Attention, Attention!

Attention, Attention!

This morning as I was walking my perfect little pup, Rosie, I was watching her trot along and I began noticing my train of thought. I brought my attention to the stream of thoughts that play in a loop in the background of my mind. I began noticing how many of my thoughts were based on fear. As you know, fear tends to show up in very sneaky ways - Lack, Judgement, Comparison, Self-doubt, Anger, Discontent, etc. Anyway, these seemingly innocent thoughts were circling my mind like a layer of fog, covering up my true nature which is generally thoughts of love. Love also shows up in many different ways - Ease, Connection, Peace, Growth, Inclusion, Joy... you get the idea.

It got me thinking about something I have known for years but needed reminding of today - Attention to our habitual thoughts and actions is required for our intentional growth in life. Without attention to our habits (especially habits of thought), there is no way to see what perspectives could be shifted. Without attention we drift through life believing the general world-view of disconnection, fear, scarcity and competition. Without attention we are giving away our power to a society that is ill with fear.

Attention is EVERYTHING when it comes to living to our fullest potential.

What I find when I bring attention to my thoughts is that, with a little investigation, I don't actually believe the thoughts that cause me discontent. Once I see that I am rehashing an old story from my past or taking on fear from outside sources I can then decide to replace that thought or thoughts with new thoughts that back up what I know is true. What I know is true is Love. Love for myself, love for others, and love for life itself. 

It comes down to this - We are always evolving and though there is no such thing as perfection we do have the ability to evolve on purpose rather than to grow through circumstance. With attention to our lives we can evolve with intention, which empowers us, and who doesn't want that?

As soon as I got home I began writing out a few of my reoccurring thoughts of fear to dismantle them and replace them with true thoughts. Here are a few fear thoughts that may sound familiar and what I chose to replace them with:

Fear: "This circumstance should not be happening."  Love: "I may not know why this is happening but I trust that this is for my greatest good. When I look back on my life I can see the perfection of all the moments that taught me valuable lessons that I wouldn't have had otherwise. I welcome the change that is coming."

Fear: "I will have to work for years to create the life that I want."  Love: "My life is unfolding in perfect timing. As I use my passions to be of service to the world, I tap into the unlimited resources of the universe and my life expands."

Fear: "I'm not doing enough."  Love: "I am doing the best that I can in this moment and my active role in my life is growing me everyday."

Fear: "That person needs to change."  Love: "They are on their path in the same way I am. I don't know what is best for them and, in fact, I send them some love and wish them the best."

I encourage you to practice this with your own general thoughts of fear. Investigate whether the thoughts that make you feel shitty are ones that you actually believe or just tired old stories. Of course, when you take the time to replace the fearful thoughts with ones of love you should use language that is true to you so it doesn't feel forced or fake.

This action of attention to your thoughts and habits can quite literally change your life. You'll begin to notice how often you are on auto-pilot. Once you do so, you can take the driver's seat again and steer your life toward joy, growth, love, connection and all that other good feeling stuff!

I hope this is helpful for you. Let me know how attention to your life helps you!

Ryan

Watch Your Mouth!

Watch Your Mouth!

"Watch your mouth!" My mom would always say this if I "sassed" her or used a word that was less than kind. Now that I'm an adult, I pretty much say whatever the hell I want (though I just couldn't type the other word I wanted to use in that sentence). So, yeah, I'm a liberated adult that can say whatever he wants but what I say - what WE say- has it's repercussions. We all know the consequences of saying something that can hurt someone else but I am talking about the impact our words can have on ourselves.

We tend to have our beliefs about the world and our place in it pretty well set by the time we're into adulthood and, without much thought, we tend to use our words pretty lazily. In our conversations we rehash what the standard cultural narrative is about love, money, success, health, etc. and we reaffirm those beliefs for ourselves because it's easy to thoughtlessly talk. But here's the thing - Changing our conversations and offhanded comments can literally change our lives!

Once we take note of what we are actually saying, we can decide if it is what we truly believe or if it is the type of experience we want to have in the world. Have you ever noticed how two different people can experience the same moment and have completely different perspectives on it based on their view of the world? No matter what your life experience has been, this perspective is malleable. You can decide what kind of world you want to live in and talk it into being! I have done this firsthand and seen it done with many clients, students and friends.

