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The Visionary’s Creed

This is for the new wave of hard workers, everyone out there grinding towards their vision, not someone else’s. All of the self-starters, hustlers, artists, entrepreneurs, this is dedicated to you to help you keep going. Ultimately, these words are just a confirmation of what you already know deep down; that you’re living your truth.

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I know what I want
I know how to get there
They may think differently
But I know me

Doubt arises
I set it aside
I know in my heart
That I’m walking in the direction of my truth

I see my vision
Crystal clear clarity
I meet it with persistence
Bringing dreams into reality

Fear grabs a hold of me
I hug it with courage
It fades back into illusion
Propelled by my truth
I keep moving

The path may be difficult
The road may be rough
Obstacles will present themselves
Unforeseen challenges may delay me
And my route may shift
But that’s a part of the pilgrimage
The challenge is where the magic is

It’s not about where I end up
It’s about who I become through the journey
More of myself

 

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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.





 

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The Paradox of Personal Freedom: How Positive Constraints Can Enhance Your Life

the path to freedom

As humans, we have an insatiable desire for freedom.

It’s only natural. Freedom is our essential state and we feel this in the innermost depths of our being. When freedom is blatantly denied, it is an excruciating hindrance and not tolerated for long.

However, every great truth is paradoxical from the perspective of the mind and through the filter of language. The idea of freedom is no different. You would think that total, complete freedom would mean total, complete happiness, right? But that’s not the case (in this reality, at least). Absolute freedom does not necessarily equate to absolute happiness.

Infinite options equals ultimate prison, in many circumstances. You end up with this paradox of choice issue. It’s like standing in front of shelving at a Safeway with 300 brands of toothpaste and just wasting 15 minutes of your life trying to pick a toothpaste. You don’t need that kind of cognitive burden and decision fatigue.
~ Tim Ferriss

 
Focused perspective allows for desired experiences to come to fruition, as a specific choice concentrates your reality based upon our intention. This focused perspective, or in other words, constraints on experienced reality, is the foundation for learning and evolution as humans. Limitation fosters creative solutions, resistance catalyzes growth and darkness is needed to truly appreciate light.

If you think about it, absolute freedom means sitting in infinite possibility without choosing a possibility. So in a way, you’ve chosen to compromise complete freedom just by participating in the 3D human experience.

Ok, metaphysical musings aside; what I’m getting at is this… In order to have a highly rewarding, fulfilling and purposeful life, you need to consciously apply the power of positive constraints.

You’re always making choices and assumptions (in every moment) that are condensing the light of your freedom/possibility to a focused area. And the key question is: Are you consciously aware of the choices and assumptions you’re making?

What are Positive Constraints?

Positive constraints are constraints that you consciously place upon yourself in order to direct your life in a desired direction.

For example, if you know that writing a book is something that will add immeasurable value to your life, you’re going to have to sacrifice other activities in favor of a regular writing habit. And you’re going to have to write even when you don’t feel like it. But as a result of this positive constraint, your life will be more fulfilling and you’ll create more freedom for yourself long-term.

Why Are Positive Constraints Useful?

Discipline and freedom are not mutually exclusive but mutually dependent because otherwise, you’d sink into chaos.
~ Paulo Coelho

 
Positive constraints focus your experiences towards what you want to prioritize in life.

They actually create more freedom in many cases. If you want the freedom to travel the world, you have to make sacrifices to get there. You have to save money (though not as much as most people think), quit your job (or work for yourself and do it remotely) and decide where you want to go. All of those things are positive constraints to bring you to a place of freedom to travel.

Being an entrepreneur epitomizes attaining freedom through positive constraints. In order to work for yourself, make your own decisions and have freedom of time and location, sacrifices must be made to get there. A lot of groundwork is required to get any business or entrepreneurial project off the ground, yet once the ball is rolling, it can create long-term freedom in many aspects of life.

The Freedom to Choose to Concede Freedom

Having the freedom to choose your own constraints is what makes life fulfilling and worthwhile. If you’re forced to do something, that’s a blatant form of slavery. If you’re programmed into thinking you don’t have a choice, that’s a subtle form of slavery. Both are extremely disharmonious and antithetical to human happiness.

Ultimately, everything you do is a constraint on freedom. The Latin root of the word decision means “to cut off.” By making a decision, you’re literally cutting off all other possibilities. So it’s important to be mindful of your decisions in every moment, because you’re always making decisions whether you’re aware of them or not. It is choice (decision) that collapses the wave-form of all possibility and gives us a specific experience. Without choice, there would be no experience. Having free will without making a choice is to not have an experience.

