These 33 Questions Will Spark An Immediate Spiritual Awakening

questions spiritual awakening

If you came here for answers, you’re in the wrong place.

Here’s a profound realization that 99% of people miss…

Questions are far more important than answers.

Answers come to us constantly. But answers are responses to questions we’re constantly putting out. If you can consciously ask the right questions, the answers you seek will naturally appear.

Don’t chase answers, ask the right questions and the answers will chase you.

Plus, answers aren’t destinations. They actually lead to more questions. And it’s in posing the right questions where the true A-HA moments come.

Wisdom is not about having the right answers, but in asking the right questions.

The wisest people have more questions than answers.

Here is a list of 33 questions that will spark something within you. Of course there are many more than 33 questions that can potentially spark something within. But this is a start.

Meditate on these. Ponder them and allow the knowing within to blossom.

These 33 Questions Will Spark An Immediate Spiritual Awakening

  1. Who am I?
  2. What am I grateful for?
  3. Am I here, in the present moment?
  4. What percentage of every day am I present?
  5. In what areas of life do I NOT apply the information I have?
  6. What excites me?
  7. Who inspires me?
  8. Exactly how does my favorite song make me feel?
  9. Why am I on this planet?
  10. What is my purpose?
  11. What are my thought patterns?
  12. What stories am I telling myself?
  13. What beliefs do I cling to?
  14. Am I willing to let go of my identity?
  15. Do I fear death?
  16. What is fear?
  17. What is love?
  18. Who is the observer of my thoughts?
  19. How am I holding myself back?
  20. Why am I not where I want to be?
  21. What is stopping me from being happy right now?
  22. Am I living my truth?
  23. How can I get closer to my truth?
  24. What are my most fundamental assumptions?
  25. Could my most fundamental assumptions be incorrect?
  26. How is my internal state affecting my experience of the external world?
  27. Am I simultaneously existing in multiple dimensions?
  28. Are my perceptions limited to 5 senses?
  29. Could there be more than just this three-dimensional reality?
  30. What am I not letting myself see?
  31. Where am I holding tension?
  32. What is my biggest fear?
  33. What is underneath my biggest fear?

Now stop reading.

Take a few minutes and meditate on these questions.

Write some of them down.

Let them marinate in your being a bit. Then allow the insights to come pouring through.

Much love.

– Stevie P!

5 Reasons Why Your Body Is The Portal To Spiritual Growth

body spiritual growth

Answer this question truthfully…

Are you ignoring your body?

In our society, the vast majority of people live exclusively in their head (yes, even workout junkies). And a small percentage falls into the trap of what I call spiritual escapism, living in the clouds. Both are delusional.

The key – to unlocking our potential and living a fulfilling life – is THE BODY.

The body is not something to be ignored. It’s not something to be neglected. It’s not something to be demonized. And it’s definitely not something to be viewed as an impediment to spiritual growth. In fact, the exact opposite is the case.

The body is the portal to spiritual growth.

“Transformation is through the body, not away from it.” – Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now)

The most spiritual, transformational thing you can do is to be FULLY PRESENT. I’ll repeat that again. The most spiritual, transformational thing you can do is to be fully present.

Everyone is looking to escape the negative aspects of reality, including you and I. If you’re denying this, that’s part of your escapist self-deceit. And people try to escape in different ways; drug/alcohol abuse, television, work, social media, addiction to spiritual practices, externalizing power to authority figures instead of looking within…etc. Basically, most people will do anything to distract themselves from… well… themselves, and their raw emotions.

But no forms of escapism work… They just mask a problem and let it fester in the shadows. That’s when things get really ugly, and we see it reflected on the macro level in the world.

Here’s the hard truth: The only way out is through.

The best way to solve any problem, or realize that the problem doesn’t really exist, is to face it head on. Yes, this reality can be extremely challenging. But it only gets worse if you try to ignore or avoid it.

However, everything gets transmuted once you dive fully into reality, into the present moment. And that is done through the body.

With myself and many others, I’ve noticed that physical health is what tends to first open people up to who they really are. It’s the “first domino” that catalyzes spiritual growth, self-awareness, empowerment and all that “good” stuff.

After realizing this, I started looking into why this is the case. And here’s what I found…

5 Reasons Why Your Body Is The Portal To Spiritual Growth

body spiritual growth

1. Health

With a healthy body, everything else falls into place.

You can think more clearly and creatively. You also become a better conduit for ideas and intuition. Everything regarding cognitive function and perception becomes heightened when you’re healthy.

Another byproduct of health is being vibrant and full of energy. When someone is healthy, you can see that sparkle of life in their eyes. When someone is really unhealthy, they have that vacant look. This is a huge indicator, because you can literally see that some people are embodying their divinity.