Noticing what we are saying is step numero uno: An easy place to start is conversations around money. Are you continuously stating how hard it is to make money? Then, yeah, it probably will be because that is all you can see - the challenges.

Giving yourself new talking points is step two: Once you see that you are talking from that perspective and investigate whether you want that reality, you can play around with new phrases that back up the beliefs you want to cultivate, like "I'm inspired by all of the growth that is happening in this city. There is so much potential for new businesses like mine."

Simply changing your statements will begin to affect your beliefs but this doesn't happen all at once. It took time to learn these ingrained ideologies and it takes time to shift the mindset but it absolutely can be done. And when the shift begins to happen, you will notice how your life begins to open up to new ideas, how new types of people will show up in your life, and how the people you've known for a while begin to interact with you differently. Your world shifts to match you new beliefs.

Watch your mouth and then watch your world change! Then tell me all about it!

Ryan

 

 

 

 

Why Meditation

Why Meditation

As I write this post, I am sitting in my backyard with a puppy on my lap surrounded by beautiful plants. Not a bad place to write about meditation, eh?

Because of my meditation practice I am able to appreciate these moments so much more than I would have without the practice. I may be preaching to the converted or to the newly curious but I’ll share my personal reasons and perhaps it will shed new light or raise your interest.

Writing about meditation just won’t do justice to the actual experience- It’s like reading about sex or talking about dancing. It is a very personal experience and you need to try it for yourself to get a fuller understanding. But here’s why I meditate and feel so passionately about it’s affects.

 1)   It hits the ‘Reset’ button.

When I feel frazzled, overwhelmed or even just a bit off center, I know that if I sit down and simply watch my thoughts, as crazy as they seem, I can begin to recognize that I HAVE thoughts not that I AM the thoughts. By doing this I can look at what I am thinking without attachment or judgment and make a conscious decision to change my patterns of thinking. This does not happen overnight but over time it becomes easier. In that regard, I hit the button and begin again.

 2)   It helps me see the bigger picture.

It is so easy to get caught up in the minutia of my daily life, living for my own small, in the moment, needs. When I am able to get to a deeper state of meditation I can feel and see how truly interconnected we are. I can see how my actions impact others and how every interaction has an affect on the people involved. I can see the bigger picture of life when I am calm and centered, without a list of tasks at the forefront of my mind. I can see how all my past experiences built on each other to lead me to this point in my evolution. I become grateful for the moments of pain and challenge. It’s a beautiful life when viewed from a broader perspective.

 3)   It inspires me.

I love the act of creating- whether it’s building a new business, writing, drawing or simply contemplating new ideas and integrating them into my life. There are times when the inspiration to create just isn’t there. Those times when life feels dull and uninspiring is when it’s most beneficial for me to find new ways to meditate. I may decide to do a walking meditation or a chanting meditation or a free-form writing meditation. Freeing up my idea of what meditation needs to be opens me up to be inspired in other areas of life.

I have been in meditations in which I suddenly felt the need to stop and write down an idea or, other times, I have found myself laughing during a meditation when I realized a simple solution to a problem that had been on my mind. I become connected to my deeper consciousness that seems to always have the answers.

 4)   It helps me trust myself.

Second guessing myself was standard practice for a big part of my life. Was I on the right career path? Did my relationship fulfill me? These were constant concerns. This isn’t to say that all self-doubt is gone but through meditation I have found answers within myself. Acting on those instincts and seeing how they repeatedly benefit me has lead me to trust my gut, my intuition and personal ‘knowing’.

These are just a few of the many personal reasons I meditate. I find peace, understanding of self and compassion for others, inspiration and energy. On days that I don’t meditate, I can seriously feel it. When I make it a daily ‘non-negotiable’ it continues to bring me to deeper states of love and continues my evolution on a conscious level.

I have seen the affects that it has had on other people in my life as well. Each person finds their own reasons and discovers more about themselves in the process.

What might you discover if you begin sitting still and observing?

Why nothing has gone wrong.

Why nothing has gone wrong.

This is my third attempt at how to approach this idea floating around in my head. I've decided not to try to convince you of the truth of this statement but I do want to elaborate on it. I think many of us could use this reminder and if it resonates with you, read on.