The key is being conscious of the choices you’re making and being aware of what you’re keeping and what you’re “cutting off” by making a decision.

Family and Oneness

One of the most gratifying positive constraints is choosing to start a family. By starting a family, you are choosing to give up some freedom, but the rewards of caring for others, giving and sharing can greatly outweigh the emptiness that comes from just sitting on the prospect of possibilities. Plus, taking care of someone besides yourself can be immeasurably rewarding if you already have some degree of self-mastery to build upon.

Creating a family is unique in the sense that it imprints and amplifies your impact on other people (particularly children). If you haven’t released your own demons, you’re going to infect your family with your dysfunction. This is why families tend to repeat the same patterns generation after generation, unless someone becomes very conscious and grounded in their own power. On the other hand, if you’re harmonious within yourself, you’re going to spread the light of your love even more and that’s a snowball effect too. So from this higher perspective, you have the potential to create more freedom and happiness for the whole (which we’re all a part of) by choosing the positive constraint of starting a family.

How to Apply Positive Constraints

1. Decide what you want – This is the decision that cuts off other possibility and focuses your reality. Make sure you’re consciously focusing your reality and being mindful of where your intentionality is being directed.

On a larger scale, figure out your purpose. Find what you want to prioritize in life and cast aside the things that aren’t in alignment with it. Also, you don’t have to have a fixed purpose for the rest of your life. Your purpose can change and evolve as you change and evolve.

For a clearer vision of your purpose, read my article: Reveal Your Life’s Purpose by Asking These 15 Questions

2. Implement habits to get there – Once you decide on what you want, action must be taken. Form daily habits to bring you in your desired direction.

Decide on 1-3 habits that are your “big wins” for the day and set aside blocks of time to do them, no matter what. With me, I set aside a 50 minute block for writing every morning and I record a video as well. Those have become things that I just do. Because I’ve built the habit, there is no decision to be made or questioning myself, they’re just what I do.

Don’t forget about the first hour of your day either. Your morning routine is the foundation for your day. Make your morning routine the leverage point from which you build positive momentum for the rest of the day. Ideally, it should consist of drinking a lot of water (re-hydration and cleansing), meditation and some form of stretching/mobility exercises/yoga to prime your body for the day.

More on morning routines:
How to Own Your Day: Tim Ferriss Shares His 5 Morning Rituals
The ‘Carpe Diem’ Morning Ritual

That’s it. Applying positive constraints is essentially just focusing and following through.

Enjoy your journey and much love to ya.

– 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.


 

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What are You Hiding From Yourself? 14 Ways to Discover Your Blind Spots

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I thought I had it all figured out a few months ago…

My ego loved the (false) sense of elitism that came from the (small) amount of wisdom I had accumulated and the personal growth I had achieved.

This sense of egoic comfort allowed my blind spots to subtly suffocate my growth and choke out my compassion towards others. As Admiral Ackbar from Star Wars would say, “It’s a trap!”

Luckily, I realized that my ego had snuck in through the back door. Deep down I knew that, in the grand scheme of things, I had next to nothing figured out, so I decided to shake things up a bit. In a hopscotch of faith, I leapt into innumerable experiences that shattered any sense of “having life figured out” and launched me to unforeseen levels of self-discovery and growth.

These experiences included 5 months of (mostly solo) world travel through 10 countries, meeting hundreds of amazing people, journaling every single day of my travels, having cathartic experiences at the Osho center, attending a few yoga retreats and workshops, getting certified in kinesiology, learning Siddha healing, practicing many different meditation techniques, jumping into new relationships, communing with Ayahuasca in the Peruvian Amazon, struggling to communicate with my weak Spanish speaking skills, hiking Machu Picchu in pouring rain, learning how to surf, going to the Envision Festival alone and embarking on countless other adventures that catapulted me out of my comfort zone. All of this intensely illuminated so many of my blind spots, quantum-jumped my knowledge of self and spurred so much improvement that I still haven’t assimilated it all. And I’m still riding this momentum.

“We live on an island surrounded by a sea of ignorance. As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance.” ~ John Wheeler

The more you know
The more you realize you don’t know
And you don’t know
What it is that you don’t know
Until it’s known
But you do know
That you don’t know everything
So rest in the fact that there’s always more to know

We all have blind spots, forces that we’re completely unaware of that may be holding us back.

The human mind, though it’s an immensely powerful tool, is littered with self-deception and cognitive biases. It’s so easy to trick ourselves, and over time, deepen the groove of a skewed view of reality.

