What if you are perfect the way you are? What if you were enough? How would that feel?

I’ve been thinking about this for a while.

One thing for sure is that you have to do to stop feeling like you are not enough, and don’t need “more” to feel better and be happy is to stop looking outside and start looking inside. “Stuff” can’t, and will never-ever make you happy. It will give you only temporary comfort or pleasure, so it never lasts. And “clinging” to your “stuff” creates suffering as most all wisdom traditions teach.

I realized in order to find my true happiness, I had to find “myself”.

That is where I started, and that is exactly what I set out to do. From this point forward, my life started to completely change.

Then I put on my Spandex and went to a yoga class.

I was the only guy in the room full of ponytailed women in Lululemon. I was also out of shape and the feminine energy in the room was so amazing it started wafting over to me. Sitting in a meditation pose at the beginning of the class was the first time in a very long time, I felt a calm and peaceful force inside me.

I originally started yoga as a recommendation to relive pain from a sports injury, but soon I was doing yoga at home too, and that led me to meditation and mindfulness, and that led me down the rabbit hole into my-self.

Over the years I searched to find myself in books and in teachings from people like Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, Michael Singer, Thich Nhat Hanh, Jack Kornfield, Osho, John Kabat Zinn, Yogananda, Mooji, Ram Dass, Swami Sivananda Saraswati, Pema Chodron, Sadhguru, Dalai Lama, Swami Sri Yukteswar, Ramana Maharishi, Jayakar Krishnamurti, Bentinho Massaro, Michael Singer and Tony Robbins to mention a few.

I went to India and slept in Ashrams, joined Aarte and Satsangas along the Ganges, travelled with Swami’s, (ordained men and women of the cloth), through villages listening to ancient wisdom from elders and Guru’s. I went to the meditation caves in Gangotri India in the Himalayas and dipped in the glacial waters at the foot of the Ganges.

I climbed in the Himalayas in Nepal with a Buddhist guide for eight days and joined in meditation in the ancient temples of Kathmandu. I lived in a forest in a six-foot by six-foot hut within a Monastery in northern Thailand where acceptance meant shaving my head, beard and eyebrows, eating once daily at 8am and waking at 3:00am daily to start meditating in a massive temple. At 5am I went on alms walk with the monks through the village to receive food from the villagers for our daily meal. This was one of the most humbling and clear moments of my life.

In southern Thailand, my meditation teacher Tobi, in Phuket who I studied with for three weeks told me to “contemplate death” before I left him to island hop. Two days later I was bitten by the second most poisonous snake in Thailand while on a small island far from any city where it was a race against time by stolen boat to get to a hospital; the entire episode was like a scene out of a James Bond movie.

I also went to Ubud Bali to immerse myself in Yoga and learn about Buddhism and do walking meditations along rice fields. I also studied and continue to study Mindfulness and Meditation, Hinduism, Buddhism and Yoga also at the University of Toronto. These are just some of things I have done and learned to find my inner-self and my foundation.

I’ve learned a lot from my travels and the deeply spiritually connected people I have been blessed to have met. I have learned life-lessons from successful entrepreneurs I’ve bumped elbows with and made friends with. But, I’ve also met a lot of successful people and everyday people who admit something is missing in their lives and are all now feeling lost and trying to find themselves.

“The planet does not need more ‘successful people’. The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds.” Dalai Lama

I no longer see money as the object. I also see mankind in some trouble; humans needing refocussing, the planet needing love. So many people especially seem unfulfilled, lost and tired, but rarely want to admit it and don’t know where to turn or how to change it. Many people I know, including me, are asking “Is this all there is? What am I doing all of this for? I want to get off the hamster wheel. I want to live. I want to be free!”.

There is nothing wrong with working hard and striving, but it’s when we become lost in it, “the chase”, the need for “stuff” and wanting “more and more”, this is when we begin to suffer, this is when the planet suffers. There is a balance, and when that comes from a place of being centred and “knowing thyself”, we make wiser choices in our lives, for ourselves, and those around us. That is how we change our world.

