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4 States of Waking Consciousness

create

How much do you absorb compared to how much you create?

How much silence do you get to balance all of the noise in life?

What are the quality of your interactions like?

These are some questions that shine light on potential imbalances in your life, and help to cultivate an empowering sense of self-awareness.

And these questions have led me to develop a template for creating balance in life, the 4 States of Waking Consciousness:

  • Absorption
  • Creation
  • Silence
  • Interaction

Each of these represents four general classifications of states we’re in throughout the day.

The key, like everything in life, is to find your own unique healthy balance. And having a template like this greatly helps in cultivating the awareness necessary to create balance and achieve goals.

The 4 States of Waking Consciousness

states consciousness

Absorption

Absorption is, as you probably guessed, whenever you’re absorbing. Yes it’s true that we’re always absorbing through the subconscious mind, but here I’m referring more to absorption through the conscious mind.

The state of absorption is basically whenever you’re watching, reading or consuming anything. For example, watching tv, reading a book, even looking at architecture is absorption.

There are also scales of absorption. For example, watching tv is almost pure absorption, while reading is absorption that is less passive because the faculties of imagination and visualization are involved. And then something like sitting quietly and observing nature is absorption bordering on silence.

Most people in today’s society are extremely imbalanced, being so absorption dominant that all of the other states become suffocated, leading to mental, emotional, physical and spiritual disharmonies.

Prescription for the average person: Absorb less. Be aware of everything you absorb throughout the day. Only absorb what is in alignment with you highest good.

Creation

Creation is, obviously, whenever you’re creating.

Creating comes in many different forms, through self-expression and anything related to art.

Some examples of creation are writing, painting, drawing, dancing, singing, chanting, designing, building something…etc.

Creation is the active, the outflow, compare to the receptive, inflow of absorption.

Most people in today’s society are severely deficient in creation. Because most people create so little, they’re blocking their flow of energy, which leads to stifled emotions, depression and anxiety (among other dis-eases).

I discuss this topic in more depth here: Release Into Love

Prescription for the average person: Create more. Express yourself more. Do something creative today, no matter how small.

Silence

Silence is the state of stillness, or pure consciousness.

Silence is epitomized by the practice of meditation. It is a state of no-thought, no noise and no distraction. It is the infinite possibility from which everything else emerges.

As I just mentioned, meditation is a means of dipping into silence. Think of it as a cleanse, or a reset for your entire being.

Like with creation, most people today are severely deficient in silence. We expose ourselves to constant noise and distraction, both externally and internally. This never gives us the space to truly rest and dip into the essence of being, which rejuvenates and allows us to then live with increased peace and clarity.

Prescription for the average person: An Introduction to Meditation

Interaction

Interaction is characterized by the exchanges between individuals. Any time a connection with another individual is being made, that’s interaction.

Interaction is unique in that it can underlie absorption or creation. For example, when listening to someone else speak, you’re both interacting and absorbing. When you’re talking to someone, you’re both interacting and creating. When you’re simply in the presence of someone, or making eye contact with them, that’s pure interaction.

Though interaction is not as stifled as creation or silence, those deficiencies have devalued the quality of most interactions. For example, most people opt to watch tv together instead of just being with the other person. That’s two people merely absorbing in the same room instead of actually connecting.

Prescription for the average person: Enhance the quality of your interactions. Truly get to know people. Be present, make eye contact, listen intently and embody compassion.

interaction

Applying 4 States of Waking Consciousness

Keep in mind that each individual has to find his/her own unique balance. But even with individual differences, it’s important to not become so imbalanced that it creates unwanted problems.

As stated before, most people are severely deficient in creation and silence. This affects the quality of interaction, along with creating many other problems.

And funnily enough, too much absorption affects the quality of absorption as well. Someone who spends all day on their Facebook newsfeed would not have the attention span or focus to read a book.

Diagnosis

A simple way to diagnose yourself is to think about how many hours per day you spend in each of the four states. Additionally, be aware of the quality of each. Then you can come up with a ratio that is a general estimate.

For example, on an average day, my ratio (totaling 100%) might look like this:
Absorption – 30%
Creation – 35%
Silence – 10%
Interaction – 20%

If you live in modern western culture, silence is going to be very low no matter what. But it’s important to get at least some silence each day. If you think about it, most people get absolutely no silence ever! We’re constantly distracted by smartphones, social media, tv, checking email, to-do lists and even other people.

The benefits of silence are seemingly endless. This is why it’s crucial to get at least some silence every day.

#Goals

The other point about applying the 4 States of Waking Consciousness relates to working towards goals.
If you have a goal, you may have to shift your proportions in order to achieve it.

For example, if you want to write a novel, you have to be in creation mode more often. You may also need more silence in order to support that creativity. This means that interaction and absorption may have to take a back seat while you’re writing the novel.

Expanding Your Circle

Here’s a really cool phenomenon…

When you engage in personal growth of any kind, you actually EXPAND YOUR CIRCLE.

What I mean by this is you increase your capacity regarding each of the four states. It’s not necessarily that you have more time in the day, but the quality and intensity are increased.

Any of these states can be deepened through practice. For example, by reading books you can learn to absorb and synthesize information more effectively. You can practice writing, thus being able to write better and produce more quality words per hour. You can practice meditation to deepen your state of silence. You can practice compassion to increase the quality of interactions.

Whenever you increase your capacity, you expand your circle.

consciousness

So where do you stand?

Here are some questions that will create more awareness for you:

  • Which of these states are you deficient in?
  • Which states are you overly immersed in?
  • How can you create more balance and harmony?
  • Do your proportions of these states reflect your highest interest?
  • How can you shift these proportions to create more peace and happiness?
  • How can you shift these proportions to solve a problem you have?
  • What goals do you have and how can you shift your proportions to achieve them?
  • What are your favorite ways to create?
  • What are ways to absorb that benefit you?
  • How can you get more silence?
  • How can you increase the quality of your interactions?

Take a minute to ponder those questions. Let them sink in and create some awareness.

I hope you found value in this template.

Much love.

– Stevie P!
 

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The 8 Stages of Conscious Evolution

consciousness

Have you ever wondered…

About what level of consciousness you’re truly at?

