Walking a Tightrope: Learning Unwavering Faith and Letting Go

Walking a Tightrope: Learning Unwavering Faith and Letting Go

If you know me well, you know that from a young age I have had some unique experiences in regards to “spirituality”, by which you can attribute many different names. I call them my “meditation experiences,” but they are also called “metaphysical” or “mystical,” or simply just spiritual experiences. However, they happened of their own accord without any particular beliefs or intent to try to bring something about.

Usually what happens is I get a very small picture from my intuition, or a vision of something pulling me strongly in one direction or another. In the moment it’s just enough to allow me a glimpse at a drastically new perspective or world even, but without fully understanding it yet. This then usually marks the beginning of a journey within to reveal the full picture of what my intuition is telling me.

Since having these kinds of experiences, I have been a lot more cognizant of the cause and effect of my life’s events and what they might mean for the bigger picture. I realized that everything truly is a lesson and my entire life’s experience has been such a dance between my human experience and my soul (as it is for everyone, whether we are aware of it or not).

My latest lesson has been such an unbelievably difficult test in balancing letting go into unwavering faith, and its other side: doubt and questioning. It feels as though I’m walking on a tightrope and every day’s outcome is different. It has encompassed some of the deepest emotional pain I have ever had, with at other times, some of the most magical moments. And, it takes me back and forth from periods of sadness and doubt to periods of absolute clarity and seeing the big picture.

During those times I am seeing the big picture, I always feel content in thinking it’ll be difficult now that I’m holding that perspective to spiral back down into doubt or sadness. But no, it has happened every time. Simply because I still have some level of attachment or fear that creeps up and causes it.

So this “tightrope walking” feels like a condensed timeline to learning to absolutely trust in the bigger picture and let go of my attachment to the outcome. It is condensed, because on a near daily basis I am having to release, let go, and have faith in the bigger picture’s story in order to be able to create and sustain my own happiness. It has been a true sink or swim scenario.

It has also taken me from such a sense of confidence and self-awareness I had before, to a place of not quite insecurity but a period of questioning myself and seeing new aspects of myself that I didn’t address or pay attention to before; things that I don’t particularly like.

What has been even more difficult for me still is that this time, it has been a silent journey. I am used to being able to share what I’m feeling with those around me and I do so freely. But in this case it feels futile and almost like I am not supposed to share some of the details of the journey, at least for now.

So while it often feels like I am going backwards in progress, overall I realize I am going forward. But it is just simply not without absolute pain, fear, the humbling of the ego, and a very shaky ground beneath me at times.

Life is a Battle of Ego and the Higher Self

Life is a Battle of Ego and the Higher Self

In this world we will continually experience battles between the ego and the “soul” or higher self parts of us, whether we realize it or not.

Personally, my first most obvious battle in this way happened when I was 21, when I reached a very crucial point in my meditation sessions (I had been meditating constantly at this age). I had been spending two hours per day, five days per week, at a Zen Buddhist center in New Mexico where I had been living. I had been doing this for months.

Later on that year, I went on a camping trip where I camped out at a music festival for a week with my mom. I was dedicated to my meditation at this point, so I really didn’t do much except meditate there. It became kind of like a meditation retreat, meditating for most of the entire days I was there.

The more I meditated, the more I began to progress into this higher awareness state. This is when everything began to change.

For one thing, my senses were greatly heightened. I remember being able to hear a cat’s footsteps as it was walking around outside, and I could hear them so insanely acutely. The cat wasn’t even that close to me.

I began to sleep in a completely different way. I didn’t like this at all, because I could never tell if I was actually sleeping or not. Some part of me always felt really awake even while asleep, and this was maddening. It was nothing like a lucid dream, in fact I’m not sure I was dreaming at all during this time. If anything I would probably say I was constantly awake, and this worried me as I truly didn’t know if I was ever getting any real sleep whatsoever.

