Sponsoring Jason Silva in Vancouver!

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I started The Lion’s Life about 5 years ago and today, I have my own Life Coaching practice and in a position to be able to sponsor events such as Jason Silva’s: Hack Your Reality – right here at home, Vancouver B.C.

Jason Silva Twitter

When you love something with such passion and are dedicated to a vision of what you want out of life, never ever give up.  No really, don’t give up! Who knew I’d find myself in this position when I posted my first blog post back in 2012. Back then i never had much, all I had was a vision for what I wanted and passion for what I did. Which I realizes today,  they’re a powerful combination to have and they cost absolutely nothing.

The real cost occurs when you do give up, because over the last 5 years I had thought about it many times. When I took a shot and missed, or when I got a negative comment, and even when I thought I couldn’t power through the stress and struggle. Today’s celebrations have made me realize how crucial all of those moments were to the process.

Today I also launched my International coaching practice and as I was updating the my local site, I started to realize why all those entrepreneurs I look up to always say “do what you love.”

It wasn’t easy getting to this point, in fact it doesn’t feel any easier. However, when you manage pull in the tiniest piece of your dream into real life, the hunger to see this through grows and forces you to persevere, and see your aspirations through to the very end.

The dedication it takes to build the life you’ve always envisioned is like training for the olympics, and although I’m still preparing for my gold medal, I definitely feel like I’m on the right track with each victory along the way.

This blog right here is where it all began, and writing this post is helping me comprehend what I have manifested in my life. Scanning though the archives have really put things in perspective for me, especially now thinking ahead to the next 5 years.

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The Importance of Maintaining Intention

Tofino

I’d recently took a trip away to Tofino, British Columbia, to complete some work and escape the distractions of everyday life. When I arrived I was ready to churn out pure productivity, I could already feel my ego withering away as my inner-desires activated, engaged by thoughts of freedom, fun and accomplishment.

It was late, dark and very quiet. I immediately felt a slight anxiety as I entered this small town as lone outsider/tourist. I pulled up and greeted my AirBnB host with very quick hello and was given a 2 minute tour of the property…not even 10 minutes had passed by and beers were already being poured. I could already tell that this town had adopted a ‘live-in-the-moment’ mentality and any thoughts of anxiety were soon forgotten.

My host was an energetic character originally from Alberta, Canada. He’d given up his lucrative career, working on an oil rig, to pursue his passions. He became an artist and had moved to Tofino to seek liberation and to freely create. I had told him about my initial anxiety and how quickly it was dispelled, I mentioned my work and my writing and my reason for visiting. He talked about how many of the people living in Tofino weren’t really from there, many of the people he had met and many of the people I had interacted with, seemed to have similar reasons for being there.

My first day though was pretty amazing, normally when I wake up my first thoughts are to check my Blackberry for any new emails from potential clients and to check my blog-stats. The internet connectivity was awful so right way I was forced into mindfulness. I got up early, caught the sun rise, meditated, went for a run and had my first Vegan breakfast (it was delicious) all before 7am.

After I had showered and changed, I took my laptop down to a waterfront restaurant and within minutes I was tranced into a flow state. Usually I would check all sorts of social media platforms and spend the first hour catching up with the rest of the world. This time was very different.

Later that day, I explored the neighbourhood and struck up conversations with random people. It became apparent that many people who come along to Tofino, although initially motivated by escape, were really there to just be themselves. To engage the capabilities of their identities in order to discover bliss. Nobody seemed too focused on status, money, popularity or anything else that bound people to lives that lacked fulfillment.

Nobody really cared about anything else other than making the most of every moment and that didn’t really mean partying and having fun in the traditional sense. It meant making the most of one’s passions, perfecting skills and becoming the best individual one can be. Investing every spare moment engaging an inner spirit and tapping into a self-confidence that came with true independence. Many people had visited from bigger towns and cities, only to remain there after experiencing some sort of detachment. Towards the end of my trip, even I was contemplating the thought of calling it home.

I couldn’t help feeling empathy for those that sought freedom and liberation there. Many people seemed to have detached from their old lives, only to attach themselves to Tofino. I wondered how many will learn to carry this experience with them as they re-enter the lives they’d left behind.

My mum had incidentally given me a book called “why —– mind matters.” It explored Buddhist philosophies concerning the mind. It was an easy book and within the first ten minutes I came across this quote:

“Man is essentially the manifestation of his thought forces.”

