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Are You A Positive Person? You’re Probably in Denial

wolf

When I started Feelin’ Good Feelin’ Great, I was in denial…

I believed that positivity consisted on only focusing on “positive” things and ignoring everything “negative.”

So that’s how I lived my life. I dodged my shadows and avoided my own darkness, then wondered why I felt confined and limited. In doing this, even though I thought that my life was all sunshine and rainbows (because that was the only territory I let myself explore), I was governed by the fear of fear itself (which is a self-created illusion). This phase lasted 2-3 years, until the Seeker archetype within me grew to the point where curiosity, backed by a deep sense of courage/faith/trust, could no longer be confined by fear.

Positivity can be immensely useful, but when it becomes your identity or a way of avoiding the uncomfortable, you ironically slip into a life governed by fear and delusion.

This is the trap of what I call delusional positivity; disregarding anything negative and pretending that it doesn’t exist. This is a dangerous way to live because what is suppressed will inevitably manifest in other ways. Although this naïve positivity seems all loving and pleasant, it’s based in fear; the fear of your own darkness (as well as the external reflection of it in the world).

And what is positive anyway? Essentially, positive and negative are just labels which we place upon things that the ego either likes (positive) or dislikes (negative). When you draw your perspective back and look at the big picture, what you might deem positive and negative will often flip flop. For example, being hospitalized for alcohol poisoning when I was 19 seemed like a “negative” experience at the time, yet it was the greatest catalyst for my journey of self-discovery.

There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.
– William Shakespeare

 
This concept is hard to swallow from the limited perspective of the ego, especially with the extremes of war and suffering going on this planet. But we cannot truly understand love and freedom until we experience the extreme opposite. I’m not in any way saying to enable these atrocities though. Part of our process is to overcome them collectively (which begins within each individual). However, the woes of the world serve the purpose of being a harsh reference point of what we don’t want and the ultimate difficult learning experience.

If there is a meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering. Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death, human life cannot be complete.
– Viktor Frankl

 
Contrast is necessary for holistic understanding. We need negativity to appreciate positivity. We need darkness to appreciate light. From a higher perspective, challenges are viewed as an opportunity to grow, hurdles are viewed as opportunities to leap and pain is viewed as a means of truly understanding joy.

Love is the innermost craving of humans. Why? Because it is our essence. We experience fear, pain, suffering and the like because through experiencing contrast, we’re able to truly understand and appreciate love.

Love is a unifying force, while fear is divisive. This applies both internally and externally. Fear divides people and fear divides aspects of yourself. And whenever things are divided, they come into conflict with one another. But love unifies and creates wholeness. So it’s only common sense that the totality of everything is love. Love is the fabric of Oneness. Love is the defining element of Source.

owl

The owl’s vision pierces through the darkness and sees through all illusions.

Big Picture Positivity (Positivity 2.0)

This is a call to let go of short-sighted, delusional positivity and courageously embrace Big Picture Positivity.

Big picture positivity is the ability to love everything. It is being able to acknowledge and show compassion towards both polarities of duality (light and dark, good and evil, bad and good, negative and positive…etc.).

Big picture positivity is the application of unconditional love. Big picture positivity is unwavering compassion. Big picture positivity is a total acceptance of what is, without judgment or resistance.

Can you acknowledge your inner demons and meet them with a compassionate hug? If not, then you’re governed by fear.

Can you acknowledge “negative” emotions without trying to avoid or change them? If not, then you’re creating resistance, self-judgment and denial.

Can you acknowledge your darkness and shine light on it? Or are you too afraid? If you’re afraid of something within you, then you’re fragmented yourself. This self-fragmentation will subtly pull on you, pleading to be acknowledged, and will fester until it becomes something that you’re forced to deal with (like a disease).

Can you acknowledge the evil of the world and meet it with empathy, compassion and love? Or do you react with fear, anger or judgment?

Crime and the criminal justice system is actually a macrocosm of the practice of big picture positivity, or meeting everything with love. Ignoring crime obviously doesn’t work. But judging and punishing crime isn’t the best solution either (look at the massive failure/disharmony of the US criminal justice system). What does work, however, is acknowledging crime and healing the individual who committed the crime. It is addressing an aspect of the whole that is crying out for help and meeting it with love. People who feel love do not harm themselves or others; it’s as simple as that. So wouldn’t love be the obvious solution?

The same principle applies to shadow aspects of ourselves. Acknowledge your shadows and meet them with compassion. Heal with unyielding love.

There’s nothing to be afraid of. It all just is. All of that fear simply comes from resistance to what is.

Love it all.

– Stevie P!

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Feelin’ Good, Feelin’ Great remains ad-free and I’d like to keep it that way. As you probably know, a lot of work and focus goes into maintaining a website and regularly posting publishing quality, life-enhancing articles from the heart. If you find value in this content, please consider supporting Feelin’ Good, Feelin’ Great. You can become a monthly contributor with the amount of your choosing.


 

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The Purpose Formula

gate

What’s your purpose in life?

Why are you here? What drives you? What keeps you going?

Have you ever thought about it?

Do you even know the direction you wish to head in?

As humans, we need some sort of purpose in order to be truly happy and have a deep sense of fulfillment in life.

Without a clear purpose, we find ourselves floundering, paralyzed by indecisiveness, drowning in existential dread and living out other people’s dreams instead of our own.

Life is a journey and purpose gives us a direction to travel in. It provides a central theme to our journey.

The journey of life is filled with mystery, unpredictability and spontaneous changes. So while it’s crucial to have purpose, it’s also important to surrender to the process.

Your purpose isn’t fixed. It can change and evolve as you change and evolve. The only constant is change, so it’s a good idea to periodically reevaluate your purpose, especially when starting new chapters in life.

