Friday, November 3, 2017

Staying Positive in the Face of Obstacles

How do we stay positive when life isn't working out and we aren't where we want to be?

I think this is one of the greater challenges we all face: being positive and trusting life and trusting what is showing up in our lives.

I have had many amazing days only to be followed by a day or two (even weeks) that weren't so great. I'm feeling awesome and life seems divine but then it's not. I am a mess, things aren't working out, and everything seems to be an issue. I want to go back to the peace of the previous days but it feels impossible.

Do I have any control over what happens? Whether you believe that you do or not, you do have some control over how you respond to what happens.

I find in my experience that when I am struggling through a day, I am resisting what is showing up in my life that day. I am resisting and avoiding all of the uncomfortable emotions, thoughts, and even the things that I have to do. And by resisting them, I am making them worse.

Here's an example:

I have work to do for one of the classes I teach. I don't want to do it. I am constantly thinking about what I have to do and at the same time, I am thinking that I don't want to do it.

There is inner conflict within me: knowing what I have to do and thinking about it AND not wanting to do it. I need to do it but I don't want to. I am divided. I am resistant to "what is" (needing to finish my work) and it is causing me stress, anxiety, and irritation. And this stress within me GROWS the longer I resist it. It can eventually break me down and completely mess up my whole day, if not days.

So whatever is coming up for us that day, we have a challenge and an opportunity to "not resist" and to have a positive, accepting attitude.

Part of having a positive attitude and accepting what is happening on the good days and bad days is also trust. We learn to trust that everything that is happening in our lives has a reason even if it appears that it doesn't. We can ask questions like:

What is life trying to teach us? Or what are we trying to remember about ourselves or our experience? What are we not seeing in our lives or what are we afraid to look at?

Trusting is difficult when everything is hard and when things aren't going as we would like. This is where inner strength comes in. This is where the courage to trust becomes paramount.

I have found that the courage to trust and be positive happens within you. You need others but you are the linchpin. Trust almost always also requires faith too. Faith in yourself, faith in life, faith in God or faith in whatever power you associate it with.

To summarize:

Practice letting go of resistance to what is happening each day. Accept it as best as you can.

Have a positive attitude in the face of challenges and think good thoughts. Be courageous in your action.

Trust and have faith that you can do it. You are being supported. Your life and experience is happening for a reason.

If you can train yourself to practice some of these steps, you can begin to shift your reality from one of stress, anxiety, and even pain to one of acceptance, surrender, peace, and also most importantly, greater ease in the realization of your daily tasks and reaching your goals.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Replace Negative with Positive and Change Your Life

"Your thoughts are creative. Replace your negative thoughts with positive ones and see how over time your reality begins to change. Joy is your birthright, contrary to popular belief."

I was inspired to write and post this on Facebook and now I am going to briefly blog on it.

I've always understood conceptually what this meant or for a long time at least. I've practiced it off and on, in and out. But it wasn't until the last few years and even the last few weeks that it clicked and is taking hold of my life.

I've been conducting a personal experiment with the fairly well-known information that positive thinking is a stronger force for good in your life than negative.

You see most people, busy in their lives, myself included, don't realize that you are thinking negative thoughts about a great number of different things. You are also thinking thoughts of lack or don't have.

Start watching your thoughts. Start paying attention to what you are thinking every day. There is probably more negative than positive on average.

It's not your fault. You are not a bad person. You are conditioned to think in the negative. We have created a great many negative thoughts around many situations in life. There's too many to write here.

These negative thoughts have power. They create our experience. They go out from you and into others and they also go into you. They stop you from experiencing positive things in your life; they thwart you from realizing your dreams or just having an awesome day!

So start observing your thoughts. If you don't know what that means, it's okay. Just set an objective or intention to be more aware of your thoughts and watch yourself have moments of "was I really thinking that?" or "wow, did I really just judge that person?" or other thoughts about not being good enough, worthy enough, or happy enough. Watch them. These thoughts are everywhere, all the time.

You don't need to judge the negative thoughts. Notice them and then start, day by day, replacing them with positive ones. Anything you want that is positive. You'll see a difference over time and even instantaneously.

Keep it simple.