Not in terms of it being a contest, or to say you’re better/worse than other people, but as a kind of inner GPS that simply tells you where you are.

As humans, we tend to have very distorted and biased perspectives, especially when it comes to ourselves.

It’s really easy to go on a yoga retreat and think you’ve transcended stress forever, or think you’re enlightened after reading a few spiritual books.

This is why it’s crucial to have references that “tell it like it is” and objectively reflect where you’re at.

I recently came across what can be described as a map of consciousness. It’s a research paper by Justin Faerman entitled Mapping the Evolution of Consciousness: A Holistic Framework for Psychospiritual Development.

This paper describes, in plain English, eight stages of consciousness. And it’s not abstract or woo-woo. It’s straightforward, simple to understand and backed by a lot of research.

Here are the stages outlined in the paper…

The 8 Stages of Conscious Evolution

stages of consciousness

Note: The first 2 stages are considered lower consciousness, while stages 3-8 are considered higher consciousness. This is not a judgment of being better or worse, but simply a means of classification.

Stage 1: Life Happens to Me (Externalization)

Stage 1 is categorized by patterns of externalization and an overall victim mentality. The dominant emotions are fear, disdain and hopelessness. There is also a belief that life cannot be trusted.

In this stage, blame is placed on other individuals, society, government, nature, disease, etc. and other elements believed to be outside of one’s conscious control and influence.

The motivating forces of stage 1 are safety and security.

Dominant Belief Structures:
Life is not safe; I am not safe

Mantra for Evolution:
“God does not play dice with the universe.” – Albert Einstein

Stage 2: Life Happens by Me (Control)

In this second stage, individuals realize that they have some degree of control. Yet this control is often motivated by fear and survival.

For example, war is an extension of this stage of consciousness. The enemy is perceived as a threat, and because of this, people believe they are morally justified to kill, eliminate or repress that enemy.

We also see various reflections of this stage of consciousness in our collective world. Look at how most people treat the environment and interpersonal relationships. Or consider the dominant mentality of politics and business.

This level of awareness is cut off from the following deeper understanding: Life is not a random series of events over which control must be exerted, but a deeper reflection of the internal psychodynamics of a person’s own mind and consciousness.

Dominant Belief Structures:
I must make it so; What I cannot control will destroy me.

Mantra for Evolution:
“If you bring forth what is within you, then that which is within you will be your salvation. If you do not bring forth what is within you, then that which is within you will destroy you.” – Gnostic Gospels

Stage 3 : Life Happens in Me (Creator)

In this stage, the individual begins to understand the direct connection between their own perceptions, beliefs and emotional state and the conditions of their life, relationships, experiences and reality as a whole.

This level of consciousness is represented by a fundamental shift, from disempowerment to empowerment.

In order to fully complete this stage, an individual must undergo a deep transformational process that includes the purging of all perceptual distortions (limiting beliefs) and the healing/release of all emotional wounds and traumas. The emergence of consciousness into later stages is observed in direct proportion to the evolution of an individual through this process of deep inner healing and transformational work.

Dominant Belief Structures:
I am in control; I am creative

Useful Psycho-Spiritual Practices:
Mindfulness, Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy, Emotional freedom techniques, Neuro-linguistic programming, Trauma release exercises, Psychotherapy, Ho’oponopono, Introspection

Mantra for Evolution:
“Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens.” – Carl Jung

Stage 4: Life Happens For Me (Receiver)

In this stage, we see the evolution of the self into the beginnings of deep joy and peace.

As the resistance to perceived undesirable circumstances in life falls away and one begins to understand that there is an intelligent ‘flow’ operating in every moment guiding the evolution of consciousness on both an individual and collective level through what could be dualistically termed positive and negative experiences.

The individual realizes here that even in great suffering, there is great wisdom and potential for expansion and evolution and that nothing is out of place, ever has been or ever will be.

Dominant Belief Structures:
I am loved; I am supported

Useful Psycho-Spiritual Practices:
Seeing everything as perfect, Surrender, Acceptance, Letting Go, Embracing Flow and Effortlessness, Meditation

Mantra For Evolution:
“Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment.” – Eckhart Tolle

Stage 5: Life Happens Through Me (Philosopher)

At this stage of consciousness, the individual begins to understand and observe that the Universe is evolving itself through them.

The individual begins to realize that all perceived suffering or negative events are either:
a) Created or called into their reality by aspects of their own consciousness in an effort to be resolved and transcended as part of their individual evolution and as part of the larger collective evolution or…
b) Exist due to their conscious or unconscious resistance to what is unfolding, which is essentially a resistance of oneself.

Individuals in stage 5 live more through their intuition, as intuition becomes clearer and clearer as one moves up the stages.

Dominant Belief Structures:
I am safe; Everything is perfect

Useful Psycho-Spiritual Practices:
Intuitive Development, Kinesiology

Mantra For Evolution:
“Everything in the universe is within you. Ask all from yourself.” – Rumi

Stage 6: Life is Me (Sage)

At this stage of awareness, the individual begins to understand that reality does not exist independent of consciousness, and therefore consciousness, or awareness if you prefer, is the causative factor of the universe and all that exists—that consciousness is creating all reality.

Individuals in this stage experience a profound sense of unity and oneness with everything.

When an individual fully enters and embodies this stage of awareness, their simple presence itself becomes a transformative experience for others. Individuals in this stage often become teachers or leaders, dedicate their lives to service of others or seek solitude to spend time in introspection, although they may also choose to live very normal and inconspicuous lives.

Dominant Belief Structures:
I am one; I am whole

Useful Psycho-Spiritual Practices:
Service, Contemplation, Meditation

Mantras For Evolution:
“You are an aperture through which the universe is looking at and exploring itself.” – Alan Watts

“Stop acting so small. You are the Universe in ecstatic motion.” – Rumi

Stage 7: I Am Infinite (Avatar)

Individuals at this stage of growth begin to transcend the physicality within which we are proverbially ‘trapped’ until we reach this point.

Here individuals begin to harness conscious control over this process by directing their awareness in such a way (through belief, emotion, thought, visualization, the manipulation of energy, intent, accessing transpersonal aspects of the self and likely other mechanisms not yet discovered) as to be able to make use of these ‘higher order’ quantum-transpersonal abilities of the self.

