Tag: depression

09.23.2020 /

Uncertainty

Fear of the unknown. Of starting a family. Of taking any risk.

Should I? What if this goes wrong? What if I fail? I don’t know if I can do it. I know I want to, but the fear of the unknown, the uncertainty, is preventing me from doing it. So we wait. And wait. And wait. Even though your gut, your intuition, is damn near screaming at you to do it. Does this sound familiar?

These are common questions, thoughts, concerns that run through all of our minds before any big decision. As they should.

Even before Meaghen and I were engaged, I really wanted to propose but I thought about everything: how would I afford a ring? How would I afford a wedding? A child? A new home? All of that overwhelmed me. I felt at times I couldn’t even take care of myself.

I spoke with my aunt and uncle for advice. They talked to me about taking a leap of faith. What they said really stuck with me: Sometimes you are unsure of how everything will work out. But if you truly believe, in your heart, it is something that you need to do, you must take that leap of faith. Focus on one thing, then do whatever you need to do to figure it out and most importantly have faith in yourself, Universe, God. Have courage, take the next step, put in the daily work and have faith. If you do that whole heartedly, everything just seems to work out. Someway, somehow.

It seemed so far fetched for me. But it was something that I know I needed to do. Once I commited to buying the ring I put in work. I meditated on it, I journaled on it, I asked for help (in my mind). It’s crazy when you just put it out there, the universe, God conspires to help you.

That same week I gained 5 clients. They seemed to drop in my lap. They all reached to me. Boom, just like that, within a couple months I had enough cash to put aside to buy the ring!

For me, starting my own business was scary enough. As an entrepreneur, things aren’t stable. Clients come and go. And I’m always feeling like I’m having to try and “sell.” But I had to really have faith in myself and my ability to do the work. The most important thing was to have faith in my ability to figure it out. That was the game changer. Even if I didn’t know how, at the time, I had to have faith that it would work itself out.

And here we are. Almost one year later. With a beautiful, healthy baby boy. And it is all just working out. And it feels right.

I reflect on where I think I should be versus where I am. I create stress and suffering within myself because I think I’m supposed to be farther ahead. With business. With finances. With a home etc… But then I hold my son and realize that I am exactly where I need to be. When we can let go of those expectations but still strive to be better each day, life becomes more free. We live with more ease. With more joy. With more love and more happiness. In the end, that is truly what life is all about.

I have no idea what the future holds but I will keep waking up early and doing the best I can each and every day. And when I want to give up, I remind myself “DO IT FOR THEM.”

Fucking grateful,
Stephen Albert Ramos

08.01.2020 /

Everything happens as it should

There I was, frantically looking for my passport. Typical, I leave my packing till the night before. I looked everywhere. It was nowhere to be found. My flight was in a few hours at 5 am…

My brother bought me a flight to LA for my birthday. It has become an annual thing (pre-Covid) for the last few years. We used to go to LA as a family every year, so this is a place that we hold dear to our hearts. The energy there reminds me of our family, our dad.

I was in complete disbelief. I’ve never missed a flight (or lost my passport) ever before. And there it was, 1 hour before my flight and my passport was gone. I was pissed. All the meditations I’ve done to this point seemed null. I couldn’t understand why. I was so angry at myself. How could I have lost it? Why is this happening?

My brother was already in LA waiting for me, so I had to go. I expedited a new passport and booked another flight, which was not cheap. The soonest I could go was the next evening.

What was the good from all this? I got to spend my birthday with my lovely girlfriend. She knew how upset I was so she booked us a day at Thermea, a beautiful spa. She really helped me be present in the moment.

Through this whole time, I could barely move my neck. Injured from working out. But I know it was a multitude of things; Stress, pressure, anger, sadness of my father passing.

I landed in LA. I finally made it! I tried to make the most of the short time I had there. Even though I was only there for 2 days, it was worth it. I spent my time there with my brother and my 33rd birthday was amazing.

On my way home, I was sitting in the terminal of LAX airport. I had a lacrosse ball that I was rolling my neck and back against a wall. My neck was fucked. I could barely move it, like batman. As I was rolling, this beautiful girl walked by. I made a second glance and thought, “Wow, she is beautiful.” This thought passed by and left just as she did.

Walking onto the flight, looking for my seat scanning the isles. I stopped and found my seat. Who happened to be sitting next to me? That girl. The guy in me was trying to act cool. I put my bag into the above compartment. We caught eyes for a second, I smiled, she smiled back and then I sat down.

My usual ritual when I fly: Journal. I wrote about my experience of my trip. As I journaled, I noticed she kept glancing over but didn’t think much of it. Whenever the plane takes off, I always get anxious, so I meditate. The sound of the plane taking off is quite soothing, for my mind and stomach. As we were in the air, I noticed a Tony Robbins podcast playing on her phone.

For whatever reason I felt I needed to talk to her (and no, not because she was beautiful). I pointed at her phone, she slowly took one headphone out. And I said, “He changed my life.” She took out the other headphone and said, ‘”Mine too.”

We both opened up and had such an amazing conversation, one that I normally never have with a stranger. We quickly had a deep connection. She asked me why I was there. I explained that I was there for my birthday and that our annual trips to LA reminded me of my father who recently passed. We both started to get emotional and tear up. She was silent for a few moments. She looked at me and said “my sister commited suicide.”

Right then and there, I knew that I was meant to talk to her. I knew that everything that happened thus far led me here. She told me the entire story. I felt so sad for her. It also made me reflect on my father passing.

I had such a hard time dealing with his death. The fact that it felt so abrupt. Everything seemed fine and then all of a sudden, boom, he had 4 weeks to live. When he passed I couldn’t help but beat myself up on how I treated him. How I always wished to have a better relationship with him.

I’ll never forget the next thing she said to me. “You had time to say goodbye, I wish I had that with my sister.” That put everything into perspective. She was right, I had time with him.

Even though my father was gone, I had time with him to tell him everything I wanted to tell him. And all of a sudden everything; the pain, the passport, none of that mattered. I felt lighter. I felt more at peace. I knew it was all worth it.

What did I learn from all of this?

Things, people, situations come into our lives, even if just for a moment, to teach us lessons. To help us. Often times it is very hard to see, especially when it’s ‘bad’, but it’s happening for a reason. It’s happening exactly as it should.

To that girl I met for just a moment. Thank you. I am truly grateful for you.

Love,
Stephen Alberto Ramos

05.21.2020 /

How meditation has saved my life

I woke up at 7am. Brushed my teeth. Sat in my meditation spot. Set the meditation timer (calm app) for 20 minutes and closed my eyes. The same routine I’ve done for the last 3 years of my life.

After completing my 1304th+ session (252 hours 44+ minutes), I received a text from my long time friend, Kevin.

“Happy World Meditation Day” he said.

I didn’t even know this day existed. But to honour what it has done for my life, it is only fair that I share with you how it has saved mine.

It has become a daily ritual that I must do everyday. Just like physical training has changed my body, meditation has strengthened my mind. Learning to find the calm amidst the noise has helped me with my anger, depression and anxiety, the most.

How so?
By helping me become present in the moment, where the past and future don’t matter. I used to live in the past AND present. I would relive painful situations/memories and recreate the same emotions over and over and over. Sometimes still do.

But what is that actually doing for me except create disease of the body and mind? We aren’t truly living until we can be present. In this moment. Right now. I learned when the Dr. told us that my father had 4 weeks to live. Sitting in the hospital with him, everything became so clear. Nothing else mattered, the money, recognition and material things. The only thing that mattered was each moment that we had left with him.

You are not your thoughts,
You have thoughts

This really changed my world: I am not my thoughts. Meditation gave me the space to seperate myself from the thoughts in my head. Learning to let them pass by like the wind and not let them take me away and spin crazy (untrue) made up stories in my head.

It has also really helped me tone down my anger. I am by no means perfect and have lots of work to do, but I have come a very long way. And for that I am so proud of myself. It has helped me build a buffer around my thoughts so that I can respond, instead of react to situations or things that would normally have made me explode in anger.

It also really helped me slow down. To be present with each conversation, each task without trying to multi-task 5 different things at once.

There are some good sessions. Some really hard sessions. Some sessions where I wasn’t present at all. But what I learned is that it is not about how ‘good’ you are at meditating and understanding that everyday is different. The most important part is just the simple act of sitting down and spending time with yourself. Building self awareness through quieting the mind.

