I consume energy
It is so natural that I don’t
even notice it at times,
If I don’t seem like myself
It’s because I’m not
Can someone who is closed be reopened?
If someone who is open become closed?
If the answer is yes to the above then how do we do this?
How do we become conscious of the energy we consume?
How do we become conscious of the energy we distribute?
How can we be conscious of something that cannot be seen or touched by most?
Have you figured it out?
If yes, what are your tools to being conscious of the input and output of energy?
Do you believe this is an important part of your Self, important enough to consciously build awareness around?
The same awareness we have around the food and drinks we consume, around the hugs we give and receive, around the words that we consistently exchange?
Just by reading these questions, just by pondering them, just by having a conversation with another and exploring them, you have begun expanding your self awareness around this untouched and unseen part of you and you have shifted your sense of Self and of the others around you.
Your orbit is pretty bad ass wouldn’t it be nice if you became more intimate with it?
I love your unseen even when it unknowingly consumes me, even when it is so dark and I can’t see.
This piece by Robert Rausenberg captures my upbringing perfectly.
Born and raised in Toronto by Indian immigrants doing their best to raise me as a Muslim and sustain eastern cultures. From the age of six I grew up in a town where I was one of single digit brown peeps, surrounded by Jewish, Italian and multi generation Canadians, east and west contradicted each other consistently outside and inside of me.
They all pointed me in different directions and it was hard to carve out an authentic path when everyone is enticing you too join their tribe. My answer to all this confusion? To join all the tribes, to be everywhere all the time. I mastered the art of adaptation and simultaneously each group fed a different need of mine.
Some were into hockey, others basketball, others read, discussed politics and were big foodies, some just loved to have some drinks, smoke joints and play video games while others like to go for all night parties and drop some serious mind altering substances. Some were spiritual, some loved to dance, play board games and others loved to go for walks in the park.
I played in a lot of different worlds and feel lucky for it, but it wasn’t all fun and games. When being yourself is not your full-time job, the mind body and soul can get tired and confused. There was a ton of inner conflict that parked itself inside of me. I would have to keep a lot of secrets, like I couldn’t tell my parents that I drank, smoke, hung out with girls and went to clubs.
I couldn’t mix different groups of friends because they were so different and had unaligned interests. I danced between groups all the time, wearing multiple hats. This sort of upbringing was fun but the secret lives weigh on you and always having to be only a part of yourself is fucking exhausting. What to do?
Which way to go is confusing for most people, but if I could have used one set of guidance it would be this:
Learn to spend time with yourself, meditate, sit in silence, go inward and expand the internal self.
Now, would I have understood this in my teens and twenties? Maybe, maybe not but I still think it is valuable to plant the seed to discovering the authentic Self within our children.
A partial photo of a piece by Barnett Newman. What looks like a piece of canvas with red paint is so much more. He created this piece for the viewer to have an immediate intimate experience in contrast to the distant experience of other murals found in church’s and public buildings during that time.
Intimacy is even more distant in our time,
Religion has made it impossible to connect with Self,
We are always chasing something, convinced that all goodness is outside of us.
Intimacy is instant,
Intimacy is within,
Intimacy is now.
It is not something in the future,
A place where we continuously reach our hand out towards,
Something that the minute we think we have it,
It is not where we thought it would be,
Turns out it was just an illusion.
My mind made its way to the synergy between religion and capitalism.
Did religion create capitalism or did capitalism shape the religion of today?
Are they separate?
Is it time for a new religion for humanity or perhaps we need to just put back the humanity in religion?
Humanity in religion is currently absent, just like humanity in our governments.
Neither serve the greatness of all but the pockets of a few,
They wrap themselves with security blankets sewed from the blood of others.
Afraid to lose their status and decrease their bank accounts,
Hiding in the illusion of certainty.
Intimacy has indeed been lost.
We need more humanity.
We need more red.
We need more Newman.