The pressure in my forehead (which I guess would be called the “third eye” area) would become so overwhelming at times that it would practically force my eyes shut, and I would often then fall into those sleep states.

I also became hyper-aware of the concepts we understand ourselves and the world through, and how limiting those can be. They literally serve as a box that keep us from experiencing the true expansiveness of ourselves and the world.

When I talked to people, I felt myself responding with my whole self, rather than just my mind. This is difficult to explain. But usually when we are talking with someone, our mind is conjuring up in the background how we want to respond, or how we want to word it, or just feeling out the response conceptually in general. With the constant meditation I was doing, my mind was not in the way nearly as much as usual, and it was like the responses to people came from the depth of my being without my mind in the way at all. It’s almost as though I had no awareness of myself as I responded to people. I just responded. I was one with the response.

I also began to be able to see all of my mental states happening simultaneously, as though I were watching a movie where these “worlds” were being created. There was a world that my speech created, a world that my thoughts created, and a world that my actions created. Then, there was the pure awareness state outside of all of these, that I was merging with more and more.

I felt intuitively that I needed to have the world of my speech, thoughts, and actions completely in tune. It felt extraordinarily important for these to be completely in harmony, or else I would not be able to maintain higher awareness.

However, as I kept myself in this awareness state through meditation, I also began to become increasingly dissociated. Thoughts felt slower, and I began to feel very disconnected from my body. And the more that I became disconnected from my prior concept of myself, the more I felt like I was walking on air, and not the ground. I was becoming ungrounded. This went on for days. I told myself this was my new mode of being, a new experience of love and expansiveness. The problem was I realized over time that I was becoming out of balance.

I started to feel anxious, and like I was playing with fire. The anxiety spiraled with the pressure of knowing that the fear-filled thoughts I was having was keeping everything out of harmony, and I wouldn’t be able to keep higher awareness this way. But I couldn’t control it. I was beginning to experience a world where I didn’t know the rules or what anything was anymore. I also didn’t know how to consistently operate in a world where my conceptual understanding of things was falling away.

My ego felt the need to cling, to hold on to my prior understanding of myself and the world.

I got to a point where I got a very clear intuitive message that told me in order to continue, I would have to abandon everything I “knew to be real.” I literally had to abandon my understanding of my self, and any conceptual frameworks I had developed of things. Because ultimately, these concepts were limiting me.

The fear that I was feeling took over. It won. It had felt too much to me like I was traveling into no-man’s land, where I was out of control, and the fear of the unknown progressed into full blown panic attacks. For a year or two. I thought I was going insane at this point, because I felt like I had gone too far into this strange land to even come back the same person (I wish I had known at the time that this was just the fear talking).

A counselor I saw later on that was knowledgeable in spiritual things, told me that because I was so young and my ego had not developed yet, if I had “jumped off the deep end” into the unknown, it may have resulted in massive confusion and psychosis. She said very matter-of-factly, “ironically, you have to have a very stable ego in order to be ready to explore the realms of the soul.”

To this day, I still don’t know if that’s true. It is very clear to me now that the intense fear I was feeling came from the loosening of my entire framework of reality. Honestly most people would be scared shitless if, for example, they were to be thrown into the massiveness of space suddenly, feeling as though they were at the mercy of whatever. I did not know how to trust that process. How to trust that if what I understood as my self died, that I wouldn’t really die. Just my sense of self would.

In the moment, our ego can’t differentiate. We don’t realize how tightly we hold on to our sense of selves, because it is what we use here on Earth to operate as a self. It’s all we really know, unless of course we have a taste of our higher selves, and of higher consciousness states.

It was a very scary battle between who I thought I was and everything that encompasses, and my real, higher self. But, this battle was happening at a very rapid pace. At one moment I was embracing my new experience of life, a higher sense of love and oneness, and a temporary new way of operating. Then the next moment I was cowering in fear, extraordinarily scared I was losing control, and losing myself.