I used to get mad at myself. Ruminating about the past. Worrying about the future. Then the timer goes off. But now I know that it is part of the practice. Just like anything, it’s the consistent, disciplined repetition of a simple habit that has profound change.

The stats of my meditation practice I mentioned up above is to not brag. It is to show you how one simple act, everyday, adds up. Daily training of the mind compounds and can truly rewire the brain and change it for the good.

It doesn’t take much:

  1. Set it in your calender: Same time everyday. I do it first thing in the morning, which I found works best for me. All you need is 5 minutes.
  2. Make it easy: have a spot set up for you to do it, so there’s no excuses.
  3. Start with guided meditation – Apps like (calm, headspace, waking up) are amazing to get you started.
  4. Have an intention and purpose of why you’re doing it – Commit yourself to it.

Now here we are, 3 years later, after my first 2 minute meditation session. And I haven’t looked back. Again, by no means am I perfect. I have my good days and my bad. But I’m human. And as humans we all make mistakes but, in my opinion, it is our duty to learn from them and make this world a better place. Internally and externally.

I am beyond grateful for meditation. It is hard at times, very hard, but this is a practice I am dedicated to continue, everyday, for the rest of my life.

The best part of it. It’s FREE.

Grateful,
Steve Ramos

04.16.2020 /

Lessons in crisis

COVID-19 and Social Distancing could be the greatest thing to have happened to the human race, ever. As fucked up as it is, I believe everything is happening exactly as it should.

Think about it, when have you ever taken a full reset? Probably pretty rare. Now think of it not just individually, but as the whole world? I’m going to guess, NEVER.

This reset which forces us to stay home. We have two choices:

  1. To cope and feel like the world is fucked up and our lives are over. Stop working towards our dreams and use this time as an excuse to build bad behaviours.
  2. We can look at this as time for self reflection. A time for us to slow and be present with our family and loved ones. A time for us to facetime our family or friends we haven’t spoken to. A time for us to attend to the things we know we NEED to do, all the little things we’ve been putting off. A time for us to learn a new skill. A time for us to read books to grow our minds. A time for us to get more rest but also adapt and continue to move (even if slowly) towards our dreams.

Which one are you?

If you are the first option, that is okay. If you’ve been having a hard time and not doing much, that is okay. But how long will you let that continue? We can always choose to change the next moment. Choose to now adapt and take action.

During the second week of quarantine I was really down. I thought that we’d be back at work and I’d be making money (I’m a personal trainer) but when the social distancing kept getting extended I got really fearful and worried about how I would provide for our growing family. I let go and became lazy. Ate junk food. Stayed up late watching movies. And then I felt like shit. But I needed to go through it. Then I decided that I would not let the external factors determine my destiny. So I got back on track.

I really made it a point for myself to continue to work towards my dreams. I treat the day like I would a normal working day. I put in the work during the morning and day, then chill, be present and watch movies with Meaghen, in the evening. Having a healthy balance of both, especially during times like this has continued to give me purpose and meaning each day.

On the flip side, looking at old photos and videos with family and friends, truly makes me feel like I’ve taken SO MUCH for granted. The simple act of a handshake or hug, kissing our loved ones, going out to social events and travelling to beautiful places around the world. I took it ALL for granted.

And you know what? That is okay too. We are all humans who make mistakes. It’s situations like this crisis, that are catalysts for positive change in our lives.

Every morning, I get to have coffee with my fiance who is 4.5 months pregnant. We talk. We laugh. We plan on how we can make it through this. But most importantly, we are present with one another (no phones). I’ve spoken to my family and friends everyday. More than I have ever done. And for that, I am truly grateful.

Before the world was put on hold, ask yourself: Were you present with your loved ones? Or were you on your phone? Were you going about life with no purpose? Were you letting fear get in the way of your dreams?

Now that we must stay home. I hope we truly realize the importance of each moment we have together. How valuable our times is on this earth. Because we never know when that moment will be taken away. And we only have ONE LIFE. So will we continue to take those moments for granted? Or will we be grateful and present with one another, but also strive to be better and PUT IN THE WORK to achieve our dreams?

That is up to you my friend.

