5 Reasons Why Morning Routines Are So Important

morning routine

Here’s the process of any change…

Your Morning > Your Day > Your Life > The Lives of People You Interact With > The World At Large

It all starts with your morning!

The micro influences the macro. Your life is a series of days. Change the way you approach your days and you will make a massive change in your life.

Now I want to get into why morning routines are so important…

5 Reasons Why Morning Routines Are So Important

morning routine

1. Start Your Day Off With Intention

A morning routine sets the scene for the day. It allows you to go into your day consciously. If you start your day with mindfulness, the rest of your day will be infused with mindfulness.

2. Morning Routines Reduce Distraction

Without a routine, you fall into distraction as soon as you wake up. Think about all of the distractions: Phone, tv, kids…etc.

If this is the first thing you wake up to, you’re going into your day in a state of imbalance. And then it becomes infinitely harder to find balance during the day.

3. Morning Routines Help You Focus

Reduced distraction naturally leads to focus. Mindfulness naturally leads to focus. Get clear in the morning and you will cultivate the focus needed to accomplish anything your heart desires.

4. Morning Routines Allow You To “Check In” With Yourself

Morning routines give you awareness of your mental, emotional and physical state. This daily “check-in” allows you to be way more in tune with yourself and spot any disharmony from a mile away.

5. Morning Routines Build Momentum

With a morning routine, you set yourself up with momentum for the day. Want to build momentum towards happiness? It starts with your morning routine. Want to build momentum towards peace? It starts with you morning routine.

And remember, once you have momentum, it’s actually harder to stop than to keep going! So consciously choose what direction you want to build momentum in.

By now, I hope you’ve realized the power of morning routines.

Simply being intentional with your mornings can become the catalyst for changing your life on the biggest scale.

If you want a resource that lays out the simplest and most effective morning routine for you, check out my Mindful Morning Journal.

Change your morning, change your day, change your life.

Much love.

– Stephen Parato

The Importance Of Morning Routines

morning routine

“The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine.” – Mike Murdock

In order to achieve any big win, you must first achieve the prerequisitory small wins which compound to make the big win.

Think about it… A painting is a series of brushstrokes, a war is a series of battles and a sports game is a series of plays.

Likewise, your life is a series of days. So consequently, you can maximize your life by maximizing each day.

If you want to be successful at anything, you need to know what you want and apply persistence towards it. On a day-to-day basis, this persistence takes the form of a ritual, routine or system.

A major commonality between all successful people is that they all have daily rituals.

These are not obsessive or neurotic rituals done unconsciously or out of fear. Successful people leverage routines which are consciously implemented to build momentum in a desired direction.

The most effective rituals are morning rituals.

Why?

Your morning is your pivot point which the rest of the day hinges upon. Your morning is the origin point of momentum for the day.


This was an excerpt from my latest book, The Mindful Morning Journal.

If you want to craft the perfect morning, and as a result, tap into the greatest version of yourself every day, you need to get your hands on this book.

The Mindful Morning Journal includes:

  • The psychology and strategy behind morning routines
  • The very best morning routine you can do
  • How to customize any morning routine for you
  • 222 days worth of journal pages (with cues for gratitude, affirmations, priorities and more)

Get the Mindful Morning Journal through the link below…

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The Silver Lining Method (It Works Like Magic)

silver lining

We all do things we don’t like doing…

You know what I’m talking about. Things like going to the DMV, calling a bank, calling your insurance company, getting your sink fixed…etc.

But what if I told you that these annoying to-do’s can actually transform your life?

And the same goes for any perceived challenges or struggles!

Look at the Yin/Yang symbol…

yin yang

Within the yin is a seed of the yang, and within the yang is a seed of the yin.

This applies universally. Within the struggle is a seed of opportunity. That opportunity is learning, growth and – if you’re a real master – FUN.

How to Practice the Silver Lining Method

Uncovering the silver lining in any situation in life is as simple as two steps:
1. Gratitude
2. Find the lesson in it

Now let’s briefly go over each step.

Step 1: Gratitude

There’s always something to be grateful for.

Being grateful for the smallest things can shift your whole state of being; clean water, coffee, having a car, having a smartphone, having access to the internet, your family, health…etc. Even being alive is something to be grateful for!

Breathe in deeply and feel gratitude in your heart. You can even write a list of things you’re grateful for.

I’m telling you, finding at least one thing you’re grateful for will completely shift the way you perceive any situation.