Do your best to start your day saying out loud that you are going to have an amazing day and then go have one. If you hit roadblocks or obstacles, don't worry. This will take time but the more you think positive and are aware of its power, the more beauty will come into your life and the happier you will be. It will offer challenges for personal growth and in your relationships too. But you can do it.

And finally, you will start to create those things you truly desire in your life.

So yeah, it was conceptual for me for a long time with moments of glory. But now I am experiencing it more and my life is aligning and I am happier than I have ever been.

I am here to help us create a new reality. One that is positive, peaceful, and creative. One that shows us that the only thing that is stopping us is ourselves and it has a lot to do with our thoughts.

As stated above, joy is your birthright.


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Mixed Feelings in Cuba

In April, I traveled to Cuba to connect with the Cuban people and to see a country that battled with the United States government for decades following Fidel Castro’s 1959 revolution.

The recent thaw in diplomatic relations between the two countries began in 2014 under former President Barack Obama and subsequently loosened travel restrictions for US citizens to the small Caribbean island, joining scores of Canadian and European visitors.
There were many sides to the story of life in this small communist nation of nearly 11 million inhabitants and a reported GDP above USD 80 billion in 2015 (Trading Economics).

Foreign travel to Cuba inspired a growing cohort of Cuban entrepreneurs offering transport and housing. In cities like Havana and Trinidad, Cuban citizens welcomed opportunities to earn more money above their abysmal state-controlled salaries. But the hope of new income was contrasted against heavy taxes by the government on all earnings leaving most Cubans still struggling desperately to get by.

In Cuban towns, the poverty of means was also observable even if the spirit of the Cuban people remained optimistic and determined. A group of friendly retired tradesmen sat on a park bench and spoke of the “peaceful” people of Cuba, the quiet life there, and their “rich” history. If they harbored any grievances against life under Castro, they weren’t showing it.

In a larger bustling town, I listened to a group of men express a desire for improved economic relations with the US while fiercely playing dominos on a broken wooden table ready to collapse at any moment. That same day I accompanied a lively group of older fellows smoking Cuban cigars. These men waited for a government bus to take them to work harvesting crops but the bus never arrived.

And there was no shortage of government inspiration. Billboards everywhere defended solidarity, hard-work, and the unity of the Cuban village. The revolutionary message starred Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, among others. Cuban TV reminded viewers of the achievements of the late Fidel, paid homage to fallen revolutionary heroes, and rehashed the struggle against the imperial west.

If the Cuban people were unhappy with life or bothered with the endless propaganda, they were rarely willing to speak of it. Instead, they soldiered on in an acceptance of things as they were, some blissfully happy and others in apparent resignation to life’s “struggle.”

A starving man approached me at a service station on my last day. His bare feet and skeletal frame were visible to anyone who noticed. He pointed at my bag of snacks and I gave him everything without hesitation. Within seconds I observed him grinning and grunting amidst ferocious bites.
I appreciated the simplicity of Cuban life and the warmth of the people. I despaired at the overwhelming poverty, the decaying buildings and public services, and the mostly government- controlled life under a veil of unity.

Friday, May 26, 2017

My Truth & Launch of New Website (

I know from exploration and experience that my true calling is to help others and to assist humanity in these challenging times. I've always been an advocate of peace and cooperation across cultures as well as transcending conflict to see the greater humanity within all of us. I've worked to try and change things with a compassionate heart. But I also realized that change starts in us. This is what gives us the power to create the experience and world we desire.

As a intuitive healer with training in different transformative techniques, I am here to help individuals to rediscover their truth, to heal old wounds and find their happiness, and to grow in self-love leading to both personal and professional fulfillment.

That's what the new site is all about. I am also writing and you can find some of my photography there. All of it is about inspiration and awakening us to who we are and the creative world we live in.


I wrote the following piece yesterday. It is very much connected to what I was experiencing in some ways and in other ways I feel it is a message for all of us and that's why I am sharing it. As always, you do with it what feels good to you in your unique journey.


So much of what you are seeing today is designed to keep you living in fear. It is fear-based. Fear of a great many things too innumerable to recount here.