I thought I went to Tofino to work, to finish some writing as I embark on yet another goal. I thought I had to be there to bring back the inspiration and motivation I sought, to complete my book. Truth is, Tofino just allowed me to calm my mind and had given me time to think. It reminded me of the importance of focusing internally.

Prior to this trip, my mind seemed to be in several different places at once, I couldn’t focus on writing and output seemed to lack passion. I had all the same ideas, but at home I couldn’t bring them alive because I kept trying to focus with an external intention.

In other words, I was focusing on an outcome of a task rather than the purpose of carrying the task out. So when I would attempt to write at home, I was driven more by thoughts of getting my book published and the possibility of new opportunities and travelling more. When writing in Tofino, I reconnected with the internal intention; I wrote because I enjoyed it and because I’m passionate about what I want to share.

Now that I’m back on the ferry heading back home to familiarity, I’m returning with my intentions intact. I feel I understand what it means to put my mind to something now.

We can be anywhere in the world physically, but what truly matters as we embark on ambitious goals, is where we allow our minds to travel.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

If I Had All the Money in the World…

Money

If I posed the question, “What would you be doing right now, if money was no object?” You’d probably be able to answer it quite easily. Some of you may even have several different answers, each one just as fantastical and glamorous as the last, but how truthful would your answer be?

To be honest, the answers you construct wouldn’t matter anyway, the detail you should be focusing on, is how different your life is now to that of your fantasy? Or rather, why is a fantasy so appealing?

When you find that life isn’t quite shaping out the way you had hoped, where life just isn’t exciting and that it lacks a certain je ne sais quoi, questions like these tend to arise simply because you desire something better.

The problem with this particular question, is that it never really forces you to face your true desires. Having more money just gives you the option to escape into a belief of fulfillment. You’ll probably base your answers on what you’ve seen on the telly or what’s been covered in those shiny magazines, because those people look so happy.

If you truly seek change and you really want to build a better life for yourself, you should start by asking yourself “What decisions would you make right now, if you could make them without any consequences?”

You live your everyday life chained to responsibility and ideology without giving yourself the opportunity to really explore the depth of your identity. If you had the ability to make a consequence-free decision right now, what would it be? If you could leave it all behind where would you take your life? What purpose would you fulfill/discover?

Ask yourself these questions and face the honesty that you probably live with but never ponder. Really get to grips with a reality where you are in full control of your life. Where life is dictated by the very traits of who you are, rather than what you can do with how much you’re worth. For once just think about doing something for yourself that probably only you would understand.

Until you face what it is you truly want from life, you’re never going to live. Life is way too valuable to live idly.

I know there’s definitely some work ahead of me to attain the life I want to live, but I know with each word I write, each person I coach and each effort I make to build a more fulfilled life for myself, I’ll never need to find comfort in escapism, for I’m already on a road to where I want to be.

Allowing myself to think freely in this way, has allowed me to configure my goals independently and tap into the heartbeat of my own desires.

Even for just a moment, take consequences out of the equation and it’s remarkable what you may learn about yourself and/or what it is you actually want. Face some truths so that you can navigate your life towards something more fulfilling

Don’t become just another irritated soul trying to fit into this world, become a liberated one and claim your place in it.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

How to Channel a Negative Experience into Productivity

Shell

I feel I’ve worked very hard over the last few years to build a life free from as many negative stresses as possible. Yet, as hard as I work to avoid it, sometimes life just throws a negative force my way and I get affected.

I wish I could tell you that I have a solution. A way to avoid bad experiences completely, but I have yet to come across one. Life just has a funny way of f*cking things up now and again, but its OK, because I’ve learned that I can build strength from moments that attempt to break my spirit.

When I’m knocked down, what I learn as I get back up makes me stronger. The lasting impact reduces as I increase my tolerance and patience to work through any negative experience life decides to put me through.

The future is promising and my present is shaping up nicely. I’m experiencing the life I have built for myself and for the first time, I’d become unconcerned with interruption.  The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of good vibes: from networking and connecting with new people, through to celebrating milestones and successes. However, getting caught up in all this current bliss, I overlooked any potential disruptions that would affect this positive flow of energy. I was productive, I was social and I was grounded.

I won’t go into detail, but an echo of disappointment and mistrust knocked me sideways as my identity was threatened. Everything I had work so hard for felt like it was unravelling because of this one, unrelated negative experience. It was so unexpected that disruptive thoughts consumed my consciousness, I was struggling to focus as I tried to regain a positive mental state.