Your purpose can be very simple as well. It doesn’t have to be something grandiose like being president or being a billionaire (those things don’t necessarily make life fulfilling anyway), it can be as simple as cultivating a beautiful garden or as familiar as being the best parent you can be.

Here’s a hint regarding purpose: Your purpose is most likely going to involve helping others in some way. We’re social beings and giving just feels good. If you get really honest with yourself, you’ll realize that the things that give you the most fulfillment have something to do with giving, sharing and connection.

For a clearer idea of your purpose (or purposes) in life, I highly recommend reading the following article and truthfully answering all of the questions: Reveal Your Life’s Purpose by Asking These 15 Questions.

The Power of Purpose

Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.
– Viktor Frankl

 
It’s incredibly important to find meaning in life, as a sense of purpose is an undercurrent to genuine happiness and fulfillment. Research in positive psychology shows that people who feel a sense of purpose (or meaningfulness) have less physical pain, less anxiety, less stress, less depression and have reduced tendencies toward substance abuse. It’s no coincidence that one of the major commonalities of centenarians (people who live over 100 years) is a sense of purpose. With centenarians, purpose is often tied to religious faith, but it doesn’t have to be. Anyone can find purpose no matter what their beliefs are.

Purpose is like a magic wand. If you feel stuck in any area of life, wave your magic wand of purpose. If you feel depressed, reevaluate and reestablish your purpose with conviction. If you feel anxious, shift your thinking towards your purpose. And really feel it too. Feel that sense of purpose in the depths of your nervous system, igniting your body, mind and spirit. By focusing on your purpose, you naturally shed everything that’s not in alignment with it.

Find a real purpose that’s going to give you the strength to keep it going, no matter what the fuck you go through; no matter what obstacle presents itself.
– Crooked I

 
When in doubt, focus on your purpose. It works.

Mark Twain why you were born

The Purpose Formula

I came up with this technique, which I call “The Purpose Formula.” It is designed to give you a clear sense of purpose and how to move in that direction on a daily basis. Here’s what to do…

The Steps
1. Write down your personal mission statement for your life (in one sentence). This is your big picture purpose to always keep in mind.
2. Choose 6-10 major categories in life (see my example below).
3. Write your purpose for each category (there can be more than one per category).
4. Next to each purpose, write down a habit, routine or tangible things you can do every day (or every week) to move in that direction.
5. Do it! Implement the habits you’ve outlined, focusing on your most important one first.

My Purpose Formula

(Note: I wrote this first, which actually led me to develop The Purpose Formula, so I’m sharing the prelude which created the catharsis for me as well)

Now, since I’m beginning a new chapter of my book, I want to set clear intentions. I want to set a clear direction to head in, to use the metaphor of a road trip.

I need a big picture purpose, but also something that translates into tangible daily actions.

Personal Mission Statement:
Continuously expand my perspective and inspire the hearts of others.

Health:

  • Eat natural, local food – Go to Farmer’s markets at least once per week.
  • Balance alcohol consumption – Limit 2 drinks (good craft beers of course) per night out then switch to water or club soda.

Fitness:

  • Get even leaner and stronger – HIIT every morning, walk a lot, bodyweight workouts 5x per week (improving each workout).
  • Become more flexible – Stretch every morning, yoga at least 2x per week.

Spiritual Progression:

  • Meditate more – Meditate every morning upon waking and afternoon/night as well.

Writing:

  • Continuously improve and express myself through writing – One blog post per week, work towards the completion of a book every day.

Career:

  • Writing – Continuous improvement, expressing potent truths, inspiring and entertaining (daily practices outlined in Writing section).
  • Inspire more people – Through writing, making videos (every day), creating more courses and just living my truth in daily life.
  • Expand my healing abilities – Meditate more, promote my online coaching and Reiki practice. Spark that brilliance within people in a one on one setting
  • Other – Getting involved in other projects that resonate with me to earn more money, learn new skills and broaden my life experience (ex/ freelance writing opportunities).

Relationships:

  • Attract a beautiful partner to learn and grow with – Embody the qualities of a person I wish to attract, do things I love and don’t hesitate to say hi or reach out to people.
  • Attract or find a tribe and deep relationships – See above.
  • Deepen my connection with friends and family – Speak my inner truth. Embrace human connection. Reach out to people. Genuinely be interested in them. Be there to help. Show gratitude. Never hold back genuine compliments.

Travel:

  • See more of the world – Visit places that are calling me. Plan an interesting trip within the next 6 months.

Nature:

  • Hike more – Hike a mountain or trail at least once per week.
  • Connect with nature – Visit a cool natural place at least twice per week (park, body of water, hiking, ocean…etc.).

Knowledge:

  • Read more books – PhotoRead at least one book per week. Read every night too.

A Note on Habits

Attempting to establish multiple new habits at once will just overwhelm you. So if you outline your Purpose Formula and see that you have several new habits which you want to implement, focus on one habit at a time.

Also, make sure that the habits you outline are as simple and easy as possible. If habits are not simple and easy (especially at first), they can become intimidating and you probably won’t stick to it.

Set one habit in one area of life as your priority and focus on creating that habit first. Once it becomes embedded and is second nature to you, then move on to implementing a new habit. Habits take 66 days to become automatic, so implement a habit for at least 66 days before starting a new habit. Remember, your purpose is the epitome of a long-term endeavor, so there’s no need to rush.

Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.
– Bill Gates

 
Know where you’re headed and embrace the journey.

Now I’ll leave you with the obvious question: What’s your purpose?

Much love.

– Stevie P!

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Feelin’ Good, Feelin’ Great remains ad-free and I’d like to keep it that way. As you probably know, a lot of work and focus goes into maintaining a website and regularly posting publishing quality, life-enhancing articles from the heart. If you find value in this content, please consider supporting Feelin’ Good, Feelin’ Great. You can become a monthly contributor with the amount of your choosing.


