Tag Archives: destonian

Day 371: Making The Ordinary, Extraordinary

This week I have been working with giving/creating purpose in my life – asking myself WHY? I learned this application in the following Eqafe interview:

In the interviews, the question is asked, what does it mean when we are depressed, demotivated and apathetic? It means that we are not giving purpose to ourselves and our lives – we are not making it MORE – but instead accepting and allowing it to just be handed to us – lived in a flow – and comfortably we swim with the stream. However – in swimming with the stream – we miss that point of making something MORE out of ourselves – and this is where the question, WHY, comes in.

An example from my own life is in the work I do. The WHY of my work is firstly, to earn money to support my family and I, secondly to support the people I encounter, and give them the best possible service and advice, so that they can create their lives to be the best that it can be, and thirdly, to learn more about this world, the system, and life in general – that is why I go to work. When I keep that in mind – the WHY – I become different – I act with more confidence, stride and direction.

Asking WHY is helpful especially with things that have become a routine, mundane and that we take for granted. Why are we in the relationship that we are in? Why do we have the hobbies that we have? Why do we eat a certain thing in the morning? Through questioning ourselves and our life we are able redefine and rediscover our purpose within it all – and it is by living with a purpose that we are able to establish substance, wealth, and greatness within ourselves and our life

However it does take discipline to question self and that which we have taken for granted. It is easy to fall into old tracks, and just go along with what is working – that is not the road the excellence. In order to attain excellence, depth is needed, it must be personal, it must be intimate and real – not just something that is done on a surface level. And that is unfortunately that is the case when I approach a part of my life without a clear purpose/direction/understanding within, my participation becomes surfaced.

Hence, is it is important to establish WHY – and not only walk through the motions of everyday life without any life movement/direction/creation. There is nothing wrong or bad about routines, though, when they become a purpose on their own, that is problematic – because that means we are not anymore directive.

What I do is that I make sure to make of all my routines/moments in my life. expansive and life-giving – I find the little seed of life and I nurture it. Regardless of what I am doing, there is always space for movement. Hence, when I drive, I use the time to introspect and apply self-forgiveness. When I take a shower, I push myself to be present in my body, explore breath, the physical sensations and enjoy the moment. Nearly moments, and everything we do on a daily basis, it can all be redesigned to have a supportive meaning that assists and supports us to grow. That however requires from ourselves that we are on our toes, present, here, and that we actively push to make something extraordinary out of the ordinary and trite.


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Day 370: How To Enjoy Hobbies With Limited Time

Being the father of a young girl, time has become a scarce resource. Before becoming a father I had time to participate in big projects and move them forward fast. That is not possible anymore – at least – I cannot do it in the same way as I used to do it. This has opened up a new dimension/understanding of creation/participation/movement that has to do with quantity compared to quality.

An example I have is my recent exploration of growing vegetables. Initially I wanted to and also tried to become self-sufficient on vegetables. However I realized that it took too much time – also considering that I have many other interests/hobbies that I want to continue. Practically speaking, there is simply not room in my life at the moment to grow all my vegetables without compromising responsibilities in other areas/parts of my life.

As I ran into this practical conundrum of wanting to do something, yet not having the possibility to do it, I began looking at solutions. While pondering various approaches, I realized that my interest in growing vegetables really had nothing to do with self-sufficiency. Becoming self-sufficient was an idea that I created, that mirrored my passion/intensity/desire to expand and learn about vegetables, earth and nature. However, self-sufficiency was not the core point. Instead, what really drove me and motivated me to invest myself in learning about and growing my own vegetables was the expressions within me that this hobby opened up.

Looking after a plant from its infancy as a seed to its blossoming into a full grown vegetable is soothing, deep and intriguing. Putting my hands into the earth, and using my body to dig and carry is rejuvenating and refreshing. That is really what growing vegetables is about to me. It is a moment of expansion into a new area of interest – an area where I have no past experience – and where everything is new and fresh – that is why I enjoy it. I also find pleasure in learning recipes, and finding ways to store the produce for a longer time. I expand when I participate in this interest – and that is the core – that is what matters. Hence – it is not of prime importance that I do as much as I can, it is however important that I put as much of MYSELF into what I am doing – that I am really HERE and allow these words/expressions to develop within me as I participate in the specific type of hobby.