That’s why one of the most important things you can do is take an objective look at yourself and reveal your blind spots.

What if your comfort zones are actually false fortresses of security that are doing you far more harm than good? What if everything you’ve been basing your reality on was a lie? What if every aspect of your life is really based on false assumptions, feebly held together by other false assumptions to rationalize the former false assumptions?

We’ve all seen the extremes of self-denial and glaring personal blind spots… The religious zealot who ignores overwhelming evidence contrary to her rigid, literal interpretation of the bible and believes ridiculous things like the idea of Jesus riding dinosaurs. The corporate guy, whose identity is so wrapped up in materialism, that he goes to great lengths (buying fancy clothes, watches and cars, having beautiful girlfriends just to impress others, exorbitant vacations to show off…etc.) in order to fill that feeling of emptiness inside. The high school friend, who has hesitantly convinced himself that he’s happy still living in the same hometown, working the same job and going to the same bar every Friday night. These epitomic cases may seem sad and even pathetic to us, but we’re all guilty of self-denial to some extent.

In order to become the greatest version of yourself and make the most out of life, you need to be able to observe yourself from an objective perspective. You need to call yourself out on your own bullshit. Everything from your most fundamental beliefs, how you view reality, your sense of what is possible, your identity, your habits, your patterns, your limiting beliefs, your assumptions, your false confidence, your fears, your egoic desires, your intuition, your intrinsic motivations, your reactions to external stimuli, your view of others, your freedom (or lack thereof), how you move your body, your choice of music, your choice of entertainment, your sources of information, your biases, your community, your inhibitions, your different personalities among different people, your dietary habits, your addictions, your vulnerabilities, your childhood pain that you’re still carrying, your biggest fear for the future, your self-judgments , your comfort zones, the excuses you make to yourself, the labels you mindlessly slap on things, the little lies you tell yourself, the secrets you’re hiding in the depths of your psyche, the truths you’re afraid of being true, the reason why you were born…etc.

As you can see, there are a lot of potential blind spots out there (or in there). Here’s how to develop a perspective of increased self-awareness, put yourself in a position of continuous personal evolution and be genuinely YOU-nique.

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14 Ways to Discover Your Blind Spots

1. Meditation

Meditation cultivates a state in which you can objectively observe your thoughts and emotions. We often go through life completely consumed by our thoughts and emotions, not being able to witness them. This is why meditation is so crucial. With practice, you will create awareness regarding your emotions, thoughts, habits and patterns.

This state of awareness makes change possible. If you go through life oblivious to your patterns, because you’re too engrossed in them to know what’s going on, you’ll never be in a position to make a change. As the old proverb goes, “The fish would be the last to discover water because they’re immersed in it.” Meditation can take you out of the metaphorical water of your assumed reality and help you realize “Wow, I was really IN THERE this whole time?”

If you’re new to meditation, try starting out with my 21 Breath Salute. It’s so easy and takes less than 5 minutes to do.

2. Intimate Relationships

Intimate relationships are the most powerful tools for showing you your own weaknesses and vulnerabilities.

Your partner is like a mirror of your own internal state. Your fears, limiting beliefs, doubts, delusions and repressed emotions are reflected in intimate relationships.

One example of this is getting angry at your partner for forgetting something. Chances are that you get angry at yourself for forgetting things, and because this person is so close to you, you do to them whatever you do to yourself. So get to the bottom of why you get angry at yourself for something so asinine. Did your parents do it to you? Do you put pressure on yourself to never make mistakes? (And where does that belief come from?) Share this revelatory process with your partner as you go through it. You’re on the same team, right?

Here’s another example. If you have a fear of abandonment from, let’s say, your father leaving you as a child, you will find yourself desperately clinging to relationships, even when it’s obvious that it’s not to your benefit. But you have to have some degree of self-awareness to be able to see this play out in your life (as well as a self-aware partner who can help you to realize these things as they come up). Otherwise, you’ll just blindly repeat the cycle over and over again.

You need to open to love to be in a relationship. And when your heart is open, you’re also vulnerable. This is why past pain that you thought you had hidden resurfaces. This is why your ego takes many bruises and why certain words penetrate to the core of your fears.

When an intimate relationship is honest, open and transparent, you will see all of each other’s deepest blind spots. Then you have the choice to work through them, or ignore them, letting them forever influence your life from the shadows of your subconsciousness.

3. Close Family and Friends

Family and friends can be similar to intimate relationships, though less of a “mirror” because our focus isn’t on them like it is on an intimate partner. (Although it can be very strong if you have children, because your complete focus is often on them. This is why having children can teach you so much about yourself.)