 

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Coast to Coast: The Great American Road Trip

road trip

Every new place we go to, every new experience, expands our perspective.

This is why traveling may be the single best catalyst for personal growth (especially traveling alone).

In the spirit of travel, I just completed the classic American road trip. I drove from the East Coast (starting in New Jersey) to the West Coast (Portland, Oregon) over the course of 12 days.

Road trips are a perfect metaphor for life in general; you have to know where you’re headed, yet surrender to the journey. Happiness is a way of travel, not a destination. Wisdom is an endless direction, not a place you ever arrive at. Can you see the theme here? The magic lies within the journey itself. The journey is never-ending anyway, as perceived destinations are really just checkpoints along the continuous journey.

My road trip was amazing and eye-opening on many levels. I stayed with some friends and family along the way, and used AirBnb for the rest (along with a last minute hotel stay). I’m truly grateful for everyone who hosted me along my journey. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Here were my major stops (shown as blue circles on the map below):

  • Aberdeen, New Jersey (starting point)
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • St Louis, Missouri
  • Topeka, Kansas
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Grand Junction, Colorado
  • Park City, Utah
  • Boise, Idaho
  • Portland, Oregon (end aka checkpoint along a larger journey)

Us road trip map

Throughout my road trip across the United States, I recorded a few videos. They document my thoughts, feelings, reflections and experiences as I was traveling. And it’s not just about me. A lot of what I discuss are things that can be directly applied to your life. So instead of writing a long, drawn-out article about everything, I thought it would be better to just let my recordings speak for themselves…

Road Trip Vlog Part One

Road Trip Vlog Part Two

Road Trip Vlog Part Three

Road Trip Vlog Part Four

Road Trip Visuals Via Instagram (@steviepthatsme)

My road trip across #murica starts now

A photo posted by steviepthatsme (@steviepthatsme) on

#pittsburgh #roadtrippin

A photo posted by steviepthatsme (@steviepthatsme) on

Gateway to the West

A photo posted by steviepthatsme (@steviepthatsme) on

I love books #kansascity #library #archeticture #regalasfuck

A photo posted by steviepthatsme (@steviepthatsme) on

Where I did my HIIT workout today #redrocks

A photo posted by steviepthatsme (@steviepthatsme) on

😍

A photo posted by steviepthatsme (@steviepthatsme) on

Gorgeous

A photo posted by steviepthatsme (@steviepthatsme) on

Be-Utah-ful 😉

A photo posted by steviepthatsme (@steviepthatsme) on

So unique #saltflats #utah

A photo posted by steviepthatsme (@steviepthatsme) on

Dope street art #freakalley #boise

A photo posted by steviepthatsme (@steviepthatsme) on

Last leg of my #greatamericanroadtrip

A photo posted by steviepthatsme (@steviepthatsme) on

Oregon coast 🌊🌲

A photo posted by steviepthatsme (@steviepthatsme) on

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Feelin’ Good, Feelin’ Great remains ad-free and I’d like to keep it that way. As you probably know, a lot of work and focus goes into maintaining a website and regularly posting publishing quality, life-enhancing articles from the heart. If you find value in this content, please consider supporting Feelin’ Good, Feelin’ Great. You can become a monthly contributor with the amount of your choosing.


 

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Here’s Why You Don’t Understand Zen Poetry

zen painting

Much of Zen Buddhism is purposely paradoxical and riddled with absurdities.

Its purpose is not to get you to think, but to get you to NOT THINK. The ludicrous language that often characterizes Zen poetry is designed to shatter your egoic, conceited notions of knowing, well, anything. This leaves you in a state of what Zen Master Seung Sahn calls “don’t know mind,” or a mind that is still, clear and free of preconceived ideas.

Just as you cannot see your eyes or bite your teeth, you cannot use your mind to examine your mind. Many Zen teachings are crafted (often in hilarious ways) to bring your perspective beyond your mind, so it’s not meant to be understood in the rigid, logical sense.

Seung Sahn, whose teachings are featured in the phenomenal book Dropping Ashes on the Buddha, has some of my favorite Zen poetry. Here’s a taste…
 

What is Buddha?
“Three pounds of flax”
“Dry shit on a stick”
I don’t understand these words
The infant is sucking on his toes

 

I traced the steps of the cow that has been long forgotten
Having caught the harness
I hope you will ride on the cow
Playing the flute with no holes
And enter your home village
Where flowers bloom in the spring

 

Good and evil have no self nature
Holy and unholy are empty names
In front of the door is the land of stillness and quiet
Spring comes, grass grows by itself

 
And here’s some of my own zen-style poetry (from my book Primordial Reflections)…
 

An autumn day
A walk outside
Smile, golden retriever

 

A zippery tandem
A tippery zife
Yeah that was random
But so is life


 

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Feelin’ Good, Feelin’ Great remains ad-free and I’d like to keep it that way. As you probably know, a lot of work and focus goes into maintaining a website and regularly posting publishing quality, life-enhancing articles from the heart. If you find value in this content, please consider supporting Feelin’ Good, Feelin’ Great. You can become a monthly contributor with the amount of your choosing.


 

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Release Limiting Beliefs With These 5 Simple Steps

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We learn our belief systems as very little children, and then we move through life creating experiences to match our beliefs. Look back in your own life and notice how often you have gone through the same experience.
~ Louise Hay

 
Limiting beliefs are like heavy bags, filled with useless stuff, that you carry with you wherever you go.

You may think that whatever you’re carrying in those bags is important, but the bags ultimately weigh you down and greatly restrict your mobility. There’s also the aspect of becoming accustomed to carrying the bags. Once you do it for a while, it becomes your default state. You don’t know any better, so you go around carrying your baggage without ever stopping to ask, “Wait, what am I doing?”

Limiting beliefs are insidious because you don’t really know that they exist until you’re able to objectively look at yourself. It’s like the old phrase, “The fish will be the last to discover water.” Until you’re able to observe your thoughts, emotions and actions, you’ll forever be confined within a bubble reality of limiting beliefs and disempowering false assumptions.

Many of the limiting beliefs we hold are learned from our parents. As children, we are subconscious sponges, constantly picking up beliefs, habits, behavioral patterns and general views of the world from our parents. This is how our model of reality is sculpted, for better or worse. (See: Face It, You’re Parents are Flawed).

The Power of Mindfulness

I cannot stress the importance of mindfulness enough.

In order to be able to view yourself objectively and even have the option to change, you must cultivate mindfulness.

Think of mindfulness as self-awareness from a higher perspective, or the ability to objectively observe your thoughts, emotions and actions.

Mindfulness is the basis of any change. It is the foundational phenomena that, once, cultivated, will put you in a position of power to change anything. Instead of unknowingly repeating limiting or negative patterns on auto-pilot, mindfulness gives you the choice in every moment to indulge those patterns or not (and choice is a superpower).

If you develop mindfulness, you will be in a position to intuitively discover and release anything that’s holding you back. With enough mastery, you won’t need any external information. If you can still the waters of your mind and just listen, you’ll be able to receive all of the answers you need. Remember that.

Mindfulness is cultivated through a regular meditation practice. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated or time consuming either. The notion that meditation has to be difficult is actually a limiting belief that many people have. You can start just by sitting with your eyes closed and observing your thoughts for 2 minutes every day. Just 2 minutes! Another ridiculously easy practice is the 21 Breath Salute. Once you feel like you’re able to consistently watch your thoughts and they appear less and less, you can extend the time or try out other forms of meditation. Don’t be intimidated by the idea of meditation; even the shortest and simplest daily practice will be greatly transformative over time.

A Simple 5 Step Process For Releasing Limiting Beliefs

1. Ask Questions and Embark on a Scavenger Hunt

Your limiting decisions are hiding out in the areas where you’re producing results that you don’t want.
~ Matthew B. James

 
Your limiting beliefs are the shadows lurking beneath the results you’re getting that you don’t want. So here’s the big question to identify limiting beliefs: What results are you getting that you don’t want? This can apply to any and every aspect of life.

If you’re having money problems, for example, chances are that you’re holding a limiting belief around money. So ask yourself these kinds of questions to get to the bottom of it:

  • What is my self-talk regarding money? (Maybe it’s something like “There’s never enough money.”) And in what situations does this negative self-talk come up?
  • How am I reacting to my financial situation? A feeling of helplessness? A victim mentality? Anger?
  • Hint: If you’re reacting to your situation in a disempowered way, that’s a telltale sign of a limiting belief.

    If you’re having problems finding a relationship, there’s probably a limiting belief standing in the way. Here are some ideas of questions to ask yourself regarding this:

  • Do I think all women are (insert negative adjective)? Do I think all men are (insert negative adjective)?
  • Do I think that women only interested in X? Do I think that men only interested in Y?
  • Am I waiting for perfection?
  • Do I not want to settle down yet?
  • Do I not feel worthy of a good relationship?
  • Use these types of questions for any facet of life that you wish to release limiting beliefs. You’ll be surprised at how much you can uncover just by asking the right questions.

    A major part of releasing limiting beliefs is treating it like an internal scavenger hunt. You have to be honest with yourself and willing to make a change. Adding elements of gamification and viewing the process as a scavenger hunt makes it more fun and less intimidating.

    Note: Choose one specific limiting belief at a time for the rest of the steps. Focusing on one belief at a time will help create a deep awareness regarding that belief and allow you to effectively and fully eliminate it.

    2. Write down the limiting belief.

    Writing something down leverages the power of externalization. There’s something magical and cathartic about getting something out of your head and into written form. If you write your limiting beliefs down, it will give you perspective, objectivity and insight that you never would have imagined if you had just kept everything in your head.

    3. Recognize that it is a belief, not necessarily truth.

    This is crucial to understand; just because you believe something doesn’t make it true. Viewing beliefs from this perspective is transformative in and of itself.

    Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.
    ~ Marcus Aurelius

     
    4. Change your thoughts until the belief changes (belief transmutation).

    The most effective way to get rid of limiting beliefs is to replace them with more empowering beliefs.

    A belief is simply a thought that you think over and over again. With mindfulness you can observe and change your thoughts. If you change a thought consistently, then you’ve changed a belief!

    Affirmations are immensely useful here. Let’s go back to the limiting belief regarding money, “There’s never enough money.” Every time you say “There’s never enough money,” “I don’t have the money,” or anything like that (to yourself or out loud), change it to something like one of the following affirmations:

  • I always have more than enough money to meet my needs, wants and desires.
  • I delight in the financial security that is a constant in my life.
  • I am open and receptive to all the wealth in the Universe.
  • I always attract whatever I need for a glorious future.
  • Money comes to me easily and effortlessly.
  • Wealth constantly flows into my life.
  • My actions create constant prosperity.
  • I am aligned with the energy of abundance.
  • Find an affirmation that intuitively feels right for you or create your own based upon the specific limiting belief you wish to replace.

    Consistency is key with this practice. Continuously substitute limiting self-talk for more empowering self-talk and soon enough your belief will be transmuted.

    5. Consciously change your actions based on the new belief.

    How would you act if you had this new belief? Act that way. It’s as simple as that. Act like the belief you want is your reality until it actually becomes your reality.

