Back to Us (A Poem)

class picture

Life was simpler then
The only device we carried around
Was a game boy pocket
Connect the cord
Trading Pokemon under our desks
Don’t let the teacher see

Oh, we had tv, radio, computers and even portable technology
But it was far from everywhere

All we had to do was step outside
For recess and, though we couldn’t physically leave, we were FREE
Freer than we are today? Maybe

Life wasn’t without stress though
Shyness, nervousness, the fear of not being accepted by our peers

Both the light and the dark sides of tribalism had a hold on us

Sun shining
Imaginations brimming over
Fun and games
Interspersed with sometimes singling out the weak or vulnerable
I’ve been on both sides
More teasing than vicious
Yet still traumatizing for fragile souls

Oh, where do we find solace?
How can I blend the simple joys of childhood
With the small bits of wisdom I’ve gathered since?

There’s no going back
Time spirals in cycles

This time around
On a new layer of the spiral
I reach across the curve of events
Grabbing those simple joys I’ve left behind
For, paradoxically, that will allow me to let go

Somewhere beneath the physicality
Beneath the beliefs and hand-me-down identity
There is a core of being
An indescribable essence that permeates all

Through looking back, we really look within

Face It, Your Parents Are Flawed

child parent holding hands

Your parents are not superheroes. They never were.

They’re imperfect, flawed humans just like everyone else.

They have strengths, weaknesses, talents, hang-ups, blind spots and biases. Your parents are not immune to the numerous manifestations of the human plight. They slip up, they make mistakes and they’re not always right (even though they might have told you otherwise).

If you’re now an adult yourself, coming to the realization that your parents are flawed human beings is necessary for both your own personal growth and the creation of a deeper, more harmonious relationship with them.

The Silver Lining of Seeing Parents’ Flaws

Recognizing that your parents are imperfect and flawed provides you with two beautiful opportunities…

Realizing That Your Parents Are Flawed Humans Creates Space for a New Kind of Relationship

By recognizing the fact that your parents are imperfect, it allows your relationship with them to be deeper and more genuine. Why? Because it allows for vulnerability. Any relationship naturally deepens when vulnerability is shared. Seeing your parents as flawed creates this space for both parties to share their vulnerabilities with each other.

Through vulnerability, more inner truth is expressed and you’re able to more clearly see the essence of the other person. From this place, you can share your deepest fears, highest hopes and dreams, genuine desires and innermost feelings.

Seeing your parents as flawed humans allows for the relationship to be a two-way street. They’re no longer “above you” and there is no command and obey dynamic. This relationship between peers allows you to give to them as well, because they need love and compassion as much as anyone else.

There’s one catch though; both parties have to be willing to be open and vulnerable in order for the deepening of a relationship to take place. So you must first do the inner work. You must be ready, willing and able. And if your parents are ready as well, awesome. If not, remember the old idiom, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. You can provide the space, but the other person has to step into that space themselves.

Realizing that Your Parents Are Flawed Humans Puts You in a Position to Heal

As children, our parents obviously have an instrumental impact on us, for better or worse. Parents essentially set children off with momentum in a certain direction, and it’s difficult to change that momentum once you’re set in motion.

We subconsciously soak up everything we’re exposed to from the time we’re born until the age of six or seven. During this time period, we absorb everything our parents say and do to us like sponges. We also take on their belief systems and models of reality. This sponge-like phenomenon continues throughout the rest of childhood (or even further), but to a lesser extent.

Due to the state of hyper-absorption we’re in as children, we’re bound to pick up some trauma, limiting beliefs and negative habits. It’s inevitable in the world we live in.

If you want to grow into the greatest version of yourself, you must let go of the things that are holding you down. This means releasing trauma and limiting beliefs.

