I Dare You to Focus Inward

Social media is loud.
The world is loud.
Loneliness is loud.

Sometimes,
It’s so loud.

So loud, that your “groove”, your “essence”, your “it” factor melts fast.
So loud, that you may feel instinct to pull away, retreat and hibernate away.
So loud, that your brain is cramping up from wringing out the external stimuli.
So loud, that perhaps, you reach for a self medicated madness of your choosing.

And you know what –
That is okay.

More than okay, really.

When you find this, experience this, observe this-
I dare you to tackle the world around you by first turning your focus inwards.

I dare you to take off your Boss Man / Babe shoes and walk barefoot on the outside ground.  Can you brave yourself one minute to just observe what you feel as you slowly take one step after another? The sensations arising as your physical body shifts weight into the ground, the movement of grace as weight shifts from heel to toe, the flight of your foot as it takes you one stride farther – I dare you to try to direct your attention to this.

I dare you to go breathe outside. Maybe relaxing deep breaths, cozied up on your deck or perhaps with your back perched on the trunk of a noble tree. Or maybe you feel called to run with the breeze, setting your tempo, saying “fuck it” to the noise of thoughts of “how long you should run/ how many calories you are burning” and just moving because of the sheer curiousity. And, maybe, if you are feeling extra brave, you can take out your headphones and perhaps align your hearing to the sound of your breath. That takes massive strength.

If you want to take back your power, nothing says “I can take care of myself” than building a badass campfire without the coddling of others. Watch your thoughts from before sizzle into the flame as you now have the task of continuing to light up the sky with your efforts. But don’t forget to enjoy the scenery of dancing flames- you composed this work of art!

Then when your time out is up, go back into your life and see how the volume of the world, the inner chaos, seems to have lessened. Then in your prime element, your world, I dare you, to keep challenging you to take those pauses. Maybe in time, you will soon realize that the control is all yours. In your hand, you have been holding the remote the whole time. You have the fierce spirit to pause, mute the world and the noise, and breathe / create/ build / do whatever the fuck it is that makes you feel comfortable back in your own skin, then hit play, continuing on to do what you do in your journey to success – however you define it!


photography credit: Tobi Dami

 


Davey H would love to know – How do YOU focus inward when you are feeling out of sync with yourself / your goals / your aspirations? Comment below and share your story of how you focus inward so you can share your gifts with the world around you. 

How did you do?
                              This week?
                                                 This month?
                                                                        This year?

Did you take the time to do things that set your soul ablaze?
Did you move through life staying true to your ideals and convictions?
Did you curiously explore out side of your comfort zone, tasting life outside of your self built bubble?

Did you find the courage to sit in the presence of your emotion / your thoughts / your stories and simply be? Surrendering, with strength and ease.

Did you live the life you want?

Let your answers settle, allowing images/ thoughts / stories dissipate.
There is no truth to the past, as each memory is now an illusion from biased eyes.

 If you are blessed enough, you may have tomorrow.
Perhaps even a week..
                                    A Month..
                                                      Maybe even a year..

 

And perhaps,
                       maybe you don’t.

 

So right here, right now,
in each moment you are gifted,
wake the hell up.

 Allow yourself to begin asking, “Is this what I want? Is this the person I want to be? Is this the life I want?”

 Ask the questions you need to ask.

Watch each answer dissolve, perhaps visualizing that the answers arising are settling into your being, you do not have to grip – you can allow it to be easy, you know.

You are alive, you have the gift of choosing the life you want and the strength to surrender when need be. Make the decision – choose “Yes” to the life you want.

Addiction.

What is your addiction?

It’s okay.
No one needs to know.
You can let your guard down.

You can be honest and truthful, bringing focus to areas you refuse to acknowledge exist. You are safe, loved, valued and protected.
You can relax now.

Remember,
We all have them.
Some are more socially acceptable than the others.
Some come with professional and medical help to ease into recovery.
Some force people into isolation and hiding because of the shame it carries.

That deep rooted emotion – fear, disgust, hatred – the demons you have been holding on to –

you can breathe now, it’s okay.

There is nothing wrong with you.

 

Yes. That’s right.

There is nothing wrong with you.

Quite the opposite really-
The wounded battle in your mind, the damage committed that no one else knows of –
It’s a lot for one person to endure alone in silence.
Did you know how remarkable you truly are?

