Love affair gone sour

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.

Emotions aren’t gender specific

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 lesson from a smelly fruit

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.

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.