I'm All In

I just jumped off a cliff. And I'm learning to fly on the way down.

A couple days ago I was weighing a big decision in my life. It was the decision to go work another 40+ hours a week full-time job or to make the leap into becoming a full-fledge entrepreneur and freelance writer.

I chose the latter.

Now, don't get me wrong, I have absolutely nothing against working a full-time job. I was highly considering accepting a position as a copywriter for a really cool company. It payed decent, the culture was awesome, the work would have been easy for me, and the environmental stress would have been relatively low.

On almost every front, it seemed liked the perfect opportunity. And I fully believe I could have made it work well for me, and it would have served as an excellent stepping stone to greater dreams.

But I didn't choose it.

Why? There was one crucial piece missing: my heart just wasn't into the work.

I couldn't get excited about writing essentially the same pieces of content, over and over, and not building towards something greater. The writing I would have done there would have been a waste of my true gifts. It would have been easy work, but it wouldn't have been challenging or meaningful. I just knew that my head wouldn't pop off the pillow in the morning.

So what am I doing instead?

I'm working on my own terms. I'm starting by working with an entrepreneur who I absolutely respect, admire, and love being around. He has a few projects he needed help with, and after working with him for just two days, I was sold. I can't count the amount of times I laughed and smiled while working together, and I left both days feeling way better than when I arrived. He's extremely intelligent, kind, and has already created successful companies. He'll serve as the perfect mentor for me.

Not only that, but his main company is one that I wholeheartedly believe in and would love to opportunity to help him build to the scale he envisions for it. I'm smiling ear-to-ear just thinking about that company. It effing rocks.

The catch? I won't get paid until I can prove that my writing is bringing in more sales. I fully trust he'll be fair with me (I've actually been friends with him for over a year), but there's no guarantee on how quickly that will happen. And other than that, I've currently got just one gig paying me a very small amount for my writing, so I'll need to find and secure any additional freelance writing gigs to bring in money, which I'm not too familiar with yet.

So why does this decision matter? Why is it such a big deal to me?

I'm going to be honest with you. I'm not in the best place financially. I've been racking up a good amount of debt this past year, taking loans from my parents. I even started running a balance on my credit card for the first time in my life when I decided to stop taking loans from them, as a way to light a fire under my ass and make this problem more real to me.

Taking that full-time job would have plugged the hole of debt I've been creating. It would have allowed me to feel safe and comfortable taking small steps forward, and I'd still have had time to take on a freelance project or two on the side to start building toward my ultimate vision. And if the timing of the opportunity had fell just a couple weeks ago, I probably would have taken it.

But the thing is, I'm no longer the same person I was just over a week ago. Ever since Max's passing, I've been reevaluating how I live my life. I've gotten really honest with myself on how I've been playing small and dimming my light. I realized I've been holding back and making excuses for why I'm not living lifestyle and making the impact I truly desire.

I've become very present with the fact that I honestly have no idea how much time I have left to live my biggest dreams. And on top of that I realized that the only thing that's been holding me back from doing so has been, well....me.

I'm not willing to put off my dreams any longer. Not one more day.

I'm an entrepreneur at heart. I love the freedom to choose when and how I work. I love the idea that I can contribute to the world in a meaningful way through the creation of a business, and I believe I have just as much potential as say Steve Jobs or Elon Musk. And I love that my income potential increases infinite-fold when I take full responsibility over my career path.

Doing anything else feels like betraying my heart.

With that said, I'm now fully committed to creating financial stability for myself over the next few of months before my credit cards hit their limits. It's do or die.

Let's friggin do this.

Don't Wait For Tragedy. Connect Now.

The last week I've been blown away by all of the love and support I've received after my good friend journeyed to the other side.

It's unfortunate that it took an event like this to spark such connections. And I want to change that.

I was chatting with my friend Daniel about this the other day. Both of us are committing to being more proactive in reaching out to our friends, offering help, and creating space for people to come together and share their love and gifts.

Because why should we wait for tragedy to bring us together? Why not use this moment as an opportunity to change the way I relate to my friends and communities so that I don't need another wake up call like this?

I'm working with some friends who were closest with Max to launch a more formalized movement to do just that, under his father's blessing and leadership. More on that to come.

For now, what's one way you can commit to strengthening your relationship with your friends or community?

I'd love to hear your answer in the comments below.

A Life To The Max

I haven't written a blog post in a while.

Something major felt like it was shifting, transforming, and I needed to retreat back into my cocoon for a while. I felt disconnected from my writing, like I couldn't write anything personally meaningful.

Now I'm back with an intention to write straight from my heart, just for me. And if others find these posts and benefit from them, that's great.

On Friday, one of my closest friends passed away suddenly. This was the first time something like this had ever happened to me.

