Epicenter

“The greatest light comes from the deepest darkness.”

Shadows of Life:
The grand illusion is we are all separate from each other. The greater deception is we are alienated from ourselves. Knowing, expressing and being our self in contemporary society has become a dangerous endeavor. One that is often greeted with conflict, indifference and hostility. We become aware of our dependence on social reality as we awaken. Beyond our senses and perceptions are authentic experiences that transform our lives from routine to remarkable. However challenging it may seem to manifest them, every moment provides an opportunity to transcend the mundane and become all that is possible.

Ties that Bind:
Physical, mental and emotional attachment tethers us to our personal life sentence. Our egos, fears, insecurities and pride enable our immersion in a domain of existence lived by most yet revered by few. Our family and social programming establishes our fixed opinions, stimulated by education, politics and religion. We are condemned to a common fate endured by countless generations. It feels like the weight of the world is upon us because it is how we are conditioned. Our experiences and perceptions are socially designed to distract, intimidate and overwhelm us under the threat our own fear.

Fear

Fifty Shades of Fear:
It is not the initial fright we experience that impacts us most. It is the anxiety and distress that comes before and after. The moment rarely ever paralyzes us. It is our natural tendency to amplify and exaggerate our fear to epic proportions. If we possess the power to intimidate ourselves into antiquated social engagements and responsibilities, then we can apply the same energy to shift our experience and empower our life. It is a simple choice either to allow our fear to dishearten us or our love to inspire us. The quality of our focus, intent and purpose is how we manifest our personal power.

Distortion of Power:
Every human being has the potential to align with an infinite source of universal energy. Whether or not we choose to acknowledge and express it is entirely up to us. Some selfishly use their power to sustain their survival and satisfy insatiable desire. Few graciously express theirs to make a difference in service to others. Most have long abandoned this opportunity because the potential benefits simply do not warrant their focus and effort. Our dormant personal power cultivates the seeds of our apathy, cynicism, denial and resignation. Left unrefined, it becomes envy, judgement, resentment and toxicity.

Epicenter VII

Revelation in Darkness:
Wisdom is not found in the light. Our darkest encounters provide the most powerful opportunities to evolve, progress and transform. It takes an exodus from reality, reason, sense and understanding to reveal insights that exist beyond our contemporary vision. Becoming present to something distinct from what has been and is requires us to release all that no longer serves us, creating a field of possibility within for all that will. Only when we delve into the mysterious unknown of our potential do we unravel the complexities of our selective reality to reveal and embody our true being.

“Light shines brightest in the darkness.”

Filters of Perception:
Our eyes are not our own. Social stimuli conditions our viewpoints to reflect what is seen, not who we are. Our lives are a cascade of constant medium vying for our attention and energy. Whenever something traumatic happens to us, we defensively adopt and/or invent perceptual screens through which we view people and experiences. We instinctively apply so many filters, we no longer see reality and society for what it is, only how we believe it should be. Insights and visions are elusive to us because we are attempting to realize them through a kaleidoscope of illusion.

Female face with beautiful eyebrows and artificial eyelashes

The Truth about Truth:
What is true is both personal and subjective. It is a singular path offering solitary enrichment, enlightenment and fulfillment. All of which is experienced through our own actions, thoughts, feelings, intuition and universality. No two truths are the same. Social reality will always deceive us into adopting and applying the beliefs and lifestyles of others. Our essence sources, progresses and transforms our unique evolution. Who, how and why we are is a manifestation of our choices and experience. Our creativity is an expression of our truth.  Living our truth is how our soul transforms our reality.

A Brush with Creativity:
Whether we are at cause or effect in our lives, they are an opportunity for creativity. Becoming who we were meant to be is the definitive exhibition of our originality. It is our distinct and vital contribution to our lives and society. Our soul’s purpose is to transform our experience. Whatever medium with which we choose to create, it is our destiny to be a vessel for the universe. Consciousness is the energy of creation. Being creative allows us to emanate our true nature. Awareness is the essence of creativity. When we manifest the universe into reality, we are helping to raise the consciousness of humanity.

Epicenter IX

Universal Essence:
The energy of consciousness is the soul of creation. It is what connects everything in every dimension. Without it, there is little understanding of or relation with our selves, others or the universe. Creative expression, evolution and transformation are the foundations of our being. These elements empower us to fulfill our destiny beyond our imagination. It is not what we bring to the universe that manifests the extraordinary. It is how we allow the universe to guide and inspire us that transforms our experience. When we live and trust in the universe, our being transcends the paradigm of social reality.

In the Center:
Our existence is a creation of our being. It is a synthesis of our actions, thoughts, feelings, insights and essence. Being in the center of our experience is an alignment between the universe and our soul, intuition, heart, mind and body. This synergy evolves and transforms our being. When we become the epicenter of our own alchemy, we are a multi-dimensional expression of energy. Our focus, intention and purpose create our experience. We claim our personal power with our choices, creativity, truth and vision. The opportunity to exist at the center of our being gives us the possibility to be as infinite as the universe.

“The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize at the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit, and that its center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.” – Black Elk

BE

One for All

“Survival is the deception of humanity.”

Society of Self:
The dynamics of social reality are designed around the individual self. Survival is the modus operandi enforced upon us long before we have the cognizance to observe let alone transcend it. The distinction between surviving and thriving is as significant as living from our head or our heart. Civilization is an all-encompassing reflection of our egocentricity. Selfishness distorts and manipulates us and the reality in which we enable with our engagement. We are constantly driven toward personal advancement, achievement and recognition. Success is based upon what we emulate and acquire instead of who we are and what we create.

Charity Lost:
Before we are molded into maturity by the cruel hands of institutional influence and social obligation, our inherent nature is to be empowering, equitable, generous and kind. Our support for each other is essential to our transformation. It inspires us to become someone more than we are and how we appear. Yet, we sacrifice our choice to express our acceptance and empathy due to our fear of a lack and/or loss of our personal power. Our hands once charitable as children become conservative as adults. We abandon our need for community to preserve our individual interests and status.

OFA IV

Possibility on Purpose:
Howsoever we choose to manifest our lives begins with a possibility. It is a vision that represents the who, what and why of our personal mission. Within our choice is the opportunity of establishing the beneficiaries of our intention. Most are enrolled in the selfish social pattern of being the sole recipient of their life purpose. True fulfillment is giving for the sake of giving without attachment, entitlement or expectation of a return on investment. Our universality is a multidimensional expression of creativity, energy and infinite possibility. The focus of our intention is the pathway to our purpose.

Manifestation by Intention:
We often decide to surrender our lives to blind fate and circumstance. Yet, we can choose to consciously devote them to realizing our destiny. Our intent is what defines our existence. Every minute of every day is an opportunity to inhale possibility and exhale manifestation. Our commitment to this practice provides us the ability to transform any experience we may encounter from one of personal tragedy to triumph. Who we choose to be and how we serve others is the difference between one person winning and everyone thriving. In every moment we have the power to create our present.

OFA V (2)

A World of Difference:
Our greatest possibility is making a difference. We are constantly given opportunities to enrich and inspire our lives and those of others. Our choice to do so instantly transforms our experience from one lived in the fear of deficiency to one inspired by a commitment for all to flourish. We eventually become imprisoned by a sentence of solitary life with the conceited perceptions we willingly adopt rather than the freedom of choosing to empower community. Every day in every way we have a choice to make a difference. It is what allows us to transcend the commandments of social reality.

“Service is the nature of the universe.”

From Here to Epiphany:
We are socially influenced to manipulate our behavior and environments in order to achieve the lives we believe bring gratification, wholeness and worth. When we embody, surround and defend ourselves with static existence, the starkest reality we never behold is that we are the warden of our personal prison. Everything we already are, do, know or have is a fixed way of being inhibiting our ability to evolve and transform. Insights are the keys to the fulfillment of our experience. They are multidimensional occurrences that open the vision of our perception and empower us to become the expression of our purpose.

OFA VI

The Dynamic of Being:
We are the totality of our actions, thoughts, feelings and energy. How we occur to ourselves and others is defined by who we choose to be. Yet, it is much more than the characteristics of our identity. The universe, our soul, intuition, heart, mind and body are all essential aspects of our existence. Our consciousness emanates from the entirety of our being. The balance and full expression of these facets functioning in concert along with our focused intent creates the paradigm in which we become authors of our experience. It only requires our choice and dedication to fulfill our destiny.

True Calling:
The difference between being ordinary and extraordinary is the distinction between receiving for ourselves alone and giving for the sake of giving. Social reality recognizes charity as optional. In some parts of the world it is even illegal! As trivial as this may seem, service to others is the foundation of belonging, creativity, community and evolution. It is the most powerful form of being that connects us with ourselves, others and the universe. Our personal transformation is best expressed in the difference we make. Each of us has a common mission to serve each other for the sake of all.

OFA III

A Passion for Purpose:
We are the vision, mission, intention and purpose we empower. Our lives are opportunities to transform our selves, experiences and realities. The personal power we emulate is our catalyst to transcend all that is to be most present in the present. Our purpose inspires us to surpass even who we believe or perceive ourselves to be. Being an expression of the universe allows us to embrace and embody its fulfillment. When we are motivated by our intention to serve, everything in our imagination is conceivable. The extraordinary becomes ordinary and our purpose becomes our life.

One for All:
Who, how and why we are is our choice. The true measure of our humanity is in all we give and share. Every moment in the present is an opportunity to transcend social reality, source possibility and transform our selves. When we live with an intention of enrichment, we set a precedent of creativity, community and workability. The will to thrive together becomes the inspiration for all that is possible. If one of us falls, we all fall. When one of us rises, we all rise. Our commitment to transform our experience from a competition to a movement of purpose manifests universal destiny for all.

“All we are is all we give.”

OFA VII

 

Transcendental Shift

“We are the key to the universe.”

Opposing Forces:
We are our greatest adversary. Our tendency is to emulate doubt, fear, indifference and self-sabotage. We demonize authenticity, accountability, integrity and purpose because we are programmed by the social dysfunctions of arrogance, egocentricity and self-righteousness. We obsessively analyze and dismiss most of our opportunities because they do not fit our desired perception of how we believe they should be. Every day we assassinate more often than empower ourselves. Our societal conditioning suppresses our consciousness, evolution and transformation.

Life in Illusion:
Reality is not real. It is an archaic social deception designed to amuse, distract, entertain and preoccupy us from becoming extraordinary beings. Every day we are beholden to abide by and sponsor the commandments of society. Yet, it is an instinctual and intellectual prison for our emotions, intuition and soul. The more we accept and conform to the parameters of reality, the more we comply and surrender to it. Eventually we begin to believe embodying and enabling a lie is easier than creating and becoming our truth. In a world of illusion, what is true is often perceived as an inconvenience.

ts ii

The Opportunity of Fear:
Fear is the destroyer of worlds. It impacts and influences us on a cellular level of being. Because we do not possess an equivalent consciousness, we are unable to conquer let alone identify our own fear. It is an inevitable dance with the enigma of our existence. One that seemingly eludes our every intention. Fear becomes a part of our nature and experience. The very thought of it passes a debilitating impression upon us long before we are aware of its presence. Fear is simply our unconscious interpretation of raw energy yet to be transformed into our personal power.

Spark to a Flame:
There are many instances in our lives when we are given opportunities to live our destined path. These occasions are happening in every moment of the present. It is our choice to acknowledge and claim them as they transpire. Though it is not feasible to fulfill on every prospect we encounter, these experiences empower and inspire us toward a life we love. They are most evident in the expression of our contentment, happiness and the difference we choose to make. The spark of our vision ignites our intention to reveal infinite possibilities for the manifestation of our purpose.

ts ix

Flame to a Fire:
Our passion is the expression of our power. Whatever kindles our desire and will to evolve and transform sources our being. When our heart, mind and body are in alignment with our intention, our intuition connects us with our soul and the eternal, infinite energy of the universe. Possibility emanates from the synergy of our multi-dimensionality. How, why and who we are being is the essence of our instincts, thoughts, feelings and insights. The quality of our consciousness accelerates and expands all we express into the world. We are universal ambassadors personifying energy.

“Energy is the currency of consciousness.”

Stroke of Insight:
Revelation is the mother of transformation. When we shift our perception from the ordinary to the extraordinary, our experience is expanded by the expression of our consciousness. Freedom from our everyday life requires us to release the known of our existence and become aware of the infinite, ever-present possibilities. Everything we already understand of ourselves and the world only inhibits our full potential. Our opportunities are only as diverse as we perceive and intend them to be. We must be willing to step out of the image we portray and the reality we adopt to become multi-dimensional beings.

ts

Power of Authenticity:
We shift our experience when we are being authentic. This is almost impossible in a superficial, social reality. Authenticity has become a pastime practiced most often in exclusive company. Yet, it is at the heart of our transformation. Personal power is not expressed by our criticism, judgement and opinion of others. True integrity and vision are found in our ability to accept ourselves and others as we are and as we are not. When we appreciate and honor our strengths and weaknesses, we empower ourselves to express consideration, kindness and understanding for all.

The Will to Serve:
Many are called, yet few are chosen. Leadership isn’t about authority, dictation or management. The true expression of how we lead is found in the measure of our service to the world and how we empower others to claim their own. There is nothing more gratifying than making a difference. This inevitably creates an enriching social reaction of evolution, good will and purpose, inspiring others to experience the fulfillment service provides. We are not just born to achieve our own agenda, need, want or survival. We truly thrive when we choose to share our unique contribution with the intention of transforming the consciousness of humanity.

ts viii

Transcendance:
There is an energetic flow to everything at every time in every experience. The dynamics vary dependent upon our circumstance and our awareness. However, we always have an opportunity to shift our being according to the present so we may rise above the chaotic, dense and destructive frequencies to embrace those that are conscious, positive and progressive. It is not something we can encounter merely with our instinct or intellect. It is something we feel with our heart and intuit with our soul. We are always at the center of our experience. Therefore, we have the power to transcend and transform.

True Emanation:
We are a soul empowering our life through the experiences of our heart, mind and body. Our intuition is a multi-dimensional pathway that connects our consciousness with the world and the universe. We are a lightning bolt of energy expressing our soul into reality and transforming it with our creativity. We are a bridge of potentiality sourcing our experience by who we choose to be. The totality of our being is the instrument through which we cause our personal shift. All of us are developing and transitioning ourselves into our universality. Our life is an opportunity to express our soul and become who we are meant to be.

“Enlightenment is consciousness of being.”

ts xi

Spirit of the Season

“We are not solely inspired by the spirit of the holiday season. We are empowered by the natural expression of our soul.”

Iam Saums

“Giving is the greatest gift we will ever receive.”

Sugar Plum Fairies:

As children, we were captivated and mystified by the glitz, glow and glitter of the holiday season.  The prospect of gifts we would receive carried us through the most difficult days of the year.  Every time the holidays arrived, we would miraculously transform our behavior in a last-ditch effort to prove we were indeed more nice than naughty.  We dreamt of the moments when we would leap from our beds and tear open the presents littered around the tree.  We were consumed within the fantasy of our own wants.  For those brief and long awaited moments we were adrift in the blissful oblivion of all we had received.

Yuletide by the Fireside:

The enchantment of the season is both authentic and evident.  There is a brilliant energy of giving, good will and tidings to empower and inspire our…

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Source of the Soul

“Breathe.”

Hollow Pursuits:
Social reality is an illusion. It is a subjective projection of distraction designed to dismantle our creativity, consciousness and the foundation of our being. Each of us is energetically, emotionally, intellectually and instinctually unique. Therefore, our true expression and destiny in this world is contrary to the nature of society. The density of reality distorts the creative force of our imagination and disrupts our ability to fulfill our personal vison. Most of us are not even present to our purpose or how to manifest it in our lives. There is very little opportunity in contemporary society for our soul to be expressed let alone thrive.

South of Center:
There is a myriad of elements in social reality specifically designed to keep us anxious, engaged and otherwise preoccupied with everything besides our personal destiny. The more we are amused, distracted, or entertained, the less likely we are to transform ourselves and the world. Before we can create or experience our life, it is highjacked by a plethora of stimuli that provokes our reactions of anger, denial, indifference and futility. These aspects of our daily experience hinder our ability to connect and relate with the universe. Eventually we become an invention of mind and body devoid of heart and soul.

Android

Primal Instinct:
Survival is the standard of everyday life. Our innate social nature often dictates a narrow and shallow experience and perception. We are conditioned to exist in chaotic energies of instinctual, intellectual and emotional reactivity. Competition, desperation and selfishness blinds our vision, manipulates our thoughts and corrupts our feelings. It suppresses our enlightened mind and heart, ultimately compromising our relatedness with our intuition and our soul. We assassinate a part of ourselves everyday with our cynicism, fear and uncertainty. Our desire to survive supersedes our ability to thrive.

Smoke and Mirrors:
Our mind is an intricate forest in which we frequently wander and become lost. Thoughts often activate our sense of anxiety, doubt and irrelevance. Broken dreams and promises haunt our lives. We allow our minds to be polluted with self-condemnation, confusion and suspicion while we invent an inauthentic power and security. Our perceptions of ourselves, others and reality are often twisted into erroneous and fantasized delusions. The shield we wield against the world is the knowledge to which we are attached and conditioned from years of institutionalized education and religion at the cost of our creativity.

MN (2)

Stormy Seas:
We have yet to scratch the surface of our emotional awareness and expression. Our ego seizes control of our existence and influences us into becoming reactively engaged with and reliant upon social reality. When we do experience emotion, it is often a bi-polar encounter of random highs and frequent lows. We tend to be overwhelmed with feelings of anger, guilt, loss and sadness. Our addiction to and obsession with negative emotions confines us to perpetual cynicism and resignation. It dampens our experience of happiness, love, relatedness and success. The agendas of our mind constantly overpower the possibilities of our heart.

“Feel.”

Fire of the Heart:
The heart is the key to open the gateway of multidimensionality. It emits a powerful electromagnetic energy that mystifies even our imagination. This lifeforce is the core of our being. It is what unites our body and mind with our intuition and soul. The heart interacts with the universe and is the center of our personal source. It is the epicenter of our creativity and the channel through which we express our spirit into the world. Our heart is the eternal fire that purifies our thoughts and actions and transforms our emotional experiences. When we are present to our heart, we transcend the ordinary and become extraordinary.

