How the 2016 Election is Revealing Our Collective Sickness

fat fast food

Artwork by Steve Cutts

As a collective, we’ve become perilously unhealthy.

If we were to think of humanity as one organism, we’re akin to an obese person who is realizing just how unhealthy and overweight we really are.

Seeing Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as presidential nominees is like that first hard look in the mirror at our bulging, blubbery, naked body that we’ve been avoiding for a long time.

“Wow, I’ve really let myself go. I have to do something about this.”

That’s how it goes when the delusional trance of denial is finally broken. We’re becoming acutely aware of just how unhealthy we are and how much we’ve been deluding ourselves up until this point.

The mainstream media has completely disempowered our mindset with fear-based programming, our metaphorical couch has become too comfortable to leave and there are many institutions in place that profit off of our junk food consumption and collective sickness (note: both physical and metaphorical junk food consumption and sickness).

This situation is literally forcing us to reevaluate everything and choose new ways to live, or passively welcome our own death.

I don’t have to go into the details about how both candidates don’t have the people’s best interest in mind, or that democrats and republicans are two wings of the same bird (the illusion of choice), or that presidents are selected, not elected, or that the US government is an illusory democracy (technically an oligarchy) which is systemically corrupt to the core. We all know, on some level, that just about every major system on the planet is not serving our highest good. It’s pretty obvious for anyone with eyes to see. But it comes down to this, we need to figure out more harmonious ways to live as humans, and it all starts from within. If we’re possessed by our own egoic delusions and fearful within, everything we create externally will be a manifestation of that.

“Tomorrow, I’m going to start eating healthy and working out.”

This commitment to health is the next step after someone realizes the staggering extent of their unhealthiness. Yet without deep conviction, self-love and consistent action, this initial spark of inspiration will fizzle out.

We must shift our mindset to health, then take consistent action towards the achievement of health. We need to change our lifestyle and our overall ways of thinking, living and being. It all starts within us. We must be the change first. Because if there is not a strong internal change first, we’ll eat a salad for one meal, then quickly slip back into the old patterns that created our sickness in the first place. This is why revolutions, without the foundation of a shift in consciousness, just end up as oppression under a new mask.

Sure, being healthy sounds good, but how do we get there? We’ve never eaten healthy before and we don’t know the first thing about working out. But we can learn. There’s knowledge out there (and more importantly, in there). There are better ways of doing things and there are people who have achieved success in all areas of health. We can learn, and through consistent effort, become that healthy, vibrant person we always knew we were.

It’s up to us to get healthy from the inside out. No longer can we blame our unhealthiness on all of the factors outside of our control; how convenient McDonald’s is, how busy we are, how expensive healthy food is or even our genetics. We need to step up and literally embody health ourselves.

“I don’t even know what to eat though.”

It’s time we do some research and come to our own conclusions as to how to eat healthier. There isn’t one diet that is perfect for everyone. We’re all unique and thrive off of a wide array of foods. It’s not even that complicated, the key is to eat as naturally as possible and trust our intuition. Even if we have no idea about health, we do know this… This fast-food, cotton candy oligarchy is killing us and we need to stop consuming it all.

“I don’t think I can do a hard workout. Plus, I’m unsure about how to even start.”

It’s all about being simple and consistent. That’s how long-term, lasting results are achieved.

The best workout would look something like intuitively exercising according to our needs and pushing ourselves to the limit while listening to every part of our body in the process (metaphor hint: anarchy – the absence of government), but we’ll probably pass out or hurt ourselves if we tried that right now. We can, however work towards our ideal level of fitness.

Maybe we need a personal trainer to teach us and help us transition to becoming our own personal trainer, with keen body awareness and strength that inspires others. We’ve always viewed the personal trainers as something scary (outside of our comfort zone), as they’ve been so counter to our lifestyle, but we can learn a lot from those doing things differently than we have. I mean, look where our complacency got us.

“It’s going to be a long road, but I’m committing to change.”

This isn’t going to be an overnight process. It’s going to take months, or probably years to even get close to where we want in terms of health.

And non-metaphorically, personal change can take years, and collective, externalized change takes much longer than that.

Essentially, we’re at the point of realization, where we need to look within, evaluate our options and work towards the direction of health. This will most certainly be a multi-generational process, so while we can’t expect ourselves to live in a utopian society next year, we can undoubtedly move ourselves in that direction.