Step 2: Find the Lesson In It

There’s a lesson in everything.

And challenging situations are no exception to this. Actually, they’re way more of a learning experience then when everything is all sunshine and rainbows.

What is this situation highlighting about yourself? What is being revealed? Is impatience arising? Is social anxiety coming up? Become aware of what comes up, sit with it and learn from it. You’d be surprised at what you can learn about yourself in line at the DMV if you’re mindful.

And then there’s always cool stuff around you that you can learn.

What is the architecture of the building like? How are other people behaving? What do people’s body language say about them? What can you learn from observing someone else? Maybe the lady behind the desk at the dentist’s office is masterful at calming down angry people. Maybe the customer support person you’re on the phone with just read your favorite book.

You never know what you can learn from your surroundings if you’re mindful.

“What is the lesson here?” – That’s your new mantra for every situation. It’s your secret weapon to transmute any situation.

See, it’s really simple. Fill your heart with gratitude and find the lesson in the situation. That’s it.

Now put this silver lining method into practice the next time you find yourself resisting a “stupid obligation.”

Much Love.

– Stevie P!

The Hidden Truth About Reaching Your Potential

potential

One of the most tragic things in this world is wasted potential.

And sadly, we all fall into this trap of not reaching our potential.

A few days ago, I had a profound realization…

I never achieved my highest potential in ANYTHING – EVER – until releasing my novel Sozwik a couple weeks ago.

Seriously. It was the most bittersweet realization I’ve ever had. And it shook me to my core.

Each and every aspect of my life had been squandered potential… Until I got clear on my purpose.

This unfulfilled potential was the story of my life. It happened with basketball, school, self-confidence, career success, relationships…etc.

I can identify a single point in my life that shifted me… When I started this website. That was the moment I BEGAN tapping into my potential.

And now, 5 years later, Sozwik is the culmination of this.

This novel represents the absolute best of my abilities in so many areas: Writing, vocabulary, philosophy, metaphysics, imagination, psychology, self-reflection, self-expression, creativity and more.

Then there’s everything it took to actually create it: Discipline, consistency, purpose and an unshakable trust in the process.

And in creating something that truly maxed out my potential, I was able to increase my potential. Now my threshold is greater, and will continue to grow.

But there’s another layer to this…

The Hidden Truth About Reaching Your Potential

potential

When I realized that writing Sozwik was the only time in my life where I maxed out my potential, another a-ha moment came with it…

Maxing out your potential means you’re living your truth.

When you’re tapping into your potential, you’re fulfilling your purpose. Everything within you is in alignment. And nothing is holding you back.

If you’re in full alignment, reaching your potential is inevitable.

This goes back to purpose. Getting clear on your purpose is so important, that’s why I offer “20 Questions To Reveal Your Life Purpose” as a free ebook).

When you’re clear on your purpose, you’re in alignment. You’re in harmony. You’re living your truth and you have a definitive reason for being alive.

If you’re apathetic about being alive, how the fuck can you truly reach your potential? You would have a hard time being happy and helping others (i.e. most people). And that’s sad.

So… Why are you here? What’s your purpose?

It doesn’t have to be anything crazy. It can be simple. And it doesn’t need to be too specific either. It just needs to be a guiding principle (or set of principles) that you use to set goals and create daily habits.

Here’s what I wrote down a few days ago regarding my purpose:

  • Help people look at life from a more empowering perspective.
  • Spread love (also bringing out our inner child to play).
  • Metabolize experience.
  • Creatively expressing this through language and any other means that come through me.

What I wrote isn’t unattainable or overly complicated. Yet those simple bullet points act as a guiding force for my life. That’s what’s important.

If you don’t have a guiding force, you’re going to drown in the lukewarm pit of apathy. You’re going to flounder and be a victim of habit, circumstance and everyone else’s agenda.

If you’re not empowered enough to get clear on your purpose, guess what? You’re going to be a part of building someone else’s purpose. And there are many large systems that don’t have the best interest of humanity (or the planet) in mind and are happy to have you as a passive cog in the machine.

Get clear on your purpose.

Don’t know where to start? Answer the 20 Questions To Reveal Your Life Purpose. That will give you a really good idea.

Use your purpose as a guiding force for your life. No need to be rigid with it either. Allow your purpose to evolve as you do. And allow some room for the mystery of life to spontaneously unfold.