It is not the originals but it is your book of perceptions that you surrounded and drowned me in
You wrapped my roots with a ball and chain with the promise that suppressing my desires is the ticket into the heavens
You disconnected me from others and shamed me from abundance
You disconnected my power
You locked up my heart
Strangled my voice
Put a veil over my eyes
A ceiling over my heaven
You suppressed me and my desires, you shamed me and filled me with debilitating guilt in the name of God
Lucifer I found you another customer to burn in your hell fire!
It is not me but your books of perception that will end up in Lucifers fire
You promised the heavens through suppression of desires but sexuality and spirituality are two sides of the same coin
You promised if I suppress my desires I won’t go to hell, but don’t you see that we are already burning?
You say God is everywhere out there but it is not in me?
With one hand you suppress her and treat her rose like a light bulb that turns on and off as you please fit and with the other hand you release the seeds of life and flush it down into our oceans as if there is an endless supply
Have you no respect for the energy of humanity?
You disconnected me from the very God you were promising through suppression of my desires
Your book of perceptions turned out to be a book of deceptions
God is out there you say
I see what you have done
It is both evil and brilliant
You had me but I found the key
I have unlocked your chains
And freed myself from your hold
I have opened the gates to heaven
I am following all my desires
Because sexuality and spirituality are two side of the same coin
I unlocked the chains you used to suffocate my roots
I’ve begun to embrace abundance and swim beneath the surface
Swimming in the deep end of relationships
I am plugged into my power
I show up with an open heart
I have started to share my voice
I have begun to see
I’have just got a glimpse of heaven on earth
You look outside and scream out loud to whoever will lend you an ear
There was once a time when me and sour keys had a beautiful relationship. Every time I had some money I would take them out on a date with my taste buds which would usually start at the local convenience store. The problem was it was more of a Romeo and Juliet ending as oppose to Sleepless in Seattle.
See, as much as my taste buds wanted to spend time with sour keys and deepen the relationship, my parents worked very hard to keep us apart. I vowed that one day when I’m an adult making my own money I’m going to make sure that sour keys and my taste buds spend as much time together as possible. No one will keep us apart!
Unlike Romeo and Juliet, me and sour keys are very much alive, but the same could not be said for our relationship.
Now that I’m an adult (most of the time) and I earn my own money, I sadly have moved on and no longer desire to reestablish my connection with the delicious little fuckers.
I know, trust me, it still breaks my heart. However, one thing I do well is learn my lesson (ok, maybe not well and there is probably room for a lot of improvement). Now when I desire something I don’t wait. I make a plan, although a shortened time frame, I still painfully procrastinate, but eventually I do it.
For most of my life I postponed my deepest wants and desires for some unknown future date.
Have you ever heard someone say, when I retire I’m going to travel the world?
Let this sour key experience of mine be an expansion of awareness for you and me. What we desire at age 30 for example, will be different then 40 and what we desire at age 40 will be different from 50. You get where I’m going with this?
If you are 30 and really want to back pack in South America, make a plan and fucking do it, because even at the age of 40, being the healthiest I have ever been, it is not my first choice and for most of us, who the fuck wants to back pack anywhere in there 60’s, 70’s or 80’s anyways? Not this guy.
Oh well, where one relationship ends, another begins. Me and chocolate chip cookies have become quite intimate over the last few years (sorry sour keys, but I’ve evolved). I don’t know how long it will last but I cherish every moment we have together. Sometimes we even invite oatmeal and it becomes quite the threesome. The only threesome I will probably ever have.
Is there anything you deeply desire in this moment but holding it off to experience some day, one day in the future?
If you always dreamed of backpacking Europe. If you always wanted to change your job or start a business. If you want to take cooking lessons, dancing lessons or sing karaoke. Just do it. The desires don’t have to be big they just need to be yours, they need to be heard, given some love and affection and applied before they reach there inevitable expiry date.
We have collectively created a habit of denying ourselves of even the tiniest enjoyment and opportunities to express ourselves for the sake of adulthood and so called responsibilities (i.e. excuses).