When I first heard the news, I was in total shock and disbelief. It wasn't real to me. It couldn't be.

My dear friend and soul brother Max Mendoza was someone who lived his life with his heart wide open. He loved like there was no tomorrow. He didn't sit around and wait for everything to be perfect before sharing his whole, authentic self. He just went for it and left it all out there, every day.

In short, he lived his life to the max.

He was traveling in Brazil, which had been a big dream of his for quite some time. Just 2 years ago he said he's be there for the World Cup. And that's exactly what he did - he somehow made it into the stadium without having purchased a ticket to celebrate with some German friends he quickly made. That's just what Max did, who he was. He created magic wherever he went, and lifted up every person he met along the way.

A few days later, Max suffered a severe fall injury while hiking in the jungle at night with some friends he had met. He was only 25 years old when he passed.

Max was a self-proclaimed modern explorer. He traveled the world and created loving, inspired communities and friends wherever he set foot. He could have a 5 minute conversation with you and your perspective on life would be radically and positively altered.

Max was a dreamer, and a true believer in magic. He had a glimmer in his eyes, and a heart as big as I've ever seen. And not only that, but he shared his love freely with anyone he came in contact with, whether they asked for it or not. He wanted everyone to feel that they belong, that they were important, and that they were deeply loved. And he did.

I cycled through immense sobbing and utter disbelief the rest of the day on Friday. And I felt numb for most of Saturday. But that night I went to a drum circle dedicated to Max with several friends.

By the end of the evening, we all felt Max's presence with us. And for me personally, I tapped into the peace that Max was now feeling. I felt how any pain, sadness, loneliness, or stress he'd been experiencing while alive was all washed away, leaving his spirit feeling free and blissful.

This was immensely reassuring. I felt much more at peace with what had happened, since I knew he was in a really good place now. I was happy for him.

Throughout the entire ordeal, even now, I've been noticing this unshakeable feeling that he's not gone. It's not disbelief, but rather a feeling in my heart that he's right here, that he'll never truly be gone. And that he'll be continuing the good work he was doing while he was here on this earth. He's just in another dimension now, that's all, which will be a powerful way to expand the ripples he was already making in the universe.

In this moment, I feel fine. I don't know if it's right or wrong, good or bad to feel that way just 3 days after a close friend passes. But that's honestly how I feel.

I can be strong for those who may still feel weak. I can help family and friends to cope with the loss and figure out how to best move forward from here. I am able to do the only thing Max would have asked me to do honor his passing: live my own life as best I can, and in service to all humanity.

I'm still allowing myself to feel what I'm feeling. I've already cried at least twice that I can remember today. And I continue to journal and speak what's in my heart when it arises.

But to stay stuck in a state of debilitating grief and suffering would not be honoring Max's life.

As far as I know, this was the best thing that could have happened to Max and the world. A friend and I were joking that Max's love was too immense to be held inside his body any longer, so he got a promotion to do work in a higher plane. That shifted both our perspectives and put a smile on our faces.

Because why not look at this from the most empowering perspective I can dream? Why not celebrate Max's life and continue his legacy by living the good messages he brought to the world? Why not continue to feel Max's presence by seeking experiences of freedom, bliss, and love, which were some of his most favorite feelings to share with others?

Why not smile and laugh and dance all the time, like a kid, and like nobody is watching? Why not take deep breathes and sigh real loud? Why not dress like a pirate or Leonardo Da Vinci, just because you're inspired to?

Why not live life to the max?

That's exactly what I'm going to do, with my brother Max right by my side and in my heart.

How will you live? Will you be ready and satisfied when your time comes around?

So I now impart on you these words: Get busy livin', or get busy dyin'.

What I Didn't Realize About Integrity

In my circles I hear a lot of talk about integrity.

It's essentially equated to the elixir of life, the secret to happiness, and a sure-fire-way to success by several people I know.

And I believe them.

Except, I encountered a problem: I'd been working hard to "get into integrity" with every fibre of my being...but I couldn't seem to get there. It seemed like all of my efforts and progress were unceremoniously thwarted as soon as I took my attention off the practice for one second.

Any lasting results were beginning to seem hopeless, or they were coming so incredibly slow that I thought I'd die before I reached this holy grail of living. I was feeling exhausted.

Finally a few days ago, in a heap of despair, I finally just said "fuck it."

That's right. I said "Screw integrity. I'm done with it...instead, I'm just going to do whatever the heck I wanna do." And that's when my whole energy changed.

Suddenly, I was free.

I started getting excited about my life again. I redesigned my diet and exercise regimes. I started watching YouTube videos on topics that interested me. I went running just for the pure joy of it, not because I needed to stay in shape or keep my energy levels up to work on projects for other people.

