Okay, so I’m a guy, and feeling my emotions is not what society trains us to do. “Be strong! Don’t cry! Act professional! You can do anything! Be tough! Be a champion!” Sound familiar?
One of the big parts of my experience the past few years has been feeling my own emotions. Even if I’ve been taught negative emotions about being a guy and feeling my own emotions, and the judgments have been mainly about losing my own sense of masculinity and strength, and feeling like I’m becoming gay, what feels right, really, is to feel my own emotions.
It can be overwhelming sometimes, obviously, and it’s not something that’s always pleasurable. Running away is easy. Distracting yourself, playing games, drinking with friends, diving into your work, you name it. All different forms of running away from what you’re feeling. We all have our “strategies.” I’m sure you know yours.
That never works, does it? Not really. Turn your back to it and it continues to beat on you.
The only thing I’ve found that relieves the pain of emotional overwhelment, is to turn and face it willingly. Call it surrender if you like. It’s not so much an assertive thing, like I’m going to overcome an obstacle with my own power. That’s meeting force with force and creates more struggle.
What I’m talking about is seeing how running never works. It will never work. It can’t work. The fact is, you don’t have a choice. You can’t run away. You can try and hide, but there is no hiding. The only choice left is to face it.
and again, not in a defeated sense, but more in this realization that facing it is your only choice left. So you face it. You not only face it, but you also become willing to face it. Ups and downs, twists and turns, spins and pressure, happy and sad, all the waves of emotion, here we go. As crazy as it will get or as still as it get. Facing your raw humanness. Not superior, not beyond, not past anything. Just right here. REAL.
It’s pretty remarkable how this willingness to face it starts to dissipate it. It’s not that you’re using any spiritual tricks you’ve learned to make it go away or change it in any way. You stop all the tricks and just face your shit.
It dissipates again and again and again.
More comes up, it’s faced, and it releases you from its grip.
More comes up, you say hi, you say yes, and it loses its power.
It’s not something you do once and then you’re successful for the rest of your life. It’s almost like it becomes a new habit, a new way of relating to your own emotions. It’s a conscious and deliberate choice that you make again and again.
Here comes more emotion. Look right at it. Here comes more. Hi. Here’s more. Hi.
You live your life, looking life right in the eyes.
You sit, willing to face whatever comes up, even if it kills you, and you watch whatever comes up… which is ironically absolutely nothing, when you face it that openly.
Turn away and it’ll continue to beat on you and wear you down.
Face everything and you find nothing to fear.
So I wanna do a quick rehash over what I’ve gone through over the past few years since I last used to write at this blog. There’s been many changes, and the whole idea of being a spiritual person has really changed.
So the last post I wrote here was almost 2 1/2 years ago now. So much has changed in my life since then. I’ve learned a lot, grown a lot, experienced a lot of emotions both good and bad, and while I’ve thought about this site off and on periodically, I really do enjoy writing. Moreso than trying to get people to understand something, I really enjoy feeling the movement, the energy, the flow of life moving through me. It’s healing, uplifting, and soul satisfying. Other people seem to enjoy this and benefit from it as well, and so me doing what I love seems to be a sort of win/win, and I like that. I really do.
It’s 12/21/2012 today, supposedly the end of an era and time for a new world. Cool.
Be yourself. Do what you love. Live with ease and joy.
I love doing what feels right, and so here we go once again.
Watch this video in HD. (Recommended)
You may have noticed that there haven’t been any posts here recently. A few days ago I returned from a 30-day solo camping trip into the forest. (That’s where the photos and videos shot in the video above came from.) After the initial 6-day trip where a lot of internal things arose but didn’t fully complete, it was time to dive in and see what would happen when I go full out…
You know the stories about Jesus going into the desert for 40 days or Buddha meditating under the Bodhi tree for I think 7 week or so? As the stories go, Jesus was met by the devil who tried to lead him into temptation and the Buddha met Mara who similarly threw all these demons (ego stuff) at him but the Buddha wouldn’t follow any of that and continued to sit in silence. Both of these experiences are central to their awakenings. As the saying goes, be still and know.
Having heard these stories, I certainly had high expectations for my 30-day outing into the forest. “Let’s go face my inner demons and get totally enlightened too! Yeah!!”
What actually happened, looking back in retrospect? Well while I literally have no desire to get into the details of the experiences, the shifts, the experiences, the realizations, the transformations, and yada yada yada the way I used to, what I do have some interest in saying is that it was perhaps one of the most internally catastrophic periods in my life I’ve ever experienced. One of the many things that was unexpectedly destroyed, much to my surprise actually, was my interest in continually talking about, thinking about, teaching about, or in any way making spirituality a central aspect of my life. The realizations, the search, the even apparent progress… who cares?!?
It’s like, when you learn how to walk, just walk! There’s no need to keep talking about how you put one foot in front of the other. You just walk… When you stop spending so much time talking about walking and you may just discover that you can walk and chew gum at the same time. So much energy freed up for other things in life! For life to be as it IS, as it naturally wants to arise, without us trying to turn it into what we think it should be.