The perspective that comes with objectively seeing your parents as they are puts you in a highly favorable position regarding trauma, limiting beliefs and inherited pain. If you’re able to see your parents as flawed human beings, you’ll realize that they did the best they could (even if their best was extremely limited). You’ll also realize that their words (and actions) aren’t necessarily in alignment with ultimate truth. So if you picked up a negative belief based upon what your parents said to you, recognize that just because they said it doesn’t make it true. It’s merely their opinion (which may very well be skewed and limited). Seeing things in this way gives you a bigger picture perspective, and with this perspective, it’s easier to forgive, let go and not take on any more negativity.

Another perspective that helps is seeing your parents as hurt little children, particularly when they’re possessed by their ego or pain body*. Again, they did the best they could with what they were working with. If you view them as demigods, their actions become final judgments and set-in-stone truths. So if they say that you’re stupid, for example, then you will truly believe that you must be stupid. But seeing them as hurt little children allows you to put their words and actions into proper perspective. Remember, only hurt people hurt people. From here you can meet their negative actions with compassion, instead of resentment or repression.

This higher perspective will help you realize that you can choose not to carry around their pain and limiting beliefs any longer. It’s their pain, not yours. You only have it because you unknowingly inherited it. Let go. There is no need to carry such unnecessary burdens.

*Pain body is a term coined by Eckhart Tolle, which he describes as “The accumulation of old emotional pain that almost all people carry in their energy field. I see it as a semi-autonomous psychic entity. It consists of negative emotions that were not faced, accepted, and then let go in the moment they arose.”

A Quick Note On Release

There are many ways of releasing traumas and limiting beliefs, just as there are many ways of picking them up. However, this is beyond the scope of this article, as the topic of release is a rabbit hole in and of itself.

Remember this though; self-awareness/mindfulness is always the first step. You must first be aware of something in order to change it. This is why engaging in a daily meditation practice is probably the most important thing you can do.

Sometimes awareness is itself the release or solution, sometimes you might intuitively release in your own way and other times you need to use specific techniques or seek the help of an expert in order to release trauma or limiting beliefs.

Bringing it hOMe

Recognize, realize and understand that your parents are flawed humans, just like everyone else. Find the beauty and opportunity in their inherent imperfections. It made you unique, it made you who you are, it made you infinitely stronger than you would have been if you lived in a perfect little bubble.

Even though this article focuses on the transmutation of flaws, don’t forget that your parents have admirable qualities as well. Be grateful for what you do have. Be grateful for how they helped you. And, if you’re fortunate enough to still have them with you, express this gratitude with them.

Meet everyone with compassion. We’re all here to help each other out.

Much love.

– Stevie P!


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Crouching Tiger, Hidden Judgment


I have a confession to make…

Up until very recently, I would judge people… A lot.

Just when I thought I was “spiritually evolved” and free from my ego, it would sneak in through the back door and whisper things about other people like “They’re so closed-minded. How can they not see that? I’m better.”

Judgment is an egocentric, energy-sapping distraction that inhibits everyone’s freedom.

I’ve been shining a light on this within myself and have almost put a stop to the judgment entirely by practicing a simple process of awareness and letting go.

Now whenever I have the inclination to judge people, I remind myself:

1. I’m only judging other people because it’s an outward manifestation of self-judgment.

2. Whatever I’m bothered by is a reflection of something within me that I need to address.

3. It’s none of my business what anyone else does. Everyone is a sovereign being on their own journey. Thinking there is a right/best way to live is an insult to uniqueness and laughably ignorant.


The Solutions (How to Let Go of Judgment like 1,2,3)

1. Find the root of self-judgment by answering these questions: How am I judging myself? Why am I judging myself in the first place?

Directly address these questions and change the underlying belief. Here’s my personal example:

I have long judged myself with the belief pattern “I’m not good enough yet. I can do better.” I can be very hard on myself and I put pressure on myself to constantly excel at everything. A lot of this self-judgment stems from my childhood experiences (like most ingrained beliefs). After a soccer game, for example, my dad would say things like “It’s good that you scored a goal, but you could have scored another one.” Or if I got a 90% on a test at school: “It’s good that you got a 90% on the test, but you got that easy question wrong.” I eventually took these on as self-criticisms and have kept tremendous pressure on myself for most of my life. Nothing was ever good enough. This self-judgment can manifest in many ways if I’m caught in my ego, mostly in the form of being hyper-sensitive to criticism or comparing myself to others (feeling either superior or inferior based on whatever qualities are being compared).

