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Reason for this blog…..

This is the post excerpt.

Welcome!

I’m new to this whole blogging scene, so just bear with me. As a man going through what could be viewed as enlightenment, I have learnt a lot of things. Particularly within the past two years. That being said, my goal with this blog is to help people who want to change their lives. I want to introduce you guys to new ways of thinking, feeling, and being. If you change your inner circumstances, then your outer ones change as well.

My goal is to use my personal experiences, and others I have heard of along the way, to help illustrate that we can transform! Life is not static. The only constant in this life is change, so why not reconcile with that fact?

I do not claim to be an “expert”, a very flexible term as it is. Sometimes, I may even cover topics or situations that I’m not the most knowledgeable on.

However, even if this situation presents itself, I will do my best to look at and interpret those hypothetical scenarios in new and creative ways. This I feel, is the key to being a creator in life as opposed to a bystander. Sometimes (maybe even often) we need to get off autopilot, and take control of the pace and direction that our life takes, instead of letting the opposite occur.

In seeing how this mindset is changing my own life for the better, I now realize that I possess an incredible ability. Through experience and inherent disposition, I can help manifest the change in others that they want in their respective lives.

However, always remember one thing: YOU have the power to change and improve. You possess everything you already need on the inside. I am just simply here using my own experience and acquired knowledge to prove that to you.

This is not just my goal with this blog. It is now one of my main goals in life. I’m going to give it everything I’ve got. After all, that is ALL I can truly do, right?

 

serenity

 

Hard days make good days

It’s just one of those days……

Today marks two years since my last significant hangout with my younger brother Frankie. While I saw him a time or two after that, September 4, 2017 was the last time we spent a significant amount of time together, doing various things.

It was the last time we went out to eat together as brothers.

It was the last time he ever set foot in my car.

It wasn’t solely a day of lasts, however. It was also a day of firsts, which ironically became lasts because we never got the chance to do them again……

It was the first time we smoked weed together. I think back on this and grin warmly. Oh, the irony! How we managed to delay that event for so long is anyone’s guess.

It wast the first time I told him about my book that I was (and still am) working on, “8 Pistols.” He approved.

Unfortunately, just over a month later, my brother, who doubled as my best friend in life, killed himself. October 10, 2017. He was a tender twenty years old.

Today is rough. Obviously, I didn’t know the significance of that last hangout two years ago. As naive as this sounds in hindsight, I never would’ve guessed it. Even with a thousand fucking tries!

There is a pleasant side to the roughness of this day, however. Two years ago today, I was so pleased about hanging out with Frankie! I even wrote about him that night in my journal when I got home! Despite my belief that it was “just another day”, I managed to express a positive sentiment about him. That brings me great joy.

Reflecting on this day gives me drive and it gives me focus. The drive to never forget who I am, where I came from, and what I learned as a result. This whole process starts with my brother Frankie.

My book is the first major step in manifesting my life’s purpose. Thankfully, I will soon be on leave from work to finish this up. And quite frankly, there’s no need to stress on all that. Next month, I’ll be relaxing in an undisclosed location. Living my best life, and giving zero fucks. I owe myself this. I’ve never deserved it more.

Above all else however, I thank my brother for sharing this day with me two years ago. I’ll never EVER forget you bro.

Move on up!

Curtis Mayfield (pictured above) has a 1970 hit that I thoroughly enjoy. “Move On Up”. While you may think that I’m about to post some relevant lyrics in the song, it’s actually the title that is to be the main focus here.

Hitting rock bottom is the shittiest feeling in the world. However, for those of us who have seen the movie “Fight Club” (we’re not supposed to talk about it), we know that it can potentially be one of the greatest things to occur in any individuals life. When at your lowest point, like a climber nervously looking up a mountain he’s about to scale, the only way you can go is up!

However, in order to move up, you must rid yourself of the things which are holding you down. This I believe is where many of us encounter our greatest struggles on the path to ascending to our highest, and most authentic state of being.

