Doubt Is An Illusion

Doubt is an illusion keeping us from our dreams.

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I was about 16 when I went with a friend to a pop-up local rock show in my area. We showed up, and I witnessed a young teenage band playing original music. They were awesome! "So much emotion, so much intensity," I thought. After their show I walked up to them and met them all, and a whole new path for me appeared.

You see, I always enjoyed music, but I was a listener, not a musician. Sure, I had a guitar at home, but in my mind, I wasn't a musician...that just wasn't who I was. As years went by, I started attending more local shows and meeting more bands, creating some great friendships. But still, even though I loved music and attending these shows, I had this tremendous doubt which prevented me from ever seeing myself as a musician.

It was this doubt (which was based on a belief I created for myself when I was growing up) that held me back from actually trying to make music. As I would play the guitar, I would notice the many friends around me who were WAY better than me. As I thought about drumming, I'd see plenty of people around me who were REALLY good drummers. For years I kept my fascination with music as a hobby, never thinking I would actually be a musician and a performer one day.

The First Big Change

That all changed in my early 20s when I was asked by some new friends to fill in for bass guitar at their upcoming show. My previous experience with my guitar (and the huge amount of interest I had in going to shows) allowed me to work up the courage to say "OK", and with that, my story began to open up.

The show went awesome! After practicing for some time beforehand, I did pretty well. After this show the rest of the guys ambushed me and asked me to join the band as a legit member. Feeling the rush and afterglow from just performing, I immediately said "YES!"

Playing in the band opened up so much opportunity for me. I started getting my feet wet and learning about the music business, I started seeing myself as a musician, and my confidence went through the roof. But in the next year our band disbanded due to differences in work ethic. So there I was, feeling like my dream was behind me.

The Next Opportunity

It was that summer that I made some new friends and started freestyle rapping, and I instantly felt a feeling I never felt before. I felt free, able to 100% completely express myself, and after about a year of casually freestyling, I realized I needed to make this my life. I began writing and producing my songs, and felt ready to take on the world and release my self expression.

This is when the doubt came back into my life and tried to hold me back. No longer did I have a band to support my ideas, this time it was just me. I released my first song, "Stars" on November 11th, 2014 with the most excitement I have ever felt in my life.
But as time went on and I saw that it was hard as one guy to reach a new audience, the doubtful and fearful thoughts started pouring in.

"Do you really think you can do this?"

"Maybe this isn't for you."

"You've never going to make it."

"No one likes your music."

"You're not _____ enough."

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Those thoughts would slow me down as I grabbed onto them and gave them the time of day. Over the next two year period, I wrestled with these thoughts, which sometimes would turn into depressive moods lasting days.

The doubt I had was crippling my ability to take action. I would look at my life experience and sum it up to equal why I wasn't good enough, or to explain why I couldn't do it. I was feeling pressured by the need to survive and make money, yet I had these huge dreams of being a full-time musician. The internal conflict I was feeling because of my doubt was creating a really negative impact on my life.

I guess this is the part where you might be expecting me to say "and then this magical thing happened!" Well no, not actually, haha :) Over time, I just continued moving forward, making music, fighting with my opposing beliefs, and as time went on, I started telling myself new thoughts and reminding myself that doubt wasn't helping me.

I had to realize those thoughts were not true to me, that they were only based on beliefs I made when I was young when I had hardly any information about the potential I and all others have in this life. As my beliefs and attitude started changing, I started seeing myself receive more show opportunities, I was making more connections, and more people were listening to my music. All because my thoughts weren't holding me back from taking the appropriate actions.

Fast Forward

Fast forward to where I am now, and I've had over 15,000 people listen to my music on Spotify in the last month. I now fully understand that doubt is NOT REAL. It is an illusion that serves the purpose of keeping us from taking action. It is constructed of limited information and will always always always hold us back from doing what we truly want to do.

I'm not a fulltime musician yet, but I know I will be. My doubtful thoughts are clearly false, and I am reinvigorated knowing that I can now fill the space of those old negative thoughts with new ones which help me manifest my goals.

