Category: Path of Least Resistance

Vipassana Meditation – the path to freedom – PART II

This is Part II of a three part article, “Vipassana – the path to freedom”.

 

For Part I, click here.

For Part II, keep reading.

For Part III, click here.

 

~ PART II ~

 

Vipassana & Your Sensation Station

Do you ever feel a sort of anxiety that comes from nowhere? Does it ever creep up on you and then make a dramatic appearance in a big argument or by snapping at someone?

Negative (and untrue) habitual thoughts (ex: “I don’t have enough and I’ll never have enough”, “I don’t deserve this”, or “I’m not enough”) really depress the mood, beginning with the thinker of the thoughts and continuing through those he or she interacts with. Thought patterns like this don’t feel good when we think them and there’s good reason for that.

There’s a not-so-secret “secret” our Western culture is steadily catching onto: thoughts that feel good must be true to one as a a human-spiritual being (why else would they feel good?) and thoughts that feel bad are not true (why else would the mind & body be trying to push against them with negative emotions?).

The “feelings” I am referring to above are felt in the body almost by a kind of sixth sense; the Intuition sense, or gut feeling. When I say ‘feel’, I mean feeling the subtle emotions that our bodies are communicating to us through the chemicals in our bodies as we think and act.

Easier said than done, right? Those suckers are subtle, and some change as quickly as the wind.

And here’s where Vipassana comes back in. As the technique teaches to feel the sensations in our bodies and train the mind and body out of blindly reacting to them, it is also simultaneously teaching us to be aware of our bodies, the vessels that help translate the messages we get from our Intuition.

Now, everyone has their own truth, and a thought or message from our bodies that feels good to me may not feel good to you, but still, every thought falls within the guidance of our Emotional Guidance System – or Intuition – something that directs each of us individually through life in all moments as we pay attention to our feelings and emotions and where they are leading us.

It sounds far-fetched to your everyday, Western-cultured ‘realist’, but science has now caught up to the fact that this mind-body connection is the method for human development and is the reason for the successful evolution this world has seen.

To lend an example, think about eating for a minute. Why are we drawn to certain types of food, and repulsed by others? Why do we have cravings for specific foods during specific times of the day or month? By signaling our minds, our bodies can get the proper nutrition and sustenance it needs to be as successful as possible in a given present environment.

Maybe you love doughnuts and you’re thinking, “but doughnuts don’t make me successful”. It’s so important to be aware of our bodies so that we can hear the messages our Intuition is sending us, rather than our pre-conditioned minds to more accurately feel what is best for us.

When one trains his or her body to be felt more deeply and fully, then he or she is training to feel more deeply and fully a guidance system that will lead them wherever they want to go. Because with that Emotional Guidance System comes everything that we want.

Stay with me here.

If our emotions lead us from one spot to another and if good thoughts equal good feelings, then it makes sense that using our emotions, our bodies and minds are signaling us to eat this not that, go here not there, do this not that, etc., taking into account our wishes and desires of all sizes along the way to get exactly what we want and need to survive and thrive. The same things goes for our conscious desires and needs, like love and sex and enough monetary things to sustain ourselves, physically and emotionally, to the degree we believe it.

Our Emotional Guidance Systems prompts each of us everywhere we desire to go, but each of us individually are the ones who must take the steps to go where it wants us to go. Sometimes, listening is as easy as hearing your stomach growl and going for some food. And sometimes, it’s not so easy to listen. Sometimes our bodies send us signals we have been ignoring for years, making it much more difficult to ‘hear’.

 

Clarity of Mind, Body, & Spirit

As explained throughout the course, what we put into our bodies has a lot to do with what we reap from them. If our input is “dirty” foods and substances filled with preservatives, chemicals, and other processed junk, then our output will be a “dirty”, or cluttered mind, making it much more difficult to feel the sensations we need to feel for a more successful life. As within, so without.

By spending a silent week and a half in the course, being fed quality and tasty vegetarian meals and living life outside of the chaos of the outer world, one can train his or herself and literally physically rewire the brain to communicate clearly and more effectively with his or her Intuition.

When one is focused, aligned, has a clear head, and feels good, concepts that are complex seem easy and simple. Things that are too fast seem slowed down. When one is in alignment with his or her Intuition, the feelings are positive, the thoughts that come feel good, and without other emotions and worries to distract, things just seem to work out well as a result of such a clear mindset.

 

Balanced Mind = Balanced Life

Another component about the course which proves to be one of the most useful tools I have learned is equanimity, which I understand now as calm and balance of the mind. As we work with this skill more and more, just like a muscle, with time we learn to be increasingly calm and have a collected mind in every situation, good and bad.

While meditating during the course, thoughts come and go. Many times, what comes up are Sankharas (simply translating as: “that which has been put together”), or blind reactions to events we have unconsciously “put together” in our subconscious minds that can be released simply by observing it, knowing the truth that everything is always changing; this too shall pass.

Many times throughout the course I would have moments of blissful insight while sitting, or memories I had long forgotten from when I was a kid. After observing and releasing thoughts and reactions to several previous life events, I could physically feel my relief all over my body. I took this as a good sign and those ah-ha moments and blissful insights were great motivation for me to keep going in the course, especially when I felt I couldn’t finish the first day.

 

 

By feeling sensations in the body and not reacting when they come up, we retrain our brains, creating new neural pathways; new ways neurons (nerve cells) wire together, resulting in new thought patterns.

Through this process we retrain our brains to observe what comes and let it pass only by observing. The same can be done for any situation in life, but by sitting still and experiencing internal sensations that we train ourselves not to react to, we start in the kiddie pool, rather than the deep end with ‘real life’ and ‘real life’ situations.

As the course teaches, the wisdom of knowing everything is always changing in every moment helps us realize the true nature of reality and everything that happens in life.

 

 

Misery is often caused by feeling powerless to circumstances we can’t control, but by understanding that everything always changes, and by experiencing this law of nature through first-hand experience (through repeated observation of always-changing sensations within the body), rather than just intellectual knowledge, we allow our bodies, and therefore minds, to accept this fact quicker and more efficiently by creating physical cell memory of it.

During the course, we are told to accept the teachings that feel true for us and leave what doesn’t. The technique teaches a lot about peace and kindness, so it’s hard to argue a lot of the points our teacher, Goenka, mentions, but some parts of the teachings are definitely different than what most of us were taught in our Western-style schools. In fact, I don’t really recall there being a class for emotional intelligence in public school…

 

Vipassana in Practice

 

About a month after one full 10 day course I feel calmer, less reactive, more peaceful, more motivated for life, clearer and more connected in mind and body, more able to feel sensations both internally and externally, and more connected to the world around me. Actually, putting these effects into words seems like such a joke, because these benefits have changed my inner world completely, in an amazing way.

Words just can’t explain it right. After this course I feel better able to gracefully handle the world and everything in front of me, death included.

At the risk of sounding like a total fruit cake, it feels like I have stumbled upon some sort of Heaven on Earth, an art of living I didn’t realize really existed. I share all of this because it’s a way, no, an art of living meant for anyone who wants to take the steps to get there.