Back to the drawing board?…Nope

You are probably like me- wondering what it would be like to start all over again, wanting to start fresh, to do something meaningful and deeply rewarding and spiritually fulfilling.

What would you change if you could start all over again? Would you want to move to the country, a small community, work your own garden and watch your kids grow? Or would you simply want to create a balance in your life where you get to actually experience all of it on a deeply profound level while attaining your passions? Do you want to take a simple approach to life and yet build something awesome that’s supported by your heart?

For me, it’s not about a money driven career. I’m learning to live simply, where less is more, and building something really cool that is part of the solution and not the problem. Money is a by-product of following your passion, it’s what you do with it that matters.

I get all this “go-go-go” mindset and the “improve yourself” and “be the best you can be” noise out there with an infinite amount of coaches and teachers and seminars to join, but if at the core you aren’t stable and connected to yourself and can’t answer the question: “who am I?”, maybe you need to find yourself; you’re true nature, your deep passion for life.

“You already have what you’re looking for.”  Allan Watts

We all look “outside” for our happiness, in other “things”. From being empty and very unhappy in my own life, I started to look for answers, and what I learned from all my experiences, study and travels was that I only needed to look inside and realize I’m much bigger than I could have ever have imagined, (big topic and more of that to come). That was my journey and the more I focussed on that, the more everything came together and the more rooted and content I became; it was that “pinch of salt” in the soup of my life that was needed to open my eyes to deeper meaning, fulfillment, joy and love. We all can have it too.

The process has been nothing short of amazing and life-changing for me, and the closer I move to it, into it, the better I keep feeling and the more my life improves. This expansion is much like the blooming of a flower.

This might be a good place for you to begin the process to get off the dizzy ride and the digital slavery of our electronics and raise your head up and start to learn more about finding yourself Slowing down and smelling the roses, becoming grounded and connected, and seeing you can have more with less; less looking outside and more looking inside.

My life now is about sharing what I know, the stories and experiences and teachings that made huge impacts in my very being, the lessons I have learned and the love that keeps rising in me.

With simple practices, simple lessons, and starting to meditate you will immediately start experiencing changes inside and the way you look outside. Come for the ride of your life by joining me in the unfolding of your true-self.

“If your thoughts are beautiful, then everything that happens to you is beautiful.” Sanskrit saying

 

Thanks for reading, and start meditating and being mindful. It will change your life:)

So what is mediation all about? Please don’t think its creepy or something only hippies do or people in orange robes who chant. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Alexander Bell, The Beatles and a bunch of celebrities have made it a part of their life. So just think; what it did and does for them, it will do for you.

Here is a kinda deep explanation of what meditation is. Trust me, it will start to make more and more sense the more you meditate.

Meditation

…is not about gaining an identity or trying to learn to be a certain way. It is not about trying to become peaceful or wise or even enlightened. In meditation
, you simply become aware. You become aware of “what is”.

In meditation you turn your focus back upon yourself and notice what is revealed. When you do this, the ego structure begins to crumble and you will see what is behind all the desires, distractions, opinions, beliefs, worries
 and emotions.

When you go behind everything that the mind has created in order to feel in control and important is something
 quite tender and vulnerable, and perhaps overwhelmingly painful.  A feeling of being unimportant and alone
 and all of the fear and helplessness
 that goes with it surfaces. Your survival instincts want to protect you, you don’t want you to feel it,
 you don’t want to see it.
 The ego’s protection is to get as far away from this exposure and vulnerability as possible. You want to be important, to fit in or at least stand out. Who wants to be a nobody.

But, if you can allow yourself to let go and feel it, if you can allow yourself to be that small helpless nobody, if you just allow it all to be as it is
 at the very core, then you fall into the essence 
which is behind it. You become immersed and meld
 into what is behind it. And that is infinite love, that is peace in your heart.


