Tag Archives: Awareness

If I can’t have you, I’ll have chocolate instead…

Have you ever had chocolate instead of sex? Oh come on, who hasn’t?! Or are you a chocolate virgin? If so, congrats. You’re the first I’ve ever met… 

Yesterday, I talked about relieving tension when we feel something uncomfortable — the urge to replace the discomfort by something else and, in the process, doing more harm than good as we aren’t dealing with the discomfort. We are putting a bandaid on a wound that needs surgery. It temporarily feels better, but the wound is only getting worse. 

But we also usually seek to relieve tension when we desire something we don’t have. Be it sex, intimacy, love, intellectual stimulation, etc. These are natural urges. All good in their own right. But how we relieve the tension when those urges aren’t fulfilled, isn’t always great. For example, you’re bored at work (you desire intellectual stimulation), but as you can’t have it as you need to finish the darn Excel file (never let me touch an Excel file), you check your Facebook. Other times, we have sex with one person, when we desire to be with another. We may also eat ice cream instead of having sex, or go for a run. Anything to distract ourselves from that burning desire.

Sometimes it’s good to relieve tension. When you’re sexually frustrated, going for a run isn’t a bad idea. It will help you get fitter. It will release feel-good chemicals. You’ll get your high. Eating a ton of ice cream, on the other hand, may not be so helpful. A long run and then a piece of chocolate, or a little bit of ice cream, is a better idea. (That said: there are days when a whole pint of ice cream is totally justified, depending on the brand of ice cream. If you’re eating shit ice cream it just won’t work.)

In the beginning of this year I met a friend of mine for coffee. I was upset. I felt like crying. I was mourning an acquaintance who’d committed suicide. A man I never got to know properly, because when he reached out to me, I was too scared to get to know him, even though I felt drawn to him. You see, in my mind various scenarios played out and I settled for the worst case scenario. 

He could be someone I’d get to know and nothing. No connection. 

He could be someone I’d get to know who’d become a friend. 

He could also be my soulmate. 

And he could be depressed and end up committing suicide, whether we have a connection or not. So it’s probably best I don’t go near him. Don’t explore him. I’ve created enough drama in my life as is. 

The week he committed suicide, I was planning to reach out to him about something. He died before I got around to doing it. And once again those scenarios were flashing through my mind. I felt a sense of regret I’ve never felt before. I felt sure God was making some sort of joke. That it was all wrong. That I’d wake up the next day and he’d still be alive and I’d talk to him to find out. Find out if we had a connection, or not. 

When I met with my friend in the coffee shop, feeling like an emotional wreck, he didn’t react at all like I’d expected. Simply, because I’d never expected him to say he was jealous of me. He was jealous that I felt something so strongly, because it’d been years since he’d done that. 

The other night, when I came home, I felt pain. This time about someone else. I didn’t want to feel that pain. I thought about speaking with one of my neighbors. I thought about talking to a friend. I thought about reading a book. I thought about doing an array of different things to distract myself from the pain. 

Then, as I was sitting on the toilet, because as we all know, that’s the perfect place to sit, I thought to myself: I’m feeling. This is what it means to be alive. And in that moment, the pain dispersed, because I allowed myself to feel it instead of holding onto it while fighting it. 

By that I don’t mean to say that all the sadness went away. It didn’t. I was told I looked like a wreck the next day. Always charming. But I was still ecstatic about life. I knew other experiences would follow. Good and bad. I knew I was alive, because I was feeling something. 

Life is a journey of ups and downs. Good and bad. Happy and sad. If we numb the bad stuff, we also numb the good stuff. And if we numb the bad stuff, it doesn’t go away. It just gets stuck somewhere and we have to keep numbing it. Keep fighting for it to stay away from the forefront of our mind. But by fighting we hold onto it.

Relieving tension can be good. The day after I was sad, I went to see a friend. Took in some rays. Sat by the beach, getting hugs. It was nice. It took my mind in different directions. Getting stuck reveling in something isn’t good. Be it sexual frustration, or the pain of losing a loved one. You need to purposefully focus your mind on things that move your life forward. 

In short, if you feel a strong desire, or pain, watch out what you do to relieve that tension. If you want to create a great love life, for example, it’s better joining an online dating site than fucking your neighbor. Fucking the neighbor will bring instant satisfaction, but you’ll wake up without a great love life the next morning. Joining a dating site may feel like a mission and bring no instant rewards, but in the end, it’s likely to take you closer to your goal. 

Lastly, sometimes it’s good to do nothing. Hang with the tension. The obvious path forward will reveal itself if you are just willing to wait for it. Stay with what you’re feeling until you find the obvious thing to do that will propel you in the direction of your dreams. That’s to say: the direction that will fulfill your desires and remove your pains. 

