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 5 Best Self Improvement Podcasts

podcasts

I’ve always wished to sit in on insightful conversations; to be a fly on the wall during brilliant exchanges between interesting people.

Now I can, whenever and wherever I want. This is the allure of podcasts.

21% of Americans now listen to podcasts. To put this in perspective, that’s the same percentage as Americans who use Twitter. Podcasts are becoming ubiquitous, and for good reason. They are changing the way we experience both entertainment and learning.

The Audio Advantage

I prefer audio to other mediums for the simple fact that you can listen anywhere. It allows you to be a time management ninja and learn while going about your day. You can listen to podcasts while driving, walking outside, cooking, stretching, cleaning, performing monotonous tasks at work or just sitting in the dark while resting your eyes (which I personally love doing). Audio is so much more versatile than something you have to watch. Plus, we all spend too much time looking at screens, so it can provide a much needed break from that.

Authenticity

Podcasts are usually raw and authentic. I really love and appreciate the authenticity of podcasts. They’re generally unscripted and not edited much. So whether it’s a conversation, interview or a one-person rant, podcasts feel much more genuine and real than radio shows or any traditional media. Many people can no longer tolerate the plastic fakeness of overly scripted, heavily edited and excruciatingly politically correct interviews and/or conversations.

Choose Your Own Adventure

With podcasts you choose what you listen to, when you listen to it, when to stop, when to resume…etc. Gone are the days of being relegated to what’s on tv or what’s on the radio. Interactivity, freedom, authenticity and the democratization of information are highly valued in today’s culture.

Want to learn about health? Listen to a health podcast. Want to laugh? Listen to a comedian’s podcast. Want to hear an interview with a celebrity that’s unscripted and more like a conversation? There’s a podcast for that.

There is a podcast for every possible niche you can think of. The choice is yours.

The Perfect Blend

The authenticity factor of podcasts allows the podcaster to be him or herself while conveying the information they wish to convey. That’s why, more than anything else I’ve found, podcasts have the unique ability to create an experience of learning, mixed with entertainment, all while feeling like you’re there listening in on an interesting conversation.

I also love the funny quirks and unique sense of humor that people have. When these genuine qualities and “imperfections” shine through, it allows the listener to relate to whoever’s speaking on a deeper level.

The 5 Best Self Improvement Podcasts

1. The Tim Ferriss Show

Tim Ferriss is an author, entrepreneur and human guinea pig. His podcast focuses on dissecting all forms of greatness. In Tim’s own words, “Each episode, I deconstruct world-class performers from eclectic areas (investing, sports, business, art, etc.) to extract the tactics, tools, and routines you can use. This includes favorite books, morning routines, exercise habits, time-management tricks, and much more.”

2. The Model Health Show

This is the best podcast on health that I’ve come across. The host, Shawn Stevenson, has the uncanny ability to break down and eloquently explain complex health concepts. Each show often focuses on one specific aspect of health, making it highly informative and actionable. Shawn is well-read, with an amicable personality and a holistic, big picture perspective. The Model Health Show really is the model of health shows.

3. ReWild Yourself Podcast

The ReWild Yourself Podcast, hosted by Daniel Vitalis, is incredibly interesting and packed with useful information. If you want to maximize your entire being and embrace your primalness (instead of ignoring or repressing it), you should definitely check out the ReWild Yourself podcast. Here’s the short description of it…

“I’m Daniel Vitalis, and I’ll be your guide through the world of human zoology and lifestyle design. We’ll explore the strategies that ancient apes need to thrive in a modern world, awakening our instincts, and freeing our bodies –– and minds –– from the degenerative effects of human domestication.”

4. Aubrey Marcus Podcast

Aubrey Marcus is the CEO of Onnit and a master of “total human optimization.” He’s fascinating to listen to and shares valuable wisdom on a wide variety of topic. Anyone interested in practical spirituality and using consciousness to optimize and enjoy life will find tremendous value in Aubrey Marcus’ podcast.

5. The Joe Rogan Experience

Joe Rogan is a comedian and UFC commentator. His podcasts are long, hilarious and interesting conversations about everything imaginable. Joe Rogan literally explores every subject under the sun. His comedic wit makes the podcasts laugh out loud funny while discussing often mindblowing ideas with interesting people.

Though The Joe Rogan Experience isn’t directly self-improvement related, it exposes you to a multitude of topics that will undoubtedly catalyze self-improvement.


I highly recommend you check out these podcasts and see if they resonate with you.

Keep laughing and learning.

Much love.

– Stevie P!


