All I Know

I really don't know much at all, not for certain.

I don't have it all figured out.

I don't know if my dreams are possible. 

I don't know who I am, not really. 

I don't know if writing these words is right or wrong, good or bad, helpful or hurtful, important or worthless. 

I don't know if God exists, or if he's loving. 

I don't know what this reality is made of, or if it's even real. 

Heck, I don't even know what real is. 

I don't know if I will wake up tomorrow. 

I don't know if you should take that job or quit that relationship or take up running or go vegan or dedicate your life to serving humanity.

I don't know how you should live your life. Any advice I give is coming from just one single perspective of a human experiencing life.

I don't know what your purpose or your true calling is. 

i dont know what you should believe. 

I don't even honestly know what I believe anymore. 

I don't know if beliefs are even necessary to live a full life, whatever that means. 

The only thing I really know for sure is that I experience these momentary feelings, these desires, these divine urges in my body that are pulling me in certain directions.

They're asking me to step up. To speak up. To open up. To dream bigger. To live bigger. To love deeper. To breathe deeper. To sing, dance, dream, and scream.

And I have only two choices I can make in all situations. 

To resist. Or to flow.

That's it. 

That's my entire life, summed up. 

And every single time I resist that flow, I wind up collapsing in a heap of suffering, tiredness, hunger, and unhappiness. 

All I know is that in any given moment, I can choose to flow. 

And that's all I need to know. 

Loss, Hate, Choice, and God

Yesterday was my one year anniversary...of being let go at my corporate job.

At the time, I acted as if I was okay. I kept a straight face. I did what society taught me to do as a man - to take it as if nothing happened and move on to the next thing. To man up. To not let it get me down and just keep on pushing.

The problem? I wasn't okay. Not at all. 

I felt rejected. I felt worthless.  I felt guilty for letting down my coworkers, my parents, and myself.

I felt like collapsing in a puddle of tears. 

But instead, I did what I'd always done: I shoved my sadness back to the depths of where it came. 

And that's when I started getting sick. 

Yesterday and most of this morning, I relived that rejection, that sadness, that feeling of helplessness. I felt stripped of my power, completely. I felt like dying, because it seemed like I could never get things right. 

Then I did something this afternoon that changed everything and made me feel on top of the world.

And I'm scared to share it, because it might offend some people. In fact, I'm almost certain it will.  

But alas, I must stay true to myself and to the title of this blog, the entire reason I started it: to be totally honest. 

So here it goes.

In the depths of feeling powerless, I started yelling "I hate you God! Why would you do this to me? Why can't I get anything right? Why do I feel like I have no choice in the matter? I'm done waiting around for you to come and save me. From now on, I make all of the choices. I hold all the power to change my life."

And suddenly, I felt alive again. I no longer felt like a victim. I no longer felt helpless, hopeless, sad, or angry. I just felt power. 

Now, if this offended you, let me clear something up. I'm not turning into a crazed, heartless person out to ruin other people's lives. In fact, the whole reason I became so fed up with "waiting on God" in the first place was because I felt powerless to express myself how I truly wanted in my heart, like I was holding myself back, and I this felt powerless to being of any real significant service to other people.

I felt like I kept putting out my own flame, because I didn't hear the booming voice of approval from "God", or at least the image of God I had created in my head. 

The truth is, I feel more open than ever to receiving help from God, the universe, the divine mysterious source of energy, love, and all life than ever before. 

Only now, I've taken my responsibility for my half of creation, which is to make choices with my free will.

You see, I was giving up my free will to God saying "live my life for me", and all God could do was shrug his shoulders. Free will is off limits for him. 

Fortunately, the God I believe in is unconditionally loving, so I've already asked for forgiveness and feel at peace. It's like God just smiled at me like a little child who just threw a temper tantrum and patted me on the head.

It feels good to take responsibility for my life. I'm excited to see how this new perspective will affect how I show up in the world. 

 

Rekindling The Fire Through Prayer

Today's been rough. And I never would have guessed it yesterday morning.

Lately I've been getting back into prayer more. I was previously turned off to prayer because it came along with the package of what I felt to be a religion that didn't support the fullness of my spiritual beliefs and my light I'm called to share with the world.

Recently I rediscovered the power of sincere prayer. Not the kind of prayers I was taught to simply recite in church, but a sincere conversation with God. The unique thing about how I pray now is that I feel that divine connection to the love that permeates all of the universe, as well as a deep feeling of compassion when I share my honest fears and frustrations with life, others, or myself. It feels real, and I see real transformation in my life when I'm coming from that space. It's no longer just going through the motions. It means something personal.

Yesterday morning I woke up feeling on fire. I'd been sincere with my prayers and listening to my body, so after 11 hours of sleep, I woke up feeling like a champion. I was singing out loud for most of my 30-minute-turned-hour-long run. I sang the entire album of my favorite band in my room, and it felt and sounded divine.

