This is much more of a personal reflection than most of my articles. It started as a journal entry, but through sharing it, you may relate and find value in this too. Some may even find this outlandish, but it is my genuine self-expression and I know that others can relate at least the general themes to their own experiences.
These are chaotic times we live in, where outer and inner realities are going through rapid changes. If you’re experiencing any overwhelming changes in your life, especially if you’re someone on the spiritual path who’s undergoing a rapid expansion of consciousness, just know that you’re not alone.
Much, much love.
– Stevie P
I’ve expanded my consciousness so rapidly over the last 8 months, since I quit my job, traveled the world, wrote two books and had innumerable mindblowing experiences. As with any rapid change, it can be difficult to manage at times. And it came to a crescendo over the last couple weeks.
Looking back, as hindsight is 20/20, I was honestly walking the thin line between genius and insanity for the last 2 weeks or so, up until this weekend. I was accessing knowledge, wisdom and understanding that was so intensely profound, to the point of being overwhelming. I was navigating territory completely unfamiliar to me, making me feel lost and honestly a bit afraid.
I felt what the people who want to just check out of society feel – drug addicts, suicidal people, everyone deemed as misfits and outcasts – I felt what they feel and felt it poignantly. It’s extremely difficult to bring that feeling through the filter of language. I also felt what the “crazy geniuses” feel as well, being so far gone in the realms of creative inspiration that physical reality seems almost irrelevant. I was imbalanced, however, clinging to the creative muse, instead of letting her come and go as she pleases, which is her very nature.
Note: I’m not sayin I’m inherently smarter than anyone else. We’re all geniuses in different ways. Most people just haven’t unlocked this potential.
I’ve been seeing the world from a subtle outside looking in perspective. And from this perspective, it’s so easy to slip into runaway ungroundedness and lose all touch with this realm of reality. When you have a different perspective than the norm (which is akin to being asleep), it’s like waking up alone in a new house before dawn. Yes, you’re conscious and awake, yet you’re confused and stumbling around in the dark. I spent the last couple weeks getting my footing and groping through the vivid darkness. But I’m now learning how to navigate with this new version of self.
Note: I’m using the term “asleep” not as a judgment, it’s just the best word to describe what I’m attempting to express. Everyone is on their own journey. There is no better or worse, just different. Who am I to judge someone else’s life?
Like Chuck Yeager said, “Just before you break through the sound barrier, the cockpit shakes the most.” My shaking and barrier breaking seems to have ended and now I’m flying smoothly again, just in a new domain of speed.
The lens that I’m viewing reality from was re-focused. It was blurry for a second, but I feel intuitively that I’m starting to see more clearly than ever.
I’ve learned this powerful lesson: If you ground yourself and master your mind, you can have that “higher” perspective without being lost in it; while still walking the Earth, being here now (in 3D reality) and enjoying the good things it does have to offer. Our selves are always changing, and sometimes powerful changes can throw off your balance. So it’s important to allow change to happen, while finding your balance through the process.
I found balance by getting out in nature every day, spending time with family and socializing more. Grounding barefoot on the Earth has also been a godsend for me.
I’ve also come to the realization that I need to connect with more people that I can learn from, who can help me along my journey. I’ve been pushing the boundaries so hard and for so long that, at times, it feels as if I’m alone in the depths of space. But I know there are other people who have already been through what I’m going through, which is true for any and all facets of the human experience. We’re all unique aspects of the same oneness helping each other out.
A message that I received during a Merkaba activation in Costa Rica keeps coming back to me; an image of a tree appeared to me and said “Stay grounded. You already have all of the answers.”
And it couldn’t be any truer.
Gratitude fills my heart.
Feelin’ Good, Feelin’ Great remains ad-free and I’d like to keep it that way. As you probably know, a lot of work and focus goes into maintaining a website and regularly posting publishing quality, life-enhancing articles from the heart. If you find value in this content, please consider supporting Feelin’ Good, Feelin’ Great. You can become a monthly contributor with the amount of your choosing.
Are you creating the life you want? Or are you just absorbing a version of reality that has been projected upon you?
Are you living life on your own terms? Or are you letting your hopes and dreams become the desires of someone else?
Are you maximizing your own state of being? Or are you focusing on external distractions?
We have to create culture, don’t watch TV, don’t read magazines, don’t even listen to NPR. Create your own roadshow. The nexus of space and time where you are now is the most immediate sector of your universe, and if you’re worrying about Michael Jackson or Bill Clinton or somebody else, then you are disempowered, you’re giving it all away to icons, icons which are maintained by an electronic media so that you want to dress like X or have lips like Y. This is shit-brained, this kind of thinking. That is all cultural diversion, and what is real is you and your friends and your associations, your highs, your orgasms, your hopes, your plans, your fears. And we are told ‘no’, we’re unimportant, we’re peripheral. ‘Get a degree, get a job, get a this, get a that.’ And then you’re a player, you don’t want to even play in that game. You want to reclaim your mind and get it out of the hands of the cultural engineers who want to turn you into a half-baked moron consuming all this trash that’s being manufactured out of the bones of a dying world.
~ Terence McKenna
Absorbing culture, as opposed to creating your own, is an insult to both your potential and individuality.
We’re all super-creative beings, it’s just been systematically suppressed with most people. The potential that resides within every human being is almost unfathomable from the “poor little me” perspective. Every single person has unique skills and talents that, when cultivated, will be the building blocks of a better world. Are you cultivating and expressing your gifts? Or are you wasting your time on celebrity gossip or debating the latest sideshow act that the media has programmed you to react to?
The Low Information Diet
Many top performers in various fields (and happy people in general) consciously limit and filter the information they expose themselves to, particularly the news. Why? Because they’re focused on creating! And you should too if you care at all about living your life to the fullest.
I’m focusing my energy on growing stronger myself; which means exploring new ideas, trying new things out, not being afraid of experience, becoming a role model that can support other guys in becoming stronger versions of themselves. Because if I don’t do that, I’m just contributing to the fucked-up-ness of the world.
~ Elliott Hulse
The biggest culprit, in terms of information that hinders your well-being, is the news. When have you ever felt good after watching the news? And what did you personally do about the latest popularized tragedy? You’d be much better off working on yourself and helping those around you.
The ‘news’ is nothing more than outrage porn. Or fear porn. Or literal porn. Completely ignore it and spend your mental energy focusing instead on being healthy, being creative and improving 1% each day.
~ James Altucher (check out his article on this called “Go On a News Diet, Starting Today”)
It’s your choice whether or not to consume something. I’m not saying to never watch a movie or read a book again. Just be conscious about what you’re consuming and filter out the nonsense that doesn’t serve your best interest. Be mindful of your informational ingestion. Is what you’re consuming in alignment with your highest good? Is it making you a better person? Is it making you more of a role model to those around you?
