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The Way out of Struggle

Do you ever feel like nothing is working in your favor? As if the world is conspiring against you, forcing you to struggle, and the more you push forward, the harder everything pushes back?

This is a tricky situation that can usually leave us hopeless and in a state of fear and eminent defeat. The good news is that there is a way.

There is always a way to get through the tough phases in our lives!

Handling External Resistance and Struggle

It requires a step back first. Once we step back from the mess we think we are in, we must acknowledge things for what they are. AKA accountability.

young asian female looking at reflection
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Accountability helps us define the problem we are in, and sometimes we are the biggest culprits in said problem simply because we refuse to (breathe, calm down, say something to somebody, move, take action, cry, confront, walk away…) Choose your poison.

In other words it all goes down to this:

Repeat after the chorus:

I AM NOT A VICTIM. I AM NOT A VICTIM.

However, if I believe that I am one, then I will surely keep behaving like it and guess what? An oppressor will always find me even if I were trying to sleep at night. The oppressor will come in the form of insomnia.

The Alchemy Between Internal and External Release and Resistance

You see, life is an exchange of beliefs, actions, energies and space. Our beliefs determine our realities, and our limiting beliefs determine the limitations to our actions towards growth. The energies are not only positive and negative, light and dark but also, can be anything from confusion and clarity, chaos and order…so on. Space surrounds us all, and we live by function of the beliefs, actions and energies we feel define us. As a result, we are met with what we put out. And if my partial spiritual mumbo jumbo has lost you by now, tell your science brain to read on confirmation bias. We are constantly met with the things we believe to be true.

So if we believe that we cannot move, then we will not be in motion voluntarily. However, something external could move us, but it will only move us into a smaller corner, simply because that is what our belief system and our energies allow into our space; restraint.

What we believe about ourselves is usually echoed back to us. What we have to do is notice it and be vulnerable with ourselves. The words make it seem easy to do, but in all honesty this is a difficult thing. Embracing our struggle with compassion and assertiveness, allows us to be vulnerable and hopefully courageous enough to admit to ourselves what our limiting beliefs are. We can then see clearly where we engage in regressive actions and in self sabotage.

The Way Out of the Struggle

Everything is temporary; let’s get that out of the way first. So take it in and recognize the short time we all have on this glorious planet, with our loved ones. Presence is the first exit from the mental struggle. Presence and gratitude put everything in perspective no matter what. When we drop the victim state, or narrative or grand story line, and let presence and gratitude in, clarity becomes easier. Honesty becomes easier. The only way out of the mysterious struggle is to recognize that most of the times, we are in the center of it; and changing ourselves allows us to change perspective, treat it like fertilizer and grow gloriously and graciously out of it.

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What do you do when the sun sets? You push the damn brakes!

How do we break through the dread? How do we wake up consistently and find hope everyday?

All I know is that it is immensely difficult, and whenever I or anybody else over simplifies the practice of living well, that’s disillusion. Sweat and tears my friends, it takes overcoming negatives in all of their forms on an hourly basis, the overt and covert kind. It takes a lot of courage and faith. It takes faith to look at a difficult situation and somehow deep down translate it into hope. It takes persistence and trust to produce something good out of your life. And I am here to tell you, if you can do that at least 50% of the time; well then good job. You are trying, and happiness follows that process always. You deserve this moment.

The movie Moment

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Let’s go back together to that movie scene that is always so enthralling, so freeing- the Hollywood movie moment- where one stands atop a mountain and looks onto vastness and a never ending horizon. The sun is setting, and the character finds peace, a scream breaks from the pit of their stomach, and it echoes past the softest winds, the sky paints itself in violet and orange. Brilliant ending, fully orchestrated by character breaking free, and nature being itself, as it always is. End credits start rolling, and you are frozen to your couch wondering what that character will do next? How will she start over? What will her life be like now that she managed to unravel and just be?

The trend nowadays, is one where struggle in most of its forms is undermined, because everyone struggles, it has become an arbitrary given, one that provides the monotone style to all that we preach.

The triumph of a good attitude over every hardship is preached like religion. And it is true, but one tiny loophole in that is the biggest pit ever.

Why should you have a good attitude?

When life gets too real, days get too rigid and boring, time collapses into a routine set of actions that almost always amount to the same outcome, our good attitude compass gets stuck on an autopilot neutral mode. Welcome to the challenge of identifying that and breaking free of it.

It is easy to know when you are feeling down, when you have a bad attitude everyone around you can tell you too. Determining the steps towards fixing the “broken” attitude come next as the natural progression to make a better life. However, the biggest dread of all is the neutrality. The “meh” attitude, the harmless sideline, the “I will just watch this day through, because I don’t want to participate”. The wallflower, not the weed.

I find this mode to be the most difficult to overcome because it is sly, it is soft. It is the comfortable couch you lay on and scroll through your Instastories, to watch other people live; in their good and bad attitudes. It is the autopilot, that tells you its good, but not good enough for you to pay any extra attention. And what happens when we live every day without paying enough attention? Well, nothing.

Nothing happens, the good and the bad all pass, and we don’t flinch. We Miss Out.

Welcome to my struggle

How do we push harder to make our experience amount to something more? How do we make sure that we do just enough to fully take in the moment? The truth is that we will miss out on a whole lot, but we will also be able to take what we get. We are able to navigate, the way way we want to, so better navigate into adventure, love, creativity and wonder.

Because i have a deep rooted fear of missing out on so much wonder in the world, because I feel bombarded by negativity, by dreadful individuals and ideologists, as though the entire world is on a good route to hell; and because nobody wants to take the wheel; I cannot shake the dread.

So maybe the best advice I can think of to myself and to you, is this:

Turn off the engine. Take some time off. What happens when the autopilot is turned off? You will have to look around, you will have to assess, you will be able to learn and determine what needs to be burned to the ground, and what must be revived at all costs. On another note, I find big well acted, brilliantly produced moments to be essential too. Freedom can be taught, we can drop aspects of ourselves that are absolute trash, and we can learn to be better. We must understand how overwhelming life is, and we must be brave enough to push the brakes, and just stop, watch the damn sunset and figure out where the hell we want to go.

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The Fightย 

I stare at my palms and at my broken skin. When did this happen? I didn’t see most of it. I didn’t feel any of it. I was so desensitized; I was breathing in rust and breathing out gold. I broke myself while fixing this. The process pauses as I suddenly watch the Reds Browns and greens scale off my knees and my elbows. I find that my hair has turned to rope, my eyes are made of glass. The world is loud, it is immense and psychotic. I am still and I am loveless. My limbs have rusted and nails are black. Somehow I stopped, my soul is awake and it is thunder; it is lightning and it is fearless beyond my fragile body. Shrieks turn to screams, and screams become prayers for redemption. The psychotic world grows even more hysterical but I am awake, and I am becoming. 

I spit out words and bones, I press my palms over my face and I smash the glass. I give my soul eyes, and suddenly I recognize myself. 

One more battle done with this world at war; I am not broken, I am not heavy. I am made of gold and rust; I have a stream of rain running through me. My soul is thunder and I am not not blind. I see you. Beyond anything, and after it all ends; I still see you.