact on the internet and reading everything you can on the topic. The difference with a conversation is that you think about the countless answers, searching for what your true beliefs are.

* * *

There is nothing that is true, until you find it in yourself.

* * *

So, the difficult task in front of us is how to get this kind of critical-thinking into our daily, hectic, high tech lives. This is why I feel stuck. No one wants to randomly contemplate why the universe exists when you are walking through the grocery store. But there is a part of every person that shares this curiosity.

Some people are more prone to this style of deep thinking, while others need some sort of agent to help them get to this depth of thought. This could be a guiding friend or mentor, a near-death experience, the death of someone meaningful, a religious conversion, a psychedelic experience, your will inside to want more, a mind blowing phenomenon: a rise in consciousness. I’m not sure where this agent comes from or how to know which style might help someone best, but I believe that is up to the individual to decide and find out.

Plato has a very compelling story for understanding how to approach this, titled The Allegory of the Cave. I suggest you read it yourself in his book, The Republic, or watch it here. But in short, imagine you were chained inside a cave and never saw what the outside world looked like. If someone tried to explain how beautiful nature is, they would sound completely ridiculous, even though they speak the truth. This story is questioning how you, as the one who has seen the light, the enlightened, can get someone to understand something that can barely be explained in a way that they consciously understand it.

As I’ve read and talked about Plato’s theory, conversation is at the core of this shift and is a key element to this awakening; the conversations that contemplate your most other-worldly ideas and bring a new understanding to your life.

And this is not a religious preach to find God, or calling for a change in the time that we live, because that can’t connect with everybody. Not everyone believes in the same religion or style of governing. Therefore, there must be a middle ground between all the different religions and science and philosophy and quantum physics that can help us understand life better.

And that is what a conversation can help us find. When you look inside yourself, you find what you believe. If everyone finds what their true beliefs are, and looks passed propaganda and advertising to see what life should really be, then we could start to think about how this world can be changed. Until then, I say we put down our phones, turn off the TV, and get lost in sharing our thoughts with each other.

There is so much of this world that can be discovered through conversation. The possibilities are endless.