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The 3 Stages of Spirituality

In life most of us move across these 3 stages:⠀
✔️Seeking things of value
✔️Seeking to embody values
✔️(Read until the end ;) )

In the first stage we chase money, looks, fame, validation and approval. 👠

People consumed by this stage are often seen worrying about what others think about them, having the latest gadgets and the most expensive sneakers, designer purses and often obsessed with rich boyfriends or extremely hot girlfriends who have little going on for them beyond their money/looks.

Heavy T.V. and media consumption are also symptoms of being entrapped by this phase.

The first stage is a quest towards love and happiness through an obsession with the external.

It is our monkey mind in full survival mode: Accrue resources and display them, be liked by the tribe and obsess by being close to the most resourceful.

We think that once we achieve X we will be happy.

And our life revolves around more achievements, fame, money, sexual partners, followers, etc.

Until we’ve had a fair share of these and realize we are just as unhappy as we were at the beginning, we will not be able to truly decide that there must be something deeper and more fulfilling to life!

It is here where we discover the second stage:

In this one we chase personal development, healing, “spiritual progress”, self-love and healthy habits. 🧘🏻‍♀️

People consumed by this stage are often seen stressing about their latest found childhood wound, obsessed with the latest plant medicine, workshop, book and guru they found.

They have turned their life into a never ending self-development project.

They often cannot wait to share with you the latest meditation, tool, recipe, yoga pose or event they attended. (and tell you all about why YOU SHOULD too!)

They have replaced the quest towards joy from the external to the internal.

Yet their quest just got refined – they’re still “seekers” – and by definition she/he who seeks has not found.

Nothing wrong with this, in fact it is a more functional and healthy stage in contrast to the first one.

Yet very often you’ll see people who after 15 years of devoting their life to different practices, are just a little bit better than when they started.

Craving deep transformation (not gradual change).

You will also meet here PLENTY of people who don’t walk their talk.

My personal pet peeve: people with lots of personal issues trying to teach others.. 😵

Lots of broke people speaking about abundance, confused ones about clarity, and the worst- people who have not mastered THIS part of life (i.e. finances, health and community) showing you how you can master OTHER planes.

Those who have never walked, teaching others how to run a marathon :)

Although not everyone, there are those who are serious about their path, walk their talk and are sincere in their hearts and efforts.

However, at one point these people realize that the shadow work never ends.

There will always be a deeper layer to access.

More generational (or personal) trauma to process.

That’s the beauty (and challenge) of living in an infinite universe: It will gives us endless amounts of that which we set our attention to.

Their joys are subtle and often replaced by the desire or feeling to do “more work”.

Running on a self-imposed hamster-wheel of when I transform X THEN I will be happy!

Most people never transcend this phase.

However, some people do…

And there comes the third stage: BEING valuable.

It is when we have reached the edge of our journey that we then realize that we have been walking all around seeking for money and status, or personal transformation and spiritual progress, hoping that this would bring us closer to a sense of eternal peace and fulfillment…

Only to realize that neither of these were really necessary.

They were games we invented.

Purposes we came up with to organize our life around them.

Meaning pulled out of thin air to pat ourselves in the back when we did well.

And we confused that life would work the same.

That God, The universe, The Great Consciousness would be like a high-school teacher – ongoingly keeping an eye on our grades and seeing whether we deserve a golden star and a happy face sticker.

We projected our humanity into the sacred and the divine.

And at the very same time we excluded ourselves from it.

The moment that we thought we should act in X or Y way, was the exact same moment in which we imposed conditions on ourselves.

Rules around our deep fulfillment, joy, and eternal love.

God and the universe do not discriminate.

The sun shines alike on “good” and “bad” people, lions and ants, deserts and jungles.

And so does the storm.

The third stage is where we stop seeking to become and we start being.

It is a phase where we stop being so obsessed with ourselves (either with what I have, or what I have become) and finally place our attention on our life.

The people around us, the air we breathe, the earth below us.

We are no longer seeking cars nor chants, women nor yoga poses, status nor spiritual progress.

Because we have arrived…

And realize that there was nowhere to go in the first place.

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The ‘RIGHT’ mesure of a person

The best measure of someone’s mental, emotional and spiritual development is not how strong his/her opinions are.

Nor the complexity of their beliefs or the fierceness with which they’re defended.

It is their capacity for empathy and compassion.

Their ability to remain open to looking at (and hearing) different opinions without feeling attacked, defensive or triggered.

It is easy to cast judgement and wallow in our pool of self-righteousness, believing that we’ve got it all figured out.

It is those who doubt the most in their beliefs, the ones that feel the strongest need to protect them and convince you of them.

If you don’t believe me, just look at religious fanatics:

Quick to judge, alienate, coerce, force, discriminate and even kill in the name of God.

How ridiculous!

Like having sex in the name of virginity.

Nobody has to convince you that fire burns because you have probably burned yourself before.

You have experienced the truth.

And if someone came by and told you that fire freezes or tickles, you would look at them with a big smile and listen, knowing that they will probably get burned at some point.

But then they’ll understand and learn, and that’s good!

Or if they are curious, they might listen to you and ask questions and avoid learning through pain.

