Day 387: Creating My Own Value

I have been researching a couple of interesting points lately that has to do with self-value, self-authority and self-leadership. This investigation started because of a series of fear as well as desire reactions that came up in my work. The fears has been centered around some form of failure that would lead to the consequence of not anymore being able to work in the field I have chosen. The desire reactions has been centered on completing some form of formal education that would allow me to add another merit to the list.

I started by applying self-forgiveness on the fears – which opened up the underlying reasons. One of these reasons was the belief/idea that I am not naturally valuable/successful and thus fear is something that I must use to push/will myself forward else I will make a mistake and slip back into my normal mode of being. Another reason was that belief that I need to prove myself to others, especially my parents, and receive compliments, excel their expectations, else I will not have any value. These reasons also showed me why formal education triggers a positive response within me. Formal education is the perfect way to show to others that I am good at something and that I have a particular set of qualifications. It is set up like a scene, where I have to behave in a certain way, to receive approval and if I move outside of the boundaries of the script – I will receive disapproval. Thus the concept of formal education is limited – because it moves me into a direction that has been scripted by someone else – and it is not a development/evolution that is allowed to flow naturally according to where I need to/want to develop/learn/expand.

The similar is true about wanting to achieve success/value in the eyes of others, by for example, career. In order to achieve that success/value I have to follow a scripted path – my own idea/understanding of what I am required to do and where I am required to go in order to increase my success/value in the eyes of others. It might be that I have to acquire a certain type of job or specialization. It might be that I have to work in a particular city or with certain people. The principle is that I must find out or create some belief within me as to what I perceive others look at as success/value and then move myself to achieve that idea. It also also limiting – and I have to follow a scripted path. A path that is not scripted/directed/created by myself and that does not take into consideration what I would like to do – or what I see would support me to expand and grow as an individual – or what I see would allow me to give/share/support others the best way. Rather – the aim and drive is about achieving an idea and picture that I can show up to others to feel successful/valuable.

The issue can be found in how I have defined success/value. At the moment – these words are separate from me. I achieve them by being praised by others. I have no personal connection to these words – and thus – instead of looking at my life through with my own self-designed values – I look at them with values I have copied from others.

The solution is to redefine the words success and value – to make these words intimate and personal.

Self-forgiveness

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to define success and value separate from myself as something that I need/require to have from someone else – and think that I am not allowed to define my own success/value – that I am not allowed to tell myself when I have success/value – and make my own decisions in life as to what is success and value

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to strive to have others to define me as successful/valuable – and think that I am not good enough to live success/value – and within this I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to hope and desire to achieve success/value – to hope that someone will notice me and give me these experiences – instead of me deciding upon – and living these words for myself – deciding upon what success and value is to me – and then creating these words in my life

Self-commitment statements

I commit myself to redefine and specify success and value to myself – to decide what these words means to me and then live them in my life

I commit myself to create success and value in my life instead of waiting to have someone recognize me as successful and valuable

 


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Day 386: Some Points On Structure

A cross-reference that I use to see when I am opening up new words/expressions is urges to buy things. When such desires arise within me, nearly each time, it is because I am living/creating a new word/expression within me, and because I have not myself recognized and taken charge over the process – the mind steps in and channels the expression that is opening up into the mind – which translates into wanting to buy things.

This time a desire has come up to buy camping equipment, such as rain-clothes, backpack and walking shoes. Initially I was confused as to why I suddenly desired these things. However, slowly, I realized that these things represented preparation, scheduling and structure to me. Because when you go for a camping trip in nature – you have to be prepared – all things must be considered and packed – when you are out in the woods it is too late. Thus you have to make sure that you think about everything beforehand.

I have worked a lot with these words, preparation, scheduling and structure – and with taking care of my daughter and learning to practice law – they have become more significant. For example with my daughter. If we are to go for a trip somewhere – I have to make sure to bring all the things that I need to change diapers, to prepare a quick meal and supply shelter if it becomes to cold. I also have to make sure that I initiate/start at the right time, at the scheduled time, because otherwise it will interfere with my daughters sleeping routines and mess things up. It is pretty intricate, and it surely helps me in my process of learning to apply/live these words in my day to day living.

When I was younger I looked at preparation, scheduling and structure as words that limits and contains me. I understood freedom to be the opposite and I thought that in order to be free, I had to be completely flexible, completely open to anything that might happen, ready to change myself and my mind at any moment. This also suited my, at that time, absent minded personality. It was not difficult at all to only have to consider my needs for the moment. It took no effort and it felt good. Obviously, from what I understand now, freedom is not the absence of structure – and that in order to live in this world effectively – I have to take notice of what is in my reality and prepare/plan/structure my living – otherwise I will walk into unnecessary consequences.

