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14 Ways to be Primordial (Can You Handle #14?)

Primordial

My life is a streak of whimsical ridiculousness right now. I’ve been embodying my unique authenticity, not caring about what others think and, most importantly, having buckets of fun.

An amusing medium through which this has been expressed is my new favorite word… PRIMORDIAL.

Here’s how it’s defined:

Primordial – (adjective)

  • Existing at or from the beginning of time; primeval.
  • (Especially of a state or quality) Basic and fundamental.

Extrapolating off of the dictionary definition, I started referring to the essential nature of anything as primordial. The primal essence of humanity is primordial. Being authentic and true to yourself is primordial. Living in the present moment, the eternal now, is primordial.

Plus, the word itself just sounds awesome (and hilarious) to say. I have a funny visual of a frat boy, smirking at his buddy and saying “I got so PRIMORDIAL last night, bruh.”

Primordial is a dynamic, diverse word that can be applied to anything.

If you want to make it a noun; primordiality. If you want to ascribe a name to a place that’s primordial; primordia.

As you can probably tell, the possibilities of primordiality are endless.

So how does one be primordial? Well, here’s your primordial starter kit:

1. Know who you are.
Know thyself. Transcend the fear of the egoic mind and ask yourself the big questions. “Who am I?” Beyond your race, beyond your nationality, beyond your gender, beyond your body, beyond your name, beyond your set of experiences, beyond your thoughts, beyond your mind; who are you? The only plausible answer is “I am.” Operate from that place of pure, conscious (primordial) awareness and you become your own guru.

Knowing yourself is fundamental. Because without that deep-seated awareness, everything else will be based upon delusion and ignorance.

2. Be authentic, no matter what.
Stay true to yourself. Be unabashedly yourself. Be uncompromising with your authenticity. Embodying your unique authenticity gives you genuine self-love from the depths of your being. It eliminates that anxiety gap between your real-self and what you project to the outside world. As the saying goes, do you.

3. Don’t care about what other people think.
Not caring about what other people think (or what society as a whole thinks) is liberating. It allows you to live life on your own accord. When you’re motivated and act on your own genuine desires, you’re free.

4. Do it big.
Shoot for the moon. If you miss, you’ll land amongst the stars. Set big, audacious goals. And even if you don’t specifically achieve them, you’ll have made much more progress than you otherwise would have. Do it big, dream big, because what’s the point of dreaming small?

5. Take chances.
You regret more things that you don’t do in life, as opposed to things you do. Go for it. Talk to that attractive person in front of you at the store, quit your unfulfilling job to pursue your passion, travel somewhere new, dance like no one is watching. Are you really living if you’re not taking any chances?

6. Get in touch with your primal side.
Don’t suppress or ignore your primal urges. But don’t get lost in the indulgence of your primal side either. Accept your primal self and express your emotions (in a healthy way of course) while maintaining proper perspective. Get in tune with your body and its needs. Workout and feel the blood and adrenaline pumping through you. Wholeheartedly explore your sexuality without guilt or shame. Hike a mountain and feel your intrinsic connectedness with nature. Get outside, run, jump, dance, sing and thoroughly enjoy the beautiful experiences of physicality.

7. Be present.
Live in the moment. Make the now the primary focus of your life. Don’t get absorbed in the circular thought loops that leave you obsessing over the past and future. Only refer to the past if it’s applicable to the present. Only refer to the future if it’s absolutely necessary to plan in the present. Being primordial is timeless. Reside in the eternal now and bask in primordiality.

8. Be unique.
You’re unique. I’m unique. We’re all unique. As humans, no one is perfect. And the silver lining to imperfection is that it begets uniqueness. Everyone is one of a kind. Everyone has special gifts, unique skills and amazingly different traits. So why fit in with the crowd when you can stand out? Being primordial takes on an infinity of forms, and you’re one of them. Smile and own your uniqueness.

9. Be passionate.
Do things wholeheartedly. Have that burning drive that propels you forward in life. Find your passions, and live through them to the point where others are inspired by it. Apathy, mediocrity and boredom make life dull and are, most certainly, not primordial.