One thing is certain: there wouldn’t be a need (especially not an aggressive one) to convince, indoctrinate or change the way they think.

There wouldn’t be an emotional charge towards their opinion (even though it contradicts what you know to be true).

So in your quest for truth, know that most of the time we only (barely) reach OUR OWN truth.

A partial truth.

Our own way of seeing the world.

And there are as many ways of seeing the world as there are humans on earth!

Every teacher and mentor I have met (whom I have chosen to trust) has had one thing in common:

They do not judge.

They do not think they own THE truth.

They share what has worked for them and hope that it can inspire you and help you in finding YOUR OWN path.

The opposite is also true.

The fastest way for you to know whether to trust someone or not (especially a teacher, coach, mentor or spiritual guide) is in how they react to conflicting thoughts and opinions.

If they believe that their way is THE only way – RUN!

Intelligence, love and confidence breed curiosity.

Fear and single-mindedness breed judgement and closedness.

So be mindful of whom you follow.

Everyone is entitled to their own truth, their own perspectives and their own narratives.

Afterall, everyone gets to write their own story.

Some like to write prose and poems.

Some like drama and thrillers.

Some like science fiction.

Some lack proper grammar.

But it’s THEIR story.

And yours is also only yours.

If it is working for you, amazing!

Congratulations!

If it is not, perhaps it’d serve you to change the style of the narrative.

It’d serve you to look for people (who are writing similarly to the way you’d like for your own story to unfold) and to learn from them.

But at the end of the day, what defines YOU as a person is your ability to accept conflicting beliefs with an open heart.

Loving the other when in disagreement.

(That is when it really counts. Being loving when we all agree, that’s effortless.)

Accepting the world as it is.

And not expecting it to fit your own, unique, personal model of how it should be.

So in these times that everyone seems to have THE truth, THE right advice, THE right insights (into health, into politics, into the economy) The truly scarce thing is not information…

Or opinions..

Or advice..

Or toilet paper ;)

What is truly scarce (and needed!) is compassion, understanding and acceptance.

And THAT is the real proof of your character.

PS: SHARE if you feel some people could benefit from reduced righteousness and enhanced compassion and curiosity!

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THANK YOU

Did you make your bed today?

Let’s make our own bed before we aim to set the world straight.

I see so many people sharing X, Y and X about how the government is messing things up (all the way to posting the really elaborated conspiracy narratives).

And while they may carry truths, it is not useful.

Not for you or for anyone else.

Those posting never ending complaints, blaming and pointing fingers are not any different in essence from those who date toxic partners only to revell in a sea of victimhood, accusations and absence of responsibility.

And remember!

Every time we point a finger, there are three fingers pointing at ourselves.

Every time we are focused on the shortcomings, wrongdoings and flaws of others (whether the government or a romantic partner) we are not only adding energy to that which we dislike but also we’re avoiding to take responsibility and look at our own lives first.

I have so many judgements about many things within the system and the inefficiencies of it, however I will not dare throw a stone until I have sorted my own life first.

By all means, support the causes you care for.

Donate.

Volunteer.

Help!

Put your anger, resentment and rage to good use by feeding and helping the solution to those problems you dislike.

But do not wallow in your self righteousness.

There is nothing more repulsive than someone who has the energy and time to complain about things that he/she does not have the time or energy to help solve.

See a problem?

Name your solution.

Put your chips where your mouth is.

Your attention, time and money.

Or be quiet.

Do your own work.

Go deep before you try to go broad.

Fix the world one person at a time 👊🏼

And here’s a hint:
The first person to start with is YOU.

That government, corporation and group you dislike so much is made out of people…

People who forgot to make their own bed before they set out to influence others.

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Take a Stand!

Those who are ready to grow will undoubtedly step into greater levels of responsibility.

Whereas those who shrink are bound to relive their lessons over and over until they get it.

This will go on until they decide to expand their container – therefore becoming able to navigate life at a bigger scale.

The question is not IF life will demand more from us.

The question is WHEN.

We were recently talking with Oscar Soto and reflecting on the past few years of coaching.

We were celebrating the changes we had seen some people make.

Truly remarkable!

From being needy, insecure, intense and socially miscalibrated to finding their grounded center, forging their integrity and impacting their own communities.

We have also seen men and women take course after course and change only gradually. Battling the same demons they were having when we first met them…

Only with a different packaging 🧐

So what makes the difference?

What has a person go through a profound shift, while another barely makes anything out of it?

Even though they both go through “the same” experience…

The difference is the exact same that will have some people come out the quarantine as a totally new and upgraded version of themselves 

And some other come out as the same (Or even worse) than when this all started.

That difference is:

🔥 COMMITMENT 🔥

For one person transformation is an option.

For the committed one there’s no other option.

One is a maybe.

The other a must.

One has set direction, intention and attention to a new level of living – and will honour that no matter the cost.

The other has a desire for a type of life he/she would like – but will not honour it with aligned action.

Especially not when it’s hard.

So which one are you?

Where do you stand when it comes to your life?

Do you commit?

Or you are among the first to abandon ship when the going gets tough?⠀

🙏🏻

In life you can have the life, relationships and inner fortitude you want.