Health is also the practice of self-love and self-care, which obviously has spiritual implications. It’s taking care of your temple and allowing the presence of the divine (or whatever you want to call it) to come through.

So what are the basics of health? It’s really simple when you boil it down. Eat real (natural) food and move your body. If you do that, you’re at least 80% there.

2. Getting Out of Your Head

Being in your body gets you out of your head. And that’s a big deal in today’s society.

Most people are trapped in their head and slaves to their mind/ego. The mind makes a beautiful servant but a terrible master. And the mind is a risk calculator, meaning if you’re trapped in it, you’re going to be calculating risks 24/7.

Our minds are hardwired to detect threats, because that’s what has kept us alive for millions of years. But we no longer have to deal with saber tooth tigers, so 99.9% of fears are purely psychological/abstract and not based in real danger at all.

But, in general, we let this risk calculator run the show. This is why the vast majority of people live in a state of perpetual fear.

Most people spend their whole lives thinking about the past or future and COMPLETELY MISSING THE PRESENT MOMENT. Actually acknowledging, feeling and experiencing your body changes this.

3. Presence

Being more in your body helps you to be present.

You get out of your head, and in the present moment. This point is so important that entire books are written on it (The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, Be Here Now by Ram Dass, You Are Here by Thich Nhat Hanh…etc.)

When performing a difficult exercise for example, it’s hard (and even dangerous) to be thinking about the past or future. This is why exercising can help you cultivate a practice of presence.

On the other side of the spectrum, many types of meditation involve body awareness and body scanning. This fosters a state of presence.

There’s also mindful eating. The practice of mindful eating means simply being completely present while eating.

First of all, you’re aware of what you put into your body. Most people mindlessly shove food down their gullet, then wonder why their health/performance is sub-par. And another aspect of mindful eating is being fully present and undistracted when eating. This means fully experiencing the taste, smell, texture of food and noticing how it feels when being digested. Practicing this not only allows you to enjoy food more, but hones the ability to feel what is beneficial or detrimental to your body.

And when you’r body is healthy, the clarity and clearheadedness that naturally arise make it far easier to be present (as well as the absence of pain/discomfort).

4. Being In Tune

I hinted at this while discussing mindful eating. Being healthy helps you get more in tune with your body.

And it’s not only with eating. It helps you get in tune with intuition, feelings and emotions. Again, good health allows for all kinds of clarity and the healthy flow of energy. Plus, there are the benefits of getting out of your head and being present.

All of this results in being very in tune with the subtleties of life. There’s nothing woo-woo about it. When you’re healthy, your awareness is heightened.

5. Holistic Expansion

True expansion, true authenticity and true health, is holistic.

You cannot ignore an aspect of self and think it won’t have side effects. We see the neglect of the body in many religions, which obviously doesn’t work out well (where guilt, shame and all kinds of perversions run rampant).

On the other hand, we see the neglect of the emotional and spiritual aspects of self in modern western society, and it doesn’t take a genius to see all major “systems” need to change.

We need to embrace all aspects of ourselves. And love it all.

The more grounded you are, the more connected you are to everything. Being fully embodied is a way of embracing wholeness.

I mean, there’s a reason why “spirit” (or whatever your term is for God/Source) is choosing to express itself physically, right? If not, we wouldn’t be here. Even if it were some big cosmic joke, we’re here now, in human form. So start with being present and fully conscious in this experience.

It also doesn’t stop at the body. The body is an aspect of self, not your entire self. It’s a portal to your true self, not the totality of your true self. Again, embrace all aspects of self.

Becoming Spirit Embodied

So how do we get more into our body?

It’s very simple; engaging in daily practices that benefit the body. Here are some ideas:

  • Getting out in nature
  • Hiking
  • Going to the beach (where you get all four elements at once – sun, air, earth, water)
  • Putting your bare feet on the Earth (aka grounding/earthing)
  • Any form of exercise
  • Yoga
  • Any form of martial arts
  • Eating healthy (and mindfully)
  • Taking a walk outside
  • Simply being present
  • Fully experiencing your senses
  • Meditating on how each part of your body feels
  • Breathing exercises
  • Cold water exposure (cold showers)
  • Swimming
  • Conscious sex
  • Dancing
  • Singing

Love your body. Cultivate health. Embrace all aspects of self.

Much love.

– Stevie P!

Spiritual Backbone: Could I Be a Good Counselor?

spiritual-backbone

Note: This is a guest post by Katie Kapro.

Some of my closest – and most spiritually badass – friends are independent counselors. It’s a career that attracts sensitive, resilient, and altruistic souls. It asks a lot of them. And it gives them the opportunity to give back to their communities.