10. Be random.
Embrace spontaneity and your own unique quirks. Be whimsical and random. We’re all weird in our own ways and life is a lot of fun when you lean into your primordial randomness.

An example of this is a conversational icebreaker that I randomly came up with. While at a bar last weekend, a woman who I wanted to talk to was walking right past me. Letting my inhibitions go, I spontaneously held up my glass and said “Cheers to Ulysses S. Grant.” Because it was so random and lighthearted, she smiled and reciprocated the cheers. Randomness is primordial.

11. Question authority.
Ask “Why?” Question the status quo. Be a leader, don’t blindly follow. Stand up for what you believe in. Have a voice. Don’t allow external forces to dictate your reality. Break some rules. If you’re not harming yourself or others, then do it. When you’re primordial, you can’t be boxed in or contained.

12. Leave expectations at the door.
Expectations are the fool’s income. Placing expectations on people and future situations will set you up for disappointment. Do things because you genuinely want to do them, not because you’re expecting something out of it. Expect the unexpected, because the only constant is change. Forgoing expectations, on people especially, frees both parties to bask in their primordial essence.

13. Embrace laughter.
Life is short. Life is a video game. Enjoy the ride and have fun. Is life worth living if there is no fun in it? Comedy, laughter, smirks and silliness are the primordial spices of life.

14. Realize that, at times, you may even be too primordial for this list.
If you’re primordial, you don’t follow any rigid rules. You may want to add more ways to be primordial, or throw them all away. Whatever you do, just live life on your own terms. Now that’s primordial.

“Absorb what is useful. Discard what is not. Add what is uniquely your own.” – Bruce Lee

Let your primordiality precede you.

Stay primordial.

– Stevie P!

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Annihilate Anxiety With Deep Breathing

Anxiety has been a topic of great interest to me recently. I’ve pored over research, pondered extensively, talked to many people about it and brainstormed some creative solutions. That’s why I created an online course, entitled Annihilate Anxiety, which will be available very, very soon (check out the website here for more information).

When it comes to transcending anxiety, one key element is deep breathing.

Enter the breath…

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The breath is the gateway to self-mastery.

Whatever you do, do not underrate the practice of breathing. Like with most normal human functions (walking is another example), you can easily fool yourself into overlooking its profound power. Just because the act of breathing is so simple does not make it ineffective. It’s actually quite the opposite. Deep breathing is an essential everyday panacea.

What makes the breath unique is that, even though the majority of it is done unconsciously, you can override this process and breathe consciously. This “conscious override” makes it a highly effective, special tool.

As you (hopefully) already know, deep breathing relaxes your body and mind. But the key is to truly, wholeheartedly understand this and be aware of your breathing as often as possible. When you’re aware of your breath, and consciously breathe deeply, you place yourself in a power position to change your mental, emotional and physical state.

Take a second, right now, to be aware of your breath…

Is it shallow? Hurried? Erratic? Where are you breathing into? Your throat? Your chest?

Inhale deeply. Breathe into your belly. Let your stomach expand as you take in air through your nose. Exhale slowly. Do this a few times.

Do you feel the change?

Notice your breath as often as possible, and breathe deeply. Shallow breathing goes hand-in-hand with fear-based emotions (like anxiety), while deep breathing is peaceful and calming.

If you feel anxious, move your focus to your breath. Breathe deeply, and after a few seconds your mind will naturally calm down. Deep breathing doesn’t just help with acute anxiety either. Incorporating conscious, deep breathing in your day-to-day life gives your overall experience a coating of blissful, zen-like centeredness. It’s like breathing yourself into the eye of the storm. There may be utter turbulence surrounding you, but you reside in a place of smirk-inducing serenity.

A mantra that is greatly helpful while deep breathing is “All I have is my breath.” Whenever I feel anxious or too in my head, I repeat that mantra to myself while taking deep breaths. Then, after just a few moments, there is a shift. And I feel much more at peace and centered.

It seems so simple, but deep breathing really works.