Thus, instead of buying these things that represent my expansion when it comes to structure/planning/preparation/scheduling – I am going to define these words for myself more specifically. Firstly – what I am able to see is that expressing myself as these words requires time – I need to slow down and carefully look at the situation at is ahead of me. I need to study and ponder the various choices I have. Secondly, I see that even though it is not necessary, it is supportive for me to write down my structure/plan/preparation/schedule. If I keep it in my mind, it becomes easily lost or distorted. When I put it in writing – I can remember the details and also discover flaws/issues in my planning.

I also see that structure/planning/preparation/scheduling is a form of meta-application. It cannot be bound to any one form of expression – rather these are supportive or necessary skills to have in almost any type of venture. Furthermore – I enjoy the process of planning/preparing. One example is using an hour or two each week to sit down and prepare for what to eat during the week ahead. In order to do it effectively I have to check what kind of food is available, the duration of each recipe, whether my daughter or wife will be able to eat the food, what kind of tools/utensils that I might need – it is challenging. And the reward comes through later – while doing the actual work – because with a plan/structure – everything becomes so much easier.

I will continue to push structure/planning/preparation/scheduling in my life and see how I can expand my expression/standing with regards to these words.


Day 385: How I Make Decisions

Due to computer issues I have been away from active writing for a while. My computer is now fully functional yet again and hence my writing will resume.

In my life there has opened up a career opportunity. Looking at it objectively, it is a very good opportunity. It is a choice of career that is lucrative and does not demand too much in time and effort. The point that I have been unsure about, and that I have spent time looking at, is whether the opportunity suits me or not.

When I look at making decisions and future prospects, my aim is to firstly, remove all the feeling and emotional connotations to the point. In this instance, the opportunity triggered a sense of importance and feeling special, and also desire to have money. What also became triggered was a fear of missing out, and a fear of not moving into the direction that I initially foresaw/imagined. These experiences are not relevant, and would I keep them as dimensions to consider in the decision making process, the result will not be trustworthy. Emotions and feelings are ephemeral and mercurial. Basing decisions on such loosely defined energies will result in unwanted outcomes. This is because at some point, the feelings might suddenly disappear or shift into a different direction, and then the decision made has no validity.

The second step is to list/define all the pros and cons in relation to the decision. This is a fascinating process, because sitting down and deeply considering a decision, and its implications, will open up a range of new dimensions. The decision can have outflows and impact indirectly in other parts of my life and in ways that I did not see until I defined the pros and cons  and placed them on a paper in-front of me. It also helps slowing down and creating an overview.

Something else that can be seen is that some pros will feel more important within, and then when placed without on a piece of paper, they will seem insignificant. This is because certain pros and cons will be charged with either feelings or emotions – and those charged aspects will appear to be more important when looked at in the mind. However in physical reality, a different point, that is not charged with an energy, can be the most important. An example would be the following. A fear that is coming up within me, and a point that I have defined as a con, is that I will not pursue the type of law that I initially foresaw/envisioned myself doing. I will instead learn/apply a more bureaucratic and unpopular kind of law. This also triggers the fear that I will be unhappy in my chosen career. This point felt big and important. However when I looked at my pros and cons list – it was practically speaking not that big of a deal. What stood out to me was instead that the career decision offered me a possibility to work flexible hours and from various locations. I would not be bogged down in one office space. And I realized that for the future I want to create for myself, this is very important to me.

When the pros and cons have been listed – the next step is to weigh the pros and cons to reach a final conclusion. The result of measuring the pros and cons against each other is dependent on what principle/value system you use to determine the importance of each point. I use the principle of what is best for all. This means that the decision is not only about me. I must take into account how my decision will impact others. And with regards to some decisions, it will impact a few people negatively, while it will impact myself and a few others positively. At times it is not obvious which decision is the best. In such instances it can be of support to ask someone else for perspective or do a test-run. For example, if the decision is about moving, to then see whether it is possible to move for a short time only to experience the difference.

With regards to decision I am faced with, my family is an important dimension to look at. How does my decision and direction effect my daughter or my wife? Because even though a particular venue and career path can be my passion and hearts desire, it is not necessarily the path that will lead to the greatest and best outflows for everyone involved. Thus, I do not agree with the current popular idea that we should at all times ‘follow our hearts and dreams’ – reality and the outflows of our decision must be considered and take primacy. And even though we ourselves might feel good about the outflows of a decision – the potential physical and mental consequences we could or will inflict on others will most certainly outweigh that positive state we ourselves could reach.

