Archive | life stuff RSS feed for this section

Balance

14 May

272

It feels like years since I’ve been blogging consistently. This is what happens when you work 60+ hours a week. It leaves little time for much else. My personal training business has been growing quite rapidly, and for that I am extremely grateful. But I definitely miss the times where I was able to sit down with my coffee, write a blog post, and take photos of my food. Like. All day.

Someday I’ll do that for a living. Until then, it’s sporadic training updates and slivers of my thoughts here and there.

It’s been refreshing to live a life that is mostly outside of the blogosphere, but there are definitely aspects that I miss. There are so many things that I have said I will write, and have never gotten around to. So many things half-written. Like how you’ll start cleaning one corner of the house, and before finishing, move to the next. Before you know it, you have spots in every area of the house that are clean, but nothing quite comes together like when you work on one thing at a time.

That one thing, for now, has been my business. I have a difficult time balancing my personal life with my work life. When one improves, the other tends to decline. It’s a constant see-saw between doing what I love, versus doing what needs to be done. I am fortunate enough to be in a situation now where I am doing what I love that also needs to be done. But it has left me little room to do the other things that make me happy. Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.

So I’ve decided that I don’t want to let myself go to any more extremes. Moderation is needed. I need to get back to doing what I love, in order to appreciate the times where I have to do things that are necessary to continue doing what I love. Otherwise I work for very little. I don’t want a shitty tax return on my efforts, so to speak.

That being said – my meet in Ohio is only three weeks away. Three. Time goes by so fucking fast.

Advertisements

Waiting Room

26 Nov

7363727 source

You’re alone.

The silence is so thick you could cut it with a knife. You grasp the arms of your chair and sink your body further in, licking your dry lips and gasping in short, desperate breaths. You feel every vein in your body tremor as your heart palpitates.

There is a monster outside the room. And soon…soon it’s going to break through the door.

It’s going to break in and fucking kill you.

“Not much longer now”, you think. You clench your white-knuckle fists even harder. Every cell in your body braces for impact. Your lungs exhausted from the struggle to hold air.

But the monster is still outside. You are still safe in the present. It has not come crashing through the door, and perhaps it never will. It could walk right past you and that would be the end of it.

It might not even exist.

The problem is that you can’t see beyond the fact that there might be something waiting outside your door, and you have not yet seen its face. You don’t know how you will react. You don’t know what will become of your life, should you open that door.

So you wait.

Anxiety is different from fear. If you walk into a room and see a dead body, you might get scared from the shock. But if you are outside the room, and have an unfounded belief that there is a dead body in there, thus causing your heart to pound and sweat to seep out your pores…that is anxiety.Scary Door

Anxiety can be thought of as the apprehension of the future. It is the “fear” of the unknown. It is the excitement and dread that comes when you think about what has not happened yet. Often, these thoughts are over-exaggerated to the point where it’s no longer just a dead body in the next room…it is rows and rows of bodies. Possibly thousands.

Most of the time, our anxiety comes as a gut feeling. It is an emotion just like sadness, anger, happiness, and excitement. It’s your body’s way of warning you that there is danger ahead, making it a necessary reaction in appropriate times. The problems start arising when you have an overwhelming emotion that appears to rule your thoughts, and affect your life in a negative way.

We begin to envision monsters. Unimaginable terrors. Our thoughts become erratic, irrational, and like a ravenous beast we fuel them with even more thoughts. What begins as a harmless-looking tree on the surface of the soil turns into hundreds of feet of roots underground, that branch off in various directions and lead this way and that.

Similarly, when you are having anxious thoughts, what started out as a harmless idea of a future event became something extra complex. We then expand on the idea with every apprehensive thought, until it becomes something too large for us to handle.

Our downfall is that we keep focusing our attention on the monster outside the room. Whether it is very much a real entity or a product of our own fears and wild imagination, it is in control of our thoughts and actions. And the more you think about it, the scarier and more real it becomes.

Through anxiety, you have the power to not only create new monsters, but to invite existing monsters through the door subconsciously as well. Because our premonitions can often dictate our actions, and what you fear so much may just present itself to you by your own hand.

They say that you should be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it. Likewise, we should be careful what we DON’T wish for. Because with enough anxiety, it might just inadvertently happen; we often learn this the hard way.

I’m not here to tell you that you are crazy. I’m here to tell you that you are not alone, and to educate those who are unaware of just how debilitating an anxiety disorder can be.

I have fought with the monsters outside the room for over ten years now. Here are a few things that have really helped me to control it when it gets bad.

 ———-

1. Self-Hypnosis/Meditation

I don’t mean having someone dangle a watch in front of your eyes, or running up to the top of a mountain in Tibet to become a hermit for a year. But there are many things you can learn from hypnotists, and also from Buddhists in regards to relaxation.

Self-hypnosis is quite possibly one of the most effective drug-free solutions to anxiety, with more than enough resources on the web. If you search YouTube, you will be able to find many videos and recordings from psychotherapists and psychologists. I promise if you take fifteen minutes out of your day, every day, to dedicate to meditating and relaxing, you will benefit greatly from it.

Here is one of my favorites:

2. Reading

It often helps to distract the mind when it’s spinning. To put away your own thoughts, you need to have something else to think about. Picking up a book when I begin to get anxious has helped with calming the nerves.