In short, if you can, hang with the tension without for that matter reveling in it. If you need to relieve the tension, think of good ways of doing so — ways that take you closer to your goals. If you can’t come up with any, put on a pair of jogging shoes and run for your life or do P90X till you want to kill Tony. Scrap that, you always want to kill Tony. Do it till Tony is killing your body. Then bliss out on chocolate. Or pasta. Or both. (And FYI it’s been scientifically proven that the ups and downs of love addiction, i.e. the highs and lows you have in a relationship, can be counteracted by exercise and carbs. And if it works for love, it must work for other things too.)

Yours truly,

Dizzy Blonde

No running shoes, no problem…

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Filed under addiction, Behavior, diary, emotions, empowerment, Happiness, Inspiration, Inspirational, Motivation, Musings, Thoughts

The logic of not giving a F…

Have you ever listened to someone’s logic and found it completely illogical? I have. Many times. Just enter my mind and you’ll have the most logically proven illogical ideas floating about. 

You see, as humans, we support our own logic based on anecdotal stories, beliefs, opinions, experience…you name it. What seems logical to us, is, in fact, completely and utterly illogical. 

Here, let’s do an example. 

I have two people in my life who don’t like seatbelts. Both claim it’s because they grew up in Africa and they love the freedom of driving without a seatbelt. Plus, they believe when your time is come, your time is come. So why bother with a seatbelt in the first place? 

Let’s imagine these two going bungee jumping. They have a choice between two companies offering bungee jumps. One has a sign reading: 

Bungee Jumps Offered Daily. 5 Out of 100 People Die as Ropes Sometimes Break. 10 Out of 100 Get Injured Due to Bad Quality Ropes.

Bungee Jumps Offered Daily. 100% Secure. No Deaths. No Injuries Caused by Equipment. 

Now, what company do you think they’d choose? 

It’s the same thing as wearing, or not wearing a seatbelt. Every day there are accidents on the road. Every day someone dies, or get injured. If you wear a seatbelt, chances of death and injury are less. If you’re in an accident wearing a seatbelt, you may end up with whiplash. Without it, you may end up with severe brain damage. Your choice. 

Our subjective realities constantly blind us to logic. 

Another favorite of mine: I drive better when I’m drunk. The proof? I’ve only had accidents when sober.

If we drive better when drunk, then science would long ago have proven that our ability to react is much better when drunk. On the contrary, it’s proven the opposite. 

It’s like saying: I have only had accidents after eating peanut butter sandwiches, therefore, peanut butter sandwiches cause accidents. Sure enough, if you believe it, you may start driving more erratically after eating them… But it isn’t the truth. It only become true if you let your mind act on the belief. 

The real truth is, we all have these things we believe to be true because we have stories and beliefs backing them up. And as is the case with drunk driving, some examples are pretty extreme. You’re willing to risk your own and other people’s lives because you believe in your own story. 

Similarly, look at the story about “who you are.” Look at me. As a kid my mom died and I felt she rejected me before she died. Then I had to move classes a few years later due to circumstance and I was put in a class where I got picked on. I went from popular to nerd over night. Then I got a step-mom who emotionally abused me. 

Now, that added up to me thinking there was something wrong with me. I thought that was a logical conclusion. I was rejected, therefore there was something wrong with me. Logical, right?! Is that the truth though? No. It’s not the truth. But I believed it, so I acted on it and my way of dealing with it was hiding away. I became shy. Very shy. Wouldn’t speak unless spoken to. 

Being shy was a protection mechanism. I literally remember thinking I wasn’t going to let them see my real self, therefore they couldn’t reject the real me. If I just disappeared, they couldn’t judge me. And moving forward, I became the person who didn’t speak. Therefore, I became rejected. That meant that I could hold onto the belief that there was something wrong with me.

In short, I was the person believing peanut butter sandwiches cause accidents and therefore driving erratically.  

I also had coping mechanisms. Like reading stories and escaping into another world and I practiced my skills to receive praise, so even if I couldn’t be loved, I could be admired. Fleeing into imaginary worlds and receiving admiration became my drugs. That then fell apart when I didn’t go onto becoming a world famous director straight out of school, but had to work odd jobs. I ended up depressed as hell, reached rock bottom and learned that actually, I didn’t have to achieve anything to love and accept myself, or be loved and accepted. All I had to do was open up. 

That was the first time in years I started to feel like I didn’t have a gaping hole inside myself. The first time since my mother died, I suppose. 