My ego won. I stopped. But that’s okay. Because I felt I did indeed delve too quickly and deeply into this new world, and I needed to take a step back. I think the whole process of loosening ourselves from our clinging to our concept of ourselves and the external world is something that needs to happen slowly, over many, many years of time.

It has also taken me years since that experience to even understand that my inherent desire to reach new heights of awareness was due to having a natural awareness to some degree of the higher self, and longing to return to the richer experiences of life that are available through these higher awareness states.

It’s a part of my self that is consistently wanting to bring my “lower” or ego-self up to the higher self’s level.

Having any awareness and experience of this higher self makes it more difficult to live in the contrast of the “lower” self. Therefore, it creates a sense of longing to return to the higher self’s reality. The reality that is far, far more expansive than the limited reality we typically experience here.

Another very important thing that hit me just recently is how real these higher experiences of love, of existence, of understanding, actually are.

The most unimaginable joy, pure love, and living with a higher level of awareness is very. fucking. real. These are not just dreams, a desire for an escape (though it can serve as that), or a plight of the imagination. It is totally achievable. But here on Earth, it’s very difficult. We have to be in such a place of mental freedom and openness before we can ever experience these things without our clinging to our conceptual understanding of things, as well as other mental obstacles bringing us down.

I also realized intuitively after this particular meditation experience that the different part of my selves were out of harmony. I was trying to experience a reality that I didn’t have the tools to integrate. Kind of like when you go on an acid or shrooms trip (which I haven’t done before), you gain great insights, but then you come back down and ultimately it fades into a memory, with very little or no integration into your daily life.

I had slightly more integration with this consistent meditation I was doing, but I also realized quickly afterwards that it was going to be a long road of developing my own tools and everyday awareness before I could hold and process the intensity of the reality I was experiencing during those temporary states.

Nowadays, as I go through this life, I get to experience that higher sense of joy and love much more consistently than I did before. The more I learn and grow, and the more aware I become, the more my mind expands and naturally allows for this reality to be experienced more regularly.

But all of this is where the battle of the ego lies. You might be lucky enough to be faced with the most unimaginable, otherworldly beauty you have ever seen on this Earth, whether it comes in the form of a higher consciousness state or a pure love, and you may experience it for a moment. But then if you have not worked on overcoming your mental obstacles, this beauty will simultaneously arouse all of your fears and any blockages you have that keep you from realizing higher awareness.

It can be scary. And if you don’t surrender, your ego will win, and you will shrink back down into your normal understanding of things, and you may even pretend what you saw wasn’t real. Or maybe you were just going crazy. You might even feel intense fear, anxiety, and anger, depending on the situation. It will all be your ego kicking and screaming, trying to hold on to what it thinks is real.

Believe me, I’ve been there.

But it’s all okay. It’s all part of the learning process. It takes many years, a lifetime, for us to surrender who we think we are and not allow the ego to have such a hold on ourselves. Some of us may never experience higher awareness states at all, until death. That’s okay too — we are all on our own personal journeys, and we experience the things we need to to help our own growth, at our own pace.

“In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond; And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.
Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour.
Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king? Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?
For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing. And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb. And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.”
—Kahlil Gibran

Some Thoughts and Inspiring Quotes on Fear

Some Thoughts and Inspiring Quotes on Fear

The more life experiences I gather as the years go by, the more I realize how many of us are underneath the surface, very dominated by fear in many ways.

For example, we might be dominated by fear of looking different, fear of being alone, fear of silence, fear of our lives ending early, fear of being hurt/rejection, fear of anything bad happening at any moment, etc…

One of the greatest challenges in our lives is to try to overcome these fears. Partly because a lot of the time it’s always there in the background, to the point where we might not even notice it anymore, until at some point it rears its ugly head.

Sometimes we don’t even understand that the basis of our fear is different than what we might think it is. Part of learning to dissolve our fears is learning how our minds work, and how our perceptions can work to build up this image of ourselves and the world that underlies the fear.