We are so blessed that we can still connect via social media, FaceTime etc. So call, text, facetime those that you’ve lost connection with. Tell them you love them, you’re grateful for them or just say hi. Adapt to the times and figure out how you can still grow, learn, make money and provide for your family during these times. Do what you can with what you have. For what you have is enough. And put in work. Remember your loved ones need you to show up.

SO, SHOW UP.

And remember, just like all seasons and just like the wind:

This too shall pass.

-Buddha

Love,
Steve Ramos

I am truly sorry to all those who have lost loved ones during this time. And to all the health care workers in the front line. Mad respect to you. Thank YOU. This is just my opinion and the perspective I’ve taken to help my get through this time.

02.27.2020 /

Happiness

Where do you find happiness?

For the longest time, I had been searching for happiness.

I thought that if I got to a certain job, made a certain amount of money and got a nice car I’d be happy. I thought that if I got my body to look a certain way, if I could get a certain girl and if I got respect from others, then I’d be happy.

I had been placing my happiness in someone or something else, expecting that it would give me the happiness I had always searched for. The funny thing is, once I got those things I wasn’t any happier. In fact, I felt even worse. 

I was truly fed up with my life. I was fed up with how I felt. I was fed up with my job. I wanted change so bad because I knew I was destined for more.

Most of all, I just wanted to be happy. I prayed to God everyday and asked him for help. Asked him to help me find happiness.

What I came to realize was that I had been searching for happiness in everything else, except myself. 

“(un)Fortunately, life puts us in a corner where we can’t run anymore and we have to look within.”

– Jay Shetty

I couldn’t run anymore. I had to face my own shit.

I had to learn to love myself, first. It was hard. Really hard. I had to learn to let go of the past that was holding me down. I had to learn to forgive myself of all my past mistakes. I had to learn to forgive all those I blamed and understand their side. Have empathy and compassion for them and know that they they tried their best.

We are all humans who make mistakes and sometimes the decisions we make, whether we are aware or not, can affect someone, positively or negatively, for the rest of their lives. To continue to put blame on them was childish. What happened, already happened. It’s done.

“I can’t change it.”

Is what I repeated to myself. So I stopped beating myself up and decided to change how I thought and I felt about it. 

We have the choice to relive an old painful moment over and over. This can give our mind and body the emotional response that it is still happening. The body doesn’t know any different. This can cause disease and chronic pain. 

Or we can actively choose to live in the present moment, where nothing is wrong. We can choose to focus on the positive in our lives, all that we are grateful for which can have the opposite effect. It can give us joy, peace and happiness. It can give us the space we need, to let it go.

Once I accepted the problem, forgave myself and others and decided to take ownership, my world changed. It felt lighter. It felt like I shed the weight of carrying the world on my shoulders. 

The crazy thing is, the whole time I was searching for happiness it was there the whole time. I just had to move past the clouds, walk through the storm. And at the end of it was sunshine.

Happiness is a choice, not a result. Nothing will make you happy until you choose to be happy. No person will make you happy unless you decide to be happy. Your happiness will not come to you. It can only come from you.

Buddha said it best:
When the Student is Ready, the Teacher Will Appear

When you are ready to look inside and really dig deep, you’ll find the happiness you’ve always searched for. 

I believe in you.

Love,
Stephen Albert Ramos
#teamfitpak

Grateful for you.

02.13.2020 /

Forgive

Life becomes easier when you learn to accept the apology you never got – #robertbrault

Often times the apology we’re waiting for never comes.

And if it does, it’s never in the way we expect it to be. So we still carry resentment or hate towards that person.

Can you relate to this? I can.

When in reality, letting go of the expectation that we deserve an apology is the first step. Then forgiving within so that you can let it go.

Reminder: Forgiveness is not saying what the other person did is okay. It’s telling ourselves that it’s okay to let it go within.

That which you hold within; hate, resentment and anger is poison for your body and mind. No one else’s.

It’s not worth it.

Forgive. Let go.

Love,
Steve Ramos

Grateful for you.

01.13.2020 /

Here’s my sleep routine to get BETTER sleep ?

I used to have HORRIBLE sleep. I was tired ALL DAY. Felt sluggish, hella cranky/moody etc. I was getting 4-5 hours on average. And wondered why I was irritable, snappy, depressed and extremely negative.

