Category Archives: Human Condition

Choosing Your Possibility 💫

“Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.” –Sir J.M. Barrie (creator of Peter Pan)


Marching forward. Destinal resolve.  I am on the path. 👣

I am living the adventure of my life each and every day!

It is full of glory & triumph. Not glory and triumph driven by the EGO, but rather the kind that concerns Self & personal mastery.

I am speaking of healing, growth, transformation, & evolution.  Continuously.

When I choose to employ my symbolic and cosmic sight I am empowered to appreciate each and every moment (even the dark ones). Moments string together in a beautiful interweaving and divinely flowing pattern. 🌑🌒🌓🌔🌕🌖🌗🌘🌑

As I step back to admire my work I see the bigger picture.  I see just how awesome it is what I have been making…

I have been making a BEAUTIFUL LIFE. 🌈

It is full of wonder, awe, & connectedness.  It all flows together making the most divine patterns that feed my Soul.  Because after all that is really what human life is about right? Feeding our Soul the gift of “experience” in all its sometimes seemingly messy chaotic perfectness.  Our Soul feeds on it all.  It doesn’t matter what the experience is. All human experience is divine and perfect to the Soul.

Therefore it is up to us in how we CHOOSE to experience it all.  We can choose beauty and divinity.

Or we can choose UGLINESS & SUFFERING... As always the choice is ours.

As we switch through the infinite facets of the mind we can continuously shape our very own experience.  Masters of our own genesis.

In each moment we are offered the chance to begin again.  Over and over.  This process of creation & re-creation is our human birth rite.  It is the obvious secret to a fulfilling life. Though most of us forgot this for long stretches of time.  Or even entire lifetimes…

I know I often forget…

Suffering after suffering we perceive it as… Instead of continual birth, death, and rebirth.

Always, it is our choice whether we stay in our suffering or if we choose to begin again.

The wheel is always turning.  Life is an evolution.  For all of us.  And we all choose the direction and the perception of this ever-turning wheel of experience.

So what do I choose today?  What direction am I going?  What facet of experience am I choosing to experience my life in?  What is my vein of existence today..?

 Today I choose FUN, AFFLUENCE, & MAGIC!


I choose FUN because I choose FUN!

I choose AFFLUENCE (abundance & flow) because I choose AFFLUENCE!

I choose MAGIC because I choose MAGIC!

What does FUN mean to me?  It means life is an infinitely friendly & adventurous game that is meant to be played full out with HEART & SPIRIT BLAZING. 💓 🔥 And with a MIND open to WONDER, AWE, & FREEDOM. 😇 This is harnessing the power of the eternal child that always lives within no matter our age or circumstance.

How about AFFLUENCE?  Affluence is the state of “abundance” & “flow” dancing together.  Even the missteps, mistakes, trips, and tumbles are part of this dance.  Because they always bring about new insight, new healing, new growth, and ever-evolving ongoing TRANSFORMATION. Even in the so-called mishaps of everyday life there is a perfectly divine flow of abundance if we choose to grasp the silver-lining no matter how turbulent the storm.  That silver-lining is tied directly to the rainbow and the pot of gold.  Grab it!  Hold it tight!  And let the STORM carrying you forth in your ADVENTURE!  🌪⛈🌦🌈

And last but definitely not least… MAGIC!  Mystery…. Intrigue!  Mystical happenings… Divine consciousness touching our lives. 🔮 🎆

Within magic lives TRUST.  Trust in life, trust in the process of life, trust in the unfolding of our life, trust in others, trust in ourselves.  It is knowing that when we take each step upon that HIGHER PATH the next stair magically appears just as our foot touches down again.  We don’t have to understand. As Roald Dahl said,

“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”

Instead, we just have to choose to BELIEVE and the magic is always there to catch us.  It is a SURRENDER to Self (with a capital “S”) and TRUST in the UNIVERSE. 🌌 🗽

In this magical way we are able to live life with Courage, Freedom, & Joy.  Because we consciously choose to know the Universe is always acting and reacting in our BEST INTEREST. And as we surrender to the superconscious we do not have to consciously understand the way it works.

Instead we follow SPIRIT & INTUITION and are EMBRACED by our AWESOME, UNIQUE, & MAGICAL PATH!

In this way we get to DANCE through life!  And when we fall… It’s all part of the magical journey and was actually perfectly coordinated, because all truly GREAT GAMES involve DRAMA. To be clear I mean drama as defined as a series of events having vivid, emotional, conflicting, and striking interests and results (as defined by Dictionary.com).

A life worth living happens through the beautifully cascading contrasts…

 


This photo was captured in the most magical way.  An incredibly talented street photographer at Urban Imagery randomly stopped me in San Francisco while I was buried in my phone responding to a work email.  In truth, I was doing my best to avoid myself and my emotions through workaholism. I was lost to myself and then the Universe intervened and pulled me into the present.

This happened approximately two days after I composed a majority of this piece of writing about Choosing Our Possibility.

It was a dream come true in actuality.  For years the FashionRake in me dreamed of being captured in something just like this. The full disclosure is I used to fantasize about being featured in “The Sartorialist” quite often. 😎

Even more potent is the fact that I was having a pretty rough & emotional stormy day.

The prior day I had let my own anger and frustration get the better of me and I wrongly let it out upon my colleagues who did not deserve it. I am far from perfect and have my fair share of breakdowns.  That morning I was still reeling from the incident & conflicting emotions.

Despite my tumultuous emotions… I chose the possibility of fun, affluence, and magic.

I even went through the effort of writing this possibility down that very morning in light of the fact I was personally having quite a difficult time in believing it.

I chose to forgive myself and was actually on my way to apologize to my coworkers .  To seek forgiveness without to complete the forgiveness that I sought inside.

Something magical always seems to happen when one stands in possibility.  It is like the world rearranges itself to act in accordance to the possibility that is spoken into existence.