Generally speaking, we hold attachments to the different aspects of our lives. This process tends to be mostly subconscious. Think of one of your most routine days. It’s possible you:

  1. Ate the same usual food.
  2. Interacted with the same people.
  3. Used the same bullshit reasons to skip going to the gym.
  4. Refused to do something new, opting to keep doing the same fucking things!

Notice a commonality among those points? They all contained one mutual word: SAME

In order to move up, you need to do things DIFFERENTLY! That’s the first, and perhaps most important, step to self-actualization.

As much progress as I’ve made in my life these past three years, and trust me, I’ve made a fuckton, I’ve felt an uncomfortable degree of stagnancy here recently. My solution: Radical changes which bring me even closer to my truest self. This process will inevitably bring about temporary discomfort. As I said earlier, we tend to hold subconscious attachments to all facets of our lives, even the unhealthy ones. But, short term discomfort often yields to long term satisfaction and happiness. You must be mindful enough to keep sight of this fact, otherwise you’re likely to give up.

That job you don’t like? Quit it and find a new one! The significant other you find yourself growing apart from? Cut them loose so y’all both can find a better fit. That toxic friend/family member who doubles as an emotional vampire? Remove the motherfucker from your life!

Side note: It’s ok to cut off toxic family members, to hell with what ignorant idealists say!

If you want to move up, you’ve got to shed yourself of what’s holding you down. Then change shit up a little! You’d be surprised what’ll happen. Of course, be sure to exercise caution. When I first tried, albeit blindly, to “spice up” my life three years ago, I wound up having eight pistols pointed at me. Promise me you’ll be safer than that!

Smile, you deserve that shit!

Lately, I’ve been feeling as if I’ve hit an invisible roadblock of sorts. Things have not been ideal lately at all. Far from it. Honestly though, do things ever go ideally for anyone?

The past few months have been somewhat rough. I’ve been working a fuckton, frequently skipping the gym, sleeping less than I should, not making enough time for my friends, procrastinating in life like no other, and my love life is a shitshow. A fun shitshow, but a shitshow nonetheless. On top of this, I’ve had a falling out with multiple relatives. They’re toxic, enabling, and in denial however, so that’s actually a blessing if anything.

On top of all of these matters, the two year anniversary of my beautiful younger brother’s suicide is looming around the corner (October 10). It’s scary how much time is passing……

Today after work, I stopped by the cemetery to pay a visit to my brother. It’s a sacred tradition of mine. A tradition which holds no specific dates/times. Whenever my heart tells me to go, I just fucking go. It’s that simple. It’s one way (of many) that I remain close and connected to him. Sometimes I just sit there (by his grave) in silence, other times I talk to him, and just let it all out. He was one of the few people I’ve ever known who accepted me, fully and freely, without judgement. You know those thoughts we all have that we feel too apprehensive to share with other people? I often shared those with him, and I miss that aspect of our relationship dearly. I try to continue it, albeit it a new way.

When I stood at my brother’s grave today, I nearly burst into tears. This would have been the first time in a long time that I did that while hanging out there. The fact that nearly two years have passed is just hitting me like a ton of bricks. I am steadily (but gracefully!) getting older, and he’ll always be twenty years old. It’s just not fair, he was so young. I was 3 1/2 years older than him. That number has now changed to 5 1/2 years older. In November, I’ll be 26, furthering the age gap even more! What in the actual fuck??????

Just before my near meltdown, I was hit with an interesting idea. I began to smile. My brothers’s suicide is one HELL of a reason to feel sad, you better believe it. However, this time of reflection made me realize there are many reasons to be happy as well.

