From the mood we’re in getting up out of bed in the morning to our very survival as a species, our daily decisions matter.  Each choice we make, each reaction in the mind, the heart, and the body, added up, create our future.  But what if we could change how we feel, how we process emotions, who we are and how we relate with the world?

We’re poised on the edge of the unknown, faced with the choice to live our lives as we’ve done before or to find a new way of existing.  Now more than ever before, it’s crucial for us to decide who we want to become, and the future we want to live in.  It is essential that we do this ourselves, in the root principles of our existence, taking our power back from the institutions, authoritarian power dynamics, and rigid belief structures which have constrained individuals’ growth and development in the past.

To create a great future, we have to embrace our unique greatness.  Accessing and wielding the tools to transform this reality, within and without, is essential to our survival as self-actualized individuals, and essential to our survival as a species.  There is only one frontier left for us to explore that changes ourselves and the world: the journey into the wilderness within.

This journey into the unknown can be scary at times. We live in more comfort than any civilization ever has.  We enjoy luxuries intended to buttress us from the necessity of facing our fear, from facing our inner edge, and leaping out into the unknown.  Ours is an age stretched taut between courage and fear, between the ghosts of the past and our hope for the future.

I want to help give you the resources to make the new choice, the courageous choice, the scary choice, to help make our beautiful future a reality.  

It is my life’s purpose and mission to enable everyone to access these tools to transform their lives towards greater freedom and love, creating their bliss without harming others.  I call this process of transforming fear and restriction to excitement and love ‘Alchemy.’  In future posts, I will describe in detail how I utilize the process of alchemy on multiple levels to create a beautiful life for myself and enable others to do the same.  This post is about getting started.

The biggest step in any journey is the first one.  With each additional step, you will have more and more momentum to continue forward. In starting this blog, I want to give you the fuel to get started as well, to see your fear, and to choose your love, your gifts, and as Joseph Campbell has said, to ‘follow your bliss.’  For it is on that path that love and freedom lies.

Remember, ‘encouragement’ has its roots in courage, which comes from the French ‘coeur,’ or heart.  It takes love to grow love, and it takes love to overcome fear conditioning.  Love releases fear and transforms fear into greater, more enduring, more generous love.  When we give love and encouragement to others, it shifts the whole world a degree from fear to excitement and care.  And it’s from that honestly excited, loving place that new creation can begin!

 

Know that I’m here for you, too, for we all face this leap.  

 

I’m here because I want to help you live your courageous life and that’s more important to me than the protection of staying small, guarded by my fear.  I’m here to help cultivate the excitement for you to be your best, bravest, most loving self, to face the past and keep going anyway.  I’ll be your cheerleader if you toss me a pom-pom.

Now when we as a civilization are pressed against the edge of our sustainable survival, there are steps as individuals and as a society that we can take so that we can choose to leap and go all the way.  Courage is essential so we don’t look down halfway through, like Wiley E. Coyote in Looney Tunes, to realize that we’ve been walking on air, – GULP – and fall.  Yet I want to assure you that with enough vision, measured enthusiasm, and the right steps, you can get to the other side and build a bridge for the rest of us to share in your unique bliss.

 

Taking the Leap in 5 Easy Steps

  1. Act On Your Passion
  2. Enlist Allies
  3. Set Achievable, Consistent Goals
  4. Be of Service
  5. Unlock your Gratitude, Unlock your Life

 

Step One: Be Passionate

What idea fills your heart with love, your eyes with fire, your mind tingling with excitement?  What task gives you the thrill of a kid waiting to get out of bed in the morning with a sled, to throw themselves into the first real snowfall of winter, making tracks in a pristine new world?  What idea gives you chills of mission and purpose?  Look within yourself.  If you can find that place, that’s the raw material of your genius, the bliss, as Joseph Campbell might put it, that you were born to follow.

A key aspect of this project is that, as exciting as it is, it can be scary also.  Fear exists to protect us from being hurt, from being disappointed, from getting too big and then blowing up.  Fear naturally accompanies excitement – when we get bigger than what we’re used to, fear isn’t far behind to remind us of what our limits used to be.

It’s almost like a magic spell – when we conjure our passion, fear comes up to ask us, ‘are you sure you want this?’  In that moment, if we focus on the fear and forget about the passion, the fear remains.  If we forget about the fear and choose the passion, the fear remains in a shadow form, to grow bigger beneath the conscious mind.  But if we hold the fear, see it for the caring, protective force it is, and focus more energy on our passion, that fear will transform into more energy, more help towards achieving our goals.