Or you can have a bag full of stories about why you can’t, why you won’t or why not yet.

Never both.

Your actions reflect what team you’ve decided to support.

Transformation is not a process of gradual, slow, passive change.

Transformation is a declaration!

A stand!

A decision forged from the heart!

Anything else is a lukewarm attempt at life 👊🏼

If you are ready to make the biggest stand of your life, I invite you to join us at the Rebirth Retreat.

The ROOT of Suffering

Unnecessary suffering is created when we refuse to acknowledge and accept the present moment as it is.

NOT as we would like it to be.

Or attached to it being any different than what IS.

A lot of people right now are in denial.

They do not want to look at the truth of the situation.

The dangers, problems, calamities and challenges of the pandemic.

As well as the opportunities, gifts and lessons.

Most people do this with their loved ones:

Ongoingly holding them against an (imaginary) ideal

And measuring them on their shortcomings

Wishing for what it could be,

And in love with the “potential” of this person.

The possibly (but unlikely) future of this relationship.

To fall in love with potentials and to be attached to life being different than it is – based on our arbitrary judgements of what we deem right and wrong – is a guaranteed road towards disappointment, frustration and resentment.

Why is she like this?

Why isn’t he like that?

Why is my life like THIS?

Why is the world like THAT?

We hide our desire for a different version of reality as ambition.

Sometimes we package it as hope.

But what it is (at its core) is sadness.

An unaddressed grief around the pain of our perceived inability to healthily cope with the plate we’ve been served.

A sort of spiritual anguish at the thought that we might have been left out, forgotten and abandoned by life (the universe, the creator, God or nature)

A sense of having missed the “blessings”-train.

And feeling we are stuck with a shitty situation (or partner).

I feel your pain…

AND I invite you to consider this:

How out of line and bad would your decisions be – in the midst of a poker game – if you were convinced you had a pair of Aces while in reality you were dealt a challenging hand?

You’d probably put all you had in all the wrong moments.

Because of your delusion – of wanting things to be different than they are.

However, the moment you look at WHAT IS, and the cards you were dealt, without wishing they were any different…

That is the moment your responsibility, creativity and conscious action kick into gear.

You become mindful.

You become aware.

You surf the wave instead of drowning resisting it.

You make the right moves.

And you actually have a good chance -if played right- at kicking ass and winning the game.

It is ONLY when we make peace, accept and stop desiring for things to be different than they are, that we start using all that energy and brain power towards making the most of what IS.

And anyone who has played poker knows that specific and juicy flavor of winning a match with a challenging hand.

It is savoured with deeper appreciation!

So never, ever complain.

Play what you’re dealt.

Play it well.

Play it joyfully.

Make your best move

and trust the rest.

At the very least, it will put off the anxiety, worries and it will make for a more entertaining and exciting game.

Coronavirus – A Magnifying Glass

The virus is only bringing up more of what’s already there 🔥

The fearful now have a great excuse to panic.

The vulnerable are seeing their health complications magnified.🤒

The careless have a great opportunity to show how little they care.

The anxious have a solid trigger to fuel their worry.

The conspiracy theories ones have great content for their stories 👽

The caring ones have a great outlet to care!

The leaders have a great opportunity to lead.

Those bored with their life (and usually distracted with work and socializing) are now noticing how uneasy and uncomfortable they actually feel. 🤔

Those at peace… Are still at peace. 🙃

My point is that this situation is not forcing anyone to do anything that they wouldn’t have normally done.

Greedy employers were quick to fire people.👺

Caring ones were proactive about finding reasonable solutions. (And yes, this may also have included suspending jobs)

Yet the underlying greed and care were already present.

It is in moments of tension that our truth comes forth.

What is coming up for you?

In your personal life?

In your relationships?

In your finances?

This is not the time to bullshit yourself – or anyone else.

Never in our life have we had the chance to see ourselves and others with such a magnifying glass while simultaneously having the time in solitude and isolation to process that which we have seen.

The veil is thin ✨

Use it to your advantage.

Sort yourself out.

Sort your life out.

PS: If you feel some people may benefit from this perspective, please share! 🙏🏻

PS2: If you’d like to receive content like this, every Monday I send out my newsletter called… Mindful Mondays ✔️

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Love vs Fear

The opposite of love is not fear.

That would mean that fear weighs equally and carries the same power as Love.

In fact, even fear ends up serving Love in this divinely orchestrated play where we are the dancers, the dance, the music, the choreographers and audience all at once.

The opposite of fear is responsibility:

Response – Ability 🔥

Fear freezes you.

Fear overwhelms you.

Fear is looking up at the challenge and feeling powerless.

Fear is matching external⠀chaos with internal turmoil.

Responsibility is awareness.🌞

It is a declaration of power.

A resolution towards clarity.

A still mind, open heart and obedient body.

Responsibility is choosing consciously!

Fear is renouncing to that choice.

Fear enslaves ⛓️

Responsibility frees 🕊

And you are being called at this time to pick a team!

Which side do you choose to support in this game?