  1. I smile because I would not be so sad if my brother did not mean so much to me. Throughout his life, we were incredibly close. He was my best friend. We did not always see eye-to-eye, and I may have said some things to him which I do not approve of in hindsight. However, those outlying moments did not define our relationship. His last words to me in his suicide note were “I’ll miss you bro.” Oh, how I miss you too my man, every day of my life. But I smile, because I cherish with all of my heart the years we had together in this realm. A relationship which will NEVER duplicated.
  2. I smile because my mental health has held strong. In the time since my brother intentionally transitioned, keeping myself in a good state of mind has been a CRUCIAL priority. Suicide used to play in my head a lot as a teenager, and well into my early 20s. This was a product of the environment I was raised in, with two abusive, narcissistic parents. These factors played a major role in my brother’s suicide as well. However, since I left that toxic environment for good three years ago, things have been on the rapid come up. Meditation, exercise, gratitude, among other things, have brought me to a place in life I previously thought I could never reach. Despite Frankie’s suicide, my overall mental health has held up throughout this ordeal. I must say, I’m extremely proud of myself, and I believe Frankie is too!!
  3. I smile because my book project is finally coming together! Nearly three years ago, I had eight pistols pointed at me. This event caused me to take the quantum leap I’ve long since needed. My upcoming self-help book, “8 Pistols” derives its title from this event. I first conceptualized the book over two years ago. Back then it was in its infancy stages. When I informed Frankie about it, he approved. The very next month, he killed himself. My book is now dedicated to him, but it took me a long time to get to a place mentally where I felt freely and fully able to work on it. Combine work, exhaustion, and numerous other factors, and there have been many delays. However, I am going on a leave from work in a few weeks, and I’m so pumped to use that spare time (most I will have had in years) to finally put this shit together, and prepare for the publication of “8 Pistols”! Not only with this be the completion of a HUGE life project, but I truly believe my book will have the ability to both inspire and help a lot of people. As a guy who is (even though barely anyone knows it yet) dedicating his life to self-help, that is one hell of a reason to smile.
  4. I smile because I’m so grateful to be alive! I don’t think this needs further explanation.

Yes, I have many hurdles to overcome. Trust me, I mean MANY. In spite of that fact, I’ve already overcame quite a few already, and my brother has helped greatly in guiding me along on this journey. No matter what you are going through, I promise if you truly look inwards, you’ll find reasons to outwardly flash your brilliant grin to the world. Smile, YOU deserve that shit!

Surrender

Frequently in life, we need to face and accept the inevitable. Occasionally, this is easy. No one struggles to embrace a reality which they desire.

Unfortunately, there are many instances in which accepting objective facts is easier said than done. Homo sapiens are egocentric by nature. As a result, if something threatens our identity or perception, we tend to resist it. This often comes at the detriment of our well-being. Nobody wins with denial.

In the spirit of pursuing existential freedom, I have taken up many beliefs and practices. They have had a tremendous impact on my life! One of my favorites is the practice of surrendering. Seriously, I surrender more often than the French, believe it or not……

The exercise is simple. In examining the less favorable aspects of my life/existence, I accept them for what they are. If possible, I challenge myself to grow and learn as a result.

Some things I surrender to are:

  • Not all relationships are meant to work out.

Whether it be friendships, family ties, romantic relationships, or anything else, some people need to be let go. Everyone you meet or know can teach you something. Bring a little something to the table. My vice in this regard is looking too deep into this fact. For example, I often find myself believing that a shared belief in the Law of Attraction (LOA baby!) is enough for me to click with women who otherwise do not have the greatest qualities…. After doing this way too many times, I surrender. I am done idealizing a whole group of women simply due to shared spiritual beliefs. It is not fair to them and it is DEFINITELY not fair to me. I deserve better than that.

  • Pleasing everyone is impossible.

One of the by-products of being raised by narcissistic parents is that I was once a chronic people-pleaser. The beautiful thing about people-pleasing? It is a recipe for failure. People can be greedy fucking assholes. No matter how much you give some people, they will always want more. Often, this comes at your own expense. As a result, I surrender to the fact that I can never please everyone. No matter what you do, someone will always be upset with you. At the end of the day, if someone is displeased with my attempts to live an authentic, transparent life, that is their fucking problem. As long as I can please myself (don’t take that the wrong way), and my brother’s spirit, through my life’s work, then I will be just fine.

  • My brother killing himself.

I never really struggle with the fact that he is dead. Ironic as it sounds, death is a part of life. We are all going to fucking die. A twisted, yet beautiful fact indeed. In this context, surrender comes in the form of embracing his intentional departure from this realm, and making the best of it. No amount of tears or anger could ever bring him back. This is a learning experience, and yes, some emotions are involved.

Surrendering is a simple, yet amazing tool for living a genuine life with more clarity. The truth sucks ass sometimes, but it will set you free!

Why?

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Why? It is one of those questions that is essential to our everyday lives, and impossible to avoid as a whole. Seriously. Try going a week without asking it. It is damn near impossible, if even possible at all.

We are taught to ask the question “why?” from a young age, and thankfully so. It is a question which demands explanation, thus, satisfying one of our most core desires: to have answers. Answers give clarity and meaning. Without answers, we would drown in a sea of existential questions. Mankind would be in a state of collective cluelessness and despair.

I myself ask the question why? followed by a brief inquiry, constantly. I realize that it is a question which helps me get to the core of who I am. Often, I like what I learn, but not always.

• Why do I go for walks so much?

It has been my way of thinking over problems and coping with stress since I was a kid.

• Why do I enjoy my solitude so much?

I believe this is for many reasons. With my brother killing himself last year, and the realization that both my parents have narcissistic personality disorder, taking a step back was needed. All the chaos and drama from my upbringing has really led me to enjoy peace, quiet, and good vibes. Plus, I meditate, which makes regular solitude a necessity, at least temporarily. Additionally, I am just getting to know who I am, which mandates listening to my soul, and keeping outer distractions to a minimum. This is all paradoxical, as I enjoy the company of other (high-spirited) people. Solitude really is the shit though.

• Why have I not found the right woman?

Maybe I already have. I have spent years pursuing the wrong women. Perhaps the right one has been under my nose this whole time. Is there even such a thing as the right woman? Particularly for an eccentric such as myself? Nowadays, I simply seek to find my female vibrational equivalents. There are plenty of them around, I just need to welcome them into my life, from a spiritual standpoint.

• Why did I used to care so much about what people thought of me?

I was raised by two narcissistic parents who could not have cared less about me as an individual. Especially my father, who strived for me to be his “clone”. An awful thing indeed. Trust me, the world does NOT need two of him. One is already poisonous and destructive enough. He only accepted me when I “existed” as he saw fit. This caused me to subconsciously adopt the belief that being myself was unacceptable, and my relationships, including the one with myself, suffered greatly as a result. Thankfully, I no longer follow that self-destructive pattern.

• Why do I want to enter self-help?

I think that the combination of my disposition, interests and experiences have uniquely qualified me for this somewhat abstract field we call self-help. More so than any college courses I ever took.

• Why do I talk to myself so much?

Self-talk is how I grew and changed so much after I had eight pistols pointed at me. Self-talk is how I thrived after my brother’s suicide, and never succumbed to insanity, even temporarily. Self-talk is how I stay positive, even when I am surrounded by negative motherfuckers. In a nutshell, the best talks I have ever received have been from myself. If that comes at the simple cost of looking crazy, then so be it.

• Why do I believe that life is objectively meaningless?

In clinging to the notion that life has some inherit, “predetermined” meaning for you, you can lose yourself (in a bad way) trying to find it. This can lead to much anxiety, and even depression. In realizing that life is objectively meaningless, I grasp the fact that it is up to me to give it meaning. I stopped chasing something that was never there! This, I believe, is one of the keys to existential freedom.

• Why the fuck do I blog?

I believe it is a beautiful and healthy form of self-expression, particularly when I am angry. As the saying goes, “the pen is mightier than the sword.” Additionally, since a lot of my other writing projects, especially “8 Pistols”, have been running behind, this is a good way to hint at what is to come. A literary foreplay, if you will.

Even with eight simple why? Questions, I have been able to reevaluate myself. Something I probably do too damn much. Regardless, one good takeaway is this: never hesitate to ask why, as it always opens the door to learning, discovery, and creation.

Fear and Worry

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In ancient times, our ancestors lived in a VERY unpredictable world. Even more unpredictable than the weather in modern-day Middle Tennessee. Now that is saying a lot.

Thousands of years ago, saber-toothed tigers, wooly mammoths, and other (now extinct) gigantic beasts roamed this earth like it was their personal playground. Given that homo sapiens were much more nomadic in the past, our chances of running into these motherfuckers out and about was indeed quite high. Naturally, our brains were affected as a result.

If every time that you rounded a corner, or peeped into a bush, you faced the chance of a deadly ambush, you would indeed be quite wired up. This is where our fight-or-flight response originates from. It is a protective mechanism designed to prepare us for quick, immediate action in the face of a real or perceived threat. During this process, adrenaline, a chemical endogenous to the body, is abundantly released into our bloodstream. The subsequent body high has several physiological manifestations: increased heart rate, tensing of the muscles, sweating, etc.

The fight-or-flight response, and everything that comes with it, is the neural result of thousands of years of biological development. As with any other creature, humans are products of their environment. The environment our ancestors were a part of was a cruel and dangerous one. Much more cruel and dangerous than our modern-day existence. Despite what the media tries to tell us, these are the safest times in human history to be alive, by a longshot.

Ever since our spear-chucking, nomadic days, homo sapiens have gone through many transitions. From domestication, to industrialization, and everything in between, our lives bear almost no resemblance to that of our ancient forerunners. In spite of this, many of our thought and feeling patterns remain the same.

We tend to face our daily stressors in the same ways that we did in our past. Ego aside, I do not mean our individual pasts, but the pasts of generations long before us. To exemplify this, many men face approaching women with the same amount of fear and worry that our ancestors had when being confronted by a lion. As hilarious and irrational as this sounds, it is true. Trust me, once upon a time, I was a part of this demographic.

Despite the fact that our modern lives are objectively easier than those of our genetic predecessors, we still collectively “suffer” from the effects of their thinking. At this point, you may be wondering, is there any way to break a habit or pattern which existed long before I was born? Can millennia of conditioning be broken over the course of one lifetime? The answer to both of these questions is a loud and resounding fuck yes!!!!

Grasp the power of now. Become acquainted with one objective fact: While our circumstances have (drastically) changed, our responses have not. The brain seeks to make sense of its surroundings based off of prior experience. Generally, we tend to create the future by living in the past. Via epigenetics, these patterns are passed down inter-generationally. This is a scientific explanation for why the experiences of yesterlife seem to so negatively affect our current perception of reality. Again, grasp the power of now.

A mindful life is a fully engaged and present life. It frees you up to act and respond according to what is currently happening, as opposed to what you fear or worry is going to happen. Nearly all cases of fear and worry stem from not objectively existing, or “being” in the current moment. My own mindfulness journey began two years ago, when eight detective jumped out of a van and pointed guns at me.

Having eight pistols simultaneously pointed at me was one hell of a wake up call. The immobilization and interrogation which followed did nothing to remove me from the situation. Trust me, I was present as fuck. Due to a lack of concrete evidence, the detectives had to release me, thankfully. However, prior to unlocking my cuffs, one of them gave me a creepy message. One which I cannot currently put on here.

The aftermath of this event was quite unsurprising. Ironically, mindfulness during the situation temporarily led me down a counterproductive road. For months, I was always looking over my shoulder. Whenever white vans pulled up near me, forget it. I entered full-fledged panic mode. After some serious self-reflection, it became clear to me that it was not the white vans or anything else that was causing me fear and worry. It was my reactions to them!

When you change your mind, you change your reactions. When you change your reactions, you change your body. When you change your body, you change your experience. While fear and worry will always be a part of the human experience, it can be kept to a minimum in your life. Be mindful, reframe the situation you are in, and for fuck’s sake, do not fall victim to stone age preconditioning. It is almost 2019. Get with the mindfulness trend!

