I Believe I Can Fly: The Deeper Meaning

I believe I can fly

I believe I can fly. I believe I can touch the sky.

Those words shaped a generation of 90’s kids, and extended to include everyone who doesn’t live under a rock. You may have been inspired by it, as I know I have, but have you really understood the deeper meaning of it?

I’ve always been deeply touched by “I Believe I Can Fly.” Yet a few days ago, I really listened to it and started to understand it on levels I hadn’t understood previously. It was the quintessential a-ha moment.

Say what you want about R. Kelly, but there’s no doubt that he was tapping into a profound source of wisdom when he wrote and recorded this song. Here’s the breakdown…

Manifesting Your Dreams

“If I can see it, then I can do it
If I just believe it, there’s nothing to it”

This is the law of attraction at work. It’s crucial to see and visualize what you want in order to allow that possibility to come into your life. Visualize the action then actualize the vision.

Then when you truly believe it, nothing can stop you. Beliefs are incredibly powerful. The placebo effect is a testament to that.

“You can have anything you want if you are willing to give up the belief that you can’t have it.” – Robert Anthony

Flight

“I believe I can fly
I believe I can touch the sky”

This is the most memorable line of the song, the beginning of the chorus.

Again, if you truly believe something, it opens you up to the possibility of it.

Flying is a metaphor for manifesting your dreams. You have to believe it to achieve it.

Also, flying is a state of consciousness. Our physical bodies are not meant to fly. That’s a part of this limitation and learning game we’re playing on Earth. Through placing limitations on ourselves, we learn more. However, when we tap into the essence of our being, we truly learn to “fly”, not in the physical sense, but in the ethereal sense. That is where “flying” really takes place for us as humans.

Open Doors

“I see me running through that open door”

This line references visualization yet again. That open door signifies abundance or the achievement of your dreams.

“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.” – Joseph Campbell

It Starts Within

“There are miracles in life I must achieve
But first I know it starts inside of me, oh”

Anything is possible. We can achieve anything we put our minds to. But a fundamental shift within yourself is the prerequisite.

The outer world is a reflection of the inner world, like a mirror. Change your inner world and the reflection in the mirror automatically changes. This is why Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” That’s not an impotent platitude. It’s pragmatic advice!

It all starts within. Our intentions ripple infinitely across dimensions.

What chain reaction are you setting off internally?

The “I Believe I Can Fly” Morning Routine

Here’s a way you can implement the deeper message of the song…

Listen to “I Believe I Can Fly” every morning!

And when you’re listening to it, visualize your ideal life. Visualize your career, your partner, where you live, what you’re doing…etc. The more detailed the better.

I’ve been doing this right after I meditate in the morning.

Visualize and feel the power of the song. Then ease into your day and get started working towards that vision.

Want to learn more about manifesting your dreams? Check out the 15 Minute Manifestation.

Much love.

– Stevie P!

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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Do You Even Feel, Bro?

feelBRO

Here’s your life…

Think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think.

All you do is think.

You’re so caught up in your head that you’ve forgotten how to FEEL.

“Remember, concentrate on the moment. Feel, don’t think. Trust your instincts.” – Qui-Gon Jinn (Star Wars Episode I – The Phantom Menace)

Feeling is understanding. Feeling is both your inner guidance system and the means by which life becomes fully, deeply and totally experienced.

Pause for a second and allow your awareness to drop from your mind and into your body.

How do you feel? (This isn’t some ambiguous, hippie question to have you hold hands and sing kumbaya. It’s both practical and unfathomably important.)

Ask yourself these follow-up questions right now:

What sensations are going on in my body?

What emotions am I feeling?

What feelings or emotions are accompanying my thoughts?

Establish a habit of asking yourself these questions, every day, in different situations and build your “feeling awareness.”

Can You Feel Me?

Fully inhabiting my emotional state was always difficult for me to do. I was so conditioned to always use my mind, to be consumed in thoughts and to (over)think things through instead of feeling things out (especially as a man being born in the US). Western people, and particularly western men, are so dominated by the mind that feelings and intuition are suppressed to the point that many of us aren’t even aware of them.

I would always understand things conceptually, but I never realized that most of the time, I wasn’t really FEELING the truth of the matter. To reiterate the point from before, feeling is true understanding. There’s an indescribable feeling you get when you deeply know something to be true.

