What Are You Being Distracted From?

I highly encourage you to do this awareness test before reading the rest of the article, as it will give you direct, applicable experience regarding the central theme of this article.

That video is a microcosm of what’s occurring on a collective level.

Distractions small and large, personally and collectively, all work this way. When your focus gets fixated on something, you filter out things that would otherwise be obvious.

It’s the old “Hey look at my right hand!” while the hidden left hand is covertly performing the magic trick.

The petri dish of culture (see what I did there?) we find ourselves in is a grand illusion, or a grand delusion, whose very existence depends on concealing itself behind endless distractions.

Weapons of Mass Distraction

The mainstream media is nothing but fear-porn and heated debates over minutiae designed to program and paralyze our psyches. Television is called “programming” for a reason.

Celebrity gossip is constantly thrown in our faces, like it’s of utmost importance to our lives. This further keeps people’s focus away from what really matters and exhausts energy on utter stupidity.

Sports, instead of being played by adults, have turned into a form of idol worship. Grown men wear the names of other grown men on their backs (jerseys) in a silly externalization of personal power. And most sports fanatics have more passion about other people throwing balls around than they do about their family or their own purpose in life.

Politicians discuss asinine topics instead of what really matters. If they would address the fundamental aspects of society, then real change would take place. But they don’t. A couple essential topics that need to be addressed are energy (which is the foundation of shelter, food, transportation and all human necessities) and the monetary system as a whole (which is fiat currency based on debt and funnels wealth into the hands of a few). But having a serious discussion about clean, free energy, for example, would render any control system obsolete, so that topic is vehemently ignored and suppressed.

Standard education has children memorizing and regurgitating useless facts instead of learning knowledge of self, critical thinking or applicable life skills. John D Rockefeller, who created the general education board for the US in 1902, summed it up when he said “I don’t want a nation of thinkers, I want a nation of workers.” For those who are willing to take an objective look, it’s not the education system, but the indoctrination system, driven by weapons of mass instruction.

Even though we all have access to more information in our pockets than the president of the United States had 30 years ago, most use their smartphones just to take selfies and proclaim to the world every time they step out of their house. Without a foundation of self-mastery, instead of using a smartphone as a tool, you become a slave to the tool.

The Essential Questions

How come very few people even consider the essential questions of life?

Who are we? Where do we come from? What is humanity’s story? What is the nature of reality? How do we interact with reality? Where do our ideas come from?

Why don’t we investigate these fundamental questions first? Wouldn’t it make sense to start there? Isn’t it important to understand the nature of the game you’re playing?

Why aren’t children taught any form of self-mastery? Wouldn’t mindfulness meditation (being able to objectively observe your thoughts and emotions) be useful? Of course it would. That is the foundation upon which any conscious change can be made. Wouldn’t something like yoga, getting in tune with your body, be useful? Wouldn’t breathing practices be useful to learn? I mean, deep breathing can extinguish the flames of anxiety in a matter of seconds. But nope, those things are completely ignored by traditional education.

Why aren’t the most useful skills of being human taught? Survival skills, growing food…etc. Why isn’t personal finance taught? Why do so few people even know what money really is?

Here’s why none of the most important questions never get addressed; because we’re being distracted in every moment. Between education (indoctrination), television, the media, misuse of technology and most adults being dizzyingly busy, the average person doesn’t have the time or energy left to explore the most fundamental questions.

I call this situation “the squeeze.” Resources are limited and economies are manipulated to put more pressure on families, so both parents now have to work to financially sustain the family. This creates a time squeeze in which people are too busy to explore the essential questions of life or even think for themselves. Combine this with omnipresent distractions (aka bread and circuses) and no one ever stops to question the situation in which humanity has found itself.

The term bread and circuses was coined by Roman satirist Juvenal, and it’s defined as “Something, as extravagant entertainment, offered as an expedient means of pacifying discontent or diverting attention from a source of grievance.” Does that sound familiar? The bread and circuses of today (education, media, celebrity gossip, politics, smartphone misuse…etc.) are pacifying your discontent with how blatantly dysfunctional our societal paradigms are. And what grievance is it diverting your attention from? Well, the grievance of knowing in your heart of hearts that there are far better ways of doing things, far more harmonious ways of living and far more that humanity is capable of achieving.

