First Step

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Before you ask what’s wrong around you in any given situation, take the daring task of examining yourself, your beliefs, your values, your greatest fears and worries…We often find that these are the causes of most of our troubles.  The process of sincerely changing is like surgery.  You must go deep into yourself-beneath bone and marrow-and find those ideas that have been slowly eroding away at the possibility of reaching what you want to achieve.  The greatest victory is in keeping these invalid beliefs in plain sight and be fearlessly willing to battle them on a daily basis.  This is the path of awakening.  

Laugh Out Loud

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What makes anything beautiful, what gives it life, is the experience it has had.  We stare at a certain painting and become mesmerized by something unexplainable-there is an emotion, a life, a story that it has lived.  This is the essence of all things worthwhile.  They are neither fabricated or desired.  Instead, these are the things that preserve us and provides a deeper connection to ourselves and the world around us.  To be fully in the moment entails a full participation and realization of the experience.  Experiencing moments where we are submerged in what’s occurring is the lifeblood of humanity.  A bellyaching laugh, a melancholic embrace, a joyful victory, an attentive posture-all provide the opportunity to make the most of our lives.  

Without the experience of participating in the moment, we lose an essential part of ourselves-a missing part that becomes excruciating to live with.  Before we turn to medicine to alleviate our instabilities and sorrows, let’s ask ourselves how much are we participating in the joy of living, and how much are we avoiding it through diluted means of connecting?  An emoji can never take the place of seeing a beautiful face smile.  An “lol” cannot doesn’t come close to shared laughter around a table of friends. And words types across a screen can never replace an invaluable embrace of a loved one in distress.  What makes anything beautiful is the loyal commitment to strive to engage in life as much as possible.  

One More Minute

6FDFFC5A-353A-4434-B334-D79955346131I remember as a child before going to sleep, I’d turn the lights off and dash straight for the bed.  I’d strain my eyes open, desperately seeking light- that minute of waiting felt like an eternity.  I’d initially feel a sense of dread staring into the nothingness of the air, nothing could be seen beyond the opaqueness of the night.  In that minute I’d think, “there is nothing, I am nothing.” I was small, consumed by a great void.  This terrorized me.  But as the  minute passed, the darkness faded.  Small rays of light dispersed through the room and I’d begin to see.  I could see myself. I was put together.  I wasn’t so small after all.  I could look at my surroundings…my hands, and smile.  The wonderful realization about this process was coming to understand later that no matter how dark I had perceived my surroundings to be, the light was always there, waiting for me to grasp it.  I just had to hold on and patiently trust it would show up.  

On a psychological and emotional level, we lose precious souls because it becomes too dark within.  A moment of despair can feel like an eternity where light never comes.  We desperately look around.  We become restless. We feel small.  We say we’re nothing or nothing matters.  But the night is only temporary, it was only a reaction to a sudden change we needed to adjust to. The light is coming.  It has come.  You are awake… you look at yourself.  You’re not so small.  As a matter of fact, you’re pretty f****** beautiful.  You love yourself more, and best of all, you’ve learned to love the night.  

The Invisible Line

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Catch me on a Monday morning stuck in South Florida traffic, running late to work, having to pass on the venti plain pike, dodging cars, looking down and realizing the stain on my shirt didn’t come off after washing.  “I’m late… what is the boss going to say?… stop, your mind is racing” I tell myself-  Catch me in a state of battling my own mind and you’d probably label this process as unstable. If at this point you were able to dissect my thoughts and feelings within a ten minute frame, you’d discover irrational, random, illogical, self-defeating, catastrophizing, and possibly nihilistic content.  You’d probably change your perception on the kind of person I am if we were well acquainted.  However, you’d also acknowledge that every person experiences between 50,000-70,000 thoughts a day.  You’d probably reflect at your own thought patterns throughout a 24 hour period and come away with saying “I’ve had days like that.”  The reality is our minds produce a plethora of thoughts given each presenting situation.  Most of us are fortunate enough to be able to filter, choose, or ignore such thoughts-unfortunately, there are some who are incapable of doing so.  

If we explored the thoughts of any stable, mentally sound individual, you would find a vast area of uncertainty, anxiety, fears, resentments, selfishness, regret, secrets, desires, etc.  What distinguishes this person from the “psychotic” is a well functioning mechanism of containing, filtering, choosing, interpreting, discarding, and applying such thoughts.  The “schizophrenic” wears his thoughts and feelings on the outside, while the majority of us conceal and process them internally.  Nonetheless, the thought content of fears, dreams, desires, love, anger, etc is identical.  If you ever took the time to know someone that experiences auditory or visual hallucinations, you’ll discover the content has significant meaning.  Whether it seems bizarre or incoherent, if we examine our own thoughts we’ll find a common thread-that we all deal with fears whether real or imagined, we all dream, and we all seek to love and be loved in return.  The person who bears the challenges of being unable to contain and filter their thoughts within deserve our utmost gratitude. There is something magnificent, a life saving quality of being able to hear a familiar language uttered in a dark and foreign land. Similarly, it’s relieving to listen to an unfiltered emotion- a thought freed from the constraints of what is “right” or “appropriate” in the midst of challenges.  It’s in the process of crossing over to understand those society disregards- it’s through the voices and visions of a unique mind that we are able to reflect, relate to others, and manage our own inner world.  

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