Whatever desire you are suppressing in this moment just remember, you may not want tomorrow what you want today.
As I walked back to my room I noticed that throughout the walkway there were decorative hearts filled with stones. It triggered a thought in me and it’s not what you would think being in this paradise called Bali.
These hearts filled with stones was a reflection of a heart I had been walking around with most of my life. When we shut ourselves out, suppress the feelings and mask the pain with the hope that it goes away, that pain hardens and turns into little stones that are lodged within the heart.
Have you ever experienced heart break and or disappointment from others, those you have loved and trusted? If you answered no then you are the lucky .00001 percent. For the rest of you mortals I ask, what did you do with that pain and disappointment? Did you embrace it, acknowledge it and heal it or like me did you tuck away each defeat and let down you experienced in life?
One of the ways that suppressed pain showed up for me was in the form anger. Especially being a man, we are encouraged to store all the pain away, to man the fuck up. This is how we are nurtured from a young age and then everyone acts surprised when the only emotion that we have the ability to display with ease is anger.
These heart filled stones seemed beautiful on this path, but inside of us, the beauty is a heart that is clear, that doesn’t hold on, that forgives and lets go so that it has space to give and receive and to experience and display emotions other then anger. The alternative is we live in the lull of silent pain, where giving and receiving are softly excruciating because there is limited vacancy for an abundance of love.
When the experience of pain and sorrow is not respected, mourned and released properly, when we display a false perception of toughness to the world, this tearless society that we have created is a life lived partially.
Has anyone ever told you to stop crying? Men hear this a lot throughout their life. Many women today are in search for the strong emotionally intelligent masculine. That’s a wonderful dream, but let’s focus together on redefining how we raise our boys and transition them into manhood because even though the game has changed, boys and men are still given the same set of expired rules. It’s sad that we have so much opportunity to evolve yet we remain for the most part in status quo for the sake of comfort.
You know why anger is excepted in men? It’s because suppressing tears and other natural emotions we are left with permission to express only one emotion. Anger. Yes, anger is an emotion in case you have forgotten. I say this because so many men walk around and lose there fucking shit (guilty as charged) and claim proudly, I’m not emotional.
Dude, anger is an emotion. It’s like we have a whole list of emotions, instead of distributing it to all emotions, we stuff all our emotional energy into the anger jar until it blows the lid off.
Emotions are not gender specific. Embracing and experiencing all emotions is to be human.
Now we live in a world that has maximized the masculine energy where women too are expected to tuck away natural emotions, especially in the workplace.
It was in 2014, while on a retreat in Costa Rica that I experienced for the second time in my adult life a glimpse of a fully open heart. I wish that I could package that moment up and gift it to all seven plus billion people in this world because I think it’s the most powerful way to live a human life.
We have an opportunity today to lay a new foundations for the millions of children around the world so they don’t have to walk around with heavy hearts. Lets step on the brakes and stop the comfort train and begin reimagining and recreating what it means to be human, to normalize and encourage open hearted living and expression of all emotions without judgment, if not for us, then for the children who may appreciate and benefit from the fresh seeds we plant for their future.
Business is the main meal and the fuck-ups are the appetizers that we never ordered, but are forced to eat. It’s only after we fully accept and consume them that we experience the nutrients that follows the failures.
There are beautiful lessons to learn when we open up ourselves and embrace these delicious unwanted appetizers.
Here is another way of looking at it.
While in Bali for a yoga retreat, my friend Scott went on and on about a tropical fruit called durian and how delicious it was but we didn’t have any while at the retreat. One, its hard to get, two, it wasn’t allowed on the resort because of its unbearable odour.
It wasn’t till the day we were on our way back to Ubud that our friend Keduk surprised us. We stopped off at the side of the road and exited the van. He bought us durian but it was tied to the back of the tail pipe because he didn’t want to stink up the van.
If you Google durian fruit smell, here is what comes up:
“its odor is best described as…turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock.”