Though sometimes I’ll still have bad moments or days when I’ve forgotten myself and gripe and groan about something petty, it’s a long process retraining our brains and I’m consistently enjoying changing my reactions to things to be a happier, kinder, more thoughtful, and successful person.

(Continues in Part III)

Vipassana Meditation – the path to freedom – PART I

This article is divided and published into three separate parts for clarity and digestibility. This is Part I of a three part article titled “Vipassana – the path to freedom”.

 

For Part I, keep reading.

For Part II, click here.

For Part III, click here.

 

 

~ PART I ~

 

What would you do if you had the choice between the red pill and the blue pill? What if, in one hand, you had every tool needed to free yourself from the limits of your mind and surpass negative emotions as soon as you notice them, and in the other hand lies the antidote to freedom that will keep you in your safe box?

What if there was a real and honest tool for you to shift your internal reality to be able to live in peace, regardless of your surroundings and what is happening in them?

I want to be clear, I’m not writing to convince anyone of anything. You all can judge for yourselves if you think a Vipassana Meditation course might be something you’d brave. But I’m telling you right now it will change your world in an amazing way… if you let it.

It’s been about four weeks since I finished my first 10-day Vipassana Meditation course and after observing the effects it’s had on my real life in a few weeks time, this article is my attempt at translating my experience and benefits into words.

Vipassana is a Pali (the language in the time of Buddha) word meaning “seeing the reality as it is”. It is a technique of meditation founded and taught by Gautama the Buddha himself. It cultivates determination, mindfulness, awareness of both inner and outer surroundings, and an inner peace and clarity that cannot easily be found outside of sitting quietly with oneself.

Students are asked to meditate 11 hours a day, commit to 9 days of “Noble Silence” (the tenth day students are allowed to talk and reflect on the course with others) and communicate only with teachers and assistants to ask questions.

Not gonna lie, meditating that much threw me for a loop. I have never been so silent for so long since my months in the womb, and it was a big challenge even lasting the full course.

I can definitely see why Noble Silence is a thing in this program. By not distracting ourselves and others with words about the outside world or the course itself, one can achieve true mental clarity.

With all the chaos that’s been happening lately, I believe the world could use a little pick-me-up that doesn’t involve drugs or other external sources of pleasure. We’ve been on that hamster wheel long enough.

Vipassana can be this pathway to emotional freedom for people of all backgrounds, all races and religions, all sexual orientations, and all types of personalities, helping us kick addictions to substances and behaviors we previously have used in order to find that happiness and connection with our innermost selves.

There are a lot of unhappy people causing misery to themselves and others by way of simply not knowing how to handle their suffering. This course is a method to break through the illusions of life and see how everything truly is, rather than how we want things to be, not only so that we can be in the right mindset to deal with life events wisely and without reacting blindly, but also so we can be happier at the basis of our lives, regardless of what happens in them.

Which is how it was meant to be, no? The human default is happy, we just have to unlearn a few old paradigms from society along the way.

(Continues in Part II)

Mount Evans Colorado

Vipassana Meditation – the path to freedom – PART III

This is Part III of a three part article titled “Vipassana – the path to freedom”.

 

For Part I, click here.

For Part II, click here.

For Part III, keep reading.

 

~ PART III ~

 

A few more things about the course…

  •  This whole thing is free. Run by donations and volunteers ONLY, this course thrives on the purity of the technique and what it teaches. Previous students who feel the course has benefited them will donate (only AFTER the course has finished) so that others can benefit as well.By not accepting money before the course in exchange for the services and hospitality the course provides, and by only using volunteers, teachers and students can truly receive the full benefit of the teachings, free from monetary intentions.
  • Vipassana Meditation courses have been held since Buddha was still alive and head honcho of Vipassana, originating in India some 2,600 years ago and spreading all over the world.The course I took was held by the Rocky Mountain Vipassana Association at a rented-out Jewish Children’s Camp in Elbert, CO, which worked pretty nicely for the course. RMVA is now expanding and have plans to open up their own center in Colorado.
Mount Evans Colorado
View from the top of Mount Evans, Colorado
  • Held at 310 locations in 94 countries around the world, Vipassana Meditation courses have expanded for good reason.
  • This course doesn’t advertise, only by word of mouth do course lists get overbooked and waiting lists get filled.
  • The course is non-secular, so students can come religious or non-religious.
  • Eleven hours a day meditating seems pretty brutal when you think about it, but after trying it, it’s not so bad. A roommate of mine during the course had never meditated before coming to practice Vipassana, so the program is truly meant for almost* anyone who wants to improve their lives in a deep and introspective way.

vipassana meditation course

Believe it or not, it can actually be enjoyable to be in such a deep state where time and space almost don’t exist anymore. To be able to heal from past wounds, physical and emotional, and retrain our brains to think more emotionally clear and consciously is an invaluable skill for every single day for our entire lives.

Plus, students never have to sit for more than an hour at a time if they don’t truly want to. Students are permitted to take short breaks here and there and the instructors trusted we had an idea what would happen to our practice if we didn’t meditate seriously.

  • The Association will accommodate students with dietary needs. If a student is taking a prescription, needs vitamins, or asks for modified food accommodations, those who run the course will help them meet daily needs.
  • Likewise, if a student would like a chair to meditate with rather than sitting in criss-cross applesauce, they’ll accommodate to get everyone comfortable enough.
  • *With all of this said, this course is not for everyone. Those with serious psychiatric disorders come to courses expecting it to be their cure, which turns out to be not only a disappointment, but could even set him or her back in health.

 

Vipassana for a Happier World

While Vipassana Meditation is a way to eradicate suffering, each of us by ourselves are the only ones to be able to take the steps on the path, and anyone who expects salvation to come from an outside source (even a meditation course) is only going to come to realize it is nothing but ourselves who will save us. It is each of us alone who does the work to be free of the mind’s limitations and eradicate our excuses for being unhappy. Not the meditation course, not the drugs, not the healthy food, not the lover, not even the prayer or worship.

Though there is power in all of these things, by ending our clinging to what excites or upsets us to any degree, we can taste our liberation and take the steps to true happiness.

Many people have seen the value of this technique and envisioned what it can do for school detention centers and even prisons. “The Dhamma Brothers” is a unique film highlighting just one example of how Vipassana has been introduced into the system and the mental freedom it has given two prison mates in one of the most violent prisons in Southern Alabama. Not trying to ruin the ending or anything, but they all live happily ever after. Mostly.

Schools have started implementing Vipassana Meditation for restless children and finding great results. Meditation itself has been proven to benefit kids just as much as adults, and in a society that thrives best with calm and creative minds, it’s the lock and key to a better functioning society as whole. But external peace starts from peace within, something Vipassana Meditation has proven to help cultivate.

It is one thing I believe we all have in common: each of us alone must free ourselves from the chains of our own minds.

The only way out is in.

