Intersection of dream state and waking 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.

Learning to leave the safety of my compound

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?

‘Wonder’ is rooted in my heart

Every time I read the sentence below I would be left with a heaviness in my heart and a feeling of frustration and annoyance.

“Make a commitment of keeping an attitude of wonder and play while learning about your Upper Limit behaviours.” The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks

It was weird to be triggered by the above sentence but instead of ignoring and tucking it away, I instead began to break it down. It turned out to be the word Wonder (even as I write the word my heart contracts) that was the culprit. I also observed that the word Play reverberated in the gut.

I’m currently in India rereading the Big Leap. It’s a powerful book about discovering and living from your Zone of Genius. I always knew I would have to revisit it again in the future. It’s been a couple of years since I read it and I’m glad I brought it with me.

My self discovery went a little further. If wonder or we can even say curiosity is birthed from my heart what impact does living with a closed heart have on how I show up in the world? In March 2014, after spending a week at a retreat in Costa Rica, I had for the first time in my adult life truly felt the exhilaration of an open heart.

Since then I have been trying to maintain and live with that openness but it has been challenging. When you reside in a city where I believe most people are walking around with closed hearts (a natural protection mechanism when we are scared to show up as our authentic self), its hard for our energetic body, the heart chakra, to stay open. It requires a lot of mindfulness practices to keep it open and show up from that space.

Definition of Wonder:
a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable.
desire or be curious to know something.
feel admiration and amazement; marvel

An attempt to connect the heart with the act of wondering and nurturing curiosity.

Wondering and curiosity is about asking questions. I was raised in a culture where asking questions was disrespectful. If an elder told you to do something that didn’t make sense to you, it wasn’t acceptable to question and dig for clarification.  ‘Don’t ask why, just do what I tell you’ was common. If you asked too many questions, it would more times then not, result in scolding or maybe even an ass whooping, quite normal in Indian culture.

Exploration, sense of curiosity and play, was discouraged in my childhood. There was always a sort of invisible leash on me. Perhaps this is why I travel so much today, because I love finding new places to explore, as if making up for lost times. However, I do still find myself holding back. I have raised the glass ceiling but haven’t completely shattered it.

I think the way to shatter the ceiling is through the heart. The heart is the centre of energy and when it’s closed, the flow of energy is blocked. I work hard to keep the heart open by continuing to read, meditate, practice yoga and travel. I still have ways to go, but I think this discovery of wonder and suppression of curiosity is a great place for my next exploration as I work towards discovering and embracing and taking up permanent residency in my “Zone of Genius”.

If you are interested in learning more about this zone I highly recommend picking up The Big Leap.

I’ll leave you with a fun little self discovery exercise. Say the following three words (out loud or quietly to yourself) and pay attention where each word reverberates (lands) within you. Give 20-30 seconds between each word.

Wonder
Play
Love

How does each word make you feel? Are you tightening up, feeling expansive or indifference? Where do the words land within your body?

Think about all the energetic points (chakras) in your body. What chakra is each word landing on?

For me, Wonder lands in the heart chakra, Play lands in the sacral chakra (gut) and Love lands in the solar plexus (abdomen). To learn more about chakras I absolutely love the book Anatomy of Spirit by Caroline Myss.

Chakras are nothing more then energetic areas within our body and based on how we are raised, each energetic point requires some level of healing and opening.

We are complex physical, energetic and spiritual being. When we really begin paying attention to the connection between all three areas and begin the exploration of connecting the three, we inevitably begin connecting to our deeper SELF, to our Zone of Genius.

15 Minutes of Joy

She drew, she danced
She put a smile on my face

A smile that originates from the heart
You know the smile that I’m talking about?

It begins at the heart and travels up the throat
Hits your tongue and stretches your lips

Even if you tried
It’s impossible to not shine

Thats pure joy, infectious joy
She is a human I want to reside in my orbit

Being scared to live

I’m so tired of blocks, over analyzing and fear that I’ve reached the point of full annoyance with myself. I’m fearful and scared of everything that brings me deep love and joy. Ok, sure, maybe not everything and I have gotten much better over the years, but it’s still there, just fucking lingering like a bad cold.