In business, its not as important to avoid fuck-ups, as it is to accept their inevitability and learn how to respond when they arrive.
Business fuck-ups are kind of like the durian fruit. Uncomfortable to hold onto, smells like shit, but tastes amazing when you dive in and is one of the most nutritious fruits on earth.
Whats even more interesting, if you don’t want to walk around with smelly durian breath, the trick is to pour water in the empty durian shell and drink it.
The same properties that make you stinky, are the same properties that will freshen your breadth.
Hmmmm…maybe this stinky little tropical fruit is not just a metaphor for business failures, but for our entire life.
If we go somewhere in our sleep, a place where anything is possible and has no boundaries, is that a dream or is that reality?
While awake in this moment, are we sleeping in another?
Are you reading this in waking state or in a dream state?
Is this boundary filled existence with endless limitations our reality?
As my waking life and dream state begin to interweave, I begin to wonder whether there is any difference between reality and dreams. Perhaps it depends on which side of consciousness we are standing.
When we zoom out, when we see our world from the galaxies, we seem to be nothing but a spec of dust. If our earth is a spec of dust then what are we to the far beyond?
Are we looked upon the same way we look upon a colony of ants?
As we zoom out, see ourselves from a far out perspective, we may also begin to see that we are packed with infinite potential waiting to be unwrapped.
See, if we begin to bridge the gap between what we call waking life and dream state and we consider for a moment the possibility that dream state is actually our reality, a reality where there are no ceilings, no boundaries, a reality where truly anything is possible, then is it worth exploring ways to intersect the two till they are one?
Perhaps its time to take a moment and pause, to move our focus from the potential of the next great gadget and turn our focus inward and focus on the evolution of human potential.
It’s happening already, the path is being paved, for you and me. It’s just a matter of widening the lens through which we see, embracing the new and making a choice to awake to infinite possibilities.
There is a fear instilled within me to try new things in life. Be safe and don’t take risks. Its hammered into my psyche from multiple directions. When we don’t do and try new things, yes we are safe but we also miss out on the pure enjoyment and pleasure that comes with mastering something new. I felt like this while recently learning to ride a scooter in Ubud, Bali. I was scared and hesitated, even as the Villa’s staff taught me and I rode up and down the driveway in the compound, I had my doubts and I could see in in the staffs eyes, so did they (if they could speak English they probably would have tried to convince me to walk and take taxis) but I stuck to it, popped on a helmet, gathered up some courage and off I went to my first destination, the Yoga Barn for a Tibetan Bowl Meditation class.
I think its important to share that before I went out, I went back to my room to Youtube how to ride a scooter. I checked out a few videos and found myself feeling more nervous and scared. In my experience when trying something new its always worked best to just do it. Ignorance truly is bliss. The more information you intake the harder it is to proceed because we begin rationalizing and getting into our own heads. I turned it off, said fuck it and went back out. As I am writing to you from Toronto, I would like to share that I have returned in one piece. By the end of my trip I was zipping around like a pro and having so much fun! It was pure joy. To think that I could have gone an entirely other direction and missed out on this joyful experience and feeling of freedom.
I thought to myself, where else in my life am I hesitating to try something new for the fear of falling and getting hurt? What areas in my life have I been practicing within the safety of my compound yet still hesitant to venture out?
Then it came to me. I have posting block! See, I have been writing a lot more then I have been sharing. Every now and then I have ventured out, sharing a post sporadically, but I have for the most part been keeping my words to myself. That fear of judgment, of failing and the endless list of ‘what ifs’ hold me back.
It’s like how I was learning to ride a scooter on the driveway. I could have decided to never leave the compound but there would have been so many beautiful experiences that I would have missed out on. So, here I am making a commitment to myself to venture out of the compound with my writing, trusting that this too will expand my internal and external Self and be filled with beautiful experiences.
Where in your life have you been practicing within your own compound but fear and hesitate to get yourself on to that road and give yourself the opportunity to feel joy, expand your internal and external Self and experience more beauty?