My friend Cory Katuna gave me the spark of embodied passion that got me writing 15 pages on a plane over the Amazon Rainforest.  Once I started thinking of her commitment to following her passion, I couldn’t stop writing.  Check out her inspiring blog and beautiful self here!  When we follow our passions, we unlock the best in one another.  I want the same for you.

 

Step 2: Enlist Allies

Friends are a great help in transforming fear to love.  The support of a great friend has a direct positive impact on emotional brains. This is wired into our biology.  If we’re loved by friends, we get more energy to live our dreams and can inspire the same in them.

In taking the leap to do something new, it’s smart to find a strong friend, a committed ally to help give you the momentum to move forward and get started.  It is important that any ally have three main characteristics.  I’ll even use bullet points to make it super official:

  • Trustworthiness
  • Love
  • Commitment

 

Trustworthiness

It’s important that your ally be someone you can trust implicitly because you are leveraging your trust in order to shift the balance in your own mind from fear to excitement.  Your goal is to get someone you can trust to help birth your greatest gift.  Think of midwives in a traditional birthing process.  You want to be with someone you can relax and breathe with because it’s going to be one hell of a journey on the stairway to heaven.

 

Love

Love is important.  Love connects us to each other.  If truth is the way things are, love is the way we can share ourselves with one another and wind up with more than what we started.  Love let’s truth be shared in a way that it can be accepted.  On a personal level, love is stronger than fear.  If a person loves you, really loves you, they can help you believe in yourself in ways that you never knew possible.  They can re-member you to your fullest beauty, power, and creative love.  It’s a love feedback loop, y’all!

 

Commitment

Commitment is also important in picking an ally.  We’ve all known people who are enthusiastic about one cause or another and move on to the next, and the next, and the next, without giving any one seed time to sprout and bear fruit.  It can hurt sometimes to open up to such a person, who is really really there one moment and not so much the next.  If someone is there for you, though, they will serve as a reflection in the world, able to inspire you to become more yourself.

My friend Savannah has been there for me through this whole process, both as an editor, a cheerleader, and as a beacon of trustworthiness, commitment, and love.  Without her help, it would’ve been much tougher to get started.  I really care for her and would be happy to help her in turn.

When you work with the kind of person you would voluntarily spend your time and energy to serve, who you want to be as big and powerful as possible because that’s a good thing for the world – that’s when you know you’ve got a friend and a partner on your mission.  Be that type of friend for others, and you’ll find that same value for yourself.

 

Step 3: Choose Consistent, Achievable Goals

A great work of art is made over a lifetime of consistent choices.  A master artist sees the world as her canvas, interpreting everything to fuel her vision and gifts.  Though a canvas may only take a few weeks to paint, the skills and vision honed in that canvas are set up over years of careful, intentional growth and development.

We are all artists – all of us create the themes of our lives and cultivate them in the choices we make every day.  Any great vision, mine or yours, won’t just materialize overnight. Creating something new takes continual effort, with every thought, every action, every daily task building the clarity and skill to bring your purpose into reality.

It’s wonderful to have a grand vision which fills you with fire and inspires the best in you. Any great leader or artist is sustained by their vision.  Gandhi wanted to help end the oppression of India, Monet wanted to capture the living light of his impressions on a canvas, Elon Musk wants to go to Mars and build a sustainable future for human survival.  These are all big, important goals.

Yet Gandhi had to organize his community over decades of integral, committed effort, set up daily outreach to build a movement around his conviction, and live a lifestyle that was consistent with others’ images of him, in order to galvanize popular support.  Monet had to keep painting, canvas after canvas, even though people didn’t first understand his vision.  He kept painting and painting, even as his eyesight declined in old age, creating some of his most arresting works.  Elon Musk works 100-hour weeks at two companies of his own creation, starting with clear sustainable goals and keeping his teams on mission  the tiniest details.  He learned the small things to achieve the big things, and you can bet he has a process in place to organize the efforts of some of the world’s greatest engineers towards his goals.

In order to sustain your vision, you’ve got to connect the big picture with the daily tasks which will help you get there.  Look into what the daily steps you’ll need to do in order to make your vision a reality, and connect the excitement state with achieving those goals.  This is the ‘chop wood, carry water’ of Zen monks. Your daily goals are the fuel which powers the engine of your dreams.  Completing daily goals gives you real agency towards your passion.  That’s exciting!

