Nobody remembers the day they were born, but nobody can forget the day they were re-born. When you suffer from soul crushing anxiety, it akin to living in a perpetual state of almost drowning.
This story is all about how investing in meditation not only brought me out of the quicksand of anxiety, but put me on such solid ground that I am officially unstoppable.
Have you ever been so enveloped by haunting visions of the past or future that it felt like you were trapped in a Hell or your own making?
That was me. That was the majority of my waking day, every day. Consumed by an obsession with all the made-up concerns of the future and lamenting my present circumstances.
There was even a point where my mind conditioned my body to wake up at exactly 3 AM every day with a palpitating heart, freaking out about what the next day might bring.
My fears of the future had taken over my mind, my mind had done a coup d’états over my emotions, and my emotions were dominating my existence. I was trapped.
That was one year ago. My wife and I were expecting our third son and we weren’t ready. There were so many potential concerns that I couldn’t even process them.
Will our newborn be healthy? Will my wife be okay? After all, she’s getting older. Can we even afford this? Am I a big enough person to handle a third ‘dependent’? What kind of world will they grow up in?
The list of worries is endless. I felt completely justified in my constant state of stress and everyone I consulted only perpetuated my anxiety by validating my concerns.
At that point, I had exactly two options: accept that I’m a worrywart or change.
I have many male relatives who died from heart-related issues and I could clearly see that my destiny would be no different if I didn’t make some major alterations to my life.
Although everyone can admit that anxiety is basically the worst thing ever, most people feel as though it’s a foregone outcome of our modern lives.
Is that true? Is stress just something we need to accept? Is it part of our character, something innate? Or is there a chance that we have just been conditioned to live out of balance with our natural state?
So, I started to research. I had to know. After all, if I didn’t change, I honestly felt like I would lose everything near and dear to me. I could see that in my stressed-out state I was becoming aggravated by my children and hardhearted with my wife. I was tired, frustrated with my life and I yearned for change.
The journey I was about to embark upon was driven by a lack of options. I was either going to let my life swallow me up or I was going to have to let my old self die. Either way, I knew that remaining the same wasn’t an option anymore.
I was driven off a cliff and I knew that I’d have to figure out how to fly during my freefall. So, I started reading (a.k.a watching YouTube videos) about stress.
Meditation kept on bubbling up to the surface as my best option of where to start combating anxiety. Every place I went, it led me back to meditation.
There is quite a massive vault of information on the topic, so much in fact that it stressed me out even more. Where do you even start with meditation? Which style? How long?
For a little while, I found myself paralyzed by the overabundance of options. Although I started experimenting with different techniques, nothing felt quite right.
Every time I would sit down with the intent to clear my mind and become zen, I found myself drifting off into anxiety-inducing visions of my future. That was even more disheartening. Imagine being consumed with anxiety while meditating?
Terrible. But I had to keep trying to make it work, there was no going back.
This was the daily cycle I was experiencing in concentric loops:
- Stress out
- Feel like my life is spinning out of control
- Try to meditate in order to relax
- Feel no discernible change
- Leave my meditation feeling defeated
This was my reality for months. It was only my lack of options that propelled me forward and compelled me to just keep trying.
At that time I was working two jobs in order to sustain our growing family’s livelihood. I would work my day job for a non-profit and then drive for Uber at night.
The only times I could be relaxed enough to meditate was right before bed (after midnight) and before my children woke up (5:30 am). So that’s what I did.
I needed a guided meditation in order to prevent my mind from drifting too much, otherwise, I’d end up in the inevitable gutter of my ‘worst-case scenario’ thinking. The 6 Phase Meditation is the first guided meditation that actually helped me feel something other than stress.
Meditating in addition to such a busy schedule meant losing sleep, so eventually, I wavered. We are told that sleep is the ‘holy grail’ of health and that we should prioritize it above all else.
This is when things started to get interesting.
Up until that point in my experimentation with meditation, I couldn’t really see any improvement in my life as a byproduct of all my effort. The moment I stopped meditating in the morning to accommodate more sleep, I could very clearly see the difference in my quality of life.
When I subscribed to the notion that I “needed more sleep” instead of waking up at 5:30 am to meditate, I was measurably more miserable, more irritable, less productive and less enjoyable to be around generally.
Even though the contrast in the results I experienced was so extreme, it took me a while to habituate myself to waking up early. There was a lingering feeling that sleep outweighed the importance of my morning meditation.
It was a month of vacillating between waking up and sleeping in before I could see with total clarity what was occurring. If I didn’t choose how I was going to experience my day willingly, the day would simply take whichever shape it chose.
To put it another way, I either had to decide which type of person I was going to be or the day would choose for me. The morning meditation was an investment in my state.
You see, when we enter into a state of stress, our autonomic nervous system prepares us for the worst. When we are consumed by fear and anxiety, we are stuck in fight or flight.
When we focus on our fears they become big and bloated and we essentially feed the beast that is eating our potential alive. In that state, our anxiety eclipses any potential positive outcomes and we lose sight of hope.
Conversely, the more we actively invest in picturing positive outcomes, the less power anxiety has over you.
That’s exactly what I was experiencing in real-time.
The more I was investing in envisioning a happier future, the less I was gripped by fear and anxiety. As it turns out, our thoughts are like seeds and we water them with our time and energy.