One of the best specific breathing techniques for overcoming anxiety is Dr. Andrew Weil’s 4-7-8 Breath. Here’s how to do it:
1. Inhale for a count of 4
2. Hold your breath for a count of 7
3. Exhale for a count of 8
4. Repeat this cycle 4 times

Making this a daily practice is tremendously beneficial. Plus it’s so short that anyone can incorporate it into their day.

Why is deep breathing so effective? (A short list of some benefits that are directly and indirectly related to overcoming anxiety)

  • Creates mental awareness
  • Creates physical awareness
  • Relaxes the body and releases physical tension
  • Relaxes the mind and releases mental/emotional tension
  • Fosters presence (which is indescribably life-transforming)
  • Provides a sense of empowerment
  • Creates a “sacred pause”
  • Oxygenates the body and brain (healthy body and optimized cognition)
  • Readjusts focus (ex/ If you focus on your breath, you won’t focus on what you’re getting anxious about)
  • Begets a “higher perspective” (mastering the mind as opposed to being a slave to it)

Deep breathing is an immensely powerful tool with benefits that span the spectrum of existence.

Cultivate breathing awareness.

Inhale serenity, exhale anxiety.

Find your breath.

– Stevie P!

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Where Did You Get Your Sense of Possibility?

I looked up at the diving board. It was a proud blue piece of art that stood eight feet above the water.

The sun was shining brightly overhead as I observed a young man bounce off of the beautiful blue plank and execute a graceful swan dive, landing in the deep pool with a small splash.

Looking up at my dad, I curiously asked “Is it possible to do a double backflip off of the diving board?”

Without hesitation, he looked at me with a reassuring smile and confidently replied “Nothing is impossible.”

A sense of empowerment rippled through my consciousness. It was a feeling so profound that it transcends time and space. And I feel it as I type this.

I didn’t do a double-back flip that day, or any day for that matter (except on a trampoline once). Yet that moment created a life-altering, paradigm shift within me.

The real takeaway is not the act, but the message it conveys… The only limitations you have are those you place upon yourself.

Astrophotography Panorama Test Shot

Where is the line you’ve drawn between possible and impossible?

How big (or small) is your box of possibility? Why do you even have a box of possibility?

Where did you get your sense of what is really possible?

From school? (standardized indoctrination)

From what the media tells you? (Sensationalized fear-mongering to keep people ignorant and disempowered. Does anyone still believe the mainstream media these days?)

From where mainstream science is at today? (Science is ever-evolving and self-correcting. What we believe today will be thought of as utterly ignorant tomorrow.)

From what your parents told you? (Who were influenced by all of the above as well.)

“To believe a thing impossible is to make it so.” – French Proverb

Here’s a little secret: There is no line rigidly dividing what is possible and impossible. There is no box. We live in a quantum soup of infinite possibility. Depending on your current circumstance, this may be hard to fathom. But anything and everything is possible. Just because you (think you) can’t do something right now does not make it impossible. Who knows what’s really possible? I certainly don’t. And that’s why I’m open to the idea of anything being possible.

50 years ago, it would have been hard to imagine what you’re doing right now. Reading, on a computer screen, what someone else has written and published onto the invisible cloud of the internet (and having the ability to share it with hundreds of people with the click of a button). It would have easily been dismissed as impossible by any rational realist.

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela

Shatter your self-imposed boundaries of possibility. Embrace the mystery of existence. Dance with the enigma. Entertain any idea, cling to none.

Divorce limitation and start making love with infinite possibility.

“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!” – Audrey Hepburn

Turn “impossible” into “I’m possible.”

Much love.

– Stevie P!

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New Beginnings and Endless Endings

A poem…

Writing

New beginnings and endless endings
Infinitely dancing
In a bittersweet twist
Of co-created fate

An ever-evolving cloud of possibility
Recycling existence
Ceaselessly raining new life

Drops diving into the ocean of eternity
Both infinitesimal and inconceivably meaningful
For the ocean is but a union
A union of individual drops

Rippling through the timeless now
Touching the deepest aspect of self
Subtly reminding us
Of our shared essence

 

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Time is a Sailing Ship

“We think that the world is limited and explained by its past. We tend to think that what happened in the past determines what is going to happen next, and we do not see that it is exactly the other way around! What is always the source of the world is the present; the past doesn’t explain a thing. The past trails behind the present like the wake of a ship and eventually disappears.” – Alan Watts

wake

Time is a sailing ship. The past is the wake. The future is what lies in the direction the ship is headed. And all of this concurrently exists in the present moment; the eternal now.