I too have a lot of fear in my life just because I have a predisposition to anxiety (with my “Generalized Anxiety Disorder” and all).

Here are some quotes on fear that I personally love and that might help you feel more inspired to face them, or just feel more at ease.

“If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to. If you are not afraid of dying, there is nothing you cannot achieve.”
― Lao TzuTao Te Ching

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
― Marianne Williamson


“The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.”
― Alan W. WattsThe Culture of Counter-Culture: Edited Transcripts


“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
― H. Jackson Brown Jr.P.S. I Love You


“I have accepted fear as part of life – specifically the fear of change… I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart that says: turn back….”
― Erica Jong

Courage or Fear

“I wonder if fears ever really go away, or if they just lose their power over us.”
― Veronica RothAllegiant


“The more we try to live in the world of words, the more we feel isolated and alone, the more all the joy and liveliness of things is exchanged for mere certainty and security. On the other hand, the more we are forced to admit that we actually live in the real world, the more we feel ignorant, uncertain, and insecure about everything.”
― Alan W. WattsThe Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety


“Nothing can harm you as much as your own thoughts unguarded.”
― Gautama Buddha


“Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.”
― Sigmund FreudCivilization and Its Discontents




“We are living in a culture entirely hypnotized by the illusion of time, in which the so-called present moment is felt as nothing but an infinitesimal hairline between an all-powerfully causative past and an absorbingly important future. We have no present. Our consciousness is almost completely preoccupied with memory and expectation. We do not realize that there never was, is, nor will be any other experience than present experience. We are therefore out of touch with reality. We confuse the world as talked about, described, and measured with the world which actually is. We are sick with a fascination for the useful tools of names and numbers, of symbols, signs, conceptions and ideas.”
― Alan W. Watts


“The constant assertion of belief is an indication of fear.”
― Jiddu Krishnamurti


“When you find out that there was never anything in the dark side to be afraid of … Nothing is left but to love.”
― Alan W. Watts
time to let go
“Whether we like it or not, change comes, and the greater the resistance, the greater the pain. Buddhism perceives the beauty of change, for life is like music in this: if any note or phrase is held for longer than its appointed time, the melody is lost. Thus Buddhism may be summed up in two phrases: “Let go!” and “Walk on!” Drop the craving for self, for permanence, for particular circumstances, and go straight ahead with the movement of life.”
― Alan W. WattsBecome What You Are: Expanded Edition


“Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes around in another form.”


“Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.”
― Seneca


“When we think we have been hurt by someone in the past, we build up defenses to protect ourselves from being hurt in the future. So the fearful past causes a fearful future and the past and future become one. We cannot love when we feel fear…. When we release the fearful past and forgive everyone, we will experience total love and oneness with all.”
― Gerald G. Jampolsky


What are some of your biggest fears? Comment down below and let me know! 
The Mindstate of Abundance vs. The Mindstate of Lack

The Mindstate of Abundance vs. The Mindstate of Lack

Meditation Can Allow You to Conquer So Many of Your Issues

I can’t believe how many issues I’ve solved in my life just by learning how to sit and be mentally still. Meditation has taken me on so many journeys, but even just periodic quiet contemplation has resolved what felt like a subtle, nonspecific recurring fear of the future, and a feeling of being out of control, to a complete resolution.

The latest thing that meditation has accomplished for me is in realizing that the concept of abundance really does stem first from the mind. It helped me realize how many times I’d have somewhat negative thoughts when I’d see other people who were able to do things that I wasn’t — i.e., people who didn’t seem to have my same financial problems and could easily go back to school, for example, and not have to worry about working during it or going into debt; or people who had freed themselves from working corporate jobs and have managed to find a way to live just doing what they want and creating all day, and somehow making it work. People who could travel to different countries at the drop of a hat and not have to worry about the expense; the list goes on.

