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Transformation Inspirations : Keith McCoy, Author of Choose Different

Transformation Inspirations : Keith McCoy, Author of Choose Different

I am so fucking excited and honored to share today’s Transformation Inspiration interview with you, because today’s feature is so inspiring to me. Perhaps I’m a little biased, as the bad-ass you’re about to meet is my own dad, but I know that even without my bias this man is inspiring many more than he knows and that ripple effect will only continue to grow.

Keith McCoy is a husband, a father and an entrepreneur currently living in Colorado raising his family while growing a wellness business with his wife. Driven by the ideals of freedom, empowerment and radical accountability intermixed with a passion to serve whenever and wherever the need arises, his book, Choose Different is just one of many ways to increase an ever-growing global ripple.

For inquiries or speaking engagements please email choosedifferent@essentialdharma.com

 

Transformation Inspirations interview with Keith McCoy, from the Spirit & Soul blog
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Below, you’ll find a bit of Keith’s story and where he is now written in his own words, from an excerpt of his brand new book (available now), Choose Different, and then we’ll get into this awesome interview.

 

“My intention with this book is to bring to light for you what I believe to be one of the most important, if not the most important, principles that defines how I move about my days, weeks and life now. It is to share with you how I was able to come from the life described above and live this – I have been married to the same amazing woman for 20 years. We have 7 (soon to be 8) beautiful kids together. Even though I tried my damnedest in the beginning to sabotage this relationship, and I certainly caused her some pain, she stuck by me. If not for her I do not know where I would be today. I will always maintain that she was the first to teach me that I deserved to be loved unconditionally. She taught me that I needed to love myself. Because of that I learned somewhere along the line that I had to take responsibility for me; for who I was and for the consequences of my actions.

I was forced to see the ripple effect my actions would cause and to hold myself accountable to those ripples. The reality is that in every single thing we do, consciously or otherwise, we leave a mark, there is a cause and an effect. In everything we do, we have a choice. We may often feel like we don’t. And as we will discuss again, feelings aren’t facts. I recently heard a quote that aligns perfectly with this concept – Reality is often harsh, but always fair. So when you step back and look at the reality of your life, if you truly want clarity, you must remove the emotion and see the situation for what it is: The result of your choices. Each choice has a ripple, a butterfly effect, that either affects us, and those around us, in a detrimental way or in a way that benefits us. We cannot get away from this universal truth. And the sooner you can realize, understand and truly appreciate that you are in control of your decisions, and that ultimately the choices you make are the most important thing in how you live your life, the sooner you can begin to live your life by design.” – Keith McCoy, author of Choose Different

 

Now, let’s get into this super special edition of Transformation Inspirations and get on with the interview bit, shall we?

 

 

Where were you at before you transformed your life? What was your experience, emotional state, and perspective like?


I was angry and lost. Broke and living in a victim mentality. My marriage was on the rocks and my relationship with my kids was not a good one.

 

During that period of your life, what did you wish for or dream of the most for yourself?

I didn’t dream or wish for anything. I didn’t believe that was really possible.

 

When your life began to change, what cause the shift(s) for you?

I realized that if I didn’t make a change I would lose my kids. I would most likely end up alone. I decided that radical change needed to be made immediately and so I chose to stop drinking and to turn inward. To take full responsibility of my actions and to not blame anyone else.

 

What did your transformation look like for you, and how did the experience feel?

I dove into Eastern Philosophy. I read Dharma Punx by Noah Levine and Awakening the Buddha Within by Lama Surya Das. In the beginning I was more angry and confused because i only realized how asleep I had been and how asleep most of the rest of us are. In my attempts to find center I only got deeper into frustration. It took a while for me to swing back and realize that the only journey I need to be concerned with is my own. And that how aware or unaware anyone else was or wasn’t really wasn’t my concern.

 

What practice, tool, or mindset has been the most meaningful and impactful for you along your journey?

