The Big Picture

As of lately, I’ve been having very unique encounters with friends. Likely I always do, maybe recently I’ve just been more aware of them. I started challenging myself a little more because of some of these encounters. I started searching for more knowledge, understanding, and progress as an individual.

A close friend of mine suggested I start listening to audio books. He set aside a goal for himself to listen a minimum of an hour everyday. Regardless of what his ultimate goal is with these audio books, I realized a lot of things. An hour a day, is not a whole lot of time. You can do a lot in an hour. Why couldn’t I also commit to doing the same thing to help progress my life. Of course, I started. Kicked it off with “The Richest Man in Babylon”, the one my friend suggested I start with. I got myself a small note book, and I sit in a coffee shop, my house, or outside, for an hour a day and write notes.

In a short amount of time I learned a quality amount. Not only that, but my thought process shifted. I started dividing up my thoughts to work towards more knowledge. Which grew even more so beyond that.

Get a Grip

I’ve got into the habit of calling my hour of learning “studying”. When I tell people, they immediately ask what I’m going to school for. Much to my liking I can answer that it’s just personal studies to learn more. I realized that I have a drive I didn’t see within myself that needed a little jump start to begin.

Life tends to continuously through new and exciting challenges at us, and cycles through a series of tasks and lessons that we sometimes can’t understand.  That’s okay. It’s a wonderful design to live by if you see it. Why do we tend to aim so much at monotonous tasks that seemingly get us no where, which defeats the purpose of the lessons we are given.

It’s often said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

I can agree with that. How do we get ourselves out of this cyclical nature of always being upset, annoyed, frustrated, and defeated? How can it be that no matter how many times I try, it doesn’t work out?

People lack adaption abilities. For some reason, the second we get comfortable with something we stick to it and ride it out like hell without letting go. We become attached to something we can not control, which further lets it fall out of control. Yet isn’t that just it, we don’t control it. We can’t. The only thing you can control is yourself, whether you think you can or not. In a lot of ways it’s a skill to be able to analyze a situation, try to genuinely understand it from a different perspective, and move forward. Just as much as it’s a habit not to.

What’s the point of doing that to ourselves? To others? I don’t think there is one. I think we just try to control our lives from the fear of not being able to, that we slip, break, and get stuck. It’s a lack of presence in the current moment. We try to create a non-existent understanding of our future to control the outcome, when the outcome doesn’t exist yet. How can we be expected to live a healthy life if all we are doing is holding on tight to control it, when that control will never truly exist?

Getting the Big Picture

What is the big picture for you? Working day in an out, getting paycheck to paycheck? Watching the next big movie or TV series?  Waiting for the next opportunity? College, if so for what? These are all details of life, but what are they based around?

These are the details that you need to sweat, the monotony. What are you doing today? Why? If we live our life without a big picture, or a goal in mind, we can give purpose to those monotonous details that seem ever fleeting and useless. The ones that make us feel stuck. This is something that toils around in my head everyday.

“Opportunity waits for no man.”

What is your big picture? What are you trying to do? I’d like to know that I’m working towards something genuine and true. I have 1 year, 5 year, and even some 10 year goals. All geared towards personal life, business, living, understanding of myself, and much more. I’m not trying to control it though. I’m trying to see it happen before me, opportunities are EVERYWHERE. If you sit around waiting for them, or you live that monotony and dull out your life in useless tasks, you’ll miss it.

Patience, adaption, and compassion keep me on a path that I want to travel. Lives, events, and moments come in and out, but at the end of the day we have the genuine relationships built, yourself, and God. Those are all things that can’t be controlled and forced. Those are forces within themselves that take time to understand, focus, and nurturing. If you lose sight of it, you’ll miss it.

You are driving your down the road. A nail gets lodged, and the tire goes flat. You search for the reason why the tire went flat. If you’re looking at the other tires, and ignoring the flat, you’ll never get it fixed. Same as if you’re only looking at the flat tire and not doing anything, it will never be fixed. Wait, you’re trying to get somewhere aren’t you? How do you get there? By removing the nail, fixing the flat, and remembering what the tire is doing. Without action, we live on the side of the road, with knowing what 3 full tires looks like, and leaving the flat one sitting there. Then you’ll surely never continue on to where you were going.

We have the opportunity to learn, progress, grow, understand, adapt, develop, cherish, and prosper EVERY. DAY. As much as we have the option to whine, complain, moan, make excuses, wallow in pity, and give in every, single, day. There is so much potential out for both, it’s a choice in every moment to decide what it is that you’re aiming for, with unlimited opportunity to head in either direction. It takes each of those small moments and little details that culminate. If you want to get your life to where you want, you have to sweat the details, with a big picture in mind. Take action to get there and do your best everyday.

I don’t want to get to the “end”, whenever that may be, and realize that I spent time wasting such a precious gift that I was given.

Where do you want to be, and how are you going to get there?

Alone

“Here I sit alone, at first, afraid. Scared. Uncertain.

Realizing that there is no one. There, lay the memories.

A forgotten time beyond oneself. You think you can beat me?

I think you’ve already won.

I see who you are loneliness, you’re a creator.

You show me where to be and where to go. Without you I’d be nothing.

I yell and yell, I cry. With no one to hear me.

Except for one. That is me.

-Anonymous-“

I’ve grown to understand that being alone is healthy. Western culture seems to create this idea that loneliness is a horrible thing. There is a negative connotation to everything that has to being with alone.

“You’ll end up ALONE”      “Forever alone”     “I need to be with a friend because I’m lonely”

For me, loneliness is beautiful. It is a time of peace, understanding, and growth. Even if you hate the moment that you’re alone, you’re still capable of learning from it. I started experimenting with the idea of embracing loneliness, instead of trying to rid it from my life. Making conscious efforts to be alone with productivity. Loneliness seen as a concept can help utilize it, just like everything in life has its purpose and usefulness to develop yourself. Here are some things that I’ve developed through embracing that loneliness, and being alone.

I’ve learned how to cope better

Ever feel that,”I just need a minute to breathe.” moment? That’s probably a good sign that you need some peace and time to reflect. When you have more of those moments that you create for yourself, it’s easier to be clear headed and prepared in the face of adversity. I don’t rely on another person to help me be at peace with a situation.

I’ve realized the type of person I want to be

While alone, I spend a lot of time reflecting on life. Am I the person I want to be? Am I the person I looked up to as a kid? Will I be the person my kids look up to? The excitement of who I could be for myself and others shot up a lot when I started utilizing my loneliness, because I realized who it is that I wanted to be.

I learned what I liked

When I don’t have people to tag along with to do things, I tend to not take “boredom” as an option. I’d much rather get creative. I tend to go on my own little adventures. Over the summer, I did a lot of hammocking in random places, sleeping on rooftops, and really trying to understand photography. These only scratch the surface. Not only that, but when I train Parkour alone, I love it that much more, because it’s pure and influenced by my own thoughts.

I appreciate so much more

It’s kind of a “stop and smell the roses” thought process. When I’m alone, I have time to see things that I don’t see when you’re busy being occupied by others. This gives me a chance to step back and realize some things. We are all living, we are all going through things, we all see things completely different. Regardless of my current situation, there can be someone out there having a worse time than me, or even a better time than me. How do I choose to go about it?

I continually learn more about my spirituality

When I’m alone, I take time to meditate and pray. This helps me realize a big picture about life. What is this body that I have? What should I do with it? What CAN I do with it? Through meditation I get the chance to have a conversation with myself, and my spiritual self. To realize that the love that we can share and experience is quite a beautiful opportunity.

All considered, this begs the question, are we ever really alone? To me spending time alone and reflecting has helped me grow closer to God, to my family, my friends, and to strangers. It’s helped me understand and appreciate what I have when I have it, and realize how good it is to balance alone time, and spending time with others. Take time to breathe, stop and smell the roses, and cherish.

“End Up”

There seems to be a common misconception in life that link getting older and life sucking. I think it’s actually pretty ridiculous. The only reason life sucks when you get older is because you let it. A lot of times I hear of an individual “end up” with someone they don’t really want to be with, or with a job they clearly aren’t happy with, or maybe life didn’t work out the way they wanted it to so it simply “sucks”. You can see it in the way they talk about their situation, even feel it. Why do we let ourselves get to that point? Maybe it’s not where we end up, maybe it’s how we think about it.

Personally, I have had a really easy life. Sure, I have a lung disease that has put me in and out of the hospital, I’ve had hardships, I’ve had gut wrenching arguments, breakups, physical injuries, had family members pass away. To me though, that’s just life. That doesn’t define where I’m at. How I feel about my life defines where I’m at.

There tend to be times where we act like the whole world is falling apart for split seconds throughout the day. As if the whole world revolves around our actions and our destiny. A simple example,”I just washed my car and OF COURSE it rains the next day.” Yet, it rained for everyone else too. Even for others who washed their cars. I’m sure you can think of a number of examples where you’ve heard that or even thought that yourself.

I hear it all the time,”Of course that would happen today.” Generally these things that are blamed, or that are the culprit of your demise, are 100% out of your control, but they somehow are viewed as things that would happen BECAUSE you did something or because of who you are. It’s unknowingly contradictory. The perception can be different though, you can see parts of life as if it is happening TO you, or that those things are just happening AROUND you.  This is where you need to decide if you’re going to be a victim in life, or be appreciative.

There are a lot of things that flow in life that lead us to where we are at, to where we are going. There is no “end goal” for me. There is only appreciating what is now and striving for goals along the way. These are some things that I think about on my journey through life that help me gauge my direction in life so that I end up where I want to be.

Choices

The choices we make alter where we are going in our life, big and small. Not only the choices on what we are going to do, but how we choose to feel and perceive things that happen in our lives. You have the choice to feel upset about your current situation or where you’re at in life, and you have the choice to accept it and feel at peace with it, and figure out how to change it.

Faith

We practice faith on a daily basis, faith in the vehicles we get in, faith in our friends and family, faith that we will keep living throughout the day. I believe that God is there to guide us if we let Him. That if you live by faith that you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be, and that you will make the choices that will help you be where you need to be. Better yet, where God needs you to be.

Myself

I noticed that the less active I am in my life, and the more I put myself in the “daily zombie” area, the more complacent I get,  the more negative I get, the less happy I am with where I’m at. The more active I am in my life, the more I try to be conscious of the choices I make, the more faithful I am, the more I can see where I am needed for others, and be more for myself.

There will always be opportunities to watch the sun shine throughout the day, but only if you notice it. I wish you all a peaceful heart, a positive outlook, and a beautiful life.

Forgiveness

“Forgiveness is the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, lets go of negative emotions such as vengefulness, with an increased ability to wish the offender well.

Negative emotions and vengefulness: We’ve all been there on some scale. I’ve been to the point of anger to where I would sit in the shower, and physically hurt. Hold my hair and cry type of pain. It seemed inescapable. I let my mind wander to where the source of that suffering was, and let it build inside of me and parts of myself were destroyed. There are always initial emotions and suffering that tend to happen when we are hurt. Yet I realized past a certain point, I chose to feel that way.

Pain is something that will always be around in life. Physical, emotional, and spiritual. Suffering is a choice though. When you let yourself be frustrated about that pain, you let that pain consume you. The second you come to that understanding, the easier it is to release that pain. However, it is extremely difficult to do. When someone does wrong unto you and genuinely hurts you, you want them to feel the pain that was done unto you. The catch is though, you’re the only one who is in control of how you feel at this point.

“Holding anger is like drinking poison, and expecting the other person to die.”

It’s important to understand that I’m not saying to just “let go” of whatever happened and pretend like it never happened, and I’m not saying that forgiving is always easy. In reality, that’s foolish. Forgiveness is a way of letting yourself be at peace, so you can move forward. Forgiving someone doesn’t mean that you have to let them be who they were in your life before. It just means you’re taking a step to be real with yourself, and real with them.

There was a moment I had during meditation and prayer during my time of suffering. I had been spending a lot of time alone, walking, and thinking for weeks. In that moment, I was there. Just in that moment. Nothing else was important or relevant. The only thing that was there was myself, my surroundings, my breathing, the presence of God, and I noticed something. I wasn’t hurting. I wasn’t suffering. I had let go of all the things that had passed and realized that I was THERE. I had been letting myself live in the past, in that moment where the pain struck, and created a reality that didn’t even exist besides in my own head. I cried, hysterically and happily.

After I had been at peace with the situation, I realized I had also been upset at myself for feeling the way I had and letting my suffering affect those around me. Then it dawned on me, the most important person to forgive, is yourself. We hold so much emotion and sometimes tend to ruin ourselves because of a mistake or a choice we have made, and it wasn’t healthy. I learned to love myself again.

To be in a forgiving place, I find you also have to be in a positive atmosphere. The more time you spend doing things that are good for your mental and physical health the better. A few days later, I had spent the day with a very special and close friend of mine. We spent the day doing fun things which helped keep my mind in a positive place. As I left her company I was driving home, the sunset was remarkable, but it was raining above me. It was one of the most beautiful and peaceful scenes I have experienced to this day. I took a stop on the way home, and forgave the person I had pent up so much anger and frustration about. This was a literal, life changing moment.

Here are some things that have resonated with me in my life that help me to be a more forgiving person.

We are all human, there isn’t anything that someone has been through that you haven’t either on some scale. You aren’t alone.

Jesus forgave the people who killed him. I think you can try a little harder to move forward.

Time heals all wounds, forgiveness is timeless.

Being a loving person means working towards being unconditional, which means forgiveness is always the option.

You hurt yourself more than anyone when you don’t forgive. Take care of yourself.

Just because you forgive, doesn’t mean life has to go back to the way it was. Move forward with peace in your heart.

I hope you all get the chance to experience the peace, forgiveness, and love that I experienced during that sunset in the rain.

What Do You Choose? – Joe Lobeck

“Bold. Real. Pure.

I only have to think of these three words for goosebumps to shower over my head. My deepest concern about life is learning to continually progress and evolve, that evolution is only possible from being bold, real and pure.

But what does that mean? Every human on this planet is essentially walking their own unique path, we may all experience different things and have different perceptions, but in the end, we all share a common bond – and that is that we all struggle. That struggle is a common language, it matters not what race, religion, gender or age we are. The struggle is the key to evolution, how we handle the struggle is the door. The door doesn’t open easily unless we properly use the key. Some of us try to kick the door down, some of us don’t even realize we hold the key in our hands and we go searching for it frustrated, thinking we’ve been cheated somehow.

So, as I’ve experienced life so far, the most important thing in the world is to realize that to move forward and progress, we need to drop our shields. A degree of vulnerability is necessary and that might be as simple as admitting we aren’t all that we think we are. It takes a warrior mindset and attitude to tend to the wounded child in us. This is Boldness. I suspect many of us would consider bold as this macho, tough and hardened individual who stands up against the world. I see boldness as the complete opposite, because real pain is not what our bodies endure, real pain is the inner pain, the one we feel when we’re left completely alone. Boldness is necessary for vulnerability because the vulnerable man in this world tends to get eaten alive. We live in a dog eat dog world, where the weak simply cannot survive.

What does it mean to be real? I think this is a question every human being has asked himself in the entire history of man at one point or another. In order to be real, we need to first consider what it means to be unreal. The only unreal thing a man can experience is his ego. The ego is a concept, it’s not a real thing, it has no substance, but even so, it dramatically impacts the well being of the individual. The ego develops from childhood when we experience a sensation like someone shouting ‘Straighten up you!’ and we feel this tightening in our body as ‘I.’ Over time, this ‘I’ get’s reinforced and before we know it, we exist in the world as this single entity where if we’re not careful, we might die. This is all false. Unfortunately, it’s hard to find ‘real’ individuals in the world because we have no system to break down the ego. In fact, that’s not true. Meditation is the key to seeing through this false sense of self, but even meditation has turned into this ‘hippie dippie’ smoke weed theme. The very practice which ultimately brings everlasting joy has been tarnished down to a metaphysical mumbo jumbo the devil created. Only an ego could perpetuate such nonsense.