The Release (Awareness + New Belief)
Since I’ve become aware of the root belief, I’m able to “catch” the judgment and it now disappears on the spot (it’s coming up less and less frequently too).

I’ve also been using an affirmation to release this self-critical belief pattern. I say this to myself every day, and the self-criticism is loosening its grip on me: I love myself AS I AM RIGHT NOW.

This all applies to the fear of being judged as well. Fear of judgment from others only exists because you’re judging yourself first. Find the root of the self-judgment, release it and allow yourself to be.

2. Find the internal cause of external judgment by asking: What within me is this circumstance triggering?

I see a lot of people I know getting engaged and married. And this triggers judgment within me. I view it as people blindly following what society tells us to do, giving up their freedom and binding themselves with (fear-based) oaths and legalities instead of being together out of pure love.

Note: This is my opinion. I’m not saying I’m right (or that you should think the same way I do). I’m merely using the subject of marriage as an example of a trigger for me.

Engagement and marriage trigger three things within me. The first is my desire for maximum freedom. Whenever I interpret something as a “loss of freedom,” I get triggered. The irony of this is that by being judgmental, I become a slave to my ego. Ha!

The second aspect is that it’s a way for my ego to feel superior. My ego would say things like “I’m too smart to fall into those societal traps which aren’t working out for most people. Don’t they know that marriage started as a political tool to create alliances? Or that engagement rings are a scam created by De Beers? Well, I do.” The ego will use any fuel it can get to prop itself up.

And the third thing it triggers is the fact that I’ve never had a long-term intimate relationship (yet). This is because I’ve held opposing beliefs of a lifelong relationship being “less free,” while simultaneously desiring a life partner.

The Release (Awareness + New Belief)
I’m in the process of reconciling those seemingly opposing beliefs regarding relationships. I now firmly believe that I can have a life partner without giving up any freedom. It just won’t be exactly according to the (obviously failing) rigid script of western society.

And you know what? This subtle shift in my underlying beliefs is already working. I’m not triggered as much anymore and I’m attracting amazing people into my life.

3. Allow, allow, allow.

Allow everyone else to just be. There is no one-size-fits-all way of living. The world already has too many people telling others what to do. We’re all here, as unique aspects of Source, to spur its continuous evolution through new viewpoints and diverse experiences. Allowing is in harmony with that, control is not.

I know that I can’t control anyone (nor would I really want to, to be honest). The only thing I can do is INSPIRE people based on what I’m doing with myself!

So, like with everything else in this physical reality, the only way out is in. Do the inner work and the external takes care of itself.

Let’s all put our gavels down and frolic in freedom.

Much love.

– Stevie P!

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15 Ways For 90’s Kids To Reclaim That Childhood Awesomeness

If you’re like me, you probably have a lot of great memories and nostalgic feelings from childhood.

And as I’ve written about before, us “grown-ups” have a lot to learn from our younger, child-selves.

But instead of living in the past, let’s incorporate that magical, fun-loving awesomeness into the present.

Here’s how…

15 Ways For 90’s Kids To Reclaim That Childhood Awesomeness:

1. Play outside (like you did in the good ol’ days).

Ride a bike (maybe put a card in the spokes so it sounds cool too). Play on a playground. Bust out the roller blades. Ride a scooter. Coast down the street on a skateboard. Climb a tree. Jump in a pile of leaves. Just do it. Remind yourself what fun really is.



2. Watch a 90’s Nickelodeon show for old-time’s sake.

Nick-nick -nick-nick-nick-nick-nick-nick… Nickelodeon.

