Selfie Sticks and Knickknacks (A Unique Take on Tourism)

Tourism is an interesting phenomenon.

On the surface, it seems pretentious and annoying – flocks of foreigners, swooping in on new (to them) lands, taking more pictures than they’ll be able to look at in five lifetimes and throwing their money at local knickknacks that don’t really serve any purpose; all while looking laughably out of place.

But tourism as we see it today is a symptom of transition. People are starting to become interested in different places, different cultures and different ideas. And that’s a beautiful thing. It’s just that most folks haven’t yet honed their inner guidance system enough to proficiently pilot their newfound curiosity through this hybridized world of natural wonder infused with exponentially increasing technology.

The old paradigm, which never served humanity or our planet in the first place, is fading away before our very eyes. We’re moving away from the days of people comfortably sitting in their “identity boxes” (nationality, sex, race, religion…etc.), ignorantly fearful of those within other “identity boxes.” Two world travelers, even from the most different places imaginable, will never go to war against one another. Why? They’ve seen and experienced enough to realize that, at the end of the day, we’re all humans, co-inhabiting this big floating rock. Ignorance is the prerequisite for division-based violence. And in today’s transparent, global society, the dark shadows of ignorance are quickly being illuminated out of existence.

We (the people, not the lawmakers) are also harmonizing many areas of the world toward a more peaceful vibration. This is the flip-side of the utter monstrosity that was colonial imperialism/vampirism. Tourism can be corny, annoying and even mildly exploitative at times, but it’s a step in the right direction. The underlying intentions of tourism (curiosity, wonder and adventure of everyday people) are a far cry from the intent of organized oppression and thievery of entire continents by those in power.

We’re waking up to the fact that we’re all humans, sharing this planet. A reinvigorated, healthy respect for one another, as well as Pachamama (Mother Earth), is sweeping through our collective consciousness. Today’s tourism, tinged with selfie sticks and knickknacks, is just a silly bridge between the old and the new.

One love.

– Stevie P

PS – This post wouldn’t be complete without a selfie of my own…

I don’t usually take selfies, but when I do it’s with contemplative monkeys.

A photo posted by steviepthatsme (@steviepthatsme) on


 

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Dive Into The Human Experience

“The person who has lived the most is not the one with the most years but the one with the richest experiences.” 

                 -Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Life is defined by experiences.

Moments that ripple through time, enriching the ever-present now of our existence.

That’s why, in my opinion, experiences are infinitely more valuable than any material good (besides the necessities for survival of course).

And speaking of experiences, I went on vacation last week! Woo wooo! It was a six day cruise in the Caribbean on the awesome Carnival Breeze, and I’m basking in gratitude for the experience.

Carnival Breeze

Sailin’

Vacations like this epitomize what I call “the 3D human experience.” Food. Drinks. Partying. Flirting. Dancing. Singing. Socializing. Spectacular scenery. Sunsets over the sea. All things that exemplify our experience on this plane (or boat 😉 ) of existence.

We, as human beings, are much more than meets the eye though. Like the old saying goes… We’re not human beings having a spiritual experience, we’re spiritual beings having a human experience.

However, I’ve noticed that as many of us go through a “spiritual awakening”, we often find it difficult to stay grounded and fully immerse ourselves in this material world we’re inhabiting. I like to call this “floating on the ceiling.” And the thing is that if you’re too identified with being a “spiritual being”, you’ll miss out on the wonderful 3D experience at your fingertips.

My man Osho said something along the lines of “A spiritual man is just as comfortable in a bustling village as he is meditating on a mountain by himself.” I couldn’t agree more. (Note: Osho is referenced multiple times in this article, and for good reason. He delivers this message perfectly, with a healthy sense of humor.)

The whole point of this human experience is to dive in. Fully embrace it. Live, learn, laugh, have fun, connect with others and experience as much as possible.

“Experience life in all possible ways — good-bad, bitter-sweet, dark-light, summer-winter. Experience all the dualities. Don’t be afraid of experience, because the more experience you have, the more mature you become.” -Osho

That’s what I realized that I was embodying on the cruise.

I usually eat healthy, but I indulged. I ate what I wanted, and made damn sure that I enjoyed every morsel. (Of course, health is of utmost importance, but occasionally you gotta say fuck it for a short period of time.)

I don’t usually drink alcohol too often, but I drank every night. I drank more than I should have a couple nights too. But hey, it’s all a learning experience and part of the journey of our being.

These kind of things become a problem when they’re done consistently. You become what your consistent behavior is. It would only be problematic if I had continued on that path. Just like how an obese person is not going to be fit after eating healthy for just 6 days.

Ok, back to the topic at hand…

On the cruise, I literally talked to every friendly person in my vicinity. I struck up conversation with every girl/woman I was attracted to (and got denied a few times, but it’s all in good fun). I made new friends at the bar, on the deck, waiting in lines, in the bathroom, wherever. I went zip-lining in Jamaica (ya mon). I swam with dolphins in Cozumel. The list goes on and on.

And I ended up meeting some great, like-minded people as well (hey Nickee and Amanda). Who would’ve known that I would get involved in deep, meaningful conversation within minutes of meeting people? Who would’ve thought that I would form deep-seated connections in the midst of such a seemingly “surface-level” atmosphere? I even randomly ran into someone who I’ve met before (hey Brittany). How crazy is that!?