We can so easily fall into the idea that we constantly need to 'fix' something. That we need to be more productive, more efficient and that money will create the security we can't seem to find otherwise.

Here's the truth: When these beliefs are boiled down, we find that fear is at the root of them. We discover small or massive ways that fear is our motivator for moving forward in life. We choose vocations based on what will make us the most financially 'secure'. Or we have lists of accomplishments that need to be check-off before we will do something we enjoy. We fear not being good enough.

You know what? Fear is an illusion. I'm not talking about the primal fears which last for less than one minute and are key to our survival. I am talking about the fear that rest in the back of your head, consistently guiding your daily decisions. THAT fear, is bullshit.

We are here to evolve the human experience. We are here to be the most authentic version of ourselves we can be. We are here to be of service to others and to receive the service when it comes our way. Our nature is to love and we were born to shine so that others can see the beauty of life illuminated.

So, why has nothing gone wrong even when it feels that way? Why do some choices feel like mistakes? Why do things fall apart? Because every action we take builds us. It shapes our knowledge. It creates opportunities for others to help us. It opens doors we never thought to stand in front of. All choices and actions lead to evolution. Evolution of ourselves and, in turn, the world. As we begin to look from a bigger perspective, we can see how our past has shaped our present and then we can apply that perspective to how our present is shaping our future.

If you find yourself judging your current state of being or choices, sit back, take a deep breath and see the perfection in where you are. Have a bit more compassion for yourself. No, actually, have more than compassion- have Gratitude and Love and a big fat smile on your face for the perfect being you are. Since we are all connected, the way that you see yourself will then be the way you see others.

Have Gratitude and Love and a BIG FAT SMILE for everyone you see.

This is it. This moment. Be at peace.

Ryan

 

 

Why it can be a good sign when you feel 'off'.

Why it can be a good sign when you feel 'off'.

I went through a period of only wanting to feel good. I thought that if I only focused on feeling good I wouldn't be affected by the negative. There is truth to the fact that we create our experience but the perspective that 'negative' emotions are to be shunned leaves too many of us feeling crazy when those moments come.

So here's what I've found (and continue to learn): We are continuously evolving beings whether we are conscious of it or not. If we are consciously evolving we seek meaning in our experiences, we look for lessons and signs to assist ourselves in navigating the future. As we do this we begin seeing threads of connection between ourselves and others. We see connections between the lessons we've lived and the intuition we have. We find ourselves looking to teachers or friends that can assist in our understanding of who we are and why we are here. This is the beginning of an awakening. Some people may find this wording uncomfortable because it suggests that they may have been asleep. There is no judgement of where we all are on our paths but there is a period when we know that what we've been doing isn't working anymore. We feel the discontent in our gut. The things that we have done to numb this discontent don't seem to do the trick anymore. We know that there is a higher purpose to our lives. That is a beautiful thing but it can seem scary at first.

I say all of this because... When we feel negative emotions, go through a painful experience or just feel subtle discontent we are being asked to be there for ourselves. To not run away from the feelings but allow them to lead us to a better understanding of who we are. To grow.

No matter what stage we are in in our evolution we will feel down. At times, it is the person who has done the most work on understanding and evolving themselves who feels the negative experience the most. They know how it feels to be aligned with purpose, to be connected to universal energy, to be the best version of themselves. So when they aren't connected and aligned it feels awful.

Through my own experience, I have learned (am learning) that on the other side of those moments are when my biggest growth happens. It's cliche but true- we have to be able to recognize the dark to truly recognize the light. There is nothing without some form of contrast.

When we feel 'off', sad, upset, overwhelmed, tight and bound up- it is an opportunity to learn. It is a chance for us to accept the moment to see how we play a part in it, to ask the questions we might not have asked. It is our chance to find the light and open up. When we see that light and feel the openness again we are stronger for finding our way. We have new insights, a deeper sense of purpose and clarity.

Know that any time you consciously accept the moment as a lesson those dark moments become huge catalysts for change. Then you can welcome them without fear.

Be brave, be loving, be curious.

Ryan

We're opening a gym!

We're opening a gym!

We've been working for months to get this location up and running! Join us for the grand opening on January 11th!