It’s all about distracting people from what really matters. A population can be easily controlled if all they focus on is external, asinine things. The distractions are so intense because once the curtain is pulled back, the powers that (wanna)be are exposed and their house of cards collapses. It’s exactly like what happens in The Wizard of Oz, the seemingly ominous authority figure, once exposed, is nothing but a fearful little man. His power was solely based upon creating fear through deception, and was usurped upon exposure. Once you shine light on cockroaches, they scatter. All it takes is a bit of light to illuminate a whole room. Cast the distractions aside and shine your light.

wizard of oz behind the curtain

photo credit: The Wizard of Oz

What Can You Do?

Stop distracting yourself – Turn off the tv, stop watching the news and stop giving your energy to the fabricated illusion.

Focus on yourself – Focusing on yourself isn’t selfish. To be able to serve you must first be fit to serve. You can only give what you’re able to give, so it pays exponentially to make yourself more able. Get in tune with yourself. Go within, meditate, observe your thoughts and emotions, do the inner work, rid yourself of limiting beliefs, let go of trauma you’re holding onto, continuously improve yourself and find/create your purpose. Maximize yourself and you will be of far greater benefit and help to others. If you know your own power, you’re not going to give it away to forces who don’t have your best interest in mind.

Investigate the nature of reality for yourself – Ask yourself the big questions posed above. Be curious, open-minded and entertain any idea without clinging to it. View the world as an idea playground. Do your own research, find a healthy amount of unique data points and form your own conclusions.

Don’t indoctrinate your children – Standard education, particularly in the US, is a massive consciousness-suppressant. And it was designed that way. As epitomized by the Rockefeller quote above, was designed to create obedient workers, not creative, free-thinking individuals. Everyone is a genius in their own unique way, it just takes years of mandatory education to bury it. Find a progressive, alternative school or homeschool your children (but make sure you’re a part of some community if you do this, as socialization is obviously important too).

Create your own culture – Read my article on this, “Stop Consuming Culture and Create Your Own.”

One love.

– Stevie P!

 

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Crouching Tiger, Hidden Judgment

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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.

Freedom.._Love_the_sun._(11903767213)

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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What Does Your Ego Look Like?

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EGO = Everything Gets Ominous

I just came up with that acronym, which seems to succinctly capture that mischievous creature which resides in all of our minds.

The ego can be loosely defined as the part of your mind that separates yourself from others, or your sense of self-importance.

As you’ve probably experienced, the ego can be deceptive, shadowy and a master of creating problems out of nothing. But it’s not all negative. The ego is necessary for things like your (physical) survival and personal uniqueness.

While the ego is a natural part of being human, the key is not letting it run the show. As long as you’re human, there will be ego, but does it control you? Are you completely engulfed by it? Or can you draw your perspective back and observe it?

The ego is a terrible master because it lives off of fear. It only exists because the reality we’re living in is based upon duality and separation, which is divergent from the truth of oneness (see my series on oneness, linked below). Being a product of this disharmonious paradigm, the ego exists in perpetual fear and seeks to control every situation to ensure its survival. This is why people who are completely controlled by ego live in constant fear, create problems out of thin air and try to control everything. When you’re not mastered by the ego, you can let go of fear, follow your intuition and trust the process of life.

On oneness:
Distilling the Truth of Oneness: Events
Distilling the Truth of Oneness: Part 2
Distilling the Truth of Oneness: Symptoms of Separation

What Does Your Ego Look Like?

I recently participated in a guided meditation that included visualizing the ego. And I was surprised, because the image that instantly came to me was the Pokemon “Gengar” (see the picture below).

Gengar

It’s so appropriate, especially when reading the description on Bulbapedia

“Gengar has the ability to hide perfectly in the shadow of any object, granting it exceptional stealth. However, Gengar’s body acts as a heat sink; its presence cools the temperature of the surrounding area by nearly 10°F, because it absorbs the warmth. In addition, Gengar possesses the ability to fly through the air, as demonstrated in the anime.

Gengar is very mischievous, and at times, malicious. It enjoys playing practical jokes and casting curses, such as pretending to be one’s shadow, then behaving erratically. When the quarry notices, the Gengar takes delight in its victim’s terror. However, Gengar has been known to be loyal to a Trainer who treats it well. Gengar lives in shadows of rooms, caves, and dark places where shadows form. It is especially fond of urban areas such as cities and back alleys, but only during the night.”

Why the Ego is Like Gengar

  • It’s the “shadow self” or negative aspects of yourself that remain hidden – “Gengar has the ability to hide perfectly in the shadow of any object, granting it exceptional stealth.”
  • It’s “mischievous, and times, malicious.” – The ego is cunning and deceptive. If you let it run the show, it will sneakily create problems and coat your life with an undertone of fear.
  • It’s a good servant, but a terrible master – “Gengar has been known to be loyal to a Trainer who treats it well.” When you’re able to just observe the ego, without being governed by it, life is all good.

