We are constantly taking in impressions all day long through our five senses: sound, smell, sight, taste and touch. As we take in the same impressions repeatedly as part of our daily routines, our brain adapts and places the impressions in a certain category that it instantly recognizes. It is how our brains function and it is for a good reason. If we were constantly taking in impressions as though for the first time, our brains would be flooded with an onslaught of new data to process, making it very difficult and exhausting for us to get through each day.
A result of constantly taking in the same impressions day to day is our reactions to these recurring impressions become automatic. Therefore, in order to consciously take in an impression we have become accustomed to receiving and bypass our automatic response, we must pause and be present to it.
The impressions we take in are positive (pleasant) or negative (unpleasant). We all know how it feels to...
Today, I want to discuss three influences that impact your personal and spiritual growth. They are called “influences” because they affect you daily on a personal and spiritual level whether you realize it or not.
We spend most of our lives under the lowest level of influence known as “Influence A.” Influence A consists of all our wants, needs and desires as an individual, hence they are often referred to as “life influences.''
Influence A comprises such things as money, food, housing, sleep, clothing, transportation, and relationships. Influence A also extends beyond the personal to our society and culture, and includes things such as our desires or associations with sports, politics, news, social position, wealth, power, etc. Basically, anything that is essential or related to your day to day existence falls under the umbrella of Influence A.
As a result, A Influence also assists in the development and maintenance of false...
I recently purchased Our Moments: Conversation Starters for Great Relationships. It’s a deck of cards, each posting a single question meant to spark a discussion with your significant other. I brought them on a recent trip to the beach with my wife.
One of the first cards I pulled from the deck asked, “What have you lost since childhood that you would like to regain?”
I thought for a moment and said, “A sense of playfulness, innocence and wonder.” Only upon thinking about it further did I realize I was describing my essence.
Your essence consists of your body type (in relation to the enneagram), your center of gravity (whether you are predominantly emotional, intellectual, moving or instinctive) and your alchemy (your ability to take in impressions; something I will discuss in a future article). Essence is largely determined by the genes we inherit from our parents, however, there is also a planetary influence (another...
They say when life throws you lemons, make lemonade. Well, sometimes that's a lot easier said than done. That's what living in central Texas has shown me over the past week with the worst cold weather event we've had in decades.
In my latest video, I discuss how adversity can be a teacher.
How we handle hardship and misfortune reveals much about where we are in our spiritual growth and shows us where we need to make more effort to continue to proceed in our spiritual evolution.
I hope you find it useful.
The spiritual journey is experienced moment by moment, day by day. No one moment is more important than another. Each moment is worthy of our attention.
Yet, the spiritual journey is not just about being present. It’s also about how you choose to live each day.
I recently made a list of things I want to try to remember each day to help me grow and live in Spirit and I wanted to share them.
Enjoy life more.
Experience life with all five senses.
It’s okay to feel emotional pain. I am human and sometimes it hurts a lot to be human.
Don’t be afraid to love.
Express the love I have for others as much as possible.
Open my heart.
The universe is Spirit and I can literally breathe in the energy of Spirit and feel it with my body and soul.
Live with a sense of wonder.
All of life is to be experienced—the joy and the heartache.
Don’t forget the spiritual truths I have learned and try to live them...
Almost everything needs food in order to survive; sometimes not literal food, but food in the form of attention.
What do you pay attention to in your life? Is it helping or hindering your desire for spiritual growth, self-fulfillment, happiness, and peace of mind?
We naturally feed those things we cherish, often without having to think about it, but have you ever considered you might be unconsciously feeding things you don't want?
Hate cannot exist and grow inside us unless we feed it. Conversely, love cannot exist and grow inside us if we don’t feed it either.
Anger, distrust, self pity, anxiety, loneliness, suffering, depression—all these negative emotions can only grow and thrive if we feed them by giving them our attention and indulging them. Otherwise, like a houseplant left unattended, in time they will wither and die.
As 2020 comes to a close, it's a good time to take stock of what you are feeding and allowing to thrive in your...
In the present, you engage Spirit—your true self. Spirit is infinite, eternal, and contains all possibilities.
Think about that for a second.
Spirit, your true self, contains all possibilities...not a few, or this one or that one, but all possibilities.
Have you experienced moments of presence, where in the midst of engaging your higher self, you felt infinite, eternal, and possessing all possibilities?
Yet, the moment you left the present, the ego took over and you were once again back in the material world where your doubts and fears returned to convince you that you do not contain all possibilities, that you are limited in what you can do, and to think otherwise is naive and foolish.
You are capable of manifesting that which you truly desire. It begins with being present and embracing the fact that you contain all possibilities.
In your day to day life, try to be open to all possibilities, to...
And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now.
Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually,
without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.
—Rainer Maria Rilke
How one chooses to live is of paramount importance to one finding meaning in their existence. Are we active participants in our lives or passive observers? When Hamlet ponders, “To be, or not to be,” is he not asking the most fundamental, existential question as it pertains to one's life?
I discovered what it meant “to be” in my early 20’s in Los Angeles when I was invited to attend a lecture given by Mervyn Brady, a European spiritual teacher, regarding a school of philosophical thought known as The Fourth Way. Little did I know, that lecture would change my life forever.
Life is only real then, when ‘I am.’
The Fourth Way is the term used for the teachings of the Greek-Armenian...
I have often said that awakening requires one to be present to the smallest details of one's everyday existence, moments that your ego will tell you are insignificant, unimportant, and unworthy of your attention, such as sitting at a stoplight, doing chores around the house, etc. As my teacher used to say, "Life provides you with everything you need to awaken."
I was reminded of the importance of being present to the small moments this morning while reading Your True Home: The everyday wisdom of Thich Nhat Hanh. It's a book consisting of 365 pages, each of which contains a few paragraphs of text designed to assist you in living a life of presence and intention. I try to read a page every morning for daily inspiration.
In the following excerpt, a Zen master is observing whether his student is or is not "awake."
If, for example, the student shuts the door noisily or carelessly, she is demonstrating a lack...