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The Deservability Contract (Sign and Date Your Infinite Worth).

As a stamp of approval to last week’s deservability post, your divine footprint has some light paperwork (Get it?  Light!) to make things officially official.

Below you will find your very own copy of The Deservability Contract.  It’s purpose is to recognize, acknowledge, and claim the God-given worth inscribed within you.

That said, I find it beneficial to print, read, sign, and date the contract. In doing so, you’re communing with and making space for bundles of tall energy to back you and flow through you.

Once complete, I encourage you to keep it somewhere nearby (wallet, bulletin board, etc.) or a sacred spot at home and reread, re-sign, and remind yourself of it and how deserving you are whenever need be.

I personally have a worn copy that I sign frequently.  It’s covered in black ink, blue ink, pencil, crayon, and marker. There’s coffee on both the front and back too.

So without further ado, I give you The Deservability Contract.

I hope you enjoy.

hello

TJ

 

 

 

The Deservability Contract

 

I, _______________________ {name}, hereby agree to enter into The Deservability Contract with the Youniverse on ________________ {today’s date}.

This agreement is based on the following KLITE truths:

1.  In being born, I have innate, boundless worth.

2.  I AM free and absolute.

3.  The fruit of life blooms to be eaten.

4.  Approval is an inside job – that which I own, I AM.

This contract binds all parties involved as an entity of Oneness and Love.  To be blessed in the fullness of its opulence, one knowingly submits to a life of self-acceptance and an eternity of inherent value.

If at any time one forgets, falls flat on their ass, and/or fails to adhere to the above provisions, no sweat.  As a child of God, you’re still worthy, and always will be.

Upon signing, this agreement is subject to the laws of the Youniverse and effective starting immediately.  Stillness, sunshine, and compassion expedite its activation.

 

__________________________                               ___________________________

 {Printed Name}                                                               {Signature}

 

________________________

{Date}

 

 

© Keepin’ It Light, 2017.

On Deservability…. a Myth, a Duty, a Gift.

I am deserving.  I deserve all good.  Not some, not a little bit, but all good.  I now move past all negative, restricting thoughts.  I release and let go of the limitations of my parents.  I love them, and I go beyond them.  I am not their negative opinions, nor their limiting beliefs.  I am not bound by any of the fears or prejudices of the current society I live in.  I no longer identify with limitation of any kind.  In my mind, I have total freedom.
— Louise L. Hay, Love Yourself, Heal Your Life Workbook


Deservability.  A concept that, often coated in a layer of unease, provokes a murky response.  Why?

Cause we’re born, bred, and conditioned to praise the value of rigidity.  Work hard.  Sweat.  Pay your dues.  Fight through it.  Put in the hours.  Show up sick. Ignore it.  Prove, earn, validate, repeat.  Work harder.  Complain less.  Push a little more.  Validate that validation.

Together, let’s call this the Illusion of Rigor; which is, of course, a blatant pile of malarkey.  Not to mention a sermon in inefficiency and inauthenticity.  BUYER BEWARE.

Side NoteDon’t let this undermine the importance of making things happen.  There’s a fine line between taking action and resigning to another’s idea of what is “right.”

The problem with the Illusion of Rigor is that somewhere, at some point in time, it became the hallmark of deservability, making it wrong to participate in life’s harvest for the simple reason of just being you.  So we scrap, claw, and get stuck in a trance of “earn,” or ignorance, lambasting our inner thirst. One that colludes our evolution with conflicting intentions of desire and guilt.  We spread clichéd-butter on stale bread…

Spouse is absent?  Well, that’s marriage for ya.
Finances are thin?  Nothin good comes easy!
Asshole of a boss?  Aren’t they all?
Yearning for a raise?  Don’t be greedy.

Cause we’re tough, right?  There’s virtue in toughness… in sweeping it under the rug… in hardening ourselves, our soul, our skin. You know what you call tough skin?  A callous. You know what you call healthy skin? A glow. The irony is hardly ironic.

The gift of life is exactly that – a gift.  In being born, you accepted said gift. It was blessed unto you. No clocking in, résumé check, or overtime required.  Just a present courtesy of the Youniverse.  Effortless.

What’s your point Jedi?

Call off the ordination. You’re pre-packaged with worth. An infinity of it too. The fact that you’re Here – alive (and reading this) – kind of confirms it. You deserve, as Louise Hay puts it, “not some, not a little bit, but all good.”  Breakfast in bed, smiles “just because,” flowers on Monday, paid vacation, and attentive conversation… with eye contact… perpetual eye contact.

Yeah, but I still don’t understa…

Look, you want to thrive, right?

Of course I do.

If you truly aspire a rich, meaningful, love-loaded experience – the ‘life well lived’ so to speak – you gotta know, know, that you, yes you, are inherently worthy of all the goodies the planet has to offer – long weekends, foot rubs, affordable organics, R-E-S-P-E-C-T, and commissions… fat commissions… from a job that THRILLS you.  Without said belief, your heart’s desires, and bona fide fulfillment for that matter, don’t stand for diddlysquat.  They’re but a wet match on a windy day.  You gotta own it, period.

Ah, I get it… (scribbling on a notepad) … “The goal:  entitlement.”

If you need to trick yourself, that could work in the short-term. But no, entitlement is the ego’s theme song. Consciousness headlines the deservability soundtrack. It’s about opening up. Acknowledgment. Listening. It’s a self-love thing, really.

Merit comes from within. And responsibility means exactly that…. responding.

You deserve the best of the best of the best of the best… just for being you.

Let that be enough.

hello
TJ

 

 

P to the S.  The opening quote can be read in its entirety by googling “The Deservability Treatment.”  For anyone struggling to accept their infinity, it’s a supportive resource to keep in mind.

P to the Double S.  Sit with your magnificence for a bit. Come back next week to sign “The Deservability Contract” – a sacred clause of self-love and luminosity.

 

 

Mindfulness 101 or (How to Change the World at the Grocery Store).

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There’s a true story, I’m told, of a general in the U.S. army who’s ordered to take an anger management course. Until doing so, his service is suspended.

At the end of the day (and a long program) – a challenge for anyone, let alone a commanding officer in a macho profession – he goes to the grocery store to refill on supplies.

Ready to check out, he steps behind a woman with just a few items, a sight that triggers him instantly. (There’s an empty express line one register over). The woman is holding a baby and even lets the cashier hold her too. Together, they gush over the little girl: curls, ribbons and eyes that match her dads. The general, meanwhile, receives no acknowledgment, not even a nod, as the line stalls.

Everything inside the general insists he reacts. What a rude woman! I have somewhere to go. How clueless can (both of) you be?! Yadi yada the small self yanks. Instead, he remembers mindfulness and flips his knee-jerk mentality with a simple but profound act… he pauses.

The scenario has triggered a sense of anger in the general. But why? Anger certainly isn’t the root. Is it anxiety… for fear of being late? Maybe. Is it egotism… to satisfy our incessant need to be right and in control? Who knows. Regardless, below the reactive jibber-jabber (and within his pause) he finds some space, a bit of a God gap, and an openness to the moment.

After a few more minutes in line, the woman and little girl leave.

“That girl was adorable,” the general decides to say.

The cashier lights up.

“Thank you!” she responds. “Actually that’s my little girl. My husband was killed in Afghanistan last year and my mom brings her by twice a day so we can have some time together. It’s not much, but it gets me through the day.”

If we fail to deepen our awareness, react and not respond, we’ll never know our fullest Being. Tiny judgments are acts of a separate self.  Separation is the culprit to all front page news. With or without our dissection of the scene, the world will keep on spinning. You never know what’s on the other side of the counter.

Pause.
Take a breath.
Respond with Presence.

Policies and presidents won’t change the world.  Mindfulness will.  It starts at the grocery store.

light
TJ

Small Stuff as the Big Stuff. And This is Why You Matter.

I was talking to the barista at the local coffee joint.  It’d been some time since I caffeinated there.  We caught up, discussed the shop, his music career, pizza and beards.  You know, the essentials.  (If you want a weather-or-Donald Trump’s-latest convo, I’m not your guy).   “I’d love to chat all morning, but it’s inventory day,” he apologized.  I gave him the green light.

As he walked away he turned and said with the utmost sincerity, “It really is great to see you T.J.  Always have a smile on your face.”  I accepted and grinned in my chair.

Minutes later I reached for my journal, but something obstructed the page. It was a card, handwritten and bursting with color.  Three lines layered in love. My name in this person’s print was enough to warm my insides.  Can you say “you had me at hello?”

The same afternoon I did my daily hike with Gus.  A sunny stroll through the autumn woods. We walked past a gimpy man ascending a rocky incline. I greeted him as Gus inspected his cane. “Just enjoying my therapy,” he said. “Gorgeous day, a great park and positive people like you.”  I wished him health and left with a jolt.

Now, before I proceed, allow me to lay some context.

Hi, I’m T.J. and I’m an… (interrupted by group joviality).

Hiiiii T.J.!!!

Uh yeah… um… well… like I was saying (big pause) … there’s no easy way to put this… but… UH… well… I’m an… (pause again) I’m… I’m an introvert.

This is the meeting that occasionally plays in my head.  To those of you who know me, this is a real shocker I’m sure. To those who don’t, the context is crucial to these words.

But yes, an introvert I am. What does that mean exactly? Well for the most part, I live Within.

Groups aren’t my thing and Facebook overwhelms me.  I’ll never speak to fill space.  If voices rise and agendas flair, the stage is yours.  I’ll be on the other end listening, breathing;  we can reconvene when you surface for air.  Cause ya know… quiet contribution is often the best contribution.  If the stillness makes you uncomfortable (and most people it does), you’ll probably form a quick opinion of me (just don’t call me “shy” – I’m anything but).

That said, I love to say thank you and always give credit where it is due. I laugh when many don’t and ask great, meaningful questions.  If I’m jacked up about a particular topic, you’ll know.  If I’m not, you’ll know that too (I’d never make it in Hollywood).

So, back to the story (stories, actually). Three small gestures, big, BIG imprint.  And honestly, it’s all it takes.

Had I not been acknowledged that day, would I have felt shorted or low on life? Not at all.  My form of introversion (Presence, really) may not rely on the exterior, but that’s not the point.  The point is those reflections felt really damn good and hijacked my day to a loftier dimension.

And guess what? It doesn’t matter if you’re a rock star, a bodhisattva or a refrigerator repair man, being human, we need to be told. (E.g. Last month I let the FedEx worker, a frumpy woman in her mid-fifties, know how beautiful her eyes were. She turned a red so deep I thought a stretcher might be needed). This isn’t a matter of validity, but one of recognition.  Validation is for parking.