Both the past and future are projections from within the present.

We, as human beings, have a first person point of view of this voyage. Our body is the ship which we view the world from as we sail through space-time.

If you were to draw your perception back to a third person point of view, you would be able to see both the past (the wake left behind) and the future (where you’re headed). In the brilliant documentary “The Illusion of Time,” physicist Brian Greene compares space-time to a loaf of bread. What we perceive as now is a slice in that loaf of space-time, but the whole loaf always exists. So theoretically, if you were to somehow perceive reality from a higher perspective, you would be able to observe the whole “loaf” of space-time (past/present/future). Maybe this is the perspective of those who are able to “see the future.”

While the comparison to a loaf of bread is helpful in conceptualizing the past, present and future as the dimension of space-time, it doesn’t do justice to the ever-changing, dynamic nature of the universe. We live in a quantum soup of infinite possibility. There is no predetermined path (loaf of bread). The path is always shifting according to what you do in the present moment.

That’s why the metaphor of the ship is profound. You can change the direction of your ship at any point, and this will change both the future and the past. When you change direction, the wake you leave behind changes as well as your course ahead.

Even the simple concept of forgiveness demonstrates this. If you forgive someone who has wronged you in the past, you change the meaning of the past. So instead of harboring hatred and resentment in the present moment, you let go and feel freedom, love and empathy.

You have the power to transform past failures into learning experiences; pain into a catalyst for growth; disappointment into opportunity.

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A related, mind-bending phenomenon is called the delayed choice or quantum eraser effect, pioneered by the physicist John Wheeler. Imagine a star emitting a photon billions of years ago, heading towards Earth. And there is a galaxy in between the star and Earth. Because of this, the light will have to bend around the galaxy in order to reach Earth (which is called “gravitational lensing”). The photon can take one of two paths around the galaxy, left or right. Billions of years later, if someone decides sets up a device to catch the photon, it would behave as a wave, not a particle. This demonstrates that the photon really took both ways around the galaxy.

You could also view the photon by focusing a telescope on either side of the galaxy to determine which side the photon traveled to reach Earth. The very act of measuring the photon’s behavior means it can only come from one side. It will no longer act as a wave that went both ways, but as a particle which only went in the direction from which it was observed.

This is mind-bogglingly profound. It means that how we measure the photon now actually affects the direction it traveled in billions of years ago.

Everything is a projection from the present moment. The eternal now is all that exists, and from it you have the power to change both your future and your past.

Enjoy the voyage and sail free.

– Stevie P!

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Solitary Refinement: The Profound Power of Solitude

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“Above measure the singular pleasure of solitude” – MF DOOM (Bookfiend)

That line serendipitously seems to seep into my consciousness whenever I’m immersed in the unique euphoria that solitude brings.

Solitude can be indescribably blissful, or utterly torturous, depending on your state of being and self-love. Solitary confinement? Or solitary refinement? The choice is up to you.

I spent the majority of this past weekend in solitude and it was completely cathartic. That’s why I’m even writing this right now.

We live in a society that overly praises extroverted tendencies and dismisses introverted tendencies as being “anti-social.” Noise is excessively celebrated, while the silence that all sound comes from is overlooked.

With this imbalance skewed towards extroversion, the word “alone” has become synonymous with “lonely.” But that’s not the case at all. You can be lonely in a crowd, or feel connected with all-that-is when alone.

I’ll ask you this: Have you mastered yourself, accepted yourself and do you love yourself enough to bask in the glory of solitude?

“Solitude is painful when one is young, but delightful when one is more mature.” – Albert Einstein

You must view solitude as a necessary practice in order to become the best version of yourself.

Solitude comes with an abundance of benefits. It’s no coincidence that many of the greatest people to walk the planet engaged in a regular practice of productive solitude.