3. Philosophy Lectures

This one might be a bit out of the ordinary as an anxiety recommendation, but still deserves a mention, even for those of you not especially interested in philosophy. I found that listening in on lectures has been instrumental in helping me not only question my actions and motives, but also understand myself more as a person. It is wonderful for character development, and finding your direction in life. I cannot recommend Alan Watts enough. I wish I could meet him to tell him just how much he has changed my life.

4. Music

Namely, classical music. Why? Because it is completely unbias, and extremely therapeutic. Empty your mind and focus on the music. The complexity of the compositions, the tiny notes of each instrument. No words. Just sound. Don’t speak – just listen.

 ———-

Above all, remember that you have control over your life. Whatever is happening right now that is causing you trouble will pass. Pain is not permanent. Nothing ever is. The present is finite.

And when you think that something might just be too big for you to handle this time, keep in mind that the fact you are alive indicates you have gotten through 100% of every hard time you have faced in life.

I will close with two of my favorite quotes:

“Tomorrow and plans for tomorrow can have no significance at all unless you are in full contact with the reality of the present, since it is in the present and only in the present that you live. There is no other reality than present reality, so that, even if one were to live for endless ages, to live for the future would be to miss the point everlastingly.”

– Alan Watts

“Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”

-Corrie Ten Boom

What Do You Desire?

12 Nov

I don’t have quite a lot to say about today, except for what is expressed in this video…in words far greater than anything my own mind could conceive.

Alan Watts… thank you, my friend.

 

The Power of Negative Influence

31 Oct

rain01

“Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior. Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.” – Ghandi

We learn through demonstration.

Every act of malice.

Every ill-spoken word.

Every blatant display of mistrust and betrayal.

And we are creatures of habit.

We absorb, but we also implement. For every lie we are exposed to, we speak another, for we know its power over those we intend to manipulate. For every word we hear spoken in hatred, we use again to bring down those we dislike for reasons that have to do with our own self-assurance. Our words can bring about new life, or cut a current one into the ground. We fertilize and repair, or we tear down and allow our own self-hatred to get the better of us. And what we choose to pass on can directly influence the energy and attitude of those around us, as well as our own.

Our outward presence and treatment of others is a direct display of our inner confidence.

We cannot bring someone down unless we are first on the ground ourselves. We cannot lift someone up if we are not already up in spirits. Likewise, we speak badly of others when we feel badly of ourselves. And we speak kindly of others when we value ourselves.

Considering this, how can we expect our future – that is to say, our sons and daughters – to grow into the kinds of people suitable for keeping the earth alive, if we cannot teach them through proper demonstration of what should be considered redeemable qualities?

Those who influence us the most influence our habits. Our thoughts are formed through repetitive engraving of old words passed on, and experiences in our most impressionable years.

It is through these countless demonstrations that we form our moral fibre. And it is with the absorbability of our minds that we might also reverse our poor habits and exchange them for better thoughts and actions. The mind is an amazing thing. While certain things cannot be unlearned, they can be counterbalanced with enough positive reinforcement.

Remove bad influences from your life. Let go of negative people, and surround yourself with those who lift you and others around them up. Submerge yourself in the good so that you will be able to pass on that goodness to others. Realize that a poor attitude only prevents you from experiencing all the good in life. There is no reason to settle for cynicism.

Positive thoughts equate positive actions. Dedicate time each day to improving the way you think, and be mindful of the words you choose to say. We only get one try at a first impression. The negative ones last a lifetime.

meditation

STA: Nothing Works The Same For Everyone

9 Oct

think_outside_the_box1

**(STA: something to think about)

The greatest thing about reading and hearing differing viewpoints is taking a little of everything and coming up with your own ideas.

After all, building your life is all about learning how to develop your own plans based on the advice and results of thousands of others. The only real way you will define your own path is by learning all you can, and still taking everything with a grain of salt.

How boring would it be if you could have everything laid out for you so simply? Experimenting is exciting. It shapes your character, provides you with valuable experience, and forces you to think outside the box. Nobody has a cookie cutter life plan that they can offer to everyone. Suggestions are all that can be given. You should never take someone else’s words as blueprints for your own life.

Consider everything. Try everything at LEAST once. Don’t be afraid to fail or do something that you don’t enjoy. Finding what doesn’t work for you is the best way of narrowing down what DOES work for you!

It’s something else for you to check off the “Don’t Fucking Do This Shit” list. There might be ten thousand other combinations you’ll have to try to find what works. But that’s not something to be stressed over. Consider yourself lucky to have the option of being able to experiment.

If everyone based their ideas off of what someone else said was right, the world would never know anything it does now because we would have taken everything at face value. Some guy started the rumor that the world was flat. But Pythagoras and Columbus had to challenge that idea before they found out it was round.

flat-earth-society1

So just because one person might say something works or doesn’t work, doesn’t mean it will or will not work for you. You’ll have to try it out and see.  Since everyone has varying success rates with different methods, you need to play around with a lot of things for enough time to make decisions on what is and is not practical.

You can never only follow the advice of one person, because you are not that person. What works for them may not work for you. And if it does, so much the better. But don’t stop there. Keep learning. Keep growing. We’re often too afraid to toy with new ideas, and that holds us back from accomplishing more and getting further.

Think big. Your brain often “expands” with intelligent thought. 😉

(Or at least that’s what I like to tell myself…)