Fear is being (over)reactive

Responsibility is being (pro)active🙏🏻

I invite you to take a deep breath…

Right now…

Together..

Inhale..

1…

2…

3…

Exhale…

1…

2…

3…

Now feel that subtle calm that conscious breath brings with it..

Act only from this place.

Serene.

Confident.

Clear.

Determined.

At peace.

And free.

Do not let the uncertainty of the current situation make you crumble.

For it is during this storm that the skills of the sailors are tested.

And you get to choose if you withdraw in panic..

Or you isolate mindfully.

Being relentlessly optimistic AND ruthlessly practical.

This is the moment where you test what you’re made of – and make yourself anew.

Dumas said it best:

” Life is a storm, my young friend.

You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next.

What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes.

You must look into that storm and shout as you did in Rome. Do your worst, for I will do mine!

Then the fates will know you as we know you…”

🙏🏻

Mindful Stand – Coronavirus

This is how you can make the best out of the current global situation (practically & spiritually):

We are experiencing an unprecedented opportunity where scientists, governments and general awareness are making obvious the importance of self-isolation.

And we could see this as a terrible thing… and ride the fear-and-panic-train. (And hey! It is okay if you do. No judgement. We are human.)

However, when you are done processing those heavy emotions, we can choose to see this as an opportunity:

1) TO SPEND TIME WITH OURSELVES

We spend most of our time in “Go-Mode”, meaning that our attention, energy and brainpower is focused on things that we have to do.

From house chores to work, to catering to friends and family, organizing our taxes, running a business, etc.

For those without a meditation or journaling practice, the time they spend WITH themselves is next to ZERO (Netflix, videogames, or distractions don’t count).

Imagine how hard it would be to love and develop a deep trust towards someone you don’t know.

Someone you rarely spend time with.

Someone you forget about often…

Very difficult right?

Don’t let that someone be you.

And we wonder why Self-love and Self-care is in such a decline in today’s world.

The first step is to spend more time with ourselves.

With our thoughts.

With our emotions.

And this is a GREAT opportunity to start doing so.

2) TO ORGANIZE AND CLEAN OUR HOME

​Work and our daily life can be consuming to the point that our homes become the place we sleep and cook (sometimes).

Yet the chores can easily pile up and the storage room can look like a war zone.

This is a great time to ensure that our physical space reflects our ideal internal one.

So go through those corners you never clean, those closests you rarely open, those drawers that carry mysteries within them and get rid of everything that is not essential. (You’ll be surprised at the expired condiments, food, cleaning products and much more that you find).

Take a moment to also take out every piece of clothing that you don’t use anymore.

This is a good opportunity for a big reset!

Imagine how you’d feel if after the pandemic is over, your environment (together with your mindset, emotions and body) is a reflection of a fresh start.

3) TO REFLECT ON WHAT IS MEANINGFUL AND WHAT IS NOT

​​In times like these we are reminded of the things that matter.

What’s the point of great wealth, fame and popularity if we are isolated?

Or what’s the goal of working so much when the economies come to a sudden halt?

Where do the Instagram likes go when your life is confined to a few walls?

Where does the stress from work deadlines is replaced by a slow-paced work (or even the absence of it!)

On the other hand, if you feel uneasy at the idea of being by yourself, it is a good time to reflect on the importance of your mental health, self-care, mindset and emotional well-being.

You may have also noticed how connected and beautiful (or not) your closest relationships are.

Being stuck at home can feel like a vacation if you’re together with the right people… or it can feel like a life sentence

If your relationships are in good condition, enjoy!

If not, this is a chance for you to sort things out (check point 5)

Take this time to see (in the same way you did with your home) what in your life is essential and what isn’t.

What friendships have ran past their expiration date and are just stinking up the house and what relationships are healthy and needed. What habits are too old and ready to be let go of and what others are great companions.

4) TO JOURNAL ABOUT OUR CURRENT EMOTIONS

​Journaling can be an incredible tool for self-reflection.

It slows down our thinking to the speed of our writing, giving us a window of opportunity to observe our thoughts and emotions in slow motion.

If you are going through fear and anxiety, know that this is okay.

It is a new and uncertain experience and many are at risk.

However, know that there are healthier and more useful emotions available to you at this moment.

Emotions that will not compromise your immune system.

So feel free to journal about your powerlessness, anger, frustration, fear, confusion and any other dense emotion you have.

And when you are done, thank yourself for acknowledging them and then ask yourself

“Okay. And NOW, what do I want to create? What do I choose to create?”

Journaling can help you plan how you will spend this time in self-isolation. It can become a place for brainstorming about how you can make the best out of this time, so instead of panicking and stocking up on toilet paper, these are also good things you could stock up on:

  • Books
  • Musical Instruments (This is a GREAT time to learn, play and practice)
  • Colouring Books / Puzzles / Sudokus
  • Art Supplies (paints, brushes, paper, canvas, colours, thread for crochet, etc.)
  • Board games

Imagine the difference in the quality of being, feeling and living between the person who stocked up on toilet paper and soap, and the one who mindfully bought those items yet stocked up on art supplies and board games.

One person fed nothing but their fears (and kept his butt crystal clean) while the other used this as a time to nourish creativity, interpersonal connections and abandoned hobbies.

