Money & Happiness Over Service And Creation Leads To No Money & No Happiness

It’s like all the money and savings experts say about how to actually save money, “Pay yourself first.”

If you don’t make the conscious, deliberate commitment to produce before you consume, you’ll be sucked into the current, and you won’t come out alive.

 

Money is important, it’s just not the most important thing. When we put money first, before virtues, it will never last. Whatever strategy where money comes before virtues, it may last for a while, but not for the long term.

When we put happiness first, before virtues, the happiness will not last either. Happiness, like money, is a by-product of the path, not the path itself. Money and happiness can indicate how we’re doing, but they’re not the path itself.

First virtues, then the by-products of those virtues. That’s the only way to sustain being ALIVE.

Life is short, and we’re all going to die, so why not go for every virtuous thing we want? Either way, we’re already dead.

So go for all of it. Don’t buy your own excuses. Learn how to sustain your passion and your joy. Cut out the bullshit and incorporate the good shit. Run toward your fear, and if you can’t run, then walk; if you can’t walk then crawl, and if you can’t crawl toward your fear, then at least be willing to look in its direction.

Drop those things that drain you and adopt those which fuel you.

It’s a rather simple equation, but it’s virtually impossible unless we have help from people who will hold us accountable and challenge us to see more and to be just a little truer than our current self-concepts would have us believe we are.

The comfort strategy will work for a while, until it doesn’t anymore.

The comfort strategy will work just great until you wake up one day with a crisis. Maybe your adrenals are burned out and you’ve only got 1 hour of energy a day, and, apparently, it’s time to either die or to change, to adopt new strategies and to shed the old ways that just aren’t working anymore.

It’s not always pleasant to die to the old. People often say that the truth will set you free, but what they often don’t say is that it might hurt when the chains come off.

People think fear is the enemy, but it’s not. Our avoidance and resistance to fear is the enemy.

Death is great. The natural fear of death we all have is great.

Why? Because the fear of death is so great for human beings that it will sometimes outweigh even our complacency to stay whom we’ve been. And in that case, there might be room for transformation.

Transformation can happen when we feel enough pain to consider that maybe we don’t know everything. We become so uncomfortable that we consider trying something new. We get so fucking desperate that we’ll turn off the TV, open a book, take a course, get a coach, anything to feel some relief.

There’s a thin, fuzzy line between courage and desperation.

And that’s ok. Whatever it takes to help us move. To motivate us. Pain can be quite the motivator.

As long as we’re no longer stagnating, rotting, festering in our old, warm, moldy putrid stories that used to lend us so much comfort.

Me? I want everything. I want it all. I want to be infinitely powerful. I want to experience myself as the universe, as the One and All, as everything and as nothing. As God.

And maybe that’s what we’re doing here on this tiny little speck in the Milky Way. It what we’re doing here on this one small planet, on one rather ordinary solar system in a relatively ordinary galaxy containing 500 billion other solar systems in a rather ordinary universe of 2 trillion galaxies, each with around 100 billion stars.

Compassion is in order.

The answers are in the questions, the movements, the stories, the searching, the experience, the stillness, the observation, the humility to admit conviction, uncertainty and desire.

The answers are in the experience and creation, and even in the destruction.

So go create something. Or, fuck it, go destroy something. Either way, it feels nice.

Love,

Aaron

P.S. For a limited time, I’m offering special discounted life coaching. E-mail me at aaron@reallifeconnectioncoach.com if you’re interested in some deep, powerful, intuitive and life-changing coaching. If it seems like we might be a good fit (based on your e-mail to me), I’ll block off a complimentary 1-2 hours for you. It will be great fun for me, and potentially life-changing for you. If it feels right, at the end of the call I’ll make my offer.

Lessons I’ve Learned From Depression

Sometimes I feel more like the Fake Death Disconnection Wannabe-Coach than the Real Life Connection Coach.

Sometimes I want to curl up into a ball, fall asleep and never wake up. Sometimes I’ll spend days or even weeks at a time dipping in and out of self-destructive and suicidal thoughts, hopelessness, and purposelessness.

Depression takes me down, down, down, so deep into an abyss. When I’m in it, it feels like nothing really matters. It can be sunshiny and beautiful outside, but all I see is gray.

So I’d like to share a few lessons I’ve learned and tools that have personally helped me through it.

#1: Asking the question: What really matters to me?