Resources: Apps to listen to podcasts on your smartphone

  • Stitcher (this is what I personally use)
  • Podcasts
  • Overcast
  •  

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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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    The Openhanded Life

    Openhandedness

    “Hold on is what they say
    But I say open up your hands and let it fly away
    Until the day it comes back and it was meant to be
    Take a look at the lovely gift the world has sent to me
    Don’t suffer you got to maintain
    The rougher the storm gets the more they complain
    They don’t aim
    They shoot sporadically
    Panicky and so dramatically
    He ran frantically
    Summarized by the look in his eyes
    He couldn’t hold on after one too many tries”

    – Aceyalone

    Do you feel the need to clutch onto everything you desire?

    Most of us do. We’ve been conditioned that we must grab what we want and hold onto it for dear life. This applies to everything, from our identity, to our goals, to our relationships, to money, and everything in between.

    What if I told you that life is more about letting go than holding on? Well, that is if you want to be happy, fulfilled, present and at peace. If you want to cause yourself more suffering, feel free to stop reading now.

    Enter: Openhandedness

    Openhandedness is characterized by releasing that fearful, egoic clinging to everything, letting go, generously giving and cultivating the ability to receive.

    An open hand can both give and receive, while a closed fist can do neither. If we look at the two basic motivating forces, fear and love, openhandedness is based in love while a closed fist is based in fear. Fear is constricting, an inhibitor to growth and a creator of unnecessary barriers. Love is opening. Love is growth. Love is freedom.

    Openhandedness doesn’t necessarily mean walking around with your hands out 24/7 like you’re a Jesus figurine or something. It’s a metaphor for your general mindset. If you’re always so constricted and closed-off, you’ll never have the opportunity to give or receive. A closed fist is also used to cling onto things. And so many of us desperately cling to every part of our lives, for fear of losing whatever it is we’re clinging to. This is absolutely exhausting and completely driven by fear and scarcity.

    “Let go or be dragged.” – Zen Proverb

    What happens when you cling to a person too much? They feel suffocated and push you away. What happens when you cling to your money? You drive yourself crazy worrying about it, poison your relationships and cut yourself off to making more. What happens when you cling to your identity? You end up pigeonholing yourself and block any spontaneity or change from coming into your life.

    This is the mode that most people live in, especially in modern western society. I was completely controlled by this mentality myself until fairly recently. It’s a byproduct of being possessed by the ego, living in fear and not trusting the process of life. That’s a miserable way to go through life.

    Yet a magical shift happens once you allow yourself to let go and trust the process of life. That which is meant to come comes and that which is meant to go goes. When you live an openhanded life, you give generously, receive often and joyfully flow with the unfoldment of each moment as it arises. Good things come and go, their beautiful fleetingness thoroughly enjoyed. Challenges are adeptly addressed then let go of. Situations come and go. People come and go. Those who remain in your life remain because they truly want to, not because you fearfully cling onto them. The openhanded life is beautiful, free flowing and rooted in unconditional love.

    Lupe Fiasco has a brilliant reference to openhandedness in his song They. Resurrect. Over. New, saying “It’s a new year, every time I open my hands.” When you live an openhanded life, you’re rebirthing yourself in every moment. You’re effortlessly allowing life to spontaneously unfold and dynamically change.

    Note: Openhandedness is not synonymous with inaction. When you’re openhanded, you align your actions with the flow of life. You harmonize all aspects of your being instead of letting your ego try to control every situation.

    The Main Characteristics of Openhanded Life

    Generosity – Giving with an open hand. Giving freely and without expectation. Loving openly and wholeheartedly.

    In giving more you receive more. How do you receive more love? By giving more love! Now you might be saying, “This doesn’t work for something like money. You can’t get more money by giving more money.” Well, here’s the thing; if you give more in every aspect of life, you will cultivate a life where you do have more money (and more abundance in general). If you give generously, provide value and help people, you will inevitably find yourself in opportunities that make you more money (professional connections, entrepreneurial opportunities, job promotions, a better job…etc.). So while it may not be an exact 1:1 ratio (ex/ giving $50 and getting $50 the next day), be open to your giving and receiving coming in many forms.

    Being Open to Receive – Knowing that you’re worthy of receiving (we all are). Being open to things, situations and people coming into your life when you least expect it. Receiving with gratitude.

    Letting Go – Releasing your fearful vice grip to everything. Practicing the power of surrender. Allowing things to unfold as they may. Living motivated by love and without attachment. Remember, attachment is based in fear.

    Abundance Mentality – Having an abundance mentality as opposed to a scarcity mentality. The belief that you will always get what you need and you will always be provided for. The belief that there is enough for everyone. The belief that love is an infinite resource.

    Faith – Faith in the process of life. Faith in the universe. Faith in your intuition. Being able to trust that things will come into your life when needed.