You are stronger than you think you are.

You have survived hell.
You are still alive.

And- it’s not over.

Sweetness, perhaps, even if just for today – you can lay down the knives slaughtering your self worth, and perhaps,

Allow yourself to relax.

Observe.
                   “Observe what?”
                                                  Anything.

The sound of your breath, the pictures that play in your mind, the sound of the furnace, sensations in your body.. observe and breathe.

“Then what?”

Then, be strong enough to show compassion, love and kindness towards yourself and your body.

Stop creating a plan of action, your route to recovery.
Stop reenacting the final victory.
Stop belittling yourself or your efforts.

Perhaps there is a great reason for this struggle.

Allow yourself, to muster up all the strength you possess (I know you have an abundance of it, I know you are a remarkable person) and observe deeper.

Without attachment, or judgment,
Ask yourself,
What do YOU need in this moment?

 What would bring a glimmer of peace into your soul?

A restful sleep?
A candlelight bath with essential oils?
A good laugh with friends?
A walk outdoors without chains of technology?
A fierce challenge, something to awaken your curiosity?

What do you need, RIGHT NOW?
It may be scary to explore, but what if that may be your critical turning point in your journey with addiction?
Develop the courage to observe what may bring you a little more joy in this present moment, and then follow through.

With warmth, love, compassion and understanding.

You ARE doing the best you can, given the current situation.

Maybe today you can show your strength by showing kindness to yourself.
Maybe today, you can show your courage by taking a step back to observe, unattached, so you may clearly observe what you can do to bring more joy into your present moment.
Maybe today is the day you allow yourself to find what your true self needs.
Maybe today is the day you are able to make it through, without leaning on your self destructive crutch.

Maybe today is the day you allow recovery to be easy.
I believe in you.

You can do this.

You WILL do this.

It’s not over yet. THIS is your beginning.

-kp xo

If you’re going through hell ..

If I could turn everything that my midnight brown eyes have observed in the past six months into a moving film clip, it would be a tornado of sensory overload laced with surreal images that would leave you wandering if you have fallen into madness.

I took 3 months and traveled to India.

Or how it really happened: Mother India called and was allowed no other choice but to answer her pull and go.

The first month I was spent with my best friend whom is a world traveling freebird and experienced in the ways of navigating through India as a female Canadian. The last two months were spent solo.

There were three cities that were the drop back to this adventure: Delhi, Dharmsala and Rishikesh. There was back peddling in this trip. There were many returns to Delhi. It helped too, as Christina’s previous travels lead us to a Bed and Breakfast located in New Delhi’s Nizamuddin West sub district- address G49. “G-49”, as we called it, was a three floorguest house that featured powerful air conditioning during the Delhi heat wave and an escape from the noise of India.

New Delhi is a fountain of unlimited inspiration for poets and entrepreneurs. I was thrusted out of the safety of routine and structure of my life based in Grande Prairie, Canada, but in New Delhi (India) I found myself centered, calm, and understood; Inspired and curious; Engaged and always developing. There was no other option; only the fierce survive traveling in India solo, especially females. Going home early was not an option. It was my objective to extend my stay in India as long as I could financially support it. I was able to accomplish this objective; I booked my ticket home to Canada for July 10th, on the sole deciding factor of dwindling finances.

I haven’t even been home for 2 months, yet India feels lifetimes away.

“Was it all just a dream?”

I have seven filled journals on my father’s old antique oak desk resting in my bedroom, reassuring me that YES it DID happen.

Transitioning back to Canadian life was not easy- and it is still continues to weigh on me. Luckily I have a few “carpe diem!” spirited friends who confide in me that they too felt this way from returning from extended travels overseas. Leaving is never the challenge. It’s finding yourself when you come home.

The Wannabe Entrepreneur in me would have been very disappointed that debt was created to go on this trip. (“Rule #1 – ALL DEBT IS BAD”. Pay Cash. If you can’t pay cash, you cannot afford it. Get working, then indulge.) I had no choice- I had to leave my life. I was a ticking time bomb filled with frustration, friction and anger. I flirted dangerously close to the sense of leaving everything and just starting fresh. (Luckily I tried this, many times in my younger days – it doesn’t work. Damnit.) India was an investment. A costly investment, but risky gambles are the ones that lead to short term high returns. Lucky in my case, debt was created but I developed what I needed from this trip outweighed the financial burden. But all debt is bad debt and must be eliminated.