With family and friends, honest relationships are paramount. Surround yourself with people that love you enough to call you out on your bullshit and wake you up from your self-delusions.

I’m not saying to obey everything that other people say, but pay attention to the words spoken from the heart of someone you care deeply for.

4. Plant Medicine

Plant medicines are some of the most powerful catalysts for self-realization and growth. Some examples of plant medicines are “magic” mushrooms, Ibogaine and Ayahuasca (which I’ve done myself and wrote about here).

Plant medicines will help you see where your blind spots are, reevaluate your life, examine your fundamental beliefs and aid you in breaking out of the patterns that don’t serve you. It’s like a crash course in self-improvement. Before you dismiss plant medicines as drugs, be aware that there’s a growing body of research regarding the healing effects of psychedelics on addiction, depression and mental disorders such as PTSD.

When used in clinical or ceremonial settings, these sacred plant medicines have profound healing properties.

5. Be Aware of Cognitive Biases

A cognitive bias is defined as “a systematic pattern of deviation from norm or rationality in judgment, whereby inferences about other people and situations may be drawn in an illogical fashion. Individuals create their own “subjective social reality” from their perception of the input.” (Wikipedia)

One prominent cognitive bias is called the backfire effect, which is when you reject evidence that contradicts your viewpoint or conclusion, even if you know that the evidence is true. How many times have you seen people do this? A lot, right? And I bet you’ve done it too. I know I have.

Another notable cognitive bias is the bandwagon effect. This is when the probability of one person adopting a belief increases based on the number of people who hold that belief. The bandwagon effect is a testament to how powerful groupthink or herd mentality can be. Don’t overlook the possibility that your most fundamental beliefs may be based on false premises and they’ve only been collectively accepted, not because they’re true, but because of phenomena like the bandwagon effect.

This article outlines 57 different cognitive biases that us humans can have. And there’s probably more too that we very well be unaware of.

Get familiar with the many variations of cognitive biases and ask yourself the tough questions: On which topics are my views biased? What cognitive biases do I have? Which ones am I most vulnerable to? In what kind of situations do they arise? What viewpoints am I vehemently or even irrationally defending? What am I desperately trying to justify? Maybe there are cognitive biases at play.

6. Build Ego Awareness

The ego is sneaky, cunning and a terrible master. If you become a slave to the ego and let it run your life, you will be engulfed in a world of endless fear, judgment, deception and self-sabotage.

Know when your ego is trying to run the show. Learn to differentiate between your egoic desires and the genuine desires of your heart.

Your ego will wrap its identity in labels (nationality, race, religion, gender…etc.) and constrict you in the process. It will have you stubbornly defending ideas that you’re not quite sure are true. It will have you clinging to comfort, blocking out any exposure to growth.

Read my article “What Does Your Ego Look Like?” for a deeper dive into the ego.

7. Investigate Your Resistances

Resistance is the ego at work. If you have great resistance towards something, look into it. It will often be your ego resisting something that is actually beneficial for you.

The classic examples of resistance are politics and religion. People are so emotionally attached to their ideologies (and there are so many cognitive biases involved) that even a mild counterpoint is met with hostility and defensiveness. If you notice this kind of resistance in you, see where it comes from. Are you afraid that what you cling to will be gone? Do you think you won’t have an identity if you step outside of the box of the political/religious ideology you follow? Are you merely following an ideology based on the fear of consequences if you don’t?

If you have extreme resistance towards something, it’s probably something you’re desperately trying to suppress and it’s driving you crazy in the process. Examine everything with an open mind and meet resistance with love.

8. Be a Beginner Again

Try something new where you have to start from square one. If you’re an intellectual, try learning how to surf. If you’re an athlete, try playing chess.

Taking on something completely new and foreign will shake you out of your comfort zones, make you vulnerable (in a good way), uncover weaknesses (or strengths that you never knew about), highlight any stubbornness you have, enable you to connect dots from seemingly unrelated areas and catalyze so much learning in a short period of time.

9. Get Out of the Echo Chamber

This is closely related to trying something new.

An echo chamber is “a situation in which information, ideas, or beliefs are amplified or reinforced by transmission and repetition inside an “enclosed” system, where different or competing views are censored, disallowed, or otherwise underrepresented.” (Wikipedia)

Sometimes, we get so caught up in our niche communities (especially online), that we don’t realize that it could be an echo chamber. The extreme version of this is something like Scientology, but I’ve seen various degrees of “echo-chamberism” from spiritual communities to scientific communities and everything in between. It’s cool to connect with like-minded people, but just make sure that you’re not illogically rejecting things to hold up false premises. Question everything and always exercise your critical thinking faculties.