I am here to communicate that there is great love within you. Ask for awareness, ask for truth, ask for guidance. You will have it. Peace, happiness, love, compassion, unity, and community is your birthright.

This is an evolving process with some obstacles in the way. You have free will and you can choose to see and do what you want. No one is going to take that away from you. You can however create a different experience in your life by waking up to your infinite nature, to your own truth and light, if you haven't already.

Your beliefs and your ideas have been a cause for great problems on Earth. Your beliefs in power, greed, profit, and control over others have led you to create systems that are based around these very things. It keeps you locked into something limited when you are expansive.

You can transcend these limited beliefs by loving yourself and loving others. By embracing that which is positive and letting go that which is negative. This is no easy task. These negative energies are what keep you stuck. These energies are associated with fear and negativity.

It is very human to experience these things. It has been your story. They present you with real challenges. But you now have the support and the guidance to embrace the growing awareness within you and to see with open eyes beyond the illusion that you are currently living in. It is an illusion of polarizing right and wrong, of light verses dark, and have and have not.

This illusion exists because you make it real. But the illusion is fading. There are more opportunities than in any time in history to leave the old version of self and society behind, be grateful for its lessons, and to usher in a beautiful new experience. Something that has always been there but hidden until now. A new experience that is harmonious, healing, loving, awake, open and free.

If you continue to believe that you are unworthy as individuals and unable collectively to create a more peaceful world, you will continue to create just that. It requires a leap of faith by each one of you and all of you. It is a major shift in awareness not without sometimes the crumbling of what came before in your life. But you finally have the tools and resources to change and it is happening in clear and subtle ways.

Trust that this planet is shifting at a very fast pace. Fear and negativity comes to the surface to be looked at and to be healed since there is less and less room for it.

It is time to increase what you came here to do: to awaken to love and to expand the light upon this beautiful planet. You are capable of greater love, compassion, and kindness than you give yourself credit for. Endless opportunities await for your transformation.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Drop the BS and Be Something Great

We are living in crazy times don't you think? Does it feel like radical change to you? Personal upheaval, political upheaval, world chaos. Are you paying attention to the 24 hour news cycle and the consistent spewing of fear and negativity that these parties are so good at?

Many people I know are going through upheaval and myself included. It's not the type of upheaval you would imagine though. Well, may be. It can seem like your world or the world is falling apart all around you and you are left to pick up the pieces.

How do you choose to respond to all of this? Do you keep going and trust all will be well or do you go negative and cynical and disbelieving? It's pretty hard to trust when things seem so uncertain.

But trusting yourself and trusting life can be a way to create certainty. Can you take the leap of faith that things will work out, have a positive attitude, and just keep going? Another opportunity for courage!

I see in my experience and that of others that we have been conditioned to believe that life is a struggle, that life is hard, and that we have to fight to survive. We are conditioned to believe that we are not capable of changing our lives or making strides to something great. We believe in lack and loss and we create it every day.

Sounds like a lot of new-age baloney. But unfortunately, I find it to be true. Staring us in the face everywhere we look every day.

May be you wake up one day and you say enough of the BS about not having what you desire, the right people in your life, the right opportunities, community, living situation, etc.

May be you decide to stop believing the negative hype that you can't have what your heart desires or that to get it you need to sell your soul. May be you decide to create it by working hard, staying positive in the face of challenges, and believing in yourself and believing in life. May be you make that mental and emotional, even spiritual shift (no matter what you believe) and say you are no longer willing to be resigned to an ordinary life.

What then? Well that depends on you. But as soon as you decide that you are worth a heck of a lot more than you thought or were told by someone who didn't know their true power. Can't blame them but you can move away from them.

I am here to say that you are worth it, there is no dollar amount high enough for you and that you are a creative, powerful, loving being with great potential for good.

More mumbo jumbo BS? May be for you. Not for me.

You see I believed or found myself believing that I wasn't worth a lot even when my reality showed me differently. I got sad or depressed or in a funk and started drinking the negative cool-aid. This was never me in my life but it happened. That story took on its own life and grew. Sure I've been through a lot, we all have, and I've grown because of it and I'm grateful BUT the story of lack, of no self worth, of sadness and cynicism is just that, a story.