Freedom

Helix of Insight:
Intuition is the sacred spiral that fulfills our inheritance of immortal being. When we synergize our intuition with the balance of our instinct, intellect and emotion, we free ourselves from the duality of social reality. Imagination replaces ego as we transcend the terrestrial dimension. Our being expands into an infinite experience. We are transformed into an expression of the universe. The energy of our consciousness connects us with our spirit. Intuition is the bridge that connects our creativity with our reality. It is the origin of our transformation. Our soul’s purpose is to intend our vision to become our possibility.

Heart of the Fire:
The greatest illustration of our multidimensionality is our soul. The equilibrium of our body, mind, heart and intuition manifests it into our daily lives. When we are seduced by the duality of instinct and intellect, our union with our heart and spirit is broken and we regress to default patterns of ordinary existence. When we are being an expression of our soul, our creativity inspires the extraordinary. This allows us to become our potential as spiritual beings living a human experience. How, why and who we choose to be transforms our reality. Our soul is our connection to the universe and our possibility of fulfilling on our purpose.

MB

A Shift in Purpose:
Our experiences reflect the choices we make, our expression of being and our commitment to walk our truth. The intention we apply to our life is what empowers our purpose. Our full potential exists when we release everything that no longer serves us or our communities. It is within this clearing that possibility is born. Every day we have an opportunity to shift our energy and become a vessel of the universe. This allows us to sustain the vital alchemy of our spirit, heart, mind and body. We manifest our purpose when we relate with the source of all that is and ever will be.

Being of the Universe:
Everything we emulate in social reality is everything we are not. We invest in the stories we and others invent about us because we are afraid and/or unwilling to believe in ourselves. We are an infinite being of eternal energy with extraordinary possibility beyond even our imagination. We have been, are and will always be an expression of multidimensionality. Within each of us is the key to every mystery. We have an opportunity to empower our life in every moment of our experience. When we envision, create and manifest our purpose, the universe aligns with our intention and our soul becomes the source of our being.

“Be.”

CenteroftheUniverse

 

 

A Being of Power

“Who we are being is the origin of our power.”

As It Seems:
Social reality is an intricate tapestry of chaos, duality and oblivion. It is a human invention we enable and sustain into existence with our participation. A paradigm imposed upon us to provide a societal orientation, standard and structure. We live it into being with our apathy, dependence, doubt and indifference. Yet, it doesn’t benefit or serve us. It only maintains a routine status quo to give the impression of empowering opportunity, though delivering a fraction of the potential it promises. Reality is a slight-of-perception con that preoccupies us with perpetual distraction. It is a security blanket we use to avoid our purpose.

So It Is:
We are all captive to linear existence. Duality reigns with a strong arm of constant opposition. The burden of surviving far overshadows the freedom of thriving. Our pursuit to carve out a paltry role for ourselves within society diminishes our vision and passion to create and fulfill our destiny. Social regulation and restriction stymy our ability to transcend all we know of life to embrace all that is possible. Familiarity and predictability are anchors that tether us to our artificial comfort, security and understanding. Our lives are only as abundant and expansive as we choose to live.

ABOP III

Innocence Lost:
Social reality is pulled over our eyes from an early age. The ruse is more apparent to us in our youth. Our curious observation allows us to see things as they truly are before we are methodically indoctrinated into its deception. As we grow accustomed to the illusion, we invest our lives into it. Eventually, we divert our energy and focus away from our awareness, creativity, destiny and truth. We replace our purpose with desire, chasing a life that is not our own. As we mature into adulthood, our intent becomes one of satisfying the desires of our ego instead of cultivating the fulfillment of our soul.

Against the Grain:
We must disengage from our personal dramas, judgements, opinions and vices to escape the enslavement of reality. What makes our freedom seemingly impossible is our addiction and oblivion to our behaviors, habits and thoughts. Our pursuit for advantage, control and self-righteousness diminishes our ability to express our personal power. We lose it only when we surrender it to others or our circumstances. Our fear of claiming and living our power prevents our potential to become it. Far too often we obstruct our own way and negate our possibilities well before they appear.

ABOP VI

Paradigm Shift:
When things in our life are not working or as well as they could, we have an opportunity to transform them in ways that transcend our expectations. What we need most is a necessity for centering, grounding and living. Breathing instantly shifts our awareness. Focusing on our breath as we inhale and exhale gives us the ability to become present to much more than ourselves and our environments. It allows us to shift from an existence of doing to an experience of being. When we are conscious of our breath, we reclaim our balance, expression and power. Our breath is our fountain of youth.

“Our power is in the stillness beyond its strength.”

The Journey Within:
The greatest dilemma humanity will ever encounter is seeking outside of itself for what can only be found within. Social reality is teeming with billions of actions and thoughts all ricocheting off our collective cognizance. The universe within is far more beneficial than the one around us. Simply closing our eyes to the visual world and becoming an observer of society and our self transforms our experience. We awaken to all that is possible by synching our body, mind and heart with our soul. When we free ourselves from the encompassing imposition of reality, we begin to embrace our true power.

ABOP VII

Present in the Present:
When we disengage from the reality around us through our breath and observation, our being shifts into a multi-dimensional experience. Everything that preoccupied our instincts, thoughts and feelings disappears. All we are aware of is now. How we are present in the present establishes the relationship we have with our essence. The moment in which we are conscious expands into eternity. We become a universal expression through which we empower ourselves and others. We coexist with all that was, is and ever will be. Every imaginable possibility is available for us to intend and embody.

Universal Voice:
We are creators. Whether we are artists, musicians or writers in any form of medium, we all have the capacity to envision and manifest our spirit into our reality. This is the foundation of who we become and how we exist. The purpose of our creativity defines the power we personify. It is up to us to choose how, why and who we are in our life. Our intuition conveys the energy and purpose of our soul to inspire our imagination. Our heart feels and our mind articulates the insights we encounter. We are all messengers of the universe, destined to be an expression of the source.

ABOP VIII

The Power of Purpose:
Power is not a force we impose on others to gain an advantage or supplement our fear and insecurity. Nor is it a means to an end. It is the pathway that guides our destiny. The focus of our intent is what manifests all we imagine. Our purpose is what inspires our vision and mission. Our daily practice of it fulfills our calling. Though everything that is not our destiny will arise to challenge our intention, all we encounter further defines and strengthens our commitment. All we become originates and empowers our intent. Our personal power is the manifestation of our purpose.

The Art of Being:
We are not the sum of our ability, belief, education or wisdom. These are all reflective features that merely complement our identity. Our instinct, thought, emotion and intuition define our experience. The balance between the four dimensions of our being sustains our relationship with our spirit. Our commitment to express our soul into reality is who we are in the present. This is the key that opens us to everything beyond what our body can perform, our mind can think, our heart can feel and our intuition can envision. Our ability to create our life is a blessing beyond our imagination. Who we are being is our power to transform ourselves and the world.

“The only power that will ever fulfill us is our own.”

ABOP

In the Shadow of Brilliance

“To follow is human, to lead is divine.”

Human Nature:
We are born into a reality designed to condition us into submission. Our daily lifestyle is rooted in a default pattern of blind servitude. We are enslaved by an artificial realism so ingenious it exploits our belief to sustain its existence. Our human virtues are used against us in a merciless and relentless social control system. Once we become engaged in a two-dimensional perception within the three-dimensional reality, we forfeit our connection with our intuition and soul. Our vision narrows, our intention is repressed and our experience is transmuted from one of action to reaction.

Social Programming:
Our dependence begins before we are born. Social standards foster our reliance upon others. Though we have the freedom and opportunity to enlighten ourselves with our experience, we are conditioned through education, environment, heredity and religion. Therefore, many never fulfill their personal development of individuation. Society alters, diminishes and distorts our creativity, insight and originality into an everyday routine of intellect, desire and instinct. Adolescence is our last stand before we inevitably abandon our choice to make a difference in our lives and the world.

dependence

Boundaries of Being:
We are not encouraged to thrive on our destined path. We merely survive the constant imposition of authoritarian social agendas to dehumanize and desensitize us into ordinary thoughts, behaviors and actions. The balance between positive and negative in the critical mass of humanity trends grossly toward the latter. Human negativity has woven its chaotic and dense frequencies into the roots of our existence. Social reality isolates us in numerous ways to stimulate our animosity, envy and opposition. It uses our own anger, doubt, fear and resignation to condemn us into a dualistic state of being.

Design of Dependence:
Our social conditioning is stimulated by an inauthentic obligation to coexist. Most relationships are compromised by conflict, culpability and dysfunction. We are socially obligated to be reliant upon others. This false necessity provides a fruitless experience that ultimately leads to separation. It is not the alienation between us and the people in our lives that causes our loneliness. It is the dissociation we have with our self that leads to this widespread societal disorder. Our apathy, doubt, fear and futility produce delusions of bravery, certainty, fortitude and grandeur. We are programmed to be dependent upon others at the cost of our soul.

Shadow

Into Shadow:
We are raised to follow. Once we are institutionally indoctrinated into the captivity of reality, we instinctively settle into lifestyles of social opposition. Our lack of commitment, confidence and practice in our lives prevents their fulfillment. The visions of others appear more credible to us than clarifying, expressing and manifesting our own. We emulate them out of desperation to conform instead of creating our own with the intention of belonging. In the moment we decide to follow in another’s footsteps, we sacrifice our vision, personal power and purpose. Inevitably, we resign our leadership and become a shadow of our self.

“Truth to one is a lie for another.”

A Dime a Dozen:
There are millions of charismatic, overconfident people who line up to take a swing at our curious sensibilities. Those who possess just enough arrogance, ego and knowledge to believe their perception of how our life is best lived. It is easy for them to assume this role when we become enchanted by their alluring presence, eloquent expression and magnetic personality. Yet, when the rubber of their wisdom meets the road of our daily experience, it fails to deliver fulfillment. We inhibit our soul when we give them our enthusiasm, energy, interest and trust. Our personal power is abandoned for an illusion of being.

Spiritual-Leader

The Forest for the Trees:
Everything we have ever felt, thought, said, done or been resides in the oblivion of our memory. We cling to our triumphs and downfalls of the past and the promise and anxiety of our future. Who we were yesterday or who we are to become does not serve us in the present. All of us yearn for belonging, importance, meaning and transformation. Yet, we often fail to create a life that inspires us due to our fear of failure and ridicule. Our true path is one we must walk alone amid great adversity, opposition and uncertainty. Our greatest challenge is being conscious in the moment.

Inner Compass:
We were never meant to follow. Our best opportunity in life is to disengage from the mainframe of social reality and relate exclusively with our soul and the universe. Manifesting our true self, fulfilling our unique purpose and supporting others in theirs is our mutual calling. This is the most challenging path we will ever walk. There are few instructions and fewer signs to guide us. Only the universal force that compels and inspires our creativity, insight and transformation. Every option we choose contrary to our destiny takes us further away from who we are meant to be.

victory

Quest for Fire:
Our lives are burdened with social obligation at the cost of our purpose. The sole shadow we are captive to is our own. We are the only ones who can claim our power. However daunting a task it may be, the utmost form of personal failure is choosing not to embrace and express it. Each of us receive an infinite amount of energy from the universe. This is the multi-dimensional essence that connects our soul with our heart, mind and body. It is the source of our power. How we embody, cultivate and emanate it defines who we become. We are the soul creators of our experience.

Source of Empowerment:
Our life has infinite possibilities. Our choices, intentions, passions and willingness define how it exists in society. It is one thing to emulate an ordinary life based upon our perception, what we know and how we survive. It is another thing entirely to create an extraordinary life based upon our intuition, who we are and how we thrive. We are superconductors who empower, inspire and navigate our way through the chaos, confusion and gravity of social reality. Our choice to manifest our purpose is the only power that will transform our experience.

“Creativity is the expression to our brilliance.”

heart-on-fire

Eye of the Storm

“We are the wind that defines our weather.”