Gratitude is a great example of something I’m finally learning to feel. I always thought that being grateful was merely thinking about gratitude (all in my head). But I rarely actually FELT gratitude. Now, when I’m grateful, I not only think it (in my head) but I feel it like waves washing over me (usually in my chest/heart center). And sometimes the feeling is so intense that I feel like I AM GRATITUDE. It’s a different world than just thinking about gratitude. It’s magnificently real.

Why is Feeling Even Important?

I’m a man (in this lifetime at least), so I’ve often wondered about the usefulness of feeling. Something like “I thought that feeling was some overly-emotional, feminine, drama-queen shit. How would feeling benefit me anyway?” And you might be thinking something similar, especially if you’re the product of western (mind-dominant) culture. I’m not saying to be a drama queen or a slave to your emotions, but just to simply be aware of your feelings. Here’s why:

Feeling is your inner guidance system – Your feelings and emotions are your compass, your inner guidance system. It is through the awareness of feelings that you tune into your intuition. This taps into the wisdom of the heart, which perceives from a much more expansive perspective than the mind. As you know, the mind can be deceptive. It’s so easy to trick yourself with the mind, or let self-doubt restrain you from your full potential. Go into your feelings and access the wisdom of the heart. It’s the only guidance you’ll ever need.

Feeling allows you to fully experience life – What is a sunset without the feeling of peaceful bliss associated with it? What is sex if you’re in your head, not feeling the ecstasy flowing through your being? What is hitting the game winning shot if you don’t feel it? The shot is taken through instinct, not by thinking about it, and followed by a feeling of tremendous celebration. Life is an experience, and experiences are to be fully felt, not merely thought about.

Feeling supercharges your manifestation abilities – Most people are familiar with the law of attraction. What you focus on is what you bring into your life. Your thoughts help create your experienced reality. But, here’s the thing, thoughts are only powerful attractors when combined with passionate emotion. It’s the emotion that makes your focus a strong magnetic pull.

This was something I never fully grasped until very recently. I would merely think thoughts, or write them down, thinking that I was attracting the object of my thoughts. And guess what? My manifestations have always been slow going. In contrast, many women I’ve been around are very powerful manifestors. Why is this? Because every thought of theirs is blended with powerful and passionate emotion.

This is why visualization is so powerful. Visualization is imagining something you desire like it’s already happening. You feel it and all of the emotions that come along with it. Successful athletes have famously applied the power of visualization to excel at their sport. It’s a secret weapon of elite athletes and it works astonishingly well.

Here’s an action item (if you want to improve your feeling, visualization and manifestation abilities):
Take 10-15 minutes each day and visualize yourself living the life you desire. Feel it like it’s already happening. Go through all the facets of life; your body, your relationships, your career, your life experiences…etc. Visualize and FEEL it, and you will be a powerful magnet for whatever you focus on.

More Ways to Hone the Power of Feeling

Cultivate body awareness – Practice bringing your awareness into your body. When you have a thought, go into your body and feel the feeling associated with it. When you feel an emotion, notice the corresponding feeling in your body.

Yoga – Yoga is meditative movement, bringing you out of your head and into your body. The practice of yoga is one of the best ways to cultivate bodily awareness. You will naturally be able to intuitively feel things out more. In addition, many yogic poses are heart-opening, opening you up to the world of feelings/emotions (and positive ones at that).

Do anything to get out of your head – Meditate, express yourself creatively, write in a journal, exercise, walk outside, go for a hike, watch the sunset…etc. Anything that helps you to get out of your head will allow you to become more aware of your emotional state.

Drop into your heart-space – Practice bringing your awareness out of your head and into your heart-space (the heart chakra in the center of your chest). Allow your consciousness to reside there. I’ve been doing this a lot recently and it’s been profound. I’m more intuitive and a deep feeling of love pervades my being when I drop into my heart-space. For phenomenal resources regarding this topic, check out the HeartMath Institute.

The mind is a phenomenal servant, but a terrible master. Let your heart be your guide, but don’t forget to take your mind along for the ride.

So I’ll leave you with one question: Do you even feel, bro?


 

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8 Ways to Transmute Self-Doubt Into Faith

The_Leap_of_Faith

Self-doubt is crippling.

What makes self-doubt so insidious is that it’s the only thing that truly stands between where we are and where we want to be.

The only limitations we have are those we place upon ourselves. And these walls of fear that we place around ourselves are what keep us imprisoned.

Doubt’s polar opposite is faith. Instead of focusing on getting rid of doubt, focus on building faith. This is the concept of mental transmutation as described by ancient Hermetic teachings.

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” – Socrates

Doubt simply cannot exist in the presence of faith. It doesn’t matter if it’s yourself, God, the Universe or having Bulbasaur as your starting Pokemon. Faith in something is absolutely crucial in leading a happy and fulfilling life.

Remember that everything that happens in your life is perfect for your personal growth. You also have the inherent capacity to deal with any situation that occurs in your life. There is no need to fear.

“Nothing in the affairs of men is worthy of great anxiety.” – Plato

I’m writing this because I noticed self-doubt creeping in recently. Being burnt out a couple weeks ago left me exhausted and made me question myself.

But by overcoming burnout and implementing a few strategies, I’ve been able to transmute that ugly self-doubt into beautiful self-faith.

8 Ways to Transmute Self-Doubt into Faith:

1. Affirmations
Affirmations are statements to program your subconscious mind a certain way. They’re immensely helpful for getting through any difficult time. You become what your dominant thoughts are. Program yourself for joy and empowerment.

Here are some sample affirmations to help transform doubt into faith:
If you’re afraid of bad experiences – “Everything is a learning experience.”
If you’re anxious about the future – “I can handle anything life throws at me.”
If you’re worried about money – “Thank you Universe for the abundance of money flowing into my life at all times.”

With whatever you want to embody, simply search for related affirmations and you’ll find an abundance of them.

Write down affirmations on a daily basis and continuously repeat them to yourself. That’s how to maximize the immense efficacy of affirmations.

2. Visualization
Visualize yourself achieving your goals. Be as specific as possible. Picture it like you’re already doing it. What does it feel like?

This is another means of programming yourself to achieve what you truly want in life.

Visualization has worked for many of the world’s top performers (especially athletes), so it will certainly work for you. Visualize the action and actualize the vision.

An effective way to leverage the power of visualization is to visualize your ideal day/lifestyle (while being as specific as possible) every morning. You can even include it in your meditation practice.

3. Take action
Don’t just sit there marinating in self-doubt. Work towards what you want. Take that first step in the direction you want to head in. Any sort of progress cultivates faith and quells doubt.

4. Build skills
Acquiring and building skills naturally increases genuine self-confidence. You become more capable, which then alleviates that insidious self-doubt.

Pick a skill to develop, and consistently work to improve it.

5. Be present
Doubt creeps in when you start projecting your mind into the past or future. Self-doubt is usually about the future; anxiety over imaginary “what if” scenarios.

What are you doing right now? Be with it totally. Be here now.

For example: If you want to write a book and you’re outlining it today, focus on that. Don’t focus on how other people have books published. Create the best outline you can today and continue to move forward. This will not only maximize your work, but keep you present and minimize any self-doubt.

“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

6. Embrace the mystery of life
A major aspect of transmuting doubt into faith is embracing the inherent mystery of life. The very nature of the Universe we live in is constant flux. So letting go of trying to control everything and simply enjoying the ride is key. Deepak Chopra discusses embracing the mystery of life in his book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success where he outlines the following affirmations:

“I will factor in uncertainty as an essential ingredient of my experience. In my willingness to accept uncertainty, solutions will spontaneously emerge out of the problem, out of the confusion, disorder, and chaos. The more uncertain things seem to be, the more secure I will feel, because uncertainty is the path to my freedom.”

“I will step into the field of all possibilities and anticipate the excitement that can occur when I remain open to an infinity of choices. When I step into the field of all possibilities, I will experience all the fun, adventure, magic, and mystery of life.”

7. Rest, then dive back into your work
Sometimes self-doubt comes from fatigue or burnout. In this case you need to rest in order to function at maximum capacity long-term. Life is a balance of the yin and yang. I discuss how to do this in more detail in the post “How to Avoid Burnout.”

8. Know that there are forces bigger than your rational mind at work.

Learn to trust your intuition. Be in that state of deep-seated knowing, and your doubt will be transmuted into faith.

Stay feelin’ good, feelin’ great.

– Stevie P!