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Psychedelics vs Meditation, Which Is More Transformational?

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Continuing from a previous article I wrote on Collective Evolution about karma, I thought I’d point out the way in which psychedelics and meditation differ from each other when helping people deal with their karma. As mentioned in the previous article, karma in this case is used to describe the things within ourselves that hold us back; not just the actions we gamble with that we know have consequences, but also our underlying malfunctions that we are not even consciously aware of. Meditation and psychedelics affect the mind in different ways, however both in my opinion bring about transformation that enables one to better navigate the condition of being human, which pretty much all boils down to just mastering your ego…. not an easy task.

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Psychedelics

Psychedelics allow people to be mindful by over-exposing themselves to all the aspects of themselves that hold them back. There are moments when you trip and it’s all beautiful and happy, but when your mind goes into some dark places, it is usually a place that is coming from your own insecurity. From trauma to emotions and thoughts that hold you back, these experiences are usually amped up in ways that can be frightening to endure. When your mind revisits painful memories of things that happened to you or things you did to others, they are often experienced very intensely throughout the trip. Coming down from the trip, you can sometimes become so overwhelmed by it that you have no choice but to become aware of those personality traits within you that are making your life less than ideal. Those type of trips can be a tough pill to swallow as they serve as an unapologetic wake up call, a call to action to get your shit together, and deal with your issues. This message doesn’t always resonate with everyone, but to those who can handle looking at themselves in the mirror with all their vulnerabilities, it can be one of many pivotal shifts in consciousness that will navigate the trajectory of your destiny.

It’s not always shock and awe with psychedelics. Sometimes you can experience your malfunctions from another perspective outside of yourself, looking at your behaviors from the sideline, leaving you to become indifferent to the trauma. Watching it unfold from an objective point of view allows you to connect the dots between all the events and circumstances leading up to what caused the type of behavior within you that is holding you back. Forgiveness does not mean approval, but forgiving the situation allows you to make peace and move on. When you connect the dots, it makes sense to you how you allowed the effect of XYZ situation to create the X element of your character. It allows you to observe how that element of your character has helped or held you back. It’s a mirror, a window into yourself.

The old Native American proverb about the tale of 2 wolves translates to the psychedelic experience. There are so many wolves you can be conscious of until you take a psychedelic and realize all the bad wolves you were unconsciously feeding.

Terrence McKenna mentioned that as you explore the world of psychedelics, the amount of time between each trip will lengthen. In fact, many psychonauts trip occasionally because the lessons learned from the trip are applied to one’s life successfully. The need and desire to find alternate perspectives on how to master themselves subsides the more one implements their ego conquering lessons.

The transformation process with meditation is more gradual than with psychedelics. With meditation, the goal is to cease the Ego mind from chattering. All thoughts are meant to slowly fade away with patience, which can be frustrating at first, especially if you have a busy mind, but the more you simply ignore the thoughts that occupy your reality, the more the thoughts will ignore you. Eventually they fade away and all that remains is a state of balance and feeling centered, without stress, and without desire to fix something that you see as a problem in your life. All worries, however small or big in magnitude, for that moment in time of being present with your natural self, cease to exist.

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Meditation

In meditation, as thoughts begin to subside, layers of the ego unravel, allowing this intangible thing that is called YOU to exist without restraint. When you stop meditating, those layers come back, piling on top of one and other, making the mind feel heavy and caged once again. For one who commits themselves to meditation, a gradual desire to free the mind begins. Life becomes more meaningful by letting go of the things that keep you from being present, happy, and productive.

The more you meditate, the more you will begin to notice the difference between how you feel when you meditate and how you feel when you live your daily life. As worries and stresses make their way back into your reality, you’ll gradually begin to become more mindful of your thoughts. The responsible meditator will come to realize that their negative thoughts and feelings are what’s hindering the enjoyment of their reality. The choice of being mindful of those thoughts and feelings or indulging in them will be up to you, but your awareness of becoming more perceptive to how your thoughts keep you from feeling centered will be heightened. This is part of what it means to become more in tune with yourself, as many people who carry themselves unhappily through this existence are not in tune with the traits within them that are keeping them from happiness.