Approaching Front:
If we don’t see it, we certainly feel the oncoming social tempest looming over the horizon. Centuries of inequality, injustice and oppression bearing down on our human experience with the gravity only reality can impose. Few stand upon its threshold, defiant against the increasing winds of chaos, competition, confusion and fear. Most head for the proverbial hills seeking an illusion of solace. Amid the melee, personal creativity, freedom and truth are exchanged for the societal standard of escapism, in whatever medium available. Yet, the steady train of exploitation, hypocrisy and survival lumbers down the track without pause.

Darkening Skies:
Our long-forgotten, personal baggage is emerging from the murky depths of our subconscious. Decades of our life’s incomplete experiences are rising to the surface of our awareness to be acknowledged, processed and fulfilled. No matter the force of resistance we present to stymie the revelation of our truth, it wells up within us to be transformed. The greater our opposition to our contemporary evolution, the more painful the experience will be. Our inner mental and emotional tides ebb and flow like a tumultuous sea, reminding us of our repressed potentialities we bury along with our fear, failure and vulnerability.

Awakened-Mind

First Rain:
Unbridled thoughts and feelings push us beyond the edge of our knowledge, reason and understanding, shaking our sanity to its very core. What made perfect sense the day before now flies in the face of logic. Life is a game designed to change as quickly as our fleeting mood. Reality digs its heels into the foundations of our experience, perception and existence. Our balance in life is cast to the social elements that keep us in a perpetual state of anxiety, dis-ease and dysfunction. We captivate and incarcerate ourselves with the very societal structures from which we so desperately seek freedom.

Increasing Winds:
Our experience of social reality is becoming progressively intense. The diminishing quality of life, environmental toxicity, opinion-driven media blitzes, political duality, population swells, and religious and spiritual propaganda whips us into a relentless frenzy. Profit-driven, dietary strategies foster our ill health and disease physically. Mental programming stimulates patterns of manmade madness. Inequality and injustice triggers our emotional instability. While the overall impact of daily life dismantles our intuition, exiling us from our soul. This social storm mercilessly pummels us into a dissociated state of oblivion.

SR

Downpour:
Living who we truly are in the chaos of social reality takes tremendous intention, intuition, vision and will power. Characteristics we all must personally identify, develop and manifest into our experience. We live not just against the powerful deceptions of society, yet also the gravity of our own apathy, denial, failure and fear. Everything that transpires outside of us begins within, from the greatest highs to the deepest lows. We are the designers of our lives, for better or worse. Though it seems most often that our fate is the latter due to the archaic, artificial and contrary dynamics of reality. Our existence is an invention in an environment of negative space.

“Our lives are an expression of our consciousness.”

Hail Stones and Head Winds:
In the zenith of our struggle with reality, our lives seem to be falling apart and the world is against us. Even with the greatest of our inspiration and intention, our ideas, expressions and purpose often falls on the deaf ears of a disinterested and preoccupied society. We must endure through merciless social elements for our souls to thrive, our hearts to be fulfilled, our voices to be heard and our actions to be merited. It is during extreme darkness that our light makes the greatest difference. As the social storms crescendo into a fever pitch of chaos, confusion and opposition, our opportunity arises to become our destiny.

BITC II

A Break in the Clouds:
Possibility is the glimmer of hope that begins to transform the gravest of circumstances. It is what allows us to shift our experience from what is to what we choose it to be. The simple insight of understanding that the most challenging situations will pass, no matter how intense they may seem, grants us the ability to shift our perception and embrace our personal power. Our vision, commitment and intention is what breaks our trail and guides us to the eventual outcome we create in the moments we choose to live fully in the present. When we are being in the moment, we begin to calm our inner storm.

Clearing Skies:
Our experience of life is how we react to any given outcome. It is easy to live in the moment and feel fulfilled when things are occurring the way we believe they should. Yet, as soon as struggle arises, we often overlook our intuitive vision, emotional balance, peace of mind and basic instinct to act. When we find ourselves confronted and overwhelmed by our personal storms, it is the opportunity to transform our experience. It takes those difficult moments to awaken us from the regimen of our waking slumber. Personal empowerment, insight and manifestation occurs when we release our attachments and embrace our possibility.

UBV

The Calm at the Core:
Though our bodies endure disease, fatigue and pain, our minds constantly run and our hearts ebb and flow with the tides of our emotionality, our soul is the tranquility of our being. Our tendency is to surrender our personal authority over to others via our lack of self confidence, intention, understanding and trust. We are the problem and the solution. Whatever we give our attention to becomes our life. We have the power to create our experience based upon who, how and why we choose to be. Even amid personal and social chaos, dysfunction, fear and injustice, we have a choice to either reflect our circumstances or become an expression of our soul.

The Eye of the Storm:
Personal transformation is the opportunity for us to shift our experience from frenzied to fulfilled. Though we are constantly tempted by social reality to surrender our personal power with our reactions to daily circumstances, we are solely accountable for our experience. Only we can transform ourselves to identify, embrace and exercise our vision, mission and purpose. As our consciousness expands, our soul’s expression calms the fiercest storms. Being present in the moment inspires us to transcend our daily challenges, allowing us to bring the tranquility of our soul to all aspects of our life.

“At the heart of every storm there is stillness.”

A Universal Being

We live a fraction of who we are.”

The Sum of the Self:
We are spirits held hostage by the linear lifestyle of an enforced reality. Our existence is based upon our pursuits for security, success and survival. Our lives are figments of a forgotten fantasy, invented by ancient civilizations for authoritarian ways and means. As human beings, we tend to perform fruitless roles, oblivious to the infinite possibilities of multi-dimensional experience. We are mere shadows of who we can be. We allow our egos and instincts to govern our lives. We are distracted, diverted and mystified by the amusements of opinion, politics, sports and an excess of inequality, injustice and tyranny.

Ghost in the Machine:
The perceptions we choose to adopt of our lives are inaccurate and incomplete. We are emulators of beliefs, careers, habits and environments. We condition ourselves with the conventional knowledge of education, history and religion in a vain quest to acclimate to linear, social reality. No matter how much we seek to know about the world in which we live, we are still devoid of the essence of life. The more we attempt to satisfy our desire and vanity, the emptier we become. We are phantoms wandering through a virtual maze, denying ourselves the very fulfillment we yearn.