When I have walked through the above mentioned steps, I am ready to make a decision. I pick the option that I see is best for all. And then comes the challenge of sticking to and living by the decision, however that topic deserves a blog post of its own.


 

Day 384: Expansion and Opportunity

Expansion and opportunity – for me these are words connected with movement, the future, dreaming, challenges, distant countries and places and discovering things. I tend to look at expansion and opportunity as a point that is not yet here – however it could be here if I just participate in that thought, vision, imagination and idea of the future – then my life could be filled with expansion and opportunity.

The consequence of this kind of thinking is that everyday life lacks expansion and opportunity – because these experiences/words are projected into the future/mind. Instead of having my focus HERE and spotting where there is room for expansion and where there are opportunities opening up – I am wandering in my mind looking at the illusions of opportunities presented.

However – the thing with the mind is that it never gets real. And when we are able to realize our dreams and imaginations it is never the way we imagined it – and that is because the mind is not designed to be a guide to reality – it is designed to be a trap – a place where we forget ourselves and our lives to be entertained by pictures, feelings and emotions.

I used to go online and search for and read about online courses. Sometimes I would apply and get admitted – though usually I would remain at the level of only reading. I realized that this behavior was an addiction. I was addicted to the energy of imagining myself learning and expanding in a new education. It was not about actual expansion, it was about the idea of expansion. Real expansion happens in a real time moment. It happens here. Thus what I have started to do is to move this energy of expansion into my physical life here. When this desire to imagine comes up within me, I move myself back here, and look at how I am able to expand what I am doing right here, and right now. And regardless of where I am, or what I am doing, there is always something to expand upon.

For example, cooking, it is something that I do many times a day. Usually I have not given it much thought or energy – I just go through the motions and try to achieve a meal that is good enough to be eaten. Though I realized that the time I spend cooking is a moment that I can use to expand. I am able to improve on my cooking skills. I can learn to chop vegetables better, I can learn more about the nutritional value of the ingredients and how they effect my body. There is a ton of dimensions to cooking that I have not yet developed a relationship with. Hence – I started to expand this relationship. I started living expansion for real in my relationship with cooking – and that was a big difference.

Thus, it is easy to through the mind create an experience of expansion, or dream about expansion. That feeling will never get real. To have expansion in your life as a reality – you have to push yourself to make something more out of the daily and recurring events in your life.


Day 383: Structure – A Key to Freedom

Structure – the word I have been practicing in my life now for a while. I thought it would be a good idea to share some of my findings and insights when it comes to living structure.

Initially I related the word structure to schedules, almanacs etc., and did not view the word as particularly useful in any other context. I also felt that structure was something that limited my creative expression – and that it took away freedom. Thus I have had a bit of a conflictual relationship with the word. Similarly I have had to walk a process to be able to walk in this current money system without reacting towards it – and feeling like the stiff structure and routine of the system pulls me down into a state of too much structure.

At this stage however I feel comfortable with the word – and as I walked the process of understanding it and integrating it into my life – I have realized that structure is everywhere and that is supportive. I have seen that having a structure allows for self-directed creative freedom, while having complete creative freedom without a structure invites lack of direction, loss of overview/focus/movement; it becomes expression without a foundation – and in most cases the results are not good.

Let us take the example of cooking. If I start to cook without a structure – for example – I just haphazardly mix the ingredients and I decide to roast them all in the oven for the same duration of time – I will not be able to create an effective meal. Cooking is a perfect example of a physical expression that rests heavily on a structured foundation – the physics of taste/texture/nutrition – and yet – it is an expression that allows for a wide array of experimentation and creative freedom.

It is the same with music. If I am unfamiliar with the instrument or musical theory it is going to be very difficult for me to improvise or compose my own songs. And sure, I will have complete freedom to play the instrument in any way I desire, but what is the use of that if I am not able to create pieces of music that I enjoy? With a basic structure, knowledge of the instrument and the notes it can produce, it is going to be different. I can now create melodic music yet still be creative, explore and investigate what new sounds and expressions I am able to produce.

Thus, used rightly structure does not quell creativity – it instead supports and enhances it. However there has to be a balance. Too much structure will lead to rigidity. Structure is in its nature predefined, constant, and impermeable to whims of the moment. Though oftentimes it is those spontaneous outbursts that bring through the flavor, the individuality, the joy and pleasure. Thus structure in itself is not the aim – it is the means. It is a stable support from which I am able to move into new expressions and experiences – the ground that I am able to get back to when I have lost myself in the boundlessness of creative freedom.