Author, investor and entrepreneur Tim Ferriss has an entire category on his blog entitled “Low-Information Diet.” Yes, being conscious about the information you choose to absorb is that important.
If you’ve noticed, I’m quoting a few people in this article, yet I’m synthesizing these sources to create my own unique work here. Also, the information I’m sharing sheds light on things within you that you may not have been aware of. There’s a big difference between consciously seeking information that will help you improve and mindlessly consuming asinine gossip and spiritually paralyzing fear-mongering (“news”).
Our brains have a hard time processing what’s happening to billions of people, especially all of the horrors which the news seems to be keen on feeding people. Every person has a threshold of trauma which they can tolerate in their lives before the accumulated trauma becomes their primary operating system. The news creates information overload and forces people into a fear-induced paralysis.
Focus on what you can do right now. Tune into yourself, start expressing your inner gifts, spread love to everyone you encounter and inspire by example.
Lifting the Veil
Even the most conservative and closed-minded people can sense the blatant dysfunction of the culture we find ourselves in, although many refuse to admit the sheer grandiosity of the lies we’ve been sold.
Examine all of the major systems in place and you’ll find common themes of fear, deception, separation and scarcity. Mainstream media, education, religion, energy, healthcare (sick-care), politics and economics all operate under this paradigm. That’s why disharmony arises everywhere mainstream culture touches.
Thankfully, there are alternatives emerging across the board. And you can be a catalyst for positive change as well. Everyone has something amazing to contribute. But that will be stifled if all you do is focus externally.
The universe does not exist “out there,” independent of us. We are inescapably involved in bringing about that which appears to be happening. We are not only observers. We are participators. In some strange sense, this is a participatory universe. Physics is no longer satisfied with insights only into particles, fields of force, into geometry, or even into time and space. Today we demand of physics some understanding of existence itself.
~ John Wheeler
Reality is not as we’re told. It’s not as fixed and machine-like as we assume it to be (without any investigation), but more of a quantum soup of information that we’re decoding and projecting into simultaneously.
The building blocks of our reality, atoms, are not solid. They’re more than 99.999999% empty space. So how can a universe consisting of these non-solid atoms be solid? Well, it’s not. We just decode it that way. Just like how objects in video games appear solid, yet they’re not.
And we’re exactly in this situation in our world. We look around and it doesn’t seem that mathematical at all, but everything we see is made out of elementary particles like quarks and electrons. And what properties does an electron have? Does it have a smell or a colour or a texture? No! As far as we can tell the only properties an electron has are -1, 1/2 and 1. We physicists have come up with geeky names for these properties, like electric charge, or spin, or lepton number, but the electron doesn’t care what we call it, the properties are just numbers.
~ Max Tegmark
The human brain processes approximately 11 million impressions every second that it decodes into the five senses. These 11 million are filtered down to about 40 and from that our sense of reality is constructed. The brain also “fills the gaps” of the unprocessed information based upon what it believes should be there. It’s all about how we decode this sea of information. So if you change the way you decode reality, you experience a different version of reality.
Along with decoding the general informational template of reality, we’re all perpetually projecting into reality as well. The observer effect and the double-slit experiment show that the observer actually influences what is being observed. How crazy is that? Everything is interconnected and your consciousness creates ripples upon the web of reality whether you like it or not.
So it is highly important to be mindful of your beliefs that are decoding reality in a certain way and your focus/emotions/thoughts/words that are constantly being projected upon reality.
Energy flows where attention goes. What are you giving energy to?
Imagine your focus as life force energy flowing wherever it is directed. If you’re watching the news, you’re draining your own energy (it really is energetic vampirism) and energetically contributing to the fear, destruction and violence. Instead focus on what you can do to improve yourself and make the world a better place. Objective awareness is crucial too. I’m neither ignorant nor apathetic to what’s going on in the world. It’s just that I choose not to focus my energy on it and focus instead on improving myself, writing, inspiring, being kind to everyone I encounter, being a role model…etc.
The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.
~ Dan Millman
Television is like a hack into our reality interface. It programs the subconscious, which then makes you decode and project reality based on that program. When you watch television, you’re in a state of light hypnosis, meaning your subconscious mind is primed to pick up hypnotic suggestions in the form of advertisements, subliminal messages, beliefs, ideals, opinions…etc. Of course there are some good shows out there, but the majority of it (especially news and commercials) are psyche-hacks to make you decode, project and act under a paradigm of fear, ego-enslavement, disempowerment and inadequacy. If you notice, most people exhibit predictable programmed reactions based on events publicized in the media. It’s all engineered that way.
There are six companies that control 90% of the US media. This is a ridiculous centralization of information sources. Combine this with how insidious television is and it’s the perfect storm for mass brainwashing. Get your information from various democratized sources (to have multiple data points for reference) and form your own opinions.
It’s all in plain sight too. Remember, television is called “programming” for a reason.
Culture Creation Case Studies
Look at what the downtrodden youth of the Bronx, New York created when American culture did nothing but oppress them. Neighborhoods were impoverished, schools were underfunded and traditional musical instruments weren’t available. They had limited access to many modern conveniences and a burning desire to express themselves. So what did they do? They created their own culture, hip-hop, which revolutionized music, poetry, art, dance, fashion and language.
The hippie movement of the 1960’s is another example of culture creation. During this time period, the Vietnam War (a horrible campaign of violence predicated on lies, like every war) was going on and the American way, up until that point, was characterized by unquestioning obedience towards authority. But the hippies bucked the system (some by protesting the war and aiding the civil rights movement) and created their own counter-culture instead of passively absorbing the culture projected upon them. That movement planted the seeds for alternative thinking, questioning authority, open-mindedness, various forms of artistic expression, spirituality beyond religion and a foundation of love instead of the undercurrent of fear that pervades mainstream systems.
Changing the World Starts with You
Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.
You are the leverage point from which the world changes. Trying to change the external world without changing yourself first is like trying to comb the mirror instead of your own hair. And reality is a sort of mirror of our internal state (see the evidence above).
Also, if you’re changing things without a foundation of self-mastery, that change is coming from a fundamentally compromised place. An external focus on change is like standing on top of a boat yelling at things to move out of your way, while internal change is simply steering the boat.
How to Change the World
Know thyself – Get in tune with yourself. Go within, meditate, observe your thoughts and emotions, do the inner work, rid yourself of limiting beliefs, let go of trauma you’re holding onto, continuously improve yourself and find/create your purpose. You are the hinge from which the door to all change swings on, and inner work is the opening of the door.
Focus on your experienced reality – Not what’s on tv, not what’s on the news, not what Kanye West is doing. Focus on your experience, your personal relationships, your family, your community, your skills, your home, your joys, your passions, how you treat the people you encounter…etc. Everything else besides your present experience is just conceptual. What action can you take right now? (No, sitting on your couch moaning about Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton doesn’t count.)
