5 Simple Steps for Cathartic Writing

catharsis writing

Do you want to gain more insight into your life?

Are you looking for guidance? Do you have pent-up emotions? Are you waiting for a breakthrough?

Writing can be the key to unlocking all of this.

Writing can be an incredible tool for catharsis, which is the process of releasing or transmuting strong or repressed emotions. All you need is a pen, paper and the courage to be honest with yourself.

There are few tools that are as powerful and accessible as writing. I’ve personally had enormous breakthroughs, profound insights and mindblowing epiphanies while writing. Through writing, I’ve also been able to work through difficult emotions and find clarity in various aspects of life.

This kind of writing is an awe-inspiring combination of self-expression, therapy, creativity, meditation and spiritual connection.

It’s nothing complicated or time consuming either. All you need to do is follow these simple steps…

5 Simple Steps for Cathartic Writing

catharsis writing

1. Relax

Sit comfortably. Close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths. Let the tension evaporate out of your body and mind.

Become pure awareness.

If you have difficulty relaxing or stilling your mind, I highly recommend engaging in a regular meditation practice.

2. Tune In

After relaxing for a few seconds, you will notice things start to come back. These might be thought patterns, emotions or physical tension.

Be aware of these.

Notice your thoughts. What thoughts are circling in your mind?

Notice your emotions. What emotions are you experiencing?

Notice your body. Where are you carrying tension?

Awareness of these will act as cues for your subconscious mind to work through and transmute the disharmony associated with those thoughts, emotions and physical tension.

3. Initiate

Start writing by invoking your higher self.

Note: According to your beliefs, you can invoke whatever wisdom feels best for you; Source, God, your higher self, your subconscious mind, infinite intelligence…etc.

Here’s an example of how I initiate a cathartic writing session: “Through this pen my higher self flows.” I just write that sentence first and then let the rest of the writing flow.

4. Flow

Just write. Let it flow without resistance.

Don’t filter yourself. Let it come through however it may, without judgment. Let the words flow through you.

Keep writing for as long as you want. I usually stop after I get some sort of insight. After this, the flow tends to stop.

Feel it out for yourself. And don’t have expectations. You might not have a life changing a-ha moment every time you do this. Some of the wisdom that comes through is far more subtle.

5. The Takeaway

Write down a takeaway from what you’ve written.

This can be an affirmation or mantra to start using. It can also be something to do or an action to take.

Sometimes, in the process of writing, a clear takeaway will come though. Other times you may need to come up with a takeaway after, based on what you wrote or insights you had.

The takeaway is crucial. Because all of the insights in the world don’t mean anything if you don’t integrate and apply them.

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

This is a powerful process. I recommend everyone try this, even if you view yourself as someone who can’t write well

Try it out and experience the power of catharsis.

Happy writing.

– Stevie P!

PS – If you’re looking for more physical ways of facilitating catharsis, check out Primal Release.

 

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The Power of Fiction

Ralph Waldo Emerson Fiction quote

Bold statement: Fiction can be a more effective teacher than nonfiction.

The epics, the classic myths, the primordial fables, the transcendent archetypes and the phenomenon of story have all been omnipresent undertones of human culture since time immemorial.

Fiction has the unique ability in which one can use words as arrows of intention to penetrate the infinite dimensions of abstraction. In other words, truths which exist beyond the limits of our collective analytical mind are able to be conveyed through fiction, metaphor and myth.

The deepest truths are often expressed in this way. Just take a look at any sacred text or brilliant piece of poetry. If they were to be written in a strictly analytical fashion, it would be confined to a sliver of interpreted reality. But with fiction, the words conform to the unique consciousness of the reader. They act as a range of possibility to be decoded subjectively, not a rigid pillar of force-fed predeterminacy.

Literary works can cut through and transcend cultural biases and blindness, giving the reader a taste of a completely “novel” reality (see what I did there?). It allows one to see outside of the box they’ve existed in their whole life, and presents the opportunity to step outside.

Along with being a vehicle for consciousness expansion, fiction comes with a whole host of other benefits as well…

The Benefits of Reading Fiction

  • Improves brain connectivity
  • Increases empathy (and better relationships as a direct result)
  • Reduces stress
  • Enhances memory
  • Increases imagination
  • Expands vocabulary
  • Enhances creativity
  • Increases happiness
  • Enhances focus
  • Helps you be yourself (instead of conforming because the weight of social pressure is released when reading fiction)
  • Helps with approaching and overcoming obstacles (the influence of the hero’s journey)
  • Sources:
    The Surprising Power of Reading Fiction
    7 Benefits Of Reading Literary Fiction You May Not Know

    Stephen King Fiction quote

    How You Can Help Support Fiction

    Speaking of fiction, I recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for my new novel Sozwik. CLICK HERE to view the campaign and provide your support.