I’m tired of being careful and generating stories within my head to convince myself why I shouldn’t do things I’m drawn to and instead do the safe things that I’m not drawn to, things that have low emotional risk.

I’m tired of not asking for what I want in my romantic and business life. Sometimes I just want to have a fuck it attitude and ask for what my heart and soul are yearning for. I’m tired of living a cautious life. It’s exhausting to always think, to always calculate before doing, saying and asking for what I want. It’s exhausting to seek permission as oppose to just being my authentic self every second of my life.

I’m so tired because I think being my raw authentic true self is overwhelming for others, its loud and uncomfortable. Expression of truth is uncomfortable because its not the norm to express ourselves fully. To stay small seems the better and safer choice.

Stay low, stay quiet
Don’t ruffle those feathers

What will people think?
What will people say?

Who the fuck are ‘those’ people?
Why do they matter?

Walking in the world as if its a thin layer of ice
Each step is potential doom

Be careful, you’re too loud
The ice beneath you may just crack

Walk slowly, talk slowly
Stay small, stay quiet

What will they say?
What will they think?

Shame on you.

This is the world that I and many others grow up in. Suppression of a different kind. Unseen suppression of the soul and closure of the heart.

Cancer or the Cure?

“Conscious evolution calls upon the military genius to help us learn how to shift from weaponary to livingry as Buckminster Fueller poetically declared.” Barbara Marx Hubbard, Conscious Evolution

You will have a choice to make. A responsibility that has never been greater then this moment that will soon arrive in the very near future. Your brain, our brain may be susceptible to wiring from external sources, but its your heart and soul that is untouchable.

It is those two for which I pray you will lead from, for your sake, the sake of your people and the sake of humanity. There will be a choice to whether you will turn on those you spent so many years protecting. There was a glitch in the system but regardless of who is your commander and chief it is you, your collective hearts and souls that have the power to steer this in the favour of your people and humanity as a whole.

You are the ones who will in the end have to make the difficult choices in the not to far future. You are the most powerful union in the world and its up to you if your fate and the future of your country goes in the direction of Rome. It is your choice to make whether you will be the cancer or the cure.

Evolution of humanity is depending on you. It’s a heavy burden to carry but you were selected to be in this moment, this position and with this decision. What will you choose?

Giving birth to consciousness

This is inspired by a conversation that happened with a friend of mine last week. Do we have enough health and wellness practitioners?  Do we have enough alternative healers? The short answer is no, we do not have enough. The long answer is we are far from balancing the scale. If we look at the health and wellness industry field and compare it to the unconscious industries, food, pharmaceuticals, media and our working environments we will see that we are quite a ways from balancing the scale. Just walk into the grocery store, the liquor store or pay attention to the number of fast food joints and bars filling up on a regular basis within Toronto. There is a lot of evolution that is required to move ourselves towards a higher vibrational playing field, towards living a more conscious life.

What is consciousness? Consciousness is to be in the present moment, to make decisions in the now for the now. It’s hard, I know. Even after all these years of my own evolution, I have my own moments of unconsciousness. It’s a given in the big city filled with delicious temptations. I always say I dance between the two worlds. For me personally, it’s about dancing in the conscious world most of the time and hopefully one day, permanently.

I know when I spend time in unconscious consumption, it puts me in a depressive state of mind and body. The wrong foods, processed sugar or a night out drinking with the boys. The moment is amazing but, the following day or two, I’m floating around in a comatose state. As my friend Anam says, we are borrowing happiness from tomorrow.

There is a new list of growing healers (i.e. Naturopaths, Nutritionists, Energy Healers, body workers, Meditation and yoga teachers etc…) that are not recognized by the expired mindset of governments and insurance companies, simply because of the financial impact it would have on those currently dominating the markets (i.e. Food, Medical, Pharmaceutical Industries etc…). Those in power in the present moment are all about the short term game. I don’t blame them. Change, regardless of how micro or macro is difficult, because its results, regardless of how much planning is done on the backend, are scary and unknown. With that said, an unknown future is better then a stale and expired present.

