The Story of Imaginal Cells (And How You Might Be One)

butterfly imaginal cells

Imagine…

That was John Lennon’s powerful message to humanity. He envisioned a better future and encouraged us to step into it.

Imagination is the basis for the creation of novelty; new ideas, new concepts, new everything. It’s that important and that potent.

Now here’s where things get really interesting. In biology, there is a term called Imaginal Cells. And they got that name for a reason.

We all learned that caterpillars go through a metamorphosis and become butterflies. But few of us know the details of how this process actually takes place. How it happens is absolutely amazing.

Imaginal Cells: From Caterpillar To Butterfly

After a period of ravenous consumption, the caterpillar finds a perch and forms a chrysalis. The end result, we know, is a butterfly. But the mindblowing thing here is that there is no structural similarity at all between a caterpillar and a butterfly.

Inside of the chrysalis, the caterpillar actually dissolves into organic ooze. Cells, which are aptly called “Imaginal Cells,” begin to emerge. This is what starts the process of creating a new form and structure.

At first the Imaginal Cells – the seeds of future potential, which contain the blueprint of a flying creature—operate independently as single-cell organisms. They are viewed as threats and are attacked by the caterpillar’s immune system. But they persist, multiply, and form connections with each other. The Imaginal Cells communicate more, creating larger and larger cooperative networks until they eventually hit a tipping point. And a butterfly is born!

A Microcosm of Humanity

Now let’s relate the Imaginal Cell phenomenon to humanity.

Think about the general state of a caterpillar before it becomes a butterfly: mindless consumption. Sounds familiar, right? Go to any city, any store or just turn on the tv, and the level of mindless consumption is hard to miss. Humanity has been that way for a while, but the paradigm is shifting.

Then, when the new Imaginal Cells start popping up, they get attacked by the other cells. Look at what happened to all of the prophets, geniuses and visionaries (Jesus, Leonardo Da Vinci, Gandhi, Nikola Tesla, Martin Luther King Jr, John Lennon…etc.). They get attacked and demonized by those who are still trapped in caterpillar mode. Those who I just named were some of the first Imaginal Cells, the harbingers of a new level of consciousness.

What if we (humans) weren’t just individuals, but cells of a superorganism?

Now remember that more and more Imaginal Cells start to pop up. Then they begin to connect, work together and create the new being.

Our outdated version of humanity is the caterpillar, mindlessly consuming everything in sight.

But now we’re seeing more and more of these Imaginal Cell-like people emerge, shedding away our collective chrysalis. And if you’re reading this, you’re one of them.

There’s a worldwide awakening going on. We’re coming together and cooperating to bring about a new humanity.

Cheers to becoming a butterfly.

– An Imaginal Cell Named Stevie P

 

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How to Channel Your Inner 2pac and Ravenously Create

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Taking a step back a few days ago, I found myself muttering, “Now I know how 2pac felt.”

I’m in the midst of the most productive weeks of my life. By a long shot. And to be honest, I almost feel like a superhero with newly attained powers; sure-footed yet surprised, and impressed to the point of slight skepticism regarding the sudden jump in abilities.

I have a burning desire to express as much as I possibly can, blended with a deep-seated sense of urgency to create, create, create. Then create some more.

Due to a deluge of techniques and lifestyle hacks I’ve employed, inspiration is hitting like a young Mike Tyson and creation has transformed from a “should” to a “must.” It’s an extended version of the “flow state” that so many artists talk about. Something that the late, great Tupac Shakur was intimately familiar with.

The King of Content

2pac had an insane work ethic, to the point of it becoming a form of modern mythology. The amount of material he produced in his short life is absolutely stunning. He would write and record ravenously, diving into sessions of intense focus like he wouldn’t live to see tomorrow (which eventually came to fruition, as it does for all of us).