In meditation, the more you practice, the more mindful you will become of your thoughts. The point of meditation is to relax the mind, allowing it to be free of thoughts. Through this process you become more aware of how you feel when you are free of thoughts. You will notice how calm and stress free you feel when in a meditative state of mind. This may induce an altered state of consciousness that is different from your regular conscious mind. As you practice meditation more and more, you will notice how your thoughts creep in and chip away at your ideal state of being present. You’ll notice the difference in how you feel between meditating and how you feel when you aren’t meditating. As you become aware of how you feel and how your thoughts distance you from how you feel when you meditate, you will gradually make changes in how you think and you’ll begin to let go of all the unnecessary thoughts that distract you from being present.

You evolve through meditation by maintaining presence and centering yourself throughout all situations in life. It’s not easy to do all the time, but just being mindful of your ability to do it is a powerful step in the right direction. Our busy modern lives do not allow us to meditate all day long, nor would we want to when there is much to see and experience in this world, so the best we can do is to try to be as aware and mindful as possible when within our regular states of consciousness. This can only be done if we take care to prevent all the thoughts and emotions that keep us from being centered.

Meditation allows one to understand that our mind, without all the conditioning of the ego, is already balanced and centered. Who we are at the center of all the chaos in our life is all we need to feel complete and navigate through this world. On the other hand, psychedelics can be a heavy dose of the malfunctions of your reality delivered to you in the most abstract way. It breaks your ego so rapidly and abruptly that the loss of what is familiar and comfortable can make for a bad trip. Whether through passive observation or embracing the fear, one can master letting go of the filters that make their perspectives darker than they really are.

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Consciousness

Parables For The New Conversation (Chapter 27: The Testament)

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The following is a chapter from my book ‘Parables For The New Conversation.’ One chapter will be published every Sunday for 36 weeks here on Collective Evolution. (I would recommend you start with Chapter 1 if you haven’t already read it.) I hope my words are a source of enjoyment and inspiration for you, the reader. If perchance you would like to purchase a signed paperback copy of the book, you can do so on my production company website Pandora’s Box Office.

From the back cover: “Imagine a conversation that centers around possibility—the possibility that we can be more accepting of our own judgments, that we can find unity through our diversity, that we can shed the light of our love on the things we fear most. Imagine a conversation where our greatest polarities are coming together, a meeting place of East and West, of spirituality and materialism, of religion and science, where the stage is being set for a collective leap in consciousness more magnificent than any we have known in our history.

Now imagine that this conversation honors your uniqueness and frees you to speak from your heart, helping you to navigate your way more deliberately along your distinct path. Imagine that this conversation puts you squarely into the seat of creator—of your fortunes, your relationships, your life—thereby putting the fulfillment of your deepest personal desires well within your grasp.

‘Parables for the New Conversation’ is a spellbinding odyssey through metaphor and prose, personal sagas and historic events, where together author and reader explore the proposal that at its most profound level, life is about learning to consciously manifest the experiences we desire–and thus having fun. The conversation touches on many diverse themes but always circles back to who we are and how our purposes are intertwined, for it is only when we see that our personal desires are perfectly aligned with the destiny of humanity as a whole that we will give ourselves full permission to enjoy the most exquisite experiences life has to offer.”

27. The Testament

By noon on Remembrance Day most of the villagers had found their way into a large circle in the village square. Remembrance Day on the island of Allandon was a celebration of the present through an embracing and owning of injustices and atrocities of the past. Any one would have the opportunity to give testament, in their own words, to events from their collective history that they felt needed to be remembered.

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After several minutes of silent contemplation together, the orchard owner was the first to rise. He put his hands in the air and bowed his head.

“Let us remember a time when we gathered up the harvest for the few, so that we could grow fat while others starved.”

“We remember,” the villagers said in unison.

The renovator stood up next. “Let us remember a time when we burned homes and villages, so that we could strike fear in the lives of others.”

“We remember,” the villagers said.

The old woman who cleaned the village square banged her pail on the ground signaling that she wanted to speak: “Let us remember a time when we tortured those who thought differently, massacred those who looked differently, a time when we raped the defenseless for pleasure and dismembered the innocent without remorse.”

“We remember,” the villagers said.

After a short silence, the orchard owner encouraged the young man who planted seeds in his orchard to say something. As the seed planter stood up and looked around shyly, the villagers clapped to encourage him to speak. And so with a deep breath he began.

“Let us remember that when the news of these acts of cruelty came into our ears and eyes—often as these events were still going on—we felt deep sadness in our hearts and anguish in our minds. But at the time we did not consider them our acts. We only judged them as wrong and mostly did nothing.”