There are better ways of doing everything; energy, money, government (or lack thereof), education, disease prevention/curing, housing, transportation, farming, food, work…etc. We must find the courage to gradually let go of the old, embrace the new and work towards a better world. No matter how unhealthy we are, as long as we’re still alive, health is always an option. And it all starts within you.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What kinds of junk food (both physically and metaphorically) am I consuming?
  • What am I doing with my life to create a healthier collective humanity?
  • What internal fears or delusions do I have to get rid of in order to contribute as best as I possibly can?
  • What actions am I taking on a daily basis, no matter how small, to bring about a healthier collective?
  • The simplest way to be a catalyst for positive change is to choose love over fear in every situation. I urge you to vote for love in every moment.

    Cheers to creating a healthy collective.

    – Stevie P!
     

    Subscribe to our Newsletter

     

    How to Practice Ho’oponono

    Hawaii

    We all want to see the world change for the better. But we’re doing it all wrong…

    We want to change other people. We want to change situations. We even externalize our power to politicians and religious figures to come save us.

    But how many people focus on changing themselves?

    Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.
    – Rumi

     
    We do so much to stay victims, blame others and avoid taking responsibility. Are we that afraid of our own power? Are we that hesitant to make our own decisions?

    The only way that any change happens in your version of reality is if you change yourself.

    There’s a reason why Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Not change other people (you can’t), hope someone else does something (*cough* politics) or passively complain about things, but simply embody the change you want to see.

    You can only control yourself, not anyone else and not what life might throw at you (for the most part). But there’s a beautiful paradox here; when you change yourself, everything around you begins to change. Think about your perspective as a filter on reality. Change your filter and you experience a different version of reality.

    We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.
    – Anais Nin

     
    Here’s another aspect of the fallacy of trying to change others. How are you going to be an effective parent, teacher, psychologist, leader, coach or any other position where people are learning from you, if you’re blinded by your own biases, blocked by your own fears and possessed by your own pain? Everything you do will be based upon fundamentally skewed premises. If you’re disharmonious within, your actions will be from a place of disharmony.

    The best teachers are essentially clear mirrors, leading by example and reflecting back to others undistorted answers to their questions.

    Enter: Hoʻoponopono

    There is a simple practice that leverages the truth of inside-out-change, and it’s called Hoʻoponopono.

    Hoʻoponopono is an ancient Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness. It means “to make right” or “rectify an error.” Hoʻoponopono is based on the actuality of healing a situation by healing oneself.

    The practice of Hoʻoponopono consists of using these four affirmations:
    I love you
    I’m sorry
    Please forgive me
    Thank you

    Hoʻoponopono has been traditionally used to solve family and community problems, and has similarities to many other shamanic and mystical practices throughout the world.

    Think about it in terms of common sense, a family dispute will never be resolved if everyone blames each other. Forgiveness provides space for a solution.

    So how do I get that across to people — that we are each 100% responsible for problems? If you want to solve a problem, no matter what kind of problem, work on yourself. If the problem is with another person, for example, just ask yourself, “What’s going on in me that’s causing this person to bug me?” People only show up in your life to bug you! If you know that, you can elevate any situation, and you can release there. It’s simple: “I’m sorry for whatever’s going on. Please forgive me.
    – Dr. Hew Len

     
    There’s even a story that Dr. Hew Len healed a hospital ward of mentally ill criminals by using Ho’oponopono. Who knows if it’s actually true? But anything is possible.

    No Fuel for the Fire

    Any pain that people are carrying needs something to react with. If you don’t give it anything to react with, it doesn’t become part of your reality. If you do react to something, it’s because someone or something triggered pain that already exists within you. Can you see how important clearing yourself is?

    Here’s a relevant insight on relationships by Eckhart Tolle: (Note: This can apply to every kind of relationship, not just intimate relationships)

    If you both agree that the relationship will be your spiritual practice, so much the better. You can then express your thoughts and feelings to each other as soon as they occur, or as soon as a reaction comes up, so that you do not create a time gap in which an unexpressed or unacknowledged emotion or grievance can fester and grow. Learn to give expression to what you feel without blaming. Learn to listen to your partner in an open, nondefensive way. Give your partner space for expressing himself or herself. Be present. Accusing, defending, attacking — all those patterns that are designed to strengthen or protect the ego or to get its needs met will then become redundant. Giving space to others — and to yourself — is vital. Love cannot flourish without it. When you have removed the two factors that are destructive to relationships — when the pain-body has been transmuted and you are no longer identified with mind and mental positions — and if your partner has done the same, you will experience the bliss of the flowering of relationship. Instead of mirroring to each other your pain and your unconsciousness, instead of satisfying your mutual addictive ego needs, you will reflect back to each other the love that you feel deep within, the love that comes with the realization of your oneness with all that is. This is the love that has no opposite.

