Category Archives: Blog Posts

Keeping Me in We

Maintaining our sense of individuation in the context of romantic relationship seems to be one of the biggest challengs to living in an ongoing sense of Presence. The desire to be awake is a skillful desire. This desire compels us to recognize the need to observe the internal and external events that trigger a shift away from Presence. Perhaps we’ve done much work in regards to inward seeking and while we may have a deep understanding of the concepts of living a fully liberated life, the microscopic truth is that in certain aspects of our lives, those concepts have yet to be fully embodied. We can see clearly in most situations and possibly very clearly into other people’s patterns. When our sense of self is less emotionally invested, our awareness of Presence prevails. This keeps us feeling healthy the majority of the time. But we are most likely interested in feeling healthy all of the time. So when do we give it up?

In those moments of feeling detached from Presence, there is usually the presence of blame. When we are blaming someone we tend to feel either righteous and superior or rejected, incomplete and inferior. The use of justified anger isn’t as strong as it appears. It is an overcompensating response to feeling unwanted. So the deeper root, the common denominator, is feeling unwanted. So let’s look there.

If we hold a secret story of feeling unworthy or insecure then we will look to remove that feeling by receiving approval and acceptance from other people. The deepest validation of our worthiness coming from the person who chooses to make us their significant other. The misguided belief being, “I must be worthy if this person wants to be with me.” And thus we define ourselves as worthy premised upon another person’s approval of us rather than our own.

This is an unconscious paradigm to operate within because it makes you feel inferior to your partner because they represent the fulfillment of a need rather than a choice. It also means that if we don’t feel that emotional fragility around them then we most likely are assuming that if they have feelings for us then those feelings are also “need based”, which we perceive as a weakness in them. This keeps us locked in a cycle of unhealthy relationships. It’s impossible for someone to be fully themselves when we are more interested in having them meet the expectations of our own projections of what a relationship should look like.

We may tend to hold a naive idea of what it means to fall in love. It’s like we are still chasing the Hollywood story. Rather than placing a relationship on top of a solid structure of personal autonomy and self acceptance, we supplant our personal sense of me with a sense of we. We transcend and deny rather than transcend and include. This new expanded identity of an “us” with all of its wild chemicals leaves us susceptible to replacing our core identity with a new identity of us. It often imagines how it is perceived in the eyes of the world and the approval of another signifies its worthiness to the world. Since it is deriving its sense of self from how the world views it, it’s like giving an addict a drug when it receives this approval. This heightened state of ego fulfillment is often misinterpreted as love. When in truth it is tinged with clinging and attachment.

The shifting away from Presence begins with the unconscious giving away of our personal autonomy. It is experienced as anguish anytime there is the interpretation of being unwanted. I say “interpretation” because since feeling unwanted is a belief structure we hold (or are learning to release), we will mistakenly interpret other’s actions through the colored lens of our own conditioning. We will literally, on an emotional plane, manifest our own fear. What’s more, even if the interpretation of your partner choosing to not be with you is accurate, this is their free will and in no way acts as a referendum upon who you are or your value as a human being. But when your self identity is based upon their desire to be with you, and that shifts, your sense of self will crumble with it. The ensuing sense of pain is not the cause of your suffering but rather the experience of it. The cause resides in the false sense of incompleteness that gave rise to the giving away of your personal autonomy.

It’s through the practice of reconnecting with Presence in the moment of this recognition that we can fill the perceived void with our own self acceptance rather than seeking another to do that for us. Once that foundation is in tact, we have laid the groundwork to experience authentic love. A love that is based upon two whole people choosing to share their lives rather than two half people trying to make a whole one.

All attempts to find wholeness through the acceptance of another is the ego’s false attempt to replicate truth. And truth, of course, is that we are inherently whole. We need only to connect with Presence to experience the absolute beauty and wonder of who we truly are. That is the practice. Connect with Presence. From that platform we can connect with eachother without the risk of losing ourselves.

Advertisements

Ignite A Renaissance

It was just another ordinary night. Nothing magical about it. I was just chilling on the back porch at the end of a full day finally just zoning out, giving my brain an exhale, while scrolling down my facebook newsfeed. I call it facebook therapy. We’ve all been there, yeah? But then it blindsided me.
There it was staring boldly right into my eyes. A picture with a quote. Now if you know what I’m talking about this can be some powerful shit. I mean, where else do we find such a seemingly inexhaustible collection of wisdom from the likes of Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela and Dr. Seuss? Even the Dalai Lama has a facebook page. This is especially true when 81% of your facebook friends are yogaholics. A true well of infinite wisdom all gathered in one place and endlessly flourishing with a swipe of the index finger: the universal mudra for all postmodern mystics. But this pic was different. It jolted me.

