Are You Having A Hard Time Staying Motivated? Here’s Why


“A lot of people jump into higher consciousness, and forget about lower consciousness. They haven’t done their ego work, their feeling work. They’re bliss’d out. It’s just another mood alteration, and it’s a hell of a trip. I did it myself….it became very important to me to realize all of that was a kind of intellectual defense – a wonderful mood alteration, compulsive spirituality. It was a way to stay out of my feelings. I think all that stuff is really valid, but if you don’t do your ego work – what I call the original pain work – it WILL pull you back” – John Bradshaw

Have you ever felt highly motivated about something, you feel great about it and slowly but surely that motivation fades away and you feel like your back where you started? I feel like that happens to me a lot in a lot of different areas. One for example is when I want to start working out and feeling healthy. I will start to wakeup early, maybe do some morning exercise videos. Eat a healthy breakfast, maybe even juice and drink some tea. Go to the gym after work, occasionally fit in some bikram yoga. Start a nice bedtime routine and feel wonderful like “This is how the day should go everyday“. Then slowly but surely over the course of a few weeks, sometimes even just a few days, some of the new habits starts to fall off until eventually I’m back where I started agonizing over why I can’t keep going.

One of the first things we learned in class was the different realms we work from. At the top there is the physical realm. The act of DOING stuff. Underneath that is the Mental realm which is our THINKING. Next under that the Emotional realm which of course is our FEELING. Together the Mental realm and the Emotional Realm is what we call our EGO. Underneath that is the unconscious, things that are there but we do not remember whatsoever. And lastly under that is our Spiritual Realm aka our Authentic Self which is one of Love, acceptance, peace, joy etc. It’s who we TRULY are, our SOUL.

DOING leads to THINKING leads to FEELING. Things that are in the unconscious are unknown of course (otherwise we’d be conscious of them) and those things will come up as they need to when its perfect time for you to deal with them.

So to explain this method of DOING something and feeling motivated and then regressing back to your original state, we have to look and work on our ego. Our ego likes to play tug of war with our authentic self. It doesn’t like being pushed to the side and forgotten about. So in moments when we feel our Authentic self and we act on it, our ego will feel a bit left out so you know what he does? He gently and sometimes not so gently will start to a game of tug of war with our soul. 

The soul has us thinking and feeling “You will feel wonderful…you will be at peace and grateful and full of love and wanna dance in the field of happiness with the world”  well the ego pulls back and says “oh no….you can’t forget about me…I’m gonna make you feel separated, jealous, intolerance and anger” and he lead us into situations in which we will be forced to deal with all the mental and emotional unresolved issues that were stopping us from acting from our Authentic selves in the first place.

We might feel very spiritual and authentic in a moment but unless we have the knowledge, skills, and experience etc to deal with and resolve the stuff the ego has brung forth, we will be unable to sustain the positive physical actions. On the other hand when you are able to resolve them, when you find yourself in situations, the feelings the ego will try to push on you will no longer bother you and it is then when you can consistently start to move forward in the physical task you are wanting to progress in.

I have come to see how this pattern has been true for me. I have been living in a sort of spiritual entertainment state for the last 4 years. Reading the books, attending the seminars, helping others, feeling the bliss from the positive physical actions. But I also know I have done very little to really work on the ego aka original pain work. I just haven’t had the right skills to be able to effectively do so. So with no fail, I do find myself pulled back into a war in which my ego likes to win. That one time I skip out on going to the gym or eat something bad takes me to a place of negative self talk, shame, and all the pain work that had me in a place of “not-doing” to begin with and that discourages me until im back at… guessed it NOT DOING!

The question then becomes, Well Barista, how do we deal with ego and the pain work? How can we work to dissolve it?

Yoga at the nature

That answer can be different for everyone. I don’t know if I have that answer. Previously for me the answer was to read lots of spiritual books, listen to online conferences, read uplifting blogs, immerse myself in spirituality and while that all is awesome, without doing the “pain work”, it’s nothing much different then alcohol or drugs. It became addicting because it’s was giving me the blissful feeling without having to deal with the hard stuff. And when stuff did get hard it became really easy to blame others…well he isn’t doing all the “work” I’m doing so he just doesn’t understand.

Listening to people talk and reading blogs are good but it’s just words. It’s just someone talking or me reading. Doing yoga, juicing, exercising, attending seminars, even me making a move and applying to school and any other “spiritual” practice is all good stuff, definitely GREAT STARTS but if you’re just using it to temporarily forget about the “pain work” and not experiencing and dissolving the ego then you WILL find yourself back in the same place you were before you started.

This is one reason I am highly appreciative and grateful for my school in this moment. It is giving me the tools and most importantly the experience in a safe environment which is VERY important. I am able to not only work on myself through experience with my classmates but I also get to experience these classmates as other souls working on the same goal. Connect to their loving essence. This is teaching me to release judgement and learn self compassion and compassion for others. Having this experience in this type of environment then allows me to enter into the “outside world” which may not feel so safe all the time, and allows me to fully practice and recreate the feelings I have created inside the safe environment. Not only that its one full weekend at a time.