There are so many things I want to do with my life, and as hard as I feel like I’m swimming towards it, it feels just like I’m swimming against a strong tide. It’s a time where I’m tied down by student loan debt, by trying to get business ideas off the ground and/or more freelance clients, and by somewhat a lack of patience, because every time I see someone doing with their life exactly what I want to be doing, right now, it makes me feel like I need to have it right now before any more time is wasted. Before I get any older. It’s a consistent feeling of racing time, and I simultaneously feel like I shouldn’t have to feel that way but am also stuck in it.

Coming From a Perspective of Lacking Something

While all of this is still true and my soul yearns to live according to my own rules and schedule, what changed is that I finally realized is how much my perspective was always coming from a place of feeling like I lacked something. I honestly didn’t see this before, until after beginning to shift my perspective and seeing the difference. I would look at others’ situations that had something I wanted, and it made the feeling of lack stronger within me. Most of the time I used this feeling of lack as fuel for my fire to stay motivated, and at times it even swayed my decision as far as what I should do with my life. But after long enough, I found this still wasn’t really solving the issue. While there are many ways my life could be improved and I’m always working towards that, that doesn’t actually mean anything is wrong with my life now — in fact, my life is quite good and one that many people might themselves love to have.

I have an amazing relationship, a job with a good working environment, no office politics and great coworkers, I make a decent amount of money (even if so much of it goes to my debt), my life is relatively low stress, I have amazing friends and a strong relationship with my best friend; the list goes on.

So why did it make sense for me to constantly be comparing myself to others’ lifestyles, or ever feeling any lack in mine? While I can see how it happened — I do have a very strong desire for certain things to change — all this time that ended up being spent in strengthening my perspective of lack in my life was not getting me anywhere at all.

Giving Up My Attachment to Money

I began to truly realize, and I’m not sure what triggered it, that I really don’t need a lot of money. I just need to be free of this debt. I don’t need to keep trying to increase my yearly salary necessarily (although it’d be nice), I want to be able to live with hardly any bills at all. I want to have just enough to be able to save and travel often. I really don’t have any interest in buying a house, a new car, or any other super expensive material items.

Realizing this ended up shifting my attitude about money, because I previously found myself so tied to the idea that in order to be truly free, I needed to have money. It just happened naturally after so many struggles with money…seeing how lifestyles and amounts of stress in people vastly differed just because of it. How many people suffer because of it. And, I could help others if I had more money, I could travel, I could save more quickly for retirement, I could pay off my student loans and credit card debt, and so on.

When I truly was able to approach money from the perspective that I didn’t actually NEED to make more money than I am now to be free and do the things I want, it freed up another part of me that again, felt lack in my life in this way.

I realized no matter how broke I may become, it didn’t matter as much to me as being in control of my schedule every day and putting myself in a life situation that allowed my creativity to unfold and blossom even further, that would then allow me to create work that was more meaningful and more “me”. To be able to sleep in an extra hour if I needed it, even if it meant working later. To be able to go on a walk in the middle of the day. Living a rigid schedule that was almost entirely dictated by someone else has always really bothered me.

Releasing Negativity

Once my attitude toward money shifted, it felt like a weight off my shoulders. I knew that I needed to do things in life to free me in the ways I wanted to be freed, but I also knew the idea of needing to do something that will make money was constantly getting in the way.

I’d repeat to myself the phrases I heard people repeatedly say, “just think about exactly how I’d live my life and what I’d do if money weren’t an issue,” and “do what you love and the money will come naturally.” This was a good exercise, but I still wasn’t able to separate myself from my attachment to the idea of needing to make more money. In other words, intellectually knowing and repeating these concepts did not solve the issue.

But, once my thoughts began to shift from realizing I really did have enough as it is, I just need to make some lifestyle changes that will align better with my soul and get rid of this debt. But I have enough as it is, and I truly feel a contentment that has come from this realization. I can say with confidence now that I know what I truly want and I don’t feel the issue of money pressing on me anymore. And I feel confident that when I can fully align my lifestyle with how I feel it should be, nothing but more abundance, creativity, and happiness will come from it.

