Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Hidden "Yes"

Today marks the end of my second week of fight camp. With my fight sitting six weeks out, I began to mull over some mental/psychological aspects of my game, and my plan of attack to train up.

Part of my process, is to visualize myself in an interview. I plan what I will be asked, as well as my responses. It may sound odd, but it helps me feel the emotions tied to my strong desire to win, which ultimately serves as a catalyst for movement in some positive aspect of my game.

As I was working through a morning cardio session the other day, I began to ponder the question "How do I motivate myself?"

This was a more in-depth question than I initially realized.

I began to dissect the question, and my thoughts on pursuing your goals, and through this process, my mind was enlightened to a truth that I would like to share with you.

I realized that in order for you to move firmly in the direction of your choosing, you have to ask yourself this one simple question "Am I willing to accept this action as part of my truth?" or better yet "Is this something I want to be included in my story?"

In order for you to truly answer this question honestly, you need to break every single aspect of your actions down to a fundamental level, or truly follow them down a path of fruition. What is the end result, and what sliver of misalignment are you allowing?

I will give you one example that shouted out to me:

"Am I willing to accept that I lost a fight because I lacked the discipline it took to get where I needed to be?"

Anyone can hear that and almost instinctively reply "Hell no!"

Well let's try this one on for size:

"Do I want to skip this one training session?"

This one cuts a little kinder. Add to that, we can find a million reasons to justify our "Yes" ...a few examples might include: I'm tired. I've got to get up early. I'll be doing more harm than good if I train when I'm so sore. I could use the extra sleep in the morning. I'll make up for it by working out later.

...but later never comes.

Maybe next we bump our plan from working out 14+ times a week [keep in mind, this is training camp for an upcoming fight], down to 12 ...maybe 10 the next week ...maybe 8 the week after.

Next thing you know, it's fight week and you are in over your head and you know it. All because you said "Yes" when you should have kept your promise to yourself in the first place.

This same scenario is played out in countless ways. Maybe missing a bill one month, leaving the dishes in the sink too long, delaying the dreaded "Laundry Day", not completing a checklist at work to standard, putting off until tomorrow what we should have done today, etc.

Here is my "Aha!" statement, in a nutshell:

We arrive at conflict in our lives, when we incrementally agree to something we ultimately don't want. A path littered with seemingly insignificant Yeses may, in the end, lead to a giant, flashing "No!"

So, the next time you have the urge to let yourself slide on an obligation, or to break a promise to yourself, stop and truly ask yourself what you're REALLY saying "Yes" to.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Ashes Below Me

Three wretched monsters of deceit
Driving nails into my feet

Planting me firmly on black, burning soil
Filling my lungs up, slowly with oil

Molester, abuser, the one who stood there
Three visions of hate, leave me feeling bare

You stole my soul, while she slept
I wasn't weak, I never wept

She turned in vain and stole my fire
Then clung to him and called me "Liar"

I ran to him to ease the pain
He brought a different type of rain

So, to you three, I bid you adieu
And rue the day I chose to love you

I see the truth I left behind
And push the hurt out of my mind

Everything was once dark, but now I can see
No more pain in my heart, just tranquility

I once begged for death and I cried out for silence
No longer I'll play into your thoughts of violence

So keep to yourself, all your filth, and your hate
My love of this life will serve me a new fate

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Lie of Perfection

I was recently surfing my YouTube favorites and came across a video that was geared toward improving one's self-esteem. I decided to watch it, because I always enjoy hearing others' tips on how to elevate your inner joy.

One thing that struck me, and compelled me to write about it, was the phrase "You are perfect just the way you are."

False.

I know the title of this blog might lead one to think that I would be discussing the media's view of perfection, or one of the other typical topics of discussion that us commoners relate to the idea of perfection. I'm not.

I think one of the biggest lies we've told ourselves in recent years, is that we are perfect just the way we are. That there is nothing we need to worry about changing.

How is that a beneficial point of view? We are NOT perfect. We have faults, but more than that, we are not the finalized version of ourselves ...so why settle?

The problem lies in the wording.

We are now, will always be, and have always been, good enough. We should accept and love ourselves. That much, I'm sure we can all agree on.

In psychology, one of the core beliefs that causes most of the strife in a person's life and brings conflict or pain with emotions or events is that at a very fundamental level, they didn't feel good enough.

So, let's cancel that bullshit right now. You are good enough. I am good enough. We are good enough and we deserve the best in life.

That being said, we should refrain from settling into this moment.

I've heard many overweight or obese women shout from the rooftops about how perfect they are in their body. It's a lie that even they don't truly believe ...and all it does is hurt the individual. You're only lying to yourself.

Honesty is paramount if we ever hope to achieve the life that dreams are made of. We can love what we are, and where we're at ...but should always strive for more. More knowledge, wisdom, strength, love, light, enlightenment, health, financial strength, or even just the ability to seek out and refine the areas of ourselves that could stand some polishing -to include strengthening our bond with the earth and God.

Kill the lie of stagnation, ego, pride, and achieved perfection.

