i used to only see the negative things in my life. about what i didn’t have, how i didn’t have that many friends or i didn’t make enough money. i never had an idea of what gratitude was. i don’t remember learning anything like it when i was younger. it wasn’t until about 4 years ago that i heard this word. at first when i heard people expressing their gratitude i thought it was kind of cheesy. someone expressing what they like about their life. tedious little things like, i have a house to live in and i have a job. it was really silly to me, but it’s funny to remember how my mind worked back then. as i’m writing this on an airplane i can’t help but to tear up. i can’t believe that i have the life i have today. somewhere along the way i learned to honor light. the light in my life is all of the positive things that occur or that i have, it’s me being grateful for what’s in my life. today i honor light when i am present. when i bring my breathe into me consciously and look around me. i see all of the beautiful things that i have. a wonderful place to live, being grateful, people who love me and having a life worth living. i don’t want to go back to the life i used to live so i practice this constantly because i have seen teachers who have taught me these things go back to the way that they used to live, in complete darkness with no hope. i honor light because it makes my existence peaceful. i will always choose to look on the bright side.
for me, i no longer choose to live in fear. i am not crippled by shame or insecurity anymore. i used to be cautious and doubtful in everything that i did. from making a change in a routine or expressing myself creatively. i have gained enough knowledge and experience to finally choose life. life, for me, is about doing the things that i enjoy and being creative to my fullest potential. creative doesn’t necessarily mean drawing a picture or writing a song. creativity is a manifestation of an idea, a passion. putting myself into action of a concept that i have. whether it be training a client or expressing an emotion. everything is creativity. this i think, is the very essentiality of life. today, i choose life because fear does not control me anymore. i am confident in all the things i touch and do. i have many creations and this is one that i get to share with you. my knowledge of all of the experiences that i have had thus far. it took me a lot of practice and pain to get to this point of my life, but i choose to not go back to the way i was before. i will make a difference today by choosing to live my way.
i used to live in constant fear of the future. am i going to be successful? am i going to meet the love of my life? what is life like after death? why doesn’t that person like me? it caused me a lot of anxiety and stress. everything had to be in my control, but nothing was in my control. i felt so helpless to life. it wasn’t until a few years ago that i heard a saying, “my life is unfolding perfectly, no matter what.” when i heard this it’s as if i was finally released from my cycle of masochism. i felt like i could actually breathe. i felt for the first time a sense of faith. everything is working out the way it was suppose to. the experiences that i have had up until then were necessary in order for me to have that precise moment of clarity. everything just made sense. as time went on, my faith became stronger. if a situation came up that seemed impossible or dooming i would just remind myself, “my life is unfolding perfectly, no matter what.” my move to LA has been by far the scariest thing that I’ve ever done. nothing lined up for me when i moved here, just to a place to stay. i sold everything i owned, except for my bed and 2 suitcases of my most treasured belongings. it was really rough in the beginning securing a job, missing my friends, meeting new people, but i kept on putting myself out there. i cried, i laughed, i had so much fun and so much fear the first month and i finally secured a job, met amazing people and felt more comfortable being in the one of the most amazing places in the world. it was then i acquired limitless faith. i knew with any new thing that came my way, i would be able to walk through anything. i am so grateful for all of the things that have happened in my life. it has definitely made me more brave and peaceful. i live life to the fullest and never stay too long in doubt because i finally realized and understand, anything is possible.
i still carry remnants of the beliefs that i used to have. mythology that was taught to me by people who followed the perspective of society. i have been able to change those broken records that play in my head. today when i encounter those thoughts, i get to change how perceive the situation. what i would’ve considered a bad thing or a good thing, i just now see as an experience. through this process of mindfully assessing situations and feeling my feelings, i get to ask “why do i feel this way?” the answer always comes. either i’m feeling some negative emotion or positive emotion and i get to playfully figure out why i am feeling that way and not try to categorize it. i know that you’re probably thinking “WTF is he talking about?” but this is a process that works for me. by continually questioning my feelings and thoughts i get to unlearn mythology handed down to me. the biggest thing that i have carried around is, “what’s the meaning of life?” tbh, i just have stopped caring about that. all i want to do with my life now is just create my own meaning. i want to believe in what i want to believe. i want to have an open mind to every experience that i have and continuously ask why. to enjoy and be at peace with everything that is
when i was young, my parents taught me about “right and wrong”, “good and bad”, and “light and dark”. everything they taught was all in good intentions and how society is structured. in school it was embedded more through teachers and other kids. discipline and being made fun of if i did bad, but praised if i did something good. even on the tv shows that i watched i would see people doing “good” and “bad” things. what was caused in learning right and wrong, was entitlement and shame. the latter being focused on. every time i did bad, i always felt i was less than, like i wasn’t perfect. when i was growing up, i wanted people to like me because i thought that gave me value. my self-esteem was totally based on how many likes i got on a photo, how many people would text message me or how many people had me on their top 8 on myspace. shame is something i got to face when i came to the end of my addiction. what i learned is that there is nothing to be shameful of. everything is an experiment. william shakespeare once said, “there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” whenever i heard this, everything made sense to me. all of the shame that i had felt slowly started to fade away. i finally learned how to embrace the darkness. as i continue to practice this, i am slowly unlearning beliefs that i learned that no longer serve me. all of the bad has totally changed and there is no bad left, neither is there good. everything just is. life is a continuous wave of experiences and i don’t just get to ride the wave. i get to be the wave.
