Being a self aware person.

We go through life a lot of the time very unaware of our surroundings. Walking down the street or interacting with the cashier at the grocery store, we are generally just going through the motions and not acknowledging what is around us. People have feelings, and we ourselves have feelings. I’m not sure about you, but I don’t want to be 50yrs old and finally realizing that I haven’t been aware my whole life. I’m a generally aware person, paying attention to other people and their reactions and lifestyles, but I encounter a majority of people who are not aware of their surroundings at all. Why is that?

Everybody’s lives revolve in their own head; what they believe is their own life and experiences. We can’t assume that they are being rude when really they are only unaware of things around them. Is that selfish? Maybe. But how would they know any better if they don’t realize themselves that they are unaware? I think it takes an eye-opening experience to understand that you yourself are unaware. In the same way that people don’t know what pain really is until they have experienced it, and in the way that people don’t really know how to truly live until they know death. Not have died, but have experienced a death or a near death. Life is so unbelievably awesome and we don’t understand it until we experience it.

I want to bring to your attention that people who you think are being rude, may not actually think that’s what they are doing. Even this morning, at my hostel in Dublin, one of the people in my room got up at first light (5am) and proceeded to pack all of his stuff up in the center of the room, hitting the bed frames and not paying attention at all to how loud he was. Now, I thought about it for a little bit because I wasn’t sure if I should peak around my curtain and say, “Uhm, excuse me… are you serious right now?” But then I thought, ‘I don’t think this man is actually trying to be rude, I think he is genuinely unaware.’ And with that in mind I could smile and feel at peace and just wait it out.

Why does that make me feel any better? Because he doesn’t know. How can I possibly be mad at somebody who doesn’t know? Should people have common sense? Yes. But who am I to know how they have grown up and what their life experiences are? I got to look at it this way – I was awake early; more time to explore the city; and I got to have another moment practicing peace.

Life is uncomfortable, but learning peace in the discomfort can be an incredible experience. I’m not worried about losing two hours of sleep, because there is no point in being upset and something that happened. It happened, and now it is my goal to find peace in it.

I love getting to practice what I preach, it reminds me of the journey that I am on to always be better. When I am not growing in myself, I feel more dead than ever.

Growing, learning, experiencing life; all change who you are and the life you will continue to lead. Find peace in the moments that you could be frustrated in. Have grace for people who are unaware and understand that they need help in that area, just as you need help in another. We are all learning and growing in life, let’s be patient with where other people are at in their process.

With love, Makari Asriel

Giving kindness

Often times we end up taking more from the world than we give into it. Looking for things that make our own lives more comfortable but not adding anything of our own to making the world a better place. Giving all that we have to the people around us becomes a rarity. Hospitality is no longer what it used to be as more and more people only live for themselves these days. Becoming somebody who is known is looked at as becoming somebody awful, but that’s only because people have been living for themselves more than living to give to others. What will become of the world when there are no more decent people left? I’d like to never find out, and I’d like the generations after me to never find out.

There are good people in the world, they’ve just become harder to fine. That’s why you’ll find me here, wishing, waiting, wandering… Spending my time, energy and resources on things that will make the world around me a better place; a wonderful place; a world full of awe, of love and of peace. I will be here, taking in every moment that comes my way and treating it with honor and respect.

We don’t want to become people who take more than they give, and we don’t want to give more than we have. Search for things that make you come alive in order to keep on giving what you receive to others, that way they may then do the same. When you find someone who gives you what they have, sit with them and learn from them, and when it is time to leave, take with you that knowledge of kindness and give it away.

Kindness isn’t ever a thing we hold to ourselves; it is gifted so that it may be given. Kindness is a virtue of strength that gives the world around us a hope for better things.

Learn to give what you have in order to never take more than what is given to you. Go on a journey and love the world around you the whole way along. Find peace in every circumstance, and joy in every pain. One of the best things to do when you feel down is to help somebody else.

You cannot give up when you love deeply, and you cannot give in to hate when you fill your heart with kindness. Find your peace and comfort in loving others well, and that love will always return to you in the most astonishing ways.

Makari Asriel

Living unrealistically.