I guess it’s what a lot of us do in situations that impact us negatively, I tried to overcome without processing and I tried to rebuild without reflection. There was bit of a journey between where my mind had ended up to where my mind needed to return, and I had to drive down a highway of reflection to get there. Full of wide turns and varying speed limits, the journey felt long but I found myself finding more peace as I passed each landmark I recognized.

I realized that this is one small, although significant, negative experience was not the energy I needed to nurture. Why dwell on it when I don’t want it? I don’t need it and by investing into it I’m only giving it more power over my life. It’s one of those situations that cannot be reversed, so I have two choices. I can choose to either let it affect all that I have worked on and worked for, or realize my aspirations and utilize this experience towards something productive.

I always forget that negativity is an uncomfortable loud scream over positivity, which is a gentle comforting whisper. Understanding this is how I learned to channel negativity. There are countless ways for me to be productive and do something that benefits me and my life. I just needed to do something to raise those little whispers, something that reminds me of my identity; doing something that reminds me of myself, to remind me of what I want.

I like to write, I like to blog and I like to be alone when I process my thoughts. So I opened up my laptop, poured myself a beer and wrote. Not really trying to think of what to write, I just allowed my mind to focus on whatever it wanted to focus on. Clearly the negative experience was still on my mind so that’s what I wrote about. The more I wrote the more I reminded myself of how much I love this! How much I love just doing what I do and how I want to make this a part of my living. This is what I want and I want more of it.

The more I engaged my passions the balance began shifting back in my favour; the more I was engaging in something that made me feel like me again, reminded me of my potential and my goals. I synchronized my energy into a flow state of productivity and before I realized it, I had this blog post written up, four more ideas drafted and organized my schedule for the week ahead. I overcome a negative experience and rediscovered my bliss by utilizing  things that make up my identity.

Like me, you too can turn your negative experience into something productive.

Whatever bad experience you come across in life, you can get through it. Life will continue to affect you again and again, but as long as you consistently engage in the things that make life worth living, then it won’t be too long before you return to your purpose and focus.

Just keep in mind, you must do whatever it takes to engage those comforting whispers in order to distance yourself from any annoying screams.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

A Message to My Peers: Fitting In Is A Scam

Fitting in

Recently I’ve been researching Sikhism, a religion I was born into but never really adopted. The lines between religion and culture were always blurred. Making the entire idea seem like one big contradiction.

My mother’s been trying to teach me the true meaning of what it means to be Sikh for years. Until now I was always too stubborn to listen. However, I’m finding stories of defending for what’s right, equality and breaking free from oppression inspiring, because of the much-needed change in the world we live in today.

The more I learned, her teachings didn’t feel religious. It felt more like a common sense guide on life and humanity.

I’m understanding more than ever, the requirement for equality, serving and contributing to society, awareness and the balance of body and mind. I know it sounds a bit hippie-ish, but when you filter out the crap messages that dominate our society, you realise how many of us are led away from our very own fulfilment. You realise how many people are frustrated with the way of the world right now, and how we contribute to it.

Reflection: A Quarter of a Century

February, 2013. I was approaching my 25th Birthday. Life was high and love came in abundance. I was on the verge of completing many goals I had set to achieve at this age.

As deadlines loomed, I was also closer to figuring out my passions. I was employed and earning money to live comfortably within my means, and I had secured my permanent residency abroad. For the first time, I felt like I was on track with a life I had set out to live.

However, I felt like I was on the verge of losing control over it.

After turning 25, it seemed the pressure was on to settle down and to start taking “life seriously.” To find a career and begin to live life just as the world expected me too. Ideologies became the framework for my life and all of a sudden everyone around me seemed to make my love life and my career a point of discussion.

It was all too overwhelming, it was like society was prepping me for adulthood. An adult life I never envisioned as a child.

Where I thought I’d gain control, the world wanted me to change and navigate the rest of my life for me. Before harnessing that control for myself, I shifted control and guidance away from my parents and almost handed it over to an unfulfilled, judgmental and overbearing society.

There I was, 25 years old, trying to fit into a world crippling under prejudice and inequality: socially, economically, culturally and politically.

As my innocence wore off I felt the colour of my skin illuminated. My gender had influence in society, my social status; from where I lived to how much I earned seemed to influence many outcomes too. My age, my personality, my aspirations, my hobbies and interests…It seemed that the world would pick apart my identity piece by piece. Until I became insecure enough and conformed to social norms, in order to “succeed” in an unequal world.