Although I do highly recommend USM to everyone on the planet, I’m not suggesting its the only way to go. But I am suggesting to find the support that works for you. One that allows you to practice without judgement and one that is full of love and acceptance. You’re current practices may work but when you see that ego surface use that opportunity to figure out the underlying pains and work on dissolving those.

A common thing for us to do is to blame and try to change the outside factors so we don’t have to deal with what’s going on inside of us. but it’s when we learn to take responsibility for those moments that we start to dissolve them. Those moments may not always feel so great. There is crying, and headaches, and lots and lots of turmoil, but there’s also connection and love and forgiveness and acceptance…most importantly in yourself. The ego can then no longer sustain our authentic selves and our soul becomes stronger. It’s when feeling and thinking those qualities in ourselves that we no longer have to blame the outside world. We then welcome it with open arms and love. These are the moments in which you grow and good news is, those are the moments that prove you are willing to feel alive. If you aren’t feeling the Ying and the Yang, you are moving through life dead and we all know there’s no fulfillment in that.

In what areas do you find yourself highly motivated but then regressed? Do you notice if you are pushing away the ego or do you work on dissolving it? Take a moment to look at your practice and see where you can improve on the pain work.

Vulnerability leads to connection. Connections allows us to see we aren’t alone. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and share your thoughts or story in the comments section below so that you can open the opportunity for a connection with someone else

Stay tuned and see how my process is developing along the way while attending USM.



Ps: If you are indeed ready to start working on dissolving the issues that are holding you back, I am Very very proud to announce USM is still enrolling students. The only requirement is that you want to become a better YOU. While, if you qualify,  you can get your Masters Degree, there are people that aren’t working on that. Being that it’s only one weekend a month, you can live anywhere on the planet and attend. There are people in my class from Boston, Florida, Virginia, Canada, Mexico and many more places other than Los Angeles. Invest in YOU. ITS YOUR TIME!

for more info click here

Tiny Buddha: Trusting in the Present When You’ve Been Hurt in the Past

Re-Post via Tiny Buddha

Photo by Damian Gadal

“The only way to know if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” ~Ernest Hemmingway

In a world where it seems as though all we hear about and see is how one person betrayed another, how do we allow ourselves to trust someone to get close at all, let alone trust them to be near the most fragile parts of us?

Over the course of the last year, I’ve been working as an intern-counselor at a residential high school with around 70 teenagers. Many of them have come from unbelievably challenging backgrounds where they have had to learn to not trust anyone as a matter of survival.

Imagine having spent your entire life always having to watch your back literally and figuratively, not just because there are strangers who may want to harm you, but also because even those who are supposed to be close to you could turn against you in an instant.

How difficult do you think it would be to let down the defenses that kept you safe and in some cases, alive, for so long?

In my own world, I’ve struggled with allowing people to really know me because for most of my life, it felt as though I was burned every time I did.

Over time, I learned how to seem friendly but kept virtually everyone at a distance, and those who got too close I rapidly pushed away, sometimes completely out of my life.

I was already struggling to put my pieces back together after several major tragedies in my family, and allowing others in meant (the possibility of) compounding my heartbreak. I just couldn’t handle anymore at the time.

Eventually I began to open up, but each time found myself wondering why I had been so naive again.

Then there came a point where, slowly but surely, people began to enter my life who showed me what it meant to be able to trust—trust them to show up, trust them to listen, trust them with commitments, and the biggest one of all, trust them with my heart.

These people came in the form of friends who are now my family and have had my back in countless ways over the years, and the most surprising and recent of all, a man who is not only telling me, but showing me, what a man does to express his profound interest beyond just the physical.

If I wouldn’t have begun to take down my walls, I may have never found these amazing people. They didn’t appear because I had perfectly learned to trust already. They appeared because I was willing to learn to trust, even if imperfectly.

As I’ve been learning to trust and lower my defenses, I’ve been working with my students to do the same.

Their stories are different in that many of them have come from a history of abuse and/or gang related activities. But we share a similar outcome in struggling to realize that what once protected us is no longer needed, and in some cases, is actually hurting us further by isolating us from the love we need to heal and move forward.

It’s like taking too much medicine; sometimes a certain amount is necessary to get better, but beyond that it can break our systems down.

We each come to crossroads in our lives where we have to make the decision to let go of our old survival mechanisms in order to grow and make room for something better.

Sometimes what used to protect us becomes what harms us and stifles the capacity for our lives to be open and full of joy, love, and peace.

When it comes to trusting each other, we have to accept that our past is not our present. We have to be able to recognize that what hurt us before is not necessarily what is currently standing before us—even sometimes when the situation looks frighteningly similar, and sometimes even when it’s the same person.

Does this mean we won’t ever get hurt again? Nope. That’s a part of life. People will let us down, and we will let them down, but that doesn’t mean our efforts to disassemble our defense mechanisms are in vain.

If we never allow ourselves any vulnerability, we lose out on the opportunity to make incredibly deep and meaningful connections that open up our lives in ways that couldn’t happen any other way.

Those connections draw out the very best within and create a new reality—one where we learn that the only way to know if you can trust somebody is to trust them.

You. Are. Love!

paper-loveYou. Are. LOVE! You are. Your soul is that of a loving energy among other positive forms. I am blessed enough to have the chance to witness someone grow from the beginning of their human existence.

Think of children. Children are  literally born with such a pureness and innocence. Then over the years from learning the ways and putting meaning to what goes on around them, the ego becomes more and more alive. Through experience and the meanings we attach to those experiences about ourselves, we begin to build layers over who we TRULY are and create this very limited version of ourselves.

It can be very interesting watching my son as he is trying to figure out how stuff makes sense. The more he grows, the more and more I can see his level of consciousness shift from what he Knows to be true to what the outside world is teaching him. The ego starts to creep out more and more. The ego is very fear based. The thing is, fearful thoughts and loving thoughts can not exist at the same time so when we are living in a fear based mindset, we become more and more disconnected from that of which we truly are and how we came into this life. I visualize that there are two planes of existence. A plane in which we live and create through our ego and one in which we live and create through our heart. The crazy thing is, as much as we want to view our ego and fear as bad, BOTH planes are necessary. We wouldn’t have a human experience without them. Remember we are spiritual beings having a human experience.

Choosing love over fear, which is the basis to “May Cause Miracles”,  means that each time you chose love you are tearing away the layers you spent years building and you start connecting more and more to your true self. Now think about your experience or ANYONE’S thus far. It is not JUST filled with love. Its filled with love, fear, pain, happiness, heartache, joy…ALL kinds of things. We aren’t born into human form to go through life perfectly spiritually. Otherwise, we would stay as spirits. We are born into human form with the intention to have human experiences. love, fear, pain, happiness, heartache, joy…

In this form there is no such thing as living PERFECT. Even those “special” people we believe as being spiritually perfect have an ego. In fact that ego guided them to where they needed to be, even if it was only in their thoughts. They are/were still human and were no more “special” then you or I. We all are loving spiritual human beings and we all have the same potential for greatness. How powerful is that?

I feel the more I discover and witness to be true, the more I want to reach back into that place I know resides inside. Maybe I don’t have the goal to be Mother Teresa, but I do have the goal to learn and grow more into MYSELF and I know that MYSELF is just as special. I think its important to live with that goal in mind. Each day strive to become more and more yourself. Better then you were the day before.

If you lack some belief or thought about how to learn and grow and become more love, then what is it you strive for? Money? Power? Status? At the same time, without the experience of wanting those things and the path we take to get those things, we wouldn’t find ourselves in the place to actually NEED something more. Think about it, it often takes the hardest times in our life, over and over and over, to get us to the point in which we finally stop and say “there has to be a better way”, “there has to be more”.

As big of a paradox that is, it’s also the circle of life. Like the food chain, this paradox is completely necessary for the human world to function properly. Just as if something as small as ants didn’t exist, if pain didn’t exist, it would throw off the whole Eco-system. All the “bad” things NEED to happen to help you AND others learn and grow and come to live your true purpose. 

Everyone spends so much time trying to figure out the purpose of life. What if the purpose is to EXPERIENCE. Strive to experience! You would not learn good without bad. So strive for and enjoy good but also enjoy learning from the bad. What would it look like if we actually looked forward to learning from the bad? Well then all that’s “bad” would be good right. Talk about the power of perspective. Essentially we live with our ego, with fear, with pain and still cultivate peace and presence. The external stuff isn’t going to change, pain and fear will continue to be, but we can change how we view them and use them. Use it to guide you instead of control you.

Have a full experience being human. Knowing that all the bad shit is VITAL to who you are becoming. EVERYTHING you go through is 100% vital to your life. This means that RIGHT NOW, this very moment, YOU ARE PERFECT!!! Just the way you are. Having the experiences you are having, the thoughts you are having…. even 5 years ago and your thoughts and experiences then…you were just as perfect then as you are today!

Forgive yourself and know that you are RIGHT where you need to be. Thank yourself and know that you wouldn’t  be YOU without it all. Love yourself and know that You. Are. Love! When we are able to forgive, be grateful, and LOVE – you can fully be present to the human experience. That at the least, is a pretty dang good goal to work towards.

I know to my soul and I try to remind myself that without my life as it is right now, I wouldn’t have the chance to become all I’m meant to be in the future. 

We are all living the human experience and going through what we need to go through in order to get a glimpse of our full potential. No one is more or less special. Just as Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr. or anyone we’ve ever viewed as “special” used their experiences and ego to catapult them into greatness, you have the same ability.

Think, how can you view your “bad” as good today?