Individuals at this stage perceive and know themselves to be limitless and are in various sub-stages of actualizing that reality beyond a simple intellectual understanding.

As individuals move more deeply into this stage they proportionally complete lower stages which leads to an embodied confidence, power and knowingness, which is palpable to most all who they come into contact with.

Dominant Belief Structures:
I am infinite/limitless; Anything is possible

Useful Psycho-Spiritual Practices:
Esoterics, Visualization, Kabbalah, Sound/Vibration/Mantra, Qi/Nei Gong, Kriya Yoga

Mantra for Evolution:
“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” – Albert Einstein

Stage 8: I Am Energy (Mystic-Shamanic)

Individuals at this stage tap into phenomena like:

  • The ability to project consciousness across space and time, which encompasses the ability to see, experience and remember aspects of the self existing in other dimensions of time (past, present and future).
  • The ability to interact with and communicate with other forms of consciousness such as plants, animals, objects and consciousnesses not currently existing in physical form.
  • The ability to intuitively pick up sensory data beyond the limits of the physical senses.
  • The ability to feel, read, manipulate and project subtle energy that is otherwise unperceivable to those in lower levels of stage development and virtually unrecordable with current scientific instrumentation.

Those who have near death experiences as well as users of psychedelic drugs or plant medicines (ayahuasca, DMT, LSD, mushrooms, etc.) are often able to have highly embodied first-hand experiences of this state of awareness pre-development into this stage, giving them a proverbial taste of this reality without necessarily having done the psychospiritual foundational work necessary to experience this stage organically and therefore they often lack a deeper understanding of the larger framework of what is happening along with the ability to maintain it beyond a transitory phenomenon, still nonetheless forever changed by the experience.

As an individual becomes more grounded in the later phases of stage eight—which encompass this dimensional awareness—and simultaneously completes their evolution through lower stages, one would theoretically achieve complete enlightenment or non-dual self-realization.

Dominant Belief Structures:
Everything is energy; I am awareness; Reality is an illusion

Useful Psycho-Spiritual Practices:
Energy healing, Esoterics, Visualization, Kabbalah, Qi/Nei Gong, Kriya Yoga, Meditation, Visualization, Remote Viewing, Astral Projection, Telekinesis

Mantra for Evolution:
“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Although this model ends at stage 8, this doesn’t imply that no further stages exist and that somehow stage 8 is the pinnacle of conscious evolution. However, any claims as to what happens beyond stage 8 at this time are simply conjecture.

stages of consciousness

Self-Awareness

At this point, you probably have a pretty good idea of where you’re at.

When the descriptions are objectively laid out, it forces you to be honest with yourself.

It’s also helpful to accept where you’re at right now, while continuously learning and growing. Don’t resist where you are right now or beat yourself up, neither of those serve your highest interest. Choose love, gratitude and compassion in each moment and you can’t go wrong.

Here’s another important point: you’re not limited to one stage! Chances are that you’re dipping into different stages on a daily basis. But it should be fairly apparent as to what stage you’re grounded in at this point in your life.

For me, I’m pretty grounded in stage 5, though I often fluctuate between stages 3 and 6. I’ve tasted stages 7 and 8, yet these experiences have been few and fleeting. Sometimes I’ll even find myself in stage 1 or 2, and that’s okay. It’s all a part of the human experience.

This framework is beautiful because it allows you to effectively calibrate where you are. It naturally creates self-awareness. Awareness is the first step toward any change, and transformative in and of itself.

I encourage you to read the full paper, which you can download for free here:
Mapping the Evolution of Consciousness: A Holistic Framework for Psychospiritual Development

Which stage are you in at this point of your journey? Is this framework helpful for you?

Leave a comment below.

Much love to you on your path.

– Stevie P
 

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Momentum: The Most Underrated Phenomenon in Life

momentum

What direction are you building momentum in?

For better or worse, we’re beings of momentum. We’re all accumulating momentum in certain directions.

Are you deepening the groove of monotony? Working at a job you don’t love, coming home to watch tv and going to the same bars on the weekends to forget it all? That’s momentum.

Are you building momentum towards a purpose or a goal? That’s momentum too.

Our daily habits, whatever they may be, create momentum.

It’s a gift and a curse. Momentum is why it’s so hard to break out of comfort zones and overcome addictions. Yet momentum is also why people become massively successful and growth-oriented in all aspects of life.

Think about how hard it is for the person who comes home and watches tv every night to come home and NOT watch tv. Think about how hard it is for the workout junkie to take a week off from working out. Think about how easy it is for an avid hiker to hike a small hill. That’s all momentum!

For me right now, it’s harder NOT to write than it is to write. It’s true. I’m at the point where I can write 3,000 word blog posts in a few hours and books within a few weeks. I’ve built tremendous momentum with writing and synthesizing ideas. And I’m able to do this by leveraging a simple formula for mastering momentum…

hiking momentum

Mastering Momentum = Conscious Habits + Persistence

Conscious Habits

Be aware of your habits. Consciously choose to implement habits that build momentum in the direction you want to head in.

Most people fall into “negative” habits by default because they have no sense of purpose. If you have no sense of purpose, there are more than enough distractions to divert you (tv, social media, gossip…etc.).

Get clear on your purpose and what you truly want in life. Meditate on it. Build momentum towards that. With a sense of purpose, you become the conscious creator of what you want out of life.

“Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind.”
– Seneca

Persistence

After consciously creating habits or rituals, you must apply persistence. This means doing it on a daily basis and sticking to it, day in and day out.

Persistence is what separates successful people from the masses who dwell in mediocrity. A writer writes every day to complete a novel. An entrepreneur works hard for years to bring their idea to fruition. Without persistence, the writer would give up after one writing session and the entrepreneur would give up as soon as they encounter resistance.

Resistance is the force that forces growth. By working through resistance you build massive momentum in the direction you want.

Focus on systems over goals. Yes, write down goals, but instead of fixating on them, focus on implementing the daily routines that will get you there. Momentum comes from daily habits. Become process-oriented because that’s where your character is built.

