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How to Overcome Perfectionism

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Perfectionism is a trap.

Though it may seem like perfectionism has your best interest in mind, it plays out much differently in the unfoldment of life.

Perfectionism can be stifling. Though the drive for perfection can sometimes push you towards your goals, it most often creates delusional expectations, paralyzing procrastination and harsh self-criticism (as well as external criticism).

We all know (on some level) that perfection doesn’t exist in this reality, so there is an inherent chasm of doubt whenever we chase perfection. The chasm of doubt and subtle anxieties of cognitive dissonance put us on the operating system of fear, where fear becomes the dominant motivating force. This is how perfectionism can make us hyper-critical (to both ourselves and others) as well as prevent us from even starting things (because of the fear that it won’t be perfect).

Nature is imperfect, yet the imperfection of nature is what makes it beautiful, unique and ever-changing. Perfection is stagnation. Perfection is static. Perfection is permanence, which defies the very nature of our impermanent Universe. The only constant is change (in this reality at least), so you might as well embrace the paradoxical perfection of ever-changing imperfection. Imperfection is a gift, as it allows for uniqueness and the potential for perpetual improvement. Forgo the pursuit of perfection, accept where you are in each moment and strive for continual improvement.

Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.
~ Gerard Way

 
Overcoming Perfectionism Through Belief Transmutation

One way to overcome perfectionism is to replace limiting beliefs with new, more empowering beliefs. This is the alchemical art of transmutation.

Examples of limiting beliefs regarding perfection:

  • I have to be perfect in order to be worthy.
  • Everything has to be perfect for me to be happy.
  • Everything has to be perfect for (insert any hope or dream you want to come to fruition).
  • I’m afraid of doing this because it might not turn out perfectly.
  • I want to achieve perfection now.
  • Substitute those old, limiting beliefs for new, more empowering beliefs.

    Examples of more empowering beliefs:

  • Perfection doesn’t exist in this reality, but I achieve excellence.
  • I’m continuously improving and fueled by self-love.
  • I accept where I am in each moment, while always moving forward.
  • Imperfection allows for uniqueness and continuous improvement. I embrace my uniqueness and I’m endlessly evolving.
  • I always try my best and leave the rest up to the Universe/The Process of Life/God.
  • I’ll start now. I can always change, refine and improve things later because nothing is permanent.
  • I embrace the journey and find joy in continuous improvement.
  • Listen closely to your self-talk regarding perfection. Be particularly aware of your self-talk when the urge to procrastinate arises. What beliefs are you holding? What are more empowering beliefs to replace them with? A belief is simply a pattern of thoughts. Change your thoughts and you will change your beliefs.

    Overcoming Perfectionism Through Action

    If I waited for perfection… I would never write a word.
    ~ Margaret Atwood

     
    Perfectionism has a component of fear to it, particularly the fear of not being perfect. And since nothing in this reality is perfect, the perfectionist often chooses inaction over the possibility of trying and not achieving perfection. This creates an incapacitating state of constant procrastination, which is an insidious byproduct of perfectionism. Building a habit of taking consistent action deprograms the perfectionist mindset.

    The unachievable expectations of perfectionism can be paralyzing, preventing you from even starting things. But taking action overcomes the rigid inertia of perfectionism and starts a snowball effect of empowering momentum. By flexing your action muscles, you break through the chains of perfectionism like the incredible hulk ripping through a shirt (except you probably won’t be angry).

    When you build a habit of consistent action-taking, procrastination becomes a distant memory. You’ll learn to find fulfillment in the process. Perfectionism will be re-programmed into the mindset of embracing the journey of life.

    A strategy often discussed in entrepreneurial circles is that of releasing something, or taking action, before you’re fully ready. This idea is not about releasing an unfinished or half-assed product/service, but in accepting imperfection and building the habit of taking action. Remember, nothing is permanent and you can always tweak things later.

    Do not wait: the time will never be ‘just right’. Start where you stand, and work whatever tools you may have at your command and better tools will be found as you go along.
    ~ Napoleon Hill

     
    In the book The Motivation Manifesto, Brendon Burchard discusses defeating your personal demons. One of these demons is called “Defiance,” whose sole purpose is to delay your actions. How do you defeat this demon? You defeat Defiance by transforming delay with action. Decisive action, in the face of fear “sets off an internal tidal wave of power that subjugates our meeker impulses,” according to Burchard.

    I’ve also touched on the topic of overcoming doubt, defiance and delay in the article 8 Ways to Transmute Self-Doubt into Faith.”