Then, cue in the predictability of life; if you think things can’t get any worse, you lack imagination. (“Rule #2- ALWAYS have an emergency saving fund”.) I made the decision to take the money that was in this “DO NOT TOUCH” account and “invest it” into India. Perhaps in the future I would have chosen a different route, but this was the choice I made and I stand behind it. But it does create the tone for an unnerving return home.

Grande Prairie, 2016. Bad recession. Things are hard right now. Not impossible, but hard. I knew this when I left.

As a safety net, I brought along with me on my travels all the paperwork/ birth certificates/ and documentation needed to apply for a UK passport, due to fitting the criteria of a Natural Citizenship via my fathers birth rights. Even though the events of “Brexit” have caused dramatic impact on the British pound, the pound still has intense power over the Canadian dollar. I booked a “7 day layover” in England to explore the logistics of going down this route. Instead of going to London and seeing all the bloody churches and cathedrals, I detoured to an oceanfront town named Brighton. Why? In comparison, the cost of living in Brighton vs London (my first pick for a home base in London) is drastically favoring the bohemian city of Brighton. I wanted to explore the possibility of actually making this work. Once again, I found an interesting gamble: I could explore my heritage in England, while having a stronger currency to pay off my debt. The answer, I found, was “yes!” it was possible, but I did not have the time to get this done or the finances to support myself in England while paperwork goes through and still paying rent for my room in Grande Prairie. I needed to go home to Canada to make some bling bling and sort out a logical game plan.

I am going to reemphasize Rule #2 for any one who is ambitious to build wealth: ALWAYS have an emergency savings fund.

Let me repeat this again.

ALWAYS HAVE AN EMERGENCY SAVINGS FUND.

I do not regret anything. I had to make a series of tough decisions and I made the best decisions based upon my priorities given the information I had at the time.

As I’m working through this, my “dream car for right now” which I purchased in 2012 and had paid off in two years- my all black Mitsubishi Eclipse sports car – has sadly become terminally ill and is resting now until more money can be invested into a new engine or taking the financial loss and selling her as is.

Because I am a believer that I set the tone for my life and for the opportunities that have come my way, I have made the best of this situation. Juggling the desire to get “Davey H Productions” up and running, my role in helping with promotions at The Den, serving at the Country Club Golf Course and teaching Yoga, I am working this shit out.

It hasn’t been easy.

The last week, I haven’t had a chance to even pause, running (erm.. walking & cabbing, I guess I should say) from job to job, just trying to survive.

On Tuesday night, I had a particularly rough night. My day began as I caught a ride at 8 am to the yoga studio I can teach at 9:30 am. After, I walked to the Golf Course to work from noon until 8:30 pm. Then I had to walk back to the Yoga studio for a 9:30 pm staff meeting. When I started walking away from the Country Club, I struggled. I fought all the desire in my soul to detour and walk home.

I didn’t.

I created this situation from my decisions and I need to follow through with the aftermath.

It was cold. Really cold.

Tired, so damn fucking tired.

The last time I even had time to eat was at noon. I was fueled on frustration and accountability.

An overwhelming sense of defeat over took me. It stirred a lifeless chill.

A vulnerable thought over took me; the sense of needing help. Being able to admit that this was too much to endure on my own.

It made for an isolating and emotionally draining hour long walk in the cold.

And THIS- this is where India comes in, the return of my financial investment.

As I made it downtown, nearing closer and closer my final destination, I observed the brilliance of the street lights romantically illuminating the way. I observed my breath and the energetic double inhale, quick exhale. I observed the chills of sweat drenched clothing. I observed the tension I was holding in my jaw. The feeling of my blistered heels hitting the ground with each step and how I was able to lessen the pain if I chose to soften my pace.

But most of all-

I observed the flowers, decorating down town Grande Prairie, vibrantly emitting floral scents.

Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.

I know if my car had been running, I would be missing this moment. I would be mindlessly running from point a to point b, music cranked, missing the beauty of each scene, racing against time.

Where I was in that moment was not comfortable.