    “It’s a belief: Life is always happening for us, not to us. It’s our job to find out where the benefit is. If we do, life is magnificent.”
    – Tony Robbins

    Harmony – Harmony is being in alignment. There is no discrepancy between your desires, your intuition and the flow of life. All aspects of your being synergistically work together. When living in closed-fisted fear, the ego attempts to control every situation, which as many people find out, often does more harm than good.

    When you intuitively live and act in harmony with the flow of life, life takes on a level of beauty and serendipity that you never could’ve imagined from the limited viewpoint of egoic fear. This sounds like overly poeticized rhetoric but I know it to be true, both from personal experience and the stories of many, many other people.

    Spontaneity – Flowing with life, dynamically adapting to any situation. Sailing with the winds of change. Not clutching onto what was or how things could be. Living fully in the present moment and truly enjoying life.

    Now that you’ve read about openhandedness, it’s time to apply.

    Live that #openhandedlife

    Much love.

    – Stevie P!
     

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    28 Benefits of Floatation Therapy

    floatation tank

    Floatation tanks (aka float tanks, isolation tanks or sensory deprivation tanks) are lightless, mostly soundproof tanks filled with Epsom salt and water at skin temperature, which makes you float on the surface of the water.

    In this setting, you experience little to no external stimuli and are able to relax your body far more than otherwise possible. These conditions provide the space for an incredibly unique experience of stress relief, tension release, self-awareness and journeys into peaceful nothingness.

    I’ve personally been floating for the last two months and have experienced its many benefits. Floatation therapy has the tension release qualities of a massage, the stress relief qualities of drinking a glass of wine in a jacuzzi, the state of self-awareness comparable to psychotherapy and the trauma/fear release potential of ayahuasca. Floating also makes it relatively easy for anyone to dip into the infinitely blissful void described by experienced meditators and yogis. Essentially, floatation therapy provides the space necessary for self-healing on all levels of being.

    28 Benefits of Floatation Therapy

    1. Promotes total calm and peaceful relaxation
    2. Eliminates fatigue and jet lag
    3. Improves sleep
    4. Alleviates stress (mental and physical)
    5. Reduces or eliminates depression, anxiety and fear
    6. Facilitates freedom from habits, phobias and addictions
    7. Facilitates an acute awareness of thought patterns
    8. Stimulates left/right brain synchronization
    9. Shifts brain waves from beta to lower frequency alpha, theta and even delta
    10. Creates mental clarity, alertness and mindfulness
    11. Increases creativity
    12. Enhances problem solving ability
    13. Heightens visualization ability
    14. Deepens meditation (you’re able to go into much deeper meditation than when you’re sitting on the floor)
    15. Expands awareness
    16. Enhances all senses
    17. Enhances hypnotherapy and self-hypnosis
    18. Decreases the production of cortisol, ACTH, lactic acid and adrenaline
    19. Reduces pre-menstrual tension
    20. Reduces post-natal depression
    21. Increases production of endorphins
    22. Speeds up rehabilitation, recovery and healing
    23. Relieves pain (arthritis, migraines, injuries…etc.)
    24. Boosts immune function
    25. Improves circulation
    26. Reduces blood pressure
    27. Improves athletic performance
    28. Makes you feel amazing afterward 🙂

    Fun Facts About Floating

    • The first floatation tank (or isolation tank) was developed by the neuroscientist John C. Lily in 1954. He used it as a form of psychotherapy, often in combination with LSD (when it was still legal).
    • Carl Lewis used in-tank visualization techniques to prepare himself for his gold medal long jump at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
    • John Lennon reportedly used a flotation tank in 1979 in an attempt to kick his heroin habit.
    • Two-time NBA MVP, Steph Curry reportedly floats every 2 weeks.

    Try out floating for yourself. Experience peace like you never have before. Experience your true self.

    Much love.

    – Stevie P!

     

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    Nothing is Impossible (A Very Short Story)

    diving board short story

    As a tribute to my father’s birthday today, I’d like to share a (very) short story from my book Momentous about a magical moment we shared. Happy Birthday Dad!


    Nothing is Impossible

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    You can get your hands on Momentous by clicking the image below:

     

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    21 Inspiring Children’s Books

    Children absorb everything, good or bad.

    As humans, we spend the first few years of our life in sponge-mode, soaking everything in, before we begin to express our own personality. For better or worse, we’re literally programmed according to what we learn and experience early in life. This is why it’s of crucial importance to instill love and empowerment within children.

    This is where children’s books come into play. Children’s books can act as imprints of love, positivity and empowerment that children take with them for the rest of their lives.

    So in the spirit of instilling love and empowerment, here’s a list of some of the most inspiring children’s books. Even if you don’t have young children, you too can benefit from a little lighthearted inspiration.