 


To find out more about the Vipassana Meditation Technique, head to https://www.dhamma.org/ and click around for resources and articles.

how to meditate

How to Meditate (& Why It’s The Tool For Alignment)

Updated: September 23, 2018

Meditation has been used since the dawn of time to better understand the forces of nature and mysteries of life [1], starting with the human mind and how it works with the body. It’s our goal during a standard meditation session as to simply remember our breath or other “white noise” we choose to focus on, usually for the benefits of reducing stress.

 

Limited on time? Like summaries? Skip the backdrop and head to the bottom paragraphs titled “Too Long, Didn’t Read?” to find out the basics on how to meditate.

 

📍Miami, Florida, USA

What are the benefits of a quiet mind? 

[1],[2],[4]

it increases mindfulness (the awareness of the present and all that is going on)
it improves our control of the thoughts we think
it reduces stress hormones which reduces disease = reduces healthcare
it reduces heart rate and blood pressure
it improves positivity which improves our present and future
it improves compassion
it improves productivity; physical, mental, or emotional
it improves clarity on any subject
it improves memory
it slows (and can even reverse) aging
it increases self-awareness
it improves lung function and quality of breath
it improves the function of our senses
it improves our enjoyment of activities
it improves the pain response (both physically and emotionally)
it helps us handle stress more easily
it helps to decrease or even eradicate addiction to harmful substances
it helps us be happier and sustain that happiness
it increases creativity

& so much more…

 

I can vouch for all of these benefits, as I have noticed them in myself since starting a consistent meditation practice. Most especially, I have found a decrease in pain and my reaction to it. Meditation has given me the capacity to process and transmute both emotional and physical stresses. Burns and scrapes don’t hurt as much as they used to but sorry to say, a stubbed toe still REALLY hurts.

I’m going to say right here and now that I am no expert in meditation. I put what I am taught into practice to see what resonates with me. I believe it’s not necessary to be an ‘expert’ in meditation, as long as we are receiving the desired benefits from a consistent practice.

That being said, I think it’s important to get multiple perspectives on any subject to make up your own mind, so use the almighty Google, books, or online journals (or Bing if you’re that type of person ;)) to research new techniques and types of meditations after reading this guide. A technique that works for me might not work for you and vice versa. There are countless meditation techniques out there so you’re bound to find many that work best for you and keep you from boredom.

**NOTE: there comes a point later down the road in your meditation practice that many recommend a “guru” (an expert that can further show the way to enlightenment through meditation) because of the extremes meditation practice can manifest in many individuals. After meditating with consistent practice, beliefs that no longer serve us are likely to be brought into our lives as lessons to be learned and things to release. With or without meditation, they are meant to come up in our lives; they’re meant to help us learn. However, we are more equipped to deal with that kind of stress when we are more mindful of our thoughts. Gurus or Spiritual teachers can help guide people through the process in a more gentle and organized way.

 

So you’ve seen the benefits. You’ve made it this far. I’d like for you to experience the clarity that comes with a quieter mind. I’d love for you to see the ways meditating can improve your life in all areas. Here’s your guide on how to meditate and how you’ll benefit.

 

because clarity is power…

 

A quieter mind brings…

 

focus
freedom
clarity
tapping into the frequency of Source (the universe, the energy of life, God, Buddha, Allah, Mother Nature, whatever your preferred label)
comfort
peace
alignment & synergy

 

 

…and so much more that helps us grow in the ways we desire, at a soul level, which will consequently translate to a material level. This all is based on my own experience and thousands of hard-evidence studies scattered all over the internet.

They did a study on mindfulness at Harvard University and created a detailed resource outlining the benefits, practices, and information backing up their findings in a PDF document, “Now and Zen” (badass title if you ask me). Harvard researchers taught and studied participants practicing yoga and meditation consistently for 8 weeks, which improved physical health and brain function.

Harvard researchers found that participants were able to spend less on their doctor bills because of the improvement of health issues related to stress. Cortisol (a stress hormone which is the cause of an array of diseases when left without our help in minimizing it) levels plummeted and so did depression [3].

Vippassana Meditation, a technique founded and distributed by Buddha, is something that has been introduced all over the world as a completely free, donation-based service. For 10 days (or 20 or 30 or 45; there are several course lengths offered), students are expected to work around 11 hours a day of meditation, all while following Noble Silence, a mandatory rule that allows students to develop a quieter mind, all while having meals and breaks provided and served for them at no extra cost, all volunteer basis.

The repetition of the technique and consistent use of it is what serves so well in this course. It’s amazing how clear one’s mind can be after a course like this, and most students come year after year to strengthen their practice.

Vipassana is a meditation technique that teaches students to see everything as it is, and not how we think it should be. The technique teaches awareness and equanimity – the ability to keep a calm and balanced mind in all situations, ‘good’ and ‘bad’. After taking a course myself, it’s changed my inner world for the better, resulting in countless outer world benefits as well.

When we give our body and mind time to breathe with no distractions, stress has no where to go but out.

 

 Here is what a common effective meditation practice looks like:

*Main points are italicized.*

Meditation is used by many as a morning discipline, usually upon waking up. I notice how it affects my day more positively than if I meditate later in the day. Meditation is a skill, like a muscle being sculpted, so it helps to treat it as such. I won’t lie: I don’t always feel like meditating, but it’s like exercise. I do it because I know it will make me feel better, and it always does. Also just like exercise, some days I feel better than others and some days my meditation practice is far from perfect.

If morning meditation isn’t your thing, quieting your mind before sleep is a good choice for those who generally have trouble relaxing and falling or staying asleep, and it’s a good primer for some of your best dreams.

Arrange yourself in a comfortable place to sit or lie down that allows the least chance of moving for 20 minutes, with as few surrounding distractions as possible.

Common effective meditation sessions usually last around 15-20 minutes of watching the breath go in and out.

Focus on the subtleties of the in and out of the breath through your nose, the feeling of your belly inflating and deflating, or focus on the air conditioner in the background or fan, and that tiny high-pitched sound that comes with it that you can only hear when your mind is quiet enough.

When a thought comes up, observe it and as quickly as you remember, allow it to float away and come back to the breath or “file it away” for the future, if it’s useful. It’s helpful to visualize: picture a cloud or a wave taking the distracting thought away and then coming back to focusing on the breath again.

With practice, you’ll get better at simply coming back to your breath without a visualization, but some days it’s a bit more difficult to quiet that inner voice. Intend to treat yourself with compassion in coming back to the quietness of your mind. Annoyance and anger at yourself for your thoughts jumping around don’t support a healthy meditation practice. Meditation is an experience, and it should be a positive one you start to look forward to. The whole point is to feel recharged after your zen time, however that means for you in the moment.

With a quiet mind, we tend to receive thoughts that help us through certain topics of our lives. It’s almost intoxicating, the clear-headedness that comes with the detachment from thinking, like a bunch of eureka moments in a short period of time on any subject.

If I’m at this point–which, I’ll be honest, only happens when I am not expecting or chasing after it–I might ask a question I want clarity on, trust that it will come without my searching for the answer, then receive such a clear answer I start to wonder why I didn’t think of it before. I’m aware this all sounds a little counterintuitive— stop thinking so you can think? But that’s the trick. Quit trying to think and just start receiving them.