You do not hold love and peace
 as though it was an object to attain, you simply dissolve into its beauty and depth. It bubbles up from your true essence and spills into
 every level of your being because you have let go
 of the very idea of trying to be a someone, you detach from your ego.

A true introduction back to self, to know the essence of who you are is to know the essence of your creator.

end

So, I hope you begin to understand that it’s really all about finding yourself.

The next blog, I will explain what “chatter of the mind” is and how you can overcome it. This will bring me into the topic of Mindfulness and how you can introduce it into your daily life in a hundred different ways.

Metta 🙂

 

“Meditation is not about building yourself up or trying to be a certain way.

It is not about becoming a peaceful person
 or a wise person or even an enlightened person.

In meditation you simply become aware
 of what is here.
 You turn your focus 
back upon yourself and notice what presents itself. 
If you do this, the ego structure begins to be peeled away, behind all the desires, distractions, opinions, beliefs, worries
 and emotions.

Behind everything that the mind has built upon itself in order to feel important
 and in control is something overwhelmingly tender and vulnerable, even painful. A sense of being very small and alone
 and all of the fear and helplessness that goes with it begins to appear.
 And by survival instinct,
 you don’t want to feel it, you don’t want to see it.
  The very drive of the ego is to get as far away from this vulnerability as possible. You want to fit in or at least stand out.
Nobody wants to be a nobody.

But if you can, allow yourself to feel it.

If you can surrender and allow yourself to be that small helpless nobody, if you allow it all to be as it is at the very core, 
then you fall into the essence which is behind it. 
You become immersed in what is behind it.
 And that is love,
 that is peace.

You do not have love and peace 
as though it was an object to attain, you dissolve into it. 
It bubbles up from your essence and spills into every level of your being
 because you have let go of the very idea of trying to be a ‘someone’.

A true introduction back-to-self, to know the essence of who you are is to know the essence of your creator.”

How to meditate click here

ken@gofindyourself.ca

“You can only lose what you cling to”- Buddha

I understand these words deeply.

“Clinging” is what we all do, have been conditioned to do it from childbirth. One of the very first words we learn is “mine”. Innocent, but destructive, the idea of ownership is engrained into our ego. “Clinging” or “to-hang-on-to” is suffering as the Buddha put it. We suffer when we lose grip of what we think is important, and that can be just about anything from a partner, to a car, to your own personal story of what happened to you last week or twenty-five years ago.

When we hang-on to anything in fear of losing it or desiring more of it, we are setting ourselves up for punishment. Why? Because nothing lasts. Simple. Everything is in a state of decay, including you the minute you were born. Why? Because your time here will soon end in the grand scheme of things, which is unavoidable.

Your relationships will to soon come to end too when someone dies or walks out. Your job will end. Your car will break. Your clothes will wear out. Your coat will fall out of style. So, investing in the notion that something is yours will ultimately cause you some grief when its gone. It will also cause you suffering when you have it and worship it and hang-on to it. Your Porsche is simply a nice car of masterful ingenuity and engineering, I’ve had a few, and unfortunately, they made me feel “special” as I ego-tripped behind the wheel everywhere I drove. I ego-tripped even when I wasn’t behind the wheel. It became part of my identity, fortified my ego, made me feel important, and that is “clinging”.

I learned on my travels, especially to India, that less-is-more. I saw people who had nothing, and many by choice, happier than people here at home who seem to have everything. I learned in Thailand to let-go of everything, including my outward appearance when I was asked to shave my head, my beard and eyebrows and wore only white so I could live with the monks in a monastery, and try to live without my ego. Setting yourself free of the burden of the need for appearances and possessions to make you what you are is extremely liberating.

I used to spend a lot of money trying to stand out and be special. My ego signed me up to lengthy and expensive contracts and purchases. Keeping all those balls in the air because I thought I had an image to grow and protect caused me so much angst I could hardly sleep at times worrying about my finances and whether people liked me enough. The trap is there for all of us to fall prey to, just look at the ambitious companies out there trying to sell their wares with a barrage of aggressive marketing aimed at you generating debt for things you don’t need.