This question brings me back to my heart. What do I CARE about? Sometimes it seems like there is breathtakingly little I still care about, but I search and search because I know that if I’m still alive then there must be SOMETHING keeping me here.

This is super, super important, because it gets me in touch with my heart. What we care about lives in our hearts. The words care and core are practically the same word. The latin root word cor means heart (as in the word courage), and although it might not be scientifically etymologically correct, for me these words are close enough to make a connection.

I get depressed when I’m out of touch with what I care about (what’s in my HEART)–when I’m not prioritizing what I care about. For better or worse, when I’m not acting on what is most important to me, I feel sad, depressed, angry, and overall just “down.”

For the past few weeks I have not been prioritizing going out to meetups and networking and meeting people to talk to about my coaching business! My coaching business and, more deeply, helping people feel more ALIVE, energized and WHOLE is one of my deepest passions right now, and, thankfully, my heart won’t let me quit on this.

This leads me to the second thing that’s helped me out a LOT:

#2: Allowing myself to feel depressed/down/angry/sad and sharing it with close, trusted friends, life coaches and healers.

It feels a little risky to me posting this blog and video because I’m admitting I sometimes feel deeply, hopelessly depressed. What if some government organization uses this as evidence that they need to forcibly medicate me (against my will) and inject chemicals into me that numb my mind and spirit?!? That’s a genuine fear for me, probably the biggest one. I’m also afraid I’ll be misunderstood, or that people will run away from me, or that I’ll be shunned and isolated because I have problems.

Here’s the deal with that though. Depression, sadness, being “down” is NOT a problem, it’s a GIFT.

I imagine someone reading this might be thinking “How can depression possibly be a fucking gift, man? I mean, COME ON!!!”

See, if I never got depressed and sad and down, then I would be fine doing the things I’ve always done, not ever getting closer to growing my life coaching business. I would be ok to let my health and friendships and finances decay, because after all, if I’m feeling AWESOME ABOUT EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME, why would I want anything different?!?

What’s important to understand is that the “down” emotions are your friends.

They don’t feel like our friends when we’re emotionally unskillful, but they ARE our friends.

Working with our emotions is a SKILL. It’s a skill I’ve gotten better and better at, by practicing and practicing and practicing, and being patient and meditating…

The basic skill is to BE WITH our emotions.

We often spend MASSIVE energy avoiding, fighting, minimizing or rationalizing our emotions, instead of just being with them.

When we become more skillful at this, we can often allow our emotions to move through us much more quickly.

Now, “quickly” is relative, because sometimes it feels like FOREVER when we’re in the thick of it.

For me, what helps me “let it go” (which translated into more practical terms is: allow it to move) is spending time feeling it, and, especially, feeling it and becoming intimate with that emotion in the presence of someone I love who loves me/cares about me, and who is skillful enough to simply listen to me and ask curious, compassionate, patient questions until I can “go over the edge” and feel the depth, the pain, the tormented part of myself I’d been freezing in my body.

That’s what we’re habituated to, by the way. We’re habituated to FREEZING the emotions in our system, generally speaking. And that’s what creates more fear and more pain, is this contracting, this wall, this blockade we create, often automatically, because we don’t feel safe to actually feel the depth of what we’re feeling.

When we fight with reality, it takes a massive amount of energy, and in the end, reality still wins.

Here’s another helpful principle: The emotion is NOT telling the whole story. It’s telling part of the story.

In the moment, the emotion can often feel so fucking painful that it feels like it IS everything, that the emotion is the only thing that has ever or will ever exist.

The emotion can feel like it will suffocate us, drown us, kill us and leave our body to hang out to die.

That’s why we run. We’re not ready to die.

But what is amazing, and so fucking rewarding is that we don’t die. In fact, a little part of our ego dies (our ego being who we think we are vs who we actually are), and we get to discover a greater depth and width and height of Being we never previously knew.

And we learn how to have these “little deaths” over and over again.

We get better at dying these little deaths, which ironically, counter-intuitively, and with so much pleasurable surprise allows us to be MORE FULLY ALIVE THAN WE EVER IMAGINED POSSIBLE.

Being fully ALIVE is just a little bit more nuanced than it might appear to be on the surface because being fully ALIVE means feeling the UP and the DOWN. We don’t get one without the other.

LIFE includes DEATH, and when we celebrate ALL THAT IS, we discover reality and we begin to align with the Infinite Soul.

Being fully ALIVE is worth dying for.