The connection between spirituality and work is fascinating, and this counseling phenomenon can go unnamed no longer. Why are so many spiritually-inclined people drawn to counseling?

If we better understand the connection between esoteric studies and counseling careers, then perhaps more would-be counselors will find their calling.

Joshua in Cambridge, whom I met at a meditation retreat, sees his clients in a Persian rug laden office in his home behind Harvard Square. He’s been practicing for 40 years, helping one client at a time integrate mindful breathing, gratitude, and interconnectedness into their daily lives.

He sees everyone from recovering drug addicts to stressed-out graduate students. Instead of offering them a list of medications, he offers them meditation practices.

It’s pretty cool, and his work benefits countless people with all sorts of spiritual beliefs.

Why are spiritually-inclined people so drawn to independent counseling?

Spiritual people expend so much inner and outer energy practicing oneness and self-effacement, it only makes sense that they’d want to spend the majority of the day doing something beneficial for the world.

Let’s face it, we live in a world of egos. The ego serves a purpose. To live fully in the world is to recognize and accept the ego for what it is rather than shun it or attach dogmatic meaning to it. Counselors are required to deal with the ego on a daily basis; they are realists if nothing else.

When I consider how many of my deeply spiritual friends work in psychology, I think it must have something to do with self-awareness. When you accept the reality of your own ego, personality, and humanity, it’s only natural to want to help people navigate their own.

Perhaps this sounds like you?

What are the benefits of a spiritually sensitive counselor?

First, let’s hone-in on what spirituality means in the context of therapy.

It’s broader than religion, and it’s generally accepted to account for all “cognitive and philosophic areas of thought as well as aspects of emotions and behavior.” Meaning, in regular-speak, that spirituality is the way a person understands their nature, existence, and internal experience.

For some people this means church. For others it means nature. It’s simply the act of awareness.

There are different schools of thought when it comes to spirituality in counseling. Many therapists are supportive of integrating spirituality into their work, while others feel it’s a slippery slope.

Psychotherapy in particular has had a historically rocky relationship with religious spirituality, starting with Freud himself who called religion “comparable to childhood neuroses.” But in more modern times, therapists have drawn a clear distinction between religion and spirituality, reframing Freud’s old biases against any particular tradition.

This reframing allows modern counselors to reach out to their patients from a unified yet impersonal place, and grow the kinds of trust bonds that benefit the therapist-client relationship. They can adopt a “psychospiritual approach” that utilizes common ground and universal themes shared by all people, instead of trying to make the personal relationship do all the heavy lifting.

If a counselor leads a client in an exercise about minding one’s breath, say, they both feel the shared sensation of meditating, which can be a pretty powerful feeling.

Of course, finding the words to describe this sensation can be tricky. Many therapists fear that if they’re too open about their own values, they may unwittingly impose them on their clients. It’s important to choose one’s words carefully. The ability to navigate a client relationship with this level of sensitivity is vital to a healthy practice.

Perhaps another reason why so many spiritual people are good therapists is because they have a tendency to be highly sensitive people (HSP’s). They understand the importance of sensitivity in human relationship.

Can anyone be a counselor?

Yes and no. Not everyone should be a counselor. Use your imagination. Who would want to go to a counseling session led by Donald Trump? Not me.

It takes a very specific skillset to flourish in this particular job 1) without burning out and 2) to actually help people. But if a person feels the impulse toward counseling, it’s always worth exploring. Work in therapy allows a unique amount of independence from the mainstream work model – many counselors set up their own LLCs – but candidates must first demonstrate their ability to navigate the ins-and-outs of academia by obtaining the proper education and getting licensed – a process which varies from state to state – and then complete an internship or practicum. Becoming a licensed therapist is not a quick and dirty process, for obvious reasons. Again, Trump. It takes time and commitment.

That being said, the path is easy when the work is something that fits your character. Counseling can be a deeply rewarding career for someone who is naturally self-aware, patient, compassionate, and nonjudgmental.

It’s a way to bring one’s spiritual practice off the mat and into the wider world.

About the Author
Katie Kapro is a Sufi and writer in the Intermountain West. When not writing, she can usually be found burying her face in sage in the foothills behind her house. Follow her on Twitter @kapro101

Stevie P’s Postscript

This article is incredibly relevant for both myself and everyone reading this, as I just launched the Feelin’ Good, Feelin’ Great Mystery School. It’s essentially a modern, online version of the ancient mystery schools that will help you integrate spiritual concepts into your daily life. The general “curriculum” (I use that term loosely) is based upon recurring themes I’ve had with individuals which they’ve found great value in, so I’m sure you’ll find value as well.

