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. 🌑
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.
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! 🔥🔥🔥
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.🙃
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.