Getting to know yourself.

The phrase “Know thyself” was famously inscribed at the Temple at Delphi. Knowing oneself is absolutely crucial for any form of self-awareness or personal growth.

Solitude is the fertile ground upon which the seeds of self-mastery of sewn. When it’s just you and your thoughts, you’re able to bring the subtleties of your own nature into conscious awareness.

“Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power. If you realize that you have enough, you are truly rich.” – Lao Tzu

Empowerment.

Everything you desire, is first and foremost, an inside job. External peace is not possible without inner peace. External harmony is not possible without inner harmony.

If you choose to be happy, you’re empowered. But if you rely on external factors to be happy, you’re giving your power away in exchange for victimhood.

By engaging in productive solitude, you build a solid foundation to become the master of your own destiny.

Idea generation.

Solitude gives you space to reflect. It provides the golden silence necessary for you to receive the subtle gems of the universe.

Ideas just flow effortlessly when you’re alone and in a good state of mind.

Recharging.

Solitude acts as a rejuvenating self-reset. It gives you the opportunity to take a break from the chaos of modern life and bring yourself back to equilibrium.

The ability to give more when around others.

Just as you’re able to perform at your physical peak after a good night’s rest, you’re able to give more to others after engaging in solitude. Restful yin energy is what allows for the maximization of the active yang energy.

Someone who has developed themselves simply has a greater capacity to give. Remember, you can’t truly love someone else if you don’t love yourself.

Also, independence is cultivated in solitude. So this means that you’re far less likely to be a nuisance or unnecessary burden to others. Conscious alone time is essentially flexing your handle-your-business muscle.

You’re most free when alone.

There are no compromises, no voting and no worries of pleasing people. Every decision you make is entirely up to you. That’s why it’s easy to be boldly spontaneous when alone, which can be a lot of fun.

Solitude fosters creation.

“Without great solitude no serious work is possible.” – Pablo Picasso

Almost all artistic creation occurs in solitude. There is a level of concentration reached when alone that just doesn’t happen around other people. Combine this with the idea generating nature of solitude and you have a recipe for prolific creation.

I create my best work when alone. I’m also hard pressed to create anything with others around. A subtle reason for this is that I give everything I’m doing my full attention. So if I’m with other people, connecting with them is my focus.

Great people have always embraced solitude.

People who have made a significant impact on the world spent a lot of time in solitude.

Buddha and Jesus went off by themselves for years. This solitude was a major part in both of their breakthroughs into the level of consciousness available to all of us.

A major aspect of the hero’s journey (described by Joseph Campbell) is this form of self-discovery.

“Opportunities
To find deeper powers
Within ourselves
Come when life
Seems most challenging.”
– Joseph Campbell

Writers and any artists thrive off of solitude.

This goes hand-in-hand with the last two points. Solitude begets creation, as well as the self-reflection to produce timeless works of art.

Henry David Thoreau (The Notorious HDT) epitomized productive solitude with his two year getaway at Walden Pond, where he produced some of his best work.

“I’ve never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude.” – Henry David Thoreau

Don’t worry though, you don’t have to go to the extreme that Thoreau did to leverage the power of solitude. All it takes is making some productive solitude a regular practice.

The point of solitude is not in becoming a recluse, but in returning to the world as an ever-evolving version of yourself.

Cultivate the power of solitude.

Thoreau-ly enjoy yourself.

– Stevie P!

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This “Alien Meditation” Will Completely Refresh Your Perspective

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When was the last time you experienced complete awe? When was the last time you experienced that magical feeling of childlike wonder?

Most of us lose our sense of awe by adulthood and coast through daily life on monotonous auto-pilot. We slowly fade from being awe-inspired to being awe-tomatons.

Far too often, we go through life driven by routine and absorbed in incessant thoughts. This causes us to miss out on the effervescent magic of each experienced moment. Ask yourself this question: Am I mindful, or mind-full?

The magic comes back to us periodically though, when we do something completely new that tears down the walls of our comfort zones. It’s in these moments, where we surrender to the enigma of existence, that we feel vibrantly alive.