Lo & behold my possibility of fun, affluence, and magic chose me back despite my emotions and a long-time dream magically came to fruition (in it’s own unique version).

This then translated into me being even more open to being transformed as I went from impromptu photoshoot to taking responsibility for falling out of integrity to those that I love and care for.

A day that had begun as suffering and self-oppression transformed into Self-liberation, fun, affluence, and magic.  All because I chose.

**This is my living testament to the power of choosing our possibility.**

In closing, I leave you with an alchemical opportunity... 🌑🌒🌓🌔🌕

What possibility are you choosing for yourself today? 💫

In Gratitude, Alchemy & Service,

Justin David Carl | LifesRake 🌒

P.S. After reading this you may be wondering if every day is magic, rainbows, and unicorns for me… More days than ever are now, but I still have my down days too. And I believe it is important to emote on those days so that you can be cleansed by your own emotions.  See this article on sorrow for the other end of the spectrum.


P.P.S. A huge part of SUSTAINABLE & ongoing TRANSFORMATION is CONSISTENCY. Here is an easy way to stay consistent… Get a partner! 👥  Join me & we will transform together!

Sign up for my newsletter & I will keep bringing you fun & fascinating ways to keep the fire of transformation burning hot! 🔥 🌒 🔥

Sign up right here! 👇🏼

Join the alchemical ADVENTURE aka ALCHEMIZED:

 

Accepting Compliments: A Form Of Self Love & Acceptance

***This is still a work in progress… come back later or sign-up for my newsletter and I’ll let you know when it’s more finished 🙂


Accepting & acknowledging compliments is a key part of self-love, self-approval, & self-acceptance.

Old me brushed compliments off without truly HEARING, acknowledging, or accepting them. Basically, I felt unworthy of any compliment and was unable to accept the love & acknowledgement others were offering me because I was unworthy of love & praise in my own mind. As within so without.

[Stepping into the light of gratitude wearing my ultra fly dragon boots by Android Homme.  This is me practicing openly & genuinely accepting compliments in the gym outfit I was approached in while hoping the unknown woman sees this and reaches out to say hello… see rest of story for context.]

Today I lived a new possibility. This may came off as self-indulgent but for someone who has spent most of his life hating his own body this was HUGE. For more on me overcoming self & body-hate see: this & this.

This is the random conversation that happened today at the gym. It is verbatim as I was so shocked and pleased that I wrote it down right after it happened.

…Random woman approaches me with a small smile on her face while I am doing seated calf raises. I take my earbud headphones off and acknowledge her with a smile. Something told me she had something to say…

Woman: Excuse me, I was wondering what your main sport me is?

Me: Bodybuilding & yoga.

Woman: Oh really, I was thinking rock & mountain-climbing because you are so wonderfully buff. Please take that as a compliment.

Me: *Raising my hands in prayer & acknowledgment.🙏🏼*” Wow! Thank YOU so much! I will! 😄💓🙏🏼

In that short exchange she rocked my world, made my day, & transformed my life. I don’t even know her or even have a chance to catch her name. Nonetheless, she just played a part in my ongoing healing & growing self love & acceptance.


What did I learn, re-learn, & garner from this experience?

  1. We heal through others. The Universe is constantly speaking to us through others and all mediums. This includes actions, words, coincidence, & more.
  2. Taking the time and full presence of awareness to listen to others with true intent can fill you with LIFE.
  3. Acknowledging compliments is a form self love & approval.
  4. The Universe wants me to become a rock-climber. One of my best friends gifted me with a set of climbing shoes and a harness last year and I’ve used it once. I can also get free-training at the Stanford Climbing Wall. Ok, Universe. I hear you & gracefully accept your charge.

Challenge, aka alchemical opportunity, to you (the reader):

The next time someone compliments you stop everything you are doing and invest in yourself. Take 30-90 seconds to truly recieve it. Acknowledge the compliment and the person that gave it to you.

In other words, give yourself the gift of universal AND self love, approval, & acceptance. You are the only one who truly can.

In Alchemy & Service,

Justin David Carl | LifesRake 🌒


A huge part of SUSTAINABLE & ongoing health, fitness, & transformation is CONSISTENCY. Here is an easy way to stay consistent… Get a partner! 👥  Join me & we will transform together! Sign up for my newsletter & I will keep bringing you fun & fascinating ways to keep the fire of transformation burning hot! 🔥 🌒 🔥

Sign up right here! 👇🏼

Join the alchemical ADVENTURE:


Please “share” if you found this useful or interesting in any way. Together we TRANSFORM the world so much faster! 😀 Also, please like my Facebook Page! I tend to release a lot more stuff there fist. And it is a great way to stay in touch with me! Please feel free to message me there! 😀

How To Ask For & Receive Support: I suck at it… 😮 👎🏼 😩

How to Ask For & Receive Support 🙏🏼 🌒 🙏🏼

**I SUCK AT IT** 😮 👎🏼 😩

⚡️ This post was originally an email newsletter.  Sign up here if you are interested in joining!⚡️

 


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Alchemized #0:

Salutations my dear Life Alchemists! 🔥 ✊🏼 🔥

I want to give you my sincerest most humble & gracious gratitude from the deepest & truest parts of my Self. 🙏🏼 💓 🙌🏼

Because of “YOU” I am finally living my dream of living as a transformation artist & leader! 🌒 💫

I cannot even quantify what this means to me. Just know that by signing up for this newsletter you gave me the most precious gift… The gift of “a life worth living for.” 🙏🏼 💫 🙏🏼

Many of you saw my “Starting Before You’re Ready” video. If you haven’t you can see it in the link at the end of this email.

My shoddy home video somehow magically led to a 4-day professional shoot that will result in a series of videos culminating in an epically beautiful VISION VIDEO that will represent the essence of LifesRake.