Click here to find out more about the Feelin’ Good, Feelin’ Great Mystery School

Much love.

– Stevie P
 

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The Top 7 Websites for Consciousness Expanding Articles

Mountain Cosmos

Knowledge isn’t necessarily power…

Applied knowledge is power.

Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 
Think of information as the sign posts along your journey. Information you come across can guide you along the way, but you ultimately need to navigate yourself.

This is why I’m such an advocate of applicable practices and direct experience. Reading can show you the way, however you have to walk the path yourself to truly reap the benefits of the information.

If you want to expand your consciousness and harmonize the totality of your being, there are many practices which you can implement. Engage in some kind of meditation daily, exercise, do yoga, hike, get out in nature, express yourself through art or movement, travel, commune with plant medicine if that calls you…etc. There are many tools for “walking the walk” of consciousness expansion. It’s all about taking the information you learn and running with it.

This list is for those on the spiritual path, or those who want to get started on that path. Anyone who is a seeker or fueled by curiosity will find immense value in these websites. I honestly don’t read too much on the internet these days, as I’m focused on creating my own content, but this is a nod of gratitude toward some of the websites that have been of great value to me along my journey.

The Top 7 Websites for Consciousness Expanding Articles

1. Waking TimesWhere Evolution and Revolution Collide

Core message:
Waking Times is an independently owned and operated online magazine that seizes on the transformational power of information to trigger personal revolution and influence humanity’s evolution.

Article of mine on Waking Times:
Stop Consuming Culture and Create Your Own

2. The Mind UnleashedUncover Your True Potential

Core message:
The Mind Unleashed is a conscious news dissemination organization that seeks to inspire out-of-the-box thinking and act as a catalyst for people to discover the limitless potential that exists inside us all.

Article of mine on The Mind Unleashed:
Reveal Your Life’s Purpose by Asking These 15 Questions

3. Elephant JournalIt’s all about the mindful life

Core message:
Elephant Journal is dedicated to sharing the good life beyond the choir, and to all those who didn’t yet know they give a care about living a good, fun life that’s good for others, and our planet. The mindful life is about yoga, organics, sustainability, conscious consumerism, enlightened education, the contemplative arts, adventure, bicycling, family…everything. But mostly it’s about this present moment, right here, right now, and how we can best be of benefit, and have a good time doing so.

Article of mine on Elephant Journal:
Fun Now & Fun Later — Categorizing our Life Experiences

4. Positively PositiveYour Attitude Your Choices = Your Life

Core message:
At its core, Positively Positive is about optimism and inspiration. About seeing the possibility within each person— and within each day gifted us. It’s about wisdom and how we lift one another up to richer, more fulfilling lives. It’s about tapping into our true nature and capacity.

Article of mine on Positively Positive:
Why Learning Is Like Jet Fuel for Happiness

5. Spirit ScienceSeeking Higher Consciousness

Core message:
Fundamentally, I am about demonstrating the truth that we are all One, and bringing together Spirit, and Science, two sides of the same coin. Oh, and that Love can change the world and make life amazing for EVERYONE!

6. Collective EvolutionBe Change

Core message:
We (CE) believe in creating change by raising consciousness and thinking outside the box. We aim to challenge the current status quo by shaking up how we currently think about the world. We encourage and inspire each other to take action with the goal of bringing to life a bright future for us all. Positive and heartfelt journalism is a big part of what we do.

7. Expanded Consciousness

Core message:
We are all one heart. One living breathing and maturing evolution of life. You are destined to grow in the process of this unfolding and we are here to give homage along your way. Here on Expanded Consciousness you’ll find inspiring stories, insightful information, and a forum to contribute to the advancement of other visitors. Enjoy!

Article of mine on Expanded Consciousness:
What Does Your Ego Look Like?

Bonus: The Best Consciousness Expanding Practice

Reading can be a great place to start, but there is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.

This is where PRACTICE comes into play.

Here’s one of the best practices available: 15 Minute Manifestation

Finding Truth for Yourself

Remember, don’t take anything you read as ultimate truth, no matter the source. Expose yourself to a diverse array of sources, exercise some critical analysis and form your own conclusions.

Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless and add what is specifically your own.
~ Bruce Lee

 
What Makes Feelin’ Good, Feelin’ Great Unique?

While the websites listed above are akin to major hubs of conscious information, Feelin’ Good Feelin’ Great is like a quaint small town; a hidden gem with distinct character and charm. This is what makes FGFG unique.

Every article is written by me (Stevie P), besides the occasional guest post. My full energy, attention and passion goes into everything published here. It’s all original content which I pour my heart and soul into.

I’ve written an article every week since September 2012 and I don’t plan on stopping.