Maze

Hollow Pursuits:
Everyday reality keeps us on the run. We sprint down the pathways and turn each corner with the hope and promise of making a great escape from our social enslavement. We tether ourselves to the known in a desperate attempt to win a race designed for us to lose. The patterns never change and the carrot dangles just out of our reach no matter how fast we run, how high we jump or how much we sacrifice. Yet, we still push ahead into the embrace of an inevitable and predictable future as we carry the baggage of our past and the trepidation of our present always expecting a favorable future.

The Space Between:
All that was, is and ever will be is defined by our personal perception. Our anxiety, confusion and oblivion impel us to adopt self-defensive, societal filters. The state of perpetual shock we weather overwhelms us with harsh inevitable outcomes, coercing us into the whirlwind of reality’s vortex. It prohibits our desire for adventure, enrichment, excitement, and fulfillment. The social invention of impending threat and tragedy condition and oppress us with an intensity unrivaled or exceeded by the intention of our own purpose. Our lives become an empty space between the moments of our birth and our death.

MT

The Art of Projection:
Our experiences are akin to animated images on a movie screen. We are deeply engaged in the dramatic narratives and linear sequences of our lives, mystified by our blind obligation to a common reality. Our disassociation with destiny anesthetizes us to the true expression of our soul. We live separately from our essence, a mere reflection of who we truly are. We wager every possibility of purpose for fleeting encounters of inauthentic enlightenment. The simulated life we experience echoes deep in the caverns of our vacant hearts and souls. We are spectators watching our imaginary existence projected onto the screen of reality.

“What is real beyond what is real.”

Use Your Illusion:
There are very few things in social reality that are real. Our subjective perception of it adds another degree of deception. We have been conditioned to believe, experience and live in contemporary kingdoms of fantasy. Not because reality is difficult, hostile or unbearable. Nor is it that our selective perspective deems it so. Reality has, is and will always be distorted and manipulated. The temptations of profit, power and supremacy are too great for those who seek to conceal their personal fears and insecurities with control, influence and wealth. Reality was invented to distract us from our destiny.

SOH

The Truth of Reality:
When we understand that nothing is real, we begin to accept what is true. Our instincts, thoughts and feelings are nothing more than physical, mental and emotional expressions. Everything we sense in life are effects of all our experiences coinciding and transpiring in linear reality. It is a global deception designed to preoccupy us with the comedy, drama, horror and tragedy of everyday life. Our quest for amusement becomes our experience. Reality is a prison of conformity. It is a social paradigm that has diminished our infinite possibility to an ordinary pastime.

The Reality of Truth:
No two individual truths are the same. Though billions around the world use the cultural and social filters of politics, religion and tradition to define their truth, this rite of passage is distinct to one’s personal experience. Therefore, these common avenues will never cultivate our expression of being. Authorities of social reality would have us believe our truth is only real if it is commonly accepted by a popular consensus of our peers. Our truth is neither qualified, quantified or relative. It is claimed and expressed not just with our body or mind, yet also with our heart and soul.

UBIV

The Art of Being:
We are not our body, mind, heart or soul. We are all these elements of our existence and more, beyond our imagination. Our life expression is one best embodied by who we are being in the present. This experience begins and ends with accepting, empowering, listening and supporting others in our lives. The balance of our actions, thoughts, feelings and insights sustain our true nature to envision and manifest possibilities for ourselves to enrich our awareness, experience and understanding. When we are in the flow of the universal rhythm of being, our perception of life is transformed. We are free.

A Universal Being:
We are everything and nothing. We are an eternal expression of being consigned to a reality of restriction and rule. Who we are is far beyond our comprehension, imagination and vision. It is not what we know, the position we hold or the gifts we possess that make us extraordinary. It is everything we may become that is most remarkable. Our infinite potential exists when we embrace and express our multi-dimensional experience of being. Our possibility manifests our purpose. We are a universal being emanating creativity, consciousness, community and love to transform ourselves and embody our truth.

“We are only as universal as we live ourselves to be.”

A Band Beyond Description

“The bus came by and I got on, that’s when it all began…” – Garcia, Weir, Kreutzmann

Wake of the Flood:
When I was sixteen years old I was walking down the hallway to my bedroom and I heard what sounded like an old blues singer belting out a song and picking on a guitar. I remember walking up to my brother Mark’s open bedroom door and saying, “what is this garbage?” Half joking and half genuinely interested. He responded, “it’s the Dead man.” in a tone as if I should have known. At the time I was headlong into the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel and Van Morrison, among others. I later found out the singer was Ron “Pigpen” McKernan, the song “Katie Mae” from “Bear’s Choice.”

The Golden Road:
I don’t remember when, where or how it happened, but I would quickly become a Dead Head. My first Grateful Dead shows were fresh out of high school in the Summer of my eighteenth birthday. I caught the last two shows of the 1990 Summer Tour in Chicago. It just so happened to be the last two shows of who would become my favorite Dead keyboardist Brent Mydland. There is nothing I could have done to prepare myself for this extraordinary, enlightening and revolutionary time in my life. The experience of the music, sense of belonging, camaraderie and feeling of euphoria would transform me forever. I was home.

“Inch your way through dead dreams to another land…” – Hunter

The Music Never Stopped:
The Grateful Dead personifies imagination. It is so much more than the music. I found the more I listened, the greater the benefit to my creativity, happiness and understanding. A world for which I had always yearned became possible. Beyond the music, it was the experience of family and community. I had always been into music and musically inclined since childhood. Soon after I picked up the guitar in my teens, it wasn’t long before I became mystified by the exploratory, improvisational and traditional styles of the Dead. It was then I first realized the band doesn’t play the music, the music plays the band.

 

GD III

Grateful Dead Summer Tour 1990

 

Death Don’t Have No Mercy:
After Jerry Garcia died in August of 1995, I suddenly felt dissociated from the Grateful Dead. Though I had been drifting from going to shows due to his declining health, the impact of his passing was undeniable. I will always remember the first time I heard the music as much as I will recall the day of his passing. At the time I didn’t know if I would ever see them play again. The years sped by as I invested my listening into many other diverse genres of music. I explored Bluegrass to Traditional Irish, Latin and Afro Cuban to Jazz, Delta Blues to early Country. No matter how many styles I encountered, I always found my way back to The Dead.