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What's Next?

If you feel any doubt, just keep going down your path. Tell yourself doubt is an illusion, but your dreams are reality. You have the power to take the actions necessary to receive anything you want in this life, and don't let anyone, especially yourself, hold you back.

Much love!

Gratitude, and Why It's So Important

'Gratitude helps us see the beauty that is here, now.'

I recently found myself extremely excited and grateful for what was happening in my life, all while teaching me the lesson to focus on the state of gratitude as a way of experiencing true peace.

Just a week before, I was feeling stressed and far away from my goals. However, I could have perceived that moment more clearly if I had been looking through the lens of gratitude. Gratitude helps us see the beauty that is here, now, and takes our focus away from our projections of what we believe we need to be enough. This state of being allows us to be enough, to be loved, to love, and to be at peace.

Desires are traded for what we already have, in what feels like an inversion of mental worry or stress into the contentment with our current 'now' reality. It is easy to see the problems of this planet, while it is much harder to see everything worth giving thanks for. I strongly believe that the more we cultivate the recognition of and the experience of gratitude, the more our world will change for the better. Gratitude is love, and when we feel it we extend it through all other aspects of reality and effect everyone around us.

Let's all cultivate gratitude by focusing on what we're thankful for in our lives!

What are you grateful for? Comment and let us know!


Compassion Is the Key

Compassion is integral to our joy and happiness. To hold compassion for all life around us represents our alignment with our true selves, the beings we are who hold no judgment, who can see beyond the imperfections and the differences in our world, and who accept others and ourselves the way we are.

In our modern lives, we are confronted with many polarities. The mainstream news feeds us with images of violence, war, and people doing the ‘wrong’ things. We are systematically desensitized and begin to start seeing other humans beings as ‘less than’. Generalizations cast over our perceptions of people of other religions, nationalities, and cultures. We are given an opinion through the media and subconsciously we may agree with these judgments after hearing them over and over again.

Unfortunately, compassion is not part of the media’s equation to increase ratings and ad revenue. The newscasters all seem to speak in a robotic and monotone voice, rarely allowing emotion and feeling to slip through. Even if we stopped watching the TV news, we now have Facebook and Twitter spewing their trending stories to us, catching us off guard with headlines which rarely highlight a compassionate perspective.

To find the compassion that we need to feel alive and unified, we must look inside, and see how we are connected with the world around us. The ability to see ourselves as equal with not only other human beings but all life on Earth has a tremendous impact on not only how we interact with others, but how this ripple effect begins to affect the planet as a whole.


Imagine the homeless person who asks for money, and then receives a $20 bill from a kind passerby, which she then uses to buy not only herself but others food. Imagine the sense of belief that has been restored to her because she believes it is possible that she will be taken care of and provided for, even in her hard times. Now imagine how this has an impact on those she buys food for. One compassionate act can change the perspective of many people, and help spread even more compassion.

Compassion equals equality. We are here to understand our oneness in the midst of different personalities, skin colors, sexual orientations, and religious views. We are here to be stewards of the Earth by taking care of it, not by dominating it. Through compassion, we can reach new heights and greater connection with our world and bring in a new age of existence.

Go inside and let go of your judgments. Allow humbleness to wash over you and see yourself as no worse or no better than anyone or anything else. Allow respect to rise from your heart for the Earth that gives you life, for the trees that give you air, for the people who give you connection. Allow compassion to be your driving force, because through compassion you are able to align with divinity and share your love with the world.


Finding the Present Moment

In a world and society that has grown far away from the natural world, the present moment is often forgotten. Instead, we rush towards our futures or lament over our pasts. It is often too difficult, or even unknown that we can relax into the present moment, a state of being where we have no attachments to the past or future.

So what does the present moment look like? Imagine walking down the street without thinking about anything. Instead, you're taking in all the sounds and sights around you, just being the observer.

Nothing from your past is stressing you out in this moment, and no anxiety from your future is creeping in either. You're simply enjoying the sounds of the birds you hear, the feeling of the sun against your skin, and the beauty of life around you. Imagine having no fears, doubts, or troubles taxing your mind. This present moment is a state of pure awareness, because nothing else is getting in the way.