There are no ads, no filler content and nothing to distract from my genuine expression. Feelin’ Good, Feelin’ Great is a fresh river for the continuous flow of inspiration, positivity, personal growth and consciousness expanding ideas. If you’re reading this, I thank you for being a part of the journey.

I hope you find value in the content here.

Much love.

– Stevie P

 

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Feelin’ Good, Feelin’ Great remains ad-free and I’d like to keep it that way. As you probably know, a lot of work and focus goes into maintaining a website and regularly posting publishing quality, life-enhancing articles from the heart. If you find value in this content, please consider supporting Feelin’ Good, Feelin’ Great. You can become a monthly contributor with the amount of your choosing.


 

2

A Glimpse into My Personal Journey

big tree

This is much more of a personal reflection than most of my articles. It started as a journal entry, but through sharing it, you may relate and find value in this too. Some may even find this outlandish, but it is my genuine self-expression and I know that others can relate at least the general themes to their own experiences.

These are chaotic times we live in, where outer and inner realities are going through rapid changes. If you’re experiencing any overwhelming changes in your life, especially if you’re someone on the spiritual path who’s undergoing a rapid expansion of consciousness, just know that you’re not alone.

Much, much love.

– Stevie P

6/13/2016
I’ve expanded my consciousness so rapidly over the last 8 months, since I quit my job, traveled the world, wrote two books and had innumerable mindblowing experiences. As with any rapid change, it can be difficult to manage at times. And it came to a crescendo over the last couple weeks.

Looking back, as hindsight is 20/20, I was honestly walking the thin line between genius and insanity for the last 2 weeks or so, up until this weekend. I was accessing knowledge, wisdom and understanding that was so intensely profound, to the point of being overwhelming. I was navigating territory completely unfamiliar to me, making me feel lost and honestly a bit afraid.

I felt what the people who want to just check out of society feel – drug addicts, suicidal people, everyone deemed as misfits and outcasts – I felt what they feel and felt it poignantly. It’s extremely difficult to bring that feeling through the filter of language. I also felt what the “crazy geniuses” feel as well, being so far gone in the realms of creative inspiration that physical reality seems almost irrelevant. I was imbalanced, however, clinging to the creative muse, instead of letting her come and go as she pleases, which is her very nature.

Note: I’m not sayin I’m inherently smarter than anyone else. We’re all geniuses in different ways. Most people just haven’t unlocked this potential.

I’ve been seeing the world from a subtle outside looking in perspective. And from this perspective, it’s so easy to slip into runaway ungroundedness and lose all touch with this realm of reality. When you have a different perspective than the norm (which is akin to being asleep), it’s like waking up alone in a new house before dawn. Yes, you’re conscious and awake, yet you’re confused and stumbling around in the dark. I spent the last couple weeks getting my footing and groping through the vivid darkness. But I’m now learning how to navigate with this new version of self.

Note: I’m using the term “asleep” not as a judgment, it’s just the best word to describe what I’m attempting to express. Everyone is on their own journey. There is no better or worse, just different. Who am I to judge someone else’s life?

Like Chuck Yeager said, “Just before you break through the sound barrier, the cockpit shakes the most.” My shaking and barrier breaking seems to have ended and now I’m flying smoothly again, just in a new domain of speed.

The lens that I’m viewing reality from was re-focused. It was blurry for a second, but I feel intuitively that I’m starting to see more clearly than ever.

I’ve learned this powerful lesson: If you ground yourself and master your mind, you can have that “higher” perspective without being lost in it; while still walking the Earth, being here now (in 3D reality) and enjoying the good things it does have to offer. Our selves are always changing, and sometimes powerful changes can throw off your balance. So it’s important to allow change to happen, while finding your balance through the process.

I found balance by getting out in nature every day, spending time with family and socializing more. Grounding barefoot on the Earth has also been a godsend for me.

I’ve also come to the realization that I need to connect with more people that I can learn from, who can help me along my journey. I’ve been pushing the boundaries so hard and for so long that, at times, it feels as if I’m alone in the depths of space. But I know there are other people who have already been through what I’m going through, which is true for any and all facets of the human experience. We’re all unique aspects of the same oneness helping each other out.

A message that I received during a Merkaba activation in Costa Rica keeps coming back to me; an image of a tree appeared to me and said “Stay grounded. You already have all of the answers.”

And it couldn’t be any truer.

Gratitude fills my heart.

 

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Feelin’ Good, Feelin’ Great remains ad-free and I’d like to keep it that way. As you probably know, a lot of work and focus goes into maintaining a website and regularly posting publishing quality, life-enhancing articles from the heart. If you find value in this content, please consider supporting Feelin’ Good, Feelin’ Great. You can become a monthly contributor with the amount of your choosing.