In contemplating what drove ‘Pac to be a such a creation machine, I was able to distill it into three key points…

1. Sense of purpose

2pac had so much to share with the world. He was immensely intent on sparking people’s brains and instigating positive change in the world. This is why he touched on such a multitude of topics and dabbled in almost every form of artistic expression.

This quote encapsulates his innate sense of purpose…

“I’m not saying I’m gonna change the world, but I guarantee that I will spark the brain that will change the world.” – Tupac Shakur

If you have an intrinsic sense of purpose, absolutely nothing stands between you and what you wish to accomplish. When you live for something greater than yourself, there is no such thing as being tired. There are no complaints. The phrase “I can’t” doesn’t exist.

Purpose is what fuels that burning desire that exists deep within all of us.

I wrote extensively on finding purpose in this article, “Reveal Your Life’s Purpose by Asking These 15 Questions.”

2. Death as motivation (A deep-seated sense of urgency)

2pac put in work like his demise was imminent (even well before it really was).

We’re not promised tomorrow. Death is the only certainty in life. Most people mentally comprehend this, but they live in denial of this fact. Truly knowing and feeling it on a deep level is what drives that kind of motivation that 2pac and many other great creators had.

If you were to die right now, would you be satisfied with what you did here on Earth? Ask yourself that.

“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.” – Mark Twain

With death as motivation, there is no time to waste, there is no time to procrastinate, only time to fully express, from the depths of your being, what you truly need to do.

Create, create, create. Express the brilliant wisdom of your heart. Because you never know when you’re going to withdraw from your physical vessel…

“Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today.” – James Dean

3. Sticking to “systems.”

Building off of the last two points, which are more like states of consciousness, you must consistently take action to create at a high level. Action is the currency of our reality. It is what you must exchange in order to achieve anything.

The most effective method for continuous creation is developing systems. What a system is, is a regular routine with a purpose. As an example, here’s what I did to write every book of mine… I focused on doing something every day, no matter how small. Some days I got in the zone and wrote pages upon pages. Other days I edited one sentence (true story). I just focused on doing at least something every day, and before I knew it, I had a finished product. This technique is infinitely more effective than just saying “I want to write a book.” Most new years resolutions (and goals in general) fail because people merely dream of a goal, without implementing a system or routine to propel themselves in the right direction.

2pac didn’t have a fancy, detailed system. His system was simple. He just wrote and recorded every single day. That’s it. He had a vision and a purpose which he executed by hurtling headlong into daily action. At one point, he was recording as much as 3 to 4 songs a day. Now that’s impressive.

It seems obvious, but most people severely underestimate the power of consistent action. Relentlessly pursuing progress and persistently taking action results in gargantuan growth over time.

“Daily, consistent, focused, faithful expectation raises the miracle power of achieving your dreams.” -John Di Lemme

A note on time management:
You might say “I don’t have the time to create.” Which is a bullshit, disempowered excuse. If you incorporate the above techniques, you will make time. As Gandhi once said, “Actions dictate where priorities lie.”

With a higher purpose, a deep sense of urgency, and a system to take consistent action, you too have the capacity to channel your inner 2pac and become a ravenous creator.

We all have brilliantly unique gifts to share with the world. The greatest tragedy is dying with yours inside.

Don’t hesitate, create.

– Stevie P

Great Moments in the History of Not Giving a Fuck: Viral Edition

Good news…

The Art of Not Giving A Fuck eBook is set for release on Tuesday, February 25th!

And as the third and last installment of the mini-series “Great Moments in the History of Not Giving a Fuck,” I present to you the viral edition…

1. Russian guy dancing at a resort

I don’t think there’s anyone in the world more comfortable in their own skin. While most people are too self-conscious to even participate in things like this, this guy has the time of his life. Plus, he’s got some moves too. Fun over fear, my friends.