    The practical how-to aspect of action is simple. Take small actions consistently, preferably every day. Break big tasks or big goals into bite-sized chunks. Create a system to bring you in the direction of a goal and stick to the system. Taking small actions on a daily basis allows you to avoid being overwhelmed and strengthens your action muscles to the point where procrastination doesn’t stand a chance.

    How I Overcame Perfectionism

    Though I still have perfectionist tendencies from time-to-time, it no longer has me in its clutches. Changing my perfectionist beliefs and taking consistent action were invaluable solutions for me.

    My journey progressed based on those two strategies. Firstly, I realized (conceptually, at least) that perfectionism is not attainable in this reality. After some time I was able to accept, feel and deeply understand that truth. Viewing life as a video game greatly aided this understanding as well. From that point, I was able to transmute my perfectionist beliefs into more empowering beliefs (meditation and mindfulness helped with being able to notice limiting beliefs I was holding onto).

    Action was the ingredient that completed the recipe. The most predominate action-based habits I built were publishing blog posts and recording videos. Since I started Feelin’ Good, Feelin’ Great in September 2012, I’ve written a blog post every single week (with a few exceptions). Creating that commitment to action played a pivotal role in breaking out of the paralysis of perfectionism. If I had waited for myself to write the perfect blog post, I would’ve never released anything. It was in choosing to just put myself out there that catalyzed the process of becoming an exponentially better writer. By committing to continual action, I’ve practiced writing far more than I would have if I was stuck in the paralysis of perfectionism.

    More recently, on top of the weekly blog post habit, I’ve been releasing one video every day (on YouTube and Facebook). I record the videos in one take, and they’re unscripted except for jotting down a few bullet points beforehand. Executing the videos in such an impromptu fashion has improved my speaking ability, spontaneity, self-confidence, memory and mental clarity by leaps and bounds. Additionally, recording a video every day has “greased the groove” of my action-taking ability and has allowed the bright light of unconditional self-love to scatter away the shadowy phantoms of perfectionism.

    Dear Human: You’ve Got It All Wrong

    Dear Human. You’ve got it all wrong. You didn’t come here to master unconditional love. This is where you came from and where you’ll return. You came here to learn personal love. Universal love. Messy love. Sweaty Love. Crazy love. Broken love. Whole love. Infused with divinity. Lived through the grace of stumbling. Demonstrated through the beauty of… messing up. Often. You didn’t come here to be perfect, you already are. You came here to be gorgeously human. Flawed and fabulous. And rising again into remembering. But unconditional love? Stop telling that story. Love in truth doesn’t need any adjectives. It doesn’t require modifiers. It doesn’t require the condition of perfection. It only asks you to show up. And do your best. That you stay present and feel fully. That you shine and fly and laugh and cry and hurt and heal and fall and get back up and play and work and live and die as YOU. It’s enough. It’s Plenty.
    ~ Courtney A. Walsh

     
    Embrace imperfection, and accept where you are, while enjoying the journey. Live, learn and grow.

    You are worthy, no matter what.

    You are love.

    – Stevie P!

     

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

    Primordial

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

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

    Here’s how it’s defined:

    Primordial – (adjective)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Let your primordiality precede you.

    Stay primordial.

    – Stevie P!
     

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    Distilling the Truth of Oneness: Part 2

    This is the second part of my “Distilling the Truth of Oneness” series. To read part one, click here.

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    (Reiterating the intro from Part 1, because it’s that important…)

    Nothing is truly separate. Nothing exists in isolation.

    All things, events and people are intimately interconnected. In essence, all is one and one is all. Oneness IS.

    This concept of oneness is thrown around a lot, especially in “spiritual” communities. It sounds a bit idealistic, right? One of those “woo-woo” theories with no validity. But after approaching the concept of oneness from different perspectives, I’ve found it to be an all-pervading truth.

    This is not about blindly repeating what some so-called “guru” said about oneness. I aim to break it down into digestible pieces for you to metabolize in your own unique way. This article gives you a road map to uncover truth for yourself, because oneness is just an abstract concept until you truly understand and experience it.

    I always knew that everything was connected in some way, but in a superficial way, without intrinsically understanding it. Oneness made sense to me as an idea, but I never fully grasped the immense truth and profundity of it until recently. I merely understood the interconnection of everything in the same way that one views a place on a map. Sure, you can envision what it might look like, but you never really understand it until you see the actual place.

    If you’re reading this, is there not a connection between “your” consciousness and “my” consciousness?

    “A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” – Albert Einstein

    General relativity posits that space and time are inseparable, often referred to as “space-time.” So if there are no separate events (I discussed this in detail in Part 1), can there be separate objects?

    The universe we live in can be imagined as a soup of space-time. To help conceptualize this, think about noodles in a soup. The noodles are not separate from the soup, but a part of it. However, in today’s society, we tend to look at the individual objects within the soup, while ignoring the broth, and conclude that all of the objects are separate. When really, everything is part of the soup. And that’s just one way to look at the oneness of everything.

    Where does the boundary of “you” end anyway?

    The heart’s magnetic field, for example, can be detected several feet away from the body. Isn’t this part of us?

    Is a lion’s roar separate from the lion? And where does the roar end? Where you can’t hear it? Where you can’t measure it with our current instruments? Does it ever end? Or does it just blend into everything else at an infinitely gradual rate?

    Once you start going beyond visible light, boundaries start blurring. And that’s only the sense of sight. Boundaries become even more unclear with other senses (except maybe touch). Think about what it would be like to perceive reality on the underlying energetic level (before the information gets interpreted by our brains). Everything would be a swirling amalgamation of vibrations.

    Now you’re probably saying, “But there are solid boundaries, I can hit someone, right?” Yes and no. Physical matter is just energy slowed to a dense state. And that impact is just two dense forces interacting. Even in video games, where objects obviously are not solid, they appear solid. You can’t walk through walls in video games because that’s what is encoded into the laws of that reality.

    In terms of the building blocks of our reality, atoms are more than 99.9999999% empty space. That means that everything almost fully consists of this empty space. And it turns out that “empty space” is actually quite the opposite of empty, and highly dense (back to the soup/broth analogy).

    “All differences in this world are of degree, and not of kind, because oneness is the secret of everything.” – Swami Vivekananda

    Sense of Self

    Infants are born with no sense of personal identity. Personal identity manifests as a result of experience in the world and societal conditioning. A child might find themselves displaying a certain quality, like being “fast” or “American” or “poor”, and the ego clings to this and makes it a part of the child’s identity. But the fact is that these are just attributes, not the essence of what we really are.

    “The most common ego identifications have to do with possessions, the work you do, social status and recognition, knowledge and education, physical appearance, special abilities, relationships, personal and family history, belief systems, and often political, nationalistic, racial, religious, and other collective identifications. None of these is you.” – Eckhart Tolle

    Now you might be like, “I’m an individual. I have my own consciousness different from other people.” This is true, in the same way that a wave is “different” from the ocean. It is a unique manifestation at the surface, yet in essence it is part of the whole. The same is true for you and I. Go into a deep state of meditation and you begin to merge into the stillness of infinite possibility. Boundaries and sense of self disappear. This is our fundamental essence.

    If you take a cup of water out of the ocean, isn’t it still the ocean? Our perception, our ego, is the cup, the container which separates us from the whole.

    That is not to say that ego, or personal identity can’t be useful. It’s absolutely necessary for survival as well as uniqueness. But the problem arises when it becomes your entire sense of self.

    Just as fish are part of the ocean, the Universe (“space”) is the ocean we live in. We are not separate from the whole, but unique parts of it.

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    Exploring Oneness From Multiple Angles

    “We are all different expressions of one reality, different songs of one singer, different dances of one dancer, different paintings–but the painter is one.” – Osho

    The Logical Perspective:

    “Within the stillness and silence is All Possibility. All Potential, waiting to be made manifest. Hear the silence and you are hearing All Possibility. Then stare talking, taking an action or making a noise and you have pulled one possibility out of All Possibility. When you stop, your manifested possibility returns to the stillness and silence of All Possibility – Infinite Love, Infinite Harmony, Infinite Balance, Infinite Intelligence, Infinite Everything. This core of existence that I call All Possibility is within all of us – it is us and we are it.” – David Icke

    Everything is an expression of infinite possibility.

    Think about it logically… A musical note is an expression of infinite possibility. A German Shepherd is an expression of infinite possibility. You are an expression of infinite possibility. I am an expression of infinite possibility. Does everything not share the same essence?

    The truth of oneness is deceptively simple from this perspective.

    Just as every word is a unique expression of the same alphabet, we are all unique expressions of infinity.

    The Physical Perspective:

    We’re all made of stardust. Even the most rigid materialists will agree that our bodies are comprised of the same atoms that have been recycled through the expansion of our universe.

    There’s no getting around the fact that we share the fundamental building blocks of physical reality with the rest of the Universe.

    Another interesting insight is that the nutrients we ingest become the raw materials for our cells. We literally are what we eat, which further blurs the concept of man-made boundaries.

    And then there’s the micro-biome. A significant percentage of cells in our body aren’t even human cells, but bacterial cells. You are literally your own ecosystem. Just as bacteria is a part of your ecosystem, you’re part of the larger ecosystem of Planet Earth. And the Earth is part of the solar system. And the solar system is part of the Milky Way Galaxy. Would you say that Earth is “separate” from the solar system? Of course not. We’ve just deluded ourselves into thinking we’re somehow separate from everything, and this has led to so much dysfunction. This separation myth allows the ego to run the show and steadily beats the basic human emotion of empathy out of us.

    Quantum Physics and Cutting-Edge Science:

    Quantum entanglement is a mind-boggling phenomenon which demonstrates oneness. Basically two particles can be separated, one of them is spun or moved, and it instantaneously influences the other particle (beyond the means of any communication we’re aware of). Einstein famously referred to quantum entanglement as “spooky action at a distance.” It shows that there’s some intrinsic connection and communication between particles that we can’t quite explain yet in scientific terms.

    Another quantum phenomenon that hints at oneness is the double-slit experiment, which demonstrates that the observed and the observer are not separate. This video eloquently explains the double-slit experiment:

    “Quantum theory thus reveals a basic oneness of the universe. It shows that we cannot decompose the world into independently existing smallest units. As we penetrate into matter, nature does not show us any isolated “building blocks,” but rather appears as a complicated web of relations between the various parts of the whole. These relations always include the observer in an essential way. The human observer constitute the final link in the chain of observational processes, and the properties of any atomic object can be understood only in terms of the object’s interaction with the observer.” – Fritjof Capra

    More Into the Mind-blowing World of Quantum Physics:

    Are we living in a simulation or a hologram?

    The question of whether or not our reality is some sort of simulation has been a hot topic recently. And, relating to oneness, a hologram is the projection of a single source. Marinate on that for a minute.

    These articles explore that possibility:
    Simulations back up theory that Universe is a hologram
    Physicists May Have Evidence Universe Is A Computer Simulation

    Physicist James Gates has found equations akin to computer code that make up our reality:

    Philosophical Musings:

    We’re not the name on our birth certificate. That’s just a combination of letters. We’re not a series of experiences either. The most accurate answer to the question of “Who am I?” is simply “I am.”

    Alan Watts once said, “Being central to experience is the nearest thing I can conceive as a meaning for the word I.” So I am central to my experience and you are central to your experience. The word “I” is this theme of centrality of experience. So you can say that we’re all unique expressions of the same “I.”

    My personal experiences of oneness:

    Meditation – When I get into states of no-thought during meditation, I merge into infinite possibility. Boundaries dissolve. There is no sense of self, just the paradoxical feeling of everything and nothing simultaneously. It’s like being the whole ocean again, instead of just the wave.

    Reiki – When I practice Reiki, I often feel my hands melting into “external reality.” Recently, I’ve been experimenting a lot with distance Reiki, and it’s surprising efficacy has really shaken up any ideas I had about the rigidity of space and time (as well as any sense of definitive boundaries between everything).

    Music – We’ve all felt the profound effects of music, whether at a concert or just listening to music from a computer. Music has the tendency to penetrate through every layer of being. You don’t just feel music hitting your skin, you feel it reverberating through the depths of your being. This is why it’s such a powerful tool.

    Merging into landscapes – I’ve had many experiences in beautiful locations where I felt so deeply and wholly connected to everything. It really was like I had blended with the landscape. One particular moment stands out is when I was hiking in Acadia National Park a few months ago. I specifically remembered being so awe-struck by the landscape that the boundaries melted. In that moment I deeply felt that it was all a part of me and I was all a part of it. Right after, I wrote “I just want to reach out and hug the landscape.” Then I proceeded to take this selfie…

    Acadia Selfie

    Family portrait

    “If I go into the place in myself that is love and you go into the place in yourself that is love, we are together in love.” – Ram Dass

    Separation is illusion. Separation is ignorance, a disconnect from all that is. Ignorance begets fear, and fear is the basis of every emotion we consider negative.

    We’re all unique expressions of infinite possibility. We’re all waves in the ocean of infinity.

    It’s hard to hate someone when you see them as an aspect of yourself.

    You are part of everything, yet a unique swell of transitory brilliance. Feel the connection and bask in the exquisiteness of your ever-flowing existence.