5) TO SEND LETTERS OF APOLOGIES, FORGIVENESS, GRATITUDE AND LOVE

​It is important to be aware of the worst-case-scenario: People close to you dying or , knock on wood, you dying.
So why wait until it is too late, we are too agitated and the world is collapsing to take inventory of our lives and settle our affairs?

Two years ago I went on a Vision Quest where for 4 days and nights I camped out in the mountain forests with nothing but water and a hammock.

During this rite of passage, on the full moon of the last day fasting the shaman had previously instructed us to do something called “The Death Lodge” ritual.

This meant waking up that day with the embodied conviction that when the moon was at its fullest, we’d die.

It forced me to acknowledge every mistake I have made in my life, to review every person I had hurt, every word I used to offend, every relationship I damaged.

It forced me to see the areas where I betrayed myself (for money, sex, power, validation, etc.) And the way in which I had poured my attention in relationships that were not nourishing while abandoning my family and loved ones.

It also forced me to shake hands with the good deeds I did, the risks I took and the beauty I experienced.

Long story short, it was a day full of cleansing: Crying, Praying, Forgiving and asking for forgiveness.

I was in the middle of nature without contact so I couldn’t message anyone, but from the depth of my soul I made peace with everyone I have loved and hurt, and I renewed my appreciation for the life I had lived.

I discovered in fact that being conscious of death – especially a possibly close and soon one – is one of the best gifts towards a full life.

So I invite you to use the current global situation as an opportunity to take inventory of your life and clean things up.

You don’t know if that person you hurt (and their family) years ago will make it through this.

You don’t know if your loved ones will all be safe.

You don’t know how things will look like…

So what a better way to foster peace of mind than to show love to those we deeply love, forgive those who hurt us, ask for forgiveness to those we have hurt and give thanks for the beautiful and mysterious ride that is this thing we call life!

PS1: If you enjoyed this you will probably like THIS POST where we explore the beauty of being human.

PS2: If you enjoyed this, this was part of today’s Mindful Monday’s Newsletter. It is a space where I share practical, grounded spirituality and useful lessons on becoming a self-authorized, badass human.

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Cheers!

Three Types of Spiritual Bypassers

Doing the work is not the same as thinking you are doing the work!

There are three types of Spiritual Bypassers:

1- The Martyrs

These are those who stay in the midst of toxic lives, unhealthy habits, negative environments and damaging relationships putting up with all kinds of nonsense in the name of “detachment”, “positive thinking” and just plain delusion.

They confuse detachment with numbness.

The Martyrs believe that their spiritual progress and inner work shows up in their ability to put up with toxicity.

Very often they are gaslighted by their partners, friends and family through the use of something along the lines of “you are responsible for your own emotions.” or “If you choose a different perspective, you can choose to be happy. It is all up to you.”

Their boundaries are being constantly perpetuated and any push-back from them is framed as lack of emotional control or spiritual prowess by their perpetrators.

And while owning our emotions and choosing healthy perspectives are useful tools – to an extent – they are used as a weapon to manipulate someone into staying in a bad situation and believing that what must be changed is not the situation but their feelings about it.

Plenty of people in this group end up in abusive relationships, unfulfilling jobs, tolerating disrespectful family members as well as creating excuses and reasonings for why their life is this way.

Long story short – they assume a role where they are convinced that the more pain they can put themselves through (without blinking an eye) the more evolved they are.

They become spiritual martyrs and find nobility in having their boundaries stepped over (by themselves and others) without reacting.

Yet this is a ticking bomb, because a Martyr is only adding dirt under the rug.

The resentment is building up and the self-imposed numbness can only hold so much before it turns into blind rage, shows up as a chronic illness, depression and anxiety.

So what should the “martyrs” do?

First of all, understand that your pain, hurt, anger and grief make sense.

It is okay for you to feel upset.

It is part of your human experience.

Do not let anyone control you or manipulate you into shaming, judging and suppressing those emotions that arise within you.

Yes, you can choose a better perspective and you get to choose how you feel, but before you do so – you gotta pay attention to what you are feeling first.

Open the door to the unpleasant energies moving within you and ask them “What message do you have for me?”

Use the pain you feel as a compass that guides you towards the understanding that there is something wrong.

Unconditional love is not unconditional if you are not able to give it to yourself first.

So if someone is forcing you to compromise on your values or break your boundaries under the pretence of “loving unconditionally” remember that this is not love.

This is manipulation.

And remember…

Love is not putting up with pain so others can be happy.

Love is the truth that cuts through the veil!

Love can be a fierce NO!

A solid boundary.

A break-up conversation.

Taking distance.

Quitting a job.

A difficult conversation.

A renewed commitment.

On the other hand, how do we stop contributing to this dynamic?

We stop telling others to “just be happy” or anything along those lines.

We stop using a change of perspective as our go-to cure-all solution (at least in the very beginning).

And we start with compassion.

We make room to feel their pain. To acknowledge what is happening. To be present to the suffering.

Spirituality is not about becoming happy.

It is about becoming whole – and this means shaking hands with our anger, our sadness, our trauma, our confusion, and our every feeling that we’d rather avoid.