The thing is, not everyone change their story. They just keep doing things to back it up. Keep proving to themselves they’re right. 

I was having an argument with an addict recently. My argument? Get help. Their argument? “I’m not ready, I’m waiting for “my moment,” plus right now I prefer being an addict. It makes me feel good for now. But it’s OK. I’ll be OK in the end. Because I wasn’t born an addict so I won’t die an addict.”

If you have ever been around addicts or read literature on it, you know that addicts use stories to support their addiction. And those stories are controlled by the addiction, not their real selves. Just like my actions used to be controlled by a story I made up about myself, not my real self. I was shy, because I believed in that story. I became rejected because I was shy, which proved my story to be true. I sought to achieve massive things in life to relieve the pain of that story. That was my addiction. And I sacrificed a ton of things for that addiction. 

Usually addicts sacrifice a lot. They give up on doing everything they love or do significantly less of it, they’re neglecting relationships, they stop caring for their own health, they no longer hold themselves to the same moral standards they used to and they either isolate themselves, or surround themselves with people who enable their habit. In short, they’re slowly ruining all areas of their life (sometimes they manage to keep one area decently clean, depending on importance, such as a job that enables them to buy drugs is far more important than friends, for example) and putting the drug of choice in center stage. The drug slowly becomes more important than anything else.

I’ve spoken to people in recovery about this. How the drug is always right. If getting the drug means not seeing your child, then you don’t see your child. If getting the drug means stealing, then you steal. If getting the drug means lying, then you lie. Whatever it takes to get the drug/get high, is justified. It becomes the new logic. Because it’s the only thing that makes them feel good. 

From the outside, it’s lunacy. For them, it’s totally logical. They feel good. They’re fine. Their bodies are shutting down. They’re living in squalor. They’re fine. Because they have their drug. 

Of course, they have moments of clarity, but it’s fine. It’s all fine, because they’re in control. When they want to get well again they will. They can handle it. 

Their logic is completely fucked. And they can’t see it. Because there’s always an excuse, or an argument backing up their story. 

Hopefully, one day they break a hard limit. They do something that make them wake the fuck up. Like you know, the religious person stealing from a church to buy drugs. Or, like me, they hit rock bottom emotionally. The turning point. The place where they know they’ve sunk so low the only way is up. But some people, sadly, never stumble across such a thing.

The thing is, we all have addictions, or if you so like, do things because they’re supported by stories we tell ourselves. Like me hiding away in a corner, which was supported by the story that I had something wrong with me and couldn’t be liked/loved. And by hiding away in a corner, I got reject, which provided my story to be true. But I also had a story that I could be admired for my skills and hard work and, to some degree, my acquired personality. That was my drug — I used work as a coping mechanism. To me achievement was my drug. 

My life fell apart when I thought I couldn’t be admired. When my drug of choice was removed as I was outside the school system, where I’d always been admired. That’s when I faced my truth. That’s when I realized I could be happy without achievement. 

The thing with any kind of addiction, or coping mechanism, is that it’s us acting on our emotions. Like I feel unloved and believe I can’t be loved which hurts, let’s do something to get admired which feels good. Temporarily. Once the high is over, you’ll end up feeling empty again. Same thing if you use sex as a coping mechanism (a drug) when wanting love. And by doing it, you only prove to yourself that you can’t be loved. That you can only be admired, or only get sex, so you feel even worse. But as you still hold onto the idea you can’t be loved, what are you going to do? Have more of your drug, of course! 

When the emotional brain takes over, we fuck up. We become illogical. We rationalize behavior that’s completely and utterly illogical. 

When we act on our feelings we end up fucking ourselves over five ways to Friday.

If you’re feeling unloved, the logical thing is to deal with the root cause of it and realize it isn’t true, instead of chasing an Oscar (that would be me). That’s why people who win Oscars become depressed — they realize they still don’t feel loved. They’re still empty. All they did was relieve their tension by getting admiration. The real problem is still there. 

If you’re feeling stressed, the logical thing is to deal with the cause of the stress (such as a heavy workload), not watch Netflix (and the next day have an even heavier workload). 

If you’re feeling sad, the logical thing to do is to deal with the cause of your sadness and fill your life with happiness and genuine connection, not have a drink and the next day still have the sadness, plus the reality of having wasted a night drinking. 

When you feel things — impulses to do certain things — it’s a good idea to ask yourself a) is this part of a pattern of mine and if so, has that pattern led to me achieving great things? b) will this really lead to the end result I desire? c) what place am I acting from? Principle or feeling? If it’s principle, you’re acting from a place of integrity — doing the right thing. If it’s feeling, you’re likely trying to resolve your tension, unless the feeling is coming from your heart. If you can’t hear your heart, act from principle. Your heart would tell you to do right by yourself and others. So does principle. 