    Using the example of limiting beliefs around money again, changing your actions doesn’t necessarily mean spending extravagantly. It can be as simple as expressing gratitude (and not guilt) whenever you do spend money. It can also consist of staying open to and actively pursuing more income, instead of just complaining about your lack of money. Another strategy is to not let money be the biggest factor in determining everything you do. For example, if you’re really craving almond butter, splurge and get the expensive almond butter without worrying that it costs $5 more than you usually spend. If you don’t let money control your decisions (while using discretion, of course), then guess what? Money won’t control your decisions.

    Do you think you’re weak? Start acting like you’re strong, lift some weights and you’ll gain strength every week. Do you think you’re a bad writer? Write every day, and after a year, you’ll be a better writer than anyone you know. Do you think you’re bad at talking to men/women (whoever you’re attracted to)? Approach 100 people in the next month and you’ll be smoother than a frictionless surface after that. Do you see the trend here?

    Clarity comes through action. The car has to be in motion in order for the steering to work.

    You can’t sit around and do nothing, expecting your life to magically change. You have to meet the Universe half-way through your actions. Visualize the action and actualize the vision.

    Note: Do steps 4-5 simultaneously until the limiting belief has been transmuted into a more empowering belief. This may take a day or two for some, or as long as a month or more for deeply ingrained beliefs.

    Abundance

    The Paths Are Infinite

    There are also strategies that have the potential of helping you to spontaneously release limiting beliefs. This includes things like plant medicine (ayahuasca, iboga, psilocybin…etc.), energy work (reiki, acupuncture…etc), yoga (especially when holding certain positions for longer periods of time) and insights that emerge out of deep meditation.

    Though this article focuses on a specific process, remember that there are an infinite number of ways to reach any destination. Thinking that there is only one way to achieve something is a limiting belief in and of itself (wink, wink).

    Burst through the bubbles of limitation and embrace all possibility.

    Much love.

    – Stevie P

     

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    Feelin’ Good, Feelin’ Great remains ad-free and I’d like to keep it that way. As you probably know, a lot of work and focus goes into maintaining a website and regularly posting publishing quality, life-enhancing articles from the heart. If you find value in this content, please consider supporting Feelin’ Good, Feelin’ Great. You can become a monthly contributor with the amount of your choosing.


     

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    Face It, Your Parents Are Flawed

    child parent holding hands

    Your parents are not superheroes. They never were.

    They’re imperfect, flawed humans just like everyone else.

    They have strengths, weaknesses, talents, hang-ups, blind spots and biases. Your parents are not immune to the numerous manifestations of the human plight. They slip up, they make mistakes and they’re not always right (even though they might have told you otherwise).

    If you’re now an adult yourself, coming to the realization that your parents are flawed human beings is necessary for both your own personal growth and the creation of a deeper, more harmonious relationship with them.

    The Silver Lining of Seeing Parents’ Flaws

    Recognizing that your parents are imperfect and flawed provides you with two beautiful opportunities…

    Realizing That Your Parents Are Flawed Humans Creates Space for a New Kind of Relationship

    By recognizing the fact that your parents are imperfect, it allows your relationship with them to be deeper and more genuine. Why? Because it allows for vulnerability. Any relationship naturally deepens when vulnerability is shared. Seeing your parents as flawed creates this space for both parties to share their vulnerabilities with each other.

    Through vulnerability, more inner truth is expressed and you’re able to more clearly see the essence of the other person. From this place, you can share your deepest fears, highest hopes and dreams, genuine desires and innermost feelings.

    Seeing your parents as flawed humans allows for the relationship to be a two-way street. They’re no longer “above you” and there is no command and obey dynamic. This relationship between peers allows you to give to them as well, because they need love and compassion as much as anyone else.

    There’s one catch though; both parties have to be willing to be open and vulnerable in order for the deepening of a relationship to take place. So you must first do the inner work. You must be ready, willing and able. And if your parents are ready as well, awesome. If not, remember the old idiom, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. You can provide the space, but the other person has to step into that space themselves.

    Realizing that Your Parents Are Flawed Humans Puts You in a Position to Heal

    As children, our parents obviously have an instrumental impact on us, for better or worse. Parents essentially set children off with momentum in a certain direction, and it’s difficult to change that momentum once you’re set in motion.

    We subconsciously soak up everything we’re exposed to from the time we’re born until the age of six or seven. During this time period, we absorb everything our parents say and do to us like sponges. We also take on their belief systems and models of reality. This sponge-like phenomenon continues throughout the rest of childhood (or even further), but to a lesser extent.

    Due to the state of hyper-absorption we’re in as children, we’re bound to pick up some trauma, limiting beliefs and negative habits. It’s inevitable in the world we live in.

    If you want to grow into the greatest version of yourself, you must let go of the things that are holding you down. This means releasing trauma and limiting beliefs.

    The perspective that comes with objectively seeing your parents as they are puts you in a highly favorable position regarding trauma, limiting beliefs and inherited pain. If you’re able to see your parents as flawed human beings, you’ll realize that they did the best they could (even if their best was extremely limited). You’ll also realize that their words (and actions) aren’t necessarily in alignment with ultimate truth. So if you picked up a negative belief based upon what your parents said to you, recognize that just because they said it doesn’t make it true. It’s merely their opinion (which may very well be skewed and limited). Seeing things in this way gives you a bigger picture perspective, and with this perspective, it’s easier to forgive, let go and not take on any more negativity.

    Another perspective that helps is seeing your parents as hurt little children, particularly when they’re possessed by their ego or pain body*. Again, they did the best they could with what they were working with. If you view them as demigods, their actions become final judgments and set-in-stone truths. So if they say that you’re stupid, for example, then you will truly believe that you must be stupid. But seeing them as hurt little children allows you to put their words and actions into proper perspective. Remember, only hurt people hurt people. From here you can meet their negative actions with compassion, instead of resentment or repression.