There were audible gasps among the villagers. Some bowed their heads while others looked about perplexed. The seed planter bent down to the orchard owner and whispered, “Did I say something wrong? Aren’t people supposed to say ‘We remember’?”

The orchard owner smiled wistfully and said, “Give us some time. We will.”

If we step into the future just a little bit, it is not hard to imagine that we will look back to the present day and marvel at our relative inaction in the face of the human suffering and need on our planet. This is not at all to discount the incredible work that is being done by people to directly address the sickness, the starvation, the disease and the injustice; but it is still the work of the few, the exceptional, and the money that we provide for this work remains a drop in the bucket of global wealth, especially when compared to the amount being used to manufacture the tools of war and destruction.

More than ever in our history, we are front and center to the misery that is occurring around the world. We are hearing more about the aftermath of natural disasters, becoming more acutely aware of the spread of deadly diseases, and witnessing in graphic detail the catastrophic consequences of wars and conflicts as they happen. It makes us wonder if this is occurring because of the advances of modern telecommunications, or if the world really is headed towards fragmentation and eventual self-destruction. Either way it has become nearly impossible to turn a blind eye to it.

And perhaps that is a good thing. Not because we are more likely to be guilted into giving a donation, or to drop everything to become a relief worker abroad, or even to be forced to appreciate all that we have. The reason I say it is a good thing is because I feel that the broadcasting of human atrocities of the past and present sharpens our collective self-awareness and propels the evolution of our consciousness, which is the only avenue that will lead us to that long sought-after dream of world peace. Before Adolf Hitler orchestrated the holocaust, few people would have considered such massive crimes against humanity possible in the twentieth century. However they occurred, not because of the twisted vision of a single man, but because of the complicity of so many whose darkness had gone unexamined.

In a way, few people made a greater contribution to the eradication of discrimination than Adolf Hitler, because through his actions the darkness that was in humanity as a whole rose to the surface, like a disease that moves from deep inside us and erupts on our skin for all to see. The holocaust is rightly kept in memory not as a reminder that an evil man perpetrated unthinkable deeds, but that something in the darkness of our collective soul made such an event possible.

In the new conversation humanity is a true community, in which we share ownership of the darkness and fear that explodes into the world. As the development of the individual reaches new heights, so too is there a greater opportunity to see ourselves as One. So long ago Jesus implored that ‘he who is without sin should cast the first stone,’ to show us that the blame placed by one person or group on another is not really where the solution is but actually where the problem lies.

Blaming others for all the suffering in the world is a rather limited way to empathize with that suffering. We are better off being straight and simply saying that it causes us suffering as well. We may deny that we are affected, but denial is an acute form of that suffering. For a long time we have used coping mechanisms to escape from the guilt, the shame, the sadness that the current state of the world brings to us.

But can we be faulted? Can we really be expected to fathom what it is like to be an innocent bystander in a war zone and be captured, terrorized, and finally have our head sawed off? Can we grasp the anguish of a woman who is dying a painful death from AIDS as a result of having been raped repeatedly by soldiers of her own country? We might be excused for avoiding much more than a cursory, detached glance at these events, for fear of being overwhelmed and not being able to get on with our lives.

But this fear is only reasonable at our old level of consciousness, the one we are growing out of. It is coming from a place where we feel absolutely helpless and powerless, disconnected from our world and what goes on in it. From the point of view of our old consciousness, being at peace with what is going on in the world can only be seen as complete ignorance or unmitigated apathy. And so we proclaim righteously that these horrible events in the world are wrong, that they should not be happening!

Ah, but this is where we need to be the most careful, because—I’ll say it again—herein lies the lynchpin of the whole problem. What is most pressingly needed, in this matter as with all human matters, is not our judgment, but rather our acceptance.

But that seems absurd! How can I suggest that we lend acceptance to these horrible events? If we don’t judge these events as wrong, then why would we ever act to make things right? In accepting the occurrence of these events, are we not automatically condoning these human actions and sending a message to the perpetrators to keep right on doing them? These are the questions we ask ourselves. What we ask less often is: how effective has our judgment been in bringing peace and harmony to our world? If we look at the evidence honestly, we will realize it has been wholly ineffective.

In order to bring about lasting change we are required to bring our consciousness to a level above the one in which these problems were made and continue to perpetuate. Let’s face it once and for all: judgment does not lead to action, it only leads to reaction. Look at what has been happening in the Middle East since the end of the second World War. It is a chronicle of reaction. But history does not have to be about reaction. It can be about creation. The only thing we need to do is stop being informed on how to act based on what we know from our past, the favorite stomping ground of our Ego Self, and act instead from our deepest voice inside, from our self that is connected to the All, our Dao Self.