 

An Open Letter to the Spiritualist

Medita

Yes
You are a spiritual being
Having a human experience

But don’t ignore the fact
That you are in a body
A wonderful one at that

Are you going to take it for granted?
Are you going to overlook the vessel you inhabit?
Are you going to neglect the flesh?

Make the most of it
While it lasts
Embrace the experience
Savor the voyage

Make an impact
Spread love
Embody consciousness

Be totally aware
Immersed in the world
Yet not of it
Wholeheartedly engage
In the wonders of corporeality
The sights
The sounds
The smells
The tastes
The touch
The pleasures and pains
The smirk-inducing, physical bliss

The Universe
Is experiencing itself
Through you
For the opportunity
To taste coffee
To flex a bicep
To have amazing sex
To do whatever it is
You’re doing right now

Cherish this video game
Become lucid in the dream
Before it’s over

For life is euphorically fleeting
Paradoxically serendipitous
And meant to be

 

An Open Letter to the Materialist

Guy

We live in a three-dimensional reality
And experience it through the filter of five senses
We merely see a sliver of the spectrum of light
We only hear a small slice of the scale of sound

If we cannot perceive something
If we cannot measure something
Does that mean it doesn’t exist?

There is an infinity
Of indescribable mystery
Based in energy
Vibration and frequency

Who is the driver of your body?
Who is the witness of your thoughts?

You are pure awareness

Open up
Experience the truth for yourself
Experience the truth of yourself
Feel it

 

Are You Truly Free?

woman-570883_640

Are you truly free?

Really think about it. Contemplate what your idea of complete freedom is.

To give yourself a better idea, ask yourself the following three questions…

Would I be living the way I’m living if money were no object?
Would I be living the way I’m living if I was uninfluenced by the opinions of others?
Would I be living the way I’m living if I had no fears?

Chances are, if you’re playing the role of a human on planet Earth, you answered “no” to all three.

So this means that in almost every sense, we’re actually quite far from true freedom. Considering that you’re reading this, you’re probably not in physical slavery, so that’s a good start. But what about your mind? What about your behaviors? What about your beliefs? What about your lifestyle? Are they really your own? For the vast majority of people, (yes, even “privileged” “first-worlders”) all of those aspects of their life and sense of self are in bondage. And most don’t even realize it.

“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The more cruel and extreme the slavery, the shorter lived it tends to be. Physical slavery has a finite lifespan because people are all-too-aware of their oppression. If people are blatantly repressed, their uprisal is inevitable. The human will is driven by a deep-seated yearning for liberation. If that willpower hasn’t been buried by deception, trauma and conditioning, there is absolutely nothing that can stand in its way. The many heroes who courageously rose up against (physical) slavery in America are a testament to this.

Mental slavery, however, is more subtle; more insidious. Why? Because in this predicament, people are conditioned to love their servitude, without even grasping the subliminal subterfuge of their subjugation.

“A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude.” – Aldous Huxley

Psychological slavery can go on indefinitely, until it’s exposed. And that makes it uniquely dangerous.

“Like everyone else you were born into bondage. Into a prison that you cannot taste or see or touch. A prison for your mind.” – Morpheus (The Matrix)

We’re like dogs with shock collars. Distinctly better off than dogs in cages. But there is an invisible fence which contains us, shocking us into submission when we reach a certain perimeter. Our invisible fence consists of fear, comfort zones, money, time, the opinions of others, limiting belief systems…etc. In terms of the physical and mental aspects of life, we’re more like free-range than truly free.

The average “first-world” nation can be likened to a 300-pound man in a room filled with 500-pound people. Sure, he’s better off than the rest, but he’s still far from being healthy. But because his only reference points are those more obese than he is, he may hold the delusional belief that he’s an exemplar of fitness.

It’s both naïve and short-sighted to think that we’re truly free under this current paradigm. What is your ideal world? Does it look anything like the one you’re living in? This is not to say that we should hide in the asylum of ungrateful entitlement. We need to be grateful for the freedoms we do enjoy, but never complacent in our quest for true liberation.

Just as Harriet Tubman did, we must use our freedoms to help others achieve theirs, moving the collective towards total, mind/body/spirit, emancipation.

The Freedom Paradox

Here’s the good news…

On a deep, intrinsic level, we are always free, no matter the circumstance. Even when someone is physically shackled, at their very core they are still free.

As humans, if we do not find liberation physically, we find it mentally. If we do not find liberation mentally, we find it spiritually. This inherent freedom cannot be taken away.