I’m pretty sure all of us have positive memories attached to Nickelodeon, right? Watch some old cartoons every once in a while. They’re fun. Instead of posting bathroom selfies from last week on Instagram, get your “Throwback Thursday” on by watching an episode of Hey Arnold! or something.

Nickelodeon 90s


3. Play board games.

Take a break from technology and play some tangible games again. You’ll remember how fun they are. Some bars even have board games to play, which is pretty much the best idea ever.



4. Apply Pokemon to real life.

If you grew up in the 90’s, and didn’t live under a rock, you know all about Pokemon. We don’t even have to necessarily play it to reclaim its awesomeness right now. You can apply Pokemon to your life. That’s what I do. For example, “catchin’ em all” can apply to checking off your bucket list items. Leveling up can apply to any form of skill development or self-improvement. You can even do something like carry a Pokemon card in your wallet and show it to bouncers as your ID when you’re feeling funny.

Bulbasaur Charmander Squirtle


5. Get your hands on an interactive book.

Remember those things? Where’s Waldo, Madlib…etc. Buckets of fun.



6. Watch a movie you loved when you were a kid.

Try to be in a bad mood while you watch your favorite childhood movie… Impossible.


7. Listen to 90’s music.

Because who doesn’t love 90’s music?

I can’t help but smile like Wilt Chamberlain in a sorority house when I hear stuff like this:


8. Eat like a kid sometimes.

Have a crazy cheat meal every once in a while. Combine all the foods you love and go to town. A couple weeks ago I made some pumpkin cheesecake. And I ended up putting some in a bowl of cereal. It was random, spontaneous, and glorious; and it gave me that awesome feeling of being a kid again.

cinnamon toast crunch

*Watch this for inspiration 😉

**Just don’t go back to drinking 4 cans of Surge a day. That stuff will have you fat, sick and diseased quicker than you can say “Type 2 Diabetes.”


9. Call someone.

Remember when people used phones to actually talk? Instead of texting, give someone a call. It’s a nice change and feels, well, more human.

Remember me?

Remember me?


10. Wear ridiculous clothes.

Remember how ridiculous clothes were in the 90’s? Just wearing that kind of stuff makes you feel more spontaneous and fun-loving.

Selfie of the century

Selfie of the century


11. Get your hands on some crazy 90’s toys to play with.

Nerf guns, moon shoes, vortex…etc. All that stuff is too much fun. Bring it back.



12. Put down your phone and actually interact with people.

Back in the day, no one had cell phones to stare at to try to make awkward situations a little less awkward. Next time you’re in an elevator, keep your phone in your pocket and say something funny to the person next to you.

Don't be a socially awkward penguin

Don’t be a socially awkward penguin


13. Draw something with crayons.

Bust out the big crayola pack and go to town. Even if you’re drawing skills are non-existent, it’s still fun to mess around with crayons and a big sheet of paper.

crayola crayons


14. Do some sort of arts and crafts.

Remember that stuff? When’s the last time you’ve done some sort of arts and crafts project? Or made something with your own two hands? And when’s the last time you even heard anyone say “arts and crafts”?

mixed martial arts and crafts


15. Spice up your vocabulary with random 90’s phrases and slang.

You, and everyone around you will definitely get a kick out of using these again. (As long as you don’t use them to the point of being annoying.)

Some examples:

  • All that and a bag a chips
  • Boo Ya!
  • Off the heezy
  • Open up a can of whoop-ass
  • The shit
  • Stylin’
  • Talk to the hand
  • Trippin’
  • Word
  • Da Bomb!
  • Tight
  • Dope
  • Fly
  • Your mom

And my favorite…


There’s nothing more awesome than screaming “Whoomp! There it is! after accomplishing literally anything in life. From using the right key to open a door, to landing your dream job, “Whoomp! There it is!” is the perfect way to immediately celebrate.

So there you have it.

15 ways for all us 90’s kids to reclaim that childhood awesomeness.

Stay feelin’ good, feelin’ great.

-Stevie P!