    We’ve come a long way from poor little me.

    One love.

    – Stevie P

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    The Art of Random Mindblowing

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    A favorite activity of mine recently is randomly blowing people’s minds. Whether through conversation or action, it’s exciting to shake things up a little bit and get people to re-evaluate… well… everything.

    Being a CRS (Certified Reality Shatterer) makes life so much more fun. Mindblowing, directed at both yourself and others, shakes up the bland monotony and adds some much needed spice back into life.

    It is merging of your lighthearted, childlike essence with the wisdom of life experience; making the world your playground.

    How to be a CRS (Certified Reality Shatterer)

    Being a CRS means having fun with this experience of life. It’s being random, spontaneous and lovingly unpredictable. It’s shattering societal norms and blowing people’s minds (including your own).

    It is being randomly funny, while not forcing people into anything or being preachy. It’s being unshakably yourself. No inhibitions and no fucks given. Living your inherent, brilliant uniqueness.

    Comedically sneaking in wisdom is always fun…

    Something like giving Pokémon cards to random people at a bar (yes, I’ve done that). Or saying “Planet Earth” when someone asks you where you’re from (my apologies to any extraterrestrial readers out there). Or even just being surprisingly kind. Believe it or not, it blows people’s minds when you go out of your way to be kind.

    Another good one is calling the body a vessel, which I find hilarious, yet it implies that we’re infinite beings temporarily inhabiting human bodies. (getting deep on ’em)

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

    And, remember, it’s all about shattering realities from a place of love. The art of random mindblowing is completely deviating from social norms and conditioning without causing harm to yourself or others.

    Why do this seemingly ridiculous stuff?

    The art of random mindblowing is making people re-evaluate everything and think differently, helping to create a world of brilliantly unique individuals. It’s dropping bits of wisdom in an entertaining manner.

    It’s about being yourself. It’s about being free. It’s expressing your magnificent uniqueness.

    We all sacrifice our freedom based on fear of what others think or pressure to conform to “norms.” And that’s no fun. Life is infinitely more fun and fulfilling when you do your own thing.

    Imagine achieving the same level of minblowingness of Inception or The Matrix with your own ideas and actions. And making it funny, like a thought-provoking stand-up comedy set. Now that’s living.

    “The decision is, do you want to live or want to exist?” -Andre 3000

    The art of random mindblowing in action:

    “Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves. Here’s Tom with the Weather.” -Bill Hicks

    +A couple weeks ago at a crowded bar, I struck up a conversation with a really drunk girl comparing getting to the bar to a game of chess. We both agreed that we wouldn’t want to be a pawn haha. (Sneaking in deep insights.)

    +One time, my friend Marcus spontaneously started konging on the street, next to a woman sitting outside at a restaurant. She didn’t know how to react. In case you don’t know what konging is…

    +My Dad always purposely says the wrong name of anyone with a nametag (waitresses…etc.) It always creates an entertaining exchange.

    +Mindblowing also works with evidence that effectively overturns commonly accepted truisms. Like how distance running is far from ideal for fat loss. I’ve shared this article (well worth the read) with a lot of people, and half-sarcastically say “I don’t wanna get fat” whenever the topic of long-distance running comes up.

    +Inspired by writing the post, I did some CRS’ing today… In the parking lot of a Chipotle I walked up to a guy, while kind of staring at the sky, and asked “Excuse me, what planet is this?” in a tone of genuine curiosity. He looked at me and with a confused look said “Earth?” (almost second-guessing himself). Then I said “Ok, thank you.” turned around and walked away. I’m pretty sure he’ll be marinating on that moment for the rest of his life.

    I’ve been doing a lot of random mindblowing lately; and been around some people who embody being a CRS as well. I hear a lot of things like “Oh, I never thought of it that way…” or “You’re funny/interesting.” Which is cool. Plus it’s just so damn fun.

    Mindblowing intros:

    “You look like some friendly beings.” -Me to a group of two women

    “Hey, I recognize that vessel…” -My friend Marcus to some guy he met once before

    “Hey, nice vessel.”

    “What’s your thoughts on the human condition, in one sentence?”

    “It’s a beautiful hologram we live in, right?”

    Mindblowing goodbyes:

    “Have the best night of your life.” -My friend Chris (to at least 100 different people on the streets of NYC one weekend)

    “May all the dreams and desires of your heart come true this year.”Jay Electronica ending an interview. (I’ve started saying this one too; such a great way to say goodbye haha.)