“When I discover who I am, I’ll be free.” – Ralph Ellison

We are all unique expressions of infinite possibility. Our inner-most nature is beyond any confines. And absolutely nothing can take that away from us, even if we are physically or mentally enslaved. People such as Victor E. Frankl, who survived the Holocaust, are shining examples of this…

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” – Victor E. Frankl

“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” – Victor E. Frankl

True freedom is beyond the ego. Beyond fear, beyond judgment and beyond the opinions of others. It is what we are left with when we reacquaint with our deepest essence.

“Look well into thyself; there is a source of strength which will always spring up if thou wilt always look.” – Marcus Aurelius

Though there are control systems intent on programming us to exhibit predictable, robotic responses… Though many get manipulated by the divide and conquer agenda….. Though injustice still rears its ugly head… Though the world may seem completely insane at times… Remember, you have the choice in every situation. And nothing can take that away from you.

As Ralph Smart says, We came here to be free.”

One love.

– Stevie P!

PS – Solution celebration… 

Here are 8 solutions to the subtly insidious “modern slavery” you may, unknowingly or knowingly, find yourself in:

1. Think for yourself Free your mind. Explore any and every idea. The world is an idea playground. What is holding you back from exploring the realms of infinite ideas? You have a world of information at your fingertips, don’t take it for granted. We live in the information age. Ignorance is a choice.

2. Work for yourself Though it’s an uphill battle in this society, we all have the opportunity to work for ourselves. This will provide you with immensely more physical freedom than if you have to trade your time for money with an employer.

3. Awareness – Be aware that you’re not your thoughts, but the consciousness observing the thoughts. Be aware of when you exhibit predictable, programmed responses. Be aware of your emotions, thoughts, habits…etc. Awareness is the key which opens the door to freedom.

4. Don’t identify with a label – Putting yourself in a box is the antithesis of freedom. Osho summed it up eloquently… “Never belong to a crowd; Never belong to a nation; Never belong to a religion; Never belong to a race. Belong to the whole existence. Why limit yourself to small things? When the whole is available.”

5. Be your authentic self

6. Let go of fear – Fear, and everything dependent upon it, is bondage. This includes ego, comfort zones, worry, anxiety, regret, shame, guilt, hate, anger, jealousy, insecurity, disempowerment, victimhood…etc. Those all either create, or lead to, some form of enslavement. As John Lennon said, “Love is free, free is love.” Choose love.

7. Pursue your life’s purpose

8. Take responsibility for your own well-being – Response-ability… The ability to respond. Empower yourself. Take responsibility for your life, your health, and whatever else you deem important.

 

Started From The Bottom: A “Spiritual” Song?

Here’s a little secret…

I have this thing I do where I take a song I’m listening to and put a unique twist on it, creating a whole new perspective.

So I found myself doing this while gallivanting the streets of NYC, bumpin’ “Started from the Bottom” by Drake.

(if you ain’t familiar)

And the lyrics, courtesy of Rap Genius:
http://rapgenius.com/Drake-started-from-the-bottom-lyrics

Here’s the, well, interesting interpretation that I developed. It’s mostly related to the chorus and the bridge at the end.

If you want to throw a label on it, it’s a “spiritual” (whatever that means) interpretation.

Note: The lyrics (especially the chorus) can be applied to making progress in virtually anything. From improving your pimp game, to building a school in a third world country. But here’s my “spiritual” spin on it. I’m not saying that Drake meant this with the song, it’s just another way of interpreting it. It’s also an open invitation for people to come up with their own unique/ridiculous/hilarious interpretations of songs.

Here’s the lyrics to the chorus:

Started from the bottom now we’re here
Started from the bottom now my whole team fuckin’ here

Started from the bottom = Started out just identifying with the lower self, the mind, the ego. Survival-based and materialistic. Absorbed by the ego. Limited awareness and perspective on things. Animalistic and reactive. A slave to incessant brain chatter and ego. If you’re familiar with chakras, it’s an overemphasis of the lower chakras (root and sacral). Watch this video for a great intro on chakras. Really cool stuff.

now we’re here= Now in touch with the *higher self. Gained some higher/broader awareness. Transcended the ego-driven existence of the lower self. Now living with spiritual awareness and consciousness. In tune with our essence.

*Wait… What’s this “higher self” thing?
Higher self is basically an eternal, omnipotent, conscious, and intelligent being, who is one’s real self. It is our essence, or who we really are. It’s the God within us, if you will. We’re not our thoughts. We’re not our mind. We’re the consciousness behind it. You know when you draw your perception back and observe your thoughts? Higher self is the one doing the observing.