Momentum is the byproduct of what you do day in and day out. You can create momentum in the direction you choose by consciously implementing habits and applying persistence.

We’re beings of momentum. Momentum can either accelerate your progress or keep you trapped in unwanted patterns.

What direction are you building momentum in?

If you don’t like your direction, you have the option to change starting right now. Wake up to your superpower of conscious choice. You can change direction and build momentum towards whatever your heart desires.

Much love.

– Stevie P!

 

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1

Alan Watts on Music and Life

music life

Have you ever said this to yourself before?

“I’ll be happy when [this] happens.”

“I’ll be happy once I find the right girl/guy.”

“I’ll be fulfilled when ________.”

We’ve all done this. But here’s the thing: We’ve been programmed to do so.

We’re conditioned to think that salvation lies at the end of the rainbow. It’s a malicious deception that has us chasing that “something” our whole lives, yet never finding it. We believe that happiness awaits us tomorrow, but tomorrow never comes. So most people spend their whole lives waiting for their lives to start.

Even when we get what we wanted, we don’t fully appreciate it, because our minds have been conditioned to constantly search for happiness somewhere in the future.

Here’s the secret: What we’re searching for is hidden in plain sight, in the here and now. This isn’t some woo-woo metaphorical rhetoric. It’s true and applicable RIGHT NOW. There’s a reason why the core teachings of almost every spiritual or self-help book is presence and mindfulness. It’s something that is absolutely crucial to understand and PRACTICE.

Take just a few moments to be fully present. Tune into the present moment, experience all of your senses (come to your senses), hold gratitude for where you’re at right now, and you’ll realize that this is what you’ve been searching for all along.

That’s the paradox. The happiness we think happens somewhere in the future when this or that happens has actually been with us all along, in the present moment.

You don’t listen to music just to hear the last note. You don’t eat a meal just for the last bite. You don’t just read the last page of a novel. You don’t just watch the climax of a movie. The process – the ups, downs, challenges and triumphs – is what makes everything beautiful, worthwhile and fun. The same goes for life.

Alan Watts brilliantly explains this concept in a lecture called “Music and Life.” The way he expresses this concept will shift your entire paradigm on life. Here’s the transcript:

Alan Watts

In music one doesn’t make the end of a composition the point of the composition. If that were so the best conductors would be those who played fastest, and there would be composers who wrote only finales. People would go to concerts just to hear one crashing chord; because that’s the end!

But we don’t see that as something brought by our education into our every day conduct. We’ve got a system of schooling that gives a completely different impression. It’s all graded. And what we do is we put the child into the corridor of this grade system with a kind of “come on kitty kitty kitty”, and now you go to kindergarten. And that’s a great thing because when you finish that you get into first grade, and then come on; first grade leads to second grade and so on, and then you get out of grade school. Now you’re going to go to high school, and it’s revving up – the thing is coming. Then you’ve got to go to college, and by Jove then you get into graduate school and when you’re through with graduate school you go out and join the World!

And then you get into some racket where you’re selling insurance. And they’ve got that quota to make, and you’re gonna make that. And all the time that thing is coming. It’s coming, it’s coming! That great thing, the success you’re working for. Then when you wake up one day at about 40 years old you say “My God! I’ve arrived! I’m there”. And you don’t feel very different from what you’ve always felt.

And there’s a slight let down because you feel there’s a hoax. And there was a hoax. A dreadful hoax. They made you miss everything. We thought of life by analogy with a journey, with a pilgrimage which had a serious purpose at the end and the thing was to get to that end. Success or whatever it is, or maybe heaven after you’re dead.

But we missed the point the whole way along. It was a musical thing and we were supposed to sing or to dance while the music was being played.

Alan Watts – Music and Life

 

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How Stories Shape Our Culture

story book

What stories shape your life?

Take a moment to think about that.

We all live based upon stories. Collective stories are the basis of culture and personal stories are the basis of how we view ourselves as individuals.

Stories are the underpinnings of human reality. Humanity is built upon stories. Stories shape our culture, our lives and the way we perceive the world.

It doesn’t matter if it’s true or false, if a story is believed, it becomes a blueprint of reality.

Cultural Stories

Every culture has stories that act as the very basis for how people live their lives.

In ancient times, mythology shaped the way people viewed reality, the world around them, society and themselves.

Any religious culture is dominated by the stories of that religion. People’s whole lives, down to the finest detail, are dictated by those stories.

Our modern western culture is based on a combination of science, religion and history (his-story). Science is constantly updated, disproving older theories, while failing to explain the “why” questions of our reality. Most organized religions are distortions of spiritual truths for purposes of control. And his-story is merely the story told by the winners of wars.

These cultural belief systems are attempts at explaining truth, at best. And at their worst, they’re attempts at control and manipulation. I’m not saying that all of these are false; I’m saying that regardless of being true or false, these stories shape our experience of reality and every aspect of how we live our lives.

Let’s take the scientific paradigm as an example. According to this story (again, I’m not saying it’s necessarily true or false):

  • We are our bodies, or more specifically our brains.
  • We live on Planet Earth, which revolves around the sun, in an incomprehensibly large universe.
  • This universe started with the Big Bang (the Big Bang THEORY).
  • On Earth, we evolved from apes, growing smarter and more and more sophisticated, until we’ve dominated nature and now live in the wonderful culmination of all of that evolution and “progress.”
  • You see, this is a STORY, or the background program that we run our lives by. And that’s not even getting into the stories of history, money, work, relationships, purpose, pleasure and everything else that makes up our belief systems. These things determine how we perceive and interact with reality.

    Where does this story get us? Well, take a look at the world around you. Check out the “news.” If it seems a little disharmonious (which anyone with eyes can see), we have to start reevaluating the stories we’re living by.

    grand central station

    Your Story

    What stories are you telling yourself? What is your identity based on? What labels do you identify with?

    In the midst of the trend of collective stories, we have the personal stories we tell ourselves. These are our individual stories that shape the way we view and interact with the world.