Make every moment count. Enjoy the ever-fleeting present moment.

Live your best life ever.

Much love.

– Stevie P!

These 33 Questions Will Spark An Immediate Spiritual Awakening

questions spiritual awakening

If you came here for answers, you’re in the wrong place.

Here’s a profound realization that 99% of people miss…

Questions are far more important than answers.

Answers come to us constantly. But answers are responses to questions we’re constantly putting out. If you can consciously ask the right questions, the answers you seek will naturally appear.

Don’t chase answers, ask the right questions and the answers will chase you.

Plus, answers aren’t destinations. They actually lead to more questions. And it’s in posing the right questions where the true A-HA moments come.

Wisdom is not about having the right answers, but in asking the right questions.

The wisest people have more questions than answers.

Here is a list of 33 questions that will spark something within you. Of course there are many more than 33 questions that can potentially spark something within. But this is a start.

Meditate on these. Ponder them and allow the knowing within to blossom.

These 33 Questions Will Spark An Immediate Spiritual Awakening

  1. Who am I?
  2. What am I grateful for?
  3. Am I here, in the present moment?
  4. What percentage of every day am I present?
  5. In what areas of life do I NOT apply the information I have?
  6. What excites me?
  7. Who inspires me?
  8. Exactly how does my favorite song make me feel?
  9. Why am I on this planet?
  10. What is my purpose?
  11. What are my thought patterns?
  12. What stories am I telling myself?
  13. What beliefs do I cling to?
  14. Am I willing to let go of my identity?
  15. Do I fear death?
  16. What is fear?
  17. What is love?
  18. Who is the observer of my thoughts?
  19. How am I holding myself back?
  20. Why am I not where I want to be?
  21. What is stopping me from being happy right now?
  22. Am I living my truth?
  23. How can I get closer to my truth?
  24. What are my most fundamental assumptions?
  25. Could my most fundamental assumptions be incorrect?
  26. How is my internal state affecting my experience of the external world?
  27. Am I simultaneously existing in multiple dimensions?
  28. Are my perceptions limited to 5 senses?
  29. Could there be more than just this three-dimensional reality?
  30. What am I not letting myself see?
  31. Where am I holding tension?
  32. What is my biggest fear?
  33. What is underneath my biggest fear?

Now stop reading.

Take a few minutes and meditate on these questions.

Write some of them down.

Let them marinate in your being a bit. Then allow the insights to come pouring through.

Much love.

– Stevie P!

The Art of Radical Honesty

radical honesty

Here’s an uncomfortable truth…

We lie constantly.

We lie to ourselves. We lie to each other. We stretch the truth. We omit information.

In our society, it’s normal to lie. We go as far to say that little white lies are good, because they prevent people from being hurt. To me, that’s just pandering to the ego and ensnaring ourselves in its insidious tricks.

For the last few weeks, I’ve been experimenting with radical honesty.

And what I mean by radical honesty is this:
1. Integrity – Total alignment between my thoughts, words and actions
2. Not withholding relevant information

Radical honesty does NOT mean going out of your way to offend people. If someone walks in the room and they’re severely overweight, I’m not going to walk up to them and say, “Hey, you’re fat.” That’s just being an asshole. However, if that person came up to me and asked if they were overweight, I would say “yes.” Not with the purpose of being mean to them, but because it’s honest and relevant.

Remember, there are no hard and fast rules with this stuff. It’s about being true to yourself and dynamically approaching each unique situation.

How Dishonesty Fucks Us Up

Everyone will tell you that lying is “bad” and honesty is “good.” So I’m not going to get into that.

However, there are some subtle, insidious problems that dishonesty creates…

Multiple Trains of Thought

Dishonesty creates multiple trains of thought. This means that you have to run at least two lines of thought simultaneously; one line of though for what you’re thinking AND another line of thought for what you’re actually saying.

Having multiple lines of thought takes you out of the present moment. Because you have to constantly think about what you’re going to say, and compare it with what you really think.

Continuous Maintenance of Stories

Dishonesty is essentially story-creating.

And, as everyone knows, it takes a lot of effort to maintain story lines. Why make life so complicated when it can be simple and stress-free?

The Subtle Stress of Dishonesty

It’s stressful to constantly uphold multiple lines of thought.

And this stress is hard to detect when it’s all you’ve ever known. You’ll only realize how stressed (and fearful) you were once you start practicing radical honesty.

