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Cut the Crap

Look, I'm not going to sugar-coat it. Self-help and the "new age" theories we hear about can often come off as pie-in-the-sky and totally impractical. For this reason, those who are wary don't try, and those who have tried and failed don't want to partake anymore. Being both an optimist at heart and a bit of a cynic myself, I can tell you that neither on its own worked for me. I have been a skeptic and a self-help junkie, but what I have realized is that I can actually be a bit of both.

After spending many years engulfed in the "new age" movement, and at one point feeling overwhelmed by it, I became motivated to bring self-help and spiritual principles down to earth so that I could apply them in ways that made logical sense in my life. I wanted to ground these principles in reality so that they didn't feel so theoretical. As such, after going in circles for years trying to figure out what I was doing wrong, I finally realized that I had been looking at it from too narrow of a perspective; I was taking everything way too literally and that was my problem.

I love what self-help, spirituality, and the "new age" have to offer, but I don't love the one-size-fits-all solutions they can sometimes prescribe. As a result, I have made it my goal to cut through the crap, if you will, to help myself and others like me find practical "real world" applications for the "woo-woo." After all, we might very well be spiritual in nature, but we are also living here on earth in this physical reality where everything tangible happens. And whether our reality is an illusion or not, this is what we have to deal with at this time so we might as well make the best and most of it.

As such, we can merge the spiritual with the physical, the subconscious with the conscious, the righteous with the indulgent, service with pleasure, and potential with manifestation, all without compromising who we are or what we love. We don't have to become someone we're not in order to reap the benefits of what we learn. We can simply choose to apply it in ways that best fit each of us respectfully.

I've always been very empathic and intuitive, but it wasn't until I started using those abilities to make real world decisions that they started to make the most sense in my life. When I was high in the sky it caused me to feel uncertain and anxious. But when I finally grounded myself I found that my empathy and intuition were my assets versus a hindrance. And when I learned how to manifest mindfully rather than haphazardly, I learned that I had more control over my life's circumstances than I had originally believed. I appreciated the physical and material in my life from a place of presence, purpose, and intention and that's when everything I did became so much more enjoyable. 

I have learned to embrace my "dark side," or rather, my ego mind, instead of shaming it. And, as a result, I no longer put unneeded pressure on myself to always be "perfect." And because I can now identify the difference between my ego voice and my higher self, it is so much easier for me to know what is true for me versus what is self-deprecating. 

Furthermore, instead of relying on the outside world for answers, I have learned to trust in my innate wisdom,

while at the same time being open to the feedback I receive so that I know exactly what energy I am putting out. As such, I have learned to use both my intuition and observation to determine what needs to change versus what doesn't. 

Because I am self-responsible (versus self-blaming), I can objectively see the external world as a reflection of my internal beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and perceptions, which makes me so much more empowered to affect what I manifest into my life.

And most of all, I have learned to balance my righteousness with my ability to relax and indulge in what I love so that I no longer feel guilty for practicing self-appreciation and self-care. And because of this I have learned how to create and uphold healthy boundaries to balance out my giving with receiving so that I am no longer taken advantage of by others.

I have also learned to embrace all of my quirks and traits without apology, while also being mindful of how my actions impact others. Furthermore, I understand that philosophies and theories are meant to be interpreted and applied rather than taken at face value without question or hesitation.

By being extreme on both ends, as a cynic and as a self-help junkie alike, I personally understand the pitfalls of being too absolute in any one direction, so I have found a happy medium for myself that allows me to always be who I really am. And through my experiences, and "mistakes," I have learned valuable lessons that have helped me to avoid those same pitfalls from my past. For example, mistrusting my intuition has taught me to actually trust it that much more. And accepting and validating my feelings has led me to being more honest about what I truly want without feeling guilty for it. 

When we feel directionless we become sitting ducks for misreading signals; we become vulnerable to brainwashing; and we become susceptible to being led in the "wrong" direction. Sure, we will learn from it, but we can also choose to be more gentle with ourselves so that we can learn proactively through mindful choices rather than repeating the same patterns over and over again.

When we are desperate for answers we tend to believe everything we hear. But when we relax our need to know, our inner knowledge always prevails. At one time I was desperate to know too so I put my faith in some of the wrong people. But it was only through that disappointment that I learned to truly trust myself, and I realized more than ever that I didn't have to follow anyone else's rules or deprive myself of what I truly desired. Instead, I could walk to the beat of my own drum with no apology, no shame, no fear, no guilt, no regret, and no need to justify my decisions to others.

So if you have questions that need answers and problems that need solutions, know that you already have access to all of the knowledge you will ever need. Learn to be your own guru so that you can live your most authentic, passionate, purposeful, and intentional life on your own terms. And become a spiritual realist like me so that you can cut through the crap to get to the meat of what matters most to you. But if you need some help along the way, know that I am always glad to provide that extra insight.

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