The Inner Struggle

I struggle. I struggle a lot. I struggle everyday. It is an inner struggle. An inner battle. I know you struggle. I know you struggle a lot. I know you struggle everyday. The inner struggle. The inner battle. No one is exempt from the struggle.

I have nothing to hide. I know who I am. I know what I am. I know my passion. My purpose. I know why I am alive today. I know my strengths. I know my weakness’. I know where I need to improve. I know my shortcomings. I know my failures. I know where I have missed the mark. I know that I and you, are imperfect, works of art in progress. Knowing all of this, allows me to know, you need to hear what I am saying. WE ALL STRUGGLE. WE ARE ALL GOING THROUGH AN INNER STRUGGLE TODAY. Each one of us have thousands of thoughts racing through our minds. Each day. Every day. Positive, negative, and indifferent thoughts. They attack us constantly. The thoughts are relentless. All of us struggle on some level controlling our thoughts. The most confident individuals on earth, struggle controlling their thoughts. The wealthiest individuals on earth, struggle controlling their thoughts. The greatest athletes in the world, struggle controlling their thoughts. All of us have insecurities. All of us have had life experiences that have caused us some kind of trauma. All of us have been embarrassed. Made fun of. Laughed at. At times, ridiculed. All of us struggle on some level with wondering what others think about us. All of us struggle on some level with comparing ourselves to others. All of us have jealousies. All of us have annoyances. All of us have prejudices. All of us have body image issues. Some of us have eating disorders. Some of us have severe addictions. All of us have, a lot of issues. With all of our issues, come thousands and thousands of thoughts. Thoughts that can control us. Thoughts that can create fear, anxiety, nervousness, and a host of other debilitating factors. Thoughts are powerful. Thoughts dictate our perception and reality. Our perception and reality of our surroundings, as well as ourselves. Thoughts create an inner struggle. The inner battle. Thoughts become reality. As a man or woman thinks, so they become. As a man or woman thinks, so those around them become.

I want you to know, wherever you are today in your life journey, whatever you are struggling with in this moment, whatever internal battle you are fighting in this moment, as you read this, please hear me, please understand, please grasp, please accept the fact, that you are beautiful. You are beautiful. You are beautiful. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. You are in progress. An artwork, a masterful, beautiful piece of art, in progress. You have gifts. You have talents. You have abilities. You have capabilities. You have opportunities that you have been given to you. You have a Creator that created you to love and to be loved. The struggle is intense. I know. The battle can be overwhelming. I know. The fears, the anxieties, the yearnings for things to be different can be nearly unbearable at times. I know. I’ve been there. I am there. I will continue to be here, in the struggle, in the battle, just as you are. We struggle together. We battle together. Your struggles may be different from mine, your battles may look different then mine, but you struggle, I struggle, we all struggle, we all battle from within. Lift up your eyes. Look around. See the beauty. The beauty within the struggle. The beauty within the battle. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. YOU WILL OVERCOME.

Ashley DePaulis: Sustainable Health Practitioner and Creator of The Inner Athlete

Ashley is a sustainable health practitioner.  She also is the creator of The Inner Athlete.  Ashley and I have an awesome conversation covering a variety of topics.  We really dig deep into Ashley’s story, which includes several life-changing vehicular accidents, in which one involved being hit by a drunk driver.  Ashley opens up about her challenges with PTSD and how this became an impetus for her to begin focusing on the inner person, or inner athlete.  We also talk about Ashley’s childhood experience of being an only child, body energy, the importance of knowing who you are, alone time, and much more!  Ashley is a strong, energetic, lively, and beautiful soul!  You will thoroughly enjoy our conversation and Ashley’s vulnerability with her story.

Ashley’s Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/the.inner.athlete/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/ashley.depaulis?epa=SEARCH_BOX

127 Fitness Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/127fitness/

You Never Know…….