It can be transcended. It has been transcended. Love your stories, thank them, and then let them go.

Move into the space where you are loving yourself for who you are and loving others for who they are. Bring awareness to your actions, your ideas, your beliefs, your relationships, your goals and your dreams. See what works and what doesn't and don't be afraid to let go of anything that is taking up space or dragging you down.

This is super hard but it is also super rewarding. I haven't been successful with all of this yet. I'd be lying if I said I was. This is a process and it takes time but time we have contrary to the world clock and the naysayers who believe in smallness.

So take a moment to love yourself, love life, and be grateful for what you have and then move on your own unique path toward whatever greatness you decide to create. You can do it, you will do it, and I am here to tell you that there is more support than you know.

Peace out

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

My Recent Experience with Judgment

I'm sure we've all found ourselves being judged or judging somebody else at one time or another. It's a pretty common occurrence in life.

I've often read about and experienced over the years the negative impact of judgment. It's not something that helps us but tends to hurt us and others. I won't believe you if you tell me that someone is completely free of judgment. I believe it's a natural thing for most of us to do.

I've often spoken of letting go of judgment and sought to do so in my life. Recently, however, it's been staring me in the face. I don't know if I'm being judged by others right now but I do know that I am judging myself. Judging self for not doing this or that, judging self for feeling this way or that way, judging something physical, mental, or emotional, and even, oh yes, subtly judging others. It sneaks up on you as I am about to describe.

I would like to not judge myself or anyone for anything but it just happens naturally. We've been conditioned to judge. Further, many of us are constantly comparing ourselves to others, trying to be better than others, and judging, whether or not we are fully aware of it. I'm not judging this per say, I'm observing. This, of course, is my perspective.

I've heard this one a lot. "Well, this person did this or that person did that but there's no way I would do that." Or we criticize another or gossip about them and so on. We're all guilty of it. We make people wrong or different or somehow unworthy and judge them for what they do, say, or how they look.

Often, again, in my experience I think that when we judge we are seeking to make ourselves feel better about something that we're struggling with inside. Not always, but a lot of the time. Something is missing in us or in our life and we deflect energy elsewhere onto others.

May be this isn't your experience but it has been mine.

I have been told by friends in the recent past that sometimes it is necessary to judge. You judge something that is wrong with the world and say "that's wrong" or "I won't stand for that" and may be take action to stop it or just consciously act differently.

So yes I agree that we have to judge sometimes to differentiate between right and wrong or other people or things (ultimately more judgments but necessary today). But judging to judge, which is what I am talking about, is often negative and it hurts us and it hurts others.

Last thing and then two recent stories:

I've found that if we figure out what it is that bothers us about what we are judging, with enough awareness and courage, we'll often notice that what bothers us about another is something that is bothering us about us. And we're projecting onto them.

Two examples from my life, one internal and one external

#1. Next door to me there is a family of Mexicans. I love Latin America. I have lived in Mexico and Argentina. I worked with the people there for many years. This family seems really nice but I haven't spoken with them, instead, I've judged them. I've judged them for having a yard packed with junk spilling over, for being loud, judged the kids for being negative and angry and acting gangster, for eating at McDonald's, for smoking pot and cigarettes, and believe it or not, for being working class and Mexican.

What? Really? Jon? Yep. I realized, kind of like lightning striking me, that a part of me was judging them but the rest of me wasn't catching on. And then I judged myself for judging them. Woo. Double whammy. I'm doing what I am trying not to do and punishing myself for it.

And you know what, they were probably judging me (or may be not but I think so) for being a tall, lanky white kid with pristine curly hair who shops at Whole Foods, walks the dog like eight times per day, has a trust fund, and drives a Honda hybrid, among other things. Oh wait, am I judging myself again?

I don't know who they are and they don't know who I am. We don't talk. We judge.

#2. I judged myself for being skinny. I've been told so many times over the last few years that I am way too skinny. Am I underweight a bit for my height? Yep. But this is me. I've always been a bit skinny and lanky and I have high metabolism.

But the comments by others ended up giving me a complex which I then created into something far worse, judging myself for not having more weight on these long bones. I was worried about being underweight and thinking may be I was malnourished, I obsessed over it so that when I was eating, I didn't really get many of the nutrients because of the stress.