    Expand your mind with the wisdom of fiction, embrace the power of story and dare to dream.

    Much love.

    – Stevie P!
     

     

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    Why Learning is like Jet Fuel for Happiness

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    I found myself wading into the alluring blue-green Caribbean Sea, with my right hand on a surfboard and my eyes fixated on an immense wave approaching. I’ll admit, it was a bit intimidating: an ominous undulation, already taller than me, quickly rising out of the infinity of liquid power. But the fear within, which had risen along with the wave itself, was immediately transmuted into childlike excitement as I snapped into action, spinning the surfboard around and hopping on, belly first.

    Exuding exuberance, I glanced over my right shoulder to see the wave swiftly advancing toward me. My warrior ethos kicked in and I paddled with powerful, staunch strokes, building just enough momentum right as the wave tasted my heels. The wall of water surged upon me, thrusting me into a realm of slowed time and total focus. The board was no longer a lifeless object, but a kindred spirit, conspiring to maximize my moment. It was a beautiful communion between beings, conceived through coalescence and driven by synergy.

    With a blast of pizzazz, I popped up onto my feet, landing in the classic surfer stance (totally, dude). What a feeling! The inner child within me was jumping for joy as I cruised towards the shore with a beaming smile on my face.

    That was the conclusion of my very first surfing lesson. It was a true climax of bliss, fueled by the magical phenomenon of… LEARNING.

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    Learning is an integral element of the human experience.

    We came into this life to learn and grow. And without learning, no growth is possible.

    All inhibitors of learning and growth (stagnation, monotony, boredom, fear, comfort zones…etc) drain the joy out of life and deaden the spirit. On the other hand, learning, growth, progress and perpetual new experiences infuse life with a euphoric vivacity. This feeling of elation is a tell-tale sign that you’re in alignment with your inner truth.

    “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” – Neale Donald Walsch

    Life’s tendency is toward progression. Life is defined by growth. If you’re not growing, you’re dying.

    Learning is a precursor to growth and an undeniable catalyst of happiness.

    The act of learning doesn’t have to be strictly intellectual either. If it’s something physical, like surfing, your mind and body work together in the learning process. This weaves threads of cooperative harmony through all levels of being.

    It is undeniable that learning is crucial to the human experience. Learn to love learning and your life has no choice but to change for the better.

    Think about how good improvement feels. Think about how good personal evolution feels. That feeling is the child of learning and growth.

    Be Willing, Eager and Open to Learning

    Willingness to learn is as equally important as the learning process itself. If you’re open and eager enough, you will learn anything you wish to.

    Three Manifestations of Willingness that Will Greatly Accelerate Your Life Learning Process

    1. Embrace curiosity – Einstein put it perfectly when he said, ““I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.”
    2. Listen – Listen to what other people have to say, instead of talking all of the time. Listen intently, listen with curiosity and listen with an open mind.
    3. Ask questions – Question everything and entertain any idea.

    Be willing, eager and open to learning and the doors of understanding will eagerly open to you.

    There are, of course, ways to refine and streamline the learning process as well.

    An effective model for rapid learning is Tim Ferriss’ D.S.S.S. strategy from his book The Four Hour Chef. The acronym D.S.S.S. stands for Deconstruct, Selection, Sequencing, and Stakes.

    Deconstruct
    “What are the minimum learnable units, the LEGO blocks, I should be starting with?

    Selection
    “Which 20% of the blocks should I focus on for 80% or more of the outcome I want?

    Sequencing
    “In what order should I learn the blocks?”

    Stakes
    “How do I set up stakes to create real consequences and guarantee I follow the program?”

    Read more about Tim Ferriss’ D.S.S.S. strategy here.

    Another Useful Tip for Learning

    The human attention span is not very long, so learning in short stints (30-60 minutes at a time, with short breaks in between) is a great way to leverage this. The percentage of information you’re able to retain drops in the middle of any learning session. This is why most people only remember the beginning and end of a long, study marathon. So instead of trudging through things for hours, engaging in short sessions with breaks allows you to function at maximum capacity and actually get more done. Plus, it just feels better (which is a subtle hint itself).

