The Mindful & the Material: It Doesn’t Have to Be a Soap Opera

I’m not gonna lie, if you take me shopping with you and take my fashion advice, you’ll be killin’ it big time and I can help you to avoid killin’ your budget. As a former New Yorker who has seen the mayhem of women speed flipping through racks upon racks at the consignment stores, throwing clothing this way and that way, hunting mercilessly for a trophy Alexander McQueen or Stella McCartney piece, and attempting to hide pieces inside of those round racks, I’ve seen it all and I have a lightning quick eye to notice good quality material. I once grabbed $1,200 worth of clothing for $140. I kid you not. No shame about it.

Even with a decade of Buddhist, interfaith, and mystical teachings and woke AF mentoring, I am still an urbanite. People have called me a city slicker. No one can wipe the NYC, LA, Honolulu, Zurich, Berlin, London, Tokyo, and Seoul out of me and my mindset. No one has to. I do not have to shave my head, go off the grid, and wear bare threads to be a spiritual person in real, waking life. None of us do.

That is the not-so-secret secret. Meditating 20 minutes a day is not some kind of profoundly monastic thing to do. You can work on the 30th floor of a skyscraper at a desk with a computer and still be a conscientious human being. Also, being conscientious doesn’t mean that you have to go out there and save everybody. Being conscientious doesn’t mean that you focus on what’s wrong with the world to the point where you can hardly see anything else anymore and it’s all multiplying like pet rodents that you don’t really want. What you focus on is something that you train your mind to notice. The more you reinforce the noticing of whatever it is that you keep focusing on, the more you will see it. It will multiply and it will replicate. To no end. Until you decide it is the end. This does not mean that people can run around happily stating that they see unicorns and nothing but absolute positivity out here in the world. It means that you can live with the fact that there are rainbows and there is shit. And you can live with it.

Materialism in and of itself is not the nefarious bad guy. Politics is not the root of all messed up infrastructure. Many issues are systemic and complex. What is simple is that at the core level, being human doesn’t have to be a constant uphill struggle. Being a conscientious human requires you to drop the notion that you know what’s up and you know exactly how things should be, how you should be, how things should play out, and so on. When you release the hold to your attachments and expectations from your present focus, you will be more open to what is right there in front of your face. You have inherent wealth. What I mean by this is that your true deprivation is the inability to be fully here in the present moment. True poverty in this world really is the poverty of being. The poverty of not being able to feel well, healthy, happy, whole, free, and unencumbered by fear. That kind of internal poverty continues to replicate external poverty.

It is like front end and back end. What I mean by this is, any beautiful thing that you see, whether it be a book, a movie, a website, or a magazine with a gorgeous cover shot, has a lot of other considerations and factors which have gone into the design and execution of what do you are seeing. This entails meetings, emails, various communications, planning, preparation, brainstorming, throwing out ideas, being willing to admit to being wrong, fixing errors, and so on. On a webpage, there is coding that you don’t immediately see but it produces results that you can visibly see on a website. Like this, you have your own coding syntax with which you write up how you’re expecting or willing to live. Your attention and focus has the ability to fixate on opportunities and chances that can prove this syntax right. If you feel like life is utter shit, your mind is a search engine that can relentlessly and tirelessly find ways to validate and confirm that life is utter shit. Every single time its findings are validated and confirmed, the reward center in your brain goes “Ding ding ding!! I did something right!” And you can continue on and on all your life and as long as you want. If you want to swap this around and command your mind to focus on opportunities and chances which are awesome, you can train your mind to go hunt those down and light up the reward center of your brain every single time you get your bounty.

What you place a bounty on is up to you. What you reward yourself with, whether it is by way of negative or positive motivation, is something that can be deliberate. it will make your life much more bearable and much less of an uphill struggle. It will require discipline and may feel like mental and emotional deadlifting at first, but once you get over the first few grunts and groans of “Oh my gosh I don’t want to exercise” and you get into the habit of it, it becomes more like brushing your teeth. Practicing spiritual hygiene. So, meditate and praise the good. You can also dress well, make a ton of money, succeed, take ass, and kick names (Guardians of the Galaxy reference).