What is purity? Purity is cleanliness. Inner cleanliness. First off, the body is the only thing that can become impure. The soul can never be impure because the soul is essentially God. Impurity is a result of actions that conflict with what’s natural. Humans are the only species who have turned away from nature. We are the only species capable of destroying nature on a mass scale. The actions that lead to this impurity only extend from our false sense of self who feels threatened by the very thing we are – nature. The way back to purity is ironically doing nothing, but rather being. Being is fundamentally different from doing. Doing is a tension, being is a relaxation.

I can’t speak for others, but in my life the key to truly being alive is constantly shining light on that which is false. I have a choice to make whether I see life as one way or another. That choice is going to directly influence my health and overall sense of well being. I choose positivity. I choose love. I’ve chosen other paths and they hurt not only myself but others around me. I choose not to create a hell on earth. I choose to be bold. I choose to be real. I choose to be pure.

The last fundamental question to ask yourself is – What do you choose?”

Written by Joe Lobeck. Get to know his mission here: NinFit

Joe

Balance

Life is one continuous, ever going balancing act. I find myself consistently struggling to find this unattainable reality where my life is fully balanced. I know it will never happen, but I’m still working towards it. It’s almost like a game, when you finally get something in balance, another will fall out, then you focus on that and another part of your life will fall out again. When our life becomes heavily out of balance, things can get stressful and hard to deal with.

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Our worlds seem run on duality, which makes balance a little more fathomable.

Happiness | Sadness               Anger | Peace            Hate | Love

These are all examples of emotions and feelings that we receive from things that occur around us in life. Something I find interesting though, is that these emotions are usually created by what I think of as a “victim mentality”. Life is always happening TO us, not around us. What if these emotions were created based on what we put out into the world instead? Well they are, you’re putting out energy into the world too and manifesting emotions such as these for other people too, probably without even knowing it. Yet again though, I believe it’s all a balance. Putting our energy into the world, and getting back from the world around us.

Now, balance is harder to achieve than ever I believe. There is so much information coming at us at such a fast rate, full of distractions to keep us busy. Cell phones, video games, TV, jobs, events, whatever that celebrity person is doing, violence in the world, war, gun control, feminism, the next president, his opinion, hers, Miley Cyrus, black and blue or white and gold dresses, Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner, these new chips you should buy, blah blah blah blah… The distractions keep us from looking at the things that we can actually change to help make things better in our world and others. It’s ourselves.

How is it possible to gain even the slightest bit of balance of ourselves with all of this adversity towards it? You can go off and find hundreds of things that might need to be the focus of balance. Where would you even start?

For me balance derives from importance. What is actually important to me, and how do I create a balance between those things? Balance can be worked from different angles, but not by some “all-of-a-sudden-my-life-is-balanced” magic. It takes time, patience, and dedication. There is no end goal. It’s similar to a rabbit on a treadmill, chasing a carrot at the end of a stick. He can see it, smell it, and keep running at it, but he won’t reach it.

You can go off and find hundreds of things that might need to be the focus of balance. These are some key things that I juggle around with to work towards the unachievable balance:

Health

The healthier you are, the better you feel, the more motivated you are. This comes down to nutrition, sleep patterns, self talk, positivity, and what you spend your time doing. Do you work all the time and stress yourself out? That’s probably not going to help your balance.. Which comes to the next point.

Work/Play

If you work ALL the time, you’re probably not very happy, unless you love your job. Even then if you’re putting in heavy hours with little wiggle room, it’s going to weigh down on you. On the other hand, if you work little to none and you just get to play, your life might get a little dull as well. Humans strive off of purpose and accomplishment.

