Clearing the Closet to Bungee Jumping, the Magic of Facing Fears

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On a day-to-day basis, moment-to-moment, second-to-second, each one of us is presented with the opportunity to have our dreams come true. Every moment is a chance to learn, to share, to connect, and to love. The more we are aware of the opportunities the universe presents, and hands to us on a silver platter, the more we will come to see that reality manifests to meet our dreams, that is, when we are ready to face them.

It is unfortunate that the majority of us happen to be blind to the unconditional support of the universe. We continue on in our rituals, we are bitter for one reason or another – we hate our jobs, our boyfriend or girlfriend broke up with us, we can’t afford a new ipod, etc. etc. – yet we have little willingness to open ourselves to something different or learn from our situations. Why? Because we are afraid! We are afraid of change, we are afraid of failure, we are afraid of the void that might arise when we disconnect from our own unhappiness.

We all pray to our version of God for love, for courage, for a promotion, for this or that, yet when the universe presents us with the opportunity to develop love or courage or a promotion or this or that, we are blind to it because perhaps it was not the answer to the prayer we had envisioned. So we ignore it! The point is, there are countless opportunities to manifest our dreams, how they materialize may not be what we initially imagined, but our prayers are always answered, we just have to be open, flexible, and willing to throw our own s*it into the fan. The saying, “be careful what you wish for,” is indeed relevant!

My personal experience in this department happened a few years back when s*it literally did hit the fan and I realized I had nothing to do but surrender. Regardless of what I did, or regardless of how much I tried to resist change, it didn’t matter. I had the choice to either hide from the world or pray, so I prayed. I prayed to some God, to help me find the courage to face the world, to help me develop love, to give me strength. And something kind of magical happened.

All of my prayers were answered.

My prayers did not form as I had expected, which they rarely do, but I was open enough to the opportunities. I developed courage by facing my fears of heights and went bungee jumping, I developed love through forgiveness of past wrongdoings, and I developed strength when I spoke at my father’s funeral. Now, this is nothing special, and I am nothing special, I still have a plethora of fears that overtake me on a daily basis, I am merely trying to communicate that we can only create our dreams when we face what we are afraid of.

Our fears can feel miniscule or they can feel gigantic, but at the end of the day, they are all the same, they are all illusions we have created acting as barriers to our dreams. Whether it is letting go of an article of clothing that has sat in our closet for ten years or bungee jumping on the Nile River, facing fears opens the door to the universe, to magic, and to our truest selves.

So if you have a fear standing in your way, and we all do, know that you are not alone and that when you are ready to face it, the universe will support you and a reward will be waiting! “Every time we say Let there be! In any form, something happens.”

What are your fears? Big or small? Have you faced your fears? What happened? Share you stories friends!

Who am I?

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Our deepest fear

Is not that we are inadequate

Our deepest fear

Is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness

That frightens us most.

We ask ourselves,

“Who am I to be so brilliant?

Gorgeous, talented and fabulous?”

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God

Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking

So that other people

Won’t feel insecure around you.

Were were born to make manifest

The glory of god that is within us

It is not just some of us

It’s in everyone!

As we let our light shine,

We unconsciously give to other people

Permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear

Our presence automatically

Liberates others.

Thank you to Marianne Williamson for this profound statement!

Changing the world…Really?

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It is my humble understanding that most individuals I have encountered want to make a positive impact on the world and each other. The majority of us are decent people, at our very core, and we do our best in the world with the hands we have been dealt and with the ways we have been taught. The idea of making a positive impact, and how exactly one best directs their energy in doing so, has been particularly pertinent in my learning over the past few years.

There was a time in my life, in the not so distant past, when I was so distraught by the happenings of the world that I thought, with the right intention of course, that I would get out there and ultimately save the world. Yes, I would appease the guilt of my privileged upbringing and would rescue all of those starving war torn countries. Because I believed, as I was told – through academia, the government, and the media – that it is we, the Westerners, who are the ones to promote and institutionalize change. And so, out there I went after seven years of studying, to the countries that I believed I could help.

A wake up call I had!

After experiencing the many countries that I had preconceived notions about, that I had read about, that I believed were somehow less developed than where I came from, I ultimately discovered that it was not they who needed to change or adapt, but rather it was I. I asked myself: can I honorably be this person, the person who comes from a society that is founded on anger and the blame game, and stand some kind of moral high ground? My country is not experiencing war or poverty in the immediate sense, but we are most certainly experiencing war in our own households when we blame, ridicule and abuse our loved ones, and we are experiencing poverty when we treat our own people, the aboriginals, like societal rejects and outcasts.