 

Your own story is maybe…

Hanging on to your story of who or how you got hurt in the past is by far the most damaging force and resistance to moving forward in your life. Regardless of what material possessions and financial wealth you acquire in your life, your “story” holds you a prisoner from you being free to find true happiness and joy. I know this for a fact as I used to blame my parents for abandoning me at a very early age.

They didn’t put me on someone’s doorstep and run away, rather, they left me with babysitters since I was a baby so they could go and work and start a new life and family in a foreign land as immigrants. They didn’t know that I would grow up with a chip on my shoulder and be an angry resentful show-off who begged for attention. That is why I have a history with doing very dumb and dangerous things in my early years throughout as an adult even into my forties.

My behaviour of having one foot on a banana peel and the other on the edge of a cliff while doing shooters was my personality, and everyone knew it, but deeply inside I was broken, afraid and very insecure. My “story”, this one I’m telling you of feeling abandoned, gave me the green light to excuse me of blame and responsibility, after all it was my parents fault for everything that happened to me, right?

Once I learned to meditate, learned to open my mind, nurture forgives and gratitude, my story began to dissolve and I started feeling free and alive, and joyful. I could slowly see the veil of illusion lift from my “mind-created” stories. Stories are just that, created in our “mind”. And all of these stories are from information filtered from our version of our experiences.

In other words; what you believe of yourself may actually not be true.

I love people, all people, especially the funny ones who have gotten over themselves. Kids are good at this. No wonder I love kids and dogs so much. I actually love all animals and all people, even the ones that do bad things, because I have no idea of their story and what they must have experienced. I just have compassion, and compassion is love.

I love meditation and being in the present moment. I love sitting on a rock or a bench and breathing in the scenery or mountain air. Everything I see is a story unfolding; people experiencing life and me experiencing them, and they experiencing me. There is beauty in everything and everyone once you open your heart and realize we are all One.

For those who want to hear me, I believe I am but a ladder for people to wake up. Wake up and realize they are really here, deeply, connected and part of the whole fabric of life.

I don’t heal, I don’t fix, I just share. That brings me great joy.

I have never declined giving money to a beggar. Who am I to judge.

I want to live on a beach, part of the year. I want to live in the woods, part of the year. I want to live on a farm, part of the year. Most of all, I want to deeply live every day.

I’m not a fan of the rat-race. It’s a trap. It was put there by greedy people at the expense of others and it intentionally keeps us unconscious. Humanity can do much better, and that is what I’m a part of.

I love business, I enjoy challenges, especially outsmarting myself. But I know I can’t find myself and true happiness in things or stuff. Business that’s centered around the wellness of the planet and its inhabitants is what is needed the most and provides us with the greatest opportunities.

I know there is a better way, a more meaningful, kinder, loving and sustainable way. You know it, I know it. We need an authentic life, authentic people in our lives. We need to put down the distractions, close our screens, and engage with life, and love deeply.

I believe enjoying every bite, feeling every step, listening to every word, and experiencing it through the heart in the present moment. That is the key to life.

This is what I believe. This is me. There I am.

A friend of mine recently asked me about meditation and sports performance. Her boyfriend is a young pro golfer and is trying to mature his game. In other words, he’s trying not to lose focus and fall apart on the course when under pressure. When you are talking about golf, that is by far the biggest challenge of the game.

Golf is a serious mind game where if you don’t have your head in the game, keep your cool and absolute focus, you’ll wish you stayed home. One crappy shot can destroy a golfer’s lead and turn their game into a tailspin with a cascading domino effect of utter shame and humiliation.

But golf is also like many other sports in that way, and many other professions and scenarios of talented and inspiring individuals who make art out of their play and push their personal envelope to the edges. Achieving anything you desire takes action, it also takes determination, focus and sheer commitment. But these things are just the processes, the real carrot is what it gives us. This is where accomplishment, pride, self-worth and acknowledgment come in. If you take it one step further, performance is actually about melting into your essence, joining your energy force and that of the natural universe around you into a flow of your own true potential and divinity. It’s a high, and it’s the most beautiful place in the world.