Now let’s get into some practical tools.

How to Know When Your Ego is Coming Out to Play
(This is not a definitive list by any means. But it will give you a good idea about how to know when your ego is popping up.)

  • If you’re feeling self-doubt
  • If there is any “problem” that does not involve immediate danger (like getting chased by a bear)
  • If you’re judging
  • If you’re blaming someone or something
  • If you’re offended
  • If you feel good only because someone complimented you
  • If you choose a label as your identity (nationality, race, religion…etc)
  • If you feel any form of fear (The ego is sustained by fear. The fundamental fear is the fear of death (or non-existence), because the ego dies with the physical body)
  • If you’re playing out scenarios in your head
  • If you’re trying to justify yourself
  • If you’re trying to prove that you’re right
  • If you’re playing the victim
  • If you see others as separate from you or your group
  • If you’re instantly labeling something
  • If you’re feeling inferior or superior
  • If you’re comparing
  • If you’re jealous
  • If you’re attempting to control a situation, person…etc (anything related to control is ego)
  • If you’re making decisions based on what other people think of you
  • If you’re nervous or anxious
  • If you have a static image (persona) of yourself that you’re trying to maintain

2 quick tips to help you distinguish between your heart and your ego:

1. Ask yourself if the source of the thoughts or beliefs is that of a wise elder or a cynical, fearful skeptic speaking. The wise elder is your heart wisdom (the inner truth, which I discuss in more detail in this article), while the cynical, fearful skeptic is the ego.

2. Is it coming from a place of love or fear? Love is heart. Fear is ego. Simple as that.

Remember, there’s no need to judge or condemn the ego. That’s actually how the ego sneaks in again through the back door. Just accept it and observe it. Because once you’re aware of the ego, you’re beyond it and it no longer controls you.

Ego Visualization Meditation
1. Sit, stand or lie down with your eyes closed (whichever is more comfortable).
2. Take 10 deep breaths through your nose, focusing on your breath.
3. Visualize your ego – Let go and see what image pops into your head. What does it look like? What color(s) is it? Is it similar to something you’ve seen before?
4. Visualize your ego in front of you – What feelings do you get? What vibe does it give off?
5. Shake hands with it or pet it (depending on what it is).
6. Smile at it with compassion and amusement, knowing you’re the master.

Try this out. Acquaint yourself with your ego. Build that awareness and you’ll be able to differentiate between the blabberings of your ego from the intuitive wisdom of your true self.

A fun challenge to give you more “ego awareness”:
If someone gives you an ego compliment (ex/ “You look good today.”), respond with “My ego thanks you.” It’s hilarious, lighthearted and will cultivate more awareness regarding the ego.

So I’ll leave you with the question, what does your ego look like?

One love.

– Stevie P!

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No One Cares: Your Key to Freedom from Social Anxiety

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Ask yourself this question: Why do I care about what other people think?

Don’t you want to live life on your own terms? Why are you letting others dictate your decisions and how you live your life?

Not caring about what others think is the ultimate freedom.

Are you constantly thinking about what could happen in every social situation, instead of being fully in the moment? The vast majority of the time, all of the hypothetical “What if…” projections (that are on replay in your head) don’t even end up happening.

Let go and allow life to flow through you.

Everyone is too busy being concerned with themselves anyway. So why waste your energy worrying so much? This is something you need to drill into your head if you suffer from social anxiety.

Are you really delusional enough to think that everyone around you spends all of their time thinking about you?

Everyone is incomparably more concerned about themselves than they are with you.

Here’s what an interaction between two people with social anxiety looks like: You’re worrying about what they think of you and they’re worrying about what you think of them. With all of this worrying and “What if” projections, neither party fully experiences the present moment (which is all that really exists). There’s no fun in that.

In truth, it’s really ridiculous to let social anxiety control your life. Realize that you’re free to be yourself and always have been. Drop the useless, burdensome concerns about what others may think. (Because you don’t even know what they’re really thinking in the first place!)

Everyone else is immersed in their own perspective. Everyone is the star of their own movie. They’re more concerned about themselves than about you. And that, in and of itself, is freeing.