You can see the first mini-prelude video here:

Here is where I am going to leverage the POWER of the HIVE to learn, grow, & transform infinitely faster than trying to do it on my own. 🔥 ✊🏼 🔥

How do you ask for & receive support? 🙏🏼 🙏🏼🙏🏼

I have come to realize that I *SUCK* at this… I’ve come to this realization after many failed attempts…

I get weird energetically about it when I ask people to support my ARTISTIC VISION.

I always feel like I have to give something in return. I don’t know how to receive when people just want to support me just because. I feel an obligation to “pay them back”. 🤑 ☹️ 🤔

I am sure this is all related to SELF-WORTH issues I still need to heal… 😔 💔 🤕

This has come up so many times for me since I started LifesRake. In my relationship. With my family. With friends. With colleagues.

I have mostly sucked pretty much with anyone I have asked so far…

***Basically, I do not know how to ask for & receive support in a way that leaves both me & the other person feeling enlivened, inspired, & fulfilled.***

Instead I usually feel GUILTY or ASHAMED for even asking for support.

I think I am getting better. Here is an email I wrote to the entire staff of my company that demonstrates me getting better… I think…

Nonetheless, I know I still have a lot of learning, healing, & growth to do.

I know pretty much everyone on this email newsletter is BRILLIANT💡 and I would like to harness this master-mind brilliance to transform rapidly. ⚡️ 🌒

Here is my ASK:

❓❓Can you take a minute or two to either email me or leave a comment on my Facebook Page & let me know your thoughts, advice, experience, & wisdom around how to ask for & receive support?❓❓

Even a sentence or two would be AWESOME!! And any links/mentions of books, videos, or other resources would be greatly appreciated too! 🙏🏼 😄 💓

Thank you for your time & energy! 🙏🏼 💓

In alchemy & service,

Justin David Carl | LifesRake 🌒

Not on my email newsletter*?

Sign up here: 👉🏼  http://lifesrake.com/alchemized/

*The “Starting Before You Are Ready” video is also in this link.

Or sign up right here! 👇🏼

Join the alchemical ADVENTURE:


 


#LifesRake #DarkKnight #Asking #Support #Alchemize #TheArtOfLiving

OMG Dragon Asking For Support 🐉 🙏🏼

If you are confused about what this is and stumbled upon this by accident it is related to this post.


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Video link: https://www.facebook.com/lifesrake/videos/497194743819624/ 🎥


For context my nickname at work and among close friends and family is “Dragon” and our company is nicknamed “OMG” which is short for ohmygreen.

This is the email & work-chat (Slack) message I sent to my company colleagues asking for support:


Good morning my dear OMG-fam!

First, I want to acknowledge our illustrious leader Captain Kirk @Michael for always encouraging my personal growth and continuously providing pathways for it.

For as long as I can remember I have had this dream to be a transformation artist & leader. I didn’t even understand the dream until I began meditating & did Landmark (both gifts from @Michael & OMG).

A childhood friend offered to make a Vision Video for my blog. As part of my commitment to giving back to OMG I presented the idea of making a vision video for OMG to Michael as a way I could live my personal vision (transformation artist & leader) within OMG. He graciously embraced the idea. And the OMG vision video is now close to being done. 🙌🏼

This was a huge step for me. You see I come from a very DARK past… Aka Hollywood nightlife. In that world it was all about EGO, drugs & alcohols, greed, superficial beauty, covetousness, and the last thing you did was SHARE.

So even though my EGO did not want to share the idea of a VISION video because in the world of ego it would be competing with my own personal vision video for my blog… I did it anyway.

I did it because I am ready to heal. I did it because I have chosen to live a new possibility — the possibility of being a GREAT FAMILY-MAN. This includes my personal family AND my professional family (OMG). Part of being family is SHARING.

OMG has been my REDEMPTION. It has been my FAMILY to heal with.

Another thing I have come to recognize is that I still have growth & learning to do around ASKING FOR & RECEIVING support from anyone.

So I am using the OMG-starship as a vehicle to travel through this personally confusing & scary opportunity to heal around asking for & receiving support .

@Michael told me nearly 2 years ago that I should share my writing & my videos with the OMG team. Back then I was too scared.

I am still scared. But I am going to embrace the fear this time.

I wanted to humbly ASK for the support of the OMG-family to live my artistic vision .

I recently released a prelude to a vision video for my blog here:



I set a personal goal of getting 10k views. I’m a little over 8k right now.

This is me [your OMG 🐉 ] ASKING my family to support my personal artistic vision & goal.

It would truly mean the world to me if you “liked” & “shared” my video — “An Awakening Begins”.

In deep gratitude,

Justin 💓 🐉


Again… If you are confused about what this is and stumbled upon this by accident it is related to this post.


A huge part of SUSTAINABLE & ongoing TRANSFORMATION is CONSISTENCY. Here is an easy way to stay consistent… Get a partner! 👥

Join me & we will transform together! Sign up for my newsletter & I will keep bringing you fun & fascinating ways to keep the fire of transformation burning hot! 🔥 🌒 🔥

Sign up right here! 👇🏼

Join the alchemical ADVENTURE:


 

Naked Affirmations: An Unveiling…

***This is for everyone who ever asked how I stay in such great shape. An unveiling of my long-kept SECRET…***

Please allow me to introduce you to NAKED AFFIRMATIONS & what they do for my FITNESS and all-around WELLNESS.

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📷:: @noellejohnsun | www.noellejohnsonphotography.com
Minimal clothing by Related Garments


Now my fitness & my body bring me so much HAPPINESS! 😄 🙏🏼

Before I would have been saying that from a place of VANITY & EGO. 😎 💪🏼 😌

I used to ABUSE myself into shape so that my EGO could feel good at a pool party or in some other vain social competitive game I was playing.

Good chance I was the only one playing…

Nonetheless, everyone who was in better shape than me was my ENEMY back then. 😡 ⚔ 👊🏼

Athough I hid all of that with a wolf’s grin. 😁 🐺 😈

And every time I was not the most in-shape person in whatever social situation I was in… I was a LOSER in my mind. 👎🏼 😕

I was too FAT… I was not fit enough…

I was not enough. 😔

But today…

Today I get to say it from a place of self-acceptance & unconditional self-love.

I’ve spent nearly 3 years PRACTICING loving & accepting myself unconditionally.

It doesn’t matter what shape I am in, how I am feeling, or what is going on at work or in my life.

This is a daily practice. And here is what I do:

I look myself directly in the eyes or directly at my NAKED BODY. Then I summon as much COURAGE, CONFIDENCE, & TRUTH as I can…

And then…

I SPEAK A NEW POSSIBILITY INTO EXISTENCE. 💓

This is how it goes usually:

Everyday I stand NAKED in front of a mirror, look into my own eyes & say:

“I love myself. I approve of myself. I accept myself. “

Then I look at my BODY (still naked) and say:

“I love my body. I approve of my body. I accept my body.”

This is NOT a one time deal.☝🏼️

Like most great things it takes ongoing energetic investment.

Every day I have to RENEW my COMMITMENT to my SELF. 🙏🏼

Some days this is easy, fun, and beautiful..

Other days I am full of FEAR & LOATHING. I have to work diligently to let go of the SELF-HATE & SELF-CRUELTY.

I have lost track of the number of times I’ve CRIED doing this. Yes, I admit it. I am a grown man & I cry.

But in the end, whether fun or frightful, I come out RENEWED & REBORN.

Each day I do this PRACTICE I come out in better shape mentally, emotionally, physically, & spiritually. 😇 💓 💪🏼 💫

I know a lot of people are going to think I am CRAZY and a total WEIRDO.

I know a lot of people will MAKE FUN OF ME & HATE.

But I am done HIDING.

I’ve discovered my inner well of INTEGRITY & SELF-DOMINION.

I’ve found my COURAGE. Harnessed my DARKNESS. Acknowledged my STRENGTH.

And… Finally…

I am ready to SHARE & be of SERVICE. 💓 🖖🏼 🌍 ☄ 🙏🏼

Without a doubt this daily practice of naked affirmations is the MOST IMPORTANT PART OF MY PERSONAL FITNESS.

For everyone who ever asked how I stay in such great shape. And there has been a lot of you since I started posting shirtless photos… Well, this is it!

The MASTER-KEY to my fitness is:

🔑  DAILY NAKED AFFIRMATIONS IN FRONT OF A MIRROR

This daily nanohabit is INFINITELY MORE IMPORTANT TO MY FITNESS than how I workout, what supplements I take, or what I eat.

This is the FOUNDATION of my fitness. 🙏🏼 💗 🗽 💪🏼 🏰 💫 🎆


There is more to this process & will be sharing it over time. For now this is enough.

THANK YOU (yes you reading this) for listening. I am deeply grateful for your time & energy. 🙏🏼


Please feel free to SHARE this with anyone who may find it interesting or useful. 💞

Part of lifelong & year-round fitness & transformation is CONSISTENCY.

Want an easy way to stay consistent?

Join my email newsletter HERE and I’ll be right there with you on this alchemical adventure we call life! ✊🏼 💫

Or even easier… Sign up right here:

Join the alchemical ADVENTURE:


In Alchemy & Service,

Justin David Carl | LifesRake 🌒


www.LifesRake.com | Alchemize: The Art of Living 🌒

#LifesRake #FitnessRake #NakedAffirmations #SelfLove #SelfAcceptance #DarkKnight #Alchemize #TheArtOfLiving

Dynamic Dominion: Awakening, Anxiety, Excitement, & Energetic Ethics

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 Fear. Apotheosis. Dominion.

Building a body of work. That is what I have been dying to do.

Or perhaps, I have felt like I am dying a slow death for the last two decades as I kept my artistic self locked away. All wrapped up in my  fear, anxiety, & self-limitations.

[This is me refusing to face my FEAR, ANXIETY, & AUTHENTIC SELF — all bound up by my very own doing as a result… |Photo by Noelle | Undergarments by RLTD]

But I’ve finally tapped back in.  Found new life.  Answered a calling. To be of service. To take the experience & wisdom that resides in this human vessel and offer it up. To harness it and share it. Actually doing that. Putting it all down into writing, videos, audio recordings, and various other art forms and storing it on the interweb for anyone to access. This is what has been missing from my life for so long.

And now.  Finally.  I have found renewal & true life sustenance through creating & sharing.

Something I did so effortlessly as a child.  But then I forgot…

I went on to live over 20 years of my life with his nagging feeling that I am not building and creating something of value during my time in the world.  It created such a massive void in me.  I’ve tried filling it with material success (money, status, etc.), drugs, sex, food, exercise-addiction & pretty much anything else that I can greedily over-consume & over-focus upon to drown out and hide from the inescapable emptiness.

I’ve recently overcome a lot of my past addictions.  And by the grace of the Gods I’ve found a new way to fill myself up.

Since I have started writing, blogging, vlogging and sharing my creative work here and on other social media platforms I am beginning to feel as though I am filling that void that has left me feeling so empty & desperate for so long.

Do I understand or know where I am going? No, I don’t.

But I can sense the right direction pulling me the right way. And I am becoming ever more comfortable with the fear of the unknown. Learning to embrace and cherish the mystery of my unique journey.

Through this artist reawakening process I am coming to learn that the uncertainty of it all is what excitement is made of.  At least a large portion of it is.

The sense of adventure comes from the unknown — the anticipation of discovery & learning during the unpredictable endeavors.  I regularly experience the joy of this uncertainty now in my startup adventures here in Silicon Valley and am finding the same joy in my artistic creations now.

At times I am in rapture from the excitement of it all.  At other times I am wracked by ANXIETY and lose myself to FEAR.  Often, completely shutting down when the anxiety hits. Again, this happens with both my professional work & my personal artistic work.

I have been fighting my anxiety for most my life.  Pretty much ever since I forgot my artist-self. The one I locked away when a teenager decided that being an artist wasn’t going to cut it in this life.

As I locked the artist part of myself away, I also cut off my access to the ever-evolving intuitive learner that loved the unknown, the mysterious, the puzzles, the trials, and the tribulations. The one who loved the uncertainty of it all.  Because within that uncertainty lived infinite POSSIBILITY.

For the last two decades I’ve been shackled.  Self-oppressed.  Anxiety literally killing my life-force.

But now I am being reborn.  An artist rebirth is underway.  And the insight & self-knowledge that is being cultivated during this process is truly LIBERATING.

Finding my art, making my art, and sharing my art is making me a better entrepreneur, partner, family-man, and more!  And of course the shear joy of living as an artist in all areas of life is something I can barely understand & appreciate yet, but it feels AWESOME! And I know it’s only going to get better the more I embrace it. It is like…

TRUE AFFLUENCE: abundance & flow working together in synergy & synchronicity.

One of the biggest lessons that has come from this reawakening process is my understanding and beliefs around the infamous state of ANXIETY.  This dark thing that seems to rob the joy of life from many of us. 🌑

See this post on Sunday/Monday ANXIETY when I was fully engulfed in it — after posting this several people suggested I seek out medical attention & prescription drug intervention…LOL!

Here is what I’ve learned about this dark state we call ANXIETY:

 ** Anxiety is just another facet of the same diamond that “excitement” also lives within. **

I am just an excited Spirit. A Spirit and Soul that is so electrified to be here on earth that if I am not directing my abundant energy into noble endeavors I am wracked with anxiety letting me know that my energy is not focused and directed in the right spectrum.

No wonder that after spending two decades suppressing my artist-self my anxiety had built to a point where I was left feeling so anxious that death seemed like a far better option.  It was literally boiling up inside of me.  Trying to show & tell me something.  And it was either going to get me to listen or kill me trying.

And this leads me to the next powerful paradigm shift I’ve recently come to understand & embrace:

** Anxiety is a guidance system of “right action” and “right intent”. It is also a barometer for one’s current level of self-acceptance, self-worth, and ultimately… the state of one’s SELF-LOVE**

The more “in tune” I am with myself and acting in accordance with Divine Will the less anxiety I have. The more I unconditionally love myself despite the ever-changing weather of life the more anxiety fades and something new & empowering comes in.

When I am fully inline with Divine Will I have no anxiety. Only pure joyful excitement. Anxiety is literally transmuted into usable positive energy to thrive in the adventure of life.  I go from being completely shut down, being killed by my own life to…

Energy bursting forth like a waterfall that cannot be contained. Mesmerizing. Majestic. Powerful.

That is me when I am in alignment with my higher calling. When I am taking the “right” intuitive steps towards my own apotheosis.  Even when it doesn’t make rational sense.  When I can flow with my higher self who doesn’t operate from the limitations of rational-thinking then I “know” and “feel” the right steps unfolding before without having to even see them.

Scary I know.  But so damn exciting too! 😁

This is the gift of anxiety & fear.  If we can face & embrace them they will allow us to heal, to grow, and to TRANSFORM into a higher state of JOYFUL LIVING.


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As I begin to embrace my fears and follow them with trust I literally feel the anxiety transform into excitement.

It is so subtle though. If I am not paying attention, if I am not in awareness, I miss the switch. The line between the two is so delicate. So fine. Like balancing on the edge of a sharpened sword.

Yet, when I pass into the excitement as I surrender to the calling of my fear-sirens that same sword cuts the oppressive bonds of my anxiety and I fly free. I soar. I grow. I transform. And I electrify everything and everyone around me.

Like the master pendulum in a room. So strong is my underlying force that I pull everyone in my field of energy into accordance. An array of pendulums that were all swinging in discord are now swinging together in grace.

I have seen this so many times when I am in my power. Bringing forth magic and laughter to a group of people. Amplifying their joy to a level where we can all feel it. And it is wondrous! ☄

When you can feel the energy of a group of people singing in harmony. This vibration. This movement of unison is something to behold! Rocking back & forth in synchronicity. An ocean of energy ebbing and flowing in unity.

It is dynamic co-creative fire setting us all ablaze! 🔥🔥🔥


[image source]


What is awesome is that we can all do this. All of us have this power of being the master pendulum that pulls everyone around them into a higher state of being. And we have all done this many times in our lives. Even if it just with a few other people, or even one other person. We have witnessed consciously or subconsciously how our energy has pulled another’s into accordance.

The scary part is that this works both ways. Those with incredibly strong energy dark or light can pull a group in either direction. This is why each of us must maintain dominion over ourselves.

Ever interacted with a parent, partner, boss or great friend who is in a terrible mood or energetic space and then shortly thereafter find yourself in the same state?  How do you think that feels for all the people you come into contact with after you have moved into that darker state of being?

How is that felt by your loved ones?  Anger, anxiety, depression, and the like… those are palpable energies that can easily be felt by those we are closest to.

And because of this we must maintain dominion over our own energetic emotional state.  This does not mean suppressing or denying your feelings or states of energy.  I am a firm believer that we must emote to release and be cleansed by our own emotions. No matter the emotion, they always happen for a positive reason if we can recognize, acknowledge, & surrender to their healing powers. [more on embracing darker emotions and allowing them to free us here.]

When we sense our energy is dark we must be careful in how we are transmitting to others.

Out of love and respect for others we must open ourselves to receiving their lighter energy and surrender our own darker energy and flow with them. Thus we transform ourself by surrendering to another.

Paradoxical in a sense. But this is the power of communion. We are all here together to be of service to one another.

We must constantly work on our own self-derived energetic ethics.  So as a world-community we are empowering one another through an infinite interplaying of leading & surrendering.  Healing & harmonizing through one another.  

We must hold ourselves in DYNAMIC DOMINION: allowing ourselves to be served by others when in need and serving others when they are in need.

In this way we all dance together into greater living divinity.

And in this way we can hold ourself in personal integrity, dynamic dominion, & have fun in life even when it gets turned upside down.🙃

In alchemy & service,

Justin David Carl 🌒  LifesRake


Looking for some more resources on ANXIETY, FEAR, DOUBT, & UNCERTAINTY?  Read two of my favorite books: 📚

  1. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” by Carol Dweck
  2. Uncertainty: Turning Fear & Doubt Into Fuel For Brilliance ” by Jonathan Fields

If you enjoyed this creative piece of work you will probably also like “Harnessing The Sun” & “Breakthrough To Bewilderment” — two more alchemizing articles centering around self-dominion.


Breakthrough to Bewilderment

“Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment.” —Rumi

Create for the perfect receiver. The one who will get everything that you are trying to convey with no explanation. Dig deep. Grab the stuff of truth. Your truth. And bring it forth to bear without shame or alteration.

So often I find myself judging my creative work as it is coming out. “Will others understand and like it?” I ask before I even put it into form. When I am in that space of creativity I’ve already lost. Lost myself. Lost my art. Lost my unique flame of creation.

[image source]

So I dive back down into the depth. The unknown. The unseen. And I float. I lose myself in my abyss so as to loosen myself from the constraints the external cares place upon me. I hang myself upside down. Let the all the stuff I am carrying fall out of my pockets. Upend my thoughts and feelings. I release the disappointments of the past, present, and future. Renewal. Self-renewal. Return to my vision. The one I was born with. The one that has always been there. The one I have spent so much time running from. The one I am beginning to embrace with ever-increasing conviction. And I stand in it. Upside down. I let the vision consume me. I let it break me. Break me through all the self-imposed barriers I’ve accumulated. Through self-crucification I find renewal. As I sacrifice my ego I return. I return to personal power. I return to self-integrity. The inner citadel that is always there — the inner home.

As I hang out, arms dangling, thoughts un-jangling. Release. Surrender. The tide washes the grime away. The equinox of darkness passes. The light begins to return. Emotional purification. Intellectual clarity. True-flame Spirit. The golden path to creative integrity in the world shows itself once again. I walk my path. A unique legacy. I know my past. I’ve seen. I shed the unwanted weight. Lineage-breaker. I can see. Free to blaze a new trail. Free to share from that innocence and excitement of pure bewilderment. Goodbye cleverness. Hello awe.

[image source]

I think I am finally understanding that quote by Rumi that I’ve ruminated over since stumbling upon it. I always prided myself on my “cleverness.” I was ego-attached to it. How could I sell something I was so beholden to? Something I considered a part of my identity. Now I see that it was a suit of armor I dressed my true self in so that I would be safe from the the outer world. But in my self-protection I hid my true self away. From others. From myself. Ego-driven, I become lost to myself in my clever-suit. I unknowingly hurt others as I bumbled about ironclad. And I dumbly wondered why others were offended. But my vision and understanding were so limited. I could hardly see out of the protective visor. My range of sight hindered. So of course I crashed into others. Causing unnecessary and underserved pain. Forgive me. For I could not see.

[image source]

I take off my helmet. Free my consciousness. I shed my suit of cleverness. Liberated. Unconditional love & compassion for myself and others begins to blossom. Wow! I am so light now! Floating in bewilderment…


 

Connecting to Life: Redemption of the Warrior

 

fullsizerender-1(Pictured: Emperor card in the Voyager deck)


Are you powerfully connected to yourself and others in the present moment? 

My father wrote me a virtual letter in which he told me that he was thrown down the stairs as a child by a family member (his father) just like I was by my older brother. After reading this I wondered if this shared childhood experience was where the character of our lives was born. I know this was the moment I decided that I would no longer allow myself to be at the mercy of another. I chose to become strong and no longer be vulnerable. So strong that I would block my very own family with my mind’s diamond hardness. Better to be safe and invulnerable even if it means closing myself to deep connection and love. Surface level love where I don’t have to be at risk of being harmed seemed so much safer and better.

Stairs going down represents the subconscious to me. My father was thrown by his father down into the collective unconscious. I was thrown by my older brother down into collective unconscious. As I was swallowed into the abyss I chose to become a warrior.  An overachiever. This was the only way I could survive such hurt. I would fight. I would grow strong. I would be the exception in our family. The extra-ordinary.

It was so much safer to be loved for my achievements. As long as I was pursuing my own greatness I was invulnerable to really being hurt. I was protected by my own ambition and self-centeredness. As I continuously strove for the future I was no longer at the mercy of the double-edged sword of being loved/hurt for just being. The present moment of time couldn’t catch me in any vulnerability, for I was rarely there.


With my own sense of significance I wrapped myself tight in armor that defended me against being vulnerable to those I so desperately wanted to experience love from. A defense strategy built by a scared child. Brave and necessary at the time, but let us look at the effects of this child’s defense strategy played out over my life and in my relationships.

It led me to close a deep and important part of myself to others. I would no longer allow myself to become too connected or too present. For in deep connection that is where the danger of being hurt lies. So I always held back. Or lived in the future. I always stayed self-centered. I always protected my heart with the might of my mind. I faked deep connection with others. I was even able to fake this deep connection with others to myself most of the time. So cunning was my mind.  Saying and speaking words of love and connection, but my actions told another story. Always focused on myself, my own growth & healing, my career and my personal/professional development. Connection and love with my family and loved ones always in second place (or lower). Rarely allowing myself to really just be with loved ones, be loved by loved ones, and love my loved ones.

My father’s letter shared how he wished he had spent more time just being in the moment of life and love with his loved ones. I see how I have mimicked him in this way in almost all of my relationships. With significant others. With my family. With my friendships. Even professional and casual relationships. Basically with all of my relationships. Never allowing myself to connect too deep or become too present. Despite trying to convince myself otherwise. Always lying to myself saying that I deeply connect with others, when in truth I am always holding back or always grasping for something in the future. Always in fear of being vulnerable. That fear of vulnerability always keeps me aloof and unconnected. It pulls me out of the present.  And it always leads me back to self-centered thoughts and actions I “think” will protect me. Believing that by being self-centered I am protected and safe. All an illusion. This belief system has led me to be so ashamedly selfish in most (if not all) of my relationships.

I don’t know where to go from here. I am scared. I am unfamiliar with allowing myself to be deeply vulnerable. I am unsure of how I can fully open the flower of my heart to the light of love. The brightness of love is so scary. Will it burn me again?

Well, in truth, I may be burned again. And I guess I have to accept that with courage and compassion. I now choose love and connection. I now choose presence in my life and in my relationships.  I will fail at all of this most assuredly.  But I’m going to fail forward into ever greater presence, vulnerability, love, and connection.  And each time I fail, I will practice self-compassion and self-forgiveness.  For I know now that failure is an experience, not a person. And in each failure there is the seed of incredible growth if I choose to water it.

I am committed to life.  Life is lived in the present.  Not in some future where I am invulnerable or in some past moment that I can never relive.

I now recommit to the divinity of life — knowing one of its greatest gifts is experienced through the connection to others and to oneself.  And the gift of connection is experienced through the ever-evolving present moment of now.


 

Lionhearted

This is for all the Lionhearted…

 (My Lion sketch. Finally drawing again after 20+ years. Man-child reborn!)

“Did you think the lion was sleeping because he didn’t roar?” -Friedrich Schiller

With the ongoing nurturing of my goal of posting one new piece of creative work each week, living my vision as a transformation artist & leader, and in honor of the courageous Lion that lives within all of us I am going to continue to push my creative boundaries and continue embracing my fear of publicly, sharing my artistic endeavors, intimate interests/passions, and creative expression in this week’s post.

From within the deepest part of myself I have always been drawn to the mystic.  I call myself a spiritual hipster.  This post is about unleashing the uninhibited Lionheart and sharing some of my creative fire in service to others.

The last week or two I have felt ablaze with creative fire.  I kept seeing Lions everywhere.  I literally felt like a Lion.  At the gym I heard myself roar inside my head with regularity as I crushed my workouts.  I even wrote about myself as a Lion in one of my morning writing sessions.  In my work and career I have been living the Lion as well — winning new partnerships and courageously stepping into a fuller expression of myself creatively and professionally.  I finally put it all together when I realized that not only was it a full moon at the time, it was a full moon in Leo [more on that here – if you are not into astrology, numerology & magic skip this link as it is definitely what many call “Woo” – as I said, I am spiritual hipster and I love this stuff!]

I have always felt incredibly strong emotional and energetic influences during full moons.  In the past I regularly observed this effect in others and in the masses during my time working in Hollywood nightlife.  People as a a group were always extra crazy on those nights.  Much more so than usual. Wild shit always went down in the club during full moons.

In my own personal life, I see this emotional and energetic influence manifest in both positive and negative ways depending upon the type of full moon and how aware I am during any given month.  Fortunately, for the last week or so it has mostly been highly positive and growth-inducing.

This evening (1/23/2016) marks a full moon in Leo . This is personally very powerful for me as my moon sign is in Leo.  Your moon sign is different from your main astrological sign (your sun sign).  Although depending on your exact birth date and time they can share the same zodiac sign.  The way I always explain one’s moon sign to myself and others is that it is how others see you.  I am a Taurus (my sun sign), but people often mistake me for or see me as a Leo.  It is often how you behave when you are feeling uninhibited.  In the past when I drank alcohol I quickly became the ego version of the Lion – highly animated, loud, boisterous, king of the court, etc.  I still regularly become the mostly positive side of the Lion in group settings without any external influence, it just depends on how uninhibited and fiery I am feeling.  I am equally happy being the quietly powerful bull who is content to stand alone in the field.  However, for this time period it is all about living in the heat of the court with the heart of the Lion.  Passion and courage are in vogue!

In honor of the kingly Lion here are a few things I would like to share (in addition to the links above):

An excerpt from my Lion writing session:

As I stride through the grasslands of my world as King of the plains I hold all in compassion. Myself included. For it is through compassion for others and oneself that we maintain equilibrium. Providing for others as we provide for ourself. Through this balance we generate great strength.  And in this way we can live life with grace and greatness.

I see myself as a the Lion of my family. The one who went on a quest to find his own strength and to rediscover his own heart. For the heart is the well of true strength. It is the source of courage and compassion.

I had to take a long dark journey away from my heart and my family to rediscover this. I had to let my ego consume me. The dark Lion king. Greed and selfishness. I danced with Dionysus. It was a long dance. Well over 5 years long.  I danced until I could dance no longer. Then I fell from the grips of the devil in exhaustion. I could no longer sustain the toll upon my spirit.

My soul called me back into equilibrium. It took time to rebalance and find equilibrium. I am still re-grounding myself within my inner citadel. Sobriety, meditation and brahmacharya cleanse my mind, emotions, body, and spirit. The dance in the dark night of my soul was necessary. For how could I know light if I never experienced the depths of my own darkness? Like the eternal symbol of the circular yin & yang, each piece holding a piece of the other in reverent embrace. I too had to learn that symbolic lesson. Now I draw deeply upon my own dark experiences to be a light in the world. To shine and illuminate others with the beauty of my own darkness.

Now I walk the peaceful grasslands of life again as I integrate my journey through darkness. I stride through the tall grass letting each strand brush my new mane into glory while purifying my own sorrow. Undergoing a gentle alchemy of experience into wisdom. Wisdom with which I can use in my life and provide in service to others.

This Lion no longer needs to roar for attention and power. Instead I provide with compassion and I am bestowed with power through those I serve. It is through serving that we are able to stand in the presence of our deepest strength.

I believe I had to go through my own deep suffering to develop compassion. First, I had to learn to be compassionate towards myself. To accept and embrace my own suffering. To learn to forgive myself for all the dark things I did. I had to lay myself over my own crucible before I could truly understand compassion. How can one truly be compassionate towards others if they haven’t opened to their own self-compassion?

I think this is where the idea of “the ego wants to help, but the soul wants to serve” comes into play. Those who haven’t learned their own self-forgiveness, self-compassion, and self-love try to fill their own void with ego by helping (“fixing”) others. That temporarily fills their emptiness with false spirit-food. It’s like empty calories for the spirit and the soul will not count it. This can become a vicious cycle. Because the void isn’t actually being filled with anything of sustenance. It’s just temporary filling that quickly fades. This is the bottomless pit of the ego trying to fill something it can’t satisfy. It isn’t until we truly learn to help ourselves that we can be of service to others in powerful ways.


Aslan-Narnia

The meaning & significance of the Lion; plus how to connect with your inner Lion:

(excerpted from Animal Spirit Guides & Power Animals, two awesome books by Steven D. Farmer)

Quality: Nobility

Lion’s message for you:

“MY BEING EXUDES DIGNITY, divinity, and nobility.  It’s not so much my roar that everybody fears–my mere presence demands respect and deference.  I don’t qualify this with false humility, self-degradation, or apology; nor, in spite of what you’ve heard, do I feel any sense of pride whatsoever in who I am.  I don’t need to.  I’m just very clear.  If you need to roar to clear the way for your own self-acceptance, then please do so.  Once you’ve done this, listen closely to your heart.  It sings of your purpose, even though your purpose may change and shift with time and age.  That’s where you’ll find the courage to be who you are.  Not in your mind, not in the world around you, but in the center of your body and being.  Life will enfold and support you, as long as you honor and follow your heart.  There truly is no other way.

“Although you may be tempted and sway by externals, especially others’ opinions and judgements about you, sit quietly in the savannah of your personal sanctuary and simply listen.  Listen with all of you.  Tune in to the knowingness that resides in your bones and in your soul to help you go forward in life.  Once you hear the call, move ahead without second thoughts or doubts of any kind.

“Know that you’re protected, that absolutely nothing can harm you as long as you’re listening and operating from that most precious of founts, your heart of hearts.”

If Lion show up, it means:

-Hold your head up high and keep your dignity, no matter what you’re faced with.

-You’re much stronger than you think you are and need to use your emotional strength in this situation.

-Call upon the well of courage available to you to confront this uncomfortable situation.

-Listen closely and discern carefully before acting, rather than moving ahead impulsively and recklessly

-When faced with a tough decision, follow your heart rather than what you think you should do.

Call on Lion when:

-You feel particularly stressed or beaten down by any situation and want to boost your sense of power and self-confidence to deal with these circumstances.

-Your dignity and integrity have been called into question and you want to recapture your self-respect.

-You’ve been called upon to assume a position of authority and leadership.

-You’ve taken on a task or project that seems beyond your talents and capabilities, yet something inside you knows that you can do it, even though it requires you to stretch yourself.

If Lion is your Power Animal . . .

-You carry yourself in a stately manner, with a strong presence and air of nobility that makes people notice you whenever you walk into a room.

-You’re capable of a great deal of compassion, yet when your anger is triggered–which isn’t easily done–everyone else backs off in the face of your roar.

-You’re quite courageous, possess a great deal of physical and emotional strength, and are a natural leader and organizer.  You’re often called to take on tasks that require the application of these gifts.

-You function best as part of a group or community rather than alone, and are frequently asked to take an active role in the group.

-You enjoy taking risks by going into situations that will stretch your capabilities and expand your knowledge.

How to access Lion’s power . . .

-When you’re walking about, lift your chin and head up, straightening and stretching your spine so that the effect is one of feeling taller and more dignified.

-Roar!  Yes, go ahead and find out what it feels like to do so, whether quietly or with full force, noticing as you do how it feels in your gut and your heart.

-Close your eyes and pretend that you’re a king or queen.  Breathe slowly and deeply, and see if you can feel that sense of nobility, dignity, and connection to the divine in your body.

-If there’s someone close to you from whom you’re withholding some feelings, speak your truth lovingly and assertively, without apprehension about his or her response.


The Lioness of My Heart [Blog & Instagram]

This is the Lioness who brought me out of my creative cave.  Stride-for-stride, she is right there with me.  And truth be told, most of the time she is a few years ahead of me, compassionately encouraging me to catch up.  I highly encourage you to check her out for your own inspiration & magic.  She is a master-painter, gallery director of one the most prestigious venues in the nation, a professional hair & make-up artist, and all-around divine being of light & creative fire [among too many other things to list here].

Little Lion Man by Mumford & Sons

I was blessed with the opportunity to experience Mumford & Sons perform this live at the Hollywood Bowl and was forever moved by it.  So incredibly emotionally powerful!  I still cry pretty much every time I hear this song or watch the music video [tears of power & grace of course!].

Living as the Lion Emperor In Your Realm [click here to read]

An article I put together about how to maintain dominion over your kingdom.


lionspaceroar

 

I believe we all have a Lion living within.  Come join me and let your Lion out.  Let’s roar together.  Not in defiance, but rather in asserting our rightful place upon the throne of our very own lives.

Let us live & act with passion, compassion, and courage fueled by noble hearts. #Lionhearted