And to make room for someone else’s pain, we must have this skill within us.

We must be able to sit with our own discomfort fully present, not wanting it to change it.

Not wishing it was any different.

Taking it all in as it is – and in the process, listening to that part of us that is hurting, for it has a message for us.

Now the second group of spiritual bypassers:

2- The Pure Ones

These are those who find themselves more and more distant from our everyday, “mundane” things.

They look down at others who live life in a different way (especially if they do not meditate, do as much yoga, take as many psychedelics, eat as healthy or stare at the sun as often).

They are too spiritually evolved for mundane, unimportant stuff that may steer them off the path – stuff along the lines of getting a stable job, learning to have healthy commitments, embracing responsibilities and having any fun.

They confuse spirituality with disconnection.

The Pure Ones believe that their spiritual progress is marked by how different they are from the ‘superficial’ world.

The believe that the more books they read, workshops they take, plant medicines they consume, hours they meditate, trauma they regurgitate and horoscope charts they dissect, the better persons they are.

And while these are really useful – within the right context and with the proper integration structures in place – they are only tools that are aimed to help us live better.

They are not means of escaping life altogether.

Let alone using them as excuses to feel more distant and disconnected from those who are different or “asleep”

We could also call this group the “Spiritual Materialists” because they have changed money, status, fame and power for a “greener” alternative – yet they keep using external sources to create separation between them and the others.

In fact, very often in their self-awarded sense of “goodness” and “purity” they forget to be human.

(I might go all the way and say they are ashamed of their humanity).

They are “good” by repression not by progression.

Their personality has just been replaced by a pseudo-spiritual version of it.

You can find them in very tight-knit, exclusive groups where they praise each other’s “progress” and together, they judge the inferiority of the rest.

They are the new-age version of the Religious Fanatics.

Anyone who is not following their path is therefore lesser.

Anyone who is not part of the “tribe” is therefore not evolved and part of the “system”.

They just changed the doctrines of a bible and the concepts of heaven and hell for “spiritual” practices and the concepts of “waking up” and being “asleep”.

They could go live in a cave for 10 years and come back the same person that left.

However, it is in our day to day relationships, interactions and frustrations are where the rubber meets the road.

In short, The Pure Ones are those who find extreme pleasure in pretending they are above all human emotions, habits and desires, in being strict with their practices.

You wouldn’t see them eating a piece of meat, drinking a glass of wine, dancing under the rain, showing their anger, working hard on their business or saying a bad word.

You also wouldn’t see them socializing or connecting very much with people outside of their group.

They are too good for any of that!

So how do we avoid this?

By recognizing that true spirituality shows up as a newfound love, appreciation and deeper involvement with life.

Not by a rejection of it!

Especially not by the judgement of it.

If we find ourselves judging those whose choices we consider “lesser” than ours it means we may be falling blindly into spiritual materialism.

For judgement creates nothing but distance and disconnection.

And the way forward is through – not around.

With. Not without.

So a good measuring bar is to see how fulfilled, present and appreciative we are able to feel in seemingly mundane situations.

What’s the flavour of your heart as you make your bed?

Where is your awareness as you eat your meals?

How’s the quality of your integrity as you go to work?

What amount of love do you share with those who do not share your beliefs?

How do you get along with people you dislike?

It is through living that our soul blooms, not isolated in a dark corner.

Of course, distance from all kinds of stimuli feels like progress because there is nothing bothering us or triggering our shadows, however it doesn’t mean that the shadows went away.

Not because you ignore and avoid touching the wound it means it has healed.

Instead, ignoring it leads to it getting infected and spreading.

Those who have fallen into this way thinking do so because they are living in a dual state – meaning that for them, there are things that are expressions of God and others that are not.

So it’s a good reminder to know that God (Source energy, great spirit, The One, etc.) created everything.

Including that one neighbour you dislike!

And if you seek a closer relationship to that creative energy/light, it would be a good practice to be like the sun: shining and warming “sinners” and “saints” alike.

Without dismissing anything or anyone.

True spirituality is learning to accept, embrace and love life as it is.

Not as you imagine it should be.

There is more spiritual progress in a person who does not subscribe to any religion, does not meditate, eats meat and drinks beer but treats everyone with love and compassion, than in someone who prays/meditates for hours every day, eats raw vegan, chants mantras, practices yoga and then goes out to judge, belittle and distance from the rest of the world.

And if you are still wondering,

just remember that even Jesus drank wine! 😉

-The Connected Ones

The Connected Ones are a relatively new group that gravitates towards an “alternative” lifestyle.

They very often they confuse intoxication with connection.

They frequent festivals like a nun goes to church.

However, they tend to be completely out of it (or into it) from the amount of LSD, Ketamine, Weed and other substances they consume.

This group tends to equate drug induced states of consciousness with being fully alive, free and connected.

They are also often promoting promiscuity under the pretence of “open, free-flowing love”.

However, sex (like drugs) are used among them as agents of distraction instead of as agents of connection.

