Dear Kelsi,

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Dear Kelsi,

I feel compelled to write you and give you some encouragement. I know it’s been a rough week for you and I know you are contemplating many things right now. I can sense your wheels are spinning nonstop much the same that mine do when I’m trying to figure this crazy life out. Anyway, all that to say, I notice. I cannot promise that you’ll get the answers you’re looking for soon—or ever for that matter—but I can desperately challenge you to never stop searching.

You see, the world is made up of people who are blindly regurgitating information that was planted in their brain by some other person or institution. These people are easily guided from one direction to another without so much as one original thought of their own. They are told what to do, what to think, and what to buy—and guess what—they do it. They give very little resistance to the powers-that-be in their lives and they prefer to stay in their comfortable cocoon.

The exact opposite kind of people are few and far between. They aren’t satisfied with the status quo, they question authority, ideas, laws, norms, and tradition. They aren’t afraid to speak their mind even when their voice is shaking. They’re used to feeling uncomfortable, alone, misunderstood, longing for deeper community and richer dialogue. They set trends. They refuse to take the same path as everyone else because it’s been “proven” to work. History was radically changed by these people. Their bravery to stand up and suggest a long-held idea was wrong—even in the face of cruel ridicule or death—has changed the world for the better. These people have pushed progress forward even when progress seemed like a dirty word. These people are badasses!

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There is much debate in the scientific community about free will—whether we have it or whether we don’t. The arguments on both sides are extremely compelling. Some people assume they have free will but act like they don’t: meanwhile, others act like they are stuck with no choices in life but they have plenty of opportunity to change the trajectory of their future if they would simply choose it. I haven’t made my mind up yet as to which side of the argument I fall, but I’m beyond grateful to even be contemplating the ideas in the first place.

I bring up free will as an example because our knee-jerk reaction is to just say of course we have free will. But do we? How do you know? Where do your thoughts come from? Who thinks those thoughts? Who put them there? Sometimes I have thoughts that are disturbing and I wonder where they come from because they obviously aren’t from me. Other times I think peaceful and loving thoughts and I am certain those thoughts are from me and they are me. I believe you get the idea.

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Here’s my point in all this: never apologize for your greatness! You are amazing and your dedication to discovering your truth will pay off for you in so many ways. You may feel like nobody understands you, and you may feel alone at times, but trust me you are on the right path. Please keep searching and sharing what you are learning. The world is full of people who are walking zombies and they need your help waking up.

I have believed in you since day one and I believe in you now more than ever.

Let me forewarn you; there will be people who might not understand the things you say from one day to the next. Well-meaning people may suggest you are misguided for saying things they don’t believe are true. Good for them. Politely thank them and then keep on being a badass. Small minds won’t understand much of what you are trying to say anyway. They may talk behind your back and they may outright tell you you’re wrong. All the while, they will be secretly jealous of your courage and their lack thereof. This doesn’t make you cocky because we both know that cockiness is nothing more than an overcompensation for insecurity. Instead, you will continue to grow in confidence—not so much in your ideas you present—but in your ability to formulate and communicate your ever-changing ideas.

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It’s a great big world with countless opportunities. There is a long history of people you can learn from who have changed their world for the better. You can be one of those people. You already are one of those people. You will walk among greatness because you choose every day to be great. I applaud your effort and I’m more proud of you than you could ever imagine!

One last thing, your tribe is out there. You are not alone. There are people out there who are changing the world for the better and sharing their ideas. They are your tribe and you belong in their company. Trust that you’ll meet each and every one at the perfect time. Watch in awe and wonder as the mysterious flow of life puts you in the company of the movers and shakers of our time. I have no doubt.

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Keep your chin up and keep writing your ass off! You never know who is reading your writing who needs to hear exactly what you have to say that day. Never stop learning, never stop growing, never stop writing—and most importantly—never stop being you!

I love you!

Dad

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Greatness

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I’ve  had this sense that something wanted to come out of me for a while now. And, yet, there have been so many distractions lately. So when the Universe woke me up this morning out of a dead sleep at 4:10 and I instantly had the thought I should go write; I instantly jumped out of bed. I am not a jump-right-out-of-bed kind of guy, though. So I suspect something larger than myself is trying to be born.


