the characteristic spirit of a culture, era, or community as manifested in its attitudes & aspirations.
Behind every idea, there should be an Ethos. A code of ethics to live by. A compass to serve as a guide.
Scratch idea. Behind every person. Every business. Every relationship. Every exchange of time or energy. Behind everything.
I’ve been thinking of mine. I have a solid list of my strengths and weaknesses, my core values, and some simple phrases that I’m trying to articulate into sentences, to serve as my personal Stand.
Guys, it’s hard to turn simple ideas into catchy phrases. Who comes up with this stuff?!
But one came naturally, and I love it. (“Love.” Ha.. ha..)
Love is the Root from Which All Life Grows.
Because I don’t believe in much, but I sure as heck believe in love.
The kind of love differs for everyone, & varies on the state of your heart.
But, if nothing else, the most sustainable kind of love to believe in is the love of your beautiful, unique Self. If the thought of love and relationships sends your heart aflutter (and not in the form of soft butterfly wings, but instead in the form of sharp anxiety), then remember that you will always have your Self.
When I was 17, I got my first and only tattoo. Love sits firmly, permanently on my wrist.
There was no romance in my life. There was me, and there was Havok. Despite struggling with self-worth from a childhood of bullying, somehow I knew that no matter what happened, there would always be self-love. And beyond that, there would be the love for Mother Nature… and on a more intimately personal level, the love for my dog, Havok. Looking back and looking at the scars I cut across my body, I have absolutely no idea where this wisdom came from; the marks on my body tell a different story, one that was not rooted in love.
Regardless, one can certainly say that there are much worse tattoos I could have gotten as a teenager.
Fast forward a decade, and this still rings true – even if I’m not a fan of the font in which I chose to make the statement on my skin. But in those ten years, my relationship with love has deepened. My understanding has grown in unexpected ways – most notorious of which has been through my #MorningCoffee ritual, a practice in which I sat nude in front of a mirror and learned to love myself as I sipped my coffee each morning.
Love is the root from which all life grows.
Listen to your heart. What do you hear, hidden in the whispers?
As someone who feels too much (or so I have been lead to believe, in a society that is becoming increasingly numb), there have been times when the world has attempted to hold a pillow over my heart, to suffocate it. For brief periods of time, it has worked. But the sharpest pain comes in the after effects. The shockwaves of an earthquake are the moments when I’ve bound my own heart in duct tape, taking on the role of my own silencer.
To live the ultimate human experience is to live life on your terms. It means to live and to love unapologetically. It means to love unconditionally.
It means to feel into the depths of your heart, the shadows and the rays of sunlight, and the moonbeams in between.
To silence my heart means to retreat into a corner, to turn a blind eye to an integral part of the human experience, to numb my Self… just as others numb their senses with drugs or alcohol or impulsive sex.
These times when I’ve tried to silence my heart, to disconnect my emotions, I’ve recognized that it’s home to trust. Where I lose trust is in my mind, when I over-analyze what’s “right” or what’s “normal.” My mind can be, when left unchecked, home to fear and judgment.
But then I take a deep breath and ask my heart: what do you know to be true?
The tidal surges of my lunar heart suddenly calm, and there’s naught but a ripple on the surface of an ocean that was, moments before, a raging storm.
When I listen to my heart, all there is, is love.
Everything will work out as it’s meant to be. It will be okay.
But what is love?
Love is love. It’s as simple as that. How can you possibly define something so elusive?
At the core of my work – the root, as it were – is a constant conversation with love. My entire life is a love affair with the Universe, with life.
There are times when I’ve referenced a broken heart – but it has not been from an individual person; rather, it has been from life itself. As a hopeless romantic experiencing life as a constantly flowing poem, part of my human experience is to lean deeply into the highs and the lows of whatever comes my way. These feelings are not attached to individuals, but to the human experience.
This deeper understanding of love began two years ago – coinciding with the beginning of #MorningCoffee, setting fire to my life in the most magnificent of bonfires, and letting someone into my life when I was at my most vulnerable and wounded (and later, into my heart).
But that’s one of the points – my relationship is not with a person, but rather… it’s with the feeling of love.
In her book Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert talks about how artists used to be seen has having geniuses, rather than being geniuses. This is how I feel about love and relationships. Our relationships are not with people, they are with love; a relationship with another person is a reflection of your relationship with your Self.
Love is the thread we use to weave between the people in our lives.
And with that being the case, the most important dynamic to maintain and nurture is the love for your Self – that is, to maintain the strength of the thread and sharpness of the needle.
You and I and everyone else, we don’t know anything about… well, anything. The only constant is change, and in a life that is a “choose your own adventure” every single day – filled with mystery and uncertainty and inconsistency – the only thing I know for certain is how I feel. Other than that, I know absolutely nothing.
And it’s my responsibility to honor the feelings in my heart, to give a voice to all the words that are longing to tumble from the beat in my chest.
My experience with love has taught me that love is not a destination. Love is not a mortgage, it is not a child, and it is not a comfortable life. Love is not a chore, a burden, nor a means of control.
Love is a never-ending adventure. It’s an invitation to explore life beyond the surface, and follow your wildest dreams. Love is waking up each day, no matter where someone in the world is, and saying, “I choose you.” Love, when pure, has no conditions.
To love is to hold space.
To love is to let go of control, expectations, and judgment.
To love is to communicate.
Or, in my friend Traver Boehm’s words… I got you.
That’s why the first rule of the Ethos behind The Primal Revolution is rooted in love.
Because what is life, if you are living and not loving?
The Ethos behind The Primal Revolution is in constant evolution, but you can see the current selection over here.