"You can’t ask the sun to shine because the sun is shining; but you can bring yourself into that sunshine. Once you bring yourself into that sunshine, you don’t have to ask for qualities of sun, whether it’s sun tan or whether it’s warmth. Automatically being embodied or included in that sunshine, all that the sun is acts upon and through our being. 

In the same way, then, to entertain a sense of separation from God is to deprive one’s self of all the blessing, benediction, activity, presence and power of God. To come consciously into the awareness, the actual feeling, realization, click of God’s presence is automatically to bring that presence and power into our experience. And so you see why you must rise above the sea of thought because thinking won’t make this so. You must rise above the sea of thought into an actual consciousness, an actual awareness, an actual feeling of God’s presence. Then all things are added.

In the Western world, it is considered right to pray or do mental work for things, conditions, circumstances, and, to me, that would be very much like sitting here (in this room) and praying for sun tan or sun warmth. And I would sit here forever and forever and forever, and I would not have them. Why? Because there is no such thing as the warmth of the sun or the sun tan separate and apart from the sun itself. So if I only will stop praying long enough for warmth and tan and get out in the sun, I’ll have the warmth and I’ll have the tan without asking for them. They’ll be there of their own accord.  --Joel Goldsmith
I hope this analogy is as powerful for you as it was for me when I first read it! I came upon it years ago and have re-visited it at least once a week ever since (it’s another note in my iPhone, lol). If you make THE PRESENCE primary, like nothing else matters, you won’t have to pray and ask and plead… the stuff you think you want will show up effortlessly as a result of your conscious awareness of your SELF.  You won't even worry anymore, because as soon as you feel that inner peace (which is always present no matter the circumstances), you'll know that everything is straight!  Stay single-minded. You got this.

Your other self,
Nik

Life is made up of the little things, the little moments, seemingly mundane-- like waiting in line, scrolling through your feed, walking to the car, getting up from the couch, preparing a meal, or driving to the store.

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Moment in, moment out. That’s honestly like 99% of your lived experience and you’re on auto-pilot for much of it, until you have to slam on the breaks, or Bae suddenly gets down on one knee with little box in hand.

You’re literally sleep walking through life waiting on the ‘awesome’ stuff, avoiding the ‘terrible’ stuff, never, ever present to THIS STUFF here, now, which is your only point of power. So today, I want you to take back a little bit of your power. For the rest of the day, every time you go from sitting to standing, I want you to do it consciously. Become totally aware in that moment, like you’re watching a movie. In fact, watch that body like it’s not yours, but a character in a movie. Watch it stand, then consciously think and feel ‘thank you, thank you, thank you’, and then go about your business. Bringing just this much presence and appreciation into your life will have PROFOUND and swift effects. It's a small, 3 second addition to your day but it will yield big results.  ‘Take care of the present and the future will take care of itself’- Ramana Maharshi



Hola Chica!

I'm rocking my first twist-out (no rollers) since April '17! I created 20 chunky twists using Ouidad's Featherlight Styling Cream (gifted) and secured the roots with bobby pins.  I twisted the crown section going toward my face for volume and natural hangage. To get BIG, uniform, fluffy results I have to remember to do 3 things:

1. Twist hair that's 80-90% dry.  As soon as I hop out of the shower, I tie up my clean, wet, detangled, naked hair using a t-shirt. This soaks up the excess moisture without roughing up the cuticle. It's important for the hair to be product-free at this point.  After about 15 minutes, I remove the t-shirt to find hair that's about 75% dry. I let it air dry a little more and only then do I begin the styling process.

2. Use product sparingly. I apply product to each small section just prior to two-strand twisting.  I use about a dime size amount for each twist.  Any more than that and the product could flake or weigh my hair down.  It's important for this step to be working with a product that goes on smooth (like a slippery leave-in or cream) versus rough (think drier and/or thicker butters), since you're working with barely damp hair.  You want it to add slip to your hair to make it easier to keep it detangled for the style.



3. Release the twists while the hair is 95% damp.  Goes against everything you know and love, but it works!  If I release my twists just before they get the chance to dry 100%, I get fluffier results.  I just release them without further separating or fluffing as to not cause frizz. Then, after my hair is totally dry, I fluff, pick the roots and style.  When I allow my hair to fully dry in the twists, or worse, wait to release the twists on day 2, my twist-out is limp and sad. Doing it this way, there is barely any scalpiness to fluff away! 

Your other self,
Nik

p.s. I like the Featherlight Styling Cream!  It's humid here in D.C. and it definitely hasn't held up to the anti-humidity claim, but the light and effective hold + the shine + the slippery consistency means I'll probably be using it regularly this Fall and will more than likely repurchase.  
erry'body smiling!