So simple, to the point & not assigned to any wise guru, monk or saint:
Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate.

Bam. There it was. The idea of standing for something rather than against something. So profound in its simplicity. So exquisite in its implications. And I’m not simply talking about this as a concept. Rather the very tangible ramifications this principle could have on my life and on society as a whole. Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate. Genius.

Since that night, this has become the guiding principle of my life. Consider how often our thoughts, words and actions are born from a negative reaction to something. Don’t get me wrong, that can be an extremely powerful motivating force- in fact the very stuff revolutions are made out of. A powerful example would be an uprising such as the Arab Spring, a mass multi-national, grassroots revolution. A revolution against oppressive tyrannical regimes. But what I’m talking about isn’t a revolution. It’s a rennaisance.

Synonyms? Perhaps at first glance, but upon deeper investigation quite different indeed. Kinda like the difference between pleasure and happiness, cappuccinos & lattes, having sex & making love or yoga & pilates. All of these can be great, just not the same.

A revolution by definition requires something to be opposed to -an adversary. And thus while its intention may be of the most high, it’s energy is derived from opposition. This is often why in the case of a political revolution the overthrow phase may be successful but the ensuing phase of implementing a new power structure falls flat on its face like my attempt to float from adho mukha svanasana to bakasana.

A renaissance on the other hand is sourced from an infinite well of inspiration. A self regenerating fountain of creativity that flows not from us but through us. I think of it as taprooting source. This is the tipping point where everything shifts. Where we tap into a force much more powerful than personal conviction or hard work & willpower. Also great and essential qualities but something such as a renaissance flows effortlessly and inspires endlessly- a inexhaustible flowing of energy from spirit through matter. I often wonder if perhaps this is the reason my kids get the day off from school for Martin Luther King day but they have no idea who Malcolm X is.

A rennaisance can occur at many levels. It could be an insight that reframed your outlook on life. It could be a movement, not framed against a problem, but one offering solutions. There is a community in California which a friend told me about where every house on one particular street re-purposed their front lawns into vegetable gardens. Each house grows a different fruit or vegetable. Neighbors are free to stroll the streets and pick what they’d like. This wasn’t a picket or protest against non-organic foods or mega corporations’ influence on food supply (which is also commendable work) but rather a pro-active, solution-based action which simply offered a different alternative. In short, a renaissance.

Some renaissance’s may be inward, some outward. Some personal, some professional. Some individual, some communal or even cultural. But the common denominator is that they are all born from an inspired place. Inspiration lives deep in the soul of each of us. So deep in fact that it rests at the deepest root of Self where we are all joined. And this is why a true renaissance is contagious. Because it ignites something powerful and provocative that spreads from person to person. And these are the ideas that shift some shit for real.

My renaissance has been communal- starting a donation-based yoga cooperative for my local community. I think of my job title (as suggested by a yoga student) as a professional love spreader. So I’m gonna spread that shit like crazy. And every time I sit down to write, there is a major fucking renaissance blossoming in my mind. It lifts me up and I feel higher than snoop dogg in a field of greens.

I believe we all have a renaissance inside of us. For those who have tapped it, keep on keepin on and know that your contribution to the rest of us is immeasurable. Even if someone doesn’t resonate with your specific renaissance it doesn’t matter. They can still sense that aliveness that flows through you and it’s viral nature will compel them to seek out what lights them up in the same way.
For those of us who’ve yet to let it out: There’s no time like the present. So please, risk being weird, risk being judged, risk it not coming out the way you planned on it. Because in the end, a risk not taken is a life not lived. Who knows, you just may inspire a renaissance.


Namaste Mother Fuckers

I am ambitious. I am a yoga teacher. I am an ambitious yoga teacher. Fuck. It’s not my fault. I was born this way. I also drink coffee & curse. Shit, I am a caffeine drinking, profanity laced, ambitious yogi. And it’s not that I lack a deep reverence for the sacred roots of the yoga tradition. And I’m not the 100 chaturangas “work out” kinda teacher. For whatever reason I’m more like the 108 aum’s “work in” kinda teacher. So when the people who come to my classes see me carrying a starbucks I get funny looks. The kind of suspicious “I guess he’s not the real deal after all ” kinda looks.