Let us begin with the most obvious of propositions: what is, is. In other words, if an event has occurred or is occurring, then judging it to be bad or wrong or horrible does not change or affect or negate the event one iota. It only changes us. It separates us from the event. It makes us feel powerless, because it makes us feel as though we are not part of the event, that we are not connected to it in any way. If we are not connected to it then we have no power to affect change.

Now true, our governments show us that if you have enough might, you can effect some changes in the world using the old paradigm of good over evil. But these are not the deep lasting changes that get to the source of any problem. These are more like the superficial shifting of lines on a map and titles of governments, while the real energy behind these events are pushed down into the depths of men and women, to re-emerge at the first opportunity. Ever wonder when the wars will end? The War on Terror? The War on Drugs? The War on Cancer? They will end the moment we stop believing in the need to wage war, the moment that our consciousness evolves enough to see that war is self-perpetuating.

It is tempting to pronounce ourselves on the side of good, but believe it or not, being on the side of good is actually the problem. Being on the side of good is really equivalent to being on the side of evil, for we will always be ‘evil’ in the minds of the group that we are opposed to, the side that we have called evil. This old consciousness is driven by our fear, and makes us proclaim to others that “you are with us or you are against us.” Even those who want to remain neutral become the enemy. It is only with an elevated consciousness that we can arrive at the truth about all the fighting we do—that ‘we have met the enemy, and he is us’.

In war, everybody believes that they are on the side of good. Everybody believes that the One, the Dao, God, Allah—is on their side, and their fight is in their Name. But this is the most absurd of contradictions. When you are on a ‘side’, it means you are in opposition to. It means you are fighting against. If we are truly with the One, the Dao, then we are not against—anything! There is only the One! Duality is transcended, duality which is fueled by judgment, by right and wrong, good and evil. Mother Theresa may have encapsulated this best when asked to join an anti-war march. She declined, and then added, “but if you have a march for peace, I will be there.” Perhaps, finally, we are ready to step into a consciousness that sees beyond the very human obsession with good and evil.

We have always had visionaries throughout our history who have known about this, and in their own way have tried to inspire people to a consciousness of unity. They realized that this consciousness cannot be forced, cannot be pushed, but can only be offered softly and humbly as a choice. We may have heard the words of this wisdom thousands of times in hundreds of different settings, but seldom have gotten to its core. No matter. The words will continue to be there for when we are ready. And when we are able to let our minds become still, it may be possible to hear those words again inside us as if for the first time, words of a stirring speech, a sacred text, or even a song like this visionary oeuvre by John Lennon:

Imagine there’s no heaven, it’s easy if you try

No hell below us, above us only sky

Imagine all the people, living for today…

.

Imagine there’s no countries, it isn’t hard to do

Nothing to kill or die for, and no religion too

Imagine all the people, living life in peace…

.

You may say I’m a dreamer,

But I’m not the only one

I hope someday you’ll join us

And the world will be as one

.

Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can

No need for greed or hunger, a brotherhood of man

Imagine all the people, sharing all the world…

.

You may say I’m a dreamer,

But I’m not the only one

I hope someday you’ll join us

And the world will live as one [1]

We are ready to be moved by great visions like this, and we are preparing to share similar visions of our own. The move to a new approach has started to change the way we are all thinking about healing the divisions on our planet. When we approach life from our Dao Self, we think globally rather than locally. We take ownership of the ills of the world rather than opposition to them. A recent campaign for AIDS awareness read ‘We All Have AIDS’, which shows the growing awareness that each one of us is complicit in any condition that befalls humanity, and we are an essential part of the healing of that condition as well.

Many organizations are now being created which, although certainly supportive of action in the world, are focused on the proliferation of a consciousness of unity. Initiatives like Humanity’s team, Alliance for a New Humanity, and the One campaign believe that when a critical mass of people have elevated their consciousness to the point that it is abundantly clear and self-evident that we are all One, something will become immediately obvious: there is nothing more pressing to do than to put all our energies into helping the most desperate among us in any way possible. This means no longer marginalizing people and nations when their ways are different from ours. This means making a priority of sharing our food, water, medicine and other resources.

This happens in the most spontaneous way. When we gain greater self-awareness our hearts are opened. If enough people move into this higher awareness, it is not impossible that one day the world will be freely willing to offer up all its resources—yes, ALL its resources—until each human being on the planet is free from worry and suffering.

