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Release Into Love

“Repression is the hidden force behind illness.”
– Dr. Arthur Janov

We all hold onto so much unwanted baggage. Most of us go through life brimming with repressed emotions, desperately attempting to keep the lid on it all.

Combine our spongelike subconsciousness (particularly in childhood) with a society heavily based in fear, sprinkled with social taboos regarding expression and you have a perfect recipe for the unhealthy repression of emotions.

Our essence is love. We just have so much fear, trauma and baggage piled on top of it. Anyone with a regular meditation practice knows this firsthand. When we clear all of our thoughts, fears and worries we’re left with an indescribable sense of blissful, peaceful love.

Cultivating our well-being is more about letting go of the unnecessary than about adding things. Once we give our body, mind and spirit some space, it all naturally harmonizes. It’s self-correcting, if we simply allow for it.

primal release

How Do We Let Go?

How do we release? It ranges from simple daily activities to extreme forms of therapy, and everything in between.

“In many shamanic societies, if you came to a shaman or medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask one of four questions.
When did you stop dancing?
When did you stop singing?
When did you stop being enchanted by stories?
When did you stop finding comfort in the sweet territory of silence?”

– Gabrielle Roth

Do you laugh every day? Do you sing every day? Do you dance every day? Do you cry when you feel sadness or grief? Do you exercise? Do you get out in nature? Do you have any creative outlets? These are all simple things we can do on a daily basis to let go of pent up emotions and lighten our spirits. Most of us “mature adults” do almost none of these things, yet continue to accumulate emotional stress throughout our lives. So no wonder why our emotional stresses just keep stacking up.

While you can clear a whole lot of emotional baggage through the simple ways listed above, some things you’re repressing may be more stubborn and shadowy. For some of the most ingrained traumatic emotions, especially from childhood, you may have to engage in a more intensive release practice or seek the help of a professional.

Unwanted emotions are not only held mentally, but in the body as well. This is important to remember – the most effective forms of release include the body.

Let’s take frustration as a simple, day-to-day example. If you’re feeling frustrated, does it help to just mull over your frustrations in your head? Of course not. You only let go of frustration if you act it out physically, maybe through working out or screaming when you’re alone. And this is also where being mindful comes in, as healthy outlets are important. You don’t want to just be reactive and take out negative emotions on other people. While holding everything in is internally destructive, taking things out on others is externally destructive.

It’s of crucial importance to find healthy outlets for release, which is why I created Primal Release. Primal Release is an in depth course that provides you with all of the tools you need to release into love. It will literally shift your entire state of being. You won’t even believe how light and free you can feel.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN HOW TO RELEASE

Develop a practice of release. Learn to let go of the things that don’t serve your highest good.

You don’t have to hold onto it all.

Release into love.

– Stevie P!
 

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Do You Even Feel, Bro?

feelBRO

Here’s your life…

Think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think.

All you do is think.

You’re so caught up in your head that you’ve forgotten how to FEEL.

“Remember, concentrate on the moment. Feel, don’t think. Trust your instincts.” – Qui-Gon Jinn (Star Wars Episode I – The Phantom Menace)

Feeling is understanding. Feeling is both your inner guidance system and the means by which life becomes fully, deeply and totally experienced.

Pause for a second and allow your awareness to drop from your mind and into your body.

How do you feel? (This isn’t some ambiguous, hippie question to have you hold hands and sing kumbaya. It’s both practical and unfathomably important.)

Ask yourself these follow-up questions right now:

What sensations are going on in my body?

What emotions am I feeling?

What feelings or emotions are accompanying my thoughts?

Establish a habit of asking yourself these questions, every day, in different situations and build your “feeling awareness.”

Can You Feel Me?

Fully inhabiting my emotional state was always difficult for me to do. I was so conditioned to always use my mind, to be consumed in thoughts and to (over)think things through instead of feeling things out (especially as a man being born in the US). Western people, and particularly western men, are so dominated by the mind that feelings and intuition are suppressed to the point that many of us aren’t even aware of them.