“The amateur dreads becoming who she really is because she fears that this new person will be judged by others as “different.” The tribe will declare us “weird” or “queer” or “crazy.” The tribe will reject us. Here’s the truth: the tribe doesn’t give a shit. There is no tribe. That gang or posse that we imagine is sustaining us by the bonds we share is in fact a conglomeration of individuals who are just as fucked up as we are and just as terrified. Each individual is so caught up in his own bullshit that he doesn’t have two seconds to worry about yours or mine, or to reject or diminish us because of it. When we truly understand that the tribe doesn’t give a damn, we’re free. There is no tribe, and there never was. Our lives are entirely up to us.”
― Steven Pressfield, Turning Pro

The funny paradox of it all is that people will admire you when you’re true to yourself. Even outright hate is really self-hatred combined with jealously. But most people just secretly admire those who have freed themselves from the confines of external opinion. Because it truly is a beautiful thing.

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Let go and be free.

– Stevie P!

PS – My online course, Annihilate Anxiety, is available now! Click the picture below to find out more.

 

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The Selfish Reason Behind Giving

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While hiking Mount Washington a few months ago, my girlfriend (at the time) and I got into some intense philosophical discussions during our descent.

In the midst of this mobile symposium, she asked me the most revelatory question I’ve ever been asked…

“Why do you like helping other people?”

Coming from an experienced psychologist, this wasn’t a question asked just for the sake of asking a question. Not at all. It was a friendly yet firm demand for genuine truth. She would not accept a vague, dismissive or even lightly dishonest answer. She wanted me to recognize the core reason as to why I enjoy helping others.

The only answer I could honestly come up with was this: I like helping other people because it makes me feel good.

“For it is in giving that we receive.” – Francis of Assisi

As humans, we’re inherently social beings. We thrive off of connection. And giving is an essential element in cultivating a sense of connectedness with others. That’s why giving feels so good. The research even shows that giving actually makes us happier than receiving.

In his book The Hidden Gifts of Helping Stephen G. Post writes:

“As the saying goes, ‘if you help someone up the hill, you get closer yourself.’ Whether the group is focused on weight loss, smoking cessation, substance abuse, alcoholism, mental illness and recovery, or countless other needs, a defining feature of the group is that people are deeply engaged in helping one another, and are in part motivated by an explicit interest in their own healing.”

This concept of helping yourself by helping others sounds paradoxical, but so do most profound truths. Giving is such an essential part of our nature that it transcends duality.

I feel good when I help others. That’s why I do it.

I help people because, in turn, I help myself.

When I give advice, it’s not only to others, but to myself as well.

I write, not only for other people’s betterment, but for my own improvement and cathartic realization.

Giving is the ultimate win-win situation.

Be generous, because you too will reap the benefits.

Much love.

– Stevie P!
 

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14 Ways to be Primordial (Can You Handle #14?)

Primordial

My life is a streak of whimsical ridiculousness right now. I’ve been embodying my unique authenticity, not caring about what others think and, most importantly, having buckets of fun.

An amusing medium through which this has been expressed is my new favorite word… PRIMORDIAL.

Here’s how it’s defined:

Primordial – (adjective)

  • Existing at or from the beginning of time; primeval.
  • (Especially of a state or quality) Basic and fundamental.

Extrapolating off of the dictionary definition, I started referring to the essential nature of anything as primordial. The primal essence of humanity is primordial. Being authentic and true to yourself is primordial. Living in the present moment, the eternal now, is primordial.

Plus, the word itself just sounds awesome (and hilarious) to say. I have a funny visual of a frat boy, smirking at his buddy and saying “I got so PRIMORDIAL last night, bruh.”

Primordial is a dynamic, diverse word that can be applied to anything.

If you want to make it a noun; primordiality. If you want to ascribe a name to a place that’s primordial; primordia.

As you can probably tell, the possibilities of primordiality are endless.

So how does one be primordial? Well, here’s your primordial starter kit:

1. Know who you are.
Know thyself. Transcend the fear of the egoic mind and ask yourself the big questions. “Who am I?” Beyond your race, beyond your nationality, beyond your gender, beyond your body, beyond your name, beyond your set of experiences, beyond your thoughts, beyond your mind; who are you? The only plausible answer is “I am.” Operate from that place of pure, conscious (primordial) awareness and you become your own guru.

Knowing yourself is fundamental. Because without that deep-seated awareness, everything else will be based upon delusion and ignorance.

2. Be authentic, no matter what.
Stay true to yourself. Be unabashedly yourself. Be uncompromising with your authenticity. Embodying your unique authenticity gives you genuine self-love from the depths of your being. It eliminates that anxiety gap between your real-self and what you project to the outside world. As the saying goes, do you.