Do you have desires or do your desires have you? Are you running around constantly reaching, striving, going after, and feeling like you have to get something that’s like the proverbial carrot on a stick? Or are you able to feel confident, sure, thankful, and contented where you’re at regardless of what more you could get? If your desires have you, they own you and they are not likely truly your desires. Most likely, they are your insecurities disguised as desires. Because you mistakenly think that those are really your desires, you seek to fulfill them. When in fact, it becomes a manifest destiny of your insecurities. Desiring should feel free, like daydreaming as a child. Desire shouldn’t make you feel fearful.

“You are what your deep, driving desire is. As your desire is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny.”
—Brihadaranyaka Upanishad IV.4.5 Modern Classic

You can discipline and will yourself to pull yourself back from the external and be at peace in the midst of what is without needing any sort of experiential validation other than simply being—by doing so, you demonstrate that your “I AM” is greater than your “I HAVE.” Inherent wealth is this in a nutshell. It does not take an ascetic, hermetic, monastic, or off-the-grid life to have this. You do not have to slather yourself with patchouli essential oil, have your hair up in dreadlocks, swear off soap, or shirk all adult responsibilities. You can live right here, where you are, and be a total, genuine badass by daring to be as fully and truly YOU as can be. That’s what it takes.

❤️Emma

Mind Your Mindset

When I first began learning about meditation and spirituality about nine years ago, I had a mistaken notion of fearlessness, as many of us in this world do. Fearlessness is often associated with a state of ferocity, an amped up state. Or a type of boldness. Ani Pema Chödrön was the first explicitly spiritual thought leader I studied; she taught about a fearlessness which arises from bodhichitta—enlightened heart and mind. I did not get this for a looooooooong time. Before her, I dabbled in great people of history such as Abraham Lincoln, Sojourner Truth, and Clara Barton. These people exemplified fearlessness. At nine years of age, I was introduced to Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. These people also exemplified fearlessness. Friedrich Nietzsche, Simone de Beauvoir, Kahlil Gibran. What is this fearlessness? The audacity to say whatever is on your mind? A radically different character? The ability to produce some great work in the face of a society which refuses to accept it until maybe it’s posthumous? Surviving something traumatic? What is fearlessness to you?

Many people say that I have been fearless for what I have survived in the first two decades of my life. In truth, I did not discover true fearlessness until I reached my third decade—the kind of fearlessness which arises out of clarity. For nearly a decade of attempting to be the kind of person who meditates on a regular basis, my perfectionistic nature called it out as bollocks. It wasn’t until I walked into a group meditation with people much, much older than I, that this grasshopper finally got it. The keywords were: “It’s okay if you get restless, you can get up and walk around.”

I forget which book I found this in, but there was a statement I read somewhere that willingness, not perfection is required. The practice of meditation requires the willingness to keep coming back. It’s okay if you falter, fall, fail, or get up. When you return, you understand that you did nothing wrong.

The space of clarity which has recently opened up to me has come through making an honest effort to connect to people, be present without a cell phone on the dinner table, play more, dare to partake in activities I may feel shy about, give things my best shot, and meditate daily.

In the arena of creating, I previously felt stifled and cramped. Since my day of being an art school drop out, I always blamed it on money and the early circumstances of my life. From there on forth, I always justified everything by the cost of it. How much time, effort, and physical resources will something take? What will it take to get that back? When I first launched my YouTube channel, I was doing it as an expression without any real boundaries or hangups about anything. That was fearless. It was absent of fear of money, what people would think of me, or what I would get out of it and it was purely creative. The moment I ventured to see if I could dare to create as an entrepreneur, I ran into my walls of judgments I had developed around the premise of prosperity.

When I unlatched myself from perfectionistic tendencies and rediscovered what prosperity really meant for me, creating became fun again. Fun. Yes, anyone can burn out on just about anything they give a lot of time and attention to. You can burn out working your dream job, being in a relationship with someone who strews legos all over the floors, being a spouse, being a parent, being spiritual, and nearly anything.