    Let’s use a man named Henry as an example, whose personal story might look like this:
    I’m Henry.
    I’m a white man.
    I’m an American.
    I’m a Christian.
    I’m not good at math (because my third grade teacher told me that and I’ve believed her ever since).
    I’m good at fixing things (because my dad said I was when I fixed his truck).
    I’m an introvert so I don’t have many friends.
    My favorite color is blue.
    My favorite food is steak.
    I’m a car mechanic, so I’m not good with computers.
    I’m a lower middle class guy.
    I go to work every day, then come home, drink a beer and turn on the tv to relax at night.
    I don’t have time to eat healthy or work out.
    I’m a fan of the Tennessee Titans.
    I wear boots and flannels because I’m manly.

    Ok, you get the point. This is all a STORY. Almost all of those things could be dropped and changed instantaneously. Our friend Henry could literally have a completely new life tomorrow, if he chose to.

    Programming and patterns are incredibly hard to break for us humans. But simple awareness of the stories we tell ourselves puts us in the position to consciously choose what our stories are.

    So what stories are you telling yourself? What identities are you carrying with you day in and day out? What patterns do you have? What are you building momentum towards?

    Gain some awareness of the stories you’re telling yourself. Only then can you choose to change your life for the better.

    individual

    Creating New Stories

    We can create new stories in each moment.

    It is a choice. But you have to first be aware to even know that you have a choice.

    We can tell new tales and shape reality in our own way.

    What do you want out of life? What is your purpose? What’s on your bucket list? Who do you want to be?

    Be open and willing to change.

    Find your vision and start working towards that. Only tell yourself stories which help to create that vision of yourself.

    The Power of Fiction

    The importance of stories is why I love fiction so much. Whether reading or writing, fiction helps to reshape our world.

    Truths which exist beyond the limits of our collective analytical mind are able to be conveyed through fiction, metaphor and myth. Paradigm-shifting truths are often expressed in this way. Just take a look at any sacred text or brilliant piece of poetry.

    Literary works can cut through and transcend cultural biases and blindness, giving the reader a taste of a completely “novel” reality (see what I did there?). It allows one to see outside of the box they’ve existed in their whole life, and presents the opportunity to step outside.

    This is why I read and write a lot of fiction. If we change the stories we tell, we change how our world is shaped.

    Want to get your hands on an example of a paradigm-shifting story?

    I just published a new book, Ralphie’s Account of Planet Earth.

    It’s a story written from the perspective of a dog, told in a journal-like format.

    And the twist is that dogs aren’t just dogs. They’re actually multi-dimensional superbeings checking out Earth and humanity.

    This story will stretch your mind, provide you with insights, entertain you, make you laugh and a lot more. It’s available for both paperback and Kindle.

    Get your paws on it here: Ralphie’s Account of Planet Earth

    Let’s reshape our world.

    – Stevie P
     

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    2

    Why TLC Was Wrong About Chasing Waterfalls

    Multnomah Falls

    Hi, my name is Stevie… And I’m a waterfall chaser.

    I also don’t stick to the rivers and the lakes that I’m used to.

    Now you might be all like “But TLC said ‘DON’T go chasing waterfalls!'”

    Yes, they did. I love that song (90’s music has a special place it my heart), but I disagree with the message of the chorus…

    “Don’t go chasing waterfalls
    Please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to”

    I remember when it first hit me. My thought process went something like this… “Wait, so they’re telling me to stay in my comfort zone and never take risks? Fuck that.”

    I get the meaning behind the verses; avoid the destructive aspects of life like violence, drugs, addiction and precarious sex. That makes sense, obviously. But the chorus is the antithesis of what I believe to be good advice.

    If all you do is stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to, you’ll be a slave to your comfort zones and live a life of lukewarm mediocrity. Nope, not for me. I’d rather explore.

    Hiking Oregon

    Comfort Zones Are Worse Than Death

    Always sticking to what you’re used to is not living, it’s just barely existing. When you stay in your comfort zones, you basically live the same day over and over again for 75 years and call it a life.

    There is no learning in that; no exploration, adventure, mystery, fun, fulfillment, excitement or growth. Comfort zones stifle growth. Life without growth is just dying slowly.

    Build a habit of stepping out of your comfort zones. You can even start with tiny steps, such as turning your shower cold for the last 30 seconds. With a cold shower there is no risk, a ton of health benefits and you build the muscle of leaving your comfort zone.

    Show me someone who continuously leaves their comfort zones, and chances are they’re someone who finds courage, success, fulfillment, passion, excitement, personal growth and what it really means to live.

    At the end of your life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do as opposed to the things you did do. Build some momentum in the direction of new experiences and continuous growth.

    Waterfall Oregon

    Act In Spite of Fear

    We all feel fear, especially when stepping into the unknown (exploring rivers and lakes we’re not used to). What separates the hero from the coward is taking action in the face of fear. Everyone feels fear, but the hero chooses to be courageous despite the fear.

    “Courage is a heart word. The root of the word courage is cor – the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage meant “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.”
    – Brene Brown

    Being courageous doesn’t mean being stupid or impulsive. It means not letting fear determine your decisions and taking calculated risks.

    How do you build courage? Again, start with small steps. You don’t have to go climb a volcano and slay a dragon right off the bat.

    Waterfall Thailand

    Courage Momentum

    One of the keys to truly living is building what I call “courage momentum.”

    Here’s how you begin to build courage momentum. Notice things in life that make you slightly uncomfortable and take action when you feel that resistance.

    Cold showers, like I mentioned before, are a great way to practice this. Another way is to say “hi” to people in public, even when you feel awkward. You can also try a new food or a new recipe. You can take a weekend trip to somewhere you’ve never been. There are so many courageous micro-decisions that you can make each day.

    If you practice small acts of courage daily, you will build unyielding courage before you know it. This is what I call “courage momentum.”

    Lake Titicaca

    Follow Your Heart

    The two main motivating forces are love and fear. Choose love over fear in every situation.

    Fear is constriction and limitation. Love is expansion and growth. Fear is the essence of your ego. Love is the essence of your higher self.

    Notice when your ego tries to run the show. Be aware when it attempts to manipulate your decisions based upon fear. Simple awareness robs the ego of its power and gives you the choice.

    Don’t chase the desires of your ego. Don’t run from home out of fear. That’s how you end up like the sad stories TLC warned us about. Explore because you truly want to explore, and follow your heart.