Day 382: How To Be Creative In The Mundane

I have always enjoyed expanding myself. If I take on a new hobby, I want to bring it to the next level. Usually I am not satisfied with keeping my skills basic – I want to find ways to improve and move beyond what I initially foresaw.

I experience this drive to move and expand as an excitement and exhilaration. What I have found is that I oftentimes channel this expression into the mind. I will then create various plans, visions and dreams as to how I want to expand in the future. It can for example be that I want to read a book, or I want to take part of a course. Before I had children, I could sometimes realize these plans, because I had the time to do so. At the moment however, I have little time on my hands, and when these expressions come through, I seldom have the opportunity to act on them through one of my hobbies or interests. Sometimes I do not even have the time to channel the energy into my mind and make up plans about what I am going to do.

Because of this I have found and experimented with a solution for a week now. When the expression of wanting to expand comes up within me I now channel it into my daily living, into what I am doing HERE in my life currently. I have realized that there are several aspects and parts of my life where I am not as developed as I could be. For example, doing the dishes. How many of us put extra effort into learning how to wash dishes? I know that I have not. Washing dishes is something that I want be over and done with so that I can proceed to do something that interests me. I have started to question this mentality as well – why should my interest in things determine the amount of effort I put into an activity?

Back to the point. When I feel the desire to expand, I channel the desire into developing/creating an aspect of myself that I am busy living here. I have thus channeled this desire into cleaning up after I have cooked or doing the dishes, or simply walking. There are many ways that I can walk. If I walk without presence and effort I tend to slouch. If I put effort into walking, pushing myself to walk the best way I am able to, I walk with presence and direction. There is a completely different feel to myself and my human physical body. The same happens when I put effort into doing the dishes or cleaning up after myself. When I do it with attention, direction and presence, I experience myself differently, and the results are much better.

Thus, what I have realized is that the desire to expand is best put into practice into daily living. When the energy is used to build visions and dreams of the future it can easily become castles of sand – and no solid and physical expansion is ever manifested.

Hence – for all parents out there that feel they have too much creative juices and no time to channel it into their passions – this method can be useful.


Day 381: Expanding with Understanding

When I quit my last job I got a farewell gift. It was a book about the town I have lived in for many years now. It covered the history of the city – from its foundation until today. The last few days I have been reading it and it has been fascinating. Because even though I have been living in this town for the majority of my life, I have known very little about what happened in the past, and what have shaped the town and its inhabitants.

For example, my town was founded because of military strategic reasons. It was built in a inaccessible marsh that surrounded by lakes in order to slow down troop movement. The city streets were designed to allow for counter attacks if a enemy would be able to push through the walls. Hence the roads stretches straight through the entire city. This would allow cavalry and men to move swiftly and charge through the town. Furthermore, the city has been through many, many changes. It has been owned by two different countries and have swapped hands a couple of times. And the inhabitants have at times been forced to pay debilitating military taxes because of the many wars.

After having read the book I have begun to view my town differently. I could better understand why the inhabitants today are the way they are and why we have certain weaknesses and strengths within our township. My connection to the town have deepened. And I have realized that this type of research is something that I should commit to in all parts of my life because of how it supports me to expand my horizons. And there are many aspects of my life that I take for granted and that I have not researched at all. How cars work, the nature and ecology around my home, my own body and its processes – there are so many functionalities to look into.

I imagine that in the past, when life was more simple, people had a general understanding of how things worked. If something broke down, they could repair it. The world was not as big. People knew their local village, how it came about, who lived their, and had a personal connection to the earth that sustained the community. Today it is different. Not only do we have access to more information. There is also many more things to become informed about and understand. We are further away from the core of the inventions/processes that make our life possible. Almost every aspect of our day is moved by complex mechanical inventions. It easy to forget all of these high tech mechanics. From the sanitation systems that keep our cities and houses clean, to the electrical systems that provide energy for all of our modern facilities. They are all extremely important for our day to day living, yet few of us have a relationship with/understanding of these points, which is obviously something that would be supportive to correct.

Personally, I have during recent years committed to learn more about carpentry and gardening and that has been a intriguing journey through which I have also come to expand my abilities in math, physics and chemistry. There are still many parts of my life that I wish to explore and reading this book reminded me of that. When I learn, my world expands, and I expand with it – and that is something I love to experience.