streets | teach

circumstance teaches us to live or to lose…pick one.

Category: on the stoop

FuckTheNaysayers.

Never doubt what comes from your heart. It doesn’t have to make sense to other people if you feel it in your bones; flowing through your blood.

Purpose is passion. It’s the breath of life… its the choice between creating yourself or dying to fit in.

Anyone who wants to hold you back or deter you has lost hope.

Inspire by proving them wrong.

OverThinkingTrap

Never OverThink
Yourself
Out of Action

If its unconditional…

I’ve never believed in unconditional love. People tend to leave when the party is no longer fun, when the sunny skies turn to rain, when suddenly the one person who always made everyone else smile is the one breaking down.

Then time passed. I made mistakes and learned from them.

And I fell in love so deeply that I realized it was no longer a myth… Love blossomed naturally with a new, self-less devotion to my lover’s wellbeing. I began to understand more and paid more attention to the “causes and effects” of things…

If I do this or say something in this way it will undoubtedly lead to THIS. But I want THAT. So let me rework my approach.

In the past, I never cared enough to tame my ego and my selfish wants.

However, over time I learned that, in fact, by loving unconditionally, I relearned my SELF. Suddenly life became more clear, simple, and straightforward… I knew in my heart what I should or should not do; which lines I should or should not cross. Finally, I felt grounded enough to focus on being better. I was reborn in this love… I was reflecting all of the special moments, the charming secrets, the unwavering strength and survival that was revealed in every layer that my lover shared. I was reflecting everything back into us…and love became real- it birthed a new life.

If its unconditional love that you’ve learned…allow it to teach you the power of freedom; freedom to let yourself go and to know you’ll come back more full than you ever imagined; no matter the outcome.

Attaching yourself to a desired result is naive; immature, even. But when you are in it for the journey- not the destination- you have to inherently commit to enjoying the ride…

Be a courageous lover.

Life is too short to fear.

Have discernment on your mind but be a risk taker in your heart.

IfWeAreWhatWeThink…

the state of the world. humanity. consciousness. intention.

We’ve all seen with our own eyes, how things have commenced a brutal spiral…. downward.

environment. politics. culture. media. perception. individual pursuit… to… be popular consumers…

We continue to feed the corporations that (we convince ourselves) actually reflect who we are deep, down inside. (sigh)

Ever wonder why the cars we buy and the shoes we run in and the grocery stores we shop in actually seem to… well…define us? Nike’s slogan “Just Do It” sums up books and pages of philosophy and psychology into three words, and yet its still grounded in consumerism, not enlightenment or the need to uncover a deeper purpose.

Pause.

“Nike” as a “Philosophy”?

No… no… that’s just how the clever marketing execs spin the brand… aka Aristotelian persuasion aka rhetoric aka ethos, pathos, logos. What does the catchy slogan REALLY mean? … buy, buy, BUY.

And yet… this pursuit… to buy… to be able to actively engage in consuming products… its arguably taken us further away from… happy.

Technology makes us fools… more concerned with downloading an app for Fruit Ninja or the latest software for document production instead of tuning into an inner sense of authentic creativity… or communication, for that matter! And with other humans for a change!

Who actually COMMUNICATES anymore?

Even in relationships… we wake up, roll over, and reach for… our phones. to check our emails. or instagram. or facebook.

Instead of tuning in to the present moment… and mindfully listening to one another… connecting and tuning in… we allow our minds to instead fill with superficial timelines;  obligations to finish daily tasks and cater to daily stresses.

So I’m haunted by this… the power of habits… and the mechanics of our neurons. Why is it so damn hard to CHANGE?

…Recently, I read a quote that serves to be both terrifying and inspiring…

“The trouble is, you think you have time.” -Buddha

Whenever I re-read it, the seductive abyss of “over-thinking” subsides… it releases me to the moment. Back to the moment. Back to producing… and DOING… and worrying less about the state of the world… and more about the state of self.

The world, after all, is made up of billions of “selves”… many of which are too busy being busy to remember to just BE.

Being Human | Impermanence

We are not infallible, unflappable, or innocently without ego. We are not pure, perfect, or naively unselfish (however we may try to convince ourselves otherwise).

But really, this should be ok.

If we were born without err and error then we’d be utterly boring, indecently bland, and tragically lacking purpose. After all, perfection is not something we often try to pervert or transform.

As humans… we are constantly churning and flowing and falling victim to bad decisions or burning our hands on hot stoves. Perhaps, whats so beautiful about being human is the sheer and undeniable fact… that we change. We are impermanent.

So then why do we, throughout our lives, become so quick to criticize and deter one another? Is it competition? Is it envy? Is it defensive mediocrity or the realization of false confidence? The process of realization is stellar, but sometimes the next step and true test is overcoming denial.

Once denial has been conquered, then, we have to prepare ourselves for judgment and negativity in media, within families, friends and foes alike. And I wonder why… when really, we are all imperfect. We are all impermanent; and therefore equipped to constantly change and transform and morph into however many stages and phases and fads that our individual lives see fit. You have your own path, and so do I.

Is it possible for us… to actually embrace one another fully? Imagine how lovely it could be to fear less… and to trust that your darkest secrets may actually be shared experiences- space to grow and outgrow. Whatever it is that you try to forget about your self, your past, your present, or your future… what if you could be accepted and loved EVEN WHEN all is out in the open?

Non-judgment is a skill… its a learned habit and a practice…

I can’t help but be saddened by the burdens we all place on ourselves… too often.. and for too long…

guilt. shame. regret. embarrassment. remorse. terror. jealousy. manipulation. self-sabotage.