Many would call this “Mindfulness Meditation”. Truthfully, I forget about the labels and just do what feels good. Sometimes meditations are to focus solely on our breath, and other meditation sessions are focused on the thoughts that come after we have quieted our minds. And others are about focusing on your body, or parts of it. There are so many techniques to try out there that you will likely have no trouble with boredom.

And then there’s Visualization Meditation.

Are you yet aware of the Law of Attraction? Are you aware that you are a magnet based on your thoughts? Are you aware that on that which we focus–that which we are–we will receive more of, through all cases, in all moments? This is why Visualization Meditation is so powerful.

Either guided by a voice recording or done with your own imagination, pick a topic you want to visualize, quiet your mind of thoughts by focusing on the breath or another repeating noise or sensation, and imagine what you want to imagine for your life. Let your mind go with feel-good thoughts of what you to create or want more of in your life.

Remind yourself to enjoy the ride. This shouldn’t be a ton of effort, nor should we force ourselves. Imagining the reality of your dreams should be fun and natural, like when you were a kid. Intend to have a child-like imagination, one that is effortless and flows freely, as this is when we are most effective at creating the future we desire. There’s a good reason kids play pretend as much as they do.

Set the scene and incorporate all senses in some way: What does the scene look like? What kind of colors are present? What does it smell like? What are you tasting while you are observing what you want to create for yourself? What do you feel under your feet and fingers? Are you barefoot or do you have clunky shoes on uneven ground? What kind of noises surround you and this scene? Every little detail helps.

 

Make like a free-range chicken; free your monkey mind!

 

Meditation may be simple but there are so many facets to quieting our minds that can only be learned with experience. I invite you to tap into your power I know you know is there and find your clarity, freedom, and alignment…

Do you go fishing? Dance? Play a sport? Sing? Draw? Do you follow a passion, any passion? You’re probably already quieting your thoughts and getting in a flow state in certain moments of your days. Why not hit the ‘Limitless’ button? Sit down for just 10 to 15 deliberate minutes a day, stick with the habit, and you’ll forget why you ever went without.

Too long, didn’t read? Here’s a quick snippet on how you can meditate:

~ Find a comfortable place to sit or recline, keeping in mind the more comfortable you get, the higher chance you’re going to fall asleep. Nature is a great place to be mindful, but a comfortable and quiet room with limited distractions works well, too.

~ Close your eyes and relax your entire body, starting with the top of your head and ending at the tips of your toes, allowing every muscle to be at ease.

~ Feel your breath going in and out of your body. Focus on the way it feels going in and out of your nostrils, inflating and deflating your belly, re-centering your energy throughout your body. Focus on the way it feels to fill your lungs and muscles with oxygen.

~ When a thought comes up (and it will as our brains are designed to think), simply observe it and let it go, coming back to your breath.

That’s it! To transition out of meditation, gently wiggle your fingers and toes, stretch your muscles, and open your eyes, coming back into the present moment and the rest of your day.

PRO TIP #1: CONSISTENCY IS KEY to the benefits of meditation.

PRO TIP #2: it’s helpful to use visualization techniques to come back to your breath, such as inhaling a white light and exhaling and releasing negative darker light. There are no rules here; you could also imagine your mind as a little pebble drifting through a cleansing stream, dodging other pebbles or “thoughts” that get in your way. Visualizing certain scenes helps us stay focused on our meditation and remember to come back to the breath (plus it’s kinda fun..)

PRO TIP #3: nature is helpful because it almost always has a background noise to focus on. Using the natural energy of the earth to ground yourself is also a good way of keeping concentration and allowing your vibration to lift.

PRO TIP #4: the more relaxed you are, the easier it is to have a successful meditation.

Meditation Resources:

  • Headspace.com is an app and meditation resource for simple and/or guided meditations. They provide “packs” to help teach users to meditate effectively.
(not an affiliate link)
  • You

 

 

Sources:

  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/meditation/in-depth/meditation/art-20045858
  2. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/30/meditation-health-benefits_n_3178731.html
  3. https://hms.harvard.edu/sites/default/files/assets/Harvard%20Now%20and%20Zen%20Reading%20Materials.pdf
  4. https://www.headspace.com/science/meditation-benefits

 

I trust this has been helpful in getting you started, but I’m sure there are some things I missed! How do you meditate to quiet your mind? 

Colombia’s Pueblo of Paradise – Jericó

Glowing under the sun in the middle of a mountain ecosystem, Jericó, Colombia has everything it needs to have sustained the village for the last 150+ years and many more to come. Clean river water bisects the town’s lush landscapes, allowing for sparkling clean and tasty tap water. Fruits and flowers are abundant, colors are on every corner, literally, and there is hardly a reason to complain here when the Earth is taking care of the community perfectly.

 

The culture reflects their happiness. Jericó has traditions that have been working for them for centuries. It all began when the founding family chose which other families could come to live in the town. Through the generations, the pueblo (Spanish word for town) has sustained its good nature, both in the land and its people.

 

Parque Natural, Las Nubes

 

Everyone is so friendly, like they know they are meant to be here. I made friends easily just walking through the main square every so often, seeing many of the same friendly faces. It’s not uncommon to see people belting out old Spanish love songs in the park, or to see young kids popping bike wheelies on the streets in the middle of the night. It’s safe and secure, even though many people do little to protect their homes and belongings. I can’t help but think trust has something to do with it.

Even the dogs are friendly. Usually I try not to pet dogs I don’t know while traveling (duh) but when multiple come up to you just looking for some love, it’s hard to say no. Many make friends with shop owners, and have names and food waiting for them.

Making friends with our favorite coffee farmer – Photo by Maxime (click photo for his blog)

 

People are proud of their pueblo and of what they’ve achieved for themselves here. I make it a point everywhere I travel to ask people I meet if they like their city. Usually people will tell me yes, but it’s the body language I look for when I’m processing the answer. Normally I get a lot of yeses; many with a lot of hesitancy, like there are many things that could be improved. In Jericó, I get an “of course” or an “I LOVE my home”, said with gusto. It’s easy to be happy when you are provided with all that you need, and then some.

 

 

The houses are re-painted regularly; it’s something they enjoy to let others enjoy. Flowers drape over detailed balconies, easily tended to by the town’s even rain-sun exchange in the climate. The land flourishes easily and there are endless hidden gems sprinkled around the small village.

 

 

In Jericó life is easy and carefree. Sure, people still have their problems like every other living being on the planet, but they have remembered something many big cities seem to lose: life is supposed to be enjoyed.

Jericó, Colombia has got to be the happiest town I’ve ever visited. What about you? Where have you discovered Heaven on Earth?

What To Do in Jericó, Colombia

A hundred Jericoan traditions in one picture

There are countless reasons to see Jericó, Colombia, and a million things to do in this gorgeous town that doesn’t even currently exist in guidebooks, but a million won’t fit in a blog post, and you guys probably wouldn’t read it anyway.

So I took the top nine and wrapped it up for you with pretty pictures. Here are the top things to do in Jericó, Colombia to pack your itinerary full of unique experiences only Jericó can provide:

Las Cometas Hostel

The first hostel to be opened in Jericó and it’s the only one you will ever want or need for all of your travel needs. The colors, fruit trees, and the neighboring church are the first things to invite you in, and the coziness along with the host/mom’s hospitality is what will convince you to stay. The location and price is great for backpackers and digital nomads exploring this beautiful country. Rooms are spacious, secure, cozy, and clean and many unique tours are available. You’ll have a hard time leaving! I decided to stay for a while to help grow the hostel with my writing in exchange for accommodation. They are always looking for talent for work exchange! Make your reservation with this link to benefit from a $20 discount for the both of us or head to the website to book your stay.

Las Cometas Hostel, photo by Jorge the hostel owner 🙂

 

El Murro del Salvador & El Jardín Botánico (El Salvador Hill & The Botanical Garden)

A tranquil and expansive garden managed and kept clean by the town, go to enjoy the sounds and sights of nature’s finest. It includes a pond and several paths to explore the area. Go a short walk further up the hill and you’ll find El Salvador, a statue of Jesus on the cross, in front of which one can see for miles.

Overlooking Jericó from El Murro del Salvador

 

Parque Natural, Las Nubes (Natural Park in the Clouds)

A natural and well-kept park growing into the clouds. Go during sunset and your mind will be blown. There are plenty of different angles to view the 360 degrees of the rolling mountain landscape surrounding this jungle village. Jericó used to have a cablecar leading from El Murro del Salvador to the park for those who wanted to skip the uphill hike, but lack of funds have left the abandoned cable car another unique piece of its history.

 

El Saturia Coffee Shop

If, like me, you’re tired of the watered-down Starbucks and you’re in desperate search of an authentic cup of coffee Colombians are famous for, El Saturia is the place. The atmosphere is friendly and open, the seating arrangements are comfortable and inviting, and the owner has made a name for himself in the town as one of the only shops to provide coffee tours with over 30 coffee farms in addition to showing how the coffee is made and letting customers make a legitimate cup for themselves in order to replicate the process at home.

 

Rio Piedra

A river in the middle of Jerico which has a trail leading further down the way. Fruit trees are abundant on the trail leading to what seems to be nowhere. Start at the entrance next to the town’s hospital. Just come prepared with good shoes and bug spray. You don’t want to end up actually using the hospital.

 

5 Museums & 17 Churches

I’m told there are five museums in Jericó at great entry prices, along with 17 beautiful churches in a town of only 12,000 people.

I checked out the old house museum built just a decade after the town was built so long ago. It houses gorgeous and invaluable decorations from all over the world, along with traditional stoves, handmade feather-sewn blankets, and beautiful lamps and tables made of marble.

La Gruta

Decorations straight from the Colombian handbook, colors plucked from the endless rainbows you’ll see above Jericó, and the food is delicious and made with Colombian traditions.

White rice, potato, yuca, salad, avocado, and beef

 

La Cascada Arcoiris (Rainbow Waterfall)

Yep, you guessed it, there’s a gorgeous arching rainbow hugging the steep rocky waterfall. Las Cometas Hostel offers an inexpensive tour to this place, including transportation and a real, honest Colombian meal from a nearby farm overlooking the falls. The views of the lush river valley are magnificent. The gorgeous birds, bugs, and fruit trees are plentiful and many are ready for harvest at virtually all times of the year. This place is best enjoyed on sunny days as the falls are situated in the clouds and the rainbow isn’t visible unless the sun is out. Words and pictures really can’t do this place justice. You’ll have to see for yourself.

Heads in the clouds on our way to the waterfall…

 

Tour a Coffee Farm

I took a tour with the farm El Saturia uses for it’s coffee, one of 32 that owner Juan Carlos employs for his coffee shop to distribute to customers. Sitting among rolling hills of Colombian’s fertile countryside sits the small farmhouse and it’s endless acres of well-cared for plants for harvest. Gabriel, the farmer in question and his wife Estela, took us through the coffee process, as explained very soon in a review article 🙂 There were so many reasons to fall in love with this land and family and it was too easy to feel relaxed and worry-free in their company. Their house is as humble as their personalities and they seem to be provided with anything they could want or need in this life. Gabriel and his wife tend to the land perfectly and the land easily tends to them.

I found myself saying “pura vida” a lot just because of how naturally homey and accommodating I found the farm and its owners to be. Tour the grounds and the LOOONG coffee process (it takes up to a year just for one cup of coffee!!) and you will be that much more appreciative of a cup of delicious organic coffee made by yourself! I know I will never look at coffee the same. The farm is almost always looking for work exchange to improve the grounds and the family loves to get a taste of outside perspectives.

Coffee beans drying in the sun…

Taking the shells off the coffee bean, photo by Maxime (click the photo to check out his blog)
All you need is love.. Even the trees know that!

Booking.com

Paragliding

Fly through the coffee mountains of Jericó, about 20-30 minutes for around $52 USD. A friend from Las Cometas Hostel went; check out his video here

Horseback Riding

I think you may have caught on already that everything in Jericó comes with a spectacular view. Riding horseback is no exception. In fact, I got to witness some of the best views of my life in the outskirts of town.

 

 

Jericoanos take pride in the work they do to preserve their old town, the community inside, and the immaculate surrounding nature so all of us can keep enjoying its beauty. The people of Jericó are welcoming of those who wish the same for the pueblo 🙂 Jericó is paradise to anyone who lets it in!!

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11 Ways to Reverse the Millennial Curse

When was the last day you didn’t see an advertisement? Seems like it’s become the norm, to have our attention split in so many ways. And when you’re placed in this society by default from the day you were born, it’s inevitable it’s going to have an effect on us.

Distraction is a killer. When our minds are focused in too many places at once, we slowly approach our goals, rather than facing them head-on. Kick your bucket lists’s ass and conquer that baby with these 11 steps, best enjoyed whenever you feel like:

 

1. Cherish your focus. 

It’s so easy to jump from one topic in your head to the next. Totally understandable, since we are bombarded with thousands upon thousands of distractions everyday. The world used to be simple, but these days you can forget about simplicity if you live in a big city. Focusing on something for a longer period of time is proven to be more effective at accomplishing goals rather than changing the subject with yourself every few seconds. Meditation works wonders for this, even if it’s five minutes a day you will feel a difference.

Being still with no sensory distractions around you besides the earth and your thoughts is one of the best ways. Some call this meditation, some call this mindfulness, and some just call it “being still”. However you label it, simply accepting and being with your mind and body is the perfect remedy to a monkey mind. Like anything in life, consistency is key to effectiveness.

 

Great National Sand Dunes, Colorado, USA

 

2. Be in the moment. 

Explore your senses in any given moment. Observe what you see, smell, hear, and feel in that subtle part of you that we all have. Focus on your surroundings in the way only a human body can.


San José, Costa Rica

 

3. Watch as many sunsets as possible. 

Watching awe-inspiring colors slowly changing in the sky is usually a sure-fire way to appreciate what you have. Who doesn’t love colors and beautiful skies? However you like to appreciate it—laying on the ground, following the sun with your car, or watching with a loved one—is always the right way.


Taganga, Colombia

 

4. Enjoy quality time. 

Whether it’s with yourself or someone else, being 100% present with someone is priceless and helps us appreciate the best things in life. Hey, sometimes you can be 100% present with someone cracking up at a Spongebob meme on Facebook.

 

5. Walk more often.

If you want to step it up a notch, try it without music. Watch your thoughts as they come to you. If they’re negative, you have the power to end it right then and there. Gently move your thoughts to a higher vibration just by finding better-feeling, happy thoughts. Here’s a few to get you started.

 

6. Get in nature. 

The less electronics you employ in your nature-sesh, the happier thoughts you’re likely to have, the happier you will therefore be, and the more manifestations will rain down. There’s no comparing yourself to others, no worrying about what people think of your Instagram page, and current world events are irrelevant in the forest.

Watch and feel your mind gradually shift to calmer and clearer thoughts with the seconds. Watch the wildlife and contemplate life. It’s pretty fucking fun if you ask me!

 

middle of nowhere, Colombia

 

7. Watch your life from a bird’s-eye-view.

This helps so much when you need perspective.

Viewing our lives as an outsider helps us focus on the goal and actions we’ll take to get there clearly and calmly.

 

Taganga, Colombia

 

8. Give something to someone.

Without fail, this will raise your vibration if you’re coming from a place of love. If you genuinely care about helping in some way that is unique to you, the benefits are enormous, and they extend farther than just feeling warm fuzzies in the moment. It could even be just helping your grandpa with his new phone. Use your talents for good!

 

9. Take a deep breath.

Sometimes, using our lungs to center ourselves is the best and quickest way to calm our minds from moving in ten directions. With the intention of breathing in positivity, love, abundance, prosperity, or just pure white light, then breathing out negativity, we transform our thought vibrations in just seconds.

 

10. Travel.

Another way to inspire awe in yourself is to go to new places, whether that’s a little further than usual while walking your dog for the day, or traveling all the way across the world. Anything new and different is a good way to get into the here and now, otherwise you miss it!

 

‘nother Taganga pic

 

11. Do your passion and give it your all.

When we are doing something we love, we are usually laser-focused on that thing that we love. So get out there and just take action in the best way you know how. It’s not hard, and with practice, it will seem like you’re a kid again. The key is childlike, not childish.

Many report fishing as being a sort of meditation, where their mind is far away with their thoughts. Dancing in a room full of bodies and booming music is the same for me. We all have a passion for something, just choose your favorite and roll with it 🙂 & quit arguing for your limitations!!

 

So maybe there’s no curse. Maybe we just grew up differently than the last generations; all these distractions bombard us in all directions. When you think about it, we’re pretty blessed to live in a time with so many experiences and freedom to choose from, but I can’t deny the benefits of focus, because as the Law of Attraction states: where focus goes, energy flows.

 

How do you reverse the millennial curse? Got more ideas? Shoot me a comment or email and I’ll add it in with credits to you 🙂

 

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How to Focus Your Dream Life Into Fruition

 

 

I get it, it’s just a spiral. We all can draw a spiral right? But if you’re a bit OCD like myself and enjoy better visual readability, click the image & save it (Ctrl + click + save image) then go to the document & hit file + print.

 

What’s the point of a focus spiral?

 

Why should we care about focusing? Seems like such a simple thing to make a whole article about…

Make no mistake. The power of the mind is not to be misunderstood. Above anything, we focus to feel better. Maybe that sounds like a boring answer, but anything we are trying to achieve is a desire of ours because we want to feel better in the having of it, anyway.

But let’s be real. When we want something, focusing is what is going to get us to the destination we want. Focus lets us rewire our brains to take us, through action, to a preferable manifestation.

It took repetition of negative thoughts to establish limiting beliefs in our minds, so it takes repetition of positive thoughts to reverse them.

Where focus goes, energy flows. Like attracts like. Thoughts become things.

 

There was a study once. Three groups of basketball players were separated; one group practiced daily, another focused on shooting free-throws solely in their minds, imagining the ball going in every time. The last group did nothing at all. The group who practiced mentally with no physical practice, improved their free throws the most, with the group who solely practiced physically coming in second, and the group who didn’t practice at all unsurprisingly did not improve. You can see that study here.

If you’re still skeptical, I recommend trying the study on yourself. Belief is what backs manifestations, so we’ll need plenty of it 😉

For every thought there is a physical equivalent and as we are creating constantly, it makes loads of sense to create positive things in our lives. Like a focus wheel, created & coined by Abraham Hicks (who you can learn more about here), a focus spiral helps us focus our thoughts positively around a goal we are striving towards. Plus, sometimes making a plan in our heads leads to a forgotten goal.

Even when we write it on paper, it doesn’t always stick. By writing it down and focusing on it for a good amount of time, similar thoughts and vibrations are attracted to us faster through the Law of Attraction.

SIDE NOTE: If it’s money we are striving towards, it’s much more effective to focus on abundance, rather than money, because whether we want to admit it or not, we always have abundance in some form.

You’ll find we always have something to be thankful for, whether that’s an abundance of sunshine or an abundance of love from friends and family. Any type of abundance we focus on long enough will bring us more. It is Law.

 

HOW TO USE A FOCUS SPIRAL:

 

  • In the center, place a positive-feeling statement that’s TRUE. The feeling the statement brings is important, so make sure it’s a good one. If your affirmation is “I have the abundance that I desire” and you don’t feel the truth of it, you are focused on the lack of abundance and will therefore bring yourself more lack through the Law of Attraction. Lying to our monkey mind doesn’t work. We don’t want to trick our subconscious mind; we want to work with it.

 

  • Pay attention to the way you feel as you do this. When you feel yourself lowering in vibration, find the better-feeling thought. Where focus goes, energy flows. Negative brings more negative and positive brings more positive, it’s Law!

 

  • Continue writing true affirmations as you keep affirming further out from the spiral’s center. The further out from the center you write, place affirmations you consciously believe, yet still need to practice to show your subconscious mind you truly believe it (by repetition and overwriting your previous thought programs).

 

  • If you’re having trouble coming up with true statements, here are some affirmations to get started (so long as they feel true to you!):

 

“I attract abundance into my life.”

“I am abundant in love.”

“I attract abundance when I am focused on a state of abundance.”

“I love to live.”

“I attract the energy I put out.”

“I am constantly improving.”

“I enjoy focusing on prosperity.”

“I am worthy of abundance.”

“Miracles happen everywhere at all times.”

“I love feeling I am in alignment.”

“I am connected to the universal flow of abundance.”

“Only good things lie before me.”

“I enjoy living in this body.”

 

…& for more pretty affirmations, click this link!

 

to enjoy views like this…

 

  • Once your spiral is filled, read over it and feel the truth of your affirmations again. The more you affirm these thoughts to yourself, the faster you overwrite your old, negative beliefs. It’s helpful to look at your previous focus spirals, but even more helpful to just keep making new ones. Really, the format isn’t important. Sometimes I try to make a focus spiral and it just turns out to be a “focus page” with a bunch of scattered affirmations everywhere. But it works!

 

What are you creating? 🙂

 

Reroute Your Fear

 

My favorite movies growing up always had a lesson that went way over my head. “Beetlejuice” and “The Little Mermaid” has educational value, I swear! Ever notice the way the plot crescendoes into a symphony of events, leading to a peak idea, and falling in drama from there? The way a car takes off with an initial burst of energy and slows down, breaking steadily in order to plummet it’s speed?

There is a metaphor in everything and by seeing it in relation to momentum, we can relate to and learn from anything. Before tackling fear, we gotta work with it. Before working with it, we gotta understand it.

Fear has momentum.

It begins with a small thought vibration and the more we focus on that thought, the more details we add to that fear. The Law of Attraction (a proven law of the universe which functions by perpetually attracting more of what we focus on) makes it a sure thing that that which we focus on has more following it. This is how “I have social awkwardness” turns into “I have social anxiety”, or how “I’m afraid of spiders” turns into “I can’t even look at a spider”.

Fear challenges us at its peak and its dips which can mean for some of our most trying times, but these trying times work by revealing what we truly do and don’t want. By experimenting with reality (which is always temporary), the good and the bad, we put more and more into our individual vortexes containing all of our wildest and wilder desires, furthermore creating more evolved minds and bodies.

The good news is that any time we experience something we don’t want, our inner beings adopt an energy of the opposite. Our inner beings always always ALWAYS know what we want because they’re always with us. Our inner beings do not focus on what we don’t want, our inner beings take on the very essence of what we desire.

Know your fear is completely made up.

Fear is a crippling emotion, and the funny thing is it is solely created in our heads. We can’t put the label “fear” on any single tangible object, and yet we are so afraid of fear itself that it keeps us from carrying out our desires.

Stop the snowball before it keeps rolling.

Through understanding and habit, we can transform fear into something else preferable. Once fear appears, it’s present and kind of hard to ignore. Wave the white flag with fear by recognizing it; the beauty and the flaws and embrace both to transform fear to mold it more to your advantage.

It’s helpful to know that every time a fear manifests itself, new details of our desire opposite to that fear is being put into our vortexes. We all must have some pretty enormous vortexes, then. This vortex of desire we all possess is as tangible as fear, yet it manifests itself in different ways in the “real” world, just as fear does. This means we are able to manifest what we desire as surely as we are able to manifest our fears. Did you read that?? You have the natural ability to focus into existence anything you desire just as easily as you can manifest fear in this moment that is now.

We were talking about our worries and fears, though. Which is exactly what we should stop doing if we want to eliminate them. By completely abandoning the habitual thought pattern of “I have social anxiety” and releasing our identification with it (by not mentioning the words; seeing social anxiety as separate from us; & replacing it with thoughts that reverse that anxiety), it surely disappears or the Law of Attraction is cow crap (it’s not). By recognizing and appreciating fear for the pure focusing that it forces us to do, we can transform it to work more to our advantage.

Mmmk…. that would be all rainbows and butterflies but,

How do we reroute this fear?

Fear is healthy, so it isn’t in our highest good to rid ourselves of it completely, but there is little room for fear in most preferable situations. It’s all about finding the balance, like all things in life.

Are you worried about what others think of you, scared they judge? Remembering that they DO judge, just as everyone does as a part of natural survival, will help ground you. Whatever you do, people will have something to say about it.

Our jobs are to focus on ourselves; what others think of us is none of our business. Abandoning the thought pattern that concerns itself with what other people are thinking of us releases the desire to control the thoughts of those around us (which has a tendency to influence us to change our behavior). We break the chains of fear through understanding. The harder part is remembering everytime that comes up (setting phone reminders or sticky notes where you’ll see it often is super helpful with this).

Affirmations are perfect tools for this because they work by rewiring our beliefs to reflect the life we truly desire. We are affirming to ourselves every day, all day, positively or negatively. Why not choose which story you want to tell about your life? After all, you are the writer, director, and producer of your own life.

As long as your affirmations are consistently accompanied by a soft and fluffy feeling that matches each, and your trust in the laws of the universe are strong, you WILL see your desire manifest into reality. As long as you’ve got your focus system tuned to positive emotions and vibrations, it’s already a done deal. If we can focus on fear and create more of it, then we can focus on faith in our affirmations and create more of it just as surely. After all, faith is what makes this world go round — literally.

I don’t believe we ever will or should become invincible to fear, but we can drastically reduce it. When I’m in a new city outside of my own country, I usually stick out like a sore thumb. With flaming hair and bright skin which contrasts what people are used to in the tropics, it’s difficult not to stand out. So naturally, I sometimes feel uncomfortable until I remind myself that these people are just like me. That’s my affirmation around this social issue.

Everyone wants the same things — love, happiness, freedom. It’s not me against them. It’s me against me. Us against us. By feeling separated from those around us, we separate us from ourselves. We are all connected, we are all one working organism, and we all are inherently worthy of love, happiness, and freedom. Fear is the goalie to Freedom. Our job is to break that barrier and let in our liberty.

Too long, didn’t read? Here’s a sum-up:

~ Understand your fear: any single negative thought vibration we’ve ever had has become and is becoming more through our focus on it (thanks, Law of Attraction). It energetically peaks and dips just like a roller coaster gaining and losing momentum.

~ Know fear is a made-up emotion. It’s manufactured, packaged, and exported all in our heads.

~ Starve the negative thought vibration by cutting it off completely.

~ Find your fear balance. Know when it works for your highest good and when it doesn’t.

~ Replace it with a more preferable thought; a consistent, emotion-filled affirmation (I got you started here).

 

After all, it’s much more fun to spend time creating the story we want to tell rather than being forced to tell the one we had no intention of creating. Where focus goes, energy flows. It’s Law 🙂

 

 

 

 

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The Power of Happy

Where is your zone?

Some call it “Flow State”. Some call it “Peak Human Performance”.

Described as feeling so far away from life on Earth, yet so close. So deep into your soul spirit doing something you absolutely love and are dedicated to.

Have you ever looked at something you created and thought, “did I just do that?”?

You must have been dabbling with the power of happiness.

Since the dawn of time, we have existed with an emotional guidance system. A guidance system of some sort is true for every being on this planet and is true for humans.

Pretty basic: stay away from what you don’t like, keep to what you do like.

Do what produces happy feels and avoid what produces the bad. It’s simple, but somehow time and environment has changed the beliefs of people and made identifying and abiding by that emotional guidance system much more evasive.

As humans, we like to play telephone and share secrets until they are convoluted and skewed from the original, but we don’t notice as it is passed down from generation to generation.

A belief is truly just a thought that has been thought enough to become a habit, and when something is taught to you and that is all you know, how can you help but believe it?

There is a momentum to this game of telephone.

Many people, including myself, have learned from their parents and surrounding environment to prefer to focus on reality because we think that’s all that’s there. Then, we’re told to focus on the positive so we try to do that too, only to find ourselves back to where we started, constantly fighting an uphill battle to be positive, yet still focus on the reality in which we live because “we’re just being realistic”.

What’s the point of that again?