    21 Inspiring Children’s Books

    1. Oh The Places You’ll Go By Dr. Seuss

     
    2. The Buddha at Bedtime: Tales of Love and Wisdom for You to Read with Your Child to Enchant, Enlighten and Inspire by Dharmachari Nagaraja

     
    3. Apples to Oregon: Being the (Slightly) True Narrative of How a Brave Pioneer Father Brought Apples, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Grapes, and Cherries (and Children) Across the Plains by Deborah Hopkinson

     
    4. Walk On!: A Guide for Babies of All Ages by Marla Frazee

     
    5. Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman

     
    6. Stuck by Oliver Jeffers

     
    7. Incredible You! 10 Ways To Let Your Greatness Shine Through by Wayne Dyer

     
    8. Little One Step by Simon James

     
    9. The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss

     
    10. Can I Play Too? by Mo Willems

     
    11. Ruby’s Wish by Shirin Yim Bridges

     
    12. The Curious Garden by Peter Brown

     
    13. Matthew’s Dream by Leo Lionni

     
    14. Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats

     
    15. An Awesome Book! by Dallas Clayton

     
    16. Beautiful Oops! by Barnie Saltzberg

     
    17. Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

     
    18. Fancy Nancy Poet Extraordinaire by Jane O’Connor

     
    19. I Believe in Me: A Book of Affirmations by Connie Bowen

     
    20. I Think, I Am! by Louise L. Hay

     
    21. Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are by Dr. Seuss

     

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    Sagittarius in Love

    sagittarius

    Stevie P’s Note: This is a guest post by Mystic Medusa. And here’s my perspective on astrology to preface this… Space is not empty. We essentially live in a quantum soup, where everything is connected to everything else. So the movement of anything (especially that of large celestial bodies like planets) affects other things. Also, astrology is not a fixed fate. It’s more of an archetypal predisposition with room for your individual free will.


    On the surface, Sagg seems quite simple to please. They like a lover they can have fun times with, like going skiing, dancing, or on junkets to exotic destinations.

    They prefer it if their partner is not into turgidity, tiresome emotional demands, or other manifestations of the dreaded negativity. Some Sagittarian spouses come to feel that just living with Sagg is a variety of extreme sport. But Sagittarians of a certain age don’t mind being bonded as a pair like this. They just don’t like having to stay home and relate to their partner. And sometimes Sagg thinks love is having to grovel your head off just to get some personal space. Remember that Sagg thinks groveling is letting someone else finish a sentence.

    Like cousin Gemini, they are also often fairly hopeless at dealing with high emotion. They don’t realize that saying something like “chill, babe, you’re getting hysterical” is not especially helpful.

    Although Sagittarians have contributed a fountain of wisdom to the world, sage advice dealing with deeply tricky emotional situations is not usually forthcoming from them. “A good many dramatic situations begin with screaming,” actress Jane Fonda helpfully noted.

    Sagittarian seduction techniques are fairly simple. They’ll give it a go. But getting one of these folk to fall in love with you is fairly simple. Just study everything you can on the Gemini genre and behave like one of them. A Sagg with a soul mate is a vision of love and supportiveness; this is one person who will never ever stand between you and your most grandiose dreams.

    Sagittarius – Aries
    It should be obvious that Sagg and Ramzilla are absolutely fantastic together. This duo exhilarates each other. Fiery optimism dictates the Sagg conduct. And in Aries the Sagg may have found one of the few people who will not only let Sagg be Sagg, but will actually jump up and down cheering. It’s a perfect match intellectually, energetically, and physically, assuming both can stay in the same place long enough to actually mate. This could easily become one of those alpha couples, supportive of one another’s dreams and ambitions, taking turns to hog the limelight. The catch? Sagittarians do need to work on the supportive bit. This is not going to be a long haul relationship if either party declares superior status, or that they have the most demanding ego needs. Ideally, they thrash out issues of power and prestige early on in the affair. Aries may need to tone down the famed Sagg candor. Ramzilla is probably not ready for the unvarnished truth about the great Aries screenplay, or the bid to become an astronaut.

    Sagittarius – Taurus
    Sagittarians are initially stunned by the Taurean combo of physical beauty and financial stability. How can someone so attractive lead such an apparently non-turbulent life? Sagittarius raves about the Taurean strength, sexuality, and an attribute that can only be referred to as being centered. This often happens when a Fire sign (like Sagg) meets an Earth sign (such as our Cow). Sagittarians will tend to find sanity quite the novelty at first, but soon they’ll begin to long for some of the old delirium. These two drive each other to new heights of “good in bed” and Taurus feels compelled to impress with great performances. But everyday relating can send Sagg running. All Sagg lovers—of whatever gender—can wind up running around being silly while the Bull plays the role of supportive dullard. It can work so long as Sagittarius stops messing with the Cow Person’s head. Memo to Sagg: Don’t move their things. Don’t touch their things. Don’t sell their things. Don’t knock their bodies.