If you’re a floaty spiritual person, switch it up and read some scientific literature. If you’re scientific-minded, read some spiritual stuff. If you’re a hip-hop head, listen to some classical music (the real OG’s). All of this will give you a completely different perspective on things, make you more well-rounded and spur so much new insight it will blow your mind.

10. Find a Group Setting that Facilitates Self-Discovery

Attend a retreat or a workshop. These kinds of events are designed to be learning experiences provide you with new perspectives in a concise package.

Every retreat and every workshop I’ve ever attended has revealed profound insights that were previously blind spots for me.

11. Put Yourself in Other People’s Shoes

See the world from someone else’s perspective. Visualize their perspective in detail. Think about their motivations, point of view, beliefs, fears and how their experiences have shaped who they are. Have empathy and compassion and truly understand their point of view.

This kind of empathetic visualization will greatly expand your perceptions give you a unique perspective on your own life.

Also, studying the behavior of others will create an awareness of those same behaviors within yourself (if you’re willing to look within).

12. Keep a Journal

Journaling is one of the best tools for self-reflection. Deep-seated revelations arise when your thoughts and emotions are externalized.

The process of writing itself also creates objectivity and newfound understanding. Journaling allows you to witness your state of being from a higher perspective. And reading about your past experiences will give you more clarity for the present (hindsight is 20/20).

13. Travel

Travel is the ultimate perspective-expander. You experience new cultures, new ideas and new ways of living. You also meet tons of interesting people, often travelers themselves, who grave great wisdom to share.

Traveling also forces you out of your comfort zone. After any stint of travel, you’ll be able to step back and look at yourself and the world around you with new eyes.

“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

14. Read Books

Reading is one of the best ways to learn and grow as a person. Every book you read is a rung of your ladder of knowledge, helping you climb above the walls of your own ignorance.

Here’s a tip to spur even more self-discovery and growth: Once in a while, read something that is completely different than normal for you. I stubbornly only read nonfiction for a while, thinking I was being practical and learning a lot (which I was). But once I started reading fiction, I unexpectedly learned so much more, and in ways I never would have expected. My imagination bloomed like a flower in spring, my power of visualization strengthened, my vocabulary greatly expanded and my writing ability reached new heights. Also, because I read fiction before bed, I started falling asleep more easily. Imagination and visualization were blind spots for me, and I probably never would have thought about them if it weren’t for reading fiction.

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There you have it. Those are some excellent ways to illuminate the caverns of your psyche and bring awareness to your blind spots.

Don’t just read this and then fall back into the same patterns you know don’t serve your highest interest. Apply! Apply! Apply!

“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Life gets excruciatingly stale when you’re held down by the shadowy forces you refuse to face. Release the fear of what you’re afraid of discovering, because it’s all you and, in the grand scheme of things, it’s all love.

Uncover your blind spots, keep learning and keep growing.

Make the most out of your short time here on Earth.

One love.

– Stevie P!
 

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Simplicity: Your Key to Lasting Happiness

Simplicity

If you’ve been indoctrinated into modern society, you’re conditioned to believe that accumulation equates to happiness.

You go through life accumulating – money, gadgets, relationships, cars, houses, degrees…etc. – thinking that these additions will make you happy (And how’s that working out for everyone?). But actually it’s removal that begets happiness. Once you clear all of the bullshit, there’s nothing left but peace, joy and positive emotions.

Happiness comes from removal, not accumulation. Remove fear, remove doubt, remove expectation and you’ll find that you’re left with happiness. Joy is your natural, essential state. You’ve just piled so much on top that you’ve forgotten the bliss that lies beneath it all.

Meditation is the perfect example of this. Meditation is a “non-doing” in which you slip into the silent space between thoughts. It’s a transcendence of the neurotic thought loops of the mind, bringing you to a state of no-thought. It’s the ultimate removal. And guess what? Everyone feels positive emotions when they meditate (peace, bliss, joy, happiness, serenity…etc).

“One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity.”
– Bruce Lee

And living a life of simplicity doesn’t mean being a simple-minded simpleton. It’s really about being intelligent enough to let go of what doesn’t truly serve your best interest.