3. Don’t care about what other people think.
Not caring about what other people think (or what society as a whole thinks) is liberating. It allows you to live life on your own accord. When you’re motivated and act on your own genuine desires, you’re free.

4. Do it big.
Shoot for the moon. If you miss, you’ll land amongst the stars. Set big, audacious goals. And even if you don’t specifically achieve them, you’ll have made much more progress than you otherwise would have. Do it big, dream big, because what’s the point of dreaming small?

5. Take chances.
You regret more things that you don’t do in life, as opposed to things you do. Go for it. Talk to that attractive person in front of you at the store, quit your unfulfilling job to pursue your passion, travel somewhere new, dance like no one is watching. Are you really living if you’re not taking any chances?

6. Get in touch with your primal side.
Don’t suppress or ignore your primal urges. But don’t get lost in the indulgence of your primal side either. Accept your primal self and express your emotions (in a healthy way of course) while maintaining proper perspective. Get in tune with your body and its needs. Workout and feel the blood and adrenaline pumping through you. Wholeheartedly explore your sexuality without guilt or shame. Hike a mountain and feel your intrinsic connectedness with nature. Get outside, run, jump, dance, sing and thoroughly enjoy the beautiful experiences of physicality.

7. Be present.
Live in the moment. Make the now the primary focus of your life. Don’t get absorbed in the circular thought loops that leave you obsessing over the past and future. Only refer to the past if it’s applicable to the present. Only refer to the future if it’s absolutely necessary to plan in the present. Being primordial is timeless. Reside in the eternal now and bask in primordiality.

8. Be unique.
You’re unique. I’m unique. We’re all unique. As humans, no one is perfect. And the silver lining to imperfection is that it begets uniqueness. Everyone is one of a kind. Everyone has special gifts, unique skills and amazingly different traits. So why fit in with the crowd when you can stand out? Being primordial takes on an infinity of forms, and you’re one of them. Smile and own your uniqueness.

9. Be passionate.
Do things wholeheartedly. Have that burning drive that propels you forward in life. Find your passions, and live through them to the point where others are inspired by it. Apathy, mediocrity and boredom make life dull and are, most certainly, not primordial.

10. Be random.
Embrace spontaneity and your own unique quirks. Be whimsical and random. We’re all weird in our own ways and life is a lot of fun when you lean into your primordial randomness.

An example of this is a conversational icebreaker that I randomly came up with. While at a bar last weekend, a woman who I wanted to talk to was walking right past me. Letting my inhibitions go, I spontaneously held up my glass and said “Cheers to Ulysses S. Grant.” Because it was so random and lighthearted, she smiled and reciprocated the cheers. Randomness is primordial.

11. Question authority.
Ask “Why?” Question the status quo. Be a leader, don’t blindly follow. Stand up for what you believe in. Have a voice. Don’t allow external forces to dictate your reality. Break some rules. If you’re not harming yourself or others, then do it. When you’re primordial, you can’t be boxed in or contained.

12. Leave expectations at the door.
Expectations are the fool’s income. Placing expectations on people and future situations will set you up for disappointment. Do things because you genuinely want to do them, not because you’re expecting something out of it. Expect the unexpected, because the only constant is change. Forgoing expectations, on people especially, frees both parties to bask in their primordial essence.

13. Embrace laughter.
Life is short. Life is a video game. Enjoy the ride and have fun. Is life worth living if there is no fun in it? Comedy, laughter, smirks and silliness are the primordial spices of life.

14. Realize that, at times, you may even be too primordial for this list.
If you’re primordial, you don’t follow any rigid rules. You may want to add more ways to be primordial, or throw them all away. Whatever you do, just live life on your own terms. Now that’s primordial.

“Absorb what is useful. Discard what is not. Add what is uniquely your own.” – Bruce Lee

Let your primordiality precede you.

Stay primordial.

– Stevie P!
 

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New Beginnings and Endless Endings

A poem…

Writing

New beginnings and endless endings
Infinitely dancing
In a bittersweet twist
Of co-created fate

An ever-evolving cloud of possibility
Recycling existence
Ceaselessly raining new life

Drops diving into the ocean of eternity
Both infinitesimal and inconceivably meaningful
For the ocean is but a union
A union of individual drops

Rippling through the timeless now
Touching the deepest aspect of self
Subtly reminding us
Of our shared essence

 

6

Solitary Refinement: The Profound Power of Solitude

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“Above measure the singular pleasure of solitude” – MF DOOM (Bookfiend)

That line serendipitously seems to seep into my consciousness whenever I’m immersed in the unique euphoria that solitude brings.