Because many are choosing careers in alternative healing, it seems like there are many but when we look at the bigger picture we are not even close. When more and more of these new health and wellness practitioners flood the market we will then see a shift in support from governments and corporations that are responsible for our well being because at present not everyone can afford to pay beyond what they are covered for and they take the drugs developed by the pharmaceutical industry and delivered by the medical industry because thats what our taxes and insurance companies cover. It’s that simple.

So how do we get insurance companies and governments to use our hard earned money that invests more into these proven holistic approaches? By encouraging the development of more practitioners and developing an open mind.

Alternative healing is still very much a new concept in todays world and if we are to begin shifting the collective mindset I encourage you to explore the alternative ways of healing and living for yourselves. We are heading in the direction of old and new, east and west colliding in the most beautiful way possible, but there are many decisions that need to be made that will result in either the evolution of humanity or the devolution of humanity.

Presently, Earth is like a mother trying to give birth to a new baby. This babies name is consciousness. It’s many of the above practitioners I listed who are the doctors surrounding the earth, encouraging it to push and holding the mothers hand. We see the head, we hear the cry, but we have work to do before the full body of consciousness is delivered.

It’s not about past religions
It’s not about the leaders of the past
It’s not about holding onto the expired systems
It’s about you and me

Lets give birth to this fucking baby.

Let consciousness scream, dance and play with us.

There are those who are fighting this birth but we can tip the scale. We need to pay attention to our ‘SELF’. To nurture our own abilities, to discover and unlock them.

Where to begin? Begin with being conscious of where you place your mind. The evolution of humanity depends on it.

No pressure.

The challenges of showing gratitude and saying thank You

I had an interesting realization the other night. I have been wanting to write this all last month. There is a pattern within me that has come to the surface. It’s the inability to thank those whom have had a profound impact on my life. If someone I’ve known for short time impacts my life it’s much easier because I feel that my gratefulness will match the impact received.

When it comes to people and in this case an entire community like GLP whom have had a profound impact on my life, my feeling is that there is nothing that I can say or do that would demonstrate the appreciation and love that I have in my heart.

My thank you could never be enough, any words of gratitude truly would not match the amount I have received.

Literally, not a single day passes without me verbally expressing my love and admiration for the GLP community. Speaking about how all of you have impacted me is one of the proudest moments of my day. You have taught me how to give and receive love, you have taught me that I am good enough, you have even taught me about the power of social media and that it isn’t all negative and very much can be used to have a positive impact on myself and others.

You have given me permission to dive deeper within and to be unapologetically myself.

As I entered a new decade I decided to reflect on the decade that had past. It was challenging times to say the least in my early thirties but I got through it and I knew that one day I would be rewarded with a gift. In 2014 I received the greatest gift that is still unfolding.

It is all of you.

I won the happiness lottery, the lottery that gave me a pass to enter the world of feeling good enough, a lottery that allowed me to throw away all the hats, a lottery that gifted me awareness and acceptance of my SELF. The lottery that left me with only one hat to wear.

Everyday I feel like the luckiest man in the world and you are all responsible. I love you all very much. Thank you for being in my life and being incredible examples to follow.

Many see the world in a negative light. I choose to see all of you. This community gives me all the hope a human needs. When people complain about the state of this world I think about all of you and smile, internally and externally. I know that each and everyone of you are shifting within and without and you are impacting the world just by showing up as yourself. You give me all the hope that I need. Regardless of how much darkness engulfs us, this community will always be the flashlight that I and the world needs.

It’s only by standing on the shoulders of this community that I am able to see the beauty that lies ahead.

The Collective Mind (Mini Challenge)

The individual mind feeds the collective mind.

We are so concerned about the pollution without (i.e. climate change), when it’s actually the pollution of mind where it’s important to build awareness around, which leads to lasting desired results, lasting change towards improving the collective existence.

The collective external world is nothing but a reflection of the collective internal world. When we begin to understand this at a deeper level we will learn that we actually have the ability to shift the external world by turning our gaze inward and by becoming more responsible with what we consume.

Is it challenging? Hell yeah. With all the media out there I would be dishonest if I said I don’t get sucked in time to time. Fortunately for my ADD nature  I come out from the vortex of media consumption pretty quickly.

Here is a mini challenge to build awareness around this:

Spend the next week just paying attention to what you consume and how you feel. The week after that, spend it by not consuming (i.e. news, social media, Netflix) your regular programming and zone into how you feel.