I have yet to meet a single person who has never experienced one of the abovementioned… and yet we all seem so critical of one another as if we each haven’t truly lived through these things.

What makes us human is our impermanence. What makes us impermanent is that we are meant to change, transform, metamorphosize… at our own pace and on our own time.

I’m going to make it a priority to focus less on what COULD BE and more on WHAT IS.

By being present and aware, I can hopefully be reminded of my own human imperfections and therefore allow myself and anyone else a real chance…and unrestricted freedom… to experience life, make mistakes, enjoy guilty pleasures, and maybe learn to love; to fail, but try again, and follow their hearts even if it seems unreasonable; to take risks, to experience extremes and naturally learn to value refinement or to loathe conformity and live as a vagabond… we all deserve this space to just freely, be.

… and we all deserve at any moment, to have the support and unconditional love of those around us; as we make up our own minds to change with conscious endeavor… or… allow time to slowly unravel “change” for us.

If You Try…

Felix Baumgartner is about to skydive from the brink of outerspace… (true story, google it).

So what was it that you’ve been procrastinating for days, weeks, months, or years? Stop standing in your own way! Its brutal but true….such a naked reality check and a sucker punch to your ego. (At least… I know it is to mine…)

I’ve travelled the world and have yet to meet anyone who does not struggle w focus. You’re not in this alone…

But what separates the leaders from the followers is the courage to innovate.

Just do it already…if you try, you’ve already won.

Focus for Lunch

Whether its the pressure of perfection for a lingering project/deadline (my current struggle)…

anxiety about doing something alone, telling someone the truth, letting go of your inhibitions, changing your style/appearance/preferences, starting a business…

ending a relationship just because its not enough….

standing up for yourself, standing up for someone else, being brave enough to ask questions and confident enough to show the world you don’t, in fact, know everything or have all of your shit together (as some of us try desperately to prove)…

With all of the time and energy we spend on nurturing fear-based assumptions and emotional gridlocks…

Let’s try, for once, to live today ON PURPOSE instead of ON FEAR. Instead of dwelling on the things that are out of our control (what others think, feel or decide) let’s commit to the things we can do/change/influence/create.

Don’t forget to breathe. Don’t forget to focus.

And if you have a moment, let me know how it goes for you…

*i apologize for typos….writing on my phone and on a bumpy train ride 

The Nebulous Space Before Realization

We’ve all experienced that one friend or lover who we just KNEW was a good person, and we convinced- even confabulated- to believe that its true. Then that person betrayed our expectations, let us down or really, just acted to his or her true character. The illusion was lifted- suddenly-and realization kicked in. The “wow” moment. Or the “How could I be so stupid/naive/blind” moment. At once everything became so damn clear. 

Better late than never, so they say… 

But really… what is this space… this nebulous/cloudy/illusive space before realization… that makes us feel so certain, and sometimes aggressively defensive? Is this about knowing… or is it about not knowing enough?

Is it about proving something to those around us; maintaining a facade or image? Or is it deeply embedded in a more daunting fear of facing and overcoming our mindset, habits, and circumstances.

Perhaps society is responsible for making us too concerned with how we appear rather than astutely aware of who we actually are/what we actually need/how we actually feel.

Esse est percipi, says George Berkeley; to be is to be perceived. Let’s say he arguably places the power of identity into the hands of the observer. And perhaps we define ourselves by how we are viewed or perceived (from the past, in the present, and for the future- either way, we all seem to burden ourselves with a need to fulfill expectations/impressions/perceptions).

This need is profound in so many ways, especially as trends of massclusivity and media-driven ideals continue to define society in macro and micro terms. What happened to introspection and analyzing our decisions so to not make the same mistakes over and over and over… in this age of information overload and the critical need to feel plugged in to the network, we somehow lose the ability to pause and rethink things or question ourselves. We’re teaching our students and kids and peers to do the same; the result becomes detachment from ourselves and detachment from one another.

So who are we, really?

And at what point can you or I overcome the perceptions of others? How many times have we seen or heard stories like Chris Gardner‘s and felt intimidated by it. Could you pull yourself to your feet after losing everything? His path from homeless to millionaire is beyond comprehensible for so many of us… but why?

What’s holding you back from truly realizing your potential? What’s holding us all back from helping one another be real for a change… face our fears… reinvent ourselves… overcome hesitation and embrace possibility?

“You are exactly where you are meant to be in life, right now.”

This thought puts a heavy responsibility on those of us who are writing and reading and thinking about the need to change/do better/move forward.

A sense of urgency, even.

And so the challenge begins… to follow your intuition from the start, and not suffer through the sticky, miasmic, space that lingers before realization sets in.

ON FEAR or ON PURPOSE?

Since my own intimate tango with tragedy, as a youth, I have remained closely entwined with vitality/life/color flowing throughout… everything. I’ve never been able to breathe, without the lingering reminder of life within breath.

Even with this said, however, I too become lost within clouds of self-doubt or even the self-imposed pressure of “perfection” (all too often the enemy of done”). You’d think that when you’ve lost loved ones, or nearly lost your own life that you’d be utterly fearless…eager to just create, and continually cross the parameters of your own comfort zone. Right?

Realizing this inkling within myself has made me more aware of it in others… and its forcing me to reconsider my own habits. Why? Because recognizing that internal battle in someone else’s eyes is far too common… its far too tragic…

there are so many uncontrollable factors that can make, take, or break life.

So pause for a moment and ask yourself what you REALLY want. If you don’t know, ask yourself why you haven’t tried to aggressively find out. If life is really about creating ourselves, as opposed to finding ourselves… then why the hell do we still choose to live “on fear” instead of “on purpose”?

And how can we possibly teach by example if we don’t practice what we preach?

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