    Trust your intuition and make decisions out of love. Be courageous, not limited by fear.

    Explore, learn and grow. Just remember to follow your heart, choosing love over fear, and you will discover beautiful new lands.

    So here’s my perspective on the situation…

    DO GO CHASING WATERFALLS.

    Much love.

    – Stevie Wander

    PS – Every picture in this post was taken by me, while chasing waterfalls.
     

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    A Completely Different Perspective On Trump’s Presidency (This Will Make You Think)

    Note: This article was written by Bernhard Guenther and originally appeared on Collective Evolution. I don’t usually re-share articles, but this article is phenomenal and so necessary.

    Considering the hype around the latest celebrity statement about Trump by Meryl Streep and the upcoming ritual to put “the man” into “power” officially (which will most likely result in protests by moral, upstanding patriotic citizens), I thought to repost what I wrote (trigger warning!) right after the election.

    Hint: This is going to come down to you, and it’s deep!

    Here’s the thing from a basic Jungian perspective: Trump is your shadow, America, a reflection of your unconscious, especially concerning people who identify themselves as Leftist, Liberals, and Progressives, their own shadow which they never deeply acknowledged, and hence project outwardly at the “other side” in their “holier than thou” political correct attitude, over-estimating themselves and dreaming to be awake.

    The self-inflation, narcissism, greed, the “bigger is more,” the “quantity over quality,” the entitlement, the hypocrisy, the drive for recognition and fame, the “best” in the world, the bully, the “money can buy everything,” the racism and sexism, etc…..or anything else you despise in the man….it’s all you, buried in your unconscious. It’s also the shadow side of the “American Dream” and obviously reflected in America’s Imperialism.

    It’s About You!

    Anyone who identifies him/herself as “Liberal,” “Progressive,” “Leftist,” and projects disgust, hate, or anger on to this man, (really anyone who is triggered/irritated by Trump beyond political identifications), or reacts with fear, sadness, worry: you are looking at your own shadow and it won’t go away if you keep up with these reactive projections and look for external solutions or a different “leader” to follow or project your “hope” onto while still believing in the religion of government (which feeds off of the polarization and perpetuates separation consciousness) based on illusory tribal/national identification and adherence to/worship external authority constructs.

    Moreover, nothing will change but will in fact reinforce the schism as long as you keep identifying with any side because it defines the other side. One cannot have the one without the other as long as you feed and play into this game of fabricated false duality which is exactly how Empire controls you – all entirely based on illusory socially/cultural conditioned identifications and beliefs which you are so attached to and define yourself by. It’s the basis for population control and social engineering, reinforcing the Stockholm Syndrome and “invisible” slavery/prison out of your own “free will.”

    prison

    But here’s the real “shocker.” Trump is actually your “teacher,” for he creates more friction and shadow triggers, hence more potential to wake people up from an esoteric alchemical perspective (Clinton would have been the sleeping pill for most people, even though she’s the more dangerous psychopath, hidden behind the mask of a “woman”), but only if people take back their projections and engage in some serious and sincere soul searching cutting through their programed socially/cultural conditioned identifications to ignite the alchemical fire within.

    Any negative reactive emotion you have towards the “man” (including his silly tweets) or his supporters is a sign of giving away your power and life energy (literally). It shows you where you work is when it comes to basic Jungian psychology of shadow work until you can come to a place of non-reactive zero-point consciousness rising above fabricated duality and tuned into your true inner power and guidance, connected to Spirit and the wholeness of nature: a sovereign embodied Individual.

    If you do that sincerely and go deep, you will finally stop believing in and supporting this religion of government (that was never, ever in place for the people and never, ever can give you true freedom), and realize that it was never about Trump, Clinton, Sanders or any other authority statist puppet to begin with, stop this silly idea of “voting for change” and fragmented mechanical/programmed search for “external solutions” and “leaders, worship of authority and then really, really question everything you believe in and have been told/taught, and most of all drop and let go of your identification, which just feeds the polarization. This the path towards a true shift and evolution of consciousness. Anything else is just going in circles, re-arranging the furniture and tapestry of your prison cell (you are not aware of), instead of breaking out of it.

    And that is not a comfortable (internal) process at all for it entails utter disillusionment and taking full responsibility without blame and externalizing. Nobody can do it for you and nobody is going to save you. It takes tremendous humility and sincere self-honesty facing the lies within, which make up your conditioned personality, which is not who YOU truly ARE but mistake for you real Self. It’s much easier to project outwardly, protest, look for the next leader and keep up with the futile idea of fragmented “activism,” new “systems” and “external solutions,” all based on the fragmented male aspect of consciousness (your inner unconscious tyrant projected on Trump) removed from the wholeness of the feminine aspect of consciousness (nothing to do with gender) that is tuned into the wholeness of nature.

    In the end, America got the president it “deserved” and when you act like slaves, looking for a leader/savior to follow, you get masters…and always will, as long as you support and believe in the religion of government, regardless what system is implemented. Also “democracy” seems like such a good idea until you don’t get your way, right? (oh, I forgot, it was the Russians messing with the election…right, of course….whoever you want to blame and keeps you from looking deeply within into your own shadow).

    Obama mirror

    That’s just on the surface 3D level. From a hyperdimensional perspective, all the anger and disgust, anything projected on the “man,” the polarization, protests, revolts, hypocritical speeches of statist celebrities about “empathy,” “equality,” and “protecting truth,” engaging in this unconscious shadow dance and reacting mechanically (and programmed) is exactly what the occult Matrix overlords and Empire want you to do and feed upon. In fact, that frequency is all they are after for it strengthens your slavery and sustains them, no matter what puppet they put in place for you to identify with or project anger on. It’s the old game of divide and conquer…and the Matrix has you.

    “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves. There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own Soul. Everyone carries a Shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. When an inner situation is not made conscious, it appears outside as fate.”