It’s a funny dilemma we contemporary yogis face: Are we to divorce ourselves from our cultural roots in order to become “authentic”? Is there some required quota we must meet in order to pass the authenticity test? Maybe something along the lines of not leaving the house, I mean cave, without the requisite mala beads and sufficiently interspersed lexicon of sanskrit & english? In other words, is our humanity an indictment on our spirituality?

Don’t get it twisted. I fully realize that in its essence yoga implores us to confront the unexamined aspects of who we are. At some inevitable point, if our paths are genuine, we must all encounter our conditioned habits and tendencies to discern whether or not they are in alignment with our higher Self. But where do we place this seemingly arbitrary benchmark for both ourselves and one another?

It seems to me that perhaps these desires and habits that we are all reconciling along the way have less to do with our external actions themselves and more to do with our internal relationship with them. It’s not so black & white. When we start putting people in defined little boxes we run the risk of becoming spiritual elitists condemning the gluten ingesting, bad mood having, sports watching, facebook loving wannabe yogis of the world. As though there is one pre-determined standard of what an awakened life looks like.

I prefer to think of each of us a process rather than a person. This reminds me to give my life, and your life, space to breathe, permission to be human. Permission to start the day with a hot, fucking delicious cup of coffee thank you very much. Followed by meditation of course. Then we may finally be able to honor the beauty of this ancient tradition within the context of our own cultural heritage.
~Namaste Mother Fuckers


The Inner Alchemist

Have you ever found yourself steeped so deeply into the flow of your yoga practice that seemingly nothing could break your attention? Then suddenly the teacher calls handstand (or insert your own “aversion” pose) and you immediately decide this would be a fantastic time to break your meditative mood and quietly excuse yourself for a “strategic” bathroom break? Full disclosure here people- I did this for years. And to be completely forthright, it became worse once I became a yoga teacher. For quite some time, I held within myself an insecurity about the asanas I couldn’t do as if that was somehow a referendum upon my validity as a teacher.

Yes, I knew better but somehow this knowledge didn’t possess the requisite power to unseat my feeling of ineptitude. I would hide in the guise of, “My yoga is the spiritual yoga. It’s not about standing on my hands.” There, I said it. Uh oh, I also heard what I said and soon came to realize that I was simply trying to avoid stepping out of my comfort zone. This of course is the exact opposite of spiritual growth. In fact, in my experience there have not been many greater catalysts for spiritual growth than stretching beyond my comfort zone.

In the dawn of the recognition of my own self trickery, I became awake to an equally disturbing yet intriguing invitation: Handstand would become the new epicenter of my spiritual practice. And that’s when things started feeling a bit more exciting. A bit more alive.

In this moment I accepted the challenge to expand. To expand into new possibilities for myself and in the process, dissolve the shackles of self imposed limitations that kept me playing small. I began to see this handstand experiment as a form of inner alchemy; transforming a place of struggle into a place of freedom.

Since that day, I’ve practiced the arm balance postures, including handstand, on a daily basis. It’s been an exquisite practice; challenging, humbling, inspiring and liberating. And of course it’s not about acquiring the pose. Rather its about the way in which I approach it and the paradoxical coexisting of perseverance and detachment, which as I’ve come to learn is the ultimate yoga, at least for me. As one of my teachers, Jordan Bloom, would say, “It’s not how far you go but how you go far.”

It’s been a fascinating new phase of growth, stepping into the uncomfortable. And perhaps the most cherished part has been learning to translate these lessons into my life. Back in the day I would never have let myself be happy until I accomplished my goal. As if standing on your hands is the shortcut to genuine happiness. I’ve learned to take joy in the breakthroughs and find grace in the setbacks. I’ve learned the lesson of santosha, or contentment, and stopped confusing it with complacency. And I’ve learned that there is a direct correlation between the diminishing of striving and the awakening of skillfulness. It’s amazing what happens when you turn your world upside down.

Peace, Love & Swagger~

Scott
ps- I still can’t do a handstand every time I try. But sometimes I do and I’m cool with that.


Yoga in the West: Community or Industry?

Back in 2002, prior to becoming a yoga teacher as my primary “job” I was a waiter. I sucked at it. My favorite part was when my manager, Terri, would grant me the honor of writing a thought provoking quote on the back of the “Today’s Specials” board which the guests would see on their way out. The one aspect I loved was having conversations with customers.