Radical Accountability. I am the product of my choices and exactly where I choose to be. Sometimes that is an unconscious choice, or there are unintended consequences of the choices I make. But they are mine and I embrace them. The wins or the lessons, whatever the result.

 

Having gone through the transformation that you have now, what would you say to your past self?

Honestly? I wouldn’t talk to my old self. I have often said that 2017 me and 2005 me would not be friends. But given the opportunity to do so I would tell him to read Choose Different and let that stand on its own.

 

Where is your life now? What is your experience, emotional state, and perspective like? 

I live a very fulfilled life. I still have unachieved business goals and things I want to do but I have clarity in how to get them and understanding that they will come when they’re supposed to and when I have learned the lessons I need to learn that will make me the person who can handle the abundance I am attracting. I have no true complaints and have learned, and still practice improving, loving what is and becoming the best version of myself possible.

 

 

Aside from my immense gratitude for my Dad, he is a living, breathing, legacy leading example of what it means to show up, choose different, and lead both the life you want to and a life that is continuously giving. If you look at your life and the state of things surrounding you and think, “I couldn’t change this if I tried, so why even try.” I hope that you can look at my dad and all of the incredible people featured in this series and know that you can Choose Different. Any moment in time can be your quantum moment. All you’ve got to do is choose. 

 

To purchase Choose Different, follow this link!

 

 

 

 

Namaste
~Riley Reign

 

Silk // A Mantra Manifesto

Silk // A Mantra Manifesto

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Yes,  I am a daydreamer
Yes, the process is a mess

There is motion, movement, turbulence even
Zoom out, look at the whole
See how silky the image isSee how the thread of each moment is of silk
Now weave each thread together
See how divinely fabricated it all is
Life, it is silk

Yes, I am an optimist
and yes, it all feels very harsh

See the spinning as weaving
Turn the turbulence into a dance
Surely, the process is a mess
Yet how else does art become?

Look at the ocean
chaotic or still, it is stunning and it is real
I couldn’t imagine it silkierYes, we are different
and yet, we are just the same

Too many see themselves wrapped in a life of sandpaper
When the truth of life is purely silk

Too many read a sad poem and allow it to be sharp
The words you are reading were not strung together by knives
The threads of those words, they are silk

Yes, some things don’t feel like the best
and yet, they become just thatI am finding every experience is one of silk
and I know I cannot force an awakening to the perfect softness that lives outside the inside of our eyelids
So I will make my presence a work of silk

May I listen to the cries of the world with softness in understanding
May I string together each word I write with threads of silk
May I show up from the silk of compassion
May I help, heal, teach, live and love as I can
with silk in my hands

Namaste
~Riley Reign

Side Note : A huge thank you to  Nathan Proctor, curator of Love and Art, for featuring an excerpt of this piece in his last Instagram #SubmissionSunday! I was honored to have my work included in that collection. I highly recommend anyone who loves visual and word art to check out his projects and follow his creative and curative endeavors. His work is highly inspirational, healing, transformational, and uplifting so please give him a look and some love.

Resistance + Reaction: The Bearers of Misery

Resistance + Reaction: The Bearers of Misery

 

 

I recently attended a 10 Day Vipassana meditation course. Here you spend 10 days in Noble Silence practicing and learning the technique of Vipassana meditation, the original teaching of Gautama Buddha, for 10+ hours a day with up to 90 (sometimes more depending on the location) of your closest strangers. It is a big, intimidating undertaking, and it is BEYOND worth it. Not only will you learn a lot about yourself, a lot of truths about the world can become revealed to you.

One of the really powerful learnings for me was seeing and experiencing on a deeper level what negativity resistance and reaction bring into our lives. On a surface level these occurrences can be seen easily,  but when you experience them from an objective place of depth (like I was able to in meditation) the realization becomes much more powerful and change inspiring.