You and I’s part in all of this?

Dish love… relentlessly.
Salute someone’s shine… constantly.
Acknowledge, recognize and BE the small stuff… it matters.

And you do too.

hello
TJ

The Divinity of Disappointment — A Letter to Those Who Think They’ve Failed.

ocean

Disappointment can be wearing.  Frustrating too.  There’s no way around it.  When you’re an artist and a creator (and we all are), you get knocked down…. a lot.  It’s just part of the gig.  Abe Lincoln.  Rejected.  Martin Luther King Jr.  MockedAmelia Earhart.  Ridiculed.  Early on, these folks were billboards for disappointment.  Or were they?

If we put on our God glasses and observe with a bit gentler eye, what we frequently label as disappointment and failure is often false advertising for clarity, redirection, and a heightening of Presence.

One of the many side effects of an overactive Western world is our rush of judgment in associating failure with self-worth.  You know, cause we gotta have everything right here, right now.  Or…  that it means something about us.

Cut from the team…  Not good enough.
Can’t sell your house…  The world is against me.
Bomb the audition…  Don’t have the talent. 
Lose the job or kill the relationship.  (And this is my favorite)…  What will people say?
Or even more worrisome, how will social media respond?  The tragedy…

Truthfully though, what’s seen by many as a case of ineptitude or a sign to work harder and longer or a perpetual curse of “bad luck” or an attachment to popular opinion may just be a benevolent Youniverse finalizing the details – the divine ones that is.  Thus presenting all parties involved with yet another opportunity to trust and stay rooted in their Glow.

Disappointment is simply the disguise that alignment occasionally wears.  That’s it.

Nothing but a divine reroute masquerading as a temporary road bump.  Or as my mom puts it, disappointment – “an appointment not met.”  You see?  Just a timing thing.  Nothing but the Divine rescheduling.

(And no, this doesn’t mean the cosmos has a day planner.  It doesn’t wear a cape either.  Saving is for the piggy bank.  Being the “you” in Youniverse means participation.  It’s active.  (End this paragraph with a reminder about “letting go” being anything but a passive deed).)

So before you get your dauber down and drop your latest experience in the defeat file, I’m going to ask you to reflect on this, because maybe, just maybe, your current disappointment is but a nudge in a soul-suited direction.

Stay open.
Embrace the Mystery.
Keep it light.

Love

TJ

Zen and the Art of Farming.

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A farmer had only one horse.  One day, his horse ran away.  All the neighbors came by saying, “I’m so sorry.  This is such bad news.  You must be so upset.”

The farmer just said, “We’ll see.”

Several days later, the horse returned with twenty wild horses. The farmer and his only son corralled all of them. All the neighbors came by saying, “Congratulations!  This is such good news.  You must be so happy!”

The farmer just said, “We’ll see.”

The following day, one of the wild horses kicked the farmer’s son, breaking both of his legs.  All the neighbors came by saying, “I’m so sorry.  This is such bad news.  You must be so upset.”

The farmer just said, “We’ll see.”

The country went to war, and every able-bodied young man was drafted to fight.  The war was long and gruesome and killed every man from the village, but the farmer’s son was spared, since his broken legs prevented him from the battlefield.

All the neighbors came by saying, “Congratulations!  This is such good news. You must be so happy!”

The farmer just said, “We’ll see.”

Skip the assessment.
Can the conclusions.
And just wonder.
Life is moving.

Neutrality can be a divine act.

You’ll see.

How to Drink Free Coffee.

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The Coffee Challenge.  Heard of it?  Here’s how it works:

Go to a coffee shop and order a coffee — a water, a pastry, a venti mocha frappa thingy — it doesn’t matter.  Then, ask for 10% off.

That’s it.

Simple enough, right?

I was listening to the Tim Ferriss podcast recently when this so-called “comfort exercise” was brought to my attention.  A terrific idea, I thought.

The point being that many of the limitations (I’d say the majority) we experience in life are completely self-inflicted.  Get a degree, don’t turn right on red, save now, spend later. What I like to call “thinking under the influence.”  (Some day they’ll issue tickets).

On the one hand, the Coffee Challenge is a direct shot at “the system.” In actuality, however, it’s less about rebellion than it is yoga for your comfort zone.  The idea is to stretch it by doing one of the most basic, yet daunting of human activities…

Asking for what you want.

MY COFFEE CHALLENGE EXPERIENCE

Full disclosure: The coffee establishment in this experiment, I have frequented more than once. I’m familiar with the people. That said, I’ve never received a discount on anything… EVER.  It’s not one of those places.  In light of my familiarity, I decided to raise the bar and ask for a free coffee instead of a discounted one.  Here’s how it went down.

Me:  Hi.  I’ll have a double macchiato, please.
Worker: Sounds good. Would you like the single origin? (That’s the fancier stuff).
Me:  Yeah, let’s do that.

With an aim to be calm and present in my request, I wait patiently for the tallied total before dropping the bomb…

Me:  Can I have it for free?
Worker:  Uhhh… yeah, sure.

Wow, that was easy. Almost too easy. I was kind of expecting a little bit of a struggle, but hey, I believe in a benevolent Youniverse.  Free coffee here I come.

Worker:  That’ll be $2.93.

Hmm… we must have different definitions of “free.”  Ah, I get it.  We’re playing it cool because there are other customers around.  Gonna pull the old “fake credit card” swipe.  I dig.  Wink wink.

And then, as I reach for my wallet, I realize that this isn’t the case at all, but a simple lapse in communication.  He didn’t charge me for the fancy espresso — that’s what he thinks I want for free, which perfectly arrives at, of course, 10% off – the original task.

For a split second, I consider accepting the discount and calling it a day.  You know, one of those can’t-say-I-didn’t-give-it-a-try copouts.  But let’s face it, I wouldn’t be able to walk away fulfilled with my attempt. Why?  Because that’s NOT what I asked for.  Whether I get the free coffee or not, I don’t care.  But clearly delivering my desire, that’s a must.  Carry on now, T.J.

Me:  Oh no, sorry.  I’d like the whole thing for free.
Worker:  The whole thing?!?  (Said with a cryptic laugh).
Me:  Yes, can I have a free coffee?

He’s not so much laughing at me as he is impressed by my request (of course he is).  Steadily, I smile right back at him, a gesture confirming my sincerity. Now, he seeks to understand.

Worker:  Are you strapped for cash or something?
Me:  No.
Worker:  Waiting on a check?
Me:  Nope. (I could lie and play the pity card, but that would sully the intent of the Challenge).

Now he’s really thinking.  It’s written all over his face.  So this guy doesn’t want the drink upgrade and he’s not down on his luck. And then, like a child grasping its first word, I watch it all register.

Holy shit! I think this guy might just be asking for what he wants. That’s it.


Worker:
 Alright, just tell the barista what you’d like.
Me:  Thank you.

As I walk away, he’s grinning from ear to ear. No ire or even a hint of discourtesy. Just a big ole I-have-no-idea-what-just-happened-but-I-respect-the-hell-out-of-you type of smile.

 

And that’s how you drink free coffee.

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF ASKING

1. Clarity is king.
You can never be too specific. That’s right, even the word “free” can get misinterpreted.

2. Ask as if.
Imagine, visualize, and bless the intent with Victory. This is your request. Everything is better when it’s qualified with Love.

3. If it’s a No…
Be gracious and appreciative. Humility goes a long way. Plus, you’re a badass just for asking.  And that’s the whole point.

4. If you’re uncomfortable asking…
…that’s because it’s important to your soul’s purpose. Nerves get a bad rap. Work with them by following through.

5. Brevity is your ally.
Short and sweet always does the trick.

6. Buy this book.
Read this book.

7. Stay detached.
Showing up is your only job.

8. People want to help.
They always have and they always will.

9. Sometimes you have to ask twice.
And that’s OK.

10. You don’t ask, you don’t get.
Gandhi said this.

Bonus commandment:

Keep things in perspective.
Whether it’s a napkin or a coffee or a raise in salary, remember:

You’re only asking a question.


AN OPPORTUNITY FOR YOU

Try your own Coffee Challenge.

In the comments below, feel free to share your experience.

Happy asking!

 

Victory Stories: 15 Reasons to Continue your Pursuit Today.

Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team.  He’s the greatest to ever play the game.

Warren Buffet failed to get into Harvard Business School.  He has 44 billion dollars.

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling had 12 publishing rejections.  It’s the best-selling book series of all-time.

Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper because he lacked “imagination and had no good ideas.”  Mickey Mouse, anyone?

Steven Spielberg was rejected multiple times by USC film school. Résumé check: Jaws. E.T. Indiana Jones. Jurassic Park. Hook. Schindler’s List. Saving Private Ryan.  Catch Me If You Can.  Lincoln.  Need I say more?

Some woman named Oprah was fired as a television reporter due to being “unfit for TV.”  I think she had a talk show…

Marilyn Monroe was kicked to the curb by 20th Century-Fox due to being “unattractive.”  She’s an icon and a sex symbol to this day.

The positive reinforcement of Thomas Edison’s teacher’s?  “You’re too stupid to learn anything.”  He invented the light bulb.

Harrison Ford was told that he didn’t have what it takes to be a movie star. He makes 20 million per film.

Elvis was fired after one performance at the Grand Ole Opry. His parting words?  “You ain’t goin’ nowhere, son. Ought to go back to drivin’ a truck.” Aren’t we glad he didn’t?

Julia Roberts failed to land a role on the daytime soap opera “All My Children.”  In 2000, she won an Oscar for Best Actress.

During his first standup performance, Jerry Seinfeld was booed off the stage. His sitcom “Seinfeld” was voted the #1 TV series of all-time.

Abe Lincoln had no more than one year of formal education. He ended slavery, lives on the penny, and is considered one of the greatest American presidents.

Soichiro Honda applied for and was turned down for an engineering position at Toyota. Instead, he founded Honda.

A recording company told four boys from Liverpool “we don’t like your sound” and “guitar music is on the way out.”  They were The Beatles.

Whatever you LOVE.  Whatever you’re here to do…

Continue the Pursuit.
Continue the Pursuit.
Continue the Pursuit.

Keep pointing forward.

And I’ll keep reminding you.

A Mantra for Result Junkies (and Anyone Withholding their Shine): Rise. Radiate. Release.

I’ve stared at my laptop for hours on end.  Many a day. Even greater a night. I’ve swip-swapped words (thesaurus, please!), picked apart sentences (uh yeah…delete), scrapped paragraphs (CUT!), and completely canned ideas – really good ones – within a length, sometimes a nose, of the finish line (don’t Save…like NEVER ever… do Macs have an Avada Kedavra button?).