At the end of one shift there was a group of people staying late, enjoying some cocktails, and they asked me if I did anything else besides wait tables. I said yes, I also teach yoga. They all kind of paused & looked at each other. Turns out they were the managers of a well known super trendy gym in Atlanta. They wanted to offer me a job! I was elated. Then came the proverbial fork in the road of my path as a teacher.

“Can we ask you something first”, said the guy you could tell was the head honcho. To which I obliged of course. “Do you teach the physical yoga or the spiritual yoga?” Oh Shit. Suffice it to say I spent the next few months leading contemplative self inquiries such as, “Would you prefer fries or broccoli with that?”

No big deal. There was always the quote of the day board. But the question stuck with me. Guess I never really considered the difference. Maybe I was naive or yoga was still somewhat nascent in our culture, at least in northwest Georgia. But to me yoga was just yoga. Not purely physical, not purely transcendent- just an integrated approach to deeper self examination.

Fast forward 12 years. Now, well, as you know a practice that was once counterculture has become the mainstream in many ways. We leave tips at Starbucks for good karma. We post selfies of our favorite asanas on Instagram. Asana in particular has become part of the steady daily diet of millions upon millions of Americans. And true to our culture, we love it in so many different ways; hot, cool, slow, fast, challenging, tranquil, on a mat, in a chair or even hanging from an anti-gravity hammock. You name it, we’ve got it.

And herein lies the question: Has our culture devolved a once sacred, ancient tradition? Have we over commercialized it to the point of McYoga? Or have we simply made it fit our culture? And if we have made it fit within our capatlist context, have we severed it from its essence or has its underlying intention remained in tact while its form has become, well, more flexible? At the root of the word question is the word quest. So let’s take our quest a bit deeper into this topic, shall we?

It seems a logical place to begin this quest is in cultivating a deeper understanding of yoga’s history and evolution within its homeland of India. I say this because if we are of the opinion that America has cheapened, changed and commercialized yoga then we can only say so in relationship to its authentic roots. The history of yoga is of course far too vast a subject matter for the scope of this blog post, but we can draw out some important and relevant points nonetheless.

In the earliest Vedic roots of yoga we see that the very knowledge and rituals contained within them were confined to the priestly or bhramanic caste. This is the highest of the castes within Indian society. You cannot “transform” yourself into a higher caste save for your next re-birth as the caste you are born into is dictated by your past karma (shouldn’t have been so stingy on those tips lol). The point here is that yoga was not inclusive in its orthodox expression, but rather, exclusive.

Until episode 2: Rise of the Vedantans. These were the forest dwelling sages. They bolted the confines of society and its shackles in favor of deep meditation (aided in large part by weed, shrooms and opium). Their’s was a different quest from the Vedic times who primarily sought divine favor through complex ritual. These dudes (yes, all guys) delved directly into the mind to uncover the in-dwelling Self. Just within Vedanta alone there are dozens upon dozens of schools of vastly differing and diametrically opposed world views. To any astute observer, the Upanishads themselves are littered with contradiction as they are not comprised by a single author, but rather represent a collection of texts by different individuals recorded to paper many hundreds of years after their original forest satsangs (ever play the telephone game?).

Then came the samkhyans. Their mission was the eject button. They were scientists of the mind and their focus was to step by step, systematically de-condition the mind of its false identification with its own thoughts. Their practice was not premised upon how to live in the world but rather how to prepare oneself to be liberated from it. As one of my friends & teachers once said, “Its not like Patanjali left a footnote at the bottom of page one of his yoga sutras that read please read this 2500 years from now in America.” Which of course didn’t even exist as a nation yet just for a bit of historical perspective on the antiquity of what we’re dealing with here.

History 101 almost complete but the picture would be amiss if we didn’t include the tantrikas. Within India tantra represented something vastly different than the other philosophical schools. It revered the sacred feminine, shakti, as a means of emphasizing the desire to include nature or the material reality in the spiritual life. Not to just avoid leaving it out but actually as the very living manifestation of the divine in the physical world. Here the purpose wasn’t to become free, rather it rested on the idea that we are intrinsically free and our purpose is to create and express that beauty within life itself. But to keep with the theme, yes, still many many different schools within tantra itself.

Out of this worldview arose the tradition of hatha yoga. This is the yoga we are familiar with in the states (asana, pranayama, etc….). It was practically heresy for one to embrace the physical body rather than perform severe austerities to prove one’s ability to overcome it. And yes, even in India there were numerous approaches to hatha yoga.

