Category Archives: challenge yourself

Are you turned on?

are you turned on

A few years ago, actually more than a few (it’s a decade, to be exact) — I wondered why the lights went out. I wondered why my desires disappeared. Why I suddenly found myself disinterested in everything. Absolutely everything. This included the people in my life, the city I lived in, the work I was so passionate about since my youth, all of my possessions, my diet & fitness, my past, my present & future — everything. I thought it was due to my extensive practice of meditation at the time, or to my fasting on water, or to the never-ending rat race I found myself in, or to the destruction of planet earth (I was going to say our planet, but it’s not ours) and the eco-awakening that is taking place. I don’t know exactly what sparked my disinterest in being a “human doing”, like most other humans (very-very few of us embrace or fully live “human being”.) But everything just stopped. Actually, it only stopped internally, because the external goes on. Bills still arrive, rent is still due, friends still call, work is still required — everything is in motion, the carousel continues to rotate on its axis. Whether we like it or not.

Of course this was extremely difficult for me, because it had me standing between two worlds; the world of stillness & silence imbued with disinterest & dispassion, and the seemingly opposing world of social structures & ongoing desires. I think if I could have been one side or the other, it would have been fine. But feeling wedged & conflicted between the two didn’t work at all, and it became increasingly frustrating and unlivable.

The interesting & wonderful thing is, I learned a lot and I got myself un-wedged (just recently). It’s kind of like the butterfly in the chrysalis; you have to literally become mush. You MUST surrender and face your fears, and be willing to end your life as you know it. <– Please re-read that sentence, and let it sink in. You have to fully live it out, embracing the entire experience and all it encompasses. You have to love both sides: the light & the dark (that does not mean good vs. bad or evil, it simply means contrasting perspectives).

If you want more information on surrender, you can find it here:
https://sundayisforlovers.wordpress.com/2011/06/05/meaning-of-surrender-kung-fu-panda-osho-quotes/

I'll just say that surrender really is unconditional love. And love is a form of appreciation. So think of it as unconditional & ongoing appreciation. Being thankful, being open, being patient and being loving — no matter what the situation is, no matter what feeling or moment you find yourself in.

Everything can be considered a blessing if the lesson/gift is realized. The lesson/gift could be to leave and get out. It could be to stay and continue on. It could be to completely destroy and create something new. It could be to let go and give up. It could be to see with new eyes and listen with new ears. Whatever it is, it's a gift that was born through pain. And like a muscle, pushing through the weight & resistance makes us bigger & stronger.

If you want more information on facing challenges, you can find it here:
https://sundayisforlovers.wordpress.com/2011/07/03/obstacle-problem-doesnt-exist-answers-quotes/

So if you ever find yourself in a situation like mine, or in some sort of stuck-ness, or feeling like you're "not here or there" — this is what I recommend:

You have to get turned on. I know that sounds silly, but trust me.

You have to plug in. Get energized. Light up. Activate. You have to literally turn yourself ON.

You have to get your POWER moving through you. This happens through connection and circulation, giving and receiving of energy, from being moved and inspired.

Now let's get practical. What does that look like? How does one do that?

Think of it this way, you are in a relationship with life itself (as well as in a relationship with yourself, your life happens through your senses/mind). This is your primary relationship. Your relationships with others (family/friends/lovers/children/pets) are secondary to this.

So if you were to go on a romantic date with Life, or make Life your life partner — there has to be an attraction first, right?

Sometimes we fall out of love with places or people. This is normal. But go back to the very beginning. How and why did you initially fall in-love?

How did you fall into deep appreciation for this place or person?

What turned you on? Literally.

And how open were you at the time? Were you open for new experiences?

Get clear on this. What turns you on?

Get as general as you can. Then get super-specific after that.

For most people it's the following:

beauty/gorgeousness
fear/excitement
curiosity/uncertainty
feelings/appreciation
attention/focus

Okay… now use that list to your advantage.

What is currently attractive in your life or in the world? What is beautiful or gorgeous?

What are you secretly afraid of? What excites you and makes you nervous?

What feels unknown in a big way to you? What feels uncertain or challenging?

What positive feelings come up for something in particular? What makes you appreciate it?

What makes you feel good when you focus on it? What do you love giving your attention to?

Go into your belly. What gives you butterflies?

What gives you energy?

What do you love?

Now laser focus in on whatever your "I'm turned on by…" answers are. Surround yourself in thoughts about it. Do this daily. All day, ongoing. (Like when you are in-love and couldn't stop thinking about someone.)

And if there is something scary or nerve-racking to face (and I hope there is!), I want you to face it head on. I want you to drive yourself right through it. Pretend you don't see it. Just plow right through. Meaning, fully experience how alive you can feel when you face something you rather dodge from.

If you can do this, and if you can keep these feelings & focus going… I promise you, you will be turned on and you will come alive with newfound enthusiasm.