Behind curtain #1

It’s ironic; adulthood. I spent my younger years being told to dream big. That I can be anything I wanted to be. Believing it will happen one day if I worked hard enough and remained dedicated. Furthermore, I was taught how to be good and to act responsibly among society. Simply put, I was taught to be something and to discover my passions until I found fulfillment in life.

Sounds unrealistic right? Well that’s my point, I began believing that to.

I almost moulded myself into a society that shuns you for being different and dismisses you for having the guts to dream. Pretty much making you feel like an outsider for going against social norm. I realised that my decisions at this point in time we’re crucial to my well-being.

Do I work towards building a life of my own choosing? To realize my passions and figure out what I’m all about. Where fulfillment is mine to discover.

Or

Do I follow a template that will grant me access to an example/idea of fulfillment?

Either way I’ll be lead down to success, how much time and effort required will significantly differ, but which one would be worth it in the long run?

Regaining control

Over the last couple of years, I took my blogging and writing seriously and decided not to give up on my newly discovered passions. I decided that I want my own life.

As tough as it was going against the grain of society, I decided to stop taking promotions in a job I wasn’t comfortable going to. I decided to stop getting into relationships that offered nothing but physical affection or meaningless companionship. I wanted to work for myself and do something I enjoyed. I simply didn’t want to waste my life nor fill it with anything that I wasn’t fulfilled by.

However it does get difficult and sometimes, I get irritated because of the time it takes. I sometimes think about giving up writing altogether. Giving it all up in fact, coaching others, my book and turning my back on the aspirations of positively impacting society.

As I have the skills to earn more money in meaningless jobs available to me, I could have it much easier.

Then I remember, I only turned 25 in February 2013. The journey from then to now has been phenomenal. Even though I haven’t earned a penny yet from my writing, I’ve learned so much about the world and about life. By simply not adhering to societal pressure, I’ve grown immensely in confidence and in self-belief.

In the unlikely situation that all odds are truly against me and I don’t manage to fulfill my aspirations in this lifetime. Then my words will remain until they inspire someone who will. If I get hit by a car on my way out of this coffee shop, or if like my father, I develop an illness that rapidly prepares me for the inevitable. My life won’t have been lived in vain.

As I live or when I die, what lessons will my nieces and nephews learn from me? What will my peers appreciate about me? But most importantly, what would I have done in my life, or tried to do in my life that I was truly proud of and fulfilled by.

To gain fulfillment is to take back control

If you think of hate, judgement, fear and negativity, these problematic frustrations stem from a lack of fulfilment. Frustrations build up overtime, because we systematically close the doors on our natural motivations, to reach self-actualization. We keep that door firmly shut and perpetuate this broken society, because it’s easier to progress that way in this unequal world. To gain fulfillment is to take back control.  Regain control and you’ll no longer fear the world.

And for the first time in my life, I’m taking some lessons from my religion. Don’t get me wrong I still don’t believe in a deity judging us from above and you won’t catch me rocking a turban. Nor will you ever find me preaching any holy manuscript either.

I’m writing my own life’s story with some help from some quality teachings (that’s the biggest lesson we can all take from religion). I’m progressing in life by understanding what makes sense and disregarding anything outdated, pointless and defective.

F.Y.I. If anyone is searching for a God, then look within yourselves for any voice of hope, which tells you to do something with your life. Don’t sit there and pray or hope for a miracle. Take your life in your own hands and awaken your inner God.

Whether I’m facing an ounce of doubt or a crumb of judgment I’ll look back on the words that fill these pages. I’m glad I chose to discover my own purpose, an early adopter of a better world and a chance at true fulfillment.

Don’t blind yourself to what you truly want in life. F*** what anyone else thinks about you or your aspirations. Have the guts to go out into the world and do your own thing. Take a chance on yourself, don’t let society (or religion for that matter) dictate your actions. Don’t believe everything you’re told – you’re smarter than that, embrace research. Take from them the lessons you require but ultimately navigate your own path and live your own life. Lastly, make your life one to be lived.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Moving from One Goal to the Next: Relinquishing Doubt

Goals

There’s a lot of material out there that talks about setting goals and aiming high, even my blog carries this re-occurring theme. This time, I wanted to write to those that are on the verge of hitting a goal, as I am on the verge of accomplishing one of mine.

Like many goal oriented people, we become solely focused on accomplishing the task at hand and just like the time that seems to escape us, our emotions do too.

I’m close to finishing my very first book. I’m becoming to get a little nervous now, because all my spare time was dedicated to writing; my focus was set on getting it finished, that very little thought went into what would happen when I did. Now I’m near the end, I find myself processing all those emotions and thoughts that got buried under my work.