     
    Ho’opononopono distills these principles of clearing oneself into a simple, effective practice. You only have control of yourself and it’s the leverage point for all change. There really is no “out there” out there. Reality is a subjective experience and our interpersonal interactions are the intermingling of unique worlds.

    If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
    – Wayne Dyer

     
    How to Practice Hoʻoponopono

    If you want to solve a problem, no matter what kind of problem, work on yourself.
    – Dr. Hew Len

     
    The practice of Ho’oponopono consists of visualizing a person or situation that is creating disharmony within you that you want to clear, then saying the four affirmations: I love you, I’m sorry, Please forgive me, Thank you. You can just say the affirmations once or repeat them as many times as you like (either aloud or to yourself). Whatever works for you.

    Affirmation 1: I Love You

    Start with being in a state of love. It’s that unconditional, compassionate love which has no opposite. Literally become love. You can bring your hands to your heart if this helps.

    Affirmation 2: I’m Sorry

    This is simply acknowledging something in your reality that you want to clear (no need for guilt or shame). Think of your life as like a movie: If something is in your movie, you have to deal with it, because it’s in your movie.

    Affirmation 3: Please Forgive Me

    Don’t worry about who or what you’re asking for forgiveness. The point is to bring forgiveness into your being.

    Forgiveness is more about clearing negativity from yourself than it is about another person or situation. Forgiveness is not something you do for someone else, it’s something you do for yourself to heal and move on.

    Affirmation 4: Thank You

    You don’t have to thank anyone or anything in particular. Just say “thank you” and feel the gratitude. Gratitude is a powerful emotion that opens the door to healing.

    Ho’oponono

    Are we 100% responsible for everything within our reality? Who really knows?

    But it can only help if we use tools like Ho’oponopono. Think about it this way… How could the world around us not get better if we stop playing games of blame and judgment and incorporate practices based in love, forgiveness and gratitude?

    It’s time to embody the change we envision.

    Much love to us.

    – Stevie P! (aka Just Another Aspect of Yourself)


    UPDATE: There is even an online Ho’oponopono certification available now. If you enjoyed this article, consider becoming a master of this phenomenal tool here: Ho’oponopono Certification.

     

    Subscribe to our Newsletter

     

    Be The Change

    Planet Earth is an interesting place, to say the least. It’s definitely a wild ride on this rock hurtling through space. And quite the experience.

    But why does there seem to be so much chaos going on here?

    While we inherently exist in Love and innocence (look at young children), the systems in place seem to be perpetuating the exact opposite. There’s a conflict of interest between our fundamental nature as spiritual beings (Love-based) and the world around us (fear-based).

    Think about it. We come into this world innocent and full of Love. Pure, jovial beings. It’s only after some form of conditioning that we begin to lose this radiant essence and become more fearful.

    This disconnect between our natural state of being and the world around us raises some eyebrows. Something has gone wrong along the way here. Whoever is at the top of the pyramid is fuckin it up for the rest of us. Whether you think it’s the Illuminati, aliens, the bankers, reptilians, or Teletubbies is irrelevant. The point is that there’s an obvious deviation between our essence and the state of planet Earth. And the only way to change it is to BE THE CHANGE.

    be_the_change_you_wish_to_see_mahatma_gandhi

    Gandhi was so on point with this

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Sitting and waiting for someone else to do the work will not change anything. It will only make us more passive and complacent.

    We need to spark the torch of change.

    Shine your light on the world.

    Only light can drive out darkness.

    Light your candle, produce your own light, and light other candles with your flame. A sole candle produces some light, but millions of candles will illuminate even the darkest abyss. Spread light.

    tumblr_m563iyA7Kj1rvpgoco1_500

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Ways you can be the change you want to see in the world:

    Lead by example. Walk the walk. If you think record labels suck, create your own record label (ie Tech N9ne). If you think the obesity epidemic is negatively affecting the world, be fit and healthy. If you can’t stand big corporations, don’t buy from them or start your own small business (which is easier to do than ever before with the internet). Live it.

