“For me, I am driven by two main philosophies: know more today about the world than I knew yesterday and lessen the suffering of others. You’d be surprised how far that gets you.”
But How do You Develop Your Values?
A Beginner’s List of Values
- Authenticity – to be genuinely yourself at all times. If you value your authenticity and you are in a position where you feel like you have to be someone you are not, you may become very frustrated and upset, because you are living against your core value of being 100% completely you. The same goes for if you are feeling unaccepted for who you are and what you stand for. If your friends or aquaintances disapprove of you, then you may be inclined to feel disappointed. To live an unapologetically authentic life while surrounding yourself around people who appreciate your uniqueness is extremely fulfilling. Find them.
- Being the best
- Care – if showing genuine care and consideration in your relationships is something you believe to be very important than you will be hard pressed to find compatibility with someone who doesn’t demonstrate a warm, affectionate, tender and kind reciprocation back towards you.
- Challenge – when one of your core values is to be continually challenged by a life of learning, growing and expanding your consciousness, it is difficult to associate with people who are content with staying the same.
- Financial independence
- Making a difference
- Resilience – to get back in the saddle, to bounce back from a bad moment, to keep on going. If resilience is what you value, you may become very short-tempered with people who give up quickly or enjoy a good pity party.
- Thoughtfulness – the act of being thoughtful means to pay attention to the details, to think things through before doing them, to plan with more discernment. If thoughtfulness is an important value to you then you may be very frustrated going to places and experiencing things that are rushed, unmannerly or discourteous.
- Truth – If you value the truth, you expect people to be honest with you and you earn and build their trust by being 100% real with them. When and if someone lies to you, you will suffer, because you value honesty in a relationship, whether it be a professional or personal one.
I agree with Teal Swan, the reality is that for the most part people are not emotionally safe to be in relationship with. That includes me right now. For the moment, I should wear a warning sign for although I may be smiling on the outside, on the inside, I am a grieving ball of swirling pain and confusion. WARNING: Imminent Danger. Wounded. Hold Space. Step Back. Let Be.
I wonder how many other people are walking around like this today.
Right now, I have placed myself in stealth healing mode. I am recalibrating, retreating and reflecting and yes, I want limited contact with the outside world.
We all have our painful struggles. I just really want to learn, grow and take responsibility for my part. To grow stronger while strengthening my very own locus of control. This will enable me to go forward in life choosing people, places and things that are better for me. Better decisions come from a stronger mind. Forgive and let go.
The Deep Dive
On Suffering. To Be a Warrior Against What Is.
I am a huge believer in disrupting and innovating to repair what doesn’t work in society, especially when it comes to the use of technology. As for matters of the heart, there is a different type of disruption that must start with acceptance and approval of whatever situation you are in right now. That’s right. Find the good in the bad. The opportunity in the obstacle.
Spending all of our mental energy bargaining with the universe for what should be, how it could be, when the fact is, sometimes you have to give up the resistance to what is.
This is the problem I have with trying to pray away the pain. Praying is beautiful, but it doesn’t change what is. True change begins when we accept what is and when we are ready, we take action in a new direction.
Note to self: you can’t and don’t control everything. When we suffer, we spend all of our energy fighting what has happened. Wondering how we could have prevented it from happening. The healing begins when you realize you cannot change the outcome of what has already happened. You don’t have to like what is occuring right now, but when you can find the reasons why it might actually be good for you you begin to accept and realize that the remedy has begun. From Teal Swan.
Better Things To Ponder
A better life begins with better thoughts. If you can open up to realize that your thoughts may actually be crappy ones, then you can begin to think more clearly. Yeah that’s right, from crappy to clear.
From “101 things more worth thinking about than whatever is consuming you right now. “From Essays That Will Change the Way You Think book by Brianna Wiest.
So, if you don’t like where you are in life, stopping complaining and start creating.
The way it will feel to have the life you want. The place you’ll live, the clothes you will wear, what you will buy at the supermarket, how much money you will save, what work you’ll most be proud to have done. What you’ll do with your weekends, what color your sheets will be, what you’ll take photos of.
A Magical Medicine Bag
Over the past few weeks, in an attempt to heal myself, I thought about the idea of a Medicine Bag. I have made one myself, that I have been carrying around and using each morning to reflect on the parts of me that need healing.
A Medicine Bag was a special, sacred container for various objects, or amulets, of supernatural power used, or provided by, a MedicineMan or Shaman, to carry ‘medicine‘, or symbols, of animal spirits good luck, protection and strength in battle. The Medicine Bag contains both symbolic and ritual items.
Now, if I had a magical medicine bag, it might contain . . .
- A pair of glasses to see the world and all of humanity with radical loving kindness.
- Soft, beautiful, expanding wings to strap on your shoulders. Magically, they allow you to soar above this world for a new perspective, to glide and to guide.
- Detoxing tea to help remove the sticky, stuck pain cells of the body. The bitter cells that hold anger and resentment. Those cells that may grow up to become cancer, should they not be softened and removed, eliminated from the body. Drink a small cup a day to keep the crazy rage and illness away.
- A softening salve for the heart. When applied, a hardened heart becomes mysteriously able to renew itself. This curative balm begins to mend the heart, putting back all the pieces so it may pump and flow again, while helping the love juice of life flow to every healthy cell in the body.
- A wondrous cape of self confidence that makes one feel resilient, competent, relevant and real. Ready to take on the world with love and enthusiasm. When worn, you know you cannot and will not fail.
- The compass to help you find your true north.
- A pill to help you process past issues. Not a numbing pill, but an enlightening pill.
- The death clock, a countdown tool to remind you that your days are numbered here on this earth with a daily alarm to help you remember to live each day to it’s fullest, doing all the good you can do. Touching everyone that comes your way with heartfelt love and acceptance.
- A super powerful magnet to attract the people into your life who will play and work and love and live with you on this journey. Your like-minded citizens of the world. Your tribe.
- A prescription of forgiveness serum to help heal past relationships, to let go of old pain and to open your mind and heart to the healing of this mystical moment.
- Golden keys to unlock yourself out of imprisoning stories, stories that make you smaller and hurtful.
- Some type of delicious crystalized candy to expand your mind with the metacognition for awakened awareness of what is truly important.
Metacognition – awareness and understanding of one’s own thought process.
Our suffering arises from fear-based stories that are often outside our awareness. These include stories of our deficiency or importance, of being a victim, of being unseen or unloved, of facing failure or rejection. This is true collectively too. We have shared stories of bad “others” that fuel wars, shared stories of the value of continued growth in consumption and production that destroy our earth, shared stories of our human right to enslave and violate other animals. We have the capacity to bring the stories that separate and imprison us into the light of awareness, and with great compassion, loosen their grip. These two talks look at the ways fear-based stories create suffering, and how awakening from them reveals the freedom of our true, and universal, belonging. A meditation from Tara Brach.
Prepared & Active
“Let Fate find us prepared and active. Here is the great soul – the one who surrenders to Fate. The opposite is the weak and desperate one, who struggles with and has a poor regard for the order of the world and seeks to correct the faults of the gods, rather than their own.” Seneca, Moral Letters 107.12
Whatever happens today, let it find us prepared and active: ready for problems, ready for difficulties, ready for people to behave in disappointing or confusing ways, ready to accept and make it work for us. Let’s not wish we could turn back time or remake the universe according to our preference. Not when it would be far better and far easier to remake ourselves. – The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday
Here’s a Damn Good Recipe for Failure & Unhappiness, for a life of misery.
Be self-righteous, wallow in self-pity, drown the day in fear and complacency. Look at your life and others with anxiety, jealousy, and hatred.
Now here’s a More Delicious Recipe for Harmony, Peace & Happiness, for an extraordinary life.
Take it on the chin. Be flexible, resilient, forgive more. Work smart and hard and always look at life with confidence and gratitude.
The Waking by Theodore Roethke
When life feels like . . . .
Repeat this little prayer. . .
Right now I am frustrated because I am not taking better care of myself. Which got me wondering about the payoffs I experience for staying stuck in my progress. For not waking up more and doing what needs to be done to change what I don’t like about my life.
Dig deep for the payoffs for not moving towards your goals today. Ask yourself some BIG questions.
- What am I avoiding? Hard work maybe? Self-discipline? A little pain now for bigger gains later?
- Who am I punishing by staying this way?
- Am I avoiding the true expression of my emotions? Are they too frightening to feel?
- What if I am waiting for a guaranteed miracle? Who will bring it to me?
- Perhaps being stuck is really manipulating myself and others?
- Maybe I am looking for special attention? Wallowing in self-pity?
- What will I miss most if I do succeed?
Understand the difference between I will try and I will find a way “Results are a function of your commitment. Most people are unaware that where they are is exactly where they want to be.”
Today let me carve out time – time out of my busy schedule to nurture my soul. To do the real living. Not just the busy work.
Let me not rush into another day without taking moments for myself. Time to meditate, move and to feel my wild heart beating.
Let me remember to acknowledge that this day is another chance to create something valuable for the world.
Let me take all of my worries and turn them into wonder, so I may creatively transform my concerns into care. When I worry about having enough money, energy, health or friends, may I learn how to generate new ways of seeing my problems and new ideas to design a life that heals myself and others. Today I will strive to see and to know that nothing lies beyond my capabilities if it is a must.
I know that I will sometimes fail, but failure offers insights that are invaluable to my growth.
How to use fear before it uses you – Anthony Robbins
Today let me generate new, fresh ideas to solve my problems and to create something better, something brand new. Ideas that are useful, helpful and brilliant that will help not only me, but others who are trying to make their way in this world while becoming better versions of themselves. I must remember, no ideas is so big that I can not take the first step.
The Ultimate Guide to Becoming an Idea Machine by James Altucher
Becoming better starts with taking care of me. Nurturing my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.
10 Ways I Can Nurture Myself Today
- Set reminders on my smartphone to stop during the day to stand up and stretch.
- Forgive someone who has caused me pain.
- Listen to an inspiring podcast from Tara Brach.
- Remember to eat a light, low-carb, healthy lunch.
- Stay thankful for everything I already have.
- Go for a long walk when the rain lets up.
- Call my husband and laugh for five minutes on the phone.
- Pray a little each hour while asking for guidance and humility.
- Take care of a nagging problem. Deal with it head on.
- Discover new music while having dinner.
Oh to be Anti-fragile to be a part of Things that Gain from Disorder
Each day I remember to nurture and care for myself, I get one step closer to becoming a stronger version of myself than yesterday. Some nurturing things will work better than others. It really is a matter of trial and error and protecting myself from getting stuck, transforming when necessary but keeping a sense of broad freedom and opportunism.
Experimenting with new ways of living by trial and error = freedom.
Reclaiming my Personal Power
The black swan is a graceful reminder to move from any position where you feel powerless and at the mercy of external forces; it is time to reclaim your personal power.
Cherish My Unlovable Parts. Turn them around. Realize how many of my bad thoughts and actions can really be useful.
- Obsessive worrying demonstrates that I actually care.
- When channeled correctly, my panic-like anxiety is like a fiery ball of glorious energy.
- My anger and frustration is simply a hidden desire to make life better.
- My apparent laziness and constant shortcutting is really a search for a more efficient and productive way to create.
- Wanting to do it all while feeling confused in simply my inner child looking for guidance while letting the world know, I want to contribute.
- The resentment and rage I sometimes have can be directed into a forceful power of purpose.
This morning I imagined what the 80 year old version of myself would tell me, if I asked her, “What do I do now?” “What should I focus on?”
What wisdom would she have, nearing the end of her life? What would she have focused on today?
She’d tell me to bike more, write more, film everything. Tell everyone I love how much I love them. Hug more, kiss more. Squeeze them tight. Use my creativity to connect with those I love and those I will love in the future. Arms and heart wide open, she would tell me to vulnerably step into the world and be me.
She’d tell me to fuck fear. Let go of the negative thoughts. Skin the skeptic. Look for the beauty in all. There are so many good people to love, sweet creatures to care for and wonderous places to inspire. Find them. Get out today and connect on purpose. Smile, it’s a great heart opener. It’s your super power. Laugh. Enjoy life to the fullest each moment. Find your tribe. Seek out those who inspire you and meet them with open arms. Exercise. Move your body. Play outdoors.
Seek what you want to find. Chase what makes your heart beat. What makes your heart pound out loud. Friends, food, books, music, work. Go out there and get it all.
Be thoughtful and intentional about everything you do. Your writing, your film, your drawing. Do it on purpose and with a purpose.
Think first, but don’t regret anything. Try not to hurt anyone, including yourself. No time for that. Problems will come and go. It always works out in the end. Stop getting so angry and frustrated. Sail through the storms. There is no time to waste.
Life is a banquet. There is so much to choose from. Taste it all.
Visit friends, follow the inspiring, touch and taste everything that draws you in – that pulls you closer. Feed your curiosity.
Let go of control. Just love.
Four weeks into The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity and I am drowning deep in dark emotional pain. Ugggghhhhh, I have protected myself from this real work for way too long. I knew it would be hard, I have avoided facing the truth about what I really fear for a very long time. Looking for short cuts, life hacks. . .rushing through self-repair is never really possible. And damn it, I knew that.