These past few days, everything has been flowing so beautifully. I had one of the best and most authentic conversations with one of my good friends last night. I spoke with such joy and conviction that at one point he was moved to tears, literally. It felt so good to inspire my friend like that.

I even launched a YouTube channel this morning, based on our conversation last night. That's something I've been wanting to do for over a year now, and I finally gave myself permission to do it. You can watch my first video here.

And the thing is, it's all been effortless. Totally. Freakin'. Effortless. Not to mention, hella fun.

So what about integrity?

I realized that I was out of integrity with myself. I was trying to keep my word and commitments to other people, but I was ignoring my own truth, my own agreements I'd made with my soul, such as:

  • Have a hella good time while you're living this life. You'll only live it once.
  • Only do things that totally inspire you. Eliminate the good for the great.
  • Don't care about what other people think. If you desire it, act on it.
  • Forget what the experts, and even friends and family recommend. Do things YOUR way.

It's deep-rooted agreements like these that make life worth living. It's our inner child making sure we don't become so damn boring that our life becomes lame and meaningless.

I had to put myself first, and others second. That's how it works. Put your own oxygen mask on before you try to help others, right?

 

So...are you living for you, first? Or do others dreams and desires come before your own?

Time to step it up.

What Happens When The Monkey Mind is Gone

No thoughts in my mind. The noise is gone. That monkey's left the tree, moved out.

This is what they're all working towards. This is what they told me was the ultimate goal. The holy grail of mindfulness.

They meditate. They do yoga. They philosophize. They consume spiritual books, articles, videos, and programs like it's their daily caloric intake.

They obsess over getting all those pesky thoughts out of mind, out of sight. Thoughts seemed likened to a disease, an infestation that must be eliminated.

I know. I did the same things. For years and years.

And now that I've "succeeded" at clearing my mind, all I want to do is tell them that it's not "it". It's not "the answer". It's not even a worthy goal in itself.

It doesn't bring happiness. It doesn't necessitate bliss and enlightenment and success. It doesn't mean you suddenly achieve all of your dreams and desires.

What really happens when you stop that monkey mind for good? What is the grand finale on this arduous path? What did I find?

Nothingness.

And it feels exactly like it sounds....empty.

It reminds me of when I've heard rich people talk about how they wish that everyone could become rich....just to see that it doesn't make you happy.

Well, the same applies with mindfulness and the supposed ultimate goal of a clear, empty mind.

I'm here. I made it. I'm living proof that it's possible.

And it feels as empty as it's ever been. I feel as empty as I've ever felt.

It's not all bad though. A blank canvas means you can create anything. It's infinite possibilities.

But possibility is not reality. It's not something real. It doesn't mean anything.

I'm sure it's a great starting place to create an amazing life. But there's more that's needed. That empty glass needs to be filled with something sweet and delicious if you want to enjoy drinking from it.

Just like with money, it's about how you use it. Money itself is meaningless. It's only what we create with that money that truly matters.

Likewise, we can create things that matter with our minds. Our thoughts, our words, our ideas must be used in a creative manner and infused with love (or something other quality) for it to take on any meaning. A pile of bricks isn't as meaningful or useful as a brick wall.

I've adopted the philosophy of "If it's not a "Hell Yes!", it's a NO." And I've said NO so many times lately that I've rid my life of all that is less than what I truly want.

The problem is, I've not lately come across much that's a "Hell Yes!" for me. Those dreams and desires were buried so deep, so long ago that I've been struggling to unbury them. I've had trouble tapping into that wellspring of genuine inspiration that moves mountains and creates masterpieces. That feeling of freedom you get when you're moving, living, and creating just for the sake of the activity itself. Pure joy. Pure inspiration. Pure being.

So here I sit, in an empty room clenching a clean paint brush, with no colorful paints and no fresh ideas flowing through me.

And thus I discover yet another new level of patience to develop, because I recognize that I myself am not the originator of inspired ideas. I can't force them. They must be given to me as a gift.

So it seems that all I can do is do my best to stay open and be willing to create with what I am given. To be ever watchful, aware, present.

Yes, that's exactly what I'll do.

And if divine inspiration graces my consciousness, I'll be ready to create something beautiful and share those gifts with whom could benefit from them.

It's funny how I've helped so many people tap into their own creative genius and find clarity on what they desire, yet it seems I oftentimes struggle to do the same for myself. It seems my greatest gift comes from my own greatest struggle.

God, universe, divine intelligence - I'm ready for some more "Hell Yes!" kind of thoughts to flow through me.

Until then, I'll keep taking things one day at a time, walking that quickly narrowing edge until my courage is great enough to overcome my fear of flying.

 

What's your favorite way to invite divine inspiration to grace your own consciousness?