Posts tagged #sabotage

Interview with Paul Lara-No Fluff Spiritual Fulfillment

In today’s world, we’re sold the allure of happiness every day. We may love the high or the “nice zone” of happy, but when we rely on happiness as the end all be all, it’s a recipe for disaster. Don’t focus on the fluffy and convenient side of life—the subtle realities in the background are much more important to be aware of (for instance, our shadow tendencies). That’s what Paul Lara, of Qi Belly, believes. The real learning is witnessed and achieved when we take a mind/body approach to all aspects of the Self.  

Lara is a practitioner with an experiential and dedicated background in Zen Meditation, Martial arts, Tai Chi, Reiki and Qi Gong. What I’m trying to stress here is that he lived in Asia and endured many years of no fluff training. Literally, no fluff anywhere. Or most likely toilet paper. No toilet paper and no fluff. Know’m sayin’? Hardcore.

You’d think that he’d be a bit of a hard ass. Nothing could be further from the truth. He’s as laid back as the Dude in the Big Lebowski, minus the drugs, but physically fit and much smarter. So not really at all like the Dude, but he does have a very calm vibe. So sit back, draw a deep breath and let his takeaway gems sink in:

1.        Sabotage: it is inevitable, initially. The experience in itself is the lesson. In the beginning we are of two distinct minds/two voices. We have our Conscious intent-this includes our self-improvement goals and desired outcomes. Then we have the other aspect of the psyche-the Ego. The Ego wants to keep things as they are. When we start delving into the unknown this creates fear. The Ego voice (that is trying to protect us from the fear and the unknown) is much stronger in the beginning of this process and has been reinforced for many years. The voice of Conscious intent is not as strong—it is new.

Zen theory: True freedom is understanding which inner voice is talking.

Note: when we become intimate with Self, we are very aware of which voice is talking to us.

2.      Patterns: The voice is what creates the patterns. This never goes away. It is all about the journey towards greater and greater awareness. Habits or patterns may be hard to witness at first—they are somewhat ugly. We may have shame. Once we have the practice and discipline to accept ourselves then we are on our way. The opposite practice would be to walk away or to lie to ourselves. This is moving further away from the Self.

3.       Environmental health: This means to live within the rhythmic understanding of the natural order. To live within nature’s seasons and in turn, our own internal seasons. We learn to exist within these cycles. In other words, “if we wish that every day is the first of July, it’s going to be a hard go.”

4.       Tips: Use consistency, honesty about what you see (about ourselves and others) and discipline. Handle situations with functionality; adapt; stay healthy as you change. Trust in what you feel and get your head out of the way. The heart knows best.

Please visit to delve deeper into what Paul offers! Also check out his new podcast here:

How to Smash Through Your Happy Ceiling

You may have heard of the glass ceiling (the upper limit of something usually in reference to women’s wages in the workplace), but do you know about the happy ceiling? Perhaps you’ve cracked your head on it a number of times, only to fall backwards to the ground tailbone first onto the cement. Ouch.

What is the happy ceiling?

A defense mechanism executed swiftly by our Saboteur when any unauthorized happiness occurs. Unless we get control of this pattern, the Saboteur will cause repeated concussions and will implement an outright ban on increased happiness units.

In other words, if you want to get happier than you’ve been—deal with the Saboteur.

Who is the Saboteur?

The Saboteur is an aspect of ourselves (in the form of an archetype) that jumps in when you may feel threatened or afraid. Usually the Saboteur is there to protect you in some way from an imagined enemy. The Saboteur will do it’s darndest to sabotage your well intentioned plans. For instance, there was a time in my life when I was completely out of debt, so my Saboteur got me buying up a storm again until a year later I was back in the same financial position. Why? Because that’s the way the Saboteur rolls. Or mostly because I was probably uncomfortable being financially free and subconsciously I tried to go back to the way I was. In the past, we may have benefited greatly from the Saboteur’s antics, but the practice may be wearing a little thin now.


  • First let’s take our usual run around the track I like to call: awareness enhancing question period.
  • How good can you stand it?
  • Have you ever been so happy that it hurts?

Why do we sabotage ourselves? Three factors:

  1. Uncomfortable—we don’t know how to feel in this new situation even if it’s wonderful. Sometimes we get into a rut where we'd rather stay in the discomfort than change.
  2. Uncertain—the devil we know is better than the devil we don’t. This is where we feel really afraid of the unknown.
  3. Undeserving—do I really deserve to be happy? Who am I to be happy? I’m not really that great of a person to be this happy.

How do we smash through the happy ceiling?

  1. Undeserving—ask the Saboteur to come into your awareness.
    You may see an image or sense a feeling. Trust what comes up. Then ask your Saboteur why it’s here or why it shows up when you’re starting to get really happy? Ask what the message is that it wants you to know. Make friends with the Saboteur. Tell them that you are open to co-creating a life of more happiness despite your fears. Ask how you can work together from now on.
  2. Uncertainty—acknowledge these feelings of fear and anxiety.
    This is the human condition—the more comfortable we can get with uncertainty the more our lives will expand with joy and happiness.
  3. Declaration/intention—make a ceremonial pledge that you intend to move past the happy ceiling and open up to more and more happiness.
    Make it fancy—write a flowery letter or declare it out loud. You can either seal it in a nice envelope and put it in a sacred place or burn it. Whatever you do, the intention is the most important part.

I wish you boat loads of happiness and expansive skies without ceilings anywhere in sight!