Here are examples of what it means to be turned on by life (in your mind), no matter what situation you find yourself in:

3 Comments

Filed under challenge yourself

Time to Overestimate

viktor frankl overestimate

Leave a comment

Filed under ask yourself, challenge yourself

Ego is the Enemy

ego

Leave a comment

Filed under brilliant people, challenge yourself

Whisper from the Universe

brene brown universe quote

“I think midlife is when the universe gently places her hands upon your shoulders, pulls you close, and whispers in your ear: I’m not screwing around. It’s time. All of this pretending and performing – these coping mechanisms that you’ve developed to protect yourself from feeling inadequate and getting hurt – has to go.

Your armor is preventing you from growing into your gifts. I understand that you needed these protections when you were small. I understand that you believed your armor could help you secure all of the things you needed to feel worthy of love and belonging, but you’re still searching and you’re more lost than ever.

Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can’t live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. You were born worthy of love and belonging. Courage and daring are coursing through you. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It’s time to show up and be seen.”

Brené Brown

Leave a comment

Filed under challenge yourself, great quotes

A New Adventure

a new adventure

I remember when I was in New York City dismantling my life (this process took me exactly 7 years). Donating and selling all of my things, giving away the photos I collected over the years, erasing phone books of acquaintances and work contacts. I was shedding my skin, a persona and deep rooted life I built on the east coast. As I was doing this, I found tattered journals, from my early years in New York and my youth back in California. I was amazed by how much I wrote the same thing over and over again — over decades. I wrote mainly about wanting to take better care of myself, as well as my yearning for inner peace. It was painful to read the struggle represented on the pages. It was like someone was trapped, wanting desperately to escape, eager to find a way out and create some sort of opening. They wanted to be set free, both mentally & physically.

So many of the dreams & goals written on the pages were realized over time. But I was aware of how many years it took to get to that place. It took me writing & wanting, experimenting & failing, trying repeatedly, being relentless about staying on course.

I also noticed that it was ever-evolving. The ladder always had more rungs, always had a higher view.

I remember when I told myself that if I could only stand on my head I would be so happy. Then it was if I could only take a yoga teacher’s training. After that it was advanced teacher training. Achieving that later turned into a desire to study yogic philosophy more deeply, meditate and go on silent retreats. But the retreats were never silent enough or long enough. I wanted to go in the forest and meditate for 6 months, to participate in a silent buddhist forest refuge program. There was always the next level, the next evolution, the next adventure.

For a while all of this stopped. Completely. The ladder and dreamy views faded away. The desires dwindled. Not much remained. Only reflection and observation. It’s clear to me that almost all of what I was wanting and working towards, was not just a lightness of body & mind, but an openness of heart and a surrender to Grace. I wanted to feel more symbiotic. More spiritual. More integral. I wanted to feel and be present to the Force that is life. I wanted to have energy, feel energy, be energy, but in a tangible & useful way. In a way that felt embodied, yet divine, and served something higher than a public persona or false sense of self. But first I want to meet that energy.

All of that was to say, I know I wrote a lot about making some big changes in my life on this blog over the years, especially over the winter when my dog was ill and in trouble. Somehow that experience woke me from my indifferent slumber. I’m back at the ladder again. I’m interested in energy again. I’m wanting to feel the presence of Grace & hyper-synchronicity. I know it’s always there, always an underpinning. But there is a zone, that can only be reached through adventures. That powerful sense of mystery & magic & aliveness doesn’t come to those that remain comfortable. You have to fearlessly meet Grace halfway. You have to go to the edge of the ledge. You have to challenge your sense of familiar. You have to surrender what you know. You have to give up something to get something. You have to bravely trust. This isn’t easy. It takes dedication & work. It’s an ongoing practice.

So here I am again. Writing in journals. Stating over and over again, what I want and what I’m working towards. What I want to feel, where I want to be. On the inside. To reflect to the outside. And be of use, of service. Via Grace’s guidance & prodding.

I’m starting a new program/daily routine this week. I want to push myself in the following areas (written below), and I’m going to have a different accountability partner for each area. I’m also going to create a timeline for what I would like to experience & manifest over the next 5 months.

Friendships & Community

Health & Fitness

Finances & Resources

Creativity & Work

The goal is to push limits, get uncomfortable, explore boundaries, breathe new life. I may be writing about this for the next 10 years. I won’t be one bit surprised. I’m all in, willing to surrender to possibility and the most amazing life possible. For me it’s not a matter of attaining beautiful things or knowing impressive people. It’s me. I’m interested in what I could see, develop and know within myself. And then connect & magnetically join forces with like minds.

The journey continues. Adventure awaits.

2 Comments

Filed under adventure, challenge yourself

Do Something Different

something new

I have a homework assignment for you. Today, on this very day that you are reading this blog post; try something new. Challenge yourself to reach out of your comfort zone. Do something different. Don’t weasel out of it! Make it happen. Go on — do it.

why nottry quotechallenge yourselfdo something newbest is yet to comedo something differentfirst-time-quote

Leave a comment

Filed under challenge yourself, something new