This is the Cave Stream Scenic Reserve near Arthur's Pass National Park, South Island, New Zealand. It is the best representation of the tremendous growth experience I've had since realizing that, as wonderful as my life was back in 2008, there was something very important missing.
I wasn't sure what it was at the time, but knew I needed to figure it out. Coming to this realization is a pretty exciting proposition. I was ripe for it. I had just quit my job in Denver, CO to go on a 2 year travel around the world expedition with my love. I was going to do a nice mid-life re-evaluation instead of the common mid-life crisis so many men struggle through. I had it all, love, money, freedom, and time. I was ready for a real life, Jack Karouac type of adventure.
Be Careful What You Wish For
You can probably see the excitement I felt, slightly subdued by the fear of entering this epic cave stream adventure we had heard about from my close friend Kaila, who was living in Christchurch. It was an off day, so no one else was around. And though it wasn't raining, there were overcast clouds that made me wonder if quite possibly it was raining up in the high mountain headwater region for the stream, which is the one aspect that could turn a joyful cave exploration into a life threatening scenario.
The reason I love these pictures, which I haven't revisited in many years, is that they feel like a close depiction of my experience of delving into my subconscious patterns, especially the dysfunctional ones. You know what I'm talking about. When we start asking ourselves the deep questions like: Why did I leave a perfectly amazing career, relationship, along with supportive friends/family in one of my favorite states (Colorado) that has always felt like home to me?
The simple answer.....because I had to.
Not because it's the only way, but some of us just need to lose it all to be able to truly see the difference between who we've been and who we really are.
Stream of Consciousness
Notice the gentle stream flowing out of the deep dark hole, the Yin and Yang, light and dark, life and death representation. The dark hole represents my subconsciousness and the stream is the patterns in life that come from there. Sometimes these patterns create problems in our lives and the only way to shift them is to go to their source. This is where all the unanswered questions can be found. The only way to find the real answers, is to go through it. And by through it, I mean facing the greatest fears, patterns and limitations in our lives, and shifting everything so that there is no difference between conscious and subconscious patterns and we become great manifestors of our own experience.
When we master this, what we want will be what we get. We must learn that what we are doing is what keeps us from having what we want.
Subconscious patterns are our reactionary patterns that happen spontaneously without thought or process. Any time we feel threatened, uncomfortable, upset or highly stimulated, our predominant expression comes from here. These reactions/responses are based on instinct, life experience, and often times early childhood trauma that create hard to understand protection mechanisms that may have worked for us as children, but can have a sabotaging effect later in life. These are often seen through our subtle addictions. These dysfunctional patterns can create challenges in our relationships and workplace while keeping us from finding our bliss and flow in life.
Turn On The Light
We don't really notice or can't even see how we are reacting or even what we are doing until we decide to turn on our little headlamps and start looking for where these dysfunctional patterns are coming from. This discovery can be a most intense and challenging journey but any person who has ever embarked on it will tell you, it can be the most powerful, enlightening, invigorating and fulfilling experience. Going on this journey will make everything in your life better. Maybe not initially, but in due time. Due time is the work necessary to fully reveal, fully heal and become your most integrous self, where there is no discrepancy between who you say you are, what you do, how you live and who you want to be.
The View From The Other Side
This is one of the best feelings you can ever have coming out the other side, the light at the end of the tunnel. It's up there with having a child, meeting the love of your life and knowing God, because it is all of that. You will feel reborn, in love with life, and connected to all that is, once you realize that you are in complete control of your life and how you live it through all the choices you make every single day, big or small. Of course there are unforeseen circumstances, aspects we will not have the ability to change, but how much they affect our overall health and happiness is our own doing.
I've chosen this as my first post rather than something in the nutrition or exercise arena, because it is the most effective elixir available for reaching your greatest potential for health and vitality.
How do you begin? Ask for help in prayer and meditation. Everything you need will be revealed. The easiest way to start is with a breathing meditation. Find the most beautiful and quiet place you can. And just pay attention to your breath. Try to focus on nothing else. Let it be however it is, and just follow it for a few minutes. Then work on a deeper inhale and exhale for another few minutes. Then set an intention. Ask for something that you want to be different in life. Ask for the pathway, the perseverance and trust in the process. Know what you want, don't give up on it and do the work. It may not look exactly how you imagined it, or be how you expected it to be, but it will reveal a pathway to get there, and honestly, it will most likely turn out better than you expected. And the kicker? It works every time.
If you are interested in more meditation guidance, Insight Timer has over 4,ooo free guided meditations of various durations and styles.