Vote with your dollar – We live in a consumerist society and corporations run the governments. These companies cannot exist if people don’t buy their products/services, it’s as simple as that. Are you contributing to the problem or solution? Be mindful of where you spend your money, because that’s the real voting (it’s democratized, direct and not rigged).
Find your gifts and express them – When you do the inner work and focus on your experienced reality (not manipulated “tv reality”), you will inevitably find and develop useful skills. Everyone has something useful and incredibly potent to contribute. You just need to shed the societal conditioning and find out for yourself. And each person, by sharing their gifts, will contribute to the creation of a better world. Some will invent ways to harness free energy (rendering oil dependency useless), some will be architects who design eco-friendly buildings, some will be great gardeners, some will be writers, some will be musicians…etc. All you need to do is look within and you’ll find that you’ve had brilliant gifts all along.
There are millions of other people that would benefit from a little bit of insight or wisdom from you in the way you choose to offer it. Maybe you want to become a coach. Maybe you want to build a business. Maybe you create a non-profit organization. Maybe you make videos. Maybe you write books. Maybe you make poetry. Maybe you play the violin. Whatever it is, you’re adding beauty to the world. You’ve gotta keep that balance. If you let the death and destruction weigh you down, you’re becoming an anchor!
~ Elliott Hulse
Be a beacon of love – Never underestimate small acts of kindness. The little things you do in each moment matter immensely, and they add up. Who knows how profoundly you can inspire someone with one simple act of kindness? Are you spreading love or are you contributing to the disharmony? The choice is up to you in each moment.
– Stevie P!
When your body, mind and spirit are in harmony, an intrinsic sense of well-being permeates the totality of your existence.
However, this harmony of self is a perpetual balancing act.
Neglect any layer of yourself and the others become compromised as well. Think of yourself as a bicycle. Your physical and mental health are the two tires and your spirit is the handle bars, or steering system. If you neglect one of the tires, your bike will undoubtedly be compromised. If you neglect your steering system, sure you might move quickly, but there’s no control of direction or any purpose to the movement.
The body, of course, gets the most attention, as it’s the most tangible and measurable aspect of self.
When it comes to the body, it’s a balance between accepting your unique physicality and not being complacent. For example, the obese person who claims to be fine the way they are is delusionally complacent. While the fitness model who thinks they’re out of shape is delusionally unaccepting of themself.
Ultimately, achieving mind-body-spirit harmony boils down to this: Whatever makes you genuinely happy and enables you to make the most out of life.
What Happiness Isn’t: The Fitness Fanatic
You’re not genuinely happy if you’re posting pictures of your ass on Instagram every day, fishing for compliments. That’s extreme attachment to the body and essentially pimping it out for external ego-validation.
You’re not genuinely happy if you have anxiety over “hitting your macros” every meal. That kind of obsession is a miserable existence. But to each their own; if someone wants to prioritize neurotic calorie-counting over peace of mind, that’s their choice.
I’m not saying that you can’t be a bodybuilder or a fitness model and be happy. You can. But it’s a balance. Also, especially when you’re doing something as your main source of income, you’re going to push beyond the point where it starts to intuitively feel not right for you.
I feel bad for all the Instagram fitness celebrities whose whole identity is wrapped up in the aesthetics of their body. I believe that everyone should optimize their body and health (because being obese isn’t the greatest version of yourself either), but to obsess over it is neurotic, egotistical and painfully vain.
In this phenomenal interview with former fitness model Madelyn Moon, she discusses that she always had a nagging feeling that her body was never good enough. She also candidly describes her state at the moment of all of the fitness pictures you’ll find of her online:
“In every one of those pictures you’re looking at the most anxious, depressed, bloated, gassy, miserable, angry person I’ve ever been.”
Is that your idea of a happy, fulfilling life?
What Happiness Isn’t: The Other Side of the Spectrum
You’re also not genuinely happy if you’re obese and your body isn’t functioning optimally.
The person who is obviously overweight and unhealthy and says “I like the way I am” is delusional. It’s the other side of the coin of delusion compared to the skinny person with body dysmorphia who sees themselves as fat. You certainly have to accept yourself wherever you are along your journey, but to use self-acceptance as an excuse for complacency is when things go downhill quickly. Essentially, self-love should act as the wind beneath your wings, carrying you along your journey of continuous improvement.
Are you able to perform normal human body functions? (Assuming you didn’t have some kind of accident that severely injured you.) Can you walk for long periods of time? Can you pick something up off of the ground without pain? Can you squat? Can you dance or jump for joy if you feel happy? Can you play with your children or grandchildren? If you can’t do these things without strain or pain, do you really think you’re making the most out of life?
While a society that projects images of sickly skinny, fake photo-shopped women creates a deep sense of inferiority in the average woman, the knee-jerk reaction to that dysfunctional propaganda (an overweight woman glamorizing eating a bag of chips like that’s “what’s really real”) is unhealthy, and a bad example, as well. Again, it’s all a balance.
What is “Overweight” Anyway?
All of these terms – fat, skinny, fit, overweight – are completely subjective! Remember that.
On top of subjectivity biases, classifications can be manipulative and deceptive. And they are heavily manipulated and manufactured because there are billions of dollars being made off of people feeling inferior (with women being subjected to this much more than men).
So don’t let a chart tell you what “normal” is. Don’t let the magazines tell you what an ideal body is. And certainly don’t judge it by weighing yourself either. Your weight is a combination of fat, muscle, bone, water, blood and everything else your body consists of; so it’s a poor measure of health or fitness.
A more accurate indicator is body fat percentage. Here’s a general guideline: for a male, everything (mind-body-spirit) will function optimally from about 8-18% body fat. For women, everything (mind-body-spirit) will function optimally from about 17-27% body fat. Remember, these are estimates (not rigid lines in the sand) of an optimal zone, where your body, mind and spirit are going to be most harmonious.
The ideal body fat percentage FOR YOU may be on the lower or higher end of the spectrum, depending on who you are, your age and what goals you have. Also, two people with the same body fat can look radically different based on how much muscle mass they have. So keep that in mind as well.
Here are two highly informative articles on body fat percentage:
Everything You Need to Know About Body Fat Percentage
Body Fat Pictures and Percentages
I would say that “overweight” is slightly different for everyone. One general indicator of this would be if your body fat is significantly higher than the percentages outlined above (18% for men and 27% for women). Another indicator would be when things start becoming compromised for you: hormonal health, cognitive function, mood, energy levels, sleep quality, ability to move, range of motion…etc. Note: Much of the same symptoms apply to being underweight as well.