And in these moments of self-piteous/self-deprecating/self-loathing/(insert the unflattering adjective of your choice here) paralysis, no pep talk or pat on the back or couch session with Jesus Christ himself could convince a fiber of my being that I have a gift or just may have created, and subsequently trashed, something of value.  Let alone to share it with the world.

For awhile you stick with the basics… I’m a perfectionist. It could be better. Oh, but they won’t understand. Ya know, the self-soap opera no one really believes.

Last summer for example. I created a manifesto for this site. Three week process. Poster-style. Self-editing, hired-editing. Arranging and rearranging. A total labor of love. This was, in my mind, a viral credo waiting to happen. An I’m-gonna-walk-down-the-street-and-see-it-tattooed-on-a-stranger’s-back sort of hit. Straight up California dreamin’. Or just plain visualizing. However you want to look at it.

After several days of writing and rewriting, I decided to give it some breathing room. A day. Maybe two. A week tops. To reset and reframe. (Side note for creators of any kind (if you’re human, this is for you): Fresh eyes and a fresh psyche are crucial to any passion project. And just good ole meat-and-potatoes life advice.)

Which brings me to last week when I’m thumbing through my files in search of a blog lead. And there she is… the manifesto… buried in a miscellaneous folder. I give it a read. And then another. And then one more just to be sure. Turns out it’s quite good, might I say.  Stirring.  Direct.  Ripe as can fucking be. That’s right, ripe.  As in ready, fit, overdue.

Don’t let ripe turn to rot.  Spirit Calls can be very time sensitive.

Did I forget about the manifesto? To a degree, yes. Was that why it lived in a computer closet?  Not a chance. My failure to launch probably had ties to creative anality, of that I’m sure. Its thickest root though was an unconscious attachment to the outcome. Never beneficial and a total dream killer. The divine takeaway:

Rise.
Radiate.
Release.

The number of eyes that read the manifesto (coming this summer, by the way), that’s far beyond my capacities (and antithetical to why I create in the first place). The attachment to the result, and whether I let it squash my Expression, well, that’s just a choice. Cause guess what?

I did my duty.

I sat in the seat.

I laid it on the page. Every last letter of my Shine.

I showed, I glowed, and now, with a focused but flexible intent, I’m gonna let it go.

All of it.

Why?

Because I know the Youniverse has my best intentions. And if you want to physically let go, you gotta spiritually let go… of the job interview, the relationship, the six-month plan, the five-year plan, the audition, the manifesto.

Release your masterpiece.

The seed is in the soil.

The elements…

They’ll take care of the rest.

 

TJ

 

 

5 Tips to Spiritual Hygiene or (An Impromptu Guide to Internal Upkeep).

1.  Live by something.

I call this our Code. Call it what you please. Or nothing at all. It doesn’t really matter. What matters is having something to stand on. Not for, but on. These aren’t beliefs. They’re truths. Your truth. An oh-so-sacred set of Self-science. There’s nothing to figure out. It’s already written. Listen and it will find you. As will your freedom.

2.  Give thanks for something.

Write it. Sing it. Paint it. Say it out loud. Like a fine wine, gratitude is most effective when you let it breathe. Keep the circuitry flowing by physically announcing your appreciation. The Youniverse has ears, ya know? Plus, it just feels good.

3.  Explore something.

The more I play this game called Life, the more I’m reminded of the importance of fresh activity. Daily disciplines are great and dandy and grounding and everything, but should only be used for foundational purposes. Your Code now, that’s your anchor – its role is to buttress, never immobilize your curiosities.

Don’t forget to explore new docks.

4.  Connect with something (aka Feel Big).

Your favorite essay. A hilarious movie clip or guitar riff. That heartfelt story on the back of the cereal box. Hell, look into the eyes of a young child or the joyful gaze of your dog for a few seconds. It’s all God, just different shades.

I find it healthy to get spiritually jacked up at least once a day.  (I watched this video for a month straight at one point). Fired-up feelings catapult consciousness and creation.  Feed the beat.

5.  Breathe.

I’m a sharer, not a preacher. If I were to ever gospelize a single dictum to the planet though, breath would be my go-to. “The body follows the mind, but the mind follows the breath,” said a really old yogi, a really long time ago. Cliff notes?

Breath drives the vehicle.

Stay with it,
stay in the moment.
Stay in the moment,
mastery made manifest.

Call me a gravedigger, cause I’m gonna bury this into the ground.

 

TJ

 

 

Why the Fear of Judgment is a Bogus Excuse (and How to Permanently Put It to Bed).

In the months leading up to the launch of K.LITE, my emotional world kicked into overdrive.

Some of the feelings I was overtly aware of – anxiety, lethargy, and an eagerness for outside reflection – while other thoughts took some time and lens-wiping to gain a clearer focus.

Here I was, 28 years old, and about to share a very sacred side of myself to a very large digital world.  A side of myself that for many reasons I’ve always played close to the chest. I can honestly say that my fears felt well-earned and completely justified.

But I didn’t scold nor fight this sentimental existence… nope. Instead, I chose to view it as an omen of something worthwhile I was doing.  So I gave it space and simply allowed it to be.

Cause here’s the thing – I wasn’t scared to put myself out there.

Sure you weren’t.

I can wholeheartedly say that I wasn’t.

You see, the chalice of my creative expression had reached the brim such a long while past that any and all fears seemed minute in comparison to the excitement and possibility of letting my soul off leash. I was an overtrained stallion bucking inside the starting gate.

Now, this isn’t to say that I wasn’t at some point absolutely scared shitless of what it might mean to ‘really’ put myself out there. The comments. The feedback. The box I’d be thrown into. Of that, I most definitely had my reservations…  for about 10 minutes.

What!?!? That’s it?

Yep, and here’s why…

When I decided a few years back to pursue my Authentic Adventure, I was sure of two things:

1). It was the only doorway to lasting fulfillment and freedom. (Yeah, the only doorway, like for reals).

2). There’ll be judgment either way.

What do you mean?

No matter who you are and what your story happens to be, judgment is a permanent and inevitable part of the game. The happiest, most successful people in the world are the most magnified and evaluated people on the planet.  Agreed?

Definitely.

If you pursue your Authentic Adventure (e.g. this blog, that dream business, that totally-against-the-grain way of living), they’ll judge you. If you don’t, they’ll still judge you, and worst of all, you’ll forever judge yourself.

The sole difference between the inward screamers and those radiating and rocking their truth to the planet is that the screamers tiptoe around their Expression whereas the rockers don’t hold anything back. There’s zero divide between ‘who they are’ and ‘who they think they should be.’ The rockers are on full display, vulnerable but empowered.

That’s very inspiring and all, but uhhh… the whole “put judgment to bed part”… not seeing it.

Embrace judgment for the beauty that it is.

Beauty in judgment? You’re off your hinges.

Enlightened Decree #24:  If you look close enough, there’s beauty in everything.

Back to my Authentic Adventure. I didn’t see much of a decision there.

I (You) could (can) either play small ball the rest of my (your) life under the illusion I’d (you’ll) elude ridicule, or I (you) could (can) have complete acceptance of the fear and judgment and bologna to come, and let the power of my (your) Presence be the only endorsement my (your) soul will ever need.

In the end, we’re all susceptible to judgment. That’s what putting yourself “out there” means. But if you break out of the starting gate and do what your soul was designed to do, you’re at least being your truth, and letting the Youniverse know that your Heart’s Desires won’t ever be for sale.

Rock on,

 

TJ

The Surprisingly Simple Secret to Creating Momentum that Will Blow your Life Wide Open.

Momentum doesn’t appear out of thin air.  Nor is it a magic doorway post-eureka! flare.  Momentum is a magnetic force born from persistent and consistent harmony.  Vibrant by nature, its existence can feel all-too-real.

The root of momentum is “moment.”  Singular.  Its foundation and prowess dwell in “the here and the now.”  Those with momentum on their side are those who’ve mastered the moment.

The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel wasn’t complete in one titanic splash. Michelangelo painted one stroke at a time.

Gandhi didn’t win a weaponless war with ravishing speeches throughout India only to call in sick the next morning. He wrote, taught, meditated, and loved deeply every step of the way.

Abe Lincoln didn’t hatch the ‘Emancipation Proclamation’ at breakfast and free the slaves by suppertime.  No siree Bob… he chiseled away at it day-by-day, moment-by-moment, year after year. Each built momentum through repetitive present-moment activity.

In physics terms, momentum is defined as “mass in motion.” Like Newton’s First Law – an object at rest stays at rest, an object in motion stays in motion. In sports, a team with momentum is said to be “on the move.”  The key to getting on a roll then is to keep moving.

Momentum is forward energy – a tailwind of creating space for that which matters most.  When momentum manifests, you’re consistently choosing. The Youniverse loves choosers.  When you choose, a fire of fluidity ignites everything in the direction of dreams.

The second we stop choosing, we lose momentum and our ideas shrink. We make excuses and grow susceptible to criticism, resistance, fear, and fatigue. And eventually, if we don’t snap out of it, our heart-generated guidance can clot, sucking the zest and inspiration right out of our center.

When it comes to our creative visions, perhaps the “mass” part of the equation is the passion we travel with accompanied by some kind of divine speed.  Maybe momentum is simply our heart in transit — a rhythmic, spirit-filled ocean of steadiness.

HOW TO TURN THE TIDE AND RIDE A WAVE OF MOMENTUM

Establish what’s important.
One of the easiest ways to deter from our path is the attempt to execute too many things at once. You have a splash of brilliance, you give it a little thought, a different idea shows up or you hit a roadblock, so you drop the original plan and change directions.

Flip-flopping and junkdrawering desires do nothing but deflate our self- confidence. Take the one that lights you up the most and attack it with vigor. When it’s time to move to the next, you’ll know. One wholehearted idea blows twenty half-assed ones out of the water.

Operate early and often.
Like a Budweiser, heart inklings have born-on dates. They’re best to consume fresh off the assembly line. Wait too long and the passion behind them wanes, resulting in a stale flavor. That or someone beats you to the punch… with your idea.  Talk about a morale-thumper.

Aim small, miss small.
In the film “The Patriot,” Mel Gibson gives this advice to his sons when teaching them to use a rifle.  Meaning if you aim at the entirety of the target and miss, you miss completely. If you aim at something smaller, such as a bull’s-eye, and miss, you still hit the target.  Give yourself the best chance at flourishing with your project.  (Guns excluded hopefully).

It’s fun to dream big, and we all do, but worrying about your peanut butter company’s IPO before writing a mission statement probably isn’t the most logical route.

