Tag Archives: destonians

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 369: Comparing Your Reach

I recently listened to two Eqafe interviews that I can warmly recommend:

These interviews covered the topic of wanting to have a impact, wanting to influence, wanting to be noticed/seen by others and what consequences this behavior can cause. The example used in the interview was that of social media; when we spend most of our time trying to share what is going on in our lives in a interesting way, so that we can in turn receive the attention we desire. I suspect that there are many out there that are able to relate to this.

Personally I do not have issue with social media – however – that does not mean that I have been spared from the desire to achieve fame and have a impact. For me, this desire has taken other shapes and found its way into my work and my decisions in terms of hobbies and interests. One example of how this desire have limited me is the following: By nature, I am a eclectic. I enjoy variety, pursuing new interests, paths, and testing out new things. And often I discover new avenues that I would like to discover. However, the aforementioned desire has from time to time limited from moving forward on those avenues. Because in the back of my mind there has been this voice asking: Who will notice/be effected if I decide to pursue this point? Hence, I have evaluated my ideas on the basis of what kind of reach/effect I would be able to achieve. And if my evaluation ended up in the conclusion that I would not be able to achieve any noteworthy impact – then I would withhold myself from pursuing the point.

By listening to these interviews, I have again become reminded of how important it is to not compare myself with anyone else. It does not matter what anyone else is doing, it does not matter how many people I reach, what is important is that I walk by my own self-honesty, and that I give effort into my life that is already here. Because fact of the matter is that I do already have a certain reach. It might not be global and it might not touch that many – though even still I am important and I do have a significant impact – people, animals, plants, things – there are many that are dependent on me. And if I am busy trying to increase my reach – obsessed and lost in the desire to achieve fame and notoriety – then I will miss and forget these points in my life which I do already have a responsibility towards.

Hence – instead of increasing my reach – my focus should be on perfecting the influence/impact I already have – to thus make sure that I am living what is best, and giving what is best, for the people, animals and plants in my life, that are dependent on me. And that is what I will focus upon whenever this desire to acquire a broader reach comes up within me – FOCUS on what is HERE already and build on that.


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.