    Sagittarius – Gemini
    Astrologically, Gemini signifies the so-called lower mind while Saggs represent the higher mind. That’s right! The Gemini brain is chock-a-block with trivia—they tend to be way up on new music or breaking Hollywood info, but not so informed on the profound issues pondered by higher-minded Saggs. And yet these two are so compatible. The Gemini adds dash and sparkle to the Sagg wit, while Sagg contributes desperately needed depth to the Gemini riff. This duo is so mentally stimulating to one another that they could live happily for years on a conversation-only basis; in fact, they may have to. The Gemini libido, though famously kinky, is also sporadic. Note: The way for Saggs to fire it up is by constantly changing the themes of their rants. Boredom sets in quickly if the Gemini isn’t kept challenged. Saggs may also have to put up with high-level flirtation aimed elsewhere. Both crave attention; both are heartbreakers who, once they’ve lost interest, scoot off without compassion. These two deserve each other.

    Sagittarius – Kataka/Cancer
    Sagg is a swinger—the Crab Person is just a mood-swinger. By the time Kataka/Cancer has made up their mind to be vaguely human again, Sagg is out the door. No time for negativity. No patience for people who walk around like those cartoon characters with little black storm clouds over their heads. Sagg can’t possibly visualize a future with someone so unstable and clingy. Or can they? It could be time to grow up. And, if emotional maturity is the goal, the clever Crab Person could be the ideal lover for Sagg. And, of course, Crabs are also often very attractive. Sagittarians will have to get used to talking about their emotions in the candid mode Crabs say they like, but all the time making sure to lie enough so their feelings aren’t hurt. You’ll know by now that the Crab is sensitive, prone to feeling sorry for everyone even when it is their own fault. They must have their compassion, but Saggs shouldn’t let themselves feel guilty for one second. This is not because you don’t deserve it, but because it will insidiously undermine this love affair. The big bonus of this relationship? Saggs get the support; Crabs get a blast of air.

    Sagittarius – Leo
    This is one of the most desirable couplings of the zodiac. This may very well be “meant to be.” Sagg and Leo make each other look even better than they are naturally anyway. Sagg is candlelight to the Leo’s complexion—a rose-tinted mirror for the giant Leo ego. Sagg contributes fun and youthful vigor to what might otherwise be an overly ostentatious existence. In return, Leo simply adores Sagg, providing structure and a solid frame of worshipful support for the genius. These two get along in bed and out, during good times and when the crap hits the fan. Both are naturally optimistic life enhancers. They tend to agree about the important things—who is and isn’t a pain, what is or is not music, and how to while away a beautiful Sunday. But to truly cement this relationship, Saggs must tame the leonine ego. It’s a beast of a thing, demanding an endless flow of flattery in order to function. Saggs must find a balance between boosting the Leo vanity and keeping their own genius intact.

    Sagittarius – Virgo
    A relationship between Sagg and Virgo is one of the weirdest known to humankind. Both envy aspects of the other that equally repel them. Sagg admires Virgoan efficiency and their holistic togetherness, yet secretly suspects them of suffering from anhedonia (the inability to experience pleasure). What Saggs don’t know is that, when the Virgo carps on about having to disinfect some cupboard or cull the book collection, that is their pleasure. A Virgo guilting over how big their bottom has become is just Virgo enjoying decadence. The Sagittarian role in this is to engage that famous Sagg candor and say, “yes, your bottom has grown kind of sideways, but it’s more low-slung than usual, and it appears to be developing cellulite.” This could be a ruthless, S&M of the mind-type relationship, especially as Virgo can apply analytical skills (of which Sagg has few) to studying Sagg fecklessness, lack of application, and scattered energies. And does Sagg want to hear such negativity? No, no, no!

    Sagittarius – Libra
    These two are blessed with soul mating potential, given a slight temperament alteration from Sagg to begin with. Libra finds Sagg ludicrously attractive—and this Libran may be the most alluring being that Sagg has ever set eyes on. One prob: Saggs are known for candor (a.k.a. bloody-minded tactlessness) and Librans prefer appealing fallacy to fact or at least a highly varnished truth. There is no room for bumbling oafs in Libra’s life, and nor can Saggs expect to get away with the rants that they claim are conversation. To win the Libran heart, Saggs must become mannered. Once you’re back from finishing school, this relationship tends to flow smoothly. Libra loves the expansive Sagittarian intellect and boundless optimism. There are endless subjects to gossip about and when all the social and intellectual life is exhausted, there’s a happy tumble in bed. Note: If Sagittarian shacks up with Libra, the bed will have to be color-coordinated, flattering, and osteopathically approved.