When I approach my interest in growing vegetables like this I can fit it into my schedule. It does not have to be that much, though it has to be substantial. And I find this to be true of all of my interests. It is a lot more rewarding when I make sure that my commitments are in balance with the rest of my responsibilities. And then I am able to do a little, however do that small part with intensity, specificity and my total focus – and push myself to develop the soft values/expressions that are hidden within each and every hobby that is part of my life.

To sum it up: When time is scarce, instead of looking at acquiring a quantity, I move to achieve quality and to balance the hobby in harmony with the rest of my life. And instead of focusing on the amount I create, focus on the expression within me that I live as I am walking/participating while in my interest.


Day 368: Making the Decision to Change

I looked at a documentary by Louis Theroux recently called the Dark States (find a preview here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCClVhtJY5w) about heroine addiction. Louis Theroux follows a couple of persons around for a period of time. Among these people are several heroine addicts and a recovered heroine addict. From listening to these people it was clear that heroine addiction is a very difficult addiction to break. It is tied up with not only mental pain but also severe physical withdrawal pains. Of the people that decide to go into recovery treatment only about 10 % are able to fully move away from the clutches of the addiction.

At one point Louis Theroux asks a interesting question to the recovered heroine addict. He asks, what is the difference, why was he able to do it and not the others? The recovered addict explained that the costs of his addiction exceeded the pleasure he received and that is when he decided to quit. He also explained that his decision was complete and that he was willing to do whatever required to get through – and he did not think two times about it – there was no doubt – he was certain.

The present addicts were asked the question if they did not want to quit as well. Their answers lacked clarity. Some said that they wanted to quit some day. Others said that it was too difficult to quit – there were too many side effects. One addict said that he liked the drug addiction and that he did not want to quit. What was common among them was that there was no clear decision. Rather, they looked at themselves in relation to the addiction with complacency and defeatism – they had already given up on themselves.

Comparing the recovered addicts with the present addicts I saw that the difference between them had to do with their decision. The recovered addict had a clear and final decision – he decided to change and to do EVERYTHING in his power to reach his goal. The present addicts had not made a decision at all. They were still following their addiction and could only give voice to a desire to quit, or in some instances, were only able to justify their abuse, thus having suppressed even the desire within them to move beyond their current lifestyle.

The DECISION – whatever we want to achieve – the clarity, strength, and power of our DECISION is very important to the outcome. It is also about sticking to that decision – being willing to go through whatever it takes to get to the final destination – hence – PERSEVERANCE. However in a sense – our willingness and determination to stick to our decision is also related to the quality, the depth, and the clarity of our decision. If we decide upon something WHOLLY with our complete being, body and mind – understanding why we do it, and what we are willing to do to achieve – then our decision will assist and support us to move through the difficult times.

Personally I have never had to recover from a heroine addiction, thus I cannot know what any of these people that were covered in the documentary goes through. Though I have made a couple of life altering decisions myself – one of them being to get an education and move into a particular career path. I made that decision and I have now walked this decision for almost 7 years. For me, what stands out with regards to the decision I made, was the certainty I experienced myself. I was clear on what I wanted – I understood WHY and saw the GOAL – and I knew where I wanted to go. Compared to other decisions that I have made, where I have fallen, this has been the main difference.

In seeing this documentary I have become inspired to investigate a couple of points that effect me negatively, where I have made some decisions to change, though where I have eventually fallen back on my decisions. And I am able to see, that in a way, these decisions have not been made with my FULL intent and my ENTIRE being. Thus – what I want to practice is to start making decisions that stand – decisions that I make completely and that I then stand by and walk them through into completion and physical manifestation. I see that me acquiring such a skill of decision making will assist and support me a lot in life – and empower me as an individual.


Day 367: Creating My Own Self-Image

This week I have been looking at shame and embarrassment particularly in relation to doing things outside the norm – looking differently, smelling differently, sticking out in some way and being different.

In my past, I have deliberately decided to do things against the norm. There has however always been a fear within me. It was also this fear that compelled me that challenge myself – because I did not want to be controlled by this experience. Though, in retrospect, I can see that it was not effective. By going against my fears, I were not able to change them long term. And now I am able to understand why that is the case. Because in going against my fears, I still do not understand them, and I am not directing them – I am instead trying to force them back by going into a opposite reaction.

Thus, the solution to living without the fear of being different is by understanding where this fear comes from. In my case, this fear is very much cultural. It is a part of my upbringing to not want to stick my neck out, to not want to be different – I have been taught that it is best to not cause to much raucous. And the underlying fear is that of fearing being judged by others – having others talk behind my back – having others dislike me and want to bring me down.

Let us take a look at this fearing of being judged by others. What is it really about? It is really a fear of loss – fear of loosing the positive way in which I perceive people see me. This indicates that I build my self-image on how I perceive others view me – thus in order for me to have a positive view of me – I feel that I need to have others see me that same way. There are a couple of reasons as to why that is simple not a practical way to design my image of myself; firstly – it makes me dependent on others – I have to continuously use others to assess me and build my image and idea of myself. Secondly, it makes me vulnerable to fluctuations, changes and movements in my world. If someone have some form of reaction towards me, it will impact and ripple and effect the way I see myself. That is not what I want.

If my self-image would be stable and sustainable – I would be stable regardless of how others view me – and my understanding/image/view of myself would be something that I create and see directly – there would not be a wall of perception that the information must pass through first. Most importantly, I would not be dependent upon anyone else telling me who I am – because I would know who I am. This would remove any fear of being different – because I would know who I am – I would know what I do – and there would not be that anxiety within me as to what others might or might not think about me.

Thus – what are the solutions that I can apply when I notice this fear is coming up within me?

What I see as important is that I remind myself who is the creator of my self-image – and that I make a decision in that moment to create my own self-image – to make sure that I do not depend on others to give me a view and understanding of myself – but that it is my own. To also understand that – the fears coming up within me are not created by anyone else but by myself – it is thus my relationship with me that is being uncovered and not anything else.

Practically speaking – I can take a breath, straighten my back, push out my chest, saying with my body language that I AM HERE – THIS IS WHO I AM – and then continue applying myself within what I was doing – and not accepting and allowing myself to be limited and diminished within fears and anxieties.

 


Day 366: What is success to me?

What is success to me?

It is an important question, because unless I know and I am clear on what is success for me personally, then how will I be able to achieve it? It is not possible. I will instead chase mirages, success as defined and seen by others, and not live according to my self-honesty.

The question has arisen within me due to reactions that have come up within when I am confronted with friends, acquaintances, that I feel have begun to climb the ladder of success, and that has achieved positions of high stature. It could also be that they have achieved fame or notoriety in some other way. The reaction is still the same, it is that of jealousy and fear. Jealousy that I have not achieved their position, and fear that I might have wasted/missed my opportunities to place myself in such a successful point.

Thus, the fascinating thing is that my desire is not directed towards achieving their position from a point of wanting to have their experience, as could be the case if someone has a job that I would like and find interesting. My desire more has to do with gaining the position in order to impress upon and show others that I have been able to achieve such a position/standing of success. That is what it is all about, wanting the positive attention that I perceive someone is receiving in the particular position.

In analyzing this desire/jealousy and bringing it back to myself, I can conclude that I would not have experienced jealousy/desire if I would have felt that I am receiving a sufficient amount of attention/validation/confirmation in my current position. That begs the question, why is it that I feel I need my success/live/movement in this world to be validated by others? That is in-fact a serious limitation, as I will continuously only pursue that which I suspect I will be able to get my validation and attention. And when those things have subsided, I will drop my venture, and yet again go searching for a way to achieve the attention/validation/respect I feel that I deserve. I have played this loop out a couple of times.

The solution is to define my own success and to practice validating myself – to stop myself from comparing my life – what I do – my skills – my future – to that of others – as it will only ever cause me to go astray and miss what is important to me – what is my success. And there will obviously still be the temptation to continue in old tracks. Though it is clear that when I am constantly looking out there at what everyone else is doing, then how will I ever be able to focus at what I am doing? How will I be able to focus at where I want to go, what I want to do? It is not possible – hence the importance of letting others do what they are doing, and developing within me the skill of validating and recognizing myself.