I just felt my light emanating so strongly from me that I caught myself basking in my own pure love and joy that seemed to arise from nowhere, for no particular reason. I was glowing.

And then at some point it started going downhill. And I felt like I couldn't stop it.

Fast forward to today and things seemed to just keep getting worse. I found myself in an emotional rut that uncovered self-defeating talk and feelings of despair that I never would have imagined were possible 24 hours prior. I felt like my fire had died out.

I just got off a call with a friend who helped me finally put the pieces together. I'd like to tap into source to recreate the energy of our conversation through words:

"When you develop your spiritual practice, you must stay diligent in feeding the fire of your heart every day. This means coming to that place of sincere prayer so that you feel your connection with love and the creator.

As you continue to add wood, the fire burns brighter, and everything in your life becomes easier and more illuminated since your intention is to share your heat and spark the fire in the hearts of all you come into contact with.

If you become comfortable simply basking in that heat and you stop adding wood, you'll find that it quickly starts to dwindle until finally you find yourself in a cold, dark place again before you realize it. Love is nowhere to be found, and you start to feel lost and alone.

In order to keep that fire a-blazing, you must be diligent in adding wood by regularly going back inside to connect to creator through sincere prayer.

If you fail to fuel your flame, you will not be prepared to show up fully in the world and serve it to your highest capacity, and thus any action you do will feel inadequate, difficult, and less-than-glorious.

However, if you develop a consistency in your spiritual practice, you can master your flame and set the world on fire each day with a grace and magnificence that will transform any person who comes in contact with your sheer loving presence."

Wow.

I have nothing more to say.

 

Noticing Change

I carpooled with a friend to a potluck tonight, and on our drive we were chatting about how long ago we'd been in college.

For me it has been almost 2 years, and 3 years for her.

I told her I didn't even know what that meant. I had no way to process or understand or reference or give meaning to that time period between college and now. I didn't know if it was long or short, big or small, good or bad.....it just, uh, WAS. It just was.

As we walked into the potluck, at which I only knew a couple people, we noticed that almost all of the kids there were college aged and actually still in college. Funny how that works. And funny how the word "kids" naturally flowed when  describing them.

As I was chatting with a few of these new friends I began to notice how different I was than them. I became extremely aware of my own maturity and presence at that party, and as I gazed around the room, it finally started to click how vastly different I am now than I was just 2 short years ago in college.

This sparked me to wander even further back in my memory to when I as in high school, and to notice how monumentally I had changed since then.

But suddenly a new thought dawned on me that totally shifted my perspective: "Wait a second. If I honestly look at the past 10 years of my life, who I am hasn't changed one bit. I'm simply a much fuller expression of myself. I've simply broken down the barriers I'd created to prevent me from expressing my true identity as Nathan Coury, out of fear that who I was wouldn't be loved and accepted."

Wow.

I'm no longer the kid I used to be. Yet, at the same time, I'm the kid, the man, and the person I've always been inside, just less inhibited. And a bit more muscular.

I've always been loving. I've always been quirky. I've always been fascinated by the inner workings of my soul and the universe.

And I've always wanted to dedicate my life to expressing my every dream and desire, so that others can feel comfortable and confident in the doing the same for themselves.

I'm feeling nervous today

I hit the snooze button quite a few times this morning.

This is the first day in a long time where i have a packed schedule. I'm jumping on the phone with eight different people, most related to business. I've got a two hour business lunch meeting with my brothers which will serve as our first major meeting for the wood-fired pizza business we're starting. And I'm going to a group run and social tonight.

I feel like I want to just go back to my bed and hide.

What if I make a mistake?

What if I let someone down, especially given the many past experiences I've had where I've let people down?

What if I come off wrong, say the wrong thing, or worse, not have anything to say at all? Could I handle that embarrassment?

I'm afraid that I'll go weak at the knees and start crying a puddle of tears in front of someone I love and admire and respect. I'm afraid I'll be seen as weak, incompetent, or strange.

I'm afraid to be seen. And I'm afraid I'll lose the love of others.

But most of all, I'm afraid that I'll go to bed tonight not having shown up to lovingly serve to the absolute best of my ability no matter the outcome.

And that is why I will succeed today.

I am strong not because I have no weakness, but because I acknowledge my weaknesses and choose to take action to strengthen them. I am strong because when I feel my body collapsing, I choose to open my heart wider and express a deeper truth inside of me. I am strong because I know that no matter if I am rejected or humiliated, I can simply view it as an opportunity to love myself even more fully.

I recently heard a friend say that fear is simply excitement without breathe.

So today, I will put my awareness on what makes me nervous and breathe into it.

Today, I will be strong and victorious.