So how do we find this moment more often? We live in a fast paced world filled with many responsibilities, the largest of which is to generate money and provide for ourselves and those around us. These responsibilities tend to push us farther away from the natural speed of nature, making it more difficult to relax and to be still.

But wherever we are in life and whatever challenges we face, we can still find and enjoy the present moment. To do this we have to forgive the past and let go of our expectations for our future. We can't change the past, but we can accept it and move on to the next chapter in our lives. We can't physically understand how everything in our future will work out, but we can accept that fact and choose to believe it will all transpire without all of our doubts and worries getting in the way.

This had been a very challenging aspect of my life when I recently moved from Maryland to North Carolina. I was constantly tested to have faith in the process and to believe that my future would work out. A year ago, I left Las Vegas after moving there in hopes of finding my new home. After realizing that city didn't fully resonate with me, my future seemed more unstable than ever, but I knew I had to have faith. I moved back to Maryland and after many months of being in limbo, I visited Asheville NC, a place I now call home.

After taking the leap to move here, I've found myself in a new reality which provides me with so much growth and expansion. There's no way I could've imagined this exact reality with my physical mind, but I truly just had to have faith that my future reality would fit into my idea of what I wanted with my life. And by taking action as if it was true, it became true.

But throughout the process, I had to live my current reality while anxiously hoping things would work out. I had to challenge myself to relax and find the present moment because I was responding so deeply with the future. This really helped me to understand my fears and that I had to deal with them, accept them and move through them.

What fears you ask? Fears created from old experiences which had become a part of my belief system. These thoughts from the past and this anxiety about the future was too much to keep in my reality, so I knew I had to let them both go. And although that was, and is, an on going process, the allowance and acceptance of my present reality truly began to create momentum in my life.

I found myself being able to write more, create more music, and get more things accomplished when I wasn't questioning why things were this way or that way. The present moment allowed new creativity and ideas to pour through, because I wasn't stuck on the past or worried about the future. This whole process had given me contrast to understand how manifestation works, and to help me discover my present moment even when my external world seemed chaotic. 

Take a deep breath and find your still point, your present moment, anytime you feel pulled to the past or the future. Tell yourself everything is fine, and there is nothing more important than this moment, the now. Find your alignment with this moment, which is truly who you are, and watch as the rest of your reality shapes itself around this internal peace.


How To Use the Law of Attraction

I remember when I first discovered the law of attraction. I watched a movie which explained the idea that you can receive everything you want, which energized me beyond belief. This resonated so deeply with me and the beliefs I held that I was extremely quick to put this law into practice.

Two months later, my band and I won a contest to play a date on the Vans Warped Tour, which ended up being one of the most fun and exciting days of my life. I attributed this win directly to the law of attraction and the belief that we were meant to play this show.

Not long after this event, I started looking at my life in new ways, and eventually had a dark night of the soul in which I had a complete breakdown of ego. This began a process of increased self discovery and a restructuring of my belief systems.

I realized there were many things in my life that I wanted to change, and therefore the idea of the law of attraction became even more important in my life. Sure, I'd manifested a concert experience, but how do I manifest a career, a loving relationship, a move to a new location, and all these other ideas I had in mind? This is when I began to truly understand how to and how not to use the law of attraction.

My thoughts have become my reality, but this is after desiring certain experiences for years before receiving them. Throughout these years, I'd discovered that I was desiring a new reality from a place of lack, in contrast to a place of having.

For example, when I wanted a relationship filled with love, I asked for it from a place of not having it. I thought I was telling God and the universe that I wanted love in my life, but I was truly saying, 'I want love in my life, because I don't have it.'

The universe responds to your thoughts and desires with a 'yes',  so in my case I was being told 'Yes, you do want love in your life! Yes, you don't have it!' The law of attraction is actually the law of agreement. Whatever you say, the universe agrees and grants your wishes.

The secret here is to accept your present moment. Regardless of if you want love, a new career, or a deeper relationship with your family, you must fully accept where you are now and be happy with your present life circumstances.