    And to piggyback on that Jay Electronica quote, I changed my email signature at work to say “May all the dreams and desires of your heart come true.” Now how’s that for shattering realities?

    I also enjoy leaving people I’ll never see again with the classic David Icke quote… “Remember, infinite love is the only truth, everything else is illusion.”

    I incorporate all this in my textual adventures too, especially with women I’m pursuing who are unresponsive. That’s the opportune time to let go, leave them with something thought-provoking, blow their mind and spark that inner light within. Exhibit A:

    Text

    Now get out there and blow some minds. Have fun, be spontaneous, be yourself and enjoy life.

    May all the dreams and desires of your heart come true.

    -Stephen Parato, CRS

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    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

    ________________________________________________________________________________

    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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    There Is No “Right” Way

    You don’t have to constantly abide by someone else’s rules.

    You don’t have to do everything the way they tell you.

    There is no “right” way to do anything.

    You really don’t HAVE to do anything.

    Live life on your own terms.

    There is no right way to do anything. There are an infinite number of ways to get any result.

    Two areas in which I caught myself falling into preconceived “right ways” were Yoga and Meditation. I always felt like I HAD to do these things to achieve a clear mind and access greater awareness. And I would literally force myself to do them, because I thought it was what I needed to do.

    But you know what I realized? I feel better doing my own thing.

    I always felt like I had to “officially” do yoga to release bodily tension, become more flexible, and achieve greater piece of mind. I felt like I needed to sign up for a yoga class and wear spandex (or whatever it is you’re “supposed to do”). But then I realized… I don’t really want to do yoga. I just want the inherent benefits.

    I like lifting, specifically bodyweight training. That’s my thing. But what I do to supplement that training is mobility work, bioenergetic exercises, and some stretching. All yoga-esque in nature. I incorporate it in the morning, as a warm-up for my workouts, and whenever I feel tense or stiff. And you know what? It works for me. I don’t need to “officially” do yoga to get similar effects.

    The other practice is meditation. Like most people, it’s difficult for me to “traditionally” meditate; sitting cross-legged for extended periods of time. Sitting like that is uncomfortable for me. I’d rather lie down.

    So what I do instead of regular meditation is two different things.

    One is to lie down (on my back with my eyes closed) and simply focus on my breath for a minute or two. Focusing on the breath encourages deep breathing , allowing the body to naturally relax as the mind enters a state of non-thinking.

    The other is to lie on my back, eyes closed, and move my awareness through each part of my body, from the tip of my toes to the top of my head. I feel the energy vibrating through my body and my body becomes deeply relaxed. Also, focusing the mind (awareness) ceases all incessant mental chatter, which is very calming.

    I really enjoy doing these things (unlike “regular” meditation). They don’t take much time. They clear my head and leave me feeling rejuvenated afterwards; all without sitting cross-legged in the woods for hours.

    So next time someone says you have to do something, you probably don’t.

    Next time someone says their way is the only way, they’re lying like Pinocchio.

    Don’t feel pressured to do something, or do something a certain way.

    Don’t be afraid to trust your own intuition and do things your way.

    There are infinite ways to reach the same end.

    Be ya self!

    -Stevie P

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    Words Are Signposts

    Words are signposts.

    Signpost

    They point towards what we are attempting to describe, without actually being it.

    Words are labels for the real thing, but not the real thing itself. Like a sticker label on the actual item.

    Words are the labels, without being the object itself. The real thing just… well… is.

    Kinda obvious, right? But this brings about two interesting opportunities.

    The first being the opportunity to simply witness, without labeling or classifying. To be rendered speechless by a bird in flight, or an epic landscape. To appreciate the awe-inspiring wonder of all that is.

    And the second is the inherent beauty of language. The beauty is in its limitation. Words can never be the real thing. Yet a master of language can describe the actual thing so effectively that it creates a personalized visual. A mental hologram, brought to fruition within one’s own imagination.

    The writer visualizes, and needs to transfer that visual into the mind of the reader. But here’s the catch, there’s no instantaneous transfer process (we all don’t telepathically communicate, ya know?). The visual must be transferred using language. There would be no room for creativity if ideas were instantly transferred between us.

    Words allow one to describe something so accurately, while still leaving an infinite amount of details open to interpretation. Language exemplifies our unique individual perceptions. We could read the same passage, yet form a slightly different picture in our minds. Just as we see (decode) the same reality, yet have slightly different perceptions of it.

    Limitations breed innovation. Celebrate uniqueness.

    …word