Another test is this: will this lead to genuine happiness? Will this serve my health? Will this serve my soul? Will this serve other people? Coping mechanisms will make you feel good while destroying your life. Genuinely good things will make you feel good while making your life better.

Will you be held hostage by your own emotions, or will you create the life you’d truly love to live?

In short, sometimes, not giving a fuck about your own emotions is a very good idea. 

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Filed under achievement, addiction, depression, Happiness, Psychology, Self-help, The Mind

My choice to shine…

I just tried to Google duck recipes, but ended up with dick instead of duck. Just the way to start a Monday morning. Oh, and the toddler got out of bed to pee in the toilet, but peed standing on the floor next to the bed instead. 

Frankly, I’ve had a wonderful morning. These are just little funny events. The sun is shining, Cape Town looks glorious and people have been nice to me this morning. 

I was thinking about this the other day. People being nice. I was feeling a bit sad and angry because of something. Like I’d imagined this perfect day that just wasn’t happening. And instead of making the moment great, I just felt disappointed. Just then I ended up talking to one friend of mine that showed me kindness. Simply by helping me with some car issues. Just hearing his voice I calmed down, because I knew I have people in my life who care about me. 

And it hit me how much kindness matters. Yesterday my business partner went on a rant about how as long as I don’t have a stable boyfriend in my life, he is going to make sure I’m OK with the things that, in his opinion, a man should handle because clearly I have to multitask too much. It was really sweet. 

My kid’s homeschooling teacher this morning asked me how I was doing. Left me a message asking questions. That perked me up as well. Just knowing people care. 

I think it’s important to acknowledge the people in your life who are showing up for you by showing up for them (as mentioned in a previous blog, it doesn’t come natural for me to check in on people, I’m learning to do that) and sometimes, by giving them a gift or something else to show you care. I don’t always take time for this, and sometimes I’m too shy to do it, but I must start doing it. Because it’s who I want to be. 

Also, remember focus. When I was upset I was focusing on something in my life that wasn’t working as I wanted it too. When I spoke to my friend, I started focusing on things in my life that were working, such as beautiful friendships. That shifted my mood.

The thing is, we often get stuck thinking about how to figure out what’s not working. How to solve problems. Or simply reveling in the problems. When we do, we feel like shit. I could have been very upset about the peeing episode this morning. I wasn’t. Because I didn’t waste any time thinking about it. It took three minutes to clean up. Big deal. But when we’re frustrated, or sad, any thing is a big deal. When, on the other hand, we think about what’s working, such as living in gloriously beautiful Cape Town, having amazing people in your life and making more money an hour than some make a week here, we see these small events as funny. OK, I was temporarily frustrated as I didn’t understand the logic of peeing by the bedside, but it didn’t take long to see the humor. 

If there’s a problem, deal with it. Man up to it. Take charge. Don’t get stuck thinking about it. Take action. Any action. Start moving beyond it. If one thing doesn’t work, try another until you find a solution. Just don’t bury yourself in the problem. Everyone goes through shit. It’s how you deal with it that determines if it sinks you or you conquer.

I can write you a long list of problems I have and that Cape Town has, but I live in a city filled with sunshine and star shine, glorious beaches and tall mountains, incredible city scapes and natural wonders, tasty foods and delicious treats, roaring fireplaces and beautiful gardens, laughing people and shining intelligence… I live in paradise. If only I choose to see it that way. It’s my choice. Mine alone. My choice to see the wonders in my life and my city. My choice.  

Funnily, when you start seeing the things in life that shine, you start to shine. You start to sparkle. You become a star in other people’s night sky.

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Filed under Awareness, conscious lifestyle, Conscious Living, diary, Friends, Friendship, friendships, Inspiration, Inspirational, kindness, Mindfulness, Motivation, Musings, relationships, self help, Self-help, The Mind, Uncategorized

Stop thinking, start living…

I read a book a long time ago that really impressed me. It was called Stop Thinking, Start Living.

The author, Richard Carlson, talks about a client of his who was seeing a therapist after a divorce or the death of his wife. I can’t remember which one. At any rate, the therapist kept asking him to talk about his problems. Analyzing them.

This guy wasn’t getting any better. In fact, he was constantly depressed, because all he thought about was his problems.

Carlson got him to start thinking about other things. Sure enough, as the man started thinking about other things and filling his life with things he enjoyed, he became happy again.

You need to face your pain/sorrow/problem, but once faced, it’s time to shift your focus. You need to allow yourself to feel it and learn from it, but you don’t need to hold onto it.