The one teacher who really brought forth this practice was T. Krishnamacahrya. He was a mad scientist. Truly an astounding individual. But guess what, when he emerged from the caves with all his knowledge and wisdom, nobody gave a shit. Truly. It was his tenacity and determination (and support from the royal family) that led him to eventually popularize yoga. Yes, popularize it. He trained his students fervently in demanding and challenging asanas and then toured India with them doing demonstrations for the general public to raise their interest in yoga. And if you’re reading this, please know its because of his earnestness to promote yoga that you practice it today. His students included B.K.S. Iyengar (Iyengar Yoga) and Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (Ashtanga) which are hugely influential practices in America today. His son is T.K.V. Desikichar (Viniyoga). And he broke from the orthodoxy to begin teaching women beginning with Indra Devi who was one of the pioneers in stretching yoga over the Atlantic Ocean.

I want to elucidate a few take always here:
1) Yoga never had a singular message
2) It was always changing
3) It possessed the capacity to meet people where they were and grow from there
4) It constantly broke from tradition
5) It required promotion to gain footing

And with that, yoga emerged in the west. Now, lets address the critique first. Has yoga become more of an industry than a community. Let’s see: Between classes, retreats, workshops, trainings, props, and clothes etc… An estimated 2 billion dollars each year is spent on yoga in America. And it’s showing no sign of yinning down. Just for my own reference I typed yoga into google and the first suggested phrase that popped up was yoga pants. God bless America I guess. So do we have an issue on our hands here or not? Is there a conflict between digging cool pants and embracing a spiritual path?

I am deeply drawn to the spiritual teachings and practices of yoga. They are, without a doubt, the basis of my life in all of its expressions. Those who share this perspective with me are fond of saying that all of life is yoga. That driving is yoga. Eating is yoga. Surfing is Yoga. Making love is Yoga. I would just like to point out that far too often for people who hold this perspective, seemingly EVERYTHING is yoga. Except one thing- yoga. That is, if its practiced in a different way or for a different purpose than their own.

As a yoga teacher, when I look out across the room I see variegatedness. Not just of body types or practice levels or generations or more commonly now, genders and ethnicities. But I see a variety of intentions. I see people coming to reduce stress, to improve flexibility, to self awaken, to impress their girlfriend, to deepen devotion, to heal injuries, to seek peace, to lose weight, to recover from addiction, to accomplish goals and to let go of needing to accomplish goals. And all I can think is amen y’all.

Because at the end of the day, we have no other choice but to start from where where we are. Yoga to me is like a universal remote control, it will work with any intention. I believe (this is just my opinion) that yoga gets a bad rap in the west. I believe any reason to get on a mat or on a meditation cushion is a good one. There is no elitism in my yoga. And yet there is a recognition of deeper practices. There are countless millions of Americans alone who began yoga for purely physical reasons and over time it became something more. It can’t help but to do so. Thank god yoga is trendy. I can imagine much worse trends.

And if even in this form, someone gets asanas into their body, the process is already underway. My girlfriend, who is also a yoga teacher, brought up a truly valuable insight to me on this point. She inverted the question itself by remarking, “How could asana not be a deeper practice of yoga? People are opening their bodies, connecting to their breath and concentrating the mind. It may not be talked about or even a conscious process but it still happens anyway.” We all hop onto the path from a different place. But where we start is less important than where we are heading. It’s interesting to consider if any of the subtler practices and philosophical teachings from yoga that have deeply affected countless millions of lives in the west would have ever had the opportunity to do so if not for the physical asana practice itself.

For those seeking only material benefit from yoga, they would probably never step on a mat in the first place if their only option included mandatory mantra and meditation. Despite our underlying unity, we are all quite diverse. It’s precisely for this reason that for yoga to be effective it must be too. And upon closer examination of the authentic roots of yoga, this couldn’t be more in line with the very heritage itself. Ultimately if we are in a place of judgment about the validity of another’s yoga practice then we are not in a place of yoga within ourselves. One need look no further than the present moment in order to gaze inwards & notice the feeling sense of their current state. We can embrace the practice of “know it by it’s flavor” to discern if we are coming from the seat of the ego or the higher self.

Whatever your personal opinion on this subject may be, perhaps the more pertinent question is how identified we are with our opinion and the worldview it represents. Perhaps it’s our opinions themselves that are the very things that bind us and while we won’t cease to have them, we are nonetheless able to transform our relationship with them so that we don’t misconstrue “our” truth as “the” truth. After all, there are many many paths to awakening. And that is a beautiful thing.