And I’m here to listen if you’d like to talk.

I believe that the world is dying to be ALIVE, and being ALIVE starts by discovering the great mystery of who we really are and what we really care about.

I’d love to be a part of your discovery, so drop me a line if you’re open to chat about your life, to get fucking REAL, drop the bullshit, and experience MORE.

Let’s be more fully ALIVE!

Love,

Aaron

Strategy In Alignment With Life (Not Taxation)

 

Look around you and begin to think, feel and learn what Nature is, what Nature wants and what it means to be ALIVE, what the meaning of life truly is. And stop taking other people’s words for it. Don’t take my word for it!

Life is a celebration of existence. Life is an expression of perfection in its eternal growth and seasonal ebbs and flows.

And that’s the secret of the meaning of life: to grow and to be who we are, removing the blocks to the LOVE from which we are born.

There are laws and principles which enhance this growth and expression of Nature and there are [temporary] blocks to this growth and expression.

Long term VITALITY itself is an excellent reflection of our alignment with the laws of Nature.

Cultural/community vitality is the same, on a larger scale.

The long term outward manifestation is a reflection of inner integrity, and the more perceptive we become, the more we sense the alignment or misalignment of others and ourselves with the laws of nature.

The long-term is what counts here. Long term success is unsustainable if built on a faulty foundation.

The dearth of VITALITY we see currently in the world in so many places are results of misalignment with the deepest laws of nature, which are to forgive, to be truthful (that is to be loving) and to support LIFE.

People get extremely confused about what supports life in the long-run. Part of the problem is taking others’ word that “God’s word” is to kill, oppress, convert, destroy, conquer, repress, fight with nature, and to steal (taxation).

These are all compelling signals that LIFE is not being supported, protected and defended at basic levels.

But we are the ones who choose LIFE, fundamentally and circumspectly. And we choose to postpone certainty of all which may oppose life until the experiments have been conducted, and to be diligent students of what WORKS and what DOESN’T WORK, in the long run, of course.

We vigilantly seek indicators of that which grows us and that which kills us. We learn how to listen, to sense, to intuit and to sharpen each of these based on our dedicated observation of REALITY, not of some wishy-washy blog post, but of the life-long commitment to what WORKS, not to what we WISH would work, but to what WORKS.

I sometimes find myself so irritated at people who wish to CONTROL and COERCE and to FORCE things. This is a damned, lazy substitute to EDUCATED, RESPECT and LEAD towards what works.

What is so challenging about this is that we all want VITALITY. Many religions would call this “The will of God” which is ultimately peace, love, joy, abundance, resilience, celebration, perfection and growth.

Generally speaking, Muslims want peace. Christians and Jews want peace. Secular humans want peace. Republicans and Democrats want peace.

The conflict is that we have different ideas of strategy for long-term peace, growth and perfection.

Most humans still support massive CONTROL and COERCION. And one of the most pernicious manifestations of this tenacious desire for control in the United States today is the idea of “necessary evils,” namely, TAXATION.

Taxation IS theft.

If I own something and you take it away from me by force, under threat of danger to my well-being and without my consent, you have STOLEN something from me.

And it is no different if you wrap yourself in a flag and tell me your theft is for the “greater good.” It’s still theft.

Be suspicious of the integrity and claims of anyone who supports these ideals of “necessary evils,” because ultimately they are supporting control, coercion and death. AND have compassion on them because they’re doing the best that they can with the information that they have.

Theft is not in alignment with the fundamental principles of the universe, and any entity with a cracked foundation such as this will only rise so high, and WILL eventually FALL.

We may never rise higher than the integrity of our foundation allows.

If we look at the governments of the world as stepping stones on the way to another form of healthy community coherence and thriving, then it becomes easier to accept that this is a process and that we will get to the next stepping stone.

In a sense, all of our stories and beliefs are like stepping stones. They work to support our never-ending journeys for as long as they work! And they work until we’re ready to step onto the next stepping stone of belief.

Because eventually the beliefs we have once held stop working or they need to change when we’re on the path of growth.

Growth is about coming into alignment with that which supports growth, and shedding that which blocks it.

Nature grows as an expression of itself to the extent which it is in alignment with its deepest self, and in this process there is no coercion or theft, only relationship and mutually beneficial exchange.

So when will we begin to search for alternatives instead of bending over and taking it from the “necessary evils?”

Join me on the path to deeper integrity which supports life and growth in the longest, most sustainable way possible.