    This higher perspective will help you realize that you can choose not to carry around their pain and limiting beliefs any longer. It’s their pain, not yours. You only have it because you unknowingly inherited it. Let go. There is no need to carry such unnecessary burdens.

    *Pain body is a term coined by Eckhart Tolle, which he describes as “The accumulation of old emotional pain that almost all people carry in their energy field. I see it as a semi-autonomous psychic entity. It consists of negative emotions that were not faced, accepted, and then let go in the moment they arose.”

    A Quick Note On Release

    There are many ways of releasing traumas and limiting beliefs, just as there are many ways of picking them up. However, this is beyond the scope of this article, as the topic of release is a rabbit hole in and of itself.

    Remember this though; self-awareness/mindfulness is always the first step. You must first be aware of something in order to change it. This is why engaging in a daily meditation practice is probably the most important thing you can do.

    Sometimes awareness is itself the release or solution, sometimes you might intuitively release in your own way and other times you need to use specific techniques or seek the help of an expert in order to release trauma or limiting beliefs.

    Bringing it hOMe

    Recognize, realize and understand that your parents are flawed humans, just like everyone else. Find the beauty and opportunity in their inherent imperfections. It made you unique, it made you who you are, it made you infinitely stronger than you would have been if you lived in a perfect little bubble.

    Even though this article focuses on the transmutation of flaws, don’t forget that your parents have admirable qualities as well. Be grateful for what you do have. Be grateful for how they helped you. And, if you’re fortunate enough to still have them with you, express this gratitude with them.

    Meet everyone with compassion. We’re all here to help each other out.

    Much love.

    – Stevie P!

     

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    Feelin’ Good, Feelin’ Great remains ad-free and I’d like to keep it that way. As you probably know, a lot of work and focus goes into maintaining a website and regularly posting publishing quality, life-enhancing articles from the heart. If you find value in this content, please consider supporting Feelin’ Good, Feelin’ Great. You can become a monthly contributor with the amount of your choosing.


     

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    All Negativity Comes From a Lack of Presence


     

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    How to Overcome Perfectionism

    kid painting

    Perfectionism is a trap.

    Though it may seem like perfectionism has your best interest in mind, it plays out much differently in the unfoldment of life.

    Perfectionism can be stifling. Though the drive for perfection can sometimes push you towards your goals, it most often creates delusional expectations, paralyzing procrastination and harsh self-criticism (as well as external criticism).

    We all know (on some level) that perfection doesn’t exist in this reality, so there is an inherent chasm of doubt whenever we chase perfection. The chasm of doubt and subtle anxieties of cognitive dissonance put us on the operating system of fear, where fear becomes the dominant motivating force. This is how perfectionism can make us hyper-critical (to both ourselves and others) as well as prevent us from even starting things (because of the fear that it won’t be perfect).

    Nature is imperfect, yet the imperfection of nature is what makes it beautiful, unique and ever-changing. Perfection is stagnation. Perfection is static. Perfection is permanence, which defies the very nature of our impermanent Universe. The only constant is change (in this reality at least), so you might as well embrace the paradoxical perfection of ever-changing imperfection. Imperfection is a gift, as it allows for uniqueness and the potential for perpetual improvement. Forgo the pursuit of perfection, accept where you are in each moment and strive for continual improvement.

    Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.
    ~ Gerard Way

     
    Overcoming Perfectionism Through Belief Transmutation

    One way to overcome perfectionism is to replace limiting beliefs with new, more empowering beliefs. This is the alchemical art of transmutation.

    Examples of limiting beliefs regarding perfection:

  • I have to be perfect in order to be worthy.
  • Everything has to be perfect for me to be happy.
  • Everything has to be perfect for (insert any hope or dream you want to come to fruition).
  • I’m afraid of doing this because it might not turn out perfectly.
  • I want to achieve perfection now.
  • Substitute those old, limiting beliefs for new, more empowering beliefs.

    Examples of more empowering beliefs:

  • Perfection doesn’t exist in this reality, but I achieve excellence.
  • I’m continuously improving and fueled by self-love.
  • I accept where I am in each moment, while always moving forward.
  • Imperfection allows for uniqueness and continuous improvement. I embrace my uniqueness and I’m endlessly evolving.
  • I always try my best and leave the rest up to the Universe/The Process of Life/God.
  • I’ll start now. I can always change, refine and improve things later because nothing is permanent.
  • I embrace the journey and find joy in continuous improvement.
  • Listen closely to your self-talk regarding perfection. Be particularly aware of your self-talk when the urge to procrastinate arises. What beliefs are you holding? What are more empowering beliefs to replace them with? A belief is simply a pattern of thoughts. Change your thoughts and you will change your beliefs.

    Overcoming Perfectionism Through Action

    If I waited for perfection… I would never write a word.
    ~ Margaret Atwood

     
    Perfectionism has a component of fear to it, particularly the fear of not being perfect. And since nothing in this reality is perfect, the perfectionist often chooses inaction over the possibility of trying and not achieving perfection. This creates an incapacitating state of constant procrastination, which is an insidious byproduct of perfectionism. Building a habit of taking consistent action deprograms the perfectionist mindset.

    The unachievable expectations of perfectionism can be paralyzing, preventing you from even starting things. But taking action overcomes the rigid inertia of perfectionism and starts a snowball effect of empowering momentum. By flexing your action muscles, you break through the chains of perfectionism like the incredible hulk ripping through a shirt (except you probably won’t be angry).

    When you build a habit of consistent action-taking, procrastination becomes a distant memory. You’ll learn to find fulfillment in the process. Perfectionism will be re-programmed into the mindset of embracing the journey of life.

    A strategy often discussed in entrepreneurial circles is that of releasing something, or taking action, before you’re fully ready. This idea is not about releasing an unfinished or half-assed product/service, but in accepting imperfection and building the habit of taking action. Remember, nothing is permanent and you can always tweak things later.