So let’s go buy some new yoga pants. Or not. Up to you…


Benign Beginnings

A few weeks ago I found myself standing in front of a court room preparing to speak. I’m reasonably comfortable speaking in front of groups because as a yoga teacher it’s something I’ve been up to for 13 years now. But this was different. There was no peaceful music or incense burning and people were wearing shoes and sitting in chairs. Yet, I knew somehow my role remained the same: To speak the truth of my heart. This time around it wasn’t about philosophy, meditation or asana. I was there speaking as a character witness on behalf of a friend who was being re-sentenced for a crime for which he has already served 3 years in jail and still maintains his innocence.

I spoke what I felt to be true: That my friend is a kind, gentle & warm soul with so much to contribute to society. I shared that I trust him implicitly and that he is a beloved member of a spiritual community, at which time two thirds of the courtroom arose from their seats. Chills ran down my spine.

I was nervous. Truly. Not for me but for him. So when the judge asked if I had anything else to say, I said, “Yes, I do. I want you to know that this is not just a decision for you to make at work today. It is a life in your hands.” Five minutes later my friend was sentenced to spend the next five years of his life behind bars. In a split second an entire courtroom got the wind knocked out of them.

Except for one my person- my friend, who shall remain nameless. He turned around and faced all of us, his friends & family, with his hands shackled yet folded at his heart center gesturing namaste. His eyes were soft, accepting and clear. He nodded his head as if to say, “I got this.” And with that last glance he was escorted out of the courtroom. And I went home to get my kids ready for bed.

I fell asleep sad, wondering if my statement were more compelling if I’d see my friend in yoga the next morning. Wondering how it is that life can change in an instant. Wondering how he is going to make it through this. I finally fell asleep. The next morning after my class a bunch of us were hanging out in the buddha bar at kula. I wondered what my friend was doing, just comprehending that our paths in life so often diverge in such curious ways. Then the phone rang. It was him.

He said, “I don’t want you to say anything. I just need you to hear something.” He proceeded to tell me how deeply & utterly grateful he was for me. He said he wouldn’t be the person I described in the courtroom if not for the teachings he received and the people he met at kula. He said he is now prepared to do this. He spoke of his ambition to get his degree in business while in jail so that when he gets out he will be able to start his own business. He sounded focused and spoke of having no distractions while there. He was excited to dive into a book about the synthesis of quantum physics and Tibetan Buddhism. He sounded, well, like himself but somehow a bit stronger. A bit more resolved. Then an electronic voice entered the conversation to inform us our time was up and we were disconnected.

But not truly. In fact, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Because in truth, we are very connected indeed. Not just he & I, but all of us. And he knows that. And that’s the thing of it. That’s the root recognition that allows him to see that while his body may be incarcerated, his soul is free. Inherently. You see, in that phone conversation it was so completely paradoxical in that he was comforting me. Many times I have expressed in teaching that we don’t have to become free because by our very nature, we are free. He so eloquently embodied and reflected this teaching back to me. And it was a complete honor to be his student.

He reminded me that we can have a million reasons to focus on what’s wrong, what’s missing, yet in the face of that choose what’s right. We can choose light in the face of adversity. We can choose to put our attention and our energy into what is positive even if it is a tiny little seed in an otherwise ferocious circumstance.

When I think of my friend sitting there in a jail cell in this very moment I think of someone who is free, while so many of us with all the freedom in the world are living imprisoned in our own minds. Shackled by self condemnation, judgement and shame. Our minds impoverished, consumed by a sense of lack. This sense of lack leads us to set goals from a place of trying to fill a void. Our goals lack true power because they are birthed out of what’s wrong rather than what’s right.

The idea of benign beginnings is simply a reminder that when we set the trajectory for our lives that we do so from a place of fullness. That we do so from a place that acknowledges that in truth we are missing nothing precisely because we are a part of everything. Everything you seek to manifest is already connected to you. You will attract whatever energy you are setting your goals from, not the object of your desire. You are a beautiful, powerful soul. Know that. Sit and marinate in that. Then go set your goal. And it won’t matter if you are doing it from behind a desk, a podium, a pulpit or a prison cell- it will produce something more profound and more inspiring than you could ever perceive possible.

Happy New Years & may your resolutions always eclipse your reservations.

To benign beginnings….