Relationships

This is a tough one. Especially when it comes to girlfriends/boyfriends, marriage, friends, family, etc. I’m not going to say too much about this one. It’s important to live independent lives, while also being able to give your attention and love to those around you. You need time alone to reflect and learn about yourself, as much as you need to spend time with others to do exactly the same.

Self

This is very broad and vague, I know. “Besides, isn’t this whole topic about self anyway?” What I mean by self, is the things that make you who you are, and who you want to create yourself to be. The balance of being an authentic person to others, and especially to yourself. The self balance is between your spirituality and ego.

“Ego ALWAYS breeds sorrow, anger and confusion. Experiencing these emotions should be nothing but an indicator that we are living in a false self.”

Working towards balancing your life will help create a more peaceful, motivated, and realistic version of yourself. I encourage everyone to find those key things that help create a work towards balance. In time, it will help you have more opportunity to love, forgive, understand, create, live, and things you probably wouldn’t imagine. Remember:

“Everything in moderation”

 

Importance

Importance. A word that makes things more significant. The meaning behind it is simple. The level of importance always varies, depending on what it is that you’re talking about. Importance is all perception, not one thing in this life is important unless you make it so. That’s why we become so attached to the things that are important to us, because we are creating them to be more than they are. I’d say that’s the beauty of it.

I give myself little check points to help me define what is important in my life. That way I can be directed a little better and focus on the positives in life. A little over two years ago, one of my very best friends(Jeremy) was getting ready to go on a two year mission to South Korea. I got to spend about a week with him before he left, we were doing a performance in Las Vegas together and spent a few days in St. George with his family. I remember one of his family members had asked him a question that weighed heavily on me. A simple question that has resonated with me since I heard it. In a lot of ways it helped me to create who I am and who I want to be, sometimes on a daily basis. As simple as it might sound, that question was, “What are the five most important things to you in this life?”. Without much time wasted, Jeremy listed those off. The woman who asked the question smiled and spoke about his answers briefly with him. What I noticed was the direction of Jeremy answers. What was important to him was beautiful, non-material, and pure.

Throughout the last few years since then, I ask myself that same question, as well as others. The answer isn’t always the same. It changes and develops. Sometimes I make certain things more important than others and sometimes things are on the same level. It’s been very helpful for me to ask what truly is important to me, and to see what I have or have not been making important.  What I’ve noticed though, is that whatever those five things are, I turn them into opportunities to love more, create more, and work harder and smarter.

So, what are the five most important things in this life?

Start Here?

Hey,

My name is Vinnie Coryell. I’m a Parkour athlete, entrepreneur, business owner, employee, artist, adventurer, son, brother, uncle, boy, man, and human. Just when I think I have things figured out, I come around to realizing that I don’t, and that I never will. That’s okay. This world, this life, it’s all a learning experience. You take from it what you want, and get from it what you will.

I was born May 13th, 1992 at Valley View hospital in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. 3.5 years after my sister, Vanessa. I really enjoy knowing the fact that I was born with something special, a gift. Cystic Fibrosis (CF). A lot of people would consider it a curse or a hindering factor in life, but I’ve never really let my mind wander too far in that direction. Growing up, I spent a lot of time in and out of the hospital. Children’s Hospital in Denver mostly. They had a lot of specialist doctors that dedicated their lives to figure out how to make our CF lives easier. In 1985, they had only just figured out what the faulty gene was that caused the disease. When I was born seven years later, my life expectancy was only five. On my fifth birthday, Make-A-Wish Foundation set my family and I up on a trip to Disney World. Now I’m 23, and I’d like to think I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been.

I’ve been told that my health is priority, and that if I don’t follow the steps the doctors tell me that I likely won’t live as long. I didn’t exactly do that. This is part of the reason I’ve decided to start this blog. There are certain things that I’ve learned about that I want to share with others and open up a gateway to learn from others.  I’d like to think of this blog as a collective of life experiences and opportunities shared.

I look forward to sharing with everyone, learning from everyone, and seeing where this will go. Thanks to everyone for the support and love.

-Vinnie