What is success to me?

To me success is to care for myself and others. It is to choose a direction in life based on where I am able to best support myself and others to be the best they can be. Success to me is also to challenge the status quo and to contribute to a change in how the system operates. Further, it is a success for me to dedicate myself to my process of self-creation – to stick to this process, to continue to develop myself, to expand, to move and to walk it until it is done.

When I live these words in my life – that is success to me.

 


Day 365: Solutions Instead of Defeat

Today I listened to the following interview on Eqafe: Interview Request – Polar Bears, Ice Melting, and Manifested Consequence. And as is always the case with Eqafe interviews, they assist and support me in opening up new insights and realizations.

When I listened to this interview, what opened up was the point of how I tend to feel defeated when I look at the world and the problems we are facing. It is not only because of how big the problems are, but because there seems to be only a minority of people that cares about finding solutions, and a majority that prefers to live in ignorance. There is however a alternative to defeat. That is changing my focus, from seeing the problems, to instead seeing the solutions. And I find this to be true not only in regards to world problems, but also in relation to my own personal issues – I often forget about the SOLUTIONS.

It is as if our minds are addicted to the problems and to the experience of defeat. We like to find the problems, to talk about the problems, to become stressed about the problems, and to give up in the face our problems. Finding solutions to the problems, that is secondary, and many times, nonexistent. That is the case with environmental issues such as the melting of the ice caps or global warming. We become stressed and emotional, and then we give up – we accept defeat and that it is too late to do anything, that is, before we have even begun. The proper response would have been to USE that stress as a motivation to get off our asses and start doing something about it.

And with regards to our personal issues. When a point opens up that seems to be too big, we easily accept defeat. Or, when we have tried a couple of different solutions, we stop pushing tell ourselves that it is no use. And then we come up with a justification as to why we are not continuing to push. This has happened to me several times – I will face a difficult point – and when I notice that it is going to take a lot out of me to change the point – accepting defeat is not far away. Though, I do have examples from my life where I have not accepted defeat. In those moments, what I have done, is that when I have been at the brink of giving up, I have taken a deep breath and re-focused my attention. I have then again looked at what it is that I want to achieve, and why I want to achieve it. I have reminded myself of my goals – and after pausing for a moment – I have moved myself to continue.

The trick has been to move beyond the point of feeling defeated. And this way I have been able to learn many skills that I initially perceived as impossible for me to acquire. One example is playing guitar. When I began, I could not fathom that I would one day be able to play the songs of my favorite bands. But I kept on practicing, I kept on looking at tips for how to improve on my technique, and then, at some point, I was suddenly able to play the songs I wanted to. It was a process of accumulation, where I day in and day out practiced a little, grew a little, moved a little – and in time – those small moments accumulated into a big change/movement – I learned to play guitar!

In this process of moving beyond defeat, solutions are essential. If I keep my focus on the problem, I will create more of it, get deeper into it, loose my sense of clarity and direction. I might even forget what it is that I WANT to happen, what is my goal? And then all I do is to try and find ways to cope with what is happening, instead of actively finding ways to definitively solve the problem. Understanding the problem is only the first step, the rest of the steps is about establishing a solid and sustainable change – and that is where the focus should be: What is that I want to create?

I will continue to practice this point of moving past defeat and creating solutions. Especially when a emotion comes up within me, presenting me with a problem, to then convert that emotional energy into a movement within me to instead look for a solution to the problem that I face. To not accept and allow myself to get stuck in a quagmire but to keep on moving – to keep on expanding – to keep on CREATING.


 

Day 363: Putting Some Color In Daily Living

Life is a lot about routines. It is a lot about doing the same thing over and over again with very little variance – unless – it is done differently. And this is what I want to pursue the coming week – create variance/exploration in the small and mundane – in that which recurs day after day, week after week.

What I have realized is that it is not possible to escape routine – it is a cemented part of daily living. We have to eat, we have to shit, we have to sleep. And then you have to survive, and there are many routine actions connected to survival; working, cooking, cleaning and so on. Then there are a few breaks from the routine. There are moments that can be spent on a hobby, on traveling and exploring, on moving out from the routine – though – seen as a whole – those moments are few and far in-between.