The main characteristic of “The Connected Ones” is that they speak of consciousness, of unconditional love, of spirituality and human development while they destroy their bodies with substances, are unable to enjoy themselves free of stimuli and can’t stand time in solitude.

Very often, they see every ancient sacred tradition (like Ayahuasca, San Pedro, Peyote and Santa Maria) as just another experience to be had.

Another “item” to check in their list of substances. And in the process they turn the sacred into profane.

They are eager to “show off” and speak of their tales and trips and stories of plant medicine but are rarely willing to acknowledge, honour and respect the ancient traditions.

They can jump back from an ayahuasca ceremony into drugs and drinking without blinking an eye or realizing the irony of their actions.

These people believe that spirituality = “freedom”.

However they confuse Freedom with giving Into their addictions.

They believe that freedom is to follow each and all of their impulses – So when dating, they will often label their enslavement to lust as “an expression of free love”.

Or they will reframe their lack of commitment and responsibility as “going with the flow.”

In fact, if you talk with them they will give you very good arguments about their choices but at the end of the day it is nothing more than a polished way of making excuses for their addictions.

They believe spirituality is the freedom to give into their every desire and fail to see how much they are slaves to their sexual urges, substance habits, “connected” parties, “conscious” communities and so on.

So what to do if we are gravitating towards this group? (Or are already here)

First, do not judge the space you are in.

Spiritual Bypassing is a very well orchestrated tool of control, not any different from TV and the mass media.

The fastest way to deviate someone from the truth is to provide them a fake substitute and rationally convince them it is the real deal.

However, to those in this group, I invite you to consider if you are truly free or if what you call freedom is nothing but a love for the chains.

If you cannot be mindful and say no to your urges, you are not fully free.

If you cannot feel connected or reach altered spaces of consciousness without substances, you are not fully free.

If you cannot have a good time without hyper stimulating your system (through events, people, drugs, sex and experiences) you are not fully free.

And nothing wrong with that, however, I invite you to consider that you are short changing yourself.

The true freedom and connection that is available to you, once you learn what you need to from this place, is irreplaceable.

If an experience, person or substance is necessary for you to feel connected, then you are in fact, disconnected.

And these tools (although they carry a profound potential) become a source of distraction instead of propellers of a healthy journey.

If you’ve read this far, you may know some people in each group.

You may have been in some of these at points…

The truth is that was!

This is why I understand the dynamics so well.

I went from being addicted to experiences and thinking I was free, to putting up with toxic environments in the name of spiritual progress, to disconnecting from all of it and feeling “too good” to relate to anyone or anything.

And eventually I realized the irony of all of it and came back to a more simple yet practical spirituality.

So I invite you to look at whether you’ve stirred off the path and have become either too permissive and numb, too disconnected and judgemental, or too addicted to sensations in your quest for a richer, deeper spiritual/life experience.

True spirituality looks like deep involvement without attachment.

Deep love (to self and others) and connection.

And sometimes it looks like cutting people out of our lives, saying ‘NO’ and affirming our boundaries.

Sometimes it looks like cleaning the toilet, making our bed and folding the laundry.

It also looks like being in bliss without the need for external stimuli.

Sometimes it is a wild emotion, sometimes it is committed, grounded warmth.

And always remember that we are spiritual beings having a human experience just as much as we are humans, having a spiritual experience.

Cheers!

PS2: If you enjoyed reading this you will probably enjoy the Newsletter I just launched called Mindful Mondays where I share tips on practical spirituality, No-BS insights, road-tested relationship advice, practices and much more.

www.nicocanon.com/newsletter

Click the link to (occasionally) receive straight forward content, reflections as well as invitations to the events and retreats I am organizing.

www.nicocanon.com/newsletter

Thank you!

The Beauty of BEING Human

In a world where half of the people are numb to their life (and just going through the motions) and the other half are obsessed with getting to a “higher place” of spirituality (and hence bypass this physical experience)

Let me remind you of the benefits and perks that come with being alive here, right now. 😎

✔️Food!
Having a body and being human means we get to eat stuff. And it tastes delicious. When you’re an eternal being, you can’t savour grandma’s soup.

✔️Music!
For music to exist there must be time – without time it is only vibrations and frequencies. You couldn’t condense your favorite song into one sound. The fact that we are ageing beings also means that we get to enjoy music!

✔️Dancing!
When you are one with everything, the dance is energetic, yet you can’t really shake your ass, spin around or pop your favorite salsa move without a body. Thank God we’re alive!

✔️People!
This is the best and worst part of this existence for some 🤣 However, in the realm beyond time and space, the realm of unity with everything, there is no “other”. No You and I. So you don’t really get to meet new people when You are all in an atom soup.

✔️Stories!
Without time, you can’t tell a story. You can’t have a beginning or end to anything. So in this earth we have books and movies! And we also have our own personal stories – of challenges, growth and resolutions. Death is what gives life its meaning!

Being one with all, you’re never born and you never die.

✔️Nature!
Without a physical body to experience it, we wouldn’t be able to watch a sunset, swim in the ocean, hear the birds sing, walk through the mountains and much more. We’re pretty lucky to be alive!