    Do not wait: the time will never be ‘just right’. Start where you stand, and work whatever tools you may have at your command and better tools will be found as you go along.
    ~ Napoleon Hill

     
    In the book The Motivation Manifesto, Brendon Burchard discusses defeating your personal demons. One of these demons is called “Defiance,” whose sole purpose is to delay your actions. How do you defeat this demon? You defeat Defiance by transforming delay with action. Decisive action, in the face of fear “sets off an internal tidal wave of power that subjugates our meeker impulses,” according to Burchard.

    I’ve also touched on the topic of overcoming doubt, defiance and delay in the article 8 Ways to Transmute Self-Doubt into Faith.”

    The practical how-to aspect of action is simple. Take small actions consistently, preferably every day. Break big tasks or big goals into bite-sized chunks. Create a system to bring you in the direction of a goal and stick to the system. Taking small actions on a daily basis allows you to avoid being overwhelmed and strengthens your action muscles to the point where procrastination doesn’t stand a chance.

    How I Overcame Perfectionism

    Though I still have perfectionist tendencies from time-to-time, it no longer has me in its clutches. Changing my perfectionist beliefs and taking consistent action were invaluable solutions for me.

    My journey progressed based on those two strategies. Firstly, I realized (conceptually, at least) that perfectionism is not attainable in this reality. After some time I was able to accept, feel and deeply understand that truth. Viewing life as a video game greatly aided this understanding as well. From that point, I was able to transmute my perfectionist beliefs into more empowering beliefs (meditation and mindfulness helped with being able to notice limiting beliefs I was holding onto).

    Action was the ingredient that completed the recipe. The most predominate action-based habits I built were publishing blog posts and recording videos. Since I started Feelin’ Good, Feelin’ Great in September 2012, I’ve written a blog post every single week (with a few exceptions). Creating that commitment to action played a pivotal role in breaking out of the paralysis of perfectionism. If I had waited for myself to write the perfect blog post, I would’ve never released anything. It was in choosing to just put myself out there that catalyzed the process of becoming an exponentially better writer. By committing to continual action, I’ve practiced writing far more than I would have if I was stuck in the paralysis of perfectionism.

    More recently, on top of the weekly blog post habit, I’ve been releasing one video every day (on YouTube and Facebook). I record the videos in one take, and they’re unscripted except for jotting down a few bullet points beforehand. Executing the videos in such an impromptu fashion has improved my speaking ability, spontaneity, self-confidence, memory and mental clarity by leaps and bounds. Additionally, recording a video every day has “greased the groove” of my action-taking ability and has allowed the bright light of unconditional self-love to scatter away the shadowy phantoms of perfectionism.

    Dear Human: You’ve Got It All Wrong

    Dear Human. You’ve got it all wrong. You didn’t come here to master unconditional love. This is where you came from and where you’ll return. You came here to learn personal love. Universal love. Messy love. Sweaty Love. Crazy love. Broken love. Whole love. Infused with divinity. Lived through the grace of stumbling. Demonstrated through the beauty of… messing up. Often. You didn’t come here to be perfect, you already are. You came here to be gorgeously human. Flawed and fabulous. And rising again into remembering. But unconditional love? Stop telling that story. Love in truth doesn’t need any adjectives. It doesn’t require modifiers. It doesn’t require the condition of perfection. It only asks you to show up. And do your best. That you stay present and feel fully. That you shine and fly and laugh and cry and hurt and heal and fall and get back up and play and work and live and die as YOU. It’s enough. It’s Plenty.
    ~ Courtney A. Walsh

     
    Embrace imperfection, and accept where you are, while enjoying the journey. Live, learn and grow.

    You are worthy, no matter what.

    You are love.

    – Stevie P!

     

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    Feelin’ Good, Feelin’ Great remains ad-free and I’d like to keep it that way. As you probably know, a lot of work and focus goes into maintaining a website and regularly posting publishing quality, life-enhancing articles from the heart. If you find value in this content, please consider supporting Feelin’ Good, Feelin’ Great. You can become a monthly contributor with the amount of your choosing.


     

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    Language is the Envelope of Your Reality

    child bubble universe reality

    How are you going to really wrap your head around something that you can’t put into words?

    Well, you inherently can’t.

    Those mysterious inklings that you subtly feel, but can’t quite express, are vague phantasms floating right outside of your realm of possibility.

    The envelope of your reality, the outer bubble of your realm of possibility, is limited by the lexicon and lineaments of language you have in your inner library.

    Along with being the raw material for formulating thought, language is also a vehicle for your intentions. With a wider variety of vocabulary and languages at your disposal, there is larger conglomeration of vehicles available to carry your intentions. If you have an extensive vocabulary, multiple languages in your mental rolodex, or use a language which is phonetically and/or alphabetically expansive, you can more readily transmit specifically desired intentions.

    Symbols are also language, with the vehicle of communication being the symbols themselves instead of words. Remember, reality is much more malleable than we’ve been taught. In this co-created reality, we’re simultaneously decoding it and projecting into it with our intentions at all times. The words and symbols we use are the mediums through which our intentions are expressed.

    Alphabet and Vocabulary

    The alphabet is the foundation of vocabulary, as letters make up words. (Although in some languages, the symbols are actually words instead of letters.)

    The bigger the alphabet of a language, the greater the potential realm of possibility, as there are more building blocks to work with (though there are other factors, like phonetics, that can determine the actual “reality reach” of the language). The English alphabet consists of 26 letters. To give you an idea of how English compares to other languages: Sanskrit has 46 letters in its alphabet, Arabic has 28 letters in its alphabet, Hebrew has 22 letters in its alphabet, Greek has 26 letters in its alphabet and Russian has 33 letters in its alphabet.