Share your experience with those close to you and notice if there is any difference, even if its subtle, in your mood and how you are showing up in your day to day.

Did you notice a difference in your mindset?

 

 

Last Day of the Year

That’s a smile of a man going to visit his daughter for two months. I’m not sure where his eyes are looking (He probably got distracted by a beautiful woman).

If you want to know where I get all my good habits it’s the young man on the left who is responsible for that. If you want to know where I get all my bad habits, to that I respond, what bad habits?

I was dropping him off at the airport on New Years eve. He is off to spend two months with my sister. Here is a little wisdom he shared. I asked him about New Years resolutions and he responded with rolling his eyes and said: “Everyday, make small improvements in your life”. This is a man who has played and continues to play the long game.

I’m also not one for resolutions but I do think it’s a beautiful time to reflect on the years that have past, on the challenges faced and the love and successes experienced. Although I may not set resolutions, I will take the past year and build upon my successes and what already exists. I know for me, failure with resolutions were trying to start something never done the years prior and setting unattainable goals.

Instead of starting something new why not build on something that already exists? Here are some examples from different areas of my life:

Sychem (My main biz)

Build the business by developing the people whom are already in my business. I  noticed when working for other companies that they would always hire outside for management roles as oppose to spending the money and more importantly the time to evolve from within. The main reason companies don’t do this is because its hard and time consuming. It also requires great leadership skills, which leads me to my next area of improvement. To continue working on becoming a more evolved leader. I believe I have done a good job the last few years in becoming a better leader by stepping back and allowing our team to flourish. Now its time to get back in and see where I can help them to build on all that they have gained and work with them to identify the next steps in their evolution which in turn will result in the next steps of the companies evolution.

My goal is to meet one on one with each team member on a quarterly basis (every two months for management) and identify their strengths and how and where they want to evolve. Together we identify what there goals are and map out realistic steps to achieve them. 

I will become a more evolved leader by spending more time coaching, listening and building our management team.

Ever Evolving 

I had my first speaking gig, I ran three workshops and I have a blog! It’s a legit blog (thank you Evan La Ruffa!) that only two years ago it was a name and an idea. Three years ago I didn’t even journal let alone write. Ever evolving has been a space for me to learn to share my voice and my stories, building courage and learning to be vulnerable. I also got super clear on my coaching content (thank you Jenna Arak!). What will I build on this year you ask? Well, here are some examples:

Run 12 workshops this year. This is a doable goal now that I got my feet wet and I have also made plans to collaborate and bring in guest speakers to cover a wide range of topics. 

Have preliminary coaching sessions with 5 individuals and 2 businesses. A total of 15 hours of coaching. While these goals may seem small, since I didn’t officially coach any person or business last year, it’s super important to start small and build up momentum. It’s all about playing the long game! 

Become more consistent with blogging. Write one blog per week and select a day to post them. 

I had my first speaking gig in 2016. My goal is to have 3 speaking gigs in 2017. 

I learned it’s important to take it easy on ourselves. We are humans and we need to generate some momentum and also remember that we are playing here. It’s not fun to set goals so high that we don’t even know which way to walk. Also, the above goals are building on successes I have already had and super important, they all are interconnected. My workshops may lead to coaching clients, my collaboration may lead to speaking gigs and my speaking gigs may lead to more visitors on my blog. See where I’m going here?

Connections

I had an incredible, blessed year filled with an incredible number of deep, beautiful connections. My 2017 is about nurturing existing connections and as always be open to making new connections. It’s about the quality of connection as oppose to the longevity or amount of time spent. This year my main focus is on making a list of all the people in my life and mapping out who I want to deepen the connection with and how I can nurture the relationships. People whom light me up and challenge me and adore me as much as I adore them. It’s a two lane highway friendship as I like to call them.

My goal is to make my list and make a conscious decision on who will be the regulars in my life. If this sounds cold, it’s not. It’s time that limits us, nothing more.  I would love to be best friends with everyone but its sadly not realistic.