    This is why many schools found it more effective to have 50-minute classes, because after that point, kids stop paying attention.

    I personally thrive off of getting things done in 20-30 minute chunks, followed by breaks. This is a great strategy for learning, writing and really accomplishing anything.

    Tim Ferriss (again) beautifully charts this phenomenon in The Four Hour Chef:

    4HC

    Why Surfing is the Perfect Medium for Learning

    Surfing is both physical and mental – Surfing simultaneously engages the body and mind, and is healthy for both. You use both simultaneously, which creates harmony between the two. Plus, it’s a form of exercise (which, as everyone knows, has a ton of benefits itself).

    Nature therapy – You’re outside and connected with nature while you’re learning. You get your feet in the sand (grounding/Earthing), the sun on your face (Vitamin D), the breeze in your hair and you’re in the water (which comes with benefits too). It’s a beautiful, healthy combination of learning and the four earthly elements.

    Surfing engages the warrior ethos in a healthy manner – It’s a positive outlet for your warrior spirit. Surfing is both a physical battle and a cooperation between you and the ocean. For those like myself who have a deep connection with the warrior archetype, positive expressions of it are necessary for your well-being. For too long, the warrior ethos of humanity has been relegated to war and other forms of senseless violence. Learning to surf is also learning to bring out your warrior ethos in a healthy way.

    As you can tell, I love learning. And learning how to surf was a tremendous experience for me.

    Keep learning. Keep growing. Find happiness along the journey of continuous expansion.

    Much love.

    – Stevie P!

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    4

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

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    My rap name = 2 Bagz

    Hey there, earthlings.

    I’ve embarked upon my journey. I’m traveling to at least 5 different countries and for at least 2 months. Basically being a professional nomad.

    And as you can see from the picture, I’m not bringing much; just a small duffle bag and backpack.

    I packed so little that I’m only traveling with carry-on luggage. (I carry on like a wayward son.)

    My packing strategy:
    1) I only brought the absolute necessities – One pair of shoes (Merrell Men’s Vapor Glove 2 Trail Running Shoe), 8 pairs of socks and boxers, 7 nice, versatile t-shirts, one long sleeved short (I’m not going anywhere cold), one extra pair of pants, one pair of khaki shorts, one bathing suit, a few toiletries, my laptop and a couple books. That’s basically all I packed. what else do you really need?

    2) I rolled my clothes up, instead of folding them – With the rolling method, you can pack much more clothing into a small duffle bag, and with less wrinkles.

    I absolutely love the feeling of owning no more than I can carry. It’s so freeing.

    The more things you own, the more things own you.

    “Live light, travel light, be the light.” – Yogi Bhajan

    This is a metaphor for life as well: Excess baggage weighs you down.

    I believe that life is best lived when you’re “like water.” Water is flowing, dynamic and flexible. And having a lot of baggage, whether physical or emotional, hinders this state of being.

    Minimalism is freedom. And minimalism is conducive to living in the moment, without the burden of excess baggage.

    Experiences > Stuff

    Experiences are far more fulfilling than things. Experiences create lasting happiness and catalyze personal growth.

    The debate of experiences vs stuff has been well studied too. When someone buys a new car, they get an initial happiness boost because it’s new. But after a couple months, it loses its novelty factor. And like a fiend, this person will need another fix and buy something else to chase happiness.

    Accumulate experiences, not stuff.

    I’ll keep this post light as well and end it here.

    Stay tuned for some fun travel blogging.

    Much love from Marseille, France.

    – Stevie P!

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    2

    Why I Left My Job

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    I just quit my job…

    It was what most people would call a “good job,” a comfortable position at a software company that looks good on paper. But it was deeply unfulfilling and represented the polar opposite of who I am as a person.

    I always instinctively knew that the well-trodden path wasn’t all it’s cracked up to be. You know the whole deal. Go to college, get a “good” job, get married, get a house with a white picket fence, have kids that repeat this cycle, delay all gratification in life for the dream of retiring with money saved…etc. But it wasn’t until I read The Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss that I become consciously aware that it was all, for the most part, bullshit. That book shifted my paradigm and verbalized what I intrinsically knew to be true.

    Due to my voracious reading and soul-searching, I’ve become acutely aware that sitting in an office, doing monotonous work that doesn’t add much value to society is simply not for me. I’ve spent a lot of time contemplating my life’s purpose and I’m arranging my short stint on Planet Earth accordingly. Everyone has so much to share with the world. It’s a shame that so many people relegate themselves to jobs that don’t allow them to express their true purpose.

    I really dislike spending my time doing things that are not deeply fulfilling. I’m also finding inauthenticity difficult as well. If you work for someone else, you have fake enthusiasm to a certain extent in order to keep your job. (Of course, the level of this depends on who you are and what your job is.)

    Another factor for me leaving is that marathon sitting is the bane of my existence. Sitting for 8 hours a day is rough for me (and staring at a screen exacerbates it). We humans are built to walk, not sit. I would find myself antsy at work and getting up every half hour or so. I would take walks or stretch throughout the day and set myself up so I could work out during lunch breaks. I like to have control over my sitting time, which is why I prefer determining my own schedule. I’m most effective when I get into the zone on the computer for 20-30 minute intervals, and then go do something else.

    I’m a self-motivated free spirit. (That would probably be the summary version as to why I left my job.)

    I thrive off of and value a high degree of personal freedom. It’s just in my nature. I don’t like being told what to do. I’d rather hop in the driver’s seat and be the captain of my own fate.

    The Age of Infinite Opportunity

    There are massive opportunities for people to earn a living by expressing their true purpose and helping others; more so than any other time in history. The internet and global communication has provided a vast array of ways to make money, with the only limit being your imagination. All of the information you need is right in front of you, you just have to metabolize it and put it into practice.

    Realization and Bold Decisions

    I realized that I was staying at my job out of complacency. So I lined myself up for departure. Then I made the bold decision to leave in favor of traveling the world and pursuing writing (along with some more of my own endeavors).

    “Be bold and courageous. When you look back on your life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the ones you did.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

    I view life as a grand video game. Overcoming obstacles and making bold decisions creates a worthwhile, fun and fulfilling living/gaming experience.

    On the other hand, remaining within the confines of comfort zones does the opposite. It stifles growth and glazes life with an insidious, underlying dreariness. And that’s no fun.

    My shift into boldness occurred because I’ve learned to follow my heart. I act on my intuition, feeling out situations more than over-analyzing everything. Even when my mind doubts, I know that my intuition sees the bigger picture. This has worked out well for me, every time. Life seems to unfold in a beautifully serendipitous manner when you embrace the mystery of it all and step with faith.

    “Although the road is never ending
    take a step and keep walking,
    do not look fearfully into the distance…
    On this path let the heart be your guide
    for the body is hesitant and full of fear.”

    – Rumi

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    How I Left: The Practical Steps

    1. I knew exactly what I wanted.

    Before you embark upon any journey, you have to first decide where you want to go.

    I knew that I wanted to work for myself and be able to travel more. And I’ve been consistently working towards this for a while.

    Here’s the affirmation I’ve been writing down and saying to myself for the last 2+ years:
    I’m earning a living online, giving me freedom of time and location.

    And guess what? It’s coming to fruition. (specific desire + consistent action = success)

    2. I saved money.

    Anyone can save money if they prioritize it and find creative ways to do so. How you do it will completely depend on your individual circumstance.
     
    3. I set myself up with other options.

    I started Feelin Good, Feelin Great over 3 years ago and I’ve kept at it. I’m finally getting significant traffic and building a substantial email list. I have books and courses, as well as other means of monetization to experiment with on there.

    Also, the writing I’ve done has already opened the door to many other things (like GorillaRadio.tv). I have a whole host of other endeavors and ideas that I’m pursuing.

    I’m barely making any money now, but the trickle is already transforming into a stream. Persistence pays.

    Put yourself in a position to bring your goals into being.

    4. I made bold decisions.

    You have to take some leaps of faith to live an awesome life. It’s as simple as that. Quitting my job was a leap of faith.

    This goes back to what I explained earlier. If you want to live a great life, you have to take risks. Life is a video game, keep exploring leveling up.

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    What I’m Doing

    You know when you first meet someone, they might ask you that old blasé question, “So what do you do?” Here’s how I would answer that now. (Well, after whimsically proclaiming that I’m a Laughologist, of course.)

    1. Writing, writing, writing.

    I’m writing on here (of course) and for GorillaRadio.tv. I also have a novel in progress and a few other books in the pipeline.

    2. Expanding Feelin Good, Feelin Great.

    I’m driving more traffic, staying active on social media, adding more products and courses…etc.

    3. Traveling around the world

    It’s shaping up to look like France, Spain, Croatia, India, Thailand and some more of Southeast Asia. We’ll see how it goes. Stay tuned for updates on my travels.

    4. Pursuing any other creative/entrepreneurial adventures that pop up.

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

    Live boldly and take action.

    Remember, no one on their death bed looks back and says, “I wish I’d spent more time in the office.”

    The world is yours. Go get it.

    – Stevie P
     

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    6

    Solitary Refinement: The Profound Power of Solitude

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    “Above measure the singular pleasure of solitude” – MF DOOM (Bookfiend)

    That line serendipitously seems to seep into my consciousness whenever I’m immersed in the unique euphoria that solitude brings.

    Solitude can be indescribably blissful, or utterly torturous, depending on your state of being and self-love. Solitary confinement? Or solitary refinement? The choice is up to you.

    I spent the majority of this past weekend in solitude and it was completely cathartic. That’s why I’m even writing this right now.

    We live in a society that overly praises extroverted tendencies and dismisses introverted tendencies as being “anti-social.” Noise is excessively celebrated, while the silence that all sound comes from is overlooked.

    With this imbalance skewed towards extroversion, the word “alone” has become synonymous with “lonely.” But that’s not the case at all. You can be lonely in a crowd, or feel connected with all-that-is when alone.

    I’ll ask you this: Have you mastered yourself, accepted yourself and do you love yourself enough to bask in the glory of solitude?

    “Solitude is painful when one is young, but delightful when one is more mature.” – Albert Einstein

    You must view solitude as a necessary practice in order to become the best version of yourself.

    Solitude comes with an abundance of benefits. It’s no coincidence that many of the greatest people to walk the planet engaged in a regular practice of productive solitude.

    Getting to know yourself.

    The phrase “Know thyself” was famously inscribed at the Temple at Delphi. Knowing oneself is absolutely crucial for any form of self-awareness or personal growth.

    Solitude is the fertile ground upon which the seeds of self-mastery of sewn. When it’s just you and your thoughts, you’re able to bring the subtleties of your own nature into conscious awareness.

    “Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power. If you realize that you have enough, you are truly rich.” – Lao Tzu

    Empowerment.

    Everything you desire, is first and foremost, an inside job. External peace is not possible without inner peace. External harmony is not possible without inner harmony.

    If you choose to be happy, you’re empowered. But if you rely on external factors to be happy, you’re giving your power away in exchange for victimhood.

    By engaging in productive solitude, you build a solid foundation to become the master of your own destiny.

    Idea generation.

    Solitude gives you space to reflect. It provides the golden silence necessary for you to receive the subtle gems of the universe.

    Ideas just flow effortlessly when you’re alone and in a good state of mind.

    Recharging.

    Solitude acts as a rejuvenating self-reset. It gives you the opportunity to take a break from the chaos of modern life and bring yourself back to equilibrium.

    The ability to give more when around others.

    Just as you’re able to perform at your physical peak after a good night’s rest, you’re able to give more to others after engaging in solitude. Restful yin energy is what allows for the maximization of the active yang energy.

    Someone who has developed themselves simply has a greater capacity to give. Remember, you can’t truly love someone else if you don’t love yourself.

    Also, independence is cultivated in solitude. So this means that you’re far less likely to be a nuisance or unnecessary burden to others. Conscious alone time is essentially flexing your handle-your-business muscle.

    You’re most free when alone.

    There are no compromises, no voting and no worries of pleasing people. Every decision you make is entirely up to you. That’s why it’s easy to be boldly spontaneous when alone, which can be a lot of fun.

    Solitude fosters creation.

    “Without great solitude no serious work is possible.” – Pablo Picasso

    Almost all artistic creation occurs in solitude. There is a level of concentration reached when alone that just doesn’t happen around other people. Combine this with the idea generating nature of solitude and you have a recipe for prolific creation.

    I create my best work when alone. I’m also hard pressed to create anything with others around. A subtle reason for this is that I give everything I’m doing my full attention. So if I’m with other people, connecting with them is my focus.

    Great people have always embraced solitude.

    People who have made a significant impact on the world spent a lot of time in solitude.

    Buddha and Jesus went off by themselves for years. This solitude was a major part in both of their breakthroughs into the level of consciousness available to all of us.

    A major aspect of the hero’s journey (described by Joseph Campbell) is this form of self-discovery.

    “Opportunities
    To find deeper powers
    Within ourselves
    Come when life
    Seems most challenging.”
    – Joseph Campbell

    Writers and any artists thrive off of solitude.

    This goes hand-in-hand with the last two points. Solitude begets creation, as well as the self-reflection to produce timeless works of art.

    Henry David Thoreau (The Notorious HDT) epitomized productive solitude with his two year getaway at Walden Pond, where he produced some of his best work.

    “I’ve never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude.” – Henry David Thoreau

    Don’t worry though, you don’t have to go to the extreme that Thoreau did to leverage the power of solitude. All it takes is making some productive solitude a regular practice.

    The point of solitude is not in becoming a recluse, but in returning to the world as an ever-evolving version of yourself.

    Cultivate the power of solitude.

    Thoreau-ly enjoy yourself.

    – Stevie P!

    How to Avoid Burnout

    Burnout is a psychological term that refers to long-term exhaustion and diminished interest in work. (Wikipedia)

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    Last week, I experienced true burnout for the first time in my life.

    I’d be lying if I told you that I hadn’t felt it coming. And a lot of people in my life hinted that I was trying to do too much. I was going on about 4 months of every minute of my life being goal-oriented. That goal, was (and still is) earning a living online, to give myself freedom of time and location.

    During that period, I abstained from a lot of activities in favor of “getting shit done.” I didn’t drink any alcohol, rarely went out, didn’t have sex and didn’t see a lot of my good friends. I wrote like a madman, dove into countless projects, read voraciously, worked out like I was Ronnie Coleman and did a lot of yoga and meditation in an attempt to offset my extreme output. And this was all while holding down a 9-5 job as well.

    I put insane amounts of pressure on myself at all times, constantly forcing myself to get more done. I was my own slave driver. Of course I enjoy this work (it’s a major part of my life purpose), but literally everything I did was geared towards my goal(s) in some way.

    The yoga and meditation I practiced became goal-oriented (which, in some sense, almost defeats their purpose). I was practicing yoga to counteract all of the sitting I was doing and help rest (so I could workout harder and produce more content). I was meditating with the goal of gaining a higher perspective and getting more creative inspiration.

    I even viewed sleep as merely a means to recover my ability to produce more.

    Every single thing I did was aligned with my vision, and that became problematic. I was pushing the envelope of extreme output.

    As last week progressed, I began to feel more and more burned out. But this drove me to a profound realization… I wasn’t ever allowing myself to just BE. And that’s the root of what was gradually wearing me down.

    My creativity was the first to go last week. I noticed that I was less creative than usual on Monday and Tuesday. That was followed by feelings of fatigue. Then, on Wednesday night, a headache came on. The headache stayed with me into Thursday. The feeling of utter burnout got to the point where I left work early, went home and napped.

    Note: These were all glaring signs to me. I was so used to creating as ravenously as 2pac. Feeling tired is so foreign to me. I don’t even remember the last time I had a headache before this. And I can only nap when I really, really need it. So with that combination of symptoms, I knew something was wrong.

    After napping, I decided to spend the rest of the day completely “goalless.” I did some stretching, mobility work and practiced any yoga poses that felt good. I took a long shower. I watched some fascinating YouTube videos that caught my eye. I ate a jar of sunflower seed butter (so good). It was revitalizing to allow myself to just BE; no pressure, no to-do list and no goals.

    I wound down for the night by reading The Fifth Sacred Thing until I fell asleep.

    Then on Friday morning, I woke up feelin good, feelin great again. I feel like a phoenix, arising from its own ashes.

    The Lesson

    You have to balance the yin with the yang. You need rest to support activity. You need to balance goal-oriented time with goalless time.

    If you keep pushing with blatant disregard for everything else, you’ll end up in a gray-zone of constantly trudging forward at nowhere near your full capacity. And if you continue this pattern long-term, you’ll end up in a downward spiral of mental, physical, emotional and spiritual dysfunction.

    When you rest enough to balance your activity level, you’re then able push harder and continuously evolve into the greatest version of yourself.

    What are some symptoms of burnout?

    • Less productivity – Spending more time while actually getting less done.
    • Less creativity
    • Less motivation
    • Loss of mental sharpness
    • Brain fog
    • Fatigue
    • Self-doubt
    • Anxiousness
    • Poor decision-making
    • Not taking care of yourself – Falling into negative patterns or activities more often.
    • Life begins to lose its vibrancy

    How do you avoid or alleviate burnout?

    • Grounding into the Earth (walk barefoot in nature or just on grass) – This syncs you up with
    • Mother Earth. Because burnout has to do with mental overuse, you need to ground yourself into your body and the Earth.
    • Get out in nature – This goes along with the previous tip. Getting out in nature is wholly revitalizing. Do something like hike a mountain or walk in the woods.
    • Sleep more – Get the rest you need.
    • Engage in “yin” activities regularly – These are rejuvenative activities for the body, mind and spirit. Examples include meditation, gentle yoga, tai chi, qi gong, reiki, massage, acupuncture…etc.
    • Reduce screen time – Turn off the technology and unplug for a bit. Keeping your eyes glued to digital screens tend to exacerbate feelings of burnout.
    • Go on vacation – Go somewhere relaxing for a few days (or longer, depending on how burnt out you are) where you don’t have to do anything.
    • Set aside some “goalless” time – This worked like a charm for me.
      How to spend goalless time:
      1. Do whatever you feel like. Seriously, spontaneously do whatever you want (as long as it’s not harmful to yourself or others, of course). This is one of the most freeing things you can do.
      2. Don’t put any pressure on yourself. There is nothing to accomplish, no goals and no to-do lists.
      3. Just allow yourself to BE. Be present and thoroughly enjoy whatever you’re doing.
    • And most importantly, HAVE FUN! Life is too short to be taken too seriously. Enjoy yourself, live authentically, laugh, dance, climb trees and high five strangers.

    Stay feelin’ good, feelin’ great.

    – Stevie P!

    Creativity on Demand: How to Become an Idea Machine

    So, living up to what I wrote about in my last post, I released a new book on Amazon Kindle! It’s called 11 Steps to Become an Idea Machine. This book is seriously life-changing for anyone, especially if you’re someone who wants to transcend mediocrity and make an impact on the world. I provided a bit of a preview for you below.

    11 Steps to Become an Idea Machine (A Glimpse)

    Everything made manifest by humanity begins as an idea…

    The airplane once only existed as an image in someone’s imagination; then eventually materialized in the physical world.

    The same applies to the entire spectrum of human creativity and invention. From the wheel to paintings; from clothing to philosophies; from nuclear bombs to Pokemon. They all began as an idea.

    Ideas serve as the building blocks from which we create reality.

    Ideas are prodigiously powerful. They exist beyond time and space. Once shared, a potent idea has the ability to reshape reality as we know it. Anything and everything of the material realm is subject to the dominion of underlying ideas. 11 Steps to Become an Idea Machine provides you with a template to leverage the strength of ideas, empowering you to steer your life in whichever direction you choose.

    What is an idea machine?

    An idea machine is an individual with the ability to come up with ideas anytime, anywhere and under any circumstances. An idea machine embodies confident creativity. An idea machine is dynamic, open-minded and impeccably clever. An idea machine adds ever-increasing value to both themselves and those around them. An idea machine is remarkably generous, as hoarding ideas only blocks one’s ability to receive more.

    This book shows you, step-by-step, how to become an idea machine. Each step concludes with a challenge to help you integrate the information presented. In addition, there is a consolidated list of challenges, which serve as a simple guide for implement the steps into your daily life.

    Ideas and Action…

    There is a world of difference between the average person with one great idea who fears to pursue it, and the idea machine who chooses, out of thousands of ideas, a few to bring to fruition. The average person is stagnant, while the idea machine is dynamic. The average person is afraid to take action, while the idea machine takes action when he or she chooses to.

    If you come up with an idea you wish to pursue, then yes, you need to execute it. Action is absolutely necessary in this case (which is detailed in the bonus chapter). There is no question about that. But as you will discover, idea generation, in and of itself, comes with a plethora of pleasantly surprising benefits.

    Imagine what it’s like to always have access to an infinitely abundant stream of fresh ideas. Can you say wizardry?

    Do you want to be more creative than most people can fathom?
    Do you want to always be the most interesting person in the room?
    Do you want to provide immense value to others?
    Do you want to have more opportunities?
    Do you want to be empowered and shape your own destiny?
    Do you want to maximize your life in every way?

    Become an idea machine and join in on the fun.

    And here is a sneak peak of the actual steps:

    1. Write Everything Down (The Keystone)
    2. View the World as an Idea Playground
    3. Meditation (Master Your Mind)
    4. Maintain a Healthy Antenna
    5. Walk the Path of New Ideas
    6. Reading is Fun-(for)-da-mental
    7. Engage in Productive Solitude
    8. Shower Power
    9. Travel AKA Idea Tripping
    10. Ask Yourself…
    11. Flex Your Idea Muscle

    Click here to get your copy of “11 Steps to Become an Idea Machine” today.

     

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    How to Channel Your Inner 2pac and Ravenously Create

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    Taking a step back a few days ago, I found myself muttering, “Now I know how 2pac felt.”

    I’m in the midst of the most productive weeks of my life. By a long shot. And to be honest, I almost feel like a superhero with newly attained powers; sure-footed yet surprised, and impressed to the point of slight skepticism regarding the sudden jump in abilities.

    I have a burning desire to express as much as I possibly can, blended with a deep-seated sense of urgency to create, create, create. Then create some more.

    Due to a deluge of techniques and lifestyle hacks I’ve employed, inspiration is hitting like a young Mike Tyson and creation has transformed from a “should” to a “must.” It’s an extended version of the “flow state” that so many artists talk about. Something that the late, great Tupac Shakur was intimately familiar with.

    The King of Content

    2pac had an insane work ethic, to the point of it becoming a form of modern mythology. The amount of material he produced in his short life is absolutely stunning. He would write and record ravenously, diving into sessions of intense focus like he wouldn’t live to see tomorrow (which eventually came to fruition, as it does for all of us).

    In contemplating what drove ‘Pac to be a such a creation machine, I was able to distill it into three key points…

    1. Sense of purpose

    2pac had so much to share with the world. He was immensely intent on sparking people’s brains and instigating positive change in the world. This is why he touched on such a multitude of topics and dabbled in almost every form of artistic expression.

    This quote encapsulates his innate sense of purpose…

    “I’m not saying I’m gonna change the world, but I guarantee that I will spark the brain that will change the world.” – Tupac Shakur

    If you have an intrinsic sense of purpose, absolutely nothing stands between you and what you wish to accomplish. When you live for something greater than yourself, there is no such thing as being tired. There are no complaints. The phrase “I can’t” doesn’t exist.

    Purpose is what fuels that burning desire that exists deep within all of us.

    I wrote extensively on finding purpose in this article, “Reveal Your Life’s Purpose by Asking These 15 Questions.”

    2. Death as motivation (A deep-seated sense of urgency)

    2pac put in work like his demise was imminent (even well before it really was).

    We’re not promised tomorrow. Death is the only certainty in life. Most people mentally comprehend this, but they live in denial of this fact. Truly knowing and feeling it on a deep level is what drives that kind of motivation that 2pac and many other great creators had.

    If you were to die right now, would you be satisfied with what you did here on Earth? Ask yourself that.

    “The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.” – Mark Twain

    With death as motivation, there is no time to waste, there is no time to procrastinate, only time to fully express, from the depths of your being, what you truly need to do.

    Create, create, create. Express the brilliant wisdom of your heart. Because you never know when you’re going to withdraw from your physical vessel…

    “Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today.” – James Dean

    3. Sticking to “systems.”

    Building off of the last two points, which are more like states of consciousness, you must consistently take action to create at a high level. Action is the currency of our reality. It is what you must exchange in order to achieve anything.

    The most effective method for continuous creation is developing systems. What a system is, is a regular routine with a purpose. As an example, here’s what I did to write every book of mine… I focused on doing something every day, no matter how small. Some days I got in the zone and wrote pages upon pages. Other days I edited one sentence (true story). I just focused on doing at least something every day, and before I knew it, I had a finished product. This technique is infinitely more effective than just saying “I want to write a book.” Most new years resolutions (and goals in general) fail because people merely dream of a goal, without implementing a system or routine to propel themselves in the right direction.

    2pac didn’t have a fancy, detailed system. His system was simple. He just wrote and recorded every single day. That’s it. He had a vision and a purpose which he executed by hurtling headlong into daily action. At one point, he was recording as much as 3 to 4 songs a day. Now that’s impressive.

    It seems obvious, but most people severely underestimate the power of consistent action. Relentlessly pursuing progress and persistently taking action results in gargantuan growth over time.

    “Daily, consistent, focused, faithful expectation raises the miracle power of achieving your dreams.” -John Di Lemme

    A note on time management:
    You might say “I don’t have the time to create.” Which is a bullshit, disempowered excuse. If you incorporate the above techniques, you will make time. As Gandhi once said, “Actions dictate where priorities lie.”

    With a higher purpose, a deep sense of urgency, and a system to take consistent action, you too have the capacity to channel your inner 2pac and become a ravenous creator.

    We all have brilliantly unique gifts to share with the world. The greatest tragedy is dying with yours inside.

    Don’t hesitate, create.

    – Stevie P