Embrace and cultivate the truth of beauty, love, acceptance, and desire for growth ...and always, ALWAYS know that you are now, have always been, and will always be absolutely good enough.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

My Unexpected Truth

It's no secret to anyone that knows me, or has read my story, I have been on a personal journey for a few years now.

What sparked all of this was, at 27 years of age, I was called on my bullshit. I finally had a friend that loved me enough to look me in the eyes and, not only tell me I was living recklessly, but that I could no longer use my "abusive childhood" as an excuse.

Ummm ...what?? Surely my buddy didn't know what I went through, if he did, he wouldn't be handing me such a harsh statement, right?

Wrong.

Over the next few years, and with the help of some very insightful people that were placed in my path, I had come to see that I really was the root of all my inner turmoil. This was a humbling, yet empowering statement.

Fast forward to the past two years.

I have been on a spiritual journey like I've never experienced before. Doors are opening and positivity is multiplying.

Here's where the "unexpected truth" shows up...

The other day I was walking in to work, and one of my coworkers says "Why are you so happy? You're always smiling?"

Instantly it hit me. It literally felt like someone jolted me when I realized my truth.

I have been living so burdened by stress for so long. I am now, for the first time, completely free ...and it feels amazing!! I seriously can't find a reason to not smile every single day, because no matter what falls in my lap, it'll never be what it was.

Realistically, things still happen. I recently tried my hand at dating and when he didn't get the answers he wanted, he immediately became a disgusting pig. That could've hurt me, if I allowed it ...but it's all about perspective. I choose to be absolutely relieved that I trusted my instinct and removed that darkness at the appropriate time.

I still have bills that I am paying off, but the burden is lightened because I now make responsible choices that lift my past transgressions with each day.

Work takes me away from my children at times, but I am thankful for every positive thing my job brings us, as well as the technology that allows me to see their beautiful faces every day.

This is not meant as a bragging blog, this is simply my promise to anyone.

I have messed up royally in the past. I have buried myself to the point of depression and desperation. If a dipshit like me can turn it all around, then so can anyone else.

My common theme and belief in life is "forward momentum gets you there" -and it's so true.

No matter what you're going through, cling to the positive bits, make better choices, and know that you WILL make it through.

Your heaven on earth is waiting for you ...Open your eyes and walk toward it.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Silencing the Extremist

Let me say, up front, that this message may not resonate with everyone reading it. If you are a more, patient, even-keeled individual, you may not be able to identify with my story. This pertains more to those of us that tend to fly at things 100mph.

If you're the cold-turkey type that often fails after attempting to go at each and every goal with a bucket full of great ideas but no plans or steps to implement to bring your dreams to fruition ...then this is for you.

I'll admit that the term "extremist" rubs me the wrong way. I hear it, and immediately rebuff it and refuse to take ownership of that aspect of my personality. In my mind, I am driven. I'm focused. I'm intense. Those are all good words, right? They sound so much prettier. To me, "extremist" indicates a lacking or a malfunction in the brain of its owner. The inability to rationalize and to think logically.

I've finally come to terms with the truth that being "extreme" really is an aspect of my personality, that isn't all that bad. When kept in proper alignment with the rest of our life, being an extremist can be a very positive aspect.

Now that I own that encouraging mindset, I must address where this has failed me ...and where it may have failed you as well.

Having an intense or extreme zest for tackling goals or dreams, is almost required in life, if we want to get what we're after. My misstep was always in failing to identify the steps. All I saw was the A and the Z ...B through Y were never really addressed.

Examples:  I wanted to get my body right, so I'd plan a water fast ...today! Not just a water fast, but a 10-day water fast. I wanted to get in better shape, so I'd jump up and go knock out a super intense workout ...right now! I wanted to eat better, so I'd immediately throw out all of my food and run to Whole Foods.

This way of thinking has gotten me 8 or 9 failed attempts at fasting, 56-gazillion failed attempts at starting a strict workout regimen, and countless other failed attempts at random things. I've thrown out every CD I owned, 3 different times. I've given away all of my furniture twice. You get the point.

My "Aha!" Moment came when I was actually watching one of those random "fix my business" television shows. The owner was telling the expert about all of these future plans they had to ensure that the business succeeded after the expert left -kind of like a broad "we'll do this, this, and this. *smile*" The expert, wearing the most serious face, stopped the smiling owner mid-sentence and said "No. I need to see actual steps. I need a timeline, and I need it now. What actual things will you implement? By next week, I want to see X, Y, and Z."

Wow.

Don't get me wrong, I dig watching those shows ...but I don't know how comfortable I felt about having my core rocked by some random television personality. Nonetheless, those words reverberated through my mind.

What steps was I ACTUALLY taking to get to the next level? Was I truly hunting my goals, or did I just smile and frolic along, expecting things to magically appear?

The truth of the matter, is that I had been doing myself a disservice by flying blindly toward everything as fast as I could.

Think about it this way: If your goal was to go to Brazil, how would you make it happen? You could do like I was doing ...make a vision board, slap pictures of Brazil up, then hope and tell yourself you'll get there one day...

...OR...