Solitude can be indescribably blissful, or utterly torturous, depending on your state of being and self-love. Solitary confinement? Or solitary refinement? The choice is up to you.

I spent the majority of this past weekend in solitude and it was completely cathartic. That’s why I’m even writing this right now.

We live in a society that overly praises extroverted tendencies and dismisses introverted tendencies as being “anti-social.” Noise is excessively celebrated, while the silence that all sound comes from is overlooked.

With this imbalance skewed towards extroversion, the word “alone” has become synonymous with “lonely.” But that’s not the case at all. You can be lonely in a crowd, or feel connected with all-that-is when alone.

I’ll ask you this: Have you mastered yourself, accepted yourself and do you love yourself enough to bask in the glory of solitude?

“Solitude is painful when one is young, but delightful when one is more mature.” – Albert Einstein

You must view solitude as a necessary practice in order to become the best version of yourself.

Solitude comes with an abundance of benefits. It’s no coincidence that many of the greatest people to walk the planet engaged in a regular practice of productive solitude.

Getting to know yourself.

The phrase “Know thyself” was famously inscribed at the Temple at Delphi. Knowing oneself is absolutely crucial for any form of self-awareness or personal growth.

Solitude is the fertile ground upon which the seeds of self-mastery of sewn. When it’s just you and your thoughts, you’re able to bring the subtleties of your own nature into conscious awareness.

“Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power. If you realize that you have enough, you are truly rich.” – Lao Tzu

Empowerment.

Everything you desire, is first and foremost, an inside job. External peace is not possible without inner peace. External harmony is not possible without inner harmony.

If you choose to be happy, you’re empowered. But if you rely on external factors to be happy, you’re giving your power away in exchange for victimhood.

By engaging in productive solitude, you build a solid foundation to become the master of your own destiny.

Idea generation.

Solitude gives you space to reflect. It provides the golden silence necessary for you to receive the subtle gems of the universe.

Ideas just flow effortlessly when you’re alone and in a good state of mind.

Recharging.

Solitude acts as a rejuvenating self-reset. It gives you the opportunity to take a break from the chaos of modern life and bring yourself back to equilibrium.

The ability to give more when around others.

Just as you’re able to perform at your physical peak after a good night’s rest, you’re able to give more to others after engaging in solitude. Restful yin energy is what allows for the maximization of the active yang energy.

Someone who has developed themselves simply has a greater capacity to give. Remember, you can’t truly love someone else if you don’t love yourself.

Also, independence is cultivated in solitude. So this means that you’re far less likely to be a nuisance or unnecessary burden to others. Conscious alone time is essentially flexing your handle-your-business muscle.

You’re most free when alone.

There are no compromises, no voting and no worries of pleasing people. Every decision you make is entirely up to you. That’s why it’s easy to be boldly spontaneous when alone, which can be a lot of fun.

Solitude fosters creation.

“Without great solitude no serious work is possible.” – Pablo Picasso

Almost all artistic creation occurs in solitude. There is a level of concentration reached when alone that just doesn’t happen around other people. Combine this with the idea generating nature of solitude and you have a recipe for prolific creation.

I create my best work when alone. I’m also hard pressed to create anything with others around. A subtle reason for this is that I give everything I’m doing my full attention. So if I’m with other people, connecting with them is my focus.

Great people have always embraced solitude.

People who have made a significant impact on the world spent a lot of time in solitude.

Buddha and Jesus went off by themselves for years. This solitude was a major part in both of their breakthroughs into the level of consciousness available to all of us.

A major aspect of the hero’s journey (described by Joseph Campbell) is this form of self-discovery.

“Opportunities
To find deeper powers
Within ourselves
Come when life
Seems most challenging.”
– Joseph Campbell

Writers and any artists thrive off of solitude.

This goes hand-in-hand with the last two points. Solitude begets creation, as well as the self-reflection to produce timeless works of art.

Henry David Thoreau (The Notorious HDT) epitomized productive solitude with his two year getaway at Walden Pond, where he produced some of his best work.

“I’ve never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude.” – Henry David Thoreau

Don’t worry though, you don’t have to go to the extreme that Thoreau did to leverage the power of solitude. All it takes is making some productive solitude a regular practice.

The point of solitude is not in becoming a recluse, but in returning to the world as an ever-evolving version of yourself.

Cultivate the power of solitude.

Thoreau-ly enjoy yourself.

– Stevie P!