Prosperity to me came in knowing that, if I was dead broke and hanging on to my last $5, I could still drop everything for twenty-minutes, sit with my feelings as-is, and reap the abundant rewards of clarity afterward. With the beautiful benefit of my phone bill being up to date, I could pick up the phone and check up on a dear friend having emotional difficulties facing a bully boss. Rather than being intimidated by student loans and credit card debts, one could be grateful that those debts carried them through those times and make higher education possible. When I felt anxious after having a job interview, I sat with my feelings in meditation amongst the climbing ivy plants, geraniums, peach tree, and other delightful expressions of nature in the garden. When I opened up my eyes, I realized that, regardless of whether I landed it or not, I was grateful for the opportunity that I had.

Fearlessness arises out of presence. When nothing is holding you back from being fully present right where you are, there isn’t an absolute absence of reasons to fear, but a willingness to be here anyway. Can you play with friends at the beach without being afraid of your work performance, what happened throughout your day, what happened before, what might be looming just ahead, or anything? Can you just be there and play?

One of my first very vivid transcendental moments happened when someone gave me my first drumming lesson. They wanted me to count the rhythm aloud and I was so self-conscious about it, I was laughing hysterically. After I took a few breaths and kept bringing my mind from out there back to the drums a few times over, my mind blanked out until I heard a voice exclaiming, “You’re playing the drums!”

If your mind is constantly chattering, thinking about the past or future, and going everywhere else except here, you’re not really going to be as powerful and fearless as you can be. This isn’t the type of power and fearlessness like a silverback gorilla beating its chest. It’s the power and fearlessness of presence. You can access a vast store of energy and potential when you are in this frame of mind, focused on the willingness to constantly return and not the perfection of always being present (which, no human being is capable of, not even Buddhist monks of forty years or seventy). The more you bring yourself back, the stronger your grasp will be, of an ineffable calm and okayness with whatever could possibly happen.

The thing is, you don’t need to be a hermit on a mountaintop to practice being present. You can be present anywhere you are. In a big city, on a farm, on the beach. Anywhere. Any time. Your joyful aliveness and wellbeing are not contingent on any specific amount of money, any way that you need to look or to be, or anything your mind could come up with in the present moment to tell you that you should be anywhere but here, now. In most non-life-threatening cases, the mind is making shit up. Fearlessness is something which arises most naturally without cajoling, coercion, or force when you feel the most free. Free to be who you are, live the way you live, and free to simply be.

What I shared with you yesterday in the Body Wise post and what I am sharing with you today are my way of helping you to clarify your vibrational frequency and call in the prosperity, joy, love, success, and healing you wish to have in life. We all want these things, Beloved. To have them, we must align. This is a part of a little series I was inspired to share with you.

Emalani

Body Wise

Yesterday, I had a sort of out of body experience. As I was trying to fall asleep, I was tossing and turning because my left knee and ankle were really aching. I sat up and had a laugh that, at thirty, my body was already getting a little rickety. Then I had a moment of realization. I felt compassion for my body and everything it had been through in my lifetime. I felt sad for what it had endured, the injuries I had, the events I could not prevent, see coming, nor protect myself from. I wanted to do better by my body and take care of it the way I never could before. I am not sure how to explain what is going on with me, but I detached from my body and was one with it at the same time. I saw it as a part of this universe which I am in partnership with as a creator being. What I realized is this. Your body serves you dutifully and unconditionally. It holds you up all day, every day. It helps you do what you gotta do. Not only that, but it is a powerhouse of intelligence which keeps your heart pumping, lungs breathing, nutrients processing, energy regulating, and brain functioning. It never ever takes a day off. It is an alchemical combination of fire, earth, air, and water to create what is now your body—it is magic in rest and motion. There’s body heat, stardust, breath, and water in you. You are all of these elements and more.

