Hope all is well with you. I’m so happy to have some time to write again today. It feels like things have been really busy lately and this year is just flying by! But it’s important to have down time to reflect and realign so that you are able to do whatever you need, to the best of your ability. And that’s why I love these Guest Blogs so much, they allow us a unique glimpse into the journey of other’s who had a dream and accomplished it. They remind us that the road is not straight, obstacle-free or easy, but it’s worth persisting for a true gift the journey gives us – growth.
I hope you enjoy part 2 of Michael’s story as much as I did. You can read part one [here]
1.What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?
MV: The biggest challenge in my life was overcoming my mental neurosis that I didn’t belong anywhere. I was getting into a lot of fights at school, being bullied, subjugated, racism all of which played with my mind. I experienced deep levels of inadequacy and thought that I was not good enough to belong anywhere. One day I had an epiphany, I said to myself “fu*k it”. I belong to myself, I belong to the world. I don’t care if people don’t want me to belong with them. I decided to put the smile on my face first. I realised I don’t need anybody to make me happy; I don’t need anything or anyone to accept me. I accept myself – this was a turning point in my life. I started to conduct myself in such a manner that didn’t need to ask for anything from anyone. I became someone that supported himself, his mind and his heart. All of this is rooted in my studies and spiritual values.
I choose to believe in Jesus and rooted in the life of Jesus is the simple notion I had nothing to be afraid of and that Jesus loves me. I began to speculate on this notion and it inspired me simply because Jesus took the slings and arrows and scourging for the sins of the world and yet still had the capacity to love.
I overcame my challenges by working on my craft, my psychology and reframing my beliefs and values about myself and creating new possibilities for my life. My primary belief is that I am responsible for everything that happens in my life. I do not point the finger at anyone or blame anyone for anything that happens in my life. Happiness begins with me first; I can then be generous and share my happiness with everyone
2. What is success to you?
MV:I think success is an elusive concept. I think the world has brainwashed us into thinking we need to earn a certain amount of money, we need to live in a certain type of house, drive a certain type of car, to date a certain type of person. All of this is a crazy illusion, this is not success, this is a false illusion of looking good in the eyes of others. Success to me is being able to communicate in spite of being deaf. Success to me is having peace of mind. Success to me is looking after my mother with her Dementia and earning enough money to do so without wanting. Success to me is being able to perform magic and have an audience still enjoy it. Success to me is keeping my heart open to the possibility that I may fall in love again.
I am single, my heart was broken six years ago and it’s taken me this long to feel normal again. Success to me is forgiveness, success to me represents hope and possibility and faith that life as it is today can still be a beautiful experience. With all the craziness going on in the world I choose to believe that life is a beautiful experience. I choose to emphasize the word experience, because to live life and to experience all of it with an open heart and not be broken is the mark of a successful attitude towards life. I have had many friends and family members commit suicide in the last three years. I have struggled to come to terms with this. It has confused me, and got me present to the fact that some people couldn’t see beyond their pain and chose to end the experience of life they were having.
One of my heroes in life was a gentleman named Victor Frankle. He wrote a book called A Man’s Search for Meaning. This little book documents Victor Frankle’s life in Auschwitz during the Second World War. Here, he talks about his attitude towards this circumstance in his life and he survived simply because the experience did not break him. He realised, the only thing he had which could not be taken from him was his Attitude. I attempt to keep this in mind at all times. I believe that my attitude will always guide and direct me in the face of challenging circumstances. To maintain this state of mind, and to live in the state of grace and equanimity to me is a treasure beyond price – this is success to me.
7. What advice would you give someone trying to do what you do?
MV: We live in different times now, I’m not sure my advice would make much difference to someone wanting to follow in my footsteps. I will say however, they must love what they do, passion is everything and they must discover their purpose in life. The Big Why is important to longevity. The most important thing of all they must be in it for the long term.
8. What is the biggest lesson you’ve learnt on your journey so far?
MV: The biggest lesson I have learnt is to tell the truth no matter what. I’m not interested in looking good in the eyes of others; I am only interested in expressing myself honestly to others so that they know whom they are dealing with.
9. What would you tell your younger self if you could go back in time?
MV: I would tell my younger self, trust yourself before you trust anyone else. Follow your heart don’t be afraid to tell the truth. The world is a beautiful place, you will encounter people who will smile in your face and stab you in the heart in the next breath. Become a student of people, enjoy your life and honestly express yourself.
Just want to thank Michael for his openness and honesty in these pieces. If you have been touched by the blogs, please leave a comment for Michael below and thank you guys for reading! Love and light x MC
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