By all means, keep dreaming and holding the vision, but don’t underestimate the power of baby steps, so that one day you do reach the stock exchange.

Stamina and grit.
The Youniverse recognizes action steps of all shapes and sizes.  Sometimes a willingness to simply run with an idea, as dull, difficult or farfetched as it may seem, and stick with it, may be all you need.

An idea without action is just a thought.

Rise to this moment.
Rise to tomorrow’s.
Place the track on repeat.

Momentum gained.

TJ
Love

(As always, add your ingredients to the recipe).

The 90-Second Seminar: Decide to Thrive (because there’s Light inside you).

WARNING: The following composition has the potential to rock your socks off. But only if applied.  It’s not an opinion, propaganda, or smoke-up-the-ass jibbidy-jab.  It’s plain and simple Youniversal Truth that anyone can utilize starting now. Either you accept its backing or you don’t.  If one so chooses to acknowledge the Truth herein contained (and I highly encourage this route), as a result, Godspeed shall be your way.

For starters, engrave these words into your psyche:

Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Thank you Marianne Williamson for this spiritually-caffeinated, never-clichéd, not-said-enough, mother-of-all-quotes super quote.  The world is blessed because of it and I’m grateful from beginning to end.

Your pre-seminar homework is to memorize this.  Write it down.  Print it. Blow it up.  Frame it.  Hang it over your bed.  Tweet it.  Tattoo it to your face like Mike Tyson.  Do what you have to do.  Because it’s that damn powerful and that damn true.

Next, flip the switch.

What, you’re wondering.

That’s right, flip the switch (usually in the “up” direction) because the Light is present.  There you go, perfect.  Now, pull up your pants, gimme your best model posture, and emanate that radiance.

Good.  Keep your attention on that inner smile.  Connect with it.  Spoil it. Nourish it.  Give it love and feed it truth.  The more you fund it, the more it funds you.

Decide to thrive.

Brighten the planet with conviction of YOU.  Exercise your God-given ability to glow, then take it one step further and Own That Glow.  Engage with people from the Height of who you are and the bliss of your –ness.  Life’s on your side, be on its too.

Decide to thrive.

Rise.  Jump.  Reach.  Soar.  Let your prana ignite the way.  The struggle and yuck and fear will fade. There will be no black and white.  Right will be wrong and wrong will be right.

Decide to thrive.

Why, you ask.  Easy:  you’re hardwired to prosper and seasoned with possibility.  Not good enough, you declare.

Wow, tough customer!  OK, how about this?

If you ignore your Light, it will eventually quit speaking.  If it quits speaking, your spirit will slowly deteriorate.  When your spirit eventually deteriorates, your world will come crashing down:  mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and physically.  When your world comes crashing down, you’ll lose your job, your apartment, your mind, your significant other, your dog, and (brace yourself people)…. your Facebook account.

What?!?!  Did you say Facebook, you retort.

Hey, now I’ve got your attention.  I’m not the type to play the exaggerative card, but you kind of forced the issue.

Please, I’ll do anything, ANYTHING!  Whoa, take it easy.

Here you go.

Why decide to thrive?  Gee…I don’t know, because you’re here just once, because it feels good, because you woke up this morning, because it’s contagious, because “Decide to Wither Away and Die” isn’t exactly a “light” topic, because you fucking can.

Sink in yet?

Ya, I got it.  I promise (student frivolously taking notes now).

Any other trivial nonsense?  No?  Cool.  Now be a lamp and go sit in the corner.

Decide to thrive.

Here’s the kicker to it all:

Your natural resources are waiting. The light is charged and ready to explore.  It can and will never burn out.  So play HUGE and serve the world! Just give that switch the ole’ fliparooo.

Decide to thrive.

It’s a matter of choice.

Decide to thrive.

Because you can.

Decide to thrive.

Because there’s Light inside you.

 

TJ

The Beggar and the Box (A Reminder of What’s Within).

There once was a beggar who sat on a box by the side of the road for many, many years.

Day in and day out, swarms of strangers would pass him on their way and the beggar did what all beggars do:  ask for money.

One day a traveler was passing through town and the beggar shouted “Please give me some money!”

The traveler said “Sorry, I don’t have any money to spare, but I am curious about your box.”

“What about my box?” the beggar replied.

“Well, what’s in it?”

The beggar responded, “I don’t know, it’s just an old box I found here that I’ve been sitting on for years.”

Persistent in his inquiry, the traveler once again asked what was in the box. The beggar replied, “I’ve never looked.”  The traveler said “Why not?”

“Because there is nothing there!” the beggar howled back.  The traveler said “Well let’s take a look, shall we?”

Finally, to appease the traveler’s insistence, the beggar split the box open and amazingly, a treasure of gold burst onto the ground.  He’d be sitting on it for years and never even knew it.

And off the traveler went.

What treasure are you sitting on?
And what’s it going to take to open it?

I invite you to look inside.

 

TJ

How to Ascend Worry and Truly Serve the World.

Here’s what I’ve learned about rising above worry:

Be sure to let yourself feel first.
Don’t confuse the elimination of worry with a vow to the stoic life. It’s OK to be sad or anxious or ticked off or confused or concerned even (not the same as worry, by the way).  These are all beautiful, natural responses, and part of the human experience.

And the best thing you can do is to allow them to move through you. Emotion is energy in motion after all.

If your heart aches… let it rain and sob away.
If anger is built… constructively find an outlet (pillows are still the best).
If you just don’t understand “why” (the most honest and real feeling of ‘em all)… let it be known by talking it out, writing it out, screaming it out, whatever one must do.  Just don’t let it stagnate.

You can’t release worry without complete self-integrity.  It’s a locksmith and prereq to your Highest point of view — and that’s what we’re after.

Skip the script.
Think about your current worry:  how much of it is actually real?  In other words, is it truly your fear or a projection of how you think you “should” be feeling? Our conditioned intelligence assumes that we must embed ourselves into some kind of story as to feel a part of something.

F.Y.I… attaching yourself to the front page, the crisis, the headline, the cause, the past, the diagnosis, the bleak future, the “drama”, it doesn’t make you any more associated, considerate, involved with, constructive, in control of, or caring of a world citizen.  It just means worry has made you a victim too.

Instead, Hold the Light by skipping the script completely.  Write your own with hugs and encouraging deeds and divine redirection.  Want to be a noble soul?  Pen your own narrative.

Choose compassion.
Cliché?  Maybe. Underutilized?  Definitely.

This isn’t empathy either.  Compassion has an active element of blessing and desiring the efficient and fluent Victory for any and all parties involved.  It doesn’t fester, it responds and never “feels bad for.”  Difference:

I feel bad for the impoverished.
I’m blessing their inborn wealth.

I feel bad for the sick.
I’m loving on their perfect health.

I feel bad for the Middle East.
I’m visualizing their peaceful future.

(And yes, praying, intending, wishing, loving on, singing to, Rosary reciting, meditating, believing in, drum circling, mala bead counting, and doing yoga for is in fact ACTIVE.  You don’t have to organize a 5k or donate blood or adopt a Lebanese child or start a Facebook group to raise the vibration of the planet).

Love is proactive.  Move with it.

Steer clear of negativity.
Pessimists are pessimists because underneath the surface they feel helpless. Their M.O. then is to suck you into a vacuum of worry and expand their army of gloom.  As they say, only two things happen when you wrestle with a pig: you get dirty, and the pig likes it.  Whatever you do, avoid the Debbie Downer nearest you.

Relinquish the need to draw conclusions.
You know the line, “Everyone has an opinion.”  Sure, but do we really need to analyze…. like everything?  If shit has hit the fan, worst-case scenario’s are probably pretty evident.  And regardless of external judgment, things will play out the way things will play out. Take a still pill.  Relax.  Let neutrality be your calling card.  Observing is conscious contribution and can be the grandest of services.

Keep breathing.
In case you’ve forgotten.

A Recipe for Worrywart’s Anonymous. A One Step Program.

There’s a lot of chaos in the world as we speak.  War, natural disaster, guns, political upheaval, racial tension, yadi yadi yada.  Network news loves it. Social media feeds on it.  Everyday people heighten it.  How?

They worry.

Of course we do.

May I ask why?

Because we care.

Interesting.  So worry then is synonymous with compassion?  Is that what I’m hearing?

Yeah… I suppose it is.

Oh boy, where to begin?

HOW ABOUT HERE

Worry:  to torment oneself with or suffer from disturbing thoughts;  to move with effort;  fret.

I didn’t make that up.  That’s the dictionary definition.  Ask yourself: helpful or harmful?  Uplifting or sinking?  Supportive or destructive?

Hey, I never said I slept well.

Forgive me, but I sort of pieced that together.  I mean, you might as well call it self-torture, right?  That and the fact that ‘worry,’ literally speaking, derives from the Old English word wyrgan meaning “to strangle.”  Or maybe you prefer the German root würgen, also meaning “to strangle.”  Pick your poison.

Might I suggest something?

Sure, why not.

STOP WORRYING.  

I know it makes you feel heroic, courageous, and an admirable, altruistic part-of-the-world.  But seriously, it’s not flattering.  What else it’s not:  the job of a good parent, in the Bible, the formula for a flourishing non-profit, and/or a TED talk gone viral.

You’re telling me that you don’t worry?

Sure don’t.  Never have.  Never will.

Whoa, a macho man you are…

I didn’t say that I don’t support others or get scared about or feel deeply for or occasionally get ticked off at the silliness of humanity and the unfortunate fate that happens to great souls.  Like anyone else, I absolutely do.  It’s natural.  But I don’t pump worry gasoline onto the fire.  Not my job, not yours.  And I’ll tell you why.

Worry is a FEAR-fueled, energy-sucking, manipulative endeavor that tricks you into believing you’re doing the “right” thing.

But if you read the fine print, you’ll see:  reactor, mental/spiritual/emotional tick, and what the French call saboteur.  It will eat you alive.  The more you worry about your friend with cancer, the state of the economy, the election, tax and healthcare reform, the job offer, or your kid driving with a cell phone, the more power you give to the issue at hand.

Do you think Buddhist monks and Vatican priests, who are blessing all of us as we speak, sit in prayer and meditation for hours on end enfolding the planet in a ring of Love only to 10 minutes later exacerbate their prayer and good vibes by flipping on the nightly news?  I don’t think so.

Which brings me to the one step.

WORRY vs. WONDER

“You either pray or you worry.  Not both.”   -50 Cent

Thanks Fiddy.

Wonder:  to think or speculate curiously;  to be filled with awe.