    Vocabulary is a crucial aspect of language because words are arrows of intention crafted to match objects, qualities, abstract concepts, emotions, feelings…etc. Words are like sign posts to describe the things you perceive, imagine or experience. The more adept with sign posts you are, the more accurately you can navigate and describe reality.

    Here’s a good example of perception-expanding vocabulary. The word “vibe” didn’t exist in the English language before the hippie movement. The word “vibration” existed, but it’s more general and doesn’t specifically describe the phenomenon of feeling people’s energy. People of course would feel the “vibe” of others before, but it was a mysterious phenomenon outside of the realm of Western possibility beforehand. But after there was a word to describe that specific feeling, it was in the collective realm of possibility and could be readily expressed between people. It’s like the use of that word became a gateway, which opened up that new dimension of possibility to people.

    Another example, one that English hasn’t found a perfect match for, is the Sanskrit word “maya.” When translated into English, the connotation is something like “a magic show, an illusion where things appear to be present but are not what they seem.” It’s often used to describe this physical, three-dimensional reality we’re in. For someone who is fluent in Sanskrit, that one word is all they need to conceptualize the meaning. But for an English speaker, you would need to watch the movie The Matrix and study quantum physics to even glimpse the tip of the iceberg.

    Phonetics

    Phonetics is defined as “a branch of linguistics that comprises the study of the sounds of human speech, or—in the case of sign languages—the equivalent aspects of sign.” (Wikipedia)

    Phonetics is another aspect of a languages realm of possibility, just in terms of sounds. Sounds are vibrations or frequency waves. And remember what Nikola Tesla said, “If you want to find the secrets of the Universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.”

    The range of sounds you can make is another parameter influencing your range of possibility.

    Different sounds stimulate different parts of the body, which can activate or heal when used with positive intentionality. Chanting demonstrates this. If you’ve ever done a form of chanting, you know that there is an experience or tangible feeling associated with it (and it differs depending on the chant).

    Spelling = Casting Spells

    The word “spell” is an intriguing hint at the power of language. The word can be used in terms of “spelling words” or in terms of “casting spells.” But essentially, both meanings are one in the same. We literally cast spells with words. Our intentions, through the vehicle of language, are projections into the quantum soup of reality.

    It’s no coincidence that the first of Don Miguel Ruiz’s Four Agreements is to be impeccable with your word.

    Be impeccable with your word. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
    ~ Don Miguel Ruiz

     
    Language is the array of tools you have to build the house of your reality. Think of using words like wielding a hammer, are you using it to build something beautiful or hitting yourself over the head with it?

    word cloud

    The Ultimate Paradox

    Beyond all bubbles and boundaries of perceived reality, the totality of existence is stillness. So although expanding your language capacity undoubtedly broadens the horizons of your human experience, the essence of everything is the divine tranquility of all possibility.

    It is infinite potential, that which everything comes out of, the omnipotent silence which begets all sound.

    These quotes are beautiful hints at this paradoxical truth…

    Be still, and know that I am God.
    ~ Psalm 46:10

     

    The Tao that can be expressed in words is not the eternal Tao.
    The name that can be defined in words is not the name that never changes.
    Non-existence is what we call the source of heaven and earth.
    Existence is the mother of all things.
    From eternal non-existence, therefore, we observe the beginning of the existence of the many hidden qualities of the universe.
    From eternal existence, therefore, we clearly observe the overt qualities of the universe.
    These two, the hidden and the overt, are originally the same at source, and become different where they manifest themselves.

    ~ Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu (Translated by Chou-Wing Chohan, Abe Bellenteen and Rosemary Brant)

     
    How to Expand Your Envelope of Reality

    Read more – especially books that come from a different paradigm from which you’re in. For example, if you grew up in the US, read the Tao Te Ching, which provides great wisdom through ancient Eastern philosophy.

    Increase your vocabulary – Reading more will naturally increase your vocabulary. While reading, look up words you come across that you’re not familiar with.

    Like Uncle Bun once said, “Go read a book you illiterate son of a bitch and step up your vocab.”

    Here’s another technique that has helped expand my vocabulary: Whenever you’re writing, use Thesaurus.com to incorporate the most fitting and flowing words in every sentence. In doing this, you can and learn new vocabulary while doing any kind of writing.

    Learn more languages – Learning another language will greatly expand your perceptions. It will literally open up a new world of possibility for you. Use something like Rosetta Stone, the Pimsleur learning system or take the plunge and learn by immersing yourself in a new culture and actually speaking another language (which is the best way).

    Be mindful of the words you use – Be mindful of the “spells” you’re casting. Is your internal dialogue negative and/or limiting? Is your external dialogue negative and/or limiting? If so, your experienced reality will be a reflection of that. Be aware of the language you’re using. From this place of awareness, use language that serves your highest good (and the highest good of others as well). As the saying goes, be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.

    Engage in reality expanding experiences – Partake in travel, meditation, plant medicine (in clinical or sacred settings), listen to lyricless music and get in tune with what you feel…etc. Put yourself in situations that leave you awe-struck and at a loss for words. When you’re in a state of awe or when you have your mind blown, you’re experiencing something that is shattering your previous boundary of reality. This sets the space for you to enter new territory.

    Reality is strange, huh?

    Cast “spells” that serve the highest good of yourself and others, and have fun expanding your possibilities.

    Much love.

    – Stevie P!

     

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    Feelin’ Good, Feelin’ Great remains ad-free and I’d like to keep it that way. As you probably know, a lot of work and focus goes into maintaining a website and regularly posting publishing quality, life-enhancing articles from the heart. If you find value in this content, please consider supporting Feelin’ Good, Feelin’ Great. You can become a monthly contributor with the amount of your choosing.