I’m thinking about all those times I said no to going out with friends in order to complete another chapter and all those times I was up late writing and struggled to stroll into work the next day. The outcome of my efforts need to make those compromises worth it, it’s quite intimidating!

These feelings began to overwhelm me and I felt like I would regress to self-doubt.

The decisions I had made, the commitment and dedication I gave to this project were pulled back into debate. I turned down job opportunities, I literally had people waiting for me to submit resumes and I never did. All of these decisions are hitting me now because I chose stick by my aspirations over taking a safer route.

So I did what I always do when I get these feelings of anxiety, I looked back at all my previous accomplishments. Moments in my life when I was at my lowest and moments of greatness. As I reflected I realized these feelings had occurred before; when I quit my job to move abroad, my very first day at university, the time I explored new cities on my own and even the day I started this very blog. I’ve had a lifetime of experiences to remind me that these feelings are completely normal and I remember why.

I reiterate, fear is a reaction to the lack of control and nobody can control how life is going to work out, but everyone can control what they do with it. I don’t know where my book is going to take me, but I learned that every experience has always led me somewhere and I grew stronger from every experience. The value is: I learned more about myself, the things I am capable of and what I can accomplish if I stay focused and true to my aspirations.

Over the past six years I went from being lost with low self-esteem to self-actualized and confident and I did this by taking full control of every step I made. The day I decided to follow my own passions I was freed from the burden of any expectation and pressure to “settle.” The message is: I have this one life to live right now and I’m not going to waste it by not trying.

Furthermore, this is where surrounding yourself with the right people and always discussing openly about your aspirations pay off.

I tend to become a recluse when I write, but when I am socializing, who I am and what I’m working towards becomes evident right after the question “so what do you do?” Recently I connected with some people who I hadn’t spoken to since earlier this year and the majority of them asked me how my book was doing. It was in that moment, a flood of positive energy seized any doubt that I was feeling, because someone held up a mirror and showed me that I can put my mind to anything and accomplish it.

Whichever direction the book goes, I know for certain that I have the ability to write one. The things I’ve learned, the process and what I’ve been through probably mean more to me right now than the final outcome. I’ve learned that no matter what the outcome is, I have the ability to start something and follow it through to the end, teaching me that I can start absolutely anything I want and so can you!

Even though I started off not knowing how to do it, I got it done! So take it from me, be whoever you want to be, tell the world about it and embark on your journey, dedicate your life to your aspirations and free yourself. Doubt may creep up from time to time but on that day you’re forced to look back on your life, I promise you nothing will fill you up with more pride and fulfillment than your accomplished goals.

Whatever the outcome, I’ve already set the next goal to get my book published, so I will make it happen one way or another. This goal that I’m about to complete will highlight the things I need to do to achieve the next and with each goal accomplished, I’m that much closer to my dream.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

 

I didn’t know what I was doing, but I got it done.

Here’s the thing, when I started this blog I had no clue about any of it. All I had were a bunch of words put together that developed into messages.

I was scared, nervous, excited, doubtful inspired, but all I knew was if I didn’t know what I was doing, but it felt right, I should just work on getting it done. After all, we all start somewhere and the hardest thing is sticking with it through thick and thin.

I heard this song and it kind of reminded me of that childlike character we adopt when we start something new. As we learn through trial and error, we begin to get confident as we progress and we want to explore things further, we forget about the struggles because we’re sticking with who we are. For instance now, I’m now working on my very first book, if someone told me that four years ago I’d probably laugh along with doubters, all I know is, if I put enough passion and dedication behind something, I’ll eventually figure it all out.

The journal entries I kept turned into this blog, this blog opened the door to the book that I’m writing and I also have plans for what comes next, but I’ve learned to take things one step at a time to learn more and gain even more confidence in my abilities.

People always have excuses as to why they cannot start right now, but this experience has taught me that nothing will change tomorrow unless I make it happen now. Each day a post gets delayed, each day I don’t spend writing, each day I don’t work to my potential is a day I’ve put my life on hold.

Find those little pockets of time to get things done even if you haven’t figured out how to do it yet. I know that in 20 odd year’s I’ll look back on my life content with the fact that I’d have invested my time well, even during crappy moments.

Today, even if you only have a small crumb of interest in something, explore it and who knows what wonders you may uncover, you may just discover your passions. Let doubters do the doubting and live life fulfilled by sticking with the things you love and staying true to yourself.

Music: Passenger – 27

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach