Inner Strength

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Do you know what it takes to chase after a dream?
To keep moving forward, to go full steam?
Am I too ambitious? Am I crazy? Are these thoughts even mine?
Maybe I should keep my mouth shut and everything would be just fine
Just disconnect from social media and master the grind
But it seems as though I have a big mouth and a big ego
But I got to check myself: are my actions and voice aligned?
If not maybe I gotta take a step back and rewind
Either just do or talk it and walk through
I can build my courage and I’m aware
Commitment is my flaw, life just isn’t fair
But nobody but me to blame
This life is just becoming more strange
But I would never want to rearrange
Just gotta put that strength back into my name
Doubt is a motivator
Hard work and I will see the stage later
With self belief, a vision, a voice and passion
Just gotta put it all into action
So much failure, now there is nobody to prove to
Just myself, I believe in
So much loss, but I’ll willing to climb for the win
Just need to build my strength from within
Do you know what it takes to chase a dream?
To keep moving forward even when your running out of steam?

-Andrew

 

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Having it All

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I’m a very spiritual person and when it comes to spirituality I do come across this energy of, “if you are spiritual then you can’t be wealthy,” or “if you are spiritual then you must be very modest, humble and live simply.” I’m not saying that living simply or being humble is wrong – not at all! My wife and I are living VERY simply right now. Right now it works for us and allows us to have more experiences and spend our time the way we want. That is very important to us, but I do think it is possible to be spiritual and to have it all.

I think you can be spiritual and be wealthy. I think you can be spiritual but also have an ego. I think you can have money, be running numerous businesses, creating art, performing, have nice things AND be spiritual. For a lot of people those things might not seem like they can or should go together. That’s okay, but I do.

I do believe though, if you get to “have it all,” you should give back to your community. I think you should do it in way that is meaningful and works for you. I also think it is okay to be proud of what you have, but don’t be a fucking douche about it. If I get to a place, where I can truly have it all, sure I am going to proud. I will be honest there is a part of me that likes to show off, but I know I would be incredibly grateful and I would love to share my wisdom and help others get to that place where they want to be too.

I believe in dreaming big. I think it takes hard work, being smart, luck, the right timing, persistence and much more. Having it all may mean something different for others. To me it just means fulfilling all of your dreams. We all have different dreams. That is what makes this world so amazing.

I’m aware that having a lot of money or nice things doesn’t translate to happiness. A few years ago all I had was a backpack and I made less than a thousand dollars a month, but I was incredibly happy. The point I am trying to make is that you can be spiritual and have it all. I think it is just important to remember the essence of what truly makes you happy, so you don’t get lost. What makes me truly happy is creating, performing, traveling and spending time with people I love.

Find Your Freedom,

Andrew

7.17.18 | IL

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YouTube Culture

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I got started on YouTube three years ago. I deleted my channel and started a new one called Souls Gone Wild. My wife and I do adventure videos, music, comedy, yoga and meditation. My old channel was just me being experimental and learning how to edit.

Anyway, we are coming up on a first full year with the new channel. We only have 59 subscribers and I am still working on being more comfortable in front of the camera and becoming a better editor. It does get difficult when you don’t have a growing audience, but I know I just have to keep moving forward. That goes with anything in life.

Something that really bums me out though is the YouTube culture lately. What am I talking about? I’m talking about all the drama that gets started by big creators. Just recently FouseyTube created an event on short notice and hyped it up, but it ended up getting shutdown due to a bomb threat. Was it stopped short or was it going to fail anyway? I don’t know and I really don’t care to be honest. I’m personally a big dreamer, so I can relate to Fousey on that level, but I don’t care for the fake pranks, lies and drama.

It is easy to get sucked in to all the bullshit on YouTube and it is rare to find genuine and authentic creators on the platform. I do enjoy watching Casey Neistat and Dan Mace. To me they seem very real, down to earth, highly creative and honest people.

Because YouTube has become more popular, there are more people pumping out content. It is difficult to get noticed now, that is unless you are showing half naked women, creating drama or doing something extreme. Sometimes I catch myself thinking of dumb ways I could get more views or more subscribers, but then I realize it wouldn’t be authentic. It wouldn’t be me creating something I love, it would just be me creating a piece of content just to get noticed. I don’t want to go down that road. Honestly, with all the negative noise and silly games everyone is playing on YouTube it is making me not even want to be apart of this community.

I love YouTube though. I love that it gives me a way to express myself. I can upload my photography, music videos, adventures, whatever. Its just sad that on this platform and maybe even other forms of entertainment, is that being fake or dramatic is what gets all the attention.

I have a long way to go as an artist and that is okay, but I want to make it being me, being authentic. I understand for some creators, they are just playing the game, but that is not a game a I want to play. I’m just going to keep creating and see where it takes me.

Find Your Freedom,

Andrew

7.17.18 | IL

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A different kind of COURAGE

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I was watching an episode of the Joe Rogan Podcast when he had Henry Rollins as a guest. If you don’t know who he is, he was the vocalist for Black Flag. They were talking about their inability to work a traditional job. It was a relief to hear that from other people who found success in taking a non traditional path in life. When I was going through one of my spiritual trainings, my teacher told me that working for others would never really work for me. It rang true. I’ve had many jobs and I would either get bored really quickly because there was no longer any room for growth or I would have an issue with whomever was in charge. Henry Rollins mentioned how he didn’t have the courage to just grind it out in a job he hated. I thought that was an interesting way to put it. I quickly realized, I too do not have the courage to just grind it out in doing something I despise. I just can’t. Feel free to judge me, I don’t really care, but I just know myself very well. I’m not better or worse. I’m just me.