The Fine Balance
Being relatively lean isn’t all about aesthetics either. Holding extra body fat comes with an exponential risk of various health conditions and most chronic diseases. Also, toxins are stored in fat cells, while muscle cells are cancer resistant, so keep that in mind as well.
It’s a balance…
Your hormones get out of whack when you’re too lean (extremely low body fat percentage) or you’re too skinny (lacking both fat and muscle). They also get out of whack when you’re overweight.
Your cognitive function gets compromised when you’re too lean or too skinny. It also gets compromised when you’re overweight.
Take an objective look at yourself, naked in the mirror. Can you do that? Do you like what you see?
Deep down, you know which side of the spectrum of delusion you’re on (if at all). Are you a woman who’s never skinny enough or a guy that’s never muscular enough? Stop using food/exercise to feed that compulsion and do some mental, emotional and spiritual work to love and accept yourself. Are you overweight but lying to yourself that you’re “average”? Shake yourself out of that delusion and do something to improve your health. Eat healthier and begin a simple exercise routine (nothing complicated) and you’ll find a sense of empowerment you’ve never felt before.
If you’re obsessed with diet, working out or how your body looks, chances are that you have some form of body dysmorphia and are viewing yourself through a skewed, overly-critical lens. And if you go out of your way to not think about diet or fitness, chances are that you’re more overweight than you’re letting yourself believe.
It is absolutely crucial to be able to view yourself without cognitive biases or egoic attachment.
Read this article for an in depth discussion on how to be more objective with yourself:
What are You Hiding From Yourself? 14 Ways to Discover Your Blind Spots
It’s also important to not be too critical and love yourself no matter what. If you’re obsessive about working out, you’re not loving yourself. If you’re eating fast food every day, you’re not loving yourself. That’s why I write so much about the inner work, because the ideal body is but a hollow shell without inner peace.
Most men will never look like Arnold Schwarzenegger and most women will never look like a Victoria’s Secret model, but everyone has an optimal version of themselves. And that optimal version is where the body, mind and spirit have a harmonious, seamless relationship.
So ask yourself: “Is this the optimal version of myself?”
There is a Goldilocks zone of leanness that harmonizes your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. You have to find your own balance, and that balance will be slightly different for each person.
You’ll never know your ideal balance if you stay in one box your entire life either. If you’ve been obsessed with fitness your whole life, ease up on your diet and workout routine and focus on other things (art, family, learning a new skill…etc.). Or if you’re on the other side of the spectrum and have been overweight and sedentary your whole life, try eating healthier and exercising a few times a week. You might find out that this lifestyle change might give you a level of happiness you never thought was possible beforehand.
Also, it’s important to be mindful of what you’re sacrificing. If you want to enjoy the taste of Twinkies every day, you’re going to sacrifice your physical and mental health (as well as any sliver of self-discipline). If you’re dieting down to 4% body fat for a bodybuilding contest, your mental/emotional health, hormonal state, relationships, and enjoyment of food will all take a backseat for the fulfillment of that goal.
Let’s look at primal attraction too. Relatively lean and curvy women are most attractive to men (not sickly skinny, not obese and not ripped with no curves). Athletic, relatively lean and muscular men are most attractive to women (not sickly skinny, not obese and not some colossal muscle ox). Sexual attraction has a lot to do with deep-rooted genetic components from our primal origins. A curvy woman would be more fertile and healthy. And an athletic man would be more able to provide and protect. Of course, we’re not relegated to rigid gender roles now but these factors still influence us on subsconscious levels. They also serve as hints regarding the physical state that best facilitates mind-body-spirit harmony.
Social Media = A Highlight Reel
At this point, most people know that the models in magazines and tv ads are photo-shopped and in depleted states during the photo shoots. But another important point to keep in mind is that social media is the highlight reel of people’s lives.
People only post the highlights of their life. Everyone’s profile picture is the absolute best looking photo of themself that they can find. Comparing yourself to others on social media is a rigged game, as it’s not a realistic depiction of most people’s day-to-day reality.
And why are you comparing in the first place? That’s your ego dragging you into its fear-based self-deceptions.
We need to learn how to celebrate our uniqueness and our personal journey into becoming the greatest version of ourselves.
Being the Greatest Version of Yourself
I feel my best when I’m in a state similar to how I am right now. I’m relatively lean, I workout 4-5 times per week (and enjoy it) and I eat healthy for the most part (but I don’t obsess over what I eat). There’s no compulsion around my behaviors, and though I keep my body fit and healthy, I’m not obsessively attached to it.
If I were to let myself really slip and pack on body fat, my self-discipline and cognitive function would be compromised (along with all of the other downstream effects of holding extra fat). And lugging around the additional weight would be useless baggage that I’d rather not hold onto.
Or, on the other hand, if I went on a strict diet, worked out for hours every day and tried to get really lean, I wouldn’t be happy either (I’ve tried it).
I also accept the uniqueness of my body (it’s been a long time coming though). I’m hairy, and even when I’m lean, I look more like a viking than a fitness model. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve come to truly love this 1988 edition Stephen Parato. I keep it optimized, and in return, it’s the perfect vehicle to bring me on this road trip called life.
At the end of the day, your body is a vessel, a one-of-a-kind, custom-made flesh vehicle driven by your consciousness. Keep your vehicle healthy and make the most out of your road trip.
Love your vessel, but always remember who you really are.
– Stevie P!
Feelin’ Good, Feelin’ Great remains ad-free and I’d like to keep it that way. As you probably know, a lot of work and focus goes into maintaining a website and regularly posting publishing quality, life-enhancing articles from the heart. If you find value in this content, please consider supporting Feelin’ Good, Feelin’ Great. You can become a monthly contributor with the amount of your choosing.
We’ve all heard the phrase “Live every day like it’s your last.”
But how many of us truly apply that?
Yeah… Pretty much nobody.
It’s too easy to slip into the dull monotony of day-to-day life, coast through life on autopilot and lull ourselves to sleep inside the deceptive contentment of our comfort zones; only to wake up and find out we’ve missed the dance.
“Live every day like it’s your last” has lost its potency because so many people say it without actually embodying it. So a new phrase that I utilize is “Live like every interaction is your last.”
Serendipitously, I found myself applying that phrase during my travels. “Live like every interaction is your last” has become a perpetual piece of motivational self-talk as I maneuver through my days; and one that has made life infinitely more fulfilling as well.
Everything is an interaction, so whether it be with people, animals, places or circumstances, treat each and every interaction you have like it’s your last.
I was led to approach this “carpe diem” mentality from so many directions. Multiple paths, winding around the requiem of human reality, ended up seamlessly converging on this idea of wholeheartedly diving into each moment, because the next moment is not promised.