I’ve been thinking about this for a while now; living a realistic lifestyle versus an unrealistic one. Some people find the 1st option very comforting; others find the 2nd to be life giving. For me, as a very “unrealistic” person, I find realism in living quite boring and honestly quite a bit more stressful. Not that I have any backup plan for my life, which alone can stress people out, but I do have an understanding that if everything completely fails me, I will just start back with new ideas and try again. I can start from scratch over and over, and I’m not afraid to do that because I’m not afraid of failing. It doesn’t work? Try again. I don’t only have one goal in life, I feel like a have hundreds. Mainly, in all my goals I just want to be happy, so I do what brings me happiness and joy. We don’t know how long we have in this world and I personally will be very disappointed if I die without doing all the things I set my heart on.

There is enough heartache in the world, and I refuse to be brought down by it. When I try to realistically plan something out, 1st off it doesn’t go as planned and 2nd, I become very negatively attached to the circumstance (i.e. that costs money, that takes time, what am I going to do when I get there, am I going to starve?). Whereas, when I decide in my unrealistic mind that I should do something, it more often than not becomes a very wonderful experience and I always figure it out. Like exploring the area that I end up in or asking around to find cute little local spots or walking into a place I’ve never been. The feeling that you get when you first experience something new is unlike any other feeling you will have. Learn how to savor that instead of walking around with a shade over your eyes.

Something I learned; look up. No matter where you are or how many times you’ve seen the area, look up. You can always find something new when your gaze goes upward, but your mind drifts internally when you look toward the ground.

I find it strange that people listen to my stories and comment, “that would ONLY ever happen to you,” when all I ever did was ask for things to happen. People often don’t ask for things they want. Know someone in another country? Why don’t you ask if you can go visit? Don’t have the money? Why don’t you ask if they will help pay for it? There isn’t harm in asking, the worst would be that they say no. If you have ingrained in yourself that asking is a sign of weakness, go ahead and break that mindset. Asking is a strength. As a Christian, asking God for things is one of the only ways we are going to start receiving without working our tail off to get it. He does give without asking because He knows what we need and wants to bless us, but when we ask for what we want to see happen, things start to shift. Words are some of the most powerful tools we have; we often do not have because we do not ask.

I ask for things ALL the time and most of those times the answers are no! Receiving no as an answer doesn’t offend me; there are so many factors that go into someone’s answer, who am I to be offended? I get to manage me and my emotions in all circumstances. Offense isn’t in my handbook for success, nor is negativity or hate. Positivity, kindness and generosity, however, are very key points in the virtual handbook of my life. Being considerate to all people and keeping an attitude of respect for my own life and the lives I encounter is how I choose to live my best life. Asking for things doesn’t take away from those life goals and it doesn’t make me weaker for asking, everyone has choices and a lot of people want to help.

Don’t be afraid to live your life more spontaneously. Break down the barrier you have that says asking for things isn’t okay. You don’t have to be totally in control of what happens in your life, you just need to manage you; your responses, emotions and lifestyle choices. You’ve got it all in you to have a wonderful life, all you need to do is access it within you.

Find the best parts of who you are and bring those to the forefront of your life. Look for the attractive qualities you see in others and find those within yourself, then keep searching until you become the person you want to be in life.

Makari Asriel

The joy of being uncomfortably in pain.

I’ve had this conversation with two people this last week, and because I’ve had it on my mind I thought I would write it out. Being in pain from life situations is such a good place to be in. There are a lot of things that cause pain in life, and being able to walk through those times is so beautiful. We know that when we get through it, we will be changed. It’s how we change that we get to determine as we walk through the process.

When we walk through pain we have so many reasons to give up, to numb ourselves, or to become less of a person by being really uncomfortable, maybe even giving in to acting different than we are worth just to get by.

A friend once taught me that sitting in uncomfortable situations was so powerful, because it teaches you to be okay no matter where you find yourself. That you are still in control of your reactions and how you handle the moment. At the time, just the thought of staying in an uncomfortable situation would stress me out so much that I could barely believe him. When I actually allowed myself to sit in the awkwardness of uncomfortable situations, I found that I was teaching my heart to relax in stressful moments, I was teaching my body that it was okay to feel what it was feeling and I was informing my soul that it could be at peace no matter how it felt at the time.

I challenged myself to take deep breaths, soak in the moment and feel every feeling so I could work through it instead of around it. Now, when I find myself going through a time that feels really uncomfortable or painful, I don’t feel as scared with not knowing the outcome. I trust that I will work through it to the best of my ability.

Sometimes what we want is to always know how things will turn out, but how does that teach us patience, grace, or trust? If we know at the beginning of a relationship that they will cheat or leave us, we wouldn’t go into it. But then we also wouldn’t learn to grow in love when it hurts, or to work through deep pain and problems which grow us as a person. Nobody wants deep pain in their lives, but everybody has to go through it, it’s what makes this life and our world what it is. You have the people who run from the pain and don’t feel anything at all. You have the people who let the pain rule their life and never move on to what they are supposed to be. And you have the people who feel the pain, understand that it doesn’t control their lives, work through it and become better and more helpful people who end up making their life what it deserves to be.

I strive to be someone who works through pain in such a way that it actually changes me, grows me, and helps me become a person that is fearless of new things and uncomfortable situations. The possibility that it could be the greatest adventure of my life fuels me to work through every pain that comes my way.

Pain is what makes us human, makes us know that we are capable of feeling love and kindness. Pain comes from feeling, and feelings drive us to be either great or wicked people. Pain tells us that we are alive.

Makari Asriel

My thoughts, my year.

I want to learn how to be extremely good at making goals in my life and learning how to keep them. We all know that people make the most goals at this time of year than any other time. I’m also sure that you all know how many of those goals aren’t kept. The last few years I’ve struggled making goals at all because the disappointment of failing myself is such an annoyance. Like making a promise to somebody and knowing that you may not keep it. What an awful feeling… I made an agreement to myself a few years ago that I never want to ever break a promise. I WILL NOT promise anybody anything until I am willing to keep it. It’s the same for me with forgiveness. If I cannot agree to let go and forgive somebody for something, knowing I will never be able to hold it against them again, I will not forgive them until I am ready. The people that are closest to my heart know this about me and understand that when I say “I promise,” they don’t have to question or doubt it. Making goals for my year is such a huge deal because it’s similar to a promise for me. It’s saying, “I will do this.”

I agree with goals! I think they are extremely helpful to people. Without goals, our motivation is how we get things done. If you lose your motivation, oh boy, you had better have some type of conviction to make things happen. I’ve found that my lack of goals and my lack of motivation in the last six months has basically made me incapable of making things happen. My only successes have been through convictions. I’m not saying that is bad, but there are so many better ways for things to get done. I did things in the last six months knowing that I was only doing them because I knew I needed to, not because I really wanted them or even had the desire at the time for them to happen. The joy that those decisions were supposed to bring never came and I’m still stuck in the unknown wondering what I am supposed to do about it now.

Not having goals for my next year is only going to shut down my desires even more. I’m making the decision this year to make goals and teach myself to complete them, not out of fear of failure, but out of the desire for every year of my life to be better than the last. I never want to stop growing, learning, following, desiring, or loving in my life. There is so much that we as humans can accomplish in our days and in ours lives, but we often only look at the difficulties and struggles, allowing ourselves to forget that we can still have the joy and fulfillment of successes no matter how small or inconvenient they may seem.

Maybe you’re in the same place as me, trying to find the motivation to do more with your days or with your life. Tired of feeling stuck and telling yourself that tomorrow you are going to go out and do something about it. This next year is gonna hold the biggest breakthroughs and the greatest feelings of success if only you choose to let it. This moment is when you get to decide to do something about your focus and find new ways to be motivated to make things happen.

My first goal is to focus my attention on the joys of life this year. I desire for this next year to have an impact on how I do life. I choose to give myself a break from feeling bad about how unmotivated I have been, and to encourage myself in new ways that will bring that motivation back. I choose to not hold myself back from accomplishing my desires.

Happy New Year, Makari Asriel

To have a pure heart.

To keep a pure heart in a world where purity is irrelevant is like walking under a waterfall with an umbrella. It’s totally doable, but you’re still getting pounded by all sides.

Shame and judgement are two of the biggest so-called sins in a city of impurity. You’re told you are wrong to feel shame, and wrong to have judgements. Those who you do have shame are basically excluded, or asked why you are so judgmental towards other people.

I’ve been really interested in this topic for a long time, because I can see both sides. On one hand, being free of judgements about other people is good, and to not have shame is good, BUT, the other side is that when you can accept everybody’s life choices as being okay you start to lose the value of purity and the truth that shame is there for a reason. You’ll find in California, and definitely in LA, that everybody is seemingly SO accepting of everybody. That they do their best to keep their judgements to themselves and tell you not to feel shame by your lifestyle or choices. This can be so inviting and wonderful, feeling as though you aren’t a terrible person or a sinner for the smallest betrayal of your purity and of yourself. So many of these people teach you that it is okay to live in impurity, because that’s what is expected, and if you don’t you aren’t being accepting of people. There is shame on having a Godly (or pure) lifestyle, but more than that there is shame in making good decisions for your best health, well-being and wholeness.  There is some truth to what these people believe, but when something is built on mostly truth and still has lies involved, is it really to be trusted?

Here’s what has happened to me since I moved here; I feel like I have been sucked into this notion that everything is accepted and along with that comes the idea that everything is okay to do as long as you feel like you should do it, or it gives you any sense of pleasure. This notion says that jealousy is not allowed and that you should work hard for everything no matter how it goes against your boundaries or your heart, because it’s about the outcome, the strength of being your own person and the vulnerability of sharing your experiences with everybody. The way that I feel here is that I could do anything I want, be anybody I want and tell everybody about it without shame… unless it stays within my boundaries and remains a so-called pure decision, that’s when I want to stay silent because it goes against their beliefs that everything is acceptable and should be experienced. If I have to turn somebody down for my decision, it becomes a selfish act that I am not willing to help somebody else fulfill their needs. People don’t want any type of no, they want every type of yes and THAT’s what’s scary about a whole city that chooses to accept you for your impurity.

I’ve been so open to fit into this culture that I have longed to be in my whole life and now that I’ve seen the affect that it has on me, and to feel like I’m just supposed to laugh off people who make immoral decisions, I don’t want to agree with it anymore. I had so much peace coming here, and I lost that peace by allowing my mind and heart to go against myself and trying to fit in to this accepting notion. I’m not down with it. I value my heart, my mind, my body and my soul enough to keep them in wholeness by the lifestyle I choose to live in.

By going against the truth and purity we have in ourselves, we end up damaging our souls to the point of not being able to find the answers to fulfill our desires of being a complete person.

People trying to have no judgement at all of others actually open themselves up for having the biggest judgement of all; going against their nature to find happiness in the in-completion of themselves by having real judgements of those who are being true to themselves. To continually judge others on the decisions they make to protect their heart is only causing yourself to continually need to find fault in others to fill that desire of wanting everything to be okay. And that doesn’t seem to be free of judgements to me.

True joy is found in wholeness, true love is found in devotion, and true happiness can be found in the building up of others where boundaries and purity are found.

I believe judgements are good when they allow you make the purest decisions for yourself based on what your heart, mind, and body need to be whole. Selfish? Maybe. But it’s the right kind of selfish.

Learn yourself, love yourself, and be true to yourself. You will surpass those who judge you and become great. The greatest people in history did what they needed to do, not based on the judgements of others, but on the purity of themselves.

Makarios Asriel

Be expectant for your future.

Moving to LA has been very different than I am used to, yet so satisfying at the same time. A whirlwind of emotions. I’m quite happy here, but I also have feelings throughout everyday that I don’t understand yet. What I do know for certain is that this is exactly where I’m supposed to be. Who knows how long or for what purpose, but the peace that I have is unmistakable.

I came not knowing, and with no plan of what to do next, but I also came with the expectancy that something great is about to change my life. Without that, I’m a 22yr old living in a big city for no reason at all. I’ve prepared my whole life for this moment and still I feel unprepared. How does someone expect to know anything without the experience of living it? They can imagine, and hope, and dream forever about what that decision will be like, but without living it, there is no way to tell. Each person is different, and says “yes” and “no” to different things to get where they are. I said “yes” to LA when I was a kid, and now so many years later I am here. My 15yr old self would be looking at me and telling me that I was living the dream.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget where our hearts and minds used to be because we live in today, and yesterday is not our worries anymore. But yesterday is what made our today what it is. Memories are what make our lives what they are. Without our emotions of yesterday, we lose the idea of the privilege that is today.

Living is LA wouldn’t mean to me what it does if I hadn’t expected this moment for so long. Expectancy is sometimes the only thing that will keep us looking forward to what our lives could be. It’s the hope for what we believe in our hearts to happen.

I have to remind myself, in the moments that I just want to curl up with my best friends and watch a movie like we normally would, that I am where I need to be, and that today is my future’s yesterday. Today’s memories are what will make me who I am in years to come. Wishing to be back in my comfort zone is only going to make me wish again that I were here.

Life is what you make it, and other times it happens to you. Either way life will keep happening. Don’t get stuck in today, but recognize that today is the history for your life tomorrow.

Makari Asriel