Worry stresses.  Wonder blesses.
Worry is a mental circus.  Wonder is no mind.
Worry goes outward.  Wonder stays inward.
Worry is a road block.  Wonder is a bridge.
Worry attaches.  Wonder liberates.
Worry bathes in fear.  Wonder swims in possibility.
Worry is a dementor.  Wonder is a Patronus (in Harry Potter lingo that is).

Worry takes you southbound in the speedy direction polar your Heart’s Desires.  It bolts from intent, scattered and slippery. Wonder, on the other hand, flows from a well of stillness and surrender.  Like so:

I worry my friends won’t be there for me.
I wonder when my self-approval will be enough.

I worry about climate change.
I wonder how I can support Mother Earth.

I worry that he’ll never awake from his funk.
I wonder when he’ll remember his heart’s purpose.

I worry she’ll get laid off.
I wonder the blessing it might bestow.

I worry about his travels to a foreign country.
I wonder the trust it will mold.

The wonder approach is affirmative, but detached action.  Which means, of course, feathers will be ruffled.  The worrywarts of the world, lost amidst their drama (one they’re unconsciously feeding), will mislabel you as selfish and lazy.  Others will say, “Oh, he’s smug and arrogant. He doesn’t even care.”

Your response?  So be it.

What they don’t know (because they’re drowning in worry), is that your laissez-faire attitude is a consciously-driven choice to step outside the soap opera.  Not because you don’t care, not because you’re an inconsiderate person, because you’re holding the Light.  In everything, for everyone. Blessing the situation with wisdom and paradigm shifts.  Clearing space for miracles to unfurl.

So hold the Light.  Send Light.  Be the Light.  Stay anchored in wonder.  It’s the purest form of compassion there is.  Some will understand, some won’t.

It’s a demanding job, but someone’s gotta do it.

 

TJ

How to Ask, Make Space For, and Open Yourself Up to Divine Magic.

To complement last week’s post, here are some ideas and add-ons for stepping through magical doorways:

Show up, but let the picture paint itself.
Two things magic doesn’t own:  a day planner, and a watch. That’s because it can’t be scheduled and it knows no speed.

What it does love, love, love is continuous inspired activity.  Do so by sticking to the moment at hand.  Your now-NESS is a portal to loads of behind-the-scenes magic the Youniverse is currently orchestrating.  TIP:  Breathe.  Three times a day — morning, lunch, evening — make it a point to return to the present through some conscious breathing.  Throw a couple thankfuls or a love mantra on top of that…. and boom, back to the NOW.

Qualify always.
No matter what your spiritual supremacy looks like – the Big Guy, the ocean, your authentic self, Jerry Garcia, your dog, archangel Michael, the magical girl from the 90’s movie Matilda – be sure to lay your intentions on the table first. You wouldn’t you go to a restaurant and expect the waiter to guess your order, would you?

Those experiencing their Victory are those in charge of their intent.  

Be adamant in your requests.  Give ‘em a little moxie if need be.  And relentlessly affirm and reaffirm that the details are being arranged.  TIP #2: Qualify with specificity.  The Youniverse only knows creation.  Be sure to label it with clean energy and a graceful unfolding for all.

Keep feeding the beat.
We’re raised and reared on a keep-your-hands-full paradigm.  Uh… gag me.  Full of what exactly?  Just full?  “Good” busy as we robotically say.  As if a hectic schedule is the Heaven’s recipe for everlasting joy in the world. My suggestion… gut this old-school thought pattern today.

Instead, switch to a keep-yourself-fulfilled paradigm.  Big, big difference.  Heart versus head; quality versus quantity.  Here, you’re active with a purpose, not merely to stay out of trouble or report back to your parents or to do what everyone else is doing.  When I nurture my spirit inklings, I’m far more open to the signals life is throwing at me, and subsequently, a lot more in tune with the next turn to take.

Stay in the play.
Play is a responsibility, not a luxury.  That’s because responsibility is our “ability to respond.”  If your soul is craving a day at the park or a round of golf with your friends, and you’re not responding, you’re not being responsible.  It’s no different than drinking water when your mouth is dry.

Have you ever heard of a child hanging out with a friend over a cup of coffee? Probably not.  That’s because children play.  They’re pulled by it and respond. Life is a subjective adventure.  Deem it a game, it will be.  Deem it a sentence, it too will be.  Never stop playing.  More fun = more magic.

Life must be lived as play — Plato.

Let the simple be the profound.
Sometimes I’ll be hiking deep in the forest and think “What if a great big owl flew and landed on my shoulder?  Talk about cosmic confirmation!”  Yet, as ethereal as this would be (and I’m still open to it, by the way), it’s a major spiritual ego trip, and not the faintest echo of how I interpret the Divine.

If you’re conditional with how your road is paved, and always needing something bigger, better, and super-duper paranormal or out-of-this-world – Mother Mary appearing on the hammock in the back yard or the mailman delivering the winning lottery numbers in a golden envelope addressed to your name – you’ll always be waiting.

Thoreau beautifully wrote, “Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant?”  Magic has very little to do with phenomena.  It has everything, though, to do with our perception.  Let your world be blown by the day-to-day.

SIDE STORY FROM THE ROAD:  I’ve really detached to the pace of my current trip and continue to follow anything that intrigues me.  Yesterday, I walked around a small college in rural Vermont.  Quaint town.  Glowingly green campus.  And what do I find out?  They are the two-time national champions in Quidditch (yeah, like the Harry Potter-fly-on-brooms sport).  I couldn’t script this stuff.

AND FINALLY….

Release it all.
You gotta make space for magic to bear its fruit.  And trust is the ultimate form of letting go.  Surrender to life’s riddle….

And I have a funny feeling that the magic might just find you.

 

 

TJ

I Knew Robin Williams — Plus 5 Heart-Openers from His Movies.

I don’t often write on current events, nor do I ever plan to.  But the sudden passing of actor Robin Williams has impelled me to the page.

Not too long ago, I reflected on some of my favorite films and noticed a running theme – more than half of them featured Robin Williams.  From Dead Poet’s Society to Patch Adams, Good Will Hunting to Hook, there he was.

What was it about him?

For me, above and beyond his arsenal of comedic gifts and the brilliance and diversity of his roles, was the way he made me feel.  So much so that I dedicated a paragraph of my I AM Blueprint (my version of a resume) to the imprint his genuineness had on me:

“I’ve never watched and felt an artist as emotionally bold and deep as Robin Williams.  His vulnerability and gentle spirit connects and expands my heart in a way that I can’t seem to explain.  As though a glimpse into his soft and harmless eyes is a window to the purest, most kind qualities a soul could possibly offer.”

Robin Williams was special to me because of his indelible ability to combine the hilarity of the mundane with the tender of the humane.  The beat of his valve appeared to be plugged into some sort of divine outlet of both humor and heart that even he could not define… or defy.

And yet despite his palpable sentimentality of pulling us into his characters, his internal topography proved too wide a doorway.  As though his DNA was incapable of feeling a lie.  That the exclusive force in charge of sustaining his existence was subject to the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth.

Would it be politically incorrect of me, then, to link the departure of such a vibrant light to the incessant ignorance of our world?

That we’re far too committed to our Facebook status and pumping a soul-zapping amount of fear and immaturity into the masses, from the front page to the Middle East, instead of persistently reminding our planet’s inhabitants that We Are One, and each one of us, overt or not, is a delicate, beautiful, and irreplaceable piece of the human pie.

Would it be a bit too cliché and preachy to repeat that life is fragile?  That hugs and daily acknowledgment and “I love you’s” never go stale?  Or the fact that you matter…. A LOT…. to someone, somewhere… for no particular reason… just because.

I say these things not to imply that a man was not loved or could’ve been saved.  He clearly was and did his best for as long as he could.  I’m also not naïve to the severity of depression or unfamiliar with the basement of sadness.

I say these things to prompt a shift in consciousness.  That where we place our energy is where our world will be.  That it’s never time to pass judgment (“Oh yeah, well he was a druggie,” says the restaurant worker about Robin Williams’s death), and never not the time to live mindfully, gratefully, and on behalf of our Light.

Just this past year, my brother had a unique moment with Robin Williams in L.A.

On his way to a baseball game, the car he was in pulled up to a stoplight.  As he looked over, Trevor noticed that Robin Williams was the passenger in the car next to theirs.  Robin looked at Trevor, smiled, and winked with a subtle sincerity.  In Trevor’s words…

“There was an incredible recognition between the two of us in that very short moment, almost hard to describe.  In seeing him, I felt like my heart could have exploded into tears.  I’ve had a lot of magical experiences in my life, but this was of a different world, as was his heart.”

Did my brother or I know him personally?  Nope, we need not to.  Recognition requires no such formalities for you cannot measure its reach.  It’s a surfacing of the glow we all entail that can’t be limited to a hello or handshake.

Recognition knows… because it’s always been.

God Bless your place in eternity Mr. Williams.

And may God bless the Fullness of you.

Dead Poet’s Society (1989)

What will your verse be?

Patch Adams (1998)

If we’re going to fight a disease, let’s fight one of the most terrible diseases of all — indifference.

Good Will Hunting (1997)

It’s not your fault, Will.  It’s not your fault.

Aladdin (1992)

Genie, you’re free!

Hook (1991)

Oh there you are, Peter!

11 More Questions to Ask Yourself Before Taking a Creative Leap.

By contemplating the expansion/contraction criteria, hopefully you have a better idea of the action you’d like to take.

To keep self-inquiring, add these questions to the mix:

1.  How important is this to my soul’s creative evolution?
2.  If I don’t give it a go, will I truly be able to let it go?
3.  Does it feel opportunistic or obligatory?
4.  In other words, does life feel heavier or lighter upon committing?
5.  Am I a little bit scared, but in a totally radical way?
6. Will my light bless others in their light?  I.e. Will the world be better if I shrink and play small ball, or thrive and play TALL ball?
7. Have I qualified, prayed on, set an intention for, journaled about, and/or blessed my leap with the utmost clarity and Grace?
8.  Have I listened deeply?
9.  Am I willing and flexible of how this manifests in the world?  Am I open to an alternate direction?
10.  In saying YES, does the Truth of who I AM feel closer or further away?
11.  And most importantly, do I feel authentically free?   (This is what it’s all about).

Play around with these questions this week.  They’ll help you get even more specific.  And if you’re still not sure, ask yourself:

WHAT LIGHTS ME UP THE MOST?

Simple.  Honest.  Direct.

It’ll never steer you wrong.

The Two-Question Guide on What to Pursue Next.

Last month I began working on a new project.  Ahhhh!!!

Starting from scratch can freak the bejeezus out of me.  Ask anyone who writes, the blank page can be terrifying.  But I’ve become OK with that.  (No seriously, I have).