You never know the impact you may have on the life of a child. A rightly spoken word or a timely action, could literally, alter a child’s life. As we shift from adolescent to adult, as the years go by, most of us tend to lose the innocence, the beauty, and the purity of childhood. We tend to lose sight of the most important things, the most valuable things in life. A lot of us, lose sight of reality, the older we get. We forget childhood. We forget innocence. We forget the beauty. We forget the purity, of youth. We forget the dreams of yesteryear. We become negative, hurried, busied, stressed, and frustrated adults. People who live life going through the motions, because that’s what we “have” to do. Take a step back with me. Take a look back with me. Remember. Reflect. Step back to your younger years. Look back to who you were. Remember the excitement, the anticipation, the joy, of a life as a child. Reflect on your childhood dreams. So innocent. So beautiful. So pure. AMAZING. You are still that child. The innocence, beauty, and purity still exist, no matter what you have gone through, no matter how hurt you have been, no matter what you have suffered. You are still a child. There is still excitement. Still anticipation. There is still joy deep within your soul. Your dreams are still available. Attainable. You never know, until you try. You never know, until you take that step of faith. You never know, who you could be. You never know, how much you matter to the children around you. YOU MATTER. God has bestowed gifts, talents, and abilities to you. You are loved! The kids, the youth, the children in your life, they want you. They need you. They are starving for your love, affection, and attention. YOU MATTER. THEY MATTER. Let love flow. Let kindness flow. Allow yourself to be vulnerable. Accessible. Real. Allow yourself to dream, once again. Allow yourself to feel, once again. Allow yourself to matter, once again. Allow yourself to be a child, once again. Extend your hand to the hurting. The hurting child, children, in your life. Be a servant. A servant to the least of these. Boldly. Relentlessly. Fearlessly. Allow your life to be transformed by a child. Allow your life to transform a child. Be strong. Be open. Be an example. Be someone to follow. Today, tomorrow, and until you have breathed your last. Live life fully. Live life for the children. For the next generation. Be the reason. The reason a child has hope for a brighter tomorrow. You never know…….

Overcoming Anxiety and Fear

We experience so many feelings and emotions throughout the day. We have approximately 60,000-80,000 thoughts in a twenty-four hour period. The majority of us deal each day with some kind of anxiety, depression, and fear. There is a lot that happens within our brain, within our mind. Personally, I struggle daily with controlling my mind, controlling my thoughts, and controlling my anxieties. From the time I was a tween, I have had a conscious fight, a conscious battle with my mind. With my feelings, emotions, anxieties, and fears. At times when I was younger, I could barely bring myself to get out of bed because the anxiety and fear of the day was so great. There seemed to be an overbearing weight that was upon my shoulders. Recently, over the last several years, I have learned that I have control, full control over my mind. I have control over my thoughts, my anxieties, my fears, and the outcome of my days. I cannot control others. I cannot control the weather, or any other outside variable. But I can control what goes on inside of me. I can control my mind. Now, the feelings, emotions, anxieties, and fears are still present in my life. They always will be. They are a part of me until the day I die. But I do not have to be a slave to these feelings, emotion, anxieties, and fears. I do not have to allow these to control my life, how I live, how I serve, how I love. How have I come to the point in my life where I no longer suffer from my anxieties and fears? I have learned that I have to go against the anxiety, the fear, the feelings, and the emotions. I have to attack them. Every day. Each day, head on, aggressively, relentlessly. When my feelings and emotions are strong, when the anxiety and fear is trying to suffocate me and hold me back, I have to decide I am not going to be a victim. I am not going to give in, I am not going to allow what is happing inside of me to effect what I want to accomplish that day, week, month, or year. I AM IN CONTROL! My feelings, emotions, anxieties, and fears ARE NOT IN CONTROL! I cannot waste my life. I cannot waste what has been given to me to give. I cannot waste the opportunities I have been presented! I have to live my life fully! I have to be the man I know I am to be! I have to be a leader! I have to be an example! I have to be someone to follow! I must overcome. I must be the master of my mind, all day, every day. I must be stronger then the weakness that wants to win. I accept that I am not perfect. I will never be perfect this side of heaven. Perfection is a myth. But I can work harder, work smarter, learn more, apply more, grow more, mature more, serve more, give more. I can’t stop. I won’t stop. My feelings, emotions, anxieties, and fears have no power over me. They have lost. I have won. The fight, the battle continues. The beautiful struggle of life.

I Won’t Back Down

I won’t back down. I can’t back down. I won’t quit. I can’t quit. I won’t give in. I will continue to do what needs to get done. I will continue to do what I know I need to do, each day, every day. A lot of days suck, a lot of days are no “Fun.” But that is OK with me. This is what I have been created for. This is what I want, what I have chosen. While you and others indulge in distraction, I will continue working on getting better, stronger, and smarter. I am preparing for the future. Brick by small brick, I am building, creating something new out of the old. I won’t be distracted, I won’t be caught unprepared. You won’t throw me off course. I am focused. I am hyper-focused. Locked-in. Dialed-in. Ready. This place is lonely. But I am learning. I am learning so much about myself and others within the loneliness. You think you know, you think you have it all together, all figured out, but you don’t. You are trapped within a false reality created by and for yourself. You are another soul living in a world of mediocrity and average. I have to rise above, I have to block out all of the noise, block out all of the distractions. I must continue the fight. Continue to fight each day to live the hard, difficult life, that I was born to live.