I would always understand things conceptually, but I never realized that most of the time, I wasn’t really FEELING the truth of the matter. To reiterate the point from before, feeling is true understanding. There’s an indescribable feeling you get when you deeply know something to be true.

Gratitude is a great example of something I’m finally learning to feel. I always thought that being grateful was merely thinking about gratitude (all in my head). But I rarely actually FELT gratitude. Now, when I’m grateful, I not only think it (in my head) but I feel it like waves washing over me (usually in my chest/heart center). And sometimes the feeling is so intense that I feel like I AM GRATITUDE. It’s a different world than just thinking about gratitude. It’s magnificently real.

Why is Feeling Even Important?

I’m a man (in this lifetime at least), so I’ve often wondered about the usefulness of feeling. Something like “I thought that feeling was some overly-emotional, feminine, drama-queen shit. How would feeling benefit me anyway?” And you might be thinking something similar, especially if you’re the product of western (mind-dominant) culture. I’m not saying to be a drama queen or a slave to your emotions, but just to simply be aware of your feelings. Here’s why:

Feeling is your inner guidance system – Your feelings and emotions are your compass, your inner guidance system. It is through the awareness of feelings that you tune into your intuition. This taps into the wisdom of the heart, which perceives from a much more expansive perspective than the mind. As you know, the mind can be deceptive. It’s so easy to trick yourself with the mind, or let self-doubt restrain you from your full potential. Go into your feelings and access the wisdom of the heart. It’s the only guidance you’ll ever need.

Feeling allows you to fully experience life – What is a sunset without the feeling of peaceful bliss associated with it? What is sex if you’re in your head, not feeling the ecstasy flowing through your being? What is hitting the game winning shot if you don’t feel it? The shot is taken through instinct, not by thinking about it, and followed by a feeling of tremendous celebration. Life is an experience, and experiences are to be fully felt, not merely thought about.

Feeling supercharges your manifestation abilities – Most people are familiar with the law of attraction. What you focus on is what you bring into your life. Your thoughts help create your experienced reality. But, here’s the thing, thoughts are only powerful attractors when combined with passionate emotion. It’s the emotion that makes your focus a strong magnetic pull.

This was something I never fully grasped until very recently. I would merely think thoughts, or write them down, thinking that I was attracting the object of my thoughts. And guess what? My manifestations have always been slow going. In contrast, many women I’ve been around are very powerful manifestors. Why is this? Because every thought of theirs is blended with powerful and passionate emotion.

This is why visualization is so powerful. Visualization is imagining something you desire like it’s already happening. You feel it and all of the emotions that come along with it. Successful athletes have famously applied the power of visualization to excel at their sport. It’s a secret weapon of elite athletes and it works astonishingly well.

Here’s an action item (if you want to improve your feeling, visualization and manifestation abilities):
Take 10-15 minutes each day and visualize yourself living the life you desire. Feel it like it’s already happening. Go through all the facets of life; your body, your relationships, your career, your life experiences…etc. Visualize and FEEL it, and you will be a powerful magnet for whatever you focus on.

More Ways to Hone the Power of Feeling

Cultivate body awareness – Practice bringing your awareness into your body. When you have a thought, go into your body and feel the feeling associated with it. When you feel an emotion, notice the corresponding feeling in your body.

Yoga – Yoga is meditative movement, bringing you out of your head and into your body. The practice of yoga is one of the best ways to cultivate bodily awareness. You will naturally be able to intuitively feel things out more. In addition, many yogic poses are heart-opening, opening you up to the world of feelings/emotions (and positive ones at that).

Do anything to get out of your head – Meditate, express yourself creatively, write in a journal, exercise, walk outside, go for a hike, watch the sunset…etc. Anything that helps you to get out of your head will allow you to become more aware of your emotional state.