    Sagittarius – Scorpio
    Sagg has noticed, for someone who swoons on about being so into “seeking” the truth in everything, this Scorp friend is freaking out when actually hearing any truth. One of the good things about the Sagg–Scorp tryst is that Sagg will never have to worry whether they’re weirder than the Scorpio. It’s a given. And the Scorp will rarely bore Sagg, except when they flip out into possessiveness, which can be on several occasions a week. Unless they’re totally soul mated, the Sagittarian attitude toward love and relationships could politely be described as cavalier. Sagg certainly doesn’t enter into relationships just to be nagged and made to feel negative. Heck, no. If that’s what’s going to happen, Sagg will just go out that door, and old Scorp can hiss on about facing up to stuff on a solo basis. Shudder. When Saggs have fallen wildly in love with a Scorpio, they may have to have a few words to them about this. Constant scrutiny is not something that Saggs thrive on, especially if the Scorpio has charged the detective agency to Sagg’s credit card.

    Sagittarius – Sagittarius
    It could be hard for these two to get down off their soapboxes long enough to actually relate. Sagittarians love to get together and just rant the night away about their various issues: politics, eco-activism, education, art… whatever. Sagg and Sagg make an absolutely gorgeous couple. They roam the world inspiring each other and every person fortunate enough to socialize with them. But they may be so busy having civilised fun that they omit the harder emotional work of a relationship. And when one does finally admit to feeling something non-intellectual, the other is prone to waving it away in a fit of pique at having to deal with such negative stuff. This couple can live together in a state of blissful denial. Identifying this tendency is the first step to eradicating it and establishing intimacy. Two Sagittarians really bond by respecting one another’s need for space and not taking (too much) offense at bloody-minded Sagg candor. Few other signs can tolerate Sagittarians for too long. This is a heaven-sent match.

    Sagittarius – Capricorn
    The Sagg–Cap pair brings two disparate personalities and molds them into an unbreakable unit. First, Saggs have to respect their Capricorn mate, resisting the temptation to screech “Straight!” at them just because their Cap is trying to stop their partner from becoming one of the sad Saggs sitting in some bar, fingering their sacred crystals. Saggs have big dreams and a stunning breadth of vision. Cap can help make this all happen, but there will be a price—the Sagg nomadic spirit may be tamed by Capricorn’s sexy stability. Sex, if the Sagg can stay still long enough, is sensational. And in comparison to Sagg, Cap can be boring and prosaic. Saggs wanting to get serious with the canny Goat Person will have to play against type and learn to compromise their full-on personalities. And what does the Goat have to give up? For a start, sanity, as far as the Capricorn understands it. The Sagg is a total liver of life and is excited by the kind of risks that canny Cap spends a lifetime avoiding. Capricorns must decide early to channel this energy, not destroy it. Capricorn and Sagg can be so powerful—the Goat brings the calm ability to work the system and Sagittarians have the intellect and energy to build a money empire if only they can bring themselves to listen to Capricorn.

    Sagittarius – Aquarius
    These two could almost have been genetically created for one another, cloned and programmed to titillate one another. At first meeting they can’t believe how alike they are and how fast they can power bond. This coupling has the potential to run forever, especially once it’s agreed that trifling differences of opinion should not creep into the socio-sexual reality. It is very sad to see a Sagg–Aqua couple turn celibate just because someone bought clothes made from non-organic cotton or sweatshop labor. Saggs are more flexible and candid than their Aquarian partner. The Aqua can be a bit of a hypocrite, a raving snob, and yet an armchair anarchist. A Sagg’s opinions may be fickle, but at least they’re honest about their principles being a work in progress. The Aqua is often the kind of person dubbed a bo-bo-half-bohemian, half-bourgeois. They torment themselves with middle-class ideals of how to live, and then feel guilty for not being ethical enough. Saggs are more the genuine wilderness article.

    Sagittarius – Pisces
    This is a misalliance waiting to happen; a liaison dangereuse that has the most chance of flourishing when both parties live on separate continents, meeting up occasionally for “discreet fun times.” It could also work out if Sagg has significant planets in Water signs or the Fish person has strong Sagittarian influences. Saggs are the most active sign of all—say the word and they’re off on that snowboarding junket. Pisceans are generally creatures of the chaise longue. Too much activity stifles the flow of Fish-Person whimsy. They don’t like group sporting action and, no, they will not sit patiently at home awaiting the Sagg’s triumphant return. The Pisces will probably invite around one of their still-doting former lovers to entertain in the Sagittarian absence. Then there’s the small matter of candor. Sagittarians are candid by nature but the Fish just fibs for leisure. Fish People will drive Saggs insane through being needy, dishonest, and passive, yet they will act most devastated (not remorseful) by the breakup and, of course, it will all be the Sagittarian’s fault.