It’s hard I know. Because you feel like shit, or you feel nothing at all. Or you just can’t stop thinking about the person who brought you the best memories of your life, the job you lost, the mistake you made, the thing you fucked up… But, life is filled with people and events that can bring us happiness. No, it doesn’t feel like that when we’ve just lost someone, or something. But stop being selfish about who you miss and start offering yoruself to the world. Go out there with the aim of making other people happy. In the process you’ll discover there are other people who will make your soul sing too. And if you fucked up in the past, or are fucking up at the moment, OK. So you’re a failure, now put some energy into doing something good. Even if you’re still a failure you’re now also doing good — be that studying something, doing charity work, exercising, mentoring a kid, spending more time with your own kid, or giving away homecooked meals to people in need. And your self-perception will change. Which will fuel you to do more good things. Before you know it, you’ll start thinking about yourself as a person of integrity.

The thing is, whatever you put your energy into you’ll create more of. If you take all the energy you waste on thinking about things that make you sad, depressed, or filled with self-loathing, and invest that energy into something else, what would happen?

Imagine if every time your mind drifts towards thoughts such as: I’m depressed because x, I’m a failure because of y, I’m never goning to make it because of z, I’m shy, I’m aggressive, I’m a loser, I’m fat, I’m too skinny, I’m never going to be able to sort my finances, I’m never going to be able to keep a boyfriend, I’m never going to create the life of my dreams, you started thinking about the things in life that make you happy and how to create more of those. Then you get off your ass and go out there and create them. No, maybe it won’t feel great at first if you’re depressed, but the more energy you put into doing things that fuel your soul, the more you’ll start feeling good things again.

Personally, two years ago, when I was in Athens and saw that my thoughts were going down really unhealthy routes I made a vow to distract myself. I’d do pretty much anything to disrupt my thinking paths. Paint, call people, go for walks, watch a movie, anything… You see, I was working from home. And when you’re prone to depression and you’re feeling like a lot of things in your life are going awfully wrong, you start thinking about those things. And sitting by yourself thinking about those things don’t help. So instead I vowed to work on my social life, work on my visa, work on my finances and stop thinking about the horrible state of my nomadic existence. So if it meant I had to take a break from work that day because I couldn’t stop thinking miserable thoughts.

It worked. My life changed.

People often get stuck thinking “this is who I am.” I am bad with finances, I’m terrible at love, etc. No, that’s who you are creating daily. Most likely, if that what you’re doing, you’re a bully. You’re bullying yourself for what you’ve done, or who you’ve become. Stop. If you did something other than what you’re doing today, you would no longer be that person. So start telling yourself a different story. Invest your energy into a worthwhile cause. Such as becoming the person who overcame all their adversities. A person who overcame all the shit you’re going through.

You are who you make yourself out to be and that person is determined by your thoughts. So decide how you are going to think about yourself from now on; how you’re going to see yourself. Set down principles such as honesty, integrity and kindness. Act from the place of those principles instead of your old self image. Fuck your self image. Fuck the person staring back at you in the mirror. Choose the principles. I’m a person of integrity. I speak to myself with integrity. I act with integrity. Choose who you want to be. Forget about the rest.

In short, fuck the mistakes, the problems and the less glorious sides of your personality. Instead, decide that form now on you act from a place of integrity and focus your thoughts on the good things in your life. Then you decide to go out there and focus your energy on doing things that are good. Things that make you a person of integrity. And if you can’t see outside the life you’ve created — can’t see another life — then get someone else to help you see it. Because you aren’t a broken soul. Souls don’t break. Only our thoughts do.

My life changed when I decided to fuck my own fears and go out there and do things. I kept wondering where the start button to my life was? Why I felt like I wasn’t living? The answer was simple: I was thinking about living my dream life, I wasn’t living it. Because my fears kept me in my comfort zone. Today, today, I live a whole lot more. And every day I challenge myself to live more. To stop thinking, start living.

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Filed under depression, diary, Fear, fears, Inspiration, Inspirational, Motivation, overcoming fears, Thoughts

I see your halo…

I always think there’s a sacred space between two people — it’s your unique connection. It exists nowhere else in the world; only between the two of you. It’s really unique.

But the connection between two people only stays sacred if you treat it as such. Yes, you may be uniquely connected — have things in common, fire up different sides of each other’s personalities, talk about things you don’t talk about with others, understand each other on different levels (emotionally, sexually, spiritually, intellectually) and so forth. But this is just the baseline. This is the connection. It’s not the relationship.