A negative thought can grow into all-consuming resentment if we aren’t careful. By the same token, endless possibilities are at our immediate disposal if we invest in believing them.
To be honest, I found the results of my experiment a little hard to believe at first. You see, I’m naturally quite skeptical and my experience was leading me down a path I didn’t want to go.
This started to sound like that annoying ‘The Secret’ line of thought. Words like ‘Manifesting’ and ‘Abundance’ already triggered my gag reflex because of the culture they were connected to.
It was all quite confronting, but I had to keep moving forward. I couldn’t let my negative perceptions of ‘those types of people’ who believe in ‘that type of thing’ block me from noticing the positive results I was experiencing.
That’s also around the time where I met the body of work from an amazing man: Dr. Joe Dispenza.
His books and videos capture the exact essence of what I was experiencing. Hearing him speak about ‘remembering your future’ stimulated something inside me that helped me see for the first time in years that I could control my destiny.
It’s one thing to read about change from a self-help book, but to experience a seismic shift in the reality you have grown accustomed to is an entirely different matter.
Even a small, incremental deviation from the norm can cause the spark of possibility within your very soul.
When I started studying Dr. Joe’s work, I could intellectually understand that if a person can control their state, they can gain control over their destiny. This was a massive epiphany for me, the likes of which have changed the course of my life.
Upon this realization, I understood that I had incredible powers which I had unfortunately been misusing my whole life.
My imagination up until that point was being used to conjure images of all that might go wrong, thus causing me to experience anxiety before anything even happened. I anticipated emotional distress and was rewarded proportionately to my expectations.
I lived in a present that was haunted by the future of my choosing, which wasn’t promising.
So, if I was haunted by a future that hadn’t yet happened, couldn’t I use my imagination to fall in love with a future that was exciting to me? Instead of fearing the future, what if I fell in love with my future.
This began my ascent.
For the first time in my life, I took a proactive stance as to how I was going to think and feel by creating a future in my mind that pulls me forward with enthusiasm and joy. It wasn’t easy.
Developing the ability to believe in your own potential is like building a muscle. In the beginning, getting to the gym is incredibly difficult if you have the habit of laziness. Every single time you escape the comforts of your couch in exchange for working out, you are recreating yourself.
Muscles aren’t built overnight, especially if you’ve been living in a sedentary way for a while. Falling in love with your future is equally challenging for someone who has the habit of anxiety.
It takes a great act of will to envision a future for yourself that is different from your present reality. To ignore all of the negative voices in your head and follow the possibility of ‘what if this is real’ even when times are tough.
Skepticism is rampant in our present culture because so many people have given up authorship of their lives in exchange for victimhood. When we subscribe to being a victim, we require someone or something outside of ourselves to reclaim your joy.
Every time we chant mantras like: “This person/place/thing made me feel this way…” or “I wish I could…”
We are perpetuating the lie that how we feel is out of our control.
For one year I have been diligently building the muscle of loving my future. When I started out I had two jobs, never enough money, and frustration was my default emotion.
Since then I have traveled with my wife and 3 kids to over 25 countries. I’m traveling as I write this. My family is next to me and they are all smiling.
Everything that has unfolded in the past 6 months especially has been like watching my dream life unfold into reality. It hasn’t been a smooth ride at all. In fact, I have experienced every possible emotion during that time.
But my default modality when trouble arises is to see all of the amazing possibilities within any situation.
When my child had a fever at 1 am in Korea and we were nowhere near a hospital, I breathed. Things worked out just fine.
When my phone died in Mongolia and I had no idea where I was, I laughed and decided it was an opportunity for me to trust my instincts. I survived.
The point is not to avoid difficulty but rather to enjoy every possible moment, even the struggle. This is only possible if our senses are seeking after the good in everything. In so doing, you will be fundamentally rewiring your brain and heart to redefine success as something that exists within a moment – rather than the pursuit of material accomplishments.
When you are possessed by joy, you see nothing but potential in people and circumstances. When you are riddled with resentment, everything is sullied by the sour lens through which you see the world.
From a state of fulfillment, I have created my greatest achievement to date. It is called Whole Goals.
Whole Goals is a company that is devoted to helping people reach the goals of their heart, mind, body, and soul. Our first product is called the ‘Whole Goals Journal’ and it is a masterpiece.
I can say that because it has very little to do with me and nothing at all to do with my ego.
I have formed a business partnership with an amazing man, found help from a global team, and enjoyed every single step of my journey — all while traveling with 3 kids!
This journal is going to help millions of people overcome anxiety and create more wholeness, more fulfillment, more love, and more joy.
The Whole Goals Journal is much bigger than me, it’s something I can safely say didn’t come from me, but rather through me. All I did was the legwork necessary to find myself in a high enough frequency to receive the idea. The rest was cosmic in nature.
If you want to change the world, you can’t do it from a small place. Investing in falling in love with your future will yield the best ROI you could ever hope for because it allows you to become harmonious with endless potential.
I hope this spurs you into action. I hope you can believe that nobody is more special than you and that their results can be yours.
If you need a place to start to see results and experience the spark of possibility, I recommend you get yourself a Whole Goals Journal and prepare to watch your dreams unfold into reality day by day.