Body love goes beyond loving the shape of you; lanky, rotund, squat, and other such adjectives. It goes beyond you and how good looking you are. Transcendent body love is recognizing your body as your most loyal and faithful ally, one which deserves utmost care, consideration, and respect for how unconditionally giving and supportive it is to you. It gives and gives, and continues to give. BUT. It is also meant to receive. Your body will flourish and thrive through receiving gifts of healthy foods, ample hydration, regular exercise, play, hugs and other gestures of physical affection, pampering, naps, adequate rest, and meditation. The next time you feel frustrated that there seems too much to do, too little time, recognize your body before you allow your mind to get harshly critical about what more it wants your body to do.

Today, I am on eight consecutive days of meditation practice. Every day, I continue to open up to intelligence and light flowing into space which meditation practice opens up. This is one of the incredible revelations which meditation has gifted to me, and now to you. GO LOVE YOURSELF!

Emalani

What a Breakup with Neuroscience Exposed About Human Nature

Three years in—it’s over. I was so excited when I was accepted into a neuroscience program, it was like the beginning of a new relationship with a hot guy who turned out to be nothing that he seemed to be. There’s a college story for ya from back in the day.

Think about this: does it make sense to burn 90% of your time and energy dissecting the problem and 10% of your time and energy actually living your life?

I sat across the table having Thai with a Gemini one day and admitted my foibles with psychology and neuroscience. He told me that his father went into psychology for the same reason I did, to examine the aftermath of traumatic experience. Failing to stay in my program due to falling behind in math saved my lucky ass. Spending years of your life lured into a mirror world of whatever predicament the monsters of your life chased you into and staying there is no way to live. A quote from Nietzsche came to mind: “Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster… for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you.”

I’ve spent too much of my life reading self-help, psychological bla bla, and listening to seminars about problems. I’ve even championed the cause as a career, unwittingly getting into project management because controlling variables was a part of the old game I was once familiar with.

Don’t do what I did, kids. Happy, well-off people do not sit around on their asses in their wingback reading chairs devoted to studying problems. They live life. They grab a surfboard and go off into the sunset every chance they get. They love the happy stuff. Can hardly get enough. I know. I once lived that way as a kid growing up in Hawai’i without a care in the world. My roommate made me a spam and super fluffy egg sandwich for breakfast this morning and it had me cracking up over how I grew up thinking spam musubi, a slice of spam layered on a brick of rice with a strip of seaweed wrapped around it, was the holy grail of lunchboxes. Unless there was laulau. That was a rare, exquisite treat. Manna from heaven to me. Steamed butterfish, pork, and chicken wrapped in layers of taro and ti leaves. You could’ve chucked a psycho-blabla book at my head and I’d look at you like a crazy fool. The adult I’ve become who has hoarded these books on her Kindle… Uh. Well, I’m trying to undo this.

So. I dare ya. If you aren’t doing so already, kick off your heels and oxfords ladies, and gentlemen. Go play. Look at pretty things. Be pretty. Read fun, positive, and inspiring books. Read children’s books, young adult books, fantasy, poetry, Lion’s Roar magazines. Be more you and be less molded. Doodle even if you think you can’t draw a stick figure for a lick. Heck, finger paint, I double triple quintuple dog dare you. I’d like to know one day in my life, what it’d be like to have sex on a canvas that cans of paint are spilled on. TMI? Oh well. Picasso had a point when he said, “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.” The meaning in everything presents itself to you the moment you stop searching high and low like a panicked person in the morning who doesn’t know where their keys are. It finds you right where you are the moment you’re not forcing it to make an appearance.

Emma

Shoshin (初心): Begin Again

Jazz plays in the background. Joe Henderson’s La Mesha. I just went through this entire blog and set all previous posts to private. “Nice diary,” someone said when they read a few pages of the book I wrote. I wonder if there are parts of it which need to be deleted. “You’re going to listen to the opinion of an ignorant moron who has no grasp on the bigger truth? Who has no idea what you really put into the book you wrote? Do you think it’s just a book?” were the words of my former mentor.

I don’t know what to think, honestly. The decades of constant hellfire I’ve lived through have come to a ceasefire. On this playing field, I’m a beginner. I’m new here. If you’re a noob playing World of Warcraft, you can get pwned by a creature called a murloc. The more you proceed further, you reach new levels and acclimate every time you reach a new level. This is my nerdy way of letting you know that you will always be a beginner. Your level of awareness will continually shift. You are not the person you were five seconds ago. Accepting this is a spiritually refreshing way to live.

I don’t really know the person I was when I wrote that book. When I wrote those posts. Those times up until about April 20th were constantly jarring. I’m getting to know who I am now.

I had a meditative conversation with my tarot deck this morning. Someone asked me if I read I Ching. It’s next on my list of divinatory skills to acquire. For now, the 78 cards of the tarot are my primary. It’s important to ask the right questions to get the right answers. I tell my clients this when they consult with me so that neither of our time will be wasted. The Magician card showed up as what I needed to do in my current life situation.

Manifest what? 8 of Cups, Devil, Prince of Pentacles. A way to move on, extricate myself from binds of fear and the tyranny of situations past and hold my ground as I move into a stable situation on my own terms.

How can I do that? 3 of Cups. Community support, receive encouragement from others, do not rely solely on overanalyzing. Allow myself to feel my way through. Be joyful and glad for life. Raise my vibrational frequency. Moon. Heal the fears, especially the deeper wounds. Queen of Cups. Take care of myself. World. You are so gifted and capable, dear, you’ve come so far. Recognize this. Take a look at yourself and go forward confidently… 7 of Swords. Put down the fight. Let it go. King of Cups. Rise sovereign as your new self.

So, here I am. A beginner. Shoshin (初心) is a Zen Buddhist term to describe the beginner’s mind. Adopting this is a transformative revolution for your mindset which will accelerate your personal evolution. You’re not going to get it until you try it. At first, it could get wild. Then, the raging fires of resistance become the most ineffable peace you’d never known could exist.

Here’s a book recommendation for all you peaceful warriors out there: No Time to Lose: A Timely Guide to the Way of the Bodhisattva by Pema Chödrön.

See you later.

Emalani

Women’s March

“As a survivor of anorexia, abuse, and depression, I can say that I have let the overwhelming pressures of filling media/society’s expectations of ‘how a woman should be’ overwhelm and silence my inner voices—without even realizing I was doing it. Until… I just couldn’t breathe anymore. As I live more days on this planet now, I can say with full confidence that there are no standards or rules worth crushing our soul bones to fit into. Life gets better when we just… let it out.”
— Connie Lim

Living in Downtown Los Angeles, I had the convenience of walking through my lobby and out the door, turn right, take another right, and head down the street to join the Women’s March on the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration. For most people, it was a unifying event that was a popular social media posting. Men and women were there, proudly brandishing their posters with statements like ‘Pussy Grabs Back,’ some wearing pink knitted hats, and there were several generations of family out to join the movement. It was my choice not to come out earlier in the morning when a friend was heading there, but in a silly way I felt alone.
I realized that I was feeling removed because I wasn’t relating to them. Somehow, I had been held back by feeling that I had to keep a lid on who I was, what I had been through in my life, and the truth of my emotions, hopes, and thoughts. What I was convincing myself of was that it could somehow be better to transcend being human and become a sort of artificial intelligence. I was clinging to a false hope that maybe if I could be someone who wouldn’t be… well, me, the imperfect way that I was, I would be more attractive, successful, accomplished, worthy, and proud of myself.

At some point, I realized I was surrounded by beautiful people with storied lives. All the people at the march. Everyone in the world. The beautiful woman in heels and perfect poise at the checkout counter in a grocery store that I had seen the evening before. The disheveled homeless man walking down the street with a yellow umbrella. All the people having their coffee at home or at a café somewhere earlier that morning. I looked up as I stood on the corner of 5th and Broadway, and saw a young woman sitting on top of the walk sign. Another young woman asked her to take a photo and passed her phone up to her.

A junior college colleague of mine is an editor for an indie magazine that hosted a Vox and Voices event at Stories Books and Café in Echo Park where I first heard Connie Lim’s voice, complemented by visual imagery by Yumi Sakagawa. She sang a song about being a monster; about being uncertain who would love her. Connie released a song and used the Women’s March to raise her voice to the world. I looked to her and thought to myself that she was extending her reach for authentic empowerment to the collective. It helped give me a boost of encouragement to see a fellow sister in arms shine her light. I felt that my writing was not just for me, it was for something bigger and beyond me.

People have their hearts broken, their hopes dashed, and their dreams smashed. We all have times of faltering and realizing human weakness but also human strength. Despite anything anyone could ever do, we will always be imperfect. I will never be able to erase my imperfections, memories, feelings, or humiliations. It was time to let myself feel what I felt and live what I lived. Feel the emotions, be vulnerable, and be free. No shame in having shame. I strive to be intuitive as well as practical, spontaneous as well as self-controlled, and feel human emotions without feeling like I’m betraying reason, but I realize that not everything has reason. We’re human beings, not human reasonings.

So get out there and be. Link arms and walk together. We are all sometimes strangers even to ourselves and need to assume the position of befriending ourselves and being empathetic towards the truth of our sufferings, longings, needs, hopes, and dreams. We are often awkward at relationships. We’re not always innocent, we’re not 100% good, we’ve all been mean to ourselves, other people, and each other. As life goes on, we’ll live and evolve.

What I’ve learned about being human, whether male or female, is that it’s liberating to feel sexually, emotionally, and soulfully empowered. To take ownership of beauty. It’s not easy to step into a world where a woman can be misread as being a bitch for being confident and assertive or saying no when she needs to. It’s not easy being a secondary or primary breadwinner as a woman, find a partner willing to respect and honor caretaking and womanhood (there was honestly someone at the march who said something along the lines of “Get back in the kitchen and make me a sandwich”), and not feel like masculinity and femininity have to be a power struggle. Men need to deal with their emotions and personal power too. There are men who are abused at the hands of women, men who are incredible stay-at-home dads, and men who are as sensitive as they are strong. Their vulnerability and strength should be honored. When a man holds a door for a woman who says, “Get your hands off that door, I can do things for myself,” that woman is discouraging etiquette. Men who have manners ought to be applauded.

As for sex, sex is wonderful. Sex can unfortunately be abused but also can be honored. Intimacy with a partner with whom you have an intellectual, emotional, and spiritual closeness is a beautiful thing. I love to kiss, to press my ear to a heartbeat, to feel breath on my lips, and gaze into the eyes of my lover.

I cannot understand why it can be so difficult to learn how to love myself, love other people, and to love life, but I can appreciate the challenge. The challenge can help make love more palpable for you. There are these barriers associated with love which might make no sense. If we are vulnerable, does that mean others will wound us as much as possible? Not necessarily. I feel that the more we open up our hearts to the world, people who don’t deserve to stand in the light with us part ways instinctively. If they leave, we don’t have to care because the quality of our life is not hampered in any way by their absence. There will be some people we have to walk away from or maybe even push out of the way. There will be people who will stay and love us for who we are. That’s human relationship.

For some time, I struggled with trusting myself within my relationships, the good times, or any of the good fortune I had in my life—in apprehensive disbelief. It dawned on me one day. This was for real. I know where I came from, where I currently am, and refuse to live on autopilot asleep at the cockpit. I’ve left the past behind and refuse to live afraid. I have a lot of fun with life. I have become very committed to authentic, full engagement with those whom I love and my experiences. I laugh more and open up more now. A tender sweet kiss atop the head speaks volumes to me. Fits of laughter seem to last for ages. I am much more calm in the face of uncertainty and ambiguity. I feel alive, as in the sense of how the Velveteen Rabbit and Pinocchio wanted to be real. My love is real and true. There’s plenty where it came from.

