Wednesday, March 2, 2016

In matters of life, what gives?

I really believe from the bottom of my heart that life is about love. Love makes everything worth it. Love is what created us, love is what sustains us and love is what destroys us. It’s a beautiful paradox; one that doesn’t question feelings or matters of the heart but throws logic and reasoning out the door. It has no rhyme or reason it just is what it is. It’s the only thing that truly matters.

So my question is this: Why do we spend our entire lives chasing paper, obsessing about the size of our waist or the gap between our thighs? Why do we use jealousy and anger as an excuse to tear down others, people we haven't actually taken the time to understand? We put success in business over a successful and loving relationship; we honor the amount of zeros that comes after the first number in our bank statement rather than the amount of food we give to the homeless, or the number of shoes we place on children’s feet. The hunger for power and world domination has replaced the hunger to help the starving families that live all around us.  As a collective whole, we have exchanged the love that was once ever-present for the corrupt fear based society we live in today. We have superseded the will to serve with the will to control; replaced the necessity of sharing with the uncontrollable thirst for greed, left honesty behind and replaced it with deception; exchanged camaraderie with competition, peace with war, self-love with selfishness, and the freedom of expression with the fear of not being perfect.

If you look around you can see how much fear (lack of love rather) we carry in a world filled with so much beauty. We would rather fear the future and dwell over the past than enjoy the present moment, and grip the side of our chairs in terror watching the news than sit peacefully with our loved ones while watching the magic in a sunset, and we would surely choose fighting with our friends and family over choosing to look at ourselves and start sharing our true feelings for our fear of rejection precedes all other possibilities.

If I’m being completely honest, when I look at all the tragedy and heartbreak that we consume our daily lives with (the news, war, death, hunger, and poverty) I see a choice that was made by all of us. A choice that allows these things to happen to our fellow companions, a lack of love that sits above our desire to connect and help.  A craving for more and more, an uncontrollable addiction to power that is far more commanding than the our appetite for love. We go on and on, looking and searching for those who we can benefit from, those who can help us to the top, those who can provide an extravagant lifestyle full of Maserati’s, Hermes bags, Cartier watches and a toilet made of 14K gold that we forget about those who ask simply for a piece of bread.

It breaks my heart to live in a world where power and greed has the wheel, driving us to our own demise. I realize that most of us feel we do not have enough to give to help solve the problem. I feel into this way of thinking too. I would pray all the time asking the Universe to help me so that I can help others. How could I provide for someone else if I could barely take care of myself? Working 80 hour weeks, barely getting enough sleep I would walk around New York City on my free time, buy sandwiches with the little money I had and give them to homeless people on the street. I would religiously provide treats and homemade meals to the homeless man that lived under the 59th street Bridge by my apartment. I did everything I could yet I felt it wasn’t enough. It felt like a problem too big for me to solve.

After asking the Universe to provide me answers, I was given my answer while I was meditating one morning. It was a profound realization of Love and realized that I was looking at this from a place of fear and lack rather than of love and gratitude.  Instead of being grateful for all that I have and all that I could give to others, I looked at the problem from the perspective of physical. What I realized is that the culprit is not lack of resources, it’s not that we don’t have enough to go around, the difficulty lies in our inability to take responsibility and become acutely aware that we are all in this together. We are all love and it’s not the presence of fear and doubt that creates the divide rather the lack of love. The true offender comes from the power we give to our ego’s. Look around! We have lost ourselves in response to the submission to our ego.  The switches we made while evolving from a society of camaraderie and brotherhood to a society of every man for himself.
 “We are social animals. My future depends on [others]. Their suffering is ultimately your suffering.” - The Dalai Lama 
Our ego tells us that material wealth is more important than the affluence of love, that you’re not pretty unless you are tall and slender, have a chiseled jaw line or long luscious hair. It is our Ego that allows us to walk past a starving teenager on the street, or ignores the silent cry for help from our closest friends. The Ego tells us we are not good enough, it convinces us that we must rise to the top, gain power and money to be respected and loved by another person. You are not good enough as an artist, there is no money in volunteering to help the less fortunate, you are unlovable because you have a muffin top, you are worthless, no one likes you, etc. I’m here to tell you that your Ego is wrong. It will wreck havoc on ones self-esteem, perspective and entire life if and when one allows it to become a driving force in ones lives.   

The cure? Love.

What is the point of living if we can’t experience the pleasure, the bliss and pure ecstasy of what love bestows.  What is the point of this beautiful life if we enter into a race to the top, hoping it will bring us power love and happiness, only to get to the top and find yourself alone and miserable? You see, without love – especially self-love – success means nothing. Love is all there is. It’s everywhere; we must simply reach out and find it. Choose to see it. The first step to finding it is to stop looking around, stop looking and expecting someone else to give it to you. Love starts from within. It blossoms and shines from your very own soul, and when that flower of love blooms it radiates a light so bright that you can begin to attract more love, from all different angles. Suddenly you will find yourself no longer looking for a man (or a woman) to fill that void in your heart because you have filled it yourself. You won’t crave the love of someone else rather want to share your love with that person. You won’t feel you need another, yet you will choose to experience a relationship based on the opportunity to give and receive love.

"Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude."                -Denis Waitley
Once I started to love myself I found that, just like love, helping another in need comes from within. It comes from the heart. While I was running around the city passing out sandwiches to the homeless, I was putting a band-aid on the underlying problem: a lack of love. Had I made a simple shift and instead of handing them a sandwich, I could have sat down next to them and connected, heart to heart. Give them some love and attention as I saw how their soul was starving for it. Sometimes more than their bodies were hungry for food. It’s not about the lack of resources, rather it’s about the lack of love. Once this is realized and understood as a collective whole we will see the world start to change, from a fear based consciousness to a love based consciousness. In matters of life, what gives? Love.

All my love,


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Are you a Strengths Finder?

Go back and think about a time, whether it was last week, last year or a couple decades ago, when someone pointed out a weakness and used that against you as a reason you should give up because you will not succeed. We’ve all been there, even some of the most famous, brilliant minds to ever exist on our planet has been there: Walt Disney was told he lacked creative ability; Einstein didn’t speak until he was four years old and didn’t know how to read until the age of seven, everyone thought he was mentally handicapped; Thomas Edison was told in his early years by his teachers that he was “too stupid to learn anything”; Elvis Presley was fired after his first performance and was told “You aint going nowhere, son. You ought to go back drivin’ a truck”; Oprah Winfrey was fired from her first job because she was deemed “unfit for TV”; Michael Jordan didn’t make his high school basketball team.  

What all these great thinkers, legends, world teachers and innovators had in common was that they never gave up. Despite those around them focusing on their weaknesses and using those things against them-even telling them to give up, they’ll amount to nothing- they chose instead to focus on their strengths rather than their weaknesses. Had they listened to those who told them they were failures we would not have the talent, creativity and genius that propelled our world to where we are today. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of a victim, to believe the worth others give us. It’s so easy to live mediocre because it’s better than trying and failing and getting ridiculed and judged by those around us. It’s so easy to focus on our weaknesses and use them as an excuse as to why we didn’t reach for our dreams. Isn’t it?

No, it’s not. It’s harder to live life thinking you are less than what you are. It’s a complete waste of talent and beauty to not live up to your highest potential, to use the perception and opinion of another as to decide your worthiness of success, love, happiness, etc. It takes guts to concentrate on your strengths in a world that is designed to help you become better by fixing your weaknesses rather than focusing on your strengths. Don’t you agree?
Imagine if while trying out for the basketball team the coach told you what a great runner you were and connected you with the track coach rather than telling you how horrible your dribble was; imagine how great you would feel if instead of telling you how horrible you are at staying inside the lines in your painting, the art teacher congratulated you on using your creativity to make it more abstract; how would it have made you feel if instead of focusing on the fact that you have a problem of not being able to concentrate in school (ADHD) and putting you on medicine to make you like every other child around you they focused on your creative mind and worked with you to hone in and strengthen that? We are part of a society that wants everyone to be perfect so when we find something that’s less than perfect the best thing to do is make them feel stupid and tell them everything there are doing wrong. The problem with that is that perfection does not exist; rather it’s a relative term. Perfection is something that cannot be used as a means to which we measure someone’s worth.
Instead we need to embrace the uniqueness of our children, our friends, family, strangers, and most importantly of ourselves. We need to start focusing on each person’s individual character strengths and use those to gain better understanding of the person and what they can bring to the table to strengthen a team, find a solution, gain confidence in themselves and succeed. It’s up to you to know your character potential and you can find yours right now!

You have many different types of strengths. These can be skills, talents, interests or resources; however these strengths do not reflect the "real" you— who you are at your core. Only by understanding your character strengths can you know how special and capable you really are. Character strengths are the personality characteristics that make you authentic, unique and feel engaged.

The VIA Survey of character strengths is a simple test that takes just a few minutes of your time and provides a wealth of information to help you understand your core characteristics. Created under the direction of Dr. Martin Seligman, the "father of Positive Psychology" and author of Authentic Happiness and Flourish, and Dr. Christopher Peterson, distinguished scientist at the University of Michigan and author of A Primer in Positive Psychology, and validated by Robert McGrath, Ph.D., this self-assessment character survey is regarded as a central tool of positive psychology and has been used in hundreds of research studies and taken by over 2.6 million people in over 190 countries.  It is the only free, scientifically validated online character strengths tool available (view VIA Survey psychometric data).

To find your 24 Character Strengths take the VIA Survey (available in adult and youth versions) and get your free Character Strengths Profile. Once you take the survey you can start using the full measure of your 24 character strengths for a closer understanding of your core personality. 

To take the survey and discover your strengths you must first register:

Good luck and have fun!

All my Love,

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