To be perfectly honest, I just don’t care about yakking about all this stuff anymore. If I never hear another word about enlightenment, awakening, non-duality, oneness, the law of attraction, metaphysics, or any of this stuff, it would literally make no difference. At the same time, having been back in mankind’s civilized world for a few days now, I’ve noticed that whenever the topics do arise in conversation, it’s just a natural part of the flow, and when it’s done, it’s done.
There’s nothing to say, nothing to do. You just BE who you are, naturally, and that’s the whole point. Be yourself… and let’s get on with living life!
At this point my intuition, excitement, and passion are all guiding me more and more towards spending more time being outdoors and leading a simple life. Just LIVE it. It’s as simple as that. Just BE.
As such, this may be my last post on this blog. This may be the start of a new approach to this blog. To be perfectly honest, I literally have no idea if I’ll ever have another urge to write anything here again, and either way is just as fine.
Because of this, I’m posting this post to bring a sense of closure to what once was, to this site’s former existence.
The forums I’m going to keep open because intuitively it feels right for whatever reason, but I don’t know what will become of this blog from here on out.
My travel photoblog I will remain active on and you can catch me there. From Georgia to Colorado to California, I am going to be headed up to Alaska next. Woohoo!!
(and before you ask, yes I’ve seen the movie Into the Wild (great movie by the way), and yes the irony of me also being an outdoorsy guy traveling solo from Georgia to Alaska on a sort of epic adventure hasn’t escaped me either.. but no, I’m not copying him. haha.)
In any event, I want to thank you all for being here and experiencing this journey with me as you have. It’s been a fun ride and I’m so grateful that you are all here living your version of it as well.
I recently set off to go spend time alone in silence in the mountains and wound up spending nearly a week camping along a river, basically meditating, eating, and sleeping.
Now you’d think it’d be simple enough to sit down and spend time in silence where everything is great and nothing is wrong, but it turns out that wasn’t the case! Wanna watch the mind go crazy? Give it nothing to do!
Announcing! A New Travel Blog!!
If you let go of all of the things you do out of a sense of obligation and necessity, if you could experience yourself being totally and completely supported as you do the things your heart is calling you to do, what would you imagine that would look like? How would that feel?
For the past 4 months or so, I’ve been stepping into this state of being as best as I can, and my heart has been guiding me to travel and really embrace and love all that arises in life.
As such I’ve started created a new blog dedicated to travel and experiencing what life can be like when follow your passion as best you can, listen to your heart, and allow yourself to be guided by your intuition. The site is now up at ArielBravy.com/travel and it’s replacing my 5 year running photoblog. (You’ll find years worth of pictures on the photoblog and only the more recent stuff thus far on the travel blog.) To give you a preview of what’s there, here’s a few pictures.
Nothing that you’ll see here was planned from the get-go. When the fire was lit to go LIVE, these are but a few of the spontaneous manifestations that naturally arose and practically fell into my lap. Life can be really amazing when we quit trying to force it and allow it to show up on its own terms, as we fully align with the universe’s natural subtle currents and flows!
I’ve been flying solo for the most part the past few months, but traveling with others looks like a lot of fun as well!
Really, there’s SO MANY ways of experiencing life!
One thing you I’ve come to discover on journeys like this is that, ironically, it doesn’t matter WHERE you are. (Even though the places are awesome!) What really matters is HOW you’re living your life, and HOW you live is something that you can choose to embody ANYWHERE. ie. It’s not about finding happiness in life through traveling, but allowing the happiness to show up in life though your travels, expressed as your life.
At this time, my guidance is directing me to take a break from life’s epic outer adventures and to go spend some time in silence, and so I’m taking a break from the whole online thing.
In the meantime, have you considered how much more happiness, passion, joy, and love you have the capacity to bring forth into your own life? What gifts do you have within yourself to bring forth? How much more of your own light do you have to share and experience?
The other day my friend and I were cracking up at fact that various words can be both good or bad, valid or invalid, true or untrue depending on how they’re used…
So recently I shared this on facebook:
All understandings are conceptual. Even a living realization can be grasped by the mind and turned into another concept to be understood and shared. What if we stopped going into the domain of mental concepts altogether and simply rested in what is here without moving, without also going to the mind to label, describe, remember, or understand… Just experiencing whatever happens as it arises, purely and untouched.
and friend of mine brought up an excellent concern:
Can you imagine if after we process thought into concept and fail to SHARE it? So many others wouldn’t be touched, stimulated and motivated to realize more. I so enjoy following your travels and posts. It’s like a good shot in the arm, for you are always willing to SHARE freely. Thanks for that! ♥
Yeah, that hits right on the money on some of my concerns as well. What’s being questioned here, on a deeper level beyond whether we say something or not, is whether or not we have to take what is discovered through the heart and immediately bring it up into the mind to be stored, leaving the heart and quickly going into the head.