Processing emotions is necessary. The happy and painful things both; everything has to pass through during the process of experiencing. It could feel like the most difficult thing in the world, to confront the scary shadows in your head and attempt to be positive in hopes of enacting positive change in life.

People have their own emotions. Let them feel what they feel and sort it out. Support by being there for them when needed, not by spraying them with an emotional fire extinguisher. Conflicts are normal. Emotions are normal. People aren’t happy all the time. Life has its ups, downs, and plateaus. We don’t need to try to fix anything or be afraid of the not so great emotions.

When we feel hurt, sad, and ashamed we often feel conflicted between not wanting closeness but at the same time feeling a need for it. When we push each other away as an act out of our own suffering, it never means that we don’t care, it means we care a lot. My sensitivity and someone else’s sensitivity sometimes lead to conflict before alchemizing into compassionate empathy after a process of refinement. We sometimes don’t reach this point until we’re both flat on our rears in pain and shame, dazed, and looking at each other with stars and birds flying around our heads wondering where our attention had gone and run off to during that meanwhile.

When we’re holding things in, we’re closest to each other when the emotional shrapnel flies. Keep this in mind with regards to the people that you love. We’ll have our ups and downs. That will be the hard but valuable crux of our relationships which further expands our awareness about the ebb and flow of life itself.

We may need to be rescued by our partner and they will be there to save our day when we’ve run out to get the mail and locked ourselves out of the building or hold us close when we’re terribly sad. Graciously receive their support. During all the crises that we go through in love, hold on tight to each other during the storms and fall in love with each other even more for the strength of the support. We also need to learn to allow people we love to suffer without any need for rescue and simply be present when it’s not really our fight.

Sometimes, we love each other so much that we are afraid to let go and afraid to be too close. Sometimes, one of us starts to feel confident that the other isn’t really needed, one of us becomes more absorbed into the world of our own interests (whether they be positive or negative), and sometimes we become self-absorbed and forgetful to be caring, attentive, transparent, inclusive, empathetic, and supportive.

Go back to love. Return and return again to it. Fight for it. Be on the side of your loved ones. Especially, when you are a life partner to someone, be on their side day and night—be true. Be an authentic power couple. Be heroes that amplify. Despite all of our incongruences, differences, and the struggles of our spiritual, emotional, or humane elements of existence, I have faith in love.

Love is for the strong. Compassion is a healing and building force. Love is redemptive energy. Love has a covalent bond with success to form a purer sense of energetic power. Love and success can have a relationship that are in perfect synchronicity with the other. You have to feel assertive to be better able to go out into the world and take care of yourself. Love your own life first and foremost. If you love your life, you exude love. Giving love does not take away love. It creates even more love. Love is energy which cannot be created or destroyed but can be transformed.

It’s okay if stuff is messy. Love doesn’t have to be perfect. Just worth it. Love is what we are, do, breathe, and live. Love yourself and have your own self-esteem. Harmonize your mind, body, heart, and spirit as one body of who you are rather than separate parts while living on this earth. Understand life as participation in the universal whole of creation and being here to love.

No email in the world is worth forfeiting your attention at the dinner table. Show the one you love that they mean so much more to you than an email. Sometimes you don’t need to offer unsolicited opinion or have any comforting words to offer, just be there. Show up and be present to the best of your ability. When possible, give the gift of your undivided attention. Give when you feel like you have something to give of yourself. Receive when it’s time for you to receive with an open heart. Be grateful and let that gratitude bring more gifts of gilded grace into your life. Don’t give into apprehensions of having anything taken away from you, of not having enough, not deserving, or being expected to have to give back. Give and receive for the simple and pure sake of giving and receiving.

Life can be gorgeous in unexpected ways. The trajectory of time and space, and the experiential rate of catalysis and turnover can’t ever be anticipated. I’ve become a lot less lost and a lot more found; at home with wherever I am. There are stories of people who travel to India or Nepal and find spirituality. They find the spirit of the world. Not everyone needs to live in an ashram or find a Rinpoche. Forget the adages. Throw away the clichés. Don’t listen to what anybody — not even the greatest wordsmiths of our era — tells you about how your life should unfold.