The quality of connections I have with others is a direct result of the quality of connection I have with myself. I will continue to deepen the connection with myself by experiencing life, whether thats through travel, attending workshops, meditation or simply reading books that inspire me to take risks and walk towards what I resist and where I am scared to fail. 

Health

I have been practicing Yoga for three years now, but feel its time to up my game. I am feeling limitations within in my own body so based on one of my teachers recommendation (thank you Krista Marie Starr!) I decided to do some body work, called Rolfing with Jennifer Hays which is “hands on form of body work that manually addresses the body’s facial layers to realign the body”. I have only completed one of ten sessions and immediately noticed a difference in my practice.

My motivation is to realign and balance myself to my original state. I have been struggling with my balance as of late and a little achy in certain areas that I think are just the result of how I work, the amount I drive and the amount of walking that I do in a week. If Rolfing accomplishes this, which I’m confident after the first session it will, I will have a lot more fun taking my yoga practice to another level.

In addition to practicing in the studio, I also practice at home 2-3 times a week for about 15-30mins. My goal is to keep the 2-3 times a week, but enhance my learning by watching youtube videos and going on 2-3 Yoga retreats this year. 

A big part of my health maintenance is meditation. This year I plan to take Susan Piver and Jenna Hollenstein course on becoming a certified meditation instructor so I can teach it to others because once you hit a ceiling, which I have in my meditation practice, the next step to evolution in my experience is teaching. It’s a beautiful way to strengthen any area in our life that we have years of experience practicing. Teaching generates a new pathway of understanding.  

Gratefulness

Learning to be consciously grateful has been an invaluable practice. It has opened and elevated my heart to new heights. It has taught me to savour life, to savour moments, to savour every breath in which I am gifted by the higher powers.

I learned to be more grateful the last few years. Grateful for every aspect of my life. Friends, family, health, food, travel, lovers, the list is endless because I also learned to be grateful for even the tiniest of things, like sipping on a cup of coffee, eating chocolate chip cookies and munching on cheese and crackers (do you see a theme arising here?).

I’m going to write thank you letters to the people in my life. It’s a weird hesitation for me, but for some reason I am blocked mentally when I am writing a thank you note to people who have impacted me. I have written a few via text and email, but I’m talking physical cards and mailing them or hand delivering them. I received some this year and its the best feeling.  

I purchased two boxes consisting of 14 thank you cards each. My goal is to write 28 thank you cards this year.  Last year I wrote two cards of appreciation, but it was a birthday and one was an exercise at a workshop. I learned the size of our goal is not important, it just needs to be enough to learn what the act feels like and enough to build momentum.

Final Thoughts

Don’t get me wrong. I love a little challenge. To try or do something that I have never done. The last two years I started the year with Tim Ferriss’s NOBNOM 30-day challenge and it profoundly shifted my life in health and romance. This January I’m starting my own challenge. It’s a type of fasting for me. No coffee and no chocolate chip cookies for 30 days. Now, I must admit I bought a chocolate chip walnut cookie from Portland Variety on December 31st and I had half left on January 1st. I ain’t crazy. I consumed that cookie like it was the last cookie on earth! It’s really important not to get so strict with ourselves that we make our life and others lives around us miserable (and throw away a perfectly good cookie). Have some fun with your challenges. You are human. You’re going to fuck up and drop the ball sometimes. The faster you accept that realization the kinder you will be to yourself. Falling and failing is a natural part of the process.

I know its ludicrous and you think I’m out of my mind. Why am I doing it? It’s not to quit coffee forever and definitely not to stop consuming chocolate chip cookies. I’m doing it because I don’t know what life is like without coffee. I’ve been drinking it since I was 16. Thats 24 years! It’s a little experiment to shake up my insides and see how it reflects on the outside. I’m sure it won’t be a pretty reflection for the first week or two but where ugly hangs, beauty is not to far behind, Think about a diamond before it became a diamond or the fact that shit is used to cultivate life.

On that note happy new year. I hope that this was helpful and that instead of starting something new, you build on what you have already started and remember, you may not think that you don’t have impact on this world, but you are an awesome force of nature with unlimited untapped potential. Set goals that compliment and elevate YOU.

Play the long game. Build on what exists. Create challenges for yourself and most importantly, remember to have fun.

Love you. No really, I fucking love you!