Once you have your goals and the day-to-day vision of what you need to do to achieve them, you can set your intention to making them real.  I have cultivated my integrity, so that when I make a pact with myself, I typically gain access to the subconscious and unconscious energies to achieve my goals on schedule.  I know that if I commit to two blog posts per week, the inspiration to write will be there, right on schedule.  This is because I know how to make an alliance with my subconscious, emotional mind.

You can reach the powers of the deep emotional mind by practicing a ritual, creating art, or sharing your vision with someone you love and asking them for the assistance in making it a reality.

The work itself can also be a ritual.  If you set aside the same time and place every morning to do your work, engaging in ritual activities like meditation or lighting candles before starting, that can connect you to your place of possibility, a place which is so often guarded by emotions.  Once you know what excites you, consistency can be key to unlocking the doors of your mind.

There are so many ways to connect with the forces of your deep mind and Self in order to bring possibility into reality.  Just know that by allying with your emotional brain, that is the key to doing the daily work to align your existence with your most sustainable desire.

 

Step 4: Be of Service!

The most sustainable, impactful gift anyone can give is one that encourages the gifts of others in its giving.  If you can use your gifts in the service of others, you help create a feedback loop of care and compassion that allows you to give even more.  This also helps you to trust expressing your biggest and brightest self, which is a much lovelier place to live from.

As you listen to people and look at the world around you as an opportunity to serve, you’ll find you have more resources to give to those around you, as well as less self-involved thinking, greater excitement, and opportunity.  Serving others grants you agency and allows you to change situations that you think could be made better by the application of your love and care.  

Darkness is the absence of light, and light is just a higher vibrational state of matter.  You can choose to quite literally raise the state of any situation so long as you take responsibility for the vibration of the situation. This is deep service.

 

Step 5: Unlock your Gratitude, Unlock your Life

Gratitude allows us to process everything in our existence with less resistance, less victim mentality, and greater agency over our life experiences.  Accessing gratitude in the moment allows us to transform from passive recipients of life to active agents, capable of seeing things clearly and altering our circumstances.  It reframes challenges as lessons for growth.  Now, gratitude does not mean we have to remain in abusive or harmful situations.  It means taking responsibility for incorporating the lessons of our lives, and altering our orientation to the world so that we can create our greatest dreams.

In my 20s, I had two mental breakdowns, spent 2.5 years in an abusive cult, and had a catastrophic digestive failure that brought my 6’1” frame down to 135 lbs.  At 30, I’m incredibly grateful.  Without the mental breakdowns, I would never have developed the psychological insight, clarity, and balance that allows me to understand myself and know others.  Without my time in the cult, I would never have met key connections who enabled me to succeed beyond my wildest dreams in the working world, going from homeless to hedge fund in three years.  Without my brush with death and organ failure, I would never have learned the secrets of alchemy: that all life can be digested, and that we can take responsibility for the nutrients we extract from our experience on every level, and take responsibility for what we choose to create with our lives.

 

Fear to Love

But what place does fear have in all this gratitude, positive thinking and agency?  Courage is not banishing fear completely.  Courage is feeling the fear, seeing it for what it is, then feeling the love and going ahead anyway.  A courageous person understands that any fear they experience existed at one time for their own protection.  At the root of fear is love, protection against the unknown and untested. We can learn to feel the fear, see it for what it is, and then choose to focus on love in its place.  This teaches fear, and your internal defenses, that life can be trusted, loved, and used to create, rather than defend.  Through this process, the resources spent on fear-based defenses can be repurposed for the creation and expansion of love.

So be grateful for your fear.  Hunt and stalk your fear to find the excitement and love that is quivering in its shadow.  Honor the fear that guards your brightest gifts, and choose to shift your internal focus to excitement.  Breathe deeply into your body, relaxing the subtle muscles in your chest, abdomen, and pelvis, as you hold that fear and recondition yourself for relaxation, grounded excitement, and your journey ahead.  

I’m excited for you and that excitement runs deep into my core.  The energy I had been using for fear now powers my deepest purpose, and I want the same for you.

Those five steps are a solid foundation for this journey.  I’m excited for us!  I wish the best for you on your projects.  If this is useful for you, feel free to drink deep, without any attachments.  Take heart, take the leap, and take this moment as your own to create.  The world needs your beauty, wisdom, and care now more than it ever has before, and our individual decisions matter more now than any time in past history.

Thus, this is a great time to start!   As we make the leap beyond fear towards our dreams, I’m in your corner.  As our great, beating hearts come to the forefront, pointing the way to our passions and desires and dreams, they wait for us and for everyone to benefit from the sharing of our incredible, loving gifts.