If there is no discrepancy between your initial thoughts and what you outwardly express, there is one line of thought and, as a result, less stress.

Distrust of Yourself

If you’re constantly dishonest, you’re building a habit of not trusting yourself.

A genuine thought or feeling arises, then you instantly twist it to conform to what you think you have to say. This is telling yourself that your genuine thoughts and feelings cannot be trusted.

Of course, this creates all kinds of problems down the line; disempowerment, lack of confidence, neglect of intuition, indecisiveness…etc.

Start trusting yourself again by practicing radical honesty.

3 Major Effects of Radical Honesty

radical honesty

1. Simplicity

Radical honesty creates beautiful simplicity.

Lies and dishonesty unnecessarily complicate things. This is plain to see with people who are pathological liars. They create such intricate webs of lies that it’s a full-time job just to maintain all of the story lines. And we all do this to varying degrees.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want that stress in my life.

Be honest. Keep it simple. And enjoy a life of WAY less stress.

2. Authenticity

Radical honesty means being your real self.

Instead of approaching situations with a mask, or persona, based upon what you think others would like, just be yourself.

Many intimate relationships demonstrate this concept of wearing a mask. Oftentimes, we try to impress people we’re attracted to by acting a certain way. This means you’re going into that relationship as a different person. Then, when you finally get comfortable, it creates a struggle between your persona and who you really are. No wonder why so many relationships get weird and complicated.

Even just the thought of honesty will make you aware of the masks you’re wearing. It will also create “ego awareness.” If you’re radically honest, you have no choice but to be aware of your ego, which leads to the next point…

3. A Call to Love

If you’re radically honest, you’re forced to deal with your own shadows.

It’s easy to hide when you’re dishonest. But there’s no hiding when you’re living with full integrity.

If you’re a miserable person, you’re quickly going to find out that you’re spreading your pain everywhere you go. This gives you the opportunity to deal with your own fear, suffering and shadows.

You’re going to strive to be a more loving person. Being radically honest will help guide you to choose love over fear within yourself, and thus in every situation.

Radical Honesty Challenge

Now, I challenge you to apply radical honesty to your life.

Because all of this is useless if you don’t practice it.

Make it a priority to be honest for the next week.

Again, here’s basically how…

  • Integrity – Total alignment between your thoughts, words and actions
  • Not withholding relevant information
  • Don’t give yourself rigid rules. Use the pointers here as a guideline and see what works best for you.

    Try out radical honesty.

    You won’t believe how light and free you can feel.

    Much love.

    – Stevie P!

    5 Ways Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies are Changing the World

    bitcoin cryptocurrency

    Bitcoin

    Have you heard about it?

    Most people have heard the word, yet don’t have a clue what it is. That’s why I’m writing this.

    At this point, wrapping your head around Bitcoin is like trying to wrap your head around what the internet is in 1994.

    And that’s actually a good comparison, because Bitcoin can be concisely described as “the internet of money.”

    I’m going to keep this article as simple as possible. And I’ll admit that I’ve barely scratched the surface with my own knowledge. The point here is to BEGIN to understand Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, as well as the profound impact they are (and will be) making on the world.

    To begin to understand all of this and its implications, you need to first familiarize yourself with a few key terms…

    What is Bitcoin?

    Bitcoin is a digital currency.

    But it’s also much more than just currency. It’s really more of a platform or a protocol than a traditional currency as we know it.

    Bitcoin really is the “internet of money.”

    That phrase was coined by Andreas Antonopoulos, who goes on to explain Bitcoin as, “The concept of decentralization applied to the human communication of value.”

    Bitcoin is one of many digital currencies, known as cryptocurrencies.

    What is Cryptocurrency?

    Wikipedia describes cryptocurrency as, “A digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange using cryptography to secure the transactions and to control the creation of additional units of the currency.”

    So basically, it’s a digital currency that is built upon computer-programming logic that automatically logs and secures transactions through cryptography (secret encryption).

    What is Blockchain?

    The underlying logic of cryptocurrency is known as blockchain. Blockchain is defined as, “A continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography.”

    Nick Szabo (aka The Quiet Master of Cryptocurrency) compares blockchain technology to a fly being stuck in amber. The fly getting stuck is the transaction. Then, over time, more and more layers of amber solidify. This is how blockchain works. It solidifies more and more layers of metaphorical amber around transactions, making them more and more concrete and unchangeable over time.

    bitcoin cryptocurrency

    Don’t worry. I know all of this can be overwhelming.

