In his story, Keith shares how his personal journey brought about transformation that continued to unfold and expand his life on all levels. He found himself drawn to new levels of awareness, thought patterns and creations. Keith outlines his journey sharing what brought him to the beautiful place he is in now, and it has everything to do with living in the present.

My journey of awakening and personal expansion

I often tell people that I am an enigma because it is difficult to “pin me down” or have me fit into a specific mold, so it’s kind of a challenge for me to explain my spiritual and emotional journey.

The two great influences upon my early life were, obviously, my parents. My mother has both a sweet spirit, and a gift for nurturing. From her I learned to encourage others, love unconditionally, and to be a source of emotional support for those in need.

My father is also an amazing person and from him I learned to push myself and to not quit! He taught me (primarily through example) that instead of throwing up my hands in defeat, I must find another way. He’d always tell me “You can do anything you set your mind to”, a concept that I have built my life around.

From this foundation of strength, love, and perseverance, I launched my expedition into life. I formed a philosophy of “dogged-determination”. A relentless pursuit to become…something. My mindset was such that I could never be satisfied with the status quo and to become stagnant was to die. I was the guy who always asked “Why?”.

I was opened minded to learn new things, yet I could not just accept everything I was taught. I would dig deeper, forever endeavoring to trace every tidbit of truth back to its source, because I wanted to be absolutely sure that what I added to my beliefs was real. I’ve always blazed my own trail in this way, never content to blindly follow paths made by others.

This “quest” I was on led me through many jobs, relationships and belief systems. I was always looking ahead, trying to see where I was heading. There was something missing, however, and it took several years for me to come to the realization that I was neglecting what is, perhaps, the most important element of life. The present!

Not only had I not been enjoying my journey through life, I wasn’t paying much attention to it at all! Everything was all about “the mission”as I fervently sought my place (purpose) in life.

When I became awakened to this truth my life was radically changed. It was as if a huge burden had been lifted from my back as I began to rejoice in the knowledge that life is happening now! This moment is all that is real and it’s ok to be at peace in it. I’m still on “the mission”, but I embrace each moment of life as I move forward. I now take joy in the journey.

My Inspirations and Influences

I find inspiration in many places. Nature, music, books, other people and several blogs such as yours. There are many things I utilize to help me stay aware and to live life fully. Here are a few examples:

  • I read and study constantly. I have an unquenchable thirst to learn and grow so I read a lot! Spirituality, self-development, history, business/financial concepts and novels to feed my imagination. It’s all on my list!
  • I make time to exercise regularly and to eat healthily.
  • I write. For me, writing has deep meaning and it helps me to better understand that which I’m writing about. It also gives me a sense of purpose.
  • I work hard to ensure my relationships are nurtured, developed and are deepening. This is extremely important to me.
  • I make time to be still. Meditating, listening to my inner voice, and communing with God/Universe and nature.

My Positive Life Changes

The fundamental change from living life in anticipation, to living life in the present has benefited my life in so many ways.

Life is more enjoyable for me and I get more out of it. Instead of each day being filled with only thoughts and plans for what I will do next or who I shall become in the future, I focus more on what I am doing now and who I am today.

I believe this paradigm shift in my mindset has made me a better person, and by that I mean I focus less on “What’s in it for me?” and more on “How can I be of help in this situation?” Besides, when you focus on the latter, the rest just happens.

My Next Steps as an Evolving Being

I feel as though I am on the cusp of many changes. Admittedly, I have felt that way for most of my life, but what’s different now is I am seeing changes actually take place, manifesting themselves in tangible ways.

There is one area of change that I am very excited about and that’s the creation of Straight Up Living. Straight Up Living is my new blog and I’m so excited about it because with it I will be able to explore any and all things relatable to living life! Even the process of building it has been a voyage of self-discovery.

My primary goal is to continue evolving as a human being. I wish to continue learning and growing as a person right up to the moment of my last breath.

My Advice to Others

You must trust yourself! Listen to what your heart is saying, and know that it is speaking to you. Even in this moment it is trying to be heard, so take the time to become still and hear what it is saying. Doing this will steer you into the direction of your heart’s desire, or passion, and is the first step toward living it out everyday for the rest of your life. Until you do this, you’ll always feel that there is something lacking in your life.

Follow your heart, and do so regardless of what others may say, think or do.

Be real.

Act upon the things you learn! Never just give your mental assent and then do nothing.

Never quit. Choose to never give up, no matter what. You have been given the power to create your own life. Creation is a birthing process, therefore it will require energy,focus, awareness and even some pain. Embrace all of this and do so with a spirit of gratitude.

Do these things and you’ll be Straight Up Living!