Some people call that “the zone” or “the flow”. Many top performers know what it is but can’t put it into words or explain where exactly it comes from and especially understand how deep it runs through them. They just know when they drop into that space, time stops, things move slowly and nothing else penetrates that magical arena- they are fully gone into the ether of who they truly and actually are. This is what meditation is.

Finding your zone isn’t just for top performers or golf.  The bigger game is life itself. 

When I was explaining this “zone” and “flow” to my friend, which I have worked hard at myself, I found I was explaining “life” as I know it. If you have ever watched the Disney movie “Finding Nemo” there is a scene where Nemo and Dora meet a creep of tortoises riding the oceanic conveyor belt and Nemo and Doro swim into it and hook a thrilling ride. The belt is much like the “zone”, it’s a current, an energy, a force that envelopes you and carries you in a protective field towards your goals, your life purpose. We all know the saying “Let the force be with you”, and the metaphor is that there is a divine invisible force of energy all around us that we can tap into that gives us ultimate power and carries us in a positive direction and materializes basically anything we really, truly want.

 So, let’s talk about how to get there. Hence, meditation.

Meditation is a process of refining your focus to the point that your mind becomes free from the incessant distraction from thoughts that come into our attention sometimes hundreds of times a minute and perhaps thousands of times per day. Your mind is darting here, darting there, tripping into the future, drawing you back into the past constantly. Its sizing everything and everyone up automatically and many times without your own awareness or consent. Your mind is like a wild horse, a drunk monkey, a crazy spinning out of control lunatic yelling in your head, and it’s exhausting, and its where suffering comes from.

To be able to be in control of your mind is the “zone”. Spiritually it’s called sumahdi, enlightenment and or nirvana. To calm your mind is to give it something else for it to do than its usual random thinking and troublemaking. To overpower this monkey-mind takes practice, not unlike learning how to golf, speak another language, get abs or straight A’s; it takes effort, focus, determination and commitment. It’s like building muscles. Your mind is a muscle and the more you work at “stilling” it (controlling it from running amok), the more you will experience the zone, otherwise called joy, peacefulness, tranquility, happiness, compassion and love. These things will automatically flow into your life when you make room for them. This is the art of living, this is where anything can happen to you and you will be firmly grounded in yourself.

A dear friend of mine who is a monk in Thailand explained the monkey-mind to me this way: Imagine you are trying to put a monkey in a box. At first, the monkey is running around everywhere, and you can’t catch him. After a while of trying, you start to learn his moves and you become quicker at trying to catch him. Finally, you catch him and then put him in the box. But before you can get the lid on, he jumps out of the box and starts running around all over the place again. You catch him again and put him in the box. He escapes again, and this happens over and over again until the monkey finally gives up because he realizes you’re just going to put him in the box again. Eventually, he just gives up and stays in the box quietly and doesn’t try to escape. That is the process of training your monkey-mind and achieving a meditative state and practice.

When you develop this skill, you will ultimately and eventually have an experience that will forever change you. I remember all the early stages of my meditation practice where I sat in frustration not quite understanding the jest of it, other than it would help my lack of happiness in my life.  Yet, I stayed diligent, got training from someone who was a deep meditator, and I sat, and sat, and sat.

…it turned out that I was sitting in meditation for hours.

Then one day as I sat with sincere conviction, I closed my eyes, focussed my attention to my inhaling breath, then my exhaling breath in a rhythmic way, I slowly turned the lights off, turned the motor to my mind off and put the monkey in the box. He didn’t move. He just stayed there silent. I sat there for what seemed like only minutes, but it turned out that I was sitting in meditation for hours.