I raise my face to the sky, my mouth wide open, gasping for air. It feels like I am flailing about in the dark, deep cold water, like a helpless, frightened child that has yet learned how to swim confidently through life, exposed to the unwelcome and unknown that I have hidden from myself and the world around me. I do all I can do to avoid facing what is real, my own dark unknown vulnerable mind.
I don’t want to to do this real work. I don’t want to know that I am broken. I don’t care to admit that I am confused, anxious, uncertain, vulnerable, frightened and angry. That’s not who I want to represent me. I want to skip past these ugly emotions. Run from them, crucify them. So what do I do? I strive too hard to heal. I don’t want to do the real digging, fear-facing work. I don’t want dig too deep into my truth to find a fearful young child who must let got and feel all of these unwanted emotions.
Who the hell wants to do that? Yet, I am inspired by the possibilities, by the words of Albert Camus
“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger — something better, pushing right back.”
It’s not easy being real with myself. It doesn’t feel good to actually observe the thoughts that ruin my plans each day. To actually accept how much pain I feel and inflict on myself each morning, as I awake with feelings of lack, insecurity and an incredibly raw feeling of being very, very lost and uncertain about where my life is going. It hurts me and in turn, it hurts others. Some how, some way, I must bring these feelings along for the ride, learning to befriend the parts of me that I find undesirable.
The key to reaching our potential while feeling less shut off and shut down is linked to the ability to be able to see clearly who we are and what we’re doing. Going even beyond that, to the why we do what we do. What triggers our emotions and actions. What pain is behind the purpose.
It could possibly begin with opening up to the Five hard truths you need to accept about yourself.
Our inner critics negatively control the outcomes of our decisions. Our critical and suspicious thoughts place a black cloud and huge road blocks before our well-intentioned plans. We ruin the day before it begins when we don’t become honest with how we really feel and who we really think we are.
Underwater photography by Harry Fayt.
“Life requires of man spiritual elasticity, so that he may temper his efforts to the chances that are offered.”
“Change is essential for survival. All life forms must adapt to their fluctuating circumstances. All form of life result from the process of variation, mutation, competition, and inheritance. The universe is in a constant state of chaos. We each have chaos implanted into our bones. Nature wires all of us for change.”
“One of the most remarkable of man’s characteristics is his capacity for becoming used to conditions of almost any kind, whether good or bad, both in the self and in the environment, and once he has become used to such conditions they seem to him both right and natural. This capacity is a boon when it enables him to adapt himself to conditions which are desirable, but it may prove a great danger when the conditions are undesirable. When his sensory appreciation is untrustworthy, it is possible for him to become so familiar with seriously harmful conditions of misuse of himself that these malconditions will feel right and comfortable.”
“Set patterns, incapable of adaptability, of pliability, only offer a better cage. Truth is outside of all patterns.”
“There’s no such thing as a mistake, really. It’s just an opportunity to do something else.”
A snake doesn’t mourn when it is time to shed it’s skin.
Featured Illustration – Walt Whitman
Our motives are goal directed activities that energize and direct our behavior. Our motives support what we do, how we behave and what we put forth in the world.
Sometimes our motives are simply the presentation of how we hope the world perceives us.
Powerful . .
Intelligent . .
Foxy. . .
Strong. . .
Compassionate . . .
Sometimes though, we have to make choices. Choices between doing what we want to do and what we must do.
Doing the right thing may not necessarily match our goals. The right thing may be miles away from our true desires. It isn’t necessarily the thing that will make us happy, get us noticed, respected or appreciated.
When we remove our selfish motives and realign our priorities to match what is right before us that must be taken care of now, we are free to do the work that matters. The sometimes thankless work. The work that serves others.
It’s difficult when people are indifferent to our work and to our achievements. We do and do and do and get no damn respect. No appreciation, zero gratitude. We feel affronted.
Maybe it’s time to review why we do what we do and why we get upset when nobody notices.
The reward for doing the right thing is not recognition. The reward for doing the right thing is self-respect, a calm heart and a mind at rest.
When you let go and do what is right and give up all thoughts of acknowledgment, it’s actually quite liberating.
There is peace of mind that comes with doing the important work without applause.
I’m grateful for another chance. The opportunity to start from scratch. An opportunity to improve my attitude and behavior. This day is fresh, clean, unworn with emotional stains.
An opportunity to control my short temper, release my self-pity and remove envy of others.
I can help those right in front of me that need my help.
I am given this day as an opportunity to finish projects and work that has been nagging to be done.
Perhaps I will start something new that I’ve been wanting to try.
Maybe I’ll apologize, sympathize, empathize with others.
What are your grateful for right now? How will you use this day?