The Next Chapter

I tried to prepare some notes for a podcast about this new chapter of my existence, but I’m worried I’m not yet able to get into a flow of communicating this important topic, so here I am throwing it back to a good old blog post, where I can (hopefully!) make clear what I’m trying to share.

By now you’ll likely know that over the last 18 months I’ve been going through some big transitions, I’ve had little choice in having to adjust the way I see the world, the way I see myself and my relationship with this human experience. The alternative to this adaptation is not an option to me; depression, anxiety, unworthiness, fear, stagnancy and general unhappiness. My perception of this human experience is evolving, that which used to be of high importance to me has crumbled before my eyes, including ‘my dream life’ which turned out to be mostly built to serve my ego. Ego, according to Eckhart Tolle in his book ‘A New Earth’ is the identification with form; physical, emotional and thought. You and I are not those things, the ego identifies with them to create a false sense of ‘self’, the ‘I’ which opposes the reality of oneness. I recommend reading A New Earth, it’s a game changer.

Why am I sharing this? Because I know that this process of ‘awakening’ has so far been the most valuable experience of my life, even more valuable than the immense pleasure I found in the successful pursuit of my big dreams; winning a World Championships or working as an independent creative; a life of perceived freedom. Ultimately I found this freedom to be a false perception, I had decided what kind of life I wanted, and worked myself stupid to achieve it, persisting despite the signs that this path wasn’t 100% aligned with my truth or my purpose. Easy to forgive considering my outlook on human existence was atheistic-agnostic at best. Don’t get me wrong, I have no regrets. I’ve had a lot of fun, shared some life changing experiences with incredible humans and it’s not like I was making prank videos just to make money, I was close to my path, but I was ignoring my intuition; my body asking me to stop, take a break and re-think where I put my energy.

My life and my work became a succession of unconscious reactions to my internal fears of not being loved. Easier to see since I’ve gained awareness of my ego driven motivations, I now know that I am not what I do, I am not my thoughts or my bank account, that’s my ego identifying with form. Despite frequently denying it, I (my ego) was very emotionally invested in what my audience thought of me, relying on nice comments, growth of views, subscribers & likes for my hit of validation, my lack of true love for myself compounded the addicted to this external validation. I knew deep down that all I really wanted to help people, I just didn’t know how. Having a positive impact on people was always my deeper goal and when I’d meet viewers/fans they’d tell me how much of a positive impact I’d had on their lives, yet I didn’t let myself really feel that love, instead I focused internally on those who’s pain made it’s way into my comment section, ‘trolls’ or ‘haters’ who had never met me, telling me I’m living my life wrong, giving me shit about not uploading content, or that it wasn’t as ‘good’ as it used to be, I resented the low frequencies people projected into our community of positivity.

These troll people are humans, like me, but behaving in a way I couldn’t understand. I was blown away by the level of hate another human could have for me, especially since I knew deep down I wanted to help people in some way. I know now that anyone who’s leaving a negative projection in the comment section of YouTube is already living in a world of pain, no happy human feels the need to project their unchecked insecurities onto a free content platform. My pain body (all my unprocessed emotions I carry) had a short fuse, I’d get so angry but the bomb never went off, instead I’d internalise that frustration, unaware that I was focussing on my fear of not being enough. You can only imagine the frustration I felt as I worked harder and harder to deliver content, trying to balance my integrity with ego driven growth on an emotional knife edge. Add a bunch of misplaced competitive masculinity into the mix and it was super easy for my ego to scroll through comments skimming over the 99% of evidence that I was doing a great job, whilst my pain body reacted emotionally to anything that suggested otherwise.

It’s taken me a while to realise fully, but I am neither my ego or my pain. Over the last year I’ve battled with accepting my past, without regret. I know I’ve achieved a lot of epic shit in my short 33 years, but looking back knowing that most of it was action out of fear of not being loved is hard to swallow. It’s hard to look back with love when I realise I was unconscious during the majority of my successes, motivated by a deeply ingrained need for love and validation from other people, of course all the love I needed was already within me but I was identifying with external forms; kayaking results, YouTube subscribers, people’s opinions of me. But, this last week I’ve come to realise that I must’ve been doing something right, my journey has been blessed with a lot of incredible experiences, the lessons of which have lead me to being exactly where I’m meant to be; in my awareness. Relying on external validation for happiness is a one way street to depression, ultimately the only controllable source of love and happiness comes from within us, our external world reflects our internal world, you only receive the love you believe you deserve. How much love I deserved was being dictated by my ego, and therefore ultimately out of my control.

So what now? I’m still figuring out exactly what it is I want to do with my time here on Earth, but my soul chose this journey for a reason, I know why and how I’ve made it this far; deep down all I’ve ever wanted to do is love and help people, the universe knows this. I’ve always considered it an obligation to use my British white male privilege to leave this world a little better than when I arrived, otherwise why bother with life at all? I’m an empath, if my energy goes unchecked I’ll literally plug in to other people’s pain and try to offload it from them, feeling every bit of it as if it were my own. This gift of seemingly endless love for humanity, isn’t helpful unless I learn to not get emotionally drained by people and stories that resonate with me on a soul level. I can’t help anyone until I’ve learnt to honour and work with my emotions, so I’m putting work into healing my pain body, a journey I know doesn’t have a finish line and seems to get harder before it gets easier. Meditation is really helping me to observe and control my mind, I’m getting better at recognising my conditioning; the patterns which cause my emotions run riot. Awareness allows me to be more present, listen to my intuition and then make more informed choices rather than being in a unconscious reactive state of mind, which almost always lowers my frequency down to anxiety, fear or shame etc.

Here’s what I want to do now; continue exploring human expression through art and any other way I can realise my energy and emotions (emotions are energy in motion). I want to explore consciousness and find out who I really am, I want to know myself. I want to live a more simple life, my previous chapter was full of stuff I thought I needed, continued investment in things I thought I were essential to grow ‘my’ dreams etc, now I’m investing my energy and money into knowing myself. Self-love also involves good financial management, an aspect of my life previously governed by fear. A deflated ego is as useless as an inflated one, but I’m no longer interested in chasing popularity for validation, I know I’m enough already. This unavoidable change of attitude is the reason I’ve lost over 80,000 followers on Instagram in a year, a number that continues to drop by 2,000 a week. If I end up with 1,000 followers who are all genuinely positively impacted by me living in my truth, that’s more than enough for me. If no one is interested in what I share, I’ll take that as a beautiful indication to switch things up. I crave independence as an artist, I want to be free to make things and express myself without fear of judgment, no more apologies for being myself on this wild messy journey. So long as my expression is from love and not fear, I believe the universe will have my back.

The way I communicate and share my unique perspectives is also evolving. As I continue down this less popular life path of growth through discomfort, I know that my new experiences will inspire unique ways to expressing myself, I’m ready to create something that represents my own journey since there’s only one of me and my story is as unique as my fingerprint. I want to have deep conversations on podcasts with unique life lessons and perspectives from myself and guests. I want to be of service to others, listen and follow my intuition and discover my purpose, whatever that might look like. But most of all I want to encourage and inspire others to refuse a life of absurd normality, we are not here to be slaves to our conditioning, that is not freedom.

To live with a deeper sense of community, has becoming a top priority in real life and online. I still love to ‘lone wolf’ it sometimes but I want to open up to people and show more vulnerability and build a foundation of truth and trust. I’m surrounding myself with people who are living in their truth, who encourage me and others to honour the balance of shadow/light work and not just be there for my wins. This is why I wanted to create a t-shirt that represents the strength of community as unique individuals. Strong communities don’t dissolve when things aren’t so easy, I want to thank everyone who’s stuck around through this tumultuous transitional time of my life, to me you all represent the wolf pack, strength in numbers, but only as strong as the individuals, you’re all a reminder to me that my journey up to this point is exactly what I needed to get here, so thank you!

A new chapter is starting for me, I have no idea what’s in store and that’s the best bit. I’ve tried before to force a ‘dream life’ only to discover that they weren’t really my dreams. I’m open to whatever the universe has in store for me, no more forcing it, I’m learning to listen to my intuition. I want to align my energy and work with the natural flow of life and see where that takes me. So far I’m feeling more alive and more ‘me’ than ever before, my canvas is blank, I’m giving the etch-a-sketch a big old shake, those patterns I created and fell in love with can be replaced with something new, what a time to be alive!

Thank you to everyone who’s already supported my journey by watching, liking, messaging, buying t-shirts, prints, and generally sending me good vibrations, I feel held by you all, I feel all the love, and I’m sending it right back. Here’s to a journey of truth and unique expression, I’ll keep you updated as often as possible. Click Here for the link to my new ‘Wolf Pack’ t-shirt 🙏🏼

Ben ♥️

Photos by Kyle Kingsley (@kylekingsley)