How you start your day is just as important as how you end your day. Have a solid routine for both. Think of it as a ritual that you must do everyday. If the longevity and quality of your life is important to you, than you will sacrifice some stuff you want to do in order to get better sleep.

Listen, if I could I’d stay up all night watching movies you better believe I would. But I got shit to do, clients to train and that is my living, so I need as much energy and focus so they can get the best of me with my undivided attention.

How did I change that? It took some time, but here is my routine that has changed the way I sleep. Now, I wake up feeling rested, better than before and have more energy through the day:

Each night I do my best to accomplish 80% of this list:

1. Meditation – am or pm. Focus on breathe.
Helps clear the mind from all the noise and stress in our life. When the mind is clear it can relax and rest.

2. Eating curfew
No eating at least one hour before bed. Stay away from heavy carbs, refined sugar and spicy foods.

3. No alcohol
Which raises your heart rate and will affect the quality of your sleep. Often times quality is more important than quantity but both would be ideal for a good night’s rest.

4. Limit caffeine intake
Limit to one cup a day. No later than 12-4pm depending on how sensitive you are to caffeine. Yes I know, extremely hard. What helped me was my fast which gave me a break from coffee which reset my baseline. Now a small cup of coffee in the am is all I need. Coffee detox?

5. Screen curfew – 1 hour before
No blue lights 1 hour before. Yes phone AND Netflix. The blue light resets your circadian rhythm and your body actually thinks it’s daytime.

6. Take magnesium – 1 hour before
Improves sleep quality. Helps body and mind relax.

7. Read (fiction, story based)
Helps body get into relaxation mode. I find when I read stories my mind slows down and it’s a trigger for me that bedtime is near.

8. Foam roll (focus on breathe)
Just like a massage. Full relaxation and recovery of the muscles. The body goes into parasympathetic response which = rest.

9. Dark and cold room
The body sleeps best when the room is dark and the temperature is turned down. So get some black out curtains if you have to. Turn over your phone or place in a different room and get to sleepin’.

Also (which I can write about in another journal entry.) Herbal teas, CBD, are other things to name a few to help you fall asleep. I decided to write things that you can do right now that don’t require anything but yourself and some self discipline.

Plan to get ready for bed, aim for the same time, so that you are getting minimum 7 hours of sleep. Most importantly, you have to believe that will get good sleep. Going to bed thinking your going to have shitty sleep means you will have shitty sleep. Have a positive outlook towards it, take the necessary steps to change and you will, with time, get better sleep.

Getting into a routine where you go to bed and wake up around the same time is huge. Obviously can’t always be the case but try your best to adhere to it.

WHY?

You can Accomplish so much more when you sleep more. More sleep = longevitiy and quality of life. It also allows you to access your full potential. When you’re sleepy your more hungry and you can make very poor nutrition decisions. It affects mood, metabolism, anxiety, depression , weight loss, just to name a few.

I had one client whose starting weight was 355 lbs. After a few months and lots of hard work with exercises and nutrition we dropped just shy of 300 lbs. But no matter what we couldn’t break the 300 mark. He worked 3 jobs and got 4 hours of sleep. For the entire time we were training him I begged him to get more sleep. He said he didn’t need it. I asked him for just 5 days of 7 hours of sleep. We shook on it.

And guess what? After the 5 days of sleep he broke the 300 lbs plateau! We made it to 295 lbs. How? When the body doesn’t get enough sleep it doesn’t release a chemical called leptin which helps regulate the control of hunger and metabolism. The decrease in leptin brought on by sleep deprivation can result in a constant feeling of hunger and can slow down your metabolism.

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Yes, this seems like a lot, but if sleep is important to you then you will do, at least some of this, in order to change your situation. Once you get into a routine it becomes second nature and it becomes easy. It requires a bit of work in the beginning to instill the habit but once you do you’re golden. I know you can do it. If you’re always tired and complain about it. But make absolutely no change, then how do you expect things to change? That’s on you.

“Doing the same thing and expecting a different result is insanity.”

Complain LESS, take action NOW and watch your life change.

Much love,
Steve Ramos

Grateful for you.