Drop into your heart-space – Practice bringing your awareness out of your head and into your heart-space (the heart chakra in the center of your chest). Allow your consciousness to reside there. I’ve been doing this a lot recently and it’s been profound. I’m more intuitive and a deep feeling of love pervades my being when I drop into my heart-space. For phenomenal resources regarding this topic, check out the HeartMath Institute.

The mind is a phenomenal servant, but a terrible master. Let your heart be your guide, but don’t forget to take your mind along for the ride.

So I’ll leave you with one question: Do you even feel, bro?


 

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The Most Invaluable Skill You Can Have

mesunset

Candid photo of me practicing what I preach

I was walking through the Delhi airport in India when, out of nowhere, this insight hit me like a lightning bolt: The most invaluable skill you can have is present moment awareness.

Immediately, I typed that sentence into my phone before it was lost in the endless slipstream of memory. As I started to metabolize this spontaneous strike of wisdom, it began to make more and more sense.

Ask yourself…

When is it not now? When was it not now? When will it not be now?

Life is always now. The present moment is all we ever have. The past and future are only projections in our minds.

“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.” – Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now)

Read more about the concept of time here:
Time is a Sailing Ship
Is the Concept of Time Stressing You Out?

The Future Trap

Living in the future is a trap. You’re always looking forward to what is coming, while missing the present moment. Today you’re thinking about what you’re going to do tomorrow, but you’re missing today! Then tomorrow, you’ll be missing the moment by thinking about what you’re going to do the next day. This fallacy of thinking that happiness lies somewhere in the future will leave you utterly unfulfilled.

All it takes is a bit of presence to put the magic back in life. You can still have nostalgia. You can still plan when you need to. But the key is to just be consciously aware that the now is all that exists.

“Time isn’t precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: the Now. That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on time—past and future—the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.” – Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now)

IMG_0662

Took this one yesterday. The White Buddha in Pai, Thailand.

6 Reasons Why Present Moment Awareness is the Most Invaluable Skill You Can Have

1. It helps you maximize experiences – Present moment awareness enables you to truly enjoy and appreciate everything. This has become so ridiculously apparent to me now that I’m traveling the world. I’m having such amazing experiences on a daily basis, so I have to constantly remind myself to be fully present and cherish the moment. When you’re wholeheartedly in the moment, life leaps to new levels of bliss and excitement.

2. You’re able to observe your thoughts and emotions – Instead of being a prisoner of your overthinking monkey mind and its neuroses, you’re able to objectively witness its activities when you’re present. The is the basis of mindfulness and meditation. Present moment awareness is a point of power from which any change stems from.

From a state of presence/mindfulness, you have a “higher perspective.” You’re able to use your mind as a tool, instead of being the tool. Think about it this way, would you rather use a hammer or be a hammer? As a present moment carpenter, you’ll be able to use your mind to build the life of your dreams.

3. You transcend all of the ego’s fear – The ego’s very existence is based upon fear and conflict. When you’re completely present, you transcend the ego. From this place, you’re MC Hammer to fear and all of its derivatives (they can’t touch you).

“All negativity is caused by an accumulation of psychological time and denial of the present. Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry – all forms of fear – are caused by too much future, and
not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms
of nonforgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.”
– Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now)

4. You become infinitely more observant – When you’re present, not absorbed in looping thoughts, your powers of observation are remarkably heightened. Your senses are sharpened, you’re fully aware of everything around you and you notice the subtleties of the surrounding environment. This effect becomes especially apparent around other people. If you’re present and the other person is in their head, you will comment on things around you that they’ll be completely oblivious to. Being stuck in your head all of the time is like going through life wearing a blindfold and earplugs. Being present, in a state of heightened senses, is to feel fully alive.

Also, being aware and hyper-observant in the moment is the basis of survival. This is how all animals operate. They’re fully aware of their surroundings, alert and present; because if they’re not, death is always lurking around the corner. That’s just how important present moment awareness can be.