    Don’t succumb to fear. It does no good to immerse yourself in the negativity going on in the world. Of course it’s good to be aware of what’s going on, but you’re not helping anyone if you marinate on negativity. You can’t help yourself, let alone others, when you’re full of fear and negativity. Why sit, idly complaining in the darkness, when  you can simply switch on the lights? Turn off the news (the biggest fear generator) and spread love. Be proactive in your own way. Be the change. Like Q-Tip said in Steve Biko (Stir It Up), “So much goin’ on, people killin’, people dyin’, but I don’t dwell on that, I think I’ll elevate my mental…”

    Operate with Love. Not succumbing to fear allows you to live in the paradigm of Love. Choosing Love over fear changes the way you live and affect the world around you. Empowering yourself and those you come in contact with. Maintaining a spiritual connectedness. Transcending fear-based manipulation. Making people’s day. Contributing to bringing more light to this planet in any way, shape or form.

    Draw your perception back. Don’t get too absorbed in your mind chatter. We’re the consciousness behind our minds. Forms of meditation are the most common ways of attaining this. Gaining this perspective will immensely help in guiding you on this journey we call life, especially regarding the next point…

    Transcend conditioning. Be aware that “society” has taught us all how to act, behave, and even think (for better or worse). Be aware of your reaction to certain stimuli. Recognize when you exhibit predictable, programmed reactions. Was this embedded in your mind, like a software program? Don’t be a robot. Decondition yourself and allow some room for spontaneity, creativity, and all the other great qualities that make us human.

    Vote with your dollar. Don’t agree with what McDonald’s does? Don’t buy from them. Don’t like the over-prescription of pharmaceuticals here in the US? Don’t take ’em. Find alternatives. Companies can’t exist if consumers don’t give them money. Simple as that. The beauty of a consumerist society is the power the consumer has. We just need to direct that power in the right direction.

    Empower yourself. Take responsibility and control of yourself. Trust your own intuition and judgment. Don’t give your power away.

    Own your health. Our body is our vehicle in this reality. Take control of it. In a world where our health is being systematically destroyed, being healthy is freedom fighting. Optimize your health. When you’re healthy, you don’t need medication. You don’t need incessant doctor visits. You don’t need to buy gimmicky health products. You become less dependent on external forces. When you’re healthy, you realize how good you’re meant to feel. This is so empowering. Healthy people are vital, full of energy and passion. Not passive. Not complacent. Healthy people are more inclined to be the change they want to see in the world. And owning your health makes you feel so damn good that your positive aura spreads to everyone around you.

    Be proactive, not passive. Do things! Create. Participate. Do. We’ve become too passive lately. Change only takes place through action. A society of tv-watching couch potatoes will never create positive changes. Get up, get out and get somethin.

    Voice your opinion on things that matter to you. If you’re passionate about something, express it. We all have unique ways of thinking. New ideas don’t come to fruition unless someone shares it. There would be no progression if people never expressed alternative viewpoints. Don’t shy away from expressing your opinion on something you deeply care about, no matter how “crazy” it may seem. Life would be no fun if there was only one opinion on everything. And with the internet, what you have to say has the potential to reach billions of people. Now that’s powerful. No wonder why information and ideas are spreading like wildfire these days.

    But don’t force your opinion on others. It’s important to express your opinion, but it’s your opinion. Nothing is 100% true or false. Reality is one big gray area. The world has too many people forcing ideas on others anyway. Don’t contribute to that. We all have a right to different opinions.

    Be like water. Like Bruce Lee said. Don’t be rigid. Be open-minded. Don’t worry, your brain won’t fall out. Entertain new ideas without rigidly attaching to them (allowing you to explore anything without being easily manipulated). Constantly evolve. Be dynamic and flexible. Be open to infinite possibility. Because who knows what’s really possible?

    Be child-like. Be random. Express yourself. Laugh out loud. Play! Move your body. Adults have become almost expressionless robots. This hinders our ability to think/act differently, take action, and experience pure euphoria. Being more child-like gives us the ability to “be the change”, and have a great time doing it.

    Pursue your passions. Follow your bliss. Dedicate time and effort to things you’re passionate about, as opposed to what you’re told to do. These days it’s even possible to make a living off of what you’re most passionate about*, no matter what it is. This is what I’m working towards. Pursue your passions and share your unique awesomeness with the world.

    So don’t complain if you see something you don’t like. Get proactive. Do something.

    “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

    Stay feelin’ good, feelin’ great.

    -Stevie P!

    *For more info on this subject, look into:
    -The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss
    -Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk
    -Elliot Hulse’s Non-Job Campaign