Imagine if your young child was sick and needed immediate medical attention to survive. Would you decide that since you have budgeted 3.5% of your total wealth to this matter, that you would stop after it runs out? You would let your child die? I don’t think so. When we think about humanity the way most of us currently think about our immediate family, when we realize we are connected in just the same way, our behavior in the world will naturally change.

In the new conversation caring about others on our planet is not a command or even a request. The new conversation is simply an exploration of the experiences in life that we truly want, in a space provided for the expression of our truest, clearest, most grounded selves. In itself life isn’t bothered with the prospects of people starving and the planet disintegrating through war. Life will go on regardless. Our world is the backdrop to our experience, providing us with the possibility to make choices. When the situation in our world is dire it just makes those choices more meaningful, more felt. If we really could free ourselves from our old consciousness, we might have no greater desire than to care for the less fortunate among us and help to heal our planet of the Ego-devastation it has experienced throughout its history.

This does not all have to be overwhelming. In the consciousness of unity we realize that as goes the microcosm, so goes the macrocosm. Each shift in our individual consciousness affects human consciousness as a whole. Each gesture, each interaction with others in our lives has global consequences. And so if we want to exercise our choice to help make the world better for all people on the planet, we need to look no further than healing our everyday relationships.

[1] Imagine Words and Music by John Lennon©1971 (Renewed 1999) LENONO.MUSIC All rights Controlled and Administered by EMI BLACKWOOD MUSIC INC., All Rights Reserved, International Copyright Secured, Used by Permission

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Consciousness

Ask Yourself: Would Would You Do If Money Didn’t Matter? What Would You Do If It Didn’t Exist?

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Alan Watts delivers a speech that puts into question the idea of money and what we are all doing here on planet Earth.

  • Reflect On:

    Do we have enough resources and technology to provide everybody on Earth with abundance? If we do, and if we did, what would human beings do? Would we return to our natural state and start exploring and advancing?

You probably hear this now-cliché question all the time: “If money was no object, what would you be doing with your life?” But hearing a question multiple times doesn’t make it any less valid. There is a profound truth underlying these words which it seems many of us have come to belittle or outright ignore, and yet the implications of truly internalizing their meaning are huge.

You may be a young, excited individual coming into the workforce or you may be part of an older generation who has been in the workforce for a while, wondering, “How did I get here?” Or perhaps you are someone who already loves what you do. In any case, I truly think that regularly asking yourself what it is you would love to do with your time if money was no longer an object can be a powerful tool. So why don’t we go ahead and do some self-analysis? But first, let’s listen to what Alan Watts has to say about the topic, as I think it will really get us into the right mindset for this task.

The Exercise

This exercise is a pretty simple one, just like the question it addresses. When answering these questions, it is important to go beyond some of the things we are kinda taught are the things to strive for. For example, letting go of our ideas about ‘success,’ money, material goods, fame, etc. and instead looking at it like Alan says – if money didn’t matter and I could do anything right now… what would it be?

Don’t worry about the whole career or job thing right now, just begin with what you like. Then think about what you feel you can contribute to the world, whether it be to just one person or a whole community (or the entire globe!). Educating others, contribution to a project, and bringing joy to others are all examples of ways you could contribute to the world. 

Then grab a piece of paper and write:

“What do I enjoy doing? What makes me tick or gets me excited?”
“What would my ideal day look like if I could do what I wanted to do?”
“What is my ideal job? What does it look like?”
“What are my favorite hobbies or things to do?”

Once you start answering some of these more basic questions, we dive into things like:

“Why do I like these things I enjoy doing?”
“What about them are interesting to me?”

What this does is gets you thinking about yourself and the things that you enjoy. More importantly, it gets you thinking about why you enjoy them. This is key, 
because it helps you to isolate the elements of those activities that are important to you. You can then use that knowledge to find or incorporate those things into many different tasks or jobs. Because sometimes you really should ‘sweat the small stuff.’ Sometimes it’s those little details which make a job really great, or really awful. 

In the end it’s all about participating in activities that bring you joy and ignite your passion, even if it’s only for a few hours a week. The key is trying not to get too stressed about the process either. Worrying that you can’t find your passion or your purpose is not going to help you find it. Have fun and be playful with it. The answer may also change a year from now or 5 years from now. It is human nature to change and to grow, and our passions and interests may change as we do.

