Overcoming First Thing Walls

Overcoming the first thing walls

“Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” Philippians 4:6-7:

The Challenge of First Thing Walls

First thing walls are hard to overcome.

Like getting into a cold plunge or a cold shower,

Or out of bed when you set your alarm for 4:30 am,

Or maybe to the gym or a yoga class,

Or sitting down to write,

Or recording that video or song,

Or starting a Substack.

Whatever it is,

Progress always has resistance in front of it.

“Lord, help me overcome every obstacle that stands in the way.”

Philippians 4:6-7: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

Prayer as the Foundation of Overcoming

When overcoming all areas of resistance,

Prayer is there as a kind of team captain or coach.

Yes, we need to find our inner David Goggins to a degree as well.

There needs to be some of that self-empowered motivation.

Respecting the mechanism of the ego.

The laundry isn’t going to get in the machine by just the power of prayer alone,

And prayer alone won’t prevent you from hitting the snooze button over and over again.

A bit of ego in its right place has a place in our mission to overcome.

Whatever is holding us back.

But ego alone has no real juice.

(And a life run on ego is a train wreck).

Our primary power is not our power at all,

But his power.

And his power can be found in present moment awareness,

Or presence.

And when we direct our minds there upon waking up each morning,

It’s not just us alone against the world,

But rather us aligned with the creator of all things through the channel of our communion.


Realizing God in the Present


And so resistance itself becomes another reminder to find our way back to him.

And when we free up our perception of what it means to be with him,

Or reframe this overtly religious or esoteric or spiritual and abstract way that this stuff tends to get framed in,

And we make it more pragmatic and approachable,

I think it helps.

So, what are we talking about, practically speaking, to align ourselves with God’s will,

And to allow him and his power to help us overcome old obstacles?

For a start, we recognize that God isn’t some far-away mystery beyond our reach,

But rather loudly in the here and now.

The only distance between us and God

Is the fractured illusions of our imagination

Or overly active thought forms.

God is the here and now,

God is presence itself,

Or consciousness itself.

He is the field from which all things arise,

Including all of the workings of the mind.

He is never out of reach and someplace far out there,

But rather,

We exist within him.

Or rather, the consciousness that we wake up in each day

Is him.

Engaging with the Divine

And so when we “seek the father”,

Rather than seeing that as some abstract dogma

That sounds spooky and religious,

In a practical sense, all that means is avoiding digital distractions,

Giving space for silence and present moment awareness,

And perhaps in that field saying a prayer,

And redirecting our minds there continuously throughout the day.

“To pray ceaselessly.”

In this way, I think “religion” and people’s perverted concepts and strange ways of interacting with religion

Can actually make God much more difficult to realize.

After all, it’s natural that we would come up and fall in line with preconceived notions or ideas about what and who God is,

Keeping him always at a great distance,

Or limiting our attempts to reach him

Through a pastor or a church,

And keeping ourselves from understanding that we can relate to him at all times,

And in fact, we are relating to him at all times whether we know it or not,

Either in states of rebellion or communion.

Crossing the Rubicon with God

The Rubicon that is difficult to cross

Is that with God,

We meet in the place beyond thought.

In the place of being,

In the place of the here and now,

And simultaneously eternity.

Or to put it another way,

You can’t realize God by thinking about God

Because thought itself is the wall (and the only wall) between us and God.

“For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words” (Romans 8:26, ESV (https://www.bibleref.com/Romans/8/Romans-8-26.html)),

I’m a groaning fool when I get present.

I groan a lot.

And sometimes in public (at the cold plunge or sauna or after a yoga class in meditation).

Out here groaning with my eyes closed, being present. It happens all the time.

So much so I googled it and found that verse.

The Holy Spirit groans, and that’s him praying on our behalf from a place beyond words,

Or a place beyond our minds.

Beyond thought, for thought can only reach so far,

And really not so far at all.

I’m not against praying with words,

And when we respect the mechanism of the ego,

I think it’s helpful to guide it in this way,

To set our intentions with words on the level of the mind.

Nothing wrong with it,

But it’s also good to acknowledge that that is far from all there is.

The Role of Silence in Prayer

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you Thessalonians 5:17.

Imagine praying ceaselessly as we are instructed,

As constant chatter from the mind to God.

That would actually be insane,

Hard work, and boring.

You constantly displaying your man-made concepts and ideas about God back to him

With a never-ending diatribe of words.

That sounds like hell on earth

And mental noise.

It’s the ego trying to exert dominance in the very field that needs him to depart

So that the Holy Spirit can intercede in a place beyond words or thinking.

Praying ceaselessly then becomes as practical and simple as just pointing our awareness again and again to the present moment

And quieting the constructs of the mind.

Embracing God’s Presence

For me, in those moments (which more effortlessly extend themselves and become home base),

And while the Holy Spirit is groaning,

From that space, I find allowing the ego or the mind to align itself, submit itself, and unify itself with what’s going on to throw a prayer with words here and there is indeed helpful. A bit of gratitude, for instance. (Thank you is my mantra.)