11 Key Components to “Living Like Every Interaction is Your Last”
1. Facing the Certainty of Death
The reality of life is that death is inevitable. Death can also come at any time. To not recognize this is ultimate denial. By being consciously aware that death is certain and tomorrow is not promised, you will cherish each moment and squeeze the last drop of divine nectar out of every sacred day you walk the Earth.
No matter what your belief system is – whether you believe in heaven, reincarnation, evolving into Mewtwo in another dimension or believe nothing exists after this life – your time within this physical body is finite. This completely unique life that you’re living right now has never happened before nor will it ever happen again. So be grateful and make the most of it!
View death, not as your enemy or something to be afraid of, but as an ally motivating you to make the most out of each fleeting moment.
“Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today.” ~ James Dean
2. Positive Programming
Condition yourself to live like every interaction is your last. Find an affirmation or mantra to repeat and help ground you into the bliss of the present moment.
During every personal interaction, I keep the mantra “Live like every interaction is your last” in the back of my head. It helps me to be more present, more compassionate, more loving, more forgiving, more grateful, more bold and more courageous.
We’re always programming ourselves whether we like it or not. Everything you tell yourself is a seed planted in the garden of your subconscious mind. Are you cultivating the kind of garden you want?
3. Letting Go of Judgment
Are you going to waste your time worrying about what other people think of you? Are you going to let the opinions of others determine what YOU DO with YOUR OWN LIFE? Are you going to throw away your own time by judging others? In the grand scheme of things, those petty judgments are ridiculously stupid, and an absolute waste of your precious time here on Earth.
I took a more in depth look at different forms of judgment in these articles:
No One Cares: Your Key to Freedom from Social Anxiety
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Judgment
4. Living Through Your Heart
Don’t let your ego run the show. Reside in your heart-space, that intuitive knowing from a deep place of peace.
Choose love as your motivating force in every situation, not fear.
And as cliche as this phrase is, ask yourself “What would Jesus do?” (or “What would Buddha do?” if you prefer that as the archetype of an ascended master). The point is, what would you do if you were operating from a place of unconditional love? Do that!
5. Practicing Forgiveness
Forgiveness is a pivotal theme here.
Holding onto any negativity is like holding onto a burning coal, thinking that it’s burning the other person. You’re only hurting yourself.
Forgiveness is more about not letting negative emotions fester within you than it is about the other person.
Cultivate mindfulness regarding holding onto grudges or dwelling on negative scenarios in the past. Simply being aware of it will take the wind out of the sails of any negativity you’re holding onto.
6. Recognizing the Stupidity of Negativity
In the grand scheme of things, complaining is useless, getting angry over little things is laughable (and if you really think about it, everything is a “little thing”), clutching onto resentment is idiotic…etc.
Are you going to waste your precious time on Earth mad at the guy who cut you off in traffic yesterday? Get over it and move on.
Why lie? What’s the point? Think about how it would feel to leave behind nothing but a complex web of lives for those you supposedly care about.
Lying just complicates things anyway, while honesty (though more difficult at times) is much simpler.
Honesty also feels good, because it’s the language of the heart, and any pain felt on the receiving end of a genuinely honest statement (based in love) is pain on the ego’s behalf.
8. Embracing the Little Things
Living like every interaction is your last is not necessarily about going skydiving or throwing a party and inviting everyone you’ve ever met; it’s about cherishing the little things in life.
Savor your cup of coffee in the morning, feel the joy of taking a deep breath through your nose, go for a walk outside and cherish the moment, laugh for no reason, dance by yourself, hold the door open for a stranger and see their beaming smile, give someone a genuine compliment…etc.
Learn to love the little things and your life will be an awe-inspiring experience of perpetual vibrance.
9. Avoiding Regret
“Be bold and courageous. When you look back on your life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the ones you did.” ~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
You’re the brave hero of your own movie, so act like it. And remember that (so called) mistakes make the best learning experiences. Sitting scared in your comfort zone is not living, but a slow death.
Take some risks, be unabashedly honest, talk to that hot girl or guy, write that book you have inside of you, quit your boring job and travel the world, tell your loved ones that you love them every time you say goodbye… Because you never know…
When you’re on your deathbed, are you going to look back and have regrets? Or smile and say “What a ride, baby!”?
The present moment is all that exists, and its fleeting, so cherish it.
The past and future only exist in our minds. And it’s in the mental projections into the past or future where we find our fear, worry, anxiety and all those negative emotions. Remember, there are no problems in the present moment.
The present moment is the ever-moving point of unending actualization which encases the physical dimension. It’s a ceaseless vortex of infinite love that goes wherever you go. You just have to surrender to it.
Feel, in the depths of your soul, the indescribable magic of each moment.
Meet each moment with joyful totality.
11. Your Legacy
What are you doing to make the world a better place? What are you creating? Are you living with purpose? What message are you conveying by the way you live your life?
What is your legacy?
Let the answer to that be a guiding force for the way you live your life on a moment-to-moment basis.
The Catalyst of Travel
Travel has a profound way of spurring this way of living like each moment could be your last. With all of the new (and sometimes scary) places, all of the perilous bus rides and the natural fear of flights, you become far more likely to constantly consider your own mortality.
From that perspective, a choice presents itself in every moment: “Will I make the most of this moment, or succumb to fear and complacency, letting it slip away forever?”
The choice is up to you. You have the option, in every moment, to make the most out of that fleeting moment and live like every interaction is your last.
– Stevie P!
I thought I had it all figured out a few months ago…
My ego loved the (false) sense of elitism that came from the (small) amount of wisdom I had accumulated and the personal growth I had achieved.
This sense of egoic comfort allowed my blind spots to subtly suffocate my growth and choke out my compassion towards others. As Admiral Ackbar from Star Wars would say, “It’s a trap!”
Luckily, I realized that my ego had snuck in through the back door. Deep down I knew that, in the grand scheme of things, I had next to nothing figured out, so I decided to shake things up a bit. In a hopscotch of faith, I leapt into innumerable experiences that shattered any sense of “having life figured out” and launched me to unforeseen levels of self-discovery and growth.
These experiences included 5 months of (mostly solo) world travel through 10 countries, meeting hundreds of amazing people, journaling every single day of my travels, having cathartic experiences at the Osho center, attending a few yoga retreats and workshops, getting certified in kinesiology, learning Siddha healing, practicing many different meditation techniques, jumping into new relationships, communing with Ayahuasca in the Peruvian Amazon, struggling to communicate with my weak Spanish speaking skills, hiking Machu Picchu in pouring rain, learning how to surf, going to the Envision Festival alone and embarking on countless other adventures that catapulted me out of my comfort zone. All of this intensely illuminated so many of my blind spots, quantum-jumped my knowledge of self and spurred so much improvement that I still haven’t assimilated it all. And I’m still riding this momentum.