    About the Author
    Mystic Medusa is an astrologer with a website where you can find an awesome astrology blog, super on point horoscopes, an amazingly accurate online oracle, year ahead astrological scheduler and 12 Card Instant Tarot Read.

     

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    Alcohol Mindfulness Meditation

    craft beer

    Note: This is the same general practice as the Coffee Mindfulness Meditation, but with some slight variations.

    Are you living your life consciously or through unconscious patterns?

    Are you mind-full or mindful?

    If you’re mind-full (lost in thought), you’re living life on auto-pilot, unconsciously reacting to everything that comes your way. It’s essentially sleepwalking through life while being entirely possessed by your own thoughts. Mindfulness is the solution.

    Mindfulness is the practice that everything else hinges upon. It allows you to be completely present, establishes awareness regarding your thoughts/emotions and puts you in a position of empowerment to choose your actions in every moment.

    Here’s yet another fun way to practice mindfulness: with alcohol. Now before you think I’m telling you to go chug a 12-pack, let me clarify a bit.

    Alcohol and Mindfulness

    The combination of alcohol and mindfulness almost seems counterintuitive, as alcohol’s effects beget less mindfulness and less conscious awareness. But when mindfulness is applied throughout the process of consuming a single drink (yes, just one), it is one of the best and most enjoyable mindfulness practices. You get the enhanced sensory experience of drinking the alcohol with complete presence. You also provide yourself space to actually feel the light buzz slowly infuse your system.

    Alcohol is by far the most heavily abused substance in our modern Western culture. It’s a legal drug, a multi-billion dollar industry and an enhancer of many harmful acts. Also, it’s called “spirits” for a reason, but that’s another tangent. Like I said, alcohol’s effects make us less mindful, and that’s why it’s even more important to apply this mindfulness practice. We should be able to consume anything we want (freedom!). But without a foundation of self-mastery, anything we do can become extremely imbalanced and problematic.

    It can be argued that some forms of alcohol are beneficial in the range of 1-2 servings, but beyond 2 drinks alcohol is undeniably toxic and damaging (physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually). So remember, if you’re consuming more than 2 servings (or even one if you’re small), you’re choosing to poison yourself.

    If you’re completely mindful, you’ll have no interest in binge drinking anyway. From a state of mindfulness, you will be able to hear your body’s signals loud and clear. So instead of mindless, unconscious consumption (which is the mode most people operate in), you’re presented with the choice to mindfully enjoy what you’re drinking. Again, choice is a superpower.

    The Alcohol Mindfulness Meditation

    I recommend doing this with a good quality alcoholic beverage that you enjoy the taste of. I’m talking about a good craft beer, glass of wine or your favorite liquor on the rocks. The goal here is enjoyment and being mindful of the effects, not drinking for the sake of drinking. My preference for this is a strong, tasty IPA.

    1. Find a quiet and comfortable place to yourself to sit – Make sure there are no distractions, leave your phone alone while you do this.

    2. Mindfully drink your drink – Focus on the subtleties of the taste, the texture, the smell…etc. Deeply immerse yourself in the experience.

    3. When you’re finished drinking your drink, close your eyes and just sit for 20 minutes, observing your body (you can set an alarm for something like 25 minutes before you drink your drink if you want).

    4. Relax completely – Let go of any tension. Let go of your to do list. Let go of the past. Let go of the future. Relax into the present moment.

    5. Feel the changes in your body – Notice any tingling, flowing, rushes of energy, warm and fuzziness or any other sensations. Focusing on the body also has the benefit of getting you out of your head. Most people are lost in thought 24/7 and they don’t even know it.

    6. After 20 minutes, get up and go about your day or night with a renewed sense of mindfulness.

    Like with coffee or anything else you ingest, keep in mind that the effects really start to kick in at about the 15 minute mark.

    You can even do a loose version of this practice when with other people, just by being mindful while drinking and tuning into your body.

    Bringing a mindfulness practice to alcohol consumption is life-changing. It really is. Apply this practice and bask in your own journey of self-discovery.

    Find Your Balance

    My body usually tells me to stop after one or two drinks. Alcohol is poison after all. If you consume mindfully, you’ll enjoy it more. And you become hyper-aware of your body’s signals to stop, which makes it harder to binge drink. If you’re mindful, you’re literally forced to contemplate on why you want to continue drinking even though your body is telling you to stop. I guarantee that you won’t drink a lot if you’re completely mindful with each sip you take.

    People only get intoxicated to drop their inhibitions and forget about problems. There are thousands of other ways to do this without poisoning the body. Practice mindfulness every day and you’ll naturally learn how to troubleshoot your own fears and problems.