Have the courage to try something different.

Love,

Aaron

Think And Grow Rich Commentary + Video

Do you even know what you want?

What do you REALLY, REALLY want?

It takes courage to admit what it is you really want. It takes courage to commit to what you really want.

Are you willing to play ALL OUT while you’re still alive?

I want to live fully while I’m still alive.

Like Hellen Keller said, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”

And like I often say, “Fuck it.”

Decide what it is you want, write it down, ask yourself WHY you want that thing, and then WHY that reason, until you get down to what you REALLY, REALLY want.

Don’t let yourself off the hook doing this.

If you can, get down to the tears. Where you tap in to your heart and the intensity of what you desire SO HARD that you’re overwhelmed with emotion.

Usually that’s a good sign you’ve touched on your deepest desires.

What do you want to do before you die?

And how long are you willing to procrastinate your dreams?

It will take patience. It will take work.

But when we want something badly enough, we become HAPPY to do the work because we are inspired with a vision for the future, and the present becomes a joy.

We begin to discover what brings us joy.

We begin to discover sustainable ways to get what we *really want*–that’s a big one.

And sustainable ways of success are built on a firm foundation of Love, Vitality, Integrity & Freedom.

Go after your dreams.

But if you’re unclear on what your dreams are, how are you going to know when you’ve gotten them?

So write them down!

And then say them aloud every single day.

Become OBSESSED with your goals. Burn the bridges. Take risks.

Decide that only death can stop you from achieving what you want, and you’ll probably get it.

Because what if your dreams are possible?

Because you won’t accept mediocrity ANY LONGER.

Because you’ll die either way.

So fuck it.

Love,

Aaron

P.S. Seriously, grab a copy of Think and Grow Rich and immerse yourself in the beliefs and habits of success.

“Speak To Me How I Want To Be Spoken To!” (On Pet Peeves)

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I noticed I’ve had long held, high expectations on the communication style of others. My dad told me for years that I needed to chill out about that. When my close friends starting pointing it out, too, I started to pay a little more attention.

Imprecision of language has been a pet-peeve of mine for a while. But what has made the most difference for me to start letting go of such high expectations on the communication of others has been to notice that sometimes I completely screw it up, too. That and the fact that we’re all going to die.

Life has a peculiar way of humbling us, no matter how high we might rise at times. And that’s ok.

In fact, ultimately, it’s all ok.

Whether you’ve given it much thought or not, we all have a gun to our heads. We all have a 100% chance of dying. We probably don’t know when it’s going to happen, but we know it’s going to happen.

And in light of our impending death, a misplaced word or a lack of correlation between what is said vs what is meant, well, these things start to hold less charge for me.

In different ways, most of us seem to pardon transgressions a bit more easily as we become more intimate with our impending death.

It’s largely our impending death that gives life it’s urgency.

Largely, it’s death that actually makes life so valuable.

We’re allowed to have pet peeves, of course, but are they more important than connection or losing touch with our compassion?

I’m not saying let’s not strive for excellence–far from it. Excellence is our creed and duty.

But we all fuck it up from time to time. Sometimes we get tired or sad or just feel so damn small, and out of this pain we might react disproportionately, or we just don’t get it perfect somehow.

The driver who “cut you off” (these are charged words already)… Maybe he feels like a fuck-up deep down and is desperately trying to feel important. Who knows? This doesn’t mean we excuse wrongful behavior, but how about extending a little grace now and again? Is that so hard?

These distinctions can be hard to draw and define, but nonetheless, let’s do what we can do and PRACTICE!

We’ve all got our little pet peeves. You know yours!

Remember, the world is a reflection of you.

And last time I checked, the reflection of compassion looked better than the reflection of righteousness.

Love,

Aaron

You Are Going To Die Soon

And when you accept this, your life is more enjoyable.

It takes the pressure off. It makes things funny. It makes what we have into a gift.

Of course, it’s your choice to see it that way, or to see life as full of pressure, as somber and as a burden.

My impending death is on the forefront of my mind every day, and I think this is a huge reason for a lot of my motivation in life. Experience has shown me that most people don’t think about death as often as I do, however, I’ve seen that many successful people think about death far more often than their less successful counterparts.

Death is not a choice. It is destiny. It is done.

Living, however, is a choice.

And if the quality of our lives is determined by the quality of questions we ask, then I’ll ask you this:

How much do you want to live before you die?