“We live on an island surrounded by a sea of ignorance. As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance.” ~ John Wheeler
The more you know
The more you realize you don’t know
And you don’t know
What it is that you don’t know
Until it’s known
But you do know
That you don’t know everything
So rest in the fact that there’s always more to know
We all have blind spots, forces that we’re completely unaware of that may be holding us back.
The human mind, though it’s an immensely powerful tool, is littered with self-deception and cognitive biases. It’s so easy to trick ourselves, and over time, deepen the groove of a skewed view of reality.
That’s why one of the most important things you can do is take an objective look at yourself and reveal your blind spots.
What if your comfort zones are actually false fortresses of security that are doing you far more harm than good? What if everything you’ve been basing your reality on was a lie? What if every aspect of your life is really based on false assumptions, feebly held together by other false assumptions to rationalize the former false assumptions?
We’ve all seen the extremes of self-denial and glaring personal blind spots… The religious zealot who ignores overwhelming evidence contrary to her rigid, literal interpretation of the bible and believes ridiculous things like the idea of Jesus riding dinosaurs. The corporate guy, whose identity is so wrapped up in materialism, that he goes to great lengths (buying fancy clothes, watches and cars, having beautiful girlfriends just to impress others, exorbitant vacations to show off…etc.) in order to fill that feeling of emptiness inside. The high school friend, who has hesitantly convinced himself that he’s happy still living in the same hometown, working the same job and going to the same bar every Friday night. These epitomic cases may seem sad and even pathetic to us, but we’re all guilty of self-denial to some extent.
In order to become the greatest version of yourself and make the most out of life, you need to be able to observe yourself from an objective perspective. You need to call yourself out on your own bullshit. Everything from your most fundamental beliefs, how you view reality, your sense of what is possible, your identity, your habits, your patterns, your limiting beliefs, your assumptions, your false confidence, your fears, your egoic desires, your intuition, your intrinsic motivations, your reactions to external stimuli, your view of others, your freedom (or lack thereof), how you move your body, your choice of music, your choice of entertainment, your sources of information, your biases, your community, your inhibitions, your different personalities among different people, your dietary habits, your addictions, your vulnerabilities, your childhood pain that you’re still carrying, your biggest fear for the future, your self-judgments , your comfort zones, the excuses you make to yourself, the labels you mindlessly slap on things, the little lies you tell yourself, the secrets you’re hiding in the depths of your psyche, the truths you’re afraid of being true, the reason why you were born…etc.
As you can see, there are a lot of potential blind spots out there (or in there). Here’s how to develop a perspective of increased self-awareness, put yourself in a position of continuous personal evolution and be genuinely YOU-nique.
14 Ways to Discover Your Blind Spots
Meditation cultivates a state in which you can objectively observe your thoughts and emotions. We often go through life completely consumed by our thoughts and emotions, not being able to witness them. This is why meditation is so crucial. With practice, you will create awareness regarding your emotions, thoughts, habits and patterns.
This state of awareness makes change possible. If you go through life oblivious to your patterns, because you’re too engrossed in them to know what’s going on, you’ll never be in a position to make a change. As the old proverb goes, “The fish would be the last to discover water because they’re immersed in it.” Meditation can take you out of the metaphorical water of your assumed reality and help you realize “Wow, I was really IN THERE this whole time?”
If you’re new to meditation, try starting out with my 21 Breath Salute. It’s so easy and takes less than 5 minutes to do.
2. Intimate Relationships
Intimate relationships are the most powerful tools for showing you your own weaknesses and vulnerabilities.
Your partner is like a mirror of your own internal state. Your fears, limiting beliefs, doubts, delusions and repressed emotions are reflected in intimate relationships.
One example of this is getting angry at your partner for forgetting something. Chances are that you get angry at yourself for forgetting things, and because this person is so close to you, you do to them whatever you do to yourself. So get to the bottom of why you get angry at yourself for something so asinine. Did your parents do it to you? Do you put pressure on yourself to never make mistakes? (And where does that belief come from?) Share this revelatory process with your partner as you go through it. You’re on the same team, right?
Here’s another example. If you have a fear of abandonment from, let’s say, your father leaving you as a child, you will find yourself desperately clinging to relationships, even when it’s obvious that it’s not to your benefit. But you have to have some degree of self-awareness to be able to see this play out in your life (as well as a self-aware partner who can help you to realize these things as they come up). Otherwise, you’ll just blindly repeat the cycle over and over again.
You need to open to love to be in a relationship. And when your heart is open, you’re also vulnerable. This is why past pain that you thought you had hidden resurfaces. This is why your ego takes many bruises and why certain words penetrate to the core of your fears.
When an intimate relationship is honest, open and transparent, you will see all of each other’s deepest blind spots. Then you have the choice to work through them, or ignore them, letting them forever influence your life from the shadows of your subconsciousness.
3. Close Family and Friends
Family and friends can be similar to intimate relationships, though less of a “mirror” because our focus isn’t on them like it is on an intimate partner. (Although it can be very strong if you have children, because your complete focus is often on them. This is why having children can teach you so much about yourself.)
With family and friends, honest relationships are paramount. Surround yourself with people that love you enough to call you out on your bullshit and wake you up from your self-delusions.
I’m not saying to obey everything that other people say, but pay attention to the words spoken from the heart of someone you care deeply for.
4. Plant Medicine
Plant medicines are some of the most powerful catalysts for self-realization and growth. Some examples of plant medicines are “magic” mushrooms, Ibogaine and Ayahuasca (which I’ve done myself and wrote about here).
Plant medicines will help you see where your blind spots are, reevaluate your life, examine your fundamental beliefs and aid you in breaking out of the patterns that don’t serve you. It’s like a crash course in self-improvement. Before you dismiss plant medicines as drugs, be aware that there’s a growing body of research regarding the healing effects of psychedelics on addiction, depression and mental disorders such as PTSD.
When used in clinical or ceremonial settings, these sacred plant medicines have profound healing properties.
5. Be Aware of Cognitive Biases
A cognitive bias is defined as “a systematic pattern of deviation from norm or rationality in judgment, whereby inferences about other people and situations may be drawn in an illogical fashion. Individuals create their own “subjective social reality” from their perception of the input.” (Wikipedia)
One prominent cognitive bias is called the backfire effect, which is when you reject evidence that contradicts your viewpoint or conclusion, even if you know that the evidence is true. How many times have you seen people do this? A lot, right? And I bet you’ve done it too. I know I have.
Another notable cognitive bias is the bandwagon effect. This is when the probability of one person adopting a belief increases based on the number of people who hold that belief. The bandwagon effect is a testament to how powerful groupthink or herd mentality can be. Don’t overlook the possibility that your most fundamental beliefs may be based on false premises and they’ve only been collectively accepted, not because they’re true, but because of phenomena like the bandwagon effect.