Because as I know (yet constantly have to remind myself), all great things in the history of the world began as nothing.  Nada.  Zip.  Zilch.

The Sistine Chapel.  The Declaration of Independence.  The iPhone app that turns your phone into a flashlight.  Nothing.

So repeat this with me – Kumbaya-style if you must:

All great things in the history of the world began as nothing.  Nada.  Zip.  Zilch.

Awesome job.

Now, let that be your Force.

The other reason I’m comfortable when diving into the creative unknown is that no matter how scary a new project may be, I’m willing to go through uncertainty, confusion, and frustration (you should too) to arrive in a Land of Certainty, Clarity, and Fulfillment.  It’s a magical place (like Neverland for adults) and totally worth the journey.

That is to say that I LOVE what I do and the gratification that comes from a full page and completed activity vastly outweighs the fear of a blank one and never having started.  That passion is the fuel to my creative gas tank.

Which brings me to the guide…

When you’re thinking about doing that thing that you’re thinking about doing, consistently and repeatedly, like a teenage girl updating her Facebook status, ask yourself the following questions before anything else:

Do I feel contracted?

or

Do I feel expanded?

This thing, that thing, that other thing, that other, other thing.  Contracted? Or expanded?

With who, where, why, how.  Contracted?  Or expanded?

Today, tomorrow, next week, next month, next year. Contracted?  Or expanded?

The difference goes like this…

A contracted feeling pulls you in, making you feel smaller.  It’s a shrinking energy that you never look forward to.  You know those painful cramps women have right before giving birth?  Ya, they’re called contractions for a reason.  Ask how much fun they are.

Although my contracted state may not be physically painful, it’s emotionally, spiritually, and mentally both unsettling and draining.  And it’s easy to pinpoint.

When I contract , fun and enthusiasm disappear and the dread kicks in.  I become impatient and turn into a realist (my greatest fear) rather than an idealist (the Real Me).

On the flip side, an Expanded feeling makes you feel BIGGER.  It’s an all-encompassing influx of inspiration that shoots out from your core as if you could lift right off the ground.  It enthralls you with that Knowing where you may not be able to sleep at night until you at least give it a try.

And regardless of the cynics and naysayers, in an Expanded state, nothing affects your commitment to the vision because you’re lit from Within.  There isn’t time for the peanut-gallery nonsense because you’re Fired Up, Jacked up, and ready to Giddy the Fuck Up.

In my experience, if expansion is the source and at the forefront of what I’m doing, it’s all I need to know to get movin’ and a groovin.’  And identifying these feelings is the most efficient way to making those big (and small) life/career/anything and everything decisions.

The hard way?  Well, there isn’t one.  It’s only hard if you make it hard.  So choose wisely.

Make a list of your current activities and the ones you’d LOVE to do sometime this week.  After, apply the expansion/contraction criteria. It’s that simple, really.

A month into my project, I continue to ask myself these questions.  For me, it’s part of the creative process.  Sort of like a weekly well-being physical (minus the pant-dropping and endless paperwork you sign but never read).

Are you expanded here T.J.?   No.

OK, what about here?  Yep!

Great.  Let’s begin.

 

TJ

 

How to Respond to Guidance (and Why I Went to India).

photo
View from Lakshman Jhula Bridge in Rishikesh, India.

In March of this year, I went on a two-week adventure to India.

Up until the day I booked it, I hadn’t a single premonition of traversing the globe any time soon.  Zero.  I was open to it, sure.  But aside from the States, nothing stood imminent on my travel radar.  India especially.

And then one fall day amidst my daily routine at the coffeehouse, I stumbled upon a Tweet.  Mistake airfare prices.  Limited destinations.  24-hour window.  So I started to click around.

The routing was primarily to Europe, the Middle East, and Australia.  Europe was a no-go, since I recently returned from Italy.  Dubai wasn’t high enough on my bucket list quite yet.  And Australia, well, the tiny discount didn’t coax a commitment.

What about India, I casually-but-not-seriously thought, a place I some day would like to explore.

After a few more clicks, it turns out India is an option (I secretly hoped it wasn’t) – Mumbai and Delhi only – and from my location, tickets are one-third the price.  Wowza!  Interest piqued, but totally detached, I continue to follow the inkling.

As the day goes on, the idea sticks with me.  Now at home, I’m flipping through the calendar with my atlas out and Wiki India open.  A surge of both curiosity and thoughtlessness had completely taken over.

And ultimately, it won.

No advanced planning or room for rationalization.  I went to get some coffee and ended up with a ticket to India.  Unarguably the most liberating YES I’ve said to date.  Pre-trip insight:

Let thrill be thy will.  Seriously, let it.  Good shit will happen.

The following day, I reflected on the enormous energy that pulled me to buy the plane ticket.  And through a little introspection, well, I realized that India had been incubating in my subconscious for quite some time.

small hints from that week alone:

:  shopped for a new mala.
:  sat next to an Indian family at lunch.
:  watched an Anne Lamott interview about her life-affirming trip to India.
:  started doing Kundalini yoga.
:  was curious about a PBS documentary called India.

(Didn’t connect any of this at the time).

the LOUD whispers:

:  two weeks prior while on the road, I checked into a motel in rural Arkansas.  The hotel manager was an Indian man.  While waiting for my room, I noticed a copy of the Bhagavad Gita in the breakfast area.  “Can I borrow this for the night, sir?” I asked politely.

“The Vad Gita?” he responded.

“Yes.”  (And wow, he said that way cooler than me).

“You can have it.”

Totally sublime moment.  P.S.  If you’re looking for Krishna, his latest incarnation landed him a night-gig at the America’s Best Value Inn in Morrilton, Arkansas.  Just sayin’…

: speaking of Krishna, the day before I purchase my India ticket, I spontaneously decide to sell my old computer on Craigslist.  Hours after listing it, I receive an e-mail offer from one individual.  His name?

Krishna.  (True story).

Did all of these things validate my decision?  Not really, but they’re nice reflections of the magic at-bat even when we’re not trying to “think things up.”

In the end, it came down to resonance and grace.  I’m super duper committed to the road of my code and India was a major green light.  Which, in retrospect, made the choice quite easy, actually.

HOW TO RESPOND TO GUIDANCE (or HOW TO CHOOSE BOLDLY)

1.  Move with the resonance.

Something was working through me that Saturday afternoon.  So much so that I had virtually no fear around my 8,000-mile decision. I figure if you can’t shake the pull, maybe it’s because you’re not supposed to?  Just a thought.  Keep swimming with the current.

2.  Choose with a brisk pace.

There was about a three-hour gap between the idea of India and the clicking of the “confirm” button.  During that time I allowed a lot of egoic silliness to creep in.  You’re going to India…really T.J.?  Quick, point to Delhi on a map.  I knew the longer I withheld, the more I’d delude the spark.  The 24-hour shot clock was my opportunity to practice on-the-spot choosing.  If you think about it, deadlines can be magical starting lines, really.

3.  Realize there’s more at work than what meets the eye.

On the surface, I bought a plane ticket to India, an exotic and faraway land. Temples, the Taj, rickshaws, and chai.  But on a cellular level, there was so much more aligning.  There were stories and synchronicities and miracles being placed on my path that I could never have dreamt of, planned for, or placed in a better spot at a better time.  That goes for your path too.  Get comfortable with that truth.

4.  Give yourself permission to be completely swept off your feet.  It’s OK.

Transportation and hotel bookings and dogsitters are small details, not excuses to cede the Call.  Get jacked up.  Be illogical.  Free your fire. Sometimes you just gotta go with it.  Life’s greatest accomplishments were built by souls without a clue of how they’d pull it off.  And they did…. somehow…. in some way.  You will too.

5.  Don’t try to explain “why.”

When I told people about India, I received one of two responses:  “What, why would you go to India?” (filled with judgment and prudence), and “Wow, what an experience that will be!  I can’t wait to hear about it” (filled with awe and inspiration).  There wasn’t much middle of a ground here, people either “got it” or didn’t at all.  And to those who didn’t, I found myself defaming my Call, “Well, ya know, I got a really good price on a flight.”  Bullshit!  That was just the final piece. Lesson?

Never ever ever try to justify a Spirit Call.  Ever.  That’s a sacred agreement between you and your Source.

6.  Remember what makes you feel ALIVE.

Feeling alive is your greatest service to mankind.  It’s like a big Thank You card to the Divine.  Dare to see the beauty and brilliance through the simple act of participating in your play.

Keep responding to life and she’ll keep on talking.

 

TJ

 

 

Act and You Shall Receive (What To Do When You’re Stuck in a Rut).

Contemplate the following questions:

Do you have an idea of what you Love in life?

Do you have an idea of something you’d like to create?

Do you have a speck of an idea of what you were put here to pursue?

If your answers are YES, great!  Now, go and DO IT.

If you’re not completely sure (and you will be, because we’re all YES’s), then continue the pursuit until the answer becomes a YES, and then go and DO IT.

Sure, it all may be much, much harder than outlined above, but who’s to say that it can’t be much, much easier than you ever knew possible?

This is why I ask whether you have an “idea,” not if you have 100% certainty of what you Love, wish to create, and were put here to do.  The difference?

Most of us constantly talk ourselves out of our Heart’s Desires because we don’t have a definite pull in one direction or the other, which leads to hesitation, which in turn leads to a paralysis of both Power and Purpose.  Hey, I’ve done it too.

But in this immobile state also lies the point…

In order to obtain that knowing of “Ah, this is what I’m to do next,” sometimes starts by placing one foot in front of the other and taking small action steps towards that idea, no matter how BIG or small it may be.  Guidance is extraordinary and the ultimate source of divine direction, but you’re not always going to have the time or “know” in every moment where to Act, when to Act, and what road to take next.

Sometimes you have to act first, and sooner or later, the Light will break through.

And when you do, that “trance of stuck” and self-created stress you put yourself through for such a long time suddenly disappears, and as it turns out, was never real to begin with.

Sure, it’d be nice to channel the MapQuest-specific route to our soul’s Higher Purpose at beck and call, but it’s not the only means to living and being one’s Truth in the world.  The key is to stay in motion.

By showing up, action can inspire guidance just as easily as guidance can inspire action.  Some days our Inner Voice will bless us forward, while others our will to thrive drives us towards progression.  They go hand in hand and feed off one another.  This blog post is a testament to that notion.

So what does all this mean? (Thinking:  Hmmm…what does all this mean?).  Oh yes, right.

Erase this from your vocab ASAP – I don’t know what I Love.  I don’t know what to do next.  I don’t know.  I don’t know.  I just don’t know.  Ahhh, stop it!  What did I just say?