“I do believe in simplicity. It is astonishing as well as sad, how many trivial affairs even the wisest thinks he must attend to in a day; how singular an affair he thinks he must omit. When the mathematician would solve a difficult problem, he first frees the equation of all incumbrances, and reduces it to its simplest terms. So simplify the problem of life, distinguish the necessary and the real. Probe the earth to see where your main roots run. ”
― Henry David Thoreau

Simplicity & Lying
In the phenomenal book “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz, the first agreement is “Be impeccable with your word.” Speak with integrity, say only what you mean, avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or gossip about others and use the power of the Word in the direction of truth and love.

Being straightforward and truthful with your word harmonizes your emotions, thoughts, words and actions. That’s why it feels good. Because everything is in alignment.

Morality aside, lying just makes things too complicated and tedious. For me, having to build and maintain a complex web of lies is much more difficult and emotionally taxing than being brutally honest (even when it’s not politically correct).

Think about the relationships you have where you’re the most honest. Though your ego may take a few slaps to the face, those relationships are far more fulfilling than those which you wear a mask. Life is far simpler, genuine and enjoyable when honesty prevails.

“Truth is ever to be found in the simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.”
― Isaac Newton

Simplicity & “Stuff”
The accumulation of “stuff” is a huge problem plaguing so many people. Buying things to make you happy is a quick fix that quickly fades. And soon enough, you’ll need another hit of it. Buying things can really be like a drug addiction.

This also leads to the accumulation of stuff, which can bog you down and hinder your freedom on multiple levels. With less stuff, there’s less to clean, less to upkeep and less to distract you from your natural state of happiness.

One of the first posts I’ve ever written here is on this topic: Possessions vs Experiences: Straight From the Horse’s Mouth

Simplicity & Desires
The vast majority of the desires you have are the result of societal programming. If you strip all of the conditioning away, all we really desire are simple things like love, happiness and personal growth. When you simplify your desires, you remove the self-created walls between yourself and happiness.

“Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.”
– Epictetus

Simplicity & Busyness
Work smarter, not harder. Focus only on what you really need (or want) to get done, instead of dozens of asinine tasks. This will allow you to prioritize and accomplish the most important tasks while being less stressed throughout the process.

“Slow down and remember this: Most things make no difference. Being busy is a form of laziness—lazy thinking and indiscriminate action.”
– Tim Ferriss

Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.”
– Peter Drucker

Read my post on busyness here: 15 Ways to Cure the “Busy Syndrome”

Simplicity & Your Body
Create lasting health and happiness by simplifying diet and exercise. You’ll enjoy it more and it’ll become a natural part of your lifestyle.

With diet, it might look something like this: Just eat real food (JERF), eat when you’re hungry and have fun splurging every once in a while.

Regarding exercise, I’ve personally made the most progress using simple, basic routines. Just consistently improving at the most fundamental exercises has worked wonders for me.

Simplicity & Your Mind
Think of the mind like a computer. If you have too many programs running at once, the computer will slow down or even crash.

Focus only on what’s really important, and focus on one thing at a time.

Having a regular meditation practice will greatly help you in clearing all of the unnecessary programs running in your mind.

Simplicity & Presence
Simplicity brings you more into the here and now (all that really exists). The simpler life is, the more conducive it is to cultivating a state of present moment awareness.

“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)

Read more: There Are No Problems in the Present Moment

Simplicity & Minimalism
Minimalism is a form of simplicity. Once you clear all of your baggage (physical, mental, emotional…etc.), you have less burdens, less weighing you down and less obstructions to your happiness.

“Simplicity involves unburdening your life, and living more lightly with fewer distractions that interfere with a high quality life, as defined uniquely by each individual.”
– Linda Breen Pierce

Read more: The Joy of Minimalism: Traveling the World with Only Carry-On Luggage

Simplicity & Quality Over Quantity
Quality over quantity is a common phrase, but how many people really put it into practice? It applies to everything, especially relationships. If you build a few good quality relationships, instead of just trying to please everyone, it’s far more fulfilling and rewarding.

Simplicity & Money
Prioritize your happiness, instead of making decisions solely based on money. Budgeting and worrying about every penny you spend is a miserable existence. Feel abundant, and abundance will permeate your life. If you have an abundance mentality, you will, by the laws of the universe, attract more abundance.

Here’s a personal example: I was just in Goa, India and the town I was in (Arambol) only had one working ATM. It was a long walk away, always had a long line and had a limit to how many rupees you could withdraw. Basically, going to the ATM was about as fun as being the wicked witch of the west and caught in a tsunami. So what I did was I would go to money exchange places, which were closer and much, much easier. They charged a 3% exchange fee, but the convenience was so worth it.