The relationship is how you treat one another. Do you show up for one another? Speak kindly about one another? Take care of one another? Make good on promises to one another? Hold a space of love for one another? Hold each other accountable for being the best you can be?

In short, are you committed to treating one another as sacred creatures?

The truth is, most of us weren’t raised to treat other people as sacred. We weren’t even raised to treat ourselves as sacred.

I’ve interacted with a lot of religious people who, presumable, see life as a gift from God. Yet, they don’t treat their body as sacred. They don’t treat their friends as sacred. They don’t treat strangers as sacred. They don’t even treat their life as sacred.

And while most of us try to do right by ourselves and others, we all fail at some point. Our learned behavior wrecks havoc in various areas of our lives. We don’t even understand how some areas of our life will ever work out, because they never have before.

Sometimes, we’re so far away from treating ourselves and others as sacred, we feel like giving up. We think we’ve lost the battle and might as well succumb to our sins towards self and others. But each day holds a new morning. What you did yesterday is not as important as what you do today. And if you start a new life today, even with baby steps, imagine where you’ll be ten years from now. Also imagine where you will be ten years from now if you don’t start with those baby steps.

So honor yourself by treating yourself right. And honor others by doing the same to them. Because each connection is unique. Each person is a unique experience.

It’s important to remember though, that beautiful connections is only half of what makes up beautiful relationships. Beautiful relationships can only be created when two people see each other as sacred and treat each other accordingly. That’s why there’s a big difference between attraction and love; passing connections and deep friendships.

You can always honor another soul, but you can’t always have a beautiful relationship with them. All you can do, is ensure your side of the equation remains sacred by honoring them and that, no matter how they view or treat you, your view of yoruself remain sacred. And by viewing yoruself as sacred, you also know when it’s time to walk away — be it from a toxic work relationship, or friendship.

I’ve been thinking a lot about perspective recently. About how our focus creates our reality. And I really believe that looking upon yourself, others and life as sacred makes for a much more beautiful reality. Because then your purpose becomes to live a sacred life; one in which you respect yourself and the world around you. One in which you seek to uplift yourself and others. One in which you take actions that honor yourself, others and life at large.

Sacred dizzy blonde, over and out.

P.S. Yes, I stole the headline. I didn’t say I was a saint, just that I’m sacred… I see your halo, halo, halo…

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Filed under business relationships, conscious lifestyle, diary, friendships, human spirit, Inspiration, Inspirational, Life, Motivation, Musings, relationships, Spirituality, Uncategorized

The state of the story and the naked self…

I was listening to an audio book today, where the main character bemoans some of his past mistakes, while on a journey to reignite his life. To start living again. Because for 20 years he’s shut himself down to life. All because of heartache.

In short, he’s been telling himself a story for 20 years that without a certain person, life is not worth living. That women betray. That he feels nothing. That he’s dead inside. Only to open the letter the woman gave him when leaving and realizing she left because she was dying, not because she wanted to leave him.

The character has lived a lie, but the truth is, whether it’s a lie, or not, the way he has lived his life is because of a story he’s been telling himself. Even if that woman left him because she no longer loved him, he didn’t have to live a life without deep feelings. Without love. Without joy. He could have told a different story. A story where he said that even greater love awaited him, or at the very least: a love as impactful, if different. He could have challenged himself to live even more; to honor what he’d learned in the relationship. To taste life. To drink it in. To fully live. The actions he’d have taken would have been different and hence, his life would have been different.

The quote I heard this morning though was about fear. The character says that fear is the most stupid thing of all. But fear is also just a story inside our mind.

If you fear a plane will crash, you are telling yourself that story over and over again. That’s why you feel fear. If you’re telling yourself you’ll land safe and sound on the other side, you’ll have no fear.

Likewise, imagine going to an audition. You have fear that the people auditioning you will be mean, that you’ll forget your lines and that you won’t get the part because there will be people there who are either better actors, or better looking.

When you get there, if one of the people auditioning you says anything nasty, it’ll trip you up. If you see one of the actors performing and it’s good, it’ll trip you up. If you momentarily can’t remember a line, it’ll trip you up. If you see someone better looking than you, it’ll trip you up. Because you expect that the moment you feel fear, you’ll make a mistake.

If, on the other hand, you realize you have fear and face it, you have an opportunity to overcome it by rewriting (or overwriting) the story in your mind. You close your eyes and imagine how you want to feel at the audition: calm and composed. If you see a better actor, one of the people auditioning you is mean, or you forget a line, you’ll take a deep breath, relax and keep going. When you feel fear, you’ll relax. This is what you imagine over and over again.

In short, you’re programming your brain. When the day comes and the fear hits, you relax. By relaxing, you’re able to remember your lines and pull off a great performance no matter what’s happening around you.