Guidance is always there.  It’s just that every now and again we have to go Get It.

Ask yourself, What is something simple that I can act on today?  (And yes, renewing your license plates and paying your Visa counts too — it’s all energy).

Continue these small things for the rest of the week and notice the positive life force called Momentum that begins to pour forth and out into your world.  I’m telling you, it WILL happen.

Whether you believe you’re here for a reason or you simply create your own reason as you go, it doesn’t really matter.  Each case is the same: if you act, guidance can manifest, and that speck of an idea within you might just transform into a Higher Purpose.  The rest is up to you.

So, what’s it going to be?

And ACTION,

 

TJ

The Indian Boy with the Spices… An Omen to Follow the Omens.

I’m standing in the heart of Old Delhi and people are everywhere.  No really, like everywhere.

The street corner I’m currently occupying has to be the most densely populated street corner on the face of the earth.  It’s complete chaos. Vendors are selling.  Prayers are blaring.  Vehicles are zipping.  Everybody is yelling.

But it’s completely chaotic in a totally harmonious way.  Just Mother India doing Her thing.  I dig it.

And here I am, a white-skinned, blue-eyed dot with his map out, camera around his neck, and tennis shoes on.  In this scenario, let’s just call me “bait with a backpack.”  Or as we’d say in college, I’m that guy.  And that guy has 25 tuk-tuk drivers following every tennis-shoed move of his.  Seriously, I’d be stalking me too.

But the thing is, I like to walk and don’t think I need a ride.  The spots I’m hitting up I’ve been told are right across the street.  A street that I take two steps into and quickly realize that 1) I value my life, and 2) I definitely need a guide to part the Indian seas.  Tuk-tuk!

My driver’s name is Raksha.  Raksha is 21 years young, smooth, and interested.  You are from USA?  “Yep,” I respond.  Let me guess, California?  I chuckle, because we’re clearly all from California, right?  “Nope, Missouri is home.”  Raksha doesn’t understand.  “Middle of country,”  I add.  Raksha nods.

As we cruise through the chaos, I GoPro the ride.  Raksha is a master on three wheels, avoiding one wreck after another all while maintaining our speed. He’s like Dale Earnhardt on a rickshaw.  He knows his stuff too, building or temple, Raksha has the scoop.

After a 5-minute ride, we reach the destination – the Old Delhi spice market, the biggest wholesale spice market in all of Asia. Raksha parks to let me explore.  The spices are so pure and strong that they move me to sneezing… literally.

“Now I show you best view in city, this way!”

(I kind of wanted to enjoy the spicy goodness a bit longer, but what the hell, On with the view!).

So I trail Raksha close behind.  As he passes the last vendor, a boy no more than 11, they exchange sly smiles.  A moment later, when I pass the boy, he shakes his head and gives me a very direct cut-throat gesture.  Boy do I not get Indian humor.  I smile back as if I get his joke and he resumes his business.

Within a minute or so, the crowds have all but disappeared, as Raksha and I turn left down a sunless alley, and then right towards a stone stairwell.  Best view in city, this way!  Again, I continue to follow.

One flight of steps… Raksha points at something rather insignificant.

Two flights of steps…. Raksha is running low on words.

Two-and-a-half flights of steps…. the good energy has drastically simmered and Raksha can no longer look me in the eye.

Three flights of ste…. THE BOY!

“I’m ready to go now, Raksha,” I command.

“You can trust.  View at very top, the best!”

“Nope, I’m good.  I’ll see you in the market,” and I quickly descend the vicinity.

(Word to the wise:  when a guy’s first response mentions trust and you haven’t accused him of anything, he just told on himself.  And if it also happens to be in an abandoned building without a soul in sight in one of the most populated cities in the world, get the hell out of there.)

A little bit of logic can be a whole lot of divine.

What lied atop those stairs, I’ll never know for sure, but it certainly wasn’t a view.  What I do know is if we keep listening and watch the energy, omens, signs, clues, Youniversal guidance, guardian angels, divine U-turns, they exist to assist.

Some have wings and a halo, or show up as a license plate or flat tire, sometimes they’re children… selling turmeric and cinnamon on an Old Delhi street corner.

 

TJ

 

 

To see some of my photos from India, head over to my Instagram page.

Inspiration vs. Motivation: Distinguishing the Sustainable You.

For most, there is little to no distinction between inspiration and motivation – they are one and the same.  Yet, these concepts aren’t only opposite sides of the coin, they’re completely different currencies.

Check it out…

Motivation is external.
Inspiration is internal.

I write to get famous vs. I write to free my soul.
Yoga for the 6-pack vs. yoga for the oneness.

Motivation needs results.
Inspiration yearns to feel alive.

To-do lists vs. vision boards.
Spreadsheets vs. spread the love.

Motivation relies on reason.
Inspiration simply knows.

Intellect vs. intuition.
The smart thing to do vs. the heart thing to do.

Motivation pushes.
Inspiration pulls.

Hard work vs. heart work.
More, more, more vs. the Law of Resonance.

Motivation attaches.
Inspiration lets go.

White knuckling it vs. open arming it.
What you ought to be vs. who you already are.

Motivation is manufactured discipline.
Inspiration is natural expression.

Blood, sweat, and tears vs. flow, rhythm, and grace.
Stressing vs. blessing.

Now, a bit of motivation is necessary to sustain life.  This we know.  Pay the bills, be on time, get the grade, grab the degree.  Sensible actions across the board.

And despite my pull to a life lit from Within, I cherish my motivated self as well.  6am wakeup calls.  Long drives to the doctor and kundalini.  Late night jogs because I know it’ll feel good.  Some grime and grind can certainly get the job done.

The liability with motivation, though, is its drift towards ulterior motives – those comparative, obligatory, always chasing, never-good-enough sort of tendencies.  It can be a fleeting satisfaction that clouds our lens.  Desires turned to bubbles that just might explode.

When I get more “heady” than heart-centered, it’s evident in everything I do. Life becomes a burden instead of an adventure.  I write from the top of my head rather than the bottom of my Heart.  I live with zero conviction and stall an omniscient guidance system.

Enter inspiration – an energy made to expand.

The word inspiration literally means “breathed upon” or to be “in Spirit.”  It’s the oxygen of our creative center that connects us to a much larger life service.  There’s nothing to go get or reach for because the car is already built.  All we have to do is turn the key.

Pay attention to where you’re creating from.

Are you motivated?
Are you inspired?

Does it feel forced?
Do you feel free?

There’s no right or wrong,
but there is a Sustainable you.

own the glow
Live your Light,

 

TJ

 

9 Surefire Signs You’re Living Your Authentic Adventure.

You’re wondering, right?

I know because I’ve been there.

Opinions from every which direction, so many soul-promptings, so little time. The questions and commentary never seem to end.

So you wonder…

Am I really following my light or simply playing my societal role?

How does one truly know when traveling the illumined road?

From my experience, the only true knower of such uncertainties is the seeker themself.  With that in mind, there are some certain essentials to consider along the way.

Let’s take a look…

1.  When it arrives, you don’t feel ready.

I have to speak as well as Oprah.
I have to write like Thoreau.
I need a website designed by Michelangelo.
I need 1,000+ Twitter followers.
I need a library of blogs to stay ahead of the game.
I need said amount of dollars in the bank.

You know where all that got me? A little town called Nowheresville.  Population: me.  Rather than launch and learn from day one, I let preparation turn into an overanalytical concept called perfection.

You think Thomas Edison would have invented the light bulb without thousands of failed experiments?  Nope, but he started anyways.

Every single one of us is learning life on the go.  So if the inspiration is there, you’re ready.  All you have to do is show up and shine.

2.  Life is speeding up.

Ideas, acquaintances, expected and unexpected opportunities – everything is happening at once.  Why is this?

Because you’re open.

Through the simple acknowledgment and ownership of who you are (saying YES to your journey), and thus following through on its guidance, be prepared for a benevolent Youniverse to bow at your feet.

Just remember to qualify your road – i.e. give your intentions the qualities you’d like it to convey.  I enfold all of my activity in love, freedom, and an efficient grace for all parties involved.

There’s no such thing as being too clear.

3.  You’re not comparing your adventure to other’s.

And do you know why you’re not?

Because you’re lit from Within.

AND…

It’s none of yo’ damn business.

Comparison is assault on the soul.  Every Authentic Adventure manifests in it’s own time.  Maintain your course.

4.  Creation, not competition is the goal.

This goes hand in hand with comparison.

If bettering your friend, neighbor, colleague or family member is your agenda from the get-go, it’s like building your house on quicksand.  It simply will not sustain.

My advice:  Abolish any and all mental debris associated with competition.

We are simply here to create and to help others in their pursuit. Competition is separation, and separation closes the door on Youniversal flow.  Ergo, your only rival is you.

That business selling the same product as you that’s kicking major ass?  Their success is actually blessing your Authentic Adventure forward, not hindering it.

Shift the paradigm.

5.  You recognize that the Youniverse might have better plans.

Case in point, Christopher Columbus.

He was looking for a western route to India and instead found a nice piece of property called America.  Can you imagine if he said, “Nope, this isn’t it. Back to the ship boys.”

Our cerebral self can’t even begin to process the limitless streams of possibility on this planet.  There’s no right or wrong step on an Authentic Adventure.  Just opportunity and a few divine reroutes.  Don’t get bent out of shape.

Stay open.  I can’t emphasize that enough.

6.  You’re but a shade of your former self.

The biggest decision is the decision to begin.  Once made, not only is an avalanche of momentum at your disposal, but a fresh set of decisions are presented.

“You begin to realize that buried deep in your unconscious mind there is someone much more interesting and adventurous and more open to the world and to new experiences.”  -The Alchemist

If you’re on your Authentic Adventure, this is you in a nutshell.

7.  You haven’t a clue of what will happen next.

There’s no such thing as a so-called “safe” life.  Life can’t be planned.  It’s mysterious by nature.  But isn’t that the intoxication of it all?

The unknown – now that’s a beautiful space to be.  One filled with our deepest fears and our deepest fulfillment.  Which will you let triumph?

A soul that ignores its Authentic Adventure is never fully alive.

8.  You’re not wondering if it’s begun…

…because you simply are it.

The adventure and the adventurer are one entity.  There is no past or future, only the present and the opportunity it bestows — that indescribable and intuitive knowing that supersedes any and all conventionality.

Your soul was custom-carved by the hand of the Youniverse.  Allow the journey to merge.

9.  That thing called L-O-V-E is your flag-bearer.

As the ancients said, “A soul is only realized in love.”

Enough said.