5. You actually listen – With present moment awareness, you truly listen. You wholeheartedly listen to other people while they’re speaking, instead of always thinking about what to say next. You fully listen to music, creating an experience, instead of thinking about what you have to do tomorrow while the song is playing. If you truly listen, you not only wholly experience the present moment, but you learn and understand so much more.

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” – Stephen Covey

6. It allows you to flow with the fleetingness of life – Everything is temporary and fleeting. Being present is in harmony with the impermanent flux of existence. You’re able to spontaneously ride the wave of each moment as it comes.

You can immediately feel this too. If you’re stuck in your head, you feel discontentment, resistance, fear and rigidity. But if you’re present, you feel peaceful and joyous, coated with a subtle sense of oneness with everything. It just feels right.

A simple way to hone present moment awareness:
Remind yourself to “Be here now” as often as possible. Say it to yourself whenever you’re marinating in the past or future. Gently bring yourself back to the present moment. The more often you do this, the easier it becomes. Soon presence will be your default state and you will notice life being more vibrant and blissful than ever before.

Enjoy the moment.

– Stevie P!

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2 Easy Tricks To Build Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is the precursor to any personal change or growth.

You have to be aware of something before you can do something about it, right?

To lose fat, you must first recognize that you have fat you want to lose. To become more assertive, you must first recognize that you lack assertiveness. To become a Pokemon master, you must first recognize that you gotta catch em all.

Ash Charmander Laugh

Awareness, then action. That’s the name of the game.

But the thing is, most people lack self-awareness. Because we are completely absorbed by our thoughts 24/7, we gain no perspective. Like the fish who is unaware of the water surrounding them throughout life. We become oblivious to ourselves. We fail to recognize useless (and sometimes destructive) reoccurring patterns, let alone give ourselves opportunities to correct them.

Nothing like a first-grade-lookin-cartoon-drawing, right?

Self-awareness is turning on the lights, allowing you to see everything you couldn’t see when in the dark.

It is the first step in creating any change in life.

So here’s 2 easy tricks to build self-awareness and assess your own behavior:

1. Draw your perception back.

Don’t be absorbed by your mind. Exist beyond it.

“The mind is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master.” -Robin S. Sharma

You’re not your thoughts. You’re the consciousness behind your thoughts. You’re the sky and your thoughts are  merely clouds passing by.

Deepak Chopra sums up that concept nicely here (at 1:37):

Allow yourself to witness your mind’s incessant activity, without attaching to it.

Draw your perception back and you’ll be able to objectively assess yourself. You’ll get a bird’s eye view of your thoughts, feelings, emotions, behavior, habits…etc.

2. Write things down.

Writing things down makes them more tangible. It also allows us to assess ourselves from different angles than we’re used to, providing useful new insights. I don’t know what it is, but there’s something magical about the act of writing things down. It always does the trick.

Keep a journal. And write unfiltered. Just write everything on your mind. No one’s going to read it. It’s for your eyes only. Writing with no filter will give you an objective look at yourself, which is crucial.

Log how you act/react in different situations. Write about experiences in your life and your thoughts about them.

Log how your body feels in different situations. Being conscious of your body is an invaluable skill to have (because we only get one in this lifetime). One idea is writing how you react to different foods. This has really helped me familiarize myself with my body and nutrition. It builds tremendous body awareness as well. I’ve had a lot of realizations by doing this, like recognizing that pasta bloats me like Snorlax at a chinese buffet (that’s Pokemon reference #2 if you’re keeping track).

Write down your goals, desires and aspirations. Make a bucket list. Recognize what you want out of life, and give yourself things to work towards.

Write down any noticeable changes in your life and how you feel about it. The mere act of writing things down results in self-awareness. And from there you can make the decision to do something about it.

Okay then.

Apply those 2 simple tips and you will greatly increase your self-awareness. You’ll be able to recognize your thoughts, feelings, emotions, habits…etc. And once you become more self-aware, you have the power to steer your life in any direction you choose.

Self-awareness acts as a platform to launch from.

Blast off.

-Stevie P!