“Sometimes the songs that we hear are just songs of our own.” – Hunter

Cryptical Envelopment:
While I was going to Dead shows in the early 1990’s, something amazing happened in my life. Their music empowered me to join a couple of bands that covered their songs. During this time, I began writing my own songs. There is something unique about the energy and experience of the Grateful Dead’s music that encourages creativity unlike any other musical group I have heard. In the advent of my own musical expression, I began to hear their music in an entirely different way. Beyond the notes, chord structures, vocal harmonies, jams and rhythms, there was a massive energetic presence, like the soul of a sun.

Sunshine Daydream:
The Grateful Dead’s music is experimentally, multi-dimensional opening gateways on an intuitive and emotional level very difficult to describe to someone who hasn’t heard the music. The personal experience is interpretive like an abstract painting continually, organically and seamlessly morphing from one note into another enchanting the listener audibly so absolutely, the sound is almost visual. There are distinctive streams of consciousness conveyed by the energetic vibrations of the music transforming the very dynamic of the environment. Imagination blooms like a red rose in the bosom of Spring.

“Reason tatters, the forces tear loose from their axis…” – Hunter

Dark Star:
There has always been an enigmatic movement of mystery woven into every Grateful Dead concert. A controlled chaos of anarchic notes and rhythms playing off each other in an obscure symphony of pioneering discovery akin to a space exploration. Thought, sense, emotion and spirit-invoking free-form jams guide the listener through “dead” dreams to another land. The mirror of contemporary reality shatters in formless reflections of matter. Where outside observers may see an elaborately concocted escape from everyday life, the “Deadicated” experience a personal and communal expansion of awareness, belonging and being.

Saint of Circumstance:
It had been several years since I had seen any current assembly of surviving Grateful Dead members perform together. With options a plenty, I found myself passing on them as they arose. Until I heard rhythm guitarist and vocalist Bob Weir and bass guitarist Phil Lesh were doing six limited, theater engagements in New York, Boston and Chicago. I was ecstatic at the prospect, until I found out both shows in Chicago were sold out. Accepting defeat, I resigned myself to the cold rain and snow. My friend Miko suggested submitting our names through a community connection. If notified via email, we would have the opportunity to purchase tickets. We were both selected!

“In the secret space of dreams, where I dreaming lay amazed.” – Hunter

Attics of My Life:
The days between purchasing the tickets and the shows flew by. Soon Miko and I were truckin’ down to Chicago for a couple of dates with destiny. Every mile we travelled intensified the excitement of once again being in the energy of musical fellowship. Eventually, like many other Deadheads, we began tossing out possible songs Bob and Phil may dust off and perform. Upon arrival, the marquee of the Chicago Theater illuminated N. State Street with “Bob and Phil Duo. SOLD OUT.” A growing collection of the faithful braved the chilly winds that blew through the city corridors. Several crashing the scene with fingers in the air looking for a miracle.

 

Chicago Theater Ceiling

Ceiling of the Chicago Theater

 

Playing in the Band:
Crossing the threshold of a venue at a Grateful Dead show is uniquely special. The excitement of simply being there is unparalleled. The 97-year-old theater offered the perfect atmosphere for history to be made. An antiquated red curtain hung at the front of the stage holding back the eager crowd’s anticipation. The sound of a distant bass and random notes from an acoustic guitar signaled the curtain to rise revealing Bob, Phil and Wally Ingram on percussion. “Box of Rain” met our adulation. It was the first song I had seen the Grateful Dead perform in Chicago at my first show almost 28 years ago.

“Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.”    – Hunter

Birdsong:
The first night held many hallowed treasures. Intimate acoustic renditions of “Cosmic Charlie,” “Looks Like Rain,” “Estimated Prophet,” and “Operator,” among others with the trio of Bob, Phil and Wally. The second set yielded classics such as stripped-down versions of “Playing in the Band,” “Scarlet Begonias>Fire on the Mountain,” “Dark Star>St. Stephen,” Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall,” and “Sugar Magnolia” with Bob, Phil, Wally, Jeff Chimenti, Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams. “U.S. Blues” closed the night as the 3,600-strong spilled onto N. State St. reveling in the afterglow of a momentous evening.

Crazy Fingers:
The red curtain rose on the second night to the familiar rhythms of “Cumberland Blues.” Bob, Phil and Wally served up acoustic selections of “Tennessee Jed,” “Alabama Getaway,” “Loose Lucy,” “Lazy River Road,” “Cassidy” and other rarities. The full group guided the second set with a beautiful rendering of “Crazy Fingers.” They played classics such as “New Speedway Boogie,” “Mountains of the Moon,” “Cryptical Envelopment>Let It Grow>The Other One” then back into the last verse of “Cryptical.” A stunning and emotional “Days Between” ended the seamless second set as the train pulled away from the last station on the tour.

“Fare you well, fare you well, I love you more than words can tell.” – Hunter

That’s It for The Other One:
We emerged from the Chicago Theater onto N. State Street, found our way to the car and were heading home from two unforgettable nights with Bob, Phil and friends. The Grateful Dead Channel on Sirius Radio carried us into the early morning as we drove through the night with the melodies and memories still ringing in our ears and hearts. Seeing the music in a historical theater with a modest audience was truly special. I was flooded with emotional reminiscence of my 32-year experience with the Dead. Reflections of adoration and gratitude sustained my bliss till the morning came.

Brokedown Palace:
What I may remember most fondly about the Grateful Dead is the community and goodwill shared with family, friends and others who experienced the inspiration and passion of excellent music and extraordinary company. Any musical group can bring people together. Few can keep them together for decades singing sweet songs to rock our souls. It has been almost 23 years since Jerry Garcia passed from this world. The music he made and influence he had upon millions of people continues to grow with each new generation. We will always hear your voice come through the music and we will always hold it dear as it were our own.

“If I knew the way, I would take you home.”

 

 

Bob and Phil Chicago II

Bob Weir and Phil Lesh Chicago Theater 3/11/18