 

TJ

The Prerequisite to Extraordinary Living — A Welcome Note to the Light.

photo (1) copy 4

One of the biggest misconceptions lingering through the consciousness of humankind pertains to that of greatness. I like to think of it as Extraordinary Living.

The thought reads:  Greatness is an elusive, impenetrable quality that only the “rare” and “lucky” amongst us get to experience.

It continues:  Certain people were born with V.I.P. access to a level of magic and mastery that others just weren’t fortunate enough to have been made with.

The verdict:  I’m better off staying in my shell, accepting life as is, and strolling through the motions of a fixed existence.

This deflating societal mindset all but smacked me in the soul a month ago in a farmer’s market parking lot.  After waiting five minutes with my blinker on for a parking spot, a rather naive driver swooped in and took it at the very last second.  I’m not one for confrontation, but something uprooted my voice from its soil.

Excuse me, we were waiting quite awhile for that spot, as a family of four exited the vehicle.  Without hesitation, the husband countered, Yeah, life sucks a bit for everyone, doesn’t it?  

Speechless.

I wasn’t sure which pierced me worse — the secure nature in which he declared these hollow words or the cluelessness of doing so while holding his child’s hand.  I wanted him cuffed.  Vince Vaughn at least says “earmuffs.”

Said story is an example of the aforementioned misconceptions.  Weighty beliefs filled with two inherent flaws:

1.  It implies greatness as separate from us.  It’s not.   Greatness exists in the inward retreat.

2.  It implies an ability to control outside factors.  Influence, maybe.  Control, never.  Our only control is self-control.

The sole reason some are living so-called “better” lives than others has nothing to do with talent or potential.  We’re all engrained with a unique set of gifts that are waiting to bless the planet.  It has nothing to do with good fortune, luck, or opportunity.  Through both thought and action, we create our daily paths.  And it most certainly has zilch to do with social conditioning or the way in which we were brought up.  There’s a rebellious success story on every street corner.  No one’s forcing us to do a damn thing.

The truth is great people have chosen, whereas others have not.

Great people choose their muse, pursue their Heart’s Desires, and chase what stirs them inside.  They act instead of react.  They’re the sculptor not the sculptee.  They inhale and exhale:

“This is who I AM.  This is what I stand for.  This is what I desire to create.”

To them, it’s non-negotiable and not overthought.  Moving forward is the only option.  There’s no hesitation, regret, or doubt of any kind.  To them, there’s nothing more powerful than a made up mind.

Now, there’s a strong chance you’re thinking, “It can’t be that easy.  There must be more to it.”

Yet, there isn’t.

Making it more complex would be another way to outsource responsibility all while maintaining our ability to blame the exterior.  It’s a distraction game that unconsciously “lets us off the hook.”  It’s also what humans do best: complicate things.

The other side of you is most likely praying.  Why?

Because you’re scared shitless.

You mean to tell me we actually have a say in this thing called LIFE?

Scary, right?

It’s scary because choice gives us power.  It’s scary because the ball is permanently in our court.

But I pose this:  Would you rather be comfortable and limited or scared shitless with the free will to ignite a fire?

I know where I stand.

In harmony with the purpose of this site, it’s my desire for each post to be seen as an opportunity.  Not only to read and visit, but to apply any guidance that speaks directly to your Truth.  The aim is that upon leaving an expanded feeling takes shape.  There’s no victim here, only power.

With that, each day I encourage the utilization of your gift of Free Will.  Don’t wait for greatness to knock on your door.  That which fuels your spirit, begin its pursuit today.

Who you are and what you do is a choice, period.

Titles aside, we all originated from the same Source inherent with possibility. No amount of science and study can define our capacities. We’re immeasurable beings pre-programmed to be victorious.  Activate it and own it today!

IT’S TIME TO EXTRACT THE EXTRAORDINARY.

Be the Light,

own the glow

TJ

own the glow
Photo Credit:  Jonathan Combe.
Some changes made by me.
Original photo found here.

 

The Beginner’s Guide to an Authentically Adventurous Life.

photo (1) copy 3Whether you know it or not, there’s a story in you designed to be told – a purpose that craves expression, a Legend to be loved and lived.

Now’s where you tell me how unique of a soul I AM, your mind scatters.  One equipped with authentic gifts that no one but me contains, right?

Damn, you’re good.  I mean, really good.  Did you steal my morning notes?  That’s some serious telepathy going on there.

One small caveat though…

I’m wholly uninterested in inflating an individual’s skeptical self-worth.  Critics and complainers can reserve a couch at their local shrink.

Me?  These words?  This space?

That’s absorbed by one thing and one thing only:  Freedom – how I can both feel more of it and share it with other devoted pioneers.

Now, let’s try this again.

Whether you accept it or not, there’s a story in you eager to be told – a tale of Truth ingrained in your DNA that serves as a key to all things joyful, prosperous, and liberating.

You mean a career?

Eh, not exactly.

I mean, yeah, sure, some define their lives through labels like career, occupation, job, or a 401k.  And that’s fine.  For many, steady employment is what it is and more than enough, as basic and routine as the experience may be.

But seriously, let’s cut the crap.

You’re a whole helluva lot more magical than a 9-to-5er, so I suggest you embrace the spirit ASAP.  And that’s no positivity-propaganda.  You can take that to the damn bank.

My guess though is if you’re reading these words, there’s a good chance you already agree with the above statement.  And discovering “that” spark is the next step (and bridge) to combine or complement your current path with some sort of a Higher Purpose.

In that case, the following words are likely more up your alley:  Calling.  Vocation.  Journey.  Dreams.  Way.  Purpose.  Raison d’etre.  Path.  Mission.

If you’re suspicious of religious, esoteric-sounding jargon, don’t fret over the details.  The point is there’s something in this lifetime you were put here to pursue to its conclusion.  Period.

In the words of Whitman, it’s time to contribute your “verse.”

THE WHAT

As you’ll soon come to know, I often write on the importance of creating our own inviting language.  Flipping the paradigm from the eye of the masses to the big “I” – who we are and what we Love.

In my experience, I’ve noticed how quickly a fresh, conducive word or phrase can lighten the most abstract and overwhelming of ideas.

That said, the vernacular I’ve chosen to express the idea of feeding one’s life purpose is what I like to call our Authentic Adventure.

(Hold the applause, it’s fun, freeing, and badass, I’m aware).

So, what exactly is an Authentic Adventure?

An Authentic Adventure is the path that makes you come alive.

That’s it?

Well, there’s a bit more to it, but yeah, that’s the crux.

Born of vision, but fulfilled by action, an Authentic Adventure is an internal expedition attained through external means – an unknown journey you’re willing to put it all on the line for.

Even simpler, it’s how you express yourself in the world.

Taoists would call it “the Way.”  Wizard-of-Oz-ists, a yellow brick road.  Joseph Campbell, the “hero’s journey.”  And The Alchemist, a Personal Legend, aka “what you have always wanted to accomplish.”

And that’s the cool thing about it:  you get to define it.

DIVINITY IN THE DETAILS

Just for a second, let’s say we lived in a judgment-free world.

Here, things like movie reviews, peanut galleries, scorecards and report cards, and the all-too frequent pressure of friends and family are obsolete.  Whatever road illumines your soul, you take it without the slightest bit of hesitance because you’re completely safe.

How does that feel?

Amazing, right?

Instead of the weight of the world stacked on your shoulders, you’re bench-pressing it like Superman on Lance Armstrong’s steroids.

Well, what if I told you that this safety net already exists?  And the only way to utilize said net is to embark on your Authentic Adventure.

Here’s how it works…

Authentic Adventure’s, your soul’s original odyssey, operate on the “what blesses one, blesses all” business model.  In other words, your plan is God’s plan.  Your Heart’s Desires are the Youniverse’s desires.

Sacrilege, I know.  (I’ll hit up 6 o’clock penance in the A.M.)

These words go against every single archetype society has raised us on.  Go to schoolGet a jobPay your mortgage.  Get married. Have kids.  Save now, live later.  Do the right thing.  Heaven forbid we use the soul God gave us.

This too is the moment many freeze in fear because they feel undeserving of dreaming big.  I swear, we could turn this into a primetime event.  Cindy Johnson, c’mon down!  You’re the next contestant on ‘The Victim is Right.’  

Joking aside (family, professors, and gurus too), how can this business model be?

Because thrill is the handiwork of the Infinite.  And when inspiration, love, and oneness are the bedrock of that which moves through you, it simply cannot be.  “What honors one, honors all.”  #Fact

Steve Jobs’ Authentic Adventure entailed pixels and PC’s.
His relentless passion spurred creativity across the globe.

Adele’s Authentic Adventure arrives via her voice.
Her high notes send chills throughout the world.

Michael Jordan’s Authentic Adventure involved buzzer-beaters and NBA titles.  His grit and determination dared all to dig a little deeper.

Gandhi’s Authentic Adventure included salt marches and fasting.
His commitment to peace and love showed us all a different way.

And no, don’t assume for a second that Authentic Adventure’s are limited to high-profile folk.  They aren’t.  Ships sail a variety of seas.

….Some people are guided to be good farmers.  Their knowledge and labor nourishes the human race.

….Some souls are called to collect garbage.  Their role keeps the planet clean.

….My mom, for example, lives a 110% heart-led life.  My dad:  one of honor and integrity.  Their commitment, unconditional love, and presence are more contagious than pinkeye.

Teachers, doctors, truck drivers, fisherman, salesman, nurses, parents, actors, and loyal friends.  Authentic Adventure’s come in all shapes and sizes.

The key, though, is recognizing when you’re on one.

THE X-FACTOR(s)

adventure:  an exciting or very unusual experience; a bold, usually risky undertaking.

Two things here.

First, resonance.

Is what you’re doing (or going to do) hydrating your heart? Are you continually being filled and pulled by a title wave of excitement and joie de vivre?

And secondly, risk.

What about it?

Risk is a great referral of the illumined road.  Vulnerability, doubt, and uncertainty included.  Feeling a bit anxious?  Good.  A true reflection of a meaningful journey.

It took me two full years to commit to the idea of Fetch in 50.  Same with this site.  Eventually, I let go, realizing the real risk would be a lifetime spent in denial.  Ignoring my heart’s story would be to ignore the brilliance of creation itself.

There’s an Authentic Adventure in you chomping at the bit.  Are you willing to chart its course?

After all, paths are made by feet.

Blessing your Boldness,

own the glow

TJ

 

 

*** Stay tuned for Monday, July 14th’s post:  “9 Surefire Signs You’re Living an Authentic Adventure.”

Photo Credit:  Jonathan Combe.
Some changes made by me.
Original photo found here.