Resistance & Reaction: The Bearers of Misery from The Spirit & Soul Blog

 

Resistance breeds anger and resentment, when we resist rather than open up our  perspective of many situations becomes painful, self-harmful, and upsetting. Reaction is similar, however, we can choose our reactions. We can choose a positive or detached reaction rather than a negative one. Resistance and reaction are simple thought patterns that we have been seasoned to own, and they are nasty habits that are easier than you would think to kick.

When I was 16 I resisted my family moving out of state (and away from my friends). This was selfish of me and completely upper limiting and misery-causing. While I didn’t know this move would be one of the most positively identified changing things I would experience I resisted with every fiber of my being. Maybe this wasn’t completely visible, but I felt it. I wouldn’t even allow the possibility of the move being great into my mind, I wouldn’t allow myself to be open with the experience. I chose that resistance and that reaction, it was petty and it hurt me. These two choices of my own doing caused all of my misery surrounding the event when truly in the end of it all this move opened my entire life up expansively and for the better.

Something as small as seeing how a reaction to a physical tension during meditation can bring anger and upset brings even more power to the lesson at hand. So how do we change this? We pause to choose better thoughts, or we allow ourselves to detach from the physical and mental negativity. It is then that we can objectively look at the negativity with the clarity and perspective to find wisdom in our experiences. If resistance and reaction are the bearers of misery, and we control them, then why don’t we choose to live from a lighter and brighter space to banish misery for good?

Namaste
~Riley Reign

 

My Experience at A 10 Day Vipassana Meditation Course

My Experience at A 10 Day Vipassana Meditation Course

 

10 days in Noble Silence practicing and learning Vipassana meditation technique for 10+ hours a day… Think you could do it? I did. And I am here to tell you that ANYONE who sets their mind to it can too. While this article is partially for me to further process the experience it is also to share it. And maybe to send to all my family members so I don’t have to repeat the story 50 times… 😉

In complete honesty, an experience like this is incredibly hard to put into words and share entirely. It is very personal, very special, and very hard to find words for at all. However, because I did this course partially to write about and because I am up for the challenge I will do my best to write as in depth as I can about as much as I can.

My Experience At A 10 Day Vipassana Course from The Spirit & Soul Blog

 

It is not always pleasant, peaceful, or fun. A family member (jokingly) called it a nap festival, but let me assure you it is continuous work. It is not always easy and there will be a time or two you will want to quit. In some moments you will just be done and, those moments will pass. The overall experience is beyond worth every not so great moment. That, in particular, was something helpful for me during those unpleasant moments. “The experience will be so much more valuable if you play it out all the way,” is something I told myself a few times.

The only way I can properly describe my experience in its entirety is to compare it to the scene in the original Charlie & The Chocolate Factory when they take a trip down the river and through the tunnel. The song they are singing is about the unknown and the scene itself is trippy, uncomfortable, a little foreign, but at the same time you kind of like it. Overall, the experience was a lot like that for me.

Everyone going through this 10-day journey experiences very different and very similar things, learning very different and very similar lessons of life. While you can’t speak to the people around you, you create beautiful unspoken bonds and something as simple as the exchange of a gentle smile can bring  abundant light to your day. Tiny things like the quote on your tea bag each evening grow profound joy and gratitude.

The entire experience is incredibly humbling – and coming home is even more so. For me, things that had once been an annoyance became sweet and their presence was missed. I found gratitude for them, and peace with them.

Everything worth putting your energy towards in life deepens greatly within. I can’t explain what that really means or how that would manifest for anyone else. It just has to be experienced.

And I can’t put to words where that depth is within or what it will be of. I have experienced a few things, and those all rooted into peace, but who is to say what that will realize as for you. For a writer like myself, it is very hard to not (yet) be able to find words, especially to feel like ,Abe the words don’t even exist… Perhaps that is one of my lessons, and there lies the continuous mystery of life and adventure of swimming within.

Namaste
~Riley Reign