    But the point isn’t to know everything. The point is to START TO UNDERSTAND these concepts.

    Bitcoin and cryptocurrency are the kind of things that become clearer and clearer the deeper you go, yet always maintains some level of mystery (like the internet).

    So now that you are beginning to understand what they are, here are some of the implications of these revolutionary technologies…

    5 Ways Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies are Changing the World

    1. Decentralization of Power

    With cryptocurrency, transactions are peer-to-peer. There is no need for middle men. There is no need for centralized institutions to validate transactions. Central institutions inevitably lead to power accumulation and more and more control.

    This is all-too-obvious in our world today. I think everyone can agree that our current centralized financial system is a rigged game that exploits the majority of the population.

    Whenever a central third-party becomes an arbiter of a system, that central third-party is in a position to control everything.

    With our current monetary system, the central institutions make the rules. Everything has to go through them. This also means that these central institutions, who store everyone’s precious information, are massive “honey pots” for hackers. So they’re inevitably going to be hacked over and over again.

    Decentralization spreads the risk and takes away the massive incentives for hackers. Cryptocurrencies are actually built to be used via the internet, while traditional monetary systems aren’t.

    Cryptocurrency is a peer to peer exchange of value. And with blockchain technology, everything is logged and validated, while maintaining personal anonymity through cryptography. This means that no centralized third-party is needed and everyone is on equal ground.

    What the internet is doing in terms of democratizing information, cryptocurrency is doing in terms of democratizing currency.

    2. Non-Authoritarian Currency

    Democratization and decentralization naturally leads to more individual freedom. Cryptocurrency inherently gives you more choice. More choice in terms of what currency you want to use and how you want to use it.

    Transactions with cryptocurrencies don’t need to go through an authority. JP Morgan can’t deny your purchase. Western Union can’t take 10% of the hard-earned income an immigrant is sending back home.

    With cryptocurrency, you are the authority. We’re breaking away from the authoritarian mentality. All authoritarian systems are breaking down – school, work, money, religion – and giving way to new opportunities. Authoritarianism might have worked in the industrial age, but it sure as hell doesn’t work in the information age.

    3. Privacy

    Privacy is a major advantage of cryptocurrency. The underlying cryptography creates privacy for individuals.

    With cryptocurrency, you don’t have all of your transactions logged by central institutions. With fiat currency, every transaction you make is tracked (by those central institutions) and traceable to you. This means that if you’re under a totalitarian government, they can shut down your only way of buying food if they believe you’ve spent money on the “wrong thing” (donating to the wrong organization, spending money at an “unauthorized” place…etc.).

    Privacy is more than having or not having something to hide. It’s another safeguard against power accumulation and tyrannical institutions.

    4. Global Connectivity

    Cryptocurrency is the internet of money. It is connecting everyone globally and making borders irrelevant (they’re imaginary lines anyway).

    Cryptocurrencies are all global currencies, free of centralized control. And there won’t be one single cryptocurrency that everyone uses. People will always have the option to use what they want, or even to create their own coin. So essentially, there will be an unlimited number of cryptocurrencies available to use for global transactions.

    And people can choose which currency they use. Some might be better for larger transactions. Some for smaller. Some better for services. Some better for tangible goods. Some better for geeks. Some better for sports fans. The point is that cryptocurrency allows for options that are inconceivable under our current monetary systems.

    And without centralized control, no New World Order type of conspiracy scenario can happen. There will be no one world currency controlled by a small group because cryptocurrency is inherently based upon the decentralization of power.

    This creates an even playing field for all of humanity, as well as a way to dynamically exchange value in the most efficient way each individual sees fit.

    5. More Freedom For Everyone

    All of the above reasons point to this… More freedom.

    Decentralization equals more freedom. The collapse of authoritarian systems equals more freedom. Privacy equals more freedom. And dynamic global connectivity equals more freedom.

    Cryptocurrency cannot be regulated out of existence by banks or governments. Why? Because the technology already exists. The cat is already out of the bag. Once an idea exists, there’s no going back.

    The only way to “stop” cryptocurrency transactions would be to shut down the whole internet. And that’s nearly impossible at this point. Plus, if we had that kind of technological collapse, no country’s monetary system would be able to function anyway.

    What to Watch Out For

    Though cryptocurrency is changing the world, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Like with every emerging technology, there are some things to be aware of…

    Don’t bet the farm on one currency – Individual cryptocurrencies might not last (even Bitcoin). And some are still very speculative and relatively volatile (smaller and younger = more volatile). But cryptocurrency itself isn’t going anywhere. Since the technology exists, that means the cat is out of the bag. It can’t be contained.

    Scams – Because this is a new space, there are cryptocurrencies coming out that aren’t legitimate. This is to be expected in any new area.

    There are also scams involving buying and storing cryptocurrency. Do your due diligence before making any transactions. And as cryptocurrency matures, the general population will adapt and become savvy enough to spot the scams from a mile away. It’s like what we’ve seen with online scams. Back in the day, people would fall for the email scams and click spammy pop-ups. Now, no one falls for that stuff. Because we’ve adapted.

    And adaptation is what us humans are great at. Change is the only constant. So embrace it and work with it as it comes.

    I hope this article gave you an idea of what bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are, and the world-changing potential of these technologies.

    Again, this is a start, not a definitive guide.

    I highly recommend looking into this stuff yourself. Because it really is changing the world as we know it.

    Much love.

    – Stevie P!

    Want To Get Started Investing In Cryptocurrency?

    The best place to get your feet wet is Coinbase.

    It makes buying Bitcoin really easy and it’s where I started.

    Here’s the link: Coinbase

    1

    The Attachment Trap

    attachment

    “The root of all suffering is attachment.” – Buddha

    Attachment is based in fear.

    Think about it. You’re attached to your lover because you’re afraid they’ll leave. You’re attached to your job because you’re afraid of not making money. You’re attached to your identity because your ego is afraid to just BE. You’re attached to an idea because you’re afraid of being wrong or not knowing. You’re attached to everything you have because you’re afraid of what’s outside of your comfort zone. Can you see the trend?

    So in many ways, attachment is “giving too many fucks.”

    Now you might be saying, “Hold on! Are you telling me I shouldn’t care about anything?”

    Nope. All I’m saying is to release attachments.

    You can still love someone without being attached to them. In fact, true love has nothing to do with attachment. It is unconditional and freeing.

    You can still do incredible work without being attached to it. I’m doing that while writing this. You can still make a positive impact on the world without being attached to the results. In fact, nonattachment increases the quality of everything you do.

    The art of not giving a fuck is all about transcending fear and attachment. When you clear all of the bullshit you’ve accumulated throughout life, what are you left with? Peace, love, happiness and bliss.

    And that’s what we’re all chasing – some combination of those feelings – right?

    This was an excerpt from my book Essentialism and the Art of Not Giving a Fuck

    Now… A Challenge to You

    What are you attached to?

    What ideas, beliefs, habits, addictions or patterns are you clinging to?

    And here’s the key question: Which of those attachments do not benefit you?

    Be honest with yourself.

    Maybe it’s social media, your phone, sugar, coffee, alcohol, pornography, cigarettes, anger, complaining, watching the news, attention-seeking, victimhood…etc. Attachment comes in many forms.

    Just saying “I can stop whenever I want,” is the telltale sign of self-deception.

    Challenge yourself to drop all attachments for a short period of time. A week is great. But even a day would help.

    Doing an attachment fast creates a pattern interrupt. It stops the momentum of any habit in its tracks and gives you much needed perspective.

    From there you have the power of choice, instead of being a slave to your attachments.

    Releasing attachments results in freedom. And only then can you be in a place of unconditional love.

    Much love.

    – Stevie P!

    PS – For more on attachment, fear and letting go of things that don’t serve you, check out my book Essentialism and the Art of Not Giving a Fuck.

    5 Reasons Why Your Body Is The Portal To Spiritual Growth

    body spiritual growth

    Answer this question truthfully…

    Are you ignoring your body?

    In our society, the vast majority of people live exclusively in their head (yes, even workout junkies). And a small percentage falls into the trap of what I call spiritual escapism, living in the clouds. Both are delusional.

    The key – to unlocking our potential and living a fulfilling life – is THE BODY.

    The body is not something to be ignored. It’s not something to be neglected. It’s not something to be demonized. And it’s definitely not something to be viewed as an impediment to spiritual growth. In fact, the exact opposite is the case.

    The body is the portal to spiritual growth.

    “Transformation is through the body, not away from it.” – Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now)

    The most spiritual, transformational thing you can do is to be FULLY PRESENT. I’ll repeat that again. The most spiritual, transformational thing you can do is to be fully present.

    Everyone is looking to escape the negative aspects of reality, including you and I. If you’re denying this, that’s part of your escapist self-deceit. And people try to escape in different ways; drug/alcohol abuse, television, work, social media, addiction to spiritual practices, externalizing power to authority figures instead of looking within…etc. Basically, most people will do anything to distract themselves from… well… themselves, and their raw emotions.

    But no forms of escapism work… They just mask a problem and let it fester in the shadows. That’s when things get really ugly, and we see it reflected on the macro level in the world.

    Here’s the hard truth: The only way out is through.

    The best way to solve any problem, or realize that the problem doesn’t really exist, is to face it head on. Yes, this reality can be extremely challenging. But it only gets worse if you try to ignore or avoid it.

    However, everything gets transmuted once you dive fully into reality, into the present moment. And that is done through the body.

    With myself and many others, I’ve noticed that physical health is what tends to first open people up to who they really are. It’s the “first domino” that catalyzes spiritual growth, self-awareness, empowerment and all that “good” stuff.

    After realizing this, I started looking into why this is the case. And here’s what I found…

    5 Reasons Why Your Body Is The Portal To Spiritual Growth

    body spiritual growth

    1. Health

    With a healthy body, everything else falls into place.

    You can think more clearly and creatively. You also become a better conduit for ideas and intuition. Everything regarding cognitive function and perception becomes heightened when you’re healthy.

    Another byproduct of health is being vibrant and full of energy. When someone is healthy, you can see that sparkle of life in their eyes. When someone is really unhealthy, they have that vacant look. This is a huge indicator, because you can literally see that some people are embodying their divinity.

    Health is also the practice of self-love and self-care, which obviously has spiritual implications. It’s taking care of your temple and allowing the presence of the divine (or whatever you want to call it) to come through.

    So what are the basics of health? It’s really simple when you boil it down. Eat real (natural) food and move your body. If you do that, you’re at least 80% there.

    2. Getting Out of Your Head

    Being in your body gets you out of your head. And that’s a big deal in today’s society.

    Most people are trapped in their head and slaves to their mind/ego. The mind makes a beautiful servant but a terrible master. And the mind is a risk calculator, meaning if you’re trapped in it, you’re going to be calculating risks 24/7.

    Our minds are hardwired to detect threats, because that’s what has kept us alive for millions of years. But we no longer have to deal with saber tooth tigers, so 99.9% of fears are purely psychological/abstract and not based in real danger at all.

    But, in general, we let this risk calculator run the show. This is why the vast majority of people live in a state of perpetual fear.

    Most people spend their whole lives thinking about the past or future and COMPLETELY MISSING THE PRESENT MOMENT. Actually acknowledging, feeling and experiencing your body changes this.

    3. Presence

    Being more in your body helps you to be present.

    You get out of your head, and in the present moment. This point is so important that entire books are written on it (The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, Be Here Now by Ram Dass, You Are Here by Thich Nhat Hanh…etc.)

    When performing a difficult exercise for example, it’s hard (and even dangerous) to be thinking about the past or future. This is why exercising can help you cultivate a practice of presence.

    On the other side of the spectrum, many types of meditation involve body awareness and body scanning. This fosters a state of presence.

    There’s also mindful eating. The practice of mindful eating means simply being completely present while eating.

    First of all, you’re aware of what you put into your body. Most people mindlessly shove food down their gullet, then wonder why their health/performance is sub-par. And another aspect of mindful eating is being fully present and undistracted when eating. This means fully experiencing the taste, smell, texture of food and noticing how it feels when being digested. Practicing this not only allows you to enjoy food more, but hones the ability to feel what is beneficial or detrimental to your body.

    And when you’r body is healthy, the clarity and clearheadedness that naturally arise make it far easier to be present (as well as the absence of pain/discomfort).

    4. Being In Tune

    I hinted at this while discussing mindful eating. Being healthy helps you get more in tune with your body.

    And it’s not only with eating. It helps you get in tune with intuition, feelings and emotions. Again, good health allows for all kinds of clarity and the healthy flow of energy. Plus, there are the benefits of getting out of your head and being present.

    All of this results in being very in tune with the subtleties of life. There’s nothing woo-woo about it. When you’re healthy, your awareness is heightened.

    5. Holistic Expansion

    True expansion, true authenticity and true health, is holistic.

    You cannot ignore an aspect of self and think it won’t have side effects. We see the neglect of the body in many religions, which obviously doesn’t work out well (where guilt, shame and all kinds of perversions run rampant).

    On the other hand, we see the neglect of the emotional and spiritual aspects of self in modern western society, and it doesn’t take a genius to see all major “systems” need to change.

    We need to embrace all aspects of ourselves. And love it all.

    The more grounded you are, the more connected you are to everything. Being fully embodied is a way of embracing wholeness.

    I mean, there’s a reason why “spirit” (or whatever your term is for God/Source) is choosing to express itself physically, right? If not, we wouldn’t be here. Even if it were some big cosmic joke, we’re here now, in human form. So start with being present and fully conscious in this experience.

    It also doesn’t stop at the body. The body is an aspect of self, not your entire self. It’s a portal to your true self, not the totality of your true self. Again, embrace all aspects of self.

    Becoming Spirit Embodied

    So how do we get more into our body?

    It’s very simple; engaging in daily practices that benefit the body. Here are some ideas:

    • Getting out in nature
    • Hiking
    • Going to the beach (where you get all four elements at once – sun, air, earth, water)
    • Putting your bare feet on the Earth (aka grounding/earthing)
    • Any form of exercise
    • Yoga
    • Any form of martial arts
    • Eating healthy (and mindfully)
    • Taking a walk outside
    • Simply being present
    • Fully experiencing your senses
    • Meditating on how each part of your body feels
    • Breathing exercises
    • Cold water exposure (cold showers)
    • Swimming
    • Conscious sex
    • Dancing
    • Singing

    Love your body. Cultivate health. Embrace all aspects of self.

    Much love.

    – Stevie P!

    33 New Ways to Measure Success

    success

    When you think of the word success, what comes to mind?

    Money? Flashy suits? Private jets? Expensive cars? Penthouse suites?

    That’s so old paradigm, bro.

    For the last few decades (and way longer in some cultures), success has been almost entirely associated with money.

    Of course, monetary success is an aspect of success, but it’s far from total success.

    The core definition of success is, “the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors; the accomplishment of one’s goals.”

    That can literally apply to ANYTHING. And it should be.

    So in the spirit of rendering old paradigms irrelevant, I’ve made a list of 33 new ways to measure success.

    Note: Don’t cling to measurability in terms of amounts or statistics. Many of these are measurable in the simple sense that you can “check them off” as they occur in your life.

    33 New Ways To Measure Success

    1. How much you laugh every day
    2. Free time
    3. Location independence
    4. Earning a living through helping people
    5. Enjoying the little things in life
    6. Making someone’s day
    7. Having the capacity to give
    8. The ability to choose what you do in a day
    9. Leaving your comfort zone
    10. Choosing love over fear
    11. Deepening a connection with someone
    12. Meditating
    13. Creating something (anything)
    14. Expressing yourself in any way
    15. Getting an idea
    16. Truly tasting food with full awareness
    17. Using your body in a new way and noticing how vibrant it feels
    18. The ability to travel
    19. Richness and diversity of experiences
    20. Perception expansion
    21. Every time you leave your comfort zone
    22. Whenever you create an interesting story
    23. Connecting with nature
    24. Being completely authentic in an interaction with someone
    25. Having the courage to be vulnerable
    26. Admitting when you’re wrong
    27. Trying something new and succeeding
    28. Trying something new and failing
    29. Learning from a mistake
    30. Reconnecting with an old friend
    31. Making a new friend
    32. Finding likeminded people
    33. Being fully in the present moment

    Every time I check off one of these items, it’s a success.

    But there’s a bit of a paradox…

    Constantly chasing success is a trap. Your self-worth is not attached to anything you do. You’re worthy no matter what.

    This is why the last, and most important, measure of success is BEING FULLY IN THE PRESENT MOMENT. If you ever find yourself fully in the moment – not lost in thoughts about the past or future – that’s success!

    Yeah, it’s fun to do cool things and experience all that life has to offer. But if you lack the ability to JUST BE, you’re always going to be chasing the illusory pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

    Remember, success can be found in the simple things.

    Now you have some specific ideas to help you reevaluate how you measure success.

    We all deserve to be able to create the best versions of ourselves and make the most out of life.

    Do you have any other ways to measure success? Drop a comment below.

    Much love.

    – Stevie P!