Right. Realism. When it’s already been proven through countless studies, workshops, novels, etc. that we create our realities with our thoughts through the Law of Attraction—it’s just a matter of getting the word out—why should we focus on what we don’t like in a situation we can change by taking our attention off of it?

By viewing the issue positively and manipulating it to reflect a better light, you receive exactly that – a better light.

Sometimes the universe feels super nice and decides to gift you a literal view:

Even more, why should we focus on what is depressing us when telling stories about what could be—no, what will be—could be the termination of depressive thought patterns?

That’s usually what those negative thoughts center around, right? Interpreting what’s in the now and misunderstanding it; construing it negatively in a way that’s consistent with the beliefs of most human beings in these modern societies.

As long as we are aware, we’re well on our way to eliminating the negative and leaving room for the positive.

 

What’s the point, though?

Think back to the times you were happiest.

Think about everything that happened during and around those times and notice how they correlate to your mood.

Notice how good feelings bring more good feelings. Notice how good feelings bring good things. Then good feelings about those good things bring more good feelings and more good things.

If you don’t find a way to squash your beautiful manifestations with thought patterns that do not similarly match the way you’d feel if you had your desire (like thinking “large sums of money come from hard work only”, or “there’s no way I can find a soul mate because there are too many people on this planet”), you start to climb that impossible hill again instead of riding your way down it with no effort (by thinking things like “abundance in money is everywhere, for everyone’s picking through all sorts of means that don’t always have to do with hard work”, or “there are lots of soul mates out there for me out of all the people existing on this planet”).

It takes more work to think a negative thought than a positive one, but sometimes it doesn’t feel like that, does it?

Sometimes it feels like it’s so familiar to think the negative thought because you’ve done it for so long.

Just like it’s hard to correct your tennis serve to be more efficient when you’ve learned one way and have been doing it for your entire tennis career. Your serve feels right, but that tennis ball could be flying higher, farther & faster with just a small but powerful correction.

I spent years upon years thinking about everything in my life in a “realistic” way. I saw everything in my life that I created and just kept reacting to it like it was out of my control. I had heard of and watched the movie The Secret but it never resonated much because with so little experience in the world, I didn’t truly believe it down to my core subconsciousness. And some beliefs are the die-fighting type.

If you haven’t seen the award-winning documentary, The Secret, it talks about the Law of Attraction—how like attracts like in all things.

Thoughts attracts similar thoughts which, in turn, create things. The movie explains in greater detail about how the magical and sometimes arduous adventure we take on this planet can be and is being molded by our thoughts, both collective and individual, whether we believe it or not.

I don’t know a single person who isn’t delighted by this idea when thinking of all of the possibilities, and all of those I have met who have watched the movie are firm believers after looking back on their own life and their beliefs about something before certain occurrences matched them.

I used to see the world as having a fixed reality, something I can’t really mold or manipulate.

After all this Law of Attraction talk and constant studying, sometimes I feel like I’m a unicorn and I’ve just fallen down the rabbit hole into this beautiful abyss of my own creation.

Then things truly become real.

Once you have belief in front of you and behind you and all the way through you, you become invincible in what you can accomplish.

Once you have this knowledge, you take back your personal universal power.

Careful what you wish for though: once you actually acknowledge and believe that you are both the player and the controller in this video game we call life, your manifestations start to come faster and faster.

Words don’t teach though, so you’ll have to try it for yourself. Test the universe with the small stuff and see what happens. Ask to see a pink balloon in the sky, trust, let go of your resistance saying it’s not possible or logical, and be appreciative in the moment, and watch it appear.

One thing they don’t touch so hard on in the movie is how your mood affects your ability to create.

You’ve got this long list of desires you can’t see.

Goals, wishes, ideas, an endless bounty of things that are there even though you can’t see them – just like viruses and protons and electrons are there and you know they’re there but you’ve never actually seen any of those in real life.

Or maybe you have. Or maybe, like me, you’re just taking humanity’s word for it.

You’ve got this swirling list of desires and ideas and plans, which you could call your “vortex” and it is always ripe for your picking at all moments. The only obstacle in your way is your thoughts which decide your mood and therefore, vibration.

The cherry picker (or coconut picker, if you wish) to your fruitful tree of manifestations is your ability to stay in that high-flying place of being happy long enough so that the Law of Attraction can bring you similar feelings through manifestations of your desires.

A coconut palm is tall and requires significant thought in order to pick the coconuts. The same applies vibrationally.

Haven’t you ever gotten to that certain specific place and been delivered your wildest desires, filled with every single thing that you wished for and then some?

Haven’t you ever been delivered something so perfect and extraordinary that you have a hard time doubting there is some higher intelligence that helped it come into fruition? It kind of makes you ponder what’s out there, invisible to our human eyes.

There are endless ways to be in this state of being that delivers to you what you want, specific to your personality and desires.

If you love to dance, that’s where it’s at.

If you love to crunch numbers, that’s where it’s at.

If you love to swim, that’s where it’s at.

Anything you are doing which helps you to feel “in the zone” is what brings you the manifestations, from thoughts to things, that match your feelings and bring you what you wish for as long as you believe it in your core.

The trick is doing it for the fun, not for the manifestations. When we care about the way we feel, our manifestations kick into overdrive.

Thinking about what other people are thinking of you immediately takes you out of that high-flying place. Same with any thought vibration that makes you feel like your balloon has deflated, even just a little. But again, words don’t teach, experience does. See for yourself.

Even if all of this wasn’t true, what’s the point of going back to the thought patterns we used to have? Where real is boring and it only changes when it wishes to and not when I ask for it?

I wouldn’t do go back to my old ways of always and only observing what is real and neglecting thoughts of what I can do about it. I wouldn’t go back to thoughts like that because I was chronically depressed, worrying about what could be and not forward-thinking about the bounty that awaited me in the future that is everything I could ever wish for and more.

What’s the point, when life is incredible, intoxicating, addictive, imaginable, and unimaginable in this natural way of viewing the universe?

This is why it’s so important to follow our passions. This is why I am so passionate about others finding their passions.

This is why it feels so incredible to be in the zone.

When you are so in the zone, you are positively contributing to collective consciousness. You are contributing to the vibrational improvement of yourself and the Universe.

You put things on your tree of manifestations and pick them when you are in the best vibrational place to find them. You are offered the matching cherry picker to your fruit when you match the vibration of that fruit. All in result of your thoughts and feelings.

If you want to open your own restaurant, imagine the feeling of owning your own restaurant.

If you want a glob of money, match the feeling of having that money or spending it on something.

If you want a killer body, match the vibration and experience already being there.

When your beliefs match your desires, you will receive it, by the laws of this thing we call “reality”. As you doubt the universe’s power and your own, and as you doubt the importance and worthiness of yourself to receive your desire, you slow your cherry picker the heck down and make picking that fruit impossible until the cobwebs have cleared.

It’s imperative to the fruition of your desire to stay in that high-flying happy place and maintain the awareness of your worthiness. Literally thought by thought and you are moved into and out of the vortex. A part of life of course, but it always feels better to soften resistance.

Maybe a Spring cleaning is in order! Minds need a maid too 😉

 

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