Henry Rollins went on to say how he admired those who had the courage to just grind it out, regardless if they liked what they were doing. I admire those who can do that as well, but I would always hope that people doing that eventually shift towards their truth. Anyway, I do believe there is a different kind of courage. It’s the courage to be a pioneer, to go off in your own direction. It’s scary, but this is all I know. I have had so many jobs and it literally feels painful thinking about returning to those jobs. Joe Rogan mentioned how he was doing construction and he felt like he was being poisoned. That felt so good to hear because he has male energy written all over him, yet he is living such an unconventional lifestyle. He does commentary for the UFC, has a podcast and is a stand up comedian. It’s just felt good to hear that because most of what you hear in life is to just suck it up. We are told that as an adult – LIFE SUCKS. I have experienced this, but I knew there was more to life than boredom or a varying degree of despair.

How about LIFE IS AMAZING? Now that is something I can subscribe to. Sure, there are ups and down no matter what, life isn’t perfect, but it doesn’t have to be mediocre or bad.   Life is going to hand you a plate and you either work with whatever you have on your plate or you get yourself a new one. I don’t have the courage to just take the plate I got and ride it out. I do, however, have the courage to get myself a new plate. A plate that represents me and what I love. It isn’t easy, just like how showing up to a job you hate is, but I’m more than happy to take the risk and embrace the unknown…

Find Your Freedom,
Andrew

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Return to Music

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It seems that when I return to teaching, I end up returning to music. When I taught meditation in Wilmington, NC, I also started practicing music. That was a long time ago! I’ve messed around with music since then, but definitely not consistently. What the hell have I been doing since then? Well, I traveled, took more spiritual trainings, got married, worked on film and writing, failed a lot and managed to build a small business and sell it.

Here I am years later, starting a new business that involves teaching and I am already feeling the urge to sing. I have a huge passion for singing, but the funny thing is, I’m not very good. Drums is what comes natural for me. I love the drums, but I not only want to sing, I HAVE to. I can’t explain it.

I honestly put music out of my head. I thought, well, if it returns to my life, great and if not, no problem. I was focused on writing, film and business. I love all of those things, I really do, but they are not music. You see, performing music in front of others would be the pinnacle for me. Life couldn’t get better than that. Just the thought of visualizing being on stage gives me a rush. Music is my greatest passion, but it is also my greatest fear. I think that is the reason I have to return to it. Sure, I have other talents and the passion for them, but I think it is very important to come face to face with your greatest fear. Music is it. It is the ultimate form of expression for me.

I’m not someone who can just do one thing in life. I love too much to just do one thing, but I feel it is time to bring music back and make it a priority. I have gone way too long not working on music. It makes me sad, it really does. I’ve never been one to just not pursue any of my dreams. That is just not me, but I think that I gave up music and thought it would be okay to just pursue one or a few of my smaller dreams. I’m not okay with this. I’m upset with nobody but myself. The only person I can blame is me. I shifted my focus to other things in life. I’ve become a better digital video editor and I think that will come in handy at some point, but it’s time to return to music. I’m ready to climb the biggest mountain of my life. I don’t care what it takes, I’m getting up this mother fucker. I’m thirty-three. If you haven’t made it by now as an artist, you are suppose to just move on in life. I don’t subscribe to that. What I do know is that, I have to make it a commitment to practice. I already know how to write. I’ve been doing it for years, but singing will take time and I’m okay with that.

I’m feeling a lot right now. I’m angry, I’m sad and I’m incredibly happy. It seems as though you can’t run from your greatest dream. It will haunt you like an obsessed ex girlfriend screaming at you saying, “we belong together!” Well it is time we reunite. Music that is…

What is your greatest dream? How have you struggled with pursuing it?

Find Your Freedom,
Andrew

7.13.18 | IL

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a Life of Magic

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Would you open your eyes to see
To finally see your own energy
Would you then start to believe?
What you are capable of…
What you could actually achieve
a life of magic, might not necessarily be
Top hats and rabbits 
but the movement of your energy
What is it like for it to flow?
Identity, what it is like to know
What it is like to be
To feel your own energy
Magic begins in the internal landscape
And reveals itself in mysterious ways
Perhaps a pleasant surprise
What might you experience on this ride?
Dancing in the unknown
With an open heart and open mind
A life of magic is what you may find

-Andrew

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City of Growth

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Chicago is hands down my favorite city in the United States. I say United States simply because I have not traveled abroad yet (keyword: yet). Despite growing up near Philly, I only went into the city for concerts and sporting events, so when I moved to Chicago for art school, I experienced culture shock. The trains, busses, noise, scents, people, taxis, big buildings – they all were very much overwhelming to me. Even though it was a huge growth period for me, I fell in love with Chicago.

The city of Chicago will always be known as the city of growth to me. It is the first place I went without family or friends. It is where I learned to heal myself and gained a lot of clarity about my truth. I experienced many growth periods there and I am grateful for all of them.

I’m currently in a big growth period. My wife and I are about to leave New Jersey and head to the outskirts of Chicago. Knowing that we will be in the midwest very soon stimulates various experiences from my time there. I will never forget the time I ascended the subway and made my way to ground level, looking up at all the buildings. I felt incredibly alive. I met so many awesome people at Columbia College and later on at InVision. My experiences in Chicago have truly shaped the man I am today.

I miss the energy of Chicago. I miss the pace of life there. I miss the abundance of opportunity. I miss the sound of the trains and I miss walking out to the lake. Chicago will always hold a special place in my heart and I am excited to be see the city again very soon.

It is always interesting to return to a place you have been before. It is never quite the same because you know you have changed. I expect things will not feel the same way I did when I was last in Chicago. I do, however, anticipate more growth. I look forward to growing our brand and kicking ass. As much as I love this city, this visit is well, just a visit. When it starts to get cold, we will cary on into the unknown.

Find Your Freedom,
Andrew

6.21.18 | NJ

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