    ~ Carl G. Jung

    —————-

    “At every turn, the synthetic culture of Empire implores us to throw our hearts and minds into unconscious polarization. It wants us to radicalize ourselves to either patriot or terrorist, believer or atheist, white or black, liberal or conservative, strong or weak, and then embark on an endless crusade to reform, condemn, or destroy the other side. This one-way polarization renders all participants impotent, regardless of which side they pick. This subtle but devastating trick deactivates our will and we automatically forfeit our capacity to rule ourselves. Lost in unconscious polarization, we serve Empire.

    Mass culture is a control mechanism that devalues the individual. It is aimed solely at promoting collectivism. It seeks to enforce the dependence of the individual human on a collective group and the priority of group ideologies over individual life paths. It is, at the base level, the very heart of socialism, communism, fascism and totalitarianism. It employs nationalistic impulses to setup polarities of antagonism that exclusively benefits a set of ruling elites. At the top level, the elites fully comprehend that there are no distinct nations, ideologies or cultural imperatives to speak of. To them, there is only power and no power.”

    ~ Neil Kramer

    —————-

    “[Look] at what happened in 1914 – or for that matter at all that is and has been happening in human history – the eye of the Yogin sees not only the outward events and persons and causes, but the enormous forces which precipitate them into action. If the men who fought were instruments in the hands of rulers and financiers, these in turn were mere puppets in the clutch of those hidden [hyperdimensional] forces.

    When one is habituated to see the things behind, one is no longer prone to be touched by the outward aspects – or to expect any remedy from political, institutional or social changes; the only way out is through the descent of an [embodied] consciousness which is not the puppet of these forces but is greater than they are.”

    ~ Sri Aurobindo

     

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    Release Into Love

    “Repression is the hidden force behind illness.”
    – Dr. Arthur Janov

    We all hold onto so much unwanted baggage. Most of us go through life brimming with repressed emotions, desperately attempting to keep the lid on it all.

    Combine our spongelike subconsciousness (particularly in childhood) with a society heavily based in fear, sprinkled with social taboos regarding expression and you have a perfect recipe for the unhealthy repression of emotions.

    Our essence is love. We just have so much fear, trauma and baggage piled on top of it. Anyone with a regular meditation practice knows this firsthand. When we clear all of our thoughts, fears and worries we’re left with an indescribable sense of blissful, peaceful love.

    Cultivating our well-being is more about letting go of the unnecessary than about adding things. Once we give our body, mind and spirit some space, it all naturally harmonizes. It’s self-correcting, if we simply allow for it.

    primal release

    How Do We Let Go?

    How do we release? It ranges from simple daily activities to extreme forms of therapy, and everything in between.

    “In many shamanic societies, if you came to a shaman or medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask one of four questions.
    When did you stop dancing?
    When did you stop singing?
    When did you stop being enchanted by stories?
    When did you stop finding comfort in the sweet territory of silence?”

    – Gabrielle Roth

    Do you laugh every day? Do you sing every day? Do you dance every day? Do you cry when you feel sadness or grief? Do you exercise? Do you get out in nature? Do you have any creative outlets? These are all simple things we can do on a daily basis to let go of pent up emotions and lighten our spirits. Most of us “mature adults” do almost none of these things, yet continue to accumulate emotional stress throughout our lives. So no wonder why our emotional stresses just keep stacking up.

    While you can clear a whole lot of emotional baggage through the simple ways listed above, some things you’re repressing may be more stubborn and shadowy. For some of the most ingrained traumatic emotions, especially from childhood, you may have to engage in a more intensive release practice or seek the help of a professional.

    Unwanted emotions are not only held mentally, but in the body as well. This is important to remember – the most effective forms of release include the body.

    Let’s take frustration as a simple, day-to-day example. If you’re feeling frustrated, does it help to just mull over your frustrations in your head? Of course not. You only let go of frustration if you act it out physically, maybe through working out or screaming when you’re alone. And this is also where being mindful comes in, as healthy outlets are important. You don’t want to just be reactive and take out negative emotions on other people. While holding everything in is internally destructive, taking things out on others is externally destructive.

    It’s of crucial importance to find healthy outlets for release, which is why I created Primal Release. Primal Release is an in depth course that provides you with all of the tools you need to release into love. It will literally shift your entire state of being. You won’t even believe how light and free you can feel.

    CLICK HERE TO LEARN HOW TO RELEASE

    Develop a practice of release. Learn to let go of the things that don’t serve your highest good.

    You don’t have to hold onto it all.

    Release into love.

    – Stevie P!
     

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    Why I Stopped Making Long-Term Goals

    mountain goals

    Almost everyone bases their lives off of a script.

    These are often cultural checkpoints of what you should be doing at certain ages. Sadly, most of us mindlessly squeeze ourselves into these one-size-fits-all, culturally conditioned life scripts.

    There are even massive disadvantages with creating your own long-term script. In doing so, you’re assuming that you know what is best for your future self based upon your limited perspective right now. That’s a dangerous assumption.

    A caterpillar cannot even imagine what it is capable of as a butterfly. (Well, that’s if caterpillars even imagine in the first place.) If you’re continuously learning and growing, your present self can hardly imagine what your perspective will be in the future.

    It’s in everyone’s best interest to have an idea of their life purpose. However, you step into your true potential when you focus on the daily process of it and allow your journey to change as you change.

    The Perspective Discrepancy

    We gain more experience and perspective as you go through life. Well, hopefully. If you’re not continuously learning and growing, what are you doing with your life?

    You will be able to see from a wider perspective as you accumulate knowledge and experience. So why make rigid long-term plans from your limited perspective right now?

    Focus on climbing the mountain in front of you, then from the panoramic view on top, choose your next mountain to climb. Don’t make self-binding decisions from the valley.

    Most people do this with their careers. Think about it; the 19 year old you made a decision (choosing a college major) that you think you’re bound to for the rest of your life. Many people find themselves unfulfilled and in a mid-life crisis saying “I majored in Accounting and I can’t change that now. So here I am.” You always have the ability to change, especially with careers in the modern western world. Give yourself permission to change or be relegated to the purgatory of self-imposed monotony. Again, career is an obvious example, but this applies to absolutely every aspect of life.