Started from the bottom now my whole team fuckin here = The entire being is now an integrated and balanced (ie “my whole team fuckin here”). Started out embodying only the lower chakras and ego; now incorporating all of the chakras (the whole team) and regaining connection with the spiritual realms/higher self. Realigned with consciousness, the Universe, God, essence, pure love, or whatever you want to call it.

For example, take someone who was always worried about the future. They constantly played out scenarios in their mind and worried about what others would think (ego). But now they’re aware of what their mind is doing. They’ve connected to their higher self and drawn back their perspective. This allows them to transcend the brain chatter, stop playing out future scenarios in their head, and live in the moment. They can now “go with the flow” and live more fluidly.

And the bridge:

No new niggas, nigga we don’t feel that
Fuck a fake friend, where your real friends at?
We don’t like to do too much explainin’
Story stayed the same, I never changed it

No new niggas, nigga we don’t feel that = Don’t need external gratification. Taking responsibility for one’s self. Being in control of one’s own internal state and happiness.

Fuck a fake friend, where your real friends at? = Fake friends = ego, mental chatter, materialism, fear…etc. Real friends = higher self, consciousness, awareness, inner peace, happiness, love…etc.

We don’t like to do too much explainin’ = Walking the walk as opposed to just talking the talk. Experiencing as opposed to theorizing. Intuitively understanding and feeling through first-hand experience. The mind theorizes, the “spiritual” self experiences.

Story stayed the same, I never changed it = Living in the moment and taking life as it goes. Living unfiltered. Living in the now. Being like water. As opposed to living in the past or and holding onto a perceived version of what already happened. Or living in the future and worrying about what might hypothetically happen.

Whoomp, there it is. That’s my so-called “spiritual” take on “Started from The Bottom” in a nutshell.

See, you can put your own unique spin on anything. Remember, perception is reality. Maybe next I’ll come up with a way to learn meditation listening to Back That Azz Up. You never know…

BONUS! Some more spins on “Started from the Bottom…”

1. Pullups – Started from the bottom (of the rep) now we’re here…

HwonWWM

2. Hiking a mountain – Started from the bottom (of the mountain) now we’re here…

Bergy Nipple Top

3. Taking an elevator up – Started from the lobby now we’re here…

tumblr_mcf3d3qHCH1rneib6o1_500

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Can you think of any other unique twists or “Started from the Bottom” scenarios? Leave em in the comments below. This could be good.

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Get Rid of All Preconceived Notions of What a “Spiritual” Person Should Be Like

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In mainstream Western society today, the keywords surrounding someone deemed as “spiritual” look something like this:

Emotional, feminine, hippy, vegetarian, vegan, yoga, meditation, tea, psychic, tofu, soy milk, passive, positive, pacifist, unique, in tuned, dreamer, unrealistic, out there, creative, artistic, New Age, free spirit…etc.

You get the idea.

Though some of these are great attributes, it paints the overall picture of something like an unemployed hippy chick with no sense of reality. Or a frail, overemotional man who lacks strength and vitality.

Is that not the stereotypical image that is conjured up when someone is described as “spiritual” in mainstream culture?

Well, fuck that (you gotta emphasize things sometimes haha). Let’s shift the paradigm.

Shatter those preconceived notions. Actually, shatter all preconceived notions. They do nothing but put the world you perceive in rigid little boxes. Don’t attach to a preconceived image of what something should be or look like.

But, before we go further, what is “spiritual”?

My definition of spiritual is being aware.

Being… Being in the moment… Simply being. And awareness… Being aware of the tranquil stillness deep inside… Being aware of infinite potential… Being aware.

Here’s another sign post pointing down the road of spirituality, courtesy of Bruce Lee. This is one of my favorite quotes of all-time.

A spiritual person doesn’t have to do yoga. A spiritual person can achieve the same body/mind connection by deadlifting the weight of a small car.

A spiritual person doesn’t have to sit cross-legged and meditate. A spiritual person can use any activity as meditation.

A spiritual person doesn’t have to be a vegetarian. A spiritual person can thank the animal that gave it’s life to provide sustenance for another being.

A spiritual person doesn’t have to be passive. A spiritual person can live through action!

So don’t judge anyone. And don’t judge yourself either.

DON’T PUT OTHERS, OR YOURSELF, IN A BOX.

Just because you’re a guy doesn’t mean you can’t express your emotions.

Just because you’re a woman doesn’t mean you can’t be strong (physically and mentally).

Just because you’re a trucker doesn’t mean you can’t meditate.

Just because you look like you can pin a grizzly bear in a wrestling match doesn’t mean you can’t be spiritual.

Just because you work in the cubicle farms of the corporate world doesn’t mean you can’t be spiritual.

But, then again, we’re all spiritual beings anyway.

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” -Teilhard de Chardin