Word on the street is that Leonardo Da Vinci had a practice to spark this feeling of awe-inspired novelty. He would constantly search for something new in every familiar object. Da Vinci understood that viewing everything with such intense curiosity would be beneficial in many ways.

Take a moment to appreciate what it would feel like to experience everything with completely fresh eyes, like an alien who just beamed themselves to planet Earth.

“At every moment, you stand on alien ground,
presented ceaselessly the opportunity to become new with it.”
– Teal Swan

The Alien Meditation:

  • Step 1 – Close your eyes and take a deep breath.
  • Step 2 – Imagine that you’re an alien who just teleported to where you are.
  • Step 3 – See, perceive and experience the world around you as if for the first time.
  • Step 4 – Find something new about whatever you’re observing.
  • Step 5 – Bask in the awe, wonder and magic of it all.

Cherish the mystical miracle of life all around you. It’s always there, within the beauty of the present moment.

Much love.

– Stevie P!

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The Spontanist

Note: I use the pronoun “he” in this post (mostly because I included the picture of myself below). But if your vessel is of the female variety, feel free to substitute it with “she” while reading.

Spontanist

The Spontanist is the physical embodiment of spontaneity, living in perpetual celebration of the present moment.

The past can be learned from and the future can be used to plan, but the now is where life happens. The present is where the Spontanist resides.

The Spontanist welcomes change.

The only constant is change. The universe is in a state of continuous flux and so are we. Atoms are 99.999999999999% empty space and electrons are blinking in and out of existence. There is no real solidity! The world around us, as well as our bodies, are amalgamations of slowed vibrations. So to think that we are rigid, fixed and unchanging is utterly insane. The Spontanist leverages the permanent impermanence of reality. He rides the winds of change without resistance.

The Spontanist embraces the unknown.

He does not fear the unknown but greets it with open arms. Life is mysterious. Existence is enigmatic. There are so many unknowns. Certainty is an illusion but we all have the ability to handle anything life throws at us. The Spontanist understands this and gratefully accepts mystery as the key to adventure.

The Spontanist does not confine their entire identity to a label.

He has no need to box his identity inside of a nationality, race, gender, political party or name. Why imprison the self within a label, when you can choose the whole? (And the liberation that comes with it.) The Spontanist just is.

Yes, the word “Spontanist” is a label, but it is only a signpost, not an identity. And a signpost to describe only one aspect of being, at that.

When asking the question “Who am I?” the only plausible answer for the Spontanist is “I am.”

The Spontanist has no rigid, static personality to uphold.

(Nothing is rigid and static anyway, though we might delude ourselves into thinking so.)

He is free to be however he wants to be. His sense of self isn’t relegated to adjectives that describe behavior. The Spontanist isn’t quiet or loud, athletic or nerdy. He embodies any adjective, depending on what the moment brings. The Spontanist dances, not because he is a dancer, but because he feels like dancing.

The Spontanist is guided by intuition.

Intuition is his inner compass. The Spontanist flows through life, surfing streams of intuition into the magical mystery of existence. He uses inner judgment to determine his path, not the opinions other people or the standardized norms of society.

The Spontanist is dynamic.

He happily adjusts to any situation. He is strong yet yielding, flexible yet empowered.

The Spontanist epitomizes water as described by Bruce Lee…

“Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.

Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”

The Spontanist doesn’t suppress desires.

He knows how to differentiate between genuine desires and deceitful desires. The Spontanist operates through intuition, not ego. He is motivated by love as opposed to fear. Acting out of a place of love, the Spontanist is confident with any decision-making.

The Spontanist has faith.

The Spontanist has faith in himself. He has faith that everything happens for a reason and everything is a learning experience. He has faith that he harbors the ability to gracefully flow through even the most turbulent of life’s waters.

Spontaneity is the spice of life and the Spontanist is a master chef.

Now is always the perfect time to cook up some freestyle fun.