There's a note in my iphone from 2013 titled 'How to Shift Right Quick' and the instructions read- 'short, quick breaths, breathe into chest and smile' (similar to what I shared, here).  It's a process that naturally developed out of my desire to instantly experience the good feels that were previously only available to me during lengthy meditation sessions.

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I found it to be highly dependable, efficient and up until recently, I thought it was unique and highly personal. Fast forward to last week-- I came across a meditation called 'inner smile' while reading Osho's 'The Orange Book'. It was absolutely amazing and confirming to read his words explaining a technique that I'd been doing for 4 years! I promise that if you sit with these feels 3 times a day for 10 minutes each, your whole world will change from the inside out. Straight miracles.

Step 1: Relaxing

Whenever you are sitting with nothing to do, relax your lower jaw and let your mouth open just slightly. Start breathing from the mouth, but not deeply. Just let the body breathe so it becomes more and more shallow. When you feel that the breath has become very shallow and your mouth is open and jaw relaxed, your whole body will feel very relaxed.

Step 2: Allow an inner smile

Now start feeling a smile begin to grow – not on your face (necessarily) but all over your being. it is an existential smile that spreads inside you, from your belly. It is a smile, not a laugh, so it is very soft and delicate – like a little rosebud opening in the belly, its fragrance spreading all over the body.

Once you have known what this smile is you can remain happy for 24 hours. And whenever you feel that you are missing that happiness, just close your eyes and catch hold of that smile again, and it will be there: it is always there.' (Osho: The Orange Book)

Could you feel the shift? Could you stay there?
day 4 hurr! (Dry flat twist-n-curl)

Think of your thought stream like your FB feed.

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There are posts (thoughts) that make you feel good, posts that make you feel bad and posts that don’t make you feel any type of way. In this analogy though, you as the user don’t have the ability to create posts. You aren’t the poster (the thinker), you aren't the scroller (the doer). All you ever 'do' is watch the feed (thought stream) and the never ending posts, placing your attention on the ones of interest. And after a while, the FB algorithm narrows your feed to serve up more posts like the ones you’ve been giving the most attention to, both the good and the bad. Your only power in this scenario is the ability to choose where you place your attention. And pretty soon, you’re locked into a feedback loop where your mood is being constantly reinforced by posts that make you feel even more that way- whether joyful or sad. You become your feed and it's reflected as your life. There's a third choice, tho.

While looking at the feed on your phone screen, you could turn your attention around 180 degrees and consciously place it on what’s aware of the feed. Bring your phone up a little closer to your face, until it’s about 2 inches from your nose.

Actually do this.  I'll wait.

Now, do you see your face AND your phone or just your phone? Try this now! When I bring my phone up to where other people see my face, I don’t see my face, I see only space. I also see my phone, a hand, a computer, my body, a chair, and the roof top view of D.C.—sky, clouds, flowers. That's my current view. What's yours?

this is always your view out... you don't see your face, ever! You just see your body and the surrounding environment.  YOU are the space that contains everything that's on display.  That's the way it's always been. You just forgot! 


You are not just that body/mind, you are this open space- you are the container for and the Source of the thoughts, your phone, these words, your body, your feelings, and everything that’s on display now (and every subsequent now). You never see your face, except for in reflective surfaces. Don't dismiss this.  (click here for more experiential enlightenment instructions)

Even though you now know who you are now beyond your feed, it continues to refresh constantly, the posts (thoughts) just affect you less. You give them less attention. And now you can live consciously from this space (it's peaceful there) and use thoughts the way they were intended—as a tool to create and see your best life! #ThankYouThankYouThankYou

Your other self,
Nik

p.s. this isn't a perfect analogy, nothing is.  But hopefully it gave you some insights.  It's important to note that in 'reality', all the posts (thoughts) are neutral-- meaning is given (based on past experiences) and then there are feels (good or bad). Also, the whole bit about not choosing posts (thoughts), that's actually the case in your lived experience!  Watch closely and see.  You have never been the thinker.  You never were the doer. You are what is aware of those activities. #paradox

p.p.s. If this experiential enlightenment article actually resonated and you want more on this perspective shift, check out Harding's Headless Way and his list of super easy 'experiments', especially the 'pointing here' one.  Absolutely changed my life 4 years ago-- it took me about 5 months to see my 'no face', and then it became super apparent!  It's especially easy to 'see' if you're sitting in a dimly lit room.  The first time I saw it, I was sitting up in my bed, re-reading the instructions for the millionth time and I had the phone close to my face (reading in the dark) and the shift happened instantly and I immediately felt lighter and fell out laughing.  It's super obvious, super ordinary, but super important.  Also check out my post that I wrote on it a year or so ago. Note that as this insight unfolds you come to see that you're also not that body/mind, lol.  You're also not seeing the space, you are the space.  If you want to approach this realization from another angle, check out Sri Ramana Maharshi's 'Be As You Are' and start a self inquiry practice.  Different road, same destination.