This is one very powerful way of changing habits: of imagining what you’ll feel and then choosing how you’ll feel next. If you have a problem with getting nervous with your boss and therefore not standing up for yourself, imagine seeing your boss, feeling the nervosity and then becoming calm and acting from that sense of calm. Imagine standing up for yourself.

If you have a problem with eating too much chocolate, imagine a time when you’re likely to want chocolate. Imagine the desire. Then imagine another feeling: the desire to go for a run, or become healthy. Imagine the action you’ll take when feeling that way. Imagine this over and over again until you’ve programmed your mind to do what you want it to.

I listened to someone recently telling me a story about a movie. In the movie the main character is an alcoholic who lands a plane during some sort of crisis and saves a lot of lives. However, because he was drunk when doing it, he’s sentenced to serve time in prison.

He stays sober in prison and then appeals for a lesser sentence. He’s left alone for a couple of hours and gets drunk, ruining his own opportunity.

I recently read an article where Brad Pitt talks about sobriety — Angelina Jolie divorced him due to some things relating to alcoholism and he went through a really rough time, which he spoke about in GQ. It was an impressive article and a sad one. The man looked like hell and felt like it too. But he joined AA and found a therapist and in this recent article I came across he talks about how he used to numb his feelings with alcohol, drugs, food, Netflix…now he wants to feel. Feel everything. Hear the birdsong. Because once he became comfortable with feeling pain, he let himself feel other things too, like joy. It was beautiful. And he no longer looks like hell. In fact, he’s fit as fuck and gorgeous as hell. And this is a man in his fifties.

Likewise, I’ve read Russell Brand’s book Recovery which is an incredible account of what it means to be totally fucked up and unfucking yourself. From heroin addict and bulemic to father of two and happily married. I read it because I’ve been around a lot of people who have raved about AA/NA and I was always jealous I couldn’t attend meetings (addicted to creativity…uhm), and the book talks about the 12 steps. But Brand is not your average writer. He swears more than I do. So I liked his take on it. And the book took me through a period when I was mourning my grandmother.

Now, as an addict you can either tell yourself the story about the man who had a chance of redemption and got drunk, or you can tell yourself the stories about Brad Pitt and Russell Brand. Your choice. How you act is dependent on the stories you tell yourself though. If you don’t think there’s hope for recorvery and staying clean, why would you try? If you chat to the millions of people who have recovered and stayed clean (and most importantly: become happy again), then you’ll be prone to go down the route of recovery. Because who doesn’t want to be happy?

When you start listening to your own and other people’s stories, you hear the most incredible things. I’m bad with finances. I get depressed on Thursdays. I have date night anxiety. Really? Or are they just stories in your mind? Stories based around some event that happened at some point that you then decided to keep repeating to yourself. Like the character in that book, all of us are living lies. Because there’s more to life than that one event. Even if that woman would have left that man, not all women betray you. Not all love affairs end in tears. But as long as you repeat the stories in your mind, you’ll keep reliving your patterns.

Life happens to all of us, but how you react to it is up to you. And that’s mainly dependent on the stories you tell yourself about what’s happening. You can sit watching the news all day long and feel miserable about the world, or you can head to the Amazon and discover the grandeur of nature and this incredible thing called life. You can be depressed by the state of the planet or awed by its amazing beauty. Your choice.

I can hear you say: but I must think about the bad state of the planet to do something about it. No, you don’t. If you celebrate the beauty of the world, you’re a lot more likely to be inspired to do something good. To come up with solutions that actually save the planet.

But more importantly, maybe, are the stories you’re telling yourself about yourself. About who you are. About how your relationships will go. About how tomorrow will be like. About how the next hour will unfold. Have a look at them. And if they aren’t working for you, overwrite them.

So who are you? Really? Beyond the stories you’re telling yourself. What is the truth? The naked truth. Not the imagined lie. Just you. Naked.

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Filed under addiction, Awareness, conscious lifestyle, Conscious Living, depression, drug addiction, drug recovery, Inspiration, Inspirational, Mindfulness, Motivation, The Mind, Uncategorized

An orgasmic experience…

No, I’m not talking about OM meditation. Though some of my friends in San Fran swear by it.

Nor am I talking about tantra, though I have attended workshops.

I’m not even talking about sex at all. I’m talking about you. Yes, YOU.

I love mornings. As the sun rises, I can feel the life force beating within me. The raw force of being alive. The hunger to live. Or, at the very least: the longing for a cup of coffee. 

I have desires awakening within me and it feels good.