But that’s ego in a non-central role,

Rather than the master of ceremonies.

It’s a big difference.

The ego isn’t the central character;

The Holy Spirit is.

The ego is merely aligning himself as a supporting character.

For me, that’s the place of words in the realm of prayer.

So if your only relationship to God is your mind yammering on,

Then you haven’t yet really prayed.


How can we pray ceaselessly, as apostle Paul guides us too?

It’s awareness alone of the present moment and a quieting of the mind that puts us in a state of ceaseless praying.

It has nothing to do with words

But silence,

And seeking silence and a deeper silence within the silence,

From which the groans of the holy spirit naturally arise.

The mind yammering on at God only gives rise to the ego reinforcing itself and pretending to be righteous.

Building itself up by imagining itself to be holy.

And out of this energy is where the feeling that church people are a bunch of hypocrites


Because on some deep level, people innately understand that ego is the antithesis of spirit.

And when they see ego’s aping spiritual light, they have a visceral reaction.

Their spidy senses tell them that something is off,

Because something is off.

The self will never be holy

Because we become “holy” when the self is no more.

The ego will do everything he can to avoid submission,

But all of this will be futile.

Because God and the holy spirit require the silence of the mind.

Think of it like going to a speech

Or a reading,

And the ego is in audience with the others waiting for it to begin.

But instead of being quiet and listening,

He keeps talking and saying,

“I know what you’re gonna say; let me tell you about my preconceived notions about what that is.”

The ego will never shut up unless you tell it too,

Unless you stop believing in its dominance.

Pretty funny that when the ego finally does shut up,

The guy giving the speech just groans into the microphone.

But there you have it.

Because God’s light

And his work on our lives

Is rooted in place deeper than our words can reach.

Our ego is forced to submit and witness in the moments that he is there at all,

But really it’s best when he leaves the room entirely and gets up to go to the bathroom,

So that we can all just listen to the speaker groan.


It’s funny to think about this in all realms of our lives.

There is life,

And then there is our ideas about life.

The ego would have us always living from our ideas about life,

Which actually hold us back from actual life.

We experience life through the veil of a mental construct about life,

Rather than life itself.

And this is the work I believe the holy spirit groaning is doing on us.

The groans seemingly break down mental constructs.

It makes sense, though, that we would build those constructs to protect us from how scary or overwhelming the experience of being alive actually is.

To really be alive,

To really be in life,

Rather than just in our thoughts about life,

Is to be all the way out of control,

(Which we are anyway.)

But our minds or our egos can through thought domination,

Pretend to have some measure of control on the situation.

Delusions are easier than reality.

We can only take doses of actual reality.

But as we make a practice of it,

It becomes easier and easier.

We aren’t expected to land into actual life all at once.

We are being born again,

From concepts about life which are born out of defenses around trauma,

Into actual life,

Or the domain of peace and presence.

To be born again

Is to find yourself more and more at home in the place of silence and presence,

To live from the central space of peace blossoming out of the heart of God,

Filled with his love which then naturally extends to all beings,

Where sin becomes repulsive,

Or like a magnet turned backwards.

Where anger and conflict don’t entice or entangle,

But rather harsh your mellow (as the old hippies used to say),

They are seen clearly for what they are,

And your vision becomes clear to see people’s intention and energy for what they are as well,

Because when homebase becomes presence rather than ego,

Or when you are born again,

Then anything or anyone that is disruptive to that is exaggerated and obvious.

But your reaction won’t be to get mad at them or hate them for it (or feel better than),

But rather to recognize that they are demonized or trapped in the same mental construct (and innate traumas therein) from which you have transcended,

And that hopefully they too will transcend.

We are in fact all one,

Separated only by different stations on the journey.

Saying that,

Some do choose to never relinquish the ego’s control.

They’ve decided that their ego is God,

And that thought itself and their ideas are the alpha and omega.

They never hear the Holy Spirit groan.

Go for the groan.

You’ll only find it when the mind is silent.

You can’t defy or define it.

Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” Philippians 4:6-7:

So then to overcome the world

Is within our capacity.

The spirit of satan is to consider the world his own,

Or ego domination.

To make God out of our thoughts and to never surrender the illusion of control,

To keep the conversation with God one-sided and to keep yammering on,

To find salvation then is to allow the ego’s concept of itself to die,

And to rise back up as an underling,

That’s only allowed in the room when he behaves.

A servant that you look at with sideways eyes,

Making sure he always knows his place and doesn’t get those old ideas above his station.

For satan, that was too much to ask.

He was like,

“Hell no, brother.

I’m the king here.”

But that set himself up to live in a fantasy that turned into a nightmare,

Because the truth is the truth is the truth,

And the truth is immutable,

And ever present and actual.

And our old selves are born to crash up against


And shatter,

In the groans of the Holy Spirit.