i sometimes catch myself going through my life in auto-pilot, absent mindedly going through my daily habits and activities. from waking up, brushing my teeth, doing work, brushing my teeth again and going back to sleep. i forget to bring myself back to the present moment. to appreciate all of the wonderful things that are in my life. i get to live in a place where most people save their hard earned dollars to come visit. i get to do work that i love and enjoy doing each day. i lose myself to the rat race. i tell myself regularly through out the day, come back. for that moment i get to come back to the present moment. i get to look around me and look how far i’ve come in my life, to appreciate all of the experiences that i’ve got to have and all of the wonderful possibilities that still lay ahead of me. coming back is a key part of mindfulness. it is being aware of all that is happening inside of me, mind and body. it is a stress reliever that works. in a time of crisis i bring myself to come back and do what i can in that moment. all i can do is do my part and see how things play out. for me, life comes down to consciously breathing and remembering to come back because in reality, this is the only moment i truly have.
throughout the day i find myself lost in my own thoughts. figuring out what i need to do next, who i need to contact, am i going to have the funds to do this, what is for dinner, oh remember that one time they looked at you like that. the list goes on and on of all of the things the i think about throughout the day. the worst is when i am gripped by sadness or frustration. is anyone ever going to love me, is anyone ever going to love me, is the saddest thought that crosses my mind frequently. why do people act they way the do is the most frustrating thing to try to understand. Elkhart Tolle said in his book, The Power of Now” that over-thinking is an addiction. struggling to think the outcome of every scenario of my life is way out of my control and exhausting. i’ve learned that meditation and mindfulness help ease that. all of my answers are found in the silence, the stillness speaks. i pause when i am agitated and sit still with my body and mind. i don’t know how to explain it, but something speaks to me. i have named this reminder of all things, Leo. this is thing that speaks to me in the stillness, a reminder of all things are stemmed from love, positivity. in the stillness i find all of my answers. all i need to do is remember to mindfully come back to my breathe, and to stop the thinking i ask myself, “what am i going to think of next?”. in the end none of this matters, just have fun with it!
Inspiration, for me, comes and goes. It is the most important aspect of all facets of life. Inspiration comes in the form of chasing my biggest dreams, all the way down to getting myself out of bed. The latter is sometimes hard to do, I have a really comfortable bed. In all truth, sometimes its a challenge to not be jaded by the way the society we live in functions as a whole. Never having enough, I need this to be a better person, I need to act this way so people will like me. All of these things I have come to find out only have monetary value and leave me feeling the same, uninspired. Maybe I’m not getting enough, maybe I’m acquiring all of the wrong things or maybe I’m not acting the right way. For me these things don’t work. What I do know what keeps me inspired are things that are easily accessible. Meditation and mindfulness always do the trick for me. When I am in my head about how much my life sucks or why didn’t that guy call me back, I always take a moment to breathe, to come back. It’s life and it’s easy for me to become jaded. It’s all about letting go in that moment. Don’t be hard on yourself because life is not that serious, Greg. Relationships that I have with people, keep me grounded and always inspired for more. Getting to connect with other people, whether they are positive or negative, gives me a perspective to look at things differently. Through my relationships with people, I have found out what inspires me and what does not inspire me. The most important things that keeps me inspired is my self-esteem, the connection I have with my inner-self. It has taken me a lot of time, a lot of pain, a lot of happiness and a lot of love to kind of understand myself. I feel like this is a life process and there are always new things to be discovered. There are a few key things that help me create positive self-esteem. Taking care of myself physically, mentally and spiritually are big things. Regularly going to the gym/excercising in some form, eating whole foods, owning/expressing my feelings, practicing mindfulness and meditating. In having that connection with myself I get to create my inspiration, I get to choose what inspires me. Everything is a choice. I stay inspired not just for myself, but for other people. To give all that I am and what I want to be. Don’t lose your hope ever, always stay inspired.
In this level of existence we are predisposed to dogma and mythology, a set way of living, that we are forced to follow. In my younger years I experienced this. It ranged from what I should look like, caring about what people thought about me and if I believed in a traditional God. This, unknowingly, lead me to a false sense of being which I came to painfully understand did not have a purpose. The society that we live in is full of fear and judgment, which caused me a lot of shame for who I was. When I was 24 I was on the pinnacle of self-destruction. I had no will to live. The pain of losing my mother when I was 17, my alcohol and substance addiction and my crippling anxiety and depression pushed me to the brim of suicide. I tried it more than once and of course failed, thankfully. It wasn’t until I was apprehended for a 2nd DWI that I finally asked myself, “WHAT THE FUCK AM I DOING?!” In this time period I was diagnosed as an addict and from there, I was able to see with all of the clarity of the universe that I had to change my life. I left everything I knew what was and never looked back. It’s been almost 4 years and life has drastically changed in a positive way. I hope to share with you what my purpose is through this channel of communication. I have realized in my experiences is that I get to choose what my purpose is, I get to create purpose. It fluctuates and I have many of them, it’s organic. The strongest vibration of purpose that I have is to give. Giving, for me, is the ultimate act of positivity. My intention with this is to give back the knowledge and experiences that I have accumulated so far in my life. With that, I hope to give whoever reads this a reawakening and for them to have the courage to create their own purpose.