There are billions of people on the planet. Not everyone is going to like you or connect with you. That’s OK. Don’t take garbage from people to have them like you. You’re better than that. It’s not easy to do, but it will make your life so much more fulfilling. Love yourself and be loved by the right people. Let people be happy the way that they are. Respect their unique journeys to wholeness, self-love, freedom, and fulfillment. Embrace and accept all life. It gets easier with practice and time. As you become more carefree and happy with life, people will wonder who you are and how you got to be that way. Don’t allow the things that hurt you make you lose hope. We have hope. Tell yourself that you have hope.

Give Yourself a Vibrational Raise

If you’ve been working a job for a while, you would expect to get paid more with time, right? Well, you’ve been doing this thing called life for a while and it would behoove you to give yourself a vibrational raise all day every day. As you go on through your life, life expands, you expand, and everything gets better and better. Life is an incremental and exponential progression—psychologically, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Your capability to give to and care for yourself, others, and what matters to you also increases every moment. Essentially, as you go on through life doing your best in each moment, your ability to love expands.

You know how there are these studies that show how people in hospitals heal faster and better when people come to love and support them? The same thing happens for people spiritually too. Their situations improve faster and better. Manifestations quicken. The magnetic attractive quality of the love vibration is like an irresistible pheromone. People who are mostly alone lose hope and energy, aren’t as able to believe in themselves, and are more prone to difficulties. Love is a high vibrational frequency. You are better capable of attracting, manifesting, and remaining stably empowered when you are loved and supported.

Love yourself. Treat yourself well. Meditate. Read. Spend quality time with people you love who love you back. Appreciate yourself and others. Unconditionally accept and love as best as you can. Face your emotions with compassion and let them come through like people on the moving walkways at the airport, don’t fight them back. Laugh, play, forgive, and love often. Listen and be present all the time. Loving yourself, others, and life feels so good, it’s crazy not to indulge!

Love, compassion, self-care, support, safety, security, and gratitude will not only clear your energy to be better receptive of inner and outer messages, but also to receive blessings. Receive the love of others, their appreciation, compliments, generosity, and considerations graciously. Love yourself like you’re worth it, like you are Somebody, because, baby, you are. Loving yourself and being loved go hand in hand. When you feel safe and well in your world, you have more of a sense of calm and clarity. This right here is the sweet spot. This is power.

It might take a little while, maybe even a few years, it’s taken me nearly a decade to learn that taking it easy is easy and I’m still learning but I am over the largest hill. Things do not have to be difficult! Your ego might think there is a catch, some fine print, or something fishy and you might be triggered by receiving and accepting joy. Be compassionate about those triggers. This is an essential practice of emotional self-care. Self-care is a radical vibrational raising practice.

Love,

How Great You Are

Poseidon painting by Liam Dean (prints & canvas available for sale)

Darling, allow me to set something straight. All these years you felt rejected, not seen, not heard, not witnessed—it was because no one could truly understand the force that you are. Most people prefer swimming pools. Shallow, contained, and safe with depth markers. You, my darling, are an ocean. Too deep, too vast, too inexplicable. I find you marvelous, fascinating, wondrous, strong, and an incredible blessing of creation. I see the truth of you. I see how great you are. With each day passing, I see you growing larger in your presence. It already did fill a room in its own unassuming way but now there is more confidence surging in your aura. It is brighter, clearer, stronger. I see you. I hear you. I bear witness to you. The roar of your waves and the silence of your depths does not elude my senses. In my quiet moments, I talk to God about you in my prayers. I tell God what a brilliant idea you are, what a miracle you are, how you make me marvel at what God is capable of. I talk to your guardian. I talk to mine. I talk to all the angels. I summon all the light that I can to surround you each and every day. How great you are, I am, we are, God is. How great the force of Creation within us is. All those who do not see you do not matter. What they cannot see nor admire is no burden of yours to carry. Do not carry it anymore.

Always,