You could draw up a timeline. When do you want to go? How much will it cost? How much do you need to save per month? How will you get there? The list goes on.

THAT is how you make things happen!

Being an extremist, is an awesome attribute, but it MUST be balanced with logic and reason. Plan out your success, keep your word when you make a promise to yourself, and pursue each individual step with that same intensity.

Whether your goals are related to health, wealth, leisure, work, family, or anything else, we must clearly map out our intentions. Goals and plans bring dreams to life.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Retraining the Self-Defeating Mind

I'm sure, by now, most of you have heard of the Law of Attraction. Well, this is something I became familiar with in the summer of 2012, when my mother introduced me to a movie that many of you may have heard about, The Secret.

Over the course of the past two years, I have slowly, yet swiftly, been turned onto different opportunities, movies, books, and even YouTube videos, that have propelled be down a path of enlightenment. The original idea of instant happy thoughts, bringing about unfathomable wealth was a very enticing prospect, but it has transformed into something so much bigger than that ...nonetheless, wealth is still a very appealing outcome.

My story is tied to wealth and financial freedom -not excess to the point of perversion or decadence, but the ability to give freely and help whomever, without worry. THAT is my ultimate financial end state. That being said, I'm sure my observations can be experienced in any aspect of healing or growth.

It is nice to think that if we believe only in good, that good is all we will ever experience. That is simply not so ...at least not in the beginning.

Bills, car repairs, family members needing a helping hand, those are all very real circumstances that we can't wave a magic wand over. We can't close our eyes, envision rainbows and unicorns, then wake up to a mountain of prosperity.

The uncomfortable truth is that there is work involved.

Here's where my personal story is inserted into the lesson:

So, I had been cruising along on this introspective and groovy path to enlightenment when some road blocks were thrown in my way. I had paid off one bill, and was riding that high -feeling the chains unshackle, when I got slapped by random car repairs. This cycle repeated a few times, and I just kept thinking "Dang. How can I get ahead when these are real life problems I'm encountering? The Law of Attraction is horsesh*t."

*Cue "Aha!" Moment*

I sat back and realized three very honest truths that I needed to confront, if I truly desired to break this cycle.

1. You can't wake up in the middle of a thorn bush and wish to be walking on that patch of green grass you see off in the distance. You will have to confront the poor choices you have made in the past. You will have to own up and be willing to stick with it through the pain. Every time I was met with resistance, or the uncomfortable truth that I had created a deficit or debt in my past that needed to be rectified, I sat down and gave up. I believed it was impossible and the universe replied with "Your wish is my command." Accept your mistakes, forgive yourself, then map out your detailed plan on how to get out of that thorn bush.

2. My core beliefs really were locked on a self-defeating mindset. I saw my mom live paycheck to paycheck, and I ultimately accepted that as my fate. For all my protesting and rejecting the idea that I was my own worst enemy, I truly was. You have to honestly believe in the life you want. You have to know that it is attainable, and you have to relinquish the idea that it is noble or honorable to suffer. It is absolutely okay to flourish in life and get everything you desire. Somewhere in history, the winners were twisted and equated to evil. It is not wrong to thrive. You were destined to win. Embrace THAT truth and release any other.

3. You MUST celebrate the victories ...no matter how big or small. We've all seen a small child's face light up when we give them a word of encouragement. They believe the truth we gave them. When did that stop? Why are we not our own biggest fans?

Granted, it's hard to see the small victory of paying off one bill, when you get slapped with another expense, the same way that it's hard to celebrate a few pounds lost when you're still trapped in an obese body. Nonetheless, they are victories that should be celebrated. Sure, the numbers didn't add up on the scale this week ...but damnit, you finished that 30 minute walk, like you said you would.

If you make a promise to yourself and keep it, roll out the red carpet for yourself! Why not? How many thousands of times did we break promises to ourselves? Reward that inner child and give yourself a pat on the back. Face the mirror and give the most confident smile you can muster.

Bottom line, this path requires work. Anyone who tells you otherwise is fooling themselves. Now, I'm not saying we should bury ourselves under that truth, on the contrary. We should accept the truth of the work, find encouragement in our small steps, and know, believe, and feel with every fiber of our being that we ARE destined for greatness.

We'll get there ...the only demand the universe makes, is that we continue to step forward. We can crawl or sprint, the choice is ours ..but always move forward.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Don't Quit

This is not my work ...in fact, I have no idea who wrote it. All I know, is that my grandmother had posted this in the bathroom, and as a result, I literally read it at least once a day, every day, from the time I could read until the age of 18. [Inserting random confession:  This poem, and the Preamble of the United States Constitution are two of the only things that I can recite by heart ...and probably will be able to, until the day I kick the bucket]

Back to the crux of the story, I never realized what a blessing her choice to hang this poem was until the fear of losing someone who had given up, became all too real.

In honor of my beautiful grandmother, I thought I would share it with all of you. I hope it brings you as much inspiration and clarity as it has to me over the years. Above all else, I hope it beckons you with open arms in times of sadness and despair. Don't quit. Enjoy and God bless...


Don’t Quit

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow–
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out–
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit–
It’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit.

- Author unknown