✔️Sex!
Although there’s an energetic equivalent, we wouldn’t have the yumminess of two bodies touching, feeling, breathing and sweating to the rythm of passionate uninhibited love making.

Pretty cool isn’t it!?

So before you disconnect from life, or decide that there’s somewhere else “higher” you’d like to be – let’s not forget to appreciate the beauty of where we already are 😉

Afterall, we can’t resent our way into enlightenment.

PS: If you resonate with this message, you may like THIS ONE too.

And if you enjoy what you are reading, don’t forget to sign up for my Mindful Mondays Newsletter.

You Don’t Have to be a “GOOD” Person

Fuck being a good person next year!

In fact, it is your self-anointed “good person” label⠀which makes you the most awful person.

You think it makes you feel that you are so good!

Good about what?

In contrast to whom?

Unlike whom?

The bad people?

“those” bad people?

Woah!

The only thing you’re damn good at is being full of judgement towards others.

Only good in your ability to feel superior to the rest in some imaginary way.

Only good to be a slave of the labels you created for yourself!

The worst evil in the world was done by people who were convinced they were doing the ultimate good!

The “divine” good.

The “greater” good.

Think about that one.

“Good” keeps you prisoner.

“Good” keeps you asleep.

“Good” is good for the well behaved puppies and puppets.

“Good” makes you fearful of your darkness. It detaches you from your ability to get in touch with the full force of YOU.

“Good” makes you easily manipulated!

Good boy/girl⠀is what you have become because you are too afraid to be REAL.

Too afraid to be TRUTHFUL

“Good” is a relative judgement on a changing society, it is imaginary! Nonexistent!

Good is pleasing mommy and daddy and seeking the approval of others, chasing the validation of most!

And demanding that the world fits your “goodie-two-shoes” box… Because they’d be damned if they don’t!

How awful are those who don’t fit your mold of “Good”.. THEY need changing :)

Right?

Fuck that!

When you’re trying to be a good person you’re playing someone else’s game – almost always at the expense of yourself!

The moment you give up your attachment to being seen as good, you start being real.

You speak your truth.

You draw boundaries.

You do what makes sense to yourself.

And you don’t do what doesn’t.

Only when you’re in integrity with yourself, you are of any positive use to the world.

Revolutions that led to evolution were never brought about by good men.

GREAT men, yeah!

But not “good” men – not by most people’s standards at their time.

So this 2020 do not aim to be good.

Aim for realness.

Rawness.

Truth.

Integrity.

And then, you’ll be great!

PS: If you are ready to STOP people pleasing and claim your own truth, this may be for you.

READ THIS

And if you are curious about doing some work with me, join my Newsletter and let’s chat!

Do not abandon your humanity in the search for spirituality

Most people think that to be spiritual is to seek to become one with everything.

And that’s a noble quest, yet oneness is where we all come from and where we all go to, when we die.

We are human beings trying to have a spiritual experience while we simultaneously are spiritual beings having a human experience.

When we’re one – we crave for separateness. We crave to know ourselves experientially – and for this we need everything that this reality brings: darkness. Separation. Pain. Vulnerability. Addiction and disconnection.

Because only in contrast to the dark we are able to understand, value, appreciate and truly know the light.

Only by feeling separated from each other are we able to feel the beauty of compassion and oneness.
(Experientially! Not philosophically)
🙏🏻
However, we sometimes forget that we chose to come here to this adventure, with this body and our own limitations.

If we wanted oneness, we would’ve stayed as pure energy.

So spirituality is not so much about seeking to transcend your earthly experience, but rather to embrace it fully.

✨Our best meditation is our attention to our relationships.

✨The best ritual is our communication.

✨The deepest alchemy, our capacity to love those who hurt us.

True spirituality is, as Maharaj-ji taught: love everyone, serve everyone and remember God.
🧐
Not love God, Search God and forget everyone.
🔥
Our merging with oneness is taken care of, the moment we are born.

So let’s use this life to seek to learn to love our differences, our uniqueness and our challenges – for that makes us human.

And that is the experience we chose.

I love you 🙏🏻🖤

PS: If this post resonated with you, you may want to CHECK THIS OUT where I explore what I call “deceitful spirituality”

A Poem on Being Present

Those born amidst
The drums of war
Know nothing about
The peace of silence.

Every song and sound
Feels like a call
Towards battle.

Those addicted
To their struggles
Known nothing about
The power of effortless.

Every task and job
Feels like a weight
Carried uphill.

Every bit of work
Like a torture drill.

It is only when we have become
Attached to our stories and cycles
Of tension and release
Problems and solutions
Challenges and resolutions
That we forget that
These are the narratives we chose

Narratives of stories that
we write about
In books where we are
Protagonists and authors.

Always a single choice away
From switching the theme
And creating a brand new experience
For everyone involved.

So why not turn the page?
Dip the pen
And trace with ink
Words and tales
Of new and radical views,
Inspired effort,
Peaceful progress,
And divine clues.

Why not write a fresh story
Free of struggle,
Suffering and
Jadedness?

Free of anxiety, depression
And madness?

So Close the chapter
Turn the page
And never forget
That there was never
A single cage.

Breathe in deep
And let the past go
Embrace this present
And let it flow.