Yeah, there are other factors to consider but the point is I judged myself and this judgment led to more judgment and a lack of self-love which impacted my ability to gain weight. But then I realized that this is my yogi body (ha) and started to appreciate myself more and slowly I am enjoying food again and accepting me for who I am physically. And I'll probably gain weight and muscle but not because of how I eat but what I say to myself each day before, during, and after eating.

In my experience, judging creates a division within us and between us. It keeps me here and you over there, judging. It puts in and puts out a negative vibe that often leads to separation from humanity, a lack of love and compassion for self and others, and a bitter world of a bunch of people who are misunderstood.

And just today, one of the neighbors who is probably in his late twenties asked me if I like Whole Foods since I was carrying a bag of groceries. I said yes that I like the quality even if it is expensive. I told him that I decided to spend the money anyway to eat healthier. He said yes and agreed by offering: "you are what you eat;" and walked away. Very wise.

I think I'll stop judging them and talk to them.

I realize that there are exceptions to every rule and sometimes may be we do need to judge to take a stand against something and sometimes may be as a form of self-defense or self-definition.

However, I would say that may be instead of judgment, we use discernment. We discern if this thought or this word or this action is really helping us or hindering us and our relationships.

I vote for judging less and loving more. And ultimately, I think judgment divides while compassion unites.

Monday, January 2, 2017

New Year's Resolution?

Happy New Year! We get to start over, right? Unless the past follows us into the future. :)

How about a New Year's resolution: Believing and experiencing that there IS enough.

The last few days I have been noticing AGAIN how I have these thoughts that there is not enough.

There's never enough of the things we want in life: time, money, opportunity, happiness, etc.

It seems to be a common internal dialogue. If I could just do this or do that I'd be happy. If I had this or had that, well, I'd be happy. Just give me those things I think I want and I'm happy.

And then I get some of those things that I want. May be they come to me or may be I create them through hard work. But guess what?

It's not enough. I want more and I start over again. If I could just get this and get that I will be happy again. And the story I tell myself goes on and on so much so that I am living in a perpetual state of not having enough and its painfully disappointing.

But then I tell myself that I "should be" happy. I have a good family and friends, I have a job, and I have people around me who care for me. Why do I have to be so unhappy and even ungrateful when I have so much to be grateful for? I guess I don't but I am.

And I see where it goes next. I punish myself for being ungrateful, for judging myself and my situation, and for getting angry with myself which builds a new cycle of not enough in my life while inflicting terrible wounds on an already struggling me. This sucks, right? I think so.

These are tough patterns to break and I go through it all of the time. More than I would like.

Now I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with wanting more. Don't we all? But I wonder if it's the tiring act of "wanting" and the perception that we "don't have enough" and the emotion attached to it that gets us down? Most of these emotions are inherently negative in my experience.

When I am going through these negative emotions, it's often because I'm resisting what is.

I'm not willing to really look at what's bothering me in my life or whatever it might be. The emotions around it aren't enjoyable to feel and I'd rather just live avoiding them and in a negative space of not enough and unhappiness.

Ugh. Really? Wow, what a recipe for a miserable experience, Jon.

But before I judge myself more, there's another way to try: to have compassion for myself because this whole thing of life and being human isn't easy.

Also, what if I started thinking and acting like I had everything I needed to be happy and healthy and successful? That the world is abundant and that life is perfect just the way it is and no matter how it appears. Pipe dream? I don't know. The alternative still isn't that inviting.

I think positive thoughts about myself and about my life even if I have rough days and things don't go the way I want them to. I stay strong in my perseverance of positivity. I'm not being ignorant to the stuff that's going on but I'm choosing not to let my ideas of not enough, the world's ideas of not enough, and the negativity get me down.

It's a real chore and I don't always enjoy it because if you haven't noticed, people are spewing negativity these days. In fact, at times, and I consider myself a positive guy, I am also leaking negative thoughts all over the floor.

But I have a choice. I am choosing this year and with visible resistance already to believe that happiness and having enough IS possible and that I can create more of it. Don't we deserve this? Call me crazy but I think we do.