Wrong

It’s ok to admit that you are wrong. It’s ok to admit when you don’t know. It’s ok to admit when you mess up, make a mistake, or say something you shouldn’t have. We are all wrong at times. None of us knows absolutely everything. We all mess up, make mistakes, and say things we shouldn’t. All of us are imperfect beings. The troubling thing is though, many people don’t admit when they are wrong. They don’t recognize their lack of knowledge or understanding in areas in which they speak of or on. They don’t admit their mess ups, mistakes, or careless words. Our world is inundated with so many attention whores. People who are addicted to themselves, addicted to their ego, addicted to the reactions and responses they get from others when they say or do ridiculous things. We have a world where people say and do what they want with no repercussions nor consequences. There is little to no accountability. The result of these aforementioned addictions, along with the lack of accountability, is arrogance, self-centeredness, and reckless behavior. I have been around these people who cannot admit they are wrong. Their pride is so strong, they are so self-consumed, they cannot bring themselves to admit their shortcomings. They are blind to their wrong. They cannot see past their ego. We need humility. We need accountability. We need personal accountability. We need discomfort. We need to be tested. Without these, we become inflated. We become content. We become comfortable with our B.S. We only surround ourselves with people, who like us, who are addiction whores as we are. We become a wasted reality. A wasted breath. A wasted, unusable vessel. You are wrong. I am wrong. We are WRONG! We have so much to learn. There is so much to learn! We have so much growth ahead. So many opportunities to try, fail, try again, learn, fail, and continue on. There are so many opportunities for you and me that await. We need to let go of ourselves. Give up ourselves. We need to realize the world is waiting for us to overcome ourselves, so that we can be of service to others. The world is ours for the taking. Don’t be the one who ends up taken by the world. YOU. ARE. WRONG.

Inside

I believe all of us have passions deep within our heart.  Deep within our soul.  I believe too often in life, we either neglect our passions by ignoring them, or we simply allow the business of life to drown them out.  I personally have done both.  But as I grow older, experience life more, and continue to mature as a young man, all I really want to do is follow and live out my passions.  Is there more to life than this?  If something excites you, challenges you, fires you up, is that not good?  Is that not what life is about?  Inside of me, the passions that are burning are training and youth.  I love to train.  I love to push myself, test myself, and do what others won’t.  Physical training has been such an integral part of my life for so long, it is who I am and what I love.  The physical training in my life has taken on many forms over the years.  I have even stopped physical training for a four year period, but I always find myself back in the training game eventually.  I have trained for sport, powerlifting, bodybuilding, distance running, and for life. At times, my training has been weights dominant.  At other times, there have been little to no weights.  Again, when I have set aside the weight training, I always find myself coming back to it.  There is something about the iron game that is woven deep into my DNA.  Youth.  The next generation.  There are so many youth in our world, in our country, who are hurting.  Struggling.  Desperate for help, encouragement, and love.  As an educator, I see first hand how messed up our youth are, how messed up their families are, and how easily they are influenced by the world’s negativity.  Our youth are the next leaders.  The next CEO’s, doctors, nurses, business men and women, teachers, coaches, military personnel, firefighters, police officers, and entrepreneurs.  Our youth are in trouble.  They are being led astray.  They need positive role models.  They need real leaders, real examples, real men and women to show them the way.  They need discipline and accountability.  My heart yearns to help.  My heart burns to be a part of raising up the next generation.  Training and youth.  Training has changed my life.  Youth have changed my life.  I want to give back.  I must give back.  I want to use training to teach youth.  To show them the way.  It won’t be for everyone.  I get that.  I’ve seen and experienced that within my own life.  But it can definitely be for some.  And it can definitely alter the destiny of those who buy in.  I am waiting.  Waiting for the door to be opened.  The passion is there.  The fire is burning intensely.  Patience is the answer.  Patience is the process.  It will happen.  The door will open.  Lives will be changed.  I can’t wait.