Another aspect of this is simplifying the bills you pay. Evaluate what you’re paying on a monthly basis and figure out what you really need (or want). Get rid of the unnecessary. Also, automate your bill payments, so you don’t have to worry about remembering to pay them (less programs running on the mind-computer).

Simplicity & Distilling Information
The skill of distilling information is being able to simplify and concisely assimilate information. This allows for more clarity on whatever you’re learning about, prevents you from succumbing to information overload and puts you in a position to effectively implement the information.

If you can’t simply explain a subject to a young child, you don’t truly understand it.

You can build this skill of distilling information by succinctly summarizing things on a regular basis. This could be through writing, verbal explanations or even giving presentations on certain topics.

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”
– Confucius

Find bliss in simplicity.

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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33 Harsh Truths to Recognize (If You Want to Wake Up)

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The first step toward change is awareness…

  1. We are far from free (Yes, even in ‘Merica). Slavery is now covert, subtle and insidious. And it will continue indefinitely until people realize their bondage.
  2. The ‘official’ 9/11 story is complete bullshit. It just doesn’t add up. And that treacherous fairytale has become a major source of fear-based programming used to re-shape society.
  3. Chemtrails… You can’t deny that they’re spraying something.
  4. We’re being systematically poisoned by the big institutions (Pharmaceuticals, flouride, GMO’s, fast food, soda, high fructose corn syrup, factory farmed animals pumped with antibiotics…etc)
  5. Governments have a long track record of manufacturing “terrorist attacks” on their own people and blaming a scapegoat. (USA, Israel and their intelligence agencies are masters at this.)
  6. Organized religions, as they exist now, are a distortion/inversion of spirituality and essential truths.
  7. Materialist science has become as dogmatic as the religions they criticize.
  8. Mainstream science is now driven by profit, not curiosity.
  9. Mainstream education = indoctrination.
  10. Most doctors and med schools are in the pockets of big pharma.
  11. Monsanto is raping the world.
  12. Politics are a stage show.
  13. Governments always come up with money for war, but there’s never enough when it comes to actually helping people.
  14. The history we’re taught in school is a big lie.
  15. Consumerism is driven through the conditioning of the masses to feel inadequate. (Especially with women.)
  16. The global economic system is fiat currency based on IOU’s (thus having no “real” backing) and being leveraged to funnel wealth into the hands of a few.
  17. So many aspects of society are designed to distract us from finding truth (work to keep us busy, entertainment, obsession with sports teams…etc)
  18. A small group of “people” control society here on Earth (or they’re trying to).
  19. This reality is some sort of hologram or simulation.
  20. There is so much going on that we aren’t perceiving (at least right now). We exist in a 3 dimensional reality and perceive that 3 dimensional reality with just 5 senses. Do you really think that’s all that exists!?
  21. Every major system in place is a big fear-generator (religion, education, media, government…etc.)
  22. There is an unseen force parasiting off of humanity and inhibiting our inherent potential.
  23. Television is a form of mass mind control. It’s called programming for a reason.
  24. Mainstream “news” is fear-based programming. (This also applies to most “alternative news” as well)
  25. The energy sources we’re using are creating a false sense of scarcity. There are many free energy alternatives out there, they’re just being suppressed (because they will relinquish any form of control.).
  26. Time is an illusion. And it’s designed to take us out of the present moment (the cause of so much anxiety and worry).
  27. Most big charities aren’t creating the positive changes they promise. (Billions of dollars have been raised for cancer research, and cancer is more prevalent than ever. Something doesn’t add up…)
  28. ‘The system’ does not want to cure disease, only treat it. Treatment is profitable, cures aren’t. There are cures to every disease. They’re just suppressed.
  29. Technology exists to control weather and trigger “natural disasters.”
  30. The issue of “global warming” is being exploited by ‘the powers that be’ to further control humanity.
  31. Your beliefs are the filter for the reality you perceive. All input gets processed through the brain. We all have cognitive biases that distort our perception of reality.
  32. The reality you experience is a reflection of yourself.
  33. We have way more power than we’re conditioned to believe. We’re not hopeless victims. The potential of humanity is being stifled. You can’t suppress something forever. That’s why our rise is inevitable.

Remember, nothing is absolute truth (in this reality at least). I strongly encourage everyone to do their own research and form their own conclusions.

“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.” -Buddha

Use your intuition and let love be your guide, not fear. Always ask yourself “Is this motivated by love or fear?”

Yours in ruthless love,

-Stevie P!

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How Do You Really Know What’s True?

The other day,

in the midst of deep, philosophical conversation, my brother dropped a gem on me…

He asked, “How do you really know what’s true?”

Give that man a cookie

Hmm… That’s a damn good question, bro.