Most of us, including myself, expend much of our efforts in trying to control things and morph the world into what we think it should look like. We each have our own ideas about how things should be and to meet our own version of the world, even if it’s a positive one, we unconsciously try to control our friends, our families, situations, people, and well, everything. But reality hits, at least it hit for me, and as one bright man recently said in a high school commencement speech, even if you are one in a million, there are still 7,000 people just like you.

You are not the center of the universe.

So I suppose the simplest and most articulate thought I am left with is this: before I, or we, get out there and reverberate some kind of moral platitude, whether it’s in our relationships, our workplaces, or on a grander scale in our attempt to save the world, maybe it’s time we do some internal investigating and take a good look at ourselves and our intentions.

In my personal experiences I have come to find that in this Dark Age of human society, where conflict and violence seem to be the norm, the most profound way I can change the world is by changing myself – by humbly being the example of love and compassion – just as I was shown by so many beautiful souls in the so-called developing world. Now you may laugh and dismiss what I am saying as hippy mumbo jumbo, but even if you do, at the very least consider it as food for thought and share your insights!

I will leave you with a quote and some questions:

“Everyone talks of changing the world, no one talks about changing themselves”

Have you had similar experiences? Do you agree or disagree? Can we change the world by changing ourselves?

Self-improvement and quick fixes

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One of the most rewarding things about traveling and experiencing a new culture is the space it allows for reflection and new perspectives. Through encounters with a plethora of unique individuals and customs that challenge the best of us, we are given the opportunity to take a good look at some of our own customs and built-in beliefs. Through my own reflections and experiences, I have become increasingly aware of an assumption in many of us that there is something we must improve upon and that we must improve it quickly.

A multi-billion dollar industry has been built around the idea of improvement – improving our personalities, improving our appearance, improving our love lives, improving our careers, etc etc. You name it, you can improve it. Everything from self-help books, to pills, to miracle mystic healers – our society is founded on the notion that there is something about each one of us that must be fixed or improved upon.

As I walk through my local book store I can’t help but notice the plethora of books asking: “are you suffering from anxiety? Could you lose 10 pounds? Do you feel stressed and worried about the future?” And I think to myself, well as a matter of fact, yes. But do we wonder whether our worry is symptomatic of a much bigger issue like the constant pressure to reach some undefined state of perfection? Probably not. We are told we have a problem, and we are told we can fix it quickly with a few short steps, a seven day diet, or a visit to the pharmacy.

I am certainly one who has tried many magic fixes. From the books, to the pills, to the Shaman healer – that is the society in which I have been brought up. But I came to a realization a few years ago, and it is quite a simple one: there is nothing to be fixed and there is nothing to be improved upon. Once we accept ourselves for exactly who we are, and exactly where we are in life, all the change and improvement we have been looking for in a quick fix happens naturally. We can’t buy the fix, we already are the fix. We are the fix when we are completely ourselves, when we are completely authentic, and when we accept that we are already perfect, in our imperfection. Surrender is the most powerful medicine of all.

I will leave you with a quote and some questions:

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.”

What would it mean or look like for you to be completely authentic? How would it feel? What would happen if you just stopped trying to be perfect?

Hello fellow lovers and seekers!

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I have been a traveler, seeker, and a rebel for most of my life, choosing to live by my truth and placing myself in situations and geographic locations that may not necessarily jive with what is accepted in, or expected from, Western society. My experiences in distant lands, both internal and external, have left me with many questions, insights, and perspectives, but mostly a lust to continue my quest for truth in the noisy confusion of life.

You might be asking yourself, what is the purpose of this blog and why is it any different? Well, it’s not any different, but I have started this blog as both a means to express my own insights and perspectives as well as to create a forum on topics and themes that relate to travel, culture, self-reflection, spirituality, and alternative living. Every week will have a theme where I will post a question or topic along with photographs that relate to that theme. My hope is that these posts will be of relevance to others – please comment on these posts and share your own perspectives and experiences. If there is a theme or topic you have considered that you would like to be discussed, please share. I look forward to the journey.

Happy seeking comrades!