 

2. Guy singing and dancing to Bon Jovi at a Boston Celtics game

This guy (Jeremy Fry) does what everyone really wants to do, and it’s so awesome. So many people are so self-conscious and stuck living vicariously that they just sit there like zombies at events. Not this guy though! He doesn’t give a fuck. He made the day of thousands of people at the game, and millions who’ve seen it on Youtube. If I was wearing a hat, I’d tip it to this guy.

 

3. 55-year-old hard-drinking Slovenian man swims the entire Amazon River

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/man-swims-the-entire-length-of-the-amazon-414258

Yeah, you read that right. That guy (Martin Strel, pictured above) really swam the entire Amazon, no fear and no fucks given. Read the article, it’s great. What an absolute legend.

 

4. Russell Brand tearing newscasters apart and mocking the current state of mainstream “news”

Russell Brand says what’s on his mind, doesn’t have any inhibitions, and shatters the trance that TV news usually has people in. And he does it all in a witty, hilarious, and surprisingly polite manner.

 

5. Elliott Hulse – Brain Slave No More

In this video, Elliott both discusses and demonstrates how we imprison ourselves in our bodies. He yells, stomps, shakes, screams; all of the things we would reactively (because of conditioning) call “crazy.” But you know what!? He’s right. How good does it feel to scream at the top of your lungs? It’s a cathartic release. We’re so conditioned to suppress feelings, emotions, and expression. But once you allow yourself to express (especially through the body), it’s positively liberating and creates harmony on so many levels.

Hope you enjoyed all these great moments. I hope they made your day. And I hope you, like me, have been inspired by some of these.

Can you think of any other Great Moments in the History of Not Giving a Fuck? Comment below.

And remember…

The Art of Not Giving a Fuck eBook is set for release on Tuesday February 25th, 2014. Mark your calendar!

Stay feelin’ good, feelin’ great.

Much love.

-Stevie P!

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All related posts on the upcoming The Art of Not Giving a Fuck eBook:

 

Great Moments in the History of Not Giving a Fuck: The Guy Who Refused To Do The Nazi Salute

If you want to see someone who epitomizes The Art of Not Giving A Fuck, look no further than the image below…

Like a bawss

“It was Nazi Germany in 1936, and a crowd of people had gathered in Hamburg to watch the launch of a navy training vessel. As hundreds raised their arms in unison in the Nazi salute, one man stood with his arms crossed, his eyes squinting at whoever was leading the salute.”¹

 

That one man was August Landmesser, connoisseur of  the “just because everyone’s doing this dumb shit, doesn’t mean I’m going to”-mentality.

I applaud ol’ August. What a G, and what a testament to moral heroism. This one action serves as a reminder that no matter how fucked up a society is, the human spirit will never be completely extinguished. Free will is a trump card we can pull out at any time. We always have the choice, though we might be conditioned to think otherwise. Oppressive control systems only come to fruition through our acquiescence.

Their power over you is only the result of you not knowing your own.

Our main man August was fearless in his epic moment of noncompliance. Fear allows us to be manipulated oh so easily (like everyone else in the picture), but if you don’t give a fuck (aka don’t give into fear), you take your power back. You can’t be controlled. You can’t be herded. You can’t be easily manipulated. You become your own person whose actions are based on what you feel to be right… Now that’s empowerment, and August Landmesser embodied it.

“Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth.” – Mahatma Gandhi

The Art of Not Giving a Fuck eBook is coming soon…

Stay feelin good, feelin’ great my friends.

-Stevie P!

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¹http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/blogpost/post/august-landmesser-shipyard-worker-in-hamburg-refused-to-perform-nazi-salute-photo/2012/02/07/gIQA1ZzExQ_blog.html?tid=pm_national_pop

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Love Is Our Essence

What do we call a newborn baby when he/she first comes into the world?

A little “bundle of joy” right?

And there’s good reason for it. We begin life as curious mini-people bubbling with joy, happiness and love (well, except when we need food or our diaper changed).

This is because Love is our essence.

“Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence.” -Erich Fromm

Hold up… Before you picture me riding a pink unicorn over a rainbow and all that, let me elaborate a little bit.