I have been blown away recently by The Surrender Experiment by Michael A. Singer. His story is one example of extraordinary event after another happening to him. He surrounded his life with amazing people as a result of simply listening to the Universe and ignoring the voice inside his head. He started with simple meditation then realized the harmful affect the voice inside his head had on him. So, he became addicted to meditating and drowning out that voice as much as possible. Instead, he agreed to surrender to the natural flow of life and anything the Universe presented to him. Even though the voice inside his head may be screaming all kinds of objections, if life presented him with an opportunity, he surrendered and said yes. What an amazing way to live!



If we truly grasped our greatness and could wholly grasp that we are not in control, we would be so much further ahead. If only we could grasp that the same power that hangs each star and planet in its perfect place is residing inside us, too. This is the same greatness that poured out of Gandhi, Jesus, the Buddha, Mahammad Ali, and Lao Tzu. We can tap into this power of the universe any minute of any day. Yet we dismiss it because we don’t believe the greatness that other people have is in us too.


Some of us have had glimpses of this greatness but our lives are so busy that the still small voice gets drowned out by everything we assume is more important. When a voice inside Ali told him he was the greatest of all time, where did he get the audacity to believe it? That same power has tapped me on the shoulder and called me to write. Who am I to say no?



We assume our greatness is supposed to look a certain way, or sell a certain amount, or wind up in the hands of Oprah. But what if all our greatness is asking of us is to show up and surrender? What if greatness is less about power and control; and more about acceptance and surrender? What if greatness simply means being fully present in every moment? What if greatness is waking at 4:10 and listening to the deepest part of my being?


We have been conditioned to be distracted. The world will throw anything and everything our way to get us to take the bait. If the outside world can sidetrack us with enough stimuli, then our greatness will never come to fruition. Greatness comes as a faint whisper in the present moment that we can only hear when we’re not sidetracked by the world. The world throws everything but the kitchen sink at us to grab our attention; and just in case that’s not enough, we have what seems like a computer virus planted in our brain to wreak havoc from the inside as well.


You would think greatness would be all up in our face demanding we listen like a drill sergeant at boot camp. Instead, greatness is like that rare flower that blooms through the tiniest of cracks in the middle of a paved parking lot.


Greatness is not defiance or disobedience—yet it can be.


Greatness is not brute strength and force—yet it could be.


Greatness is not a demanding bully that barks orders at fretful followers. Greatness does not rule with fear. Instead, greatness is knowing deep in your bones that peace be still even while the storm is throwing your ship around like a ragdoll.


Greatness is shutting off the TV, turning off your phone, quieting your mind, and going inside yourself past the psyche that never shuts up.


Greatness is like water. It simply flows wherever it’s supposed to. Water can be calm and peaceful, or it can be violent and destructive. Water surrenders to whatever the moment is asking of it. Water is the perfect example of going with the flow.


What if we listened to the still small voice of our greatness? What if we dared to believe we were destined for more than just paying the bills?



We all have greatness in us. We all have the ability to change the world for the better. We all can tap into the same power that unceasingly burns at the core of the sun.


Greatness is surrender.


Surrender to life.


Listen.


Focus.


Be aware.


Quiet your mind.


Get to know the you that is the one who observes your life unfolding—the you that is behind your thoughts. The you at the core of your being.


Take away all the noise. Ignore every distraction. Disregard every temptation to get pulled into drama. Calm the monkey mind that jumps from topic to topic desperately trying to steal your attention.


Greatness is in you! Greatness is in me. It’s there for the taking but it’s a no-gimmicks, no-marketing, no-frills, no-bullshit, no-authority, no-religion, no-sales pitch or three-easy-steps kind of approach. Greatness is this moment. It’s only now! The power is there, greatness is there. It’s right behind the noise and distractions.


Greatness wakes you from a deep sleep at 4:10 and whispers “Come spend some time with me. Let’s see what we can create together.”


Greatness is consistently showing up moment after moment. Greatness is awareness. Greatness is paying attention. Greatness is surrendering to the mysterious flow of life—wherever that takes me. 


Peace my friends! 


~Travis