 

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There Are No Problems in the Present Moment

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While I was in the shower this morning, I found myself getting annoyed and worked up…

I recently broke up with the woman I was dating. So I was grappling with my ego and mulling over the past. Realizing that I had created this negative mental spiral, I asked myself “What am I doing RIGHT NOW?” My answer was simply “I’m in the shower.” No problems, nothing bad happening to me, just water happily running over my body.

Of course, parting ways with someone close to you is difficult, but being completely present helped me to transcend the incessant, ego-driven thought loops that didn’t serve me.

To be clear, I’m not saying to suppress or ignore emotions. They must be acknowledged and dealt with or they will manifest in insidious ways. I’m merely pointing out that, through presence, I was able to stop the repetitive, problem-creating “ego-talk” that wasn’t doing me any good.

Combine intense presence with viewing everything as a learning experience or challenge (see: The Challenge Perspective), and you’ll be alright no matter what.

“There’s no place quite like here. There’s no better time than now.” – Jhene Aiko

Be here totally. Be here now.

When you’re completely in the moment, you feel blissful no matter what. It just works that way. But when we obsess over the past or future, everything starts becoming an issue. Our neurotic monkey mind, which can be an extremely useful tool, becomes problematic when we’re engulfed by it.

“The circumstances you are experiencing are not the cause of your suffering. The cause of your suffering is the thought that what is happening should not be happening or is not supposed to be happening.” – Teal Swan

That message is profound. And it does not mean that you should become passive and do nothing with your life. Not at all. To put it another way, pain is inevitable but suffering is optional. Just be. Totally accept the present moment and fully immerse yourself in whatever you’re doing; that’s when so-called problems fade away and life becomes magical.

How to steep yourself in the sweet nectar of the present moment:

1. Recognize when you’re obsessing over the past or future.
Are you caught in endless loops of thought? Or you playing out arguments in your head? Are you defending yourself in your head? Is your ego trying to justify itself? Are you thinking about how you’re better (or worse) than someone? Are you worrying about something that might happen in the future? Are you marinating on something in the past that you can’t change?

2. Ask yourself “What am I doing RIGHT NOW?”
What are you doing right now, at this very moment? Not five minutes from now, not next week. What are you doing NOW? Whenever you do this, you find that it’s all good and that the problems you’re creating in your head are based on projections into the past or future.

The exception to this is something like getting chased by a bear. But in any life-threatening situation, you don’t have “time” (see what I did there?) to worry or feel bad for yourself. You’re just absorbed in the moment and existing in pure, adrenaline-fueled action. Danger can be very real but fear is a mental construct.

3. Firmly tell yourself to “Be here now.” (Or any other affirmation that helps to bring you back to the present moment.)

A mantra that keeps me present and worry-free is “All I have is my breath.” I breathe deeply and repeat those words to myself. This mantra grounds me into the moment and makes me truly understand that anything can be taken away from me at any time. It puts me at peace with the perpetual, enigmatic flux of the Universe.

To drive the point hOMe, here are some quotes from The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle:

“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.”

“All negativity is caused by an accumulation of psychological time and denial of the present. Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry – all forms of fear – are caused by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of nonforgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.”

“As soon as you honor the present moment, all unhappiness and struggle dissolve, and life begins to flow with joy and ease. When you act out the present-moment awareness, whatever you do becomes imbued with a sense of quality, care, and love – even the most simple action.”

“Time isn’t precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: the Now. That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on time—past and future—the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.”

Embrace the present, it’s a gift.

Much love.

– Stevie P

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A Game of Shadows

I’ve been noticing many hidden subtleties in both nature and myself lately. One must acknowledge the shadow aspects (or “the dark side”) within everything in order to realize wholeness. With that being said, here’s a piece of poetry I wrote…

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Day and night are a tide of shadows

Nighttime is defined by shadows
Even the horizon
The Earth itself
Becomes a gigantic shadow

Sunrise is the great reducer of shadows
High noon is shadowless
Sunset is the great grower of shadows

Expansion and contraction
A continuous dance

Life is an interplay of shadows

Hidden aspects of self
Beautiful blind spots
Highlighted by awareness

Do not denounce the shadows
They exist to provide perspective
Allowing us to see

The sun still shines
Yet we find ourselves
In a grand game of shadows