Note: The way I’m using the word Love includes happiness, joy, peace, bliss and all things usually labeled as “positive.” It’s so much more than just the “honey, I love you”-type stuff. That’s why there’s 4 words for love in Greek, for example.

We gravitate towards people and things that make us smile, and tend to keep a distance from Negative Nancys.

That explains why is laughter pretty much the most contagious thing in existence. It’s the physical manifestation of pure joy that everyone wants in on.

We have a deep desire to feel good. And who wouldn’t? I’ll give you a nickel for every person you can find that really wants to live in fear, sadness, pain, hate, depression…etc.

Let’s see what Google has to say on the matter…

ScreenHunter_173 Oct. 04 11.52

Might as well hit you with a few quotes too while I’m at it…

“The only abnormality is the incapacity to love.” -Anais Nin

“We love life, not because we are used to living but because we are used to loving.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

And what’s a post on Love without old school Valentine’s Day cards?

TMNT_Valentine_2

Damn right, Michaelangelo

Love is our natural state.

Let’s take a look at our essence from 3 perspectives:

Spiritual teachings- Many spiritual teachings describe what is commonly referred to as God with names like Infinite Consciousness, The Infinite, Universal Oneness, Om, Elohim, or simply…pure Love (see an extensive list here). This is why we come into this world as beings of pure love and happiness, and we constantly yearn for love and happiness throughout life. Because it is our essence.

Ever hear the phrase “God is love”? That’s what it’s getting at.

“Love… It surrounds every being and extends slowly to embrace all that shall be.” –Kahlil Gibran

Look at kids- Children are fresh out of wherever it is we come from. Fresh outta the essence. And generally speaking, they enter the world beaming with joy, happiness, and love. (Although they do act up sometimes if their basic needs aren’t satisfied, but rightfully so.)

Kids are  like a clean slate. They’re bursting with imagination, creativity and wonder. Go to any public place and see how kids act compared to adults. Kids run around and play. They have fun. While most adults are stone-faced and anxious (there’s always some awesome characters who retained a child-like essence though, so there’s hope).

Children begin to lose this love-based disposition when they accumulate fear-based conditioning and experiences. When they accumulate baggage, conditioning, and place rules/limitations on everything. This becomes like clouds blocking the sun. It’s a blockage, a disconnection from our essence.

We have a lot to learn from children, if you think about it. Like the ol’ quote:

“Be child-like, not childish.”

Be in the moment. Use imagination. See the wonder in everything. Practice non-judgment. Leave preconceived notions at the door. Ditch the inhibitions. Express yourself. Play. Laugh. And most importantly, HAVE FUN!

See my post entitled “What We Can Learn From Children” for more on this.

Meditation- Meditation is a state of non-thinking. It is simply being.

It is a letting go of everything. And when you let go of everything, what are you left with? As everyone can attest to, deep meditation is a profound sense of happiness, joy, peace, love, and overall well-being.

This is where we go to get “knowledge of self.” To realign with our true nature.

Here’s a quick meditation guide for beginners.

Some common words/sayings/phrases to think about:
+The term “baggage” – If you have no baggage, you’re happy, right? And take a look at this MLK quote: “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.

+The phrase “let me be” – Implying that it’s all good when left alone.

+The phrase “worry-free” – Implies that you’re left with Love/happiness when there are no worries.

+When someone says “I wasn’t myself.” – This is usually describing a fear-based quality (anger in most cases). I hope people don’t say “I wasn’t being myself” after expressing Love in some form.

+We put the word “happy” in front of our birthdays, holidays…etc. – Imagine saying “sad birthday” to someone? Hahaha.

So next time you’re feeling all negative, remember, Love is our essence. Choose Love.

Stay feelin’ good, feelin’ great.

Love,  <~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ seewhatIdidthere? 😉

-Stevie P!

PS- What’s Love without some music?