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Consciousness

32 Thoughts That Can Help You Achieve Anything

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9 years ago I made a choice, that choice changed the rest of my life. What I realize today is that same choice is one that many face and are very afraid to consider. I want to help shift that today.

In today’s world, most seem to be chasing success, wealth, an opportunity, fame or something of that sort. And I can’t blame anyone. We live in a world where ‘things’ are flashy, fun, and exciting. Where money holds us back from being able to have basic experiences.

Of course people want to have access to the world! But in many cases to get that access means we may need to work hard. We may need to work through challenges.

Now I think we can go on talking about how much of the time we get caught up in looking for material wealth to make us ‘happy’. But today I’m going to pull focus away from that and simply look at what can inspire us to achieve our deepest desires, passions, and the things we feel we’ve been put on earth to do.

Not everything comes easy but if we have the right mindset approach with ourselves and take action, I believe we can achieve anything. I proved this to myself 9 years ago when I made my choice to drop out of school for good and pursue my passion. I’m still doing it and there is much I learned along the way.

Words have power. The story we tell ourselves and the power of the mind comes into play everyday in our lives. Audit your current story, how much do you doubt yourself? Talk poorly about yourself? Talk down to yourself? What about when you are talking to others about yourself?

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Here are some thoughts and phrases to really reflect on and internalize to help you achieve anything.

1. You are in control of your life, at a deep level!

2. Take your dreams seriously. Others will tell you they are not possible, but they are. Always.

3. What does your ideal day look like? Start creating it!

4. “If you don’t have room to fail, you don’t have room to grow. — Jonathan Mildenhall

5. If someone asks you why you do what you do, you better have a good reason.

6. If you are doing what everyone else is doing, there is a good chance you will end up where they are too.

7. What you do and who you are is unique and no one else in the world will do it like you. For that reason alone you must do it.

8. There is no such thing as failure, it’s simply a learning lesson you were brave enough to reach.

9. You already have all it takes to create anything! It all comes from within you, it’s about what you choose and expose yourself to.

10. Change for yourself, not for others.

11. Change starts within. Don’t look outside yourself to get things started. Look inward.

12. There is so much to be said about DOING. You can’t achieve anything if you don’t DO.

13. A setback is a setup for a comeback” – Dr. Willie Jolley

14. Be genuine! Your true self and true story holds much more power than a fabricated game.

15. Connect back with your initial passion and desire weekly. Getting lost in the chase is highly detrimental.

16. Surround yourself with others who support you. Limit time spent with those bringing you down.

17. Don’t completely shut out the nay sayers, they bring feedback you often won’t get otherwise.

18. There is no positive and negative when you see things for what they are. This allows you to stop fantasizing about outcomes.

19. Visualize! Each day you can benefit greatly from visualizing what you want to achieve. Seeing yourself doing it.

20. Be grateful for where you are no matter what. Check in with yourself to refuel the realization of gratefulness.

21. “Your problem isn’t the problem. Your reaction is the problem.” — Anonymous

22. Don’t subject yourself to other’s idea of how things ‘have to be done’. If your way works, do it!

23. On that note, learning from your mistakes is great but learning from others is even better. Use your FEELING to determine which path to take.

24. It’s not about the destination as much as it is about the journey, enjoy every step of the way and don’t judge it.

25. Pay attention to YOUR dream and not the dreams of others. Audit yourself, who’s dreams are you really after? Yours? Your parents? Societies?

26. Give a damn. Care. What you put in is often what you get out.

27. “The most important thing to remember is this: to be ready at any moment to give up what you are for what you might become.” — W. E. B. Du Bois

28. And on that note, who are you? Truly? Do you know? Spend time getting to know you!

29. Do or Do Not. There is no Try — Yoda.

30. What you do every day matters more than what you do every once in a while.

31. We often start off terrible at things, no problem. Mastery comes in continuing.

32. No great person simply picked something up and was the best. Everyone put in time, energy, hours and in fact, 10,000 of them. Be gentle with yourself, but remember to work for what you want.

Many of these thoughts, wise words and quotes have been huge themes in my life in following a passion. Climbing a mountain most thought I couldn’t climb. But the key after all these years is not to judge others, ‘prove’ anything to them or revel in accomplishments. It’s realizing that this was my path. This was my journey. I chose this.

Stay present, stay humble, stay in line with your passion and your ego will stay quiet. Connect to your heart.

Photo credit Tim Bogdanov.

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