Outcome Independence

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No matter who you are, or what you believe yourself to be, we all strive to achieve something. Making and then reaching goals is one of the most pleasurable parts of our existence. There is literally a chemical which gets released into our brains when we do this. It is called dopamine!

When a person sets a goal, their (obvious) desire is to achieve it. Every now and then, you may meet one of those people who sets “unrealistic” goals. Many of them speculate that, despite falling short of what they sought, they may still be heading in the right direction. Brings to mind the following quote: “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land among the stars.”

These overachievers must be setting themselves up for a lot of unnecessary pain if they are setting goals they know they cannot achieve right? Well, not exactly…….

Mark Manson’s “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck” is an amazing read. Seriously, it is one of the greatest books I have ever picked up in my life. However, the point of mentioning the book was not to ride Mr. Manson’s cock. Rather, it is simply due to the title. Not giving a fuck is an art form, and many of us would do well to cultivate it into our lives.

Not giving a fuck seems to be a largely misunderstood concept. Observe most people when they exclaim, “I don’t give a fuck!” Generally, it is said with emotion, meaning they are being subjective. This is only normal, as we are humans after all. Regardless, one can only give zero fucks when they truly have no emotional investment whatsoever. This is why the majority of people who do not give a fuck rarely say it. They simply lack the desire to do so.

In reference to the previously mentioned overachievers, that is their skill in regards to avoiding pain. They give no fucks, but with a unique twist: acknowledging the ego instead of silencing it.

Whether you are an overachiever, or a basement dweller with no ambitions, you seek certain outcomes in your life. When you approach a beautiful woman, your desired outcome is a date, right? Or at the very least, sex with an attractive stranger. You must surrender to this fact. This is acknowledging the ego. In this scenario, a plot twist exists. While admitting that you prefer one outcome over the other, you must rid yourself of the desire to base your emotional states on your end results. Then, and only then, will you have achieved true outcome independence. Let me give you an example.

If my previous blog posts have not already made it abundantly clear, I talk about my brother’s suicide a lot. Matter of fact, I thoroughly enjoy doing so! It is therapeutic to discuss it instead of avoiding it. Even more importantly, I have grown and learned so much as a result of Frankie’s decision! One of the things he taught me the most about was outcome independence.

With the ultimate “outcome” being life, I sought a happy and joyful outcome after my brother’s suicide. This was not difficult, as I had already been vibrating on a good frequency prior to his transition. As I often mention, this positive life change was the result of me having eight pistols pointed at me. Thus, my main (yet still challenging) goal was to continue being vigorous and spunky on a day to day basis.

Amazingly, and I almost feel guilty for saying this, coping with Frankie’s suicide while maintaining intrinsic happiness and peace of mind was not difficult. As long as I remained mindful, and focused on gratitude, homeostasis was maintained. The night of his premeditated death, I laid in bed chanting to myself, “I love my brother, and that’ll never change!” I said this over and over, with a smile on my face. I lulled myself to sleep with this tune.

Studies in psychology have shown that the radical acceptance of all feelings and emotions is the best way to reach the road to well-being after personal setback and tragedy. You mindfully process everything, and avoid self-invalidation. Through this process, you heal, and get to choose your feelings. You become the captain of your emotional ship. While this involves giving PLENTY of fucks, paradoxically, you do not fall victim to said fucks. Giving a fuck means you care, not that you are a victim of your circumstances.

In giving a fuck about your circumstances, but not letting them intrinsically define you, you become outcome independent. In this way, perhaps the key to not giving a fuck is to give plenty of them, but only where it matters.

If practiced religiously, outcome independence becomes second nature. It literally becomes hardwired into your brain. Additionally, through epigenetics (fascinating shit), it alters your DNA! I am so blessed to have discovered and applied this concept to my life. Currently, I am trying to teach it to other people I strive to help. I can admit, I give PLENTY of fucks about that.