But life is not a luxury of comfort, infact, my Buddhist studies would reaffirm that life is filled with suffering/ discomfort. But you can overcome this suffering if you can heal your mind, or in other words, learn how to strengthen your focus/ concentration, so you can observe the reality of the present moment without all the feedback and noise.

Perhaps I did a terrible thing, but while I was waiting for the traffic lights to turn at a 4 way intersection only a couple blocks from my final destination, I picked a flower from one of the radiant selections. An earthy brown flower with hints of golden hues, with a shape reminiscent of a sunflower. I wanted a reminder of this evening. Once I returned home, I placed it in a cup of water and placed it on my desk. It’s easy to learn how to deal with life in a text book. Applying it real life? Not so easy.

When you open yourself up to be the observer, you are able to objectively take in each experience it and neither label it good nor bad. It simple is. For in every moment there is both beauty and darkness. You can appreciate both for what it is.

Winston Churchill is quoted as saying, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

The Buddhist would add on to this, by saying all we have is temporary.

If you’re going through the darkest days of your life, keep going, and enjoy this moment, because soon it will be gone.

And-
If you’re going through the highest days of your life, keep going, and enjoy this moment, because soon it will be gone.

As my head is crawling with agitation with apprehension about a weekend of double shifts, I have been gifted with the training to know that all the dread for the upcoming weekend is natural. But is temporary. I observe my mind is feeling overwhelmed, agitated and even scared- so I understand that before I start my day, I MUST take a minimum of 10 minutes of sitting still, focusing simply as breathing. They call this meditating. I call it strengthening my concentration so I can walk into a stressful situation and try to remain neutral. Calm. Centered. In control.

I would not have this strongly enforced in my repertoire if it wasn’t for my experience in Dharmsala, India, home of the refugee Tibetan government and Dali Lama. I made a decision that resulted in a bad outcome. However the good out weighs the bad.

I now know how to navigate through bad outcomes and remain in a neutral peaceful state of mind.

Yes, it carried a heavy financial burden.

But that’s ok.

This too, will pass.

– kp.

 

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To Help with your Next Big Decision

Next time you feel indecision seeping into your life, keep this video bookmarked in your web browser, courtesy of writer/ philosopher/ speaker Mr. Alan Watts.

Then go.
Live.

Foolishly.
But with confidence,
Live.

– kp

Vrksasana

Distrust?
Resentment?
Disillusionment?
Sit with it.

Feel life’s waves clashing against your soul.
The weight of emotion pooling in your chest, smothering your lungs.

Breathe.

Root yourself into the humble ground, feeling a warrior’s strength rippling through to the tip of your head.

Breathe.

With hungry eyes, look forward, facing life straight on.
Find your balance. Find your drishti. A point of focus to stabilize you.
A word. An object. A manifested dream. Focus on it.

Breathe.

Allow a playful smile to shine as you begin to stumble.
Failure is the stepping stone to success.
Darkness to light.
Yin to Yang.

Breathe.

Stay curious.
Focus inward.
Feel what life presents to you.
Great lessons are hidden in venomous discomfort.
Trust that you are here for a reason.
Trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be.

Savour it.
The good, the bad.
Detach, observe, sit with it.
And, with a gentle exhale, let it go.

– kp

She Let Go

She Let Go
by Rev. Safire Rose

Without a thought or a word, she let go.

She let go of fear. She let go of the judgments. 
She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.
She let go of the committee of indecision within her.
She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons. Wholly and completely, 
without hesitation or worry, she just let go.

She didn’t ask anyone for advice. She didn’t read a 
book on how to let go… She didn’t search the scriptures.

She just let go.


She let go of all of the memories that held her back. 

She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.

She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.
She didn’t promise to let go. 
She didn’t journal about it. 
She didn’t write the projected date in her day-timer.
She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper. 
She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope. 

She just let go.

She didn’t analyze whether she should let go. 
She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter. 
She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment. 
She didn’t call the prayer line. 
She didn’t utter one word. She just let go.

No one was around when it happened. 
There was no applause or congratulations. 
No one thanked her or praised her. 
No one noticed a thing. 

Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.

There was no effort. There was no struggle. 
It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad. 
It was what it was, and it is just that.

In the space of letting go, she let it all be.

A small smile came over her face. 
A light breeze blew through her.
And the sun and the moon shone forevermore.

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