Early Interest in Spirituality
I was raised a Jehovah’s Witness. They taught a small view of the world: God/angels vs. Satan/demons. I remember reading our Watchtower and Awake magazines when I only five or six years old. I would read them as a part of my studies but I was always more interested in the esoteric aspects. I remember thinking when flipping through the imagery including seven-headed beasts, “is this stuff real?”, “is there more to the story?”, “how does it all work?”, “are there other beings other than God, Satan, angels and demons?”
In the meantime, I enjoyed cleaning up after recess in school more than playing in recess itself. I loved cleaning up the toys and books everyone threw around and putting them back and organizing them. Organizing chaos.
I got my first computer when I was fourteen. It came with DOS 5. What other fourteen year old would you know to read the 150-page manual that came with it from front to back over a weekend? I took to it. I learned to not only maintain the hardware and software but learned programming. It was right up my alley: it was a science but also an art and craft. Organizing chaos.
Christianity at 17
I converted to non-denominational Christianity with my dad when I was 17. My view of the world opened up and wasn’t as rigid. I realized the Jehovah’s Witnesses view wasn’t the only one. I had a new question: “Are there multiple paths to God?”
When traveling to Haiti in Christian outreach, we were told to stay away from an area because there were Voodoo witch doctors. I wanted to go to them. I had questions, “What are they tapping into?”, “Is it Satanic?”. I wasn’t interested for the power but for the simple knowledge of what do they believe and practice and how does it fit into the greater reality?” Organizing chaos.
Life Starts at 22
I left Christianity and organized religion all together when I was 22. I was a depressed, angry young man. No girlfriend, no career. And still yearning for something deeper but seemingly no closer to answers to the big questions:
- Who created everything?
- Why are we born?
- Where do we go when we die?
- Is there a purpose to life?
- What’s my purpose?
- Is everything pre-destined?
And I still wondered for me personally:
- How can I be happy?
- How can I be healthy?
- How can I be wealthy?
- How can I feel purposeful?
I Cried Out to the Universe… and It Answered
I cried out to the universe. Figuratively and literally. Through sappy poetry. Through visualizing what I wanted. I didn’t want a big house and fancy car. I wanted to feel peace and fulfilled.
The universe answered. Within eighteen months, I:
- Started college and ended up acing it 4.0
- Worked in the school’s IT department
- Worked as a paid teacher’s assistant
- Stumbled into an IT job that ended up making me the first employee hired at an upstart HMO, kick-starting my career into overdrive.
- Met Jenn, my wife. The first time we met and locked eyes, I had a vision of us walking down a big, beautiful Catholic church and imprinted on that vision were two toddlers. We later married in a Catholic church (she was raised Catholic) and had our twin boys shortly after.
Stargates and Spiritual Streams
By me telling the universe what I wanted, I unknowingly opened what is called a ‘stargate’ in spiritual terms – many doors opening up for you in a short time period. I got a sense that I slipped into a graceful spiritual stream that has opened many doors since for me, Jenn and the boys since.
Blazing my own Path
At that time I also blazed my own spiritual path. I researched, learned and practiced whatever spirituality I was drawn to. This led me to practice and deep dive into:
- Energy work
- Chakra activation
- Eastern philosophy (including karma and reincarnation)
- Ceremonial magick
- Enochian magick
- The Golden Dawn
- Spirit/entity communication
- Divination (Tarot, runes)
- Astral projection
and many more spiritual expressions for 20 years now.
What have I discovered after practicing all this for 20 years?
On one hand, I’ve realized when dealing with this level of reality, no one knows anything. Who made us, why are we here, what happens when we die. No one really knows. I can’t prove anything and neither can you. On the other hand, it’s worth trying to figure out. Humans are driven to try. I know I am. I’m drawn to organizing chaos.
And what I realized is that all these spiritualities. From different parts of the world. Spanning thousands of years. Common threads run through all of them. They’re all trying to explain the same common spiritual reality. They may use different terms. Focus on different aspects. Express themselves with different personalities. But underlying it all, there are common threads. And they are all paths to God.
That’s right: there are many paths to God. Not just one.
This seems to point to an underlying true spiritual reality. As much as man has been able to grasp and figure out anyway. Is any of it correct? Who knows? But it seems like it because what they explain and teach is reproducible.
It’s not just faith. They teach the world is run by specific spiritual laws and processes. You can plug into them. Use them. Use them for your gain or to help others. It’s how the world works naturally but you can tap into it intentionally. Speeding up your results, growth and spiritual development.
It’s been fun and rewarding investigating and practicing spirituality. Again, organizing chaos.
In high school, I remember thinking through what I wanted to do for my career. I was down to “IT Guy”, computer programmer or psychologist. I picked IT Guy. But I’ve always been interested in psychology. I’ve always wondered, “Why do we do what we do?”, “What’s the true nature of the mind?”
I wasn’t into finances growing up because I wasn’t around money. We grew up lower middle class and neither of my parents were good at managing money. Around 22, on top of the wonderful stuff happening for me then, I began developing a healthy and robust attitude towards money. I was naturally very good at tracking and budgeting. Organizing chaos.
I learned early on to control it or else it’ll control me. To live below my means. To be a good steward of my money. To be humble. But to be intentional. I’ve been intentional with our family’s money ever since. I realized that there is a similar “spiritual flow” when working with money as when I do with spiritual practices.
My early healthy habits with money have paid off as the years go by. We’ve built our dream home. We’re on target to retire at 59. We’re able to provide for our wants and needs, on track to pay for our kids’ cars and college in cash and have a large savings and investments in case any emergencies pop up in the meantime.
Health and Fitness
My favorite thing to do when I was young (until I got my computer at 14) was to explore the woods and land around my parent’s house. I was 8-year old romping around the forest with a Bowie knife on my hip. Making shelters. Building bonfires. It was magical (and dangerous looking back at it!). I was an active kid but ate like crap. Pizza, burgers, soda, cupcakes. The typical (horrible) American diet. My family ate the same way and didn’t know any better.
I put weight on in my twenties. My doctor told me “I’m not putting you on high blood pressure and cholesterol medicine at your age. Eat better and exercise and lose the weight”. And so I did. I lost the weight but still ate like crap.
Then in my late 30’s, I got more serious about my health. Stopped drinking soda cold turkey. Shortly after, I discovered I had a gluten sensitivity (after feeling horrible and going through a lot to figure it out – another story for another time). It made me clean up my diet. I cut the gluten which means cutting carbs. I dropped weight and felt much better.
At 41 years old, I sit at a healthy weight for my height. All measurements are healthy (cholesterol, blood work, etc.) The entire process of getting healthy felt similar to deep-diving into spiritual, psychology and finances. Organizing chaos.
The Framework is Born
After tumbling, stumbling and bumbling through life and taking deep-dives into spirituality, psychology, finances and health/fitness for 20 years, I’ve realized how much they affect each other and that they make up all aspects of man. My realization has served me well. Me and my family are calm, centered, peaceful, fulfilled and having fun. Life isn’t perfect but it’s good enough, enough of the time.
Thus, the self-help framework I discuss on this website was born. I want to see if it can help others as it has helped me. I believe it can because the framework and step-by-step instructions are universal.
Feel free to contact me about it. I’d love your feedback and hear from you.
To your growth,
The Meaning of ‘Man the Ship’
“Man the ship and bring her to life” is the traditional first order given to a crew of a newly commissioned US Navy ship. Manning a ship is a great analogy of how to live an intentional life. When manning your life, just as when manning a ship, you need to know how to explore the world, decide where you’re heading, know how to course correct, how to maintain the ship, weather storms and enjoy the scenery.