It’s hard to describe where I went, but the best way I can explain it is that I drifted to the other-side. It was like stepping off the noisy busy streets of Manhattan and through a portal out to the other side where I was now on a deserted white sandy beach oasis, with the sound turned off. I was completely aware that I was aware, yet, I wasn’t thinking, I was just “being”. There was a flowing energy pouring over me that I can just describe as pure “love”. I connected with my whole being, melted into myself and in a flux of beaming white energy coming from me and around me. I felt overjoyed with compassion, understanding, peace and joy. I connected to myself within myself. I turned inside out, and back in to myself. In all my years of living, I have never felt anything like this before. I was now was changed forever. I now felt I understood why I was here, who I was and how things worked. Its difficult to explain, but everything we think we see that is happening is only happening in our mind. We are the witness to ourselves in this play and we have such power over that because deeper down,  that is where all things really exist.  This I will explain in future posts.

Perhaps, before my first breath was breathed into me at birth, I was there in that place, the ether of no-thing-ness, and everything. Perhaps, after the Iast breath I take, I will dissolve into it again until the next life is birthed, my next first breath. All I know is that the more I frequent that place, the softer, well rounded, happier and content I become. I am a changed person as a result, I don’t sweat the small stuff, I live knowing that each moment is all there is and that there is so much beauty in it all. I have become conscious enough to breath in what’s around me. I realize that we are all one, no one is an outsider. No one is ugly, no one is less.  I rarely judge anyone, including myself, I let things be as they just are, in all the beauty that they behold. I give my attention, I am present in the here and now more than ever. I can focus and shut everything else off completely for extended periods, including negative emotions.

The more I float into this flow, I realize that no matter what- I will be just fine regardless of the extreme. You can take everything away from me, but I will still behold the greatest gift in the universe; my sturdy understanding of my connection to the whole. I know that this force is with me, it’s in me, it’s in everything and everyone, we just have to tune into it like a turning the dial to a radio station and it goes from static to clear sound, from nothingness to ‘no-thing-ness’.

In this zone you can create whatever you want, you have the cosmic consciousness all around you manifesting and guiding you. Tune into it and let it carry you and you will see your game shift, and that’s because your life shifted.

“Just Do it!”

Nike’s famous statement applies in meditation practice as well. You can’t start anything unless you actually start! So, why not try something new that will bring amazing changes to your life. Like all new things, it takes effort and practice. Just think of tennis, golf, driving, running distances, learning languages and so on. The more you practice the better the results.

So I laid out a nice technique below and set of instructions to begin your new practice. Try it out and see how you feel. Then do it again and again until you can’t go without it.

 

THE MEDITATION PRACTICE

Commit conscious intention to meditate daily at a specific time for a specific length of time desirably in the same peaceful setting . Start with 15 minutes, then graduate.

PROCESS:

Meditate (concentrate) on an object of attention like the subtle feeling of air passing by your nostrils. Gently come back to it when you lose focus. Repeat. Don’t judge yourself and think you can’t do it. You never gave up on learning how to walk or ride a bike, did you? You are beginning and developing a muscle.

Meditation is about clearing the mind from the chatter and thoughts about the past and future. It is about being in the present moment and letting that unfold into a state of clarity, bliss, kindness, self-love, compassion, joy and happiness. The more you meditate, the deeper those feelings and senses become. I’ll cover a lot of that in my blog:)

How to Meditate

6 POINT PREPARATION

SET MOTIVATION

Have a clear sense of purpose, remind yourself why you are meditating. Is it calmness, peacefulness, relaxation, awakening, enlightenment?

GOALS

 What do you hope to accomplish this session; not giving up? remaining patient?

EXPECTATIONS

Be easy on yourself. Hold goals lightly- just enjoy and savour any achievement and let go of any resistance or judgement.

COMMITT TO DILLIGENCE

Engage whole-heartedly. Resolve to practice diligently no matter how it each sitting goes.

REVIEW POTENTIAL DISTRACTIONS

Do a quick inventory before you practice; ie problems, stresses, what your mind is occupied with, regrets, doubts. Acknowledge them and set them aside for now.