And it got me thinking.

So much so, that I had to write an expanded version of my answer. Because I believe that this is an immensely important topic in this day and age.

There’s so much information out there now. How do we know what’s accurate? How do we know what’s true?

There are so many websites. So many blogs. So many books. So many references. So many sources. So many “experts.” So many “authorities.” So many view points. So many perspectives. So many con artists. So many genuine researchers. So many camps. So many methods. So many systems. So many agendas. So many biases. So many “isms.” So much data. So much statistical contortionism. So many revisions. So many lies. So many cover-ups. So many monetarily influenced studies. So many monetarily influenced agendas. So much disinformation. So many interpretations. So many theories. So many details. So many distractions. So many ways of thinking.

Truth, lies, fact, fiction…etc. It’s ALL in plain sight now, which can be a little overwhelming.

We live in the information age. Truth is out in the open and readily available. But you have to learn to sift through the haystacks to find that needle you’re searching for.

true story

So here’s my perspective on sorting through all the bullshit and figuring out what’s true or not…

(This applies to everything. From learning wtf Tinder is, to figuring out whether or not we live in the matrix; and everything in between.)

How to lead yourself towards truth: (Think of these as prerequisites of sorts for pointing yourself in the direction of truth.)

+Create intent.

As with everything else, you have to want it before you can get it. Set the intent to discover truth, and you will inevitably find it.

Also, you have to be willing to unveil truth, even if it can potentially shatter your fundamental beliefs and ideas.

When you set the intent, things somehow just start falling into place.

+Let go of all biases.

Work on transcending the many cognitive biases. Get rid of preconceived notions. Don’t cling to ideas. Don’t put everything into boxes (especially yourself). Be open to all possibility. Be flexible and adaptable. Be like water, my friend.

“Think about the power you have when you can readily entertain and deviate from ideas.” -Elliott Hulse

If you classify yourself as genetically predetermined to be sick all the time, you’re going to close yourself off to lifestyle changes and empowering ways to improve your health.

If you rigidly identify with any organized religion, you’re only going to find information that fits nicely within the confines of your belief system.

If you cling to the perspective that eating “low-fat” is best for weight loss, you’re going to ignore any evidence that disproves it.

If you rigidly classify yourself  as a “conspiracy theorist”, you’re going to jump to the conclusion that all tragedies are false flags before even evaluating the evidence.

Have an open mind, and be able to entertain any idea without clinging to it. That’s the key to unlocking the door where truth resides.

Now it’s time to address the main question…

HOW DO YOU REALLY KNOW IF SOMETHING IS TRUE?

1. That deep intuitive feeling.

You instantly know that something is true when you feel it in the depths of your being. When you feel it in your bones.

It’s THAT FEELING (you know what I’m talking about). That profound, intuitive feeling.

It’s not believing, but knowing. It’s literally experiencing truth as opposed to entertaining the idea of truth.

Words don’t do it justice. You know when it happens though.

Note: Most people are completely absorbed by their minds and out of touch with their bodies and intuition. In order to build more awareness of this feeling, I suggest honing your intuition first. I rarely felt any deep knowing until I started honing my intuition. And these days I get that intrinsic feeling whenever I reveal any truths to myself.

2. Validation via dot connecting.

Another means of knowing you’re honing in on truth is when dots start connecting. When seemingly unrelated information validates each other. I call it validation via dot connecting.

This is why it’s so beneficial to draw from a variety of sources. You have no perspective or reference points when using only one source. Why do we have two eyes, and not just one?

Connecting the dots from multiple sources points you towards truth.

Keep an eye out, because you’ll often find corroborating evidence from the most random and unlikely of places. I’ve experienced this countless times.

Here’s a recent example. I’ve been studying the field of epigenetics recently. (Which is basically the study of how some gene expressions are influenced by environmental factors, meaning our genetics aren’t strictly predetermined.) And while watching an interview with an expert in the fitness/bodybuilding nutrition field (I thought I was just getting info on how to get more jacked), he brought up an epigenetic-related point (even though he never explicitly mentioned the term “epigenetics”). He mentioned that recent studies show that your dietary habits from early childhood can influence things like how your body stores fat and partitions nutrients. See what I’m talking about HERE.

When you’re aware, you’ll experience validation via dot connecting on a regular basis.

It adds excitement to the mystery of life.

I’ll conclude with some words of wisdom from 2 Chainz…

2Chainz Truuu

Stay feelin’ good, feelin’ great.

-Stevie P!

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Questions? Comments? Theories of your own? Share em below.