Life is miraculous when you’re unshakably yourself. Life is magical when you embrace your inherent Love Aura and dive into the river of life.

Experience the world. Experience your physical body. Experience the connection with others, with animals, and with nature. Experience the miracle that is your life right now.

What are you waiting for? Dive in to the human experience.

Stay feelin’ good, feelin’ great.

-Stevie P!

Here’s Osho elaborating on this topic. He beautifully describes integrating spiritual awareness with worldly experience…

The traditional concept of man was that of a materialist or spiritualist, moral or immoral person, sinner or saint. A divided man is miserable. He is neither healthy nor whole; the other half that has been denied will go on taking revenge. It will find ways and means to overcome the part you have imposed upon yourself. You will become a battleground, there will be civil war.

In the past we were unable to create real human beings; we made humanoids. A humanoid is one who looks like a human being but is utterly challenged. He has not been allowed to bloom in his totality. He is adhoora, and because he is half is always tense; he cannot celebrate. Celebration is the fragrance of being whole.

Only a fulfilled tree will flower. Man is yet to flower. The new man will be earthy and divine, worldly and other-worldly. The new man will accept his totality and he will live it without any inner division, without getting split. His god will not be opposed to the devil, his morality will not be opposed to immorality; he will know no opposition.

He will transcend duality, he will not be schizophrenic. With the new man will come a new world, because the new man will perceive in a qualitatively different way. He will live a totally different life. He will be a mystic, poet, scientist. all at once.

The moment a child grows to become whole, society starts to suffocate him, stifling and cutting him into fragments, telling him what to do and what not to do, what to be and what not to be.

Losing his wholeness, he becomes guilty about his whole being. He denies much that is natural, and in that very denial he becomes uncreative. Now he will be only a fragment, and a fragment cannot dance, a fragment cannot sing. And a fragment is always suicidal because the fragment cannot know what life is. The humanoid cannot decide on his own.

Others have been deciding for him — his parents, the teachers, the leaders, the priests; they have taken all his decisiveness. They decide, they order; he simply follows. The humanoid is a slave.

My concept of the new man is that he will be Zorba the Greek and he will also be Gautama the Buddha. The new man will be Zorba the Buddha. He will be sensuous and spiritual — in the body, yet with a great consciousness, a great witnessing.

He will be Christ and Epicurus together. Religion failed because it was too other-worldly. It neglected this world. And you cannot neglect this world; to neglect this world is to neglect your own roots. Science has failed because it neglected the other world, the inner, and you cannot neglect the flowers.

Once you do that, neglect the innermost core of being, life loses all meaning. The tree needs roots, so man needs roots, and the roots can only be in the earth. The tree needs an open sky to grow, to come to great foliage and to have thousands of flowers. Then only is the tree fulfilled, then only does the tree feel significance and meaning and life becomes relevant.

Religion talks only of flowers that remain philosophical, abstract; they never materialise because they are removed from earth. And science has failed because it cares only about the roots.

We now need a new humanity in which religion and science become two aspects of one human being. And art will be the bridge. That’s why I say that the new man will be a mystic, a poet and a scientist.

PS- Videos too!

How to Overcome Being in a Slump

I was dealing with the post-trip blues at work this week after my trip to Honduras. It’s always difficult getting back into grind mode after a vacation. My concentration was nonexistent. I had the attention span of a goldfish. I felt anxious. I couldn’t sit still. I was in a slump, and I needed to snap out of it. By Friday, I was back to feelin’ good, feelin’ great mode. Here’s what worked for me, and it’ll probably work for you too.

Slump crushing 101:

Don’t internalize everything. Express your feelings to someone, or even just write it down. Internalizing and stuffing emotions is bad news bears. The mere act of getting something out works wonders for your well-being. It sounds corny and it’s not the most masculine tool in the shed, but it works. Do what I did, call up momma and tell her how you feel.

Do something fun. Do something enjoyable during your free time. For me, it was going out on a phenomenal Valentine’s Day date (you know who you are).

Workout and release tension. Mobility exercises first thing in the morning relieve all kindzzz of bodily tension. And throwing heavy weights around is the best stress reliever I’ve ever come across. Just move yo body, and you’ll instantly feel better.

Recharge the batteries. Do some sort of meditative activity to clear the brain. Breathe deeply for 2 minutes. Lay down with your eyes closed for a bit. Those worked for me, but do whatever you prefer. It’s so refreshing to mentally escape from everything (including your own mind) for even a few minutes.

Get some sleep. The positive changes a good night of sleep can bring are borderline magical. You wake up feeling like a phoenix rising out of its ashes.

Have a goal/goals to work towards. I’m back on my health and fitness grind (Carb Backloading and working on mastering bodyweight exercises), making my own almond butter, and setting goals for this site. I’m kind of all over the place with this, but it keeps me positive and focused. Anything goal-oriented (skill acquisition, accomplishing something…etc) fosters self-improvement, which is crucial for long-term happiness and living an awesome life.

If you ever feel yourself slipping into a downward spiral, try out these techniques, and throw up a middle finger and a smile to the blues.

-Stevie-to-the-P

Waterfall