Energy In, Energy Out

You get the same energy out of the universe that you put into it. Just becoming aware of my negative thought patterns and feeling of lack made me realize what it was doing to me. Meditation and self-reflection also immensely helped. The guided meditations that Deepak Chopra offers speak exactly on this subject and they also helped me to realize where true abundance really comes from.

I now feel abundance in small things, like arranging beautiful healthy meals like a fruit platter of all various types of fruits and being able to fully enjoy it and appreciate that I’m able to feed myself well and make the same things for others. Of having a few amazing and loving relationships in my life and creating memories with them. Not that I didn’t appreciate these things before, but now I feel much more complete.

As mentioned in the beginning of this post, I’ve discovered for myself now that true abundance really does come first from the mind, and it will manifest outwardly eventually. It can be very difficult to feel free in the midst of not ideal external circumstances, for sure, but when you are free of negative thought patterns and look hopefully and positively toward the present and the future, nothing but good can come from it.


Discovering Your Hidden Pockets of Fear

Discovering Your Hidden Pockets of Fear

Dollarphotoclub_79747389_webI like to write about fear because so many of us are riddled with it in a myriad of different ways. Often we just push it aside or barely are aware that it’s there, lurking behind our actions. Here’s a quote I received in my email inbox from a newsletter recently that falls in this subject:

“Thinking about interior peace destroys interior peace. The patient who constantly feels his pulse is not getting any better.” — Hubert van Zeller

That’s a good quote for the hypochondriacs. Does this sound like you? I’ll tell you it certainly sounds like me! At any rate, I don’t know if this is correlated to my going off of Prozac about a year ago now (after being on it for about ten years), but recently I hit a time in my life where I felt I had so much fear over things that haven’t happened yet.

Not necessarily your paranoid, hypochondriac-fueled fear (although there was that, too), but fear over things like loss, and change. These are normal things to feel fear about — such as the loss of a loved one, fear of the unknown (that’s a big one for me), and especially fear that stems from the feeling of loss of control.  But, it was strange because it was such a subtle feeling that was just always sitting with me in the background, and I don’t know what triggered it, if anything.

I kept telling people I’d talk to, such as my best friend and people in my family, and I’d say “I just have so much fear. I don’t know why.” One of them said, “well at least you are aware of it and addressing it now.” While I agreed I was aware of it, I wasn’t sure I was necessarily addressing it just by acknowledging it, but I was hoping that it’d go away on its own. I did know that much of the fear was a general feeling out of control; as though acknowledging my place as a tiny pawn in the universe, and the universe could pull me any direction it wanted without me being able to do anything.

Fast forward til a month or two ago, and I was faced with a situation that made some of my fears feel more real. As though some of what I had feared was about to come to fruition, but it hadn’t quite yet. It was more like just a threat. But it made me take on the experience and contemplate it entirely; almost make myself live the reality of it in a sense (my brain off Prozac is good at putting myself in situations and living them out as though they were actually happening).

What this did for me though, was put me in a place where I had to actively deal with my fear. I had to think about it and come to terms with it. To practice letting go. I meditated on just that idea. I pictured myself being released into the vastness of space, over and over again. I also contemplated on the situation at hand and what I had feared for a few days, and then one night for a number of hours. I ended up crying really hard during this time, but it felt like such a release.

Ever since then, I’ve felt no “in the background” fears like I did before, whatsoever. Like it all disappeared. I suppose the key was realizing that it wasn’t one specific fear I had, but a general fear that manifested through many different things.

If you’re experiencing something similar, try meditating on letting go, and meditate in such a way that works for you. If you aren’t used to meditating or haven’t done it before, you don’t really need to do anything special. What’s important is getting in the mental time every day to deal with your issues. Just pushing them aside will only make it worse.


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