When you tell the universe, 'I want love in my life. Thank you for the life I have now, but I feel love will be an amazing addition', you're coming from a place of abundance rather than lack. You are beginning to attract what you want into your life instead of pushing it away, all because you are present in the circumstances and the moment which you do currently have.

To come from a place of acceptance rather than rejection is the key to allowing your life to change. When we reject our present circumstances, we reject
all of our desires too. When we accept our present circumstances, we accept our desires as well.

I received a loving relationship in my life almost immediately after I had the realization that I was enough. I had realized that I didn't need another person to complete me, and that I could love and see myself in the way I had always hoped someone else would. By appreciating who I was in the present moment, I was soon given the new gift of a loving relationship.

The law of attraction is truly the law of agreement and allowance. Once you allow your present circumstances to be ok, and agree with the universe that they are supposed to be in your life, you will be able to manifest and receive whatever reality or experience you further desire.


How to Become a Spiritual Alchemist

You are comprised of duality. You contain the masculine and the feminine, the darkness and the light, the part of you which is God and the part of you which is still animal. You are a human being, a very unique creation. You are here to balance out these energies in this world of duality that we live in. We are here to grow and expand, as we are infinite beings that are not limited to this one lifetime.

To balance out the darkness with our light, let's take a look at the darkness in our lives, those supressed emotions which we don't normally allow to be expressed. When was the last time a negative or difficult circumstance entered your life? We have the ability to shed light on those circumstances and grow from them by looking at these events from a new perspective.

Think about experiences or environments from your past which affected you in a negative way. Perhaps you grew up around negative energy in your family or had a difficult time at school. We create ideas of who we are based on these experiences, which are often brought into our identity and made to be a part of our story. These unconscious aspects of ourselves which we haven't shed light on yet become buried in our subconscious, which tend to be suppressed into roles we play or identites we create.

For example, if we grew up in a household which never showed us love, we could assume at a young age that this is the way the world works. As we grow older, we can continue to view the world from this same limited perspective and therefore continue our creation of experiences which valiate these beliefs, which in this case, is that love is rare, hard to come by, or non-existent.

Instead of living life like this forever, we as human beings are able to transmute these dark energies by shedding light and awareness on them. With spiritual alchemy, we can turn these energies from negative to positive by perceiving them in a new way. To accomplish spiritual alchemy, look back into your past for the stories we've created which we identify with. Many of us believe the story of who we are is limited to what we have done or who we have been, but this is not the full picture. These may be chapters in our story, but not our full story.

So go back to chapter one when you were young, when something negative or traumatic happened. How do you transmute this energy? First, you must look at this experience as a form of growth, not as a form of limitation. You must acknowledge it for what it is and understand that it was an experience that happened to help you grow and expand. By taking this energy and looking at it from a new frame, you can apply it to your life in a positive way and use it as a resource to allow you to build onto your life.

This process is about us continually becoming aligned with who we truly are by finding balance. Otherwise, circumstances in our lives will continue to trigger us and bring up this dark energy, causing us to react. Think of the last time you reacted to a circumstance with fear, anger, sadness, or guilt. When we are triggered, we can easily bring the energy of our old story into our present moment, which isn't complete awareness of self in the moment.

Rather than reacting, we can take a deep breath, allowing ourselves to become centered and focused on what we truly want to express, not just an reaction based on the past. When we're pulled back into that past moment, we have the opportunity to heal ourselves and tell a new story.

We can transmute this negative energy by forgiving ourselves and all others by taking away our blames and judgments. Once we can take a deep breath and look at the experience behind the emotion that was triggered in us, we can look at the experience objectively and see it with a much broader perspective. We can now see how this experience helped us discover more of who we are and how it helped us become stronger individuals. We can see how the initial life challenges we have suppressed are teachers with lessons which have helped us to learn and grow from.

We are all spiritual alchemists, as we all have this ability to transmute energies. The negative can become positive, just as the darkness can become light. Perfection is an illusion, but balance is a way of life.