    For the last 3 months I’ve applied mindfulness to alcohol consumption. In doing so, I enjoy the taste much more (and only drink what I actually enjoy instead of for the purpose of getting drunk). When I go out, I’ll have 1-2 (sometimes 3) drinks, depending on how my body is feeling. I’ve also spent the last year actively stalking my shadows, releasing fears and letting go of limiting beliefs, so I don’t need alcohol to have fun or express myself. That’s freeing in and of itself.

    Live mindfully and enjoy yourself.

    – Stevie P!

    For more on meditation, check out my Introduction to Meditation.

     

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    Coffee Mindfulness Meditation

    coffee mindfulness

    Mindfulness is the very most important state to be in.

    Literally everything else in life is hinged upon mindfulness (or lack thereof).

    When you’re mindful, you’re fully immersed in what you’re doing, completely present and conscious of your own state of being. This not only allows you to more fully engage in life, but also puts you in a position of power to consciously choose your actions and reactions in every moment. So basically, when you’re mindful, you live life in high definition, immersed in each moment, while exercising your superpower of choice. Who wouldn’t want that?

    I mean, it’s no coincidence that the core philosophies of many spiritual teachers focus on mindfulness (Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra, Lao Tzu, Osho, Thich Nhat Han, Wayne Dyer…etc.). Even Tim Ferriss has found that a regular meditation/mindfulness practice is the biggest commonality among top performers in all fields. So yes, it’s that important and life-enhancing.

    Enjoy Your Mindfulness Practice

    A thoroughly enjoyable way to practice mindfulness is through eating or drinking, particularly with commonly abused substances which alter your physiological or mental state (coffee and alcohol being the biggest ones in modern western culture).

    The practice I’m about to share with you is a coffee/caffeine mindfulness meditation. Coffee is essentially an acceptable drug in our modern Western society. It’s an intrinsic part of our culture that is heavily abused in most cases. The caffeine in coffee stimulates the adrenal glands, which produce adrenaline and puts us in fight or flight mode (activation of the sympathetic nervous system). While this state can be beneficial in small doses, it can wreak havoc if it’s out of balance.

    This coffee mindfulness meditation will allow you to actually feel the effects of coffee like you’ve never felt before. Most of us drink coffee as we stare at our phones, computers or the tv, distracted to the point where we’re completely oblivious to our physical, mental and emotional states. Then after drinking coffee, we throw ourselves into the fray of distractions, work, technology and responsibility-juggling of life. This lifestyle of distracted consumption creates an unconscious, auto-pilot existence which often slides into imbalanced, disharmonious and destructive behaviors.

    Simply being mindful of what you consume is the solution. From this place of hyper-awareness, you’ll be able to thoroughly enjoy the effects of coffee/caffeine and become conscious of your consumption of it (if you choose to consume it at all).

    The Coffee Mindfulness Meditation

    1. Find a quiet and comfortable place to yourself to sit. – Make sure there are no distractions, leave your phone alone while you do this.

    2. Mindfully drink a cup of coffee – Focus on the subtleties of the taste, the texture, the temperature, the smell…etc. Deeply immerse yourself in the experience of drinking coffee.

    3. When you’re finished drinking the cup of coffee, close your eyes and just sit for 20 minutes, observing your body (you can set an alarm for something like 25 minutes before you drink your coffee if you want).

    4. Relax completely – Let go of any tension. Let go of your to do list. Let go of the past. Let go of the future. Relax into the present moment.

    5. Feel the changes in your body – Notice any tingling, flowing, rushes of energy, heat, coolness or any other sensations. Focusing on the body also has the benefit of getting you out of your head. Most people are lost in thought 24/7 and they don’t even know it.

    6. After 20 minutes, get up and go about your day with a renewed sense of mindfulness.

    Keep in mind that the effects really start to kick in at about the 15 minute mark.

    If you can’t feel anything, you’re either lost in thought or you drink too much coffee and have a really high tolerance. Take a day off from caffeine and try this meditation again after doing that.

    This practice is superb for cultivating a sense of mindfulness. It allows you to consciously enjoy coffee and its effects, and enjoy it more deeply than you ever have before. You may also realize that coffee/caffeine isn’t for you. That’s cool too. It’s vitally important to be in tune with yourself.

    I personally love the effects of one cup of coffee. It’s a profound and enjoyable experience when mindfulness comes into play. I can really feel my body tingling, my whole system ramping up and being infused with the yang energy of coffee. On the other hand, I’ve also realized that one cup of coffee per day is a good balance for me. Any more than that and I would be too far in fight or flight mode.

    Try out the coffee mindfulness meditation.

    Live mindfully.

    Much love.

    – Stevie P!

     

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