The main stream opinion is that routines are bad, limiting, confining, and that we need to escape them from time to time. Because the general view on routines are negative, a lot of people live out their lives in a fight against the routine that floods their lives. We sit by our desks at work the entire week longing to go somewhere else, and then when Friday arrives, we finally feel FREE – and we go out and party to break the monotonous daily struggle. Alcohol and other drugs are used to feel free, excited, special – something MORE than what we normally experience throughout the week.

In this blog however, I am going to advocate a different solution to routine. Firstly, I want to stress that routines are not bad. It is not the routine in itself that makes a moment uneventful and unexciting. Routines are merely, a part of life, and actually, they offer opportunities for us to practice and create INTEREST – real INTEREST – in the sense that we literally have to decide to be interested and present in what we are doing.

Secondly, it might be that it is exciting to do something different and live without routines, though routines do have a quality in that they bring stability and clarity. With a good routine, we can put our attention unto more important things. An example would be, that if we have a good routine when it comes to waking up and preparing for work, then we can instead put our attention/effort into being aware of the environment ad being more physical and grounded. Routines thus, are effective in establishing a solid structure, that can be used as a support to start developing internal living skills, such as presence. Having routines also makes life predictable. And while that might not be good every time, it is supportive when it comes to relationships and communication. Because with a good routine established, everyone involved knows what to do and what to expect – there are no surprises.

Thus, routines are cool – however – there is a problem if we accept and allow ourselves to become mentally and physically limited by our routines . When we do not allow ourselves to test something new, or when we are faced with something new, but we stick to our routine anyway, that causes problems, instead of being flexible and tackling the new issue with a new solution. Routines must not become a comfort zone and that can easily happen when we begin to trust our routines more than we trust ourselves. In such instances it can be scary to push beyond a routine and try something different – here its important to remember that it was us that created the routine and as such we are also able to create something new in its place.

For me lately I have faced the point of judging routines, and feeling limited, confined and held back by them. Obviously, this has to do with the point that I have recently become a father. My baby is very much bound and supported by having routines – which is why I have adapted and begun to create more of them. It is challenging in the sense that life without routines feels exciting, fresh and rejuvenated. Life with routines on the other hand can easily feel stuck, uninspiring and trite. What I have realized is that we do not have to experience routines like this. We are able to use the supportive stability and structure that routines offers while at the same time being inspired, refreshed and new. It is all a matter of changing our approach – our STARTING POINT to life – to routines as a matter of fact.

An example would be the following: I wake up on a Monday morning. My routine is to get out of bed, make breakfast, shower, dress and get to work. It is basically the same every day. However, each of these moments in my morning, even though I have lived them countless of times before, offers and opportunity for me to create something new. Let me take the first moment in my morning, get out of bed. That can be done in many ways. What I have done as of recent is to remain in my bed for a while after I have and give myself a moment to feel my body. To breathe, relax my muscles, and prepare myself for the day to come. To check in with myself and decide upon what words/expressions that I am going to push/pursue in the coming day.

Then with preparing and eating my breakfast. Here, what I have done is that I have covered myself with a blanket and eaten the breakfast in the sofa and pushed myself to relax and enjoy my breakfast. A moment of silence, breathing and preparing myself to go out into the world. At work, I have pushed myself to start taking walks each day after lunch – as a way to stretch my legs and support my general well being. And this is something I have had to will myself to do – because my tendency have been to feel that I do not have enough time to go for a walk. It is interesting how the mind works in this regard. The only thing that is seen as adding to productivity is that which is seen to have a direct connection with manifestation of a project/task. However, all of the soft values, such as feeling rested, replenished and rejuvenated, stretched and content in my body, those are not seen as important. That is obviously a mistake. For me, I can clearly see the difference in how I am a lot more efficient when I am rested and refreshed, compared to when I am stressed and strained.

Routines thus, they are meant to be redirected and walked within awareness. Supportive habits could be one of the most empowering things that I have experienced. Things that I do on a daily basis that supports the well being of me and others. Hence, I will not judge routines anymore, but rather learn to live with them and make the most of them.