    If I set rigid life goals when I was 19, they would’ve been very different from what I would want now. I had a limited perspective then, with little real world experience, little self-awareness and I was completely possessed by my own ego and fears. Sticking to a long-term life plan I made then would be like making a fixed commitment to meet a friend for a cup of coffee at Uncommon Grounds in Saratoga Springs, New York on February 4th of next year at exactly 2:00PM. Who knows if we’ll be in the same place then? Who knows if I’ll like coffee then? Who knows if we’ll even be friends then?

    Staying Open to Opportunity

    Give yourself the flexibility to recalibrate what you want to do.

    Stay open and things will unfold serendipitously in ways you never would’ve calculated. Opportunities will pop up that you never would’ve expected. Give yourself some flexibility to change as new possibilities present themselves.

    If you stubbornly hold yourself to a rigid plan or goal, you’re cutting off possibility. Move in the direction you wish to travel in, yet be aware of the doors that unexpectedly open along the way.

    “Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.”
    – Joseph Campbell

    Create Shorter Term Goals

    Make your goals actionable and for the near-future (within a year or two).

    However, don’t focus on your goals on a daily basis… Focus on the process or system! I can’t stress this enough. Set goals but focus on the daily habits that bring you in that direction. Most people never achieve goals (even easily accomplishable ones) because they don’t implement an actionable daily practice.

    For example, let’s say you want to write a book (something a lot of people say they want to do). You don’t have to commit to being a lifelong author to do this. What most people do is say that they have a book idea and never do anything about it (like with most goals). The result is being paralyzed with inaction because they think of a goal yet have no tangible way of implementing it. There is no action to take right now, so it gets ignored indefinitely. Instead of this, focus on a system to bring you towards the goal. This could be writing for 30 minutes every day. Anyone can write a book in 6 months or less if they create a habit of writing for just 30 minutes each and every day.

    With this systems approach, each daily practice becomes a mini-step, meaning you can reassess everything continuously. Then after you achieve what you want, you can focus on the process to bring you towards another short/medium-term goal.

    After you achieve a short/medium-term goal, you’ll be a new and improved person. From this higher perspective, you can set new goals and recalibrate your direction.

    Learn to love the process of life. Be open, flexible, flowing and willing to change along the way.

    Enjoy the journey. Revel in the mysterious serendipity of it all.

    Much Love.

    – Stevie P!
     

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    The Simple Secret to a Fully Fulfilling Life

    mindfulness

    We’ve all had those truly special moments in life: being on top of a mountain looking out at an amazing landscape, at a party singing with a group of our best friends, a wedding day, getting off of the plane in a new country…etc.

    Those are all beautiful moments in which we forget about our fears, leave our problems behind and bask in the blissful infinity of the present moment. We all chase this feeling throughout our lives. We fall into the trap of thinking “I’ll be so happy when [insert desire] happens.” Some of us even squander our present well-being for the mere potential of “that feeling” in the future.

    What if I told you that this feeling is available to you in every moment?

    I’m all for those cliché amazing moments listed above, but why can’t every moment be amazing in its own way?

    Well, every moment is. Each moment is brimming with bliss, peace, joy, love and happiness. We just never stop to see it. The secret portal is right under our noses and it exists within one simple word: Mindfulness

    Most people are so lost in thought that they hardly ever actually experience the present moment in its full brilliance.

    When we live with mindfulness, even the simplest moments are infused with that feeling of blissful presence that most people only experience a handful of times in their lives. It’s like living life in high definition, a much richer experience than just going through the motions while neurotically thinking about everything other than what we’re doing right now.

    Mindfulness is like a happy drug. It’s a happy drug that comes from within us, is inexhaustible, always available and has no adverse side effects. Who wouldn’t want that?

    The great irony of humanity’s plight is that we search everywhere except for within ourselves for that sense of fulfillment. The truth is that what we’ve been searching for has been within us all along.

    Happiness, joy, bliss, peace and love are not waiting at the end of some illusory rainbow. Those feelings we deeply crave don’t reside in the future when this or that will happen. They’re always with us in every moment, if only we’d pause, dip into the present moment and look within.

    That feeling we’ve been searching for is right here, within us. It always has been. It always will be. All we have to do is be fully present.

    mind full or mindful

    6 Ways to Cultivate Mindfulness

    1. Meditation – Engage in some kind of meditation practice on a daily basis. If you’re a beginner, try my 7 Day Meditation Challenge. Meditation naturally begets mindfulness. The benefits of meditation are seemingly endless and well-documented, so it’s in everyone’s best interest to have some kind of regular meditation practice.

    2. Practice Mindful Eating – When you eat, just eat. Don’t watch tv, don’t look at your phone, don’t walk, don’t drive. Just eat. Focus on the taste of the food, the subtle textures and smells. When you do this, you’ll enjoy food like you never have before.

    Also, mindful eating builds awareness regarding what you eat, helps you listen to your body and helps in overcoming unhealthy eating habits. You can even create a practice of blessing your food before you eat to create more mindfulness around eating.

    3. Try Phone Fasting – Smartphones can be weapons of mass distraction. Everyone knows that the constant notifications, social media scrolling and email checking makes focus almost impossible and sucks you right out of the present moment.

    Here’s a solution: Make a practice of taking some time to not use your phone. I personally don’t look at my phone for an hour before I go to sleep and an hour after I wake up every day. At night, this creates time to unwind, undistracted. In the morning, this creates time for me to engage in a morning routine and start the day off peaceful and centered, instead of instantly leaping into the fray of distraction. Another strategy is to not use your phone for a day (you can take a day off once a month or even once a week). Both of these practices are surprisingly freeing and cultivate focus, empowerment and mindfulness.

    Phone fasting creates a pattern interrupt. It allows you to become more aware of your phone usage and helps you transcend the habit of mindlessly looking at your phone.

    4. Practice Mindfulness in Everyday Situations – Practice being completely present in conversations, while walking outside, while listening to music, while drinking coffee or during any other day-to-day activities. So many of us live life on auto-pilot. A bit of mindfulness makes life more vibrant and exciting, as if you were a kid again.

    5. Practice the Five Sense Walking Meditation

    6. Read The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

    Try out all of these and make mindfulness a part of your daily life. Like everything, mindfulness is a muscle. The more consistently you practice it, the stronger it becomes.

    Meet each moment with blissful totality.

    – Stevie P
     

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