This article outlines 57 different cognitive biases that us humans can have. And there’s probably more too that we very well be unaware of.
Get familiar with the many variations of cognitive biases and ask yourself the tough questions: On which topics are my views biased? What cognitive biases do I have? Which ones am I most vulnerable to? In what kind of situations do they arise? What viewpoints am I vehemently or even irrationally defending? What am I desperately trying to justify? Maybe there are cognitive biases at play.
6. Build Ego Awareness
The ego is sneaky, cunning and a terrible master. If you become a slave to the ego and let it run your life, you will be engulfed in a world of endless fear, judgment, deception and self-sabotage.
Know when your ego is trying to run the show. Learn to differentiate between your egoic desires and the genuine desires of your heart.
Your ego will wrap its identity in labels (nationality, race, religion, gender…etc.) and constrict you in the process. It will have you stubbornly defending ideas that you’re not quite sure are true. It will have you clinging to comfort, blocking out any exposure to growth.
Read my article “What Does Your Ego Look Like?” for a deeper dive into the ego.
7. Investigate Your Resistances
Resistance is the ego at work. If you have great resistance towards something, look into it. It will often be your ego resisting something that is actually beneficial for you.
The classic examples of resistance are politics and religion. People are so emotionally attached to their ideologies (and there are so many cognitive biases involved) that even a mild counterpoint is met with hostility and defensiveness. If you notice this kind of resistance in you, see where it comes from. Are you afraid that what you cling to will be gone? Do you think you won’t have an identity if you step outside of the box of the political/religious ideology you follow? Are you merely following an ideology based on the fear of consequences if you don’t?
If you have extreme resistance towards something, it’s probably something you’re desperately trying to suppress and it’s driving you crazy in the process. Examine everything with an open mind and meet resistance with love.
8. Be a Beginner Again
Try something new where you have to start from square one. If you’re an intellectual, try learning how to surf. If you’re an athlete, try playing chess.
Taking on something completely new and foreign will shake you out of your comfort zones, make you vulnerable (in a good way), uncover weaknesses (or strengths that you never knew about), highlight any stubbornness you have, enable you to connect dots from seemingly unrelated areas and catalyze so much learning in a short period of time.
9. Get Out of the Echo Chamber
This is closely related to trying something new.
An echo chamber is “a situation in which information, ideas, or beliefs are amplified or reinforced by transmission and repetition inside an “enclosed” system, where different or competing views are censored, disallowed, or otherwise underrepresented.” (Wikipedia)
Sometimes, we get so caught up in our niche communities (especially online), that we don’t realize that it could be an echo chamber. The extreme version of this is something like Scientology, but I’ve seen various degrees of “echo-chamberism” from spiritual communities to scientific communities and everything in between. It’s cool to connect with like-minded people, but just make sure that you’re not illogically rejecting things to hold up false premises. Question everything and always exercise your critical thinking faculties.
If you’re a floaty spiritual person, switch it up and read some scientific literature. If you’re scientific-minded, read some spiritual stuff. If you’re a hip-hop head, listen to some classical music (the real OG’s). All of this will give you a completely different perspective on things, make you more well-rounded and spur so much new insight it will blow your mind.
10. Find a Group Setting that Facilitates Self-Discovery
Attend a retreat or a workshop. These kinds of events are designed to be learning experiences provide you with new perspectives in a concise package.
Every retreat and every workshop I’ve ever attended has revealed profound insights that were previously blind spots for me.
11. Put Yourself in Other People’s Shoes
See the world from someone else’s perspective. Visualize their perspective in detail. Think about their motivations, point of view, beliefs, fears and how their experiences have shaped who they are. Have empathy and compassion and truly understand their point of view.
This kind of empathetic visualization will greatly expand your perceptions give you a unique perspective on your own life.
Also, studying the behavior of others will create an awareness of those same behaviors within yourself (if you’re willing to look within).
12. Keep a Journal
Journaling is one of the best tools for self-reflection. Deep-seated revelations arise when your thoughts and emotions are externalized.
The process of writing itself also creates objectivity and newfound understanding. Journaling allows you to witness your state of being from a higher perspective. And reading about your past experiences will give you more clarity for the present (hindsight is 20/20).
Travel is the ultimate perspective-expander. You experience new cultures, new ideas and new ways of living. You also meet tons of interesting people, often travelers themselves, who grave great wisdom to share.
Traveling also forces you out of your comfort zone. After any stint of travel, you’ll be able to step back and look at yourself and the world around you with new eyes.
“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes
14. Read Books
Reading is one of the best ways to learn and grow as a person. Every book you read is a rung of your ladder of knowledge, helping you climb above the walls of your own ignorance.
Here’s a tip to spur even more self-discovery and growth: Once in a while, read something that is completely different than normal for you. I stubbornly only read nonfiction for a while, thinking I was being practical and learning a lot (which I was). But once I started reading fiction, I unexpectedly learned so much more, and in ways I never would have expected. My imagination bloomed like a flower in spring, my power of visualization strengthened, my vocabulary greatly expanded and my writing ability reached new heights. Also, because I read fiction before bed, I started falling asleep more easily. Imagination and visualization were blind spots for me, and I probably never would have thought about them if it weren’t for reading fiction.
There you have it. Those are some excellent ways to illuminate the caverns of your psyche and bring awareness to your blind spots.
Don’t just read this and then fall back into the same patterns you know don’t serve your highest interest. Apply! Apply! Apply!
“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Life gets excruciatingly stale when you’re held down by the shadowy forces you refuse to face. Release the fear of what you’re afraid of discovering, because it’s all you and, in the grand scheme of things, it’s all love.
Uncover your blind spots, keep learning and keep growing.
Make the most out of your short time here on Earth.
– Stevie P!
I don’t own a TV. I don’t watch the news. I don’t pay attention to any of the bread and circuses. I’m too busy improving myself and those around me.
But word on the street is that it’s getting close to election time here in ‘merica.
People ask me what I think about Donald Trump running for president or whatever other WWE-like political stage show is going on. This inevitably leads to me saying “I’m not going to vote.”
Now before you fall off of your high horse in astonishment, let me explain… I choose not to vote, not out of ignorance, nor out of apathy (actually quite the opposite), but out of noncompliance with a broken, fundamentally corrupt and laughably ineffective system.
If given the choice between stabbing myself with a knife or stabbing myself with a fork, I would choose neither (after questioning why I would even stab myself in the first place).
C’mon, do you really think the votes are counted fairly after fiascos like the blatantly manipulated “Florida recount” of 2000? There’s obviously foul play going on, and digitizing the voting process makes it even easier to rig the game. It’s not even a popular vote anyway. People’s votes (supposedly) go to selecting members of the Electoral College, who then elect the president. (Another safeguard to make sure that only “selected” candidates are voted in?)