ADJUST YOUR POSTURE

Get comfortable.

Adjust any supports.

Head, neck, back aligned- not leaning in any direction

Shoulders even

Hands level with each other, either clasping in your lap or hand on each knee

Lips closed

Teeth slightly apart

Tongue on the roof of your mouth, tip of your tongue slightly toughing your teeth

Eyes closed, slightly down. Eases tension in face and forehead

Breath through your nose, lips closed

Relax and enjoy

Scan your body for tension, then let it go

Your body should be like a lump of soft clay, soft and stable, completely pliant

 

Now follow the 6 Point Preparation above, then the Process, also above. Enjoy

“And you? When will you begin that long journey into yourself?” – Rumi

You don’t suck, and here’s why…

Damn, you’re awesome, you really are amazing!

You know why? Because you’re here, you exist, you are alive, and that’s a magical answer.

The odds of you being alive and reading this is 1 in 480 billion! Yes 1 in 480 billion according to a recent study. That’s is pretty damn incredible if you ask me, and that is a lot to be grateful for.

Just think, you made it this far from coming out of the infinite universe as a tiny speck made up of molecules and atoms and star stuff that all aligned to form “you”. Yes you, the one with your own unique DNA, fingerprints and quirky personality existing here on a grain of dirt in this massive universe floating in a colossal cosmic soup. It’s pretty incredible. Rarely do we ever sit and think about just how special and lucky we really are to experience “l-i-f-e”. Don’t believe me? Have a look at this chart below.

Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 9.18.17 AM

As impressive as this is with the jaw dropping odds of existence we are blessed with, which are truly beyond comprehension, we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t bitch and rant about life anyway.

Humans have an insatiable appetite for complaining and not being satisfied and always looking for “m o r e”.

Don’t buy into the culture

What if I told you that all that striving to “be better”, “be smarter”, “work harder”, “look better” and the non-stop obsession to “climb the ladder of success”, to “eat or be eaten”, is exactly why modern society is the mess that it is and is the reason for all our personal and collective suffering we are facing today. Further, this ravenous obsession with consumerism to want more at any cost is wrecking havoc on the planet with our disregard for nature. We’re just so wound up on “M-O-R-E” that we’re losing ourselves.

I believe our egoic human tendency of competition, “look at me” “look what I can do” has a direct correlation to why we’re sicker than ever and taking more drugs than anytime in history. The population around the world in developed countries are getting fatter, and suffering from depression and mental disorders, especially in North America. Society as a whole is simply more miserable and unhappier at any other time in our history.

In this superficial society of a fake virtual reality through the advent of technology, we judge ourselves against photo-shopped images of others. We see glossy pictures of happy people who seem like they have it all and we feel bad and less that we don’t.

I used to search for “more” outside of myself. The belief if I had just this or just that, I would feel complete, that I would be a somebody. That new shiny phone, that new car, the bigger house, the cool job, and that photo-shopped Instagram picture of myself I just posted is all an illusion, and it doesn’t equal happiness, it’s just “stuff” and appearances.

But, in this technological world of happy-washing with doctored pictures, what is real anymore? Shopping to find ourselves” is ingrained into our culture and consciousness. Our attention is very valuable to companies that want sell us stuff. It is a vicious game to be caught up in the world of consumerism and feeling less hoping for the next thing that will give us a temporary dopamine hit. Once you’re hooked into that rush, happiness starts to dwindle, even evaporate.

You can’t buy happiness!

But you start being mindful and can buy meditation lessons, and that’s kinda the same thing.

So here is the deal in my opinion: invest in finding yourself. Start looking inside for balance, comfort, and feeling good, especially about yourself and who you are in this very moment. The more you turn inwards and be present and gather a deeper appreciation for who you are, the more you realize you need less of everything else.

Remember the odds of you being on this planet, hold that in your heart as you become richer in experiencing your life everyday and every moment.

Metta