Would like to give a shout out to fellow blogger Lemon Zest for inspiring this post. She wrote a mission statement about her values and what makes her her, which beautifully describes the type of person she wanted to be, and reminded me of when I made a similar post when I first started this blog. You can check out her post here. Her blog is mainly about the different foods found while traveling as well as other musings on self-improvement and spirituality. Welcome to WordPress 🙂 !
For those of you who have just started following me, 2016 was the worst year of my life. I was dealing with the death of poker, transitioning out of a job I had been in for 8 years and miss, and dealing with accepting poker was done. I had to accept a lot of the poor decisions I had made over the past years which cost me the girl of my dreams that I wanted to marry, and all sorts of opportunities in poker that I ruined in its golden years. During the year I also totaled my car, got a DUI, had two suicide attempts, and tore my ACL in Thailand. Yeah, it was the worst span of time imaginable, and certainly the low point in my life.
Towards the end of the year during rehabilitation for my knee and my spiritual healing I had had a book worm phase where I read 15 books in 3 months, one of which was Awakening the Giant Within by Tony Robbins. This book actually inspired starting this new blog, something I had been meaning to do, as well as one of my first posts.
Of the many things he talks about in his insightful book, Tony does a great job of distinguishing between the things that make us happy and the values from those things that create our happiness. When we think about what makes us happy we normally will think of things such as succeeding in attaining a goal, being able to travel, or being enamored with the most wonderful partner imaginable. It isn’t the success, the location, or the person that make you happy, but the values these allow you to manifest.
Reaching a goal allows us to feel that we are improving, or instills a sense of confidence. Depending on the type of goal, it can added security if work related, or health if related to dieting or fitness. While traveling, it isn’t the exotic location, the endless panorama from a mountain, or emerald sea that adds the value, but the sense of adventure in a foreign place, or curiosity and higher presence accessed when time becomes so much more precious and the mundane world regains its novelty. It isn’t the adoring partner, but maybe the sense of connection or oneness that gives us the greatest value in our intimate relationships.
When I first started this blog I had been reflecting a lot and realized that I had always been on the chase. I had never been content with what I had. It was never enough and by constantly wanting more I brewed my own scarcity and sealed myself in my sarcophagus. The irony is I now make 70% less teaching than I did playing poker but I’m so much more happy.
I was always on the chase. I was constantly looking for a girlfriend to make me happy, or chasing money in poker, needing a drink to feel comfortable in social situations, and finding external measures in to create happiness instead of tuning in to the inner being and the true vastness inside.
The following are my updated values. What allows me to empower myself to live the most meaningful life, and what I need to do in order to feel the value.
1. Consciousness- Whenever I am not the voice, but the witness of the voice in my head. Whenever I am aware of the sights, sounds, and smells around me instead of absorbed in myself and my inner thoughts.
2. Acceptance- Whenever I am able to look at the isness of something with peace and stillness. Whenever I am able to detach identification with outcomes and am able to constantly recalibrate to my amorphous external world.
3. Growth– Whenever I am making positive changes in my life physically, emotionally, spiritually, and financially, and am mindful of when I am not. I grow when I make effort to learn or explore, and when I bring awareness to my mistakes.
4. Gratitude- Whenever I honor the present moment instead of trying to resist it I am grateful. Whenever I acknowledge an abundance or prevalence instead of thinking of what I need I am grateful.
5. Compassion- Whenever I am able to understand before I seek to be understood. When I see another as a projection of myself instead of a separate entity and then treat this projection with kindness and understanding.
6. Collaboration- As someone who played poker professionally for several years I can say that preying on people and competing isn’t really what I’m about. I’d rather collaborate with and I’d rather help cultivate. I’d rather add to then take away from through exploitation like I did in poker. Teaching has given me such rewarding feelings when I bond with my students or when I see the lights in their heads start to flicker.
7. Freedom- When I am living my life in my most authentic shoes. When I am blessed with free will to do as I want the way I want as long as I am benefitting myself and not harming others.
8. Adventure- When I live in a way that creates novelty in the mundane. When I am open to new experiences.
9. Health- How I feel and how I eat are important to me. I’m healthy when I make decisions in terms of my health when I am refraining from being sedentary and am mindful of my portions since the food I eat is fairly healthy. Cheating on my diet is fine once in a while as long as its appreciated and not done so abusively.
10. Surrender- The ability to accept things in a way different from how things are and how I would prefer them to be, but taking mindful steps to close the gap between.
All of these, of course, are related and stem out of consciousness. Consciousness allows you to manifest all of the others instead of drowning in the ego and denial of what is and needing more. These are what is most important to me and allow me to feel like my most authentic self.
After wallowing for long enough over getting to rock bottom last year I was able to spiritually awaken while physically healing my knee. By reading, working out, writing, and now teaching I’ve finally been able to start silencing the inner demons and finally found myself. I found the being in my Inner Space. I slowly started operating more on a paradigm of space instead of particles.
I inevitably was able to accept the isness of my failures, but look at all the positive experiences I had had over my crazy college years. I sadly didn’t make it in poker due to how irresponsible I was with my money outside of poker, but I still graduated, did extremely well and paid my way through school, and met all sorts of amazing friends, a few of my best friends, while playing.
I grew compassion for myself and for others after tearing my ACL and seeing how much worse life could get and how much more grateful I should be. A friend I’ve known since childhood has muscular dystrophy and will never be able to walk again. There are children in the world who haven’t eaten in days. I am blessed that I am able to fix my knee and will be able to use it again and that there is delicious and healthy food to eat in my fridge.
For so long I was on the chase when there was an infinite wealth within I hadn’t even known of. I needed to have nothing in order to realize there was everything. I have awoken from the sarcophagus. The Pharaoh is within. You never need any more than your highest version of you!
What are your values? What allows you to feel like the most authentic you? Hope to hear from you all 🙂
Until next time,