“Presidents are selected, not elected.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
Isn’t it ironic that most people feel like their opinion is negligible when it comes to most things? But in terms of voting (which is a blatantly rigged game), they fall for the fairy tale that their vote counts?
When I tell people I don’t vote, I get two predictable reactions…
Some people say “If you don’t exercise your right to vote, then you don’t have a right to criticize anything.” But I would contend that if we have the right to vote, shouldn’t we also have the right to NOT vote? Mandatory compliance for the entire population is the antithesis of freedom. This leads into the next one.
Other people say “If you don’t like it, then leave.” Well, America was founded on the principle that the people have the right to criticize the government, and the right to overthrow it if it becomes tyrannical. Then there’s that little freedom of speech thing that just so happens to be the first amendment. If you live in a country where you can’t criticize the government, you’re in a 1984-like nightmare. I’d rather not slide down that slippery slope.
“To criticize one’s country is to do it a service …. Criticism, in short, is more than a right; it is an act of patriotism – a higher form of patriotism, I believe, than the familiar rituals and national adulation.” – U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright
The Two Main Reasons Why I’m Not Voting
1. The System is Broken
The entire political system in the US is basically a branch of the big banks. The vast majority of senators are lap dogs for big corporations (lobbying is just a fancy way of saying bribery). And the entire hierarchy is designed so that the most obedient to those interests rise to the top. Anyone who tries to bring about any real change from within it is either silenced into submission or converted into another spineless drone dancing the puppet master’s dance.
If you can’t see that there’s a massive conspiracy at hand, you’re in deep, deep denial. This is a call for you to wake up.
Here’s just the tip of the iceberg of deceit:
Regarding the rigging of the voting process itself:
Can you get any more dysfunctional and deceptive? Everything that’s projected at us is one big, theatrical lie. To even give such an institution legitimacy is an insult to our intrinsic nature as sovereign beings.
Don’t get caught up in “what’s wrong” though. Running around like a fearful, paranoid conspiracy theorist won’t help. You just need to be aware of the forces holding you back in order to transcend them.
We must focus on building a better system rather than trying to repair a hopelessly broken one.
If a glass breaks, do you waste your time trying to glue all of the pieces back together? Of course not. You get a new glass!
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” – Dan Millman
Is Elon Musk trying to change the auto-industry from the inside? Is he trying to take over Ford or Chevy? No, he’s creating better alternatives (through Tesla Motors) that are rendering the traditional technologies futile.
And really, all of the bullshit legislation and asinine topics of discussion are akin to switching chairs around on the Titanic. We need to change the fundamental paradigms which western society is based upon. We need a monetary system that does not funnel wealth into the hands of a few. We need energy that creates abundance as opposed to limitation. We need to embrace love, as opposed to being conditioned from cradle-to-grave with fear.
2. The Power of Noncompliance
“Supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.” – Sun Tzu
For some reason, most Americans have been conditioned to believe that peaceful noncompliance isn’t an effective driver of change. Quite the opposite is true. This false belief has been propagated because, when used properly, it’s an immensely effective force.
Peaceful resistance is the only way to create positive, lasting change. Noncompliance is the kryptonite of any control system.
No law, no system, no government can be implemented unless people COMPLY with it. Any manifestation of a control system cannot exist without our acquiescence.
“Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Society is overwhelmingly shaped by acts, not laws. People are inspired through the heart, not necessarily through documents and signatures. What law did Gandhi pass? What law did MLK pass? Did Rosa Parks go through a legislative process? Hell no. She practiced peaceful noncompliance by refusing to sit in the back of the bus. And it was a huge moral victory.
We can also look at the events that have shaped society in more negative ways. Look at 9/11. It was a false-flag attack engineered to instill fear within the population (along with being an excuse to occupy the Middle East). Ever since that tragic day, Americans have been literally programmed with fear.
We need to take action to spark positive change, along the lines of Gandhi and MLK.
In the phenomenal novel The Fifth Sacred Thing, a utopian(ish) society neutralizes the invasion of a dystopian society through noncompliance. The utopian society had built better alternatives in every aspect of living. When the armed invaders came, they were met with peaceful noncompliance. At first, some were killed for not obeying orders. But eventually, the invading army recognized that the place they had invaded provided a better life than they could have imagined back home. The strategy of peaceful resistance caused the hierarchy of the violent invaders to implode from within.
You can’t fight fire with fire. It must be put out with water. Noncompliance is that water.
What would happen if the majority of the population refused to vote? Not out of apathy, but out of noncompliance with a system that they don’t agree with. And letting it be known, emphatically, on top of that. (See the “call to action” at the bottom of this article to do just that.) Everyone would be forced to take a long, hard look and question even the most fundamental beliefs that the government is based upon. When noncompliance hits a tipping point, the established system of government would have no choice but to be uprooted and rebuilt from the ground up.
And don’t think you don’t matter in the grand scheme of things (yes, you reading this). You most certainly do play a part. Just as an ocean is a collection of individual drops, a nation is but a collection of individual people.
“No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.” – Voltaire
It’s about time we started an avalanche of positive change.
Change starts from within. There must first be internal change for there to be any real, lasting external change. That’s why Gandhi said, “Be the change we wish to see in the world,” not “Hope someone else will come along and change things for you.” (Which is the trap most Americans have fallen into.)
Want Real Change?
We’ve been focusing all of our energy on external authority figures for so long that we can’t even fathom what the world would look like if we all stepped into our inherent power. And that is exactly what needs to happen for any real change to take place.
Stop focusing on what, deep down, you know to be illusory and embody the change.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson
We hold the key to change, and it lies within.
We shape society based on our daily actions, not by hoping someone else will come and save us.
And that’s why I’m not voting.
– Stevie P!
How Real Change Actually Takes Place
CALL TO ACTION
If you don’t want to vote, out of noncompliance (not apathy), you can do these two things to have your voice heard: (Imagine what would happen if thousands of people did this.)
Let’s get those hashtags trending on Twitter.
2. Email the US Government, expressing that you’re not voting out of noncompliance.
Here’s a general script for the comment: (You can copy this or create your own, with your own name of course)
Dear US Government,
I’m not voting in the presidential election, not out of apathy, but out of noncompliance. I do not wish to give legitimacy to a fundamentally corrupt system.
Every president presented to us has been SELECTED by the shadowy and deceptive powers that (wanna)be. The interests of the people have taken a backseat to the interest of big banks, big corporations, big pharma, the military industrial complex, the oil companies…etc.
I also do not have faith in the voting system. It is a rigged game and there never really was a truly popular vote.
I’m grateful, however, that I at least have the right to express this. I wish to let it be known that I am not voting out of noncompliance.
Thank you for your consideration.
And whoever reads this, I wish you well.
– Stephen Parato