There have been times when I haven’t had that. When I’ve needed a soak in an ice cold bathtub to even be able to feel my own soul. But the soul doesn’t die. It just goes to sleep sometimes. 

Anyway, I see mornings as a new beginning. A clean slate. A chance to start over. 

And this morning there were some particularly beautiful clouds in the sky and I was feeling excited about the day ahead. About life. About new beginnings. 

And what hit me is that new beginnings mean forgiving ourselves. To truly let go of our past. 

You are not your yesterday. Simply, because it’s not yesterday anymore. Today is a new day. So you can be whoever you like. 

Sure, you may have scars. Bleeding wounds, even. Some of us have no job, weigh fifteen pounds too much, have a horrible relationship, are a million dollars in debt, are complete sugar addicts, or some other such nuisance we have to deal with. Beause we do have have to deal with it, but we don’t have to be stuck with it. Bury ourselves in it. It can become the past too, if only we let it.

Look upon it this way: you can think about yourself as an unfit loser who prior to today hasn’t exercised in ten years, or you can think about yourself as someone who is now exercising. The two will bring about very different feelings and, therefore, very different actions. 

Most people make their problems, perceived flaws, past mistakes, and supposed undesirable sides, their main focus. Then they freak out and do something to try to resolve the tension they feel. Like downing a bottle of wine, exercising for ten hours straight, eating a cake, binge watching Netflix, or burying themselves in work. Which only creates more problems. So when you shift your focus to think about something else — something other than your problems or flaws — your life changes. Because you stop doing the stupid shit you’re doing to mentally have a break from your problems.

Face the problem/pain. Because you have to. Then move past it. Refocus your attention.

So, even if you haven’t exercised for ten years and are fifteen pounds overweight, think about yourself as someone who exercises. Even if it’s just walking around the block. Congratulate yourself on that. What you did the past ten years doesn’t matter. What you’re doing right now, which is walking around the block, is what matters. Soon, as someone who exercises, you’ll naturally walk two blocks. This will make you feel better, so you’ll start doing small sprints. Then you’ll…

You’re free you know. Free not to think about your past. Free to create your future. Free to do whatever the hell you like. So choose to do something that serves you. Something that fuels you. Something that lifts your spirits. It may take a while for you to really feel it. No one feels great when exercising for the first time in ten years. Nor does saving a dime when you owe a million feel like much. Most likely: you don’t feel it. May take three weeks to notice a difference in your state of mind after chaning your habits. But sure as hell you’ll notice. You’ll move forward. You’ll feel better. 

And remember: it’s not about an overnight overhaul. You don’t have to stop eating sugar entirely. You can just make sure you have one cake instead of two. Or eat a salad before the cake. Or go for a run before eating the cake. Set little goals. Tiny ones. If you can’t handle the big stuff, and most people can’t over night, do the little stuff. Don’t think about it as climbing Kilimanjaro. Think about it as stepping stones.

Can’t master that? Can’t save a dime a day, or go for a run before having cake? Then do something else that you CAN do. Smile at someone. Hug someone. Donate a dollar to a worthy cause. Plant a tree. Smile at the shy girl. (As someone who used to be shy I can tell you now that a smile…it can be life transforming. That’s the power you have.) Join a charity. Do an act of kindness.

Because, you see, the more you do worthy things, the more worthy you feel. The worthier you feel, the easier it will be to forgive your past and present woes and allow yourself to do the things that make you happy in the present. Because suddenly, you feel like you deserve them. And by doing them, you become an even better person.

Really, the solution for an orgasmic life is love. Because if you love yourself you automatically do things to create what you love and give love to others. Your life’s pleasure level will be on top. But most of us don’t love ourselves inside and out, so it helps with, you know giving a flower to a homeless person, even if you don’t feel like it. Because even if you messed everything else up that day, at least you know you did something good. And it’s that one good thing you need to hold onto.

So even if you don’t feel like getting out of bed in the morning for your own sake, do it for someone else. Do it for something beyond you. Something bigger than you. Failing that, hire someone to kick you out of bed every morning. Create a structure you can’t get out of.

Life is about two things: your thoughts and your habits; your structure. If you change your thoughts, you change your structure. If you change your structure, you change your thoughts. And if you change either, you change your life.

You’re free. Today is a new day. A clean slate. An orgasmic opportunity. So look upon yourself as a present opportunity, not a past mistake. Look upon yourself as someone who has the power to transform lives. If so, only with a smile. And I can tell you right now, that while a smile to a stranger may change their lives, or at the very least: make their day better, a smile to someone who loves you means the world to them.

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Filed under achievement, addiction, Goals, Inspiration, Motivation, Spirituality, success, Uncategorized